Laver was lucky ...

Jonas78

Legend
Next gen is fine, just things have changed. Their 21 is former 15-17, their 30 will be formed 23-4 and their 35 will be former 26-7. Plus, Djokovic, Nadal and Federer are players that are born once in 100 years.
If Nishikori and Raonic starts to rack up slams in a couple of years I'll admit you were right;)
 

BeatlesFan

Talk Tennis Guru
Who did Laver play that was even close to Nadal on clay? I’m not diminishing Laver’s accomplishments....
Of course you're disrespecting the most respected and revered tennis champion of all time in your thread title alone. Laver earned all his plaudits, he wasn't "lucky" to become the ATG that he is. For analogy's sake, the game evolves, so in ten years, the 100 ranked male player could bet 2008 Nadal easily.

As for Laver-Nadal comparisons, put a wooden racket in Nadal's hands and watch the match under those circumstances.
 

Jonas78

Legend
Reality that should be respected is that Federer played his best tennis in 2015 and onward. I don't have any agenda or saying this to emphasise magnitude of Djokovic's success, but because Federer said so. If this is a player self-assessment it means end of the discussion. Anyone who questions this Federer statement is not real fan of his. I heard Djokovic saying few days ago "I am close to my best". For me, that is enough. If you ask me what version of Djokovic is the best, my answer is Djokovic2018.
Men dont like getting older;). Usain Bolt always believed he would break his records from when he was 22/23, he never did. Sinse he was 26 he wasnt even close. Federer was certainly not at his best at age 35.
 

Zara

Legend
not to have faced a player like Nadal. He would never have beaten a clay courter like Nadal at the French.

His grand slam accomplishments are spectacular, but to raise him above Roger for that reason is ridiculous. Roger had 3 seasons where he went 27-1 in majors. Two of those years he lost to Rafa in the French final. He also had another year where he went 26-2 in majors.

He had the privilege to play, by far, the greatest clay court player of all time...no one is even close to Nadal. Who did Laver play that was even close to Nadal on clay? I’m not diminishing Laver’s accomplishments....simply saying his 2 grand slams don’t surpass Roger’s 2 years of 3 slam wins and 1 slam final loss to Nadal. Welcome any thoughts. Thanks. (BTW...I’m a huge Nadal fan but recognize Roger as unquestionably the GOAT. Novak could catch him though).
Basically you are saying Federer is goat in a round about and I am sure it's reassuring.
 

ABCD

Hall of Fame
Men dont like getting older;). Usain Bolt always believed he would break his records from when he was 22/23, he never did. Sinse he was 26 he wasnt even close. Federer was certainly not at his best at age 35.
There is no any ground to question his statement. He did not say it when he was out of ATP100. He said it when he was top3 player and when many pundits shared his opinion. Djokovic himself said few months ago that the best hard court version of Federer he played against was USO2015. Without Djokovic that year he would be most likely multi-slam winner.
 

Purplemonster

Hall of Fame
Nadal is lucky he doesn't have to play with heavy wood racquets with big leather grips, small heads and no poly strings. Anyone honestly think he would have developed that style of forehand with the racquets/strings of Laver's day. Oh, I still think he would have been a great player but not the Nadal that we have been privileged to witness.
The most logical post. Unfortunately objectivity can’t be bought by quite a few people on these boards.
 

Sport

G.O.A.T.
Correct op! I always used to say Laver is overrated! He won both of his CYGSs when three of them were played on extremely fast grass courts, that favored heavily the likes of Laver, who had the style adjusted properly for that kind of surfaces! The only one time in a season, when he had to adjust is when he had to switch to playing on clay at Roland Garros! And i'll give him credit for being sucessful there as well! And still thats just two surfaces across four slams and on one of those he felt like fish in a water tank! LOL Add the fact, that one of his CYGSs came in amateur era, where competition was noticeably lower and you get the whole picture! Laver wasn't tested on hard courts, when playing at his best, so this makes his unique "achievement" feel too fishy! Djokovic on another hand won four in a row on three different surfaces in an era, where you have to physically struggle more to win titles, let alone the biggest ones in sport like majors, winning RG title alone can be already exhausting these days, let alone winning other three all in succession! Laver is great, he is top-5 all-time, maybe even top-4! But all three Federer, Nadal and Djokovic long since surpassed and overshadowed him!
Even if in 2 surfaces, 2 CYGS >>>> 1 NCYGS. Everyvody would take 2 CYGS over 1 NCYGS.

Winning consecutive Majors on 3 surfaces is not exclusive of Djokovic by the way. Nadal won 3 consecutive Majors on 3 surfaces in 2010. The only difference is that Djokovic won one more consecutive GS.

I agree Djokovic is better than Laver though, but because 14 GS >>> 11 GS.
 
Rosewall says hi. Arguably a better player than Nadal with a better career and more majors.

And lets look at it deeper. Nadal didn't hit his prime until 2008. Fed was already 5 years into his prime at that time
 
not to have faced a player like Nadal. He would never have beaten a clay courter like Nadal at the French.

His grand slam accomplishments are spectacular, but to raise him above Roger for that reason is ridiculous. Roger had 3 seasons where he went 27-1 in majors. Two of those years he lost to Rafa in the French final. He also had another year where he went 26-2 in majors.

He had the privilege to play, by far, the greatest clay court player of all time...no one is even close to Nadal. Who did Laver play that was even close to Nadal on clay? I’m not diminishing Laver’s accomplishments....simply saying his 2 grand slams don’t surpass Roger’s 2 years of 3 slam wins and 1 slam final loss to Nadal. Welcome any thoughts. Thanks. (BTW...I’m a huge Nadal fan but recognize Roger as unquestionably the GOAT. Novak could catch him though).

Rod couldn't play grand slams for 6 years, if he could have, would have 25+ majors
 

Djokodalerer31

Hall of Fame
Even if in 2 surfaces, 2 CYGS >>>> 1 NCYGS. Everyvody would take 2 CYGS over 1 NCYGS.

Winning consecutive Majors on 3 surfaces is not exclusive of Djokovic by the way. Nadal won 3 consecutive Majors on 3 surfaces in 2010. The only difference is that Djokovic won one more consecutive GS.

I agree Djokovic is better than Laver though, but because 14 GS >>> 11 GS.
For his first CYGS he played Emerson three times and once some Mulligan nobody ever remembers anything about these days in an amateur era in a field full of nobodies! LMAO For the second he played Gimeno for AO title, Rosewall for RG title, Newcombe for the Wimbledon and Roche for the USO! Of all these 8 grand slam victories the most impressive ones are against Rosewall and Newcombe all come in his second CYGS in 1969! Djokovic for his NCYGS had to face another member of the big-4 in all four finals he played in 2015 WC and USO against Federer consecutively, in 2016 AO and RG against Murray consecutively! There goes your difference...also one more thing! For both of his CYGS he was lucky enough not to face another ATG, like Borg, Connors and McEnroe as he benefited from transition period between amateur era and an open era! It would be the same if some of the next gen youngsters picked up immediately after all three memebers of big-3 retired and won his CYGS in an absense of another ATG player, which for example wouldn't show up for another 4-5 years! Laver's achievements are impressive, but Djokovic surpassed him already, all three did!
 

Djokodalerer31

Hall of Fame
He beat Rosewall at the French Pro. Rosewall was no Rafa, but still one of the GOATs of clay.
Lavr GOAT
Just because he beat Rosewall, who by the way by the moment was in decline, he is a GOAT? LMAO stop it! Beating Rosewall back in 1969 final would be the same as beating Federer in the final of 2015, like Novak did! LOL Rosewall started to decline in 1969 and Laver benefited from that!
 

King No1e

G.O.A.T.
Just because he beat Rosewall, who by the way by the moment was in decline, he is a GOAT? LMAO stop it! Beating Rosewall back in 1969 final would be the same as beating Federer in the final of 2015, like Novak did! LOL Rosewall started to decline in 1969 and Laver benefited from that!
I never said that beating Rosewall is the only factor in Laver's GOAT status.
2 calendar Slams, 11 Slams despite being banned in his prime, 8 Pro Slams including calendar Pro Slam in '67, 200 career titles, etc.
Federer has the Slam record and #1 record, as well as WTF/Wimbledon/USO records, which puts him head and shoulders above all modern tennis players (Nadal and Djokovic aren't even close) but Laver's records are otherworldly.
 

Djokodalerer31

Hall of Fame
I never said that beating Rosewall is the only factor in Laver's GOAT status.
2 calendar Slams, 11 Slams despite being banned in his prime, 8 Pro Slams including calendar Pro Slam in '67, 200 career titles, etc.
Federer has the Slam record and #1 record, as well as WTF/Wimbledon/USO records, which puts him head and shoulders above all modern tennis players (Nadal and Djokovic aren't even close) but Laver's records are otherworldly.
Nadal and Djokovic aren't even close?! What??! Lmao I stopped taking you seriously as soon as i read that...
 

Djokodalerer31

Hall of Fame
Not close to GOAT......yet. If Djokovic gets to 18 or Nadal wins WTF or another AO, then we'll talk about GOAT. But neither are close to Federer or Laver.
Dude stop with this nonsense, please! You are not making yota of sense! HAHA You want me to remind of Big Titles graph or something??...or you are saying that 14 and 17 slams respectively AREN'T EVEN CLOSE??! Gtfo of here!
 

King No1e

G.O.A.T.
Dude stop with this nonsense, please! You are not making yota of sense! HAHA You want me to remind of Big Titles graph or something??...or you are saying that 14 and 17 slams respectively AREN'T EVEN CLOSE??! Gtfo of here!
They're still in the all-time top 5, but that doesn't mean that either has a solid GOAT claim as of now.
 

Sport

G.O.A.T.
For his first CYGS he played Emerson three times and once some Mulligan nobody ever remembers anything about these days in an amateur era in a field full of nobodies! LMAO For the second he played Gimeno for AO title, Rosewall for RG title, Newcombe for the Wimbledon and Roche for the USO! Of all these 8 grand slam victories the most impressive ones are against Rosewall and Newcombe all come in his second CYGS in 1969! Djokovic for his NCYGS had to face another member of the big-4 in all four finals he played in 2015 WC and USO against Federer consecutively, in 2016 AO and RG against Murray consecutively! There goes your difference...also one more thing! For both of his CYGS he was lucky enough not to face another ATG, like Borg, Connors and McEnroe as he benefited from transition period between amateur era and an open era! It would be the same if some of the next gen youngsters picked up immediately after all three memebers of big-3 retired and won his CYGS in an absense of another ATG player, which for example wouldn't show up for another 4-5 years! Laver's achievements are impressive, but Djokovic surpassed him already, all three did!
So? Emerson is a great player. Anyhow, by that logic Djokovic's NCYGS was also against a weak field, since he beat old non-peak Federer and didn't face Nadal at Roland Garros 2016 (Nadal was playing much better in 2016 than 2015, but he withdrawed injured from RG 2016). 2 CYGS >>>>> 1 NCYGS.
 
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RF-18

G.O.A.T.
Even if in 2 surfaces, 2 CYGS >>>> 1 NCYGS. Everyvody would take 2 CYGS over 1 NCYGS.

Winning consecutive Majors on 3 surfaces is not exclusive of Djokovic by the way. Nadal won 3 consecutive Majors on 3 surfaces in 2010. The only difference is that Djokovic won one more consecutive GS.

I agree Djokovic is better than Laver though, but because 14 GS >>> 11 GS.
The only difference is the last man to do what Djokovic did was Don Budge back in 1937/1938. So it's not ''only'' one more consecutive major like it's something easy to do. Nadal had his one and only chance in AO 11, but couldn't to do it. He fell to freaking David Ferrer in straights.
 

Moses85

Rookie
Nadal, Fed, Djoko are lucky that they didn't have to play with 65 sq wood rackets with full nat gut and bo5 no tiebreak sets without towel servants.

STOP comparing the greats of today with the greats of yesterday using only the parameters of today.

To many parameters have changed in the history of tennis for there to be a GOAT.
 

Djokodalerer31

Hall of Fame
Nadal, Fed, Djoko are lucky that they didn't have to play with 65 sq wood rackets with full nat gut and bo5 no tiebreak sets without towel servants.

STOP comparing the greats of today with the greats of yesterday using only the parameters of today.

To many parameters have changed in the history of tennis for there to be a GOAT.
Thats what everyone been doing since this sport was invented lmao! Borg was always compared to Laver and it made people argue, who was greater back at the time, then Sampras showed up and people start saying he is better than Borg, then Federer, then Nadal and now Djokovic...etc...question is why are so triggered?! Lol
 

Djokodalerer31

Hall of Fame
Nadal, Fed, Djoko are lucky that they didn't have to play with 65 sq wood rackets with full nat gut and bo5 no tiebreak sets without towel servants.

STOP comparing the greats of today with the greats of yesterday using only the parameters of today.

To many parameters have changed in the history of tennis for there to be a GOAT.
Btw if you want to put it that way, its only faur to do it both ways! Your comparison make it seem pretty one-sided, because of one detail that you miss in your argument! And that important detail is - How would greats of the past do in today's conditions with today's technologies, surfaces variety and courts' speed?! See, you only talk about how things would be different if Big-3 played in 60's-80's with wooden racquets and on much faster courts, but you don't mention anything about opposite case scenario...checkmate!
 

Moses85

Rookie
Btw if you want to put it that way, its only faur to do it both ways! Your comparison make it seem pretty one-sided, because of one detail that you miss in your argument! And that important detail is - How would greats of the past do in today's conditions with today's technologies, surfaces variety and courts' speed?! See, you only talk about how things would be different if Big-3 played in 60's-80's with wooden racquets and on much faster courts, but you don't mention anything about opposite case scenario...checkmate!
I never said that the "Big 3" would get destroyed if they had played during the 60-80s with the equipment and conditions of the time. Or that the greats of those times would destroy the "Big 3" if they had played now with the equipment and conditions of today. We will never know, so it is a pointless debate.

Again, to many parameters have changed in the history of tennis for there to be a GOAT.
At least with Laver and Borg a fair comparison could be made of their level of play.
 

Enceladus

Hall of Fame
Winning consecutive Majors on 3 surfaces is not exclusive of Djokovic by the way. Nadal won 3 consecutive Majors on 3 surfaces in 2010. The only difference is that Djokovic won one more consecutive GS.
This is not the only difference - Djoker's series has met the condition for achieving non-CYGS, Nadal's row not. Djokovic was at one moment the defending champion of all 4 GS tournaments, Nadal no.
 

thrust

Hall of Fame
Rod couldn't play grand slams for 6 years, if he could have, would have 25+ majors
Laver - 5 years banned from slams
Rosewall- 11 years
Gonzalez- 17 years
The only luck Laver may have had was that Gonzalez was 35 when they first played. Though 3 of the official slams were played on grass, the grass of each was a bit different. While on the pro tour and open era, Ken Rod and Pancho played on grass, clay, carpet over ice and other surfaces, wood and hard courts. Each won on all surfaces, as pros and in OE. Again, one should not compare accomplishments of players from vastly distant eras. Laver, Pancho, Roger are MY tier one ATG players. Slightly below, or tier 1/2 would be: Rosewall, Borg, Sampras, Nadal and Djokovic. Borg because he won on very slow RG and Wimbledon a few times in the same year. The same is true of Rosewall who went from RG to Wembley wood a few times a week apart, in the same year on the pro tour.
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
No, Laver didn't face the best claycourter of all time to win the French (Nadal), he faced the second best clay courter of all time Ken Rosewall. In addition to 2 French titles, Rosewall won 4 French Pros on clay (and would have won more if the French Pro hadn't moved venues to indoors). And in winning three slams per year 2004, 2006 and 2007, Federer beat Nadal (mainly a clay courter then) and a young Djokovic before he'd won a major! Laver beat Rosewall, Newcombe, Roche, Gimeno, Ashe etc. to win his 1969 Grand Slam.
1. The 2nd best claycourter of all time is Borg, not Rosewall. Rosewall's longevity was of course clearly better, but doesn't make him the equal of Borg level-wise on clay.
2. And the bold part is so incorrect. A look at recent events before researching history ?

Federer beat Agassi, Nadal, Hewitt, Roddick, Safin in 2004,06,07 (apart from the others in Nalbandian, Davydenko, Djokovic, Ferrero, Gonzalez etc.) to win his slams.
Nadal made the finals of Wimbledon in 06,07, including taking Fed to 5 sets in 07. Won 2 HC masters in 05 (Canada, Madrid), won Dubai beating FEd (in 06), won Indian Wells in 07. If that's mainly claycourter ......
 

metsman

G.O.A.T.
Obviously anyone that plays in an era of big time homogenization is to some degree lucky (pre mid/late 70s, post early 2000s), especially when the homogenization suits their natural game. Laver was still the dominant player of his era though and proved his worth several times as an old man against the next generation so he's still one of the greatest.

But it's telling how people usually consider the 4 guys to play in the most homogenized eras to be the 4 greatest ever. Little too coincidental for me.
 

thrust

Hall of Fame
Just because he beat Rosewall, who by the way by the moment was in decline, he is a GOAT? LMAO stop it! Beating Rosewall back in 1969 final would be the same as beating Federer in the final of 2015, like Novak did! LOL Rosewall started to decline in 1969 and Laver benefited from that!
Rosewall at 34 may have been in decline, but the year before at 33, he beat Laver in the FO final. Ken also beat the likes of: Newcombe, Roche, Emerson, Smith Laver and Ashe to win slams at 35,36, and 37 as well as Laver in two WCT finals at 37 and nearly 38. What great players or slam winners did Nadal beat to win this year's FO at 33? To win his 4 French Pro titles, Ken had to beat: Gonzalez twice, Hoad twice, Gimeno an outstanding clay court player and other top pros. By age 27, Borg was washed up! Also, Roswall won the USO and reached the Wimbledon final in 70. He won a very competitive AO in 71 and two WCT finals in 71-72 as well as an AO in 72. Not bad results for a player in decline in 1969. Fact is, whether you want to believe it or not, Ken and Roger often played at their near peak into their late thirties, which for sure, is rare for pro tennis players.
 
1. The 2nd best claycourter of all time is Borg, not Rosewall. Rosewall's longevity was of course clearly better, but doesn't make him the equal of Borg level-wise on clay.
2. And the bold part is so incorrect. A look at recent events before researching history ?

Federer beat Agassi, Nadal, Hewitt, Roddick, Safin in 2004,06,07 (apart from the others in Nalbandian, Davydenko, Djokovic, Ferrero, Gonzalez etc.) to win his slams.
Nadal made the finals of Wimbledon in 06,07, including taking Fed to 5 sets in 07. Won 2 HC masters in 05 (Canada, Madrid), won Dubai beating FEd (in 06), won Indian Wells in 07. If that's mainly claycourter ......
I disagree on all points. Firstly, you are considering Rosewall's career and ignoring his pro results. I am not. Had the game been open throughout Rosewall's career it is probable he would have won 8 French Opens (maybe more). I doubt Rosewall would have reached Nadal's eleven, but he certainly would have surpassed Borg's six.

I know full well who Federer beat to win his majors. Agassi was over the hill when Fed beat him in 2004 US Open and Safin didn't show up to play his best tennis at Australian in 2004. Djokovic was young in 2007 and not anywhere near the great player he became. Only Nadal (and in those days mainly on clay) could provide stern resistance to Fed in those years. Fed never even faced Nadal at the Australian and US Opens in those years. The others I consider second rate players compared to the standard of players Laver faced.

Even a player like Roche, with 1 major, put an amazing performance on a sweltering day in Brisbane against Laver at the Australian Open 1969. I never saw Hewitt or Roddick play like that against Federer (even in 2009 Wimbledon final, that was more to do with Federer's poor play than Roddick's great play). At the 1969 Australian Open Laver beat Stolle, Emerson, Roche and Gimeno, all major winners. At the 1969 French Laver beat Smith, Gimeno and Rosewall, all majors winners and Rosewall was a legend. At Wimbledon Laver beat Pietrangeli, Smith, Ashe and the great John Newcombe, all major winners. At US Open Laver beat Emerson, Ashe and Roche, all major winners. That is why I and many others consider Laver's 1969 slam to be the biggest single year achievement in men's tennis history.
 

BHud

Hall of Fame
Another "probably, in all likely, perchance, maybe, perhaps, presumably, doubtless, as likely as, in all probability" thread. Any other words to describe stupid threads by stupid people?
 

Chanwan

G.O.A.T.
As much as I like Federer, I have to disagree with Laver being lucky. Laver definitely earned it. In 1962, Laver beat Emerson in the French Championship. Emerson won 12 slam titles. He's in the Hall of Fame. Laver had to beat Rosewall at the 1969 FO. Rosewall was a monster on clay. Rosewall was the defending champion at RG. Rosewall beat Laver in the 1968 final.

The 1968 FO was an awesome debut for the merging of the pros and amateurs. For example:
Pancho beat Emerson in a classic 5 setter in the quarters to get to Laver. However, Laver shredded Pancho in the semis. Rosewall beat Gimeno in a classic 5-setter in the semis to meet Laver in the final. Rosewall beat Laver in 4 sets to take home the title.

Rosewall won a French Championship, a FO title, and 4 French Pro titles on clay. That's 6 "major*" titles for Rosewall on clay. The French Pro later moved to wood courts from 1963-1967, which means Rosewall missed 5 more opportunities to win major titles on clay. Had Rosewall had the opportunity to play more majors on clay, I think it's likely that he would have walked away with 9 clay major titles.

Who was Rosewall beating for these clay titles at the French Pro tourney in the pros?

1958: beat Lew Hoad in the final in 4 sets, includes a bagel
1960: beat Lew Hoad in the final in 4 sets, includes a bread stick
1961: beat Pancho in 4 tough sets
1962: beat Gimeno in 4 sets

Note: Gimeno was awesome on clay. He was good enough to win the 1972 FO title when he was way past his prime. He was 2 months shy of his 35th birthday when he won this title, making him the oldest FO winner in the Open Era. This gives Rafa a tough record to shoot for.


I think Rosewall was the 3rd best on clay ever; barely trailing Bjorg and Nadal. Federer wasn't going to beat a guy like Rosewall at RG. Laver pulled it off in spades.

As far as Laver goes, I given him credit for winning 3 calendar slams. He won the calendar slam as a pro in 1967. And he beat some incredible players as a pro too. And Laver won "major" titles on various surfaces, including wood, grass, and clay.

The more that I look at Laver, the more that I think that he has a very strong case for being the GOAT.

But as I've said all along, Roger has the most slam titles. So I will back Roger until someone breaks his slam record. But I would love to see more people claim Laver as GOAT; despite the fact that Fed is my favorite and despite the fact that I have him as the GOAT.

In the end, I know that we cannot prove any of this.
Generally, really good post. I take issues with just a few things though
1) Laver can't have his cake and eat it too. Meaning: Fair enough to count the 67 pro slam, but why on earth count the 1962 amateur slam? There were better players than Laver that year and he wouldn't have come anywhere near winning it had he been playing the pro's in 62 (just look at his intro to the pro's in 63).
2) Likewise, you're overrating Emerson a lot imo. The fact that he got beaten in 5 by 39 (or was he already 40?) year old Gonzales, who's best surface def. wasn't clay as the reigning FO champ tells us a bit about the difference between his amateur slams and the pro slams. An analogy: Imagine if you in 2009 made a tour of David Ferrer, Tomas Berdych and say, 50 % of the top-100. But the Big 4 stayed at the ATP-tour. Would Ferrer and Berdych win slams on this new tour? Hell yes. Would they be worth a 'real' slam? Not quite.
3) I think it's safe to say Rosewall is top-3 on clay. But saying that 'Federer wasn't going to beat a guy like Rosewall at RG. Laver pulled it off in spades.' is overstating it again, when
3a) Fed has beaten Rafa on clay, just not at RG.
3b) Fed's had MP against Rafa in best of 5 on clay and
3c) Fed's had quite a few matches, where he stood a chance vs. Rafa at RG, but where the match-up problem and Fed's mental demons vs. Rafa played a role as well. He wouldn't have those vs. Rosewall.
All this is not to say Fed would clean Rosewall's clock on clay, he wouldn't. But - forgetting all the caveats about comparing across eras - I don't see a reason, why he couldn't beat him on clay every now and again had they played.
 
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Chanwan

G.O.A.T.
......
I agree Djokovic is better than Laver though, but because 14 GS >>> 11 GS.
???
You do realize that that's an extremely odd way to count Laver's GS titles right? You're counting his first 6 amateur slams, which aren't real slams (not to be mistaken for the real slam either), cause the best players were playing pro. And forgetting his pro slams from 64 onwards. Remember, he turned 30 the year, the Open era began.
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
I disagree on all points. Firstly, you are considering Rosewall's career and ignoring his pro results. I am not. Had the game been open throughout Rosewall's career it is probable he would have won 8 French Opens (maybe more). I doubt Rosewall would have reached Nadal's eleven, but he certainly would have surpassed Borg's six.
No, I'm not ignoring Rosewall pro career. I'm saying his prime/peak level level of play was not on par with Borg's on clay.
Read again , " Rosewall's longevity was of course clearly better, but doesn't make him the equal of Borg level-wise on clay."
Even if Rosewall won 8 French Opens in a fully open era, that'd only make him more achieved than Borg, not better level wise. (prime to prime or peak to peak)


I know full well who Federer beat to win his majors. Agassi was over the hill when Fed beat him in 2004 US Open and Safin didn't show up to play his best tennis at Australian in 2004. Djokovic was young in 2007 and not anywhere near the great player he became. Only Nadal (and in those days mainly on clay) could provide stern resistance to Fed in those years. Fed never even faced Nadal at the Australian and US Opens in those years. The others I consider second rate players compared to the standard of players Laver faced.

Even a player like Roche, with 1 major, put an amazing performance on a sweltering day in Brisbane against Laver at the Australian Open 1969. I never saw Hewitt or Roddick play like that against Federer (even in 2009 Wimbledon final, that was more to do with Federer's poor play than Roddick's great play). At the 1969 Australian Open Laver beat Stolle, Emerson, Roche and Gimeno, all major winners. At the 1969 French Laver beat Smith, Gimeno and Rosewall, all majors winners and Rosewall was a legend. At Wimbledon Laver beat Pietrangeli, Smith, Ashe and the great John Newcombe, all major winners. At US Open Laver beat Emerson, Ashe and Roche, all major winners. That is why I and many others consider Laver's 1969 slam to be the biggest single year achievement in men's tennis history.
For Nadal : from clay only to not even faced at AO and USO.
So skirting over the mistake of not considering Wimbledon 06 and 07 encounters, I see.
As far as Hewitt or Roddick playing great vs Federer is concerned , for Roddick : Wim 04 final, Wim 09 final, USO 07 QF, Canada 03 SF.
for Hewitt : USO 2005 SF, 's-Hertogenbosch 01, Paris 02 QF, YEC 02 SF...also great comeback in Davis up 03.

Federer played pretty well in Wim 09 final. Many get the impression he didn't play well in that final because he struggled vs a really excellent Roddick,whom he normally dealt with easily.
Re-watch it and you'll see it was a very well played final.
So if Federer beats Roddick convincingly, Roddick is useless, just a pigeon. If Federer struggles, its because he played poor.
So neither guy can win in any case.:rolleyes:

Agassi played great at Australian Open (took peak Safin 5 sets in a titanic battle to beat him), US Open (took peak Fed 5 sets to beat him in a very good match), IW (took Fed 3 sets to beat him in the semi), Cincy (won it beating Roddick & Hewitt b2b, the match vs Roddick was a classic). Clearly better level of tennis than Rosewall in 69 who had a clear slump in 69 (compared to 68 and 70).

Safin in AO 04 final didn't play that great due to time spent on court before the final. Still he hung in there for 2 sets.
Don't see you mentioning the same for Roche in USO 70 final. Fell away big time after set1.

Don't see you mentioning Emerson being clearly past it in 69. (his last really good year was 67).
Smith was barely 16th seed in FO 69. and was hardly great on clay. Why are you bothering mentioning him at RG in 69 ?
Again 16th seed at Wimbledon.
He showed flashes of good play in 69, but his first real good year was 70.

Piettrangeli at Wimbledon ?really ?
This was the guy's record at Wimbledon in the amateurs (and one year in open era) from 61-68 :
3R 3R 3R 2R 4R 1R 2R 1R

Its like throwing in a win against major winner Roddick at RG as something significant.


As far as AO 69 is concerned, Stolle wasn't that good a player. Would've won 0 slams if tennis had been fully open.
Guys like Nalbandian in AO 04, Davydenko in AO 06, Gonzalez in AO 07 by all accounts played clearly better/were more threatening than him in AO 69.

As far as Gimeno is concerned, not great on grass. Laver himself says in his book that he thought he'd be easy for him on grass (something like that) and it proved so.
The fact that Rosewall lost to Gimeno at that AO is an indication of the slump Rosewall had in 69.

I have no problem in anyone considering Laver's 69 as the greatest single year feat, but lets not over-rate his competition or way under-rate Federer's competition in 2004, 06, 07.
 
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No, I'm not ignoring Rosewall pro career. I'm saying his prime/peak level level of play was not on par with Borg's on clay.
Read again , " Rosewall's longevity was of course clearly better, but doesn't make him the equal of Borg level-wise on clay."
Even if Rosewall won 8 French Opens in a fully open era, that'd only make him more achieved than Borg, not better level wise. (prime to prime or peak to peak)




For Nadal : from clay only to not even faced at AO and USO.
So skirting over the mistake of not considering Wimbledon 06 and 07 encounters, I see.
As far as Hewitt or Roddick playing great vs Federer is concerned , for Roddick : Wim 04 final, Wim 09 final, USO 07 QF, Canada 03 SF.
for Hewitt : USO 2005 SF, 's-Hertogenbosch 01, Paris 02 QF, YEC 02 SF...also great comeback in Davis up 03.

Federer played pretty well in Wim 09 final. Many get the impression he didn't play well in that final because he struggled vs a really excellent Roddick,whom he normally dealt with easily.
Re-watch it and you'll see it was a very well played final.
So if Federer beats Roddick convincingly, Roddick is useless, just a pigeon. If Federer struggles, its because he played poor.
So neither guy can win in any case.:rolleyes:

Agassi played great at Australian Open (took peak Safin 5 sets in a titanic battle to beat him), US Open (took peak Fed 5 sets to beat him in a very good match), IW (took Fed 3 sets to beat him in the semi), Cincy (won it beating Roddick & Hewitt b2b, the match vs Roddick was a classic). Clearly better level of tennis than Rosewall in 69 who had a clear slump in 69 (compared to 68 and 70).

Safin in AO 04 final didn't play that great due to time spent on court before the final. Still he hung in there for 2 sets.
Don't see you mentioning the same for Roche in USO 70 final. Fell away big time after set1.

Don't see you mentioning Emerson being clearly past it in 69. (his last really good year was 67).
Smith was barely 16th seed in FO 69. and was hardly great on clay. Why are you bothering mentioning him at RG in 69 ?
Again 16th seed at Wimbledon.
He showed flashes of good play in 69, but his first real good year was 70.

Piettrangeli at Wimbledon ?really ?
This was the guy's record at Wimbledon in the amateurs (and one year in open era) from 61-68 :
3R 3R 3R 2R 4R 1R 2R 1R

Its like throwing in a win against major winner Roddick at RG as something significant.


As far as AO 69 is concerned, Stolle wasn't that good a player. Would've won 0 slams if tennis had been fully open.
Guys like Nalbandian in AO 04, Davydenko in AO 06, Gonzalez in AO 07 by all accounts played clearly better/were more threatening than him in AO 69.

As far as Gimeno is concerned, not great on grass. Laver himself says in his book that he thought he'd be easy for him on grass (something like that) and it proved so.
The fact that Rosewall lost to Gimeno at that AO is an indication of the slump Rosewall had in 69.

I have no problem in anyone considering Laver's 69 as the greatest single year feat, but lets not over-rate his competition or way under-rate Federer's competition in 2004, 06, 07.
Firstly, I disagree on Rosewall's clay court level of play being lower than Borg's.

Roddick never beat Federer in eight Grand Slam encounters, neither did Hewitt. I saw all those matches on TV. Roddick played his best and Federer, if not his worst, certainly below his usual standard at Wimbledon 2009 and Roddick still didn't win! I have also seen what is available of Laver's matches. There is a portion of that Laver Roche Ausy match online, shot in grainy black and white from a strange angle. How well Roche played and how hard Laver worked to beat him. How well Laver played to beat Ashe in the Wimbledon semis. Newcombe was a set all with Laver and Newk led 4-1 in the third before Laver reeled of a succession of awesome winners I have seen rarely equalled.

As for your comments on Agassi, I disagree. Firstly, Federer only played Agassi in 2004, not in the course of his 2006 or 2007 major wins. Agassi's movement in the later stages of his career was poor. He compensated for this somewhat with his style of play, dictating from the baseline taking the ball on the rise, but he was not the peak Agassi of 1999-2001 (also Agassi's stamina was not great by 2004. In 2005 he basically ran out of gas against Federer in the US final). The fact he and Sampras won their last majors in 2002 and 2003 was largely due to the drop in standard, as many of the best players of the 90s had retired by then. Rosewall, even at 39 in 1974, still moved great. He was still an awesome player in 1969 (even though past his peak). Ashe was in his prime in 1969, Newcombe virtually at his peak. Smith was approaching his peak. Roche was at his peak.

I agree with you on Pietrangeli, he was way past his best by 1969 and a clay courter (I had to list him, because I was listing all major winners Laver played). Stolle was one of the lesser major winners, but still a tougher player than many Federer faced. You say Gimeno was not good on grass, but he was good enough to reach the Australian singles final (and 1969 was an unusually strong field at the Australian). Laver also faced him at the French. Actually Gimeno is often underrated. Take a look at his results in his pro years in the 1960s.

I suppose at the end of the day it comes down to how you rate Laver's 1969 era as opposed to Federer's 2004-07 era. Personally I believe the period 2001-03 was the worst era in the open era, with 2004-07 just behind. You obviously see things differently and I can't prove your wrong. But before dismissing my opinion entirely, take a look at Laver's 1969 Wimbledon final with Newcombe, take a look at his match against Roche in the Australian and ask yourself this: apart from maybe Nadal at Wimbledon 06 and 07, who did Federer play that could put such resistance as those guys did in his nine (3 slams per year) slam victories in 2004, 2006 and 2007? And remember also there were several tough opponents Laver had to win each of the four slams in 1969.
 
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RS

Hall of Fame
Even if in 2 surfaces, 2 CYGS >>>> 1 NCYGS. Everyvody would take 2 CYGS over 1 NCYGS.

Winning consecutive Majors on 3 surfaces is not exclusive of Djokovic by the way. Nadal won 3 consecutive Majors on 3 surfaces in 2010. The only difference is that Djokovic won one more consecutive GS.

I agree Djokovic is better than Laver though, but because 14 GS >>> 11 GS.
Slams are not everything though. Laver missed so many slams in his peak anyway.If you include pro slams then Laver has 19 anyway.
 
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mike danny

Bionic Poster
No, Laver didn't face the best claycourter of all time to win the French (Nadal), he faced the second best clay courter of all time Ken Rosewall. In addition to 2 French titles, Rosewall won 4 French Pros on clay (and would have won more if the French Pro hadn't moved venues to indoors). And in winning three slams per year 2004, 2006 and 2007, Federer beat Nadal (mainly a clay courter then) and a young Djokovic before he'd won a major! Laver beat Rosewall, Newcombe, Roche, Gimeno, Ashe etc. to win his 1969 Grand Slam.
What about Federer also beating Hewitt, Roddick, Safin and Agassi to win his majors?

And Borg is arguably the second best on clay, not Rosewall.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
I don't know if Fed was lucky, either, but for how some regard the "Weak Era". To this point, I think that Rafa's and Novak's path has been just a tad easier than Roger's, but this can be debated - and is - ad nauseum. I stop short of saying "weak era" as I think it demeans some very good players, and Roger's brilliance made some of those earlier rivals look weaker than they were.

What I think is indisputable is that Roger - compared to his two greatest rivals - had a running start on both of them, and it's still very close among them. And all of them are still - till proven otherwise - the 3 best players on tour!
More than compensated by Nadal winning slams at a much earlier age than Federer.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
We mostly agree. We don't know when/if the young guns or others will emerge and part of the reason they haven't is because The Big 3 (and to a lesser extent, Murray and Stan when healthy) have been so dominant. If, say, Zverev, Tsitsipas, Shapo and others all become multiple major winners, that will shed a different light on the last (presumably last) years of The Big 3. It's really hard to match up primes, and people on this forum use their own definitions conveniently to bolster their guy(s) or otherwise. At this point, Fed winning three more majors and being ranked first or second (and now 3rd) at ages 35-37 skews the notion of "prime"...and that's to his great credit!

This said in admiration, I (as of right now), don't see much that points to Fed as undisputed GOAT other than 20-17-14. (I hate using the "greater than" sign...too simplistic). While that is a big factor in the equation, a lot of the other stats point to Rafa and Novak being greater. In some ways, it's a fascinating discussion, when done without ulterior motives. When it lends itself to high-volume, intellectual dishonesty (and without appreciation for what these guys have been accomplishing) it is tedious.
Fed has more than just the slam count in his favor, it would be dishonesty to say otherwise.

And the young players are bad not because of the Big 3 + Murray + Stan. They aren't even losing to them that often.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Yeah i think we mostly agree. People that dont like Rafa will say the clay field was weak, the VB will say Rafa made it weak. The same can be said about 2004-2007 and 2014-now. What about the LostGen (Nishi, Dimi, Raonic) and NextGen (Zverev, Thiem etc)? Do they really su1k or are Big4 too good? And as you say, If Zverev becomes a multiple slam winner, is it because he peaked or because Big4 declined? This is where Fedovic fans disagree, did Federer decline or did Djoko peak , or something in between? You can pretty much choose your reality here:)
The bolded is easy. They simply suck ;)
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Rosewall at 34 may have been in decline, but the year before at 33, he beat Laver in the FO final. Ken also beat the likes of: Newcombe, Roche, Emerson, Smith Laver and Ashe to win slams at 35,36, and 37 as well as Laver in two WCT finals at 37 and nearly 38. What great players or slam winners did Nadal beat to win this year's FO at 33? To win his 4 French Pro titles, Ken had to beat: Gonzalez twice, Hoad twice, Gimeno an outstanding clay court player and other top pros. By age 27, Borg was washed up! Also, Roswall won the USO and reached the Wimbledon final in 70. He won a very competitive AO in 71 and two WCT finals in 71-72 as well as an AO in 72. Not bad results for a player in decline in 1969. Fact is, whether you want to believe it or not, Ken and Roger often played at their near peak into their late thirties, which for sure, is rare for pro tennis players.
Facing Rosewall in decline is still not the same herculean task as facing 2005-2014 Nadal on clay.
 
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