Peharps Bjorn Borg is the GOAT.

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Aykhan Mammadov, Apr 29, 2007.

  1. Aykhan Mammadov

    Aykhan Mammadov Hall of Fame

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    We watch really interesting times of tennis. Time of great Federer who is No 1 and who is absolute No 2 on the clay.

    The situation returns me to old disputes here at the forum - is Sampras is the greatest ever with his 14 slams, or say Rod Laver with 2 full Grand Slams 2 consequitive years and 11 slams overall is greater because he won on all 4 surfaces? Probably, Laver is greater.

    Or say Borg with his 11 slams - 6 times FO champion and 5 times Wimbledon - on absolutely different and controversial conflicting surfaces !!!

    Many attempts were made scientifically to create some orders in which one could position these greats. It seems to me that our old attempts to give some extra points to a player for winning on different surface MUST PREVAIL. Mathematically we should give for comparison of players much more points ( weights) for winning on different surfaces. In this regard we should divide all slams to 2 categories - ( W+USO+AO) and FO, and winning in both must prevail over bigger number only in 1 category to certaing limits , of course !

    I'm here not trying to create new stupid method, not.

    Today's situation shows us extra information - how difficult to win in both categories. In this regard I have started believe that Borg with 6 FO and 5 W titles is the GOAT.

    P.S. To the question: "Is Nadal best player on the clay?" my answer is : Probably, not, Borg is unbeatable if u take into account that the man is not only 6 times FO winner, but also 5 times ( consequitive) W champ - unbelievable achievment.
     
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  2. z-money

    z-money Semi-Pro

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    he may easily be in the top 5! but what an idiot!!!!! After his problems and offering up wimbledon trophies for sale cause he is broke...i lose all respect for the guy
     
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  3. Aykhan Mammadov

    Aykhan Mammadov Hall of Fame

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    Drugs breake lifes.
     
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  4. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    the way i see it, Borg could be the GOAT among past champions who used wood racquets. Sampras is the GOAT among past champions who used graphite racquets (but Federer could dethrone Sampras in the next few years)
     
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  5. Wingshellphelp

    Wingshellphelp New User

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    Hmm. borg could easily be, if federer burns out. but if fed surpasses the 14 slams, and wins the french, he will be da goat
     
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  6. Heavy Metal Tennis Star

    Heavy Metal Tennis Star Professional

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    PEHARPS he is, perhaps not
     
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  7. Aykhan Mammadov

    Aykhan Mammadov Hall of Fame

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    But to become champion with wood is not easier than with modern. After that I think if Borg played at modern times he probably would have been great again. I count racquet-wise division and (open)-(before open) era dividing - both are very conditional and relative and are not rigorous.
     
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  8. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    I'm a big Borg fan so many know where I stand. However I stand firm that Sampras cannot be the greatest considering his weakness on clay.

    In reality there probably isn't the greatest of all time. Laver is a popular choice but those of us who know of Pancho Gonzalez are aware that he was pretty good too.
     
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  9. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    they are both difficult but I feel the graphite racquets make the game much faster, so not only the champion has to be a great tennis player but he also has to be a superb athlete. But since we cannot compare players from different generations, we have to look at their results and make the assessment.
     
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  10. kingdaddy41788

    kingdaddy41788 Hall of Fame

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    Agreed. You just can't compare the two eras. The game was too different. If they played a match with wood racquets, the wood player would win, and if they played a match with graphite racquets, the graphite player would win.
     
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  11. grizzly4life

    grizzly4life Professional

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    why wouldn't rod laver be the GOAT? are his two grand slam YEARS somehow tainted?.... not being sarcastic, i don't know the answer.
     
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  12. kingdaddy41788

    kingdaddy41788 Hall of Fame

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    They weren't in the open-era.
     
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  13. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    I saw the match of Laver playing Borg on youtube . Laver's stroke production resembled that of Federer's (or Federer's stroke production resembles that of Laver's). I think Laver could be the GOAT too . It's too tough to decide :)
     
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  14. The Gorilla

    The Gorilla Banned

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    his first is because he was only an amateur, the pro's were about 40 times better.
    The second is because when they opened up the grand slams all the former pro's were very old, in their late 30's and early forties.Rod laver's greatest rival was ken rosewall, who was a former pro and was in his late 30's.The amateurs were no match for a pro like laver.
     
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  15. hoosierbr

    hoosierbr Hall of Fame

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    Borg is absolutely one of the best ever, probably in the Top 5 of all time. However, not winning the US Open is the one blemish on his resume.

    Still, winning the French and Wimbledon back to back on three different occasions, 5 straight Wimbledons and 6 total French Opens is extraordinary.

    I doubt anyone will be able to win the French and Wimbledon in the same year more than once for a long time, if ever.
     
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  16. federerfanatic

    federerfanatic Banned

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    Nadal is a pretty good barometer for how well Borg would do today. By that I mean Borg plays exactly the same game as Nadal, except does everything 30% better for his time as Nadal does for his own time, in addition has a way stronger serve and a way stronger net game then Nadal. So if Nadal is able to win 5 or 6 slams before he retires around 24/25ish, then we will know Borg would have been able to win 20 slams had he been in his prime today. Anything Nadal does has to be increased by about 3.5 times to what Borg would have done today.

    The fact Nadal is able to go on a long unbeaten streak on clay means Borg would have been able to go on a long straight sets streak on clay, meaning the same streak but not losing a single set. The fact Nadal made a Wimbledon final today means Borg would have made many finals atleast. The fact Nadal wins the occasional Masters event on hard courts, and reachs slam quarters regularly on hard courts mean Borg would have regularly reached semis or finals of hard court slams today, and definitely won Masters events today in more impressive fashion then Nadal(not only winning by default when Fed does not play or is taken out in a rare upset like Nadal). The fact Nadal is able to be a distant #2 behind Fed, means Borg would atleast be challenging Federer for the #1 ranking.

    Basically since Nadal and Borg are exactly the same player, but with Borg clearly better in every area, combined with a few extra dimensions(serving, net game)anything Nadal does, assume Borg would do even more today.
     
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  17. newbiett

    newbiett Rookie

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    borg retired when he is only 25 (at 26 he announced it). he's probably bored? but anyway because of crappy attitude he can't qualify for GOAT.
     
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  18. federerfanatic

    federerfanatic Banned

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    He had personal problems that developed in the early 80s. It is unfortunate he retired, but reading a book from a jaded ex best friend of his(I forget his name but I remember reading the book)I could understand why he wasnt able to keep tennis his #1 priority at that point.
     
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  19. hoosierbr

    hoosierbr Hall of Fame

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    Was that the book called Winner Loses All, or something like that, written by Borg's friend and ex-business partner who talked about how much Borg ruined his company and ripped off the investors and friends? He also talked about Borg's drug use and other strange behavior.
     
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  20. onkystomper

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    nothing that Nadal does at the moment has any affect on what borg would or could do now. They may have a similar style but to draw such random analysis points is clutching at straws somewhat.
     
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  21. mrmo1115

    mrmo1115 Hall of Fame

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    waz G.O.A.T. stand for ?
     
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  22. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    Greatest Of All Time
     
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  23. tennis_hand

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    Why do you have to say one is great, the other is not?
    Why not all of them are great, but in different ways?

    Get a life in this endless and meaningless debate.
     
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  24. brc444

    brc444 New User

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    When determining GOAT, I'm not sure why a certain combination of slam wins (6 FO and 5W for Borg) or a slam win on each surface (Laver and Agassi for example) is more important than the total number of slams won (14 for Sampras and 11 for Borg). Everybody gets to their total somehow so why judge some combinations better than others.
     
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  25. hoosierbr

    hoosierbr Hall of Fame

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    Agassi is the only player in the modern era to win the four Slams on different surfaces. The Aussie Open was on grass in Laver's day as was the US Open and Wimbledon.
     
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  26. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    Borg's record is truely unique especially becasue grass was really quick
    and skidding at the time. It was really hard to adjust.
    It's mind-boggling achievement and no one ever did anything similar.

    Amazingly, wee had same finalists for French Open and Wimbledon 2006 (Federer
    and Nadal). But now Wimbledon grass is much slower and higher bouncing.
    It's much easier to adjust. In a way, it was not a surprise to have
    identical finalists for both French Open and Wimbledon.
    I think it will happen again under current condition of Wimbledon's surface.

    In that sense, Agassi's career slam is amazing, IMHO.
    He did it in 90's extrememly polarized surface conditions: fast and lwo
    bouncing grass, slow clay, quick hard court of US Open, bouncy slow
    rebound ace of Australian Open. He even won Master's final on super quick
    indoor carpet. All these against all those power serve and volleyers of 90's....

    I personally value Agassi's career slam much much higher than 1st
    grand slam of Laver when 3 of salms were playing on grass and all
    the real players, professionals were not playing in slams.... very obviously.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2007
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  27. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    I see you are still on with your Kafelnikov GOAT agenda! He is a valid No. 2, because remember how we said that AO and USO are not the same surface...
     
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  28. edmondsm

    edmondsm Legend

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    I don't really get why Samp couldn't be the greatest just because of his lack of results on clay. It is a specialized sport. There are guys that excel on certain surfaces and guys with all-court games, and out of all of them Samp has the prettiest trophy cabinet.
     
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  29. tenniko

    tenniko Semi-Pro

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    Also the courts nowadays are slow overall, so I think it's not only the matter of racquets/balls/strings, surfaces, and open era, but also how the court is maintained at that respective times. (i.e. Wimbledon. Even though I love Goran, I don't think Goran could win in the today's grass on Wimby)
     
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  30. How many of the people who are talking about how slow todays grass, have PLAYED on todays grass? I have played at Mission Hills, the same place they played davis cup last year I believe. On grass. I guarantee you the grass is not "slow." It may be slow-ER than the grass they used to use at wimbledon but the ball still bounces WAY lower than a hard court, and skips right along. Backhand slices come maybe 2 inches off the ground. It's not even close to any other surface.

    I've even seen some armchair tennis experts proclaim that Wimbledon now plays like a clay court. :roll:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2007
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  31. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    Agreed. It's childish.
     
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  32. hoosierbr

    hoosierbr Hall of Fame

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    A couple of those experts are Tim Henman and Michael Stich. Not to mention that almost every player that played Wimby prior to 2002 and afterwards who's been asked about the court says its quite a bit slower than before.

    Clay court? I'm not sure I'd go that far but several have said the US Open is, in fact, quicker than Wimbledon these days.
     
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  33. Yeah I said perhaps the court is SLOWER than before but there is no way the grass plays like even a hard court. How do I know? I've played on one of the best grass courts in the world!

    I would not doubt the grass has been slowed down, but grass is grass. The stuff bounces around your knees. Let the ball just drop and two bounces and the ball thuds flat into the ground, unlike the 10+ bounces you get on hard court. Hit a good slice and watch the ball bounce literally one to two inches off the ground and come skipping at you incredibly fast. And yes I have seen people on message boards say "Now that the grass is playing like clay..." It's just silly. Anyway this is a bit off topic. Yes Borg could be the greatest tennis player of all time. Arguments can be made for many people and I don't think anyone can "win" that argument.
     
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  34. Rosebud

    Rosebud New User

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    If you are goin to compare achievements by taking into account the specific conditions, why not be even more specific? Isn't it so that in the year Agassi won Wimbledon the weather also played a part? And that the sun baked courts produced a higher and truer bounce than normal?
     
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  35. Aykhan Mammadov

    Aykhan Mammadov Hall of Fame

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    But AO and USO are closer than say AO and FO. Aren't? So a winner of AO and FO must get more points than a winner of AO and USO.

    Which surface is closer to another is clearly seen on example of Federer.
     
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  36. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    It's a matter of opinion, of course.
     
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  37. caulcano

    caulcano Hall of Fame

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    Of course ...
     
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  38. edmondsm

    edmondsm Legend

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    Certainly, and if we go with the "prettiest trophy cabinet" criteria, I would say that Borg has a good case to be the GOAT as well.
     
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  39. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    No I think top players actually siad that. As I recall, Bjorkman was one of
    them who said something like "green clay".

    Some other pros says in example

    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/tennis/2006-07-16-surface-tension_x.htm
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2007
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  40. illkhiboy

    illkhiboy Hall of Fame

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    And when is the last time Bjorkman came close to stringing together a few singles wins on clay let alone make the Semis at Paris?
     
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  41. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    OK. I've been saying this about 3 years now.
    Some people just don't get it.

    We had all top 4 seeds in the semi's of French Open 2006.
    And then We had identical finalists on both French and Wimbledon 2006.

    We'll see these kind of things repeatedly under current condition.
    Whether it's Federer or Nadal. Since 2003 or so, all top players
    are doing more evenly on all surfaces.

    It's been predicted and actually it's not a surprised to see two baseliners
    dominating the whole tour simply becasue the whole are all baseliners.


    It's not my peculiar opinion. Everybody knows all surface speeds are
    converging toward middle now. Some people like it but some people
    (like navratilova) does like it because we lose variety of style.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2007
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  42. Aykhan Mammadov

    Aykhan Mammadov Hall of Fame

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    U didn't read first post attentively. The combination of different slams is better than overall number of slams to CERTAIN LIMITS, OF COURSE, and this is because of our experience with Federer. We see that he defeated Nadal at W but can't come close on the clay. These are different tennis games.

    But again to certain limit !!!! Say if one player won 100 times W and the second 1 time W and 1 time FO, the first player is certainly better.

    But I personally give my preference to Borg with his 11 over Sampras with 14. Because AO, USO and W are close in some meaning - they are fast surfaces while FO is another thing.

    To be completely true we must differentiate all 4 slams and give extra points for winning different slams. It is why Agassi is considered as one of greatest with 8 slams. I can't tell Pete with 14 surely is better than Agassi.
     
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  43. Baghdatis72

    Baghdatis72 Hall of Fame

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    Let's wait a few more years to see what Federer and Nadal accomplish and then we might be able to decide who is the GOAT more clearly imo.
     
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  44. brc444

    brc444 New User

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    I prefer the total slam approach because it is a more objective standard for determining GOAT. Even if you prefer bonus points (which are essentially bonus slam wins) for certain slams, it seems to me you are giving too much of a bonus for the FO when you are not sure that Sampras's 14 slams are not better than Agassi's 8 because Agassi won 1 FO. That one FO win is not worth an extra 6 bonus slams.
     
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  45. Aykhan Mammadov

    Aykhan Mammadov Hall of Fame

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    brc444, I understand your point. It is easy to choose such an approach - by total quantity of slams. But then question rise - see below:

    1. Say if player A won full grand slam what means all 4, and the player B won only USOpen 5 times, to whom will u give preference ? I'd give to player A.

    2. Yes, there is difference in 6 slams between Sampras and Agassi. But now do the following: keep same difference 6 and add to each number by 100 same slams say USO. Shortly imagine Sampras who won 114 slams without FO and Agassi with 108 slams but with all 4, don't u think that for big number of slams to win also FO is more important than the quantity itself? Doesn't it tell about ability of a player?

    Say Connors and McEnroy couldn't win FO, while Lendl and Wilander with 8 slams each couldn't win Wimbledon. It tells certainly about ability of a player on clay or grass.

    I didn't try to give perfect mathematical method of determining who is the GOAT, I just tried to tell that different slams to some limit must prevail over the quantity ( again to certain limit) and must give extra points.
     
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  46. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    Last edited: May 1, 2007
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  47. Aykhan Mammadov

    Aykhan Mammadov Hall of Fame

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    slice bh compliment, I'm not neither American ,not an English-man. Also English is my 4-th. I speak Azeri-Turkish, Turkish, Russian fluently. My English is weak, I recognise. Additionaly to this fact sometimes I type very fast and don't check the post for mistakes after.

    Borat is funny hero. Anyhow I don't understand your irony over my weak English, at least I attempt to talk at my 41.

    I don't know where are u from ( u don't indicate) but u must understand that we are coming ( 15 former republics) from another world called before 1991 USSR, that world was completely restricted from Europe and USA, and Russian was there as English for the rest of the world. Only-only people in this part of the world try to learn English. So I do to become closer to the world culture.

    In the end I don't blame u that u can't speak Turkish.
     
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  48. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    Aykhan, sorrymate. I did not mean that as a jab to you. I meant it as a compliment, likening you to a razor sharp Hollywood or London film executive .... posing as an Azeri tennis-head.
    They say SBCohen's bit is largely made-up, but your syntax ends up giving him some credibility as an ersatz Kazakh. (And uhm, yeh, I just used 'syntax', 'ersatz' and 'Kazakh' -- all in the same sentence. Yes I did.)

    I can speak a few languages, but yeah, sorry the Indo-European ones are definitely a weakness of mine. Much love and respek to the 'Stans and the other breakaway former Soviet Republics. And to glorious nation of Azerbaijan, of course.
     
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  49. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    I rate the TOTAL slams higher, especially compared to players who won wimbledon and the french 30 or 40 years ago. There was a lot less competition back then so it would be easier for the for players to continue their form and confidence etc from the french into wimbledon.(mabe why borg won wimbledon and not the US open) Now the top 100 is a lot stronger so thats harder to do. And even if somone wins the french and winbledon, it means they only have to peak for about a month a year. I think a better judgement of a players ability is to judge them on their ability to peak in any of the slams. If a player is so great to be able to win wimbledon and the french, they should also be great enough to win the US open or Australian Open too - unless theyre not really that great.




     
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  50. noeledmonds

    noeledmonds Professional

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    Players in the past did not. Lendl gave up playing the FO to try and win Wimbledon. Lendl essentially gave up the chance to win several slams (he would have been favourtie to win) in order to try and complete his career Grand Slam set. McEnroe claims his biggest career regret was failing to win the FO. If Federer does not win the FO then he has clearly failed to accomplish something he tried very hard to achieve.

    I am not sure on what basis you view the competition as worse. After Federer and Nadal there is almost no real competition today. I would like to see the likes of Davydenko and Ljubicic take on the might of Connors, Vilas, Nastase etc.

    It is commonly known (and I belive acknowledged by Borg himself) that Borg's inablitiy to win the USO was down to the atmosphere in the USA. Borg did not like the noisy crowds or the late night sessions and under the artificial lighting. Borg has a relativly poor record in the whole of the USA, not just at the USO.

    This is debatable but the top 10 and 20 are certainly not stronger than 30 years ago. It is the top players that generally challange the other top players. Does it really matter if Galvani and Pavel are in the top 100 rather than some even weaker players. None of these players are going to mount a serious challage against any top player.

    This does not make sense. It is a lot harder to win these back-back slams as there is little time to adjust. This adjustment is particuarly important from clay to grass as these surfaces play so radically different. 30 years ago the surfaces were far more different than they are today making it even harder to win back then.
     
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