There aren't that many players in MEN's tennis that has been #1 without winning at least 1 slam.
Many more that has won slams or been in slam finals without ever being close to #1 aren't there?
#1 is actually a better "quality" guarantee. Harder to fluke #1 as the system works, than to fluke slams like the infamous one slam wonders who sometimes haven't even been in the top3 even
So I guess even in GOAT debate #1 should be seen as more difficult. Got a harder time seeing someone passing Federers weeks at nr1 than passing federers 17 slams.
slams you only need to be awesome for 4 tournaments a year. To hold #1 you need to be awesome all season. So in theory #1 has more prestige to it
The only #1 who didn't win a slam since the dawn of computer rankings in 1973 is Rios.
You think Federer's 299 and counting weeks are a better record than 17 slams? I don't. I think someone else will reach 299 weeks as #1 before someone else wins 17 slams (regardless of any later Fed improvements). After all, Sampras and Lendl are not that far back - ca. 4,5% for Sampras and 10% for Lendl. The difference %-wise to #2 an #3 in slam wins are much greater - 17,5% to Sampras and 35% to Borg/Laver/Nadal. Nadal is exceptional in having so many slams for so "few" weeks as #1 (Borg has similar numbers, but as we know he was cheated by the system and should have had more). I don't think the next double-digit slam winner will have been stuck at #2 for four years.