Whats your top 10 of all time right now?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by 90's Clay, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    Much like how they slowed down Wimbledon's grass in 2001 because Sampras was winning every year.

    Yes, Pancho is the pre-Open Era equivalent to Sampras for sure.

    Not quite in Federer or Laver's league, but a Tier 1 great for certain...
     
  2. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    Navdeep, Excellent list. I just cannot understand why you have Sampras ahead of Rosewall. Rosewall achieved significantly more than Pete and had the tougher opposition in Gonzalez, Laver and so on.
     
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  3. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    I don't agree.
     
  4. Navdeep Srivastava

    Navdeep Srivastava Hall of Fame

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    Your arguments are much better than Abmk. Even if I am not 100% agree with you but respect your opinion.
     
  5. metsman

    metsman Legend

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    You too.

    abmk has his distinctive style but he's a good poster with good knowledge of the game.
     
  6. Navdeep Srivastava

    Navdeep Srivastava Hall of Fame

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    Because Sampras is my favourite player and I am quite biased toward him.
     
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  7. Navdeep Srivastava

    Navdeep Srivastava Hall of Fame

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    Well . I am talking about 73-79 period,top players skipped used to skipped it, even queen of clay Evert skipped three times.
     
  8. Navdeep Srivastava

    Navdeep Srivastava Hall of Fame

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    Well why not, you forget he was good enough to beat most players at the age of 40.
     
  9. Navdeep Srivastava

    Navdeep Srivastava Hall of Fame

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    Well slowing of court was generally for more rallies , while that rule was more for Pancho.
     
  10. Navdeep Srivastava

    Navdeep Srivastava Hall of Fame

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    Yeah your point is right but that rule mainly was created for Pancho , intention was to stop Pancho.
     
  11. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    In one-off matches or minor tournaments maybe, not on the biggest stages.

    Also, it was easier to play at a high level until an older age, in the previous tennis eras.
     
  12. Navdeep Srivastava

    Navdeep Srivastava Hall of Fame

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    Well 40+ is not going to win major , so even winning in minor league is important.
     
  13. NonP

    NonP Hall of Fame

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    You missed the most important reason: Sampras was clearly above Rosewall in peak play. In fact (and I admit I'm speaking with bias here) I'd take Pete over anyone else in the last 30-40 years to take on other GOAT candidates in a major final.
     
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  14. pc1

    pc1 G.O.A.T.

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    He won essentially a major in the 1969 Howard Hughes at over 40!
     
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  15. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    But Rosewall won several best-of-five set matches over Laver AFTER Laver was past his prime. So much for birthdates.

    That newspaper quote does not "prove" that the tour was a world championship, we need something issued by the tour itself, namely by Rosewall, who was responsible for running that tour, according to Buchholz.
     
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  16. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Of course, Rosewall was a last-minute replacement on that 1960 tour, which was over almost as soon as it began...which goes to another point I made, that Rosewall made a serious mistake by running up the score against Kramer in the 1957 tour. Rosewall would not become champion until 1963, when he was 28 years old, and well after Kramer had retired from tour management.
     
  17. pc1

    pc1 G.O.A.T.

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    It's so odd and yet predictable that Bobby accepts the Buchholz article in 1964 as proof of a World Championship Tour (even though IMO it doesn't say it) but doesn't accept Buchholz's word that the tour in 1964 was not a World Championship tour just a few weeks ago in 2016. I wasn't the only one Buchholz communicated this to and it was very clear to both of us.

    Bobby accepts info favorable to Rosewall that isn't clear but rejects info unfavorable to Rosewall despite the word of the author of the original article that it wasn't for the World Championship that was clear.

    I suppose Buchholz should learn Bobby's version of tennis history on the 1964 tour. It's not reality but Bobby thinks it is.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2016
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  18. NatF

    NatF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Like the honesty :D Sampras has several things over Rosewall not least a much longer stint as the best player in the world.

    Maybe on grass but not sure how you could take Sampras clearly at the other majors. Quite confident Federer would beat him at the AO and FO for sure with at least an equal chance at the USO. But then maybe I'm biased as well :D
     
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  19. 70sHollywood

    70sHollywood Semi-Pro

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    I do try to look at more than just records. I agree it is near impossible but I still think it is right and I would rather take the difficult "right" approach over the easy "wrong" approach.

    Two big reasons I have Borg over Novak are I think shot for shot Borg has a slight edge (i.e fundamentally I think Borg was a slightly better player) and I am more convinced by his domination than Djokovic, in relation to the competition. Like others I factor in Borg's dominance of clay and grass. In support of Djokovic I think his best on a slow hard court (AO type) may be superior to Borg's best on clay.

    The fact Borg was clearly the best player of the 70's/80's, whilst Djokovic is possibly as low as 4th over the last 20 years has been a factor, though I want to get away from this egalitarian approach as I no longer think it is right. In this regard Djokovic could retire tomorrow and I may put him over Borg in any ranking list. I say this because I'm starting to think that the 70's/80's were just a step below the 50's/60's and 90's/00's guys (I include Djokovic in the latter).

    If Djokovic produces a Doha type performance at the US Open this year that could be enough for me to put him over more players than just Borg.
     
  20. Navdeep Srivastava

    Navdeep Srivastava Hall of Fame

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    Agree with you , one great major performance by Djokovic will put him ahead of Borg.
     
  21. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter G.O.A.T.

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    FYI, you don't need to be biased to rank Sampras higher than Rosewall. You only need to be reasonable. Sampras achieved significantly more than Rosewall in the more important respects: 7 Wimbledon titles, 5 U.S. Open titles, 6 straight year end #1 rankings, and importantly, a clearly higher peak level of play.
     
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  22. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter G.O.A.T.

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    True, Sampras peak level of play was clearly above Rosewall. And, on grass, carpet or fast hard court, I agree with you that Sampras should be favored over anyone in the past 30-40 years.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2016
  23. metsman

    metsman Legend

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    Wimby/USO no one matches Federer or Sampras peak for peak imo...Mac comes close but Federer and Sampras had the artistry as well as blowtorch power, I think that would be too much for Mac. Borg would be a handful at Wimby obviously and peak nadal is a fierce competitor. A 2011 Djokovic at the USO is a worth foe as well but at the end of the day at the quicker court majors it's Federer/Sampras then everyone else. On those conditions Sampras' weapons would just overwhelm you while Federer would just have too many weapons. Sampras would beat you and not let you play your game, Federer would just beat you at your own game.

    Between Sampras and federer I think Federer has a slight matchup advantage but it's inconclusive.
     
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  24. NatF

    NatF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Agreed about Mac coming close his 1984 level would be very competitive imo.

    Definitely agree with Sampras and Federer being above the pack. I would tend to favour Sampras slightly on grass and the other way on fast hard.

    What do you mean about the match up? Federer's first serve return? I do think on aggregate Federer has the advantage in terms of return and serve.
     
  25. metsman

    metsman Legend

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    that and also the players that gave Sampras trouble fell into 2 categories...the great first serve returners with great passing shots like Hewitt (and Edberg for the 1st serve return) and the guys who could attack his BH with an all court approach(Stich, Edberg) not one dimensionally from the baseline like Agassi and Courier would. Federer is all of that in 1 player.

    That being Sampras constant attack is very tough to deal with even though theoretically you may think "block the return back, pass, how hard can it be!" but that's very tough to execute consistently. Federer is probably the only one that can consistently execute on faster courts but even then it would be very difficult but I would give him slight edges on both grass and fast hard.
     
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  26. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    PC1, here you're comparing winning rates on the old pro tour against Open-Era rates, and they are not comparable. It is not an apples to apples comparison: and this is not just my own argument but your own; you have pointed out many times that Rosewall and Laver's winning percentages went up in the Open Era. You've picked Rosewall's best 5-year percentage on the old pro tour, 75.1%, but that is higher than Laver's 5-year percentage (72.3% from 1963-67) and higher than Gonzalez's best rate (73.5% from 1951-55).

    Of course, there are reasons for that: but that's exactly my point: context matters. You've ripped a stat from Rosewall's old pro tour years and directly compared against stats from the Open Era which were achieved in a completely different environment.

    On the old pro tour, tournaments rarely went beyond 3 rounds. Even the most dominant player could not achieve a high win/loss percentage in that environment. But in the Open Era, and in the old amateur game, tournaments commonly consisted of 5 rounds, and 7 rounds in the case of the Slams. It was far easier in that environment to win 9 out of 10 matches, as Federer did (how on earth can anyone win 9 out of 10 on the old pro tour; no one to my knowledge could win better than 3 out of 4, and Rosewall's rate is the highest I have).

    I posted all of these stats not long ago: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/inde...es-of-17-alltime-greats.562591/#post-10276240

    [​IMG]

    You can see that Rosewall and Laver had their best 5-year percentages -- the best of their entire careers -- in their amateur years. I know you were discounting amateur years but as you knew yourself and have pointed out in your own posts, Rosewall and Laver's rates went up in the Open Era. Rosewall's best 5-year rate was not during the old pro tour years but, as you can see in my chart above, 79.9% from 1971-75.

    It's the same pattern with Laver. Leaving aside the amateur years, his best 5-year rate was not 1963-67 on the old pro tour, not even 1965-69 which is a little better (80.6%), but 83.1% from 1969-73: because that's a five-year period consisting entirely of the new Open Era environment with its tournaments featuring many rounds.

    And those were not the best rates that these men would have posted if they had played entirely in an Open environment during their peak years. Laver in 1969-73 was 30-35 years old and past his peak (most, including yourself, identify his peak as '67). Rosewall in 1971-75 was 36-41 years old.

    And though Rosewall played great into old age, you have been one of the most consistent to argue that Rosewall by that time was no longer at his peak.

    That puts the comparison with Federer in a completely different light. You say that Rosewall's best win/loss percentage in any single year is lower than what Federer maintained over 5 years. Not a fair comparison in the least (Federer would easily dwarf the best 5-year rates by Gonzalez and Laver as well, doing it this way).

    In fact Federer maintained over 5 years a percentage of 90.7%, when he was 22-27 years old. Rosewall can stack up against that a percentage of 79.9% when he was 36-41 years old. Laver can stack against it a percentage of 83.1% at the age of 30-35. Neither Rosewall nor Laver can stack up anything better than those figures because if you go back into their younger years, they were playing on the old pro tour where all percentages were depressed.

    (Gonzalez's case is an extreme example of the same thing. He doesn't have those plump 5-year amateur percentages that Rod and Ken have, because he turned pro very young. That's on one end of his career. On the other end, he arrived in the OE already quite old. So he's got nothing better in his entire career than the 73.5% he achieved on the old pro tour.)

    Rosewall's 5-year rate from 1960-64 (the one you used) is only the 12th best five-year period of his career, as I've posted before. There were 11 other, higher ones that you could have used, if you wanted to make the comparison as fair as possible, and if you wanted to give full context for these numbers (which is the only way to make these comparisons, as you have insisted yourself countless times).

    I posted all of the 5-year rates from Rosewall's career, and from Laver's -- along with the ages at which they were accomplished -- here: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/inde...17-alltime-greats.562591/page-2#post-10281651

    I will reply to your other posts when I can get to them.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2016
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  27. 70sHollywood

    70sHollywood Semi-Pro

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    Did you ever get round to doing some of the other guys, such as Kramer?
     
  28. pc1

    pc1 G.O.A.T.

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    Before we get into a long winded debate I will say good points. I made some errors.

    Second thing is if you check Rosewall's percentages, can you actually tell me these are dominant numbers compared to others? IMO they are not.

    My mistake is discussing Rosewall at all.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2016
  29. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    No unfortunately. Kramer is the main guy still missing the full treatment in my stats. I'm still largely occupied working on Gonzalez's career record; I'm proofing numbers and checking a few matches here and there; I'd like the numbers to be as full and accurate as possible.
     
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  30. NatF

    NatF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Well Sampras would only be constantly attacking on grass - on HC he stayed back plenty in his best years as you know.

    On grass I think Federer of 03-06 would at least split meetings with the best of Sampras but his return declined so much in 2007 and onwards that I think Sampras would then switch the edge.
     
  31. metsman

    metsman Legend

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    well yeah obviously post-peak Federer would be in serious trouble(09 Wimbedon final, 11 Wimby quarters being instances where he was helpless against a big server hitting his spots) but I'm talking just peak for peak.

    And even on hard Sampras would constantly be looking to attack. Yes, he would play a fair bit from the baseline but was still looking to finish off points as soon as possible from the back or by coming in. That was just his game. Furthermore, he would have to do that against Federer and play more points on his terms even it it meant more risk as if you let Federer take the initiative against you, it's trouble unless you can defend all day. How Federer would respond to that attack and how often he would be looking to take initiative on his own from neutral positions would be fascinating to see...or even how often he would goad Sampras into attack with the short slice. Only nadal has a counter to that shot, would Sampras successfully counter it as well? Who knows. I think it is a real shame we never got to see Sampras v Federer in a baseline setting so we could have a better idea...Sampras vs Federer on a hard court in 01 or 02 would have been interesting to see. Hey, if Fed had beaten Agassi at the USO in 01 we woulda seen it but Fed got clobbered.
     
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  32. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Hoad's best single year for percentage won/lost was 1959, when he won exactly 70% of his matches on the two championship tours of that year.
    Probably 1956 was even higher, but the pro field in 1959 was the strongest ever assembled.
     
  33. pc1

    pc1 G.O.A.T.

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    According to Tennis Base Hoad was 112-15 in 1956. Tennis Base can be off.
     
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  34. abmk

    abmk Talk Tennis Guru

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    My reasoning is this : You do not displace a traditional major in a year unless you have a strong reason to ..

    the fields at the AO were far too depleted in most years of the 70s and early 80s.

    Another example would be the boycott at Wimbledon in 73. Most of the seeds skipped it - 13 of 16 and I think some 81 players overall. I woudn't consider it a major that year.

    RG, some players may have skipped it in some years in the 70s. But it wasn't like the AO which was far too depleted. Not good enough for me to take it out of the normal 4 majors.
     
  35. abmk

    abmk Talk Tennis Guru

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    [​IMG]
     
  36. NonP

    NonP Hall of Fame

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    That's the usual breakdown people give about these two, that Pete would win on the faster courts while the slower conditions would favor Fed, but while like most cliches this one has a grain of truth I do find the reasoning behind it incomplete if not outright flawed. First off I don't buy the common wisdom that AO equals slow hard while USO is faster, because the facts simply don't support it. And the latest AO/USO editions do tell a different story: players won 64.4% of their total points on serve (18,494 SPs won out of 28,723 total points, if you're interested) Down Under this year, as opposed to 63.7% (17,377/27,300) at last year's USO. In fact the 9.7% of aces per point played (2789/28,723) at this year's AO is actually higher than even Wimbledon's 9.6% (2785/28,975) and clearly higher than the 2015 USO's 9.0% (2450/27,300). (That said Wimby still reigns over them all in % of SPs won and RG remains most likely the slowest: 65.8% vs. 62.0%.)

    And that's not not just in the past year. This trend has held firm for some time now (scroll down for aces per point):

    http://www.tennisserver.com/lines/lines_13_01_27.shtml

    That's why I say people are fooling themselves when they claim to know a certain HC is faster or slower than another, and why I think Novak's purported superiority to Pete and even Fed at the AO is less due to their respective surface-specific prowess than to the event's timing. And remember, while Plexicushion may be slower than Rebound Ace (though I've yet to see much convincing evidence for it) it's reportedly more conducive to even bouncing and less prone to overheating, both of which Pete would prefer as he makes it clear in his book that it was the AO's unpredictable conditions rather than its slow courts that troubled him. Given these developments it's not at all reaching to say Pete in this era would've done actually better Down Under, not worse.

    Also people tend to dismiss Pete's chances against Fed or any other non-ATG on clay too easily. Perhaps that's understandable given his woeful results on the surface after '96-97, but before then he was actually one of the top contenders at RG. As I've noted before Pete's and Fed's stats during their prime on the surface are in fact eerily similar. I actually think these two would play each other close just about anywhere. Not to say that Pete would hang with Fed all the way on dirt, because small things do matter in any matchup, but it'd be closer between the two than most people think.

    And one more thing....

    That's a good way to put it. Again I do think your position is quite defensible, but let me add a few more stats to this discussion that might prove helpful. I've already shown how Pete not only held serve but also broke serve more often than Fed in their respective Wimbledon finals which they won (so Fed's losses are excluded lest there be statistical skewing of any kind), and I believe others since have called attention to the fact that Pete actually won a higher % of his service games in his 7 finals than in his previous rounds overall at SW19. And I don't think this upsurge on Pete's part in big matches is limited only to Wimbledon. I recall reading about Fed's exceptional TB record compared to other ATGs (including Pete, obviously), and while people were saying the obvious things I was also thinking, what if that's because of Fed's relatively inferior record on BPs which would presumably lead to more TBs (most of which he'd win against presumably his lesser opponents)?

    So I ran the numbers and it turns out that Pete played 11 TBs in his 14 final wins, or 0.79 TB/match, while Fed has played 18 TBs in 17 major final wins, or 1.06 TB/match. Which means Pete indeed broke his opponents more often than Fed, and remember, we're talking finals won only, which means we're mostly excluding Fed's major finals against his nemesis Nadal so there should be little nitpicking about competition here. And Pete did play fewer sets than Fed per major final won, 3.5 (49 sets/14 matches) vs. 3.59 (61/17). Now obviously that's a negligible difference, but what's really striking about these numbers and also the Wimbledon stats is that Pete was at the very least able to match Fed on return in their major finals even though Roger is supposed to hold the advantage here. And I suspect Fed would also hold the expected statistical edge in the previous rounds of their non-Wimbledon GS runs, so the question is, might it be the case that Pete did indeed raise his game more than Fed or Borg for that matter in big matches?

    You can probably guess what my answer would be and I don't have the time to elaborate further, but I thought these factoids could steer this thread in a different direction. Also I think you guys are selling Mac a tad short. Though Pete is my guy I'd feel quite uncomfortable if I had to bet on him or Fed getting the better of peak Mac in these imaginary matchups. I don't think most of us hackers (yes I'm including myself in that group) don't fully understand what Mac was truly capable of. I remember this gem of a post by good old Datacipher on Mac's game that I felt mirrored the perceptive awe of what I've heard from guys who really know their tennis, those with years of teaching and training under their belt who have groomed many a budding professional player. One can tell they can see things in Mac that we don't, and it's that ineffable genius which allowed him to put together a level of dominance (however brief) that not even Fed or Novak could match, and which is why, push comes to shove, I'd probably include him in my all-time top 10 even though there are a few others with a more well-rounded resume.
     
  37. NatF

    NatF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Sampras did look to come into net a lot more than any modern players but Federer would have a chance to rally with him.

    Nadal dealt with the short slice so well because of the action he gets on his forehand, Sampras wouldn't be able to do as much with and at his peak his net game wasn't so polished as it would be later. Assuming Pete didn't want to try and beat Federer at his own game I'd expect him to approach the net more so he could come in on his terms.

    It's a shame Sampras didn't hang around until 2005/2006 like Agassi, would have loved to see him getting stuck in with Federer and others.
     
  38. metsman

    metsman Legend

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    Sampras' s&V wasn't as polished at his peak but his approach/net game was better because he approached selectively and was more agile. There's a difference. S&V is really a precise art...takes a while to really perfect it, which is why most of the S&V legends hit their S&V peak after a few years unlike the baseliners who hit their peaks earlier...mac in 84, sampras in late 99, Edberg in early 90's. I play quite a bit of S&V myself and I can attest to that.
     
  39. metsman

    metsman Legend

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    excellent post..Pete's clutch ability and ability to raise his game in the biggest moments is what made me love him as a kid growing up, and I really do think his mental fortitude is unmatched. It's why thinks like winning percentage, and masters titles don't do his greatness justice. Although for a number of years Federer was just as good at bringing his best in the biggest stages, remember he was 12-2 in slam finals at one point and 12-0 outside RG!, I think pete was better at this when not at his best than Federer was(and in this regard Federer is still excellent, see all the matches he has taken 5 sets despite being pretty poor overall). Plenty of players can exhibit mental strength when they are 100%, however the truly great ones can do it when they are at 50% and imo no one comes close to Pete in that department (winning when you are well below that 100%). Nadal at 100% is the epitome of mental toughness but when he's not in his greatest form he can be vulnerable.

    I definitely have Mac in my top 10, and maybe even as high as 7th in the open era. Him and Federer are the two players which come to mind when I think of tennis genius. However, we also don't know how Mac's game would have translated in the full fledged graphite/power era (personally I think he would do fine) and I think against players who could match or approach his finesse and combine it with power he would come up a little short. Just my opnion.
     
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  40. pc1

    pc1 G.O.A.T.

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    I was looking at Tennis Base the other day and I was surprised at some numbers. Now admittedly Tennis Base is off in a number of stats but I was pleasantly surprised at the great won-lost record of Cochet in the 1920s. I was often given the impression that Lacoste was more steady and Cochet was prone to bad matches. Maybe he was but I would guess Cochet won a lot of them. Bobby Riggs' numbers also surprised me.

    What categories are you checking for Gonzalez? Any surprises in the numbers? I know you mentioned a bit on Gonzalez already.
     
  41. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    Navdeep, I understand ;-)
     
  42. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    Navdeep, But most men entered Roland Garros.
     
  43. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    Dan Lobb, It's really better for me (considering the forum rules) not to reply to your posts and your "arguments"...
     
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  44. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    Limpin, Very fair from you: Rosewall was not allowed to play 13 important Wimbledons (when he had a chance to win W.) and 11 US Opens...
     
  45. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    krosero, Much luck for your research!
     
  46. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    krosero, Thanks for your argumentation. I like your kind to argue and I admire your calm kind to reply to "strange" posts.

    I would not be able to present all those mathematic stats.
     
  47. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    urban, It seems as though krosero has confused McCauley with Rowley's book. It was Rowley who rightly wrote that the old pro majors diminished in their importance after the beginning of open tennis in 1968. But even Joe wrote that he covered the 1968 season because there were not many open events (only 10) but a full pro circuit-and I add- which does not mean that the old events still had the same importance as they had prior to 1968. And it's of course a matter of logic: The best players in the world, equal if amateurs or pros, had as their biggest goal winning the coveted Grand Slam tournaments. Earlier the pros had the biggest goal to win the pro majors because they could not enter the much more prestigious GS tournaments. Now they could enter, Laver after a five year pause, Rosewall after an 11 year pause, and so on.

    In 1968 there were three open GS events. If we would add the pro majors (3 or even 4 as there were 2 Wembley events that year) we would get 6-7 majors. Would be strange.

    I'm totally convinced that Laver would happily have changed his French Pro win (a big win though) with the win at the French Open. You can see the difference in importance of GS events and pro events.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2016
  48. Djokovic2011

    Djokovic2011 Talk Tennis Guru

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    Lol, don't even try and make out like there's much in it between them.
     
  49. abmk

    abmk Talk Tennis Guru

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    yes, there is. Let me explain in terms you can understand.

    Borg at his peak was equal to Rafa on clay. He had 2 RGs where he went without losing a set - 78 and 80.Both times lesser games lost than Rafa in RG 08.

    You should watch some of the matches before 2011 before poking your nose into these sort of discussions.
     
  50. abmk

    abmk Talk Tennis Guru

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    nope, federer has 51/158 breaks in non-Wimbledon finals won - 32.28%
    sampras has 33/112 breaks in non-Wimbledon finals won - 29.46%

    as far as Wimbledon finals is concerned, the outlier in wim 09 skews things a bit. If you take that out and also the worst for sampras -- the courier final in 93.
    in the best 6 finals won:

    federer is 24/117(20.51%), sampras is 22/110(20%)
     

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