What does Fed need to do to become GOAT?

danb

Professional
He is now no 2 - he lost Wimby to Nadal and he is 2-5 against Murray. What does he need to do to become a GOAT (or for that matter THE GOAT if possible). Pete Sampras has 14 GS BUT nobody owned him. We can't say the same about Fed (or can we?). I am pretty sure Fed will win at least one more GS but will that get him there with Pete (or Laver)?
If there is another thread like this - sorry - I don't mean to bore you...
 

danb

Professional
Win Roland Garros(#14), reclaim Wimbledon(#15).
1) Wouldn't JUST FIRST ONE suffice? IF he beats Nadal for Roland Garros wouldn't it be enough to be there with Pete and Laver?
2) IF he does what you say - woudn't he be THE GOAT (above everybody)?
 

norbac

Legend
1) Wouldn't JUST FIRST ONE suffice? IF he beats Nadal for Roland Garros wouldn't it be enough to be there with Pete and Laver?
2) IF he does what you say - woudn't he be THE GOAT (above everybody)?
Yeah I think if he beat Rafa at RG to win the Grand Slam he would already be considered the best, but 14 doesn't sound very sexy so I added one more for 15.
 

DoubleDeuce

Hall of Fame
He is the GOAT in many people's books already. A better question would be what Nadal needs to do, or anyone else for that matter, to take it away from him. Which is quite an stretch anyways.
 

danb

Professional
He is the GOAT in many people's books already. A better question would be what Nadal needs to do, or anyone else for that matter, to take it away from him. Which is quite an stretch anyways.
I respect that opinion but it still bothers me that at least for the first 1-2 years Fed did not have winning record against Rafa...
At the end of 2005 - 1-3, 2006 - 3-6
I know they played more on clay then hard courts.
In the end it is all relative - we compare players in different generations and on different surfaces when we choose our GOAT(s).
 

tudwell

Legend
C'mon dude ...
I'm not very well versed in tennis history prior to Laver, but no one since has come anywhere close to matching his achievements. Not Borg, not Sampras, not Federer. Laver won the Grand Slam twice, first in 1962 and then in 1969. From 63 to 67 he was a professional and not allowed to play in grand slam tournaments. That's five years - his prime years, I might add, most of which he spent dominating the professional tour - that he couldn't even play in the slams. And he still won eleven. If you take out five years from anyone else's career, how many slams would they have?

I'd say Federer's got his work cut out for him if he really wants to be GOAT.
 

danb

Professional
I'm not very well versed in tennis history prior to Laver, but no one since has come anywhere close to matching his achievements. Not Borg, not Sampras, not Federer. Laver won the Grand Slam twice, first in 1962 and then in 1969. From 63 to 67 he was a professional and not allowed to play in grand slam tournaments. That's five years - his prime years, I might add, most of which he spent dominating the professional tour - that he couldn't even play in the slams. And he still won eleven. If you take out five years from anyone else's career, how many slams would they have?

I'd say Federer's got his work cut out for him if he really wants to be GOAT.
OK - point made - I appreciate you took the time to write it down.
 

sheq

Professional
ı have discussed this matter in a few times through the past players threads..however, we discussed he is the goat or not,, will be or not..

there is a fact that current players, past players and most of the tennis fans say he is the goat or so close to be but there is another thought that he is among one of the best maybe at the top 5 but not the goat..some tennis experts and fans say laver is the best and pancho gonzalez or sampras come after him then roger..

IMO when roger takes the french open and another wimby ( so at least 15 slams ) and 4 master series ( at least 18 masters ) and being no1 for another 40 weeks to past sampras record he will be at the top in this fields. Therefore, that would be enough to be considered as the goat without question..
 

rwn

Semi-Pro
He is now no 2 - he lost Wimby to Nadal and he is 2-5 against Murray. What does he need to do to become a GOAT (or for that matter THE GOAT if possible). Pete Sampras has 14 GS BUT nobody owned him. We can't say the same about Fed (or can we?). I am pretty sure Fed will win at least one more GS but will that get him there with Pete (or Laver)?
If there is another thread like this - sorry - I don't mean to bore you...
Krajicek owned Sampras. He even thrashed Sampras in straight sets at Wimbledon. The claim for Sampras as GOAT is actually worse than Federer´s. He reached 1 Roland Garros SF where he won 2 games in the last 2 sets. A solid thrashing.
 

luckyboy1300

Hall of Fame
I respect that opinion but it still bothers me that at least for the first 1-2 years Fed did not have winning record against Rafa...
At the end of 2005 - 1-3, 2006 - 3-6
I know they played more on clay then hard courts.
In the end it is all relative - we compare players in different generations and on different surfaces when we choose our GOAT(s).
so what? pete sampras cannot claim GOAT as well because his french open (or clay court for that matter) record is very poor. to be a GOAT means you need to be consistent on all surfaces. plus, a detailed analysis of the h2h of federer and nadal would suggest a surface factor (9-1 on clay, 3-5 outside clay). so for this one sampras would rank below federer already. then we have laver. of course requiring federer to complete a CY grand slam twice is unfair; the field is now much deeper and anyone is capable of taking out anybody in early rounds in a very good day. plus, federer is just 2 sets short for a calendar year grand slam each year for 2 successive years, prevented by, imo, the greatest clay court player of all time. so would rank federer not that far behind laver, in fact he can be equal to laver now.
 

David L

Hall of Fame
I'm not very well versed in tennis history prior to Laver, but no one since has come anywhere close to matching his achievements. Not Borg, not Sampras, not Federer. Laver won the Grand Slam twice, first in 1962 and then in 1969. From 63 to 67 he was a professional and not allowed to play in grand slam tournaments. That's five years - his prime years, I might add, most of which he spent dominating the professional tour - that he couldn't even play in the slams. And he still won eleven. If you take out five years from anyone else's career, how many slams would they have?

I'd say Federer's got his work cut out for him if he really wants to be GOAT.
Laver's first 6 Slams were won in the absence of the best players in the world. As he acknowledges himself, all the best players back then were pros when he was competing in the amateurs. That's like someone winning Slams now in the absence of Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray, Tsonga, Roddick, Davydenko and many others. Would anyone really consider them bonafide Slam wins? It's not Laver's fault, but these are the facts. Emerson won 12 Slam titles, but they do not win him the same respect 12 might today, because they were all won in the amateurs during a period when the best players were pros.

The exiled professional players created their own Slams; the Wembly Pro, French Pro, US Pro and uniquely in 1967 the Wimbledon Pro. Laver won 9 of these professional Slams, but again with much of the competition missing, only this time the amateurs. From 1968, with the arrival of the open era, he was finally able to play with all the competition present and won an additional 5 Slams. So the total 'Slam' count of his uninterrupted career, one could argue, is 20 and this with much of the best competition absent at one time or another. Also, Laver got beat constantly when he first turned professional. It took him about 2 years to get used to the level, then when the open era arrived in 1968, he could beat up on all the green amateurs who were accustomed to a lower level of play and the few straggling pro veterans on the edge of retirement.

When you take all of this into account, if you wanted to project what he might have won in the absence of an amateur/professional divide in tennis history, an optimistic estimate is looking at Slams somewhere in the mid or early teens. A single digit Slam tally is not out of the question, but quite a reasonable point of view. The Grand Slam starts to look like a diminishing possibility.

As for no one coming anywhere close to Laver's achievements, I should remind you Federer was 1 match short of the Grand Slam in 2 successive years, 2006 and 2007. It doesn't get much closer than that. When you also consider competition is much tougher today than in Laver's day and Federer has to compete against the complete professional field, developed from the same starting point, these are remarkable achievements, easily comparable to what Laver did at the Slams, and there is probably more to come.

Laver Celebrates Another Milestone

12/29/2008 12:57:00 PM

"I don't have any regrets about turning pro and playing for five years with the likes of Lew Hoad and Rosewall, Pancho Gonzalez, Gimeno, Butch Buchholz and Barry MacKay. I became a better player when I turned pro. Until then I was certainly able to win matches but I wasn't a 'professional' in how I played. When you turned pro then you noticed that the guys like Rosewall, Hoad and Gonzalez didn't miss many first serves, never missed a first volley and they always made you play. You had to play hard to win as I found out, so I improved a great deal on all my shots."

At the outset, the best of the professionals were gaining more than their share of victories over Laver and beating him to the tactical and technical punch, but that all changed. "They were a lot better than me at the beginning," reflects Laver. "When I played Hoad, it was tough for me because he was my idol. I was just happy to be around him I guess. I think I improved by playing better players. You tend to raise your game because you see what they can do."

The standout performers Laver took on during that era were unmistakably Hoad, Rosewall and Gonzalez. On any given night, the explosive Hoad was unstoppable. Day in and day out, Rosewall-labeled appropriately "The Little Master"--- was an absolute model of consistency and ball control. Gonzalez was as ferocious a competitor as the game has yet seen.

As Laver recalls his drive to make it to the top of pro tennis, he says, "It took me about 18 months or so. I won some matches but Rosewall was certainly No. 1 until then, not me. It took some time to get there and, even when I did, every match was a battle. We were called "The Dirty Pros' and there was this talk about fixed matches, but that was far from the truth. I found that out quickly. Everyone played as hard as they could."

http://www.thetennischannel.com/news/NewsDetails.aspx?newsid=4815
 

Zaragoza

Banned
Win the Grand Slam.

Twice.
Winning the career Grand Slam would be enough. If he doesn´t win Roland Garros he cannot be considered the GOAT. Simple as that.
If he wins Roland Garros the comparison with Laver would make sense and then we would need a deeper analysis.
 

urban

Legend
Now, Laver has the best years ever in amateur (1962), pro (1967) and open competition (1969)respectively, winning all sorts of Grand Slams. He became the Nr. 1 pro after 18 months on the pro tour, after finshing his first year in 1963 as Nr.2. Maybe some read the Flink article in the whole, not in parts.
 

David L

Hall of Fame
Now, Laver has the best years ever in amateur (1962), pro (1967) and open competition (1969)respectively, winning all sorts of Grand Slams. He became the Nr. 1 pro after 18 months on the pro tour, after finshing his first year in 1963 as Nr.2. Maybe some read the Flink article in the whole, not in parts.
That's why I provided the link, so anyone can read the whole article if they want to. However, the fact remains, large portions of the most talented or able competition were not present at the 'Slams' Laver competed in between 1956-1967. Furthermore, when tennis became open from 1968, Laver had a head start over the former amateurs and an age advantage over many veteran pros later into their 30s than he was, some pushing or hitting their 40s. It's like he was perfectly positioned to go for the Grand Slam in 1968 or 1969, before the amateurs improved and while the veteran pros were struggling with age more than he was. Even the 1969 Grand Slam came close to not happening with Laver being extended to 5 sets on numerous occasions, as he had been in 1962, where he even faced match points. Even before we got to Borg, Lendl, Sampras and Federer, not all the old timers were of the opinion Laver was the best ever. Jack Kramer had him behind Gonzales, Budge, Vines and others. Laver achieved many great things in his career, but I think the double Grand Slam gets overinflated. The competition and professionalism today makes what Federer has achieved much tougher. Laver himself admits this.

U.S. OPEN September 7, 1994

Q. 34.

ROD LAVER: 34, so he's[Lendl] starting to feel that, you know, it's -- the pressure is too great, and that's because the talent is there and the depth in competition. When you walk out first match, and you're faced with someone that maybe just won -- just won a tournament week before and you're playing him first round, it just tells you that there are an awful lot of great players on the circuit trying to make a niche for themselves.

Q. Who do you think is going to win the Grand Slam again, among the men?

ROD LAVER: Well, it's certainly more and more difficult than when I was successful, but, I have to figure that someone like Pete Sampras is the one that you'd have to -- earmark as being the person to accomplish that feat. He's -- I think he's got a real great attitude in competing and his mechanics is flawless. But, you know, he can repeat four times in a year and he's proved that. He can do it at times, and now, you can put it together in one year. So, I don't see it happening soon, it's an unbelievable feat, certainly tougher than when I did it to pull it off now.

http://www.asapsports.com/show_interview.php?id=18373
 

David L

Hall of Fame
Can we say he's one of the GOAT and leave it at that?
That is the way I see it, but many others are always looking to choose one. From my point of view, if you can debate it, then there isn't a GOAT worth talking about, there are GOATs. The requirement for complete and utter singular GOAT status requires that your ability, accomplishments and the environment in which they were achieved are so outstanding that it separates you from the rest and is clear to everyone. No one is there yet.
 

ksbh

Banned
Win a French Open title, to just be in contention.

And it really doesn't help that he gets beaten by Nadal on such a consistent basis across all surfaces. It's really tarnished his achievements.
 

urban

Legend
Flink and Joel Drucker on espn (its easy to find), both very recently rated Laver's 1969 still the greatest year in open tennis, echoing comments by Trabert, Collins, or Bodo. I seriously doubt that in the year 2047, Federer's feat of winning 3 majors in 2007 will be celebrated in the same way. By the way, Laver won at least 45 open tournaments since late 68, when he was over 30 years old, and had a 79 or 80% win/lose average (ATP or ITF), in those years between 1968 and until 1978, when he was 40.
 

ksbh

Banned
I agree. Rod Laver is the greatest tennis player to have ever played the game.

Flink and Joel Drucker on espn (its easy to find), both very recently rated Laver's 1969 still the greatest year in open tennis, echoing comments by Trabert, Collins, or Bodo. I seriously doubt that in the year 2047, Federer's feat of winning 3 majors in 2007 will be celebrated in the same way. By the way, Laver won at least 45 open tournaments since late 68, when he was over 30 years old, and had a 79 or 80% win/lose average (ATP or ITF), in those years between 1968 and until 1978, when he was 40.
 

veroniquem

Bionic Poster
At least a career slam, of course a calendar slam would be better, or most slams won ever. I agree that without the French it would always be arguable that he's the GOAT. So one French open would be a huge plus. Laver's records will sure be hard to break!
 

DarthFed

Hall of Fame
And it really doesn't help that he gets beaten by Nadal on such a consistent basis across all surfaces. It's really tarnished his achievements.
On all surfaces? even grass
 

DarthFed

Hall of Fame
i don't think a career slam is necessary to be a GOAT persay, look at Sampras

Nadal can even be considered a GOAT, he's young and has a chieved a lot in his young age, and he was #2 for quite sometime, maintaining his ranking for years while be a "clay courter"

Edit-Crap i didn't mean to double post
 

gj011

Banned
I'm not very well versed in tennis history prior to Laver, but no one since has come anywhere close to matching his achievements. Not Borg, not Sampras, not Federer. Laver won the Grand Slam twice, first in 1962 and then in 1969. From 63 to 67 he was a professional and not allowed to play in grand slam tournaments. That's five years - his prime years, I might add, most of which he spent dominating the professional tour - that he couldn't even play in the slams. And he still won eleven. If you take out five years from anyone else's career, how many slams would they have?

I'd say Federer's got his work cut out for him if he really wants to be GOAT.
Agreed completely.

Federer is at the moment 4th on the GOAT list. Behind Laver, Borg and Sampras.
 

plain jane

Semi-Pro
IMO Federer will never be the GOAT because that title can not belong to one person but a group of people. Dont care how many times we try to say one person is better because of such and such reasons, it is still impossible to compare eras.
 

David L

Hall of Fame
Flink and Joel Drucker on espn (its easy to find), both very recently rated Laver's 1969 still the greatest year in open tennis, echoing comments by Trabert, Collins, or Bodo. I seriously doubt that in the year 2047, Federer's feat of winning 3 majors in 2007 will be celebrated in the same way. By the way, Laver won at least 45 open tournaments since late 68, when he was over 30 years old, and had a 79 or 80% win/lose average (ATP or ITF), in those years between 1968 and until 1978, when he was 40.
It's the greatest year if you are only looking at the titles, no question, but one can have the greatest year and still not be considered the undisputed GOAT, for the reasons I have already mentioned. Kramer certainly did not think of Laver as the GOAT. Others have, of course, but there are still dissenting voices. You can't knock a Grand Slam, but it is still not the final nail in the debate for Laver. I get the impression that many of the commentators, like Collins and Bodo, look at little more than the achievement, regardless of the circumstances in which it was achieved. That's one way of approaching it I guess, but it's not the only one, and from my point of view not the best one. Also, as Laver says, it was easier to compete in your 30s and 40s back then, because the competition was not as strong as today. When you have already been a pro, playing great tennis in your 40s and even 50s is not hard if you are healthy and keep in shape; just look at McEnrore, Borg, Mansour Bahrami and all the ex pros producing great tennis on the senior tour today. The only reason they cannot compete on the ATP tour is because the athletic demands have got so much more intense. They still have their technical skills however.
 
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David L

Hall of Fame
i don't think a career slam is necessary to be a GOAT persay, look at Sampras

Nadal can even be considered a GOAT, he's young and has a chieved a lot in his young age, and he was #2 for quite sometime, maintaining his ranking for years while be a "clay courter"

Edit-Crap i didn't mean to double post
Yes, it's interesting. If the Grand Slam is so important, one would have to argue the career Slam is as important or a close second, which would put Agassi before Federer, Lendl, Sampras and Borg. Personally, I don't think it has that level of importance, despite being a great achievement. I have also never been able to figure out why a Grand Slam is greater than a career Slam. It's a greater achievement within a year, but not particularly if you are looking at a career as a whole.
 

urban

Legend
I think, people like Trabert, Barrett, Collins, Bodo, Flink, Drucker and co do very well look at circumstances. For instance, that in 1969 there was great depth in mens tennis with younger hall of fame players like Newcombe, Ashe, Roche, Ralston, Kodes, Okker, Drysdale, Gimeno, Smith, were competing at the top of their form, not to speak of still competitive players of Laver's age as Rosewall, Emerson and Stolle.
 

David L

Hall of Fame
I think, people like Trabert, Barrett, Collins, Bodo, Flink, Drucker and co do very well look at circumstances. For instance, that in 1969 there was great depth in mens tennis with younger hall of fame players like Newcombe, Ashe, Roche, Ralston, Kodes, Okker, Drysdale, Gimeno, Smith, were competing at the top of their form, not to speak of still competitive players of Laver's age as Rosewall, Emerson and Stolle.
How do you know, have you asked them about their thought processes and what they look at? Not that it matters, because anyone can display less than stellar judgement. They may look at the circumstances, but look at them incorrectly. In any case, Trabert's opinion is the only one amongst the names you mentioned I would consider, in addition to my own. I pay little attention to journalist hacks on matters of tennis performance. Many of these people don't even play sport and probably have very little athletic talent. Personally, I think I display better reasoning on this matter.

Of course the field in Laver's day included many good players, but as I have stated before, Laver had a head start over many of them at the start of the open era (i.e. 1968 and 1969) and an age advantage over many who had turned pro before him. Furthermore, he did not have to compete against a lot of the competition in his title wins in each of his years before that. Laver was obviously up there. He has beaten everyone who played during his time, but his career would certainly have been a greater challenge had there not been an amateur/professional divide and he would probably have had more losses in the Slams, could well have not even got close to a Grand Slam. Even if it were the case no amateur/professional divide existed back then, the competition would still not have been as great as it is today and Laver agrees. It's easier to make a name for yourself and become a legend in an environment where standards are lower. Emerson became a legend with 12 Slams as an amateur. He did not win any as a pro and would get habitually beaten by Gonzales, who was in his 40s.

12/29/2008

"The game has changed so much," responds Laver. "There were a lot of good players that I played in my era and time zone. I guess you look at them and that was probably as good a group as is around today. There are more of them around today and they all play differently because of the rackets.

http://www.thetennischannel.com/news/NewsDetails.aspx?newsid=4815
 

Sentinel

Bionic Poster
Win a French Open title, to just be in contention.

And it really doesn't help that he gets beaten by Nadal on such a consistent basis across all surfaces. It's really tarnished his achievements.

Someone by the name of Nadal recently said Federer IS the best of all time. Guess he should know what he's talking about.
 

Zaragoza

Banned
Someone by the name of Nadal recently said Federer IS the best of all time. Guess he should know what he's talking about.
Come on, that´s a cheap argument. Nadal always says nice things of his opponents. Do you think he would say anything different if Laver or Sampras were playing in his era? Nadal also said that he didn´t watch Laver play and he just watched videos of Borg so I wouldn´t say exactly that he knows what he´s talking about. Tennis evolves but the achievements of Laver are unmatched.
 

aphex

Banned
Ranking and points

Federer is the first player to be ranked World No. 1 for four consecutive (non-calendar) years[31] from February 2, 2004, through February 1, 2008.
Federer was the top ranked player on the ATP computer for a record 237 consecutive weeks from Monday February 2, 2004, to Sunday August 17, 2008.[32]
Federer is the first player to be ranked No. 1 for 237 consecutive weeks, thus surpassing Steffi Graf for the all-time record of 186 consecutive weeks among all tennis players, male or female. On February 26, 2007, he surpassed Connors's all-time record for most consecutive weeks (160) atop the men's rankings.[7] Only Connors (268 weeks, top ranked nine separate periods), Lendl (270 weeks, top ranked eight separate periods) and Sampras (286 weeks, top ranked eleven separate periods) have spent more weeks in total as top ranked players on the ATP list [33] [34]
Federer in 2007 became the fifth man since the inception of the ATP computer rankings in 1973 to be year-end number one four times (Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl, and Pete Sampras were the others).[35]
Federer is the fifth player in the history of the ATP computer rankings to be the top ranked player every week during a calendar year (2005, 2006, and 2007). The others are Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, Pete Sampras, and Lleyton Hewitt.[7]Only Federer and Connors achieved this three different years, but only Federer has done it three consecutive years.[citation needed]
With his tournament victory at the 2006 Tennis Masters Cup, Federer set a new record of 1,674 ATP Race points, eclipsing his 2005 record of 1,345. He had also held the previous record of 1,267 points in 2004, which had broken Andy Roddick's 907-point total for 2003.[citation needed]
With year-end ATP tour ranking points of 6,335 in 2004, 6,725 in 2005, and 8,370 in 2006, Federer finished with the highest number of year-ending ATP tour ranking points since the ATP circuit began in 1990, although the points breakdown changed slightly in 2000. The previous year-ending high was Sampras's 5,097 points in 1994.[citation needed]
Federer holds the record for the highest ATP computer ranking points at any time of the year: 8,370 points on November 20, 2006.[citation needed]
 

P_Agony

Banned
He is now no 2 - he lost Wimby to Nadal and he is 2-5 against Murray. What does he need to do to become a GOAT (or for that matter THE GOAT if possible). Pete Sampras has 14 GS BUT nobody owned him. We can't say the same about Fed (or can we?). I am pretty sure Fed will win at least one more GS but will that get him there with Pete (or Laver)?
If there is another thread like this - sorry - I don't mean to bore you...
Well, until 2008 nobody owned Federer, not even Nadal (his winning record id just because of clay, Fed has the winning record on HC and grass). Pete was stronger mentally thus he knew how to win even if he didn't play well. Federer just has to win his way, otherwise he'll lose. However, I do think Fed is better than Sampras as far as the tennis goes, and I think he'll break his record this year.
 

sheq

Professional
Agreed completely.

Federer is at the moment 4th on the GOAT list. Behind Laver, Borg and Sampras.
sampras and laver are ok but what did borg better than roger ?

from my point of view he is no3 on my goat list after laver and sampras, but he is too close to pass them
 

David L

Hall of Fame
Come on, that´s a cheap argument. Nadal always says nice things of his opponents. Do you think he would say anything different if Laver or Sampras were playing in his era? Nadal also said that he didn´t watch Laver play and he just watched videos of Borg so I wouldn´t say exactly that he knows what he´s talking about. Tennis evolves but the achievements of Laver are unmatched.
The point is, they aren't. If Federer didn't exist and Sampras or Laver were playing in this era with their records, and they could still hang, Nadal would be right(or close) if he said the same for them too. Also, I doubt Nadal would say what he has if Federer didn't play as well as he does and had not accomplished as much as he has. He speaks of no others like this. The facts are, Laver and Sampras preceded Federer and Nadal is not alone in making the claims he does. Laver currently has his name under one more important title than Federer (although he has been close), but many such as Kramer, McEnroe, Bollettieri, Tiriac, Agassi, Henman, Murray etc, consider Federer the most capable player to have ever played the game. He's no slouch in the title department either and is in a position to add many more titles and records to his résumé to make things conclusive. Lastly, if Nadal does not know what he's talking about, I'd hate to think where that puts some of the people who post on here, including you. Seems to me Nadal might be more thoughtful and astute than you think.

Rafael Nadal: "Federer is the best player in history, no other player has ever had such quality."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/tennis/5059176.stm
 
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bolo

G.O.A.T.
If he breaks the sampras record most will have him as pro era goat. If he ties the sampras record with the FO but does not break the sampras record a significant amount of people will have him as pro era goat. If he ties the sampras record without a FO but does not break the sampras record then this will lead to some interesting debates although given fed's total domination of the tour a significant number will again conclude that fed. is pro era goat.

I doubt that there are more than a handful of people who know enough and are critical enough to make reasonable comparisons of pre-pro era players with post-pro era players.

But pro era goat is up for grabs!
 

tudwell

Legend
Laver's first 6 Slams were won in the absence of the best players in the world. As he acknowledges himself, all the best players back then were pros when he was competing in the amateurs. That's like someone winning Slams now in the absence of Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray, Tsonga, Roddick, Davydenko and many others. Would anyone really consider them bonafide Slam wins? It's not Laver's fault, but these are the facts. Emerson won 12 Slam titles, but they do not win him the same respect 12 might today, because they were all won in the amateurs during a period when the best players were pros.
I agree with you here. Laver's '62 Grand Slam is not as great a feat as someone doing the same today, but it is still a feat in its own right. The fact that he backed it up with his 67 pro Slam and his 69 Grand Slam says a lot.

The exiled professional players created their own Slams; the Wembly Pro, French Pro, US Pro and uniquely in 1967 the Wimbledon Pro. Laver won 9 of these professional Slams, but again with much of the competition missing, only this time the amateurs. From 1968, with the arrival of the open era, he was finally able to play with all the competition present and won an additional 5 Slams. So the total 'Slam' count of his uninterrupted career, one could argue, is 20 and this with much of the best competition absent at one time or another. Also, Laver got beat constantly when he first turned professional. It took him about 2 years to get used to the level, then when the open era arrived in 1968, he could beat up on all the green amateurs who were accustomed to a lower level of play and the few straggling pro veterans on the edge of retirement.
This argument, the last sentence in particular, doesn't seem to me any more substantive than the standard "Federer's competition sucks" argument. It is what it is. Laver did play against everyone in the world, amateurs and pros, in 1969, and he won. Whether you think they were all either too old and frail or too young and inexperienced is beside the point.

When you take all of this into account, if you wanted to project what he might have won in the absence of an amateur/professional divide in tennis history, an optimistic estimate is looking at Slams somewhere in the mid or early teens. A single digit Slam tally is not out of the question, but quite a reasonable point of view. The Grand Slam starts to look like a diminishing possibility.
Except he did win the Grand Slam in the absence of the amateur/professional divide in 1969 (in addition to doing it on either side of the divide in 1962 and 1967 respectively). What his career would have looked like if the open era had always existed is impossible to say. If you were to ask twenty different people, you'd get twenty different answers.

As for no one coming anywhere close to Laver's achievements, I should remind you Federer was 1 match short of the Grand Slam in 2 successive years, 2006 and 2007. It doesn't get much closer than that. When you also consider competition is much tougher today than in Laver's day and Federer has to compete against the complete professional field, developed from the same starting point, these are remarkable achievements, easily comparable to what Laver did at the Slams, and there is probably more to come.
I was being a bit hyperbolic. Federer's an astounding tennis player, my absolute favorite to watch. Maybe he's not so far from Laver. I really don't know where I would put him in the tennis hierarchy should he win the French this year, and I don't think it would really even make much difference now (but maybe that's because I've resigned myself to the possibility of his never winning Roland Garros).
 

seffina

G.O.A.T.
I don't think there's such a thing as a GOAT. Things aren't the same as they were before. It's hard to compare eras. He's the greatest of his era.
 

bolo

G.O.A.T.
The point is, they aren't. If Federer didn't exist and Sampras or Laver were playing in this era with their records, and they could still hang, Nadal would be right(or close) if he said the same for them too. Also, I doubt Nadal would say what he has if Federer didn't play as well as he does and had not accomplished as much as he has. He speaks of no others like this. The facts are, Laver and Sampras preceded Federer and Nadal is not alone in making the claims he does. Laver currently has his name under one more important title than Federer (although he has been close), but many such as Kramer, McEnroe, Bollettieri, Tiriac, Agassi, Henman, Murray etc, consider Federer the most capable player to have ever played the game. He's no slouch in the title department either and is in a position to add many more titles and records to his résumé to make things conclusive. Lastly, if Nadal does not know what he's talking about, I'd hate to think where that puts some of the people who post on here, including you. Seems to me Nadal might be more thoughtful and astute than you think.

Rafael Nadal: "Federer is the best player in history, no other player has ever had such quality."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/tennis/5059176.stm
He has said different things at different times. At one point nadal said something like the best player in history has 14 slams and basically implying that federer would have to match/break that to be considered the best player in history.

It's possible for this new quote to still to be consistent with the old quote. Maybe he is just talking about the absolute level of a player which is only semi-interesting in the GOAT debates.

here is the link: http://www.tennisnews.com/exclusive.php?pID=21079
 
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gj011

Banned
sampras and laver are ok but what did borg better than roger ?

from my point of view he is no3 on my goat list after laver and sampras, but he is too close to pass them
Tudwell already replied. There is enough things on that link to see why Borg could be considered ahead of Federer on the GOAT list.
 
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Tennis_Bum

Professional
He is now no 2 - he lost Wimby to Nadal and he is 2-5 against Murray. What does he need to do to become a GOAT (or for that matter THE GOAT if possible). Pete Sampras has 14 GS BUT nobody owned him. We can't say the same about Fed (or can we?). I am pretty sure Fed will win at least one more GS but will that get him there with Pete (or Laver)?
If there is another thread like this - sorry - I don't mean to bore you...
Well, when you say "owned him", do you mean have a winning record against him? Check Hewitt record versus Sampras, he had a winning record against him. That one I know for sure, but there may be others.

Most of the wins that Nadal got from Fed came from clay courts. Of course, it would tough for anyone to beat Nadal. I don't think Pete would even get into those finals against Nadal. Fed at least got one win at Hamburg in 07.

As for Murray racking up wins against Fed, IMO the early wins were more or less surprises for Fed, but I would count later wins are more serious because Fed really tried harder to beat Murray now than in their earlier encounters. So if you want to consider Murray's wins against Fed, then look at those wins after USOpen 2008. Those were good wins. But again, it's early yet, let's see how Murray will perform at the AO 2009 when there is real pressures on him to do well. Now that he's one of the real contender who can win it all. Of course, I will not be surprised if he win the AO in 2009.
 

Zaragoza

Banned
Lastly, if Nadal does not know what he's talking about, I'd hate to think where that puts some of the people who post on here, including you. Seems to me Nadal might be more thoughtful and astute than you think.

Rafael Nadal: "Federer is the best player in history, no other player has ever had such quality."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/tennis/5059176.stm
Bottom line is Laver won every Slam despite being banned from playing Slams during 5 years in his prime and Federer didn´t do it at the moment without being banned 5 years in his prime and Sampras is still one Slam title ahead of Federer.After this, you can twist things as much as you want. Those are the facts.
Opinions, as you know, are like that part of the anatomy that Nadal picks before serving, everyone has a different one, but facts remain.
Every year we hear some former player saying that Federer will win Roland Garros including some of those names you mentioned and there are many other examples of former players whose opinions are proved wrong.
I´ve always seen Laver as someone too modest about his achievements and that doesn´t mean his achievements are less impressive than they really are. Would he be greater if he was a cocky guy claiming that Federer´s and Sampras´s achievements are inferior to his? Definitely not. As I said before, if Federer wants to be considered the GOAT he will need to win at least one Roland Garros and even then he wouldn´t be the undisputed GOAT. Otherwise, as talented as he is, his achievements will always be behind Laver. Those are the facts. You can praise him as much as you want but he needs to win Roland Garros to reach Laver. Otherwise you´re being delusional.
As for your last paragraph, I know very well what I´m saying. Nadal didn´t watch Laver play and just watched videos of Borg. That´s 100% true so I´m sorry if it dismantles your arguments but Nadal is not the most indicated person to say that Federer is better than them, he´s just being nice to his biggest opponent (as when he says that Federer is the favourite to win RG) and he would say the same about Sampras or Laver if they played in his era.
Someone who didn´t watch Laver or Borg play is not the right person to say that Federer is better than them. Hypotetically speaking, I know Nadal wouldn´t convince anyone in a justice court with that argument.

As for where that puts me, you sound a little blind and close-minded. It´s very simple, if someone hasn´t watched someone play he can hardly say that other is better. He might compare their achievements and Laver´s are definitely the best, Nadal is just being classy and nice to his biggest opponent. Unlike you, I guess I can be a fan of a player and not agree with him 100% of times. That´s exactly where it puts me.

PS: Federer is currently the best player in the world and now he is already the GOAT? You´re on fire this week.
 
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