The GOAT Discussion (Men)

Discussion in 'Pro Tennis (Mens)' started by britbox, Sep 30, 2015.

  1. britbox

    britbox Multiple Major Winner

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    My list would be as follows:

    1. Federer
    2. Laver
    3. Sampras
    4. Nadal
    5. Djokovic
    6. Borg
    7. Pancho Gonzalez
    8. Connors
    9. Rosewall
    10.Lendl

     

     
     
  2. Moxie

    Moxie Multiple Major Winner

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    Nice forum, Baron.  Thanks for opening a new conversation.  OK, I'll bite on your GOAT list.  How do you rank Sampras over Nadal?  (And if you say "weeks at #1," I will have to call Bogus.)  They are tied at 14 Majors, but Nadal has the full set.
     
  3. britbox

    britbox Multiple Major Winner

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    That's a fair point on another day maybe I'd have Nadal above Sampras.  I think they're pretty close.

    Weeks at #1 does have some validity (i disagree it's bogus), and a strong argument for Sampras would be that he was pretty much the undisputed top player player over a sustained period of time.  He dominated the field.  Of course, his clay record is very questionable and a strong argument can be made for Nadal.
     
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  4. Federberg

    Federberg Multiple Major Winner

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    Personally for me weeks at number 1 is extremely important. It speaks to dominance. As for having the full set, if that's so important then should Rafa having such a concentration at one slam be a disadvantage? Doesn't wash for me. I would actually place Sampras over Rafa because he was clearly the alpha dog in his day. I'm surprised how that can be marginalised so much these days..
     
  5. britbox

    britbox Multiple Major Winner

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    Agreed @Federberg, it's also why I have the likes of Lendl (and also Mac if I carried on the list beyond 10) over Agassi.
     
  6. Federberg

    Federberg Multiple Major Winner

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    Totally agree. Dominance is a very important component of the discussion. We can't cherry pick. What I remember in the Sampras era was that he was clearly the number 1 player in the world, much like Mac was at one point, and Lendl too. Now we see Novak dominating for a sustained period. If that's not part of what greatness is then I really don't know...
     
  7. Moxie

    Moxie Multiple Major Winner

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    A reason that I call 'weeks at #1' a bit misleading is that it does depend on competition and other factors.  It's worth remembering that Nadal had won 5 Majors before he got to #1, because of Federer's dominance at the top.  (Surely, that's never happened before.)  When, just a few years earlier, everyone got a few weeks, at least, at #1, for one Major.  (Rafter, Moya, Safin, Ferrero, Roddick...)  Weeks at #1 v. career accomplishments is not a 1:1 comparison.  Federer's and Sampras' consistency over the field is notable, I'll give you that.  But I wouldn't penalize Nadal for injury absences, on that point, particularly v. Sampras.  When he has played, Nadal has a higher win percentage at Majors than either of them.
     
  8. Moxie

    Moxie Multiple Major Winner

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    The talk of "dominance" is a little bit fan-centric, I think.  Whose trophy is bigger.  Because, if we measure accomplishment primarily by wins, i.e., Majors, then that is dominance.  Beating the field depends on the quality of the field.  Winning all of the Majors, across all surfaces, speaks to a greater quality of accomplishment, imo.
     
  9. britbox

    britbox Multiple Major Winner

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    It's definitely not a 1:1 comparison but it's very significant when you have a guy like Sampras who had that many weeks at #1 not to dismiss it. Clearly Roddick, Safin and Ferrero, amongst others had a handful of weeks at #1 - Sampras dominated the whole sport for half a decade.  He was the "Guvnor" and everybody knew it. It's a big Plus in his favour when you put it into context.
     
  10. Moxie

    Moxie Multiple Major Winner

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    I don't at all dismiss it, but what do you think about Rafa having to win 5 Majors before he got to #1?  Of course that speaks to Roger's dominance.  When Rafa was very young.  Had there been no Roger, Rafa would have been #1 for a long time.  Had there been no Rafa, Roger would be the GOAT.  To put it into context.  B-)
     
  11. EdbergsGhost

    EdbergsGhost Masters Champion

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    1. Federer
    2. Laver
    3. Sampras
    4. Nadal
    5. Borg
    6. Djokovic
    7. Connors
    8. Lendl
    9. Rosewall
    10. McEnroe
    Cannot place Djokovic ahead of Borg.  The Swede accomplished all that he did in a very small window of time in one of the greater eras of tennis. Sampras' dominance of the sport still ranks higher than Nadal's dominance on clay.
     
  12. britbox

    britbox Multiple Major Winner

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    It means he wasn't the dominant player on the tour for that period... which is of course one of the factors that gives Pete a boost - he was THE dominant player on the tour.
     
  13. Federberg

    Federberg Multiple Major Winner

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    It's interesting that suggestions of fan-centrism are being mooted, when we are talking about something which is purely empirical, and then "quality" of the field is brought into the conversation, which isn't subjective at all (not). Are we now saying that the quality of the field in the Sampras era wasn't up to scratch? When we talk about dominance we aren't talking about the likes of Safin or Roddick who were number 1s for barely a fortnight. We are talking about guys who were number 1s for years, so with all due respect that rather sounds like avoiding the central proposition that of the top guys with a large number of slam wins (something that also excludes the Safins and Roddicks of this world) being a dominant number 1 is a very important component of "greatness". I'm not even going to bother talking about my reservations about the difference between winning on all surfaces in an era of uniformity versus the Sampras era and before. Apples and oranges
     
  14. brokenshoelace

    brokenshoelace Masters Champion

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    Well, Sampras has 14 slams, half of which came at Wimbledon. I'd call that concentration mate. Now, yes, Nadal has even bigger concentration but he's actually won all of them, whereas five of Sampras' other slams came at Flushing Meadows. And having the full set is not something to brag about to your friends, it actually speaks to your ability to play on all surfaces...something Sampras couldn't.

    I've no problem with people ranking Sampras ahead of Nadal on the basis of dominance. But using Nadal's FO wins against him in this particular conversation (Nadal vs. Sampras) has to be some of the most absurd logic I've encountered as you're somehow punishing the guy who was otherworldly on clay over the guy who couldn't even fluke out more than a single French Open semi final appearance. Come on. How does that work?

    And yeah, we can speak about surface homogenizations all you want, but that hardly excuses just how bad Sampras was on clay by his standards (I'm talking strictly within all time great standards here. So him winning Rome once means nothing).

    As far as dominance and weeks at number 1, we go with facts and the fact is Sampras was the alpha dog. So again, I can't hold it against anyone if that's what they're basing their argument on. However, the truth is he didn't have to deal with anyone nearly as good or as consistent as Federer and Djokovic, and those are facts. I actually rank Nadal over Sampras pretty easily because he's more consistent on a week to week basis, and played in one of the most top heavy eras in tennis. So to reach so many finals, week in and week out, against the likes of Federer and Djokovic, and be able to be a dominant world number 1 on three separate occasions, while spending like a million weeks as world number 2 (honestly, imagine how long he would have been at world number 1 had it not been for Federer. Or do we only play the "had it not been for Federer" card to inflate Roger's competition?).

    ----------------------------------

    Now, all that aside, the actual GOAT is not even a debate. Federer takes it hands down and I legitimately don't see an argument for anyone else. Perhaps that's why we're arguing about who should be number 2 or 3, lol.
     
  15. brokenshoelace

    brokenshoelace Masters Champion

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    Again, I'd accept the homogenization argument for any other player except Sampras. Firstly, clay hasn't changed all that much since the 90's. Secondly, he was so bad that he doesn't get the benefit of that excuse. Even Mac and Edberg were able to reach FO finals. Sampras was just bad on clay, period. You put him in this era, he'd still have the same number of FO's, and there's no convincing argument otherwise.
     
  16. Mastoor

    Mastoor Masters Champion

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    If Nole wins 15 slams, providing no Nike doll wins any more, Nole is the GOAT. Does anyone disagree with this and why?

     

     
     
  17. MikeOne

    MikeOne Club Member

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    Nadal vs Sampras is close. Both are similar in that a lot of their slams came in one surface. Nadal's 14 - 1 AO, 9 FO, 2 Wimb, 2 USO vs Pete's 14 - 2 AO, 0 FO, 7 Wimb, 5 USO.

    in Nadal's favor - more masters wins, career slam

    in pete's favor - 140 more weeks at #1, 5 eoy championships vs 0 for NaDAL

    It's really close but i think the 140 more weeks at #1 is the tiebreaker for me, Sampras slightly ahead. I mean Pete had twice the # of weeks at #1 than Nadal has had.

     
    1. Federer
    2. Laver
    3. Sampras
    4. Nadal
    5. Borg
    6. Djokovic (and moving up fast)
    7. Connors (people forget how many tournaments he won!)
    8. lendl (people forget this guy held record of weeks at #1)
    9. Agassi
    10. Mcenroe
     
  18. Moxie

    Moxie Multiple Major Winner

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    It's true that Nadal and Sampras are close, and I guess fans will be swayed to one or the other.  But I don't know how you can say they are similar in that they each had more wins on one surface.  Pete was 7 on grass and 7 on HCs.  Nadal clay-heavy, but has all 4 Majors/all 3 surfaces, whereas Pete was a non-starter on clay.  There are different advantages on their respective resumes, and I don't think it would be wrong to put them together at #3, or at least until Nadal gets past him in the Slam count.  B-)
     
  19. Moxie

    Moxie Multiple Major Winner

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    Hi, Mastoor!

    I'm not clear why you think if Nole got to 15 Majors he'd be the GOAT.  Or anyway, you asked for discussion.  15 is still not better than 17, so what's your angle/argument for that?  I would say no, anyway.  (Though, for the record, I don't believe in one single GOAT, and I never have.)
     
  20. brokenshoelace

    brokenshoelace Masters Champion

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    I disagree with this because of math. 17 >15.
     
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