Best. Player. Ever.

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by iradical18, Apr 11, 2004.

  1. iradical18

    iradical18 Professional

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    I wanna kno who you think is the best player ever, no exceptions, no ifs ands or buts, no discussion about the pre-open era, just plain and simple, who's the best?
     
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  2. Nosoupforyou

    Nosoupforyou Rookie

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    #2
  3. Brian Purdie

    Brian Purdie Semi-Pro

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    #3
  4. cantaloupe

    cantaloupe Rookie

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    sampras no doubt, all you agassi fans go and watch the wimbly final 1999, where sampras made agassi look like a fool. even in 1999, sampras on the decline, absolutely owned centre court, owned agassi, and owned the sport of tennis. Honestly i truely believe that 1999 sampras played his best tennis, just took his opponents apart stroke by stroke. During that year he also played with soo much confidence (almost cockiness) and went for huge shots.

    I also read somewhere that during his #1 years he only lost to players outside the top 100 NINE times, thats over 6 years, about 400 matches. Can anyone else lay claim to that???
     
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  5. cantaloupe

    cantaloupe Rookie

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    err that's C0ckiness
     
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  6. PureCarlosMoyaDrive

    PureCarlosMoyaDrive Professional

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    You mean where peepee is? But yea, Sampras, numbers tell all there. Also, just sheer greatness is also unstoppable.

    Also, one quick thing I did. Agassi has 799 match wins, 58 tournaments won. Sampras has 762 match wins, 64 tourneys won. That means that every 11 match wins, Sampras won a tourney, and almost every 14 match wins, Agassi won a tourney (it was 13.77). That's pretty good for both, but I think it's a lot better for sampras. 37 less match wins, and still 6 more titles.
     
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  7. Deuce

    Deuce Banned

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    Anyone who doesn't instantly recognize Shlomo Glickstein as clearly the greatest tennis player in the history of the game knows nothing about tennis.
     
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  8. Camilio Pascual

    Camilio Pascual Hall of Fame

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    Mo Connolly, she was a phenom. Career tragically cut short by a horse/truck accident. More than any other player, you can look at her record while she played and say, "There goes the greatest of them all!"
     
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  9. AndyC

    AndyC Semi-Pro

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    Sampras of course. Until someone surpasses his GS total I think he'll be the best.
     
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  10. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Man I hate to get sucked into this, but I have to reply: Laver on the men's side and Navratilova on the women's side. I will have to concede the Glickstein is a close 2nd on both sides though.
     
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  11. baseliner

    baseliner Professional

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    Laver. No one else is even close. Lost all those years before open tennis and still won the grand slam when allowed back in. (Please note none of today's players have won "a" grand slam. Andre has won a career GS. Winning AO, Wimbledon, French Open or U.S. Open is commendable and a major, but it is not a grand slam. Laver won on all surfaces. Sampras didn't and couldn't. On the women's side, I'll go with the second Mrs. Andre Agassi. I know Margaret Court Smith has the most titles in GS tourneys, but Steffi won on all surfaces. Only mar on her record is the number she won after Monica Seles was out of commission--not her fault. You play who shows up.
     
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  12. python

    python Semi-Pro

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    This seems to come up every couple of months. Why bother asking? We all KNOW the Sampras from 1994-1996 would have waxed any version of Laver with his woodie and sixties era strength and fitness.

    If the typical rejoinder is that it's hard to compare players from different eras since the standards were different, then why engage in the exercise in the first place? Laver may indeed be the best of his period, but I'd take Pistol Pete in a heartbeat any time. Truthfully, I'd also pick Becker, Lendl, and Agassi as well.
     
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  13. Grimjack

    Grimjack Banned

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    #13
  14. Joe Average

    Joe Average Rookie

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    Maureen Connolly. She was 9-0 in Grand Slam finals. And I think she did that before she turned 20.
     
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  15. edge

    edge Banned

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    She won the Grand Slam at 16!!!
     
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  16. @wright

    @wright Hall of Fame

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    Shlomo Glickstein for me.
     
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  17. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    It's funny that you mention fitness since that's always been Sampras' Achilles heel. Sampras has never been known for outstanding fitness or durability.

    As to waxing, we'll never know, but size is not everything in tennis, just ask Junstine Henin. Sampras and Laver both acknowlege each other as GOAT, and that is a sign of class from both men. Laver has two French Open titles though which puts him in a class by himself. One can argue about 3 grass court tourneys vs one now, but one thing remains constant, that's the clay at Roland Garros. Laver had a stellar hard court record.

    I rank Borg and Sampras as 2nd best behind Laver.

    Bottom line, a champion is a champion regardless of time.
     
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  18. python

    python Semi-Pro

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    Maybe, Rabbit, but Sampras's record in 5 set matches is pretty good, and his record in GS finals is almost unparallelled. Sampras had a knack of coming up with the goods when it mattered, even if he wasn't the same gymrat that Courier was. Fact is, Pete was a pretty good athlete for a tennis player.

    By the way, size has nothing to do with why I think Sampras would have slaughtered the Rocket. I simply think Sampras would be too overpowering for Laver (especially on grass where Laver won the bulk of his GS titles), particularly since the only Laver we've ever seen played with a wooden racquet. I know you're a fan of your Vilas frames, but surely you will concede that the differences between graphite and wood are large... and would only be magnified in a match between all-time greats.

    Finally, I'm not necessarily concerned about Laver's French triumphs when discussing Sampras' status as the GOAT. Laver didn't face the same players Sampras did. Yes, as you can tell, I do think the newer players are superior to the older players. You are of course free to disagree.

    Laver is a champion. He's no Pete Sampras, but he surely deserves respect as the best player in his time.
     
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  19. chad shaver

    chad shaver Semi-Pro

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    Who's the GOAT? It's all so simple. The answer is YES.
     
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  20. Brian Purdie

    Brian Purdie Semi-Pro

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    OH no you didn't go there! With regard to fitness, Sampras in his prime was a workhorse. It used to be common thought that Sampras was the worker and Agassi the goof off. Let us not forget that it was Agassi that fell off the charts 3 times before coming back in 99 for good. Despite near constant illness, injury, and late match exhaustion (now thought to be secondary to his beta-thallessemia anemia -commonly seen in mediterranian families), Sampras always fought through.

    From the beginning of the book, Chapter 1 of Branham and Collins "Sampras: A legend in the works" published in 1996:

    Andre Agassi athletic?
    You can almost hear Pete Sampras saying, "Yeah, right." ...A wondrous tennis player, Agassi can at times be exposed as an average athlete.

    It's not true any longer, but it sure was back then. It remained true until 99. Paul Annicone said Sampras would take two days off after winning a slam, and then go straight back to the court practicing. The reason Sampras was so boring to most people was because of his extensive training. That's what kept the competitors down.

    Fitness is not the Sampras Achilles heel, it was his Health!
     
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  21. SonicSpeed

    SonicSpeed Rookie

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    You have to remember that during Laver's time, 3 of 4 GS were on grass.

    How many slams would Sampras have if 3 of 4 GS were grass during HIS time?? He'd have more than 14, almost for sure.
     
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  22. david aames

    david aames Professional

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    First match of the 1995 David Cup Final...

    [​IMG]
     
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  23. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    And just how many Grand Slams would Laver have won if he hadn't been banned for turning professional for 5 years? Certainly he would have won 20 or more, including a French or two. If total Grand Slams is the measure, where does Roy Emerson fit into the equation?

    Yes, Laver never played in his prime with graphite, but Sampras did play with wood against a then 40-year old McEnroe in a Nike exhibition. Sampras lost to McEnroe. What then can we deduce from that? Laver in his later 30s was still competitive with guys in their 20s, Rosewall got to the Wimbledon and U.S. Open finals against Connors when he was 39 and continued to beat players half his age after that. Laver would have held his own against anyone, anytime, anywhere. Would he have won every match? Certainly not, but he'd have won his share for sure.

    david - great picture...I think there's another just like it after Sampras played Corretja at the Open...and then there's..... 8)
     
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  24. patliontennis

    patliontennis New User

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    I agree with everyone that answered Sampras, I think that his era was the funnest to watch, even compared to today's tennis Sampras is just amazing.
     
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  25. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    When he walks down the street people will look and they will say there goes Brad Gilbert, the best there ever was in this game.
     
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  26. The Franchise

    The Franchise Rookie

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    Ronaldo, you took the words right out of my mouth. I don't think the other posters here have quite the tennis expertise that you and I share. Brad Gilbert = GOAT.
     
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  27. Brian Purdie

    Brian Purdie Semi-Pro

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    Okay, I'm listening. This is why I enjoy the GOAT discussions. They start out with one idea, and turn into another. Can you guys expand on Gilbert. We know his coaching capability, but he was a Top Ten player at best. "Winning Ugly", while a best seller, didn't add much new literature to tennis. What's your reason for him as GOAT?
     
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  28. PureCarlosMoyaDrive

    PureCarlosMoyaDrive Professional

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    Aames, are you trying to say he's not fit? Because after that match, he played 2 more in the next 2 days, and single handedly won that tie.
     
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  29. jackcrawford

    jackcrawford Professional

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    LOL about Laver getting waxed by anyone. He had a 14 inch forearm, a wrist of steel and would have put holes in the cement using a graphite frame.
    Last year saw McEnroe beat Nestor in WTT a week before Nestor reached quarters of a Masters-Series singals in Canada. If Mac wasn't still playing, we'd hear how as a wood-racquet era player he couldn't get a game from today's supermen.
     
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  30. david aames

    david aames Professional

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    Not at all. Just provided for illustration purposes. That picture is just striking -- all heart.
     
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  31. python

    python Semi-Pro

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    McEnroe also admits he's serving and hitting harder than ever with his current racquet. Would he have the same success with his old Dunlop Max MaxPly Fort? I think my contention that a woodie Laver being ineffective against the Pro Staff-armed Pete Sampras is very defendable.

    Rabbit, I don't consider exhibition matches too strongly, especially with a retired Pete Sampras who rarely plays these days according to reports. Was this match played after Sampras retired? Even if not, an exhibition is called an exhibition for good reason. McEnroe, meanwhile, has dominated the current Delta Legends tour, beating much younger guys like Stich with style. There's no question that McEnroe still plays a high quality game and he could probably win a round or two at an ATP tournament given a fast surface and good matchup.
     
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  32. Dreadeye

    Dreadeye New User

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    Best ever........................there's no such thing as "The Best Ever".

    There was, however, the most feared................Pancho Gonzalez!
     
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  33. irishbanger

    irishbanger Rookie

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    If you were to take the best players of all time at their peak and put them in a double elimination round robin using the equipment they used at the time, the winner would be . . . Roger Federer. I believe in the evolution of the athlete. Was Roger Banister the best miler of all time just because he was the first to break 4 minutes? He was AT HIS TIME---but guys now smoke him. Hell, so would the ladies. And the same holds true with tennis. But, you can't judge previous generations. Why bother? All the greats were great in their time.
     
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  34. soulincontrol

    soulincontrol New User

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    becker...... too much style!!!
     
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  35. jmckinney

    jmckinney Rookie

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    agassi or mcenroe
     
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  36. Matt H.

    Matt H. Professional

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    I'm torn between Sampras and Agassi.

    Everyone knows all of the Sampras accomplishments and what not, so i don't need to go into detail about him.


    With Agassi, i feel like i see a more "complete" tennis player. He's won 8 grand slams, winning on ALL surfaces, the only player to do so, as all the other career GS guys were playing mostly grass.

    Also, and this is huge...he's won 16 Masters Series titles. Even more shocking, he's won 7 out of the 9 Master Series tournament locations. Simply astounding.
     
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  37. Phil_

    Phil_ Banned

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    Agassi, a complete player? He's just a baseliner who volleys with bricks for hands! If he's a complete player, you're a complete idiot.
     
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  38. Matt H.

    Matt H. Professional

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    i meant "complete" in that his resume is more rounded and covers every tournament of significant value.


    I had figured people would understand that since i was talking about the tournaments he has won, not his strokes. But i guess you're just too busy thinking of your next witty post or how you're gonna flame somebody. How's about chillin out and go get laid or something. You'll like it, i promise.
     
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  39. bigserving

    bigserving Semi-Pro

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    Sampras!! 14 Majors 5 years in a row at number ONE.

    Classic (high risk) serve and volley game. You rarely hear anyone talk about Sampras of having any of the best strokes of all time he simply had made game.

    If there was an off day between the US Open semis and finals, Sampras beats Safin in 2000 and Hewitt in 2001.
     
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  40. drummerboy

    drummerboy Rookie

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    Sergi Brugguera lol. He was almost impossible to beat in his best years. Too bad he was not on the tour for longer than he was.He would kick some more asses for sure.
     
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  41. The Franchise

    The Franchise Rookie

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    Hmmmmmm.....so there's a "Phil" and there's a "Phil_". I guess there's actually someone out there who likes to impersonate self-righteous morons.
     
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  42. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

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    Sampras for sure. He once stated something along the lines that when he was playing his best, and Agassi his best, he would win because he knew he was the better player, and Agassi knew it as well! His record also speaks for itself. He is probably the most complete player in history. I don't believe anyone using a wooden racquet could be THAT competitive against the modern players. When Sampras was serving well he was very close to being impossible to beat. The evolution of the athlete post was interesting, but i don't think Sampras is that far back nor Federer yet that polished. In a few years who knows tho. The only knock on Pete is his very ordinary clay court record, but one can't have everything i guess. That's one thing i like about Lendl, tho people rave about him never winning Wimbledon he was always hammering away in the semi's and finals. Besides the point that he never won, his Wimbledon record is amazingly consistent.
     
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  43. Bertchel Banks

    Bertchel Banks Semi-Pro

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    Agassi of course. The oldest #1 and top ten mainstay three decades running.

    Sampras = A Goat

    He also stated that Agassi was the only player who could beat him when he was playing his absolute best. This makes him full of s#!# at best, because Krajicek, Rafter and others have beaten him at his best.l
     
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  44. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

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    You need to read my post again, i said "He once stated something along the lines that when he was playing his best, and Agassi his best, he would win because he knew he was the better player, and Agassi knew it as well!"

    Your comment was light years from what i said.
     
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  45. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

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    Sampras is 6-0 over Agassi at the U.S. Open and Wimbledon. Head to head he is also 20-14. Having said this i still respect Agassi as an absolutely amazing tennis player, he is really something.
     
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  46. Phil_

    Phil_ Banned

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    Agassi sucks, his pigeon walk sucks also.
     
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  47. Bertchel Banks

    Bertchel Banks Semi-Pro

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    Let me guess, in these 34 matches Pete only managed to muster his best stuff 20 times, while Andre went all out all thirty four times.
     
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  48. BaselineAce

    BaselineAce Rookie

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    Sampras and Navratilova
     
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  49. WW Volley

    WW Volley Rookie

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    What if... What if... What if...

    There's no what if statement that follows Sampras' accomplishments. His stay at the top of the game is one of the most dominant sport performances in ALL sports. It's up there with Jordan, Gretzkey, etc.

    We don't have to what if about Sampras, because he did it. And so... that's why he's the best to play the sport. He did it. We don't have to speculate.
     
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  50. PistolPete

    PistolPete Rookie

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    Pete Sampras - 14 Grand Slam Titles, the most all time. The best without question.
     
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