Greatest Tennis Player of All-Time (Men)

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by ATPballkid, May 14, 2007.

  1. GameSampras

    GameSampras Banned

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    Sampras played in a much more competitive era than Laver', and that Laver won his titles only on two different surfaces (clay & grass) while Sampras did it on three (Rebound-Ace, grass & hard). Big difference and a more difficult feat in playing in an era with the most polarized surfaces in history
     
  2. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Laver era vs Sampras era

    You make 2 points here. IMO I disagree

    1/ Sampras' era was more competitive. Laver had to put up with Gonzales (and I am not just saying the Open era, but also the Pro era earlier in the 60s), Rosewall, Newcombe, Emerson, Ashe, Okker, Stan Smith, Kodes etc. These were really tough guys. Not saying that the 90's weren't tough, but the 60's/early 70's were equally tough if not tougher.

    I'd make another point about comparing era's. A lot of us imagine, plonking guys from the 60's against guys now, where the guy from the 60's has to play with a modern racket on a modern court. But why that way around. Why not put current players back in 60's conditions ie fast grass courts, wooden rackets, old type shoes. See how the current players handle that!

    2/ Sampras won on 3 surfaces - Rebound Ace, Grass and Hard. Rebound Ace is just another kind of hard court. Laver only winning grass and clay? Please go to the Wikipedia article about him and you will find that he won a lot of important tournaments on hard court eg the Pacific Southwest in Los Angeles in 1968. From 1969 I quote the Wikipedia article on laver:

    "Laver proved his versatility by winning the Grand Slam tournaments on grass and clay, plus the two most important hard court titles (South African Open at Ellis Park, Johannesburg and the U.S. Professional Championships at Boston) and the leading indoor tournaments (Philadelphia U.S. Pro Indoor and Wembley British Indoor). "

    These guys were tough. Often times they didn't sit down between changeovers (take a look at the youtube video of the 1969 French Open final between Laver and Rosewall to confirm that).
     
  3. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Interesting. So this means you think Roddick's clay court titles (har tru), are the same as winning a Roland Garros title, since har tru, is just another type of red clay.

    Additionally, Connors US Open win on Har tru is the same as a Roland Garros Title.

    Very Interesting.
     
  4. cristiano

    cristiano New User

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    This answer is not acceptable.

    If somene thinks that Rebound ace is a different surface from other kinds of hard courts, it doesn't follow that Roddick's torunament or Connors' are the same than winning Garros.

    First, it would follow that Connors has won on different surfaces too (grass, hard, har tru) but NOT that he won on red clay

    Second, it would follow that Roddick has won on different surfaces, but not red clay, and not in Major Tournaments.

    So, I think you need to put some logic in your answers, or, maybe, need to try not to necessarily say something against Sampras ;)

    By the way, in my opinion we're too rigid in this kind of questions. Too schematic. We have different grass courts, clay courts, hard courts, and the similarities and differences aren't always tha same. So, to say that x player has won on y surface is not so important. It's important to say that 'Sampras didn't win Paris', 'Wilander didn't win Wimbledon' 'Agassi wasn't a dominant champions on grass and claycourts' "Roddick is not a good player on red clay", "Laver has won on every surface he played on" and so on.

    If we simplify with statistics, sometimes we only assist to a sterile debate between some fans and some anti-fans.

    c.
     
  5. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Uhmmm, yes it does.

    If someone thinks rebound ace is the same as deco turf, then by that logic, har-tru is the same as red clay.

    The rest of your post is gabage.
     
  6. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    The Wim grass of today is by all accounts not the same grass as the Wim of 1998, but its still grass. The Australian grass was different, more drye, but it was still grass. Har-tru was a clay like surface, it was different to the RG clay, as the Hamburg clay is different to the RG clay or the Rome clay. Even the Chatrier Court plays different than the Lenglen court at RG. But they all are clay courts. Rebound ace, Deco turf are all hard courts, if playing a bit different.
     
  7. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I think there is another way to view this issue. It is that all grass courts are in the same category, all hard courts are in the same category, and all clay courts are in the same category--but that within each category there are distinctions.

    So one must say that Har-tru is not a hard court (Drak would you say it is?), and Har-tru is not a grass court (Drak would you say it is?), it is somewhat similar to clay (granular, powdery, earth-based) though its color is different and its playing characteristics are different, therefore it falls within the clay category.

    One might ask if the Hamburg courts or the courts in Rome or the courts in Monte Carlo play the same as the courts at Roland Garros? In order to answer that completely we probably need a scientific system of measurement (particulate size, molecular composition, tests of machine-fired balls, etc.)

    Do the Wimbledon courts play the same as the Stella Artois/Queens Club in Kensington courts. (I've played on grass courts at Cambridge that were rather slow--a vast amount depends on mowing height, grass length, amount of watering, and then rolling afterwards.

    Did they use exactly the same composition of grass in the late 60s at Wimbledon, Forest Hills, and at Milton Courts in Brisbane? Was it rolled with exactly the same weight roller, was it mowed to exactly the same height, was it watererd the same amount, etc? (I have no answers here.)

    But I imagine that the differences here in grass courts would amount to similar differences between Deco-Turf versus Plexicushion Prestige verus Rebound Ace versus other types of hard courts. (Does asphalt play the same as concrete?)

    What about carpet and wood courts? (Weren't some of the old Pro circuit matches on slick polished wood floors?)
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2009
  8. Carlo Giovanni Colussi

    Carlo Giovanni Colussi Semi-Pro

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    Hello Virginia,
    you can find some Rosewall info in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Rosewall
     
  9. Virginia

    Virginia Hall of Fame

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    Thank you Carlo - there's also a very useful stats website, that covers many players - I expect you know it?
     
  10. Carlo Giovanni Colussi

    Carlo Giovanni Colussi Semi-Pro

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    Thank you Virginia.

    More Rosewall's stats made and compiled by AndrewTas in January 2009 : magnificent Andrew's work as usual :

    Career Summary

    Amateur Period Tournament Win-Loss
    1949 2-0 (projected win-loss 5-0)
    1950 16-9
    1951 28-10
    1952 38-16 (projected win-loss 40-16)
    1953 70-14
    1954 59-14
    1955 66-7
    1956 97-10 (projected win-loss 98-10)

    Amateur Period 376-80 (projected win-loss for period 382-80)

    Joe McCauley’s Amateur Win-Loss Record
    1950: 15:10 (includes 1-3 from state matches)
    1951: 28:10
    1952: 38:16
    1953: 81:17 (3 losses from international team play)
    1954: 63:14
    1955: 69:7
    1956: 90:9

    Professional Years Tournament Win-Loss
    1957 13-11 (with pro tours and other matches 85-87)
    1958 21-15 (with pro tours and other matches 63-29)
    1959 27-15 (with pro tours and other matches 62-32)
    1960 30-4 (with pro tours and other matches 62-30)
    1961 24-7 (with pro tours and other matches 29-7)
    1962 40-5 (with pro tours and other matches 52-7)
    1963 30-10 (with pro tours and other matches 89-26)
    1964 46-15 (with pro tours and other matches 69-30)
    1965 48-26 (with pro tours and other matches 50-30)
    1966 56-18 (with pro tours and other matches 60-20)
    1967 56-20 (with pro tours and other matches 59-24)

    Pro Period 391-146 (with pro tours and matches 680-322)

    Open Era Tournament Win-Loss
    1968 43-12 (NTL reported 46-13 which may include Gonzales One-night Stands)
    1969 54-23
    1970 71-21
    1971 76-19
    1972 63-15
    1973 67-17
    1974 31-9
    1975 49-12 (projected 50-12)
    1976 44-18
    1977 42-20
    1978 20-20
    1979 4-5
    1980 3-3
    1982 2-1 (projected 4-1)

    Open Era 569-195 (projected and with NTL 575-196)

    Summary
    Amateur Period 376-80 (projected win-loss for period 382-80)
    Pro Period 391-146 (with pro tours and matches 680-322)
    Open Era 569-195 (projected and with NTL 575-196)

    Total Career Tournament Win-Loss (not including pro tours)
    1336-421 (projected as 1348-420)

    Total Career Win-Loss (with pro tours and other pro results)
    1625-597 (projected as 1637-598 )


    Tournaments Played/ Won
    1949 2/ 0
    1950 9/ 0
    1951 11/ 1
    1952 16/ 0
    1953 17/ 4
    1954 16/ 3
    1955 12/ 5
    1956 21/ 11 (one final unknown)
    1957 7/ 1
    1958 13/ 2
    1959 13/ 3
    1960 10/ 6
    1961 8/ 3
    1962 15/ 9
    1963 13/ 5
    1964 26/ 10 (+1 shared)
    1965 26/ 6
    1966 24/ 9
    1967 23/ 7
    1968 17/ 5
    1969 24/ 3
    1970 25/ 6
    1971 27/ 8
    1972 22/ 7
    1973 22/ 5
    1974 9/ 0
    1975 16/ 5
    1976 21/ 4
    1977 22/ 2
    1978 18/ 0
    1979 5/ 0
    1980 3/ 0
    1982 1/ 0

    Singles won 130 (+ 1 shared) of 514 tournaments played
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2009
  11. vive le beau jeu !

    vive le beau jeu ! G.O.A.T.

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    at least, some people know how to catch the GOAT...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goat_polo
     
  12. Q&M son

    Q&M son Professional

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    Yes, of course
     
  13. Q&M son

    Q&M son Professional

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    Grass of Wimby was always different to grass from Aussie Open, same remark with clay of RG vs clay of USO..... it's not so "easy" like you think.

    So, before 1978 there's no GOAT available
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2009
  14. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    good point, but...

    well that's no fun.

    When in doubt, pull a great name out. Rocket Rod Laver, Lew Hoad, Pancho Gonzales or Don Budge.
     
  15. Topspinslice

    Topspinslice New User

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  16. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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  17. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

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    Ridiculous logic in the article. The author's entire argument swings on the premise that past greats valued different tournaments than today's players and/or were unable to play in certain tournaments, and as a result, looking at the major total is misleading. Fine. That's certainly legitimate. Except...

    The author completely minimizes the fact that tennis was nowhere near as competitive back in Laver's era than it is today (not by any stretch of the imagination). It was a country club game and it's much, much harder to rise to the top of the game today than it was back then.

    Also, the author foolishly insists on looking at statistics and tries to make it seem as though Sampras's and Federer have "poor" winning percentages. But by the guy's own logic, shouldn't he acknowledge that player's today play in more tournaments (is it Federer's fault that Borg quit) and that players (Sampras especially) just don't care about certain smaller events.

    If anything a Masters Series tournament win today should equal a "Slam" back then. Doesn't Federer have like 19 Masters Series Titles & Cups combined? That makes 33 slams.

    Just to remind you guys, Raymond Lee is the guy who wrote the ridiculous and poorly argued "statistical analysis" article that TW posters tore apart a couple years back.
    http://www.tennisweek.com/news/fullstory.sps?inewsid=503656
     
  18. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Chopin,

    At least you're consistent. But you occasionally have to give past players some credit. All he was saying was it's a bit early to call Federer the GOAT yet considering how many greats there have been in tennis and he didn't rule it out. He gave accurate numbers and put them in perspective so why is it ridiculous?

    He said Federer and Nadal are potential GOATs. Is that wrong?

    All he wrote was wait to the end of his career, then judge it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2009
  19. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

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    I'm fine with everything that you just wrote above. It makes sense. We should wait until Federer is done playing to "place" him in history. It's like the shirt that Federer wore after winning Wimbledon that read, "There is no finish line." I couldn't agree more.

    I simply found the author's method of analyzing tennis to be silly.

    And I know everyone on these boards thinks I hate the past greats but that simply isn't true. I watched a special on Laver on the tennis channel the other night and they interviewed him and I was struck by what a nice and humble champion he is. I have a lot of respect for him and what he (and others) did for the sport.
     
  20. SgtJohn

    SgtJohn Rookie

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  21. juan guzman

    juan guzman Rookie

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    Latest from ATP website.

    Records against top tenners win -loss

    Becker 121 65
    Sampras 124 71
    Borg 67 28
    Lendl 119 66
    Connors 84 82
    Agassi 109 90
    Mcenroe 85 64
    Edberg 97 114
    Wilander 54 54
    Rafter 35 49
    Kuerten 38 36

    Becker maybe is not one of the all time greats but at his peak is surely among the best.
     
  22. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

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    Borg's son won those titles 2010. Unfortunately he only has 9 majors, he still has a lot to accomplish to be even considered among the elites.
     
  23. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Ahhhh. All Borg's tennis-groupie philandering has paid off: he is the sire of Nadal.


    I guess that makes Nastase Fed's secret biological poppa. Sneaky devil that Nasty.
     
  24. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Lol..yes, Nadal.."son of Borg"..interesting concept. Federer used to remind me a bit of Borg, but now it's Nadal. Speaking of the Iceman, I read on the Wiki page for Borg that he's (1) the only player to have won Wimbledon without losing a set (Open Era I would think) and also (2) the only man to have won 3 majors without losing a set. Borg won the 1976 W title, his first without losing a set, but also won the French Open twice without the loss of a set in both 1976 and 1980. Has any other man won 3 majors without losing a set? Also, note that there are 101 career singles titles listed for Borg on the Wiki page between 1974-1981 (though the ATP site notes 64 "official" titles). His career match winning percentage is #1 all time at 82.7%.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Björn_Borg_career_statistics

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Björn_Borg
     
  25. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

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    Mac was still better his prime, IMO.
     
  26. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    You mean 1983-1984 or so? Head to head or overall? McEnroe was a tough matchup for Borg, but it created sizzling tennis. For example, I don't think McEnroe won a match during 1981 against EITHER Connors or Lendl in 1981, yet Borg was doing well against both Connors and Lendl (though Lendl did win a match against Borg in 1980 I believe, Borg beat him at the Masters and the FO final). Borg went 5-0 indoors on fast carpet for example in Jan. 80 & Jan. 81 Masters tourneys in NY against McEnroe, Connors, and Lendl.

    I don't know, it's tricky. You had McEnroe playing well definitely in those years, but he was also utilizing that Maxply200G to full effect. We never saw Borg wield the same firepower. McEnroe's win at the 1981 US Open was the last major won with a small faced wooden frame I believe. Anyway, let's look at Borg and McEnroe in their prime years. Borg wins on clay. He was also very tough on carpet (beat McEnroe at MSG Masters in Jan. 1981 indoors in NY). On grass courts, it would be quite close (much like the 80-81 matches). On hard courts, I'd give McEnroe the edge (though Borg could be very tough on hard courts too as evidenced by his straight set win in the 81 US Open SF). So, who's "better" if you look at it that way? Prime vs. prime you have what is to be expected when all time greats collide, they tend to split matches. Anyway, Borg gets the nod in my book against even prime McEnroe and he ranks higher as an all-time great in my book. Borg was, I submit, better against the field than McEnroe which is a big reason I would rate him over McEnroe (putting their 7-7 H2H on fast surfaces only aside). You may have the complete opposite opinions, which you are certainly entitled to.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2011
  27. ManFed

    ManFed Rookie

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    For me it's

    1.Federer and Borg.
    2. Sampras.
     
  28. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    7-7 head to head.Borg won 14 majors ( GS+WCT+Masters), Mc 17 , although in terms of GS titles, Borg won 11 to Mac´s 7.In doubles, it is completely another story...
     
  29. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    PRE OPEN TENNIS
    1-.Gonzales
    2-.Tilden
    3-.Budge
    4-.Perry
    5-.Kramer
    6-.Hoad
    7-.Lacoste
    8-.Cochet
    9-.Crawford
    10-.Trabert

    OPEN TENNIS
    1-.Laver
    2-.Federer/Sampras
    4-.Borg
    5-.Connors
    6-.Lendl/Rosewall
    8-.Mc Enroe/Agassi/Nadal
     
  30. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    PRE OPEN ERA (Following)
    11-.Emerson
    12-.Brookes
    13-.Borotra
    14-.Vines
    15-.Parker/Riggs
    17-.Doherty
    18-.Wilding
    19-.Von Cramm
    20-.Seixas/Santana

    OPEN ERA
    11-.Wilander/Newcombe/Becker/Edberg
    15-.Nastase
    16-.Vilas
    17-.Djokovic
    18-.Ashe
    19-.Rafter
    20-.Kodes/Courier/Smith
     
  31. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    PRE OPEN WOMEN´S
    1-.Wills/Court
    3-.Lenglen/Connolly
    5-.Bueno
    6-.Lambert Chambers
    7-.Gibson/Marble/Fry
    10-.Hard

    OPEN ERA

    1-.Navratilova
    2-.Graf
    3-.Evert
    4-.Williams S
    5-.King
    6-.Seles
    7-.Henin/Hingis/Venus
    10-.Sharapova
    11-.Goolagong/Mandlikova/Sanchez/Clijsters/Davenport
    16-.Austin/Capriati
    18-.Sabatini
    19-.Kuznetsova
    20-.Wade
     
  32. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    FINAL ACT. Here is my legacy

    TOP 20 DOUBLES TEAMS

    1-.Newcombe/Roche
    2-.Hewitt/Mc Millan
    3-.Fleming/Mc Enroe
    4-.Hoad/Rosewall
    5-.Brugnon/Cochet
    6-.The Woodies
    7-.Bromwich/Quist
    8-.Emmo/Stolle
    9-.Brookes/Wilding
    10-.Borotra/Lacoste
    11-.Sedgman/Mc Gregor
    12-.Gonzales/Schroeder
    13-.Lutz/Smith
    14-.Okker/Riessen
    15-.Bryant tweens
    16-.Mc Namara/Mc Namee
    17-.Edberg ( or Fitzgerald)/Jarryd
    18-.Mulloy/Talbert
    19-.Fraser/Cooper
    20-.Gottfried/Ramirez and Alexander/Dent
     
  33. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Kiki,

    I'm not going to question any of your rankings but I am curious why you put Laver in the Open Era instead of the Pre Open Era. Either one is fine but many might argue Laver's best years and where he won the majority of his tournaments were prior to 1968 which was the Pre Open Era.
     
  34. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    TOP 10 WOMEN´S DOUBLES (OPEN ERA)
    1-.Navratilova/Shriver
    2-.Casals/King
    3-.Ruano/Suarez
    4-.Jordan/Smith
    5-.Stove/Turnbull
    6-.Davenport/Raymond
    7-.Court/Melville
    8-.Graf/Sabatini
    9-.Hingis/Kournikova
    10-.Serena/Venus and Khode/Sukova
     
  35. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Yes, it is a tough decision, same for Rosewall.Since both can be included in the pre and open era, I think their role as the foundation of pro tennis made me put them in the open era - even tough they probably played their best tennis just before the open era-.

    Just think, if both ranked so high in the open era...and played their best tennis in the pre open era, it is not fool to consider them as the absolute GOAT
     
  36. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    question whatever you feel like.After all, this is what it is about no?

    But I´m pretty sure that your opinion will be very similar to mine ( maybe 4-5 different positions?):)
     

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