Question regarding: Laver, Borg & Sampras [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Question regarding: Laver, Borg & Sampras

prima donna
08-20-2005, 07:59 PM
I'm sure that this topic has been raised in the past on this board, but I'm curious having just transferred over from the ESPN Message Board with regards to how the majority feels on this topic of which of the 3 were the Greatest ever or in what particular order you would put them in ?

I'd say Laver, Borg & Sampras ...

Laver was the best all-around player, he had so much variety in his arsenal and what he'd be able to do with a racquet like Federer's would be plain scary. You're talking about a guy that had no help from mother nature, stood 5'8 and weighed 150lbs, collected slam after slam, conducted himself with class and I can't find a weakness in his game. He also had quite stiff competition.

Borg, I would put 2nd, he proved that he could win on all surfaces and the fact that he was always under control it seemed as if no matter what you did he refused to let you off the court with a win, also how impressive is it to win French Open & Wimbledon both the same in 1 year many have not been able to conquer clay even once but Borg did it how many times ?

Sampras I would say would be the first real product or result of technology, he had a great serve and was an above average volleyer; however, I feel as though his slams were achieved through longevity and not necessary his level of performance ... if you look at his career and see how each Slam is spread out other than Wimbledon he was never completely dominant ... he also was anemic on clay ... I don't think that you can ever consider him best all of time ... he simply could not make the adjustment to clay ... even Agassi has a career slam and Pete doesn't, despite his winning record over him ... in my honest opinion other than his dominance on Grass he's lucky to be mentioned in the same sentence as a Laver or a Borg... but you can't ignore his staggering numbers and statistics regardless how pathetic he was on Clay.

NYCtennisfan
08-20-2005, 10:12 PM
Sampras. I only got to see Borg play when I was just a kid.

One thing that people forget to mention about Borg and especially Laver is their size. Borg was of medium size which wouldn't be that detrimental to him in today's game, but Laver was 5'8''. Do you think a player 5'8" would win 2 calendar year Grand Slams in today's game?

wimbledonfan
08-20-2005, 10:31 PM
How could you understate Sampras' career like that ?
I believe I can speak for most people and tell you that he's the greatest player of all time if you look at his career achievements. It is also difficult to compare players of different generations but from the post Lendl era , I would rank Pete as the greatest player . Borg and Laver are equal in my opinion .

prima donna
08-20-2005, 10:44 PM
How could you understate Sampras' career like that ?
I believe I can speak for most people and tell you that he's the greatest player of all time if you look at his career achievements. It is also difficult to compare players of different generations but from the post Lendl era , I would rank Pete as the greatest player . Borg and Laver are equal in my opinion .

If Sampras were the greatest ever he would have won on Clay, prevailed and conquered his inner-demons in Paris, instead he all but ran away from the F.O after 1998, while players like Borg dominated on all surfaces at the time.

prima donna
08-20-2005, 10:45 PM
Sampras. I only got to see Borg play when I was just a kid.

One thing that people forget to mention about Borg and especially Laver is their size. Borg was of medium size which wouldn't be that detrimental to him in today's game, but Laver was 5'8''. Do you think a player 5'8" would win 2 calendar year Grand Slams in today's game?

Sure, size has nothing to do with it ... it's all skill.

Lots of little guys have done big things. :)

tennisvideos
08-21-2005, 02:05 AM
How about this:

Laver won the calendar Grand Slam in 1962, then turned pro so couldn't play any more Slams until 1968 when Open tennis started.

So he couldn't play any Slams for 5 years - that's 20 Slam tournaments. Then we won the calendar Grand Slam again in 1969.

What may else may have he achieved if he was able to play the Slams in those years.

Then again - other players like Rosewall and Gonzales would also have been eligible to play the regular tour as well during that period so that would have to be factored in.

I'm not quite sure what size has to do with the historical records. Laver's record should only be taken in the context of what he actually did - not how he might fare against today's players - I can't see the purpose of that.

NYCtennisfan
08-21-2005, 02:37 AM
Sure, size has nothing to do with it ... it's all skill.

Lots of little guys have done big things.

That was a different time. There is no way in hell anyone 5'8" is going to even win 4 slams let alone all 4 in one year twice.

Sampras could've won RG at least once if he actually put some effort into being a better clay player and was determined to win RG. As it was, there were a lot of players better than him on clay so he would need to play at his absolute best and get some help from his opponents. Tennis was also more departmentalized when Sampras played. There were players who were really good on clay and concnetrated on clay which made Sampras' task even more difficult.

disturb3d
08-21-2005, 02:45 AM
Good thread and all, but you forgot the greatest player in the game's history...

Agassi - The best hardcourter of all time, with record HC singles titles.
In an era when competition was at its heaviest, he became the only player to shine on all surfaces.

World Beater
08-21-2005, 02:52 AM
That was a different time. There is no way in hell anyone 5'8" is going to even win 4 slams let alone all 4 in one year twice.

Sampras could've won RG at least once if he actually put some effort into being a better clay player and was determined to win RG. As it was, there were a lot of players better than him on clay so he would need to play at his absolute best and get some help from his opponents. Tennis was also more departmentalized when Sampras played. There were players who were really good on clay and concnetrated on clay which made Sampras' task even more difficult.

Yep. I also think that the game is so much faster now. Although Borg and Laver were extremely talented, they had the luxury of time when they hit each ball. They could decide what to do with each and every ball, and hit almost any shot they want.

Now, players are limited in what they can do with a given ball because the game is so fast, and the spin people generate is incredible. For all the variety in the laver era, the different paces and spins people could put on the ball was limited. It was probably easier to establish a rhythm with the ball travelling over the net in a similar manner every time.

tennisvideos
08-21-2005, 02:54 AM
That was a different time. There is no way in hell anyone 5'8" is going to even win 4 slams let alone all 4 in one year twice.

Sampras could've won RG at least once if he actually put some effort into being a better clay player and was determined to win RG. As it was, there were a lot of players better than him on clay so he would need to play at his absolute best and get some help from his opponents. Tennis was also more departmentalized when Sampras played. There were players who were really good on clay and concnetrated on clay which made Sampras' task even more difficult.

Hi NYCtennisfan

Your point is relevant if you are discussing who could be competitive in today's game given the equipment that is available etc. It certainly does favour the players with brute power.

However, if we are discussing the greatest ever, then we should stick to the achievements of the players in their era under the conditions they played and against their opponents. Trying to consider how you think they may translate into another era is pointless really. Of course it can be fun and nothing wrong with it as long as you are not trying to suggest who is the best based on how they would go today. And if you are going to do it, then try the reverse point as well - how would today's players go in an era of wooden rackets and the game on predominantly 2 surfaces - grass and clay. Once again, it's all conjecture... I guess you have a bit of fun imagining it ... but it means nothing compared to the truth - which is how a player actually performed in their given reality. :)

tennisvideos
08-21-2005, 03:17 AM
Yep. I also think that the game is so much faster now. Although Borg and Laver were extremely talented, they had the luxury of time when they hit each ball. They could decide what to do with each and every ball, and hit almost any shot they want.

Now, players are limited in what they can do with a given ball because the game is so fast, and the spin people generate is incredible. For all the variety in the laver era, the different paces and spins people could put on the ball was limited. It was probably easier to establish a rhythm with the ball travelling over the net in a similar manner every time.

And your point is? Of course it is obvious to anyone who has followed the sport that the game has changed incredibly over the years ... especially since the introduction of large rackets with modern materials etc. These days people can generate all sorts of spin and power much more easily.

But does that mean that a player in today's conditions is any better than someone in a different era playing under their conditions? No. It's like comparing apples and oranges ... or a car racing driver in an old car from the 1920s vs a car racing driver in one of today's cars. The equipment is so different that you cannot compare them - doesn't mean the old car driver (or tennis player) didn't have any less skill and ability.

As for establishing a rhythm with the ball travelling over the net in a similar manner every time comment - to quote McEnroe "You cannot be serious!". In the 60s and 70s there was FAR MORE variety of play than there is today. In those days there were a lot more serve and volleyers in addition to clay court maestros. Just watch the 1969 Wimbledon Final between Laver and Newcombe as one example - big serves, spin serves, topspin drives, slice shots, dinks, drop shots, lobs, passing shots. A great example where every shot in the book was excercised. Just one example. Take a look at today's game and what do you have - except for one or two all court players - you have a bunch of guys bashing the ball from the baseline with their power rackets - largely with topspin. Some players slice the ball, but you certainly don't have anywhere near as much variety as you did 30 years ago - those guys knew how to break up a rhythm.

Jem
08-21-2005, 03:31 AM
Hi NYCtennisfan

Your point is relevant if you are discussing who could be competitive in today's game given the equipment that is available etc. It certainly does favour the players with brute power.

However, if we are discussing the greatest ever, then we should stick to the achievements of the players in their era under the conditions they played and against their opponents. Trying to consider how you think they may translate into another era is pointless really. Of course it can be fun and nothing wrong with it as long as you are not trying to suggest who is the best based on how they would go today. And if you are going to do it, then try the reverse point as well - how would today's players go in an era of wooden rackets and the game on predominantly 2 surfaces - grass and clay. Once again, it's all conjecture... I guess you have a bit of fun imagining it ... but it means nothing compared to the truth - which is how a player actually performed in their given reality. :)

That is so well said, tennisvideos. I'[m going to copy this, so I have it in hand when folks make these conjectures of how a champion of the 60s would fare against today's champions. It's what someone accomplishes in their own time that tells you how good they are, not some meaningless comparison that can never be proven. To me, Sampras' ability to finish No. 1 for six consecutive years seals the deal. But Laver's two grand slams under such odd circumstances and seven years apart makes it a neck-and-neck race. I loved Borg, but can a non-U.S. Open winner really be the third best ever, even when he had three chances to win that title on his beloved clay? Hmmm. I'm not sure I have the discipline to do a top 10 of all time, but here goes my best shot at it -- open era only:

1. Sampras, 2. Laver, 3. Borg, 4. Lendl, 5. McEnroe, 6. Connors, 7. Agassi, 8., 9. and 10. you pick 'em: Edberg, Becker, Newcombe, Rosewall, S. Smith, Wilander, Nastase, Federer. Rosewall may be a sentimental pick here, but that WCT win over Laver was just phenomenal. And Smith and Nastase are also borderline.

star
08-21-2005, 04:15 AM
How about this:

Laver won the calendar Grand Slam in 1962, then turned pro so couldn't play any more Slams until 1968 when Open tennis started.

So he couldn't play any Slams for 5 years - that's 20 Slam tournaments. Then we won the calendar Grand Slam again in 1969.

What may else may have he achieved if he was able to play the Slams in those years.

Then again - other players like Rosewall and Gonzales would also have been eligible to play the regular tour as well during that period so that would have to be factored in.

I'm not quite sure what size has to do with the historical records. Laver's record should only be taken in the context of what he actually did - not how he might fare against today's players - I can't see the purpose of that.


:worship: Had Laver and the other professionals been allowed to play the slams who knows how many he would have won. That he won on clay as well as fast surfaces is a testament to his greatness. He was the last man to win a grand slam. That to me says everything when talking about who was the greatest of all time.

Laver was cleaning up on the pro tour pretty regularly..... It would have been great to see him and Gonzales battle at the slams during the heart of their careers.

NYCtennisfan
08-21-2005, 05:09 AM
Hi there tennisvideos. I think our definition of best ever is different. To me, someone with results and a more developed game is the better player, even if that gives someone further along in time an unfair advantage.

If we go by results, we can go all the way back to people like Tilden who hardly ever lost. I know that it is unfair, but the players of today are bigger, stronger, faster, better trained and can do more things with the ball. That's why someone like Sampras to me go go to any era and play with the while I don't think some of the players in the past could play now. Laver being only 5'8" could not dominate in today's game but a player from today could theoretically dominate in the past.

I'm probably older than most on this board and so I have seen the development of the game right in front of my eyes via the USO, the Forrest Hills tourny and the Long Island tourny. The game has changed so much and it is difficult for me to compare players only with their eras because today's game has so much more depth and quality.

senorgato
08-21-2005, 05:28 AM
Easily, Laver has to be considered the best ever. His record speaks for itself.

Borg would easily be 2nd. His level of consistency on all surfaces. From 1978 to 1981, he made the finals of 11 of the 12 Grand Slam tournaments he entered, and won 7 of them. That, on top of the previous 4 GS titles he had already won prior to 1978, 2 on clay and 2 on grass. In addition to winning the indoor Year-end Championships during some of those years, too.

Personally, I hesitate to put alot of weight on total GS championships for any one individual when that # is skewed by a heavy amount of wins in one tournament or one surface. For Sampras, 50% of his GS titles came at Wimbledon. An impressive feat, but it only proves that he's probably the best grass court player ever. His remaining GS wins were on hard courts. He didn't even come close on clay, never even winning a single tournament, much less even being competitive at the FO. Similar can be said for Navratilova. 67% of her total GS titles came from Wimbledon or the AO (when played on grass). Again, only proving that she's no doubt the best grass court female of all time. To her credit, though, she did win other clay court tournaments.
I would still rank Sampras as a solid #3, with Connors, McEnroe, and Lendl as very close #4,5,and 6.

tennisvideos
08-21-2005, 07:59 AM
Hi there tennisvideos. I think our definition of best ever is different. To me, someone with results and a more developed game is the better player, even if that gives someone further along in time an unfair advantage.

If we go by results, we can go all the way back to people like Tilden who hardly ever lost. I know that it is unfair, but the players of today are bigger, stronger, faster, better trained and can do more things with the ball. That's why someone like Sampras to me go go to any era and play with the while I don't think some of the players in the past could play now. Laver being only 5'8" could not dominate in today's game but a player from today could theoretically dominate in the past.

I'm probably older than most on this board and so I have seen the development of the game right in front of my eyes via the USO, the Forrest Hills tourny and the Long Island tourny. The game has changed so much and it is difficult for me to compare players only with their eras because today's game has so much more depth and quality.

Hi NYCtennisfan

Yes we will have to agree to disagree on greatness. Your philosophy favours those of today and then tomorrow's may even be further advantaged over today's if technology advances further. I am not keen on a system that favours those that have the benefit of modern technology, coaching and nutrition etc.

I actually prefer not to rank the greats as doing so in the mens is fraught with peril. How can you possibly when most of the greats prior to 1968 (when tennis went Open) couldn't even play the slams (or had limited years when they could). So I would prefer to say here is the top tier of mens greats eg. Laver, Borg, Sampras, Tilden, Budge, Kramer, Gonzales, Rosewall (taking into consideration the pro and amateur ranks). Then another tier and so on. So you are right when you say there are others who should be considered - too true.

Star - Oh to imagine what Slams the 50s & 60s could have served up with Kramer, Gonzales, Hoad, Laver & Rosewall fighting them out - what a tragedy that the mens tour was split for so many decades.... oh well.

chris whiteside
08-21-2005, 09:19 AM
How about this:

Laver won the calendar Grand Slam in 1962, then turned pro so couldn't play any more Slams until 1968 when Open tennis started.

So he couldn't play any Slams for 5 years - that's 20 Slam tournaments. Then we won the calendar Grand Slam again in 1969.

What may else may have he achieved if he was able to play the Slams in those years.

Then again - other players like Rosewall and Gonzales would also have been eligible to play the regular tour as well during that period so that would have to be factored in.

I'm not quite sure what size has to do with the historical records. Laver's record should only be taken in the context of what he actually did - not how he might fare against today's players - I can't see the purpose of that.


As far as I know after turning prosfessional Laver only took over the mantle of #1 from Rosewall in 1965 so you're right to say that players like Rosewall, Gimeno etc would also be a factor.

tennisvideos
08-21-2005, 11:41 AM
As far as I know after turning prosfessional Laver only took over the mantle of #1 from Rosewall in 1965 so you're right to say that players like Rosewall, Gimeno etc would also be a factor.

Too true Chris ... had all the pros been able to play throughout then I would suggest that Laver would not have won the Slam in 1962. After he turned pro in 1963 it took quite some time before Rod got the upper hand of Gonzales and Rosewall. Rod won the Slam in 69 when the tour was open to all so in this case his calendar Grand Slam was well and truly justified.

I think that Rosewall, Gonzales & Laver would have been the 3 leading contenders for the Slams during the 60s and the amateurs of the day would have been pushed to their limit to win any Slam title eg. Emerson & Stolle etc. Even John Newcombe, who had won Wimbledon in 1967 was forced to play 2nd fiddle to the oldies Laver & Rosewall when the pros first came back to join the tour in 68. Of course Newc eventually scaled the heights to reach #1 but Rosewall and Laver pretty much had his measure for the first 2 years when they rejoined the tour - and Newc only really overtook Rosewall on the rankings when Ken was around 35 years of age.

It was common knowledge that the pros were a level above the amateurs of the day in the 50s and 60s. Whenever an amateur turned pro it usually took them a long time to manage to be competitive with the pros of the day. Just goes to show how stuffed up the mens records are prior to 1968. :eek: :confused:

MatchFederer
07-11-2009, 08:13 AM
I'm sure that this topic has been raised in the past on this board, but I'm curious having just transferred over from the ESPN Message Board with regards to how the majority feels on this topic of which of the 3 were the Greatest ever or in what particular order you would put them in ?

I'd say Laver, Borg & Sampras ...

Laver was the best all-around player, he had so much variety in his arsenal and what he'd be able to do with a racquet like Federer's would be plain scary. You're talking about a guy that had no help from mother nature, stood 5'8 and weighed 150lbs, collected slam after slam, conducted himself with class and I can't find a weakness in his game. He also had quite stiff competition.

Borg, I would put 2nd, he proved that he could win on all surfaces and the fact that he was always under control it seemed as if no matter what you did he refused to let you off the court with a win, also how impressive is it to win French Open & Wimbledon both the same in 1 year many have not been able to conquer clay even once but Borg did it how many times ?

Sampras I would say would be the first real product or result of technology, he had a great serve and was an above average volleyer; however, I feel as though his slams were achieved through longevity and not necessary his level of performance ... if you look at his career and see how each Slam is spread out other than Wimbledon he was never completely dominant ... he also was anemic on clay ... I don't think that you can ever consider him best all of time ... he simply could not make the adjustment to clay ... even Agassi has a career slam and Pete doesn't, despite his winning record over him ... in my honest opinion other than his dominance on Grass he's lucky to be mentioned in the same sentence as a Laver or a Borg... but you can't ignore his staggering numbers and statistics regardless how pathetic he was on Clay.

Hmm. Prima donna used to come across as humble and display mediocre grammar.

Well i'll be damned.

natashha
07-11-2009, 09:49 AM
1. Sampras, 2. Laver, 3. Borg, 4. Lendl, 5. McEnroe, 6. Connors, 7. Agassi, 8., 9. and 10. you pick 'em: Edberg, Becker, Newcombe, Rosewall, S. Smith, Wilander, Nastase, Federer.
What a difference 4 years can make. :)

HKz
07-11-2009, 10:28 AM
If you think about it though, all three players all won on only TWO surfaces. Both Borg and Laver ironically only won on clay and grass slams with Borg only winning Wimbledon and Roland Garros and in Laver's time, the US Open, Aussie Open and Wimbledon were all held on grass with the French on clay. While at the same time, Sampras won on both hard courts and grass. When trying to statistically compare the three, it is very difficult. But first, you make it seem like you HAVE to win on clay to be included in the discussion of greatest of all time. With 14 Grand Slams, compared to Borg's 11, and actually winning 3 of 4 of the Grand Slams instead of only half of them like Borg, I don't think it was necessary for Sampras to have won Roland Garros to be arguably ahead of Borg in the talk. Statistically, it is a lot easier to point out Roger's stats above other players because arguably he has practically every stat in the game to himself. But now when comparing the stats of players like Borg, Laver and Sampras it is very difficult because they all had some major flaw that could knock down or push up the question of who was better. Honestly, with that being said, I still feel that Sampras should be ahead of Borg and Laver in the discussion of GOAT with Laver and Borg very close behind but tied with each other. Because trying to dismiss Sampras's overall achievements just because of his bad French Open stat is just as ludicrous as trying to put Nadull in the discussion of GOAT just because of his good French Open results and 2 Grand Slams outside of it. The French Open isn't everything. If anything, Wimbledon = everything

Bringing in your analysis of each player's style of play is just an opinion and nothing else. We will never really know how each player would have matched up against each other if they played in their prime, even with Borg and Laver playing a few matches. But the fact that physically Laver was not as competant as his peers with his low weight and short stature shows the fact that tennis wasn't as physically asking in his time and since then it has become a much more physical sport over the years, and now you almost NEVER see anyone under 6 feet tall making it finals and such. Look at some of the players today, with everyone except two players in the top 10 taller than 6 feet (Gonzalez and Simon are nearly 6 feet) and all the Croatins at 6' 4"+++. So again, who knows if he would have survived the current generation. And don't bring racket technology or speed of the game or whatever into this, because again, you don't have a time machine to be able to tell physically as humans, if players back in the day would be just as capable with today's game of running 1000 miles per match, and sprinting after every ball and returning 150 MPH serves. Just like Laver said the other day, they didn't have someone that could hit that fast when referring to Roddick's serves. So no one will ever really know if they would be the same player in today's game. Maybe they had just enough reflexes as a human to succeed then and not today. This can be applied to Borg's generation even.

*GOD DAMN IT - I hate it when people bring back old threads while I haven't been on the forum a few days, so here I am thinking another new thread to troll. Whatever, my two cents stay in*

Sapeod
07-11-2009, 10:30 AM
What a difference 4 years can make. :)
Agreed. In just four years, having just 5 slams to his name, he adds 10 more.

denisgiann
07-11-2009, 12:13 PM
In all sports when its time to compare eras(although its not technically sound)its always the more recent eras that have the edge.The game is always faster in recent eras and steals your time away from dealing with things.Different racket tech or not in older times there wasnt a thing even close to roddick serve.Sampras serves which at the time were considered really fast now they are the norm.And its only an era away from the current one.Players are fitter and play with more topspin and harder than ever before.It gets more and more difficult to defend these days.If you are not at least 6.01 6.02 dont expect to dominate anything anytime soon.Harder and faster game...also means more injuries.If you think laver could beat consistently a player like...for example..berdych(even the headcase he is) in a hardcourt these days....then you would be surprised with the results.
Juat like Pele today would be just a very good player but nothing more...under the enourmous pressure and court coverage in todays football..same thing applies to tennis.Nostalgia is a good thing and remembering the greats of the past but when we try to compare....its not usually fair for them;).

Dini
07-11-2009, 12:19 PM
:speakles: From 10th to 1st? :worship:

dlk1992
07-11-2009, 04:34 PM
[QUOTE=HKz;8835413]
And don't bring racket technology or speed of the game or whatever into this, because again, you don't have a time machine to be able to tell physically as humans, if players back in the day would be just as capable with today's game of running 1000 miles per match, and sprinting after every ball and returning 150 MPH serves. Just like Laver said the other day, they didn't have someone that could hit that fast when referring to Roddick's serves. So no one will ever really know if they would be the same player in today's game. Maybe they had just enough reflexes as a human to succeed then and not today. This can be applied to Borg's generation even.

QUOTE]


Of course they didn't have anyone serving that fast, they played with wood! Have you ever hit a serve with a wood racquet? If so, can you honestly say that you generate the same speed with it as you do with a modern racquet? Laver, like alot of other players in other sports from other eras, don't come out and say they couldn't, they just didn't have any. That's not even getting into the balls. McEnroe refelcted during the '08 Wimby final that they used to bring out the balls sometimes when he played in a cardboard box, not pressurized cans. It's like golf. Tiger, Phil or whoever would not hit the ball as far as they do if they had to play with the clubs and balls that Nicklaus and Palmer played with in the '60's. They've tried in exhibitions and proven it. Great atheletes adopt to whatever the situation calls for. You're right, we can't quantify their physical abilities from past eras, but I believe the greatest asset a true champion has is his mind and will. He will find a way to win. I, for one, would love to have seen Borg or Laver play with the racquets today's players play with.

mcnasty
07-11-2009, 08:42 PM
The French created red clay for the sole purpose of beating Bill Tilden. And though Rene Lacoste and the rest of the 4 musketeers had had success against Tilden on red clay, they were hardly Bill Tilden's equal mono y mono. Likewise I'd hardly call Bruguera, Chang, Muster, Kafelnikov, and Gaudio Pete Sampras' equal mono y mono.

When comparing Laver and Borg, what needs to be looked at is Borg's success on grass and Laver's success on clay: which is more impressive? I'd say Borg's, because he was essentially a clay court specialist who had no business winning on grass while Laver's competition on clay were more or less serve and volleyers of whom Laver was arguably the best.

FedFan_2007
07-11-2009, 08:47 PM
Federer doesn't even belong in this discussion. CLown era after all.

Macbrother
07-11-2009, 08:59 PM
I think it's safe to say Federer has edged Borg now, at least in my opinion. He's matched his record at Wimbledon, he's very nearly as successful at the U.S. Open as Borg was at the French, and I think having 15 slams more or less makes up for the fact that for Borg's 11 there were essentially only 3 slams a year, as there's no guarantee he's winning them all, were he to win 4 AO's, that would be incredible. Finally, Federer has the career slam; was arguably more dominant at his peak, and has been able to sustain that domination against his much younger peers.

When comparing Laver and Borg, what needs to be looked at is Borg's success on grass and Laver's success on clay: which is more impressive? I'd say Borg's, because he was essentially a clay court specialist who had no business winning on grass while Laver's competition on clay were more or less serve and volleyers of whom Laver was arguably the best.

I think that's a fairly interesting and relevant point, the differences in styles (particularly flat/S-V vs. topspin ) are much, much more dramatic in this day and age, and arguably a little more-so in the 90's when S-V was much more prevalent.

mcnasty
07-11-2009, 09:10 PM
I think it's safe to say Federer has edged Borg now, at least in my opinion. He's matched his record at Wimbledon, he's very nearly as successful at the U.S. Open as Borg was at the French, and I think having 15 slams more or less makes up for the fact that for Borg's 11 there were essentially only 3 slams a year, as there's no guarantee he's winning them all, were he to win 4 AO's, that would be incredible. Finally, Federer has the career slam; was arguably more dominant at his peak, and has been able to sustain that domination against his much younger peers.





If isn't for Nadal, Federer's GOAT status would be undisputed.

CyBorg
07-12-2009, 07:51 AM
All great players.

Laver is obviously the most accomplished, with the most polished resume and most versatile game. He dominated all surfaces.

Borg was also very versatile, but didn't put together as long a career.

Sampras, sadly for him, will always be remembered for being a chump on clay, despite putting together some good efforts on it until 1997. I'd rate him behind the other two.

mistercrabs
07-12-2009, 08:04 AM
All great players.

Laver is obviously the most accomplished, with the most polished resume and most versatile game. He dominated all surfaces.

Borg was also very versatile, but didn't put together as long a career.

Sampras, sadly for him, will always be remembered for being a chump on clay, despite putting together some good efforts on it until 1997. I'd rate him behind the other two.

There'll always be a question mark over Borg and Laver due to circumstances. However, it is unquestionable to anybody now that Federer is greater than Sampras, because they had similar conditions, similar equipment, similar style of play (among players in general), and even played many of the same players. So I rather think people will begin to opine that Laver, Borg, and Federer are the three greatest.

FedFan_2007
07-12-2009, 08:06 AM
Federer is not done yet. He still have 3-5 years to polish his resume and remove any slightest doubts.

CyBorg
07-12-2009, 08:36 AM
There'll always be a question mark over Borg and Laver due to circumstances. However, it is unquestionable to anybody now that Federer is greater than Sampras, because they had similar conditions, similar equipment, similar style of play (among players in general), and even played many of the same players. So I rather think people will begin to opine that Laver, Borg, and Federer are the three greatest.

I'm not sure what circumstances you are talking about, but it's definitely not easy to compare due to numerous changes in tours.

CyBorg
07-12-2009, 08:37 AM
Federer is not done yet. He still have 3-5 years to polish his resume and remove any slightest doubts.

This thread isn't even about Federer. Go masturbate to him somewhere else.

mistercrabs
07-12-2009, 09:21 AM
I'm not sure what circumstances you are talking about, but it's definitely not easy to compare due to numerous changes in tours.

But people will nonetheless. The circumstances I refer to are, specifically: the inability of Laver to play Grand Slams during his peak years, and the difference this might have made to his tally; and the unwillingness of Borg to play the Australian as well as his early retirement. I truly believe that both of these players might have achieved at least 18 slams each were it not for these circumstances. People will, furthermore, take this into account when determining greatest players, as well as the adaptibility of both. I think Sampras came up short when compared to them, specifically because of his record on clay, but Federer does not.

thrust
07-12-2009, 02:24 PM
If Sampras were the greatest ever he would have won on Clay, prevailed and conquered his inner-demons in Paris, instead he all but ran away from the F.O after 1998, while players like Borg dominated on all surfaces at the time.

Borg never won a hard court Slam, therefore, he did not dominate on all surfaces. Sampras won Wimbledon 7 times, USO, 5 times and the AO, on a slower hard court surface, twice. Trashing Pete's accomplishments is either ignorant or prejudiced, Pete was an all-time Great player. The racquets he used were not as technically advanced as todays equipment.

luie
07-12-2009, 02:48 PM
Sampras> borg any day. 14>11.Sampras never won RG but borg never won US open even on clay. Sampras was been defeated by younger players but he stuck around faced the challenge & won a slam,past his prime.Borg left the game like a Coward, After being owned by J-mac a couple of times.