Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by illusions30, Oct 19, 2013.
Who do you consider the greatest mens grass court player in history.
I will go with Pete Sampras. You could make a case for Roger Federer too.
I'll go with anyone who's not named Federer. :lol:
Roddick. He had to play against the toughest grass competiton ever. He was playing against the toughest grass era.
He was playing where those guys were also playing: Federer, Hewitt, Nadal, Murray , Djokovic, Ivanisevic.
Those guys have 13 W titles combined.
Fast grass Pete, slower grass Roger.
But the greatest Wimbledon player is Roger. 5 consecutive wins, 8 finals. 7 consecutive finals. And he barely lost vs Nadal in close 5 sets in his prime. He has less sets lost, was more dominant.
Also after his prime beating Nole, Murray, both W champions back to back. He also beat Pete at W and Nadal twice (2 wins, 5 finals.), those guys are W greats. He also beat Hewitt a W champ. He beat Roddick who is for me a W champ, he was just unlucky a bit.
Greatest W player is Federer.
RFederer. Although PSampras has 7 titles at W, RFederer has better stats on the surface i.e. more titles, higher winning %, more W finals, reaching the finals 7 times in a row, etc.
Plus RFederer had won Wimbledon after going deep into RG whereas the only time PSampras went deep in RG (1996 - SF) he was knocked out early in Wimbledon that year. That speaks a LOT!
Not sure why other names are even there ...
laver proved himself on both the Aussie grass, Wimbledon fast grass, and the on the courts of Forest Hills.
Have to go with Roger Federer. Tied for most Wimbledons, has quite a few grass titles (considering grass is barely even played on nowadays). And also beat the mighty Sampras in 2001. Just saying...
Borg absolutely deserves to be there. What he did winning RG AND W back-to-back and as many times as he did it in those conditions was nothing short of phenomenal.
That was when grass was very fast too, and he had strong competition- Connors, Nastase, Gerulaitis, and Mcenroe, along with dangerous players like Tanner. He also completely changed his game for Wimbledon.
This more than anything else.
Sampras or Pancho
I didnt include Gonzales in the poll as he didnt even get to play much on grass. The pro game in the 50s and 60s was mostly wood and carpet surfaces, and only a bit of grass and clay. The same reason I didnt include Federer on the best carpet player poll, he barely played on it at all, although Gonzales did get to play more on grass than Federer on carpet atleast.
how????? please elaborate
Whether Borg won RG a month or a day earlier does not speak to his net results on grass,nor does his willingness to change his game. they speak to attributes that transcend grass court greatness to versatility beyond grass. they are outside the scope of this poll. I have never been a fan of the 'consecutive' as record enhancement. If he had missed a year in the middle but ended up extending his reign through '82, makes no difference in my view. He did have some extraordinary competition to contend with.
Valid points. I still see it as impressive to how the 2nd best clay courter in history so completely changed his natural game to win and dominate on grass in a tough era, serving and volleying on both 1st and 2nd serves for instance. That is on contrast to Nadal who deserves recognition as a great grass player, but plays in an era grass is much slower, and does not change his natural game much or at all to have had his run of success on grass.
Voted Sampras because of his serve and volley style which is what you associate with grass court tennis. However, Federer had to adapt to the new generation where grass court tennis is no longer just serve and volley in the middle of his career and he did it really well to show versatility, so I think he also has a case for it.
He might not be the greatest, but Cash had a true grass court game. Beautiful to watch. Hate his loud mouth though.
I think Rafter was better than Cash.
I am sure Rafter achieved more than Cash, no debate. But Cash's game and style were pure grass. I say his volley and forward movement are as good as any.
I really only considered that last 3 decades for my vote. I have given the nod to Federer over Sampras. Both have 7 Wimbledon titles but Roger made it to 8 finals total (Pete, only 7 finals). Roger has 13 grass titles (with 87% wins on grass). Pete has 10 grass titles (with 83% wins).
Borg came on to the scene with his smooth, consistent topspin back court mastery and took apart some of the best players in the golden era of tennis. He was the man.
You can never argue against Federer on that surface though!
For me Sampras and Federer are the easiest to compare and they are a virtual tie. Wimbledon is the only grass event that matters these days and both have 7 titles. Federer's edge is 5 straight titles and 1 more final. Sampras's edge is going undefeated in finals, and winning 7 titles in 8 Wimbledons vs Federer who took 10 to win 7, which makes Sampras look more dominant over a longer time, despite that Federer had a longer longest title streak (5 to 4).
So with that all said it is subjective between them. As Sampras played a much tougher grass field, and IMO had a higher overall level of play on the surface, I picked him.
Laver is harder to compare but could easily be picked as the grass GOAT over both. He has a huge array of achievements over various grass events, and could well have matched the 7 Wimbledons of Sampras and Federer.
Tilden with 7 U.S Opens in a row on grass is also a candidate.
Gonzales is harder to say as he didnt get to play on grass as much as the others.
My order would probably be:
3. Federer and Tilden (tied)
5. Gonzales and Borg (tied)
^^^hahaha I figured as much
Your streak criteria really is not really all that meaningful. This is a rather weak argument. I believe that it says more that Roger made it to 8 finals whereas Pete only made it to 7. Beyond their 7 wins Roger's next best efforts were: F + 3 QFs. Pete's next best efforts were: SF + QF. Pete played Wimbledon 14 years while Roger has played it 15 years.
We could say that it took Pete 14 years to make 7 finals while it took Roger 15 years to make 8 finals. This is not really a very meaningful statement either.
Wimbledon-results-wise it's splitting hairs. I would go with someone like Laver simply because he played on grass more than the contemporary guys.
I find it difficult to call contemporary guys lawn tennis players. They are simply not. Some of them seem to win in spite of grass, rather than because they truly understand the surface.
It's not their fault. Grass went from being the sport's go-to surface to a kind of curiosity. It's silly to call Fed/Sampras the best because they have won Wimbledons. Actually, quite absurd.
illusion30, reasonable thoughts. But Tilden won "only" six US Championships in a row.
Good points, CyBorg. I did not really look past the last 3 decades for my consideration for this very reason. Prior to 1975, 3 of 4 majors were played on grass. In '75 the USLTA changed to the USTA -- the word "Lawn" was officially dropped from the name. Quite a few other venues were played on grass as well during Laver's time and earlier.
The AO has not been played on grass since '87, but I would venture to say that hardcourts have become the predominant surface type used on the pro tour long before this. For this reason it is not really reasonable to compare the lawn tennis players of yesteryear to the modern grass players of the past 3+ decades. We should be comparing Sampras & Federer to players like Becker, Edberg, Lendl, Rafter, Nadal & Roddick. We might even go back a little further to Borg, McEnroe, and Connors. However going back this far or further`doesn't make a lot of sense.
fed gets my vote
Very good point. Maybe today grass is a bit less of a curiosity because of the homogenized conditions which, as you say, allowed players to win in spite of it. But in the 90's half of the players were completely unable to play on it because it was so different from the others surfaces they were accustomed to.
I voted Federer because I reasoned like SystemicAnomaly, but it makes more sense to vote for Laver: the man who dominated a stronger field of grass court players, with Rosewall, Roche, Newcombe, etc.
By the way, he has the fifth best winning percentage on the surfaces for the open era behind Fed, Mac, Borg and Murray and is equal with Sampras. Considering that he played more matches than them all, and mostly after his best years, that's quiet impressive!
I think Roger has a goal is to win one more Wimbledon and cement his case for the GOAT (open era). A W 2014 championship would also make Federer the best ever at Wimbledon and on the grass.
Voted Laver bit Sampras and Federer are close considering they only had that one major.
yes, sadly to today's fan "best grass courter" = best wimbledon player.
i like borg for the F/O and Wimbledon combo's but if the discussion is just best grass courter ever he may fall to
laver and the earlier guys.
the more modern guys likely are not in the discussion, but like was said earlier it's not really their fault.
Got a problem? He's entitled to his opinion and there's a good reason why Federer and Sampras is regarded as #1 and #2 greatest grass player. Most people would have no problem because they dominated Wimbledon like no others.
Voted for Sampras. I like Sampras' matches against Agassi, Rafter, Henman and others over the years. I also like how he beat Agassi comprehensively in 1999 after Agassi won the French and got to number 1 again. Federer never really gave a player of that calibre a hiding in the final. Roddick is not the same calibre as Agassi, Sampras got that done without needing a tiebreak, served and returned beautifully the whole match.
I wished Sampras and Rafter played a couple more times at Wimbledon.
Also, Sampras' performance in 1995 against Becker was brilliant after losing the first set, I heard he hit almost 30 passing shots and made less than 15 errors the whole match.
amazing how many new fans criticize Laver for winning the GS with three grass court events on it, and then voting fed and Sampras, who only played one grass slam as the best grass courters ever...contradicition is the name of the game.
If Fed had 3 majors on grass you don't think he'd end up with 15+ grass slams?
Today all courts , even so called grass are so similar.In fact, the three kind of grass courts of the old slams were, IMO, far more diverse than the 4 OFFICIALY DIFFERENT SURFACES of current era.
I hope that answers it.
And yeah, maybe Federer wins 15 grass court titles but...what difference does it make in front of what I stated above?
I know it is not your case, but I can´t help laughing loud when many posters ( youngs always) argue against Laver that he won his slams because there were 3 grass events..and then argue against Laver that he cannot be grass GOAT¡¡¡
You can´t have both ways.
Ever thought of Fed and Sampras would have won the CYGS had all 4 slams were played on grass?
Because it's always harder to overcome 3 different surfaces in a year. Why Borg wasn't able to win the USO hard court but was able to win FO and Wimbledon in the same year? And Rosewall is fine on clay but has problem on grass(Phoenix have mentioned countless of time).
Please, be objective.
Rosewall has a problem on grass? Really? Even though I learnt your bias over and over, I would not have thought you would go so far....
Muscles has won eight grass majors (more than your idol) and altogether has reached 27 grass top placings (SFs).
Don't trust Phoenix. He simply is wrong twice: first that Rosewall' lack of Wimbledon titles excludes him from the GOAT discussion and second, and more significant, that Rosewall would not have won any W. title if he was allowed to participate in his peak years...
Please be objective.
THere's no way all of Rosewall win grass is equivalent to Federer and Sampras 7 Wimbledons, otherwise he would be in grass court goat discussion. The only two players in the running is Fed/Sampras.
I agree with you that Rosewall is a great grasscourter, however Federer has only ever played one grass court major a year and still has 7...
As I mentioned, the homogeneity of current courts shadows the claim that Federer can be GOAT on grass.In fact, also Sampras did only play one GS championship on grass.
It is normal that players that had three ( very different among them) grass court majors and, more than that, played a couple of month on grass can be regarded as the best grass court players.
Borg at the US Open has a similar record to Federer on clay.Except for 2009, Federer has had to face a tougher player on clay than himself.Borg certainly had Connors and Mc Enroe and I conclude that Borg had a similar hard court record to Federer´s clay court record.
Yes, and probably Laver would also...he won 4 Wimbledon titles in a row...
Against 128 men draw by winning 7 matches? That's a tall order
NatF, I agree.
He beat 7 guys in a row just as required.I don´t see anything anormal here.
And, even if he had had to play only 5 players to win a slam, you know, it would be an inmense task to do since the top players in Laver´s era were so strong.
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