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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,
Let's have some fun and get some value out of our community.
There's a lot of people here that know tennis really well, understand the system, game and the rankings, and are passionate about the all of it - so I was thinking we can maybe work together to figure out the answer to the "ultimate question": who's the GOAT?

I've taken the original GOAT spreadsheet from @slasher85 and re-worked it. the one that he gave up on in 2016 (thanks you jerks for annoying him that much), and I've updated it, tried to simplify it and add my thoughts and knowledge to it.
I've ran it by @Slasher85 and he didn't tell me to go to hell... So, that's a positive. I'll take it as a good starting point.

Now, what I intend to do is:
1. Update this spreadsheet as we go forward and hopefully have a semi-scientific answer to that ultimate question.
2. Gather your feedback and make this ranking more accurate, more honest and more valuable.
3. Discuss and deliberate on characteristics/variables weighting - as there are some that are not that clear cut, but have to be included and accounted for.
4. I've kept Pete in the ranking - just to keep me honest and to keep the baseline clear - ultimately it will be removed, as there are only 3 (IMO - feel free to comment) candidates for the GOAT title at this point: Roger, Rafael, Novak.

My premises/assumptions:
1. we can, at this point, ignore the pre-open era and pretty much anyone that's not named Roger, Rafael and Novak. If you think that's not fair - please provide the reasoning, suggestion and I'll definitely consider it. I don't mind Rod Laver being the GOAT, if we all agree on it and it makes sense. If there's a valid argumentation - we can update this spreadsheet accordingly, thanks to @slasher85 who provided that historic data/analytics already.
2. I've based my weighting factors on ATP points allotment system. The argument for that is that it impacts most other metrics and if tinkered with - it'll skew the results beyond control.
3. I've included most (I hope all) relevant dimensions - GS/Masters/500/250/OG/DC/ATPC/H2H/Streaks/etc etc
4 I've tried to stay away from "exotic" and "custom" categories, as they're prone to bias and cannot be adequately defended.
5. This is a "dry" scorecard. It's about hard/tangible numbers ONLY - no "beauty of the game", "class and style", "warrior mentality", "surface bias", "grit and clutch", etc etc etc nonsense.
6. Check the "notes" in the spreadsheet - as to understand the particular factors and provide your feedback/suggestions.

This is where the file is - and you're all welcome to it. Let me know if you have any questions - but more so - if you have suggestions/corrections/additions/etc etc that can get this work better.
GOAT - big 3 analysis
Thanks!
 

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I think overall this is very good but I would propose a few changes. 1st I think most slams per surface is unfair due to their being two HC slams and one of each other one so it gives an edge to HC players. Most slams at one venue should stay and it is the better option. 2nd I think there should be a weeks at top 3 stats with less weight as world number 2 can be as good or even better than 1 at times like Federer 17 and Djokovic 16. I'd lower the weighting of team cups and 250s and even 500s a bit. All the top players aren't always there and team cups rely on teammates a lot. I'd way weeks a bit more and titles more as losing in the finals is not 60% as good as winning the title despite point value saying so for GS. I'd also try to add in something for competition perhaps like the adjusted slams/masters and big win points on ultimate tennis statistics. All in all I think it's good and the results match my intuitions though I feel it's a bit harsh on Sampras.
 

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The one with the most number of grand slams is the GOAT.

Most people, except close followers of the sport (for instance, MTF posters can be regarded as close followers), rarely pay attention or emphasis to events outside grand slams. Grand slams are at a total different level since many notable players retired without winning one.

Look at Serena Williams (23 grand slams), she faltered 4 times in her last 4 finals of grand slams in an attempt to equal and surpass Margaret Court's 24 grand slams and establish herself as an undisputed GOAT. To me, Court is women's GOAT, although people of the current generation consider Serena as women's GOAT.

Even if people do not regard or disagree that the one with the most slams is GOAT, to have won the most slams that player will certainly have the bragging rights than the other players.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The one with the most number of grand slams is the GOAT.

Most people, except close followers of the sport (for instance, MTF posters can be regarded as close followers), rarely pay attention or emphasis to events outside grand slams. Grand slams are at a total different level since many notable players retired without winning one.

Look at Serena Williams (23 grand slams), she faltered 4 times in her last 4 finals of grand slams in an attempt to equal and surpass Margaret Court's 24 grand slams and establish herself as an undisputed GOAT. To me, Court is women's GOAT, although people of the current generation consider Serena as women's GOAT.

Even if people do not regard or disagree that the one with the most slams is GOAT, to have won the most slams that player will certainly have the bragging rights than the other players.
No. And simply because we're trying to figure out who is the "TENNIS GOAT", not the "GS GOAT".
So no. but thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
How do you ignore the Pre-Open era when looking at ALL TIME though??
Not ignoring it - @Slasher85 did the longer and more comprehensive analysis that included all eras.
I just choose to start with the "big 3", get that right, and maybe after expand with the data that includes all.
I do believe though that including all will not change the order of the top 3.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I think overall this is very good but I would propose a few changes. 1st I think most slams per surface is unfair due to their being two HC slams and one of each other one so it gives an edge to HC players. Most slams at one venue should stay and it is the better option. 2nd I think there should be a weeks at top 3 stats with less weight as world number 2 can be as good or even better than 1 at times like Federer 17 and Djokovic 16. I'd lower the weighting of team cups and 250s and even 500s a bit. All the top players aren't always there and team cups rely on teammates a lot. I'd way weeks a bit more and titles more as losing in the finals is not 60% as good as winning the title despite point value saying so for GS. I'd also try to add in something for competition perhaps like the adjusted slams/masters and big win points on ultimate tennis statistics. All in all I think it's good and the results match my intuitions though I feel it's a bit harsh on Sampras.
Thanks.
Re most slams per surface - I get your point, as it is very clear and I agree with it - but paradoxically, removing it would not hurt Fed or Novak, but Rafa. If there's another member that advocates that I will consider - like this, I tend to leave it.
Re "weeks at top 3" - If you have the data, please send it to me and I'll include it.

Re lowering/adjusting the weighting for some tournaments - I've chosen to use impartial/fair/ATP points allotment data. I believe that we should count all the tourneys exactly or as close as possible to what ATP does, so to avoid bias.
 

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Not ignoring it - @Slasher85 did the longer and more comprehensive analysis that included all eras.
I just choose to start with the "big 3", get that right, and maybe after expand with the data that includes all.
I do believe though that including all will not change the order of the top 3.

When you add guys like Pancho, Laver, Tilden Rosewall to the list then Djoker, Fed Nadal may all be knocked out of the top 3.

Laver with 200 titles and 2 golden slams (none of the Big 3 have that) . Pancho with More long term domination than the "Big 3" Rosewall with more majors than the Big 3. Tilden more dominant during his time than the big 3


Sampras has some legit claims to GOAT Status. Held his main rivals to single digit slams with the 6-7 years of #1
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
When you add guys like Pancho, Laver, Tilden Rosewall to the list then Djoker, Fed Nadal may all be knocked out of the top 3.

Laver with 200 titles and 2 golden slams (none of the Big 3 have that) . Pancho with More long term domination than the "Big 3" Rosewall with more majors than the Big 3. Tilden more dominant during his time than the big 3


Sampras has some legit claims to GOAT Status. Held his main rivals to single digit slams with the 6-7 years of #1
No problem - we'll have to wait till I update the spreadsheet with that data. As I said - I need to clean up the parameters, and make sure that calculating open-era GOAT is valid and confirmed, agreed upon by this community (hopefully), and then we'll go into ranking the pre-open achievements. If we all approach it with good will - and discuss the characteristics/attributes/aggregation and weighting calcs - we might achieve something of value, and that's my intent.
However, just FYI, I did the preliminary view and it does not support your expectations (not even close - only Rosewall and Rod look like possible contenders at 3 and 4, sampras pushed down and Rafa looks so-so), however, I'll hold that back until I/we go thru the process I've outlined above.
It's really about creating the structure that'll support this ranking while the "big 3" is still active, and not giving the final judgment before they all retire - only then this will be complete.

Now - any suggestions about what's available now? I appreciate any and all feedback.
 

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Another MTF member attempting this. Let us see what happens

Here's my shorthand list. Take it and go from there. Enjoy the adventure!

1. Laver- 19 slams, 6 YE #1, 2 CYGS, 200 titles
2. Federer- 20 slams, 5 YE #1, Career Slam, 103 titles
3. Nadal- 19 slams, 5 YE #1, Career Slam, 84 titles
4. Djokovic- 17 slams, 5 YE #1, 1 NCYGS, 78 titles
5. Rosewall- 23 slams, 5 YE #1, won grass slams, never won Wimbledon, 4 finals, 133 titles
6. Gonzales- 17 slams, 6 YE #1, never won RG, 4 SF, 111 titles
7. Tilden- 15 slams, 7 YE #1, won clay slam, never won RG, 2 finals, 138 titles
8. Sampras- 14 slams, 6 YE #1, never won RG, 1 SF, 64 titles
9. Budge- 10 slams, 4 YE #1, CYGS, 43 titles
10. Perry- 10 slams, 3 YE #1, Career Slam, 55 titles
11. Borg- 11 slams, 3 YE #1, 64 titles
12. Cochet- 11 slams, 3 YE #1, 90 titles
13. Kramer- 5 slams, 5 YE #1, 35 titles
14. Connors- 8 slams, 3 YE #1, 109 titles
15. Lendl- 8 slams, 3 YE #1, 94 titles
16. McEnroe- 7 slams, 3 YE #1, 77 titles
17. Vines- 7 slams, 3 YE #1, 36 titles
18. Riggs- 6 slams, 3 YE #1, 99 titles
19. Emerson- 12 slams, 0 YE #1, only Amateur #1, 110 titles
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Another MTF member attempting this. Let us see what happens

Here's my shorthand list. Take it and go from there. Enjoy the adventure!

1. Laver- 19 slams, 6 YE #1, 2 CYGS, 200 titles
2. Federer- 20 slams, 5 YE #1, Career Slam, 103 titles
3. Nadal- 19 slams, 5 YE #1, Career Slam, 84 titles
4. Djokovic- 17 slams, 5 YE #1, 1 NCYGS, 78 titles
5. Rosewall- 23 slams, 5 YE #1, won grass slams, never won Wimbledon, 4 finals, 133 titles
6. Gonzales- 17 slams, 6 YE #1, never won RG, 4 SF, 111 titles
7. Tilden- 15 slams, 7 YE #1, won clay slam, never won RG, 2 finals, 138 titles
8. Sampras- 14 slams, 6 YE #1, never won RG, 1 SF, 64 titles
9. Budge- 10 slams, 4 YE #1, CYGS, 43 titles
10. Perry- 10 slams, 3 YE #1, Career Slam, 55 titles
11. Borg- 11 slams, 3 YE #1, 64 titles
12. Cochet- 11 slams, 3 YE #1, 90 titles
13. Kramer- 5 slams, 5 YE #1, 35 titles
14. Connors- 8 slams, 3 YE #1, 109 titles
15. Lendl- 8 slams, 3 YE #1, 94 titles
16. McEnroe- 7 slams, 3 YE #1, 77 titles
17. Vines- 7 slams, 3 YE #1, 36 titles
18. Riggs- 6 slams, 3 YE #1, 99 titles
19. Emerson- 12 slams, 0 YE #1, only Amateur #1, 110 titles
I appreciate the response - but it's not really helping me/us. As you can see and read above - I'm trying to take it in a very systematic way - clean up/agree on open-era, then go further with the pre-open era ranking and merging the data. If you read the discussion also - you'll see that this is about an as-comprehensive-as-possible view on the achievements and not looking at one parameter as a decider. Someone else said "# of GSs and that's all", you say "# of titles and that's all..." etc - we can all do that (till cows come home and we have no usable outcome) - but we can do much better. As this is an interesting and more complex problem/question.
So, if you have a suggestion on what's posted so far (look at the spreadsheet), please put it forward. Otherwise, sit back and enjoy and wait for us to finish the job.
 

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I appreciate the response - but it's not really helping me/us. As you can see and read above - I'm trying to take it in a very systematic way - clean up/agree on open-era, then go further with the pre-open era ranking and merging the data. If you read the discussion also - you'll see that this is about an as-comprehensive-as-possible view on the achievements and not looking at one parameter as a decider. Someone else said "# of GSs and that's all", you say "# of titles and that's all..." etc - we can all do that (till cows come home and we have no usable outcome) - but we can do much better. As this is an interesting and more complex problem/question.
So, if you have a suggestion on what's posted so far (look at the spreadsheet), please put it forward. Otherwise, sit back and enjoy and wait for us to finish the job.
My friend, I have long since retired from trying to quantify achievements and trying to find an agreed upon system of weights and balances to satisfy all the critics.

I find life to be much more fun, free, and enjoyable when you look at only what happened and did not happen instead of trying to place a certain value on this title vs that title. You will end up in the crazy house, just as myself and Slasher1985 after me did. Nowadays I have just a few statistics I take a look at, and let the young guns like yourself take it from there. I know the full stories of the top 20 players of all time and that is good enough for me.

Have fun on the journey!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
My friend, I have long since retired from trying to quantify achievements and trying to find an agreed upon system of weights and balances to satisfy all the critics.

I find life to be much more fun, free, and enjoyable when you look at only what happened and did not happen instead of trying to place a certain value on this title vs that title. You will end up in the crazy house, just as myself and Slasher1985 after me did. Nowadays I have just a few statistics I take a look at, and let the young guns like yourself take it from there. I know the full stories of the top 20 players of all time and that is good enough for me.

Have fun on the journey!
As Edison said - it only takes one time :) "I didn't fail 1000 times. The lightbulb was an invention with 1000 steps".
If you know the full stories - I'd appreciate your feedback on what I have so far (and if you want to offer the rest, I'll be thankful too). If not - I wish you a happy retirement.
 

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As Edison said - it only takes one time :) "I didn't fail 1000 times. The lightbulb was an invention with 1000 steps".
If you know the full stories - I'd appreciate your feedback on what I have so far (and if you want to offer the rest, I'll be thankful too). If not - I wish you a happy retirement.
I fundamentally disagree with any system that even attempts to quantify whether this stat is better than that stat and by how much.

You are trying to achieve objectivity in a field that is inherently subjective
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I fundamentally disagree with any system that even attempts to quantify whether this stat is better than that stat and by how much.

You are trying to achieve objectivity in a field that is inherently subjective
Oh, I get it. You're a mystic. I'm leaning more towards science/numbers/logic... And I'm always optimistic about its potential. Especially if it's open-source model (e.g. discussion, challenge, conclusion, value)
We can both do our thing and not impede each other (since we can't help each other).
I wish you well.
If at any point you want to share your thoughts/knowledge/insight as to improve this model - I thank you in advance.
 

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If I can make a recommendation (I am also retired, but thanks for thinking of my system), if you are to quantify DC, ATP Cup and Team Cup, make sure you count it as relative to points gained.

For instance, if a player won Davis Cup and gained 525 pts across all 4 rounds, he would count that as 0.525, not 0.75. Same goes for ATP Cup, Djokovic would get 0.665. If you are unsure about DC totals, well, there is always OER. Might need Premium to see point breakdowns before 2015.
 

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Another MTF member attempting this. Let us see what happens

Here's my shorthand list. Take it and go from there. Enjoy the adventure!

1. Laver- 19 slams, 6 YE #1, 2 CYGS, 200 titles
2. Federer- 20 slams, 5 YE #1, Career Slam, 103 titles
3. Nadal- 19 slams, 5 YE #1, Career Slam, 84 titles
4. Djokovic- 17 slams, 5 YE #1, 1 NCYGS, 78 titles
5. Rosewall- 23 slams, 5 YE #1, won grass slams, never won Wimbledon, 4 finals, 133 titles
6. Gonzales- 17 slams, 6 YE #1, never won RG, 4 SF, 111 titles
7. Tilden- 15 slams, 7 YE #1, won clay slam, never won RG, 2 finals, 138 titles
8. Sampras- 14 slams, 6 YE #1, never won RG, 1 SF, 64 titles
9. Budge- 10 slams, 4 YE #1, CYGS, 43 titles
10. Perry- 10 slams, 3 YE #1, Career Slam, 55 titles
11. Borg- 11 slams, 3 YE #1, 64 titles
12. Cochet- 11 slams, 3 YE #1, 90 titles
13. Kramer- 5 slams, 5 YE #1, 35 titles
14. Connors- 8 slams, 3 YE #1, 109 titles
15. Lendl- 8 slams, 3 YE #1, 94 titles
16. McEnroe- 7 slams, 3 YE #1, 77 titles
17. Vines- 7 slams, 3 YE #1, 36 titles
18. Riggs- 6 slams, 3 YE #1, 99 titles
19. Emerson- 12 slams, 0 YE #1, only Amateur #1, 110 titles
Your choice of facts to highlight the careers of these ATG's is fine, except for YE #1.

YE #1 is a completely useless and irrelevant stat. Essentially, you picked a random day (Dec. 31) in a year and declared it more important than any other day.

Weeks at #1 is much, much more relevant than YE #1. So is the number of "more important" non-slam tournaments (YEC, Masters, OG etc.). So is the H2H against same era competitors on this list.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
If I can make a recommendation (I am also retired, but thanks for thinking of my system), if you are to quantify DC, ATP Cup and Team Cup, make sure you count it as relative to points gained.

For instance, if a player won Davis Cup and gained 525 pts across all 4 rounds, he would count that as 0.525, not 0.75. Same goes for ATP Cup, Djokovic would get 0.665. If you are unsure about DC totals, well, there is always OER. Might need Premium to see point breakdowns before 2015.
Thanks Slasher - That problem bothers me - I don't know what to do with it exactly TBH. As I'm trusting your judgment I'm more than happy to take your advice on it. As I said - I'm not happy about it - so I simplified it (and I knew it's too simplified to begin with) - but I'll take your suggestion verbatim - just tell me what exactly you mean re calcs and numbers... Again - I wanted to reduce complexity, but in some cases, it's needed/warranted.
Let me know.
And thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Your choice of facts to highlight the careers of these ATG's is fine, except for YE #1.

YE #1 is a completely useless and irrelevant stat. Essentially, you picked a random day (Dec. 31) in a year and declared it more important than any other day.

Weeks at #1 is much, much more relevant than YE #1. So is the number of "more important" non-slam tournaments (YEC, Masters, OG etc.). So is the H2H against same era competitors on this list.
Hey - Thanks for joining the discussion.
I didn't pick that date, as you know :) I didn't give it too much weight anyways (i think).
And I agree about the weeks at #1 - to me that's very important metric.
On H2H... I agree also - but I think it's weighing heavy on this already (at least I thought so).
Please, suggest adjustments and let's discuss - I'm very happy to make changes and improve this.
Thanks again,
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
So far we had several suggestions - and I'll list them all below along with current status and accepted actions:
- removing "most slams per surface" (TBD)

[NJ] not at this time, if anyone else supports this suggestion, let me know
I believe that this gives Rafa credit for what he achieved on clay

- adding "weeks at top 3" (accepted)

[NJ] I think this is a good idea, and I'll try to get that data
if someone else supports weeks @ top 3 or 5, or can help with the data, great

- Lowering the weighting for 500/250/DC/ATPC (partial)

[NJ] I don't want to touch 500&250, as the ATP points are the base measure for all
however, I'll rethink the DC&ATPC and lower it, any suggestion is welcomed
These 2 are special/different - but will try to abide by ATP points there too as much as possible. currently - i adjusted DC and ATPC to .75.

- OG points adjustment

[NJ] I tend to keep/return 3/2/1. Let me know.

- Pre-open era data inclusion

[NJ] Accepted, will be done in the next step

- Increase weighting for "weeks at #1"

[NJ] Accepted. I think Slasher had .11 or .12 - we'll go with .12

- accommodate for "big win points" [TBD]

[NJ] Generally, it goes against my original rules. If more people request this and provide "logic" and justification we'll consider

- Throw this away and call GOAT the one with most slams

[NJ] Rejected.

- DC cup points adjustment

[NJ] Accepted. I will look for data and adjust. currently adjusted to .75, same for ATPC.

- Remove YE#1, increase the weighting for "weeks at #1" and H2H and non-slam tourneys

[NJ] Partial acceptance for "weeks @ #1" & OG (see above).

Thanks to all that participated so far - please keep this coming and think about additional metrics and calc/weighting adjustments.
Thanks,
 
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