Clay Court GOAT

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by timnz, May 18, 2009.

  1. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    Yeah but she lucked out in that the Open switched to Har Tru, the surface she was raised on, for exactly those years rather than the grass. She might have won one or maybe two but threats that did not exist on the clay, could have on grass. it is really those Opens on which much of her clay reputation must rest. Chris barely broke a sweat in those 3 years at the Open. Her RG titles hardly saw the creme de la creme in the 70's years overwhelming the draw. But everyone came over for the US Open.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2011
  2. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Hahaha! I see you're having trouble with this concept. Let me try again. People right here on TT take away grand slams, award major titles, impute greatness based on speculation, etc. etc. etc. all day long. As long as the speculation is supported with reason and rationality, it's as valid as the reasonableness of the argument proffered.

    How many times have you taken away Laver's 62' grand slam because there weren't any pros in any of the draws? I happen to agree that Laver probably wouldn't have won the GS if the pros were in the draw. He might have won one or two majors that year. On the other hand, if Laver was eligible to play the majors from 64-67, he might have won another G.S., perhaps more than one, and who knows how many major singles and doubles titles.

    Similarly, how many more major titles would Seles have won, and how many fewer would Graf had won, had Seles not been stabbed in the back by a psychopathic German Graf fan? It's easy to support such a premise because Seles actually was beating Graf in the majority of the majors they played in over the previous 3 years when Seles took the #1 ranking away from Graf.

    See, it isn't that hard to comprehend.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2011
  3. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Well, that's just them. I don't like the idea of handing out free slam titles at the expense of the other players(the real winner).

    I always refer to Laver as a 11 slam winners. However, i believe his accomplishments has less weight than the modern era. That's include only conquered on 2 surfaces and the field lacks the depth/talent.

    He might or might not win more, that doesn't prove anything. You don't earn free slam for not playing. Capiche ?

    It's a good debate. But Graf will always be remember as a 22 slam winners. Not 15, not 18, but 22. And everyone will remember Seles 9 slams. Not 15, not 12 or any other imaginary number.

    That's like having Nadal quitting today and we can hand out free slams for him in the future, regardless who ever win slams from now on.

    See how ridiculous you sound?
     
  4. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Yes, it's a good debate. You said it yourself. That's the whole point. This entire section is about debate, some good, some not so good. If it isn't a good debate, someone will point that out quickly enough. If Ralph quit today, the debate about what he would have, should have, could have done, would be every bit as extensive and contentious as the debate about Borg retiring early, which continues, unabated, 30 years later.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2011
  5. Sneezy

    Sneezy New User

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    Whenever these GOAT topics come up between my friends and I, we always try to keep context in mind. You can still have a lively debate without those "If they played XXX number of years they would have won XXX number of slams." Because if it didn't happen, then it doesn't matter. Otherwise, you can come up with any scenario. For example, I can say "What if the guy who stabbed Seles stabbed Graf too, and then Kimiko Date won 10 slams." Then I could argue Kimiko Date belongs in the discussion for female GOAT. Well that didn't happen, so there really isn't a point in debating it.

    With context in mind, since Seles did have Graf's number during those few years before the stabbing, I would say she was the better player during that time. But thats only for that time. However, overall Graf would be higher on the female GOAT totem pole by virtue of her final stats. But is Graf more of a GOAT then Evert or Navratilova, thats where you can debate excluding those "what ifs."
     
  6. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    You're missing the point. It's not a dichotomy. It's a sliding scale of rationality and logical support. The more rational your premise, and the stronger your support, the better your argument.
     
  7. Sneezy

    Sneezy New User

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    So if its a sliding scale or spectrum, does that mean some people are totally delusional?
     
  8. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Good, fun to debate. But not the best or the objective way to debate. If we play your game, I can take away a few slams from Laver since he compete only on one circuit before the open era. take a few more away if he had to compete slam on hc. See my point? Everyone will start arguing for and against certain players, then taking away their slam trophies and hand it to other players they please.

    People still believe Federer can win few more slams. Let's say Fed retired today, he should be awarded a few more slams in the future(according to your logic). I cannot accept(and I'm a Fed fan).
     
  9. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Agree. It's crazy to remove/add slam titles from one player to another. Everyone will have their own list of players with certain number of slams. Crazy !
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011
  10. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    You can make any argument you want. Whether you can support it with sound argument is another matter.
     
  11. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Ok. Let's do this...Laver wouldn't have a CYGS had the 4 slam events was competing on Deco Turf, Plexicushion, Clay, and Grass.
     
  12. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Actually Laver was pretty dominant on all surfaces-grass, clay, wood, hard court, indoor canvas etc. He may very well have had a grand slam.
     
  13. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    [​IMG]

    In 69, while winning THE grand slam again, he won the biggest indoor and hard court tournaments of the year.

    TMF: such a knob....
     
  14. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Why would you think that? All the evidence points the other way eg the fact that laver won around 30 hard court tournaments in his career.
     
  15. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    TMF: "Confound you and all of your pesky facts."

    I personally saw Laver win a hard court WCT event, both singles and doubles. He lost 2 sets in the tournament, one to Emmo (his doubles partner), and one to Bob Lutz. To this day, Lutz was one of the most impressive players I've seen. I don't know why Lutz didn't win a few majors. He was a supremely talented player and a physical specimen.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011
  16. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Lutz enjoyed the good life. A lot of players thought he was the more talented of the Smith/Lutz doubles team.
     
  17. Sneezy

    Sneezy New User

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    Was Lutz a mental flake like Murray or Kuznetsova?
     
  18. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Nah! He was just a laid back Californian from USC. He and Stan Smith were considered one of the all time great doubles teams and won several doubles majors and dozens of other titles together. He was built like a pit bull and had a forearm like Laver's.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2011
  19. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Laver is acually the leading open era player for open hard court finals winning percentage, i think something of 19-2 in official hard court tournaments.
     
  20. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    TMF's head just exploded!
     
  21. CyBorg

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    The grand slam is a nice accomplishment, but it's not a good measure of who the greats are.

    For one thing, numerous great players were not in the position to compete in grand slam tournaments, before the open era and even in the early years of open era.

    Another factor to keep in mind is that some grand slam events were not always the most important. That's also true for a bulk of the open era.

    The really good arguments for Laver's greatness are bit more complex and detailed than just saying "grand slam". Similarly any argument against Laver that questions the value of his grand slam is a strawman.

    It takes a little bit more time to study Laver's era and understand the extent to which he dominated it. But most people don't want to take the time.
     
  22. robow7

    robow7 Professional

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    Good point cyborg, one should really read the older book on Laver written by Bud Collins and Kramer's book to really get a feel how it was then. No, the depth of competition is nowhere near what it is today but then those top guys had to meet each other week after week since they couldn't avoid one another at different tourneys. Can you imagine Rafa and Fed going at it 15-20 times a year?
     
  23. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Reminds me of reading about olmedo's struggle after joining the pro tour. Everyone knew he was good, but it was a rough initiation getting beaten up by the very top pros night after night!
     
  24. illuminati

    illuminati Rookie

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    nadal is now definitely the clay GOAT.

    borg does not have ANY clay stat over nadal.

    on clay, nadal is either equal to borg in a few stats and clearly superior to borg in many stats.
     
  25. CyBorg

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    Nonsense. One can definitely make some very good arguments for Nadal. Certainly.

    But if I were Borg's "lawyer" I would point directly to a) Nadal's back-to-back losses to Djokovic this year, adding that no player ever gave Borg such trouble in his prime years on red clay, b) Nadal's loss to Soderling in the 2009 RG, adding that Borg never suffered such a defeat in his prime on red clay.

    So there you go. Borg 1977-1981 untouchable on the red clay.
     
  26. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Super post Cyborg. If you look at his accomplishments, his competitive and his skills you can how truly great Laver was. You can't just assume certain things and write because of that Laver wasn't great.
     
  27. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Pay attention !!

    We are talking about slam events, not other non-slam event. It’s very likely Laver wouldn’t have won 4 slam events if he must conquer variety of surfaces(Deco Turf, Plexicushion, Clay, and Grass).
    [​IMG]
     
  28. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    And the evidence was pointing to Novak winning FO this year since he was the best player during the clay season. Including beating Nadal 2 times at the clay MS. Novak didn’t even made the FO final, let alone winning it. Just b/c Laver won other tournaments on hc doesn’t mean he will win it on a slam event. Furthermore, many players have won tournaments on clay but NEVER won the FO. So don’t give Laver a free pass. Capiche ?
     
  29. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    LOL...you like to use hypothetical reasoning to downtalk the modern players all the time, but when I use it, you get all mad. [​IMG]
     
  30. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    How much top 2 players meet more often in a year is depends on the depth of the field that allow them to. For instance, let's randomly remove 90% of the playing field but keep Roger and Nadal. Their chances will meet more often since there's less resistance from the field.
     
  31. robow7

    robow7 Professional

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    It also highly depends on how many tournaments are offered on the same week. Often the big boys will avoid one another entirely in that manner.
     
  32. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    According to Mac during the FO this year, he said during his heyday the top players are spreadout...Borg was in Europe while he was in the states, and Connors was somewhere else.

    Today, all top tier tournaments Fed and Nadal both play. Even Nole and Murray doesn't skip either. There's no hole in any of the draw(unlike in those days).
     
  33. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    That's because the early years of the open era had a lot of politics, with different governing bodies running tours etc. It wasn't until the ATP took over the running of the main tour in 1990 that some sort of order was brought to the tour, and even then we'd see many players play a load of clay-court tournaments throughout the year while others played a load of hardcourt or carpet tournaments, and there was that big "baseliner vs. serve and volleyer" divide. Since 2000, there really has been "order", with the big players having to play the same tournaments for the most part, and serve and volley mostly disappeared around 2002-2003 time.
     
  34. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Greatness is not measures solely by stats. Greatness is measured by a combination of things including the level of play that a player played at in his/her career. Whether Borg played at a higher level than Ralph is debatable, but, it's a factor that must be considered.
     
  35. robow7

    robow7 Professional

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    Fair enough, but I was looking back a little further when Laver and Rosewall met how many ungodly times.
     
  36. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Goes in one ear, out the other.
     
  37. Xemi666

    Xemi666 Professional

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    Oh really? I guess Borg's loss to Panatta never happened then :oops:
     
  38. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Actually it wasn't Borg's prime years. His prime years were from 1977 on.
     
  39. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    But Kuerten won 3 out of 3 while Federer won 1 out of 5...
     
  40. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Agreed.Evert, Graf and Seles are the best cc players of the modern era.
     
  41. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Laver might have won on every unimagnable surface, even those that do not exist any more.Like parking soil, f.i
     
  42. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Under which logic do you support that Laver would not have won a HC GS title? who would have, in his place, if the US Open had been play on Decoturf in 1962 or 1969?
     
  43. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I agree.On Ice,Sand,Mug and Powder, he´d have a GS too:)
     
  44. The Hermit

    The Hermit Semi-Pro

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    sorry, but the same can be said about Nadal in 2005-2008 and 2010. I think he already pass Borg now, if he wins one more FO, then he is absolutely clayGOAT
     
  45. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Yeah and what happened in 2009? Erased from your memory?
     
  46. The Hermit

    The Hermit Semi-Pro

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    Dude, I know about 2009, that is why I exclude that year in my post, reading comprehension, :confused: Notice both Borg and Rafa has five years untouchable on clay.
     
  47. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Again, I think that one can make a very good argument for Nadal. But if I were arguing for Borg I would point to the fact that his prime was uninterrupted by a down year on the surface. How important that is depends on your point of view.
     
  48. The Hermit

    The Hermit Semi-Pro

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    Ah okay, your point is 'uniterrupted', well, it is fine, but if Rafa wins RG next year, I don't think it is debatable.
     
  49. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Of course it's debatable for reasons like the ones already mentioned. Furthermore the debate doesn't end with these two. We also have Rosewall, but no one wants to debate for him.
     
  50. John123

    John123 Rookie

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    It seems to me that Borg and Nadal have such similarly perfect resumes on clay that we should just call them co-#1.

    As a few others have mentioned, two players from 100 years ago merit consideration because each lost zero matches on clay throughout his prime. One is Laurie Doherty (1900-1906), and the other is Anthony Wilding (1911-1914).

    Even if people want to discount Doherty because clay-court tennis wasn't too developed yet in his day, there's really no way to ignore Wilding, whose results are outrageously impressive on clay: by some measures, he won the most and lost the least of anyone ever on that surface. For some details, see http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=276485 (entries #27 and #36).

    I really think that the clay-court GOAT is a three-way tie among Wilding, Borg, and Nadal. All of them basically could not have been better.
     

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