« Last post by barbadosan on Today at 02:17:08 PM »
found a youtube link.. starts at last game of 1st set: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nidwfe8cP-c
Bernard Tomic looks like he might be a contender again. I like his easy power.
Hi everyone,Mertov, great post. I want to ask for your permeation to quote the last part of your post (h2h part) on another tennis board as an argument in a h2h discussion. Of course, I will give you credit and mention your name. Thank you. If you say no, no problem, it's all good.
Just a couple of comments..
Regarding "facing a weaker/stronger" era.. unfortunately nobody can determine that. There is absoultely no way to prove that Rafa, Becker, Sampras, Borg, or McEnroe faced a stronger (or weaker) era or a set of players that anyone else. How do you know that Roddick was a tougher/weaker opponent than Chang? What about Hewitt vs. Muster? Nobody can know..
For example here is the list of top 10 in the last ranking of 1974:
1) Jimmy Connors
2) John Newcombe
3) Bjorn Borg
4) Rod Laver
5) Guillermo Vilas
6) Tom Okker
7) Arthur Ashe
8) Stan Smith
9) Ken Rosewall
10) Ilie Nastase
If I'm not mistaken everyone on that list is a Slam (if not multiple-Slams) winner by the time of this ranking (except Vilas). Now, how do we exactly know that Rafa (or anyone else) faced tougher competition than Connors, Laver, or Borg faced? we don't. Anyone could easily argue that the top 10 above was a far tougher group than the top 10 of today. this is just one example. We could multiply examples easily.
- 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.
Until Nadal beat an Argueable GOAT on his court, in his prime, on his best surface.
You still haven't addressed that.
You know who else has done that... NOT PETE, NOT ROG, NOT NOLE, NOT MAC, not Anyone!
Hey Logo. Very cool of you to carry on a pretty serious and awesome discussion with solid posts and not get dirty with it. That's good quality right there! Thanks for that! Now I am not going to start from scratch about my views of the GOAT and whatnot so here's a few quick points for where I stand:
- GOAT is a subjective term. I love playing and watching tennis and enjoy it and for me the GOAT is someone who I have enjoyed watching over the course of their career, or in instances where I have not followed that person's career, something that would make me believe that I'd have enjoyed him/her if I were in that era.
To that end, I am a big Federer fan - I think his game, his successes and shortcomings and his journey through the ups and downs of his career, battling youngsters and challenging for the best spot long after any apparent need and his role as an overall classy ambassador of the sport are awesome.
Nadal is great and his numbers and fan base speaks for themselves, but I started off initially not being a fan of his game, and while it has evolved over time and his successes show for it, i have not grown overly fond of him.
Note that I am not calling either one a GOAT.
If I had to go purely off numbers and head 2 heads and all and had to be completely unbiased, I personally could make an argument either case. But I might just have to give the edge to Nadal - he has put up impressive numbers overall (5 slams on non-clay is pretty impressive in itself + clay court domination, masters titles, wins over other Big 4, etc) even given his tendancy to be injured and out of office for long periods of his career. He does however lack consistency at the top spot and reliably consistent performance across the board and that is also something I'd consider to be part of a GOAT's resume. He does best when he's climbing up the rankings and has something to prove, not a legitimate leader and dominant era-definer off-clay.
Either way, I did want to address the point I highlighted above. Why does it matter so much that he beat a potential GOAT in his home turf? In fact I'd say Nadal has done that twice, 2008 Wimbledon and 2009 AO. People forget that Federer had won 3 of the 5 AO's before that. But there are plenty of people who have pulled off similar upsets. Soderling over Nadal in 2009. Federer over Sampras in 2001. Krajieck over Sampras in 1996. Wawrinka over Djokovic AO 2014. Why is that such a big deal. He's clearly a great and has grass success to speak of but one win doesn't really make that much of a difference to call him the GOAT over Federer. They have obviously been close on grass before and it was a close match - only a matter of time/statistics that he would win one. It wasn't a blowout like the second episode of Johnny Mac vs. Borg Wimbledon. I don't think that should really count that much for him, just as it wouldn't count too much in the overall scheme of things if Federer beat Nadal at the FO for his single FO - in the end he'd still only have one FO as he does now and there's only so much that speaks to.