Normalizing Björn Borg's slam count

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by sonicare, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. sonicare

    sonicare Hall of Fame

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    This is something I have been thinking about for a while.

    We need to normalize Borg's slam count because he played in a 3 slams/year era.


    So we have 2 options:

    - simple maths = 11 x 4/3 is approximately 15 slams.

    - add the most important non slam tournament that he won to his slam count. Can we discuss which tournament that should be.

    No trolling please. This thread is in honour of the great man. The first rockstar in the sport that we all love. The man responsible for taking endorsements froms 100s of thousands into millions. The man that did more for tennis than anyone I can remember.

    Looking forward to some educated responses.

    May I also request the MODS to ban anyone who trolls in this thread. It would be a grave insult to troll in a thread dedicated to the great Björn Rune Borg.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
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  2. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    It is either 14 or 15
    I prefer including the 2 indoor major cause they were the real 4 th biggest event in Borg time
     
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  3. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    If we add in his two YECs, he gets to 13. Good enough for 3rd in the Open Era behind Federer and Sampras.
     
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  4. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Borg lived in a two slam era mostly of his own choice - wouldnt play in australia and couldn't play at night in the us.

    The fact is that its probably necessary to have a more sophisticated approach to the question of greatness beside the slam count, but that's where qualitative judgements come into it as well.
     
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  5. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    1976 WCT was bigger than 1976 Masters
     
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  6. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    Maybe (I checked the draws for both and they are both missing some big names, especially Connors who is in neither, so I don't think either of those tournaments compare to Borg's two YECs in 1980/81).
     
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  7. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I have posted often about what Borg achieved in those 2 Masters and it is amazing, but them again the guy was amazing himself
    He should be a Marvel character and not just a tennis player
     
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  8. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Over the past week I have grown rather fond of this Borg guy, all of a sudden I rank him higher than Sampras
     
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  9. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    only needs to pack some muscle
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Thor, with a racket instead of a hammer
     
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  11. Tagg

    Tagg New User

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    borg did not care for the australian open, and could not get the job done at the us open

    you can make a case for him being the best natural court player of all time

    but he certainly can't be considered above sampras in any way shape or form

    sampras also dominated two surfaces, won more year end titles, won more grand slams, more weeks at no 1 etc. any stat you pick, sampras is ahead of borg

    to me, borg is also still ahead of nadal, overall. nadal has destroyed all records on clay, but borg's number of titles across all surfaces, and (especially) year end titles swing it in his favour

    you can argue that players did not play to reach X number of grand slams in borg's time, but nonetheless, borg left his mark

    he's in the top 5 players of the open era, that's a good enough legacy i think
     
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  12. Tennis Dunce

    Tennis Dunce Semi-Pro

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    I've seen Borg generate obscene angles from the baseline that would make one deduce the dude had POLY in his stick 30+ years ago! I could watch Borg play forever...he was so ahead of his time. Its too bad he burned out but we all do. I honestly think he had about 3 or 4 more majors in him...could Borg have beaten the new crop of power guys like Becker? That woulda been a helluva match.
     
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  13. Doug_Hartley_2012

    Doug_Hartley_2012 Rookie

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    Borg was the king of Europe. He wasn't so awesome elsewhere. He got dumped early in Australia by an Australian at the 1974 Open, like a lot of others before and after him. Nobody prevented him from competing in Melbourne. He won what he won and no more.
     
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  14. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

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    It is interesting to think how many slams Borg, Connors and McEnroe would have won had they played in an era when the grand slam count actually mattered, with 4 equally important slams that offered proper prize money compared to other events. It's laughable that many people on here only (and wrongly) judge their careers based on the no. of slams they won and ignore the context of that era.

    Also with Borg, a modern day surface distribution with slower grass, slower outdoor hard courts (there weren't any big tournaments on slow hard courts in his era) and slower indoor courts would have suited him a hell of a lot more than the surface distribution of his era.
     
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  15. Doug_Hartley_2012

    Doug_Hartley_2012 Rookie

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    The Grand Slam has always 'mattered'. It's just some fans and a few players who disdain the concept. For many years, for example, clay courters refused to contest Wimbledon because they didn't think they had a prayer on grass. And the Australian championships have always been an easy mark for players who did NOT want to go the distance or play in January. Prize money never defined the Grand Slam. It was always about winning the four championships of the great tennis playing nations. Australia, France, Britain and America. Nobody became a greater player by NOT contesting any of them.
     
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  16. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

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    No in the 70s there was not a huge emphasis on the no. of slams that players won at all. In the words of Chris Evert who skipped many Australian and French opens, 'no-one was counting back then'.

    The slam count only mattered from the 90s when Sampras put a lot of emphasis on it. Why do you think Roy Emerson had no idea that he even held the grand slam title record for such a long time.

    And yes prize money is incredibly important. Players don't just play for prestige and glory, they play to rake in the dough. Borg and Evert skipped the French Open to play in World Team Tennis which offered considerably more prize money. When the Australian Open draws were very weak, the prize money there was a joke, so top players understandably weren't willing to make the journey down there. McEnroe said that he was even offered appearance money to play at the Aussie Open one year.

    The importance of the slams and the slam count increased as those events improved their prize money relative to other events.
     
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  17. Laurie

    Laurie Professional

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    The grand slam count only seemed to have become a big issue from the mid to late 1990s onwards. Before that I never heard any talk of how many grand slams a player won and how important that was in status terms.
     
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  18. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Trust me Borg was plenty strong, fast and powerful. The guy could serve about 130 mph with a wood racquet. Pancho Gonzalez said (after he retired) that he would fear Borg and that Borg was the hardest hitter he had ever seen.

    It's really not close in my opinion with Borg and Sampras.

    Check these stats. Sampras won 14 majors and Borg 11. However Borg won his 11 majors in 27 attempts which Sampras won his in 52 attempts.

    Sampras won 64 total tournaments. Borg won 106 tournaments by the time he retired at age 25. Heck Borg won 76 tournaments in five years.

    Sampras in his best year won less than 90% of his matches. Borg averaged higher than 90% over FIVE YEARS.

    Borg was the real deal. In his best years he didn't just win, he slaughtered his opponents. He holds the record for more bagels in a career with way over 100. He won on every surface and was dominant on every surface. Arthur Ashe once said that Borg didn't have a stroke weakness.

    Now Sampras fans may disagree with me but looking at the information I've seen I don't see Sampras being ranked ahead of Borg. His only edge is really his three extra majors.
     
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  19. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Definitely would be higher

    Given how fast Borg acquired titles - if he was playing the Australian with the same frequency he would have acquired more. I think he should have retired around 1985 instead of 1981 from Slam play. It's clear that he was very capable of winning:

    1982 French Open
    1983 US Open (remember stats show that Connors/Lendl were playing at a lower level in 1983 than 1982)
    1981 & 1982 & 1984 Australian Open (and maybe the 1983 AO - Wilander won, so wouldn't Borg have at least as good a chance?)
     
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  20. big ted

    big ted Hall of Fame

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    there are so many factors involved like the gs tournaments being played on different surfaces and locations in different eras and different amounts of importance i dont think gs count is as important when comparing players. you have to look at no of tournaments won, time ranked no1, who their competitors were, win loss record, etc.. etc..it cant be as cut and dry as people want it to be...

    i think borg does have an asterisk for not being able to win the usopen, you may say he was unlucky not to win it, but even then its surprising other great players like mcenroe, connors, sampras, agassi, lendl, fed, even edberg were able to win it multiple times and he couldnt win it once. i think that puts a blemish on his record. apparently he wasnt as comfortable playing there, maybe the noise..alot of european players did not like that atomosphere
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
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  21. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    Threads don't get much sillier than this one. Should we "normalize" the slam count of a guy who chose not to play some slams but let stand the counts of innumerable players (like Laver) who for years weren't allowed to play in slams before the advent of open tennis? "Normalize" their counts as well and suddenly the diffident Borg gets left far behind in tennis history, on the sidelines reading his beloved comic books.
     
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  22. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    I think

    I think what the OP is trying to do here is say that the standards by which we assess players has changed over time. Total number of slams became the gold standard in the 1990's. Before that it was other things eg number of year end number 1 positions etc etc. It is okay having this new standard, but where it is unfair is when we judge older players by this new standard, when at the time they had other goals. Yes it is only inference, but this is an attempt to find some level of equivalency.

    I tried by creating an open era ranking system, by comparing players with events rated over 1000 points.

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=445573
     
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  23. FedericRoma83

    FedericRoma83 Rookie

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    Taking in account the 4 best tournaments of every season, I think he should be around 13 or 14 (it depends if you want to consider the Dallas 1976 tournament: it wasn't so great that year)...
     
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  24. Borrelli

    Borrelli Semi-Pro

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    The Tour was a freaking mess back in those days, that being one of the main factors that made Borg quite at such a young age. Conners never even joined the ATP for christ's sake. It's just too difficult to compare that era to today's much better organized tour structure.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
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  25. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    Be that as it may, the point remains that if you "normalize" one player's data, you have to do it for all. Laver also played before the era when slams were supposedly so important (a supposition I don't happen to agree with, not sure what the basis for such a statement is) and Laver was prevented from playing in a slam for something like seven years. Had he been allowed all that time, his stats would soar above those of players like Borg. Also, Borg was not the only player who usually skipped the AO back in the day when it was held in December and was seen as hindering everyone's opportunity to be home around Christmas.
     
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  26. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    I agree with Ollie; the situation is too difficult to really do and do justice to.

    Man, that Bjorn Borg was such a god! ENORMOUS impact; hasn't been anyone like him since. It would be great for tennis to have another BB.
     
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