Who is the best player ever??? [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Who is the best player ever???

Ballbuster
06-27-2004, 01:36 AM
I am curious as to what you guys think.

Here are my nominees.

Bjorn Borg: 6 Roland Garros and 5 Wimbledon, great player on both clay and grass but the game wasn't very deep back then and he didn't win the US or the Australian

John McEnroe: Only 7 grand slam titles, but he was a threat on clay and he was so dominant in 1984, I can't think of any man whose had a season as good as his. But nevertheless, he never won the french or the australian.

Pete Sampras: 14 GS, he holds the record, but tennis is a game of different surfaces, and since he wasn't a threat on clay, he doesn't get my vote.

Andre Agassi: 8 GS, but he won all four grand slams plus an olympic gold. Plus even in his thirties he was a threat on all surfaces even after men's tennis had become so deep. I'm not a big Andre fan, but he gets my vote.

YoursTruly
06-27-2004, 01:39 AM
It's so impossible to make a thread like this without getting into some big discussion/debate/explanation!!!! :lol:

Ballbuster
06-27-2004, 01:42 AM
well i guess u could just vote and not explain

Chloe le Bopper
06-27-2004, 03:36 AM
I don't think that Borg or Mac's lack of an Australian title is significant. The Australian at the peak of their careers.... how many times did they even play it? I know Mac got ejected once, heh. I was under the impression that Borg didn't play it very often. I'm not looking it up now, but can do it later if nobody else has.

Lendl>Mac, btw. IMO, Lendl>Agassi too, but that is more debatable than the former inequality ;)

Ballbuster
06-27-2004, 11:54 AM
I was hoping for more people would vote in my poll. :sad:

CoriaFan4ever
06-27-2004, 02:18 PM
federer

star
06-27-2004, 02:24 PM
Laver
Pancho Gonzales
Borg

:)

CmonAussie
06-27-2004, 02:30 PM
How can anyone forget to have Laver's name on the poll??

1. Laver {2-Calendar SLAMS}
2. Sampras
3. Borg
4. Connors
5. Agassi
6. Lendl
7. Newcombe
8. Becker
9. Edberg
10. Vilas

CmonAussie
06-27-2004, 02:32 PM
Oops I better remember ~~ McEnroe; place him No.7 & move others below down one notch!

Fedex
06-27-2004, 02:38 PM
Laver, is disputable where to go. He's 1,2 or 3. Dont forget back then 3 of the 4 majors were played on grass then, and if it had been the same way for Borg or Sampras it would be a different story. I think Borg is the greatest. Had he played a full career he would of surpassed Sampras' achivments.
Oh and CmonAussie, i almost thought for a 2nd when i saw you post here, that you'd put Hewitt on your list of greastest ever. :p

WyveN
06-27-2004, 02:39 PM
Sampras

Agassi winning the FO once in 17 years is not very impressive, especially considering the manner he won it in.

Neely
06-27-2004, 03:25 PM
going by titles it can be only Agassi or Sampras

Sampras: 14 Grand Slams don't lie
Agassi: 8 Grand Slams and among these 8 at least one Grand Slam on every surface



@WyveN
for me, it doesn't matter if he has won it "just once in 17 years", the main fact is that he won it whereas there are several players who (will) never won(win) it even if they played 50 years, let alone winning all four Grand Slams.

WyveN
06-27-2004, 03:32 PM
@WyveN
for me, it doesn't matter if he has won it "just once in 17 years", the main fact is that he won it whereas there are several players who (will) never won(win) it even if they played 50 years, let alone winning all four Grand Slams.

Well the FO is more valuable then had he won another AO or USO but is it enough to make up the H2H Sampras has over him as well as the extra 6 slams. I mean 6 slams is what guys like Becker/Edberg have and they are among the best ever.

star
06-27-2004, 03:32 PM
Neely, I don't see how you can leave Laver out of the equation.

Toppu
06-27-2004, 03:33 PM
I wish Federer will be the answer in near future. But he needs to win Roland Garros first.

Borg & McEnroe are just great.

Sampras is a better player but I wish he could have played better on clay.

Agassi, the last man to win all 4 grand slams, is just amazing.

Chloe le Bopper
06-27-2004, 03:54 PM
I can't believe that Andre is getting as many votes as Borg. Pfftttt :p

And it really should have been Lendl over Mac in that poll. And... I still debate that Lendl>Andre. More titles, more weeks at number 1, more slam finals... makes up for the "missing" Wimbledon in his collection, imo ;)

BaselineSmash
06-27-2004, 04:00 PM
Worse still is that Agassi is seen to somehow be more accomplished than Connors. :retard: :fiery: :spit: :scared: :cuckoo: :bs: :shout:

WyveN
06-27-2004, 04:03 PM
Agassi is the *only* one to ever win a slam on clay, hardcourts and grass. That is worth a lot.

Sjengster
06-27-2004, 04:10 PM
Carretero.

BaselineSmash
06-27-2004, 04:10 PM
Agassi is the *only* one to ever win a slam on clay, hardcourts and grass. That is worth a lot.

:rolleyes: It's worth a lot. But I'll leave you to do the math...

Connors (http://www.atptennis.com/en/players/playerprofiles/Titles/default.asp?playernumber=C044)

Agassi (http://www.atptennis.com/en/players/playerprofiles/Titles/default.asp?playernumber=A092)

jtipson
06-27-2004, 04:13 PM
Agassi is the *only* one to ever win a slam on clay, hardcourts and grass. That is worth a lot.

Wilander did too.

WyveN
06-27-2004, 04:16 PM
And rebound ace ;)

BaselineSmash
06-27-2004, 04:19 PM
Carretero.

I think we're feeling a little humorous after Schalken fluked his way through against Enqvist today. :D

But Sjengster, you forgot yourself! You've stepped on court before with a racket, surely you're a candidate for the best player ever?

WyveN
06-27-2004, 04:19 PM
:rolleyes: It's worth a lot. But I'll leave you to do the math...

Connors (http://www.atptennis.com/en/players/playerprofiles/Titles/default.asp?playernumber=C044)

Agassi (http://www.atptennis.com/en/players/playerprofiles/Titles/default.asp?playernumber=A092)


How many of Connors titles were won against subpar competition?

jtipson
06-27-2004, 04:21 PM
And rebound ace ;)

Didn't Wilander win on that as well? What was AO 1988 played on?

TennisLurker
06-27-2004, 04:22 PM
wilander won australia on grass and rebound ace

Sjengster
06-27-2004, 04:26 PM
I think we're feeling a little humorous after Schalken fluked his way through against Enqvist today. :D

But Sjengster, you forgot yourself! You've stepped on court before with a racket, surely you're a candidate for the best player ever?

Hey now, if Enqvist can't keep the ball in court against an injured opponent, that's his own fault. :p Lucky boy though, he saved two matchpoints in the tiebreak.

I'm close, but I'm not quite in Carretero's stellar league.

BaselineSmash
06-27-2004, 04:37 PM
How many of Connors titles were won against subpar competition?

Well that's a pretty subjective area of debate, isn't it? Agassi, for example, won the Australian Open (the "easiest slam to win") four times, and faced guys like Clement and Schuettler in the final in 2001 and 2003 respectively. That is very "subpar" competition by grand slam standards. And having to beat Hrbaty in the semis, and Medevedev in the final, at RG was not the hardest French Open draw I can recall from the 90s. He has likewise received favourable draws at several other events. The same can be said for Connors, who got his fair share of easy match ups in his time, but don't forget this is a guy who played in the era(s) of Lendl, Borg, Mcenroe and so on. Agassi too has played in the midst of great champions e.g. Sampras, Courier, Kuerten, Becker and the list goes on... And even by labelling opponents of both Americans as "subpar" you are highlighting their very greatness.

There is little to separate the two of them, so I think having racked up 45 more titles than Agassi gives the edge to Connors. And he was the world number one for five years, to Agassi's sole year.

Sjengster
06-27-2004, 04:41 PM
I thought ys made a rare sensible statement when he suggested that the best player of the 60s was probably Laver, the best of the 70s was probably Borg, the best of the 80s was Lendl, and the best of the 90s was Sampras, and the best of all time is one of those four. But still, it's very difficult to compare greats from different eras. It'll be interesting to see who becomes the greatest player of this generation; whoever he is, he'll finish with far fewer Slams than the champions of previous years because of the increased depth of competition.

alfonsojose
06-27-2004, 08:00 PM
Mal Washington ;)

Deejay
06-27-2004, 08:28 PM
I think it is very hard to say who is the greatest as you have to take into account so many different things. I would say it would be a toss up between Laver and Sampras but Agassi deserves a mention for his amazing record on all surfaces. Alot of people forget that Andre won Wimbledon when the courts were quick, nothing like they are now.

And all this about Connors and Agassi getting easy draws is rubbish, you can only beat whats put in front of you, Agassi beat Sampras in the aussie open final in 95 I think, dont get much tougher than that.

Neely
06-27-2004, 08:41 PM
Neely, I don't see how you can leave Laver out of the equation.
I can't say that X or Y is the best player ever just going by the numbers without having him seen playing my whole life long.
That's why I like to concentrate on the (late) 80s, 90s and nowadays when I'm "looking" for the best player ever.

Tennis is one of the sports that made through the hugest developments of all sports in the past years(decade/s). Even a Wimbledon final of the early 90s looks like slow motion if you're consistently used to the speed of Federer's baseline game and Roddick's serves of today.

Things like that and the constant and big improvements, that's what it makes so difficult comparing players like Laver (playing late 60/early 70s) and Sampras/Agassi or whoever else of the 90s or nowadays.

Ballbuster
06-27-2004, 09:51 PM
To me, the Grand Slam is the ultimate prize in tennis. That's why it has to be Agassi. I know others before have won the Slam, but for Agassi to do it after men's tennis has become so competitive makes him number 1.

Chloe le Bopper
06-28-2004, 01:08 AM
It's very easy to say that one player had "weaker competition" than the other.... but it's all relative. You aren't taking into account that said player was PART of the "weaker competition" at that point in time, and excelled given the state of the game at the time. It's not like Laver had Agassi's money, or the benefit of sports medicine that players today have. I don't think that "the competition was weaker then" really says anything at all in regards to this arguement. It doesn't prove anything either way, imo.

WyveN
06-28-2004, 01:37 AM
There is little to separate the two of them, so I think having racked up 45 more titles than Agassi gives the edge to Connors. And he was the world number one for five years, to Agassi's sole year.

I wasn't referring to Connor's taking advantage of easy draws, I was talking about Connors entering tier 2 events that had horrible playing field entry in the sole goal of winning a event.

Any of the current top players can travel around tier 2 events and win 12 titles a year as opposed to 4 or 5, having the most titles is a nice bonus but I consider the career slam a far greater achievement.

sherlock17
06-28-2004, 05:11 AM
This is a great debate. It's kinda like deciding the college football national champ. Makes for endless discussion.

I agree with Texas A & M about Andre and the Grand Slam. No matter who he played the year he won the French, winning all four is pretty dang amazing. Laver's the only other recent man to do it, but I don't think it's a stretch to say the game has changed a bit. Not to mention that three of the slams were on grass in his day. What would Sampras have done on grass like that??

But....Sampras only made one French semi, didn't he? Hard to call him the best ever with very mediocre results on the worlds most prolific surface. He'd be my first choice on grass, but grass alone the best ever does not make.

I'd like to see Lendl get a bit more credit in this discussion. Never won Wimbledon, I know, but had good success there. A couple finals, I believe. And deep into it often. Not to mention that he won in Paris. And, and, and....eight bleepin' straight U.S. Open finals appearances!!! How does that happen? Eight straight!

To answer the question, though, Borg has to be the man. Imagine someone winning that many French's and Wimbledon's back to back? It's silly, is what it is. Yes, the game probably wasn't as deep back then, but I don't care. That is the most amazing tennis feat regardless. Considering that many European players didn't make the trip to Australia in his day, I'd vote him #1. He would be ahead of Pete in career slams if he played the Australian his entire career.

One more thought for this overly long note....who's been the greatest player to watch ever? Give me silky smooth Edberg or Rafter at the net any day. What athleticism.

Ballbuster
06-29-2004, 02:02 AM
This is a great debate. It's kinda like deciding the college football national champ. Makes for endless discussion.

I agree with Texas A & M about Andre and the Grand Slam. .

A: Welcome to MTF sherlock
B: I don't represent Texas A&M, so please don't call me that.
C: Coria is the best player to watch

conans _uncle_ted
06-29-2004, 02:06 AM
Conans Uncle Ted believes Conan is the best player ever but for my second choice I will say Sampras.

Lalitha
06-29-2004, 06:27 AM
It is not okay to compare players from different era's. It's very difficult because each had some advantages that the other did'nt.

Action Jackson
06-29-2004, 06:32 AM
Horst Skoff is the best ever.

CmonAussie
06-29-2004, 06:41 AM
Horst Skoff is the best ever.
:wavey: :p :devil: :cool:
Howdy cobber; I'll grant you that Skoff :angel: was clearly up there with the best :worship: ,and Wayne Arthurs ;) must be a close 2nd in the All-time Greats List regardless of era :eek: !

Action Jackson
06-29-2004, 06:45 AM
:wavey: :p :devil: :cool:
Howdy cobber; I'll grant you that Skoff :angel: was clearly up there with the best :worship: ,and Wayne Arthurs ;) must be a close 2nd in the All-time Greats List regardless of era :eek: !

Skoff would definitely be ahead of Arthurs, though Wayne would have to have the advantage on grass, though Skoff was better on all other surfaces.

Mimi
06-29-2004, 07:37 AM
for me its Pete but honestly its difficult to judge coz different training methods, bigger body size, better tennis rackets :confused:

budikovac
06-29-2004, 08:35 AM
to me the best ever player is Agassi! not because he won all 4 grand slams or because he at 34 still is playing great tennis but for a simple reason that he invented todays tennis!
he is the guy who first started playing todays so called "power tennis"! when everybody would just pass a ball around waiting for the shot that they would hit a slice backhand to come in to the net, he was the one the stand on the baseline and hit the balls on the rise and create the tempo that is played today!

Manila ESQ
06-29-2004, 08:59 AM
AGASSI. The only player in history to win all 4 grand slam tournaments in DIFFERENT surfaces. Not to mention an Olympic Gold Medal.

Arcadion
06-29-2004, 09:14 AM
Sampras... lets see:
record 14 slams
record 6 consecutive years ending at #1
most weeks at #1
most wimbledon titles
most years between first and last slam
off the top of my head :) dont think anyone else has a better resume than pete?

J. Corwin
06-29-2004, 10:32 AM
If you're gonna have Agassi and McEnroe on there, you should have Lendl and Connors as well, IMO. And you have to have Laver as well.

I would rank them in the following tiers:

1) Sampras, Laver, Borg
2) Connors, Lendl, Agassi, McEnroe
[3) Becker, Edberg....]

I consider eveyrone I put in "Tier 2" to be about equal.....Connors has the most titles and 5 years ending #1, Lendl has the most slam final appearances and 4 years ending #1, Agassi with far less titles but the career Grand Slam, and MacEnroe with the best single year ever in 1984 and absolutely exceptional Davis Cup record.

Aphex
06-29-2004, 11:21 AM
1. Laver-won The Grand Sam twice! And if you're a champ on grass and clay, is it unlikely you would have been pretty good on hardcourt as well?
2. Sampras- had a long and beautiful career. Record number of majors, record year-end #1, many(record?) ATP Tour World Champs et al. But he never won RG and thus was never really close to the Grand Slam, so he never peaked like Laver did(twice). And I'm a sucker for clay-tennis, so... :p
3. Borg- had an awesome win/loss ratio esp. at majors, WHEN he played. His early exit from pro-tennis and his horrible come-back(?) speaks against him.

CmonAussie
06-29-2004, 11:47 AM
@@Laver, Connors, Sampras & Agassi ===>>> I respect these guys more than the others because of their longevity in the game; personally I think it's much more impressive to win Slams spanned across 10->12 years than to win everything in shorter time frame. Borg & McEnroe disappoint me because they never won another Slam after their 25th birthdays; everything came too early & too easy for Borg, McEnroe etc...

* Laver won his last Slam at 34yrs?; Connors at 32yrs; Agassi at 31yrs; Sampras at 32yrs...~o0o~ Also these guys managed to win Slams in their early-20's or 19yrs in Pistol Pete's case!!!

I wonder if any of the NEW BALLS {Safin, Federer, Roddick, Hewitt, Ferrero} can manage to win Slams in their 30's??? I doubt it will happen but Federer & Hewitt are the most likely to go the distance*@@*.

CmonAussie
06-29-2004, 11:48 AM
I mean Agassi 32yrs & Sampras 31yrs^^

*SKYE*
06-29-2004, 12:01 PM
YEAH! MAJORITY RULZ! pete sampras was without doubt the best eva!

chris whiteside
06-29-2004, 12:23 PM
I was hoping for more people would vote in my poll. :sad:


It's because it's nearly impossible to choose! I definitely think Laver would have to be considered. Sampras obviously but I am in complete agreement that his failure to win the French Open is a serious drawback. Agassi as the only player since Laver to win all four of the Slams at one point is also a serious contender. Plus Edberg as the only other player to have won 3 different Slams and reached the final of the other. I do think it's important to be able to play on all surfaces.

I really can't make up my mind.

Fumus
06-29-2004, 08:27 PM
Agassi is the best in my eyes

1- For what he did for the game

2- For winning on every surface

3- Playing as long as he did

4- The best story, with all the ups and downs, he really is the greatest champion.

This was about the best tennis player, and not the most talented ever. If that was the thread, it would be Pete, John Mac, Federer.

You cant say Fed is the best player ever yet, why? What if he falls off and forgets his current form. lol not likely but, he certainly isn't as accomplished as anyone on this list.

BaselineSmash
06-29-2004, 08:48 PM
Andre Agassi
Year End World No. 1 For 1 yr.
2 US Opens
1 French Open
1 Wimbledon
4 Australian Opens :eek: :rolleyes:
58 Singles Titles (and counting?)

Jimmy Connors
Year End World No.1 For 5 yrs.
5 US Opens (on har-tru clay, grass and hard)
2 Wimbledons
1 Australian Open
103 Singles Titles

With 11 grand slams at the young age of 25, Borg probably should have been the best if he'd continued. Where did that motivation go? :retard:

As it is he is pipped to the post by Laver and Sampras, whose names speak for themselves.

MissPovaFan
06-29-2004, 09:04 PM
Pete Sampras gets my vote especially after watching an interview with him on BBc on Saturday. Awesome man! Ice cool! Hopefully his coaches new pupil can develop the same ;)

WyveN
06-30-2004, 12:14 AM
@@Laver, Connors, Sampras & Agassi ===>>> I respect these guys more than the others because of their longevity in the game; personally I think it's much more impressive to win Slams spanned across 10->12 years than to win everything in shorter time frame. Borg & McEnroe disappoint me because they never won another Slam after their 25th birthdays; everything came too early & too easy for Borg, McEnroe etc...


If your judging players by longeitivity in the game, Rosewall is best ever by a big margin

tennisvideos
06-30-2004, 01:12 AM
Too many people dismiss the past coz it was so long ago... but in any greatest ever discussion the players from the pre-open era must figure.

What about Bill Tilden, Don Budge, Pancho Gonzales, Jack Kramer etc????

The problem with rating the greatest ever in the history of tennis is far more complicated than the womens, why? Because for a large part of the pre-open era the tennis world was divided into Professional tennis and Amatuer tennis. Those who turned pro were unable to play the Grand Slams.

So you have to factor this in ... All of the above mentioned players turned pro and were unable to play the Slams after a certain time so this impacted on their records to a great extent.

And then you have the legendary Rod Laver. He won 2 x calendar Grand Slams. In between those two slams (62-68) he wasn't allowed to play the Slams as he turned pro. How many more Slam titles would he have won.

But wait a minute. What about the man who I think may possibly be the best of them all ... and yet he never won Wimbledon - Ken Rosewall.

You may think no way .. and yet have a think about these facts. Ken won Aussie, French & US titles and was runner up twice at Wimbledon before turning pro in 1957. Then when pro tennis was introduced in 1968 and Ken was allowed to return to the tour he again won the Aussie, French & US Opens - all in his 30s and was once again twice runner up at Wimbledon including once at the ripe old age of 39!!!!

So for 11 years (or 44 Grand Slam titles) when Ken Rosewall was at his peak, he was unable to compete in the Slams. As it was he won 8 Grand Slam singles titles. How many more could he have won during those 11 years??? And in addition, he was the leading pro for many of those years and won more of the Pro "Slam" titles during the 60s than Laver or Gonzales. In fact, it took a few years after Laver turned pro before he was able to hold his own with Rosewall. It was universally accepted that the pros were superior to the amatuers ... Let's not forget he won two of the greatest tournaments in the early 70s when he beat Rod Laver in the finals of the 1971 and 1972 WCT Championships - one match in particular considered one of the greatest in the history of the sport.

He was still a top professional in 1978 a the age of 44!!! His year-end ranking in 1977, is almost beyond belief, he was in the world's Top 15 players, having won two of 24 tournaments, with a year match record of 44-23.

Despite not being able to play the Slams for an 11 year period between 1957 and 1968, Ken Rosewall won the French in 1953 and again 15 years later in 1968 when he was first eligible to play there again!

At the USO he won in 1956 and then again 14 years later in 1970.

At the Aussie he won in 1953 & 1955 and then again 16 years later in 1971 & 1972 (don't start on the weak Aussie Open crap again - the Aussies were the greatest players in the world by far from the early 50s until around 1973).

And at Wimbledon he made the Final in 54 & 56 (turned pro) and then made the finals again in 70 & 74 (some 20 years after his first Wimbledon final!!!). I have no doubt in the world that Ken would have won Wimbledon had he have been able to play during those 11 years - when he was at his peak from the age of 22-33. And how many other Slam titles would he have won?

Anyway, there is some more food for thought. There are many legends of the mens game and who is the greatest no one will ever know. Far too many variables.

But you have to consider Tilden, Budge, Gonzales, Laver, Rosewall, Borg, Sampras up there in the top tier for sure. All legends, and all deserving champions. :)

J. Corwin
06-30-2004, 04:34 AM
Budge "only" won one Grand Slam (and only 4 slams total?...I think...). So I wouldn't put him in with the greatest. :)

akin
06-30-2004, 05:00 AM
I am :)

budikovac
06-30-2004, 08:53 AM
I wonder if any of the NEW BALLS {Safin, Federer, Roddick, Hewitt, Ferrero} can manage to win Slams in their 30's??? I doubt it will happen but Federer & Hewitt are the most likely to go the distance*@@*.
Hewitt is the last one I would say, cause his game is so physically demanding that he already at this young age had to cut down the number of tournaments he plays...

tennisvideos
06-30-2004, 09:53 AM
Budge "only" won one Grand Slam (and only 4 slams total?...I think...). So I wouldn't put him in with the greatest. :)

Hang on a minute.... how can you dismiss such a great so readily will such an ill informed statement. He actually won 6 Slams and turned pro early in his career so was ineligible to compete in more slams... Here is some info on him taken from "Dwight's Little Plot" website:

In 1936, Budge lost at Wimbledon and Forest Hills to Fred Perry, the world's No.1 amateur, but beat Perry in the Pacific Southwest tournament.

In 1937 Perry turned pro and Budge became the world's number one player. He won at Wimbledon and Forest Hills and led the U.S. to its first Davis Cup in 11 years, 4-1 over Britain.

The high regard in which Budge was held by fellow players, spectators and officials was reflected by the loyalty he demonstrated in 1937. He was a big attraction for pro tennis but decided against leaving the amateur ranks for another year. The United States had the Davis Cup and he decided that, in return for all tennis had done for him, he must help in the defense of the Cup for at least another year.

So he turned down the professional offers, aware that poor fortunes in 1938 could hurt, if not end, his earning power as a pro. As it turned out, 1938 would be his most glorious year. He defeated John Bromwich 6-4, 6-2, 6-1, in the Australian final, losing only one set in the entire tournament. In the French championship he beat Roderich Menzel of Czechoslovakia in the final 6-3, 6-2, 6-4, and yielded three sets in the tournament. At Wimbledon he did not lose a single set, beating Bunny Austin of Britain, 6-1, 6-0, 6-3, for the title, and at Forest Hills he gave up but one set-to Gene Mako in the final - in winning the U.S. crown 6-3, 6-8, 6-2, 6-1.

Budge had won the Grand Slam and was the toast of the tennis world. After helping the U.S. retain the Davis Cup over Australia, beating Adrian Quist and Bromwich, and after four years in the World Top Ten, No. 1 in 1937-38, and five years in the U.S. Top Ten, he left the amateur ranks.

Budge's 1938 season was limited to eight tournaments, of which he won six on 43-2 in matches. His incredible 92-match, 14-tournament winning streak that began after a January 1937 loss to Bitsy Grant was ended by Quist in four sets at the Pacific Southwest. His farewell to amateurism was a defeat by Bromwich in his home territory, Berkeley, in the Pacific Coast tourney.

He made his professional debut at Madison Square Garden in New York early in 1939 and, before a crowd of 16,725, defeated Ellsworth Vines 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. On tour, Budge defeated Vines, 21 matches to 18, and also defeated Perry, 18-11.

Budge won two U.S. pro titles at Forest Hills before entering the Air Force in 1942: 1940 over Perry, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, 6-3, and 1942 over Bobby Riggs 6-2, 6-2, 6-2. A shoulder injury suffered in military training reduced his post-war effectiveness and he lost the pro tour hegemony to challenger Riggs in a close journey of one-nighters, 24-22. Still, he battled to the U.S. Pro tournament finals of 1946-1947, 1949 and 1953, losing the first three to Riggs and the last to 25-year-old Pancho Gonzales, 13 years his junior, and left little doubt as to his greatness. Bill Tilden commented: "I consider him the finest player 365 days a year who ever lived."

nevenez
05-07-2011, 01:16 PM
Probably Federer.