Originally Posted by Mustard
Why do you put Kodes in the same league as Vines? Vines won 3 amateur majors (1931 US Championships, 1932 Wimbledon and 1932 US Championships) and he also won 5 professional majors (1934 Wembley Pro, 1935 French Pro, 1935 Wembley Pro, 1936 Wembley Pro and 1939 US Pro). Vines was clearly the world's best player from 1934-1938, with Hans Nusslein and Bill Tilden as his greatest challengers, before Budge overtook Vines in 1939 due to greater consistency. Even then, Vines' peak game was still considered superior to Budge's.
The only negative on Vines was his drop in form in his last year as an amateur in 1933, losing one of the greatest Wimbledon finals of all time against Jack Crawford, and having a shocking Round of 16 loss at the 1933 US Championships against Bryan Grant. Vines turned professional in January 1934 before his stock suffered any further, and his motivation clearly increased a lot in the pros.
Vines retired from professional tennis in May 1940 in order to become a professional golfer, winning 2 pro golf tournaments, and he even managed to finish third in the US PGA major in 1951.
I agree with you. Kodes is not even close to Vines. You don't have to have seen Babe Ruth to know he's better than Nick Johnson.
Vines is one of the legendary figures in the history of tennis and while I respect Kodes I've seen many players superior to him. Vines has been called by many top tennis experts as potentially the GOAT. Kramer for example has called Budge the GOAT but he hedges that perhaps it could be Vines. Either way he has Vines no worst than second in his book.