There has been a thread in which Jimmy Connors' career is being compared to Roger Federer's. All fine and dandy. Many assumed Federer wins by a Slam Dunk and with all the acclaim Federer gets today I can understand why. And frankly Federer does have the accomplishments to be compared with anyone in tennis history. But still I would prefer cold facts then people writing Federer is superior to player A on hard courts, clay courts, blue clay, grass courts and indoor courts. I've seen comments in the other thread stating Federer was superior to Connors on most surfaces and yet by some incredible magic Mr. Connors has a slightly higher winning percentage for his career. So to me the comments don't work.
Federer may very well be superior to Connors but Connors' career accomplishments are fantastic and if you look carefully it doesn't seem to me at least that it's all that clear.
Here's a question I'll ask--Whose career is more impressive, Bill Tilden's or Roger Federer? The reason I'm mentioning this is to point out that we can state opinions that one or another is the de facto GOAT but we also have to examine the information before we accept the judgment. I used to think Don Budge was by everything I've read, virtually unbeatable. I was surprised when he wasn't close to virtually unbeatable. He was excellent but I realized many of the so called information I read on Budge was just plain wrong. So I reevaluated my opinion on Budge due to the information. So in comparing Federer and Tilden I want everyone to examine and give information on both players. Opinion of course is welcome but hopefully it can be backed with logic. I don't need stuff like Federer's backhand always hit winners and is much better than Djokovic's. None of this about the competition because that can't be controlled. Some may say Tilden's competition was bad and some may say Federer's was bad. We'll assume it's equal. So on accomplishments and just objectively evaluating the career, which career is better. No nonsense about the physical nature being tougher today because any era that complains about blue clay isn't that tough.
I also don't want to hear that the game is different today because I think Tilden at 6'2" tall and around 160 to 170 lbs would have adapted and learned. It can be reversed also to see if Federer can adapt to the conditions of the 1920's. Just leave this out. No one can logically prove anything here. It will go on and on forever and it'll be very annoying to read.
Some stats of Tilden versus Federer. Some of this is estimates I've gotten from some tennis experts who have much of the information.
Total tournaments won
Total majors won (including Pro Majors)
Tilden-14. Tilden won 15 majors if you include the World Hard Court that Tilden won that was really the major clay court championship. The French was not open to foreigners like Tilden.
We have to take into account that airplane travel was not available during Tilden's time so Big Bill did not go overseas that often. It would take many weeks to travel to England, France or Australian. In his prime Tilden may have won several Grand Slams considering how unbeatable he was.
Percentage of majors won
Lifetime winning percentage
Note-Tilden, according to Bud Collins' book won from 1912 to 1930 in his amateur career (which essentially was the top level because he faced all the top competition) won 138 of 192 tournaments, lost 28 finals with a 907-62 match record. The winning percentage was .936! Tilden turn pro in the early 1930's and kept playing. The losses he had as an older player lowed his career winning percentage. He lost a good percentage on one night stands to players like Don Budge, Fred Perry, Ellsworth Vines. For example he lost to Budge with a probable score of 7-46-1. He lost to Vines by 27-46. He played both of these tours in his early to late forties. He lost regularly to Fred Perry (at least according to Perry) and he even played long enough to lose to Pancho Gonzalez!
Grand Slams won
Percentage of tournaments won
Winning percentage in best five years
Look at the information and discuss.
Federer is acclaimed by many to be the GOAT today. Tilden was named in a poll in the late 1960's to be the GOAT at that point.
One thing I can say that is a fact. Roger Federer is currently the greatest blue clay player of all time. There can be no argument there, he just is and to argue against that would be wrong. And Serena Willilams is also currently the greatest female blue clay player of all time. They have proven themselves unbeatable on blue clay.