Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by 90's Clay, Aug 22, 2012.
and, of those magnificient seven, Rosewall was the only one never to win the biggest trophy...
Perry, Emerson,Newcombe,Cochet...while I am amused at your passion for Riggs,Segura and Vines, I think those 4 could be also regarded as candidates...
If you're talking about Wimbledon then Gonzales never won it either. However he has more of an excuse for not doing so than Rosewall.
I probably could have put Perry, Newcombe and Cochet in. I like Newcombe a lot as you know. I'm not a big supporter of Riggs or Segura but I do believe they have a case for top ten. A lot of players have a case for top ten but I couldn't put everyone in. Another is Agassi but I don't really think he's top ten.
This is all right.I never linked Gonzales to traditinal gran slam titles, albeit he won twice at FH.
Perry looks underrated to me.He had an all time big FH, great footwork and great fighting spirit.He was also a schrewd tactician.Some consider him to be the best player of the 30´s and, although I rate Budge a bit above him, he deserves recognition.
NonP, I agree only in one point: regarding Mozart. It's regrettable that you underrate Schubert whose music is the most moving I know.
abmk, Yes, only a devilish person can claim that Rosewall's competition from 1961 to 1963 was weak. Muscles faced and beat Gonzalez, Laver, Segura, Sedgman, Hoad, Trabert, Gimeno, Anderson, Cooper and Olmedo. All of them in Hall of Fame....
kiki, And Spadea and Fromberg are in the same league as Budge and Gonzalez.
but keeps the best record of all (with the only exception of Laver, arguably).
...only in your mind...
I've seen Perry hit on videos numerous times and frankly his backhand groundstroke did not impress me. Remember he dominated the amateurs but never the pros. Vines and Budge were clearly superior. Perhaps Nusslein was his equal also.
It's possible that Perry had the greatest all time forehand. I believe it was named the best forehand of all time by World Tennis Magazine in the mid 1980's. He was extremely fast with super stamina.
Come on pc1, not so sure about Nadal being top 10 all time?? He is the best clay courter of all time (only Borg is in his league). That should be enough. In any case, if you are not sure about Nadal then how can you make a case for Riggs, Segura, Hoad, Sedgman or Budge?? The bull is clearly a more accomplished player than any of those (maybe Budge comes close but not close enough imo). He is arguably a top 5 all time already. IMO any list without Nadal in it is a crazy list to say the least
Yes I agree. I sometimes tend to underrate him myself because I want to give acknowledgment to achievers who are often underrated (Connors and Lendl), but any close inspection shows that their is no doubt about Rafael Nadal top place: The best clay player of all time, as shown by his utter domination of the clay master 1000 and Roland Garros; a very accomplished grass courter, as shown by his wimbledon title and runner-up appearance, a very competitive (to say the least) hard-court player. That's on paper, and doesn't consider the strong impression his game make.
My top 10 at the moment:
10. Mansour Barhami
- Federer ahead of Rosewall and Laver is mostly arbitrary.I rank Rosewall higher than Laver because of how long he lasted, but I don't really know how Roger compare with them. But his achievements are amazing, his tennis skills too, and his my favorite player.
-I rank Borg higher than Nadal because I think that the channel slam was more difficult to achieve at his time than today.
- I give a "penalty" to Gonzales because I have trouble to rate his titles in terms of difficulty and achievement. I don't consider that head-to-head is comparable to tournament, as the match-up are too important.
- I reckon that Bill Tilden is a top 10 player, but I didn't know how to rank him as I lack comparison means. Unlike Gonzales, for whom we can assume that he would have dominated if the Open era had begun in the 50's (because he dominated future dominating players). Instead I have put Mansour Barhami, who has nothing to do here (and there are too much candidate for the tenth place).
So Bobby Riggs is possibly top 10 all time, while Nadal and Agassi are not. Total crock list, sorry. Comparing Riggs or Segura (and yes I know he was a top pro player in the early 50s when the mens pro game was briefly thin anyway) to Nadal or even Agassi is equivalent to the certain someone who kept trying to compare Kodes to Vines. The massive gap Nadal and Agassi have over such players is as large or bigger than that.
This is the one time I agree with you
Riggs was world number one, won Wimbledon, two US Championship and over 100 tournaments. He also won three US Pros for a total of six majors. He defeated Don Budge in two major tours. That was for the World Championship, essentially bigger than a major. He was ranked number one for a number of years consecutively. He is also ranked by many in the top tier of all timers. I didn't say Nadal wasn't in the top ten by the way. I wrote I prefer to err on the side of caution so I wouldn't rank him, as of now. So in this post and the post following I will rank Nadal.
Here's the thing, I don't think Riggs is top ten material but he in my opinion has a reasonable enough resume to be in the running for top ten. In Riggs' era perhaps only Budge, Perry and Kramer can be called superior to him. It's debatable with Budge since Riggs' beat him in two tours. And it's debatable with Perry because Riggs was number one in the pros while Perry was playing. Admittedly perhaps Perry was pass his best. So if you look at 100 plus tournament wins, six majors, two big World Championship tours won and a number of years at number one, can you really say that Riggs is not top ten material? That's a BIG RESUME.
The problem with Riggs is that we dismiss him as the clown who lost to Billie Jean King. That clearly hurt the Riggs' legacy.
Segura was possibly the second best player of the 1950's. He won three straight US Pros over greats like Pancho Gonzalez and many other tournaments. He was arguably number one in at least one year. He played in a era on a tour with all time greats like Gonzalez, Sedgman, Hoad, Trabert and Rosewall. Subjectively some who saw the Segura forehand and the Connors' backhand believe Segura's shot was the clearly superior shot and arguably the greatest single shot in tennis history. Laver himself considers the Segura forehand to be the best forehand he faced and Laver faced Newcombe, Okker, Gimeno, Hoad, Gonzalez, Sedgman with their great forehands. So Segura just with the forehand alone he had a lot going for him. By all accounts he was a terrific mover, with an excellent volley and a solid but not great backhand. He defeated Hoad regularly, Sedgman apparently most of the time. He defeated Sedgman on a tour by I believe 23 to 22. Just barely but to defeat peak Sedgman on tour is incredible. He lost to Gonzalez on that tour by 20 to 30. Considering Gonzalez was at perhaps his peak, winning 40% against Gonzalez is tremendous. So yes I don't think it's bad to rank Segura as a possibility to be top ten material. And no I don't think he is top ten material. Incidentally he defeated Gonzalez in several of his US Pro wins in the final.
You're probably right that Agassi is in CONSIDERATION of top ten. However consideration doesn't mean I believe he is top ten. Here's some of my thought processes on Agassi. Remember the key is worthy of consideration for top ten, not necessarily do I think they are top ten. I was just thinking that Agassi is so recent and I've seen so many players superior to him JUST RECENTLY in my opinion. I have no doubt that Tilden, Rosewall, Laver, Gonzalez and Borg were superior to him. That's five. We look at Jack Kramer and Kramer was dominant for years, was the clearly best player in the world for years. Agassi was never clearly number one for many years in a row like Kramer. That's six. Recently we have Connors, more than double the tournaments won, equal with majors. That's seven. How about Lendl who is another fairly recent player? Against more than double Agassi in tournament wins. Equal in majors and in head to head he was in the plus column. That's eight. What about Federer, currently playing and another recent player who played during the Agassi era? That's nine. I know I erred on the side of caution with Nadal (anther current player and recent player who played old Agassi) but so far in average level of play he's ahead of Agassi plus he had far more majors. That's ten. Djokovic will probably be ahead. That's eleven. Clearly Pete Sampras (the dominant player of the Agassi era and another recent player) is ahead of Agassi so that's twelve. If we take away Djokovic for now it's still eleven ahead of Agassi.
When I wrote consideration of top ten, the player has to had an least some sort of argument he's in the top ten. Do you see him ahead of Sampras, Federer, Nadal, Lendl, Connors, Borg, Laver, Rosewall for those greats who played in the Open Era and won majors? And that's just in the Open Era. Heck for a while there Agassi wasn't even the best in his family, Pancho Gonzalez was his brother in law.
So now we have to look at before the Open Era. We have Tilden, Gonzalez who are clearly ahead of Agassi and it's not close.
My friends, this is opinion and opinions often greatly vary. I can tell you that I respect Agassi's career but frankly the guy took years off in a career that was hardly super dominant like a Tilden or other. He also had many weaknesses as a player. He wasn't quick, didn't volley that well and his serve was good but not overpoweringly. Courier for a few years was able to consistently beat Agassi in big matches. Courier was terrific but hardly a super duper player even at his best. So yes I agree you're correct that he's in consideration for top ten but I don't think he is top ten.
Let's talk stats. Agassi won eight majors in his career in 61 attempts. Pretty good but not exactly super. He won 76.05% of his career matches. Hardly awesome. McEnroe, Connors, Lendl were in the 82% range in much longer careers. A six point gap is huge. Nadal is around the 83% range. Federer is in the 82% range. Djokovic currently is in the 79% range and moving up. Sampras was in the 77% range but I will say that Sampras didn't play quite as long so so percentage stats would have probably gone down. However Sampras still won more tournaments than Agassi, 64 to 60. Agassi never had super great years like McEnroe, Borg, Lendl, Connors, Federer, Laver, Rosewall, Gonzale, Tilden, Djokovic or Nadal. My point is that we assume Agassi has to be in the top ten because he's Agassi but is that a given? He has to be penalized somewhat for the years he didn't put as much effort into the game.
So tell me, do any of you feel Agassi belongs ahead of Tilden, Laver, Borg, Rosewall, Sampras, Nadal, Federer, Gonzalez, Lendl, Connors, Kramer? I forgot about John McEnroe who won one less major than Agassi but over 100 tournaments. McEnroe won over 80% of his matches for his career. He won many WCT Championships and he won Year End Masters. I'd rank McEnroe ahead of Agassi. What about Budge, Perry, Hoad, Sedgman and Newcombe? I think Agassi is ahead of Becker and Edberg.
My thinking was not consistent for Agassi as it was for the others so I apologize for that. He is clearly worthy of being considered for top ten.
If I look at a great like Riggs who was a dominant player. We can only say that Kramer was superior to him and that's debatable that Kramer was vastly superior because even Kramer thought Riggs tanked the tour after he fell behind by six or seven matches. We cannot compare him to Gonzalez head to head because he essentially was retired when Gonzalez played. Riggs won virtually everything he wanted to win.
If I look at Segura I see possibly the second best player of the 1950's with only Gonzalez able to beat him consistently during the decade. Maybe Kramer if you think of the early 1950's. Many, not just me rank him in the top ten. If you read the post carefully I was looking at players with even some flimsy reasons (but not logically totally disputable) for being in the top ten. Segura does have some half decent arguments imho. You realize that I'm trying to be flexible and to be open that some players may have some reasons to be in the top ten all time.
So no I don't think it's a crock list.
All of you know that I rarely post an opinion without putting some subjective thought that I try to base on facts and logic. I try to look at the facts and give my opinions based on the facts. I have a decent amount of information on Bobby Riggs' career and game to make me believe he is potentially top ten all time material. You saw the information I've given. Do all of you believe I am that far off? Look at Riggs' stats and resume in post 2368. Do you think it may be top ten material? I think it potentially is and if you don't, wow you really have to be impressed!
Segura incidentally years ago was named in the top twenty all time in a poll of tennis writers and experts. Some of these writers were Lance Tingay, Rex Bellamy, Bud Collins, Rino Tommasi, Allison Danzig, Will Grimsley, Ned Potter so it wasn't exactly guys off the street. Is potential top ten unreasonable? This is hardly ranking Kodes over Vines as NadalAgassi indicated. I know Vines by the way put Segura as number five after WW two ahead of guys like Rosewall, Riggs, Hoad, Sedgman, Trabert and also ahead of Emerson. Kramer ranked Segura in the second tier but clearly top ten and he ranked Riggs in the top tier ahead of Gonzalez, Laver and Rosewall.
I think Segura and Riggs were vastly underrated players. Are they really top ten? I don't think so. Are they in the running for top ten? Possibly in my opinion.
Sometimes I tend to be too careful but you're probably right.
You know what it is, every World Champion seems to be called the GOAT and after their careers are over the opinions often change. Laver was called the GOAT. Connors was called the GOAT. Borg was called the GOAT. Gonzalez was called the GOAT. Nadal has been called the GOAT. Federer has been called the GOAT. Sampras has been called the GOAT. Some thought Wilander has a shot to be the GOAT at one point. There are some many GOATs that I think some tennis officials should be sheep herders. lol. So I guess sometimes I like to wait until later in the player's career to look at the results. I may have been too careful with Nadal.
Frankly I think Nadal is one of the few who can be the potential GOAT in the future. That's how highly I view him.
Hey we all make mistakes .
Even though i am a huge Fed fan, i give full credite to Nadal. I dislike his tennis style, too much one dimensional for my taste, altough i consider it highly effective. But i admire his heart and determination and imho he has the most devastating weapon in tennis history (alongside Sampras`s first and second serve), his forehand on clay. It`s just brutal. I am from Argentina and clay court tennis is pretty much a religion , at least for the tennis fans around here. I watch him play live only once in my life and that was back in 2005 in the Buenos Aires ATP 250. He was just 18 yo and he played against Gaudio. I was in awe watching this kid play (he was just whipping the floor with Gaudio, the reigning RG champion at the time), when he hitted a crosscourt forehand to Gaudio`s backhand, the ball had such amount of spin that it kicked up so high that Gaudio found himself hitting a backhand smash from 4 or 5 meters behind the baseline. That was scary, believe me. I will never forget Gaudio`s reaction, "What the f..... was that??" he said to his support group who were just a couple of seats in front of me. The only player i can imagine doing something similar, provided that he has poly strings, is Bruguera. You just simply DO NOT DEFEAT a player with a weapon like that on clay.
pc1, I found your list reasonable including Riggs and Segura. It's good that you also included Nadal.
I also agree that a world tour was more than an equivalent to a pro major.
kiki, I must laugh that you rank Emerson ahead of Vines, Riggs and Segura. Emmo was never No.1 or No.2 in the world.
Great story with Gaudio. I forgot that many called McEnroe the GOAT and some thought Edberg was possibly the GOAT. That's a huge population of GOATs. I often laugh when I see another current number one called the GOAT. GOATs are definitely not on the endangered species list. I haven't seen it yet with Djokovic. Anyone know if he's been called the GOAT by anyone yet? If not he will be if he wins another major or so.
ARFED, I cannot agree that only Borg is in the claycourt league with Nadal. What about Rosewall? That guy won six times at Roland Garros even though he did not play there in several years when he could have won that title: 1955, 1956. 1957, 1963, 1964, 1965,1966,1967, 1970,1971, 1972...
pc1, If Djokovic could play every year as well as he did in 2011 he possibly could be called the GOAT even though the real GOAT should be one out of the small group Tilden, Gonzalez, Rosewall and Laver.
If Djokovic has enough years like 2011 he could be reasonably thought of as a GOAT candidate and not a long shot GOAT candidate. But he has to have a number of years like that and that's really tough.
He was a fantastic clay courter, but imo he was a tier below Nadal and Borg. Altough he was amazing on the red stuff, he wasn`t even close to the level of dominance achieved by the other two. I place him together with Kuerten and Wilander, probably ahead of those 2. Besides, winning the French Pro at RG is not the equivalent of winning RG in the open era. A pro major is not the same as an open major. It`s not Kenny`s fault if he couldn`t play more in the open era but i can`t award him with imaginary trophies. If we go by that logic then let`s give Borg 2 or 3 more RG, after all when he retired he was the best clay courter by far. He did face hard cometition on clay (Trabert, Gimeno, Laver, Segura, Hoad, Gonzalez) but he never had that aura of invincibility. Many of those players had the better of him numerous times on clay. Borg and Nadal obliterated all of his rivals on clay (Vilas, Orantes, Panatta, Pecci, Nastase, Federer, Djokovic, Ferrer, Coria, Gaudio, etc).
Forgot Federer as usual. Djokovic's 2011 wasn't greater than Federer's best years in actuality considering how he dropped off at the end of the year.
Kramer rated Riggs above Hoad, Rosewall, Laver, Newcombe, in spite of the discrepancy in major title wins.
Why? Kramer was a close pal of Segoo, and disliked Hoad, Rosewall, and Laver because the latter three gave him serious career trouble.
Laver rated Hoad ahead of Kramer, Gonzales, and Segura. Why? Perhaps partly because he was a close friend of Hoad, and not with the others.
In 2006, Kramer came out with a more objective list, Vines, Budge, Gonzales, Hoad, Federer. He still could not add Laver or Rosewall, perhaps because these latter guys were physically smaller.
That's debatable. On the surface perhaps you're right but some have pointed out the amount of Masters 1000 tournaments he won in 2011 which was excellent. I have to examine Federer's best years to compare which I have not done yet.
Edit-Just checked and Federer won four Masters 1000 titles each year from 2004 to 2006. Djokovic won five in 2011. Take it any way you want. Federer had better winning percentages.
Actually Dan the guy Kramer ranks number one is Kramer. He once said on a Tennis Channel interview that he thought Budge was superior to Sampras. He also has clearly made a point that he thought he was superior to Budge. Despite being unable to add one and one I can safely conclude Kramer thought he was superior to Sampras easily.
But you are correct I don't think he was that impressed by Laver and Rosewall.
Not sure if you're totally right about Kramer being partial. It's well known he didn't get along with Gonzalez but he did rank Pancho in the top tier. A lot of guys were impressed with Riggs enough to rank him in the top ten. Among them, aside from Kramer, Vines and Gene Mako.
Federer won the YEC which trumps a single masters. He also won more titles and made the final of the slam he didn't win. So yes Federer's was better, there's no debate to be had.
Kramer thought that Budge was the greatest for many, many decades, but a few years before his death, he changed his mind to pick Federer.
* source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2007/jun/24/tennis.wimbledon8
Actually it`s not even close. Fed best year was 2006, comparig it Djoko 2011 we get that both won 3 majors but Fed reached a final in the remaining, Djoko only a semi. Next level WTF, Fed went 5-0, Djoko 1-2... no contest there. Next, Masters 1000 Djoko leads 5-4 (both reached 6 finals).
Fed: 12 titles, 92-5 record
Djoko: 10 titles 70-6 record
Sorry but there is only one way to take it.
That Kramer quote on Fed is wasted on some of the guys here. I don't expect any of them to change their minds about Fed.
ARFED and the other Federer fans: You forget a little, a tiny difference: The quality of competition in 2006 and 2011...
It's a great quote by Kramer and he very well may mean it. He's an enigma to me with quotes. He has clearly said Budge was superior to Sampras. And you know he believed he was better than Budge. He has also said he thought he (Kramer) would win 25 majors in today's game.
Yet at the same time he said the quote that Phoenix linked us to and he also said that Federer would beat him easily. I'll give Kramer the benefit of the doubt in the last interview. However my gut feeling is Kramer really thought Federer was number two to him. That's not unusual for champions.
Yes Ferrer and Tipsarevic who beat Djokovic were definately great competition...
Competition is subjective anyway, the general field today isn't much greater if at all than it was in 2011. The only difference is Djokovic had to contend with Nadal and post Prime Federer. In 2006 Federer never went 2 sets to love down or even 2 sets to 1 down. I'd say they're atleast compable the two years.
Gonzales was Kramer's meal ticket for many years. He should love the guy.
He SHOULD but you know that wasn't true.
Forza, I don't care too much about a man who ranks Laver and Rosewall "of course" not in the first tier.
Do you really wanna look the competition in 1963???? Trust me, you don`t wanna go there :twisted:
Don't know much about his thoughts on Rosewall, though I'm aware he ain't Laver's biggest fan
Hey, let's go there.
Laver played the tag team of Hoad and Rosewall and got worn down, lost a world tour to Rosewall, and played his best ever tennis against Rosewall in Paris and still lost.
He lost a second tour against Hoad in 1964.
Laver in later years emerged from these guy's shadow and dominated the scene.
Was that really necessary to make the above comment ? And if some posters response negatively to that would it really be a surprise? It is an informative quote on Kramer's viewpoint and I'm glad I read it.
Yes it was absolutely necessary for me to say that.
ARFED, I did not write about 1963. But as you raise it: In the 1963 pro scene we had, among other greats, two players who arguably are the all-time greatest...
Darn right, Hoad and Gonzales.
Separate names with a comma.