Best male player with 2 or 3 major titles

Who is the best male player with 2 or 3 major titles (open era)?

  • Arthur Ashe

    Votes: 4 15.4%
  • Ian Kodes

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Stan Smith

    Votes: 1 3.8%
  • Ilie Nastase

    Votes: 5 19.2%
  • Yevgeny Kafelnikov

    Votes: 1 3.8%
  • Pat Rafter

    Votes: 6 23.1%
  • Gustavo Kuerten

    Votes: 2 7.7%
  • Marat Safin

    Votes: 4 15.4%
  • Lleyton Hewitt

    Votes: 3 11.5%
  • Johan Kriek or Sergi Bruguera (please specify)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    26
A little follow-up to the similar threads already existing (best with 0/1 majors). Now we're just one notch below the evergreats.

Again only players with major successes in the open era.
 

urban

Legend
All time no question: Pancho Gonzalez. In open era tough choice between Ashe, Smith and Nastase. Nastase was probably the most gifted, Smith the bravest, and Ashe the most classy and influential. Ashe was also the most consistent over a 7-8 years span. Rafter was good but not that good and a bit predictable, Safin is a ultra-talented headcase like Nastase, and Kuerten a one surface winner; Hewitt faded after one-two good years.
 
All time no question: Pancho Gonzalez. In open era tough choice between Ashe, Smith and Nastase. Nastase was probably the most gifted, Smith the bravest, and Ashe the most classy and influential. Ashe was also the most consistent over a 7-8 years span. Rafter was good but not that good and a bit predictable, Safin is a ultra-talented headcase like Nastase, and Kuerten a one surface winner; Hewitt faded after one-two good years.
There are several truly great players in this poll -- actually all of them except for Kriek and Bruguera. My vote went to Ashe, for precisely the reasons you gave. But suppose he would not have been in there, I would have had trouble to come up with a name.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
All time no question: Pancho Gonzalez. In open era tough choice between Ashe, Smith and Nastase. Nastase was probably the most gifted, Smith the bravest, and Ashe the most classy and influential. Ashe was also the most consistent over a 7-8 years span. Rafter was good but not that good and a bit predictable, Safin is a ultra-talented headcase like Nastase, and Kuerten a one surface winner; Hewitt faded after one-two good years.
As usual Urban said it best. Gonzalez is by far the tops here even though he isn't among the choices.

It's a tough choice as Urban said between Ashe, Smith and Nastase.

Nastase won over 80 tournaments in his career plus two majors. He also won 4 Masters over elite fields which in those days were ranked higher than the Australian Open.

Ashe, according to Vainqueurs won over 70 tournaments but the total probably fairly close to Nastase. Arthur also won 3 majors, Wimbledon, the US Open and the Australian. Ashe also won the prestigious WCT Championship in 1975.

I guess of the choices on the list I would go with Nastase. I have written this many times but I would love to see how Nastase's style would translate against the players today. It would be very interesting (when isn't a Nastase match interesting?) to see a peak Nastase play against Nadal, Federer, Djokovic, Roddick and Murray on any surface.
 
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Pancho Gonzalez is obviously in an entire different league than these players. A poll with him in there would have been uninteresting.
 

urban

Legend
Reading pc 1's post, i thought a bit about the Ashe-Nastase comparison. It's right, some astute observers like Rex Bellamy in his wonderful book Love-Thirty, name Nasty the greater champion than Ashe. Nastase had great head to head records against almost anyone, including Aussies like Laver (whom he got later than Ashe) and Newcombe, while Ashe's records against those Aussies are quite miserable. Ashe was seen as a bridesmaid for great parts of his career. Nasty was more versatile, a great clay courter, who was so fast, that he could play wonderfully indoors. Ashe had a weakness on Ashes (as Germans call clay), was the better grass courter. Ashe should have won their USO 1972 final after a solid lead, but was jinxed by some Nasty antics.

On the other hand, Nastase didn't played quite as hard circuits as Ashe, who played mostly for WCT, while Nasty played the lighter Grand Prix. The Masters finals in 1971 and 72, which Nasty won, had imo not as quite good draws as the WCT finals. Against the two Nasty Masters of 1973 and 75 with great draws, stands the WCT crown of Ashe in 75. What is seldom noted, is, that Ashe won the WCT winter finals in 1972 in Rome. Two things in particular speak in favor of Ashe: He won those two conveted crowns, that always eluded Nastase: Wimbledon (over Borg, Roche and Connors) and DC three times (beating Nasty in the 1969 finals). And he was longer at the top. He reached the Australian final in 1967 and - a feat which is often underrated - reached the Masters final as late as 1979 age 37, coming back after a first big heart operation. If he hadn't some bad calls and jitters in the Madison Square Garden final vs. McEnroe on match points, he would have beaten a real great of the following generation. So overall, i would go for Ashe.
 
More views?

As much as I like Rafter and Safin, it seems rather hard to justify that he would take the poll. I suspect the charisma factor plays a part here.
 
I would say Kuerten since he is a legend on one surface which none of these others are. Plus how he beat Sampras and Agassi near their peaks back to back to steal the year end #1 from Safin on a lightning fast court which shouldnt have suited him at all. If he stayed healthy he would have remained the one to beat at the French from 2002-2004, probably a non choking Ferrero in 2002 and 2003 his only major threat. He would have won a hard court slam or two too. He was really beginning to come into his own on hard courts than the injury. For me he is the choice of this group.
 

CyBorg

Legend
It's close but I went with Stan Smith. Excellent 1971-73 all the way through. Arguably the best in the game in those years. Definitely the best in '72.

Ashe played second fiddle until '75, in which he had a surprise resurgence. That was just one year. Rafter only had one great year, in '98.
 
Rafter is putting some distance between himself and the rest. I can understand why he's popular, but I don't think he should win this poll.
 
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