Originally Posted by hoodjem
(This thread is not about who is the GOAT. Rather it is about how these GOAT discussions are trending.)
It occurs to me that since Fed has overtaken Pete in the slams count and tied his 7 Wimbers titles, Sampras is seldom mentioned in the GOAT discussions any more.
Pete's reputation seems to have been largely based (by himself?) on his total slam count number and his seven Wimbledon titles.
Lately the discussion has been about Fed and Laver, or Hoad, or Gonzales or Rosewall, (or maybe Tilden being mentioned). It seems to be about (what I call) apples versus oranges, or players who are difficult to compare (as opposed to easy), because so much history has elapsed and conditions have changed so much.
I don't know whether this is correct, but I do think that Sampras has engineered his own irrelevance by putting so much emphasis on slam count totals, and not on other aspects of his record.
I do think a lot of the GOAT discussions don't take into account the changing values of what is important in the tennis world and how superior a player is compared to his contemporaries. Even then I wonder if some subjectivity should be taken into account on whether the player may have had some stroke deficiencies. The formula for simply counting majors to analyze greatness is greatly flawed to me in an infinite amount of ways.
For example Bill Tilden is arguably the most dominant player of all time but he is behind in majors to a number of players. Is he an inferior player to them? Perhaps or perhaps not.
We don't have enough stats about the past in tennis unlike baseball in which we can compared teams on winning percentage or run differential among other things. People like Joe McCauley, Andrew Tas and Robert Geist has helped us tremendously in this area and hopefully we can get more information in the future.
May not be able to post for a while because a huge hurricane is coming my way and power may be out for more than a week.