Being #1 versus winning a slam

topher

Professional
You need to talk to people outside of TTW. I play tennis with a large group of people, many of whom have gone to the US Open at some point. Yet when I ask if they understand the difference between the FO and Rome, for example, almost none do.
I’m not talking about your group of friends specifically, but it’s quite possible to play tennis and go to a tournament and not be a fan.

My friends and I played baseball together and went to the local minor league team’s games occasionally. We were not baseball fans and most if not all couldn’t tell you anything about MLB or minor leagues or how it worked. They could tell you the World Series was a big deal but not much else.

Even if they are fans: The better measure to me wouldn’t be telling me the “difference”, that’s a confusing question to ask a casual fan. Ask them the difference between #1 and #2, they might say idk because it sounds like a trick question. But ask them whose better 1 or 2 and they know. The real question is what’s the bigger tournament, the French or Italian? Most casual know the French is because they never hear about the Italian.
 

Jason Swerve

Professional
If you are an ex-pro and people are introducing you at a dinner, would you like to be Michael Chang who gets introduced as the 1989 French Open champion or do you want to be Marcelo Rios where you get introduced as the former #1 player of the world? I think I would prefer the second introduction.
Most people who know what tennis is like enough to care will assume you've won a slam at some point if you were the world #1. Even Wozniacki can make this case.
 

BauerAlmeida

Professional
I'd pick being #1 over being a one-slam wonder. The former can say that he was once the top-dog in tennis.
I don't think you can say you're the top dog if you didn't win ONE slam out of four, of course, many one-slam wonders weren't top dogs either. To be the top dog you need BOTH.
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
False dichotomy. You don't get to be the real #1 without bagging at least one Slam.

Try not to miss the forest for the trees, kids.
 

Jason Swerve

Professional
Rios says they would be wrong to assume. So would Safina.
I still remember the day in which I stopped taking Rios seriously, and it was when I read his spineless retraction of saying the 'WTA players are jokes' after Hingis challenged him to a 1-on-1 match.
 

Tshooter

G.O.A.T.
Gaudio obviously.
The question presented by this thread is not who is the better player it is “being #1 versus a slam.” And Gaudio upsetting Coria at the FO is arguably a more impressive singular achievement than anything Rios did.

I would have used Brian Teacher as a better example as well:

1. Teacher was a one slam wonder (AO 1980),
2. the one slam was a 2nd rate event at the time,
3. he only had to win six rounds not seven,
4, it has to be among the weakest draws at a Major ever. 3 of 6 opponents ranked 124 - 171. Of the other three no one ranked higher than 33.
 
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Jason Swerve

Professional
Hingis would have ran him around in circles.:-D
I think the prospect of losing to someone who'd just had a surgery was too intimidating. His deflecting remark about into Venus losing to a man three years earlier was pitiable. But to be fair, there weren't many #1s who were as poor and undeserving as him.
 
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