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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Tennis Players
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:10 am 
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on return for Sampras (93-95 & 97-2000) and Federer (03-09) at Wimbledon

Sampras broke 192 times in 805 games, (23.85%)
Federer broke 222 times in 759 games (29.25%)

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purely on stats,
-Fed's considerably better at breaking
- Sampras is slightly better at holding

assuming Sampras courts made it relatively easier to hold, and harder to break, I'd speculate -

- About the same at holding
- Fed's slightly better at holding


This makes me re-think my earlier position and speculate Fed is the better grass courter. Also taking into account Fed's near flawless record at Halle vs Sampras good, but less than flawless record at Queens.

Hard to factor in mental components. My memory of Sampras is of a guy who really played his best when it mattered and when he was motivated to. Kept a very cool head when the going got tough - just resolved to keep playing his game.

Fed's no mental weakling of course, but he loses ground on this point. Has anyone lost more matches after having match points? he's failed to serve out matches more than once too, something I can't remember Sampras ever doing, on any surface.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Tennis Players
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 4:18 pm 
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so are we to give fed number 1 if he wins wimbledon and retains number 1 this year ?


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Tennis Players
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 5:30 pm 
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Yousha wrote:
so are we to give fed number 1 if he wins wimbledon and retains number 1 this year ?


If he ends the year number one, he's got a good argument. If he just takes it for a few weeks but, say, Novak ends the year number one, I think he'll stay where he is.

Although it's hard to compare the modern era with the time in which Tilden played. Travel was so much tougher then. Tilden was pretty unanimously considered the best tennis player in the world for quite a few years, but he mostly played in America. He traveled to Wimbledon a few times, never won the French, and never even participated in the Australian Championships. I have no idea about the overall popularity of tennis in those days, but looking at the players, it was largely just four nations competing against each other - Britain, U.S., Australia, and France - whereas today we have much greater depth with respect to the number of players and nations participating in the sport. Add to that the technological advances that make the game much more demanding and physical today, and I'm not sure we should put Tilden above Federer even now.

Laver, on the other hand, played in a much more modern era and was very competitive in his mid-late 30s with guys like Connors and Borg, so I think his case is far more solid.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Tennis Players
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 7:20 pm 
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George, what more do you think Federer needs to do before moving up a spot? Moving ahead of Bill Tilden is obviously a huge deal, but as you can see from my previous post, I'm partially of the mind that Federer could go above him already. If he finishes the year out as number one, he'll have 6 year-end number ones and the most weeks at number one by a fair margin. Laver and Tilden both had 7 or arguably 8 years at number one, though.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Tennis Players
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:54 am 
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Tilden competed in an era when tennis was played in the USA, GB, Australia and France and pretty much no where else. And Laver in an era where other nations were only just starting to develop some competitive players and public interest in the sport.

I think the fact tennis is such a bigger global sport now has to count for something...not too much, but it is a factor. It's pretty telling that no one in the top 10 right now is from either Australia or the USA...and just one from France. For most of tennis history these countries made up the majority of top players (add Britain to the list in the very early days of the sport).


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Tennis Players
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:09 am 
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u could argue because of the globalisation/professionalism of sports in general the incentive to play tennis if u are from the usa or uk, (even aus) is far less because of the ridiculously uneven distribution of wealth compared to other more prevalent sports in those countries. if you are the 5th best tennis player in the usa you are probably making less than the 500th best mlb player, or uk the 7000th soccer player etc


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Tennis Players
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:42 am 
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Tudwell wrote:
George, what more do you think Federer needs to do before moving up a spot? Moving ahead of Bill Tilden is obviously a huge deal, but as you can see from my previous post, I'm partially of the mind that Federer could go above him already. If he finishes the year out as number one, he'll have 6 year-end number ones and the most weeks at number one by a fair margin. Laver and Tilden both had 7 or arguably 8 years at number one, though.
pancho also had 8 years at #1, guy is underrated here. should be above borg at least


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Tennis Players
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:30 am 
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Agree with Mint C.'s suggestion (as I've understood it)

the standard of "competition" has changed so much that comparing in absolute nominal terms the dominance span of a Rosewall/Laver (let alone Tilden) to Sampras/Federer... doesn't make sense.

Its just not possible anymore for a guy to remain in the elite list of players when one reaches mid 30s, let alone late 30s.

Gonzales, Rosewall and Laver couldn't have done it today - just as surely as Federer, Sampras and Agassi would have done it back then

Tilden, according to wikipedia, enjoyed a steaks and lamb chops diet as he was ruling the tennis world.

Just not possible anymore!


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Tennis Players
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 5:44 pm 
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Djokovic needs to move UP in this list. I'd put him a notch above Edberg, personally. He has one less slam, but generally a much more consistent performance at the slams. Edberg never even had a multi-slam winning year - Djokovic won three in 2011 and made 3/4 finals this year as well. Additionally, Edberg has 8 Masters and Grand Prix tournaments, compared to Djokovic's 13. Edberg has a slight edge at the WTF and in overall titles, but I'd give it to Djokovic now, who has matched Edberg with two year-end no. 1 finishes.

I expect Djokovic to move past Becker and Wilander and settle around Agassi by the time his career is over.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Tennis Players
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 5:45 pm 
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Also, Nadal behind Connors, Lendl, and McEnroe is becoming increasingly laughable. He's top 10 at the very least!


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Tennis Players
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:05 pm 
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I think we can have a reshift when one of these guys retire, but yeah, Nadal's definitely a top 10 player now.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Tennis Players
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:03 am 
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I probably agree but I think it's still pretty debatable. Lendl, Connors and McEnroe all have a couple of things over Nadal. The main thing being that all were number 1 in the world for a lot longer than Nadal has been. Lendl 270 weeks, Connors 268 weeks, McEnroe 170 weeks, Nadal 102 weeks. That's a massive difference. For all Nadal's success he has spent a lot of his career being the 2nd best player in the world. Mainly to Federer but also to Djokovic. Now that might change in future if Nadal can get back on top, but I think that's probably unlikely.

If you're just talking number of slams then sure, but I don't think that's all that counts.

Other points: Connors and Lendl won an extraordinary number of titles (Nadal will not get close) and had amazing longevity as top players, all 3 have won multiple tour finals tournaments while Nadal has never won and McEnroe has his doubles record.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Tennis Players
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:32 am 
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i would personally keep nadal behind all of them for those reasons. the guy doesnt have near enough time at #1


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Tennis Players
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 5:24 pm 
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Yes, his time at number one is fairly small and is why I wouldn't put him quite up with Borg, who he otherwise is very close to. He has more slams and a huge number of Masters titles. Lendl has, I think, 22 Masters-equivalent titles, but Nadal will likely surpass that. On top of that, he's far more versatile of a player. He's won at least two slams on three different surfaces! He's also dominated clay to a completely unprecedented degree, and none of Lendl, Mac, or Connors dominated even one event like that, let alone the four (Roland Garros, Monte-Carlo, Rome, and Barcelona) that Nadal has dominated. He also has a superb Wimbledon record with five finals. The WTF is his only big hole. He has the Olympics, Davis Cup, the career slam, everything. I don't think it's even a contest.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Tennis Players
PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:30 am 
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re: Nadal - I don't hold the #1 thing against him much compared to Connors, Lendl etc, honestly.

All that shows is there was a better player in Nadal's time. Has nothing to do with how he stacks up against those other guys from other times.

Holding it against him in a comparison with players from other generations is like downplaying the great Wally Hammond's lack of time as world #1 - which happened because Bradman was around, and much better than Hammond.

Doesn't mean anything in a Hammond vs Viv Richards comparison.

re: # of titles for Nadal vs Lendl/Connors - i think that's a function of the era(?) - those guys played many, many more tournaments a year.

Same way we can't slot everyone behind Rosewall and Laver - guys with close to 200 tournament wins - i don't think this criterion holds water without an adjustment for # of tournaments entered.

That said, i think its debatable where he stands next to Connors, Lendl, McEnroe - the picture will be clearer when he retires.

Borg i think, remains a cut above Nadal, at least for now.


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