Who is the Third Greatest Player of all Time?

Who is the Third Greatest Player of all Time?

  • Djokovic

    Votes: 34 47.2%
  • Sampras

    Votes: 24 33.3%
  • Other (please state)

    Votes: 14 19.4%

  • Total voters
    72

REKX

Rookie
As a Federer and Nadal fan, I would have to put Federer as the greatest player to have played our sport and Nadal second.

Federer for the type of tennis he played, yes the field was weak in his early grand slam years with opponents like Philipousis, a retiring Agassi, Roddick, Bagdatis etc but you can only beat who is in front of you and Federer beat them. I think particularly the style of play from say around 2005 to 2007 for me is the best form anyone has attained. His speed, and his accuracy and the way he would hit the lines and winners from anywhere.

Number 2 spot goes to Nadal. Greatest clay court player to have played the game, but his performances in other slams transcend him. He worked so hard to become a force on other surfaces, and took Federer to 5 sets at Wimbledon 2007 (2007 was probably Federer's greatest ever form), and at Wimbledon 2008 managed to beat Federer - we are talking about the greatest grass court player to have played the game during his prime years and Nadal beat him. Says so much about Nadal's achievements.

What would we say about the third greatest player then? I think it is definitely between Sampras and Djokovic. Key factor being Djokovic is still playing, but of course Djokovic has displayed a level of athleticism and balance perhaps never seen before in our sport. He also won all four Grand Slams, Sampras did not even make it into a final of the French Open. Also consider Sampras had significantly weaker competition than what Djokovic faced. Djokovic had Federer and Nadal, number 1 and number 2 greatest - but also very tough competitors like Murray and Wawrinka. So it's probably Djokovic as the third greatest, but with the most respect to Sampras.

You?
 

StANDAA

Legend
Federer and Nadal would feel very proud to be able to share you as their fan.

Third greatest is still Sampras based on achievements. But Djokovic has a good chance of surpassing him.
 

Plamen1234

Hall of Fame
Djokovic would have been far closer to Federer and Nadal if he havent lost 4/5 GS to Murray and Stan.He had chances to catch Federer and Nadal and wasted them.
 

Le Master

Professional
Key factor being Djokovic is still playing, but of course Djokovic has displayed a level of athleticism and balance perhaps never seen before in our sport.
Djokovic has many great qualities for a tennis player. Balance is not one of them. He might have among the worst balance. He's constantly doing balance checks after routine shots. Not sure how you came up with that one.
 

cc0509

Talk Tennis Guru
Djokovic has many great qualities for a tennis player. Balance is not one of them. He might have among the worst balance. He's constantly doing balance checks after routine shots. Not sure how you came up with that one.
Yeah, balance is the wrong word to use with respect to Djokovic. Flexibility would be a better word.
 
D

Deleted member 512391

Guest
Djokovic would have been far closer to Federer and Nadal if he havent lost 4/5 GS to Murray and Stan.He had chances to catch Federer and Nadal and wasted them.
With all due respect to his achievements, he didn't waste his chances, he just wasn't good enough. He's lost four GS finals to a non-ATG players and that's not an accident or bad luck. Federer, as well as Nadal, has only one loss to such player (Delpo and Wawrinka respectively). I believe that the lack of the killer weapon (Fedal forehand, Fed's/Pete's serve) is the main reason why he isn't as successful as these players.

On the topic, I have Borg over Sampras so he is the third on my Open era list of the greatest players.
 

Tristanwirtz

New User
I don't think Nadal is 2nd best of all time yet. I am not even sure Federek is solidly 1st, although he has a stronger case now than when he was stuck on 17 slams. Laver and Gonzales are still firmly over Nadal and competitive with Federer. Possibly Tilden too.
 

cc0509

Talk Tennis Guru
With all due respect to his achievements, he didn't waste his chances, he just wasn't good enough. He's lost four GS finals to a non-ATG players and that's not an accident or bad luck. Federer, as well as Nadal, has only one loss to such player (Delpo and Wawrinka respectively). I believe that the lack of the killer weapon (Fedal forehand, Fed's/Pete's serve) is the main reason why he isn't as successful as these players.

On the topic, I have Borg over Sampras so he is the third on my Open era list of the greatest players.
Yes and also possibly why Djokovic may struggle against these younger rising guys. We'll see.
 

EloQuent

G.O.A.T.
Djokovic would have been far closer to Federer and Nadal if he havent lost 4/5 GS to Murray and Stan.He had chances to catch Federer and Nadal and wasted them.
By that logic, Federer and Nadal would have been even further away if they hadn't lost their finals.
 
D

Deleted member 512391

Guest
Yes and also possibly why Djokovic may struggle against these younger rising guys. We'll see.
He definitely needs to work more for his points than Federer and Nadal (when he decides to play offensively), so I agree that he may find it harder to beat these young guns.
 
B

BrokenGears

Guest
Djokovic is the true goat. AS you can tell by my sig, Djokovic should have 20 slams but decided to be lenient and choke 8 slams
 

Sudacafan

G.O.A.T.
As a Federer and Nadal fan, I would have to put Federer as the greatest player to have played our sport and Nadal second.

Federer for the type of tennis he played, yes the field was weak in his early grand slam years with opponents like Philipousis, a retiring Agassi, Roddick, Bagdatis etc but you can only beat who is in front of you and Federer beat them. I think particularly the style of play from say around 2005 to 2007 for me is the best form anyone has attained. His speed, and his accuracy and the way he would hit the lines and winners from anywhere.

Number 2 spot goes to Nadal. Greatest clay court player to have played the game, but his performances in other slams transcend him. He worked so hard to become a force on other surfaces, and took Federer to 5 sets at Wimbledon 2007 (2007 was probably Federer's greatest ever form), and at Wimbledon 2008 managed to beat Federer - we are talking about the greatest grass court player to have played the game during his prime years and Nadal beat him. Says so much about Nadal's achievements.

What would we say about the third greatest player then? I think it is definitely between Sampras and Djokovic. Key factor being Djokovic is still playing, but of course Djokovic has displayed a level of athleticism and balance perhaps never seen before in our sport. He also won all four Grand Slams, Sampras did not even make it into a final of the French Open. Also consider Sampras had significantly weaker competition than what Djokovic faced. Djokovic had Federer and Nadal, number 1 and number 2 greatest - but also very tough competitors like Murray and Wawrinka. So it's probably Djokovic as the third greatest, but with the most respect to Sampras.

You?
Just curious, why do you always start your threads clarifying that you are a Federer and Nadal fan?
 

Plamen1234

Hall of Fame
With all due respect to his achievements, he didn't waste his chances, he just wasn't good enough. He's lost four GS finals to a non-ATG players and that's not an accident or bad luck. Federer, as well as Nadal, has only one loss to such player (Delpo and Wawrinka respectively). I believe that the lack of the killer weapon (Fedal forehand, Fed's/Pete's serve) is the main reason why he isn't as successful as these players.

On the topic, I have Borg over Sampras so he is the third on my Open era list of the greatest players.
Of course his losses to Murray and Wawrinka were not accident.He either got outplayed or played bad in these finals.Yes Djokovic doesnt have the weapons Fed and Nadal have but he have flexibility or at least he had it.
 

clout

Hall of Fame
Thing is, if we're going to talk all time then I wouldn't be able to come up with a list or answer since I'm honestly not familiar with pre-open era at all, as it was such a different league back then. But if we're talking open era (1968-present), then I'd have to put Sampras as the third greatest due to his slam count and his time spent at number one. Although I strongly believe Djokovic could easily displace him in the near future. If you ask me, Novak just needs to one win one more non-HC slam or even a non-AO slam, and he'll surpass Pete in my eyes as the Serb's had a more complete and well-rounded career, while also playing against better competition. Also, the strongest and most undisputable argument for putting current greats over former greats is that athletes from all sports evolve for the better over time; that's a proven fact.
IMO, the top 10 players in open-era goes:
1. Federer
2. Nadal
3. Sampras
4. Djokovic
5. Borg
6. Lendl
7. Connors
8. McEnroe
9. Agassi
10. Laver

This is just my opinion of course although most of the top 10 open era lists I've viewed have had those first 5 guys in the same order, while the latter 5 usually shifted around.
 
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True Fanerer

G.O.A.T.
Pete is 3rd. Slams and weeks and year end no.1's are greater than one freaking FO. Cmon people! Pete Sampras can't be left off the list with 14 slams. Man was a nightmare at Wimbledon and ticked me off on a regular basis. He'd beat Djokovic in straights at Wimbledon. Djokovic wouldn't be able to handle his serve as Andy Roddick and Karlovic have proven. Djokovic might sneak a set cause Pete needed a breather. Djokovic needs 14 slams for me to put him 3rd. Two GS don't just fall off trees.
 
B

BrokenGears

Guest
Pete is 3rd. Slams and weeks and year end no.1's are greater than one freaking FO. Cmon people! Pete Sampras can't be left off the list with 14 slams. Man was a nightmare at Wimbledon and ticked me off on a regular basis. He'd beat Djokovic in straights at Wimbledon. Djokovic wouldn't be able to handle his serve as Andy Roddick and Karlovic have proven. Djokovic might sneak a set cause Pete needed a breather. Djokovic needs 14 slams for me to put him 3rd. Two GS don't just fall off trees.
Since when was grass the end all be all?
 

True Fanerer

G.O.A.T.
Since when was grass the end all be all?
It's not the end all be all. Neither is clay in determining where an ATG falls on the list. Not when the difference is one FO and Sampras leads by two 2 GS. His 5 UO and 2 AO aren't shabby either. Like I said weeks and year end #1 arguably could be considered a slam themselves in importance. They equal his FO at the very least.
 
D

Deleted member 512391

Guest
Ned only has 6 real tennis slams and 0 WTFs

Unfortunately you misread the poll. It does not mean Ned was 2. That was simply OP's wrong conclusion.
Haha, whenever I see someone calling Nadal "Ned", Ned Gerblanski from the South Park immediately comes to my mind.
 

Northern

Hall of Fame
The player with perhaps the highest potential for GOAThood in my mind, even beyond Federer and Nadal, has to be Borg. Too bad his career took some strange turns, the GOAT debate could have been moot if he hadn't pulled the plug at 26.
 

Sport

Legend
Like I said weeks and year end #1 arguably could be considered a slam themselves in importance. They equal his FO at the very least.
No way. If Djokovic wins 2 more GS (hypothetical scenario) then only a very unobjective person could say he hasn't surpassed Sampras. 14 GS and Career Grand Slam >>> 14 GS (without French Open) and more weeks as #1.

Sampras has never won the FO while Djokovic has been more than 200 weeks as #1 in the same era as Federer and Nadal (which are way better than Agassi).

Please, don't put the excuse of "Djokovic would have never achieved the Career Grand Slam in the 90s". That's an untestable claim. You can't prove Djokovic wouldn't have achieved the Career Grand Slam in the 90s, since it is not possible to create a time machine to put Djokovic playing in the 90s. Even Agassi (who is arguably not better on clay or grass than Djokovic) achieved the Career Grand Slam in the 90s. Anyhow, all what we know is that Djokovic has the Career Grand Slam, the assumption that "he wouldn't have achieved it in the 90s" is untestable.

Finally, consider this hypothetical scenario:

Imagine aliens invade us. Like in Space Jam, the future of humankind will be decided in a tennis match. The greatest alien tennis player will face the greatest human tennis player. Importantly, we don't know which surface will be played the match. It can be played on hard courts, grass or clay.

We only can choose between 25 years old Sampras and 25 years old Djokovic. Who would you choose? Remember there is a 33% chance of the match being played on clay.

No matter how you look at it, Djokovic is far more complete than Sampras. If Djokovic arrives to 14 GS, the Career Grand Slam would be a tie-breaker and almost everybody would consider Djokovic better than Sampras.

Right now, Sampras is better because 14> 12. The number of Grand Slams is the most important ATG criteria. Only when two players are tied in GS we can check other criteria such as the Career Grand Slam or weeks as #1.
 

Tristanwirtz

New User
The 1 French open is only huge in the context if Djokovic didn't win atleast that it wouldn't mean much, but Djokovic is light years better on clay overall than Sampras despite it probably being the worst surface of both, and light years better on all surfaces than what Sampras is on clay. Seriously I doubt Sampras is even a top 30 clay counter to not win RG, heck probably even much lower than that. In his own era I can think of many better clay courters who didn't win RG- Corretja, Rios, Berasetegui, Mantilla, Norman, Pioline, Leconte, arguably Stich and Chesnokov, possibly even Rosset or Edberg. Honestly if Sampras got a French he probably would have over achieved in getting it; it just wouldn't look and feel that way since it is the great Sampras. Somebody of his level on clay if they weren't an all time great, there would be almost no talk of ever winning RG though. Djokovic and Federer (along with Muster I guess) are the very best clay courters in the Open Era to win only 1 clay slam. Djokovic arguably the best to only have
1 RG title.

So that is no small thing and it goes well beyond 1 French Open even if it would mean almost nothing if Djokovic didn't win atleast 1 French Open but he did.
 
D

Deleted member 307496

Guest
As a Federer and Nadal fan, I would have to put Federer as the greatest player to have played our sport and Nadal second.

Federer for the type of tennis he played, yes the field was weak in his early grand slam years with opponents like Philipousis, a retiring Agassi, Roddick, Bagdatis etc but you can only beat who is in front of you and Federer beat them. I think particularly the style of play from say around 2005 to 2007 for me is the best form anyone has attained. His speed, and his accuracy and the way he would hit the lines and winners from anywhere.

Number 2 spot goes to Nadal. Greatest clay court player to have played the game, but his performances in other slams transcend him. He worked so hard to become a force on other surfaces, and took Federer to 5 sets at Wimbledon 2007 (2007 was probably Federer's greatest ever form), and at Wimbledon 2008 managed to beat Federer - we are talking about the greatest grass court player to have played the game during his prime years and Nadal beat him. Says so much about Nadal's achievements.

What would we say about the third greatest player then? I think it is definitely between Sampras and Djokovic. Key factor being Djokovic is still playing, but of course Djokovic has displayed a level of athleticism and balance perhaps never seen before in our sport. He also won all four Grand Slams, Sampras did not even make it into a final of the French Open. Also consider Sampras had significantly weaker competition than what Djokovic faced. Djokovic had Federer and Nadal, number 1 and number 2 greatest - but also very tough competitors like Murray and Wawrinka. So it's probably Djokovic as the third greatest, but with the most respect to Sampras.

You?
Tough competitor.

>Andy Murray.

Weak Era player.

>Andy Roddick.

 
D

Deleted member 307496

Guest
No way. If Djokovic wins 2 more GS (hypothetical scenario) then only a very unobjective person could say he hasn't surpassed Sampras. 14 GS and Career Grand Slam >>> 14 GS (without French Open) and more weeks as #1.

Sampras has never won the FO while Djokovic has been more than 200 weeks as #1 in the same era as Federer and Nadal (which are way better than Agassi).

Please, don't put the excuse of "Djokovic would have never achieved the Career Grand Slam in the 90s". That's an untestable claim. You can't prove Djokovic wouldn't have achieved the Career Grand Slam in the 90s, since it is not possible to create a time machine to put Djokovic playing in the 90s. Even Agassi (who is arguably not better on clay or grass than Djokovic) achieved the Career Grand Slam in the 90s. Anyhow, all what we know is that Djokovic has the Career Grand Slam, the assumption that "he wouldn't have achieved it in the 90s" is untestable.

Finally, consider this hypothetical scenario:

Imagine aliens invade us. Like in Space Jam, the future of humankind will be decided in a tennis match. The greatest alien tennis player will face the greatest human tennis player. Importantly, we don't know which surface will be played the match. It can be played on hard courts, grass or clay.

We only can choose between 25 years old Sampras and 25 years old Djokovic. Who would you choose? Remember there is a 33% chance of the match being played on clay.

No matter how you look at it, Djokovic is far more complete than Sampras. If Djokovic arrives to 14 GS, the Career Grand Slam would be a tie-breaker and almost everybody would consider Djokovic better than Sampras.

Right now, Sampras is better because 14> 12. The number of Grand Slams is the most important ATG criteria. Only when two players are tied in GS we can check other criteria such as the Career Grand Slam or weeks as #1.
Djokovic spent most that time at No. 1 when his biggest challenge was Andy Murray who is practically this era's Lleyton Hewitt.
 

timnz

Legend
My Top 9 of all time - in no particular order are:

Federer, Laver, Gonzales, Tilden, Rosewall, Borg, Nadal, Sampras, Djokovic

As to what order they should be in- I have no idea.

So to come up with who is third when number 1 and number 2 is not clear is problematic.
 

justasport

Professional
My Top 9 of all time - in no particular order are:

Federer, Laver, Gonzales, Tilden, Rosewall, Borg, Nadal, Sampras, Djokovic

As to what order they should be in- I have no idea.

So to come up with who is third when number 1 and number 2 is not clear is problematic.
That is actually a very intelligent list! Excellent in my opinion! As far as order goes I would probably put them in this order:

1. R. Federer
2. R. Nadal
3. N. Djokovic
4. R. Laver
5. P. Sampras
6. B. Borg
7. B. Tilden
8. P. Gonzales
9. K. Rosewall
 

Tennisanity

Legend
With all due respect why is Borg ahead of Nadal on your list?
In Borg's era AO was a runt. Borg won 3 consecutive channel slams. Nadal couldn't do that. Fed couldn't either but Fed's other stats make up for that. Borg quit tennis at 25. Borg had to deal with a USO all time great, Nadal gets to beat the likes of Anderson, LOL. Borg >>> Nadal.
 

True Fanerer

G.O.A.T.
No way. If Djokovic wins 2 more GS (hypothetical scenario) then only a very unobjective person could say he hasn't surpassed Sampras. 14 GS and Career Grand Slam >>> 14 GS (without French Open) and more weeks as #1.

Sampras has never won the FO while Djokovic has been more than 200 weeks as #1 in the same era as Federer and Nadal (which are way better than Agassi).

Please, don't put the excuse of "Djokovic would have never achieved the Career Grand Slam in the 90s". That's an untestable claim. You can't prove Djokovic wouldn't have achieved the Career Grand Slam in the 90s, since it is not possible to create a time machine to put Djokovic playing in the 90s. Even Agassi (who is arguably not better on clay or grass than Djokovic) achieved the Career Grand Slam in the 90s. Anyhow, all what we know is that Djokovic has the Career Grand Slam, the assumption that "he wouldn't have achieved it in the 90s" is untestable.

Finally, consider this hypothetical scenario:

Imagine aliens invade us. Like in Space Jam, the future of humankind will be decided in a tennis match. The greatest alien tennis player will face the greatest human tennis player. Importantly, we don't know which surface will be played the match. It can be played on hard courts, grass or clay.

We only can choose between 25 years old Sampras and 25 years old Djokovic. Who would you choose? Remember there is a 33% chance of the match being played on clay.

No matter how you look at it, Djokovic is far more complete than Sampras. If Djokovic arrives to 14 GS, the Career Grand Slam would be a tie-breaker and almost everybody would consider Djokovic better than Sampras.

Right now, Sampras is better because 14> 12. The number of Grand Slams is the most important ATG criteria. Only when two players are tied in GS we can check other criteria such as the Career Grand Slam or weeks as #1.
If you read my first post closer you will see that I said the only way Djokovic surpasses Sampras is if he has 14 slams. In the 2nd post that you quoted, I'm more or less saying that his FO title means diddly when he trails by two slams and all the weeks and year ends to boot. Its Pete's answer to the 1 FO title that some are arguing puts Djokovic ahead right now. It's not really worth a slam in the event of a tie. My first post will show you that I agree with 14 GS being enough.

My hypothetical pick is Sampras and here's why.

Sampras -14-4 Career in GS Finals (77.8%) Clutch City

Djokovic - 12-9 Career in GS Finals (57.1%) Choke City
 
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