Originally Posted by Steve132
Federer's 62 tournament titles include 16 majors, 16 Masters titles and 4 year end championships. Most tennis analysts consider his achievements to be more remarkable than those of either Connors or Lendl.
The structure of today's game encourages players to be far more focused on winning big events than on piling up victories in Mickey Mouse tournaments. As such, you can't use number of tournaments won to compare players across generations.
Well I think the lead up tournaments is more due to a concerted effort between the WTA/ATP and ITF to "play nice" with each other. The effort is from a combined need for both to maximize earnings rather than competing with one another. I think the pros themselves suffer from a monopoly of sorts. The WCT was great for the pros who signed.
With regard to Connors and Lendl, sadly they fall into the category as any other sports legend. Time dimishes their achievements. I think that Connors and Lendl were extraordinary champions in their own rights and contributed far more to the game than today's players. Connors is almost single handedly responsible for the tennis boom of the 70s (well he and Evert) IMO. No other pro until Borg/McEnroe drew the attention and ratings that Connors did. And, for all the talk of his brashness, in his early career, he was a consummate professional when playing singles. His singleminded purpose was winning a match as one-sided as he could.
I think pros of the first twenty years of Open tennis had way more to deal with. Their schedules were predicated on need, not achievement and they didn't have agents or entourages. The travel they endured was more hectic and last minute.
Tennis is still a relatively new professional sport and IMO still experiencing growing pains.