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Old 01-04-2013, 03:13 AM   #12
Flash O'Groove
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Originally Posted by Prisoner of Birth View Post
I think the only reasons Laver is more highly regarded is

1. The Grand Slam. I think it is a very overrated achievement. Don't get me wrong, it is definitely the most prestigious achievement in Tennis. But what people don't realize is that (1) A calendar year Grand Slam is no more special than a non calendar year Grand Slam. It's like saying a match won in November is more special than a match won in March, which is a total falsehood. And (2) You need luck to win a Calendar year Grand Slam. You may be Sampras on Grass, Federer on Hards, and Nadal on Clay, all put together, but you still wouldn't win one without an ounce of luck. That's what I believe.

2. The head-to-head. Which is a joke. Laver is much younger than Rosewall. It was only after Rosewall was past his best, and Laver came into his own, that he started to win more matches than he lost. Head-to-head is meaningless regardless, anyway, because every player matches up differently to different players and no match is completely fair. Which is why you need to beat the field to win tournaments, titles and championships, not individual players.

So, basically, I see no reason to think Laver is greater than Rosewall.
I agree with both your points: 1) The Grand Slam is an awesome feat, but it requires a bit of luck to win it. Winning a very large number of titles, especially of majors, is also an awesome feat (which require probably some luck as well in some of the wins); 2) The H2H is not really interesting because it is already taken into account into the main titles count: All defeat that Rosewall suffered to Laver (especially in the later stage of tournaments) are as many titles less for him. Counting the H2H corresponds thus to count some defeat twice.

However, your majors titles count is unfair to Laver because he didn't competed in them until 1963 (2?). That means a lot of major. When Laver became a pro, he needed roughly one year to become successful (BobbyOne will correct me if I'm wrong). That suggest that, while he needed adaptation to win on the pro tour, he was an excellent player already. Who know if he wouldn't have taken some of Rosewall's Wembley and French pro if he had turned pro earlier?

It doesn't seems so clear to me that Rosewall is that much a better GOAT candidate than Laver!
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