Originally Posted by urban
In Connors' case i find it more interesting, if we speculate (reasonably) about the circumstances of his era, which he couldn't change. Just imagine for a moment the situation of today with the majors surfaces clay, slow grass, and hard court and put it into the time frame of 1975-1983. Hard court was certainly Connors' best surface. Its not a stretch of imagniation, that he would have won 7 US opens on a hard court, when they had laid down a hard court instead of har tru at Forest Hills. He was in all finals anyway 1974-1977, but imo would have beaten Orantes and Vilas. Connors was vulnerable on grass, because of his pretty weak serve and his low forehand weakness, but it could be that he would have fared better on the slow grass of today (for instance against Ashe, Newcombe or McEnroe). Given he would have more participated, on the AO with a modern slower hard court, he could well have won the same amount of events like Agassi, who did very well at AO. So just this example of Connors shows, that the circumstances of previous eras era are be considered. The historical situation however gave Connors a record that will never be beaten: that he won the USO on 3 different surfaces.
using this line of reasoning, imagine what that slow grass at wimbledon and hard courts at Australia would have done to the Evert -Navratilova rivalry from 1978-1988 and Evert's final numbers. Evert came close enough to beating Martina in three setter after three setter in both venues. Give her that fraction more time on the return and those passing shots, a little more time to get in better position to return Martina's forehand and slice groundies/ approaches and the higher consistent bounce in Australia and , while you can't garrantee any specific win, ( Martina was a fine hard court player and would have had great results on the slower grass) the dynamic and percentages definitely alter in a way that will not make Martina sleep more soundly the night before. Evert definitely wins more of those matches.