Originally Posted by Strobe Lights
I never claimed Rosewall was a factor in the Open era, though he did win 4 Majors and reach a further 4 finals in it. So clearly he was. But people are including Laver in their lists near the top. He only won 5 Majors in the Open era (and one further final), even if it did include the Grand Slam. Are people seriously putting Laver above Borg and Nadal in terms of the Open era? I assumed they were including achievements before the Open era, in which case the absence of the likes of Rosewall, Gonzales and others is noticeable.
I never claimed I was disregarding the Majors. Of course they are the most important tournaments in tennis. I said I felt that looking at just the number was simplistic. If we could just use the number then wouldn't this entire discussion be pretty pointless? I am trying to look at each person's case and comparing them. The Australian was not treated like an important event, and therefore not often played, by a lot of the top players until the mid-80's due to a number of factors. So I do think that factor is important. Are we to say that Johan Kriek (2 AOs, no other Major finals and career high rank of #7) and Brian Teacher (1 AO, only one other QF at Majors and career high rank of #7) are better than Andy Murray?
I loved watching Sampras play. His win over Agassi in his last ever match to tie the US Open record will always be a favourite memory of mine. Why would you assume that I rank them based on liking the player or not? It is simply my opinion on their achievements. Borg's achievements on a wide-range of surfaces puts him ahead of Sampras for me. Borg played the Australian only once at the age of 17, so really his weakest Major was the USO, where he reached 4 finals. Sampras only reached a single SF at the French and those shortcomings on clay help Borg edge ahead in my opinion.
I can, of course, understand the argument for Sampras ahead of Borg. 3 more Majors, far more weeks at #1 (though arguments on the ranking system in the early years are well documented) and more YECs. You asked the question of how people could place Borg ahead of Nadal. I put forward the argument for why I, and others, place Borg not just ahead of Nadal but Sampras also.
Laver got the Slam. It's all he (or any pro player for that matter) needs to do be ranked among the very best in his sport. This ranks him higher than Borg for me. Nadal has 11 GS titles that include a career golden slam whereas Borg has a gaping whole in his resume with the absense of AO and USO titles. Yes the 3 consecutive FO-Wimbledon doubles is unprecedented and probably will never be done again. But it's not enough to put him over an accomplished all-rounder like Nadal (of course this is skewed by the change of surfaces but I have to be objective). Sampras has 14 Slam titles and I don't think it can be dubbed as simplistic
to say 3 Slam titles is a large gap. Large enough to push almost every tennis player down the pecking order.
I like this discussion and have to (in this climate on tw) thank you for maintaining a proper level.