JG's Top 20 Players Ever - MensTennisForums.com
View Poll Results: How accurate was I?
5/5- Almost 100% spot on, Mr. Groove. I may switch a few around here or there, but good work 68 18.18%
4/5- More or less. I disagree with a few, but not bad at all 158 42.25%
3/5- Hmmmm, I dunno. Some look a bit dicey, mate 54 14.44%
2/5- Are you nuts? Why is X player in Y position? You are completely dissing Z player! 19 5.08%
1/5- Are you high and or drunk? WTF?!?!?! 75 20.05%
Voters: 374. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 1798 (permalink) Old 07-06-2011, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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JG's Top 20 Players Ever

Ok, now that Rafa has won 16 slams, and my good friend @Slasher1985 is getting some heat for his very well done and researched thread that I hope he continues. He is a real tennis fan and great asset to the board. I especially love his work sub top 100 top like 500 or more, that is just excellent work, beyond excellent work.

Now, that being said. I wanted to bring back my thread. While I love Slasher's thread, I myself as a tennis fan feel that certain other statistics should be valued differently than he does. Our lists will be for the most part the same, with only minor shuffles here and there. However, my presentation will differ.

Most important stats: Slams (Amateur and pro), Time spent at World #1 (YE as well as weeks, and in some cases estimated weeks where several players shared #1 for the year, each received a certain number less than the whole), Other big titles like YEC and Olympics and Davis Cup, then we have streaks by surface, by slam, longevity records, title records by surface and overall, total career W-L record, and anything else you want to add. Perhaps Head 2 Head if everything else is so close. In every player I will post both their career highs as well as blemishes.

Slams

1. Ken Rosewall- 23 slams
2. Rod Laver- 19 slams
3. Roger Federer- 19 slams
4. Rafael Nadal- 16 slams
5. Bill Tilden- 15 slams
6. Pancho Gonzales- 14 slams
7. Pete Sampras- 14 slams
8. Novak Djokovic- 12 slams
9. Roy Emerson- 12 slams
10. Bjorn Borg- 11 slams
11. Henri Cochet- 11 slams
12. Don Budge- 10 slams
13. Fred Perry- 10 slams
14. Frank Sedgman- 8 slams
15. Andre Agassi- 8 slams
16. Jimmy Connors- 8 slams
17. John McEnroe- 7 slams
18. Ellsworth Vines- 7 slams
19. Rene Lacoste- 7 slams
20. Tony Trabert- 7 slams
21. John Newcombe- 7 slams
22. Mats Wilander- 7 slams

Time Spent as World #1

1. Pancho Gonzales- 364 weeks, 7 YE #1
2. Bill Tilden- 330 weeks, 6 YE #1
3. Don Budge- 313 weeks, 5 YE #1
4. Roger Federer- 302 weeks, 5 YE #1
5. Pete Sampras- 286 Weeks, 6 YE #1
6. Rod Laver- 277 weeks, 5 YE #1
7. Ivan Lendl- 270 weeks, 4 YE #1
8. Ken Rosewall- 242 weeks, 4 YE #1
9. Jack Kramer- 234 weeks, 4 YE #1
10. Novak Djokovic- 223 weeks, 4 YE #1
11. Jimmy Conndors- 216 weeks, 3 YE #1
12. John McEnroe- 170 weeks, 4 YE #1
13. Henri Cochet- 166 weeks, 3 YE #1
14. Bjorn Borg- 161 weeks, 3 YE #1
15. Ellsworth Vines- 157, 3 YE #1
16. Bobby Riggs- 150 weeks, 3 YE #1
17. Rafael Nadal- 144 weeks, 3 YE #1
18. Fred Perry- 120 weeks, 3 YE #1
19. Rene Lacoste- 104 weeks, 2 YE #1
20. Andre Agassi 101 weeks, 1 YE #1

So there you have the top 20 of all time in terms of slams and #1

@MWW , or another mod, any way to move my thread back into GM?
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post #2 of 1798 (permalink) Old 07-06-2011, 09:31 PM
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Re: Professor Johnny Groove's Top 55 tennis players of all time (a history lesson)

No Djokovic?

Why Emerson so low?
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post #3 of 1798 (permalink) Old 07-06-2011, 09:31 PM
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Re: Professor Johnny Groove's Top 55 tennis players of all time (a history lesson)

strange criteria...
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post #4 of 1798 (permalink) Old 07-06-2011, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Professor Johnny Groove's Top 55 tennis players of all time (a history lesson)

My bad, I must have missed him.

#43 for Djokovic.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rod Laver
We all choke. That’s all right. We’re not machines. What you have to learn is to accept that fact and not panic. It’s the panic that loses the matches, not the nerves.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Player
The harder you try, the luckier you get.
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post #5 of 1798 (permalink) Old 07-06-2011, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Professor Johnny Groove's Top 55 tennis players of all time (a history lesson)

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Originally Posted by xdrewitdajx View Post
strange criteria...
Oh?

What more criteria should I have included?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rod Laver
We all choke. That’s all right. We’re not machines. What you have to learn is to accept that fact and not panic. It’s the panic that loses the matches, not the nerves.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Player
The harder you try, the luckier you get.
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post #6 of 1798 (permalink) Old 07-06-2011, 09:33 PM
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Re: Professor Johnny Groove's Top 55 tennis players of all time (a history lesson)

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No Djokovic?

Why Emerson so low?
Number 43.

The current greatness league of active players in order of achievements to date (a factual comparison rather than fan biased assessment):

Federer 19 GS, 6 Year End Masters, 26 Master Series.
Nadal 15 GS, 30 Master Series, 1 Olympic Gold.
Djokovic 12 GS, 5 Year End Masters, 30 Master Series.


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post #7 of 1798 (permalink) Old 07-06-2011, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Professor Johnny Groove's Top 55 tennis players of all time (a history lesson)

Emerson may have won 12 slams, but he played on the amateur tour in the 60's when all the best were on the pro tour. Emerson before Laver, Rosewall, etc. went pro in the early 60's was a 2nd fiddle to them, and in the open era again didn't measure up to those guys.

Jack Kramer in 1979, his autobiography did not include Emerson in his top 21, while he did include guys like Ashe, Connors, and Borg.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rod Laver
We all choke. That’s all right. We’re not machines. What you have to learn is to accept that fact and not panic. It’s the panic that loses the matches, not the nerves.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Player
The harder you try, the luckier you get.
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post #8 of 1798 (permalink) Old 07-06-2011, 09:42 PM
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Re: Professor Johnny Groove's Top 55 tennis players of all time (a history lesson)

Great work, very impressive. Quite moving reading about the life stories of some of the very old champions, even if I'm unsure about their ranking (I hate present-tards, but pre-Wilding and pretty much pre-Tilden the game was very localized & amateur).

I'll leave caveats for later.

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post #9 of 1798 (permalink) Old 07-06-2011, 09:45 PM
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Re: Professor Johnny Groove's Top 55 tennis players of all time (a history lesson)

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Oh?

What more criteria should I have included?
just seems a bit heavy on the "historical" aspect, and even then I can't figure out why some are ranked the way they are, based on reading the summaries of their careers. Jack kramer, for example...I feel like he's ranked as high as he is more because of a "what if his career hadn't been cut short" than anything else. I don't see why he'd be ahead of a lot of other players, honestly. I admittedly know very little about him so I'm going by your summary.


edit: I should mention that despite maybe not understanding or agreeing with some of the ranks, I really enjoyed the top 25 list, it's interesting reading about some of the older players I don't know much about. The effort is certainly appreciated!
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post #10 of 1798 (permalink) Old 07-06-2011, 09:58 PM
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Re: Professor Johnny Groove's Top 55 tennis players of all time (a history lesson)

4.5/5, good job

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post #11 of 1798 (permalink) Old 07-06-2011, 10:02 PM
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Re: Professor Johnny Groove's Top 55 tennis players of all time (a history lesson)

Holy Moses ! Love it.

I already gave some comments on the other thread (similar to what Sophocles said here). I won't repeat that.

But I would say why no mention of the World Hardcourt Championship (on clay, 1910-1923) in the criteria? Roland-Garros was reserved to members of French Club at that time. The WHC in Saint-Cloud, Paris or once in Brussel is a good substitute. It was played like a present-day Grand Slam (D128, all best of five) and no challenge round like in Wimbledon. Wilding, Tilden and Cochet won it.

There was also a World Indoor Championship but on TWH they argued it wasn't as prestigious as the name suggests.

Also, I think we should take the World Series of the Pro Tour (from the thirties to 1963) into account. The Major Pros were really important in the sixties.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xdrewitdajx
just seems a bit heavy on the "historical" aspect, and even then I can't figure out why some are ranked the way they are, based on reading the summaries of their careers. Jack kramer, for example...I feel like he's ranked as high as he is more because of a "what if his career hadn't been cut short" than anything else. I don't see why he'd be ahead of a lot of other players, honestly. I admittedly know very little about him so I'm going by your summary.
Jack Kramer was the best pro before Gonzales came up. So said Frank Sedgman for example. In 1950 he destroyed Gonzales in the World Series. Some 90 match wins to 30 (something like that).
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post #12 of 1798 (permalink) Old 07-06-2011, 10:09 PM
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Re: Professor Johnny Groove's Top 55 tennis players of all time (a history lesson)

Very cool summaries of the old champions. Good to know Fatbandian is Ellsworth Vines's reincarnation
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post #13 of 1798 (permalink) Old 07-06-2011, 10:09 PM
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Re: Professor Johnny Groove's Top 55 tennis players of all time (a history lesson)

Got a lot of time on your hand. You should start a blog.

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post #14 of 1798 (permalink) Old 07-06-2011, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Professor Johnny Groove's Top 55 tennis players of all time (a history lesson)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sophocles View Post
Great work, very impressive. Quite moving reading about the life stories of some of the very old champions, even if I'm unsure about their ranking (I hate present-tards, but pre-Wilding and pretty much pre-Tilden the game was very localized & amateur).

I'll leave caveats for later.
Thanks, mate, always interesting to read your posts as well.

Even so with the localization and amateurization of the pre-Wilding and pre-Tilden game, I just had to give some love to guys like Larned, Renshaw, and the Dohertys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xdrewitdajx View Post
just seems a bit heavy on the "historical" aspect, and even then I can't figure out why some are ranked the way they are, based on reading the summaries of their careers. Jack kramer, for example...I feel like he's ranked as high as he is more because of a "what if his career hadn't been cut short" than anything else. I don't see why he'd be ahead of a lot of other players, honestly. I admittedly know very little about him so I'm going by your summary.


edit: I should mention that despite maybe not understanding or agreeing with some of the ranks, I really enjoyed the top 25 list, it's interesting reading about some of the older players I don't know much about. The effort is certainly appreciated!
Jack Kramer was a king for a few years, and Echoes' post says the rest.

And thank you

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4.5/5, good job
Thank you

Quote:
Originally Posted by Echoes View Post
Holy Moses ! Love it.

I already gave some comments on the other thread (similar to what Sophocles said here). I won't repeat that.

But I would say why no mention of the World Hardcourt Championship (on clay, 1910-1923) in the criteria? Roland-Garros was reserved to members of French Club at that time. The WHC in Saint-Cloud, Paris or once in Brussel is a good substitute. It was played like a present-day Grand Slam (D128, all best of five) and no challenge round like in Wimbledon. Wilding, Tilden and Cochet won it.

There was also a World Indoor Championship but on TWH they argued it wasn't as prestigious as the name suggests.

Also, I think we should take the World Series of the Pro Tour (from the thirties to 1963) into account. The Major Pros were really important in the sixties.

Jack Kramer was the best pro before Gonzales came up. So said Frank Sedgman for example. In 1950 he destroyed Gonzales in the World Series. Some 90 match wins to 30 (something like that).
Always good to hear your insight.

Yes RG didn't open up until 1925, and the World Hard Court Championships, ironically held on clay court, did serve as a substitute French Open for a time.

What is this World Series of the Pro Tour?

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Magician View Post
Very cool summaries of the old champions. Good to know Fatbandian is Ellsworth Vines's reincarnation
Ha! If Nalbandian had 7 slams and was #1 for a few years, maybe More similar to Safinish.

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Not really, this took several weeks to do

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rod Laver
We all choke. That’s all right. We’re not machines. What you have to learn is to accept that fact and not panic. It’s the panic that loses the matches, not the nerves.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Player
The harder you try, the luckier you get.
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post #15 of 1798 (permalink) Old 07-06-2011, 10:54 PM
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Re: Professor Johnny Groove's Top 55 tennis players of all time (a history lesson)

Needs pictures

Good work, though I don't agree with all the placements at least all the information is now right here for people to see. Anything informative and relevant like this is a great thing for MTF, the more threads like this the better. Maybe just add an abbreviated set of stats for the top 50, just GS and rankings.
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