Clay Court GOAT

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

  1. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    In Australia, the dark shale clay, referred to in Australia as "hardcourt", was traditionally the most common surface, cheaper to build and maintain than grass, so the great generation of Aussie players, Sedgman, Hoad, Rosewall, Emerson, Cooper, Anderson, Laver, Newcombe, Roche, grew up playing on "hardcourt" clay.
    This explains why the Australian players did so well on the European clay court circuit, and won so many French and Italian titles.
    The Americans, especially the Californians, grew up playing on fast cement, and were at a disadvantage on the European clay.
    The Australian Hardcourt Championship was a major national title in Australia.
     
  2. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I didn´t really know it although now that youm mention it, Laver in his book also mentioned some bricky courts aroun Rockhampton and the Queensland, where he grew up, and so did Emerson.You might be right but, then again, why there´s never been a great cc event there? why did Australians chose the Sidney Indoors on carpet to be the second biggest tournament?
     
  3. Dan Lobb

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    The Australian Hardcourt WAS a major clay court event, a true national title.
     
  4. BobbyOne

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    But mostly only Aussies participated.
     
  5. Dan Lobb

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    Including Hoad, Rosewall, Bromwich, Rose, etc. The toughest national lineup on clay on the planet.
     
  6. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Here we go--
    As of 3-15-2013, I believe Djokovic should find a place on here now.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2013
  7. BobbyOne

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    hoodjem, I would omit Emerson. I also would rank higher Nüsslein, Gimeno and Segura.
     
  8. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Based on what? I love the man, but at the current stage in his career it'd be premature putting him in such a list.
     
  9. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Santana,Bruguera and Kodes should AT LEAST be at Vilas level
    Wilding, as great as he was, did not get too tough opposition...
     
  10. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Oh yea! Where's the video?;)
     
  11. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    1. Nadal
    2. Borg
    3. Rosewall
    4. Wilding
    5. Cochet
    6. Lendl
    7. Wilander
    8. Lacoste
    9. Kuerten
    10. Laver
    11. Borotra
    12. Drobny
    13. Vilas
    14. Santana
    15. Bruguera
    16. Pietrangeli
    17. Courier
    18. Muster
    19. Federer
    20. Kodes
    21. von Cramm
    22. Nusslein
    23. Nastase
    25. Trabert
    26. Orantes
    27. Panatta
    28. Gimeno
    29. Agassi
    30. Connors
    31. Tilden
    32. Frank Parker
    33. Roche
    34. Sven Davidson
    35. Jack Crawford
    36. Segura
    37. Fred Perry
    38. J.E. Patty
    39. Decugis
    40. Emerson
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013
  12. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    So, no Djokovic . . . yet.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013
  13. BobbyOne

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    kiki, I believe that these three were not as strong as world No.1 player Vilas (1977). I agree regarding Wilding.
     
  14. BobbyOne

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    hoodjem, I cannot agree that Nüsslein is much lower ranked than von Cramm (or even at all).
     
  15. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    They all won twice at Paris
    I Agree Vilas 77 run at RG & FH is a great achievement
    Maybe Vilas and Santana are a bit ahead Bruguera@Kodes on clay
     
  16. robow7

    robow7 Professional

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    Nice list, though many are unknown to me (admittingly not a student of tennis pre 50's) but .......Vilas was awfully good to be listed at 13 considering the clay court streak he ran up. 2nd only to Borg during a Golden Age of great clay courters. Just my opinion of course.
     
  17. forzamilan90

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    How does one rank Decugis?
     
  18. BobbyOne

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    kiki, Santana was claycourt No.1 in amateur times only, Vilas was No.1 in open era...
     
  19. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Good remark, he seems to be the most unknown of past champions
     
  20. kiki

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    And both won Rome as well
    Close call IMO
    If you feel Nusslein is underrated....Imagine Santana!
     
  21. BobbyOne

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    Nüsslein is vastly underrated or even unknown while Santana is overrated (like Emerson). Nüsslein was strongest claycourter of the 1930s (9 claycourt majors won) while Santana was never strongest claycourter of the world: Laver, Rosewall and Gimeno were better.
     
  22. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Gimeni????
    Santana destroyed Laver on cc at the Barcelona Open final in 1970
    He won the French a couple of times, too
    He is underrated and was the undisputed second best amateur of the decade
    I think Gimeno was a more complete player but Santana had a winning mind that Gimeno, as great as he was, never had
    How many RG did Nusslein have?
    Beating guys like Plaa and similar who were mere journeymen does not speak too well of Nusslein...
     
  23. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Bobbyone, do you honestly think Nusslein to be better than good clay courters such as Guylass, Franulovic,Asboth or Luis Ayala?
     
  24. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    1. Nadal
    2. Borg
    3. Rosewall
    4. Wilding
    5. Cochet
    6. Lendl
    7. Wilander
    8. Lacoste
    9. Kuerten
    10. Laver
    11. Borotra
    12. Drobny
    13. Vilas
    14. Bruguera
    15. Pietrangeli
    16. Courier
    17. Muster
    18. Gimeno
    19. Federer
    20. Kodes
    21. von Cramm
    22. Santana
    23. Nusslein
    25. Nastase
    26. Trabert
    27. Orantes
    28. Panatta
    29. Agassi
    30. Connors
    31. Tilden
    32. Frank Parker
    33. Roche
    34. Sven Davidson
    35. Jack Crawford
    36. Segura
    37. Fred Perry
    38. J.E. Patty
    39. Decugis
    40. Emerson
     
  25. Flash O'Groove

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    I'm surprised to find more than forty rank between Nadal and Federer. I think the reasoning behind their ranking is not consistent. Here is why:

    Federer had great results on clay: He has a leading H2H against the clay court specialist of the the early 00's like Coria, Moya or Ferrero. He has a top 10 winning percentage on clay. He has won RG once, and reached 4 finals. He won six clay master 1000, and reached 8 clay master 1000 finals. If not for one man, he would have an amazing clay palmares and winning percentage. These points are indisputable.

    From here there is two possibilities:

    1) He was prevented to win so much on clay by the best clay-courter ever. Despite his lack of titles on clay in comparison with other, he has to be considered higher than others who didn't have to face such an opposition (Kuerten, Agassi, Muster, in recent times). He is in this case at least a top 10 of the open era, not far all-time.

    2) His opposition was weak, very weak (and there is some point in this direction, although I believe it is more complicated than that), and thus his amazing accomplishments don't compare with others, like Kuerten, Muster, Agassi, who had a far greater opposition: Federer is not a great clay courter: he played in the weaker clay era ever.

    It seems that in this thread it is the second hypothesis which has been chosen. Then, how in hell can Nadal be ranked number 1? Nadal did his harvest in the exact same time span than Federer. If it is considered that Federer's accomplishment can't be taken into account because his opposition was weak, then it has to be the same for Nadal's accomplishment, for the sake of coherence! In that case, despite the fact that Nadal has won many more majors than Lendl or Wilander, many more master 1000, and has a higher winning percentage than them, why not rank him below them? Or below anyone else?

    Can someone explain me the coherence of ranking these to guys so far from each others, when one win everything and the other was runner-up of everything?
     
  26. Phoenix1983

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    Hoodjem ranked Federer at #19 all-time, I don't think that's unreasonable. Certainly I don't think he can be in the top ten all-time when you have the likes of, chronologically,

    - Wilding
    - Cochet
    - Rosewall
    - Pietrangeli
    - Santana
    - Gimeno
    - Borg
    - Vilas
    - Lendl
    - Wilander
    - Muster
    - Kuerten

    and some others who I've likely forgotten.

    Top 20 all-time on clay is about right for Fed. He would have won more were it not for Nadal, but having said that, he wouldn't have run riot - past clay greats like Kuerten (as he showed in the FO 2004), Lendl and Wilander would still probably have beaten him, at least some of the time.
     
  27. BobbyOne

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    kiki, I'm disappointed by your post. Your answers seem rather ignorant. I had thought you are a serious expert as I have written several times in defending you against true ignorants...

    You cannot take ONE match as a proof that Santana was that strong. He was great as an amateur but experts knew then that Gimeno was at least as good. They seeded him third at the first open Wimbledon.

    Gimeno did beat both Laver and Rosewall twice in the two 1967 big claycourt events. Are you convinced that Santana could have had those four awesome wins against prime Laver and Rosewall?

    Gimeno has beaten both Laver and Rosewall at least nine times in the SAME tournaments and one of them (or the other) about 30 times!

    Your question regarding Nüsslein is a kind of demagogy. You do know that Nüsslein was banned from regulary competition at 17 because he got a few D-Marks at 15 when he trained an adult.

    You underrate Plaa. This guy was able to beat Tilden in the 1932 World Pro Championships. He won that event.

    Nüsslein defeated in clay majors Tilden, Cochet, Vines and indirectly Budge (the latter in 1939).

    He was arguably No.1 on clay in 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938 and 1939!!!

    Please have some consideration about my arguments.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013
  28. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    kiki, You can't be serious...
     
  29. BobbyOne

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    hoodjem, Thanks for improving Nüsslein's place. Tilden might be underrated on clay. He won many tournaments, among them the 1921 World Hardcourt Championships and seven times the US Claycourt Ch. He beat von Cramm clearly in 1934 when being already 41...
     
  30. TMF

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  31. Fintft

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    Definitely!
     
  32. kiki

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    Your passion for Gimeno is moving
    Did you know he could not beat Kodes?
    Kodes destroyed him at his club event the year Andres won the FO and played great tennis
     
  33. Benhur

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    I can't really judge the pre open era players. But judging by Federer's position in the list among open era players, his position does not seem unreasonable. Top 10 and in very good company

    Nadal
    Borg
    Lendl
    Wilander
    Kuerten
    Vilas
    Bruguera
    Courier
    Muster
    Federer
     
  34. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I do respect your post but I think Nysslein, like Vines are a bit overhyped, like those big hollywood stars who are not that great actors but somehow are very charismatic (Bogart, Dean,Cooper,Gable)
    There was a big big rivalry in the 60 between pro Gimeno journalists and pro Santana ones
    The real stuff is Santana played mainly for the glory and Gimeno for the money
    As I posted Gimeno had a more all round game while Santana was more inspired and gutsy
    In spite of presss pressure they respected each other and had they teamed up in Davis Cup Spain would have been the only real challenge to Aussie total domination in the 60
    Along Laver and Newk both had the best FH of the game
     
  35. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Peak Nasty vs Peak Hoad on fast supreme carpet may have provided the purest tennis ever in terms of unreal shotmaking
     
  36. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    kiki, Gimeno was 35 that year. An old player cannot be a s consistent as a player in his prime is able to. Kodes of course was very tough on clay also.
     
  37. BobbyOne

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    kiki, I agree partly (Hollywood and so on) but Vines and Nüsslein are still underrated not overhyped. I never saw any Nüsslein hype...
     
  38. Flash O'Groove

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    I didn't see him in the list ( :???:) so I thought he wasn't even top 40! My bad. N°19 is a bit low for me but I'm not shoked. I will have closer look at some name I'm not familiar with though.
     
  39. Phoenix1983

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  40. tennisplayer1993

    tennisplayer1993 Semi-Pro

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    1. Nadal 2. Borg
     
  41. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Most of the greatest players are coming from the open era. Take top 50 players in the open-era and compare to the top 50 in the pre-open, experts picked most from the open-era. I don't care if the list is about the greatest clay courters, greatest grass players or greatest hard court players, the vast majority of the open-era players are at the top.
     
  42. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    MIGHTY FEDERER, are you dreaming? Your dreams are nightmares for true experts...
     
  43. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    He does have a point to an extent though. Modernized tennis is thought upon to be superior...to an extent
     
  44. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    No no no, the tennis talent pool peaked in the 1930's, the greatest of the modern era is substantially bellow them //sarcasm.
     
  45. Dan Lobb

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    I think that you mean the 1950's, when the clay field was the toughest ever, much tougher than today.
    Just think:
    Segura, Patty, Drobny, Trabert, Rosewall, Hoad, Davidson, Pietrangeli to name only the greatest.
    Nadal would have won only one French title at most in the 1950's. If VERY lucky, two.
    No sarcasm.
     
  46. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    By 30's I meant players born in the 30's...Maybe if Nadal was playing in the 50's he would have only one, I doubt it. However likewise if those players were playing in the 00's Nadal would be unlikely to lose more than tiebreak set.

    Nadal is one of the greatest movers the game has ever seen. He has surprisingly good touch when he wants to and alot of power. Not to mention his stamina and mental game. He could be champion in any time period.
     
  47. BobbyOne

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  48. Dan Lobb

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  49. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I am not so sure, even if you consider Laver and Rosewall open era players still many will consider Wilding,Tilden,Cochet,Lacoste,Budge,Perry,Crawford,Vines,Kramer,Parker,Sedgman,Trabert,Hoad and Gonzales being as good if not better than most of the open players if equal equipment and court conditions are the same
    Gonzales,Hoad and Sedgie for instance were much stronger than 90% open era top guys
     
  50. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    If current players played former speed courts and wood rackets
    Gonzo or Hoad would have an orgy of baggels at major finals that may cause their expulsion from the game
    ROFLMAO
     

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