Who is the greater tennis player? (2 hypotheticals)

Who would be greater?

  • Player 1 (18 slams over 20 years)

    Votes: 7 15.6%
  • Player 2 (16 slams in a row)

    Votes: 38 84.4%

  • Total voters
    45

MonkeyBoy

Hall of Fame
Player 1: Wins 18 slams over a 20 year period. (1st slam at age twenty, 18th at age forty). Never achieves the no. 1 ranking at any point in his career.

Player 2: Wins 16 slams in a row. (four consecutive CYGS, four consecutive YE#1) Age 24-28. Never wins another slam after this streak.

Obviously player 2 would have had a much higher prime level of play, but who should be considered the overall greater tennis player?
 

ibbi

Legend
Depends on the context of their victories.

Just based purely on those sentences I might be tempted to lean towards A, but I think people underestimate the ridiculous pressure piled upon a player as they sit atop the hill, as the target on their chest grows and grows over the course of a few years, and playing against them sort of becomes every players own personal major final.
 

itrium84

Hall of Fame
Player 1: Wins 18 slams over a 20 year period. (1st slam at age twenty, 18th at age forty). Never achieves the no. 1 ranking at any point in his career.

Player 2: Wins 16 slams in a row. (four consecutive CYGS, four consecutive YE#1) Age 24-28. Never wins another slam after this streak.

Obviously player 2 would have had a much higher prime level of play, but who should be considered the overall greater tennis player?
Player 2 has much better GS record. This is why Novak had best GS record after RG2021, with 2xCGS and ncyGS included, despite being 1 GS title behind Fedal. Now, with 20 + being on a verge of winning cyGS, (despite USO loss) he further improved his GS record, positioning him further ahead of Fedal.
 

Jokervich

Hall of Fame
Player 1: Wins 18 slams over a 20 year period. (1st slam at age twenty, 18th at age forty). Never achieves the no. 1 ranking at any point in his career.

Player 2: Wins 16 slams in a row. (four consecutive CYGS, four consecutive YE#1) Age 24-28. Never wins another slam after this streak.

Obviously player 2 would have had a much higher prime level of play, but who should be considered the overall greater tennis player?
So basically player 1 is Djokovic/Nadal and player 2 is Federer. :-D
 

BlueB

Legend
If their eras overlapped, the P2 would have beaten the P1, along with the shared field, in all slam matches for 4 years in a row. In that case the P2 is better.
If they didn't overlap, I'd be tempted to say the P1 was greater, while we couldn't say who was better.
 

Jokervich

Hall of Fame
It makes no sense it would be Fed considering he never went pass 3 slams in a row. In the OE probably only Laver and Nole got as far as 4 in a row.
That's true, but Federer won the vast majority of his slams in a 4-5 year span and then won almost nothing since, whereas Djokovic and Nadal have won consistently over a longer period but never had 4-5 year spans of dominance.

Sure the OP isn't quite technically accurate, but I think we all get the point of what he's saying - he wants to know who is greater out of Djokovic/Nadal/Federer, but he has subtly worded it in a way that makes it appear as if he's not asking that.
 

DjokoLand

Hall of Fame
So basically player 1 is Djokovic/Nadal and player 2 is Federer. :-D
Fed record in slams during his peak is insane but you can always make it sound negative. He won his first slam at 21 and now 19 years later he was 20 with only 4 since 28 which is nearly 12 years so most of his career.

Even if the OP meant it as a big 3 comparison so be it. Djokodal have grabbed a slam or more mostly every season while Fed absolutely mauled the tour in his prime. Neither make a difference for me.

But 16 in a row is obviously better as it’s 4 CYGS.
 

BlueB

Legend
Don't worry, it would be like awarding imaginary wins to Fed. We all know that he lost a fair bit of matches already to baby Ned and Djo, making the idea of absolute dominance invalid.
 

Autodidactic player

Professional
Player 2 - of course! Magnificent play over a short career is the reason some argue that Bjorn Borg ought to be considered in the GOAT conversation. Player 1 staying near the top of the game over a 20 year career is also a very noteworthy accomplishment but accomplishments like this are becoming less significant given modern training techniques, physical therapy and medical developments.
 

Nadal_King

Hall of Fame
So what if player 1 ended the 16 gs reign of player 2 and then beat him everytime after they met so in this way P1 seems to be the one who was the problem solver for everyone and went on to achieve even more slams in long term and even maybe 1 CYGS in between which you haven't said he didn't so we can assume he did in which case it seems he is bigger player. So all depends on place in time and context.
 

goldengate14

Professional
Player 2 has much better GS record. This is why Novak had best GS record after RG2021, with 2xCGS and ncyGS included, despite being 1 GS title behind Fedal. Now, with 20 + being on a verge of winning cyGS, (despite USO loss) he further improved his GS record, positioning him further ahead of Fedal.
Nadal has a better slam record..more wins from less played.
 

Rudiiii

Rookie
It is as clear as it can get that #1 is really important in tennis, so in this extreme case, choice is obvious. But how can someone realistically win 18 GS and never reach #1 and YE#1?
 

R. Schweikart

Professional
Player 1: Wins 18 slams over a 20 year period. (1st slam at age twenty, 18th at age forty). Never achieves the no. 1 ranking at any point in his career.

Player 2: Wins 16 slams in a row. (four consecutive CYGS, four consecutive YE#1) Age 24-28. Never wins another slam after this streak.

Obviously player 2 would have had a much higher prime level of play, but who should be considered the overall greater tennis player?
Of course.
Why is this even a question??
Even ONE Grand Slam tops two more slams easily.
 

Imperator

Hall of Fame
Winning 4 consecutive CYGS is a crazy thing that's impossible to achieve, so no matter the point you're trying to make, it's irrelevant. It's as false an equivalence as it can get.
 

R. Schweikart

Professional
Winning 4 consecutive CYGS is a crazy thing that's impossible to achieve, so no matter the point you're trying to make, it's irrelevant. It's as false an equivalence as it can get.
Emerson won 13 slams and Laver only 12. But Laver won 2 Grand Slams.
I think that answers the OP's question.
 

Sunny014

Legend
how on earth does one win 18 Slams without once becoming the #1 player?
A better question is how can you win 18 Slams and never be #1? Just no more than 1 Slam a year and bomb in most tournaments throughout the year?
Take 18 french opens in 20 years and flunk everywhere else, it is possible to never be 1.

However the poll is total rubbish because it is talking of unrealistic nonsense

If someone can win 16 slams without losing then he will win at least 8-9 after that as well with 1 slam or 2 slam here and there, someone so good does not decline so quckly.
 

Sunny014

Legend
IF someone dominates 16 slams with 4CYGS and then wins nothing then it means he was a weak era chump who was beating a bunch of amateurs/kids and then when real men arrived he started to get spanked. Nobody else else can decline so quickly.

In Federer's case I would say he already matured a bit late (2-3 years late) so he missed out on dominating the era which Hewitt-Safin-Kuerten dominated, then due to the advent of Poly the greatest exponents of Poly were baseliners who were kids in mid 90s when Fed was already a teenager, so when they grew up and reached their peak by 08-09 so naturally the field got stronger, Fed too entered late 20s and he did nothing to improve his baseline game at his peak as he was winning everything, so he declined as there were 2 GOAT candidates below him in the next generation.
 

Sudacafan

Bionic Poster
Laver also won most of his slams as an amateur.
Laver won 5 as a pro (4 of them were the GS of 1969), and Emerson none.
After Laver won his amateur slam in 1962 (he accumulated his other 6 as an amateur until that point) he turned pro and had to work several years to get to the top of the pro tour. The pro tour always had the best players, but those were not allowed to play the slams until RG 1968.
 
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R. Schweikart

Professional
Laver won 5 as a pro (4 of them were the GS of 1969), and Emerson none.
After Laver won his amateur slam in 1962 (he accumulated his other 6 as an amateur until that point) he turned pro and had to work several years to get to the top of the pro tour. The pro tour always had the best players, but those were not allowed to play the slams until RG 1968.
The point is that the number of slams (11 or 12; 22 or 23) pales behind the achievement of winning Grand Slams or Golden Slams.

I mean, only an ***** would chose 23 slams over 22 slams which include a Golden Slam.
 
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Assuming the hypothetical is occurring in the open era the answer is the guy who completed the Grand Slam four times in succession!!

Interesting thread. The lack of context makes it even trickier as a hypothetical.

Player 1 is a very interesting proposition, too. The dispersion of major titles by age makes him an extreme Nadal/Rosewall type amalgam who started winning big very early but could still win a major in middle age. Extraordinary stuff.
 

lucky13

Semi-Pro
That's true, but Federer won the vast majority of his slams in a 4-5 year span and then won almost nothing since, whereas Djokovic and Nadal have won consistently over a longer period but never had 4-5 year spans of dominance.

Sure the OP isn't quite technically accurate, but I think we all get the point of what he's saying - he wants to know who is greater out of Djokovic/Nadal/Federer, but he has subtly worded it in a way that makes it appear as if he's not asking that.
sorry to disappoint you, but nole had not only 4-5 years of domination but a full 11 years (from the start of 2011 until now)! with the exception of an injury period which (together with the recovery period) has slowed him down for 2 years (W2016 - RG2018). so for more than a decade he had absolute dominance in GS, no1 and h2h against other big4 members. fed, on the other hand, in his 4-5 years (04-09) of "absolute dominance" has negative h2h with 2 out of 3 remaining big4 members (7-13, 35%vs rafa and 4-6, 40% vs muzza (9-5, 64,3% vs nole); nole (11-21): 23-12, 65,7% vs rafa, 21-10 67,7% vs fed and 21-8, 72,4% vs muzza).
 
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goldengate14

Professional
1st - Novak has more GS wins than Rafa.
2nd - If Raducanu never plays again, she is the woman GOAT? She did win 50% of GS tournaments she entered, no one else is even close to that. ;)
When is 20 more than 20 then? As for Radacanu clearly a player would need double digit majors. But Borg won 11 majors and many argue he is Goat which is point of this thread.
 

Pheasant

Hall of Fame
Player 2 in a landslide. I’d choose player 2 even if he won 3 CYGS’s in a row. A CYGS is the ultimate achievement and the ultimate form of domination. 3 years; 84-0. Yep. That’s an easy one.
 

D.Nalby12

G.O.A.T.
Federer won 16 Slams in period of just 6 and 1/2 years. Made final of 22/27 Slam events in that period. I don't think anyone will able to replicate that kind of dominance in future. It's really unfortunate Federer had to deal with competition of two GOATs from younger generation - otherwise his numbers would have become insane. Just imagine Federer had Dimitrov - Raonic on his back instead of Djokovic - Nadal. The guy would've probably won 25 Slams by age of 30 and happily retired.
 
In this hypothetical it's easily #2, I mean 3 or 4 CYGS in a row is absurd.

But let's keep playing the game of what-ifs since these two scenarios are clearly driving at a narrative: what if player #2 never actually got more than 3 slams in a row and instead they were smacked around in their prime years by a younger, capri-wearing ATG?
 
In this hypothetical it's easily #2, I mean 3 or 4 CYGS in a row is absurd.

But let's keep playing the game of what-ifs since these two scenarios are clearly driving at a narrative: what if player #2 never actually got more than 3 slams in a row and instead they were smacked around in their prime years by a younger, capri-wearing ATG?
Yes if there is some subliminal message here regarding Federer, it falls flat, given that Federer never even achieved a non Calendar Slam. Might as well have used something atleast more real, like what if a player won 3 slams a year 4 years in a row (technically Fed didn't quite manage that, but it doesn't have to be exact, just a more closer to realistic parallel). I say that as someone who doesn't have a strong opinion or care much about Djokovic vs Federer, Djokovic vs Federer vs Nadal, or GOAT debates in general.
 

itrium84

Hall of Fame
When is 20 more than 20 then? As for Radacanu clearly a player would need double digit majors. But Borg won 11 majors and many argue he is Goat which is point of this thread.
1- 20/20 is their number of GS titles, not GS wins.
2- Why double digit? It looked like you insisted on win percentage only, without any other criteria. Now you randomly add new criteria!? What's next, number of water bottles beside chair? Why sudden change of tune!?
 

goldengate14

Professional
1- 20/20 is their number of GS titles, not GS wins.
2- Why double digit? It looked like you insisted on win percentage only, without any other criteria. Now you randomly add new criteria!? What's next, number of water bottles beside chair? Why sudden change of tune!?
Sensible people would not claim a one slam winner to be Goat. But 20 slam winners tied probably does come down to wins/events played. The argument peddled by Djokovic fans is he is the most consistent player as he reaxhes he most semi finals and finals. I agree. But greatness is about winning events. And Nadal and Federer are better at that than Djokovic. And that is why Nadal and Federer will be considered greater.
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
Sensible people would not claim a one slam winner to be Goat. But 20 slam winners tied probably does come down to wins/events played. The argument peddled by Djokovic fans is he is the most consistent player as he reaxhes he most semi finals and finals. I agree. But greatness is about winning events. And Nadal and Federer are better at that than Djokovic. And that is why Nadal and Federer will be considered greater.
Slay :D
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
Player 2 of course. 4 CYGS and 4 YE #1s would be absolutely phenomenal in anybody's book!!!
 
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