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Who is the greatest tennis player of all time?

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  • Originally posted by jazzcyclist View Post
    502CD makes a good point about Graf. Can you be the GOAT in any sport if you have a glaring weakness in your game?

    By the way, I didn't realize it until it was brought up yesterday that Evert was also nearly unbeatable on clay courts.
    Evert is the true GOAT on clay - once won 125 consecutive matches on the surface - finally defeated by Tracy Austin at the Italian Open

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    • Originally posted by Atticus View Post
      Since clay courts are a distinct minority type of surface, it is not what 'modern' tennis represents (grass even less so). Fed dominates grass, Nadal clay, so Wimb/French skews the data. 65% of Nadal's Grand Slams are one minority surface - clay.
      As noted in a previous post I did, clay is not really a minority surface. Grass is the true minority surface. In the Masters1000 events, the second most important for men, 6 are on hardcourts (now), and 3 are on clay - 0 on grass. Of the 4 European Masters 1000 events, 3 are on clay (Rome, Madrid, Monte Carlo). So of the 13 most important events for men, the count is:

      Hardcourt 8
      Clay 4
      Grass 1

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      • Outside of Wimbledon, the only grass court events of note I can think of are largely warm-up events for Wimbledon (Halle, Queen's Club, Eastbourne, Birmingham & Nottingham).

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        • Originally posted by Trickstat View Post
          Outside of Wimbledon, the only grass court events of note I can think of are largely warm-up events for Wimbledon (Halle, Queen's Club, Eastbourne, Birmingham & Nottingham).
          Exactly right. They also play a Hall of Fame event on grass at Newport, RI in the USA - the only grass event in the USA anymore

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          • Originally posted by bambam1729 View Post
            Exactly right. They also play a Hall of Fame event on grass at Newport, RI in the USA - the only grass event in the USA anymore
            Even the W grass courts look pretty shabby by the fortnight's end!

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            • Originally posted by bambam1729 View Post

              Exactly right. They also play a Hall of Fame event on grass at Newport, RI in the USA - the only grass event in the USA anymore
              They also have a Wimbledon grass warmup at s'Hertogenbosch, Netherlands (usually same week as Halle). And in the last couple of years, whoops make that 2018-2019, they've had a grass event at Stuttgart the week after the French Open (one of many cancelled this year).
              Last edited by J Rorick; 10-12-2020, 06:34 PM.

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              • Originally posted by bambam1729 View Post

                As noted in a previous post I did, clay is not really a minority surface. Grass is the true minority surface. In the Masters1000 events, the second most important for men, 6 are on hardcourts (now), and 3 are on clay - 0 on grass. Of the 4 European Masters 1000 events, 3 are on clay (Rome, Madrid, Monte Carlo). So of the 13 most important events for men, the count is:

                Hardcourt 8
                Clay 4
                Grass 1
                ATP Finals (indoor hardcourt) is more important than any of the Masters 1000 events. (Federer has six ATP Finals titles. Djokovic has five and Nadal has zero.) So out of the 14 most important events.

                Hardcourt 9.
                Clay 4.
                Grass 1.

                I see hardcourt as a "neutral" surface" that does not favor any particular style of play. There are players who struggle on clay, and there are those who struggle on grass. (And some struggle on both.) But there are hardly any player who struggles on hardcourt. (Before anyone mentions Borg, I don't think his problem with the US Open was about the surface. He could not win when it was played on clay in 1975-77). Therefore, I think it is the most competitive surface.

                Here is another way to compare the Big Three by using T&F's "You are as good as your second best mark" standard.

                Federer without Wimbledon 12.
                Nadal without Roland Garros 7.
                Djokovic without Aussie Open 9.

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                • Originally posted by bambam1729 View Post

                  Maybe compared to Nadal, they are mediocre, but Djokovic is likely the 2nd best player in the world on clay, and Federer probably still the 4th best (after Thiem)
                  Actually, Federer lost in 4 RG finals, all to Nadal, and also lost two RG semis to him. If Rafa didn't exist, Federer's record in Paris would be comparable to other GS events.
                  Last edited by Powell; 10-12-2020, 10:08 PM.
                  Było smaszno, a jaszmije smukwijne...

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                  • Originally posted by Powell View Post

                    Actually, Federer lost in 4 RG finals, all to Nadal, and also lost two RG semis to him. If Rafa didn't exist, Federer's record in Paris would be comparable to other GS events.
                    Same with Djokovic, who's lost 3 finals and 3 semis (and one quarter-final) to Nadal. If Nadal didn't exist, we might view both of them as all-time greats even on clay.

                    But... Nadal does exist.

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                    • Federer has 11 (1,4,4,2) runner-up finishes at Grand Slam tournaments, Nadal 8 (4,0,3,1) and Djokovic 10 (0,4,1,5).

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                      • I know that 'age is just a number', but Fed is 39, Nadal 34 and Djo 33. I think in 5 years we may have a much clearer picture, but I suspect that Djokovic may be on top (if he can tamp his temper down a bit), and not just because he's the youngest.

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                        • The greatest tennis "player" has to be Gonzalez with 6 marriages!

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                          • Originally posted by user4 View Post
                            The greatest tennis "player" has to be Gonzalez with 6 marriages!
                            There are some who thought (many years ago) that Pancho Gonzalez at his best may have been the greatest player ever. His statistics don't match up because he did most of his best tennis in the barnstorming professional era.

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                            • I think when looking at stats trying to determine who's the GOAT and they provide no clear answer then ask a simple question. If the fate of the world was at stake and I needed one match to save it who do I want playing. Out of the three I'd take Nadal.

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                              • Originally posted by LopenUupunut View Post
                                Same with Djokovic, who's lost 3 finals and 3 semis (and one quarter-final) to Nadal. If Nadal didn't exist, we might view both of them as all-time greats even on clay.

                                But... Nadal does exist.
                                Obviously he does. My point is Federer and Djokovic are not mediocre on clay by any stretch of imagination. They're clearly the best players of this era on the surface behind Nadal, even if it's a long way behind.
                                Było smaszno, a jaszmije smukwijne...

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