Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by 90's Clay, Aug 22, 2012.
Must resist the urge to respond
Interested or not, we all know the answer because it's been on perpetual replay ten thousand times per week for about four years.
NatF, Don't you agree that Roger's balance as an oldie is rather poor in comparison with those of my top four?
Limpinhitter, Do you refer to your interesting claim that Rosewall is the all-time No.18?
And so it goes. . . .
I disagree with so much of that post Bobby
I'll start with your arguments on competition, I must be honest it very hypocritical that you slate Federer's competition and say nothing of Tilden's. Even for Rosewall's or Laver's it's easy to point out holes. I see no indication that any of those faced tougher competition than Federer across their careers.
- Tilden in his dominant period clearly had the worst competition of the 5
- Rosewall in his most dominant years was missing prime Gonzalez and Laver at the majors
- Laver dominated a not so great pro scene, Rosewall was clearly very strong but ageing and Gonzalez was obviously not the same. I'm not convinced by the strength of the second and third tier players of that time.
I find the fact that you chime in on Djokovic and Nadal being young in Federer's best years hypocritical considering Laver and Rosewall's overlap with each other (Rosewall get older from 1966/67, Laver not at his best until 1964) and Gonzalez (Gonzalez less focused on the Pro Majors from 1960 and then retired, not the same player in 1964). Nadal was competing in multiple major finals per year since 2006 for example. Federer also faced an older Agassi several times in majors and at the YEC.
I would say that Federer did win less than your fab four at an older age, that much is clear. However I would also say that his era is much tougher for older players and having peak Nadal and Djokovic around surely robbed him of as many majors as you consider Laver/Rosewall robbing each other of - possibly more.
It's a good top 10. I think I would have 8 of your top 10 in my top 10. Connors wouldn't be in there, and one of the others is very doubtful...
It is not worthwhile to contradict you, Bobby...you have your own space.
hoodjem, Please be more specific.
NatF, Thanks for your reply. I agree regarding Tilden's competition but not regarding Laver's and especially Rosewall's. Rosewall had to play against giants from Kramer to Borg.
70sHollywood, Yes, Connors as a top ten player is a bit doubtful. My other nine players are not doubtful in my opinion.
Pc1, I'm curious to find out your top 10, but only for the Open era.
By your logic Federer had to play against giants from Sampras to Djokovic (and perhaps future unknown giants)
Anyway I sense this is not a discussion you feel like having which is fine. I'm satisfied that I've said my piece and it's still amicable.
Off the top of my head, in no order it's Borg, Connors, Lendl, Sampras, Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Becker, Edberg, McEnroe, Agassi. Others could be Wilander who could easily be ahead of Becker or Edberg. Some players like Laver, due to his Open Grand Slam and many huge tournament wins can be considered but I put him mainly in the pre-open era so I would leave him out. I probably forgot a few players.
Interesting. Out of the eleven you mentioned, I would place them in this order (as of now):
NatF, Yes, we seem to have found a way to discuss without aggression.
Federer played against Sampras, Agassi, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray, Hewitt, Safin, Roddick. I'm not sure if Dimitrov, Thiem, Zverev and Coric will ever become giants.
Rosewall played against Kramer, Segura, Sedgman, Gonzalez, Hoad, Trabert, Laver, Gimeno, Newcombe, Roche, Emerson, Stolle, Ashe, Smith, Nastase, Kodes, Orantes, Panatta, Connors, Borg, Vilas. No comparison.
EDIT: By the way, Muscles defeated all of them with the exception of Borg (lost to Björn closely in their own match).
Rosewall played against fellow exhibition players who weren't trained or serious athletes until the mid 70's, then he disappeared. He was a fine exhibition performer in the same way the Blue Man group is, but has no place on a serious list of competent professional athletes. Neither do 90% of the rest of the trained circus monkeys on that list. Having your name in history books isn't the same thing as having talent.
Absolutely nothing that happened on a tennis court prior to the mid 70's, when the larder started to fill with actual junior talent that trained and developed into pros, has any relevance in a discussion of pro sport.
You are such a massive troll. The mid 60s field on the pro tour and the late 60s of the Open Era were some of the strongest fields ever. Certainly way better than the current mens field. You are the same individual who called Chris Evert the 2nd best female grass courter ever, and said Martina and Chris were better than others due to such amazing competition when the womens field from 82-88 was probably the worst long term field in history, so nothing should surprise.
Sorry for this mess. Tupelo is really a danger for mental health when reading his post...
I call the mid-late 50's pro tour the Murderer's Row of pro tennis.
TupeloDanger, Are you the true double of SoBad with his claim of the wool pants in the 1970's?
I'm posting since 2012 but I hardly have ever read a worse post. Congratulation!
You really think that Wembley, US Pro, French Pro, Forest Hills Pro etc were exhibitions? Have you slept during the last 10 or more years when the feats of the old pros before open era and before 1975 have been examined and published and acknowledged???
The players were not trained? This is a heavy insult to giants like Hoad, Sedgman, Rosewall, Gonzalez, Laver and so on! Have you ever seen the playing arm of Lew Hoad (1950s and 1960s), the huge wrist of Rod Laver? No, you have not but you dare to damn these players and great athletes!
Rosewall did not disappear in mid-1970s. In fact he disappeared February, 1982, about the same time when Borg (one of your true athletes) disappeared. Rosewall then reached his last final. Between 1975 and 1977 he won 11 tournaments beating "true athletes" like Vilas, Gerulaitis, Solomon, Dibbs, Stockton, Gottfried, Tanner, Panatta, Ramirez...
It's funny that just you are calling all-time greats (circus) monkeys!
Laver, Gonzalez and Rosewall having no talent? Hurray! You at last have found the stone of the wise man...
This post broke my irony meter. I think you're just funnin'.
Limpin, Here I agree.
Absolutely. Just shows what an amazing player Gonzales was to stay on top all those years with such competition.
You've omitted a bunch of players from Federer's list though. In terms of major winners you forget Moya, Ferrero, Chang, Kafelnikov, Ivanisevic, Kuerten, Wawrinka, Del Potro, Johansson, Gaudio, Rafter - though Federer never beat Rafter, Cilic. Possibly more. Of course I wouldn't call all players from both lists the competition of Rosewall or Federer. Many are outside of their best winning years. Rosewall's great longevity obviously saw him play a great spread of players but in terms of competition throughout their prime periods I can hardly see how Ken has competition that was no comparison.
Open era as I'm quit young and have only seen a few full matches of Laver, Rosewall, Gonzales and Tilden
You've seen full matches of Gonzalez and Tilden?
No sadly not, have watched a full docu on Gonzales though and some footage of Tilden
Of course. When a player lasts a long time that player will face probably some great competition, most likely a lot of all time greats if that player is also great.
I could easily argue Pancho Gonzalez faced bigger names than any player ever. How about Jack Kramer at his peak to start with? I believe it's very possible that Kramer at his best was the best ever. That's super competition to begin with. Gonzalez faced Kramer on a World Championship Tour of 123 matches! Rosewall faced an older over the hill Kramer who had arthritis and could barely bend over although Kramer was still decent.
Gonzalez faced peak Sedgman, peak Segura, Budge, Riggs, Tilden (yes Bill Tilden), peak Laver, peak Rosewall, peak Hoad, Kovacs, Newcombe, Ashe, Smith, Connors, Borg (and Gonzalez beat Borg unlike Rosewall although Gonzalez faced Borg when Borg was 10 months younger), Cooper, Anderson, McGregor, peak Trabert, peak Frank Parker, Olmedo, peak Gimeno, Roy Emerson, Cliff Richey, Tony Roche, Jan Kodes, Panatta, Orantes, Ted Schroeder, Don McNeil, Vic Seixas. I can say that Gonzalez beat all of these players at least once and he had a great plus record against most of them. Laver probably had the best record against Gonzalez at 38 to 21 however Gonzalez started playing Laver in 1964 when he was to be 36 and Laver was to be 26. It's almost a ten year difference. Gonzalez had a huge plus against Rosewall of around 107-75 despite being about 6.5 years older.
Gonzalez face several players who have often been called the GOAT in Kramer, Tilden, Laver, Borg, Budge, Hoad although I'm not sure if Hoad deserves to be call a GOAT. Gonzalez faced Kramer and Laver at their peaks and Hoad at his peak. Tilden, Borg, Budge were not faced at their peaks. If I had to guess which player faced the best competition of all time it would be Pancho Gonzalez.
A lot of the reason a great player faces great competition is due to playing a long time and going deep into tournaments. I'm sure I could think of a lot of great competition that Jimmy Connors faced also. Connors faced peak Borg, peak McEnroe, peak Sampras, Panatta, peak Orantes, peak Nastase, Smith, peak Newcombe, peak Ashe, peak Vilas, peak Kodes, Anderson, Dent, Dibbs, Solomon, Tanner, peak Lendl, Stockton, peak Okker, Rosewall, Laver, Ramirez, peak Wilander, peak Edberg, peak Becker, Gottfried, Alexander, Mayer, Kriek, Noah, Leconte, Vijay Amritraj, Gomez, Gimeno to name a few. McEnroe may not be a GOAT candidate to some but at his best he was better than many GOAT candidates. Nastase in individual matches can be argued to be superior to some GOAT candidates.
Rosewall did face some fantastic competition in his time and Federer has also.
NatF, Okay. reasonable argumentation.
I'm proud of you.
Top ten, off the top of my head, I'd have Tilden, Gonzalez, Laver, Rosewall, Connors, Borg, Sampras, Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic in the conversation now. Yet, that leaves out others like Lendl, Kramer, Budge, Hoad (peak performance), and McEnroe.
Thanks, my issue is not necessarily where you rank Federer but the evaluation or should I say de-valuation of his achievements. If you think his 17 Slams don't cut it by comparison to your top 4 I will still disagree but that's fine - but I take some small issue with you seemingly implying his 17 slams are say undeserved due to competition. But lets leave it there
Gonzalez did indeed face fierce competition during his time at the top. Of course he played into old age and played a great many players - many of whom were truly great. I do think Gonzalez would have led the h2h with Laver if their primes intersected. Though I still favour the best periods of the Open Era in terms of competition, at the very top the 50's was extremely competitive.
Of course as I said to Bobby, I think it's reaching to call all the players we've listed as top competition for Gonzalez, Rosewall and Federer. But looking back it's pretty incredible to see how many careers have touched.
It's the old six degrees of separation example. For example Federer faced Sampras who faced Connors who faced Gonzalez who faced Tilden.
I guess I could have some more fun with Serena Williams who faced Graf who faced Evert who faced Billie Jean King who faced Bobby Riggs who faced Bill Tilden.
To be serious it's dependent on whether the player is at his or her peak or prime when we judge the level of the competition a player faced in his career, not just the names. A peak John McEnroe is far superior to a non prime Agassi for example.
80 years of tennis history bridged by just 5 players. I do wish Sampras had carried on for a bit longer, Borg notwithstanding, Sampras retired much earlier than his rivals in the greatness stakes.
He was probably mentally burnt out. Since he won a major in his last tournament played I see no reason why physically he wouldn't be able to win a few more majors. He also admitted he felt his majors record would last for a long time so I guess he also felt his legacy looked impressive.
I personally doubt he would have won another major, took him 2 years to get his last one and Federer was fast approaching. He was definitely burnt out, fair enough he went out when he wanted to but I would have loved to see him mixing it up for a few more years.
NatF, I guess Federer played against these players very seldom, in contrary to Rosewall who had to play against that armada from Kramer till Borg (I also could have added Anderson, Cooper, Sven Davidson and others) pretty often.
That's the nature of the Open Era though Bobby, competition just has that much more depth now. As far as very seldom goes, Federer's rivalries with Djokovic and Nadal are both in the top 10 of meetings in the Open Era. I also believe the number of slam finals he's shared with Nadal is a record and the number of overall slam meetings with Djokovic is a record. In terms of meetings in finals Federer's rivalaries with both are in the top 3. He's also got 3 more rivalries in the top 20 (Hewitt, Murray, Roddick).
The likes of Anderson, Cooper etc...might the equivalent of a David Ferrer, Nalbandian, Davydenko, Coria or Berdych in the Open Era etc...
Obviously some of those players had few meetings with Federer, but that's simply a product of the Open Era not Federer's era specifically. If you think the Old Pro Tour generally had better competition then that's fine, but you'll have difficulty holding up the argument that Federer is just simply an exception.
How many majors did Ferrer, Nalbandian, Davydenko, Coria, or Berdych win? I am having trouble remembering even ONE.
Truer words, as they say....
Here is a famous song which the GI's sang as they liberated Austria in 1945, which I guess Bobby might remember...happy listening...
"It seems to me I've heard that song before, it's from an old familiar score..."
Open Era. Tough times. Nalbandian and Davydenko both won the YEC - arguably a major.
Arguably not a major, too.....
Cooper, Anderson, Segura, Olmedo, Fraser, Emerson, Rose, McGregor all won majors, multiple majors.
Some more Sampras versus Federer matches at the US Open or Wimbledon would have fun to watch with the different styles of play.
I didn't say anything about Segura, Emerson etc...
But I don't really consider amateur slams majors. So guys that just won a few of those hardly stand out to me over the solid and consistent #5 players of the Open Era.
NatF, Thanks for the information. You are really a specialist for current and recent tennis.
Federer is no exception in any way. Some claim he is.
nice barb. I'll have to return the favour at the next opportunity
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