Old GOAT article, must read.

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by garcia_doomer, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    You mean Gerulaitis had cramps, not Lloyd, correct?

    I have the 1st 3 1/2 sets of this match on dvd, at the beginning of the 4th set Vitas stopped moving, he looked like he had a leg injury. I'm very curious how he ended up winning this match, it looked like a hopeless situation for him as of 3-2 in the 4th(that's when my recording ends)
     
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  2. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Agassi, if memory serves, pulled out of the 93 and 94 Aussies due to injuries, so to say that the Australian only becomes a true grand slam event in 1995 is faulty. Agassi doesn't decide what is or isn't a true grand slam event, especially when he's not playing due to being hurt.

    The Australian went to a 128-man draw in 1988 and had most of the best players there. Lendl, for example, skipped the French in both 1990 and 1991, but played the Australian in both those years. Scheduling, of course, has much to do with that but it's important to acknowledge that all majors have some stars missing from time-to-time. Agassi also skipped some Wimbledons early in his career.
     
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  3. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    GOAT is simply subjective. Nothing more, nothing less.

    It more depends on the person making the claim than the players in question. That alone determines what factors we "should" use or accomplishments we "should" consider.

    The argumentative strategy is always the same:

    1) Come to your conclusion on who is GOAT.

    2) Find facts to support (1).

    3) Use the deceptive argumentative tactics of emphasis and omission.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2008
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  4. JoshDragon

    JoshDragon Hall of Fame

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    This is quite possibly the longest post I've ever seen. It might have been easier to just recommend Tilden's profile on Wikipedia. ;)

    I've been over this topic many, many times with many, many different posters on tennis warehouse forums but basically I think that it's ridiculous to say that a player from 80 years ago is better or greater than the guys today. Look at how much the game has changed in the last 18 years and that's just during my life-time. Since the first Wimbledon there have been countless changes in tennis ranging from playing styles, to the importance of the tournaments, for example Wembly, the US Pro and French Pro were all important tournaments for professional tennis players to win (before the open era.) Today those tournaments aren't even around anymore, so it's true the importance of some of the tournaments has changed.

    What has changed even more is the fitness level, the technology, and the skill level required to win major tournaments. Let's use Borg in this case, Nadal is often compared to Borg because of their similar playing styles and accomplishments. Borg played until he was 26 and yet I don't recall him ever developing tendinitis. Nadal has had Tendinitis in both of his knees since he was 21. Now, tendinitis is generally caused by injury or overusing a joint. The overuse that is required from Nadal just to stay at the top of the game as a defensive baseliner. Nadal, is not alone Gael Monfils also has had problems with knee injuries and both of these guys are young, only 22. Four years younger than Borg was when he retired and remember Borg was also a baseliner, who won the French Open 6 times and Wimbledon 5 times, and never developed tendinitis. Now this means one of two things. Either Nadal, Monfils and other players with joint problems aren't taking the time necessary to warm up before their matches which is resulting in their getting injured or the game is so much more physical today that it's resulting in the players becoming injured more easily. Well, we know it can't be the first one, Nadal always wraps up his knees as a precaution every time he goes out on the court (even for a practice session) so it looks like it's the second choice. More is required physically of the players today.

    So if the players today have to be fitter in order to accomplish the same things that the former players did ie winning the majors. It would seem logical that the players today are stronger, faster, and all-around better than the guys who came before them.

    If Bill Tilden was taken from his prime time period and Federer from his and they were allowed to play one five set match with the technology that they had during their primes, Federer, would slaughter Tilden, based not only on technology but also based on fitness.

    I do study players from different time periods and it's difficult to express all of my knowledge in one post. Tilden's, career was fairly long and suming up all of the events during one time period in one post is next to impossible.
     
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  5. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    This is truly your most absurd argument yet. You might consider taking a logic course.

    The conclusion suggested by your premises is that the player who gets injured the most at the youngest age is the "all-around better" player. Following this logic, Monfils is better than Federer. After all, Fed has had the least injuries of any current player--he must be the weakest and therefore worst.

    Good one.
     
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  6. JoshDragon

    JoshDragon Hall of Fame

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    Nope. You aren't following my logic at all. I specifically said in my post defensive baseliner. Federer, is not a defensive baseliner. That's why I was comparing Borg to Nadal, not Federer (an offensive all-court player) to Monfils.

    It seems that you don't understand what I'm trying to say.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2008
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  7. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    You have absolutely no credibility on these boards, but keep going if you insist.
     
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  8. Carlo Giovanni Colussi

    Carlo Giovanni Colussi Semi-Pro

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    Good remark. You make me understand that perhaps my memory is mistaken. I will have a look at the account.
     
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  9. JoshDragon

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    I noticed in your response that you couldn't dispute the facts I presented, so you chose instead to say that I have no credibility but you haven't been able to provide any evidence to prove that I'm wrong.

    If you'd like to discuss the points of my argument, that's fine but if you just want to make statements like: "I have no credibility on these boards" then don't bother. I already know that's not true.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2008
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  10. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Fed is too often a defensive baseliner in the last several years. And if you watch Borg at Wimbledon, you will see that he came to the net a surprising number of times. On grass he was not strictly a defensive baseliner.

    Are you saying that Nadal is better than Borg, because Borg had few injuries?

    I thought you were using fitness levels today to suggest that today's players are in general better than players of the past. I did not realize that it was valid to compare Nadal to Borg, but not valid to compare Monfils to Federer.

    So it is okay to use fitness levels and injuries to conclude that today's players are better, but not okay to use fitness levels and injuries to find one of today's players better than another of today's players? Most interesting.

    Allow me to utilize reductio ad absurdem: x must be a better player because he gets hurt more.

    You are right: I am not following your 'logic' at all.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2008
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  11. JoshDragon

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    I can only compare players with the same or similar playing styles to each other. It would be pointless to compare Nadal to McEnroe because their playing styles are completely different. McEnroe, was much less likely to have injuries because he was a S&V and usually played short points, Nadal's is a defensive baseliner and usually has to play longer points in order to win a match. Nadal, has to physically give more than McEnroe did in order to win a match. Borg, played more of a similar style to Nadal, that's why I can compare him to Nadal or Monfils.

    Federer, has never been a defensive baseliner, he's more of a baseliner now than he was maybe 4 years ago but he is still an offensive player. Federer, rallies behind the baseline and when he see's an opportunity to hit a winner he takes it.
     
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  12. game set match 46 TIMES!!

    game set match 46 TIMES!! Hall of Fame

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    where is the love?
     
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  13. JoshDragon

    JoshDragon Hall of Fame

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    #63
  14. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    So, back to your original point: are you saying that Nadal is better than Borg because Nadal plays a more injurious game?

    Can we compare Federer to Laver, because they both play(ed) more of an all-court game?

    Is the one that gets injured earlier and more often better?

    (This seems like a rather peripheral issue to me.)
     
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  15. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Apropos injuries. Thats not in all ways dependable on the playing style. Federer has a light moving style, but his motion on the slice wide serve puts strain on his back. Edberg, also a light mover, had a more extreme service stance and motion and was prone to back injuries. Nobody would have thought, as he came steaming into the picture, that Connors would last long. But he did.
     
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  16. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    #66
  17. Carlo Giovanni Colussi

    Carlo Giovanni Colussi Semi-Pro

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    Hello,
    It has been a long time since I've looked at the Tilden's Wikipedia article but I don't think there are so precise elements in it than those I've given in that quote. One or two years ago there was almost nothing about his pro career and I just added a few lines about them in the article. I'm not sure that other Tilden's pro feats have been written since my edit.

    I don't agree with you when you compare greats.
    Of course there is no comparison between the strain supported by modern players and ancient players. Even the great Australians in the 50's didn't do weight lifting exercises. Rosewall explained that the only one who did that sometimes was Hoad but at the time there was no scientific approach of those exercises and Rosewall said that Hoad made them without any knowledge and possibly hurt his back forever. Hoad being very athletic accepted every muscular challenge but doing badly those exercises (bad positions, ...) ruined his health and physical potential.

    But the question isn't that one.
    The true question is : what would have done Tilden if he had been born 88 years later against Federer or what would have done Federer against Tilden if he had been born 88 years earlier ?
    In his era Tilden made all his possible to find anything in order to be better than the others. At that time there was no video, almost no coaching, no physical training, no scientific approach of every stroke motion, no psychological training, ... as now so it is evident that Tilden couldn't be as effective as a modern player. But with the small knowledges of his time he tried to improve his game. Perry thought that Tilden was a greater player than Budge because on one hand when Budge has reached his peak in the late 30s-early 40s he didn't try to improve his game because he thought that it was sufficient to beat the others and on the other hand Tilden after WWII that is when he was about 55 years old he was still trying to improve his forehand. So Tilden was a perfectionist. And in his time he was ahead of his generation in every department.

    Do you know that this is him who organized almost all the US pro circuit in 46 ? There was about 30 tournaments (which was enormous at the time) with (I don't exactly remember) 17 tournaments giving ranking points. Open tennis would have arrived in the late 40's (and not in the late 60's) if Tilden hadn't been put in jail in 1947 (then all the US Pro circuit collapsed). Tilden had sometimes bad behaviours but he was very intelligent and always fought the establishment and always tried to better his game. Had he been born today I think (of course I can't be sure) he would have fought against the dominance of the hard surfaces which are the main responsibles of modern players' injuries. John Alexander, a good player of the 70's, claims that it should be clearly indicated that hard courts are dangerous for health as cigarettes are. Tilden would have possibly pushed world tennis to find more comfortable surfaces for the players. I've learnt yesterday that from 2009 all the ATP indoor tournaments would be played on hard surfaces and not on carpet : a) once again surfaces speedness will be reduced so the players will play longer and b) the surfaces will be tougher. a) and b) will make the players hurt themselves even more. I close the bracket.

    All this to say that Tilden was always after perfection and was ahead of his time and so it is possible (not sure of course) that he would have been also a great champion in the 2000's. But I recognize it is only an assumption. You talk about fitness : it is very likely that Tilden in the 2000's would be much fitter than he was in the 20's and that Federer would have much less fit 88 years before so to compare Tilden as he was in the 20's with Federer as he is now isn't the accurate comparison for me.

    It is very likely too that Federer or Nadal would have been great champions in the 1920's but it is also an assumption.

    In other human fields what really counts when comparisons are made, is to know if a person was (is) ahead of his generation. Nowadays it is evident that Edward Witten (known for his string theories in theoritical physics), has much more knowledges in physics than Einstein. And the same can be said when you compare Einstein and Newton. Does it mean that Witten is greatest than Einstein or that Einstein was greater than Newton ? I'm not sure at all. Newton made immensely progress his discipline and this is what really counts (of course Einstein and Witten did the same).
    Why wouldn't it be the same in tennis ? Why judge tennis players in absolute terms and not in relative terms ?

    I remember Lendl, around 1987, saying that his superb forehand will be forgotten 15 or 20 years later (to the great astonishment of the interviewer) because tennis (as other human disciplines) would improve. However we can today retort that if Lendl played today he would possibly have a modern forehand very efficient. Don't forget that Federer's and Nadal's forehands will be outdated, old-fashioned in 20 years. Does it mean that we will have to dismiss those players's strokes in a future GOAT comparison of forehands ? I don't think so. I think that even William Johnston's forehand could be taken into account in those sort of discussions.
     
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  18. JoshDragon

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    I enjoyed reading your article. I've read about Tilden and it sounds like he had a very sad life. Tilden's mother died when he was 15 years old and his father died four years later. Tilden, was born into a wealthy family and played tennis because it was a 'rich man's sport' not because he was a naturally gifted athlete, in fact he wasn't even able to make it on the college team, he wasn't the healthiest person either. Tilden, was a frequent smoker (which was common for the time) and didn't seem to care that his life style was unhealthy. Tilden's abilities as a tennis player peaked in his late 20s and early 30s which is when most players today are retiring, so if Tilden was born in 1981 he would have probably not been able to achieve very much considering that he peaked later in his life.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2008
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  19. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Just one small additional aspect to Tilden's career resumee: He invented tennis, as it is played today.
     
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  20. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Strongly disagree.

    Federer's forehand will look as modern in 20 years as it looks now, or at least very close to modern... IF equipment stays in proximity to what it is now.

    If equipment changes then, yes, Roger's forehand will look odd to folks in the future.

    You've probably missed the debates we've had on this board about baseball. Does Joe DiMaggio's swing look as outdated today as Bill Tilden's groundstrokes?
     
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  21. Carlo Giovanni Colussi

    Carlo Giovanni Colussi Semi-Pro

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    What I wanted to say is that tennis will very probably keep on improving in the future as it has done in past years. So it isn't unlikely that today players probably will look old-fashioned in future decades. Of course I'm not a soothsayer so I can't be certain but it is very likely that equipment will much change in future years. So wait and see.
    And in fact I don't think that Lendl's forehand, let's say in the early 90's, now looks so old-fashioned.
     
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  22. Carlo Giovanni Colussi

    Carlo Giovanni Colussi Semi-Pro

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    Thanks !!!!!!
     
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  23. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    In general, I reject any claims that tennis is improving. This is a very subjective claim, especially when there's much evidence that tennis is going to the gutter as the game is getting increasingly corporate and homogenized.

    Perceptions of improvement all come from false conclusions drawn from changes inherent in technology and its effect on the type of athlete that the sport now demands and the changing aesthetics that now accompany the game. The more corporate the sport has become the more emphasis has been placed on power to make the game sexy and turn athletes into superhuman machines.

    The tennis star has gone from being a touch-and-feel player to a muscle-bound baseliner who hits monster groundstrokes from corner to corner.

    Some sees this as evidence of improvement. I see this as evidence of corporate smoke and mirrors designed to manufacture a false sense of improvement.

    There was a really good post on this board by !Tym, one of the better posters on here about Nadal's groundies and, in particular, the way he hits the ball. There's a kind of windmill effect when he hits and, in general, he looks like one of those discus throwers from Sparta when he does this. !Tym very cleverly pointed out that Nadal wouldn't be able to keep the ball in play if he hit like that with the old technology.

    Again, smoke and mirrors.
     
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  24. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I do believe that Nadal's game is a product of today's technology. Give Nadal a 66 sq. in. wooden racquet and gut strings, and he wouldn't be very good--probably a journeyman European clay-court specialist.

    I think of the present crop of players, only Fed has the game and the strokes to have been a great player in the past. Maybe that's why I like his play so much.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2008
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  25. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Maybe Nadal would be a great player in any era. I really don't know. What I do know is that all of those blistering groundies of his wouldn't look as blistering without his juicy graphite on a slower, watered-down clay.
     
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  26. JoshDragon

    JoshDragon Hall of Fame

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    Nadal is a product of today's technology but you're crazy if you think that he would be a journey man during the past. Nadal, is at least as good of a clay court player as Borg was and if Borg found success with a wood racquet so could Nadal.

    Federer is not the only player worth comparing to the past greats. Murray, Tsonga, and Nadal are going to accomplish a tremendous amount during their careers.
     
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  27. JoshDragon

    JoshDragon Hall of Fame

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    Ok, that's fine but you can argue the same thing about other players like McEnroe who depended on a faster court speed so that they could S&V.

    Would former S&V players still be able to play well given the slower conditions of the surfaces today? Maybe, but it would require them to change their games to adapt to the surface.
     
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  28. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    My post has nothing to do with who would be able to play when. It's strictly about aesthetics and perception.

    A different game requires a different athlete, so it goes without saying that the serve and volley is a skill much less desired now than ever before.
     
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  29. Borgforever

    Borgforever Hall of Fame

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    Excellent points you make CyBorg...
     
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  30. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Sorry, I disagree. Borg was a freak of nature: a product of incredible natural athleticism and cool Nordic single-mindedness. Nadal is a product of his training regimen and 100 sq. in. graphite racquet with poly strings.

    Give Nadal a small head woodie and gut strings, and his game would be completely different--and not nearly so effective.


    I regard Tsonga as a S&V player. It's very refreshing and rather unusual given today's mechanical game. And, depending on the surface, it can be very successful against the muscle-bound baseline grinders--as we witnessed in the semis of the 2008 Australian Open.

    I'd never seen Nadal look so bumfuzzled.

    But with a true S&V game, your skills and timing have to be spot on--pretty good is not good enough against the baseline bashers: either you'll dump the volley or you'll get passed. (Even Fed against Simon at the Shanghai Masters couldn't do it.)

    Is this why Tsonga can't win consistently?
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2008
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  31. JoshDragon

    JoshDragon Hall of Fame

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    Tsonga, is not really a S&V player, he does come in behind some of his serves but not all or even most of the time. I think that Tsonga is an all-court player.
     
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  32. ClarkC

    ClarkC Hall of Fame

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    If it's all tennis, why exclude part of it? It would seem that the opposite would be true. You would need to argue that doubles is "not really tennis" to exclude doubles from the GOAT discussions.
     
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  33. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Clark,

    I agree with you. Doubles should be part of the equation.

    I was being facetious. All the 12-year-old *******s on here want to exclude it because Fed hasn't won any doubles slams.

    If they can't count it for him, then they don't want to count it all. They always say it's not important, and moronic gibberish that translates as "real men don't play doubles."
     
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  34. JoshDragon

    JoshDragon Hall of Fame

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    I assume that you're referring to me (and possibly others) with the 12-year-old *******s comment.

    Doubles, doesn't mean all that much anymore. Back when John McEnroe, was playing, it was more important because McEnroe, and other top players, played singles as well as doubles and went far into the draws. McEnroe, actually won more doubles slams than singles but today the top players don't care about doubles and most tennis fans are only interested in what the top singles players are doing. If the singles players don't care about doubles, than why should the fans care?
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2008
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  35. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Separate the discussions. Greatest singles players. Greatest doubles players.
     
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  36. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Actually no. I was referring to other posters who used to poo-poo doubles, long before you joined the site.

    My original point was similar to CyB's: GSPOAT or GDPOAT.

    But if one is trying to find the GOAT, then the total record must be included--not just singles.

    And yes, now we should include Fed's Olympic gold medal.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2008
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  37. JoshDragon

    JoshDragon Hall of Fame

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    I agree with you on this post.
     
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  38. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Josh,

    I think you are a nice guy, and are honestly seeking the truth.

    All I can say is, I believe, the the more one reads and learns-- the more one realizes that Tilden, Budge, Laver, etc. were great players in their day and would be great players today--just as Fed is today.

    Give everyone equal equipment (and similar time to prep on unfamiliar hardware) and who knows who would win.

    It would helluva good fun to watch.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2008
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  39. Edberg&Becker

    Edberg&Becker New User

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    Exactly.
    The argument of a few about his sexual acts tried to kill his talent and what he did for tennis.
    Bill won almost all in his time.
     
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  40. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    1986 missing

    What do you think for 1986? (I notice you missed it).
     
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  41. Carlo Giovanni Colussi

    Carlo Giovanni Colussi Semi-Pro

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    Hello, I've simply made a wrong "copy-paste" from my original word file into this forum. Sorry.

    1986 : 1) Wimby, 2) US Open - French Open, 4) Masters (December 86).

    Thanks to your remark I've since edited my original post
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2009
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  42. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I shall print this thread off, and scrutinize its content. Worth studying.
     
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  43. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Colussi underrates some WCT finals but his point is fine
     
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