The Big 3 are in a race that no one else was running.

#1
It might make good copy in the sports pages and lead to heated debate on here, but at some point even the most fanatical worshippers of the Big 3 are going to have to realise that the slam race has NO significance in tennis history.

None.

It is mostly an invention of the 21st Century. The fact that three players in one generation have won 15+ slams is proof that the focus of the sport has entirely altered in the past two decades. The amateur/pro split made reaching double figures almost impossible and the greats of the 70s and early 80s thought so little of the slam count they didn't even travel to Australia.

It'll be fun to see who eventually wins this little race (I suspect it will be Djokovic) but it is a race none of the other all-time greats were even attempting to run.
 
#7
Yes, they are running a race none of the earlier generations, prior to Sampras' achieving 14, were even thinking about. They also have had the benefit of shallower fields, hence their "big 3" moniker. Tennis has changed since the 70s and 80s. Business got hold of it. It is what tennis players always wanted, and what they probably always dreaded. The roots are definitely in the 1980s with big money events making their first appearance. Until then, being a pro tennis player seems to have been simply about love of the game.
 
#10
This race will go on for a long time. Federer can't stop as he feels that he is the only force that can prevent Nadal and Djokovic from overtaking him in GS counts. On the other hand, both Nadal and Djokovic will do everything to do that. They have a blueprint how it can be done: Even if you do not win for years continue playing, from time to time it will happen. You can also start preparing for specific tournaments.; Nadal can opt to play FO alone. They are not stopping prior to 40 and they are not giving up.
 
#12
Next thread from OP - "Global warming is a race that no one else was running. The human race has NO significance in the universe's history."
Given that the human race is 200,000 years old and the universe 13.7 billion years old that wouldn't be an entirely inaccurate statement. Certainly, our significance in the history of the universe is very, very minor.
 
#16
So basically you are saying in the past there have never been three greatest players facing each other throughout their whole careers. That is true, but it doesn't change the fact that Slams have been the most significant titles long before today.
 
#17
Its funny, that the more topics like that started popping up, when Djokovic risen into the prospect of possibiolity of catching up and surpassing Fedal soon! LOL When it was exclusively between Fedal, everyone was singing different tune and you wouldn't see topics like this, cuz everyone was enjoing that ride and praising it as the best thing that have ever witness, glorifying and hyping it beyond all the measurable limits! But now, when a third "unwelcomed" guy jumped into that race, everyone all of a sudden feel like abandoning that "best ever" race! Haha kinda doubles standards, eh?...I dare you to travel back say in 2006-2008 and create topic like that...
 
#18
It might make good copy in the sports pages and lead to heated debate on here, but at some point even the most fanatical worshippers of the Big 3 are going to have to realise that the slam race has NO significance in tennis history.

None.

It is mostly an invention of the 21st Century. The fact that three players in one generation have won 15+ slams is proof that the focus of the sport has entirely altered in the past two decades. The amateur/pro split made reaching double figures almost impossible and the greats of the 70s and early 80s thought so little of the slam count they didn't even travel to Australia.

It'll be fun to see who eventually wins this little race (I suspect it will be Djokovic) but it is a race none of the other all-time greats were even attempting to run.
Yes. As Emerson said to Laver when Laver asked him how many majors he had won, "I have no idea; I never kept track."
 
#19
Yes. As Emerson said to Laver when Laver asked him how many majors he had won, "I have no idea; I never kept track."
Until today the OP wasn't even aware of what he is now tooting.

Too bad that the thread about the Age gap got deleted (I wonder who reported it and why, considering the dire straights of his argument) , otherwise you would have witnessed how he insists on seeing videos with debates about the significance of the differences between the ages of different generations of ATGs.

However, I have the entire thread saved.

:cool:
 
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#22
It might make good copy in the sports pages and lead to heated debate on here, but at some point even the most fanatical worshippers of the Big 3 are going to have to realise that the slam race has NO significance in tennis history.

None.

It is mostly an invention of the 21st Century. The fact that three players in one generation have won 15+ slams is proof that the focus of the sport has entirely altered in the past two decades. The amateur/pro split made reaching double figures almost impossible and the greats of the 70s and early 80s thought so little of the slam count they didn't even travel to Australia.

It'll be fun to see who eventually wins this little race (I suspect it will be Djokovic) but it is a race none of the other all-time greats were even attempting to run.
You are wrong, it has tremendous significance and the significance will continue to increase as time goes on. Obviously players from the pre open era had a different tennis world and comparisons from players now and then is difficult. The 70s are a different story though. You are correct that players did not try and win as many grand slams as possible and that the Australian did not have much importance. The players all had the goal to win as many US opens, Wimbledons, and French opens though, so it is easy to make comparisons with slight adjustments.

There are many ways to compare players now to players in the early open era. The big 3 have by far had the best combination of dominance and longevity in the open era and that is why they are clearly the best of it. The only player who might have been able to match them was Borg, but he quit as soon as he faced a challenge and we never got to see if he had the longevity to be considered among the greatest of the open era. There is no guarantee he would have overcome his challenges and dominated for a long time.
 
#23
The Slams race didn't have a high significance up to the 80s and maybe early 90s.
I'd agree that comparison with the pre-Open era is difficult if not impossible, though some equivalence between amateur, pro and open slams could be attempted. It's also clear that the Australian Open wasn't considered as important for quite some time.
However, since the Sampras days, Slam count is clearly considered an important achievement indicator, and there's no obvious reason it would change in the future - excepted perhaps the GS switching to BO3 (though WTA slams are BO3, and their prestige stays greater, so...). There is now much storytelling about it, and the storyteling does make it important.

But I'm not sure it will be the "only" parameter that matters. Other major achievements could also matter - weeks #1, YE #1... as well as CGS. And (N)CYGS, if it somehow becomes the elusive challenge many ATGs would keep failing at, so that the few that have it would be in a very special category.
 
#25
Until today the OP wasn't even aware of what he is now tooting.

Too bad that the thread about the Age gap got deleted (I wonder who reported it and why, considering the dire straights of his argument) , otherwise you would have witnessed how he insists on seeing videos with debates about the significance of the differences between the ages of different generations of ATGs.

However, I have the entire thread saved.

:cool:
I certainly hope so. Your claim that McEnroe saying Connors was "slow" in the 1984 Wimbledon Final was a reference to McEnroe being younger than Connors was one of the most laughably ignorant things I've ever read on a tennis forum.

Or anywhere.
 
#26
I certainly hope so. Your claim that McEnroe saying Connors was "slow" in the 1984 Wimbledon Final was a reference to McEnroe being younger than Connors was one of the most laughably ignorant things I've ever read on a tennis forum.

Or anywhere.
Don't you worry.

It wasn’t a reference to anything else, but to the fact that he was ..... slow.

Now, it is another matter how you tried to explain that "slow" and not having "rhythm" are the same thing.

It is interesting also, that in the very same video entry an explicit reference to the age of Connors's SF opponent was made "younger" which was aimed at illustrating the difference.

Actually, you don't even realise that you dug yourself into a hole when you tried to work the angle of Connors being tired after 4 sets with Lendl, because it was a direct reference to his age.

All your claims and gems are carefully preserved for the generations ready to be used when necessary.

For the time being "someone" saved you from the embarassment.

:cool:
 
#28
Don't you worry.

It wasn’t a reference to anything else, but to the fact that he was ..... slow.

Now, it is another matter how you tried to explain that "slow" and not having "rhythm" are the same thing.

It is interesting also, that in the very same video entry an explicit reference to the age of Connors's SF opponent was made "younger" which was aimed at illustrating the difference.

Actually, you don't even realise that you dug yourself into a hole when you tried to work the angle of Connors being tired after 4 sets with Lendl, because it was a direct reference to his age.

All your claims and gems are carefully preserved for the generations ready to be used when necessary.

For the time being "someone" saved you from the embarassment.

:cool:
You directly claimed that McEnroe's reference to Connors being "slow" was a reference to his age. Why are you now denying it?

I mean, I understand why-to save embarrassment. But do you think we've suddenly all got amnesia?

And Jimmy being flat, having no rhythm and being in a long match with Lendl were direct quotes from McEnroe, not from me.
 
#29
Given that the human race is 200,000 years old and the universe 13.7 billion years old that wouldn't be an entirely inaccurate statement. Certainly, our significance in the history of the universe is very, very minor.
This I agree with.... To get a better depth of this read about the the Cosmic calendar popularized by Carl Sagan. If the universe's life is scaled down to a calendar begining on Jan 1st with the Big bang, the entire human history will only occupy the last few minutes.
 
#30
I agree and it's an argument that will never be settled anyway,why is it so important to have a GOAT? They are the 3 greatest players ever,that's enough isn't it? I can't imagine even in a scenario where Djokovic finishes on 22 slams,Fed 20 and Nadal 18 that Djokovic will be a unanimous pick. They're just the 3 greatest,that's it...
 
#31
You directly claimed that McEnroe's reference to Connors being "slow" was a reference to his age. Why are you now denying it?

I mean, I understand why-to save embarrassment. But do you think we've suddenly all got amnesia?

And Jimmy being flat, having no rhythm and being in a long match with Lendl were direct quotes from McEnroe, not from me.
I am not denying it, quite the opposite: I said exactly that. Being slow was a reference to his physical condition, which was because of his trouble to recover from his match with Lendl, which, in turn is a reference to his reduced ability to recover quickly, due to age, and that was what I said that McEnroe meant with his comment.

I said as much and you tried to imply that McEnroe's comment about Jimmy not finding his rhythm, and him being slow reference one and the same thing, which clearly wasn't the case. They were two separate references, albeit said at once, so you tried to pass them as one, which I addressed then by saying that you are trying to get away with half-truths.

It is all there, your exact reference to what McEnroe said, your exact words and my responses to each of your post, and I can bring them up, if need be and you dispute what I am describing to have happened.

Not only that, but you had a number of other laughable claims with which you tried to evade the already existing proofs that such age comparisons were made: for example you stated:

"No one considered Connors and Lendl to be direct contemporaries. There was almost 8 years gap between them"

to which @JMR answered:

"So, players with 7-year age difference (Connors-Mac and Lendl-Becker) were deemed contemporaries - according to you in your OP - but Connors and Lendl were not contemporaries because their age difference was "almost 8"? Yes, I see the crucial distinction!

Not to mention the fact that Connors and Lendl were co-members of the Year-end Top 3 in 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, and almost 1985 (Jimbo fell to #4? Isn't that another of YOUR criteria for declaring players contemporaries, at which point age difference miraculously melt away?"

As you can see, thee is a pretty exhaustive record of the claims with which you were trying to twist the conversation.

Too bad that in the video of the said match also a reference to Lendl as the " young" opponent of Connors in the SF was made.

All in all in that video there were references to Jimbo's age made by 1) both commentators, 2) McEnroe,3) in relation to his opponent in the SF (Lendl) AND 4) in the course of the broadcast narrated indirectly by the player himself, when he confronted McEnroe in a previous match, telling him that he had a son that was behaving like McEnroe, and which was the reason why McEnroe changed his attitude for that match

And you have the gall to tell me that noone ever thought about bringing up age comparisons between these players?

:cool:
 
#32
The amateur/pro split made reaching double figures almost impossible and the greats of the 70s and early 80s thought so little of the slam count they didn't even travel to Australia.
Not sure how having FEWER of the best players competing for majors made it harder to reach double figures at majors. Maybe some crazed, reverse logic universe.

The reason hardly anyone reached double figures was despite the split, not because of it. There are many reasons but near the top is: lack of money so players has to prioritise other ways to earn a living - exhibitions etc.
 
#33
I agree and it's an argument that will never be settled anyway,why is it so important to have a GOAT? They are the 3 greatest players ever,that's enough isn't it? I can't imagine even in a scenario where Djokovic finishes on 22 slams,Fed 20 and Nadal 18 that Djokovic will be a unanimous pick. They're just the 3 greatest,that's it...
There's no need to have a "GOAT" (and I'd strongly believe the "GOAT" question may become undecided). However, many fans, media, etc... like to debate, write papers, etc... to discuss a "GOAT".

From my point of view... if there's a real "GOAT", there would be no need for discussion, because he'd appear as a "GOAT" for a vast majority of people. But, then, it can be funnier to debate and discuss.
 
#34
Not sure how having FEWER of the best players competing for majors made it harder to reach double figures at majors. Maybe some crazed, reverse logic universe.

The reason hardly anyone reached double figures was despite the split, not because of it. There are many reasons but near the top is: lack of money so players has to prioritise other ways to earn a living - exhibitions etc.
The actual reason is that the best amateur players would switch to the pro tour, and be immediately excluded from the Slams (which were restricted to amateurs only). Quite impossible (and actually silly) to reach double digits, when you'd switch as soon as you'd have enough success (that is: after winning a few tournaments).
 
#35
I am not denying it, quite the opposite: I said exactly that. Being slow was a reference to his physical condition, which was because of his trouble to recover from his match with Lendl, which, in turn is a reference to his reduced ability to recover quickly, due to age, and that was what I said that McEnroe meant with his comment.

:cool:
McEnroe made no reference to Connor's age. Either on the day or years later in his autobiography. He blames Connors flatness and lack of rhythm on the contrasting difficulty and length of the two semi-finals they played -not on McEnroe and Connors respective ages.

Connors age in 1984 is never mentioned at all by McEnroe.

To try and spin McEnroe's comment about Jimmy being slow to be a comment about his age is an embarrassment.

And that was your best evidence that the age difference between them was a hot topic at the time! As I said elsewhere, if you have evidence of their age difference being a hot topic during their rivalry i'd be glad to see it. We certainly never discussed it as a remotely key factor at the tournaments.
 
#36
There's no need to have a "GOAT" (and I'd strongly believe the "GOAT" question may become undecided). However, many fans, media, etc... like to debate, write papers, etc... to discuss a "GOAT".

From my point of view... if there's a real "GOAT", there would be no need for discussion, because he'd appear as a "GOAT" for a vast majority of people. But, then, it can be funnier to debate and discuss.
The debate is between Fed and Nadal.

Serbians support Djokovic because of their patriotism. Less than 10 fans on this forum who are not from Serbia thinks he is GOAT.
 
#37
McEnroe made no reference to Connor's age. Either on the day or years later in his autobiography. He blames Connors flatness and lack of rhythm on the contrasting difficulty and length of the two semi-finals they played -not on McEnroe and Connors respective ages.

Connors age in 1984 is never mentioned at all by McEnroe.

To try and spin McEnroe's comment about Jimmy being slow to be a comment about his age is an embarrassment.

And that was your best evidence that the age difference between them was a hot topic at the time! As I said elsewhere, if you have evidence of their age difference being a hot topic during their rivalry i'd be glad to see it. We certainly never discussed it as a remotely key factor at the tournaments.
While your efforts to ignore what is being written in an effort to evade the consequences from making your previous statements are endearing, you cannot turn this in anything else that could in any way or form create a back door for you to leave.

It WAS a comment about Jimmy not being up to his best level (his SF WAS brought up during the match commentary before even McEnroe was asked after the end).

McEnroe's comment was CLEARLY referring to Jimmy's deteriorated state, so it is time to start working on understanding what simple words mean. McEnroe doesn't need to say Jimbo's age to refer to factors related to it, and that is what he did. You haven't offered any other explanation for Jimmy's slowness, and neither has McEnroe.

That was not my "best evidence". I gave you 4 separate instances from that match alone (listed above, so maybe learn to read?), and I gave you at least three other examples (one from an article from NY Times, One from a Commentary made by Pancho Gonzales and Kirby, and one from a match between Laver and Borg, (which you tried to brush aside with the comment that they are not considered contemporaries), which completely forego the main point, which was that age between competing ATGs WAS a topic).

Your efforts to introduce fancy words like "hot" etc are only an effort to shift the focus from the main points being made.

And you still do not understand that your insistence of having a "debate" about that in such a direct and focused manner contradicts the Zeitgeist of the times, which to me is a more clear indication that you are faking your story than even your asinine and ridiculous efforts to hold on to dear life by twisting the conversation.I explained that to you, but you still seem to not get it.

All in all: your story is a joke.

:cool:
 
#38
While your efforts to ignore what is being written in an effort to evade the consequences from making your previous statements are endearing, you cannot turn this in anything else that could in any way or form create a back door for you to leave.

It WAS a comment about Jimmy not being up to his best level (his SF WAS brought up during the match commentary before even McEnroe was asked after the end).

McEnroe's comment was CLEARLY referring to Jimmy's deteriorated state, so it is time to start working on understanding what simple words mean. McEnroe doesn't need to say Jimbo's age to refer to factors related to it, and that is what he did. You haven't offered any other explanation for Jimmy's slowness, and neither has McEnroe.

That was not my "best evidence". I gave you 4 separate instances from that match alone (listed above, so maybe learn to read?), and I gave you at least three other examples (one from an article from NY Times, One from a Commentary made by Pancho Gonzales and Kirby, and one from a match between Laver and Borg, which you tried to brush aside with the comment that they are not considered contemporaries, which completely forego the main point, which was that age between competing ATGs WAS a topic.

Your efforts to introduce fancy words like "hot" etc are only an effort to shift the focus from the main points being made.

And you still do not understand that your insistence of having a "debate" about that in such a direct and focused manner contradicts the Zeitgeist of the times, which to me is a more clear indication that you are faking your story than even your asinine and ridiculous efforts to hold on to dear life by twisting the conversation.I explained that to you, but you still seem to not get it.

All in all: your story is a joke.

:cool:
Ah, it's making sense now. I apologise. You didn't understand the discussion.

The topic was not whether age difference between random ATGs was a topic (obviously the age difference between Connors and Rosewall or Laver and Borg was a relevant topic at the time). Only a fool would think that was a matter worth debating.

The topic was why is the age difference between Federer and Nadal now constantly being brought up when the two years greater age difference between McEnroe and Connors was rarely -if ever-mentioned at the time.

As I've said previously, if you have evidence that the age difference between McEnroe and Connors was a regular topic of debate I'd be happy to see it. I certainly don't recall it being worthy of much debate among the paying spectators.
 
#39
Ah, it's making sense now. I apologise. You didn't understand the discussion.

The topic was not whether age difference between random ATGs was a topic (obviously the age difference between Connors and Rosewall or Laver and Borg was a relevant topic at the time). Only a fool would think that was a matter worth debating.

The topic was why is the age difference between Federer and Nadal now constantly being brought up when the two years greater age difference between McEnroe and Connors was rarely -if ever-mentioned at the time.

As I've said previously, if you have evidence that the age difference between McEnroe and Connors was a regular topic of debate I'd be happy to see it. I certainly don't recall it being worthy of much debate among the paying spectators.
Ahh, so you are going to pretend that nothing is being said? That is on you.

Let's see: so, bringing up age differences between other ATGs of more prominent difference in age is somewhat a given topic, but the somewhat lesser difference is not, because?

Did the lesser difference in age somehow made the factor of ageing disappear?

Also, I still haven't heard your explanation about Jimmy's slowness.

Where is it?

:cool:
 
#40
Ah, it's making sense now. I apologise. You didn't understand the discussion.

The topic was not whether age difference between random ATGs was a topic (obviously the age difference between Connors and Rosewall or Laver and Borg was a relevant topic at the time). Only a fool would think that was a matter worth debating.

The topic was why is the age difference between Federer and Nadal now constantly being brought up when the two years greater age difference between McEnroe and Connors was rarely -if ever-mentioned at the time.

As I've said previously, if you have evidence that the age difference between McEnroe and Connors was a regular topic of debate I'd be happy to see it. I certainly don't recall it being worthy of much debate among the paying spectators.
I guess you are also talking about stuff like baby Nadal being used as an excuse also, right? Since Fedal was established back in 2005 and they were top two players in the world since then for the next five years.
 
#41
Ahh, so you are going to pretend that nothing is being said? That is on you.

Let's see: so, bringing up age differences between other ATGs of more prominent difference in age is somewhat a given topic, but the somewhat lesser difference is not, because?
Is that a serious question?

It is because a 17 year 10 month age gap (Laver-Borg -your example) is clearly far more significant in tennis terms than an age gap of 4 years and ten months (Federer-Nadal -the topic under discussion).
 
#44
The debate is between Fed and Nadal.

Serbians support Djokovic because of their patriotism. Less than 10 fans on this forum who are not from Serbia thinks he is GOAT.
I'd disagree here.

If all three were to end their career today, then I'd think Fed would be the "GOAT", by a fair margin and without any real need for a debate. His current achievements are arguably higher than his rivals', especially slams count, weeks #1. Both Nadal and Djokovic lack too much to really contend:
- Nadal's main argument would be the H2H (which is imbalanced due to clay...), maybe also Olympic Gold (debatable... not a major criterion as it currently stands, but might become more important in the far future). But he's too far behind on the weeks #1, the slams count, and also the slams balance which leans too much towards clay (definitely the clay GOAT for sure, and maybe forever), not forgetting the lack of even a single WTF
- Djokovic's main argument would be the NCYGS (important and underrated IMHO, time will tell if this gets more important in the future), career masters set is nice but of secondary importance, H2H is slightly ahead but too close. On the other hand, slams gap is really too high (5 isn't a small number), weeks #1 are also too far.

If we're talking about "GOAT candidates" whose careers aren't finished yet (and may even be far from finished...), then I'd think all three are currently contending and on the picture. We don't and can't know where each of the three will end - Fed's obviously closer to the end of his career, but anything may still happen to the other two. Current momentum is exactly in opposition to the ranking, so it really looks undecided.
There's a real and decent chance the gaps will be much closer at the end. So any of the three may end as "GOAT"... and maybe the "title" will stay undecided.
 
#46
The actual reason is that the best amateur players would switch to the pro tour, and be immediately excluded from the Slams (which were restricted to amateurs only). Quite impossible (and actually silly) to reach double digits, when you'd switch as soon as you'd have enough success (that is: after winning a few tournaments).
Which should have made it easier for others to stay in the amateur ranks and achieve victories as the best contenders disappeared off to the pro circuit.

Quite how having the best players missing - effectively disappearing in the blink of an eye - from majors made it harder for others to win them is beyond me.
 
#47
the most important factor in determining the goat is the number of slams at the end of their careers...the op and anyone else can make any excuse and every excuse in the book as to why the previous generations did not reach the heights of federer, nadal and djokovic, but the truth is that no other players in history have been this good or this dominant...the next 2 or 3 years are going to determine the greatest tennis player of all time, and in my opinion it's without a doubt the most compelling storyline in all of sports...my money is still on my man fed, but djokovic is coming like a freight train at the moment and nadal could still possibly win 2 or 3 more french open titles...in my opinion fed needs 2 more slams to seal the deal and despite what happened in the 4th round of australia I think he will still win the 2 more slams that he needs to seal the deal...novak is the biggest threat to fed after what happened in that final, and if he wins roland garros it's going to go down to the wire...my prediction has changed after australia...at the end of these greats careers i'm going with this prediction:

federer- 22
djokovic- 21
nadal- 20
 
#49
Which should have made it easier for others to stay in the amateur ranks and achieve victories as the best contenders disappeared off to the pro circuit.

Quite how having the best players missing - effectively disappearing in the blink of an eye - from majors made it harder for others to win them is beyond me.
Well, Emerson stayed in the amateur tour, and grabbed 12 slams... But no one really thought Emerson's mark was of huge significance - precisely because it was a split field, and others such as Laver or Rosewall were arguably better players.

Thing is, apart a few exceptions (such as Emerson) it would have been more rewarding (incl. financially) to switch to the pro tour, once having proven enough strength to compete there. A player grabbing lots of slams (thus, good enough to switch) had rather little incentive to stay on the amateur tour.
 
#50
It might make good copy in the sports pages and lead to heated debate on here, but at some point even the most fanatical worshippers of the Big 3 are going to have to realise that the slam race has NO significance in tennis history.

None.

It is mostly an invention of the 21st Century. The fact that three players in one generation have won 15+ slams is proof that the focus of the sport has entirely altered in the past two decades. The amateur/pro split made reaching double figures almost impossible and the greats of the 70s and early 80s thought so little of the slam count they didn't even travel to Australia.

It'll be fun to see who eventually wins this little race (I suspect it will be Djokovic) but it is a race none of the other all-time greats were even attempting to run.
These guys aren’t just winning Slams though. They are winning Masters (fka Super 9) tournaments and have won more Masters than anyone who came before them. So even if you say Slams aren’t everything, the Big 3 have shown that winning Slams is strongly correlated with winning pretty much everything else too.
 
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