Whats your top 10 of all time right now?

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

  1. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Bobby, again you ignore peak play for longevity.

    Awake!

    On Hoad's resume, he has more key showdown wins than any of his peers.
     
  2. heninfan99

    heninfan99 Legend

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    Magnus Larsson +9 clones.
     
  3. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    I'll make it a point to read posts from anyone who uses 'fecund' in a appropriate way.. Can't remember anyone since college reading or a George Will commentary! The language is full of variety, yet we don't take advantage.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2013
  4. storypeddler

    storypeddler Semi-Pro

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    I love questions like this, but without some specifications regarding what you want to base it on, even opinions are subject to guesswork. For example, I believe Lew Hoad was possibly near the very top of the list---but can you really count someone who was totally dominant, but only for a very brief period of time? It's a fun and entertaining exercise, and I love reading the arguments why people chose this one or that one, but for every good argument why a particular player is GOAT, there is another good argument why he may not be. Not being argumentative here, just pointing out that without parameters, it's simply people listing their favorites. It's like asking, "What's the best food of all time?" How can anyone answer a question like that? One like spicy so he says Mexican. One likes garlic so he says Italian. One likes... See what I mean?

    Do we consider most slams? Or most slams in fewest tries? Or most slam finals? Or most weeks at #1? Or Open era players only? Or longest careers? Or most overall titles? Or greatest dominance of peers? Or greatest dominance on a particular surface? Or adaptability to differences? For every criterion you could give a different name. LOL. Can't be done. Like playing tennis on a surface without lines or a net. Everything is in. No winners.

    But I will play along with the madness a bit. Best I can do is lump a few together as the greatest group of all time---and you can't draw lines between them.

    I would say, to be considered for a group called the greatest of all time, you would have to have won every slam. That makes it a very small group, indeed. Beyond that, I would look at number of slams and level of dominance during their heyday. In my mind, the group at the top has three members---Laver, Federer, and Nadal. Based only on his lack of a French, I would put Sampras a half-step behind them. The next group would include, in no special order:

    Borg,
    Lendl,
    Connors,
    Emerson,
    Budge,
    McEnroe,
    Agassi

    That's eleven, but I don't know who I would take out of the last group. Budge won the Grand Slam, so I can't discount his skill. I would omit Tilden based on his winning slam titles at only two of the four sites, and the overwhelming majority of those (7 of his 10) won at home at the US Open. Perry, Wilander, Lacoste, and Cochet would also have an argument. And finally, it seems almost certain that when this question is asked 10 years from now, Djokovic will have elevated himself into the top half dozen and maybe higher.

    Just my two cents worth.
     
  5. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    ^ What about Gonzales and Rosewall?
     
  6. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Dan, Rosewall has more key showdown matches won than any other player.
     
  7. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    storypeddler, You include second class Emerson but omit first class Gonzalez and Rosewall. Very strange.

    Hoad never really dominated. In 1958 he was beaten by Gonzalez. In 1959 he was on par with Gonzalez.
     
  8. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Rosewall has certainly lost more than his share of key showdown matches.

    And how many times did Hoad have to rescue Rosewall after the Aussie team was in trouble after a Rosewall loss? Especially in 1953 and 1961.

    Rosewall should have bought more than his share of beers for Hoad in gratitude.

    I don't hear the gratitude for this in your remarks, Bobby.
     
  9. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    The top matches between Hoad and Gonzales;

    In 1958;

    1) Forest Hills Pro
    Hoad df. Gonzales

    2) Roland Garros Pro
    Hoad df. Gonzales

    3) Kooyong Pro
    Hoad df. Gonzales

    Do we need to go on for 1958? I guess not.

    In 1959

    1) Forest Hills Pro
    Hoad df. Gonzales

    2) Kooyong Pro
    Gonzales df. Hoad

    Enough said.

    Overall, in top matches, I have Hoad leading Gonzales in major tournaments 5 matches to 2, for the top seven matches. I would add to the above the 1957 Forest Hills Pro (Gonzales won), the 1961 Wembley Pro (Hoad won), the 1967 Wimbledon Pro (Hoad won).

    The other tournament meetings between these two were below the above.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2013
  10. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Hoad's greatness was no more brief than Borg, Budge, McEnroe, Becker, Nadal, and others.

    Hoad's peak lasted from 1956 to 1960, and he won great showdowns between 1953 and 1964, about 12 seasons.
    A similar career to Budge.

    You've got Perry, Lacoste, and Cochet (the latter two had very short careers, shorter than Hoad's), but no mention of Vines or Kramer.

    Highly unorthodox.
     
  11. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Dan, Rosewall may have lost some key matches but nevertheless won more important matches than Hoad and the others.

    My gratitude for Hoad may you see in my ranking of Lew as No.4 in the playing strength list...
     
  12. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Funny Dan Lobb, You are able to argue so long that Hoad rules Gonzalez and that Emerson rules Laver.

    The head to head is just one parameter to judge the greats.

    Gonzalez was better than Hoad in 1958 and on par with lew in 1959.

    Your endeavour to establish the Kooyong tournament as a major is ridiculous.
     
  13. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Unorthodox Dan, Cochet had a very long career (1921 to 1950)!!!

    Budge rules several years, Hoad no single year.
     
  14. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    That's like saying Hoad had a very long career, 1952 to 1972.
    Make sense?

    Budge had peak years from 1937 to 1942, and was an overweight, out-of-shape version of himself after the war.
    Similar career curve as Hoad.

    Budge "rules"?
    I think that Vines was his equal in 1939, especially after Budge skipped the U.S. Pro.
    You can't give Budge 1941, because of a broken nose he lost the big ones to Perry.

    Hoad had the best credentials in 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960.

    You're right, not a single year, five of them.
     
  15. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Head to head is just one parameter?
    If the head-to-head includes the biggest events, it is an important parameter.

    Kooyong is generally considered the pre-eminent Australian venue for tennis.
     
  16. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Gonzales won both of the big tours in 1958 and 1959. In 1959, Gonzales beat Hoad in the US Pro final in Cleveland. Hoad avenged this at Forest Hills in the Tournament of Champions, the biggest victory of Hoad's career.
     
  17. TennisHunter

    TennisHunter New User

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    Lendl
    Federer
    Edgberg
    Becker
    Agassi
    Sampras
    Safin
    McEnroe
    Rios
    Mancini
     
  18. JW10S

    JW10S Hall of Fame

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    Laver, Federer, Sampras, Borg, Gonzalez, Nadal, Tilden, Budge, Lendl, Agassi.
     
  19. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Hoad won the world tournament championships in both 1958 and 1959, and was the leading money winner in both 1958 and 1959.

    That's how you determine who had the better year, who had the bigger wallet.

    PROFESSIONAL tennis.
     
  20. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    few have dominated two back to back years the way he did ( 56 and 57)
     
  21. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Very good list, IMO.

    It matches my top-seven.

    Sampras
    Borg
    Rosewall
    Federer
    Tilden
    Gonzales
    Laver
     
  22. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    I do not rate Emerson above Laver.

    I have Laver at number 3 all-time, in agreement with your idol Rosewall.

    In 1961, Emerson had a couple of surprise wins over Laver, when Laver had a sore wrist in the Australian final, and Laver coasted through to the U.S.A. final without a serious challenge. Emerson had a tough semi against Osuna, and raised his game going into the final, which ended before Laver could get his game geared up.

    1961 to Emerson.
     
  23. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    that's applicable only if both players would win same money for the same results. That was not true in 58-59 ....

    But then many have pointed out the same before ... moving on ....
     
  24. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    In 1959, Gonzales claimed that he lost his hth tour with Hoad.

    Here are the top 8 matches, the true Magnificent Eight, between Hoad and Gonzales.
    All other matches between these two are second-tier, including the unofficial U.S. Pro at Cleveland.
    All of the following matches were the marquee matchup of their respective event, the top two players of all time squaring off.

    1) Forest Hills Pro 1957
    Gonzales df. Hoad 9-7, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3

    2) Kooyong Pro 1958
    Hoad df. Gonzales 7-5, 5-7, 6-4 (tournament decider)

    3) Forest Hills Pro 1958
    Hoad df. Gonzales 13-15, 6-3, 6-4

    4) Roland Garros Pro 1958
    Hoad df. Gonzales 5-7, 13-11, 6-4, 6-4

    5) Kooyong Pro 1959
    Gonzales df. Hoad 8-6, 6-2, 6-3

    6) Forest Hills Pro 1959
    Hoad df. Gonzales 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 (tournament final)

    7) Wembley Pro 1961
    Hoad df. Gonzales 4-6, 13-11, 6-3, 6-2

    8) Wimbledon Pro 1967
    Hoad df. Gonzales 3-6, 11-9, 8-6

    The greatest matches in tennis history.

    The final score, 6 to 2 for Hoad.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2013
  25. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    That WAS true.

    In rookie years, the top rookie pro was rewarded for the level of tennis displayed during the amateur career.

    Gonzales received a $75,000 guarantee to turn pro.
    Hoad received a $125,000 guarantee to turn pro.
    These sums reflected the relative merit of their amateur careers.
    (Gonzales was upset at Wimbledon, the ultimate proving-ground for the amateurs intent on turning pro.)

    In 1958, Hoad won more money than Gonzales on the tournament tour, where both received the same money per win. Hoad got the bonus money for this.

    In 1959, Hoad again had more money on the tournament tour, and won the bonus pool.
    Both were paid the same for every win in 1959.
     
  26. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    Hard to compose a top ten list and actually rank them, before 1970 it is even harder as there is not much good video material to actually study the player's styles.

    So basically I have four number 1's and 6 number 2's:

    1-4 Borg, Connors, Federer, Nadal.
    6-10 McEnroe, Lendl, Agassi, Sampras, Djokovic, Laver
     
  27. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    I assume this list is in reverse order i.e. Laver is your No 1?

    I never understand why people place Tilden so highly. He dominated in the US only, could not beat the Musketeers on clay when they challenged him, and generally dominated a weak era.

    Also, IMHO, Sampras and Gonzales should be very close together. I am fine with people putting Gonzales > Sampras (although I don't), but their careers are very similar, so there's no justification for ranking Gonzales five places higher than Sampras.

    Ditto for Nadal and Borg. Nadal should be just ahead, or just behind Borg, IMHO.
     
  28. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    False. Professional tennis means that you openly play for prize money. Gonzales was locked into a long term contract with Kramer, while Hoad in 1958 was the recently turned professional player challenging the world's best in Gonzales. The newly turned professional always got paid handsomely on the big world pro tour at that time. Gonzales was clearly ahead of Hoad on the tournament scene in 1958, winning the US Pro for the sixth year in a row and the Tournament of Champions for the third year in a row.
     
  29. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Tilden was one of, of not the greatest tennis players of all time. He was dominant everywhere. He couldn't play the Australian nor the French in his prime, because both were not open for foreign players up until 1925 or 1926. However, he won the Davis Cup in Australia beating all the best Australians, and he won the World Hard Court at Paris in 1921, beating the top European clay courters. He also won the US clay court 8 times, and even in 1930, at age 37 he won the Italian. He could compete at the French since 1927, and lost two finals, one an extremely close 5 setter to Lacoste, when he had two match points. That he wasn't a dominant force at Wimbledon, is crap. He even won it at 37 in 1930.
    I don't understand that one introduces the weak era argument against Tilden, when being so sensitive against this lightly said cliche, if referring to other players.
     
  30. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    No, the tournament series did not include the U.S. Pro, just the five majors managed by Kramer (Kooyong, Sydney, L.A. Masters, Forest Hills Pro, Roland Garros).
    Hoad won the bonus pool on points for 1958, and each player was paid for wins, with no guarantee.

    The guarantee Hoad received was for $125,000, but was never paid out to Hoad, for two reasons.

    First, there was a nullity clause in Hoad's contract that voided the guarantee if he should miss five straight matches (he missed many due to his back injury).

    Second, Hoad was paid a higher percentage of the gate than Gonzales for each win, which meant that he earned more than Gonzales despite losing 51 to 36, the first time that a loser had won more than the winner.
    This was important in 1958, when the box-office was huge (unlike the box-office bombs of Gonzales/Rosewall and Gonzales/Trabert.)
    Gonzales was infuriated and sued Kramer unsuccessfully (Gonzales had willingly signed his contracts.)
    Hoad earned almost $200,000 in his rookie year, and therefore the guarantee was never paid out by Kramer.

    The key matches between these two are listed above, with Hoad holding a 6 to 2 edge.

    Hoad earned his guarantee by winning twice at Wimbledon, where Gonzales had been upset in his amateur appearance. Gonzales only received a $75,000 guarantee as a result.

    The money tells the story.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2013
  31. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Simple. Tilden DID dominate a remarkably weak era.
     
  32. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    Here is a video of Tilden playing.

    And sorry, I am not falling off my chair.

    http://youtu.be/0fM-_i-XTuw
     
  33. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    Tilden beat Bill Johnston in 5 of his US finals. Then when real competition turned up in the form of the Musketeers, he not only couldn't beat them at the French, he was also beaten at the US by Lacoste.

    He dominated for basically half a decade when there were no other greats.
     
  34. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Dan, You are as stubborn as Phoenix regarding Rosewall's "failure" at Wimbledon.

    You think wrong: Vines was not the equal of Budge in 1939!!

    Hoad NEVER dominated clearly.
     
  35. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Dan, Kooyong might be the foremost Aussie event but never a major.
     
  36. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Capitalist!
     
  37. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Just amateur tennis...
     
  38. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    hoodjem, They are also my top seven.
     
  39. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Dan is the greatest expert in history: Hoad is Goat!
     
  40. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Wrong: the key tournament for turning pro was Forest Hills, at least till around 1950.
     
  41. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Phoenix 1983, Tilden had yet some great wins on clay against Lacoste, Cochet and Borotra (French Champ.s and Davis Cup).
     
  42. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Johnston not a Great??? Interesting.
     
  43. bluegrasser

    bluegrasser Hall of Fame

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    Federer, Laver, Sampras, Nadal, Borg, Connors, Emerson, Agassi, Lendl, Johnny Mac.
     
  44. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    When will people finally realize that Emerson is a second class player while Gonzalez and Rosewall are GOAT candidates???

    Emerson will only be a top tenner when grass turns blue...
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2013
  45. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Tilden dominated his own generation and was displaced from the top when the best champions of the next generation matured -- which is what you could say of Rosewall, Federer or any number of champions. Except that Tilden faced much longer odds than most champions: by the time he faced the Musketeers he was 32.

    How can a 32-year-old be expected to dominate the best of the next generation? And you're expecting Tilden to beat the Musketeers at the French; they didn't meet there until Tilden was 34.

    It would be like expecting Rosewall, starting with his 34th birthday in 1968, to win best of five matches at the French over great claycourt champions who were 9-11 years younger than him: that was the age difference between Tilden on the one hand and Cochet/Lacoste on the other.

    It would be arguably a victory comparable to, if not greater than, Rosewall defeating Laver in Dallas in '72. Rosewall was 38 by then, but he was facing a 34-year-old who was past his prime.

    And yet Tilden did beat the Musketeers at the French. In the '27 semis he beat Cochet in straight sets (almost everyone seems to forget this victory). He defeated Borotra there in 1930, at the age of 37.

    He had match points against Lacoste in the '27 French final and did defeat Lacoste in a five-set match at Roland Garros, as part of the '28 Davis Cup. Again it's a little-talked about match (because everyone has forgotten how important Davis Cup was in those days), but it's arguably Tilden's greatest single victory.

    In the '29 Davis Cup he again defeated Borotra at Roland Garros.

    He did lose to Cochet and Lacoste more often than he beat them: but that's exactly what you would expect with someone of his age giving away that many years to his best opponents.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2013
  46. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    If it's a major in the minds of the players and the fans, it's a major.

    Can't say the same for Cleveland.
     
  47. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    I did not mention Rosewall's failure at Wimbledon, but now that you mention it, yes, Hoad won the biggest event of 1956, the Wimbledon, more important than the U.S.A title for those who wanted to turn pro.

    Both Gonzales and Rosewall took a smaller guarantee than Hoad because of Wimbledon.

    Yes, Hoad clearly was world tournament champion and top money-winner in 1958 and 1959.
     
  48. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Not a capitalist (I thought that Marx was dead), but a conservative socialist, like Glenn Gould, my compatriot.
     
  49. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Yes, this is a list of the greatest tennis ever played.
     
  50. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Read SI at the time.
     

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