Goat: Greatest To Watch

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by kiki, Aug 23, 2013.

  1. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    HtH, longevity,dominance,slam&indoor majors count,%winning,toughness of competition,weeks as number 1....those are the standart criteria to rank players here
    Of course it is necessary
    But ad a fan and game lover for decades I wonder if we are not obliterating a key concept:
    Who is the greatest to watch?
    Of course we can just presume of those past greats we did not watch
    But even so, I think we can judge them by our intuition, presumtion or imagination
    I have impression many fans just don' t have any clue about what real tennis is and they maje it up with tons of statistics&rationale criterion
    I simply watch tennis for fun....do you?
     
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  2. andreh

    andreh Professional

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    Yes! I love to watch S&V tennis. But I positively hate watching two players bash/grind it out from the baseline. At least one player has to be an S&V player. That means for me, only old tennis. The late 80s, early 90s and wood racket tennis, from Wimbledon in particular. I also love playing with a wood racket.

    Most of the players I like are not even candidates for GOAT so I don't care much about that particular discussion. I'm a swede and Edberg was, and still is, my hero.
     
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  3. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    No doubt about it! And besides we need no videos, for instance one single picture of the legendary Renshaw already speaks volumes and immediately surpasses anything of present day tennis. His style, the way he moves on court, his strokes! Ah, those where the days, golden! What did I say? Golden? I mean platinum! :twisted:

    [​IMG]

    We should force them to look at b&w videos of Tilden and only let them go if they finally admit that tennis in the old days was the real golden tennis. :twisted:
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2013
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  4. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    I think entertainment is a big part of it. In my case I was fortunate enough to watch both greatness and entertainment and aesthetics and grace all in one package. Furthermore cements GOAT to me.
     
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  5. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    In a nutshell, I loved to watch contracts of personalities and styles. It was so entertaining to see guys that played allcourt tennis especially when a serve/volleyer attacked a baselined. Throw in some attitude and some competitive emotion against the opponent and that is really entertaining. Im referring to matchups like Connors vs McEnroe or Kramer vs Gonzales. So many posters and emailers have told me this and I agree. This is also why so many fans now watch the classic tennis matches since so many miss this type of entertainment. If I was programming robots to play tennis, it would be very difficult to cover all the possibilities of old school tennis and soo much simpler to have them perfect baseline bashing. Think this has something to do with the tennis academies ? Sorry, starting to go off on a tangent here ;)
     
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  6. Frankc

    Frankc Semi-Pro

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    Good post - greatest to watch works for me. I have more watchable time with Mac and Edberg.

    (Just finished the 5 setter, US Open 92(?), Lendl & Becker - Amazing shot making, variety, competitive natures, flat & hard slices that we will never see again... and a night match at the US Open, on USA, with Vitas and Mac in the booth...)

    On the post, one of my most entertaining GOATs would be Edberg. Next up is the 5 set quarters with Lendl - wow..
    Edberg's athleticism, serve/volley quickness, demeanor and that era that still allowed s&v - now that is one GOAT who is fun to watch...

    Or Mac, was it the 84, US Open? 5 set semi with Wilander in the heat... ridiculous ebbs and flows, shotmaking, utter variety, guts - maybe it takes an occasion and certain opponent to bring out the most watchable GOAT for each of us??
     
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  7. slice serve ace

    slice serve ace Rookie

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    most fun to watch

    becker
    mcenroe (copied his service motion, he he)
    edberg
    sampras

    also stich&krajicek when healthy and on
    goran too


    even the most entertaining baseliners leave me pretty cold. funny thing is i am baseliner, through and through, despite the fact that i have the serve levels above my competition, and move great for my level as well. i simply find S&V too hard to play, but mesmerising to watch. i couldn't stop smiling during the whole stakhovsky vs federer match:) have to get my hands on brown vs hewitt as well:)
     
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  8. robow7

    robow7 Professional

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    Yea, I enjoy watching the all court players and the shot makers, and with that in mind, Fed is about the only one I enjoy watching today. I'm also wondering whether I'll ever watch tennis in the future if it's just two trees bashing it from the baseline every point.
     
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  9. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    The thing is though, certain players become great to watch when they are playing against another great who brings the best out of them.

    i.e. I enjoy watching Djokovic when he's facing Nadal, but I can't stand his game usually.
     
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  10. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    oh¡¡ you´re such a sensitive poet¡¡¡
     
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  11. ARFED

    ARFED Semi-Pro

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    For those here who dismiss baseline play as boring, you should watch Safin or Nalbandian at their best. If you don`t find that brand of tennis entertaining then you have a real problem. Having said that, i am a hardcore fan of Edberg and his style, he was the perfect player for me, nothing awkward about his movement or his strokes (well his fh could be a mess sometimes but anyway i liked it) and his attitude towards the game was just amazing. He would attack you, no matter the importance of the point, the surface or whatever. I thought he was perfect, until i watched Fed. Just one sentence, if you haven`t seen yet on youtube "Federer as a religious experience", go do it now. As a tennis fan, you owe it to yourself. Probably the greatest footage ever made related to a tennis player. A truly masterpiece.

    Of past players, i believe that Laver and Ashe, from the little i could see of them are my favourites
     
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  12. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    My choice is as predictable as it will be unheralded in this category. I may admire the athletes, remain riveted by artists, and appreciate the attributes of a great grinder but there is something unique in Evert. First, I am drawn in by the purity and efficiency of her game/ strokes and inevitably rewarded for my patience. You don't necessarily see fireworks from her, but she demands them of any opponent who hopes to win. Evert is the great catalyst for dramatic tennis.

    Its that discipline, that unyielding mind striving to contain, with clinical precision, every threat, every obstacle internal or external , that might impede her. You can see the wheels turning. The sheer force of her will alone, is a devastating weapon and it is palpable. I find it mesmerizing.

    And then there is the shotmaking that can explode off either wing when she most needs it to. Unlike most champions, Evert never goes for the great shot when the simple, predictable and well executed will do. That is about the self discipline so ingrained. But do not doubt that the bold and the glorious are right under the surface. If you press her, you will learn how very undull her tactics can be.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2013
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  13. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    The greatest economy of efforts I have seen on a court is. ROSEWALL
     
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  14. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I already had my owm religious experience watching Laver LIve
     
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  15. andreh

    andreh Professional

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    OK. Might have exaggerated my hatred for baseline play. Every once in a while it's fine and there can be spectacular stuff. But usually, for me, such a ralley ends with one of the players seeking out the net and finishing the point form there with a volley winner or a passing shot/lob. I do enjoy watching Fed, but he's basically the only modern player I'll watch.
     
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  16. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I do agree a bit on Federer, but I prefer the early years Federer for watching purposes.Of course, there have been some very spectacular players to watch who mainly played from the baseline.Agassi was very bright at times...and of course Jimmy Connors, who also attacked the net but was mainly a baseliner.
     
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  17. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Bjorn Borg?
     
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  18. andreh

    andreh Professional

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    Most entertaining match I've ever seen: Edberg v. Borg in a Copenhagen exo in 2008. Legends Live. It's on Youtube. Saw it live, court-side. Admittedly it looks a bit tame on video compared to actually being there. Great rallies, well-played.
     
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  19. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Kiki, I've enjoyed watching greats play tennis, such as Connors and Vilas, all the way to the current great players. For me, Borg as been the greatest to watch. One thing about Borg was that not only was he a great player and a great mover on the court, with revolutionary strokes, his demeanor was absolutely unique. It was so darn quiet on his side of the net, whether it was set point at Wimbledon and he hit a blazing passing shot to win the set, or he dropped match points. Not a word. Not a peep. Stoic. The Ice Man. He had a very unique way of keeping very quiet during some incredible tennis and big tennis moments.
     
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  20. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    Even though I'm not really a Fed fan at all, he does play classic all court tennis.

    I like that.

    Becker
    Mac
    Edberg
    Noah
    Connors
    Thamprath
    Agassi
    Vilas
    Borg

    The Aussie dudes, Cash, Rafter
     
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  21. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    #21
  22. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Last edited: Aug 24, 2013
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  23. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    It looks now amazing how direct players were, how genuine, and how much player interaction and player-ump interaction there was in the 70´s and 80´s ; it really went down in the 90´s.Many top players had really torrid discussions on court.People had real fun.
     
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  24. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Question, some of those serves Behrami does...in an actual match would they be legal? I know underhanded serve is frowned upon, but legal.
     
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  25. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Looks fine to me as long as the receiver is ready and he's not foot faulting of course. No chairs on the court allowed lol. It's a funny change up. Here's Chang vs. Lendl at the French with the underhand serve.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTMLBQWIkQM (at 0:58)
     
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  26. ARFED

    ARFED Semi-Pro

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    After having witnessed live Fed unleashing his forehand (the most amazing stroke, aesthetically speaking, this sport has ever seen), everything else looks pretty secular to me :)

    However, if i could go back in time, surely i would love to watch Rod in the late 60`s. Perhaps, as many here say, the greatest all court display ever.
     
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  27. Sorana fan

    Sorana fan Banned

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    This guy is a good clown to laugh at. Same as Milan these days. Verona beat them, they're a joke, mate!
     
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  28. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Laver had complete stroke mastership, but more than that, while most great players have very good 2 or 3 strokes, laver had SEVERAL options for every stroke.His resources looked like never finished.

    But, to me, what sets laver apart from the rest is how he played against his percentages and how great and bold he was when the situation seemed the worse possible.Not even Connors had that sense of risk, maybe the best Gonzales...but I doubt any player can match him at that.
     
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  29. ARFED

    ARFED Semi-Pro

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    Djokovic is the name that comes to mind in modern times. I have seen him countless times fire away his bh down the line (a low percentage shot compared to others), when being break point down or even more dangerous situations.
     
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  30. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Connors was the most similar guy in that sense.However, you could see that he was hiperhyped and would miss for inches.Of course, Laver was not unbeatable but he had another rear left that the other players did not have.that made the difference.
     
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  31. JAY1

    JAY1 Semi-Pro

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    Come on BN1, we all agree Borg was an amazing player, but he wasn't very exciting to watch!
    Connors was ten times more exciting!
    Come on be more objective.
     
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  32. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Not for me Jay1. It depends on what excites someone about tennis. Borg was far more revolutionary in terms of athleticism, worldwide appeal, and strokes than either McEnroe or Connors. Borg's strokes were revolutionary and he was the "Iceman", so as Lloyd said, he had that charisma, I don't know what it is, that "aura". That's objective. Playing style or personality? Connors was exciting, but at that time, I much preferred watching a Borg match. His strokes, for me, were much "different" and exciting. He hit like absolutely no one else. All the rivalries at that time, were different, but all quite compelling to me.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbvmPjYA5CA

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWYCnJXEJNE

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YoB9KnKn-vA (these players also discuss what they found very compelling about Borg. John Lloyd- "he had that "X" factor, I don't know what it is, but he had it.").
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2013
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  33. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Yep. I wish we could find some footage of Laver in 1967--probably his peak year.
     
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  34. JAY1

    JAY1 Semi-Pro

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    I'm not disputing that Borg wasn't compelling, but his tennis was nowhere as exciting as Connors tennis.
    Connors wasn't the best player ever but without any doubt at all his brand of tennis was the most exciting!
     
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  35. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Exciting to one fan differs for another. For me, Borg's tennis was far more exciting. It's a subjective term, not like counting titles. No two fans, agree on what players are the most exciting, in terms of playing style or personality. Exciting is a nebulous term.
     
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  36. JAY1

    JAY1 Semi-Pro

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    Yes I agree with all of that but prove to me you're being objective and list 5 negative/bad things about Borg?
     
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  37. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    We can all do that of course. We all have our favorite players. I think you may prefer McEnroe and Connors. Yet, others favor Vilas, Borg, or say Lendl. They all have pluses/minues, from Tilden on down the line to current players. For me, there was never a player as exciting as Borg and as influential/revolutionary for the sport of tennis. His speed about the court, his passing shots, and the way he could hit a really nice first serve with that nice service motion were all things I would to be fascinating to watch. Footwork, flat groundstrokes at times, but then the way he hit the ball was compelling to me. His impact was huge, as was the impact of many other greats, such as Connors and McEnroe.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2013
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  38. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    deleted post
     
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  39. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    OK my list per decade ( since 1970 and just 1 player x decade)

    1970

    Laver
    Nastase
    Connors
    Rosewall
    Panatta/Roche
    Ashe/Newcombe
    Orantes/Santana
    Borg/Gerulaitis
    Pecci/Lutz/Ramirez/Kodes/Amritraj

    1980
    Mc Enroe
    Becker
    Edberg
    Mecir
    Mayer
    Leconte
    Kriek/Cash
    Lendl
    Gomez

    1990-onwards
    Sampras
    Agassi
    Stich/Rafter
    Federer
    Bruguera
    Safin
    Kafelnikov
    Krajicek/Ivanisevic

    1970
    Bueno ( I placed her here for convenience)
    Goolagong
    Court
    Wade
    King
    Casals
    Evert
    Ruzici
    Barker
    Jausovec

    1980
    Mandlikova
    Jaeger
    Bunge/Fromholtz
    Navratilova
    Kathy Jordan
    Kohde
    Sukova
    Hanika
    Temesvari

    1990-till now
    1 Hingis
    2 Graf
    3Kuznetsova
    4Seles/Martinez
    6 Novotna
    7 Kournikova/Sabatini
    9Venus Williams
    10 Davenport/Sharavopa
     
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  40. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Great lists Kiki. Excellent compilation. As to the 90's onwards, for me Federer and Nadal have produced exciting tennis, but I understand others disagree. Somehow, they have more variety out there and something about that matchup, but Murray-Djokovic, not so much for me, thus far in their careers. We do have a great top four now, but we'll see how long we can see all those guys playing well.
     
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  41. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Borgnumberone, while I have it clear in my mind for 80´s and 90´s-2000´s, there was so much diversity and moments of inspiration in the 70´s, that I may change my list.
     
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  42. JAY1

    JAY1 Semi-Pro

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    I look at all players objectively and have no preferences, I just love the era.
    The secret in life and in tennis is to look at and judge things objectively and clearly, not to look at things through tinted glasses, albeit Borg, Connors or McEnroe glasses.
    Only then we can see things clearly!
     
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  43. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    It helps to be cognizant that everyone has their own biases, greatly shaped by a myriad of factors. This is a good read on the topic. All fans have their own biases, for example, who did you watch the most, what playing style do you prefer, what do you prioritize? Fans on every player should be congnizant of biases in my opinion, whether they are fans of Laver, Rosewall, Borg, Connors, McEnroe, Sampras, Agassi, Nadal, Federer, Lendl, etc. Much has to do with the fact that we often discuss matters that are very subjective by their very nature. Plus, even "objective" items often require context, such as # Masters shields (well, consider how the Tour and Masters series evolved over time..no wonder Nadal has more Masters shields than Laver...).

    http://www.boston.com/news/science/...ur-own-minds/7x5K4gvrvaT5d3vpDaXC1K/blog.html
     
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  44. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    As for those I didn´t watch, to my unfortune, here is the list of " My favourite to watch players that I most wanted to have watched"

    1.Hoad
    2.Cochet
    3.Gonzales
    4.Tilden
    5.Kramer/Budge
    6.Drobny
    7.Patty/Pietrangeli
    8.Sedgman
    9.Borotra/Trabert
    10.Mc Laughlin/Bromwich/Vines/Crawford

    1.Lenglen
    2-.Connolly
    3-.Marble
    4-.Gibson
    5-.Dupont
    6-.Truman/Wills
     
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  45. JAY1

    JAY1 Semi-Pro

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    Interesting article, I've read something similar before a few years ago.
    Yes I agree we all other a natural bias, but by taking 'I' out of the equation, one can look at things pretty objectively. And only then can we say or do what is right, not what's right for us, our bias.
     
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  46. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Yes, that's true. It's just we can't even agree on what is truly objective in many ways. It's helpful to also see personal perspectives and subjective arguments. It's what makes many discussions interesting in my experience. It's fruitful to consider both the subjective and objective in discussion really. It's also helpful to realize that even with the "objective" there are often subjective factors. Example, with major count, which ones does one choose to count in years pre-Open? Who has really won the most majors? That's an example of when even the "objective" number tallied may be influenced by what one chooses to emphasize. Also, the use of "I" can be used to signal to the reader that you are presenting a subjective/personal view and others are free to disagree.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2013
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  47. JAY1

    JAY1 Semi-Pro

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    You're an excellent poster on here, as are about dozen of you whose Talk Tennis posts I regularly read.
    The amount of knowledge is amazing but I just wish some of you could take your bias out of certain comments.
    It's hard to respect certain comments when you know it is said out of bias and not objectiveness, ie; a parent says " my kid is the fastest runner, the strongest, the cleverest, the prettiest etc etc....
    Lets say I'm a McEnroe fan (I'm not his biggest fan to be honest), I would say, " I think he has the best serve ever, best volleys, most natural talent, most exciting, best ground strokes " every time a new thread was posted. It doesn't matter how knowledgable or how much of a expert that poster was, one would find it hard to completely respect their views.
     
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  48. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Jay1, thanks. Words like best and exciting are very nebulous terms, impossible to define precisely though. You have to be specific about just why you consider something or someone to be the "best" or "most exciting". It's different than saying that "Nadal is the winningest player at the French Open". That's easy to measure. You can't change the posting styles of other posters though. All one can do is try and post effectively and also share their own views. That't what an internet forum is. Everyone has a right to their opinion. We can't get around that. I don't mind when posters provide their own views on all players, even current players in this section. It's a free forum in that way. I like hearing it all. If you ask posters at Talk Tennis about what the "best" or most exciting "x" is, you are going to get opinions from here to eternity.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2013
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  49. ubi1

    ubi1 Banned

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    Please post a link of exciting tennis from Borg.:)
     
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  50. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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