Bud posted this in the other topic #1342445 about who is the GOAT and it had me thinking. Most reasonable people do agree on this, we all know Laver and many of the greats were unable to play majors for a time and therefore didn't have a chance to tally up majors, as if this was their goal, other generations put up numbers ending up with Sampras' career end in 2002. We've seen many threads here about surface speeds and court homegenization with tons of articles from Wimbledon 2002, as well as the article stating the USO had been modified many times between 2000 and 2003. These changes in our sport as well as other tech advancements have allowed us to witness consistency and excellence that was simply just not possible, or even more difficult than today, with the conditions and technology available during other times. Should we start to think of 2002-future as a 2nd Open era? Where tennis has finally been regulated to the point where unless ITF, ATP, advertisers, illuminati, etc all decide that another change is necessary to tennis(e.g. slowing the courts down like originally in 2002) There aren't any unforeseeable condition changes coming and we are left with what people commonly refer to now as the slow court baseline era. We've seen what Federer was able to do and how remarkable he has been, winning the career slam(only Agassi in "Old Open Era" had done it) and breaking many of Sampras' "Old Open Era" records. However we have also Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic also vie for 4 majors in a row in a very short period of time. Yes, they are amazing all time greats who win but part of this consistency is due to slowing of surfaces, you hear Fed fans say this about Nadal's success all the time. Obviously it's tough to even compare Sampras and Agassi with Federer and Nadal because of conditions and tech - Should we start to look at Sampras era as the end of an Open era of extreme variables in tennis and look at Federer's era as the start of a new open era. He did set a bar that was seemingly unreal by yesterdays standards yet we are seeing people do similar tasks, such as Nole's ongoing semi-final streak, and Nadal winning majors for 9 consecutive years and having success on all surfaces.