Clay Court GOAT

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

  1. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Besides the experts, assuming all tennis fans are neutral/fair, Fed would be around #7 too, not like someone say "he doesn't belongs on the list(top 40)".
     
  2. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Just curious, who would you put ahead of Federer based on accomplishments on clay? Do you put Kuerten ahead of him? What about Tilden who won a million clay tournaments? What about Nadal or Borg? Rosewall won a number of French Titles plus French Pros and many other clay tournaments. Does Laver who also won a number of French titles, Italian Championships plus many other clay titles belong? Vilas won the French Open and the US Open on clay. Cochet won many French titles. Rene Lacoste, that fine maker of tennis clothing won three French titles. Lendl, that wonderful golfer and Wilander won many clay titles and several French Opens. Wilding won a million clay titles including the World Hardcourt which was the clay court World Championship before the French. If we look at accomplishments alone where does Federer belong?

    Federer's a fantastic clay court player but tennis does have a long history with a lot of great clay court players. Certainly Federer has the ability to beat anyone on the list.

    If you want I can list the accomplishments of many of these players on clay and put them next to Federer's on clay and you can decide objectively.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2012
  3. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Federer fanatics just hide behind the Nadal excuse endlessly, and even award Federer fantasy French Open titles anytime he lost to Nadal which he never earned, and refuse to even acknowledge how weak the rest of the clay court field is when making those already baseless assumptions via removing Nadal, and refuse to accept the court cold truth of the final numbers as far as wins and titles they are so willing to milk when it favors Federer. It is a joke. Also TMF's link is laughable. An accurate poll of experts are not mostly only French speaking coaches, players, and even including the freaking UNCLE and current coach of one of the main candidates. If it were one that included choices from Australians, Americans, and Europeans, with no relatives, coaches, or friends (eg- Grosjean) of the main candidates it would have more credability. I suspect a group of experts such as John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, Bud Collins, John Barrett, Fred Stolle, Virginia Wade, would come up with a far different all time best clay courters ranking, probably one much closer to hoodjem's.

    If they come up with their own rankings Federer would be #2 or #3 behind only Borg or/and Nadal. Now that Djokovic has beaten Nadal a couple of times on clay, and a so called old Federer had a win over Djokovic at the French, we even have *******s trying to argue Federer above Nadal on clay too. Many ****s argue Federer over Borg AND argue Nadal below Borg at the same time, as if that combination could be remotedly possible. The insanity never ends from that deranged group.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2012
  4. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I haven't been to Rolland Garros. I'm proceeding on what I've heard and read. But, I can tell you that the red clay that I've played on in Central and South America were all red clay, including the substrate, and it was very fine and silty, and somewhat compacted and pasty, not loose as you describe. The red clay at Key Biscayne, by contrast, is more course and loose, similar to Har Tru, except red.
     
  5. kiki

    kiki Banned

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  6. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Great list and the right order...the red headed, ugly guy from queensland still in the top 10 in his worst surface...
     
  7. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Nadal and Borg obviously #1 and #2. I can agree with Lendl and Wilander are ahead of Fed, but Guga is like 50/50. Some of you say Guga has 3 FO to Fed 1 FO so he’s a preferred choice, but that’s just be simplify. Fed’s run on clay since 2005 is more remarkable than Guga. He made 5 finals and one semi., losing only to the great Nadal(the eventual winners) and red Solderling. He was also making finals on other MS clay, either winning it or losing to the great Nadal. Guga was not that consistent during his years when he won 3 FO. He flamed out to many inferior players. And facing Corretja and Norman in the FO is not the same as facing Nadal. On the tennis channel, Ted Robinsons said if Fed is not a great cc because he can’t beat Nadal, well no player is a great cc either since no one ever beat Nadal. Please don’t throw in Guga’s health issues or injuries which limited his career because that’s part of the sport. Also it’s easy to knock down Fed because clay is his least successful surface while Guga’s key success are on clay.

    Notice Margaret Court won 11 AO in the 60s but by the experts she’s not considered the best AO player. On the tennis channel, they said she gets knock for having lack of competition(which is true). That’s why past generations players having more titles doesn’t necessary means they are greater than the later generation. Mainly because standard is higher over the years.

    I won’t comment on the players you mentioned above since I’ve not seen them play. But I’m not surprise the experts have Fed in the top 10, because they know he had a great run playing along with Nadal(one of the clay goat).
    I still disagree with you and Limpin that Fed doesn’t make the top 40 list(by hoodjem).
     
  8. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Please list the names who said Fed > Borg and Nadal on clay.

    Otherwise you're lying. I'm exposed you for lying many times already. I should report you to the mod but I'm too nice.
     
  9. Iron Man

    Iron Man Rookie

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    federer should be in the top 7
    though it's not his favourite surface
     
  10. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    ambk already described your beloved Kodes. He was competing against a very weak field.
     
  11. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    whom exactly did Franulovic beat at the FO who was great on clay ??? yeah, that's right, no one ...

    soderling beat nadal AND federer

    soderling >> franulovic ...atleast at RG ...

    and Kodes avoided defending champ Laver and the finest CC of the generation , Rosewall in 70 RG

    ditto in 71 .... but this time he lost in rome finals to Laver ....

    only real win of significance was the one over Nastase ...
     
  12. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    I suppose Lew Hoad and Arthur Ashe are nobodies in your view?

    Kodes didn't "avoid them", the WCT players (of which the NTL players like Laver and Rosewall were a part of by the spring of 1970), refused to enter the 1970 French Open because of political disputes with the French Tennis Federation. The NTL players had pulled out of the 1970 Australian Open for similar reasons.

    Because the WCT had a exhausting tour in 1971, so many didn't play the 1971 French Open. The 1971 US Open was also affected by similar withdrawals due to fatigue.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2012
  13. jean pierre

    jean pierre Semi-Pro

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    In 1970, Franulovic beated Arthur Ashe in FO. And he won Monte-Carlo, beating Nastase and Orantes. Final in FO in 1970, SF in 1971, great clay player.
     
  14. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    I said great on clay ... Ashe was decent, not great on clay....

    Hoad was wayyyyyyyy past his best in 69 .....


    yes, boycotts, split fields, rebel tours etc etc affected the events at that time ....

    but in essence the FOs that Kodes won were not full strength ones and there is a pretty good chance he wouldn't have won if they were ..
     
  15. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Not happy with his 2 FO, Kodes won Wimbledon and played and lost extremely hard fought US Open finals in 71 and 73.In 71 he had knocked out Wordl´s nº 1 player John Newcombe before reaching the final match, and he repeated in 1973 ( this time he beat wordl´s nº 1 Smith before losing to Newk)
     
  16. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    73 was the worst wimbledon in open era by far ...... with so many players boycotting it ..........

    again the 71 and 73 USOs show that while Kodes was good, he was not great .. couldn't win majors when there were full fields ....
     
  17. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    A minor quibble--
    I'm not sure "refused" is the appropriate word here. These players were under contract to WCT/NTL which the the French Tennis Federation prohibited from playing.

    So one could say that in order to play they would have had to break their contracts, and thus be subject to any legal penalties of "breach of contract."

    If you say that these players "refused" to play the FO, you might as well say say that the Pros before 1969 "refused" to play the slams because they "refused" to remain amateurs.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  18. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    My point is that the players who were under WCT/NTL contract didn't play because their pro group had failed to come to terms with the powers that be to play in those tournaments.
     
  19. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Have you ever heard of 2 all time greats by the name of Jimmy Connors and Ilie Nastase? GOAT candidate Bjonr Borg? You probbaly haven´t ( you started watching tennis 10 years ago, so it is understandable).

    Well, those 3 guys played 1973 Wimbledon
     
  20. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    borg wasn't anywhere near the grass court great he'd become from 76 onwards .....

    connors had still not hit his peak ( that was 74 )

    nastase bombed out ...

    ever heard of stan smith ? well yeah, he was the defending champion ... he didn't play

    ever heard of Ken rosewall ? rod laver ? newcombe ? well, they didn't play either ?

    ever heard that 13 of the 16 seeds did not play and that a total of 81 players boycotted wimbledon in 73 ....

    oh wait .... :oops:

    worst wimbledon by far in the open era ......
     
  21. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Kodes was one of the biggest overachieving 3 slam winners in the Open Era. Even fans of the game from back then will admit that. More impressive than any of his 3 slam wins, especialy his Wimbledon title, were really his 2 U.S Open finals were he beat a number of quality opponents before barely falling in tough finals both years.
     
  22. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I forgot Vijay Amritraj played that tournament.

    Borg was just 10 months short of his first GS win and 9 month short of his first major final.

    Connors was a long time top 10 player, since he competed at the 1972 and 1973 Masters, which gathered the top eight finishers at the Gran Prix points table.The Gran Prix was first sponsored by Pepsico, next Gillete and Commercial Union.Pepsico has been famous because one of its products, Pepsicola, has been long time Coca Cola´s main competitor.Gillete used to have around 40%-50% of the world´s market share for shaving machines.Commercial Union was an insurance company, which I don´t know if it still exists or was object of a merger or an absortion with another INsurance Company.Insurance Companies mergers have been one of the main features of this sector.

    Nastase didn´t reach the finals, yes.But it doesn´t mean he didn´t play it.Nadal didn´t make the finals at the AO the year Bagdhatis met Federer, but he did play the event.
     
  23. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    lot of things can change within 10 months ....

    see Laver-Rosewall in 63 and 64 .... Rosewall ( & Hoad ) beat the hell out of Laver in 63 ... But laver turned it around in 64 .....

    nadal ended 2004 @ #51. He ended 2005 as #2.

    delpo was double bagelled in AO 2009 by federer, then in the next 4-5 months, he beat nadal @ miami, took federer to 5 at RG, then beat nadal and federer back-to-back at the USO ....

    plus borg was more of a dirtballer back then ... He won his first Wimbledon only in 76 .....

    wrong again, nadal skipped AO 2006 because of foot injury ... you fail again ..

    yes, connors was top 10, but he wasn't in his prime .....

    again, how about the players who missed it - smith,newcombe, rosewall, laver ??? 81 players boycotted the event, EIGHTY-ONE , including 13 of the 16 seeds

    the facts just scream out weak weak weak weak Wimbledon , but then considering Kodes won it, you just can't accept it .... delusional ..
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  24. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    don´t let facts interfere with abmk opinion...
     
  25. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    and how exactly is arthur ashe a great claycourter ???? 2 QFs at RG ... yeah, great claycourter ...

    regarding monte carlo win, neither orantes nor nastase were in the primes in 70 , they were just rising at that time ....

    There are easily atleast 60-70 players in the open era alone who are convincingly better than franulovic on clay ...... want me to start listing them ?
     
  26. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    that's ironic coming from you of all people :)
     
  27. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Kodes won 3 GS titles.So did Vines.I have heard very good opinions of people about Vines here ( people that didn´t see him, just read papers)
     
  28. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    Of course , the fact that Vines also won many pro majors just doesn't sink in, does it ?

    but then why let facts bother kiki .... :lol:
     
  29. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    why did you even bring in Vines again anyways ???

    Looks like you are some sort of a masochist who enjoys being laughed at and made fun of due to his dumb/ridiculous statements :lol:
     
  30. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Why do you put Kodes in the same league as Vines? Vines won 3 amateur majors (1931 US Championships, 1932 Wimbledon and 1932 US Championships) and he also won 5 professional majors (1934 Wembley Pro, 1935 French Pro, 1935 Wembley Pro, 1936 Wembley Pro and 1939 US Pro). Vines was clearly the world's best player from 1934-1938, with Hans Nusslein and Bill Tilden as his greatest challengers, before Budge overtook Vines in 1939 due to greater consistency. Even then, Vines' peak game was still considered superior to Budge's.

    The only negative on Vines was his drop in form in his last year as an amateur in 1933, losing one of the greatest Wimbledon finals of all time against Jack Crawford, and having a shocking Round of 16 loss at the 1933 US Championships against Bryan Grant. Vines turned professional in January 1934 before his stock suffered any further, and his motivation clearly increased a lot in the pros.

    Vines retired from professional tennis in May 1940 in order to become a professional golfer, winning 2 pro golf tournaments, and he even managed to finish third in the US PGA major in 1951.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  31. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I agree with you. Kodes is not even close to Vines. You don't have to have seen Babe Ruth to know he's better than Nick Johnson.

    Vines is one of the legendary figures in the history of tennis and while I respect Kodes I've seen many players superior to him. Vines has been called by many top tennis experts as potentially the GOAT. Kramer for example has called Budge the GOAT but he hedges that perhaps it could be Vines. Either way he has Vines no worst than second in his book.
     
  32. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    No posible comparative at the number of great players and their level.Old Tilden,Old Cochet...I accept Crawford,Perry,Budge,Riggs are all time greats, but so were Newcombe,Connors,Borg,Rosewall,Laver,Nastase,Ashe,Smith...

    Plus, the deepth of field, say the top 30-50 players just puts Kodes in another league...
     
  33. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Are we talking about Golf or Tennis?
     
  34. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Tennis.......
     
  35. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    True. Vines is definitely no GOAT contender as you stated he was but he is light years beyond Kodes.
     
  36. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    The problem when comparing Kodes and Vines is that of eras.Kodes faced a lot more of great players than Vines, because in the 1930´s, there was a big slot between top 5-6 players and the rest.While in Jan´s era, a top 25-30 player could handle a top guy and do it several times.

    Both seem twins in term of results, with a comparable number of slams won and finals lost.
     
  37. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    The problem is the majors Kodes won he did not face those great players who existed then since they were depleted slams (which there were many of back then with the various money making exhibitions, political issues, etc..in the game). It is like evaluating Court's Australian Opens, the womens field back then was great, but the Australian was a joke event which was missing almost every top player every year. She has 11 of them, and nobody gives them full credit, which is why almost nobody rates her as GOAT despite having even more majors than knife aided Graf, and many more than Navratilova and Evert. In Kodes's case, he never even proved himself by winning a major against a full field, so his are even more in question, unlike Court who did many many times.

    Also when Vines was winning his amateur majors the Four Musketeers were all still playing, how is that easy competition. There was also Perry, Crawford, an old Tilden. Heck even had a full field attended it was tougher competition than Kode, considering the early 70s is widely regarded as a transition period with old Laver, really old Rosewall, ancient (or retired) Gonzales, mostly slumping Ashe, Connors and Borg not emerged yet, good for a couple years but oft injured Smith, Newcombe and erratic Nastase were basically the top players that period.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2012
  38. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I am not going backwards and forwards with this relentless debate about who was better or who played a tougher competition.I´ll say that Kodes had to face, like 50 very good or good players while Vines ( and the other greats of the 30´s) had, at most - and I maybe exagerating- just 12-15 good or very good players.
     
  39. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    He was also the favorite at the Australian Championships, and lost in the quarters to Vivian McGrath. In Davis Cup against England, he lost to Bunny Austin 6-1, 6-1, 6-4 (arguably his biggest loss of the year, though no longer his best remembered).

    He played poorly throughout 1933. I think Kramer said that Vines played well only in one match in 1933, the Wimbledon final.
     
  40. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    But you realize this applies also to Perry and Budge? If they faced nothing but a weak field, then Budge is worth even less than the 6 Grand Slam events he won. Can't possibly call him a GOAT contender, as you have. The Grand Slam in '38 by itself can't make him a GOAT contender -- not for someone like you who is emphasizing strength of the field. That's because Budge's weakest competition happened to be in 1938. For various reasons, in that year there was no one around who could genuinely challenge him.

    So if you're making a very big deal about how the 30s were weaker than the 70s, then Budge must fall; and he falls even further because his competition in '38 was weak even by the standards of the time.
     
  41. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    I think Vines is a definite GOAT contender. How could he not be with that record?
     
  42. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    umm, no , nastase, ashe, smith are not all time greats ....... just excellent players ....

    plus you miss the most important fact : kodes didn't even much success vs any of them , he trailed all of them by a significant margin .....

    again, like I've proved many times before, all 3 majors that Kodes won were lucky/depleted fields/main players missing

    70/71 FO - no rosewall/laver ( laver defeated him in rome 71 final )
    73 wimbledon - worst wimbledon of the open era by far. No comparison whatsoever ..

    He was never ever the top player, Vines was for several years ...

    If there were full fields, there is a real real possibility that Kodes would've ended up with ZERO, yes, ZERO majors .......He's in my eyes more like a one time major winner , nothing more than that ....

    comparing Kodes and Vines is more like comparing chang and becker ...
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  43. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    just like how pancho gonzales and safin are "twins" because they have two majors each ?

    its amazing how much more stupidly stubborn you are proving yourself to be ...

    what about Vines' pro majors ????
     
  44. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    You qualification for a goat contender is too easy. You need to set the bar higher.
     
  45. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Kiki, the most ironic thing about your argument is that it backfires on Kodes. You're trying to lift up Kodes by arguing that his era was much deeper than the 1930s in which Vines played. But quality of the field is exactly where Kodes is weakest. The weakest thing about his 3 Slam titles is the quality of those 3 draws. If you make an argument that emphasizes quality of field, Kodes will get smashed every time the argument is brought up.

    And Budge's Grand Slam of 1938 will also take a huge hit, under that kind of argument.

    I think if you want to lift up Kodes -- and if you want to rate Budge highly because of his Grand Slam in 1938 -- you have to come up with an argument that does not emphasize quality of field. IMO that's the worst possible way to defend both Kodes' Slam titles and Budge's Grand Slam.

    There are other great things to say about those two players. Kodes was a skilled player, with an interesting style of play (great defense), and a few notable upsets. Etc. Etc., you know more about him than I do.
     
  46. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Your list of GOAT candidates was WAY too long. You included 16 men and 10 women which was ridiculous and you included a huge number of players who are never brought up in greatest ever debates- King, Seles, Serena, Agassi, Vines, Perry, a whole host of men especialy in fact. If there is no area you can be argued as superior to everyone else you have no GOAT claim. These people have GOAT arguments because:

    Court- Most Grand Slams in singles and doubles.

    Graf- By far most dominant singles slam record across all surfaces ever. She and Court (and Connolly) are the only ones to manage the Grand Slam, and also the only two women to win atleast 3 slams in 5 different years.

    Navratilova- Most Wimbledons in singles and singles/doubles combined (along with King in the latter), most WTA Championships, most dominant single season records since the pre historic days in 1983 and 1984.

    Evert- Unmatched records for consistency and longevity, most French Open singles titles ever, most U.S Opens in Open era.

    People like Seles, King, Serena Williams and Connolly have nothing, other than unmatched precociousness in Maureen's case, and vague "peak level of play" arguments in Serena's, yet you included them as possible GOATs which was silly. Being one of the greatest of all time, and being all time great, does not mean you have any claims as THE GOAT neccessarily.


    Then among men:

    Sampras- his Wimbledon and 6 straight year end #1 records.

    Federer- his most slams record.

    Laver- his 2 Calendar Slams.

    Rosewall- his unmatched longevity at the top of the game, 20 years worth.

    Gonzales- being the dominant player almost an entire decade, and like Rosewall excelling into his 40s.

    Borg- his unmatched parallel dominance of grass and clay.


    Other than maybe a few of the early century greats like Lenglen, Wills, Tilden, there is really nobody else other than those. Can you even give a single statistic that would give people like Vines, Lendl (Federer has even clipped his slam finals record btw), Agassi,
    Seles, Connolly, Serena, or King any GOAT argument at all. Other than Serena (only due to being current, it would never happen otherwise) none of those people are even debated as the possible GOAT by ANYONE today.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2012
  47. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Jack Kramer had Vines' peak game as the best ever. Other people have said the same about Hoad.
     
  48. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    So subjective arguments about best peak game with no records (by records I mean something better than everyone else, not just excellent numbers at something still bettered by others) to back it up are enough to be a GOAT candidate. I guess some could argue Mary Pierce or Marat Safin as a GOAT candidates by such vague critiera, LOL!

    Anyway back on topic, Vines >>>>>>>>>>>> Kodes. We all seem to atleast agree on that anyway. abmk is right that Vines was the best in the World for awhile, Kodes was never even close to the best in the World.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2012
  49. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    I've already listed Vines record. 3 amateur majors, 5 professional majors, best player in the world as a pro from 1934-1938, and his best game was still seen as unbeatable even after Budge overtook him in 1939. Vines then retired in 1940 to become a professional golfer.

    He's clearly in the GOAT discussion.

    Kodes was a solid player, capable of beating top players and he has a good record, but he's nowhere near Vines. Kodes' best match victories at a major were his 1970 French Open win over Franulovic, 1971 French Open wins over Franulovic and Nastase, 1971 US Open wins over Newcombe and Ashe, and his 1973 US Open win over Smith. It's unfortunate for Kodes that he never won the US Open because he had some good runs there, and it's ironic that he's beaten both Newcombe and Smith at the tournament yet lost to them in his two finals there. A bit like Soderling at the French Open, in that he's beaten Nadal and Federer yet lost to both in his two finals.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  50. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
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    Not only that but from opinions from players like Budge and Kramer ranked Vines' serve as the best ever and his forehand was up there with anyone's. Many believe Vines at his best was unbeatable. Budge ranks Vines and Kramer as the two best I believe.

    Kodes was never ever considered the top player in the world.
     

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