Who will still be considered a GOAT contender in 100 years' time?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Phoenix1983, Feb 17, 2014.

  1. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near Talk Tennis Guru

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    Relax folks, ...
    Naturally people are just expressing their opinions and there is no dictatorship here.

    I think Sampras deserves to be in the 'GOAThood' -- as it's being called -- discussion, but some may have standards and believe in criteria that would bump Sampras off their personal list of the very very very top all-time greats. Not everybody here thinks Sampras, Federer or Nadal is truly a contender for the very best player in history and as we've seen time and time again, the same can be said regarding the likes of Gonzales, Rosewall, Borg, Laver, Tilden -- one only has to look in the General section to see the typical level of disrespect and ignorance towards some of these much older past greats of being anywhere near worthy or relevant to the tennis greats discussion.
     
  2. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    pc1, Thanks that you don't reply in a hostile way. I'm sorry for my sarcasm.

    But I confess your post (both what you say and what you miss to contradict) again confuses me. Only two examples: Why should you perhaps have discussed Rosewall first?

    And why do you think that there was never anything to argue about? If you had not written some strange things, I surely would not have contradicted or argued with you.

    And believe me: I'm not trying to find a dispute where is none.

    Hopefully we can discuss in the future in a more relaxed way, as we did until a few days ago. ;-)
     
  3. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    It is certainly no dictatorship in any kind, if someone names a few numbers, which are outstanding and will stand the test of time. I also cannot find any argument against Sampras, if someone relates more on year end Nr. 1 positions than on rolling weeks at Nr. 1. I still cannot find any argument against Rosewall, if someone names outstanding records of Laver or Gonzalez. That people like Tilden, Gonzalez and Laver are mentioned, is grounded in the nature of the matter. And yes, what sacrilege, this trio could in my mind very well be the greatest in the games history.
     
  4. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Phoenix, Here I agree with pc1: Winning 14 majors (or even 17) is not superhuman. Remember that guys like Gonzalez, Rosewall and Laver were not as lucky as the modern players to enter every GS tournament they want to.

    Experts have researched and they assume that Tilden Gonzalez, Rosewall and Laver could (rather easily) have won 20 open GS tournaments or even more of them (with Tilden possible winning about 27 majors, followed by Gonzalez and Rosewall).

    Sampras top three all-time? Rather bold..
     
  5. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near Talk Tennis Guru

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    Relax folks, ...
    The body of Sampras' work is impressive, but there are reasonable grounds for a person to take the opinion that he is not worthy of being in the conversation of perhaps being the very best there has ever been.

    People could point to Sampras' achievements and point out that anything he has in his favour has either been equalled or bettered by other players. These things are facts, and all that is left is how one interprets the facts.

    Someone like Bobby only has Federer, I believe, at around position 6-7 all-time. Such a position is reasonable and can be argued. It isn't ludicrous or unreasonable for somebody to think that Sampras or Federer or Nadal isn't in true contention for being the best that tennis has ever seen because there are many criteria by which a player can be judged, and there is no consensus and set in stone hierarchy or weightings for the manner in which achievements should be judged in the context of a player's career or against 'historical peers'. The nature of judgment in tennis is volatile and tumultuous at best, as new types of records of worth are achieved by new generations which offer increasingly new and different slants on the value and importance of not only current achievements, but achievements long past. The ephemeral nature of tennis, its paradigms and its tour structures virtually guarantees that the future of tennis judgment will become increasingly bifurcated and convoluted, as to maintain pertinence to the differing eras. As such, a common thread for greatness among experts may have to be found due to the natural affinity for the human race to find law and order among confusion (think of the increasingly particular categorisation of popular music forms). There will be a quest to find common ground for judgment and it has already begun, with the result being that greats who achieved most of their legacy before the Open Era are largely being neglected for no particularly good reason whatsoever -- in this sense, Laver is standing barely on one leg, relying on his Open Era Slam for legacy: at least according to the pseudo-experts, who unfortunately permeate the common perception of tennis more than the true experts, who of course give fair evaluation to those greats of even older times.

    In the quest for some sort of all encompassing tennis truth, I suspect that the tennis realm will have to concede that the intense stratification that is inherent to tennis produces a historical landscape that is too fractured to be accounted for, and thus each best great of what will be deemed significant eras (which will be most) will be given their due as the potential 'best ever' unless one or two statistical anomalies come along that clearly shunt the current GOATherd into oblivion (which is indeed possible).

    If rapid changes in tennis cease in terms of the tour structure for a long enough period, there will be a clearly demarcated time-frame in which greats will be given biased treatment over past greats due to consistency of evidence along a common thread.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2014
  6. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    Open Era majors are harder to win than pro slams. Playing 4 majors a year not 3 would probably balance this out though and give them similar totals to what they have now. Minus the amateur slams of course ;)

    Nathaniel: I don't think Sampras is in contention for the very best of all time. Not with his record on clay and general lack of complete dominance. But he's certainly a top tier great who is often overlooked.
     
  7. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    I didn't use the word superhuman, pc1 did, in a remark to insult Sampras, apropos of nothing.

    I know that those players weren't allowed to enter as many majors, however, we don't actually know how many majors they would have won, if they had competed in full fields.

    When you "assume", you make an *** of you and me. :)

    I dislike hypotheticals which gift full-field majors to greats of the past - and that's before pointing out that the "full field" available in Tilden's time was much lesser than that in Sampras' time (i.e. only dominated by a few countries). So even if he had won 20+ majors then, I'm not sure it would make him greater than Sampras.

    Full-field majors are harder to win than pro or amateur majors, so we can't just add up totals and assume comparability, i.e. say that Rosewall has 23 majors (the total should be lowered by some percentage to account for the fact that most were not full-field, and of course - he never won Wimbledon!)

    How is it at all bold?

    He holds the all-time Wimbledon record, the Open Era record for consecutive years as #1 (and again, we don't know if Gonzales would have had more consecutive yrs as #1, if he'd faced the full field), and the second highest number of majors in the Open Era.

    His only weakness was failing to win the French.

    It's only anti-Sampras anoraks like pc1 who come up with frankly irrelevant statistics like percentage of matches/tournaments won (which Sampras and most fans don't care about) to try and state that he wasn't really that great.
     
  8. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    I concede he is not GOAT due to his failure on clay.

    But to exclude him from the conversation due to percentages of matches/tournaments won is biased.

    6 straight years as #1 in a full field.
     
  9. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near Talk Tennis Guru

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    Relax folks, ...
    And it is down to an individual how they judge various factors.

    Not everybody will lump Sampras in a tennis 'tier 1' and could have legitimate reasons for saying so.
     
  10. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near Talk Tennis Guru

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    Relax folks, ...
    Really, that's interesting. So Sampras isn't a GOAT contender then in your eyes. He is not in contention for being THE best player in history.

    He's just outside, and you concede it. Personally to you, Sampras is in no shout the GOAT.

    Indeed, 6 straight years against a full field. Doesn't take away anything from what I posted though, which is that you will find people who will argue against this and throw out the names Gonzales and Laver for 'consecutive years as best player' debates.
     
  11. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    I disagree with this line of thinking, there is a point where opinions become unreasonable. Sampras was the greatest player of the Open Era up until Federer with only Borg potentially challenging his claim. I don't think tennis players have been generally getting worse over the years.
     
  12. NonP

    NonP Professional

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    This reasoning is usually put forth to argue weeks at #1 > years at #1 , but it's really a fallacy (or two) of self-contradiction and question-begging. A few (counter)points:

    - The assumption here is that the official rankings are a fair and accurate way to assess players' results and achievements, but of course that has been far from the case at certain moments in the past and likely in the future. Connors for one ended 1977 as #1 but many if not most would rank Borg or Vilas higher, especially because the American failed to win a single major that year (though he did win the YEC). And Sampras might have lost his #1 ranking intermittently during his dominance, but if you take a closer look it becomes highly debatable whether those who briefly snatched the top spot deserved it. For example Muster would've almost certainly ranked below Pete under today's system where all but one of the 9 Masters events are mandatory and one can't rack up points by playing minor events instead (though to be fair Muster did defeat Pete en route to his Essen title, on carpet of all surfaces no less). In fact the only guys I do think have a strong case are Agassi before the '95 USO and Rafter after the summer of '98.

    There's a reason why fans continue to debate the year-end rankings for all but the most clear-cut cases. If you want to hold up the weeks at #1 as some sort of a gold standard you should apply the same scrutiny to each one of the weekly rankings as we do to the year-end ones, and to my knowledge no one has taken such a thorough look, with good reason.

    - The irony that's frankly lost on those who attempt to downgrade the year-end rankings is that they're based on the same 52-week framework that their preferred weekly rankings are. This isn't unlike the other familiar discussion about the calendar Grand Slam: why use an arbitrary ending point for four Slams in a row? The odds should be the same no matter what sequence you achieve it, no? Well, if you put it that way, then why are we focusing on the majors alone? What about other big events? After all they attract pretty much the same field of players, don't they? In fact one could argue they're more difficult to win than the majors, since their best-of-3 format is more conducive to upsets.

    Now the familiar response would be, but the majors are more prestigious. OK, but what about the prestige of the year-end rankings? And why stop at 52 weeks? Why not 100, 150 or even 200 weeks? Or on the flip side of the coin why not use 10, 20 or 30 weeks? Surely they're more "fine grained" than 52 weeks, no?

    - Another bit of irony: Sampras entered all those minor events near the end of 1998 precisely because Rios had won enough of them to be ranked No. 1 despite never winning the most important one of them all. And Pete did it to get that year-end No. 1 ranking, most likely he wouldn't have taken such drastic measures earlier in the year.

    The value of year-end rankings like many other time-honored institutions didn't establish itself on its own by accident. There's a reason why annual reviews and evaluations tend to take place at the year-end, and the same holds true for tennis.

    I'd say yes. If I were to take this analogy further I could say nobody cares how far behind you were in a race as long as you finish first.

    On this I agree.

    pc1, I see your point that 200 tournament titles are fantastic under any circumstances, but I must say your argument isn't a strong one. Consider this scenario: Emerson (or whoever else) is on his way to his 12th major title, but instead of stopping there he goes on to win 18 more majors because the Open era never comes about, so he never gets to compete against Laver, Rosewall and other best pros. So now he's got a whopping 30 major titles in his bag. Regardless of the amateur/pro split this is truly an impressive number, and one that his supporters could use to tout him as the GOAT. But is it a rock-solid case? No, because there's that lingering doubt about his career-long amateur status. The vast majority of fans may well consider him the GOAT in this case, but that won't mean much unless they understand that Emerson never got to compete against the very best pros.

    Laver's 200 titles as a number aren't so different. Yes, the number shows his dominance and is unlikely to be ever equaled, but I wouldn't use it as the great achievement by Laver because, as others have pointed out, it's virtually (if not literally) impossible to enter 32 events in a single year today as Rod did in '69. And even if it was it wouldn't make for a useful comparison with today's title hauls, because that'd be like penalizing the current players for not working in sweat shop-like conditions. And I make this analogy deliberately, because the pro tour back then was indeed a virtual sweat shop, with nary a chance to rest between the events.

    I think if Laver is remembered at all 100 years from now for one thing it'll be his not one but two Grand Slams (I'd let people decide to use the '62 amateur GS or the '67 pro one), not his 200 tournament wins. The same reason why I think Fed would be remembered for his utter dominance especially at Wimbledon and the USO and Pete for his 6 official years as No. 1 rather than for their Slam totals, since the lack of opportunities to rack up Slam counts in the past makes for an inaccurate if not impossible comparison with their predecessors.
     
  13. NonP

    NonP Professional

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    I'm sure Pete couldn't care less what you and your ilk think. What matters is that he's in the conversation, and given what has passed for a discussion on this thread he still is.
     
  14. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near Talk Tennis Guru

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    Relax folks, ...
    Yes and you're perfectly within reason for doing so (disagreeing).

    I'm more liberal though and while I may disagree clearly with many people here, at the same time I can look at what they're saying and think: well that isn't so unreasonable, even if it disagrees violently with my own perception.

    That's me, though.

    Personally I certainly rate Sampras very highly. But if one was to ask me who is greater out of Borg, Sampras and Federer, I honestly couldn't give you a definitive answer, even subjectively. I can't even say... wellll objectively they are all in with a shout yadda yadda but to me Borg is the best!!

    Right now I can't judge this, and one of those players is still currently active.

    I'm a prolific fence-sitter.
     
  15. NonP

    NonP Professional

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    I'd say 7 straight (including '99). The only guys I can see having dominated longer (or at least with more years as #1) are Tilden, Gonzales and Laver. Of course comparison with these old-timers is tricky due to the amateur/pro split and the different formats (pro tours with extensive H2Hs, for example).

    I don't try to rank these guys one by one myself. My own method for the GOAT ranking is to see if these guys hold at least one big record (of course it's debatable whether it's a true record or not), and if they do I put 'em in the top tier. The following candidates qualify:

    Tilden - unreal dominance in the amateur league (which was "amateur" in name only because most of the best players then weren't pros)
    Gonzales - arguably the most # of years as the world No. 1 in history
    Rosewall - the longevity GOAT (Tilden and Gonzales being the only serious challengers), with perhaps the most # of majors/equivalents to boot
    Laver - still the only one in the Open era with THE Grand Slam (and IMO the only GOAT candidate, maybe apart from Tilden, without a glaring blemish in his resume)
    Borg - 3 consecutive Channel Slams
    Sampras - 6 (though I'd say 7) consecutive No. 1 years in the Open era
    Federer - Open-era record 17 majors, and 5-peats at Wimbledon and the US Open
    Nadal - the only player in the Open era to have won at least one major 9 years in a row, and also one of the 4 majors 8 times (and possibly counting)

    Basically I like your idea of fence-sitting. :)
     
  16. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Pretty convincing post.
     
  17. poofytail

    poofytail Banned

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    I agree Sampras is definitely not top 3 all time. Phoenix1983 is the only one I have seen recently who ever put him that high. How can be top 3 all time when most have Laver, Federer, Gonzales, Nadal, Borg, all above him. Rosewall should be too but is so underrated maybe he isnt. In any case even if you argued Sampras being ahead of 1 or 2 of those 5 who the vast majority have him below, it is hard to see him being above 3 of those. Like most things Phoenix is living in his little fantasy land on that one. Sampras was probably considered top 3 all time right after he retired but with Federer eclipsing all his most important records, and several more guys excelling across all sufaces (even in this homogenizd courts era) he definitely isnt anymore.

    The more knowledgable people in the Former Pro section have all done extensive Sampras vs Borg breakdowns and I have yet to see one yet that could come to a logical conclusion that Sampras deserves to be above, even by those who like him more.
     
  18. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    You have great arguments against the ranking system but these arguments weaken both the YE ranking and the weekly ranking.

    But the main point which has already been made by other, AND by yourself, is that the year-end conclusion is purely arbitrary in tennis, and that this is not the case in most of the other sport which do not use a rolling system but a yearly race.
     
  19. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    urban, I agree that those Three could be the greatest in history. But I yet doubt it because then we were forced to exclude Rosewall from the Fabulous Four who incidentally are Bud's actual GOAT candidates. Rosewall happens to mostly being forgotten in the GOAT discussions, maybe also a bit in pc1's newest postings...

    My problem with pc1 was that he (by the way, one of the very best in this forum, just like you among others) claimed in clear words that Laver's 200 titles' feat separates The Rocket from the rest of the pack even though I mentioned one reason why Laver is leading in that parameter so distinctly.

    pc1 by his claim also (directly or indirectly) suggested that the 200 feat (besides of Rod's other great feats) is the deciding proof that Laver is the GOAT!

    Even more confusions began when pc1 repeated his older statement in his next post but using other words (but which meant the SAME), suggesting that I would have misinterpreted his first version (pc1 in the second post: "I did not say 200 makes him definitely better than the pack"). In fact I did not misinterpret it at all. pc1 obviously both confirmed his older statement (in form of a contradiction towards me and useing slightly different words) and at the same time tried to dissociate himself from his own earlier statement...

    I still don't know if pc1 means that Rosewall's 9 major series also separates Muscles from the rest of the pack...

    urban, When writing my rigid, critisizing (pc1 has difficulties to deal with contradictions and critics) and partly sarcastic newest postings in response to pc1, I was aware that I almost would make a sacrileg as pc1 has high reputation on Talk Tennis.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2014
  20. NonP

    NonP Professional

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    Nobody is completely objective (well, except maybe krosero), and it's certainly arguable that the old-timers won more majors/equivalents than Sampras. How is it an "insult" to simply point this out by saying 14 isn't such a "superhuman" number?

    The actual totals don't matter much, and it'd be useful if people stopped playing this pointless exercise. What's clear from looking at their biggest titles is that they dominated their competition roughly as much as Pete dominated his. Why waste time splitting hairs?

    Why, thank you urban. I know you haven't always found my posts all that convincing. :twisted:
     
  21. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    ^ When all is said and done, and whomever we personally argue for as GOAT, these 8 players are Tier 1.

    Going back to the theme of the thread, I would hope that the lesser-recognised players of this group (Gonzales, in particular, and Rosewall) do get their due in the public GOAT lists that are made. So that these 8 are recognised as the top 8 of all time, in whatever order.

    Then as new legends emerge, hopefully in 40 years or so we can have a top 10 which is all definitively Tier 1, rather than having to pad it out with players who are great, but not all-time immortals (i.e. the likes of Budge/Lendl/Connors/Kramer).
     
  22. poofytail

    poofytail Banned

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    I believe Phoenix even places Sampras 3rd and Borg 8th. Too funny for words.
     
  23. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    There are many arguments for Sampras being in the top 3 all-time, but there's no point stating them (again) to you, because all you're interested in doing is trolling, with comments like the one I'm quoting.
     
  24. NonP

    NonP Professional

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    Actually my point was that the year-end point is NOT arbitrary. Why do you think a 52-week (not a random number) rolling system has existed for so long? What's in fact arbitrary is downgrading the importance of one time-honored institution while embracing another. That's the irony and self-contradiction I talked about.

    Also these arguments weaken the value of the official rankings. One can and does have different criteria for their own rankings, and with good reason.
     
  25. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    3rd and 7th, actually.

    What's funny about it? Borg being placed above Sampras is based purely on hypotheticals about how much he would have won, or about his percentages (artificially inflated due to a career which ended abruptly in his mid-20s).

    Sampras has more majors, more YECs, more time as No 1 (even allowing for the extra weeks Borg should have had, when Connors was the bogus No 1), and both of them have a hole on their resume at a major (FO and USO respectively). Borg arguably has greater versatility but Sampras has greater longevity for sure.
     
  26. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    What i can read in pc 1 posts, is, that he is defending Rosewall`s status and legacy all the time - and rightly so. But he is also right, by pointing to great records of other players, without relating these records to Rosewall. Fact is, that Rosewall has many longevity records as no other players, being in the top for more than 20 years and winning majors from 1952-1972, and reaching Wim finals 20 years apart. Its mindblowing, that it was the same Rosewall in both years, when1954 Puskas played with Hungary against Fritz Walter and Germany, and in 1974, Cruyff played against Beckenbauer.
    But fact is also, that Laver won these 200 titles fair and square in a shorter span of time. He didn't stay amateur, to get a free ride on the majors, but went to the rough pro tour, and saved it from extinction, before the game went open. And he won alot of open titles gainst the full field too.
     
  27. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    I have not all posts on my monitor, and i must say i have simply forgotten many.
     
  28. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    I'll be blunt here :

    anyone who 'equates' borg's failure at the USO to sampras' at the RG really doesn't understand tennis well ....


    borg was proficient at the USO - made 4 finals there .... 3 of the 4 since it switched to deco-turf. He was just unlucky there ( balanced somewhat by some luck at Wimbledon ) , including having 2 of the greatest USO players across the net on all those occasions

    sampras in contrast made only one SF at RG ...

    borg was way more dominant in his best years --- throughout the year .... the only one apart from federer in the open era -- at both slams and smaller events .....

    Honestly, you could argue for both ...
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2014
  29. NonP

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    Speaking of irony...

    With all due respect, Bobby, you of all people shouldn't be criticizing others for being oversensitive to criticisms. I mean, come on!

    It's not based on hypotheticals. In Borg's heyday the AO was a 2nd-tier event and it hardly matters that he never racked up titles there. The YEC (now WTF--a funny acronym, BTW) on the other hand was often considered the 4th major, and Borg did win it twice, and in convincing fashion to boot.

    Also I remember borg number one once arguing very persuasively that Borg's percentages wouldn't have gone down a whole lot in his later years. And Borg was definitely stronger on his worst surface than Pete on his (though his actual clay-court prowess tends to get underrated). Basically Borg was the Federer of his day before Fed came along.

    All definitely points for Sampras, yes. But not necessarily enough to override Borg's superiority in other areas.
     
  30. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    I'll just say pc1 IMO way over-rates the importance of no of titles and under-rates the importance of weeks/years at #1.

    About Laver's 200 tournaments, I really haven't done an in-depth study of those , including the 60+ in the open era ....... maybe when I do ......
     
  31. poofytail

    poofytail Banned

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    The probably with weeks at #1 though is:

    1. They didnt even exist until 1975. How can you compare that stat for Laver, Gonzales, Rosewall, Tilden, Budge and many others.

    2. In reference to some people, but Borg imparticular, there is no way to look at his weeks at #1 as a valid total. Connors spent far more time at #1 than Borg, even though most everyone believes Borg was the best player of that era and the best in the world a longer period of time than Connors was. There are lesser instances too like Nadal getting credited for only about 10 weeks at #1 in 2013 despite clearly being the best player that year, but the Borg case is really extreme. Connors was #1 all but 1 week until sometime in mid 1979 (from when he first took it sometime in 1974) and that was plainly put crazy and an injustice to Borg (and others such as Vilas and Ashe), and cant be even partially reflected to reality.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2014
  32. NonP

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    I really don't think that's necessary, again for the simple reason that it was all but impossible to rack up that many titles in more recent years. I mean, players don't even enter 18 events in a single year these days, let alone win them all.

    And even if that were possible it'd be a quixotic undertaking now. You can't penalize today's tour for not being jam-packed with mandatory work like a sweat shop, just as you can't penalize yesterday's system for featuring one-on-one tours. Again the important thing is having some common frame of reference, otherwise comparisons are futile.
     
  33. poofytail

    poofytail Banned

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    I agree it is impossible to compare tournament win totals of players from the pre Open Era days to today, or even the wood racquet days. Even Evert and Navratilova both have around 160 titles which would be impossible today. If they played in even the Graf era instead, they would have never won that many. It isnt about competition so much as the physicality of the game and the excessive # of touranments on hard courts make it impossible for players to have careers that long and play that regularly staying injury free.
     
  34. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near Talk Tennis Guru

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    Relax folks, ...
    It is not necessary that there needs to be a top 10 rather than a top 8, Phoenix. Ultimately, another 40 years on from that eventual top 10, it would either have to be a top 12 or people are going to have very serious arguments. ;)

    10 is just a pretty figure, but overrated.
     
  35. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    I was actually saying it was unreasonable for Sampras to NOT be in tier one. You're a good poster so I'm going to refrain from saying anything other than try reading the surrounding discussion before using words like ilk to describe me.
     
  36. NonP

    NonP Professional

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    My apologies, NatF. I was skimming the thread and it does look like I misunderstood you.

    BobbyOne, on the other hand.... :twisted:
     
  37. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near Talk Tennis Guru

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    Relax folks, ...
    NatF is an excellent poster, so his 'ilk' should be much sought after.

    To be honest, you're all good here, but at the same time many of us have strong opinions, so though we may bump heads: all is fair in love and war (within reason).

    On the whole, what is produced is a fertile and rich base for discussion because people have varied and thorough viewpoints to bring to the fore.


    Kudos.
     
  38. poofytail

    poofytail Banned

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    I agree Sampras is tier 1. This is tier 1 in no particular order IMO:

    Borg
    Nadal
    Tilden
    Laver
    Gonzales
    Sampras
    Federer
    Rosewall

    I could argue Budge too I guess. Being tier 1 does not mean you could be seriously argued as the GOAT though IMO.
     
  39. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near Talk Tennis Guru

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    Relax folks, ...
  40. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    Yes, every reasonable poster agrees that those eight players listed are Tier 1.

    Budge, I used to rate higher than Tilden, but I've since realised that his 1938 CYGS is overrated, due to other greats i.e. Perry and Vines being on the pro tour at that time. Mind you, his career was truncated due to WWII, so who knows if he'd have gone on to dominate against those pros - but again, we can't base rankings on hypotheticals.

    I also agree with you that not everyone in Tier 1 can be the GOAT. For me, it is one of only two men (Federer or Laver).
     
  41. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near Talk Tennis Guru

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    Relax folks, ...
    Fascinating to consider.
     
  42. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    Its ok NonP, these things happen. Perhaps I should write longer posts so my meaning is easier to infer ;)

    Thanks Nathaniel, appreciate that coming from a fine poster such as yourself.

    This sub forum surely does have some great posters...and some not so great ones on occasion. There's certainly better discussion to be had here generally speaking. It's often not as petty as the GPPD.
     
  43. NonP

    NonP Professional

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    Nah, brevity is cool. Only Tym/ClairHarmony is allowed to write Tolstoyan dissertations here.

    Agreed.
     
  44. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Because it wasn't meant as a cheap shot. See my response to NonP below in bold. It's just that I thought as NonP thought that the seven straight years at number one is a better example of the Sampras greatness. You see when I used the term superman, I defined it as setting records that seem impossible to break. Since Sampras' record of 14 has been broken by a decent number and probably will be surpassed by Nadal, how is it a superhuman record. The record didn't even last a decade. Don't read too much into it. I could point out records of Laver that are easily broken or Tilden or Gonzalez or Nadal. That's an easy example because it didn't last. It's just opinion I was giving on what's the most impressive feat by certain greats.
    NonP,

    I agree with Urban that you're a superb poster. By the way when I used the term superman, it was in reference to setting records that are seemingly unbreakable. The Sampras record was used as an example because it is already broken by a fellow named Federer and I think a lefty named Nadal may surpassed it also. The record I would use for Sampras is the one you mentioned above, the seven straight years at number one. No one can say 14 is an unbreakable number because it's broken already by a good amount I might add. People are too sensitive. I like Sampras and I like his attacking game.

    With Laver oddly enough I feel his two Grand Slams are more breakable than his 200 tournament wins. That's why I pick 200 tournament wins. Whether it's different conditions or not the number is hard to beat because it's a lifetime of work and entering a lot of tournament. But it's opinion.

    It's just opinion I was giving on what's the most impressive feat by certain greats.

    Abmk,

    It was a number I thought that would be impressive to the layman tennis fan a century from now. There's no need for deep analysis or thought. It looks impressive like Cy Young's 511 wins in baseball. You're doing too deep an analysis on this. It's opinion and you could pick something else. It's not really that important. I just think it's the toughest record of Laver's to break. I think his two Grand Slams are more vulnerable but that's just my opinion.

    This reminds me how the French deeply analyze the depth and meaning behind Jerry Lewis films when Jerry Lewis said all he wanted to do was be funny.
    http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2013/07/french-love-jerry-lewis-paris
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2014
  45. DMP

    DMP Semi-Pro

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    I am going to get something off my chest because it is something that really, really, bugs me, and that is 'Year End #1' as an achievement. For the reasons I (and others) have given before I think it is a highly flawed, indeed for me a Mickey Mouse achievement because a player can choose to scurry around and play minor tournaments to get past another player, who chooses not to bother.

    The important measure IMO is who was #1 for the year, because tennis naturally has a repeating yearly cycle, like many sports. If you want a measure of who was #1 for the year, then the correct metric is 'Who won The Race for the year' ie who amassed the most points in the year NOT who was the year end #1.

    Unlike many others I think that the ATP actually have thought through how tennis achievements should be measured, and their points allocation system is a pretty good measure of who was best in a year since 1990 when the system we basically see now was set up. I don't see many glaring anomalies. Which is why I think we can actually use things like weeks at # 1 as good measures since 1990. (and why most posters on the GPPD forum are really talking about the Greatest Of the ATP Time).

    However...

    Given the uncertainty inherent in a human endeavour like tennis, I think you have to allow large large error bands on metrics, because you cannot be certain that conditions were always equal all the time. Hence, say, 15 majors and 14 majors does not make one player absolutely better than another. To me that says, within the uncertainty inherent in the game - they are roughly equal. Similarly if two players in a year have very nearly the same number of points, then to all intents and purposes they are equal. I certainly don't think you can say one is clearly better than the other.

    In that respect I give a lot of credibility to the judgements of the old tennis watchers like Bellamy and Tingay who saw a lot of tennis and weighed up in their minds the varying factors (quality of competition, important events, etc) and came to a judgement call. So while I think it is possible to use ATP statistics since 1990, to compare players, they should be treated as having definite margins for error. I would also like to see the same sort of judgements made about who was #1 on a year by year basis as were used by the old tennis watchers ( I know there are threads on that, with very good discussion).

    And finally...

    Coming back to YE #1. I see Sampras fans get the screaming fits if that metric is challenged. But he has plenty of years as #1 for the year. That is shown in his weeks at #1 statistic, and is what establishes him as a Tier 1 player. He was the dominant player of the 90s.

    Just do not use Year End #1 as the metric. It is a Mickey Mouse metric. Number One, or joint Number One, for the year is a metric with standing. So go away and work out how many years he was #1 for the year. And don't do it on the basis of YE #1!!!

    Got that off my chest!
     
  46. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    No one said it was superhuman, you introduced the word!

    I still think it's a more impressive number than you seem to give him credit for though. But we will have to agree to disagree. :twisted:
     
  47. NonP

    NonP Professional

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    Yes, I agree his straight years as #1 is a more unbreakable record than his # of major titles (well, given that the latter has already been broken).

    You really think Laver's two Grand Slams are so prone to be broken, pc1? Nobody else has yet to achieve a single one in the Open era, let alone two!

    I've already explained why I don't think his 200 titles should be held up as a point of reference, but if you disagree that's fine. It's still a very impressive number.

    Good to see you here, BTW. Did you enjoy the Sochi Olympics? I remember you telling me your wife is a big fan of figure skating. (I frankly didn't like the women's result at all. Wrote a bit about this on the Olympics thread in Odds & Ends, if you're interested.)

    DMP, you're one of the better posters so let me just repeat this: you cannot tout one yearly stat as a gold standard but then pooh-pooh another one without some justification, if the 52-week period is to serve as an important barometer at all. Your counterargument seems to be that focusing on the year-end rankings is missing the forest for the trees, since one can play minor events to rack up points and move past another player, but as I showed with the Sampras example reality is often the very opposite. If you go back and look carefully at the weekly rankings you'll see that very few lesser-known names managed to keep their #1 rankings at the end of the year, and that's really no accident. Why do you think people place so much emphasis on finishing a year on a high note? That's a question that those who downgrade the year-end rankings need to answer adequately.

    I certainly don't hide my Sampras fandom and prefer to think of myself as one of the fairer ones, but I don't remember throwing "screaming fits" like some of the fans. Also unlike them I think I've explained clearly why weeks as #1>YE #1 is a specious argument.

    I take it that you meant how many weeks as #1. That's far more work than anyone is willing to do I think, but if somebody's up to the task kudos to them.
     
  48. mattennis

    mattennis Hall of Fame

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    I am a bit confused with that paragraph. The player who is Year-End-Nº1 (for a given year) is exactly the player that amassed most points during that given year (i.e. what you seem to call "#1 for the year" or "The Race for the year"). It is exactly the same.

     
  49. DMP

    DMP Semi-Pro

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    I am going to start by apologising for having a bit of a rant above :). I really, really, hate YE #1, :) and how it is used.

    Anyway...the answer to your comment above is Yes you are right, but...

    To simplify things imagine 2 players A,B, and C. They compete for 36,000 ranking points in a year.

    Year 1: They have identical records and each gain 12,000 points, but player A chooses to play an extra small tournament and picks up 200 additional points. So they end up with A- 12,200 points, B- 12,000, C-12,000. Year end #1 is Player A.

    Year 2: Similar end of year, but this time player C plays a different extra tournament and gets an extra 200 points. So they end up with A- 12,000 points, B- 12,000, C-12,200. Year end #1 is Player C.

    Year 3: A repeat of Year 1

    Year 4: A repeat of Year 2.

    At the end of 4 years Player A has been YE #1 twice, and Player C also twice, but Player B has zero YE #1. Yet what is the real difference between the players?

    The flaw is that what you state is only true if they play exactly the same tournaments, and they don't have to. Hence you can get discrepancies like I describe above, and hence my intense dislike for YE # 1 as a metric, because it is flawed and because it is so often seen as a hard cut-off when differences between players can be small.

    Now in fact YE # 1 can be an accurate measure of who is the # for the year, but I am probably giving my age away because I much prefer the 'old' measure of Number One for the Year, and especially the argument for shared years, because I believe that is a more accurate representation of how things actually do work out.

    Rant over...:)
     
  50. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    Can you list some years where you feel co #1's would have been more appropriate? I'm quite interested in your opinion on this. I've often seen co #1 rankings pre rankings, but I wonder if there any years in the 80-00's where you see a co-#1 being more appropriate.
     

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