Where do you put Agassi on your GOAT list (if you have one)?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Prisoner of Birth, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    All hard to say. If we look at Sampras for example, Rosewall would competitive on all fast surfaces with Pete Sampras as he was against Laver. Remember Rosewall even in his mid to later thirties was able to defeat Roche in the 1970 US Open final on grass and he was able to defeat John Newcombe in the semi before that. These are two of the finest fast court players of all time. Roche was in his prime. However on clay I think Rosewall would win a very good percentage of the matches against Sampras. It's very possible Rosewall would defeat Sampras most of the time if they played equally on all surfaces.

    I read about a practice set (if memory serves) Lendl played against Rosewall about 1980 or so. Rosewall was about 46 and Lendl about 20 but one of the top players in the world I believe. I understand it was a great set and Lendl won by 6-4. Now it doesn't necessarily mean anything I guess but it does show that an old Rosewall was competitive with a tournament tough Lendl. It was against a pre peak Lendl but it also was a way past prime Rosewall. I understand the rallies were fantastic from observer.

    Agassi used to have a lot of problems with Miloslav Mecir. He once mentioned years ago (probably changed his opinion later) that Mecir was the one who gave him the most problems. Odd thing is that according to ATP records they only played once. A player like Mecir with great mobility and the ability to control the rally apparently bothered Agassi. Mecir didn't have the biggest serve in the world but neither did Agassi although Agassi could pop in some powerful serves. I think Rosewall in his prime could very well do the same thing as Mecir did to Agassi.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
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  2. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest


    That might be true, but is that your ONLY factor for ranking greats. For instance I know you said you thought Venus Williams would beat Steffi Graf at their best once, but despite that opinion surely you dont rank Venus anywhere near the same rank in history as Graf.
     
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  3. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Kramer was a giant in tennis being No.1 for several years while Emerson at his best was only No.5 in one year, mostly worse. I doubt that Emerson would have won any major if open era would have started earlier.

    Hoad, as my "friend", Dan Lobb, rightly says, is still UNDERrated.
     
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  4. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Even Emerson admitted he was not in Hoad's class.
     
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  5. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Rosewall has the edge against all great players he played in big events with the only exception of Connors. Rosewall was 39 plus when he met Jimbo for the first time, therefore one cannot value it as a true rivalry. He outplayed (in majors, Davis Cup and Kramer Cup) ALL greats from Gonzalez to Nastase!
     
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  6. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    I see Hoad with 4 majors and 1 Tournament of champions and a whole lot of losses in important finals. Overrated to me when compared to the players with the truly ridiculous resumes.Hoad=Djokovic level as far as I am concerned and that's assuming Djokovic doesn't keep on winning (similar amount of majors, similar very dominant year, "very high potential level of play" that certainly is a similarity)
     
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  7. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Remember Hoad played in the Old Pro tour where the level of play on average was far higher. Emerson played the amateur tour. It's like a good heavyweight playing in the light weight division. He may win there but if he moved back to the heavyweights it would be different.

    Playing Fred Stolle, Darmon and Ken Fletcher in the finals of majors is a lot different from playing Ken Rosewall, Rod Laver, Pancho Gonzalez, Hoad and Gimeno in the finals. Emerson won five majors against Stolle in the finals.

    From 1963 to 1967 Emerson won 10 of 20 majors played. From 1968 on Emerson did not win another major. The first Open Major had Rosewall defeating Laver in four sets in 1968. Emerson lost to a Pancho Gonzalez who would be 40 that year in five sets. Gonzalez of course was one of the pros Emerson didn't have to face in the majors.
     
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  8. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Rosewall won a pro grand slam (1963) and was clearly the best in the game from 1961 to 1963 and then was arguably the best in 1964/65.

    And then numerous years as the game's second/third best.

    He is up there with the best. Agassi isn't. One could argue that he was never the best in tennis in any year (though you could give him either 1995 or 1999).
     
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  9. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    In regards to Hoad even with that, I still see him as Djokovic level player, nothing more than that.

    As for Emerson, what is an appropriate ranking for him on the all time list then? Is he better than a Kodes lol?
     
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  10. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Not to Kiki. lol.

    Hard to say. Lot of players in my opinion greater than Emerson. Throwing out names off the top of my head, Laver, Tilden, Borg, Federer, Nadal, Gonzalez, Kramer, Hoad, Sedgman, Budge, Riggs, Vines, Perry, Connors, McEnroe, Lendl are among them.
     
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  11. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    It's not my only criteria. Getting in to my top 10 requires a great record ab initio. But, I list who I think are the 10 best players on an absolute basis, adjusting for equipment. Level of play has to count for something. Borg's record as a whole doesn't measure up to Rosewall's record in most statistics. But, I think Borg was a genuine 1st tier all time great. I don't think Rosewall was. Agassi is a closer call. But, again, I don't see Rosewall having a winning record against Agassi on any surface except the old soft, fast, grass at the USO, and maybe the old Wimbledon grass, maybe not. On hard courts or clay, I think Agassi's return and ground game and passing shots overpower Rosewall with the exception being a day that Rosewall is at his best and Agassi is not.

    As for V. Williams and Graf, I think I said that V. Williams best was a higher level of play than Graf's best. That doesn't mean that V. Williams would have a winning record over Graf. Graf was a more versatile, more consistent competitor, probably because of better health throughout her career. If I include an equal number of matches on 3 surfaces, I might have to give the edge to Graf.
     
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  12. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Right. Additionally Rosewall was maybe a Co. No 1 in 1959 (8:4 against Gonzalez), 1960 (winning the top tournaments), 1970 (US Open win and Wimbledon final) and 1971 (winning the arguable No. 2 and 3 tournaments).

    Muscles was among the top three for 16 years!
     
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  13. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Hoad was an erratic player who could play at a the highest level in the world one day, and something significantly less the next day. Part of that was his style of play. He was a big hitter who tried to blow his opponents off the court. Part was his health. He was known to have a bad back and a drinking problem. Djokovic is a much more consistent performer. But, I can't say that his best level of play was as great as Hoad's. Maybe Laver or Rosewall could offer a credible opinion about that.
     
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  14. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Vines better than Emmo? Riggs better than Emerson? LOL.Maybe in betting, although he did a very bad bet when he got ridiculised by Billie jean King at the Astrodome...
     
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  15. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    You welcome.When yopu don´t get so keyed up on Rosewall ( who is one of the very best players I have seen), you are a nice poster with good sense of humour.I don´t think Lobb has that sense of humour, which is rare since Hoad was a really nice, well spirited guy.

    One day we should open a thread with the best players with the greatest sense of humour.There are a few others than Nastase.
     
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  16. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I could never feel more honoured in my life.Now, I can die.
     
    #66
  17. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    #67
  18. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Definitely.Tilden had 5 or 6 great players to compete against, while the Renshaw, Doherty and Wilding&Brookes had just 1 or 2 potential rivals.But they pionereed the game and should be highly regarded, just by that.

    Washington was voted by no more than a few hundred thousand or, at maximum, a very few milllion electors, but that doesn´t make him a worse President than, say, George W Bush
     
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  19. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Laver won pro majors against fellas such as Gonzales,Hoad,Rosewall,Segura,Gimeno,Olmedo and a few more greats.Vines had his share of pro majors, but Tilden was really old, although I have no problem accepting that Perry was a helluva player and competitor.But you can´t ever put Vines in Laver´s league.Similar to comparing Emerson, a great player to Gonzales, an absolute all time beast
     
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  20. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    kiki, thanks for your friendly words. I do know that you also have good sense of humour.

    To defend myself a bit: I only long ago pushed Rosewall (but always backed up by facts). In recent weeks I only praised Muscles in defense of unfair attacks by a certain poster (guess you know who I mean)...
     
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  21. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Please don't do this because tt would lose one of its most interesting posters (and I would lose one of those who praise K.R.R.)....
     
    #71
  22. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I know that.Rosewall is one of the guys I´d pay a higher ammount of monye to watch and, as I posted many times, that is just exactly my system to rate the players I have seen or I would like to have seen.

    But, do yourself a favour, do not take it badly that Rosewall was also known as Pockets.Nobody is perfect, except Rosewall´s backhand.
     
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  23. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Emerson was an amateur when winning majors while Vines was an amateur and a pro when winning majors.
     
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  24. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I won´t even if I wouldn´t mind if I have to carry on watching the so much booooring tennis of the last 10 years.
     
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  25. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    ...but even the latter is worse than Agassi's, if we can trust a certain poster...
     
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  26. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    You have a point there.I just meant that, while Vines is an excellent player and a really great talent, he is not in the trluy greats list.I would never dare to include Kodes in that definition, either.
     
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  27. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Yes, the current tennis is not as interesting as tennis was in older decades. But I watch Djokovic and Murray with interest and pleasure.
     
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  28. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Vitas Gerulaitis, he destroys almost everyone in tennis for sense of humor.

    A potential GSOHOAT.

    Maybe the Great Vince Spadea.
     
    #78
  29. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Agassi´s second only to Connors for two handed backhands.Borg,Mc Millan,Browmich,Bruguera,Djokovic are also excellent tough not as good as Connors and agassi strokes IMO.

    Rosewall´s one handed was considered not only the best ever for long time, but one of those historical shots like Gonzales serve and Tilden forehand.

    However,Laver,Edberg,Budge could have been as good if not better in terms of raw power.Ashe,Kodes,Orantes,Vilas,Kuerten,Korda, Lutz/Stolle/Becker on the return of serve,Pietrangeli and a few others were also excellent stuff.
     
    #79
  30. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Vitas had great sense of humour, what would you expect of him? I still laugh at " learn it be a lesson t....nobody beats VG 18 times in a row"

    When Connors was not irked or doing his normal gamesmanship he could also be excellent.His quote day after Evert criticised Mac´s tantrums is memorable.

    Aussies had great sense of humour, but it is acid and sarcastic, but when you get familiar with it, you can keep on laughing for a whole week...
     
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  31. Carsomyr

    Carsomyr Hall of Fame

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    Gonzales, Hoad, etc. weren't exactly spring chickens either.

    And I'm not saying Vines is in Laver's league, in either peak performance or achievements. But you're creating a pretty obvious double standard when you laud one man's performance in pro majors and completely dismiss the other's.
     
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  32. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Excellent analysis.
     
    #82
  33. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I hope you like the Little Master BH
     
    #83
  34. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Vines was the best player in the World for about 5 years between Tilden and Budge. His serve and forehand were major weapons, and, his forehand was considered by many to be the greatest ever.
     
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  35. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Vines's valuation by kiki is one of his few errors...
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
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  36. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    In fact, I consider his marketing agent to be one of the brightest and most effective ever.Do you have his name? The guy must have been a genious who was born 50 yrs before his time...
     
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  37. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    kiki, I reealized that we had a long stretch of posts as I had with Dan Lobb and a certain poster, but our's was a bit more friendly.

    I admire Rosewall's backhand. I possess his matches against Newcombe at Wimbledon (1970) and against Smith in the 1974 Wimbledon and can see some wonderful backhands there (effective and aesthetically great).

    In 1986 in Austria I saw the Little Master hit three backhands ina row which all touched the opponent's baseline...

    That was in a senior's match at Poertschach/Carinthia. But I once read that some people would rather watch Rosewall practicing than other stars playing in a tournament. Beauty should also be considered (as you have said already).
     
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  38. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    One thing I remember is that, after watching a series of those BH, so perfect that Rosewall himself seemed bored, I decided for a game or two close eyes and just listen to the water like sound of his Bh.That was like the finest vibraphone set...listening to the sound, you just realized that a perfectly tamed shot had been produced and delivered.So good was that shot, that it was not only a delight to watch it but also to actually listening to it.
     
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  39. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Great impression.

    And I was astonished about the ease Muscles played sharp backhand shots. It was in 1992 near Hamburg when I watched Rosewall practicing and when I stood only 2 or 3 meters away from him...

    I guess there are some reasons why I admire that player.
     
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  40. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Kiki,

    I disagree with you sometimes but when you write something like that, well I'd be almost willing to believe Kodes was better than Vines. Notice I wrote almost.

    Super post and so true.
     
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  41. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    And because kiki being mad for Rosewall I should include Kodes into my top ten, maybe between Gonzalez and Tilden ;-)
     
    #91
  42. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Thanks, we all agree on disagreeing from time to time tough most of us share the same vision and pretty similar background.

    I honestly think that, in terms of talent, Vines was a better player than Kodes.But look at it the other way; Kodes achieved a lot being less talented than the all time greats and that deserves IMO, great respect and admiration.

    Only Laver and Rosewall had a better return, specially off the BH side until Connors arrived.Kodes return could even weak down a gunner like Newcombe or Smith, both terrific servers.probably, only Laver and Rosewall could be, either flashier or steadier, but he got to their level, almost.
     
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  43. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Oh, don´t do that or i´ll turn red.

    Kodes is somewehere near the top 35 or so, yet he was a main charcater in one of the greatest eras ever, the early 70´s.IMO, in termos of qquality, variety, characters and competitive guts, the early 70´s are, along the late 50´s and early to middle 80´s, the best era ever for male tennis.early to middle 90´s could be very close to that, and that makes 4 slots of time when tennis was clearly superior to other slots of times.My opinion, of course.
     
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  44. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    I agree that we all disagree from time to time or in special cases. But I plead for a certain agreement of all posters and experts on a few basics: For instance that the top players of today are not stronger than those of earlier decades. Or that Laver, Rosewall, Tilden, Gonzalez, Borg, Sampras and Federer should be ranked among the top ten. Or that Emerson is overrated and not among the top 15. Or that K. Kozeluh, Nüsslein, Kovacs, Segura, Gimeno and Roche are underrated....
     
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  45. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    I agree regarding the periods of strongest competition.

    I would go with Dan Lobb (By the way, I miss him a bit) that the late 1950s were the toughest time because there was that fantastic group of top pros who played each other for about five years and were ranked 1 to 6 in every of those years.You know: Gonzalez, Hoad, Rosewall, Sedgman, Segura and Trabert.
     
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  46. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I agree mostly although, if we talk about underrated players, all those you mention are better rated in TT than guys like Kodes, or Trabert, or Seixas, or Drobny, or Borotra to name a few off my hat.At least, this is my impression.
     
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  47. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    It's revealing to see that your assessments are for sale, B1. Or, parhaps more like "top ten trading cards."
     
    #97
  48. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Yes, I sometimes posted that, in my humble opinion, 4 slots of time stand up.

    The middle to late 50´s ( and I will mix up pros and maateurs because we talk about the global situation of the sport) were great: Laver reached major finals in 1959, Olmedo was superb, Emerson and Fraser, as well as Cooper and Anderson started to stablish themselves as top stuff and, of course, kramer,Trabert,Hoad,Rosewall,Gonzales and Sedgman is probably the best group of six players assembled at the same time.

    early 70´s were just as great, I consider the first great open era starting in 1968 and ending around 1974, when the game changed a lot.During those 5-6 years, Laver,Rosewall,Nastase,Ashe,Newk,Gimeno,Kodes,Roche,Smith and Okker ( with still competitive Emmo,Stolle,Drysdale,ralston,Lutz,Richey,Gorman,Pilic,franulovic,Metrevali,taylor,Gorman right behind) will make what is, in my opinion, the greatest ever top ten.Better than late 50´s because the deepth was a bit better at the top 10 or top 15 ( which is what defines true competitive eras)

    Of course, the whole 80´s were a feast with Borg,Connors,Lendl,Mac and later Wilander,Becker,edberg ( and Kriek,Cash,Noah,Gomez,Mecir and for a while Vilas;Gerulaitis,Tanner,Pecci,Mayer and Clerc) going at each other.if Borg had played until 29 or 30, I just can imagine a 1985 year with Bjorn,Jimmy,John,Ivan,Matts,Boris and Stefan that would have been unbelievable and with a far stronger media and financial support than the group of the late 50´s and even early 70´s.

    Finally, the first 5-6 years of the 90´s were also huge, with Sampras,Agassi,becker,Edberg,Ivanisevic,Bruguera,Rafter,Courier,Chang,Stich and Richard Krajicek well supported by guys like Kafelnikov,young Moya and young Rios,Korda,Rusedski,Muster,Forget,Medvedev,Todd Martin and wayne Ferreira among some others.This group compares to any other formed.

    So, the top 6 is late 50´s, the top 7 is the 80´s, the top 10 is early 70´s and early 90´s.Sorry for the long explanation, but it is the way I always will look at this sport unless things will change in the next decades.
     
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  49. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Emerson had a better backhand return that Kodes, and was better in every other aspect of the game as well. Accord Ashe, Roche and Nastase.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2012
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  50. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    I'm astonished that you even lack a sense for humour...
     

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