« Last post by Swish on July 23, 2014, 07:52:52 PM »
Bernie makes it all look so effortless, especially when he's quit on a match.
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.