Whats your top 10 of all time now (men)

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.
True but I used that extreme example to emphasize the big differences between accomplishments and actual level of play which I believe we are all actually looking at when we talk about greatness player ever in any competition.
 
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.
Longevity itself is not a measure of greatness.
Otherwise you would have players like Mulloy and Ulrich near the top.
 
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.
For me, the issues regarding Tilden are this. Firstly, the amateur era he played in was the 1920s, a transitional period between the old style game and the modern game. I read a fascinating book written by J. Parmly Paret back in around 1908 I think, saying that at that time, the game had not significantly changed since the Renshaws era in the 1880s. I have read several books from that period, A. Wallis Myers was another good author and player. Tennis did move on a little with the likes of Wilding and Brookes around the 1910-14 period.

As you say, Tilden was hugely influential. If we are giving marks for influence on the sport, Tilden would be right up there in the first group. Tilden and the musketeers created the concept of the big match on the big stage, particularly Tilden with his theatrical displays. But his era of domination was the early 20s, where his best opponent was Bill Johnston. Then Cochet and Lacoste arrived and dominated Tilden in big matches. Only when Lacoste retired and Cochet declined was Tilden able to win majors again after a gap of several years. Then he turned pro and his 3 years of dominance from 1931-33 were in the early years of pro tennis when he had no significant rival (it was before Nusslein's best years). When Vines arrived, he beat Tilden in the world championship series, though Tilden by then was in his 40s. So really, most of Tilden's domination came over weaker players. For titles, Tilden won 10 grand slams, 2 US Pros, 1 French Pros (do we rank the world series against Kozeluh and Nusslein as high as later world series?) I accept Tilden could have won more slams in the early 20s if he played Wimbledon more, but my ranking is based on what he achieved, plus all those factors I have listed. I certainly don't object to anyone ranking him in the first group of 5, but for me he belongs in the second.
 
Longevity itself is not a measure of greatness.
Otherwise you would have players like Mulloy and Ulrich near the top.
Mulloy and Ulrich, good players for sure, were never in the same league as Gonzalez, Rosewall or Federer. Ken was a top ten player from 18 to 40, the same is true of Gonzalez and Federer, if Roger continues to compete till then. Ken and Rgoer were winning slams into their late 30's, Mulloy and Ulrich won 0 slams combined, throughout there entire careers.
 
For me, the issues regarding Tilden are this. Firstly, the amateur era he played in was the 1920s, a transitional period between the old style game and the modern game. I read a fascinating book written by J. Parmly Paret back in around 1908 I think, saying that at that time, the game had not significantly changed since the Renshaws era in the 1880s. I have read several books from that period, A. Wallis Myers was another good author and player. Tennis did move on a little with the likes of Wilding and Brookes around the 1910-14 period.

As you say, Tilden was hugely influential. If we are giving marks for influence on the sport, Tilden would be right up there in the first group. Tilden and the musketeers created the concept of the big match on the big stage, particularly Tilden with his theatrical displays. But his era of domination was the early 20s, where his best opponent was Bill Johnston. Then Cochet and Lacoste arrived and dominated Tilden in big matches. Only when Lacoste retired and Cochet declined was Tilden able to win majors again after a gap of several years. Then he turned pro and his 3 years of dominance from 1931-33 were in the early years of pro tennis when he had no significant rival (it was before Nusslein's best years). When Vines arrived, he beat Tilden in the world championship series, though Tilden by then was in his 40s. So really, most of Tilden's domination came over weaker players. For titles, Tilden won 10 grand slams, 2 US Pros, 1 French Pros (do we rank the world series against Kozeluh and Nusslein as high as later world series?) I accept Tilden could have won more slams in the early 20s if he played Wimbledon more, but my ranking is based on what he achieved, plus all those factors I have listed. I certainly don't object to anyone ranking him in the first group of 5, but for me he belongs in the second.
Disagree totally. Tilden had a few huge injuries around 1925 which I believe gave an opening for the Musketeers to start winning. First of all he had part of a finger amputated and second he had a major knee injury that was so bad that when he ran there was a huge loud clicking that everyone could hear. Despite that Tilden was still great. He won in 1930 a total of I believe 18 tournaments including the championships of five nations. He won Wimbledon, the Italian and many other big tournaments.

Do you think Gonzalez, Rosewall or any of the players you ranked ahead of Tilden could have done better in Tilden's era? Frankly Tilden's strokes with the exception of the serve (and it's very close there) and the volley were probably clearly better than those of Gonzalez.
 
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.
Longevity itself is not a measure of greatness.
Otherwise you would have players like Mulloy and Ulrich near the top.
Just a little point, perhaps Nadal's injuries are due to his style but now I understand he had a bad injury years ago that hurts him to this day. So perhaps the perception that his injuries are due to his style may be incorrect.

It could have been one freak injury that hurts him forever. That does happen in sports and there many cases of this.
 
Mulloy and Ulrich, good players for sure, were never in the same league as Gonzalez, Rosewall or Federer. Ken was a top ten player from 18 to 40, the same is true of Gonzalez and Federer, if Roger continues to compete till then. Ken and Rgoer were winning slams into their late 30's, Mulloy and Ulrich won 0 slams combined, throughout there entire careers.
@Dan Lobb
Incidentally we should include the great Jimmy Connors for players who played at a super level for many years.
 
For me, the issues regarding Tilden are this. Firstly, the amateur era he played in was the 1920s, a transitional period between the old style game and the modern game. I read a fascinating book written by J. Parmly Paret back in around 1908 I think, saying that at that time, the game had not significantly changed since the Renshaws era in the 1880s. I have read several books from that period, A. Wallis Myers was another good author and player. Tennis did move on a little with the likes of Wilding and Brookes around the 1910-14 period.

As you say, Tilden was hugely influential. If we are giving marks for influence on the sport, Tilden would be right up there in the first group. Tilden and the musketeers created the concept of the big match on the big stage, particularly Tilden with his theatrical displays. But his era of domination was the early 20s, where his best opponent was Bill Johnston. Then Cochet and Lacoste arrived and dominated Tilden in big matches. Only when Lacoste retired and Cochet declined was Tilden able to win majors again after a gap of several years. Then he turned pro and his 3 years of dominance from 1931-33 were in the early years of pro tennis when he had no significant rival (it was before Nusslein's best years). When Vines arrived, he beat Tilden in the world championship series, though Tilden by then was in his 40s. So really, most of Tilden's domination came over weaker players. For titles, Tilden won 10 grand slams, 2 US Pros, 1 French Pros (do we rank the world series against Kozeluh and Nusslein as high as later world series?) I accept Tilden could have won more slams in the early 20s if he played Wimbledon more, but my ranking is based on what he achieved, plus all those factors I have listed. I certainly don't object to anyone ranking him in the first group of 5, but for me he belongs in the second.
Finally, an accurate post about Tilden! He was great, but not as great as his majors count and rankings would suggest.
 
Disagree totally. Tilden had a few huge injuries around 1925 which I believe gave an opening for the Musketeers to start winning. First of all he had part of a finger amputated and second he had a major knee injury that was so bad that when he ran there was a huge loud clicking that everyone could hear. Despite that Tilden was still great. He won in 1930 a total of I believe 18 tournaments including the championships of five nations. He won Wimbledon, the Italian and many other big tournaments.

Do you think Gonzalez, Rosewall or any of the players you ranked ahead of Tilden could have done better in Tilden's era? Frankly Tilden's strokes with the exception of the serve (and it's very close there) and the volley were probably clearly better than those of Gonzalez.
I think tennis developed a lot between 1920 and 1960. It's hard to tell, as so little footage of Tilden exists (and most of that is when he was past his prime), but his game always looks lightweight compared to Rosewall, Gonzales, Laver etc. This is a guy who won most his slams against Bill Johnston. As I said, rank him in the first group if you wish (certainly for influence on tennis he was among the first group). For me he belongs in the second group (where he is still amongst legends of the sport). I don't want to fall out with you over Bill Tilden! He was a legend of the sport. I would much rather take tennis channel to task over their disgraceful list.
 
Just a little point, perhaps Nadal's injuries are due to his style but now I understand he had a bad injury years ago that hurts him to this day. So perhaps the perception that his injuries are due to his style may be incorrect.

It could have been one freak injury that hurts him forever. That does happen in sports and there many cases of this.
Perhaps, but I doubt that one could play and win so much for so long with a continuous serious injury. Who knows?
 
Disagree totally. Tilden had a few huge injuries around 1925 which I believe gave an opening for the Musketeers to start winning. First of all he had part of a finger amputated and second he had a major knee injury that was so bad that when he ran there was a huge loud clicking that everyone could hear. Despite that Tilden was still great. He won in 1930 a total of I believe 18 tournaments including the championships of five nations. He won Wimbledon, the Italian and many other big tournaments.

Do you think Gonzalez, Rosewall or any of the players you ranked ahead of Tilden could have done better in Tilden's era? Frankly Tilden's strokes with the exception of the serve (and it's very close there) and the volley were probably clearly better than those of Gonzalez.
Honestly, I did not know of those serious injures Bill suffered. It was amazing he could play at all with those injuries.
 
Honestly, I did not know of those serious injures Bill suffered. It was amazing he could play at all with those injuries.
What PC1 says on Tilden injuring himself against Lacoste in 1926 is absolutely correct. He played in considerable pain after that. But, then so has Nadal been in severe pain for much of his career. At the end of the day we can only judge on the results that happened, not hypothetical outcomes.
 
True, but he won his last slam at 31 and was last ranked in top 10 at 36. Still, one of the near best players, longevity wise
Wrong. He won Wimbledon in 1930 at age 37 and the “Pro Majors” into his forties. He was arguably number one in 1930. After that he turned pro with no ranking.
 
What PC1 says on Tilden injuring himself against Lacoste in 1926 is absolutely correct. He played in considerable pain after that. But, then so has Nadal been in severe pain for much of his career. At the end of the day we can only judge on the results that happened, not hypothetical outcomes.
And Tilden had in reality awesome results.
 
I think tennis developed a lot between 1920 and 1960. It's hard to tell, as so little footage of Tilden exists (and most of that is when he was past his prime), but his game always looks lightweight compared to Rosewall, Gonzales, Laver etc. This is a guy who won most his slams against Bill Johnston. As I said, rank him in the first group if you wish (certainly for influence on tennis he was among the first group). For me he belongs in the second group (where he is still amongst legends of the sport). I don't want to fall out with you over Bill Tilden! He was a legend of the sport. I would much rather take tennis channel to task over their disgraceful list.
Tilden’s game lightweight?? Tilden had great power but also great touch and spin. He had more power off the ground in general than Gonzalez and Rosewall. He had a bigger serve than Laver or Rosewall and it was comparable to Gonzalez.

Here’s Tilden in his forties against Vines.
 
And Tilden had in reality awesome results.
Are you disputing any of the things I have said? They are facts. My system of ranking is a majors-based system, also taking into account quality of opposition. Tilden won 10 grand slams, (beating mainly Bill Johnston) plus 2 US Pros and 1 French Pro, 3 World series. This adds up to 16 (against mainly weak opponents). Nadal won 17 open era majors, Federer 20 open era majors, Gonzales and Laver around 20 combined amateur/pro/open, Rosewall slightly more, all against stronger players than Tilden won against. I fully accept you judge things differently and don't only take majors into account (Wimbledon and US, which Tilden won, were certainly bona fide majors in Tilden's day). Under my system, that's how things stand and I am not going to start saying "if Tilden wasn't injured", because I could just as well say "what if Hoad wasn't injured, what if Budge wasn't injured, what if Nadal wasn't injured". Some players are unduly and unfairly hampered by injuries more than others.
 
Tilden’s game lightweight?? Tilden had great power but also great touch and spin. He had more power off the ground in general than Gonzalez and Rosewall. He had a bigger serve than Laver or Rosewall and it was comparable to Gonzalez.

Here’s Tilden in his forties against Vines.
I have seen this before. Tilden's forehands and backhands appear lightweight (his serve was certainly first rate). But as I said, it is very difficult to assess Tilden's game as so little footage of him exists. The game did improve between 1920 and 1960 and Tilden helped it improve. Are you saying the game in 1960 had moved on little since the Renshaw's? Because J. Parmly Paret said that not long before Tilden's era. Tilden is a legend of the game and I have no issue at all with you ranking him among the first five of all time. Personally I choose to rank him just below for the reasons stated in previous messages.
 
Are you disputing any of the things I have said? They are facts. My system of ranking is a majors-based system, also taking into account quality of opposition. Tilden won 10 grand slams, (beating mainly Bill Johnston) plus 2 US Pros and 1 French Pro, 3 World series. This adds up to 16 (against mainly weak opponents). Nadal won 17 open era majors, Federer 20 open era majors, Gonzales and Laver around 20 combined amateur/pro/open, Rosewall slightly more, all against stronger players than Tilden won against. I fully accept you judge things differently and don't only take majors into account (Wimbledon and US, which Tilden won, were certainly bona fide majors in Tilden's day). Under my system, that's how things stand and I am not going to start saying "if Tilden wasn't injured", because I could just as well say "what if Hoad wasn't injured, what if Budge wasn't injured, what if Nadal wasn't injured". Some players are unduly and unfairly hampered by injuries more than others.
I’m not disputing your information but I’m disagreeing with your opinion.

I’m not talking about Tilden’s injuries, I am stating I think his record is unbelievable for what he did. Don’t forget about his World Hardcourt by the way which was THE CLAY major.

Remember that travel was tough in those days. Going to Europe would take weeks! Tilden figured that his rivals could come here to challenge him, the champion.
 
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I have seen this before. Tilden's forehands and backhands appear lightweight (his serve was certainly first rate). But as I said, it is very difficult to assess Tilden's game as so little footage of him exists. The game did improve between 1920 and 1960 and Tilden helped it improve. Are you saying the game in 1960 had moved on little since the Renshaw's? Because J. Parmly Paret said that not long before Tilden's era. Tilden is a legend of the game and I have no issue at all with you ranking him among the first five of all time. Personally I choose to rank him just below for the reasons stated in previous messages.
Video is deceptive. Vines was a huge hitter but in many videos he looks like a soft hitter. In some videos Laver looks like a light hitter except the videos in Laver’s time was superior to Tilden’s time.

Note in the video how Tilden hits a winner off his forehand that Vines couldn’t reach. Note the depth of the strokes and how he could drive the ball (at age 41 no less) off both sides well.

Of course there was improvement and yet Tilden defeated Vines, Budge, Perry, Schroeder and could battle players like Riggs in the 1940s on tour. He was a genius of the game. He was always improving.

A better question is how Nadal and others like Federer would have done in Tilden’s day with wood!

I hit the ball harder with more topspin than I ever did now but I was a far better player when I was younger. It’s the illusions of better play because of the equipment.
 
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I’m not disputing your information but I’m disagreeing with your opinion.

I’m not talking about Tilden’s injuries, I am stating I think his record is unbelievable for what he did. Don’t forget about his World Hardcourt by the way which was THE CLAY major.

Remember that travel was tough in those days. Going to Europe would take weeks! Tilden figured that his rivals could come here to challenge him, the champion.
We can bring Tilden's total up to 17 if you like (WHCC has a very good case to be considered a major), but he still ranks below 4 of the 5 players in my list (he is now level with Nadal), but he still ranks below all of them in quality of opposition in winning his majors. I will say, if Tilden had played more Wimbledons from 1922-25, he would probably have won them, and in that case, with four more majors he would be amongst my top tier list (quality of opposition only accounts for a certain amount in my list). But my list is a majors-based system based on actual results (and taking into account to some degree quality of opposition). As I said, I really don't want to take the position of denegrating Tilden and fully accept you, under your system, list him in the top tier.
 
We can bring Tilden's total up to 17 if you like (WHCC has a very good case to be considered a major), but he still ranks below 4 of the 5 players in my list (he is now level with Nadal), but he still ranks below all of them in quality of opposition in winning his majors. I will say, if Tilden had played more Wimbledons from 1922-25, he would probably have won them, and in that case, with four more majors he would be amongst my top tier list (quality of opposition only accounts for a certain amount in my list). But my list is a majors-based system based on actual results (and taking into account to some degree quality of opposition). As I said, I really don't want to take the position of denegrating Tilden and fully accept you, under your system, list him in the top tier.
Okay. That's fine. I really couldn't care if you raise his "majors" to 17. I don't exactly put "Pro Majors" on the level of Wimbledon today.

Please understand however that Tilden was number one in majors for decades due to the travel conditions and other factors. It was different time. Davis Cup was perhaps more important than majors for example.
 
Mulloy and Ulrich, good players for sure, were never in the same league as Gonzalez, Rosewall or Federer. Ken was a top ten player from 18 to 40, the same is true of Gonzalez and Federer, if Roger continues to compete till then. Ken and Rgoer were winning slams into their late 30's, Mulloy and Ulrich won 0 slams combined, throughout there entire careers.
But they would still be ranked very high if you give points for longevity.
 
Mulloy and Ulrich, good players for sure, were never in the same league as Gonzalez, Rosewall or Federer. Ken was a top ten player from 18 to 40, the same is true of Gonzalez and Federer, if Roger continues to compete till then. Ken and Rgoer were winning slams into their late 30's, Mulloy and Ulrich won 0 slams combined, throughout there entire careers.
But they would still be ranked very high if you give points for longevity.
Toben may be the GOAT if you rank for coolest players and he was the dad of Lars Ulrich of Metallica. :D
 
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?
I would like to develop better what distinguishes the GOAT from the best player (BPOAT).

Today (for about 20 years) the ranking of top players all time is drawn up in terms of "greatness" without specifying the term, without actually translating what "greatness" is. Without a "definition" it is easy to have conflicting opinions.
For the most part, the slam account alone attributes the measure of "greatness", others also insert other titles (WTF, other big titles, number one years, h2h....), others still include records, other incredible companies, others include in the evaluation the iconicity and the "greatness" of the tennis player, others the "importance".
Basically there are three types:
- for many slams are the only thing that matters,
- for others all achievements (with slams that clearly prevail) are the only thing
- for others there are many parameters.
This method rewards long career, consistency and longevity.

But one thing must be kept in mind: until at least 70s the concept was completely different, even opposite.
There was the best player, the player that gave the feeling of being the dominator, the dominant.
Generally winning the World Tour, but also always winning, everywhere. Nobody was interested in counting Pro tournaments, or Pro majors. No one ranked according to how many Pro majors had won Kramer or Segura.
This method rewards the yield peak in a not very long period.

This second method, which is no longer used, I think is entitled to a space.
What do you think about it ?
 
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I would like to develop better what distinguishes the GOAT from the best player (BPOAT).

Today (for about 20 years) the ranking of top players all time is drawn up in terms of "greatness" without specifying the term, without actually translating what "greatness" is. Without a "definition" it is easy to have conflicting opinions.
For the most part, the slam account alone attributes the measure of "greatness", others also insert other titles (WTF, other big titles, number one years, h2h....), others still include records, other incredible companies, others include in the evaluation the iconicity and the "greatness" of the tennis player, others the "importance".
Basically there are three types:
- for many slams are the only thing that matters,
- for others all achievements (with slams that clearly prevail) are the only thing
- for others there are many parameters.
This method rewards long career, consistency and longevity.

But one thing must be kept in mind: until at least 70s the concept was completely different, even opposite.
There was the best player, the player that gave the feeling of being the dominator, the dominant.
Generally winning the World Tour, but also always winning, everywhere. Nobody was interested in counting Pro tournaments, or Pro majors. No one ranked according to how many Pro majors had won Kramer or Segura.
This method rewards the yield peak in a not very long period.

This second method, which is no longer used, I think is entitled to a space.
What do you think about it ?
I agree and I will try to elaborate on it more when I get the chance.
 
Okay. That's fine. I really couldn't care if you raise his "majors" to 17. I don't exactly put "Pro Majors" on the level of Wimbledon today.

Please understand however that Tilden was number one in majors for decades due to the travel conditions and other factors. It was different time. Davis Cup was perhaps more important than majors for example.
IMO, these discussions prove that players of vastly different should not be ranked together. Tilden was the greatest of the twenties, then Cochet and Lacoste. IN the thirties there was: Perry, Budge and Vines. I would rate Perry at #1, which I know would not go well here-LOL! Kramer, I suppose would be top in the 40's, or Riggs and Budge? Gonzalez top in the 50's, Laver in the 60's, with Rosewall close behind. Open era: 1- Federer, then Nadal, Djokovic, then Sampras or Borg.
 
Guys like Kramer, Gonzales and anyone else who had the misfortune to play tennis before 1968 simply don't exist.
I was going to offer a clever witticism on how, if Lendl was a pioneer then pre-Open era players are like old testament prophets, but sadly you are probably more correct.

And Tilden was pre-Big Bang.
 
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Okay. That's fine. I really couldn't care if you raise his "majors" to 17. I don't exactly put "Pro Majors" on the level of Wimbledon today.

Please understand however that Tilden was number one in majors for decades due to the travel conditions and other factors. It was different time. Davis Cup was perhaps more important than majors for example.
Early 1930s pro majors are not on the level of later pro majors. I said Tilden has 17 majors, but I didn't say those were comparable with Nadal's 17 open era majors, hence one reason for not including him in the same group as Nadal (standard of opposition comes into my calculation, as I said). Hence also why Laver, Rosewall and Gonzales all have 20 or more majors mainly amateur/pro, yet I list them on the same level as Nadal with 17 open era majors (Federer I list on the same level as Nadal because of Fed's losing head to head slam record against Djokovic and Nadal and the relatively easier opposition Federer had in winning the majority of his slams compared to Nadal and Djokovic). A Nadal t a r d would list Nadal above Federer as the clear GOAT, but head to heads do not feature as prominently in my calculation as that. Just out of interest, for those people defining players by overall titles, why haven't I heard Major Ritchie's name mentioned? He won over 130 tournaments. And why if overall titles are taken into consideration do I never see Connors marked higher than his slam tally in any list (in fact Connors always seems to be marked lower than his slam tally in every list I have seen!)
 
I would like to develop better what distinguishes the GOAT from the best player (BPOAT).

Today (for about 20 years) the ranking of top players all time is drawn up in terms of "greatness" without specifying the term, without actually translating what "greatness" is. Without a "definition" it is easy to have conflicting opinions.
For the most part, the slam account alone attributes the measure of "greatness", others also insert other titles (WTF, other big titles, number one years, h2h....), others still include records, other incredible companies, others include in the evaluation the iconicity and the "greatness" of the tennis player, others the "importance".
Basically there are three types:
- for many slams are the only thing that matters,
- for others all achievements (with slams that clearly prevail) are the only thing
- for others there are many parameters.
This method rewards long career, consistency and longevity.

But one thing must be kept in mind: until at least 70s the concept was completely different, even opposite.
There was the best player, the player that gave the feeling of being the dominator, the dominant.
Generally winning the World Tour, but also always winning, everywhere. Nobody was interested in counting Pro tournaments, or Pro majors. No one ranked according to how many Pro majors had won Kramer or Segura.
This method rewards the yield peak in a not very long period.

This second method, which is no longer used, I think is entitled to a space.
What do you think about it ?
You are underrating yourself when you claim not to know much about the old pro game, KG. I don't know what your knowledge is, but you always seem to apply a great deal of common sense to your arguments and you learn fast. For the record, my personal system of calculation as follows: (I am repeating myself, I realise). A majors based system also taking into account standard of opposition in winning those majors. I accept others, like PC1 have different systems. Yours is slightly different again. I would accept most sensible systems to some degree. But what I will not go along with is lists like The Tennis Channel's that show a large degree of ignorance and do not give full regard to the pro results.

I am willing to accept systems of defining pro majors that differ from my own, but I will not accept any list where the pro results are ignored. We have seen other forms of experimentation with lists of pro majors. We had Dan's list of a year by year best pro event, which I liked (with a few exceptions). This varies a little from the standard pro slam list, but generally speaking the best pros won the best events, whichever sensible system of defining the best pro events is used (also world championship series must be taken account of in any pro results calculation). In Amateur majors, the Australian basically wasn't a major until the 1980s. Lesser "non-major" events can be brought into the calculation to some degree, but bear in mind these were lesser events and the lesser events should not be overrated in the calculation. If it is purely on overall titles and nothing else then Major Ritchie must be in your top 5. Personally I don't accept a list that only regards total overall titles and nothing else.

Other factors may be used, domination over a certain period. Other statistical data may be used as a minor factor in the calculation but it must be applied as fairly as possible. I don't like systems that are designed to promote a particular player. All cases should be argued logically. That's my own view on deciding all time greats lists anyway. On my own list I have a 5-way tie for first, so I don't expect anyone to come up with one player who is a definate number one if there wasn't one. In fact I prefer rough groupings. It is a difficult task, particularly in men's tennis, with the amateur-pro split. I will not post any more lists myself experimenting using other systems, but will keep an eye on this thread to see what others post.
 
Early 1930s pro majors are not on the level of later pro majors. I said Tilden has 17 majors, but I didn't say those were comparable with Nadal's 17 open era majors, hence one reason for not including him in the same group as Nadal (standard of opposition comes into my calculation, as I said). Hence also why Laver, Rosewall and Gonzales all have 20 or more majors mainly amateur/pro, yet I list them on the same level as Nadal with 17 open era majors (Federer I list on the same level as Nadal because of Fed's losing head to head slam record against Djokovic and Nadal and the relatively easier opposition Federer had in winning the majority of his slams compared to Nadal and Djokovic). A Nadal t a r d would list Nadal above Federer as the clear GOAT, but head to heads do not feature as prominently in my calculation as that. Just out of interest, for those people defining players by overall titles, why haven't I heard Major Ritchie's name mentioned? He won over 130 tournaments. And why if overall titles are taken into consideration do I never see Connors marked higher than his slam tally in any list (in fact Connors always seems to be marked lower than his slam tally in every list I have seen!)
First of I do think Connors is sorely underrated because of an overemphasis on majors. Some formulas do have Connors as the greatest ever.
http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2011/03/science-answers-goat-question/28098/
https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.th...3/jun/23/jimmy-connors-pete-sampras-wimbledon

Majors should not be the end all. It’s only eight weeks in the tennis year. The rest of the year should count for a lot. Also Connors played a good portion of his career when essentially the top players played only three or two classic majors a year. Other tournaments were more important than some majors like the Australian.

Yes Pro Majors aren’t nearly at the same level as regular majors but I will point out that essentially Tilden in his prime play in an Open Era. He played all the top players and won all his 11 majors while only generally playing a few majors a year.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.ny.../greatest-mens-tennis-player-indoors.amp.html
I’m parked in my car now so I will discuss it more later.
 
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First of I do think Connors is sorely underrated because of an overemphasis on majors. Some formulas do have Connors as the greatest ever.
http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2011/03/science-answers-goat-question/28098/
https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.th...3/jun/23/jimmy-connors-pete-sampras-wimbledon

Majors should not be the end all. It’s only eight years in the tennis year. The rest of the year should count for a lot. Also Connors played a good portion of his career when essentially the top players played only three or two classic majors a year. Other tournaments were more important than some majors like the Australian.

Yes Pro Majors aren’t nearly at the same level as regular majors but I will point out that essentially Tilden in his prime play in an Open Era. He played all the top players and won all his 11 majors while only generally playing a few majors a year.
I agree that Connors tends to get underrated by many, but #1, NO WAY! Vilas is also ranked much to high on that list. The only things I liked about the list is that Edberg is above Becker and Rosewall was #27
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.ny.../greatest-mens-tennis-player-indoors.amp.html
I’m parked in my car now so I will discuss it more later.
 
First of I do think Connors is sorely underrated because of an overemphasis on majors. Some formulas do have Connors as the greatest ever.
http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2011/03/science-answers-goat-question/28098/
https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.th...3/jun/23/jimmy-connors-pete-sampras-wimbledon

Majors should not be the end all. It’s only eight years in the tennis year. The rest of the year should count for a lot. Also Connors played a good portion of his career when essentially the top players played only three or two classic majors a year. Other tournaments were more important than some majors like the Australian.

Yes Pro Majors aren’t nearly at the same level as regular majors but I will point out that essentially Tilden in his prime play in an Open Era. He played all the top players and won all his 11 majors while only generally playing a few majors a year.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.ny.../greatest-mens-tennis-player-indoors.amp.html
I’m parked in my car now so I will discuss it more later.
I agree that Connors tends to get underrated by many, but #1, NO WAY! Vilas is also ranked much to high on that list. The only things I liked about the list is that Edberg is above Becker and Rosewall was #27
However my point was that Connors is one of the greatest players of the Open Era and frankly of all time. I think he ranks higher than many players who I believe is mistakenly ranked above him. I'm not saying he's number one but the mere fact that by some formulas he can be ranked number one shows what an awesome career Connors had.

I don't think many realize how great Connors was because they didn't live through those times or were perhaps too young to know. Even Arthur Ashe called Connors the greatest player of the Open Era!

By the way Thrust, I took the liberty of correcting your error on the quote. You put your reply within my quote so I took it out.
 
First of I do think Connors is sorely underrated because of an overemphasis on majors. Some formulas do have Connors as the greatest ever.
http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2011/03/science-answers-goat-question/28098/
https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.th...3/jun/23/jimmy-connors-pete-sampras-wimbledon

Majors should not be the end all. It’s only eight years in the tennis year. The rest of the year should count for a lot. Also Connors played a good portion of his career when essentially the top players played only three or two classic majors a year. Other tournaments were more important than some majors like the Australian.

Yes Pro Majors aren’t nearly at the same level as regular majors but I will point out that essentially Tilden in his prime play in an Open Era. He played all the top players and won all his 11 majors while only generally playing a few majors a year.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.ny.../greatest-mens-tennis-player-indoors.amp.html
I’m parked in my car now so I will discuss it more later.
Yes I agree that Tilden's amateur majors were essentially open majors, because Tilden was the first major winner to turn pro (in the men's game). However, I still factor in the level of opposition he had in winning those titles.

In response to your comment on pro majors, I will point out that after Kramer turned pro at the end of 1947, the best player in the world was always in the pro ranks and often the best two players and from the late 50s more and more of the best players were pro. I accept you may choose to define your pro system of results differently to me (under any system of defining pro results the world championship series should be considered in my view). Whatever system you (or anyone else) has, to gain my approval it must respect the pros (generally post-war I expect at the least pros to be given the same regard as the amateurs, or a good reason given as why not to in a given year. Wembley and French Pro weren't always held from 1946-57, so there are less pro majors counted for those years in my list).

In terms of taking other non-major tournaments into account, I am willing to listen to any formula devised, providing its fair and rational. But it must be a majors/all tournaments ranking, not just an all tournaments ranking, because for me an all tournaments ranking alone does not represent a true list of all time greats (as I said, Major Ritchie must be top 5 under these rules). I look forward to reading your further comments on this.
 
However my point was that Connors is one of the greatest players of the Open Era and frankly of all time. I think he ranks higher than many players who I believe is mistakenly ranked above him. I'm not saying he's number one but the mere fact that by some formulas he can be ranked number one shows what an awesome career Connors had.

I don't think many realize how great Connors was because they didn't live through those times or were perhaps too young to know.

By the way Thrust, I took the liberty of correcting your error on the quote. You put your reply within my quote so I took it out.
Open Era Greats:
Federer
Nadal
Djokovic
Borg
Sampras
McEnroe
Connors
 
Sort of a toss up between Connors and John. Peak-McEnroe, Peak longevity- Connors. Peak Connors and McEnroe, slightly above peak Lendl. But then, perhaps Lendl reached his peak older than Jimmy and John?
I think Connors wins out over McEnroe. More majors, more tournaments won and higher lifetime winning percentage. McEnroe has more tier 1000 equivalents. It's close.

Lendl vs Connors is interesting also. That's close in virtually every category.
 
Yes I agree that Tilden's amateur majors were essentially open majors, because Tilden was the first major winner to turn pro (in the men's game). However, I still factor in the level of opposition he had in winning those titles.

In response to your comment on pro majors, I will point out that after Kramer turned pro at the end of 1947, the best player in the world was always in the pro ranks and often the best two players and from the late 50s more and more of the best players were pro. I accept you may choose to define your pro system of results differently to me (under any system of defining pro results the world championship series should be considered in my view). Whatever system you (or anyone else) has, to gain my approval it must respect the pros (generally post-war I expect at the least pros to be given the same regard as the amateurs, or a good reason given as why not to in a given year. Wembley and French Pro weren't always held from 1946-57, so there are less pro majors counted for those years in my list).

In terms of taking other non-major tournaments into account, I am willing to listen to any formula devised, providing its fair and rational. But it must be a majors/all tournaments ranking, not just an all tournaments ranking, because for me an all tournaments ranking alone does not represent a true list of all time greats (as I said, Major Ritchie must be top 5 under these rules). I look forward to reading your further comments on this.
Of course all tournaments should be counted. It's ridiculous to analyze a career and only count the majors. That's why I provided links to those articles.
 
I would like to develop better what distinguishes the GOAT from the best player (BPOAT).

Today (for about 20 years) the ranking of top players all time is drawn up in terms of "greatness" without specifying the term, without actually translating what "greatness" is. Without a "definition" it is easy to have conflicting opinions.
For the most part, the slam account alone attributes the measure of "greatness", others also insert other titles (WTF, other big titles, number one years, h2h....), others still include records, other incredible companies, others include in the evaluation the iconicity and the "greatness" of the tennis player, others the "importance".
Basically there are three types:
- for many slams are the only thing that matters,
- for others all achievements (with slams that clearly prevail) are the only thing
- for others there are many parameters.
This method rewards long career, consistency and longevity.

But one thing must be kept in mind: until at least 70s the concept was completely different, even opposite.
There was the best player, the player that gave the feeling of being the dominator, the dominant.
Generally winning the World Tour, but also always winning, everywhere. Nobody was interested in counting Pro tournaments, or Pro majors. No one ranked according to how many Pro majors had won Kramer or Segura.
This method rewards the yield peak in a not very long period.

This second method, which is no longer used, I think is entitled to a space.
What do you think about it ?
No one counted the pro major wins of Kramer or Segura?

No, I think that the U.S. Pro at Forest Hills in the late 1940's had huge status, even being claimed as a world championship event by some.

But in the early fifties, the status of the U.S. Pro took a hit with a pro split and fight over control.

In the late fifties, you could think of pro majors again with Kramer's TOC series, which were touted in some media as world championships, or nearly equivalent of them.

I believe that there were genuine pro majors, but fewer of them than commonly stated.
 
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Of course all tournaments should be counted. It's ridiculous to analyze a career and only count the majors. That's why I provided links to those articles.
I have read those articles (it was late here last night when you posted them and I only had the chance to read them just now). The formula devised is a flawed formula. It says in the article the formula takes into account how close a Grand Slam match is and Sampras was marked down because he won close matches. A win is a win! The article says the list was treated with complete indifference by most. At most it is an interesting experiment. If we are talking about an all time great list, any method used in a list should take good account of who won the major tournaments (people's method of defining what the majors are may vary slightly). Yes, minor tournaments can be factored in to the calculation also. But when major tournaments are left out of the calculation, all sorts of strange lists start appearing. I have a lot of respect for Connors and his career, but he wasn't the G.O.A.T.
 
I have read those articles (it was late here last night when you posted them and I only had the chance to read them just now). The formula devised is a flawed formula. It says in the article the formula takes into account how close a Grand Slam match is and Sampras was marked down because he won close matches. A win is a win! The article says the list was treated with complete indifference by most. At most it is an interesting experiment. If we are talking about an all time great list, any method used in a list should take good account of who won the major tournaments (people's method of defining what the majors are may vary slightly). Yes, minor tournaments can be factored in to the calculation also. But when major tournaments are left out of the calculation, all sorts of strange lists start appearing. I have a lot of respect for Connors and his career, but he wasn't the G.O.A.T.
The formula actually is pretty good imo. Games Won Percentages are a very important criteria in evaluating the strength of a player over the course of a tennis season. It is arguably the most important criteria for a large sample size. The players with the most dominant seasons like McEnroe in 1984 have among the greatest GW%s of all time. Connors has had many strong GW% seasons.
 
The formula actually is pretty good imo. Games Won Percentages are a very important criteria in evaluating the strength of a player over the course of a tennis season. It is arguably the most important criteria for a large sample size. The players with the most dominant seasons like McEnroe in 1984 have among the greatest GW%s of all time. Connors has had many strong GW% seasons.
I would be very interested to know the system in these articles without the games & sets win/loss ratio factored in. That is the sticking point for me. Obviously it is a complicated system that rates different opponents, but from how it is explained in the articles, it seems a fairly applied system, not created to favour a particular player. But of itself it couldn't possibly be used as a credible list of all time greats. It could be used as part of an overall calculation, but for me games/sets win-loss is a sticking point. Federer shouldn't be marked down because he won a lot of five set matches at the Australian Open 2017 (it could be said this showed his greatness that he was able to win several tough matches).
 
I would like to develop better what distinguishes the GOAT from the best player (BPOAT).

Today (for about 20 years) the ranking of top players all time is drawn up in terms of "greatness" without specifying the term, without actually translating what "greatness" is. Without a "definition" it is easy to have conflicting opinions.
For the most part, the slam account alone attributes the measure of "greatness", others also insert other titles (WTF, other big titles, number one years, h2h....), others still include records, other incredible companies, others include in the evaluation the iconicity and the "greatness" of the tennis player, others the "importance".
Basically there are three types:
- for many slams are the only thing that matters,
- for others all achievements (with slams that clearly prevail) are the only thing
- for others there are many parameters.
This method rewards long career, consistency and longevity.

But one thing must be kept in mind: until at least 70s the concept was completely different, even opposite.
There was the best player, the player that gave the feeling of being the dominator, the dominant.
Generally winning the World Tour, but also always winning, everywhere. Nobody was interested in counting Pro tournaments, or Pro majors. No one ranked according to how many Pro majors had won Kramer or Segura.
This method rewards the yield peak in a not very long period.

This second method, which is no longer used, I think is entitled to a space.
What do you think about it ?
I agree and I will try to elaborate on it more when I get the chance.
We have all heard of the saying "For the want of a nail, a kingdom was lost."

Well I think sometimes we forget that when in actuality we discuss who is the greatest or who are the greatest players of all time we are NOT talking about who has accumulated the most accomplishments. We are using accomplishments as a guide or a clue to who is the greatest or is among the greatest of all time. The problem is how we analyze what is a great accomplishment and the level of the strength of the accomplishment. All we do now is look at accomplishments without looking at how it is used to look at playing level.

For example Laver won the 1971 Tournament of Champions with an awesome record of 13-0 and he defeated many of the greatest players of all time in doing this. However while it was a great accomplishment, it is not as great as some may think because it was done over a course of months which would give Laver time to recover and rest up in many matches. I believe the final few matches were played over the course of only a few days however.

We CANNOT JUDGE accomplishments by our current criteria of just counting current classic majors and apply in throughout tennis history. That is unfair to players of the past for many reasons. For example players in the 1920s and 1930s could not easily travel to other countries to play the majors with hours like we do today. They had to spent weeks on boats to travel to each location and in doing so would get out of playing shape. Many of course decided not to play these tournaments because of that.

Of course the importance of playing these majors weren't emphasized in the past also. Players often would skip majors because of boycotts (many of them in the early days of the Open Era) and just because they didn't care to attend. One of the reasons players cited for not playing the Australian was that it was around the holiday season and they did not want to play at that time of year. Players like Tilden and others from the past didn't often make that overseas trip. Yet when Tilden decided to make that trip at age 37 in 1930 (way past his peak) he won 18 tournaments including the championships of five nations. He won Wimbledon, the Italian, the Austrian, the Netherlands aka Dutch, Monaco and a total of 18 tournaments. He was 120-6 that year and had a great argument to be number one.

Davis Cup was of almost ultimate importance. One player was ordered by his Davis Cup captain to default the Wimbledon final in order to protect him so he would be ready to play Davis Cup. That would never happen today.

Nowadays majors are almost a requirement for all the top ATP and WTA players.

Of course there is the amateur/pro divide in which as we all know, once a top amateur like a Laver turned pro he couldn't play the majors anymore! Pancho Gonzalez turned pro in 1949 and didn't play a major again until Open Tennis arrived in 1968, the year he would turn 40. Yet despite this he won many strong tournaments which were basically almost majors (because of the price money and great fields) like the Howard Hughes in 1969 and 1970.

So what was the most important event in the Pros in those days? Clearly it was the World Championship Tours. Kramer indicated it was almost a do or die event. If you won you were the Number One Player in the world, the World Champion. If you lost, it's quite possible you were done as a viable opponent. Vines and Budge indicated how important the World Championship Tours were. Pancho Gonzalez made it his main goal for the year to win the World Championship Tour. If Gonzalez won important tournaments that's fine but that was a very distance second to winning the World Championship Tour.

In this way I would venture to compare the World Championship Tour to a World Championship Heavyweight Boxing match, winner becomes World Champion. I believe the importance of the World Championship Tours surpassed that of several "Pro Majors." In theory one could win Wembley, the US Pro, the French Pro and the Tournaments of Champions and yet the winner of the World Championship Tour would still be number one. So if we take that as a given, the World Championship Tours have far more importance than any Pro Major since winning several pro majors doesn't guarantee you are World Champion but the World Championship Tour does.

So if we just superficially look at Gonzalez's majors record we see two amateur US Nationals won which isn't bad but not close to players like Federer or Nadal or Sampras. However when we take into account that Gonzalez won six or seven World Championship Tours, over 120 tournaments won and many other tours that weren't for the World Championship we get a much greater idea of how truly awesome he was at his best.

Gonzalez won a lot of top Pro Tournaments on the Old Pro Tour including many of these "Pro Majors." However the problem with this is that so many count a "Pro Major" as the same as a classic Open Major which I find rather silly. However I do believe many of the top pros more than made up for this in the volume of top Old Pro Tour Tournaments that they won. A Wimbledon Pro that is won in 1967 with a top eight man field cannot be compared to an Open Wimbledon in 1977 with a 128 player field and all the top players competing in a best of five for seven rounds. However you could argue that perhaps winning two of these Pro Majors on the Old Pro Tour could be the equivalent of an Open Major...key words COULD BE.

To continue with Gonzalez, Pancho Gonzalez was arguably the number one player in the world from 1952 to 1961 and was World Champion from 1954 to 1961. This stands for a lot. In the same way I believe Pete Sampras' greatest accomplishment to be number one at the end of the year for six years in a row and not his 14 majors.

So if we look at Gonzalez's record for what was truly important at the time we can get an idea of his actual strength level when he was playing. We also can get ideas on how strong he was by some information on his playing style and game.

If we just looked at majors of course Roy Emerson has it all over Gonzalez. I actually believe Frank Sedgman was a superior player to Emerson overall but Sedgman turned pro and he couldn't accumulated the record in the amateurs that Emerson had.

Of course we had to look at peak level versus overall career level. There aren't too many players who are great in both. Some players are very good to excellent every year but never overwhelming. You can actually make a case for Nadal never truly having a totally dominant season for a while. I don't think so now.

Others like Federer have had dominant seasons and a super career level. I made the argument for Connors being underrated and you could argue that some of Connors' peak years like in 1974,76, 78 and 82 were super years. Many of those years he won over 90% of his matches. We know Connors' career level is very high.

Novak Djokovic is along the same lines as Federer. For years until he was injured he was virtually unbeatable and he also held all four majors at the same time! A truly astounding accomplishment that should be worth more than four majors because it shows super dominance on ALL surfaces.

@NatF

@Dan Lobb
 
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I would be very interested to know the system in these articles without the games & sets win/loss ratio factored in. That is the sticking point for me. Obviously it is a complicated system that rates different opponents, but from how it is explained in the articles, it seems a fairly applied system, not created to favour a particular player. But of itself it couldn't possibly be used as a credible list of all time greats. It could be used as part of an overall calculation, but for me games/sets win-loss is a sticking point. Federer shouldn't be marked down because he won a lot of five set matches at the Australian Open 2017 (it could be said this showed his greatness that he was able to win several tough matches).
It evens out over time. It works.
 
To continue with Gonzalez, Pancho Gonzalez was arguably the number one player in the world from 1952 to 1961 and was World Champion from 1954 to 1961. This stands for a lot. In the same way I believe Pete Sampras' greatest accomplishment to be number one at the end of the year for six years in a row and not his 14 majors.

So if we look at Gonzalez's record for what was truly important at the time we can get an idea of his actual strength level when he was playing. We also can get ideas on how strong he was by some information on his playing style and game.

If we just looked at majors of course Roy Emerson has it all over Gonzalez. I actually believe Frank Sedgman was a superior player to Emerson overall but Sedgman turned pro and he couldn't accumulated the record in the amateurs that Emerson had.

Of course we had to look at peak level versus overall career level. There aren't too many players who are great in both. Some players are very good to excellent every year but never overwhelming. You can actually make a case for Nadal never truly having a totally dominant season for a while. I don't think so now.

Others like Federer have had dominant seasons and a super career level. I made the argument for Connors being underrated and you could argue that some of Connors' peak years like in 1974,76, 78 and 82 were super years. Many of those years he won over 90% of his matches. We know Connors' career level is very high.

Novak Djokovic is along the same lines as Federer. For years until he was injured he was virtually unbeatable and he also held all four majors at the same time! A truly astounding accomplishment that should be worth more than four majors because it shows super dominance on ALL surfaces.
A post that is worth a chapter of a good book.
I would have been happy to find my own version different from your post.
But I did not succeed. :(
 
It evens out over time. It works.
Yes but the problem is it doesn't even out (or not if the article is to be believed). Sampras is penalised for winning close matches "He has often won close matches, which has harmed him in our model, which looks at who you have played in Grand Slams and how much you have beaten them by". That is the quote from the article. I would love to speak to the people who devised this system, as I have experimented with creating various systems myself ranking opponents in majors. It is something that interests me. And if the games/sets win-loss was taken out of the calculation, it might be a useful system to use as part (but only part) of an overall ranking.

Regarding your other excellent post, I agree with many things in it. However, majors were always important. They may not have always been exactly the same majors as we have now (ie the Australian). But Wimbledon and US championships were always hugely important amateur events and the French a little behind them. The World championship series was always of huge importance to the pros. US Pro, Wembley Pro and French Pro were consistently the best pro tournaments (allowing for slight fluctuation). If, for instance, a calculation is done to include the best pro events each year, these would be the three tournaments most frequently appearing.

Anyway, I am finding this discussion interesting and look forward to reading further comments from yourself and KG and anyone else interested in discussing this subject in depth.
 
Yes but the problem is it doesn't even out (or not if the article is to be believed). Sampras is penalised for winning close matches "He has often won close matches, which has harmed him in our model, which looks at who you have played in Grand Slams and how much you have beaten them by". That is the quote from the article. I would love to speak to the people who devised this system, as I have experimented with creating various systems myself ranking opponents in majors. It is something that interests me. And if the games/sets win-loss was taken out of the calculation, it might be a useful system to use as part (but only part) of an overall ranking.

Regarding your other excellent post, I agree with many things in it. However, majors were always important. They may not have always been exactly the same majors as we have now (ie the Australian). But Wimbledon and US championships were always hugely important amateur events and the French a little behind them. The World championship series was always of huge importance to the pros. US Pro, Wembley Pro and French Pro were consistently the best pro tournaments (allowing for slight fluctuation). If, for instance, a calculation is done to include the best pro events each year, these would be the three tournaments most frequently appearing.

Anyway, I am finding this discussion interesting and look forward to reading further comments from yourself and KG and anyone else interested in discussing this subject in depth.
Trust me, it doesn't harm him. Sampras' Game Won percentages are in line with his record. Winning these close matches or winning or losing one sided matches are a part of the large sample of Games Won Percentage.
 
A post that is worth a chapter of a good book.
I would have been happy to find my own version different from your post.
But I did not succeed. :(
Another thing we have to take into account is not just statistics but what is behind everything. We have to know the story behind the scenes.

For example one poster was discussing a head to head tour which I felt he slanted everything toward one player. This poster did not mention after a major injury that one player lost six matches in a row and throughout this head to head tour was plagued with injuries. It made it seem like the other player would have won no matter what mainly because of his greatness but I thought, in taking account the injuries that it was a sign of the great strength of the player who was injured. I could be wrong but I felt the poster favored the player who was not injured.

Let's look at another two players in Budge and Riggs. Now the exact won-lost records could be a bit off now with more information but in 1942 Budge won a World Championship Tour over Riggs, Kovac, Perry and Stoefen. Budge won it easily over second place Riggs by a score of 52-18 (or 54-18) to Riggs' 36-36. Seems impressive and I suppose it is but Perry was hurt with a major injury and wasn't Perry anymore. Kovacs, while an excellent player was known to be head case and Stoefen, while good was never on the level of the others. What is more interesting is that the record of Riggs versus Budge was only 15 to 10 in favor of Budge so even before Riggs improved greatly he clearly was troubling Budge.

Okay so WWII starts and Budge hurts his shoulder badly in a training exercise I believe. This affects his serve and overhead. Riggs of course having one of the best lobs of all time lobs Budge to death and wins the first tour around 24 to 22 after leading 12 to 2 early. Now do we look at the injury to Budge and think that Budge would have won if he was a healthy younger Budge? Maybe but we also should examine the personality of Riggs and how he was rumored to throw matches to keep things close perhaps for betting purposes or perhaps in this case to keep the score close for better box office. Riggs at this point KNEW he could beat Budge (at least he thought so but that means a lot) whenever he needed to. Riggs improved his serve to where many thought his serve was better than Budge at his peak. The volley and even his great controlled groundstrokes improved. I have seen articles of Riggs aceing Budge over 20 times in a match. On the Pro Tour later Riggs dominated in winning 14 of 30 tournaments with Budge winning only 3. Riggs imo was by far the best player on the Pro Tour. So this makes me suspicious that perhaps Riggs kept it close on tour. Remember that Riggs led 12-2 early and Budge got closer but never quite overtook him. Later Riggs won another tour from Budge. It does make it suspicious whether Riggs kept it close or not!

I am not sure if a peak Riggs versus a peak Budge wouldn't be very close and I'm not sure who would win. Clearly the bad shoulder didn't hurt him on return and yet Riggs hit a number of aces against Budge.

My point is that while we of course look at statistics the inside story must be known.
 
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