Hypothetical All-Time "Masters" Tournament

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Phoenix1983, Apr 17, 2013.

  1. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    Assume the 8 greatest players of all-time faced off in a tournament similar to the current Year-End Championships (Round Robin stage consisting of 2 groups of 4, then semis and final). As usual, the winner of Group A would face the runner-up in Group B, and vice-versa.

    In the group stage, everyone would play one match on each of the main tennis surfaces (traditional/fast grass, red clay and modern hardcourt).

    The semi-final would be played on carpet.

    The final would be played on the old wood surface.

    Let's assume for simplicity that all these players used modern equipment and had modern training/diet etc. so could compete on a level playing field.

    All matches are best of 5 sets.

    Here are the round-robin stage groups:

    Group A

    Federer
    Sampras
    Borg
    Rosewall

    Group B

    Laver
    Gonzales
    Nadal
    Tilden

    And here are the matches to be played:

    Group A

    Grass

    Federer vs. Rosewall
    Sampras vs. Borg

    Clay

    Federer vs. Borg
    Sampras vs. Rosewall

    Hard

    Federer vs. Sampras
    Borg vs. Rosewall

    Group B

    Grass

    Laver vs. Tilden
    Gonzales vs. Nadal

    Clay

    Laver vs. Nadal
    Gonzales vs. Tilden

    Hard

    Laver vs. Gonzales
    Nadal vs. Tilden

    What would the results be? Who would emerge victorious from this tournament of giants???
     
    #1
  2. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Oh this is going to be good, gonna have to use some imagination here
     
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  3. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    This will cause problems...

    I'll do the easy/easier matches first;

    Group A

    Grass

    Federer vs. Rosewall - Federer's serve, movement and power gets him through in 4.

    Sampras vs. Borg - Sampras, takes this in 5. Tough match, lots of back and forth but Sampras is just that little bit better.

    Clay

    Federer vs. Borg - Borg takes this in 5, I think Federer is good enough to push Borg but I think in the edge Borg comes though. Federer wins the first set, then they exchange sets before Borg pulls away in the 5th.

    Sampras vs. Rosewall - Rosewall, not much to say here. Rosewall is much better on clay...

    Hard

    Federer vs. Sampras - Federer, tough match but I think Federer wins this in 5.
    Borg vs. Rosewall - Going to go with Borg maybe? They both have two YEC grade events right? I think excluding volley's Borg is probably superior to Rosewall from what I've read in other areas. So yeah Borg.

    Group B


    Grass

    Laver vs. Tilden - Laver in in 4.

    Gonzales vs. Nadal - Gonzales, the Gonzales serve and his volleying abilities overpower Nadal who struggles on quick and slick grass. Straight sets I think.

    Clay

    Laver vs. Nadal - Nadal, it's on clay not much else needs to be said. Three sets.

    Gonzales vs. Tilden - Not sure about these two on clay? Will go with Gonzales just because I think he was probably a better player.

    Hard

    Laver vs. Gonzales - Going with Laver.

    Nadal vs. Tilden - Nadal, with ease.


    Tilden seems impossible to predict in this, too long ago IMO. It's a shame everyone doesn't get to play on every surface.


    Edit: Updated will do Semi's and Finals in a little bit.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2013
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  4. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Winner of group A plays runner up in group B in this scenario right?
     
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  5. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah thats right.
     
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  6. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Group stages, keeping in mind all players in their ultimate, strongest form:
    Group A
    Grass:
    Federer vs Rosewall...Federer crushes in straight sets. 6-3, 6-1, 6-0. Tries to be humble in win, and offers golden purse to Rosewall as consolation prize.
    Sampras vs Borg...Sampras in 4 sets. Both can play no doubt, but Sampras' serve proves to be very clutch and gets him much easier serve games...this ain't no Tanner
    Clay:
    Federer vs Borg...Borg in 5 sets ultimately wins due to better conditioning. Federer loses gracefully and still gets better crowd support.
    Sampras vs Rosewall....Sampras brings big game to the table, but is chimp sliced to oblivion by Rosewall...Rosewall in 4 let's say
    Hard:
    Federer vs Sampras...Federer in 4 highly competitive sets...Sampras could have gotten it to 5, but Federer returns a mighty Sampras smash deep behind the base line with a curving, forehand smash lob in the 4th set tiebreaker
    Borg vs Rosewall...Borg wins in 4. Rosewall puts up a fight, but Borg hurting from getting less crowd support in previous match tries to reach full flight and win convincingly. Rosewall's hits 85 mph backhand which hits Borg in balls...Borg keeps his cool and Rosewall apologizes, wasn't intentional

    Federer and Borg advance to semi finals with 2-1 record. Sampras and Rosewall gave it a good effort though.
     
    #6
  7. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Group B
    Grass:
    Laver vs Tilden...Laver in 4...being generous and imagining Tilden to have a good serve by today's standards and somehow getting a set...by the the third set though, Laver veiny forehand is getting angry and he starts blasting Rockets left and right...a reporter asks after the match, if he feels he gave a better display of fire power than Federer in his embarrassing demolishing of Rosewall, Laver tries to be humble in victory and offers the reporter to go out drinking with him...Federer takes notes
    Gonzales vs Nadal...Battle of intensity, but Nadal wins in 5...Milan had crushed Barcelona and Real Madrid in the semi finals and finals of Champions League and a furious Nadal unleashes his fury and passion towards Gonzales. Gonzales curses out Nadal midway through match after Nadal gets away with some illegal coaching. Tip Toni curses right back, camera catches the moment...and he is banned from attending the stadium for the rest of the tournament.
    Clay:
    Laver vs Nadal...Nadal in 3....Federer shows up before match and wishes Laver good luck and gives a menacing smile...Nadal furious for not having his coach/uncle/don in his box, delivers a triple bagel to Laver...at few points during the match, the spinny Rafito forehands fly over Laver's head. Laver calls this "most embarrassing moment of my career" but still invites reporter to go drinking...
    Gonzales vs Tilden...Gonzales in 4. Pissed off he lost to Humbalito, Gonzales gives the performance of a life time...Tilden knowing he has lost two matches now goes and reads Nabokov's Lolita after the match
    Hard:
    Laver vs Gonzales: Laver in 5...the Rocket gets words of inspiration from fellow masterclass great Jan Kodes and gives a tough, but classy performance vs the great Gonzales...Federer invites Laver graciously to party with him and Robert Plant and Jimmy Page after the match.
    Nadal vs Tilden...unbelievable, Nadal wins in 4...who writes this stuff? Nadal reaches semis with three straight sets...picking up steam now. Tilden heartbroken gets invited to the Elton John party afterwards, where he hits on George Michael...sparks fly...one thing leads to another...Tio Toni promises to give them any favor, as a wedding gift, and could be anything at all...he won't refuse...FBI watches on.

    Nadal 3-0
    Laver 2-1
    Gonzales 1-2
    Mr. Bill Tilden Panagiòtou 0-3...but finds love...he's the ultimate winner
     
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  8. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Semi finals
    Fed finished first in his group in terms of sets and games won (both he and Borg won 2 matches) due to unbelievable demolition of fellow great Rosewall on grass.
    So Federer plays Laver in the semi finals
    Nadal plays Borg in the other semi
    To be continued...
     
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  9. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    Here are my predictions:

    Group A

    Grass

    Federer vs. Rosewall - Federer
    Sampras vs. Borg - Sampras

    Clay

    Federer vs. Borg - Borg
    Sampras vs. Rosewall - Rosewall

    Hard

    Federer vs. Sampras - Federer
    Borg vs. Rosewall - Borg

    Group B

    Grass

    Laver vs. Tilden - Laver
    Gonzales vs. Nadal - Gonzales

    Clay

    Laver vs. Nadal - Nadal
    Gonzales vs. Tilden - Tilden

    Hard

    Laver vs. Gonzales - Laver
    Nadal vs. Tilden - Nadal

    Borg and Federer progress from Group A (Borg as winner since he beat Fed)

    Nadal and Laver progress from Group B (Nadal as winner since he beat Laver)

    Semis on carpet:

    Borg vs. Laver - Laver
    Federer vs. Nadal - Federer

    Final on wood:

    Federer vs. Laver - Laver

    (This doesn't mean I consider Laver GOAT btw, but I think he would win on that surface)
     
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  10. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Semi finals (Carpet):
    Federer vs Laver...greatest match in world history. Laver goes in as favorite due to better familiarity, but mountain powers and JoelDali's emotional blissful blessings guide the Eagle to new heights of soarness. Laver wins first two sets and leads 5-0 in the third...TMF, who is in the crowd, yells "you're Roger Federer, the GOAT!" Federer looks at Mirka in the crowd, Chris Evert in her box, tears running down her cheeks...meanwhile Navratilova laughs maniacally..time to step up and unleash full flight eagle mode! Motivated Fed breaks Laver's serve with a beautiful drop shot service return, score goes to 5-1.

    A confused Laver thinks he'll be alright, but a legion of Federer fans and mountain gods are roaring their one, true hero to victory...Roddick who is in in the crowd too gets a bad feeling knowing what's about to come. Federer gets on a roll and draws the match 2-2 sets. Takes a perfectly legal bathroom break. As he returns he breaks Laver's serve, and before serving a crazed fan jumps from the stands and starts running towards wearing wearing an amateurishly made t-shirt with three 3 initials on it. N. S. K. Federer smacks him with the racquet, punk goes down and is escorted never to be seen again.

    The final set Laver steps up and even gets match point, but Federer wins a crazy point with a between the legs shot. Next point Laver tries to be flashy and imitate the Great One but ends up hitting the wrong ball...Santoro laughs and says to world renowned forum tennis forum enthusiast and chess player Chopin, "I can beat this guy!" Laver loses that game, ultimately self sabotages himself into a loss (groin injury). Arrogant Federer wins match point via cheeky no look drop shot, that hits the end and lands on Laver's side...the gods were there that day indeed!

    Federer through to the final
     
    #10
  11. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Other semi (carpet, oh no!)
    Nadal hurts his knee before the match and forfeits

    Borg to the finals in a stunning upset
     
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  12. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Final (wood)
    Riding full on confidence, Federer wins this in 5. Borg retires from all tennis activity forever after this match.
     
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  13. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    From Group A, Borg and Federer go through. In that order.

    From Group B, Nadal and Gonzales go through? I think? Someone tell me if I'm wrong!

    So...

    Nadal vs Federer: On carpet Federer takes this, probably does it in no more than 4 sets.

    Gonzales vs Borg: I reckon Borg wins this.

    So the final is...

    Federer vs Borg on wood. Never actually seen a match on wood. I will say that it goes to 5. The Federer fan in me wants to say he wins. But a Borg with modern training and raquets would be a beast. I'll say Borg carries the momentum of his round robin win through and wins.

    Federer wishes it was hardcourt but is gracious in defeat.
     
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  14. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    Haha! Nice =D
     
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  15. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    You had Nadal, Gonzales and Laver all winning 2, so it would come down to sets won I think.
     
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  16. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    Ah I see, I was thinking head to head. Well I reckon Nadal in 2008 FO form beats Laver in straights. So I guess Gonzales and Nadal go through, with Gonzales going in as number 1.

    So...

    Federer beats Gonzales in first semi.

    Borg beats Nadal in the second semi.

    Borg beats Federer in the final.
     
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  17. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Has Borg ever played won a title on wood?
     
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  18. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    I assumed he might have?

    Maybe he hasn't, Federer's serve and forehand might be enough to take it.
     
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  19. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Carpet, yeah he is a boss...wood? Hmmm

    And btw since this is allowing all these greats to have same nutrition, modern technology and fitness, shouldn't we allow them same learning curve on all surfaces? Pretty sure wood was extinct before Rafito was even born so in this hypothetical Rafito should be allowed ample learning time on the surface, Tilden too for hard courts, etc

    Ultimately this is all hypothetical, it's why I chose to just wing it
     
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  20. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Yep, zero wood for Borg..lots of carpet, but no Wood, I knew it!!!!
     
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  21. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    That's a good point, in that case I vote Federer in 3.
     
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  22. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Really wish the final was played on grass...i mean its the original surface ffs
     
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  23. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    The final should be a more neutral surface, or played on several.

    There are some interesting matches which could have been. I think Federer vs Borg on grass would be a classic.
     
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  24. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    I think Federer vs anyone could be a classic...his matches are always entertaining.

    With that said if I can choose 4 matches I want to see:
    Federer vs Laver (AO just cause he's an Aussie)
    Federer vs Rosewall (FO)
    Federer vs Sampras (prime versions W)
    Federer vs Nadal (USO prime versions)
     
    #24
  25. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    I was going to say the final was a best-of-5-sets with each set being played on a different surface (grass,clay,hard,carpet,wood).

    But I thought some posters would think that was a bit silly.
     
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  26. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    It's just hard to judge performance on wood. I think the champion should be crowned on all surfaces maybe? I do see your point, don't want to over complicate it.

    Who do you reckon would win those matches? What AO surface were you thinking?
     
    #26
  27. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    All time great tennis championship:

    Players - surface:

    Federer - Fast HC
    Nadal - Clay
    Agassi - Slow HC
    Sampras - Grass
    Lendl - HC
    McEnroe - Carpet
    Borg - Clay
    Connors - HC
    Laver - Grass
    Rosewall - Clay
    Gonzales - Wood
    Kramer - Wood

    Each player play twice against all other players. Once at "home" on the surface I listed in front of their names, once "outside", on the surface listed in front of the name of the opponent (example: Fed play McEnroe once on fast HC, once on carpet; Borg once on clay, once on fast HC). Each victory award one points.

    How does it end?
     
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  28. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    I was thinking the current surface, since it's slow as hell...i want to see two all court, flashy, versatile, attacking, complete players on a very slow hard court....

    On the other hand the Nadal vs Fed on a faster hard court (US Open) would satisfy my urges for an epic on surface that rewards winning shots and offense
     
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  29. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Flash, how about sand? It was a surface
     
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  30. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Give us yours first ;)
     
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  31. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    I tried to give each player a surfaces on which they would have a comparative advantage against their opponents. I don't think any player of this list would have a particular advantage on sand.
     
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  32. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Results of matches are dependent largely on context. Any good player can beat any other good player on any given day.

    There is no scientific way of knowing.

    A string of matches, like a best out of 10 is another story, of course.
     
    #32
  33. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

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    Why does everyone dismiss the possibility of Laver actually beating Rafa on clay? I'm sure, Laver will have different tactics from anyone Rafa has ever faced on clay. Having read how great Laver's groundstrokes were with wooden rackets I'm sure he would be a huge obstacle with a modern racket, even for someone as great as Nadal on clay.


    That's LAVER man!! Mr. Grand Slam.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2013
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  34. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    I just don't see it. The kick of Nadal's groundstrokes will be a nightmare for someone of Laver's height. I can see Laver's net play doing some damage but he isn't beating Rafa over 5 sets. Especially seeing as this should be peak Nadal asin 2008 FO Nadal!
     
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  35. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Clay God though.
     
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  36. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

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    He could whack the ball on the rise and not wait until it's shoulder height. Plus Laver is also a lefty. Of course 2008 Nadal was just beyond belief on clay, but all greats will have chances if they play their best IMO.
     
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  37. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    The poster is right.Laver´d have a better chance than Federer against prime Nadal on clay.I think Nadal would win most of matches tough as he would on a slow hard court.

    OTOH, I can´t see how Nadal could beat Rod on grass and indoors.No way.
     
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  38. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I threw in a thread with a different format.The top 8 players of each decade play a Decade Masters and the winner of each portion, that is 8 players contend for the big prize.
     
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  39. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Only guy I can see giving Nadal a true challenge on clay is Borg, due to physical presence. As good as Laver or Federer are, Nadal is too much on that surface for anyone...except maybe Borg...even then I see Clay God as winning
     
    #39
  40. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    This is great, awesome, stupendous!! What a match!!!

    (I understand completely. You are correct: Laver was very well acclimated to playing on wood.)
     
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  41. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Do you know when wood became extinct? Borg didn't win any on wood
     
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  42. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Fast Wimbers grass!!

    Not that green quicksand they have now. (Borg knew what to do on the old stuff.)
     
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  43. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Take them on the rise. Laver has the strength and reflexes to do it. (He used to take Roscoe Tanner's smash in mid-air.)
     
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  44. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    hoodjem, it might be of interest that Laver won five big wood tournaments and Rosewall won nine. Therefore I would give even Muscles a chance to match Federer on wood (at least with wooden racquets).Of course if he qualifies for the final. But the posters have ruled out this.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2013
    #44
  45. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Wood was a very important surface during 50 and 60
    Stockholm had wood even for early 70
    Then some genious invented the supreme carpet which was more practical to lay down and that replaced wood
    So basically wood and carpet are like twins
    Laver mentioned wood was the fastest turf he knew
    Only Fed in current tennis could expect not to be blasted away on wood by a Laver or a Gonzales for instance
     
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  46. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    Here are the results:

    1. Federer, Laver 15 pts.
    3. Nadal, Borg 13 pts.
    5. Sampras, Lendl, Rosewall 12 pts.
    8. Gonzales 11 pts.
    9. Agassi, Kramer 8pts.
    11. McEnroe 7 pts.
    12. Connors 6 pts.

    In general rules, I accorded a victory for a player when he played on his best surfaces. Here are the exceptions:

    Fed won all his home matches on fast HC, and won 3 other points against Agassi on slow HC, Lendl on clay, Connors on HC and Kramer on wood: 15 pts

    Laver won all his home matches on grass, and won 3 other points against Lendl on clay, Connors on HC, Gonzales and Kramer on Wood: 15 pts

    Nadal won all his home matches on clay, except one against Rosewall. But he won the revenge on Rosewall's soil, and 2 other pts on HC against Agassi and Connors. 13 pts.

    Borg won all his home matches on clay, except one against Lendl. He won 3 pts by beating Sampras, McEnroe and Connors twice (at home and on their grounds). 13 pts.

    Sampras won all his home matches on grass, except one against Borg. He won two time "outside", against Agassi and McEnroe. 12 pts.

    Lendl lost all his matches against Federer and Laver, but won twice against Mac, Borg and Rosewall. He splited all the other confrontation. 12 pts.

    Rosewall lost his two matches against Lendl, but compensate by beating McEnroe on carpet and Gonzales on Wood. 12 pts

    Gonzales lots his two matches against Laver but won twice against Kramer on wood. 11 pts

    Agassi lost his two matches against Federer, Nadal and Sampras and divided all the others matches. 8 pts.

    Kramer lost all his matches against Federer, Laver and Gonzales, divided the rest. 8 pts.

    Mac lost his two matches against Sampras, Lendl, Borg and Rosewall, divided all the rest. 7 pts.

    Connors lors all his matches against Federer, Nadal, Borg, Laver, Gonzales, divided the rest. 6 pts.

    I awarded victories and defeat without thinking to the final ranking I wanted to obtain. I think the result is interesting. It has at least some logic:

    Federer and Laver are the winner as they excel on fast surfaces and can take some points on slower surfaces. Nadal and Borg are second because they are nearly unbeatable on clay, but can manage to win some points on fast surfaces for Borg, on HC for Nadal.

    Agassi and Connors are in the end of the ranking because while they are good on every surfaces, they are the really best on none of them. Kramer and McEnore are in the end of the ranking because they are too specialized on fast surfaces to win on slower surfaces and are vulnerable to some fast surfaces specialists.

    I didn't not take into account the injuries of Nadal nor his tiredness at the end of the season.

    What do you think?
     
    #46
  47. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Flash, Interesting list.

    But I cannot imagine that Rosewall loses twice to Lendl. He was just too strong on every surface even on hardcourt.
     
    #47
  48. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    I think Federer could pick up points against Laver or Sampras on grass, but may lose a point to Sampras on fast HC. So I guess it works out nearly the same.

    Why do you think Borg beats Sampras on grass? I cans it happening with modern sticks, mind you. In general I agree.

    I do wonder why you think Lendl beats Rosewall twice? Although I think Federer would have a strong chance against Rosewall on clay.

    I just find it hard to imagine someone doing that for 3 sets against Nadal. Maybe I sold Laver a little short (lol) pun not intended. And maybe he could make it competative but I don't see him beating Nadal too much on clay.
     
    #48
  49. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    So wood and carpet play about the same. Borg did great on carpet, hence he'd do good on wood. Hmmm wish Fed could have played on wood, or carpet like surfaces during his prime. His game would be perfect for these surfaces
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2013
    #49
  50. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Could be but current carpet is far slower than Supreme and Supreme was even slower than wood
    Laver played a lot on carpet but still considered wood as very fast
    That led me to conclude that wood may have been faster than old carpet
     
    #50

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