Originally Posted by NGM
First, I am sorry for my bad English.
I read too many threads and too many posts here about how great Pre-open era and players of that period were. It is becoming ridiculous for many reasons. I will tell you why.
1) Everthing in pre-open era is like a myth. Nothing real about it. For example: Pancho Gonzales and Laver are called "co-number 1" with other players for many years. It is REALLY ridiculous and can only happen in an immature stage of tennis history. This year Murray and Federer and Djokovic are very close in term of winning big titles, but in the end Novak Djokovic is THE world number 1. If this scenario happened in the past, they would be treated like co-number 1.
2) Pre-open era can not be compared with open era, especially with the era from 90's to now. Why? Because pre-open era' standard was too low.
Tennis was not a global sport back then. We have a small pool of tennis players whom played against other regularly. And some of them won more than others. It was meaningless, or at least not meaning much. How many of tournament they won have only 8 men, 10 men, 14 men? Or even less? And we are counting those tournaments as the same with tournaments today? Grand Slam in the past as the same with grand slam today? No way in h e l l.
3) There are too much changes in tennis from 19th century to today. In a better way, I must say. From the beginning to 1968, it was like a childish-period. There were too many errors in the system and it made player look greater than they actually were. From 1968 to the end of 80's tennis world was organized better but there were still many holes in that system. 90's till now is good. Of course the system is not flawless. But we have no myth anymore.
I dont say players in the past were not great. Of course they were great. But like TMF points out, in the forum like this players like Hoad, Gonzales, Laver are in the fix position compared to Federer. Federer can win 5 more slams and they are still in the fix position. The biggest weapon old timer use to defend Gonzales or Laver is "IF bla bla...". If = myth = meaningless. Pre-open era is immature stage of tennis history. And anything achieved in that stage can not be treated as the same with today's achievement. Period.
It's true that Roger's continue to add more to his legacy, some people bump up players in the pre-open(i.e. Laver) era so they can stay "fix" with Roger, but players in the open-era has to stay further behind. It makes no sense at all. Player's resume can't be change unless you're an active player like Roger. No past retired player can't get any worse(or better) just because Roger breaks/set tennis records. People should leave out Federer when they want to compare players in the open era to players in the pre-open era.
Tier1(goat): Federer; Tier 1.5: Laver, Gonzales, Sampras, Nadal, Borg;
Tier 2: Lendl, Connors, Rosewall, Tilden; Tier 2.5: McEnroe, Agassi