Help me compare across eras!

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by jg153040, May 16, 2013.

  1. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    Messages:
    7,773
    mightyrick, Emerson trails in hth against Laver and Rosewall (10:19 against the latter).

    For 1964 I rank Rosewall, Laver, Gonzalez, Gimeno ahead of Emerson. Possibly also Buchholz, Hoad, Olmedo, Anderson and Sedgman were stronger then.
     
    #51
  2. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Messages:
    4,876
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    That list isn't year end number one. It is the number of years that a player has reached number one at any point in the year.

    Even if a player was only number one for five weeks, they still have to win enough tournament points to achieve that ranking. This ordinarily takes a player months to do. It actually is a very good metric across eras.

    The point system has changed a few times over the decades. But across eras, to achieve number one, you always have to win the aggregate of the most important tournaments.
     
    #52
  3. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    Messages:
    7,773
    Laver and old Rosewall (older than Emerson) dominated not only the pro events 1963 to 1967 (they won actually ALL of them) but also the first part of the open era (winning 8 out of the first 10 GS tournaments where they participated). Emerson did nothing then.
     
    #53
  4. jg153040

    jg153040 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    May 15, 2013
    Messages:
    11,869
    True that is why I use slams won + total weeks nr.1. So When a person A wins 2 majors and a person B wins 0 majors but is ranked nr.1 for 26 total weeks. I considered them the same in greatness. Because Slams and rankings is something players value the most.

    Only one problem. But I think I have a solution. Yes we have a problem with rankings. Because the same achievement doesn't give you the same ranking in different eras. But we compare players relative to them.

    But the same can be said about slams. You win slams with different scores.
    And yet we give the same rating 1 to all slams. I mean why can't we do the same with rankings.

    Let's say evolution of tennis. I mean Federer's level of play won't win him slams and nr.1 ranking in 30 years. But it was enough for his relative competition. Like todays record in running won't be enough for being nr.1 30 years from now.So achivements have value relative to your competition.

    The best is the one who distances himself more from the pack. Nadal as great as he is he wasn't able to. The best should find a way.

    Isn't this hypothetical goat? Who distanced himself the most from the pack?
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2013
    #54
  5. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Messages:
    4,876
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    This seems to be an overloaded metric to me. Double-counting. Especially in the modern era of ATP rankings where players defend points. If you win the big tournaments consistently, you will be number one and you will consistently be number one. Because you will have enough points (and a large enough point margin) to do so.
     
    #55
  6. NadalDramaQueen

    NadalDramaQueen Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,561
    Are you sure about this list? If all you are referring to is being ranked number one at any time during a given year, than you are pretty far off for Federer. I have eight years total for him (2004-2010, 2012).

    Fed's periods of being number one:

    Feb. 2, 2004 - Aug. 17, 2008
    July 6, 2009 - June 6, 2010
    July 9, 2012 - Nov. 4, 2012
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2013
    #56
  7. jg153040

    jg153040 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    May 15, 2013
    Messages:
    11,869
    True, but not always the case. Remeber Serena vs Wozniacki? Serena was holder of 3 slams at the time I think. But Wozniacki was still nr.1
    The best and nr.1 isn't necessary the same. There are 2 metrics. Slams won and rankings. It's like there are 2 seperate Atp races. One for who is the best at PEAK PLAY (slams) and one who is the best at CONSISTENCY (weeks nr.1).

    I mean this is how I see it. Federer said Wozniacki can't be the best with no slams won. That is why my system slams won + weeks nr.1 solves this problem.
     
    #57
  8. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    Messages:
    25,115
    Location:
    Cwmbran, Wales
    My best player of the year in bold. Players not in bold are the best in the other pro/am code (pre-open era).

    My Best players per year (pre-open era)
    1877: Spencer Gore (amateur)
    1878: Frank Hadow (amateur)
    1879: John Hartley (amateur)
    1880: John Hartley (amateur)
    1881: William Renshaw (amateur)
    1882: William Renshaw (amateur)
    1883: William Renshaw (amateur)
    1884: William Renshaw (amateur)
    1885: William Renshaw (amateur)
    1886: William Renshaw (amateur)
    1887: Herbert Lawford (amateur)
    1888: Ernest Renshaw (amateur)
    1889: William Renshaw (amateur)
    1890: Willoughby Hamilton (amateur)
    1891: Wilfred Baddeley (amateur)
    1892: Wilfred Baddeley (amateur)
    1893: Joshua Pim (amateur)
    1894: Joshua Pim (amateur)
    1895: Joshua Pim (amateur)
    1896: Harold Mahony (amateur)
    1897: Reggie Doherty (amateur)
    1898: Reggie Doherty (amateur)
    1899: Reggie Doherty (amateur)
    1900: Reggie Doherty (amateur)
    1901: Arthur Gore (amateur)
    1902: Laurie Doherty (amateur)
    1903: Laurie Doherty (amateur)
    1904: Laurie Doherty (amateur)
    1905: Laurie Doherty (amateur)
    1906: Laurie Doherty (amateur)
    1907: Norman Brookes (amateur)
    1908: William Larned (amateur)
    1909: William Larned (amateur)
    1910: Tony Wilding (amateur)
    1911: Tony Wilding (amateur)
    1912: Tony Wilding (amateur)
    1913: Tony Wilding (amateur)
    1914: Tony Wilding (amateur)
    1915: Bill Johnston (amateur)
    1916: Richard Norris Williams (amateur)
    1917: Lindley Murray (amateur)
    1918: Lindley Murray (amateur)
    1919: Bill Johnston (amateur)
    1920: Bill Tilden (amateur), Romeo Acquarone (professional)
    1921: Bill Tilden (amateur), John CS Rendall (professional)
    1922: Bill Tilden (amateur), John CS Rendall (professional)
    1923: Bill Tilden (amateur), John CS Rendall (professional)
    1924: Bill Tilden (amateur), Albert Burke (professional)
    1925: Bill Tilden (amateur), Karel Kozeluh (professional)
    1926: Rene Lacoste (amateur), Karel Kozeluh (professional)
    1927: Rene Lacoste (amateur), Vinny Richards (professional)
    1928: Henri Cochet (amateur), Vinny Richards (professional)
    1929: Henri Cochet (amateur), Karel Kozeluh (professional)
    1930: Henri Cochet (amateur), Karel Kozeluh (professional)
    1931: Bill Tilden (professional), Ellsworth Vines (amateur)
    1932: Ellsworth Vines (amateur), Bill Tilden (professional)
    1933: Jack Crawford (amateur), Bill Tilden (professional)
    1934: Ellsworth Vines (professional), Fred Perry (amateur)
    1935: Ellsworth Vines (professional), Fred Perry (amateur)
    1936: Ellsworth Vines (professional), Fred Perry (amateur)
    1937: Ellsworth Vines (professional), Don Budge (amateur)
    1938: Ellsworth Vines (professional), Don Budge (amateur)
    1939: Don Budge (professional), Bobby Riggs (amateur)
    1940: Don Budge (professional), Don McNeill (amateur)
    1941: Fred Perry (professional), Bobby Riggs (amateur)
    1942: Don Budge (professional), Ted Schroeder (amateur)
    1943: Joseph Hunt (amateur), ??? (professional)
    1944: Bobby Riggs (professional), Frank Parker (amateur)
    1945: Bobby Riggs (professional), Frank Parker (amateur)
    1946: Bobby Riggs (professional), Jack Kramer (amateur)
    1947: Bobby Riggs (professional), Jack Kramer (amateur)
    1948: Jack Kramer (professional), John Bromwich (amateur)
    1949: Jack Kramer (professional), Pancho Gonzales (amateur)
    1950: Jack Kramer (professional), Budge Patty (amateur)
    1951: Jack Kramer (professional), Frank Sedgman (amateur)
    1952: Pancho Segura (professional), Frank Sedgman (amateur)
    1953: Jack Kramer (professional), Tony Trabert (amateur)
    1954: Pancho Gonzales (professional), Jaroslav Drobny (amateur)
    1955: Pancho Gonzales (professional), Tony Trabert (amateur)
    1956: Pancho Gonzales (professional), Lew Hoad (amateur)
    1957: Pancho Gonzales (professional), Lew Hoad (amateur)
    1958: Pancho Gonzales (professional), Ashley Cooper (amateur)
    1959: Pancho Gonzales (professional), Alex Olmedo (amateur)
    1960: Pancho Gonzales (professional), Neale Fraser (amateur)
    1961: Pancho Gonzales (professional), Roy Emerson (amateur)
    1962: Ken Rosewall (professional), Rod Laver (amateur)
    1963: Ken Rosewall (professional), Roy Emerson (amateur)
    1964: Rod Laver (professional), Roy Emerson (amateur)
    1965: Rod Laver (professional), Roy Emerson (amateur)
    1966: Rod Laver (professional), Fred Stolle (amateur)
    1967: Rod Laver (professional), John Newcombe (amateur)

    My best players per year (open era)
    1968: Rod Laver (professional)
    1969: Rod Laver (professional)
    1970: Rod Laver (professional)
    1971: John Newcombe (professional)
    1972: Stan Smith (amateur/professional) - turned professional in July 1972
    1973: Ilie Nastase (professional)
    1974: Jimmy Connors (professional)
    1975: Arthur Ashe (professional)
    1976: Jimmy Connors (professional)
    1977: Guillermo Vilas (professional)
    1978: Bjorn Borg (professional)
    1979: Bjorn Borg (professional)
    1980: Bjorn Borg (professional)
    1981: John McEnroe (professional)
    1982: Jimmy Connors (professional)
    1983: John McEnroe (professional)
    1984: John McEnroe (professional)
    1985: Ivan Lendl (professional)
    1986: Ivan Lendl (professional)
    1987: Ivan Lendl (professional)
    1988: Mats Wilander (professional)
    1989: Boris Becker (professional)
    1990: Stefan Edberg (professional)
    1991: Stefan Edberg (professional)
    1992: Jim Courier (professional)
    1993: Pete Sampras (professional)
    1994: Pete Sampras (professional)
    1995: Pete Sampras (professional)
    1996: Pete Sampras (professional)
    1997: Pete Sampras (professional)
    1998: Pete Sampras (professional)
    1999: Andre Agassi (professional)
    2000: Gustavo Kuerten (professional)
    2001: Lleyton Hewitt (professional)
    2002: Lleyton Hewitt (professional)
    2003: Andy Roddick (professional)
    2004: Roger Federer (professional)
    2005: Roger Federer (professional)
    2006: Roger Federer (professional)
    2007: Roger Federer (professional)
    2008: Rafael Nadal (professional)
    2009: Roger Federer (professional)
    2010: Rafael Nadal (professional)
    2011: Novak Djokovic (professional)
    2012: Novak Djokovic (professional)
     
    #58
  9. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    Messages:
    7,773
    Mustard, I think that Roman Najuch was stronger than Acquarone and Rendall.

    For 1961 I would prefer Rosewall instead of Gonzalez (although they were equal). For 1970 I would again take Rosewall.
     
    #59
  10. jg153040

    jg153040 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    May 15, 2013
    Messages:
    11,869
    Thanks a lot Mustard. Now I somehow need to translate this list to total weeks nr.1. Because year end only can be misleading for obvious reasons.
     
    #60
  11. mattennis

    mattennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    Messages:
    2,266
    Well, as I said, it doesn't matter when you compare Federer to Nadal, or Nadal to Djokovic, because all them benefited greatly of the homogeneization of conditions, of the unique baseline game, of the 32 seeds at GS tournaments, etc

    But of course it is unfair to top players from other eras where they hadn't 32 seeds at GS tournaments, they hadn't the luxury of being able to play the same style all year long and still win because anyone else also plays this style all year long and courts allow it, etc

    It is not only me. Many players (Berdych, Tipsarevic, Federer....) have said conditions today (meaning mainly speed) are more or less the same everywhere (except for the differences in movement on grass, clay and hard).

    Federer has said more than once that it was totally different in the 90s, and the fact that today all the courts+balls are similar and slower plus 32 seeds and the end of surface specialists, makes it way easier for current top players to always make the finals rounds of all GS tournaments, that in the 90s a red-hot hard hitter in a godly day (and there were many of those) could defeat anyone on a fast court, but today that is almost impossible given the conditions.

    So at least Federer is honest and brave enough to acknowledge all this even if it means he (and other top players from current era) wouldn't probably have those achievements/streaks in previous eras conditions.

    That is one of the things I love about Roger. He is honest.

    For example, I am sure Sampras would have never acknowledged these obvious things had he been in Federer's place.

    Also, I think Nadal will never admit this. Nadal will never say he has benefited A LOT from the changes in the game in the last 10 years and that probably he would have had a different career (still successful, sure, but not like currently) had he been born in the 90s or the 80s.
     
    #61
  12. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    Messages:
    25,115
    Location:
    Cwmbran, Wales
    It's more to do with the equipment and strings than the surfaces. I remember more than 10 years ago that Agassi was saying that these modern strings will change the whole dynamic of tennis.
     
    #62
  13. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Messages:
    4,876
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Yeah, I got this from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_number_1_male_tennis_player_rankings

    I actually think they might just be counting the #1 player in a given calendar year. So this is actually the "best player of the year" listing (which Mustard posted). Which now makes complete sense to me.

    So in 2008, it would not be Federer, it would be Nadal.

    Yeah, when I look at that list, it pretty much is creating that same awesome Top-10 list of players.
     
    #63
  14. jg153040

    jg153040 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    May 15, 2013
    Messages:
    11,869
    Ok, if we assume that's true it is very hard to prove. Let's say it's true. Then Lavers CYGS is also inflated. But I don't think all ppl will agree with this. Are there any other possible reasons for such variety of styles and specialists?
    Maybe strings, or motivational factors. Maybe it was just popular being a specialist. I don't know, I'm just looking for proof.

    I mean great example is alpine skiing. 4 very different disciplines. But last year a girl from my country Tina Maze achieved a record male and female of having most points in a season.

    The only difference from tennis is that all 4 disciplines haven't changed in years. Just saying.
     
    #64
  15. jg153040

    jg153040 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    May 15, 2013
    Messages:
    11,869
    The problem is only top 4 are consistent across surfaces. It might just be coincidence. Great proof would be to compare all top 100 players from both eras except for maybe top 5 or top 10. To see if lower ranked players of today are really more consistent than in the 90s.

    But good luck with that I don't have the will hehe.
     
    #65
  16. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Messages:
    4,876
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Now seeing it for the first time, I'm actually rather drawn to this approach for greatness just using the "best player of the year" for the most years.

    It removes all of these nuances around the weight of the Grand Slam, weak vs. strong era, three majors in a year, most majors won, consecutive weeks at #1, Pro/Open-Era, single or double prime, H2H... et cetera.

    It makes an interesting simple statement. The best players of all time are the players who were the "best of year" for the most numbers of years in their era.

    And then let the individual tennis records stand on their own.
     
    #66
  17. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Messages:
    4,876
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I've said for a long time that I thought Laver was the best ever... but I could definitely easily change my mind to Gonzales now.
     
    #67
  18. mattennis

    mattennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    Messages:
    2,266
    Strings are a factor too, yes, but so what? The end result is that currently top players don't need to change dramatically their style to be competitive everywhere and they always play against players that play that same style of game.

    In the moment variety is gone, you will have that the best player "at that unique thing" will achieve more than the best player of an era with huge variety in conditions and playing styles ("decathlon vs Ussain Bolt" reasoning).

    Imagine that the powers that be would have changed AusOpen and US OPEN to red europen clay in 2005. It is not hard to understand that Nadal would have had now more than 11 GS titles (he would have possibly 20+ GS right now). Why? because 3 out of 4 GS would be very very similar (red clay) and Nadal is the best one "at that thing".

    The same thing if 3 out of 4 GS had been on grass in the 90s or 00s (Sampras and Federer would have had 20+ GS).

    The statistics/achivements (nº of GS titles, nº of GS finals, nº of GS SF, SF streaks, QF streaks, Finals streaks....) of a top player depend HEAVILY on conditions of his era (variety vs homogeneity).

    You don't believe it? From next year on, let us have only 8 seeds and, 1 GS on old grass with faster balls and with wood racquets, 1 GS on slow red clay with current racquets, 1 GS on indoor fast and low-bouncing carpet with 80s racquets and strings, and 1 GS on green clay with wood racquets. Then you will see how dractically achievements from the very best players drop and you will see more different players winning at least 1 GS tournament and many different players (10-12) getting to GS SF each year (instead of 4 or 5 like now).
     
    #68
  19. mattennis

    mattennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    Messages:
    2,266
    This is how it is in other sports (Formula One, Rallying, Motorcycling...). The one with more "Championships" (more year-champion) is seen as the greatest.

    But again, for me, it is unfair to compare players from different eras. It is good to know those achievements, that Tilden was considered the best of the world for 7-10 years, that Gonzales was considered the best of the world for about 7 years,....but I am not going to think that those two were "greater/better" than Federer just because Federer was the best of the year "only" five times. They all are great and I refuse to rank them (great players from different eras) in any form.
     
    #69
  20. jg153040

    jg153040 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    May 15, 2013
    Messages:
    11,869
    Also a good idea to use total years nr.1. I rather use total weeks. because you can be nr.1 only the last week of the year but it is counted like the entire year.

    Some people are focused on slams won, some people more on nr.1 ranking. I'm trying to use the middle ground. Like using 2 ATP races. One of weeks nr.1 and one for slams won. To be more fair and not too simplistic. Because I've always felt that people are using rankings and slams like two seperate metrics.

    But at the end the best is the player who has the most points combined.
    The system counts 13 total weeks as 1 point and 1 point for slam won.

    So there are 4 points in each "race". Combined 8. The best is with most points.

    The only question on the greatness scale if being nr.1 for 13 weeks is has the same value as winning a slam. I think it has, that is why I try to use this system.
     
    #70
  21. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Messages:
    4,876
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Fair enough, I agree. We don't have to rank them. Personally, I can live with that. I think I'm more interested in the correct players in all eras getting their due and proper respect... and being put in the proper "bucket" or "tier".

    Federer deserves respect. But so does Laver. So does Gonzales. So does Sampras. Tilden and Budge absolutely. Borg? Yeah probably... but definitely under these guys.

    Nadal? He isn't there. We can respect him for his unbelievable mastery of slow surfaces... but in his own era... he wasn't the best of the game in enough years. Maybe he will get a few more, I don't know.

    I'm sure we can always continue to argue about how to rank within that top tier... but that is probably a fairly pointless exercise. As you pointed out... how do you compare accomplishments across era given the unbelievable amount of changes in schedules, ranking systems, rules, technology, venues, and surfaces. It can't be done objectively.

    Good stuff.
     
    #71
  22. jg153040

    jg153040 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    May 15, 2013
    Messages:
    11,869
    Yeah I really like the idea of tier. Maybe only the best player of an era makes it there.
     
    #72
  23. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    Messages:
    25,115
    Location:
    Cwmbran, Wales
    I've heard some people say that Nadal doesn't have to change his game when he goes onto grass. I'm left scratching my head at such a statement, how they've somehow missed that Nadal focuses more on his serve, stands on the baseline instead of way behind it, puts more emphasis on volleys etc.

    The people who say that there's no variety seem to be struggling to accept that serve and volley is now extremely rare on tour, but the reality is that there are still differences in styles and tactics in regards to the baseline play.
     
    #73
  24. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    Messages:
    7,773
    mightyrick, Borg should be ranked ahead of Budge.
     
    #74
  25. World Beater

    World Beater Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    Messages:
    2,751
    The biggest difference is in the movement, court positioning and strike zone.

    Two things that many great players could not adjust/adapt over their careers.

    Sampras tried very hard to improve his movement on clay, but he couldnt really make the adjustment.

    Kuerten had long loopy swings but just could not take the ball early enough with regularity to be effective on grass during his good years. He stood way back for the returns.

    People just have this notion that there is one style to play on grass and that it is diametrically opposite from how one should play on clay. This is wrong....
     
    #75
  26. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Messages:
    5,544
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Number 1 based on what rankings? The ATP rankings? You should know that the criteria for these rankings changed significantly.

    In fact, rankings were extremely controversial and left out many events until at least 1990.
     
    #76
  27. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Messages:
    5,544
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Simplicity is a virtue, in my opinion. If you have a system it should be simple and useful. But its limitation should be stated such that they are apparent.

    But, this does not mean that what is simple is necessarily useful. But if it is both simple and useful (elegant), it is invaluable.

    I'm afraid to say that tennis has undergone too many changes in time in order to have a workable, simple system. This said, if you are going to have a system it needs to be simple and accessible enough while also making sense.

    Otherwise, forget systems.
     
    #77
  28. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Messages:
    5,544
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #78
  29. World Beater

    World Beater Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    Messages:
    2,751
    Tennis is a zero sum game for all the competitors.

    If the surfaces play more similarly, there are more potential competitors at every slam. The contending pool increases, which makes it tougher to win slams when you dont have specialists who thrive on extreme conditions.

    On grass in the 90s, the contenders were VERY different to the contenders on clay.

    Today, everyone is a factor everywhere. Players like berdych, tsonga, del potro find it close to impossible to break through the first tier of players - fed, nadal, djok, murr because they are factors at every slam and the second tier of players has to beat them in succession.

    If you are in the third tier, forget about it... no more malivai washingtons, piolines, voltchkovs that took advantage of smaller pool of competitors on grass in the 90s.

    You are going to have beat del potro/tsonga/ferrer/soderling and then the first tier from the qf onwards.

    off the top of my head...

    Nadal has been beaten by gonzales, tsonga, del potro, soderling, ferrer, youzhny. He also survived scares from petschner, haase, youzhny, kendrick on grass. Those matches could have gone either way...

    Djokovic was beaten by kohlscheriber, tsonga, berdych. roddick..survived tipsarevic, seppi, wawrinka..

    Give me an example of a player in the 90s who had a red-hot day and took out a player of comparable calibre to the top 4 today (i.e. a flash in the pan player?)

    Sampras was beaten by krajicek, but he is of the calibre of tsonga, del potro etc. Im sure good players have beaten by other good players. But not many shocking upsets of someone of the calibre of djokvoic, nadal, federer..

    Of course in the 90s, the only player i consider of that calibre is Pete Sampras.

    Also, keep in mind that because the competition is intense throughout the calendar year - nadal, djok, fed, murray are all contesting finals in every other tournament on a regular basis - they are all burned by the end of the year. Their careers are likely to be much more physically challending than their predecessors, which makes longevity much more difficult.

    i wouldnt call it a "luxury".
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2013
    #79
  30. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    Messages:
    4,380
    Yes, one should respect the history players, research their full results (which is a difficult task for itself) and try to put them into context. To compare them, is fun and nice, but don't await a fully comprehensive result. We see history with the glasses of today, and we measure the players under the modern schedule and scoring system. On the old pro tour for instance, no players was aware to play a major, when competing at Wembley or US pro. They knew, that it was for them an important title, but there was in now way a fix schedule with a pretold points system as it is today.
    What to you do with pioneers as the Dohertys or Wilding? They were certainly more dominant in pure results than any other in history, but how to measure them? You have no footage, and you have only contemporary prose- good lively prose for that matter, but how to measure the standard of play? Take Lottie Dod, maybe the most versatile of all womens champions. She was an Olympic winner in bow arching, the best climber of her day ,and a multiple Wim champion. Can you imagine a Serena or Sharapova as Olympic champ in a different disciplin? Maybe Serena in bicycle racing.
    I always think, that, what ultimately tells, is memory. Its more than pure results. Its about simple and easy to behold records like the Grand Slam or about lasting impressions, relying on playing style, personality and innovations, about the impact a player had on the history of the game. Tilden built the memory factor to mythical proportions, because he played and wrote on tennis, because of his complex 'Gatsby' personality. For his peers, Gonzalez will remain the dark and angry, Moctezuma like revenger. For all contemporaries, Borg is and will remain the cool nordic hero, the teen angel, with his Fila clothes, the headband and his golden long hair.
     
    #80
  31. jg153040

    jg153040 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    May 15, 2013
    Messages:
    11,869
    Great points. Yeah homogenization matters. But is it enough of a difference to inflate some players numbers in different eras. That is the question. And we are just assuming todays players are more consistent because of a few top players. Is there any data that supports all top 100 are more consistent today. Has anyone done any research on this?

    I have also a theory. Maybe there are psychological and motivational factors.
    That it was popular being a specialist. Beliefs are contagious. Maybe because of the placebo effect players believed that it was impossible to be consistent across surfaces. And therefore didn't even try. I mean today for some reason Americans aren't good on clay. Maybe sometimes reasons are motivational.
     
    #81
  32. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,771
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    So, do I understand you correctly that a Grand Slam would add up to six points: 2+1+1+1+1=6.?
     
    #82
  33. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Messages:
    4,876
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I'm not sure what all people think, but I haven't seen that a ton of people who believe that grass is diametrically opposite to (slow) clay.

    However, it is substantially different.

    When we talk about in the era of the professional league and the start of the Open Era, grass was very different. It was even very different in each grass venue. Forest Hills playing far different than Wimbledon.

    As you pointed out, on clay you don't need a quick prep backhand. But on a fast surface, you do. On clay, the serve is not as much of a factor, but on grass it certainly is (was). Off the ground, I don't think play is that different these days... but that's mainly because nobody comes to net anymore. People can just run left/right and bash from the baseline. On grass, early preparation becomes much more of a factor... whereas on clay... early prep is less of a factor... but fitness is more of a factor.

    So while the two surfaces are diametrically opposed, they are substantially different. This is evidenced by the different kinds of players who frequently win Wimbledon (or other medium/fast majors)... versus the French Open and clay titles.
     
    #83
  34. jg153040

    jg153040 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    May 15, 2013
    Messages:
    11,869
    Yes. Exactly.
     
    #84
  35. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    2,011
    I think that you mean that Cooper, Anderson, Olmedo and others did not have great success on the pro tour, not that they didn't improve much.

    Cooper claimed that the big difference between amateur and pro play was that in the pros, you had to be psychologically prepared to play a tough match every day, unlike the amateur tournaments (or the open tournaments today) where the early rounds were easier.

    Emerson and Santana made more money in the mid-1960's than Laver and Rosewall were making as pros.
    As Rosewall stated, "things were getting out of hand".
    That is why they could not turn pro.

    Emerson spent his greatest years as an amateur, so it is difficult to rate him against Laver or Rosewall at that time. Emerson seems to have had some great wins against Laver before Laver left the amateur circuit, such as the U.S. final in 1961, although Laver claimed that Emmo had the advantage of playing Osuna in the semi's to lift his game, while Laver had no real challenge before the final.
     
    #85
  36. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    Messages:
    7,773
    Dan, no, I believe that Cooper and Olmedo did not significantly improve after turning pro. At Anderson I'm not quite sure.

    Cooper, Olmedo and Emerson were not talented enough to improve their games, unlike the great players from Gonzalez to Laver. The Rocket improved already in 1962, then even more in 1963 and 1964...
     
    #86
  37. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    2,011
    Kramer set up a points system and a bonus money pool for 1958 and 1959, and used this system in modified form to start the Grand Prix in 1970.
    This evolved into the ATP rankings.
    However, this may not be the best indicator of greatness.
    Some tournaments, especially Wimbledon, carry exceptional prestige, and the best players try to peak for them.
    The "peak event" criterion may be the best way to evaluate the number one for any given year. Identifying the peak event is somewhat subjective, but in the years before open play, it should be the event which determines relative merit between the top two or more players.

    For example, assuming that pro play was superior to amateur following 1947, when Kramer matriculated:

    1948 Kramer (U.S. Pro)
    1949 Kramer (Wembley, June)
    1950 Gonzales (Philadelphia, March)
    1951 Kramer (Philadelphia, February)
    1952 Gonzales (Wembley)
    1953 Sedgman (Wembley)
    1954 Gonzales (MSG, Jan.)
    1955 Gonzales (Slazenger, July)
    1956 Gonzales (Wembley)
    1957 Gonzales (Forest Hills)
    1958 Hoad (Kooyong)
    1959 Hoad (Forest Hills)
    1960 Hoad (Kooyong)
    1961 Rosewall (Wembley)
    1962 Rosewall (Wembley)
    1963 Rosewall (Forest Hills)
    1964 Laver (Wembley)
    1965 Rosewall (Longwood)
    1966 Laver (Longwood)
    1967 Laver (Wimbledon)
    1968 Laver (Wimbledon)
    1969 Laver (Wimbledon)
    1970 Newcombe (Wimbledon)
    1971 Newcombe (Wimbledon)
    1972 Smith (Wimbledon)
    1973 Newcombe (Forest Hills)

    From 1974 on, the fields at Wimbledon could be seen as representative of all the best players, and the Wimbledon event as the unofficial world championship.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2013
    #87
  38. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    2,011
    I think that if you examine the records of Cooper and Anderson in 1959, they did improve over the course of the year.
    In January for example, Anderson lost to McGregor in all 3 of their head to head matches, but Anderson won Wembley in September.
    Cooper was able to win the Slazenger against Hoad and Trabert in August, and won a European tour against Gimeno and Anderson in 1960.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2013
    #88
  39. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    Messages:
    7,773
    Dan, you are correct about Cooper and Anderson: they improved but not that much. Olmedo stagnated.
     
    #89
  40. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    Olmedo is underrated, he was superior to Segura.The best southamerican player until Vilas.
     
    #90
  41. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    Borg under whom?

    The fact that he was the symbol of the peak era of tennis deserves to me so much respect...
     
    #91
  42. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    Bucholz was a serviceable journeymen, used to fill the pro draws...you know, it is hard to make a draw with just 7 players...maths won´t work well...
     
    #92
  43. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    Messages:
    7,773
    kiki, You are overrated as an expert. Olmedo was miles behind Segura! Segura was at least No.2 in some years whilst Olmedo was sixth at the most in one year...
     
    #93
  44. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    Messages:
    7,773
    kiki, you get old...

    Buchholz was a first class player. He was No.4 in 1963 and No. 5 in 1964, 1965 and 1966, thus ahead of pros like Sedgman, Olmedo, Anderson, and Hoad.

    He won the US Pro, beat Laver at Wembley clearly and defeated Rosewall at leat 12 times. In 1968 he was the ONLY pro not to lose to an amateur. In 1969 he beat Newcombe in a five-setter. A journeyman? Only in your mind...

    Learn mathematics!
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2013
    #94
  45. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    2,011
    He beat Laver at Wembley only in 1963, Laver a rookie.
    Then Bucholz lost in five sets to a Hoad who had a badly pulled hip muscle, and one-legged it through a stupefied Bucholz.
    Come on, you have to beat a one-legged player!
     
    #95
  46. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    Bobbyone´s biasses downgrade his acquired knwledge as an expert.

    Bucholz never did anything decent at a major, not even pro...and he underrates Olmedo, who defeated Laver at the Wimbledon final...and also won the 1959 Forest Hills tournament...besides being the stalwart of the US Davis Cup team.

    What Bucholz brought in was a nice face, so he was signed as a part of the " Handsome eight campaign"...or maybe it was because, as I mentioned, tennis maths won´t work with a draw of seven?
     
    #96
  47. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    Messages:
    7,773
    kiki, I did not want to insult you. But you had a blackout regarding Buchholz and Olmedo.

    I gave you a few feats of Butch. Don't ignore them!
     
    #97
  48. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    I know you did not pretend insutling me.

    I just believe that the combined am-pro career of Olmedo is far greater than that of Butcholz.I don´t doubt that Buch was a good player, but he never outstood, be it with the Mc Call troop or with the Lamar Hunt group.And those are facts.
     
    #98
  49. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    Messages:
    7,773
    Dan, Laver was hardly a rookie at the end of 1963. He was clearly the No.2 player in the world with wins several against Rosewall.
     
    #99
  50. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    Messages:
    7,773
    My old friend, kiki: It's a pity that a man of your great knowledge underrates a very strong player, Buchholz.

    Additionally to the facts I have already given you, here a few more. Hope they will impress you.

    Buchholz gave winner Fraser a tough battle in the 1960 Wimbledon QF. He also almost beat Laver in the 1960 US SF.

    In 1969 Buchholz reached the QFs of the US Open and lost to Roche.

    Buchholz reached the SFs of the big pro tournaments several times.

    In the 1963 6 man tour he finished third, a shadow behind Laver and ahead of Gimeno.

    In late 1964 he beat Laver at Cape Town and Rosewall at Salisbury. Thus he finished fifth in the pro rankings, ahead of strong Hoad and your darling, Olmedo.

    As a WCT player he won 5 pro tournaments in 1968!

    In 1970 he lost at Corpus Christi only by 6-3, 4-6, 6-7 to Rosewall who crashed Newcombe in the final (6-2,6-0).

    As late as 1975, after five years of retirement, Butch lost the final of Jackson to Rosewall by 5-7, 6-4, 6-7. In the SFs he had beaten Newcombe...

    My facit: Buchholz is hardly just a journeyman! He was an excellent player.
     

Share This Page