Some Hard Truths

TripleATeam

Legend
  • The GOAT race doesn't come down to only slams. There are other events for a reason.
  • Finals reached are only a benefit to the player, not a detriment. Going 10-5 in finals is better than being 10-0.
  • Results aren't a measure of form. A poor form player can have a tight match and a great form player can be outplayed by someone playing even better. A 5-setter isn't necessarily tough if the loser was lucky to even be in the 5th set.
  • Weak era arguments just come down to the question "does everyone else suck or is [Player X] that much better than everyone?". People will always pick the narrative that makes their favorite look better.
  • Once the Big 3 are gone everyone will miss the GOAT race. The narrative was fantastic and made every slam that much more interesting. Without it, a little something is missing.
  • Winning the Olympics is bigger than winning the ATP finals. (Happens 1x every 4 years, so winning it is big)
  • Not winning the Olympics isn't as bad as not winning the ATP finals. (Only ~3-4 chances to win it over a career as opposed to 12-16 WTFs.)
  • Tennis is bigger than the player you're a fan of. Enjoy the tennis even when they lose.
  • Tournaments leading up to slams are indicative of form, but aren't be-all, end-all. If Rafa loses a clay event or any of the top 5 lose early in the American HC swing, be prepared for them to still go far at the next slam.
Those are really the ones I wanted to say. Feel free to share more! :)
 

Steve0904

Talk Tennis Guru
Don't agree that the Olympics is bigger than the WTF's. From a sporting perspective yes, but for the tennis aficionado I don't think that's true. I agree that it's become a big event since Nadal won it because he's arguably the greatest player ever so that helps increase the popularity of winning it. But let me just say that I think if you're using the OSG as a TB'er in the GOAT debate then you're doing the debate all wrong. Just my opinion though.

I don't think it's true that everyone will necessarily miss the GOAT race either, but I understand what you're trying to say so fair enough. Agree with everything else.
 

TheAssassin

Legend
Personally I don't think I will miss the GOAT race when it's over, as much as I want Djokovic to win it under most criteria. I'm fine with embracing more unpredictability in the future. Olympics - WTF comparison in tennis, meh we beat that dead horse a hundred times before, no reason to do it again.

The rest sounds about right to me.
 

mavsman149

Hall of Fame
The GOAT race is fun for sure although I don’t think it’ll ever be definitive either I 100% agree that saying it’s all about the slams is a big mistake.

While I’ll miss the GOAT race I became a huge fan of tennis in 99-00ish and I loved the unpredictability of that era too!
 

Tennis_Hands

Bionic Poster
And now, some real "hard" truths:

1) there is no such a thing as "GOAT"
2) there are no miracles, including physical ones (Santa is also not real, sorry kids!)
3) mental strength is a compound result from the player realising that there are things working in his favour
4) in Tennis younger ATGs supplant older ATGs
5) tennis fans in GPPD are generally oblivious for most real aspects of tennis, be it because they don't play the sport, because they have faulty perceptions on multiple matters concerning the sport, or because they are not interested in the sport beyond supporting their favourite
6) almost every abbreviation linked to an achievement that is traditionally used around here is a journalist or fanbases invention
7) your feelings do not produce anything concerning the professional players

:cool:
 
Last edited:
The GOAT race doesn't come down to only slams. There are other events for a reason.
Certainly, but slams are paramount in the modern period, for better or worse.

Finals reached are only a benefit to the player, not a detriment. Going 10-5 in finals is better than being 10-0.
Sure. You can deduct a bit of greatness for playing a bad final but it's still better than a bad semifinal.

Results aren't a measure of form. A poor form player can have a tight match and a great form player can be outplayed by someone playing even better. A 5-setter isn't necessarily tough if the loser was lucky to even be in the 5th set.
Mostly yes, obviously there's a relationship between form and results/scorelines but it's far from linear.

Weak era arguments just come down to the question "does everyone else suck or is [Player X] that much better than everyone?". People will always pick the narrative that makes their favorite look better.
For the most part, but we can visually appreciate and evaluate the tennis being played irrespective of fan allegiance. Weak and strong exist, the point is how you go about establishing them.

Once the Big 3 are gone everyone will miss the GOAT race. The narrative was fantastic and made every slam that much more interesting. Without it, a little something is missing.
I sure won't be missing the lack of high-level competitive tussles in slams that's prevalent recently.

Winning the Olympics is bigger than winning the ATP finals. (Happens 1x every 4 years, so winning it is big)
Winning the Olympics carries a non-tennis-specific value so its position is always arguable as it's not easily comparable. All other titles are about points and money, the Olympics is about medals. I say its value strongly depends on how medal-rich the country you're playing for is. To Monica Puig, winning Puerto Rico's first ever gold was bigger than a slam. I think Nadal would prefer to have 1 YEC 0 gold than 1 gold 0 YEC, even if he shan't say that. Besides the medal-hunting nature of Olympics means singles=doubles since gold=gold, so Nadal would remain a gold medalist anyway, like Federer is.

Not winning the Olympics isn't as bad as not winning the ATP finals.
Yeah due to the frequency difference.

Tennis is bigger than the player you're a fan of. Enjoy the tennis even when they lose.
I'm looking out for good tennis to savour, sadly it has dwindled.

Tournaments leading up to slams are indicative of form, but aren't be-all, end-all
Yep. May not even be telling, see Sampras.
 

jussumman

Professional
  • The GOAT race doesn't come down to only slams. There are other events for a reason.
  • Finals reached are only a benefit to the player, not a detriment. Going 10-5 in finals is better than being 10-0.
  • Results aren't a measure of form. A poor form player can have a tight match and a great form player can be outplayed by someone playing even better. A 5-setter isn't necessarily tough if the loser was lucky to even be in the 5th set.
  • Weak era arguments just come down to the question "does everyone else suck or is [Player X] that much better than everyone?". People will always pick the narrative that makes their favorite look better.
  • Once the Big 3 are gone everyone will miss the GOAT race. The narrative was fantastic and made every slam that much more interesting. Without it, a little something is missing.
  • Winning the Olympics is bigger than winning the ATP finals. (Happens 1x every 4 years, so winning it is big)
  • Not winning the Olympics isn't as bad as not winning the ATP finals. (Only ~3-4 chances to win it over a career as opposed to 12-16 WTFs.)
  • Tennis is bigger than the player you're a fan of. Enjoy the tennis even when they lose.
  • Tournaments leading up to slams are indicative of form, but aren't be-all, end-all. If Rafa loses a clay event or any of the top 5 lose early in the American HC swing, be prepared for them to still go far at the next slam.
Those are really the ones I wanted to say. Feel free to share more! :)
I agree with a lot of your points and disagree with some. It's because the Olympics is every 4 years and you could be lucky that year, healthy or in the zone, I didn't include it in my list.

Anyway the Goat debate IS both challenging and fun due to the nature of the sport.

 
#1. It's just a game and doesn't really matter in the scheme of life the universe and everything, so just be kind to each other mmmkay.
Doesn't work because actually nothing matters in the grand scheme as humans are an irrelevant species living on an irrelevant planet in an irrelevant system in an irrelevant corner of an irrelevant galaxy in a third-rate supercluster, and the "Universe" itself may well be a forgettable iteration in a multiplex of multiverses. So actually do whatever because the only hard truth is you were born and you will die, enjoy yololo.
 

Red Rick

Talk Tennis Guru
Stop counting results linearly, square them at least. i.e. Masters win is 25% of a Slam win, Slam final is 36% of a win. Then have a bonus system for records and special achievements.
 

Nole Slam

Legend
Doesn't work because actually nothing matters in the grand scheme as humans are an irrelevant species living at an irrelevant planet in an irrelevant system in an irrelevant corner of an irrelevant galaxy in a third-rate supercluster, and the "Universe" itself may well be a forgettable iteration in a multiplex of multiverses. So actually do whatever because the only hard truth is you were born and you will die, enjoy yololo.
The best post on TTW.
 
I'd like the Big 3 to set such a ridiculous slam record that nobody can possibly beat it, allowing everybody to stop caring about 'how many slams' and focus more on aesthetics, skill etc.
you think that would happen?
more like, whoever is the winningest is da best, everyone else suxx in comparison
 

BGod

Legend
Another hard fact is nobody after the Big 3 will have an objective argument of being the GOAT. They will dilute the Slams to fit growing trends. Whether that means eliminating Bo5 entirely or having Bo3 in earlier rounds, super tiebreaks, fast5 sets, etc. That will definitively end any objective discussions even if a future player wins double the Slams. Like with the concept of idiocracy, professional sport will be going down hill across the board in a regression due to competing entertainment not to mention E-sports. Eventually only old timers will even care to watch live sporting events.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
I feel like this is a major point.

Many people equate best results with prime, I don't think that's necessarily true as a whole .

For example, Federer's best results are 04-07, his prime lasted longer. Same with Nadal and Djokovic.
I mean, everyone agrees it did. It lasted until early 2010, IMO.
 

Red Rick

Talk Tennis Guru
Another hard fact is nobody after the Big 3 will have an objective argument of being the GOAT.
There will be objective arguments, there will be objectively better cases for one player over the other most likely. There will not really be consensus.

And IMO to pretend there cannot be a GOAT is just holier than thou ********. I admit it's toxic to care. But saying there can't be one is just a load of crap, especially when the 3 candidates played the exact same time period.
 

Beckerserve

Hall of Fame
Don't agree that the Olympics is bigger than the WTF's. From a sporting perspective yes, but for the tennis aficionado I don't think that's true. I agree that it's become a big event since Nadal won it because he's arguably the greatest player ever so that helps increase the popularity of winning it. But let me just say that I think if you're using the OSG as a TB'er in the GOAT debate then you're doing the debate all wrong. Just my opinion though.

I don't think it's true that everyone will necessarily miss the GOAT race either, but I understand what you're trying to say so fair enough. Agree with everything else.
For the olympics became massive when Graf won it. Probably because she won all 4 Majors so then media coverage of her Olympic win for me put it into Major category for a player.
While OP is right regarding slam race sadly the past 25 years or so the slam count got so hyped by the media that they have created the perception that only slams matter. The first thing people say about Federer is 20 slam record holder. When actually 105 overall titles is a bigger achievement.
 
Doesn't work because actually nothing matters in the grand scheme as humans are an irrelevant species living on an irrelevant planet in an irrelevant system in an irrelevant corner of an irrelevant galaxy in a third-rate supercluster, and the "Universe" itself may well be a forgettable iteration in a multiplex of multiverses. So actually do whatever because the only hard truth is you were born and you will die, enjoy yololo.
incorrect.
Love is the only thing that matters in the galaxy.
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
  • The GOAT race doesn't come down to only slams. There are other events for a reason.
Yes, there are other events for a twofold reason:

A) We the fans desire to be entertained more than 8 weeks a year.

B) The tour owners want to profit as much as possible off this desire, and so they are always looking to maximize the number of events that they can cram into a calendar, utilizing marketing techniques such as "big title" tallies or NextGen Race and other fanciful names in order to increase the perceived importance of these numerous tournaments.

Tennis tournaments like Shanghai or Hamburg do not exist to help tip the scales of a so-called "GOAT race", they exist because they serve A) and B).
On the flip-side, the idea of a 'GOAT race' in itself is so prominent because it too serves A) and B). It helps the fans have some narrative and drama to get excited about, helping us keep up our appetite for entertainment, and it helps the owner class profit off of this appetite.

In reality there is no definite answer to how we should value the importance of non-slam events in the "GOAT race". It's a rather spurious and subjective exercise.
 

Slowtwitcher

Hall of Fame
Here's a hard truth:

- No matter how many Slams Djoke wins before he retires, the only way he'll be seen as the GOAT is if he wins the Grand Slam.
 

Red Rick

Talk Tennis Guru
Yes, there are other events for a twofold reason:

A) We the fans desire to be entertained more than 8 weeks a year.

B) The tour owners want to profit as much as possible off this desire, and so they are always looking to maximize the number of events that they can cram into a calendar, utilizing marketing techniques such as "big title" tallies or NextGen Race and other fanciful names in order to increase the perceived importance of these numerous tournaments.

Tennis tournaments like Shanghai or Hamburg do not exist to help tip the scales of a so-called "GOAT race", they exist because they serve A) and B).
On the flip-side, the idea of a 'GOAT race' in itself is so prominent because it too serves A) and B). It helps the fans have some narrative and drama to get excited about, helping us keep up our appetite for entertainment, and it helps the owner class profit off of this appetite.

In reality there is no definite answer to how we should value the importance of non-slam events in the "GOAT race". It's a rather spurious and subjective exercise.
But my TV says I should exercise more.
 

BGod

Legend
There will be objective arguments, there will be objectively better cases for one player over the other most likely. There will not really be consensus.

And IMO to pretend there cannot be a GOAT is just holier than thou ********. I admit it's toxic to care. But saying there can't be one is just a load of crap, especially when the 3 candidates played the exact same time period.
You don't think everything outside of Slams being Bo3, 3 of 4 Majors having 5th set tiebreaker and ongoing discussions of Bo3 early rounds is a sign of times changing for the worse? Not to mention the massive drop off in emerging talent? It's kind of like boxing actually. Nobody is smelling Ali's gym socks moving forward.
 

Druss

Hall of Fame
Agree on most things with OP, except not sure about OG being greater than WTF. Also re "Enjoy the tennis even when they lose" ...it's not that easy! Especially when your fav player loses a major F by a whisker, after choking on match points on an otherwise formidable serve, and being the better player during the match.
 

Red Rick

Talk Tennis Guru
You don't think everything outside of Slams being Bo3, 3 of 4 Majors having 5th set tiebreaker and ongoing discussions of Bo3 early rounds is a sign of times changing for the worse? Not to mention the massive drop off in emerging talent? It's kind of like boxing actually. Nobody is smelling Ali's gym socks moving forward.
Slams are still Bo5.

Now why newer athletes are worse? That's a different and depressing question.
 
Very hard Truth: Tiebreaks in Grand SLams SUCK and are not ever a good thing and never will be cool! (the only exception being the USO where they've always been there) WImby and AO ruined it.
 
Top