Rafa should DEFINITELY be ahead of Wilander, Edberg, and Becker. Why?
1. Rafa has six slams...the same number as Edberg and Becker; (Wilander has seven),
2. Rafa has the longest winning streak on clay (81 wins in a row)...which is the longest on any surface in history. He is arguably the best clay court player of all time...at least tied with Borg,
3. He has an Olympic Gold medal...which neither Wilander or Becker have (in singles),
4. He is second on the all-time Masters series list,
5. He is the ONLY player in history to be the defending champion of three slams on different surfaces at the same time (hard court, grass, and clay)---(Becker and Edberg never won a clay slam)
6. He ended the year #1 in 2008...which Becker never did,
7. He is the winner of the best match in the history of the sport, AND
8. He has a 13-7 winning head to head record against Roger Federer...possibly THE best player in history...and he took the top spot FROM him.
Emerson...debatable...the other three? No way.
1. Tied with two, less than Wilander. Doesn't make him better
2. A nice footnote, adds to his clay legacy for sure, in the grand scheme, not really.
3. Not relevant. Olympics didn't even exist before '88 and thus has very little historical value.
4. Masters series didn't exist in the prime of these guys careers.
5. Fair point.
6. Year end #1 is a very overrated statistic, but regardless Wilander got it once, Edberg twice.
7 and 8, nice footnotes; nice addition to legacy, it's addition to "greatness" is highly suspect. Nadal happens to have a game that matches up extremely well to Federer, it doesn't make him overall a greater player.
Now, as to why I ranked them greater: Wilander won 3 slams in one year, has one more slam overall, Edberg has 72 weeks at #1, Becker has far more singles titles; and perhaps most significantly all of them played in more grand slam finals than Nadal. Making a slam final is a very
big deal, in case you have forgotten.
This is of course a testament to Nadal's age, which like I said if his health holds I no doubt feel he'll surpass these, but not yet. If this year's French Open taught you anything it's to take nothing for granted.