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OK, I hope that Mr. Mertov will make you open up your eyes. He is a long term tennis fan and a blogger. I respect him so much and I hope some of you being young tennis fans would get some new perspective.

Just for the record, I don't know him personally and I'm not trying to promote his blog but he is brilliant.

So, many of you are talking about the importance of h2h and this and that. Read and think.
http://www.mertovstennisdesk.com/2013/12/29/invented-categories-diluting-the-greatest-player-of-all-time-debate/

My favorite part is this but please read the whole thing and discuss.

Second note: About head-to-head stat.
While it means a lot to active players' fans (so they can brag about it to each other while their players are facing each other), twenty years later, when history is analyzed with cooler heads and not with admiration/fan sentiments, head-to-head records will mean very little. Most tennis historians would never put Gerulaitis ahead of Nastase in the all-time tennis players list. but guess what? Gerulaitis had a 10-1 record against Nastase! Because it was a terrible match-up for Nasty. Gerulaitis would slice his backhand and approach Nasty's backhand all-day long and Nasty could not flick his wrist quick enough to produce topspin passing shots against Gerulaitis who was probably the quickest volleyer on the tour in the 70s. Would you put Manuel Orantes ahead of Guillermo Vilas in the all-time best clay-courters list? While Manolo was an excellent clay-courter, anyone in the right mind would know to put Vilas ahead of him in the historical perspective. But guess what? Manolo had a 8-5 record against Vilas on clay and two of those five losses were defaults or abandons. Again, it was a match-up problem. Historiography has put very little weight into head-to-head records because a player faces a whole field, not just one player.
 

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The Last Mohican
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Now this is not a stage-one thinker. Thanks for telling me about this blog, I have come to the same conclusions about H2H.

Stage-one thinkers vs H2H: LOL 23-10, Federer can't be GOAT!
Stage-two thinkers vs H2H: So 23-10, let's look into the reasons why this H2H turned out so lopsided.

Bookmarked.


"Davis Cup Titles

This is one category that has no place in the GOAT debate, yet through the “if-repeated-enough-people-will-swallow” tactic, it has made its way into the debate as many times as it should have never been a part of it. First of all, no player wins the Davis Cup, officially or unofficially."

:yeah:
 

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The bold/italics/underline makes it easier to read.
 

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Even after two decades of a powerful push by the American-led tennis media, the number of Slams should still not be the central factor in determining the GOAT. Sampras should not have kept the GOAT status when Federer had 12 or 13 Slam Titles, and Federer should not keep the GOAT status simply because Nadal’s titles (possibly) remain below 17. On a similar note, I would not hesitate to already put Nadal ahead of Sampras, albeit by a small margin, even though the latter has more Slam titles to his name. Nadal’s ability to win on all surfaces and his career Grand Slam, along with his record as the most Masters Series titles should at least be enough to trump Sampras’ one more Slam title over Nadal.


As usuall the haters only cherry pick what they want...
 

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OK, I hope that Mr. Mertov will make you open up your eyes. He is a long term tennis fan and a blogger. I respect him so much and I hope some of you being young tennis fans would get some new perspective.

Just for the record, I don't know him personally and I'm not trying to promote his blog but he is brilliant.

So, many of you are talking about the importance of h2h and this and that. Read and think.
http://www.mertovstennisdesk.com/2013/12/29/invented-categories-diluting-the-greatest-player-of-all-time-debate/

My favorite part is this but please read the whole thing and discuss.

Second note: About head-to-head stat.
While it means a lot to active players' fans (so they can brag about it to each other while their players are facing each other), twenty years later, when history is analyzed with cooler heads and not with admiration/fan sentiments, head-to-head records will mean very little. Most tennis historians would never put Gerulaitis ahead of Nastase in the all-time tennis players list. but guess what? Gerulaitis had a 10-1 record against Nastase! Because it was a terrible match-up for Nasty. Gerulaitis would slice his backhand and approach Nasty's backhand all-day long and Nasty could not flick his wrist quick enough to produce topspin passing shots against Gerulaitis who was probably the quickest volleyer on the tour in the 70s. Would you put Manuel Orantes ahead of Guillermo Vilas in the all-time best clay-courters list? While Manolo was an excellent clay-courter, anyone in the right mind would know to put Vilas ahead of him in the historical perspective. But guess what? Manolo had a 8-5 record against Vilas on clay and two of those five losses were defaults or abandons. Again, it was a match-up problem. Historiography has put very little weight into head-to-head records because a player faces a whole field, not just one player.
I would never say Nadal is greater than Federer just because of the H2H. I agree with the author that 20 years from now H2H won't matter as much, same as draws, injuries and whatnot. But there's one major difference!

We're not talking about Nastase and Gerulaitis who never played a grand slam match and 1 final in their careers - 11 matches overall.

We're not talking about Manuel Orantes and Guillermo Vilas who played three grand slam matches (no finals) and 3 finals in their careers - 15 matches overall.


These are the cases author uses to support his point of view. The players above won 8 slams combined - Gerulaitis (1x), Nastase (2x), Vilas (4x), Orantes (1x). They are not on par with Edberg, Becker, Wilander let alone Borg, Sampras, Federer, Nadal. They are not even contenders in the GOAT race. Very few slams meetings, very vew (if any) finals played, matches are not distributed across all surfaces, etc.



On the other side we're talking about Nadal and Federer - the greatest players of their respective generations and arguably the greatest players of all time.

33 matches, 20 finals including 8 grand slam finals across all three surfaces. They have been playing each other from 2004 to 2014 and counting. (Vilas and Orantes - 1973-1980, Nastase and Gerulaitis 1975-1980).

Nadal-Federer rivalry is one of the biggest sports rivalries of all time. Are you honestly telling me you're going to dispute the importance of H2H between two players with 31 slams and over 340 weeks at number one who have dominated the biggest events in tennis for better part of the decade with a Nastase vs. Gerulaitis comparison? In the words of John McEnroe: You cannot be serious!

In conclusion no, H2H is not and won't be the most important factor in the GOAT debate. Far from it. However, no matter how hard you try to cover it up, if Nadal adds a couple of more slams and people will debate who was better every future tennis enthusiast will look up H2H because we had a unique opportunity to see such legends of the sport play each other time and time again. Imaginary comparisons between Laver, Borg, Sampras, Federer and Nadal will linger on but there will be nothing imaginary about the matches between Federer and Nadal.

If Nadal suprasses Sampras him and Federer will be regarded as the only GOAT candidates and people will always be interested in how they fared against each other. And there's nothing you can do about it. :D
 

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Even after two decades of a powerful push by the American-led tennis media, the number of Slams should still not be the central factor in determining the GOAT. Sampras should not have kept the GOAT status when Federer had 12 or 13 Slam Titles, and Federer should not keep the GOAT status simply because Nadal’s titles (possibly) remain below 17. On a similar note, I would not hesitate to already put Nadal ahead of Sampras, albeit by a small margin, even though the latter has more Slam titles to his name. Nadal’s ability to win on all surfaces and his career Grand Slam, along with his record as the most Masters Series titles should at least be enough to trump Sampras’ one more Slam title over Nadal.


As usuall the haters only cherry pick what they want...
I see a lot of contradiction on this post... :rolleyes:
 

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I would never say Nadal is greater than Federer just because of the H2H. I agree with the author that 20 years from now H2H won't matter as much, same as draws, injuries and whatnot. But there's one major difference!

We're not talking about Nastase and Gerulaitis who never played a grand slam match and 1 final in their careers - 11 matches overall.

We're not talking about Manuel Orantes and Guillermo Vilas who played three grand slam matches (no finals) and 3 finals in their careers - 15 matches overall.


These are the cases author uses to support his point of view. The players above won 8 slams combined - Gerulaitis (1x), Nastase (2x), Vilas (4x), Orantes (1x). They are not on par with Edberg, Becker, Wilander let alone Borg, Sampras, Federer, Nadal. They are not even contenders in the GOAT race. Very few slams meetings, very vew (if any) finals played, matches are not distributed across all surfaces, etc.



On the other side we're talking about Nadal and Federer - the greatest players of their respective generations and arguably the greatest players of all time.

33 matches, 20 finals including 8 grand slam finals across all three surfaces. They have been playing each other from 2004 to 2014 and counting. (Vilas and Orantes - 1973-1980, Nastase and Gerulaitis 1975-1980).

Nadal-Federer rivalry is one of the biggest sports rivalries of all time. Are you honestly telling me you're going to dispute the importance of H2H between two players with 31 slams and over 340 weeks at number one who have dominated the biggest events in tennis for better part of the decade with a Nastase vs. Gerulaitis comparison? In the words of John McEnroe: You cannot be serious!

In conclusion no, H2H is not and won't be the most important factor in the GOAT debate. Far from it. However, no matter how hard you try to cover it up, if Nadal adds a couple of more slams and people will debate who was better every future tennis enthusiast will look up H2H because we had a unique opportunity to see such legends of the sport play each other time and time again. Imaginary comparisons between Laver, Borg, Sampras, Federer and Nadal will linger on but there will be nothing imaginary about the matches between Federer and Nadal.

If Nadal suprasses Sampras him and Federer will be regarded as the only GOAT candidates and people will always be interested in how they fared against each other. And there's nothing you can do about it. :D

Stage-one thinkers vs H2H: LOL 23-10, Federer can't be GOAT!
Stage-two thinkers vs H2H: So 23-10, let's look into the reasons why this H2H turned out so lopsided.
 

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Even after two decades of a powerful push by the American-led tennis media, the number of Slams should still not be the central factor in determining the GOAT. Sampras should not have kept the GOAT status when Federer had 12 or 13 Slam Titles, and Federer should not keep the GOAT status simply because Nadal’s titles (possibly) remain below 17. On a similar note, I would not hesitate to already put Nadal ahead of Sampras, albeit by a small margin, even though the latter has more Slam titles to his name. Nadal’s ability to win on all surfaces and his career Grand Slam, along with his record as the most Masters Series titles should at least be enough to trump Sampras’ one more Slam title over Nadal.


As usuall the haters only cherry pick what they want...
Other than the fact that Nadull is a cheater with no talent and shouldn't even be in the conversation I agree with this post. Slam # is just a story pushed by the media, it's only one of many possible measures and is probably much worse than some others.
 

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Even after two decades of a powerful push by the American-led tennis media, the number of Slams should still not be the central factor in determining the GOAT. Sampras should not have kept the GOAT status when Federer had 12 or 13 Slam Titles, and Federer should not keep the GOAT status simply because Nadal’s titles (possibly) remain below 17. On a similar note, I would not hesitate to already put Nadal ahead of Sampras, albeit by a small margin, even though the latter has more Slam titles to his name. Nadal’s ability to win on all surfaces and his career Grand Slam, along with his record as the most Masters Series titles should at least be enough to trump Sampras’ one more Slam title over Nadal.
Nadal and Sampras both have 14 Slams? :confused:
 

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Why Nadal constantly picking his butt.
 

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^OCD.

If Nadal ends up with 17 slams, he will defenitly be in front of Fed bcs their H2H. Also, he will have a OG gold, DC, but not WTF and smaller No.1 weeks count. So, it can be a thing that propels him in the argument. If he finishes having less than 17GS, H2H won`t matter IMO.
 

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I don't care for GOAT debates, but it is very funny to see Muger fans discredit Davis Cup for being a team event, only to turn around and hype Mugerer's Doubles Gold.
So? :shrug: It's not the same thing at all. By definition, no player is allowed to play more than 3 out of 5 rubbers in a DC tie, so they can contribute to winning DC, but no more than that. OTOH, in any doubles competition, Olympic or otherwise, the two players play every round - if not, they'd be eliminated.
 

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Are GOAT debates era debates and H2H debates all equally impotent?

You heard me right.
 

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If Rafa stopped today he wouldn't be the GOAT. But if Federer and Nadal end their career with the same amount of GS titles surely the H2H will play a part in deciding who is the GOAT
 
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