Who are the TOP 4 in Tennis Mag Greatest List?

killer

Semi-Pro
That list makes a lot of sense- Graf, Evert, Nav and Sampras have left incredible records in their wake. Out of curiosity, where did Lendl and Becker rank? (feeling too lazy to look it up myself)
 

bigserving

Hall of Fame
When you look at the list, it is probably just a process of elimination. Reading the first few, I was not terribly impressed with their logic behind selections. They did little comparison or rational head-to-head of players or results from the different generations.

Was it just mine, or did TENNIS MAGAZINE not do a US Open recap?
 

Joe12

Semi-Pro
TENNIS just sucks. They FINALLY notice pros were using Luxilon and they said that flexpoint really works.
 
It came out already.

4) Evert
3) Graf
2) Navi
1) Sampras

I personally don't agree with their list because all 3 women have accomplished far more than Pete, even if you do factor in the tougher competition for the men. I would have put Pete at 4...and bump each woman up by one spot.
 

Happyneige

New User
A travesty!

SonicSpeed said:
It came out already.

4) Evert
3) Graf
2) Navi
1) Sampras

I personally don't agree with their list because all 3 women have accomplished far more than Pete, even if you do factor in the tougher competition for the men. I would have put Pete at 4...and bump each woman up by one spot.
Couldn't agree with you more. It's a travesty to have Graf below Sampras AND Navratilova. I'd put Graf as number one for the unparalelled greatness. She bursted into the tennis scene and stayed on top for almost the entire career and she held her head high even among the formidable foes, the likes of Seles and Navratilova. She left pro tennis with grace while ranked number 3. There has not been and will never be another tennis play (male or female) like Graf. NEVER!

This is not to take anything away from Sampras but I can clearly see Pete's records and accomplishments being challenged by current and future players. Federer will catch up with him and will tear Pete's record apart.
 

rhubarb

Hall of Fame
Happyneige said:
Couldn't agree with you more. It's a travesty to have Graf below Sampras AND Navratilova. I'd put Graf as number one for the unparalelled greatness. She bursted into the tennis scene and stayed on top for almost the entire career and she held her head high even among the formidable foes, the likes of Seles and Navratilova. She left pro tennis with grace while ranked number 3. There has not been and will never be another tennis play (male or female) like Graf. NEVER!

This is not to take anything away from Sampras but I can clearly see Pete's records and accomplishments being challenged by current and future players. Federer will catch up with him and will tear Pete's record apart.
Isn't it just a stupid idea to include men and women on one list? It's not really feasible to compare Graf and Sampras.
 

AndrewD

Legend
An altogether unpleasant list. If Graf, Court and Borg had been American they'd rank 1-3. Of course, Tennis magazine is written for an American audience so it's not really surprising but it is disappointing.
 

need2play

Rookie
40. Gabriela Sabatini
39. Patrick Rafter
38. Virginia Wade
37. Gustavo Kuerten
36. Jennifer Capriati
35. Stan Smith
34. Lleyton Hewitt
33. Hana Mandlikova
32. Tracy Austin
31. Justine Henin-Hardenne
30. Arthur Ashe
29. Lindsay Davenport
28. Ilie Nastase
27. Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario
26. Jim Courier
25. Venus Williams
24. Guillermo Vilas
23. Evonne Goolagong
22. Martina Hingis
21. Roy Emerson
20. Ken Rosewall
19. Roger Federer
18. Boris Becker
17. Serena Williams
16. John Newcombe
15. Mats Wilander
14. Stefan Edberg
13. Monica Seles
12. Andre Agassi
11. John McEnroe
10. Ivan Lendl
9. Billie Jean King
8. Rod Laver
7. Jimmy Connors
6. Margaret Court
5. Bjorn Borg
4. Chris Evert
3. Steffi Graf
2. Martina Navratilova
1.PETE SAMPRAS
 

Type40

Semi-Pro
Well if i's based purely on major titles why is Evert above Margret Court?
Can anyone explain that, aside from the fact that Evert runs the magazine?
 

Yours!05

Professional
AndrewD said:
An altogether unpleasant list. If Graf, Court and Borg had been American they'd rank 1-3. Of course, Tennis magazine is written for an American audience so it's not really surprising but it is disappointing.
Got time to post your list AndrewD? :) Even top 20?
 

Type40

Semi-Pro
Yes, no kidding it's not based purely on major titles, otherwise there'd be no explanation for why Sampra who couldn't win at the french, is above Borg who won it 6 times, and wimbledon 5 times. It's jut a list, written by some people.

I'll bet you if if a different group of poeple, who were not in the employ of CHris Evert wrote it shw wouldn't be in the top 4.
 

urban

Legend
One cannot help to think, that in this list a little nepotism and chauvinism is going on. Are Evert and Sampras not editors or sponsors of the Magazine? To rank men and women together is silly, to reckon only half of someone's career, too. But if you go for sheer majors record in open era, as they did ranking Evert over Borg and Connors, then you should stick to the criteria. There is no department, where Sampras has a better record than Graf or Navratilova, they have far more majors wins, far more (some hundreds) title wins, but they are not natural Americans.
 

AndrewD

Legend
Yours!05 said:
Got time to post your list AndrewD? :) Even top 20?
1. Steffi Graf
2. Martina Navratilova
3. Margaret Court
4. Bjorn Borg
5. Pete Sampras
6. Rod Laver
7. Chris Evert
8. Jimmy Connors
9. Ivan Lendl
10. John McEnroe
11. Monica Seles
12. Roger Federer
13. John Newcombe
14. Billie Jean King
15. Boris Becker
16. Stefan Edberg
17. Roy Emerson
18. Mats Wilander
19. Serena Williams
20. Andre Agassi
 
need2play said:
40. Gabriela Sabatini
39. Patrick Rafter
38. Virginia Wade
37. Gustavo Kuerten
36. Jennifer Capriati
35. Stan Smith
34. Lleyton Hewitt
33. Hana Mandlikova
32. Tracy Austin
31. Justine Henin-Hardenne
30. Arthur Ashe
29. Lindsay Davenport
28. Ilie Nastase
27. Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario
26. Jim Courier
25. Venus Williams
24. Guillermo Vilas
23. Evonne Goolagong
22. Martina Hingis
21. Roy Emerson
20. Ken Rosewall
19. Roger Federer
18. Boris Becker
17. Serena Williams
16. John Newcombe
15. Mats Wilander
14. Stefan Edberg
13. Monica Seles
12. Andre Agassi
11. John McEnroe
10. Ivan Lendl
9. Billie Jean King
8. Rod Laver
7. Jimmy Connors
6. Margaret Court
5. Bjorn Borg
4. Chris Evert
3. Steffi Graf
2. Martina Navratilova
1.PETE SAMPRAS
This is list is so ridiculous in so many ways:

1. Most glaring is - Chris Evert in front of Margaret Court and Rod Laver????? i agree with many of the posters that Evert's association with the magazine has unduly influenced her high ranking. In fact, i would rank Evert behind Billie Jean King.

2. Sampras in front of Graf - hah!
I agree that the magazine shouldn't rank men against women, but if you are going to do that, surely Graf rates above Sampras. Like Sampras, she dominated at #1 for years but unlike Sampras, she actually won the Grand Slam and she won GS on all surfaces. Sampras not winning RG is a major reason why he shouldn't be GOAT.

3. Navratilova in front of Graf is a close call, but again, i would give the nod to graf based on her calendar year Slam.

4. Jimmy Connors in front of Laver?? Certainly an American bias.

5. my other gripes with the list are minor such as - goolagong in front venus (venus has more grand slams, better winning percentage, and goolagong never reached #1)
 

Kevin Patrick

Hall of Fame
The list is- 40 greatest players of the last 40 years. So Laver & Court were probably placed lower due to this criteria.

Here's the Laver entry:

8. Rod Laver

Here’s the disclaimer, for those of you who can’t believe they’re seeing Rod Laver at No. 8: Our Top 40 list focuses on the players’ achievements in the last 40 years, which required that we discount Laver’s pre-1965 accomplishments, including his first Grand Slam, in 1962. Even so, a single feat of the red-headed left-hander is enough to land him high on this list: a second Grand Slam, in 1969.

Laver grew up in Queensland, Australia, and was as tough as he was scrawny. His nickname, “Rocket,” was bestowed on him in a fit of
sarcasm by Harry Hopman, the architect of Australia’s tennis dynasty in the 1950s and ’60s. Although Laver topped out at 5-foot-8 and never cracked the 150-pound mark during his heyday, he hit the ball fiercely, with a mastery of spin. He lived to attack the net, yet Laver had a bulletproof backcourt game as well as the daring of a born shot-maker.

Laver achieved everything worth doing in the game. He was a brilliant doubles player, a man for all surfaces and seasons, and one of the founding fathers of the Open era. His are the footprints now being followed by another versatile, supremely gifted player, Roger Federer. —Peter Bodo

http://tennis.com/ME2/Audiences/dirmod.asp?sid=&nm=&type=Publishing&mod=Publications::Article&mid=&AudID=38D0485ABA104B5CB3C42AC2A9630312&tier=4&id=F032B0944BC94E18B0753BC804EA9395
 
Kevin Patrick said:
Here’s the disclaimer, for those of you who can’t believe they’re seeing Rod Laver at No. 8: Our Top 40 list focuses on the players’ achievements in the last 40 years, which required that we discount Laver’s pre-1965 accomplishments, including his first Grand Slam, in 1962. Even so, a single feat of the red-headed left-hander is enough to land him high on this list: a second Grand Slam, in 1969.
Even with the magazine's disclaimer discounting laver's pre-1965 slam, his slam again in 1969 alone is still sufficient to rank him ahead of evert and connors.

it seems that margaret court got penalized using the same dumb rationale.

obviously, the "experts" at tennis magazine were anticipating everyone's disbelief over laver and court's low rankings since they've already issued a disclaimer.
 

doriancito

Hall of Fame
andre agassi should be around the top 10 dont you think???? federer or nadal shouldnt be in there eyt since they are not wending their careers yet
 

Arafel

Professional
Evert's association with the magazine is very minor and has no influence over the rankings. They ranked based on the last 40 years. Yes, I would put Evert over Court for the last 40 years. Heck, I would probably put Evert over Court period, since many of Court's GS titles were in Australia where most of the top players didn't play, even back in the 60s. Evert's numbers speak for themselves, and I don't think there is any question of her place as 3 overall, and a good case could be made for putting her ahead of Martina, just based on consistency. Ultimately, I would place Martina over Evert, because her apogee was higher than Evert, even if she wasn't quite as consistent. And I would have put Graf over both of them. As for the rest of the top 4, I'm a little surprised to see Sampras over both Martina and Graf. I would have ranked it:

4) Sampras
3) Evert
2) Navratilova
1) Graf
 

Camilio Pascual

Hall of Fame
Type40 said:
Yes, no kidding it's not based purely on major titles, otherwise there'd be no explanation for why Sampra who couldn't win at the french, is above Borg who won it 6 times, and wimbledon 5 times.
Ummmm..the fact that Borg couldn't win at neither the US Open NOR Oz?

Your argument is mystifying, Sampras won more Majors at MORE Majors, what IS your point again?
 

Aykhan Mammadov

Hall of Fame
Why are u interested in best 4 Tennis mag list ? Here is mine best 11.

1. Federer
2. Sampras
3. Borg
4. Graff
5. Hingis
6. Connors
7. Agassi
8. Aykhan
9. McEnroe
10. Becker
11. Henin-Ardenne
12. vacant
 

killer

Semi-Pro
Agassi's a tough case for not being ranked higher. Issues like longevity and cultural impact on the game have to be taken into account as well as the titles and records. Some people disupte the importance of the 'Career Slam,' though i'm not one of them. some of the dips AA's career has taken could certainly deplete his ranking, and in my opinion take him out of the top 10.
 

fastdunn

Legend
Well, the list generally makes sense to me in terms of male players:

We all know top 3 male players are Sampras, Laver, Borg
(if you consider last 50 years, not 40 years..)

These 3 are the ones whose records Federer is setting out to
beat, supposedly. By the time Federer wins 11 slams or more,
he goes up to this level or maybe higher... but it's pretty tall order...
 

AndrewD

Legend
Arafel said:
Evert's association with the magazine is very minor and has no influence over the rankings. They ranked based on the last 40 years. Yes, I would put Evert over Court for the last 40 years. Heck, I would probably put Evert over Court period, since many of Court's GS titles were in Australia where most of the top players didn't play, even back in the 60s.
I would suggest you look over Court's records before saying that. Between 65 and 73 she beat Bueno, King, Richey and Goolagong in winning her Australian Open titles. All of them were top 10 and 3 of them are Hall of Fame players.
Pull up a list of the players Evert beat at the French Open between 74 and 83. Apart from a 17 year old Martina Navratilova it isn't an awe inspiring list.

In her entire career there were only 3 majors Court won where she didn't beat a player in the Hall of Fame on the basis of their singles career. Evert, on the other hand, managed to snare 8 of her majors against those players.

The simple fact is, when Court was the best in the world the top players did go to Australia to play. That line about weaker fields is just sour grapes. It might have applied for a period of in the mid 70's to early 80's but when Court was playing - just the same as with Emerson- if you were a top player you played all of the majors.

Between 65 and 73 - minus 1967' after she was married and 1972 after having her first child- Court won 15 major singles titles (not counting the plethora of doubles titles). So, that's 15 in 7 years. All up, Evert only won 18 between 1974 (her first) and 1986 (her last). So, that's 18 in 13 years. Enormously consistant yes, but nowhere close to the the kind of dominance Court showed.

You can spin it any way you like but in terms of accomplishments, comparing Evert to Court is like comparing a crack in the wall to the Grand Canyon.
 

Northerly

Rookie
Tennis Magazine's all time greatest player didn't even win a career Grand Slam!

Graf won 4 and couldn't even make runner up! I guess she married an American after her career had ended so that didn't help!
 

Camilio Pascual

Hall of Fame
AndrewD said:
It might have applied for a period of in the mid 70's to early 80's but when Court was playing - just the same as with Emerson- if you were a top player you played all of the majors.
Not true, when they were playing, the top men played NONE of the Majors. The moment the Open Era came about, Emmo quit winning Majors.

PS - What has happened to tennis in Oz? Is it considered to be as big there as it was in the 50's and 60's? I was a teenager in the 60's and remember the Aussies as the great and highly respected enemy to be overcome by us Americans, which we finally did after years of struggle. I miss the Aussies.
 

Kevin Patrick

Hall of Fame
Court always seems to be ranked lower than Evert, not just by Tennis Magazine but many writers that have been covering the game for a long time.
I think the fact that she lost to Bobby Riggs may have diminished her accomplishments in some eyes.
 

VGP

Legend
As for Court and Laver, they restricted the list to the "Tennis" era.

My picks for the top four in order would be:

4. Evert
3. Sampras
2. Graf
1. Navrativlova

Looking at the longevity and variety of accomplishments. No disrespect to Pete, but...

In the case of Navratilova, doesn't doubles count for anything anymore?
 

random1

Rookie
Camilio Pascual said:
Ummmm..the fact that Borg couldn't win at neither the US Open NOR Oz?

Your argument is mystifying, Sampras won more Majors at MORE Majors, what IS your point again?
Borg never played the Australian Open. Many people didn't make the trip down despite its "major" status. It's one of the reasons that simply measuring majors as the sole criterium for greatness is flawed.
 

Aykhan Mammadov

Hall of Fame
Boys, why do u lie youself ? Do u have eyes ? If u didn't have I'd say that you can rely on only historical results. But you do have. So what? Do you like or liked Navaratilova's tennis so much? In comparison with Federer or Sampras ?
 

VGP

Legend
Aykhan Mammadov said:
Boys, why do u lie youself ? Do u have eyes ? If u didn't have I'd say that you can rely on only historical results. But you do have. So what? Do you like or liked Navaratilova's tennis so much? In comparison with Federer or Sampras ?
Actually, I do like Navratilova's tennis a lot. She had a great attacking style. Her tennis stands up through different eras and her results show it. Her commitment to fitness (along with Lendl at the time) changed the game. Plus, she's got some of the best hands and courtsense of anyone in tennis history. Also, she's the best tennis player in history. Not just a singles player. Not just a doubles player.
 

AndrewD

Legend
Camilio Pascual said:
Not true, when they were playing, the top men played NONE of the Majors. The moment the Open Era came about, Emmo quit winning Majors.
There's a bit of semantics in that. Of course we can only talk about the top players capable of playing during the non-Open era. To talk about anything else is only speculation and could allow someone to argue that Laver may well have won a third Grand Slam if he'd been able to play the majors. They could also, easily suggest that if he hadn't missed 6 years of playing in the majors, during his prime (he went pro at 24 and couldnt play the majors until he was 30) he'd have surely won more than 11 major titles. If he had then this whole topic would be done and dusted.

Regardless, if you look at the players Emerson beat in the finals between 1961 and 67 you've got Laver (lost to him in 62), Fletcher (not a great), Stolle, Stolle, Ashe and Ashe. In the semis during that time he also knocked off Newcombe (65/66) and Roche (67) plus the lesser lights Hewitt and Mulligan. He lost to Laver in 1960 in 5 sets, beat him in 61 in 4 sets and lost to him in 62 in 4 sets.

The simple fact is the very best players in the world were almost all Australian so they played the Aus Open. It might have been his home tournament (not that anyone points out that the US Open, by Slew Hester's own admission, changed surfaces to favour the home grown players and hinder Borg) but he played and beat the best.

When Open tennis came along in 68, Emmo was 32 and past his best. However, his not winning any majors isn't an indication of any inability to play and beat the guys returning from the pro tour. Laver (2 years younger) only managed to win through to 69 although he did manage to sneak in another Grand Slam at the age of 31, but he was a rare kind of genius.

I still rate Emmo highly but, as shown in that list I posted, quite a bit below the others. Id have rated Rosewall, of the Aussies, above him but thought the 1965-2005 time period favoured Emmo. As a 'great' he's below Laver, Rosewall, Hoad, Sampras and Gonzalez but on a par with the next best of them.

As far as Court goes, I will maintain two things until I drop. Firstly, that she was the most dominant player of either sex and in any generation. Secondly, but most significantly, that her accomplishment in winning 3 majors in 73 after giving birth to a child and being pregnant with the second one (she found out she was pregnant a weeks after losing to Riggs) is the greatest accomplishment of any player and of any sex.

How often do we hear about that? Almost never, but why? Predominantly because Court didn't want the attention. If it had been BJK or Evert we'd never hear the end of it and neither should we have. However, Court wasn't a self-promoter. Also, very significantly, she didn't agree to join the original women's pro tour and, more significantly, wanted nothing to do with King's WTT. Court was a traditionalist and no-one wanted to admit that, in the era of Women's Lib, they'd been beaten by a wife and mother. Which, in hindsight is ludicrous, as the statement Court's accomplishment makes is that you can be wife, mother and professional athlete all at the same time which should be empowering and liberating. However, that just didn't fit the zeitgeist. It'd also be more widely publicised that Court, when she lost to Riggs, was both pregnant and injured. However, excuses weren't Court's style and they didn't suit King or Riggs's agenda either.

So the greatest accomplishment by a female tennis player (or any player, in my opinion) is neatly glossed over and she's relegated to a position that in no way fits her place in the game's history.
 

AndrewD

Legend
Camilio Pascual said:
PS - What has happened to tennis in Oz? Is it considered to be as big there as it was in the 50's and 60's? I was a teenager in the 60's and remember the Aussies as the great and highly respected enemy to be overcome by us Americans, which we finally did after years of struggle. I miss the Aussies.
Too easy to earn a good living playing professional football (Aussie Rules or Rugby) or cricket. Probably the same as it is in the States with baseball, basketball and gridiron. Easier to be assured of a good income rather than take a risk and go for an inordinantly high one.

Other than that, very poor administration in this country has almost killed the game off. We have hopes that the mass of changes to Tennis Australia might signal the start of good things. However, if they do come, I don't imagine it will be for a while.

Personally, I think the Australians and Americans should be doing more in collaboration to stop the entire men's pro tour shifting to a sleep inducing brand of slow court play. Roddick's a good player but he's a fast court player so give him a court he can play on. Until they speed up the clay courts I see no reason why we should be slowing the hard courts down.
 

beernutz

Hall of Fame
random1 said:
Borg never played the Australian Open. Many people didn't make the trip down despite its "major" status. It's one of the reasons that simply measuring majors as the sole criterium for greatness is flawed.
Borg played in the Austrailian Open in 1974 and lost in the 3rd round.
 

urban

Legend
Andrew, good post on Emerson and Court. Emerson was without a doubt a super fit athlete and great big time player, his winnig ratio in major finals 12-3 is slightly better than Sampras' (14-4), and he lost only one DC singles, a 'dead' rubber against Santana. His major wins were over worthy opponents, and even if the pros had been admitted, he probably would have won a share of titles in his prime. I rank him also under Laver, Rosewall and Gonzales, but on par with players like Newcombe, Sedgman and Trabert. Hoad is a difficult pick, because on his day he could beat anybody, but he wasn't always on his day. I saw once a list of Newcombe on best Aussies, and for that reason he ranked Emerson over Hoad.
 

Yours!05

Professional
AndrewD said:
<snip>The simple fact is the very best players in the world were almost all Australian so they played the Aus Open. <snip>
I still rate Emmo highly but, as shown in that list I posted, quite a bit below the others. Id have rated Rosewall, of the Aussies, above him but thought the 1965-2005 time period favoured Emmo. As a 'great' he's below Laver, Rosewall, Hoad, Sampras and Gonzalez but on a par with the next best of them.

As far as Court goes, I will maintain two things until I drop. Firstly, that she was the most dominant player of either sex and in any generation. Secondly, but most significantly, that her accomplishment in winning 3 majors in 73 after giving birth to a child and being pregnant with the second one (she found out she was pregnant a weeks after losing to Riggs) is the greatest accomplishment of any player and of any sex.

How often do we hear about that? Almost never, but why? Predominantly because Court didn't want the attention. If it had been BJK or Evert we'd never hear the end of it and neither should we have. However, Court wasn't a self-promoter. Also, very significantly, she didn't agree to join the original women's pro tour and, more significantly, wanted nothing to do with King's WTT. Court was a traditionalist and no-one wanted to admit that, in the era of Women's Lib, they'd been beaten by a wife and mother. Which, in hindsight is ludicrous, as the statement Court's accomplishment makes is that you can be wife, mother and professional athlete all at the same time which should be empowering and liberating. However, that just didn't fit the zeitgeist. It'd also be more widely publicised that Court, when she lost to Riggs, was both pregnant and injured. However, excuses weren't Court's style and they didn't suit King or Riggs's agenda either.

So the greatest accomplishment by a female tennis player (or any player, in my opinion) is neatly glossed over and she's relegated to a position that in no way fits her place in the game's history.
Hallelujah! Another "keeper". Living near Kooyong, I saw both Court and Emmo lots, playing and practising. Well, you didn't ever know you were watching history in the making, but you knew Court was a one-off. As for Emmo, in those days he semed like a kind of stopgap to us - while we waited for the next Laver (or Hoad) to appear - at any moment. Much as he was appreciated and enjoyed, I hung out to see Rosewall's backhand rather than Emmo's neat efficiency. I have to say, posters going only by the record books tend to rate him too highly as a rule...
Personally, I think the Australians and Americans should be doing more in collaboration to stop the entire men's pro tour shifting to a sleep inducing brand of slow court play. Roddick's a good player but he's a fast court player so give him a court he can play on. Until they speed up the clay courts I see no reason why we should be slowing the hard courts down.
Second that as well. Something Sedgman said: "Dot[Hart] used to go in and volley. You know that's our way."
(in case you missed it: http://tinyurl.com/9gtte )
 

random1

Rookie
beernutz said:
Borg played in the Austrailian Open in 1974 and lost in the 3rd round.
According to this bio: http://www.hickoksports.com/biograph/borgbjor.shtml he never played the AO, yet Wikipedia agrees with you that he played once, in '74. In any case, at most he played one time, and that was before he reached his peak performance.
Even Connors, who won AO in '74, and lost the final in '75, never went back. The fact of the matter is that the importance of winning slams above all else has increased in recent years, and using slams as the only yardstick for determining GOAT is flawed.
 
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