Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by pc1, Oct 22, 2010.
These days, it usually does come down to numbers of titles.
Sampras vs. Borg:
14 slams vs. 11 slams
6 YE No 1's vs. 3 or 4 YE No 1's
285 wks vs. 160 wks (approximate real value, not ATP) ranked as No 1
5 YECs vs. 2 YECs
Both had 8 straight yrs of winning at least 1 slam
Both had 64 official titles
Kept playing until 31 vs being burnt out aged 25
Owned major rival (Agassi) vs being usurped by him (McEnroe)
Despite the Channel slams, I still consider Sampras greater.
Phoenix, Borg dominated more clearly than Sampras did.
Borg won more than 100 tournaments.
those that started watching tennis in the Sampras era or in the Federer era do not have the slightest idea of the impact or dominance that Borg had on the tour.Beliwve me, the guy was really scary
Well, it's pretty much impossible to win over 100 tournaments in recent times, due to the way the tour is scheduled, so we can't use that as an accurate comparison point.
Sampras only really cared about the majors/YECs; the only reason he won smaller tournaments was to ensure he finished the year as No 1. Another reason why you can't look at how many smaller tournaments he won and call him 'less dominant'.
Please don't be patronising, every tennis fan, even younger ones, are well aware of Borg's iconic status in the game.
Phoenix, I don't see a big difference in the schedules then and now.
I don't really have a problem with Sampras being rated higher, but these numbers mislead.
- Borg played fewer years
- Had much better winning percentages
- Played two-three grand slam titles per year
- His rivals were better
- The #1 ranking in Borg's time worked differently
Whats is your top 10 all time Cyborg??
Yes, Borg was clearly more dominant (with less longevity) and also more versatile. I failed to mention his excellence on all surfaces and Sampras's mediocrity on clay.
I would just place several players in an upper tier and not rank them. I don't think ranking them is necessary, because it's pretty close.
I haven't thought about this for a while, but I think my list was (in roughly chronological order) Tilden, Gonzales, Laver, Rosewall, Borg, Sampras, Federer.
Maybe Nadal should be on the list now. I don't see why not.
CyBorg, These are excatly my top seven. And I rank Nadal now at eighth place but I believe he even will climb up if staying healthy.
By the way, I think that Nadal is more versatile than Federer and Sampras, a more complete player. I agree with Mr. Lansdorp that Roger did not improve his game. Thus he could not dominate Nadal since several years.
Nadal is better on any of the 3 surfaces that exist today (grass, clay, hard courts) than Borg was on hard courts, Federer is on clay, Sampras was on clay (by a HUUUUUGE margin on the Sampras on clay one) so I agree in that sense he is more versatile than all of those. He is also more willing to adapt his game to beat certain opponents and in certain conditions than Federer or Sampras by far, although Borg was also very good in that respect.
Yes a more impressive achievement than anything Sampras achieved in my opinion, although that's not to say Sampras doesn't have many impressive achievements of his own.
Sampras's longevity in winning majors as a teenager, during his 20s and during his 30s was phenomenal. He easily beats Borg in the longevity category and Borg easily beats him in the versatility category.
Borg's record at the majors and dominance at events on the circuit during his peak was incredibly good. If the grand slam title count had actually mattered during the 70s and early 80s, it would have been interesting to see how Borg, Mac, Connors etc would have adjusted their schedules accordingly. Borg's scheduling in particular was crazy and Bergelin frequently complained about this in public, ranting that Mark McCormack was pressuring him to enter all those events and exos.
Also it's interesting to see how few tournaments Borg actually entered on outdoor hard during his prime. The US Open from 1978-1981, the Canadian Open in 1979 and 1980 (it was on har-tru before then), Las Vegas in 1979 and 1980, the South African Open from 1975-1977, Palm Springs in 1976, La Costa in 1977, Industry Hills in 1982 (I'm guessing that Auckland 1974 which is listed as being on hard was actually on grass). Fewer outdoor hard events than indoor events that Nadal has entered during his career for instance, or clay court events that Sampras played in. Yet his record at those events in terms of titles, finals and semi-finals is excellent as far as weakest surfaces go.
I don't see it Bobby, simply because the opposition Hoad beat in these events was stronger than what some other great names have overcome.
Rosewall dominated the scene in the early 1960's, but Hoad and Gonzales were past prime, and Laver had yet to adjust to pro play.
So we will never know just how good Rosewall was at the time he dominated.
I suspect that Rosewall was just as good from 1957 to 1960, when he lost big matchups to Hoad and Gonzales.
Laver was also dominant from 1964 to 1969, but Rosewall was getting on, and Laver's greatest challenges came from Newcombe, Gimeno, Roche, Ashe, all of whom we should concede as below his level.
So how would Laver have fared against late-fifties' Gonzales and Hoad?
Judging from Laver's two tour losses to Hoad in 1963 and 1964, probably not very well.
Sampras, Fed and Nadal never had the chance to play Gonzales and Hoad, but I believe that these earlier giants, and also Budge and Vines, were better, more natural athletes.
And there are weaknesses in the games of the recent greats, whereas Hoad, Gonzales, and Budge had NO weaknesses.
Dan, How good Rosewall was in his peak years we can imagine if we consider his achievements in 1965 and 1966 (about equal with peak Laver) and in 1970/71 when he arguably was the world's No.1 (together with Laver and Newcombe; Smith and Newcombe).
While IMO Rosewall has a slight edge of Laver&Newcombe for 1970, I still have to decide who was the true nº 1 in 1971.
Rosewall or Smith...probably their HtH that year should decide it
Yes, I could agree with that.
1964 and 1965 were years when both Rosewall and Laver were in prime form, and there was little to choose between them.
Laver had the edge in big events in 1964, and Rosewall had the edge in big events in 1965.
kiki, Why always a clear-cut No.1? I'm convinced that there was not a individual No.1 for 1970, 1971, 1972 and 1973.
Rosewall beat Smith in 1971 in their only meeting (Washington) 6-3,6-2.
Rosewall arguably won the No.3 and No.4 tournament of the year:AO and WCT Dallas. (or No.2 and No3 because the US Open did not have Laver and Rosewall). And reached SFs at Wimbledon.
I rank Rosewall, Smith and Newcombe equal No.1 for 1971. I think this is the fairest solution.
nadal's reached just two ao finals. Federer reached five french open finals.
It may be just like you tell for 71.However, I do think that Nastase was a bit above Smith and Ken Rosewall for 1972.Just a pubic hair, since he won FH and Masters ( over Stan) while Stan in turn beat him at DC and Wimbledon.Rosewall won the best attended event of all, the WCT Finals, and won an AO that had a quite depleted feld.The three could be ranked nº1 but I pick Nastase.In fact, the same slight difference exists for 19790 and 1973.IMO, if somebody deserves the nº 1 in 70 it is Rosewall ( Newk is extremely close anyway) and in 73, it is either Nasty or Newk but their Masters clash makes me decide in Nastase´s favour (Kodes was also a challenger)
So, and it is very disputable. I take
1972 and 1973 Nastase
kiki, Again: Why don't you rank two or three players ex aequo if their records are so even?
And why Smith No.1 for 1971 even though you earlier wrote that probably the hth should decide? I gave you the Rosewall:Smith hth.
Why exclude Laver for 1970??
Co-No 1's are a thing of myth. If there were a computer then, it would have calculated one man as No 1 for the year.
So hard to decide for those years, Bobby one.I may change opinions the day after.
The onlook is interesting specially for Newcombe; he was a big match ,big event player but the reflection process that I went through was a very painful experience for ...year long I could not find him a nº 1 spot¡¡¡
Holy crap, kiki has an avatar finally! Revolutionary times people!
Yes, and don't anyone let him change that avatar.
Phoenix, I disagree. Take 1977: Connors was the ATP No.1 but hardly the true No.1.
It's a fact that there was not a computer ranking before 1973. Thus not a myth.
It's interesting and significant that the star experts before 1973 came often to different solutions, f.i. regarding 1953, 1963, 1966, 1967.
It's also difficult to rank the pros reasonably, f.i. regarding 1959 there is the big question (ask Dan!) if Gonzalez of Hoad was the best...
And also 1958.
I have Hoad at #1 for both 1958 and 1959, when he won the world tournament series both years, and the bonus money pools.
For 1959, I regard Hoad as winning both the U.S. series with his 15 to 13 edge against Gonzales, and a winning edge against Cooper, 18 to 2, and Anderson, 9 to 5, (Gonzales also did), as well as the tournament series, which was the official ranking event.
Indeed, I would regard Hoad's 1959 year as the best ever by any player, given the strength of the pro field.
I would rank Laver's 1969 year as the second best ever.
I don´t think I will...
Dan, Gonzalez not "also did" but actually won all his matches against Cooper and Anderson.
Which was a better player in your opinion, Anderson or Cooper? Mal won 1 US Open while Ashley won two majors as an amateur, one of them Wimbledon.Who fared better in the pro´s ranks? Anderson also lost the 72 AO final to Rosewall.
Sorry for the confusion, I meant that Gonzales also regarded Hoad as the winner of their head-to-head U.S. tour.
kiki, I would give the edge to Anderson.
Cooper won four amateur majors (three in 1958) and won the 1960 European pro tour ahead of Gimeno and Anderson. His career was short.
Anderson won the 1957 US "Open" and finished second at the 1958 one.
His greatest feat was winning the 1959 Wembley tournament with wins against Sedgman, Rosewall and Segura. He continued to be a strong pro till 1966. In open era he reached the AO 1972 final after a win over Newcombe.
In 1973 he won the NSW chmpionships with wins against Newcombe and Rosewall. He also had success in late Davis Cup competition.
His last feat was the 1974 PSW match against Connors where Mal had two matchpoints against Jimbo even though he was 39 then and had not played for 11 months.
Yes, even if only Cooper won Wimbledon, but it seems like Anderson was able to raise his game and be a serious customer to the big guys.
Anderson had more success against the big guys than Cooper, but usually had trouble with Cooper himself.
In the 1959 tour, Hoad was 18 to 2 against Cooper, but only 9 to 5 against Anderson.
Cooper won his hth against Anderson easily, and also beat him on the 1960 European tour.
In the New Zealand tour of 1964, Anderson was only 1 and 3 against Hoad and Laver, but was 2 and 2 against Rosewall, playing the spoiler in the outcome.
I just found in my souterrain The book of Tennis lists, by Norman Giller 1985. On the basis of opinions of players, experts and commentators he makes the following lists of all time greats, dividing in pre and post war greats:
Men Pre- War:
7 L. Doherty
Women Pre- War:
6 Lambert Chambers
7 Sutton Bundy
10 Cooper Sterry
12 De Alvarez
9 Du Pont
Hoad in 1958 needs some serious explaining. He likely had losing records against Pancho, Rosewall, Segura, and Trabert, and possibly a losing record overall.
But even expert can err from time to time: Vines six places after Perry is absurd. Vines was the better player.
Perhaps, but there is that small distinction: better player versus better accomplishments.
Hoad in 1958 was the leading money winner, both on the four-man American tour and world-wide in the tournament series and bonus money pool.
His record in the five championship tournaments against Gonzales was 3 to 1, winning at Kooyong, Forest Hills, and Roland Garros, the three most important events.
hoodjem, That way you mostly would rank the amateurs ahead of the pros.
Vines was the world's No.1 player for 6 to 7 years, Perry only once (1941).
Hoad was the leading money winner because he got a massive contract offer to jump from the Amateurs to the pros. That happened every year, with Trabert, Ashley Cooper, young Pancho.
And easily the most important event for Hoad in 1958 was his H2H tour with Gonzales. Kramer's tour was the biggest golden goose for a player by faaarrr during that time. Nobody cared if Hoad could win a Pro Slam. Hoad signed up for the Pros for the Gonzales tour, and Gonzales turned that matchup around decisively. Losing record overall for Hoad that year, might've actually been a losing record even if you take out the Gonzales H2H (it was that bad, even Segura and Trabert were beating Hoad most of the time in Europe). He had a few nice runs but overall I bet Hoad would consider that a disaster year.
YaoPau, That's the right answer to Dan's strange claim.
I would happily join that Lendl fanclub anyday. Always was and always will be a big fan of Ivan Lendl.
McEnroe and Agassi have picked Nadal as GOAT.
Even if you adjust for the contract, Hoad was the leading money-winner, and took the bonus money.
He won about $200,000 to Gonzales $91,000, the others well back.
There was a lot of money awarded for play results that year.
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