Why Borg is the definitive Open Era GOAT

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by smoledman, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Do you know how good Connors was, or did you just look at 8 majors? Connors won 98 matches at the US Open and 84 matches at Wimbledon. Who else has?
     
    #51
  2. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Not winning the US Open is the only blemish on Borg's record, but it's not as if he flopped there. He beat Connors there in 1981, beat Tanner there in 1980 and 1981, i.e. men who had beaten Borg at the US Open before.
     
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  3. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Who else has five wo and six fo?, surely the two greatest and then most contrasting tournaments in the world, so he's clearly ahead of everyone excpet perhaps Laver and Federer.
     
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  4. dafinch

    dafinch Banned

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    Didn't say that he DID flop, but, as far as GOAT status, I like WINNERS, or, as Connors said after winning Wimbledon, "127 losers and me."
     
    #54
  5. ARFED

    ARFED Semi-Pro

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    Well Federer faced Sampras, Agassi, Kuerten, Rios, Moya, Rafter, Kafelnikov, Hewitt, Ferrero, Safin, Roddick, Nalbandian, Coria, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray, Del Potro, Ferrer, etc. Just a walk in the park...

    And Agassi apparently didn`t have much trouble playing against Lendl, Wilander, Becker, Connors, Mc Enroe, Sampras, Ivanisevic, Stich, Courier, Chang, Rios, Edberg, Kafelnikov, Kuerten, Moya, Rafter, Safin, Federer, Hewitt, Roddick, Nadal, etc
     
    #55
  6. NEW_BORN

    NEW_BORN Professional

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    When you start with the name calling, it just makes you look like a GOOSEHEAD, wait a second...hey that's you :twisted:

    Anyway, in all seriousness everything i said in my first post is what i consider to be the most important character of a champion - recovering from setbacks.

    In Borg's case, he just couldn't find it in himself to keep fighting, regardless of whatever motivational reasons he had for quitting, all because he could no longer beat one guy. There's no sugarcoating the fact that he GAVE UP, unlike other champions of the past and present
     
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  7. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    You believe a legendary myth, I'm afraid. Borg didn't annouce his retirement from full-time tennis competition until January 1983. By then, McEnroe was about to lose to Lendl for the 7th time in a row, and wasn't a champion at any of the majors.

    Borg didn't play in 1982, apart from Monte Carlo and exhibitions, because he was involved in a dispute with the ITF over how many tournaments he would have to play. The ITF threatened to force Borg to qualify for the majors if he didn't play the required number of tournaments, so Borg didn't bother. It was expected that Borg would return to full-time competition for 1983, but then he made his retirement announcement in January 1983 during the Masters tournament.
     
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  8. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    I've heard it said that Borg walked out of tennis after the 1981 US Open. Do you believe that myth? Or do you believe the fact that Borg won his next tournament, on clay in Geneva?
     
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  9. NEW_BORN

    NEW_BORN Professional

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    Yeah but it doesn't change the fact that Borg couldn't will himself to play through these qualifying rounds (however humiliating it may be for a former champion) and fight back up to the top. Instead, he chose the easy way out, in my opinion.
     
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  10. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Easy way out? It was his decision - so he had the courage to do what felt right to him.
     
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  11. monfed

    monfed Guest

    That's one way of putting it.
     
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  12. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    To Borg's credit he might be the greatest combined grass and clay court player ever (although Laver and Rosewall would also have strong cases), and those were almosdt the only two surfaces of tennis for a long time. However he is not the Open Era GOAT. He clearly rates behind Federer, Sampras, and many would even rate him behind Nadal. Heck while he is probably the best player of his era, Connors even has him beat in many stats- more tournament wins, more slam semis (and I believe finals), alot more time at #1, alot more longevity in the game, slams on all surfaces, and Borg's slam wins lead might even be less or non existent if Connors played the French from 74-76 (I might be in the minority but I think he would have had a fighting shot those years).

    As for whether he quit tennis or not at 26, he didnt play anymore slams or major events so that essentialy equals up to quitting tennis. Sorry playing a few money exhibitions and making a few bad showings at Monte Carlo and nothing else is not exactly continuing a full time competitive tennis career. For whats its worth if Nadal never plays another slam (hugely unlikely but just putting out there) I would concur with the idea he basically quit tennis after Wimbledon last year, even though he played some rink de dink tournaments this year already.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 22, 2013
    #62
  13. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    My Open Era rankings would be:

    1. Federer
    2. Sampras
    3. Nadal
    4. Borg or Connors (toss up IMO)
    6. Laver (his 68 onward achievements only, taking his whole career he is the all time GOAT of course)
    7. McEnroe
    8. Agassi
    9. Lendl
    10. Djokovic
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 22, 2013
    #63
  14. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    I agree Federer is #1, and the rest fight for 2nd place. However, I can't see how Borg and Fed belongs on the same tier I great and Nadal is tier II great. The gap between Nadal/Borg is a lot closer than the gap between Federer/Borg. If one considered Borg is one tier above Nadal, certainly Federer has to be atleast 1 tier above Borg. It would make more sense that both Borg/Nadal are on the same tier while Fed is 1 tier above them.
     
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  15. dafinch

    dafinch Banned

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    It was is decision-so he had the cowardice to do what felt right to him.
     
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  16. mattennis

    mattennis Hall of Fame

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    Borg was, physically and mentally, one of the strongest (if not THE strongest) tennis player ever.

    It is incredible how cold and serene he was in the most tense and dramatic moments of a match.

    Probably the mentally strongest player ever, seriously. He was called "Ice Borg" for a reason.

    He didn't quit because of McEnroe, at all (their head to head was 7-7 without ANY match on clay, go figure).

    He was tired of the tour life. He was playing the tour since he was 15 (not only the sanctioned tournaments, but many many other invitational tournaments).

    It came a time when he felt he didn't want it anymore, simply that. He wasn't enjoying anymore, he felt nothing.

    When that happens, you can do nothing. You just don't feel the passion anymore.

    His mind was not there, in tennis, anymore.

    It was a pity, because level-wise, his tennis was probably at his very peak.

    In his 1981 Wimbledon final against McEnroe (Borg lost 6-4 6-7 6-7 4-6 ) Borg played probably better than McEnroe and better than how he played the year before (when he defeated McEnroe in that epic Wimbledon final 1-6 7-5 6-3 6-7 8-6 ). But this time Borg lost all the important points (something very strange, to all the witnesses, because Borg used to win 90% of the most important points of a close match).

    His 1981 US OPEN final was, possibly, the worst match he ever played in a big final. His mind wasn't there and it was, again to me and to all the witnesses there, a painful match to watch because every person knew that something was very wrong with Borg that day but nobody (then) was sure about what it was.

    I repeat, tennis-level-wise (and physically) he was at his very peak (during 1982, in some non-sanctioned tournaments, he played probably his best tennis-level ever. For example in the AKAI tournament of 1982 he played amazingly well, and almost for the first time, he was returning serve ON the baseline, and doing it so well, and hitting so hard and clean from the baseline, that many people thought those were new changes and improvements he was developing for the incoming 1983 season).

    Sadly it wasn't meant to be. His mind didn't want it anymore...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kger-33YtiY
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
    #66
  17. DropShotArtist

    DropShotArtist Banned

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    Yes you are correct, the more accurate list is:

    Tier 1: 1) Federer
    >
    > Big gap
    >
    Tier 2: 2) Borg, 3) Laver (including his whole career of course)
    Tier 3: 4) Sampras, 5) Nadal
    6) Agassi
    7) McEnroe
    8) Connors
    9) Lendl
    10) Djokovic
     
    #67
  18. tennisaddict

    tennisaddict G.O.A.T.

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    I think he had it in him to make a comeback at the majors, however it is a FACT that he didnt attempt it for whatever reason.

    So that takes him out of the GOAT discussion since he failed to win a USO.

    He remains the greatest clay plus grass player, for all those who want to slice and dice achievements.

    But you cannot be in the GOAT context, if you dont achieve a career slam. Same goes for Sampras.

    Look at Fed's FO record, even though he won only 1,he made like 5 finals as well. That along with 4 plus major wins at other majors makes him so much more superior than the field.
     
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  19. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Well I'm with you in that minority, Connors definitely had a good chance then!

    Don't forget Connors reached 4 Semi's and 3 Quarters at the French Open AFTER his best 5 years of his career. If he had played there when at his best, I think he would have won at least 1 French Open title, and don't forget the extra 3 or so Australian Open titles he would have probably won if he had played it more than 2 twice. Connors career really is underrated by many.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2013
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  20. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    how the hell is Laver ahead of Sampras and Nadal for open era, most of Laver's greatness is from before the open era. Good to know that one GS is worth more than entire careers of Sampras and Nadal. Incredibly shallow list.
     
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  21. DropShotArtist

    DropShotArtist Banned

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    Good point. I guess I didn't want to alienate the Laver fans.
     
    #71
  22. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Let's see, five consecutive Wimbledons and five consecutive U.S. Opens, 4 of which intertwine. Career slam (even if Borg didn't attempt AO, except that he did the year he won his first French, he failed to ever win the U.S. Open, so no hard court slam in his resume). 3 slams in three out of 4 years for Fed, with 2 slams the other year, all while holding the number 1 ranking like a total boss. Insane 18 out 19 finals in Grand slam level during prime. I mean, should I keep going, look at open era records on any website and you tell me what's the one name that is at the top or near the top in all statistical categories (even at FO Fed has one of the best records in terms of winning percentage).
     
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  23. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Laver is great no doubt, but let's be realistic, nostalgia really pumps through the veins of some of the more adamant Laver supporters around here, to the point where his feats are extremely overexercised and mythologized. If he doesn't end up in top t players of Open Era, that's just common sense, 4 slams achieved in open era doesn't warrant a top 5 finish (though it'd be funny if some of them try to make a case for it), with legends like Sampras and Nadal roaming about.
     
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  24. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    no Wimbledon
     
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  25. pug

    pug Semi-Pro

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    I'm not greatest player - Roger Federer


    "I don't feel better than anyone, because we need past champions to pave the way for our generation and we have become very professional," he said.


    "They have led the way and inspired myself and other players to chase the big records out there.


    "Back in the day they weren't doing that, they were just playing to play tennis. Things have changed dramatically with the press reminding us 'you should do this and win that and you'll be considered the greatest of all time'.


    "And anyway I don't think you can compare different eras in tennis."
     
    #75
  26. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    good to know that one great year in 1969 winning all 4 (plus that 1968 Wimbledon) eclipses the entire careers of McEnroe, Agassi, Lendl, and Djokovic. Earth shattering logic.
     
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  27. Goosehead

    Goosehead Hall of Fame

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    :)yes..and expanding on the borg/nadal theme..give a few days nadal is 30yrs yonger than borg (june 56/86) sooo>>>for BB 1981 read RN 2012,

    say after wimbledon 2012 his last major, lets say nadal played 2012 u s open and reached whatever round..after this he plays an atp250/500 tourney in europe which nadal wins..then plays a 250 event in japan which is what borg did at end 1981..(ironically event includes mcenroe)

    around about now in 2013 (for borg its now feb 1982)..tired of constant travel and play and wanting 'a life outside tennis'..nadal tells atp/majors he only wants to play a few tourneys this year (say 4 majors, clay masters, cincy 1000, and couple 250/500 on clay) and he will take the ranking hit that fewer tourneys might mean..

    atp/majors say if you want to play majors you have to go through the 3 qualifying rounds if you dont play in a min number of tourneys..nadal sees this as insulting/ non flexible / and argues for a bit in the spring of 2013 hoping for a change of heart so he could play FO, WIMB, 2013 but the tennis rulers dont budge so nadal is backed into a corner..the humiliation of having to qualify for majors he has won many times, and already world weary, demotivated, and an urge to live a more norman life, nadal decides he has had enough of arguing/tennis and dosnt play at all..

    discussions may/may not continue throughout 2014 and nadal enters exhib tourneys and trains with a view to coming back in 2014 playing a reduced calender..but atp still insist he has to qualify for majors..nadal announces retirement during AO 2014.(as borg did during world tour finals/masters in jan 1983).
     
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  28. Goosehead

    Goosehead Hall of Fame

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    i want this on a new page :neutral:
     
    #78
  29. Goosehead

    Goosehead Hall of Fame

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    :)..........:)
     
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  30. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Laver's record in the early 1970s was excellent too, even though his record in the majors that he played in surprisingly went to pot. He was by far the leading tournament and prize money winner in the early 1970s.
     
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  31. gsharma

    gsharma Professional

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    2) Nadal is not better on his weaker surface. Borg reached 4 USO finals arguably against a much superior crop of fast-court players and on a faster court. Nadal has reached two USO finals in an era where courts are much slower.
    4) Mac-Borg record is 13-11, with NO matches on clay. I wouldn't call it Borg not being able to figure out his rival. And Nadal's record against Joker is going to deteriorate, no question about it.
    5) Aus Open was not important back then

    In Borg's days, FO courts were watered after every set - hence, were extremely slow. And Wimbledon courts were extremely fast. Winning 3 channel slams is a HUGE accomplishment then.

    Nadal is a great champion but he's by no means ahead of Borg.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
    #81
  32. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    A player having a short career because of a burned out has only himself to blame. It's not the other players fault because they committed to play in their 30s. Borg had many chances to redeem himself by winning more slam especially USO, but he chose to quit, that's his problem. Many great athletes like Barry Sanders quit early and he doesn't get any more credit.

    Side note: Borg quit because people say he got tired of playing and dislike the schedule demanded by the tour. But let say Borg managed to beat Mac in 1981 Wimbledon and USO, you think he would still play? It's possible that he would, because winning motivates you, rather than getting burned out(as many have claimed).
     
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  33. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Agree. Laver isn't in the top 10 in the open era. After 1969, his best result at the slam was the QF. Even Nole is well superior over him.
     
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  34. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Borg reached 1 of those finals on clay so scratch that one. Yes he reached 1 more U.S Open final, but that doesnt overcome failure to win a title there in his peak years (and he wouldnt have won it any other year either when he couldnt even do it on clay, he was never doing it on hards those same years). The U.S Open courts today are not at all slow, this is a myth begun by Federer fans once his U.S Open dominance ended with age. The U.S Open is one of the few truly fast surfaces left on tour. The U.S Open field during Nadal's era is overall tougher, he faced 4 other U.S Open Champions (Federer, Murray, Del Potro, Djokovic) in or near their primes, and all of those besides Del Potro many times finalists there (well Murray for sure is going to be one).

    Borg failed at his 1 venue to try and win a major hard court event, while Nadal was successful at all 3 of the 4 venues he had a chance to (Olympics, U.S Open, Australian Open, WTF). Nadal was winning hard court Masters at 18, I am pretty sure he has won more Masters equivalents on hard courts, and while the clay and grass eras today are abysmal, the hard court event especialy in Nadal's prime years was very tough and overall much tougher than Borg's who mostly faced a non peaking Connors and pre prime McEnroe. Nadal is better than Borg on hard courts.
     
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  35. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Yes 5 majors including the Calendar Grand Slam > winning only 6-8 majors and never more than 2 in a single year (well apart from Djokovic). Hardly a revelation.
     
    #85
  36. Goosehead

    Goosehead Hall of Fame

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    wrong..borg said it himself..he had already lost intensity and desire which he was aware of in 1981, and wanted to step away from the tennis life full time.. thats why he wanted to play less in 1982 but he wasnt allowed to so he retired..

    no one is saying its not down to him, but he was pushed into retirement by the authorities, they should have let him play what he wanted and he would have faced the consequences with a drop in ranking..a bit like rafa now he is at no5 might play djoko/murr/fed in QF.

    a borg at world no5-10 rank and playing majors and a few masters wouldve been much better than what we ended up with which was no borg at all.
     
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  37. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    QFT. The Grand Slam is not the be-all and end-all which only few posters from planet believe. The GS is great but it's only one criteria. It would makes no difference in saying 302 weeks at #1 is the be-all and end-all. There's many achievements in tennis, and everything should be included with slam count being the most important criteria.
     
    #87
  38. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    He said he lost the intensity/desire and my point is that his losses to Mac at the slams was part of the reason how he felt about tennis and the decision. I'm not saying it has nothing to do with the schedule that he was forced to play. Had he won the USO maybe he would be willing to play more(we don't know). Perhaps it's a combination of both was the nail in the coffin.
     
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  39. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    No. Watch the 1981 Wimbledon final, and Borg doesn't have his usual clutchness. His retirement had nothing to do with McEnroe and the suggestion that it did is a total myth. As I have already mentioned, Borg announced his retirement from full-time tennis in January 1983, and at that time, McEnroe wasn't the champion at any of the majors, nor the holder of the WCT Dallas or Masters at MSG titles, and McEnroe was about to lose to Lendl for the 7th time in a row.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
    #89
  40. Fiji

    Fiji Legend

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    Borg never won the USO. He can't be Open era GOAT. Four finals and all lost. He never won a slam on hc. Sampras never won RG. Nadal never won the YEC. Lendl never won Wimbledon. Connors never won RG. Agassi had too many weak years, sabbaticals, lack of consistency. Most of Laver's career was before the Open era. McEnroe never won RG.

    Federer is the undisputed Open era GOAT.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
    #90
  41. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    The US Open had zero to do with Borg's retirement. Borg never had an obsession with winning the US Open like Lendl later did with Wimbledon. As I mentioned before, after the 1981 US Open, Borg won his next tournament on the clay-courts of Geneva. He didn't leave tennis after that US Open. At that stage, Borg wanted to reduce the number of Grand Prix tournaments that he played, while the ITF were pushing for him to play more in 1982.
     
    #91
  42. THUNDERVOLLEY

    THUNDERVOLLEY G.O.A.T.

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    Concentrated dominance at the year's majors is the most rare feat of all. Anyone--as evidenced by history--can win random majors over the years, but they were incapable of mastering the sport in the single year without missing a beat...the very reason Federer, Wilander, Sampras, Borg, et al, are not the GOAT like Laver. This is the reason Graf was already being referred to as GOAT for her Grand Slam victory, when she had many years of majors yet to win.
     
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  43. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    and you just keep thinking that.
     
    #93
  44. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Steve Flink has:

    Federer(1)
    Sampras(2)
    Laver(3).

    Graf(1)
    Martina(2)
    Chris Evert(3).
     
    #94
  45. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    I will. Believing reality rather than fantasy is always advisable IMO. I wonder how many people out there really believe that Sampras won the 2002 US Open and then retired right after?
     
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  46. Goosehead

    Goosehead Hall of Fame

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    we do know..winning or losing wasnt the main thing during the latter half of 1981, he said it was the actual tennis he wanted less of.
     
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  47. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    More like believing the reality of a few Borg groupies vs believing the real reality that even the great Bud Collins and Borgs close friend and archrival John McEnroe believe.
     
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  48. tennisaddict

    tennisaddict G.O.A.T.

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    Fed has highest number of weeks at number 1
    Fed has 5 finals at least at all majors
    Fed has 4 plus major wins on 3 of the 4 majors
    Fed has 3 more majors than his nerest. A player with 3 majors is of a very high calibre. So 3 majors gap is HUGE.
    Fed at 31 was number 1, during a time when three other super stars where at their prime age 24-26
    Fed has 7 wimbledons as opposed to Borg's 5.
    If not for Nadal, Fed will probably have twice the majors that Borg has.
    5 YEC

    Borg failed to win USO, that takes him out of any GOAT discussion.
    if Nadal won 14 FO, 2 wimbledon and 1 AO and had failed USO, he would still be rated less than Fed.

    FED is the undisputable GOAT for the near future.

    No one even comes close.

    Folks who think otherwise are deluded.
     
    #98
  49. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    You trust them as full-proof sources? When Borg was at the 2008 French Open to see Nadal vs. Federer, McEnroe asked Borg after the match if it was Borg's first appearance there since he last won the title in 1981, clearly expecting a yes reply, and Borg said yes. That is actually incorrect, as Borg was on commentary for a few years after that. I've heard Bud Collins say that Borg left Flushing Meadows in a car after losing in 1981, and exited tennis. The latter bit of that is clearly false, since Borg won a tournament on clay in Geneva straight after.

    There are lot of myths surrounding Borg's exit from tennis. One question that the people who believe that McEnroe drove Borg out of tennis can never answer is why did Borg wait until January 1983 to announce his retirement from full-time tennis competition, a time when McEnroe wasn't the reigning champion at any of the majors, nor the WCT Dallas or Masters at MSG titles. Heck, according to Bud Collins, Borg was long gone by January 1983, since he was supposed to have left tennis in September 1981.

    Sampras didn't announce his retirement until August 2003, almost a whole year after winning the 2002 US Open, yet there are many people out there who think that Sampras won the 2002 US Open and then retired almost immediately afterwards.
     
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  50. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2007
    Messages:
    26,802
    Location:
    Weak era
    Definite/undisputed? No but he's up there, personally If I had to pick the Open Era GOAT I'd probably go with Borg but Fed is close.
     

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