Brad Gilbert's top 10 Men of the "Open Era"

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
Those are your opinions based on your personal observation, knowledge and experience, whatever that may be, as well as your obvious Federer/recency bias, your obnoxious personality aside. My opinions are based exclusively on my personal observation, knowledge and experience, as well as, in this case, the record that I reproduced above, which happen to be shared by at least 2 highly qualified observers as I also explained above. There is no bias in my opinion whatsoever.
There he goes again. I could link to similar attacks against at least a half dozen posters written in a similar vitriolic manner.

How could anything you have to say possible measure against Limpin's personal observation, knowledge and experience? :)

Welcome to the Limpin Enemies List or LEL. I'm on it by the way. You can think of me as the "King of Snark" because according to the Great One that's all I write. :D
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
He's the pre open era goat
It's not awful but I don't see it. Lendl, Connors and McEnroe each won over 100 Open Era tournaments plus tons of tournaments essentially majors like the WCT Championship, the Year End Masters etc and also a ton of Masters 1000 level tournaments. McEnroe arguably had the best year in the Open Era in 1984 and you could say the same for Connors in 1974. Lendl had a few years that were close to that. McEnroe won 5 WCT Championships and 4 Year End Masters. Lendl won 5 Year End Masters and 3 WCT Championship. Connors won one Year End Championship and 2 WCT Championships.
Be careful. You may end up on LEL. ;)

The problem here is "open era". Laver simply can't be at the top of any unbiased list due to the fact that he played in the open era at around age 30 and later. For the same reason Rosewall's amazing accomplishments over age 35, as fantastic as they were, don't lend themselves well to getting close to the top of this list.

That's the problem with GOAT discussions. They are framed incorrectly.

Laver's CAREER belongs at least near the top. That's a different matter!
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
Looking forward to your Pre-Open list.

I'll give you some names to think about for the Pre-Open Era
Tilden
Lacoste
Cochet
Johnston
Segura
Gonzalez
Kramer
Vines
Budge
Perry
Riggs
Sedgman
Hoad
Rosewall
Wilding
Crawford
Trabert
Laver
Emerson
Gimeno
I'd personally like to see three lists, and no argument between lists:

1. Before Kramer
2. From Kramer to the open era
3. Open era

That makes it complicated for at least two players, Laver and Rosewall, who spanned two of these eras. But that's only about two players, really, and both had a good enough track record during the middle period to be looked at in that era.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
I tend to separate out pre-Open Era players (but still consider their OE achievements) and "pure" Open Era players. My lists would probably be as follows for the two groups:

Pre-OE players

1. Laver
2. Gonzales
3. Rosewall
4. Tilden
5. Budge
6. Kramer
7. Vines
8. Perry
9. Lacoste
10. Hoad

Pure OE players

1. Federer
2. Sampras
3. Djokovic
4. Nadal
5. Borg
6. Lendl
7. Connors
8. Agassi
9. McEnroe
10. Becker
My problem with "pre-open" is that it does not make a differentiation between what went on before Kramer and afterward. It is my understanding that we can't clearly see a pro dominance before Kramer, suggesting that amateur champions were not weaker than players already having starting playing pro tennis. But from Kramer on it is very clear that the pros were in all ways better players than the amateurs.

For me this makes a differentiation important.

It's hard to argue against Federer at the top of the open era, but Djokovic at #3 looks very strange as things are right now.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
Those are your opinions based on your personal observation, knowledge and experience, whatever that may be, as well as your obvious Federer/recency bias, your obnoxious personality aside. My opinions are based exclusively on my personal observation, knowledge and experience, as well as, in this case, the record that I reproduced above, which happen to be shared by at least 2 highly qualified observers as I also explained above. There is no bias in my opinion whatsoever.
Am I the only person who can't stop laughing at the statement in red?

Would anyone else suggest that opinions have no bias whatsoever? :rolleyes:
 

dgold44

G.O.A.T.
I Can never decide between Tilden and Pancho but I put Tilden ahead. I also put Vines ahead of Kramer by only one.

Tell me more about LAcoste
On second thought , just looking at the competition you can see that pancho and laver played far better players !!
Again I changed my mind !!!
Competition is too weak in Tilden 20s
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
Limpinhitter commenting about bias after the BS he's been posting is rich man :D Most dominant 3 year stretch in history :D
More likely most dominant stretch of non-stop bloviating, Nat.:rolleyes:

This guy simply can't take it when other people return the same amount of attitude he gives out.

The irony is that he makes it embarrassing for the rest of us who truly believe that Laver was as good as it gets. It's like Fedfans who make other fans hate Federer because of their continuous nonsense. Of course there are equally obnoxious fans of all the greats.

I think perhaps we should change the name of this forum to:

Grumpy Old Men

I'm thinking of changing my name to "King of Snark". :)
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
I presume you mean that you think Nadal should be above him?
At this time I'd put him there, yes.

But it's really unimportant because it's rather senseless to make a best of open era list before the picture is complete.

I think Fed is pretty safe at the top right now, but Nadal and Novak are not exactly in the ground, and Novak is a year younger. If we've learned anything over the past couple years it should be not to draw premature conclusions. ;)

Now, if Nadal wins RG this year, it will get REALLY interesting!
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
I Can never decide between Tilden and Pancho but I put Tilden ahead. I also put Vines ahead of Kramer by only one.

Tell me more about LAcoste
Tilden was clearly more dominant than Gonzalez but Gonzalez did play on the Old Pro Tour with a ton of Hall of Famers. Vines, who saw Tilden and Gonzalez play ranks Tilden ahead of Gonzalez. Subjectively most say that Tilden had the superior backhand and forehand. Gonzalez is thought to have the superior serve but Tilden had apparently an all time great serve. Gonzalez was clearly the better volleyer and both moved well.

Vines and Kramer is tough. Vines was arguably the best player in the world from the early 1930s to 1939. Kramer was a methodical tennis machine in his prime. He was possibly the greatest serve and volleyer with arguably the best serve (of course Vines can also be argued to have the best serve) and many consider Kramer one of the finest baseliners ever. Gonzalez felt Kramer was one of the three finest baseliners he ever faced with Segura and Rosewall the other two. Gonzalez also felt Kramer had the best serve he faced. Kramer really didn't reach his peak until he turned pro where he also improved his clay court play although Kramer was a fine clay courter beforehand. Segura I believe mentioned that perhaps his finest win was a big clay court win over Kramer which says a lot about Kramer's play on clay.

Lacoste was a very methodical player who was a super baseliner with arguably the best backhand before Budge although you could say the same about Tilden. Very smart intelligent player who scouted his opponents carefully and took meticulous notes on what to do. Very good mover with a good but not great serve. An excellent service return but not a great volley. Probably one of the greatest defensive players of his day.
 
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dgold44

G.O.A.T.
I tend to separate out pre-Open Era players (but still consider their OE achievements) and "pure" Open Era players. My lists would probably be as follows for the two groups:

Pre-OE players

1. Laver
2. Gonzales
3. Rosewall
4. Tilden
5. Budge
6. Kramer
7. Vines
8. Perry
9. Lacoste
10. Hoad

Pure OE players

1. Federer
2. Sampras
3. Djokovic
4. Nadal
5. Borg
6. Lendl
7. Connors
8. Agassi
9. McEnroe
10. Becker

Yes Phoenix your lists are great but I feel laver should be ranked in both eras
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
My problem with "pre-open" is that it does not make a differentiation between what went on before Kramer and afterward. It is my understanding that we can't clearly see a pro dominance before Kramer, suggesting that amateur champions were not weaker than players already having starting playing pro tennis. But from Kramer on it is very clear that the pros were in all ways better players than the amateurs.

For me this makes a differentiation important.

It's hard to argue against Federer at the top of the open era, but Djokovic at #3 looks very strange as things are right now.
I presume you mean that you think Nadal should be above him?
I can see Djokovic ahead of Nadal because he has been number one much longer. He at one point held all four majors at the same time which when you think of it may be as impressive as a Grand Slam. That deserves some extra credit for dominance. Djokovic has also won a ton of Year End Championships and Nadal hasn't won one Year End Championship.

It's close and I can see it either way but Djokovic at number three is very reasonable.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
On second thought , just looking at the competition you can see that pancho and laver played far better players !!
Again I changed my mind !!!
Competition is too weak in Tilden 20s
https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/who-is-the-most-important-male-player-ever.419730/
If you think anything is new here, read this thread!

Seven pages with mostly an endless back and forth about what a weak era it was in the 20s. But prepare for your eyes to bleed...
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
I can see Djokovic ahead of Nadal because he has been number one longer. He at one point held all four majors at the same time which when you think of it may be as impressive as a Grand Slam. Djokovic has also won a ton of Year End Championships.

It's close and I can see it either way but Djokovic at number three is very reasonable.
Not unreasonable at all, but Nadal's total dominance on clay gets downgraded, something that makes him unique.

I'm a big fan of uniqueness. ;)

In general being King of Clay also tends to get the Dangerfield award. It's almost impossible to get to #1 and stay there on the basis of clay dominance, as we can easily see with Vilas. Even Borg struggled more than most with weeks at #1, and it's impossible to miss the fact that his lack of success in winning the USO was a huge factor there.

(But what huge irony that he could not win the USO the three years when it was on clay, even if it was not read clay, so more a venue problem than a surface problem. Borg apparently was allergic to NYC and airplanes.) ;)
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
Not unreasonable at all, but Nadal's total dominance on clay gets downgraded, something that makes him unique.

I'm a big fan of uniqueness. ;)

In general being King of Clay also tends to get the Dangerfield award. It's almost impossible to get to #1 and stay there on the basis of clay dominance, as we can easily see with Vilas. Even Borg struggled more than most with weeks at #1, and it's impossible to miss the fact that his lack of success in winning the USO was a huge factor there.

(But what huge irony that he could not win the USO the three years when it was on clay, even if it was not read clay, so more a venue problem than a surface problem. Borg apparently was allergic to NYC and airplanes.) ;)
Gary,

I love unique players but unique is not always great. Nadal is both but he also had injury problems that hampered his results.

Nadal is unique and great. Some like Henri Leconte was unique but not quite great. McEnroe was unique and great. Mecir was unique and should have been great but never quite made it.

You're an admirer of Rosewall. He didn't seen unique in any particular stroke but he was unique in that he was so brilliantly efficient in his play and economical. I'm a big believer in efficiency of play. That is important to any person who admires the game of chess but that is also true of all sports I believe. Rosewall didn't have to make his shots look quite as spectacular because of his efficient movement, anticipation and strokes. He didn't have to hit a brilliant running passing shot because he was already in position to hit it without running much.
 
D

Deleted member 716271

Guest
Tough call on Djokovic-Nadal and we might only just be entering the homestretch.
Djokovic needs to tie Nadal in slam count, then he should automatically get the edge over both Nadal and PETE imo.

If Nadal remains ahead, you can't put Djokovic over him imo.
 

-NN-

G.O.A.T.
Djokovic needs to tie Nadal in slam count, then he should automatically get the edge over both Nadal and PETE imo.

If Nadal remains ahead, you can't put Djokovic over him imo.
Within the context of this ludicrously Slam-centric era (I'm always talking about being faithful to the tone of the times) you're probably right. But I do have them virtually tied. The problem comes in making comparisons to players who didn't achieve in an era that was so obsessed with Slam count.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
Gary,

I love unique players but unique is not always great. Nadal is both but he also had injury problems that hampered his results.

Nadal is unique and great. Some like Henri Leconte was unique but not quite great. McEnroe was unique and great. Mecir was unique and should have been great but never quite made it.

You're an admirer of Rosewall. He didn't seen unique in any particular stroke but he was unique in that he was so brilliantly efficient in his play and economical. I'm a big believer in efficiency of play. That is important to any person who admires the game of chess but that is also true of all sports I believe. Rosewall didn't have to make his shots look quite as spectacular because of his efficient movement, anticipation and strokes. He didn't have to hit a brilliant running passing shot because he was already in position to hit it without running much.
All true: But I have to qualify something: I'm a huge admirer of Rosewall as unique in play so well past the age of 35.

Remember, I'm looking at three periods, not two. Tilden would and should get that same rep in the pre-Kramer era. However, I simply can't believe that competition in that era was as tough as it became later. That's why I want to keep Vines, Budge, Tilden and others in that era and not compare them with later periods.

I know even that position is arbitrary and can be argued against.

But I would suggest that Rosewall in the open era is unique in combined longevity and level of play.

Federer is now challenging that, by the way. And I certainly would say that Federer, losing in two finales in 2015 to a surging Djokovic, could easily be argued to be in much the same place. Another slam would absolutely confirm that, I think.
 
D

Deleted member 716271

Guest
Within the context of this ludicrously Slam-centric era (I'm always talking about being faithful to the tone of the times) you're probably right. But I do have them virtually tied. The problem comes in making comparisons to players who didn't achieve in an era that was so obsessed with Slam count.
Good phrase, the thing is the players know what they're signing up for, so they should have a clue at the tone of the times themselves and set goals. accordingly. This is why I don't buy into the "what if the courts were fast like the 90s, or what if there were 2 clay slams" etc arguments.

As for comparing to past players, that might be an issue with Borg, particularly with the AO issue. However, honestly, I don't really consider players before that late 70s/early 80s rivals to modern day players. Historically, you can consider them great relative to their peers. But does anyone really think Laver was playing to the same level or even the same game as the modern players? I doubt 5 foot 7 Aussies with minimal fitness and no nutritional regimes played with the same intensity and athletic brilliance as modern players. Sorry, I suspect this will ruffle a lot of feathers...
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
Within the context of this ludicrously Slam-centric era (I'm always talking about being faithful to the tone of the times) you're probably right. But I do have them virtually tied. The problem comes in making comparisons to players who didn't achieve in an era that was so obsessed with Slam count.
Slam-centric - good point. I actually don't have a huge problem with this metric despite a former member's continuous jabs at #majoring in #minors. Remember that? ;)

I do think that disparaging M1000s is more than a bit over-the-top, but you have to admit that making all of them 3 sets has made that somewhat easy to do - which is very unfortunate.

However, comparing tennis across eras in the open era to me becomes all but pointless with a "slam-centric" POV. I'm going to steal that term. ;)
 
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-NN-

G.O.A.T.
Good phrase, the thing is the players know what they're signing up for, so they should have a clue at the tone of the times themselves and set goals. accordingly. This is why I don't buy into the "what if the courts were fast like the 90s, or what if there were 2 clay slams" etc arguments.

As for comparing to past players, that might be an issue with Borg, particularly with the AO issue. However, honestly, I don't really consider players before that late 70s/early 80s rivals to modern day players. Historically, you can consider them great relative to their peers. But does anyone really think Laver was playing to the same level or even the same game as the modern players? I doubt 5 foot 7 Aussies with minimal fitness and no nutritional regimes played with the same intensity and athletic brilliance as modern players. Sorry, I suspect this will ruffle a lot of feathers...
Bold: I can only endorse this with the force of a thousand suns. There are extra details in that we can maybe better guess based on evidence which skill-sets would be more reliable transposable, but it depends on a whole lot of supposition. Bottomline, agreed x 100.

Borg was the first player that came to mind, yeah. I understand your point on the absolute level of tennis. It's a really complicated topic which we've (yourself and I) delved into before from time to time but at some point it probably needs its own dedicated and highly controversial thread. You will ruffle a lot of feathers, yes, and it fits into those extra details that I talked about regarding the bold text, albeit tangentially.

Slam-centric - could point. I actually don't have a huge problem with this metric despite a former members continuous jabs at #majoring in #minors. Remember that? ;)

I do think that disparaging M1000s is more than a bit over-the-top, but you have to admit that making all of them 3 sets has made that somewhat easy to do - which is very unfortunate.

However, comparing tennis across eras in the open era to me becomes all but pointless with a "slam-centric" POV. I'm going to steal that term. ;)
Although the fact M1000s are worth so much (more points available from them than Slams in a year) they can have a very positive effect in confirming YE#1 (or just getting to #1), which is of course still a hugely respected achievement. So in a sense, they do get their dues. They should, really, given how hard they are to win as Full Field events.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
Bold: I can only endorse this with the force of a thousand suns. There are extra details in that we can maybe better guess based on evidence which skill-sets would be more reliable transposable, but it depends on a whole lot of supposition. Bottomline, agreed x 100.

Borg was the first player that came to mind, yeah. I understand your point on the absolute level of tennis. It's a really complicated topic which we've (yourself and I) delved into before from time to time but at some point it probably needs its own dedicated and highly controversial thread. You will ruffle a lot of feathers, yes, and it fits into those extra details that I talked about regarding the bold text, albeit tangentially.



Although the fact M1000s are worth so much (more points available from them than Slams in a year) they can have a very positive effect in confirming YE#1 (or just getting to #1), which is of course still a hugely respected achievement. So in a sense, they do get their dues. They should, really, given how hard they are to win as Full Field events.
True. Meanwhile, I need a proofreader. My typing is horrible. How I typed "could point" instead of "good point" amazes me. Thank God I don't play music that way!

Now, off for the Super Bowl, which I really don't care much about, but it's history...
 
D

Deleted member 716271

Guest
Bold: I can only endorse this with the force of a thousand suns. There are extra details in that we can maybe better guess based on evidence which skill-sets would be more reliable transposable, but it depends on a whole lot of supposition. Bottomline, agreed x 100.

Borg was the first player that came to mind, yeah. I understand your point on the absolute level of tennis. It's a really complicated topic which we've (yourself and I) delved into before from time to time but at some point it probably needs its own dedicated and highly controversial thread. You will ruffle a lot of feathers, yes, and it fits into those extra details that I talked about regarding the bold text, albeit tangentially.



Although the fact M1000s are worth so much (more points available from them than Slams in a year) they can have a very positive effect in confirming YE#1 (or just getting to #1), which is of course still a hugely respected achievement. So in a sense, they do get their dues. They should, really, given how hard they are to win as Full Field events.
Nate, the super bowl just started if you're interested!
 
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dgold44

G.O.A.T.
how is this pre open list ??? I am packing right now as I am moving soon out of ORegon to NEvada .

1. Pancho G
2) Laver
3. Rosewall
4) Tilden
5) Budge
6) Vines
7) KRamer
8) Perry
9) Hoad
10) Sedgman

Laver is only 2 because I had subtract out what he did after 1967.
 

Limpinhitter

G.O.A.T.
There he goes again. I could link to similar attacks against at least a half dozen posters written in a similar vitriolic manner.

How could anything you have to say possible measure against Limpin's personal observation, knowledge and experience? :)

Welcome to the Limpin Enemies List or LEL. I'm on it by the way. You can think of me as the "King of Snark" because according to the Great One that's all I write. :D
You give yourself too much credit, Duane. You're not important enough to be on my enemy list.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
Good phrase, the thing is the players know what they're signing up for, so they should have a clue at the tone of the times themselves and set goals. accordingly. This is why I don't buy into the "what if the courts were fast like the 90s, or what if there were 2 clay slams" etc arguments.

As for comparing to past players, that might be an issue with Borg, particularly with the AO issue. However, honestly, I don't really consider players before that late 70s/early 80s rivals to modern day players. Historically, you can consider them great relative to their peers. But does anyone really think Laver was playing to the same level or even the same game as the modern players? I doubt 5 foot 7 Aussies with minimal fitness and no nutritional regimes played with the same intensity and athletic brilliance as modern players. Sorry, I suspect this will ruffle a lot of feathers...
You give yourself too much credit, Duane. You're not important enough to be on my enemy list.
I'm crushed...
 

Limpinhitter

G.O.A.T.
On second thought , just looking at the competition you can see that pancho and laver played far better players !!
Again I changed my mind !!!
Competition is too weak in Tilden 20s
I'm not so sure about that. Bill Johnston, Gerald Patterson, Rene Lacoste, Henri Cochet, Jean Borotra, Karel Kozeluh, Hans Nusslein, Ellsworth Vines were all great champions in their own right. The competition wasn't too deep at any one time. But, there was plenty of talent at the top.
 

Limpinhitter

G.O.A.T.
. . . Historically, you can consider them great relative to their peers. But does anyone really think Laver was playing to the same level or even the same game as the modern players? I doubt 5 foot 7 Aussies with minimal fitness and no nutritional regimes played with the same intensity and athletic brilliance as modern players. Sorry, I suspect this will ruffle a lot of feathers...
Wow! I guess this would ruffle the feathers of those who know how woefully uninformed it is. That's okay, I had similar thoughts about Don Budge, et al., when I was in juniors. Then, I discovered how woefully uninformed I was. I don't have the time or energy to give you a full and fair response now. Maybe tomorrow.

PS: Brad Gilbert and Darren Cahill would seem to disagree with you.
 
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7

70sHollywood

Guest
I'd personally like to see three lists, and no argument between lists:

1. Before Kramer
2. From Kramer to the open era
3. Open era

That makes it complicated for at least two players, Laver and Rosewall, who spanned two of these eras. But that's only about two players, really, and both had a good enough track record during the middle period to be looked at in that era.
I go by year of birth - before 1940 and after 1940. This way you can rank a player based on their whole career whilst still having a seperation between pre-open era and open era. Also, seeing as most people start with Tilden, it means you basically have 1890 to 1940 and then 1940 to 1990, so a nice 50 year gap for both.
 

Nadalgaenger

G.O.A.T.
1. Federer
2. Nadal
3. Djokovic- Djokovic passes Nadal if he wins 13 before Nadal 15
4. Sampras
5. Borg
6. Connors
7. Lendl
8. McEnroe
9. Agassi
10. Wilander

Murray has a very outside shot to catch Agassi and/or Wilander at some point.
My list exactly! Well done!
 
I also posted this in the General Pro Player section, but, I think it might be even more fun here.

At 10:20 of today's AO final pre-match commentary on ESPN, Brad Gilbert shared his list of the top 10 players of the open era. In first and second place he put the winner and runner up of today's final, which we now know are Federer and Nadal respectively. So, Brad Gilbert's ranking of the top 10 players greatest players of the open era are as follows:

1. Roger Federer
2. Rafael Nadal
3. Pete Sampras
4. Novak Djokovic
5. Rod Laver
6. Bjorn Borg
7. Andre Agassi
8. John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors

PS: At 10:55, Darren Cahill said that he would put Laver in his top 3 of the "open era."
I think there is slight bias there towards Agassi. I also have a problem trying to rate Laver based only on open era results. They are obviously impressive, but not stacking his whole career up against the others doesn't really make sense.
 

wangs78

Hall of Fame
Sampras was absolutely terrible on one of the major surfaces which counts against him. I thought of even putting Borg over him when you consider his total dominance of grass and clay is really far more impressive than anything Sampras did. And while the 6 straight YE#1s is an impressive record, and probably his best one, the #2 player of all those years minus 1995 was relatively weak so it was an easy run at #1. Even the Nadal of 2005-2011 would probably have 7 straight years at #1 with Sampras's opposition, even 95 Agassi (Sampras's only worthy #1 opposition any years) producing almost all his points on hard courts probably wouldnt be good enough to prevent.
You've lost your mind if you think Djokovic is ahead of Sampras. Sampras is a #1 player in ANY era with only Fed with the all-around talent and athleticism to beat him if they were contemporaries. With Djokovic, if you take away the modern racquets and strings, he just doesn't have the hands (i.e., touch shots, variety) that Fed and Sampras have. He is a supreme athlete, able to run and slide like the terminator, but is no higher than #5 at best. Nadal, despite also benefiting greatly from modern racquets and strings, at least seems to come into net more naturally to finish points than Nole does. I would have him as #3 or #4 but could argue that he is a tie for #2 with Sampras if forced to (main argument being he has 14 Slams with many of them coming at the expense of the GOAT who was still near his prime).
 

Rod Laver

Professional
Am I the only person who can't stop laughing at the statement in red?

Would anyone else suggest that opinions have no bias whatsoever? :rolleyes:
Yes it is quite funny. An opinion by its very nature is biased. It is not a statement of fact as such.

Despite my name, I do not possess enough knowledge of the pre-open era to provide a fair list. Therefore I will stick to what someone earlier described as 'pure open era' players.

1. Federer
2. Sampras
3. Borg
4. Nadal
5. Djokovic
6. Connors
7. Lendl
8. McEnroe
9. Agassi
10. Wilander (Although you could convince me that Becker deserves this place)

I listed Djokovic and Nadal below Borg because I do feel like we are viewing them (and Federer) with a bit of rose tinted glasses at the moment. After all, they are still playing and doing very well. At the end of their career I think it may be easier to cast judgement on where they stand and I would not be surprised if my views change where I have Djokovic and Nadal both over Borg. As with my comment about Wilander, I think there is a fair case for both of them to be higher than Borg and perhaps Sampras also.
 

Limpinhitter

G.O.A.T.
Yes it is quite funny. An opinion by its very nature is biased. It is not a statement of fact as such.

Despite my name, I do not possess enough knowledge of the pre-open era to provide a fair list. Therefore I will stick to what someone earlier described as 'pure open era' players.

1. Federer
2. Sampras
3. Borg
4. Nadal
5. Djokovic
6. Connors
7. Lendl
8. McEnroe
9. Agassi
10. Wilander (Although you could convince me that Becker deserves this place)

I listed Djokovic and Nadal below Borg because I do feel like we are viewing them (and Federer) with a bit of rose tinted glasses at the moment. After all, they are still playing and doing very well. At the end of their career I think it may be easier to cast judgement on where they stand and I would not be surprised if my views change where I have Djokovic and Nadal both over Borg. As with my comment about Wilander, I think there is a fair case for both of them to be higher than Borg and perhaps Sampras also.
An opinion is absolutely not biased by definition. An opinion can be biased. It can also be in good faith, supported by evidence and completely neutral. I do think your open era only list is pretty fair. Although, I would put Becker and Edberg above Wilander, and Agassi a bit higher.
 

Rod Laver

Professional
An opinion is absolutely not biased by definition. An opinion can be biased. It can also be in good faith, supported by evidence and completely neutral. I do think your open era only list is pretty fair. Although, I would put Becker and Edberg above Wilander, and Agassi a bit higher.
I somewhat agree. I do not mean to say that there is no such thing as better or worse opinions. My point is by bias, for example, someone may view an achievement by a player as greater than another person views that same achievement. Of course one of these people may have more sound arguments to back up their case.
 

hoodjem

G.O.A.T.
I also posted this in the General Pro Player section, but, I think it might be even more fun here.

At 10:20 of today's AO final pre-match commentary on ESPN, Brad Gilbert shared his list of the top 10 players of the open era. In first and second place he put the winner and runner up of today's final, which we now know are Federer and Nadal respectively. So, Brad Gilbert's ranking of the top 10 players greatest players of the open era are as follows:

1. Roger Federer
2. Rafael Nadal
3. Pete Sampras
4. Novak Djokovic
5. Rod Laver
6. Bjorn Borg
7. Andre Agassi
8. John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors

PS: At 10:55, Darren Cahill said that he would put Laver in his top 3 of the "open era."
Pretty good for Laver at no. 5, considering that much of his career was pre-Open.

Good respect and historical awareness by Gilbert.
 

Flash O'Groove

Hall of Fame
Tilden was clearly more dominant than Gonzalez but Gonzalez did play on the Old Pro Tour with a ton of Hall of Famers. Vines, who saw Tilden and Gonzalez play ranks Tilden ahead of Gonzalez. Subjectively most say that Tilden had the superior backhand and forehand. Gonzalez is thought to have the superior serve but Tilden had apparently an all time great serve. Gonzalez was clearly the better volleyer and both moved well.

Vines and Kramer is tough. Vines was arguably the best player in the world from the early 1930s to 1939. Kramer was a methodical tennis machine in his prime. He was possibly the greatest serve and volleyer with arguably the best serve (of course Vines can also be argued to have the best serve) and many consider Kramer one of the finest baseliners ever. Gonzalez felt Kramer was one of the three finest baseliners he ever faced with Segura and Rosewall the other two. Gonzalez also felt Kramer had the best serve he faced. Kramer really didn't reach his peak until he turned pro where he also improved his clay court play although Kramer was a fine clay courter beforehand. Segura I believe mentioned that perhaps his finest win was a big clay court win over Kramer which says a lot about Kramer's play on clay.

Lacoste was a very methodical player who was a super baseliner with arguably the best backhand before Budge although you could say the same about Tilden. Very smart intelligent player who scouted his opponents carefully and took meticulous notes on what to do. Very good mover with a good but not great serve. An excellent service return but not a great volley. Probably one of the greatest defensive players of his day.
If Kramer was probably the best serve and volleyer ever, one of the finest baseliners, one of the best server ever, with a huge mentality and able to play on all surfaces, he is either the best players ever by a huge margin on every (non)-contender like Gonzalez, Laver and Fed, or all these attributes are grossly exaggerated.
 
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pc1

G.O.A.T.
If Kramer was probably the best serve and volleyer ever, one of the finest baseliners, one of the best server ever, with a huge mentality and able to play on all surfaces, he is either the best players ever by a huge margin on every (non)-contender like Gonzalez, Laver and Fed, or all these attributes are grossly exaggerated.
Perhaps but we don't know for sure. I think they're talking about peak level and he did crush guys like Riggs, Gonzalez (not peak but still strong), Segura and Sedgman by huge margin. What I am sure about is that he was a great great player with excellent strokes.

Kramer was a dominant player in the amateurs but improved by a lot in the pros. Unfortunately his career was shortened by arthritis.

Edit-It's so hard to say for sure. For example you could easily argue that Federer at his best was the best baseliner, the best volleyer in the game etc and the same for McEnroe in 1984.
 
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Limpinhitter

G.O.A.T.
If Kramer was probably the best serve and volleyer ever, one of the finest baseliners, one of the best server ever, with a huge mentality and able to play on all surfaces, he is either the best players ever by a huge margin on every (non)-contender like Gonzalez, Laver and Fed, or all these attributes are grossly exaggerated.
FYI, from everything I've read about Kramer (before YouTube existed), the one attribute that came up most often was the greatness of his forehand. He also popularized the "big game," as a primary tactic and, to my knowledge, basically invented the notion of high percentage shot selection. The short video clips I've seen would tend to confirm that he had a great forehand and serve and volley game. One other thing, Laver ranks Kramer as the 2nd greatest pre-open era player behind Hoad and in front of Gonzalez.
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
Here is mine if it matters

1) Roger Federer
2) Pete Sampras
3) Nadal
4) Djoker
5) Borg
6) Connors
7) Lendl
8) MAC
9) Agassi
10) Edberg

I put Laver in the pre-open era which is hard to rank.
This feels about right to me. it's a little hard across decades, since few played all 4 slams prior to the 90's really
 
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