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Who is the greatest tennis player of all time?

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  • Originally posted by jazzcyclist View Post
    Laver won the Grand Slam twice but as bambam pointed out, he never faced anyone of the caliber of "Fedalovic"
    A fallacy of this sort of argument is that the 'present' is always superior to the past. Another era had Connors, Borg and McEnroe going at each other. Just because they didn't amass the GS numbers this trio did doesn't mean that each wasn't awesome at his best and 'ruined' each other's chances at GOATness.

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    • Originally posted by jazzcyclist View Post
      Laver won the Grand Slam twice but as bambam pointed out, he never faced anyone of the caliber of "Fedalovic". Would he have won the Grand Slam if he had faced players of that caliber? Conversely, how many times would Federer, Nadal or Djokovic have won the Grand Slam if they didn't have to face each other? Also, how many total Grand Slams would Nadal have if not for his multitude of injuries? It's amazing that he hasn't been demoralized into retirement. Certainly most athletes would have.
      About five years ago, a colleague I know who takes care of the pro tennis tour players told me he couldn't believe Nadal was still playing with his knees. That was, as I said, 5 years ago.

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      • Originally posted by Per Andersen View Post
        Ok, So Tilden is in there but where to we put Don Budge?
        Budge suffered a shoulder injury while serving in the military, and was never the same player after that. Still, I think he was one of the all-time greats. He won two pro majors a year after winning the amateur Grand Slam. This is contrasting to what Laver experienced in 1963.


        1. Laver.
        2. Federer.
        3. Rosewall.
        4. Nadal.
        5. Gonzales.
        6. Djokovic.
        7. Sampras.
        8. Tilden.
        9. Budge.
        !0. Borg.

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        • Laver and Emerson are the only two to win 2 titles in each of the 4 majors.

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          • Couple things we haven't mentioned (not much actually)

            Laver won both Grand Slams on very different surfaces than what they now play - back then it was 3 grass (Australia, Wimbledon, US) and 1 clay (Roland Garros)

            Connors never won a Grand Slam, but ... 1974 he had one of the greatest years ever - won Australia, Wimbledon, and US Open and was not allowed to play at Roland Garros because he had played World Team Tennis and there was some petty pro sports organizing debate over that so they denied his entry. He was very dominant that year and would have been a strong favorite to win that. Connors also uniquely won the US Open on three different surfaces - it was grass until the mid-70s, then played on clay for a few years (?4), and then switched to its current location at Flushing Meadows and hardcourts.
            Last edited by bambam1729; 10-16-2020, 07:35 PM.

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            • Originally posted by Atticus View Post

              A fallacy of this sort of argument is that the 'present' is always superior to the past. Another era had Connors, Borg and McEnroe going at each other. Just because they didn't amass the GS numbers this trio did doesn't mean that each wasn't awesome at his best and 'ruined' each other's chances at GOATness.
              Is this a serious argument? FYI, McConborg won 26 Grand Slam titles between them. Fedalovic have already won 57 and are still counting. The former had 5 runner-up finishes and the latter 29.
              Last edited by jazzcyclist; 10-16-2020, 08:35 PM.

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              • Connors played Australian Open twice. He did not play in France for five years of his prime. (After that WTT debacle in 1974, skipped the tournament for four years. Maybe it did not matter because he would not have beaten Borg anyway.)

                Borg played in Australia only once. He did not play in 1977 French Open because of contract dispute similar to Connors in 1974.

                McEnroe did not play in Australia until 1983, and then skipped the 1984 Australian Open.

                Lendl was probably the first top player who consistently played all four majors throughout his prime. (He skipped French Open in 1990 and 1991 to focus on Wimbledon.) And he was probably the first player in history to try to win as many Grand Slam titles as he could.

                But of course, judging the past based on the contemporary standard is a very popular practice.

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                • Originally posted by jazzcyclist View Post
                  Is this a serious argument? FYI, McConborg won 26 Grand Slam titles between them. Fedalovic have already won 57 and are still counting. The former had 5 runner-up finishes and the latter 29.
                  You're still missing the obvious. The level of competition varies from era to era, but the fact is that right now, 3 men stand head and shoulders about the rest. In previous eras the competition was more even, i.e., it was harder to dominate. You can't simply compare one era's objective talent depth; you can only do it relatively.

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                  • Originally posted by Atticus View Post
                    You're still missing the obvious. The level of competition varies from era to era, but the fact is that right now, 3 men stand head and shoulders about the rest. In previous eras the competition was more even, i.e., it was harder to dominate. You can't simply compare one era's objective talent depth; you can only do it relatively.
                    I get it. It's the old Michael-Jordan-Was-A-Giant-Among-Pygmies argument and I reject it.

                    You might have a point if you're talking about an athlete dominating in an immature sport or an immature event such as Stacy Dragila, but in this case, we're talking about athletes from two eras of a mature sport and there's no reason to believe the sport has regressed. Now, if you were talking about Margaret Court . . . .
                    Last edited by jazzcyclist; 10-16-2020, 09:47 PM.

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                    • Originally posted by Atticus View Post
                      Laver and Emerson are the only two to win 2 titles in each of the 4 majors.
                      This is almost meaningless trivia. Emerson won 10 of his 12 Grand Slam titles when neither Laver nor Rosewall was allowed to play. And Laver won the first of his two Roland Garros titles when Rosewall was banned.

                      It's like winning the gold medal in 400mH when Moses was not allowed to compete. (And I can tell you I don't even remember who won in Moscow.)

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                      • Originally posted by TN1965 View Post
                        This is almost meaningless trivia. Emerson won 10 of his 12 Grand Slam titles when neither Laver nor Rosewall was allowed to play. And Laver won the first of his two Roland Garros titles when Rosewall was banned.
                        it was intended to point out a significant fact about the MODERN era. None of today's Top 3 can claim it.

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                        • The level of knowledge of tennis among you guys is off the charts. The senior track fan stands head and shoulders above all other sports fans in breadth of sports knowledge.

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                          • Agree with you User 4. As a long-time tennis fan (2nd only to T&F), I've disagreed with some of the above opinions, but only mildly. And they're mostly superior to the opinions/arguments you find on the ATP or WTA chatlines (actually comments to website articles).

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                            • Originally posted by TN1965 View Post
                              Budge suffered a shoulder injury while serving in the military, and was never the same player after that. Still, I think he was one of the all-time greats. He won two pro majors a year after winning the amateur Grand Slam. This is contrasting to what Laver experienced in 1963.


                              1. Laver.
                              2. Federer.
                              3. Rosewall.
                              4. Nadal.
                              5. Gonzales.
                              6. Djokovic.
                              7. Sampras.
                              8. Tilden.
                              9. Budge.
                              !0. Borg.
                              It's hard to do this ranking but I just can't see Rosewall as third when Lew Hoad is not even in the top 10. When Hoad turned pro after the 1957 season he had the series with Gonzales and had had him on the ropes, was leading when the his back gave out and unfortunately he was never the same. Thinking back I think Gonzales also had problems against Jack Kramer.

                              One thing about Roy Emerson, he was quite an athlete. His Long Jump best was about 24-8.


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                              • Originally posted by TN1965 View Post
                                This is almost meaningless trivia. Emerson won 10 of his 12 Grand Slam titles when neither Laver nor Rosewall was allowed to play. And Laver won the first of his two Roland Garros titles when Rosewall was banned.

                                It's like winning the gold medal in 400mH when Moses was not allowed to compete. (And I can tell you I don't even remember who won in Moscow.)
                                Volker Beck

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