The Greatest Hard Court Player of the open era for you

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Laurie, May 5, 2012.

?

Who's the greatest hard court player of the open era for you?

  1. Ivan Lendl

    3.3%
  2. Andre Agassi

    2.5%
  3. Roger Federer

    83.3%
  4. John McEnroe

    2.5%
  5. Jimmy Connors

    2.5%
  6. Pete Sampras

    5.8%
  1. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    Wrong! Everyone who knows anything about Laver knows he not only belongs on the list, he's probably the best out of all of them. That would exclude you, *******.
     
  2. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    That's wrong! Laver won over 30 hard court events. As a pro he also won on wood, carpet, canvas, and every other surface the pros had to play on before open tennis, totalling 200 career titles. What Laver did was more impressive than what Federer did, IMO, with one exception - Federer won 3 out of 4 majors for 3 out of 4 years - 2004-2007. That's one major away from a Grand Slam, 3 times in 4 years. The only major he couldn't win in that stretch was the French Open. Laver might have done better if he was given a chance. But, that's a bit of speculation.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  3. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    16,820
    Location:
    Poland, eating bigos and żeberka
    First of all winning 30 titles back in Laver's day on any surface was easier than winning 30 titles these days, every GOAT contender in the 50's-70's won 100+ titles in their careers which hasn't been the case in the last 20-30 years, it's just not technically possible.

    There are no free titles you can win today, even in a measly ATP 250 you have to show up and beat 4-5 players ranked in the top 100. And how many of those every top player gets to play in a year? 2. Maybe 3 (as well as another 2-3 ATP 500), the rest are Masters, WTF and GS championships where you have to be at the top of your game to succeed, 99 % of the time you have to go through 3 top 10 players (including 2 of Federer/Nadal/Djokovic) to win any of those.

    Laver won, what, 199 titles in his career? (don't care if they are official or not) Today, for someone to achieve that one would have to collect an average of 10 titles a year for 20 consecutive years. For comparison, Fed won an average of 10 titles a year for 5 years in 2003-2007 but he was absolutely dominating the tour at the time, the fact that he kept it up for 5 years is a miracle. Now imagine someone doing it for 20 years against today's competition. Good luck.

    Then again, you STILL assume that Laver would've been successful in majors on a hard court based on those lesser 30 titles he won in his career (I didn't bother to check if they were some bigger ones - all I know is none of those was valued as much as a major). Or did you just call him the hard court GOAT based on those 30 titles?
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  4. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    First of all, tennis is a lot more than just the "majors." Especially in an era when the best players were banned from playing them. Second, Laver's record on hard courts speaks for itself. He won his majors on the surfaces they were played on at the time. Since they weren't played on hard courts, his majors record is irrelevant to how good he was on hard courts.
     
  5. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Would you say hard courts would have been his best surface, even over grass. That seems to be the prevailing consensus of alot of people.
     
  6. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    I call Laver the hard court goat based on his level of play on hard courts. He dominated the best players in the world on every surface, especially hard courts.

    It's funny to read the comments of those who think tennis began in 2003. Yes, Laver won 200 titles. Wikipedia says that Laver won 199 career titles. But, not all of his records are documented. One of TT's own recently discovered an additional title. That makes 200 titles. That's a lot. (Connors, Rosewall and Lendl won almost 150 titles). But, it's well within reason. For example, in 1966 he won 16 titles. In 1967 he won 19 titles including the Pro Grand Slam. In 1969 he won 18 titles including the open Grand Slam. In 1970 he won 15 titles including the Tennis Champion's Classic and 5 masters equivalent events. So, in those 4 years alone, Laver won 68 titles.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  7. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    Yes. Laver's ground game was even greater than his net game. And his return game was even greater than his service game (on a relative basis). His serve was about as good as it could be for someone who is 5'8". But, his return game was one of the top 3 all time greats, IMO. So, his game was rewarded more on the slightly slower, higher, more sure bouncing, hard courts than on grass.
     
  8. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    Let me just back up a second and clarify something. Hard courts today are a bit slower than they were in Laver's day. They put more aggregate in the acrylic paint than they used to. The reason this is important is that, IMO, Federer would probably be better than Laver on the slower modern hard courts because slower courts would tend to neutralize Laver's power, and Federer would have a better chance to hit forehands from virtually everywhere on the court. And, I put Fed's forehand above even Laver's backhand, which was Laver's best shot.
     
  9. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    16,820
    Location:
    Poland, eating bigos and żeberka
    Which makes it a subjective opinion and a "which player you like most thread" to start with. Based on pure stats/facts you got nothing to argue with. Try your luck in the "best grass court player" thread, you could probably make a case for Laver.

    The standards are different today. The only way you can win more than 12 titles a year is to thoroughly dominate a season on every surface, losing maybe 1 or 2 match in a 12 month time span. Look what Djokovic had to go through to do it for 9 months (9 months! Not 10 years) and how spent he was after winning the US Open.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  10. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    Wrong again. Your opinions about Laver are purely subjective. I have seen both Laver and your personal lord and savior, Federer, play live on hard courts. My opinions are based on personal observation.

    You haven't identified any standards that are different today. Laver dominated the best players in the World for about 7 years. And he won a lot of events before and after that. Like I said, Rosewall, Connors and Lendl all won nearly 150 events. They just didn't dominate as long or as completely as Laver did.
     
  11. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    21,212
    No expert take Laver's 199 titles seriously. Just like no one give much praise for Court 11 AO due to the standard was non-existent in the 60s.

    I don't care if the ATP splits the current field into 10 separate fields, it's still 10X harder to win a title than in those day.

    Top 10 single titles holder:
    1. Jimmy Connors 109
    2. Ivan Lendl 94
    3. John McEnroe 77
    4. Roger Federer 73
    5. Pete Sampras 64
    6. Björn Borg 63
    7. Guillermo Vilas 62
    8. Andre Agassi 60
    9. Ilie Năstase 57
    19. Boris Becker 49

    Even though Connors led the way, it doesn't mean his overall titles worth more than Fed's 73 titles. Each different titles has certain weight. Fed won a boat load more bigger/important titles than Connors and are more value than Connors. I'm not sure if Lendl have won more bigger/important titles than Connors.
     
  12. Laurie

    Laurie Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,422
    Location:
    London
    Well I heard that Cincinnati and Indianapolis was held on green clay at some point in their history. It would seem pointless to hold the US Open on green clay and then hold the lead up tournaments on hardcourts. That would be like Queens and Eastbourne held on clay and then Wimbledon on grass. Also, professionally, hardcourts have not been around that long, only since the 1970s as far as I'm aware.

    Anyway, some information about Indianapolis and Cincinnati here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Men's_Clay_Court_Championships

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cincinnati_Masters
     
  13. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    21,212
    It doesn't take Fed's overall game to beat Laver, but just Agassi's ball striking ability should be enough to beat Laver. Have you ever seen how good Agassi was from the baseline? Afraid not.
     
  14. Laurie

    Laurie Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,422
    Location:
    London
    It is not going to stop this but it seems entirely pointless to argue about whether Laver would beat Federer or Agassi or whatever considering the age difference. You guys just like to argue at the end of the day don't you?
     
  15. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    21,212
    Limpin is also forgetting that there's no top tier hc player at Laver's size. Davydenko vs. Laver would be a great match since they are the same size and can't exploit the height advantage.
     
  16. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    16,820
    Location:
    Poland, eating bigos and żeberka
    I like tons of different players, Federer just happens to be my most favorite. I used to be a huge Safin fan before he fell into a slump after 2006 and never really came out of it. Also, is it just me or does everyone who has watched tennis since the 60's tend to support Laver more than any other professional who played later on (including Connors, Borg, Sampras, Federer)? There's nothing wrong with being sentimental, you know. You don't have to worship Laver and depreciate Federer's greatness at every opportunity.

    Ok, so it's just the lack of ability of today's players that doesn't allow them to rack up 20 titles a year, right?

    Just take Connors as an example, if he won 150 titles total and there were really 1 or 2 years (1974 and 1982 to a degree - heck he didn't even finish at no 1 in 1982) when he dominated, what does it tell us about the overall difficulty of collecting tournament wins? To say that winning titles 30-50 years ago was easier than it is now is a HUGE understatement, if every all-time great could do it with ease while no-one in the last 25 years (except Federer) has won more than 65 titles.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  17. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    4,537
    You mean Masters 1000's? - Connors won about 17 or 18 equivalent and Lendl won around 22 (Federer is currently on 19). Lendl's record at season end finals also is comparable to Federer's. (Lendl 5 masters wins + 2 WCT wins).
     
  18. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    The lead up tournaments to the U.S. Open are a fairly recent phenomenon. They didn't exist as such until 2004.

    I don't understand the point of your links. Doesn't it make sense that the U.S. National Clay Court Championships would be played on clay? According to your second link, the Cincinatti Masters event began on clay in 1989, 11 years after the U.S. Open converted to hard. I'm not following you here.
     
  19. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    And what is this opinion based on? Your presumption that the players today are better than they used to be. Nothing more.
     
  20. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    I've seen Agassi play live on hard courts about 6-7 times. You?
     
  21. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    Smacking down the mouth breathing, pimple faced, eighteen year old, ******* demographic on TT, who thinks tennis started in 2003, is almost as much fun as actually playing tennis.
     
  22. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Thanks. It a shame there werent hard court slams started in the Open Era. Players like not only Laver, but Evert, Connors, McEnroe, Austin, even Navratilova (who wasnt a big fan of the Australian style grass) would have benefited.
     
  23. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    So says the individual who averages 26-30 posts per day here, which must be an all time record.
     
  24. Laurie

    Laurie Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,422
    Location:
    London
    Eh? Cincinnati changed from clay to hardcourts in 1979.

    Limphitter, lead up tournaments are lead up tournaments. The US Open series was introduced sometime around 2006 but tournaments before a big event are lead up tournaments. I am not talking about technicalities here....

    I can see how you guys get into long drawn out arguments :lol:
     
  25. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    16,820
    Location:
    Poland, eating bigos and żeberka
    I explained earlier. Basic stats and overall standards for a particular era. That's all you need to know. I don't believe that there was more talent in the 50's-70's compared to now as it is statistically impossible. I will change my opinion if someone wins 100 titles from now on but I assure you it ain't gonna happen, unless we come back to 4-men mickey mouse draws.

    Of course I still think that today's top players are better than the top crop in the previous eras but that's simple evolution. The same way the next generation will be better than this one (unless some factors change). While I despite being younger than you (if you didn't lie about watching Laver live) already acknowledge it, you will probably continue living in your sentimental world forever in which Laver at his best would beat Federer, Nadal (or Connors/Borg/Sampras) at their best.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  26. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    21,212
    I don't know if you can say Lendl and Connors's next important events(not the slam and YEC) are equal to today's MS. Especially the WCT. You just saw John Isner who played the match of his life and can't win a MS(IW), where the event consists of 96 players.
     
  27. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    21,212
    It's sure as hell 10x harder to win. You know historians are not dumb...they know all of Laver's titles are not in same league as today. I mean even the most important event during Laver's era only needs to win 3 matches !
     
  28. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    21,212
    I mean watch it on TV LIVE. In his 20s and 30s. Capiche ?
     
  29. Ballistec_J

    Ballistec_J Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2012
    Messages:
    39
    Nadal and Djokovic are not on this list and they are both better than mcenroe and agassi. Nadal will have more slams than both of those two combined and djokovic will probably get to about 10 or so slams.
     
  30. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    Messages:
    25,112
    Location:
    Cwmbran, Wales
    Players couldn't even sit down at the change of ends before 1973-1974. The professionals before the open era played a load of matches on tours. Imagine Nadal vs. Federer playing against each other about 100 times in a calendar year in different locations. It would be interesting to see what the final score would be, and the professional players used to actually do this in the pre-open professional era. For example, in 1956, Gonzales beat Trabert 74-27, and in 1958, Gonzales beat Hoad 51-36.
     
  31. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    Hahaha! On TV? Well, hell no wonder you know so much! I've seen Agassi play live - in person - in his 20's and 30's, you clown.
     
  32. li0scc0

    li0scc0 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Messages:
    2,173
    Do you KNOW any 18 year olds??? 18 year olds use Babolat and want to be Nadal.
    Tennis purists (who are generally not 18) like Federer. The exception are those odd breeds who - for some reason - think Federer's accomplishments make the excellent historical players look poor in comparison. These misguided purists discredit Federer when they should simply realize that eras are different, and it is an apples and orange comparison. I cannot see any reason why a tennis purist should not love Federer. But to say the 18 year olds are '*******s' is really not to understand 18 year olds.
     
  33. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    Hahaha! Well, when I say 18 year old, I really mean anyone under 50. Further, I'm just a little bit older than 18 myself and I switched to Babolat (a PD+ to be precise), because it's the best GD racquet I've ever played with. I've seen the light and gone to the dark side. It's unbelievable. It's almost like cheating. Spank you very much. And I've played with a few racquets over the past 4+ decades of playing tennis. And frankly, if Federer switched to Babolat, he might actually win another major. Hahaha!

    PS: Seriously, can you imagine Federer's forehand with a leaded up PD+! It would be dangerous to life and limb.

    PPS: I think it would be cool for Babolat to make a PD for Federer. They could call it the PDF without spelling out his name if he didn't consent. But, everyone would know what it implies. THAT would be funny.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  34. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    21,212
    Just to refresh your memory, here's a highlight of Agassi groundstrokes during his 20s and 30s.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3uiZvHN9f8

    Watch it and you will change your mind. Because it's hard to believe a smaller Laver can withstand Agassi ball striking from the baseline on hard court.
     
  35. DjokovicForTheWin

    DjokovicForTheWin Banned

    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    Messages:
    5,811
    Laver wouldn't be able to handle WTA balls.
     
  36. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    Idiot! How many times have I told you that you have to adjust for equipment. Further, as I've told you at least 50 times, I've seen them both play, on hard courts, live, up close. Yes, Agassi had the greatest groundstroke combination (both sides as a whole), in the history of tennis. But, Laver, whose groundstrokes were among the greatest of all time, is so much more athletic than Agassi that it more than makes up for Agassi's amazing groundstrokes. And Laver had a better serve and much better net game.
     
  37. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    21,212
    And what does that has to do with winning 3 matches vs. 7 matches? If they never had a seat for the player to sit, you believe Fed would be less success than he is right now? Actually Fed is more fitter than 99% of his adversaries, so having no seat would benefitted him.

    Tennis isn't about just 2 players but the entire tour. The 100 matches between Fed and Nadal doesn't make any sense because it only measure how one matchup against another, not the whole field where you have a varieties matchup, strengths and weaknesses. I would preferred Gonzales and Hoad win all of their rounds and then they meet in the final.
     
  38. DjokovicForTheWin

    DjokovicForTheWin Banned

    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    Messages:
    5,811
    Don't forget, in Laver's era there was no global warming yet. Have to account for that too.
     
  39. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    7,889
    After the USO switched to hardcourt, the majority of tournaments in the US in the summer were still played on clay for several years.

    look at the schedule for 1983

    http://www.atpworldtour.com/Scores/Archive-Event-Calendar.aspx?t=2&y=1983

    you can see 6 US tournaments on that calendar leading up to the USO on hardcourt that were still on clay as late as 1983(USO switched to hardcourt in '78) And Indy was a pretty big event, it must seem strange to you, but the top players still played that green clay event for years even though the USO on hardcourt was just around the corner.

    The tour wasn't very organized until 1990(when ATP started) it was sort of a free for all, no tournament was required to be a 'lead up' for a major, they just did their own thing(its not easy for a tournament to just switch surfaces after many years of the same one)
    Lendl won 3 events(and they weren't minor events either) in 3 weeks on 3 surfaces in '85(carpet, clay, hardcourt)

    And in Laver's time it was even more chaotic, I think fans here seem to assume there was some sort of grasscourt season leading to the USO on grass in '69(or assume most of the year was on grass or something since 3 majors were on grass - not the case at all) but it was really a mix of surfaces. think Laver was playing events on clay & carpet right before that USO in '69. it WAS sort of like having queens on clay then wimbledon on grass, players had no say & the powers that be really didn't care. open era was so new, it took a while to work out kinks, I'm sure players were just happy to be paid, & not worrying about not getting real 'lead up' tournaments to majors. I think all this shows how much harder it was to be at one's best during the majors in laver's time & makes his achievement all the more remarkable(when you see how much complaining about something as irrelevent as blue clay it seems inconceivable any player today would stand for the much more extreme changes laver had to deal with. they were also trying some pretty crazy stuff at some events, new scoring systems. and tiebreaks used to be sudden death, not what they are today)

    there were also a few years where the Italian Open was played after the French Open.

    I think too many fans just assume a lot about the tour prior to when they actually followed it instead of doing some research about it.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  40. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    Messages:
    25,112
    Location:
    Cwmbran, Wales
    That not being able to sit down is more physically demanding, obviously.

    The professionals back in the pre-open days did tours and tournaments. Take Gonzales in 1956, he won that pro tour against Trabert by 74-27 whilst also playing in all 4 pro majors that year, winning 3 of them and being runner-up in the other. There were other tournaments as well, no sitting down at the change of ends and had to play through injuries like a cyst Gonzales had on his serving hand in the early matches against Rosewall on the 1957 pro tour.

    That is a very demanding schedule indeed, and he was the best player in the world, widely hated by many, and they all wanted to bring him down. Only Hoad came close, really.
     
  41. DjokovicForTheWin

    DjokovicForTheWin Banned

    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    Messages:
    5,811
    Every tennis stroke takes more and more effort in the modern era.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  42. swordtennis

    swordtennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Messages:
    4,185
    Federer however that 2009 AO loss to Nadal dropped him down he should be a long shot.
    and thats from someone who thinks Federer is puny and gives him little quarter due to him being weak against Nadal even on hard court.
     
  43. sonicare

    sonicare Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,733
    Location:
    london
    NO....its djokovic
     
  44. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    Wrong! It's Agassi! Agassi is better on both sides than Djokovic.
     
  45. Clay lover

    Clay lover Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    Messages:
    1,911
    x2

    10Agassis
     
  46. sonicare

    sonicare Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,733
    Location:
    london
    lolol......whatever dude
     
  47. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Definitely. Although the major movement and overall defense advantage Djokovic has might still mean he is the better baseliner overall at his current form. It would be close.
     
  48. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,465
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida
    Chris Evert is far better than both. Right?
     
  49. peRFection

    peRFection Rookie

    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    Messages:
    333
    I lolllled so bad reading the question
     
  50. Evan77

    Evan77 Banned

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Messages:
    1,745
    whatever dude ... lol ... Djokovic would eat Agassi for a breakfast from both left and right side ... what a joke. Just to remind you it's 2012.
     

Share This Page