I’m new to these forums and am trying to educate myself enough to have an informed opinion about the GOAT issue. So far, I’ve had trouble finding statistics about the professional tours and tournaments — in particular, the ones that Laver, Rosewall, and Gonzales played in, because those seem particularly relevant regarding GOAT. I gather that Gonzales was the best player during most of the 1950s, that Rosewall was the best in the early 1960s, and that Laver was the best in the mid-late 1960s. But I don’t know the margin by which they were the best, what their win-loss records were, and how important they considered the tours in relation to the tournaments. Any suggestions on where I could find such information? The Wikipedia articles on the professional era are extremely helpful, but even they don’t tell me everything I feel is necessary to know. I’ve appreciated very much the comments of chaog and others who seem enormously knowledgeable about this issue. In order to learn more from you, I wonder if you’d be willing to address any or all of the following few questions that have been on my mind: 1. How, if at all, should we factor in the point that a sport tends to be more difficult to dominate as time goes on? Bill James has incorporated that idea into his rankings of baseball players, and it would seem to make sense for tennis as well. If a handful of players between 1920 and 1970 dominated tennis to a degree greater than any player has since 1970, then that seems far less likely to be a coincidence than to be attributable to an increase in the difficulty of dominating. 2. Why did (certain) players of the past play so many more matches in a year than anyone plays today, even though each match could be longer due to the absence of tiebreaks? Is it that the game was less physically demanding then (perhaps because the rackets didn’t allow players to hit as hard)? 3. Why is the record of “total or consecutive Wimbledon titles” so important? If pros couldn’t compete at Wimbledon until 1968, and if in the early days some top players like Tilden occasionally eschewed it due to travel difficulties, then doesn’t that detract from the importance of the record in comparing pre-1968 players with Open Era players? 4. I’m sure that it was always hard to win on all surfaces, which makes the achievements of Laver, Tilden, Budge, and perhaps a few others so amazingly impressive. But is it possible that in the last 15 years, the feat has become even harder than it was before? Before 1993, the players who dominated the French Open won other majors as well (Borg, Wilander, Lendl, even Courier — and also Rosewall and Laver who won the French Pro during the 1960s); whereas after 1993, no French Open champion has ever won any other major, except for Agassi (who won the French once) and Kafelnikov (who won the French and the Australian once). If this represents a meaningful change from the past, does it render less damning Federer’s failure to win all four majors? 5. How important are annual win-loss match records? Laver’s Wikipedia entry says that in his Grand Slam year of 1969, he went 106-16. That’s a fantastic record, but not as good in terms of percentage as those compiled by Borg, Connors, McEnroe, Lendl, or Federer in their prime years. Cliff Drysdale seems to weigh this pretty heavily when he discusses relative greatness in his telecasts, but others evidently don’t agree because Laver is widely regarded as superior to everyone who came after him. What’s the right answer? Sorry for the barrage of questions. Thanks so much to anyone who can help me out with answering them and/or point me to sources of results from the 1960s pro circuit or from the Tilden era.