The 10 Greatest Men's Seasons

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by ZeroSkid, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. aphex

    aphex Banned

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    Didn't Connors lose many matches in '74?

    By most accounts Tilden lost 1 (unimportant) match in 1923 and 1924, combined.
     
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  2. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    No doubt Fed 2004 is better than Wilander 1988, and I believe the author don't want to have too many Fed's name in the top ten list.

    NadalAgassi needs to crawl back to his cave and stop trolling with his imbecilic posts. It's not even funny.
     
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  3. Talker

    Talker Hall of Fame

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    How did he lose 16 times then.

    The best year shouldn't have that many losses, all four slams is very important only if the rest of the important stats are among the best.

    He won 18 tournaments IIRC but did not win 16.
    Winning just over half of tournaments entered which is very good and includes CYGS but look at the other 'best' years.
    Mac only lost 3 tournaments of all he played in his best year for instance.

    This shows Laver's level wasn't that high all year, not good enough for all time best year IMO.
     
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  4. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Connors lost 4 matches in 1974:

    to Karl Meiler in the final of Omaha
    to Stan Smith in the QF of Nottingham
    to Juan Gisbert Sr. in the R16 of Toronto
    to Onny Parun in the QF of San Francisco
     
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  5. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    My list would be:

    1. Rover Laver 1969
    2. John McEnroe 1984
    3. Jimmy Connors 1974
    4. Roger Federer 2006
    5. Novak Djokovic 2011
    6. Roger Federer 2005
    7. Rafael Nadal 2010
    8. Mats Wilander 1988
    9. John Mcenroe 1981
    10. Bjorn Borg 1979

    So definitely a good list. Almost exactly as I would have it.
     
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  6. aphex

    aphex Banned

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    ...and he beat a 40 year old Rosewall in the finals of W and USO...

    ...talk about a weak era...
     
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  7. celoft

    celoft Guest

    I concur................
     
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  8. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    One reason he has only 4 losses is that he didn't play the rigorous WCT tour with all the other top players. If he had, he would probably have come away with more losses. That was one of the criticisms of his year -- one reason that people had reservations about his '74 record. They did not question that he was #1 for the year, of course. But they questioned how dominant a record it really was, when he had not beaten, much less dominated, Newcombe or Laver or Stan Smith. (Stan was co-ranked #1 in the States with Jimmy early in the year). That's why when you say he was the benchmark standard -- well in a way he was, but for many people Jimmy was the one who had yet to meet the benchmark, until he met and defeated Newcombe, in particular, but also others like Smith and Laver. In '74 the only one Jimmy met was Smith, at Queens -- and he lost to him there.

    As you know Newcombe and Connors finally did meet on Jan. 1st of the new year, and Newcombe won. Sports Illustrated wrote, "Their get-together was to many people the ex post facto 1974 tennis championship of the world." That shows that the lack of a meeting between Connors and Newcombe in '74 was regarded as significant.

    TIME magazine in April '75 noted that Connors won 14 of 20 tournaments in '74 but that “many fans still consider Newcombe the world’s premier player.”

    Connors was unquestionably, even dominantly, the top player of '74. But he was not universally regarded as the world's best player.

    That's fine to bring in Becker, but if you're looking at Lendl's opponents -- and judging their quality, for example by noting that Becker was a teenager -- then it's fair game to look at Connors' opponents and their quality.

    No need for the quotation marks. Wimbledon and the USO were regarded as more prestigious than the AO. In '74 there was no question: while only 1 of the top 20 players in the world missed Wimbledon, and only 3 missed the USO, 17 were missing at the AO.

    I agree Lendl's loss in the Wimbledon final is a significant loss. But it's a runner-up showing, too, at a Slam that nearly everyone attended. Apart from that, Connors and Lendl each won two well-attended Slams. I'm not saying either year is better than the other, not without looking at all the details. I do know Lendl was playing with all the top players throughout his year and regularly defeating them: the price for those victories was 6 losses.
     
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  9. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Laver 69 stands alone, wether you like it or not.So would Borg´s 79, Mac´s 84, Wilander´s 88,Connors 74,Vilas 77,Nasty´s 73 and 2-3 Sampras years and 2-3 Federer´s along Djoko 2011 and Nadal 2010.Lets be honest and recognize their merits.
     
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  10. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    They have no idea.Rosewall beat Newcombe, Smith,Tanner and all major opposition in his 2 magical runs at FH and W in 74.
     
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  11. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Seems that *******rs are turning green and yellow. Its really funny.
     
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  12. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Johannesburg,Rome,MSG,Wembley....
     
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  13. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    *******s insistence that Federer's 2006 has to be the best year in everyones view is laughable. It wasnt the best from any standard. In terms of slams it is Laver (and after that Connors who won all 3 slams he was allowed to enter). In terms of record and W-L it is clearly McEnroe. In terms of winning a ton of tournaments and matches it is Connors. In terms of Masters and other top non slam events it is Djokovic or McEnroe. If anything it is funny Federer's year could be considered for best ever year at all.
     
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  14. dh003i

    dh003i Legend

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    Not everyone has o consider Federer's 2006 to be the best year of all time, but someone who said it isn't one of the best years of all time is clearly showing questionable judgment.

    I'm not sure I'd rate Federer's 2006 over Laver's 1969, and it may very well be the case that there is no one single metric that would point to it as the best year of all time. However, a combination of metrics would.

    It is arbitrary and stupid to say that we can only use one metric to discriminate. In basketball, if you only considered a single metric, you'd likely conclude Wilt Chamberlain or Bill Russel were the greatest players ever (ppg during prime or championships won). However, most consider Michael Jordan the greatest due to a variety of metrics.
     
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  15. Carsomyr

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    I don't think Federer's 2006 is better than Laver's 1969, but your rationale is pretty baffling. No, it wasn't the best in terms of Slams, but it was certainly top five in in the Open Era: only Laver, Wilander, Connors, and Nadal have won as many or more in a single year. No, it wasn't the best in terms of winning percentage, but it is also top five. And in terms of tournaments won, it was the most since McEnroe in 1984. And they weren't Mickey Mouse tournaments like Connors frequently dominated. And in terms of "non-slam" events...err, what? Djokovic did win 5 MS, but Federer won 4 + the WTF. How is that not better?
     
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  16. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    When did I say it wasnt one of the best or atleast in the top 5 (or atleast in the top 4 since I rated it over Djokovic's 2011 at this point). ****s have reading comprehension issues it seems.
     
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  17. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    What about Vilas in 77? and Lendl in 86?
     
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  18. Carsomyr

    Carsomyr Hall of Fame

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    The reading comprehension problem is yours. You said that that you think Federer's 2006 wasn't better than Laver's 1969, which is fine, but your reasoning behind it was pretty laughable. You mentioned it wasn't worth considering as such because it wasn't the best in any category, including Slams won, W-L, tournaments won, "big events" won. I said it was top five, if not higher, in each case, which makes it at least a candidate. Just for the sake of argument, Laver's 1969 is no where near the top ten in terms of W-L.
     
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  19. piece

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    Why is it that one first round loss is a killer for a season in which Federer won three majors and lost only six matches, whereas Laver's sixteen losses in his Grand Slam season only serve to show that he played his best when it mattered most?
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2011
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  20. dh003i

    dh003i Legend

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    Fair enough, I haven't read this entire thread. I do think that considering multiple metrics is the way to go. That said, I don't really try to achieve more precision than is possible -- I focus on grouping players or seasons into "tiers"...1st, 2nd, 3rd all-time great players or seasons.

    If you wanted to have a more precise way to do it, I think calculating all-time ranking using a system similar to what is used in chess rankings would be the best way to go: the ELO rating system.
     
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  21. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Just kidding there. I picked out the Cincy loss because Cincy is the 5th Slam, right? :wink:
     
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  22. TheFifthSet

    TheFifthSet Hall of Fame

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    What I don't understand is, how can you put Wilanders 1988 on there and leave out Federers 2004?
     
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  23. piece

    piece Professional

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    Haha right. Should've seen that coming.
     
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  24. piece

    piece Professional

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    There have been some threads in the former pro player section with ELO-type ratings of players but from what I recall some of the results were not all that well received.
     
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  25. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    @ bold part:

    djokovic had 5 masters in 2011
    federer had 4 masters+YEC in 2006.

    How is djoker's performance better ?

    oh and I disagree with the Connors point totally - we are giving him a free pass ? There is a genuine possibility he wouldn't even have made the finals at RG with a field consisting of those better on red clay like vilas, orantes, borg, solomon, ramirez etc .... He didn't win a single red CC tournament in his career.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2011
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  26. dh003i

    dh003i Legend

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    Oh I agree. It obviously needs some tweaking. IIRC, Roddick might have been ranked above some players most of us agree are better than him. It seemed like it was biased towards modern players.

    Part of the question is, what are you trying to measure? Are we trying to compensate for the effects of better training and nutrition, which advantaged newer players? e.g., are we trying to get to "how would X do in Y's generation and vica-versa"? Or are we trying to say "who played the best on an absolute level, accounting for equipment"?

    I think that there's no reason we can't have two separate rating systems for comparing modern players to those historically: one which tries to measure absolute level of play (but backing out benefits from rackets/strings)...and another which measures the player's core attributes and backs out the benefits modern players attained from better training and nutrition. The former would obviously clearly benefit modern players. The latter would benefit them less so.

    Statistically, there is good reason to think that the best players today are better -- in terms of their natural ability -- than the best players of older ages. The population of the world when Laver was born (1938) was around 2.25 billion. The population of the world when Federer was born (1981) was ~4.5 billion. That's a selection pool 2x larger right off the bat. And by the time Federer and his contemporaries were growing up, tennis was a much more international sport. We would expect the top 10 today to be a higher percentile of world-wide talent than the top 10 of Laver's era.
     
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  27. TenFanLA

    TenFanLA Hall of Fame

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    RE: Laver 1969 season...I don't care if he lost them in a 8-game pro set or play to 21 points. If you lose 16 matches in a season that AUTOMATICALLY disqualifies you from even being mentioned as the GOAT season. In the 60's there were very few top-tier players with no clay court specialists. Virtually all the majors were played on grass. I'd imagine Fed would have had 4 or 5 CYGS had he played in that era. Heck, even Sampras might have had a FO title or 2.
     
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  28. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Fair point. I had forgotten about Djokovic being the only one of those three who didnt win the WTF. Still Djokovic's Masters titles is a new record since the events were qualifed as that, and he won 2 of them on clay by beating Nadal and gave him a better balance of wins on it, so it is still close between the two IMO.

    We will never know on Connors at the French, but he was still kept from any opportunity to play. He did win the 3 slams he was allowed to participate in, and as Mustard said didnt lose an important match all year. Personally I think he would have had a real shot at winning the French in 74 and 75, or atleast the meaningful year of 1974. Remember he completedly owned Borg back then, Borg even lost to him in straight sets on the green clay (and yes I know green clay is very different but that is still emphatic) at the 75 U.S Open, and even in a tough 4 setter in 1976 after Borg had won Wimbledon. By the time Connors began playing the French in 1979 he was no longer the games top player on any surface, and given that clay is not an old mans game likely past his potential best on the surface, and still made the semis or quarters every year until 1983.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2011
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  29. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    A bigger "pool" does not automatically translate into more great players in my opinion. For example, there is arguably a larger "pool" of tennis players in Spain now (referencing just total tennis players in Spain and not the entire population of Spain). Yet, are there more "great" tennis players coming out of Spain now as opposed to say 5-10 years ago? There are few if any players that are in the top 100 from Spain that are under 25 years of age. So, why didn't a recent "tennis boom" in Spain with players like Moya, Ferrero, and later Nadal automatically translate into more and more "great" Spanish players? I think that even with less total depth, when you have great players facing off and making each other better, that can produce some truly remarkable players. I think of that as "depth at the top". This question of the "greatest" season is very much like the "greatest" player debates. It all starts with how one defines a great player, or in this case, a great season. I would also add that though tennis is more "international" with more countries producing pro players now, there has been a decline in countries like Australia, the U.S., Great Britain. Another country that's interesting country is Sweden. How did that small country produce the stellar players that followed after Borg, from such a small "pool"?
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2011
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  30. piece

    piece Professional

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    I don't think we're necessarily trying to measure either of those, especially if it's an ELO-type rating your talking about. This kind of rating is a function of performance, so what's being measured is dominance over contemporaries - which seems a pretty good general metric to use in determining who the greatest players ever are. But if you're looking to find out who played the best tennis ever (whether you adjust for technology etc. or not) you're going to need another metric altogether. I'm really not sure what could serve as an objective standard in this regard.

    The statistical argument you've given might support the contention that there are people alive now with greater aptitude for tennis than Laver had since, ceteris paribus, it is more likely that the greatest tennis talent in history would be found in a larger population than a smaller one. It's not clear that your argument supports the contention that, say, Federer is more talented than Laver since, for instance, it might be that more people played tennis when Laver took up the sport than when Federer did.
     
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  31. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    But this way of putting it just highlights that the one Slam he did not participate in was on his weakest surface (red clay). The three he did get to play were on grass, which was one of his strong surfaces. So it's impressive that he won 3 straight Slams among the ones he entered: but he did not play in the one place where he was most likely to lose an important match.

    He could have risked other important losses at the WCT Finals or the YEC, but he was not present for either event.

    At the time of the '74 French Connors and Borg had only met once, on a fast indoor court, and Borg had won the match. Later Connors did have good success against Borg on clay, always on Har-Tru and always in the U.S. At the USO in particular he played his best, as always. But back in June '74 it was Borg who was on a roll on European red clay, and Connors was not yet the super-confident champion he became after winning Wimbledon and the USO. He had done nothing yet at RG, losing in the first and second rounds in '72 and '73. So he had next to zero experience at RG. I don't see him going into that tournament with any particular confidence.

    Besides all that, there were other players besides Borg who could have beaten him in Paris. Borg was not necessarily the one with the best chance to beat him. Orantes might have had the best chance; or maybe Nastase (whom Connors did not consistently defeat until well after '74, for some reason). Or maybe Jimmy would have been upset in an early round struggle with some lesser claycourter. I think that last possibility was at least as great a danger for him as were the big name players.
     
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  32. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    The point is that Connors was never given the chance to play at the 1974 French Open.
     
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  33. Subventricular Zone

    Subventricular Zone Rookie

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    Laver 1969 tops them all IMO.
     
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  34. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    perhaps, but lets not forget that Masters finals were best of 5 back then ...

    Would that lessen the chances of winning masters in back to back weeks ? Djoker's IW-miami and rome-madrid wins were in back to back weeks. I'd say hell yeah !

    The below post from krosero sums it up

     
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  35. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    yes, he wasn't. But then he can't be given a 'free' pass saying he didn't lose a single important match in 74 when he didn't play the FO ( where he was the most vulnerable ) and the WCT and the masters
     
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  36. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    If we refeer to a single surface, then 1977 Vilas and 1995 Muster must be included ( clay), as was 1973 Nastase´s season
     
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  37. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    They both have a great year but not good enough to be in the top 10 list.

    Roughly over 90% of Vilas accomplishments were on clay and had too many losses. Lendl won over 90%, but won less than 10 titles. Fed 2004 and 2005 were better than them but didn't make the list.
     
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  38. IvanisevicServe

    IvanisevicServe Banned

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    I'm sorry, 3 majors and a ban from the 4th is NOT better than 3 majors and a runner up finish at the 4th.

    Federer could've had the same slam result as Connors had he skipped the French in 2006.
     
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  39. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Is this a serious question?
     
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  40. aphex

    aphex Banned

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    Do you mean that Borg should not be awarded at least 10 more slams because he could have won them had he not walked away??

    Surely you're joking!
     
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  41. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    ahahaha .. a lot of stupidity in this thread.
     
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  42. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    There's also the thing about # of slams(majors)won not being that of an important factor(we only think so because of media hype surrounding Pete's quest to break Emereson's record) but nobody can be compared to Laver because he won all 4 slams in a single year.

    It's complicated...
     
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  43. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    The media mentioned Borg was 1 major behind Emerson when he won the 1981 French Open.
     
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  44. aphex

    aphex Banned

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    Don't be so hard on yourself...
     
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  45. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    I didn't say I personally claim # of slams won doesn't matter. I grew up watching Sampras so I value slam count probably above any other statistic.

    However what I learned from former pro regulars is that slam count didn't matter all that much until Pete's time and that career slam is an accomplishment manufactured by media to hype Agassi.
     
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  46. NJ1

    NJ1 Professional

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    I'd expected to see Pete's name in here somewhere, though I haven't crunched the numbers so it's an observation rather than a questioning of the original list. Becker's '89 was pretty stellar too.
     
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  47. aphex

    aphex Banned

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    The former pro section provides knowledge that can't be found anywhere else.
    For example, I learned that tournaments that are not majors count as majors although major count doesn't matter.
     
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  48. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    The matter with the Grand Slam and the major count is not complicated but rather simple, for those, who are able to comprehend.
     
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  49. DjokovicForTheWin

    DjokovicForTheWin Banned

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    All accomplishments are manufactured
     
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  50. aphex

    aphex Banned

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    Yeah, I pity those who can't comprehend the simple concept of imaginary majors..
     

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