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Rod Laver's top ten Open era

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Rod Laver's top ten Open era Empty Rod Laver's top ten Open era

Post by Jeremy_Kyle Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:51 am

10. Stefan Edberg (SWE)
9. Ivan Lendl (USA)
8. Jimmy Connors (USA)
7. Andre Agassi (USA)
6. Novak Djokovic (SER)
5. Rafael Nadal (ESP)
4. John McEnroe (USA)
3. Pete Sampras (USA)
2. Bjorn Borg (SWE)
1. Roger Federer (SUI)




I came across to this list only recently, and I was amazed about the quality of the choice made by the great Rod (for me N.1 of all time without any hesitation). Although personally I would have placed Djoko below Andre, Jimmy and Lendl and Lendl above Connors.

I have the impression that the list represents a big learning  opportunity to those who only got into tennis only recently and for this reason often tend to believe that the newest thing is  also the better.

I like the fact that the list is not made only on the basis of the number of slams won by each tennis great. This is, for me, one of the most common mistake/ prejudice made by the occasional tennis fan. It's too easy to count the slams and made a list, everyone can do it! But not everyone can assess the technical level and the quality of players game, as well as factor in the field level (except for Socal maybe) and the improvement in technology.
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Post by Born Slippy Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:06 pm

Just shows how reactive these guys are. This was created at the end of 2011 when Djokovic had 4 slams. I suspect if he created it again then Novak would either not make it all or would be right at the bottom.

Clearly, Rafa would also have to move up a fair few places.

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Post by mthierry Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:18 pm

I wouldn't put Bjorn Borg ahead of Sampras and I wouldn't put McEnroe ahead of Nadal personally.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:22 pm

Not sure I'd agree entirely with Laver's list, but I do know that if Rod Laver came on this forum with that list, he'd get posters telling him he lacked tennis knowledge, and not necessarily in terms as polite as that.

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Post by Born Slippy Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:25 pm

I think that's unlikely - that tends to be reserved on here for when someone suggests (McEnroe for example) that Fed isn't the best. Rod has Fed at 1, so he is fine.

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Post by lydian Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:40 pm

Laver is also biased vs Borg as Borg beat him comprehensively in their first match as an 18 year old...6-1 6-1
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Post by hawkeye Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:44 pm

^ Not only that but he's placed Nadal behind Borg, Sampras and McEnroe and only one place above Djokovic so it would have probably passed the 606v2 test. But the discussion would have quickly moved on to who is the top ten in terms of talent and then Nadal would have been banished from the list Very Happy 

I can remember the 2009 AO trophy ceremony and not only was Federer in tears but Laver was very close to tears too...

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Post by Haddie-nuff Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:49 pm

I am glad to see that he put Borg before Sampras the man knows what he is talking about Wink  But to put Mac before Rafa well even Mac doesn´t put himself before Rafa.  I agree had he been a poster on 606 then I think we might have had a bit of a heated debate especially when socal sees Novak as No.6. Shocked

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Post by HM Murdock Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:54 pm

Novak at 6?! I mean, I love the guy but 6th best of the open era?

If you swap swap Mac and Rafa round and move Novak to 10 (maybe 9), you'd be pretty close to my opinion.

Lendl's ranking seems a bit harsh but I see him, Connors and Agassi as pretty much equal, so no strong complaints.

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Post by Henman Bill Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:08 pm

Laver is probably as well qualified as anyone on the planet to give an opinion, I think it's a fair opinion. I think it came out last year when Rafa was either injured and thoughts of retirement or under Djoko's control. I'd be tempted to boost Rafa a place now.

He put out another list for past players that is interesting, and more controversial perhaps.

10. John Newcombe (AUS)
9. Jack Crawford (AUS)
8. Bobby Riggs (USA)
7. Ellsworth Vines (USA)
6. Ken Rosewall (AUS)
5. Fred Perry (GBR)
4. Don Budge (USA)
3. Pancho Gonzalez (USA)
2. Jack Kramer (USA)
1. Lew Hoad (AUS)

I have Rosewall and Gonzales higher myself, when I look at their overall career achivement.

Ken Rosewall never won Wimbledon, but that is because he was barred from playing in due to being professional for about 10 of the best years of his life. He wsa 34/35 when the open era started, and he still managed to make 2 Wimbledon finals after that. If it wasn't for professional players being banned from the slams, he might have won about 20 slams.

Pancho Gonzalez won 15 pro slams but he only played 2 per year. For most of his peak years, only 2 a year were even held. Again, he could have won 20 slams if he had the chance to play in them like today, 4 times a year. When the open era he began he was 40, and still reached a slam quarter and a semi in his first year playing in the slams.

20 slams is conservative for Rosewall, very conservative estimate actually for Pancho. Gonzalez was also #1 for 7 years which no-one in the history of tennis is beaten (this is not official as there were not actual rankings is those days so #1 for 7 years is subjective).

Easy to forget these top players.

Rod himself has ommitted Bill Tilden, and it looks like he is ommitting players he didn't see personally. An American, Bill dominated his home tournament in the 1920s winning it seven times including 6 consecutive. He only entered Wimbledon twice in the peak years of his career, winning both times. Of the 6 times he played it, he boasts 3 SFs and 3 Ws. Really that's the equivalent of Federer or Sampras's number of titles factoring in how often he played it.

He was barred from playing the French Open, it was only for French players, for his peak years, but managed to reach 2 finals there in his 30s.

Personally I have Gonzalez, Federer, Laver, Rosewall and Tilden as a personal top 5 of all time (having never seen 4 of them play) with almost nothing to separate them.

I think Borg, Sampras (and now Rafa after this year) are probably in the second group.

It is interesting to see Rod's list of the oldies disagreeing with my thoughts so much. I wonder if that might be because my list is partly compiled by reading wikipedia articles, while he actually saw the players play.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:55 pm

Laver's other list just goes to show that it just isn't possible to establish an overall GOAT.
I'm not entirely sure it's necessary to do so either. Let's say that in 20 years one's favourite player ends up winning 25 slams and is universally acclaimed as the GOAT. It shouldn't really affect you personally - in reality, it's nothing to do with you and doesn't make you in any way superior to the guy who supports the player who lost in those 25 finals. It's no more big a deal (in the life of a fan)than supporting someone who wins Big Brother or Strictly Come Dancing, when you actually look at it with some objective perspective.

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Post by Born Slippy Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:07 pm

Hoad is an odd choice at one. I've seen reports saying that he had a near perfect game. However, it seems difficult to put him above either Pancho or Muscles who had the better of him h2h.

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Post by hawkeye Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:12 pm

JuliusHMarx wrote:Laver's other list just goes to show that it just isn't possible to establish an overall GOAT.
I'm not entirely sure it's necessary to do so either. Let's say that in 20 years one's favourite player ends up winning 25 slams and is universally acclaimed as the GOAT. It shouldn't really affect you personally - in reality, it's nothing to do with you and doesn't make you in any way superior to the guy who supports the player who lost in those 25 finals. It's no more big a deal (in the life of a fan)than supporting someone who wins Big Brother or Strictly Come Dancing, when you actually look at it with some objective perspective.
^ In twenty years time only old fogies will still be energetically discussing who is the best Nadal or Federer. In 100 years only a few dusty DVD's will remain as evidence. In 200 years the DVD's may still remain but there will be no means to play them... If you look at things objectively and from the right perspective hitting a ball with a racquet is no more important than winning big brother or strictly. Do you know how small the earth is in relation to the sun? And the sun to the galaxy and the galaxy to the universe?...

Anyway I think both Federer and Nadal are head and shoulders above the rest but if I had to chose between the two I would say Nadal may be just a tiny bit better :DAlthough I do realize that Federer will be too upset by my conclusion ;)And who is Rod Laver?...


Last edited by hawkeye on Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:16 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by JuliusHMarx Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:13 pm

hawkeye wrote:And who is Rod Laver?...
Some old fogie Smile

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Post by HM Murdock Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:16 pm

JuliusHMarx wrote:It's no more big a deal (in the life of a fan)than supporting someone who wins Big Brother or Strictly Come Dancing, when you actually look at it with some objective perspective.
There's no debate about Strictly Come Dancing. Aliona is the hottest.

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Post by HM Murdock Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:18 pm

hawkeye wrote:And who is Rod Laver?...
The bloke on the right.
Rod Laver's top ten Open era Rod-jane-freddy-then

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Post by Haddie-nuff Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:31 pm


JuliusHMarx wrote:Laver's other list just goes to show that it just isn't possible to establish an overall GOAT.
I'm not entirely sure it's necessary to do so either. Let's say that in 20 years one's favourite player ends up winning 25 slams and is universally acclaimed as the GOAT. It shouldn't really affect you personally - in reality, it's nothing to do with you and doesn't make you in any way superior to the guy who supports the player who lost in those 25 finals. It's no more big a deal (in the life of a fan)than supporting someone who wins Big Brother or Strictly Come Dancing, when you actually look at it with some objective perspective.


Whistle Erm Laugh In 20 years time I might be in a better position to let you all know  Im certain to meet up with a a few of them👼 angel ghost ghost devil devil

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Post by erictheblueuk Fri Sep 13, 2013 5:42 pm

Personally I think you should leave guys off lists like this while there still active. I mean if Rafa, Novak and even Murray started winning more slams they could move up.
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Post by Jeremy_Kyle Fri Sep 13, 2013 6:23 pm

Well, I'll have a stern conversation with old Rod about it.
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Post by Jeremy_Kyle Fri Sep 13, 2013 6:27 pm

Haddie-nuff wrote:
JuliusHMarx wrote:Laver's other list just goes to show that it just isn't possible to establish an overall GOAT.
I'm not entirely sure it's necessary to do so either. Let's say that in 20 years one's favourite player ends up winning 25 slams and is universally acclaimed as the GOAT. It shouldn't really affect you personally - in reality, it's nothing to do with you and doesn't make you in any way superior to the guy who supports the player who lost in those 25 finals. It's no more big a deal (in the life of a fan)than supporting someone who wins Big Brother or Strictly Come Dancing, when you actually look at it with some objective perspective.

Whistle Erm Laugh In 20 years time I might be in a better position to let you all know  Im certain to meet up with a a few of them👼 angel ghost ghost devil devil
No worries Haddie, I am pretty sure that if this is the case, Emancipator will be more than happy to welcome you with open arms ghost devil 
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Post by Haddie-nuff Fri Sep 13, 2013 6:29 pm

laughingking 

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Post by LuvSports! Sat Sep 14, 2013 6:52 pm

My top 10 would be;
1) Feds
2) Laver
3) Sampras
4) Nadal
5) Borg
6) Connors
7) Lendl
8) Agassi
9) McEnroe
10) Djokovic

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Post by invisiblecoolers Sat Sep 14, 2013 7:19 pm

JuliusHMarx wrote:Not sure I'd agree entirely with Laver's list, but I do know that if Rod Laver came on this forum with that list, he'd get posters telling him he lacked tennis knowledge, and not necessarily in terms as polite as that.
laughing laughing 

That for the comment of the week not for weak

notworthy notworthy notworthy 


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Post by invisiblecoolers Sat Sep 14, 2013 7:26 pm

The best part of the list is Laver's name is not discussed by himself in the list, so the list can be renamed as Laver's top 10 leaving aside himself, and no way I can agree Mac better than Rafa, just no way, Djoko at 6? well his parents and Socal would have got heart attack seeing their son so high. Very Happy 

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Post by Jeremy_Kyle Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:25 am

The point of the article is that we have one guy who really knows his staff (who also happend to make a couple of times the Grand Slam during his career) and who, apparently, has no immediate commercial interests in what he says. I would give a little credit to what the man says, with no disrespect for everybody else obviously.
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Post by Henman Bill Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:44 pm

LuvSports! wrote:My top 10 would be;
1) Feds
2) Laver
3) Sampras
4) Nadal
5) Borg
6) Connors
7) Lendl
8) Agassi
9) McEnroe
10) Djokovic
Another one who believes that no tennis was played before the 1960s, then again perhaps this is a list of players who played at least part of their career in the open era. (Laver can't be #2 based on achivements in the open era alone). Then again, if you include Laver on this basis, Rosewall should probably be there..

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Post by LuvSports! Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:07 pm

Pipe down chatchy!
Do your own list. gawd.

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