Originally Posted by Mustard
I've already listed Vines record. 3 amateur majors, 5 professional majors, best player in the world as a pro from 1934-1938, and his best game was still seen as unbeatable even after Budge overtook him in 1939. Vines then retired in 1940 to become a professional golfer.
He's clearly in the GOAT discussion.
Kodes was a solid player, capable of beating top players and he has a good record, but he's nowhere near Vines. Kodes' best match victories at a major were his 1970 French Open win over Franulovic, 1971 French Open wins over Franulovic and Nastase, 1971 US Open wins over Newcombe and Ashe, and his 1973 US Open win over Smith. It's unfortunate for Kodes that he never won the US Open because he had some good runs there, and it's ironic that he's beaten both Newcombe and Smith at the tournament yet lost to them in his two finals there. A bit like Soderling at the French Open, in that he's beaten Nadal and Federer yet lost to both in his two finals.
Not only that but from opinions from players like Budge and Kramer ranked Vines' serve as the best ever and his forehand was up there with anyone's. Many believe Vines at his best was unbeatable. Budge ranks Vines and Kramer as the two best I believe.
Kodes was never ever considered the top player in the world.