Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by hoodjem, Mar 15, 2013.
What about 73 Nastase and 84 Mac?
Of the current era Safin and Nalbandian, except for Nadal on clay. They arent as consistent as Federer, Nadal, or Djokovic by a long ways, but when they are on they beat anyone (again except for Nadal on clay), including Federer, and have proven it many times.
McEnroe would be way up there. 1984 McEnroe was as good as anyone in history probably as far as playing level. Sampras on his best game on a medium to fast court was nearly unstoppable. Becker too on fire on a carpet or grass court in his younger years was nearly untouchable. The 1996 YEC between Sampras and Becker might be the best match ever.
Rios and Nastase would be two others. Both underachievers but both played at a godly level at their best. Laver when he was on was almost untouchable, and before him Hoad and Gonzales would fit that.
I think for the women you could argue any of maybe 8 women for tops in this category. When Connolly, Court and Graf won their calender year slams they were seen as unstoppable. Same for Martina when she ripped through 6 in a row and for Serena during the Serena slam. Lenglen and Moody were so much better than everyone else in their time they could beat them down on a bad day. Evert was so darn consistent that even her bad days looked phenomenal. I guess if I tried to take a totally objective look and totally throw out accomplishment I might rank them like this
6. Connolly (she was so young..I think sans accident her best was actually yet to come)
7. Evert (I cannot believe I am putting her here but well...I can't say she can go higher?)
8. Moody (OK maybe here I took her match with Lenglen into account)
That's just ranking those 8. Then there are people like King, Seles, Henin, Bueno, Venus, Goolagong..
Heck I could honestly make arguments for people like Davenport or Mandlikova who achieved way less but when they clicked were just stellar to watch.
+ Hingis and Venus.
7. S. Williams
9. V. Williams
Yes, that chick
I mentioned Venus in my group with King and Seles.
With Martina H. I would put her into the Davenport group of players.
Looking at players who achieved less a few names come to mind in peak play:
Davenport, Mandlikova, Martina H (my phone keeps correct her last name to thing is and I can't stop it for some reason) Pierce, Austin and maybe Sharapova and Clijsters.
All of them playing their absolute best tennis sans injury or anything were stellar and could factor into my list as well. A question like this is very difficult.
boredone, I believe that the difference between Lenglen and Moody should not be so big. Willd Moody was unbeaten for eight years...
The question asks who at their absolute best, with everything clicking, on their best day ever, playing the match of their life, is the best ever..and as Hood states in the OP..achievements do not count. I looked at it as objectively as I could. I put Evert 7th and she won 90% of all the matches she ever played. I consider Navy and Graf to be 1 & 2 all time based on achievements but yet they aren't 1&2 on my list of just peak play on their best day.
From everything I have read about Lenglen she could just do anything. I have read quotes from women who played them both and partnered them both in doubles who said Lenglen was better.
I honestly had a tough time doing that list as I am sure Hoodjem did with the guys, literally anyone of those 8 could be #1..which I said as well.
Feel free to make your own list
In my lifetime,
Serena when on >>====> none better nor could anyone stand up to her power.
I think Graf deserves mention since she had days when she would often double bagel her opponent and that might be in the quarters or semis and she would be off the court in 35 minutes.
But on clay, when in her prime, how could you bet against Chrissy. Just my take.
Just in case I was not clear enough...H-A-N-A,
thank you for your support
Very much true.
boredone, Moody was so strong that she did not lose a set in seven or eight years. Please consider this.
Evert could be top 10 for her consistency, class and overall records but seldom for peak play.I don´t think, f.e., her peak play is as good as Seles or Williams ( although, of course, it was very very good)
If you call Rios up, then I go with Mecir.Both remain slamless anyway ( even if Mecir had that WCT win that is tecnichally a major)
Nadal and Djokovic should both be on there. I'd put them bellow Federer generally although they all have surfaces they're the best on, Nadal on clay, Djokovic on slow hard and Federer IMO is the best all rounder.
hoodjem, just a question: why not including Rosewall?
Pardon, I should not have made that question because there is some danger than the Federer fanatics would "kill" me again...
But Nastase or Rios ahead of Muscles seems really odd.
No ones arguing in this thread yet. Stop bringing your bullied old man act into every thread. You're hardly a victim, you give as good as you get.
NatF, I have good news for you: For this wrong post ( You neglect that I am insulted every time I plead for Rosewall?? The best joke since a long time) I have decided to take you on my list of not answering anymore...
Note: Hate is not a good thing when posting in a tennis thread or a thread at all!
mecir is up there if he was focussed.....but his WCT was not technically a major...the AO field in 87 was strong enough ... the conventional majors will do for 87 ......
You're not insulted for admiring Rosewall, you're insulted for your erroneus comments about Federer. Stick to talking about Rosewall, then you might be "insulted" less.
Whining isn't good either, yet you whine all the time.
I know the Australian regained bit to bit its old luster, starting in 1983 when Wilander,Lendl and Mc Enroe entered it.But WCT and MSG were majors at that or superior level well into the end of the decade.Top players would rather win those titles than the AO.
Take Mac, he never took that event too seriously and was even - and well deservedly- put off the Ao in 1987 or 1988, in that famous match with Pernfors.Would he do it at Madison or Reunion? No, i don´t think so.
Connors never played the AO.Did he skip the indoor majors ( if he qualified).No, he did not.
kiki, Connors played the AO twice, winning in 1974. Borg participated once.
I meant after 1975.
Lenglen was so good she won 7 tournaments without dropping a single game
Lenglen was so good she won a gold medal dropping just 4 games the whole tournament
Lenglen was so good she beat multiple time US Open champ Molla Mallory 6-0 6-0 in about 20 minutes
Lenglen was so good fellow players like Kitty Mckane Godfree and Elizabeth Ryan said she was by far the better player than Wills
Lenglen was so good she won their only match despite seemingly everyone on the planet including her own father saying she couldn't beat her
Lenglen was so good that from 1919-1925 she won pretty much every tournament she chose to enter.
Please consider that
I know the history of the women's game quite well, if you do not like my list, feel free to make your own list..no one is stopping you from doing that you know.
the list of top 11 seeds @ AO 87 :
lendl, becker, noah, edberg, leconte, mecir, gilbert, curren,jarryd,kriek, cash
seems a pretty legit field to me .......
would take WCT/Masters over AO from 72 onwards till 82 ...not after that ...
I´d say that from 1985 onwards, the AO caught with the two indoors and formed the second tier, while RG,W and FM foremd the top tier.
yes, I recall Mac was defaulted by the referee in a match against Michael Pernfors.It was the Australian Open but not sure which year.
boredone, I feel free to comment your list even when not making an own list.
Lenglen won their only match relatively narrowly.
Lenglen had often weak fields.
I would put Lenglen ahead of Moody but only narrowly.
Both, Lenglen and Tilden were the first tennis superstars, taking the game one step further.
You can feel free to comment all you like, but . you want to call out everyone else for, in your mind, slighting other players, you had better be prepared to be called out and asked to put your own opinions and rankings down for the rest of us to see and criticize, unless of course you cannot take the criticism you are so quick to dish out.
Lenglen did win the match narrowly, Wills even at only 20 was phenominally good, so good Lenglens father forbid her to play Wills at all. She was a nervous wreck, not that Wills wasn't since many people expected her to beat Lenglen. Lenglen was for the first time in her life disobeying her father, who didn't think she could even win, and went on to win in straight sets coming from behind in both...that to me says a lot about who, in terms of ability, the better player might have been.
Now if you want to say Lenglen had weak field...fine feel free, many of the people who were contemporaries of Lenglen were also contemporaries of Wills, which therefore means if Lenglen had weak fields, than Wills had them as well...and therefore that argument is a wash. However I take the line that both were so good that made everyone look pathetic.
I never said Lenglen was miles ahead of Moody, you inferred that by the fact that I put the peak ability of other all time greats above hers. I also openly said any of those 8 women could be argued as number 1 because they were all that good.
Moody took up Lenglens mantle and dominated just like Suzanne did. Moody from 1927-1933 was the number one player in the world just like Lenglen was from 1919-1925. Both were phenominal..and in my GOAT list I co rank them as Wills Achieved more but in my mind..skill wise..Lenglen was better by a margin in terms of her pure peak level of play
But as hoodjem said this thread is just pure peak level of play and that achievements do not matter..and that's why I put Lenglen on top.
boredone, why so agitated only because I wrote that in my opinion Moody is not far behind Lenglen?
I did not even critisize you...
I am not agitated, I am explaining my opinion to you, why do you take so much offense to everything that doesn't line up 100% with what you think? You really need to relax.
I just gave you my opinion. Not more. But you are right: I will try to relax...
I would put Sampras above Fed in this list. I would put Mac (esp. of 1984 vintage) too, maybe in place of Borg. I cannot comment on most of the other players since I've never seen them play, except for brief video clips.
What is significant, also, on this list is that these players could produce their peak level when it was most needed, in Davis Cup (the premiere event in the sport of tennis) or Wimbledon or Forest Hills or Kooyong. (unless, of course, if they were out of shape or injured). Perhaps Kovacs did not do this.
I think full flight Federer is highest peak play as per requirements. Sampras probably second best.
Yeah Federer in full flight is pretty untouchable, his peak forehand is just downright crazy.
I don't know what you mean when you say "as per requirements", but it's a defensible opinion - at least in the Open era. I disagree though. IMO, Sampras at the YEC in 1999 was the highest peak play I've seen in the OE.
Maybe, but with Sampras in full flight, you didn't get much chance to hit your FH in the first place.
I think it would come down to a break a set or a tie break, I don't see Sampras matching Federer from the back of the court on return games. Likewise the Sampras serve if firing on all cylinders would be hard to attack. I still give Federer the edge, 7-5 or 7-6 sets.
While I agree that Sampras couldn't match Fed from the backcourt (or a host of other players) for the most part, I can see him matching/beating Fed for a few points from back there - IMO, the big points.
I can see Sampras attacking Fed's 2nd serve more, putting him under pressure. I think he could make Fed crack just a bit to pull off the win (similar to the margin you suggest).
Federer has the best tiebreak win rate ever IIRC. I'd favor him in those situations. It might just depend on the court, although IMO the difference between Federer and Sampras on faster surfaces is slimmer than the advantage Federer holds on clay or slow hardcourts. Overall I think peak Federer has the edge.
Like I said, defensible opinion and one that I don't have much problem with, though I would stick with Sampras.
He faced bigger guns on faster surfaces and still came away with a very good t/b record. Fed's t/b record is superior, but he has played on a higher number of slower surfaces, and against players who prefer to stay back. IMO, it's not a straight comparision.
Federer's game would probably fare better on faster surfaces in general I think. But I can understand your opinion. About to watch the Tennis Masters 1996 final with Becker and Sampras.
The best peak play modes i have seen in my life, not of just a match but from a period of time :
Djokovic- first half 2011 (probably the best court coverage and counterpunching combo ever)
Nadal- spring and summer 2008 ( the heaviest forehand ever combined with imo the best he has ever hitted his backhand)
Federer- second half 2006 ( best all court game, more aesthetically pleasing by far)
Sampras- summer 1999, YEC 1999 ( best fastcourt tennis )
Rios- first half 1998 (insane shotmaking)
Agassi- summer 1995 ( impossible to take the ball earlier than this)
Muster- clay season 1995 ( perhaps with Nole in 2011 the only ones who can cope with Nadal`s forehand ,2008 version, on clay, being a lefty for sure must help)
Edberg- second half 1991, more precisely from Us Open until Paris indoors ( best serve and volley game)
Honorable mention to Nalbandian late 2007 version.
And I might add, total achievements (or lack thereof) over an entire career do not count here.
Here is where I believe that Dan L should place his Hoad posts.
To me the key thing is the amount of weapons one tennis player may have. By that I mean what a player can do to hire his opponent. The most important stroke would be the serve so guys like Gonzalez, Kramer, Sampras, Hoad and even a lesser player like Roscoe Tanner would have the advantage there. Dangerous returns of serve off both sides would be big here also. A perfect example would be Jimmy Connors' explosive returns against Tanner on the 1975 Wimbledon semifinal in which some have said Connors returned Tanners' serves much faster than Tanner served them. The ability to put volleys away is big also. After that the consistency of the power and accuracy.
Some player had great power off the forehand but their backhands are weak and visa versa.
A player needs mobility and stamina too but assuming peak level perhaps the rallies may not last long.
Players in the past known for super high levels are Tilden, Vines, Gonzalez, Hoad, Kovacs, Ashe, Laver, McEnroe, Borg, Connors and some others.
John Newcombe, as great as he was did not have an attacking backhand return and was somewhat vulnerable there. Laver on the other hand, when in the zone as Arthur Ashe had wrote, "No one can stop him" at least in Laver's time.
how do you guys judge peak play? hitting impressive winners, or looking as close to invincible as possible? the reason i am saying this is in this peak play decisions fed or sampras's name comes up much more often than nadal's. yet i haven't seen a tournament from them, where they were as dominant as nadal in 2008 fo
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