GOAT Discussions

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by hoodjem, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I don´t get why WCT and Masters titles are not included from 1970 on, since both were considered majors by its own right, as seasoned posters have already aknowledged.

    To make a fair comparison with post 90´s era, we shall keep the masters ( current YEC) and add the biggest of the super nine, the formerly known as ATP championships at Miami.
     
  2. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    NDQ, If you always would write like in this post there would not be any quarrel between us.

    Okay, let's end our discussion at this positive point.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
  3. Talker

    Talker Hall of Fame

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    There are a lot of people who don't like to crown Federer the GOAT.
    Sampras was one person who had the slams to challenge Federer, Laver wasn't a good argument and still isn't.

    Laver was looked at playing in a time and field where the game has changed too much and the players look levels below the level of today and in Sampras's time, so Sampras was the best argument.

    When Federer passed up most of the areas that was used to challenge him then Sampras fell by the wayside but there was a void left.

    Laver was the only one left, the problem is what it has always been.
    The game has changed and the players at the top now are light years ahead of players in Laver's time.
    There are no arguments but mostly what ifs and this is the only thing that can be used for Laver now.

    Just go through past posts, you'll see that many arguments are about theoreticals that Laver might have won 20 slams or the players were so good then and other maybe's.

    Look at the old clips, how many OMG shots do you see by Laver who others at that time couldn't do?
     
  4. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Talker, You underrate Laver a lot. For instance Laver had a few shots in his repertoire that no other player had, not even Rosewall.
     
  5. Talker

    Talker Hall of Fame

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    I stand corrected then.
     
  6. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Why did Gimeno turn pro in 1960? Before he won a major?
    Why should we assume that he would have won a major if he had stayed amateur? I think that it's debatable, you can never ASSUME that someone will win a major, and perhaps he turned pro early because he didn't think that he would win a major.
    He certainly did not win a pro major.
    Cooper was born only 11 months before Gimeno, who turned pro at age 23 after winning 0 majors (Cooper turned pro at age 22, after winning 4 majors). Of course, in the talent-rich era of the late 50's, a rank of 7 or 8 was probably superior to a rank of 3 or 4 in the lesser era of the 60's pro ranks. Just look at the lineups of talent.
    The fact that Gimeno was 3 or 4 shows how depleted the pro ranks were in the 60's.
    Cooper won a tough Slazenger title in 1959 (beating Hoad in 5, also Trabert) and won at least two other significant events.
    Anderson won at least two other pro tourneys besides Wembley in the early sixties.
    Both Cooper and Anderson played well above Gimeno on grass.
    And Hoad was stunned by Santana's talent on grass (Santana won both Wimbledon and Forest Hills). Santana made shots that Gimeno never dreamed of.
    The point of winning a major before turning pro is that IT MAKES YOU A DRAW and results in a much better contract.
    Gimeno simply gave up on his amateur career, and took what he could get.
     
  7. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Those difficulties lasted about three or four weeks, witness Rosewall, Hoad, Cooper won his first match against Gonzales, Laver won his first big match against Rosewall, and stumbled only when he got tired.
    The difference has been overstated.
     
  8. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Hoad was pathetically weak in 1966, and Time magazine reviewed his performance at MSG and stated it was time for him to retire (which he did at the end of the season).
     
  9. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Santana's performance on grass was incomparably greater than Gimeno's.
    Champion at Wimbledon, Forest Hills, win over Emmo at 1965 Davis Cup on Australian grass, beat Newcombe in three sets in 1967 Davis Cup final (Newk was Wimbledon and Forest Hills champ that year), gave Laver his toughest match at Wimbledon in 1962.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
  10. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Because Gimeno wanted to play tennis for guaranteed prize money. That's why they all turned professional, unless they were purely motivated by the desire to test themselves against the very best players. A dominant amateur champion would be the most in demand for a big professional contract, but a player could turn professional and play on the pro tour whenever they wished, although they wouldn't last long unless they could live with the demands of the tour and the high standard of tennis involved, and also be able to live with the fact that they would likely burn their bridges with the amateur game for good if they turned pro. I only know of Cochet and J. Kozeluh who were allowed back into the amateurs after playing professionally.

    I'm not assuming. What gave you that idea?

    But he was runner-up in 3 pro majors in the era of Laver and Rosewall, and he later did win the 1972 French Open. I also think the French Pro moving from the clay of Roland Garros to the indoor wood at the Stade Coubertin in 1963, hurt Gimeno's chances of winning that tournament.

    That's like saying Segura "gave up" on his amateur career. I'm certainly not going to criticise Gimeno, or Segura, or anyone else, for playing tennis for guaranteed prize money and having a very good pro career.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
  11. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    (SIGH)Of course you would say this because it would take a superhuman being to win 30 slams.

    Yes I know. According to you and many old-timers, he was never ahead of Laver. Not now and not in the future. The goalpost will continue to move further. :lol:
     
  12. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    If they had strong talent, they waited to win a major, and make a huge amount more in their first contract.
    In the 1960's, the amateur game had more money. Look at Emmo and Santana, they made more as amateurs.
     
  13. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    The 72 French was a sadly depleted event.
     
  14. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    You miss the point again, I'm afraid: Rosewall, Hoad, Cooper and others did NOT cope with the seasoned pros for several MONTHS. Winning one match does not mean too much. For instance you know that Gonzalez beat Cooper 14:0 matches.

    You belittle Rosewall when writing that he only beat Laver in early 1963 because Laver got tired.

    Dan, I cannot understand that you use to give strange statements and that you accept to get so many boxes on the ears by myself and others. I cannot imagine it's pleasant for you. Sometimes I have the impression that you just want to provoke contradiction. But I respect your great knowledge about tennis history.
     
  15. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Many people including myself don't expect any player to break his slam record, and certainly not a span of 6 years(2003-2009). This is the reason why his goat status went down. Especially when his era is comparable to Federer(eg slams having 3 surfaces, no split fields).

    Had Fed never broke Sampras's record, or let say he won only 12 slams, but he managed to win a Grand Slam. Guess what? The situation between Laver and Sampras would be reverse. Sampras would still be strong in contention as a goat, because he still has his 14 slam records. But Laver, his most impressive achievement is the 69 GS is overshadowed by Roger's modern GS. Laver would take a big hit. No doubt.
     
  16. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    What do you mean by "the amateur game had more money"? Do you know what amateurism means? Of course, in terms of money within the game itself, the amateur game was supported and financed by the ILTF and the national associations, while the professional game was left to its own devices and it was up to the professional promotors. The amateur game was stable due to being run officially by the tennis authorities, while the professional game was far more chaotic due to the fact that the margin between success and failure in terms of business was slim by comparison.

    The point of professional sports is that you openly play for a guaranteed pool of prize money, providing that the promotor of a pro tournament actually covers his/her costs. With amateur sports, there is no guaranteed prize money. Emerson and Santana got paid money under the table when they were amateurs, which is another matter altogether, giving rise to the term "shamateur".

    All the contract pros were banned by the ILTF from Grand Prix events from January to July 1972, which included the French Open and Wimbledon. Gimeno's contract had ran out at the end of 1971, I believe, and he became a freelance pro, so he was able to play in the 1972 French Open. It might have been depleted, but Gimeno fully deserved to win a major at last.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
  17. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    I was mentioning before that the only thing now that Sampras has done that Federer hasn't, is finish 6 calendar years as world number 1. Everything else Sampras has done, Federer seems to have equalled or surpassed. Unless I'm missing something?

    Why do you think a Grand Slam is harder today than in 1969? The grass-courts of Brisbane, Wimbledon and Forest Hills were very different in 1969. Brisbane was hot and high bouncing for a grass-court, Wimbledon had a firm bounce for the most part, but Forest Hills had awful muddy conditions where the ball seldom bounced much at all.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
  18. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    I don't think any old-timers want to address this question because they know the answer. It's painfully true for Sampras and his fans that Roger hurt his stature while Laver continue to gain more credibility over Sampras(at the expense of Roger continue to play). In 2002 that wasn't the case, Sampras was the man, many of the experts today who said Roger is the greatest were the ones who said sampras was the greatest.

    THis is wrong. Both Sampras/Laver should be judge(or compare to each other) during the time Sampras retire since their accomplishments are completed. You can't use the future player's(ie Fed, Nadal) succcess to reevaluate their status.



    My problem is that if
     
  19. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    In what way are they light years ahead? Tennis has improved in terms of power because of the racquet and string technology, but this does not necessarily mean than today's players are better players, because without the modern technology, they wouldn't be playing like they are today and the players of the past only had the racquets and strings of their era.
     
  20. Dan Lobb

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    My friend, I am simply quoting the raw facts, which I anticipate will be painful for some sensitive people. I apologize for that, and in advance for what I am about to say.
    Laver played considerable "practice" matches against his pals Hoad and Rosewall for some time before the contract was signed in Jan. 63. Laver made a relatively painless transition, and was worth every point of his victory over Rosewall at Kooyong, the biggest match of the tour.
    Sure, Laver needed to learn something about cutting down the swing on his volleys, but he never got over that 100%.
    Rosewall, however, started to falter in 1964 (yes, 1964!) when he ran out of gas in the Wembley final. A triumph of youth over age.
    Hoad adjusted quickly to the pro game, After a very painful start, he was soon dominating everyone on tour. He started pro play on July 14, and by a month later was up to snuff (thanks to some unofficial coaching by Kramer to boost his confidence).
    Cooper and Anderson learned quickly, and won important tournaments within a few short months.

    I think that the overall quality of amateur play in the 60's was similar or superior to the pro's, given Emerson's strong start in 1968, and Emmo was already 30 years old. It was only the intervention of Lamar Hunt, who raided most of the up-and-coming young talent in the amateurs, and paid them "Handsomely" more than the "established" pros, that left the amateur ranks short of talent.
    The "amateurs" of the 60's were getting more money than the pros, or so it seems.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
  21. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Sampras' record is clearly inferior to Federer's. You could argue that Sampras would beat Federer in a hypothetical big match, but record wise, Sampras doesn't have a leg to stand on against Federer. But also, did Sampras really have much of a leg to stand on against Laver either? When Laver's pro majors are taken into account and the fact that Laver has 3 seperate years of utter domination of amateur/pro/open fields, as well as 200 tournament wins, what does Sampras have that's better than Laver?
     
  22. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    No, but since hoodjem mentioned about Sampras goat claim went down and Laver gets mention more often due to Fed's success, I just want to go along with the thread.


    Because Laver have conceded that modern GS is more difficult.

    So what? Condition of the grass are difference, but each era had their own issues to adapt, no one has any advantage. I hope you're not insinuating that firmer bounce means easier to win, because you can't prove that. HC has a truer bounce than clay, but do you think it's easier to win on clay than on hc today? Don't think so.
     
  23. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    You can look at just numbers with players and say that Federer has surpassed total numbers set by Sampras, but that does not end the discussion because we all know that numbers can only get you so far. Hoodjem, as to what has really changed in these goat discussions, I would assert that this is a inherently quantitative and qualitative analysis. It is necessarily very subjective. Numbers will only get you so far. There is also the qualitative side, which is inherently unquantifiable. Take Sampras as just one example. One can substitute other greats as well, but with Sampras, one could argue that he was a great big match player, especially at the U.S. Open and Wimbledon. In some of those title runs, he would raise his level at just the right time, especially on serve or when he needed a break to close out a set say 6-4. He was "clutch" in that sense. That does not show up easily with just pure numbers, but I think those kinds of things should be considered. When you are talking about perhaps the ten best players ever, you're going to have pluses and minuses for each. The discussion is interesting because (1) different people use different criterion and (2) different people weigh criterion in various ways. Even on just the quantitative side, you have players racking up those numbers in different eras, conditions, priorities and competition.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
  24. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Gimeno "deserved" to win? This is subjective, and you really mean "he deserved to get a break".
    The same was said about Stolle after his 1966 win at Forest Hills, where Newk sprained his ankle.
    "Poor Fred, always a bridesmaid, about time he got a break".
    It breaks my heart.

    Yes, it looks like the top amateurs in the 60's (after Laver turned pro, the amateur managers got nasty and raised the money paid out), made more than the top pros.
    Judging by Emmo's reaction to the offers he received from Laver and Rosewall.
     
  25. NadalDramaQueen

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    This is a fair point, but the most interesting part for me is when your perception of a player is put against actual, quantifiable data (when possible). An example would be the perception that a certain player hits great serves when down break point. As can be seen in another thread in this forum, the perception often doesn't match reality. That is why you have to be careful of trusting your observations.

    All it takes is an idea to get planted in your mind (perhaps by a commentator) and after that you are off to the races. People tend to remember the instances that support the idea and disregard the instances that don't. It's human nature, unfortunately, and it is how legends are born.
     
  26. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    I completely agree. On that note, we tend to remember certain matches that we have watched and some of them just stay with you while others are forgotten. Plus, these guys play a ton of tennis. Not many of us are watching just about every match they play. There are so many tournaments played through the years and most of us only see a small percentage of matches played by even the top players in a given era. Then, we tend to rely on second hand information of course and ten reach our own conclusions. I agree. That is one reason why this is inherently a very subjective topic. On a side note, I promise you that if Nadal gets a few more majors, especially fast court ones, many will start wondering if perhaps Nadal is the "greatest ever". I'm not trying to start a big argument about that, but I do think it's true. Plus, even if a player wins only ten majors in say 10 years from now, with a good mix of results and is a very famous/popular player that really impacts many, guess what? Many will argue that he is the "greatest ever" and that players like Laver, Borg, Sampras, Federer, and Nadal would get beaten badly by such a great, "modern player". Yet, that's not altogether bad for tennis.
     
  27. NadalDramaQueen

    NadalDramaQueen Hall of Fame

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    Of course, it is all very subjective, and while I do believe that actual data can correct some incorrect perceptions, there is no doubt that true greatness has to be witnessed. Sometimes a player's career can be defined by a few moments where they either found a way through or they didn't. I try to appreciate those moments as much as possible. It is the reason I watch tennis in the first place, and it is also the reason why I tend to latch onto a single player, so I can appreciate the great triumphs as well as the failures.

    I agree about Nadal. If he gets too close to Federer then he will have won the battles as well as the war. I think they had many great moments together, but Nadal was usually the one who found a way through.

    The current players will usually get the benefit of the doubt and the past players will get brushed aside, but this will likely happen for as long as tennis is around. That way, every great player will experience both effects. I am only happy that we will always have plenty of recordings. It is a shame to lose so much information about the past.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
  28. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    That is why we need a weightening or conversion rate like it happens with currency
    Winning 14 slams in a tough era can easily overcome winning 18 in a week era
     
  29. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    If we do not agree on the titles conversion rate it is useless to discuss greatness just based on the number of events won
     
  30. sonicare

    sonicare Hall of Fame

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    As a tennis expert and historian, here is the current Goat ranks:

    - Federer
    - Borg
    - laver/sampras
    - Nadal
    - Djokovic

    I value Peak play/dominance over longevity.
     
  31. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I remain astonished at how deep am historian you are
     
  32. sonicare

    sonicare Hall of Fame

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    Me too, I amaze myself sometimes.
     
  33. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Sure, only a genious can place Djokovic higher than
    Tilden
    Budge
    Perry
    Kramer
    Hoad
    Gonzales
    Rosewall
    Newcombe
    Connors
    Mc Enroe
    Wilander
    Becker
    Agassi
    Edberg;-)
     
  34. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Oh! add Cochet,Wilding,Lacoste,Lendl,Sedgman,Emerson and Trabert to the list
     
  35. sonicare

    sonicare Hall of Fame

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    I already told you I value dominance over longevity. Had djokovic won the french open this year, I would have him above Nadal,laver and sampras. Tied with Borg.
     
  36. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    But it yet had Nastase, Kodes, Orantes, Metreveli...
     
  37. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    So Kodes is not alone with this crap!!!
     
  38. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Dan, the "old" pros (they really were old then) managed to win almost all open era majors from 1968 to early 1972. Please look at history!
     
  39. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Hello guys and girls,

    I hope I'm not too far off topic:

    Happy birthday, Muscles! (Rosewall turns 78 today).

    I would like to list up some of Rosewall's career's highlights. (Hope Limpinhitter, TMF, NDQ, Carsomyr and Prisoner of Birth will forgive me...). I guess that not all of these achievements are known to everybody.

    Rosewall won the pro GS in 1963.

    He won 23 majors (or 25 if we include WCT finals):record

    He reached 52 SFs at majors: record

    He won at least 137 tournaments.

    He reached at least 356 SFs: probably record, matched by Laver.

    He was a top ten player for 23 years: record tied with Tilden.

    He is the only player in history who has a positive balance against all his great opponents (from Kramer to Nastase) in big events (GS, Pro GS, WCT finals, Masters, Davis Cup, Kramer Cup). I omit Connors because Rosewall was not in an age of life against Connors when usually top players play tennis! He leads Laver 10:7 and Gonzalez 3:1.

    He was seeded No. 1 at Wimbledon at 18.

    He was No.2 ranked (Tingay) at 40: record.

    He won 9 consecutive majors (where he participated); record.

    He won 24 majors in doubles: record.

    He is with Nadal the only player who kept 3 majors on three different surfaces (clay, wood, grass, ) at the same time.(1962/1963).

    Conclusion: IMO the Little Master is a worthy GOAT candidate.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
  40. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    The guys I listed dominated for more than a single year which is the best Djokovic ever did
     
  41. Carsomyr

    Carsomyr Hall of Fame

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    Congrats, TMF.

    I have Rosewall in my top ten all-time, so I don't know why you think that I don't give him his due.

    Also, Federer accomplished the bolded portion (2009-2010).
     
  42. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Carsomyr,

    You confused me with TMF.

    I'm glad you rank Rosewall highly. I believe you earlier were reserved towards my admiration for Laver and Rosewall but maybe I'm wrong.

    As far as I know Federer did not keep the three consecutively.
     
  43. Carsomyr

    Carsomyr Hall of Fame

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    No, I didn't confuse you, Triumphant Muscles Forever. Your posting of accomplishments is very much in the vein of the other TMF.

    If you want to hold Laver and Rosewall highly, I have no problem with that. I hold them both in very high regard, and consider them both two of the best players of all time. I'm just a bit amused by how you call Federer and Nadal "weak-era champions" for racking up majors without much competition while Laver and Rosewall won 16 straight pro/Open majors from 1962-1968.
     
  44. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Carsomyr, I understand "TMF".

    It's the question if Laver and Rosewall won so much because they played in a weak era or because they were so extraordinarily strong. As you might know I tend to the latter version. I think that Federer's accomplishments are commonly better known that Rosewall's.I never wrote that Nadal won in a weak era but I did write that Federer in several years had rather weak competition which is before Nadal and Djokovic reached their prime. Since then Federer has not won that much (maybe also because he is on decline a bit).

    Fact is that Roger has won only one GS tournament out of the last 11.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
  45. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Gonzales was number 1 for 8 years. You don't get more dominant than that.
     
  46. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    But historians/experts listed Sampras 6 years #1 at the very top, and Graf's 22 slams over Court 24 slams. That's because the open era has more weight. Just by comparing number isn't convincing because you're comparing a cherry to a watermelon. Just like total number of titles, you think Lend's 94 titles is more impressive than Sampras's 60? Don't think so.
     
  47. TheFifthSet

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    Just because Laver said it, it doesn't automatically mean it's true. It doesn't really constitute evidence. Laver also stated, on a number of occasions, that Hoad was the greatest of all time, something I'm sure you don't agree with. You only seem to take his words seriously when they suit your agenda.
     
  48. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    No, that's not the reason. There were no official world rankings before 1973, which is why Sampras is listed top of that calendar year list that you mention.
     
  49. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    TheFifthSet, I agree. By the way, I believe that Laver (and Rosewall for that matter) has meant that Hoad on his best days was stronger than all others but not that he is the all-time best regarding overall achievements.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
  50. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    5,645
    You could be right about this, but it is definitely no accident that Federer got the majors record rather than winning the Grand Slam. There's a reason it worked out that way: the Grand Slam in Federer's era is tougher to achieve -- tougher than breaking Pete's Slam record.

    Federer, in order to win the Grand Slam, would have had to win Roland Garros in 2004, 2006 or 2007 (the years in which he won the other 3 majors). And to do that he needed to beat Kuerten, widely acknowledged as one of the top 5 claycourters of all time, even top 3; and Nadal, acknowledged widely as the claycourt GOAT.

    So Federer had to be a better player than he is. He had to be the GOAT on fast surfaces, but that wasn't enough. If you're the GOAT on fast surfaces, you can break Pete's record (take away Federer's one RG victory, he still gets the record). But Federer, on top of that, had to be a better player on clay -- good enough to beat the claycourt GOAT in a matchup that is already advantageous to Nadal.

    Federer, as he is in reality, was good enough to break the Sampras record. He needed to be better, in order to achieve the Grand Slam.

    So yeah, if somebody won the Grand Slam today, Laver's Grand Slam might take a hit. But in order to give Laver that hit, you have to achieve something tougher than what Federer was able to achieve.
     

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