Who is the most important male player ever.

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by JAY1, Apr 8, 2012.

?

Who is the most important male player ever.

  1. Lew Hoad

    2.1%
  2. Ken Rosewall

    3.1%
  3. Rod Laver

    13.5%
  4. Arthur Ashe

    11.5%
  5. Jimmy Connors

    13.5%
  6. Bjorn Borg

    21.9%
  7. John Mcenroe

    6.3%
  8. Andre Agassi

    7.3%
  9. Pete Sampras

    7.3%
  10. Roger Federer

    46.9%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    The universally acknowledged greatness of the French Musketeers, alone, forecloses any argument that Tilden played in a weak era. I have never, ever, read any such assessment of the 20's tennis era in my life. And I am sure I never will again, unless Dan Lobb persists with this preposterous, utterly unsupported, premise.
     
  2. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    1,978
    Limp. this "preposterous" notion was believed by Jack Kramer, who lived much closer to the scene than you or I.
     
  3. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    1,978
    Krosero, if players were generally small and sick in those days, it certainly was not true of the players in the early 1930's or later, and therefore this adds to the view that the 1920's were a weak era.
    Yes, Lacoste matured relatively early for that era, about age 21, but he retired a mere five years later at 26! And from physical weariness! That, I believe, is the point!
    Johnston was , by all accounts, a brilliant player, but his small size (and 120 pounds placed him among the smallest players of his own era) meant that he was prone to fade in long matches, such as the US finals in 1916 (against Williams), and 1920 and 1922 against Tilden.
    Again, physical fitness and stamina are fundamental components of tennis success.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012
  4. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    1,978
    No, Krosero, the vast proportion of men who were conscripted and died on the battlefields were young, most of them age 18 to early twenties.
    And the average casualty rates at the front in WWI were higher than WWII, and even in the second war the casualty rates among the divisions which landed in Normandy was sometimes over 100%.
    American and British armies took very high numbers of deaths, the British alone lost about 3 million dead, about three times the number lost in WWII.
    The French and Germans lost much more than this.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012
  5. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    Unless you can demonstrate that a significant number of them were championship level tennis prospects your contentions are idiotic and irrelevant.
     
  6. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Messages:
    2,407
    physical fitness and stamina have nothing to do with the size of a player.
     
  7. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    1,978
    Where did the young tennis players of this era emerge from? Not from "the working classes" and public courts (like Kramer, Schroeder, Gonzales). They came from upper class families and university students who had access to facilities. Tennis was still a "gentleman's game".
    However, many of these gentlemen became officers in both world wars, and the officers took a disproprtionate percentage of casualties (I know this from my family's history). Enemy snipers targetted officer uniforms.
    It was the officer ranks where the new generation of tennis players would have emerged from.
    The obvious weakness of the young tennis ranks after the war speaks volumes about the effects of the war.
    The first important young players to emerge in the twenties were Lacoste and Cochet, two players who were just too young to serve in the trenches.
     
  8. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    5,208
    Location:
    L. Island, NY
    I used to always see them in peoples garages - with rust on them btw.

    What ever happened top the immortal T3000, T4000 and T5000??
     
  9. robow7

    robow7 Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Messages:
    967
    Yea, that T4000 that had the bulbous end, something within my heterosexual id didn't even like to grasp that handle.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    More groundless conjecture! You are full of more BS than anyone I've ever seen on TT. Please list each and every soldier that you contend would have otherwise been a champion tennis player but for being a soldier.
     
  11. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,617
    I did not say they were generally small and sick; I said people were smaller than today, and more commonly sick or infirm than today. This gives context: it tells us that you can't point to a small player, or one who retired partly for health reasons, and conclude that their decade was a uniquely weak era. All you can conclude is that the era was typical.

    And your new argument that the 1920s were a weak era because people were smaller so long ago, and more often sick than today, is completely different from your previous arguments singling out Tilden's decade as the weak one. Your new argument is nothing more, and nothing less, than pointing out that health standards improve over time. If you want to make the argument that tennis has gradually improved because of this, that's fine -- it's a very common argument. But it does not in any way show that Tilden's era was uniquely weak.

    Things did not change overnight. If there was improvement in health standards in the 1930s (which can be questioned), it had to be gradual.

    Also true of HL Doherty -- retired a mere five years after becoming the world's top player. Not something unique to the Tilden era.

    I wouldn't be so sure it was his size, per se, that made his endurance poor. Bitsy Grant from the 1930s was about 120 pounds (and only 5'4"), and he seems to have had a good record in five-setters. He also had an excellent record overall on clay; all of which shows at least decent endurance. He had more of a retrieving style than Johnston, and yet seems to have done fine with that demanding style, despite being, if anything, smaller than Johnston. Little Bill's poorer stamina may have more to do with his health than it does with his size.
     
  12. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,617
    First off: the British did not lose 3 million dead. The British Empire as a whole lost nearly 1 million dead, with about 2 million more wounded. Great Britain's share of those numbers was of course smaller.

    http://www.pbs.org/greatwar/resources/casdeath_pop.html

    American losses were far smaller than those of the British: 116,000 dead, another 200,000 wounded.

    Of course these numbers are horrendous, but there is no need to exaggerate them.

    And I cannot agree with you that "the vast proportion of men who were conscripted and died on the battlefields were young, most of them age 18 to early twenties" -- if by that you mean soldiers who were aged 22 or younger in 1918. (Again I'm specifying that group because it is really the only group that could have been significantly younger than Tilden in 1920).

    Just taking a relatively quick look around the web, it seems that there's a lot of uncertainty about the exact ages of men killed in the war.

    There seems to be somewhat better certainty about World War II. I found one reference to the median age of British servicemen being 25-26, meaning that half of all British servicemen were 25-26 or older: http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/general/36702-average-age-ww2-infantry-killed-action.html#post405658

    Of course that is not an official source, and it can't be taken at face value. But it is similar to the average age of American soldiers in WW2, which is well-known (26).

    In the First World War, the U.S. draft of 1917 required all men 21 to 30 to register (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selective_Service_Act_of_1917#Effects).

    So in that group, only the very youngest (men who were 21 years old in 1917) would be significantly younger than Tilden in 1920.

    We do know that Little Bill Johnston was 23, and Norris Williams was 26, when they joined the armed forces (presuming that was in 1917).

    Google turned up a few studies of small groups of British servicemen in the First World War, posted at forums discussing that war.

    In this group the median age was 24: http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=119258&view=findpost&p=1143001

    In this group about 20% of the fatalities were men aged 18 or 19, and therefore potentially candidates for being younger rivals to Tilden. Yet about 75% of all the fatalities in the regiment were men 21 or older: http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=119258&view=findpost&p=1143248

    __________________

    Okay, all that out of the way, let me acknowledge, of course great numbers of young men, who would still have been young in 1920, died in the war, or were seriously wounded. I'm throwing in this data as a response to the way you've invoked the war in broad strokes, calling up the image of millions of very young men lying dead on the battlefield as if all, or even most, were young enough to be a young challenger to Tilden. Only a narrow age group belongs to that category, and though that group suffered heavy losses, there is no certain way to know just how heavily tennis in the 1920s was impacted by those losses. Presumably there was some loss. Enough loss to say that Tilden's era was weak? I don't think we know enough to say that.

    That's especially true because you can look directly at the sport in the 1920s, and assess how Tilden and Johnston's level of play was regarded. This is the main point that you have not yet addressed: people of that time period were deeply impressed by Tilden's level of play and often proclaimed it as the best of all time. Far from thinking that they lived in a weak era, they thought they were living in a golden era for the sport.

    Kramer pronounced it a weak era -- no doubt for his own reasons. And he did it at a remove of decades from the period in question.
     
  13. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,617
    Here is A. Wallis Myers comparing the 1920s to the 1930s.

    At the end of '36 he wrote:

     
  14. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    1,978
    The proof of the pudding, as they say, is in the eating.
    Again, we keep hearing about Tilden and Johnston (and Williams), players who emerged from an earlier, pre-war era.
    Where were the young players emerging in the early 1920's? The first one was Lacoste in 1924, who was at 21 years of age just too young to have served in combat.
    There was a deep vacuum in the early 1920's where there should have been a new generation of younger players.
    Again, in the sport as it existed, these men would have been upper class gentlemen, who would have been trained as officers in WWI, and suffered disproportionate casualties, as they did in the second world war.
     
  15. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Messages:
    2,407
    i find that astonishing. i always thought that most soldiers dying in the trenches in WWI where common soldiers not officers.
     
  16. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    Even more astounding is the evidence that Dan Lobb has presented of all of the potential championship level tennis players that died in the trenches in WWI.
     
  17. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,617
    How many men aged 22 or younger do you think would have been made officers?

    Again, that's the only group that could have been significantly younger than Tilden in 1920.
     
  18. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,617
    Why would you assign Tilden to the prewar era? Obviously all his best tennis was postwar; and a player’s peak, or best tennis, is what we should be looking for. You’re suggesting that young tennis players in their early 20s lost their lives; well, they “emerged” before the war, too, in the same sense that Tilden did. If they were potential challengers to Tilden then they would have started playing the sport years before the war.

    The men who were lost, you’re proposing, would have peaked in the early 1920s. That’s what we need to look for when assigning players to prewar or postwar periods: when they peaked.

    In 1920:

    Richards was 17, Norton 21, Patterson 24. All of those qualify as significantly younger than Tilden, who was 27.

    Johnston, Washer and Hunter were each 26 that year. Not much younger than Tilden, but all of these men (yes, including Johnston) peaked after the war and were essentially postwar players.

    Murray was 27, Shimidzu and O’Hara Wood each 29, Wallace Johnson 31, Kingscote 32. All these players were older than Tilden but they all peaked after the war, with the possible exception of Johnson.

    You’re asking for players younger than Tilden, but as I argued above, 27 is not necessarily when players start going down. If certain players who challenged Tilden peaked after the age of 27, that should not matter: they still essentially belong to the postwar generation of players.

    Dick Williams and Norman Brookes did peak before the war and, though they remained to challenge Tilden, I don’t count them as part of the new generation.

    You’re arguing that Lacoste and Cochet came up in the second half of the 1920s essentially because they were too young to have served in the war. But this is far too much to claim. If those men had been born a little earlier and had served in the war, there is a good chance that they would have survived the war and challenged Tilden in the early 1920s. The list of tennis stars who served in the war and survived is long: Tilden, Johnston, Williams, Borotra, McLoughlin, Patterson, Brookes, Wallace Johnson, Howard Voshell (maybe Jean Washer?)

    Of course many tennis players were lost in the war. But how many players comparable to the caliber of a Tilden or a Lacoste were lost? I can only name Anthony Wilding.

    That is among tennis players who had already made a name for themselves – who were known already to be great. You’re proposing that there was a group of unknown, up-and-coming players who lost their lives in the war.

    But something about this is not right, because if the KNOWN set of great players lost only one man of the quality that could have challenged Tilden for the biggest titles, then how can it be presumed that the UNKNOWN group lost a whole generation of such stars?

    If the loss of Wilding in the known group is an indication, then it might be reasonable to suggest that in the unknown group of very young players there was one who would have been capable of challenging for the biggest titles but was lost in the war. I don’t think we can presume more than that – and of course we can’t know with certainty even whether that one theoretical lost champion existed.

    Furthermore, the known group of stars encompasses players aged from their early 20s to their early 40s. It’s a very large group – and they lost only one player who was of the caliber to challenge Tilden for the biggest titles. The group you’re talking about is narrow: it consists of players who would have been 22 or younger in 1918. Only they could have been significantly younger than Tilden in 1920.

    Champions like Wilding, Johnston, Tilden, Lacoste are relatively rare. This idea that the war cut down a whole set of great champions – some theoretical earlier group of Musketeers, who would otherwise have matured in the early 1920s -- is presuming a lot.

    Can you, for example, name these up-and-coming champions? I know that very young players will not have made deep marks in the record books; but they should have made SOME mark in the tennis world by the time they died in the war. If young men aged 20, 21, 22 went off to war around 1917 and were killed, at that age they should already have done something recognizable in the tennis world, whether on a college team or in some other kind of championship.

    Can you name them?
     
  19. Winners or Errors

    Winners or Errors Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Messages:
    1,503
    Wow, this thread has really degenerated. So, who was/is the most important male player ever?
     
  20. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    What place does Willie Renshaw have in history? would tennis have evolved into a different sport than cricket if the Renshaw, first and Doherty´s later, didn´t play it?
     
  21. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    Tilden or Kramer! Pick one!
     
  22. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    1,978
    Is that like demonstrating how many nuclear physicists were aborted before birth?
    Or how many bubbles are in a bar of soap?
    Great question, Limp.
     
  23. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    1,978
    It was quite common for men under 22 to become officers. I know of some in my own family.
    What army did you become familiar with?
     
  24. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    1,978
    The officers' uniforms were targetted by German and other snipers, for obvious reasons.
    Some enlisted men refused promotions to avoid becoming targets (I know of one famous soldier who did this in the Normandy campaign).
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
  25. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    1,978
    You make a good point that by the time they entered military service, this lost generation should have made some mark, although I am not sure that college championships were well developed at that time. More likely, at private clubs and courts.
    The young men would have gone to war in large numbers in 1914, and would have been mid-twenties by 1919. (I don't see how you get your numbers here.)
    From the list you provide, only Patterson was an emerging star, that's not much.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
  26. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    7,639
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Bjorn Rune Borg..as just an example of how much of an impact he had on the "modern game"..you have Federer being compared to Borg at Wimbledon when he was going for five in a row and look who Nadal is compared to constantly. Bjorn Borg. He influenced legions of players that came after him in many ways. Just look at Sweden as another example. They produced so many great players that followed just behind Borg and then really not many after the likes of Wilander and Edberg. Before Borg where was Sweden as a tennis nation? He was the catalyst during the 1970's-1981 for the "tennis boom"..during that "Golden Era" of tennis. He was truly a tennis revolutionary who "copied" no one. No one played quite like Borg before he came along. He "copied" no one and was truly a trailblazer.
     
  27. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,617
    Perhaps I misunderstood, but I thought you were asking for men who would be 21-24 in 1920, that is, significantly younger than Tilden. You've been referring to Tilden, who was 27 that year, and even Johnston, who was 26, as part of the prewar generation, so naturally when you referred to a new generation I figured you were talking about men 24 or younger.

    But I just think this is framing it wrong, because even the young generation you're looking for, who would have peaked in the early 1920s, presumably played tennis before the war, just like Tilden and Johnston. So clearly we're not talking about when players start playing. What we mean is when they peaked, when they won their biggest titles. By that standard they're all in the same boat, Tilden, Johnston, and the hypothetical lost players. You've now grouped them together yourself: you've said the lost men would have been in their mid-20s by 1919. But that's exactly how old Johnston and Tilden were in that year. Johnston was 25, Tilden 26.

    Johnston, then, qualifies by your own definition, as one of the new generation who peaked after the war and challenged Tilden.

    Maybe there were others, that were lost. But I doubt there could have been many, considering how many tennis stars survived the war. As dreadful as the war was, most of the greatest tennis stars survived.

    Again, the only known star I can name who was of the caliber to challenge Tilden for the biggest championships, but did not live, is Wilding.

    Patterson is not the only one. You've referred to men who would have been in their mid-20s by 1919. So Johnston qualifies.

    Johnston and Patterson are not a bad pair of challengers (and the rest of the players on my list were fine players). True, they are not Cochet and Lacoste. But the Musketeers, especially with Borotra included, were a unique confluence of talents that would make almost any era appear weak. I hope you're not judging the early 1920s by the standard of the three Musketeers who appeared in the second half of the decade.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
  28. Mick

    Mick Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2006
    Messages:
    8,362
    probably Arthur Ashe or Rod Laver because they named the stadiums after them
     
  29. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    1,978
    In the immediate postwar era, you would expect to see new tennis stars who would have emerged during the war, if not for the war (Johnston emerged in 1914-1915 when he won the US Championship, and because the USA entered the war in 1917, was not forced to leave the game before he had emerged). So you would expect to see about 1920 some players about 25 years old who did not get a chance to emerge during the war years, plus some younger players in their early twenties who had survived a shorter period of war service.
    The only name in these groups is Gerald Patterson! That's a very small number of players! Were the rest a bunch of stiffs (pardon the pun)?
     
  30. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    1,978
    The man who brought tennis into more than ten million American homes and millions of Australian homes by way of TELEVISION, Lew Hoad.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
  31. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,617
    This makes little sense, because Johnston was only 13 months older than Patterson. Surely if any two players belong to the same generation, this pair does. You've separated out Johnston because he happened to be precocious enough to win the US title at the age of 21. Yet his peak was probably in 1922; he won 2 of his 3 Slam titles after the war; and his great Davis Cup career was entirely postwar.

    You've also separated him because he happened to come from the United States, which meant that he didn't have to stop playing majors in 1914. You mention that fact yourself. But that's a pure accident of history. Just imagine if he had been from Australia, England or France. All those countries suspended their championships in 1914, so he would not have any prewar majors on his record. Under your criteria, you would then concede to label him part of the postwar generation -- even though he would have been exactly the same player, with only his nationality changed. That makes no sense.

    The truth is that Johnston and Patterson, just 13 months apart, were of the same postwar generation. Johnston, being American, had more time to win a big title before wartime duties intervened; and he did win one; but the vast majority of his career, and his best tennis, was postwar.

    I really doubt that the supposed lost generation of tennis players included a significant number that would have been good enough to challenge Tilden for titles.

    Players of that caliber, by their late teens or early 20s, should have made some impact on the tennis scene already. (Johnston certainly had.) They really should be named, rather than generally supposing that there must have been a bunch of them.

    I named 3 top players who were 24 or younger in 1920, and a few more like Johnston who were a little younger than Tilden. That hardly seems like a small number of young players.

    I'm sure the war killed off young players, but here's the thing: even with those losses, there was ALWAYS going to be young players after the war. There is simply no way that the war was going to kill off all young tennis players -- or even a majority of them. (Again, look at the known, older stars: most of them survived). For the early 1920s to be mostly lacking in young players -- as you seem to be arguing -- would have required the war to kill off nearly all young tennis players. And that just wasn't going to happen.

    So I think looking for young players in the early 1920s is ultimately the wrong approach. In the end the best way to do this has to be to identify top-level young players who were lost.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
  32. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    1,978
    Did Gerald Patterson make an impact before he went off to war? I think not.
    Yes, the case of Johnston and Williams was different, not just because the late entry into the war of the USA gave them time to emerge as top players and win their national championship, but because they spent a vastly smaller amount of time in front line action, where the casualty rates were high.
    For British, Australian, French, German, and Italian players, there was over four years of intense killing to survive.
    American casualty rates at the front were high, but it was a relatively small front of short duration (albeit crucial in the determination of the outcome).
    So you would expect that American players would be less impacted by the war, and more dominant after the war, as proved to be the case.
    In any event, Tilden undoubtedly helped to popularize the game of tennis, but an even greater contribution was to bring the game into millions of homes by way of mass media and TELEVISION, which was effectively accomplished in 1955 when NBC broadcast the Hoad/Trabert Davis Cup match from Forest Hills in color, attracting over ten million TV sets in America to the broadcast (commentated by Jack Kramer). This was a breakthrough event.

    Johnston was a post-war player? Who was the guy who won the US Championship in 1915, and came within a few points of repeating in 1916? The Lone Ranger?
    With logic like that you can ignore any truth.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  33. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Messages:
    2,407
    stamina has nothing to do with size. look at the best marathon runners in the world, for example
     
  34. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Messages:
    11,053
    Location:
    Stuck in the Matrix somewhere in Santa Clara CA
    ^ The stamina required for marathon runners is aeorbic. Tennis, OTOH, requires both aerobic and anaerobic fitness.

    French aviator/fighter pilot, Roland Garros, had a whole tennis complex named after him. Perhaps he is the most important male player (if he was a player).
     
  35. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Messages:
    2,407
    you are correct.

    do you agree with me, that stamina has nothing to do with size?
     
  36. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Messages:
    11,053
    Location:
    Stuck in the Matrix somewhere in Santa Clara CA
    ^ Not aware of an correlation.
     
  37. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    I tried this already. Dan ignored me too.
     
  38. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    1,978
    I have already answered this. Gerald Patterson did what before the war?
    There is no necessary correlation between teenage success and adult success in tennis in the pre-WWI era, unlike today. There was no developed junior tournament system, just private clubs and courts.
     
  39. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    Another non-answer. For the third time, from post 160:

     
  40. rafafan20

    rafafan20 Professional

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    964
    Location:
    USA
    The Agassi Sampras rivalry -- so both.
     
  41. ZeroSkid

    ZeroSkid Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2011
    Messages:
    1,441
    Location:
    Canada
    where is nadal and lendl?

    Anyways I have put it in this order:

    Federer
    Nadal
    Sampras
    Borg
    Laver
    Lendl
    Connors
    McEnroe
    etc
     
  42. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,617
    I asked for young players who were lost.
     
  43. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    What was so important about these players?
     
  44. Winners or Errors

    Winners or Errors Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Messages:
    1,503
    Because inquiring minds want to know...

    Why would any player from prior to the Open Era, when tennis actually became a worldwide sport of interest, be on the list of the most significant?

    I'm not saying, necessarily, that I think they shouldn't, but in a discussion of importance I think it should be addressed.
     
  45. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    The truth or falseness of your premises aside, what do you know about Bill Tilden or Jack Kramer?
     
  46. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    1,978
    You avoided my answer. There were no developed junior tennis circuits before WWI, so how could Gerald Patteson or anyone else become a name?
    Answer please! Or admit defeat.
     
  47. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    1,978
    Limp, you are one valiant soldier who has already bitten the dust.
     
  48. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    1,978
    Let's not continue to ignore the truth.
     
  49. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    Messages:
    4,369
    I think we are not in a war here, but in a (i hope mostly friendly discussion) about long gone eras. The weak era theory on Tilden seems to be in my opinion rather weak, because all astute contemporary observers i know like Danzig, Myers, Maskell, Perry thought otherwise. If this theory stems from Kramer, i doubt it the more, because Kramer at first should look at his own era. After WW II there were really players, who were lost (Henkel, Hunt) or hampered by war injuries (Bromwich, Larsen), and European tennis laid in tatters, as 1946 the Centre Court at Wimbledon, which was plastered with a bomb. Still in 1950, Tilden was named the all time best by a poll of the AP, by a wide margin over Budge, Cochet and Kramer. Even in 1969, an expert poll called him the goat over Budge and Laver (Hoad wasn't even named in the top ten in that poll). Before open tennis began, nobody could match the popularity and publicity of Tilden.
     
  50. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    1,978
    There is no doubting his importance in popularizing the game in the 1920's, and bringing it out of the private clubs to the public courts, where the 1930's generation of players from less privileged backgrounds could rise to the top.
    However, both Williams and Johnston, his principal challengers after the war, were players who had reached the top at the young age of 21 years, whereas Tilden slowly developed his game until he was 27 years, and there is no denying the impact of the war on the European and Australian ranks.
    Kramer's point was that Tilden could not be ranked, because the field was weak. The same, of course, should apply to Kramer himself, although he dominated the marathon head to heads in the early 1950's, against players much younger and more talented than himself.
    Both Gonzales and Sedgman appeared to be more talented than Kramer, but Gonzales suffered a knee injury after winning the California portion of his tour with Kramer 8 matches to 4, and the injury weakened his ground strokes the rest of the way.
    Sedgman led Kramer 12 matches to 6, when he pulled a shoulder muscle in his serving arm, which took the sting out of his serve, and he eventually lost 51 to 41.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012

Share This Page