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Bruce Jenkins: Andre one of the Top 10 All-time (sorry no Feds!)

Tennis Fool
09-14-2006, 04:05 AM
Where does Agassi rank among all-time greats?
By BRUCE JENKINS
September 12, 2006

In a fanciful moment after her final U.S. Open match, Martina Navratilova wondered who would be the men's top player if all the greats were in their prime, ideally using the wooden rackets of old. She mentioned Roger Federer, John McEnroe, Rod Laver, Pete Sampras - "Whoo, that would be fun," said Martina - and it raised the question: Where does Andre Agassi fit into all this?
Agassi has cracked the all-time top 10 in the eyes of many, and that's quite an accomplishment, something like a modern-day outfielder being compared with Mays, DiMaggio or Cobb. Without question, in the wake of his retirement, Agassi's case is pretty strong.

He's one of five men to have won each of the Slam events, listing his French Open title as his greatest accomplishment. He won eight majors, putting him in a tie with Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, Fred Perry and Ken Rosewall. Though it's common to see magical ball-striking in this era of forgiving rackets, Agassi was nothing short of a revelation in his youth.

"When I first came onto the scene, I was the first person to hit the ball big off both wings," said Agassi in a rare acknowledgement of his contributions. "If I was in position to take the ball early off both sides, I'd give it a good ride. I'd love to feel like I was part of the evolution of the game."

Added Agassi's onetime coach, Brad Gilbert, "Because of Andre, now coaches don't teach their kids to return the ball deep to the backhand off an opponent's second serve. They teach them to crack it, like Andre does."

In attempt to lodge Agassi's place in history, here's a quick review of the penthouse, in alphabetical order:

Bjorn Borg: Pulled off the French-Wimbledon double three times in a row, a feat considered impossible among today's players. Won five straight Wimbledons and engaged McEnroe in that unforgettable 18-16 tiebreaker in 1980. Big part of the stay-back, two-hand backhand revolution. Won 11 majors, but never the U.S. Open. A legend at 21, gone at 26.

Don Budge: First to win the Grand Slam, in 1938. Said to have one of the best backhands ever. The great Bill Tilden called him the best he'd ever seen for pure consistency. Eminently likable, huge crowd favorite, owned a 92-match win streak and the distinction of reaching the finals of six straight majors - winning them all.

Jimmy Connors: Might have had the Slam in 1974, his greatest year (99-4), if he hadn't been banned from the French Open because of his association with the competing World Team Tennis. Won five U.S. Opens between '74 and '83. Gave new meaning to on-court aggression. Perhaps the most inspiring body language (in triumph) ever witnessed.

Pancho Gonzalez: Forget the theatrics of McEnroe, Ilie Nastase or even Rafael Nadal - this was the greatest combination of grace, power, temper and panache. There wasn't a Hollywood actor with more style, although Gonzalez, due to his Mexican descent, had to fight his way through the L.A. establishment in the 1940s. Once there, he was the game's most commanding figure. Turned pro early, after twice winning the U.S. Championships (now the U.S. Open), and thus was banned from playing the majors for some 20 years. Continued to beat top players well into his 40s.

Jack Kramer: Won Wimbledon and two U.S. Championships, then turned pro, dominating everyone on those gypsy-like tours and setting bold standards with his serve-and-volley style. Lost three years to the Coast Guard in World War II, but never broke stride. For those who saw him, Kramer's elegance is an unforgettable memory. (In this mythical tournament, we're all using the old Kramer-model wood.)

Rod Laver: Perhaps the only player without an "if." He had every shot and was the ultimate sportsman. Won the Grand Slam as an amateur (1962) and as a professional (1969). Won 11 majors and missed another 21 until the Open Era let him back in. Said to be the father of modern topspin. The Rocket. Unparalleled.

John McEnroe: Falls short in longevity, but set lofty standards between 1979 and '84, when he won four U.S. Opens, three Wimbledons and held the edge over Connors and Borg. Never won the Australian or the French, and still agonizes over losing the '84 French final to Ivan Lendl (7-5 in the fifth). Inadvertently popularized the game by being an irreverent, incorrigible genius.

Pete Sampras: Won more majors (14) than anyone. Would probably be everyone's No. 1 if he'd won the French (he reached the '96 semis but didn't even clear the second round in his last five attempts). Epic farewell, going out with the 2002 U.S. Open title. Bill Tilden: As the man who brought tennis into the Roaring Twenties mainstream, Tilden was his sport's answer to Babe Ruth and Red Grange. Totally invincible between 1920 and '26. Won Wimbledon both times he entered. Had .936 record (907-62) over 18 years as an amateur.

My own picks? I saw enough of Laver to close my personal case for No. 1. I also saw Gonzalez, in the dingy halls of the old L.A. Sports Arena. Sampras has to be No. 3, just on the numbers and his phenomenal reliability on huge points. I put Kramer fourth, imagining the joy of watching his all-court game. McEnroe has to be fifth - just too much pure talent - followed by Connors (stirred the soul) and Borg (boring style, yet an intriguing man of mystery).

Bypassing such esoteric picks as Ellsworth Vines and Lew Hoad (you should hear players of the '50s talk about his talent), I give Tilden and Budge their due in the eighth and ninth spots. And Agassi has to round out the field. Nobody ever struck the ball quite like him, and he carved out those eight majors in the Sampras era.

Tennis Fool
09-14-2006, 04:06 AM
What a strange list. I don't know about the pre-Open people, as I know just too little to do my own "All-time" list.

Sjengster
09-14-2006, 04:18 AM
He makes things a little more complex by including pre-Open Era greats, it would be easier to separate the two periods (although someone as great as Laver still straddles them both, of course). But a bit silly not to include Federer in the Top 10, methinks, even though I would agree that Top 5 is still questionable.

Sjengster
09-14-2006, 04:26 AM
No Lendl either, that's more than a little daft.

DrJules
09-14-2006, 06:38 AM
McEnroe and Connors ahead of Borg. Not sure on what basis?

Does provide clear reasoning for Laver as number 1 and why failure to win the French Open by Sampras influences this decision.

oz_boz
09-14-2006, 07:30 AM
McEnroe and Connors ahead of Borg. Not sure on what basis?

The "boring" basis. No wonder why Fed and Lendl are out of his list then, just have to ask how Samprs got as high as #3.

Exodus
09-14-2006, 07:38 AM
who is bruce jenkins anyway who cares what he thinks????

senorgato
09-14-2006, 07:40 AM
Here we go again. One man who thinks he is the authority to rank the greats.

avinash
09-14-2006, 07:44 AM
Bruce - hahahaha what a joker

his opinion doesnt matter

what abt edberg, becker and FEDERER haha what a riot. :p

Apemant
09-14-2006, 12:34 PM
The "boring" basis.

Not just that. If Bruce Jenkins actually was Bjorn Jensson, I'm pretty sure he would have picked Borg above these two.

avocadoe
09-14-2006, 12:46 PM
Bruce writes good columns on many sports. He's a big Fed fan. too, but excludes him fro the list, as he says, because he is still playing. He says for him Fed is #4 and rising. Next time read more carefully :) I was happy to see Richard Gonzalez included in the mix of greatests. He was a lot like Roger, more serve volley, but saw overpowering grace.

All_Slam_Andre
09-14-2006, 12:47 PM
Borg and Federer should be in there, as they are undoubtedly better than Connors and McEnroe.

avocadoe
09-14-2006, 12:48 PM
apo;ogies the poster did not include the part where he said this is only for completed careers, and where Fed stands in Bruce's estimation! He's a majot tennis fan, covers the slams for SFChron, and is usually a real treat.

oz_boz
09-14-2006, 01:00 PM
Not just that. If Bruce Jenkins actually was Bjorn Jensson, I'm pretty sure he would have picked Borg above these two.

:yeah:

I meant to implicitly point to that with my questioning Sampras' position.

angiel
09-15-2006, 12:15 AM
Here is the article in full.



Strokes for Agassi: He belongs among the 10 greatest ever
Bruce Jenkins

Wednesday, September 13, 2006




(09-13) 04:00 PDT New York -- In a fanciful moment after her final U.S. Open match, Martina Navratilova wondered who would be the men's top player if all the greats were in their prime, ideally using the wooden rackets of old. She mentioned Roger Federer, John McEnroe, Rod Laver, Pete Sampras -- "Whoo, that would be fun," said Martina -- and it raised the question: Where does Andre Agassi fit into all this?

Agassi has cracked the all-time top 10 in the eyes of many, and that's quite an accomplishment, something like a modern-day outfielder being compared with Mays, DiMaggio or Cobb. Without question, in the wake of his retirement, Agassi's case is pretty strong.

He's one of five men to have won each of the Slam events, listing his French Open title as his greatest accomplishment. He won eight majors, putting him in a tie with Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, Fred Perry and Ken Rosewall. Though it's common to see magical ball-striking in this era of forgiving rackets, Agassi was nothing short of a revelation in his youth.

"When I first came onto the scene, I was the first person to hit the ball big off both wings," said Agassi in a rare acknowledgement of his contributions. "If I was in position to take the ball early off both sides, I'd give it a good ride. I'd love to feel like I was part of the evolution of the game."

Richey Reneberg, a Davis Cup teammate of Agassi's, made this observation a few years back: "The last person out there in the same league as Andre in hand-eye coordination was McEnroe. The only person in Andre's league as a serve returner was Connors. But he doesn't really play like either one of those guys. I've never seen anyone with Andre's ability to hold his position on the baseline and not give an inch. He can take a deep shot on the half-volley from there and hit it as if he were swinging at hip level, like a normal ground stroke. Because of that, he can dictate points like nobody I've ever seen."

Added Agassi's onetime coach, Brad Gilbert, "Because of Andre, now coaches don't teach their kids to return the ball deep to the backhand off an opponent's second serve. They teach them to crack it, like Andre does."

In attempt to lodge Agassi's place in history, here's a quick review of the penthouse, in alphabetical order:

Bjorn Borg: Pulled off the French-Wimbledon double three times in a row, a feat considered impossible among today's players. Won five straight Wimbledons and engaged McEnroe in that unforgettable 18-16 tiebreaker in 1980. Big part of the stay-back, two-hand backhand revolution. Won 11 majors, but never the U.S. Open. A legend at 21, gone at 26.

Don Budge: Born and raised in Oakland. First to win the Grand Slam, in 1938. Said to have one of the best backhands ever. The great Bill Tilden called him the best he'd ever seen for pure consistency. Eminently likable, huge crowd favorite, owned a 92-match win streak and the distinction of reaching the finals of six straight majors -- winning them all.

Jimmy Connors: Might have had the Slam in 1974, his greatest year (99-4), if he hadn't been banned from the French Open because of his association with the competing World Team Tennis. Won five U.S. Opens between '74 and '83. Gave new meaning to on-court aggression. Perhaps the most inspiring body language (in triumph) ever witnessed.

Pancho Gonzalez: Forget the theatrics of McEnroe, Ilie Nastase or even Rafael Nadal -- this was the greatest combination of grace, power, temper and panache. There wasn't a Hollywood actor with more style, although Gonzalez, due to his Mexican descent, had to fight his way through the L.A. establishment in the 1940s. Once there, he was the game's most commanding figure. Turned pro early, after twice winning the U.S. Championships (now the U.S. Open), and thus was banned from playing the majors for some 20 years. Continued to beat top players well into his 40s.

Jack Kramer: Won Wimbledon and two U.S. Championships, then turned pro, dominating everyone on those gypsy-like tours and setting bold standards with his serve-and-volley style. Lost three years to the Coast Guard in World War II, but never broke stride. For those who saw him, Kramer's elegance is an unforgettable memory. (In this mythical tournament, we're all using the old Kramer-model wood.)

Rod Laver: Perhaps the only player without an "if." He had every shot and was the ultimate sportsman. Won the Grand Slam as an amateur (1962) and as a professional (1969). Won 11 majors and missed another 21 until the Open Era let him back in. Said to be the father of modern topspin. The Rocket. Unparalleled.

John McEnroe: Falls short in longevity, but set lofty standards between 1979 and '84, when he won four U.S. Opens, three Wimbledons and held the edge over Connors and Borg. Never won the Australian or the French, and still agonizes over losing the '84 French final to Ivan Lendl (7-5 in the fifth). Inadvertently popularized the game by being an irreverent, incorrigible genius.

Pete Sampras: Won more majors (14) than anyone. Would probably be everyone's No. 1 if he'd won the French (he reached the '96 semis but didn't even clear the second round in his last five attempts). Epic farewell, going out with the 2002 U.S. Open title.

Bill Tilden: As the man who brought tennis into the Roaring Twenties mainstream, Tilden was his sport's answer to Babe Ruth and Red Grange. Totally invincible between 1920 and '26. Won Wimbledon both times he entered. Had .936 record (907-62) over 18 years as an amateur.

My own picks? I saw enough of Laver to close my personal case for No. 1. I also saw Gonzalez, in the dingy halls of the old L.A. Sports Arena, and I think he would beat Federer on the strength of his will. Sampras has to be No. 3, just on the numbers and his phenomenal reliability on huge points. I put Kramer fourth, imagining the joy of watching his all-court game. McEnroe has to be fifth -- just too much pure talent -- followed by Connors (stirred the soul) and Borg (boring style, yet an intriguing man of mystery).

Bypassing such esoteric picks as Ellsworth Vines and Lew Hoad (you should hear players of the '50s talk about his talent), I give Tilden and Budge their due in the eighth and ninth spots. And Agassi has to round out the field. Nobody ever struck the ball quite like him, and he carved out those eight majors in the Sampras era.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Experts' top ten



Why take The Chronicle's word on the top 10 men's tennis players of all time? For a truly authentic analysis, I asked the only three American writers on tennis' Hall of Fame nominating committee (and also the three I'd ask, anyway): TV analyst and Boston Globe columnist Bud Collins, historian and magazine writer Steve Flink, and the multi-faced media maven of Oakland, Joel Drucker. Here are their lists, in order. (We all agreed to wait on Federer until his career has ended; if anyone asked me, I'd have him at No. 4 -- and on the rise.)

-- Bruce Jenkins


Joel Drucker

Pete Sampras, Rod Laver,

Pancho Gonzalez, Jack Kramer, Don Budge, Bill Tilden, Bjorn Borg, Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, (tie) John McEnroe and Andre Agassi

Steve Flink

Sampras, Laver, Kramer, Tilden, Borg, Budge, Gonzalez, Connors, McEnroe, (tie) Lendl and Agassi

Bud Collins

Laver, Gonzalez, Tilden, Budge, Borg, Sampras, McEnroe, Connors, Ken Rosewall, (tie) Lendl and Kramer

E-mail Bruce Jenkins at bjenkins@sfchronicle.com.

lordmanji
09-15-2006, 03:27 AM
My own top seven:

1. Laver. 11 grand slams and two calendar-year grand slams. Most tennis greats - Federer, Sampras - chase their tails in search of only ONE calendar slam and he did it twice. Like the article said, would have won a ridiculous amount if he had not been banned for turning pro and missed TWENTY ONE grand slams.

2. Sampras. 14 grand slams says it all. Need more? Six straight years as number one in the world.

3. Borg. 11 grand slams and won the French Open and Wimbledon back to back three years in a row. This feat is one of the hardest in tennis as the two slams are separated by merely a few wks and the surfaces completely different. He also reached 4 US Open finals but although he never won, perhaps it was due to the anomaly of the night lights...

4. Federer. Only twenty-five and already 9 grand slams, 3 years finishing number one, and a stellar record of 81-4 in 2005. Also was the yin to the yang of Borg's accomplishment, 3 straight years of back to back US Open and Wimbledon titles. His path on the list of the greatest can only go upward as he seems poised to win the French Open before he retires.

5. Connors. 8 Grand slams. 160 straight wks at number one. Won the US Open on three different surfaces: grass, clay, and hard court. Won three majors in one year and possibly a 4th if the ATP did not ban him for playing WTT.

6. Lendl. 8 Grand slams. NINETEEN grand slam finals, the most of any male tennis player. Credited with bringing tennis players to next stage of fitness by hiring nutritionist and trainer.

7. Agassi. 8 Grand slams. Won career grand slam on 4 different surfaces. 17 masters series shields, the most of any male player. Brought about attacking return game. As tribute to his longevity at a top level, he was ranked in top ten in three different decades.

sawan66278
09-15-2006, 03:44 PM
My top ten...but like I have said in other posts, a clear #1 there is not:

1. Sampras
2. Laver
3. Borg
4. Agassi
5. Lendl
6. Connors
7. Federer
8. McEnroe
9. Rosewall
10.Edberg

Beyond the top ten, but just below: Becker, Edberg, Newcombe

If I had to go on pure talent alone: John McEnroe

TennisAgenda
09-15-2006, 04:23 PM
I bet Bruce Jenkins is an American reporter. Americans always hype up their own players. Its obvious if there was a top ten Open era greats Federer and Borg have to be on the list. Federer has 9 slam titles now Roger has clearly proven he's already better then Lendl, McEnroe, Becker, Connors, Rosewall. At the age of 25 Roger is already an all time great he could retire tomorrow and his place in tennis history is assured. He will be in the tennis hall of fame and will be considered the greatest European champion since Borg.

TennisAgenda
09-15-2006, 04:27 PM
I would place Borg ahead of Sampras. Sampras may of won 14 slams but to be the GOAT you need consistency and Sampras did NOT have Borg's consistency. Sampras French Open record is a disaster and I don't like how tennis reporters always gloss over this important fact. If someone is supposed to be GOAT they have to good on ALL SURFACES. Absolutely no excuses for Sampras. Sampras was a crappy clay court player as his record demonstrates. Sampras never gave his all for the clay therefore he doesn't deserve to be best of all time. IF you're the best you've won ALL the slams and Sampras failed to achieve this. Winning the French Open is so important its the toughest slam to win. Sampras failed in Paris he is not GOAT or even no.2 Sampras is no.3 or no.4.

Corey Feldman
09-15-2006, 04:31 PM
No disrespect to the era before tennis became 'open' but i dont really put much stock in those guys that won Slams......... when it was a 1 match play off - things like that, Laver may have done 2 slams, but he did them in a time when it was far easier for a leading player of that generation to do a slam.

my own personal top bunch (who always come into my mind when i think of the greats of tennis).. based on slams won, tournies won, difficulty of the era and longevity at the top:

1.Sampras
2.Borg
3.Agassi
4.Connors
5.Lendl
6.Federer
7.Mcenroe
8.Wilander
9.Laver/Emerson
11.Edberg/Becker
13.Newcombe
14.Perry/Rosewall/Budge.

TennisAgenda
09-15-2006, 04:36 PM
Open Era great champions.

1. Borg
2.Agassi
3. Sampras
4. Federer
5.Lendl
6.Connors
7.McEnroe
8.Edberg
9.Becker
10.Courier

Corey Feldman
09-15-2006, 04:38 PM
If someone is supposed to be GOAT they have to good on ALL SURFACES. Absolutely no excuses for Sampras. Sampras was a crappy clay court player as his record demonstrates. Sampras never gave his all for the clay therefore he doesn't deserve to be best of all time. IF you're the best you've won ALL the slams and Sampras failed to achieve this. Winning the French Open is so important its the toughest slam to win. Sampras failed in Paris he is not GOAT or even no.2 Sampras is no.3 or no.4.Pete had a 4 or 5 year spell when he was in a few quarters and a semi at the French and always lost to the best clay players of that time (courier, bruguera, agassi, kafelnikov - all winners) and won in Rome one year, ok... not the greatest clay courter by any way but not what i would call crap on clay or didnt give it a shot.
you should also focus on what a great has done, and not 1 thing he never done.
Lendl couldnt get wimby but tried his ass off every year, or wilander... plenty cannot get that French as we know, borg never won an aussie or us open, but they are still all time greats for what they did get.

David Kenzie
09-15-2006, 04:43 PM
Very silly list. All it does is proves Bruce Jenkins doesn't know much about tennis.

TennisAgenda
09-15-2006, 04:44 PM
Clay is an entire surface you cannot gloss over this important fact. The French Open is the toughest slam to win. In terms of talent you need a lot to do well on clay. You need mental toughness, endurance, strategy, and skill. The clay is so tough and Sampras did poor because he could not overpower his opponents. Sampras serve was neutalized. And Sampras looked like a child in quicksand he just didn't know what to do on the clay. Also Sampras when he was younger struggled with his fitness he got tired on the clay and it showed and then he made a lot of unforced errors.Sampras won only 1 Masters clay court event. Sampras only made 1 or 2 French Open quaterfinal and 1 French Open semifinal. Sampras NEVER reached the French Open finals. This just proves how poor a clay court player Sampras was. If Sampras is supposed to be GOAT he should of beaten Courier, and Agassi, and Bruguera, and all those other clay court players. Sampras lack of consistency on clay proves this was his weakness. And it proves he doesn't deserve to be mentioned as best of all time. Sampras was horrible on clay.

Rogiman
09-15-2006, 04:47 PM
The French Open is the toughest slam to win.
Quite a bizarre statement, IMO.
Borg obviously thought winning a Slam on a hardcourt was the toughest, Wilander and Lendl never won Wimbledon.

All three of them could win RG by will.

Corey Feldman
09-15-2006, 04:52 PM
This just proves how poor a clay court player Sampras was. If Sampras is supposed to be GOAT he should of beaten Courier, and Agassi, and Bruguera, and all those other clay court playersHe did beat Courier and Bruguera at the 1996 french open, and each in 5 sets no less.

Corey Feldman
09-15-2006, 04:54 PM
He also beat Muster at Roland Garros one year, for good measure

marcRD
09-15-2006, 05:00 PM
Quite a bizarre statement, IMO.
Borg obviously thought winning a Slam on a hardcourt was the toughest, Wilander and Lendl never won Wimbledon.

All three of them could win RG by will.

Idontthinkso. Borg hadno problems playing on hardourtandwon many times the year ending championships; Borg had problems winning the USOPEN, facing 4times in the finals american players (2 timesMcenroe and 2 times connors). He never played Ao.

MisterQ
09-15-2006, 05:10 PM
Idontthinkso. Borg hadno problems playing on hardourtandwon many times the year ending championships; Borg had problems winning the USOPEN, facing 4times in the finals american players (2 timesMcenroe and 2 times connors). He never played Ao.

He did play AO just once, in 1974, losing in the third round. :)

sawan66278
09-15-2006, 05:10 PM
Escude...I cannot believe we almost agee on everything in this post...are we ill or something? :) Just kidding...

Pete is ranked ahead of Borg for me because he ended the year #1 six years in a row!!! And let's not forget his performance in the Davis Cup match against Russia on clay!!!

Corey Feldman
09-15-2006, 05:21 PM
Escude...I cannot believe we almost agee on everything in this post...are we ill or something? :) Just kidding...

Pete is ranked ahead of Borg for me because he ended the year #1 six years in a row!!!;)
yes.. and you cant compare Borg's era to the 90's or this day, borg's era was great... tough yes, but more remembered imo because of the huge characters and rivalries.. obviously a criticism of today - Rafa v Fed aside.

10is-
09-15-2006, 05:22 PM
My personal top 10 (just to amuse myself): Based on Performance, Talent & Aesthetics

1--Rod Laver
2--Roger Federer
3--Pete Sampras
4--Bjorn Borg
5--Stefan Edberg
6--Andre Agassi
7--John Mcenroe
8--Ivan Lendl
9--Boris Becker
10-Jimmy Connors

marcRD
09-15-2006, 05:25 PM
He did play AO just once, in 1974, losing in the third round. :)

I think he was 17 years....

Borg just couldnt handle the hostile american audiance like federer does. It doesnt mean BOrG couldnt play on hardcourt.

Rogiman
09-15-2006, 05:27 PM
Why is Andre above Lendl on most people's list? He has nothing on Lendl (that career Slam thing has been done to dust, and can be eliminated by Lendl's vast superiority in any other criterion).

Rogiman
09-15-2006, 05:29 PM
I think he was 17 years....

Borg just couldnt handle the hostile american audiance like federer does. It doesnt mean BOrG couldnt play on hardcourt.
He could play on hardcourts, and Federer can play on clay, but these are both respective least favorite surfaces.

My point is: 'toughest Slam' is subjective.

Corey Feldman
09-15-2006, 05:35 PM
Why is Andre above Lendl on most people's list? He has nothing on Lendl (that career Slam thing has been done to dust, and can be eliminated by Lendl's vast superiority in any other criterion).'cept from, Olympics won.
or.. defeating Sampras in a slam final, slam final at 35... 15 years after his first.
little things that score points on my list :p and the main one, winning all 4 slams... in the 90's as well.

DrJules
09-15-2006, 05:38 PM
Escude...I cannot believe we almost agee on everything in this post...are we ill or something? :) Just kidding...

Pete is ranked ahead of Borg for me because he ended the year #1 six years in a row!!! And let's not forget his performance in the Davis Cup match against Russia on clay!!!

2 factors in favour of Borg:

1) He won all 11 grand slams without home advantage while Sampras won 5 of his 14 with home advantage.

2) Borg reached the US Open final on hard court 3 times while Sampras never played a French Open final.

As Borg retired from full time tennis meant he never was going to set any longevity records.

Rogiman
09-15-2006, 05:39 PM
'cept from, Olympics won.
or.. defeating Sampras in a slam final, slam final at 35... 15 years after his first.
little things that score points on my list :p and the main one, winning all 4 slams... in the 90's as well.
More GS finals, more titles, finishing more years at #1 :shrug:

Agassi was always 2nd to someone, finishing only once at #1 and winning only one YEC.

marcRD
09-15-2006, 05:43 PM
My top10:

1.Borg/Sampras/Laver

Laver won the real grandslam, but only on 2different surfaces, without great amercans in the USOPEN, without greatclayourters (like Nadal) on clay. Oneof his real grand slamswas also an amateur grand slam when the great players where playing the pro tour. laverwas dominated by the pros when he entered, but during his last years as a pro he was the greatest. Overall his dominance is slightly overrated, but his accomplishment is still unique and to be remembered. Also he didnt play grandslams during 6 years which makes up his amateur grand slams.

Borg dominated completely the tour for 5 years. Hardcourt, clay and grass. Winning YEC 3times, wimbledon 5times and RG 6 times. Such a complete domination on all surfaces is yet to be seen. His greatest weakness was how intimidated he got playing against americans in his 4finals of USOPEN. Losing twice to Mcenroe and twice to Connors. He also played few tournaments which meant he didnt end nr1 as many times as he should have and when Mcenroe beat him in 3 straight grand slam finals he didnt want to play tennis anymore, there was somekind of lack of fighting spirit and love for the sport in Borg which makes it impossible to consider him the greatest of all time. I still put him nr1 together with Sampras and Laver because his domination on all surfaces was more impressive.

Sampras was a great fastcourt player, the greatest of all time and an avarage slowcourt player. 12 grand slams on fast courts and only 2 on slow courts. Only one RG SF where he lost straight sets. Of all top players on my listSampras was the worst on clay. Because of the numbers he still deserves to be ranked there with Laver and Borg as one who can be considered the greatest.

4.Federer
5.Lendl
6.Agassi
7.Mcenroe
8.Edberg
9.Becker
10.Connors

Should probably be in top10 but dontknow where: D.Budge, Bill Tillden, P.Gonzales

10is-
09-15-2006, 05:56 PM
Why is Andre above Lendl on most people's list? He has nothing on Lendl (that career Slam thing has been done to dust, and can be eliminated by Lendl's vast superiority in any other criterion).

I can quite understand that sentiment. Lendl also had very good longevity, not quite to the point of Agassi's but longer than the common great. Lendl has been in more slam finals and slam semis than anybody in the history of the game, even though he has 8 slams just as Andre. Lendl was year-end #1 three years, Agassi only once, and again probably helped by Sampras's pre-U.S open injury. Lendl was regarded the dominant player for a stretch, Agassi never was the same way, since even during his 3-of-4 slam streak which he ended with an AO semi win over Sampras, he still had a losing head to head with Pete during that stretch, so in no way was it the same type of dominance Lendl had for a 2-year period. Add to the fact that half of Agassi's GS titles comprises of AO wins, also counts against him somewhat since as a GS during the late 70s and 80s the AO was on the wane, before it's resurgence in the 90s.

Hence, if at least my ranking were simply performance based, I would definitley rank Ivan higher than Andre. However, that aside, judging from the videos I have seen, Ivan's game was too mechanical to be considered entertaining, neither did he contribute in revolutionizing tennis the way Andre did of taking the rising ball early and hitting along both flanks, and above all Agassi brought an exuberant dimension to the sport that really helped capture the imagination of the public at large and helped popularize the sport to a great extent.

Edit:Oh yeah! and not to mention winning all 4 Grand Slams as well as an Olympic Gold Medal. :o :)

Hence my higher ranking of Agassi vis-a-vis Lendl.

P.S Though amongst the greats Lendl would certainly rank in the highest echelons in terms of fitness, and in a sense I guess he did revolutionize tennis by bringing to it the ideals of health management and tennis fitness. Wasn't he the first to hire a nutritionist?

Corey Feldman
09-15-2006, 05:56 PM
More GS finals, more titles, finishing more years at #1

Agassi was always 2nd to someone, finishing only once at #1 and winning only one YEC.Lendl was awesome, best player of the 80's... but bottom line for me is he never won Wimbledon... the greatest prize of all, even though i said i dont judge on what players havnt won... its wimbledon :p
agassi did.. and believe me, i wish it was the other way around.

R.Federer
09-15-2006, 06:06 PM
McEnroe and Connors ahead of Borg. Not sure on what basis?


Maybe the American basis :p

Just joking. Every writer has their own ideas about what's important to rank as greats, so I can certainly think of one big difference between Mc and Connors that would make them go ahead of the great Bjorn.

TennisAgenda
09-15-2006, 09:39 PM
I think Agassi has to be placed above Lendl because Agassi in the only man in the open era to have won the grand slam. People have to admit its an amazing achievement. Agassi is one of only five men in the history of tennis to win all four grand slams. Sampras in my opinion is below Borg because he wasn't as consistent in the slams. Borg reached four US OPEN finals. Sampras NEVER reached the French Open final. Sampras worst results were on clay. And Sampras has the WORST clay court record out of all the other great champions. All the other great players like Federer, McEnroe, Lendl, Agassi, reached the French Open finals. Sampras was horrible on clay. And this weakness on clay is the reason he deserves to be no.3 behind Borg and Laver.

senorgato
09-15-2006, 10:20 PM
I think there's a solid argument that Borg is the best of all time because of his pure domination on the two most extreme surfaces in the sport, and his success on hard courts.

Let's face it. Sampras is lauded for his GS titles, all on fast surfaces. Let's be honest. If the AO was played on green clay, the FO on red clay, and the USO on American Clay, players like Gustavo Kuerten might be the one with 14 GS titles or Mats Wilander. Borg may have had 30.

angiel
09-15-2006, 11:18 PM
I think there's a solid argument that Borg is the best of all time because of his pure domination on the two most extreme surfaces in the sport, and his success on hard courts.

Let's face it. Sampras is lauded for his GS titles, all on fast surfaces. Let's be honest. If the AO was played on green clay, the FO on red clay, and the USO on American Clay, players like Gustavo Kuerten might be the one with 14 GS titles or Mats Wilander. Borg may have had 30.


Reaching the US OPen final and winning it, is two different thing my friend, so your aurgment is flawed about Borg ahead of Sampras - Pete won three of the slams, Borg only won two and you say he was better - no way. :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

stebs
09-15-2006, 11:18 PM
A personal top 8:

1 - Sampras
2 - Laver
3 - Borg
4 - Lendl
5 - Agassi
6 - Federer
7 - Connors
8 - McEnroe

sawan66278
09-16-2006, 02:44 AM
Actually, Lendl ended the year ranked #1 four times...three times in a row, then he lost the ranking to Wilander, then #1 again...Lendl was my favorite player of all time...but Andre won me over in the last few years...he outlasted McEnroe, Connors, then played Lendl, Edberg, Wilander, and Becker, then beat and played Pete and Courier..then took on Roger...and even beat Bags this year!!!! He is the oldest player to be ranked #1...what can you say...and I believe he and Connors were in the top year-end ten 16 times...the most ever...hence, Andre has to rank higher :sad:

TennisAgenda
09-16-2006, 03:08 AM
Agassi had the longevity but not the consistency that Borg, or Federer have. Agassi deserves to be in the top 10 list of all time because he won all four grand slams. However, I still place Borg above Agassi and Sampras. Because Sampras did not have Borg's consistency. People want to gloss over the French Open but for a great champion Sampras French Open results are absolutely horrible and very bad form on his part. It also shows the lack of respect Sampras had for the clay like a lot of Americans do. Clay court tennis is very important in developing the fundaemental skills in tennis. To play on clay you need endurance, speed, strategy, mental toughness and fitness. Sampras didn't dedicate himself to clay because he didn't put the effort to improve on the surface. I think the French Open is in many ways the toughest slam to win because the surface can change in seconds. One minute the clay is very heavy if its an overcast or cloudy day. Next day if its hot and has humidity the clay plays faster. The clay is so important and for Borg to win the French Open and Wimbledon so many times back to back you have to respect that. Its two extremes and also because Borg reached four US OPEN finals although he didn't win it does show he can play on hardcourts. And he won some YEC as well. Sampras I believe has won very few titles on clay showing his weakness for the surface. Sampras does NOT deserve to be GOAT. Only American media publications such as Tennis Magazine place him as the best. The rest of the world knows the real deal that hes' no way GOAT. John Newcombe and Patrick Rafter are correct no French Open no GOAT for Sampras.

angiel
09-19-2006, 08:01 PM
Agassi had the longevity but not the consistency that Borg, or Federer have. Agassi deserves to be in the top 10 list of all time because he won all four grand slams. However, I still place Borg above Agassi and Sampras. Because Sampras did not have Borg's consistency. People want to gloss over the French Open but for a great champion Sampras French Open results are absolutely horrible and very bad form on his part. It also shows the lack of respect Sampras had for the clay like a lot of Americans do. Clay court tennis is very important in developing the fundaemental skills in tennis. To play on clay you need endurance, speed, strategy, mental toughness and fitness. Sampras didn't dedicate himself to clay because he didn't put the effort to improve on the surface. I think the French Open is in many ways the toughest slam to win because the surface can change in seconds. One minute the clay is very heavy if its an overcast or cloudy day. Next day if its hot and has humidity the clay plays faster. The clay is so important and for Borg to win the French Open and Wimbledon so many times back to back you have to respect that. Its two extremes and also because Borg reached four US OPEN finals although he didn't win it does show he can play on hardcourts. And he won some YEC as well. Sampras I believe has won very few titles on clay showing his weakness for the surface. Sampras does NOT deserve to be GOAT. Only American media publications such as Tennis Magazine place him as the best. The rest of the world knows the real deal that hes' no way GOAT. John Newcombe and Patrick Rafter are correct no French Open no GOAT for Sampras.


Your aurgment is flawed, did he won the US Open or Aussie Open, no, so come again my friend, nuff said. :mad: :mad:

And is not just Americans publication that say he is number one, you need to start read more. :eek: :eek:

Pfloyd
09-19-2006, 08:07 PM
I keep hearing lot about this man called Pancho Gonzales, how good was he, and what was his playstyle? Does anyone know?

oz_boz
09-19-2006, 08:12 PM
Borg was in USO finals and never played AO since it was not considered as important in his time.
Borg above Sampras is debatable, but not entirely out of the question.
Agassi above Borg is more than questionable, though.

angiel
09-19-2006, 08:20 PM
Borg was in USO finals and never played AO since it was not considered as important in his time.
Borg above Sampras is debatable, but not entirely out of the question.
Agassi above Borg is more than questionable, though.


Reaching the finals and winning are two different thing, it is so funny how you guys see what you want to see or hear when it comes to certain players, and all the slams are important my friend, that is why if you won all four is it such a great feat, so dont give me crap about not important in Borg time. :sad: :sad:

angiel
09-19-2006, 08:20 PM
I keep hearing lot about this man called Pancho Gonzales, how good was he, and what was his playstyle? Does anyone know?


He was good, very good I hear. :wavey: :wavey:

LCeh
09-19-2006, 08:24 PM
Reaching the finals and winning are two different thing, it is so funny how you guys see what you want to see or hear when it comes to certain players, and all the slams are important my friend, that is why if you won all four is it such a great feat, so dont give me crap about not important in Borg time. :sad: :sad:

The problem is, Pete never even reached the final at the French.

DrJules
09-19-2006, 08:29 PM
Your aurgment is flawed, did he won the US Open or Aussie Open, no, so come again my friend, nuff said. :mad: :mad:

And is not just Americans publication that say he is number one, you need to start read more. :eek: :eek:

Borg reached at least the final in 14 out of 16 grand slams winning 9 of them played from 1976 to 1981.

http://www.tenniscorner.net/index.php?corner=M&action=players&playerid=BOB004

Yes. Sampras was very impressive, but not that level of consistency.

http://www.tenniscorner.net/index.php?corner=M&action=players&playerid=SAP001

oz_boz
09-19-2006, 08:35 PM
Reaching the finals and winning are two different thing, it is so funny how you guys see what you want to see or hear when it comes to certain players, and all the slams are important my friend, that is why if you won all four is it such a great feat, so dont give me crap about not important in Borg time. :sad: :sad:

You can call it crap or whatever you want, but it is a fact. Some stats over AO finalist from the time, and h2hs:

76 Edmondson-Newcombe
77 Gerulaitis-Lloyd
78 Vilas-Marks
79 Vilas-Sadri
80 Teacher-Warwick

Borg-Edmondson 1-0
Borg-Gerulaitis 16-0
Borg-Vilas 17-5
Borg-Teacher 3-0
Borg-Sadri 3-0
Borg-Lloyd 5-1
Borg-Warwick 2-0
Borg-Newcombe 0-2 (both meetings 74 when Borg was 18)

MisterQ
09-19-2006, 09:27 PM
I keep hearing lot about this man called Pancho Gonzales, how good was he, and what was his playstyle? Does anyone know?

He was by all accounts an incredible player, even the best ever according to some. The very different structure of the tennis world back then makes it almost impossible to compare his achievements with the Open Era players. Gonzales turned pro at age 21 (in 1949) and that made him ineligible to play the grand slam tournaments because they were only open to amateurs. However, the best players were actually playing pro, and gonzales dominated them for well over ten years. :eek:

He had a huge serve, great ability to improvise and amazing athleticism. Nerves of steel too.

Pancho's most famous match probably came when he was 41 years old at Wimbledon in 1969, facing the young Charlie Pasarell. Gonzales fought off seven match points and won 22-24, 1-6, 16-14, 6-3, 11-9. That match helped usher in the tiebreak era. :lol:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/3/3e/Gonzales_Serving.jpg/200px-Gonzales_Serving.jpghttp://bmarcore.club.fr/tennis/champions/Gonzales/Pancho20Gonzales.jpg

senorgato
09-19-2006, 09:51 PM
Reaching the US OPen final and winning it, is two different thing my friend, so your aurgment is flawed about Borg ahead of Sampras - Pete won three of the slams, Borg only won two and you say he was better - no way. :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

No, your argument is flawed. And you can roll your eyes all you want.

Borg never played the Australian Open. If he did, he probably would have won that at least 5 times since it was played on grass at the time. So, let's take the AO out of the equation to be fair (if you know what that is).

Let's compare "apples to real apples". Sampras never won the FO. Borg never won the USO. Borg made the finals of the USO 4 times. Sampras made the SF of the FO only once and tanked every other time.

Borg dominated on two extemely different surfaces. Sampras dominated on fast surfaces only.

The reality is that the sport of tennis is played on multiple surfaces. About 1/3 of the tennis season is played on slow, clay courts. If one is truly to be touted as "dominant" or "best", you cannot just discount 1/3 of the game.

enzogiovanni
09-19-2006, 10:10 PM
No Lendl either, that's more than a little daft.
that just shows the subjectivity of the poster...
Lendl had to compete with:
- Borg
- McEnroe
- Connors
- Wilander
and then against Becker and Edberg.

And for the most part of is career he dominated.

Tell me who were the other guys in the list competing against?
Maybe 2 solid players.

MisterQ
09-19-2006, 10:33 PM
No, your argument is flawed. And you can roll your eyes all you want.

Borg never played the Australian Open. If he did, he probably would have won that at least 5 times since it was played on grass at the time. So, let's take the AO out of the equation to be fair (if you know what that is).

Let's compare "apples to real apples". Sampras never won the FO. Borg never won the USO. Borg made the finals of the USO 4 times. Sampras made the SF of the FO only once and tanked every other time.

Borg dominated on two extemely different surfaces. Sampras dominated on fast surfaces only.

The reality is that the sport of tennis is played on multiple surfaces. About 1/3 of the tennis season is played on slow, clay courts. If one is truly to be touted as "dominant" or "best", you cannot just discount 1/3 of the game.

It doesn't really impact your argument, but for the sake of full disclosure: Borg did play AO one time, losing in the third round in 1974. :)

That one loss came to Phil Dent, Taylor's dad!

senorgato
09-20-2006, 08:22 AM
It doesn't really impact your argument, but for the sake of full disclosure: Borg did play AO one time, losing in the third round in 1974. :)

That one loss came to Phil Dent, Taylor's dad!

thanks for the correction!

its.like.that
09-20-2006, 10:15 AM
Surprise surprise that the list is full of shitehouse americans who happened to be around when nobody else was.

:retard:

All_Slam_Andre
09-20-2006, 05:24 PM
For me the number of grand slam finals reached is irrelevant. It's only grand slam TITLES that I'm bothered about. You either win a tournament or you don't. If you don't, which round you get eliminated in means nothing.

My Top 10 (only considering players who have featured in the open era):
1 - Sampras
2 - Laver
3 - Borg
4 - Federer
5 - Agassi
6 - Lendl
7 - Connors
8 - Rosewall
9 - McEnroe
10 - Wilander

I know putting Agassi over Lendl, Connors and Rosewall will be seen as controversial, but to me the only tournaments that matter are the grand slams.
If two players have won the same number of grand slam titles but one has won the complete set and the other hasn't, then the player with the complete set is greater IMO. I don't really care much about rankings and other minor titles won.

Boris Franz Ecker
09-20-2006, 06:07 PM
For me the number of grand slam finals reached is irrelevant. It's only grand slam TITLES that I'm bothered about.

Only grand slam titles is nonsense.
In the 70ies there were only 2 1/2 real slams.
Don't forget, Agassi was only really strong at a tournament earlier elite players didn't care about.

angiel
09-22-2006, 09:30 PM
The problem is, Pete never even reached the final at the French.


The problem is Borg never won the US Open or the Aussie open, same difference - six a one half dozen of the others. :p :p

Reaching the finals and lost doesn't mean a shit.

angiel
09-22-2006, 09:35 PM
No, your argument is flawed. And you can roll your eyes all you want.

Borg never played the Australian Open. If he did, he probably would have won that at least 5 times since it was played on grass at the time. So, let's take the AO out of the equation to be fair (if you know what that is).

Let's compare "apples to real apples". Sampras never won the FO. Borg never won the USO. Borg made the finals of the USO 4 times. Sampras made the SF of the FO only once and tanked every other time.

Borg dominated on two extemely different surfaces. Sampras dominated on fast surfaces only.

The reality is that the sport of tennis is played on multiple surfaces. About 1/3 of the tennis season is played on slow, clay courts. If one is truly to be touted as "dominant" or "best", you cannot just discount 1/3 of the game.


Tell you what Mr. go check your facts again, will he did played the Aussie Open and lost. :sad: :sad:

So you are the one who is talking nonsense, about Borg this and Borg that - fool. :o :o

wimbledonfan
09-22-2006, 10:31 PM
Tennis agenda , it seems as if you're in denial that most people regard Pete as the GOAT . What's the matter with you ? Maybe you had a favourite player that always lost to Pete in the majors ? Is that it ?

DrJules
09-22-2006, 11:09 PM
Tennis agenda , it seems as if you're in denial that most people regard Pete as the GOAT . What's the matter with you ? Maybe you had a favourite player that always lost to Pete in the majors ? Is that it ?

I think opinion is far less decided than that view. Probably as many think Laver is the GOAT is owing to winning 2 grand slams and then of course there are a multitude of other choices considered. So I do not think it is as certain as you portray.