Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Liv3 For It, May 17, 2009.
Now we just have to choose which is best out of those three.
laver by far if you look at his resume overrall
Its more much more solid than pete's or Roger's. Maybe not by a long stretch but overrall more solid across the board
Sampras and Federer are not even top-5.
I would add Tilden, Rosewall, Gonzales, Budge, Borg.
And am inclined to agree with CyB above about the top-5.
My list has been pretty stable of late:
(Federer ties Borg with a French win.)
So, I do have Sampras in the top five -- albeit barely, and only by way of a tie with Gonzales. Still, Laver, Rosewall, Tilden, and Budge are the true GOAT contenders for me, and will probably stay that way for some time.
Over the years, I've gotten tired of reading all about who's the GOAT.
At least I know who the LAMB is (the Loser After Many Blowouts). It's Vince Spadea---he holds the record of 21 straight first-round ATP losses. (No wonder he doesn't like to sign autographs---they're of little value.)
I'd rate the top tier something like this:
I've been thinking a bit about the criteria for ranking these guys and I've made a slight modification as to the notion of longevity. I've mentioned this as a factor, but wasn't really sure how to talk about it. Now I have a bit of a clearer idea and it manifested from the issue of the 'decline of Federer'.
I think what truly matters in longevity isn't how many years you play well in relation to the other guy, because these standards vary from era to era. Rosewall played somewhere in the neighbourhood of 20-25 years competitively, but is this realizable today? Perhaps not.
What truly matters in this respect I think is two things. A truly impressive longevity is when an elite player from one generation makes adjustments and remains an elite player in the following generation. This is what Federer is struggling with right now. The top two players on my list both aced this department. Rosewall perhaps even three generations. Laver probably most impressive - the pro/amateur split years, followed by the open era years, effectively competing against new blood like Newcombe and Smith.
Borg failed in this respect. Budge kind of did too, but with a much better excuse. Gonzales excelled - Sampras to some extent too, but against much less impressive opposition (let's face it, his toughest opponent in those latter years was a guy even older than he was).
So I'm gaining a new appreciation to the longevity factor and I think it is extremely important, because what is tested is the player's ability to adjust to highly complex phenomena, having to somehow maintain a competitive spirit in light of a lot of younger, hungry opponents aiming to dethrone him. Federer has been criticized for failing the test (so far).
So, my three-fold criteria is now as such: peak play (I look for three-four years as top player; consecutive is preferred), play across all surfaces (versatility); and adjustment from one generation to the next. We can also rate each facet. The results, just for fun can be seen as such:
Laver: peak play 4/4; versatility 4/4; longevity 4/4
Rosewall: peak play 3.5/4; versatility 4/4; longevity 4/4
Tilden: peak play 4/4; versatility 3.5/4; longevity 4/4 (gets a bit subjective here due to lack of information and at times competition)
Gonzales: peak play 3.5/4; versatility 3.5/4; longevity 4/4
Budge: peak play 4/4; versality 4/4; longevity 2.5/4
Borg: peak play 4/4; versatility 4/4; longevity 2.5/4
Federer: peak play 4/4; versatility 3.5/4; longevity 2.5/4
Sampras: peak play 3.5/4; versatility 3/4; longevity 3.5/4
This is all for fun, of course. Just a quick and easy way to illustrate the thinking process. If I were to go in-depth I would explain exactly why each facet is rated this way.
It's also not hard and fast. Tilden rates third because of an outside factor - he didn't play enough against Cochet and Lacoste, so it's more difficult to rate him above Rosewall. Gonzales I like more than Sampras - he wasn't nearly as bad on clay as Pete.
Some would I'm sure disagree with a few bits.
Yes, you are correct
So with longevity now being a key criteria, does Connors move above McEnroe on your GOAT list?
Right now Fed is outside top5 but honestly if Fed scores a french open win he shoots up and I don't think it would be fair to deny it. No case can really be made for Borg over Fed if Fed has a major on every surface, especially with his dominance. Even with the bad h2h against Nadal he would still have accomplished a lot more than most, however that is why I don't hold him GOAT. However if Fed gets that French Open in my eyes he is 4th all time. Fed still has time left to improve his ranking we will see what happens, which is why I think it is unfair for right now to give him a 2.5/4 on the longievity scale..Let us see where Fed is in 5 years. Right now it is really hard to keep him constantly ranked in one spot.
Anyway Laver is GOAT for his overall accomplishments and talent. Laver played the game amazingly and crushed the best of his era on their best surfaces.
Yes I agree, the argument about LAVER being the GOAT has been won many times
I regard your new thinking and rating system as having tremendous validity. The only nit I was going to pick had to do with the versatility rating of Gonzales. But you sort of answered it at the end, here:
My top 10 all time in order are:
1. Rafael Nadal
2. Rod Laver
3. Don Budge
4. Pete Sampras
5. Bill Tilden
6. Pancho Gonzales
7. Ken Rosweall
8. Bjorn Borg
9. Roger Federer
10. Jack Kramer
IF elsworth Vines can be considered a contender for one great year then so can Muster
my list wouldn't include Laver because his records are overratted
Sampras would be top spot or sharing top with Federer
Borg's HC disaster stops him from matching Sampras and Fed
and Nadal is quickly rising up to join them
Muster and Lendl also on the list
as is Mac for his 84 season
Which bridge do you live under exactly?
And please stay there
i would take your criteria (make a minor adjustment to 10 for my own personal tastes) and add to it, surfaces variables
Peak play for Rosewall on clay i would rate as 9 out of 10
and Laver peak clay would be 8
somone like Sampras who could be a 10 on Grass would obviously not even be a 5 on clay
Borg who would be a 10 on clay, would not be a 7 on hard
Federer is tough to rate
talent wise you can give him 10 across the board, but you factor in his mental weakness and you have to take off at least 2 points on his weaker surfaces
Nadal would be a 10 on clay and only a 7 on grass
longevity is a nice adition but in my opinion its meaningless
peak play, matters most, and anyone who can be consistently good for an entire year is good enough in my opinion
sorry its not trolling just because i don't subscribe to the Laver worship
one fake Grand slam when the best players were pro 62
and one when the best players were in retirment homes 69 does not a GOAT make
he's not worthy of any GOAT discussion
Thomas Muster however is
McEnroe's peak is much better. They're very close, but I prefer McEnroe.
I'm sorry, but this is unintelligible.
The point of this was not to reduce the discussion to numbers, but to clarify the thinking process through numbers. The numbers do not take place of a reasonable discussion. They are a starting point to a discussion.
I don't why Nadal is even being brought up.
Gonzales certainly isn't a perfect 4/4. I think he's solid, but not excellent on clay, hence probably comparable to someone like Federer.
Notice that to Sampras I gave 3/4 for versatility, which is I think extremely appropriate. Out of the four surfaces, he was great on three. The other one mostly a non-factor, save for two decent years (but nothing to write home about).
Federer and Gonzales get 3.5/4, because they have a weakness relative to their excellence elsewhere. However it is not a glaring weakness.
Vince Spadea is an all time great in the rap industry. He is cooler than you. He is much cooler than all these wannabe GOATS as well.
Tilden had the greatest Longevity of Anyone
Tilden was winning some matches against a peak Don Budge when Tilden was in his late 40's (yes, I know Budge was winning the majority of them but still to even win some is just mind bogling). Could you imagine Connors winning some matches against 1999 Agassi when he was 47 ? Tilden then went on in his early 50's to push Bobby Riggs to 5 sets in the late 1940's (Boddy was ranked either number 1 or 2 in the world at the time)! That even outstrips Rosewall in terms of Longevity. Imagine a peak Tilden, no wonder he could go match after match without even losing a game.
Okay, I guess I gave Spadea a bad RAP. But his behavior at the US Open a few years ago was worse---he constantly yelled at the ballboys, and after he missed a smash near the baseline wall, he yelled at the linesman there, "Hey, next time, get out of my way!!" He's the LAMB, man....
Actually, I don't care very much about stuff like this. I don't think it really matters that a guy in his 40s won some exhibition against a pro. It makes no difference.
Excelling in tennis means winning consistently while playing on a regular tour, dedicating one's life to the sport. A lot of former pros can win one match. Sampras can. But he's not on the tour.
It is a nice curio, I guess.
Again, what's important to me is to clarify what longevity means. I was hoping to make this very clear - longevity, meaningful longevity is when a player of a particular skill level and ability is able to hold his ground against players of a subsequent generation. Not only hold his ground, but maintain the level of excellence he achieved at his peak level or close to it. Winning the odd match - it's nice, but it's not true excellence.
reducing it to numbers simplfies things
Nadal was brought up because he's potentially going to own your boy's record in a month
Rafa has earned his place at this table
i Rate peak play as the most important stat
and in that case Rafa 2008/2006 on clay is just as good as Borg at his best
maybe better, who knows
There can be only one GOAT and that is Laver.
Attention deficit disorder?
its all subjective
but this is BS
Borg couldn't wipe his ass on HC's, hell he couldn't even win the US OPEN on clay
and yet he gets 4/4 on versitility and Rog gets 3.5?
Pete couldn't make a clay slam final, and on slow HCs was at a ditinct disadvantage gets a whole 3?
Borg's peak play was still on show in 1981, Mac surpassed him, so to give Borg 4/4 for peak play you have to give MAc it, but Pete was better then Mac- (cite wimbledon 1999 final) so your numbers are just all wrong imo
Borg should look like
peak play 3/4
peak play 4/4
Peak play 4/4
oh grow up, or rather act your age not your shoe size
dont always expect people to agree with you
It's not about you agreeing with me. You don't follow things logically, your grammar is atrocious and some of the things you say border on the non-sequitur.
Slow down and think things through before you post. It helps - trust me.
This post is very hard on the eyes and the brain, but some clarification is appropriate. What I look for in terms of peak play:
- percentages. Dominant players make winning a habit. We can isolate years such as 1977 to 1980 as Borg's peak. His winning percentage in these years is above 90%.
In terms of versatility, Borg's results on carpet and hardcourt surfaces are excellent. Unfortunately, he only played four US Opens on hardcourts - not a very representative number. Of those four times, he made three finals. Very strong. Add other results on hardcourts and similar surfaces and I see no reason to downgrade Borg.
Federer suffers for not winning RG, Monte Carlo or Rome events. Too many losses on one surface - not enough to give him a four. Borg's wins in Toronto and Las Vegas on hardcourts (masters-quality events) definitely show that he was an elite player on the surface.
But feel free to disagree. I'm not imposing my point of view on anyone.
The whole Borg, Sampras, Federer thing will be better at the end of Fed's career after a bit of looking into the situation my opinion is changing a bit but as a whole right now Fed is hard to evaluate as he is not done yet.
Come on a few weeks ago people said Fed will never bet nadal again..he just beat Nadal on clay.
There Are Only Three Real Goats. Pick From Them. Only.
The next 4 years will obviously prove Nadal is the true GOAT. The GOAT must dominate on all surfaces. That is why Graf is the female GOAT, she was utterly dominant on all surfaces which no other women can say. Nadal will prove the same thing in the coming years, he is already starting to do this.
The answer is....
9. Jimmy Connors
10. Tie Becker, Edberg, Agassi
Tilden might be around 4 or 5 but the quality of mens tennis was not that deep in those years.....
Nadal.....its to early....and his Roid use is an issue for me....
Nadal to not use steroids. He uses talent and mental toughness to dominate the field, including a 13 time slam winnner and top 10 player all time.
Let him do it before you crown him GOAT.
Resurrected for interest from a perspective of four years on.
tennis-hero, And you are not a hero with your absurd theories: Muster better than Laver???
timnz, that sensational match Riggs/Tilden happened in 1946 when Tilden was 53. The grandpa was able to push World Champion Riggs to a 5-2 lead in the final (THIRD) set.
Inner Game: Ranking Emerson ahead of Rosewall shows me that you are not familiar with the secrets of the Inner Game...
Hey look, 90s clay's previous account in the 2nd post how cute.
Defining versatility as as a weakness relative to one’s own excellence elsewhere is problematic from the start. By that definition, a player who is phenomenally good on one surface and "only" very good on others, would become more versatile by becoming a bit less good on his best surface. Nadal's versatility would grow if you take away some of his clay titles to make it a bit more even with the other surfaces.
I don’t understand why Borg is given a 4/4 versatility (implying equal excellence on hard courts relative to himself on clay and grass), but Federer is given only 3.5.
Federer has 10 titles on clay, which include 1 RG and 6 Master’s series tournaments (2 of them against Nadal). And he is a 4-time finalist at RG and has another 7 Masters runnerups on clay. Most of them lost against the clay goat.
Borg has 3 titles on outdoor hardcourts (2 in Las Vegas and 1 in Montreal). And he was a 3-time finalist at the USO on hard courts, and one time in Toronto. That’s it.
So if this makes him a full 4/4 in versatility, surely Federer’s record on clay does too, being a lot better.
Borg was a very early bloomer relative to Federer, and he retired at or near the peak of his powers. Now, even if you include the 3 or 4 years that Federer spent in the process of hatching out of his pupa, Federer has a higher career percentage on clay than Borg has on hard courts. That’s pretty revealing in itself. And if you consider only his post-hatching years, then his record on clay has to be a lot better than Borg on hard courts.
Federer may actually be one of the top 2 or 3 most versatile players in the open era after Laver. Dismissing his clay ability as a weakness relative to himself in other surfaces, would be exactly the same as dismissing Borg’s grass ability if he had had to contend with a guy like Sampras during his best years and kept losing all his Wimbledon finals to Pete. That’s exactly what happened to Federer on clay. His “weakness” on clay during his career is a weakness relative only to Nadal, but that's a hell of a high bar to measure weakness.
I also don't understand why Federer is given the same very low mark in longevity as Borg. Certainly his longevity is better than that. His most recent slam title is less than a year old, and he started winning them almost 10 years ago.
I am also not sure about Gonzalez's weakness on clay. He seems to have won about 19 tournaments on that surface. How that makes it weaker that Borg's 3 tournaments on hard courts is not very clear to me. But I don't know much about the Gonzalez career, so I'll leave that to be assessed by more knowledgeable folks.
The very definition of trolling: trying to stir up trouble with absurd positions.
This thread is nearly 4 years ago when Fed won 13 slams(no FO) and is a goat candidate. Fed today is a lot more accomplished than he was in 2009, he's clearly separated himself from the pack.
Had Fed retired in 2009 after winning the FO, the debate would be between Fed and Laver, while most would have Fed above Sampras because of the career slam.
Please note that the original quotatation, to which much of this is a response, was written in May 2009 before Fed won the FO.
The Tour in the time of Connors, Borg, McEnroe, Lendl and Vilas (1976-1981) had fewer big outdoor hard court tournaments and more indoor tournaments, including indoor hard and indoor carpet tourneys. The Tour is now disproportionately played on hard courts, with less of an emphasis on indoor tourneys in particular. So, as to Borg, his surface versatility is exhibited in his winning on grass when it was faster and at 23 indoor tournaments (two indoor hard court) and also 4 outdoor hard court tourneys. That total of 23 indoor titles, includes two indoor hard court titles. I see that he has 6 total hard court titles, including the 2 indoor and likely 4 outdoor hard titles. His win at the Auckland hard court tourney in Auckland (1974) is noted as simply a hard court title by the ATP site. It is played outdoors now, with Ferrer having won there in 2013. Wasn't it also a outdoor hard court tournament back in 1974?
Borg did win a lot indoors on fast carpet, as well as gather two indoor hard court titles. He also added in 4 outdoor hard court titles. Plus, he played a lot of "unofficial" hard court tourneys (not just the exos). Then, he reached three US Open finals, while playing in a total of 4 hard court majors during his career. So, his ability to excel on fast grass, as well as indoors, when indoor tennis was more of a focus, plus his 4 other hard court titles and 3 trips to US Open finals out of 4 chances, all exhibit excellent surface versatility. The only players he lost to at the US Open were Connors and McEnroe, who are both great hard courters. The US Open was not played on slow hard courts back then either. He played on faster hard courts there. In addition, there was no second hard court major in those days, and Borg never got a chance to compete on slow hard courts at the AO. Even a slower US Open surface would have favored him quite a bit. Here is Borg in the 1981 SF versus Connors at the US Open.
Bjorn Borg played a ton of unofficial matches while also putting up big totals in terms of matches played from 1973-1981. Players like himself, Connors, and even McEnroe played a lot of unofficial tourneys, as well as exos, and then also heavy "official" schedules on the Tour during that time. Yet there were fewer big hard court tourneys, while indoor tournaments in particular flourished. On the topic of this thread, if you try to pick from only these three players as the greatest ever, I'd pick Laver over both Federer and Sampras. In the first tier of greats, I would consider Gonzalez (who won plenty versus Laver), Laver, Rosewall, Borg, Sampras, and now Federer. I expect Nadal to reach that first tier of greats as well by the time his career ends.
Separate names with a comma.