Who is the 2nd greatest player of the open era?

Who is the 2nd greatest player of the open era?


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1477aces

Hall of Fame
Federer is way ahead of everyone (as of right now), but I think you can make a strong case for 4 players as #2 : Borg, Sampras, Nadal, and Djokovic. Here's the pro con for each of them.

Borg

Disclaimer: He "only" won 11 slams, but the top pros didn't really play Australia including Borg, so he won 11 slams with 3 slam events a year. This would equate to winning 14.67 slams with 4 slam events. Or, as some people say, the YEC was really the "4th slam" so he won 13 slam equivalents. Thus, I will consider him being on par with Sampras and Nadal slam count wise.

Pros:

- Had sustained dominance for a long time at least for 1978-1980. Overall won 11/27 slams he played in.

- Won the channel slam 3 years in a ROW. Won 3 slams without dropping a set, 1976 wimbeldon, and 78,80 RG.

- 5 straight wimbeldons, only ever lost to one person at the French open. Arguable clay goat, and only behind Federer and Sampras on grass.

- Massive impact on the sport, was a cultural icon /star on a level Djokovic and Sampras never came close to. Only Federer may have been a bigger figure in the sport.

- Extremely tough mentally, won something like 13 straight fifth sets.

- Huge what-if: I don't fully buy this line of thinking, but some say his greatness is magnified by retiring at 25. The ATP really was terrible in not letting him come back with a more limited schedule after his burnout. Could likely have tacked on some French opens at least. Don't really see who beats him in 82-83.

- Prodigal teenager, only Becker may have accomplished more as a teenager.

Cons:

- Never won the U.S open. One of the biggest events in tennis, and Borg could not win it. He did get unlucky to be injured before the 78 final, but this isn't a game of what-ifs.

- Left a lot on the table, so his accomplishments could have been a lot greater.

- Not enough time at #1. The rankings were terrible in the 70s, so he was really #1 for more than 101 weeks, but certainly not #1 as long as Sampras, or even most likely Djokovic.

Sampras

Pros:
- Co-GOAT at wimbeldon and USO with 7 and 5 titles. 2 of the 3 biggest events in tennis.

- 6-straight YE #1 (most total #1 YE), and 286 weeks, which is far ahead of everyone else on this list.

- Dominated every rival, from Agassi to Becker to courier to Chang to ivanisivec. Turned Agassi into a meth addict. only rafter-Sampras wasn't a one-sided rivalry.

- Phenomenal competitor : won 14/18 slam finals, and 12/13 in his prime. Only peak Agassi beat him at 95 USO. Threw up on the court in a fifth set tiebreaker and still won the match.

- Storybook career ending going out on top.

Cons:
- Was a total non-factor on clay
- never had a season on the level of Djokovic 2011/2015, or Nadal 2010, or Borg 78-80 IMO.
- More inconsistent than Djokovic or Borg, especially Djokovic.
- Losing H2H with Federer ;)

Djokovic

Pros
- Nole slam: single greatest exhibition of dominance in tennis since Laver's grand slam. Very remarkable feat.
- 2011/2015 were both all time great seasons that were above any Nadal or Djokovic season, and likely Borg too.
- Australian open GOAT, 2nd best harcourt player ever.
- incredible consistency in his prime, 2nd only to Federer in this aspect and far ahead of Sampras and Nadal.
- DOMINATED close to PEAK Nadal, and had a positive H2H with Federer (don't put much weight on this).

Cons:
- Less slams than the other 3.
- Lost FOUR slam finals to non all time greats Murray and Wawrinka in his PRIME. Sampras and Borg had no such losses (maybe 2000 USO for Sampras), and Nadal only 1 such loss (Wawrinka 2014).
- way Less impact on the sport than Borg and Nadal, and likely Sampras too. Don't count this too much, but others may.


Nadal

Pros:
- Dominated clay for a decade, in a way no one has dominated any surface. Won Roland Garros twice without losing a set, and did the channel slam in those 2 years as well.
- Career slam like Nole, and career golden slam, which only Agassi did. Also accomplished career slam at a younger age than anyone by a good 3 years.
- Had a great H2H against Federer (don't put much weight on this), and beat prime Federer in two epic battles off of clay (I do value this). Also beat Djokovic in most big matches (7-3 or 8-3 in matches where winner won the slam).
- Also a prodigal teenager.
- Injury questions: maybe he could have won more slams if he was able to stay healthy. I personally think this is bad logic, because durability is a trait that is important in tennis.

Cons:
- Least time at #1 of everyone.
- Did the least off his favored slam/surface compare to all the others.
- Was only consistent for a few years, rarely totally dominated the tour like the others did.

Who do you guys have as no. 2? What about 3-5? I did this list in my order (Borg, then Sampras, then Djokovic, then Nadal), and think djokovic will jump ahead of Borg and Sampras with 1 or 2 slams, and maybe a run at no 1. Nadal for me would need to spend some time at no 1 and win slams off of clay. I think any ordering of these four players is reasonable however.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
The slam count is a bad comparison. It works pretty well for the 90s on but before that it does not.

You also have to decide whether your most important metric is consistency over a year or peak play for X number of years.

Borg's main priority was winning majors, and it showed. He put emphasis on this much like earlier players and like Sampras, a couple decades later.

There are several players who have good bragging rights for #2, and that's if we all assume Fed is #1...
 

1477aces

Hall of Fame
Nadal, but Djokovic has a good chance to surpass him if he ever regains mojo.
Perfectly reasonable, but just curious as to what to your reasons for putting him ahead of Sampras and Borg? I personally value #1 a lot, so I have a tough time putting Nadal at #2 in open era. Is is the career slam?
 

1477aces

Hall of Fame
The slam count is a bad comparison. It works pretty well for the 90s on but before that it does not.

You also have to decide whether your most important metric is consistency over a year or peak play for X number of years.

Borg's main priority was winning majors, and it showed. He put emphasis on this much like earlier players and like Sampras, a couple decades later.

There are several players who have good bragging rights for #2, and that's if we all assume Fed is #1...
As far as slam count, three of these four players were from the 90s on and didn't skip slams, and I adjusted the slam count as a rough metric for Borg since the AO was not important back then.

Who are the other players who you think have good bragging rights for #2? Lendl, mac, Connors and Agassi? Recall that I am speaking of the open era. I know players like laver, rosewall, Gonzales, vines, Tilden etc can have a claim to GOAT if we are speaking of all of tennis history.
 
D

Deleted member 716271

Guest
Can't see that if Nadal gets another RG, which right now seems more likely than Novak getting his mojo back...
It's true if Nadal gets another RG that would create breathing room. I don't think it's as likely as many do though. I don't trust him in B05 7 clay matches the way I used to. I once felt that format suit him down to the ground and not as much in the leadups, now I think it's rather the opposite.
 
D

Deleted member 716271

Guest
Perfectly reasonable, but just curious as to what to your reasons for putting him ahead of Sampras and Borg? I personally value #1 a lot, so I have a tough time putting Nadal at #2 in open era. Is is the career slam?
I'd say the combination of diversity--- career slam and quality famous wins on all surfaces (i.e not clay) (WIm 08, AO 09 etc) contrasted with dominance on 1 surface---his clay and RG record
 

smoledman

G.O.A.T.
'La Decima' trumps 18 overall slams in the eyes of the casual tennis fan. There is a marketability to 'La Decima' that 18 just doesn't have!
 

1477aces

Hall of Fame
I'd say the combination of diversity--- career slam and quality famous wins on all surfaces (i.e not clay) (WIm 08, AO 09 etc) contrasted with dominance on 1 surface---his clay and RG record
I mean Borg was dominant on both clay and grass, and made 3 slam finals in the four slams he played on hard courts. Plus he won other big titles on hard courts. He also has the 1980 wimbeldon final against McEnroe that is on par with 2008, and the 1977 final against Connors that was also epic. It's hard for me to say that Nadal was more versatile than Borg. Borg and Sampras are both top 3 in open era on 2 surfaces, Nadal is only had sustained excellence on clay.
 
D

Deleted member 716271

Guest
I mean Borg was dominant on both clay and grass, and made 3 slam finals in the four slams he played on hard courts. Plus he won other big titles on hard courts. He also has the 1980 wimbeldon final against McEnroe that is on par with 2008, and the 1977 final against Connors that was also epic. It's hard for me to say that Nadal was more versatile than Borg. Borg and Sampras are both top 3 in open era on 2 surfaces, Nadal is only had sustained excellence on clay.
True, I guess I view Nadal as having more slams (equal with Sampras, yes I know the mitigating factors people use for Borg) and I also think Federer is (obviously) a higher quality rival than anyone Borg or Sampras faced.

If Nadal matched up well with Federer (the best player to date) then he deserves credit for that, shouldn't be used as a way to negate his success imo.
 

1477aces

Hall of Fame
True, I guess I view Nadal as having more slams (equal with Sampras, yes I know the mitigating factors people use for Borg) and I also think Federer is (obviously) a higher quality rival than anyone Borg or Sampras faced.

If Nadal matched up well with Federer (the best player to date) then he deserves credit for that, shouldn't be used as a way to negate his success imo.
True. I don't like to get into the weak rivals /strong rivals weak era type discusssions generally as it's almost entirely subjective. (One could easily argue there was more depth in the 80s and 90s, and the generation behind Novak and Nadal is the weakest ever inflating their counts etc). It's a game of what ifs infiltrated by trolls.

Also IMO Nadal circa us open 2010 was the most unbearable player in tennis history. Seeing a guy who was already the most physically gifted player ever, and top 2 or 3 all time from the baseline bomb 135 mph serves was scary. Nearly won on his worst surface without dropping a set.
 

Jackuar

Hall of Fame
What a nice and shrewd way to ask and reinforce that Fed is the GOAT. I like it :):cool:

For the question, I think it's Nadal for now, as he nudges ahead of Novak coz of 14>12. Otherwise both have one slam where they dominated, one slam where they have just one trophy and the masters and other tourneys are second tier so not weighing the differences too high. Edit:And the Olympic Gold adds brownie points.
 

Sereger

Hall of Fame
My vote is for Nole, which is just slightly over Nadal thanks to his versatility and having an edge in most of other factors except for the major count . But have to admit that tennis before 2003 is not familiar to me, and reading thru the comments about how extraordinary Borg/Pete/Laver were doesnt help much, as different eras are nearly incomparable.
 
D

Deleted member 716271

Guest
True. I don't like to get into the weak rivals /strong rivals weak era type discusssions generally as it's almost entirely subjective. (One could easily argue there was more depth in the 80s and 90s, and the generation behind Novak and Nadal is the weakest ever inflating their counts etc). It's a game of what ifs infiltrated by trolls.

Also IMO Nadal circa us open 2010 was the most unbearable player in tennis history. Seeing a guy who was already the most physically gifted player ever, and top 2 or 3 all time from the baseline bomb 135 mph serves was scary. Nearly won on his worst surface without dropping a set.
yeah totally agree, it was scary in uso 10, I think he would have beaten anyone in that final when you consider his matchup ad with Fed as well. He han't ever been able to consistently maintain great serving like that for more than a stretch of a couple months unfortunately though. I do think Sampras and Borg have decent arguments too. If Nadal doesn't win a 15th and Novak wins 13. I'd put Novak ahead of Nadal. At only 12 though, I have to still keep Nads above.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
As far as slam count, three of these four players were from the 90s on and didn't skip slams, and I adjusted the slam count as a rough metric for Borg since the AO was not important back then.

Who are the other players who you think have good bragging rights for #2? Lendl, mac, Connors and Agassi? Recall that I am speaking of the open era. I know players like laver, rosewall, Gonzales, vines, Tilden etc can have a claim to GOAT if we are speaking of all of tennis history.
This will get into a GOAT list, and I don't like them. Lendl was very weak in slams in comparison to other ATGs, low match%. Not Agassi, Murray, Becker, Edberg. None of those guys are up with the top three in this era, or with Pete. Jmac is a bit weak because he declined early, yet he did not have an overwhelming period of four to five years of total dominance, like Borg, and I'd put Connors higher because of his long career. I would add Laver and Rosewall because of their incredible records in the OE in spite of being old. I thing Mac and a few others were over-hyped because they were American and huge in the US, Agassi too.

Sampras was the real deal, weak on clay, but as much a big match player as anyone we've seen on fast surfaces.
 

1477aces

Hall of Fame
This will get into a GOAT list, and I don't like them. Lendl was very weak in slams in comparison to other ATGs, low match%. Not Agassi, Murray, Becker, Edberg. None of those guys are up with the top three in this era, or with Pete. Jmac is a bit weak because he declined early, yet he did not have an overwhelming period of four to five years of total dominance, like Borg, and I'd put Connors higher because of his long career. I would add Laver and Rosewall because of their incredible records in the OE in spite of being old. I thing Mac and a few others were over-hyped because they were American and huge in the US, Agassi too.

Sampras was the real deal, weak on clay, but as much a big match player as anyone we've seen on fast surfaces.
I know rosewall and laver won a lot in the open era, but because most of their primes were before the open era, it is easier for me to group them in the pre open era.

So for you, the top players of the past -45 years are fed, Nadal, Djokovic, Sampras and then maybe Borg or Connors? I don't see how Borg is far behind Nadal Djokovic Sampras given that he won an equivalent number of slams and was the dominant player for 3-4 years at least. Not to mention he had a massive impact on he sport.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
It's true if Nadal gets another RG that would create breathing room. I don't think it's as likely as many do though. I don't trust him in B05 7 clay matches the way I used to. I once felt that format suit him down to the ground and not as much in the leadups, now I think it's rather the opposite.
It's too soon to tell, but generally when Nadal serves well in the clay season, he is a monster. I have not seen him sever this way in years. It's more about mixing up the serve than speed, but the speed it up too.
 
D

Deleted member 716271

Guest
It's too soon to tell, but generally when Nadal serves well in the clay season, he is a monster. I have not seen him sever this way in years. It's more about mixing up the serve than speed, but the speed it up too.
he definitely has a shot that's for sure I mean he made the AO final, and the guy he lost to after being up a break in the 5th wont be there on his favorite surface. Still would take the field over him though.
 

Druss

Hall of Fame
Nadal! For the fact that he has 9 French Opens (quite possibly 10 in a few weeks), career 'golden' slam, dominated 3 seasons (2008, 2010, 2013) winning multiple slams in those years and lest we forget, those years are sandwiched between the primes of two other tier 1 ATGs (Fed/Djoko), his incredible run across 3 surfaces in 2008/09, positive H2Hs against his main rivals (Djoko only reversing that when Nadal was washed up), teenage prodigy, etc etc.

1) Federer (there is no argument there)

2) Nadal (only Djokovic could change that, but the way things are going I won't be holding my breath)

3) Borg vs Djokovic vs Sampras (all three have a case and is very much debatable).
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
he definitely has a shot that's for sure I mean he made the AO final, and the guy he lost to after being up a break in the 5th wont be there on his favorite surface. Still would take the field over him though.
Last year I thought he had no shot at the beginning of the year, but by RG, before he pulled out, I thought he would be dangerous. I think he's much stronger this year.

But anything can happen in a season, and with clay (as with grass) you only have one shot at a major. Once upon a time you had three shots per year at winning on on grass. ;)
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
My vote is for Nole, which is just slightly over Nadal thanks to his versatility and having an edge in most of other factors except for the major count . But have to admit that tennis before 2003 is not familiar to me, and reading thru the comments about how extraordinary Borg/Pete/Laver were doesnt help much, as different eras are nearly incomparable.
A year ago I thought Novak would have a run at Nadal's slam count and maybe Fed's. At the AO I thought Nadal was going to move on Fed, getting to 15. It's always unpredictable, but people are most likely always going to put a huge emphasis on slams. It's been that way at least since the 90s, and the whole ATP tour is set up with that emphasis.

So I have to put Nadal and Sampras second to Fed since the 90s, and right now Novak is a bit back.
 

KINGROGER

G.O.A.T.
100% Sampras. He had his losses to mugs but nowhere near the level of Nadal's.

Nadal's resume is too clay skewed. I can count on one hand the amount of times he showed up post Wimbledon (twice) and he's done nothing at Wimbledon for years.
 

timnz

Legend
This will get into a GOAT list, and I don't like them. Lendl was very weak in slams in comparison to other ATGs, low match%. Not Agassi, Murray, Becker, Edberg. None of those guys are up with the top three in this era, or with Pete. Jmac is a bit weak because he declined early, yet he did not have an overwhelming period of four to five years of total dominance, like Borg, and I'd put Connors higher because of his long career. I would add Laver and Rosewall because of their incredible records in the OE in spite of being old. I thing Mac and a few others were over-hyped because they were American and huge in the US, Agassi too.

Sampras was the real deal, weak on clay, but as much a big match player as anyone we've seen on fast surfaces.
Are you sure about Lendl being weak in slams? In my view he is among the strongest. He was the leader in making slam finals for many years with 19 slam finals - wasn't broken until Federer came along. He continually made slam finals and semi-finals much more than someone like McEnroe or becker or Edberg.
 

K-H

Hall of Fame
Sampras by a mile. Nadal got huge help when they slowed all the courts down for him and Djokovic played mugs at least 95% of the time.
Calm down. Nadal adjusted to whatever was put in front of him. I can easily say Sampras only won most of his slams because of the fast courts which helped his serve. Had he been in this era, his serve wouldn't be as effective. And if the courts were slowed down that means that quite a few of Federers slams are not of high value because he won slams with slow courts as well. But we all know that's stupid so don't make that point. And Djokovic won 3 slams in a year with Nadal present. Nadals not a mug if you ask me. Djokovic and Nadal played better opposition. They both had to play each other to win their slams and both of them are ATG. They also both played Feferer who's the GOAT and they still managed to win 12 and 14 slams. Who did Sampras beat to his slams? Agassi with 8 slams. Haha. Nadal played Federer(18 slams) and Djokovic(12 slams). And same for Djokovic, he played Nadal and Federer, both greater than Agassi.
 

atp2015

Hall of Fame
Sampras by a reasonable distance. If my personal money is involved I would pick Sampras over Borg, as Sampras showed more dedication and came up with his insane weapon he could use to get out of trouble anytime.
 

GabeT

Legend
For me it's either Nole or Nadal, at least on accomplishments. Both Borg and Sampras have a "narrower" set of wins. Sampras was a non entity in clay and Borg never even won the USO despite reaching several finals.
 

BVSlam

Professional
Tough to compare, tennis was different during Borg's and Sampras' time. There is more focus on trying to win everything you can these days and doing it for longer so top players like Fed, Nadal and Djoko adapt more in order to achieve that. For example, Borg quit very early and we can't know how his game would've held up. Sampras never bothered to try and adapt to clay, but if he had put his mind to it he may have been able to anyway.

Look at Djokovic, it was all about filling the one gap left in his resumé which was winning the French, and things went downhill after he did. Nadal adapted his game to be much more aggressive to win the US Open in 2010. Achieving things like that became much more important since Fed was going for it for years. People are even talking about Murray winning all four and he has also tried being successful on all surfaces, despite having only three slams titles and not even three different ones.

That mentality did not really exist earlier, but they may have been able to do it if it had existed. I think as it stands, they are basically equal since they've all achieved things that others (including Federer) haven't. But Nadal and Djokovic are still playing of course.
 

killerboi2

Hall of Fame
It's close between Nadal and Federer. Nadal has around equal top level but not quite the mental strength as Pete. Federer has better acheivements and consistency but not the same top level and definitely not the same mental strength.
 

Karma Tennis

Hall of Fame
Errr. you probably should edit your threat title to "Who is the 2nd Greatest MALE Player of the Open Era".

And even then, you have not defined what you mean by the word "Greatest". It means different things to different people.

Smith-Court, Evert, Graf, Navratilova and Serena are incredible players. The characteristics that made these women successful are as great as any male player. But I digress!

As I've mentioned on other threads, while I loved Sampras, I don't understand why he gets so much kudos. His Clay Court record is terrible in comparison to Borg, Connors, Nadal and even Laver. IMO to be really Top Tier, a player must have been equally supreme on both Grass and Clay surfaces.

And then there's Federer. Incredible player. Probably the greatest stroke technique of all players in the history of the game. But dominated by Rafa on Clay. Players like Laver and Borg were never dominated on Clay or Grass in the way Federer was.

Still it all goes back to what you mean by the word "Greatest". By my definition, no one comes close to Laver. Just below him is Borg and Rafa. Closely followed by Federer.

Special mention to McEnroe who was probably the greatest "Natural Talent" I ever saw. IMO, the world would look very differently upon John Patrick McEnroe Jr's tennis achievements if he didn't have such a hot head.
 

GabeT

Legend
Tough to compare, tennis was different during Borg's and Sampras' time. There is more focus on trying to win everything you can these days and doing it for longer so top players like Fed, Nadal and Djoko adapt more in order to achieve that. For example, Borg quit very early and we can't know how his game would've held up. Sampras never bothered to try and adapt to clay, but if he had put his mind to it he may have been able to anyway.

Look at Djokovic, it was all about filling the one gap left in his resumé which was winning the French, and things went downhill after he did. Nadal adapted his game to be much more aggressive to win the US Open in 2010. Achieving things like that became much more important since Fed was going for it for years. People are even talking about Murray winning all four and he has also tried being successful on all surfaces, despite having only three slams titles and not even three different ones.

That mentality did not really exist earlier, but they may have been able to do it if it had existed. I think as it stands, they are basically equal since they've all achieved things that others (including Federer) haven't. But Nadal and Djokovic are still playing of course.
Very true about players now wanting to win everything. The bar is always moving. I suspect the relative importance of M1000s will rise over time for this reason. In the Open Era several players have won all four slams at one time or another and two have won all four at the same time. Since the establishment of the masters series no one has managed to do any of that with masters.
 

Sereger

Hall of Fame
Errr. you probably should edit your threat title to "Who is the 2nd Greatest MALE Player of the Open Era".

And even then, you have not defined what you mean by the word "Greatest". It means different things to different people.

Smith-Court, Evert, Graf, Navratilova and Serena are incredible players. The characteristics that made these women successful are as great as any male player. But I digress!

As I've mentioned on other threads, while I loved Sampras, I don't understand why he gets so much kudos. His Clay Court record is terrible in comparison to Borg, Connors, Nadal and even Laver. IMO to be really Top Tier, a player must have been equally supreme on both Grass and Clay surfaces.

And then there's Federer. Incredible player. Probably the greatest stroke technique of all players in the history of the game. But dominated by Rafa on Clay. Players like Laver and Borg were never dominated on Clay or Grass in the way Federer was.

Still it all goes back to what you mean by the word "Greatest". By my definition, no one comes close to Laver. Just below him is Borg and Rafa. Closely followed by Federer.

Special mention to McEnroe who was probably the greatest "Natural Talent" I ever saw. IMO, the world would look very differently upon John Patrick McEnroe Jr's tennis achievements if he didn't have such a hot head.
How about HC? We have another 2 slams on HC to make it 4 every year
 

BeatlesFan

Bionic Poster
Pete.

Yes, he never won the French but his dominance and stats trump Nadal in my book. He was the much greater player and didn't disappear after June most years. He was dominant in October and November as well. Not "injured" on a fishing boat in Mallorca. Six straight YE #1's is something not even Roger was able to pull off.
 

xFullCourtTenniSx

Hall of Fame
Perfectly reasonable, but just curious as to what to your reasons for putting him ahead of Sampras and Borg? I personally value #1 a lot, so I have a tough time putting Nadal at #2 in open era. Is is the career slam?
Easy. Federer c*ckblocked the spot for a good 3 years. 2 of the listed players came in the same era as the GOAT. There's only so many achievements to be shared in such a scenario. The 2nd GOAT would be come the GOAT if the GOAT did not exist. Therefore, if Federer did not exist, who would be the GOAT? From there, it becomes obvious that Nadal would've blown Sampras out of the water, perhaps even Djokovic. Sampras would be sitting on potentially 15 majors, with 8 Wimbledon titles (or 14 majors with 8 Wimbledons and 4 US Opens). Nadal would have another 2 Wimbledon titles and potentially spent nearly as many consecutive weeks at #1 as Jimmy Connors, if not Federer. 16>15, 4 "channel slams", and the weeks at #1 going in Nadal's favor.

My heart says Pete (nobody plays a more beautiful, yet powerful game except Federer). He's my favorite player of all time. But Nadal overall is more impressive to me.

Honestly, if Federer wasn't born, we could've had a better head-to head (rather than stylistic) rivalry in tennis. Roddick and the early 00's crew could pick up their achievements, while Djokovic and Nadal battle it out from 2008 onwards for everything on the tour. And there'd be NO EXCUSES from either fanbase about either player having the age advantage (whether the opponent be a "baby" or "grandpa"), or any other bs. It'd be 8 years of near peak vs peak tennis (2008-2015), instead of the 4 years we got (mid 2005-early 2009).

But then... Would we really want to be deprived of a world without Federer? Without Fedal? Especially when the alternative is Nadal v Djokovic grindfests? Well... Some people might enjoy that.
 

xFullCourtTenniSx

Hall of Fame
Calm down. Nadal adjusted to whatever was put in front of him. I can easily say Sampras only won most of his slams because of the fast courts which helped his serve. Had he been in this era, his serve wouldn't be as effective. And if the courts were slowed down that means that quite a few of Federers slams are not of high value because he won slams with slow courts as well. But we all know that's stupid so don't make that point. And Djokovic won 3 slams in a year with Nadal present. Nadals not a mug if you ask me. Djokovic and Nadal played better opposition. They both had to play each other to win their slams and both of them are ATG. They also both played Feferer who's the GOAT and they still managed to win 12 and 14 slams. Who did Sampras beat to his slams? Agassi with 8 slams. Haha. Nadal played Federer(18 slams) and Djokovic(12 slams). And same for Djokovic, he played Nadal and Federer, both greater than Agassi.
The problem with the Sampras on slow courts argument is that Sampras is the reason the courts are so slow. He was THAT good on fast surfaces. So Sampras can't play his career on slow courts unless someone cloned him so that he could play in 2 different eras (one to be the reason to slow down courts and one to play on those courts). Nadal and Djokovic together isn't enough to encourage at least more court speed diversity.
 

Karma Tennis

Hall of Fame
My heart says Pete (nobody plays a more beautiful, yet powerful game except Federer). He's my favorite player of all time. But Nadal overall is more impressive to me.
Pete had a few flaws in his game compared to Borg and Rafa. (I hesitate to say that Federer had a flawless game because it took him years to work out how to deal with Rafa's heavy topspin ball to his SHBH.)

Pete was the consumate "Attacking" player. That's why he wasn't as successful on Clay courts as he was on faster surfaces.

Borg, Rafa, and Federer could transition easily between Attack and Defence and this is why they were more successful on Clay. Also perhaps the reason why they appear to be more impressive than most other players.

Borg, Rafa and Federer would beat Sampras a lot more times on clay courts than Sampras would beat them on Grass courts.
 
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FiReFTW

Legend
Federer, Nadal and Djokovic played against each other, and they are all in the top 5 GOAT list....

I think that pretty much sums it all up and disqualifies Borg and Sampras from the discussion.

Now to answer the question, currently its

1.Federer
2.Nadal
3.Djokovic

But it can change in the future.
 
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