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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Most of us know that before the Open Era, professional players (i.e. players that got prize money for participation elsewhere) were not allowed to play the four grand slams.
What some people don't know, is that there were three Pro Slams very similar to the ones we know today - one in the US, one in GB, and one in France:
Additional major tournament at its time was the tournament of champions:
These tournaments were much stronger the the amateur slams - after Rod Laver won the Grand Slam in 1962, he went pro, and it took him more than a year to win his first pro slam in 1964.
Of course not all pro players went to all pro slams, the same could be said of course about the Australian Open until at least 1987.

It therefore makes no sense at all to even mention pre open era slams after 1927 when speaking about the GOAT, that really is just a future outlook, because they were really not that important back then - only pre open era pro slams (together maybe with some other tournaments), and open era slams should count. This list count all slams and pro slams, so it makes no sense too (as in some years there were 8 such tournaments...):
The top players in this category are therefore:
1. Roger Federer - 20 (all slams)
2. Rafael Nadal - 19 (all slams)
2. Ken Rosewall - 19 (15 pro slams, 4 slams)
4. Novak Djokovic - 17 (all slams)
5. Pancho Gonzales - 16 (12 pro slams, 4 TOC)
6. Pete Sampras - 14 (all slams)
7. Rod Laver - 13 (8 pro slams, 5 slams)
8. Bjorn Borg - 11 (all slams)

Year end number one is also an issue - there were the Tennis Pro Tours, which Pancho Gonzales has won 7 times:
In addition, there were unofficial rankings, in which Pancho Gonzales was ranked number one 8 times (2 of them joint number one)

If we give joint number one 0.5 points the rankings should be:
1. Pancho Gonzales - 7
2. William Renshaw - 6.5
2. Bill Tilden - 6.5
4. Rod Laver - 6
4. Pete Sampras - 6
6. Jack Kramer - 5
6. Jimmy Connors - 5
6. Roger Federer - 5
6. Rafael Nadal - 5
6. Novak Djokovic - 5
11. Ken Rosewall - 4.5
11. Laurence Doherty - 4.5
11. Don Budge - 4.5

The bottom line for me is that Rod Laver is in no way the GOAT, he was not even the best in his era. Ken Rosewall should get much more respect, as well as Pancho Gonzales, who dominated his time more than any other player.

@Slasher1985
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You had to win just 1 Bo3 match and 2 Bo5 matches to win a pro slam. How you are going to equate that to a 7 match Bo5 slam is beyond me.
Actually at the French Pro all matches were best of 5 (3 or 4 matches), but yeah, I definitely see your point.
On the other hand the pro tours I mentioned were all top matches, and many of them.
No comparison will be perfect, the intensity today is much higher of course, and the whole technology is different.
We still try to understand how great today's players in comparison to previous generations, otherwise we won't be able to appreciate them as much, right?
 

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Good stats my friend, well done

Laver had 19 slams, 2 CYGS, and slams won on the 3 surfaces of the day, grass clay and wood. He also had 6 YE #1 and 332 weeks at #1

Gonzales had 7 YE #1 and 356 weeks, but only 17 slams and none on clay

Rosewall did have the most slams, yes, with 23, but he also never won Wimbledon. Had only 5 YE #1, and only 231 weeks at #1

So Rosewall had the most slams but least time at #1, Gonzales had the most time at #1, but the least slams, and Laver had the best of both worlds, plus 2 CYGS

For me Laver is the GOAT. And really the only one that can surpass would be Djokovic because Fedal never held all 4 slams at once. Only Laver and Djokovic (and Budge) can say that
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good stats my friend, well done

Laver had 19 slams, 2 CYGS, and slams won on the 3 surfaces of the day, grass clay and wood. He also had 6 YE #1 and 332 weeks at #1

Gonzales had 7 YE #1 and 356 weeks, but only 17 slams and none on clay

Rosewall did have the most slams, yes, with 23, but he also never won Wimbledon. Had only 5 YE #1, and only 231 weeks at #1

So Rosewall had the most slams but least time at #1, Gonzales had the most time at #1, but the least slams, and Laver had the best of both worlds, plus 2 CYGS

For me Laver is the GOAT. And really the only one that can surpass would be Djokovic because Fedal never held all 4 slams at once. Only Laver and Djokovic (and Budge) can say that
Should we really count the slams before the open era in your opinion? He did not compete against the best players after all. It's like Beijing would invest a lot of money and will be the most important tournament in the future, and then the Beijing winners of this era would suddenly become the greatest because of that, no?
 

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Should we really count the slams before the open era in your opinion? He did not compete against the best players after all. It's like Beijing would invest a lot of money and will be the most important tournament in the future, and then the Beijing winners of this era would suddenly become the greatest because of that, no?
I count it all, just add context
 

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To me its simple. National championship , European Championship, Worldchampionship. The world championship determines who is the best.
Its not quantity but quality that determines the best.
So for me the competition that determines who is the best is the competition in which all the best players participate.
World championships, Olympics, Grand Slam Tournaments in tennis.
simple everything else is just a job, making money and a lot of noise and diversion.
 

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Most of us know that before the Open Era, professional players (i.e. players that got prize money for participation elsewhere) were not allowed to play the four grand slams.
What some people don't know, is that there were three Pro Slams very similar to the ones we know today - one in the US, one in GB, and one in France:
Additional major tournament at its time was the tournament of champions:
These tournaments were much stronger the the amateur slams - after Rod Laver won the Grand Slam in 1962, he went pro, and it took him more than a year to win his first pro slam in 1964.
Of course not all pro players went to all pro slams, the same could be said of course about the Australian Open until at least 1987.

It therefore makes no sense at all to even mention pre open era slams after 1927 when speaking about the GOAT, that really is just a future outlook, because they were really not that important back then - only pre open era pro slams (together maybe with some other tournaments), and open era slams should count. This list count all slams and pro slams, so it makes no sense too (as in some years there were 8 such tournaments...):
The top players in this category are therefore:
1. Roger Federer - 20 (all slams)
2. Rafael Nadal - 19 (all slams)
2. Ken Rosewall - 19 (15 pro slams, 4 slams)
4. Novak Djokovic - 17 (all slams)
5. Pancho Gonzales - 16 (12 pro slams, 4 TOC)
6. Pete Sampras - 14 (all slams)
7. Rod Laver - 13 (8 pro slams, 5 slams)
8. Bjorn Borg - 11 (all slams)

Year end number one is also an issue - there were the Tennis Pro Tours, which Pancho Gonzales has won 7 times:
In addition, there were unofficial rankings, in which Pancho Gonzales were ranked number one 8 times (2 of them joint number one)

If we give joint number one 0.5 points the rankings should be:
1. Pancho Gonzales - 7
2. William Renshaw - 6.5
2. Bill Tilden - 6.5
4. Rod Laver - 6
4. Pete Sampras - 6
6. Jack Kramer - 5
6. Jimmy Connors - 5
6. Roger Federer - 5
6. Rafael Nadal - 5
6. Novak Djokovic - 5
11. Ken Rosewall - 4.5
11. Laurence Doherty - 4.5
11. Don Budge - 4.5

The bottom line for me is that Rod Laver is in no way the GOAT, he was not even the best in his era. Ken Rosewall should get much more respect, as well as Pancho Gonzales, who dominated his time more than any other player.

@Slasher1985
Fairest list of all, as only OE slams and Pro majors should be considered. Totally agree with you about Gonzalez and Rosewall.
 

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Should we really count the slams before the open era in your opinion? He did not compete against the best players after all. It's like Beijing would invest a lot of money and will be the most important tournament in the future, and then the Beijing winners of this era would suddenly become the greatest because of that, no?
Laver has 19 slams if you count his amateur slams. In that case then Rosewall has 23 slams. Personally, I would not count the amateur slams or YE #1 rankings, or at least count them separately.
 

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Actually its very simply to determine the greatest players of all time.
We can discard anything before the open era. We simply did not have all the players from all over the world competing in the same competition.
First era Rod Laver dominant in his time more slams than anyone in his era, including a grand slam. (a real one)
Second era Bjorn Borg More slams than anyone by far in his era, including the extreme double of french and wimbledon 4 times when the surfaces were really different and wooden racquets.
Third era Pete Sampras More slams than anyone by far in his era.
Fourth era Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal. Novak Djokovic

These are the greatest players of all time period. Players of different eras really can not be compared in a fair and reasonable way.

P.S. When become unreasonable and just for fun to myself
I come up with 3
Roger Federer
Rafael Nadal
Born Borg

how did i cut the others out
Rod Laver competition still pretty slim (not a great argument is just shows its hard to compare eras)
Pete Sampras never competitive at the highest level on clay.
Novak Djokovic
Third best in an era. 3 players from the same era. something is fishy. In this era did they make it easier for the favorites to win? yes playing conditions favorites indoor dont need to deal with delays and bad weather. Advertising money, Huge no of people getting the favorite ready to play. Sponsors and spectators and umpires pulling for the favorites. One set of judgement calls for the favorites and another for everyone else.

and being totally unreasonable the greatest of them all is
Roger Federer on style points both on and of the court.
 

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p.s. the meaning of numbers. Numbers are used to either to measure specific quantities. Measurements. Fundamental of science. Or numbers are used to simple put items in order.
To say this is worth 1 and something else is worth .5 without a specific measurement common to both is meaningless.
 

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You had to win just 1 Bo3 match and 2 Bo5 matches to win a pro slam. How you are going to equate that to a 7 match Bo5 slam is beyond me.
In the French Pro, all matches were best of 5. Usually, the French and Wembley were played in consecutive weeks. Until 63, the French Pro was on clay at RG. In 60,61, and 62 Rosewall won both Wembley on fast wood and the French on RG clay, a week apart.
You had to win just 1 Bo3 match and 2 Bo5 matches to win a pro slam. How you are going to equate that to a 7 match Bo5 slam is beyond me.
At the French Pro all matches were best of 5. Wembley, on fast wood and the French on RG clay were played in consecutive weeks. In 60,61, and 62 Rosewall won the French and Wembley in consecutive weeks
 

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Honestly the goat is determined by this.

Put all the prospects up against each other in their primes. Who wins? Federer, hands down, every time.
 

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That is why most official stats deal with New Era only (except maybe tribute to Laver and his CYGSs) because before was a mess...
 
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