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Who is the greatest tennis player of all time?

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  • user4
    replied
    Originally posted by TN1965 View Post
    You forgot Emmo, who beat Laver twice in major finals in 1961 before Laver turned the table next year. (And Emmo went on to win ten more majors in five years after Laver turned pro.)
    The depth of knowledge on this forum is frightening, .. i had to do a search to find out what/who exactly "Emmo" meant. Sure enough it was shorthand for Roy Emerson.. (I perform this service for the countless uninitiated that read these threads, dont thank me, thank you)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Emerson

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...r_915-3864.jpg

    I have to say, I watched a few videos of these guys, what stuck out to me was the incredible quickness across the court of Laver. He moved effortlessly and very quickly.
    Last edited by user4; 10-15-2020, 02:13 PM.

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  • jazzcyclist
    replied
    Originally posted by Atticus View Post
    You are confusing rivals with peers. He had plenty of great rivals, just no peers (though Rosewall was superb). It'd be like downgrading Phelps because no one could beat him. No one could beat him because he was the GOAT.
    I'm not going to get into a silly game of semantics when I'm pretty certain you and other folks here understand what I'm talking about. Phelps may be the GOAT but he also has a body of work that Laver doesn't due to the era he played in. Laver is more comparable to Jesse Owens than he is to Phelps or Usain Bolt.

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  • TN1965
    replied
    Well, Emmo was certainly more noteworthy than Neal Fraser. (No disrespect to Fraser.)

    And I think you are underestimating Rosewall, like most other people. He was 22 when he turned pro. Two years younger than the age Laver turned pro. He was 33 when he got to play the Grand Slam again. He won a record 15 pro majors in between. I once went into a very extended argument with an Aussie guy over whether Laver or Rosewall was the GOAT (this was before Federer reached his prime). Although neither of us convinced the other, we ended up agreeing that those two were the two greatest. (Hoad was better in their amateur careers, But his back injury prevented him from matching Rosewall in pro and open careers.)

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  • bambam1729
    replied
    Originally posted by TN1965 View Post
    You forgot Emmo, who beat Laver twice in major finals in 1961 before Laver turned the table next year. (And Emmo went on to win ten more majors in five years after Laver turned pro.)

    I also disagree that Pancho and Rosewall were not at the level of the Big Three. People make a big deal about Laver missing five years of his prime to pro-am split. Rosewall missed 12, and Pancho missed 18 years of their prime. And both dominated the pre-open era pro tennis before Laver did in 1964-67.
    You're right about Emmo, but I would not put him quite on the same level as Laver, Hoad or Gonzales. Probably about equal to Rosewall.

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  • TN1965
    replied
    Originally posted by bambam1729 View Post

    Pancho Gonzales, Ken Rosewall, Lew Hoad, Neale Fraser - some pretty big names there in the all-time pantheon of tennis players. Are they at the level of Fedalovic? No, but this has never occurred before. But calling Gonzales, Rosewall and Hoad bums of the month is not even close to the truth.

    Both Gonzales and Hoad are listed as "who I would pick to play one match for Planet Earth" by other players of that era - Hoad was picked by Gonzales, and Gonzales by Jack Kramer, who knew a little bit about the pro level of play in the barnstorming era. Rosewall was an all-time great.
    You forgot Emmo, who beat Laver twice in major finals in 1961 before Laver turned the table next year. (And Emmo went on to win ten more majors in five years after Laver turned pro.)

    I also disagree that Pancho and Rosewall were not at the level of the Big Three. People make a big deal about Laver missing five years of his prime to pro-am split. Rosewall missed 12, and Pancho missed 18 years of their prime. And both dominated the pre-open era pro tennis before Laver did in 1964-67.

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  • bambam1729
    replied
    Originally posted by jazzcyclist View Post
    Am I to believe that Laver was beating up on players of the caliber of Nadal, Federer and Djokovic?
    Pancho Gonzales, Ken Rosewall, Lew Hoad, Neale Fraser - some pretty big names there in the all-time pantheon of tennis players. Are they at the level of Fedalovic? No, but this has never occurred before. But calling Gonzales, Rosewall and Hoad bums of the month is not even close to the truth.

    Both Gonzales and Hoad are listed as "who I would pick to play one match for Planet Earth" by other players of that era - Hoad was picked by Gonzales, and Gonzales by Jack Kramer, who knew a little bit about the pro level of play in the barnstorming era. Rosewall was an all-time great.

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  • user4
    replied
    Originally posted by jazzcyclist View Post
    ...For example, Mike Tyson didn't have the great rivals that Muhammad Ali did. ..
    Actually the list opponents that Mike Tyson faced is truly astounding. One of the biggest baddest crops of HWs in the best eras of HW boxing was dominated by the 5-10 tall 220lb Iron Mike. At his best, there was simply nothing ever quite like him.

    https://boxrec.com/en/proboxer/474

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  • Atticus
    replied
    Originally posted by jazzcyclist View Post
    You misunderstood my point. First of all, individual sports like tennis, boxing, golf and T&F are different than team sports. Second, it has nothing to do with the era he played in, it's just the fact that the legacy of athletes is enhanced when they are fortunate enough to come along at a time when there are great rivals. For example, Mike Tyson didn't have the great rivals that Muhammad Ali did. Chris Evert had Martina Navratilova. It's been said many times that Steffi Graf's legacy would be greater if Monica Seles hadn't been stabbed. Delilah Muhammad benefits by the presence of Sydney McLaughlin. Am I to believe that Laver was beating up on players of the caliber of Nadal, Federer and Djokovic?
    You are confusing rivals with peers. He had plenty of great rivals, just no peers (though Rosewall was superb). It'd be like downgrading Phelps because no one could beat him. No one could beat him because he was the GOAT.
    Last edited by Atticus; 10-14-2020, 04:37 PM.

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  • jazzcyclist
    replied
    Originally posted by bambam1729 View Post

    Oh, cmon, Jazz - by that reasoning, Oscar Robertson, Bill Russell, Jimmy Brown, and Johnny Unitas weren't any good - they were playing their sports in the same era as Rod Laver.
    You misunderstood my point. First of all, individual sports like tennis, boxing, golf and T&F are different than team sports. Second, it has nothing to do with the era he played in, it's just the fact that the legacy of athletes is enhanced when they are fortunate enough to come along at a time when there are great rivals. For example, Mike Tyson didn't have the great rivals that Muhammad Ali did. Chris Evert had Martina Navratilova. It's been said many times that Steffi Graf's legacy would be greater if Monica Seles hadn't been stabbed. Delilah Muhammad benefits by the presence of Sydney McLaughlin. Am I to believe that Laver was beating up on players of the caliber of Nadal, Federer and Djokovic?

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  • Atticus
    replied
    Originally posted by jazzcyclist View Post
    Yep, they were all Open 400 rejects.
    I hope you were being facetious, otherwise your command of not-so-distant track history is sorely lacking.
    If you actually see it that way, that makes Warholm a non-entity too.
    What a coincidence that for nine years, nine months and nine days, all the other 400Hers were . . . bums.

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  • jazzcyclist
    replied
    Originally posted by Atticus View Post
    And you know they were all bums, how? I guess that makes all of Moses's opponents in his 100+ streak bums too.
    Yep, they were all Open 400 rejects.

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  • bambam1729
    replied
    Originally posted by jazzcyclist View Post

    That may count for something to you but playing in the era of the bum-of-the-month club doesn't count for squat to me.
    Oh, cmon, Jazz - by that reasoning, Oscar Robertson, Bill Russell, Jimmy Brown, and Johnny Unitas weren't any good - they were playing their sports in the same era as Rod Laver.

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  • bambam1729
    replied
    Originally posted by jazzcyclist View Post

    I watched that entire match.Epic is the right word.
    Yes, it was. Rivalled by the 2012 Australian Open final between Djokovic and Nadal (Djoker won) and the 1980 Wimbledon final between Borg and McEnroe

    And all strain to reach the greatest ever, that none of us saw, the 1937 Davis Cup Inter-Zone final match between Don Budge and Baron Gottfried von Cramm. If anyone wants to read a truly great sports book, get "A Terrible Splendor" by Marshall Jon Fisher, which is about that match. So much back story - von Cramm was gay, the Nazis knew it, but put up with him, because he was the 2nd best tennis player in the world. Before the match, von Cramm received a call from Hitler telling him he had to win for Germany, and von Cramm probably knew what that meant, given his lifestyle. Amazing story.

    I think the 2nd best tennis book ever, after John McPhee's unrivalled "Levels of the Game" describing the 1968 US Open semi-final match between Arthur Ashe and Clark Graebner. Jon Wertheim, Sports Illustrated writer, also wrote an excellent book about the 2008 Wimbledon final between Nadal and Federer - "Strokes of Genius"

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  • Atticus
    replied
    Originally posted by jazzcyclist View Post
    That may count for something to you but playing in the era of the bum-of-the-month club doesn't count for squat to me.
    And you know they were all bums, how? I guess that makes all of Moses's opponents in his 100+ streak bums too.

    Leave a comment:


  • jazzcyclist
    replied
    Originally posted by 502CD View Post

    Surface doesn't matter. Look at the epic 2008 Wimbledon on Federer's surface. Both couldn't play much better quality tennis and yet still when it was absolutely needed at the end it was Nadal who rose and took it.
    I watched that entire match.Epic is the right word.

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