Originally Posted by Mustard
Why do you say it is tougher today? Today's top professional players have financial security, can sit down at the change of ends, don't have to play injured, travel around in thunderbirds and stay in gyms and cheap motels.
What's clearly harder today is the media coverage, and the need for constant pressers with the players. The pros of the pre-open era just wanted more media coverage.
I think he means greater depth.
Bottom line, those who say one player from one era is greater than another is not fair to either player. We all know that, given the matchup, Federer would probably trounce prime Laver pretty easily. He's just got more firepower, greater fitness... but that all came as a result of the sport's evolution. Laver didn't have that chance.
Who knows if Fed would've been able to do this well if placed in Laver's era, without all the knowledge we have today about fitness, technique etc.
Point being, GOAT is nonexistent.. but Federer is definitely among the best ever, period. That's indisputable, as is Laver's place, as is Gonzalez's.