Originally Posted by UnderhandSmash
I know a few things about Borg, I watched some of his matches on youtube, but you obviously know more. Where would you rank him? Would you put him above Laver or Federer? (as a Federer fan, I would consider that blasphemous
no I suggest it's possible to put him above Sampras but clearly not at the same level as Laver and Federer.
I also think that Laver's and Federer's major point (more than any numbers imo) is that their very complete technical arsenal would have put them high in any era, their physical abilities were also especially good for their time (I make this precision especially for Laver).
Borg and Sampras and Nadal and Gonzales all were more suited to one kind of surfaces, one kind of game, or even one kind of rackets (for instance if there had been more slow hardcourts in Sampras' time, I'm not sure people would still say that "Sampras was just too good for Agassi" ... I'm not a Sampras-hater at all but I'm a Sampras' greatness-doubter for sure ; on the other hand, I remember Laver saying that Sampras showed very good skills when he tried wooden rackets, not sure that Nadal could do that
). Rosewall can be said as maybe not enough "powerful" for a modern era.
Laver and Federer imo are both above the others ; choosing between them is very ambiguous, I was very surprised personally that Johnny Groove chose to put Fed above Laver only because of his win in Wimbledon this year, I don't think it really changes the comparison Fed could have been put above before, Laver could still be put above now, I just guess some players like that are too hard to separate, which is why in the end "not numeric" arguments like the ones I gave for Borg comparing to Nadal can make a difference.
By the way, about Fed's ability to adapt different eras, I think people who didn't watch his early years should watch them to realize how much his game has changed with time and that he was a true "fast-surface" player in that time : he always attracted to the net in that time, and the first tournament he won was on carpet (Taraflex in Milan). I agree that Fed was helped to win more slams by the homogenization of surfaces, but it's nothing comparing to Nadal and Djokovic, and people should not think because of recent times that Fed was not made to be a "fast-surface" player, he would have had other kinds of difficulties and oppositions in an era of faster surfaces, that's all.