Are we guilty of Slam Bias?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by hoodjem, Oct 27, 2013.

  1. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Too often I see posts in which someone says something like the following statement: "Player X has Y number of slams, therefore he is the GOAT. Period. End of story."

    Here's one example from the General Pro Player Discussion:
    Is tennis history this simplistic? Can tennis greatness be reduced to a single total number?

    I do think it matters somewhat. And it is an important factor, but it is not the be all and end all. I call it a useful shorthand way of getting to the contenders, but that other factors must be considered to give a complete picture.

    I believe that the main flaw in the notion that total number of slams automatically equals GOAT status is the Professional Prohibition before 1968. As we all know, the world's best players were prohibited from playing in the slams then and thus could not add to their total number of slam wins.

    Do other factors count equally or more?
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013
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  2. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    pros could not play Slams till 1968.You have to factor in the Pro slams which often were better than the amateur slams.

    In this respect, modern players have had a much easier life.Haven´t had to fight one teenth their predecessors have.
     
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  3. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I agree, but most posters don't even know about Pro Slams.

    They say Gonzales has 2 and Rosewall has 8, they're not even in the running--when someone else has has 17. That's it. That's all. Period.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013
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  4. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Most don´t even know about Indoor slams.

    Yes, there is nothing worse, as they say, that " ears that do not want to listen"
     
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  5. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Heck, it seems that even the Tennis Channel was guilty of this when they rated Gonzales so low in their GOAT-list.
     
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  6. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I don´t blame them if not for the their rennuency to accept that history is never a straightforwards line.The pro slams and the indoor slams were big and that is because things were different in tennis than they are now.It is stupid not to want to understand how things were and how things evolve and go to the easiest way: count of number of traditional slams.
     
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  7. monfed

    monfed Guest

    If it isn't that simplistic then Fed is an even bigger GOAT than he already is.
     
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  8. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Yes, really? Will you explain how so?

    I hope it is not the boring " bad match up " excuse

    In fact, now I fully understand why newtards use that every time...they are so young and inmature that they, really, never had a " bad match up" in their lifes¡¡¡
     
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  9. RF20Lennon

    RF20Lennon Legend

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    Slams are not the only criteria but the BIGGEST criteria. So if a person has the most slams, chances are that he is probably GOAT. In Fed's case he has weeks at number 1 and so many other records to back it up.
     
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  10. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    playing in a weak era atop ( not full field) and being owned by his number 2 does not sound too GOATty to me...
     
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  11. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    I do think slams is the way to go as the biggest criteria for contemporary players (obviously not necessarily the best criteria for pre open era players and even pre 90s it seems). I think from Federer era onwards a SLAM precedent has been established and it will continue to be the biggest deciding factor in greatness. ATP tour is very well established at this point, centralized, people know what they should play year in year out and choose not that many tournaments, but in doing so that makes it even more crucial they win these events.
     
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  12. josofo

    josofo Semi-Pro

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    not only pre 1968.

    but borg and mcenroe missed a ton of Australian opens. so the tour they competed on isnt close to apples to apples with the current tour.


    really tournament won is a better measuring stick for the best players post 1968. but then there is the issue with connors winning so many tournament against inferior competition.

    comparing pre 1968 players 2 post 1968 players? forget it. for example. since bill tildon turned pro. most of the time the best 3-4 players were pros but certainly some of the best 10 players were amatuers. and occasionally say in don budge slam year and other greats like kramer(last amatuer year) you can argue they were the number 1 player as amateur. so say when nadal wins any major or masters most of the top 10 players r in the field. pre 1968, post 1929 not many times were the top 10 players all professionals or all amatuers.

    plus when they started seeding 32 players at slams instead of 16 the fields got a lot easier for the top seeds to make the quarters (take that *******s).

    to say the least it all aint apples to apples.
     
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  13. RF20Lennon

    RF20Lennon Legend

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    Well thats not what the general public thinks :)
     
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  14. YaoPau

    YaoPau Rookie

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    Slams are the biggest criteria since Slam counting became a thing all players cared about, which started in the 1990s. Totally agree that Slams are a great metric for comparing today's players, as we know everyone gears up for it, and Slam counts matter to them.

    Weeks at #1 is another great criteria for comparing players since about 1990 when the computer rankings formula became more credible.

    But if we're really and truly comparing all-time, then we gotta be careful to use the criteria that players from past generations cared about in their era. It's not nearly as easy as counting Grand Slams (some AO's and French Opens should barely count, the fields were so weak), or even Pro Slams (same thing). Sometimes the most important "tournament" was actually a nationwide tour against a few others players.

    And Federer's weeks at #1 record would likely *not* be #1 if we actually had those numbers throughout history. Guys like Gonzales, Laver, Tilden would probably be well ahead of him IMO.
     
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  15. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    1) Total weeks at no. 1
    2) Total number of slams
    3) Ability on multiple surfaces (career slam or not?)
    4 )Total Masters 1000 (or equivalents) won
    5) Total years of domination as world no. 1
    6) H2H with main rivals
    7) Total number of all tournaments won
    8 ) Winning percentage at slams
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013
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  16. RF20Lennon

    RF20Lennon Legend

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    Career slam would be number 3! Masters would be 4!
     
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  17. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Sorry it was not in ranked order, just numbered. I'll change it.
     
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  18. RF20Lennon

    RF20Lennon Legend

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    Oh ok! My mistake!
     
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  19. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    Too many measurements that make no distinction between losing in the final of a tournament and losing in the second round. Consistency is not adequately weighed. Lets add at least career w/loss percentage. I like to measure what happened on the way up, and on the way down, as well as what happened as top dog.
     
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  20. andreh

    andreh Professional

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    Then there are things that are difficult quantify. Depth of field adjustments, changes in surfaces over the last few decade, etc. Was it more difficult to win a slam in past eras compared to today? Because of such factors etc. The effects of these factors will remain "opinon" in the end, but they matter just the same
     
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  21. DMP

    DMP Semi-Pro

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    In the end it is only about this question(s):

    Who won matches that mattered against opponents who were significant, and how many and how often did they win them?

    Of course the difficult issues are

    - what matches matter(ed)?
    - who are/were significant opponents?
    - what matters more:- winning often (dominance) or winning many (longevity)?
    - how do we measure them?

    Even the fans in short pants on the General Discussion board discuss these issues, albeit with a miniscule time horizon!
     
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  22. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    1) Total number of years as year-end world no. 1
    2) Total number of slams
    3) Ability on multiple surfaces (career slam or not?)
    4 )Total Masters 1000 (or equivalents) won
    5) Total weeks at no. 1
    6) H2H with main rivals
    7) Total number of all tournaments won
    8 ) Winning percentage at slams
    9) In best five-year period, tournaments won
    10) In best five-year period, winning percentage
    11) In best five-year period, majors won
    12) In best five-year period, percentage of majors won
    13) In best five-year period, percentage of tournaments won
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2013
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  23. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    I think, year end Nr. 1 is more prevalent than weeks at Nr. 1.
     
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  24. monfed

    monfed Guest

    I believe we need to evaluate a player's greatness as a complete package and each player should be evaluated on the metrics used to gauge greatness in his/her time. Was slam count the highest achievement in Laver's time? If so then he must be evaluated on that. I believe Fed's the greatest not JUST because of the slam count(which is infact the highest achievement of his era) but because of his vast repertoire of shots, court sense, genius shotmaking,versatility, no nonsense mannerism on court,class act, great ambassador to the sport, plays fair, very elegant to watch,there's just so many components that add up to make him the greatest.
    In short the greatest player must have the greatest game and I believe Fed has that. The guy is the establishment's pipe dream.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 28, 2013
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