Roger : best ever, The four of us? That’s a really difficult call.

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by tennissportsrog, Sep 2, 2012.

  1. tennissportsrog

    tennissportsrog Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2011
    Messages:
    373
    An interview with: ROGER FEDERER
    Saturday, August 25, 2012

    THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.


    Q. Both McEnroe and Agassi said in the World Team Tennis match this July that tennis right now at the top, men’s tennis is the toughest ever. Do you think you four guys are the toughest maybe in history in terms of competing against each other and winning events?



    ROGER FEDERER: I’d say no, but I don’t know. Just because you look back maybe 15 years, then you have Sampras, Edberg, Becker, and Agassi, I don’t know who else. Those guys weren’t good or what? Do you know what I mean?

    You look back, further back, 20 years, and you have the Connors and the Lendls. Those weren’t good either? I mean, I don’t know. So for me I think that’s respectful. It’s just different times and definitely more athletic, there’s no doubt about that. But then again we don’t play doubles. We don’t play mixed. Maybe we play less matches today because it’s more taxing, but we do play less best‑of‑five set tennis than they used to play. You can’t compare really.

    but we have somewhat of a golden era right now. I feel that truly. It’s nice to see Andy making his move at the Olympics, nice to see Novak having an absolutely ridiculous year last year, and then Rafa and myself still being around. It’s definitely good times. Past that you still have great champions as well. It’s very interesting at the top right now, and the depth I think has never been greater than right now. There’s no doubt about that.

    But then best ever? The four of us? That’s a really difficult call.



    http://richtweets.com/2sloc



    :wink:
     
    #1
  2. tennissportsrog

    tennissportsrog Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2011
    Messages:
    373
    wise and humble Roger

    true great.

    :cool:
     
    #2
  3. tennissportsrog

    tennissportsrog Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2011
    Messages:
    373





    And, This.


    I'm not greatest player - Roger Federer


    "I don't feel better than anyone, because we need past champions to pave the way for our generation and we have become very professional," he said.


    "They have led the way and inspired myself and other players to chase the big records out there.


    "Back in the day they weren't doing that, they were just playing to play tennis. Things have changed dramatically with the press reminding us 'you should do this and win that and you'll be considered the greatest of all time'.


    "And anyway I don't think you can compare different eras in tennis."





    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/tennis/18764325


    :shock::mrgreen:
     
    #3
  4. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    2,004
    Just for the record, Rosewall himself rated Roger number four all-time, behind Hoad, Gonzales, and Laver.
    I think that Ken is a little more objective than Fed, because he is no longer concerned about current results.
     
    #4
  5. tennissportsrog

    tennissportsrog Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2011
    Messages:
    373
    Rosewall ..


    :neutral:
     
    #5
  6. Iron Man

    Iron Man Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2009
    Messages:
    231
    Where's the evidence for what you said ?
     
    #6
  7. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    2,004
    We've been over this before.
    It was an interview Rosewall gave to an Italian magazine at the 2010 Australian Open, and appeared online in Italian.
    I read it in translation.
    It was around for about a year, but disappeared about eight months ago.
    I saved it on my computer, but my wife and I moved to our new house two months ago, and it was wiped out of the computer.
    If you have any doubts about this story, there is an easy way to check it out.
    Rosewall is still with us.
     
    #7
  8. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    21,354
    Whether Rosewall said it or not, he's just one guy. All the ex-players don't agree with him(eg Laver, JMac, Lendl, Borg, Agassi, etc..)
     
    #8
  9. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    2,004
    Laver rates Hoad number one for the pre-1968 era, and says that if Hoad and Fed played each other, it would be the greatest confontation of all.
     
    #9
  10. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    21,354
    To me, best player in the open era would BEAT best player in the pre-era.

    Just like Graf(best in the open era) would beat Court(best in the pre-era).

    It's no contest.
     
    #10
  11. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    2,004
    Give Fed and Graf a wooden racquet to play with, and about 150 matches to play each year against the top ten players ONLY, and you would create something like the old tours.
     
    #11
  12. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    Court won the big four in 1970
     
    #12
  13. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    Imagine Hoad and Gonzales were in great shape in 63-64 and adding prime Laver and prime Rosewall you have the best quartet ever
    Others:
    Budge,Crawford,Perry and Vines
    Tilden and 3 mousk
    Kramer,Sedgman,Gonzo and Trabert in early 50
    Borg,Connors,Lendl and Mac early 80
    And the early 90 foursome of AA,BB,Sampras and Edberg

    WOMEN
    2 Williams,Sharapova and Clijsters
    Seles,Graf,Hingis and Davenport
    Evert,Austin,Navy,Mandlikiva early 80
    Gibson,Mo,Marble and Hart in 50
    And the toughest ever, in 70:
    EVERT,COURT,GOOLAGONG,BJK
     
    #13
  14. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Messages:
    5,544
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Yes, because you've done a complete survey of ex-players.
     
    #14
  15. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    2,004
    Delete this.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2012
    #15
  16. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    2,004
    Delete this.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2012
    #16
  17. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    21,354
    I don't need to, but just read what they have said.
     
    #17
  18. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    Playing on the WEAT and a losing record vs big time rival suffices to put Roger straight into second or third tier where he will find another lucky fellow named
    Roy Emerson
     
    #18
  19. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,764
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    Hoad
    Laver
    ?
    Federer



    (peak-level play)
     
    #19
  20. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,442
    So many choices for top level play. Question to ask, can Federer really have a top peak level for one match if you may favor at least one current player over him on many surfaces even when playing his best? To me peak level means no matter what an opponent does, the inevitable loss will happen whether you hit to the forehand, backhand, use junk or anything else.

    A good example of this is how Arthur Ashe described Rod Laver from his superb book "Arthur Ashe-Protrait in Motion." "When Laver goes on one of those tears, it's just ridiculous. He starts hitting the lines, and then he starts hitting the lines harder--and harder and harder. NO ONE CAN STOP HIM."
    The key words to me here is "No one can stop him."

    Now if you argue for a year or a few years, I can go with that for Federer. But if you argue that then clearly Tilden, Borg, Gonzalez, Rosewall and a number of others belong in the equation.

    Since many players argue for one match for their life they would pick Pancho Gonzalez I think you may have to put him in the peak level for one match category too.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2012
    #20
  21. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,639
    The thing is, as you say, there are so many choices for top level of play. There are several champions who have achieved performances that qualify as candidates for "best tennis ever", and you listed some of them. All of them could stop one another, or at least that's what you would expect: you'd expect close matches if the best of the best met at their respective peaks.

    The only person who could qualify as a "must-win," no matter who faces him, is someone who can play at a level above everyone else in history. I guess Lew Hoad is a candidate for that level of play.

    But the other champions can beat each other. Laver can go on those tears and thoroughly dominate Ashe or other players, but if he meets Pancho Gonzalez at his best, or Ken Rosewall at his best, he might lose. Especially if you vary the surfaces.

    Anyway Federer has gone on many such tears. I think when he beat Nadal at Indian Wells this year, Pmac said during one of Federer's best patches that when he gets into that form he's unplayable.
     
    #21
  22. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,442
    It's always tough to figure peak level. Djokovic seemed to be at that level for a long time last year. Murray seems to be able to reach this but as you said it depends on the matchup. Nadal also at times seems unstoppable.

    As you wrote it depends on the opponent too. Didn't we have a topic on this one time?
     
    #22
  23. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,639
    Isn't that what we discuss every day here in one way or another? :)

    Seriously, if you mean a peak level thread, I don't remember.
     
    #23
  24. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    That is a good post questioning in a clear way all those who still think Fed has a single chance of being considered GOAT
    There are two big IFS dominating his whole career
    1/What IF he had a good record against main career rivaç
    2/What IF he played in a tough era instead a very weak one
    Y
    So many IF mark his whole career....
     
    #24
  25. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,442
    To be exact we don't discuss it every day but every micro second.

    :)
     
    #25
  26. ARFED

    ARFED Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Messages:
    612
    Such a weak era, right? Because if you give a modern racquet to Laver, Rosewall, Hoad and all the other superhuman athletes of the past they would eat alive Nadal on a clay court (i can see mighty Rod handling with his flawless one hander, 3500 rpm Nadal`s forehands, standing on the baseline without breaking a sweat) or Djokovic on a hard court. Yeah i think they wouldn`t have any problem at all trying to cope with a 100+ mph forehand from the likes of Del Potro, Berdych, Tsonga, etc. Such a piece of cake for all the 60`s bunch. I can even see how easily peakest of peakest Hoad would serve bagels and blast away Murray on a slow hard court. The thing is that you cant compare eras because the conditions, equipment, etc are all very different. I can assure you that shotmakers like Laver, Hoad, Nastase or SV players like Edberg, Newcombe, Gonzalez, etc would have to adapt their games today, if not they wouldnt make the top 50. Was the game more enjoyable to the eye in the past?? Perhaps, I cant tell, but better or more competitive...no, hell no.
     
    #26
  27. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,764
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    Yep. That's essentially what I was referring to--the opponent does not matter and what the opponent does is irrelevant.

    On that day, he will not lose to anyone--he is unstoppable.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
    #27
  28. ARFED

    ARFED Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Messages:
    612
    In my opinion there is no such thing as an unstoppable player, because there is no perfect player. Laver for example couldnt do much , even when playing his best, on a fast court against a power hitter (Becker, Sampras, Ivanisevic, etc) with a perfect serve day. How could he, if he isnt able to touch the ball on the return games??? Take a look to the 5 set between Nadal and Rosol at Wimbledon, i honestly dont know if Laver, Sampras, Mc Enroe, Federer or whoever you choose would have stopped Rosol that day. In a way mostly all the players at the top level can be unstoppable so for the same reason none of them really are
     
    #28
  29. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,442
    Perhaps there are stories of the great Lew Hoad who had one of the great all time serve and also had the reflexes to move in a take big serves of the rise to put it away.

    And yes big servers can be problem for anyone but big returners are also a problem for anyone. Jimmy Connors, in the 1975 Wimbledon semi on fast grass against the great serve of Roscoe Tanner was able to blast winners off Tanner's high velocity serves. Some players do have the anticipation and the reflexes to handle big serves and if they have a big serve, groundies and a volley to boot, well perhaps you may have this type of player. So who is the closest to that? A lot of it is first strike tennis but often a great return like a Connors, Laver or Djokovic can neutralize a big serve.
     
    #29
  30. ARFED

    ARFED Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Messages:
    612
    If there is anything close to an unstoppable player it will be a power hitter with a great serve-forehand-volley combo, never a great returner or counter puncher. You could put Laver, Djokovic, Connors, all at the same time against a player with the serve of Raonic, Eberg volleys, and Del Potro forehand, with a 1 serve percentage above 70% and even with cat reflexes they would get blown off the court. No one in tennis history (as far as i know) have been able to read serves and take the ball on the rise like Agassi did, and look what happened to him facing an on fire Sampras in 99 Wimby
     
    #30
  31. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,764
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    The statistics are very much against slowing down one of these untouchable servers (who hit ace after ace) on a perfect serve day, much less defeating him. Maybe to be unstoppable, one has to serve first and win the first game overwhelmingly. So that the opponent is immediately rattled, always playing from behind, and never able to get into his (service) rhythm and game.

    In addition, it takes several things: 1)great returns, 2)great anticipation, 3)an ability to read something and thus know where the serve is going, 4)your own flawless serve game, 5)supreme confidence in your ability to figure out your opponent and weather the onslaught of first serves, and come back, 6)a rain delay to break that serving rhythm, and 7)luck that it does not continue for the whole match.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
    #31
  32. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,442
    Well Agassi's return stats aren't as impressive as some by the way. And I'm writing about a player like a Hoad who had the big serve, forehand and volley plus the big return when he was on his game.

    Tanner had the big serve and forehand and was blown off the court by Connors. Sometimes we can also consider that maybe a receiver may have a day where he or she is on his game. Who is to say that a big server cannot be dominated by an even better returner that day. It may not happen that often but it does happen.

    Mandlikova was that type of player on the female side. Big serve, volley, forehand and backhand plus when she was on she hit on the rise winning returns. I saw her do this to Navratilova at her almost invincible best in the finals of the 1985 US Open in the first five games. Navratilova was helpless under that type of firepower. Hana's level dropped and Martina won the next five games before Mandlikova won the first set in a tiebreak. Mandlikova eventually won the match.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
    #32
  33. ARFED

    ARFED Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Messages:
    612
    Well i dont think that even Hoad at his best would handle 130 mph serves. The main point here is that, in my view, no player is capable of winning a match unless the other player gives him a little to work with. You can say anything that you want about Hoad`s abilities but would you bet your life that he would turn out victorius (even playing his absolute best) in match with an inspired Krajicek on a fast court? The difference between a great player like Hoad and a good player like Krajicek is that the great player is able to bring the heat much more often than the good player can. The issue in sports is about consistency of high level of play and not about peak level of play. It is impossible to know who has the greatest peak of level, because i could well argue that Rosol was virtually unplayable during that famous fifth set
     
    #33
  34. ARFED

    ARFED Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Messages:
    612
    Well i dont think that even Hoad at his best would handle 130 mph serves. The main point here is that, in my view, no player is capable of winning a match unless the other player gives him a little to work with. You can say anything that you want about Hoad`s abilities but would you bet your life that he would turn out victorius (even playing his absolute best) in match with an inspired Krajicek on a fast court? The difference between a great player like Hoad and a good player like Krajicek is that the great player is able to bring the heat much more often than the good player can. The issue in sports is about consistency of high level of play and not about peak level of play. It is impossible to know who has the greatest peak of level, because i could well argue that Rosol was virtually unplayable during that famous fifth set
     
    #34
  35. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,442
    Obviously we all have our opinions and I did think Rosol was fantastic in that last set but it is an interesting topic to discuss. Actually does a player in peak form really need openings. Haven't you played what you have often thought was a brilliant shot for a winner only to see the other player hit a more brilliant shot to win the point?

    This has been a topic since tennis writing started and probably discussed since shortly after tennis started. In the past they often said Ellsworth Vines was the best ever when playing his best and later guys like Hoad were also discussed. I would think it is possible that some player with supreme talent and great tennis skills may have a high level greater than anyone.
     
    #35
  36. ARFED

    ARFED Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Messages:
    612
    Yes i pretty much agree with you, there has to be some GOAT regarding peak level of play, because there has to be someone better than anybody else, but the problem here is that it is impossible to know. From the top of my head i could name you at least 10 performances by 10 different players in the last 20 years, that seemed flawless. Another problem is to choose an overall GOAT with so much variation across the very different conditions the game is held on. If peak Laver meet peak Nadal on grass we all know the result but if this two greats meet on clay it is a different story.
    to be flawless and impossible to beat over the last
     
    #36
  37. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,764
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    What's the longest streak of consecutive aces (and/or unreturnable serves)?
     
    #37
  38. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,442


    Excellent points.
     
    #38
  39. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    Messages:
    7,773
    kiki, In the 1964 BBC2 tournament we did have the four giants when Hoad d. Rosewall 8-1 and Gonzalez beat Laver. In the final Pancho won even though he lost the first set by 0-6...
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
    #39
  40. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    2,004
    Best of three sets only. A major step below Wembley that year. Exhibition level here.
     
    #40
  41. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    Messages:
    7,773
    Dan, I had been hoping that we now can discuss on a higher level than before and that you give up to write very strange posts. But I must learn that you again come with that "exhibition" nonsense...

    BBC 2 in 1964 was a hard fought top tournament with a worthy winner, Gonzalez. British Lawn Tennis has brought an article on that event. Best of three sets only? Many big tournaments of the pros were best of three, f. i. MSG, PSW... To be correct: MOST pro tournaments were best of three.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012
    #41
  42. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    All those mighty forehands added have. ..0 majors,live with the fact current era is non competitive
     
    #42
  43. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    Hana may have been the female version of Hoad
    .
     
    #43
  44. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    21,354
    Just think about the NBA in the 60s. Despite having a small squad but how many players could make the NBA today? Very few. It's the same for tennis, there's not a whole lot of players in the 60s that can make the atp tour since the standard is a lot higher.
     
    #44
  45. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    Those 4 in a fast to medium supreme carpet is the closest tennis can get to perfection.Imagime the WCT finals in 63 or 64 with those 4 in top form...it should be held at Louvre or Rome Colosseo instead of Dallas:p
     
    #45
  46. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,442
    Red Auerbach thought a Dream Team of top players of the 1960's would do quite well against the 1992 Dream Team if memory serves.

    The height of the average NBA player in 1970 was 6'6. In the year 2012 it is 6'7".

    Wow, one inch.

    I think in the year 1986 and 1999 it was 6'7.5 inches. Guess the NBA is going backwards. Players have shrunk.
     
    #46
  47. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    2,004
    Of course, many tournaments were best-of-three sets, pro and amateur. But the majors usually had some best-of-five component.
    Examples of majors? Let's see...how about Forest Hills T of C in the late fifties, Kooyong in late fifties and early sixties, Roland Garros at the same time, all predominantly best-of-five in the later stages.
     
    #47
  48. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    21,354
    Red is biased toward the 60s. I've heard some of his interviews, one of them was when he claimed he was better than Phil Jackson as a coach because he inherited all the star players. That contradict him because he had the best players in the 60s. He said Russell was better than Chamberlain and would pick Russell as center again if he had to coach again. Of course he had to say Russell.

    Players in the 60s were mostly white players, and there's no doubt that black basketball players are better than white players. The 1 inch difference doesn't really matter if a player is more athletic, jump higher, stronger, more talented, etc. I seriously doubt if the best players in the 60s competing in the Olympic today and return home with a Gold, because so many nations have improved over the decades.
     
    #48
  49. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,442
    I don't think so. He said at in his last few years that Michael Jordan was better than Russell.
    http://articles.nydailynews.com/1999-01-13/sports/18093809_1_red-auerbach-leave-michael-jordan

    And I'm talking about 1970 with Oscar, Baylor, Chamberlain, Jabbar, Frazier, Unseld, Monroe, Bing, Reed, Luke Jackson, Hal Greer, Connie Hawkins among the numerous great African American players. You also had West, Lucas, Cummingham, Goodrich. It was a great league. The athletes were great. So I guess a team of Jabbar, West, Robertson, Frazier, Lucas, Debusschere, Reed, Baylor, Unseld, Monroe, Gus Johnson wouldn't do well according to you. To quote John McEnroe, "You cannot be serious"

    Here's a link to an article interviewing Auerbach about the 1992 Dream team and the team he could have formed in the 1960's. Notice that he said that the team should win 50% to 60% of the games with the 1992 Dream Team.
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1004494/2/index.htm

    Oh yes I would like to point out it was a smaller league so having 20 great players is the equivalent of a much higher number now. I don't see anyone coming close to Jabbar or Chamberlain today. Lebron is great but so was Oscar.

    Do some research on the league on that point. Red Auerbach was a great talent evaluator and I think he knows the NBA and how to form a team far better than perhaps anyone in history. He said the league in the 1960's with its version of the Dream Team would be very competitive with the 1992 team. Does that mean anything to you?

    You're too rigid in your theory about past versus present. The universe is not set in stone.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
    #49
  50. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    Best foursomes:

    1950´s: Davis,Coltrane,Chambers and Garland ( and Jones)

    1960´s: Entwisthle,Daltrey,Townshed,Moon

    1970´s: Plan,.Bohnan,Jones and Page

    1980´s: close call between Taylor,Mercury,May and Deacon vs

    Brecker,Ershkine,Gomez and Mainieri vs

    Davis,Coleman,Carter,Hancock ( and Williams)
     
    #50

Share This Page