Career percentages of 17 alltime greats

pc1

G.O.A.T.
And this is one of the things we will all miss about Bud's absence from our sport. The man really knew his way around a metaphor or visual image. You just don't get a lot of real writers in the commentary booth . Sanchez Vicario as the ' Barcelona Bumblebee' Where will we find that again?
He was one of a kind.
 

BTURNER

Legend
He was one of a kind.
If you think about it, we will find new great champions like Fed or Nadal or Djok, each generation, or some fine moderately intelligent/knowledgeable commentators, but the real characters in a professional sport like Ted Tingley or Bud Collins, can't be trained or discovered. Your sport just gets lucky enough to attract one every once in a blue moon.
 
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pc1

G.O.A.T.
If you think about it, we will find new great champions like Fed or Nadal or Djok, each generation, but the real characters in a professional sport like Ted Tingley or Bud Collins, can't be re- created in a tennis camp. You can't aspire or train to become the next Bud Collins!
I was talking to Bud just a few years ago about how I enjoyed his commentary along with Donald Dell on the Public Broadcasting System on weekends and on Monday night in the early 1970s. Bud and Donald did an amazing job considering there are no commercials and they had to fill all that airtime for 5, 6, perhaps 7+ hours. It was something I looked forward to every weekend.

He looked genuinely surprised that I appreciated the commentary so much.

I was watching the Aetna World Cup one year in 1975 in which Ashe was playing Laver. Laver passed Ashe with a great backhand. Dell raved about what a great backhand Laver had. Almost instantaneously it seemed Laver passed Ashe with a great forehand. Bud said "Forehand's not bad either!" I almost fell on the floor laughing. I mentioned that story to Bud but he didn't remember saying that.
 

BobbyOne

G.O.A.T.
If you think about it, we will find new great champions like Fed or Nadal or Djok, each generation, or some fine moderately intelligent/knowledgeable commentators, but the real characters in a professional sport like Ted Tingley or Bud Collins, can't be trained or discovered. Your sport just gets lucky enough to attract one every once in a blue moon.
BTURNER, Tingay? Tinling?
 

Drob

Professional
Ha! Non-consecutive 5-year numbers will have to be someone else's specialty! :)

No, but, i say this all in good fun, I might consider it (I don't know even know how to calculate the formula, though I guess I'd figure it out). But right now my head's so full of numbers I can't fit any more in there! :)

Yes, as pros Budge and Vines played few tournaments (Vines none from 1936-38).

I'll get the raw numbers out too. I don't want to post images for all 17 players, but I could do a few.

Gonzalez's yearly numbers, I'm going to put in a new thread, probably very soon. For Rosewall and Laver, I can't post all the career data we have (too large) but I could post the matches won and lost per season.

Also I'd be happy to share the Excel file with anyone by email.

Krosero: From what I can tell, Vines played very few tournaments in Both 1932 and 1933, as amateur. Is that correct? Thanks
 

krosero

Legend
Krosero: From what I can tell, Vines played very few tournaments in Both 1932 and 1933, as amateur. Is that correct? Thanks
'32 was a somewhat active year for him but in '33 there's a dip. Here's his tournament record as I've compiled it:


Year..Won..Lost..Played....%

1927.....0.....3.....3.....0.00%

1928.....0.....3.....3.....0.00%

1929.....0.....8.....8.....0.00%

1930.....8.....8.....16.....50.00%

1931.....13.....4.....17.....76.47%

1932.....5.....7.....12.....41.67%

1933.....1.....7.....8.....12.50%

1934.....7.....2.....9.....77.78%

1935.....5.....2.....7.....71.43%

1936....................

1937....................

1938....................

1939.....1.....3.....4.....25.00%

1940.....0.....1.....1.....0.00%

Some of this I've compiled with help from the data at Tennis Base but whenever possible I've gone with my own final numbers, because some of the events counted by TB as tournaments were actually events like team competitions or other non-tournaments.
 

Drob

Professional
'32 was a somewhat active year for him but in '33 there's a dip. Here's his tournament record as I've compiled it:


Year..Won..Lost..Played....%

1927.....0.....3.....3.....0.00%

1928.....0.....3.....3.....0.00%

1929.....0.....8.....8.....0.00%

1930.....8.....8.....16.....50.00%

1931.....13.....4.....17.....76.47%

1932.....5.....7.....12.....41.67%

1933.....1.....7.....8.....12.50%

1934.....7.....2.....9.....77.78%

1935.....5.....2.....7.....71.43%

1936....................

1937....................

1938....................

1939.....1.....3.....4.....25.00%

1940.....0.....1.....1.....0.00%

Some of this I've compiled with help from the data at Tennis Base but whenever possible I've gone with my own final numbers, because some of the events counted by TB as tournaments were actually events like team competitions or other non-tournaments.

Splendid. Thanks.
 

Drob

Professional
'32 was a somewhat active year for him but in '33 there's a dip. Here's his tournament record as I've compiled it:


Year..Won..Lost..Played....%

1927.....0.....3.....3.....0.00%

1928.....0.....3.....3.....0.00%

1929.....0.....8.....8.....0.00%

1930.....8.....8.....16.....50.00%

1931.....13.....4.....17.....76.47%

1932.....5.....7.....12.....41.67%

1933.....1.....7.....8.....12.50%

1934.....7.....2.....9.....77.78%

1935.....5.....2.....7.....71.43%

1936....................

1937....................

1938....................

1939.....1.....3.....4.....25.00%

1940.....0.....1.....1.....0.00%

Some of this I've compiled with help from the data at Tennis Base but whenever possible I've gone with my own final numbers, because some of the events counted by TB as tournaments were actually events like team competitions or other non-tournaments.

Krosero: Two related follow ups if I may. In 1931, I don't see Cochet accomplishing much of anything other than holding off the Brits in the Cup tie. He is ousted in first round at Wimbledon and I can't see that he was even at RG or Forest Hills. Nor does it appear that he did anything else of significance. Yet Myers ranked him No. 1 for 1931, which Collins passes down as the correct ranking, with Vines 3rd among amateurs. I don't get it, and is there any argument for Cochet as number one for 1931?

My second question is that I notice you left 1936 blank for Vines tournaments. So, are you in agreement with Ray Bowers that there was no London Pro Indoor in 1936? Am I correct in recollection that MCauley reports there was a tournament, w Vines as champ? If so, and if you agree w Bowers over McCauley, why?

Thanks.
 

krosero

Legend
Krosero: Two related follow ups if I may. In 1931, I don't see Cochet accomplishing much of anything other than holding off the Brits in the Cup tie. He is ousted in first round at Wimbledon and I can't see that he was even at RG or Forest Hills. Nor does it appear that he did anything else of significance. Yet Myers ranked him No. 1 for 1931, which Collins passes down as the correct ranking, with Vines 3rd among amateurs. I don't get it, and is there any argument for Cochet as number one for 1931?

My second question is that I notice you left 1936 blank for Vines tournaments. So, are you in agreement with Ray Bowers that there was no London Pro Indoor in 1936? Am I correct in recollection that MCauley reports there was a tournament, w Vines as champ? If so, and if you agree w Bowers over McCauley, why?

Thanks.
Good questions.

I haven't looked at 1931 very closely but any argument for Cochet would (obviously) have to rest on Davis Cup. I don't know his title count but at Wiki it's given as 3, with Monte Carlo being the most prestigious. Davis Cup was probably the central event in amateur tennis back then and it was thought of as a kind of world championship -- for the winning nation, obviously, but also in some sense for the winning players. Not easy to define necessarily, all I can say is that it was huge, and every time I go back into this time period, every other article is about the upcoming Davis Cup tie, last year's Davis Cup, what we're going to do to get back the Cup, etc. The pressure that the top DC players lived under was enormous.

So even though Davis Cup was not formally a major, I think you can view the Davis Cup, or even just the Davis Cup Challenge Round, as a kind of major, that can be stacked up and compared (that's where the debate begins) against the other majors for the year.

Wembley, I agree with Bowers that there was no tournament in '36 or '38. I also produced my own work about it here: https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/1936-wembley.531300/

There was good reason to go with Bowers over McCauley because the latter was producing a general tennis history and did not focus on the 30s as Bowers did. And Bowers presented some very good evidence for his position, though even in his case, producing a general history of the 30s pro scene, he didn't publish a study focused on '36 Wembley. My thread is focused on that topic, and the approach I took was to document Elly's whereabouts throughout the year.

Later in the thread (post 16), I found confirmation in the London Daily Mail that Wembley '36 had been cancelled. That's the source I'll use if I ever get around to removing the '36 and '38 Wembley editions from the various Wiki pages where they appear.
 

Drob

Professional
Good questions.

I haven't looked at 1931 very closely but any argument for Cochet would (obviously) have to rest on Davis Cup. I don't know his title count but at Wiki it's given as 3, with Monte Carlo being the most prestigious. Davis Cup was probably the central event in amateur tennis back then and it was thought of as a kind of world championship -- for the winning nation, obviously, but also in some sense for the winning players. Not easy to define necessarily, all I can say is that it was huge, and every time I go back into this time period, every other article is about the upcoming Davis Cup tie, last year's Davis Cup, what we're going to do to get back the Cup, etc. The pressure that the top DC players lived under was enormous.

So even though Davis Cup was not formally a major, I think you can view the Davis Cup, or even just the Davis Cup Challenge Round, as a kind of major, that can be stacked up and compared (that's where the debate begins) against the other majors for the year.

Wembley, I agree with Bowers that there was no tournament in '36 or '38. I also produced my own work about it here: https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/1936-wembley.531300/

There was good reason to go with Bowers over McCauley because the latter was producing a general tennis history and did not focus on the 30s as Bowers did. And Bowers presented some very good evidence for his position, though even in his case, producing a general history of the 30s pro scene, he didn't publish a study focused on '36 Wembley. My thread is focused on that topic, and the approach I took was to document Elly's whereabouts throughout the year.

Later in the thread (post 16), I found confirmation in the London Daily Mail that Wembley '36 had been cancelled. That's the source I'll use if I ever get around to removing the '36 and '38 Wembley editions from the various Wiki pages where they appear.

Krosero - I think somewhere you had a percentage breakdown of success in Majors, or Big tournaments anyway. I think I saw a reference to it somewhere but I can't find it, but please direct me to it if it is there. I some time back did this sort of exercise, and these were my results:


This index is calculated by dividing the number of Majors entered by the number won (including many, but not all, World Championship Series, depending on the quality of the opposition) during a five-year, or longer, peak.

Note: Because of the 15-event requirement, Vines and Kramer were impossible to qualify.[1] Perry only qualifies by extending out his “peak” for nine years! But, since a nine-year “peak” would no doubt diminish, rather than enhance, his ratio, it is fair to do, and to include him. As you can see, only 13 players in the last 100 can be called dominant based on this straightforward measurement.


Don Budge, 1936-42: 16/13 = 1.25:1 (six traditional Majors, four pro Majors, counted World Championship Series triumph over Vines and his tour victory over Perry during the same year, and his 1942 WCS, but did not count his 1940 and 1941 WCS because of lack of strength of competition).


Ken Rosewall, 1960-65: 15/12 = 1.25:1 (12 Pro Slams)


Rod Laver, 1964-69: 19/13 = 1.50:1 or better (eight Pro Slams, five Open Slams)


Richard Gonzalez, 1954-58: 19/13 = 1.50:1 or better (four WCS, nine Pro Slams)


Roger Federer, 2004-2009: 24/14 = 1.80:1 or better


Bill Tiden, 1920-29: 17/10 = 1.80:1 or better


Bjorn Borg, 1976-81: 16/9 = 1.80:1 or better


Fred Perry, 1934-41: 16/9 = 1.80:1 or better (seven traditional Majors, two Pro Majors)


Roy Emerson, 1963-67: 20/10 = 2.00:1


Pete Sampras, 1993-97: 20/9 = 2.20:1 or better


Novak Djokovic, 2011-15: 20/9 = 2.20:1 or better


Rene Lacoste 1923-29: 15/7 = 2.20:1 or better


Rafael Nadal, 2008-2013: 22/10 = 2.20:1








[1] In Vines' case, you have to extend out nine seasons, with two completely blank seasons (1936 and also '37 – because I declare the Vines-Perry 1937 WCS an exact tie, and so a “non-event” for this particular purpose), and, even then, you still don’t have 15 events (I cannot count the Vines-Stoefen tours as true WCS events). If you do add up all Vines’ nine seasons, it is an impressive 12/9 ratio, but not close to the requisite 15 events. This caused me to ask, is 15 minimum really necessary? To measure meaningfully this category of comparison, I think it is. In Kramer’s case, from 1946 to 1953 (eight seasons), he was 4/2 at traditional Majors, 3/2 at Pro Majors, and 4/4 at WCS, for an 11/8 ratio, also impressive.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
Krosero,

Can you (and I for that matter since I think some of this is from me) really equate comparing Pro majors with open majors? It seems to me for example that Federer's 60% in Open Majors may be superior to many if not all that you have on the table above him.

It's tough and I understand this is a table to sum up things.

Where's Tilden? I think he's at 100% in his best years.



@NatF @thrust @BobbyOne @Dan Lobb @Drob @BTURNER @treblings

By the way, it's sort of a rhetorical question because I used to do that myself. I find it's hard to put all of these tournaments together nowadays because it's apples and oranges.

I would be interested in other's viewpoints on this matter.
 
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BobbyOne

G.O.A.T.
BTURNER, Tingay? Tinling?
PC1, I understand that you and others are not satisfied with the comparison of open era GS tournaments and pro majors. But the opposite is even more distorting history. If we only count GS tournaments then Cooper has won more majors than Gonzalez. Or if we only count open era GS tournaments then Becker and Edberg are greater players than Laver and Rosewall.

I think it's your problem to still not considering the pro majors rightly, in other words you don't agree that there were (mostly) three pro majors with the very best players participating. If there were only "big" pro tournaments including MSG, Sydney, Melbourne, White Plains etc. then I would agree that they are in common not comparable to the modern majors. But the pro majors were distinguished from the other big pro events!
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
PC1, I understand that you and others are not satisfied with the comparison of open era GS tournaments and pro majors. But the opposite is even more distorting history. If we only count GS tournaments then Cooper has won more majors than Gonzalez. Or if we only count open era GS tournaments then Becker and Edberg are greater players than Laver and Rosewall.

I think it's your problem to still not considering the pro majors rightly, in other words you don't agree that there were (mostly) three pro majors with the very best players participating. If there were only "big" pro tournaments including MSG, Sydney, Melbourne, White Plains etc. then I would agree that they are in common not comparable to the modern majors. But the pro majors were distinguished from the other big pro events!
Bobby,
In this situation I wasn't thinking about that. I just want to figure out the best way to properly work out the best way to solve the inequality in categorizing. I wanted your opinion as well as others. In this case I am open to ideas
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Krosero,

Can you (and I for that matter since I think some of this is from me) really equate comparing Pro majors with open majors? It seems to me for example that Federer's 60% in Open Majors may be superior to many if not all that you have on the table above him.

It's tough and I understand this is a table to sum up things.

Where's Tilden? I think he's at 100% in his best years.



@NatF @thrust @BobbyOne @Dan Lobb @Drob @BTURNER @treblings

By the way, it's sort of a rhetorical question because I used to do that myself. I find it's hard to put all of these tournaments together nowadays because it's apples and oranges.

I would be interested in other's viewpoints on this matter.
It's an interesting little conundrum tbh.

On the one hand to win over 60% of your matches in modern slams you'd need to average winning 4-5 matches out of 7. To do the same in a Pro Major it might only be 3 matches that you need to win or perhaps less. On the flip side you did need to beat generally higher ranked opponents earlier.

Generally I'm against including those events together and even in this case I would prefer to keep them separate. I don't think there's any harm in just saying we can't compare everything on a like for like basis when tennis has gone through such big changes.
 
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krosero

Legend
Krosero - I think somewhere you had a percentage breakdown of success in Majors, or Big tournaments anyway. I think I saw a reference to it somewhere but I can't find it, but please direct me to it if it is there. I some time back did this sort of exercise, and these were my results:


This index is calculated by dividing the number of Majors entered by the number won (including many, but not all, World Championship Series, depending on the quality of the opposition) during a five-year, or longer, peak.

Note: Because of the 15-event requirement, Vines and Kramer were impossible to qualify.[1] Perry only qualifies by extending out his “peak” for nine years! But, since a nine-year “peak” would no doubt diminish, rather than enhance, his ratio, it is fair to do, and to include him. As you can see, only 13 players in the last 100 can be called dominant based on this straightforward measurement.


Don Budge, 1936-42: 16/13 = 1.25:1 (six traditional Majors, four pro Majors, counted World Championship Series triumph over Vines and his tour victory over Perry during the same year, and his 1942 WCS, but did not count his 1940 and 1941 WCS because of lack of strength of competition).


Ken Rosewall, 1960-65: 15/12 = 1.25:1 (12 Pro Slams)


Rod Laver, 1964-69: 19/13 = 1.50:1 or better (eight Pro Slams, five Open Slams)


Richard Gonzalez, 1954-58: 19/13 = 1.50:1 or better (four WCS, nine Pro Slams)


Roger Federer, 2004-2009: 24/14 = 1.80:1 or better


Bill Tiden, 1920-29: 17/10 = 1.80:1 or better


Bjorn Borg, 1976-81: 16/9 = 1.80:1 or better


Fred Perry, 1934-41: 16/9 = 1.80:1 or better (seven traditional Majors, two Pro Majors)


Roy Emerson, 1963-67: 20/10 = 2.00:1


Pete Sampras, 1993-97: 20/9 = 2.20:1 or better


Novak Djokovic, 2011-15: 20/9 = 2.20:1 or better


Rene Lacoste 1923-29: 15/7 = 2.20:1 or better


Rafael Nadal, 2008-2013: 22/10 = 2.20:1








[1] In Vines' case, you have to extend out nine seasons, with two completely blank seasons (1936 and also '37 – because I declare the Vines-Perry 1937 WCS an exact tie, and so a “non-event” for this particular purpose), and, even then, you still don’t have 15 events (I cannot count the Vines-Stoefen tours as true WCS events). If you do add up all Vines’ nine seasons, it is an impressive 12/9 ratio, but not close to the requisite 15 events. This caused me to ask, is 15 minimum really necessary? To measure meaningfully this category of comparison, I think it is. In Kramer’s case, from 1946 to 1953 (eight seasons), he was 4/2 at traditional Majors, 3/2 at Pro Majors, and 4/4 at WCS, for an 11/8 ratio, also impressive.
I like the list, I'm just not sure I'd go with a peak period of as much as 8 years. Depends on what you're using it for. If I recall correctly PC1 once said that 5 years was an ideal measure, avoiding the arbitrariness of 1 year but not going into years of decline either, and I'd agree with that. Tilden you've extended to 10 years but he was surely in decline by 1926.

I understand you're doing it in order to meet the minimum 15, but why that number?

I think Vines should get the '37 World Series (though I agree about Stoefen in '35 and '36). Perry tied up the H2H with the European tour, but that tour was not designated as part of the world championship series.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
I like the list, I'm just not sure I'd go with a peak period of as much as 8 years. Depends on what you're using it for. If I recall correctly PC1 once said that 5 years was an ideal measure, avoiding the arbitrariness of 1 year but not going into years of decline either, and I'd agree with that. Tilden you've extended to 10 years but he was surely in decline by 1926.
Yes that was the basic idea, to have a five-year period and to avoid the decline period.

You don't want to focus only on career.

Incidentally with Tilden, his decline of 1926 to 1930 was pretty good and could be better than some players' peak periods!
 

krosero

Legend
Krosero,

Can you (and I for that matter since I think some of this is from me) really equate comparing Pro majors with open majors? It seems to me for example that Federer's 60% in Open Majors may be superior to many if not all that you have on the table above him.

It's tough and I understand this is a table to sum up things.

Where's Tilden? I think he's at 100% in his best years.



@NatF @thrust @BobbyOne @Dan Lobb @Drob @BTURNER @treblings

By the way, it's sort of a rhetorical question because I used to do that myself. I find it's hard to put all of these tournaments together nowadays because it's apples and oranges.

I would be interested in other's viewpoints on this matter.
As you know I'm not the greatest fan of cross-era comparisons; the farther back you go, the more differences you have to deal with. Pro majors are not equivalent in an absolute sense to winning a major today; that is true also for the amateur majors.

I've done the cross-era comparisons in this thread just to see what they were, and to study the factors involved. It's clear now that career percentage of all matches cannot be compared across eras because match winning percentage was depressed on the old pro tour, by the particular formats of the old pro events. In that case, small draws really make a difference, and in a negative way, against the older players.

But it does not seem to me that tournament winning percentage is affected in any detrimental way, against any particular era. Yes, the draws on the old pro tour were smaller, but should we expect that to make a difference in the percentage of tournaments that a top player will claim at his peak?

The stat for percentage of all tournaments won (not just majors but all tourneys) in best 5-year period looks pretty stable across eras, and across formats. My numbers are still slightly in flux but right now I've got Vines, Borg, Federer, Lendl, Gonzalez, Connors, Laver, McEnroe, Djokovic, Rosewall all winning between 51% and 58% of all their tournaments, in each of their peak periods. That list shows no particular advantage to any era -- and this is true even though many of these players (Vines, Gonzalez, Laver, Rosewall) spent many years playing on the old pro tour where all tournaments had smaller draws than they do today. Many of these titles won were 4-man events, just two matches required to win. Those tournaments were, in a sense, truly not comparable against modern events today, when the typical number of rounds is five. It's apples and oranges. But if the small draws presented some type of advantage to the old pro tour players, then Vines, Gonzalez, Laver and Rosewall should all dominate the list. But they don't, so what should we conclude?

We can conclude that maybe Vines, Gonzalez, Laver and Rosewall really did have an advantage with their small draws and so without that advantage, they should be lower on the list than they currently are: much lower than the modern players.

Or we can conclude that tournament winning percentage is a generally fair stat for comparison and that it's not unduly affected by draw size (it may yet be affected by other things).

So I don't see tournament winning percentage (whether all tournaments, or just pro majors) as an unfair stat merely because the tournaments were not comparable in an absolute sense to modern tourneys.

Btw here's my old chart for the tournament winning percentage: https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...17-alltime-greats.562591/page-2#post-10278364

It's a little outdated as I've researched the old pro tour and found missing results. On my current list Vines has moved up to 58.5%, Rosewall up to 50.7%, Gonzalez down to 54.4%.
 
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Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
Krosero,

Can you (and I for that matter since I think some of this is from me) really equate comparing Pro majors with open majors? It seems to me for example that Federer's 60% in Open Majors may be superior to many if not all that you have on the table above him.

It's tough and I understand this is a table to sum up things.

Where's Tilden? I think he's at 100% in his best years.



@NatF @thrust @BobbyOne @Dan Lobb @Drob @BTURNER @treblings

By the way, it's sort of a rhetorical question because I used to do that myself. I find it's hard to put all of these tournaments together nowadays because it's apples and oranges.

I would be interested in other's viewpoints on this matter.
There is no fair way to compare tournament percentages won...which strikes me as a rather contrived and inessential stat, not really taking into account the status of some events over others.
Some of the old pro events were not really tournaments, but rather mini-tours, like the Grand Prix de Europe in 1959, the New Zealand series in 1964, the TCC in 1971.
Are these really "tournaments"? I think not.

I am increasingly attracted to the system used by Tennis Base which awards a certain number of points to every tennis event, amateur and pro, in keeping with the relative status of that event.
 
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treblings

Hall of Fame
Krosero,

Can you (and I for that matter since I think some of this is from me) really equate comparing Pro majors with open majors? It seems to me for example that Federer's 60% in Open Majors may be superior to many if not all that you have on the table above him.

It's tough and I understand this is a table to sum up things.

Where's Tilden? I think he's at 100% in his best years.



@NatF @thrust @BobbyOne @Dan Lobb @Drob @BTURNER @treblings

By the way, it's sort of a rhetorical question because I used to do that myself. I find it's hard to put all of these tournaments together nowadays because it's apples and oranges.

I would be interested in other's viewpoints on this matter.
PC1,

i don´t think that we will ever be able to compare different eras in a way that will satisfy everybody, or that will be 100% correct.
the times and circumstances have changed too dramatically in tennis over the past 100 years.
even if you can compare the numbers, you can´t take into accout factors like difficulties in travelling or the often cited argument of "week era"
you´re very welcome to prove me wrong btw:)

i realize that people like to look at numbers to determine the greatness of a player. Like Nadals Decima.
that is why i see value in the pro majors concept. Because once you define what the pro majors were each year, you can then
add numbers to each players resumee.
the so-called "average" tennis fan can look at these numbers and begin to understand that there may have been great tennis players
before the open era began.
if we use these numbers to suggest that past players were maybe even greater than todays , then we get
into trouble. All the Federer and Nadal fans will get on the war path to defend their idols.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
PC1,

i don´t think that we will ever be able to compare different eras in a way that will satisfy everybody, or that will be 100% correct.
the times and circumstances have changed too dramatically in tennis over the past 100 years.
even if you can compare the numbers, you can´t take into accout factors like difficulties in travelling or the often cited argument of "week era"
you´re very welcome to prove me wrong btw:)

i realize that people like to look at numbers to determine the greatness of a player. Like Nadals Decima.
that is why i see value in the pro majors concept. Because once you define what the pro majors were each year, you can then
add numbers to each players resumee.
the so-called "average" tennis fan can look at these numbers and begin to understand that there may have been great tennis players
before the open era began.
if we use these numbers to suggest that past players were maybe even greater than todays , then we get
into trouble. All the Federer and Nadal fans will get on the war path to defend their idols.
I don't think anyone is disagreeing with adding pro majors to a players resume. Every event those guys won counts, more so the biggest events that were open to them at the time. So adding them to their resume is of course the right thing to do. The problem comes when you add them to resumes in combined totals that don't inform as much as they mislead.

It's not about being a fan of one player or another it's about accurate representation.
 

treblings

Hall of Fame
I don't think anyone is disagreeing with adding pro majors to a players resume. Every event those guys won counts, more so the biggest events that were open to them at the time. So adding them to their resume is of course the right thing to do. The problem comes when you add them to resumes in combined totals that don't inform as much as they mislead.

It's not about being a fan of one player or another it's about accurate representation.
i don´t think we have much of a disagreement here. the problem with numbers is that they don´t tell the whole story.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
i don´t think we have much of a disagreement here. the problem with numbers is that they don´t tell the whole story.
But that's the point my friend. I want to see if we can categorize the numbers in a way that it will tell the most accurate story possible. That's why I am asking various people's opinions, many of which have opposing viewpoints. And to be honest I'll probably use the info for myself and a few people I know.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
I don't think anyone is disagreeing with adding pro majors to a players resume. Every event those guys won counts, more so the biggest events that were open to them at the time. So adding them to their resume is of course the right thing to do. The problem comes when you add them to resumes in combined totals that don't inform as much as they mislead.

It's not about being a fan of one player or another it's about accurate representation.
Agreed. For example when you an amateur Major to a Pro major to a Open major. All of them count as important tournaments but the value is not necessarily the same. To use an old saying, it's like apples and oranges!
 

BobbyOne

G.O.A.T.
PC1, I understand that you and others are not satisfied with the comparison of open era GS tournaments and pro majors. But the opposite is even more distorting history. If we only count GS tournaments then Cooper has won more majors than Gonzalez. Or if we only count open era GS tournaments then Becker and Edberg are greater players than Laver and Rosewall.

I think it's your problem to still not considering the pro majors rightly, in other words you don't agree that there were (mostly) three pro majors with the very best players participating. If there were only "big" pro tournaments including MSG, Sydney, Melbourne, White Plains etc. then I would agree that they are in common not comparable to the modern majors. But the pro majors were distinguished from the other big pro events!
pc1 and others: There is a significant difference between the amateur majors and the pro majors: The pro majors had the best players participating. I always found it unjust that the "official" books considered the amateur majors but ignored the major events of the pros.

The advantage of only 3 or 4 rounds that the old pros had to play might have been evened out by the fact that mostly the winner of a major did not meet a weaker player. In open era there often were weaker players in the early rounds.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
pc1 and others: There is a significant difference between the amateur majors and the pro majors: The pro majors had the best players participating. I always found it unjust that the "official" books considered the amateur majors but ignored the major events of the pros.

The advantage of only 3 or 4 rounds that the old pros had to play might have been evened out by the fact that mostly the winner of a major did not meet a weaker player. In open era there often were weaker players in the early rounds.
And that's why I'm glad you are supplying input. We have discussed this in the past of course. Generally speaking the old pros didn't meet a weaker player but what about in the Open Era when the top players (you would hope) play in the final few rounds and you may face some exceptionally strong players unexpectedly in the early rounds like perhaps a del Potro who Djokovic met in the first round in the Olympics for example. You also have to take into account the best of five for all rounds on the Men's side. This may take its toll in later rounds. Nadal almost lost to Isner in an early round in the French one year.
 

xFedal

Legend
Guys,

The way I see it is this way. If you play in a league with no easy matches you have to play at a higher level because you are playing these super players every week. It's a theory but I think a reasonable theory.

At the same time I do think guys like Federer and Borg, I suppose McEnroe in 1984 and I would have to believe Connors in 1974 had to have insanely high winning percentages in some years against the top ten.
How about Laver in 1969-70-71 had the most top 10 wins in that period... Am sure he had a very high percentage against the top 5 in that period and he was the best player in 1970 and 1971.
 
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jukka1970

Professional
The stats are great, and it's nice to see them. One of the issues with the percentage stats is that there are so many variables that go into it. Did the player mostly play on their best surface. Did the player face people that excelled on one surface. Because of the difference in total games it can be tough to compare. Was there 4 distinct surfaces, or were they mostly all grass, etc.

However, I think it's great to see that stats, and find it interesting none the less.
 
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pc1

G.O.A.T.
The stats are great, and it's nice to see them. One of the issues with the percentage stats is that there are so many variables that go into it. Did the player mostly play on their best surface. Did the player face people that excelled on one surface. Because of the difference in total games it can be tough to compare. Was there 4 distinct surfaces, or were they mostly all grass, etc.

However, I think it's great to see that stats, and find it interesting none the less.
Obviously in the early days of the open era there were more grass tournaments but there was hard court, clay, indoor supreme court, indoor canvas, etc. There were more specialists in the past for some surfaces. Harold Solomon was known for clay, poor on grass but he was fine on indoors also. Some of the Aussies were known for being top grass players but not so great on clay.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
Do we basically agree that we value open majors more than pro majors mainly because of the bigger draws?
Full field, bigger draw and more rounds of BO5.
It's just pure logic that Open Majors are far more impressive than "Pro Majors." Anyone who thinks about it carefully and was objective would realize that. You can't say a player who won ten Pro Majors has accomplished as much as a player who has won ten Open Majors, especially in the last 30 years or so.
 

jukka1970

Professional
Obviously in the early days of the open era there were more grass tournaments but there was hard court, clay, indoor supreme court, indoor canvas, etc. There were more specialists in the past for some surfaces. Harold Solomon was known for clay, poor on grass but he was fine on indoors also. Some of the Aussies were known for being top grass players but not so great on clay.
True to many things. I was honestly just giving a broad overview of things, trying to convey the message on just how many more factors there were
 
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Goosehead

Legend
following on from my question about post 30th burfdayy stats in Agassi;s Djokovic career after 30 statement..

maybe this thread has that info, just found this, but not looked through all of it.

sorry, just noticed this is former pro, just did a search so didn't notice in time. YIKES.
 

BGod

Legend
Connors is very interesting because on the one hand his numbers take a hit with his 86-92 years but on the other he skipped a lot of clay in his prime and could have racked up more losses. His mark would still have been high I'm arguing it's somewhat of a wash out between the two.
 

KG1965

Legend
Connors is very interesting because on the one hand his numbers take a hit with his 86-92 years but on the other he skipped a lot of clay in his prime and could have racked up more losses. His mark would still have been high I'm arguing it's somewhat of a wash out between the two.
Federer, Nadal and Djokovic are very impressive, perhaps Nadal is a bit advantaged to play many tournaments on red clay and Nole impresses me more than the others because it is very rare that he participated in Master 250.

Going back in time Sampras has less important numbers. And it is no coincidence that he has won many slams but few comparable Master1000s.
Pete had less than a level 1 opponent, but many ATGs. And above all, compared to the others he had to fight against level 2-3 more competitive opponents, especially in BO3.

McEnroe has a realistic number because he participated almost exclusively in top events ... although a minimal number on red clay.

Even Lendl has a fairly realistic number, but it's a bit more dirty from the 1982-83 data for competing in the WCT when the circuit had worsened in the 80s.

I arrive in Connors.
His data are realistic for the period 1976-1990 where he participates (like Mac and Ivan) almost always at the top events.
To his disadvantage there are the results of the years that go from 1986 onwards because Jim was over the hill.
To his advantage I don't think there is the fact that he has never participated in tournaments on red clay (he has many matches on har tru, a faster clay).
Assuming a compulsory participation in two events (Rome and RG were the only big ones) he would probably have lost some matches to a greater extent than in two indoor or hc tournaments, but his data would not have changed much.

His real advantage IMHO are the results in the Riordan's circuit that allow him to win series matches in the period 1972-75.
We should make a hypothetical calculation and deduct the Riordan's circuit matches, assuming however to add its participation to other events (eg WCT) because Jimbo was a top, he never stood still. One day or another I could try to make a similar speculation.;)

Also on Borg you have to deal with an advantage (the Swedish retired to the top) and a disadvantage (he started at age 16 losing often).

However, unlike Connors (who did not play on the worst surface, red clay), Bjorn played few tournaments on his best surface, both because only two were relevant, and because he preferred to earn a lot of money in american tournaments.
 

BGod

Legend
I DO appreciate the percentage in Slams only as oppose to the total match numbers. The Slams provide 7 matches as oppose to 5 for most Masters events but also provide the highest level of competition typically in the last 3 rounds. You also have a timeline concentration as having say a 24-2 Slam record in a given year means you played all 4 tournaments and did quite well but you can get the same numbers from playing 5 lesser tournaments and getting cakewalk draws. For example two 500 level tournaments garnering 10 victories without facing a Top 8 player and three Masters tournaments getting to the final without facing a Top 6 player (like Paris).

Roger's 86.26% in Slams is therefore most impressive. Then it all comes down to volume. Nadal has a better 87.28% but has played 38.8% less matches (283 to 393). It would be reasonable to assume his percentage point goes down significantly with that many more matches in comparison to Federer since Roger has maintained his number despite obvious decline and played 16 editions before his first Slam as oppose to Nadal's 5. Borg's percentage of 89.81% comes with less than half the matches of Roger Federer regardless of his early retirement that is too huge a volume disparity to compare reasonably. On the other hand, Sampras' 84.23% is the most dented due to his French Open matches garnering 64.86% in 13 appearances of which 8 had him lose in the 1st or 2nd Round, yet he didn't skip them and in fact only failed to appear in 2 Slams in his prime years to retirement.
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
Connors is very interesting because on the one hand his numbers take a hit with his 86-92 years but on the other he skipped a lot of clay in his prime and could have racked up more losses. His mark would still have been high I'm arguing it's somewhat of a wash out between the two.
While he was not winning GS events in the latter half of the 80's, he was still very consistent. He was Top 4 as late as 1987, so I'm not sure the latter years of his career hurt him all that much. He was not losing 1R, 2R ....getting to QF or better in most events. The big setback for him was really in 1990 when his wrist blew out. Setting up the 1991 comeback
 
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