Originally Posted by NonP
I don't think I ever "insulted" you. My calling your comment "nonsense" might have been blunt and intemperate, but I never attacked you personally.
And that is all the more reason to say Beethoven did not "invent" jazz.
One would expect the most influential figure in Western music to have been ahead of his time, but again hints of what's to come don't mean the real thing. To (re)use the Leonardo example, his futuristic notes and sketches continue to amaze us, but it's a stretch to say he invented most of the devices he envisioned. Likewise an art form is more than its parts.
While I don't disagree with the sentiment, I do find it ironic that you say this right after namechecking Schoenberg as one of the authorities to support your POV.
Haydn is a composer's composer, one who is better appreciated by musicians than by laymen like you and me. And just about any respectable classical GOAT list would have him among the top 10. The same can't be said of Emerson in tennis.
Tilden's 1924 record is a bit misleading because, like you said, he didn't play all the majors and thus have to face the Four Musketeers, to name one example (or four). Would he have won just about every big event in sight like Laver in '69 with all the big names around? Possible, but historically improbable.
And even if that were true we'd be talking about only two players in the entire history of modern tennis, two whose career trajectory (at least Laver's) and number of prime years doesn't deviate so much from those of other GOATs from Gonzales to Federer. Given these similarities it's reasonable to conclude that Tilden and Laver's seemingly late development was not so much personal than structural, and I say that in Laver's case it is the amateur/pro divide that offers the best explanation.
Yes, in Tilden's case military service is probaby a bigger factor than the amateur/pro split (which both of us agree didn't hinder him much), and another one that affected the entire tour, not just him.
I'm actually skeptical that one's diet has such a big impact on his game, and tend to scoff at the notion of today's "advanced" nutrition. Smoking and travel could've been bigger factors.
Just so we're clear I don't deny that any of these variables have some impact. I was talking strictly about the amateur/pro divide with respect to Laver's supposedly late dominance. I never argued that being an amateur would be the biggest factor in all cases.
I'd say actual play against the world's best can help a budding player mature as fast, if not faster, as any humanly possible amount of training. This is especially true for S&Vers like Rafter, who once admitted that he needed as much actual playing time as time off to get into his net-rushing groove, or something to that effect. And while Laver was more of an all-courter I'd suspect his case was similar.
krosero, again I wasn't making any generalization here. I was talking in particular about Laver's annus mirabilis at age 31, and how that is such an outlier in the annals of tennis history if we're to view it in a vacuum. I doubt any knowledgeable tennis fan would dispute your point about Rosewall and his playing style.
And I see I wasn't very clear about my definition of one's "prime years." When I say prime I do mean when the player is in the prime of his career, not any year when he was able to eke out a Slam. Pete and Fed might have won a major in '02 and '12 respectively, but one would hardly call that either one's prime. That's why I made particular mention of the # of years these legends were ranked no. 1, and history indeed shows that this number has remained remarkably constant, between 6-8 years depending on one's own rankings (Borg is the only glaring exception here).
I can see how this can extend a player's longevity, but again history has shown that a GOAT's length of time spent at the top has remained eerily consistent. One would expect this to shorten over time if grinding were such a big factor. And let's not forget that completing the Grand Slam at the nominal age of 31 is the most unlikely achievement by any historical standard.
FWIW I've got Tilden, Laver and Sampras all with 7 year-end no. 1 spots, and Fed with 6. And we know Fed spent pretty much the same amount of time at the top as Pete (I know a few people will make a silly point about the ATP rankings, but that's because they fail to understand the ATP ranking system is just one out of many algorithms). Hardly any significant difference here.
Anyway I just hope we're clearer about each other's argument by now. I don't think there's much disagreement between us.