Rate the first tier all time greats in terms of their competition

Flash O'Groove

Hall of Fame
I give Sampras only 5 clear No.1 years.

If you don't go by the ranking, which years do you have co-n°1, and which players share the position? Only since 1980 please, since you have already presented extensively your opinion on the Borg-Connors-Vilas era.
 

BobbyOne

G.O.A.T.
I'm less sure of 1961 than I am of 1964 if that makes you feel better ;)

I think even if there's a slim margin that generally you can separate players records, even if it's just on a personal and subjective level.

NatF, There are (rather often in history) cases where there even is no slim margin at all and an objectice decision just impossible if you want to stay fair to both (or even three) players. I dislike subjective judgements because they lead to many absurd decisions. For example I could easily rank subjectively Rosewall as No.1 for 1965 (I know you once found that absurd) because he won two majors where he defeated Laver clearly, was the best grasscourter that year, the best claycourter and not far from Laver at the indoor level. But you have convinced me that I should give Laver a slight lead.

I know I will never leave my conviction that tied places are the fairest solution in several cases, f.e. 1936,1947, 1952, 1959, 1964, 1970, 1973.

We had the division in pros and amateurs (Vines or Perry greater in 1936?), we had two pro tours (Gonzalez or Hoad in 1959?), we had majors vs. general tournaments (Rosewall or Laver in 1970?) and so on.
 

BobbyOne

G.O.A.T.
If you don't go by the ranking, which years do you have co-n°1, and which players share the position? Only since 1980 please, since you have already presented extensively your opinion on the Borg-Connors-Vilas era.

Flash, I have a two or three way for 1982 (Connors, Lendl and maybe McEnroe), a (insecure) three way for 1998 (Sampras and Rios and Rafter). Have not studied later years yet.
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
He had Agassi , courier , rafter , Becker and Chang
Sampras would have crushed those guys
Becker was on the downslide and Chang was not of the same caliber. Agassi could barely touch sampras, same with Courier. In the 70's on a given day, guys like Vilas and Tanner could be top notch.....Borg/Connors/Mac/Lendl....in those matchups, no gimmees. Always felt Sampras was way ahead of his competition before the matches even started.
 

dgold44

G.O.A.T.
Becker was on the downslide and Chang was not of the same caliber. Agassi could barely touch sampras, same with Courier. In the 70's on a given day, guys like Vilas and Tanner could be top notch.....Borg/Connors/Mac/Lendl....in those matchups, no gimmees. Always felt Sampras was way ahead of his competition before the matches even started.

I agree , the 90s had weak competition compared to mid 70s to late 80s

90s just a bad decade minus Sampras and Agassi
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
NatF, There are (rather often in history) cases where there even is no slim margin at all and an objectice decision just impossible if you want to stay fair to both (or even three) players. I dislike subjective judgements because they lead to many absurd decisions. For example I could easily rank subjectively Rosewall as No.1 for 1965 (I know you once found that absurd) because he won two majors where he defeated Laver clearly, was the best grasscourter that year, the best claycourter and not far from Laver at the indoor level. But you have convinced me that I should give Laver a slight lead.

I know I will never leave my conviction that tied places are the fairest solution in several cases, f.e. 1936,1947, 1952, 1959, 1964, 1970, 1973.

We had the division in pros and amateurs (Vines or Perry greater in 1936?), we had two pro tours (Gonzalez or Hoad in 1959?), we had majors vs. general tournaments (Rosewall or Laver in 1970?) and so on.

I personally think you give co #1's a little too easily. But I'm happy to agree to disagree. It's just a point of principle I won't budge on. But I respect that you have a different opinion to mine, it would be boring if we all agreed on everything ;)

You are able to give firm places for many players throughout history who played in different era's with a great degree of certainty, despite a myriad of different conditions and achievements which have to be weighed subjectively. This is something most of us engage in. For me looking at individuals years is no different, there is ambiguity and subjectivity but I prefer to give firm places - even if I will acknowledge that another point of view is valid for some years.

Even with my favourite Federer I think he has a very good case to being the best player and #1 in 2003. But I don't give him a co-spot with Roddick, I tend to give the nod to Arod.
 

Limpinhitter

G.O.A.T.
i strongly disagree;) Lavers Dunlop Maxply was by far the greater racquet than Goffins mass-produced, Made in China, no quality control, tool.
In fact, a case can be made, that the Maxply is indeed the GROAT

As a kid, I bought Dunlop Maxply Forts, pre-strung (had to have them restrung of course), off of the shelf at Kmart (the store might have had another name back then), for $25. There's nothing like the look, feel and smell of a brand new Fort, with the leather grip, the freshly painted finish and restrung with Victor Imperial Gut.

FYI, An acquaintance of mine, who claims that he used to string and customize Laver's racquets, says that Laver's racquet handle had a notch carved into it for his trigger finger. I've also read elsewhere that Laver's Maxply had one less ply in the racquet head, presumably to make it more head light.
 

BobbyOne

G.O.A.T.
I personally think you give co #1's a little too easily. But I'm happy to agree to disagree. It's just a point of principle I won't budge on. But I respect that you have a different opinion to mine, it would be boring if we all agreed on everything ;)

You are able to give firm places for many players throughout history who played in different era's with a great degree of certainty, despite a myriad of different conditions and achievements which have to be weighed subjectively. This is something most of us engage in. For me looking at individuals years is no different, there is ambiguity and subjectivity but I prefer to give firm places - even if I will acknowledge that another point of view is valid for some years.

Even with my favourite Federer I think he has a very good case to being the best player and #1 in 2003. But I don't give him a co-spot with Roddick, I tend to give the nod to Arod.

NatF, You are right that's difficult to rank players from different eras. To compare two players' achievements in the same year might be easier.

But I'm disappointed that you and others have such a problem to give tied No. 1 places (and tied other places). I will never understand that Lance Tingay never gave tied places for No.1 to 9. He only had sometimes three No.10 players. This does not sound logical.
 

treblings

Hall of Fame
As a kid, I bought Dunlop Maxply Forts, pre-strung (had to have them restrung of course), off of the shelf at Kmart (the store might have had another name back then), for $25. There's nothing like the look, feel and smell of a brand new Fort, with the leather grip, the freshly painted finish and restrung with Victor Imperial Gut.

FYI, An acquaintance of mine, who claims that he used to string and customize Laver's racquets, says that Laver's racquet handle had a notch carved into it for his trigger finger. I've also read elsewhere that Laver's Maxply had one less ply in the racquet head, presumably to make it more head light.

thanks for the info. i´ve heard that Laver had his Maxplys customized to make them more headlight. didn´t know about the notch.
what i´ve read is, that he had the habit to install a new Fairway grip on his racquets before each match.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
NatF, You are right that's difficult to rank players from different eras. To compare two players' achievements in the same year might be easier.

But I'm disappointed that you and others have such a problem to give tied No. 1 places (and tied other places). I will never understand that Lance Tingay never gave tied places for No.1 to 9. He only had sometimes three No.10 players. This does not sound logical.

It's just a difference of principles. You might find that a small difference is not enough to give a clear ranking and that two players are essentially equals. Where as unless results were virtually identical, even if the gap between two players is extremely small, if there is any separation I will put one over the other. I value the #1 ranking extremely highly in terms of players legacies, so from my perspective it is very important to try and separate players and give sole rankings.
 

BobbyOne

G.O.A.T.
It's just a difference of principles. You might find that a small difference is not enough to give a clear ranking and that two players are essentially equals. Where as unless results were virtually identical, even if the gap between two players is extremely small, if there is any separation I will put one over the other. I value the #1 ranking extremely highly in terms of players legacies, so from my perspective it is very important to try and separate players and give sole rankings.

NatF, I don't find that a small difference is not enough to give a clear ranking. I only say that we cannot make a clear ranking for several years because there is no difference at all to make a decision! Where is the difference between amateur Perry and pro Vines in several years? Where is a difference between Gonzalez and Hoad in 1959 when Pancho won the big world series while Lew won the big tournament tour and had the edge in the series?

Even in modern times when the decision should be clear and without doubt: Who is the better player: This who leads the end-year ATP rankings or this who won 3 GS tournaments whereas the ATP leader has won only one GS tournament??

EDIT: Just as you say the No.1 place is very important for judging a player's recod, we should be very careful when we differentiate two players who were about even. Otherwise it could be unfair toward the "No.2 player" who achieved about the same as the "No.1 player".
 
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NatF

Bionic Poster
NatF, I don't find that a small difference is not enough to give a clear ranking. I only say that we cannot make a clear ranking for several years because there is no difference at all to make a decision! Where is the difference between amateur Perry and pro Vines in several years? Where is a difference between Gonzalez and Hoad in 1959 when Pancho won the big world series while Lew won the big tournament tour and had the edge in the series?

Even in modern times when the decision should be clear and without doubt: Who is the better player: This who leads the end-year ATP rankings or this who won 3 GS tournaments whereas the ATP leader has won only one GS tournament??

EDIT: Just as you say the No.1 place is very important for judging a player's recod, we should be very careful when we differentiate two players who were about even. Otherwise it could be unfair toward the "No.2 player" who achieved about the same as the "No.1 player".

There will always be a difference though unless they have identical records. We subjectively rank all sorts of achievements. There will always be a way to separate two records, even if by only a small amount. If I value the World Series extremely highly then I will lean towards Pancho, if I believe a series of tournaments is a better reflection of who was the better player than perhaps I go with Hoad etc...

I don't believe it is unfair, unless I'm picking between two players in an arbitrary fashion. I believe Rosewall has the strongest case for 1964, I don't think it's unfair to Laver that he was bested by Rosewall that year. Throughout history there are years from #2 players that would put them at the #1 spot in other years. That's just part of the sport. As long as we're aware of these years we can discuss the legacies of players in detail and give them their due.

I don't think the ATP rankings are necessarily a true reflection all of the time. But it's the best system we've ever had.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
There will always be a difference though unless they have identical records. We subjectively rank all sorts of achievements. There will always be a way to separate two records, even if by only a small amount. If I value the World Series extremely highly then I will lean towards Pancho, if I believe a series of tournaments is a better reflection of who was the better player than perhaps I go with Hoad etc...

I don't believe it is unfair, unless I'm picking between two players in an arbitrary fashion. I believe Rosewall has the strongest case for 1964, I don't think it's unfair to Laver that he was bested by Rosewall that year. Throughout history there are years from #2 players that would put them at the #1 spot in other years. That's just part of the sport. As long as we're aware of these years we can discuss the legacies of players in detail and give them their due.

I don't think the ATP rankings are necessarily a true reflection all of the time. But it's the best system we've ever had.
And don't forget that the players know the ATP ranking system well so the top players adjust things so they can be number one on the ATP rankings system. That's what Pancho Gonzalez probably did in 1960 when the Old Pro Tour had different methods to be number one.

I think the funniest story was when Evonne Goolagong discovered she was number one decades later.
http://www.smh.com.au/news/sport/goolagong-cawley-finally-a-world-no1/2007/12/27/1198345162454.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/te...onne-Goolagong-ranked-top-of-WTA-at-last.html
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
Along with: Ken, Rod, Pancho, Pete and Borg- Tier ONE All Time Greats.
Thanks Thrust. I would definitely put Tilden there of the old timers also. He's a no brainer. I would add Kramer also.

A few playing today also should be there. We all know who they are.
 

thrust

Legend
Gonzalez and Hoad were much better at the end of the 50's compared to the early 60's, Gonzalez wasn't even playing the big events in 1960 and 1962-1963. Hoad was never the same after 1959.

I'm not so impressed with the early 70's but I think the mid to late 70's was strong once you had Borg/Connors and at the end Mac.
Gonzalez played the French Pro at RG in 61, reached the final and lost to Rosewall in 4 sets
 

BobbyOne

G.O.A.T.
There will always be a difference though unless they have identical records. We subjectively rank all sorts of achievements. There will always be a way to separate two records, even if by only a small amount. If I value the World Series extremely highly then I will lean towards Pancho, if I believe a series of tournaments is a better reflection of who was the better player than perhaps I go with Hoad etc...

I don't believe it is unfair, unless I'm picking between two players in an arbitrary fashion. I believe Rosewall has the strongest case for 1964, I don't think it's unfair to Laver that he was bested by Rosewall that year. Throughout history there are years from #2 players that would put them at the #1 spot in other years. That's just part of the sport. As long as we're aware of these years we can discuss the legacies of players in detail and give them their due.

I don't think the ATP rankings are necessarily a true reflection all of the time. But it's the best system we've ever had.

NatF, I'm disappointed. Your example regarding world series vs. tournaments is a point for me and shows you are very generous toward subjectivity. In an objective approach we just cannot decide if Gonzalez or Hoad deserves the No.1 spot in 1959, also not if Gonzalez or Rosewall in 1961. Only a tied place is fair!

Why not giving Rosewall AND Laver the top spot for 1964 as Rosewall won the world championship and Laver was superior in several other parameters including two major wins??

If ATP is not always a true reflection why not give tied places for the ATP winner and the best major winner (see my older example).
 
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Limpinhitter

G.O.A.T.
My list of tier 1 GOAT candidates includes: Federer, Laver, Sampras, Borg and Gonzalez. Among those, it seems that Sampras had the deepest competition. Following is a list of the #1 ranked players that Sampras competed against during his career:

Wilander
Edberg
Becker
Courier
Agassi
Muster
Rios
Kafelnikov
Rafter
Safin
Kuerten
Hewitt
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
My list of tier 1 GOAT candidates includes: Federer, Laver, Sampras, Borg and Gonzalez. Among those, it seems that Sampras had the deepest competition. Following is a list of the #1 ranked players that Sampras competed against during his career:

Wilander
Edberg
Becker
Courier
Agassi
Muster
Rios
Kafelnikov
Rafter
Safin
Kuerten
Hewitt

From that list I would consider Wilander and Kuerten a little dubious with only a few meetings against each. With Wilander especially it was clearly well outside his best years. If I was going to extend that sort of thinking to Federer I could include the likes of Kafelnikov for him, Federer actually defeated him in the SF of Milan in 2001 during his first tournament victory (Kafelnikov was a top 5 player that year). He also competed against Rafter and Rios etc...

I would also add that the fact there was no younger or even same aged and consistent ATG immediately following Sampras meant a lot of players were able to juggle the #1 ranking in the latter 90's. Kafelnikov's ascent to #1 after a long series of back to back losses jumps to mind.
 
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