Originally Posted by Talker
When Fed had around 12 slams he was already compared to Sampras and some brought Laver up also at that time.
Those three were considered the best, with Laver having a 11-6 slam record.
Sampras had 14-4. Fed was 12-2.
At that time they were tier 1 with no arguments from Laver and Sampras fans for the most part. The only argument was who was at the top of tier 1.
Fed has accomplished so much more since then, enough to make a player considered great just on the records Fed has since that time.
Fed has accomplished too much since then to be in the same tier as Sampras and Laver.
How can someone add to his totals such a great amount,
4-5 more slams,
added weeks at #1,
more masters and WTF's,
a completion of the career slam
but still be in the same tier?
The problem with the bolded part is that it's too general a statement. Some people may well have considered those 3 players the best, but that was several years ago. Without knowing who those people were, we have no idea what their opinions are today.
Just because you heard some people comparing Sampras to Laver back then, and you hear some people comparing Federer to Laver today, does not mean they are the same people.
And if they are the same people, that does not automatically mean they are wrong. A lot of Laver's history has mostly been unknown to tennis fans until recently -- even today. It's been 11 years since Sampras retired, and in that time a lot of people have learned a lot about Laver that they didn't know then.
You imply above that Laver, Sampras and Federer were all in the same tier because they had a similar number of Grand Slam victories, with Laver at 11. Well that's precisely why some people, back in Sampras' time, might have equated Sampras with Laver: because all they knew about Laver was that he won 11 Slam titles. Big problem right there, because he did so much more.
Originally Posted by TMF
I'm with you 100%. The amount of Roger's achievements are good enough to separate him from the past legends by 1 tier.
It seem like when a player reaches Tier 1 great, he can't move up anymore, regardless of how many more years he continue to win.
But that's not how it works. Federer raises the bar, just like Usain Bolt did in sprinting.
I think if anything Laver's overall place in the GOAT debates will continue to rise, as tennis fans come to know more about his career. Right now the casual fan knows very little about his pro years before '68. What they do know of Laver is basically restricted to his two Grand Slams, and to his 11 Grand Slam titles. Many are not even aware, or are only dimly aware, that he played his best tennis during his pro years before '68, when he wasn't winning Slams because, of course, he was barred from them.
A lot of the tennis that was played on the pro tours before '68 has only been discovered recently, through the research of historians. Some tennis fans know a lot about Laver's career, most don't know too much. But that's one reason that an older player's career can be re-assessed -- and his ranking in the GOAT debate can increase over time.
If anything, it's the modern players who will remain "fixed." We know everything that Sampras won. Everyone has always known it, because the modern media keeps track of all of it, and tennis fans have always had access to the information.
Same with Federer. His career is brandished in bright lights and documented in heavy detail.
Not so with older players like Pancho Gonzalez and Laver. That's especially true for a guy like Pancho who spent most of his career in the "dark ages" of the pro tours before '68.
You're treating the GOAT debate as if it were a set of columns with a fixed number of blocks in each column (Laver has 11 blocks, Sampras 14, Federer 17). It's not like that at all. People always can learn more, and revise their opinions accordingly.
Heck, fans have the right to revise their opinion even without learning new information, but just from re-evaluating their opinions of the tennis players in question.
It's not at all like fixed columns of blocks.