Whats your top 10 of all time now (men)

Another great champion (even if lower level than Kramer) is Bobby Riggs.
If we consider only Post War II period Riggs is the best player in 1946 (even if with a small margin on Budge) and 1947 (with small margin on Budge and Kovacs).
Then Kramer explodes.

But it is intriguing that probably Riggs may have been the best player during the war.:cool:

Wikipedia reports that Ray Bowers wrote "The Limited Tennis Activity Over The Last Three Years Of The War dictates a single ranking list covering the entire period" he ranked the best eight players in the world for the entire 1943-1945 period : 1. Riggs, 2. Budge, 3. Parker, 4. Kramer, 5. Kovacs, 6. Van Horn, 7. Quist, 8. Petra.

IMHO I don't believe in the 3-year ranking that the writer proposes, there were few matches and it is impossible to understand who were the top players even if Riggs would have raged in the absence of the war.

Riggs has two misfortunes:
1) has Rosewall syndrome, that is not considered a great because he starts to win when Budge is coming down the hill and Kramer is too young (like Rosewall with Pancho and Laver) .. among other things also as a game Riggs and Rosewall seem to resemble (service not sublime but great technique and speed in travel)
2) the war definitely takes away many titles / tours to Riggs (but also to Budge and Kovacs)

Finally, even Rigg,s as Kramer, is unclassifiable even if the level reached by Bobby suggests that he can be placed between 15-20

My ranking Post War II
(Kramer unclassifiable, almost certainly the best player in history, Riggs unclassifiable, suggests that he can be placed between 10-15)

1) Federer T1
2) Laver T1
3) Gonzalez T1
4) Rosewall T1/T2
5) Nadal T1/T2
6) Borg T2
7) Sampras T2
8) Djokovic T2
9) Connors T2
10) McEnroe T2/T3
11) Lendl T2/T3
Riggs was not, in my view, unfortunate the war came along. He was fortunate (in tennis terms) because after the war, Budge was not the same player. In 1942 Budge enlisted and in 1943 Budge tore a muscle in his shoulder while on an obstacle course and he was not the same player after that. Budge would have beaten Riggs in 1946 World series had it not been for the war (Budge very nearly beat Riggs on the 1946 tour anyway). Riggs himself said "after the war Budge took something off the ball and played his shots safer. I could play against that kind of game". Let us not forget, in their last tour before war service, 1942, Budge came out on top comfortably. Of course, Budge would have eventually declined (maybe Kramer, 6 years younger than Budge and in his prime, would have just got the better of Budge in 1948 World series if the two had played).

Riggs was still a great player (Kramer and Budge were two of the best ever and it was no disgrace losing to either). Riggs certainly deserves better than being remembered as an old man that lost to Billie-Jean King. He was much more than that. Kramer said Riggs was very shrewd, but shrewdness only gets you so far if you are playing the likes of Budge and Kramer at their peak, as Riggs found in 1942 against Budge and 1948 against Kramer. When Budge dominated, there was almost no one else who won any of the big titles (after Vines' departure from pro tennis in 1939, Budge was by far the best player). Budge won Wimbledon & US in 1937 (the only 2 slams he played that year), then won the Grand Slam in 1938. He won every World series he played from 1939-42. In major pro events between 1939 and 1942 he lost one match (in 1941 US Pro to John Faunce after returning from illness). So had there been no war, no Budge injury and a full schedule of pro events between 1940 and 1947, it may well have been the case Budge would have won nearly all of them (these were Riggs' best years). Had there been no war, Budge would probably have passed the baton to Kramer and there would have been no era of Riggs being number one. It's speculation of course, but I think that's what would have happened. At least Budge could resume his career after world war 2 unlike poor Joe Hunt.
 
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[QUOTE="KG1965, post: 12786619, member: 736230"
Riggs has two misfortunes:
1) has Rosewall syndrome, that is not considered a great because he starts to win when Budge is coming down the hill and Kramer is too young (like Rosewall with Pancho and Laver) .. among other things also as a game Riggs and Rosewall seem to resemble (service not sublime but great technique and speed in travel)
2) the war definitely takes away many titles / tours to Riggs (but also to Budge and Kovacs)
[/QUOTE]

Rosewall syndrome, loved that phrase! :D Should be used a lot more often.
 
If only no one got injured or ill or exhausted or not 100% physically in any other way, than Laver & nadal would be twin GOATs, no? :eek:
Well it could be Lew Hoad then.

The ability to play in a smooth style is a credit to players like Gonzalez, Federer, Tilden and Rosewall. These players had very long high quality careers.

Gonazalez played from the 1940s to the early 1970s. Gonzalez had, like all the players here had a elegant smooth style. He was perhaps the best player in the World for around ten years and was World Champion for close to that time. He defeated Tilden, Budge, Kramer, Segura, Sedgman, Hoad, Rosewall, Laver, Ashe, Newcombe, Roche, Connors and even Borg.

Federer we all know. Very smooth, beautiful to watch and most of all super efficient.

Tilden, I feel is sorely underrated on this forum. He played from the 1910s to the 1950s. He virtually invented modern tennis. He was ranked as the GOAT even into the late 1960s. Tilden as with all the players I mentioned was extremely smooth. He was compared to a dancer in the way he moved.

Rosewall of course we all know. Very smooth, great movement with one of the great backhands ever. Just a superb player.

What I think separates these players is that imo their style of play allows them to play almost always at top level unlike many gifted players.
 
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If only no one got injured or ill or exhausted or not 100% physically in any other way, than Laver & nadal would be twin GOATs, no? :eek:
Nadal would be ahead of Laver if it were the case that no one ever got injured. It's all hypothetical anyway. What happened happened. There was world war 2, Budge was injured, Nadal was prone to injury, Del Potro was prone to injury, Hoad's and Cash's careers were severely curtailed by injurues and Federer and Rosewall managed to remain largely injury free. It's interesting speculating on what might have been though. And men's tennis history is very much more complicated than most other sports. The fact KG lists Kramer highly shows his knowledge, but most people in the tennis world don't talk about Kramer in the G.O.A.T. debate, they would rather mention Roy Emerson's name, which is ridiculous.
 
Well it could be Lew Hoad then.

The ability to play in a smooth style is a credit to players like Gonzalez, Federer, Tilden and Rosewall. These players had very long high quality careers.

Gonazalez played from the 1940s to the early 1970s. Gonzalez had, like all the players here had a elegant smooth style. He was perhaps the best player in the World for around ten years and was World Champion for close to that time. He defeated Tilden, Budge, Kramer, Segura, Sedgman, Hoad, Rosewall, Laver, Ashe, Newcombe, Roche, Connors and even Borg.

Federer we all know. Very smooth, beautiful to watch and most of all super efficient.

Tilden, I feel is sorely underrated on this forum. He played from the 1910s to the 1950s. He virtually invented modern tennis. He was ranked as the GOAT even into the late 1960s. Like all the player I mentioned he was smooth and he was compared to a ballet dancer in the way he moved.

Rosewall of course we all know. Very smooth, great movement with one of the great backhands ever. Just a superb player.

What I think separates these players is that imo their style of play allows them to play almost always at top level unlike many gifted players.
I love when these great players with long careers play against players in eras far apart. Gonzales played Tilden and Connors. Connors played Gonzales and Sampras. Sampras played Connors and Federer. We have 100 years of tennis history in five players!
 
Nadal would be ahead of Laver if it were the case that no one ever got injured. It's all hypothetical anyway. What happened happened. There was world war 2, Budge was injured, Nadal was prone to injury, Del Potro was prone to injury, Hoad's and Cash's careers were severely curtailed by injurues and Federer and Rosewall managed to remain largely injury free. It's interesting speculating on what might have been though. And men's tennis history is very much more complicated than most other sports. The fact KG lists Kramer highly shows his knowledge, but most people in the tennis world don't talk about Kramer in the G.O.A.T. debate, they would rather mention Roy Emerson's name, which is ridiculous.

My point is that singling out injuries is cherry-picking, because in the context of winning titles, an injury preventing someone from playing is the same as a mild injury or illness that leaves the player able to compete but weakens them enough that their tennis is no longer good enough for the title (whereas in a fully healthy state it would or may have been).

I could just as well theorise that if Federer never caught mono, his preparation wouldn't have got messed up and affected his confidence, so all those five-set losses would've become wins, meaning that Federer would've continued to win every non-RG major up to 2010 AO, becoming the obvious GOAT with no real doubt. See how nice that is, and you can't possibly refute that because of its hypothetical nature. Isn't it great?

Doubtless Kramer was great, but he only shone bright for a couple of years before arthritis etc. got him, tough luck but I'm not giving imaginary wins so he's just outside of the top 10 for me as far as achievements go, and when it concerns peak, one simply shouldn't discuss those whose game they haven't seen themselves, so I do not and cannot have any idea, though he must've been pretty solid if his contemporaries were thus impressed. At any rate, Kramer's decades-long work as the tour promoter/manager was I think more significant than his legacy as a player, so that's what he should be remembered and respected more for, not without acknowledging his tennis player career, of course.
 
I love when these great players with long careers play against players in eras far apart. Gonzales played Tilden and Connors. Connors played Gonzales and Sampras. Sampras played Connors and Federer. We have 100 years of tennis history in five players!
Tilden -> Gonzales -> Connors -> Agassi -> Nadal

When Gonzales was born, Tilden was already past his best/greatest and yet even to reclaim (arguable) #1 for the last time; when Connors was born, Gonzales had just been crowned #1 (i.e. best pro); when Agassi was born, Connors was just starting out in the tour, ascending to #1 with an ATG season just four years later; when Nadal was born, Agassi was playing qualies, only two years later he'd give peak Wilander a five-set battle in RG semis and reach #3 by year-end.
 
My point is that singling out injuries is cherry-picking, because in the context of winning titles, an injury preventing someone from playing is the same as a mild injury or illness that leaves the player able to compete but weakens them enough that their tennis is no longer good enough for the title (whereas in a fully healthy state it would or may have been).

I could just as well theorise that if Federer never caught mono, his preparation wouldn't have got messed up and affected his confidence, so all those five-set losses would've become wins, meaning that Federer would've continued to win every non-RG major up to 2010 AO, becoming the obvious GOAT with no real doubt. See how nice that is, and you can't possibly refute that because of its hypothetical nature. Isn't it great?

Doubtless Kramer was great, but he only shone bright for a couple of years before arthritis etc. got him, tough luck but I'm not giving imaginary wins so he's just outside of the top 10 for me as far as achievements go, and when it concerns peak, one simply shouldn't discuss those whose game they haven't seen themselves, so I do not and cannot have any idea, though he must've been pretty solid if his contemporaries were thus impressed. At any rate, Kramer's decades-long work as the tour promoter/manager was I think more significant than his legacy as a player, so that's what he should be remembered and respected more for, not without acknowledging his tennis player career, of course.
I am not cherry picking anything. I don't believe Federer was incapacitated by the mono for long. It affected him at the Australian (and possibly at the French) of 2008, but no longer than that. He played one of his best matches ever losing that Wimbledon final in 2008 to Nadal. Also, you are completely incorrect to say Kramer shone for a couple of years. He was the dominant force in tennis from 1947 (his last year as an amateur) to 1953. Had he played events like Wembley and US Pro more regularly, he would have won most of them (and he won every world series he played from 1948 to 1953). It is not hypothetical to call Kramer a legend, it's a FACT. You can choose to remember him more for being a promoter. I choose to remember him as a great player and a great promoter. That's not based on hypotheticals. Thats based on facts!
 
Well it could be Lew Hoad then.
I understand he also wasn't as mentally focused as ATG players, so with full health he may/would/should have been an ATG himself but not a GOAT contender, because those invariably have singular determination that allows them to win week in and week out.

Tilden, I feel is sorely underrated on this forum. He played from the 1910s to the 1950s. He virtually invented modern tennis. He was ranked as the GOAT even into the late 1960s. Like all the player I mentioned he was smooth and he was compared to a ballet dancer in the way he moved.
The issue is that his greatest period came in the real weak era, early 1920s before RG and US went open to all nationalities signifying true internationalisation of tennis (though Wimbledon went open earlier and Tilden won it), and when that happened, the Muskeeters trolled him repeatedly in big matches in majors and DC, though they were significantly younger so it's tough to say how well he'd have fared against them at his best. He remained an important figure on the pro tour throughout the 30s, but again it's tough to assess since at the time the best players stayed amateur for a longer while and some like Crawford never made the switch. I don't think much of Tilden's participation in 1940s/50s because he was no longer successful - playing like that, deep into decline with no good results, is admirable on a personal level since it shows deep-seated love for the game not intertwined with success, but doesn't add greatness points.

What I think separates these players is that imo their style of play allows them to play almost always at top level unlike many gifted players.
Obviously, consistency at the highest level is the foundation of greatness.
 
Also, you are completely incorrect to say Kramer shone for a couple of years. He was the dominant force in tennis from 1947 (his last year as an amateur) to 1953. Had he played events like Wembley and US Pro more regularly, he would have won most of them (and he won every world series he played from 1948 to 1953). It is not hypothetical to call Kramer a legend, it's a FACT. You can choose to remember him more for being a promoter. I choose to remember him as a great player and a great promoter. That's not based on hypotheticals. Thats based on facts!
Wasn't Gonzales considered the best pro in 1952/53? I know Kramer was still good, but not really dominant anymore. I'd think it appropriate to note that such good-but-not-dominant-no.1 years in Federer's career as 2008, 2010 and 2011, seem to have impacted his career negatively in the eyes of some, giving credence to the idea that Nadal and Djokovic were somehow better all-around peak players if they bested Federer in those years (as if he was in peak form), which wouldn't have happened if Federer spent those years in a clear slump.

Kramer was a great player but a greater promoter, being perhaps Top 10 in the former category but likely #1 in the latter.

I am not cherry picking anything. I don't believe Federer was incapacitated by the mono for long. It affected him at the Australian (and possibly at the French) of 2008, but no longer than that. He played one of his best matches ever losing that Wimbledon final in 2008 to Nadal.
Recovering from the injury/illness itself doesn't yet mean the aftereffects are gone. It takes time to get back to the previous level, and it's uncommon for the new base level to be lower than the old base level, at least temporarily. That really should be obvious, and obviously it applies to any player, including Nadal and Djokovic themselves - for example, Nadal wasn't directly injured in the 2nd half of 2009 (except for the USO semi), but his level clearly took a hit compared to pre-RG performance, and it wasn't until the 2010 clay season that Nadal regained his mojo, so yes, I would say that both the RG tendinitis and the USO abdominal tear negatively affected his general level during the stretch between RG 09 and MC 10 (mostly via loss of confidence, which is a significant factor).

Federer's 2008 was clearly affected by that, too - sure, he continued to post great results overall but with weaker tennis than a year before, you should see that if you give his matches a thorough analysis. Reaching Wimbledon final in straight sets doesn't mean peaking when it comes to Federer, as he did the same in 2015 and 2017, when he was clearly past his peak by some margin. As for the final itself, a huge part of its legend is the scoreline, Federer coming back from two sets to love down, saving MP in the fourth set breaker and pushing the decider to 7-9. The match was great, of course, but no way Federer didn't play worse compared to 03-07, ha. Claiming that isn't any more right than claiming Nadal played the same or better in 2011 RG/Wim/USO than 2010 and the different results (closer matches at RG and losing Wim/USO) are strictly due to stronger competition, even though it is also clear that the competition did indeed get stronger thanks mostly to Djokovic.
 
Riggs was not, in my view, unfortunate the war came along. He was fortunate (in tennis terms) because after the war, Budge was not the same player. In 1942 Budge enlisted and in 1943 Budge tore a muscle in his shoulder while on an obstacle course and he was not the same player after that. Budge would have beaten Riggs in 1946 World series had it not been for the war (Budge very nearly beat Riggs on the 1946 tour anyway). Riggs himself said "after the war Budge took something off the ball and played his shots safer. I could play against that kind of game". Let us not forget, in their last tour before war service, 1942, Budge came out on top comfortably. Of course, Budge would have eventually declined (maybe Kramer, 6 years younger than Budge and in his prime, would have just got the better of Budge in 1948 World series if the two had played).

Riggs was still a great player (Kramer and Budge were two of the best ever and it was no disgrace losing to either). Riggs certainly deserves better than being remembered as an old man that lost to Billie-Jean King. He was much more than that. Kramer said Riggs was very shrewd, but shrewdness only gets you so far if you are playing the likes of Budge and Kramer at their peak, as Riggs found in 1942 against Budge and 1948 against Kramer. When Budge dominated, there was almost no one else who won any of the big titles (after Vines' departure from pro tennis in 1939, Budge was by far the best player). Budge won Wimbledon & US in 1937 (the only 2 slams he played that year), then won the Grand Slam in 1938. He won every World series he played from 1939-42. In major pro events between 1939 and 1942 he lost one match (in 1941 US Pro to John Faunce after returning from illness). So had there been no war, no Budge injury and a full schedule of pro events between 1940 and 1947, it may well have been the case Budge would have won nearly all of them (these were Riggs' best years). Had there been no war, Budge would probably have passed the baton to Kramer and there would have been no era of Riggs being number one. It's speculation of course, but I think that's what would have happened. At least Budge could resume his career after world war 2 unlike poor Joe Hunt.
Interesting your point of view that I think catches the mark.
Riggs was certainly unlucky to lose 3 years in fact tennis but Budge was perhaps more unlucky and probably would have been Donald the best player without the military injury.

The ways to comment on Bobby are essentially 3:
1) pretend nothing happened, the war was there, and how the injuries are problems of Bobby and Donald (and others) ... 98% think so,
2) Bobby was severely penalized by an absurd fact and would probably fall into the top 12-15 Post War II, and this is my initial version
3) Bobby has been penalized but to a lesser extent than Budge, so probably you can place it from 16-20, this seems to me to your version, which could be better than mine.;)
 
Wasn't Gonzales considered the best pro in 1952/53? I know Kramer was still good, but not really dominant anymore. I'd think it appropriate to note that such good-but-not-dominant-no.1 years in Federer's career as 2008, 2010 and 2011, seem to have impacted his career negatively in the eyes of some, giving credence to the idea that Nadal and Djokovic were somehow better all-around peak players if they bested Federer in those years (as if he was in peak form), which wouldn't have happened if Federer spent those years in a clear slump.

Kramer was a great player but a greater promoter, being perhaps Top 10 in the former category but likely #1 in the latter.



Recovering from the injury/illness itself doesn't yet mean the aftereffects are gone. It takes time to get back to the previous level, and it's uncommon for the new base level to be lower than the old base level, at least temporarily. That really should be obvious, and obviously it applies to any player, including Nadal and Djokovic themselves - for example, Nadal wasn't directly injured in the 2nd half of 2009 (except for the USO semi), but his level clearly took a hit compared to pre-RG performance, and it wasn't until the 2010 clay season that Nadal regained his mojo, so yes, I would say that both the RG tendinitis and the USO abdominal tear negatively affected his general level during the stretch between RG 09 and MC 10 (mostly via loss of confidence, which is a significant factor).

Federer's 2008 was clearly affected by that, too - sure, he continued to post great results overall but with weaker tennis than a year before, you should see that if you give his matches a thorough analysis. Reaching Wimbledon final in straight sets doesn't mean peaking when it comes to Federer, as he did the same in 2015 and 2017, when he was clearly past his peak by some margin. As for the final itself, a huge part of its legend is the scoreline, Federer coming back from two sets to love down, saving MP in the fourth set breaker and pushing the decider to 7-9. The match was great, of course, but no way Federer didn't play worse compared to 03-07, ha. Claiming that isn't any more right than claiming Nadal played the same or better in 2011 RG/Wim/USO than 2010 and the different results (closer matches at RG and losing Wim/USO) are strictly due to stronger competition, even though it is also clear that the competition did indeed get stronger thanks mostly to Djokovic.
Kramer won the world series in 1953. Gonzales was frozen out of world series after losing to Kramer in 1950, and by 1952 Gonzales had improved. So for 1952 and 1953 it is difficult to say whether Gonzales or Kramer was better (Kramer hardly played at all in 1952). Kramer was certainly number one outright from 1947 to 1951 and co-number 1 up until 1953, which is dominance for a much longer spell than a couple of years.

Regarding Federer, you seem to be making excuses for him. He dominated 2003-07 because other than Nadal on clay, there was no one else around. Federer may think he has a slight back problem, but he should try playing a match with Hoad's back. Fact is in the grand scheme, Federer has remained largely injury free (Fed held the record for consecitive grand slam appearances), just as Rosewall remsined largely injury free. A great skill and no doubt both remained injury free because of the brilliantly economical way they moved around the court.
 
Nadal would be ahead of Laver if it were the case that no one ever got injured. It's all hypothetical anyway. What happened happened. There was world war 2, Budge was injured, Nadal was prone to injury, Del Potro was prone to injury, Hoad's and Cash's careers were severely curtailed by injurues and Federer and Rosewall managed to remain largely injury free. It's interesting speculating on what might have been though. And men's tennis history is very much more complicated than most other sports. The fact KG lists Kramer highly shows his knowledge, but most people in the tennis world don't talk about Kramer in the G.O.A.T. debate, they would rather mention Roy Emerson's name, which is ridiculous.
What happened happened. Also in this case there are two versions (one doubles, so there are at least three).
1) if a great champion has big problems that preclude his career (it hurts or there is war) are his problems
2) to be evaluated if the great champion has had a big problem, especially if in the period that plays from the feeling of being a GOAT or GOAT contend or an ATG.
This point 2) would tend to divide it in two.
2a) if the great champion plays an incredible year or two (for example he does a GS or 6 slam in two years) and then he must sadly end his career
2b) if the great champion dominates 4 or 5 years and then he must sadly end his career (I think of Connolly or Seles or Kramer or Hoad).

Thanks for the compliment I can assure you that my knowledge about the period before the 70s is really poor. I only like to reason and understand what I can do in the old days.

Regarding the GOAT problem, IMHO could very well remain Federer (or Laver for those who disagree) ... Kramer gives me the feeling of being the BPOAT, Best player of all time.
 
Kramer won the world series in 1953. Gonzales was frozen out of world series after losing to Kramer in 1950, and by 1952 Gonzales had improved. So for 1952 and 1953 it is difficult to say whether Gonzales or Kramer was better (Kramer hardly played at all in 1952). Kramer was certainly number one outright from 1947 to 1951 and co-number 1 up until 1953, which is dominance for a much longer spell than a couple of years.
Lack of official points rankings is convenient when a player had little playing activity for whatever reason yet you want to place him #1 for the year on the strength of the few matches he did play. Nope, won't work.

Regarding Federer, you seem to be making excuses for him. He dominated 2003-07 because other than Nadal on clay, there was no one else around.
You are (not seem to be) making excuses for Federer's dominant period - of course it can't have possibly been because he was playing some of the best tennis ever, how could one even consider such a folly notion, right? - and unwilling to discuss the merit of my argument/comment (that I logically extend to other players as well, being fair in considerations). Looks like another BobbyOne type... may be very knowledgeable, but not open to reasonable discussion because of the overpowering fandom.

Federer may think he has a slight back problem, but he should try playing a match with Hoad's back. Fact is in the grand scheme, Federer has remained largely injury free (Fed held the record for consecitive grand slam appearances), just as Rosewall remsined largely injury free. A great skill and no doubt both remained injury free because of the brilliantly economical way they moved around the court.
You're not fooling me by calling it a skill when you're clearly attributing injury frequency to luck, because one doesn't give imaginary wins for not being good enough, which lacking in a certain skill means.
 
Kramer won the world series in 1953. Gonzales was frozen out of world series after losing to Kramer in 1950, and by 1952 Gonzales had improved. So for 1952 and 1953 it is difficult to say whether Gonzales or Kramer was better (Kramer hardly played at all in 1952). Kramer was certainly number one outright from 1947 to 1951 and co-number 1 up until 1953, which is dominance for a much longer spell than a couple of years.

Regarding Federer, you seem to be making excuses for him. He dominated 2003-07 because other than Nadal on clay, there was no one else around. Federer may think he has a slight back problem, but he should try playing a match with Hoad's back. Fact is in the grand scheme, Federer has remained largely injury free (Fed held the record for consecitive grand slam appearances), just as Rosewall remsined largely injury free. A great skill and no doubt both remained injury free because of the brilliantly economical way they moved around the court.
I agree with this and the other posts you write but AnOktorokforDinner centers the basic points on which the candidacy of Kramer among the greatest not only creaks but is not really interpreted.
1) injuries? They are a recurring problem
2) World Tour? Only the slams are interested ... Jack has only 3 slam!
3) Jack is known as a promoter, in the USA his myth was lost, in the rest of the world Jack is not known.
4) "consistency at the highest level is the foundation of greatness".. and Kramer wons only 2 or 3 years. Only 2 or 3? At this point you have already answered AnOktorokforDinner but who knows?
 
Interesting your point of view that I think catches the mark.
Riggs was certainly unlucky to lose 3 years in fact tennis but Budge was perhaps more unlucky and probably would have been Donald the best player without the military injury.

The ways to comment on Bobby are essentially 3:
1) pretend nothing happened, the war was there, and how the injuries are problems of Bobby and Donald (and others) ... 98% think so,
2) Bobby was severely penalized by an absurd fact and would probably fall into the top 12-15 Post War II, and this is my initial version
3) Bobby has been penalized but to a lesser extent than Budge, so probably you can place it from 16-20, this seems to me to your version, which could be better than mine.;)
The rankings I posted are based on what happened. I could do another ranking using my musings on "if there was no war, if no one got injured etc". In which case Budge would be right near the top, Nadal would probably be number one and Hoad would be top 8. But I would be reluctant to post a hypothetical list, because it goes against what actually happened. It is interesting speculating, but injuries, wars etc. are part of life I am afraid. But you are right on the mark with your comments on Kramer. He is difficult to classify because what he did (undefeated in world series) was unique. What he achieved in the World Series qualifies him to be listed quite high on a G. O. A. T. list, but he could have achieved more if he played Wembley and US Pro more.
 
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What happened happened. Also in this case there are two versions (one doubles, so there are at least three).
1) if a great champion has big problems that preclude his career (it hurts or there is war) are his problems
2) to be evaluated if the great champion has had a big problem, especially if in the period that plays from the feeling of being a GOAT or GOAT contend or an ATG.
This point 2) would tend to divide it in two.
2a) if the great champion plays an incredible year or two (for example he does a GS or 6 slam in two years) and then he must sadly end his career
2b) if the great champion dominates 4 or 5 years and then he must sadly end his career (I think of Connolly or Seles or Kramer or Hoad).

Thanks for the compliment I can assure you that my knowledge about the period before the 70s is really poor. I only like to reason and understand what I can do in the old days.

Regarding the GOAT problem, IMHO could very well remain Federer (or Laver for those who disagree) ... Kramer gives me the feeling of being the BPOAT, Best player of all time.
The fact you know about Kramer's greatness ranks you above many so- called tennis experts.
 
Lack of official points rankings is convenient when a player had little playing activity for whatever reason yet you want to place him #1 for the year on the strength of the few matches he did play. Nope, won't work.



You are (not seem to be) making excuses for Federer's dominant period - of course it can't have possibly been because he was playing some of the best tennis ever, how could one even consider such a folly notion, right? - and unwilling to discuss the merit of my argument/comment (that I logically extend to other players as well, being fair in considerations). Looks like another BobbyOne type... may be very knowledgeable, but not open to reasonable discussion because of the overpowering fandom.



You're not fooling me by calling it a skill when you're clearly attributing injury frequency to luck, because one doesn't give imaginary wins for not being good enough, which lacking in a certain skill means.
Overpowering fandom of whom? It is you who sounds remarkably like a fed t a r d. If you had seen my list of all time greats, I ranked Federer as co-number one, so I have no problem acknowledging what Federer has achieved. I acknowledge remaining injury free is a great asset. I just don't like it when you imply Federer had to cope with injuries in the same way Nadal did, or Hoad, or Kramer, or many others. It is not a novel idea to suggest Federer dominated 2004-2007 because it was a weak period. I call a spade a spade. In the late 80s/early 90s Becker, Wilander, Edberg, Lendl were all competing for slams, then Sampras, Agassi and Courier replaced Wilander and Lendl. In 2003-2007 period, outside of Nadal on clay, Federer had to contend with....Roddick and Hewitt! Federer did not have much opposition in those years (and if you are going to make a case for Roddick being an underrated genius, I would beg to differ!) The only true test for Federer, Nadal and Djokovic in slams were when they played each other and Federer has losing Grand Slam head to heads against both his rivals. That is not to say I discount Federer's easier slam wins against Roddick, Hewitt, Gonzalez, Baghdatis, Philippoussis, Soderling etc. Everything must be seen in context. Federer, Nadal, Gonzales, Rosewall, Laver, Kramer, Budge, Djokovic, Sampras, Tilden etc. are all legends.
 
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Overpowering fandom of whom? It is you who sounds remarkably like a fed t a r d. If you had seen my list of all time greats, I ranked Federer as co-number one, so I have no problem acknowledging what Federer has achieved. I acknowledge remaining injury free is a great asset. I just don't like it when you imply Federer had to cope with injuries in the same way Nadal did, or Hoad, or Kramer, or many others. It is not a novel idea to suggest Federer dominated 2004-2007 because it was a weak period. I call a spade a spade. In the late 80s/early 90s Becker, Wilander, Edberg, Lendl were all competing for slams, then Sampras, Agassi and Courier replaced Wilander and Lendl. In 2003-2007 period, outside of Nadal on clay, Federer had to contend with....Roddick and Hewitt! Federer did not have much opposition in those years (and if you are going to make a case for Roddick being an underrated genius, I would beg to differ!) The only true test for Federer, Nadal and Djokovic in slams were when they played each other and Federer has losing Grand Slam head to heads against both his rivals. That is not to say I discount Federer's easier slam wins against Roddick, Hewitt, Gonzalez, Baghdatis, Philippoussis, Soderling etc. Everything must be seen in context. Federer, Nadal, Gonzales, Rosewall, Laver, Kramer, Budge, Djokovic, Sampras, Tilden etc. are all legends.
Everyone has had to cope with all sorts of problems if they play long enough. These guys all work hard as a workhorse, injuries suck but romanticising those who suffer from them more openly or obviously than the others really needs to stop. In a way, Hoad's well-documented and frequently cited injuries reflect on him luckily (though of course that wasn't the case at the time), as he is remembered and respected more (often) among those interested than other '2nd tier' players of his time like Sedgman or Gimeno (ok, not exactly his time, that one, a little later) - why do they not deserve equal consideration, hmm?

Indeed, looking at the names has never been a novel idea. You check out Roddick's and Hewitt's profiles, see that they are measily 1/2-time Slam champions, and think nothing of them as a result, judging quality by achievements, but at the same time happily place Federer and Nadal together even though Federer remains a far bit more accomplished up to date (subject to possible change in the future, of course) - hypocritical, no?

I see you would rather eschew discussing match specifics - naturally, that's not part of the pro tennis landscape since there's next to no surviving footage so you can only rely on what is written, unable to analyse it with your own eyes for lack of viewing material, so I guess you're not used to it, then?

Yeah, Roddick wasn't a genius though he did have a genius serve, but what he showed in 2004 & 09 Wimbledon finals wasn't far from the best Nadal & Djokovic had to offer at Wimbledon, indeed. Problem?
 
Amazing how a player could dominate for four years straight, but as soon as he loses a couple of five-setters to younger greats at their physical & mental peak, it was all about the weak era and no GOAT-worthy tennis could be found to validate it. In Nadal's own words, ombillible, no?
 
Everyone has had to cope with all sorts of problems if they play long enough. These guys all work hard as a workhorse, injuries suck but romanticising those who suffer from them more openly or obviously than the others really needs to stop. In a way, Hoad's well-documented and frequently cited injuries reflect on him luckily (though of course that wasn't the case at the time), as he is remembered and respected more (often) among those interested than other '2nd tier' players of his time like Sedgman or Gimeno (ok, not exactly his time, that one, a little later) - why do they not deserve equal consideration, hmm?

Indeed, looking at the names has never been a novel idea. You check out Roddick's and Hewitt's profiles, see that they are measily 1/2-time Slam champions, and think nothing of them as a result, judging quality by achievements, but at the same time happily place Federer and Nadal together even though Federer remains a far bit more accomplished up to date (subject to possible change in the future, of course) - hypocritical, no?

I see you would rather eschew discussing match specifics - naturally, that's not part of the pro tennis landscape since there's next to no surviving footage so you can only rely on what is written, unable to analyse it with your own eyes for lack of viewing material, so I guess you're not used to it, then?

Yeah, Roddick wasn't a genius though he did have a genius serve, but what he showed in 2004 & 09 Wimbledon finals wasn't far from the best Nadal & Djokovic had to offer at Wimbledon, indeed. Problem?
I disagree with almost everything you have written here. "Everyone has had to cope with all sorts of problems if they play long enough. Injuries suck but romanticising those who suffer more openly or obviously than the others really has to stop". I wholly disagree with this statement and take offence to it. Only a fool would make such a statement. Do you really think Federer's back problems are comparable to Hoad's? Don't be absurd! I have already told you my opinion on Roddick. I am getting bored now and I find your arguments are not worth the time and effort responding to. Goodbye! Have the last word if you wish.
 
I disagree with almost everything you have written here. "Everyone has had to cope with all sorts of problems if they play long enough. Injuries suck but romanticising those who suffer more openly or obviously than the others really has to stop". I wholly disagree with this statement and take offence to it. Only a fool would make such a statement. Do you really think Federer's back problems are comparable to Hoad's? Don't be absurd! I have already told you my opinion on Roddick. I am getting bored now and I find your arguments are not worth the time and effort responding to. Goodbye! Have the last word if you wish.
Just for the record, does that mean you disagree with the last paragraph as well (being the only one with an actual statement re level of play)? Impressive if so. :rolleyes:
 
The rankings I posted are based on what happened. I could do another ranking using my musings on "if there was no war, if no one got injured etc". In which case Budge would be right near the top, Nadal would probably be number one and Hoad would be top 8. But I would be reluctant to post a hypothetical list, because it goes against what actually happened. It is interesting speculating, but injuries, wars etc. are part of life I am afraid. But you are right on the mark with your comments on Kramer. He is difficult to classify because what he did (undefeated in world series) was unique. What he achieved in the World Series qualifies him to be listed quite high on a G. O. A. T. list, but he could have achieved more if he played Wembley and US Pro more.
It is not my intention to continue to discuss the problem of how to consider or not to consider the injuries (or war) of probable GOAT, GOAT contenders or ATG also because I am aware that the world goes in another direction (there are several examples, one is Seles-Graf).

I am interested in asking you and the forum about the fact that probably in the 50s-60s the greats were shown on other parameters, opposite parameters.
For many years now are the achievements (then some think the only slam other big titles to others yet) while in that old IMHO win Wembley or US was not necessary (for this reason Kramer did not participate) .... but one he was the Top Dog simply if he was the best player (or winning the WT or giving the feeling of being the dominator).

I think it is almost impossible for us moderns to understand this passage because no old expert has told it.
I give an example limiting myself to the slam tournaments.

In 2019 Djokovic wins AO in the final over Nadal 6-2-6-1 6-3.
Then Novak stops playing due to injury or being with the family.
And Nadal wins the other slam tourneys.

Who is the best player 2019? Naturally Nadal! Rafa would have 3 slam and a final!
For the old world it would have been Nole who had given the feeling of unbeatenness.

Perhaps a real example happened in 2017. Djokovic until the French was unbeatable then he lost and Murray prevailed at the end of the year. But Nole for the old standard was unbeatable, no one would have considered Andy's comeback.

For this reason Kramer was considered by many to be the best in the pre Open Era history. Jack was the unbeatable.
Actually I can say that Post War II was the only real unbeatable.
For this reason he is my BPOAT (Best Player of All Time).
Nobody gave the impression after him of having an invincibility aura for a long time. Nobody.
 
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It is not my intention to continue to discuss the problem of how to consider or not to consider the injuries (or war) of probable GOAT, GOAT contenders or ATG also because I am aware that the world goes in another direction (there are several examples, one is Seles-Graf).

I am interested in asking you and the forum about the fact that probably in the 50s-60s the greats were shown on other parameters, opposite parameters.
For many years now are the achievements (then some think the only slam other big titles to others yet) while in that old IMHO win Wembley or US was not necessary (for this reason Kramer did not participate) .... but one he was the Top Dog simply if he was the best player (or winning the WT or giving the feeling of being the dominator).

I think it is almost impossible for us moderns to understand this passage because no old expert has told it.
I give an example limiting myself to the slam tournaments.

In 2019 Djokovic wins AO in the final over Nadal 6-2-6-1 6-3.
Then Novak stops playing due to injury or being with the family.
And Nadal wins the other slam tourneys.

Who is the best player 2019? Naturally Nadal! Rafa would have 3 slam and a final!
For the old world it would have been Nole who had given the feeling of unbeatenness.

Perhaps a real example happened in 2017. Djokovic until the French was unbeatable then he lost and Murray prevailed at the end of the year. But Nole for the old standard was unbeatable, no one would have considered Andy's comeback.

For this reason Kramer was considered by many to be the best in the pre Open Era history. Jack was the unbeatable.
Actually I can say that Post War II was the only real unbeatable.
For this reason he is my BPOAT (Best Player of All Time).
Nobody gave the impression after him of having an invincibility aura for a long time. Nobody.
I think in ranking pro greats of the 1930s, 40s and 50s the World Championship Series was the top event. This was generally speaking reigning pro champion versus incoming amateur champion (sometimes it had more than 2 players competing, particularly the last few years from 1959-63). I have read most of the autobiographies of players who played in world series (apart from Sedgman's, which was only released in Australia and hard to get hold of in UK). All spend a greater part of their pro careers section of their books talking of world series tours (compared to other tournaments) and all seemed to consider this the biggest event. Also financially it made a lot of difference winning world series versus not winning it. Kramer was the only man undefeated in World series, so this fact alone should rank him quite high up in a list of all time greats. Kramer still wasn't dominant for as long as some greats (his early years were interrupted by war, just as Budge's later years were). But he should not be underrated (I believe Sedgman ranked Kramer all time number one).

In considering the 2019 KG hypothetical analysis (Nadal is number 1 for 2019 without doubt by winning 3 slams), you have to take into account the context of the World series. The World Series wasn't a 2 week event like a Grand Slam. Tours lasted for months. So to win one a player had already been playing a fair chunk of the year. It is not the same as Djokovic winning the Australian and not playing the rest of the year. And before the late 50s, unless a non-participant in the World series played in a minor tour himself, he would almost certainly have played less than the World series participants, even if the World series participants played nothing other than world series that year and the non-World series participant played most tournaments. Pro tournaments were still important, but the World Series was the ultimate challenge in the pros.
 
Nadal would be ahead of Laver if it were the case.

The fact KG lists Kramer highly shows his knowledge, but most people in the tennis world don't talk about Kramer in the G.O.A.T. debate, they would rather mention Roy Emerson's name, which is ridiculous.
I disagree with the first point. Nadal is great but Laver is awesome also. It’s quite debatable whether a healthy Nadal would be able to accumulate a record at the level of Laver. Frankly I think the odds would be against it considering Laver’s astounding accomplishments although I would never put anything pass Nadal.

Kramer was a great giant of the game in playing level. I would think at worst he was the best player in the game easily from 1946 to 1951 and perhaps a bit later. He was World Champion for many years. Experts like Segura, Sedgman, Braden, Bromwich, Budge, Riggs, Trabert (equal with Laver) among many experts rank Kramer all time number one.
I think in ranking pro greats of the 1930s, 40s and 50s the World Championship Series was the top event. This was generally speaking reigning pro champion versus incoming amateur champion (sometimes it had more than 2 players competing, particularly the last few years from 1959-63). I have read most of the autobiographies of players who played in world series (apart from Sedgman's, which was only released in Australia and hard to get hold of in UK). All spend a greater part of their pro careers section of their books talking of world series tours (compared to other tournaments) and all seemed to consider this the biggest event. Also financially it made a lot of difference winning world series versus not winning it. Kramer was the only man undefeated in World series, so this fact alone should rank him quite high up in a list of all time greats. Kramer still wasn't dominant for as long as some greats (his early years were interrupted by war, just as Budge's later years were). But he should not be underrated (I believe Sedgman ranked Kramer all time number one).

In considering the 2019 KG hypothetical analysis (Nadal is number 1 for 2019 without doubt by winning 3 slams), you have to take into account the context of the World series. The World Series wasn't a 2 week event like a Grand Slam. Tours lasted for months. So to win one a player had already been playing a fair chunk of the year. It is not the same as Djokovic winning the Australian and not playing the rest of the year. And before the late 50s, unless a non-participant in the World series played in a minor tour himself, he would almost certainly have played less than the World series participants, even if the World series participants played nothing other than world series that year and the non-World series participant played most tournaments. Pro tournaments were still important, but the World Series was the ultimate challenge in the pros.
Yes the World Championship Series was stated as the main goal of the top players. It is wrong to apply our current standards of majors to the players in the past. Vines, Budge, Kramer and Gonzalez all have stated that winning the World Championship Series was their main goal. It was in a way, life and death because to many, if you lost the World Championship Series you were no longer viable as a top player. Gonzalez was lucky that he had a second chance due to the early retirement (by retirement I mean stepping down as World Champion because he continued to fill in at times if needed) of Jack Kramer due to early onset arthritis.
 
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I disagree with the first point. Nadal is great but Laver is awesome also. It’s quite debatable whether a healthy Nadal would be able to accumulate a record at the level of Laver. Frankly I think the odds would be against it considering Laver’s astounding accomplishments.

Kramer was a great giant of the game in playing level. I would think at worst he was the best player in the game easily from 1946 to 1951 and perhaps a bit later. He was World Champion for many years. Experts like Segura, Sedgman, Braden, Bromwich, Budge, Riggs, Trabert (equal with Laver) among many experts rank Kramer all time number one.


Yes the World Championship Series was stated as the main goal of the top players. It is wrong to apply our current standards of majors to the players in the past. Vines, Budge, Kramer and Gonzalez all have stated that winning the World Championship Series was their main goal. It was in a way, life and death because to many, if you lost the World Championship Series you were no longer viable as a top player. Gonzalez was lucky that he had a second chance due to the early retirement (by retirement I mean stepping down as World Champion because he continued to fill in at times if needed) of Jack Kramer due to early onset arthritis.
Currently Laver has the equivalent of around 20 slams and Nadal has 17. Nadal would certainly have won over 20 slams had he not been injured. I still think you have a point though on Laver, because he won the calendar open-era Grand Slam, and I am doubtful Nadal would have accomplished this if fit (maybe in 2010, when he won 3 of the 4 slams and retired at the Australian against Murray). Also, Laver's dominance from 1965-69 was greater than Nadal's at any point. But in terms of major titles, a fully fit Nadal would have won more major titles than Laver.

I agree with your comments on World Championship Series.
 
Currently Laver has the equivalent of around 20 slams and Nadal has 17. Nadal would certainly have won over 20 slams had he not been injured. I still think you have a point though on Laver, because he won the calendar open-era Grand Slam, and I am doubtful Nadal would have accomplished this if fit (maybe in 2010, when he won 3 of the 4 slams and retired at the Australian against Murray). Also, Laver's dominance from 1965-69 was greater than Nadal's at any point. But in terms of major titles, a fully fit Nadal would have won more major titles than Laver.

I agree with your comments on World Championship Series.
Again I do find that debatable. Remember that Laver won five of the first seven Open Majors played plus he won over 200 tournaments in his career although admittedly some of the tournaments were smaller tournaments. Don't forget that Laver was fairly old at age 31 when he won the Open Grand Slam. Many felt that Laver was pass his best at that point and yet he still was dominant.

Still Laver won a tremendous amount of Open Tournaments in the first few years of Open Tennis so I would tend to think he would have had some super numbers for tournaments won anyway if Open Tennis was always around when Laver played.

It's not a big deal and I could see Nadal winning over 20 majors easily if he had the health of a Rosewall for example.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Currently Laver has the equivalent of around 20 slams and Nadal has 17. Nadal would certainly have won over 20 slams had he not been injured. I still think you have a point though on Laver, because he won the calendar open-era Grand Slam, and I am doubtful Nadal would have accomplished this if fit (maybe in 2010, when he won 3 of the 4 slams and retired at the Australian against Murray). Also, Laver's dominance from 1965-69 was greater than Nadal's at any point. But in terms of major titles, a fully fit Nadal would have won more major titles than Laver.

I agree with your comments on World Championship Series.
These recent comments from you on Nadal man...



;) :p
 
Again I do find that debatable. Remember that Laver won five of the first seven Open Majors played plus he won over 200 tournaments in his career although admittedly some of the tournaments were smaller tournaments. Don't forget that Laver was fairly old at age 31 when he won the Open Grand Slam. Many felt that Laver was pass his best at that point and yet he still was dominant.

Still Laver won a tremendous amount of Open Tournaments in the first few years of Open Tennis so I would tend to think he would have had some super numbers for tournaments won anyway if Open Tennis was always around when Laver played.

It's not a big deal and I could see Nadal winning over 20 majors easily if he had the health of a Rosewall for example.
It depends what criterea we use. I tend to view tennis in a majors-orientated perspective, but you are quite right, Laver won a lot more overall tournaments than Nadal (even if Nadal had been fully fit). Also, he was more dominant over a 5 year period than Nadal (even if Nadal was fully fit, Djokovic and Federer would have won majors), but Nadal (2005-2018) has a longer span of winning majors than Laver (1960-1969). Rosewall wasn't as dominant for as long as Laver, but he won more majors because his winning span was longer than Laver's.
 
Currently Laver has the equivalent of around 20 slams and Nadal has 17. Nadal would certainly have won over 20 slams had he not been injured. I still think you have a point though on Laver, because he won the calendar open-era Grand Slam, and I am doubtful Nadal would have accomplished this if fit (maybe in 2010, when he won 3 of the 4 slams and retired at the Australian against Murray). Also, Laver's dominance from 1965-69 was greater than Nadal's at any point. But in terms of major titles, a fully fit Nadal would have won more major titles than Laver.

I agree with your comments on World Championship Series.
LOL @ Nadal being a 20+ slam champ if always fit.

You sound less like a pro tennis historian, and more like a current tennis fanboi.

:p
 
Currently Laver has the equivalent of around 20 slams and Nadal has 17. Nadal would certainly have won over 20 slams had he not been injured. I still think you have a point though on Laver, because he won the calendar open-era Grand Slam, and I am doubtful Nadal would have accomplished this if fit (maybe in 2010, when he won 3 of the 4 slams and retired at the Australian against Murray). Also, Laver's dominance from 1965-69 was greater than Nadal's at any point. But in terms of major titles, a fully fit Nadal would have won more major titles than Laver.

I agree with your comments on World Championship Series.
LOL @ Nadal being a 20+ slam champ if always fit.

You sound less like a pro tennis historian, and more like a current tennis fanboi.

:p
 
LOL @ Nadal being a 20+ slam champ if always fit.

You sound less like a pro tennis historian, and more like a current tennis fanboi.

:p
You sound ridiculous. Of course Nadal would have over 20 slams if always fit! I can't believe you would even question this. The fact is Nadal was frequently injured and he won 17 majors, that's what I rank him on, not hypotheticals, but there is no doubt at all he would have won more if he hadn't had the injuries he had.
 
It depends what criterea we use. I tend to view tennis in a majors-orientated perspective, but you are quite right, Laver won a lot more overall tournaments than Nadal (even if Nadal had been fully fit). Also, he was more dominant over a 5 year period than Nadal (even if Nadal was fully fit, Djokovic and Federer would have won majors), but Nadal (2005-2018) has a longer span of winning majors than Laver (1960-1969). Rosewall wasn't as dominant for as long as Laver, but he won more majors because his winning span was longer than Laver's.
Here's a question I ask people on this forum at time.

Let's say there is tennis club with a club champion who wins the club championship 10 years in a row. He never loses a set ever in this club but he's not a World Class Pro. He gets hurt and has to rehab for two years. Out of nowhere a young man named Rafael Nadal (yes it would be THE NADAL) at age 22 decided to join this club and enters the club championship for two years in row! Rafa, being Rafa is invincible and never loses even one game in the club championship in those two years. He slaughters everyone and his level of play is far beyond anything anyone in that club has played.

My question is this---WHO IS THE BEST PLAYER IN THIS CLUB'S HISTORY?

I would say Nadal. However other guy however won 10 championships to 2 championships for Nadal.
 
Here's a question I ask people on this forum at time.

Let's say there is tennis club with a club champion who wins the club championship 10 years in a row. He never loses a set ever in this club but he's not a World Class Pro. He gets hurt and has to rehab for two years. Out of nowhere a young man named Rafael Nadal (yes it would be THE NADAL) at age 22 decided to join this club and enters the club championship for two years in row! Rafa, being Rafa is invincible and never loses even one game in the club championship in those two years. He slaughters everyone and his level of play is far beyond anything anyone in that club has played.

My question is this---WHO IS THE BEST PLAYER IN THIS CLUB'S HISTORY?

I would say Nadal. However other guy however won 10 championships to 2 championships for Nadal.
I admit that I did not understand the question:
Is the club champion (Mister X) who wins the club championship for 10 consecutive years not a world-class Pro? What do you mean? He's a amateurs?

Rafael Nadal (yes, it would be NADAL) wins for two years, but Mister X is absent?
 
I admit that I did not understand the question:
Is the club champion (Mister X) who wins the club championship for 10 consecutive years not a world-class Pro? What do you mean? He's a amateurs?

Rafael Nadal (yes, it would be NADAL) wins for two years, but Mister X is absent?
I’ll say he a pro for our purposes but NOT near the level of Rafa. My point is the other guy accomplished far more in the club but is he truly better?
 
Here's a question I ask people on this forum at time.

Let's say there is tennis club with a club champion who wins the club championship 10 years in a row. He never loses a set ever in this club but he's not a World Class Pro. He gets hurt and has to rehab for two years. Out of nowhere a young man named Rafael Nadal (yes it would be THE NADAL) at age 22 decided to join this club and enters the club championship for two years in row! Rafa, being Rafa is invincible and never loses even one game in the club championship in those two years. He slaughters everyone and his level of play is far beyond anything anyone in that club has played.

My question is this---WHO IS THE BEST PLAYER IN THIS CLUB'S HISTORY?

I would say Nadal. However other guy however won 10 championships to 2 championships for Nadal.
It's a reasonable question, but the analogy doesn't work well that in the real world of tennis - because obviously the gap between the greats of the game is never going to be as big as that between Nadal and a club pro.
 
I’ll say he a pro for our purposes but NOT near the level of Rafa. My point is the other guy accomplished far more in the club but is he truly better?
IMHO...
Mister X is the greatest (achievements, consistency, longevity...)
Nadal is the best player.

Let's assume now that Fedr is the GOAT, but there comes a guy named Sousa che
1) in 2019 won 4 slam + 7 Masters 1000 beating Djokovic, Nadal and Federer several times with scores of this type 6-1 6-4 6-1
2) dominates 3 years destroying Nadal, Fedr and Djokovic ... always.

IMHO...
1) 1 year is too little.

2)
Fedr remains the GOAT.
But Sousa becomes BPOAT.;)
 
Here's a question I ask people on this forum at time.

Let's say there is tennis club with a club champion who wins the club championship 10 years in a row. He never loses a set ever in this club but he's not a World Class Pro. He gets hurt and has to rehab for two years. Out of nowhere a young man named Rafael Nadal (yes it would be THE NADAL) at age 22 decided to join this club and enters the club championship for two years in row! Rafa, being Rafa is invincible and never loses even one game in the club championship in those two years. He slaughters everyone and his level of play is far beyond anything anyone in that club has played.

My question is this---WHO IS THE BEST PLAYER IN THIS CLUB'S HISTORY?

I would say Nadal. However other guy however won 10 championships to 2 championships for Nadal.
This is part of the reason I view tennis history in a majors-orientated way. Because (certainly in recent decades) the top players all play in the majors (unless injured or, as was the case with some clay court players in the 1990s, consider themselves so out of depth on grass that they don't feel it is worth their time to appear at Wimbledon). The slams are their main focus each season (they mostly play Masters events too, but these aren't as important as the slams). Minor events are different. Roger Federer shows up at Halle and wins it every year. Rafael Nadal shows up at Barcelona and wins it every year. But there are some events Federer may only show up occassionally at. Federer won one title at the Sydney championships. Lleyton Hewitt won the Sydney tournament 4 times, James Blake twice and Viktor Troicki twice. That doesn't mean Hewitt, Blake and Troicki are better players than Federer, it means Sydney is a minor ATP event in which the top pros don't always play. Same as your hypothetical club championships (maybe Rafa may enjoy entering the club championships at his local club in Mallorca one year after he retires, he would be eligible if a member of a particular club!) It is different in minor competitions to majors, because minor events are generally set at a lower level, but can have fluctuation when one of the top players play. So I would say in the past 20 years, Federer is the best player that has won Sydney, but Hewitt has had most success there.
 
IMHO...
Mister X is the greatest (achievements, consistency, longevity...)
Nadal is the best player.

Let's assume now that Fedr is the GOAT, but there comes a guy named Sousa che
1) in 2019 won 4 slam + 7 Masters 1000 beating Djokovic, Nadal and Federer several times with scores of this type 6-1 6-4 6-1
2) dominates 3 years destroying Nadal, Fedr and Djokovic ... always.

IMHO...
1) 1 year is too little.

2)
Fedr remains the GOAT.
But Sousa becomes BPOAT.;)
I can't wait to see Joao Sousa win the Grand Slam next year, KG! In the open era I'd have to say Laver in 1969 was the best over a single season, which Sousa will usurp next year, KG! But this brings up another question, dominance verses consistency over a long period. This is what I mentioned earlier about Nadal and Laver. Lets for the sake of argument say Rafa ends his career with 22 majors. Laver had around 20 majors. Nadal never won the calendar Grand Slam, he was never as dominant as Laver, but he was around for longer, picking up Grand Slam titles most years. Lets say both had a comparable level of opposition in winning their majors (this is not the case in reality as 6 of Laver's majors were amateur slams where the best players Gonzales and Rosewall weren't competing, but we are talking hypothetically here). The only differences were 1:Laver's majors were bunched together and 2:Nadal's were spread out and he won slightly more. Who was the greater player? I say Nadal because he won more majors, but someone else may argue Laver with equal validity under their system.
 
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Here's a question I ask people on this forum at times.

Let's say there is tennis club with a club champion who wins the club championship 10 years in a row. He never loses a set ever in this club but he's not a World Class Pro. He gets hurt and has to rehab for two years. Out of nowhere a young man named Rafael Nadal (yes it would be THE NADAL) at age 22 decided to join this club and enters the club championship for two years in row! Rafa, being Rafa is invincible and never loses even one game in the club championship in those two years. He slaughters everyone and his level of play is far beyond anything anyone in that club has played.

My question is this---WHO IS THE BEST PLAYER IN THIS CLUB'S HISTORY?

I would say Nadal. However other guy however won 10 championships to 2 championships for Nadal.
IMHO...
Mister X is the greatest (achievements, consistency, longevity...)
Nadal is the best player.

Let's assume now that Fedr is the GOAT, but there comes a guy named Sousa che
1) in 2019 won 4 slam + 7 Masters 1000 beating Djokovic, Nadal and Federer several times with scores of this type 6-1 6-4 6-1
2) dominates 3 years destroying Nadal, Fedr and Djokovic ... always.

IMHO...
1) 1 year is too little.

2)
Fedr remains the GOAT.
But Sousa becomes BPOAT.;)
This is part of the reason I view tennis history in a majors-orientated way. Because (certainly in recent decades) the top players all play in the majors (unless injured or, as was the case with some clay court players in the 1990s, consider themselves so out of depth on grass that they don't feel it is worth their time to appear at Wimbledon). The slams are their main focus each season (they mostly play Masters events too, but these aren't as important as the slams). Minor events are different. Roger Federer shows up at Halle and wins it every year. Rafael Nadal shows up at Barcelona and wins it every year. But there are some events Federer may only show up occassionally at. Federer won one title at the Sydney championships. Lleyton Hewitt won the Sydney tournament 4 times, James Blake twice and Viktor Troicki twice. That doesn't mean Hewitt, Blake and Troicki are better players than Federer, it means Sydney is a minor ATP event in which the top pros don't always play. Same as your hypothetical club championships (maybe Rafa may enjoy entering the club championships at his local club in Mallorca one year after he retires, he would be eligible if a member of a particular club!) It is different in minor competitions to majors, because minor events are generally set at a lower level, but can have fluctuation when one of the top players play. So I would say in the past 20 years, Federer is the best player that has won Sydney, but Hewitt has had most success there.
When I think of greatness of I generally think of Level of Play. You can say a player is the most accomplished but it doesn’t mean they are the best. Accomplishments are just a clue to the Level is Play aka greatness of a player. Of course we have to have a certain time span to check how consistent the Level of Play is. It should be a number of years and not just for a few months or even one match.

Of course in the example I had earlier Nadal is the greatest player by far. The other player is the most accomplished but not nearly the best.

And frankly we don’t realize what great accomplishments were in the past. They were NOT all about majors.
 
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It's not a big deal and I could see Nadal winning over 20 majors easily if he had the health of a Rosewall for example.
I do wonder if Nadal could have both the health of a Rosewall and the success of Nadal.?

(I am not a detractor. Indeed, I am a big fan of Nadal's intensely athletic playing style and never-say-die attitude.)

But I do believe that Nadal's success (French Open titles, number of tournament wins) is predicated on his intense, powerful, athletic game. With this style of game that has afforded him this much success, the injuries must follow.

To put it a slightly different way: if Nadal were injury free, he would not have won as much as he has.
 
When I think of greatness of I generally think of Level of Play. You can say a player is the most accomplished but it doesn’t mean they are the best. Accomplishments are just a clue to the Level is Play aka greatness of a player. Of course we have to have a certain time span to check how consistent the Level of Play is. It should be a number of years and not just for a few months or even one match.

Of course in the example I had earlier Nadal is the greatest player by far. The other player is the most accomplished but not nearly the best.

And frankly we don’t realize what great accomplishments were in the past. They were NOT all about majors.
Good answer! It is a very complex question and one not easily answered. I would tend more towards the accomplishment angle, as it is easier to define. The problem with levels of play is, if we are talking level over a series of matches (ie a particular world series or part of a world series) then in that case someone like Hoad is a prime GOAT contender. If we are talking years rather than months, then just how many years, it isn't easy to define. Hoad's accomplishments are nowhere near the level of Laver's, Nadal's, Federer's, Rosewall's or Gonzales'. It is all very complex, further complicated by the amateur pro split and world wars. I still think there are rough groupings though. For me the first group comprises five: Laver, Rosewall, Gonzales, Federer and Nadal. Then just behind them are Djokovic, Tilden, Budge, Sampras and Kramer (Kramer is difficult to define, as KG mentioned).

It is an interesting discussion and there is no definitive list. Each person has a different system. For me, though, the most important thing is that the legends of the pro game should be recognised, whichever system is devised to classify pro events. Too often I have seen discussions by so-called experts on TV (ex-players usually) where they completely disregard the achievements in the pro ranks (many of those people who put themselves in the position of being tennis historians broadcasting their thoughts to the nation aren't even aware of the pro results!) I do not recognise any all time great ranking where someone like Roy Emerson is in the conversation and Pancho Gonzales isn't. The pro game (certainly from 1948-67) was always superior to the amateur one and this should always be taken into account. I feel the pros have been airbrushed out of history (partly through establishment bias, largely through ignorance) and that is wrong.
 
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Good answer! It is a very complex question and one not easily answered. I would tend more towards the accomplishment angle, as it is easier to define. The problem with levels of play is, if we are talking level over a series of matches (ie a particular world series or part of a world series) then in that case someone like Hoad is a prime GOAT contender. If we are talking years rather than months, then just how many years, it isn't easy to define. Hoad's accomplishments are nowhere near the level of Laver's, Nadal's, Federer's, Rosewall's or Gonzales'. It is all very complex, further complicated by the amateur pro split and world wars. I still think there are rough groupings though. For me the first group comprises five: Laver, Rosewall, Gonzales, Federer and Nadal. Then just behind them are Djokovic, Tilden, Budge, Sampras and Kramer (Kramer is difficult to define, as KG mentioned).

It is an interesting discussion and there is no definitive list. Each person has a different system. For me, though, the most important thing is that the legends of the pro game should be recognised, whichever system is devised to classify pro events. Too often I have seen discussions by so-called experts on TV (ex-players usually) where they completely disregard the achievements in the pro ranks (many of those people who put themselves in the position of being tennis historians broadcasting their thoughts to the nation aren't even aware of the pro results!) I do not recognise any all time great ranking where someone like Roy Emerson is in the conversation and Pancho Gonzales isn't. The pro game (certainly from 1948-67) was always superior to the amateur one and this should always be taken into account. I feel the pros have been airbrushed out of history (partly through establishment bias, largely through ignorance) and that is wrong.
Tennis analysts on TV have very little knowledge of past eras.

Recently, when Novak Djokovic was playing to become the first man to win all nine Masters series titles, the commentators were discussing whether Lendl should also be acknowledged in this category, since he'd won equivalents of all nine during his career. To their credit, they agreed that he should be - but what was most notable for me was that they described Lendl as "an early pioneer of the sport" (I'm paraphrasing).

The point I'm making is that tennis is all about the here and now to analysts in the media. Even relatively recent Open Era players like Lendl are thought of solely in terms of being pioneers for today's superstars. Laver may as well have invented tennis, the way he is referred to (with a great deal of respect, but also as if he were a deity emerging from a void, before which there was no tennis). Guys like Kramer, Gonzales and anyone else who had the misfortune to play tennis before 1968 simply don't exist.
 
You sound ridiculous. Of course Nadal would have over 20 slams if always fit! I can't believe you would even question this. The fact is Nadal was frequently injured and he won 17 majors, that's what I rank him on, not hypotheticals, but there is no doubt at all he would have won more if he hadn't had the injuries he had.
IMO, Nadal's injuries are mostly due to his game style, which enabled him to win 17 slams but also hurt his body. Staying in shape and avoiding injuries are part of being a great athlete, especially in an individual sport. But then, if Nadal did not play the way he did, perhaps he would not have won as much as he did. The main reason I think that Federer, Rosewall, and Gonzalez played very well for as long as they did, for a longer time than most, is because of their natural ability and their game style.
 
Tennis analysts on TV have very little knowledge of past eras.

Recently, when Novak Djokovic was playing to become the first man to win all nine Masters series titles, the commentators were discussing whether Lendl should also be acknowledged in this category, since he'd won equivalents of all nine during his career. To their credit, they agreed that he should be - but what was most notable for me was that they described Lendl as "an early pioneer of the sport" (I'm paraphrasing).

The point I'm making is that tennis is all about the here and now to analysts in the media. Even relatively recent Open Era players like Lendl are thought of solely in terms of being pioneers for today's superstars. Laver may as well have invented tennis, the way he is referred to (with a great deal of respect, but also as if he were a deity emerging from a void, before which there was no tennis). Guys like Kramer, Gonzales and anyone else who had the misfortune to play tennis before 1968 simply don't exist.
SO TRUE!
 
Tennis analysts on TV have very little knowledge of past eras.

Recently, when Novak Djokovic was playing to become the first man to win all nine Masters series titles, the commentators were discussing whether Lendl should also be acknowledged in this category, since he'd won equivalents of all nine during his career. To their credit, they agreed that he should be - but what was most notable for me was that they described Lendl as "an early pioneer of the sport" (I'm paraphrasing).

The point I'm making is that tennis is all about the here and now to analysts in the media. Even relatively recent Open Era players like Lendl are thought of solely in terms of being pioneers for today's superstars. Laver may as well have invented tennis, the way he is referred to (with a great deal of respect, but also as if he were a deity emerging from a void, before which there was no tennis). Guys like Kramer, Gonzales and anyone else who had the misfortune to play tennis before 1968 simply don't exist.
Well I certainly agree on those points you make. To illustrate my point about bad all time great lists, I shall look at The Tennis Channel's 100 Greatest of All Time list. It was compiled in 2012, so they can be excused for listing Nadal and Djokovic lower than they would be now. But they can not be excused for the remainder of this disgraceful botched attempt at ranking the all time greats.

Among this list are the following male rankings (list includes men and women together, which in itself is ridiculous, as they should clearly have seperate lists):.
7. Bjorn Borg
11. Donald Budge
12. Andre Agassi
13. John McEnroe
15. Jimmy Connors
16. Bill Tilden
17. Roy Emerson
18. Ivan Lendl
20. Ken Rosewall
21. Boris Becker
23. Fred Perry
25. Stefan Edberg
28. Arthur Ashe
31. John Newcombe
32. Lew Hoad
33. Mats Wilander
34. Jack Kramer
35. Pancho Gonzales
48. Frank Sedgman
49. Ilie Nastase
64. Ellsworth Vines
66. Bobby Riggs

There are so many things wrong with this list, it would take me hours to list them all, but I shall point some of them out. Firstly, Ellsworth Vines at 64, well below Ilie Nastase! Can they really be serious? Yet Fred Perry is number 23 and Vines was better than Perry. They have completely disregarded their pro careers. Bobby Riggs at 66!?, don't make me laugh! Pancho Gonzales at 35. Clearly they have largely (but not totally) ignored Pancho's pro career. Gonzales is ranked higher than Nastase, a fellow two time slam champion, whereas Vines, a three time slam champion, is lower than Nastase, but they seem not to include any of Vines' stellar pro career, whereas they do make a token acknowledgement of Pancho's. Kramer and Rosewall's absurdly low positions are also down to their pro careers being largely ignored. Emerson higher than Rosewall!?!?!?, this is so funny its tragic. But even within the open era, their rankings don't make sense, with some players given higher rankings than others for no logical reason. This is the worst all time great list I have ever seen.
 
Good answer! It is a very complex question and one not easily answered. I would tend more towards the accomplishment angle, as it is easier to define. The problem with levels of play is, if we are talking level over a series of matches (ie a particular world series or part of a world series) then in that case someone like Hoad is a prime GOAT contender. If we are talking years rather than months, then just how many years, it isn't easy to define. Hoad's accomplishments are nowhere near the level of Laver's, Nadal's, Federer's, Rosewall's or Gonzales'. It is all very complex, further complicated by the amateur pro split and world wars. I still think there are rough groupings though. For me the first group comprises five: Laver, Rosewall, Gonzales, Federer and Nadal. Then just behind them are Djokovic, Tilden, Budge, Sampras and Kramer (Kramer is difficult to define, as KG mentioned).

It is an interesting discussion and there is no definitive list. Each person has a different system. For me, though, the most important thing is that the legends of the pro game should be recognised, whichever system is devised to classify pro events. Too often I have seen discussions by so-called experts on TV (ex-players usually) where they completely disregard the achievements in the pro ranks (many of those people who put themselves in the position of being tennis historians broadcasting their thoughts to the nation aren't even aware of the pro results!) I do not recognise any all time great ranking where someone like Roy Emerson is in the conversation and Pancho Gonzales isn't. The pro game (certainly from 1948-67) was always superior to the amateur one and this should always be taken into account. I feel the pros have been airbrushed out of history (partly through establishment bias, largely through ignorance) and that is wrong.
A super post however I'm curious why you have Tilden behind the top group.

Tilden, according to Bud Collins' book won from 1912 to 1930 in his amateur career (which essentially was the top level because he faced all the top competition) won 138 of 192 tournaments, lost 28 finals with a 907-62 match record. The winning percentage was .936!

How can you do better than being virtually unbeatable? I'm not sure if any player, given the equipment and conditions could have done better than Bill Tilden.

Even if you read about Bill Tilden's strokes except for his overhead he had nothing remotely like a weakness! Vines wrote that he never saw a player that could due more on both sides than Bill Tilden and that was in 1978 so he saw Laver, Budge, Borg, Connors, Riggs, Rosewall and Kramer. His serve was considered by many to be the best and he was considered a great mover.

There was a story Fred Perry related in his superb book "Fred Perry, an autobiography." Apparently Tilden, who was playing a tour with Perry called Tilden to hit with him in Kansas of all places. Here's a quote from the book--When we got to the court he asked me to hit a few to his forehand, low and wide. I did this and he returned them using a perfect continental grip, just as if he were mimicking my own forehand. When I inquired what he was up to Tilden said, "After playing so many matches against you and studying your style, I realized that the continental grip, and not my own Eastern grip, is the only one for that sort of shot. I felt I wouldn't be the complete tennis player unless I had mastered it to the stage where I could use it in a match if I wanted to."

Tilden was 53 when that happened. It showed what a great analytical mind he had in tennis and how he was constantly trying to improve. Perry felt when he wrote the book that Tilden was the finest player he had ever seen and that Laver was the best after World War II.

He had the great overwhelming record, great strokes, great physical talent and a tennis genius mind. He could play almost any style of game and he was always learning!

For decades Tilden was easily called the greatest over players like Laver, Kramer, Gonzalez, Vines, Budge, Riggs, Segura, Rosewall, Hoad, Sedgman etc. When he was 48 I believe he lost to Budge at his peak by I believe 7-46 and one tie on a World Championship tour. For Tilden to have won 7 matches against a Budge (who was 26 I think) who was an unbelievable player is just mind boggling to me.

I can't see any reason that Tilden should ever be left out of the top level. He also virtually invented the game we play today. Yes you could argue that the level may not have been as great but some think it was better than later years. And Tilden was very successful even into the late 1930s in the pros. He defeated Ted Schroeder, who was or would be soon the US Nationals Champion in the early 1940s.
 
IMO, Nadal's injuries are mostly due to his game style, which enabled him to win 17 slams but also hurt his body. Staying in shape and avoiding injuries are part of being a great athlete, especially in an individual sport. But then, if Nadal did not play the way he did, perhaps he would not have won as much as he did. The main reason I think that Federer, Rosewall, and Gonzalez played very well for as long as they did, for a longer time than most, is because of their natural ability and their game style.
Nadal's injuries are partially down to Nadal's game style. And a lot of Federer's lack of injuries are to do with his game style. Although it must be pointed out, Nadal has a defect in his foot called Kohler's foot, which has caused him problems. I said IF Nadal was injury free he would have won more slams, but the fact is he wasn't injury free. It is always interesting to speculate on what might have happened in certain scenarios, but when it comes to ranking players, it should be done on the basis of what actually happened.
 
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