GOAT Discussions

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

  1. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Yes, I think that the amateur ranks were severely depleted in the late 1950's, with the top 8 players all pro, plus other good players such as Rose, Hartwig, McGregor, Giammalva, these 4 also major winners (Hartwig a runnerup at Forest Hills in singles). The amateurs only had Olmedo (who signed to the pros in 1959), Fraser, and Pietrangeli in mature form. There was more height and depth at the pro level.
    Not so in the mid-1960's. In addition to Emerson and Santana, who apparently made more money than the top pros, there was McKinley, Stolle (until 1967), Osuna, Ralston (until 1967), Newcombe, Roche, Ashe (a star from 1965 on), Fletcher, Krishnan, Bungert, etc., while the pros could only boast, in addition to Laver and Rosewall, players who had never won a major, (Bucholz, Gimeno) plus ageing Hoad, Gonzales (after 1964), and a disappointing Olmedo. More depth in the amateurs.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2012
  2. Dan Lobb

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    The reverse point could be made; that Laver didn't have to face Emerson, Santana, Stolle, McKinley, Osuna, Newcombe, Roche, Ashe, etc for many of his pro major wins. I think that Emmo and Santana demonstrated in 1961 that they could challenge Laver in major events.
     
  3. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Yet amateur tennis suffered a fall in popularity in the mid-1960s, and it made the British tennis authorities anxious about Wimbledon's reputation without the top professional players competing. A growing number of people within the LTA started supporting the concept of open tennis, and it was eventually voted for in late 1967. The other national associations all followed suit within months.
     
  4. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    The amateur Laver was nowhere near as good as the professional Laver. Come on.
     
  5. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Hmm, you know that 3 of the 4 Slams were played on grass back then. And back then nobody won on grass if they stayed back all the time. The Aussie champions back then were the greatest volleyers of all time (including today's players), so you're picturing Federer winning 30 Slams against those champions, on Wimbledon's old grass, and on the grass at the USO which bounced lower, and far more erratically, than Wimbledon's?

    Your post is unclear, though. Amateur tour of the 60s and 70s? What do you mean by that? There was no amateur tour in the 70s.

    But you say in parentheses that you're talking about the pros of the 60s. Yet you're talking about Federer winning 30 Slams. The pros of the 60s did not play in the Slams.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2012
  6. Dan Lobb

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    The popularity of amateur tennis from 1961 to 1967 EXCEEDED the popularity of pro tennis, and it was only open tennis that rescued Laver and Rosewall from obscurity.
    Furthermore, it was Laver's signing in 1962 that rescued pro tennis from total oblivion and collapse.
     
  7. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    NadalDramaQueen, Thanks for your description of Federer's game. It seems very reasonable. On the other hand, Roger never faced one of the great Aussie volleyers who would have given him more trouble than Henman did.

    It must have a reason why Federer has difficulties against Nadal, Djokovic, Murray and del Potro. I guess his defensive backhand has to do with it.
     
  8. Dan Lobb

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    The difference between pro and amateur tennis were OVERSTATED for obvious commercial reasons. It took only a short time for the top amateurs to adjust to the pro game.
     
  9. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Rosewall faced Jimmy Connors who had massive groundstrokes. I concede that Connors overwhelmed Rosewall mostly but Muscles beat him in 1972 and fared well in a 1974 WTT match and in the 1977 Sydney tournament.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2012
  10. BobbyOne

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    TMF, Not only old-timers criticize the Tennis Channel list but also every non-moronic person does. And even the worst poster here does rank the players better than Tennis Channel has done!!!
     
  11. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    kiki, old jester...
     
  12. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    LOL. You love to exaggerate to a huge extent. Public interest in tennis had been a long sustained low by the mid-1960s, to the point where Bryan Cowgill (the BBC's tennis executive) went to Jack Kramer (then a BBC commentator alongside Dan Maskell), and talked with Kramer about Wimbledon hosting a tournament for professional tennis players for the first time ever. This tournament was eventually held in August 1967, won by Laver, and it was a big success. The LTA were getting very anxious about Wimbledon's reputation without players like Laver, Rosewall and Gimeno in their tournament, and the anxiousness just increased when Stolle and Ralston went to the pros in late 1966, followed by Newcombe and Roche turning pro in late 1967. There were rumours that Emerson was finally going to turn pro as well, which he did in early 1968. All this, combined with the LTA voting to allow professional players into LTA tournaments held in Britain (including Wimbledon), basically forced the hand of other national associations if they didn't want to be left behind. Then, we had the open era, starting in April 1968.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2012
  13. BobbyOne

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    Dan, for the end-1950s you forgot amateurs like Davidson, Patty, Drobny, Ayala and others.

    Ashe in 1965 was not really a star.
     
  14. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    That was before Laver got in top gear.
     
  15. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Nonsense. Laver was the dominant amateur player of 1962, winning the Grand Slam. In early 1963 in the professional game, Laver was getting battered against Hoad and Rosewall, to the point where even Laver admitted that he would have to learn how to play tennis all over again if he was to compete with them. It was a big step up in playing level.
     
  16. BobbyOne

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    Dan, Why do you stay at some strange arguments even though several posters have disproved them?
     
  17. NadalDramaQueen

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    Thanks, BobbyOne.

    I don't think there is too much speculation involved when the people who have troubled you the most are five to six years younger than you. Obviously Nadal is possibly the best clay courter ever and has always troubled Fed.

    All I wanted to say with my post is that it is more than just the records. Commentators, fans, and former players were impressed with Federer's play. He was pretty good. ;)
     
  18. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    The old propaganda method:

    Never tell a small lie. Tell a big lie, and keep repeating it, and people eventually come to believe that it's the truth.
     
  19. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    Cmon now, before Laver won the first CYGS? That's like saying Hewitt showed that he was able to hang with Federer in 2002/2003... But we all know what happened after that.

    Laver in 61 was not even close to the level he would reach even by the next year, and while there's no objective way to PROVE he got significantly better on the pro tour, he did initially start off the pro tour losing many matches to the other pros before sharpening and improving his game in order to begin winning on that level. By the time the Open era began, Laver was a significantly stronger player in every aspect.

    Not to mention that Emerson is the older of the two, and had thus more time to refine his game. BUt yet, Laver won the CYGS in 62.. somewhat disproving your belief that Emerson and the others could hang with him, since they obviously DIDN'T in 62.
     
  20. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I think he also defeated another big hitter guy called Bjorn Borg ( not sure though)

    Hoad,Gonzales,Newcombe,Ralston,Ashe,Smith were also exceptional athletes Rosewall had to beat...
     
  21. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Big truth.Tennis Channel was made during a drunk journalists party who don´t know the difference between an overhead and a drop shot...just like many posters here, BTW:(
     
  22. Dan Lobb

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    The big news was Lamar Hunt entering the game and signing every worthwhile young amateur, especially Newcombe and Roche, the Handsome Eight. Hunt didn't care how much money he lost.
    This is what forced the hand of the amateur managers and opened the game.
    The amateur game would have been left with only Ashe and Okker.
     
  23. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    So...Is it still incorrect? c´mon, give me that at least.I learned history but you don´t know any history about Kodes wins...
     
  24. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Wasn´t it Goebbels who said that? or was it Hearst ? ( If there is no war, let´s invent it¡¡¡, " never let a bad news spoil a great headline")
     
  25. Dan Lobb

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    Davidson won the 1957 Roland Garros, but was severely injured shortly after, and never fully recovered.
    Patty won nothing big after 1950, an out-of-shape partying man, and very old in the late fifties.
    Drobny was no longer a force after winning Wimbledon in 1954 at age 32.
    Ayala was runnerup at Roland Garros, but never a big name.
    Not impressive.
    Ashe whipped Emmo at Forest Hills in 1965, making him an overnight star.
     
  26. BobbyOne

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    kiki, I made an error: that Sydney Australian Indoor tournament was held in 1977 when Rosewall was already 43.

    Rosewall never beat Borg but gave Björn a tough fight in 1973. Yes Muscles faced many exceptional athletes.
     
  27. BobbyOne

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    kiki, but I was always impressed that Jan Kodes, apart from his big wins, was able to battle with Connors (in the latter's best year) at Wimbledon in a five set match...
     
  28. krosero

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    I agree about Roger's volley, though being an inferior volleyer to the best volleyers of all time is no barrier to his being a GOAT candidate. Borg's volley, though effective, certainly did not come up to that level either.

    As for Federer's backhand, with which he can hit winners or drop shots or slices for effective changes of pace, if that bars him from being a GOAT candidate then several other champions must fall off as well, including Borg for his volleys, or Rosewall for his serve, or Tilden for his backhand. Sampras' backhand was very comparable to Federer's and arguably inferior.

    I agree that Federer has at times been too defensive with his backhand. But that's a complex topic. Just yesterday when he lost to Del Potro in London, the commentators actually thought he was coming over his BH return too much, putting the ball right into Delpo's strike zone, rather than using his slice and forcing Del Potro to bend for a lower ball and create his own pace.
     
  29. Prisoner of Birth

    Prisoner of Birth Banned

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    Laver : "Federer is the GOAT."
     
  30. BobbyOne

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    krosero, You probably are right that Federer's backhand is not a barrier to be a GOAT candidate (I have a few other reservations). I referred more to Roger's playing strength. I saw matches where Federer played one slice after the other. That made him vulnerable as Nadal has proved. Maybe Federer has now more variety in his backhand (did not see his last few matches).
     
  31. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    And what is your point? I believe they both are equal(for now) but disagree with kiki who think Borg > Nadal.
     
  32. Mustard

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    My point is that Borg is a lot better than you made it seem with "he only won RG/Wimbledon".
     
  33. pc1

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    Federer's backhand fits in (imo) with his overall game, which is to set up the rallies for his super forehand. It's a very solid shot and as you wrote, a good change of pace with its slices etc. It's funny in a way that his backhand, with its slices and changes of pace is considered unusual nowadays because it was actually the norm years ago.

    Anyway while the backhand is clearly not his strongest groundstroke he can keep the ball solidly in play with some winners at times and that's really all he needs to win. I am amused by some posters who write that Federer's backhand flicks often embarrass some net rushers because it really doesn't happen that often. Of course he'll hit some great backhand winners but the backhand winners we see are often on highlight videos, it doesn't happen nearly as often as some would think. If he was able to do that regularly with his backhand why would he constantly run around his backhand to hit a forehand?

    Most champions have some weakness and very few players in the history of tennis have great offensive weapons on backhand, forehand, volley and serve plus speed. Fred Perry was a great player but his serve and his backhand were hardly great shots and yet he dominated amateur tennis in the 1930's for a while.

    There are also players like Ilie Nastase who for pure talent and stroking ability would have put a lot of great tennis champions to shame. But Nastase didn't accomplish nearly as much as he should have considering his awesome ability.

    Federer is a great combination of talent and using that talent to achieve great things.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012
  34. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Clearly he is a super top GOAT candidate.
     
  35. BobbyOne

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    Thanks, pc1, for your short but very meaningful post. I'm glad you write again.

    I was sure that my Rosewall list would impress you and others.
     
  36. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    For me as a German, one of the most astounding things about Rosewall was, that Germany won the World Cup in Soccer in 1954 and 1974. In 1954, before my time, Fritz Walter captained the German team as heavy underdog against Hungary with Puskas. In 1974, a complete different gerneration was at work, when Beckenbauer's German team, again a heavy underdog against Holland, won over Cruyff's Netherlands. It was a good sign for Germany for the final Sunday, that the Wimbledon final had been played the day before, and the same man, still the same man, had lost the final to Drobny and Connors. In sports, 20 years are an eternity. That the Rosewall of 1974 was the same Rosewall of 1954, boggeled the mind.
     
  37. BobbyOne

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    urban, Yes, longevity is one of Rosewall's assets. By the way, it was curious that Rosewall was still extremely strong in that 1974 Wimbledon. Thus he reached the final where he was exhausted against young Connors. The two usually met only in tournament's finals. Muscles would have had better chances if they met in an early round as he proved shortly after the W. final when Connors d. Rosewall only by 7-5 in a WTT match.

    Rosewall was unique to win his first tournament at 16 (Manly 1951) and his last at 43 (Gunze Japan event in 1977). Rosewall reached his first SF at 14 in 1949 and his last final at 47 in 1982...
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012
  38. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Ok, but Nadal and Borg should be in the same tier great. You can't have one without the other because they equal(for now).
     
  39. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    I think Nadal is slightly ahead of Borg already. I rate Nadal at #5 currently and Borg at #6 with Laver, Gonzales, Federer, and Sampras being the 4 ahead of them. I agree they are close to equal though. Nadal is better on clay and hard courts, Borg is better on carpet and grass.
     
  40. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    That's very debatable on whether Nadal is ahead of Borg. Borg won more tournaments, had a higher lifetime winning percentage and was much more dominant at his peak. Borg won over 90% of his games at his peak over a five year period. Nadal had NEVER won 90% of his matches in a single year.

    Borg won over 100 tournaments in his career by age 25.

    Incidentally Bill Tilden can be argued to be ahead of anyone and of course Ken Rosewall.
     
  41. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    And of course we all understand that Rosewall's best years were in between 1954 and 1974 probably in the early 1960's.
     
  42. BobbyOne

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    pc1, I would still rank Borg ahead of Nadal.

    As you cite Rosewall: I have forgotten in my Rosewall achievements that Muscles keeps another fantastic record: He reached 36 consecutive SFs at majors from Wimbledon 1954 to French Open 1968. Of course I concede that the pro majors had only 8 -16 participants. But still awesome.
     
  43. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    My theory is that the top groundstrokers tend to be the most consistent and Rosewall certainly was consistently great. You look at guys like Borg, Connor, Tilden, Lendl, Wilander (for a little while) Budge, Riggs and they rarely had bad losses.

    Gonzalez was a serve and volleyer but he didn't mind groundstroking rallies.

    Guys like Becker, Edberg, Sampras, Newcombe could occasionally had some bad losses. I think it's because of their high risk game. Just a theory. I could be wrong.
     
  44. BobbyOne

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    pc1, I confess I have never reflected this issue but your theory sounds reasonable.
     
  45. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    As I already mentioned I dont even care about tournament win totals for any players before 1980 as it is obvious by the huge disparity in numbers it was far easier to win alot of tournaments then than it is today, not due to the so called weaker fields some believe of the past, but the much more physical nature of the game today.

    Of course it is debateable but I would still go with Nadal. Borg never won 3 slams in the same year (and if he didnt play the Australian it is his fault), he never won a slam on hard courts, he never won the U.S Open despite having the chance to win it on 3 different surfaces including even on CLAY for sevearal years he was in or close to his prime. Given all the what ifs that are brought up for Borg regarding the Australian Open, if Nadal had 3 U.S Opens on green clay starting after his first French Open win he probably would have 4 U.S Open titles (or at minimum 3) today, and Borg still has 0. Nadal has won multiple slams on each surface, and even if the has the benefit in that sense of 2 slams being on his weakest of the 3 major surfaces (hard courts) he still managed a U.S Open win, Australian Open title, and Olympic singles gold, all on hard courts. Nadal has won atleast 1 slam for 7 years in a row now, so his longevity already matches or exceeds (probably exceeds) Borg's, and Nadal was ranked #1 or #2 for almost every single week for almost 8 years as well, while Borg didnt even become #2 caliber until about 5 years before he retired.
     
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  46. Gizo

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    Borg not winning the Australian Open during his career means about as much as Nadal failing to win the title at Rotterdam during his (and Nadal has played at Rotterdam more times than Borg played at the Aussie Open).
     
  47. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Yes but he also isnt awarded fantasy slams there either. Evert isnt awarded fantasy slams at the Australians and French Opens she would have won in the 70s, otherwise she would be the female GOAT today, rather than viewed largely as inferior to Graf, Navratilova, Court, and even now Serena. If we do all the what ifs possible, if the Australian Open were on hard courts like today, and if everyone played it like today, he might well still have failed to win it, just like he failed to win the U.S Open in many tries despite it being played not only on hard courts (his worst surface) but on clay for several years, during his relative prime years.
     
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  48. Gizo

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    Of course, Borg's career shouldn't be judged on the Australian Open at all.
    Saying he failed to win 2 out of the 4 slams is completely irrelevant when their were only 3 meaningful majors during his prime.

    The problem is that many people mistakenly judge the careers of Borg, Connors etc using modern day 21st century glasses. That is silly of course as their careers need to be judged based on the context of their actual eras, i.e. when the grand slam title count was completely meaningless and non-official invitational tournaments were very important.
     
  49. BobbyOne

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    NadalAgassi, Borg won at least one major for eight consecutive years. Not too bad.
     
  50. NadalAgassi

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    if we compare Borg and Nadal only by the French, Wimbledon, and U.S Open, and overall seasons beyond those, I would still favor Nadal. Nadal has won all of those unlike Borg who as I already mentioned failed to win a U.S Open despite the benefit of it being played on a form of his favorite surface for several years, and Nadal's French Open record is better than Borg's record anywhere. Borg's Wimbledon record is better than Nadal's, but Nadal has only 1 less final at this point, and Borg wasnt forced to deal with Federer or anyone like him at Wimbledon. Nadal was overall one of the two dominant players at all times from the start of 2005 to about the middle of 2012, so 7.5 years. Borg was overall one of the two dominant players at all times from about the spring of 1976 to basically quitting right after the 1981 U.S Open so about 5.5 years. Both were only dominant on their own for about 2 years, so no difference there.
     

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