Reasons for Federer not being the greatest ever [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Reasons for Federer not being the greatest ever

Kuhne
09-10-2007, 08:02 AM
I don't want to say Roger is the greatest ever simply because I rather wait till he retires or he is near the end of his carrer, having him say he will play the 2012 olympics in london is a great thing so I rather wait.

Still, everyone has their favorite, some say sampras, some say laver, some say borg. (thats usualy the 3 people come up with)

When asking for reasons on why these players are better than Roger, one usualy gets this responses

Sampras is the best becuase -- he has more slams than everybody else, 14. Roger, at the moment, has 12

Borg is the best because -- he was extremly dominant in both clay and grass but his greatest achievement is wining 5 wimbledons in a row.

Rod Laver is the best because -- 2 grand slams, this is hard to top

it also has to do with country of birth. a lot of americans will say Sampras, a lot of north europeans will say Borg, a lot of Australians will say Laver.


What I am trying to say is, if anybody denies Roger the title of greatest ever and instead dons it to any of these 3 players I mentioned. are they ready to face the facts when Roger breaks the record for which they are regardes the best?

in other words, Sampras fans clinch to the #14 number, saying he will allways be the best, I even heard them say Roger sucks, are they ready to admit Roger is the best ever when he passes that number? they would be contradicting themselves if they dont, as the sole reason for Sampras being called best ever is the number of slams he won and Roger will pass that number.

Rod Laver fans will say, Roger will never get 2 calendar year slams, still, one can make the case the Rocket wouldn't have won those slams if the slams were being played in 3 surfaces rather than two, Federer would already also have 2 calendar year slams in a row if it werent because he had to play the best clay court player EVER in the history of the planet in the final. twice.

With Borg one can easily say, Well, he dominated clay and grass, Roger hasnt won the french open.. this is true but Borg never won the US Open, he tried 9 times I think, Roger already won it 4 times in a row. so a case can be made there.

So, is everyone, fan of roger or hater, doesn't matter, ready to eventualy call Roger the greatest player who ever lived? as his resume seems to be at least as good (if not better) than the competition. or will many of you never give him the credit he desserves, even if he wins 5 more slams.

IF you don't think Federer is the greatest (or will become the greatest ever) could you please post who you think is the greatest ever and why?

I will start. even tho I think Roger will deserve the title, I am not ready to give it to him simply because his carreer is still going. so If I had to say I will say

best ever, Rod Laver

reason. 2 calendar year slams (even if its just 2 surfaces) means that for these 2 years, this guy was a god in tennis and everyone knelt before him

megadeth
09-10-2007, 08:13 AM
your point? all the things you said. everyone knows that already and has been discussed here like a gazillion times

Kuhne
09-10-2007, 08:46 AM
well, I wasn't here in those gazilion times, my point is I want to know who most people think the greatest ever is, and why.

Forehander
09-10-2007, 08:53 AM
I reckon Sebastien Grosjean is the greatest player of all time simply because he possesses the best forehand of all time.

Kolya
09-10-2007, 10:01 AM
Santoro is the greatest because uses both arms :p

leng jai
09-10-2007, 10:07 AM
Yawn.

Enjoy Incubus
09-10-2007, 10:10 AM
Xristos is the greatest ever.

MasturB
09-10-2007, 10:10 AM
James Blake is the greatest because it sounds like he's having rough sex when he hits his forehand.

He also has the ugliest one-hand backhand i've ever seen.

Action Jackson
09-10-2007, 10:12 AM
Jean Rene Lisnard

SadrieL
09-10-2007, 10:20 AM
Steve Darcis

Action Jackson
09-10-2007, 10:25 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKnE--CmXs0

thesupreme
09-10-2007, 10:29 AM
This post reminds me of this classic.....

"I wish i had an extra set of hands so i could give you 4 thumbs down"....Rick James (a.k.a Dave Chappele)

LeChuck
09-10-2007, 10:41 AM
Federer isn't the greatest as his achievements simply don't compare to Nalbandian's. Dave boasts the following accomplishments on his CV:
1 - He won the Sante Fe Cup this year which is the holy grail and pinnacle of tennis.
2 - He possesses a 10 match winning streak at Estoril, the tournament which is the ultimate test of a player's claycourt prowess.
3 - His rendition of 'As Long As You Love Me' by the Backstreet Boys was just as angelic and even more divine than his backhand.
4 - His donut consumption/second ratio is simply unprecedented amongst professional sportsmen.

dragons112
09-10-2007, 10:58 AM
Currently Sampras, Federer, buy this time next year, will be th ebest of all time

dragons112
09-10-2007, 10:59 AM
Federer isn't the greatest as his achievements simply don't compare to Nalbandian's. Dave boasts the following accomplishments on his CV:
1 - He won the Sante Fe Cup this year which is the holy grail and pinnacle of tennis.
2 - He possesses a 10 match winning streak at Estoril, the tournament which is the ultimate test of a player's claycourt prowess.
3 - His rendition of 'As Long As You Love Me' by the Backstreet Boys was just as angelic and even more divine than his backhand.
4 - His donut consumption/second ratio is simply unprecedented amongst professional sportsmen.


Whoever typed that is a funny person thats gold

leng jai
09-10-2007, 11:44 AM
Federer isn't the greatest as his achievements simply don't compare to Nalbandian's. Dave boasts the following accomplishments on his CV:
1 - He won the Sante Fe Cup this year which is the holy grail and pinnacle of tennis.
2 - He possesses a 10 match winning streak at Estoril, the tournament which is the ultimate test of a player's claycourt prowess.
3 - His rendition of 'As Long As You Love Me' by the Backstreet Boys was just as angelic and even more divine than his backhand.
4 - His donut consumption/second ratio is simply unprecedented amongst professional sportsmen.

Game. Set. Match.

Adler
09-10-2007, 12:05 PM
- not winning THE GS
- not winning RG
- doesn't hold the record of most consecutive finals played in a row ALONE (he ties it with Lendl)
- doesn't hold the record of most consecutive tie-breaks won (therefore Voo de Mar thinks he just sucks)
- not winning a record number of Masters Shields (he's getting closer, but he got lucky all final opponents choke)
- doesn't hold the record of most weeks as #1 (he occupy this spot for most consecutive, but hey it's a clown era)
- not winning a record number of ATP tournaments
- didn't finish as #1 more than 6 years in a row
- not winning all AMS tournaments (nobody's done it so far, but who gives a f.ck, he's supposed to be the best goddamit!)
- his backhand sucks :)

Burrow
09-10-2007, 01:46 PM
I reckon Sebastien Grosjean is the greatest player of all time simply because he possesses the best forehand of all time.

Not even close.

Burrow
09-10-2007, 01:47 PM
- not winning THE GS
- not winning RG
- doesn't hold the record of most consecutive finals played in a row ALONE (he ties it with Lendl)
- doesn't hold the record of most consecutive tie-breaks won (therefore Voo de Mar thinks he just sucks)
- not winning a record number of Masters Shields (he's getting closer, but he got lucky all final opponents choke)
- doesn't hold the record of most weeks as #1 (he occupy this spot for most consecutive, but hey it's a clown era)
- not winning a record number of ATP tournaments
- didn't finish as #1 more than 6 years in a row
- not winning all AMS tournaments (nobody's done it so far, but who gives a f.ck, he's supposed to be the best goddamit!)
- his backhand sucks :)
his backhand "sucks"

uhhh...right.

You're a fucking fool.

DeuX.cl
09-10-2007, 02:30 PM
4 - His donut consumption/second ratio is simply unprecedented amongst professional sportsmen.

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Adler
09-10-2007, 09:06 PM
his backhand "sucks"
uhhh...right.
You're a fucking fool.
just notice there's a :) after the word sucks, plus add the word "irony" to your dictionary. Few people already did it and apparently world become a happier place

MisterQ
09-10-2007, 09:49 PM
In a year or two, I think Federer will surpass Sampras in virtually all of the categories that Sampras leads in. And if Sampras still leads in consecutive years ending No. 1, surely Fed's record for consecutive weeks compensates for this. And if Federer wins the French, he has obviously taken an edge.

Laver will still have the grand slam (which I consider unlikely from Fed, though certainly not impossible), and the fact that in 5 years of his peak years he was unable to play for major titles as a professional. Laver's position straddling the start of the Open Era always has made him hard to compare. So it will probably always be possible to make claims for Laver (though I think Federer will lead in most assessments).

Borg will have the multiple RG-Wimby titles back to back, but in light of Federer's back to back Wimby-USOs, and his RG finals, it will be harder and harder to lift Borg above Federer. (Prior to this year, I still might have favored the Swede).

Agassi will always look better bald than Roger.

r2473
09-10-2007, 09:56 PM
If Federer got injured today in a freak accident and never played again, would he be considered the best? The answer is no. He would be number 2 in Grand Slam victories (what most people base GOAT status on) and he would have The French Open missing from his resume.

He will be the GOAT, almost for sure. You need only wait a year or 2 to put the crown on his head.

CyBorg
09-10-2007, 10:22 PM
Gonzales, Vines, Tilden, Borg, Laver, Cochet, Budge:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=1740967&postcount=96

Caerula Sanguis
09-10-2007, 10:24 PM
Davydenko easily. With his lack of skill and talent, he's able to get to number 3 spot in the world. No one with Davydenko's ability could have done that. Not in the past, not in the future.

marcRD
09-10-2007, 11:51 PM
Gonzales, Vines, Tilden, Borg, Laver, Cochet, Budge:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=1740967&postcount=96

Good list, but I really dont know much about Vines. Difficult to speak about pioneers in tennis like Tilden, his limitations where obvious and beyond the excuse of raquet technology. It was simply a case of finding a way to play the sport as good as possible back then, the sport was not really established, amateur and played by wealthy people in clothes not pratical to play any sport and without the athletism you would find in Gonzales, Laver, Borg and Federer. I really wouldnt rank athletes from the "gentleman era" in any sport (soccer, athletism and other sports).

Another argument is that the number of tennis players in the 20s must have been 1% of today as only the rich played the sport while today (or even in the 60s) everyone can play the sport and thereby the competition is alot harder.

CyBorg
09-11-2007, 02:13 AM
Good list, but I really dont know much about Vines. Difficult to speak about pioneers in tennis like Tilden, his limitations where obvious and beyond the excuse of raquet technology. It was simply a case of finding a way to play the sport as good as possible back then, the sport was not really established, amateur and played by wealthy people in clothes not pratical to play any sport and without the athletism you would find in Gonzales, Laver, Borg and Federer. I really wouldnt rank athletes from the "gentleman era" in any sport (soccer, athletism and other sports).

Another argument is that the number of tennis players in the 20s must have been 1% of today as only the rich played the sport while today (or even in the 60s) everyone can play the sport and thereby the competition is alot harder.

I have heard this argument and I generally agree with it in part, but I don't think that this limits the greatness of someone like Tilden or Cochet. I think that what we saw at that time was a number of great players who were way ahead of the rest of the pack - generally the interest amongst the public was in seeing one beating the other.

The depth of tennis is greater. It is much hard to win a major than it used to be. However I generally don't feel that the elite players are better. Vines was as quick as today's greats are. Gonzales was as nasty and determined as Nadal is. Bill Tilden's serve was said to have been the fastest ever - few seem to remember this fact.

There were innate differences in the old game comparing to the new game, because tennis required somewhat different skills. The rackets, the surfaces, the balls, etc. It was less of a muscle sport because of the way equipment and conditions were. I once saw a tape of a Gonzalez-Hoad match and it was obvious that one just couldn't hit through guys the way you can now. It was also impossible to generate the kinds of angles from the middle of the court the way you see now. Basically if you're caught too far back the racket won't save you. You had to think on your feet. I don't think Sampras would have been a good player in the 50s.

ReturnWinner
09-11-2007, 02:22 AM
Tati Rascon is the best player ever by far, his serve and volley game is untouchable

turkjey5
09-11-2007, 03:48 AM
Throw all your stats and comparisons out, when he's on he's like nothing tennis has seen. Call it whatever you want it's good enough for me.

FedFan_2007
09-11-2007, 04:24 AM
But could Fed play such awesome tennis with an old wooden racquet? He wouldn't generate that massive topspin. Of course Nadal would be absolutely useless.

Action Jackson
09-11-2007, 04:24 AM
Tati Rascon is the best player ever by far, his serve and volley game is untouchable

Navarro Pastor and Federer learnt from him.

FedFan_2007
09-11-2007, 05:08 AM
Federer has a lot to learn from Del Potro's huge game. Also he declared Gasquet's game as "art", and has a lot to learn from him as well. Maybe if he learns enough from these 2 talented young guns, he'll finally win a slam or 2. ;)

GustavoM_Fan
09-11-2007, 05:46 AM
Marcaccio is by far better than him

FedFan_2007
09-11-2007, 06:52 AM
Donald Young >>> Federer and will win the CYGS in 2009 and break all of Federer's records by 2015.

marcRD
09-11-2007, 09:44 AM
I have heard this argument and I generally agree with it in part, but I don't think that this limits the greatness of someone like Tilden or Cochet. I think that what we saw at that time was a number of great players who were way ahead of the rest of the pack - generally the interest amongst the public was in seeing one beating the other.

The depth of tennis is greater. It is much hard to win a major than it used to be. However I generally don't feel that the elite players are better. Vines was as quick as today's greats are. Gonzales was as nasty and determined as Nadal is. Bill Tilden's serve was said to have been the fastest ever - few seem to remember this fact.

There were innate differences in the old game comparing to the new game, because tennis required somewhat different skills. The rackets, the surfaces, the balls, etc. It was less of a muscle sport because of the way equipment and conditions were. I once saw a tape of a Gonzalez-Hoad match and it was obvious that one just couldn't hit through guys the way you can now. It was also impossible to generate the kinds of angles from the middle of the court the way you see now. Basically if you're caught too far back the racket won't save you. You had to think on your feet. I don't think Sampras would have been a good player in the 50s.

Yes, but the gentleman era was before Gonzales, before the war when only rich people played the sport and only they could afford to be amateurs. Working class men wasnt even allowed in the olympics in the beginning of the century, I dont know if the same was true for tennis, but certanly neither working class men or middle class could afford the expensive hobby of traveling around the world to play tennis with the other rich boys.

Gonzales wasnt a rich boy like Tilden at all and even if he was selflearned, he was one of those who started the change the face of tennis. He played as a pro right from the beginning and actualy dominated other great players like Rosewall, Segura, Laver, Kramer and Hoad. Tilden didnt lose 1 match in hs 7 years long domination, anyone who knows anything about tennis should understand the kind of competition he had in his time, that is simply not the way you dominate a serious sport with competition.

So I really would only have players from the post second world war in the list with a note on great players from before the war who can not be compared to the post war pro players (yeah, even before the open era).

CyBorg
09-11-2007, 11:36 AM
Yes, but the gentleman era was before Gonzales, before the war when only rich people played the sport and only they could afford to be amateurs. Working class men wasnt even allowed in the olympics in the beginning of the century, I dont know if the same was true for tennis, but certanly neither working class men or middle class could afford the expensive hobby of traveling around the world to play tennis with the other rich boys.

Gonzales wasnt a rich boy like Tilden at all and even if he was selflearned, he was one of those who started the change the face of tennis. He played as a pro right from the beginning and actualy dominated other great players like Rosewall, Segura, Laver, Kramer and Hoad. Tilden didnt lose 1 match in hs 7 years long domination, anyone who knows anything about tennis should understand the kind of competition he had in his time, that is simply not the way you dominate a serious sport with competition.

So I really would only have players from the post second world war in the list with a note on great players from before the war who can not be compared to the post war pro players (yeah, even before the open era).

Typically I prefer to rate Open Era players separately, but I made an exception this time.

thrust
09-11-2007, 02:11 PM
If one can win on clay and grass, one could also win on hard courts as I a sure Laver would have. I do doubt, however, that Laver would have won his first Slam as the events were not Open. The best, at that time, were playing on the Pro tour. When he joined the Pro tour, Laver was totally dominated by Rosewall and Hoad.

TennisGrandSlam
09-11-2007, 02:15 PM
Because Federer is not American :D

RagingLamb
09-11-2007, 02:15 PM
I have some issues with comparing greats from different eras.

First, the most frequently sited facts are records. For example, someday, Roger will break Sampras' record. Therefore according to many, he should be called the greatest ever when this happens.
One problem I have with this, is that Sampras could not look into the future at Roger's record when he was playing, just like Roger can't look into the future at the person who will break his record. So every great aimed to break the record they were aware of at the time.

Another issue is comparing eras. Can you say that player from era A could not do well in era B? To answer this people often compare the competition from each era, or the equipment. To compare the competition, you'd have to compare all players in the greats' eras, which is an even tougher, more obscure task than just comparing the greats. So most such comparisons are just opinion.

Another matter is the that of surfaces and equipment. Could greats do well on each other's surfaces using each other's equipments? Well, the greats from each era weren't born with a certain way of playing tennis. They learned the sport in their era as well as they could (in fact most often better than anyone). So if we ask an era question such as; if Borg was playing with all the equipment and surfaces like today, would he still do well? The answer in my opinion would have to be YES. There is no reason why he wouldn't learn today's game really well, if he spent his life training with today's technology.
The same goes for asking whether Sampras or Federer would do well in the 50s , 60s etc. It's not like they were born with a nervous system that requires titanium racquets and synthetic gut strings. Had the conditions been like the olden days when they were learning to play tennis, I'm sure they would have developed a game to suit those conditions.

So overall, I don't think you can really call someone the greatest of all time. Just the greatest of their own time, or one of the greatest players of all time. Because you can't really compare different eras

Fensler
09-11-2007, 03:48 PM
it also has to do with country of birth. a lot of americans will say Sampras, a lot of north europeans will say Borg, a lot of Australians will say Laver.

in other words, Sampras fans clinch to the #14 number, saying he will allways be the best, I even heard them say Roger sucks

1) Yes, this issue has been done to death, as others have mentioned, but so has just about every other tennis-history topic on MTF.

2) These determinations aren't nearly as nationalistic as you think. When I've seen this topic arise on general-sports forums, the American fans often conclude that either Borg or Federer is the GOAT. American fans don't bother so much with nationality in these regards. That has been my observation, anyway.

3) I don't believe you when you say that Sampras fans have declared that "Roger sucks" - unless it was done so in a joking/sarcastic manner.

optimism
09-11-2007, 04:35 PM
If one can win on clay and grass, one could also win on hard courts as I a sure Laver would have. I do doubt, however, that Laver would have won his first Slam as the events were not Open. The best, at that time, were playing on the Pro tour. When he joined the Pro tour, Laver was totally dominated by Rosewall and Hoad.

borg won on clay and grass, but he never won a hardcourt grand slam.

CyBorg
09-11-2007, 04:47 PM
Another issue is comparing eras. Can you say that player from era A could not do well in era B? To answer this people often compare the competition from each era, or the equipment. To compare the competition, you'd have to compare all players in the greats' eras, which is an even tougher, more obscure task than just comparing the greats. So most such comparisons are just opinion.


I think that this is important in canonizing tennis players, just for the simple fact that it allows us to keep the old greats in mind, rather than simply discard them in every conversation about greatness.

It's worth it. It's flawed practice, but it becomes less flawed when we're informed, well-read and objective about history. As long as we acknowledge that whatever rankings we concoct are not exact and are, for the most part interchangeable, we can have some fun in grouping the old and the new greats together.

It's not really important whether Ellsworth Vines is better than Bjorn Borg or vice versa. What's important is that they're both great and deserving of recognition.

RagingLamb
09-11-2007, 05:43 PM
I think that this is important in canonizing tennis players, just for the simple fact that it allows us to keep the old greats in mind, rather than simply discard them in every conversation about greatness.

It's worth it. It's flawed practice, but it becomes less flawed when we're informed, well-read and objective about history. As long as we acknowledge that whatever rankings we concoct are not exact and are, for the most part interchangeable, we can have some fun in grouping the old and the new greats together.

It's not really important whether Ellsworth Vines is better than Bjorn Borg or vice versa. What's important is that they're both great and deserving of recognition.

I think that's something we can all agree with.

marcRD
09-11-2007, 09:35 PM
I think we need to analyse so many things when comparing greats. These is what I like to count:

1)domination

One important aspect is how long they dominated and dominant they were, take Gonzales who dominated tennis for 8 years much the way Federer dominated tennis for 4 years, if Federers domination would truly be counted in the same league as Gonales he would have to keep it going for another 4 years which would be extremly difficult. Forget about Sampras semidomination for 6 years, there is no way he is getting ahead of Gonzales in any list.

2)Major achievments

Then we have major achiements, where Borg and Laver stand out with the impossible clay-grass domination and achieving the most difficult thing in tennis twice, winning the grand slam, once as an amateur and once as a pro. Neither Federer or Sampras has achieved something so unique and "impossible" in tennis, even if Federers 10 straight grand slam finals is worth to be mentioned.

3)Longevity

Playing many different generations and still be competitive requires incredible will of power, mastery of adapting your tennis and proofs your tennis to be immortal in the sense that it survives against new technique and stronger, younger players. Here Borg and Sampras lose points and there is no excuse leaving tennis because you lose some hard finals against a Mcenroe or that raquet technology and slowing down of surfaces is making your tennis less effective. Connors, Laver, Agassi, Rosewall, Gonzales all of these could compete against many different generations. Sampras couldnt, his head to head against all the young players coming (Gonzalez, Hewitt, Federer, Safin, Roddick) was negative and he could not adapt his tennis to find a way to beat them which shows limitation in his game. Borg didt have the inner strength to continue and fight for the throne when he had been dethroned which is reallly sad because he could have been the greatest of them all.

If we count an avarage of these 3 important aspects in tennis greatness I get a list like this:

1)Laver

If you take in his dominance in the pro tour you have a long time of domination, major achievments and longevit

2)Gonzales

Dominated harder and longer than anyone and there was longevity, but didnt achieve great impossible things like Laver or Borg.

3)Borg

The great contrast of dominating clay and grass is still mindblowing and hard to understand, dominated for some years but only playing what mattered most to him, no longevity and couldnt deal with the younger Mcenroe beating him in 3 straight grand slam finals.

4)Federer

Has entered my list after the USOPEN victory and having dominated for 4 years like nobody before him, 10 straight grand slam finals is a record which should be impossible today, longevity is still to be seen.

5)Rosewall

He was in the shadow of greats like Laver and Gonzales but always gave them a match and was not ever lesser than them, dominated for a short while but stands out with his longevity competing with younger players well into his 40s.

OSmeone
09-11-2007, 09:51 PM
Well Federer is a Jack of all those categories but a master of none. Of the generally agreed criteria for judging tennis greatness, he tops none but is top 3 in most. You'd have to wait until he's the master of one category before giving a simple arguement why he's the best ever, and until he was master of practically all of them before that status was undisputed.

MrChopin
09-12-2007, 06:34 AM
Gonzales, Vines, Tilden, Borg, Laver, Cochet, Budge:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=1740967&postcount=96

Only 2-3 players who's main career achievements are within the open era? I like your justification, and I agree that peak years are the best way to determine who was overall the best player, but what your list does is downplay the size of the field.

Comparing 1930, 1950, 1970, and 2000, in measuring "dominance," you have to consider the field size. The slam numbers are nearly consistent among the top 3-4 generally (one or two more slams isn't enough). I also think that slams are overrated, in their importance, when compared to smaller but strong tournaments: I think that today's MS are pretty important, in addition to the slams, as a tool for measuring quality, especially given that they are held on such a wide variety of surfaces (a fast grass would be nice) and often include the top 32 or so players in the world. The surfaces are different today than before, but I think the variety was present in either day, whether more hard now with less grass or more grass back then, so I don't think there's a question of players being more diverse then or now.

My primary reason for thinking that Federer is the GOAT is his dominance in this generation. I haven't done any severe number studies, but I think it's way harder for an anomaly like Federer to dominate today than it was back in the 50s or 80s because an anomaly is almost impossible today, given the size of the field (At the most recent USO, there were several strong showings from players outside of the Top 100, and further, two outside the Top 50 that gave Federer, score-wise, the most difficult matches he experienced--the diversity in the field/talent naturally balances out the respective skills someone might have).

I'll use Borg as an open-era comparison because I don't know enough about pre-open era tennis to go any further in comparing such un-like eras.

I know it's speculation, but Borg was already in trouble in '81 with McEnroe hitting his prime and, after having given him a difficult time in 80, took it from him in '81. He still made two finals that year, in addition to winning RG, but that has yet to happen to Federer. I know people are saying he's going down next year, but this is following a year (2007) which saw him lose fewer sets in slams than he has in the past: Aus+Wimbledon+USO: 5 (2007), 9 (2006), 8 (2005), 7 (2004). I see Federer's dominance going further than 4 years, and as I already see him as more dominant than Borg was from '77-'80, I think there's even more to him being placed above Borg.

There's another argument that I think puts Federer above Borg: Federer's best year thus far--2006--is probably the most dominant year I can think of in the open era, though I don't know much about Laver's 18(?) titles in 1969.

Borg's best year: (statistically)
Not sure which I'd go with, probably '79 (maybe '80)
'79: 13 titles won/14 finals reached/ 20 tournaments entered, 2 slams + masters, 74-6 record(?)

Federer's best year: (statistically)
'06: 12 titles won/16 finals reached/17 tournaments entered, 3 slams (final in 4th) + masters, 92-5 record

In 2006, Federer reached the three largest clay finals, each time losing to arguably the greatest clay courter of all time on the greatest clay streak seen in the open era. I don't think that his inability to win is enough of a blemish to drop his '06 below Borg's '79, and thus, Fed '06 stands as probably the greatest peak for me since perhaps Laver. Federer's achievements in 2006 are something I don't see an equal for, outside of a grand or golden slam. That he did it against the largest field ever, 25 years after someone was almost that dominant (Wilander '88, McEnroe '84) is just one more reason to see his peak (thus far) as the greatest we've seen, and thus, Federer as the greatest we've seen.

sports freak
09-12-2007, 10:13 AM
Answer = Reason Tigers Woods not being the best ever!!Only time will tell and both Champions have plenty on their side!!Never saw Laver play real life and his opponents but if the great man admires Roger that must mean something special!!John Mc Enroe just loves the boy,he wished it was his son!!Fed X will be even more famous are he retired,due to the achievements he will achieve!!

CyBorg
09-12-2007, 03:57 PM
Only 2-3 players who's main career achievements are within the open era? I like your justification, and I agree that peak years are the best way to determine who was overall the best player, but what your list does is downplay the size of the field.

I think that there have been at least 20 truly 'great' (dominant) players. Maybe more. A high number is within the open era. I just don't think that the likes of Connors and Lendl are top-10 quality. Sampras is very close - with a slightly different perspective I could have easily included him.

Comparing 1930, 1950, 1970, and 2000, in measuring "dominance," you have to consider the field size.

I'm not measuring dominance. I am more interested in the individual skill level. Dominance is always relatable to the field, which is important on some level, but should be secondary. A player is great objectively, not at the mercy of his opposition. Where the opposition is vital to consider is in relation to the player's accomplishments, which may be inflated or deflated by his level of opposition. For this reason I believe that pure statistics in themselves (eg. total majors) do not account for a player's greatness. What matters is scouting.

The slam numbers are nearly consistent among the top 3-4 generally (one or two more slams isn't enough). I also think that slams are overrated, in their importance, when compared to smaller but strong tournaments: I think that today's MS are pretty important, in addition to the slams, as a tool for measuring quality, especially given that they are held on such a wide variety of surfaces (a fast grass would be nice) and often include the top 32 or so players in the world.

I agree about the majors. I am very resistent on canonizing greats simply based on grand slam results. This is why it is vital to have sufficient understanding of the most important events in almost every era in order to draw reasonable conclusions. I also consider draws to be a vital indication of the relevance of an achievement. For example, when Rod Laver won the French Open he faced a very deep field, which, in my opinion, rates his accomplishments higher than Agassi's French Open.

The surfaces are different today than before, but I think the variety was present in either day, whether more hard now with less grass or more grass back then, so I don't think there's a question of players being more diverse then or now.

Diverse can mean anything. Surfaces can be diverse. Styles can be diverse. It's an empty word.

My primary reason for thinking that Federer is the GOAT is his dominance in this generation. I haven't done any severe number studies, but I think it's way harder for an anomaly like Federer to dominate today than it was back in the 50s or 80s because an anomaly is almost impossible today, given the size of the field (At the most recent USO, there were several strong showings from players outside of the Top 100, and further, two outside the Top 50 that gave Federer, score-wise, the most difficult matches he experienced--the diversity in the field/talent naturally balances out the respective skills someone might have).

I don't think that we are seeing more dangerous floaters today than we did in the past years, unless we go before the open era at a time when pros played each other dozens of times every year (and rarely ever played amatuers, due to restrictions). The 70s had some incredibly deep fields, jampacked with talented underachievers, overachieving grinders and other types.

I'll use Borg as an open-era comparison because I don't know enough about pre-open era tennis to go any further in comparing such un-like eras.

1976 Wimbledon was a great field. One of my favorites. The Borg era generally was extremely deep with talent top-to-bottom within the top 100. Vijay Amritraj was one of the more talented players in history in my opinion, but he never did establish himself at the top.

I know it's speculation, but Borg was already in trouble in '81 with McEnroe hitting his prime and, after having given him a difficult time in 80, took it from him in '81. He still made two finals that year, in addition to winning RG, but that has yet to happen to Federer. I know people are saying he's going down next year, but this is following a year (2007) which saw him lose fewer sets in slams than he has in the past: Aus+Wimbledon+USO: 5 (2007), 9 (2006), 8 (2005), 7 (2004). I see Federer's dominance going further than 4 years, and as I already see him as more dominant than Borg was from '77-'80, I think there's even more to him being placed above Borg.

In my criteria I am mostly interested in peak years (I'm mostly looking for about three). Looking at Borg's three peak years (78-80) we have him winning six majors, while skipping the Aussie. Let's assume that the Masters was the fourth major (which is reasonable as it was the fourth most important tournament of the year, while the Aussie was vastly inferior in terms of quality of fields) - by this virtue we can count his wins in 79 and 80, which means that he winds up with 8 hypothetical majors in 3 peak years. For the record, Borg skipped the Masters in 1978. Over a period of three peak years, Federer has also won eight majors.

There's another argument that I think puts Federer above Borg: Federer's best year thus far--2006--is probably the most dominant year I can think of in the open era, though I don't know much about Laver's 18(?) titles in 1969.

The most dominant year in the open era would probably be John McEnroe in 1984 (Edit: I forgot about Laver's grand slam, which would be tops, of course). Otherwise Federer might be #2, just looking at his results in 2006. The reason why I keep Federer below Borg on the list is because I value the accomplishment of dominating clay and grass fields more than you. I'm a proponent of natural surfaces and I think that these two are opposing extremes of tennis, thus underscoring the rarity of the accomplishment. Hardcourts to me is a compromise. I don't like Federer's game on clay. I like Borg's game on all surfaces.

Borg's best year: (statistically)
Not sure which I'd go with, probably '79 (maybe '80)
'79: 13 titles won/14 finals reached/ 20 tournaments entered, 2 slams + masters, 74-6 record(?)

Federer's best year: (statistically)
'06: 12 titles won/16 finals reached/17 tournaments entered, 3 slams (final in 4th) + masters, 92-5 record

Again, I don't think basic statistics tell us very much, especially when it's close.

In 2006, Federer reached the three largest clay finals, each time losing to arguably the greatest clay courter of all time on the greatest clay streak seen in the open era. I don't think that his inability to win is enough of a blemish to drop his '06 below Borg's '79, and thus, Fed '06 stands as probably the greatest peak for me since perhaps Laver. Federer's achievements in 2006 are something I don't see an equal for, outside of a grand or golden slam. That he did it against the largest field ever, 25 years after someone was almost that dominant (Wilander '88, McEnroe '84) is just one more reason to see his peak (thus far) as the greatest we've seen, and thus, Federer as the greatest we've seen.

This depends as to whether you value Federer's clay court game and as to whether you value the current clay court era. Some do, while I think considerably little of it. Nadal is probably the only elite player today who does not rely on a hardcourt approach on clay - in other words, he's a pure claycourter playing a claycourt game. Most of the other guys are essentially playing a globalized style on clay, in very much the same way they would play on grass or hard.

This matters to me, because as recently as five years ago the game of tennis had a bulk of clay court specialists, which made it difficult for players who played an all-surface style progress very deep into red clay events. My theory is that we're going through a drought in clay tennis and this is benefitting Federer, as he seldom has to face a true clay specialist until the final of the French Open or Monte Carlo. I also have some analytical ideas about this, many of which I have explained before - in short, we know very well that Federer struggles with topspin and high bounces to his backhand side, something that he has been able to avoid for the most part when he plays flat hitting all-courters like himself.

MatchFederer
09-12-2007, 04:22 PM
Only 2-3 players who's main career achievements are within the open era? I like your justification, and I agree that peak years are the best way to determine who was overall the best player, but what your list does is downplay the size of the field.

Comparing 1930, 1950, 1970, and 2000, in measuring "dominance," you have to consider the field size. The slam numbers are nearly consistent among the top 3-4 generally (one or two more slams isn't enough). I also think that slams are overrated, in their importance, when compared to smaller but strong tournaments: I think that today's MS are pretty important, in addition to the slams, as a tool for measuring quality, especially given that they are held on such a wide variety of surfaces (a fast grass would be nice) and often include the top 32 or so players in the world. The surfaces are different today than before, but I think the variety was present in either day, whether more hard now with less grass or more grass back then, so I don't think there's a question of players being more diverse then or now.

My primary reason for thinking that Federer is the GOAT is his dominance in this generation. I haven't done any severe number studies, but I think it's way harder for an anomaly like Federer to dominate today than it was back in the 50s or 80s because an anomaly is almost impossible today, given the size of the field (At the most recent USO, there were several strong showings from players outside of the Top 100, and further, two outside the Top 50 that gave Federer, score-wise, the most difficult matches he experienced--the diversity in the field/talent naturally balances out the respective skills someone might have).

I'll use Borg as an open-era comparison because I don't know enough about pre-open era tennis to go any further in comparing such un-like eras.

I know it's speculation, but Borg was already in trouble in '81 with McEnroe hitting his prime and, after having given him a difficult time in 80, took it from him in '81. He still made two finals that year, in addition to winning RG, but that has yet to happen to Federer. I know people are saying he's going down next year, but this is following a year (2007) which saw him lose fewer sets in slams than he has in the past: Aus+Wimbledon+USO: 5 (2007), 9 (2006), 8 (2005), 7 (2004). I see Federer's dominance going further than 4 years, and as I already see him as more dominant than Borg was from '77-'80, I think there's even more to him being placed above Borg.

There's another argument that I think puts Federer above Borg: Federer's best year thus far--2006--is probably the most dominant year I can think of in the open era, though I don't know much about Laver's 18(?) titles in 1969.

Borg's best year: (statistically)
Not sure which I'd go with, probably '79 (maybe '80)
'79: 13 titles won/14 finals reached/ 20 tournaments entered, 2 slams + masters, 74-6 record(?)

Federer's best year: (statistically)
'06: 12 titles won/16 finals reached/17 tournaments entered, 3 slams (final in 4th) + masters, 92-5 record

In 2006, Federer reached the three largest clay finals, each time losing to arguably the greatest clay courter of all time on the greatest clay streak seen in the open era. I don't think that his inability to win is enough of a blemish to drop his '06 below Borg's '79, and thus, Fed '06 stands as probably the greatest peak for me since perhaps Laver. Federer's achievements in 2006 are something I don't see an equal for, outside of a grand or golden slam. That he did it against the largest field ever, 25 years after someone was almost that dominant (Wilander '88, McEnroe '84) is just one more reason to see his peak (thus far) as the greatest we've seen, and thus, Federer as the greatest we've seen.

That is probably the most profound point that has ever been made in these discussions of who is the greatest. I wonder if anybody else has statistics for how many people played tennis throughout the decades and similar such info. If some eras from the past had a significantly lesser pool from the beginning then an anomaly back then would probably be lesser in ability than the current anolamy.

I would imagine that it would work like a pyramid which has an extra layer added to the bottom everytime there is a significant rise in the pool.. and one take away when there is a drop. If in 5 years time there is a significant increase in the pool, then we coul add an extra layer to the bottom of pyramid. This would make the stand alone anomaly have an equal and a NEW stand alone anomaly at the top, who represents a new standard. If the anomaly of a particular era is ahead of the field by an unprecedented and unusual margin. i.e Federer, then they would still survive the extra pyramid row and still be at the top.. so the previous pyramid was not large enough to represent the true level of the previous anomaly.

Using this sort of method would probably be harsh on greats in eras where the pool was smaller than most other eras. However, who is to know how well they would have done if they were born in a later era, with the new nutritional ideas etc. If we are looking at who was the most dominant of their era in judging the GOAT, then maybe a mixture of overall dominance in tandem with the respective size of the pool is the best measurement.

MatchFederer
09-12-2007, 04:27 PM
A slightly strange example would be the new craze that is Guitar Hero...

Some guy called ES942 was the outright outstanding 'talent', if you want to call it that, on this game. People were sure nobody would be as good as him, but then out came the 2nd game, and now there are 3 other players who are at least equal to him and 2 that are clearly better. An extra row or 2 was added to the pyramid and now ES942 isn't the God player. This correlates with the fact that Guitar Hero 2 brought many new gamers into the world of Guitar Hero and thus the pool of players increased drastically. I am waiting for Guitar Hero 3 to come out to see if this trend continues. SOme who read this might think I am being lame, using a VIDEO GAME as an example of what I am talking about but it does correlate very directly with the theory, because the aim of the game is to score as many points as possible. Everybody has the same controller and the same songs at there disposal. OBVIOUSLY tennis is a FAR MORE COMPLICATED matter, I realise that... It is just a basic principle.

CyBorg
09-12-2007, 05:24 PM
A slightly strange example would be the new craze that is Guitar Hero...

Some guy called ES942 was the outright outstanding 'talent', if you want to call it that, on this game. People were sure nobody would be as good as him, but then out came the 2nd game, and now there are 3 other players who are at least equal to him and 2 that are clearly better. An extra row or 2 was added to the pyramid and now ES942 isn't the God player. This correlates with the fact that Guitar Hero 2 brought many new gamers into the world of Guitar Hero and thus the pool of players increased drastically. I am waiting for Guitar Hero 3 to come out to see if this trend continues. SOme who read this might think I am being lame, using a VIDEO GAME as an example of what I am talking about but it does correlate very directly with the theory, because the aim of the game is to score as many points as possible. Everybody has the same controller and the same songs at there disposal. OBVIOUSLY tennis is a FAR MORE COMPLICATED matter, I realise that... It is just a basic principle.

Hence my point. What matters is not accomplishments alone, but "scouting". Without scouting all we have are the bare facts. The player is falsely and lazily judged by who he plays against.

I've said once that I thought that Mats Wilander was a 3-4 Grand Slam title-kind of guy who went on to win six. A couple of mediocre draws at the Aussie and a French Open victory shortly after the retirement of Borg and we have a slightly inflated resume. Without scouting we can conclude that Wilander was as good as Edberg... and he wasn't.

MrChopin
09-13-2007, 12:26 AM
I think that there have been at least 20 truly 'great' (dominant) players. Maybe more. A high number is within the open era. I just don't think that the likes of Connors and Lendl are top-10 quality. Sampras is very close - with a slightly different perspective I could have easily included him.

I'm not measuring dominance. I am more interested in the individual skill level. Dominance is always relatable to the field, which is important on some level, but should be secondary. A player is great objectively, not at the mercy of his opposition. Where the opposition is vital to consider is in relation to the player's accomplishments, which may be inflated or deflated by his level of opposition. For this reason I believe that pure statistics in themselves (eg. total majors) do not account for a player's greatness. What matters is scouting.

I like your approach to this; it's very analytical. I think I'm falling back on a measure of quality relative to the field, because I don't think there are universal standards by which one could compare Laver's ball striking to Federer's, or Borg's effective spin on clay to Nadal's. One could say "Laver had the greatest movement ever" but how does one justify that when the only measure of his movement was within his own era, relative to his own players.

As a contrast, I don't think it's coincidental that the absolute greats, since the open era, are all statistically close (as in separated from their respective fields). It's seems like 10+ majors is the best one can do. Mastering all four surfaces is incredibly difficult. 3-4 years of dominance is about as long as one player can hold off the field. A master emerges, followed by two to three players catching up (I think it's fairly safe to pick about 8-10 players in each generation that were noticeably above the rest, led by the one who was beyond them). I probably think there's more truth in the stats than you because it seems like there is a trend for those rare cases where someone is leaving the rest of the field behind for a few years, and it seems like there is some universal limit as to how long and how consistently one human can beat the rest. The variations in those averages, if extreme, would indicate just how rare the anomaly is, relative to the other anomalies. Borg dominating clay and grass is one example. Federer dominant for already four years with 12 slams in only 4.5 years is another.

Diverse can mean anything. Surfaces can be diverse. Styles can be diverse. It's an empty word.

I agree with that. It's way too vague to be useful. I'm simply arguing that the diversity seems to balance itself out, whether in court speeds varying more in one era and strong servers in another, or various types of clay in one against the various hard courts in another.

I don't think that we are seeing more dangerous floaters today than we did in the past years, unless we go before the open era at a time when pros played each other dozens of times every year (and rarely ever played amatuers, due to restrictions). The 70s had some incredibly deep fields, jampacked with talented underachievers, overachieving grinders and other types.

I don't know enough about 70s tennis (I'm only starting to really dive into the history) to pull 30-40 names off, but I think I was attempting to convey the depth of the field, in it's diversity (there it is again). You've got pure servers, great servers and volleyer's, great returners, great baseline players, great variety, great power... I think that the field today, with tennis more readily available to the world, would, just based on some rules of statistics, maximize the diversity among players and their strengths, and thus, maximize the difficulty at remaining at the top, fighting off the new technique/talent/whatever.

1976 Wimbledon was a great field. One of my favorites. The Borg era generally was extremely deep with talent top-to-bottom within the top 100. Vijay Amritraj was one of the more talented players in history in my opinion, but he never did establish himself at the top.

I'll be looking into that further. Part of the problem for me, not being around then, is that it's kind of filtered through history--unless they become marvels themselves, who is going to remember that Isner and Lopez took sets from Federer when #3, #4, and #5 couldn't?

In my criteria I am mostly interested in peak years (I'm mostly looking for about three). Looking at Borg's three peak years (78-80) we have him winning six majors, while skipping the Aussie. Let's assume that the Masters was the fourth major (which is reasonable as it was the fourth most important tournament of the year, while the Aussie was vastly inferior in terms of quality of fields) - by this virtue we can count his wins in 79 and 80, which means that he winds up with 8 hypothetical majors in 3 peak years. For the record, Borg skipped the Masters in 1978. Over a period of three peak years, Federer has also won eight majors.

You'd probably prefer comparing their play, but I think this is one revealing aspect of a previous point I made. The Australian was considered inferior back then. Now, you have everyone scrapping for the victory there. If the Masters became the 4th major in the 70s, does it become the 5th in the 00s? You've now got Miami and Indian Wells with 96-person draws, nearly majors in their own right. For about 5-6 MS, almost the entire top 30 show up nowadays. This kind of day in-day out competition reveals that there are more tennis players now, more people pushing to take over the high spots, more demand to seek out the best tournaments and win them.

In comparing 78'-80' Borg vs. 04'-06' Federer, Federer has 8 majors, 2 major finals, 2 TMCs, and a TMC final. That seems even a bit steep compared to Borg's 6 majors, 2 major finals, and 2 masters series (and a Masters final in there somewhere). Of course, Borg could have attended the Australian Open, but I think it's unfair to try to balance what he could have done with what Federer has done. Federer has still beat the 128 field nearly three times a year for four straight years. That kind of opportunity didn't exist for Borg, but it's non-existence doesn't allow one to overlook the fact that Federer has done it.

The most dominant year in the open era would probably be John McEnroe in 1984 (Edit: I forgot about Laver's grand slam, which would be tops, of course). Otherwise Federer might be #2, just looking at his results in 2006. The reason why I keep Federer below Borg on the list is because I value the accomplishment of dominating clay and grass fields more than you. I'm a proponent of natural surfaces and I think that these two are opposing extremes of tennis, thus underscoring the rarity of the accomplishment. Hard courts to me is a compromise. I don't like Federer's game on clay. I like Borg's game on all surfaces.

I forgot how dominant McEnroe was in '84, and I'd agree that he and Federer '06 are probably the two that stand out the most (Laver '69 aside). And though I agree that the statistics don't give a complete picture, like I said before, it seems the most universal way for determining who was the best in their era.

I think that Federer has made strides to improve his clay game, especially in adding the variety in spins and angles that were not as consistent back in '03-'04. It's surprising, and perhaps underlines your point about a weak specialist era (in light of globalization), but the main push for Nadal on clay right now is Federer, who has gone the mile other players are unwilling to do in order to win on the red.

Since 2002(?), I think fast hard has replaced grass as the opposite end of the spectrum. Wimbledon is playing too slow, especially given that the one clay specialist left can get to the final (another sign of globalization).

This depends as to whether you value Federer's clay court game and as to whether you value the current clay court era. Some do, while I think considerably little of it. Nadal is probably the only elite player today who does not rely on a hard court approach on clay - in other words, he's a pure clay courter playing a claycourt game. Most of the other guys are essentially playing a "globalized" style on clay, in very much the same way they would play on grass or hard.

This matters to me, because as recently as five years ago the game of tennis had a bulk of clay court specialists, which made it difficult for players who played an all-surface style progress very deep into red clay events. My theory is that we're going through a drought in clay tennis and this is benefitting Federer, as he seldom has to face a true clay specialist until the final of the French Open or Monte Carlo. I also have some analytical ideas about this, many of which I have explained before - in short, we know very well that Federer struggles with topspin and high bounces to his backhand side, something that he has been able to avoid for the most part when he plays flat hitting all-courters like himself.

I've considered the "globalized" style before, which I'd extend to the slowing of grass (and death of serve and volley). I think that a real transition took place late 90s where a new wave really had the power to win from the baseline, and it transitioned with players like Hewitt and Agassi winning a bunch in 00, 01, 02. I think there are both pros and cons to this: you don't have players who are exclusive clay or grass monsters, but simultaneously, you have a lot more competition at the more "universal" surfaces: Australia, Dubai, Miami, IW (the slow hard surfaces) and even at the faster surfaces. Rather than win only two slams and tournaments that featured a small cluster of strong specialists, every tournament is a potential win for a "specialist."

I don't think it means the field is any easier or more difficult as a result, however, there are now a lot more players that can vie for each tournament (though one could then reply that Federer thus has to change his game less than Borg to win on different surfaces, provided he masters the "globalized" style).

And I'd question whether or not specialists can even exist anymore. S&V seems to stand no chance against players like Blake that can crack winners off of first serves, or Federers that can push 150 mph serves where they wish. The shot making from the baseline is too good to do anything but, and will probably remain so until some new anomaly steps up S&V in a new way that beats the baseliners (though it's questionable that this will ever be possible again).

With clay, I think specialists can exist in the future, though as you point out, I think that specialist has been traded for universal ability (the stretch with Agassi, Safin, Ferrero, Hewitt, and Roddick winning slams is a pretty unique blend of different "specialists" doing it on all surfaces). I'd boil it down to this generation of players weeding specialists out. Those who could play on all surfaces slowly grabbed up the points. The specialists went extinct, and it's now the case where to be in the top 4, you need to be able to Q/S at all of the four majors, thus forcing one to adopt a more generalized game.

Nadal exists almost as much an anomaly as Federer, freakishly fast, strong, and able to generate incredible, left-handed spin on clay while running for hours. What Federer has done to hard and grass over the last few years is probably perceivable, at a smaller scale, to what Nadal has done (if only evidenced in how much Federer is changing his game to beat him at RG) for clay. It seems that the only real challenge to Nadal anymore, on clay, is Federer, which is unfortunate as it means clay will stagnate, though Federer has stood on top of hard for years and dragged it up quite a bit.

Anyway, I think that the loss in specialists has resulted in less-specialized globalists, with their smaller, unique talents. I don't think this makes life any easier or harder for Federer, except that there is simply more competition, from these globalists, than there would be from the average tournament in the 70s (unless one makes the argument that such tournaments were filled with only the specialists--something that recurring names like Borg, Conners, Lendl, McEnroe... would seem to contradict).

Sorry that got so long, but it's a very entertaining topic.

World Beater
09-13-2007, 12:58 AM
I like your approach to this; it's very analytical. I think I'm falling back on a measure of quality relative to the field, because I don't think there are universal standards by which one could compare Laver's ball striking to Federer's, or Borg's effective spin on clay to Nadal's. One could say "Laver had the greatest movement ever" but how does one justify that when the only measure of his movement was within his own era, relative to his own players.

As a contrast, I don't think it's coincidental that the absolute greats, since the open era, are all statistically close (as in separated from their respective fields). It's seems like 10+ majors is the best one can do. Mastering all four surfaces is incredibly difficult. 3-4 years of dominance is about as long as one player can hold off the field. A master emerges, followed by two to three players catching up (I think it's fairly safe to pick about 8-10 players in each generation that were noticeably above the rest, led by the one who was beyond them). I probably think there's more truth in the stats than you because it seems like there is a trend for those rare cases where someone is leaving the rest of the field behind for a few years, and it seems like there is some universal limit as to how long and how consistently one human can beat the rest. The variations in those averages, if extreme, would indicate just how rare the anomaly is, relative to the other anomalies. Borg dominating clay and grass is one example. Federer dominant for already four years with 12 slams in only 4.5 years is another.



I agree with that. It's way too vague to be useful. I'm simply arguing that the diversity seems to balance itself out, whether in court speeds varying more in one era and strong servers in another, or various types of clay in one against the various hard courts in another.



I don't know enough about 70s tennis (I'm only starting to really dive into the history) to pull 30-40 names off, but I think I was attempting to convey the depth of the field, in it's diversity (there it is again). You've got pure servers, great servers and volleyer's, great returners, great baseline players, great variety, great power... I think that the field today, with tennis more readily available to the world, would, just based on some rules of statistics, maximize the diversity among players and their strengths, and thus, maximize the difficulty at remaining at the top, fighting off the new technique/talent/whatever.



I'll be looking into that further. Part of the problem for me, not being around then, is that it's kind of filtered through history--unless they become marvels themselves, who is going to remember that Isner and Lopez took sets from Federer when #3, #4, and #5 couldn't?



You'd probably prefer comparing their play, but I think this is one revealing aspect of a previous point I made. The Australian was considered inferior back then. Now, you have everyone scrapping for the victory there. If the Masters became the 4th major in the 70s, does it become the 5th in the 00s? You've now got Miami and Indian Wells with 96-person draws, nearly majors in their own right. For about 5-6 MS, almost the entire top 30 show up nowadays. This kind of day in-day out competition reveals that there are more tennis players now, more people pushing to take over the high spots, more demand to seek out the best tournaments and win them.

In comparing 78'-80' Borg vs. 04'-06' Federer, Federer has 8 majors, 2 major finals, 2 TMCs, and a TMC final. That seems even a bit steep compared to Borg's 6 majors, 2 major finals, and 2 masters series (and a Masters final in there somewhere). Of course, Borg could have attended the Australian Open, but I think it's unfair to try to balance what he could have done with what Federer has done. Federer has still beat the 128 field nearly three times a year for four straight years. That kind of opportunity didn't exist for Borg, but it's non-existence doesn't allow one to overlook the fact that Federer has done it.



I forgot how dominant McEnroe was in '84, and I'd agree that he and Federer '06 are probably the two that stand out the most (Laver '69 aside). And though I agree that the statistics don't give a complete picture, like I said before, it seems the most universal way for determining who was the best in their era.

I think that Federer has made strides to improve his clay game, especially in adding the variety in spins and angles that were not as consistent back in '03-'04. It's surprising, and perhaps underlines your point about a weak specialist era (in light of globalization), but the main push for Nadal on clay right now is Federer, who has gone the mile other players are unwilling to do in order to win on the red.

Since 2002(?), I think fast hard has replaced grass as the opposite end of the spectrum. Wimbledon is playing too slow, especially given that the one clay specialist left can get to the final (another sign of globalization).



I've considered the "globalized" style before, which I'd extend to the slowing of grass (and death of serve and volley). I think that a real transition took place late 90s where a new wave really had the power to win from the baseline, and it transitioned with players like Hewitt and Agassi winning a bunch in 00, 01, 02. I think there are both pros and cons to this: you don't have players who are exclusive clay or grass monsters, but simultaneously, you have a lot more competition at the more "universal" surfaces: Australia, Dubai, Miami, IW (the slow hard surfaces) and even at the faster surfaces. Rather than win only two slams and tournaments that featured a small cluster of strong specialists, every tournament is a potential win for a "specialist."

I don't think it means the field is any easier or more difficult as a result, however, there are now a lot more players that can vie for each tournament (though one could then reply that Federer thus has to change his game less than Borg to win on different surfaces, provided he masters the "globalized" style).

And I'd question whether or not specialists can even exist anymore. S&V seems to stand no chance against players like Blake that can crack winners off of first serves, or Federers that can push 150 mph serves where they wish. The shot making from the baseline is too good to do anything but, and will probably remain so until some new anomaly steps up S&V in a new way that beats the baseliners (though it's questionable that this will ever be possible again).

With clay, I think specialists can exist in the future, though as you point out, I think that specialist has been traded for universal ability (the stretch with Agassi, Safin, Ferrero, Hewitt, and Roddick winning slams is a pretty unique blend of different "specialists" doing it on all surfaces). I'd boil it down to this generation of players weeding specialists out. Those who could play on all surfaces slowly grabbed up the points. The specialists went extinct, and it's now the case where to be in the top 4, you need to be able to Q/S at all of the four majors, thus forcing one to adopt a more generalized game.

Nadal exists almost as much an anomaly as Federer, freakishly fast, strong, and able to generate incredible, left-handed spin on clay while running for hours. What Federer has done to hard and grass over the last few years is probably perceivable, at a smaller scale, to what Nadal has done (if only evidenced in how much Federer is changing his game to beat him at RG) for clay. It seems that the only real challenge to Nadal anymore, on clay, is Federer, which is unfortunate as it means clay will stagnate, though Federer has stood on top of hard for years and dragged it up quite a bit.

Anyway, I think that the loss in specialists has resulted in less-specialized globalists, with their smaller, unique talents. I don't think this makes life any easier or harder for Federer, except that there is simply more competition, from these globalists, than there would be from the average tournament in the 70s (unless one makes the argument that such tournaments were filled with only the specialists--something that recurring names like Borg, Conners, Lendl, McEnroe... would seem to contradict).

Sorry that got so long, but it's a very entertaining topic.


very nice theory.

My main problem is that the lists that people come up with dont seem to address the deepening fields and competition that seem to increase with every passing generation. You have given a very good explanation for the way the game is changing and why the players at the top are having to become more "universal" or "global" as you call it.

Lendl, Agassi, and Hewitt really ushered in the baseline era of tennis. They were ahead of their time in the way they could play off the baseline and became the harbingers of players to come in next generation. Just the same way players like mcenroe, tanner were ahead of their time and the 90's players were evidence of this.

Theories of competition and greatness of the top players have always been raised when we compare across generations - esp between the competitive time of the 90's and this current generation. For me the simple fact of the conditions being more extreme encouraged more specialists and consequently a diversity in grand slam winners. The fact that hardcourts/indoors were so fast meant that games were usually dominated by the server and that matches usually boiled down to a few points.

The fact that clay was much slower encouraged players such as bruguera, berastegui etc to hit with heavy topspin and perform well at the French but subsequently to have limited success at other slams.

For me Federer has become the prototypical universal player with nadal starting to emerge from the other side of the spectrum. They are able to compete on all surfaces and produce seemingly every shot. They have ushered in a new wave of players who rather than becoming particularly specialized have games that are well rounded. The oncoming wave of players - djokovic, berdych, gasquet, murray, monfils, baghdatis all have the capability and tools to play on all surfaces. The surfaces and conditions are converging towards a middle point and so competition is increasing across all surfaces since there are more contenders.

Because conditions have slowed down, matches are not based off of one or two points like they were in the 90's. So it doesn't seem that domination would be as difficult. But then it depends from what perspective you look at it. If you are the #1 player in the world and have a superior "global" game to the rest of the players, chances are you will be incredibly dominant the way the game is played from the baseline these days. But if you are not the #1 player in the world, it is incredibly hard to be competetive with those who are the top and it is much harder to ascend to that position. The number of levels of competition gives us an indication of how tough it is to dominate.

I understand the need for recoginizing players like ellsworth vines, bill tilden, william renshaw etc and they should not be forgotten but I find it almost snobbish to ignore the game as it is today when doing a comparison and to penalize the players of today because they have a much more difficult task at hand. To dominate with ever increasing pools of talent with each oncoming generation.

MatchFederer
09-13-2007, 03:48 AM
This is a rough graph/diagram/whatever of the basic principle I brought up earlier inspired by MrChopin's thoughts on the importance of the "size of the field".

MatchFederer
09-13-2007, 03:55 AM
If we used this as a basic principle but added to the diagram a 'strength of field' factor that could be derived from 'scouting' we could come up with some sort of method for comparing eras.. or something. The 'strength of field' part could either shift a pyramid piece of a certain era or time up or down. Am I making ANY sense?

CyBorg
09-13-2007, 04:08 AM
I like your approach to this; it's very analytical. I think I'm falling back on a measure of quality relative to the field, because I don't think there are universal standards by which one could compare Laver's ball striking to Federer's, or Borg's effective spin on clay to Nadal's. One could say "Laver had the greatest movement ever" but how does one justify that when the only measure of his movement was within his own era, relative to his own players.

It's not a perfect system. The attempt is to be as objective and open minded as possible in order to form an informed opinion. I made a fairly lengthy post on "Talk Tennis" about the nature of 'tennis genius' - I posited that players are great because they have an innate ability to play at a level that is objectively brilliant. In other words, these players transcend their eras and would be great, in my opinion, at any age or time. The giveaways for such greatness are in aesthetic aspects such as shotmaking, soft hands, vision, anticipation, a certain element of strength (but not brute strength), hand-eye coordination, etc. All of this transcends basic things like fitness regimes, etc. Whether Rod Laver was brilliant in the same way as Federer is irrelevant. What is relevant is that he was objectively as genius. And this has less to do with his opponents than most think.

As a contrast, I don't think it's coincidental that the absolute greats, since the open era, are all statistically close (as in separated from their respective fields). It's seems like 10+ majors is the best one can do. Mastering all four surfaces is incredibly difficult. 3-4 years of dominance is about as long as one player can hold off the field. A master emerges, followed by two to three players catching up (I think it's fairly safe to pick about 8-10 players in each generation that were noticeably above the rest, led by the one who was beyond them). I probably think there's more truth in the stats than you because it seems like there is a trend for those rare cases where someone is leaving the rest of the field behind for a few years, and it seems like there is some universal limit as to how long and how consistently one human can beat the rest. The variations in those averages, if extreme, would indicate just how rare the anomaly is, relative to the other anomalies. Borg dominating clay and grass is one example. Federer dominant for already four years with 12 slams in only 4.5 years is another.

I think that some players expire before it is their time to do so. Hoad and Borg are good examples. Guys who left before they were supposed to. In Borg's case, we saw McEnroe fail to win a major in his 'layoff' year of 1982, the same year the 17-year old Wilander won French Open (in other words, gimme). Interestingly enough, Borg owned McEnroe in all 1982 exhibitions, if that matters at all. It may be important to you that Borg stopped caring around 1981 and partially left the game (eventually for good) and perhaps this lowers him on some scale. To me, however, the choice is up to the player once he completed the requisite work (which to me is about three years of elite-level tennis). If you're wondering where I'm getting these ideas from, I can say that I've formed them in conjuctions with my studies in film and literature. Victor Erice, the great Spanish filmmaker, has only made 2 feature films. JD Salinger wrote only one novel. Some see this as greatness wasted - I see it as greatness sufficient. To each his own.

I agree with that. It's way too vague to be useful. I'm simply arguing that the diversity seems to balance itself out, whether in court speeds varying more in one era and strong servers in another, or various types of clay in one against the various hard courts in another.

Don't forget variety of grass. In Laver's era playing on grass in heat at the Aussie was different than playing on grass at the All-England club in moist, cool weather. Completely different bounces.

I don't know enough about 70s tennis (I'm only starting to really dive into the history) to pull 30-40 names off, but I think I was attempting to convey the depth of the field, in it's diversity (there it is again). You've got pure servers, great servers and volleyer's, great returners, great baseline players, great variety, great power... I think that the field today, with tennis more readily available to the world, would, just based on some rules of statistics, maximize the diversity among players and their strengths, and thus, maximize the difficulty at remaining at the top, fighting off the new technique/talent/whatever.

I think that this is a good line of thinking, but many people think that this is a sufficient enough argument on its own against the greatness of past elites. The only sufficient argument against them can be analytical, rooted in scouting. The approach that you talk about can be used to compare eras and rate them (if necessary) against each other.

You'd probably prefer comparing their play, but I think this is one revealing aspect of a previous point I made. The Australian was considered inferior back then. Now, you have everyone scrapping for the victory there. If the Masters became the 4th major in the 70s, does it become the 5th in the 00s?

I don't think that the Masters was a fourth major in Borg's and McEnroe's era. The reason why I bring up the Masters is to even out the criteria that people are using to canonize the greats. As long we bring up the four majors as the essential characteristis of a great year then we're doing a disservice to the players of that particular generation (who did not have a fourth major if you think about it). Of course, the much better approach in general (a much more grounded one) would be to analyze each and every year in terms of each and every tournament. Suddenly we start getting into tourneys like Dallas, Philadelphia, Pepsi Grand Slam, Montreal WCT and other stuff that mattered some time ago, but doesn't exist now.

You've now got Miami and Indian Wells with 96-person draws, nearly majors in their own right. For about 5-6 MS, almost the entire top 30 show up nowadays. This kind of day in-day out competition reveals that there are more tennis players now, more people pushing to take over the high spots, more demand to seek out the best tournaments and win them.

Yeah - all of these matter. The system is just more clear today than yesterday. We have all of the masters series layed out for us now, unlike the past. There was a discussion about this on "Talk Tennis" - about tournaments of the past that would be the equivalents of today's masters series. The only real way to know would be to look at the draws.

In comparing 78'-80' Borg vs. 04'-06' Federer, Federer has 8 majors, 2 major finals, 2 TMCs, and a TMC final. That seems even a bit steep compared to Borg's 6 majors, 2 major finals, and 2 masters series (and a Masters final in there somewhere). Of course, Borg could have attended the Australian Open, but I think it's unfair to try to balance what he could have done with what Federer has done. Federer has still beat the 128 field nearly three times a year for four straight years. That kind of opportunity didn't exist for Borg, but it's non-existence doesn't allow one to overlook the fact that Federer has done it.

Again, I'm repeating my very logical statement here: in saying what you are saying you are assuming that the AO is inherently important, a common fallacy from someone looking back on the game of tennis with a modern perspective. My logic is that tournaments are not inherently great - they need to be judged based on the context of the past, including draws and whatever prestige they had at the time. To say that Borg could have attended something and won it seems silly to me, because I know that he attended plenty of events and won them. The fact that most of the fans today are not aware of these events and their importance should in no way diminish his accomplishments.

I think that Federer has made strides to improve his clay game, especially in adding the variety in spins and angles that were not as consistent back in '03-'04. It's surprising, and perhaps underlines your point about a weak specialist era (in light of globalization), but the main push for Nadal on clay right now is Federer, who has gone the mile other players are unwilling to do in order to win on the red.

He has shown quite a bit of dedication, although I don't think he improved much in 07 over 06. His backhand was better, his forehand worse and his serve more wild. I was stupefied.

Since 2002(?), I think fast hard has replaced grass as the opposite end of the spectrum. Wimbledon is playing too slow, especially given that the one clay specialist left can get to the final (another sign of globalization).

Tim Henman would agree with this.

I've considered the "globalized" style before, which I'd extend to the slowing of grass (and death of serve and volley). I think that a real transition took place late 90s where a new wave really had the power to win from the baseline, and it transitioned with players like Hewitt and Agassi winning a bunch in 00, 01, 02. I think there are both pros and cons to this: you don't have players who are exclusive clay or grass monsters, but simultaneously, you have a lot more competition at the more "universal" surfaces: Australia, Dubai, Miami, IW (the slow hard surfaces) and even at the faster surfaces. Rather than win only two slams and tournaments that featured a small cluster of strong specialists, every tournament is a potential win for a "specialist."

I'd like to wait a few years before giving too much credence to the idea of an overabundance of the all-court player. It's only been a few years since we've had Kuerten, Corretja, Costa and Ferrero all playing and competing at once. It's not a phenomenon until it's proven to be of long-term effect.

I don't think it means the field is any easier or more difficult as a result, however, there are now a lot more players that can vie for each tournament (though one could then reply that Federer thus has to change his game less than Borg to win on different surfaces, provided he masters the "globalized" style).

Two points here: 1) The speed of the surfaces indicates a parity of sorts, 2) Federer gets to face a player like himself, rather than someone completely unlike himself on red clay .. this means that he knows what to exploit, while the opposing player cannot exploit Federer's weaknesses because he hits balls low rather than high to Federer's backhand side .. Why does Federer keep losing to Nadal on red clay? Because Nadal is completely unlike himself. Hence the problem with parity.

And I'd question whether or not specialists can even exist anymore. S&V seems to stand no chance against players like Blake that can crack winners off of first serves, or Federers that can push 150 mph serves where they wish. The shot making from the baseline is too good to do anything but, and will probably remain so until some new anomaly steps up S&V in a new way that beats the baseliners (though it's questionable that this will ever be possible again).

They do exist. They just suck (relatively speaking): Robredo, Ferrer, Monaco, Volandri, Moya.

With clay, I think specialists can exist in the future, though as you point out, I think that specialist has been traded for universal ability (the stretch with Agassi, Safin, Ferrero, Hewitt, and Roddick winning slams is a pretty unique blend of different "specialists" doing it on all surfaces). I'd boil it down to this generation of players weeding specialists out. Those who could play on all surfaces slowly grabbed up the points. The specialists went extinct, and it's now the case where to be in the top 4, you need to be able to Q/S at all of the four majors, thus forcing one to adopt a more generalized game.

I don't agree with this, because I think that the drought in the clay game is more the result of the struggles of the tennis system in the latin American countries. Argentina used to be very deep in talent, but has suddenly fallen off. Once countries like Argentina recover I think that clay court tennis will recover as well. Spain, aside from Nadal, could do better as well.

guy in sf
09-16-2007, 09:59 AM
It's getting harder and harder to discuss these topics with any seriousness with the "clowns" on this board spamming the threads with their attempt to be funny, throwing out names that are completely irrelevant to the topic. The first 10 irrelevant replies to the topic is just not a good sign for the forum. I can understand one or two thrown in for comic relief but this is pathetic and overdone. Maybe I'm the only one who's annoyed by this...am I the only one?

stebs
09-16-2007, 10:56 AM
I have just finished reading the discussion between Cyborg and Mr.Chopin and I can say it's one of the most interesting I have read here on MTF.

One very simple point which I'd like to add into this melting pot of facts and opinions. What people perceive as an era is very important and although there seems to be a constant when looking at the past it is when we look at the present that we are foolish about this.

If you get people calling the 90's Sampras era then although he only won his first slam in '03 it may, in the future, become commonplace to discuss the 2000's as Federers era. Being the greatest player of the period of time is one way of determining this although others would argue that the era must simply be the stretch of time one is leading the sport. If you argue this then Sampras era is cut slightly shorter and Federer's certainly isn't over yet. This is why it is far simpler to entertain the notion that dominance can be split, at least to a certain extent, into decades.

If we do this then the weak era argument takes a very different look and it is extremely hard to argue any of the points that have been argued. For those who argue the strength of the 90's (Sampras era) due to the continuing play of weary greats it has to then be accepted that Sampras is part of the Federer era. They have played in the same decade and jousted in grand slam competition. All of a sudden the philistines declaring weak era have Federer contending with Sampras, Agassi and the greats of a previous era as well as the forerunners of his own and those of the next.

The truth is, it is merely for convenience that we have any 'eras' at all when really the tennis world is a rolling succesion of winners and events. Whether we measure era's by a time scale (ten years) or by a player (Sampras, Federer) it is very easy to manipulate these eras to fit your argument whatever it may be and it is those who do this that are clearly biased. The perpetrators of the weak era argument will call the Sampras era the decade between 1990 and 2000 and yet discuss the Federer era as 2004-2007. The notion that comparing 10 years including all greats who finished their careers (Edberg, Becker, Connors etc...) and all greats who started their careers (Agassi, Sampras, Rafter etc...) with a four year stretch counting only the acheivements of players of a certain age group (many discount Agassi from this era and yet accept Connors as a 90's great) is acceptable is ridiculous. However, many of those who argue back, rather than trying to argue back from the middle of the spectrum go to the other extreme. It is actually easier to quantify an 'era' and then go from there.

A further way some may quantify an era is by using a generation of players. This has just as many variables as the previous discussed 'era' types. Is it the time when the players were born? The time they hit their peaks? The time they became pro's? The time they retired? Another minefield of difficulties is stumbled upon. A perfect example of this is when looking back at a time when some considered Kuerten and Federer of the same generation, both were part of the new balls campaign after all and although some may scoff the way the media represents a generation is as good a way of looking at things as many of the other criterion I listed. Again, the truth is that players come out of the woodwork not at the same time but at times unique to them. The generations we speak of are things we create for convinience to suit our arguments. You see Federer fans trying to represent his era as stronger than others and they say that his generation includes Nadal. Acheivement wise that could be true but the comeback will argue different ages. Nadal is still a youngster in the world of sporting men and Federer is positively middle-aged. Whichever way you look at things it is not possible to put one era over another.

marcRD
09-16-2007, 11:33 AM
Hence my point. What matters is not accomplishments alone, but "scouting". Without scouting all we have are the bare facts. The player is falsely and lazily judged by who he plays against.

I've said once that I thought that Mats Wilander was a 3-4 Grand Slam title-kind of guy who went on to win six. A couple of mediocre draws at the Aussie and a French Open victory shortly after the retirement of Borg and we have a slightly inflated resume. Without scouting we can conclude that Wilander was as good as Edberg... and he wasn't.

Yes, ofcourse. But who here has the tennis knowledge to scout? Who here has seen Bill Tilden or Fred Perry play tennis? Ofcourse I rank Edberg ahead of Wilander in tennis talent alone, but still you can only compare the achievments when you are meassuring greatness and Wilander with luck or no luck achieved more than Edberg.

Action Jackson
09-16-2007, 11:42 AM
Yes, ofcourse. But who here has the tennis knowledge to scout? Who here has seen Bill Tilden or Fred Perry play tennis? Ofcourse I rank Edberg ahead of Wilander in tennis talent alone, but still you can only compare the achievments when you are meassuring greatness and Wilander with luck or no luck achieved more than Edberg.

You just can't use results alone to judge and we have seen the problems this causes. As for the scouting there are people who have watched tennis in the 70s and seen the game progress into what it has become today.

We know this is not an exact science, but if people have actually seen the players play over a period of time say the one that I have used (the 70s onward) as it's more likely than someone posting here has done that and then watching Tilden.

The surfaces were different, the equpiment was very different which is obvious and makes it harder to gauge and are taken into consideration.

Lendl wasn't the most talented player, but look what he achieved compared to players who more naturally gifted.

Mateya
09-16-2007, 11:46 AM
You have done quite a study of tennis here :eek: :yeah:

Forehander
09-16-2007, 12:18 PM
i think they both can play tennis.

CyBorg
09-17-2007, 05:09 AM
Yes, ofcourse. But who here has the tennis knowledge to scout? Who here has seen Bill Tilden or Fred Perry play tennis? Ofcourse I rank Edberg ahead of Wilander in tennis talent alone, but still you can only compare the achievments when you are meassuring greatness and Wilander with luck or no luck achieved more than Edberg.

The fact is that not many people can properly guage the greatness of past tennis players, but more people should put forward an effort to do study these guys. The main point is that what we read and hear from mainstream sources should be taken with a grain of salt.

P.S. It seems that Edberg has achieved at least as much as Wilander, including making the finals at each of the grand slam tournmanets. But that's another debate.

Action Jackson
09-17-2007, 05:11 AM
The fact is that not many people can properly guage the greatness of past tennis players, but more people should put forward an effort to do study these guys. The main point is that what we read and hear from mainstream sources should be taken with a grain of salt.

P.S. It seems that Edberg has achieved at least as much as Wilander, including making the finals at each of the grand slam tournmanets. But that's another debate.

See Edberg had more flair and was a serve/volleyer, so even though Wilander had more personality off the court, people remember Edberg's game more fondly for the most part. Best of all they weren't exactly the greatest of friends.

CyBorg
09-17-2007, 05:20 AM
See Edberg had more flair and was a serve/volleyer, so even though Wilander had more personality off the court, people remember Edberg's game more fondly for the most part. Best of all they weren't exactly the greatest of friends.

Yeah - Edberg had his flaws. I agree that people give Edberg a lot of credit largely due to the serving and volleying, which is a bit of a lost art. It's refreshing to watch now, because it's extinct. But the guy had some major weaknesses, including a forehand that left much to be desired.

The thing about Wilander's three majors in 1988 is that he probably wouldn't have won that many had Lendl not struggled with injuries the whole year. But that shouldn't make the accomplishment any less heroic-seeming. The giveaway is Wilander's play outside of the majors that year which was anything but dominant. That being said, he was a redass (which is good).

FedFan_2007
09-17-2007, 05:27 AM
CyBorg - you seem at least to have come around to the notion that Federer is a great player.

Action Jackson
09-17-2007, 05:29 AM
Yeah - Edberg had his flaws. I agree that people give Edberg a lot of credit largely due to the serving and volleying, which is a bit of a lost art. It's refreshing to watch now, because it's extinct. But the guy had some major weaknesses, including a forehand that left much to be desired.

The thing about Wilander's three majors in 1988 is that he probably wouldn't have won that many had Lendl not struggled with injuries the whole year. But that shouldn't make the accomplishment any less heroic-seeming. The giveaway is Wilander's play outside of the majors that year which was anything but dominant. That being said, he was a redass (which is good).

Coming from a guy that hates serve/volley tennis. Edberg was wonderful to watch when he was in the groove, the funny thing is that his backhand was one of the most stylish shots I have ever seen and he could do a lot with it, but that forehand.

Wilander peaked for the Slams, he was famous for that. As for RG, he shown more than enough times he was able to match Lendl on that surface, when itr counted. They played brutal matches on clay and the last interesting US Open final.

As I said then and I will say now Lendl took the court and he was man enough not to allude to any injury problems when he lost, the way it should be.

MrChopin
09-17-2007, 07:55 AM
It's not a perfect system. The attempt is to be as objective and open minded as possible in order to form an informed opinion. I made a fairly lengthy post on "Talk Tennis" about the nature of 'tennis genius' - I posited that players are great because they have an innate ability to play at a level that is objectively brilliant. In other words, these players transcend their eras and would be great, in my opinion, at any age or time. The giveaways for such greatness are in aesthetic aspects such as shotmaking, soft hands, vision, anticipation, a certain element of strength (but not brute strength), hand-eye coordination, etc. All of this transcends basic things like fitness regimes, etc. Whether Rod Laver was brilliant in the same way as Federer is irrelevant. What is relevant is that he was objectively as genius. And this has less to do with his opponents than most think.

I think there's a problem, though, with relying on the measure-ability of talents like soft hands, strength, vision, anticipation. Further, to objectively tackle the issue seems near impossible. You would need tons of material to determine some base measure, and for those guys from the 30s or 50s, how could you do this? Even further, any attempt to translate these skills as tools for comparison seems a stretch: how can one compare the anticipation of Laver and Federer when average serve speed is so different, shot placement so different... This gets back to measuring overall greatness relative to their respective eras, because to do otherwise, to try to translate "great vision" in the 60s to today is assumption. Sure, Laver may have had great reactions for the 60s, but to try and rank he and Federer based on reactions seems impossible to me, at least era-free impossible, as suche measurements can only be made relative to respective-era opposition.

Of course, I'd be interested in hearing how you measure such attributes.

I think that some players expire before it is their time to do so. Hoad and Borg are good examples. Guys who left before they were supposed to. In Borg's case, we saw McEnroe fail to win a major in his 'layoff' year of 1982, the same year the 17-year old Wilander won French Open (in other words, gimme). Interestingly enough, Borg owned McEnroe in all 1982 exhibitions, if that matters at all. It may be important to you that Borg stopped caring around 1981 and partially left the game (eventually for good) and perhaps this lowers him on some scale. To me, however, the choice is up to the player once he completed the requisite work (which to me is about three years of elite-level tennis). If you're wondering where I'm getting these ideas from, I can say that I've formed them in conjuctions with my studies in film and literature. Victor Erice, the great Spanish filmmaker, has only made 2 feature films. JD Salinger wrote only one novel. Some see this as greatness wasted - I see it as greatness sufficient. To each his own.

I'm not saying it makes Borg un-great that he quit early. I'm saying that by quitting early, Borg limits something like "longevity." I think Federer's peak (for the last four years) has been as dominant as Borg's was. If Federer keeps this up for another two years, his peak, assuming annual magnitude equal to Borg's, goes twice as long. It's not a strike against Borg that he quit early, but when comparing the two, Federer has been as dominant for a longer period of time.

I think that this is a good line of thinking, but many people think that this is a sufficient enough argument on its own against the greatness of past elites. The only sufficient argument against them can be analytical, rooted in scouting. The approach that you talk about can be used to compare eras and rate them (if necessary) against each other.

My first point is a response to this, but again, "scouting" seems inherently subjective to me, relative to respective eras. Laver never had to return a 150 mph serve or 100 mph forehands. Sure, he was forced into pressure situations where he needed to act quickly, but there seems little base for comparison of physical attributes needed. Similarly, racket technology, attire... there seem to many factors to really consider "scouting" as a realistic option, even if it was translatable from era to era.

Again, I'm repeating my very logical statement here: in saying what you are saying you are assuming that the AO is inherently important, a common fallacy from someone looking back on the game of tennis with a modern perspective. My logic is that tournaments are not inherently great - they need to be judged based on the context of the past, including draws and whatever prestige they had at the time. To say that Borg could have attended something and won it seems silly to me, because I know that he attended plenty of events and won them. The fact that most of the fans today are not aware of these events and their importance should in no way diminish his accomplishments.

I'm assuming that the AO has importance today, given the size of the draw and top quality draws it has. I'm not saying that Borg's decision to ignore AO means he missed 1/4 of the slams, because as you've pointed out, AO circa 70s was a weak draw (only 3/4 of the slams could be considered as real slams). There are currently four major tournaments that are contested by most of the current best. Federer is winning 3/4 of them. In his era, Borg was winning 2/3 of the strongly contested slams. It's a matter of what was available to each player, to do. Borg could only win three "difficult" slams a year. Federer can win four. It's not a flaw for Borg, but the fact that Federer has been making good on his chances to dominate more slams than Borg is a fact that separates the two.

He has shown quite a bit of dedication, although I don't think he improved much in 07 over 06. His backhand was better, his forehand worse and his serve more wild. I was stupefied.

He had a poor stretch during the spring/summer this year, as evidenced by IW, Miami, and Rome. And whether or not his actual performance was worse or better, I think he was a lot closer to beating Nadal. In '06, Nadal didn't show up for the first set and gave away the game at 5-4 in the fourth. In '07, Federer was in control of the first, and when he stepped it up in the second, he looked to have Nadal overwhelmed. It will be interesting to see what form his '07 indoor game takes, but I think he will fare better than he did during his slump this year (which I think is, in large part, do to the mind boggling tennis he played from late '06 to AO '07-- a few of his matches at TMC '06 and AO '07, in general, are arguably the best tennis he's played in his career).

Two points here: 1) The speed of the surfaces indicates a parity of sorts, 2) Federer gets to face a player like himself, rather than someone completely unlike himself on red clay .. this means that he knows what to exploit, while the opposing player cannot exploit Federer's weaknesses because he hits balls low rather than high to Federer's backhand side .. Why does Federer keep losing to Nadal on red clay? Because Nadal is completely unlike himself. Hence the problem with parity.

It's an argument that can be made from both sides: Federer's similarity, to others, could make him equally as susceptible to the play they are used to. The fact that he's held off so many, while playing similar to them, is another sign of how good his is at adapting to their respective talents: it's pretty much Federer against the ATP at the majority of events. Nobody has figured out how to beat him consistently enough to take away his slams. And he's played S&V, baseline, and everything in between to do it (contrast the styles he faced at AO '07: Djokovic, Robredo, Roddick, Gonzalez, or his draw at USO '07). Asking for hitting high to his backhand, as a final means of variation and real sign of Federer playing a varied field, seems like simply focusing on what he still struggles to do (though it seems people talk about it less these days) and asking for him to be challenged in whatever it is. Borg had weaknesses that few players could exploit. It doesn't imply a weak field, simply that the masters were doing what they needed to mask and overcome their weaknesses. It's assumptive to think that a weakness remaining "unchallenged" is a sign of a mediocre field. Sampras should have been passed more. Borg should have faced harder, flatter ground strokes. People should hit more (than they already do) to Federer's backhand, and they should keep it high...

Nadal's ability to continually beat Federer is slowly diminishing. Yes, he continues to take most of the red clay matches, but Federer has not lost a non-clay match to him since Dubai '06. Federer took Hamburg (Nadal being mentally tired, probably), but Nadal can't always play his best against Federer either. Of course, some will be looking to fault a Federer win at RG if it happens, but I think that chances are no worse than they were in '07. Provided he gets a coach in early '08 that can help him, probability and history (his improvement with Roche being one sign) suggest they will be even better.

TennisGrandSlam
09-17-2007, 11:58 AM
Top 5 in Ope Era should be

Laver, Borg, Lendl, Sampras and Federer - each represent his own decade.


For greatness,

Laver ~ Borg > Sampras ~ Federer > Lendl


For toughtness,

Lendl > Borg > Laver > Sampras ~ Federer

CyBorg
09-17-2007, 05:33 PM
I think there's a problem, though, with relying on the measure-ability of talents like soft hands, strength, vision, anticipation. Further, to objectively tackle the issue seems near impossible. You would need tons of material to determine some base measure, and for those guys from the 30s or 50s, how could you do this? Even further, any attempt to translate these skills as tools for comparison seems a stretch: how can one compare the anticipation of Laver and Federer when average serve speed is so different, shot placement so different... This gets back to measuring overall greatness relative to their respective eras, because to do otherwise, to try to translate "great vision" in the 60s to today is assumption. Sure, Laver may have had great reactions for the 60s, but to try and rank he and Federer based on reactions seems impossible to me, at least era-free impossible, as suche measurements can only be made relative to respective-era opposition.

It's hard to explain, but you can tell when a guy is really good. I watch tapes of Laver and I can tell that he was better than Roddick. It's just obvious from the way he hits the ball. His accomplishments only back up his great physical abilities and concentration.

Yes, tons of material is needed in order to conclude with any measure of confidence (there is no such thing as 'beyond a reasonable doubt'), but I do not see a better, more grounded alternative. Going on bare stats alone has even more holes. Just look at these recent threads about the two statistical studies and note the problems associated even with the more careful approaches to statistical analysis.

Of course, I'd be interested in hearing how you measure such attributes.

There is no real measurement. It's scouting and it requires a keen eye. I can tell when a young player has soft hands by watching him play. Everything that I say should be taken with a grain of salt, of course, but if I present a detailed enough argument then there should be some value to it. A scouting report would be a thorough examination of a player's attributes. These can be very lengthy.

I'm not saying it makes Borg un-great that he quit early. I'm saying that by quitting early, Borg limits something like "longevity." I think Federer's peak (for the last four years) has been as dominant as Borg's was. If Federer keeps this up for another two years, his peak, assuming annual magnitude equal to Borg's, goes twice as long. It's not a strike against Borg that he quit early, but when comparing the two, Federer has been as dominant for a longer period of time.

It's a good argument and I understand why someone would make it. However my mentality is different, because I think that people naturally have different breaking points. I often bring up the example of Michael Jordan, who won three NBA championships in a row before retiring the first time. In two years he came back and won three more. I believe that he was slightly the better player before the retirement and should have still been judged the same even if he had not unretired. Jordan's reason for retiring figures in: he came back because he lived an unfulfilled life outside the basketball court. However if he had found a niche for himself in those years (eg. had succeeded as a baseball player) he would have never come back. For some, this would have meant that he would not have been the best of all time. I think that he still would be the best, because three years of utter dominance is enough. Borg's story is similar - he retired, but didn't come back because he did not have the urge to play again (there were a few additional reasons, but that's complex).

My first point is a response to this, but again, "scouting" seems inherently subjective to me, relative to respective eras. Laver never had to return a 150 mph serve or 100 mph forehands. Sure, he was forced into pressure situations where he needed to act quickly, but there seems little base for comparison of physical attributes needed. Similarly, racket technology, attire... there seem to many factors to really consider "scouting" as a realistic option, even if it was translatable from era to era.

There is no better alternative to scouting. This does not mean that scouting will provide you with the answer to the meaning of life. Also, you underestimate the serving in the older eras - Tilden had one of the biggest serves in history and so did Gonzalez and they did it with wood.

I'm assuming that the AO has importance today, given the size of the draw and top quality draws it has. I'm not saying that Borg's decision to ignore AO means he missed 1/4 of the slams, because as you've pointed out, AO circa 70s was a weak draw (only 3/4 of the slams could be considered as real slams). There are currently four major tournaments that are contested by most of the current best. Federer is winning 3/4 of them. In his era, Borg was winning 2/3 of the strongly contested slams. It's a matter of what was available to each player, to do. Borg could only win three "difficult" slams a year. Federer can win four. It's not a flaw for Borg, but the fact that Federer has been making good on his chances to dominate more slams than Borg is a fact that separates the two.

This is not a convincing argument, because it is not thorough. You say that you worry about subjectivities and yet you bring up majors results as if they should provide you with inwielding certitude.

He had a poor stretch during the spring/summer this year, as evidenced by IW, Miami, and Rome. And whether or not his actual performance was worse or better, I think he was a lot closer to beating Nadal. In '06, Nadal didn't show up for the first set and gave away the game at 5-4 in the fourth. In '07, Federer was in control of the first, and when he stepped it up in the second, he looked to have Nadal overwhelmed. It will be interesting to see what form his '07 indoor game takes, but I think he will fare better than he did during his slump this year (which I think is, in large part, do to the mind boggling tennis he played from late '06 to AO '07-- a few of his matches at TMC '06 and AO '07, in general, are arguably the best tennis he's played in his career).

You have to be more clear. I don't know if you're talking about the French here or what.

It's an argument that can be made from both sides: Federer's similarity, to others, could make him equally as susceptible to the play they are used to. The fact that he's held off so many, while playing similar to them, is another sign of how good his is at adapting to their respective talents: it's pretty much Federer against the ATP at the majority of events. Nobody has figured out how to beat him consistently enough to take away his slams. And he's played S&V, baseline, and everything in between to do it (contrast the styles he faced at AO '07: Djokovic, Robredo, Roddick, Gonzalez, or his draw at USO '07). Asking for hitting high to his backhand, as a final means of variation and real sign of Federer playing a varied field, seems like simply focusing on what he still struggles to do (though it seems people talk about it less these days) and asking for him to be challenged in whatever it is. Borg had weaknesses that few players could exploit. It doesn't imply a weak field, simply that the masters were doing what they needed to mask and overcome their weaknesses. It's assumptive to think that a weakness remaining "unchallenged" is a sign of a mediocre field. Sampras should have been passed more. Borg should have faced harder, flatter ground strokes. People should hit more (than they already do) to Federer's backhand, and they should keep it high...

I am not assuming anything. My point is very simple: you can't hit with topspin to Federer's backhand if you are a flat hitter.

Nadal's ability to continually beat Federer is slowly diminishing. Yes, he continues to take most of the red clay matches, but Federer has not lost a non-clay match to him since Dubai '06. Federer took Hamburg (Nadal being mentally tired, probably), but Nadal can't always play his best against Federer either. Of course, some will be looking to fault a Federer win at RG if it happens, but I think that chances are no worse than they were in '07. Provided he gets a coach in early '08 that can help him, probability and history (his improvement with Roche being one sign) suggest they will be even better.

Nadal is getting better on natural surfaces and could win both the French and Wimbledon next year. He looks much too comfortable moving on these surfaces - he was running circles around Roger at the French and Wimbledon, but at the latter his schedule cost him the match. He should have won both tournaments.

roxannax
09-17-2007, 08:16 PM
There can never be only one ’the greatest’ player of all times. I think nobody can possibly be ’the greatest ever’. But I think we can safely say that Federer is the greatest today. And how :)

Rafattack
04-13-2009, 09:46 PM
Roger Federer will not be the Greatest of All Time. To start with, the first and foremost step in which enables Federer to such a claim will be to surpass Sampras' GS tally; a step to which I strongly believe is too far given his current circumstances; with the current level of competition on the ATP Tour in combination with the sudden and apparent decline of his game and, in addition, with fatherhood on the horizon with a bambinio on the way, is even equalling Sampras' record of 14 GS titles a step too far for the 27 year old Swiss?

Secondly, there is the small issue of Federer's 'rivalry' with Rafael Nadal. How can Roger even be considered the GOAT when he can't (rarely) beat his closest rival in the modern era? Add Andy Murray into this equation and the argument simply gathers further momentum.

Moreover, I know some will argue Federer's 13 GS titles speak for themselves. And yes they do, but only to an extent. What the number 13 doesn't tell us is that the majority of those GS titles were achieved at a time in which the opponents were poor in comparison with the opponents Federer is and will be meeting in GS finals today - that is of course assuming he still can manage to progress into GS finals. For example (excluding Philippoussis at Wimbledon in 03), if you replace Roddick, Safin, Hewitt, Agassi, Baghdatis and Gonzalez with Djokovic, Murray and Nadal in those GS finals, Federer's tally would be nowehere near the 13 mark; it is a reflection of the times. Tennis has since become much stronger and with much better players. I realize in comparison with the 6 different players Federer faced in those particular Grand Slam final's, I have only in comparison named three in Djojovic, Murray and Nadal but that is because now there will not be anywhere near such a different variation of players in GS finals. I believe for the next few years it is generally only going to be Djokovic, Murray and Nadal in GS finals (and of course Federer if he still has the game). Therefore, this simple theory alone shows that tennis is much stronger now, hence why Federer isn't winning whereas when he was having his GS winning streak, it was at a time in which the opponents he was facing were very poor in comparison to the players he will be facing in the GS finals of today. Discuss...

scarecrows
04-13-2009, 09:53 PM
Discuss...

ok

if this thread doesn't get deleted, I'll insult the mods badly

miura
04-13-2009, 10:07 PM
Rafattack don't you have something better to do?

Rafattack
04-13-2009, 10:12 PM
Rafattack don't you have something better to do?

101 things! The truth hurts... :)

miura
04-13-2009, 10:16 PM
101 things! The truth hurts... :)
What, that you spend your every waking moment trolling around various forums on the internet? :)

superslam77
04-13-2009, 10:31 PM
-------------------------------------------------------------------
* wrong! :worship: *
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Philippoussis=2F better than murray so far
Roddick= 1W + 3F better than djokovic and murray
Safin=2W+2F better than djokovic and murray
Hewitt=2W+2F better than djokovic and murray
Agassi=8W+7F better than nadal,djokovic and murray
Baghdatis=1F equals murray so far
Gonzalez=1F equals murray so far

Djokovic = 1W+1F
Murray = 1F
Nadal = 6W+2F
-------------------------------------------------------------------

the 3 you think are "new and better" have already played since 2005 played especially nadull. PLUS federer HAS beaten all of them in GS finals already so what is your point, he only has to win 2 slam doesn't matter what players to have the record. DULLboy tardism!

Albop
04-13-2009, 10:32 PM
Murray and Djokovic are nothing yet.

Macbrother
04-14-2009, 02:54 AM
Moreover, I know some will argue Federer's 13 GS titles speak for themselves. And yes they do, but only to an extent. What the number 13 doesn't tell us is that the majority of those GS titles were achieved at a time in which the opponents were poor in comparison with the opponents Federer is and will be meeting in GS finals today - that is of course assuming he still can manage to progress into GS finals. For example (excluding Philippoussis at Wimbledon in 03), if you replace Roddick, Safin, Hewitt, Agassi, Baghdatis and Gonzalez with Djokovic, Murray and Nadal in those GS finals, Federer's tally would be nowehere near the 13 mark[/I][/B]

This is utterly subjective, purely your opinion, and flawed logic to boot. Can we agree that the game of Federer is vastly superior to anyone today short of Nadal when he's on? Well, he was on from '04-'07, and Federer bageled Nadal in the 1st set of Wimbledon '06 and was a double break up in the 4th set before winning comfortably, no telling what Federer would have done to Nadal on a faster court surface like the US Open. Argue Nadal has gotten better? I can easily argue Federer has gotten worse. Please don't get into the competition debate, it's nothing but a circle. Replace whoever you want with whoever, I've seen Federer playing his best, I've seen the guys of today playing their best, it is absolutely no comparison.

Kolya
04-14-2009, 03:15 AM
Mirka.

GugaF1
04-14-2009, 03:25 AM
Please, I`ve been reading some opinions here from quite knowledgeable fans. But to not include Pete Sampras among the top 10 to have played the game. No matter how you rationalize it, is absurb.

azza
04-14-2009, 03:26 AM
coz Mirka touches him at night

Sunset of Age
04-14-2009, 03:33 AM
101 things! The truth hurts... :)

Nomen Est Omen. :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

FedFan_2007
04-14-2009, 03:43 AM
It's quite simple - no multiple French Opens means no GOAT.

Sunset of Age
04-14-2009, 03:47 AM
It's quite simple - no multiple French Opens means no GOAT.

Do you feel right about yourself, being such an obvious bandwagonner-troll :confused: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

FedFan_2007
04-14-2009, 03:58 AM
Do you feel right about yourself, being such an obvious bandwagonner-troll :confused: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

What are you complaining about? Either way you're taken care of - the GOAT with 4 French titles or a 13-time slam champ. Life must be good for you. :worship:

Sunset of Age
04-14-2009, 03:59 AM
What are you complaining about? Either way you're taken care of - the GOAT with 4 French titles or a 13-time slam champ. Life must be good for you. :worship:

:retard:

prima donna
04-14-2009, 04:00 AM
What are you complaining about? Either way you're taken care of - the GOAT with 4 French titles or a 13-time slam champ. Life must be good for you. :worship:
Exactly.

FedFan_2007
04-14-2009, 04:01 AM
:retard:

:ras::ras::ras:

prima donna
04-14-2009, 04:01 AM
:retard:
He raises a valid point.

Sunset of Age
04-14-2009, 04:01 AM
Exactly.

:retard: of course, as in your minute universe, being a Roger fan EQUALS hating Rafa. Sorry mate, it doesn´t work that way in my little but FRIENDLY world...

Nice trolling thread. :worship:

CmonAussie
04-14-2009, 04:57 AM
I don't want to say Roger is the greatest ever simply because I rather wait till he retires or he is near the end of his carrer, having him say he will play the 2012 olympics in london is a great thing so I rather wait.

best ever, Rod Laver

reason. 2 calendar year slams (even if its just 2 surfaces) means that for these 2 years, this guy was a god in tennis and everyone knelt before him

:wavey:
Actually 3 calendar slams for Laver..!:cool::worship:
...
*1962 Amateur Slam [all 4 amateur majors]
*1967 Pro Slam [all 4 pro majors]
*1969 Open Slam [all 4 open majors]
...
Nobody will ever accomplish what Laver did.. The closest was Federer in 2006 & 2007.!

ORGASMATRON
04-14-2009, 05:00 AM
:wavey:
Actually 3 calendar slams for Laver..!:cool::worship:
...
*1962 Amateur Slam [all 4 amateur majors]
*1967 Pro Slam [all 4 pro majors]
*1969 Open Slam [all 4 open majors]
...
Nobody will ever accomplish what Laver did.. The closest was Federer in 2006 & 2007.!

No one will ever play in such a joke era again :)

Action Jackson
04-14-2009, 05:06 AM
No one will ever play in such a joke era again :)

Yes, you are right, when Federer clearly has been the 2nd best player on clay.

Serenidad
04-14-2009, 05:25 AM
:retard:

rafa_maniac
04-14-2009, 06:32 AM
How can you be the greatest ever when you can't consistently beat your main contemporary rival :shrug:

prima donna
04-14-2009, 06:34 AM
How can you be the greatest ever when you can't consistently beat your main contemporary rival :shrug:
:rolls:

Action Jackson
04-14-2009, 07:00 AM
:rolls:

Come on tennis didn't exist before 2005.

heya
04-14-2009, 07:07 AM
Between 2004 and 2008:

An overweight (207 pounds, widely promoted by the media) Roddick, who couldn't stop choking, tanking, and pretending that he
did everything to overcome his physical weakness genetics, is supposed to be Federer's painful competition and Nadal's supposed to lose on fast courts (US Open, Wimbledon, Australia). Yeah, right. More like Roddick cared only about charity money for his mother, official website promoters and sponsors to jerk off over.

Don't tremble, Fed trolls.

JolánGagó
04-14-2009, 08:56 AM
How can you be the greatest ever when you can't consistently beat your main contemporary rival :shrug:

This is the main tennis question of this Era, a question Federer should print in oversized font and hang up above his bed just in case he feels again tempted to think of himself as potential GOAT.

Bazooka
04-14-2009, 10:30 AM
You want reasons? I will give you some.

The greatest (post 1972): Connors, Federer, Sampras, Lendl, Borg.

None of them is truly above others as they have different achievements. Roger is best in many things, like his amazing winning streaks, his 3 years of unheard of dominance, and his all court game/results. But in some areas he is clearly spanked:

-Connors is the best in longevity, has a monster Win/Loss record over a 24 years career: 1241–277 (81.75%)... better than Federer's now!. Was top 3 for 12 consecutive years, and top 10 for another 4 consecutive years after that. True that most of it was with the old system, and he had points from 2 years, but his competitors profited from it too, and he managed to stay on top for so long. Roger has been at top game for 4.5 years, and somehow looks like he may end 2009 as #4, something I can't forgive because nothing in his game fundaments suggests such an early decline, seems to be mental.

-Lendl. Also a long career, numerically similar to Connors. One of the stats I like more about Lendl is his very good HtH with other legends of many different eras: Connors 22-12, McEnroe 21-15, Vilas 10-5, Wilander 15-7, Becker 11-10, Edberg 13-14, Muster 4-1, Cash 5-3, and even Agassi!!! 6-2. And some decent result with Sampras, 3-5, even if he was 34 in his last match with him. Only Borg dominated him 2-6, but he was very young. Roger, on the other hand, well... It's true that he has dominated talented players like Roddick, Hewitt and more or less Nalbandian. Nadal could be counted as an exception, but now we have Simon, Murray and he better watch Djokovic.

-Sampras we all know has the best "absolute" numbers, not only slams which I think Roger will surpass, but 6 years end as #1 opposed to 4 from Roger, and again a longer peak, and a good HtH to his contemporary Greats. If you want to be called the greatest ever, better not to have a guy around which has been #1 49 weeks more than you, or you will always have an asterisk to your GOAT title.

Having said this, Roger achievements are amazing and his career is not complete. I understand that many people value him over the four above, and I may even agree sometimes. But no GOAT unless he wins RG or 2-3 others, and no GOAT unless he extends his peak for a little longer and gets some important wins over Nadal and Murray.

Bazooka
04-14-2009, 10:53 AM
:wavey:
Actually 3 calendar slams for Laver..!:cool::worship:
...
*1962 Amateur Slam [all 4 amateur majors]
*1967 Pro Slam [all 4 pro majors]
*1969 Open Slam [all 4 open majors]
...
Nobody will ever accomplish what Laver did.. The closest was Federer in 2006 & 2007.!

Laver can be easily compared to Rosewall. 8 Amateur Slams + 16 Pro Majors = 24 majors, including 9 french.

However, it was a different game back then.

aferlo
04-14-2009, 11:04 AM
I think it is difficult to say which player is the best ever, but has anybody realized that Nadal is the first player in history being the current holder of three Gran Slam tittles played in three totally different surfaces? Rod Laver won his tittles in two surfaces (clay and grass) and other players having at the same time three Gran Salam tittles (Wilander, Sampras, Agassi and Federer), had among them Australian and US Open, which are played in a very similar surface.

That fact itself doesn´t make Nadal the best player ever, but it´s something to take into consideration in this discussion.

Saying that, for me Federer is the greatest player I have seen, and I have been watching tennis for more than 40 years.

mikkemus23
04-14-2009, 11:12 AM
After his decline and many gig gmae losses to Nadal, Federer needs, to be considered GOAT;
- two or three more slams
- some big wins against Nadal (and Murray), preferably at Roland Garros, but any other will do just fine

aferlo
04-14-2009, 11:17 AM
I think that Federer actual problem is that he has been so better than the rest players during so long time, that he hasn´t worked on improving his game. He travels normally without trainners and is rather poor tactically, and now that he is facing better opponents he looks a little helpless. If he works hard and with humility, he can be number one again, but I don´t think he´s in the mood.

Jaz
04-14-2009, 11:39 AM
No player has really been the GOAT, Sampras never won on clay, neither did Federer.

Those back in the 60's and 70's, the surfaces were very different back then!

This silly argument that Federer had a weak era is totally subjective. He dominated everyone, and dominated meant he beat everyone with ease for years and years! Everyone, even the great players were completely destroyed, especially Roddick (who was completely derailed by Federer mentally).

No one will be the greatest player ever, because they will all get beaten by someone younger and fresher. Period.

As for his current game, his single-handed backhand is killing him in big matches, his serve has lost speed and accuracy, as have his shots. Mentally going downhill. It's just the wrapup time for the career.

Bernard Black
04-14-2009, 11:43 AM
After his decline and many gig gmae losses to Nadal, Federer needs, to be considered GOAT;
- two or three more slams
- some big wins against Nadal (and Murray), preferably at Roland Garros, but any other will do just fine

Yeah, the big wins are important. Amazingly for many people, the slam record just won't be enough if he keeps losing to Nadal and Murray. Especially if Nadal manages to get into a double figure slam tally.

We hear time and time again the 'weak era' argumen with regards to Federer's achievement. He can put that all to bed with a couple of big match wins over Nadal before he retires, his legacy will show that he came across obstacles in the form of younger, fitter, hungrier players but still had the game and the mental know-how to find a way to overcome them. Pretty high motivation for Federer you would think, but the family planning off-court won't make things easy.

Crazy Girl
04-15-2009, 10:56 AM
NO REASONS!!!

He's the best ever!!!!!

:worship::worship::worship::worship:

duong
04-15-2009, 01:56 PM
Best since the 2nd world war : between Pancho Gonzales and Laver.

Then Borg then Federer

then Sampras or maybe Rosewall or Kramer.

And I don't even speak before the 2nd world war.

duong
04-15-2009, 02:04 PM
This silly argument that Federer had a weak era is totally subjective.

Sampras had a very weak era when he was old, which allowed him to win several slams.

Federer had a weak era when he was young ... except on clay where he had the best possible opponent together with Borg. If this one hadn't been there he would have won the calendar slam.

But if Federer's youth era was weak, what should you say about the time between 1996-1997 and 2003 ?

Murray would have more points now than Kuerten or Roddick (with the previous system), and Djokovic more than Hewitt and Agassi ... and he would have even more if Nadal or Federer was not there.

Now Federer has very great opponents. Unfortunate he's too old to really be a challenge to them.

ossie
04-15-2009, 02:11 PM
How can you be the greatest ever when you can't consistently beat your main contemporary rival :shrug:

this

connectolove
04-15-2009, 03:37 PM
Reason #1 ... NADAL!

morningglory
04-15-2009, 03:52 PM
One and only reason: 14 > 13
Sampras > Federer

magnoliaewan
04-15-2009, 03:57 PM
In his peak years, he dominated like no other. Also, in terms of raw talent, I've never seen any other like him. He will be considered one of the tennis legend when he's done regardless if he doesn't do anything else from here on. If he manages to equal or surpass the record number of slams, I'd say, he is the greatest ever.

duong
04-15-2009, 03:58 PM
One and only reason: 14 > 13
Sampras > Federer

Karlovic is the best : 2m08.

Or Rocco Siffredi maybe.

At least I don't think Federer will ever reach their level.

I hope he can live without those records :haha:

duong
04-15-2009, 03:59 PM
If he manages to equal or surpass the record number of slams, I'd say, he is the greatest ever.

This record means nothing comparing to tennis history.
Whether or not Federer wins 15 GS.

Arkulari
04-15-2009, 04:47 PM
I don't think many people would remember the number of Masters 1000 won or the h2h against given players, people will remember talent and GS victories and Roger has gotten loads of both ;)

the idea of the GOAT is a bit stupid, because the conditions, the courts, the rackets, the shoes, the fitness of the players have been different on each era, we can talk about legends on their own time but not about the GOAT because we don't have a common point to compare on all these conditions

to me the best of each time have been Laver, Sampras and Federer ;)

Rafa = Fed Killa
04-15-2009, 04:51 PM
Reason: RAFA the SPARTAN KING

Crazy Girl
04-15-2009, 05:13 PM
He has been, he is and he shall be the greatest!!!

Nothing more to prove.

The man from Basel!!!

Dini
04-15-2009, 05:17 PM
In his peak years, he dominated like no other. Also, in terms of raw talent, I've never seen any other like him. He will be considered one of the tennis legend when he's done regardless if he doesn't do anything else from here on. If he manages to equal or surpass the record number of slams, I'd say, he is the greatest ever.

:worship:

MacTheKnife
04-15-2009, 10:25 PM
the idea of the GOAT is a bit stupid, because the conditions, the courts, the rackets, the shoes, the fitness of the players have been different on each era, we can talk about legends on their own time but not about the GOAT because we don't have a common point to compare on all these conditions

to me the best of each time have been Laver, Sampras and Federer ;)

That very closely states how I feel about it. I don't think there is or ever will be one GOAT. I think of them in buckets of guys. Two many variables to pick ONE for sure.

heartbroken
04-16-2009, 07:26 AM
Sampras had a very weak era when he was old, which allowed him to win several slams.

Federer had a weak era when he was young ... except on clay where he had the best possible opponent together with Borg. If this one hadn't been there he would have won the calendar slam.

But if Federer's youth era was weak, what should you say about the time between 1996-1997 and 2003 ?

Murray would have more points now than Kuerten or Roddick (with the previous system), and Djokovic more than Hewitt and Agassi ... and he would have even more if Nadal or Federer was not there.

Now Federer has very great opponents. Unfortunate he's too old to really be a challenge to them.

Just for grins, I went back and looked at the fields for each of the slams that Sampras and Federer won. I mainly concentrated on the top four seeds, and also looked at who made the quarterfinals or better. Taking into account the stage of each player in their career, their success on the surface in question, total slam success, and a few other things, I made a note for each slam on whether I thought the field was strong, weak, or neutral. Here is what I came up with:

Sampras - 4 weak slams, 3 neutral slams, 7 strong slams
Federer - 5 weak slams, 5 neutral slams, 3 strong slams

Naturally, this is only an opinion. I didn't care how it would turn out, and I don't claim that it is "correct". I just tried to give an honest assessment, that's all. If someone else sees it differently, I respect their opinion. I could post how I rated the individual slams, if anyone cares... :wavey:

theDreamer
04-18-2009, 09:56 PM
To those who are asking the question about federer losing to his main rival,
about sampras, one can ask - how can he be the GOAT when he did so poorly on clay? or some variation of that.
about borg, one can ask - how can he be the GOAT when he could never win the US Open in 10 tries (losing 4 times in the final)?

(I'm just playing the devil's advocate. I think the whole idea of a GOAT is nonsensical.)

CyBorg
04-18-2009, 10:02 PM
To those who are asking the question about federer losing to his main rival,
about sampras, one can ask - how can he be the GOAT when he did so poorly on clay? or some variation of that.
about borg, one can ask - how can he be the GOAT when he could never win the US Open (losing 4 times in the final)?

(I'm just playing the devil's advocate. I think the whole idea of a GOAT is nonsensical.)

To answer your question: they can't.

Because players like Rosewall and Laver have virtually seamless resumes.

Federer/Borg/Sampras don't.

marcRD
04-18-2009, 10:10 PM
Kind of hard to judge Federer when he is having the worst time of his career, in some years we will have a clearer image of his acomplishment. It must hurt to lose 3 straight grand slam finals against your main rival, 2 of them you could and maybe should have won and the other one was just humiliating.

theDreamer
04-19-2009, 12:41 AM
To answer your question: they can't.

Because players like Rosewall and Laver have virtually seamless resumes.

Federer/Borg/Sampras don't.

Thank you!

So we're left with going back to the very beginnings of professional
tennis to find the "GOAT"? The "weak-era" argument is very much over-used
but surely, if it can be applied anywhere, it must be applied to the time
of Rosewall and Laver, when pro play was just becoming popular, and the
depth of competition can't have been anything like it has become since...

CyBorg
04-19-2009, 02:17 AM
Thank you!

So we're left with going back to the very beginnings of professional
tennis to find the "GOAT"? The "weak-era" argument is very much over-used
but surely, if it can be applied anywhere, it must be applied to the time
of Rosewall and Laver, when pro play was just becoming popular, and the
depth of competition can't have been anything like it has become since...

I'm not following this post, because I find the tone ambiguous.

Are you saying the Laver/Rosewall era was the beginning of professional tennis? Is this serious?

Sean
04-19-2009, 11:33 AM
Sampas won slams spanning over a 12 year period, thats over 2-3 tennis generations he won slams over, not like Fed taking advantage of mug players with no talent (hewitt, roddick), or brains (safin, nalbandain). Now real men Nadal, Djokovic, Murray come into game Fed is crying in a corner cos he cant beat them. Would have won 5-6 slams max in a strong era Fed.

theDreamer
04-20-2009, 12:30 AM
I'm not following this post, because I find the tone ambiguous.

Are you saying the Laver/Rosewall era was the beginning of professional tennis? Is this serious?

No of course not.
Sorry, what I meant was the beginnings of the "Open Era". I don't even want to include players like
Don Budge, Pancho Gonzales etc. Maybe if it were possible to decide on the greatest
player of the open era, then we can include them and decide on the actual GOAT.

And my point I think was, it would seem inconsistent to just pick on certain weaknesses or gaps in the player's
resumes by asking questions like the examples I used - the only way to even come close to settling the issue
might be to decide which stats people feel are the most important/indispensable and judge them all on that? I don't know...:shrug:

salut235
05-11-2009, 07:38 AM
He's also missing the Olympics Gold Medal, which Nadal has.

If Nadal wins the US Open, he'll have all the 4 grandslams + Gold medal. Federer only has 3 grandslams and no medal.

finishingmove
05-11-2009, 07:39 AM
did laver win the olympics? if not, the question of goat will be clear by the end of this year.

Or Levy
05-11-2009, 07:43 AM
You need a certain luck for the Olympics.

The 2008 was in the year where Rafa peaked, Roger's peak came between the 2004 and 2008 olympics, if the Olympics was in 2006, Roger would have had a better chanec.

vamosinator
05-11-2009, 07:47 AM
Although a peak should last longer than 3 years, if you are great that is. Plus the Olympics is a relatively weak field, it should be winnable regardless of peak, if you are great that is.

Dougie
05-11-2009, 07:53 AM
Although a peak should last longer than 3 years, if you are great that is. Plus the Olympics is a relatively weak field, it should be winnable regardless of peak, if you are great that is.

So Laver will be a top contender at the next Olympics, then? Because he certainly is great, just not exactly at his peak anymore.

vamosinator
05-11-2009, 07:55 AM
If Laver played Olympic tennis during his non-peak years he would have won a Gold no doubt.

emmz
05-11-2009, 07:56 AM
Roger did get an olympics gold.......just not the one he really wanted

salut235
05-11-2009, 08:04 AM
Roger did get an olympics gold.......just not the one he really wanted


Yeah but we are talking about greatest singles tennis player.

finishingmove
05-11-2009, 08:10 AM
Yeah but we are talking about greatest singles tennis player.

rafael nadal, destroyer of worlds.

Mimi
05-11-2009, 08:12 AM
why so many nadal threads lately ?:help:

superslam77
05-11-2009, 08:13 AM
Nadal is not only missing the US open but also 4 YECs,MIAMI and a doubles Gold medal and something he will never have style and respect for the rules...oh and 9 more grandslams.

vamosinator
05-11-2009, 08:17 AM
No tennis historian cares about Miami and the doubles gold medal, and the YEC is irrelevant when you are winning Calendar Year Grand Slams like Nadal.

Mimi
05-11-2009, 08:18 AM
well roger sometimes also showed disrespect for the rules: smashing rackets and refusing to shake hands with empires ;)

Nadal is not only missing the US open but also 4 YECs,MIAMI and a doubles Gold medal and something he will never have style and respect for the rules...oh and 9 more grandslams.

Ivanatis
05-11-2009, 08:20 AM
very misleading thread title

finishingmove
05-11-2009, 08:21 AM
very misleading thread title

you thought he was injured? :lol:

Ivanatis
05-11-2009, 08:24 AM
either that or some other reason he'll miss it:o

have been pretty busy the last days and was here for a very short time only, so it was a bit of a shock I read this title:(

Mimi
05-11-2009, 08:26 AM
also, its 7 more slams, not 9, roger has 13, while rafa has 6

Nadal is not only missing the US open but also 4 YECs,MIAMI and a doubles Gold medal and something he will never have style and respect for the rules...oh and 9 more grandslams.

finishingmove
05-11-2009, 08:27 AM
either that or some other reason he'll miss it:o

have been pretty busy the last days and was for a very short time only, so it was a bit of a shock I read this title:(

yeah, i guess the "Gasquet tests positive for cocaine !? " didn't help either.

kingfederer
05-11-2009, 08:45 AM
Roger did get an olympics gold.......just not the one he really wanted

yea wawrinka had to help him get that as well.

FlameOn
05-11-2009, 08:47 AM
I've been thinking of making a thread about how Federer's missing the singles gold. It's unlikely he'll get that now. If he won the French he might be forgiven for that, but he can't really be the GOAT until he wins the French Open (which probably won't happen).

kingfederer
05-11-2009, 08:57 AM
I've been thinking of making a thread about how Federer's missing the singles gold. It's unlikely he'll get that now. If he won the French he might be forgiven for that, but he can't really be the GOAT until he wins the French Open (which probably won't happen).

no one can be goat if u have a losing record against ur main rival.

FlameOn
05-11-2009, 09:03 AM
no one can be goat if u have a losing record against ur main rival.
Not to mention his dying record against Andy Murray. :D

penzias
05-11-2009, 09:06 AM
Olympic gold is fine but if something is really missing Fed aside from the FO is the Davis Cup.

kingfederer
05-11-2009, 09:09 AM
Not to mention his dying record against Andy Murray. :D

and for me federer is too mentally fragile, people will always question that part of him when discussin goat. no use saying he beat me on clay alot, because if u want the goat tag, u beat everyone on every surface, goat tag isnt given to everyone that comes along, its the most prestigious tag in any sport.

here is what agassi said of federer recently after the aussie open defeat
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSVWWCBgr78
watch after 2:50, he says it all, always great hearing agassi speak his mind, he is very well spoken and has no arrogance to him and makes his point in a respectful way.

vamosinator
05-11-2009, 09:12 AM
and for me federer is too mentally fragile, people will always question that part of him when discussin goat.

here is what agassi said of federer recently after the aussie open defeat
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSVWWCBgr78
watch after 2:50, he says it all, always great hearing agassi speak his mind, he is very well spoken and has no arrogance to him and makes his point in a respectful way.

Agassi would be the best commentator in the world, he'd make MAC look less than perfect in the box. Agassi's press conferences are legendary :yeah:

ORGASMATRON
05-11-2009, 09:16 AM
Fed will win the singles gold medal in 2012 and the French in the next few years.

ORGASMATRON
05-11-2009, 09:20 AM
Oh and btw the gold medal isnt so important, the TMC is bigger of which Roger has 4 and Rafa none. Rafa should win the USO to have a chance to be the GOAT and quite a few more slams. Winning the US will become harder and harder with Murray and Djokovic around.

superslam77
05-11-2009, 09:46 AM
Fed will win the singles gold medal in 2012 and the French in the next few years.

that would be great but it will be hard..

johnny_dhk
05-11-2009, 09:46 AM
Fed will win the singles gold medal in 2012 and the French in the next few years.

Nadal will win calendar slams in 2009, 2010 and 2011. He will end up winning 25 grand slams and 3 olympic singles gold medals. He will remain the world no. 1 until 2016.

superslam77
05-11-2009, 09:51 AM
also, its 7 more slams, not 9, roger has 13, while rafa has 6

15 is needed since sampras has 14 but still many people would not call rafa goat because of the bad style,manners and suspicious results... fed would be goat with 14 especially if it's the french.

superslam77
05-11-2009, 09:55 AM
Nadal will win calendar slams in 2009, 2010 and 2011. He will end up winning 25 grand slams and 3 olympic singles gold medals. He will remain the world no. 1 until 2016.

someone will end up very disappointed i sense,hopefully this is some attempt at a decent joke :P

vamosinator
05-11-2009, 10:02 AM
15 is needed since sampras has 14 but still many people would not call rafa goat because of the bad style,manners and suspicious results... fed would be goat with 14 especially if it's the french.

You think he'll win the French? :eek:

ORGASMATRON
05-11-2009, 10:03 AM
15 is needed since sampras has 14 but still many people would not call rafa goat because of the bad style,manners and suspicious results... fed would be goat with 14 especially if it's the french.

Fed would be the GOAT anyway at 14 cos he is much better then Sampy on clay. If he wins the french so much better. Least then the Rafatards would give it a rest.

Mimi
05-11-2009, 10:03 AM
i am not those who think nadal will win 15 slams, i will be satisfied with 2-3 more slams and even if he does not win another, i was satsified

well, if you think Roger's smashing rackets and refusing to shake hands with empire, his sometimes sour grapes attitude after losing matches in interviews are good manners, then please don't critiise rafa, roger is not an angel either :wavey:

15 is needed since sampras has 14 but still many people would not call rafa goat because of the bad style,manners and suspicious results... fed would be goat with 14 especially if it's the french.

vamosinator
05-11-2009, 10:04 AM
I don't mind if Federer becomes better than Sampras, he won't ever reach Nadal either way :D

johnny_dhk
05-11-2009, 10:09 AM
I don't mind if Federer becomes better than Sampras, he won't ever reach Nadal either way :D

Spot on.

superslam77
05-11-2009, 10:20 AM
i am not those who think nadal will win 15 slams, i will be satisfied with 2-3 more slams and even if he does not win another, i was satsified

well, if you think Roger's smashing rackets and refusing to shake hands with empire, his sometimes sour grapes attitude after losing matches in interviews are good manners, then please don't critiise rafa, roger is not an angel either :wavey:

Roger shows REAL emotion,no bullshit attitude and passion! he's a genuine good and moral person.

not a fake humility like nadal the mr.nice guy and PC post match, OCD and arrogant on court.

ORGASMATRON
05-11-2009, 10:24 AM
Roger shows REAL emotion,no bullshit attitude and passion! he's a genuine good and moral person.

not a fake humility like nadal the mr.nice guy and PC post match, OCD and arrogant on court.

Couldnt have said it better myself. Nadull is a fake two face.

johnny_dhk
05-11-2009, 10:26 AM
Federina with his smuggy arrogance is a disgrace for tennis.

Mimi
05-11-2009, 10:31 AM
really? if roger always show real emotion while rafa is fake, why didn't roger bring his sour grapes words into the presentation ceremony instead? :confused: saying proper and standard words on ceremony but sour grapes as: i can't see the balls, I played bad not he played well etc in interviews which many fans won't bother to read in details so as to keep his good image intact in public? :wavey:


Roger shows REAL emotion,no bullshit attitude and passion! he's a genuine good and moral person.

not a fake humility like nadal the mr.nice guy and PC post match, OCD and arrogant on court.

kingfederer
05-11-2009, 10:33 AM
Federina with his smuggy arrogance is a disgrace for tennis.

:lol: yea yesterday he said he can rattle nadal on clay, i mean atleast make a final before u say that, the sour grapes at watching others succeed and incredible jealousy of others being successful is massaging his ego the wrong way. he is just destroying his reputation worldwide among sports fans. people dont like these kinda snipes and cocky trash talking by him. he is losing the average sport loving fanbase that love humble sportsman very quickly with these comments.

Wojtek
05-11-2009, 11:13 AM
He's also missing the Olympics Gold Medal, which Nadal has.

If Nadal wins the US Open, he'll have all the 4 grandslams + Gold medal. Federer only has 3 grandslams and no medal.

Federer has gold medal :angel:

Macbrother
05-11-2009, 11:42 AM
No tennis historian cares about Miami and the doubles gold medal, and the YEC is irrelevant when you are winning Calendar Year Grand Slams like Nadal.

Here's a hint: They don't give a shit about the Olympics, either. When Nadal wins an actual grand slam, then make this statement.

2003
05-11-2009, 11:50 AM
Olympic gold is olympic gold..doesn't really matter. Stalemate mate.

vamosinator
05-11-2009, 11:54 AM
Here's a hint: They don't give a shit about the Olympics, either. When Nadal wins an actual grand slam, then make this statement.

Agassi's gold medal and Graf's gold medal are both frequently referred to, clearly they are relevant to greatness. As for the Nadal's Calendar Year Grand Slam, we've had to hear about Federer's upcoming Calendar Year Grand Slam for a long time now, and now we have someone with a REAL opportunity and the all-court skills, so lets give him his due since he's actually earnt it by winning on 3 different surfaces and dominating his biggest rival.

vamosinator
05-11-2009, 11:55 AM
Olympic gold is olympic gold..doesn't really matter. Stalemate mate.

Only a Federer fan would say that, "mate".

FedFan
05-11-2009, 12:34 PM
Federina with his smuggy arrogance is a disgrace for tennis.


Interesting you are sensitive to arrogance, whereas you and many of your Rafatards are the most arrogant users here, always bashing Federer and his accomplishment and praising Nadal, as if he had already reached GOAT-status. A reality check might help you. ;)

You are a disgrace for MTF.

vamosinator
05-11-2009, 12:47 PM
^^ I've never seen more arrogance on this board than the Federer fans that have repeatedly called Federer the GOAT. You can't criticize Nadal fans for praising Nadal after all that has gone on here for the last 5 years with crazy Federer GOAT talk.

FedFan
05-11-2009, 01:02 PM
^^ I've never seen more arrogance on this board than the Federer fans that have repeatedly called Federer the GOAT. You can't criticize Nadal fans for praising Nadal after all that has gone on here for the last 5 years with crazy Federer GOAT talk.


How many Federerfans have Roger called the GOAT or given as many unrealistic pronostics after "only" six grand slams as now the Rafatards do with their idol?

Rafatards are clearly more obsessed, because their fanbase consists mostly of teenagers.

Matchu
05-11-2009, 01:09 PM
did laver win the olympics? if not, the question of goat will be clear by the end of this year.

Why is it that no seems to realise that Tennis at the olympics in stopped 1924 and restarted in 1988. Laver started playing in 1956 and retired in 1976. Surely anyone on this message board would be willing to admit that in a span of 30 years (6 Olympics including one being held in Australia) that Rod Laver would have been able to pick up one singles Olympic Gold Medal, and if anyone on this board disagrees they have no idea what they are talking about.

TennisViewer531
05-11-2009, 01:18 PM
Why is it that no seems to realise that Tennis at the olympics in stopped 1924 and restarted in 1988. Laver started playing in 1956 and retired in 1976. Surely anyone on this message board would be willing to admit that in a span of 30 years (6 Olympics including one being held in Australia) that Rod Laver would have been able to pick up one singles Olympic Gold Medal, and if anyone on this board disagrees they have no idea what they are talking about.

I agree, Laver would have won at least one. Being the top tennis player at that time, he could have gotten at least two or three...

star
05-11-2009, 01:39 PM
Rafatards are clearly more obsessed, because their fanbase consists mostly of teenagers.

What is your objective evidence for this statement?

star
05-11-2009, 01:41 PM
Roger shows REAL emotion,no bullshit attitude and passion! he's a genuine good and moral person.

not a fake humility like nadal the mr.nice guy and PC post match, OCD and arrogant on court.

Ah...

rafa_maniac
05-11-2009, 01:43 PM
How many Federerfans have Roger called the GOAT or given as many unrealistic pronostics after "only" six grand slams as now the Rafatards do with their idol?


Are you shitting me? The GOAT talk with Federer began as early as 2004, even amongst the media.

rafa_maniac
05-11-2009, 01:44 PM
I know this is essentially a troll thread, but while we are discussing gaps in player's CVs, can anyone tell me if Agassi is credited with winning the Davis Cup? I know he played a lot for the US during the 90s, but can't remember if he ever played for the winning team in a final.

Commander Data
05-11-2009, 01:56 PM
This thread still open? Mods should be aware of the fact that they a responsible for the quality standards of MTF or rather the non-existence thereof.

FedFan
05-11-2009, 01:57 PM
Are you shitting me? The GOAT talk with Federer began as early as 2004, even amongst the media.

You are right it was mostly the media, which began to talk about the possibility of Federer becoming the GOAT, because of his great talent and technical skills. ;)

The fans in general were not unrealistic about what he could accomplish.

FedFan
05-11-2009, 02:07 PM
What is your objective evidence for this statement?

Nadal with his style of play, brutal force, dynamic and endurance is clearly appealing to younger fans.

He will have more teenies to root for him than Roger.

Fans, who are a bit older will in general prefer the more stylish game and the personality of Roger, I am pretty sure of it. ;)

ORGASMATRON
05-11-2009, 02:19 PM
Nadal with his style of play, brutal force, dynamic and endurance is clearly appealing to younger fans.

He will have more teenies to root for him than Roger.

Fans, who are a bit older will in general prefer the more stylish game and the personality of Roger, I am pretty sure of it. ;)

True, people who can still appreciate real tennis in other words.

TennisViewer531
05-11-2009, 02:25 PM
Nadal with his style of play, brutal force, dynamic and endurance is clearly appealing to younger fans.

He will have more teenies to root for him than Roger.

Fans, who are a bit older will in general prefer the more stylish game and the personality of Roger, I am pretty sure of it. ;)

I agree! :worship:

vamosinator
05-11-2009, 02:53 PM
Whoever preferred the 'personality' of Roger would be having 2nd thoughts now thats for darn sure :o

BIGMARAT
05-11-2009, 03:10 PM
and Nadal is missing 5 US Open (consecutives)
4 additional Wimbledon ( consecutive)
and 2 more AO.

which one is your choice? Olympic Gold or the titles above?

vamosinator
05-11-2009, 03:19 PM
Olympic Gold I'd take above all those titles ^^^ because Nadal already has 4 French Opens, Wimbledon, Australian Open, so he's clearly racking up a lot of slams fast, so that Olympic Gold was technically harder to get as you only play it once every 4 years whereas the slams are played 4 times per year and Nadal has plenty of time to add them :o

FedFan
05-11-2009, 03:25 PM
and Nadal is missing 5 US Open (consecutives)
4 additional Wimbledon ( consecutive)
and 2 more AO.

which one is your choice? Olympic Gold or the titles above?

:worship:

And he also misses 4 ATP World Championships titels.
And he is still far behind Sampras, Connors, Lendl and Federer in the weeks as number 1.

vamosinator
05-11-2009, 03:28 PM
World Championship titles really not relevant compared to the slams, it doesn't make a difference.

Weeks at number one aren't a relevant goal because if you keep winning slams you will rack up a lot of weeks. The margin between Nadal and number 2 is massive, it won't change for quite a few years given how dedicated Nadal is to consistency :o

rafa_maniac
05-11-2009, 03:30 PM
The fans in general were not unrealistic about what he could accomplish.

Are you trying to use hindsight to justify the same attitude people had towards Federer (in fact much more pronounced) as they do now with Nadal? If so I'd like to continue this conversation in 5 years. :wavey:

Benny_Maths
05-11-2009, 03:43 PM
i am not those who think nadal will win 15 slams, i will be satisfied with 2-3 more slams and even if he does not win another, i was satsified

well, if you think Roger's smashing rackets and refusing to shake hands with empire, his sometimes sour grapes attitude after losing matches in interviews are good manners, then please don't critiise rafa, roger is not an angel either :wavey:

Sampras didn't always shake hands with the umpire. But you can't reasonably say that he generally conducted himself poorly. There's absolutely no substance in using one blemish to draw false conclusions about Federer's behaviour.

It's subjective but oh please, mentioning the lolympics in the same sentence as grand slams?

FedFan
05-11-2009, 03:45 PM
World Championship titles really not relevant compared to the slams, it doesn't make a difference.

Weeks at number one aren't a relevant goal because if you keep winning slams you will rack up a lot of weeks. The margin between Nadal and number 2 is massive, it won't change for quite a few years given how dedicated Nadal is to consistency :o


World Championship is relevant, it is the fifth most important tournament in the year. :o

The weeks as number 1 are also relevant, we may begin to dicuss about Nadal achievement in about three years. ;)

Do you think we should rewrite history, because you are a Nadal fan?

vamosinator
05-11-2009, 05:57 PM
World Championship isn't relevant compared to Grand Slams, I mean for example if 2 players have identical career records except for:

player A: 12 slams, 0 World Championship
player B: 10 slams, 5 World Championships

player A will still be considered better, no doubt about that :o

miura
05-11-2009, 06:05 PM
World Championship isn't relevant compared to Grand Slams, I mean for example if 2 players have identical career records except for:

player A: 12 slams, 0 World Championship
player B: 10 slams, 5 World Championships

player A will still be considered better, no doubt about that :o
Here it is again, this conclusioning based on nothing else than your personal opinion.

You have to look at everything as a whole, not count the amount of a specific tournament.

tumbak
05-11-2009, 06:14 PM
For me,Nicolás Almagro is the best. :)

w78dexon_y
05-11-2009, 06:34 PM
Here it is again, this conclusioning based on nothing else than your personal opinion.

You have to look at everything as a whole, not count the amount of a specific tournament.

right. Every Rog's fans are fuzzy when it comes to GS. They praise it and glorify as something out of space! And try to deny and minimise any other achievements. Too many biased opinions out there.

miura
05-11-2009, 06:46 PM
right. Every Rog's fans are fuzzy when it comes to GS. They praise it and glorify as something out of space! And try to deny and minimise any other achievements. Too many biased opinions out there.
Yes every Federer fan thinks that. It clarely states that in the Encylopedia Britannica 2009 Edition.

Of course the Grand Slams only matter, I'm yet to understand why they even arrange other events. Probably so other players can afford to travel to the Grand Slams. Grand Slams rocks! VAMOS!

salut235
05-11-2009, 07:01 PM
in other words, Sampras fans clinch to the #14 number, saying he will allways be the best, I even heard them say Roger sucks, are they ready to admit Roger is the best ever when he passes that number? they would be contradicting themselves if they dont, as the sole reason for Sampras being called best ever is the number of slams he won and Roger will pass that number.

That's not the only reason. Even though Sampras won 14 slams, he was clearly the best player of his generation and when he faced rivals he always managed to beat them. Federer is a total pigeon to his main rival Nadal, and even to players like Murray. Federer just can't fight them off. Sampras was second to none, if he had a big rival he always found a way to beat them and make their rivalry "close", not be their "tennis bitch" like Federer is right now.

Rod Laver fans will say, Roger will never get 2 calendar year slams, still, one can make the case the Rocket wouldn't have won those slams if the slams were being played in 3 surfaces rather than two, Federer would already also have 2 calendar year slams in a row if it werent because he had to play the best clay court player EVER in the history of the planet in the final. twice.

That's not an excuse. Federer is arguably one of the greatest grass court players on the planet in history, yet Nadal managed to beat him at Wimbledon. If you are a champion, one who wants to be called the greatest, you MUST find a way.

Joao
05-11-2009, 08:07 PM
That's not the only reason. Even though Sampras won 14 slams, he was clearly the best player of his generation and when he faced rivals he always managed to beat them. Federer is a total pigeon to his main rival Nadal, and even to players like Murray. Federer just can't fight them off. Sampras was second to none, if he had a big rival he always found a way to beat them and make their rivalry "close", not be their "tennis bitch" like Federer is right now.



That's not an excuse. Federer is arguably one of the greatest grass court players on the planet in history, yet Nadal managed to beat him at Wimbledon. If you are a champion, one who wants to be called the greatest, you MUST find a way.


You keep saying the same thing over and over. Are you saying that Federer will never EVER beat Nadal again? NOBODY can predict the future (even though it seems that a lot of people in this forum seem to have a magic crystal ball). Federer is going through a rough time right now but so did Sampras at one point but he still came back to win that 14th slam, way past his 30s. Federer is only 27. He has lots of time to beat Nadal (and Murray and Djokovic). So why don't you wait for Federer's retirement before stating that Federer didn't find a way to beat Nadal ... he might just find it this week for all we know ...

Allez
05-11-2009, 08:35 PM
Federer will always be 2nd best to Nadal and therefore cannot objectively be called a GOAT. Nadal will win more slams, has won more masters and will win on all surfaces & end up with more tournaments. Where was Roger at the same age as Nadal ? A lot of pepole thought Nadal would have burnt out by now but instead it is Roger who has rapidly declined and I don't see a comeback. Maybe he'll pull a Sampras 2002 and win 1 more sam, but it won't be enough to elevate him into a true GOAT status. For that he needed to have won the French in 2006 or 2007 and to surpass the 14 slam mark whilst winning all his non clay matches against his nemesis Nadal.

kaylee
05-11-2009, 08:39 PM
Ok nuff said. I personally don't even rate Sampras as a GOAT. To be one you have to win on all 4 surfaces and that for me is Agassi. Andre didn't win the calendar slam but he won career slam as he won on all 4 surfaces - if you can do that then you are a GOAT. It doesn't matter how many you win it is the surface you play on.

Allez
05-11-2009, 08:41 PM
Ok nuff said. I personally don't even rate Sampras as a GOAT. To be one you have to win on all 4 surfaces and that for me is Agassi. Andre didn't win the calendar slam but he won career slam as he won on all 4 surfaces - if you can do that then you are a GOAT. It doesn't matter how many you win it is the surface you play on.

even if you only win 4 slams and less than 10 tournaments ? You're an easy person to please ;)

Sunset of Age
05-11-2009, 08:45 PM
Yes every Federer fan thinks that. It clarely states that in the Encylopedia Britannica 2009 Edition.

Of course the Grand Slams only matter, I'm yet to understand why they even arrange other events. Probably so other players can afford to travel to the Grand Slams. Grand Slams rocks! VAMOS!

:haha: You're on a roll tonight, M. :yeah:

Amen VAMOS :worship:

l_mac
05-11-2009, 08:53 PM
Here it is again, this conclusioning based on nothing else than your personal opinion.

You have to look at everything as a whole, not count the amount of a specific tournament.

You disagree? You think 10 slams + 5 TMC is better than 12 slams?

FedFan
05-11-2009, 08:55 PM
Ok nuff said. I personally don't even rate Sampras as a GOAT. To be one you have to win on all 4 surfaces and that for me is Agassi. Andre didn't win the calendar slam but he won career slam as he won on all 4 surfaces - if you can do that then you are a GOAT. It doesn't matter how many you win it is the surface you play on.


Andre has won Wimbledon and French Open only one time. He has 8 GS. Sampras has a winning record over him and was much longer number 1 and holds 5 TMC.

Agassi is clearly behind Sampras and can not be considered as a GOAT.

salut235
05-11-2009, 08:57 PM
Ok nuff said. I personally don't even rate Sampras as a GOAT. To be one you have to win on all 4 surfaces and that for me is Agassi. Andre didn't win the calendar slam but he won career slam as he won on all 4 surfaces - if you can do that then you are a GOAT. It doesn't matter how many you win it is the surface you play on.


Agassi has horrible records against some of his main rivals like Federer and Sampras. Sampras beat him the big majority of times in grandslams, and Federer dominated him. Agassi when faced with Federer & Sampras felt like a lower level champion. Also who did Agassi meet in the French Open final? Yep, I don't remember either. It was a luck of the tournament, I'd take Federer's 3 finals against Nadal over Agassi's win over a nobody. That being said, Agassi is one of the all-time greats, but when you really analyze everything, he was never "truly the best", he was always a level below Sampras and later on Federer. The thing with Federer is that he's turning into Agassi because he's also becoming dominated by someone like Nadal.

However both Nadal & Sampras were never dominated by any player, and since Sampras never really made an impact at the French, I'd say that if Nadal wins the US Open and a few more grandslams, adding to the fact that has an incredible record with all his rivals and is clearly the best of his generation, then I'd rank him the greatest.

ORGASMATRON
05-11-2009, 09:00 PM
Fed is the GOAT.

Just thought id make it easy for ya'll :)

l_mac
05-11-2009, 09:09 PM
However both Nadal & Sampras were never dominated by any player, and since Sampras never really made an impact at the French, I'd say that if Nadal wins the US Open and a few more grandslams, adding to the fact that has an incredible record with all his rivals and is clearly the best of his generation, then I'd rank him the greatest.

Rafa isn't even 23 yet. You have no idea how his H2Hs will finish up. What if some future GS winner of 17 is waiting in the wings to claim a 10-0 H2H over him?

ORGASMATRON
05-11-2009, 09:14 PM
Nadal will win calendar slams in 2009, 2010 and 2011. He will end up winning 25 grand slams and 3 olympic singles gold medals. He will remain the world no. 1 until 2016.

Good to know, i was starting to worry he would win the calender slam in 2009.

salut235
05-11-2009, 09:20 PM
Rafa isn't even 23 yet. You have no idea how his H2Hs will finish up. What if some future GS winner of 17 is waiting in the wings to claim a 10-0 H2H over him?

Have you seen Nadal play? The bottom line is, Federer started losing to Nadal when he was in his mid 20's and still in peak form, even today Federer is still beating everyone most of the time and reaching grandslam finals but losing to NADAL. So he basically is still playing top level tennis but can't compete with his main rival and can't even say that he's the best of his generation. Everyone already was predicting that Djokovic and Murray will surpass Nadal, but so far they are his pigeons just like Federer and he is proving everyone wrong. We will see if someone can dominate him in the next few years, but I doubt it! He's a warrior, a much bigger fighter than Federer. Federer is used to winning easy because he had no competition (Roddick (serve and nothing else), Hewitt (no big weapon), Safin (mentally not strong enough), are talented but not all-time greats material, and agassi was old), but as soon as another all-time great and Federer has to work hard, he starts choking on the important moments and can't find an answer, he even cries. Nadal on the other hand seems to have a different mentality, he's a hard worker so he's ready for any challenge that comes his way. For Federer it came too easy because there was no real competition but now he's proving that his domination was kind of overrated.

l_mac
05-11-2009, 09:23 PM
Have you seen Nadal play?

Never.

The bottom line is, Federer started losing to Nadal when he was in his mid 20's and still in peak form, even today Federer is still beating everyone most of the time and reaching grandslam finals but losing to NADAL. So he basically is still playing top level tennis but can't compete with his main rival and can't even say that he's the best of his generation. Everyone already was predicting that Djokovic and Murray will surpass Nadal, but so far they are his pigeons just like Federer and he is proving everyone wrong. We will see if someone can dominate him in the next few years, but I doubt it! He's a warrior, a much bigger fighter than Federer. Federer is used to winning easy because he had no competition (Roddick, Hewitt, Safin, are talented but not all-time greats material, and agassi was old), but as soon as another all-time great and Federer has to work hard, he starts choking on the important moments and can't find an answer, he even cries. Nadal on the other hand seems to have a different mentality, he's a hard worker so he's ready for any challenge that comes his way. For Federer it came too easy because there was no real competition but now he's proving that his domination was kind of overrated.

This is a nonsense.

You don't seem a Nadal fan, just a Samprastard glad that Rafa is giving you ammunition in your fight to prove Sampras is the greatest ever.

Sunset of Age
05-11-2009, 09:28 PM
Rafa isn't even 23 yet. You have no idea how his H2Hs will finish up. What if some future GS winner of 17 is waiting in the wings to claim a 10-0 H2H over him?

Sensible reasoning.

Never.

:lol:

This is a nonsense.

You don't seem a Nadal fan, just a Samprastard glad that Rafa is giving you ammunition in your fight to prove Sampras is the greatest ever.

Might well be the case, indeed. Well I guess not all Rafa fans are happy to see the Sampras tards joining in on the current Fed bashing. ;)

As you know... 'what comes around, goes around...' - eventually.

thrust
05-11-2009, 11:10 PM
Have you seen Nadal play? The bottom line is, Federer started losing to Nadal when he was in his mid 20's and still in peak form, even today Federer is still beating everyone most of the time and reaching grandslam finals but losing to NADAL. So he basically is still playing top level tennis but can't compete with his main rival and can't even say that he's the best of his generation. Everyone already was predicting that Djokovic and Murray will surpass Nadal, but so far they are his pigeons just like Federer and he is proving everyone wrong. We will see if someone can dominate him in the next few years, but I doubt it! He's a warrior, a much bigger fighter than Federer. Federer is used to winning easy because he had no competition (Roddick (serve and nothing else), Hewitt (no big weapon), Safin (mentally not strong enough), are talented but not all-time greats material, and agassi was old), but as soon as another all-time great and Federer has to work hard, he starts choking on the important moments and can't find an answer, he even cries. Nadal on the other hand seems to have a different mentality, he's a hard worker so he's ready for any challenge that comes his way. For Federer it came too easy because there was no real competition but now he's proving that his domination was kind of overrated.

I TOTALLY AGREE!! GREAT POST!

miura
05-11-2009, 11:23 PM
Have you seen Nadal play? The bottom line is, Federer started losing to Nadal when he was in his mid 20's and still in peak form, even today Federer is still beating everyone most of the time and reaching grandslam finals but losing to NADAL. So he basically is still playing top level tennis but can't compete with his main rival and can't even say that he's the best of his generation. Everyone already was predicting that Djokovic and Murray will surpass Nadal, but so far they are his pigeons just like Federer and he is proving everyone wrong. We will see if someone can dominate him in the next few years, but I doubt it! He's a warrior, a much bigger fighter than Federer. Federer is used to winning easy because he had no competition (Roddick (serve and nothing else), Hewitt (no big weapon), Safin (mentally not strong enough), are talented but not all-time greats material, and agassi was old), but as soon as another all-time great and Federer has to work hard, he starts choking on the important moments and can't find an answer, he even cries. Nadal on the other hand seems to have a different mentality, he's a hard worker so he's ready for any challenge that comes his way. For Federer it came too easy because there was no real competition but now he's proving that his domination was kind of overrated.
Where do you get this rubbish? You fail to take into account so many things, for instance, if Nadal is so great, how come he lost to Roger twice at Wimbledon?

heya
05-11-2009, 11:23 PM
At least the Nadal trolls are almost as stupid as Federerhotlips glory-hunters.

miura
05-11-2009, 11:36 PM
At least the Nadal trolls are almost as stupid as Federerhotlips glory-hunters.
What is your problem? We're you at some point in your life a little Federer-fan girl, hanging over the rails at the locker room entry waiting for him to give you his autograph and then he just passed you like you were no-one? And now you're following through with your personal vendetta hate campaign? Get the head out of your arse, you're talking bullshit.

heya
05-11-2009, 11:51 PM
even if you only win 4 slams and less than 10 tournaments ? You're an easy person to please ;)Agassi beat his canteen boy Roddick after Roddick stumbled his fat body around, cried and choked away a 6-3 3-1 lead on clay.

Medvedev and Moya were geniuses against Agassi in the French Open...really! They are Federer's relatives....awwww.

MacTheKnife
05-11-2009, 11:53 PM
Will this question ever be answered to suit all. I doubt it very seriously. I change my mind on who I think is GOAT. Laver-Sampras seem to top the list in my mind most often. Fed-Nadal both have shots at getting in that position but not yet.

heya
05-12-2009, 12:34 AM
Whoever preferred the 'personality' of Roger would be having 2nd thoughts now thats for darn sure :o
7 years ago, Federer's fan Mrs B complained about Federer not dominating the world. Fed fans, including the moderator, convinced themselves that no one was near Federer's level of smarts and great personality. Now, Murray is the new God. On clay too!

vamosinator
05-12-2009, 01:45 AM
Where do you get this rubbish? You fail to take into account so many things, for instance, if Nadal is so great, how come he lost to Roger twice at Wimbledon?

You know the answer to that. We saw Nadal develop his grasscourt game the last 3 years. How old was Nadal when he first played Federer at Wimbledon? 20? C'mon did you really expect a then claycourt specialist to even reach the Wimbledon Final at age 20? And he took a set off Federer, and the following year he almost beat him....That in itself shocked a lot of people. Just like on hardcourt, Nadal improved each year, the next improvement is at the US Open.