Originally Posted by urban
Sometimes i think, if reading certain post and posters, that Rod Laver never won a thing in his career. Something of a ghost. Must be a dream, that he won 200 events in his life, that he was in all major finals (including pro majors) in the majors he played in the 60s, bar 4, that he won 11 out of 19 classic majors played in the 60s, that he had the best amateur year of all time, the best pro year and the best open year in history, that he had clear positive records against all contemporaries, most of them hall of famers, and even if they were younger 6 or 7 years. Must be a dream.
It's simply that some of these posters want to defend their hero by putting down Rod Laver who is the historical opponent in their minds for GOAThood.
This poster keeps writing that Laver wouldn't have won 200 tournaments if there was not a Pro/Amateur divide and yet I pointe out that Laver won 76 tournaments after the Open Era started. Laver was to turn 30 (on the downside of his career in my opinion) in 1968, the first year of the Open Era. Laver also won 45 tournaments in the first three years of the Open Era. I see no reason why Laver would not have won around 200 tournament no matter what the circumstances were.
First of all even Ken Rosewall mentioned that the average level of tennis was lower in the Open Era as opposed to when he played on the Old Pro Tour. Second, some tournaments that Laver may have played in might not include greats like Rosewall, Gimeno, Hoad or Gonzalez. An example of this could be like the Australian in the late 1970's to early 1980's in which the field was large but the quality of the players was not.
Back to topic It's clear to me that the system of counting majors is extremely flawed. First of all it's a fixed number and never takes into account the amount of majors played. As many pointed out the Sampras past record of 14 was so weak it was laughable and yet so many in the press wrote it may never be broken. What was not mentioned was that Sampras played 52 majors to win 14. Borg, to use him as an example play 27 and won 11. Borg's record in majors to me is far more impressive. It's even more impression when you consider that he only played the Australian once and it was on grass in those days.
The conditions have changed now that all the players play all the majors every year if it is physically possible.
If we only count majors then what happens to the rest of the tennis year when player do not play majors. Is it important? Is it unimportant? Of course it's important. If there was a scenario in which a player won two majors in a year and failed miserably in every tournament he played in and another player won 15 of 20 strong tournaments played but didn't win a major I would think the latter player had a better year. Yet some the simplistic thinking of some people would consider the former player to have a better year.