Originally Posted by hoodjem
Kodes was lucky to be a good, steady player in depleted fields. Vines was a great player no matter who he was facing.
I have Vines at world no. 1 or co-number 1 for five years between 1931-37. The highest rank Kodes achieved was world no. 4.
While I respect Kiki what disturbs me about the comparison is the one sidedness of the comparison. To compare Ellsworth Vines with Jan Kodes is like comparing Michael Jordan to Kiki Vandeweghe in NBA basketball. Jordan's an all time great while Kiki was a very good player.
In this way Vines is an all time great while Kodes is a better than average player. I can probably mentioned more than ten better clay court players than Kodes and probably more than thirty overall players better than Kodes.
With Vines some would argue none are ahead of him and many would argue just a few. Vines is consistently on top ten all time greats list in tennis. I have never seen Kodes on a top ten all time list in anything.
I would not be bothered with Kodes was compared to Michael Chang or JIm Courier but Vines, no way there is any sort of reasonably comparison.