Greatest players ever per surface

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

  1. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    You cannot compare 1980´s indoors with current indoors since the courts have nothing in common.Same thing for grass.Maybe you can compare clay and hard but that is it.It is my humble opinion, of course...
     
    #51
  2. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    So in a sense you can only say Fed is the best indoor in his era and the X player is the best indoor in his era.
     
    #52
  3. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Yes, he proved that, and is by far the best indoor player of his era.

    But, again, it is not the same indoors and it is not the same grass...it is like two different sports, so Fed has dominated his sport and others the other one...
     
    #53
  4. KG1965

    KG1965 Hall of Fame

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    Men:

    Hard courts
    1) Connors
    2) Djokovic
    3) Federer

    Grass
    1) Laver
    2) Sampras
    3) Federer

    Clay
    1) Nadal
    2) Borg
    3) Rosewall

    Indoors
    1) McEnroe
    2) Lendl
    3) Connors
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2016
    #54
  5. timnz

    timnz Legend

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    Why Sampras ahead of Federer? Federer has reached 3 more finals at Wimbledon.

    Top 10 performances at Wimbledon - Sampras 7 wins, 1 4th round, 1 quarter final, 1 semi-final
    Top 10 performances at Wimbledon - Federer 7 wins, 3 runner-ups

    So unless one thinks that 1 4th round, 1 quarter final, 1 semi-final is better than 3 runner-ups - I just don't see how Sampras is ahead of Federer.

    I agree with rating Laver at the number 1 position - he won 13 majors on grass.

    5 Amateur Slams on Grass
    3 Pro Majors on Grass
    1 Wimbledon Pro on Grass
    4 Open era Slams on Grass
    Total 13
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2016
    #55
  6. timnz

    timnz Legend

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    My list:

    Men:
    Hard courts
    1) Federer
    2) Djokovic
    3 equal) Connors/Lendl

    Grass
    1) Laver
    2) Federer
    3) Sampras

    Clay
    1) Nadal
    2) Borg
    3) Rosewall

    Indoors
    1) McEnroe
    2 equal) Lendl/Sampras
    4) Gonzales (really hard to rate him. You could make a case that is the no. 1 indoor player with 13 indoor majors - 12 Pro Majors + 1 Tournament of Champions in Los Angeles)
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2016
    #56
  7. NonP

    NonP Professional

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    You really need to quit this frankly stupid fetish of yours with result-counting. Yes, of course a final is better than a 4th-rounder when isolated from everything else, but in reality that everything else matters a lot more than you and your simple-minded ilk think. If things were that easy then any half-awake moron could (and does, obviously) tally whatever numbers off Wikipedia and declare case closed, just like when Novak was being seen as a one-Slam wonder (I still remember this genius confidently taking me to task for doubting that Djoko wouldn't win at least a few more majors) sorely unworthy of challenging Fedal a mere years ago. Doesn't look so simple now, does it?
     
    #57
  8. timnz

    timnz Legend

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    I am a member of this forum. I can post what I like as long as I am polite in doing so. Not sure why you think this has anything to do with Wikipedia. It is just a fact that Federer has performed better than Sampras - and it is perverse to think that losing before the final is better than making the final. Look up the results. I am perfectly able to see the context. I am just objecting to the practice of counting Runner-up placings against a player vs never counting against a player for losing before the final.

    With regard to simply counting - there are two approaches one can use to establish greatness. The first is subjective (and no less valid) to deciding on based on a range of things, impressions, viewing of the player etc, the other is simply based on objective counts of achievements. I have a preference for the latter - but I don't deny others the ability to express their opinion on the former. I may ask them the reasons they hold such an opinion eg why do you have Sampras ahead of Federer when his results aren't as good on grass - but I am just wanting to hear their (very legitimate to express) reasons.

    Lets engage more - but without the insults, okay?
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2016
    #58
  9. NonP

    NonP Professional

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    OK, my apologies for the intemperate post, but my main point stands. Again what you say is true, that being the runner-up is better than losing in the 4th round, but that's assuming everything else has no bearing on this matter when it clearly does. You say you're perfectly able to see the context, so here's a little bit of additional context which you have yet to acknowledge:
    • Sampras won his 7 Wimbledons in 8 years, as opposed to Federer's span of 10 years. By your "objective" criteria which guy seems to have been more dominant?
    • Pete practically retired in '02 while Fed, barring an unforeseen catastrophic event, will have played on till at least '16. Since the two's pro careers are exactly a decade apart that means Fed has stuck around for at least 3-4 more years longer. Again based on the numbers alone who exactly do you think is likelier to have gone deeper at Wimbledon more often?
    • The number of seeds at the majors increased in '01 from 16 to 32. Again going by the numbers which seeding system do you think is more prone to upsets in the earlier rounds?
    That's just three things which your selective bean counting fails to take into account. And even the pure stats you cite aren't little more than hairsplitting to me. 3 more RUs might matter a great deal if we were comparing, say, a Rafter and a Roddick, but between two guys that have won a whopping 7 titles each? I don't know about you but I prefer to see the forest rather than the trees.
     
    #59
  10. mattosgrant

    mattosgrant Banned

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    I think there should be a category for wood, which was the prominent surface along with indoors/carpet for pros in the 50s and 60s. I also would change indoors to carpet and then I would roughly agree with your list (I would put Gonzales higher though, for sure above Lendl, possibly above Sampras and/or McEnroe), since technically indoors is not a surface. Meanwhile if it were a surface probably atleast 1 of Federer or Djokovic should make top 3 all time then.

    I know it is hard to find a spot for everyone but I would put Tilden top 3 on grass. Maybe tie him for 3rd with Federer (achievements aside I feel Sampras's overall level was slightly higher on grass than Federer). Laver could be 1st, but then again maybe not. It is a hard comparision with the others for a variety of reasons. Factoring in all major grass events (not just Wimbledon/Wembley Pro combined) he probably wasn't most dominant though.
     
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  11. timnz

    timnz Legend

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    It all depends on your view. Some people view winning titles in a row higher than the same number of wins spread over a greater number years. But some people value longevity more - it all depends on your point of view. (though you could hardly call Federer 'not dominant' when he won 5 Wimbledon's in a row - which Sampras never did).
     
    #61
  12. mattosgrant

    mattosgrant Banned

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    I agree Federer was dominant on grass, but Sampas was longer IMO. The only period Federer was dominant on grass was 2003-2007, Sampras was from 1993-2000. Federer is ahead in total achievements with the same # of Wimbledon titles and 3 more Wimbledon finals though.
     
    #62
  13. timnz

    timnz Legend

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    Federer was dominant on grass from 2003 to 2009 (if you are allowing Sampras a quarter final in 1996 you should allow Federer a closely fought runner-up in 2008 - don't you think?)
     
    #63
  14. mattosgrant

    mattosgrant Banned

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    Well I am counting Sampras as dominant for that period since he recovered from the one loss (and while technically a quarterfinal it was to the eventual winner and it is CLEAR he wasn't losing to anyone else there) to win another string of multiple titles in a row. A period with 3 straight titles, 1 loss, 4 straight titles, is a period of dominance for me. Had he not won in 1998 I would probably say his dominance was only 1993-1995 (despite his title in 97, and probably despite returning to winning back to back titles in 99-2000). Federer by contrast did not recover from his 2008 loss with consecutive titles at any point. After 2007 he lost, won, lost, lost, won, lost, lost. Add to that winning in 2009 with the defending champion, world #1, and guy who had beaten him in 3 slam finals in the last year WDing. Yeah I would say his dominance period ended in 2007.
     
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  15. NatF

    NatF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Not sure about this, Federer had 5 in a row and 7 finals (wining 6) in a row. Sampras won 7 in 8 years compared to 7/10. Both were dominant - though in Federer's favour is that he was undefeated on grass for that whole 5 year period with 65 straight matches. Sampras might not have taken Queens that seriously but I doubt he would have recorded that consistency anyway.

    Obviously Federer beats him with longevity. Sampras had a longer period of dominance, but Federer had arguably slighly more dominance during his patch.

    Peaks are hard to compare especially with the change in play styles etc...
     
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  16. KG1965

    KG1965 Hall of Fame

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    This time in my ranking I was not particularly focused but I understood ( unlike in other rankings ) no results / achivements of surface , but the top that the top players could reach with their game .

    IMHO in grass at the top Sampras > of top Federer .

    In fact I'm not sure that the top Nadal > top Borg on clay ....
     
    #66
  17. lud

    lud Semi-Pro

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    Slow HC:Novak Djokovic
    Fast HC:Roger Federer
    Hard courts overall:Novak Djokovic ( Fed humiliating record versus Nadal 2-8,hmm)

    Grass:Sampras

    Clay:Nadal

    Indoor: this is toughest for choice, but I'll say McEnroe (Becker,Federer,Sampras,Lendl even Stich were all great)
     
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  18. xFedal

    xFedal Hall of Fame

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    What about Novak for Indoor how could you not include him in your list of 6 players, unless you also agree that he is the best indoor player, by virtue of 4 Paris Titles and 5WTF titles.
     
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  19. I am the Greatest!

    I am the Greatest! Semi-Pro

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    Hardcourts: Federer. No one in his peak can touch him there. He's even beating Novak here in his (Novak) peak.
    Grass: Sampras. It's obvious.
    Clay: Nadal.
    Carpet: Becker.

    I didn't include Indoors as it's also a hardcourt.
     
    #69
  20. timnz

    timnz Legend

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    Indoor has a huge influence on the outcome.
     
    #70
  21. metsman

    metsman Legend

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    2003-2009 for Federer. You can't include 96 and 00 for Sampras but leave out 08 and 09 for Federer. Sampras had the longer peak at Wimby though...Fed fell off quite a bit after 06 and then after 09 while Sampras was only shaky in 00. But Fed has better longevity, who you prefer is a matter of taste. I really can't differentiate.
     
    #71
  22. I am the Greatest!

    I am the Greatest! Semi-Pro

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    Hmm.. It's a choice between Mac, Lendl, and Roger.
     
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  23. PMChambers

    PMChambers Professional

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    Indoor isn't a surface!

    V Fast - Carpet / Wood
    Fast to Med Slow - HC
    Slow - Clay

    Borg was probably best indoor as he was good across all 4 surfaces from slow to v.fast.
     
    #73
  24. mattosgrant

    mattosgrant Banned

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    My picks. Achievements:

    Women:

    Grass- Martina Navratilova
    Clay- Chris Evert
    Slow hard courts- Serena Williams
    Fast hard courts- Serena Williams
    Carpet- Martina Navratilova


    Men:

    Grass- Rod Laver or Bill Tilden
    Clay- Rafael Nadal
    Slow hard courts- Novak Djokovic
    Fast hard courts- Pete Sampras or Jimmy Connors
    Carpet- Pancho Gonzales
    Wood- Pancho Gonzales



    Level of play:

    Women:

    Grass- Venus Williams
    Clay- Chris Evert
    Slow hard courts- Monica Seles
    Fast hard courts- Serena Williams
    Carpet- Martina Navratilova

    Men:

    Grass- Pete Sampras
    Clay- Bjorn Borg
    Slow hard courts- Novak Djokovic
    Fast hard courts- Roger Federer
    Carpet- Rod Laver
    Wood- Pancho Gonzales
     
    #74
  25. I am the Greatest!

    I am the Greatest! Semi-Pro

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    What's with Venus being that great on grass? I watched her matches before and Steffi was incredibly better. :confused:
     
    #75
  26. timnz

    timnz Legend

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    Yes - but the indoor conditions impact the result as much as a surface change does. Look at Federer vs Nadal indoor vs outdoor
     
    #76
  27. mattosgrant

    mattosgrant Banned

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    I guess that is true to an extent, but most of their indoor matches are very late in the year where Nadal is physically done. At the 2006 YEC they had a very good match, Fed won in straights with the deciding break very late in both but very high quality. At say the 2007 YEC Nadal had a big injury at the U.S Open and just stuttered to the end of the year trying to survive. 2011 YEC IIRC he barely played after the U.S Open due to another injury.

    Remember in 2006 Nadal beat Federer in Dubai indoors which is MUCH faster than these late year meetings he generally did so poorly vs Fed.

    Federer also shouldn't have been losing to Nadal as much on outdoor hard as he does. Often they meet in slams where Nadal mentally is just stronger in the match up (apart from Wimbledon).
     
    #77
  28. pc1

    pc1 G.O.A.T.

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    I'm think of actual strength at peak, not necessarily accomplishments.
    Grass-Laver, Kramer, Gonzalez, Vines, Budge, Tilden, Sedgman, Hoad
    Clay-Tilden, Nusslein, Laver, Rosewall, Kramer, Lacoste, Riggs, Wilding, Cochet
    Hardcourt-Tilden, Laver, Gonzalez, Kramer, Vines, Hoad
    Indoor-Kramer, Laver, Gonzalez, Vines
     
    #78
  29. PMChambers

    PMChambers Professional

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    Indoor does not impact players as much as the surface they play on. Indoor favors higher risk players because it takes the wind out the game. It also takes sun out the game as well but that is a minor issue. Surfaces react differently to being indoor, clay is generally slower as it's less compacted and newer, also indoor venues have a higher humidity so clay remains dampened, hard court tends to be faster because most indoor stadium are multi purpose so the court is only temporary and they are built on hard concrete foundation or wood. The AO center court though technically not an indoor venue was faster in the rebound ace era as it's high rubber component tended to slow as it was heated.

    The issue with indoor is today they are just HC so sit in the Med-slow to Medium-fast zone. People from 80-00 will tend to think of indoor as carpet which is faster than grass and HC. Those from 60-70 may remember carpet and wood (Wembley).

    As for your reference to Federer and Nadal. Nadal is a bit of a special case as he hits so much topspin it counters weather and he does not flatter his shot or play net unlike Borg. However,
    Federer (2002-2015)
    USO (HC) - 5W, 2RU, 3SF (Outdoor)
    AO (HC) - 4W, 1RU, 7SF (Semi indoor)
    WTF (IHC) - 6W, 4RU, 3SF (Indoor)

    Nadal (2006-2015)
    USO (HC) - 2W, 1RU, 2SF (Missed 2) (Outdoor)
    AO (HC) - 1W, 2RU, 1SF (Missed 1) (Semi indoor)
    WTF (IHC) - 0W, 2RU, 3SF (Missed 3) (Indoor)

    Djokovic (2007 -2015)
    USO (HC) - 2W, 4RU, 3SF (Outdoor)
    AO (HC) - 6W, 0RU, 0SF (Semi indoor)
    WTF (IHC) - 5W, 0RU, 1SF (Indoor)

    If I consider Paris Indoor neither Federer & Nadal have won it and Nadal has come runner up? So Federers indoors masters are worse than his HC.

    I don't think looking at these similar surfaces you can say it has a huge effect Federers record is a bit better than his best HC in USO, Nadals is a bit worse than either but he was absent more and Djokovic is a about the same as his favorite HC but making more finals in the two Majors which is harder than the WTF as a result of RR.

    I'd say Wembley (Wood) is much different to 84 DC Gothemburg (Clay), and I'd also say a wood or carpet indoor is very different to current HC paris indoor.
     
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