Whats your top 10 of all time right now?

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

  1. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Roddick, a minor US champion ( for US standarts).At most, he equates Chang or Tanner

    Hewitt, a very minor aussie champ ( for Oz standarts) .At most, in the same sentence as Stolle or Mal Anderson.
     
  2. NadalDramaQueen

    NadalDramaQueen Hall of Fame

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    I don't want to waste too much time in this silly thread, but the bolded portion is simply absurd. Talk of what countries are producing "top players" is irrelevant. Any significant increase in size of a pool of players is going to result in a better field in general along with better top players. This is only an expectation, of course, but it is a very strong one given a big increase. Anyway, read the literature on the subject if you're interested, as I'm not going through it for you. The most ridiculous assumption on this board is that you can tell with your eyes how good top players from an era were compared to other eras when you only saw them play against their respective fields.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2013
  3. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Agreed. You have different priorities, many changes in conditions, and of course you have different players when you compare eras. You and I are on the same page here. Let's look at Nascar as a example though I know the bare minimum about that racing sport. Dale Earnhardt Sr., Richard Petty, and A.J. Foyt are legendary drivers. Now, try telling Nascar fans that say Jimmie Johnson is a much greater driver because it's so much tougher to compete now. I mean, look how he's driving more quickly and faster with the latest cars..he's greater right? Wrong. Not necessarily at all. Tennis players may be driving "faster cars" these days, but that does not automatically render them "greater". There are way too many 3.5's out there hitting with the latest frames and thinking that a 5.0 could take out Tilden, Gonzalez, etc..
     
  4. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    No, I do think there's much to be said for a history of producing great players. There is accumulated knowledge, resources, networks, etc. You don't just turn on a switch and get all that. Also, I agree that we should all be very wary of having certainty when trying to compare across eras. There are huge limits to doing so. As to the bolded portion, how about Spain, Switzerland, and Serbia..more players in those countries now right? Will they produce more great players in the next decade compared to the last decade? If so, why not?
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2013
  5. Eragon

    Eragon Banned

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    You do realize, don't you, that you're talking to a poster that considers the 2000s a weak era and suggests Federer's Slams don't mean anything?
     
  6. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Damn true, and again the " need to kill the father " that Freud describes so well is the need of many youngsters to reassert themshelves in the adult or pre adult world.
     
  7. NadalDramaQueen

    NadalDramaQueen Hall of Fame

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    I do understand that point. I only meant that the notion tends to be true (amazingly so) in the face of so many external factors such as the ones you mention. All the complications tend to work together to fit the expected outcome. It really is only amazing at first, but it is quite logical when you spend some time with it. :)

    I have no issue with you or your list, by the way. I tend to be more annoyed with dismissive posters who don't understand the limits of their perception.
     
  8. Eragon

    Eragon Banned

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    You train a group of 10 people to play Tennis. You give the same training to a group of 1000. Pick the best player from the group of 10 and the best player from the group of 1000. Who is more likely to win among the two?
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2013
  9. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    You are so biassed you are wrong.I never said federer titles mean nothing and if you had read some of my former posts, you would know I consider him an all time great and, certainly, the only current player that i can watch without failing slept in 30 minutes ( if lucky).

    All I said, and not me but many posters , all of them posters who learned and developed their taste for the game in the Golden Era, is that the level of competitiveness atop in the slot of time fed dominated ( that is, between Sampras retirement and Nadal consolidation) is certainly one of the weakest eras and, clearly, the weakest since open tennis began back in 68.And it is not, probably, Roger´s fault at all.I am positively sure he hates having been destined to live through those years.
     
  10. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    I'm not saying h2h should not be considered, I'm only saying h2h is double-counting when the two players involved are the most likely to win the event, since the loser is anyways deprived of the title by the winner.


    no, net% may be the best way to measure success at the net , but not the quality of net play ..see below

    again disagree



    1. again, you are placing too much stock on the net success %s. jmac was in mid-50s % at the net in the USO 84 SF vs connors and he was volleying as well as anyone possibly has , in that match ( that is including a serve % of more than 60%, which wasn't that common for mac , even more so over a long match )

    2. coming back to the fedal example, forget the %s for a second, you know when you watched the RG 2008 final that fed's approaches and net play burnt him *completely* in that match. I don't need a 18/42 at the net stat to tell me that , do I ?

    3. coming to 08 wimbledon, do you really recall that match well ? Well, I do ... federer came in on quite a few poor approaches and got burnt on many occasions, flubbed some easy volleys as well . He did get some free points off strong/powerful serves/FHs, but that's it.

    pity for fed though that a pretty good approach shot at one of the most crucial moments resulted in that amazing passing shot from nadal to give nadal a MP ( 4th set TB )


    4. one more thing, atleast at Wimbledon, the errors forced by the serve when the SnVer came to the net were not being counted as net approaches, which IMO is not correct. Part of the reason for the error being forced is the SnVer being at the net. I'm not talking about aces or service winners here . I'm talking about when the returner got a fair chunk of the racquet at the ball.

    This obviously impacts the success of the former generations at the net far more since they SnVed far more.

    see examples of the net stats of the fed-sampras match in wimbledon 2001, sampras-agassi match in wimbledon 99 etc etc.

    I could link to this if you don't have those stats.

    5. the # of net approaches isn't far off from sampras'/becker's off clay ? well, how about that those matches you were mentioning were the lengthier ones ? Taking no of net approaches/total no of points in the match would give a better measure

    6. attacking at the net vs rafa is suicidal strategy ? well, I wouldn't say so.

    I'd put it as unless you come in behind good approach shots and or playing very well at the net, it is suicide. same vs agassi , hewitt, connors, borg, lendl ( off grass ) , even federer himself.

    remarkably little ? bad choice of words I'd say. There will always be similarities. Top players of every generation will always have those x-factors that would make them stand out in any generation , yes. But many things change over time.

    Would you see players outside the top 20 pass from way behind the baseline with ease as they do now ? This is a point you are completely ignoring. Its not just the elite ones I'm talking about. Of course the top 20 players of today on an average are capable of passing significantly better on an average than in the previous generations .

    Just to throw out another example, the I/O FH was considered low% play up until the early 80s and now it is an essential part of the weaponry of most players.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2013
  11. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    roddick was a more dangerous player than chang, by far and won a slam in a full field , unlike tanner.

    hewitt's far better than both of them and its not even close.
     
  12. Eragon

    Eragon Banned

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    Prove it. Or don't ever say "weak era" again.
     
  13. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    This is much art as science. Maybe more art than science. This entire topic is all very subjective and somewhat objective in my opinion. One can argue against any players in terms of the "greatest question" and you can argue for many players as well. I embrace significant uncertainty but that's fine in my book..look , Tilden, Lacoste, Budge, Hoad, Gonzalez, Rosewall, Laver, Borg, Sampras, Federer and Nadal are among the greatest players to ever step onto a tennis court and let's enjoy each great player as he comes along. We can all agree with that and in many ways, that's enough certainty for me.
     
  14. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Tanner beat Vilas and Roddick beat Ferrero.up to you...

    Hewitt, at most, has one fully credible win, over Sampras at the US Open.His Wimbledon final against Nalbandian is, more or less, as " great" a win as Mac beating Lewis in the same event, in 83.

    Stolle won two majors, beating all time greats Newcombe (USO) and Roche (FO).Like Roddick, he also lost three Wimbledon finals.
     
  15. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    It can depend even with a very skewed ratio of 10:1000. Look at just Switzerland and Sweden. How did Federer and Borg come from those "small pools"? One sees that problem with assuming that greater numbers automatically translate to greater players with the example of Switzerland, Serbia, and Spain currently. How many players will come from those three countries combined that will be as great as Federer, Nadal, or Djokovic? One great player maybe? Why not if they have perhaps twice or three times as many players in total these days versus the junior days of those greats. It's simple not automatic and with statistics for example, if you have a truly random sample from say 1000, it approximates a truly random sample from a much, much greater pool. All time greats are born and they are also made. They just come along once in a while and just throwing more players out there simply cannot overcome the notion that all time greats are born and not just "made".
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2013
  16. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    I'm not sure if you've done stats for multiple matches, but if you had, you'd immediately notice that the no of errors forced by the serve is always significantly more than the no of aces.

    what was the gap b/w AO and USO , ace % for those years, 0.7% ?

    that'd increase quite a bit more , if you included errors forced by the serve to get the total % of won off the serve alone.

    yes, it matters, because those service games are being won more from the baseline through rallies and not because of the conditions aiding the serve that much.

    I agree that the focus on courts/racquets is more than what it should be and the focus on coaches/players themselves is less than what it should be. But you IMO you are stretching in the opposite direction.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2013
  17. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    If you just bring up the records and the name of the " competitive" players of that slot of time, you will have the answer why ( not just me but most experienced posters) this is considered to be weak, and it is not Federer ´s fault.

    When a Tommy Hass or a Bagdhatis is considered a threat to win a major, something is wrong.I never considered Barazutti or Higueras to be a potential slam winner, you know...
     
  18. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    roddick beat two in-form players in USO 03 - nalbandian ( who had beaten federer in the 4th round ) and ferrero ( who had beaten hewitt and agassi back to back )

    tanner won the AO in a depleted field. vilas was decent at the AO on grass, but that's about it. overall field doesn't even come close.

    lewis was a one slam wonder. the comparision with nalbandian who was a legit top 10 player for a long time is laughable. hewitt also beat henman in wimbledon 02 , something you ignore.


    he also wallopped kafelnikov in the USO 2001 SF , giving him only 4 games.

    In the year ending masters , hewitt beat :

    2001: agassi, rafter, ferrero
    2002 : federer, safin, ferrero


    stolle beat newk and roche before they came into their own, well before their prime time, in amateur fields. He'd have to be lucky to win a major in a full field, let alone two.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2013
  19. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    NonP,

    the point about wimbledon 01 vs wimbledon 02, I'd need some time to reply to. Will do so soon .
     
  20. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    haas/baghdatis when playing well are far better than barazutti or higueras, its not even close.

    federer has played plenty of excellent players, plenty of very good players playing excellently. you know sh*t about this era because you haven't watched much and don't bother to follow it either .

    weak era is when someone likes kodes wins 3 majors, three, not one. weak era is when stolle wins 2 majors ...etc etc
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2013
  21. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Madrid 1975, one of the hardest cc specialists fields ever assembled: Borg,Vilas,Panatta,Orantes,Nastase,Dibbs,Ramirez and Kodes.Who won the final and took the title.

    So winning a Wimbledon title with Borg,Connors and Nastase is an easy task?
     
  22. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    krosero, Thanks for the explaining words about Tilden and Johnston.

    As far as I know Johnston had the edge against Tilden if we consider all of their encounters. At least he won several lesser tournaments against Tilden.
     
  23. monfed

    monfed Guest

    True, no split fields and 3 round slams for Fed to enjoy. :lol:
     
  24. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    borg number one, Vines at 24 is too low. Remember that he dominated Perry as a pro and that he was arguably No.1 in 1931, 1932 and from 1934 to 1938.
     
  25. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    monfed, As GOAT can also be valued who has the best record. Laver, along with Rosewall and Gonzalez has a record ahead of your idol...
     
  26. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    BobbyOne, have you seen the other poll about which major tournament is the most prestigious?

    Virtually everyone has said Wimbledon. And yet you state that a man who lost in five Wimbledon finals, against five different opponents, is greater than Federer and a GOAT contender!

    I request you stop your bias about Rosewall please.
     
  27. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Eragon, why so nasty towards one of the best experts of TT?

    This era 10 times stronger than the 1960?????

    In the 1960s there were many countries participating.

    Did you realize that Hoad had a stronger playing arm than Nadal?

    Did you realize that Emerson had a better condition than most of the modern players?
     
  28. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    kiki, Interesting list. I would include Nüsslein instead of Borotra.

    Why not ranking a player in two categories? F. i. Rosewall deserves a place also in the 1960-1980 part.
     
  29. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    borg number one, Till 1970 there also was no tiebreak (with the exception of Newport pro event). Many very long matches.
     
  30. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Thanks Bobbyone for your words.

    Don´t be upset by Eragon/former TMF

    You get it don´t you?
     
  31. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Yes, it would be a better idea.Of course, one can argue that some players from one era are better than some of the other era, so it is a very relative list.It helps, however, to distinguish tough and weak eras.The 50´s, 70´s and 80´s are the best eras.The 30´s and 90´s and, maybe from 2010 onwards are medium competitive eras.The 60´s ( due to pro-am split), the 20´s, the 40´s 8 due to WWII) and the 2000´s are the weak eras.Only worse the first two decades, with only 5-6 really ompetitive players ( who deserve being highly regarded,IMO)
     
  32. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Your example of 10 vs. 1000 is wrong.
     
  33. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    It's harder to win an eight man field with Laver, Rosewall, Gonzalez and Gimeno than a 132 man field with a Baghdatis as final opponent!
     
  34. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    I request you stop your nonsense about Rosewall/Wimbledon!
     
  35. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    when the hell will you get this through your thick head ?

    wimbledon 73 field was a JOKE, repeat JOKE of a field.

    that was borg's first wimbledon FFS. nastase being the flake he was bombed out. connors was still not at his peak.

    81 players boycotted it overall, including 13 of the top 16 players.

    easily the worst wimbledon of the open era

    see this years field at dubai , for example, a 500 event

    it had federer, djokovic, del potro, tsonga , berdych.

    a better field than wimbledon 73.

    madrid 75 was a good win, but there've been far more impressive performances in masters events like those. kodes only beat two of those CCers, not all of them
     
  36. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Yes, great point BobbyOne. That's a big one. So brutal!

    I also see your point regarding Vines. He was a great player and a great athlete from all accounts. I learned about him from this forum almost exclusively. Really, so many names can be moved around depending on what you see/focus on in my opinion. I put Lacoste on my list twice, leaving off Perry by mistake initially. See my second list above. I can see how one could argue that say Vines should be ahead of Perry for example. This is a great Vines thread that Moose Malloy by the way.


    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=120080&highlight=ellsworth+vines

    [​IMG]
     
  37. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    kiki, I was not aware about this. But at least I can confirm that Eragon reaches the heights of TMF easily...
     
  38. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    That Dubai thing sucks in comparison with the mayestatic Kodes win at 1975 Madrid.
     
  39. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    I would not say the 1960s were weak era. The pros had Laver, Rosewall, Gonzalez, Hoad and Gimeno...
     
  40. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    still a better field than wimbledon 73 clearly.

    but kodes' madrid 75 pales in comparision to :

    djokovic montreal 2007 : federer, nadal ,roddick
    nalbandian madrid 2007 : federer, djokovic, nadal
    korda grand slam cup 93 : sampras, stich
    federer cincy 09 : djokovic, murray
    nadal hamburg 08 : federer, djokovic

    etc etc

    that is whom they beat, not the whole field btw .
     
  41. monfed

    monfed Guest

    So THIS is the "Anyone but Federer" forum. :lol:
     
  42. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    you do realise that federer has won 6 of the year ending masters, that consists of only the top players ? more than anyone else in the open era ?

    spin it whatever way ... federer's record is better than any other player, including laver, gonzalez and yes, your beloved rosewall.
     
  43. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    No not at all, he's considered with all other tennis greats here. Plus, don't worry, he'll fit right in with this forum as a former pro in about 3 years or so. By then, if posters try and discount Federer and other "past greats" too severely it'll be the posters in this forum that will rightly point out his attributes as well. You won't get that kind of perspective and fairness as much in the GPP section once Federer does retire by the way and many Federer fans will be thoroughly amazed as they find themselves making the same arguments that "former pro player" posters posit all the time...Federer could still be great if he played today...he would adapt to technology...Nadal did not play in a weak era compared to the modern era, Federer would not be crushed 1 and 2 by the great Igor Clutch, the surfaces were different, strings were different, racquets were different, etc, etc...I like the General forum as well as this one, but suffice it to say, the posters here tend to be much better informed in terms of grasping all the factors you have to consider when comparing across eras especially. There are fine posters in that section as well, but many more that are ignorant and/or have a very negative agenda somehow against many players.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2013
  44. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Bobbyone point remains true.Look at the 1971 and 1972 WCT fields that Rosewall had to overcome to win those back to back titles.
     
  45. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    I have a little summary from the New York Times of all their matches up to May 1922.

    In their most important meetings to date, Tilden and Johnston are now even with five victories apiece. In 1919, Tilden won in the East-West matches at Cincinnati and at the Newport invitational tourney, while Johnston won in the national clay court championships at Chicago, and the national championship at Forest Hills. In 1920, Johnston won in the Queen’s championship in London, and Tilden won at Forest Hills and in the East-West matches at Philadelphia. Last year Tilden won in the national championship at Philadelphia and this year Johnston has twice beaten Tilden at Berkeley, California.​

    Those last two matches were on hard courts, which Johnston grew up on in California, so he may have had some advantage there.

    Johnston won the first match in five sets as part of an East-West series, and he took the second one in four sets in the final of the Pacific Coast Championships a week later.

    A little bit from the Times about the 5-setter:

    In the knowledge that Tilden and Johnston would oppose each other and in the expectation of a thrilling duel, tennis fans seized upon every point of advantage about the courts long before the time for starting the match had come around. It was the first opportunity a coast gallery had of seeing the two in action against each other. They expected fireworks, and they received them in full measure. Johnston, realizing that the responsibility of upholding the honors of the West rested solely upon his shoulders, played with grim determination from the start. His game was machinelike in its perfection of control. His execution of his ground strokes, always admirable, was surpassingly good and his forehand drives tore through Tilden’s court with whirlwind force.

    That famous forehand of the former champion’s equalled anything Tilden, with all his versatility of stroke, could offer from back court, while, in volleying, Johnston, as usual, was more than a match for the champion. Yet Tilden, too, played beautifully, mixing his ground strokes with marvelous effectiveness, chopping and slicing and driving in such manner that only such a wonderful court-coverer as Johnston could have met him on equal ground. Both men made almost miraculous gets. Both displayed supremely good headwork in their attack and honors were even in the matching of wits and in the efforts of the each to outguess the other. Johnston was a trifle the steadier and the more forceful in the closing stages of the fifth set. He seemed, by a small margin, to surpass the champion in physical condition, though such errors as the latter made in the critical stages of the fifth set were attributable more to Johnston’s forcing shots than to any faltering on Tilden’s part.​
     
  46. NonP

    NonP Professional

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    You might want to know what you're talking about before you pretend to be "logical." Yes, it's to be expected that an increase in population would lead to a stronger field of talent, provided that other relevant variables remain more or less the same. But of course these variables don't stay the same in the real world, and there isn't a single controlled experiment out there that can begin to simulate the complex roles all these variables play in player development. Nor is there a scientific way to gauge which player is "better."

    I don't know why you keep repeating this point. I do see what you're saying, I just disagree. Again ranking points or tournament finishes don't say anything about how a certain player fared against another or even against a certain field, hence my argument that H2Hs count in their own ways that have little to do with titles. The reason why I haven't elaborated on this further is because I want to focus on the surface/racquet/coaching/net/inter-era issues.

    I've already addressed the quality part, and will again in more depth below. And my only point here was that the net % is the only quantifiable/objective way to measure success at the net, not that it is the end-all measure of net play.

    I'm well aware that the net success %s of even a Mac or Edberg were often mediocre, and in fact I alluded to this and acknowledged the limitations in my previous post.

    I think you missed the point I was trying to make. Again, let's assume that Fed's %s are pretty high because he's had the advantage of relatively easy approaches. Then imagine, again for the sake of argument, the likes of Mac, Edberg, Pete and Rafter doing the same, off the exact same approaches. Isn't it safe to think that these guys would do at least as well at the net against Rafa, or anyone else? Then let's picture them attacking with more authority, which would naturally bring down their %s. But how much? I think you'll agree that all the way down to 30-40% is too low to pass the laugh test, given how much difficulty even the Big Four of Rafa, Fed, Djoko and Murray have had against journeymen like Kendrick, Suzuki and Petzschner or part-time S&Vers like Haas and Fish. Which leaves us with... around 50% as a conservative estimate, about the same as Mac's own % in the '84 USO SF! What a coincidence!

    And speaking of serve %s, you might have seen me point out that this and just about every other service stat have seen an uptick since the '90s. I haven't done a detailed analysis of the serve %s like I did the %s of service games won, but from what I've seen players today are serving more 1st serves and holding serve with more ease than perhaps ever. People usually ignore this service part of the equation when they parrot the familiar talking points about how much the modern racquet has shifted the game in favor of the returner. And I'm pretty sure Mac would likewise benefit and serve higher %s today. (By what degree I can't say. My comparison of the '90s and the '00s showed marginal differences, but unfortunately the '80s stats aren't readily available. My guess is that Mac's benefits would be greater still, since the %s of unreturned serves often show a rather stark contrast between the '80s and the '90s/'00s.)

    Yeah, but 43% isn't a great success rate by any standards. Not sure what your point is here. I never claimed or implied that the numbers tell the whole story.

    I do too, and it's probably the most memorable match I remember watching in full. I was glued to my TV all day. (NBC by some miracle stuck with the whole match, through all the rain delays.)

    And yes, Fed did have some questionable forays to the net, but despite that he still won 42/75 or 56% of his net points, against one of the all-time great passers in Rafa! That says something about the viability of net-rushing in this day and age, no?

    I've seen the stats, and also I've noticed that Wimby in recent years has been rather generous on the F/UFE ratio. But this isn't very relevant to our discussion, because I meant to exclude grass anyway (I misspoke earlier--see below) and I believe most stats taken by krosero, Moose and slice serve ace take this into account.

    My bad, I should've said grass (which of course was the S&Ver's paradise in the twosome's heyday). But my main point stands: Fed's # of approaches often isn't too far off Pete/Becker's, especially on HCs.

    Here, a few examples, starting with Becker:

    - 1989 FO SF, 5 sets, 43/70 net points won (61%), 70 approaches out of 172 total service points (41%)
    - 1989 USO F, 4 sets, 55/104 (53%), 104/143 (73%)
    - 1991 AO F, 4 sets, 23/48 (48%), 48/122 (39%)

    Of course these net approaches didn't always happen on service points, but adding in the opponent's total would give a more incomplete picture, hence the middle ground.

    And some of Pete's numbers:

    - 1990 USO SF, 4 sets, 40/61 (66%), 61/108 (56%) [as an aside Mac won 60/104 or 58% of his net points and approached 104 out of 116 service points for a whopping 90%]
    - 1990 USO F, 3 sets, 39/62 (63%), 62/93 (67%)
    - 1992 FO QF, 3 sets, 12/19 (63%), 19/95 (20%, almost half less than Agassi's 37%!)
    - 1995 AO F, 4 sets, 35/63 (56%), 63/139 (45%)
    - 1995 USO F, 4 sets, 43/59 (73%), 59/121 (49%)
    - 1995 DC F against Chesnokov, 5 sets, 32/49 (65%) at 5-6 in the 4th, 153 total service points
    - 1996 YEC F, 5 sets, 74/99 approaches (75%) at 3-4 in the 5th

    I excluded Pete's post-'97 matches as they indeed confirm the common knowledge that he came in more late in his career, but here's a fun bonus:

    - 2002 USO F, 4 sets, 60/105 (57%), 105/152 (69%)

    So not only did Pete approach the net more at this reportedly 1st USO with slowed-down DecoTurf, he actually went on to win the whole thing! Must've been mighty harder having to volley on this green sandpaper! (I know, I know. Insufficient sample.)

    As you can see these numbers aren't that different from some of Fed's own, sometimes even lower in total net approaches. And my response to your point #1 explains why this is telling.

    Of course that's true against just about every great baseliner. Anyway I'm glad we agree that the common wisdom about Rafa being this indestructible kryptonite against net-rushers is overblown.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2013
  47. NonP

    NonP Professional

    Joined:
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    1,082
    Now we're talking degrees. I was thinking on a more macro level, like how the windshield-wiper FH is touted as a modern stroke when you can find pictures/videos of Tilden and Wills hitting just that. Ditto the open stance (another favorite trope), which was already being used regularly in the late '80s/early '90s, well before the supposed surface slowdown/racquet revolution began in earnest.

    Of course one could go forever with this. Back in Kramer's heyday there were familiar complaints about how tennis had become boring due to the quick points and few rallies. I'd say the sport has turned out quite successful since then. And for all the unprecedented physicality of today's game, which the youngsters like to claim as an indisputable fact with logic on their side, the career progressions of top players have been eerily similar across generations. (Of course the standard retort is that today's advanced medicine/nutrition offsets whatever additional demands on the body, but that renders this whole discussion moot, which the same youngsters are too slow to grasp.)

    But I digress. The I-O FH may be in vogue now, and Lendl is often thought to be the one who jump-started it, but we know a predecessor like Borg used the shot quite often. Also I've read in this very forum that Sydney Howard Smith from pre-Tilden days was THE originator of the shot. Maybe it caught fire just like today but we don't yet know about it? In any case what matters is that these so-called modern shots aren't so modern.

    For another example, people were/are sounding the death knells of the Continental/Eastern grip (not to mention the 1HBH!) simply because it's rarer. Well, I've read enough old articles to know that they were singing the same tune about this or that grip from time immemorial. History has proven these predictions false, and we still have and use the same old grips which have been around from the game's very beginning. This is what I mean when I say the fundamentals of tennis have changed very little. There might have been some minor changes in grip, arm positioning, footwork and whatnot, but basic tennis mechanics has remained remarkably constant.

    And I expect the current "death" of S&V/net play will suffer a similar fate. The big game may be rarer today, but as I've just explained I doubt that's because it's no longer viable. Once a charismatic top exponent or two come along you'll most likely see a surge in juniors wanting to emulate their heroes. And the game of tennis will be moving foward, going through its cycles again, back to square one.

    As to your point about players outside the top 20, yeah I can buy that, and FYI I do think depth at the lower levels has improved overall. The reason why I've mostly ignored this side of the issue is because 1) I'm mainly interested in the very top players and 2) I don't have that many stats handy to do an adequate comparison of the lower-tier players.

    As you may well know these stats are hard to come by. How do you expect to compare these stats from two major events over several years when we don't even know about most individual matches? The %s of unreturned serves should be a close enough barometer, but we're not exactly inundated with these stats, either.

    It was 0.5%, but remember, per the break %s the '08 USO played unusually fast, and data for '09 were missing. If '09 was just like the previous years the gap between the AO and the USO would be even smaller. We're talking at most 0.3-0.4% here.

    If you've got more stats I'll be interested to see them. I just don't think they'll be much different from the ones we have now.

    Just in case we're not clear, I don't claim to know which surface is faster than which. For all I know the USO may well be faster than the AO, or even vice versa. I just don't think that's very relevant when the stats strongly indicate that whatever differences between the two are minor in the grand scheme of things. That's the big point I'm trying to make.

    OK.
     
  48. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Krosero, thanks for the brilliant account of Tilden vs. Johnston. Without all the video and audio capabilities we'd enjoy later, writers had to be so descriptive. You feel like you're right there by the court watching a great match. How doe one rank Tilden versus greats 50-70 years later? It's very difficult in my opinion. How Tilden and company could hit with racquets like these I have no idea, with the huge wood grip, extreme weight, etc. The balls would have bounced so differently as well and as you pointed out, they were often playing on fast grass courts with tough bounces. Can you imagine playtesting this frame? lol..Thanks.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2013
  49. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    What if we combine singles and doubles?

    Few would dispute that Cochet,Borotra,Mac,Hoad,Newcombe,Roche,Rosewall,Kramer,Emerson,Edberg or Gonzales or Ilie Nastase or maybe Tony Trabert would be their favourite top ten if both, singles and doubs are added up.

    Connors and Gerulaitis had some good results on doubles too.Stolle, too.
     
  50. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

    Joined:
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    I think that my New Zealand cousins (Lobbs) were more impressed with my wedding photos than they would have been with Pierre Trudeau's.

    My personal standards are closer to Glenn Gould than Trudeau.

    Trudeau's son is now leader of the Liberals and favoured to be next P.M.
    He has recently become controversial for recommending the legalization of pot. Silly move.
     

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