Top 8 male players of all time

Sport

G.O.A.T.
Rosewall didn't become number one until Pancho retired at 32. No doubt in my mind Pancho was the greater player, pretty much all contempories agree as well - not to say Rosewall wasn't very great as well.

"Pro Slams" was a contentious topic in the former pro section for a number of years, what I'll say is that you can't judge pre-open era players by the same standards of today e.g. slam count. For one Pancho turned pro in 1950 and there was no French Pro held until 1955, also the Wembley Pro (which was the biggest of the Pro Majors) wasn't held in 1954 or 1955, Pancho won the event from 1950-1952, made the final in 1953 and won it again in 1956. From 1958 onwards his attendence at the traditional Pro Major events was spotty even in years he wasn't technically retired. He only played 1/6 in 1959-1960, can you imagine a number one player skipped that many slams out of choice? Or even a number one player maintaining their ranking despite that? It was a different world in those years.

Touching on this there was something of a duopoly on the pro tour in Gonzalez's era, there was a tournament circuit including the big pro events such as Wembley and the French and there was the World Pro Tour, which was a series of H2H matches either one on one or as a group, this often involved 100 or so matches and was billed as 'for the world championship' e.g. the number one ranking. It's very important not to ignore the importance of the tours as they were a huge part of the pro life in those years - Gonzalez excelled here and won many (including over Rosewall).

On wikipedia you'll see the US Pro, French and Wembley down as the pro majors but even this is rather simplistic, IIRC the US Pro changed venues and often didn't have the lustre of the other two. There were also less regularly held tournaments such as the Tournament of Champions which Gonzalez won multiple times which was absolutely a major (Rosewall himself names it in an interview as one of the big ones) which isn't counted on his wiki.

As far as actual slams go I barely even count Amateur Slams as they were missing 90% of the best players and the draws were populated by amateurs - Gonzalez was ancient by the time the Open Era rolled around so he can hardly be blamed for not winning more slams then either.
Completely false statement. I have discussed this issue with much older people who saw them both playing live and they choose Rosewall based on the fact that Rosewall won 23 Majors (15 Pro Slams + 8 Grand Slams) while Gonzales "only" won 14 Majors (12 Pro Slams + 2 Grand Slams). 23 > 14. It is not "simplistic" to consider Pro Slams as Majors because they were indeed recognized as Majors those days. It is historically inaccurate to say that they are not Majors.

By the way, in 2012 the sports telivision program "100 Greatests of all time" asked an international panel of tennis experts who are the greatest tennis players ever. Rosewall (#20) was ranked MUCH higher than Gonzales (#35).

 
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NatF

Bionic Poster
Completely false statement. I have discussed this issue with much older people who saw them both playing live and they choose Rosewall based on the fact that Rosewall won 23 Majors (15 Pro Slams + 8 Grand Slams) while Gonzales "only" won 14 Majors (12 Pro Slams + 2 Grand Slams). 23 > 14. It is not "simplistic" to consider Pro Slams as Majors because they were indeed recognized as Majors those days. It is historically inaccurate to say that they are not Majors.
lol you're chatting out of your backside. You thought Sampras was a serve bot until 6 months ago and now you're arguing with me about Pancho and Rosewall? :-D

Look at Laver, Kramer's and Sedgman's all time ranking list and see who comes first Gonzalez or Rosewall (y)

Who said they weren't majors? My point is that in importance for the players they weren't the same as the slams today - which is absolutely true.
 

clout

Hall of Fame
All time in no particular order:
Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Laver, Sampras, Rosewall, Gonzales, and Borg

Open era in no particular order:
Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Sampras, Borg, Lendl, Connors and Agassi
 

Sport

G.O.A.T.
lol you're chatting out of your backside. You thought Sampras was a serve bot until 6 months ago and now you're arguing with me about Pancho and Rosewall? :-D

Look at Laver, Kramer's and Sedgman's all time ranking list and see who comes first Gonzalez or Rosewall (y)

Who said they weren't majors? My point is that in importance for the players they weren't the same as the slams today - which is absolutely true.
They were the most important titles of their era, so of course they cared a lot about winning them.

In 2012 the sports telivision program "100 Greatests of all time" asked an international panel of tennis experts who are the greatest tennis players ever. Rosewall (#20) was ranked MUCH higher than Gonzales (#35).

100 Greatest of All Time - Wikipedia
 
That is an interesting list. Excellent choices but, if I am not mistaken, you put Sampras over Nadal because Sampras was better in 2 of the 3 surfaces (hard and grass). But aren't you excluding Nadal's 12 RG titles of consideration? With your reasoning "Sampras is better in 2 of the 3 surfaces", you are only considering 2 of the 3 surfaces (66% of the surfaces), rather than 3 of 3 surfaces (100% of the surfaces). If we consider the 3 surfaces (not only 2), Nadal has 19 Slams and Sampras 14. If we only consider 2 surfaces (hard and grass) Sampras has 14 Slams and Nadal 7. But you would be excluding Nadal's 12 RG titles of the equation with no justification. You apply the same logistics to place Djokovic over Nadal, that he is better in 2 of the 3 surfaces. Why do you place Laver over Nadal but not over Djokovic is a mistery to me.

What do you think?
I have almost the same names except one. Besides I have Tilden and Newcombe. The sure players in top8 are only Gonzalez, Laver, Borg and Djokovic.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
In 2012 the sports telivision program "100 Greatests of all time" asked an international panel of tennis experts who are the greatest tennis players ever. Rosewall (#20) was ranked MUCH higher than Gonzales (#35).

100 Greatest of All Time - Wikipedia
That list was garbage lol. They had Roy Emerson above both...

Like I said their contemporaries e.g. the players from that era basically unanimously hold Pancho in much higher regard.

I was honestly trying to share some history with you but apparently you're only interested in exposing how little you know by confronting me in this way....

I mean, you basically shot yourself in the foot here, on the one hand you're arguing that "Pro Slams" were majors and that's why Rosewall is greater than Gonzalez then on the other you're pointing to a list which has a supposed 23 time major winner in Rosewall below McEnroe who only won 7 majors. The irony :-D
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
If there's any consolation, I found your previous post extremely informative...:)
Glad someone did :-D

It's quite a messy debate, seen people with way more knowledge than me on both sides arguing for the status of the Pro Majors and others arguing for the World Tour above all else. I think both were important, you can't talk about the careers of these guys without both. The Pro Majors and tournaments in general gained more importance on the pro tour as the Open Era approached, think the powers that be wanted to emulate the amateur game. In some years there were even protoype ranking systems to determine the #1.
 
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Sport

G.O.A.T.
That list was garbage lol. They had Roy Emerson above both...

Like I said their contemporaries e.g. the players from that era basically unanimously hold Pancho in much higher regard.

I was honestly trying to share some history with you but apparently you're only interested in exposing how little you know by confronting me in this way....

I mean, you basically shot yourself in the foot here, on the one hand you're arguing that "Pro Slams" were majors and that's why Rosewall is greater than Gonzalez then on the other you're pointing to a list which has a supposed 23 time major winner in Rosewall below McEnroe who only won 7 majors. The irony :-D
Can you prove it? I can also say "most tennis analysts from the Amateur Era placed Rosewall over Gonzales" without proving it.
 

K-H

Hall of Fame
Glad someone did :-D

It's quite a messy debate, seen people with way more knowledge than me on both sides arguing for the status of the Pro Majors and others arguing for the World Tour above all else. I think both were important, you can't talk about the careers of these guys without both. The Pro Majors and tournaments in general gained more importance on the pro tour as the Open Era approached, think the powers that be wanted to emulate the amateur game. In some years there were even protoype ranking systems to determine the #1.
I wasnt aware much about the world pro tour and its Importance as it was a really long time ago until you mentioned it and shed some light on it.
Its hard to really analyse that sort history and what it meant to the sport unless you hear about it from someone who was there at the time or if you were actually there at the time yourself.
Simply making assumptions from facts and stats is difficult as you dont quite know what weighting each stat and achievement had back then even if it looks meaningful now.
 

BeatlesFan

Talk Tennis Guru
In this order (and this order may change if Rafa wins two more slams):

Fed
Nadal
Laver
Djokovic
Sampras
Borg
Connors
Lendl/Mac/Agassi

It's hilarious that almost nobody even lists Connors. The presentism in the lists is beyond belief.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Can you prove it? I can also say "most tennis analysts from the Amateur Era placed Rosewall over Gonzales" without proving it.
I gave you Laver, Kramer and Sedgman. Look it up (y)

Laver gave his list in an interview in 2012, Sedgman gave his in his biography a few years ago, I believe Kramer ranked players in either his biography "The Game" or "The Fireside Book of Tennis".

And why would I lie? This is why you're such a plank. Can't even have a sensible discussion with you.
 

Sport

G.O.A.T.
I gave you Laver, Kramer and Sedgman. Look it up (y)

Laver gave his list in an interview in 2012, Sedgman gave his in his biography a few years ago, I believe Kramer ranked players in either his biography "The Game" or "The Fireside Book of Tennis".

And why would I lie? This is why you're such a plank. Can't even have a sensible discussion with you.
Ah, you meant legends of tennis. I was referering to tennis fans of the era. I have had the pleasure to discuss with a tennis fan who watched Rosewall play live. He emphatically asserts that Ken Rosewall's resume is inaudite and as complete as it can be. He is very proud of Rosewall's 23 Majors and his capacity to win tournaments on every surface of its time.

Anyhow, I saw Laver's list and I find it debatable. This is Laver's list from January 2012:

From the past
10. John Newcombe (AUS)
9. Jack Crawford (AUS)
8. Bobby Riggs (USA)
7. Ellsworth Vines (USA)
6. Ken Rosewall (AUS)
5. Fred Perry (GBR)
4. Don Budge (USA)
3. Pancho Gonzalez (USA)
2. Jack Kramer (USA)
1. Lew Hoad (AUS)

From the Open era
10. Stefan Edberg (SWE)
9. Ivan Lendl (USA)
8. Jimmy Connors (USA)
7. Andre Agassi (USA)
6. Novak Djokovic (SER)
5. Rafael Nadal (ESP)
4. John McEnroe (USA)
3. Pete Sampras (USA)
2. Bjorn Borg (SWE)
1. Roger Federer (SUI)

He put McEnroe with 7 Slam titles and 0 French Open over 2012 Nadal with 10 Slams and the Career Grand Slam. So only because Laver and other legends created a list, it doesn't mean we should accept it as true because they say so. Laver and Kramer are human and can be wrong like everyone else.
 

Sport

G.O.A.T.
In no particular order
Fed, Nadal, Djokovic, Borg, Sampras, Pancho, Tilden, Laver
Rosewall with 23 Majors should be there before Tilden and Gonzales both of which won 14 Majors. Even if we consider Pro Slams less relevant than modern Slams, they were still the most relevant titles of the Amateur Era along with Slams. In my opinion (which I know not many will agree with since it is highly controversial) I would place Rosewall even higher than Laver for the aforementioned reason. Rosewall won 23 Majors, Laver 19. 23 > 19.
 
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NatF

Bionic Poster
I wasnt aware much about the world pro tour and its Importance as it was a really long time ago until you mentioned it and shed some light on it.
Its hard to really analyse that sort history and what it meant to the sport unless you hear about it from someone who was there at the time or if you were actually there at the time yourself.
Simply making assumptions from facts and stats is difficult as you dont quite know what weighting each stat and achievement had back then even if it looks meaningful now.
Even for those around then most don't know the story of the pro tour as it wasn't televised. Most of what we know has been reconstructed from newspaper clippings etc...over many years.

Its really difficult to know the real situation on the pro tour, very few really understand it.
 
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Don't you include Federer and Nadal among the top 8 players of all time? What is the reason?
Nadal is not among top4 but is somewhere 5-11. To my mind it cannot be possible that there were three all time players of the same era. I dropped F out. Also the level of players has been worse in 2000's than for example in 1980's. That is why in top11 there are besides Borg, also Connors and Lendl.
 

Sport

G.O.A.T.
Nadal is not among top4 but is somewhere 5-11. To my mind it cannot be possible that there were three all time players of the same era. I dropped F out. Also the level of players has been worse in 2000's than for example in 1980's. That is why in top11 there are besides Borg, also Connors and Lendl.
But then what makes you choose Djokovic over Fedal? Till now he has less Slams than both.
 
I didn't say I disliked your comment but do you not see why you are not the best candidate to write those criticisms?
Lol, this is funny. I don't see anything wrong if you don't like Nadal. But this guy is more than a hater, he shows huge disrespect to Nadal and tries to bring him down at all cost, at every opportunity. At least I don't deny Djokovic is one of the greatest players ever and you will never see me writing that he is "a lucky player who won from time to time but he isn't even close to his rivals who are the real all time greats". So please, no need to compare me to him.
 
Ah, you meant legends of tennis. I was referering to tennis fans of the era. I have had the pleasure to discuss with a tennis fan who watched Rosewall play live. He emphatically asserts that Ken Rosewall's resume is inaudite and as complete as it can be. He is very proud of Rosewall's 23 Majors and his capacity to win tournaments on every surface of its time.
How is BobbyOne doing?
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Ah, you meant legends of tennis. I was referering to tennis fans of the era. I have had the pleasure to discuss with a tennis fan who watched Rosewall play live. He emphatically asserts that Ken Rosewall's resume is inaudite and as complete as it can be. He is very proud of Rosewall's 23 Majors and his capacity to win tournaments on every surface of its time.

Anyhow, I saw Laver's list and I find it debatable. This is Laver's list from January 2012:

From the past
10. John Newcombe (AUS)
9. Jack Crawford (AUS)
8. Bobby Riggs (USA)
7. Ellsworth Vines (USA)
6. Ken Rosewall (AUS)
5. Fred Perry (GBR)
4. Don Budge (USA)
3. Pancho Gonzalez (USA)
2. Jack Kramer (USA)
1. Lew Hoad (AUS)

From the Open era
10. Stefan Edberg (SWE)
9. Ivan Lendl (USA)
8. Jimmy Connors (USA)
7. Andre Agassi (USA)
6. Novak Djokovic (SER)
5. Rafael Nadal (ESP)
4. John McEnroe (USA)
3. Pete Sampras (USA)
2. Bjorn Borg (SWE)
1. Roger Federer (SUI)

He put McEnroe with 7 Slam titles and 0 French Open over 2012 Nadal with 10 Slams and the Career Grand Slam. So only because Laver and other legends created a list, it doesn't mean we should accept it as true because they say so. Laver and Kramer are human and can be wrong like everyone else.
I wasn't commenting on the validity of his list. Kramer has Bobby Riggs over Laver IIRC. So I don't agree with all of their lists.

My point was that most who know the game from that era rate Gonzales over Rosewall. I also wanted to give you some perspective on the pro majors to explain why some would rate Gonzales over Rosewall.

You can rate them how you want but basing it solely on the pro majors misses a lot of historical context.
 
But then what makes you choose Djokovic over Fedal? Till now he has less Slams than both.
D has been by far the best in their mutual matches, I remember.

As to Rosewall he would have been number one at age 36 if there had been computer ranking in use already in 1971.

Afterwards: I was wrong. I can't drop Nadal below Djokovic.
 
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Sport

G.O.A.T.
D has been by far the best in their mutual matches, I remember.

As to Rosewall he would have been number one at age 36 if there had been computer ranking in use already in 1971.
Not in Slam meetings though.

I agree with the Rosewall part.
 

NoleFam

G.O.A.T.
Lol, this is funny. I don't see anything wrong if you don't like Nadal. But this guy is more than a hater, he shows huge disrespect to Nadal and tries to bring him down at all cost, at every opportunity. At least I don't deny Djokovic is one of the greatest players ever and you will never see me writing that he is "a lucky player who won from time to time but he isn't even close to his rivals who are the real all time greats". So please, no need to compare me to him.
Ok fair enough.
 

The_Mental_Giant

Hall of Fame
Next gen goat list

1. Jordi el Niño Polla
2. Juan el Caballo Loco
3. Ricky Spanish
4. Xander Corvus ?. a bit tricky, including him would be like including Thiem as atp next gen.
 

RF-18

G.O.A.T.
Lol, this is funny. I don't see anything wrong if you don't like Nadal. But this guy is more than a hater, he shows huge disrespect to Nadal and tries to bring him down at all cost, at every opportunity. At least I don't deny Djokovic is one of the greatest players ever and you will never see me writing that he is "a lucky player who won from time to time but he isn't even close to his rivals who are the real all time greats". So please, no need to compare me to him.
So putting him 5th all time is not one of the greatest ever? Okey.

It's trying to put someone down cause I have players like Sampras, Djoko and Fed above him, okey dude. Sorry that doesn't please you but that doesn't make me a hater.
 

King No1e

Legend
Hard:
1. Federer
2. Djokovic
3. Gonzales
4. Sampras
5. Connors
6. Nadal
7. Lendl
8. Agassi

Clay:
1. Nadal
2. Rosewall
3. Borg
4. Lendl
5. Kuerten
6. Wilander
7. Laver
8. Courier

Grass:
1. Laver
2. Federer
3. Sampras
4. Borg
5. Djokovic
6. Connors
7. McEnroe
8. Becker

Edit: Demoted Laver to 2nd behind Federer
 
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Sport

G.O.A.T.
1. Laver
2. Federer
3. Gonzales
4. Rosewall
5. Djokovic
6. Nadal
7. Sampras
8. Connors
9. Borg
10. Lendl
Djokovic needs 20 Slams to surpass Nadal, or at least 19 to be in the discussion.

As of now, 19 > 16.

I am aware that Nole has some advantages over Rafa outside Slams (just like Rafa has some advantages over Nole outside Slams). But Grand Slam achievements >>> achievements outside Grand Slams. Other criteria outside Grand Slams are just tie-breakers in case two players are tied in Grand Slam titles. Nadal and Djokovic are playing in the same era. If Djokovic isn't talented enough to win as many Slams as Nadal, he is not as good as Nadal. And tennis is a sport played against the whole field, not only against one particular player. So the number of Slams is more relevant than the H2H.
 
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