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Old 01-05-2010, 12:11 AM   #40
Nathaniel_Near's Avatar
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Originally Posted by Datacipher View Post
Well you are entitled to reason as you please, but I find it....unfathomable. There are millions MILLIONS of factors that go into winning a slam, on and OFF court. Even if we reduce the millions of off court reasons, we are left with innumerable on court reasons, opponents, draw, strategy, fitness.....if we eliminate all of those, and only think of strokes...well the forehand still wouldn't be at the top of the list. To say that this is a relevent factor in judging Federer's forehand as superior to Lendl'

Would you judge Edberg's serve as superior to Stich or Krajicek? Would you judge Federer's serve as superior to Ivanisevic's? Would you judge Federer's volleys as superior to Mcenroe's? Is Sampras fitter than Lendl?

Slams won is REALLY not a relevent factor on which to base any of these judgments. In the case of many of strokes (while posters nominations seem limited to slam winners), it is quite possible, and in many cases, likely, that some journeymen are in fact in the top 5.

I believe that you are looking at an area of comparison (slams won), which happens to coinicide with your opinon in the comparison of interest (forehand) and have irrationally decided to use the former to support the latter. I'd also suggest that your other self-directed suggestion (that you need to see some more of Lendl's forehand) would be far more fruitful in making your judgement!
Yes, there are millions of factors or whatever. I don't find your argument compelling here because none of those are tie-break situations. Goran's serve is clearly (to most) better than Federer's and McEnroe's volleys are clearly superior. In the case of a tie-break - which the debate about Federer's and Lendl's forehand more or less is - I will use such a factor to determine the likely hierarchy, and it is the slam count that I find to be the most compelling tie-breaker breaker, so to speak.

Pc1 mentioned some other possible aspects to consider that I also find compelling, such as overall tournaments won and winning percentage and such. Even all of these though have a zillion other contributing factors, of which I have never denied.

I definitely feel that discussions on such things do become relevant in the case of such a tie-breaker, even if ultimately actually 'judging' the parameters is still extremely difficult.

I have only seen a few hours of Lendl, and looking at the forehands side by side I feel Federer's was a little better; I feel he can do more with it. However I did not try to analyze this shot by shot and sort of put a tick to each new type of general forehand stroke each can produce. But then there is a big problem of gauging how big a difference technology has had, the eras, the players, court speeds, etc. It is all incredibly difficult to judge with certainty.

As for the italics; No. There is no confirmation bias here and I didn't actively look to seek out some statistic that bends the way of the word to favour one player in some sort of crude act of subjectivity. Plainly speaking it is the stat that compelled me the most and would have done regardless of if I was a bigger fan of Lendl than I am Federer or loved Lendl and hated fated, and such, etc.
"If you're gonna be 5'8'', you better not be bald, fat and drunk whilst asking to be put in the 'all-time great sportsman' conversation." - Zoid
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