Most Overrated and Underrated ATGs

King No1e

Legend
1960's: Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall
1970's: Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg
1980's: Ivan Lendl
1990's: Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi
2000's: Roger Federer
2010's: Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic

Out of these top 10 open era ATG's, whom do you consider the most overrated and most underrated?
(Sorry Mac fans, JMac just missed my cut for top 10 all-time. Close #11 behind Andre, but that discussion warrants its own thread)
 
Most overrated? Hard to say, maybe Federer since sometimes the praise is just so over the top. If not him maybe Mr. Image is everything Agassi, who despite 8 slams and the Career Slam has a career severely lacking in many ways, even compared to Connors, Lendl, and McEnroe. Nobody is really that obviously overrated though, Federer and Agassi are the only two I can think that sort of are sometimes. Sampras used to be a bit overrated, but he is strongly going in the other direction now.

Now underrated is a better one. Rosewall for sure. Nadal is polarizing, so he is underrated by a lot of people who just cant stand him and have a hard time being fully objective too, although not by all. Sampras might be starting to be underrated, since everyone and their unborn baby are lately passing his slam mark, nearly all his other key records are broken by Federer, and he just comes across not looking so great anymore. Borg used to be underrated, but I sense interest in him coming back of late.
 
1960's: Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall
1970's: Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg
1980's: Ivan Lendl
1990's: Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi
2000's: Roger Federer
2010's: Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic

Out of these top 10 open era ATG's, whom do you consider the most overrated and most underrated?
(Sorry Mac fans, JMac just missed my cut for top 10 all-time. Close #11 behind Andre, but that discussion warrants its own thread)
Difficult to say any of these are overrated (perhaps Agassi, just due to how famous he was, some might place him ahead of Connors and Lendl).

Underrated - obviously Lendl.
 
Difficult to say any of these are overrated (perhaps Agassi, just due to how famous he was, some might place him ahead of Connors and Lendl).

Underrated - obviously Lendl.
Is he really underrated? Most today rank him over Connors and McEnroe it seems, which is easily significant enough acknowledgement for him IMO. Maybe in a certain sense, in that he did not excite or interest people much, and people are often just not that interested in remembering him never talk about him having much other than when ranking players. Some of that is just that his playing style and personality is kind of boring though (subjective). Also that he was not part of an epic rivalry to the extent of McEnroe-Borg, Connors-Borg, Agassi-Sampras, even McEnroe-Connors, mostly on top with an old Connors and past his prime McEnroe, while Becker and Edberg were not consistent enough across all surfaces to develop a real consistent rivalry apart from Edberg when Lendl was already too aged and dropping. And his rivalry with biggest rivalry with Wilander had little appeal to people.
 

BorgTheGOAT

Professional
1960's: Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall
1970's: Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg
1980's: Ivan Lendl
1990's: Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi
2000's: Roger Federer
2010's: Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic

Out of these top 10 open era ATG's, whom do you consider the most overrated and most underrated?
(Sorry Mac fans, JMac just missed my cut for top 10 all-time. Close #11 behind Andre, but that discussion warrants its own thread)
How is Nadal overrated? He is constantly undermined here as a pure clay courter, ugly playing style etc. If anyone is overrated it is Agassi as he is and was way more famous than his actual success on the tennis court justifies. Many people put him way closer to Sampras than it should be for two guys 6 slams apart.
 

Subway Tennis

Hall of Fame
Ivan Lendl stands out straight away.

Massively underrated and I think a lot of that has to do with the cult of personality in tennis.

If more people "liked" him, his phenomenal achievements would have a higher profile and his impact on the game would be better known about.

EDIT: missed Rosewell. Underrated on TT, but not generally. My guess is people here don't have the frame of reference of seeing much of his play and his clay success is not countered by some folks.
 

KG1965

Legend
FPPT
= Laver
- Rosewall
- Connors
= Borg
--- Lendl
-- Sampras
----McEnroe
+ Federer
- Nadal
-- Djokovic

GPPT
-- Laver

--- Rosewall
-- Connors
- Borg
--- Lendl
-- Sampras
-----McEnroe
= Federer
- Nadal
- Djokovic
 

KG1965

Legend
FPPT
= Laver
- Rosewall
- Connors
= Borg
--- Lendl
-- Sampras
----McEnroe
+ Federer
- Nadal
-- Djokovic

GPPT
-- Laver

--- Rosewall
-- Connors
- Borg
--- Lendl
-- Sampras
-----McEnroe
= Federer
- Nadal
- Djokovic
The difference between GPPT and FPPT is obvious (the average age is radically different).
Apart from a few top dogs that are slightly underrated, it seems to me that those who are damn little considered are: McEnroe, Sampras and Lendl.

It seems to me the general position on Sampras is not very understandable, while I can understand that the reading of the careers of McEnroe and Lendl is too complex for a current vision "the slams count".

In relation to age there is little consideration even for Nadal and Djokovic.

Obviously I speak of the average who writes on FPPT and GPPT.
Many interpret the related ATG careers well, but my feeling is that most don't focus on the real ability of ATGs.
 
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King No1e

Legend
FPPT
= Laver
- Rosewall
- Connors
= Borg
--- Lendl
-- Sampras
----McEnroe
+ Federer
- Nadal
-- Djokovic

GPPT
-- Laver

--- Rosewall
-- Connors
- Borg
--- Lendl
-- Sampras
-----McEnroe
= Federer
- Nadal
- Djokovic
What are FPPT and GPPT?
 

Heuristic

Hall of Fame
Bjorn Borg. No US Open wins, close Wimbledon finals, never dominated the way the figures imply. The only surface he was legitimately dominant on was clay.
 
Bjorn Borg. No US Open wins, close Wimbledon finals, never dominated the way the figures imply. The only surface he was legitimately dominant on was clay.
Yeah his 5 Wimbledon titles straight which only Federer has equalled is not enough to make him dominant on grass. He needed 10 straight right? And his record 41 straight wins at Wimbledon (1 more than Federer at 40).

Close Wimbedon finals, LOL! You do realize Federer mostly only played close Wimbledon finals too, including both the wins and losses. The only easy ones ever were 2003, 2005, 2017. Sampras too. I guess Federer and Sampras are not dominant at Wimbledon, they play a bunch of close Wimbledon finals. :-D

Comments like yours make me think Borg still belongs in the underrated category in fact.
 
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fezer

Rookie
Lendl was underrated for quite a while or let's say overlooked. But I sense that the tides have turned and many posters here try to surpass every other in their praise of the great Ivan. Lendl's achievemnets speak for themselves and he was ultraconsistent vs the field. While all other atgs in the 2nd half of the 80s were always prone to upsets (eg Becker/Doohan, Wilander/Chesnokov) Lendl regularly made the 2nd week of nearly any gs-tourney and had good results on all surfaces. But otoh he always struggled vs top-players. Even in his best year in 86 he lost three times vs Becker. And there were certain players that played fearless against him and succeeded from time to time (eg Leconte). At the moment many seem to overempahsize his intimidating abilities, but his own fears are not mentioned.
 
Yeah his 5 Wimbledon titles straight which only Federer has equalled is not enough to make him dominant on grass. He needed 10 straight right? And his record 41 straight wins at Wimbledon (1 more than Federer at 40).

Close Wimbedon finals, LOL! You do realize Federer mostly only played close Wimbledon finals too, including both the wins and losses. The only easy ones ever were 2003, 2005, 2017. Sampras too. I guess Federer and Sampras are not dominant at Wimbledon, they play a bunch of close Wimbledon finals. :-D

Comments like yours make me think Borg still belongs in the underrated category in fact.
No first-class serve-and-volley rivals until 1980. Meanwhile, the early 1970s was packed with first-class net-players.

On the other hand, Federer plays on modern grass so style matchups are not really significant.
 
No first-class serve-and-volley rivals until 1980. Meanwhile, the early 1970s was packed with first-class net-players.

On the other hand, Federer plays on modern grass so style matchups are not really significant.
Well I am not saying Borg is better than Federer on grass, I was just responding to the one who said he wasnt a dominant grass player which is preposterous. As for competition Borg had it harder than either Sampras or Federer IMO. McEnroe, Connors, Nastase, monster serving Tanner (sort of like the Roddick of his day, although probably not as good an overall player as Roddick), Nastase, I would say that is tough opposition for sure. Federer is hard to compare since he plays in an era of slowed down grass which makes baseliners and slower court specialists like Nadal and Djokovic tougher competition. Sampras though didnt really much much of anyone besides Ivanisevic I guess. A significantly weakened Becker, Edberg who was even more washed up than Becker, and Agassi was only an occasional contender at Wimbledon. I still think Sampras is probably over Borg on grass, and of course he has 2 more Wimbledon titles, but it definitely isnt since he had it harder with the field he faced.
 

BorgTheGOAT

Professional
Bjorn Borg. No US Open wins, close Wimbledon finals, never dominated the way the figures imply. The only surface he was legitimately dominant on was clay.
He wins five Wimbledon’s in a row and TTW armchair warriors are undermining him and calling him not dominant because some of these finals were close? This Place never ceases to amaze.
 

Heuristic

Hall of Fame
He wins five Wimbledon’s in a row and TTW armchair warriors are undermining him and calling him not dominant because some of these finals were close? This Place never ceases to amaze.
Name one technique in Borg's arsenal that was worlds best. I bet you you can't, yet people talk of him as a GOAT. Borg was beast mentally and had good legs for close matches. Rosqoue Tanner took him to 5 sets at Wimbledon. Why can't Borg beat that guy in straight sets?? I have seen Tanner play and he is fairly mediocre at anything but first serves...
 

Heuristic

Hall of Fame
I guess Nadal was never dominant on clay either because Isner took him to five at the French. Why can’t Nadal beat this guy in straight sets. I have seen Isner play and he is fairly mediocre (to put it mildly) at anything but serve.
John Isner has an all-time great first and second serve. Tanner does not. Tanner has nothing but a whipping first serve.
 

Heuristic

Hall of Fame
Please stop this stupidity already. Most overrated hall of famer??. Aren’t you the guy who said Federer’s volleys are better than Sampras’? Why am I even responding to you.
Bjorn Borg at his peak was defeated by Rosqoue Tanner the US Open. That would be like Isner beating a peak Federer. The mere prospect of such a thing is so remote it belongs in the science fiction section of debate. I don't even think it would be nearly as bad because Isner has more tools, but you are right in that they are equally terrible at the net and everything else for that matter.
 
He wins five Wimbledon’s in a row and TTW armchair warriors are undermining him and calling him not dominant because some of these finals were close? This Place never ceases to amaze.
He also never has a U.S Open title since he had the bad luck to run into two of the best U.S Open players ever in Connors and McEnroe. I mean that argument is used all the time for Federer not having more RG titles, or for Roddick not winning hardly any slams since he faced Federer, so why not Borg at the U.S Open too.
 

Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
Hoad the most underestimated....a world championship series goes missing, imagine that.

Impossible, you say? A slight-of-hand vanishing act?

Yes, impossible, but nevertheless it happened, right before our eyes.
 
McEnroe, Connors, Nastase, monster serving Tanner (sort of like the Roddick of his day, although probably not as good an overall player as Roddick), Nastase, I would say that is tough opposition for sure.
McEnroe: so what I said was true, he only emerged from 1980 onwards.
Nastase was past his peak, and even during his prime in the early-to-mid 1970s, he was not the No.1 grasscourter. Newcombe was probably the best serve-and-volleyer and grasscourter during the early 1970s and could have been a counter-balance against Borg.
Connors: Borg is probably a bad matchup for Connors on grass because the latter lacks a strong serve while Borg has good serve, and Borg ROS and baseline game is no worse than Connors if not better. Connors' net game, while decent, is not enough to handle Borg's passing shots on a consistent basis. Connors would actually match up better against serve-and-volleyers, especially those without all-round capabilities like Tanner and Vitas.
Tanner: a servebot. The NYT once described his game like hammering nails into brick.
Vitas: lack powers, weak serve.
 
McEnroe: so what I said was true, he only emerged from 1980 onwards.
Nastase was past his peak, and even during his prime in the early-to-mid 1970s, he was not the No.1 grasscourter. Newcombe was probably the best serve-and-volleyer and grasscourter during the early 1970s and could have been a counter-balance against Borg.
Connors: Borg is probably a bad matchup for Connors on grass because the latter lacks a strong serve while Borg has good serve, and Borg ROS and baseline game is no worse than Connors if not better. Connors' net game, while decent, is not enough to handle Borg's passing shots on a consistent basis. Connors would actually match up better against serve-and-volleyers, especially those without all-round capabilities like Tanner and Vitas.
Tanner: a servebot. The NYT once described his game like hammering nails into brick.
Vitas: lack powers, weak serve.
Still tougher than Sampras who only faced Ivanisevic and a way past his prime Becker. Krajiceck sucked bigtime at Wimbledon until Wimbledon 96 which is why as the 13th ranked he was unseeded or #17 seed last minute Wimbledon 96. Agassi was poor at Wimbledons most years from 93-98, only good in 95. And Federer's 2 biggest rivals are slow court specialists.
 

BorgTheGOAT

Professional
Name one technique in Borg's arsenal that was worlds best. I bet you you can't, yet people talk of him as a GOAT. Borg was beast mentally and had good legs for close matches
His athleticism and mental strength for a start were the best of all players back then maybe even all time (he still has the best five set record if I am not mistaken). His returns and passing shots were also close to the best in the game. Apart from these obvious strengths he had no real weakness. Even his serve and his volleys were very good, of course not as good as Mac’s, but he won his Wimbledon titles playing a lot of Serve and Volley which is unbelievable considering that he was mainly a baseline grinder at the French. His serve was way better than Connors or Nadal’s, and if we adjust for the different eras, I would also put him above Djokovic’s (not on the level of Federer’s though, this would go to far).
 

Heuristic

Hall of Fame
His athleticism and mental strength for a start were the best of all players back then maybe even all time (he still has the best five set record if I am not mistaken). His returns and passing shots were also close to the best in the game. Apart from these obvious strengths he had no real weakness. Even his serve and his volleys were very good, of course not as good as Mac’s, but he won his Wimbledon titles playing a lot of Serve and Volley which is unbelievable considering that he was mainly a baseline grinder at the French. His serve was way better than Connors or Nadal’s, and if we adjust for the different eras, I would also put him above Djokovic’s (not on the level of Federer’s though, this would go to far).
Athleticism and mental strength are not techniques.(n) Connors hit just as good passing shots.
 

BorgTheGOAT

Professional
McEnroe: so what I said was true, he only emerged from 1980 onwards.
Nastase was past his peak, and even during his prime in the early-to-mid 1970s, he was not the No.1 grasscourter. Newcombe was probably the best serve-and-volleyer and grasscourter during the early 1970s and could have been a counter-balance against Borg.
Connors: Borg is probably a bad matchup for Connors on grass because the latter lacks a strong serve while Borg has good serve, and Borg ROS and baseline game is no worse than Connors if not better. Connors' net game, while decent, is not enough to handle Borg's passing shots on a consistent basis. Connors would actually match up better against serve-and-volleyers, especially those without all-round capabilities like Tanner and Vitas.
Tanner: a servebot. The NYT once described his game like hammering nails into brick.
Vitas: lack powers, weak serve.
Well if you really want you can undermine each and every player. Sure Mac was not really a factor in the 70s but nevertheless Borg had to play him twice and he is an ATG, probably top 5 on grass all time. Connors was also a beast on grass and Borg had to beat him on 4 different occasions!! I do not buy this bad matchup stuff, Connors came very close and almost beat Borg a couple of times, Borg simply proved to be clutch as hell and got the better in the end. Anyways, bad matchup can never be an excuse. Connors beat Borg a couple of times at the US Open so it was not that he had problems in general. It was simply, that from a certain point on Borg was too strong for Connors which was also shown by the fact that he eventually straight setted him at the US Open semi. I give you that Nastase, Vitas and Tanner are no real ATGs or constant competitors during Borgs Wimbledon runs, but they are not bad by any mean and if we include guys like Rafter, Henman, Stich or Agassi as Pete’s competition, then I see not much difference here. Sampras actually only had Goran as a constant threat but Goran was a headcase, who usually folded when things got tight. Kracijek was only a factor at one Wimbledon and he beat Pete there. Becker was too old and Edberg never faced Pete at Wimbledon. Rafter, Henman, Stich, Phillipoussis, Agassi were strong contenders from time to time but not on a consistent basis. As for Federer it is a little more complicated as he played on the slow grass. His toughest competition was Roddick who was his pigeon, Nadal, who is a baseliner but was strong on grass for a couple of years and Djokovic who only became a factor on grass when Roger already had 6 Wimbledon titles. All in all I cannot see a big difference between Borg, Pete and Rogers competition.
 

BorgTheGOAT

Professional
Athleticism and mental strength are not techniques.(n) Connors hit just as good passing shots.
But they are important factors to win tennis matches on a professional level. And I did explicitly say Borg’s return and passing shots were close to the very best not necessarily the very best. Connors might be up there as well, but he was also a beast and known as the best returner before Agassi. Apart from this Borg did not have any weakness but was strong in every department similar to Federer. When we are only talking facets of the game where one is the absolute very best, you won’t find much for Federer either. Maybe his forehand, but even this is debatable with Nadal. Not his backhand, not his volley, serve, return, passes, athleticism etc. But he is good in all these things and close to the very best in many, this is what makes him such a great tennis player.
 

jean pierre

Professional
Bjorn Borg at his peak was defeated by Rosqoue Tanner the US Open. That would be like Isner beating a peak Federer. The mere prospect of such a thing is so remote it belongs in the science fiction section of debate. I don't even think it would be nearly as bad because Isner has more tools, but you are right in that they are equally terrible at the net and everything else for that matter.
Impossible to compare Tanner and Isner. Tanner was a Grand Slam winner + finalist.
 

Heuristic

Hall of Fame
you won’t find much for Federer either. .
I can write a book on things Federer did unquestionably best:

Return of serve (especially defensive, blocking return of serve for bombs).

Ball control (related to return of serve but also in use elsewhere).

Down the line forehand

Reflexes

Things he was arguably best at or shared first:

Serve disguise

Anticipation/understanding
 

BorgTheGOAT

Professional
I can write a book on things Federer did unquestionably best:

Return of serve (especially defensive, blocking return of serve for bombs).

Ball control (related to return of serve but also in use elsewhere).

Down the line forehand

Reflexes

Things he was arguably best at or shared first:

Serve disguise

Anticipation/understanding
Djokovic has a better return of serve. The rest are no real major categories and almost all of it is arguable. I am getting tired to discuss with you anyways. If you want to believe that a guy who won three channel slams, 6 FO, 5 Wimbledon’s in a row in a polarized era on the most opposite surfaces, won 11 out of 27 slams he ever entered, had positive or equal H2H against almost everyone he ever faced, has still the highest winning percentage, is overrated and never dominated because some of his finals were close or because he was not the very best in each and every stroke you are either plain stupid or deliberately trolling, not sure which one it is.
 

Heuristic

Hall of Fame
Djokovic has a better return of serve. The rest are no real major categories and almost all of it is arguable. I am getting tired to discuss with you anyways. If you want to believe that a guy who won three channel slams, 6 FO, 5 Wimbledon’s in a row in a polarized era on the most opposite surfaces, won 11 out of 27 slams he ever entered, had positive or equal H2H against almost everyone he ever faced, has still the highest winning percentage, is overrated and never dominated because some of his finals were close or because he was not the very best in each and every stroke you are either plain stupid or deliberately trolling, not sure which one it is.
Says the guy who asserts that Borg had a better serve than Djokovic. :-D
 

jean pierre

Professional
The Australian Open back then did not have a regular slam status. A lot of players skipped it. Borg only participated once.
Tanner beated Roche, Dent, Rosewall and Vilas ! It was a real slam. And he was finalist in Wimbledon. Much better than Isner. That's not a shame for Borg tb be defeated by him.
 
Tanner beated Roche, Dent, Rosewall and Vilas ! It was a real slam. And he was finalist in Wimbledon. Much better than Isner. That's not a shame for Borg tb be defeated by him.
So you talk about 1977 but include Rosewall into the list, whose last hurrah was in 1974. Oh, and Vilas, who only made noise in AO when it comes to grass. But I will replace "Isner" with "Anderson".

Kracijek was only a factor at one Wimbledon and he beat Pete there. Becker was too old
Krajicek was only a factor in 1996 and to a lesser extent 1998 (it is quite likely that he would have beaten Sampras in the final instead of choking like Ivanisevic), but in 1996 he was literally a "hack" like Curren in 1985 unlocking every shot at level 100. Had Tanner actually delivered that "hack" level of play he could have actually beaten Borg, meanwhile Vitas was skillful but he never had weapons and power to "hack" (ironically he only seemed to deliver such level in 1979 USO).

Becker was "old", but so was Nastase, who was actually old. Becker still had more chance to win a Wimbledon in the 1990s than Nastase ever had after 1974.

As for Federer it is a little more complicated as he played on the slow grass. His toughest competition was Roddick who was his pigeon, Nadal, who is a baseliner but was strong on grass for a couple of years and Djokovic who only became a factor on grass when Roger already had 6 Wimbledon titles.
I am disturbed by the fact that Fed 2003-2007 competition (grass and overall) was frequently lowballed but if we replace Fed with Borg, Nadal with Connors, Roddick with Tanner, Djokovic with Mac, there is no difference at all.
 

thrust

Hall of Fame
1960's: Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall
1970's: Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg
1980's: Ivan Lendl
1990's: Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi
2000's: Roger Federer
2010's: Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic

Out of these top 10 open era ATG's, whom do you consider the most overrated and most underrated?
(Sorry Mac fans, JMac just missed my cut for top 10 all-time. Close #11 behind Andre, but that discussion warrants its own thread)
Mac won more tournaments than Andre, had more #1 YE rankings than Andre, more weeks at #1, won many YE indoor titles pm carpet, as well as being an ATG doubles champion. NO WAY Andre should be ranked above McEnroe!
 

Cashman

Professional
If anyone is overrated it is Agassi as he is and was way more famous than his actual success on the tennis court justifies. Many people put him way closer to Sampras than it should be for two guys 6 slams apart.
I think this sort of encapsulates the differences in how we judge players over time.

If you are looking at Agassi and Sampras's careers right now purely on paper, there is really light years of difference between them. But if you were watching tennis in the '90s, all the stuff on paper was irrelevant. Sampras dominated to the point of boredom, but you knew when he hit Agassi in the draw there would be fireworks. He was the only guy in the world who - match after match, year after year - could go toe to toe with Pete.

It is actually a little bit like Borg and McEnroe. Anyone looking at them on paper would say Borg accrued by far the most impressive career. But anyone who experienced that rivalry at the time will put the two much closer together.
 

King No1e

Legend
Patrick Rafter was underrated. Boris Becker wasn’t underrated compared to his peers, but he underachieved given his talent.

Every great player from 80s and 90s = underrated compared to 2019 field.
 

King No1e

Legend
Patrick Rafter was underrated. Boris Becker wasn’t underrated compared to his peers, but he underachieved given his talent.

Every great player from 80s and 90s = underrated compared to 2019 field.
+1 for Pat Rafter. He won 2 Slams and became #1, yet no one talks about him, much less than other players like Safin or Ferrero.
 
+1 for Pat Rafter. He won 2 Slams and became #1, yet no one talks about him, much less than other players like Safin or Ferrero.
Rafter won back-to-back US titles during Pete’s prime years and during his 6-year run as year-end number 1.

I don’t think I ever saw Sampras as salty as he was during the post-match interview after Rafter beat him in the ‘98 tourney. That was Rafter’s third victory in a row over Sampras, so no fluke.

Rafter’s overall head-to-head against Sampras doesn’t seem all that impressive because he was such a late bloomer and dealt with injuries later, but the truth was that he was an absolute stud for his very short peak in ‘97-‘98. My favorite player of all time.
 
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