Greatest players ever per surface

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by cuddles26, Oct 5, 2009.

  1. cuddles26

    cuddles26 Banned

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    Who do you consider the greatest players ever amongst the men and women on each surface. Here are mine:

    Women:

    Hard courts- Serena Williams
    Grass- Steffi Graf
    Clay- Justine Henin
    Indoors- Martina Navratilova


    Men:

    Hard courts- Roger Federer
    Grass- Rod Laver
    Clay- Rafael Nadal
    Indoors- Pete Sampras
     
    #1
  2. Lionheart392

    Lionheart392 Professional

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    Henin the best ever on clay? Wasn't it you who started a thread recently saying Serena is a better claycourter than Henin?
     
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  3. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

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    Women:

    Hard courts- Steffi Graf
    Grass- Steffi Graf or Martina Navratilova
    Clay- Chris Evert or Monica Seles or Steffi Graf
    Indoors- Martina Navratilova


    Men:

    Hard Courts- Pete Sampras
    Grass- Rod Laver
    Clay- Bjorn Borg
    Indoors- Ivan Lendl
     
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  4. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

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    Yeah that is funny. I guess you can be an inferior player to Van Roost, an inferior clay courter than Serena, and the greatest clay courter ever still somehow. :lol:
     
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  5. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Hall of Fame

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    Women

    Hardcourts- Tough call between Graf, Seles and Navratilova
    Grass- Navratilova or Graf...leaning to Nav
    Clay- Chris Evert
    Indoor-Definitely Navratilova


    Men

    Hardcourts- I'll give this one to Federer
    Grass- Laver (sorry Rodger and Pete fans...)
    Clay- Borg
    Indoor- Lendl
     
    #5
  6. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Almost perfect


    Almost perfect for men hard courts I would put Sampras or Federer - otherwise perfect.

    Note: Good that you have remembered how fantastic Lendl was indoors. 9 straight Masters Cup finals! 66 straight match wins!
     
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  7. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Hard Courts- Roger Federer
    Grass- Pete Sampras/Roger Federer
    Clay- Rafael Nadal
    Indoors- McEnroe/Pete Sampras

    Hard courts- Serena
    Grass- Navratilova/Graf
    Clay- Chris Evert/Seles
    Indoors- Martina Navratilova

    I know some people in here wants to add players from pre-open era.
     
    #7
  8. SuperDuy

    SuperDuy Hall of Fame

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    Hard Courts- Andy Roddick
    Grass- Andy Roddick
    Clay- Andy Roddick
    Indoors- Andy Roddick

    Hard courts- Baboon
    Grass- Baboon
    Clay- Baboon
    Indoors- Baboon
     
    #8
  9. lambielspins

    lambielspins Banned

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    Best ever on hard courts is definitely not Navratilova. Currently she has 7 combined Australian and U.S Opens, which is already less than Graf, Evert, same as Serena, and only 1 more than Seles even with the Seles stabbing. However the Australian Open was played on slow grass until 1987. Had the Australian Open been played on rebound ace she most likely would have less than 7 as that would not have been a good surface for her at all, certainly less so than grass. Given that none of her Australian Open titles in 81, 83, 85 were that convincing even on her beloved grass, and that Evert trounced her in 88 when Evert was older than her, one wonders how much if at all she would have won on rebound ace. Rebound ace likely would have been her worst surface given her playing style, moreso than clay.

    Then on what would be by far her best hard court she still has fewer U.S Opens than Graf and Evert. I know all of Everts were not on decoturf, but Evert would probably still have around 6 if it were on decoturf from 71-77 as she benefits from 71-74 vs grass, and is hurt by decoturf vs clay from 75-77. She probably wins 1 or 2 (quite possibly 2) of the 3 she won from 75-77 anyway given that she was the dominant player at the time, although not as dominant on other surfaces as on clay; and probably gains another 1-2 she never won from 72-74 if she gets to play King, Goolagong, and Court on hard courts now rather than on grass.

    At most I would rate Navratilova 5th best on hard courts behind those 4.
     
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  10. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Sorry, this is the Former Pro Player section, not the comedy section.
    "Clay- Andy Roddick" Very funny!
     
    #10
  11. lambielspins

    lambielspins Banned

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    Seles only has 3 French Open titles. She only won Rome twice, once in 1990, then once again in the early 2000s. If one is talking about sheer doinance or peak level of play in her best years ever she was trounced in some tier 1 tournaments on clay and struggled hard to win her French Opens. What ifs can only count for so much.
     
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  12. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    I'm still undecided about male Indoors: Both McEnroe and Lendl are the obvious choices. I'll go with JMac.
     
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  13. Lionheart392

    Lionheart392 Professional

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    I don't see how Navratilova can be considered above or even equal to Graf on hardcourts. IMO Graf is undeniably the best ever on hardcourts, she has the highest winning percentage of matches played on hard in the open era I believe as well as a combined 9 slams on hard. It's strange that she doesn't seem to be the obvious choice for many (I'm open to other's opinions on this of course).
     
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  14. Tanya

    Tanya Professional

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    Venus is best on grass imo...
     
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  15. Lionheart392

    Lionheart392 Professional

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    Care to explain why?
     
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  16. mtr1

    mtr1 Professional

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    Men

    Grass: Federer
    Hard: Federer
    Clay: Borg
    Indoor: Henman:) (McEnroe really but I've got to fit Tiger Tim in somewhere)

    Women

    Grass: Navratilova
    Hard: Graf
    Clay: Evert
    Indoor: Navratilova
     
    #16
  17. flying24

    flying24 Banned

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    Yes since Graf and Navratilova in their primes would have lost to both Karolina Sprem and Jelena Jankovic at Wimbledon in a span of only 2 years. Also the inferior record of Venus at Wimbledon (barely more than half the Wimbledon titles as Navratilova) can easily be put down to tougher competition. Such as beating Marian Bartoli, a visibly injured Davenport, and a pre prime baby Henin on her worst surface in 3 of your 5 Wimbledon finals.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2009
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  18. Lionheart392

    Lionheart392 Professional

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    Venus is a great Wimbledon champion, not doubt at it, but IMO she hasn't done enough to be ranked up there with Graf and Navratilova like some commentators were suggesting this year. She's still a tier below them.
     
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  19. flying24

    flying24 Banned

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    The only commentators who would even suggest Venus warrants being up with Graf and Navratilova on grass are Americans. More specifically such illegitimate opinions as the pathetic Mary Carillo who is still riding her lucky mixed doubles title to a tortoreously bad career in sports broadcasting, and has been the biggest and often blindest Williams ass kisser the entire decade.
     
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  20. Lionheart392

    Lionheart392 Professional

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    It was actually a British commentator, can't remember which but quite an established one. However it was immediately after Venus demolished Safina 6-1 6-0 in the semis so maybe he just got a bit carried away. Her performance against Serena in the final was extremely uninspiring.
     
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  21. flying24

    flying24 Banned

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    Safinas lack of skill or competence on grass is blindingly obvious. Her being in the semis of Wimbledon just goes to show how incredibly shallow the current womens grass court field is, even more than Safina being ranked #1 is a reflection on the overall womens game. Even a completely washed up Mauresmo should have taken her out in the round of 16 but for a bad 3rd set choke by Mauresmo. Anyone of the top 20 grass courters of all time could beat Safina on grass 6-1, 6-0 too. Heck Sanchez Vicario or Sabatini in their primes probably could, Seles in 92 could have, and Dementieva or Azarenka at this years Wimbledon probably could have if they were drawn to play her. Nothing special about that.
     
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  22. President of Serve/Volley

    President of Serve/Volley Semi-Pro

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    What about carpet? The King of Carpet is Boris Becker.
     
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  23. President of Serve/Volley

    President of Serve/Volley Semi-Pro

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    Hardcourts: Roger Federer.
    Grass: Pete Sampras.
    Clay: Bjorn Borg or Rafael Nadal.
    Carpet: Boris Becker (No one comes close).
    Indoors: Sampras or Lendl (possibly surpassed by Federer).
     
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  24. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    cuddles 26,

    Regarding greatest player on various surfaces you have:

    Hard Courts: Federer
    Grass: Laver
    Clay: Nadal
    Indoors: Sampras

    I have:

    Hard C. Laver
    Grass Laver
    Clay Borg/Nadal/Rosewall (cannot decide)
    Indoors Gonzalez by far
     
    #24
  25. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    In 2009 I can agree, but since Nadal won 7 RG he should be ahead of Borg. Fed continue to win on grass and hc continue to make stronger claim on these two surfaces.
     
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  26. Nadal_Power

    Nadal_Power Semi-Pro

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    Well I'm not that sure about Carpet and Becker alone as greatest ever.. Lendl achieved more on that surface, and McEnroe was hell of a player on Carpet
     
    #26
  27. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    Men

    Grass: Sampras #2 Fed
    Hard: Federer #2 Lendl
    Clay: Nadal #2Borg
    Indoor: Lendl #2 (help me here)

    Women

    Grass: Navratilova #2 Graf
    Hard: Graf # 2 Serena
    Clay: Evert #2 Graf
    Indoor: Navratilova #2 Graf
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2012
    #27
  28. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    OPEN ERA ALONE:

    Clay: Borg,Nadal,Rosewall,Lendl and Wilander
    Indoor:Lendl,Becker,Laver/Rosewall,Mc Enroe,Sampras.Connors comes next
    Hard:Connors,Mac,Lendl,Agassi and Sampras or Federer.
    Grass:Laver,Borg,Newcombe,Sampras or Federer and Mac or Becker

    Would have been great to see top Hoad and top Gonzales on a fast indoor carpet or wood court.
     
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  29. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    kiki,

    You forgot the Rocket for hardcourt and Muscles for grass...
     
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  30. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    ....I didn´t want to show all the cards at once...

    PRE OPEN ERA

    Clay: Rosewall,Santana,Lacoste,Perry,Patty
    Indoors:Tilden,Vines,Budge,Kramer and Gonzo
    hard: can´t tell, I guess should ´ve been Hoad
    Grass:perry,Kramer,Hoad,Budge,Tilden or Cochet

    I would also mention Crawford,Borotra,Von Cramm,Emerson,Sedgman and Trabert.They were a notch below the above mentioned.
     
    #30
  31. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Yes Hoad versus Gonzalez on those surfaces would be matches for the ages.

    Borg was pretty incredible indoors by the way. He clearly belongs over a number of the players you mentioned.

    I believe Laver won a number of powerful hard court tournaments in the Open Era. I do think he belongs at least ahead of Agassi.
     
    #31
  32. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    kiki,

    Interesting lists.

    At Clay I would omit Perry and Patty (just a fine amateur player) and would include both Nüsslein and Segura.

    Nüsslein never played against Perry but I'm sure he would prevail on clay. Nine of his eleven pro majors were realized on clay.

    Segura beat Kramer at the US Pro 1950 on clay and still won claycourt tournaments at 41. At Zürich he even beat pro champ Rosewall!
     
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  33. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    true, Pancho and Lew at their peak may have been the finest match ever seen.

    Borg had big big wins indoors, specially in his unbelievable 79 and 80 Masters, where he beat world´s nº 2,3,4,5...day in, day out, which I don´t think can be easily equalled.However, didn´t play too many indoor events as compared to Lendl or Mac ( 7 indoor majors wins for Ivan and 8 for JMac)

    Laver won the biggest hard court event, the SA Open in his great 69.It is like winning the GS today + the Masters or + Miami ( when it was considered the 5 th slam).it is almost impossible to match.Specially with the enormous quality of Laver´s opposition in 1969.
     
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  34. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Here's my take:

    Grass: Sampras/Laver/Gonzales
    Hard: Federer/Laver
    Clay: Borg/Nadal/Rosewall
     
    #34
  35. Xavier G

    Xavier G Semi-Pro

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    Open Era-

    Men
    Grass: 1. Sampras or Federer
    Clay: 1. Nadal. Then Borg.
    Hard courts: 1. Federer
    Indoor carpet: 1. Federer. 2. Sampras.

    Women
    Grass: 1. Navratilova. Graf number 2.
    Clay: 1. Evert. Then Graf.
    Hard courts: 1. Graf or Seles.
    Indoor carpet: 1. Navratilova.

    I just picked the very best. Players like Lendl and McEnroe were very strong on hard courts and indoor carpet, Becker indoors too. Connors doesn't make the top two on any surface, yet is an all-time great who won on green clay too.
    I make Navratilova best on grass for her 9 Wimbledon titles. Evert tops on clay for her French wins plus her outstanding clay record generally.
     
    #35
  36. Nadal_Power

    Nadal_Power Semi-Pro

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    One problem.. Federer played 70 matches on Carpet, with 2 titles

    He done great things Indoor (not better than Lendl or McEnroe) but in last 10 years we saw lowest quality on Indoor tennis ever, and it will be even worse in the future
     
    #36
  37. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Xavier G,

    I can tell you a secret: There were top players also before Borg and even prior to Open Era. Have you ever heard of names like Gonzalez, Rosewall and Laver?
     
    #37
  38. Xavier G

    Xavier G Semi-Pro

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    BobbyOne,

    I talked about Open Era players because that's the era I feel more qualified to talk about.

    You seem a bit arrogant by the way. Mind that in future.
     
    #38
  39. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Actually I think Connors may very well be in the top two in several categories for the Open Era. According to the ATP website Connors won 39 indoor carpet tournaments. I know he won WCT and the Year End Masters also indoors. In total Connors won 52 indoor tournaments.

    Again according to the ATP website Connors won 44 hard court tournaments. I know he won three US Opens on hard court. He may be in the top one or two there also for the Open Era.

    We can't just look at majors alone. If we do that we eliminate most of the tournaments that the players participate in.
     
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  40. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Xavier G,

    I did not want to annoy you. I'm sorry.

    But maybe it's better to not posting about tennis history when you are not firm in it.
     
    #40
  41. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Xavier G,

    A friend of mine has meant that you are perhaps a reletive young man who has the capacity to learn yet about history and that I should not discourage you.

    He is right. I apologize.
     
    #41
  42. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    Now that is exactly the kind of former Player forum I don't want this place to become. We all come here with a variety of backgrounds and knowledge basis. This is a great place to learn where your knowledge has holes and fill them. But no one is going to stay very long if they have to act like apprentices and stay silent.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012
    #42
  43. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    I heartily agree. I saw nothing wrong with Xavier posting within the limits of the Open Era, since that is what he knows. There are posters who will, to the contrary, post about what they don't know, not acknowledging the limits of their knowledge. Nothing wrong with knowing your limits and posting within those limits.
     
    #43
  44. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    BTURNER,

    See the post above you.

    I think we can all help each other as always in the discussions about former players. BobbyOne is clearly very knowledgeable when it comes to tennis history and he seems like a nice person. I'm sure everything will be worked out.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012
    #44
  45. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    Rebound Ace/Plexi/Slower style hardcourt- Agassi IMO. But could be DJoker eventually. Fed is up there too.

    Grass-Sampras

    Fast Hardcourts- Federer

    Clay-Nadal

    Indoors (Hardcourt/Carpet etc).. Tough one... My money is on Sampras though
     
    #45
  46. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    Or taking a stab beyond your base of knowledge and acknowledging that you are doing just that. Just be willing to learn either way.

    pc1, of course BobbyO is well respected and brings a lot to this forum. I was speaking about a general notion of what can make this a great place to post at times and what can alternately make it unbearable for newbies. You gotta admit there are times when, if a newbie catches the wrong insufferable or sadistic 'expert', posting in here can be as fun as root canal. I am certainly not suggesting anything about BobbyO or categorizing him as such in any circumstance .
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012
    #46
  47. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Agreed, absolutely.
     
    #47
  48. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I understand.
     
    #48
  49. Xavier G

    Xavier G Semi-Pro

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    Listen BobbyOne, you don't have to apologize, I didn't take it to heart. You must learn not to be patronizing though! :)
    I'm not old enough to remember Gonzales, or Pro tennis. That's why I rated the Open Era only. That makes perfect sense.
     
    #49
  50. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Xavier G,

    I understand you well.

    But maybe we would not have discussed the matter at all if you had mentioned your youth and not to be too firm on old history when you posted your best players on the various surfaces.

    For instance I probably would mention in a women's thread that my knowledge about women's tennis is by far lower than about men's tennis.

    I believe we will have fruitful discussions in the future without patronizing and so on. At least I will try to be fair to you.
     
    #50

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