Is Agassi seen as behind McEnroe, Connors, Lendl?

#1
I see a lot of all time ranking lists that have Agassi behind the Connors/Lendl/McEnroe trio. Is he firmly behind those?

Agassi does match Lendl and Connors with 8 slams and has the Career Slam which none of those other guys have. He is far behind in time at #1 and some other stats though. Agassi and McEnroe are probably both more naturally talented than both Lendl and Connors for whatever value that is worth.

I guess it depends how much value the Career Slam is. It basically has to be huge in order to have Agassi above those three. How valuable is the Career Slam.
 
#2
Connors/Lendl are firmly above Agassi. They spent around 2.5X as much time at #1, showed way more longevity, and won many more titles, plus the same number of slams.

Connors vs Agassi 8-8 slam count is also deceptive because Connors has that despite not regularly playing the AO/FO during his prime due to prestige those events carried in the 70s-early 80s. The career slam doesn't mean much to me in this comparison because the only major Connors didn't win (FO), he skipped throughout his prime from 74-78 and during that time, he still won a major on clay beating Borg anyways (76 USO). Basically Agassi has 0 argument over Connors.

Lendl didn't skip as many majors as Connors in his prime since the value of AO/FO moved up to near modern levels during the mid/late-80s, so the 8-8 slam total is a bit more truly representative. Additionally, the career slam does mean something in this comparison because Lendl never won a major on grass. Still though, the career slam alone doesn't outweigh everything that Lendl has on Agassi, so I'd put Lendl firmly ahead, but Agassi at least has some argument over Lendl (but a weak one).

Agassi vs McEnroe is much closer. McEnroe's leads in time at #1 and total titles are far less than Connors/Lendl. Additionally, unlike Connors/Lendl, Agassi actually has longevity over McEnroe and also has 1 more slam. The career slam is also relevant given that McEnroe never won a slam on clay. Still though McEnroe's slam count also suffers from not regularly playing AO (and to a lesser extent FO) and his 8 titles across both YEC events mean something to me, so I still have McEnroe slightly above Agassi, but I can see it being the other way.
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
#3
Connors/Lendl are firmly above Agassi. They spent around 2.5X as much time at #1, showed way more longevity, and won many more titles, plus the same number of slams.

Connors vs Agassi 8-8 slam count is also deceptive because Connors has that despite not regularly playing the AO/FO during his prime due to prestige those events carried in the 70s-early 80s. The career slam doesn't mean much to me in this comparison because the only major Connors didn't win (FO), he skipped throughout his prime from 74-78 and during that time, he still won a major on clay beating Borg anyways (76 USO). Basically Agassi has 0 argument over Connors.

Lendl didn't skip as many majors as Connors in his prime since the value of AO/FO moved up to near modern levels during the mid/late-80s, so the 8-8 slam total is a bit more truly representative. Additionally, the career slam does mean something in this comparison because Lendl never won a major on grass. Still though, the career slam alone doesn't outweigh everything that Lendl has on Agassi, so I'd put Lendl firmly ahead, but Agassi at least has some argument over Lendl (but a weak one).

Agassi vs McEnroe is much closer. McEnroe's leads in time at #1 and total titles are far less than Connors/Lendl. Additionally, unlike Connors/Lendl, Agassi actually has longevity over McEnroe and also has 1 more slam. The career slam is also relevant given that McEnroe never won a slam on clay. Still though McEnroe's slam count also suffers from not regularly playing AO (and to a lesser extent FO) and his 8 titles across both YEC events mean something to me, so I still have McEnroe slightly above Agassi, but I can see it being the other way.
Peak McEnroe > Peak Agassi.

Basically McEnroe 1984 is right up there with the most dominant players of all time...
 
#5
Connors/Lendl are firmly above Agassi. They spent around 2.5X as much time at #1, showed way more longevity, and won many more titles, plus the same number of slams.

Connors vs Agassi 8-8 slam count is also deceptive because Connors has that despite not regularly playing the AO/FO during his prime due to prestige those events carried in the 70s-early 80s. The career slam doesn't mean much to me in this comparison because the only major Connors didn't win (FO), he skipped throughout his prime from 74-78 and during that time, he still won a major on clay beating Borg anyways (76 USO). Basically Agassi has 0 argument over Connors.

Lendl didn't skip as many majors as Connors in his prime since the value of AO/FO moved up to near modern levels during the mid/late-80s, so the 8-8 slam total is a bit more truly representative. Additionally, the career slam does mean something in this comparison because Lendl never won a major on grass. Still though, the career slam alone doesn't outweigh everything that Lendl has on Agassi, so I'd put Lendl firmly ahead, but Agassi at least has some argument over Lendl (but a weak one).

Agassi vs McEnroe is much closer. McEnroe's leads in time at #1 and total titles are far less than Connors/Lendl. Additionally, unlike Connors/Lendl, Agassi actually has longevity over McEnroe and also has 1 more slam. The career slam is also relevant given that McEnroe never won a slam on clay. Still though McEnroe's slam count also suffers from not regularly playing AO (and to a lesser extent FO) and his 8 titles across both YEC events mean something to me, so I still have McEnroe slightly above Agassi, but I can see it being the other way.
Agree with you on every point, Mac never played AO in his prime apart from 83 when AO was on grass.
 
#6
I can't put Agassi over any of those guys because Connors, Mac, and Lendl each had that "I'm the man" swagger in their primes. Agassi was on the cusp of being "The Man" several times, but never quite held that title.
 
#7
Are Borg and Sampras safe from these 4 players?
Borg has only won 2 different slams. Although often.
Sampras has no slam on clay and less overall titles.
How sure that the two are in front of the 4?
Safe or with slight doubts? :unsure::oops::unsure:


Borg 0 US OPEN
PETE 0 CLAY SLAM
 
#8
I can't put Agassi over any of those guys because Connors, Mac, and Lendl each had that "I'm the man" swagger in their primes. Agassi was on the cusp of being "The Man" several times, but never quite held that title.
But they didn’t have to play under the stress of Nike’s “image is everything” campaign while wearing a toupee that could fly off at any moment.
 
#9
Well ya if we are going by peak:
McEnroe>>Connors>Agassi>Lendl

I was talking about by careers though where its:
Connors>Lendl>>McEnroe>Agassi
Peak Lendl could kick everybody's ass. Only McEnroe in 84 was so dominant as Lendl in 85-87. Agassi never had a peak like that. Lendl was at one point 6-0 against Agassi and only lost to him in 92 and 93 when he was way over the hill. Career-wise, I think Lendl and Connors are pretty tied. I put Lendl slightly ahead, though.
 

Towny

Professional
#11
Consensus is that Agassi is behind Connors and Lendl. While I would certainly agree, Agassi is probably a little underrated. Not only does he have the career grand slam, but he also has longevity that in many ways was better than Connors'. He is also one of the best ball strikers the game has ever seen.
 
#12
Connors/Lendl are firmly above Agassi. They spent around 2.5X as much time at #1, showed way more longevity, and won many more titles, plus the same number of slams.

Connors vs Agassi 8-8 slam count is also deceptive because Connors has that despite not regularly playing the AO/FO during his prime due to prestige those events carried in the 70s-early 80s. The career slam doesn't mean much to me in this comparison because the only major Connors didn't win (FO), he skipped throughout his prime from 74-78 and during that time, he still won a major on clay beating Borg anyways (76 USO). Basically Agassi has 0 argument over Connors.

Lendl didn't skip as many majors as Connors in his prime since the value of AO/FO moved up to near modern levels during the mid/late-80s, so the 8-8 slam total is a bit more truly representative. Additionally, the career slam does mean something in this comparison because Lendl never won a major on grass. Still though, the career slam alone doesn't outweigh everything that Lendl has on Agassi, so I'd put Lendl firmly ahead, but Agassi at least has some argument over Lendl (but a weak one).

Agassi vs McEnroe is much closer. McEnroe's leads in time at #1 and total titles are far less than Connors/Lendl. Additionally, unlike Connors/Lendl, Agassi actually has longevity over McEnroe and also has 1 more slam. The career slam is also relevant given that McEnroe never won a slam on clay. Still though McEnroe's slam count also suffers from not regularly playing AO (and to a lesser extent FO) and his 8 titles across both YEC events mean something to me, so I still have McEnroe slightly above Agassi, but I can see it being the other way.
Agree with you on most of this. I have Agassi just above Mac though.

(Also, I think you overrate Connors a tiny bit - winning the 1976 USO on green clay doesn't mean he would have beaten Borg at Roland Garros during the period he chose not to play there)
 
#13
Well ya if we are going by peak:
McEnroe>>Connors>Agassi>Lendl

I was talking about by careers though where its:
Connors>Lendl>>McEnroe>Agassi
I think Connors definitely had the lowest peak, atleast in playing level. He dominated a field of old grandpas in 74, then struggled almost immediately once he got real competition. Peak I would go with McEnroe > Lendl (although Lendl had a much more sustained dominance than McEnroe ever did) > Agassi > Connors

I agree with your career order, although not sure on Connors vs Lendl. Again it depends how much value the Career Slam is worth. The Career Slam and 1 extra major, I could see a case for Agassi over McEnroe in terms of career. It is not like McEnroe has a ton of time at #1 or a super consistent career either.
 
#14
Agree with you on most of this. I have Agassi just above Mac though.

(Also, I think you overrate Connors a tiny bit - winning the 1976 USO on green clay doesn't mean he would have beaten Borg at Roland Garros during the period he chose not to play there)
His beating Connors on Har Tru in 76 is impressive. People shouldnt be confused it is anything like RG, but it is still a bigtime win. His draws to his 74 slams were all jokes though, and then he didnt have another multi slam year until 82, a whole 8 years later. And I know the structure of the tour was different back then and everything but even so. After 74 his only future year until 82 as the true #1 was probably 76, and even that it wasnt exactly a dominant #1 with Borg winning both RG and Wimbledon, and being picked as ATP Player of Year over Connors.

Lendl and McEnroe definitely were more dominant in their best years overall, Lendl was the clear best for about 3 years which Connors was not. Agassi's peak years were usually wrecked by a guy named Sampras, but his playing level is probably higher.
 
#15
Connors had the lowest peak indeed, but the greatest longevity as well and was massively prolific in his prime.

Agassi had the second lowest peak of the four, but also the second greatest longevity and was the most versatile. His mental walkabouts cost him a great deal, he had the potential to become a double-digit Slam winner but wasted multiple years.

Lendl had a super high sustained peak, but always struggled on grass and ended up losing a lot of close finals elsewhere as well, though that also had to do with him facing the stiffest competition of all by some distance. He was also very prolific, only less than Connors. Shame that back pain killed possible longevity, migh have matched Agassi's if his back held up longer.

McEnroe had the highest peak of them all, one of the highest ever, but the abrupt decline left his career with a palpable feeling of incompleteness. Sad stuff. Even then, he could've won Slams in double digits despite missing AO if not for the unnecessary struggles in 1982-83, should have never lost to Connors and Lendl there, good as they were but not peak (Connors post, Lendl pre).

Connors
Lendl
McEnroe
Agassi
seems a good career order.
 
#18
Agree with you on most of this. I have Agassi just above Mac though.

(Also, I think you overrate Connors a tiny bit - winning the 1976 USO on green clay doesn't mean he would have beaten Borg at Roland Garros during the period he chose not to play there)
As I said, I think Mac and Agassi is very close and can easily see it being the other way. I just think with Mac's lack of playing the AO combined with winning 8 YECs (which were probably the biggest events after Wimb/USO (and FO a bit later) in that time) and his higher peak, he narrowly edges it for me.

Also I am not saying that Connors would have beaten Borg at RG necessarily. I am merely just stating that he won a slam on clay through beating Borg + he missed RG throughout most of his peak period. These two factors combined make missing the career slam not a huge deal to me for Connors. As an aside though, remember Borg lost at RG in 76 anyways to Panetta and he also didn't play it in 77 due to his WTT agreement and hence Connors could have won RG without even having to play Borg in either of those seasons.

Lendl and Connors very, very close together. (I have Lendl ever so slightly in front.)

But these two are a number of places ahead of Agassi or McEnroe.
I used to have Lendl>Connors because I think Lendl's career accomplishment numbers are slightly more outside of the slams, but I have been recently convinced that Connors>Lendl based on them having the same # of slams despite Connors clearly missing out on far more AO/FO opportunities in his career given the perceived value at the time. Connors missed about 12 legit winning chances (74-78 RG, 76-82 AO) compared to Lendl only missing about 3 (81-82 + 86 AO).

I think Connors definitely had the lowest peak, atleast in playing level. He dominated a field of old grandpas in 74, then struggled almost immediately once he got real competition. Peak I would go with McEnroe > Lendl (although Lendl had a much more sustained dominance than McEnroe ever did) > Agassi > Connors
A lot of posters have questioned my rating of the peaks, so I will address them all in a reply to you since you are the topic creator.

I think the question of peak depends on both how we are defining peak and then how we are measuring peak. My definition was based on results produced and my measurement was best 1 year period with a focus on big events.

84 Mac won Wimb/USO/Masters/WCT and was runner-up at RG = 4 wins + 1 RU
74 Connors won the AO/Wimb/USO, didn't play the French/WCT/Masters = 3 wins
99 RG - 00 AO Agassi won RG/USO/AO and was runner-up at Wimb/Masters = 3 wins + 2 RU
86 RG - 87 AO Lendl won RG/USO/Masters, was runner-up at Wimb, and SF at AO = 3 wins +1 RU + 1 SF

From this I would say Mac>Agassi>Lendl clearly. Connors is a bit more difficult to place because he didn't play FO nor the 2 common substitute big events (WCT/Masters). Hence we have a situation where he is undefeated in big events, but with playing fewer as well (so is the difficulty of comparing the early-70s). So to compare Mac and Connors, I see Mac won an additional big event in his extra tournaments and also had a higher win % for his period. Connors vs Agassi/Lendl - they all won the same number of big events and Connors had the highest win %. Therefore I placed Mac>Connors>Agassi>Lendl.


If we change the measurement criteria to being just 1 year period over-all without focusing on big events, I would change my ranks to Mac>Connors>Lendl>Agassi since Lendl had far fewer losses and won many more Masters titles during his top window compared to Agassi.

If we change the measurement criteria to broadening the peak beyond just 1 year to a more sustained period of dominance then Lendl is clearly first and the other 3 depends on how much broader you take the window.

If we change the definition entirely from results produced to “perceived level of play” then you can really argue any of the 4 in any way you want, but that becomes very difficult to have any type of measurement since it becomes entirely subjective. I do agree that if you factor in competition and use this definition that you could argue Connors had the lowest peak.
 
#19
i put Agassi above them. won a grand slam when the 4 surfaces played significantly different than one another. lightning fast grass to super slow clay. last time a person won when conditions were not purely made for baseliners. technology with string still wasn't a killer for serve and volley type players. he needs more credit for this accomplishment than fed nad and djok
 
#20
I used to have Lendl>Connors because I think Lendl's career accomplishment numbers are slightly more outside of the slams, but I have been recently convinced that Connors>Lendl based on them having the same # of slams despite Connors clearly missing out on far more AO/FO opportunities in his career given the perceived value at the time. Connors missed about 12 legit winning chances (74-78 RG, 76-82 AO) compared to Lendl only missing about 3 (81-82 + 86 AO).
OK. Interesting.

How many slams did Connors "miss" because he was banned or prohibited from playing for legal, contractual reasons versus how many did he miss because he chose to skip them?
 
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#21
OK. Interesting.

How many slams did Connors "miss" because he was banned or prohibited from playing for legal, contractual reasons versus how many did he miss because he chose to skip them?
This is an interesting question that I have not actually done the research into figuring out yet, but I might look into it.

What is important to realize though is even if he chose to skip them, its a bit presumptuous to use the argument of "well he chose to skip them so its his own fault" because that does not do justice to the perceived value of the events at the time versus now.

For example, in the modern game top players choose to skip Halle all the time because while it is a big event, it is not mandatory and only carries limited prestige and there are other events going on at the same time. Let’s say 30 years from now though Halle has become a world renowned tournament with major level status that all of the top players play. It would be wrong for analysts in that future era to go back in time and evaluate players in this era skipping Halle (even if it was their choice) and not consider it when evaluating “number of majors.” Halle is a rough representation of what AO was back in the 70s (one of the top tier grass court titles around, but far lower in prestige than Wimbledon and certainly reasonable to skip).
 

Pheasant

Hall of Fame
#22
Slam titles
Lendl 8
Connors 8
Agassi 8
McEnroe 7

Weeks at #1
Lendl 270
Connors 268
McEnroe 170
Agassi 101

records vs top 10
Lendl: 141-83, .629
Connors: 121-100, .548
McEnroe: 105-83, .550
Agassi: 103-85, .548

records vs top 5
Lendl: 85-54, .612
Agassi: 59-52, .532
McEnroe: 59-62, .488
Connors: 51-78, .395

Note: From 1985-1987, Lendl went 34-7 against the top 5. Nobody else(not even Fed or Djoker) ever had a run like this against the best 5 players in the world over a 40+ match string.

I think that Lendl wins this one quite easily. His competition was very difficult. His first slam final was against Peak Borg on clay. Lendl pushed him to 5 sets. The surfaces, small rackets, and string technology really didn't play into Lendl's wheel house. And yet, he leads(or is tied) in all of the categories above.

Connors gets #2 here quite easily, IMHO. Now granted, his competition wasn't the that great in the 1970's. But his overall collection of numbers is just too tough to ignore. He had 268 weeks at #1, which says a lot, along with the most career wins and the most career titles.

Where I struggle a lot is with McEnroe vs Agassi. Agassi has that extra slam. But Mac skipped the AO a lot. And I believe that Mac could have won a few of these titles. Mac also holds the record for the best winning pct in a season with an incredible 82-3 record in 1984, which includes 22-1 vs the top 10. His 1984 season still might be the best season ever, given the fact that this year had a lot of Hall of Famers playing in it. It still kills me to this day that he coughed up a 2 set lead to Lendl in the FO final. But I'm giving this one to McEnroe for 3rd place.

It the best player in this field scores 100, then I here are these 4 players' scores:
Lendl 100
Connors 91
McEnroe 80
Agassi 78
 
#25
Lendl does not have a Wimbledon title. That remains his problem. A title at Wimbledon has to be easy.
At least in the double. Wilander won Wimbledon in doubles. And at least 2 slams on each surface like most Nadal.

Connors > Lendl
 
#27
all 4 players seem to match closely...
i think lendls career might be inflated a little too considering as connors once said,
he waited until borg retired, connors got old, and mac got burned out to really break out...
his main competitors were wilander, becker, and edberg with the last two not hitting their
prime until the later 80's, and wilander not such a huge threat on the quicker courts...
 

Pheasant

Hall of Fame
#28
Here are some of Lendl’s insane records that get overlooked:

7 consecutive match wins against the world #1 player. This is remarkable, considering that he himself spent 270 weeks at #1.
5 years with match winning pct of .900+
7 consecutive Grand Prix series tournaments won.
9 indoor titles in one season.
66 consecutive indoor matches won.
19 consecutive indoor finals.
20 consecutive hard court finals
18 consecutive finals
11 different Grand Prix titles won
9 consecutive year end finals

Some these records are completely absurd.

Beating the world #1 7 straight times is probably the most insane record. This is before Lendl hit his peak.

This guy was a true heavyweight.

I read an article how Lendl was really ticked off that he got tired during the 1984 USO. He went to the doctor and discovered that his cholesterol level was through the roof. Lendl had a massive change to his diet and then lifted his game to new heights. Lendl vowed to never lose again due to fitness.

Brad Gilbert said that this guy would have cleaned up on today’s slow USO courts. That’s a bold statement, considering that he went to a record 8 consecutive finals at the USO.
 
#29
all 4 players seem to match closely...
i think lendls career might be inflated a little too considering as connors once said,
he waited until borg retired, connors got old, and mac got burned out to really break out...
his main competitors were wilander, becker, and edberg with the last two not hitting their
prime until the later 80's, and wilander not such a huge threat on the quicker courts...
That's a bit rich coming from Connors.

His first 3 slams in 1974 were won against weak competition - his toughest rival being nearly 40-year old Rosewall. His final two slams were won against baby Lendl.

Thus leaving 3 truly impressive slam wins, by his standards: US Open in 1976 and 1978, Wimbledon in 1982.

Even if we take Connors' words about Lendl as true, he still has 3 impressive slam wins: French 1984 vs Mac, French 1987 vs Wilander, AO 1990 vs Edberg.
 
#30
That's a bit rich coming from Connors.

His first 3 slams in 1974 were won against weak competition - his toughest rival being nearly 40-year old Rosewall. His final two slams were won against baby Lendl.

Thus leaving 3 truly impressive slam wins, by his standards: US Open in 1976 and 1978, Wimbledon in 1982.

Even if we take Connors' words about Lendl as true, he still has 3 impressive slam wins: French 1984 vs Mac, French 1987 vs Wilander, AO 1990 vs Edberg.
I was just thinking the same thing. What a hypocrite.

Although disagree on one thing. 22 and 23 year old Lendl, one who beat McEnroe in the semis, was hardly a "baby". Not fully in his prime yet though.
 
#32
Beating the world #1 7 straight times is probably the most insane record. This is before Lendl hit his peak.
I have several questions about this record. First of all, I don't think it is correct. Can you point to the 7 straight matches you are referring to? By my count his longest win streak over #1 is 5. Second, 4 of those 5 wins I have are from beating 82 McEnroe, who's validity as #1 in 82 is under heavy scrutiny (we are looking into this in the world #1s by year topic).
 

Pheasant

Hall of Fame
#33
I have several questions about this record. First of all, I don't think it is correct. Can you point to the 7 straight matches you are referring to? By my count his longest win streak over #1 is 5. Second, 4 of those 5 wins I have are from beating 82 McEnroe, who's validity as #1 in 82 is under heavy scrutiny (we are looking into this in the world #1s by year topic).
This is a good question. Mac, Connors, and Lendl continually switched being #1. This is what is incredibly confusing. But Lendl’s wins were against his opponent while they were #1

Listed are the dates the event started and the #1 opponents Lendl beat:
7/9/81 David Cup over Mac 6-4, 14-12, 7-5
1/13/82 Masters SF over Mac 6-4, 6-2
4/20/82 Dallas F over Mac 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3
8/19/82 Montreal SF over Mac 6-4, 6-4
8/31/82 USO SF over Mac 6-4, 6-4, 7-6
1/18/83 Masters F over Connors 6-4, 6-4, 6-2
9/19/83 San Fran F over Mac 3-6, 7-6, 6-4

I actually had to write down the #1 periods of these 3 players because it was so confusing. #1 changed 13 times during this period. So this is an odd record. But this also shows how tough this period was.
 
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#34
The people who do not know about tennis would always ask if he has ever won Wimbledon. And then we all have to answer in unison: NO. That's why it does not matter what you lead. Hall victories, sand sweeps. All good. But Wimbledon is missing. And Lendl is a difficult guy for that. Connors and McEnroe too. But both have charm. I would say Lendl is a kind of Bruce Willis. McEnroe is more Clint Eastwood. Connors like Bronson. And Agassi like Patrick Swayze.
 
#35
This is a good question. Mac, Connors, and Lendl continually switched being #1. This is what is incredibly confusing. But Lendl’s wins were against his opponent while he was #1

Listed are the dates the event started and the #1 opponents Lendl beat:
7/9/81 David Cup over Mac 6-4, 14-12, 7-5
1/13/82 Masters SF over Mac 6-4, 6-2
4/20/82 Dallas F over Mac 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3
8/19/82 Montreal SF over Mac 6-4, 6-4
8/31/82 USO SF over Mac 6-4, 6-4, 7-6
1/18/83 Masters F over Connors 6-4, 6-4, 6-2
9/19/83 San Fran F over Mac 3-6, 7-6, 6-4

I actually had to right down the #1 periods of three 3 players because it was so confusing. #1 changed 13 times during this period. So this is an odd record. But this also shows how tough this period was.
Thanks for the research. The 5 that I had were:
1/13/82 Masters SF over Mac 6-4, 6-2
4/20/82 Dallas F over Mac 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3
8/19/82 Montreal SF over Mac 6-4, 6-4
8/31/82 USO SF over Mac 6-4, 6-4, 7-6
1/18/83 Masters F over Connors 6-4, 6-4, 6-2

I didn't have 7/9/81 Davis Cup as part of the streak because Borg beat Lendl in the Stuttgart Final on 7/19/81, but it turns out that win was what gave Borg #1 and he didn't become #1 again until 7/20/81, and so that loss the day before didn't break Lendl's streak.

Likewise I didn't have 9/19/83 San Fran F over Mac 3-6, 7-6, 6-4 because Lendl lost to Mac 3 times between the Masters win over Connors on 1/18/83 and that win. It turns out though Mac's 1/31/83 Philadelphia win over Lendl came literally a day after he lost #1 back to Connors, his 4/26/83 win came while Lendl was himself #1, and his Wimbledon SF win came while he was #2 to Connors (but would immediately go back to #1 after winning that title) and so those 3 losses didn't break up that streak.

Some of this record IS a result of happenstance with the ranking continuously switching (it does show the competitive era though).
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
#37
Well ya if we are going by peak:
McEnroe>>Connors>Agassi>Lendl

I was talking about by careers though where its:
Connors>Lendl>>McEnroe>Agassi
To me, PEAK McEnroe is like Fed level. Agassi, despite his great achievements, was nowhere near as consistent over time as Connors or Lendl. Connors' #s are sick in that regard...I mean, many of the records Fed was chasing and broke were Jimmy's. Lendl and Connors are very, very close. Andre, not quite as much.
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
#38
Consensus is that Agassi is behind Connors and Lendl. While I would certainly agree, Agassi is probably a little underrated. Not only does he have the career grand slam, but he also has longevity that in many ways was better than Connors'. He is also one of the best ball strikers the game has ever seen.
Andre's longevity is good but he did not do as much over that time frame, as consistently, as Connors or Lendl. The middle of Andre's career was a bit of a dud, to put it mildly. he really rebounded in the latter stages of his career (all those AO wins)...but he still couldn't beat Pete...
 
#39
In modern times the only players with better credentials than Agassi are RF, RN and ND. Agassi won all of the majors plus a gold medal and was ranked #1. He won in Paris and London. I know being ranked number for longer is a big deal but honestly most champs are announced as 8 time major champion and not as Number 1 for 350 weeks. He won all the major titles at least once. Not Pete, John, Jimmy, Boris, Stefan, Mats, Ivan. I detest Agassi but I would rather have his numbers than be missing a trophy in the cabinet.
 
#40
I see a lot of all time ranking lists that have Agassi behind the Connors/Lendl/McEnroe trio. Is he firmly behind those?

Agassi does match Lendl and Connors with 8 slams and has the Career Slam which none of those other guys have. He is far behind in time at #1 and some other stats though. Agassi and McEnroe are probably both more naturally talented than both Lendl and Connors for whatever value that is worth.

I guess it depends how much value the Career Slam is. It basically has to be huge in order to have Agassi above those three. How valuable is the Career Slam.
Its the amount that Lendl and Connors won that puts them ahead of Agassi. And the time at #1.
 

Pheasant

Hall of Fame
#41
Back in the 1980s, it was a massive goal to be number 1 in the world. Sports Illustrated had an article that mentioned how a ton of injuries prevented Lendl from shattering Connors’ record of 160 consecutive weeks at #1( Lendl had 157 if I remember correctly). Lendl played through excruciating shoulder pain in the 1988 USO and had shoulder surgery right after that event ended. He also had a bunch of other injuries that year. Wilander said at the end of that year that Lendl was still the best player, even though Matts stole the #1 ranking away from alendl for 20 weeks. And how insane is it that Wilander and Becker combined for less than 50 weeks at #1, despite their combined 13 slam titles. That era was impossible. And yet, Lendl put up 270 weeks at #1. Becker said that his #1 goal was to chase down Lendl for world #1. And he finally caught the past-his-prime 30 year old. Shortly afterwards, Edberg stoke it away. Becker could not catch a break.
 
#42
In many ways yes, all three have arguments for being ahead of Agassi. All four are all time greats though. I’d put Agassi behind all three yet it’s inherently subjective no matter how you look at it.
 

Towny

Professional
#43
Andre's longevity is good but he did not do as much over that time frame, as consistently, as Connors or Lendl. The middle of Andre's career was a bit of a dud, to put it mildly. he really rebounded in the latter stages of his career (all those AO wins)...but he still couldn't beat Pete...
That's certainly true. I actually do rate Connors' longevity over Agassi's. All I'm saying is that there are points in Agassi's favour too. For instance, he won his first and last slam 10.5 years apart, as opposed to 9.5 for Connors. He also made his first and last slam final 15.5 years apart, as opposed to 10.5 for Connors.

I suspect Agassi was able to achieve this in part because of his AWOL periods when he was younger, so he had lower mileage in his 30s.
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
#44
OK. Interesting.

How many slams did Connors "miss" because he was banned or prohibited from playing for legal, contractual reasons versus how many did he miss because he chose to skip them?
This was due to the world team tennis blow up....I believe that Jimmy was banned in '74 along w/Goolagong from playing the French. Chrissie also chose to play WTT and skip the FO the following year. Several players chose to skip the FO in retaliation, is my understanding. So, Connors did not go back until '79, I think. Which was a shame really, since he made several semis...he might've snagged one in 75-78, before Borg's full ascendancy.

The other thing to understand, which has been said many times, is that the FO and AO were not viewed as they are today...they were a step below US and Wimby. Plus, Open era tennis was still young and money was a big deal....thus, something like WTT was attractive. Along w/the numerous special events and exos. The FO did not have the allure that it does today. And, some would say the AO was a dump (Kooyong) back then.
 
#45
Connors had the lowest peak indeed, but the greatest longevity as well and was massively prolific in his prime.

Agassi had the second lowest peak of the four, but also the second greatest longevity and was the most versatile. His mental walkabouts cost him a great deal, he had the potential to become a double-digit Slam winner but wasted multiple years.

Lendl had a super high sustained peak, but always struggled on grass and ended up losing a lot of close finals elsewhere as well, though that also had to do with him facing the stiffest competition of all by some distance. He was also very prolific, only less than Connors. Shame that back pain killed possible longevity, migh have matched Agassi's if his back held up longer.

McEnroe had the highest peak of them all, one of the highest ever, but the abrupt decline left his career with a palpable feeling of incompleteness. Sad stuff. Even then, he could've won Slams in double digits despite missing AO if not for the unnecessary struggles in 1982-83, should have never lost to Connors and Lendl there, good as they were but not peak (Connors post, Lendl pre).

Connors
Lendl
McEnroe
Agassi
seems a good career order.

Some good points, but I would rank Connors over Agassi in peak level. Agassi never winning more than 7 tournaments in one year and only having one multi-slam winning year doesn't sit well with me. Granted, Connors' '74 wasn't as eye-popping as the un-examined numbers would suggest, but his 5 year run from 1974-1978 was Godly compared to Agassi's best half-decade.

In-match peak may be a different story, but just as Connors had a very pedestrian serve that placed limitations on how dominant he could be, Agassi's movement, unspectacular defense/reach and frankly overrated first serve (not second serve, which was GOAT) return could be exploited.

Combining peak and career I'd rank them as such:

Lendl
Connors
McEnroe
Agassi
 
#48
I don't have a strong opinion on the ranking of those 4 but Lendl's 8 consecutive USO finals and 9 consecutive Master cup finals are incredible. Also I think Lendl played the toughest competition of all the All Time Great by some margin.

Borg, Connors, McEnroe, Wilander, Becker, Edberg. Any time one those declined they were replaced by another.
 
#49
This was due to the world team tennis blow up....I believe that Jimmy was banned in '74 along w/Goolagong from playing the French. Chrissie also chose to play WTT and skip the FO the following year. Several players chose to skip the FO in retaliation, is my understanding. So, Connors did not go back until '79, I think. Which was a shame really, since he made several semis...he might've snagged one in 75-78, before Borg's full ascendancy.
Yes, I knew about 1974 and how Connors was prohibited from playing by the authorities at the FO.

My understanding is that Connors chose to skip the FO 1975-1978 to punish and get his revenge on those authorities, thereby being spiteful and petulant.

In hypothetically evaluating a player and giving any kind of credit (or detraction), I would certainly distinguish between a player being banned (and thus having no option to play) and a player choosing (for whatever reason) not to play.
 
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jrepac

Hall of Fame
#50
Some good points, but I would rank Connors over Agassi in peak level. Agassi never winning more than 7 tournaments in one year and only having one multi-slam winning year doesn't sit well with me. Granted, Connors' '74 wasn't as eye-popping as the un-examined numbers would suggest, but his 5 year run from 1974-1978 was Godly compared to Agassi's best half-decade.

In-match peak may be a different story, but just as Connors had a very pedestrian serve that placed limitations on how dominant he could be, Agassi's movement, unspectacular defense/reach and frankly overrated first serve (not second serve, which was GOAT) return could be exploited.

Combining peak and career I'd rank them as such:

Lendl
Connors
McEnroe
Agassi
End-to-end, Agassi v. Connors looks comparable in some ways, but Agassi was just so darn inconsistent. Connors' peak in '74 was impressive no matter how you cut it. His rebound in '82 also comparable to Agassi's late career rebound, IMHO. Connors 1st serve was middling, at best, but his movement and net play far superior to Andre's. total # of titles is a slam dunk for Jimmy. More weeks at #1 as well. So, you are talking Golden Slam vs. not golden, but 4 surfaces...over some pretty heady competition (Borg, Mac, Lendl). I think most experts lean towards Connors over Andre, for these reasons.
 
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