« Photos. | Main | Grand Slam hasn't changed my life, says Wozniacki. Really? »

02/10/2018

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Gary Moser

FRENCH OPEN FUN, THE MCENROE WAY:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKJAv_mxKLw

O

They seem to have a nice house? then there is this pet? maybe he didn't attack?

Leon

Compare this:
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-tennis-frenchopen-wilander-federer/federers-decision-to-skip-paris-hurts-tennis-wilander-idUSKCN1J42CD?rpc=401&
(let him bark; I only wonder if Roger still shake hands with this moral giant)
with an interesting reminder:
https://tennisaccent.com/2018/04/03/federer-skipping-roland-garros-is-a-disgrace-to-past-legends-or-is-it/
Enjoy the media.

Gary Moser

There's a veritable cornucopia of dumbness that Mats offers up, but my single favorite example is the following:

“He (Roger) said it’s about being competitive. But I think it’s about him coming here to compete.
I played this tournament many times when I wasn’t competitive but I still came to compete."

Hmmm...

Competitive or compete, Mats last played it in 1996 --- when he was ALL OF 31 YEARS OLD [ & SANS SURGERY? ].

A textbook case of Do-as-I-say-not-as-I-didn't-do-but-claimed-I-did-anyway?

O

They are punishing Federer for being truthful. If Federer said I'm injured until I want to play, no one will say a thing?

O

Rafa FO 2018 Victory speed English and French humble
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89uNbrohcf0

Thiem runner up speech FO18, gracious
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgW_QhFBzK8

Rafa Thiem - Final Highlights FO18 ball super heavy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ug17CLG3gzw

O

Rafael Nadal vs Dominic Thiem Trophy Ceremony l RG 2018 Final
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4gJKs4zVV8

nick

Mr. Roger's latest twitter : "What did I miss"

Interesting.

Gary Moser

I have Nick Bollettieri's 1996 auto-biography "My Aces, My Faults" --- which I regard as excellent ---
so it will be interesting for me to see if he has done any serious revisionism 20-plus years later...

http://www.businessinsider.com/andre-agassi-troubled-relationship-with-his-coach-led-to-powerful-sports-documentary-love-means-zero-2018-6

O

Running Wild with Bear Grylls - Roger Federer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9cfm9G6lyI

Gary Moser

Serena Williams is now #28 in the WTA rankings, and Andy Murray is #839 in the ATP.

Will we ever get a more perfect opportunity to prove John McEnroe right or wrong? :->

Gary Moser

RICHARD WILLIAMS LEGAL MESS

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5960503/Serena-Williamss-father-evaluated-gave-incoherent-answers-divorce-case.html

Bettyjane

A trend is emerging.

https://sports.yahoo.com/federer-withdraws-toronto-event-lighten-schedule-181427639--ten.html

Alpha

I'm guessing he'll play Cincy then. Sure, he won't arrive at the USO straight from Wimbledon. I'm also guessing he will play the Japan Open this year. The folks at Uniqlo must have discussed schedules, number of years he will play etc, before giving a 36+ year old guy a 10 year, 30 million dollar deal.

Gary Moser

Yeah...if in a week or two he announces that he's also foregoing Cincy,
THEN I'll be concerned about how it bodes for the rest of 2018 for him.

Speaking of the Uniqlo/Japan thingie ---
isn't his playing at least through the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo a virtual certainty now?

nick

Hmm. That is interesting, That could have been a precondition. Not too concerned about Roegr's . He never did well at Montreal leg and if he had not played there last year, it could have been a different US open.

Now in presence of Novak minus Pepe , it could be 14th coming.

sperry

Mr Wawrinka knows how to play doubles. And Federer ain't that bad either.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqMiyG0PStI

Gary Moser

Well...here's a statistical work-out to chew on:

http://lastwordontennis.com/2018/08/08/rafael-nadal-is-not-an-all-time-great-on-hard-courts/

sperry

I can’t help myself. Whenever I see “Connors: 109” and Federer, Nadal, Djokovic BEHIND him, I see red. So … off I went to the ATP site. I cut and pasted into Excel all 109 tourneys that Connors won. Then I went to “player activity” and listed everyone he beat in the QF, SF, and F, and their rank at the time. (Long story short: there are huge holes in the ATP database, and I had to estimate quite a few rankings. I did the best I could.) Then I arbitrarily assigned a value to the rankings and converted rankings to points. I decided that if you were ranked 1 or 2, that that was worth 20 points. 3 and 4 were worth 15 points. 5-8 were worth 10, 9-12 worth 5, and 13-16 were worth one point. Rankings of 17 and lower got no points. (Example: 1978 Philadelphia looked like this:
Philadelphia: (rankings of players Connors beat in the QF, SF, F) 9 5 23 (which converts to:) 5, 10, 0. So Connors got 15 points for Philadelphia.) This is obviously personal, but the way I figure: 20 is a strong tournament. You either beat #1 or #2 (20 points) or a couple good players right below them. Anything over 20 means you had to have beaten at least 2 players ranked 16 or above. 30 is strong showing and 40 is great by anyone’s standards. (One would get 40 by beating #3, #4, #5 or beating #2, #8, #6.)

The totals: As we know, Connors won 109 tournaments. In 43 (!) of these tournaments, he got 0 points. That’s right. He didn’t face a single player ranked 16 or above. Nearly 40%! (Because I really resented this, I broke those 43 down further. In 8 of those 43, he didn’t face a player ranked above 50. In 19, he didn’t face anyone above 25. In the other 16, he faced player/s ranked 17-24.) Sixteen of his tournaments were scored between 1 and 6 points. You get six points for beating a tomato can and two weak but seeded players. Add these 16 low-point tournaments to his forty-three “0’s” and you have well over half of his 109 with virtually no competition. Twenty-five tournaments fell between 10 and 19 points. This leaves 25 of his 109 that were 20 points or above.

Let’s compare his best year (1976) to Novak’s (2015). Novak won 11 tourneys, Connors, 12. Novak got 332 points, almost exactly twice Connor’s 168. Novak’s worst scores were two 21’s. Connors had three 5’s and a 6. Novak had two 40’s, while Connors best were two 30’s. Twenty-six of the thirty-three players Novak faced were in the top ten. And he faced 14 top five players. (He faced two or three top ten players in all but one of his 11 wins.) Connors: 18 of 36 in the top ten, and only 3 in the top five.

In the “if my grandmother had wheels, she’d be a bicycle” category: if Murray had beaten Novak in the 2016 Wimbledon final, he would have come in just four points under Connor’s 168. And while Murray clearly had a great year, not too many would put it into the “One of the Greatest Years of All Time” category.

How would an in-prime Federer, Nadal, or Djokovic do if you put them in tournaments with exactly the same ranked players as Connors faced? Unknowable, of course. (But that has never stopped me from spouting off.) Connors beat a #2 player only once, and #3 players only twice. He beat the #6 and #7 once each. The rest of his top ten victories were, obviously, over the #8, #9, and #10. But, and this is important, he lost 8 matches, and 4 were to players outside the top ten. So, sure, an argument can be made that a current player MAYBE would have lost a couple that Connors won, but I think it is at LEAST as likely that they would have won some that Connors lost.

All in all, from my perspective, Connor’s 109 means almost nothing.

Gary Moser

Roger Definitely Seems Healthy & Happy Back In Cincinnati:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaZ--_55hTY

Gary Moser

New Biography of ARTHUR ASHE:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaZ--_55hTY

Veglia

The GOAT debate, one more time ...
https://metro.co.uk/2018/08/24/the-revealing-numbers-behind-federer-nadal-and-djokovics-battle-to-be-the-goat-7785569/

Gary Moser

RE: TIGER - PHIL EXHIBITION IN LAS VEGAS ON NOVEMBER 23

As I figured, the $9 Million dollar prize to the winner is being put up by a third-party "sponsor".
It's a PPV event, so fans will have to pay X dollars if they want to see it,
even though they can watch virtually every other golf event each year --- including the 4 Majors --- for free.

Now, instead...

If the loser had to write a $1 check to the winner and a $8,999,999 check to the charity of the winner's choice... :->

sperry

I think an interesting stat would be "best 5 (or so) years." (Best 5 years in a row?) It would be fairly easy to add up all the points won in a year (just use ATP scoring). I did this a long time ago, but I think I just compared Fed and Novak. I remember Novak had the best year by a hair, then it was Novak with the next three... so Novak beat Fed 4 of 5. (If memory serves.)

Gary Moser

ROGER THE ROTTEN!

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/opinion/will-swanton/how-roger-federer-helped-slaughter-the-davis-cup/news-story/283a33e4a87d7c7036f8461d13319307

Tennis Planet

GARY MOSER

Log in / subscription required.

Gary Moser

By Will Swanton

The Davis Cup has been murdered. Roger Federer has blood on his hands.

He hasn’t inserted the knife but he’s been an accessory to the fact.

He’s known about the dastardly deed to come and yet offered no objection.

The sport’s greatest statesman may have swayed the debate and yet he’s turned his back and gone strangely quiet while the International Tennis Federation has gone ahead and slaughtered 118 years of tradition.

His silence has been deafening; any silence is a killer.

Federer has devalued the tournament by rarely playing in it, treating the event as dispensable to his career.

If he cannot be bothered with it, either physically or verbally, why should the rest of us care? He’s been unwilling to join the fight for its survival.

His old sparring partner Lleyton Hewitt has begged for the two staples of the Cup’s integrity to be maintained. The best-of-five set matches, and the home-and-away ties and final.

In remaining mute, either Federer does not care or he agrees with the ITF’s demolition job. He’s playing at the Cincinnati Masters later today.

A penny for his thoughts about the Cup going belly-up because until now, he’s steered clear. Too late now. The Cup is a corpse.

Check out the social media photographs from the Kosmos company, owned by Spanish footballer Gerard Pique, which is behind the selling of part of the sport’s soul.

Leaping in the air, punching their fists, rubbing traditionalists’ faces in it … they are dancing on the grave.

A shortened format of an age-old sport — we’ve been down this road in cricket.

The introductions of abbreviated, television-friendly, cash-making events that bear no resemblance to the traditional game have found their place in cricket.

Below them. alongside them. Not in place of them.

For the ITF to create an entirely new tournament, but to still call it the Davis Cup, is like inventing Twenty20 cricket but saying ‘you know what? We’re just going to call it Test cricket anyway. Better yet, we’re not going to play Test cricket at all’.

As Hewitt says: “The competition is not the Davis Cup. You can’t call this the Davis Cup.”

What next in tennis? The abolition of best-of-five set matches for the men at majors, that’s what.

That’s what the ITF wants. You’d expect players to be howling it down, but Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic has supported the idea.

Even former World No. 1 Andy Murray is partial to it.
The revamp of the Davis Cup will see condense the annual worldwide showpiece into an 18-team, week-long event.

It seems an unfathomable proposition, but then Djokovic says at the Cincinnati Masters: “I would have even Grand Slams best of three. This new generation of tennis fans and Millennials, they don’t have the great attention span. They want things to happen very quickly. So for the players as well and to attract more people, more viewers of a younger audience, I think we have to keep tennis matches dynamic, shorter and no shot clock.”

Murray has been a five-set warrior but he’s seen the majors from a fan’s point of view while being sidelined by injuries.

“As a player, I really like best-of-five,” Murray has told the New York Times.

“I feel like it rewards the training and everything you put into that. But then, when I sat and watched that Nadal-del Potro Wimbledon quarter-final from the commentary booth — it was an amazing match, it was a brilliant match, but it was really, really long to sit there as a spectator for the first time.”

Federer wants more best-of-five on the regular ATP World Tour.

“We actually don’t have any best-of-five set matches,” he tells the Tennis Channel.

“They’re all at the slams, Davis Cup and at the Olympic finals. I feel like that’s a bit of an opportunity wasted. I know it’s also for player protection, for injuries … I think that’s a bit of a pity, but I understand the reasons.”

If Federer has wanted more best-of-five set matches, he could have played more Davis Cup.

He’s been surprisingly content to watch it all unfold while fence-sitting at best.

Frenchman Nicolas Mahut has been more forthcoming. “They have just killed the Davis Cup,” he said.

Djokovic seems in favour of destroying every traditional fabric in the sport. “It is fantastic news,” he says of the day a century-old institution has died.

He may as well have inserted the dagger himself.

Veglia

I like the idea and it also aligns with my belief that full flight Novak beats full flight Roger on any surface, including grass .

Alpha

Small point of logic. Even if Novak had the better 5 years, it doesn't follow that full flight Novak beats full flight Roger. Then small point of fact. Check out 5 years in a row (or otherwise) and you'll find that it's actually Roger that is ahead. Novak will have one year -2011 -- in there. Third point. Greatness is not only about how good you can be, but also how bad you can be. One can argue that full fight Novak was at the 2016 FO when he held all 4 slams. Then check out out how full flight Novak played for the next 24 months. Find me 24 months in Roger's career -- full flight or otherwise -- when he was that pathetic?

Alpha

2015 too. Sorry. It's still 3-2 Roger.

Gary Moser

In tennis, as in boxing, I have always WORKED BACKWARDS in examining a career record
to peg the guy or gal's place in the pantheon --- i.e, how BAD are they at their worst, and how OFTEN?

Many athletes can look --- maybe even BE --- unbeatable for a segment or two of their career,
but a true all-time great is virtually always competitive or, at worst, semi-competitive.

Sugar Ray Robinson 200 bouts over a 25-year career, but had only one inside-the-distance loss ---
when, as middleweight champion, he gave away 16 pounds to the then-reigning light-heavyweight champion
Joey Maxim, and dominated the fight for 10-plus rounds before the 104-degree heat overcame him at the end of round 13.

When you consider that the only thing that has kept tennis' GOAT race alive is Rafa's 5-0 RG sweep,
combined with Roger never once having retired from a match despite being in over 1400 of them...
I don't see anyone else in history having approached that.

Or, if you want to go with a BASEBALL analogy...if Grand Slam wins are Home Runs,
and Weeks Ranked #1 equates with Career Batting Average,
then Roger is Henry Aaron(or Barry Bonds if you believe he didn't cheat)/Ty Cobb/Cal Ripken rolled into one player.

Alpha

Trust you to put a perfect perspective on it :-)

For Rafa, this's the 5 years of truly pathetic Wimbledon showings where he regularly lost to guys ranked over 100. There's lots more but that's the big one. And Novak will need to explain the 24 months after FO16. Mind you, both happened during their prime years. The only problem in Roger's cv is the clay court record against Rafa, but that is a problem everyone has.

Also, note the lack of competition. Rafa/Novak are a tennis generation younger, the one that's hardest to contend with with as they hit their prime just when you're losing a step. For Roger that generation was R, N, Andy and Stan. For R&N, that generation is Nishikori and Dimitrov.

Veglia

I am not saying Novak is the GOAT, only the BOAT

Alpha

What's BOAT? Best of all time, meaning he played at the highest level ever? Meaning that for some reasonable period of time he played tennis at a level that has never been matched? On all surfaces? Give me a break.

Veglia

Break given

nick

Very well stated.I would add Raonic to it. How many Slams has the lost Gen taken ? Zero. Both Rafa and Novak had easy up and coming player to deal with. Unfortunately, 20 years from now, people will judge with numbers and on that count Federer may will loose to Rafa or Novak or both. Game wise, none gave more pleasure than Fed.

sperry

Radwanska vs. Hsieh... as fun (for me) as tennis gets. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GO6_uCizb1s

sperry

I did an semi-official point total for all years that Roger and Novak won multiple slams. Six years each. For Novak, it was 2011, 12,13,14,15,16. For Roger, it was 2004,5,6,7,9,17. I went to the ATP site, player, player activity, and took the points off the tournament listings. (I had to convert old points to new points... pain in the butt. And I may have made a few mistakes doing so. Hence, the "semi-official" rating) Novak took 1st, (2015, 16545 points) 3rd, 5th, 8th, 9th, and 10th. Roger, 2nd, (2006, 15995 points) 4th, 6th, 7th, 11th and 12th. 6 each. Totals: Novak: 78,035. Roger: 74,610. If I feel like it, I'll do a Grand Slam/Masters total. That would be a lot easier to convert old points to new points. And, would reflect more accurately on how they did against top tier opponents.

Veglia

In my view we will never be able to "scientifically" prove who is the GOAT based on some scoring. There are many reasons for it, including different opponents, different surfaces, changes in surfaces, changes in technology and most importantly because statistically you can prove almost anything provided you pick the right assumptions and your audience agrees with them. The main reason we argue so much about the GOAT is because of our own feelings. We argue in favour of our own GOAT beliefs because that makes us proud, strong, smart, ... It makes us feel good about ourselves. So, my definition of the GOAT (and this is not the first time I'm saying it) is: provided a player reached a level universally accepted as very high, it's all about how he made us feel along the way. Players considered in this category usually include Laver, Borg, Sampras, Federer and Nadal. Djokovic is knocking at the door. Thus, for someone who lived through Laver glory days he's probably the GOAT. For most of us here at TP, it Federer, even though there are a few Nadalistas. Roger simply made us feel good as he was on top of his game and on top of the world. He played, and still does, a beautiful game, with attacking attitude, the outcome always seems to be on his racket. He also projects a public image of high class. For the time being and for this audience Roger Federer is the GOAT.
Now, my definition of the BOAT is very theoretical. Imagine we can somehow summon a chosen player at the very peak of his physical and mental capabilities, skills, circumstances, everything that impacts his game. This probably happened not more than a handful of times in each player's career. And imagine you can summon two players like this and have them play best of 5. In such circumstances my belief is that Nadal is the BOAT of clay (duh) and Djokovic is the BOAT of hard courts and grass. I fully understand that many of us believe Federer is the BOAT of grass but I disagree. For all his glory and elegance, for all his beauty and efficiency, you have to love Federer but I think, at the peak of his powers Djokovic has the antidote for Roger's grass game. And, some of it is mental, but everything counts. Of course, we will never know. You can only base your opinion on what you see or what your read about it. And, in BOAT debate, you have to discount your feelings.

Gary Moser

From every account I've ever read, Tyrus Raymond Cobb was a thoroughly despicable human being.
And since I'm not, he would be about the last MLB Hall Of Famer I can think of that would make me "feel good".

But...comparing his career stats to any other ballplayer you'd care to name, I would rate him The GOAT without hesitation.

Veglia

This is where the problem is exactly. Honestly I don't even know who the guy is. For me Ali is the boxing GOAT. Probably for many people. Does he have the best stats? No. Does Jordan? No. Forget stats in this discussion and you will have a clear view where your heart belongs.

Gary Moser

Different hearts belong in different places. Mine largely --- not EXCLUSIVELY, but largely --- has been given to stats.

JORDAN: Team sport. So, IMO, a fool's errand.
[ How many SB rings would Brady have if his entire career had been with the Detroit Lions? ]

ALI: boxing is tougher to assess because, unlike every other major individual sport [ golf, tennis, running, etc. ]
a practitioner can inflate their career W-L by fighting only who they want to fight...and carefully avoiding the rest.

Alpha

Btw, did anyone notice that Rafa is not playing the Asian swing. Novak is about 1050 YTD points behind Rafa and if Rafa pretty much checks out, I think Novak is likely to be #1. Amazing!

Gary Moser

Saw that. And with literally ZERO points to defend for the remainder of the season,
The Serb would definitely appear to be in the fabled catbird seat.

Gary Moser

WILL JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO LEAVE SHANGHAI WITH THE #2 RANKING, AFTER 13 YEARS OF ONLY THE "BIG 4" HOLDING IT?

http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2018/10/novak-djokovic-juan-martin-del-potro-roger-federer-no-2-shanghai-atp/77396/

sperry

That is one amazing stat.

sperry

Quiz... no cheating.... I was checking some old rankings. In June of 1980, (strap your socks on for this one) 9 of the top 11 men were from (or playing for) the US of A. Name as many as you can.

Gary Moser

Got 7 of the 9. The other 2 totally surprised me when I looked it up...

sperry

I saw the answer before I asked the question. But had I honestly tried... I'd have gotten 4

Alpha

I bit before my time but let me try.

McEnroe, Connors, Tanner and Gerulaiits are the obvious ones. I'll add Gottfried, Teltscher and Salomon. Dibbs? Maybe Lendl was top 10 by then? But obvioslsly Czech at that stage.

The two non Americans were Borg and Vilas, I'll guess. Ramirez? Kriek?

Alpha

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/09/sports/tennis/who-has-the-best-shots-in-mens-tennis.html

sperry

Thanks for that, Alpha. Fun reading.

Veglia

Richard Krajicek explains why Novak Djokovic is the GOAT over Roger Federer

https://www.tennisworldusa.org/tennis/news/Roger_Federer/62761/richard-krajicek-explains-why-novak-djokovic-is-the-goat-over-roger-federer/

Not much of an explanation plus he's confusing GOAT with BOAT, but still, one more convert to Veglia-said-Nole-is-BOAT camp. Now, he is trying to lure Djokovic to play Rotterdam so that's that too. But, he agrees with me re "He is unbeatable in the level of tennis." Not talking results, not talking how he made us feel, none of that. Just 'in full flight' level of tennis. Djokovic unbeatable on hard and grass, Nadal on clay, duh.

Gary Moser

What we can all agree on is that he's the horse to be riding right now.

Veglia

I think the horse analogy will sit well with TP :)

sperry

Doesn't BOAT depend on length of time at the top level? I remember an oldie of Stan vs. Novak, (AO, I think). To my eyes, Novak was playing at or near his top game, and Stan won. (And I have never seen a more ferocious and accurate backhand.) I also remember an old interview of Rafa after a solid beatdown by Novak... he said (very roughly) "I've been playing a long time, and I have never seen anyone play on that level."

Gary Moser

Every time I hear a losing athlete heap out-sized praise on the winner, I have to wonder about the veracity of it:

Ali famously said that Frazier "would've whupped me worse" if they had fought before his exile,
which most learned boxing people concluded was Muhammad's way of denying that he was in decline --- which he clearly was.

Veglia

By my definition, BOAT is not linked to longevity. GOAT yes. Stan played unbelievable tennis that day at AO, maybe even better at FO when he also beat Novak. However, in my view, Novak was at about 90% of his game in AO and about 80% at FO. Stan played all-or-nothing and than gamble paid off.

Gary Moser

And on the ROAT list --- at least in terms of career prize money --- David Ferrer just passed Andre Agassi for 7th all-time! :->

Veglia

Those lists are not NPV adjusted

Gary Moser

Of course not.

Which makes them worse than worthless, right?

sperry

Harumph. I feel dumb. I didn't think of that. Partly, perhaps, because I heard him say it. He sure SOUNDED like he meant it. (And I saw the match, and, for what it's worth, I don't think I have ever seen anyone play at that level either.)

sperry

That's my point. Goat is longevity. Boat is... well... Boat. But we need SOME time frame. I've seen Dustin Brown play some of the best points I've ever seen played. But he ain't the Boat. I never really followed Nadal, so I don't know his best season. But Federer and Novak played amazing tennis for a year. For me, that's about the shortest time frame for Boat.

Veglia

Agreed

sperry

Grand Slam quiz: Twelve men have won 6 or more slams. We can probably all guess the most "exclusive" of the slams: only 7 of the 12 have won the French. What's the least exclusive?, name the person/people who haven't won it. (Tie-breaker: Name the second and third least exclusive slams. (Tie-breaker-breaker: who is missing #2 and #3?)

Gary Moser

Before I exert myself...

"Twelve men have won 6 or more slams" --- what is the starting point of your timeline?

sperry

OOppss. Open era. 1968.

Gary Moser

OK. So Emerson is out. And, presumably, Laver, since only 5 of his 11 were in the Open Era.

01 Connors-08
02 Borg-11
03 McEnroe-07
04 Lendl-08
05 Wilander-07
06 Edberg-06
07 Becker-06
08 Sampras-14
09 Agassi-08
10 Federer-20
11 Nadal-17
12 Djokovic-14

"What's the LEAST exclusive"? --- The USO...of these 12 "Finalists", only Borg failed to win it.

"Name the second and third least exclusive slams." --- The AO and WIMBY...10 out of the 12 won it at least once.

"Tie-breaker-breaker: who is missing #2 and #3?" --- none of the twelve?

sperry

He shoots, he hits! All answers correct. This is what I meant for the tie-breaker-breaker: Who were the two who didn't win the AO at least once? Who were the two that didn't win Wimby at least once? But I'm sure you'll nail those. (The answer is pretty simple when you are looking at a table in Excel like I am....lol.) As we all know, 3 of the 12 have won all 4. Who are the 2 who only won 2?

nick

Borg won only two French and Wimby. Too heartbroken after USO to visit Down Under ( those days Aus in December)

The second one, hmm don't know. A guess Johnny Mac. He was encouraged by Borg to go and play Aus Open to get back #1 ranking. I don't think he ever won any. Know for sure that he did not win French.

Gary Moser

Yep, Mac's 7 consists of 3 Wimby and 4 USOs. A goose egg at AO and another at FO...

Lendl and Wilander both failed to win Wimby.

Gary Moser

"As we all know, 3 of the 12 have won all 4."
--------------------------------------------
4 of the 12: Agassi, Federer, Nadal, Djokovic.

sperry

I don't know if that was a typo or a brain-o. I know I KNOW there are 4. But who knows what I was thinking when I wrote that. Certainly not me.

Gary Moser

Suggestion for a thread: "If one career win had been a loss instead, and that changed result
had not altered any other result in that player's career...whose legacy would've been torpedoed the most?"

Wilander?

As is, he has 7 Slam wins --- putting him one ahead of contemporaries Becker and Edberg ---
across 3 different Slams, and 20 weeks ranked #1 in the world.

But...

Had he lost the 1988 USO Final to Lendl instead of scraping it out 6-4 in the 5th set,
his total becomes 6, across only 2, and it appears to me --- in the absence of the actual weekly point totals
for both him and Lendl --- that he would've been denied ever having secured the #1 ranking.

Alpha

This is a battle among also rans. To me, the answer is Federer.

Change the AO2017 result and the GOAT debate is very different.

Roger has 19-18 in slams...

but Rafa has Masters, calendar slam 2 times, h2h, no slam loss to Fed since 2008.

And maybe the slam total also changes before they're done.

Even the staunchest Roger fan would struggle to make the GOAT case

sperry

Even if Rafa catches Roger, I'd have mega-problems giving a guy with 6 non-clay slams the GOAT. Since his first slam win, he has been bounced 13 times in slams before the quarters. Meanwhile... let me get my calculator and add these up.... let's see... Wimby 2004 to French 2013 (just grabbing random dates, of course) I see Roger has been bounced before the quarters...… zero times. The man does not have a problem with consistency across surfaces. And since you mentioned Masters... over 20 of his 30 some odd have been on clay. (If I feel like it, I'll add up total slam points, but Rafa fans won't like it.)

sperry

From 1990 on, there is an official Top 9 tournaments, though it changed names a bunch of times (Currently Masters 1000). Before that, I don't think there was. Yet this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tennis_Masters_Series_records_and_statistics#Total_titles_and_finals suggests that there were definitely a Top 9 from 1970. But this one: But this one https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Prix_Super_Series seems to contradict it. Is there a definitive answer?

Alpha

Yes, the argument will come down to "versatility on all surfaces" a point that will be argued against by pointing out that Raga has won every slam twice (assuming reversal of AO17) something no other player in the modern era would have done.

My point is simply this. Based on Gary's question of reversing just one result, my vote would to AO17. You will admit that the GOAT debate would've become that much tighter, if not reversed.

Reversing one Wilander result may affect Wilander, and even there the loss of #1 rank is debatable, just as reversing one result would make Gaston Gaudio into a Puerta or Verkerk. But it doesn't fundamnetally change any great debate in tennis. The AO result does.

sperry

Not just versatility. Consistency. Point total from first slam win to last (Roger has 2 more years than Rafa, so it's not quite apples to apples), counting only Q's and better results, and its: Roger 63520, Rafa 48520. A 15K lead. So if Rafa can eek out another 7 (SEVEN) titles (while Roger wins none) he can ALMOST catch him.

Alpha

That's my point. Federer fans would've been stuck with naming small, esoteric stats. The sexy stuff, the stuff that usually gets mentioned in the GOAT debate would start leaning toward Rafa. Remember, the pre Rosol, Rochus days, when Rafa fans used to say that Rafa never lost in the first round of a slam? Like that mattered. That's the point total. Roger won more tournaments. Yes, true, but Rafa fans would counter with "when it mattered, Rafa beat him". AO17 saved a lot of blushes.

sperry

That's why it's personal and can never be resolved. And we've had this discussion before... which would you rather have, one trophy and 5 first round losses or 6 final losses? Blah, blah. But, for me, consistency is right after number of trophies. The fact that Roger has more trophies and is MONSTROUSLY more consistent slams the door on debate. It's not an esoteric stat. It's 7+ slam trophies. Versatility is less important, but I think (personal, again) you need to be able to be able to compete on all surfaces... with some consistency. 6 non-clay slams is pretty damn good, but it's still a bit too lop-sided for my taste.

Bettyjane

Well Rafa has been secretly engaged for the past 8 months and I wish them well. To make it public after his worst showing in a final is very telling.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-6648067/amp/Rafa-Nadal-reveals-engaged-girlfriend-14-years-Mery-Perell.html

Veglia

Very telling indeed. Which one you think it is:

a) He realized he's done and is not 'sacrificing' for tennis any more
b) Little Rafa hopes kids will rejuvenate his career like it happened for Uncle Roger (somewhat, not really) and Captain Nole

P.S. 'Captain' Nole comes from him being BOAT in my view

Gary Moser

Why not Commodore or Rear Admiral? :-

sperry

anybody else having trouble getting from one screen to another here? Maybe half or more of the time, when I click on something to go to another screen, I get "403 Forbidden" and "Cloudfare" under it. I can't back up... I have to get out and come back in.

Veglia

No one better than Novak Djokovic at his best: Andre Agassi

Read more at:
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/68089216.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

Andre gives a short discussion on GOAT that I totally agree with, word for word. Borg skipped 11 AO on grass!!! Lendl skipped RG to prepare to W. And so on. Numbers are not the way to compare.

Gary Moser

"Borg skipped 11 AO on grass!!"
------------------------------
And was still burned out by his 26th birthday.

Despite the game being not nearly as physical.

Despite not having a fellow clay-GOAT candidate to overcome in amassing his 6 FO crowns.

Next!

sperry

Great article/interview... thanks.

Veglia

Which "fellow clay-GOAT candidate to overcome in amassing his 11 FO crowns" did Little Rafa have?

Gary Moser

Federer winning one title and losing 1 de facto and 4 actual Finals to LR doesn't qualify?

sperry

A bit of Hsieh magic... well... surprise result, anyways....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ayQk1L3zX0

Veglia

Oh no, it does not even approach Uncle Roger being a clay-GOAT candidate, c'mon Gary

Gary Moser

Are you SERIOUS? If so...why?

My bottom line being: Borg won 6 without having a main rival on clay.

I'm not saying it's a CERTAINTY that Roger would've won 6 without having the misfortune
of running into arguably the greatest main rival on clay ever...just a HIGH LIKELIHOOD.

Or, to look at it from a reverse angle: does Borg even win ONE if he had had to play Rafa in each of those years?

Veglia

Your logic, usually impeccable, is not working in this case. You are comparing a winner with a looser. How can one be a clay-GOAT with 1 RG to his name?!

Gary Moser

C'mon, Veglia...I'm not saying Federer IS the clay-GOAT, or is even a clay-GOAT-NOMINEE the way history has played out.
[ Nadal, as I think we all agree by now, is the overwhelming clay-GOAT --- case closed! ]

But...

There are 3 things that make Nadal such: (a) that he has amassed 3 more titles on the surface than any other
male player has amassed on any surface, (b) that he had to beat a truly great clay-courter like Federer 5 times,
and (c) he then cemented it by beating another truly great clay-courter like Djokovic 6 times.
I don't see one comparable victory on Borg's CV on the way to his 6 titles --- with the closest thing to it
probably being the 5-set win over first-time Finalist Lendl.

Gary Moser

We've all HEARD about it plenty. Here's a contemporaneous [ next day ] account:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/sports/1992/09/26/connors-wins-but-navratilova-plays-tough/f5c1c96c-60cb-40eb-9032-65f54f783437/?utm_term=.dd56472a7b08

sperry

One more Hsieh:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7P_fpIu2NUs

harr88

You speak for me, as well, on this subject.

"Federer IS (not) the clay-GOAT, or is even a clay-GOAT-NOMINEE the way history has played out.
[ Nadal, as I think we all agree by now, is the overwhelming clay-GOAT --- case closed! ]"

But take Nadal out of those years, and Federer almost certainly has 5, maybe even 6 FOs (Not from a statistical methodology standpoint, but from a real-world likelihood standpoint)

And he might well have had 4 straight championships in each of 3 different Majors on 3 separate surfaces, nearly contemporaneously, rendering almost irrelevant, for GOAT purposes, anything anyone else might accomplish.

O

How Federer turned fine into finesse

Dubai: It’s perhaps hard to believe, but Roger Federer’s Dubai debut had ended with a fine and a resolve.

The fine had come from then Tournament Director Jeff Chapman, while the resolve came from the player himself.

Then ranked No. 14, Federer made his Dubai debut in 2002, arriving on a Monday a few hours after winning the doubles crown in Rotterdam.

Then 21, the Swiss ace had no problems winning 6-3, 6-4 against Adrian Voinea in the first round. He looked rather jaded in his 3-6, 1-6 loss to Germany’s Rainer Schuttler 24 hours later.

That result saw Chapman withhold Federer’s prize money purse of $12,450 (Dhs 45,700) and appearance fee.

The organisers then sent a tape of the Round Two match to the ATP as evidence against Federer’s lack of effort.

The ATP decreed that the organisers pay up the prize money, but organisers deemed it fit to hold back the appearance cash on condition that Federer returns in 2003.

He did return, as promised, but as a different player. He was armed with a huge load of resolve to win the next three editions in-a-row with and in the next few years, Federer annexed another four crowns — in 2007, 2012, 2014 and 2015 — and take his tally to seven.

https://gulfnews.com/sport/tennis/how-federer-turned-fine-into-finesse-1.62416821

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)