GOAT Discussions

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

  1. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Yet the growing consensus also is that Serena is the greatest. Evert, Collins, Drysdale, Shriver, Carillo, Wertheim, Seles, McEnroe (both of them), Billie Jean King have all recently started to call her that, yet you insist on still calling her a second tier player and wont even concede her a top 5 player all time, saying she is barely top 10, lol! So dont try and use an argument based on the consensus, you have already lost that right. If you say those people are biased to Serena due to her current status, the same is true of Federer in that case.
     
  2. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    No way. Yes his combined dominance of clay and grass was very impressive, especialy in the day the two surfaces were polar opposites. However winning only 2 of the 4 majors (even for those who say the Australian wasnt that big a deal back then) is a huge blotch against him. He also isnt the best ever on his best surface anymore, that obviously being Nadal now, and as great as his Wimbledon record is he still probably wouldnt even rank top 5 all time on grass considering Laver, Sampras, Tilden, Gonzales, and Sampras. Overall I would rank him even below Nadal at this point.
     
  3. Prisoner of Birth

    Prisoner of Birth Banned

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    No Federer but 2 Samprass? :)
     
  4. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    I think, open era is a problematic time frame. The 70s and early 80s had completely different circumstances, regarding surfaces, scheduling, majors definition, ranking systems and other factors, than the modern game. For instance, Borg virtually never (except 1973) played the AO, Connors had to win USO on 3 different surfaces. For my money, Borg's 3 Wim-RG combos is an unsurpassed achievement, his 5 Wims and 6 RGs are imo more worth than 7 Wims and 5 USO, because the sharp difference of surfaces and the need to change the style of tennis. Borg had 4 years of 90 plus % wins (with all tourneys considered even better), his head to head with all rivals is at least equal (7-7 with Mac, without playing on clay once). Correct is, that Federer has a significant advantage over Borg, because he won the single RG, while Borg couldn't win the USO.
     
  5. Blocker

    Blocker Semi-Pro

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    See this is a little unfair on Sampras if you ask me. Sure, Federer has the most slams and should rightfully be considered one of the top 2 GOAT contenders (if there is such a thing as a GOAT). But from what I have seen, and I have seen both of them enough at the AO live, Sampras is as good as Federer.

    Sampras did make it his priority to win as many slams as possible and he was very public about it. However, how was he to know that only 10 years later, his record would be broken? These are the sort of records that last 30, 40 years, right?

    My point is, Federer has always had the benefit of hindsight. He has always had the target. Once he knew he was good enough to dominate the sport as Sampras did, that target became 15. 15 slams is all it would take for him to be the GOAT.

    Even when they played their one and only match at Wimbledon, Federer knew exactly who he was up against, Sampras had no idea who he was up against. To Sampras, Federer was just another challenger to his Wimbledon throne. To Federer, he was up against the greatest Wimbledon champ of all time. If Sampras knew who he was up against, what Federer would eventually become, would he have approached that match differently from the first point? Would he have trained harder for the event? Would the result have been different? Maybe. Who knows? Who cares?

    What if we were to swap them? Put Federer in the 90s and put Sampras in the 00s/10s. Let’s make it so Sampras has the target to aim for. Let’s assume the target is 18 (17 slams Fed has won plus the extra slam needed to break it). Better yet, let’s assume the target is 21 (20 + 1). Lets assume also that the courts are not homogenised and they are as they were in the 90s. We all know Sampras is good enough. We all know he would dominate at the USO and Wimbledon and win his fair share at the AO. Would Sampras be trying to break the record of 20? Well once he knew he was good enough, and the slams started to roll in his favour, 4 slams becomes 5, 5 becomes 6, 6 becomes 7 and so on and so on, until the 20 becomes a distinct possibility, of course he would be trying to break it. You see he would have the target to aim for. He would aspire to the target. He would be chasing history. Would he get to the target? Who knows, but I have no doubt in my mind that he would have applied himself alot more from the very beginning, he would have got fitter from the very beginning, he would have trained harder from the very beginning, he would have played every slam from the very beginning as if he was chasing history, he would have left nothing to chance, did everything within his means to become a better tennis player, to try and reach the target set by Federer. You see, this has been Federer’s advantage all along. He has had the benefit of knowing what was in front of him and doing what he had to do to become the GOAT. This seems to be lost on most of you. Throughout all of Federer’s career, it has been a case of “can you get to Sampras, can you break Sampras’ record, do you think you can overtake Sampras?” Sampras Sampras Sampras. Sampras’ record this, Sampras’ record that. 14 this, 14 that. Of course Federer is going to try ands reel in Sampras, he knew the target and he went for it pretty much the day after he smashed Phillipousis at Wimbledon.

    While Federer is still able, he will continue to play to try and win slams because he does not want to have happen to him what happened to Sampras. Federer knows that someone breaking his record within 10 years is now a possibility, something that Sampras could not have possibly thought in his last few years of playing, especially now with homogenised courts.

    Put them in the same era, both starting and finishing at the same time, and I’m pretty sure that they would have split their H2H and slam victories. Like I said, I have seen them both play at the AO. I saw Sampras take Moya apart in the 1997 final. If ever you want to see some of the best strokes ever played, watch the highlights of that match. Sampras pulled Moya apart from all over the court. I am talking a Sampras in full flight. Was superb to watch. Don’t believe me? Try and get a copy of that final and witness it for yourself. And yet I also saw Baghdatis nearly go 2 sets to love up against a peak Federer 9 years later. Put it this way, based purely on what I saw live in both those finals, Sampras 1997 AO final vs Federer 2006 AO final, Sampras would have tore Federer apart in straight sets. Yes, in straight sets. Again, this is based from what I saw with my own eyes.

    Federer will probably be seen as the GOAT and that’s fine by me. I have no problem with that because I am not a fanboy. I won’t lose sleep at night over this put it that way. I love tennis and so I will watch anyone. But you need to put this whole thread and the comments discussed in it into perspective. Most people are talking numbers alone which is quantitative over qualitative. There are stories behind those numbers though and that needs to be factored in. If we are talking purely numbers, then the bottom line is that Federer did not exist during the majority of Sampras’ time on the tour, but when Federer came into his own, like I said above, Sampras’ record this, Sampras’ record that, Sampras’ record bla bla bla. It all became about whether or not Federer could get to Sampras’ record.

    If in 10 years time someone breaks Federer’s record does that suddenly leave Federer in no man’s land? Because that is what some of you are suggesting with Sampras. Like I said, unfair.

    Never saw Borg play live so I can’t comment about him.
     
  6. Prisoner of Birth

    Prisoner of Birth Banned

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    You're basically saying Federer is better only because he came after Sampras. Doesn't matter why, or how, Federer is better and you just acknowledged it. End of story? Sampras, like you said, may have been the better player (possibly) but that didn't happen and he isn't.

    Sampras of 1997 would've lost in 3/4 sets to Federer in 2007 (at the Australian Open). Federer is definitely better on Rebound Ace.

    If, in 10 years' time, or 100 years' time, somebody comes along that shatters almost every single record Federer has the way Federer did Sampras's, I'd be the first to call that player the GOAT. But, for now, Federer is the GOAT.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2012
  7. Talker

    Talker Hall of Fame

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    When Fed had around 13 slams it looked very close between Sampras, Laver and Fed.
    At that time all had a good argument as who was the best.
    I was not sure given their records back then, it was just too close to call.

    Fed won the french so that gave him the slight edge for me.

    Since then he's won some MTF's, more slams and weeks at #1.

    With all of this added I put Fed in his own tier, he has just too much.

    Many have put Fed up there, not just experts but ordinary posters.
    There haven't been any good arguments to say different.

    Laver may have a case but the records weren't clear back then and there isn't enough video footage.

    Just because there isn't enough documentation isn't an argument.
     
  8. NGM

    NGM Semi-Pro

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    I agree with everything you said. I will make a separate thread on pre-open era.
     
  9. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    Ahh, but you see, there's a flaw in your logic: Sampras had Emerson's record to chase, and it still took him 10 years to break THAT record. It wouldn't have mattered so significantly what the record was... Sampras still took over two years after his first major win to get the second win. He still had records to break, and I'm not so sure he was good enough to reach many more finals than he has.

    I'd be interested to see what people thought about some of the semifinals he lost where he COULD have made more finals, but I honestly can't see the guy winning as many as Federer. Federer cruised to major finals in a way that Sampras NEVER did, and was on such a ridiculous run that he made 18 of 19 finals in a dominant stretch... and that's the difference. It's why Fed is at 17 now, he just dominated the majors in a way that prime Sampras never did. I don't think that Sampras having a higher mark would have changed that at all.
     
  10. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    ARFED, It seems to me as though you have not read my Rosewall achievements on November 2nd...
     
  11. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I do not disagree.

    It find it interesting that the top-tier includes seven players, not ten.
     
  12. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Agassi is one of a few who won a career slam on 3 surfaces. Sampras won 14 slams, more than any players before him. Nadal/Murray won the gold medal. The list can go on. So in fairness, people cannot "forgive" Laver either.
     
  13. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Serena doesn't have the credential as Federer. I agree she has reduced the wide gap from Martina/Graf after this year winning 2 slams. But still, she's behind Graf 7 slams, as apposed to Federer is 3 slams ahead of Sampras. Federer also holds most weeks at #1, 6 WTF, and countless of other records, something that Serena is vastly is behind Graf/Martina. I can't see how anyone can say Serena is in the same league(respect to their tour) as Roger with a straight face. At best, I would say her level/position on the WTA is to Nadal on the ATP.
     
  14. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Federer is like Emerson.Numbers don´t tell the truth.Only knowledge and mental open mind does.
     
  15. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Barely. I still don't have power and heat after 12 days. :mad:
    It's so cold in my home I can see my own breath. :shock:

    Haven't been able to post from home and the people are very upset with poor handling of the situation by the power company here. I am posting from the local library.

    Thanks for asking.

    One thing I do take exception to is TMF's proposal that Federer is numero uno and the rest of the discussion should be for second place. Federer is not slam dunk number one. There are valid reasons for a number of players to be called GOAT.
     
  16. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Timnz,

    Where would you put Jack Kramer?
     
  17. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Vines marketing agent is the true GOAT.

    Kodes marketing agent is the weakest ever:(
     
  18. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    This is completely untrue.

    Emerson won his majors in an era CLEARLY absent of the best competition, as they were all professional players. Emerson definitely took advantage of the fact that men who could beat him were not able to play in the majors, and so he won 12.

    This is not true for Federer, in an era where the sport is more globalized than it has ever been, and the best players rise to the top of the game. This fact is indisputable, and Federer has won all of his majors in this time period. If Federer's dont count, neither do any of the majors won since 1968. Or ever, for that matter.

    Essentially, you're blowing out hot air, and have no connection with reality on this subject.
     
  19. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Glad to see Sandy didn´t get to your mind and that still works well...
     
  20. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    Sorry to hear that, good luck and hope they figure things out quickly. It's no fun, our power was out for 1 week in the middle of January's biggest blizzard a few years ago, but thankfully we had a fireplace in the main room to keep us warm.
     
  21. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Federer's record, as excellent as it is, is not so great so to make him the undisputed best ever.
     
  22. Prisoner of Birth

    Prisoner of Birth Banned

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    Laver, Sampras, Borg, McEnroe, Nadal have all called Federer the GOAT :) Get over it.
     
  23. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Oh yes, I am floating in the air recalling that magic 1969 year...

    I think talent wise and record wise Fed is better than Emmo; but i just made a point that numbers don´t tell the truth because we all know, that with the amazingly weak opposition Fed dominated from 2003 till 2007, Laver or Rosewall would have reached 10 more majors at least and this debate would be closed years ago...
     
  24. Prisoner of Birth

    Prisoner of Birth Banned

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    If Federer played in the amateur tour (I'm talking about the pro-tour of the 60s. The Amateur tour of the 60s would be like schoolboys for Federer) of the 60s and 70s, he'd have 30 Grand Slams. And I'm being conservative.
     
  25. ARFED

    ARFED Semi-Pro

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    What a concidence!!!!!! I happen to think that you haven`t checked Fed`s unparalleled records also....i guess we are not perfect after all
     
  26. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Emerson was a very good player, but Federer is on another level. Federer has also faced all the best players during his career.
     
  27. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Not so. After Laver turned pro in 1963, the amateur managers ramped up the payments to keep the best amateurs (Emerson, who tied Laver at #1 for 1961, Santana, Stolle, McKinley, Newcombe, Roche, Ashe etc.) from turning pro. Emmo and Santana probably made more than the top pros, and there was much more depth in the amateur game than the pro.
     
  28. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I think the top-tier is Laver, Tilden, Gonzales, Rosewall, and Federer.

    I believe one can make a case for any of these being GOAT.

    Just below is a tier starting with Borg then Sampras, etcetera. I cannot make a case for one of these being in the first tier. Just MHO.
     
  29. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    divide his titles by 4 or 5 and you have the exact conversion rate
     
  30. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Top Tier:Laver,Sampras,Borg,Gonzales

    Hoad is the link between top and second tier (Rosewall,Budge,Tilden,Federer)

    Perry is the link between second and third:

    Kramer,Connors,Lendl,Mac,Newcombe,Nadal

    Agassi links third with fourth.

    Wilander,Becker,Lacoste,Cochet,Sedgman,Crawford

    I won´t go further down...for the moment.
     
  31. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    ARFED, I agree that we all are not perfect.

    I guess Federer's feats are much better documented than Rosewall's (or even Laver's for that matter). That's the reason why I use to hint to Ken's achievements.
     
  32. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Dan, In the late 1959 the depth was also better in amateur tennis even though the pros were clerarly the best (but just a small group). But you use to say that the pros then were extremely strong which is the thruth. So, why do you belittle the 1960's pros? They had Laver, Rosewall, Gonzalez, Hoad, Gimeno, Buchholz, Anderson, Olmedo, Stolle, Ralston...
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2012
  33. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    hoodjem , interesting post and list.
     
  34. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    kiki, I rank Kramer, Connors, McEnroe and Lendl ahead of Perry who usually is overrated. I also rank Vines ahead of Perry. He was clearly stronger. It's not just a case of good management...
     
  35. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    Of course there was more depth in the Amateur field, there were more players. But the very best were still playing the pro tour. Unless you consider guys like Laver lesser players than Emerson, my point remains: that the guys most likely to beat Emerson in majors were not able to play.

    If we translated it to today's game, and take out 7 or 8 of the top 10 players, but leave the remainder on tour, there'd still be significant depth due to the sheer number of good players outside the top 10, but the major slam contenders would no longer be around.

    Which is my entire point.. Emerson didn't face the very best for a significant number of his major wins.
     
  36. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Right. 12 majors sound much but in reality they are rather few considering that the five best players (or even more) did not compete in the amateur ranks. A really great player would have won much more big titles, for instance a Laver or Rosewall. Imagine Laver would have stayed amateur: He surely would have won more than 12 majors from 1962 to 1967....
     
  37. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    Agreed. I think it's unfortunate that there was a division of the tennis ranks in this way, it would have been much easier to have discussions like this, on a more even footing.

    That said, i dont believe in any one person being GOAT, but do consider Federer one of the most worthy candidates; not just because of his resume, but his game itself.
     
  38. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Federer's backhand is not a strength. It's too defensive. Younger fans blame Rosewall for his "slice backhand" but Federer plays much more slice than Muscles who used a stroke between slice and fast drive. Laver and Rosewall would have countered it with strong volleys. Also Roger's volley does not reach the Laver, Rosewall, Newcombe, Roche standard...
     
  39. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    Ok, so his game is not total offense, so he must not be one of the best players ever.

    I'm not sure why you're so stuck in the past, those guys never faced passing shots like Federer did, and Federer's backhand sets up his forehand. It's not a defensive shot, its a shot to set up the point.

    Oh, and those are not the only shots in the game. There's serve, return of serve, forehand, and also movement as well. Federer's game is greater than the sum of its parts. None of his shots are the best ever, except maybe the forehand, but combined it's one of the most effective and lethal combinations ever.

    So what if he's not the greatest volleyer ever. He doesn't need to be. Nor does he need to have the greatest backhand ever. You're just being biased, setting unrealistic standards. I mean, why isn't the Laver serve/forehand combo as lethal as Federers? Surely he can't be the GOAT if his 1-2 punch is so weak?
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2012
  40. NadalDramaQueen

    NadalDramaQueen Hall of Fame

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    Hey BobbyOne,

    Please go and watch some matches of Federer versus players who would come in to the net often. The Sampras match, matches with Henman along with many others. Federer often made them look like fools at the net with just his backhand pass.

    The variety was incredible. Everything from flick backhand passes to inside out drives. The commentators would often just laugh because the net player had no shot whatsoever.

    Fed controls the tempo of the rallies with his backhand and even now he is capable of going backhand to backhand against the very best. There is no doubt that he has trouble going backhand to forehand with Nadal, especially on clay, but almost any one hander is going to have issues with that.

    His incredible backhand and shotmaking in general was the reason why I loved to watch him play before he started winning everything. His forehand has always been better, but there was nothing like watching a great approach shot to his backhand get flicked back for a winner. Beautiful stuff.

    As an aside, I'll never understand how anyone can't appreciate Fed's game. I enjoyed watching Sampras and he was obviously great, but I never got that same feeling with him that I did with Federer. Fed was the guy who broke all the rules. He hit all the shots that your coach says are too risky, and he made it happen match after match. I don't think Federer is as much like that anymore, which is a shame, but you have to do what you have to do.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2012
  41. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Sampras should be in the top tier if you are including Laver, Tilden, Gonzales, Rosewall. Federer shouldn't be on the list because he's a level above Sampras.

    And if Borg is below them, then Nadal should be in there too.
     
  42. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    The players have much bigger game today. Rosewall never face a player with massive groundstroke(i.e. Del Potro). His back hand never got tested unlike Federer who played in an era that suits for a 2 handed backhand. Volleying in the 60s is fine but to try it today like they did against today's players, it's suicidal. Please watch some tennis!
     
  43. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    So good to hear from you PC1, hope you get at least the heat back in your home ASAP.
     
  44. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Hi PC1. Hope you sort out everything as soon as possible. You have a lot of reading to catch up when you get back.:)


    Ok. I know you believe Laver, Sampras, Borg, Gonzales, etc are in the same top tier. However, Sampras < Federer, there's no more debate because Fed owns Sampras in almost every categories. It doesn't make sense to say Federer = Sampras = Laver = Borg = Gonzales etc. And while you included Borg in the top tier with the rest, you should include Nadal too because both players are virtually dead even. But this doesn't make sense either because Federer > Nadal. See my point?

    Funny how old-timers criticize The Tennis Channel for their top 100 ranking list, but the way people rank players on this forum is way out of whack.
     
  45. Prisoner of Birth

    Prisoner of Birth Banned

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    Bang. On. Point.
     
  46. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Then Kodes is second tier since he won the same number of majors as Vines...but IN TWO DIFFERENT SURFACES¡¡¡¡
     
  47. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Yes, Nadal is even with Borg...Nadal won five consecutive Wimblies, that´s right.Nadal won 3 indoor majors, yes, that´s right...
     
  48. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Nadal won 21 MS.
    Nadal won all 4 slams(career slam) on three different surfaces while Borg only won Wimbledon/RG.
     
  49. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Thank you. Some people ranked players at certain tier one day and a different tier the next day. lol
     
  50. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Borg only once played at the Australian Open (in 1974), and that was before he had even won a major. Yes, the US Open was his bogey tournament, losing in 4 finals (2 to Connors, 2 to McEnroe), but he did win a WCT Dallas title in 1976 and 2 Masters titles in January 1980 and January 1981. This added to 6 French Open titles and 5 Wimbledon titles (including winning both in 3 different calendar years) makes him a GOAT candidate. He was only 25 when he played in his last major, too.
     

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