Originally Posted by abmk
forget about the GOAT argument for a moment ... consider just federer vs connors ...
the one and only argument connors has is longevity ...
even if consider the Masters/Dallas for Jimmy, his major tournaments win count still doesn't come close to fed's ...
fed has the better dominance, surface versatility, better in the majors .....there isn't a single surface that both played on where you could say jimmy was clearly better ( decoturf II comes close, but I'd say fed is better ) .....federer was/is better on grass, clay, indoors, HC ... everywhere ...
coming back to the GOAT argument
gonzalez, borg, rosewall, laver , Tilden have records closer to that of federer, but not connors,lendl and Kramer ... they are by some distance behind and it is very clear cut IMO ...
I will give you that statistically Federer is better in the majors but the better dominance comment doesn't pan out. If Federer is more dominant, why is his lifetime winning percentage slightly lower than Connors at 81.55 to 81.76? If Federer is more dominant he certainly doesn't prove it on the court?
And Connors' career was longer and he had his big decline period already.
Everything you're mentioned about surface dominance is subjective. If this was true Federer would be winning far more than Connors by percentage and he doesn't.
It's not as though Connors played awful players on hard courts. He played Borg, Vilas, Lendl, Edberg, McEnroe, Panatta, Nastase. On har tru he played Borg, Vilas, Orantes, McEnroe, Solomon, Dibbs among others and more than once for many of them. He played virtually all of these names indoors and some others like Rod Laver. He played Newcombe, Borg, McEnroe, Lendl, Rosewall, Tanner, Ashe, Stan Smith on grass.
At their peaks both were winning over 90% of their matches. Connors didn't play many majors at his peak and Federer did.
Kramer is tougher to examine. Kramer was the best player in the world for years and he was winning all those head to head tours. And he did win a number of amateur and pro majors. At his best Kramer was clearly comparable to Federer. Over his career it's tougher because of the tours. Overall I would go with Federer over Kramer for career.
I'm not saying Connors is better than Federer but I am saying it's not the easy choice some would think it would be because of the ASSUMPTION that Federer is the de facto GOAT.
Here's a question I'll ask--Whose career is more impressive, Bill Tilden's or Roger Federer? The reason I'm mentioning this is to point out that we can state opinions that one or another is the de facto GOAT but we also have to examine the information before we accept the judgment. I used to think Don Budge was by everything I've read, virtually unbeatable. I was surprised when he wasn't close to virtually unbeatable. He was excellent but I realized many of the so called information I read on Budge was just plain wrong. So I reevaluated my opinion on Budge due to the information. So in comparing Federer and Tilden I want everyone to examine and give information on both players. Opinion of course is welcome but hopefully it can be backed with logic. I don't need stuff like Federer's backhand always hit winners and is much better than Djokovic's. None of this about the competition because that can't be controlled. Some may say Tilden's competition was bad and some may say Federer's was bad. We'll assume it's equal. So on accomplishments and just objectively evaluating the career, which career is better. I think I may start a thread on this. No nonsense about the physical nature being tougher today because any era that complains about blue clay isn't that tough. I'll give the stats later because I'm off to play tennis.
Edit-Back from tennis
Some stats of Tilden versus Federer. Some of this is estimates I've gotten from some tennis experts who have much of the information.
Total tournaments won
Total majors won (including Pro Majors)
Tilden-14. Tilden won 15 majors if you include the World Hard Court that Tilden won that was really the major clay court championship. The French was not open to foreigners like Tilden.
We have to take into account that airplane travel was not available during Tilden's time so Big Bill did not go overseas that often. It would take many weeks to travel to England, France or Australian. In his prime Tilden may have won a Grand Slam or so.
Percentage of majors won
Lifetime winning percentage
Note-Tilden, according to Bud Collins book won from 1912 to 1930 in his amateur career (which essentially was the top level because he faced all the top competition) won 138 of 192 tournaments, lost 28 finals with a 907-62 match record. The winning percentage was .936! Tilden turn pro in the early 1930's and kept playing. The losses he had as an older player lowed his career winning percentage. He lost a good percentage on one night stands to players like Don Budge, Fred Perry, Ellsworth Vines. For example he lost to Budge with a probable score of 7-46-1. He lost to Vines by 26-47. He played both of these tours in his early to late forties. He lost regularly to Fred Perry (at least according to Perry) and he even played long enough to lose to Pancho Gonzalez!
Grand Slams won
Percentage of tournaments won
Winning percentage in best five years
Look at the information and discuss.
Federer is acclaimed by many to be the GOAT today. Tilden was named in a poll in the late 1960's to be the GOAT at that point.