Laver > Borg > Lendl > Sampras > Federer > Nadal > Djokovic

mxmx

Hall of Fame
Laver > Borg > Lendl > Sampras > Federer > Nadal > Djokovic

Some people are very recency biased. Some are very nostalgia biased. Laver is almost forgotten. As are many others. Federer wiped Sampras away to some extent. Will Djokovic do the same with Nadal and Federer? To some extent, as it now seems very likely. And is he really better? Probably not. Tennis has just gotten weaker and weaker. Not to mention that greats like Becker and Agassi is also fading away, even if they may arguably wipe the floor with some players we find today.

So many kids today will ask "who the heck is Laver or Lendl?" but say "yay, one of the Big 3 is tge best evuh"

I will concede that the Big 3 will do fine in any era, as long as people concede the same for all the above mentioned players and that tennis has actually gone backwards in it's totality. I'm not talking about technique here.
 
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NicoMK

Professional
So many kids today will ask "who the heck is Laver or Lendl?" but say "yay, one of the Big 3 is tge best evuh"
:-D

Excellent (and so true).

Apart from that, I agree with all that you said 100%.

We can also wonder :
- Would Nadal own 12 RG titles if he played with a wooden racket?
- How many FO titles would Borg own if he had played with current technology etc.?

Etc. … and this is an endless question.
 
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mxmx

Hall of Fame
:-D

Excellent (and so true).

Apart from that, I agree with all that you said 100%.

We can also wonder :
- Would Nadal own 12 RG titles if he played with a wooden racket?
- How many FO titles would Borg own if he had played with current technology etc.?

Etc. … and this is an endless question.
Well, one thing's for sure. Nadal, although great, did not have many real clay court specialists who could face him. Lol, even Federer had to play that part. Djokovic is good though and suits clay.
 

mxmx

Hall of Fame
Cant compare eras. Science rules. We have to treat each era separately The information the technology are superior making the players superior, enjoy
Doesn't many players still play with very similar rackets than let's say Agassi and Sampras? Or do you mean strings?
 

chrisb

Semi-Pro
Doesn't many players still play with very similar rackets than let's say Agassi and Sampras? Or do you mean strings?
Frames for the most part are similar. Strings balls shoes training all have improved. Put all that together its improved the ability. Note more bigger players for one thing. Better diets whole bunch of stuff better
 

NicoMK

Professional
Cant compare eras. Science rules. We have to treat each era separately The information the technology are superior making the players superior, enjoy
True, but I would say physically superior only.

And that bloody surface homogenization too, where you can play the same baseline sh*t the whole year and virtually winning all 4 Slams (not to mention all the rest). So, where does the GOAT debate really stand, I don't know but I have an idea…

Don't misunderstand me, I like baseline players but I tremendously miss the S&V. Ah well, it has been discussed so many times…

Anyway, now we have a newer type of tennis : the one played in front of empty stadiums… :-D:eek:
 
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hoodjem

G.O.A.T.
I will concede that the Big 3 will do fine in any era, as long as people concede the same for all the above mentioned players and that tennis has actually gone backwards in it's totality. I'm not talking about technique here.
I think you concede too much.
I can not see Djokovic or Nadal doing much in the eras before 100 sq. in. racquets, poly strings, and court homogenization.

I imagine Nole with gut strings in a 68 sq. in. 14 ounce wooden racquet on fast Wimbledon grass up at the net trying to volley.
Epic lack of success.

Of course you could take him back even further to the times of long pants, one foot on the ground during serve, and 16 ounce wooden racquets with no leather grips just bare wooden handles.

Then he would be eating lots of Wimbledon grass.:cautious: :cool:
 
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NicoMK

Professional
Borg would have beaten Nadal if he played today
I tend to agree with you... I think Borg was a better athlete than Nadal and he was 20 years in advance compared to the other guys of the 70s (no disrespect of course). So my guess is that he would probably have done better (than Nadal) with today's technology... but once again this is pure science fiction and we will never ever know. Credits to Nadal who owns 12 RG titles though...
 
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NicoMK

Professional
It's not just the overhead and it's not just ********. Modern players are utterly useless inside the baseline compared to the likes of Edberg, Laver, McEnroe, Rafter, Sampras, Cash, Becker, etc.
Even players like Lendl or Wilander, considered as baseliners, were better volleyers than today's field.

I wonder "who" decided to make the game of tennis evolve the way it is today, and why...
 

tonylg

Hall of Fame
I wonder "who" decided to make the game of tennis evolve the way it is today, and why...
The ITF used to be the custodians of tennis. When the ATP took over, all work to maintain the integrity of the sport stopped and the game of tennis devolved into what we have now.
 

Steady Eddy

Hall of Fame
Borg beating Sampras? Maybe on clay. But Sampras's serve was so much better. Sampras was at a completely different level.
 

NicoMK

Professional
How to beat Djokovic:
- Give him an easy overhead
- Profit
Lol. Probably.
Aren't you supposed to be a Novak fan? In that case you should back your champion up instead. ;)

Jimmy Connors, another (former) great, had a weak overhead for a champion of this caliber.
 

urban

Legend
Are you sure? As far i can remember, Connors overhead was pretty good, and his roundhouse bowler smash was pretty famous.
 

NicoMK

Professional
Are you sure? As far i can remember, Connors overhead was pretty good, and his roundhouse bowler smash was pretty famous.
I guess that the -- indeed famous -- bowler smash existed precisely because Jimmy wasn't too comfortable with the overhead. Correct me if I'm wrong but I would easily compare Jimmy's smash with Novak's. Not a weak shot in itself but clearly not a strength either.
 
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Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
Laver > Borg > Lendl > Sampras > Federer > Nadal > Djokovic

Some people are very recency biased. Some are very nostalgia biased. Laver is almost forgotten. As are many others. Federer wiped Sampras away to some extent. Will Djokovic do the same with Nadal and Federer? To some extent, as it now seems very likely. And is he really better? Probably not. Tennis has just gotten weaker and weaker. Not to mention that greats like Becker and Agassi is also fading away, even if they may arguably wipe the floor with some players we find today.

So many kids today will ask "who the heck is Laver or Lendl?" but say "yay, one of the Big 3 is tge best evuh"

I will concede that the Big 3 will do fine in any era, as long as people concede the same for all the above mentioned players and that tennis has actually gone backwards in it's totality. I'm not talking about technique here.
Laver and borg would be creamed if they played federer or sampras
 

NicoMK

Professional
Laver and borg would be creamed if they played federer or sampras
Yes… if you compare Laver 1969 and Borg 1979 to, let's say Federer circa 2005 and to Sampras 1999, because technology -- and I'm not only talking about rackets or strings but also about physical training -- has improved tremendously, to say the least.

Not sure anyone would cream anybody if all those players benefited from the same technology.

Would Nadal beat Sampras on real grass and if Pete used a more modern racket? I don't think so.
Would Federer beat Borg on clay if they played in the same area? Not sure either.

It will never happen so this is why, as I said, this is an endless discussion.
 
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thrust

Hall of Fame
Frames for the most part are similar. Strings balls shoes training all have improved. Put all that together its improved the ability. Note more bigger players for one thing. Better diets whole bunch of stuff better
Also: medical times out, bathroom breaks, ice packs, vitamin power drinks, better medical treatment for injuries on and off court, bigger and lighter rackets and strings that allow better ball control and variety of shot.
 

NicoMK

Professional
Also: medical times out, bathroom breaks, ice packs, vitamin power drinks, better medical treatment for injuries on and off court, bigger and lighter rackets and strings that allow better ball control and variety of shot.
Does the towel break between each point count?
 

King No1e

G.O.A.T.
Lol. Probably.
Aren't you supposed to be a Novak fan? In that case you should back your champion up instead. ;)

Jimmy Connors, another (former) great, had a weak overhead for a champion of this caliber.
Nah, I can't really back up Djokosmash. Not after RG13 happened.
I will say it's better than Wawrinka's smash, for what it's worth.
 
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KG1965

Legend
I guess that the -- indeed famous -- bowler smash existed precisely because Jimmy wasn't too comfortable with the overhead. Correct me if I'm wrong but I would easily compare Jimmy's smash with Novak's. Not a weak shot in itself but clearly not a strength either.
Are you sure? As far i can remember, Connors overhead was pretty good, and his roundhouse bowler smash was pretty famous.
I remember that its oh as one of the best in the 70's through the mid 80's.
Jimmy was endowed with an elevation (jump) superior to his rivals, then in fact he lost a lot especially in the quality of the elevation, therefore in the positioning, and with the passing of the years he went into trouble.

IMHO OH Jimbo >>> OH Djoker
 

Beckerserve

Hall of Fame
Players are products of their times. Which renders goat debates meaningless and typical journalistic nonsense. I love Nadal now, use to love Becker. Nadal would obviously beat Becker on clay and hard courts if the HCs were as slow as they have been the past 10 years. But on faster courts? Becker, Edberg, Sampras, stich would have beat Nadal with ease. His return position is so far back he would be gift wrapping service games to proper natural serve volleyers on grass.
Djokovic also would struggle. His returns are brilliant but designed to get the ball deep. Against a serve volleyer his returns would be easy put aways.
Federer is the player who sort of bridged 20th century style tennis and 21st centrury tennis and probably the player most equipped to have dominated in any era regsrdless of technology.
 

chrisb

Semi-Pro
Some of the records are being added to by increased longevity in the sport more money better training more years able to play at high level. It leads to more slams
 

jhick

Hall of Fame
Cant compare eras. Science rules. We have to treat each era separately The information the technology are superior making the players superior, enjoy
I tend to agree with this. You compete given the tools, technology, environment, and competition for the current era you are in. You also have to factor in the players in today's era learn from the past. If OP's list is a timeline, then he is trolling us a bit by using the > sign.
 

mxmx

Hall of Fame
Some of the records are being added to by increased longevity in the sport more money better training more years able to play at high level. It leads to more slams
Increased longevity or just an increase of a weaker field? Connors also had some longevity. Young players have the same doctors and they still can't (couldn't for years) beat the big 3.
 

mxmx

Hall of Fame
I tend to agree with this. You compete given the tools, technology, environment, and competition for the current era you are in. You also have to factor in the players in today's era learn from the past. If OP's list is a timeline, then he is trolling us a bit by using the > sign.
It's the closest thing I could use as an arrow.
 

mxmx

Hall of Fame
While Borg, Sampras and Lendl are the giants of the game, they all have glaring holes in their resumes. Can't be listed in the same tier as the other 4.

Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk
The biggest hole and elephant in the room is the weakness of the field the big 3 had to face. They're sharing all the grand slams because they're good, BUT ALSO because their field is/was so much weaker.
 

thrust

Hall of Fame
Borg would have beaten Nadal if he played today
Perhaps, but players should only be compared with the players of their era especially not players of the distant past as the game, conditions, equipment and sports medicine are totally different from those of 20 and more years ago.
 

NicoMK

Professional
Personally, I still consider that Borg is the best athlete in tennis ever, and we're talking of someone who played 40 years ago!
 

thrust

Hall of Fame
Personally, I still consider that Borg is the best athlete in tennis ever, and we're talking of someone who played 40 years ago!
I do NOT believe that at all. Borg was a great player and athlete for his day, but not on the same level of today's athletes, primarily due to training techniques, nutrition, medicine, etc..
 

NicoMK

Professional
I do NOT believe that at all. Borg was a great player and athlete for his day, but not on the same level of today's athletes, primarily due to training techniques, nutrition, medicine, etc..
Of course today's athletes are stronger than 40 years ago, precisely because, as you said, they have at their disposal all those training techniques, nutrition etc. that they didn't have in the past.

Without all that state-of-the-art stuff, do you really think that Federer could play at such a high level at almost 40 yo, just like he does today? Also, do you think that Nadal's knees would have been OK some 20 years ago? You can ask former Swedish player Kent Carlsson how he feels about it… and let's not talk about Murray's hip! Not too far from us, Norman or Kuerten had to retire for the same kind of issue.

I mean, good for these guys but it also makes records easier to reach. Same in cycling when Armstrong used to dominate the Tour de France -- and don't misunderstand me, I don't blame him for this, I would have done the same if I had been in his shoes.

What I'm implying is that, for me, Borg was a better natural athlete than any other players since then. We have to remember that he beat Olympic Champion Guy Drut on 110m, Drut's own discipline!! Crazy.
 

thrust

Hall of Fame
Of course today's athletes are stronger than 40 years ago, precisely because, as you said, they have at their disposal all those training techniques, nutrition etc. that they didn't have in the past.

Without all that state-of-the-art stuff, do you really think that Federer could play at such a high level at almost 40 yo, just like he does today? Also, do you think that Nadal's knees would have been OK some 20 years ago? You can ask former Swedish player Kent Carlsson how he feels about it… and let's not talk about Murray's hip! Not too far from us, Norman or Kuerten had to retire for the same kind of issue.

I mean, good for these guys but it also makes records easier to reach. Same in cycling when Armstrong used to dominate the Tour de France -- and don't misunderstand me, I don't blame him for this, I would have done the same if I had been in his shoes.

What I'm implying is that, for me, Borg was a better natural athlete than any other players since then. We have to remember that he beat Olympic Champion Guy Drut on 110m, Drut's own discipline!! Crazy.
Without modern medicine, not available 20 or more years ago, Federer probably would not have been able to play the last four years, Nadal and especially Murray and Del Porto would not be playing at all today. So you are right, given today's advantages, no doubt, Borg would be as great an athlete as any of today's top players.
 

PDJ

G.O.A.T.
It's true, but some greats are helped by a continuing media presence. And also an American bias.

I'm not convinced Margaret Court would be spoken about much if it weren't for her views, plus Serena Williams endlessly chasing her record.

Lendl was destined to be forgotten given the bias against him when he was the best, plus his own personality. Although coaching Murray had commentators dusting off his impressive CV.

The recent (ish) tendency to measure all careers by majors won doesn't help.
 

BlueB

Legend
The biggest hole and elephant in the room is the weakness of the field the big 3 had to face. They're sharing all the grand slams because they're good, BUT ALSO because their field is/was so much weaker.
I don't agree, but I'll stop the discussion and I retract my statement. I thought that you were trolling us with > instead of -> , as someone else already noticed...

Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk
 

BlueB

Legend
Lol. Probably.
Aren't you supposed to be a Novak fan? In that case you should back your champion up instead. ;)
Pretends to be one, but makes subtle digs at every opportunity.

Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk
 
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