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-   -   Does Kramer have a viable case as a GOAT contender? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=446845)

TheFifthSet 11-28-2012 07:36 PM

Does Kramer have a viable case as a GOAT contender?
 
Seems like he's not talked about enough for a guy that was the best in the world for such a long time.

timnz 11-28-2012 07:55 PM

Best guy in the world
 
He was the best player in the World for 1/2 a decade - late 40's and early 50's. It was his thrashing of Gonzales that pushed Gonzales to greatness.

Definitely should be on the radar.

Two other areas he should be recognized for:

- he set the standard for style of game (Serve and volley + % age tennis) that was the majority style until the end of the 70's - so basically 30 years.

- he was the guy that ran Pro tennis for the 1950's and was also heavily involved through through to the 70's.

Mustard 11-28-2012 08:40 PM

Jack Kramer is certainly a GOAT contender. As soon as WW2 ended, he became the dominant amateur player, turned professional and it didn't take him too long to get to grips with Bobby Riggs (the best professional player), and Kramer was soon beating Riggs at will with a relentless serve and volley game.

As an amateur, he won 2 US Championships and a Wimbledon title. As a professional, he won the 2 big tournaments with the US Pro at Forest Hills in 1948 and the Wembley Pro in 1949. More importantly, he was so brilliant on the world pro tours, thrashing players like Riggs in 1948, Gonzales in 1950, Segura in 1951, and edging a closely fought tour against a brilliant Sedgman in 1953. Injuries then put an end to his career, apart from those 1957 tours against Hoad and Rosewall.

Kramer was also legendary in other parts of tennis, on the promotional side, equipment side, commentator, and trade unionist with the ATP. He has to be one of the most influential figures in the history of men's tennis.

kiki 11-28-2012 10:39 PM

On court and off court combined Kramer is top 3 ever along Borg and Tilden
Those 3 took the game beyond what they had found when starting
TILDEN made it a popular sport beyond elite clubs and settled new tactical and tecnichal standarts
Kramer influenced 2 or 3 generations with The Big Game and % tennis,much helped by great and underrated Kramer mate,Tex Schroeder
He also developed pro tennis and tennis worldwide organization like no one else did and will do
And he prepared the way to the golden era and tennis star ststem explosion rhat Borg led, and Borg also influenced next 2-3 generations with top spin invention
All other players could be spendable in historics terms
But without the magic link Tilden-Kramer-Borg the game wouln not be what we have known and that puts them in their own league

pc1 11-29-2012 03:45 AM

At his best Kramer was fabulous. He defeated Riggs, Segura, Gonzalez and Sedgman fairly easily on tour. Yes I do think he is viable as a GOAT contender especially when you consider how long he was number one.

He didn't have the number of majors that the media and fans tends to fixate on today but it really wasn't as important in those days. He was the top player and that's all there was to it. Many people consider Kramer as the best player of all time including greats like Frank Sedgman.

Prodigy1234 11-29-2012 03:57 AM

According to an almanac I was reading, yes, because apparently he was world no.1 from 1929-2009. What a long career...

boredone3456 11-29-2012 04:42 AM

He is a case where majors won is by no means a fair criteria to represent his power or dominance. He beat everybody for years even if he did not enter or win the the pro majors all the time. Arguably WW2 stalled his rise in the game but he was a demon on court. I am not sure where on a list he would fit though.

Top 15? Does he really merit a top 10 spot?

On the promotional side the man was a genius, he took the game to all kinds of new levels and venues. Billie Jean King probably learned a thing or two from him he was a dynamo.

pc1 11-29-2012 04:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Prodigy1234 (Post 7037648)
According to an almanac I was reading, yes, because apparently he was world no.1 from 1929-2009. What a long career...

Interesting. I guess he beat everyone from Bill Tilden to Djokovic. :)

Dan Lobb 11-29-2012 07:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by boredone3456 (Post 7037685)
He is a case where majors won is by no means a fair criteria to represent his power or dominance. He beat everybody for years even if he did not enter or win the the pro majors all the time. Arguably WW2 stalled his rise in the game but he was a demon on court. I am not sure where on a list he would fit though.

Top 15? Does he really merit a top 10 spot?

On the promotional side the man was a genius, he took the game to all kinds of new levels and venues. Billie Jean King probably learned a thing or two from him he was a dynamo.

He skipped a lot of major events.
Lost a marathon five-set to Drobny at Wimbledon in 1946, skipped Wembley in the early fifties.
He could have done more.

urban 11-29-2012 08:21 AM

Some players of the 50s (Sedgman, Hoad, Segura) and some experts (Mezler, Flink) rank him above Gonzalez or Budge. He was one of the first, who played the Big Game. Its imo open to discussion when he did develop it, still as amateur or on the pro tour with Riggs. In clips of the 1947 Wimbledon he doesn't come to the net.
In a Tennis Magazin interview in the 80s he regretted somewhat, that he lacked a real rivalry with another great player. Budge was too old, and Gonzalez too young for him.
I have some problems with him, because imo he was very selective in his chosen play, selecting carefully his places and (fast) surfaces. He never played at RG as an amateur (Rosewall mentioned that in an interview with Eliot Berry), as a pro he chose his places on the one on one indoor series, and often skipped US pros or Wembleys. After his initial series win over Gonzalez he went out of a more experienced Gorgo's way a bit. He dominated the amateur scene, when the post War years still prevented a strong amateur field. He lost the fewest games in Wim history in 1947, but the Wim field was rather weak, while for instance the 1949 Wim field was very strong with matured players, and i would have loved to see Kramer against that kind of field (Schoeder, Sedgman, Drobny, Gonzalez, Patty, McGregor and others). He also dominated the pro scene, but it was not the class field of the later 50s or the 60s. I think, that other pro champs like Gonzalez, Rosewall or Laver put their b... more on the line over a longer period of time and on a more consistent basis.

mmk 11-29-2012 08:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pc1 (Post 7037686)
Interesting. I guess he beat everyone from Bill Tilden to Djokovic. :)

Well, he never lost to Djokovic or Fed or Nadal

TMF 11-29-2012 08:54 AM

Wasn't Kramer career was during and after WWII? That was the time when athletes(especially international sport) are not interested because of the war and post war reconstruction. Even athletes have to join the military to fight for their countries.

kiki 11-29-2012 10:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TMF (Post 7038025)
Wasn't Kramer career was during and after WWII? That was the time when athletes(especially international sport) are not interested because of the war and post war reconstruction. Even athletes have to join the military to fight for their countries.

In switzerland men serve in the army till 45 or 50 for some weeks per year
Is Federer doing that?

Mustard 11-29-2012 10:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by urban (Post 7037969)
Some players of the 50s (Sedgman, Hoad, Segura) and some experts (Mezler, Flink) rank him above Gonzalez or Budge.

I know that Sedgman and Riggs rank Kramer as the greatest. But I'm sure that I recall both Hoad and Segura ranking Gonzales as the greatest, especially Segura.

kiki 11-29-2012 10:40 AM

Kramer second ball and fh shot are all time classics
I always thought that Tex Schroeder, Kramer best mate was too much under hus great shadow
Why didn' t have much success in the pro when he was so good as an am?

LeeD 11-29-2012 10:44 AM

Would his Kramer racket and ProStaffs be the number one biggest selling rackets of all time?

Mustard 11-29-2012 11:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kiki (Post 7038221)
Kramer second ball and fh shot are all time classics
I always thought that Tex Schroeder, Kramer best mate was too much under hus great shadow
Why didn' t have much success in the pro when he was so good as an am?

I don't think Ted Schroeder ever did turn professional. He was going to, but lost to Gonzales in the 1949 US Championships final. Bobby Riggs reluctantly offered Pancho Gonzales the chance to turn professional and challenge Jack Kramer instead. Gonzales was married to Henrietta and had a young son, Richard Jr., and he needed the money, so he went pro.

forzamilan90 11-29-2012 12:33 PM

Respect what he did for the game, but this guy doesn't have GOAT credentials

pc1 11-29-2012 02:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kiki (Post 7038221)
Kramer second ball and fh shot are all time classics
I always thought that Tex Schroeder, Kramer best mate was too much under hus great shadow
Why didn' t have much success in the pro when he was so good as an am?

No just the second serve but his first serve was also considered to be superb, perhaps slightly below the level of Gonzalez. His second serve was considered to be the best of all time by many. His volley was strong and penetrating and was considered only slightly below that of Frank Sedgman, who is arguably the best volleyer of all time.

Just to show how great he was, Kramer still holds the record for fewest games lost at Wimbledon.

Here's the game scores
1. 6-0 6-1 6-0
2. 6-2 6-2 6-2
3. 6-0 6-2 6-0
4. 7-5 6-2 6-3
5. 6-0 6-1 6-3
6. 6-1 3-6 6-1 6-0
7. 6-1 6-3 6-2

That's pretty awesome on fast uneven bounce grass.
Quote:

Originally Posted by forzamilan90 (Post 7038467)
Respect what he did for the game, but this guy doesn't have GOAT credentials


What are credentials? The guy had the credentials to be the best in the world for years and arguably at his best he was the best ever. He beat Segura, Riggs, Sedgman and a young Pancho Gonzalez (who still was a superb player but not quite THE Gonzalez) on tour and beat them easily. And he won a number of Pro Majors. He won three classic majors and that was with an interruption due to World War II. Now to be fair I don't think he was the GOAT but I think he does have a case for it. I think Kramer is superior to players like Roy Emerson, Agassi, Ashe, Nastase, Smith, Vilas, Roche and he has a case over any player including Laver, Federer, Connors, Tilden Gonzalez etc. He is one of the few you can argue to be the GOAT without it being a stupid argument.

BobbyOne 11-29-2012 03:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pc1 (Post 7038646)
No just the second serve but his first serve was also considered to be superb, perhaps slightly below the level of Gonzalez. His second serve was considered to be the best of all time by many. His volley was strong and penetrating and was considered only slightly below that of Frank Sedgman, who is arguably the best volleyer of all time.

Just to show how great he was, Kramer still holds the record for fewest games lost at Wimbledon.

Here's the game scores
1. 6-0 6-1 6-0
2. 6-2 6-2 6-2
3. 6-0 6-2 6-0
4. 7-5 6-2 6-3
5. 6-0 6-1 6-3
6. 6-1 3-6 6-1 6-0
7. 6-1 6-3 6-2

That's pretty awesome on fast uneven bounce grass.



What are credentials? The guy had the credentials to be the best in the world for years and arguably at his best he was the best ever. He beat Segura, Riggs, Sedgman and a young Pancho Gonzalez (who still was a superb player but not quite THE Gonzalez) on tour and beat them easily. And he won a number of Pro Majors. He won three classic majors and that was with an interruption due to World War II. Now to be fair I don't think he was the GOAT but I think he does have a case for it. I think Kramer is superior to players like Roy Emerson, Agassi, Ashe, Nastase, Smith, Vilas, Roche and he has a case over any player including Laver, Federer, Connors, Tilden Gonzalez etc. He is one of the few you can argue to be the GOAT without it being a stupid argument.

pc1, I rank Kramer in a group with McEnroe, Vines, Lendl and Hoad regarding achievements, just behind first tier (Tilden, Gonzalez, Rosewall, and Laver) and behind Borg, Sampras and Federer.


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