GOAT season?

King No1e

Hall of Fame
#1
Probably discussed to death already, but I wonder how exceptional seasons compare, especially those from different eras. Here's my list of GOAT contenders since the Open Era:
Laver 1969
Connors 1974
McEnroe 1984
Federer 2006
Federer 2007
Djokovic 2011
Djokovic 2015
These are just what I'd consider the real GOAT-level seasons, obviously Fed 2004, 05, Nadal 2010, 13, Borg 80, Wilander 88 were exceptional, just not quite this astronomically good.

Which one would you consider the greatest? There are reasons you can give for any: 1969 Laver because of CYGS, 1974 Connors because only 2 losses, 2015 Djokovic because he reached every final except one, 1984 Mac because highest win %, etc...)
 
#4
Depends if we're talking about level of play or achievements. Because for example, level of play, Novak 11 > Novak 15. But 2015 has him beat on the accomplishment list, despite a weaker field.

And if we're trying to narrow it down, Fed's 07 doesn't even belong in the discussion. Fwiw, I'd put his 04 safely above 07.
 
#7
In answer to OP,

1. Laver 1969
2. McEnroe 1984
3. Djokovic 2015 -- Three slams, six masters, and the WTF to boot. Despite some people trying to put this down as a "weak era" accomplishment, these numbers are still crazy
4. Federer 2006 -- Federer's best season for sure; even if we factor in level of competition, his level was still high enough (AO aside) that it wouldn't matter much
5. Federer 2005 -- This pick might be a bit controversial, but imo this was a phenomenal season. Three of the four losses throughout the entire season happened to peaking Safin on HC, Nadal on clay, and Nalbandian indoors (+ injury), so even if he only won two slams, he was amazing here.
6. Djokovic 2011 -- His poor(er) results in the indoor swing (bageled by Nishikori at an ATP 500; that's all you need to hear) bring this season down a bit, but that 43-match winning streak alone is already enough to put this on the list. Field was tough, too.

I haven't looked much into the Connors season so I can't rate it here. I may edit this later once I check it out some more
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
#13
More or less agree.

I would say the level of play is just not on the same level as Fedovic from these old timers but objectively this list looks good.
Yeah, personally have to give to nod to Laver's 1969 for the CYGS, Mac was the most dominant relative to his field I think - his games won percentage is maybe the highest ever for a season and in an era where only 3 of the slams were majors I do like to put him second in the OE. After that it's the Fedovic years with Connors being the least impressive to me.
 
#14
1. Nadal 2010
2. Nadal 2013
3. Djokovic 2011
4. Federer 2006
5. Federer 2007
6. Djokovic 2015
7. Laver 1969

Explanation:

2010 Nadal is the only man in the history of tennis to win 3 Grand Slams on 3 different surfaces (hard, grass and clay) the same calendar year. Total domination of 3 Grand Slam surfaces the same calendar year. No other player has ever done it in the history of tennis.

I put 2006 and 2007 Federer over 2015 Djokovic because Federer would have made the Grand Slam if not for prime Nadal. In 2015 Djokovic faced 0 times Nadal in Grand Slam matches.

I put 2013 Nadal over 2015 Djokovic for the same reason. Djokovic did not face prime Nadal in any of his 2015 Grand Slam matches (2015 Nadal was a ghost like 2017 Djokovic). 2013 Nadal is far more impressive, since he defeated prime/peak Djokovic both at Roland Garros and the US Open. 2013 would have been one of Djokovic’s best seasons of his career if not for Nadal. In effect, Djokovic would have won 3 Grand Slams plus the ATP finals if not for Nadal in 2013.

I put 2013 Nadal over 2006/2007 Federer for obvious reasons. Federer did not beat prime Nadal in a Grand Slam match on clay, while Nadal defeated prime Djokovic in a Grand Slam match on hard courts (US Open 2013).

I put 2013 Nadal over 2011 Djokovic because 2011 Djokovic did not defeat Nadal at RG, while 2013 Nadal defeated the hard court GOAT in the US Open 2013.
 
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NatF

Bionic Poster
#15
1. Nadal 2010
2. Djokovic 2011
3. Nadal 2013
4. Federer 2006
5. Federer 2007
6. Djokovic 2015
7. Laver 1969

Explanation:

2010 Nadal is the only man in the history of tennis to win 3 Grand Slams on 3 different surfaces (hard, grass and clay) the same calendar year. Total domination of 3 Grand Slam surfaces the same calendar year. No other player has ever done it in the history of tennis.

I put 2006 and 2007 Federer over 2015 Djokovic because Federer would have made the Grand Slam if not for prime Nadal. In 2015 Djokovic faced 0 times Nadal in Grand Slam matches.

I put 2013 Nadal over 2015 Djokovic for the same reason. Djokovic did not face prime Nadal in any of his 2015 Grand Slam matches (2015 Nadal was a ghost like 2017 Djokovic). 2013 Nadal is far more impressive, since he defeated prime/peak Djokovic both at Roland Garros and the US Open. 2013 would have been one of Djokovic’s best seasons of his career if not for Nadal. In effect, Djokovic would have won 3 Grand Slams plus the ATP finals if not for Nadal in 2013.

I put 2013 Nadal over 2006/2007 Federer for obvious reasons. Federer did not beat prime Nadal in a Grand Slam match on clay, while Nadal defeated prime Djokovic in a Grand Slam match on hard courts (US Open 2013).
 
#20
1. Nadal 2010
2. Nadal 2013
3. Djokovic 2011
4. Federer 2006
5. Federer 2007
6. Djokovic 2015
7. Laver 1969

Explanation:

2010 Nadal is the only man in the history of tennis to win 3 Grand Slams on 3 different surfaces (hard, grass and clay) the same calendar year. Total domination of 3 Grand Slam surfaces the same calendar year. No other player has ever done it in the history of tennis.

I put 2006 and 2007 Federer over 2015 Djokovic because Federer would have made the Grand Slam if not for prime Nadal. In 2015 Djokovic faced 0 times Nadal in Grand Slam matches.

I put 2013 Nadal over 2015 Djokovic for the same reason. Djokovic did not face prime Nadal in any of his 2015 Grand Slam matches (2015 Nadal was a ghost like 2017 Djokovic). 2013 Nadal is far more impressive, since he defeated prime/peak Djokovic both at Roland Garros and the US Open. 2013 would have been one of Djokovic’s best seasons of his career if not for Nadal. In effect, Djokovic would have won 3 Grand Slams plus the ATP finals if not for Nadal in 2013.

I put 2013 Nadal over 2006/2007 Federer for obvious reasons. Federer did not beat prime Nadal in a Grand Slam match on clay, while Nadal defeated prime Djokovic in a Grand Slam match on hard courts (US Open 2013).

I put 2013 Nadal over 2011 Djokovic because 2011 Djokovic did not defeat Nadal at RG, while 2013 Nadal defeated the hard court GOAT in the US Open 2013.
I'm gonna have to respectfully disagree with you here. I could list many reasons why I disagree, but I'll just post one.

This match alone knocks 2013 Nadal off the entire list:

 
#21
I'm gonna have to respectfully disagree with you here. I could list many reasons why I disagree, but I'll just post one.

This match alone knocks 2013 Nadal off the entire list:

In 2011/2015 Djokovic wasn't the best on clay.






VS

In 2013 Nadal was the best on hard courts against the hard court GOAT in his prime.

 
#24
1. Nadal 2010
2. Nadal 2013
3. Djokovic 2011
4. Federer 2006
5. Federer 2007
6. Djokovic 2015
7. Laver 1969

Explanation:

2010 Nadal is the only man in the history of tennis to win 3 Grand Slams on 3 different surfaces (hard, grass and clay) the same calendar year. Total domination of 3 Grand Slam surfaces the same calendar year. No other player has ever done it in the history of tennis.

I put 2006 and 2007 Federer over 2015 Djokovic because Federer would have made the Grand Slam if not for prime Nadal. In 2015 Djokovic faced 0 times Nadal in Grand Slam matches.

I put 2013 Nadal over 2015 Djokovic for the same reason. Djokovic did not face prime Nadal in any of his 2015 Grand Slam matches (2015 Nadal was a ghost like 2017 Djokovic). 2013 Nadal is far more impressive, since he defeated prime/peak Djokovic both at Roland Garros and the US Open. 2013 would have been one of Djokovic’s best seasons of his career if not for Nadal. In effect, Djokovic would have won 3 Grand Slams plus the ATP finals if not for Nadal in 2013.

I put 2013 Nadal over 2006/2007 Federer for obvious reasons. Federer did not beat prime Nadal in a Grand Slam match on clay, while Nadal defeated prime Djokovic in a Grand Slam match on hard courts (US Open 2013).

I put 2013 Nadal over 2011 Djokovic because 2011 Djokovic did not defeat Nadal at RG, while 2013 Nadal defeated the hard court GOAT in the US Open 2013.
On your last point: Djoker at USO =/= Nadal at RG. Djokovic has won 3 USOs and Nadal has won 11 RGs. While I'm not downplaying how hard it was for Nadal to beat Djokovic on hard court during their primes, I'd still prefer Djokovic's 2011 season beating peak Nadal on 2 clay events.

You took competition into account which is much harder and more subjective than pure stats. If we're going stats alone, 2015 Djokovic > 2011 Djokovic > 2010 Nadal > 2013 Nadal. But no one would argue that Djokovic played at a higher level in 2015 than in 2011. His main rival Nadal, who was at his peak in 2011 and made Djokovic fight hard for every win, was a ghost as you said in 2015 and practically let Djokovic's dreams come true without resistance. But statistically, 2015 is the superior year because he had more top 10 wins and finished the season stronger than he started while in 2011 he was injured and dropped off at the end.
 
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#25
In 2011/2015 Djokovic wasn't the best on clay.






VS

In 2013 Nadal was the best on hard courts against the hard court GOAT in his prime.

But it's not just two surfaces: hard and clay. There are three surfaces in tennis, which means more it. Let's see the title haul on each of those three surfaces in the 2013 and 2015 seasons. I've split hard into outdoor and indoor as well.

2013 Nadal season:

Hard (o): Four titles, Indian Wells (Masters), Rogers Cup (Masters), Cincinnati (Masters), US Open (GS) -- def. Delpo, Raonic, Isner, and Djokovic
Hard (i): No titles but one final at WTF
Grass: No titles and no finals
Clay: Six titles, Brazil (ATP 250), Acapulco (ATP 500), Barcelona (ATP 500), Madrid (Masters), Rome (Masters), and French Open (GS) -- def. Nalbandian, Ferrer, Almagro, Wawrinka, Federer, and Ferrer

2015 Djokovic season:

Hard (o): Six titles, AO (GS), Indian Wells (Masters), Miami (Masters), US Open (GS), Beijing (ATP 500), Shanghai (Masters) -- def. Murray, Federer, Murray, Federer, Nadal, and Tsonga
Hard (i): Two titles, Paris (Masters) and WTF -- def. Murray and Federer
Grass: One title, Wimbledon -- def. Federer
Clay: Two titles, Monte-Carlo (Masters) and Rome (Masters) -- def. Berdych and Federer

You can make up your mind about these statistics, but if you want to throw competition into the mix, you need to look at both sides of the argument. I'm far from being a diehard Djokovic fan (I even like Nadal more), but I would easily put his 2015 season above
 

Lew II

Hall of Fame
#26
I think 2011 season was a bit greater than 2015, and maybe the greatest ever considering tennis of 1969 was not a big attraction.

10-1 against top ranked Nadal and Federer is ridicolous.
 
#27
  1. Laver 1969
  2. Mac 1984
  3. Djokovic 2015
  4. Federer 2006
  5. Djokovic 2011
  6. Federer 2007
  7. Connors 1974
This except Borg 1980 > Connors 1974. We know about the weak comp of Connors's season outide of Wim & USO, whereas Borg did extremely well all season, RG+Wim+USO loss to super JMac + YEC + other strong titles in WCT Invitational, MC, Vegas + Canada and Basel final losses to Lendl (the former by retirement, too).
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
#28
This except Borg 1980 > Connors 1974. We know about the weak comp of Connors's season outide of Wim & USO, whereas Borg did extremely well all season, RG+Wim+USO loss to super JMac + YEC + other strong titles in WCT Invitational, MC, Vegas + Canada and Basel final losses to Lendl (the former by retirement, too).
Yeah I was just going off the ones listed by the OP, Borg's 1980 was magnificent - I may well have put 2004 over 2007 and 2005 over 1974 tbh.
 
#29
It really comes down to 2.

Federer 2006
3 Slams, 1 Final
WTF
7 Masters Attended, 4 Wins, 2 Finals
Three 500 Titles, 1 Finals
Overall Record 92-5 (95%)


Djokovic 2015

3 Slams, 1 Final
WTF
8 Masters Attended, 6 Wins, 2 Finals
One 500 Title, 1 Final
Overall Record 82-6 (93%)

It really comes down to how you value Masters vs. 500 tournaments really. I simply can't ignore Novak winning 2 additional Masters is clearly better than two 500 titles from Roger. The discrepancy in win-loss comes from Federer playing additional third tier tournaments Tokyo and Halle and winning Doha. He did also go 5-0 at the WTF whereas Novak lost a RR match. But I'm still giving this to Novak for the Masters record.
 
#31
1. The Grand Slam, this will not be bettered until someone wins the CYGS in modern tennis.

2. JMac the single-season BOAT, higher match/set/game win %, wrought destruction on Connors, Lendl and Wilander along with the rest. Took legendary effort from Lendl to stop him in the RG final, the most painful loss in McEnroe's career by far.

3. Novak Consistentovic making 2015 the most decorated season in the ATP era. 3W+F in Slams, YEC W, 6W+2F in Masters, ombillible. Not the highest peak, but peaky enough to win again and again, can't go against it.

4. 06erer, was the most decorated season until Djoel snatched it. Only lost to the clay devil, who also snatched a small(er) HC win in epic fashion, and one schitty giveaway loss to murygoat.

5. Random Peakovic 2011 (who would've expected that?), equalled PeakEnroe himself (same losses - a legendary effort by ATG at RG and mug stuff in Cincy - and same strong ATG comp represented by Fedal here) but body broke down after the USO. Still so amazing I can put over 07erer (yeah, YEC > RR, but 11ovic has 3 more masters).

6. 07erer, still ombelleevel but mug losses begin below slems (lel canas volandri, also that Canada choke was disgusting though props to Novak for actually using it).

7. Borgoat 1980, better than overrated 1974 with many mug titles (AO not a real slem too, remember). RG+W+USO F 5 sets vs JMac + YEC and some other good titles.

8. Fedr 04, 3 Slams + YEC do the job even if he had some mug losses. 3 Masters are cool too.

9. Lendl 1986 (ta-da!). 2W+F in 3 Slems (no AO that year) + YEC + great results in lower tournies: 3 "masters level" titles, 3 next tier titles, with losses coming against impressive Becker, Edberg and peak Noah on clay. The only weaker loss was 7-6 7-6 to Curren in Canada, I guess Kevin botted through.

10. Fedr 05. 2 slems + 2 semis, but one of them was an all-time epic and both were virtual finals. YEC F near-win with injury. Only weird loss to Gasquet, who delivered a great match and Fedr was losing SF to Nadal anyway.
 

mike danny

Talk Tennis Guru
#32
Depends if we're talking about level of play or achievements. Because for example, level of play, Novak 11 > Novak 15. But 2015 has him beat on the accomplishment list, despite a weaker field.

And if we're trying to narrow it down, Fed's 07 doesn't even belong in the discussion. Fwiw, I'd put his 04 safely above 07.
3 slam season, 2 masters, WTF, all 4 slam finals.

It is easily one of the best years in the Open Era that belongs in the conversation.
 
#33
You took competition into account which is much harder and more subjective than pure stats. If we're going stats alone, 2015 Djokovic > 2011 Djokovic > 2010 Nadal > 2013 Nadal. But no one would argue that Djokovic played at a higher level in 2015 than in 2011. His main rival Nadal, who was at his peak in 2011 and made Djokovic fight hard for every win, was a ghost as you said in 2015 and practically let Djokovic's dreams come true without resistance. But statistically, 2015 is the superior year because he had more top 10 wins and finished the season stronger than he started while in 2011 he was injured and dropped off at the end.
Actually 2011 is statistically superior up to the USO, i.e. if you single out the AO-USO stretch, 2011 has a bit better stats + fewer losses (with both 2011 losses occurring in 2015 as well). All evidence points to 2011 Djokovic playing at a higher level while he was healthy enough, but then he crashed while 2015 Djokovic had a dominant post-USO fall season except the RR loss. Before the fall, the only conditions where 2015>2011 was grass, which makes sense as that's where improved serve and net game / versatility paid the most dividends against the slight decline of the rest of the game.
 

Lew II

Hall of Fame
#38
It really comes down to 2.

Federer 2006
3 Slams, 1 Final
WTF
7 Masters Attended, 4 Wins, 2 Finals
Three 500 Titles, 1 Finals
Overall Record 92-5 (95%)


Djokovic 2015
3 Slams, 1 Final
WTF
8 Masters Attended, 6 Wins, 2 Finals
One 500 Title, 1 Final
Overall Record 82-6 (93%)

It really comes down to how you value Masters vs. 500 tournaments really. I simply can't ignore Novak winning 2 additional Masters is clearly better than two 500 titles from Roger. The discrepancy in win-loss comes from Federer playing additional third tier tournaments Tokyo and Halle and winning Doha. He did also go 5-0 at the WTF whereas Novak lost a RR match. But I'm still giving this to Novak for the Masters record.
What are the three 500 Federer won in 2006?
 
#39
What are the three 500 Federer won in 2006?
He only won one ATP 500, Tokyo (def. Henman). I think BGod counted his Halle title because it became a 500 later; at the time it was a 250.

He did win 3 ATP 250 titles (although some would later become ATP 500s; richly deserved imo):

Doha (def. Monfils)
Halle (def. Berdych)
Basel (def. Gonzalez)
 

Fiero425

Hall of Fame
#40
Actually 2011 is statistically superior up to the USO, i.e. if you single out the AO-USO stretch, 2011 has a bit better stats + fewer losses (with both 2011 losses occurring in 2015 as well). All evidence points to 2011 Djokovic playing at a higher level while he was healthy enough, but then he crashed while 2015 Djokovic had a dominant post-USO fall season except the RR loss. Before the fall, the only conditions where 2015>2011 was grass, which makes sense as that's where improved serve and net game / versatility paid the most dividends against the slight decline of the rest of the game.
Looking into the future, most people won't care about the level of competition even if '11 is statistically tougher for Nole! It's just hard to overlook the glaring numbers of 2015; 3 Majors, 6 Masters (2 other finals), 31 wins over top 10 players, & and the YEC! It's going to be hard to come close to that kind of dominance no matter the competition! It's just hard to sustain that kind of consistency day in and day out all season long! I personally give Nole more credit for 2011 since he had to beat a PRIME Rafa in so many finals! If not for Djokovic, Nadal would have ruled the tour from 2010 thru mid 2012! That's one thing that brings Rafa back to Earth; his lack of durability and an inability to hold the #1 ranking for any real length of time! :sneaky: :unsure: :rolleyes: ;)
 
#41
He only won one ATP 500, Tokyo (def. Henman). I think BGod counted his Halle title because it became a 500 later; at the time it was a 250.

He did win 3 ATP 250 titles (although some would later become ATP 500s; richly deserved imo):

Doha (def. Monfils)
Halle (def. Berdych)
Basel (def. Gonzalez)
I'm considering the draws as well. The 500 tour wasn't really the same as it is now which is why they elevated some of those 250 titles. There were several 500 tournaments that were clearly underneath some 250s. Halle prior to 2015 when it officially got 500 status would routinely garner more Top 16 players than your typical 500 like Tokyo. Basel meanwhile became 500 in 2009 so a closer proximity and the 2006 edition garnered two other Top 10 participants and emerging Ferrer and Murray who finished #14 and 17. In comparison the Paris Masters that year only garnered 5 of the Top 10 with Federer, Nadal and Nalbandian withdrawing and Ljubicic and Roddick not attending. The Top 10 who did attend were #3 Davydenko, #4 Blake and then #7, 9, 10.
 
#42
3 slam season, 2 masters, WTF, all 4 slam finals.

It is easily one of the best years in the Open Era that belongs in the conversation.
My point is that if we're being serious about figuring this out, there's no point wasting our time talking about 07. It's not even Fed's best season. His best season is easily 06, and it's very debatable whether or not that is even the GOAT season.
 
#44
I'm considering the draws as well. The 500 tour wasn't really the same as it is now which is why they elevated some of those 250 titles. There were several 500 tournaments that were clearly underneath some 250s. Halle prior to 2015 when it officially got 500 status would routinely garner more Top 16 players than your typical 500 like Tokyo. Basel meanwhile became 500 in 2009 so a closer proximity and the 2006 edition garnered two other Top 10 participants and emerging Ferrer and Murray who finished #14 and 17. In comparison the Paris Masters that year only garnered 5 of the Top 10 with Federer, Nadal and Nalbandian withdrawing and Ljubicic and Roddick not attending. The Top 10 who did attend were #3 Davydenko, #4 Blake and then #7, 9, 10.
That's correct. I was just basing the figures off of the official grade of tournament. You're also correct in that Halle was more often populated by top 20 players than many other 500s (very likely due to it being one of the warm-up tournaments for Wimbledon). As for Basel 2006, it had a fairly tough field for a 250 (and that's even in spite of Murray and Berdych withdrawing); certainly better than Fed's Tokyo title and definitely better than the disaster that was the Paris Masters that year.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
#45
He only won one ATP 500, Tokyo (def. Henman). I think BGod counted his Halle title because it became a 500 later; at the time it was a 250.

He did win 3 ATP 250 titles (although some would later become ATP 500s; richly deserved imo):

Doha (def. Monfils)
Halle (def. Berdych)
Basel (def. Gonzalez)
Basel had a BO5 final as well. Without the BO5 finals and the extra byes in masters these days they're basically no different to a 2006 250 ;)
 
#46
It really comes down to 2.

Federer 2006
3 Slams, 1 Final
WTF
7 Masters Attended, 4 Wins, 2 Finals
Three 500 Titles, 1 Finals
Overall Record 92-5 (95%)


Djokovic 2015

3 Slams, 1 Final
WTF
8 Masters Attended, 6 Wins, 2 Finals
One 500 Title, 1 Final
Overall Record 82-6 (93%)

It really comes down to how you value Masters vs. 500 tournaments really. I simply can't ignore Novak winning 2 additional Masters is clearly better than two 500 titles from Roger. The discrepancy in win-loss comes from Federer playing additional third tier tournaments Tokyo and Halle and winning Doha. He did also go 5-0 at the WTF whereas Novak lost a RR match. But I'm still giving this to Novak for the Masters record.
This isn't the full story - opposition stats like 31 wins over top10, ELO level achieved, atp points gathered, no underperformance (all finals - insane),... and more. It all strongly supports 2015 as greatest season ever.

Sent from my Redmi Note 4 using Tapatalk
 

mike danny

Talk Tennis Guru
#47
This isn't the full story - opposition stats like 31 wins over top10, ELO level achieved, atp points gathered, no underperformance (all finals - insane),... and more. It all strongly supports 2015 as greatest season ever.

Sent from my Redmi Note 4 using Tapatalk
Second behind Laver's 1969.

Sorry, you just can't disregard the CYGS in the Open Era. Especially since it still hasn't been done ever since, 50 years later.
 
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