Roger : best ever, The four of us? That’s a really difficult call.

Drob

Hall of Fame
Drob, Just a short note before getting the bed.
The devil is the detail as we in German say. For example in 1971 BOTH the AO and the WCT FInals were among the top 4 tournaments.
Where do you make a cut for Laver/Rosewall encounters?"
I have thought about this. "Where do you make a cut for Laver/Rosewall encounters?" That is a great question.

I made the cuts where I stated above. And that is where I make them still and my answer will be the very slight advantage Laver. However, if we pare down to the bare essentials of Major and near-Major tournaments (or events), Rosewall does nick the win, 10-9. Here is how I think it plays out: In absolute Majors, Rosewall has the edge, 7-6. Interestingly, The Little Master led 5-2, 1963-65, and Rocket led 4-2, 1966-69.

I may misunderstand, but the impression I get is that you (and Krosero) consider the WCT finals to be a virtual Major, close enough that it makes no difference. If that is the case, then you must also include the 1970 and 1971 TCC, and the 1967 Wimbledon Pro. That would make things a tie, at nine victories each. Note that I do not think that you "must also include" the 1970 Grand Prix Masters, which, if you did include it, would have given Laver a 10-9 lead. I am trying to be Krosero-like careful here. And, I also have to be transparent: I consider Rosewall's 1963 WCS tour victory to be a Major, giving Kenny number 10. And that gives him the historical edge.

Reducing the number of matches considered as the "key matches" of their rivalry is a legitimate approach, obviously. I am going to stick to my own list, with adjustments to bring in the NSW Pro, per Krosero's observation. Where I make the "cut", Laver will have the edge. But I will also point out this alternative criterion, which gives the edge to Rosewall.

(I did not quote much of what you wrote in your Post, just to make sure I could get my reply in under the word limit. Your other comments were good, but the comment I needed to think about was "Where do you make a cut for Laver/Rosewall encounters?")
 

Drob

Hall of Fame
Okay, I forgot about the advice about the "edit". I think I will not make the electronic mistake again. Going to give it one more try. Here is my reply to BobbyOne's question, "Where do you make a cut for Laver/Rosewall encounters?"

I have thought about this. "Where do you make a cut for Laver/Rosewall encounters?" That is a great question.

I made the cuts where I stated above. And that is where I make them still and my answer will be the very slight advantage Laver. However, if we pare down to the bare essentials of Major and near-Major tournaments (or events), Rosewall does nick the win, 10-9. Here is how I think it plays out: In absolute Majors, Rosewall has the edge, 7-6. Interestingly, The Little Master led 5-2, 1963-65, and Rocket led 4-2, 1966-69.

I may misunderstand, but the impression I get is that you (and Krosero) consider the WCT finals to be a virtual Major, close enough that it makes no difference. If that is the case, then you must also include the 1970 and 1971 TCC, and the 1967 Wimbledon Pro. That would make things a tie, at nine victories each. Note that I do not think that you "must also include" the 1970 Grand Prix Masters, which, if you did include it, would have given Laver a 10-9 lead. I am trying to be Krosero-like careful here. And, I also have to be transparent: I consider Rosewall's 1963 WCS tour victory to be a Major, giving Kenny number 10. And that gives him the historical edge.

Reducing the number of matches considered as the "key matches" of their rivalry is a legitimate approach, obviously. I am going to stick to my own list, with adjustments to bring in the NSW Pro, per Krosero's observation. Where I make the "cut", Laver will have the edge. But I will also point out this alternative criterion, which gives the edge to Rosewall.

(I did not quote much of what you wrote in your Post, just to make sure I could get my reply in under the word limit. Your other comments were good, but the comment I needed to think about was "Where do you make a cut for Laver/Rosewall encounters?")
 
Carlo, ...Most of your posts are well written, however your post here on Federer/Nadal is rather superficial. More than that it's the same tired stuff that we see on the general section...
I haven't read the general section stuff you are talking about so I can't have any opinion and make comparisons with what I wrote.



... Federer ... leads Nadal not just on Majors and YEC's like you say but also on;



- Time at #1

- Overall dominance

- Consistency

- Longevity

- Total titles
Right except a slight precision which can make a little divergence : I wouldn't say Time at #1 but Years at #1 (for instance Djokovic has been ATP #1 most of 2016 but the only true #1 was Murray who dominated the whole year (ended as year-end ATP #1).



... Firstly, meetings H2H are not the best indicator of relative level, something I would assume you are aware of. Instead performance against the field is an infinitely better measure.
Right



... Absolutely hilarious that you say Nadal was slightly injured at IW in 2012 but ignore that Federer was clearly far more hampered by his back in 2013 ...
Not hilarious. What is hilarious is your reaction ! I made a global synthesis on their H2H results on slow hardcourts. I didn't want to make a detailed report on each match. When I wrote this post,

on slow hardcourts, Nadal led Federer 4-2. So what ! If we didn't consider their "injured" matches (IW 2012-13) Nadal still led 3-1.



... Against the top 10 at the AO Federer is 20-9, Nadal is 7-7. At IW Federer is 11-5, Nadal is 9-6. At Miami, Federer is 9-6, Nadal is 7-8.
In total in those 3 events you listed Federer is 40-20, Nadal is 23-21. Bit of a difference right? Even removing the AO this year Federer would still stand head and shoulders above Nadal. ...
I didn't compare both players' records on slow hardcourts (most of the AO and most of the IW tourneys) so your answer is inappropriate.

I just said that I considered that, at least until 2016 included,

peak Nadal was better than peak Federer.

Perhaps I should have been clearer :

I thought (and possibly still think) that (until 2016) on a given match, peak (=the very very best) Nadal was better than peak (=the very very best) Federer

on slow hard courts.

It doesn't contradict at all the fact that Federer has a better record on slow hardcourts (Miami was often clearly faster than IW though it has not always been the case recently).

It doesn't contradict the fact that Federer has possibly played better than Nadal many more times than the reverse, on slow hardcourts.



... Now if you want to mention competition I would mention that Federer has met Djokovic significantly more times than Nadal has at the AO for example. ...
I don't understand what you want to explain.



... You even claim Nadal is better than Federer on current grass and fast HC?! Damn your post got more and more crazy as you went on...
No it didn't get more and more crazy (see below).



...

7-2
5-2
That's the difference in their records at Wimbledon and the USO. Against the field you'll find Federer dwarfs Nadal there. Federer leads Nadal on HC/Grass h2h as well. ...
Once again,

when I said that peak Nadal was better than peak Federer on fast hardcourts and on slow grass, I didn't compare their records at the USO and Wimby. Your answers are inappropriate.



... You might point to 2008 for the Wimbledon final, but that's just a single victory against a Federer who was in the troughs of a terrible year by his standards. The final a year before was of equal quality and Federer won that one. More than that Federer's return numbers on grass against the field had already dipped by then e.g. the 2008 Wimbledon final was the best of Nadal but not the best of Federer and Nadal barely won. ...
Yes Federer won the 2007 final but Nadal was very close to him. I recall the score 7-6(7) 4-6 7-6(3) 2-6 6-2. Nadal won as many games as Federer and the Spaniard was not so far from having won the match three sets to love. There is not doubt that Federer was the best that day but by a very slight margin. In the fifth set the Swiss twice rallied from 15/40 to avoid an early break. So in 2007 the difference between both players was very slight and in 2008 Nadal was likely better than in 2007 or at worst at least as good if not better than in 2007.

Therefore, it is it is clear that Nadal 2008 and Federer 2007 were more or less equal

and it is not unlikely that Nadal 2008 was perhaps even better than Federer 2007.

I am not adamant but it is possible.



... Nadal has been very dominant on clay, but he actually has a losing record against top 10 players on HC. No way is he even Federer's equal let alone his superior on hards and grass. ...
Once again I didn't talk about consistency but of both players highest level.



... Nadal is less consistent than Djokovic/Federer, therefore when does meet them outside of his preferred conditions he's generally on his A game, his B game rarely seems to get him to slam finals. Where as they might make it to the final on their B game and get beaten. Unfortunately for them Nadal was no where to be seen the other X number of times they made it to the various major finals and were in superior form.
You claim Federer is better than he ever was in 2017? I would say you're clearly wrong there.. ....
Once again you are misinterpreting what I think but perhaps I haven't been clear enough. I think that in 2017 at his very best on surfaces other than clay, Federer was better than ever. It means than on some matches in 2017 (especially at Indian Wells or Miami), Federer reached a level he had probably not reached before. It does not mean that day in day out he was better in 2017 than in 2007. It just means that on one or several occasions he played better in 2017 than in 2006 or 2007. It doesn't contradict the fact that in the mid-2000's he was more consistent than in 2017. For instance in 2017, Federer was "a zero" on clay since he avoided the clay season : that argument alone is enough to consider Federer less good in 2017 than in the mid-late 2000's.



... I shouldn't have to explain why tbh. Not when you've extensively spoken about how Rosewall was worse in the 70's than the early 60's! ....
Yeah, in the 1960's Rosewall was more consistent, had better results than in the 1970's. It doesn't contradict the fact that he possibly played his best tennis ever on grass at the 1971 Australian Open (this is what Rosewall claimed himself). The fact that he played a super match against Ashe in March 1971 is not enough, of course, to claim that in 1971 he was better than in 1963.

A player can reach his "regular summit" at a certain moment in his career

and reach a "top summit" years later.

This is possibly the case for Rosewall and Federer.



... As far as Murray goes, he got Federer many times in Masters events. Remember even in 2007 Federer lost twice to Canas and 2 twice to Nalbandian in Masters. Murray has beaten Federer but once in a major, after Federer had already played 5 sets in the last round and only after 5 sets. Federer has straight setted Murray in 3/5 of their major meetings. I would change your sentence to, "The scott troubles Federer when he (Federer) is not in form". That's more accurate. ....
Agree



... As far as Davis Cup goes, yes Nadal's record is superior there - BUT - he generally plays mostly home ties (always on clay). He also has a superior team to help him. ....
Agree



... Singles Gold is less important historically than the YEC - where Nadal has failed year after year. ....
Agree



... As far as masters goes, they're less important than Majors - of course - more than that Nadal has 3 on clay but Federer has none on grass. ...
Agree. However if there is no Masters 1000 on grass it just indicates the fact that grass is not an important tennis surface anymore (while it was the almost unique surface when it began : the sport then was even called "Lawn Tennis" though hard asphalt was used as early as 1877 in the Dublin University Lawn Tennis amateur Championships. Clay is more important than Grass nowadays. You are wrong when you state that Federer has less opportunities to win Masters 1000 because there is no grass Masters 1000. The grass season is simply minor whereas it has been the reverse for a century (1870's to early 1970's).
 
... I would argue your analysis of Nadal's time at #1 (or lack of it) is flawed as well ...
Do not agree.

You don't give any valuable argument to contradict my opinion.

Wasn't Nadal injured in 2009 ? If it hadn't been the case, do you really think that Federer would have recovered his first place that year ? At the time neither Djokovic nor Murray were able to really trouble the Nadal-Federer duo for the conquest of the world crown and Federer had a clear complex against Nadal. In particular Nadal's defeat of Federer in the 2008 Roland Garros final has had a tremendous effect on Federer. He admitted himself later that it was the cause of his bad start a month later in the 2008 Wimby final

(http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/news/shanghai-final-2017-federer-reaction :

... "In what has been one of tennis’s most storied rivalries, Nadal has often come out on top, particularly on his beloved clay courts, upon which he owns a 13-2 record against the Swiss legend – Federer admits that those matches took their toll on him in previous seasons.

“I just think I'm not so scarred like maybe I have been in the past, not that I was horribly scarred in any way, but I did lose against him sometimes, a lot of the times especially on the clay courts. I do believe I still lost that Wimbledon final in '08 because of the French Open beatdown he gave me. It just affected my first two sets when I played him at Wimbledon.")


Do you really think that Federer would have won Roland in 2009 if Nadal had been in full form ? Then do you think that Federer would have been mentally up at Wimby 2009 if he had suffered previously an nth ruthless defeat in a Roland final ? Nadal had previously beaten Federer in Slam finals on clay, hard and grass courts and mentally dominated Federer who then couldn't beat the Spaniard anymore when the latter was in full form (Federer's success at Hamburg was mainly due to Nadal's knee injury) except possibly on fast indoor courts. Frankly after his success at Monte-Carlo 2009, Nadal was the clear favourite as the ATP year-end No. 1 and his chances to win the Grand Slam were not ridiculous. His knee injury has changed the whole face of the year.

And don't you really think that in 2012 and 2014, injuries prevented Nadal from being n°1. In both years, Djokovic was not a dominant player as he had been in 2011 and would be in 2015. Was not Nadal leader of the Race before the 2014 USO ? Yes he was. So it is not unlikely at all that Nadal, with a little luck, could have been #1 those years. Of course I can't be adamant he would have been but the probabilities were not low.

It is not a flawed analysis as you wrongly state.



...- also your evaluation of Federer's backhand as some great technical weakness seems unfair, when pretty much all one handers struggle with high balls on surfaces like clay. ...
Not a good argument at all. Federer should be excused because he didn't choose a two-handed backhand. Certainly not. This is a technical weakness, there is nothing more to say. Richard Gasquet also has a good one-handed backhand but he clearly admits that his backhand can't do nothing against Nadal's forehand when both play the ad court. Don't you want to admit that Federer's backhand before 2017 was a clear weakness on clay courts against great lifted forehands in the ad court ?

I was disappointed when Federer eluded the clay season in 2017 because I would have liked to watch his new backhand efficiency on slow courts. Unfortunately I have no answer.

The fact that most of one handers had a backhand weakness doesn't excuse Federer at all. He has clearly a weakness there and you don't have to ignore it.



... Frankly after reading your excellent posts on other players I find this one of yours a bit one sided ...
The problem is that Federer has been so "monstruouly" lauded whereas his confrontations with Nadal have been so many times disappointing. Federer has been so often compared to a god (incidentally the existence of any god is absolutely not proved at all) while this god was so many times "humiliated" by Nadal especially in their first encounters. His numerous defeats (even though he had won 5 of their last 6 confrontations up to Wimby 2019) by Nadal, automatically lower his feats. I repeat that Federer is the only world #1 in tennis history who has been dominated by the world #2 in direct confrontations during his reign (2004-2007, 2009). This statistic is so singular that you can't consider it as minor. Of course it is not the only criterion to rate a player, far from that but this negative point is important in order to compare both players.
 
And in the end Nadal at his best is also better than Federer at his best on any surface except fast indoor courts.\



WTF did i just read????



Come on man, with all due respect but that has to be one of the most idiotic comments ever on this forum. You were doing a great job untill that point. You are entitled to your opinion, but if you believe that Nadal is superior to Federer on grass or fast hard outdoors then you lost all your credibility as a serious poster.
You, not only you are not a serious poster but you are NOTHING and I will prove it, post after post of yours :

First, this post.

How can you be so disrespectful ?

How can you dare attack me in such a way whereas we didn't have any contact before this ?

You, you are just as so many posters who have no good manners at all. In another one of your posts you dared criticize how I treated phoenix1983 whereas apparently you know nothing about the feud between that poster and me (I will detail later). So please shut your mouth or more accurately do not use your computer.

Did I ever attack you ? So nothing gives you the right to attack me without good reasons?

Did I say that Nadal was superior to Federer on grass or fast hard outdoors (until 2016) ?

Absolutely Not.

I wrote :

"Nadal at his best is also better than Federer at his best on any surface except fast indoor courts."

That makes a great difference with your wrong interpretation.

Perhaps I should have been more precise and explained in detail that at his best meant in that context " at his very best, on a given match".

I am still convinced that in the period 2003-2016, on every surface except fast indoor courts, Federer has never played an entire best-of-five set match as well as Nadal did on some occasions.



You can disagree and be right

but you have absolutely no legitimity to be so disrespectful. You are so mean.

Besides if you read all my new posts you'll be able to note that I am not so idiot.
 
Seriously. Guy must be a massive Nadal fan or something ...
I, a massive Nadal fan ? You are almost insulting me.

I have always hated Nadal's game as I have always hated baseliners using heavy topspin shots. So I have never liked Vilas's, Borg's, Wilander's, Bruguera's, Costa's, Muster's, Nadal's game. One of the most tasteless matches I have ever watched was the 1978 RG final between Borg and Vilas. It was absolutely horrible and besides the final result was almost known since the start with Vilas regularly losing the long exchanges (if I recall one of them exceed 80 shots, absolutely "disgusting"). Another similar match I watched from start to end, the 1982 RG final between Wilander and ... Vilas, same boring match. Of course now you can't have as many shots due to the modern power and speed (rackets, training, taller players, etc ...) but I don't like modern game when players most of the time go to the net because they have no other possibility. They are all baseliners except very few exceptions. Look at a player like Verdasco who doesn't even play at the net in doubles. Completely anachronic. I read recently statistics very interesting : in the 2019 men's singles draw of Wimbledon before the quarterfinals, 5 % of the points have been serve and volley points. In 2002, the percentage was 33 %. Nothing to add. I am nostalgic of the serve & volley game (though it could be also boring, the best matches happened when there were oppositions of style). I liked Edberg's game (except his "skimpy" forehand), Rafter's, Sampras's, Mac's, Leconte's (when he could control the ball). I liked less Becker's. Among the "non" serve & volley players", I liked Mecir's game and I was disappointed not to have seen Nastase and Panatta at their very best (I began to regularly watch tennis in 1977).

So I hate Nadal's game and I like Federer's game though I would have preferred the Swiss go much more in the net zone.
Whenever Federer and Nadal meet I am for the Swiss
but until the 2017 AO final I was almost sure that the Spaniard would win and that was the case most of the times.
I have always been impressed by Nadal's level of play
(as I was by Borg's who had a similar game or should I say it is Nadal who has a similar game because Borg is the father of the heavy topspin shots. The Swede has defined the future of the game and most of the modern players are his children. 15 years earlier Manuel Santana also regularly used topspin shots of both sides but didn't have Borg's influence on the game).

I have never been convinced at all that Federer's VERY highest level of play (until 2016) was superior to Nadal's on slow and medium courts (and perhaps even on fast outdoor courts).

I may be wrong but nothing proves it.

You may say that Federer had better overall results on medium and fast courts (which is true) and that he had better Top10 head-to-head results (which is also true)

it doesn't contradict the fact that on slow, medium and perhaps fast outdoor courts, Nadal's ultimate peak on a given match was possibly superior to Federer's ultimate peak. I am not sure at all that Federer has ever (until 2016) played as well, and even less better, on outdoor hardcourts as Nadal played in some matches of the USO 2010 or the US summer of 2013. And you can't prove that I am wrong on that point. You can only disagree. However I am not adamant that Nadal's ultimate peak is superior to Federer's (until 2016) but in my opinion, the probability is great. And the fact that I think that, is not a proof that I am a Nadal fan, far from that. It just shows that I am very impressed by Nadal's level, nothing more. pc1 wrote : "let's not underestimate Nadal. He is or was a great player so I hate lowering him." and this is exactly what I think. I wrote these original posts in May 2017 and since Nadal has come back to the #1 place twice in terms of calendar year (2017 and 2019) and won 6 new Slam tourneys (RG 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020, USO 2017 & 2019).
 
Seriously. Guy must be a massive Nadal fan or something :D
...

Not only that. ... [/QUOTE]

Have I ever told something negative about you ? Never. So what gives you the right to make such a bad comment about me ? Nothing. You wrote just one post directly to me but after you didn't even have the courtesy to "talk" directly to me but just gossiped with others as if I was a mere nothing. I don't even give a damn if you are a good or bad poster because you are a bad person. Your behaviour is rather mean. and besides you are just claiming rubbish.



... He asserts that Fed is superior to Nadal on fast indoor surfaces, which is a given obviously, based on the fact that Fed has 6 WTF compared to 0 for Rafa, without realizing that 2 out of those 6 were won outdoor in Houston, and London in 2010 and 2011 was at best a medium paced hardcourt. ...
No. Contrary to what you claim about me, I didn't state that all the 6 World ATP Tour Finals were held on fast indoor courts because I exactly wrote :

Federer is also superior to Nadal on true fast indoor courts which is “more or less proved” by the fact that the Swiss has won 6 “Masters Cup - ATP World Tour Finals” whereas the Spaniard has won none. “More or less proved” because that event is not played anymore on a fast surface."

OK. I haven't been very precise and didn't detail what editions were played on medium paced court but I didn't state as you wrongly say that all these events were played on indoor fast courts and besides, does it change the conclusion, the fact that Fed was better than Nadal on fast indoor courts ? No, so your comment was not very necessary.



... If he is going by the HTH then Davydenko is a beast next to Nadal on hards...
Did I ever say that ? Where ? Did I tell that H2H where the main and even only criterion on what rate players ? You just write what you want without checking anything



... I would also like to know the reasoning behind "Nadal is better than Fed on grass" as well. He must think that Fed in Wimbledon 2008 was at his peak version, which is laughable at best when you consider how utterly crap he was on the first 2 sets of that match ...
Nadal in 2008 on grass was perhaps better than Federer in 2007 on grass. "perhaps" is an important word : it means it is not certain, it means I am not adamant at all. But already in 2007 Nadal won as many games as Federer in their Wimby final. Nadal was not so far from having won that 2007 match in three straight sets. In the fifth set, Federer twice rallied from 15/40 to avoid an early break. So already in 2007 Nadal was almost the best Federer's equal. It is very likely that Nadal was better in 2008 than in 2007 (while it was perhaps not the case of Federer)

therefore Nadal 2008 on grass was more or less at least the equal of Federer 2007 on grass
and it is not stupid at all to wonder if Nadal was perhaps even better
.


... I am truly shocked because i considered him one of the best posters of this forum, but this stuff you dont even see it from Octobrina...
You are "shocked". Oh poor little thing ! You "considered" me "one of the best posters of this forum" :

your opinion has no importance and shouldn't be considered by anyone

but your attitude has to be reported because you are so aggressive and less than a turd.

I don't know who Octobrina is but I guess this is not a compliment from your part.

Let me tell you that I do not compliment you as well and even that I do not respect you after such a post whereas we have never exchanged anything before your post of rubbish.
 
Yeah I feel the same, the stuff on most of those players was really good and balanced. But as soon as he started speaking about Federer and Nadal (also saying Federer would sh*t his pants playing Borg) it descended into nonsense. ...
Saying that "Federer would **** his pants playing Borg is nonsense ?
Really ? Have you ever watched Borg live ? When Borg played some of his best matches ever, he was mentally stronger than anyone else I have seen since even probably Nadal. His surname Ice Borg wasn't usurped on a court even though, off court, after a defeat he could criticize or blame his coach Bergelin as Borg stated a few years ago.

See how Federer reacted to his 2008 RG defeat at the hands of Nadal. This match had a tremendous effect on Federer who admitted himself that it was the cause of his bad start in the following Wimby final. Do you think that if Federer had been born 30 years earlier he wouldn't have reacted the same if he had been opposed to Borg, a player who was the prototype of modern players such as Nadal with a better (in relative terms of course) serve than the Spaniard ? On clay, Borg almost never used his service as a weapon because it was "useless" but on the Wimby grass, Borg's serve was almost as good as Tanner's (the reference of that stroke in the mid- late 1970's) while Nadal's serve has never been comparable to the best modern services even at the 2010 USO. Of course no one can prove it but I think that Borg at his very peak was better (in relative terms naturally) than Nadal at his very peak. I insist "in relative terms" because Nadal in the 2010-20's wouldn't leave many games and even points to a 1970's player using a "microscopic" wood racket.
Federer has always been "afraid of" Nadal before 2017 as he openly recognized it before their meeting at Indian Wells 2017 when he was asked if he had changed over time his approach to matches versus Nadal and said he tooks things now in a much more relaxed way than in the past.
As he also recognized, his defeat in the 2008 RG final has been a shock
so imagine what Federer could have felt against Borg whose mental toughness was greater than any other player I know, including possibly Nadal
(I never saw live Gonzales who was perhaps the greatest fighter ever). !!!

Therefore I don't think it is stupid to guess that Federer could have **** in his pants against Borg, especially on clay.
Of course I can't prove it but it is not unlikely at all.


It took Federer 13 years (Miami 2004 - Indian Wells 2017) to be "relax" against Nadal,

it is likely that it would have taken even more time against Borg.

(and don't tell me that Borg would have retired long before because in the 2000's-2010's-2010's, the Swede wouldn't have suffered the pressures he endured in the 1970's-1980's when the players were not surrounded and protected as now).
So I repeat that Federer would have greatly feared Borg

and I don't think that you may give a valuable argument contradicting this
.

Of course one cannot enter in the brain of anyone else
however it is very likely that Borg's mental strength (naturally before his possible burn-out) was superior to Federer's

due in part to Borg's confidence in his better background strokes than Fed's.



... He gives Nadal loads of credit for competition and injuries, but ignores Federer's mono in 2008, back injury in 2013 and knee issues in 2016. Nevermind that Federer has faced the exact same players Nadal has only more often for the most part - as their top 10 record would show.
Another bias argument. I didn't write anything about Nadal injuries when I compared his career with Federer's.

I talked about Nadal's injuries when Phoenix1983 stated that neither Borg nor Nadal were year-in year-out No 1 like Gonzales/Laver/Sampras/Federer.
I clearly demonstrated that Borg was number one 4 years in a row

and that Nadal could also have been #1 for long successive years hadn't he been injured. I also said that hard surfaces had been tougher to Nadal than Borg because in the late 1970's though hard courts tourneys had begun to be numerous they weren't as numerous as today.
So I gave credit to Nadal because of that and about Phoenix wrong argument.

But when came the point of comparing directly Federer and Nadal, I didn't write anything about the latter injuries.

Frankly NatF I have no respect for you : you stated that my comparisons between peak Nadal and peak Federer were garbage. You just misinterpreted what I wrote because I didn't compare their records as you do but I compared their very peak levels which is quite a different thing. As I claim elsewhere, Hoad has perhaps reached peak levels that no contemporary ever attained but Hoad's record is "ridiculous" compared to some of his partners. So your answers were garbage, not my statement. You consider ridiculous the fact that Federer would have **** in his pants against Borg which is not unlikely at all contrary to what you think. Your opinion on that case is also garbage.

In fact this is YOU, not me, who display flawed analysis, claim wrong statements, and wrote crazy posts and garbage.

Finally you dared criticize me (happily less stronger than this thing called ARFED) while I have never told you anything wrong in the past. Mean attitude :

NatF, you do not deserve respect.



... Carlo's post was hardly meticulously researched though - though his earlier efforts were superb IMO. It's a shame that you generally pay more heed to posters who argue against Roger as opposed to in his favour. I've often been your opponent but you've taught me much about Rosewall etc...I would say that Federer's best on grass across era's and against the field would be comfortably above Nadal's. Likewise on HC. ...
NatF,

I am not a Nadal fan and a Federer hater at all. There is no doubt that I hugely prefer Federer's game to Nadal's so each time both players meet I am on Fed's side (but I am not at all a person who insults or denigrates Rafa, I admire his qualities but I prefer Fed's) however I am always greatly impressed by Nadal's talent to annihilate Fed's especially before Fed's new backhand in early 2017. Therefore I am not a mere poster who just lives to argue against Federer as you seem to suggest but I argumented and I will again claim that your post just below is wrong in the reasoning.



...As I said to Carlo Nadal has a losing record against top 10 players on HC. Federer has infact won more matches against top 10 players on HC than Nadal has played. Look at their record against the very best players and their titles won. . ...
I do not deny these stats' and I completely agree with the fact that Federer had a better record against top 10 players. It proves that Federer was more consistent against top players than Nadal but it doesn't contradict at all that Nadal, on a given match could possibly reached higher summits than Federer.



Nadal is 24-36 against top 5 opponents on HC (40%), where as Federer is 70-40 (64%). He has 16 titles on HC compared to 63 for Federer. Federer has 10 majors to Nadal's 3. If this were Rosewall and some other player we were comparing and the gap between their records was this gigantic you'd be incensed I'm sure. Especially when this has been in the same era. ...
Here again you compile stats and records but I never contradicted that, I just said "On a given match, blablabla", I don't repeat.



If you want to bring this back to peak play. Then Nadal has never bagelled a top 5 player on HC, he's given one bagel to a top 10 player. Federer on the other hand has bagelled top 5 players 6 times on HC (and this includes Djokovic in 2012) and top 10 players 16 times. ...
Yes I was talking about peak play, I would even say "record" playt

About your argument here, for me a set doesn't count, only matches count and especially best-of-five.



... But even comparing them on the very narrowest of margins e.g. absolute peak play the edge has to go to Federer...
Yeah this is what I was exactly talking about. I think that Nadal 2008 was possibly slightly better than Federer 2007 on Wimby grass but I am not adamant and though I am not completely convinced by your opinion on that point, I don't dismiss it either. I can't quantify my esitmation but perhaps I think that Nadal was slightly better at 55%-45%. Therefore it means that I have no clear-cut opinion even though I slightly favour Nadal.
 
Well Carlo is a great poster in my opinion but everyone errs at times. ...
I don't think I have erred about Nadal. I agree that I have been a little the devil's advocate.
However there is no proof at all that Federer's very highest peak has been superior to Nadal's on outdoor hardcourts even on fast ones at least until 2016. That Federer has been more consistent than Nadal on hardcourts there is no doubt, that Federer has a better record than Nadal on hardcourts there is also no doubt but that Federer's highest peaks before 2017 were higher than Nadal's is not an evidence at all.



... But let's not underestimate Nadal. He is or was a great player so I hate lowering him. ...
This is exactly my feeling !!! I would say that Federer is perhaps a greater player than Nadal at 99% but not at 100%. I am not adamant that Federer is greater than Nadal especially since the latter has won the 2020 French to grab a 20th victory in Slam tourneys. And I don't say that because I would be a supposed Nadal's fan as NatF and above all that ARFED who (which ???) doesn't deserve any respect, wrongly stated. I say that because Nadal is almost always amazing (world#1 on a calendar year for the 5th time so as well as ... Federer). Since his return from his 2016 injury, he has been the world #1 in 2017, the world #2 in 2018 and again the world #1 in 2019 and once again the world #2 in 2020. Nadal has won 5 Slam tourneys including his 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th Roland Garros (and reached 2 finals at the AO). He has continued his domination on clay (10th, 11th, 12th, 13th RG, 10th and 11th Monte-Carlo, 10th and 11th Barcelona) which is the greatest one ever. For instance, Federer has never won 10 editions of the same great tourney (Halle and Bâle are minor tourneys).
 
No doubt, I have a huge respect for Carlo. I really enjoyed reading his posts - up until the stuff on Federer/Nadal



And yes Nadal is a great player but if you examine his record next to Federer's it's clear that he's behind, 70% of his titles have been won on clay. ...
Yes Nadal has won most of his titles on clay but however it is a great feat to have won so much on a given surface : 13 Roland Garros in 16 editions is possibly the greatest tennis feat ever. Federer has never done as well on any surface.

... Nadal .... No way is he superior to Federer on any other surface. Even if we're going for isolated peak for peak matches Federer has many matches on grass and HC lauded as being among some of the highest displays of tennis ever. Nadal doesn't really sit in the same breadth there.
Yes my reasoning was about peak matches and before 2017 Federer has always been lauded about matches on grass or HC but never when he has faced Nadal. For instance Federer's win over Lleyton Hewitt at the 2004 USO (6-0 7-6(3) 6-0) is considered as a Swiss' masterpiece however it was Hewitt and not Nadal who faced him and besides I don't think it was the best Hewitt that day though he didn't play bad. I have never been enthralled by Federer's performances (up to 2016) against Nadal on clay or outdoor courts (his 2017 Indian Wells win is one of the very rare outdoor matches against the Spaniard which impressed me). So in the end, Federer has often seemed magic against other opponents but in the ultimate test (Nadal) he has been most of the time disappointing. Should I list all his matches against the Spaniard to point each disappointing performance ? Why not after all

In their 2004 Miami clash, Nadal was only 17 years and 9 months, a baby, and was only ATP #34 however he crushed Federer, already ATP #1, 6-3 6-3 on a surface favouring the Swiss. Sure Federer was tired due to illness (victim of an insolation coupled with gastroenteritis a few days earlier at the Indian Wells tournament) but he recognized that he was less tired than in his previous match he won over Davydenko. This is the score and the duration of the match which are pretty amazing : only 6 games won in 69 minutes. That match was so important because Nadal planted the seed of doubt that took root and spread vigorously throughout Roger’s psyche.

Next match, still at Miami in 2005 : this time Federer was not ill. It didn't prevent Nadal to give Federer a lesson in the first part of the match and almost win it : Nadal was leading two sets to love and 5-3 in the tie-breaker of the third set, 2 points from winning 3 sets to love. How Federer could be so dominated and so close to a shameful defeat on a surface favouring him ?

Then Roland 2005 : Nadal's best surface so nothing more to say

Dubai 2006 : only Nadal's 2nd tournament since his ankle injury. You couldn't expect him to beat Federer especially since he had lost to an aging Arnaud Clément two weeks before. Nonetheless he did it. Once again on a surface favouring Federer, the Swiss couldn't beat Nadal. Incredible !!!

Monte-Carlo, Rome (though Federer had two match points), Paris held on clay all won logically by Nadal.

Wimby 2006 OK Federer won but how could he lost a set to a player who had no results on grass before this tournament ? I was disappointed by this lost third set : couldn't understand that a player on his way to a 4th title lost a set to another player who at the time wasn't a grass court player.

Masters Cup 2006 on indoor hard : expected Federer's win.

Monte-Carlo 2007 : expected Nadal's success

Hamburg 2007 : at last a Federer's win on clay. Can't remember if the clay surface was or not really different from the other Masters 1000 held on clay.

Roland Garros 2007 : no surprise.

Wimby 2007 : Federer twice rallied from 15/40 in the fifth set to avoid going down an early break. How a player with such a service and volleys could be so much threatened by a backcourter with almost no volleys at the time (Nadal had much improved since in this sector of the game) on grass (though not the pre 1995-2001 Wimby grass) ? Nadal almost won that match in three straight sets. Technically Nadal should have been crushed by Federer but the Spaniard was mentally so much better, this is why Federer has so many times been defeated by Nadal.

Masters 2007 : at last a performance against Nadal worthy of Federer.

Monte-Carlo 2008, Hamburg 2008 : expected Nadal's wins

Roland Garros 2008 : expected Nadal's victory but such a poor performance from Federer, one of the most disappointing ever.

Wimbledon 2008 : I can't understand how Federer could lose to Nadal on that surface even if the rebound of the ball was much higher than before the changes in 1995 and 2001. As he sincerely explained years later (at Indian Wells 2017) Federer had been traumatized by his previous defeat at Roland.

Australian 2009 : another victory of Nadal on a hard court, once again a new disappointment from Federer's performance whereas in his semifinal against Verdasco, Nadal was extended to five gruelling sets played in 5 h 14. NatF states that Federer had not his usual serve : it just shows that once again in a very important match (a Slam final) against Nadal, Federer was disappointing.

Madrid 2009 : at last a Federer's win after 5 successives defeats, besides on clay though altitude (about 650 m), Nadal's tiredness (after his 4 hours 3 min duel with Djokovic) and possibly Nadal's knee injury debut may explain in part Fed's success. But for once, Federer did the job because this is a rare occasion when he had the opportunity to beat Nadal that he didn't waste.

Madrid 2010 : an expected Nadal success

Masters 2010 : happily Federer won the match but I wasn't entirely satisfied because his second set (lost 6-3) was clearly below his 1st and 3rd set levels. When one hears Federer's so called greatness one expects that he plays at his highest level through the whole match. Against Nadal, he did it so rarely and once again in this match he wasn't dominant as one (I in particular) expects.

A very great Federer shouldn't lose a set on a fast indoor court against Nadal.

Miami 2011 : it seems that Federer played badly (was he injured or sick ? Can't remember. Nevertheless it was another disappointing performance from the Swiss losing 6-3 6-2 on a surface favouring him. Do you imagine Nadal losing to Federer on clay 6-3 6-2 ? No way !

Roland Garros 2011 : theorically a Nadal's expected win. However how Federer could have lost 7 games in a row ? He led 5-2 in the first set, had a set point in the next game then the tide swiftly turned in Nadal's favour who led 7-5 2-0. Unbelievable even though Nadal was able to exploit Federer's backhand weakness to the full !

Masters 2011 : at least a performance worthy of Federer.

Australian 2012 : once again another disillusion after Federer's defeat.

Indian Wells 2012 : a Federer's success as it should always be on that type of surface.

Indian Wells 2013 : once again a disappointement after this Federer's loss. It seems that his back injury spoilt his whole year and perhaps this match. But it doesn't change the fact that once more it was Federer, and not Nadal, who was in bad form : it has not to be credited to the Swiss.

Rome 2013 : Federer probably still injured in an expected Nadal's win.

Cincinnati 2013 : 3rd successive Federer loss to Nadal (still due to injury ?)

Masters 2013 : 4th Nadal success in a row and 1st time he beat Federer on indoor court (injury ?).

Australian 2014 : 5th Nadal win. Perhaps Federer wasn't still in good form due to his back injury and the fact that he couldn't train as hard as he wanted but Nadal was also suffering from a blister on his left hand (before hurting his back in the following match against Wawrinka).

Bâle 2015 : the beginnning of a new era in the Nadal-Federer rivalry following the tendency that should have always been that is most encounters on non-clay court dominated by the Swiss. After 5 successive defeats, Federer won at last a match over Nadal.

Australian 2017, Indian Wells 2017 (perhaps best Federer performance against Nadal ever), Miami 2017, Shanghai 2017 : at least Federer played at his "theoric" level.

I do not say that Nadal should never have beaten Federer on non-clay surfaces but the Swiss's ratios are clearly disappointing.

Roland Garros 2019 : Nadal's expected win

Wimbledon 2019 : what it should have always been, a Federer's win on non-clay courts.

Only on indoor hard courts there is no surprise with Federer always winning except in the 2013 Masters, a year when Federer was in bad form due to injury.

On clay, the ratio (2 wins in 16 matches) is perhaps logic given Nadal's maestria on that surface. However Federer could have won more matches, in particular the 2006 Rome final and why not Monte Carlo 2006 and Roland Garros 2011.

On grass, they met only 4 times, each time at Wimby (3 finals + 1 semifinal) and Federer should have won each time and even in three straight sets but he lost 7 sets and even their most famous match. This 2008 Wimbledon final will probably summarize their whole rivalry. Frankly, given his technical advantages, Federer should never have lost to Nadal on grass, never.



With respect Carlo's comments about Federer and Nadal are garbage Bobby :p Up there with claiming Rosewall would have never won Wimbledon and was only #2 in 1964 ;)





See my response and the posts after yours...
Sorry but my comments about Federer and Nadal weren't garbage while this is your misinterpretation which was garbage.
 
... Even though I might disagree in a few points I want to stress that I'm convinced you are the only poster in this forum who can compete with krosero regarding providing intelligent arguments and meticulously researched facts. ...
Thank you very much Bobby.



... I confess I'm also glad that you disprove especially Phoenix because that poster has revealed once my proper name and announced to do it again plus to reveal krosero's name. I dislike that poster also because he announces since years that Rosewall will or shall die soon. ...
Compared to you or krosero, I am lucky because phoenix can't reveal my true name since I already use my true full name on this forum.

Just an info for phoenix, 3 years after this post, Mr. Kenneth Robert Rosewall is still alive. Thanks for him !



Carlo, Fantastic research.



I believe that Ned Potter had Seixas as No.1 for 1953 but I could be wrong (have read it many years ago).
Thank you very much Bobby.

I have both World Tennis monthly magazines before and after the E. C. Potter Jr.'s world amateur rankings but unfortunately not the magazine with Potter's rankings. However according to Károly, Potter's rankings was as follows :

1) Trabert, 2) Rosewall, 3) Seixas, 4) Drobny, 5) Hoad, 6) Patty, 7) Nielsen, 8) Larsen, 9) Rose, 10) Mulloy.



Carlo, Here I disagree: I think we should consider the big amateur titles as a plus in a player's career because of the tradition and prestige of the GS tournaments, albeit to a lesser extent than the open era majors and even the pro majors. It's you who emphasizes the great meaning of the old Davis Cup. The amateur GS majors came behind but yet were distinguished events.



Of course we should differ a bit regarding stength of the field, not only at the amateur majors. In some of the 1950's events there were top players like Rosewall, Hoad and Trabert, in others not. Similary to the early open era majors: 1972 AO was not a big tournament (but still a major).



I strongly guess (or even know) that Muscles is very proud of his amateur feats (Davis Cup, GS tournaments).



I agree that Drobny was a tough player at Wimbledon in 1954. The final was a classic. Ken claims that he was ill-adviced by (authoritarian) coach, Hopman, to prefer the baseline instead of searching the net more often...
Bobby, we have to agree to disagree on this point.

I have no respect for the amateur slam events of the 1950's and it doesn't contradict the fact that they were less important than the amateur Davis Cup but this one was less important in my view than the great pro events in order to rate players' level. The fact that Olmedo won the Davis Cup in 1958 has much more prestige than Sedgman's victory at Wembley that same year (no pro event, whatever it was, has the prestige of the amateur Davis Cup, Wimbledon, Forest Hills events) but Olmedo's win can't be compared to Sedgman's from a sporting view : Sedgman's success was much much greater. Olmedo could have won 10 Davis Cups and 10 Wimbys, it would have been nothing compared to what Gonzales & al did in the pro ranks.

Yes Muscles was very proud of his amateur wins. Look at his rating of the best opponents he met (in World of Tennis '73) and you will see that he considered 1956 as Hoady's best season ("Lew's great year was 1956") whereas Hoad was only the world #4 or #5 that year. He didn't talk of any Hoad' success in the pro ranks. Hoad's greatest year was 1959 when he was so close to Gonzales and almost the #1 and not 1956 when he did the Little Slam but only an amateur one. In this article "My Top Ten", Muscles almost didn't make any difference between amateur and open Slam events (when he listed Newk's wins he didn't make any difference) and stated that Segura has won no major titles because he didn't consider Segura victories at the US Pro in 1950, 1951 and 1952 as major. I consider that Rosewall had a clearly wrong opinion as so many in his era.



NatF, There is no fair comparison between those who "know" that Rosewall would not have won a Wimbledon and who ignore krosero's tough argumentation and findings about 1964 on one side and Carlo's post about Federer and Nadal on the other side because Carlo, as we all can see uses to research meticulously and to argue with an objective approach. I respect his posts very much even though I disagree with him here and there. ...


Thank you very much Bobby



... I would say that Nadal's best on grass was about equal with Federer's best on grass
Yes I claimed that Nadal was possibly very slightly better but I could completelty agree with the reverse, I am not adamant at all.
 
It says a lot about your personality that you haven`t called out Carlo`s utter bs when comparing Federer and Nadal. If you still take the guy seriously after that...
Hey guy ARFED. Be sure I do not take your tennis opinions seriously. But I take your bad behaviour seriously. You have no legitimacy to criticize anyone. See my previous answer (and following ones) to you.

You are one of the crappiest guys I have met on this site.
 
And you just proved my point. If you call that unbiased then you are beyond redemption. The guy just called Nadal a better grass player than Federer. As i said before, not even on the GPPF you see stuff like that.



BTW, i am glad no to be included in Carlo`s class, he laughed at some of Phoenix statements while at the same time writing some of the crappiest material ever written on this forum (Krosero is as classy as a poster can get, unlike you).
Decidedly you are very mean. You dare judge my feud with phoenix while apparently you do not know anything about what happened between him and I in 2013. He had very poor arguments and never acknowledged that he was wrong and in 2017 I proved it but he didn't change his mind at all. And you, you are a less than nothing "which" (and not "who") insults someone who never assaulted you in the past. You are disrespectful and you are glad not to be in my supposed class but you have no class at all. You are just a negative and silly person. Attacking someone who has never had a bad word about you before, is purely shameful. You are pretty horrible. You have absolutely no class, no class at all. What you wrongly judge as crap is in particular the fact that I stated "Peak Nadal is better than peak Federer on XXIth Wimbledon slow grass.". This claim was based on their two Wimby finals in 2007 & 2008. I repeat what I also wrote previously. Already in 2007, Nadal was almost Federer's equal. Nadal could have won that match in three straight sets. Nadal led twice 40/15 on Fed's serve so had two opportunities to break Federer in the fifth set. Already in 2007 Federer was very lucky to win Wimby. In 2008 Nadal was probably even better than in 2007 so it is clear that peak Nadal on XXIth Wimbledon slow grass was very likely as good as peak Federer and it is not improbable that peak Nadal was possibly even better than peak Federer.So perhaps I should not have written "Peak Nadal is better than peak Federer on XXIth Wimbledon slow grass." but "Peak Nadal is very likely as good as peak Federer if not better on XXIth Wimbledon slow grass." That's the only correction I concede. Of course I cannot 100% prove that I'm right but conversely you have absolutely no valid argument to show that Federer at Wimby 2007 was better than Nadal at Wimby 2008. NatF pointed that 2008 was a terrible year for Federer so I can admit without any problem that the Swiss was less good than in 2007 however I am not convinced that Federer 2007 was better than Nadal 2008 since a) in 2007 Nadal was so close to Fed and b) in 2008 Nadal has very possibly improved. I repeat, I never stated that Nadal had a better record on grass than Federer's. It would be stupid to claim that whereas Federer has 8 Wimby crowns under his belt and Nadal only 2. But stating that Nadal "Wimby 2008" was perhaps better than Federer "Wimby 2007" is not "some of the crappiest material ever written on this forum" as you so wrongly wrote. However your answers are among the crappiest ones on this forum. Please, next time read better what others write and have a little more civilized reactions.
 
Carlo, i lost a good part of last nights sleep because of your posts

i´m very impressed by your knowledge of tennis history and let me say your writing skills made it very easy to read all your posts.



I don´t think it makes sense to pick a few points out of your above posts and discuss them here. The time will hopefully come, when you will be joining a discussion

here and we can benefit from your knowledge and maybe even "agree to disagree" on some points



Please don´t concentrate on trying to convince posters who don´t want to be convinced. It is a waste of your time to try and open closed minds.
Thank you very much for your above and earlier compliments.

I know you're right but I have not the wisdom to follow your advice.

About my "writing skills" I am very surprised by your nice comment. I will undeceive you. I do not master English at all and just know a few words. I use "Google translate" when I am writing on an English forum (here for instance I used "undeceive" which I didn't know a few minutes ago). I think the fact that I am very easy to read is because I know and use very few words, always the same. Nevertheless thank you again for your compliments.
 
Nadal being better than Fed on HC and grass made me laugh



Rafa is not even top 5 on HC and grass, but he is better than Roger. Yep....
I guess this comment is about my quotes.
So I repeat what I wrote in earlier new posts.
I just said that I thought (and possibly still think) that
on a given match, peak (=the very very best) Nadal was better than peak (=the very very best) Federer at least until 2016 included,
on clay, slow hardcourts, perhaps fast hardcouts (at least outdoors) and not unlikely 21th century grass.
I never never never claimed that Nadal had a better record than Federer on HC and grass.
As many others you misinterpreted what I wrote and had a wrong reaction.
So please cease to stupidly laugh.
 
Although I agree with some of your analysis, I don't agree with your implied premise or your conclusion. As a preliminary matter, however, I want to point out that, in my view, there is no such thing as a GOAT list. By definition, "the GOAT" is the one person who is the greatest player of all time, to the exclusion of all others. By definition there can be no GOAT list.



On the other hand, a GOAT contender, or candidate, is one of whom a reasonable argument can be made is the single greatest player of all time, to the exclusion of all others. A GOAT contender or candidate list can only exist when there is a reasonable basis for uncertainty about the one person who is the greatest player of all time, to the exclusion of all others. Further, the question of who the GOAT is, or whether there is uncertainty about whom the GOAT is, depends on the criteria used to determine the GOAT. This leads to the more substantive parts of your post.



Your conclusion, anti, is that:



. . . it is clear that at least Federer is better than Sampras. [Really?]. Federer’s records are better in almost every department. In each major (AO, FO, BO, USO) Federer has a superior record, even in the British Open where Federer has 7 wins, 3 finals, 1 semifinal and 3 quarterfinals, whereas Sampras has “only” 7 wins, 1 semi and 1 quarterfinal.



And the great difference between Federer and Sampras is their record in the FO : 1 win, 4 finals, 2 semis and 4 quarters for the Swiss against only 1 semi and 3 quarters for the American. In the ATP world tour finals, Federer’s record is also better and in “Super 9 - Masters 9 - Masters 1000” as well. Among great events, perhaps only in the Davis Cup, Sampras had a possibly better record but he was helped by his teammates.



You do engage in some minor analysis of Sampras' and Federer's relative strengths and weaknesses, but then abruptly abandon that analysis by returning to analysis of relative records repeating your conclusion anti that: "Federer is surely a greater player than Sampras."



I disagree with your implied premise (your criteria for determining the greatest player), and with your conclusion. In my view, the better measure of the greatness of a tennis player is his peak level of play if it was sustained for a reasonable period of time. In other words, if a particular player played at the highest level of tennis ever played, and sustained it for a reasonable time, then he/she would be "the GOAT." I would also proffer that other important figures have used similar criteria. For example, Kramer thought Budge was the GOAT. Segura apparently thinks that Gonzalez was the GOAT. Laver and Rosewall have expressed their opinions that Hoad was at least the pre-open era GOAT. McEnroe was calling Federer "maybe the greatest of all time," (or words to that effect), as far back as 2004. Certainly none of them had the greatest records at the time these opinions were made.



Let's assume, arguendo, that Sampras won only 3 Wimbledon, 3 U.S. Open and 3 Australian Open titles over 3 consecutive years. Let's further assume that in those 9 events, Sampras was so dominant, and his level of play so high, that he never lost a single set nor had to play a single tie breaker, and that he was similarly dominant on the remainder of the tour and was ranked #1 for every week during that 3 year period, and then retired. How would that compare to Federer's current career record. In my view, it would clearly fall short in virtually every respect. Yet, at the same time, in my view, it would probably make Sampras the GOAT, the single greatest player of all time, to the exclusion of all others, including Federer because it could reasonably be argued (it would be virtually indisputable), that he played at the highest level of tennis ever played and sustained it for a reasonable period of time.



That was an extreme hypothetical. But, in my view, Sampras' actual peak level of play was higher than that Federer's at least at Wimbledon, the most important, most prestigious, event in the game during both of their careers, and possibly also at the U.S. Open, the second most important, most prestigious event in the game during both of their careers. Further, in my view, Sampras' peak level of play on other faster surfaces such as indoor carpet was higher than peak Federer could have played on those surfaces, for, inter alia, the reasons you state in your post, in addition to which I consider Sampras to have been the stronger, faster, more explosive athlete between the two.



It is not disputed that Federer has an overall better record than Sampras, in part because his prime has lasted much longer than Sampras'. It is also not disputed that Federer played at a higher level than Sampras on clay and today's slower hyper aggregated hardcourts, at least in part because Sampras made a conscious decision to develop his game to succeed at Wimbledon. But, that alone is not enough to clearly separate Federer from Sampras as a GOAT candidate. In my view, their peak level's of play were fairly evenly split between the faster courts that Sampras dominated in his prime, and the slower courts that Federer dominated in his prime. For that reason, I do have a GOAT candidate list of those players, any one of whom, in my view, arguably, played the highest level of tennis ever played, including: Federer, Sampras, Laver, Borg and Gonzalez, in no particular order.
Before answering you about your both points,

I will say that the US Open is possibly not the second most important event of our time.

Roland Garros is at least as important as the US Open. I do not say that because I am French but I base my statement on the opinion of the players themselves. There was a poll among players in the l980's and another one in the 2000's-2010's (I can't e'xactly remember the year) and each time Roland Garros was considered as the second most important competition after Wimbledon among the men (in the last pool the women even voted the ... Australian Open as the #1 ahead of Wimby which is pretty surprising).

I was surprised that the men considered Roland Garros as greater than the US Open already in the 1980's whereas it was almost a second rank tourney as late as the 1970's. In particular the WCT and WTT circuits had a disastrous effect on Roland draws among the men and even more disastrous on the women field with all the best playing the WTT "circus"). Garros attracted all the best men players only in 1979.

In fact all the Europeans (with very few exceptions and almost all the Latin Americans (del Potro being a notable exception) put Roland ahead of the US Open. The latter tournament is especially prized mainly by the "United-Statesians".

So roughly the US Open is the second most important event in the North American world and perhaps in some other Anglo-Saxon areas while Roland Garros is the second most important one in the rest of the world. I am almost sure that if you ask the Top100 players their opinions now and Garros would be the winner.

So the US Open at the second place is not an evidence at all.

This said, it dramatically changes Sampras's place in tennis history : he has never won the second most important tourney and even has never reached a single final and even has been pretty bad in the only semifinal that he reached in his whole career.

In other words Sampras has almost done nothing in the second most prestigious tourney.



To be continued[/I}
 
Now I reply to your two arguments about the GOAT debate.

I disagree with you on both points

a) Of course there can be only one GOAT, the #1. But I disagree with you : there can also be a GOAT list with a #1, a #2, a #3, etc with eventually tied players. In my opinion Sampras is in a GOAT list though he isn't the GOAT. He is among the best (so in a GOAT List) but not the best (not THE GOAT). It is as simple as that..

b) About the way you rate the GOAT, I also disagree.

The main point is how to interpret what you claim :

" ... he played at the highest level of tennis ever played and sustained it for a reasonable period of time."

The main problem is "reasonable". I don't think there has been any player in tennis history who ever played at his highest level for a reasonable period of time. I am not convinced with your invincible Sampras for 3 years on medium or fast surfaces example (even less without never winning any RG). I do not agree with that reasoning because I consider that a long career is better than a short one. In fact I think that longevity is a part of a player's rating. And I think that ALL COUNTS and not only "the supreme apogee". Therefore in your Sampras example I am not sure at all I would have considered him as the greatest had he wholly dominated Wimby-the USO-the AO for 3 consecutive years. I still think I would consider Federer superior (with 20 Slam tourneys) even though he wouldn't have dominated the circuit as strongly as Sampras would have done in your example. I don't have any idea of what "a reasonable period of time" is and in fact this is the main problem in rating anyone in any discipline. In my view however 3 years is not long enough at all, far from that. I don't know the first time Kramer thought Budge was the GOAT but he expressed it in his autobiography published in 1979 (well after Budge's career). Idem for Segura, I don't know when he expressed his opinion about Gonzales and Kramer (I am not sure he considered Gonzales as the greatest, I wonder if he thought about Kramer). Once again I don't think Segura expressed this opinion when these players were at their respective apogee. About Hoad's example, I think that Rosewall's and Laver's opinions are clearly a nonsense. Hoad has even never been a true world #1. In my opinion he has only won 1 major in his whole career, the 1959 Tournament of Champions at Forest Hills. He also has never been a World #1, his best year being 1959 when Gonzales was possibly very slightly ahead of him. So if Rosewall and Laver have claimed that Hoad was the GOAT they were wrong. They just mean that in their opinion, the very peak Hoad was better than anyone else they have seen on the court but day in day out Hoad was inconsistent. About Kramer citing Budge, do you remember what Kramer wrote about Budge in his book "The Game"? He claimed that very peak Vines was the best ever but that Budge was the best "day in and day out" and he also thought that Budge was the co-#1 for 3 years (1937 to 1939 with Vines) and the sole #1 for 5 consecutive years (from 1940 to 1944) so Budge, in Kramer's opinion (which I don't share at all on that point), was dominant for 5 to 8 years which is a much more reasonable period of time than your 3 years in your Sampras example.

Finally McEnroe's opinion is one of the worst one. I have absolutely no confidence in McEnroe's opinion. For instance he wrote in his autobiography that had he won the 1984 Roland Garros Open he would have considered himself up to 1984 as the GOAT of the preceding tennis history. Complete nonsense and above all very big-headed opinion of himself. He also said in an interviewu on a French TV (Canal+) that he could have rivalled Sampras if both had met at their respective high. Many Mac's statements are not based on solid arguments but on very subjective feelings. Stating as soon as 2004 that Federer was already the greatest is a nonsense. And according to your view, this Mac's claim was not based on Federer's performances judged "for a reasonable period of time" since Federer has just reached the world #1 place for the very first time that year.

In conclusion, "a reasonable period of time" is a pure subjective convention which is different from one to another.

And about the comparison between the true career of Sampras (and not the hypothetic one you used as an example) and Federer's,

I am even more convinced of Federer's superiority now in 2020 than in early 2017 because Federer's record has improved since.

Even if one admits that peak Sampras was superior to peak Federer on fast courts, Sampras was a mere player on clay courts especially compared to Federer (and I am not talking of Nadal, Wawrinka or Djokovic). Besides Sampras has never been as dominant as Federer was between 2004 and 2007. The latter made 3 true "Little Slams" in his career while Sampras never (the US player was the holder of 3 Slam tourneys on two successive years 1993-94 but not a single year). Sampras's performances were "mainly based on his super service". He could play badly for long minutes as Agassi stated but however win sets and matches because his serve could be devastating. OK it is part of the game but he wasn't as complete as Federer is.

Let's imagine that Sampras and Federer would have been of the same generation.

It is not unlikely that peak Sampras would have beaten peak Federer on (truly) fast courts due to Sampras's superiority on the serve. On medium-paced courts I don't know if Sampras's serve (plus volley game) would have been an advantage sufficient to counter Federer's superiority at the backcourt game. But on slow courts, especially on clay, Sampras' weaknesses on his backhand and his footwork on clay where he didn't know how to slide , would have prevented the US player to win over Federer. I think that his head-to-head statistics against Federer would have been even worse than Federer's against Nadal on clay (2-14). Sampras could have only won if Federer had been ill.



In conclusion your "a reasonable period of time" is a pretty hard concept to handle

and your Sampras example has a too short "a reasonable period of time" in my opinion.



For instance I have always been impressed by Gonzales' numerous successes, as well in his young days as in his old days.

He was able to win both the Howard Hughes Open in Las Vegas and the Pacific Southwest Open Championships at 41 years old in 1969 : these events were equivalent of modern Masters 1000. At 42 he was still able to win the 1970 Las Vegas event (the draw was slightly less impressive than in 1969 because only contract pro players were allowed to enter).

No player since Arthur Gore (who won Wimby 1909 at 41) has been able to won a tourney with most of the very best players in the world. Even Rosewall has never done that (his very last great success was the 1972 WCT Finals at 37 1/2 years old).

At 21 1/2 years old, Gonzales had his first great success when he won the 1950 Philadelphia Inquirer tourney (his 1948&49 US amateur wins were second rank successses). Gonzales was thus able to win events as important as modern Masters 1000 for 17 1/2 years (more than 20 years minus a 2 1/2 year withdrawal due to his retirement in the early 1960's).

Shouldn't we take into account such a longevity to rate a player rather than be limited to the very very best years of a player ?

My answer is rather yes. Yes a player such as Laver probably reached higher summits for "a reasonable period of time" than Gonzales but the US player reached great summits for much longer than Laver and I don't think it is so negligible.



Your condescension and repeated use of pejoratives (I count 11 uses of the word "stupid," on this page alone), do not make compelling argument. To the contrary, it diminishes the force of your argument and your credibility.
You are pretty unaware of what happened 4 years before (in 2013) between phoenix1983 and I so you are completely illegitimate to judge my behaviour towards him. If you had been aware of the way he answered me at the time you would probably have understood my 2017 reaction. You have no lesson to give me about this point and you shouldn't have written that post about that precise case.
 
Mr. Colussi: You are a brilliant tennis historian and I agree with you on many things. But I must take issue on your Nadal-Federer analysis. ...
When I see your different posts related to me I don't think your statement here is honest. All your negative reviews let me think otherwise.



Mr. Colussi ...One point: your general assertion that peak Nadal better than peak Federer on most surfaces. Except for slow hardcourt, you did not specify "most surfaces." But besides Clay Obviously, what are the other surfaces you refer to?. ...
I stated earlier that "Federer is superior to Nadal ... on true fast (indoor) courts". I recognize I haven't been precise enough. I should have written "peak Federer is superior to peak Nadal ... on true fast (indoor) courts". In other words, I thought that until 2016, Nadal at his very very best was superior to peak Federer on clay, slow hardcourts and possibly fast hardcourtsand more or less the equal on slow grass (with possibly a slight edge in favour of the Spaniard). The only surface where I was sure that Federer at his very very best was better than Nadal was fast indoor courts.



Mr. Colussi: You are a brilliant tennis historian and I agree with you on many things. But I must take issue on your Nadal-Federer analysis.



One point: your general assertion that peak Nadal better than peak Federer on most surfaces. Except for slow hardcourt, you did not specify "most surfaces." But besides Clay Obviously, what are the other surfaces you refer to?



Grass? 7 Wimbledons to 2; 8 titles at Halle versus 1 Queens and 1 Stuggart



Fast Hardcourt - 7 Cinncinnati Masters 1000 to 1



Medium Hardcourt - 5 U.S. Opens to 2



Slow Hardcourt - 3 Sunshine Doubles to zero; 4 AO to 1 (they say this year's AO was fast so I don't count it in Federer's

favor)



Indoors: 4 of Roger's 6 WTF or Masters Cups won indoors versus zero WTFs for Rafa; Federer 22 Indoor titles versus 2 (yes, two) for Nadal.
. ...
Wrong reasoning.

You compare records while I am talking about very very peak level on a given match.

It is as if you compare for instance a six-time pole world vault champion who never jumped higher than 6 m with a world record holder at 6.18 m who for instance has won only 1 or 2 or even 0 world championships. Who at the very very best of his career is superior ? The world record holder and not the six-time world champion, the latter has a better record and is more consistent at high level but the world record jumped higher than the world champion ever did at least once.

According to my tentative to select 4 major events a year, Lewis Hoad won only 1 major in his whole career (the Tournament of Champions in 1959 at Forest Hills) therefore his record is very poor compared to his greatest rivals of the time (Gonzales, Rosewall and Laver) however I have never heard or read anyone contradicting the fact that when Hoad was hot noone could beat him. He possibly reached summits on some given matches that only he trodded. So Hoad at his very very peak was superior to Gonzales, Sedgman, Trabert, Segura, Rosewall &al. It doesn't contradict the fact that all these players (except perhaps Trabert) had better records than Hoady. Here you just proved that Federer has a better record than Nadal on these surfaces, not that peak Federer is superior.



Another point you assert: Nadal peak superior on slow hardcourt. See above, three Sunshine Doubles to zero. ...
Once again just the same bad argument as above : you compare records and not very very peak levels.



(And, I might add, "slow hardcourt" is a contemporary phenomenon, what we now call hardcourts hardly existed as significant tournament surfaces until well into the 1970s, with the Pacific Southwest and Pacific Coast Championships practically the only two cement-based tournaments of note before the open era. And the hardcourt tournaments were generally fast courts from 1970s until early this century. My point being, the slow hardcourt may be very much of the moment, but it doesn't have historical pedigree...
And so what ? We are comparing Federer and Nadal here so the historical pedigree has nothing to do in any argument. We are not comparing here Nadal with Gonzales (this is another debate) with the former who knows nothing about true fast Wimby grass or canvas court laid over ice rinks as in the 1957 Pro tour or wood or outdoor asphalt courts used Down Under in the XIXth century or very fast Sportface or medium-fast Supreme courts. Nadal and Federer faced each other numerous times on slow and on fast hardcourts not on canvas, Sportface or wood surfaces. Frankly you dared criticise my arguments but yours are completely off the mark,



and, as shown above, it looks like Rafa would not have done so well on fast indoor courts (or fast outdoor courts) that made up the vast majority of top-flight tennis traditionally [obviously I am talking mostly "Pro" tennis here in pre-Open terms]. Rafa is a great, extraordinary player and fighter and tactician,and would have adjusted, but I don't think the ultra-fast indoor wood courts of the later French Pro, or the canvass laid over ice rinks of the Pro Tours would have been Rafa's thing. Federer, on the other hand, would have thrived on such surfaces. ...
That Federer is better on true fast sufaces is not debatable and I claimed it right from start. However if such surfaces were the norm nowadays, all the players would have learnt to play tennis differently, many would have tremendous reflexes, many would be better volleyers and short shot preparations would be usual. Perhaps Nadal would have learnt playing on wood (as Connors) instead of clay. Nowadays the norm is not to play on fast courts so do not ask players to be good on fast courts. When Federer and Nadal began to learn tennis, slow courts were much more important than in the pre-open era and that importance grew to the point that now slow courts are pretty dominant. Except perhaps Shanghai and Cincinnati, no courts are fast and even these two exceptions are slow compared to non painted wood, Sportface-style carpets or canvas laid over ice rinks/wood/or-any-other-surface. It is likely that even cement-concrete-asphalt courts used in California for nearly a century (late 19th to 1970's) were "faster" than Shanghai courts.

So once again you have no good argument. You are just telling me that Federer would have dominated Nadal if they were born before WWII

but the problem is there were born after the oil crises.



Third: Nadal Clear Davis Cup superiority. Technically accurate but problematic. Nadal has been stingy, Federer giving. Nadal has best historical singles percentage in Davis Cup, but only 23 matches (give or take one) versus nearly 50 Federer singles matches; Federer plays D.C. doubles (successfully), Nadal only singles. Of the four Cups generally credited to Nadal (without looking at the actual round-by-round records), he led the team only once (2011), the other three times he was a successful contributor (mostly part-time), but did not lead the charge. Nadal's D.C. singles record certainly shows what a preternatural competitor he is, but part of the D.C. analysis is your contribution to your country over your own personal tournament goals. For years and years at his peak, Fed never shirked the call....
I mostly agree here

nevertheless, if I am not wrong, Federer snobed the Davis Cup in 2010 and 2013 (perhaps injuries were the cause in 2013) but I remember well Wawrinka criticising Federer's attitude in those days. Besides if Federer did indeed lead the charge more often it is because he couldn't do otherwise since he had no countrymen to support him in the Swiss team until the advent of Wawrinka in the early-mid 2010's (Stanislas has begun to be a good player in 2008 but his real breakthrough began in 2013). On the other hand, Nadal's countrymen were strong teammates so Rafa could count on them while Fed couldn't for many years. Automatically in these different conditions, you adopt different attitudes. Imagine if Federer had had a strong team while Nadal hadn't it is very likely that Federer wouldn't have lead the charge as often and wouldn't have played as many doubles.

However I recognize it is to the credit of Fed to have played 3 matches per tie so often.
 
Carlo, I admire your detailed research. ....
Thanks



... Good that you quote Lew Hoad regarding a "rusty" Rosewall in end-1962/early 1963. Dan Lobb uses to claim that Rosewall prepared significantly for his series against Laver
I don't have the courage to search in my World Tennis collection but this is in the summer of 1964 (so about one year and a half later) that Hoad claimed in an interview with World Tennis that Rosewall was so confident to beat rookie Laver in January 1963 that he didn't want to shorten his holidays and just came back to work just two days before facing Laver.



Carlo, I rank Gimeno slightly higher than Segura for 1962 as maybe also Rosewall did at end-1962 (who excluded Segura from his list). ...
Carlo, I rank Gimeno slightly higher than Segura for 1962 as maybe also Rosewall did at end-1962 (who excluded Segura from his list).

Rosewall probably excluded Segura (and Trabert also in 1962 though he wasn't that bad that year) from his list because at the end of 1962 Segura had virtually retired. That year, Rosewall was clearly ahead of the pack, having won 7 of the 8 most important tourneys. Hoad was clearly 2nd : he has won 1 of the 8 great tourneys (Zurich), he has reached the Wembley final and had a positive H2H record against Gimeno (5-1) and Segura (3-2). Between Gimeno and Segura I can't really decide who was the better in 1962 (I should have written in my original post " in 1962 Laver was clearly below Rosewall and even Hoad " instead of "in 1962 Laver was clearly below Rosewall and even Hoad and Segura")



Carlo, I'm not sure if the very best Laver was better than the very best Rosewall. When Rosewall suffered those shellackings (Wembley 1966, Wembley 1968, PSW 1968) he was clearly past his peak. Mostly their encounters were competitive and rather often Rosewall dominated Laver in big events more clearly than Laver dominated him in big finals. ...
I think that Laver could have more downs in his career than Rosewall in great events, it doesn't mean that peak Laver was below peak Rosewall. I still think that very peak Laver was better than very peak Kenny. However as I wrote once (or several times), at the end of 1967, Pierre Barthès claimed that he hadn't seen anyone, including Laver, playing as well as Rosewall in June 1967 (when Kenny won something like 3 pro tourneys).



Carlo, We should not forget that the pros of the pre open era time played much more than the current and recent stars. The had a rather demanding schedule. ...
They were much less "independent" than modern top players, the latter being almost free to choose the event they want to play.



Carlo, I don't think that Drobny was close to Sedgman in 1952. I also believe that Kramer was stronger than Drobny that year.
I disagree with you. Do not forget that Drobny in 1952 was ineligible to play the Davis Cup (that Sedgman won with Australia) and couldn't play the US amateur (won by Sedgman) and the Australian amateur (lost by Sedgman to McGregor) because Drobny had no guarantee offered so no money to travel.

In fact you can really compare their records that year when Sedgman came in Europe the only place where both players could meet so between late March and early July (Wimbledon). Both players met 5 times when Sedgman won Wimby, Rome and Monte-Carlo (defeating Drobny each time) and Drobny won Roland Garros and Bournemouth (beating Sedgman in both occasions). During that period Drobny won 7 tourneys and Segdman 9. Outside of this period, when both players didn't play the same circuit, Drobny won at least 11 other tourneys (so at least 20 in the whole year) and Sedgman at least 6 other events (so at least 15 tournaments in 1952). In conclusion, when both players "were together" Sedgman was slightly better than Drobny but only slightly so Drobny was close contrary to what you claim : each won a Slam with almost all the best amateurs (Sedge won nevertheless the most prestigious, both won many tourneys (Segde having a slight edge, 9-7) and their H2H was not one-sided (Sedg having nevertheless again a slight edge 3-2). That Sedgman was better than Drobny is undoubtful but Drobny was close to Sedgman in 1952.



Carlo, I rate the 4 man world series with Gonzalez, Sedgman, Segura and Budge as the foremost event as maybe also other experts do. ...
Hello BobbyOne. When I learnt about tennis history of course I have a huge respect for the World Pro tours but when I learnt later that it was based only on commercial choices and that often many of the best players weren't invited I completely changed my mind. About the 1954 edition, it was in fact a 3-man tour and not a 4-man tour because Budge was less good than any other second-rate player in the other 1954 tours as I detailed in my original comment. I am very fond of justice and if a sporting event dismisses top sportsmen it doesn't deserv the title of "the World Champs".



I rate Wembley as one of the top four events because of its great prestige (Sedgman once told me it was the world pro championship). I generally consider the prestige of a tournament higher than you do.
As you say since I have discovered that many so-called prestigious professional events were often only invitational tourneys, I suddenly consider them as less prestigious as they were entitled. Sedgman would have told you it was the world pro champs but as I recalled in my original comment, he was not invited to play the 1957 edition as Trabert whereas both players had been prominent that year. Perhaps Sedgie (or Trab') could have won Wembley 1957 if he had been allowed to enter in the event. The fact that the so-called pro slam events have been cancelled so many times is a proof that their prestige wasn't so great.



Carlo, I rate the 1959 world series higher.
Same comment as above



Rosewall: Gonzalez in 1959: 8:4
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gonzales–Rosewall_rivalry has 6:5

96 1959-01-02 Cairns Pro Rosewall 6–4, 3–6, 6–1

97 1959-01-03 Townsville Pro Rosewall 6–3, 3–6, 8–6

98 1959-01-04 MacKay Pro Grass Rosewall 4–6, 6–2, 6–2

99 1959-01-05 Rockhampton Pro Clay Gonzales 6–3, 6–3

100 1959-01-23 Queensland Champs Semifinal Wood (O) Rosewall 6–3, 13–11, 6–3

101 1959-01-25 Toowoomba Pro Grass Gonzales 2–6, 8–6, 9–7

102 1959–02-10 Sandy Bay Pro Grass Gonzales 6–3, 3–6, 10–8

103 1959-06-11 Masters RR Round Robin Hard Rosewall 4–6, 6–3, 6–2

104 1959-12-10 NSW Pro Champs Semifinal Grass Gonzales 7–5, 6–2, 10–8

105 1959-12-20 Sydney Pro Grass Gonzales 6–2, 6–4

106 1959-12-21 Brisbane Pro Champs Final Grass Rosewall 1–6, 7–5, 8–6, 8–6

Besides, even though Kenny led Richard in H2H that year, Rosewall won none major tourney contrary to most of the other years.
 
1960, The three bounce rule might have meant a theoretical disadvantage for Gonzalez but the strange schedule meant a significant advantage for Gonzalez as Pancho did not play more than a few matches under the new rule.

1963, Why do you rank French Pro ahead of US Pro (with Gonzalez)? ....
Because the draw was clearly stronger. At the 1963 US Pro, Gonzales was present but he was the shadow of himself : he played and lost his only match of the year. He was completely rusty that year and possibly outside the ... World Top30 (pros & amateurs). Exactly the same observation for Segura.

So at the 1963 French Pro you had 14 players instead of only 8 at the US Pro.

At the US Pro you had only 5 great pros (Rosewall, Laver, Hoad, Buchholz, Olmedo) and 3 already semi-retired (Trabert, Segura and Gonzales) who were that year second rate players, even Trabert.

At the French you had not only the 5 great pros who had earlier player the US Pro (Rosewall, Laver, Hoad, Buchholz, Olmedo) but also Gimeno, Sedgman and even MacKay, Ayala and Anderson (plus 3 other players). The presence of Gimeno alone at the French is enough to show that the draw was tougher at the French. Gimeno in 1963 was clearly 3 class above Gonzales and Segura in 1963 (if I have to compare Gonzales's and Segura's whole careers with Gimeno's, in my opinion, the former were clearly better than the Spaniard but in 1963 both Panchos were "negligeable" compared to Andrés). So at the French you had Gimeno >>> [Gonzales+Segura] but you also had Sedgman (who beat Hoad 6 times out of 6 and Laver once that year) and MacKay (who beat Laver in 1963), Ayala and Anderson, all absent at the US Pro. Consequently the French draw was clearly much stronger than the US draw without the slightless doubt. This is why in my opinion the 1963 French was clearly a greater event than the 1963 US. I recall that the US Pro really became again a true major pro event in 1964 when a Boston bank financed the tourney. In the 1950's the US Pro held by Marsh only had in its draw the North American Pro Tour players (+ some local players) and from 1960 to 1962 was clearly a second rate event. In 1963 he drew Rosewall and Laver because they had played just before the North American tour but it's only in 1964 that he drew all the very best (as it was the case after WWII) up to 1967 (that last year the US Pro had even the biggest draw of all the 1967 tourneys including Wembley, the French and Wimby). On a sporting view, the 1967 US Pro was in my opinion the greatest tennis event (1967 Wimby had a much more greater impact but the draw was "weak" compared to the US Pro).



... 1965, I rate US Pro equal or even higher than Wembley because Gonzalez played in the former. ....
However Gimeno didn't play the US Pro but was present at Wembley. I perhaps favoured Wembley on prestige. I agree with you, Wembley, the US Pro (and even the French) were more or less at the same level.



Carlo, 1968:I rate Wembley above French Pro and US Pro because of its prestige and its strongest field. ...
The US Pro had effectively a slightly less strong field (in particular Emerson, Gimeno and Stolle were absent).

If I compare the French and Wembley it is debatable. 14 players entered in both events,

7 played the French (Anderson, Olmedo, Davies, Ayala, Segura, Haillet, Molinari) and not Wembley

while only 2 played Wembley and not the French (Riessen, Moore).

This is why at first look, I considered that the French had a stronger field.

Besides all the French Pro matches were best-of-five set matches whille all the Wembley matches were only best-of-three except the final.

To come back to the field, the question is to know if Anderson+Olmedo+Davies+Ayala+Segura+Haillet+Molinari "weighed" more than Riessen+Moore ?

Riessen beat players such as Okker and Gimeno; Moore reached the quarters at Wimby, led Gimeno 2-1 in H2H while Anderson & Co had not notable results.

Let's assume that the fields were more or less equal,

OK for Wembley prestige.



... 1970: I rank Rosewall, Laver and Newcombe equally. ...
Well if I can see differences between players I don't want to rank them equally.



... 1971: I rate Dallas higher than Rome. ...
Dallas was an event exclusively reserved to WCT players and so closed to any "Grand Prix" players. Besides it was a new event that had no echo in Europe for instance and in particular in the non English-speaking world. Dallas obtained a world prestige a posteriori because of the quality of the Rosewall-Laver finals.

Rome was open to anybody (there were WCT players and GP players as well) and had still a prestige (that it lost just a few years after).



... 1971: .... I rank Smith, Rosewall (Wimbledon SF) and Newcombe equally. ...
See above.



1972: I rate Dallas above PSW. ...
See above.

As for Rome in 1971, PSW 1972 was open to anybody.

Besides the 1972 Dallas event was not representative of the year 1972 because there were as many 1971 WCT events as 1972 WCT events took into account for the "1972 Dallas race" which explains why the WCT standings before Dallas 1971 (November) and those before Dallas 1972 (May) were almost similar : 6 out of 8 players entered in both events. In fact Dallas May 1972 was almost a bis repetita of Dallas November 1971.

The WCT event truly representative of the year 1972 was the Autumn WCT Play-offs held at Rome won by Ashe, with Newcombe qualified as the #1 in the 1972 WCT rankings before Rome and with Laver & Rosewall not qualified due to their poor results in the summer and autumn WCT events.

This is the other reason (the first one being the fact that it was not open to GP players) why I do not grant the May 1972 WCT Finals so much importance.

Once again the 1971 & 1972 Dallas events are overrated in my mind due to the fact that the Rosewall-Laver matches in these events have been considered as classics.



1972: ... I rank Nastase and Smith equally ...
See above.



...Your argumentation about the different careers and time-lines is convincing but I disagree in one important point: I think that the "official" numbers are not completely inaccurate and pure nonsense if you refer to amateur, pro and open era majors. But of course the official numbers of only amateur and open era titles (Laver 11, Rosewall 8) are totally senseless.
In my opinion most of the amateur events between WWII and 1968 were second rate events. I can't consider the 1953 AO as a major event whereas the only notable players were Seixas, Rose, Hoad and Rosewall. Though the latter is my favourite player ever I can't grant him his win as a major win. When Laver won his 1962 Slam he was in reality about the world#4 player. And this feat is always recalled in the tennis world. Thiem has been the world#4 player in 2019. Should his Roland Garros and Masters finals be praised for decades as a stunning feat ? Of course not. 1962 Laver Slam doesn't worth much than 2019 French and Masters finals reached by Thiem so the 1962 Slam should be forgotten (while the 1967 Pro Slam should be unearthed of the forgotten pro results to be highlighted).

We have to agree to disagree on that point.



Carlo, We should differ between the contemporary lense and the modern lense, as Gary Duane has suggested, when valuing the achievements of the old players. At least after WWII the (North American) World Tours were widely acknowledged as the No.1 event of the pro calendar (In 1959 there was the curious situation that two big tours were played, the second one being the 14 tournament AMPOL tour won by Hoad). In 1948 US Pro might have been a bit higher in prestige though ...
The fact that they were acknowledged as the No. 1 event is probably certain. Nevertheless it doesn't mean it made sense and was fair to rate players. In athletics the greatest event is the Olympic Games, acknowledged as the greatest event. But if many great athletes are not invited for diverse reasons (politics or others) should we consider the OG as the world championships in that case ? I do not agree. For instance at the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Games, Nawal El-Moutawakel won the women's 400 metres hurdles in the absence of the very best (the East Germans and Soviets) due to the boycott. At Montréal in 1976, Edwin Moses (who was to become the greatest hurdler ever) won the men's 400 metres hurdles but it was unfair because the best at the time was still John Akii-Bua, Uganda's first Olympic champion in 1972 but Akii-Bua boycotted (or more exactly I think his Federation ordered him not to enter in) the 1976 Olympics like most African nations athlets (because of South Africa apartheid politics). So in many instances when politics enter in the Olympic Games, I can't consider the Olympic champion as the world #1 if he doesn't deserve to be considered thus even though the Olympics are acknowledged as the greatest event. I don't think it is a problem of contemporary or modern lense. I have always thought like that.
 
... The 1937 and 1938 World Tours were clearly the top pro events because Vines and Perry were the best pros at that time (I write this even though I'm a keen Nüsslein admirer). ...
It is not evident at all that Vines and Perry were better than Nüsslein (though I admire Vines who was so talented in so many different sports, not only tennis and golf) in 1937 and 1938. Far from that. The German didn't meet them in 1936-37-38 but in 1939 he met Vines twice (Wembley and Southport) and beat him once (at Southport where Vines was suffering from his back). There is no clear evidence that Vines (and Perry) were better than Nüsslein in 1936-37-38. The fact is that Vines and Perry had a more spectacular game and were handsome guys especially compared to Hans so they were clearly more popular so more commercially attractive. Vines was slightly better than Nüsslein in 1935. In 1939 if Vines was better than Nüsslein is not clear and if it was the case it was by one of the slightest margins ever. Those very very fragile arguments may lead to think that Vines was perhaps better than Nüsslein in 1936-37-38 but it is a mere assumption not clearly proved without any doubt since they never entered in the same events during these three consecutive years.



... Of course with our modern lense we are able to critisize that those world tours often had only two participants and rather often not even the two best players in the world participating, f.e. Gonzalez' tours against Trabert and Rosewall.. And we can show that the big pro tournaments were also very significant. I use to say that Gonzalez was the king of the long tours, often played on "his" canvas surface, but that he was a bit vulnerable in big tournaments as he lost the 1956 French Pro, the 1957 Wembley and Australian Pro, the 1958 Wembley, French Pro and Australian Pro plus the Masters tournament, the 1961 Wembley and French Pro.

Because of all that I like to give tied No.1 places for (astounding many) years as the fairest solution.
In a way it shows that you don't value the World Pro tours as high as you first told me above since you seem to greatly consider big tournaments results.



Carlo, I still believe that the "official" pro majors were true majors (with the exception of a few US Pro events, especially the 1960 to 1962 editions).





Since a shorter time the Forest Hills ToC is regarded by several experts as a true pro major, probably substituting the US Pro in those years.
We have to agree to disagree.



...I guess you (and others) overrate the value of physical strength. If the physical level would be so high nowadays, then why is Federer so strong at 35 plus.





I think that Gonzalez and Rosewall were so strong when very old because of their extraordinary talent and their economic playing style and not because at their time physical demands were so much less than nowadays.
It is evident that Gonzales, Rosewall and Federer had something in common : a fluent game and economic playing style, a vision of the game and anticipation, a will to progress. It doesn't change the fact that tennis is more physically demanding today than in the past. The difference between today and the past, besides the fact that men are naturally stronger and taller (it is not impossible that if Gonzales and Rosewall had been born 40-50 years later, they would be 10 cm taller), Federer (and all his contemporaries) benefits from the progress of science and knowledge which now makes it possible to be much stronger physically than in the 1950-60-70's. Happily that some (unfortunately not enough) modern players do not rely entirely on their physical aptitudes. However you can see that even Federer had to go under surgery (February 2020) to continue to play.



Carlo, I mostly agree. But I think it's debatable if Nadal's best was greater than Federer's on grass. Nadal reached seldom his potential at Wimbledon though.
Yes it is debatable. One thing is sure : Nadal 2008 was more or less the equal of Federer 2007 on Wimby grass. If one or the other was superior it was by a very slight margin.
 
There's a big omission in Carlo's post and that is the no. of weeks/years Fed's spent at no.1 vis a vis Nadal. In short, we could say that Fed is the more consistent and dominant player across all surfaces and through the length of his career. Peak for peak, Nadal has had his measure on clay for sure and arguably on grass and HC as well. However, since Nadal fans feel obliged to add the disclaimer that Nadal in 2017 is not playing at the same level as he used to (and neither is Fed for that matter but we'll leave that be for the time being), it has to be pointed out that Fed fans could validly make the same argument about Wimbledon 2008 and AO 2009. Yes, Fed was much closer to his peak then than Nadal in 2017 but it wasn't a peak for peak match up. Wimbledon 2007 is where they squared off peak for peak and Fed edged a close five setter. Had there been less of an age gap between the two, we could have had more matches with both in their peak to see who bests who peak for peak on grass and HC. But of this I am sure, even peak Fed would not be able to beat peak Nadal on those surfaces as convincingly as peak Nadal beat peak Fed on clay. Nadal's domination on clay is more absolute (by far) than Fed's on his favourite surfaces. It's just that by the time he got good enough to get to Fed on grass and HC, Fed had started to slide from his peak save the W 2007 match. Unlike Borg, though, Fed didn't run away from Nadal and even beat Djokovic at RG in arguably his career best year to get to Nadal for a familiar result. And it has eventually paid off as he has demonstrated astonishing longevity in staying with Nadal and even beating him at this late stage of his career which was an unexpected result for most of us.
Hello,

I have absolutely no respect for the weeks spent as n°1. The ATP should never have labelled its rankings in the course of the year as official rankings. The only world rankings that should count are the rankings that sanction the results of a whole year. Players such as Kafelnikov, Rios, Rafter, Safin, Moya and others have reached the n°1 spot on a certain week of the year but they have never been true #1. In the extreme limit you can have 52 world #1 players in a given year. How can one compare a player who has been supposedly the #1 on June 8 with the #1 of the year ? Pure nonsense. In other sports (at least before the advent of the fallacious ATP rankings) you have a sort of race rankings but the world champion is only designated thus at the end of the year (season), not before.

Imagine a guy A being ranked #1 for 51 consecutive weeksby the ATP from week 1 to week 51

and a guy B ranked #1 only 1 week but the 52th week, the one that designates the world #1 of the year.

B is the champion without any doubt while A isn't.

In the extreme limit A can be at the top of ATP rankings for 500 weeks in a decade but never at the end any year

and B the #1 only 10 weeks in 10 years but each time the week of the 31 December :

B is a ten time world champion.

There is absolutely no comparisn between A and B. B is clearly the greater by very far.

Both in 2016 and 2019, Djokovic was #1 most of both years but he was overtaken in the last weeks by Murray in 2016 and Nadal in 2019. The only true world #1 in 2016 and 2019 were Murray and Nadal, not Djokovic.

Before tennis, no sport has ever used a moving ranking as the ATP created where you can have 52 different #1 each year. Since cycling, golf and perhaps other sports have wrongly imitated tennis.

So you understand I only respect ATP rankings on December 31 (and even these I can contradict as in years 1977 to 1982 for instance).

At the time of your post, the last year-end rankings were those of 2016 and at that time,

Federer has been #1 in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009 so five years

and Nadal in 2008, 2010, 2013 s three years

(since Nadal has reached the top two other times in 2017 and 2019 while Federer has never reached it again though he has been supposedly the #1, a few weeks in 2018).

So yes at the end of 2016, Federer had a clear advantage over Nadal : 5 world champion titles against only 3 for Nadal

(since the Spaniard has recovered his initial deficit).



I will willingly concede that Nadal was close to Fed on grass but considering Fed held a 2-1 advantage in 3 back to back finals, it's hard to see Nadal as his equal on grass. on HC, Fed currently holds a slim lead. If we consider that Nadal only got to peak Fed 5 times on HC (2004-07) and Fed again led 3-2. So Fed is not convincingly ahead but ahead nevertheless. And he has strung together a 4 match streak against Nadal now; the last time he won two consecutive matches against Nadal was in 2007. Those matches were far apart - Wimbledon and Masters Cup (the forerunner to the WTF). Nadal did not get to peak Fed enough off clay whereas Fed got to him time and time again on clay and lost. This skews the rivalry and with a more even spread across surfaces, it may have been closer (though Nadal would have likely still led because he would stay with Fed off clay and beat him comprehensively on it). Even from 2008 onwards, it's an even 7-7 off clay so Fed has not been owned as badly by Nadal as it seems at first glance. I get it; Fed is the GOAT so he should not be losing to Nadal even on clay etc. But Nadal is the clay GOAT. If he was only owning Fed badly on clay, it would be one thing. But Djokovic had many gos at a weaker Nadal at RG and only converted once in 2015 when Nadal played way below par. So it's not just Fed. Nadal has owned everyone on clay and esp at RG. He leads Djokovic 15-7 on clay. While that is much better than his 13-2 against Fed, it's still a comprehensive lead, more than twice the no. of wins Djokovic could manage against him on that surface.
Once again you are considering their records and not their very peak. That Federer beat Nadal more often on grass and outdoor hardcourts is not debatable. I also didn't consider their head-to-head statistics bluntly. It is clear that it is skewed since Federer has more often honored his "appointements", being able to reach the last rounds on clay while Nadal was comparatively less successful on non-clay courts. However what is disappointing enough is the fact that though Federer has a such a better service than Nadal's and a better volley, the Swiss has not been able to have such a better record against Nadal on non-clay surfaces, that is the main point.
 
Mr Colussi's speculation is tenable, but not very helpful. Marat Safin was on an even more impressive roll of victories in fall 2004 and Federer was able to beat him at the semifinal of The Masters Cup. Who was the greater, Safin or Nalbandian? Using Mr. Colussi's logic, there is no way Federer (or anyone else) would have defeated Djokovic at 2011 French semifinals, to take one example. ...
I would like to know how you can conclude such a statement. I can't understand what you took from my arguments to state that. Did I write that if a player is unbeaten he can't never be defeated again ? Frankly I am puzzled by your claim. Please next time select precisely what I wrote to make intelligible posts.



... The aggressive tone aside (let's remember we are just guys who love tennis), Mr. Colussi is just wrong. I must make more accurate his rather restrictive, and misleading, statistics. To be sure Rosewall gave Rocket as good as he got in the biggest matches of their career. But they played a lot of BIG MATCHES.

...
The aggrevive tone is due to pretty wrong Phoenix's reactions four years earlier in 2013. If you have time and want to read these old posts you could note that he was patronizing.

Finally my logic is not wrong at all as you claim and will show it. In fact this is your reasoning which is completely wrong. You wrote that there were "a lot of BIG MATCHES". Structurally if there is "a lot of BIG MATCGHES" then automatically this assertion is wrong because there can't be a lot of big matches otherwise they are NOT BIG. It is as if you claimed that there were many majors each year, in that case it would mean that a majority of them wouldn't be majors indeed. I have no will to scrutinize your list of matches one by one but it seems that your list is just an accumulation of matches of some importance but not matches of majors finals as I originally selected.



... Mr. Colussi's list is overly restrictive, and it is also deceptive. He avers that he is counting "Majors" only. The 1966 MSG and the WCTs were not "Majors" notwithstanding they were darn important, and they of course are to Rosewall's great credit. ...
WCT was not a Slam tournament but was very likely a major in 1971 and 1972 since some Slam tourneys were pretty depleted. In 1971 half of the top players were missing from the French and the Australian had none of the Grand Prix players.

In 1972, the Asutralian had only 2 of the Top20 players and both the French and the British had no WCT players.

So the WCT Finals probably deserved to be considered as one of the Top4 events (or at worst one of the Top5 events) in both years. How can one consider the AO 1972 as a major whereas only Newcombe and Rosewall were present but none of the other Top20 players were there. Do the WCT Finals 1972 not deserve to be labelled a major at a time when professional tennis was not as stabilized as it is nowadays ?



... Curiously, however, Mr. Colussi does not give Laver the same courtesy, as he fails to include Rocket's 1967 and 1968 MSG finals wins over The Little Master. ...
What courtesy has to do here ? You are wrong. I didn't favour Kenny over Rocket. I am not anti-Laver or anti-Federer or anti-anyone else. I just tried to select the 4 greatest events of each year in order to have comparisons more or less fair between ancient pro players and modern pro players.

In tennis, tradition really counted when the AO became a true Grand Slam that is between 1983 when some (but not all, far from that) of the best came and 1995 when all the best decided to enter in this Slam event.

Before tradition was just a fantasy, especially before the open era.

Nowadays there is no doubt that the 4 Slam tourneys are the pillars of the modern circuit. Next you have the Masters (ATP World Tour Finals). But in the "ancient" times, the hierarchy was never stable and changed almost every year.

In other words a specific tourney could be considered as a major one year and be forgotten the next year. In reality the depth of the field was more important than the draw.

Besides the only way to compare the ancient pro players with the modern players when talking about majors, is to try to pick up "only" 4 majors a year and not to select numerous tourneys and apply a weighting.

Why did I choose MSG in 1966 and not in 1967 and 1968 for instance ? I noticed that BobbyOne has already answered you but I will give my opinion too.

In 1966

a) MSG was the richest tournament of the year (up to date it was apparently the 2nd richest tournament ever after the 1958 Kooyong tourney with a bigger purse of 10,000 GBP (28,000 USD),

b) MSG had the 2nd strongest field of all the tourneys (after Forest Hills Pro) so stronger than the so-called 3 Pro Slams. In particular Gonzales was present at the MSG and Forest Hills Pro but was absent in the so-called Pro Slams. Years ago I compared the fields of the pro tourneys and Wembley Pro had only the 8th strongest field (tied with other tourneys), it was the poorest draw there for years. The 1966 French Pro had the ... 17th strongest field. The San Rafael tourney had the 3rd strongest field ahead of the US Pro. So among the 3 so-called Pro Slams only the US Pro roughly deserved to be called a major. Nevertheless in my list of 4 majors in 1966 I kept these 3 tourneys however I wonder if I shouldn't have replaced the French Pro by Forest Hills Pro : it is debatable. Anyway, since Wembley and Coubertin had so weak fields, I consider that MSG 1966 entirely deserved its place among the 4 majors of 1966.

In 1967,

the situation changed for the MSG. That year was held the Wimby pro which drastically changed the future of tennis. Wimby pro precipitated the advent of open tennis. It was the first time ever great pro players could play a tourney at Wimby (in 1931 there had been a Wimby pro but it was the British pro open only to domestic pros). Even though the 1967 Wimby pro had not a very strong field (mainly due to the fact it was just a 8-man draw tourney), it changed the deal and cast MSG into the shadows.

In 1966 MSG had been the novelty and because the Wembley and French Pro fields had been weak, MSG could claim being one of the 4 majors

while in 1967, the novelty was Wimby and this tourney deserved to be considered as a major instead of MSG.



I am not claiming that my list of 4 majors per year is perfect, far from that : I fully agree that other choices can be made but you, you think that once an event is more or less considered as a major a certain year, this event should be considered as a major each year. I completely disagree with that.

I repeat : there was no established majors in the past, especially in the pro circuit when any tourney could be cancelled at any time, when any player couldn't be available or could be not selected for any stupid reason. Nowadays at Wimby, every player good enough may enter in the tourney while in the 1950's or 1960's if you weren't invited at Wembley you couldn't play the London pro event even if you were Sedgman or Trabert at the peak or close to your peak level. Nowadays the probability that the Australian Open will be held is pretty close to 100% (this year the qualifiying phase shouldn't have been played at all between 14 and 17 January but should have been postponed. In that case perhaps the main draw phase would have been postponed or even cancelled but prestige, tradition and money are now too important and prevent the cancellation of the event. At the French Pro in the middle of the twentieth century the slightest obstacle could cancel any pro major

(I wrote those lines before the covid-19 prevented Wimby from being held in 2020 but this is due to extraordinary circumstances).



About 1968 I can't understand why you consider MSG as a major. All pro tourneys, structurally declined in 1968 since there were open events for the first time (if we forget the 1937 to 1941 US "open").



... That already makes it 10-8, or 10-9 once he decides whether to include the Dunlop Sydney International. But once you include the WCT you must needs include the TCC matches. So, simply following Mr. Colussi's inconsistent logic, we have a tally of 10-10, or 10-11 in favor of Laver, depending on where he ultimately comes down on the Dunlop. ...
My inconsistent logic ? Are you kidding. This is yours which is completely inaccurate. Please shut your mouth.

You are considering the TCC matches as important as the 1971 & 1972 WCT Finals. You are pretty wrong. Read again Laver's autobiography (edited in the early 1970's, I haven't bought his recent one)° !!! He claimed that the format of the "one-night stands" was over and that these matches weren't that important. Pages 305-306, Laver wrote "The Tennis Champions Classic was a mistake ... / One-nighters were dead ... Regardless of the money involved, the Classic seemed an exhibition. The customers wanted tournaments." In other words, TCC can't be compared to the WCT Finals (read again Laver's book, you could note his admiration for the way the WCT circuit was held in the early years). Here again you are wrong.
 
... I offer the following list as closer to the "truth" of how our heroes fared in their very most important matches. Laver's 16-13 advantage ends up being consistent with differing, but similarly proportioned, estimates of their overall rivalry, which include 75-66, 81-73, 100-85 (I am counting on Krosero to know which estimate is the most credible and why). Multiply 16-13 by 5 and you get 80-65, or pretty close to the overall record.



I am happy for the "micro experts," as I admiringly see you, to make this or that correction or improvement to this list. I certainly don't insist that the answer is 16-13, Laver. I do insist that the notion of a 10-6 Rosewall advantage in their most important matches is erroneous. And, as I see it, it appears to have been done by sleight of hand. We needn't buy someone's opinion just because it is made with such vehement assurance. ...
So once again this is you who are wrong and not me : your stats are erroneous not mine. Considering MSG 1968 or the TCC matches as among the 4 more important events of the years 1968 and 1970 is a pure nonsense. You wander Sir. You are definitely WRONG : 10-6 is surely better than your 13-16 which take into account great events but not "true" majors that is the 4 more events of a given year.

Besides your wrong reasoning, I also do not like your attitude. A few months after your disrespectful posts, you sent me directly a message which surprisingly was respectful. Are you a hypocrite ? This is the reason I didn't answer you then. Nevertheless I will do it now. It was about the importance of the 1970 Dunlop Open held at Sydney and the fact that it had been labelled as the "true Australian Open" that year. I can't remember where I read that this tourney was considered thus. About the fact that I ranked it only the 7th event of 1970, the reason is clear : the depth of the field. The Dunlop tourney had a small draw with less top players than the Philadelphia Open, the US Pro, the PSW and the British Open Indoor at Wembley. Compare among the good players of 1970 between for instance Philadelphia and Sydney : at Philadelphia were just missing Drysdale, Gonzales and Crealy (the official AO runner-up), at Sydney were missing Drysdale and Crealy again but also Roche, Richey, Pilic (3 telephone calls threatening his life made him deciding not to play), Franulovic, Kodes, Graebner and others. Smith defaulted before his first match at Sydney. The Dunlop Open was "just" a 26-man draw event. The other tourneys I mentioned above had stronger fields than the Dunlop Open.



... Here is how I see the Biggest Matches of the rivalry:







1963 World Championship Series



Rosewall (1) by 14 matches to 4.







1963 U.S. Pro final



Rosewall (2)

6-4, 6-2, 6-2







1963 French Pro final



Rosewall (3)

6-8, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4







1964 U.S. Pro semifinal



Laver (1)

6-3, 6-3, 7-9, 6-2







1964 French Pro final



Rosewall (4)

6-3, 7-5, 3-6, 6-3





1964 London Pro final



Laver (2)

7-5, 4-6, 5-7, 8-6, 8-6





1964 Ellis Park Challenge, Johannesburg



Rosewall (5)

6-4, 6-1-, 6-4 (Special match at end of 1964 to determine Pro No. 1 - See Joe McCauley's book)







1965 Victorian Pro (Melbourne)



Laver (3)

2-6,6-1,6-4







1965 U.S. Pro final



Rosewall (6)

6-4, 6-3, 6-3







1965 French Pro final



Rosewall (7)

6-3, 6-2, 6-4









1966 Victorian Pro final



Laver (4)

6-3, 6-0









1966 Madison Square Garden Pro Final



Rosewall (8)

6-3, 6-3







1966 U.S. Pro final



Laver (5)

6-4, 4-6, 6-2, 8-10, 6-3









1966 French Pro final



Rosewall (9)

6-3, 6-2, 14-12









1966 London Pro Indoor final



Laver (6)

6-2, 6-2, 6-3









1967 Madison Square Garden Pro final



Laver (7)

6-4, 6-4









1967 Wimbledon Pro final



Laver (8)

6-2, 6-2, 12-10







1967 London Pro Indoor final



Laver (9)

2-6, 6-1, 1-6, 8-6, 6-2









1968 British Hard Courts final (first-ever Open tournament)



Rosewall (10)

3-6, 6-2, 6-0, 6-3









1968 French Open final



Rosewall (11)

6-3, 6-1, 2-6, 6-2









1968 Pacific Southwest final



Laver (10)

4-6, 6-0, 6-0









1968 Madison Square Garden Pro final



Laver (11)

4-6, 6-3, 9-7, 6-4









1969 French Open final



Laver (12)

6-4, 6-3, 6-4







1970 Grand Prix Masters Round Robin



Laver (13)

5-6, 6-3, 6-5









1970 Tennis Champions Classic final



Laver (14)

6-4, 6-3, 6-3







1970 Dunlop Sydney International



Laver (15)

3-6,6-2,3-6,6-2,6-3 (Considered at the time "The real Australian Open of 1970")









1971 Tennis Champions Classic Round Robin



Laver (16)

6-3, 6-2, 7-5







1971 WCT final



Rosewall (12)

6-4, 1-6, 7-6, 7-6









1972 WCT final



Rosewall (13)

4-6, 6-0, 6-3, 6-7, 7-6...


My list is a list of finals in "majors equivalent to the 4 modern Slam tourneys".

Your list is a list of the most important matches, NOT NECESSARY FINALS (the Masters 1970 round robin match was not the deciding match for the title since neither Rocket nor Kenny won that event) INCLUDING NON "TRUE" MAJORS events. How could you consider the 1968 British hard courts as a major ? Besides the 6 NTL pros, the rest of the draw was almost entirely filled with just British amateurs. How can you select such a minor event in your list ? You told that I was wrong and non-logic. Let me laugh ! You are just completely inaccurate.



.... I respond to both you and BobbyOne in this reply. And to you both, if Phoenix has harmed or insulted you, then that is a different thing. But I still feel the bullying by Mr. Colussi was not in the spirit of these arguments. It also proved ridiculous, since he himself was so far off in his estimates. I also know you admire Mr. Coluss's prodigious work of a long period of time, and I'll not gainsay that. He appears to be a trenchant analyst at times....
Apparently you didn't read our exchanges between I and Phoenix so please stop judging my reaction towards Phoenix.

I was not so far-off in my estimates (see above) but in reality very close to the truth. This is you who are completely wrong.



... At other times, he releases as if it were authoritative research, as opposed to the off-the-cuff biases that they are, some poorly-thought-out conclusions. One such was a couple of weeks back, regarding Nadal and Federer's success by surfaces, in which he claimed that Peak Nadal was better than Peak Federer on all surfaces. ....
I never said that peak Nadal was better than peak Federer ON ALL SURFACES. Once again you are wrong., wrong and wrong. Besides you didn't prove at all that peak Federer was better than peak Nadal; Absolutely not. You just showed that Federer had a best record, was more consistent that's all, nothing more. But you didn't prove at all that on a given match the very best Federer has played at least once in his career (up to 2016) better than Nadal ever did (up to 2016). You didn't give any valuable example. Absiolutely nothing !!!



... I showed clearly that he had absolutely zero brief for such a claim and that the truth was (w the exception of clay), in fact, quite the opposite.....
Where did you prove it ? Nowhere.



.... (1) There is no reason the 1966 MSG should be counted w/o counting the 1967 and 1968 MSG. If, as you suggest, none of the MSGs should be counted, I can live with that. I think they were quite "big" because I think the money was better than usual and the venue was top-of-the-line, a rare luxury and prestige for the pros. But let's jettison all three, that's fine. ....
Come on !!! How could you compare MSG 1968 with the 1966 & 1967 editions ? MSG 68 was far away from one of the 4 majors of 1968. I put MSG 1967 at the 6th place so not far away from one of the 4 majors of 1967 but not as one of the 4 majors so I didn't count it among the "major" Rosewall-Laver finals. This explains why there are "only" 16 meetings. To give a modern equivalent Nadal leads Federer 6-3 in major finals.



.... (2) Based on the tournaments that Krosero found acceptable as either majors or "major equivalents," I also counted it 12-10, not 12-9.....
If you select only 4 majors a year you can't find as many as 22 or 21 finals between both Australians so your stats' are inaccurate.
 
.... (3) Guys, I said this before, The TTC paid out to the winner three times as much as the WCT, and almost 10 times as much as the Majors. It was astronomical money for those days. Rosewall loved money even more than Laver did - everyone knows that - and both were trying to cash in during their reduced window of opportunity. TTC is at least equal in importance to the two WCTs - much more money was on the line. You just are not being congruent if you disdain the TTC so much that you will not put it on the list. I'm sorry, but I really think you have to re-think your position on that. ...
And so what ? The Grand Slam Cup in 1990's offered much much more money than any other contemporary event and even more than modern events 30 years later. Should we consider for each year from 1990 to 1999, the Grand Slam Cup as one of the 4 majors, ejecting therefore a Slam tourney from the majors ? Once again wrong argument from yours. The TCC is not one of the 4 majors of the year 1970 (and 1971). Certainly not. That it was a great event, OK but the equivalent of a modern Slam tourney, absolutely not. In the 1970's and 1980's there were many exhibitions which paid much more than any official circuit : shall we consider them as majors ? There were some challenge matches as those won by Connors over grandpa Laver and Newcombe, then later Orantes. Should we consider them as revenges to Connors' losses at the AO 75 and USO 75 ? Frankly comparing the TTC with the WCT play-offs is pure nonsense. Read again Laver's autobiography (with the help of Bud Collins), the first edition edited in the early 1970's and Laver clearly stated that the TCC were not that important, in fact mere exhibitions in his opinion, very well paid but mere exhibitions. It is clear that the TCC were not as important as the WCT Finals.



... (4) Inclusion of the TTC brings us to 12-12. Look how are far we are from Mr. Colussi's 10-6 Rosewall. ...
Once again you have no competence at all !!!
 
... It's a judgment call, of course, and there are really two ways to do this. One is to use a list of the top events of the year. Another is to identify big events across years and to include all their editions, but I think with that method we miss the fact that in these decades a tournament's importance might change quite a bit from year to year. For example I think there's a big difference between the 1970 and 1971 TCC's; and for me a significant difference too between even the '71 TCC on the one hand and the 71-72 Dallas events on the other, though I acknowledge there again it's a judgment call....
I completely approve this.
 
... (5) Victorian Pro Champs. Krosero left these off entirely. They appear to be the most prestigious pro tournaments in a tennis power nation, and native country of our protaganists. These must have been extremely important matches to both men. I do not have a prior Rosewall win over Laver in that event (and I am on the road and w/o McCauley, who might have that result). But I would be more wise to simply accept Krosero when he says it happened. Now, I think the top Australian tournament contested between these Aussies matters, and that would include the 1970 Dunlop Sydney International. Including all of them gives Laver a 3-1 jump, so we would be at 15-13, including the Rosewall triumph in 1965. But you seemed to think this tournament too minor to make the list. Okay, let's not include it. We remain at 12-12. ...


(6) 1964 U.S. Pro Semifinal. Sorry, but here I have to stop you. This match was fraught with significance. In his second season, Laver had caught up to Rosewall and appeared to be passing him. The U.S. Pro was a huge title. Rosewall had missed it for several years in order to spend longer time with his family and then he would join the troupe for Europe and southern Africa. Kenny took the title in 1963 and sure he wanted badly to repeat. Plus there was the extra matter of getting the chance to meet - and beat - the great Gonzalez in the final. If anybody wanted every chance he could get to beat Gonzalez, it would be The Little Master, whose only less-than-stellar career record is his won-loss against Gorgo. My friend, would you really say that all those hard-fought, Slam semifinals between Federer and Djokovic should not be considered as among the BIG MATCHES of the Roger-Novak rivalry? You would not count Becker vs. Lendl 1989 Wimbledon semifinal as absolutely key to the course of their rivalry? You would say no, we won't count the 1980 and 1984 McEnroe-Connors U.S. Open semifinals when evaluating the Bad Boys' most important matches, nor the Borg-Connors 1981 Wimbledon semifinal? The Lendl victories over McEnroe at the 1982 and '83 U.S. Open semifinals won't make our list of "Biggest Matches" between those bitter rivals? And I guess the Safin-Federer 2005 Australian semifinal is not of sufficient importance, nor the Agassi-Sampras 2000 Aussie semifinal, nor the Rafter-Sampras 1998 U.S. Open semifinal, nor Djokovic-del Potro 2013 Wimbledon semifinal. You know I could go on and on. I have conceded on the MSGs, which favor Laver. I have conceded on the Victorian Pro, which also favored Laver. The 1964 U.S. Pro semifinal stays. That makes it 13-12, to Laver. ... [/QUOTE]

Once again you are confusing great matches with major finals. In the 10-6 stats there are only major finals, "major" meaning "equivalent of modern Slam tourneys" that is "one of the 4 most important event of the year". I didn't make stats' about big or great matches between Kenny and Rod but about their very biggest matches.

That the 1964 US Pro semifinal was a turning point in the Laver-Rosewall is possible (though I think Laver began to dominate Rosewall in head-to-head meetings as soon as January 1964 in Australia) but it was not a final in a major (the final was between Laver and Gonzales).



...(7) If you don't care for the winner-is-declared-the 1964-Pro-No. 1 Ellis Park Challenge, okay. Same with the first-ever Open tournament at Bournemouth. Same wit The Dunlop. I agree to ignore those as well.



(8) So, that would leave it 13-12 in favor of Rod Laver. The overall won-loss record between the two men would have suggested a 14-11 Laver edge. Kenny Rosewall outperformed the overall record by one match, or, very roughly, an 8 percent improvement over the aggregate tally. Much though you wish to make the Colussi assertions seem somehow within the bounds of reasonable analysis, the best you can do is 13-12, Laver. ...
See above.

Finally all your comments are greatly inaccurate. This is you who are so far-off in your wrong logic. You also greatly misinterpreted what I wrote. Frankly I have not much respect for your bad arguments.
 
... (Finally, parenthetically, BobbyOne is basically right about the quality of The Grand Prix Masters year-end tournament before 1977. The tournament was screwed up because, (A) beginning in '71, the contract pros were excluded, with very limited exceptions in certain years, such as 1974, and (B) between 1974 and '76, Connors refused to participate. But the initial event, the 1970 clash that we have been talking about, was a competition among probably the six best players in the world, carried out in the old RR style of the the pre-Open professional circuit. I personally count it as highly significant, a "near Major," such as all the year-end shoot outs since 1977).- ...
The initial Masters 1970 wasn't a competition between the best six players in the world : Kodes and Franulovic weren't in the Top6. They weren't even in the Top10. Look for instance at Kodes' record in 1970 which was absolutely poor : his only performance were his win over Franulovic at Roland Garros were no NTL & WCT players entered. The best six players in 1970 were very probably Laver, Rosewall, Newcombe (debatable order) then Roche and possibly Ashe, Richey, Okker. So Newcombe, Roche, Richey, Okker were absent from the GP Masters. It is said that Newcombe was unable to play but I don't know why. He wasn't automatically qualified due to the fact that he finished only #7 in the GP rankings (it was a 6-man draw) but Richey retired. As I wrote just above, Roche was very certainly the world # 4 in the world (runner-up at the USO, winner of the US Pro, this tourney had perhaps the 4th strongest draw of the year (after Wimby, the IPTA tourney at Philly & perhaps even ahead the USO (the latter had many Europeans missing)). Roche finally ended as the first alternate (GP #9 just behind Kodes). Richey officially stated that he was ill (Kramer thought that Richey preferred not to play because the indoor carpet was too fast). Okker wasn't even in the GP Top20 but was among the best WCT-NTL players (#7 in the prize money rankings), won the German Open, a rare tourney in 1970 with both contract pro players (Roche, Okker, Pilic, ...) and GP players (Nastase, Franulovic, Kodes, ...), where Okker crushed Kodes 62 60 64, just an evaluation of true Kodes's level in 1970.

Do not forget that in 1970, the contract pro players had to play firstly their own tourneys (WCT, NTL, TCC) before playing the GP events while the "independent" pro players (in fact affiliated to their federations) had to play only the GP events which explains why GP players such as Franulovic and Kodes could qualify while pro contract players such as Newcombe, Roche, Okker and in a certain way Emerson were not well ranked in the GP standings. Kodes and Franulovic were well ranked in the GP standings but hadn't to play any "closed" pro events and played badly in every open tourneys and had pretty bad H2H stats against contract pros. Kodes for instance had a very low record. He didn't beat any Top10, had a poor 4-18 record against Top20 players : 0-3 against Richey, 0-3 (Ashe), 0-2 (Rosewall), 0-1 (Laver), 0-1 (Nastase), 0-1 (Okker), 0-1(Drysdale), 0-1 (Pilic). He was also dominated by Franulovic (1-3), Smith (1-2). He just lead Riessen (1-0) and Ralston (1-0).

I don't still have Franulovic's exact record but it was in the same vein : something like 0-2 against Smith, 0-1 (Laver), 0-1 (Rosewall), 0-1 (Drysdale), 2-3 (Richey), 1-3 (Ashe), he was tied with Nastase (2-2) and of course, see above, had a positive H2H with Kodes (3-1).

So frankly Franulovic and Kodes were out of the Top10 without any doubt. As said before, the Czech won Roland Garros without any pro under contract.

At this Masters there were Laver (world #1 in my hesitant opinion, #2 in the Martini Rossi panel, #1 in the WCT panel), Rosewall (world #2 IMO, #1 in the Martini Rossi panel, #2 in the WCT panel) and Ashe (about world #5). Smith was perhaps not even in the Top10 (except his great win at the Masters, he almost did nothing the rest of the year, except a quarter at the USO where he was crushed by Rosewall 62 62 62). Finally Franulovic and Kodes out the Top10, with Kodes unable to beat any Top10 the whole year. We may consider that Richey (world #6) was in the draw but that he retired. About Newcombe (world #3) possibly the same thing, I can't have a clear opinion.

Other tournaments that year had a much stronger field than the GP Masters that year, especially a) the IPTA at Philadelphia (all the best were there but Gonzales, Drysdale and Crealy) where Smith was crushed 63 62 by Roche, and b) the US Pro. In fact the IPTA had the second strongest draw of all competitions and the US Pro the 4th. The Grand Prix Masters couldn't rival.

So the 1970 Masters was certainly not a tourney with the best six players in the world

and was absolutely not a "near Major" (that is among the 4 greatest events of the year). I maintain that the 1970 Pepsi Cola Masters doesn't deserve a better place than #8.

Masters 1971 (though WCT player Newcombe was qualified and WCT Rosewall was alternate #1) and Masters 1972 were not Majors (not among the 4 more important) : we agree on that point.



Masters 1973 : I completely disagree with you. In 1973 all WCT players could enter in the Grand Prix events and qualify for the Masters. Perhaps many of them were tired by their long gruelling season but all were ranked in the Grand Prix standings especially the best ones (Smith, Ashe, Rosewall and Laver, 4 semifinalists of the WCT Play-offs) : Smith as GP#7 qualified for the Masters but played there poorly. Ashe (GP#10), Laver(GP#11) and Rosewall (GP#17) didn't qualify not because they have beeen ostracized but because either they hadn't played so well after the WCT Finals in May (Ashe who played as many tournaments as any "GP" player) or they had played few tournaments (Laver entered in 8 GP tourneys and Rosewall in 7 while several "GP" players had entered in at least 15 tourneys).

So the Masters 1973 was much more stronger than of course the 1971 & 1972 editions but also the 1970 edition or the 1974-1976 editions. In 1973 when the Grand Prix circuit started in May (the AO held in Dec.72 - Jan 73 was the 1st GP event but was separated from the 2nd event by a 4-month gap) all the players from all 3 winter-spring circuits (WCT circuit, "European spring circuit" (Nastase, Orantes, Panatta, Bertolucci, Borg), "USNLTA winter circuit (Riordan)" (Connors, Nastase) and also "free-lance" player Newcombe, joined together and played the GP circuit without an exception. In 1973 even Connors played the Masters (which he wouldn't do the next three years) and in December 1973, Connors was the best player in the world with Nastase, Newcombe and Okker. In 1973, the Masters was clearly greater than the WCT Finals (only 13 of the Top20 players entered in the WCT circuit while I repeat all the Top20 players entered in the Grand Prix circuit).

So given that Wimby (with about only 5 of the Top20 players) and the AO with only 2 of the Top20 were pretty depleted tourneys, other events deserved to be considered as majors.

USO 1973 : the only true Slam of the year.

RG 1973 : the 2nd strongest field of the 1970's French Open (after 1979) with 16 of the Top20 players (only Rosewall, Laver, Emerson and Riessen were absent, besides Riessen never got beyond the round of 16 in a French Open event).

The Grand Prix Masters 1973 with all players allowed to enter in the tourney.

These are the 3 greatest events of 1973.

Otherwise for the 4th place there is a debate.

Canadian Open 1973 : with 18 players of the Top20 (only Nastase And Kodes absent) so a line-up second to Forest Hills only that year.

The Davis Cup 1973 was perhaps the best edition of all the open era : 15 Top20 players were selected by their Federation and played at least one match (either singles or doubles).

The Italian Open 1973 with the same 16 Top20 players as in the 1973 Roland Garros

(the slightly difference was that Borg who was in both draws, didn't play his first match at Rome while he reached the round of 16 at Roland)

WCT Finals 1973 with "only" 13 Top20 playing the qualifying phase (Nastase, Newcombe, Connors, Orantes, Panatta, Borg, Bertolucci didn't play the WCT circuit).

In 1973 Laver sort of "snobbed" partly the Grand Prix but he also snobbed Roland Garros (at one time he has told he would play the French but finally changed his mind), Wimbledon (he was one of the very rare players with possibly Emerson who had decided not play the Championships BEFORE the boycott was decided (Emerson even did not want to play any Slam of the year)). Laver wanted to play only the WCT circuit, the US Open because it was the Champs of his new country home and some scattered events including the final rounds of the DC.
 
In 1974 I consider that the 4 greatest events were 1) Wimby, 2) USO then far behind 3) Roland Garros (with "only" 15 Top20 players : Newcombe, Laver, Connors, Rosewall, Okker missing) but it was a Slam event. At the 4th place I have no clear opinion. The GP Masters was open to everyone (as the 1973 edition) but Riordan-Connors defaulted (though Connors was #2 in the GP standings) and an event at the end of 1974 without Connors whereas he was the absolute world #1, was obligatorily depleted; the WCT Finals had a superb field and 18 Top20 players were WCT players ("only" Connors and Rosewall didn't play the WCT circuit). The US Pro Indoor at Philadelphia had all the 84 WCT players (so all the best except Connors and Rosewall) but what makes me think that Philly doesn't possibly deserve this 4th place is the fact that both Nastase and Newcombe retired before their respective first match (don't know the reasons).



So for the 4th place I hesitate between the WCT Finals and the GP Masters. One of the reason that makes me think that an event is a major is the fact that this event is won by the best player in the world at the moment of the event (1 or 2 weeks). In 1974 when Newcombe won the WCT Finals he was the best in the world on indoor courts (though Nastase was still ATP#1); when Borg won his first RG, of course he was not the best player in the world but he was in my mind the best player in the world on slow European clay at the moment (I can't be wrong but I don't think Connors would have beaten Borg at RG in June 1974); when Connors won Wimby he was the best at the moment on grass (though Newk was still ATP#1); when Connors won the USO he was undoubtedly the best on earth but when Vilas won the GP Masters I doubt very strongly that he was the best at the moment because I think that Connors could have very likely beaten the Argentinian at Melbourne). The fact that Newk more or less proved he was the best of the moment (May) by winning the WCT Finals while Vilas was probably not the best of the moment (December) whereas he had won the GP Masters, makes me think that perhaps the WCT Finals were ahead of the GP Masters that year. In fact I think that the absence of Connors at the Masters was much more detrimental than his absence at the WCT Finals because the US player was possibly much stronger in December (due to his higher confidence after winning so many matches in the summer and fall) than in May.



Masters 1975 : except Connors (GP#6) who declined the invitation, all the players qualified entered in the tourney. The other top player missing was Laver but he was already in decline (his last great performances ever were his 1975 WCT circuit results and after the 1975 USO he virtually retired).

Once again the AO was a third-rate event with only 2 Top20 players (Connors, Newcombe) and one player on the verge of becoming again a top player (Roche).

RG was a Slam event with many top players but also 7 Top20 missing (Connors, Laver, Rosewall, Okker, Roche, Gerulaitis, Newcombe).

In the WCT circuit, as many as 7 Top20 players were absent : Connors, Orantes, Nastase, Vilas, Rosewall, Kodes and Newcombe while Roche entered in only 1 WCT Blue Group tourney.

Therefore the 1975 GP Masters was undoubtedly one of the 4 greatest events, behind Wimby and the USO but more or less as important as Roland since many top players didn't enter in the French. The WCT Finals were clearly behing RG and the Masters that year.

Masters 1976 : this one was clearly a depleted event with the best four players in the world (Connors, Borg, Nastase and Panatta) all absent : Connors though qualified again for the 5h consecutive time, didn't enter in the tourney for the 3rd time in succession (officially his WCT contract prevented him from playing the GP Masters and he entered in the 1976-1977 WCT challenge cup). Borg and Nastase were respectively only GP#10 and GP#11 because they had preferred to play lucrative exhibitions during the autumn instead of playing GP tourneys in order to qualify for the Masters. Panatta, the true #4 in the world though only 7th in the ATP rankings, also snobbed the Masters since the Davis Cup was his priority.

Masters 1977 : all the best tried to qualify except perhaps Gerulaitis who ended "only" ... #9 in the Grand Prix standings but since once again Roland Garros had a weak field in 1977 (without Borg, Connors, Gerulaitis, Stockton, Tanner and others including Orantes but the Spaniard was under surgery recovering), the Masters 1977 undoubtedly deserved to be considered as a major in 1977 very likely even ahead RG.

Masters 1978 : certainly not a true (among the 4 more important events) major contrary to what you claim. I recall you that though Borg and Vilas were GP#2 and GP#7, both boycotted the event exactly as Connors had done in the mid-1970's. They were replaced respectively by Barazztutti (GP#9) and Ashe (GP#10). Besides, whereas he had played his second consecutive Masters, Connors retired in the second set of his match against BigMac due to a deep blister on his left foot. In my opinion the 4 greatest events in 1978 were Wimbledon, the USO, then RG then the US Pro Indoor at Philadelphia (except Vilas, all the best entered in this great tourney of the mid and late-1970's).

Masters 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982. In those years, the greatest events were undoubtedly 1) Wimbledon, 2) the USO, 3) Roland Garros which was then at last a true Slam event with all the best present or at least the best on clay present, and 4) the GP Masters more important than both the WCT Finals and the very depleted Australian Open (in 1982 for instance the best player who entered in the AO was ATP#12, Johan Kriek).

From 1983 to 1995 the AO slowly but gradually replaced the GP Masters (then ATP Tour World Championships) as the 4th greatest event (at the exception of 1986 when there was no AO).



... Carlo Giovanni Colussi’s entire post of May 7 on the subject is quoted immediately below and it can be found on page 33 of this thread. My response to him was posted on May 16 and is on page 37 I believe, and your related comment was posted the same day, same page. My response politely showed that he had no basis and no business for his assertion that Nadal is/was superior on all surfaces except “fast indoor.” ...
Once again you repeat over and over your wrong argument. You are pretty stubborn !!!



... To the extent that tennis analysis should ever deserve to be called “brilliant”, some of Mr. Colussi’s pieces can be called that, and I used that word in my response. He can also be reckless. The notion that Rosewall was 10-6 against Laver in their 16 most important matches was most reckless. Everybody who reads these posts for fun can decide Federer-Nadal for themselves. Not all the readers are such nerds that they are steeped in the details of the Laver-Rosewall rivalry, and some may actually believe his misleading figures. ...
You, you are clearly NOT brilliant at all and your figures are totally misleading considering the fact you didn't select majors finals but "simply" important matches. No my figures aren't misleading at all. This is your numbers which aren't accurate at all because you are confusing major finals with important matches. There are of course many less major finals than important matches since the former are just a part (and the most important part by far) of the latter.

You just repeat over and over the same stupid things so I answer you the same right things. All your posts related to me are just rubbish.



... Giving '66 MSG precedence over the '67 and '68 editions does not make sense. Your apparent insistence that there has to be four events that matter each year, four and no less, no more, regardless of circumstances, does not fit with tennis history. In evaluating the greatest players, you would be taking out all kinds of tournaments (and in the case of the old pros, for some years you wouldn't even be able to hunt up four tournaments). ...
I agree with the fact that it is sometimes acrobatic to consider the four greatest events of some years as for example in 1936-1937-1938 when Vines only played tour matches and didn't enter in any tourney. Trying to select four events is just a way to compare ancient players (before the open era and even at the beginning of the open era when the tennis circuit was not as stable as today (Covid-19 aside) and above as fair as nowadays) with modern players who may play 4 majors without any problem. Of course you can't select among the old days 4 greatest events with more or less the same importance as it is now : now the Australian Open is almost as important as Wimby while in 1979 though the Masters was the 4th greatest event it was not "minor" compared to Wimby and in 1960 the Australian Pro Indoor (possibly the 4th greatest event of 1960) was "nothing" compared to the World Pro tour. So yes selecting only 4 tournaments is not perfect but it is the best and easiest way to compare major wins. However the number of major wins is not the only criterion to evaluate players. The fact that Gonzales has possibly won more major events than Laver doesn't mean that Gonzales is better than Laver. It is just one criterion among others. If I really thought that the number of majors won was the only criterion I would be certain that Federer was better than Nadal which was not the case when I wrote these posts in the spring of 2017.
 
... Just in the Open era, in discussing who were the greatest players, you would have to throw out the WTF and all its antecedents; the Italian (which your good friend Bud Collins said rivaled the Australian for many years in prestige and which he includes specially in his last edition as one of the great tournaments outside the traditional Grand Slam); Indian Wells, which some people think has a special importance; The Grand Slam Cup; The Olympics, and; either the Australian or the WTC between 1971 and 1989. Take out the WTF, for example, and the credentials of Federer, Djokovic, Sampras, Lendl, Becker and McEnroe diminish considerably. Start taking out these other mentioned tournaments and similar things start happening. I don't think that you really believe that non-credit for WTFs would produce fair or accurate evaluations of the best players of the Open era, etc. ...
Here again you make a misinterpretation. I never said that we should ignore records in important events such as the Olympics, the Masters, the WCT Finals, the Davis Cup and even Masters 1000. I just made comparisons between pre-open era players and open era players about the majors. The modern open era players have 4 majors nowadays which means that each year they can play in the 4 greatest events of a given year if they are playing well enough (except this year with Wimbledon cancelled and Roland Garros delayed to late September-early October or even possibly cancelled due to Covid-19). In the past there were no acknowledged true 4 majors as today so pre-open players aren't at all rated at their true level. Gonzales is almost forgotten because he has won only 2 tourneys recognized in modern times : the US (amateur) 48 & 49 whereas he is among the best players of all time if not the best one. These comparisons just show that not only Federer and Nadal have won about 20 majors but that Laver, Rosewall, Gonzales, Tilden and possibly Hugh Lawrence Doherty could also have won about 20 majors in the past if players then had not been segregated and could have easily move from one continent to another. I have never stated that only the majors count and that players should only be rated on that. Just a recent example : in 2016, Murray has won less majors than Djokovic, 1 (Wimby) versus 2 (AO, RG). However I consider that Murray was the world #1 without any doubt and with a margin bigger than the ATP rankings showed at the time, essentially because these rankings wrongly didn't take into account the Olympics (and the Davis Cup) : Murray not only won Wimby but also the Olympics (where he defeated Djokovic's winner, Del Potro) and the "Masters" plus 6 other tourneys including 3 Masters 1000. He also reached the finals of the AO and RG. This is an evident example showing that taking only the "true" majors (i. e. the equivalent modern Slam tourneys) into account to rate players is an absolute wrong reasoning. I just stated that in the most important matches, that is the finals of majors, Rosewall led Laver and I still maintain my 10-6 figures. You were wrong when you contradicted this assertion because you took into account many other matches. However you showed that in important matches but the very most important ones, this time this is Laver who led Rosewall. In conclusion, Rosewall led Laver in major finals while Laver led Rosewall in "sort of Masters"/and "sort of Masters 1000" matches (and in the end, Laver also led Rosewall in minor matches).
 
Some have noted that in several of my posts I may be angry, rude to some people. This is because these people have been disrespectful, insulting, etc ... in the first place. I am never disrespectful, rude to someone who is well mannered. Those NaTf, ARFED, Drob here and phoenix1983 earlier, have attacked me before I wrote them anything. They could have debate because they didn't agree with me but instead of that, claimed that my posts became "more and more crazy" (NatF) or were "Absolutely hilarious" (NatF), that my analysis of Nadal's time at #1 is flawed (while he is wrong), that "it descended into nonsense" (NatF), that "Carlo's comments about Federer and Nadal are garbage" (NatF) that I wrote "one of the most idiotic comments ever on this forum" (ARFED, the worse of them), that I lost all "credibility as a serious poster" (ARFED), that I couldn't be taken seriously (ARFED). Drob stated that my statistics were misleading (which is wrong since he misunderstood what they were), that my logic was inconsistent (which is also wrong because once again he misunderstood what I tried to explain), that some of my arguments were ridiculous and besides he also wrote that I "claimed that Peak Nadal was better than Peak Federer on all surfaces" which is completely false and even insane.

I repeat that they attacked me before I even wrote them any single post.

My last answers in this forum show that all these guys are completely wrong and do not deserve any respect due to their mean behaviour.

Hey guys you are a shame, especially ARFED.
 

Phoenix1983

G.O.A.T.
Sure you can not be convinced by strong and clearly demonstrated arguments. You just deny truth !
Good to see you've made your quadrennial appearance on this forum just to reply to a post of mine from four years ago.

And btw, I've never had a "feud" with you. I actually forget about your existence for several years until you return.
 

Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
Now I reply to your two arguments about the GOAT debate.

I disagree with you on both points

a) Of course there can be only one GOAT, the #1. But I disagree with you : there can also be a GOAT list with a #1, a #2, a #3, etc with eventually tied players. In my opinion Sampras is in a GOAT list though he isn't the GOAT. He is among the best (so in a GOAT List) but not the best (not THE GOAT). It is as simple as that..

b) About the way you rate the GOAT, I also disagree.

The main point is how to interpret what you claim :

" ... he played at the highest level of tennis ever played and sustained it for a reasonable period of time."

The main problem is "reasonable". I don't think there has been any player in tennis history who ever played at his highest level for a reasonable period of time. I am not convinced with your invincible Sampras for 3 years on medium or fast surfaces example (even less without never winning any RG). I do not agree with that reasoning because I consider that a long career is better than a short one. In fact I think that longevity is a part of a player's rating. And I think that ALL COUNTS and not only "the supreme apogee". Therefore in your Sampras example I am not sure at all I would have considered him as the greatest had he wholly dominated Wimby-the USO-the AO for 3 consecutive years. I still think I would consider Federer superior (with 20 Slam tourneys) even though he wouldn't have dominated the circuit as strongly as Sampras would have done in your example. I don't have any idea of what "a reasonable period of time" is and in fact this is the main problem in rating anyone in any discipline. In my view however 3 years is not long enough at all, far from that. I don't know the first time Kramer thought Budge was the GOAT but he expressed it in his autobiography published in 1979 (well after Budge's career). Idem for Segura, I don't know when he expressed his opinion about Gonzales and Kramer (I am not sure he considered Gonzales as the greatest, I wonder if he thought about Kramer). Once again I don't think Segura expressed this opinion when these players were at their respective apogee. About Hoad's example, I think that Rosewall's and Laver's opinions are clearly a nonsense. Hoad has even never been a true world #1. In my opinion he has only won 1 major in his whole career, the 1959 Tournament of Champions at Forest Hills. He also has never been a World #1, his best year being 1959 when Gonzales was possibly very slightly ahead of him. So if Rosewall and Laver have claimed that Hoad was the GOAT they were wrong. They just mean that in their opinion, the very peak Hoad was better than anyone else they have seen on the court but day in day out Hoad was inconsistent. About Kramer citing Budge, do you remember what Kramer wrote about Budge in his book "The Game"? He claimed that very peak Vines was the best ever but that Budge was the best "day in and day out" and he also thought that Budge was the co-#1 for 3 years (1937 to 1939 with Vines) and the sole #1 for 5 consecutive years (from 1940 to 1944) so Budge, in Kramer's opinion (which I don't share at all on that point), was dominant for 5 to 8 years which is a much more reasonable period of time than your 3 years in your Sampras example.

Finally McEnroe's opinion is one of the worst one. I have absolutely no confidence in McEnroe's opinion. For instance he wrote in his autobiography that had he won the 1984 Roland Garros Open he would have considered himself up to 1984 as the GOAT of the preceding tennis history. Complete nonsense and above all very big-headed opinion of himself. He also said in an interviewu on a French TV (Canal+) that he could have rivalled Sampras if both had met at their respective high. Many Mac's statements are not based on solid arguments but on very subjective feelings. Stating as soon as 2004 that Federer was already the greatest is a nonsense. And according to your view, this Mac's claim was not based on Federer's performances judged "for a reasonable period of time" since Federer has just reached the world #1 place for the very first time that year.

In conclusion, "a reasonable period of time" is a pure subjective convention which is different from one to another.

And about the comparison between the true career of Sampras (and not the hypothetic one you used as an example) and Federer's,

I am even more convinced of Federer's superiority now in 2020 than in early 2017 because Federer's record has improved since.

Even if one admits that peak Sampras was superior to peak Federer on fast courts, Sampras was a mere player on clay courts especially compared to Federer (and I am not talking of Nadal, Wawrinka or Djokovic). Besides Sampras has never been as dominant as Federer was between 2004 and 2007. The latter made 3 true "Little Slams" in his career while Sampras never (the US player was the holder of 3 Slam tourneys on two successive years 1993-94 but not a single year). Sampras's performances were "mainly based on his super service". He could play badly for long minutes as Agassi stated but however win sets and matches because his serve could be devastating. OK it is part of the game but he wasn't as complete as Federer is.

Let's imagine that Sampras and Federer would have been of the same generation.

It is not unlikely that peak Sampras would have beaten peak Federer on (truly) fast courts due to Sampras's superiority on the serve. On medium-paced courts I don't know if Sampras's serve (plus volley game) would have been an advantage sufficient to counter Federer's superiority at the backcourt game. But on slow courts, especially on clay, Sampras' weaknesses on his backhand and his footwork on clay where he didn't know how to slide , would have prevented the US player to win over Federer. I think that his head-to-head statistics against Federer would have been even worse than Federer's against Nadal on clay (2-14). Sampras could have only won if Federer had been ill.



In conclusion your "a reasonable period of time" is a pretty hard concept to handle

and your Sampras example has a too short "a reasonable period of time" in my opinion.



For instance I have always been impressed by Gonzales' numerous successes, as well in his young days as in his old days.

He was able to win both the Howard Hughes Open in Las Vegas and the Pacific Southwest Open Championships at 41 years old in 1969 : these events were equivalent of modern Masters 1000. At 42 he was still able to win the 1970 Las Vegas event (the draw was slightly less impressive than in 1969 because only contract pro players were allowed to enter).

No player since Arthur Gore (who won Wimby 1909 at 41) has been able to won a tourney with most of the very best players in the world. Even Rosewall has never done that (his very last great success was the 1972 WCT Finals at 37 1/2 years old).

At 21 1/2 years old, Gonzales had his first great success when he won the 1950 Philadelphia Inquirer tourney (his 1948&49 US amateur wins were second rank successses). Gonzales was thus able to win events as important as modern Masters 1000 for 17 1/2 years (more than 20 years minus a 2 1/2 year withdrawal due to his retirement in the early 1960's).

Shouldn't we take into account such a longevity to rate a player rather than be limited to the very very best years of a player ?

My answer is rather yes. Yes a player such as Laver probably reached higher summits for "a reasonable period of time" than Gonzales but the US player reached great summits for much longer than Laver and I don't think it is so negligible.





You are pretty unaware of what happened 4 years before (in 2013) between phoenix1983 and I so you are completely illegitimate to judge my behaviour towards him. If you had been aware of the way he answered me at the time you would probably have understood my 2017 reaction. You have no lesson to give me about this point and you shouldn't have written that post about that precise case.
Interesting that Kramer rated Vines co-No. 1 with Budge for 1939. I agree with that assessment. Vines' injury on the championship tour decided the difference, and Budge skipped the biggest tournament of the year, which Vines won.
 

Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
Thanks





I don't have the courage to search in my World Tennis collection but this is in the summer of 1964 (so about one year and a half later) that Hoad claimed in an interview with World Tennis that Rosewall was so confident to beat rookie Laver in January 1963 that he didn't want to shorten his holidays and just came back to work just two days before facing Laver.





Carlo, I rank Gimeno slightly higher than Segura for 1962 as maybe also Rosewall did at end-1962 (who excluded Segura from his list).

Rosewall probably excluded Segura (and Trabert also in 1962 though he wasn't that bad that year) from his list because at the end of 1962 Segura had virtually retired. That year, Rosewall was clearly ahead of the pack, having won 7 of the 8 most important tourneys. Hoad was clearly 2nd : he has won 1 of the 8 great tourneys (Zurich), he has reached the Wembley final and had a positive H2H record against Gimeno (5-1) and Segura (3-2). Between Gimeno and Segura I can't really decide who was the better in 1962 (I should have written in my original post " in 1962 Laver was clearly below Rosewall and even Hoad " instead of "in 1962 Laver was clearly below Rosewall and even Hoad and Segura")





I think that Laver could have more downs in his career than Rosewall in great events, it doesn't mean that peak Laver was below peak Rosewall. I still think that very peak Laver was better than very peak Kenny. However as I wrote once (or several times), at the end of 1967, Pierre Barthès claimed that he hadn't seen anyone, including Laver, playing as well as Rosewall in June 1967 (when Kenny won something like 3 pro tourneys).





They were much less "independent" than modern top players, the latter being almost free to choose the event they want to play.





I disagree with you. Do not forget that Drobny in 1952 was ineligible to play the Davis Cup (that Sedgman won with Australia) and couldn't play the US amateur (won by Sedgman) and the Australian amateur (lost by Sedgman to McGregor) because Drobny had no guarantee offered so no money to travel.

In fact you can really compare their records that year when Sedgman came in Europe the only place where both players could meet so between late March and early July (Wimbledon). Both players met 5 times when Sedgman won Wimby, Rome and Monte-Carlo (defeating Drobny each time) and Drobny won Roland Garros and Bournemouth (beating Sedgman in both occasions). During that period Drobny won 7 tourneys and Segdman 9. Outside of this period, when both players didn't play the same circuit, Drobny won at least 11 other tourneys (so at least 20 in the whole year) and Sedgman at least 6 other events (so at least 15 tournaments in 1952). In conclusion, when both players "were together" Sedgman was slightly better than Drobny but only slightly so Drobny was close contrary to what you claim : each won a Slam with almost all the best amateurs (Sedge won nevertheless the most prestigious, both won many tourneys (Segde having a slight edge, 9-7) and their H2H was not one-sided (Sedg having nevertheless again a slight edge 3-2). That Sedgman was better than Drobny is undoubtful but Drobny was close to Sedgman in 1952.





Hello BobbyOne. When I learnt about tennis history of course I have a huge respect for the World Pro tours but when I learnt later that it was based only on commercial choices and that often many of the best players weren't invited I completely changed my mind. About the 1954 edition, it was in fact a 3-man tour and not a 4-man tour because Budge was less good than any other second-rate player in the other 1954 tours as I detailed in my original comment. I am very fond of justice and if a sporting event dismisses top sportsmen it doesn't deserv the title of "the World Champs".





As you say since I have discovered that many so-called prestigious professional events were often only invitational tourneys, I suddenly consider them as less prestigious as they were entitled. Sedgman would have told you it was the world pro champs but as I recalled in my original comment, he was not invited to play the 1957 edition as Trabert whereas both players had been prominent that year. Perhaps Sedgie (or Trab') could have won Wembley 1957 if he had been allowed to enter in the event. The fact that the so-called pro slam events have been cancelled so many times is a proof that their prestige wasn't so great.





Same comment as above





https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gonzales–Rosewall_rivalry has 6:5

96 1959-01-02 Cairns Pro Rosewall 6–4, 3–6, 6–1

97 1959-01-03 Townsville Pro Rosewall 6–3, 3–6, 8–6

98 1959-01-04 MacKay Pro Grass Rosewall 4–6, 6–2, 6–2

99 1959-01-05 Rockhampton Pro Clay Gonzales 6–3, 6–3

100 1959-01-23 Queensland Champs Semifinal Wood (O) Rosewall 6–3, 13–11, 6–3

101 1959-01-25 Toowoomba Pro Grass Gonzales 2–6, 8–6, 9–7

102 1959–02-10 Sandy Bay Pro Grass Gonzales 6–3, 3–6, 10–8

103 1959-06-11 Masters RR Round Robin Hard Rosewall 4–6, 6–3, 6–2

104 1959-12-10 NSW Pro Champs Semifinal Grass Gonzales 7–5, 6–2, 10–8

105 1959-12-20 Sydney Pro Grass Gonzales 6–2, 6–4

106 1959-12-21 Brisbane Pro Champs Final Grass Rosewall 1–6, 7–5, 8–6, 8–6

Besides, even though Kenny led Richard in H2H that year, Rosewall won none major tourney contrary to most of the other years.
Good info on the 1959 Rosewall/Gonzales hth, important correction of an oft-repeated fable.
 

ARFED

Professional
You, not only you are not a serious poster but you are NOTHING and I will prove it, post after post of yours :

First, this post.

How can you be so disrespectful ?

How can you dare attack me in such a way whereas we didn't have any contact before this ?

You, you are just as so many posters who have no good manners at all. In another one of your posts you dared criticize how I treated phoenix1983 whereas apparently you know nothing about the feud between that poster and me (I will detail later). So please shut your mouth or more accurately do not use your computer.

Did I ever attack you ? So nothing gives you the right to attack me without good reasons?

Did I say that Nadal was superior to Federer on grass or fast hard outdoors (until 2016) ?

Absolutely Not.

I wrote :

"Nadal at his best is also better than Federer at his best on any surface except fast indoor courts."

That makes a great difference with your wrong interpretation.

Perhaps I should have been more precise and explained in detail that at his best meant in that context " at his very best, on a given match".

I am still convinced that in the period 2003-2016, on every surface except fast indoor courts, Federer has never played an entire best-of-five set match as well as Nadal did on some occasions.



You can disagree and be right

but you have absolutely no legitimity to be so disrespectful. You are so mean.

Besides if you read all my new posts you'll be able to note that I am not so idiot.
Was I mean to you? Oh dear sir, then my sincerest apologies. Don't get so stressed out my man, not the best time to compromise your immune system. I know 2020 was hard, but 2021 won't be better for you if stay on this path. Relax, find a hobby or something productive to do. ;)
 

BGod

G.O.A.T.
I sometimes struggle with the concept of the Big 3 actually having the 3 greatest careers. It simply doesn't make sense and more on the dilution of tennis and how top heavy it is.

Domination of peers is still the greatest metric for sheer talent.

Borg dominated in a fashion Nadal never came close to outside 1 season for example. And Novak has in spurts because the proceeding generation simply flubbed out.
 
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