Whats your top 10 of all time right now?

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

  1. mtr1

    mtr1 Professional

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    To toss my hat into the ring...

    1. Federer
    2. Laver
    3. Borg
    4. Sampras
    5. Connors
    6. Lendl
    7. McEnroe
    8. Rosewall
    9. Gonzalez
    10. Tilden
     
  2. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    Where's Nadal?
     
  3. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    mtr1, Laver so far ahead of Rosewall, Gonzalez and Tilden??
     
  4. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Yeah you get a real sense of how different it was back then, yet how popular the game was. Fans did every thing they could to get into the stadiums to see matches "live", because there was no other way to watch tennis -- except for a few minutes in movie theaters, if they happened to see those highlight reels that we sometimes find on YT.
     
  5. krosero

    krosero Legend

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  6. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    There is a sound difference btween " best" and " greatest".

    best is a word describing a direct relationship within two subjects while Greatest is more related to the era, entourage, legacy or other contextual factors.

    I don´t know if Tilden is the best player ( i don´t think he was) but he is certainly one of the greatest: the first tennis intelectual and the guy that took tennis away from local elitist clubs and made it a mass sport.

    In other words, had there been TV exposure in the 20´s, we may use the term " Golden Era" to the 20-30´s and not 70´s-80´s.
     
  7. Pete M.

    Pete M. New User

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    With all due respect, in my opinion the first guys to do that were the Doherty brothers and Wilding too, even if it was for a short period of time. Tilden continues this line of globalizing the sport and he deservs more credit because he had a longer career.
     
  8. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    With all due respect, I think that The Renshaw and Doherty were part of the upper class London stablishment, and while they did a great job at popularizing the game, it never went beyond that social class borders.Tilden was comparable to Chaplin in the sense that they took their activity and put them in another global level.
     
  9. Pete M.

    Pete M. New User

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    I wouldn't say it never went beyond upper class borders (as far as the Doherty brothers concerns). They, along with Wilding, travelled across the world to play in different places and made tennis a popular game.
     
  10. Pete M.

    Pete M. New User

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    (another good example would be Frank Riseley). Certainly they did less than Tilden in this chapter but in my opinion they are the pioneers.
     
  11. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    The pioneers for a truly MASS tennis audience are the guys who brought ten million TV viewers (plus Vice-President Nixon) to the Davis Cup final in 1955.....Hoad and Trabert.
     
  12. Pete M.

    Pete M. New User

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    I wasn't refering to the mass media of course. I just pointed the first guys that travelled acrosse the world to play the lawn tennis game and start to made it popular. Just this.
     
  13. NonP

    NonP Professional

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    Thanks, krosero. Not sure how I missed that in my searches. I'll add the net stats of this match to my previous post. Meanwhile you might want to update the URL of your old link on this thread:

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=230946

    And we can blame our esteemed Super Moderator diredesire for all this mess, as it seems to have started when he changed the title of your thread in undue haste.

    (Of course I jest. Please don't ban me. :))
     
  14. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    I do have the stat ABMK is suggesting, for Federer in his GS finals. This is the percentage of points played in the match on which Federer came to net:

    2003 Wimbledon - approached on 15% of all pts. played
    2004 Australian - 12%
    2004 Wimbledon - 15%
    2004 USO - 21%
    2005 Wimbledon - 14%
    2005 USO - 11%
    2006 Australian - 16%
    2006 French - 18%
    2006 Wimbledon - 13%
    2006 USO - 17%
    2007 Australian - 20%
    2007 French - 13%
    2007 Wimbledon - 16%
    2007 USO - 11%
    2008 French - 29%
    2008 Wimbledon - 18%
    2008 USO - 27%
    2009 Australian - 17%
    2009 French - 7%
    2009 Wimbledon - 14%
    2009 USO - 13%
    2010 Australian - 20%
    2011 French - 15%
    2012 Wimbledon - 24%

    Again this a percentage of total points played in the match, so to compare it with NonP's percentages for the older players (which use only the player's total number of points served), you'd have to multiply Federer's percentages by two. Roughly speaking.

    I think total points played is the better metric to use, NonP, because as you say yourself not all of a player's approaches occur on his own service points: so taking his total number of approaches and dividing into the total number of points that he served can give a distorted picture.

    On grass this wouldn't matter so much because most of Sampras' approaches would be behind serve. You wouldn't find Sampras getting to the net too often in his receiving games: not if he was facing a SV player who was following both serves to net; Pete just wouldn't have the opportunity to move forward himself while receiving. On other surfaces, though, especially on clay -- and on any surface when facing Agassi, who didn't follow serves to net and left plenty of opportunities for his receiving opponent to come in -- it could be very different.

    In that FO quarterfinal from '92, Sampras came in 19 times, Agassi 31 times. So of the 179 points played in the match, Sampras came in on 11%, Agassi on 17%.

    You've given Pete a figure of 20% and Agassi 37%, a greater gulf between the two. But that's partly because you're using service points played: and Sampras served significantly more points than Agassi did (95 vs 84). That brings down Pete's % and raises Agassi's.

    Your percentages are also inaccurate because both players came in while receiving as well as while serving. We don't have the exact breakdown of net approaches into serving/receiving games -- but without that exact breakdown your percentages cannot be any better than approximations of aggression.

    And you've said as much yourself, but I want to emphasize this because I want to point out how much clearer and fairer it is to use total points played.

    Anyway, Becker and Sampras look significantly more aggressive, using any of these stats, than Federer does. NonP's percentages for Becker and Sampras are almost all at 40% or higher, often a lot higher. Multiplied by two, Federer's percentages tend to fall around 30% (the median average of the percentages I posted is 16%, so 32% if multiplied by two).

    You can compare Federer's numbers directly with Becker's:

    1989 FO semi, approached on 22% of all pts. played
    1989 USO final, approached on 39%
    1991 AO final, approached on 20%
     
  15. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    I get what you are saying.

    I'd still say that the effect of the much larger no of approaches of edberg/mac would be quite a bit more than their better skill at the net when compared to fed. therefore their %s would dip when compared to fed.

    A slightly minor point : I'd disagree that fed struggled vs suzuki in AO 05. Its true suzuki played excellently to force federer to raise his level. But federer did raise his level. A highly entertaining match .

    was giving the most glaring example of where rafa burnt federer big time at the net.

    not really, so many of those were caused by powerful serves, FHs and the point at the net was for finishing the putaways. Points on which it would be a bit foolish to stay back on the baseline instead of finishing them at the net.
    I will flat out say that his net play in that match was not impressive. even someone with clearly lesser skill at the net like say djokovic or berdych would have put away most of those volleys at the net.


    Good set of stats, but I see krosero has already replied to this.

    I'll add more points some time later.

    yeah, I don't think he's invincible against net rushers or anything like that, especially off clay. Just that the approaches & net game have to be pretty good vs him.

    Its just that some of the passes he makes are so downright ridiculous and at crucial moments, so it forces the other player to play closer to the lines . Also some of those shots stick in memory.

    Somewhat like some of the important baseline rallies that sampras used to clinch vs agassi that could make people believe that he was agassi's equal from the baseline.
     
  16. NonP

    NonP Professional

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    Hmm... not sure I'm with you here, krosero. I think we both agree that there's no surefire way to measure what you might call "net aggressive margin." These %s are bound to provide an incomplete picture one way or another, which is why I made it clear from the get-go that I was using total service points as my basis.

    Having said all that, I think we should be clearer about what we are or at least I am trying to quantify. Here I'm less interested in the nominal # of net points--as I've reiterated on the other thread we all agree that conditions are more homogeneous and net approaches rarer today, though I did want to point out that this decline isn't as steep as many people think--than in how much the player in question forced the issue by coming in and how much success he had at the net in compared to another player of reference.

    And Becker, Pete and Fed all were generally more aggressive than their opponents, often at least twice as much. If you compare the Fedal net stats you'll see that Fed always came in more than Rafa, often two, three or even four times more (I see as high as nine in the '09 Madrid final). So using the total # of points would make his NAM significantly less than it actually was. Multiplying his %s by 2 does alleviate the distortion somewhat, but still not quite enough to reflect this big gap between the twosome.

    Another reason why I insist on total service points is S&V. Now as you recall I ignored grass precisely because most of both Becker's and Pete's approaches would be behind serve. But what about HCs and clay? Though we don't have stats for every single one of them I think it safe to say that Becker and Pete S&Ved more than Fed in their respective matches off grass. In other words, if one eliminated S&V points both Becker and Pete would look less aggressive and more like the '00s baseliners compared to Fed on HCs and clay!

    And even on grass I doubt the gap would be that significant. See this thread with stats for the '93 Wimbledon F (& SF):

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=397600

    I call attention to this match because this was one of the few in Pete's Wimby career where he had the opportunity to show off his ground game against his opponent. As you can see Moose has Pete winning 67/97 of his net points for 69%, which is quite lower than the 32/55 or 58% published in The Independent. I'm not sure whether that's because the Independent stats don't include S&V points (as was the case with some published stats, as you know) or just consist of net approaches on service points (which is unlikely, given how successful Pete was on serve), but in either case those numbers aren't that different from Fed's own in last year's final (53/68 or 78%), and in fact lower in both # of approaches and conversion %! (For the record I'm not sure how many times Fed S&Ved in last year's final, but I doubt eliminating his #s would change the equation a whole lot.)

    So if anything I was being quite fair to Fed by including all the S&V points and thereby increasing Becker/Pete's NAMs. Take out the S&V factor and you'll likely see a more level playing field.

    And that's really the big point I've been trying to make. The surfaces may well be slower today, but the fundamentals of tennis have changed very little. An aggressive net game can still be a major asset/strategy in today's game, and it doesn't do us much good to blame the surfaces for just about every ill of modern tennis when there are more important factors to consider.

    OK. But just for the record, remember that I was assuming Edberg/Mac would be approaching off the same approaches as Fed. In reality they'd be coming off better approach shots and finishing off with better volleys, which is why I said the 50% range is a conservative estimate. Maybe Mac's % under today's conditions would dip below the mid-50s against Connors' level of return and passing shots? Possible, but I don't think it'd dip by a whole lot.

    Of course I wasn't implying that Suzuki pushed Fed as much as Rafa, Murray or even Nalby. Also I wasn't just referring to their AO match. At the Japan Open next year (when Fed was smack in the middle of his prime) Suzuki was able to steal a set and even went so far as to force a TB in the 3rd. When was the last time you saw Ferrer win a set against Fed? (That's not purely rhetorical, BTW. I really don't remember.) Or can you imagine a similarly ranked baseliner challenging peak Fed as much? That's what I meant by "difficulty." I was obviously talking in relative terms.

    OK.

    Yes, but he still won 56% of his approaches! And you admit that even Djoko or Berdych would've done better. Then why wouldn't an all-time great volleyer like Mac or Edberg be able to at least match that, and quite possibly top it? That was my point, not that Fed's net play in that match was a model example of how to win points at the net in the modern era.

    You don't need to remind me of Nadal's skills and athleticism. I've always maintained that he'd be a formidable opponent against anyone in history, on any surface (yes, even on indoor HC). I'm sure he'd give even the legendary net rushers fits. I just wanted to put his passing ability in perspective.

    Also a good point about spectacular plays leaving a big impression.
     
  17. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    You're using the total number of points here, when you say that Federer was 9 times more aggressive than Nadal.

    Federer was at net 18 times, Nadal 2 times = 9 times more aggressive

    Federer was at net on 14.9% of all the points played, Nadal on 1.65% = that also works out to 9 times more aggressive.​

    Mathematically, of course, it always works out to the same thing. Whether you compare the number of approaches as totals, or you represent the approaches as percentages of all points played, it's always the same thing.

    So I'm not sure where we disagree here. When you talked about how aggressive one player (federer) was compared to another (Nadal), you used the total number of approaches and the total number of points played. That's the same thing I'm doing.

    You're not dividing each player's net points into his own service points: that would produce a different result.

    Federer was at net 18 times. He served 67 points. That works out to 26.9%.

    Nadal was at net 2 times. He served 54 points. That's works out to 3.7%.

    26.9% compared to 3.7% = Federer 7 times more aggressive than Nadal.​

    It's a different result, and an inaccurate one, for all the reasons I stated.

    Dividing a player's total net points into the total number of points that he served has to produce an inaccurate result, because he didn't just approach on service points; presumably he also came in while receiving.

    Using the total number of points that a player served makes the most sense on grass, in older eras, when both players SV'd on every point: because in that case almost all of a player's net points really did occur on his own service points.

    If you move to matches on other surfaces -- or to grasscourt matches in this era -- then you've got the player getting to net in all sorts of ways, both when serving and when receiving.

    The confusing thing for me here is that you're actually setting aside the grasscourt SV matches, when using the metric of points served, and actually using the non-grass matches, for which that metric must be less accurate.

    If we knew the exact number of times that a player came to net in his own service games and in his opponent's, then you could produce accurate numbers (although even then the only thing accurately represented would be, not how aggressive the player was overall, but how aggressive he was on his own serve as compared to his aggression in receiving games; and his aggressive "style" might be quite different from other players whose numbers break down differently).

    But that 27% for Federer in the Madrid final is not an accurate number. It doesn't mean that Federer came in on 27% of all his service points: we don't know what the true % is. And it obviously doesn't mean that he came in on 27% of all points played in the match.

    At best it's an approximation of aggression: but why use an approximation when you can simply count the number of times that a player was at net in the match as a whole? That's a known, accurate number: and it captures how aggressive he was a whole (not just how aggressive in his own service games).

    And it's what you used yourself when talking about the Madrid match.

    I hope there's no confusion here; we are both counting all types of net points, whether SV or otherwise. We've just disagreed on what number to divide by, when getting percentages.

    I am not excluding SV points in any way; that would surely produce a distortion of some kind.

    Yes, for the '93 W final the Independent's net points exclude all unreturned serves (whether aces or otherwise). Moose did his own count which included unreturned serves (except aces and serves that he judged to be unreturnable), which I think we all agree is a more accurate number.

    The Independent's net stats are a perfect example of SV being excluded, and they are certainly unfair to players like Sampras or Becker.

    Federer won 11 of 12 SV points in last year's Wimbledon final vs Murray, per Geoff MacDonald at the Straight Sets blog.

    Agreed here.
     
  18. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    CBS gave the exact figure for McEnroe for the entirety of the semifinal against Connors: he won 72 of 138 net points, just 52%.

    However it's far from clear how CBS was counting net points in those years; and I think their statisticians may have been using a method that resulted in low success rates.

    In the '82 USO final, I did my own net stats and compared them against the CBS figures. I did not count it as a net point if a player missed his approach shot entirely (ie, if he drove his actual approach shot long, wide or into the net). I think that CBS may have been counting such shots: and if they did, that would naturally depress the net success rates.

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=196950

    Just to be clear, in this paragraph when I say "winning and missed approaches" I'm referring not to entire points but to approach shots that were, themselves, errors of one kind or another (long, wide, or netted) or clean winners. I'm referring to points that end before the player has even gotten into a position at net.

    Connors often would try to get into net behind an approach shot but the approach would not even land in the court; he had a tendency to miss his approaches especially on low FH's.

    Whether it counts as a net point when the approach itself never makes it into the court, is a debatable point; you can argue it one way or another. One thing's certain, though: if you count such shots as net points, it depresses the player's net success rates.

    As I said, I had Lendl at 0 for 2 in net points, at a certain stage of the match; CBS had him at 0 for 4. I can only explain that by counting two approach shots by Lendl that never made it into the court.

    Same with Connors: I had him at 8 of 12 (or 67%). CBS had him at 10 for 17 (or 59%) -- which I can explain if I count certain approach shots that ended as clean winners or as errors.

    This is not proof -- the sample sizes are too small. If someone wants to do a full net count for the Mac/Connors match, then maybe we will know more -- though at five sets we're talking about a heavy undertaking.

    For now I'll just say: don't take McEnroe's low success rate against Connors at face value; the method used to count his net points may be different from methods used for players from other eras.

    Comparing any tennis stats across eras is risky, and it's possible that match statistics are the riskiest of all to compare across eras.
     
  19. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    yeah, I'm not saying things won't change in the future . Things evolve/change. All I'm saying is in the past 10 years or so, net play is not as viable as it was before and its a significant difference.

    its not just about the depth. I was mainly talking about the passing capabilities in the past 10 years or so.

    similarly , 70s to 90s players below ranked 20 still learnt more of net play and were better at volleying than the present generation.


    yeah, but all I'm saying is that the errors on the return (forced+unforced) are quite a bit more than the aces, on an average. the difference would definitely widen from the ace%

    some of the wimbledon matches in the 90s have the unreturned serve% .

    I'm compiling the stats for whatever years I can get. Will post when I'm done.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2013
  20. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    I didn't see their Japan Open match.

    I see your point. But its not necessarily to do with net play. It could possibly be true for any player who'd do something different, be it from anywhere, say even a dolgopolov .

    there is a possibility that if the top player is zoned in, it may backfire big time, but that's how it goes.

    the problem here is that those sort of passing shots, especially at crucial moments , create more doubts and would deter net play quite a bit more.

    the reason why I mention crucial points is that earlier you knew with a good enough approach shot, passing on the run/from far behind the baseline was pretty difficult and much rarer. That's not the case now.

    even if you do get ~55% of the net points overall with good serving/powerful groundstrokes, with many of those at not so crucial moments, if the passer can get a good bite on crucial moments, that can prove to be a major deterrent as far as net play is concerned

    and of course chip and charge on the return was used much more frequently earlier. that would return in net% going down in those days, but most of those net approaches on the return wouldn't harm the player as much as it would on the serve, relatively speaking

    ( I do think chip and charge is very under-utilized these days. Sometimes on the return, you have almost nothing to lose, so why not try putting pressure to force the opposing player to pass )
     
  21. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    10. Robin Soderling
    9. Ramesh Krishnan
    8. McEnroe
    7. Mary Carillo
    6. Safin
    5. David Foster Wallace
    4. Laver
    3. Conchita Martinez
    2. Henri Leconte
    1. David Pate
     
  22. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    bluetrain4, With this list you are really unique.
     
  23. smoledman

    smoledman Legend

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    1. Federer
    2. Federer
    3. Federer
    4. Federer
    5. Federer
    6. Federer
    7. Federer
    8. Federer
    9. Federer
    10. Federer
     
  24. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    My go

    Tier 1 (in no particular order) - Pancho Gonzales, Federer, Laver, Borg, Rosewall, Tilden, Sampras (sorry I was half asleep and left him off earlier)

    Tier 2 (in no particular order) - Nadal, Connors, Lendl, Agassi, McEnroe, Budge, (Wilding, Cochet, Jack Kramer - these last 3 guys were hard - varied between having them at 2 or 3)

    Tier 3 (in no particular order) - Djokovic, Edberg, Becker, Wilander

    Tier 4 (in no particular order) - Nastase, Stan Smith, Ashe, Lyleton Hewitt, Hoad (Tier one playing ability when Lew was having an 'on' day)

    All 4 of these tiers represent 'great' players. It is just the various levels of greatness.

    I know I left a lot of players off that deserve to be put on - it is just indicative, as I don't have the energy today to go through every great player.


    This is as at now (August 2013) . I fully suspect Nadal to move up to Tier 1 by the end of his career and for Djokovic to move up to Tier 2 by the end of his.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2013
  25. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Wow! You don't have Sampras in any of the top 4 tiers. What's the reason you place Sampras low ?
     
  26. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    I assume he just forgot about him. Obviously Sampras is not below tier 4...
     
  27. 1477aces

    1477aces Hall of Fame

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    Courier isn't even tier 4 when Lleyton Hewitt is?
     
  28. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    No Sampras????
     
  29. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    I took net stats on Lendl-Cash '84 USO

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=217556

    after 4 sets I had Cash with 101 approaches to the net
     
  30. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    This is The Laver Forum. It wouldn't be any difference if it was a Rosewall Forum.
     
  31. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    With this list you are not so unique.
     
  32. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    hoodjem, Imagine I would make a list like smoledman. My life would end rather soon ;-)
     
  33. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Sampras

    That's because I was half asleep when I wrote it. Of course he is in Tier 1.
     
  34. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    No Federer in your list?
     
  35. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Courier

    He sure is at Tier 4. As I said in my post, it wasn't meant to be a comprehensive post, just indicative. Now I have added Sampras (I was half asleep when I typed it) at Tier 1 though - Tier 1 is definitive from my point of view. I don't think any other players deserve to be in that conversation.
     
  36. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    Nadal should be in Tier 1. Borg cannot be placed in a higher Tier than Nadal.

    I would have the same Tier 1 as you (those 7 players), but also with Nadal.
     
  37. Eragon

    Eragon Banned

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    How old are you, again?
     
  38. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    How many Wimbledons did Nadal win?

    What's that?

    Two?

    Get serious.
     
  39. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    For third time, I am a traveler of both time and space...my longevity compares to Gonzales,Connors,Rosewall or Tilden...
     
  40. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    As a joke, it is not that good¡¡¡:)
     
  41. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    Yes, he won two, which is the same number as your precious Hoad. :twisted:

    Now that the historians have begrudgingly accepted that Federer has to be ranked among the GOAT contenders, it's time that you also started accepting Nadal's resume as being worthy of the top tier.

    Certainly you cannot place Borg (the most directly comparable player) in a higher tier than Nadal. Thus if Borg is Tier 1 - which is near-universally accepted - then so is Nadal.
     
  42. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    It's no joke. :confused:

    I know it goes against many historians' sense of aesthetics but there is no doubt that Nadal belongs in Tier 1.
     
  43. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    If you think only 2 wimbledons is that bad then why don't you tell BobbyOne that Rosewall has zero Wimbledon. Nadal should be ranked way above Rosewall, right ?
     
  44. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I hope Nadal has a long career, unimpeded by injuries.

    That way he will not bow out early, like Borg. So we are not left with wondering how many tournaments he could have won if . . . .
     
  45. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Hoad was ineligible for Wimbledon in 1958, 1959, 1960, the three years in which he would have been favoured to win.

    Nadal certainly ranks with Rosewall, Trabert, Hoad and Borg among all-time greatest clay-court players.

    But Wimbledon? Or overall?

    No way.
     
  46. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    You mean clearly ranks higher than them on clay. There is not one person in tennis history who can rival his record on the surface.
     
  47. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Mighty Man, How is the heat in your country now?
     
  48. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    It's 75 degree Fahrenheit.
     
  49. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    TMF, Try to avoid great heat. It's not good for your argumentation.
     
  50. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    I have air conditioning for back up. And I also back up my argument while you only have Youtube for back up.
     

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