Originally Posted by pc1
No just the second serve but his first serve was also considered to be superb, perhaps slightly below the level of Gonzalez. His second serve was considered to be the best of all time by many. His volley was strong and penetrating and was considered only slightly below that of Frank Sedgman, who is arguably the best volleyer of all time.
Just to show how great he was, Kramer still holds the record for fewest games lost at Wimbledon.
Here's the game scores
1. 6-0 6-1 6-0
2. 6-2 6-2 6-2
3. 6-0 6-2 6-0
4. 7-5 6-2 6-3
5. 6-0 6-1 6-3
6. 6-1 3-6 6-1 6-0
7. 6-1 6-3 6-2
That's pretty awesome on fast uneven bounce grass.
What are credentials? The guy had the credentials to be the best in the world for years and arguably at his best he was the best ever. He beat Segura, Riggs, Sedgman and a young Pancho Gonzalez (who still was a superb player but not quite THE Gonzalez) on tour and beat them easily. And he won a number of Pro Majors. He won three classic majors and that was with an interruption due to World War II. Now to be fair I don't think he was the GOAT but I think he does have a case for it. I think Kramer is superior to players like Roy Emerson, Agassi, Ashe, Nastase, Smith, Vilas, Roche and he has a case over any player including Laver, Federer, Connors, Tilden Gonzalez etc. He is one of the few you can argue to be the GOAT without it being a stupid argument.
I think Kramer's record looks better than it is.
This is where simply listing wins and losses needs to be expanded to include looking at the quality of opposition.
For example, I notice that you somehow chose to OMIT the names of the players Kramer beat at Wimbledon. Was this because it was an unimpressive list? His major opponents were Tom Brown (yes, the one and only Tom Brown), and Frankie Parker late in his career.
Also, what was Kramer's record at Roland Garros? How did he manage NOT to play there? That was strange. Even as a pro, he avoided the place in 1957.
His tour wins against Gonzales and Sedgman were puffed by injuries suffered by his younger opponents, and while he claimed that he was injured too, his "injury" was just arthritis. Why did he skip so many major tournaments?
The long road tours were played in high school gyms on a cruddy portable carpet, and the best-of-three sets format favoured the veteran player.
He did not beat PRIME Budge, Gonzales, a healthy Sedgman, but instead Bobby Riggs and Segura, players not in his class at the time.
As Gonzales said, "Kramer was not a natural athlete. He wasn't too fast or too quick, but he had the knack of winning". Part of that knack was knowing when to fight and when to make a strategic withdrawal.