Whats your top 10 of all time right now?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by 90's Clay, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Tilden not only would have been a potential contender for majors but in his prime he probably really would have been by far the major contender. You could even joke there were no contenders outside of him. It would probably be Tilden versus the rest of the field. Most likely the rest of the field would lose. I think there was a super chance Tilden would have win several Grand Slams and I would tend to think Tilden easily would have won over twenty majors. In his best years he won around 98% of his matches. Over his career, including the many years he was losing Tilden still won over fifty percent of his tournaments entered. His record is arguably as great as any, possibly greater than any player.

    Tilden has every stroke. He had a great forehand, excellent backhand, a great serve, super movement and excellent stamina. His volley was okay but not great but he did win many a doubles titles so it was fine. He was also obsessed with studying the game. He was about 6'2" tall and I have no doubt if he played today he would have adapted easily to the tennis of today.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2012
  2. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    I personally have Bill Tilden as the best player in the world for 7 years, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925 and 1931, and the best professional player in 1932 and 1933. As an amateur from 1912 to 1930, Tilden won 138 out of 192 tournaments and was runner-up in 28 others. Amongst the amateur tournaments he won were 7 US Championships, 3 Wimbledons and a WHCC (precursor to the French Championships). As a professional from 1931 onwards, Tilden was the best on the big pro tours until dethroned by Ellsworth Vines in 1934, while he also won 2 US Pros and 2 French Pros, as well as coming very close in many others during the 1930s while Tilden was in his 40s.

    Tilden's post-1946 career was severely affected by the scandals involving him, including jail time, but he continued to play sporadically up to 1952. A 60 year old Tilden was actually on his way to play at the 1953 US Pro tournament in Cleveland when he died of a massive stroke.
     
  3. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    I am already well aware Tilden was clearly the best player in the World for about 6 or 7 years. However my question was whether he was a top 3 or 4 player in the World for about 20 years capable of winning majors had it been Open Era that whole time like Rosewall was (eg- was he top 3 in the World and a potential winner of hypothetical Open Era slams still in 1939). If he wasnt then I still consider Rosewall the best ever as far as longevity goes.
     
  4. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    If you consider that he won his first tournament in 1918, was in the US Nationals final that year and that he dominated the pros for years until he was dethroned by Ellsworth Vines in 1934. If you consider that he won his last tournament in 1938 over the great Nusslein, yes I would say he's up there with Ken Rosewall. For longevity I would still give Rosewall the edge.
     
  5. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Thanks, that is what I was wanting to know.
     
  6. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    NadalAgassi, Thanks for the Rosewall praise. You are right that Muscles really dominated only 2-3 years. But his record looks better if we concede that he was a tied or Co. No.1 for several years: 1960, 1961, 1964, 1970, 1971. Even for 1959 he could be considered as he was 8:4 against Gonzalez and had the best overall record according his own claim.

    The Little Master had bad luck insofar as his career coincided with Laver's and Gonzalez'. In his clashes with Rod he was rather old in most years (1965 till the end) in comparison to a four years younger Laver! In 1965 and 1966 he was pretty close to Rocket.

    I rank Rosewall 16 times among the top 3, together with Gonzalez.

    I think that Rosewall's lack of long domination as clear No.1 is compensated by his other super records: 23 majors won, 2 WCT finals won, 9 majors won in a row, positive balance against all other greats at big events, longevity and other feats.

    I'm glad you rank Rosewall at least No.6 or 7, probably higher. Not all posters are doing that way...
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2012
  7. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Mustard, I agree that Tilden must be considered as possibly greatest regarding longevity. The years of playing don't count too much because Tilden was weak in his first years and in his last years. But I rank him very high because he almost won a match against pro champion, Riggs in 1946 when he was already 53!!! However: Rosewall was ranked at No.2 by Tingay for 1974 when he turned 40, a feat never reached by Tilden. But Tilden was great in 1939, at 46 when he thrice beat Budge...
     
  8. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    We also must consider Gonzalez.
     
  9. fluffyyelloballz

    fluffyyelloballz Rookie

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    Thanks:) I shall have to research Budge as I know little about him. As for Longevity and playing levels, I have never considered a top ten based on that. Interesting to see Becker and Novak in the list. I do agree that Novak's 2011 and Becker's prime was incredible.
     
  10. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    1. fed: he has the rafa issue and no strong opponents from 04-05 but career slam, longest no.1 and most slams. also probably GOAT in both W (most important slam) and USO. he also continued to win from 08-12 despite facing very strong opponents and not being the youngest guy.

    2. laver: most dominant of all despite missing his prime years but I don't reward for "what if" and he did not have very strong opponents

    3. pete: a lot of slams plus owned his main rivals. he also had to face a lot of good opponents. but he was just too weak on clay to be considered GOAT. no career slam

    4.borg: very dominant and could have won more if not his early retirement and AO skipping. but again no what ifs so he is 4th

    5. rafa: 11 slams plus owning the GOAT on clay. their h2h is skewed but even baby nadal could keep up with prime fed on every surface. however not good enough in the AO and USO to be considerd higher. career slam is nice but just one title each is a little thin. he is behind borg because borg dominated two slams vs rafas 1

    6.connors: most tournaments won and very long no.1 and also missed some more slams because of AO skipping. however he did not have the best opponents (laver was old and borg not yet there), when borg took over he beat connors most of the time (especially 79-81 when connors did not win a single match)

    7.from here it becomes tough. I go with lendl at 7

    8.I go with macenroe since agassi was owned so much by pete

    9.agassi: career slam and very long and successsfull career although he was owned by sampras

    10. djokovic: not the most slams but he had to face a slightly past prime fed and prime nadal as probably the best opposition ever. murray is not bad either.
     
  11. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Of course it's a matter of opinion but Laver did play Rosewall in his prime, Gonzalez (still strong but pass his prime by a little), Gimeno, Newcombe (at his best), Roche, Stan Smith, Arthur Ashe, Roy Emerson, Tom Okker, Santana, Ralston, Drysdale during the years he was winning majors. I do think these were extremely strong players but it is a matter of opinion so judge for yourself. Eight of these player have won majors and many of them multiple majors. In later years Laver played Kodes, Nastase, Borg, Connors, Vilas, Orantes, Gerulaitis, Tanner, Solomon, Dibbs, John Alexander.

    Nice list. I like it that you rank Connors up there. I think Connors is vastly underrated especially considering he won 149 tournaments in his career, the most of the Open Era by a little over Ivan Lendl who won 146.

    Djokovic is one of the best players I've seen and I can see him mentioned with any great in the coming years.

    Did you consider some of the players like Tilden?
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2012
  12. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Again, simply listing titles doesn't tell us very much about actual achievement, or else you would have to rank Emerson and others way up high. Think again.
     
  13. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Are you being serious? When Tilden was the best amateur player, he was the best player in the world. Emerson was behind the best professional players in the 1960s.
     
  14. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    pc1, Of course we must.
     
  15. BobbyOne

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    Yes, Becker was extremely strong when "on". But nevertheless, maybe I have overrated him a bit...
     
  16. BobbyOne

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    dominikk1985,

    Interesting list. You seem to ignore the outcast pros and generally the older times (Tilden!). That's a mistake. It's not a case of "what if". They did have their majors and you should include them in your speculations.

    Connors is not this who won the most tournaments. Laver was it by winning at least 200 events!

    Laver had very strong opposition!!

    A top ten list without Rosewall and Gonzalez is a bad list though.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2012
  17. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Did Emerson dominate a stronger field than Tilden did? Probably.
     
  18. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Tilden was the best player on the amateur tour but Emerson was also the best player in the amateur. Tilden turned pro only a few years after the pro tour was established, and there's only a handful of players in the 30s. There isn't much to brag about him being #1 during the pro because there wasn't much competition(lol). Whereas Emerson would have a much tougher time had he turned pro when the field was much deeper/stronger in the 60s.

    I normally don't agree with Dan but this time he's 100% correct. Listing number of titles doesn't say about the weight of individual achievement. Because in that case, (Connors, Lendl) > (Federer, Sampras, Borg, Nadal) simply because they have more single titles. Makes no sense.
     
  19. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    At least you're honest about urban bs in trying to denigrate Roger. It would be good if urban admitted that he doesn't believe what he wrote and was being biased on purpose.
     
  20. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    I would say the difference between Tilden and Emerson is that Tilden was the best in the world (all categories) because all the top players were amateurs while Emerson dominated only the amateurs.

    Furthermore Tilden dominated clearly for 6 years while Emmo dominated only in 1964 and 1965.
     
  21. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    The amateur tour had all the top players in those days so it was essentially Open Tennis. Tilden dominated in those days like no one has since and that's very important.

    Number of titles is an indicator but not the end all however it is important. If you eliminate the number of titles you make only the majors count for everything and the tour is mostly not about the majors. Lendl won WCT championships and Year End Masters for example.

    Tilden played tours against Nusslein, Perry, Vines and Budge and while he did not win most of them, it is an indicator of his great strength, even at a late age. He did very well against VInes for example and defeated Nusslein. He was close to fifty when he played Budge and had a relatively respectable showing of seven wins, forty-six losses and 1 tie considering his age. Many of the matches were pretty close according to accounts.

    Even in the early years the Pro Tour had Cochet, Vines, Tilden, Nusslein among others playing and that's excellent.
     
  22. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Emmo dominated a much stronger amateur field than Tilden did.
     
  23. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    A loss is a loss is a loss.
     
  24. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Dan,

    My point was to show the strength of Tilden even in his later years. He did defeat Budge, Vines, Nusslein in tournaments when he was over forty.

    Hoad for example often even in losses to Gonzalez showed how strong he was. The Hoad that lost to Gonzalez on tour 36 to 51 showed great strength. Hoad probably would have defeated just about anyone on a head to head tour playing at that level.

    Hard to evaluate. Possibly but maybe not.
     
  25. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Actually, I think that in 1958 Hoad would have lost a hth tour with just about any of the top six pros, as his back gave out when leading Gonzales 18 to 8, in a best-of-one-hundred series. He could not play more than about thirty matches straight without problems.
    On the other hand, he won the world tournament championship in both 1958 and 1959, where he could pick his spots more and pace his back.
     
  26. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Great point.No Bagdhatis,Gonzalez or Tsonga there.
     
  27. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Federer is better than Nadal by much on an indoor carpet match.Thing is, like grass , the very few tournaments played indoors nowadays have slow courts.Even in a slow indoor court, Nadal is unable to beat Federer.

    Again, XXI century tennis has nothing to do with the XX century tennis.Not grass, not indoors, not wood.Maybe clay and maybe hard courts.So we cannot compare current with past since courts are so much different.
     
  28. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Yes, lets count Pro events and lets count WCT regular tour events.They are just the same.
     
  29. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    The only guy I think Kodes could not beat was Laver ( although he beat him once), but he defeated the whole rest of great players of the early 70´s.

    Kodes was superb on clay but was just as superb on grass, as he won a Wimbledon title and reached another semifinal there, and reached two USO finals.
     
  30. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    kiki, I agree that Kodes was superb in the early 1970s.

    By the way, Rosewall beat Kodes 4:1. Jan's only win happened in 1973 in a WCT event. Shortly afterwards Rosewall got a huge 6-2,6-2 revenge at Houston.
     
  31. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Thank you.

    did Vilas and Muscless ever met?
     
  32. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Yes, twice: In the 1973 Toronto tournament Rosewall beat Vilas 7-6,6-0 and in the December 1976 "Intercontinental Cup" on grass at Melbourne Muscles crushed Vilas with the unbelievable scores of 6-2,6-2,6-0, directly before Vilas reached the final of the January,1977, Australian Open against Tanner. Could it be that Guillermo tanked the third set in order to save energy for the AO? However, Rosewall must have played very strongly to defeat Vilas that way.

    By the way, Rosewall also beat Arthur Ashe in that Cup in four sets.
     
  33. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    except for Newk and Connors, Rosewall record against the top players of the decade is astonishing.

    I don´t recall the Intercontinental Cup.Was it a 4 continents match up, an unofficial event that gathered US, Southam,Europe and Australian players?

    It is a very interesting concept.
     
  34. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    I have to admit that I don't rate them because I do not know about them. I am probably making a mistake in not rating them.

    I guess I have to read a little about that era:).
     
  35. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    dominikk1985, Your attitude honours you very much.
     
  36. BobbyOne

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    kiki, Yes, I think the cup was an unofficial event as a preview for the AO. It was Australia against North-and Southamerica (the latter two ONE team). The other Australian was Newcombe but I miss his results.

    Yes, Rosewall in the 1970s was already 35 to 45 and he has a great record against players like Newcombe (14:9, yet astonishing,kiki), Roche (7:9!), Smith (6:3), Nastase (7:3), Ashe (14:7). In big events he also had a positive balance against these five.

    Edit: The hth balances are for open era (including 1968 and 1969) but it makes little difference as Rosewall was also an old player then
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2012
  37. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Check them out. It's really fascinating reading.
     
  38. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    thanks.:)

    Of course I know their names but I do not have enough background info on them.

    I'm a fan of baseball history and I do think it is wrong to exclude certain eras. also just because a modern player is stronger it doesn't mean he is greater since the modern players have the benefit of modern training, rackets, biomechanical analysis and probably even steroids. we always have to consider historic context.

    for example most baseball experts still consider base ruth the GOAT despite him playing pre integration (just against white players) and in a lower league quality (also in a high scoring era in a favorable stadium). but considering everything most still view him as the GOAT.

    I think we should do the same in tennis. "league quality" issues (less deep fields back then) and the degree of internationality (US open were really US championships in the first years with not a lot of foreign players) should
    certainly be considered when evaluating players (sometimes this means rating them down a little) but completely ignoring them is wrong.

    I also rate laver second because of those issues. IMO there is no doubt that laver was more dominant then federer. if not for his break he likely would have won 20+ majors. however I give federer credit for playing in a deeper field against more international opponents (well 03-06 was not all that strong but he still won from 07-12 which likely should be considered a strong era).

    however I could be wrong with lavers opponents as someone here mentioned quite a few strong names. however I don't really know whether he faced them when they (and he) were at his best or if those were non prime meetings (if you mention non prime matches you could also give fed credit for beating ancient agassi and old pete:)).
     
  39. BobbyOne

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    Thanks, Dominik.

    I agree with most of your statements.

    Laver's era had probably a deeper field than Tilden's. And I think it was not weaker than the recent and current field. Now we have four or five top players but also Laver had Gonzalez, Rosewall, Newcombe, Roche, Ashe as direct opponents.

    It's fine that you rank Laver second, but I think the gap between Laver and Gonzalez/Rosewall is not wide enough (if there is any) to omit the latter two from the top ten list.

    Gonzalez dominated in an awesome way albeit long before open era. Rosewall dominated in the early 1960s but was also a factor in the 1970s as kiki recently wrote.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2012
  40. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I would also add Gimeno, Smith and Okker as very strong opponents.
     
  41. BobbyOne

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    pc1, Thanks. I had forgotten them in the hurry. Also Nastase was very tough.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2012
  42. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Newk beat him twice at Wimbledon and once at West Side
     
  43. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Santana,Stolle,Fraser and Emerson in rhe 60 and Nastase,Kodes,Smth and Borg in the 70
     
  44. Flash O'Groove

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    I agree with you. Stronger or better doesn't mean greater, for the reasons you listed. However, tennis changed more than many other sport, which make it really harder to compare era.

    I personally follow tennis only since the beginning of the 2000's and thus know little about the older era. But the internationalization of the sport, the number of tournaments available, the level of dedication needed to succeed, etc. are very important. The older player are praised for their longevity, but I wonder (ask) if it wasn't the norm at the time, when the sport was less physical? They are praised for their titles number, but how many tournaments could they enter?

    I think that when we try to compare eras, we have to isolate the specials characteristics of the era. Typically, I don't hold the career slam of Fed or Nadal in very high esteem because, with the homogenization of surfaces, a dominant player can dominate everywhere with little change in his game. And while the consistency of the actual top 4 is admirable, the actual seeding system help them to avoid early upset.

    What were the special characteristics of the 30's, 50's, etc?
     
  45. BobbyOne

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    kiki, Muscles beat Newk twice at Forest Hills, once at Wimbledon and once in the WCT finals. Thus 4:3 for Rosewall. That's very astonishing as Rosewall was a grandpa then (ten years older than Newcombe).

    Edit: In the 1974 Wimbledon Muscles defeated Newk when the latter was the world's No.1.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2012
  46. BobbyOne

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    Flash O'Groove, Interesting thoughts.

    The game was also rather international 40 years ago.

    It's not a blame for the older players that the current ones don't play rather few tournaments and therefore can't win as many titles as Laver or Rosewall could.
     
  47. ARFED

    ARFED Semi-Pro

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    No, you are right, it`s not their fault, but it is an apples to oranges comparison nonetheless. Because you know very well that for a number of reasons it is nearly impossible to win as many as 150 titles in modern tennis, you would need to win 10 titles per year in a 15 year span, and that number sounds ridiculuos. So, sure it is an amazing feat for Laver, Tilden, Rosewall, Connors, etc to have that amount of titles, but you can`t use it when comparing them to modern players. The same can be said about the slam count, it is not fair to Laver, Rosewall, Gonzalez, etc, when comparing them to Federer or Sampras.
     
  48. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    There's no point in counting mickey mouse tournaments. The modern slams > pro majors > amateur slams. WTFs = pro majors.

    Federer: 17 slams; 6 WTFs
    Rosewall: 4 slams, 4 amateur slams, 15 pro majors
    Laver: 5 slams, 6 amateur slams, 8 pro majors


    screw the mickey mouse events, because no one is saying (Connors, Lendl) > (Federer, Sampras, Borg, Nadal). Capiche?
     
  49. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    For career some do argue that. Lendl and Connors were fantastic. What do you do, ignore everything but the majors? That would be insane. Why bother to play any other tournaments then?
     
  50. BobbyOne

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    ARFED, Yes, it's nearly impossible to current players to win 150 tournaments. But why? Because Federer and Co. are not Laver and Rosewall. And they refuse to play many tournaments in order to concentrate to the majors. I doubt that Federer would have won 17 majors if he had a schedule like the greats of older times...
     

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