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Who is the greatest tennis player of all time?

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  • jazzcyclist
    replied
    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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  • Atticus
    replied
    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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  • TN1965
    replied
    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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  • jazzcyclist
    replied
    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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  • bambam1729
    replied
    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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  • Atticus
    replied
    Laver and Emerson are the only two to win 2 titles in each of the 4 majors.

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  • TN1965
    replied
    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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  • bambam1729
    replied
    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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  • Atticus
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • jazzcyclist
    replied
    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.

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  • bambam1729
    replied
    Originally posted by Per Andersen View Post
    Ok, So Tilden is in there but where to we put Don Budge?
    Good point

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  • Per Andersen
    replied
    Ok, So Tilden is in there but where to we put Don Budge?

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  • Atticus
    replied
    Originally posted by bambam1729 View Post
    I agree with Per - here's my top 10 in order
    1 Laver
    2 Federer
    3 Nadal
    4 Tilden
    5 Djokovic
    6 Gonzales
    7 Sampras
    8 Borg
    9 Rosewall
    X Connors
    I'm close:
    1. Laver
    2. Federer
    3. Tilden
    4. Djolovic
    5. Sampras
    6. Nadal
    7. Borg

    that's where ai lose clarity . . .

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  • bambam1729
    replied
    Originally posted by Per Andersen View Post
    I still go Laver, Federer, Nadal in that order. Rosewall never won Wimbledon, Borg and Lew Hoad never won the US Open, Sampras, McEnroe and Connors never won at Roland Garros (Chang did) Djokovic needs to get his head together. Too much stuff going on with him right now. He needs to focus more like Nadal.
    I agree with Per - here's my top 10 in order

    1 Laver
    2 Federer
    3 Nadal
    4 Tilden
    5 Djokovic
    6 Gonzales
    7 Sampras
    8 Borg
    9 Rosewall
    X Connors

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  • Trickstat
    replied
    Originally posted by jazzcyclist View Post
    Even in T&F and swimming hardware is a better measuring stick than the clock lest we believe that Bolt was 0.47s better than Hayes in the 100 and Phelps was 10s better than Spitz in the 200.
    Yes, times and distances have to be considered relative to their era. If you greatly improve the WR and/or hold it for a long time then that marks you out as particularly outstanding.

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