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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This ranking may be a bit controversial and not many will agree. But here it is anyway.

I believe that Novak's tennis playing ability -- skill -- strength --- the level of tennis -- has become higher than Rafa and Roger. He had to do that since he had to defeat them and reach #1.

In 2011, he defeated Rafa at his prime 7 times in a row, this is NOT a fluke. Rafa did not play bad in those matches at all. Novak simply took tennis to a higher level. He also had a 4-1 head-to-head over Roger that year... and simply outplayed him except for that one close match in RG.

Since the beginning of 2011 to now, Novak's head to head against Roger is 14-7. Its not that Roger has been playing bad since 2011. Note that Roger was #1 player in 2012, and he almost became #1 just 6 months ago; he was just 1 or 2 matches short. His match against Andy Murray in WImbledon this year was at his highest level. He also played at his best in the finals against Novak, but was outplayed in sets 3 and 4 where Novak, the monster, upped the quality of his serve and return of serve to higher than Roger, and then Roger had nothing left -- in baseline play he was already inferior. Roger has won 6 masters since 2011, 1 slam, reached 2 other slam finals, won 1 WTF, reached 2 other WTF finals. So he is not playing bad at all -- he may not be playing at his best level consistently but in many matches he does. Many tennis commentators have observed that he is playing almost his best tennis in many matches. Paul Annacone, his coach, also said that Roger is better now than before (when he was in a weak era). He just hasnt been able to win more due to Novak and Rafa being around. He also lost to other players but the presence of Novak and Rafa may have had an indirect effect on those matches. Novak > Roger.

And Novak's head to head against Rafa from the beginning of 2011 to now is also 14-7. Its not that Rafa has been playing bad since 2011. Rafa was #1 in 2010 and 2013 and at his prime! Novak has simply taken tennis to a higher level. Novak has simply, cleanly defeated Rafa at his own game. He defends better than Rafa, he moves better than Rafa, he serves better than him, he returns better than him, he hits backhand better than him. Novak >>> Rafa.

Similarly Rafa had taken tennis to a higher level than Roger earlier, when he defeated Roger in Wimbledon in 2008 and in AO in 2009. Since the Wimby 2008 match, Rafa's head to head vs Roger is 12-4. Devastating.

It is very well known and agreed that Roger's playing strength was higher than all players before him.

This will help us create this ranking which ranks players of tennis history in terms of their raw playing strength and match winning abilities:

1. Novak Djokovic
2. Rafael Nadal
3. Roger Federer
4. Pete Sampras
5. Ivan Lendl
6. John McEnroe
7. Bjorn Borg
8. Rod Laver
9. Pancho Gonzales
10. Bill Tilden?

(Update/Edit: copying a comment I made in another thread since it's relevant here and adds to why I think Novak is #1 in this ranking: I think no one in history played tennis better than what Novak is playing today and he would defeat any player of tennis history, both playing at their prime level. If he gets defeated a few times he will figure out a way to win and start winning. The same way he did against Roger and Rafa: no reason why he cannot do the same against any other player of history.)

Comments? :)
 

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This ranking may be a bit controversial and not many will agree. But here it is anyway.

I believe that Novak's tennis playing ability -- skill -- strength --- the level of tennis -- has become higher than Rafa and Roger. He had to do that since he had to defeat them. In 2011, he defeated Rafa at his prime 7 times in a row, this is NOT a fluke. Rafa did not play bad in those matches at all. Novak simply took tennis to a higher level. He also had a 4-1 head-to-head over Roger that year... and simply outplayed him except for that one close match in RG.

Since the beginning of 2011, Novak's head to head against Roger is 14-7. And against Rafa is also 14-7. Its not that Roger and Rafa are playing bad now since 2011. Note that Roger was #1 player in 2012, and he almost became #1 just 6 months ago; he was just 1 or 2 matches short. Rafa was #1 in 2010 and 2013 and at his prime! Novak has simply taken tennis to a higher level. He had to, if he had to become #1 before they declined due to age.

Similarly Rafa took tennis to a higher level than Roger, in order to become #1 when he defeated Roger in Wimbledon in 2008 and in AO in 2009. Since the Wimby 2008 match, Rafa's head to head vs Roger is 12-4. Devastating.

It is very well known and agreed that Roger's playing strength was higher than all players before him.

This will help us create this ranking which ranks players of tennis history in terms of their playing strength:

1. Novak Djokovic
2. Rafael Nadal
3. Roger Federer
4. Sampras
5. Lendl
6. McEnroe
7. Borg
8. Laver
9. Pancho Gonzales
10. Bill Tilden

Comments? :)
Agree 110%, your contribution to MTF´s sanity is needed.
 

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LOL LOL LOL

Bill Tilden who flounced around in trousers playing at a higher "level" than someone like Agassi or heck even Berdych
 

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Nuclear flame war incoming. *grabs popcorn* :devil:

I agree with the reasoning, but then again this is just a consequence of the game's evolution: every inheriting generation in most sports requiring athletic ability is better than the previous. Lebron and Curry are better players and superior athletes when compared to Jordan or Magic, but they are not as great leaders of the team as MJ and Magic. For that reason, MJ and Magic currently have a superior legacy. That does not have to remain the case however. Messi and Ronaldo are far far better than Pele, but Pele has 1000 goals and a few World Cups to his name.

So, Novak being the historical peak of the game (starting from 2011) is not so strange, but Novak's legacy is still not greater than Nadal's or Federer's, to be clear. In fact, he is currently like Lebron being compared to Jordan and Kobe (who have greater legacies). This too does not have to remain so. :)
 

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This ranking may be a bit controversial and not many will agree. But here it is anyway.

I believe that Novak's tennis playing ability -- skill -- strength --- the level of tennis -- has become higher than Rafa and Roger. He had to do that since he had to defeat them and reach #1.

In 2011, he defeated Rafa at his prime 7 times in a row, this is NOT a fluke. Rafa did not play bad in those matches at all. Novak simply took tennis to a higher level. He also had a 4-1 head-to-head over Roger that year... and simply outplayed him except for that one close match in RG.

Since the beginning of 2011 to now, Novak's head to head against Roger is 14-7. Its not that Roger has been playing bad since 2011. Note that Roger was #1 player in 2012, and he almost became #1 just 6 months ago; he was just 1 or 2 matches short. His match against Andy Murray in WImbledon this year was at his highest level. He also played at his best in the finals against Novak, but was outplayed in sets 3 and 4 where Novak, the monster, upped the quality of his serve and return of serve to higher than Roger, and then Roger had nothing left -- in baseline play he was already inferior. Roger has won 6 masters since 2011, 1 slam, reached 2 other slam finals, won 1 WTF, reached 2 other WTF finals. So he is not playing bad at all -- he may not be playing at his best level consistently but in many matches he does. Many tennis commentators have observed that he is playing almost his best tennis in many matches. Paul Annacone, his coach, also said that Roger is better now than before (when he was in a weak era). He just hasnt been able to win more due to Novak and Rafa being around. He also lost to other players but the presence of Novak and Rafa may have had an indirect effect on those matches. Novak > Roger.

And Novak's head to head against Rafa from the beginning of 2011 to now is also 14-7. Its not that Rafa has been playing bad since 2011. Rafa was #1 in 2010 and 2013 and at his prime! Novak has simply taken tennis to a higher level. Novak has simply, cleanly defeated Rafa at his own game. He defends better than Rafa, he moves better than Rafa, he serves better than him, he returns better than him, he hits backhand better than him. Novak >>> Rafa.

Similarly Rafa had taken tennis to a higher level than Roger earlier, when he defeated Roger in Wimbledon in 2008 and in AO in 2009. Since the Wimby 2008 match, Rafa's head to head vs Roger is 12-4. Devastating.

It is very well known and agreed that Roger's playing strength was higher than all players before him.

This will help us create this ranking which ranks players of tennis history in terms of their raw playing strength and match winning abilities:

1. Novak Djokovic
2. Rafael Nadal
3. Roger Federer
4. Pete Sampras
5. Ivan Lendl
6. John McEnroe
7. Bjorn Borg
8. Rod Laver
9. Pancho Gonzales
10. Bill Tilden?

Comments? :)
:haha:
 

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Nuclear flame war incoming. *grabs popcorn* :devil:

I agree with the reasoning, but then again this is just a consequence of the game's evolution: every inheriting generation in most sports requiring athletic ability is better than the previous. Lebron and Curry are better players and superior athletes when compared to Jordan or Magic, but they are not as great leaders of the team as MJ and Magic. For that reason, MJ and Magic currently have a superior legacy. That does not have to remain the case however. Messi and Ronaldo are far far better than Pele, but Pele has 1000 goals and a few World Cups to his name.

So, Novak being the historical peak of the game (starting from 2011) is not so strange, but Novak's legacy is still not greater than Nadal's or Federer's, to be clear. In fact, he is currently like Lebron being compared to Jordan and Kobe (who have greater legacies). This too does not have to remain so. :)


Great post by the OP and a great post here. You are spot on while comparing other legends from other sports. Novak's legacy is not greater than Roger or Rafa's but I feel he has taken tennis to a higher level. I have said this before. I'm gonna be completely honest. Even though I'm a big fan of Novak, even I was shocked at how he was able to completely dissect an inspired Roger in that Final. It was not just that Roger was playing well but it felt like he was in a lion's den with hardly any crowd support on his side. The way he upped the ante in sets 3 and 4 was just ridiculous. No one should be able to return 125+ mph serves like that right back your opponents feet on the baseline and play defense to offense tennis like that. He played a terrible SF match so it was amazing how much he was able to increase his level for the Final. I'm just excited to see if he can take his level even higher. But yea, he quite a ways to go to be compared overall to Federer, Nadal and Sampras. It's totally up to him at this point.
 
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This ranking may be a bit controversial and not many will agree. But here it is anyway.

I believe that Novak's tennis playing ability -- skill -- strength --- the level of tennis -- has become higher than Rafa and Roger. He had to do that since he had to defeat them and reach #1.

In 2011, he defeated Rafa at his prime 7 times in a row, this is NOT a fluke. Rafa did not play bad in those matches at all. Novak simply took tennis to a higher level. He also had a 4-1 head-to-head over Roger that year... and simply outplayed him except for that one close match in RG.

Since the beginning of 2011 to now, Novak's head to head against Roger is 14-7. Its not that Roger has been playing bad since 2011. Note that Roger was #1 player in 2012, and he almost became #1 just 6 months ago; he was just 1 or 2 matches short. His match against Andy Murray in WImbledon this year was at his highest level. He also played at his best in the finals against Novak, but was outplayed in sets 3 and 4 where Novak, the monster, upped the quality of his serve and return of serve to higher than Roger, and then Roger had nothing left -- in baseline play he was already inferior. Roger has won 6 masters since 2011, 1 slam, reached 2 other slam finals, won 1 WTF, reached 2 other WTF finals. So he is not playing bad at all -- he may not be playing at his best level consistently but in many matches he does. Many tennis commentators have observed that he is playing almost his best tennis in many matches. Paul Annacone, his coach, also said that Roger is better now than before (when he was in a weak era). He just hasnt been able to win more due to Novak and Rafa being around. He also lost to other players but the presence of Novak and Rafa may have had an indirect effect on those matches. Novak > Roger.

And Novak's head to head against Rafa from the beginning of 2011 to now is also 14-7. Its not that Rafa has been playing bad since 2011. Rafa was #1 in 2010 and 2013 and at his prime! Novak has simply taken tennis to a higher level. Novak has simply, cleanly defeated Rafa at his own game. He defends better than Rafa, he moves better than Rafa, he serves better than him, he returns better than him, he hits backhand better than him. Novak >>> Rafa.

Similarly Rafa had taken tennis to a higher level than Roger earlier, when he defeated Roger in Wimbledon in 2008 and in AO in 2009. Since the Wimby 2008 match, Rafa's head to head vs Roger is 12-4. Devastating.

It is very well known and agreed that Roger's playing strength was higher than all players before him.

This will help us create this ranking which ranks players of tennis history in terms of their raw playing strength and match winning abilities:

1. Novak Djokovic
2. Rafael Nadal
3. Roger Federer
4. Pete Sampras
5. Ivan Lendl
6. John McEnroe
7. Bjorn Borg
8. Rod Laver
9. Pancho Gonzales
10. Bill Tilden?

(Update/Edit: copying a comment I made in another thread since it's relevant here and adds to why I think Novak is #1 in this ranking: I think no one in history played tennis better than what Novak is playing today and he would defeat any player of tennis history, both playing at their prime level. If he gets defeated a few times he will figure out a way to win and start winning. The same way he did against Roger and Rafa: no reason why he cannot do the same against any other player of history.)

Comments? :)
9-8 in GS finals. This is a higher level? :lol:
 

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LOL LOL LOL

Bill Tilden who flounced around in trousers playing at a higher "level" than someone like Agassi or heck even Berdych
Yes, lol. In terms of absolute level, even today's futures players are better than the best players from 80 or 100 years ago. Current challenger players would probably double bagel Tilden.

Just look at other sports when absolute performance can actually be measured, like running or swimming or jumping. The times people ran 80 or 100 years ago are a not competitive today (though still solid), and a sport like tennis (technique, strategy) has evolved far more than track.
 

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1. Novak Djokovic
2. Rafael Nadal
3. Roger Federer

4. Pete Sampras
5. Ivan Lendl
6. John McEnroe
7. Bjorn Borg
8. Rod Laver
9. Pancho Gonzales
10. Bill Tilden?
Another one that thinks those 3 are the best 3 ever. :rolleyes:

Probably born in the 90's or later. :eek:
 

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Yeah and your favorite player lost a Slam final to Wawrinka of all people. :lol:
'USO09 - Do you remember Delpo?' now in theaters next to you.:wavey:
 

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How can you possibly compare Laver and Borg, who used wooden racquets, directly to today's players in terms of quality of play? That's like saying Rory McIlroy drives the ball further than Jack Nicklaus therefore he's better. It's a meaningless comparison.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Nuclear flame war incoming. *grabs popcorn* :devil:

I agree with the reasoning, but then again this is just a consequence of the game's evolution: every inheriting generation in most sports requiring athletic ability is better than the previous. Lebron and Curry are better players and superior athletes when compared to Jordan or Magic, but they are not as great leaders of the team as MJ and Magic. For that reason, MJ and Magic currently have a superior legacy. That does not have to remain the case however. Messi and Ronaldo are far far better than Pele, but Pele has 1000 goals and a few World Cups to his name.

So, Novak being the historical peak of the game (starting from 2011) is not so strange, but Novak's legacy is still not greater than Nadal's or Federer's, to be clear. In fact, he is currently like Lebron being compared to Jordan and Kobe (who have greater legacies). This too does not have to remain so. :)
Logos, agree that Fed, Sampras, Borg have greater legacy than Djokovic. But legacy depends on achievements, and this ranking is not about achievements.

As you correctly said, the fact that Novak is probably the best player in tennis history is due to game's evolution -- newer generation requiring more athletic ability and a better game to defeat the previous generation. This is not always true, and not easy to achieve, since you could just wait for previous top players to decline due to age and then become #1. But in Novak's case, he has actually become better than the two GOATS - Federer and Nadal, which says a lot, since Federer and Nadal can probably defeat every other tennis player in history (apart from Novak).

The level of tennis that Novak has achieved -- with his serve, return of serve, defense, aggressive baseline play should be enough to beat any tennis player in history playing at his prime in a 25-match duel. He could loose some matches in the duel, but I think he will figure it out and come out victorious at the end. Some of the matches will be close -- like with Fed, Nadal, Sampras, Borg, Agassi, but he will win them alright.

9-8 in GS finals. This is a higher level? :lol:
This just says that how tough it was for Novak to get where he is now. Nobody had opponents like Fed, Nadal and even Murray. But now he has solved them all.

This is completely subjective and utterly ridiculous.
All GOAT lists are subjective. Atleast I gave some data to backup the claim that Novak has superceded Fed and Nadal. And when somebody becomes better than Fed and Nadal, its hard to find any other player in history who can defeat that phenomenon.

Stan the Man should be #1, no? He has a 100% record against Djokodal in Slam finals
:haha: Novak has a 17-4 H2H against him. Let me repeat 17 to 4. Even among the 4 wins that Stan had, 2 came in 2006, when Novak was 19 years old!!!! I wouldnt even count them. And a 3rd one was in 5 sets with 9-7 in the fifth, which is a win by a very thin margin. The only real win that Stan had was in RG finals, where Novak did not have a rest-day. To claim somebody with a 4-17 record is better than the other is stupidity.

I do agree though that Stan has become better recently, and their recent matches in slams have been real thrillers. But even if you count from their AO QF 2003 thriller, Novak has a 6-2 H2H.
 

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This ranking may be a bit controversial and not many will agree. But here it is anyway.

I believe that Novak's tennis playing ability -- skill -- strength --- the level of tennis -- has become higher than Rafa and Roger. He had to do that since he had to defeat them and reach #1.

In 2011, he defeated Rafa at his prime 7 times in a row, this is NOT a fluke. Rafa did not play bad in those matches at all. Novak simply took tennis to a higher level. He also had a 4-1 head-to-head over Roger that year... and simply outplayed him except for that one close match in RG.

Since the beginning of 2011 to now, Novak's head to head against Roger is 14-7. Its not that Roger has been playing bad since 2011. Note that Roger was #1 player in 2012, and he almost became #1 just 6 months ago; he was just 1 or 2 matches short. His match against Andy Murray in WImbledon this year was at his highest level. He also played at his best in the finals against Novak, but was outplayed in sets 3 and 4 where Novak, the monster, upped the quality of his serve and return of serve to higher than Roger, and then Roger had nothing left -- in baseline play he was already inferior. Roger has won 6 masters since 2011, 1 slam, reached 2 other slam finals, won 1 WTF, reached 2 other WTF finals. So he is not playing bad at all -- he may not be playing at his best level consistently but in many matches he does. Many tennis commentators have observed that he is playing almost his best tennis in many matches. Paul Annacone, his coach, also said that Roger is better now than before (when he was in a weak era). He just hasnt been able to win more due to Novak and Rafa being around. He also lost to other players but the presence of Novak and Rafa may have had an indirect effect on those matches. Novak > Roger.

And Novak's head to head against Rafa from the beginning of 2011 to now is also 14-7. Its not that Rafa has been playing bad since 2011. Rafa was #1 in 2010 and 2013 and at his prime! Novak has simply taken tennis to a higher level. Novak has simply, cleanly defeated Rafa at his own game. He defends better than Rafa, he moves better than Rafa, he serves better than him, he returns better than him, he hits backhand better than him. Novak >>> Rafa.

Similarly Rafa had taken tennis to a higher level than Roger earlier, when he defeated Roger in Wimbledon in 2008 and in AO in 2009. Since the Wimby 2008 match, Rafa's head to head vs Roger is 12-4. Devastating.

It is very well known and agreed that Roger's playing strength was higher than all players before him.

This will help us create this ranking which ranks players of tennis history in terms of their raw playing strength and match winning abilities:

1. Novak Djokovic
2. Rafael Nadal
3. Roger Federer
4. Pete Sampras
5. Ivan Lendl
6. John McEnroe
7. Bjorn Borg
8. Rod Laver
9. Pancho Gonzales
10. Bill Tilden?

(Update/Edit: copying a comment I made in another thread since it's relevant here and adds to why I think Novak is #1 in this ranking: I think no one in history played tennis better than what Novak is playing today and he would defeat any player of tennis history, both playing at their prime level. If he gets defeated a few times he will figure out a way to win and start winning. The same way he did against Roger and Rafa: no reason why he cannot do the same against any other player of history.)

Comments? :)
In that you have Gonzalez and Laver on your list, then Rosewall has to be on it too. Ken had more amateur slams than Gonzalez and more pro slams than Gonzalez as well. Gonzalez never won a clay slam. Ken won RG as a teen ager in the amateur game, 4 on the pro tour at RG and one age 33 in the open era. Lendl does not deserve to be on this list, McEnroe is questionable too. Borg never won a hard court slam and was finished at 25. His wins at RG and Wimbledon, however, makes him qualified to be on the list.
 

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This ranking may be a bit controversial and not many will agree. But here it is anyway.

I believe that Novak's tennis playing ability -- skill -- strength --- the level of tennis -- has become higher than Rafa and Roger. He had to do that since he had to defeat them and reach #1.

In 2011, he defeated Rafa at his prime 7 times in a row, this is NOT a fluke. Rafa did not play bad in those matches at all. Novak simply took tennis to a higher level. He also had a 4-1 head-to-head over Roger that year... and simply outplayed him except for that one close match in RG.

Since the beginning of 2011 to now, Novak's head to head against Roger is 14-7. Its not that Roger has been playing bad since 2011. Note that Roger was #1 player in 2012, and he almost became #1 just 6 months ago; he was just 1 or 2 matches short. His match against Andy Murray in WImbledon this year was at his highest level. He also played at his best in the finals against Novak, but was outplayed in sets 3 and 4 where Novak, the monster, upped the quality of his serve and return of serve to higher than Roger, and then Roger had nothing left -- in baseline play he was already inferior. Roger has won 6 masters since 2011, 1 slam, reached 2 other slam finals, won 1 WTF, reached 2 other WTF finals. So he is not playing bad at all -- he may not be playing at his best level consistently but in many matches he does. Many tennis commentators have observed that he is playing almost his best tennis in many matches. Paul Annacone, his coach, also said that Roger is better now than before (when he was in a weak era). He just hasnt been able to win more due to Novak and Rafa being around. He also lost to other players but the presence of Novak and Rafa may have had an indirect effect on those matches. Novak > Roger.

And Novak's head to head against Rafa from the beginning of 2011 to now is also 14-7. Its not that Rafa has been playing bad since 2011. Rafa was #1 in 2010 and 2013 and at his prime! Novak has simply taken tennis to a higher level. Novak has simply, cleanly defeated Rafa at his own game. He defends better than Rafa, he moves better than Rafa, he serves better than him, he returns better than him, he hits backhand better than him. Novak >>> Rafa.

Similarly Rafa had taken tennis to a higher level than Roger earlier, when he defeated Roger in Wimbledon in 2008 and in AO in 2009. Since the Wimby 2008 match, Rafa's head to head vs Roger is 12-4. Devastating.

It is very well known and agreed that Roger's playing strength was higher than all players before him.

This will help us create this ranking which ranks players of tennis history in terms of their raw playing strength and match winning abilities:

1. Novak Djokovic
2. Rafael Nadal
3. Roger Federer
4. Pete Sampras
5. Ivan Lendl
6. John McEnroe
7. Bjorn Borg
8. Rod Laver
9. Pancho Gonzales
10. Bill Tilden?

(Update/Edit: copying a comment I made in another thread since it's relevant here and adds to why I think Novak is #1 in this ranking: I think no one in history played tennis better than what Novak is playing today and he would defeat any player of tennis history, both playing at their prime level. If he gets defeated a few times he will figure out a way to win and start winning. The same way he did against Roger and Rafa: no reason why he cannot do the same against any other player of history.)

Comments? :)
:yeah: This is a good list. Agree completely. There is no way denying this.
 
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