At their best, who would win?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Graphiteking, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. Todd Hicks

    Todd Hicks Rookie

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    It's hard to truly know without having followed previous champs closely enough. That being said, Federer is probably the greatest of all time but Sampras probably would have a tight rivalry with him if both are in their prime at the time.
     
  2. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Legend

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    Good to hear from you, Tom.
    Thanks again for your first-hand reminiscences.
     
  3. Waspsting

    Waspsting Semi-Pro

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    At their best, one match on hard court... hmm

    I'll go with Pete Sampras

    When you see a great player playing at his best, it's hard to imagine them ever losing. So what happens when two such clash?

    Then it becomes a case of each playing as well as the're allowed to play

    The player likely to come out ahead is -

    - the one who's more serve heavy (Gonzales type, as opposed to return heavy - say Rosewall type) because he dictates more

    - the mentally strong (unphased by what his opponents doing, just focuses on their own game)

    Sampras epitomizes this winning formula. If he plays his best, the other guy isn't going to be able to

    (Note - I'm sticking to pure Open Era players for my selection as I feel unqualified to assess the likes of Tilden, Budge, Hoad etc. or even Laver and Rosewall)

    Pancho Gonzales, I believe, was very similar to Sampras of method
     
  4. Waspsting

    Waspsting Semi-Pro

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    For the women, I have what may seem an odd choice.

    Monica Seles

    I imagine Steffi Graf would be on most people's shortlist for this excercise.

    Well, I saw peak Seles repeatedly outplay her - either side of Graf's insane domination of the game. Peak for peak, I think Seles played the highest level

    (Women's game is a bit different from the men in that the big serve doesn't count for quite as much)
     
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  5. pc1

    pc1 G.O.A.T.

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    It's funny. You must have read my mind. Style of play often make a match. One play style that may be good against one player may be bad against another but a strong serve that is versatile and well placed is good against all.

    Many tennis historians have often mentioned two players at their best that rank at the top at their best and they would be Ellsworth Vines and Lew Hoad. Bobby Riggs however, while he picked Vines also said that if they had a tournament in which the loser of the match has to jump off a bridge, perhaps the winner would be Pancho Gonzalez!

    Vines and Hoad had huge serves but also from accounts great powerful returns.

    Some others with big serves would be Kramer, Tilden and Arthur Ashe. Maybe John McEnroe. We have some evidence of McEnroe's best type of play from the 1984 Wimbledon.

    Laver did have an excellent serve so I could still put him in the mix although his serve wasn't at the very top level.

    Ellsworth Vines in his book mentioned Richard Norris Williams as an incredible player when he was on his game. Big serve, big return and he took the book on the rise for placements.

    Many have mentioned Henri Cochet but I don't think so since his serve was very weak. Vines wrote that he never felt Cochet was that tough since Vines felt he could take the net off Cochet's serve and Vines could take the net on his own serve. VInes wrote Cochet never beat him.

    Frank Kovacs has also been mentioned as one of those who were superb when on his game.
     
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  6. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Legend

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    Richard Williams is greatly overlooked in the great name lists.
    His win in the 1916 U.S. final was one of the great final victories, his margin of victory over Johnston there was about the same as Tilden's in 1922.
    I am not surprised to hear of Vines' admiration for Williams, and I suspect that Vines patterned his game after Williams.
     
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