Laver "it wasn't as important then"

The-Champ

Legend
Nice article/interview with Laver after the FO12 finals.

"You know, it was never as important then, counting Grand Slam titles you'd won. Emerson didn't even know how many he'd won; it was not common knowledge. If you won Wimbledon, it was a feather in your cap. I won two U.S. Opens, I knew that.

"That's the way it was. No one was counting."

http://espn.go.com/tennis/french12/story/_/id/8041417/french-open-anyone-match-rod-laver-feat

What if former greats were as obsessed with breaking tennis records as Federer and Sampras? Maybe Borg for instance would never have skipped AO. Sampras' goal was to surpass Emerson and Federer wanted to surpass Sampras and Nadal wanted to surpass Borg at the FO. Recent greats have all become glory hunters which prevented them from playing their best. Federer played like crap at the AO09 and cried after the loss. That's because he had Sampras' records at the back of his mind. Nadal played like crap at finals of FO12 because of the thought of surpassing Borg. Djokovic didn't play well during the finals either because of the idea of having "4 in a row". There are other reasons obviously for not being able to perform your best and if you are not there mentally, it is impossible. Yes, they are all mentally tough but it is human nature to prove something, if not for others, for yourself. The closer they are to their goals, the more pressure increases. The weight of expectations is too much which sometimes attributed to them not being able to perform their best. Psychologically, it must be draining.

In conclusion, goals may have made some players better but also brought out the worst performances from them.

Your thoughts?
 
Last edited:

Bud

Bionic Poster
Many on the board have been saying this for years. Some player(s) even skipped a grand slam to play world team tennis. Many skipped the AO because it fell too close to Christmas and traveling to AO was inconvenient. The GS's (apart from Wimbledon) simply didn't carry the weight in the past they now carry.
 

The-Champ

Legend
I find this the funniest: "Laver, whose name graces the center court at the Australian Open, leaned in during the trophy presentation and said to Djokovic, "Congratulations, you've only got three to go." :):):)

LOL!! he made it sound as if it was so easy. He knows everyone wants to break his record of 2 calendar slams.
 
Last edited:

Mainad

Bionic Poster
That's a nice and timely corrective from a former tennis great against those of us on here who think it's all about the Slams and that nothing else matters!! :cool:
 

Gizo

Hall of Fame
This 'slam counting' and 'only slams matter' attitude only became popular during Sampras's career and during the end of Lendl's career when he was past his peak.

If you go back to Borg's and Laver's time, the Wimbledon title count was way more important than the overall slam count. Borg could have stayed on, won a couple of more RG titles and overtaken Roy Emerson's record of 12 grand slams titles (a meaningless record which he didn't even know he held until the media hyped it up decades later), but he didn't see the point if wasn't racking up more Wimbledon titles.

A major reason why the grand slam count actually became significant in Sampras's era, was that by then all the slams had got their act together and increased their prize money relative to the other tournaments. No player was going to value the Australian Open over the Pepsi Grand Slam or Masters when it didn't offer anywhere near as much money.
 
Last edited:

Devilito

Hall of Fame
duh... if Petros new at the start of his career that he had to break 16 for the record i bet he could have done it. It's always easier to go second and know what you have to do than set the record and watch others break it. Nobody cared about slam count until about the early-mid 90s. If they did, they wouldn't have skipped so many slams. Tons of players skipped the Aus Open until about the mid 90s. Lots of clay courters skipped Wimbledon and lots of fast court players skipped the French. It was common and the prize money and glory that came from winning a slam wasnt even close to what it is now. Tennis is about the worst sport in the world to compare titles and statistics because of the constantly changing dynamics of the tour.
 
D

Deleted member 21996

Guest
Nice article/interview with Laver after the FO12 finals.

"You know, it was never as important then, counting Grand Slam titles you'd won. Emerson didn't even know how many he'd won; it was not common knowledge. If you won Wimbledon, it was a feather in your cap. I won two U.S. Opens, I knew that.

"That's the way it was. No one was counting."

http://espn.go.com/tennis/french12/story/_/id/8041417/french-open-anyone-match-rod-laver-feat

What if former greats were as obsessed with breaking tennis records as Federer and Sampras? Maybe Borg for instance would never have skipped AO. Sampras' goal was to surpass Emerson and Federer wanted to surpass Sampras and Nadal wanted to surpass Borg at the FO. Recent greats have all become glory hunters which prevented them from playing their best. Federer played like crap at the AO09 and cried after the loss. That's because he had Sampras' records at the back of his mind. Nadal played like crap at finals of FO12 because of the thought of surpassing Borg. Djokovic didn't play well during the finals either because of the idea of having "4 in a row". There are other reasons obviously for not being able to perform your best and if you are not there mentally, it is impossible. Yes, they are all mentally tough but it is human nature to prove something, if not for others, for yourself. The closer they are to their goals, the more pressure increases. The weight of expectations is too much which sometimes attributed to them not being able to perform their best. Psychologically, it must be draining.

In conclusion, goals may have made some players better but also brought out the worst performances from them.

Your thoughts?
it's Laver... what is there to say. The only guy who managed to sneak 2 (two) Grands while being barred his prime years from the tour...

i agree that this generation seem avid for glory and recognition. when you think of how shy and understating Laver or Borg were, both on court and out of it...
 
D

Deleted member 21996

Guest
I guess nadal is closest to those twos in terms of humbleness and dignity. Carrying the torch of grace for future generations
simply implying that Simian boy is in the same league in terms of composture as Laver makes me throw a litlle in my mouth!!!
 

Emet74

Professional
i agree that this generation seem avid for glory and recognition. when you think of how shy and understating Laver or Borg were, both on court and out of it...
Borg - the future drug addict who told JMac that there was no point in playing if he couldn't be #1?

Ha, people just idealize guys from the past because we know less about them.

Agree w/ the general point tho' that slam count didn't use to matter and talking about things like GOAT using those sort of metrics is silly. I've always blamed Sampras and his publicists - they were the ones that started fussing about the so-called Emerson "record" that no one had cared about -

Roger had no choice, after the Sampras bru-hah-hah the press never left him alone about the "14" thing.
 

marc45

G.O.A.T.
Nice article/interview with Laver after the FO12 finals.

"You know, it was never as important then, counting Grand Slam titles you'd won. Emerson didn't even know how many he'd won; it was not common knowledge. If you won Wimbledon, it was a feather in your cap. I won two U.S. Opens, I knew that.

"That's the way it was. No one was counting."

http://espn.go.com/tennis/french12/story/_/id/8041417/french-open-anyone-match-rod-laver-feat

What if former greats were as obsessed with breaking tennis records as Federer and Sampras? Maybe Borg for instance would never have skipped AO. Sampras' goal was to surpass Emerson and Federer wanted to surpass Sampras and Nadal wanted to surpass Borg at the FO. Recent greats have all become glory hunters which prevented them from playing their best. Federer played like crap at the AO09 and cried after the loss. That's because he had Sampras' records at the back of his mind. Nadal played like crap at finals of FO12 because of the thought of surpassing Borg. Djokovic didn't play well during the finals either because of the idea of having "4 in a row". There are other reasons obviously for not being able to perform your best and if you are not there mentally, it is impossible. Yes, they are all mentally tough but it is human nature to prove something, if not for others, for yourself. The closer they are to their goals, the more pressure increases. The weight of expectations is too much which sometimes attributed to them not being able to perform their best. Psychologically, it must be draining.

In conclusion, goals may have made some players better but also brought out the worst performances from them.

Your thoughts?
nadal played like crap at fo 12?...wow...brain cells need more study
 

fed_rulz

Hall of Fame
duh... if Petros new at the start of his career that he had to break 16 for the record i bet he could have done it. It's always easier to go second and know what you have to do than set the record and watch others break it. Nobody cared about slam count until about the early-mid 90s. If they did, they wouldn't have skipped so many slams. Tons of players skipped the Aus Open until about the mid 90s. Lots of clay courters skipped Wimbledon and lots of fast court players skipped the French. It was common and the prize money and glory that came from winning a slam wasnt even close to what it is now. Tennis is about the worst sport in the world to compare titles and statistics because of the constantly changing dynamics of the tour.
please name a few slams where Sampras lost because he didn't care much. In any case all that you say about players skipping AO etc, doesn't apply to sampras.

Face it Pete-fanboi, Pete did the best he could, and his job was made easier when his best rival went AWOL during his peak. There was no way he was going to win 16, if he knew that was the target.. he lucked out in his 13th and 14th slam, a luxury that does not exist today.
 

ultradr

Legend
Your thoughts?
This must have something to do with, at least partially, the fact that there
were pro and amateur slams coexist during 60's.

If they count both pro and amateur slams during 60's, both Laver and Gonzalez
won 20+ slams, AFAIK ??
 
D

Deleted member 21996

Guest
You can't be a 5 9 shortie and a mild-mannered guy to win in today's brutal tennis world.
yes i undestand that. to be sucessfull these days you have to be a tall dumb jock with disgusting manners and lack of principles!!! hence the sucess of Nadal!
 

Rafa Garros

New User
ok. You could say that where grace, dignity and class are concerned, its a tie between nadal and delpo with nadal just shading it.
 

1handbh

New User
connors and borg only played the aussy once or twice. connors skipped the french for 5 years. it was more about being #1 rather than slam counting.
 

roundiesee

Hall of Fame
Great quote; thanks for posting OP
Sort of puts everything into perspective; the past bunch of tennis players and champions are so much more endearing compared to the present batch, that's for sure.
 

TERRASTAR18

Hall of Fame
Borg - the future drug addict who told JMac that there was no point in playing if he couldn't be #1?

Ha, people just idealize guys from the past because we know less about them.

Agree w/ the general point tho' that slam count didn't use to matter and talking about things like GOAT using those sort of metrics is silly. I've always blamed Sampras and his publicists - they were the ones that started fussing about the so-called Emerson "record" that no one had cared about -

Roger had no choice, after the Sampras bru-hah-hah the press never left him alone about the "14" thing.
and wanted to play in south africa during apartheid...
 

statto

Professional
If they count both pro and amateur slams during 60's, both Laver and Gonzalez won 20+ slams, AFAIK ??
That's a bit disingenuous. Laver won 6 of those slams as an amateur when there were better pros who couldn't play in those tournaments. If you add his pro slams to his open era slams he stands on 14. Gonzalez stands on 15. I think Ken Rosewall would have the best record with 19 (23 if you count his amateur titles, tainted as they are).

Of course, that's all moot when you take into account Laver's (accurate) comments about the pros attitude toward slam count.

Nowadays posters here can champion a whole host of potential GOATs by looking at stats, bending them to suit their preference:

Federer because he's won most slams.
Not Federer, Sampras, because he won almost as many as Fed but had a positive H2H against his main rival.
Not Sampras, Agassi was better because he won all the slams at least once.
None of those, Nadal because he's won all the slams, Olympic singles and Davis Cup.
No, Laver because he did the Grand Slam... twice.
No, Rosewall because he dominated for a far longer and won slams over a 20 year period.
How about Connors and Lendl, who won more titles than all the above?
What about Mac, who won even more than them if you include doubles (more slams too).

It all gets a bit tiresome.
 

TERRASTAR18

Hall of Fame
Great quote; thanks for posting OP
Sort of puts everything into perspective; the past bunch of tennis players and champions are so much more endearing compared to the present batch, that's for sure.

we don't know them personally so we can't jump to conclusions. what i do know is today's players operate in a more open and diverse society.
 
Nice article/interview with Laver after the FO12 finals.

"You know, it was never as important then, counting Grand Slam titles you'd won. Emerson didn't even know how many he'd won; it was not common knowledge. If you won Wimbledon, it was a feather in your cap. I won two U.S. Opens, I knew that.

"That's the way it was. No one was counting."

http://espn.go.com/tennis/french12/story/_/id/8041417/french-open-anyone-match-rod-laver-feat

What if former greats were as obsessed with breaking tennis records as Federer and Sampras? Maybe Borg for instance would never have skipped AO. Sampras' goal was to surpass Emerson and Federer wanted to surpass Sampras and Nadal wanted to surpass Borg at the FO. Recent greats have all become glory hunters which prevented them from playing their best. Federer played like crap at the AO09 and cried after the loss. That's because he had Sampras' records at the back of his mind. Nadal played like crap at finals of FO12 because of the thought of surpassing Borg. Djokovic didn't play well during the finals either because of the idea of having "4 in a row". There are other reasons obviously for not being able to perform your best and if you are not there mentally, it is impossible. Yes, they are all mentally tough but it is human nature to prove something, if not for others, for yourself. The closer they are to their goals, the more pressure increases. The weight of expectations is too much which sometimes attributed to them not being able to perform their best. Psychologically, it must be draining.

In conclusion, goals may have made some players better but also brought out the worst performances from them.

Your thoughts?
I have the feeling that if Borg had employed himself fully and hadn't ended his (first stretch of) career so early, he would have even more than Fed has right now. No, I'm not kidding.
 

rosewall4ever

Semi-Pro
wow

Nice article/interview with Laver after the FO12 finals.

"You know, it was never as important then, counting Grand Slam titles you'd won.. If you won Wimbledon, it was a feather in your cap. I won two U.S. Opens, I knew that.

"That's the way it was. No one was counting."

[

With that said... he is truly the greatest!!!!To humble yourself to what people today considers the greatest achievement in the sport is worthy of calling them a true champion.

"I thought, 'Yeah, I won 11, didn't I?' "
 
D

Deleted member 21996

Guest
Are you serious? Really?
Of course i'm not serious dumbo. did you read my previous reply? on the subject?

what kind of answer do you expect when your gang of *******s turns a thread about Laver in yet another Nadal adulation shrine? ffs...
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Top