Ten Greatest Of Allll Times

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by halbrikj, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. halbrikj

    halbrikj Rookie

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    Tennis is constantly improving, to the extent that an argument could be made that at any given time, based on ability/efficacy as opposed to records, the top ten players in the world are in fact the 10 GOATs.

    That said, when ranking the all time greats, a balance must be struck between ability/efficacy and records, e.g. grand slam wins, head to head results, etc.

    So, here goes my top 10, with bases for their positions:

    1) Rafael Nadal

    Far and away the best clay courter ever. Only 13 slams compared to Roger's 17, but can't rank Roger above, given that Rafa has beaten him better than 2 to 1 over the past 10 years...

    2) Roger Federer

    All time leader in slams. Best fast court player of all time.

    3) Novak Djokovic

    Only six slams (only...) but won 5 of the 6 beating #1 and 2 on the list. Probably the best medium court player ever.

    4) Pete Sampras

    14 slams. Great athlete; greatest serve.

    5) Andre Agassi

    Career slam and a gold. Timed the ball better than anyone on the list. Beat Connors, Federer and everyone in between.

    6) Rod Laver

    2 grand slams. One of the all time best volleyers, and as mentally tough as the come (guess you'd have to be to win the grand slam...twice)

    7) Ivan Lendl

    Some of you might think that Connors and/or McEnroe should be ranked above Ivan. Connors: Vitas Gerulaitis once said "no one beats Gerulaitis 17 times in a row," but someone beat Connors 17 times in a row - Lendl...; "McEnroe: 8 slams to Mac's 7. Also Lendl won head to head 21 - 15, including 9 of their last 10.

    8 ) Boris Becker

    6 slams over an 11 year period. One of the best ever indoors. Dominant head to head records over the two players ranked below.

    9) Stefan Edberg

    6 slams, beating #4 Sampras in one final, #8 Becker in two finals. Proved to be a better serve and volleyer than #10 (Wimbledon '89, '91) One of the two best serve and volleyers of all time (Rafter).

    10) John McEnroe

    7 slams. Greatest touch player ever, and one of the all time greats indoors.

    What about Connors?

    Lost his last 10 matches against Borg, his last 17 matches against Lendl, and 12 of his last 14 matches with #10 McEnroe.

    What about Borg?

    Retired in part because he knew he could'nt beat an in-form McEnroe (#10) (lost last 3 slam finals against)
     
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  2. FreeBird

    FreeBird Legend

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    Djokovic at No. 3.

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    [​IMG]

    no words, should have sent a poet
     
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  4. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    halbrikj, If you had studied tennis history you would know that the giants of the past were at least as good as the current greats.

    And as historian, Carlo Colussi said (and I agree with him): Every top ten list without Rosewall and Gonzalez is a wrong one.

    Did you know that Rosewall has won 23 majors?
     
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  5. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    I would add Tilden here.
     
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  6. halbrikj

    halbrikj Rookie

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    Who would Roswall have beaten on my list?
     
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  7. DolgoSantoro

    DolgoSantoro Professional

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    I think every top ten list should include Federer, Laver, Rosewall, Gonzales, Rafa,Sampras, Borg and probably Tilden. The order should be more of the debate than the members of the list.
     
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  8. Anti-Fedal

    Anti-Fedal Professional

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    He beat Laver 83 times.
     
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  9. Mr.Lob

    Mr.Lob Hall of Fame

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    What are you 12? Connors had twice the career as anyone on that list. Played at a high level for over 2 decades. More titles than anyone else. More to being the greatest than slams and head to head. Connors is a top 5 all time great.
     
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  10. halbrikj

    halbrikj Rookie

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    Jimmy was pretty good, but he didn't have enough margin for error on his groundstrokes, i.e. hit too flat, which is why guys like Borg, Lendl, and Wilander (not even on the list) owned him. Lendl and Wilander figured out that if you just sliced it low to his forehand he'd either go long or hit the tape within 5 shots. Also, don't think anyone on my list lost to anyone else 17 times in a row. ;)
     
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  11. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    No, it isn't.
     
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  12. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Rookie

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    At which point I stopped reading this ceib lunacy. Someone's gotten into the sacramental wine again.
     
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  13. Gut4Tennis

    Gut4Tennis Hall of Fame

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    I think if you ask every tennis great that question they would say YES it is
     
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  14. halbrikj

    halbrikj Rookie

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    While I'm not sure what "ceib" means, go to youtube and watch McEnroe Borg 1980, then watch a match between any two current top ten players, and tell me if either of the former would've had a prayer against either of the latter.
     
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  15. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Bad argument. It's an empirical question that is somewhat difficult to prove.

    Most changes in tennis's history have been cosmetic. Surface changes, racquet changes, string changes - all driven by corporate interests. Players adapt to these changes.

    There is nothing else really happening that is driving any change. There is no reason for the serve and volley to suddenly die out from its near dominance of grass court tennis in the late-90s, outside of what was ATP's doing.

    Swimming is pretty similar. They change the suits and the pools and suddenly records are being broken at a record pace.

    Tennis isn't any better than it was 40 years ago. It's just a game dramatically transformed by money.
     
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  16. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Tennis has undergone too many changes since 1980 to effectively compare.

    You want to see a sport that hasn't changed a great deal over the same time span? Check out baseball.
     
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  17. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    BTURNER, You are of course right.
     
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  18. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    Maybe most of them. For instance RosEwall beat Laver probably 83 times...
     
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  19. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    Anti-Fedal, Thanks. I did not know that you wrote this already before me.

    Rosewall might be the most underrated player.
     
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  20. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    Mr.Lob: Laver won at least 200 tournaments.
     
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  21. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    h., Modern racquets??
     
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  22. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    Congratulations, this is probably the worst GOAT list I've ever seen.

    You should work for The Tennis Channel. :)
     
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  23. Nuke

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    You know, Connors kept playing tournaments until he was 43 years old, right? So, pointing out he lost matches to younger players when he was well past his prime is an insignificant stat, and doesn't take anything away from his overall record.
     
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  24. mattennis

    mattennis Hall of Fame

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    Dumbest GOAT list ever? :)
     
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  25. NatF

    NatF Talk Tennis Guru

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    It seems to value h2h and perceived level of play above all else.
     
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  26. halbrikj

    halbrikj Rookie

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    Connors was beating Rosewall 2 and 2. Agassi was beating Connors 2 and 2. Agassi couldn't beat Nadal, or Federer once he started winning slams. So how would Rosewall have stood a chance against Nadal or Federer?

    Anticipating your next argument - "Rosewall and Connors were in their late 30s." Yeah, they were, but their games were improving with the game, e.g. 1991 US Open Connors would have killed 1974 US Open Connors. Players have to constantly improve if they want to stay near the top of the game.

    In 1995, a couple of years after returning to the tour from a knee injury, Thomas Muster was asked if he had reached the form he had attained in 1989 (pre-injury). Muster looked at the reporter like he was nuts, and said that if he played the way he played in 1989 he wouldn't even be in the top 100, because the players are getting better every year.
     
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  27. halbrikj

    halbrikj Rookie

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    Yes, modern racquets have made players better. Your point?
     
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  28. halbrikj

    halbrikj Rookie

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    Oh yeah, why's that? Or are you just trollin'? :)
     
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  29. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Quick, you'd better add Stan to this list before the enlightened ones from the General Pro Player Discussion see this.
     
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  30. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    91 Connors killing 74 Connors????

    Post of the year.
     
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  31. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    No love for Patricio Cornejo? Jeff Klapparda?
     
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  32. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    halbrikj, I'm sure you meant Connors beat Rosewall 6-1,6-1,6-4!
    That match is not relevant at all for judging Rosewall's strength. You know the reason!!

    I contradict that a player improves every year. If Rosewall had improved every year in his extremely long career, he would have been No. 736 in 1953 when he won two Grand Slam tournaments...
     
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  33. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    h., funny guy, The EQUIPMENT improved, not the players. I hope you will find and understand my point one day (but I fear this will take months or even years...)
     
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  34. Indio

    Indio Semi-Pro

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  35. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    hoodjem, Yes, but they will wonder who Rod Laver is. Many of them probably believe that tennis began with Borg or even Sampras or even Federer...
     
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  36. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    kiki, That expert seems to believe that even a 47 years old Rosewall in 1982 (when Muscles won a few matches in his last tournament) would destroy the 1963 Rosewall when Ken won the Pro Grand Slam...
     
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  37. poofytail

    poofytail Banned

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    1. Rod Laver

    ------huge gap------


    2. Pancho Gonzales
    3. Roger Federer
    4. Rafael Nadal
    5. Bjorn Borg
    6. Bill Tilden
    7. Ken Rosewall
    8. Pete Sampras
    9. Ivan Lendl
    10. Jimmy Connors
     
    #37
  38. poofytail

    poofytail Banned

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    Fixed it for you.
     
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  39. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    kiki, I guess our expert thinks that Patricio Cornejo was a Spanish conqueror.
     
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  40. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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  41. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    poofytail, please explain to the marvelling folks why Laver is so overwhelmingly above Gonzalez and Rosewall. In fact these three giants are about on equal level. Ask an expert!
     
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  42. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    1. Laver
    2. Pancho
    3. Rosewall
    4. Tilden
    5. Federer
    6. Sampras
    7. Nadal
    8. Borg
    9. Budge
    10. Connors
    As of Right now. probably by the end of Nadal's career it will look something like

    1. Laver
    2. Pancho
    3. Rosewall
    4. Tilden
    5. Nadal (Though he may be top 4 of all time)
    6. Federer
    7. Sampras
    8. Borg
    9. Budge
    10. Connors
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
    #42
  43. poofytail

    poofytail Banned

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    Sorry but I have yet to hear any expert who considers Rosewall on par with Laver, or even Gonzales. Can you quote any individual who feels this way.
     
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  44. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    23 Majors? That should put Rosewall up there to arguably be ahead of Pancho at least. Though I don't think Rosewall is of course
     
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  45. ARFED

    ARFED Semi-Pro

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    Wonder why the majority of people rate Budge way above Vines, when the later was arguably the best player of the 30`s. Would it be for the GS Budge achieved? A GS i must remember, Budge didn`t have to face his 3 main rivals (Vines, Perry and Nusslein)
     
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  46. monfed

    monfed Guest

    LOL@huge gap. LOL@Gonzales above Fed. And LOL@Nole at #3.
     
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  47. Manus Domini

    Manus Domini Hall of Fame

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    Gonzales is better than Fed. Unless, you know, 8 years at #1 and forcing rule changes in tennis three different times isn't more valuable than winning 17 majors, when majors didn't matter.

    Still, OP's list. :lol:
     
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  48. Manus Domini

    Manus Domini Hall of Fame

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    In following the OP's lead:

    1} Donald Young. 'Nough said.
    2} Wawrinka. Given that he has the GOAT backhand, it's impossible for him not to rank in the top two. Doesn't make it to #1, because he hasn't lived up to his potential.
    3} Sampras. 14. Would have been Fed, but--see below.
    4} Nadal. Being the GOAT on CC gives him the edge over Emerson (see below) and breaks the tie. 13.
    5} Emerson. 13.
    6} Federer. 23-10, but 17. If it weren't for that 17th major, he wouldn't even be top 10.
    7} Laver. 2 GS. But one didn't count.
    8} Tie: Djokovic and Murray. Because, why the Hell not?
    10} Tie: Agassi, Edberg, McEnroe, Marcelo Rios, Borg, Connors. Do any of these really need explaining?
     
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  49. halbrikj

    halbrikj Rookie

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    Just the equipment, not the players? So guys like Tilden or Budge would've beaten guys like Federer and Nadal if they used the same racquets. :???:
     
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  50. Manus Domini

    Manus Domini Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, probably. Or it would have at least been close.

    See, Tilden completely reinvented understanding of the game. His book Match, Play, and Spin of the Ball is a tennis classic, applicable even today. (Or so I'm told; I have yet to read it. I think Brad Gilbert talked about how good it is, though.) Tilden also had one Hell of a serve.

    Budge had one of the best backhands in the game. It took until Rosewall for Budge's backhand to have a competitor.

    You are seriously claiming that these athletes would hold no water against the players of the modern game, given equal training and equipment?
     
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