Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by 90's Clay, Aug 22, 2012.
What a concidence, in 2006 we had 2 of those as well
Forza, Kramer in his book The Game wrote: "And of course I don't include Rosewall in the top group either".
About Laver: "Leaving Laver out of the first group is probably a surprise".
Kramer there top ranked: Budge, Vines (kiki!!), Tilden, Perry, Riggs, Gonzales.
We can see how strange Kramer ranked in the fact that he ranked Schroeder in the same echelon as Laver and Rosewall!!!
But there is also an interesting point regarding those who belittle Rosewall, f.i. Phoenix: Kramer in the same book gives Rosewall four Wimbledon titles if open era would have come earlier...
ARFED, As I'm not so familiar with recent tennis (at least some posters are saying so), can you please specify which players you mean?
I can do that for him.
and this one
Forza, Thanks. Laver and Rosewall of course cannot cope with these two...
I couldn`t have put it better
You mean the mountain goat and the beaver. Hmm......
Oh, I get it.
The Swiss mountain goat, Federer. The Alps and everything, right.
And the Canadian beaver, that youg guy with the bazooka serve. Gave Federer a tough match down under.
We prefer the term Capyrafa.
Dan, Federer may be the mountain goat but never the GOAT...
That might be true, but at least he did not fell "short" of greatness, if you know what i mean :twisted:
I don't see the connection between the Spanish Nadal and the beaver (did you know that the beaver is a Canadian symbol?).
It`s not a beaver, it`s a capibara (from south america).
Yes, I see, less fur.
But couldn't you find a Spanish animal?
That's one manly looking goat. :lol:
I was happy to see Laver and Rosewall in the crowd at the Australian Open today.
BobbyOne will be happy to know that they actually spent some camera time on Rosewall, not just Laver.
Funny, the commentators, when viewing Rosewall and Laver, said something to the effect of "these are two great champions from the past, not quite on Federer's level, but impressive nonetheless and certainly greater than Hoad."
Interesting food for thought.
you forgot nishikori !
How could I forget, clearly Novak's competition was superb. In all seriousness 6 straight wins over Nadal including 2 on clay was massively impressive. But Djokovic is a perfect matchup for Nadal and he's always creamed Nadal mostly in straights on hardcourt.
I find it absolutely ridiculous that the greatest player of the modern era is apparently not in the conversation for GOAT for some of these posters.
Yes. As ridiculous it can be to call every new successful player a goat candidate (Djokovic I'm looking at you), it is just as ridiculous to have half of the top-10 players (and the upper half with that) coming from the same fiftiest era.
And the competition **** is really the $hittiest argument ever.
Reeks of bias from so called objective posters. Perhaps the very best of that era should be in the discussion; I seriously doubt however that the overall field 50 years ago was so much better than it is today. Especially to the point where the man who has dominated the modern game like no other isn't even top 10 for peak play and and is in the bottom half of the top 10 for acheivements. It's down right laughable!
Hahaha well the Hoad pArt made me lol, no **** Djoko is better than Hoad let alone those other guys
Let's make some hypothesis:
1) The overall number of tennis players was likely lower than today
2) Due to difficulties in traveling, it was less international. A lot of talented players never played on an intercontinental level in the amateur tour
3) The overall number of pro players, recruited among top amateur players, was way lower than it is today, as there wasn't really any money to pay unknown people: the advertisement industry wasn't what it is today, the public had less money to spend in leisure, a bigger proportion of the population was "poor".
4) There were really only a bunch of player at the top who were highly hyped in order to advertise for the exhibitions.
5) We know that some of these players weren't hyped because they met success in the open era as well.
6) However, this tell us nothing about the over pro players they played against which didn't played in the open era, because we know that, at this time, player could rise their level very fast: Amateur turning pro needer one year to adapt before being able to dominate. Might be that they adapted once again when the open era began.
7) The early years of the open era were not that different than the pro tour years, because the pool of player available was roughly the same. It took time to increase the number of player and the overall level of competition between them (in particular between the lower players).
8) It is very likely that, in the 50's, 60's, their was a huge gap between the top 10-20 player and the rest of the field, resulting in more hyping, when the overall field was in reality rather weak.
a) For magical reasons, the 50's field was awesome, and for the same magical reasons, the 2000's field was very weak.
Unlikely - he failed to win in FIVE finals there in reality, not sure he would have won at any other point either...
This is an excellent point. My personal GOAT list contains greats from all eras. However many of the older posters here insist on putting Laver, Rosewall, Gonzales, Hoad, Kramer etc. all right near the very top, as if magically all the greatest players of all time emerged in the period 1948-1960. And then try to claim that minor greats like Segura qualify for a top ten spot all-time because they faced such overwhelming competition, and that Gimeno was far greater than Emerson and Santana because he played in the super-competitive pro tour.
It's obvious they are fanboys of a certain era and not at all objective.
NadalDramaQueen, Thanks for the information on Laver and Rosewall. Yes, I'm glad they don't forget the old heroes.
They can also overreact to fanboys of the more contemporaries eras. As much as I admire Agassi, I don't see how he can make the top-10. In general, I don't think that their can be more than two contenders for each decade, as goat contender have to be fairly dominant.
Phoenix, You are right, Gimeno played in the super-competitive pro tour....
Any poster who does not rank Gimeno ahead of Emerson, shows me he has not understood history.
Why?? If posters believe in a player and I mean current or past, is a quote necessarily going to change that opinion? Do you think that TMF will no longer believe Federer is the GOAT because Boris Becker said he isn't or Kiki will not believe Laver is the GOAT because Patrick McEnroe said he wasn't.
What you're doing is basically first strike for no reason.
In regards to the first strike, this war has been going on for a while, also prevalent in the other section if you happen to stumble there. Whatever man. One of the reasons I said that is that I've seen members clung on to what people say and go with it (Laver rating Hoad so highly, there was a lot of talk over here about Laver's ranking of players and how his opinion counts). Add to that imo there is a highly questionable and biased preference for certain players (on both sides of the front) that I find unreasonable when posters skew their criterias to their own prefernce. Take it as you will, of all the things to call me out on (I've flat out insulted others) this one is miniscule.
Fine. If you think it's miniscule. But let's face it, we are all human and we have our preferences and that's not going to change. I can easily live with another person having difference opinions. What bothers me is when a person gives an opinion or a position they have and I respond to the topic and that person ignores my response and states the position or opinion again as if I never responded ignoring the facts I often give.
I'm on this site to discuss tennis. That's not discussing tennis. I've learn a lot from many different posters and I like discussion. Incidentally just to be clear I'm not referring to you.
I'm sorry but this is taking it too far.
Obviously Emerson's 12 slams look far more impressive than they actually are and guys like Gonzales, Rosewall, probably even Hoad should be ahead of him.
But Gimeno? A guy who didn't win a single amateur era slam (or even make a final), or a pro major? No way would Gimeno have won more than 12 amateur slams if he had stayed in those ranks. We can't rank him ahead of Emerson by any means.
I think we have to be careful not to go too far and underrate Emerson i.e. assume he would have won no slams. He's probably worthy of a Courier/Vilas type level IMHO.
If you check the first Open Wimbledon in 1968 Gimeno was highly regarded and seeded ahead of Emerson. Many thought for a good part of the 1960's that Gimeno was the third best player of the 1960's behind Laver and Rosewall. I think there's an excellent chance that Gimeno was superior to Emerson. The pro/amateur divide is a problem but guys like Hoad didn't have as many majors as Emerson but very few would rank Emerson over Hoad for example. Gimeno was seeded third behind Laver and Rosewall and ahead of Emerson who was fifth seed.
Do you really think Gimeno would have won 12 slams, including at least 2 at all 4 venues, if he had stayed amateur? He was hardly a champion in the pros - lost five finals against Laver and Rosewall. At least Emerson had already won an AO with Laver in the field ('61).
I know Emerson was an amateur but I dislike some posters' attempts to basically diminish his career achievements to zero.
I honestly don't know if Gimeno would have won 12 majors in the amateurs but I do know that he won the French in the Open Era. I'm not trying to diminish Emerson but I do believe that Gimeno was an excellent player who would have won imo multiple majors in the amateurs. Tennis history clearly would have been different if there was no pro/amateur divide.
The major Emerson won with Laver was before Laver was at his best. I wouldn't count that because Rosewall, Gonzalez, Hoad, Gimeno and maybe a couple of others may have been superior to Laver at that point in 1961.
Ok, so we all can agree here that Laver didn`t win 200 titles, 19 majors and the 1962 Grand Slam has no merit at all. Thing is you can`t downgrade Emerson`s numbers without donwgrading Laver in the process. By the way, i give both full credit for their achievements in the amateur tour. Of course they don`t hold the same importance as pro wins and are far behind open era standards, but they have their value nonetheless
The 1962 Grand Slam was a fine achievement but only an fool would called that the same as the 1969 Open Grand Slam if they understood the history of the game. Amateur achievements are fine but I'm trying to be realistic. It's like having the College Basketball Champion play the NBA Champions. The NCAA Basketball College Champion is a fine achievement but it's not as fine as the NBA.
Any realistic person would realize it. No one is downgrading Emerson or Laver or Hoad or Rosewall. The amateur majors aren't as big. That's a simple truth.
I've always figured that if Laver or Rosewall played Open Tennis from the beginning they would have won their shares of majors. They would have adapted to the Open competition very quickly because of their great talent.
Now on the other end I truly believe the average level of competition in the old pro tour was probably superior by a decent amount to Open Tennis. My reasoning is that only the cream of the crop turned pro. Guys like Pancho Gonzalez, Lew Hoad, Ken Rosewall, Jack Kramer, Pancho Segura, Frank Sedgman, Rod Laver, Tony Trabert, Ashley Cooper, Andres Gimeno would turn pro. These were players of immense talent and skills. The level of play is naturally going to be higher and in order to compete, the pros would have to raise their levels from the already extremely high levels they were competing at. Rosewall himself make a statement to that effect that Open Tennis was a lower level.
Laver in 1962 although younger and perhaps more physically gifted than the 31 year old Laver in 1969 were not as good a player than he was in 1969. The 31 year old Laver battled Rosewall, Gonzalez, Gimeno, Sedgman, Hoad, Trabert in the pros. He was slaughtered initially but learned to raise the level of his game and very soon become the second best in the world. Eventually he would become number one in the world.
I don't call it downgrading anyone. I just call it a statement of probable truth. Frankly I think it's a fact that Laver's 1962 Grand Slam is not as highly regarded.
At the same time the over thirty Laver won about 76 tournaments in the Open Era alone. He was about 30 when Open Tennis started. Who is to say if Open Tennis wasn't around that he wouldn't have won 200 tournaments? He did win about 71 in the pros from 1963 to 1967. That's already 147. There are a number of tournaments we probably haven't accounted for yet. To my mind Laver probably would have been around 200 tournament victories in his career if there was always Open Tennis.
The same could have been true for Emerson. However it was not for Emerson or Laver. There did play inferior competition in the amateur tour. You cannot ignore that and not state it simply because it seems that someone is being downgraded. I'm sure Roy Emerson would admit that he didn't play the level of competition that Laver played in the pro.
Gonzalez played Ashley Cooper and Mal Anderson on a tour (Hoad participated too but I'll leave him out for the purposes of this example) and they both won zero matches and lost 34! Yet Cooper held three of the four amateur majors. Anderson won the US nationals in the amateurs. You could make the argument that one win over Pancho Gonzalez was tougher for Anderson than winning three majors in the amateurs. There was a big difference between the pros and the amateurs.
Incidentally remember this post when some complain that no one dares speak negatively of Laver in this forum.
ARFED, Laver won so much that he does not lose much of his reputation if we omit his amateur achievements. I'm sure he would still remain the tournaments' most prolific winner if we don't count the amateur titles (or at least the No.2 behind Tilden).
Why Laver's or Emerson's achievements have no merit at all? That's an extreme point of view. Emerson's feats deserve credit but only a limited one.
pc1, You explained the matter better than I do.
Roy Emerson once said the Lew Hoad:" Mate, I'm not in your class". This even though Emmo won 12 majors and Hoad only 4...
I mostly agree with you, that is the reason i stated that the amateur achievements do not carry the same weight as its pro counter part.
Any way that theory about Laver (winning 200 titles in an open field that is) is probably truth. Not that he could be anywhere near thant number in the modern times imo, but in the 60`s and 70`s it was doable for a player of his caliber (the only one i think is in Fed`s league). But then again, it is just a supposition nevertheless. I can`t give him credit for winning 200 titles if he in reality didn`t win them (with this i mean not in the top level of pro ranks or an open field). It`s like giving Borg some extra majors (French Opens especially), for retiring early, or the same with Nadal and his injuries. Would Rosewall had been as succesful as he was in the early 60`s had Gonzalez remained focused on his tennis or Hoad injury-free??? Don`t know, don`t care. Rosewall won those titles fair and square against the opposition he had at the time, and he deserves the credit.
Regarding the Pro and Open fields subject, i think that you are wrong there. Just do a quick search and review what rivals have been facing Fed, Nadal, Djoko, Murray or any top player in the Open Era. For example Fed most common rivals have been Nadal, Roddick, Djokovic, Murray, Davydenko, Nalbandian, Hewitt, Del Potro, etc. All of them top players. And guess what....he has faced them mostly in the 3 final rounds of his tournaments. Sounds familiar???? I could be wrong but that looks just like the pro tour. With the added difficulty of having to play 2 or 3 more rounds on average to get there. So no, OPEN FIELD>>PRO TOUR
You have to remember I was talking about average level of play in matches. I believe Rosewall was talking about that too. Rosewall or Laver did not have journeyman to face in which they could destroy them while reading a book.
Of course winning 200 tournaments is doable in modern times. It's just that it doesn't have to be done anymore because players can have a schedule that they don't exhaust themselves. It's a superhuman task and seems like a mountain to climb but I can see someone doing it in the future.
I've seem so many records in sports that seemed unbreakable but eventually were broken. Lou Gehrig's streak of consecutive games in Major League Baseball was broken by Cal Ripken. Gordie Howe's lifetime points record was not only broken but destroyed by Wayne Gretzky. Gretzky's record looks invulnerable now but who knows.
Lendl won 146 tournaments starting in the late 1970's to early 1990's. Connors won 149 tournaments also until the early 1990. Graf for example won 107 tournaments just recently and she could have played a few more years at a lesser level but probably still able to win tournaments at times. Evert won over 150 and Navratilova won over 160. Court won around 200.
Court used to have years in which she won 21 of 27 tournaments. Laver in 1962 won 22 tournaments out of 37 played. Borg won 21 tournaments in 1979. It's possible but wearing on the body.
Look at Barry Bonds also in MLB, he did break the invulnerable record of Hank Aaron. However as many believe, there were reasons why he broke Aaron's record and some still consider Aaron record to be the true Home Run record.
Which comedian made this remark?
I guess he was trying to get a laugh.
Happy to answer your question.
Yes, some eras are blessed by an unusual amount of tennis talent, and for tennis the peak was the 1950's, a decade which just got stronger by the year.
Kramer, Gonzales, Segura, Sedgman, Trabert, Hoad, Rosewall, all of them giants who would crowd out the current top four at the top if they were playing today.
It was the general consensus among the commentators and the experts they had access to.
To top it off, they offered a poll to the TV viewers related to Hoad and Rosewall. Apparently, while viewers agreed that an aged Rosewall would be too much for a 5.0 recreational player to handle, the same was not true for a peak Hoad.
Some of those 5.0's have insane racquet head speed though, so I wouldn't worry about it too much.
Peak play? We can find a spot for Fed.
Players from 10 different decades. Spread the wealth around.
You have a good point about Segura and Gimeno.
If Fed's #4 based on peak play, I think have to put Santana in top 3.
Also, Emmo whipped Laver in the 1961 Forest Hills final.
True, but here you are talking about the late fifties and sixties.
I would suggest that before 1956, there was a strong group of amateur players which made the major events important.
For example, Tilden, Vines, Budge and Kramer were able to move into the pro ranks with very little need to upgrade their skills.
Gonzales was winning big matches from Kramer in his rookie year.
Trabert won a clay tour against Gonzales in 1956.
Rosewall won at Wembley in 1957, in a field containing Gonzales.and Segura.
Hoad took about a month to adjust, and looked good early.
Laver won his first big match against Rosewall at Kooyong in 1963.
Emerson won his early matches against the top pros, and delayed his pro career because he made more money than Laver or Rosewall in the amateur circuit.
We shouldn't exaggerate the difference between pro and amateur, although this was a useful marketting ploy by the promoters.
I doubt that many of the audience have never heard of Hoad.
Today's glory boys are the flavour of the month.
I'm not really addressing this to you as I know you won't change your opinion but for the more reasonable posters: Is it really possible that in a sport with a 130-year competitive history, most of the greatest players of all time played in a single decade? How statistically unlikely is that...?
Anyone who puts so many players from one era near the top of a GOAT list is a fanboy of that era. Period.
I have no words, Dan. :neutral:
Separate names with a comma.