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post #371 of (permalink) Old 01-02-2012, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Professor Johnny Groove's Top 55 tennis players of all time (Djokovic up to #31)

Originally Posted by Ash86 View Post
I'm not saying he doesn't have records - I'm saying Nadal's are more impressive - 81 wins on clay; 4 consecutive RGs; at least a Grand Slam & a Masters a year since 2005; record number of Masters; only man to win 3 slams on 3 different surfaces in a calendar year; only man to win same tournament 7 years in a row & a Masters at that. Factoring in who he was playing in those Masters tournaments and the fact that Federer & Djokovic have been two of his biggest rivals at the semi-finals & finals stage I think a lot of those records will look even better in retrospect.

I can see an argument for Lendl - it's all subjective after all - but just saying that focusing purely on no. of slams; no. of total tournaments etc. fails to take account of the overall impressiveness of a career which records such as this add to. I'd be interested in how many pros & journalists would put Lendl above Nadal? Nadal to me is Tier 1 with Laver; Sampras; Federer & Borg - or certainly very much on the cusp of it. One more slam, equal with Borg, cements Nadal as Tier 1. Lendl can't ever reach that level. For all those reasons to me Nadal leapfrogs Lendl - impressive though both careers are.
Lendl and Nadal are very close, clearly. Nadal I think if he gets his 11th slam this year and gets back to #1, It'll be tough for me to keep him behind Lendl, and if he wins 2 slams this year, maybe Rafa leapfrogs Borg as well into the #8 spot.

Originally Posted by finishingmove View Post
Nadal: 10 slams
Lendl: 8 slams

Nadal has 25% more slams than Lendl.
Not all about slams, mate. Lendl shits on Nadal in tons of other records. However, if Rafa wins the AO, I may have to reconsider.

Originally Posted by DLobb View Post
Hoad's record was uneven due to recurrent back problems.
However, when his back was holding up, his record was extraordinary.
When he started his tour against Gonzales in 1958, he took the best-of-five-sets portion of the tour 8 matches to five, and led the grinding American portion of the tour 21 to 10 before his back seized up.
In 1959, he built up a lead against Gonzales of 15 to 3 in matches before his back acted up, and Gonzales won the last ten matches, making the final score 15 to 13 for Hoad. For 1959 as a whole, Hoad finished with a 23 to 21 edge against Gonzales, and won the most prestigious tournament at Forest Hills by defeating both Gonzales and Rosewall in four set matches.
Hoad won three major pro tournaments, the 1958 Kooyong Australian Pro (defeating Gonzales in the decider), the 1959 Forest Hills (defeating Gonzales in the decider), and the 1960 Kooyong Australian Pro (defeating Rosewall in a marathon final). The Kooyong professional event was more prestigious than the White City at Sydney.
In the 1963 Australian tour against Laver, Hoad won the most important match at Kooyong at 6 to 3 in the fifth set, and the next day Laver defeated Rosewall on the same court by out-hitting him in four sets. (Rosewall dropped two matches on that tour to Laver, while Hoad went 13 to 0 against Laver.)
In 1964, when Hoad was past his peak, he won a twelve match round-robin tour of New Zealand against Laver (2nd), Rosewall (3rd), and Anderson (4th). That year Hoad's foot was injured, requiring surgery to remove a large toe.
In 1967, Hoad returned from retirement to outlast Gonzales in a marathon 3 set match at the Wimbledon Pro, in what is regarded as the best match of that famous tournament.
Even without open tennis, the calibre of opposition Hoad faced was consistently high, and more challenging than the average fare on the pro circuit today.
Hmmm, are you arguing Lew Hoad to be higher than #44 on the list?

Hoad at his best was the greatest, even according to Pancho Gonzales himself. But Hoad was too inconsistent. Back issues, yes, but also some lack of interest in the game, despite huge talent.

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