Sunday, October 9, 2016

What's Up? Topic #21; entries 10/16 - 3/17

 
Post here! Politics, Sports (Football, B-ball, & Tennis), Movies, & TV! Posts framed w/ "***" are from other contributors! - - - - - (Closed - 100 pts)

100 comments:

  1. ***NJ Gov. Christie knew about Bridge-gate scheme as it unfolded, Feds say: - OMG, Chris, looks like the shit's about to hit the fan...or the bridge...or the courtrm!***

    ...Why didn't Christie get ahead of this when his popularity was >er? It's done nothing but plummet, but he waddles around like he doesn't have a care in the world! I think most Reps are delusional; Christie & Giuliani just take it to new heights!

    ***They keep saying there are a million dead people "voting." Why would anyone think they are all "voting" for Hillary? A Trump supporter can steal a dead person's vote just as well and have the lack of morals t/b more likely to do it.***

    Reps play "the victim-card" continuously due to them being in the minority in the country! They own 26 or so gov'ships, most of the state congress houses & senates, & only now have been found t/b incompetent running a Nat'l campaign w/ candidates that are getting progressively worse not better! They run things, but can't help whining about coverage when they're only upset when the MSM doesn't lap up the crap they lay down to keep them busy while they're being corrupt! Constantly suing & accusing the Clintons of stuff proves my pt! No 1's been as vilified, investigated, & made to feel persecuted by pols & the media than they have been & then are criticized for being guarded! That's insane, but that's the MO of Reps & cons; constantly "bitch & moan," but when busted wonder why they're being "singled out!" I used t/b able to support & vote for the other party, but since Clinton '96, I wouldn't want a Rep to run the local kennel, much < the country! All you have to do is look @ MI & FLA where those states are going under in so many ways! Snyder's actually poisoning the H2O of Flint MI while slowly bankrupting the state; morally & fiscally! FLA's Scott cut educ. & < than 1/2 graduate from HS! Both have underperformed, but reelected so the populous has no 1 else to blame but themselves!

    ***...my feeling is that Trump's accusations that the election w/b fraudulent tells me that stealing it is something he would consider doing, if it was possible.***

    Whatever the accusation, he's done it or planning/plotting himself! Look at last week when he paraded those women accusing Bill Clinton of bad behavior, then Trump's defense is why are women coming out of the woodwork after him for the same thing! The hypocrisy is mind-numbing, but that's how Reps & cons work; kvetch about the lack of bad coverage on Hillary while pushing the narrative that they're in the tank for her! When Trump was getting all that free media, they applauded, now they're being vilified for not stopping him sooner! They want it all ways in every way! I REALLY HAVE A SERIOUS PROBLEM W/ THESE PEOPLE NOW! They care more about party than the country allowing this TROLL to get this close to power; it's just unfathomable! They must like being lied to so overtly!

    ***The presidential election is over. In other things, I expect the Dems to get a narrow majority in Senate, but the Reps will probably keep the house.***

    You m/b right, but a wave truly is brewing! Clinton's terribly unpopular being demonized for decades by cons, but the hubris of nominating a clown like Trump is =alent to putting Cruz up against a chimp! Common sense tells people, you have to pick Cruz, but due to his reputation you consider the chimp for a while!

    ***Yeah, common sense suggests the Reps should have put forward a clean, sensible candidate, b/c Hillary is obviously a "POS politician," & has rightly been demonised. The only hope is of course for a Rep. House. Heaven knows how many deals she'd cut to benefit the CGI if she had a Dem. House scratching her back. On foreign policy though, Hillary's alert to Putin which is good, ...***

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  2. ***I wonder whether Trump "apologist" Jeffrey Lord has access to any facts at all when he talks about "invisible Hillary", and the like. HRC was campaigning all over NC on Sunday!***

    Lord is more FOS than most since he's been around a long X & isn't stupid! He's just as much a con man t/b such an apologist & excuse maker! The whole campaign sounds ridiculous complaining about HRC spending $60 million in neg. ads recently vs Trump! I could have sworn that announced him; "I'm self funding, I'm rich, I don't owe anybody anything! You can trust that!" What happened?

    ***...Clinton s/b disqualified; like today.***

    All of you are beggin'! Why not win thru ideas & a good candidate instead of whining about campaign money, emails, and the CGI? Ya look foolish; esp. since it appears Trump's allowing a woman to "work him!"

    ***It's kind of hard to do that when the other candidate is playing dirty tricks & controls most of the MSM.***

    The Dems just took notes dealing w/ Reps for yrs! They used to have the $$ edge, had peddled influence for yrs t/b utilized later when needed, etc.! You guys wrote the book; Dems just finally decided to read & put the tactics into practice! Now all they have to do is take back the HOUSE before 2020 so they can "Gerry-Mander" their districts like Reps have done for decades!

    ***Ah, the "they do it too!" excuse. So you admit, Hillary & the DNC are a bunch of criminals.***

    Just like the Trump sycophants! Every X they get a chance they invoke Bill when it gets tough sledding w/ so many women accusing their boy of lechery! No ones' more juvenile than Reps who have t/b corrected during their "talking points" only to repeat it on another program! They're pathetic & I wonder more about than intelligence than their ethics; esp. since it appears they have none! To back such a buffoon, they have t/b being paid handsomely; in advance I'm sure due to Trump's penchant to stiff contractors!

    ***You are correct though that Dems traditionally have been the war party. And there's a reason I & many others say LBJ whb the >est President in American history had it not been for Vietnam...***

    Only b/c of isolationist beliefs of Reps making it nec. for Dems like Roosevelt to convince the country to intervene in Europe during WWII! It's a shame we waited until Pearl Harbor to totally throw in in taking out Hitler & beat down Japan after the hubris of their attack! Viet Nam was a shame, but history repeated itself w/ Afghanistan; twice! We just can't help ourselves @ X's!

    ***I don't really think WW2 was a nec. war. Japan hit Pearl Harbor b/c they didn't have the manpower or machinery to attack the mainland or even to invade Hawaii. ...& that was after FDR imposed a crippling embargo on them that was a de facto declaration of war. I'm an isolationist -- and I think anybody who assocs being an isolationist w/ being a neo-Nazi or white separatist or some such bullshit needs their head examined. War is evil unless it is in self defense. Our isolationism is what made us great -- and our interventionism is what will bankrupt us in the long run.***

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  3. ***...If Trump wins those states, can the Dems challenge that in a court?***

    ...Trump's succeeding w/ creating & flaming doubt! I w/b more embarrassed allowing such a fool to even get a sniff of this position! The recriminations w/b harsh, relentless, & expected after the elections! ...W/ the constant refrain of Trump & his sycophants that the system is rigged, heaven knows how this all turns out!

    ***Trump gets bashed by the media more than Hillary does for similar things. They barely, if ever, cover the women who say Hillary threatened them due to Bill's alleged sexual misconduct. ...It's a clear, blatant double standard.***

    Bill isn't on the ballot, the country's litigated the situation w/ these disturbed women, & overall "no 1 cares about something that happened over 20 yrs ago!" We've moved on! Going back to Whitewater proves desperation, but Trump more than embarrassed himself & those women by parading them before the Nat'l media before the 2nd debate! Hillary's been thru the trenches w/ the Rep. party for 25 yrs; some numb-nut like Trump isn't going to thwart her!

    ***Bill doesn't have t/b on the ballot when these women accuse Hillary of threatening them. ...Again demonstrating the study's findings. - ...And how exactly did "Hillary threaten them?"***

    Trump's successes are just something that trips off his tongue! The real record shows fraud, bankruptcies, deflection, & avoidance of taking responsibility! That's his MO; "I'm great and if there's a setback, I'll weasel my way out of it at other people's expense!" - Hillary should have had a Tea & served those women cookies for interaction w/ her husband I guess! ;-)

    ***...BTW, my choice is Bernie Sanders. They did similar things to him. - Trumpkins love to throw out the accusations that Hillary "threatened" these women, but never back it up w/ facts.***

    ...and you obviously didn't listen to Sarah Silverman @ the Dem. Conv.: "To the Bernie or bust people you're being ridiculous!" Bernie's gone so you need to get over it!

    ***What does everyone think about the latest news on the 25% price increase in ACA plans?***

    It whb worse if there was no plan @ all! A contributing factor besides young people who haven't signed on, you still have the opp. panning it, dragging their feet in every way possible in many states! There needs t/b some inkling of compliance to make it work! Reps & cons have been working against the ACA since it became law & have attempted to repeal it @ least 60 X's knowing Obama would veto the threat on his "legacy!" What a bunch of idiots who would rather people drop dead in the street than have a modicum of coverage in a Nat'l safety net!

    ***Trump absolutely HATES Obama. Not sure why. I don't think Obama did anything to him, other than criticizing his candidacy this year. Is it just racism? - Obama also roasted him @ the WH Corresp. Dinner.***

    IDK what else you can call it; just unprecedented disrespect for this man from day 1! What other Prez had to endure the indignity than being called a liar at the "SOTU" yrs ago, obstructing even the most mundane of gov't tasks w/ filibusters & shutdowns, & refusing to even give hearings to appointees? It blew up in their faces when they denied autho dept. for Eliz. Warren who was to head a watch group dealing w/ Wall Str.! She made them pay by taking out a Senator back in Mass. &'s giving them heartburn in Congress! They never seem to learn; holding up that SC opening! Hillary may wind up putting someone in there a lot more liberal!

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  4. ***HRC has a history of being able to "negotiate" w/ all sides; including those who "disagree" w/ her.***

    I believe she just needs to get past this campaign & things should fall into place for her! Some will say Reps will continue to obstruct like they did w/ Obama, but they saw where that got them! Bill & Hill will work these guys in Congress where Obama never had a chance unfortunately!

    ***There was an artile ...Reps who said they'll vote w/ her & that quote stated that Clinton worked/works well w/ them. I'd really like to think that they have grown up a bit more by now. But somehow I keep wondering where they'll be meeting to discuss her overthrow & failure while she's taking the Oath of Office.***

    True enough; Reps aren't very "grown up" & throw temper tantrums all the X! I still remember Dole after his loss to Clinton in '96, "not 1 Rep. vote from the Senate" on legislation pushed by the Dems while he was Minority Leader! They do this so they can come back later to say "we told you so" if & when something fails; sorta like w/ the ACA now! Any other more mature group of people would just try to fix it, but not these petulant children!

    ***There's a high possibility of the Senate flipping right? If the Senate goes blue, but the House remains red, how much does that help Hillary?***

    It'll stop some of the gridlock since there won't be anymore BILLS being offered w/ statutes to repeal the ACA! Ryan or whoever they select to run the HOUSE if he doesn't survive; a shutdown isn't as automatic when Reps totally run things in Congress! Hillary's proved she can work w/ them anyway!

    ***If you want to talk about voter fraud, Trump's the biggest fraud in U.S. history. Influencing the course of a presidential election is a criminal offence is it not?***

    It s/b a colossal fraud for allowing Trump to get this close! The hubris of these unqualified clowns running for the highest office in the land made no sense! They had a real chance to win w/ someone like Kasich, Cruz, & even Rubio! Many of the others weren't even qualified like Carson, Perry, Huckabee, w/ Bridge-gate hanging over the head of Christie! What a joke! They w/b lamenting allowing this to get away from them last yr when they had a chance to undercut & expose Trump for the fraud he continues t/b to this day!

    ***Maybe Trump figured that running for president w/b a surefire way to promote his brand, but he never thought that he'd make it this far. - I figured Carson seemed t/b a more model Conservative than Trump & the others.***

    Unfortunately Trump's tarnished his brand and he's losing business; leaking onto name of Ivanka where people are ??ing buying her crap due to support of her father! It's really hurting them all; beginning when Macy's last yr threw his stuff out of their stores when he made comment about Mexicans being rapists! Twice he's had a press conference trying to promote that hotel in DC & the bookings are being cancelled! He should pay for being such a tool! - ...but Carson was w/o a real brain in his head! The silly stuff he said & the defense of "Birthers" attacking Obama was just too offensive for words! There's just no excuse for someone w/ his reputation to embarrass himself as much as he did trying to run for President!

    ***A few days ago we were talking about Ivanka & her sweat shops which don't have maternity leave & that it doesn't matter any more than Bill Clinton's adultery matters. Well, I'd say it does matter a lot more since I just saw a Trump ad (oddly enough in Virginia) and it's Ivanka Trump who's advertising "what matters to a mother" and maternity leave is one of those things. ...And another thought occured to me - w/ all the complaints about Hillary not being transparent, no one seems t/b worried about the message it'll send to future candidates if Trump manages to get elected.***

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  5. ***So Novak isn't playing in Basel or Vienna? If Andy wins Vienna, that would put him only 415 pts behind in the Race rankings. ...Of course Andy has to win Vienna 1st. If he wins the last 3 tourneys, or simply does significantly >er than Novak, he'll be the YE #1.***

    It's come down to the YEC before; just 2 years ago when Roger was still playing well! I didn't expect Nole to get off his normal schedule due to pressure to hold #1 ranking! He'll let it all hang out in London & add to his record unless he's totally given up!

    ***Just for a moment subtr. Federer off of his weakest GS surface (clay) Fed's greatest rivals perform vs him in GS's minus his weakest surface - And you have this:

    8 losses to Djokovic @ all the other GS's
    4 losses to Nadal @ all the other GS's

    Reverse the performance zone & now keep Fed's fave GS surface (grass) whilst subtr. all the other surfaces to see how Fed's >est rivals perform vs him in GS's, on Fed's strongest surface - And you have this:

    2 losses to Djokovic @ his fave surface slam (the only player to have beaten Fed twice at AELTC)
    1 loss to Nadal...

    Now go to the middle ground & only keep all GS's played on HC surfaces to see how Fed's >est rivals perform vs him, in GS's, on HC surfaces - And you have this:

    6 losses to Djokovic
    3 losses to Nadal

    Now compare the Big 3 in finals aggregated vs each other:

    Nadal leads Fed in finals 14/7
    Djokovic leads Fed in finals 11/6 (+ a WD)
    Djokovic leads Nadal in finals 14/10

    Overall:
    Djokovic 25/16 = + 9 (+ a WD)
    Nadal 24/21 = + 3
    Federer 13/25 = - 12

    + 9 Djokovic is symbolic: (if you put Nadal/Fed together you get - 9)
    ---

    Rafa Nadal confessed that he has been "playing w/ pain for many months."***

    I really don't want to hear about injury; esp. @ the end of a career! QUIT! "No one's putting a gun to your head to play!" They have $$, endorsements, investments; is it worth it for the love of the game after 30? ;)

    ***I don't see any problems w/ what he's saying. He loves the game & feels he can win more titles. Fed's going thru the same thing, that doesn't mean he should quit.***

    I get a little exercised w/ Nadal whining about injury b/c of the way he plays the game! He allows himself t/b put in bad positions needing to come from behind vs nobodies, qualifiers, WC, & "never-weres!" Dropping 4th Rd to Kyrgios @ Wimbledon was no disgrace, but the others from the last sev. yrs have been ridiculous! Their claim to fame for these players is beating Nadal @ SW19! Nole's starting to feel it himself, but has been luckier to not be a broken down mess like Nadal!

    ***It's none of your business what he does. You don't have to watch him, but for many he's still vital to the game.***

    I get over sentimentality to save the game quite easily seeing the best "come & go" for over 45 yrs! "The Big 4" did a wonderful job for over a decade & it's now X for the tour to move on; PLEASE! I'm looking forward to Kei, Milos, Zverev, & Thiem making their mark since the previous gen. was pathetically weak in Tsonga, Gasquet, Ferrer, Berdych, & even Grigor wasting his talents! Only Stan & Cilic along w/ a fragile Del Po have even dented the record book during this period! My all X fave was Navratilova, but by '94, she was dropping 2nd Rd matches! Luckily there were upsets @ Wimbledon & she found her game to @ least make the final before retiring; losing to Martinez! I have to admit it was nice to have her back playing doubles 6 yrs later & adding to her legacy & major count until she was almost 50! Fedal hasn't added to their count in quite a while! Only X will tell will Nole follow suit after completing his CGS & NCGS!

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  6. ***...For Novak, he had 2 choices, the 1st was to step aside & allow these 2 legends (Fedal) to make history, or he refuses to bow down & wants to become the legend he always dreamed of when he was child. For him the choice was obvious. Roger @ that pt was redefining tennis. He knew that if he was to ascend to the throne that everyone was expecting him to, & surpass Pete, he had to do the 1 thing that Pete couldn’t do, & that's win RG. To take him to the pinnacle, he needed a more complete resume that even the great Sampras before him, & it took immense mental fortitude, drive, willpower, & determination for Roger to set & then pursue yr after yr such ambitious goals for himself. ...

    Novak pretty began his career surrounded by these 2 supernovas, a completely unprecedented situation. He fought them, got beaten, & came back stronger. The more they showed their superior play, the more lessons he learnt. ...Now Novak knew that he needed everything they had; the Slam record, wks @ #1, the CGS, the WTF's, the YE's, the Masters titles, the all surface dom. Anything < w/b seen as a failure. ... RG...If ever he wanted to have his name to be said in the same breath as theirs, he couldn’t have a gap that big in his resume, even if he put together outstanding records everywhere. It drove him on, losing those epics to Roger, Rafa & Stan in Paris. ...The mental, emotional, & physical burden you have to go through day in & day out, wk after wk, month after month, yr after yr, & have the heart of a lion to keep taking the beatings, the setbacks, the heartbreaks, & then to finally hold that ever elusive RG title. ...

    RG had become like a double edged sword, b/c in his relentless pursuit to capture the title, Novak created w/o a doubt the greatest 18 months ever in the history of the game. Fedal had set the standards of what he must need to do, if he ever dared to walk amongst them. The all court surface dom., the Masters titles haul, the WTF's, Slams on all surfaces...you simply were not allowed a weak pt. To stand amongst them almost destroyed Novak. I don’t think he ever truly recovered since RG. That spring uncoiled w/i & everything was released. So you ask me why Novak is the way he is now, it is b/c you can only fight so hard & so passionately for so long. It is in this flaw that legends likes Roger, Rafa & Novak truly leave their legacy behind, b/c it is in this you see their human side, & understand it was a human who put together a superhuman effort.
    ---

    Top 10 best seasons of the Open Era - Here is my list, from best to last.

    1. Laver '69

    2. Djokovic '15

    3. Federer '06

    4. Djokovic '11

    5. Federer '07

    6. Federer '04

    7. Nadal '10

    8. McEnroe '84

    9. Federer '05

    10. Nadal '08. You?***

    ITA for the most, agreeing w/ the OP, but give an honorable mention to Sampras' '95 w/ Borg's '78, '79. & '80!

    ***Djokovic/Slams in his 2 best seasons:

    1) Djokovic '15 Slams:
    MelB: Bt 3 top 10 players (1 top 5)
    RG: Bt 2 top 10 players (includ. defending champ. Nadal) (1 top 5)...Lost to 1 top 10 player)
    AELTC: Bt 2 top 10 players (1 top 5; #2)
    USO: Bt 2 top 10 players (1 top 5; #2)

    TOTAL: 9 Top 10 Wins (4 Top 5 Wins)/1 Top 10 Loss

    2) Djokovic '11 Slams:
    MelB: Bt 3 top 10 players (2 top 5, includ. #2)
    RG: Lost to #3
    AELTC: Bt 1 top 10 player (1 top 5; the #1)
    USO: Bt 2 top 10 players (2 top 5; #2 & #3)

    TOTAL: 6 Top 10 Wins (5 Top 5 Wins)/1 Top 5 Loss
    ===

    Movak was going for the CYGS & held all 4 slams @ 1 pt & then after he won the FO & CS, he hit a speedbump & hasn't been able to win crap. You would think going for the CYGS would motivate a player, but that's not what happened after Djokovic won the FO @ all. So yes, he's in a bit of a crisis for him & his standards. ...***

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  7. ***...How about devaluing Serena's results in '15 b/c she barely had to play any top 10 players all yr?***

    ...there have been plenty of instances where each great player had periods w/ lit'l to no resistance! OTTH we all know eras where players like Martina, Chris, Steffi, Serena, Roger, Bjorn, McEnroe, & Nole owned a season or 3! A lot of it was they were superior, actually toying w/ their comp., but then the other side of the coin has them coasting w/ tour fairly weak & lackluster! For Martina, '83 & '84 were as > as any in the history of the game! Besides winning 6 majors in a row, she barely lost sets; serving up bagels & chopsticks! ...1st Roger owned it from '04-07, intermittent >ness of Nadal in '08 & '13, w/ the rest going to Nole until now! ...The ??'s, who's the next > player & will Nole add a few more majors & Masters events to his record before totally giving it all up?

    ***The only somewhat valid argument you have is comparing Angie's year to players who ended it as #1 & also won slams in that yr. Otherwise it's frankly stupid to compare her to players who didn't win holding #1 ranking.***

    Absolutely ridiculous if you think about JJ & WOZ w/o a major win; @ least Kerber has 2 & played in 3! STUPID!

    ***Kerber has had a great yr; prob.'s >er than Jankovic's '07 & Woz's '10, but my pt is that we shouldn't overemphasize the winning of majors to the pt of ignoring everything else b/c, unlike men's majors, the women's aren't all that much diff. from the tourns. that are the next level down. Men play bo5, while women play bo3 that they play everywhere else. That's huge. I'm not advocating that women go to bo5 for their majors; just shouldn't be given the same wt. that men's majors are given when comparing the relative successes of players' yrs or careers.***

    Probably? I do understand where you're coming from, but this is how historians will rate players for the most part; MAJORS, regardless if male or female & how they won them!

    ***That m/b true, @ least for casual historians, but serious tennis fanatics will dig down into the details. That's probably why most non-serious tennis fans think Court's the GOAT since she won the most slams.***

    Well I'm not a "fanatic," but I do know tennis history very well; watching, playing, or teaching since '71! I've seen them all "come & go," & I give Court all due credit for her accomplishments, but I set her aside for the same reason Nadal's not exactly in the top 5 "all X;" too many wins @ 1 tourney! Most pros didn't want to invest X, $$, & energy to go "down under," so her 11 AO, amateur & pro level just don't carry the same weight as the other majors!; esp. back in the 60's & 70's! - Stan handles the best Nole can offer in 3 major wins & then forgets how to play in a 500 vs an "also-ran!" No wonder he's owned by Roger!

    ***Makes you wonder how good that best is that Nole has to offer.***

    Few have said Nole's >; more he's the most consistent player out there winning not only majors, but cleaning up scraps by owning Masters 1000 events as well taking 4,5 or 6 a yr! No one else can say that; including Fedal! They're close, but Nole's '15 was unprecedented & set him apart for all X; close to the likes of Laver & Rosewall! Roger's still the GOAT, but Nole will end up "right behind him" & just ahead of Sampras & Nadal IMO!

    ***In the system I used to rank players, Novak has finally, officially passed Rafa - just by a hair, but it happened. I have 2nd system that's more weighted towards more important accomplishments like Slam titles & YE #1 rankings & Novak's ahead in that as well.***

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  8. ***FBI Dir. Comey h/b completely out of line; trying to tie some emails about Weiner's photos of his erect sausage to a 15 yo girl. Comey doesn't even know what's on that laptop. ...BRAVO for the GOP to stick that red hot poker str. up Comey's tight azz & made him squeal like a pig. This was a total partisan move by that bastard. He doesn't even have a warrant to access the laptop's email. How dare he interfere w/ the political election regardless of what he thinks he has.***

    There w/b a reconning w/ that idiot! If he was trying to protect his reputation, he failed miserably!

    ***Comey got paid. The Clintons have a few more "trump" cards t/b played this wk. There s/b some more tapes released from his TV show "The Apprentice" that tell about Trump's real thoughts.***

    What kills me is the BS from Trump & his sycophants saying; "well we wanted to talk about the issues, but ....!" Is that why Trump paraded Bill's accusers before the 2nd debate earlier this month? They embarrassed themselves; esp. Jones who actually got $$ out of this! Whatever happens to these people, including Assange is going to fall on deaf ears; esp. mines!

    ***The senior officials of the DOJ & the AG, Loretta Lynch issued a dire warning to Comey not to release his ill advised letters to the House. W/ all of the pressure coming from senior Dem & a few GOP Senate members, Comey is gonna crack and all Trump's $$ cannot save Comey. Very malicious actions of a rogue FBI Dir. Do the GOP think the good people of the US is gonna let them get away w/ this? Not a chance in HELL; this is a very smart country besides those morons who vote from those "red states."***

    You have more faith in the populous than I ever will again! After "Clinton boom" in the 90's; low unemploy., deficits turning into surpluses, & the Nat'l Debt actually being paid down! It was imbecilic to change parties from Gore to "W" back in 2000; regardless of a rogue Supreme Court assist, it shouldn't have been close! It changed our future from 911 & the economic crash, to probably influencing people to go w/ an unknown like Obama after all the screw-ups starting 2 wars, crashing the economy, & ignoring the will of the people! We regressed & turned into a nation of hate w/ cons stoking the fires of their discontent! It's perpetuated by Trump who hasn't a clue what he's talking about; esp. w/ the economy, the people, & the potential of the office! What a moron!

    ***And that's why Obama's not jumping on the Crooked Harry-Reid "Hatch Act," which all the Clinton MSM outlets are desperately echoing today. Instead, he's proclaiming that Comey's "trustworthy." Obama's starting to distance himself from the Clintons.***

    Oh, he'll do them 1 more solid before leaving office in Jan.! I see a duo-pardon to elim. BS of Rep. Congress continually trying to undermine the new President w/ their hearings & leaks of scandal!

    ***I'll betcha he doesn't. It's common knowledge Obama hates the Clintons (to his credit). What has happened since last Friday gives him a legitimate "out" to save his own political legacy "hide." He will & he won't crap on it for the Clinton's by issuing any Executive Clemency to them.***

    There may very well be mutual animus, but The Clintons gave Obama gravitas & footing when he was this "nobody" that beat McCain/Palin after a disastrous previous admin. of "W's!" He proved he wasn't ready for PT when he allowed the Dem. Congress to write budgets & other ideas instead of leading! They need direction & overstepped just like Reps when they're in sole control! It will always be used against them later even when good work is done like the creation of the ACA! The budget disaster, shutting down gov't, along w/ raising the debt limit drama was a ridiculous period that shb avoided!

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  9. ***It w/b interesting to know the last X Bill Clinton paid for a meal, hotel suite, or luxury air travel out of his own pocket. I'm guessing '91?***

    ...and you begrudge him? Reagan got a house from his friends of Hollywood when he left office! Do we really want to go there?

    ***Which compares in no way to the Clintons living off their "charitable" foundation & millions from foreign interests, esp. when his wife was Sec. of State. ...***

    ...and after all the investigating, accusing, & haranguing of these people, ya still have little to nothing! They will go down in history as the most powerful couple in the history of the world & it's making Reps desperate to undermine their achievements! Please keep crying "wolf" so the populous will keep ignoring it all as the polls prove! Comey probably thought he was doing the party a "solid" & all he's done is hurt his own reputation & now puts the FBI in jeopardy w/ his reckless & unprecedented behavior!

    ***New NBC poll has Hillary still 6 pts ahead!***

    Trump's #'s haven't moved! Hillary's the next PREZ!

    ***TRUMP GOES UP HILLARY GOES DOWN***

    Hillary settling, while Trump is just getting the lone wolves "coming home!" Early voting is in Hillary's advantage & in FLA, they est. 28% of Reps crossed over to vote for her!

    ***Sanders destroyed Trump in all h2h matchups while Hillary didn't. In fact, no candidate elected president has ever had a - favorability rating. Right now we have 2 of them. Bernie Sanders' favorability rating was sky high. The OP is right, he would have crushed Trump. Not that it takes much in the 1st place.***

    You're deluding yourselves! Him being a Socialist would put the Reps on "high alert" & the slime-machine w/b cooking 24/7! You have no idea what they'd put that man through! Hillary's used to it & has had to deal w/ these losers for 40 yrs! She's seen them "devolve" from the Watergate days to mouthing off about the security of the Obama children recently! Reps, like the Jews after falling from grace, will have to wander the desert for 40 yrs until their ranks are cleansed of these scumbags!

    ***Trump would have little to no ammo on Sanders. Sanders was genuine, wins in all h2h matchups, has an insurmountable favorability rating, & doesn't have baggage. Hillary has so much baggage.
    ---

    CNN frustrates me. They always bring people who Strongly disagree w/ each other to set up a debate every X. What happened to the journalistic responsibility of finding the truth? These days I turn off CNN as soon as I turn it on.***

    I guess that's what makes them think "both sides" are being heard; even if one is wrong or a FANTASTIC lie! I know what you mean! Since I'm a news junky, I surf thru them all; MSNBC, FNC, & CNN! They keep having the same idiots supporting Trump who continually make up stuff as they go along! Don or Anderson can correct them every night, but they keep repeating the same untruths! The nerve of these people to ?? Clinton's integrity IMO; just too bizarre w/ such a character as Trump to support!

    ***Attys for Kelly & Baroni in the "Bridge-Gate" case in NJ, sought to portray their clients as decent public servants who had the misfortune of entering Wildstein’s orbit. ...Aren't people worried Christie w/b part of Trump's Cabinet?***

    In Rep. standards of late, Christie's mild compared to some real sicko who only gives lip-service concerning the Constitution! Bugging random people used t/b thought of invasion of privacy; NO MORE in the minds of cons! It's all about Nat'l Security! Trump's the poster-child of inflaming the ranks of the low-info, racists, & isolationist wing of the Rep. Party! Why would anyone but level headed Dems & Indep. to pt out these jokers? It's like they think people don't read or watch the news! "I never said that!" WHAT? It's on tape nitwit!

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  10. ***Comey excused her from the crimes he listed. I think the career FBI investigators threatened to resign and/or go public if he didn't inform Congress of the new potential evidence. And yes, he has ruined his rep. in bending the law for the Clintons.***

    Yeah, that was some exoneration done by Comey! He goes & has a press conference, practically going down a wash-list of ways he thought she did wrong, only to disappoint the Reps when he refused to recommend an indictment! ...For the last wk or so, it seems Comey's been on "Trump's" speed-dial! "Yeah, give her a little more jazz w/ the email will ya?"

    ***What else could she have wanted? The AG was clearly corrupt, & disqualified herself by meeting in private w/ the spouse of a criminal suspect? My guess is that the career civil servant FBI types told Comey that if he pulled this shit again he would have to explain mass resignations & a leak of the discovery of the emails anyway. So it forced his hand. He couldn't protect her this X. It's 100% her fault, & like a good Dem., she blames everyone else.***

    Heritage Foundation & Judicial Watch will pay for their slime-ball tactics, never-ending their goal of destroying them! The only thing that will make you guys totally happy is their death; jail wouldn't be enough! You'd complain about how they were housed! It never stops; get a grip!

    ***...Again, this goes on & on b/c they do this. If they turned over evidence & cooperated in these investigations it wouldn't take so long.***

    ...One senator said he'd do all he could to keep that SC opening left by Scalia vacant! They've already started the obstruction! Who would go into battle all relaxed, smiley-faced waiting to get kicked in the ass? Of course the Clintons build up defenses & will always be as uncooperative b/c it will never stop w/ you guys! It's shameful for human beings to treat 1 another like this; esp. when you want them to lead the country! It seems like I've said for yrs, Reps would sooner see the country go under if a Dem's in office! They're truly disgusting w/ their obstruction & @ the same b!tchin' about how DC doesn't work! Screw 'em all!

    ***...W/ her record she would not qualify for a security clearance today. The CGI's being revealed as a $$ laundering & bribery scam, & a path to wealth for this crime family. Only their Nixonian refusal to cooperate w/ law enforcement, and the openly corrupt Obama JD keeps them out of prison.***

    You keep those "talking points" handy? It's like a broken record when watching FNC, MSNBC, & CNN! It's all well & good to ?? Hillary's honesty when Trump is a "Pinocchio nose" factory! "I'll release my taxes after the audit!" Yeah, when pigs fly! "Mexico will pay for the wall!" Is that hyperbole? How can you listen to this tool; esp. after that "Access" video appeared? He's bragging about assaulting women @ 59 y.o. while you're more concerned about emails that have long since bored the people of the country! The only people b!tchin' about that server & emails hacked by Trump are you & other Clinton "hatahs!"

    ***Trump's own flaws, ignorance, recklessness & lack of fitness for the presidency does not excuse or lessen Hillary's violations of Nat'l security statutes. ...***

    They'd complain about the Clintons' writing off expenses! It never stops w/ trolls on the "right" who spend their entire waking hours trying to find ways to undermine & make Hillary and Bill's life miserable! Since they're miserable, they want the whole country to feel it; downing the economy, DOW, Defense, employment levels, the price of gas, healthcare, etc.! No one tears their country down more than a Rep.; it never stops when a Dem's sitting in that POTUS chair!

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  11. ***NJ Gov. Christie knew about Bridge-gate scheme as it unfolded, Feds say: ...***

    I have no sympathy for the State! They again voted for that slob who has systematically bankrupted NJ! A judgment came down for about $9 B to the State due to toxic dump of Exxon Oil Co. & he signed off on lowering it to lit'l more than $236,000 fine! If they're that stupid to let that corrupt piece of flubber con them for all these years, they have no one else to blame but themselves! It culminated in Christie putting people in danger purposefully snarling traffic for 4 days! This is old news, but this man has been allowed to barely do anything in NJ running Trump's transition effort & a failed run for President himself!

    ***This election has brought out the ugliest side of people.***

    I know it may seem that way, but I remember how the animals were released from the zoo w/ "Tea-Baggers" taking over the Rep. Party in '10! They abused Boehner, Ryan, McConnell, & rightwing hierarchy! Unfortunately this beast was created by them so I have lit'l to no sympathy for them; & the country since we let it happen!

    ***Fiero425, I agree that the Tea Party types were pretty hateful, but I don't recall the same level of blatant & explicit hatred in '10.***

    From the beginning, 30-40 of them in the House & a handful in the Senate just about crippled DC w/ filibusters, attacking their own leadership, & 1 = screaming out @ Obama "you lie" @ The SOTU! After the disrespect of this President & his AG, no Rep. better ever say their party isn't a group of hate-filled, bigoted, misogynist pigs! I'm done w/ all Reps; even 1's I know personally if they can allow this kind of leadership w/ lit'l or no criticism! I never thought I w/b that partisan, but after what they put this country thru just b/c they hated the idea of Obama being President, there's no going back! Their tactics were reprehensible, costing the country $$, dividing us in a period of strife trying to recover from "W" admin. collapse of the economy, & managing 2 war fronts! ...Now that both are on guard to report the other to the public, nothing gets done! Never thought I'd remember fondly how things clicked along when shadier behavior was more transparent & actually made legal through Congressional rules like open lobbying & taking of campaign contributions "on the floor!"

    ***Obama was a strident opp. of raising the debt ceiling & when people in the Tea Party don't want to raise it w/o spending cuts he puts up a big fight!***

    You're either misinformed or being dishonest; which is it? Obama wasn't the 1 opposing a raise in the debt ceiling; ploy by the "right" to blackmail the President & Dem. Congress to get their way! It was reprehensible since during the Reagan & Bush admin., it was called normal "housekeeping!" W/ Obama we have to sweat a credit rating threat & the gov't being shutdown costing us billions! Try again TROLL!

    ***As a Senator, Obama opposed raising the debt ceiling! Do you not remember that?***

    You're grasping @ straws & it was more a protest vote that didn't threaten the 'debt ceiling' being raised! He apologized later as President & called himself a few choice names having t/b a naïve, 1st term Senator! Try again!

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  12. ***...I still worry about swing states & Trumpanzees losing their shit.***

    No doubt they will since Trump's already riled them up talking about the 'election's fixed!' Him trying to undermine the process = more than it has been w/ constant attacks from the "right!" They've proved how they want to keep minorities away from the polls; now that they're about to lose AGAIN, they have to throw a shadow over the results! Some a-hole in Congress is already writing up articles of impeachment = though Hillary hasn't taken the oath of office! I pray there's a special place in HELL for these jackals who look to make life difficult on us all b/c they aren't happy! "Fk 'em all!"

    ***I just looked at Twitter reaction about Melania Trump * I have to say I'm nauseated. Why are people so stupid?***

    Not to mention the hypocrisy of making "cyberbullying" a concern & something she'd work vs as 1st Lady! How eff. can she possibly be when Trump's the "poster child" for such behavior; name calling, undermining other people's successes, & bragging about things that he has never achieved? From his POLLS to his past business successes, it's all a colossal joke where his father truly sewed the seeds of a despicable piece of shit that shouldn't have gotten anywhere near this position but for the obvious dementia of the Rep. Party!

    ***I know we have Brexit, ...just tell me Trump's not going t/b bloody president in Jan.!***

    You won't have to worry about either; Trump or Brexit! The vote you guys took wasn't binding; more about giving you a voice! Parliament still has to approve the actually break from the EU! I wouldn't sweat it, but I say the same thing about the nitwits here in the States & the silly things they say & do! The MSM is continually trying to make this a contest when it isn't!

    ***I KNOW, It's making me a nervous wreck. I know in my brain that Trump can't win, but that fucking Comey FBI letter was a Rep. dirty trick & is dampening Hillary's voter turnout. Trump hasn't stepped on his dick for over a wk which is very disappointing. But there's still X for someone to leak some nasty, scandalous video to stimulate the voters, & I know lots of folks are trying to pry them loose from his TV show outtakes.***

    The hubris of him running will hurt his brand & people think his normal clientele w/b disgusted & cancel any dealings w/ him & the junk he sells! Macy's threw his clothes out the door last yr after "Mexican rapist" comment!

    ***...Hillary's still a criminal. - Please give us the legal def. of "criminal.***

    These lightweights don't understand a criminal is someone that's been indicted, stands trial, and's then convicted of something! Their rumor-mongering makes her a criminal in their minds & it's pathetic! All those steps have t/b completed or these trolls are just doing that; TROLLING! Trump has kept up the drumbeat & his "empty-headed" clones can't help but parrot him!

    ***In the increasingly likely event the FBI indicts Hillary btw now & Election Day, can Obama issue her a blanket pardon for all crimes?
    ---

    Yes, he can. The real ??'s if he thinks it would benefit his Legacy to do so, or to let her be indicted?***

    I suggested 2 wks ago he might do it b/c we all know "the long knives" w/b out for the Clintons! They won't have to do anything; it'll be the usual accuse & make a political case as they go along! Reps are scum & s/b ashamed of = being classified anywhere near the species of human beings! Gingrich, Giuliani, & Trump s/b on their way to HELL soon!

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  13. ***Murray's in the process of elevating his status as a legit member of 'Big 4' w/ his recent run. If he gets YE #1, or if he reaches #1 at any pt in the future, he'll solidify his status.***

    I'm no fan of Murray's, but = I have to give him props of being a legit member of the 'BIG 4' w/ X majors & Masters wins! Past #2's like Haas never = made a major final, much < make an impression on the top players of his gen.! Right now, Murray doesn't have to do anything else to make the HOF & cement his legacy = w/ the dominance of the other 3 GOAT players of Fedalovic!

    ***What's your opinion about Nole's performance in recent months; just lack of motivation after FO?***

    Well it's obvious he's been below par; even when he won Toronto! I keep saying, he hasn't been the same since Qatar, destroying Nadal! People forget the cakewalk he got at the USO; retirements, WO's, & injuries to sev. opps! I can't ever remember seeing anything like it before; esp. for a #1 seed!

    ***Lol...not so long ago Murray was getting called the worst #2 in history on here!***

    Not by me! We had some periods where we had some pretty anonymous #2 ranked players going back 20 yrs! It was bizarre @ X's comparing the likes of Lendl in '82 who won everything but a major & barely got a sniff of #1 while someone like Haas w/ chronic & lengthy breakdowns extending his tenure on the tour was a #2! He had some wins over #1 players, but couldn't stay on court long enough to make it count! Stich was a #2, 2 yrs after winning his lone Wimbledon! Others I didn't even realize until it was mentioned casually during a match months after the fact; Norman, Corretja, & Ivanisevic yrs before he won his Wimbledon in '01! These were about as amazing as Rios becoming #1 w/o a major win! Murray dwarfs all these guys; on par w/ Courier = though Jim held the #1 ranking in the early 90's! Can't believe I'm going on & on about Murray; can't stand him or the stupid defensive game!

    ***Don't knock it. You've just pointed out how well he has done w/ that "stupid defensive game." ;)***

    He "gets off" on running "suicides" back & forth 20 ft behind the baseline, finally waiting out his opp. who misses a sitter or a winner is hit out of nowhere by Andy! He gets into 3 set "wars" when the battle shb quick & painless but for him playing that "stupid defensive game" that's cost him wins vs Nole; esp. "Down Under!" Do we really need to go down the list of matches blown when all he had to do was attack just a lit'l bit more & put that volley into use? He scared me to death the way he came out in the final @ the FO! Nole was vulnerable! Fortunately Murray reverted to form & slowly wore himself down, forgetting when offensive, Nole's X was being taken away from him; even on the slow "Terre Battue" of Paris!

    ***Well, I guess I can't disagree w/ you there. ;)***

    ...I've seen them all from Laver & Rosewall to Borg & Connors giving you insight in how things worked in the early yrs of Open Tennis! Players practically choreographed their matches down to the score, donating a set so his opp. wouldn't look bad! There was an article I read where a reporter "supposedly" overheard Borg & McEnroe in the locker room deciding who would win the 1st & 2nd sets before playing their RR match "for real" in the 3rd set @ the Masters/YEC back "in the day!" I predicted Nole winning the YEC last season, setting records w/ 3 majors, 6 Masters, & earning over $20+ M! If you don't lose often, you don't have t/b "Kreskin!" Nole didn't disappoint, but he seemed to lose something after winning that FO title! I hope he hasn't totally given up inside!

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  14. IDK why I sorta flip out when I see articles concerning IPTL! For yrs, all I hear from the top players, men & women is that the season's too long & they need a longer vacation! So these spoiled millionaires sign up for that Team Tennis in the East; regardless if more like exhs.! It's still travel, X away from family & friends, & the grind continues even if not under stress! Why do players like Nadal sign up for this crap except for $$? He really can't turn down a few mill? That's so ridiculous IMO!

    ***If Andy defeats Novak in the final of Paris, he'll be just 15 pts behind, but not #1...that would suck for Andy, but it seems that he's so close that he'll get there @ some pt in the next few months.***

    As long as Nole can hold it for YE, I'll be ok! That makes a diff. in the grand scheme of records; not to mention all those dead wks holding the ranking while no ones' playing over the break! The next X it can come to a head concerning a change @ the top is @ AO next Feb.!

    ***Novak's at 222 wks or so. If he makes it to the AO he's almost to 235. At this pt I don't think he'll make Roger's record, but do think he'll be in the Lendl-Connors-Sampras zone.
    ---

    Djokovic ('15) will stay w/ Hewitt ('02) as having 1 season ranked #1 for all 52 wks. There's Connors ('75, '76, '78), Federer ('05, '06, '07) leads w/ 3 seasons, & Lendl ('86, '87), & Sampras ('94, '97) have 2.***

    Murray might sneak it for a wk or so next yr, but Nole will end the season #1 again!

    ***Maybe Fiero; m/b. What remains t/b seen is whether--or to what degree--Novak can right the ship & re-find his edge. If he continues playing as is, he'll probably lose the #1 ranking for long periods of X. In fact, it c/b a dog-fight all yr w/ Andy. I don't foresee anyone else in the running for #1 next yr, but you never know. Surprises can and do happen, but it just doesn't seem anyone else combines the 2 nec. components of being #1: a high peak level & strong consistency. Stan has the former, but not the latter. Milos, Kei, Thiem...these guys just aren't good enough, @ least while Andy & Novak are still around.***

    Nole can salvage #1 ranking during the dead period btw YE & AO by taking YEC thank GAWD! Murray's a terrible representative for the top spot & we need it to go right back to it's rightful owner!

    ***Andy ...certainly more consistent than ever & had very few bad defeats since Miami, but I think he only had to play a few Top 5 or even Top 10 opps after the FO to get the results that allowed his rise to #1. That's clearly not his fault as he can only play who's across the net, but it definitely indicates that the issues; esp. Novak's dealing w/ are what made it possible for Andy to get the top ranking.
    ---

    ...I'm too busy feeling genuinely emotional about someone from my country whom I believe embodies the best of attributes & represents my country in a way I, & many millions more can feel proud off.
    ---

    I believe it indicates more about how terrible those players in the top 5 have been that they have not been able to reach semi's or finals to face Murray. It's not like Novak was never able to face Murray - I believe he has fallen out of 3 tourneys in the last 2 months that Murray has gone onto win. If anything it's Murray himself that should feel cheated if the opportunity to start eating into the h2h record.
    ---

    Hierarchy of Tennis Season:
    Slam Victory
    WTF Title
    Slam Final
    WTF Runner-Up
    Masters Victory
    Slam Semifinalist
    WTF Qualifier
    Masters Finalist
    Slam QF
    ATP 500 Winner***

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  15. ***Is it true that there are NJ residents still waiting to have their homes restored from the damage?***

    Some Reps still blame Christie for Obama's 2nd term! It really wasn't that close; Romney mortally hurt after that 47% comment came out! I have lit'l to no sympathy for those idiots in NJ who re-elected him! I was all for giving him $40+ B, but Boehner & Congress nixed that! He was given $2 B & some areas destroyed by the storm are still waiting, while cities untouched have gotten a cut of the $$!

    ***Not defending Christie or his allies, but it still took the jury 4 days to come to a verdict.***

    Some need to pay for putting all those people in danger while traffic was snarled for 4 days! This chb a disaster if a terrorist attack had occurred or some other emergency required "1st Responders!" How would you like your 6-7 y.o. stuck on a bus for 5+ hrs on the 1st day of school? Nothing short of jail s/b expected for these manipulative jerks! They were in a position of authority for the State & they abused that power w/ a vindictive act of revenge they were lucky didn't totally blow up in their faces!

    ***Agreed. I spent many hrs wondering how NJ could have thought that 'Guv Big Mouth' could not have known what was going on in his own state for 4 days. I wondered why nobody ??ed his effectiveness as a Guv if he could not take control after Day 1! NJ seemed to have had NO GUV at all after the 1st day of that traffic HELL. Maybe they're giving some thought to it now...a lit'l late. - I'm not disputing the fact that this was reprehensible & I'm glad some people are being punished, though I still feel the "big fish" is still off the hook.
    ---

    This discussion on Electoral College has happened so many X's in my lifeX; it's like a broken record.***

    I guess ya'll must speak to a more intellectual group! I can't remember talking about the EC much @ all over the yrs even though it's brought up every 4 yrs! Most don't have a clue & is 1 of the reasons my eyes roll every X a politician bestows upon all of us that "we're exceptional;" yeah exceptionally dumb! Other western nations have kids who speak several languages & the nitwits we breed can't handle English; bastardizing some abroad think of as beautiful! Even though I think the Founding Fathers are as hypocritical as politicians; esp. invoking the rights of each man while holding slaves, but there was a method to their madness! Their plan has held us all in good stead even w/ the evil intent of some trying to corrupt & cheat the system! Giving each state a voice w/ the EC shouldn't be tampered w/ j/b we happen to HATE the result; i.e. 2000, but the SC's more responsible!

    ***I never said it s/b upheld. Do you fucking remember that last X an Amendment was attempted? I DO; and how close to becoming a part of the Constitution but failed partially b/c of % of states to approve wasn't reached in the time frame. ...I'm not defending the EC - I'm just talking about the process to change the Constitution. - At this X, I'm somewhat ambivalent about the EC. It would appear that this X, it may save us from ourselves.***

    In what way? I know the MSM is trying to 'beat the bushes' making the race a lot closer than it truly is; come on! If you look & talk to the experts, Trump may not take 10 states, much < beat Hillary in the popular vote! He's getting few women, no Hispanics or Blacks, & college graduates aren't "low info" voters! They know what's what & have lit'l to no intentions of voting for Trump; even if they dislike Clinton!

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  16. There are some naïve types who think "anarchy" would work for us! We can't even depend on idiots driving to observe the most "common sense" rules and regulations if not for gov't & authorities to back up "order!"

    ***Poor SS guys. They protect life of The Klump, who gives a shit about - Yet you think hillary is a better person?***

    Infinitely; showing how disgusting, vile, & despicable Trump has grown t/b over the decades of his miserable, perverted life!

    ***Hillary defends her husbands rapes, arms Isis & wants to start WWIII, yet you say Trump is worse?***

    ...and this has to do w/ Hillary how genius? Who doesn't defend their spouse? You forget Melania shielding Donald when a dozen women accused him of groping or kissing them against their will? She's giving him cover just like any other dutiful wife! Get over yourself and life! Sheeessshhhh!

    ***Trump travels to 5 states & Hillary travels to 2. She doesn't push herself the same way Trump does. - Trump does seem to have > stamina than Clinton. Or maybe private polls are telling Clinton she's well ahead.***

    That's about it; Hillary's way ahead! As an old lady, she doesn't need t/b flying over X x zones just to embarrass Trump worse than it'll be Tues.! I just wonder what classless act he'll perform when it's evident he's lost; maybe around 7 pm well before 1/2 the states have even closed the POLLS? I have to have faith that the majority of this country wouldn't think of some "peacock" like Trump ascending this great office! It was bad enough w/ "W," apocalypse is definitely @ hand if this tool even takes 20 states! UTAH's the only con. state that seems to have any common sense, but pts taken off when they'll waste their vote on a local who isn't even registered in all 50 States! He can't win, but maybe that was the plan; throw it back to the HOUSE!

    ***No surprise that Comey got threatened to bury the email scandal again. - No surprise you whiney bitches are crying again since he dropped his FBI investigation AGAIN.***

    They can't stand it! Kellyanne Conway embarrassed herself more being hypocritical on the subject of Comey & his competence! Of course Trump & his campaign changed their tune from support to "the system is corrupt didn't we tell you?" Sleazebags; can't wait for the whole thing t/b investigated & hope Rudy G. gets burned for his blabbermouth! - What a tool! I wonder who called Comey on the carpet; Lynch or Obama himself?

    ***Hillary Clinton playing gender card - Looks like we're going to have 4 yrs of this. Jesus
    ---

    At the very least, since that's all she has.***

    Just keep acting that way; like she's been sitting on her thumbs for 40 yrs! Supposedly she's been wielding all this power, but according to you & others "all she's got is the gender card!" Very progressive & enlightened of you t/b speaking of the most qualified Presidential candidate in history!

    ***Imagine the debates w/ Sanders, w/ Hillary having the exact same positions except being male instead of female, which subtracts all the X's she played the gender card as to why she is qualified t/b president. You think she w/b here if she were a man? No she wouldn't, b/c you wouldn't be able to guilt people into overlooking her record & voting for her if she didn't have a vagina. Virtue signaling @ its worst.***

    Who was it that said: "if not her, who? If not now, when?" She couldn't fk up any more than "W!" Remember, she's got Bill by her side! Dems do it right if you look at the record! Make up any spin that'll help your lame reasoning, but the facts are tons of jobs created during Clinton & Obama years, while it was - territory for the 2 Bushs! Reps have reigned over recessions, stock market crashes, wars that chb avoided, while obstructing the admin. of Dems!

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  17. ***...Murray's bordering on being a true great. He's finishing his best year & if he wins another Slam or 2, he'll be close or even right there w/ Wilander, Becker, & Edberg among the "outer circle" of all-X greats.***

    Now you've gone over the top! Those legends did a lit'l more than just retrieve like a skittish pup! Murray's better than most, but nowhere near the ability or consistency of a Wilander! He needed Fedalovic t/b getting old, injured, or apathetic to reach these heights! He has no 1 to "prove" what you say since today's "also-rans" are far from the quality of the true "Golden Ages" of tennis! Too many are just placeholders on the rankings w/ little movement over their long & boring careers like Cilic, Berdych, Ferrer, Gasquet, Tsonga, Isner, & so many others who had the skills, but not the BRAIN to use their talents to make a significant mark!

    ***Yes, that's exactly the point. Until after the USO Roger & Rafa were 2 of those Top 5 players & neither Wawrinka (apart from the USO), nor Raonic or Nishikori achieved much of note while being in the Top 5. So I think the weakness of the other top players definitely helped Andy to win as much as he did recently. I actually doubt he played any match where he wasn't the betting fave after the FO final. Losing just 3 (w/ the DC loss vs Del Po having no relevance for the rankings) of those matches is still impressive, but it's tough to say if Andy really improved this year or if playing @ his normal level was already enough for those results once Novak's level dropped & no other top player was able to step up somewhat consistently.
    ---

    For me the player who is #1 always deserves it as scoring the most pts over 12 months is a great achievement regardless of the circumstances & doesn't happen by chance. But after the FO it was clear that Novak not finishing the year #1 would require him having a significant drop in form and another player winning almost everything for the rest of the year, so Novak's subpar results were a necessity for the door to the top ranking opening, but Andy deserves a lot of credit for making the most of the opportunity with at least regarding the results clearly best 7 month stretch of his career.

    But in recent history a change of #1 was always connected with one or some events that really legitimated the change ('08: Rafa winning Wimbledon over Roger & OG, '09: Roger winning RG & Wimbledon, '10: Rafa winning RG & Wimbledon, '11: Novak defeating Rafa in X Masters & to win Wimbledon, '12: Roger winning Wimbledon by defeating Novak & Andy; Novak winning the WTF over Roger, '13: Rafa winning the USO vs Novak, '14: Novak defeating Rafa in some Masters & winning Wimbledon vs Roger). B/c of Andy's failure at the USO & Novak's inability to go consistently deep after the FO as well as Rafa's & Roger's absence on the Tour or at least @ the latter stages of important events he didn't have such a signature win that really symbolizes his rise to #1. So in my opinion it would be great to have a match btw Andy & Novak which decides the YE #1 @ the semis or final of the WTF.
    ---

    Andy's won Queens, Wimbledon, Olympics, Beijing, Shanghai, Vienna & Paris to get to the #1 spot.
    ---

    ...= if Nole does not go on to win the WTF, he'll get 800 pts & Andy will get 600 pts. So, that'll cut Andy's current lead of 405 to 205 & then when the 275 pts from the DC finals falls off, Novak will magically clinch the YE #1 right after DC finals, even though Novak is not playing in DC finals. The key pt is that people don't get extra pts for reaching the SF's. They get extra pts only for winning it (& for winning the finals). So, if Andy & Novak meet in SF & Novak beats Andy in the SF, Andy's chances @ YE #1 looks bleak. In that situation, m/b Andy should consider tanking a match to avoid facing Nole in SF.***

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  18. ***I think the bottom line about the WTF is that whoever plays >er btw Andy & Novak w/b the YE #1. Andy has a 130 pt lead, if you factor in his current pt edge (405) & subtract the DC pts (275). But given the pt structure of the WTF, that doesn't factor in. For instance, consider a couple possible scenarios:

    One, Andy & Novak meet in the final. Novak wins all 3 RR & SF matches, but loses to Andy, garnering 1000 pts. Andy loses 1 RR, but wins the SF & the final, winning 1200 pts - still enough to take the #1 ranking. In other words, even in the scenario where Andy loses a RR & Novak goes w/o losing until the final, as long as Andy wins the final then he's #1 by +330 pts. If the reverse happens & Andy gets 1000 pts & Novak 1200, Novak'll finish the yr w/ +70 over Andy. So again, if 1 of them wins the tourney, that player is #1 no matter what configuration.

    If both lose, then some interesting combos are possible. The key to remember is that Andy has a +130 edge, which means whoever wins more matches w/b #1. If they tie--say, both win 1 RR, but go out before the SF, then Andy finishes #1. If Andy goes 2-1 in the RR & Novak 3-0, then both lose in the SF then Novak wins. If Andy goes 3-0 in RR & Novak 2-1, but Novak wins the SF, then Novak finishes as #1. So in summary:

    *If either Novak or Andy win the tourney, they're the YE #1
    *If they finish w/ the same amount of points, Andy is #1
    *If Novak wins 1 more match, he's #1
    *If Andy wins 3 in RR & Novak 2, but Andy loses in SF & Novak wins, Novak is #1
    ---

    You put it well FG. Tech. Andy deserves t/b #1 as he got the most pts & everyone knows that is how the system works. Anyway, I would any day be happy w/ Andy becoming #1 in contrast to Jankovic, Wozniacki, Safina (who have not won a slam, not just in that yr, but in their whole careers) & a host of others becoming WTA #1.

    But, the pt here is that Andy has not risen above the rest & seized the #1 ranking. We always knew that he is the best of the rest and is the best in a world of Tsongas & Berdychs. The only reason he became #1 was Roger was suffering from knee problems, Rafa was suffering from old age, & Novak was suffering from women problems. Of course, it is not Andy's problem that Fedalovic are deluged w/ problems. Andy didn't up his game, fought hard w/ & tenacious, & snatched the #1 in a passing of torch. Andy grabbed the torch when the torch was falling as Nole took his eyes off it.
    ---

    There are many roads to Rome, or in this case, many paths to being #1. Perhaps the fact that Andy has been so consistent this yr, hung in there while Novak struggled & persevered, is what makes him deserving of #1. In fact, the scenario is perfect. He is only getting a couple wks @ #1 before having to defend it at the WTF's. At that point he can earn the YE #1 by defeating the top dog on tour.
    ---

    That's a lit'l bit unfair - "Nadalovic" weren't a story when Roger became #1, but there was "news here." Andy isn't being measured vs "Fedalovic", he's being measured on his results over the previous 12 months, & although I said above that I still think the best player this year was Djoker. No matter what happens, it's big news that Murray has become #1. He's the 1st Brit to get there, & the 1st player to intrude on Fedalovic since '03. It's quite a big achievement for him on a personal level, & he's playing well enough now that it's very easy to say, "Andy Murray's currently the #1 tennis player in the world..."***

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  19. ***It is worth pointing out that Andy has passed Novak w/o getting pts for his OG.

    Comparing Andy's & Novak's yr:

    TITLES:
    Novak: 2 Slams, 4 Masters, 1 ATP 250 (7 total)
    Andy: 1 Slam, 3 Masters, 3 ATP 500s, Olympics (8 total)

    Just on titles, Novak has been significantly better.

    RECORD
    Novak: 61-8 (88%)
    Andy: 73-9 (89%)

    Here we see why Andy has an edge in pts: he's played 13 more matches than Novak, going 12-1. ...In fact, if you take the Olympics out Andy has a 66-9 record to Novak's 61-7; so the diff. in non-Olympics becomes 5-2 to Andy.

    Given that, it seems odd that Andy w/b ahead on acct of 5 add'l match wins, given Novak's overall superior performance in the "Big 12" (4 Slams, 8 Masters) w/ the 13th still t/b played:

    NOVAK
    4 Slams: 2000, 2000, 1200, 90 = 5290
    Masters: 1000, 1000, 1000, 1000, 600, 360, 180, 10 = 5150
    6 best other results (incl. 4 mandatory 500): 250, 90, 0, 0 = 340
    = 10,780


    ANDY
    4 Slams: 2000, 1200, 1200, 360 = 4760
    Masters: 1000, 1000, 1000, 600, 600, 360, 45, 45, 0 = 4650
    Other Countable Results: 500, 500, 500, 275 (Davis Cup) = 1775
    = 11185

    So there it is. Novak was superior in Slams & Masters by 1030 pts, but Andy more than made up for it in other tourneys - mainly the 3 ATP 500s he won, plus his DC pts. I guess it just shows you that even the lit'l tourneys ct.
    ---

    There's a chance that 1 group @ the YEC will get both Wawrinka & Cilic. So, you know Djokovic & Murray are praying that does not happen at all.***

    My guess is since Nole dropped to #2, he's going to get them both! He really hurt himself by not winning just 1 more match in Paris! He's going down to his pigeons now; what's going on?

    ***How do you think Djokovic's form would change post Paris? Do you think he can improve his form & make some sort of an impact at WTF? And what about AO?***

    Up to the FO I could depend on him @ every event; winning Madrid unexpectedly by taking a last min. invitation from Tiriac himself! Djoker's been a near disaster since winning in Paris; barely making it over the finish line when he used to own the fall season! All he had to do was have ordinary results; not nec. win, but he's been looking bad! He's having trouble w/ his pigeons as well as the other Big 3 w/ Stan & Andy! Nole has a winning record over Murray, but he hasn't been able to "get there!" I just don't know now! It seems like it makes sense that near perfection in '15 into '16 was going to have an adverse affect sooner or later; notwithstanding what drama is going on behind the scenes! I would think he'll make the semi's of the YEC & get knocked out! He may try to come back fresh in '17, but recent results say he'll probably be upset early, maybe before the 4th Rd "down under!" It has to start happening after winning so many titles in a row! Heaven knows it hit Roger & Rafa hard as well after their near "lock" on majors & Masters when in their prime! I suppose he c/b breaking down too; he's so spindly, it's almost scary!

    ***Does Djokovic have an injury?***

    I couldn't watch that much of the match, but when I surfed by he was shaking out his arm! Since the Olympics, he obviously has taken something off his serve! Been there myself playing exactly 30 yrs, 1/2 the X my arm wanted to fall off! I played all the X, destroying rackets & changing style every few months! Rackets were really "clubs" w/ strings & a leather grip on it! I didn't go to anything special in the way of a racket to help fading confidence until '83 buying Martina's Yonex R-7! I still have it, but it didn't stop me from buying another 30 in all sorts of materials! I settled on Edberg's Wilson Pro Staff in '97! My mom bought me a couple for my 40th BD! Never really had arm trouble w/ those sticks before retiring 5 yrs later!

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  20. ***...Murray still had to win those titles in order to reach the top ranking. He might not have beaten any of the Big 4 players, but he still had to get the job done.

    At this pt, Murray really has 3 main goals in his career:

    1. Win the AO
    2. Win the WTF's
    3. Win the FO

    The reason I prioritized the WTF over RG is b/c I don't think he believes he will win Paris. IMO, just reaching the RG final was a huge accomp. for him already. As for WTF, this is his best chance to win the title. And b/c it's in his home country, he s/b able to play well (I hope so!) - On a side note: Winning more Masters 1000 crowns & maybe surpassing Agassi w/b a minor goal for him. It w/b interesting to see if he could win IW & Monte Carlo in the future to complete his collection.
    ---

    I think people don't understand how hard it is to do what Novak did from late '14 thru mid-'16. In fact, no one has done it--been that dominant over a yr 1/2--w/ the possible exception of Rod Laver way back in the 60s. Disappointed fans need to wake up a bit. Novak is unlikely to go back to that form. What's more likely is that he finds that '12-14 form for 2 more years; wins a few more Slams. But to expect '15 again...well, ain't gonna happen.
    ---

    WTF Groups announced - no doubt Murray got the tougher draw (Stan, Kei, Marin) - Wow, that's a brutal draw for Andy. Novak's got it very easy. Exhausted Thiem, Injured Milos, & "tanker" Monfils in his group. After seeing the draw, I think there's a very high chance that Nolandy would not meet in SF.
    ---

    The way Djoker had in fighting for #1 & Muzza are "bit diff. Djoker was passing among Best double Fedal in history. The way Muzza gains it is probably not so similar. It's like Xmas gift when every other is away. His way won't be for rememberance, just a stat.
    ---

    According to live-tennis, JWT's career high ranking is #5. Simon has also been up as far as #6 & Gasquet as #7.***

    Wow, this era was weaker than I thought! What a pathetic list of players who've been around for yrs & not making any mark except a "highlight reel" of fantastic pts! That didn't get them a victory over a top player to win a major or even a Masters 1000 except JWS!

    ***What in terms of French players?***

    As good as all of them have shown themselves t/b; haven't won much! Tsonga picked up a Masters sev. yrs ago, but the rest are just on the rankings w/ lit'l to nothing to show for it! I remember JW more for his loss in Paris vs Nole in the QF of the FO; had 4 MP's & blew it; surrendering the 5th 6-1! I was done w/ him and the rest of the frogs! Love their style, but all are "mental" it seems!

    ***Every yr ITF designates a "world champion" (player of the yr). They take into consideration only the ITF sponsored events. Obviously more wt. to Slams & < to Olympics & DC. They don't use any formula & let a board vote subjectively on it. It w/b interesting to see as to who they designate for this year, esp. if Andy becomes YE #1 in the ATP rankings chart. Starting from '78, there were only 4 occasions when the YE #1 of the ATP & the WC of ITF were diff. Novak has been designated POY for the last 5 yrs in a row. He was designated as such by ITF even in '13 when Rafa snatched the YE #1 from him.***

    ...Rafa legitimately was the #1 players w/ 2 majors & sev. Masters to his name! The ITF gave "POY" to Nole for his overall consistency & playing in every major final winning 1 "down under!" If anyone snatched anything, it was our boy Nole, getting the alt. top award from the ITF over the acknowledged top rankings of the ATP! It didn't bother me of course, but I'm sure Nadal's fans were livid! I'm betting Nole still takes POY due to accomplishment of CGS & winning 4 Masters!

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  21. ***The battleground states are very close. Even if Hillary wins, I have a feeling you won't see her declaring victory at 10. The key ones on the East coast could take a good while to sort out. C/b we all end up watching intently which of the one's of them on a knief's edge and what's happening in say AZ, Nevada, and New Mexico. All the West Coast races seem settled already.***

    Maybe, but I'd rather have Clinton's path to the EC; check out the States! Nat'l polls mean nothing @ this pt!

    ***For sure Clinton has the upper hand, but not like the election is over. Things are much closer in the battleground states than in the Nat'l polls. And what happens in them may take some X to sort out. Main thing Hillary has going for her is that she only has to win some of them while Trump either has to roll them or pull off some big shockers. ...Michigan in recent polls has looked real tight.....part of why she went there. Notice she didn't go to Colorado (which would also be a key Trump steal), but that 1 just seems a pipe dream....pun intended.***

    I may have to retire in CO!

    ***But I'm NOT homophobic, xenophobic or racist & I don't smell bad. - That's what all you closeted 'rump rangers' that have that weird undefinably funky smell who have never been anywhere probably say.***

    These people are in complete denial; "I'm not racist or misogynistic!" Yeah, right; we'll just take your word for it after supporting a racist, misogynist pig!

    ***Most of them are pretty much defined by paranoid anger, not logic.
    ---

    So this whole FBI thing was just to get a Monday morning headline - Yea, & to make people think the FBI actually did something.***

    Who you tellin'? Comey has ruined his reputation & won't make it to the end of his 10 yr term! I'd be surprised if he lasts the year! He's shown himself t/b incompetent & political when he supposedly was impartial; his actions prove differently!

    ***So...If I don't like Hillary and her criminal ways...It must mean I'm RACIST!***

    No you don't need to vote for Hillary, but if you're supporting Trump, something's wrong w/ you! If she's a criminal w/ all the good work she's done, how do you ignore the racist, misogynist comments of the guy? He's vile, is trying to undermine our democracy talking about everything's fixed! If that's the case, they should have fixed him to lose early & not embarrass the party the way he has for months! Not sure what they're going to do after he gets humiliated by the EC landslide!

    ***I wouldn't go so far as sitting pretty, but the article pts out how Trump very well could win. And people are acting like it is a done deal.***

    No, it hasn't "been called," but look @ the exit polls, the support from blacks & Latinos; where's the path really besides in "your head?" He has to flip a blue state and I can't see it even w/ the tightening of polls!

    ***The path, actually more than 1 of them is in the OP. Surely you don't think Politico is like Briebart. And yes Clinton has support from both Latinos a& Afro-Americans, but that was known before. A huge + for Hillary was that Latinos are coming out strong, but then Afro-Americans have not. So those 2 might balance each other out. Both of those pt to the Rust Belt as the place where he's more likely to win though, even if it might put places like Nevada out of reach. And you want a blue state to flip -- try MO. Not saying it'll happen, but assume you've followed the polls there & how Clinton all of a sudden flew in to play defense after ignoring the state for so long.***

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  22. ***Hillary w/b a 2 term president - If Hillary can show herself t/b effective, than I expect people will pinch their noses & vote for her again.***

    The bad smell is relentless haranguing of Reps & cons & anyone who listens to these assholes deserve what happens to them; the country included! How many X's do we have to see what a rotten job was done when they were in control under "W;" economic crash, war, & became a Nat'l disgrace! Obama brought us back, even w/ the obstruction & foot-draggin'; I see no difference w/ Hillary! She will win again!

    ***The odds are against it from happening. 1st, if she were to win a 2nd term it would break the record for most cons. 2 term Presidents in US history. We've never had 4 2-termers in a row before. 2nd, for the US to make it thru the 2020 election w/o a recession would break the record for the longest economic expansion in the post-WWII period. So the odds of 1 happening on her watch is high. 3rd, Hillary w/b entering office w/ some of the worst approval #'s we've ever seen in the modern era. It w/b difficult for her to improve on that. ...Incumbents that have faced a strong primary challenge in the modern era have gone on to lose the gen. election. I was of the opinion that no matter who won this year, they w/b a one term President. I'm sticking to that prediction.***

    These aren't normal X's unfortunately for you cons.! Reps have systematically cut their own throats w/ their lack of understanding & relationship w/ women, minorities, & immigrants! They've alienated everyone but low info white men; which is why they'll continue to lose! The '12 autopsy told them all this & they still chose a clown to be their standard bearer! It's truly sick in these X's to hear the disgusting & vile things said by people like that who expect others to come around to their bigoted & pathetic way of thinking!

    ***She's still the 2nd least liked Pres candidate in modern polling history. And no matter what happens she'll not be able to get the "it" factor next X around. So if she gets a 3rd term (of Obama) she had better hope that Trump stays active & tears the GOP apart while no 3rd-party w/ sense & charisma swoops in.***

    Only b/c losers keep repeating that MANTRA over & over again! When she's in office & working, she gets nothing but glowing reviews! Go find another whipping girl; Hillary's the Prez so get over it idiot!

    ***Sorta funny -- you thinking that the media is to blame for her low likeability ratings in the polls? What a Trump-like theory. And I figure can blame about her all I want.***

    MSM just facilitator of misinformation & false charges! They need t/b more selective to things they broadcast; esp. the BS of Hillary had pending prosecution against her by way of Comey letter from the FBI! That was a total lie & I hope it blows up in their faces when people are incensed by this filthy trick days before an election!

    ***LOL -- for sure the media just reports what gets the most ratings. Sorta of the dynamic, but seems you want to cast blame like Trump does for the Lion going after what grazing animal is at the back of the herd. And Comey don't work for the media. He just created the frenzy, even if he tried his best to put the genie back in the bottle. No dirty trick involved, just CYA.***

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  23. ***If Clinton won, many would say keep the Electoral College. Trump wins, many say get rid of it. It was set up to provide representative power for states big & small, as well as the populace. It's done in the same way as the Senate & House. That's why some states have 3 or 4 votes, CAL has 55 being the most populated state. It works; it's worked for many, many yrs. But when your ox gets gored it's the devil. X to move onward & upward.***

    Not me! If this country has that many knuckleheads willing to vote for a racist, misogynist pig, we deserve what happens! It might j/b the Apocalypse! Thank goodness I'm old & stopped caring! "Good luck Millennials; you might have blown your future!"

    ***The answer to the ?? being asked - I felt that Electoral College should have never existed to begin w/. I always felt that each vote of every person should count b/c of our Preamble for the United States:***

    The Bill Of Rights & The Constitution has held us in good stead even w/ bigots, racists, & total morons running the show! We should survive, but I'm just more disappointed in US as a country in the 21st century to actually allow such a creature this much power! I know I'm disgusted & people I know, including relatives are musing about a move abroad! I don't blame them; still sick from last night!

    ***Trump wins, many say get rid of it...- BS! Many people have been saying to get rid of it for decades. It makes some people's votes more important than others & personally I think that's wrong.
    ---

    Hey, don't blame my gen. for this. If only Millennials voted, Hillary would have won by a landslide:***

    It's their types who thinks it's fashionable to vote for a 3rd party candidate which made the diff. in several states! FLA alone was very close, but 3+ M votes went to Johnson! It's not just the M's, but they're leading the way & I hope they don't wind up paying for it since they have so many more yrs to live in this world! I practically couldn't care <; we've proved to be getting dumber, not smarter unfortunately!

    ***I understand why we have the EC - I get that it was intended so the big states didn't get all the campaigning etc. But I have a problem w/ it lately cause every 4 yrs it's the same handful of states that get all the attention - both candidates do all their campaigning in those same handful of states and the rest of us (solid blue & red) get ignored. So I'm fine w/ doing away w/ it or maybe someone can come up w/ an improvement, but it feels broken right now.
    ---

    ...And you pointed out that the candidates are spending all of their X in swing states anyway. Now they would have to try & reach as many folks as possible. We can keep it as it is & my vote doesn't count b/c of the EC or keep it the way it is & my vote counts b/c we have elim. it. I like the latter idea.***

    It's amazing how it keeps coming down to FLA so often w/ as corrupt the officials are; limiting early voting & polling places! I'll never get over 2000 w/ that "butterfly" ballot that tricked minorities into selecting Pat Buchanan! Everywhere in the state the rules, machines, or ballots seem t/b diff. to interfere w/ a legitimate count of about 8 million votes!

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  24. An uncle sent me this:

    ***This was written by Corey Booker an hr ago & I found it inspirational.

    Early Morning Thoughts on Today, Nov. 9th.

    This is not a time to curl up, give up or shut up.
    It is time to get up; to stand up, to speak words that heal, help, and recommit to the cause of our country.

    We had an election defeat, but we are not defeated.
    We hurt, we fear, we may even regret that we did not do more.
    But character is not defined, forged or built in good times.
    The fire of adversity forges our steel.
    And the searing heat of defeat reveals what we are made of.
    We tell our truth not in what happens to us but in how we react – how we face a setback; how we rise when knocked down; how we work through fatigue and frustration; how we bring grit to our grief and heart to our hurt.

    The will of a patriot is indomitable.
    I regret that we have but one life to give to our country.
    And thus, as long as we have breath in our bodies and blood in our veins, nothing can stop us from serving, helping, sacrificing and struggling for the cause of America - a cause that is 240 years old, a cause greater than our pain, sorrow, or fears - a cause that has seen agony, loss, setback, and defeats – but one that has never, ever surrendered.

    We are shaken, but our will must be firm.
    This finite defeat will not end our infinite hope - in us, in America, in all her people no matter what their faith, race, or political party.

    Our light is inextinguishable, no matter how much darkness we face.
    We must be brilliant now, when it is needed most, not a dim, dull capitulation to the gloom that abounds.

    We are prisoners of hope - knowing hope and faith do not exist in the abstract; they are the active conviction that frustration and despair will never have the last word.

    So let us stand up today. Let us pledge allegiance to our nation with renewed conviction and courage.

    Let us be determined to reach out to our fellow countrywomen and men.

    Let us encourage others.
    Let us be gracious.
    Let us seek to build bridges where they have been burned.
    Let us seek to restore trust where it has been eroded. Let us stand our ground but still work to find common ground.
    Let us be humble and do the difficult work of finding ways to collaborate and cooperate with those whose political affiliations may differ from ours.

    But let us never, ever, surrender, forfeit, or retreat from our core values, our fundamental commitments to justice over prejudice; economic inclusion over poverty and unmerited privilege; and, always, love over hate.

    Let us speak truth to power; fiercely defend those who are bullied, belittled, demeaned or degraded; and tenaciously fight for all people and the ideals we cherish.

    It is a new day.
    We love our country; we will serve it, defend it, and never stop struggling to make its great promise real for all.

    And no one gets a vote on that.***

    I guess I'm not that big! It's going t/b difficult t/b that magnanimous after all the hateful shit coming out of Trump's mouth over the years!

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  25. ***This is going t/b an unpopular opinion, but as elections in many countries prove - there's an alarming dumbing down of the gen. pop. I think voters' eligibility should come w/ a min. ed. requirement.***

    1/2 would lose eligibility here in the STATES; easy!

    ***That wouldn't be a bad thing. Having been to the US many X's & spoken to ordinary people, the lack of any kind of knowledge about anything is quite shocking. ...What language do they speak in England? - ...People don't know what they're doing & are really putting the world @ risk.
    ---

    Trump supporters wouldn't have passed the test b/c they believed Trump's lies & always misrepresented Hillary's positions on issues. ...***

    You're giving "people" entirely too much credit! After the election of Trump last wk, I've totally given up on the collective IQ or exceptionalism of this country! We took on a racist, misogynist pig as leader of the free world & there's not a lot we can do about it! The man's vengeful & will go after every single person that made fun of him; including Obama, Hillary, Alec Baldwin, Bill Mahar, & even judges who still have cases before them! People forgot he's being sued & under scrutiny for his pawing of women in the past! He even had the nerve to criticize Bill Clinton when he wasn't exactly mauling women the way Trump is reported to have done so often over the many yrs of his pathetic life! Hate crimes might just increase w/ lit'l justice that Obama's "Executive Order" addressed! Only X will tell!

    ***I agree. I'm ashamed of my fellow white demographic for voting for that guy. Absolutely disgusting. = ...Just to the left who still can't come to terms w/ fact their chosen 1 lost.***

    Well we'll see! So far it's been a nightmare just trying to staff his admin.! He's paying too much attention to loyalty over competence! Trashing the Iranian deal & maybe exacerbating tension w/ Russia are already on the list of things to fk up! The hypocrisy's mind-numbing; bitchin' about Hillary & Bill accepting foreign $$ for their charity while Trump's closest advisors are bought & paid for by foreign gov't! Giving his kids "secret intel access" is just the start of this disaster! "Good luck America; you asked for it!"

    ***A nightmare; really? It's been 1 wk & 1 day since the election. I feel 100% safe in saying the current President did not have his admin. staffed in 1 wk & a day back in '08; grow up.***

    He can take all the X he wants; still going t/b the shadiest group of characters! W/ suggesting of real creeps like Giuliani, Sessions, Cruz, & Gingrich to fill positions, it c/b a little disconcerting! I'm old & couldn't care <! The people have spoken; just don't want to live long enough to hear the kvetchin' later!

    ***Can't wait for some real news for the media to report. The speculation diatribe is getting old. ...***

    I think Obama got over the hump fairly easily due to immediate selection of Clinton as Sec. of St! That quelled nerves & gave the media something to talk about while he filled the other positions! He also had seasoned veterans helping out like Rahm Emanuel! People have got t/b a bit uneasy w/ characters like Gingrich, Sessions, Cruz, & Giuliani heading the transition! These people are bought & paid for by foreign countries, but thought nothing of constantly kvetchin' about Clintons taking $$ from the same people for a charity! Absolute hypocrisy! What else can we expect from such reprobates?

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  26. ***The mark keeps changing in the ATP & from what we know, each gen. gets better & better.***

    Players truly are better than past gens, but unfortunately for them "The Big 4" have made them look ordinary when most can't even reach a major final, much < win it! I still remember fondly 20+ yrs ago, you could very well have a dozen GS major winners in the men's draw; now it's the same 5 or 6 & even that's just increased due to late surge of Wawrinka! ...We need a new superstar; hopefully Thiem, Zrevev, & Poulle excel & fulfill promise where others have come up short!

    ***I'm not convinced that Murray's a "Big 4" yet. He's a weak-minded whiner who thrives under Lendl's strong arms. Djoker, Nadal & Fed are the real deal; even Wawrinka got bigger balls (& game) than Murray.***

    ...From Tsonga, Berdych, Ferrer, Gasquet, & Monfils to the more recent stars of Dimitrov, Isner, Querrey, & so many others w/ "huge games," there's this mental block that keeps them from achieving more! There's been a slow change in my thinking w/ Zverev, Thiem, & Poulle! They're doing better, but the "Big 4" are approaching the end & retirement so I wouldn't be too full of myself if I were them! Thiem came out smoking & took advantage of Nole's timid play, but it ended up being lit'l more than a practice session! I still see good things for him, but I said the same about Grigor & see what's happened to him?

    ***That's the thing. I hate how all those players get literally intimidated by these top guys. After that, their games fall off, they start hitting a consistent 2-3 errors per game & that's that. I guess the intensity of the match is too big for them. - All the guys in Nole's RR Div. are his pigeons anyway!***

    I guess that's no lie after Thiem came out smoking! He tried to give it up in "straights," but managed to take 1st set TB after 3 DF's! I think Nole turned it into a nice practice session b/c he "schooled" the kid & made him swallow a bagel in the 2nd before closing Thiem out in 3! - This tourney's like a couple others; Andy's wasted his X so far trying to win! Hadn't even made a final after all this X; the same players YI & YO have dominated! Roger & Nole have owned it like no others in the past! Andy's tenure @ #1 w/b shorter than that of Rios who didn't even win 1 major & overtook Agassi for top honors after beating him in Miami back in '98!

    ***Like Stan, Hana Mandlikova apparently was ridiculously talented, but inconsistent beyond belief. When she was on, she was stunning, but when she was off, it could get ugly.***

    Truly the only player that drew any kind of "fear" from Martina was Hana! You just never knew how she'd come out & play; lights out w/ winners sprayed all over the place 1 day, while the next it looked like she needed a remedial course in stroke production! She had a great serve & a FH that rivaled the best! She could get unbelievable speed on her shots when others couldn't before the new tech of rackets! Martina could serve into that FH & it would come back faster! She could beat Martina on grass & Evert on clay! She was a legitimate #3 in the world, but like Murray or Stan, shd a lot more w/ the talent she had! One of the most fantastic matches ever have been btw Martina & Hana w/ brilliant shot-making & spectacular power tennis that makes today's players look like amateurs! There was style & grace w/ them; unlike the mindless aggression of today where 1/2 the X I don't think the players know where the shot's going!

    ***It's too bad that Mandlikova couldn't be more of a consistent challenge to Evert & Navratilova. After Austin & Jaeger fell of the map due to injuries, she was only a sporadic threat to their dominance until Graf came onto the scene. I wished I had watched her live.***

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  27. ***...Now, pressure w/b mounting on Andy. He now knows that he needs to finish as the winner of his group to avoid meeting Nole in SF. Tanking is no longer a strategy for Andy. He needs to try to win everything.***

    I don't understand! If Andy wants to solidify & put that stamp of being the best this season, he probably needs to beat Nole; SF or F! I think the SF w/b better chance for him! He's yet to play a YEC Final; much < for all the marbles as POY & #1!

    ***Murray has won 2 OG's for the country. What has Novak got for his other than silverware?***

    I hope people aren't valuing that little coin on a ribbon over a Major! I guarantee people of my era couldn't care < how many exh. medals people have like Graf, Nadal, & now Murray w/ 2! So what? Majors have always weighed more & they always will! Roger's set himself apart w/ huge winning runs & the 2 preeminent events of Wimbl. & the USO while his foil made more of a name for himself hogging the lone clay Major in Paris! Nole joins the trio by taking up residency in OZ w/ 6 titles! Murray doesn't have X to do much of anything noteworthy except maybe surprising everyone by winning a CGS; that's his lone chance which isn't likely! He could add a FO & AO titles so he'd have a CYGS, but his record w/b more comparable to Sharapova than any other GOAT!

    ***Monfils has rib injury. He said in the post match interview that he may pull out & let Goffin play Joker.***

    That might defeat Murray-fan plans of avoiding Nole in the SF; unless he wimps out & takes a dive vs Stan or Kei if the need arises! Goffin can pick up an add'l $179,000 if he can take Djokovic!

    ***Even if Murray loses this YE #1, he'll get it back early on next yr most likely. Djokovic has a lot of pts to defend in the 1st half of the yr.***

    ...& not so many to defend in the last 1/2 of the year so he'll take it right back! Murray's on a nice run, but sooner or later, that ridiculous defensive game is going to catch up w/ him & he'll start losing early! Mark my words; we've seen it enough w/ Rafa!

    ***...Stan started winning Slams at an older age than the LAST Slams won by Becker, Edberg, Wilander, McEnroe, & Borg. He is truly 1 of a kind &, thru his uniqueness, has somehow evaded the usual criticisms that top players face.***

    Hey; I've already said let's not even mention Borg's name when discussing Murray! Borg won 90% percent of his "major" matches, ending w/ 11 SLAMS which is almost 1/2 played before he turned 27! In comparison, Murray woefully underachieved & can't even wallow in the wake of a 'Courier' who held the #1 ranking for quite a while waiting for Sampras to come into his own! Come on; all those players outshone Andy! Mon Dieu! IMO there's only 1 thing he has a chance to make a real name for himself & that completing a CGS & it doesn't look like that's going to happen!

    ***What's this obsession w/ Murray & comparing him to people who are contenders for all X GOAT? He's obviously not in that bracket so why keep comparing him to Borg or Fedalovic? - Murray's what he is - a X slam winner, double Olympic champion & a world #1, no matter how briefly that turns out t/b. He is below the likes of Borg & Federer, but above the likes of Wawrinka. It would make more sense to compare him to the players mentioned by El Dude - the likes of Hewitt and Kuerten - because that's the bracket he's in.***

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  28. ***Seems Goffin is in the wrong event. Anyways, both he and Nole had < than -10 W/UE differential. Djokovic essentially proving how over ranked Goffin is, = though he played horrifyingly bad himself, it has to be said. It w/b interesting to see how things unfold from here. how hard will Nishikori choke in the semis?***

    Goffin has no real weapon so his opp. can't be elite if he expects to compete! He's a solid enough player, but he'll be lit'l more than other "also-rans" like Ferrer, Berdych, Gasquet, & Tsonga who have more talent & power! He's probably overachieving a lit'l by breaking into the top 10, but it won't last unfortunately! He was not ready to play in this event & probably didn't think he would even appear in a single match!

    ***Djoke's 3 wins were not impressive. He'll need to get himself together over the break if he wants to stay in the top 3 next yr.***

    I'll keep saying it; Nole hasn't been impressive since Qatar! He has been limping along since he won the FO & it's a wonder he's been able to hold onto his top ranking for this long but for the huge lead from last season! He's played just well enough to stay ahead of the ATP also-rans that I'll continue to call "gutless!" Roger was on his last legs, Rafa's even losing matches to his compatriots w/ leads, while Nole's been mediocre at best! It took a perfect storm for Murray to get where he is & Nole still has a chance to reclaim & hold onto the #1 ranking during the long dead period btw now & the AO! He's had every break so far w/ pigeons in his group, not to mention the cakewalk to the final of the USO w/ WD's, opp. injuries, & walkovers! He allowed Stan to take him! He has another chance to show he's "the best" & deserves to have that moniker!

    ***Novak has seemingly "struggled" after RG this yr. During that span of X he's still 20-5, or an 80% win rate. In '16, only Novak & Andy had win % >ter.
    ---

    It's actually nice to see someone rooting for Raonic here.***

    I'd love to see a new winner come along; been rooting for Kei, Grigor, & Milos for quite a while & see great promise in the newest gen. w/ Zverev, Pouille & Thiem!

    ***...I assume you mean, has there ever been a situation where 2 players have met in all 4 slam finals & the WTF final during their careers? In which case, yes: Djokovic & Nadal.***

    People always thought Borg/McEnroe, Connors/Borg, Lendl/McEnroe, Laver/Rosewall, Sampras/Agassi, & a few others were THE comp. final "to see!" I don't think any of them = the Nadal/Djokovic rivalry & finals! The FO saved it from being more 1-sided IMO w/ Rafa winning all but 1 of the matches in Paris! They've met the most & only in the last 2 yrs has it started being in Nole's favor; competitively & overall record-wise! Federer s/b thanking his stars that Nole was around to stop Rafa from dominating for yrs, obliterating the recordbooks & his legacy! Roger only had the #'s in his favor while being Nadal's pigeon on just about every surface!

    ***The closest case would seem to be '77, when Connors beat Borg in the WTF finals & finished #1, w/ Borg ending the year @ #3. But #1-3 was really close, w/ Connors having no Major titles, but 2 Major finals & wins @ WTF & the WCT finals. Vilas having the FO & USO titles, & Borg having the Wimbledon title. I don't think a Borg win in the WTF finals would have changed the YE #1, but it probably whb close.

    2000 was a close call, but Agassi beat Safin in the SF. Otherwise, I think Kuerten-Safin in the final would have determined YE #1. Another close 1 was '73. Newcombe had won the AO and the USO, but otherwise had just an okay yr. Nastase had won just the FO, but had a really good yr outside the Majors.***

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  29. ***Will Federer ever compete at WTF's ever again?***

    The thing is, will Roger even accept a bid to play? Looking back @ '08, Nadal begged out w/ a foot injury & Simon brought in as his alternate! The ATP needed another couple alt's! I had forgotten 24 players declined to take the positions due to DC play or wanting to save themselves for the next season!

    ***...funny how such things can j/b assumed!***

    W/ Nole playing his best last season, it didn't take much to assume he would finish the season strong taking the last 2 (6) Masters events, Beijing, & the WTF! We've only been a lit'l stymied since the FO where he just hasn't seemed t/b "w/ it!" He even skipped his fave tourney in China; never losing except if not playing! He still has a chance to reclaim & hold onto his #1 ranking; getting every brk possible @ the YEC! If he doesn't do it, he might be just "totally done" IMO! Even his pet major "down under" might see him in jeopardy of not making it to the final!

    ***Maybe the biggest single match in tennis history; Nole/Andy in WTF final for #1.***

    For Murray maybe! I've lived too long & seen well over 40 yrs of matches to ever elevate a YEC final as anything historic; even if it decides #1! Being this close in pts, they'll jockey back & forth until 1 breaks ahead w/ an extra major win & Masters! Only X'll tell; but my $$'s on Nole! It would look pretty bad in the grand scheme of things to have an "also-ran" like Murray taking over #1 for more than a few mins w/ ATG's still competing! Nole has to do Fedalovic proud by snatching back the top spot for tennis history's sake if there is any to have! It only becomes something historic in Nole's hand since Andy, like Stan & Cilic decided to wait until the end of their careers to have their breakthru's!

    ***...Now here's what I think about Federer vs Djokovic...

    Federer's strengths are:

    WTF titles. If Djokovic wins the YEC, it'll also be his 6th, so a Federer strength w/b tied

    YE #1. If Djokovic wins the WTF, it w/b his 5th YE #1, so a Federer strength w/b tied. Sampras also has 6, so really Fed isn't that special to begin w/.

    Wks @ #1. If Djokovic wins the WTF, he w/b back @ #1 & add more wks in the off season. He'll again make a move on another 1 of Federer's strength in the upcoming future. Sampras is also too close to Fed, it's not really that special of a tally.

    HC GOAT. If Djokovic wins the WTF, the debate for the HC GOAT will again be very close. Fed has 4 AO, 5 USO, 6 WTFs, 18 Masters 1000 while Djokovic has 6 AO, 2 USO, 6 WTFs, 22 Masters 1000. Things will get very interesting, no clear HC GOAT.

    Grass GOAT. Laver has 9 slams on grass. Sampras is tied w/ Federer at 7 grass slams. No clear Grass GOAT.

    USO GOAT. Sampras & Connors already are tied w/ Fed. No clear USO GOAT.

    Wimb GOAT. Sampras already is tied w/ Federer. No clear Wimb GOAT.

    Basically, a lot of Federer's strengths are being matched or surpassed. There's nothing very diff. btw Djokovic, Federer & Sampras. Federer fans as well as Federer himself better hope that Murray "brings it" tomorrow cause otherwise his GOAT claim is getting weaker by the min. Many of his strengths are not that special, unique or untouchable. Djokovic is exposing Federer or at least making him < special.
    ---

    Raonic's better than Kei. Mind you, he's a 1990s player & Nishikori a 1980s. I don't think of them as the same gen.***

    Raonic's a throwback & more than likely w/ his serve has more an upside = though Kei has more ability & weapons! Both won't get as much out of their individual talent due to being physically brittle! That's unfortunate b/c I love both their games! It's a shame they truly will end up being dubbed part of the lost gen. w/ Goffin, Dimitrov, Sock, RB-A & Tomic! All should have accomplished so much more, but obviously something's lacking btw the ears!

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  30. ***POY - Andy Murray

    Dubs Team of the Yr - Jamie Murray & Soares

    Most improved POY - Lucas Pouille

    Newcomer of the Yr - Taylor Fritz

    Comeback POY - JM del Potro
    ---

    Djokovic won the 1st 2 GS's of the yr; both vs Murray, his record 6th AO title & his 1st FO title, thus completing the CGS & Non-CYGS. Murray won his 2nd Wimbl. & 3rd GS title, & defended his OGM. Wawrinka won his 3rd GS title @ the USO.
    ---

    ...When 1 man has made such achievements on all surfaces, who's the GOAT has been clear.***

    Fed's the GOAT; got it! 2 other GOAT's wound up having his #! He might have saved himself the indignity of adding Nole to the list if he had retired after winning that last Wimbledon! I know it might not have made any sense b/c he was #1 & has been able to sustain top form for the most part, but his mystique & legend whb more like a BORG if he had left on top! I've seen the best come & go; some left in a timely fashion like Sampras, Lendl, & Borg while others hung on a lit'l too long, hurting their legacies like Rosewall, Connors, & now Federer! Some say it won't take away from the real #'s & records, but adding on so many extra yrs, it makes a difference to me!

    ***You haven't clearly said what about the tour bothers you so much.
    ---

    1. The 2 top players at the moment rarely come near the net.

    2. They both play a very similar style, which is mostly about wearing down other players. Very little attacking.

    3. They continue to dominate over a whole bunch of players who are @ the age where these younger players s/b @ their peak, or near it.

    4. The next gen. is not yet strong enough t/b serious contenders in M1000s & slams & are still struggling to push thru in M500s & M250s.

    5. SnV players are way too inconsistent to win w/ that style. Think of guys like Brown or Mischa Zverev who c/b brilliant in a single match, but are way too inconsistent & "patchy" to string together matches.

    6. The guys who do have a potentially dominating, aggressive game - players like Raonic - have incredibly weak returns & so can't compete on days when the serve is not fully working.

    7. We almost never see a true rivalry now btw contrasting styles, which is probably what made Fedal so popular; also Agassi/Sampras, McEnroe/Borg, & so on.

    8. Lastly, If I never again see someone bouncing a ball over 10 X's again & again & again, or other players delaying the game in any # of annoying ways (this also includes Nadal & his twitches) I w/b very happy.

    9. I'm sick of top players acting like divas in an opera. (Today was very cool, since both Murray & Novak were very professional.)

    10. I've had it w/ these spoiled players who can't win w/o a box full of supporters practically kissing their asses every X they lose a game b/c they need "encouragement." They are 20-something babies who have been so coddled their entire lives that they can't even conceive of winning a match on their own.***

    I never bounced a ball more than 3 X's! Before my era, I don't think they did it @ all! It was like, 'step up & serve!' No wasted X! I remember a player from the 80's who bounced it 23 X's on the 1st serve & 8 X's on his 2nd! Never failed, but that was his routine & officials lived w/ it! The X clock didn't come into play until much later = though an official was supposed to keep things moving! People didn't = bring towels out onto the courts; used in the middle of a game only if they fell on clay! The 1st match I remember where X was getting out of hand was a WCT match on red clay somewhere in TX w/ Lendl & Clerc! Both started going to the towel = after an ace! It was ridiculous! Now I long for those days; esp. w/ drawn out affairs w/ Nadal & Murray going over 3 1/2 hrs for BO3! Nole started doing it just to compete vs those guys who really push it!

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  31. ***Most tennis statisticians would list indoor as seperate than outdoor HC. Regarding your earlier listing oh grass court - Laver probably has 13 grass court majors if you include amateur, pro & Open Era listings.***

    ...Having more homogenized courts breeds what we have here; dominance by a handful of players whereas the rest of the tour are just glorified "also-rans!"

    ***The # of players who have achieved YE #1 is = < than the 26 GS winners. Andy's just the 17th player t/b anointed YE #1:

    1. Natase
    2. Connors
    3. Borg
    4. JMac
    5. Lendl
    6. Wilander
    7. Courier
    8. Edberg
    9. Sampras
    10. Agassi
    11. Kuerten
    12. Hewitt
    13. Roddick
    14. Federer
    15. Nadal
    16. Djokovic
    17. Murray
    ---

    YE #1 is rather special. It's the only accomp. that compares to a Slam title IMO, & is actually much harder to get. It's interesting to note who's NOT on that list: Boris Becker. He was only #1 for 12 wks, ranked behind Lendl, Wilander, Edberg, Courier, & Sampras.

    Worst YE #1: Gotta be Roddick, Hewitt, then Kuerten. That was the soft era btw Sampra, Agassi, & Fedalovic.***

    OTTH, Hewitt represented well as #1; even if a soft era! He held the ranking for over a yr!

    ***...@ that X Murray had 0. And now the "major" ct.'s 17-14-12-3. Ddon't you think that the gap is lit'l too big btw 12 & 3? And if you look other achievements as well, Murray simply isn't in the same league w/ the "Big 3." He's up w/ Wawrinka.

    Murray has 14 Masters to Wawrinka's 1.
    Murray's got what, 350? wks in the top 4 to Wawrinkas 30?
    Murray's got 43 tourney wins to Wawrinka's 15 or so.
    Murray's got 12 slam finals to Wawrinka's 3.
    Murray's got 29 Big 3 wins vs. Wawrinka's 8 or so.

    Sure, there's a gap btw Murray & the Big 3, but to me it makes sense to have him as part of their group. None of them have ever hinted @ him not belonging in the Big 4. - The whole Big 4 is just a media-made concept w/ no real objective definition anyway. If you think he s/b in it, then that's fine. But I don't think you should call someone a hater j/b they have a diff. opinion.
    ---

    I'll watch Novak before Andy. He used to dominate Andy like he does vs Tsonga or Monfis. So why bother watching?***

    It's already begun when Novak lost to another punching bag he owned; Cilic @ Paris Masters! The Apocalypse is upon us as Nole drops deeper & deeper into a hole! He's been given every brk from the USO draw to YEC RR play! All he had to do was beat someone who played almost 4 hrs the day before & he blew it' losing the tourney & relinquishing his ranking of #1 for the nest few months! No 1 more a fan, but he just seemed listless & not really caring! Andy would have had to donate some pts & it didn't happen! He said being #1 & winning majors aren't as important to him now; guess he's right!

    ***I'm very happy for Murray & for British tennis.***

    Yeah, it only took 80 yrs for the men & 40 years since Wade to make tennis big in England; sans DC & the Olympics I guess! Talk about overachievement! That's a lot in just the last 5-6 yrs1 Unfortunately after Murray exists, I see most X's of them being "all at sea;" sorta like the USA right now!

    ***W/o checking I dare say that Murray's pt. total is the best 3rd when corrected for diff. pts in the past 25 yrs. Better than Fed in '09 for instance, probably better than Djoko in '12 or '14 as well. Probably better than 4-5 of Sampras 6 YE #1's. Weak YE #1 is BS.***

    Djokovic had only a Wimbledon on his resume in '14, but it was thought of as a weak effort after losing in both AO, FO, & USO w/ Becker on the payroll! If not for WO final taking WTF it whb a lean season for the #1 player in the world! Murray didn't do much better! BTW, Fed won 2 majors back in '09 when he took back the #1 ranking from Nadal; FO & Wimbledon!

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  32. *** - http://www.tennisfrontier.com/blogs/el-dude/the-open-era-top-twenty-at-the-end-of-2016/ -

    The Open Era Top Twenty @ the End of '16 - The Open Era spans from the '68 FO to the present. Some of the players on this list—most notably Laver & Rosewall, but also Newcombe & Ashe—had careers spanning that turning pt of modern tennis, even winning Slams before & after. Actually, Laver & Rosewall are the only 2 players to win Pro, Amateur, & Open Era Slams. ...Both were great enough in the Open Era that they s/b included simply by virtue of their Open Era accomplishments, but I just can’t stomach the idea of ranking them lower on this list, as w/b required if we only considered their Open Era careers.

    ...Finally, I’m ranking them in clusters or tiers, b/c there are gaps in terms of which players are closer in their overall greatness. This w/b discussed below. Here is the list:

    1. Laver
    2. Federer
    3. Rosewall

    These are the big 3. For awhile it looked like Rafa was going t/b joining them, but it seems that ship has sailed unless, of course, he (re)discovers the Fountain of Youth in '17. For Rafa to get in, he probably needs at least a couple more Slams. Novak is also a contender for this tier, but the jury is still out. But as of this writing, these 3 stand above the rest of the pack by a solid margin. If we were doing an all-time list I’d probably put Tilden as the 4th, w/ Gonzales also a candidate, but possibly in the next group down.

    No player has had as dominant a decade as Laver, from '60-69. During those 10 yrs he was about as dominant as Federer was for his best 4, '04-07. Add to that not 1, but 2 CYGS's & 200 titles! That’s almost 70 more than the next guy down, Rosewall, & more than double Federer. If we want to find 1 chink in Laver’s armor, it is that he stopped winning Slams in '69. But this is largely due to his scheduling & some of the politics of the early 70s; he only played in 8 Slams from '70-77, although remaining a top 10 player thru '75.

    ...Rosewall was a freak, winning Slams across over 22 yrs—double the range of Laver—winning his 1st Slam in '51 @ age 18 & his last in '72 @ age 37. That w/b like Nadal winning his 1st Slam in '05 @ 19, but winning his last in '24 @ age 38! Rosewall was the Connors of his era; very, very good for a very long X, but there was (almost) always someone better than him. There's Gonzales, then Lew Hoad, then Laver, then Connors. Still, no 1 has the breadth of his career, except for perhaps Navratilova & S. Williams, & no 1 has the Slam count: 23 incl. Pro, Am., & Open (Laver’s total's 19).

    4. Djokovic
    5. Sampras
    6. Nadal

    ...I rank Novak >er than both Pete & Rafa, but understand that it's very close. Pete still has a slight edge w/ his 14 Slams to Novak’s 12 & 6 YE #1's to Novak’s 4, but he's building a stronger overall resume, w/ more titles, almost triple the Masters, & better overall Slam results. Part of this is due to the era; Pete played during a X in which courts were more diverse, having serious trouble on clay. That said, we cannot penalize Novak for playing in the X he has; one of the core qualities of greatness is adapting to the context you play in, and Novak has done that in an almost unparalleled fashion. ...I give the edge to Pete over Rafa. If Novak wins just 2 more Slams, I think my ranking w/b more fully justified. If he wins 3+ & maybe another YE #1, he enters the top echelon of greats. (cont.,)***

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  33. ***7. Bjorn Borg
    - 8. Lendl
    - 9. McEnroe
    -10. Connors
    -11. Agassi

    ...Borg's 1 of the great “What if” stories: what if he hadn’t retired @ age 25? How many Slams would he have finished w/? It's easy to imagine sev. more & him being in the 1st tier; OTOH, he retired when it was clear he was no longer the best player in the sport. I do think he would have won 2 or 3 more, but not 4+. But we’ll never know.

    Still, I have to rank Borg ahead of the rest. Some also might take issue w/ my ranking Lendl ahead of McEnroe, but despite the latter having >er virtuoso brilliance & a higher level of dominance, I must respect the workman-like consistency of Lendl, which saw him playing in 19 Slam finals during 1 of the most comp. eras in tennis history. In fact, Lendl's the only player to have played vs 3 groups of greats playing @ or near their peaks; Connors, Borg & McEnroe in the late 70s to early 80s, Wilander, Edberg, & Becker in the 80s, & Sampras & Agassi in the early 90s. That’s a tough context to play in.

    12. Becker
    13. Edberg
    14. Newcombe
    15. Wilander
    ...

    16. Murray
    17. Vilas
    18. Ashe
    19. Nastase
    20. Courier

    ...Consider who Andy lost 8 X's to: 3 X's to Federer & 5 X's to Djokovic. ...of his 11 chances only once did he not face 1 of the 5 or so best players of the Open Era. Consider that 10 of Roger’s 17 Slam titles were played vs players that are not on this list; he beat Agassi in 1 Slam final, Rafa in 2, Novak in 1 & Andy in 3, and the rest were vs ness, as his match-ups were more consistent w/ historical norms, but to pt out just how hard Andy’s lot has been.

    Rafa and Novak have also had some tough Slam finals, but even Rafa had more (relatively) easy match-ups: Puerta, Soderling, Berdych, & Ferrer. Novak’s only had Tsonga, which accounts for his lower win % in Slam finals: 12-9 (57%) vs Rafa’s 14-6 (70%) & Roger’s 17-10 (63%).

    Honorable Mentions: Smith, Muster, Chang, Kuerten, Kafelnikov, Hewitt, Roddick, Wawrinka.

    There’s a significant (and convenient) gap btw the top 20 & this next group, who w/b the next tier down. None of these players really even come close to the top 20. That said, if Stan Wawrinka wins another Slam it w/b hard not to seriously consider him. ...If Novak wins another Slam or 2, his ranking is stabilized & he c/b looking @ making the Open Era Big 3 a Big 4. Finally...***

    Glancing @ it, quite comprehensive! I can agree w/ the top 10, but those next 10 are very debatable! I wouldn't put Murray, Courier, Ashe, or Vilas anywhere near the top; maybe top 40! IMO, we can't skip the great champions of the past who ruled the tour just as much if not more so than Federer; players like Tilden, Gonzales, Budge, & even Hoad who owned Laver, winning their 1st 7 or 8 matches! I know you narrowed it down to the OPEN Era, but even then I wouldn't put those guys so high! Too many other players accomplished more; including #1's like Hewitt, Safin, & Kuerten! JMHO!
    ---

    I withdraw my opinion! Ashe is still not on my list w/ the spread of his 3 major spanning too long! He was a better amateur player IMO & = when he acquired the #1 ranking, it was fleeting taking advantage of Connors' "sophomore" season after winning 3 majors in '74! Borg was exhausted playing 5 long sets @ the WCT Chp vs Laver in '75 semi where Arthur followed up his Wimbledon win! ...Safin is just another player I thought was the most gifted player; sans the air btw his ears! He shb the Federer of his era; esp. after he annihilated Sampras in the final of USO in 2000! I truly disliked the game of Kuerten; so much like Rafa now where he excelled on clay alone = though holding #1 ranking for a while!

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  34. ***...Sorry Fiero, but you're so off base on this 1! For Roger to have quit @ the age Borg did, '06 whb his last yr.

    ...Of course if Connors had retired after, say '83 or '84, we never would have gotten to see his epic run @ the '91 USO. I think your basic fallacy's that you seem to think Slams are everything. Yes, they're the top prize, but they aren't everything. There's also the joy of the game & if you're a mega-star like Roger or Rafa, $$ incentive for playing.

    You also seem fixated on Borg as the archtype of >ness. I don't agree w/ that. I hate to say it, but Borg kind of chickened out. Johnny Mac surpassed him & rather than re-rallying--like Roger did after '08 Wimbledon--& climbing his way back up to the top & winning a few more, he quit. In fact, I think you could make an argument that retiring early actually lessened his >ness.

    ...But the bottom line is this: the sport is >er for having Fed play for as long as he possibly can, whether he's winning Slams or not or is #1 or not. I mean, I highly doubt he'd keep playing if he couldn't maintain a top 10 ranking & at least a decent chance at winning Slams, but we haven't seen anything like that from him yet.***

    No one said anything about Roger quitting @ 26! I'm pretty sure I've said plenty of X's that a good X for him to have dropped off the tour was after winning his last Wimbledon! True enough he was still #1 & he might have won another major if lucky, but so far it hasn't happened! So far making those finals has done nothing to elevate his standing! "A few more?" NO, it's been 2 majors & the length of X btw them has lengthened! Winning a Masters 1000 here & there won't do it either! All he's done is allowed 2 other GOAT's to surpass him in the H2H! Jimmy's epic run in '91 USO was only epic to his fans! He didn't beat anyone; barely surviving a player not in the top 50; Paul Haarhuis in the 2nd RD! So what? At a certain level like Borg, Connors, & now Federer, winning majors is the only reason to hang on!

    BTW, Borg didn't chicken out! He asked for some X to rest due to the mental exhaustion of being the top player for so long! The silly ATP officials wouldn't give him 2 months instead of lying like today's players making up injuries to justify their absence! If you think it hurt his legacy, why is it that plenty of people still have him on a pedestal? ...We'll see if Roger can maintain his status in the top 10, but if you ask me, that wouldn't be that impressive w/ the pathetic record of the also-rans concerning the Big 4 or 5!

    ***Is Djokovic's game the most aesthetically pleasing to the eye?***

    He makes the style as graceful as it can be for what he does, but aesthetically I'll always pick a s&v player like Edberg w/ grace & on balance over something hideously played like a Murray or Nadal game! I hate 3-5 hr matches, but love that Nole came along to stop either Andy or Rafa from achieving more & will appreciate that over his actual ability! More than likely Roger's thanking the stars for the same reason or his GOAT moniker would end up on the Spaniard!

    ***I gave up watching Edberg v Becker matches; esp. on grass. 3 shot tennis is not to my liking. However its gone too far the other way now and they need to speed the courts up.***

    I think if they speed up the court, approach shots would work better to keep them from being so easily passed by the best in the world! Today, most of the great players have lit'l to no confidence to play the net; almost fearful IMO! If they speed up the court, I think they w/b more effective & finish off pts sooner so 3+ hr contests w/b rare & not the norm!

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  35. ***Djokovic has been lucky in HC slams. He's good, but not 8 slams good. '08 mono Fed, '12 disgusting choke from Nadal from a break up in the final set, & chance to serve for match w/ a BH IIRC (my fellow Nole fans talk about RG '13, but never AO '12), '13 AO Wawrinka was cheated vs Djokovic. '11 & '15 were disgusting chokes from Federer; esp. '11. Djokovic deserved to win '11,'15, & '16 AO's.***

    OMG, here we go! Nole has a bad patch, now all his wins w/b challenged? Absolutely ridiculous & pathetic! I know you must be bored, but acting crazy won't make the X go by any quicker!

    ***I think at the AO, Djokovic has been excellent & has earned his stripes there. but his performance & the USO has been way under par to ever call him any kind of HC GOAT. A HC GOAT can't have 2 USOs.***

    These people seem to forget, if anyone was choking away that '12 AO final match, it was Nole! He was serving for it in the 4th & allowed Rafa back in losing a TB & going down a break in the 5th! He was heroic hanging in there & taking that title going almost 6 hrs after going 5 vs Murray in the semi! You people are so delusional!

    ***Winning Rome Masters, Wimbledon, making the final of 2 other slams, winning the Olympics w/ no ranking pts, & an unprecedented last 5 tourneys of the season including Shanghai, Paris Masters, & WTF not good for you then ffs?***

    But OTTH Nole had more Majors & Masters; that's why people think the system's screwed up! I know exactly what happened w/ the smaller tourneys that helped Murray steal #1; doesn't make it right w/ some people!

    ***Ah that's right. ...Don't blame it on the small tournaments. They didn't do that much. It was the big ones that really counted.***

    Honey, I've been assoc. w/ tennis since '73 & well know how it works! I'm just telling you that yrs from now people will wonder just like we look at Connors or McEnroe w/ the #1 ranking w/ lit'l to show for it! In '77 Vilas won 2 majors & won over 100 matches, but he was still relegated to 3rd behind the current stars of Borg & Connors! Since then, they've increased the # of pts allocated for a major win, but in this case, it obviously wasn't enough to save Nole!

    ***2 slams are 2 slams; Djokovic slam is historical, % 3-2 H2H is also something. Djokovic = real #1, Mugray = computer #1***

    The ITF ranking's separate, so he m/b saved & still be #1 there as he was in '13! Hypocritically, Nadal had 2 majors, but his overall record wasn't as good so the ITF strayed & awarded the top spot to Nole! We'll see what happens in the coming wks! Not sure when the list comes out; maybe after Xmas!

    ***I think the ITF will side w/ Murray, but who knows. I was absolutely shocked they gave it to Djokovic in '13, & it was probably their all X worst decision. It was comically laughable & basically nixed any credablity the award had for good, e= though I'm a big fan of Djokovic & hate Nadal.***

    Nole won 1 & was in the finals of the others along w/ his unprecedented ownership of the early & late season Masters! They count it all toward that award & I was gratified!

    ***...Saying that winning the Olympics is nothing seems to me t/b the ultimate in sour grapes, & if Novak had won it, then I'd argue strongly that the ATP rigged the results this yr.***

    It isn't worth anything IMO! I wasn't happy when it was included as an exh. event in '84 & I still don't like it! Players whine about being exhausted, but continue to support superfluous events which mean lit'l to nothing in the grand scheme of things! Majors is what's looked @ & that won't change in my mind anyX soon!

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  36. ***Who's more likely to get CGS: Wawrinka or Murray? I'd say Wawrinka will win Wimbledon '17 & Murray won't win RG, maybe not even AO. If that happens, Wawrinka will become >er than Murray, since CGS > no CGS, despite all of the achievements which Murray has over Wawrinka.***

    I prefer Stan, but he obviously has had 1 of the most underachieving of careers w/ all his weapons! Something's not clicking inside his head; well @ least more now than it used to, but just barely! It w/b nice for him to replace Murray, but not possible waiting this long! He's woefully failed overall concerning Masters 1000 & the YEC w/ not = 1 final! He had a chance 2 yrs ago & allowed his emotions to flair @ the end of an apparent win over his fellow countryman Federer! Getting into a tête-à-tête w/ Mirka made no sense letting Roger off the hook who was hobbled & unable to compete in the final the next day vs Nole!

    ***I actually think Murray has a >er chance of achieving CGS than Stan, = though Stan needs only 1 more & Murray needs 2.

    1. In AO Andy has reached the finals X X's. You keep knocking the door & it'll eventually open.

    2. Andy was gen. considered to have a clay problem. In view of this many people also said he'll never achieve #1 ranking, as it includes clay pts. However, Andy proved them wrong, did well on clay last yr (winning a Masters & reaching the final @ RG). So, there's a reasonable chance that he'll improvise on the act & get his hands on Coupe de Mousquetaires.

    Stan may have only Wimbledon left, but he's never going to win that. Look @ his record at Wimbledon. He has never done well there. Further, Stan's play relies on powerful shots in which he takes a huge cut for which you need X. Grass takes away the X. Hence, based on playing style also, Stan hasn't much chance. Stan has his lowest win % in Wimbledon at ^0% w/ a rec. of 18-12. He had played there 12 X's, losing in R1 5 X's, R2 twice, R3 once, & R4 twice. His geatest achievement there is to reach QF twice, but after doing that, he again lost in R1.***

    I can agree w/ some of that! ...Murray has more heart & a lit'l bit more of a brain so he should win a couple more slams before all's said & done! Let's not get ridiculous w/ Murray's success on clay! This was a down season for everyone else & Roger wasn't = on the court! Nole coasted; esp. after winning the FO & he really hadn't played "great tennis" since early on in Qatar where he obliterated Nadal in the final! So lets calm down there!

    ***I think Murray has enough game to win AO and RG. Stan has enough game to win many more slams excepting Wimbledon.***

    It was Rafa's gamesmanship in matches when down that made me despise him! He's so desperate to win, he's willing to do anything & everything outside of the game to survive; truly despicable! It's not enough he gets a dream draw being a top player & every brk since linesmen have trouble calling his shots, he has to take on coaching from the stands & running game w/ TO's & medical breaks no 1 believes' nec.!

    ***I was @ RG '12 F when he refused to play after rain, light drizzle actually, stopped. ...That's him. As you said, literally desperate to win & he'll do anything. I was furious; not only b/c of Novak who was doing well, but I had to stay in Paris for 1 more day.***

    He's stolen many a match over the years which is why I don't give him 1/2 the credit heaped on him over the yrs! Besides these obvious thefts, he's never defended a title off the clay surface! How can he be "The GOAT" w/ a miserable record like that?

    ***Was never remotely close to anything GOATly. Regardless, point taken.***

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  37. ***AO '17 has the potential t/b 1 of the best in yrs - Murray @ his absolute best, a rejuvenated Fed, Nadal back in the conversation; Del Po, Kei, Cilic & + Wawrinka hopefully playing well.***

    My eyes m/b playing tricks on me or you just totally nixed Djokovic out of the conversation! Did he retire & I just didn't hear about it?

    ***I think he'll do well in Rome & MC (l to Nadal in both finals) & I also think he'll make the final in Cincy & USO. Overall he w/b solid, but not like '15 & '16 as he has too many things off court to deal w/ that'll impact his game massively.
    ---

    Novak officially announced the mutual split w/ coach Becker. ...I think Jalena fired Boris. Their partnership lasted for 3 yrs & resulted in 6 slam wins for Novak. Now he has Martin Vajdya & Peeping Tom in his team. It doesn't look like he'll add someone else soon.***

    It's just a guess, but I think Boris was a bad influence on Nole! Becker's reputation precedes him IMO & he may have contributed in some way to the drama behind the scenes! Something was obviously going on b/c Nole hasn't been himself in months! Probably just as well he was fired! Becker really needed the job too; pretty much blowing his $$ buying property he couldn't maintain & the divorce settlement after his cheating!

    ***Djokovic has beaten tougher opps in his wins, primarily b/c of Nadal in '12 & Stan in '13, but overall I think Fed clearly faced tougher opps w/ playing Djokovic, Safin, & Nadal @ their absolute AO peaks 5 diff. yrs, all of which he would have a reasonable chance to win the title in. Two of them he was in clear title winning form ('05, '09), but ran into some superhuman performances. Fed faced Djokovic in his best AO form thrice while Djokovic played peak Fed once & that was in a yr in which he would have had lit'l chance @ the title. Fed also faced a better version of Nadal in '09 while also facing him again in '12 & '14. Granted I doubt he wins the title either of those yrs, but it's definitely possible. - Djokovic's '11 looking back was amazing.***

    His '15 was more impressive w/ 6 Masters 1000 titles, 3 majors, & rapping it up w/ another YEC IMO! Am I missing something? Nole's '11 was great; esp. starting out undefeated until the FO 6 months into the season, but = w/ the decline of Fed & Rafa, everyone else had t/b after him w/ the next gen. nipping @ his heels!

    ***McEnroe's the best authority on this. His '84 was 1 of the >est yrs of all X. All he remembers is the FO loss as had he won that, he whb dining @ the Nadal, Federer, & Djokovic table. Similarly, Djokovic in THAT match vs Warinka, which he choked away, threw away the chance of a CS which had he have got it, whb him undisputed GOAT. He knows it as well. Looking back, that was the worst defeat of his career. Even if he won 30 majors, it would not compensate for missing that chance @ history.

    Laver, t/b blunt isn't anywhere near these guys level play-wise in the sense he wasn't even the best player tech. of his era. Yet he's still idolized b/c he did the CS. Nadal possibly might look back on '10 w/ regret as he obviously if fit could & probably would have defended his AO title & hence got the CS although you can't help being injured. Also Nadal has never defended a title off clay so realistically he was never close to a CS & neither was Federer b/c he was simply not as good as Nadal on clay. He didn't choke, just lost to a >er player. But Djokovic losing to Wawrinka....in the circumstances I can't say it was Djokovic's finest year. '11 though was awesome. He was mentally a lot tougher then as well.***

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  38. ***The Big 4 were the top 4 ranked players from '08 to '12. ...- the gap btw 3 & 4.

    '08
    1. Nadal 6675
    2. Federer 5305
    3. Djokovic 5295
    4. Murray 3720

    '09
    1. Federer 10550
    2. Nadal 9205
    3. Djokovic 8310
    4. Murray 7030

    '10
    1. Nadal 12450
    2. Federer 9145
    3. Djokovic 6240
    4. Murray 5760

    '11
    1. Djokovic 13630
    2. Nadal 9595
    3. Federer 8170
    4. Murray 7380

    '12
    1. Djokovic 12920
    2. Federer 10265
    3. Murray 8000
    4. Nadal 6690

    Andy was ranked 4, 6, 2, & 1 from '13 - '16, so aside from '14 he has ranked in the top 4 in 8 out of the last 9 yrs.

    ...Maybe we can say that from '08-10, Andy was "Best of the Rest" - quite consistently so. Again, the fact that he was consistently #4 while #5 rotated speaks a lot to his ability.

    From '11-12, he was "Worst of the Best," which sounds like a downgrade, but is actually better. Roger struggled in '13, but righted himself & despite being ranked below Andy in '15 was the >er player. Rafa surged in '13, so Andy was clearly behind him & Novak & then behind Novak & Roger in '14 & '15, so he remained "Worst of the Best" from '13-15. We have to factor Stan into the mix, esp. starting in '14. Let us not forget that Stan has won more Slams from '14-16 (3) than anyone other than Novak (6).

    Novak stumbled in '16 & Andy took advantage. I don't think we can say he was the leader of the pack, so Big 2 works for me. Clearly Rafa is diminished, & Roger was injured for most of the yr. There's no telling how he'll play when he returns. ...right now, it's a Big 2 & clearly for the last 9 yrs, it has been a Big 4 - w/ Andy belonging more in the elite than outside of it.***

    Well the "Golden Age" truly was 20+ yrs ago & had t/b the most comp. IMO of all X OPEN history! At any given X in a major, there c/b a dozen GS winners from the old McEnroe, Lendl & Connors to newbies like Sampras, Agassi, Edberg, Chang, Becker, & Courier, then future winners Kafelnikov, Krajicek, Rafter, & Ivanisovic! The current & reigning GOAT's were fortunate to have such lame comp., the new racket tech, & of course the homogenized slow courts! Neither Rafa or Nole would have won @ Wimbledon before the grass was modified & made to have such consistent bounces; which is why Borg's so revered w/ his streak of 5 in a row vs some of the best S & V's of all X!

    ***Amen Bro, you missed nothing there. The game has facilitated the top players, while penalising specialists on specific surfaces, opening the opportunity for players to grab CS's routinely, & pursue doubles just as a matter of course. Rafa wouldn't have won fast surface Wimbo & Roger wouldn't have won on quicksand clay. They'd have had to decide - ala Pete - where they're best chances lie, & work from there. They'd still be all-X greats & great champions to compare w/ the best, but all these records we see now? I don't think so.***

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  39. ***...I remember Murray on the brink of being ousted in the 1st Rd of FO by Stepanek. - ...He was playing the best clay tennis of his life, beat the Hell out of Wawrinka & took the 1st set almost effortlessly in the final. He got tired quickly, his shots had no pace, & before you knew it, he's 2 sets to 1 down. Worst GS final in the history of tennis. That's what happens when you spend circa 18 hrs on court in 6 matches.***

    That's why I have almost no respect for the game of Murray! It's like Nadal in that they get into early Rd battles w/ "also-rans," then by the X the final arrives, "they're done!" Murray was playing scary good & probably should have taken the match! I keep thinking that Qatar was the last X Nole played out of his mind great & just annihilated Nadal in the final! I'm watching Rome on tape & that same passion was there during ther QF! It's obvious Nole misses his real "arch rival!" It isn't Murray who's his contemporary; sorta like Borg/McEnroe! John was "all at sea" for a couple years after Borg retired! He eventually turned it around on Lendl & Connors! Djokovic misses Rafa who brought forth another level we haven't seen since May! Even winning the FO was lackluster; Murray donating it at the end! I hope Djokovic can turn it around by the AO! If he goes down in flames there, it m/b "game, set, match; burnout!" Martina's excellence for so many yrs finally caught up w/ her only making finals of majors & going over 2 seasons w/o a win ('90 W)!

    ***...IDK if we can say Rafa or Novak wouldn't have won @ Wimbledon in the prior era. It depends upon who was playing. They probably wouldn't have been able to beat Sampras or Roger; prob. not Edberg. Actually, we can probably look to a Lendl to see how they might have fared on grass in that era. Lendl is a chronically underrated player IMO. People see "only" 8 Slams, but miss the fact he played in 19 Slam finals. As I've said elsewhere, of all the Open Era greats, no one played during a harder era than Lendl. He had to face X gens of greats: 1st Connors, Borg, & Mac, then Wilander, Edberg & Becker, ending w/ Sampras, Agassi, & Courier. He had a winning rec. vs all of them except Borg (2-5), Sampras (3-5) & just barely Edberg (13-14).***

    Already noted that Lendl was the "Djokovic" of his gen! He had a very respectable level of play & accomplishments, but w/b looked @ as an "also-ran" w/ the likes of Borg, Connors, McEnroe, Becker, & Edberg in the mix getting more ink! Ivan was credited w/ changing how players trained & committed to a more beneficial diet along w/ Martina for the ladies! Unfortunately he'll probably be more noted for getting Murray to the next level instead of his own play & wins! Nole's done marginally better in a # of ways, so he won't be totally forgotten like Ivan; even if he doesn't do anything else! The #'s are staggering; wks @ #1, Masters wins, Nole-Slam/CGS, 12 majors, & # of YEC's!

    ***AO: Djoko > Nadal (5 > 1)
    IW: Djoko > Nadal (4 > 3)
    Miami: Djoko > Nadal (5 > 0)
    M-C: Nadal > Djoko (8 > 2)
    Rome: Nadal > Djoko (7 > 4)
    3rd clay: Nadal > Djoko (4 > 1)
    RG: Nadal > Djoko (9 > 0)
    W: Djoko > Nadal (3 > 2)
    Canada: Djoko > Nadal (3 + 1F > 3)
    Cincy: Nadal > Djoko (1 > 0)
    USO: Djoko > Nadal (2 + 4F > 2 + 1F)
    1st fall: Djoko > Nadal (3 > 1)
    Paris: Djoko > Nadal (4 > 0)
    WTF: Djoko > Nadal (4 > 0)

    Nadal dominates the 4 clay events. Djoko dominates the rest (w/ the exception of Cincy. Maybe there's some clay dissimulated underground ;) ETA: I don't see Djoko catching up w/ Nadal in any of the clay events whereas Nadal could in IW, Canada, USO & W. The ball's definitely in his camp. Djoko has raised the bar quite high.***

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  40. ***...surprised to see some of the placements of new Slam winners relative to each other:

    *Connors & Borg won their 1st Slams in the same yr, despite being 4 yrs apart in age.

    *Lendl won his 1st Slam just a yr before Edberg & Becker, despite a gap of 6 & 7 yrs, respectively!

    *Roger won his 1st Slam only 2 yrs before Rafa, despite being 5 yrs apart. Despite being just a yr older than Andy & Novak, Rafa almost seems like a cross-gen. player.***

    This just demonstrates the level of comp. @ any given X! W/ Borg, he was w/o peer on clay; Vilas his pigeon! Connors had to compete w/ sev. top players ending their careers; Rosewall, Laver, Newcombe, & Nastase! Lendl had to deal w/ the end of Borg & the prime of McEnroe & Connors! Roger's delayed ascension to greatness was obviously kept in check early on by Sampras, Agassi, Hewitt, & a host of other more than competent players! It happens; all in the timing!

    ***All due respect to Lendl, but Mac wasn't the same player when Borg left. Lendl found openings in Mac's S/V game & totally bossed the 2nd phase of JPM.***

    How can you say that? In '84, McEnroe had 1 of the most epic seasons ever up to that X! He was undefeated until Paris final & won both Wimbledon & USO w/o a loss of a set!

    ***Yeah, the record supports Fiero's view more - Mac's best yr was '84, & then he collapsed after that, recovering t/b more of a 2nd tier type.

    Here's the h2h w/ Lendl, yr to yr:

    Year: McEnroe - Lendl (Slams)
    1980: 2-0 (incl USO for McEnroe)
    1981: 0-1 (FO for Lendl)
    1982: 0-4 (USO to Lendl)
    1983: 3-2 (Wim to McEnroe)
    1984: 5-1 (FO to Lendl, USO to McEnroe)
    1985: 3-2 (USO to Lendl)
    1987: 0-1 (USO to Lendl)
    1988: 0-1 (FO to Lendl)
    1989: 1-3 (AO to Lendl)
    1990: 0-2
    1991: 0-1
    1992: 0-1

    So think AP just missed that middle part where McEnroe re-righted the ship. John started out strong, then Lendl was more dominant in 1981-82--so right as Borg was leaving. Then John took control & dominated in '84. Lendl got it back @ the '85 USO & dominated McEnroe from that pt on.***

    Lendl began to "toy" w/ McEnroe from '85 USO on! Ivan had taken on Roche to help him elevate his game to win Wimbledon! He did the job, but no matter how hard he worked, even skipping a couple FO's he could have won, he wasn't able to upset any grass specialists like Edberg, Cash, or Becker! He wasn't upset himself, but @ X's, a Mayotte would take him to 5 sets! Ivan had 1 shining moment on grass, winning Queens over Edberg & Becker in straights in '90! That was his last great chance after skipping FO to practice on grass, relinquishing his #1 ranking in the process!

    ***I hear & agree w/ you, but would challenge your statement about Roger. I think what you say is true to some extent in that he lost to some specialists (e.g. in '01, Henman @ Wimbledon & Corretja @ RG), & that he had some trouble w/ some of his earlier-blooming peers like Hewitt & Nalbandian, but the other factor is that Roger was somewhat a late-bloomer. Not hugely so, but his best peers--Safin, Hewitt, Roddick, & Nalbandian--all found their top forms @ younger ages, & Roger didn't until age 22, which is later than most greats.
    ---

    ...Any expert who places Djokovic over Nadal is trolling or lacks knowledge t/b an expert.***

    Rafa only leads Nole in 1 category; & that's tenuous for now! W/o a doubt, Nadal's lacking in X ways outside of his major count! He's woefully behind others ranked #1 in wks @ the top, his inability to defend any title off the dirt, & having extended matches getting into wars w/ players not ranked anywhere near him! He has probably shortened his career having such arduous matches unnecessarily! I'd place Nole above him for more reasons than not that he deserves it'; wks @ #1, X YE rankings @ the top, several YEC's, & has defended on all surfaces! I could go on, but most only look at 14 > 12!

    ReplyDelete
  41. ...It's obvious Nole misses his real "arch rival!" It isn't Murray who's his contemporary; sorta like Borg/McEnroe! ...Djokovic misses Rafa who brought forth another level we haven't seen since May! Even winning the FO was lackluster; Murray donating it at the end!...

    ***Good pt Fiero, Novak misses the real Rafa. Becker eluded to that point w/ his exiting. However, regardless of if he has been injured or not, Rafa's hasn't changed his match tactics vs Novak. W/ all due respect, Novak's wife could coach him vs Nadal these days & the results w/b the same, IMO.
    ---

    ...No, protected rankings apply to slams also. However, PR's can only buy you entry into tournaments, but can never be used for seeding purposes, be it GS or ATP tourney.***

    Except when Seles was allowed to return as a co-#1! It made sense b/c she won right away in Canada; winning another AO which was her 2nd major back after the stabbing IIRC! IIRC Graf missed it w/ either an injury or apathy! What do you think about this instance of a PR = though it encompassed 2 1/2 yrs? Martina suggested it over the objection of other top players! It affected their seedings dropping them behind Seles!

    ***Seles case was very unique. Seles shb provided every exemption that was available to a tennis player.
    ---

    Anyone who claims Laver is #5 when he was head & shoulders above others in his gen., & has completed the CYGS twice is a complete idiot. Djokovic only has 12 slams b/c of Nadal's injuries & Meldonium (combined w/ an indecently series of easy weak-era slams). He's a great player, but not as great as the 12 slam count suggests.***

    Well the same c/b said of Federer when he was on top winning 3 of 4 majors routinely & appearing in all 4! He was a late bloomer like Nole & got most of his major wins in bunches like Djokovic! For entertainment purposes, I say Laver was head & shoulders over everyone; regardless of the major count since he lost 5-6 yrs of prime play before the Open era! He had a nemesis or 2, but one just wandered away going into the "armed services" in Hoad & Rosewall went pro even earlier! Federer's the acknowledged GOAT, but if we look at his true success, '12 was just about the last he got out of his talent & has only been Nole's whipping boy in major finals while Rafa hasn't been able to get far enough to challenge either! It's all about opinion where each w/b considered in the history of the game; "The Big 3" each have an argument all their own:

    OTTH Federer has the most majors w/ 17, has a nice range & streak @ Wimbledon & the USO! He's behind both Nole & Rafa in Masters 1000 wins, but won more YEC Chps! Roger held the top spot for over 300 wks, but only has 1 FO to show for all those finals vs Rafa who owned him; lock, stock, & barrel!

    Rafa has 14 Majors, but 9 of them are @ 1 venue; FO! He's woefully behind both Roger & Nole in holding the top spot, has never defended a title off clay surface, & started getting upset early in majors by "has beens," nobodies, & "never-weres!"

    Nole had to contend w/ 2 GOAT's while he got his health, act, & game to their level! He also started winning majors in bunches, taking 3 of 4 TWICE! He's come up fast on the other GOAT's, overtaking them in Masters 1000 wins, surpassed Rafa in wks @ #1, & beats both routinely in majors! Funny how commentary has him declining after winning 2 majors this past season & completing his Nole-Slam; the 1st X a man has owned all 4 majors since Laver's CYGS in '69! He still has some life in him & will undoubtedly add to his #'s! Only X will tell concerning all of them, but my $$'s still on Nole to surpass them both in most categories!

    ***2017 Preditions:

    AO - DelPo
    FO - Rafa
    Wimby - Fed
    USO - Milos***

    Wow; more than 1 thinks Nole's done & the other 2 GOATs to have a resurgence!

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  42. ***How to conduct a criminal investigation (according to "L & O: SVU"):

    1. Upon finding a potential victim, pressure them into making an accusation, even going so far as telling them they were raped even if they haven't actually said they were yet.

    2. Be abusive as possible to the suspect when arresting them so that they are immediately antagonised & will refuse all co-operation. The suspect can easily be identified as they are inevitably rich, a doctor, or the special guest star.

    3. Try and make sure you arrest the suspect in the most embarrassing way possible, preferably in front of their friends, family, and co-workers, announcing their supposed crime to everyone present.

    4. Be sure to lead the victim/witnesses in what they are saying in order to prove your case, irrespective of their uncertainty towards events. If the victim is drunk/drugged/mentally ill, that excuses all their behaviour, but the same leniency does not apply to the suspect.

    5. Emotionally blackmail the victim into appearing at court saying that the offender is undoubtedly a serial offender who will rape again even if there is no evidence to support this assertion. If the victim subsequently kills themselves well that just means you have added gravitas to their testimony.

    6. If your investigation threatens another operation by another law enforcement/intelligence agency, yours will always take priority even if it destroys years of work on their behalf into organised crime, terrorism, or Nat'l security & costs many lives.

    7. If you can't gain enough evidence to sustain the original accusation, have your DA friend look around for any obscure law you can use to pin something on the suspect rather than lose face. Once you've made an arrest, you must convict someone for something.

    8. Deliberately confront the victim w/ the suspect so you can have a traumatic encounter for them both & in the hope that one may kill the other.

    9. Always adopt a holier than thou attitude to anyone involved in the sex industry b/c you yourself have never been to a strip club, used prostitutes, had sex under the influence of alcohol, employed any form of fetish or used pornography in any form.

    10. Whilst it is perfectly acceptable for you to make deals w/ suspects for the greater good, it's evil & wrong for other law enforcement agencies to do the same. Any other cop or judge who does not wholeheartedly support you is either incompetent, bigoted, or corrupt as are social workers, parole officers, prison guards who make mistakes b/c they can't cope w/ their impossible workload & lack of resources.
    ---

    Finally, pressure them into letting the DA bring charges against the suspect that never happened. IE, Barba wanted to charge Lewis w/ raping Olivia, except he never raped her! Olivia wouldn't go for it. They then pressure the same victim into coming forwards. The show's a giant hypocritical mess.***

    You covered it for me w/ just a glance @ the post! This is supposed t/b a unit sensitive to victims, but they seem to victimize them more than perps; esp. w/ their constant pressure & haranguing to testify! Actually putting a couple of them in jail for lack of cooperation was the epitome of what they're supposed t/b about! Watching "Wrath" where an innocent person was incarcerated for 7 yrs before being exonerated due to the testimony of Olivia who was so wrong!

    ***Final scene for the series?

    1. Olivia's raped & retires from the NYPD. At her leaving party Finn offers her a drink, but she refuses, enigmatically saying she's going off alcohol for a while. He tells her he understands why she's retiring after such a traumatic experience & she tells him that she has a couple of reasons he's not aware off, opens her coat & guides his hand to her slightly swollen belly. The last shot is of her sitting up in bed cradling her new twins....***

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  43. ***I really don't get the Andy bashing that goes on around here. By my accounting he's the 16th greatest player of the Open Era--ahead of players like Ashe, Courier, Nastase, Vilas, & Smith.***

    You call it bashing, I call it truth telling! Murray's woefully underachieved for the ability & work he's put into his game, = though 1 of the ugliest; right up there w/ Nadal! You can say he had to overcome the "Big 3," but he had significant wins over all of them @ 1 X or another! The losses to players outside the top 10 is what's been holding him back in the past; esp. @ the USO & FO! He just wears himself out w/ that silly defensive game! He c/b more offensive & take it to players, but he'd rather hang way behind the baseline like Nadal & retrieve, running "suicides" back & forth like an idiot! I doubt he'll make it to the level of Wilander who was the quintessential player of that style! ...!

    ***Fiero, but my pt is that he's had a better career than all but 15 players in the Open Era, & all the while playing alongside 3 of the truly greatest players of all X. ...only the best of the best are worthy of your consideration. ...we're talking absolute peak Novak, Rafa, Roger, Pete, or Bjorn, might as well go home.***

    Yep! If you start giving any & almost everyone accolades, you end up diminishing them all! It's like we've come to this understanding that these 3 are the best of all X b/c their #'s are so intertwined & exceptional in this era! I also keep in mind the changes tech. as well as having 1 of the weakest eras w/ few if any specialist! No way should Nadal have won 9 FO but for the incompetent play of "also-rans" that choked away leads; someX's w/ MP's! It's just plain gutless & it'll always be hard for me to elevate today's tour w/ our true Golden Age 20 yrs ago! As I've said, at any given X in a major, we might have 12 GS winners; nowhere near that now w/ them unable to even squeak out some Masters on clay or indoors!

    ***As far as the dominance of the Big 3, let's take 2 statements:
    1. The Big 3 dominated b/c the comp. was weak
    2. The comp. was weak b/c the Big 3 were so dominant

    We can focus on 1 side (the greatness of the Big 3) or the other (the weakness of the Big 3), or we can take a 3rd--and, IMO, more nuanced--perspective: that it's a chicken-&-egg thing, & the 2 aren't separable.

    Let's take Roger, for instance. His detractors will say he only won 17 Slams b/c his gen. was weak. His supporters will say his gen. was weak b/c he was so great. ...But we can't know which is more causal: Roger being great or his gen. being weak. All we do know is that Roger was extremely dom. over his gen. & became a peer of the next gen. of greats.

    As for cross-generational comparisons, all we can really do is compare players relative to their own gen. We can't ask, "Who would have won, Rafa vs. Bjorn?" ...We can't know what sort of player Bjorn whb today w/ modern training & equipment. It's a pointless spec., IMO. But we can look @ how great Bjorn was relative to his era vs. how great Rafa was relative to his.

    ...But do you really think that Rafa wouldn't have been able to dismantle Kuerten, Bruguera, Courier, or even peak Agassi? He would have dominated. Whether you like it or not, he is the greatest clay court player in tennis history.***

    I don't believe Rafa whb as dominate b/c of the tech. & diff. speeds of the courts! His game centers around confidence & I believe players from past gens wouldn't have tried to just outlast him! Believe me, there was a significant diff. in play & the courts that would have taken Rafa out of his comfort zone! They also wouldn't have let him get away w/ all his stalling & gamesmanship! That saved him more X's than I can count!

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  44. ***Post your best case scenarios for '17:

    AO - Zverev
    IW - Kyrgios
    Miami - Nishikori
    MC - Murray
    Madrid - Djokovic
    Rome - Nadal
    FO - Murray
    W - Nadal
    Canada - Thiem
    Cinci - Wawrinka
    USO - Djokovic
    Shanghai - Dimitrov
    Paris - Gasquet

    WTF - Murray***

    Wow; someone's dreamin' big! It's been yrs since anything like this w/b possible! Too many players are just not consistent enough to even come close to these results! It's one thing to upset a top player, but to follow it up & win a final has occurred < than a handful of X's in recent years! Cilic & Wawrinka the lone recipients of majors & Masters events outside of the Big 4! I'd love for it to happen, but it'll only occur in a sleeping state!

    AO - Djokovic
    IW - Djokovic
    Miami - Djokovic
    MC - Nadal
    Madrid - Nishikori
    Rome - Nadal
    FO - Djokovic
    W - Raonic
    Canada - Thiem
    Cinci - Djokovic
    USO - Kyrgios
    Shanghai - Zverev
    Paris - Djokovic

    WTF - Djokovic

    ***Djokovic will prob be greater in the achievements. ...Nadal has said it before "when Djokovic is playing like this he's unbeatable."***

    Ya think? Nole has more wks @ #1, defended titles off the dirt unlike Nadal, has 5 YEC's while Nadal has 0, H2H ownership, & leads in the Masters count! It's a no brainer!

    ***Not really:

    1. #1 wks is overinflated due to weak era.
    2. H2H ownership? Marginal advantage overall, but huge deficit in the slams where Nadal's much superior.

    3. Masters advantage, again, is due to weak era.
    4. WTF advantage is solid' I'll give you that.

    Overall, Nadal is superior to Djokovic, but Djokovic is getting closer. Where Djokovic will never catch up is in the Legend status. Nadal built his legend solidly during Federer's peak, & his epic style, charisma, & supremacy on clay will probably never be matched. Nadal has been part of way too many all-X classic matches. Djokovic has some, but a fraction of Nadal's.***

    Nadal makes his so called "all-X" classic matches into epic affairs due to his ridiculous defensive play! Ripping FH's is so 1970's ala Borg & Vilas! These marathons starting in the 1st Rd take away from his legendary reputation IMO! Getting into battles w/ "also rans," WC's, & "never-weres" can't be overlooked; = by his blind followers!

    ***Nadal c/b too defensive someX's, but he c/b a better attacker than Djokovic on any surface (RG & USO '13 should clarify that point). Also, Nadal didn't win the '13 Summer HC swing by being defensive you know. I believe Nadal used t/b such a good defender that he felt he could win vs anyone by defending, so that could become someX's his default style of play, which could get him in trouble w/ <er players.***

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  45. ***Best case scenarios for '17...***

    I wouldn't mind Nole winning FO, picking up another CGS to elevate him closer to Laver! It'll just be another "check mark" which sets him apart from Fedal! It's a lot easier for the ladies; Hell, Graf has 4 w/ an actual Golden CYGS to her name!

    ***Prime Borg vs. Prime Djokovic?

    Djoko a great athlete in his own right sees a guy who's even more of a physical specimen; faster, quicker, totally unflappable w/ that "X" on-court presence. . Djoko "blinks."

    Borg 6-4; 6-3. Borg's a winner. . Novak Djokovic's a winner.***

    Borg was my fave player in the 70's, & his physicality is what made him a great champion! Supposedly his heart rate was slower than most; something like 40 or 43 BPM! He wasn't called "The Bear" for nothing! The best players would come out on fire, be serving for the match w/ 2 breaks, have MP's, & the match was still in ??! I can't tell you how many X's he survived down a set or 2, but he never tired & his concentration had t/b the best in the history of the game due to his playing w/ wood & a string tension so tight, Bud Collins called the surface "a pane of glass!" I played w/ tight strings for a while, but you go thru rackets w/ 76# when most hung around 58-62! I had to swing harder & consistency hit the center of the racket since the sweet spot was about the size of a fist!

    For Borg to win 6 FO's & 5 Wimbledons in a row made him a legend to this day & players are still compared to him! Rafa would not have been able to survive the faster courts & relentless pressure of consummate "serve & volleyers!" Borg had his growing pains trying to deal w/ it @ the same age as Rafa, 15 and a boy on the road! It was a lot tougher back then & he still progressed quickly & was winning very early & often! Taking 3 FO/Wimbledon str. combos was great & it's still great w/ him being the only one to do it in Open tennis! Rafa came close winning 2, but he never had the amount of comp. & court specialists who could knock him off in the 1st Rd of a major! It was a true event if he lost any match; usually not until a final vs Connors or McEnroe!

    He would have built up more of a resume if they had allowed him to take off a couple month, but they ran him off; hence the new rules for senior players! I still have high regard for his accomplishments & compare Nole to him w/ his consistency & able to go from slow courts to fast w/ little effort for such a defensive game! He did what Lendl couldn't, but of course the court is more homogenized @ Wimbledon to help him out vs a better grass court player in Federer!

    ***...Djokovic owns Federer; lock, stock, & barrel? Djokovic was successful on clay, but Fed was not?***

    The last major Roger took off of Nole w/b back in '11 IIRC! Along the way in some of those wins, Nole was able to come back from double MP's twice; '10 & '11 USO semi's! If Fed can't overcome Nole on grass in cons. Wimbledon finals, that's ownership, LSB!

    ***CNN has a nice article titled, '17 a yr of comebacks in tennis. Too many players are coming back (in both ATP & WTA) after being MIA for a while, although due to various reasons.

    1. Fed coming back from knee injury.
    2. Rafa coming back from wrist (?) injury.
    3. Novak coming back from extra curricular activities.
    4. Kyrgios coming back from suspension by ATP.
    5. Serena coming back from heart injury.
    6. Maria coming back from Meldonium Saga.
    7. Vika coming back from child birth.
    8. Bencic coming back from (back?) injury.***

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  46. ***The upcoming yr of tennis is intriguing for so many beautiful reasons including Rafa & Roger's comebacks. Nole's situation @ this stage of his career & expectations from Zverev, Kyrgios & Thiem. We want to see what Pouille can do w/ his talents. We want to see if Del Potro's game will come back to being anything close to its best. Will Wawrinka "show up" once again? Will Raonic be good enough to win a slam now?***

    Is this deja vu? We keep hoping, then the yr becomes a continuation of the last! Let's keep hope alive these gutless wonders can finally break thru! I love Thiem, Poulle, Zverev, & Del Po, but have only shown flashes of brilliance! We went thru the same situation w/ Tsonga, baby Fed (Dimitrov), Monfils, Gasguet, & so many others w/ such great promise! They have all the skills in the book, but little heart & brains or they would have taken @ least a major or Masters' event more regularly!

    ***If nothing else, Fiero, the diff. is that Thiem, Kyrgios, Zverev, etc. will peak when the current elite are in their declining yrs. Poor Tsonga, Berdych, Gasquet & others peaked alongside 3 of the greatest players ever w/ a 4th lesser great. ...So we could consider 24-25 as the most common absolute peak, w/ 20-30 being a broader "prime" range of yrs. ...

    Thiem: '17-18. Roger 36-37, Rafa 31-32, Novak/Andy 30-31.
    Pouille: '18-19. Roger 37-38, Rafa 32-33, Novak/Andy 31-32.
    Kyrgios: '19-20. Roger 38-39, Rafa 33-34, Novak/Andy 32-33.
    Zverev: '21-22. Roger 40-41, Rafa 35-36, Novak/Andy 34-35.

    ...you can see the basic point. All of these young players--and more besides--will have peak or at least prime years in which the Big 4 are in decline or retired.***

    I'd put up a sizeable bet Nadal w/b nowhere near an ATP court by age 35! He m/b too broken down to do Courier's senior tour! McEnroe m/b able to take him!

    ***'09* biggest asterisk ever.***

    Truly a lost yr! Nadal broke down after winning AO over his pigeon Roger in 5! Rafa retuned the favor by going out to Soderling in the FO RD of 16, allowing Roger to complete his CGS! Roger continued his winning ways by coming all the way back vs his own punching bag, Roddick in 5! Karma caught up w/ Federer giving him a lead @ the USO final, only to drop it to a relative unknown from Argentina; Del Po! The season wrapped up w/ the strangest YEC; Nadal lost all 3 of his RR matches! Of the "Big 4" only Roger even qualified for the semi, but that was as far as he got dropping match to eventual winner Davydenko over Del PO the next day!

    ***...I'm so sad for Del Po. That wrist just won't leave him alone, even after 926,261,718 surgeries on both wrists.***

    Del Po was supposed t/b the 1 to break the lock of majors & Masters events won by the "Big 4," but after all this X & X surgeries, still only owns the 1 USO in '09; upsetting Roger in the final! He destroyed Nadal the day before in the semi, & had other great wins in the Olympics of '12 & '16!

    ***When have you seen Nadal play where he's noticeably hampered by injury?***

    They made a big "to do" about him hobbling @ the '14 AO won by Wawrinka! Stan was supposed to stay sedate & not be excited about his 1st major win in respect for Rafa! I threw up in my mouth! What respect has Rafa given his opps whether they were injured or not? We still get the ever-present "VAMOS" even on a DF! What a tool! He says he doesn't want to talk about his injuries, but has little trouble allowing Uncle Tony & the press to make any & all excuses for a loss to ANYONE!

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  47. ***'09 was truly a great yr of tennis! Such depth in the top 10. ...Nole corrected his serve & stopped eating gluten leading to '11.***

    It changed the dynamics of tennis & Rafa's career for all X! Nole beat him match after match; cement, clay, then grass, culminating in the AO marathon making it 7 wins in a row for the Serb! Nadal was on his way to becoming the GOAT & had already taken ownership of Roger! Federer s/b thanking the tennis GAWDS that Nole turned it around & began doing what he couldn't do going back yrs! If not for Djokovic, Nadal would probably be leading in Masters & majors! I know I cross myself thanking KARMA or whatever!

    ***Actually Fed would still be leading in major count 21 to 17.***

    That's ridiculous! You can't assume Roger would have won all those majors he lost to Nole! You don't have t/b a fortune teller to realize Rafa was @ the height of his powers in '11, but still couldn't overcome Nole! ...Nole won '10 USO semi b4 the change in diet! Roger had already started to decline the previous season losing to Del PO! = though I'm no fan, I feel Nadal probably would have owned the tour b/c Roger was useless vs him!

    ***Rafa injured his back @ the beginning of the AO '14 final. ...he hasn't mentioned back problems after that.***

    I say "don't play!" I really don't want someone coming behind a loss whining about an injury when they got to the final! So he's undermining everyone concerned by doing that; the people he beat along the way (you couldn't = beat me while I'm injured) & the eventual winner Stan who has to "respect" Rafa by not showing his joy @ winning his 1st major! Nadal has been & will always be the biggest tool of the ATG's w/ his kvetchin', gamesmanship, stalling, & receiving coaching from his box! I thought Connors & McEnroe were bad, but this jerk takes the absolute cake!

    ***You did the same thing here...assuming Nadal would win those majors w/o Nole.***

    It's a HELL of a lot more likely that Nadal who OWNS Roger lock, stock, & barrel would continue his dominance over a fading Fed who had already begun to slump! After winning 3 majors in 3 seasons, the victories became few & far btw; '10 AO w/ nothing til '12 Wimbl., now only a finalist! Nadal was losing to pretty much 1 person around then on all surfaces while Roger would need something quick like Cinci Masters to get past his nemesis!

    ***Who would beat Fed @ AO '11, Wimb '14, Wimb '15, or USO '15? Federer whb the fave in all those matches. Tech. you are right, there's no guarantee a fading Roger would have won those majors, but honestly I'm looking @ the draws & who could have stopped Federer; subpar Murray in AO '11? ...? Other than Djokovic, there was nobody who would have threatened Fed. ...Honestly I doubt Rafa wouldn't have got injured @ some pt regardless; Djokovic or no Djokovic.
    ---

    That's your opinion & 1 could just say Federer would have a bigger slam lead if Nole wasn't around b/c he played Nole more @ the slam events. Nadal would win some, but he was non-existent in the latter yrs & Federer was always in contention & only Nole who prevented him from winning 20+ slams. Anyway, this is hypothetical & a pt< argument b/c nothing will change the fact that 17>14>12.***

    They'd have more of a case if Stan hadn't won FO & USO over the current #1 player at the X! Nadal sycophants need to "get over it!" Rafa had his X 5 yrs ago, but couldn't overcome a surging Djokovic & now it's over! His silly defensive game has burnt him out! He'll end up defaulting & pulling out of events more as the yrs go on from here on out!

    ***...I hate how many of Rafa fanboys & fangirls make constant excuses for him & his injuries. Injuries are part of the game.***

    ReplyDelete
  48. ***Top 7 of Open Era:

    1. Federer
    2. Borg
    3. Sampras
    4. Connors
    5. Lendl
    6. Djokovic
    7. Nadal***

    Sans Laver:

    1) Federer since he has all the #'s in his favor, but like Laver, he has 2 nemeses that stalled his later yrs

    2) Djokovic b/c he has his "Nole-Slam," leads in the Masters 1000 race, &'s still adding to his legend

    3) Sampras has X slams @ each venue except Paris, 7 Wimbledons & 5 USO's
    4) Nadal has a CGS, but fades in the summer & fall w/ no YEC's, has never defended a title off clay, & too few wks @ #1

    5) Borg has 2 great runs at majors; owned Paris w/ 6 FO's & 5 str. Wimbledons when the surface wasn't as homogenized

    6) Lendl like Djokovic had to deal w/ 3 other ATG's in Borg, Connors, & McEnroe, but still amassed 8 majors when the going was tough

    7) Agassi has a CGS, but wasted many yrs ill-prepared, out of shape, drugged out, & apathetic! Had 1 of the best 2nd acts getting to #1 in his 30's

    ***...you don't want them whining about losing b/c of injury.***

    I've been saying Roger should retire for yrs! He hurts his legacy as far as I'm concerned! ...Fed's approaching "Connors territory," dropping matches to nobodies & "also-rans!"

    ***For 2 yrs Andy & Nole were neck-n-neck in their development. Novak played his 1st ATP pro tourn. in '04; Andy in '05. At the end of that yr, Novak ranked #78 & Andy #65, both 18 yo. In '06 they jumped to #16 & #17, respectively, both winning their 1st titles. Then Novak jumped ahead, reaching #3 & winning 2 Masters titles in '07, while Andy reached #11, not winning his 1st Masters title til '08.

    Novak won his 1st Slam in '08 & from '07-10 & was the 3rd man behind the great Fedal, but then finally broke thru as #1 in '11 & the rest is history. Andy's trajectory was more stalled; while he joined the Big 4 in '08. He lost 4 Slam finals before winning his 1st @ the USO in '12. He was the 4th of the top 4 from '08 until '14 or '15, when he probably surpassed Rafa, who was beginning to fade. Even though he ranked ahead of Roger in '13 & '15, it was understood that Andy was the <er player, aside from Roger's struggles of '13.

    ...Among Open Era greats, Agassi's later career stands alone, or @ least is the best since Laver who won 7 Slams after turning 29 (2 Pro & 6 Open), & ageless Rosewall who won 8 Slams after turning 29 (4 Pro & 4 Open). We don't know what lies ahead for Andy, but after almost a decade of being the 3rd or 4th best player on tour, he had his best season in '16. At the X Wimbledon began, he was 29 yo w/ 2 Slam titles to his name, & far behind world #1, Djokovic. Andy was in a situation rather similar to Andre's 17 yrs ago. He won just Wimbledon this yr, his 1st in 3 yrs, but won 9 titles overall, including Wimbl., 3 Masters, OG for the 2nd X, & the WTF's, defeating his nemesis Djokovic & clinching the YE #1 @ the same X.

    Andy'll start '17 facing perhaps his biggest challenge, trying to dethrone 6-X AO champ., Djokovic. So far Andy's 0-5 in AO finals, including 4 losses to Novak. He has a good chance of holding onto #1 for a few months, as Novak has a ton of pts to defend in the 1st 1/2 of the yr. One would think that Andy has @ least another Slam or 2 in him, but both he & Novak turn 30 in May, so the hourglass is about t/b turned, if only symbolically.

    ...Andy has long been the “best of the rest” or “worst of the best,” & this extends to his career as a whole. ...Just ahead of him on my list is Wilander, then Newcombe, Edberg, & Becker. Aside from Slam count, his overall career has arguably already surpassed Wilander & perhaps = Newcombe. But those 2 won 7 Slams each, more than double Andy's current total. If Andy can win just 2 more, I think he'll be firmly in the middle of that next group. If he wins 3 more, then he becomes the leader of that cohort.***

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  49. ***I think Murray can win 3 Masters in '17 to match Agassi also has a great shot @ AO.***

    Anything < wouldn't be a legit #1 IMB!

    ***ATP #1 Players that Murray is better than: Nastase, Rafter, Kafelnikov, Rios, Muster, Ferrero, Roddick, Hewitt, Safin, Kuerten, & Courier.

    ATP #1 Players that were better than Murray: Newcombe, Connors, Borg, McEnroe, Lendl, Wilander, Edberg, Becker, Sampras, Agassi, Federer, Djokovic, & Nadal.***

    None of this BS is legiti! No matter what you think he's accomplished, Murray hasn't achieved much in comparison to these greats; sorry! He's woefully underachieved as far as I'm concerned & will prob only hold onto #1 ranking until the summer b/c Nole has so many tourn. ps to defend! Get over it! He's nowhere in the league of Edberg, Wilander, or = Becker! He doesn't have X to = get close! He just acquired the #1 ranking! Did you forget how old he is? He has to do a little bit more for me to accept him being anywhere near the names mentioned above! I know you said some were better, but why = invoke their names? To = mention him in the same breath w/ Connors offends me & I never could stand him & the way he played!

    ***I didn't say he was in the same breath as Connors, or that he was the = to Edberg, Becker & Wilander:

    A) He's better than almost 1/2 the ATP #1's. Look @ that 1st list - are any of those players >er? I'd say no.

    B) He's got a "good chance" of surpassing Wilander & Newcombe, maybe even Becker & Edberg. I didn't define "good chance," but I think if he wins a couple more Slams he'll be in the same territory.

    Anyhow, you severely underrate Andy. He's not (yet) an all-X great, but he's on the cusp - in the "near great" category along w/ players like Courier, Vilas, & Ashe--& he's the best of that group.
    ---

    ...Safin would murder Murray. Courier was able to compete & beat guys of superior caliber than him, something Murray only did when his better contemporaries were either half-dead or looking elsewhere. ...Most of those guys above, even if for short X spans, or sometimes surface specific, had that kind of aura. That´s why I choke when I see that "Murray is better than them." I started the post by saying that Murray's results are better than those guys. That part I got. I explicitly stated that I was referring to "a slam final." To put it simply: gun to the head, Safin & Murray in a slam final, who would you chose to play for your life?***

    Safin; w/o a pause!

    ***...Safin could play @ a very high level, but how often? He only made 4 Slam finals, winning 2 of them--beating a declining Sampras in 2000 & a declining Hewitt in '05--and losing 2; 1 to Roger in his prime & 1 to a quintessential 1-Slam wonder, Johansson. Safin only had 3 yrs in which he finished in the YE top 5; actually, only those 3 in the top 10.

    Andy played in 11 Slam finals - almost 3 X's as many as Safin - & he'll probably play in sev. more. He has been consistent yr after yr, w/ 9 str. yrs ranked #6 or better. He's overall, in a completely diff. category than Safin. Courier is another interesting case b/c, as you say, he was able to beat more talented players on a regular basis; @ least for his short peak of a few yrs. In other words, he was >er than his talent level.

    ...A player's >ness is not just talent, it's how well a player actualized their talent to the extent that it showed upon in the statistical record. By my accounting, Andy's "better than" all but about 15 players in the Open Era. Now we could talk about absolute talent level - that is, how good a player could play @ their very best. But that is a very diff. ?? & certainly not what I mean when I say ">ness" or ">." It also becomes far more subjective.***

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  50. ***Predictions for the yr '17 in the tennis world.

    1. The 4 GS trophies w/b won by 4 diff. players.

    2. JMDP will win @ least 1 Big (ATP 1000 or >er) title.

    3. Fed will qualify (1 way or other) for the WTF.
    ---

    Ten Best players since 2000?

    1) Federer - 17 GS, 24 M1000, 6 WTF, 1 OG, 88 Career Titles
    2) Nadal - 14 GS, 28 M1000, 2 OG, 69 Career Titles
    3) Djokovic - 12 GS, 30 M1000, 5 WTF, 66 Career Titles
    4) Murray - 3 GS, 14 M1000, 1 WTF, 2 OG, 1 DC, 44 Career Titles
    5) Wawrinka - 3 GS, 1 OG, 1 M1000, 15 Titles

    6) Hewitt - 2 GS, 2 M1000, 2 WTF
    7) Safin - 2 GS, 5 M1000
    8) Del Potro - 1 GS, 1 DC
    9) Roddick - 1 GS, 5 M1000***

    1) Federer
    2) Djokovic
    3) Nadal
    4) Murray

    5) Agassi
    6) Hewitt
    7) Roddick
    8) Safin
    9) Ferrero
    10) Wawrinka (Stan never got to #1 & has 1 Masters to go along w/ 3 majors; 15 titles

    ***Roddick's somewhat underrated these days. As I've said before, he's a player whose career was completely diminished by 1 player: Federer. ...Now I'm not saying that Roddick was as good as Edberg or Becker, both of whom won their 6 in a harder context than the 00s, but I do think Roddick was a much better player than his single Slam title accts form; m/b more in the 3-4 Slam range. That said, Murray's a better player than Roddick. It isn't a huge gap, but Murray would have beaten him consistently on slower courts, certainly on clay, & been comp. on grass & fast HC'ds. My guess is that, overall, Murray would have beaten Roddick 60% of the X.***

    Many players' destinies were changed j/b of 1 or 2 players! Lendl should have more majors but for the psychological advantages had by McEnroe & Connors before he came of age @ '84 FO! We all know Federer s/b well over 20 but for Nadal owning him "lock, stock, & barrel!" It's a lit'l late, but Stan has personally stopped Nole from winning 3 or 4 when Djokovic was on his way to breaking rec. of Roger's major ct!

    ***I know you're not a fan of Djokovic, but you rank him 2nd. Very objective.***

    I also put Djokovic 2nd for the same reasons I've railed about for yrs; Rafa's limitations! He has so many, starting w/ 9 of his 14 majors @ 1 site; Paris! He also is way back in holding onto the #1 ranking, inability to defend a title off the dirt, & being 1 of the most fragile top players of all X! His physical play's destroying his body & he's < likely to make a late charge like a Connors or Fed; believe it! When he's gone, he'll be gone; for good!

    ***If I was ranking them on talent & peak level, then Safin'd be right up there mate. However on achievements, I think that list is fair. Apart from m/b Wawrinka being so low, which I did b/c he annoys me when he's winning GS's 1 min, mugging up 250 finals the next.***

    I'm sure I have some glowing posts concerning Safin; 1 of the most talented players in the history of the game! Unfortunately there wasn't much btw the ears which is characterized on the ladies' side w/ Hana Mandlikova! Both had all the shots, a great serve, & could embarrass the best players of their gen! The problem was a serious lack of consistency! Surviving Fed @ his peak in '05 AO semi was a real feat; backed up by winning it all over the fave, Hewitt!

    ***T/b most accomplished, generally means you're the best which is why you got it right w/ your 1st 3 choices. The rest just seem to reflect the order in which you personally like or dislike the player in ??.***

    A great "2nd act" is rare, but we got it in my lifeX anyway; Connors getting back to #1 in '82, Agassi 10 yrs ago, & Fed more recently in '12! Who has the best chance to come back & make a mark that significant in their 30's; Nole, Murray, Rafa, Stan, or 1 of the newbies making noise?

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  51. ***If we're just looking at performance from 2000-present, It's tough placing Sampras ahead of Safin:

    Sampras: 2 Major titles, 1 Masters title, YE #3 in 2000, YE #10 in '01, YE #13 in '02, 2-4 vs Safin (1-2 @ Majors)

    Safin: 2 Major titles, 5 Masters Series titles, 7 other titles, YE #2 in 2000, YE #11 in '01, YE #3 in '02, YE #4 in '04, YE #12 in '05, 4-2 vs Sampras (2-1 @ Majors)​
    ---

    ...I think Sampras ends up #11, only just. As you can see, my list is not only about major count. Djokovic's ahead of Nadal due to 5 WTF titles to 0 (by ext. Nadal's almost complete inability to play on indoor HC for an ATG), 1 extra YE #1 & more wks @ #1.

    Hewitt is ahead of Agassi & Wawrinka for much the same reasons, & Kuerten is ahead of Wawrinka. Roddick's ahead of Safin just due to consistently making the WTF/YEC in his career, & more major finals = though he won 1 < than Safin. He also finished as YE #1. So I agree that Sampras shouldn't go ahead of Safin, & by ext., Roddick either.
    ===

    - http://www.gamenguide.com/articles/91327/20161214/john-mcenroe-explains-why-roger-federer-still-greatest-of-all-time.htm -

    John McEnroe shared his thought on the legacy of Federer & Nadal, as arguably 2 best tennis players of their respective HOF careers.

    In a radio interview w/ WFAN host Marc Malusis on Tues. in NYC via Tennis Today, McEnroe provided his updated version of tennis All-X rankings. For McEnroe, Fed's still the GOAT largely b/c of the body of work he had accomplished in his career. McEnroe pointed out the Swiss Master's longevity & consistency over the span of his pro career makes him the ult. tennis player. ...He thinks Nadal's the Waterloo to Federer's >ness, although injuries & inconsistencies the last 2-3 yrs certainly hurt his claim as the GOAT.

    "Federer overall, consistency-wise, is the best player ever," McEnroe told WFAN host Marc Malusis in a radio interview on Tues. in NYC. "If you put Nadal, who is to me, the other guy. Those 2 if they played 1-on-1 & both guys were playing their best, I would say Nadal matches up better w/ Federer.

    Knowing that Federer & Nadal may have @ least 2 yrs left in their careers, McEnroe considers Murray & Djokovic as the top-2 players in the world right now. He added that Djokovic's accomplishment the last 4 yrs pushed him to top-5 all X. However, like Murray, the American predicts Djokovic to have 2 good yrs left in him before he hits the wall. "There's a void that's about to occur b/c of what's happened w/ (Roger) & (Rafael)," McEnroe told Malusis.
    ---

    If John's only talking about Open Era, he m/b right. Considering ATG's though, Laver & Rosewall are superior to Nadal & = Federer. Including the pro tour, Rosewall won 9 slams on wood, 8 on grass, & 6 on clay-RG. Laver won 2 on clay, 12 on grass, 5 on wood. As for longevity, Rosewall won 2 slams @ 18, one on grass; the other on clay & 2 more by age 22. Ken won 4 slams & reached 4 other slam finals ages 33-39, winning slams at 33, 35, 36, & 37 and reached his last 2 finals at 39; the USO final just short of turning 40.
    ---

    You =ing Pro Majors w/ modern slams is ridiculous. Rosewall's longevity's fantastic, but he was the 3rd best player of his era spending most of his yrs as #2 to Gonzalez & then Laver. Federer's the clearly >er player being so far the clearly >est player of his era & in fact the Open Era IMO. Winning 'slams' on wood in 4 Rd tourneys that aren't = all bo5 can't be compared to what Federer has accomplished.

    If your primary criteria for rating players is longevity, then Rosewall's probably GOAT w/ Gonzalez & Tilden in the conversation; however it's not his pro majors that would put him up there. ...***

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  52. ...Hoad was close in the late 50's making final of the USO b 4 losing his chance at immortality winning the CYGS.

    ***Fiero, Hoad IS immortal in every case!***

    His legend can only survive if "the living" keep invoking his >ness! ...You see what we tried to do w/ Sampras; totally putting him ahead of Laver which if you think about it "is ridiculous!" Opinion will change as the decades roll & the names have t/b in a record book to remember them! Hoad was great, but he was 1 match short of sure immortality to rival Laver, Rosewall, Gonzales, Connors, McEnroe, Agassi, Sampras, Federer, Nadal, & now Djokovic!

    ***...Hoad's 1 of the few immortals & surely = more that than players like Connors & Nadal. He won 2 Wimbledons and was nearer to the GS than Rosewall, Gonzalez, Connors, McEnroe, Agassi, Sampras, Federer, Nadal & Djokovic were = though I admit that it whb an amateur GS.
    ---

    ...Berdych has deteriorated, but it'll still require some doing from Nadal to get thru this match.***

    We keep giving credit to the "stick-to it-ness" of Berdych, but that's been his whole problem! He's maybe upset Fedalic once when it meant something; Oly., AO, Wimbledon, or Masters! He, along w/ his contemporaries who had "so much game," were unable to harness & use it to their benefit! They w/b forgotten after they retire! Add Tomas' name to the others on the list of wasted talent: Ferrer, Gasquet, Nalbandian, Monfils, Tsonga! They so underachieved, lacking mental fortitude to make X finals! Even Cilic & Wawrinka waited until their hair had turned gray before realizing their potential! It's been very frustrating to see this happen every short tennis gen.; a great talent never realized! Today the honor falls on players like Baby Fed; my thinking he w/b great! Grigor blew it!

    ***I for one, still have a lot of hope in Grigor. His problems have largely been mental. But now that the media pressure's off of him, it w/b interesting to see when will he reach the top 10, if he ever does. He was on the right track these last few months, but he needs a strong showing @ the AO i.e. so that he can kick things off.
    ---

    Career GS - When you look at the achievement of winning all 4 majors, looking past how prestigious it is publicly, ...

    Back in the day (pre-Open era) 3 of the 4 GS's were played on the same surface (grass), & @ the same speed (fast). The FO was the only 1 that was diff. So while Budge & Laver did achieve an amazing feat by winning all 4 in a single yr, the fact that a player won all 4 majors spoke only to being a good player on the most common surface.

    In today's game, the USO changes speed every yr while Wimbledon & AO have been slowed down for yrs. In any given yr, it's conceivable that all 4 majors w/b played on a slow, medium to high bouncing court. So again, how significant is the achievement ...?

    Federer & Djokovic both felt so much pressure to win the FO in order to secure their legacy as an ATG w/o an *. Pete Sampras failing to win the FO in many analysts minds automatically puts Nadal ahead of him among ATG's (= w/ same # of slams). But is that really fair? When Sampras was in his prime, the surfaces were very diff. from each other. Btw the late 80s & about '01, this mhb the ONLY period in X where the GS's played significantly diff. from each other. In fact, Agassi's arguably the ONLY player to ever win a CS on 4 truly diff. surfaces.
    ---

    ...Only Borg, Laver, & Agassi in the Open era won on slow & fast (the old AO grass wasn't fast). ...Only Agassi won on all 3 speeds. (Again, Wilander's AO success came on slow, baseline-friendly grass.) Importance? Huge for Borg, Laver, & esp. Agassi, since it actually showcased something that set them apart from other legends. Nil for anybody else.***

    ReplyDelete
  53. We, the PEOPLE gave Roger that kind of adoration which no one came close to attaining! ...We all should have gotten it when Nadal actually beat "The GOAT" in his sanctuary in London; '08 Wimbl. final! Most still thought it an aberration; it wasn't! The real aber. w/b if Roger actually beat Rafa; all things being =! By AO in '09, it shb the final nail in that coffin of true comp. btw the 2! Roger was in tears by then IIRC! ...Roger's still the GOAT w/ Nole & Rafa "in waiting!" Laver & Rosewall take a seat just below! Sampras drops to #6! Add on Borg, Lendl, Agassi, McEnroe, & Connors to make up the top 11!

    ***If Federer entered the doubles w/ the right partner, he definitely could win a GS.***

    = > rat'l & realistic! Roger can go the "McEnroe & Martina Sq'd" route & win a lot of dobs titles! Hingis knew her limitations & is winning more now than 10 yrs ago!

    ***2017 - the last "big" yr of the 'Big 4,' enjoy it - This w/b probably the last yr (since '04) that 1 of them would finish as #1 (Murray or Djokovic). Since the the creation of the rankings, the oldest YE #1 were Agassi & Murray both 29. So next yr we would probably witness a "small" record, most likely w/ Andy b/c he has the motivation on his side & a very good pt distrib. to help him maintain a lead.

    Next season would also probably be the last that all 4 of them are playing top 10 level tennis since '07. That yr Andy didn't make it ranking-wise, but that was mostly b/c he missed the clay season + Wimbledon. After '17, Fed w/b 37 - that's a big task = for him. Nadal's also showing signs that he's on his way out ...The only 1 that's probably locked for top 10 in '18 is Murray.

    This could easily become the last yr that they would still be winning Slams. Federer chances in '18 s/b close to 0. Nadal best case scenario a "miracle" RG & that leaves us only w/ Djokovic-Murray, but tennis "decline" is quite sharp & sudden & who knows what would happen in '18. Nadal was on the top of the world after RG '14 & yet he didn't make a single Slam SF after that. So people, it's X to start accepting the changes that are "yet" to come.
    ---

    The Big 4 have won @ least 10 out of 14 "Big Titles" since '05. This signifies there dominance on the ATP tour:

    '05 - 11
    '06 - 11
    '07 - 12
    '08 - 13
    '09 - 11
    '10 - 11
    '11 - 14
    '12 - 13
    '13 - 14
    '14 - 10
    '15 - 13
    '16 - 12

    So, since '05 they have won 80% of all "Big titles" on the tour. The clearest sign of regression was in '14 when 2 other players outside of the "Big 4" won slams & 1 slam final in over a decade which did not have any of the "Big 4." Wawrinka has won 3 majors in 3 successive yrs & he's the only player to achieve this in the "Big 4" era. Lets look at slam stats:

    '05 - 2
    '06 - 4
    '07 - 4
    '08 - 4
    '09 - 3
    '10 - 4
    '11 - 4
    '12 - 4
    '13 - 4
    '14 - 2
    '15 - 3
    '16 - 3

    So, as of yet there are no clear signs of a decline from all 4. Only Nadal & Federer are in a so called 'decline,' but as they declined Djokovic & Murray reached ascendancy. They picked up the baton so that the titles & dominance remain in "Big 4" territory.

    A clear regression w/b a signified decline in winning big tourneys & until the tour picks up the rest of the titles, I don't see any clear sign of regression. But you never know, a decade & more of dominance by 4 players can come to an abrupt end. - Andy's the 4th >est player in terms of achievements relative to his era?***

    I guess he m/b =lent to G. Vilas; winner of majors & a lot of clay titles, but overshadowed by BORG, Connors, & McEnroe!

    ReplyDelete
  54. I miss the days of the specialist ...! Chris Lewis of NZ comes to mind, making Wimbledon final back in '83! Cash actually went ahead & won in '87, beating Lendl! Tanner was good for a few upsets on his way to finals like Wimbl. in '79 vs Borg! Thru their antiquated tech of the day, they figured he pumped his serve up from his normal record 140 to 153 mph in that final losing in 5! It's what made "Breakfast At Wimbledon!" It didn't hurt to have 2 classic finals btw Borg & McEnroe in successive yrs; '80 & '81!

    ***...Connors did compete @ the FO 13 X's, but I agree it whb >er for him if he competed from '74-78. ...- other players whb too strong for him on European red clay after '75 (Borg, Vilas, etc).***

    Connors still would have had to deal w/ Panatta, Nastase, Ramirez, & so many other clay court specialists!

    ***In '74 he was too raw & inexperienced to win it coming in w/ a 1-2 W/L record there. In '75 Connors kept coming up short in big matches, losing 3 major finals & a crucial DC match in Mexico City vs Ramirez. ...His ban from RG in '74 significantly improved his chances of winning Wimbledon a few wks later (there was only 1 wk btw RG & Wimbledon that yr).

    In the '76 summer clay court season, he had run of 28 victories from 29 matches, w/ titles @ Wash'ton, Ind'polis, North Conway, & the USO. During that period he scored victories over Borg, Vilas, Kodes, Gerulaitis, Ramirez (twice), Dibbs (3 X's) & Solomon. Of course it's the b2b victories over Vilas (a str. sets demolition) & Borg to win his USO title that really stand out. The QF & SF line-ups @ the USO on Har-tru from '75-77 were similar to what you'd expect to see on the red clay at RG. ...He actually has 6th best W/L % on clay in the Open era; 201-58 (77.6%) if we only consider players w/ @ least 100 victories on the surface.
    ---

    Do you really think Sampras s/b that far above Djokovic on the ATG list? Silly.***

    I'm one that thinks Nole's career has been more encompassing & complete, = though 2 majors fewer than Nadal! He won consistently on all surfaces & was able to defend any title @ hand compared to Nadal who's never taken cons. chps off clay! Nole's also held the #1 ranking twice as long w/ potential of taking it back by the summer! Nadal's the 5th seed @ Brisbane w/ no Murray, Nole, or Roger in the draw! How the mighty have fallen, but @ least he knows he doesn't have many pts to defend! At the X, the masses were looking for something that didn't exist & elevated Pete beyond his record! He never played a FO final, much < won 1, but he ascended the throne as The GOAT before Fedalic showed up! He had a couple chances; = knocking out a couple past FO champs in Paris in route to the semi's & QF! At least he only went down to eventual champ when he had his best efforts! The fall had t/b precipitous due to what Laver did & the superior records of Fedalic w/ CGS's, more Masters' titles, & rivaling his tenure @ the top over a shorter period of X!

    ***Nadal's chances to defend titles off clay were really killed by his many injuries. The guy has 5 slams off clay; that's no easy feat. The guy has won the American Summer HC Swing! Neither Fed nor Djokovic have been able to do that. So yeah, I think the fact Nadal hasn't defended any title off clay is highly overplayed & not that important. He has 5 off clay, including a victory in the most spectacular Wimbledon in recent history. ...***

    Everyone's got a story! Nole had breathing problems w/ glutton intolerance! He didn't win much in '09 & '10, but came back stronger in '11; the rest is history! We can't say Rafa wasn't in his prime b/c he did snap out of it to win all those titles in '13 like you said, then takes back #1 ranking! Do we think he has a 3rd act? Not me, but hopefully Nole'll have his 2nd in '17! Roger can only be a spoiler more than likely!

    ReplyDelete
  55. ***...But Fed's #1, which means Djokovic is very, very far from Federer, = after playing in such a weak era & winning so many easy slams. I suppose the experts are right according to you.***

    Well I'm an expert & I've posted on the subject many X's! Federer's the GOAT, but Nole has a chance t/b the un??'d #2 w/ 2 more majors! He has X, but summer & fall of last season didn't look good! He had chances to save his season; funny we can say "save" after completing a "Nole-Slam" w/ 2 > majors "down under" & Paris, but that's how spoiled & complacent we've become w/ the consistency of Djokovic over the last sev. yrs!

    ***He's not getting to #2 on any kind of GOAT list unless he bests 17. You only enter that discussion if you dominate your own era. Right now he's 3rd in his own, which, at a bare minimum, has him looking uphill @ Fed, Sampras, Borg, & Laver.
    ---

    = if he ties Nadal, you have to acknowledge Nadal would have achieved much more on HC than Nole achieved on clay (unless he wins 2 > RG titles, which he very well could). Nadal w/o injuries whb up there w/ Fed. - Yeah, and Nadal owned Nole in 2013 despite coming off a huge layoff due to injury because Nole reverted to the fetus stage?***

    Was Nadal injured in '11 going down 6 finals to Djokovic; make it 7 after longest match of theirs in '12 AO! No one's done that to Rafa but Nole & he's accomplished it twice now!

    ***No, he wasn't injured, but neither was Nole in '13. Remember their H2H in slams.***

    Nole's been a victim of his own success! He's had listless periods where he seemed t/b sleepwalking, but like Borg, if you win all the X w/ high expectations, it has to weigh on a person! Look @ Nole's '15 w/ 3 majors, 6 Masters, the YEC, & was a finalist in the 3 other events he played! = Roger wasn't that dominant! Anything < would look apathetic & it shows how we considered his results from last summer & fall after completing his Nole-Slam!

    ***Yeah, Nadal's injuries are not a legitimate excuse, but poor Nole c/b forgiven b/c of suffering from debilitating bouts of melancholia.
    ---

    Fed's serve is unusually slow & IDK why. His top speed is 196 kph, slower than Gasquet's which is 200.***

    IIRC when Navratilova started having trouble in the 90's; nothing on the serve! By her last Wimbledon final in '94, she was just spinning it in & Martinez ate it up by the 3rd set!

    ***Women's tennis before the 80s is laughable competition. - The 70s to Mid 80's were a > X in women's tennis. It went into a lull mid to late 80 thru 90's, but got better towards end 90's. Seles mhm the 90's OK; still lacking a decent #3. It lacked quality @ the pointy end w/ 37 yo Navratilova in '94 Wimbl. final.***

    What made Martina's run to the final so amazing, she had already declined so far as to not = win a match on her farewell tour in tourn. after tourn.! Graf being upset in the 1st Rd of Wimbl. must have helped her psyche, while things just opened up for her! She had a chance to actually win since Martinez had never made a major final before, but Navratilova's serve was already gone! Spinning it in just gave Conchita all kinds of X to topspin the ball DTL or crosscourt w/ Martina groping for it by the 3rd set! It was a wonderful way to exit @ her 2nd home on Center Ct = though dropping her final singles match in '94!

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  56. ***Why Djokovic's '15 wasn't as great as many think: an analysis

    - http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2015-12-13/21340.php -

    Yes, Novak just wrapped up 1 of the >est seasons in tennis history. There’s no denying that. It deserves its place among the best. But it’s not the best nor do I think it’s even his best.

    Djokovic had an = stronger '11 when he won 3 GS's & finished #1. This yr & the last few yrs have been a step backward in the quality of men’s tennis. Of course that’s coming off a high from around '09-11. I think the peak level of play was 3-4 yrs ago when Djokovic, Fed, Nadal & = Murray were all @ a very high level.

    At present, Murray’s still good, Fed is playing well, but Nadal is the real laggard. He’s been a shell of his former self. The level of comp. in gen. has declined of late. Let’s compare who’s better now vs '11:

    2 Murray – I don’t see much change in Murray. He's benefited from the decline of Nadal & Fed.

    3 Federer – '11 ...He’s 34 now, he was better in '11 when he was 30. I know he had a great yr in '15, but he benefited from a weak field.

    4 Nadal – '11 ...Nadal was a beast in '10/11. Almost unbeatable. Now when he plays Djokovic, it’s an utter mismatch.

    Many top players had a “down” yr in '15. But to me the key guys are Fed & Nadal.

    In '11 Djokovic went 4-1 (80%) vs the Swiss. This yr he was 5-3 over Roger (62.5%).

    ...Roger still authored a 17-match win streak following his 5-set loss to Novak in the USO SF. And he never lost to anyone outside the Top 20 all yr.

    ...Meanwhile, the younger gen. like A. Zverev, Coric, Kokkinakis, Sock & Kyrgios are all rising quickly. Again why? B/c the young guys are better than these middle-tier, B-level 30-70 ranked guys. And also now when facing a Roger or Rafa, there’s a chance to win (& Kyrgios took advantage last yr vs Rafa & then beat Roger this yr). 4, 5 yrs ago there wasn’t that chance.

    Back in '11, Djokovic was faced w/ a peak Nadal (beat Nadal 6 out of 6 X's), a worthy – not aging per se – Federer & a competent Murray. And I still believe that had Fognini not WD from that FO QF, Novak would have won RG that yr. He was playing that good. And yes, better than today (I think Novak '11 beats Novak '15. FWIW, Novak has better serve #'s this yr, but he had better return #'s in '11).***

    Regardless of actual stats, only taking a glance @ the RB; my personal memory says Nole not only acquired 3 more majors in '15, he took an extra match since he also was a finalist in Paris after dropping semi to Fed in '11! He set a record in Masters 1000 history, winning 6 & being in all 8 finals he played skipping Madrid! He not only took an extra MS1000, he won the YEC; his 4th in a row & 5 overall! I can only go by the overall record; no matter what the stats say & how much more impressive he was in demolishing his opp.!

    ***...'11 was definitely more impressive than '15! '14-17 will go down as the weakest era in history.***

    '11 is more impressive due to level of comp. was much stronger! Everyone was around & healthy including 6 str. final wins over Nadal & Roger & Andy nipping @ his heels in the semis! Nole was more offensive & took it to his rivals while in '15 he waited them out; more a war of attrition he successfully coined as 1 of the best ever!

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  57. ***...Djok's streak's still >er, since Vilas' was done purely on clay w/ many smaller events. Nadal could've easily topped it if he played only clay events for 1/2 a yr like Vilas did.***

    Vilas did win AO & Masters' YEC on grass way back when! He truly was the Murray of his era; all kinds of game, but 2 or 3 other ATG's prevented him from making a >er mark!

    ***Federer hasn't won the GS.***

    He came as close as you can; if you allow earlier FO final instead of looking @ HOAD dropping USO final in the late 50's!

    ***...But Federer has never had 6+ month extended break w/ injury. Most players take 2-3 yrs to come back where they were before the break. Only player who I've seen could make instant comeback(s) is Nadal (couple of X's actually since he was 16 yo & injured).***

    All of the Big 3/4 have been amazing when we think of past history w/ injuries! It was near impossible to take off a few months & make an immediate impact! These guys have made it routine from minor issues of Nole to major surgeries for Fedalray! They all continued to run the tour w/o exception until Wawrinka finally broke thru! It took a Herculean effort by both @ the top to allow it t/b settled on the last day of the season @ the YEC; Murray's winning in the summer & fall & Nole's inexplicable collapse after completing his "CGS!"

    ***...Nobody I know of whom took 6+ month break w/ injury could come back where they belong almost instantly like Nadal did a few X's. Of course, Nadal is taking X & another long break w/ injury. Players usually need 2-3 yrs or never be able to come back to where they used to belong. - Roger-Rafa rivalry is still alive. Great!***

    Both have to make it to their respective Rds to keep a so called rivalry alive; 1 or both have been upset of late!

    ***They could potentially meet in the 3rd Rd @ AO. Due to sagging rankings, they'll be expected to meet earlier in the future. The funny thing about potential meeting in earlier Rds is that it has better chance of actually happening as they have fewer hurdles to get there. So, we might see a whole lot of modern pre-QF Fedal matches from now on. It w/b interesting to see whether a dilapidated Fed can beat banged-up Rafa.
    ---

    If Federer & Nadal end up in the same 1/4, only then will we have a chance of having a Fedal match @ some pt. Otherwise, it's difficult.***

    It just has not been happening; more sure of Nole playing Roger! Their record remains close = though Nole's taken most of their matches; esp. in the majors in the last 2 yrs!

    ***YE Djokovic whb expected to win by many. He had a cakewalk of a draw compared to Murray. Looking forward to the 2st Final w/ these guys in '17, but the 1 that matters is AO if both guys make it.***

    Cakewalks only seem to get Nole to the final! That USO was a tourney for the ages w/ defaults, retirements, & apathetic play from his opps! Stan has become Nole's Kryptonite; taking him out of AO in '14 winning over Nadal & '15 FO & '16 USO finals! Even though I can't stand Murray's game, @ least he beat the best to take those titles last season; snatching the #1 on the last day!

    ***...The player who attacks loses the pt more often than not. ...***

    What good has it done for Ferrer, Berdych, Almagro, & all those other defensive counterpunchers to just hang on the baseline trying to beat the elite over the last 10 yrs? What do they have to show for it; 4 or 5 wins out of a collective 100 matches? I scream @ the TV all the X; = when Nole & Andy do it! A great offensive shot was hit & they know a weak reply is coming back, but they still hang back afraid to approach the net! It's sad & pathetic to see them actually back up rather than take the ball out of the air; truly weak!

    ReplyDelete
  58. ***Something like old grandpa Federer @ #2 or #3 during '14 & '15!***

    Ken Rosewall held on = longer; making Wimbledon & USO finals in '74! He lost both to Connors @ the age of 39 & was in the finals of 9 tourneys, barely in the top 10!

    ***According to some posters on here, Nadal's prime is '08, '10 & '13; Djoker prime is '11-16 RG, while Federer's prime is '03-'20!***

    J/b Nadal won in those yrs doesn't make it his prime; IMO it s/b now, but the competition is tough with Nole, Andy, & Stan in his way! Roger's tech. past his prime; actually overachieving by making 3 major finals in the last 2 yrs! This is Djokovic's prime right now, but having a ?? of heart & desire now that he's acquired that FO to complete his Nole-Slam! He hasn't been the same since May; dropping a set to Verdasco in Qatar today! That shouldn't happen in the beginning of the season!

    ***Some recs that c/b broken in '17:

    Rafa needs 1 more clay title to surpass Vilas for most of the OE; currently tied @ 49. Rafa also needs 4 more clay Slam matches to surpass Vilas' 75.

    Roger has 2 more Slam appearances to tie Fabrice Santoro w/ 70, 3 more to surpass as the sole leader (Roger already holds the OE rec. for most Slam titles 17, finals 27, SF's 40, QF's 48, & matches won 307).

    If Roger wins 1 more Wimbledon or USO, he becomes the OE leader in titles of those; currently he's the co-leader w/ Sampras for Wim (7), Connors & Sampras for the USO (5).

    One more match win @ Wimbledon & Roger surpasses Connors as most match wins @ Wimbl.; they're currently tied @ 84.

    If Novak reaches all 4 Slam SF's, he'll tie Federer for 5 yrs in which they've done that; already the only players of the OE who have done it more than once.

    Rafa is currently the only player who has won 9 titles @ any tourn.; done it @ 3 (RG, MC, Barcel.). If Roger wins Halle, he'll have 9 titles there.

    If Rafa wins a title in '17, it w/b his 14th yr in a row tying Lendl for 2nd; Roger's 1st w/ 15 yrs in a row ('01-15).

    Novak needs 1 more WTF to tie Roger w/ 6.
    ===

    WTF's irrelevant. Nadal's OG trumps Fed's 6 YEC w/ ease.***

    Olympics are a glorified exh.; a total joke IMO! It pulls no weight since past ATG's didn't = have a chance to play in it! They've done everything to take away from the event by accommodating "the pros" when the OG's were supposed t/b the epitome of amateur sports! You want to make the event more legit, make them work for it like any other major tpurney; Bo5 & no TB in the ult. set! That might thin out the herd of grizzled old players & allow new blood to run in the veins of the game! This event has been corrupted & made into some kind of status symbol for "The Big 4" when it's been won by someone as low as Massu in '04 and recently w/ Puig! WHO?? I still appreciate their taking the GOLD since they are so obscure & anonymous!

    ***Problem u have is Djokovic, Murray, Nadal, Delpo, & Federer all place Olympics @ same level as a slam. None have ever mentioned WTF as a big aim of their yr.***

    I grew up where the YEC was huge; a goal t/b = invited! It's been downgraded IMO due to more accommodation to the elites of the game; Bo3, TB's, etc.! It was bad enough when they made individual events Bo3 sev. yrs ago; somewhat taking away from the success of Nole who's won B2B2B more than a few X's! Bo5 kept a lot of that from occurring = w/ Lendl, McEnroe, Sampras, & Agassi playing the game! It was a true rarity to go from HC to clay, but Djokovic has made it seem routine! Can he do it again starting @ IW? I'd put any Masters 1000 event above OG!

    ReplyDelete
  59. ***After every single 1 of Djokovic 2011's posts, the disclaimed "since '11" s/b added.***

    Nole had more going for him than most players before '11; an AO title, a YEC, a few Masters 1000 wins & firmly the #3 player in the world! How many can say that?

    ***...Novak's attritional style of play promotes burnout as an added extra.***

    The same c/b said of the ugly game of Murray! He really gets juiced outlasting his opps in those long rallies! I think he looks like an idiot running "suicides" back & forth 20 yds behind the baseline! I faded in & out while telecast running this morning, but he seemed to attack more & finish off pts @ the net! I've been saying all players should do more of that to elim. 3-4 hr contests due to long rallies, routine stalling & toweling off, & X taken for replays which are "throw-aways" just to suck air! I just don't apprec. how the game's played these days; MTO's SOP! Anything short of cramping into a ball should not get attention! This is supposed t/b a game of strength, skill, & a lot of luck! Blisters, backaches, & twisted ankles are a hazard of the game & shouldn't get attention just so a contest c/b extended another 1/2 hr waiting for them to steady themselves!

    ***...It seems like tour pros today can't hit a decent shot, or really any shot w/o looking towards their coach (or "team") for some sort of nod, perhaps a raised eyebrow of approval or love. No bad shot can be hit w/o then turning toward one's coach for some sort of reassurance or explanation. ...Watch a match from @ least 20 yrs ago & you simply don't see any of this. Even figure skaters, notorious for a kind of umbilical relationship w/ their coaches, seem < needy of a pat on the back or a warm look of approval. Pros today are a pathetic embarrassment to the concept of self reliance. - You shouldnt base the entire tour on Murray, Djok & Nadal.
    ---

    Many of them seem to have a bit in common w/ the No. Korean leadership, threatening to purge members of their box if the standing ovations aren't fawning/enthusiastic enough when they hit a winner.***

    The tour has catered & made accommodations for the stars & IDK why the other tour players let them get away w/ it! There are seasonal votes, but again & again something's being changed to make it easier for the Big 4 to hang on & win; Masters 1000 now just Bo3, schedule changes giving them X to recover (Wimbledon used t/b a wk after FO), rules giving them option to skip events, etc.!

    ***Novak played his A game most of the match & barely won in Qatar final over Murray. In WTF final, his game btw A & B got straighted. Andy really has raised his game from last yr. - ...Novak's usually better at generating angles & changing direction from the FH than Andy so playing w/ controlled aggresion comes more natural to Novak & when he's confident in his dtl shots he'll usually dictate the majority of rallies in this match-up. Add'ly Novak's strokes & movement require < effort than Andy's so in a war of attrition, Novak's more often than not the one who can keep up a >er level for longer.

    Overall I think it was a quite + wk for Novak. His level of play was nothing special before the final, but it usually doesn't need t/b until @ least the semis & in the moments of crisis (@ 1:5 down in the 1st Rd & trailing 2:6 in the TB vs Verdasco) he seemed calm & believed that playing w/ good quality, but well w/i himself w/b enough to turn those situations around. Then in the final he was able to raise his level significantly & winning it the way he did m/b more valuable than a routine 6:3, 6:4 victory whb as it also showed that the ability to more or < immediately bounce back from huge disappointments w/i a match, which IMO played an important role in his dominant period btw Wimbledon '14 & RG '16's still there when he's in a good place mentally.***

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  60. ***I've been undertaking a lengthy study of the >est tennis matches of the Open Era.

    1 - Borg v McEnroe -- '80 Wimbl. Final --- 16 75 63 67 86
    2 - Sampras v Becker -- '96 Masters Final --- 36 76 76 67 64
    3 - Nadal v Federer -- '08 Wimbl. Final --- 64 64 67 67 97
    4 - Wilander v Lendl -- '88 USO Final --- 64 46 63 57 64
    5 - Ivanisevic v Rafter -- '01 Wimbl. Final --- 63 36 63 26 97
    6 - Safin v Federer -- '05 AO SF --- 57 64 57 76 97
    7 - Rosewall v Laver -- '72 Dallas Final --- 46 60 63 67 76
    8 - Djokovic v Nadal -- '12 AO Final --- 57 64 62 67 75
    9 - Sampras v Courier -- '95 AO QF --- 67 67 63 64 63
    10 - Djokovic v Federer -- '11 USO SF --- 67 46 63 62 75
    11 - Chang v Lendl -- '89 FO Rd of 16 --- 46 46 63 63 63
    12 - McEnroe v Wilander -- '82 DC QF --- 97 62 1517 36 86
    13 - Rafter v Agassi -- 2000 Wimbl. SF --- 75 46 75 46 63
    14 - Lendl v Cash -- '84 USO SF --- 36 63 64 67 76
    15 - McEnroe v Connors -- '84 USO SF --- 64 46 75 46 63
    16 - Borg v Gerulaitis -- '77 Wimbl. SF --- 64 36 63 36 86
    17 - Connors v Krickstein -- '91 USO Rd of 16 --- 36 76 16 63 76
    18 - Wilander v Cash -- '88 AO Final --- 63 67 36 61 86
    19 - Nadal v Verdasco -- '09 AO SF --- 67 64 76 67 64
    20 - Sampras v Agassi -- '01 USO QF --- 67 76 76 76
    ...
    26 - Djokovic v Murray -- '12 AO SF --- 63 36 67 61 75
    27 - Smith v Nastase -- '72 Wimbl. Final --- 46 63 63 46 75
    28 - Federer v Djokovic -- '11 FO SF --- 76 63 36 76
    29 - Becker v Agassi -- '89 DC SF --- 67 67 76 63 64
    30 - Borg v Connors -- '81 Wimbl. SF --- 06 46 63 60 64
    31 - Nadal v Djokovic -- '09 Madrid SF --- 36 76 76
    32 - Lendl v Connors -- '84 Masters SF --- 75 67 75
    ...
    41 - Safin v Agassi -- '04 AO SF --- 76 76 57 16 63
    42 - Nadal v Murray -- '10 Masters SF --- 76 36 76
    43 - Borg v McEnroe -- '79 Masters SF --- 67 63 76
    44 - Borg v Connors -- '79 Masters RR --- 36 63 76
    ...
    48 - Federer v Roddick -- '09 Wimbl. Final --- 57 76 76 36 1614
    49 - Sampras v Martin -- '92 USO Rd of 32 --- 76 26 46 75 64
    50 - Chang v Lendl -- '91 GS Cup SF --- 26 46 64 76 97

    Stats:

    1968-79 - 7
    1980-89 - 11
    1990-99 - 10
    2000-09 - 15
    2010-15 - 7

    grass - 12
    hard - 19
    clay - 6
    indoor - 15

    Federer - 8
    Nadal - 8

    Lendl - 7

    Becker - 6
    Connors - 6
    Djokovic - 6
    Sampras - 6

    Agassi -5
    Borg - 5
    ---

    Nadal's the best defense on clay.***

    Nole's obviously the best HC defender making so many USO & AO finals; winning 8 in all; not to mention all those Masters 1000 events amassed over the last few yrs!

    ***So excited for AO. Only tourney worth waking up @ 2 AM for both finals.***

    ...It shb done an hr earlier if Nole had just served it out in the 4th!

    ***Did Novak serve for it in the 4th? That match had everything.***

    It's happened quite a few X's! It's not like he's choking or = pulling back much on his effort; it c/b Fedal snatching back a break & winning the set in a TB! OTTH it happened @ '12 AO in the 4th, '11 USO in the 3rd, '14 Wimbledon (up 2 brks) in the 4th, & 4th set @ '15 USO! I actually predict it; "he's going t/b serving for it in the 3rd of '11 USO & end up having to win in 4!"

    ***Oh please! Don't remind me! Rafa junking that BH @ 4-2, 30-15, when I think Novak was resigned to his fate. A "tight" shot, if ever I saw one. I still can't believe it.***

    Both of them had nerves @ the end of that WAR! It was the 7th str. win for NOLE & Rafa's confidence shaken, but obviously not for long! He took back the #1 ranking in '13; his last real 2nd act w/ '14 FO! That's been it except for the occ. Masters' win on clay! Does he have 1 more good run in him "anywhere" on the map? For once, I don't think the tour will "lay down" for him & Roger! Looking forward to something reminiscent of Black Monday @ '90 FO losing top 2 seeds; Edberg & Becker in the 1st Rd!

    ReplyDelete
  61. ***...yeah, I see more upsets, younger players getting better & better. The collective hold on the tour and the big titles getting weaker & weaker. It is inevitable after all.***

    We've been waiting for over 10 yrs! So far only Cilic & Wawrinka have broken the lock on majors & Masters 1000 events! First it was Baby Fed w/ the potential, and since then seen many come & go including Kei & Raonic, now Zverev & Theim! There are a # of other HOT players, but they still haven't made their mark!

    ***...it's hard not to think the Big 4 will rule the roost, @ least 1 more yr. But I also think we have to keep in mind the young guys coming up. ...Kyrgios has the talent & skills to win right now, just not the attitude. Maybe he'll never win a Slam, but maybe he'll win the AO. Thiem m/b a threat @ RG this yr, & maybe the others soon enough. Milos needs to get over the hump & actually beat Novak. Zverev still has some growing to do (quite literally, in terms of filling out), & the author agrees w/ me that he's going to be a Slam threat in '18.
    ---

    ...So yeah...'17's still wide open, but the window's going to close, & soon. If the Big 4 do dominate (meaning, win 3+ Slams & take at least the top 2 spots), I think this w/b the last year.***

    Many players have the ability & as good as the Big 4 have been over the last decade, when vulnerable the "also-rans" couldn't complete the job; many X's w/ leads & X MP's! It just been gutless & will continue to think that way until someone breaks thru & breaks thru this yr; not '18!

    ***One way to get a rough est. of a great player's broad prime yrs is to look at the span in which they won Slams. ...Or we can look at Federer, who hasn't won a Slam since '12, but finished #2 and #3 in 2014-15, clearly still a top player. ...For this I looked 1st @ the Open Era, although w/ sev. players stretched further back before the Open Era. The Open Era 6+ Slam winners, ranked by order of "Slam Title Span":

    20 Rosewall ('53-72)
    13 Sampras ('90-02)
    12 Becker ('85-86)
    12 Agassi ('92-03)
    10 Laver ('60-69)
    10 Connors ('74-83)
    10 Federer ('03-12)
    10 Nadal ('05-14)
    9 Newcombe ('67-75)
    9 Djokovic ('08-16)
    8 Borg ('74-81)
    7 Lendl ('84-90)
    7 Wilander ('82-88)
    7 Edberg ('85-91)
    6 McEnroe ('79-84)

    ..Rosewall won his 1st Slams @ age 18, his last at 37. Secondly, what a short flash McEnroe was - only 6 yrs. Finally, of these players only 1 of them never had a multi-Slam yr: Stefan Edberg. Every other 6+ Slam winner of the Open Era had at least 1 yr in which they won X Slams.

    Beyond the Open Era:

    16 Bill Tilden ('20-35)
    14 Pancho Gonzales ('48-61)

    The pure #'s:

    20 yrs: 1 player
    16 yrs: 1 player
    14 yrs: 1 player
    13 yrs: 1 player
    12 yrs: 2 players
    11 yrs: 3 players
    10 yrs: 5 players
    9 yrs: 5 players
    8 yrs: 2 players
    7 yrs: 6 players
    6 yrs: 2 players
    5 yrs: 3 players

    ...Roger & Rafa are stuck @ 10 yrs, & Novak's @ 9. If Roger wins a Slam in '17, all of a sudden his range jumps to 15 yrs, more than any player other than Tilden & Rosewall. ...Novak would extend his to 10 w/ a win - which seems very likely.***

    Thanks! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  62. The BIG 2's game can keep them in matches when another bkup game's isn't enough to win on their worst days! Love Raonic & his game, but he has t/b "in the zone!" Most know all they need to do is kick the ball back anyway possible & Milos'll spray shots all over the place! That doesn't happen w/ most elite players who weather storms all the X! ...Not sure it was that bad back in the pre-Open era! ...I'm hoping for someone out of nowhere like Kygrios, Zverev, or Theim! It wouldn't bother me to have Milos or Dimitrov, but no reason it shouldn't continue t/b owned by Nole! I just hope for another FO later in the season!

    ***Fed's got 1980 pts @ the moment, of which 720 are his AO SF. So after AO, he'll have 1260 + whatever he earns there. Current world # 32 Kohlschreiber has 1325 pts. So if Fed loses in the 3rd Rd or earlier, he'll either drop out of the top 32, or be close to doing so. Pessimistic scenario w/b loss vs Berdych in R3 for 1350 pts. Optimistic senario: loss vs Murray in QF, 1620 pts.

    Fed's entered for Dubai, Miami & IW where he has no pts to defend. = in the pessimistic scenario, he ought t/b seeded for the MS events by picking up some pts in Dubai. ...

    AO QF exit: 1620 pts - Ca 600 pts required. E.g., 1 MS final, OR 1 MS SF + 1 MS QF + Dubai QF etc., OR 2 MS QF + Dubai F.

    AO R4 exit: 1440 pts. Ca 750 pts required. E.g., 1 MS final + Dubai SF, OR 2 MS SF, etc.

    AO R3 exit: 1350 pts, Ca 850 pts required. E.g., 1 MS final + 1 MS SF, 1 MS final + Dubai F or similar.

    W/ a good chance of getting tough draws in the MS events, it would seem that Fed needs to reach the AO QF's in order to have a realistic chance of being back in the top 16 by the start of the claycourt season. Of course, it's far from clear whether or not he'll play MC where he's got a QF to defend, so = if he does make it back to the top 16, it's not clear that he w/b there for the clay-court MS events he enters.

    Making it safely into the top 16 seeds for the FO, otoh, would seem like a reasonable proposition if Fed's anywhere near his level of the last few yrs. The big ?? for me is whether he c/b seeded top 8 for Wimbledon. His previous 2 yrs results w/b some help in view of the seeding formula, but he'd still need some fairly strong performances in the next few months. I guess we'll have a better idea where his form is after the AO!
    ===

    When will the next double digit slam holder emerge? - I think the next guy that'll do it hasn't hit puberty yet.

    Zverev has promise, but IDK he can get up to 10. Thiem's only consistent on clay, but I dont see him getting 10 titles @ RG. Kyrgios doesn't have the head game for 10. I think we have to wait for 20 more yrs to get someone that undisputedly dominant.***

    I don't understand the thought; as if it's something routine! In my day, it was so rare as to it only occurring twice in recent memory w/ Borg, then Sampras racing past him! It was quiet until these last 10 yrs w/ 3 who've easily hit double digits! I don't think it's going to happen again in my lifetime! None are good enough from what lit'l I've seen of the new bloods!

    ***The late 80s was just brutal. You had Wilander, Lendl, Becker, & Edberg all in their primes. Connors & McEnroe were still good @ X's. Sampras & Agassi were rising towards the end, + w/ glimmers of Chang & Courier, Stich & Muster. Plus there were some talented 2nd tier players in Mecir, Cash, Leconte, Carlsson.

    In the ATP ranking era ('73-2016), there have been only 4 yrs in which all of the YE top 5 were all ATG 6+ Slam winners: '85, '87, '88, '90. That is, 4 out of the 6 yrs btw '85-90. Connors, McEnroe, Lendl, Wilander, Edberg, Becker, Agassi, & Sampras all ranked in the top 5 @ some pt during that span of 6 yrs.***

    ReplyDelete
  63. ***I've noticed several things that are very close btw Sampras & Djokovic.

    Similarities:

    Sampras won his 1st GS in '90- the USO. 11 slams later, he breaks thru to win his 2nd.

    Djokovic won his 1st GS in '08- the AO. 12 slams later, he wins his 2nd.

    Sampras won 9 slams btw '93 & '97, winning 2 every yr but '96.

    Djokovic won 9 slams btw '11 & '15, winning 3 in '11 & '15, but only 1 in '12-14.

    Sampras won 7 titles @ Wimbl., only missing 1 from '93-2000.
    Djokovic won 6 titles @ the AO so far, missing only 1 from '11-16, but 3 from '08-16.

    Differences:

    Djokovic won a FO. Sampras did not.
    Sampras has a 2nd-fave slam- the USO, where he won 5 titles. Djokovic's 2nd most fave is Wimbl., where he has 3 titles.

    If we take Sampras' we equate Djokovic's '08 to Sampras' '90 & equate Pete's run until 2000 w/ Djokovic's until '18. Expect to see Djokovic winning only 1 slam a yr every yr (in his fave slam, no <) beyond '15 until '18, @ which pt he'll mount a comeback & win 1 more slam in '20.

    However, Djokovic has won 2 slams in '16. This c/b a slight deviance from the trend, or it c/b all wrong.
    ---

    ...If Johnny Mac had had any reason to bother w/ the AO, you could pencil him in for (@ min.) 4 more slams. ...And if the FO had been homogenized to medium speeds the way Wimbl., the U.S., & the Aussie have since been homogenized to slow courts, you could have counted on him for 2 or 3 of those as well. Meaning that a McEnroe whb good for 14-15 slams.

    8 in that era was roughly the =lent of 14 today.

    Sampras's clay performance couldn't be < meaningful. Diff. era w/ diff. requirements. You had to choose. ...You have to compare an era's greats vs the other greats in the era. And Djokovic comes up short in such a comparison. The best of the best in his era of homogenized, slow court slams, have outpaced him by 40%.

    In Pete's era, he outpaced his contemporaries by 75%. He is, w/o ??, far, far >er than Djokovic.

    The ignorance & bafflement of the average poster here about anything that happened before '10 is laughable.

    Novak simply isn't anywhere near being on the same tier of all X greatness as Pete. That people = bring up "clay" shows how little they understand about the diff. btw the eras. If the surfaces = allowed the kind of all-surfaces consistency play then that they do now, Pete's closest competitor wouldn't have barely eked out 1/2 the slams.

    Novak needs to take care of his own era before he can go comparing himself to the greats of others. And right now, he's just not = in the discussion for his own. End of debate.
    ---

    To say Sampras is far >er than Djokovic is not a smart move- it's very hard to compare. Djokovic, for starters has the NCYGS, & as such, the CGS. Sampras has neither of these. Djokovic has 2 3-slam yrs, whereas Sampras had 0. ...Also, Djokovic is not that far off from Sampras' "dominant" 286 wks @ #1, since he has 223 wks @ #1, & is likely to add more.

    Their slam records 12-14, respectively, are not that far from one another. Considering Sampras' 18 slam finals over his career & Djokovic's 21 slam finals, it's difficult to make the claim that Sampras was more dominant since he didn't = get that far. Djokovic made more finals than he did, showing consistency & dominance.

    But again, it's too bad that Djokovic has such a good win record in the one slam that doesn't seem to matter to those that don't like Djokovic.

    At this point, I'm leaving room for Sampras. I'll say that he c/b better than Djokovic, but we shouldn't compare b/c it's difficult to. However, Djokovic has a few yrs of play left, & he might just shatter the wks @ #1 & total GS count of Sampras by the X he's done.***

    ReplyDelete
  64. ***Best season ever on each surface?

    HC: Djokovic '15
    Clay: Nadal '10
    Grass: Not sure, probably someone who won both Wimbledon & the AO in the same yr when they were both played on grass.***

    ...Rafa's the clay king, Fed unmatched on grass, & of course no 1's played in or/& won HC finals than Nole in recent memory! They're setting marks that aren't attainable short of "Kerrigan/Harding" conspiracies!

    ***HC - Fed '06 or Djokovic '15 - Fed won 9 tourneys out of 11 he entered (2/2 GS, 1/1 WTF, 4/5 Masters, 2/3 rest). Djokovic won 8 tourneys out of 13 he entered (2/2 GS, 1/1 WTF, 4/6 Masters, 1/3 rest). For me it's Fed.

    Clay - Nadal '05 (8 clay titles) or '10 (no loss, 3 Masters + FO) or Borg '78 (no loss, 4 titles, most dominant GS win ever).

    Grass - Laver '69 or Connors '74. Both won all 3 GS played on grass. Connors has 1 other title, so probably him.
    ===

    19-yo Alex Bublik beat Lucas Pouille. - Pouille was still injured, he should have W/O instead of doing this mess.***

    ...Why go into a major anything but 100% playing vs the best in the world? Back in the day, = Sampras was vulnerable to absolute nobodies!

    ***I initially wanted to see Pouille upsetting Murray, but their h2h is so gruesome--Andy 3-0, Lucas never winning more than 3 games in any of their 6 sets.***

    Murray can frustrate these young players when they feel the pt shb won 4 winners ago; the ball coming back "1 more X!" It can frustrate Nole for a while except Murray's tongue's usually hanging out of his mouth by the 3rd set! ...How soon we forget Štěpánek & French WC Bourgue in Murray's 1st 2 matches at the FO last season!

    ***If defensive play wears players down prematurely, why is it that Andy & Novak are still elite players @ age 29, an age when most greats of the Open Era were in serious decline?

    Andy & Novak are both 29 yo & 8 months, turning 30 in May. Here is where past Open Era greats were @ the exact same age:

    Nadal (Feb, '16): #3-4. Declined from his best, but still better than almost everyone else on tour.

    Federer (April, '11): #3. W/ the ascendancy of Novak, Roger finally slipped to the 3rd best player on tour, a title he would hold for most of the next 5 yrs.

    Sampras (April, '01): #4, but would slip to #10 by the end of the yr. In significant decline, but would win 1 more Slam the following yr.

    Becker (July, '97): #11. Won his last Slam the previous yr, finishing '96 at #6. Would decline sharply, finishing '97 @ #62 & win no further titles as his career peetered out over the next 2 yrs, retiring in '99.

    Wilander (April, '94): Ranked in the 200s. Mats, as you know, had his last & >est yr 6 yrs previously, in '88, then collapsed, but lingered on in a rather gruesome way.

    Bjorn Borg (Feb, '86): Retired. Would try a comeback in the early 90s, but we won't talk about that.

    Connors (May, '82): #3? Rankings are unclear, but Jimmy was, @ this pt, the perennial 3rd best player on tour--having been surpassed by Borg & McEnroe, & then Lendl. But '82 w/b a great yr for Jimmy as he would win both Wimbledon & the USO, & 1 more USO in '83. He remained a top 10 player thru '88 & played into the 90s, retiring @ the age of 40 in '92.

    ...Some definitions:

    Peak: A player's very best yrs.
    Prime: Still elite & not too far from peak, but not as good as best.
    Decline: Far from their best & in obvious decline.

    Peak: Murray, Agassi
    Prime: Lendl, Connors, Federer, Nadal, Djokovic?
    Declined: Sampras, Becker, Edberg, Wilander, McEnroe
    Retired: Borg

    ...So it m/b that you've got it backwards.***

    There are exceptions to every rule & you gave plenty of examples of what I've been saying about defensive play; BORG @ the top of the list w/ burnout! Wilander s/b the poster boy for what I've been saying!

    ReplyDelete
  65. ***...Making a slam final is an achievement in itself. Sampras not making a final isn't a superior performance to Djokovic being runner-up.***

    Both Nadal & Nole have 2 USO's & issues w/ the summer; Nadal more so w/ both summer & fall failures! Nole @ least usually gets refreshed & has a winning record going into the YEC! Not many have that kind of staying power & consistency! It finally caught up w/ him last season though; almost a zombie after the FO & completion of his "Nole-Slam!"

    ***You m/b right about players & X of yr. But I have always thought that Nadal's problem was the increasing speed of the courts. They generally go from 'slow' to 'slow-medium' for the 1st 1/2 of the yr to medium (& a very few med-fast) in the 2nd 1/2 of the yr. Nadal can play well on these faster courts - but he has t/b in peak form to do it eg. '08, '10 & '13. He's still able to win clay tourneys & slow HC when he isn't near his peak. Djokovic's more complex. He seems to do really well in Autumn. ...Note: WTF is a medium-slow court.
    ===

    Rafael Nadal in #'s @ RG:

    > 9 singles titles, the same # as Wilander, Lendl & Kuerten combined.

    > 9 finals contested, 3 more than Bjorn Borg, who had been the record-holder since '81.

    > 9 SF's played, 2 more than trophy holder Cochet, whose record was beaten by Nadal in '13.

    > A title won @ each of his 1st 4 tourneys, beating Bjorn Borg, who "only" won two of his 1st 4 tourneys.

    > 72 total matches won in the 12 yrs he played here. The Spaniard is far ahead of Federer, a distant 2nd w/ 65 victories.

    > 56 matches played on Philippe-Chatrier Court, a record he currently shares w/ 6-X winner Graf.

    > 53 matches won on Phil-Chat. Ct, an all-X record across all eras.

    > The only player since Chang in '89 to have won the tourney before his 20th BD.

    > The only player since Wilander to have won the tourney the 1st X he entered ('05).

    > 39 cons. matches won btw 2010 and 2015, 11 more than Bjorn Borg, who held the previous record w/ 28 cons. matches won btw '78 & '81.

    > 53 matches won 3 sets to love, 9 more than Federer & 22 more than Bjorn Borg.

    > 97.29% win rate, the best in the Open Era. Nadal leads Bjorn Borg, who comes in 2nd w/ a 96.07% win rate at RG.

    > Has won 92.3% of sets played. For 74 matches played @ RG, Nadal dropped only 18 sets (to 11 diff. opps).

    > The only player to have played at RG @ least 10 X's & to never have lost (excl. this yr’s WD) before the Rd of 16.

    > The only player to have made as many finals w/o ever dropping a set. In '07, '08, '10, '12, the Spaniard won his 1st 6 matches in 3 sets.

    > Along w/ Bjorn Borg, the only other player to have won the title twice w/o losing a set. In '08 & '10, he went 21 for 21.

    > The only player to have played 5 finals in a row ('10-14).

    > He has beaten a world #1 player at RG more X's than any other player (Federer in '05-08 & Djokovic in '12, '14).

    > The player who has lost the fewest games upon reaching the SF's. In '08, he lost just 25 games during his 1st 5 Rds.***

    ReplyDelete
  66. ***Poor Novak. ...2R loss to #119 in the world, Istomin; his 1st Slam loss to an opp. outside the top 100.***

    We always expect more from him, but that consistency has to taper off a lit'l! I've stopped assuming early rd wins & take every match seriously now! Murray can coast for a while longer w/ lit'l to defend! If Nole can just take 1 more FO, I'll be happy enough! You can't win them all & he's been pushing it for quite a few yrs w/ a rec. few can dispute is "great!"

    ***What's the chance of Novak losing his #2 ranking running up to say Wimbledon? Many are quick to write him off atm.***

    EveryX you think it can't get any worse; ... The commentators had just made a pt of saying Nole had won like 59 str. sets in the early Rds of the AO! I hadn't a lot of hope of him winning, but to go out in the 2nd Rd! Nole has a lot of pts to defend & starting like this @ his fave major isn't going to help his confidence! Not sure he'll drop to #3 anyX soon, but he probably won't be able to recover his #1 ranking either!

    ***...Really disappointing result for Novak in AO. The way back to #1 now looks very long. I hope he brings back Becker.***

    It shouldn't shock any of us that Novak went out early! We shouldn't think much of it since it has been routine for him w/ 6 titles; the only guy w/ 3 in a row in the Open era! W/ his consistency, we expect him to make the 1/4's or SF's every X! Nole had to come back to Earth sooner or later! I think he's more than earned a little confidence in his ability to come back! It didn't bother me too much! I just hope he gets his act together to start the Masters series events strong; taking @ least 2 of the 1st 3! Right now he's a victim of his own success; needing to defend so many pts before Wimbledon! He took Madrid = though he hadn't planned on going; special invite by tourney owner Tiriac! I only NEED him to win another FO & I'll be satisfied enough! Staying perfect isn't in the cards; = for the other ATG's of Fedal, Sampras, going back to BORG!

    ***I don't see much of a chance of that. As we all know pts-wise, there's a huge gap btw #2 & #3 @ the start of the yr & it'll take lots more to bring Novak down further. - I honestly feel bad for Berdych after his str. set loss to Federer after being away for 6 months.***

    Sorry; he's part of that gutless crowd I've been talking about for yrs that won't make the simplest adjustment to win! He likes being the whipping boy of the "Big 4" & I have lit'l to no sympathy for him! His brother from another mother's Ferrer; just gutless!

    ***Well, in fairness to Berdych he almost got Nadal back w/ his 6x2 6x0 7x6 (allowing 8 games) 2 yrs ago here in Australia. He also had his painful wins over Federer & 1 important win over Djokovic (Wimbl. SF). Vs Murray, he does not have any important wins, but @ least the H2H's not that lopsided... (11-6).***

    Yeah, Tomas has sneaked a handful of matches off the guys over 10 yrs, in what 100-150 contests?

    ***Damn! Murray just lost so all the Federer fans s/b happy now b/c he has a real shot of getting #18 now. Frustrating match as a Murray fan b/c it's 1 of those matches where Murray's head got into him. I give full credit to Micha Zverev for winning the match & playing some spectacular tennis in the 4th set. I'm just hoping he doesn't play stinker in the next rd either vs Federer or Nishikori. Also, there's a real good chance of Wawrinka winning b2b majors now too! Who would've thought that?***

    Been beggin' for this type of play for yrs; chip & charge/slice & dice! People always said it couldn't be done, but it just happened! Andy choked on that #1 seed & may lose it sooner rather than later!

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  67. ***US is far superior to the French.***

    In prestige maybe, but not in the venue & accommodations! ...Our chp s/b labeled 'schitzo' changing from clay to HC @ Flushing just 3 yrs later in '78! Even the mix keeps changing; a virtual pane of glass where the ball was shooting thru the court like it had been oiled! Vilas was upset early by a lit'l known American by the name of Butch Waltz! ...FM very early on was panned w/ many suggesting it be "A-bombed!" Do I need to bring up the noise w/ planes flying overhead since they're in the path of a runway? What other SLAM has the roar of planes overhead trying to serve? IMO, as a venue, the USO's waaayyyy behind the others!

    ***Kerber's '17 record: 4-3. Best she made is 1/8 in Brisbane & Sydney. Worst start of a World #1? WTA's a joke.***

    The WTA's a lot more comp. than it has been since the 70's! I grew up loving them; their struggles, sponsorship hypocrisy (VS), & promotion/public rel.! The repetitive Martina/Chris show got old for a while in the 80's, but Graf, Seles, Sanchez, & Sabatini came along to prop up the ratings w/ their power, beauty, & talent! Up until now we've judged the tour on who led the way as #1; now we're going to tear them down for being more comp. after beating the top player? IMO the tour was more a joke when the rankings were in flux due to injury, apathy, or outside interests kept the Wms' from playing! Wozniaki was #1 for well over a yr never winning a major; same for Safina & Jankovic! Henin's retirement & motherhood for Clijster didn't help them either! I think a Golden Age m/b starting for them w/ a lot of talent blossoming here in the States & the world!

    ***...I saw most of the Murray match and it was pretty high quality. He played well too & 99% of the X guys playing the way M. Zverev was playing will start to miss a lot... I mean, no shame in that loss, but still...***

    Murray was still waiting til the last for Zverev to just simply start missing! That stupid retrieving style finally caught up w/ him as #1! This match took me way back! Classic tactics!

    ***Murray was a 5 X's finalist @ AO, being the #1 ranked player & the fave after Novak lost. This has got t/b a crushing defeat @ the hands of Mischa.***

    Used to happen all the X in past eras! We've been spoiled by the excellence of the "Big 4" & overlooked the weakness of the current crop of "also rans!" A lot of the X it was rare for the #1 seed to win majors since only a handful have been able to win X titles in a season! Some could formulate "Big 4's" up & down tennis history, but none will come close to the current & prolific Fedalovicray (46 majors) W/ Nole & Andy approaching 30, they'll swap the top spot and in turn drop a match considered an upset! We need to get over this "golden age" and be more realistic to the one I believe had it all; the 90's! The US was leading the way with Sampras, Agassi, Courier, & Chang (27 majors)! It hasn't been the same since; in the States or the World!

    ***...Roger has a better chance of reaching the final than Rafa. Consider their likely paths:

    Roger: M. Zverev s/b easy & his s&v won't hold up vs Roger; Wawrinka (or Tsonga) has beaten Roger recently, but Roger still holds the edge overall

    Rafa: Monfils - prob. an easy win for Rafa, but you never know; Raonic is very dangerous & a 50-50 matchup for Rafa; Dimitrov is playing the best tennis of his life

    But we really c/b looking @ a Fedal final & if it is then it's probably going t/b the last 1 ever. Roger won't reach the FO final & Rafa won't reach Wimbledon final. Maybe USO? But this seems like a perfect storm scenario that won't come again...***

    ReplyDelete
  68. ***Nishikori was 100% fit this tournament. - Oh yeah he was..Kei was so fit he definitely waited until the 5th set to have a man massage his lower back & hip in front of Roger & the other 15,000 spectators.***

    It shouldn't have gotten to that pt! Kei like others allow themselves t/b put into these situations! This shb in "straights" but for him to make his life & body more difficult taking the 1st set after dropping 2 breaks up! It's not like others don't do the same; Nole's done it more X's than I can count, but it was the way Kei allowed Roger back in that 1st set! He pulled back on his serve & common sense by rushing the net & flubbing volleys! The also-rans can't finish off Roger or Rafa w/ a stake to the heart! I'm so done w/ Kei!

    ***It's hard imagining Novak not coming back & @ least winning another couple Slams. I read a Tignor article about Mischa's win & he was speculating that the reason Andy & Novak lost has < to do w/ decline (or, as he put it, Andy being unable to hold onto his #1) & more to do w/ the speed of the court.

    I think Novak's teetering a bit and has a legitimate confidence problem. I can't imagine what it m/b like to go from his unparalleled dominance of '15 to mid-'16, & then go out early @ Wimbl. & now his home turf, the AO. So there's a legitimate & growing concern that he's going to struggle for awhile, ...I think it is unlikely, but it went from "no chance of happening" a few months ago, now is more like "unlikely but possible."

    Novak's too great of a player not to right the ship. As I've been saying, I think his best case scenario now is that he returns to the "1st among ='s" status of '12-14 for another yr or 2. But the next few yrs are going t/b pretty wild w/ no single strongly dominant player, or so I think (& hope!).
    ---

    Federer:

    - 17 overall slams
    - 237 cons. wks @ #1 (Feb '04 - Aug '08)
    - 5 str. USO's('04-08)
    - 4 str. Wimbl/USO doubles('04-07) - 7 total
    - 3 3-slam seasons('04, '06, '07)
    - 23 cons. GS semis('05 Wimbl - '10 AO)

    Bonus: 18/19 GS finals (Wimbl '05-AO '10)

    Nadal:

    - 5 str. FO's ('10-14)
    - 9 RG titles ('05-08, '10-14)
    - Winning FO/Wimbl/USO in the same yr since HC's were added ('10 USO)
    - Amazing spring/summer '08 run
    - 1st man to own slams on all 3 surfaces since they went to HC's ('09 AO)
    - 8 str. MC titles ('05-12)

    Bonus: 7 Rome titles

    Djokovic:

    - 3 str. AO's ('11-13)
    - 6 overall AO's ('08, '11-13, '15-16)
    - 4 cons. YE titles (12-15)
    - 30 Masters 1000 titles
    - winning Masters 1000 titles on 8/9 events
    - 41-0 start to '11 season

    Bonus: 41-0 start to '11 season, beating Rafa 6/6 X's
    ---

    '17 AO SF: Federer vs Wawrinka

    1. Fed vs. Stan H2H 18-3.
    2. Fed vs. Stan The Man H2H 5-2
    3. Fed vs. Stan H2H 11-0 on HC's.
    4. Fed vs. Stan The Man 3-0 on HC's.

    Stan became Man when he won his 1st GS in '14 @ AO. The relevant H2H for "Stan The Man" consider only matches played since then.

    The courts are fast & that'll favor Roger. Roger's BH has become solid & so it m/b difficult to break for Stan. Stan won't have X to line up his shots. Fed needs to maintain his good serve. Otherwise things can become tricky.***

    The H2H w/ Nole was heavily in his favor as well, but Stan turned it around a few yrs ago, actually beating his rival in all 3 of his major wins; 2 in the final! Stan has got to get over his "bugaboo" playing his countryman; having a lot more game the last few yrs! On paper; Roger in a walk, but Stan's not the same player! I think he'll rise to the occasion!

    ReplyDelete
  69. ***...we're going to enter a period similar to the late 90s to early 00s. As Pete's reign was beginning to brk up in '98 & before Roger firmly took the reins in early '04, fully 11 players were #1 in the 6-yr period from '98-03: Sampras, Agassi, Rios, Moya, Kafelnikov, Kuerten, Safin, Rafter, Hewitt, Ferrero, & Roddick. If we want to extend that a couple yrs to '96, we can add Muster's name to the roster, or a yr later & we + Fed, so that we have 13 players from 9 yrs, '96-04.

    So IMV, Dimitrov w/b 1 of many in the mix for X @ #1, but it probably won't be this yr. Andy & Novak just have too many pts on the board & unless they completely collapse, w/b holding the 1-2 spot @ least until after Wimbledon, if not all yr. But I think the gap will shrink so that by early '18, the #1 spot w/b up for grabs & tossed around for a few yrs like a hot potato.

    Let's fast forward 3-5 yrs & assume the Big Four have faded from #1 consideration. = then I don't see any young players who are likely t/b totally dominant, so we might see a similar passing around of the #1, but by a group of players born in the mid-to-late 90s. We might not have a truly dominant player for another 5+ yrs.***

    I'm so done w/ Grigor who's been teasing us for yrs w/ his style of play, but never enough btw the ears to finish!

    ***He's a diff. player now. He made it to a SF & played a great match vs Rafa w/ his 1-handed BH. He played brilliantly today & the match could have gone either way w/ some pts here & there.
    ---

    I thought he held it together mentally pretty well. The only small complaint is that he didn't get a decent return in play on the 2 BP's at 4-3, but Rafa still deserves credit for taking control of those pts & finishing them @ net. Dimitrov didn't choke that match away at all.***

    ...Making a SF in a major every couple yrs won't get him to the status of other notable "also-rans" like Gasquet, Berdych, Ferrer, & Tsonga! He'll always be derisively called "Baby Fed" by me! I'm looking towards the next gen. of players like Zverev, Thiem, & Pouille!

    ***Today definitely wasn't a choke. ...Rafa isn't the best returner of all X, but this is a pretty surprising stat. ...He is a magician.
    ---

    Nadal has an incredible fighting spirit ...I loved the quote that he's ready to die to win GS title again. Just sums the GOAT up.***

    That w/b the debate until the end of X; "who's the real GOAT?" Federer possesses most if not all the important records, topping all male players in the OPEN era w/ 17 majors & weeks @ #1! This match tmrw w/b huge for both of these finalist; adding to their totals (Fed +1=18 & Rafa +1=15) & the H2H would becoming more pronounced w/ Nadal already owning Fed on all surfaces for the most part! If Rafa gets to 15 majors & has such a pronounced lead over his closest rival, ??'s w/b raised! We had already started doing it for Nole who's just 2 majors behind Rafa! Since Djokovic has been more consistent over the yrs w/ excellence more common in this gen. w/ Fedalic, I definitely have been giving the nod to Nole over Rafa, but if things don't change much, Rafa will solidify his position @ least as #2 ALL TIME if he wins this AO! He'll be an Olympic Gold Double CGS winner w/ only Nole w/ an opportunity in Paris this summer to match the CGS moniker! Nole couldn't afford this much of a slide making only 1 major final & winning none since completing his "Nole-Slam!" I feel like I'm in a time warp w/ these 2 players on Soc. Sec. disability making a major final; for shame on Grigor and Stan! One should have risen to the challenge & finished off 1 of these geezers!

    ReplyDelete
  70. ***Many people will still list guys like Borg above Nadal. ...Sampras'll still be touted above Nadal for the wks @ #1 & the 5 WTFs.***

    Well that's why I personally wouldn't place Rafa in my top 5 All X; too many deficiencies!

    ***Nadal & Djokovic, accomp.-wise are superior to Borg. The fact that he DNP the AO means nothing. That was his choice for his personal reasons & shouldn't detract from Novak or Rafa's achievements. Borg retired @ 26 b/c he was burnt out. Nadal & Novak won slams @ 29 or 30. Novak & Rafa won slams on all surfaces. Post WW II, the top 5 ATG are: Laver, Federer, Rosewall, Nadal, Djokovic, not nec. in that order. IF Nadal wins this AO, due to his vast big match superiority over Fed, I would say are = in >ness. There's no 1 GOAT, except perhaps, Laver. Open Era only: Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Sampras, Borg.
    ---

    Slam Finals
    - Federer: 28
    - Nadal: 21

    Slam SF's
    - Federer: 41
    - Nadal: 24

    So if you want to include Masters achievements, you have to counter them vs Federer's 7 add'l finals & 17 add'l SF's or better. Then not to mention how Masters titles are viewed well below a Slam SF on a prestige factor.
    ---

    ...Can we add imaginary titles to all the other players?***

    Hyperbole's the watchword of the day! The last 10 yrs have been so unfulfilling in comparison to the GOLDEN AGE I believe it t/b; the 90's w/ so much more drama! You had the transition from McEnroe, Lendl, Wilander, & Connors, the primes of Edberg & Becker, to the ascensions of Sampras, Agassi, Courier, & Kueten! The results made sense w/ "specialists" involved depending on the court conditions, surface, & X of the yr! The homogenized game of today has been just that, quite vanilla & predictable! This "Big 4" will prob. end up having an unprecedented record which may end up being unattainable! This era's more pre-Open where a select few owned the tour; sorta like the 4 Musketeers, the Aussie invasion, & isolated >ness of Tilden, Gonzales, Rosewall, & Laver! Other "Big 4's" have existed, but their record's not = close; looking up @ # of wks @ #1, majors @ 47 & counting ('17 AO + due to F/N final), & ownership of the Masters tour! To elevate those past eras to make them relevant to today, we need t/b a lit'l hyperbolic; muse what "chb!"

    ***The GOAT debate can obviously NOT be answered until Fed, Nadal & Djokovic have retired. I don't see Murray, Wawrinka or anybody else winning 10+ GS in the next yrs.

    Federer has been the most successful player in history so far, but I just can't see him being the GOAT when his 2 main rivals own him both in H2H overall & esp. in Slams, no matter what. It's just something I can't overlook.

    ...Djokovic owns Federer in Slam Finals too. Federer has never beat them in a 5 setter in a Slam match, which kind of makes him look weaker in comparison.
    ---

    Only reason Djokovic "leads" is b/c he's SUPPOSED to. ...Judging by that reason you shouldn't consider Fed's early victories over Djokovic & Nadal in the mid 2000's b/c Fed was supposed to beat them since they weren't in their peak either.***

    I still found it ridiculous to make them true rivals w/ the age disparity so great; 5+ yrs' huge in an athlete! The sport's commentary of this X needed a rivalry & it was manufactured almost out of whole cloth since Roger hasn't been comp. w/ Rafa since he was a newbie on the tour! They've had 2 or 4 great matches for the ages, probably splitting them on grass, clay, & HC, but make no bones about it, Rafa owned Roger lock, stock, & barrel!

    ***Yeah, but for the most part they won slams in the same yr, etc. Nadal mhb more successful in some yrs, but in the supposed "strong era," Federer was still fairly successful in his own right.***

    ReplyDelete
  71. ***Is Serena >er than Steffi after winning another AO over Venus today? - Serena's lack of comp. in the last 10 yrs is just legendary. Way too many cheap Slams.***

    If you want to mention "cheap slams," Graf got a bunch after Seles was stabbed taking her out of the game for well over 2 yrs! History & the tennis records were affected forever thru something more than age, injury, & other circumstances more common than "ASSAULT & BATTERY!" I don't particularly care for either career accomps of Graf or Wms, but Steffi will forever have an * behind her name! Serena's the new "faux" queen for now! Court taken out of the =tion winning 11 AO's when most ladies didn't bother competing "down under" in those am. days!

    ***...OK. Then kindly remove Navartilova & Evert from the conversation when we talk about the opp. that Graf faced. They were older than Graf, much further past peak. That leaves:

    Seles x2, Hingis (intimidated to defeat by a very mean FO crowd), Pidgeon-Vicario x5, Sabatini x2, Mary Jo Fernandez x2, Sukova, Novotna, Zvereva as the opp. Graf beat in slam finals. Consider me unimpressed. - I put Fraulein FH behind both Navartilova & Evert. They won 18 each. W/o their rivalry, each would probably have won many more than 22. Graf was a flat-track bully who couldn't handle Seles. I doubt she would have gotten to 15 slams w/o that horrible attack that cruelly derailed Seles' career.
    ---

    It's good for Serena that she will spend some more X @ #1 spot. Reducing the deficit in wks @ the top while holding the Slam record will in the end put her as the >est female player, if she isn't already.***

    IMO, she'll have "the #'s," but won't have my vote as the GOAT! Like Nadal, there are just too many deficiencies! Besides taking all that X away from the game w/ injury, illness, & outside interests, she was owned by Henin for a stretch in '07 beating Serena in 3 major QF's! Wms barely squeaked out 3 FO's w/ huge X spreads btw!

    ***I don't see Serena having deficiencies like Nadal, who also has a very impressive resume. ...IMO it =s out for most of the ATG's @ the end. Not taking anything away from Henin as she was fantastic in her best days, but I think Serena really underperformed in those '07 QF's.***

    They aren't as pronounced as Rafa's, but they do exist! FO already hashed out, still far behind in being @ the top as #1, away from the tour X X's for diff. reasons, & the inconsistencies riding high as #1, then dropping out of sight in the rankings! That I can tell you never happened to Navratilova, Graf, Evert, etc.! They "maintained" throughout their careers!

    ***I get what you're saying & tbh, it's why I've always found it hard to regard Serena as the greatest. Sure, if slams are the only thing that matter, then she obviously has a very strong argument, but if consistency throughout a player's career is also 1 of the main requirements for being GOAT, I'd argue that Graf, Navratilova & Evert are all still ahead of her due to the reasons you've outlined.
    ===

    "Ice Skating & concussions: Ashley Wagner lived in 'silent terror' after head injury"***

    I've always given SKATERS more credit for being athletes; a lit'l touched in the head due to hitting them a lot on the ice, but athletes none the <! ...They not only have to train like demons & put up w/ a lot of niggling injuries, being under the weather is probably the norm due to picking up viruses! These poor people have to deal w/ X governing bodies telling them what to do; down to who their coach is! Sasha Cohen supposedly was highly criticized for having a Russian coaching her! To quiet them she succumbed to the pressure & took on Robin Wagner!

    ***Medvedeva & Fernández win in Ostrava; they take Europeans! At US Nat'ls, Karen Chen wins Ladies' Event & Nathan Chen the Men's!***

    ReplyDelete
  72. ***Nonetheless, it does in fact affect our perceptions in a way, because no 1 talks about William Renshaw when talking about the greatest tennis players ever; a conversation that usually includes Federer, Laver, Sampras, & Nadal for the Open Era in men's tennis.***

    I think Nole m/b able to crawl onto this list w/ a finishing kick in the coming yrs! He still has X unlike Fedal where this c/b it or @ least close to their last chance to add to their totals! I know Djokovic doesn't have the star power, but it's hard to overlook his results of the last 5 yrs w/ consistencies that overtake Nadal's easily! He's taken over the Masters' race & has X to surpass Federer for YEC titles! He has something the other ATG's of this era doesn't & won't get as well; a Non-CYGS! Getting it cost a lot it seems, him making only 1 "gift-final" @ the USO last season since achieving that milestone in June! I know I got spoiled by his consistency of the last sev. yrs & keep expecting it to continue! He needs to take @ least 1 of those 1st 2 Masters in March! Again, his excellence of winning both for the last sev. yrs has cursed him w/ unrealistic expectations!

    ***Djokovic never beats the peakest Nadal on clay.***

    So what was Nadal, horseshit in '11 when Nole beat him in cons. clay Masters' events that spring? Rafa would have zipped past Roger in every way poss. but for Nole's taking control of the rivalry when Rafa was still in his prime, winning 7 str. from '11 IW & Miami thru '12 AO! If Nadal was in decline, how did he have such a successful '13 campaign, taking back the #1 ranking & actually taking the summer tour as well for the 1st X?

    ***Federer's clearly the GOAT.***

    Fed's the GOAT officially, but I wouldn't say "clearly" w/ 2 rivals, though younger, who have overtaken him in everyway except MAJORS & wks @ #1 w/ possibly 5 yrs to make it up! I don't think Nadalovic will last as long as Roger, but they have to have a few more good yrs in them before all's said & done!

    ***What a beat down it is so far.***

    Roger's pulled that out of his ass many X's; comes out blazing! It won't last; even if I'd prefer the title to go to him! Rafa has plenty of X to right the ship & is beginning to work Roger over; pretty much running him into the ground in the early part of this 2nd set! He's broken Fed & I think the wheels will start coming off soon! He's missing & is paying for it!

    ***True, but at least Roger's won the 1st set and it can't be called a beatdown.
    ---

    Unbelievable! Roger was able to pull this match out over Rafa. He was down a break in the 5th, but took the last 5 games to win '17 AO final. He's got 18 majors & counting. - Roger's 5 set record now stands @ 27-20, leading to 57.45%.

    45. Fed defeats Kei 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3
    46. Fed defeats Stan 7-5, 6-3, 1-6, 4-6, 6-3
    47. Fed defats Rafa 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3
    ---

    ...I don't think Federer cares about his H2h record vs Nadal esp. now he beat him in a GS final. I would say he probably cares about his h2h record vs Djokovic.***

    Well that's one way to overlook, ignore, and deflect a deficit! Why should he care more about his H2H rivalry with Nole; most of it being posted in the twilight of his career? He's been more competitive with Nole from the beginning; breaking streaks, extending him in major finals, and preventing win in Cinci!

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  73. ***Federer's web page lists Dubai, IW & Miami as his schedule for the initial segment of the yr. Given that the above schedule includes Miami, I believe he'll probably skip the entire clay season except for RG.***

    To say good-bye I hope! Nothing like someone going to Paris who has no chance! I remember Ashe going back in '76! It made no sense w/ his heel problem & game made for faster surfaces! No one shocked when upset early in the tourn.! What a thing to do as defending champ @ Wimbledon! Of course he was knocked out there too by Vitas G.! Back then there was barely a wk btw the tourneys!

    ***LOL, Fiero. Someone suggested 12 tournaments only for Roger in '17. If he's really playing IW, Miami, & Dubai, I'm guessing he's planning on 14-15 tourns. And I also wouldn't be surprised if plays MC & Rome to give them one more shot. Or maybe he's given up on winning both, but I do think he'll play at least 1 clay Masters.
    ---

    Absolutely otherworldly job by Fed. This should end any Goat discussions for a few decades. He really deserved this too - beyond the comeback, he would have won @ least 2 slams amongst W14, W15, USO15, AO16 if not for facing a younger ATG peaking. Hell, he basically did win USO15 but for some Djoker magic.***

    Well we'll see if Nole continues t/b included in that group of ATG's after Fed added another major rounding the # to 18! He's now out of reach of both Nole & Rafa who've dropped a couple possible wins in the last yr or so; Nole vs Stan @ '14 AO, '15 FO, & '16 USO, while Rafa's just been plain burned out & injury ridden! This was Rafa's best chance w/ an aging pigeon in the final! He w/b having nightmares of being up an early break in the 5th, but dropped another one!

    ***If we're going to have a serious goat debate, I'd be interested to know what the yardstick is. ...
    ---

    I agree there's more to the GOAT debate than Slam count, though I don't think double CS means much of anything. That m/b a TB only in a very close scenario where more important criteria are very close. Historically, IDK that anyone ever thought about that before 5 yrs ago or so. The problem for Nadal is that he almost certainly needs 19 slams t/b the GOAT considering that the other historically prestigious criteria all favor Roger. I'd say that after slam count, your next 3 criteria to look at w/b (in no order):

    1. WTF's (Master's Cups)
    2. Wks at #1
    3. YE #1s

    Potentially, something like a CYGS c/b more important than some of those, but that looks unlikely from any current player at this pt.
    ---

    I'm not = sure how winning 18 or 19 would cement it for Nadal since so many of his GS's came from the FO. Compare his #'s to Feds: 5,1,7,5. Much more balanced w/ Fed.***

    It's the same reason I bounced Rafa below Nole when he was coming up fast last season; much more balanced career & results!

    ***I can't remember a more exciting upcoming few months - the lead-up to RG. Consider...

    *Will Rafa be able to dominate on clay once more?
    *Will Roger's AO title revive him in an Indian Summer phase of his career for a yr or 2, or will the fire go out?

    *How will Novak respond? Will seeing Fedal back on-top stoke his fires?
    *How long can Andy hold onto #1?
    *Is Grigor legit?
    *Will Thiem, in the queue as the possible next top clay player, take another step forward during this clay season?

    *Will Kyrgios ever grow up?
    *Is Sascha Zverev ready to compete w/ the big boys, or is more seasoning required?
    *Can Del Potro remain healthy & compete @ the highest level?

    So many great stories to follow, & that doesn't = count the wave of young 'uns that are a yr or 2 from being relevant on the front stage.***

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  74. ***Who's >er; Serena or Roger? - Wms has a singles OG that Fed can only dream of... w/ no GS Dubs...he's not in anywhere close to Serena's league.***

    Well neither of them is in the league of Martina N. if you want to get tech. about it! She has 167 singles titles, 177 dubs, 59 majors, 9 Wimbls (20), is a "BOX SET" winner, &'s a double CGS winner in singl. & dubs! She took WTA Tour Champ. 8 X's; 11 in dubs! For some it's Serena, Graf, Court while Evert & Navratilova are afterthoughts = though they ruled during the formative yrs of the women's tour!

    ***...I'm not saying Rafa won't/can't win another slam, but I think there are LOTS of other folks who'll have something to say at the FO (includ. Novak, Andy, Stan, & a couple of dark horses). '17's going t/b very interesting!
    ---

    W...the only other obvious candidate for RG is Novak, and who knows where he'll be @ in a few months. He's really struggling, far from his #1, Slam-winning form. Andy's also a candidate, as he has improved yr by yr on clay. But I still place him behind Rafa & Novak on the depth chart. ...I think Novak will eventually rebound, but not to '15 form - maybe, if he's lucky, more like '12-14 form...

    In summary, my RG likely winners list is in order:

    1. Nadal
    2. Djokovic
    3. Wawrinka
    4. Murray
    5. Thiem
    6. Federer
    7. Dimitrov
    8. Nishikori

    Then everyone else - Kyrgios, Cilic, del Potro, Zverev, etc.
    ---

    Roger's objectively a weak player w/ a flashy game & "class." You can't be a GOAT w/ a negative H2H ratio vs 2 of the Big 4 members & win 1 slam in 5 yrs while being ranked #10 = after a slam win. He's basically Cilic, but worse.***

    The #'s will take care of the situation; MAJORS leading the way now & in the future! True historians will invoke backstories including the H2H disparity, but "common folk" will see that #18 & Roger "owns it!" If Nole gets a 2nd wind & gets close, we can make the alt. arguments & bring them closer in overall GOAT'dom!

    ***Nole has 6-1 @ 'pushicushion' AO in his favour. - Also Nole has embarrassing USO defeats to Murray, Nishikori & Wawrinka which taint his record a bit.***

    ...and Roger blew a lead in 3 notable USO matches; some w/ X MP's! Shall we bring up 2 semi's vs Nole & final in '09 to a lit'l known Argentinian kid by the nickname of Del Po? ...Roger = lost his advantage on grass dropping that final vs the "clay king" in '08 @ SW19! ...I keep wondering how far some will go to degrade his accomplishments while putting Fedal on a pedestal seemingly unattainable!

    ***Only thing Djoko has in his favour is # of Masters Series ...Nole has not won Cincy)***

    Fed still short Rome & MC IIRC! ...Roger still @ 7 of the 9! Rafa personally took care of him a # of X's unfortunately!

    ***Djokovic's hands down the GOAT of the AO & slower HC's. Fed's hands down the GOAT of the USO & faster HC's. - The only reason why Federer's win %'s lower than Novak's is that Fed reached elite level 2 yrs later than Djokovic in terms of age. But Federer fans c/b pretty confident in assuming that Djokovic's #'s will fall below Roger's by the X they've both retired < Nole leaves early. - Major insecurity alert. Down under, nobody's as great as Djoker.***

    I knew the blogosphere w/b up for grabs w/ this upset! One AO & it shifts the balance of power in some putting Roger on a >er pedestal! He has some strings keeping him closer to his peers unfortunately for the sycophants! Every 1 of Fedalovic have +'s & -'s behind their names! For now 18 > 14 > 12; each having something the others don't which keep them all in contention for ATG GOAT'dom! The RB hasn't been closed on any of them; esp. Nole w/ the least amount of wear on his tires!

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  75. ***Let's ...for GOAT:

    Rod Laver, 2 GS's & missed many slams when he turned pro.

    Sampras, 14 slams in an era where slams played very differently to each other, owned all his main rivals during his peak yrs, & 6 yrs str. YE #1's in the world.

    Borg, retired # 26 w/ 11 slams to his name, Fed @ 35, 9 more yrs on the tour for ONLY 7 more slams.

    If anything, Borg's credentials are the scariest for Federer, esp. given that he only came to the AO once, IIRC. ...And again, he did all this, the Channel slam etc, when grass & clay were as far opposites as you could get. ...Who's to say he would not have beaten Mac @ the USO had he stayed on? I'm sure Borg must regret his premature retirement, but when crunching the #'s purely on a slams played/slams won basis, he dominates Fed.
    ---

    ...So I do think Novak would've been the fave over Roger had they met in the finals of AO = on a faster court. But @ the end of the day, Novak clearly wasn't good enough to reach the finals this yr whereas Fed won it coming back from a 6 month layoff & beating his biggest nemesis in the final.
    ---

    '15 Nole was arguably the most dominant player in modern tennis history. ... - Last yr Djokovic won 2 GS & reached another final, not to mention MS events he won. He still only ended up as #2.

    Ok, this yr's likely to see the pts a bit more split around. = so, I don't think Roger can or should play the kind of schedule that would make this likely. If he wins Wimbledon, it could happen I suppose. But it'll depend on the other guys too.
    ---

    Fed owns all the following records at GS level. I'm listing the 1 in 2nd place, as well as Nadal & Djokovic.

    Total titles: Fed 18 ; Nadal, Sampras 14, Djokovic 12.

    Total finals: Fed 28; Nadal, Djokovic 21.

    Total SF: Fed 41; Connors, Djokovic 31.

    Total QF: Fed 49; Connors 41, Djokovic 37.

    Total GS match wins: Fed 314; Connors 233, Djokovic 229.
    ---

    When you look @ Sampras, he clearly deserves t/b in the top 6 of all X...but he's not above Rafa...no way. In 13 FO apps, he got to 1 SF where he was blitzed by Kafelnikov. That is a glaring hole in his resume, whereas Rafa has excelled on ALL surfaces.

    Laver was great in winning 2 slams, but he NEVER faced the depth of opps that Roger & Rafa have in terms of each other, Novak, Murray & Wawrinka. He would never have beaten Fed or Nadal.

    Fed's un??ably the GOAT. 89 titles, 18 slams, 28 slam final apps, 41 X's getting to the semis or >er in slams, 49 X's getting to QF or >er...6 YEC titles, 14 yrs btw SLAMS!! Coming back from 6 months off @ age 35 to win a HC slam & beating Wawrinka, Nishikori, & Rafa. The argument is over...@ least for now.

    I don't think Rafa needs 18 t/b considered as good as Fed. W/ his OGM & 23-12 record vs Fed, he could = him, IMO w/ 2-3 more slam wins. And Novak has not yet turned 30. He certainly could get very close or possibly surpass Rafa & m/b = Roger. My top 10 of all X:

    1) Federer
    2) Nadal
    3) Laver
    4) Djokovic
    5) Sampras
    6) Borg
    7) McEnroe
    8) Lendl
    9) Connors
    10) Agassi
    ---

    Pete has 12 slams on fast surfaces, Nadal has 0.

    Fact: Sampras 14 slams, 2nd best in his era, 8. Difference +75%.
    Fact: Nadal 14 slams, best in his era, 18. Difference -30%.

    Game, set, GOAT matchup: Sampras.
    ---

    The objective reality is Pete has 12 slams @ the USO & Wimbledon, while Rafa has 4. Rafa has 10 slams @ the AO & FO, Pete has 2, & none @ the FO.

    No matter how many ways you try, Pete's the 1 w/ the glaring black hole of never winning a slam on his worst surface. Rafa did.

    Game, set, match, Humbalito. And as for Rogi, Pete is his butler.***

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  76. ***It's highly unlikely that Rafa'll catch either Novak or Roger in QFs. ...Novak would have to stabilize & be more consistent. ...

    '20: Novak (32-33) slips a bit, but makes 3. Novak 49.

    '21: Ditto. Novak (33-34) 52.

    '22: Novak, now 34-35, is showing his age, but still performing well, makes 2. Novak 54.

    '23: Novak, age 35-36, makes 1 more QF & finishes w/ 55 for his career.
    ---

    The way I see it when everything's said & done:

    Fed: 18/19 slams
    Djoker: 15/16
    Nadal: 14/15
    Murray: 5
    Wawrinka: 5***

    Only in this era of the BIG 4 or 5 can you win 2 majors, 4 Masters events, complete a CGS, & wind up looking like in a slump!

    ***That chart is based upon Novak from his 29th BD on, so only includes RG & 1 of the Masters. Compare his accomplishments by age, for the last few yrs:

    29: 1 Slam, 1 Masters, 1 ATP 250
    28: 3 Slams, WTF, 5 Masters, 1 ATP 500, 1 ATP 250
    27: 2 Slams, WTF, 5 Masters, 1 ATP 500

    So far, age 29 hasn't looked so good relative to the 2 yrs previous, although he can pad his record a bit by winning 1 or more of the 5 upcoming Masters that occur before his BD, which usually falls right after Rome & before RG. - ...So Djokovic has 9 dangerous players near the top 10 who could beat him.***

    They were the same possibilities when Djokovic had well over 30 top 10 victories 2 yrs ago! '11 & '15 were the aberrations while winning 2 majors & 4 Masters used t/b considered a great yr in past eras; now a significant "drop" in the parlance around here!

    ***Fans got excited w/ the Doha win, but that was a very weak field w/ an off Murray in the final..... - If Djokovic is consistent thru IW to Wimbledon pressure w/b on Murray to defend QUEEN + Wimby + China tourneys + WTF!!***

    That Qatar win didn't impress me since he probably shouldn't have made the final if Verdasco had finished him off w/ 6 MP's & let it get away!

    ***Nole's looking quite frail & not so sharp these days. I doubt his fitness is what it was, perhaps he'll really & truly struggle. That said, it impressed me a bit that he still took out the Muzziah while looking like that in Doha.***

    Wow, we're so spoiled that any drop in play or results glean all kinds of supposition about fitness, desire, & personal drama behind the scenes! Nole's '11 & '15's unrealistic in maintaining for too long! He might have a lull in his results, then come back for a few more majors & to inflate his Masters' record to unattainable levels!

    ***I'm not going to assume lack of fitness or injuries for Novak until it becomes very clear that both are the case.***

    I look back to when these results were rare; not routine w/ the ATG'ness of Fedalovic! In my day there was Laver's CYGS, Connors' '74, McEnroe's '84, & Wilander's '88! Since then we've truly gotten spoiled by the excellence recorded by Federer in '04, '06, & '07, Nadal's '10 & '13, now Nole's '11 & '15! It's been amazing, but it's bound to stop w/ maybe 1 more good run by Nole since he's the youngest of the 3!

    ***I think the dominance by just a few players has more to do w/ the change in training & other factors than decreasing comp. Everything now favors the guys @ the top. ...Everything's set up to protect their rankings. Mostly it's about $$.
    ---


    I cheered Noles success in '11, now.***

    His undefeated streak @ the beginning surpassed McEnroe's of '84 IMO due to the level of comp. & the winning on HC & clay! I'm still ticked by Roger's wagging of the finger after defeating Nole & stopping his streak in Paris!

    ***Yes, but recent Peakovic period was better. Young Nole was all return & no serve.***

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  77. ...The real rivalry is on the ladies' side w/ Navratilova & Evert! OTTH Chris started out well & fast taking a huge lead of 20-7 w/ losses on Martina's home-court of carpet! Martina up'd her training since most of her losses had to do w/ her "pooping out" in the end; esp. when she was so overweight in her teen yrs splurging! Martina took ownership of their rivalry in '82, winning 14 str. thru '84 USO! They started swapping wins w/ 1 another; Evert on clay, Martina on grass! They wound up having 80 contests w/ Navr. holding a small lead @ 43-37! Only Laver & Rosewall have played more, but weren't official ATP matches going back to the old days of playing anything flat; wood, carpet, HC! ...Historians like me would probably go w/ Borg/McEnroe; so many ult. contests in major finals & only 14 matches split =ly btw them, 7-7!

    ***The 3 way Fedalovic rivalry is the >est, I believe. All 3 had to innovate & reinvent to overtake & then re-overtake the other 2, X X's. When it is ultimately over yrs later, it s/b called the Super Era.***

    Which did you prefer; this Super ERA or the past Golden Age from 20 yrs ago? I'll go w/ the Golden Age of Sampras, Agassi, Becker, Muster, & Courier; lot > comp. w/ plenty of specialists that could test the Big 4!

    ***...One thing I think we CAN say is that the next all-X great (or 2) is PROBABLY already on tour. I think you have to look @ players born in '97 or later, but @ least 1 player in the '97-2000 range is going to win 6+ Slams, if only by virtue of opport. ...Djokovic was certainly talked about as a great hope for the future already in '06 when he & Fed had a bit of a spat @ the DC about MTOs.
    ---

    ...Fed took a long X to build these records. So = if someone aged 18-19 today is going to turn out to break them, I guess they w/b safe for the better part of the next 2 decades @ least.
    ---

    ...I'm sure Rafa, Roger, & Novak were all looked @ as serious prospects from a very early age, & = future elites, but I don't think anyone could have predicted just how good & dominant they'd be. = when Roger won his 1st Slam in '03, I'm guessing people were thinking "he could win a bunch of Slams, maybe like Edberg or Becker." No one could have guessed 18+. Maybe Rafa, when he won his 1st Slam around his 19th BD was more projectable as an inner circle great - he was, after all, almost 3 yrs younger than Roger was for his 1st Slam.

    But = more so, no one could have possibly predicted that the 3 of them would win 44+ Slams btw them...that's as much as any other 5 players of the Open Era. Chances are they'll be ~50 before all's said & done.

    ...Over the next few yrs, we'll see the last gasp of the Big 4, w/ gradual diminishing as young players gradually work their way in. I'd guess that none of the Big 4 will win a Slam after 2020, maybe even sooner. We're going to see an increasing "Wild West" context in which 12 players can win Slams & Masters, & there w/b lots of upsets & tightening of the top 10 in terms of ranking pts.

    I think we'll also see Dimitrov, Raonic, & Nishikori have their chances, w/ @ least 1 or 2 Slams won btw them over the next 1/2 decade. Gradually a handful of younger players will emerge as serious Slam threats. Right now Zverev, Thiem, & Kyrgios are the most likely candidates, but others bear watching, in rough order of age & thus "Slam closeness:" Khachanov, Medvedev, Fritz, Rublev, Opelka, Bublik, Tiafoe, Kozlov, Lee, Mmoh, Tsitsipas, M Ymer, Ruud, Shapovalov, De Minaur, & eventually Aliassime. Some of these guys will max out somewhere btw #20-100, but a few of them @ least will reach the top 10 & probably win Slams. As far as a truly dominant player goes, maybe 1 of the above emerges from the pack, or maybe someone we haven't heard of yet.***

    - http://indianexpress.com/article/sports/tennis/the-man-who-became-king-4508689/ -

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  78. JMHO - Top 10 (OTTH)

    1. Fed = 18 Majors, 6 YEC's, over 300 wk. @ #1, & most of the recs he holds alone w/ a huge lead

    2. Djokovic - 12 Majors & climbing, 5 YEC's, over 200 wk. @ #1, Nole-Slam, & holds most Masters recs.

    3. Laver - 1 CYGS's, 5(11) Majors, consensus ATG due to being kept off tour 6 yrs in his prime due to turning pro before '68

    4. Sampras - 14 Majors, ruled the Golden Age of Tennis w/ many rivals from the past, present, & future

    5. Borg - 11 Majors, did major damage to the recordbk in just 8 pro yrs of play

    6. Nadal - 14 Majors, but too many shortcomings of an ATG; too inconsistent over the yrs

    7. Lendl - 1 of the most consistent #1 champs, played 8 str. USO finals, won 3 in a row w/ 8 total majors

    8. Connors - won over 107 titles including 8 Majors; tenure near the top unprec. in Open tennis

    9. McEnroe - wasted many yrs j/b'ing an angry SOB - had great yrs from '80-84 taking 7 Majors

    10. Agassi - only b/c he has the CGS; 8 Majors - a huge waste of talent who just didn't give a damn until later in his career

    ***...- winning 7 or more Slams after 30th BD. That w/b Rosewall, @ least in the Open Era (Tilden won 9, but that was in the 20s & 30s). ...But consider that's the career total of McEnroe after an age in which many greats had already retired.

    Open Era players w/ X Slams after turning 30:
    7 - Rosewall
    4 - Laver
    3 - Agassi
    2 - Connors, Wawrinka, Federer***

    ...Borg had been for the most part deified = w/o an AO or USO on his resume! Accomplishing what he did in just 8 yrs was worth such praise w/ 5 str. Wimbl's & 6 overall FO's! That's why the overall # wasn't made a big "to do" until Pete swept past everyone & set a new high @ 14 w/ surprise (Fed-like) win @ USO in '02 over his career pigeon, Agassi! The parallels are amazing except the pigeon won this X "down under!" Also we were ready to ANOINT Sampras as the best ever w/o a FO! ...I still place Laver & Borg up there w/ the "Big 3" due to what they accomplished @ the dawn of OPEN tennis!

    ***At the X of his retirement, Borg had more majors than any man in tennis history except Emerson & Laver (Borg was tied). Borg's slam count dwarfed that of anyone else in the Open era.
    ---

    When/why in tennis did slams count matter? 1. Sampras was a downer for older fans attached to Laver & Borg. ...If we can say he's on his way, via slam count to being the GOAT... = got Mac to say Pete was the best all X fast court player. 2. Majors raised their payouts to a level where everyone wanted to play all 4 every yr. 3. Pete's 14 became a target. 4. On women's side - Graff's 22 achieved b/c of a stabbing & she played all 4 every yr, unlike Evert & Navratilova.
    ---

    It didn't start w/ Sampras; started w/ Lendl. Lendl gave a famous press conference @ the Stratton Mountain, VT tourney in '86. He had lost early & said openly, "it doesn't matter, all that matters are the slams." He was really the 1st pro to speak of it openly. Sampras trained w/ Lendl in Greenwich preceding the USO of '90 when Pete actually beat him. Sampras has said a few X's over the yrs that Lendl impressed upon him the importance of winning majors.
    ---

    ...By that X Lendl was gathering titles everywhere. When he had won the USO in '86 he played Stuttgart on clay the following wk - & won.***

    Lendl was the clear #1 & on his way to all X >ness & like Navratilova won the YEC twice that season since date moved for both tours to Nov.!

    ***The majors have always been the most important. I started playing & watching back in the mid-70s & Connors, Evert, Borg, & later McEnroe all stressed winning majors. Laver gen. attn. by winning all the majors as an amateur in '62 & again as a pro in '69. The AO was ignored a lit'l as some of the top players didn't play it in the 70s, but that changed in the 80s w/ Lendl, Sampras & Agassi.***

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  79. ***Playing 3 out of 5 sets is much harder than playing 2 out of 3. In the past they played 3/5 @ Masters, WTF etc. You could argue GS's are > important now than in the past. WTA GS's don't matter; just more rest in-btw Rds.***

    Going BO3 is the reason it's been easier for Fedalovic to overtake all previous era stars & own all the Masters' records! I believe the finals should have continued being BO5 which sets it apart from smaller events besides the rule of the ATP's mandatory participation!

    ***The "problem" w/ Pete is that during his entire career he managed 1 freakin' SF @ RG. Nadal OTOH:

    5 finals @ Wimbl.
    3 finals @ USO
    4 finals @ AO

    Nadal is really bad indoors, but = there he made 2 finals. He's also reached more major finals than Pete. Nadal's ahead of Pete b/c he has won all the majors IMO.***

    The Golden Age of tennis back in the Sampras era was more comp.! He must have taken the #1 ranking a dozen Xs, but always had someone nipping on his heels w/ specialists abound that don't exist today due to the homogenization of the game! I just wish those Masters tourneys on clay had been tougher & continued t/b BO5, I don't think Rafa would have all those wins; probably would have broken down a lot sooner & had longer bouts w/ rehab! We truly can't compare the eras which is why we don't try to compare Sampras to Tilden or Navratilova to Lenglen! They can only play who's in front of them!

    ***Roger wasn't that much better? I beg to differ. That w/b like saying, "Nadal isn't that much better than Ferrer"...roughly similar types of players, but a completely diff. order of ability.***

    Roger, Rafa, & Nole have that lit'l extra that sets them apart from the rest of the tour! They're not unbeatable & have been close to losing matches in any Rd, which is why I say they aren't that much >er! It's something intangible that keeps them winning while the also-rans find a way to lose! ...Fedalovic aren't GAWDs = though we've elevated them to that status!

    ***On her best day, Serena thrashes every other current or former female player playing @ her best. No one else has ever intimidated her opps as badly as Serena has. As to her lack of consistency over the past few yrs or so, aside from injuries, she's a head case - too often she plays mental games where she has to cast herself as the underdog to come roaring back. She's obviously not perfect (and not a model of good sportspersonship, either), but "greatest" doesn't mean perfection. For 15 yrs she has been the unanimous choice on any WTA's player's survey of the player they would least like to play in the finals of a tourney. And that lit'l #23 thing, too.

    Anyone referring back to any other player before the latter 1/2 of Navratilova's career, I ask to go watch some of those old-X'r matches & watch the lackadaisical puff balls & floaters Chrissy, Margaret, Billy Jean, & any other player of their era typically hit, or the speed @ which they chased shots. The concept of physical fitness wasn't implemented by players in those bygone days.***

    When she closes in on 59 majors, wake me & I'll start considering it! ;-)

    ***...my eye-ball test says:

    1. S. Williams
    2. Graf
    3. Navratilova
    4. Evert
    5. Court
    6. Moody
    7. King

    After the top 7, it's hard to say - w/ Connolly, Seles, Hingis, V. Wms, Henin, & others ...top 10.

    I think the big gap is btw #6 & #7. The top 6 are--like Tilden, Gonzales, Rosewall, Laver, Sampras, Federer, Nadal, & Djokovic--the "herd of GOATs."***

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  80. ***You don't like comparing eras, but you've indicated Nadal's not = in your all X list top #10.***

    Well duh; his domination was so limited! I can relate the record you already know; isolated dominance in '08, '10, & '13 w/ most of those wins on clay and taking the summer HC tour in '13! That was it; a very nice record w/ 14 majors (9 FO), but not one I'd measure as the GOAT! = w/ his ownership of Fed & early success of Nole, it was a short tenure @ the top!

    ***Nadal may only have 3 yrs w/ X slams, but he holds the record in yrs of winning @ least a major @ 10 yrs. Your beloved Novak is @ 6, lol***

    Nole's far from my fave, but I believe him t/b the best of this era; regardless if Murray overtook him for the X being @ #1! Fed's still the GOAT, w/ Nole, Rafa, Rod, Ken, Pete, & Bjorn closely packed behind him!

    ***By "this era," what X frame are you using?***

    '11 on...what else does he have to do? Was YE #1 thru most of that w/ break in '13, but ITF still gave it to NOLE! Who was more dominant = though Roger held the #1 ranking for a X in '12 before relinquishing it! Nole caught up to Fedal in the H2H, overtook them in the Masters' race & records, & was on top for 223 wks last I heard! He'll get it back unless he's ready to retire! I'll be happy enough for him if he defends his title in Paris in June!

    ***Novak's definitely the dominant player, hands down. In fact, as a person who is NOT a fan of Novak, I claim that had he gotten his diet right yrs earlier his break-out would have started earlier. I say that b/c I'm fully healthy for the 1st X, starting @ YE of '14.
    ---

    A guy w/ 18 majors is still active. Until he retires, this is his era! Others are supporting actors, including Djokovic.***

    The spread btw major wins is increasing! From '10 AO to '12 Wimbledon, that was 2 yrs; now it's been almost 5 yrs to take another this past month! Ya think this run will continue forever?

    ***It's Federer's era from '03 until the day he retires. Your male tennis idol w/ only 12 majors doesn't = have the biggest supporting role in this movie. Someone has 14 majors.***

    I guess that makes sense, but the stats show an argument to end Fed's era = though still playing! Connors played well past his prime, but his era had been over for 6-7 yrs! Sampras era ended in 2000 w/ a Wimbledon = though he picked up one last USO in '02! It's all opinion though!

    ***...Martina won more 2 out of 3 tourneys than any other player, isnt that what the WTA is?***

    She had a daunting task of trying to navigate so many HOF'rs; Goolagong, King, Court, Evert, Wade, Graf, Seles, Sabatini, Mandlikova, Austin, & these are just the few OTTH! It's a wonder Navratilova was as successful as she was w/ how treated on the tour & in the advertising world! She still surpassed all of them in singles & doubles! No one comes close = though only winning 1/2 of her major finals; still won 6 in a row, in the top 10 for 20 yrs, the top 5 for 19, top 3 for 15, & #1 for 7 yrs! She was unrivaled in doubles being able to win w/ just about anyone from a young Evert to an old lady in BJK! No one will ever come close to her #'s; 167 singles titles, 177 in doubles, & of course 59 majors in the OPEN era w/ X CGS in singles & doubles! I believe she would take Serena most of the X in her prime by relentlessly attacking; same as she did w/ Evert, Graf, & Seles!

    ReplyDelete
  81. ***Pretty easily the YE #1. People seem to misunderstand the rankings, it doesn't matter if you have been #1 most of the season, it's about who has been the best from Jan. 1st to Nov. So if you overtake someone @ YE & end up w/ the YE #1, that means you've been the >er player across the tourneys over a yr. Pretty simple.

    Look @ Djokovic; was #1 almost the whole X in '16, but @ YE it was about who got the YE #1 & it was Murray.

    YE #1 gives you the status of champ of the tennis world. That is pretty huge. Wks @ #1 is also important though, but YE #1 is >er.

    ...Imagine 2 scenarios:

    Player A: Comes into '20 hot on the heels of the #1 player in the world, wins the AO to take over #1, holds onto the #1 ranking throughout the yr despite some very good, but not great results, including a somewhat early loss @ the USO, and then finally loses the #1 ranking after a poor performance @ WTF.

    Player B: Comes into '25 hot on the heels of the #1 player in the world, loses somewhat early @ the AO to remain #2, stays @ #2 for most of the yr despite great results for most part, including a USO win, & then finally takes over the #1 ranking @ WTF.​

    Player A has many more wks @ #1, but Player B finished his yr @ #1. But Player A's add'l wks @ #1 aren't really that meaningful; just that his great results came early in the yr while Player B's great results came later.
    ---

    The YE #1 is just a measure in the final part of the yr. It means the same t/b #1 in the 15th wk, or in the last wk of the yr. Thing is people give more weight to the fact that who ends w/ the YE #1 was more consistent in a CY.
    ---

    I would disagree w/ this. ...I see relatively lit'l value in Becker's wks @ #1 in '91 & relatively great value in Edberg's YE #1 ranking in '90 & '91.***

    Only in this era can you win more Masters & majors, but still wind up being #2 in the world!

    ***Women's tennis was always Open in that there was NO women's pro tour. Therefore ALL top women players competed in most of the slams & top tourneys before '68. I'm not saying that Court is the GOAT, but accomplishment-wise, she has: more slam singles, overall titles-190, highest winning % of any player, more singles-dubs-mixed combos in slams than any other female player. Serena is definitely the greatest of her era, as was: Lenglen, Wills, Connolly, Court, Evert/Navratilova.
    ---

    ...It's not true that all women played the AO - take a look at how often Bueno, BJK, Evert & Austin played it. The FO also has gaps - specifically mid 70s when most top women skipped it for WTT. - Regardless, I think that Court's GS in '70 is highly underrated.
    ---

    In 2 of her AO wins Court beat Bueno, in another 2 she beat King, & Goolagong in another 2. Whenever the top players competed, Court won, except when she returned from a yr's lay off in '68. - Navratilova @ least had Evert & later Graf to contend w/; Williams has always enjoyed a field full of choking mugs apart from Henin on clay. If Fed's '06 was weak, then Williams' last few yrs occupy a whole new tier of weakness, & still she managed to choke CYGS to a serve<, slicebot Vinci. Sharpie, who she owns, won 5 majors + CS in this field. Imagine Roddick winning 5 majors on Federer's watch, strong era, no?
    ---

    Being #1 @ YE gives you a few extra free wks as #1 after the season ends. So, in a way, wks @ #1 already factors in the prestige of ending the yr as #1. YE #1 is only useful when comparing players in a specific CY. In the end, wks @ #1 (along w/ dates for those wks) is what matters.***

    ReplyDelete
  82. ***Who's >er? Nadal or Sampras?

    Sampras:
    - 14 Slams / 18 Finals
    - Career titles: 64
    - 6 yrs of WEAK YE #1s (ie: '96 Sampras w/b a #3 in '06 & #6 in the '16)
    - 5 YECs on carpet
    - 11 Masters
    - career winning % 77%
    - Main rivalry: Tier-2 HOF Agassi 20-14. (6-3 slams)
    - Hon. mentions (met 2+ X's in Fs): Goran (90's Roddick), Pioline

    Nadal:
    - 14 slams / 21 Finals
    - Career titles: 69 (?)
    - 3 strong YE #1s (Nadal w/b 8x #1 in the 90's in terms of pts)
    - 28 Masters
    - 2 OGs
    - CGGS.
    - career winning % 82%
    - Main foes: GOAT Federer 23-12 (9-3 slams), GOAT candidate Djokavic 23-26 (9-4 slams)
    - Hon. mentions: vs Tier-3 HOF Murray 17-7 (7-2 slams)

    Side notes:
    - 1) 30 yo Sampras only had 13 slams... 30 yr old Nadal already has 14

    - 2) 3 Extra Fs.

    - 3) Nadal's a complete all-around player whereas Pete was a clown on clay.

    - 4) 28 Masters to 11: to me, this is the 5th set & it's a 6-0 whip.

    - 5) YE #1, Pete's best yr was probably only as good as Nadal's 3rd best. His main threat was an inconsistent midget Agassi, whereas Nadal had to deal w/ GOAT Fed & Djok, HOF Murray. Great Borg only had 2 YE #1s vs 5 from Connors.. who's >er?

    - 6) YECs: well, this is the most over-rated dept., it only proved that Pete was a >er carpet player. Imagine if they played YECs on clay... Pete would win 0 & Nadal 8 or 9.

    - 7) Patriotism: Nadal 4 DC's + 2 OGs (singles + dubs). Pete: 2 DCs, 0 Olyms.
    ---

    Majors:
    - Sampras 14
    - Nadal 14

    YECs:
    - Sampras 5
    - Nadal 0

    Wks @ #1:
    - Sampras 286
    - Nadal 141

    Distrib. of majors:
    - Sampras: won 2 majors 5 X's
    - Nadal: CGS

    Domination (ie. cons. YE #1):
    - Sampras 6
    - Nadal 1
    ---

    Even. Nadal has OGM & CS & = slams. Pete has the benefit of actually being the dom. player of his era and @ the X, record # of wks @ #1. One more slam & Rafa ends this discussion.
    ---

    The GOAT topic where Serena is concerned is a tough one I think. On the one hand I can certainly understand someone who says she's the >est. 23 > 22 or the 18's of Evert & Navratilova might not be a decisive enough argument for Serena if you consider the other areas where the other 3 are well ahead. ...What I'm saying is that you can't go around saying Henin is the GOAT b/c you liked her game the most. 7 slams' not enough.

    There are people out there that don't believe Fed's the men's GOAT either. That's why the GOAT discussions in any sport never truly end. We only know who the best is statistically, but we don't know how 2 diff. era players would compete vs each other if they were in the same era. Maybe Serena wins 40 slams if she plays in the 70's & 80's, but maybe Graf, Evert or Navratilova win 45 in this era if they don't face each other 80 X's & have > X to devote to singles knowing that dubs is not that important.

    ...To me, this era on the WTA is the =lent of Fed mopping up slams w/ no Nadal, Djokovic, or = Murray around. It's like Federer starting @ 30 & winning USO '11, AO '12, = RG '12, AO '13, AO '14, Wimbl. '14 etc... You might say she's "outlasted" all her rivals that @ least beat her every now & again, & that m/b true. In which case I'll come back to this post & revise it to crown Serena the women's GOAT if Nadal, Djokovic, & Murray all retire before Fed & he's still winning "weak era" slams in his 40's.***

    ReplyDelete
  83. ***Since the start of '06

    - Nadal 13 (24 Masters titles, 0 WTFs)
    - Djokovic 12 (30 Masters titles, 5 WTFs)
    - Federer 12 (16 Masters titles, 4 WTFs)

    - Since the end of '06

    - Djokovic 12 (30 M1000, 5 WTFs)
    - Nadal 12 (22 M1000, 0 WTFs)
    - Federer 9 (12 M1000, 3 WTFs)
    ---

    It was easy t/b #1 when the 2nd player of his gen. was a tier-2 HOF Agassi...

    - Best of 90's vs best of 00's
    - Fed 1-0 over Sampras
    - Fed 8-3 over Agassi
    - Nadal 2-0 over Agassi***


    You're kidding right? Why bring up Agassi who was still competing 20 yrs after his start in '85? Why would ANYONE compare him to a current star in 2005? Something must be wrong with people and I am NO FAN OF AGASSI's! Never cared for him, but I'm not going to compare him to Fedal who were in their beginning primes compared to "old man" Andre; PLEASE!

    ***A lot of guys regularly skipped the European clay Masters, while playing lower ranked tournaments in the States.***

    They weren't going to win anyway! Sampras' best days were in '95 & '96! He had to get the job done then & just couldn't get to a FO final! There were too many past champs in his path! He actually beat 2 of them in '96 (Courier & Bruguera) before dropping SF to eventual winner Kafelnikov! Most top players have an event that eluded them X & X again! W/ Borg it was the USO obviously; injuries, night matches on fast HC, & a relentless Connors who always performed well there! Laver's bugaboo tourney was the WCT Finals in Houston dropping 2 of them to Rosewall in epic matches still talked about!

    ***Yeah, that's another matter, although Sampras did win Rome a yr prior. Sampras missed a whole lot of Masters during his peak - 4 in '94, 4 in '96, while after '98 he entered 1/2 of them usually.
    ===

    Galindo competed in Pairs 1st, then Singles. And he had to slim down t/b comp. in Singles.***

    Galindo was left in the lurch by Yamaguchi yrs before & was able to re-invent himself to take '96 Nat'ls over faves Eldridge, Weiss, & Scott Davis! That Swan Lake performance was quite memorable; rivaled & surpassed by Alexei Urmanov being the swan a yr before!

    ***...Russia didn't = qualify 3 ladies for the '14 Olympics. And Japanese, U.S, & Canadian skaters are often blatantly overscored on home ice too, but just didnt happen to coincide w/ as controversial ...as the Sotnikova Sochi one. Watch Asada's joke win at NHK '12 for her 3 triple LP or Chan's farce win at the '13 Worlds in Canada, or Bourne & Kraatz coincidentally winning the GPF both yrs it was in Canada beating teams they had never beaten, & disputes of all 3 U.S ladies placements in the SP of the '02 Olympics still occurs today, & so on.***

    Skating's been shady for as long as I can remember! It's been blatant @ X's when a fave needs to leave blood on the ice to lose! I should start a thread describing the total disregard for fair play when home countries are scored >er than deserved & defending champions c/b given the benefit of the doubt w/ X errors! Michelle Kwan has been a victim & perp. when it comes to a contest! Yagudin had to make 3 glaring errors to barely lose A GP event to Michael Weiss who skated very well! It's been criminal & = w/ the new system, ??'s are raised all the X! Justifying it just makes the contest more of a joke! Red Button tripped over himself many a X shocked when a result went vs conventional wisdom!

    ReplyDelete
  84. ***The exemption rule from mandatory tourneys for commitment players:

    A player’s # of ATP World Tour Masters 1000 commitment tourneys shall be reduced by one (1) tourn. for reaching each of the following milestones:

    1) 600 matches (as of 1 Jan. of the commitment yr);
    2) 12 yrs of service;
    3) 31 yrs of age (as of 1 Jan. of the commitment yr).
    If all three (3) conditions are met then the player has a complete exemption from the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 player commitment.

    - Rafa has satisfied 1) & 2) & hence can skip 2 mandatory masters tourneys. That is another reason, it's a good idea to skip Madrid, which is a so called mandatory tourn.

    - Andy & Novak are eligible to skip 1 mandatory ATP 1000 this yr due to satisfying 1). Roger can skip as many as he wants since he has satisfied all 3 conditions.***

    Nadal had 2 ATG to go up against him during his prime while Sampras had to deal w/ a dozen future HOF'rs including Agassi, Edberg, Becker, Lendl, Wilander, Courier, & Chang just to name a few!

    ***I didn't know Rafa had 10 heartbreaking losses to begin w/.***

    I can name 10 OTTH & treasure each 1; from being up 2 sets to 0 vs F3 @ the USO to being annihilated by Nole @ '15 FO! The top one to me would have to be '12 AO since it'll be in the RB's due to length of the match! Nole should have finished Rafa off in 4, but gagged away his serve, then the TB! Rafa got up a break 4-2 in the 5th, missed a BH passing shot @ 30-30 & allowed Nole back into it! 5:53 will haunt Rafa for the rest of his life!

    ***I feel it's too early to assess the effects of Nadal's recent AO loss to Federer. I voted for his loss to Wawrinka @ '14 AO b/c that was a truly stunning upset that knocked Nadal for 6. I don't think it's too much of an exaggeration to say that he has never been the same player since! It was sad to see, as it was clear that he was injured in that match; (could have Double CGS @ age 28).
    ---

    I dont think Pete met Lendl in slams. Edberg & Becker were like 5 yrs older, Lendl 6 or 7. Wilander = more... Agassi's a tier-2 HOF, Courier tier-3, Chang Tier-3, Goran tier-3***

    Are you kidding? It was '90 when Sampras made a name for himself being the youngest to win the USO! ATW he beat Lendl, McEnroe, & Agassi!

    ***GOAT calculator. Big 3 vs Sampras & Agassi:

    Slams:
    - W = 2000
    - F = 1200

    YECs:
    - W = 1400
    - F = 900

    Masters:
    - W = 1000
    - F = 600

    Roger: 18*2000 + 10*1200 + 6*1400 + 4*900 + 24*1000 + 18*600 = 94800 / 18 sns
    Djoka: 12*2000 + 9*1200 + 5*1400 + 1*900 + 30*1000 +13*600 = 80500 / 12 sns
    Nadal: 14*2000 + 7*1200 + 0*1400 + 2*900 + 28*1000 +14*600 = 74600 / 14 sns
    Sampras: 14*2000 + 4*1200 + 5*1400 + 1*900 + 11*1000 + 8*600 = 56500 / 15 sns
    Agassi: 8*2000 + 7*1200 + 1*1400 + 3*900 + 17*1000 + 6*600 = 49100 / 21 sns

    I dont care what computer ranking system you use, 90's, 00's, or 10's...

    *IF* Sampras were to play in the 00's/10's, he would win btw 0~2 YE #1. Whereas ...

    Roger w/b a 10x YE #1 in the 90's,
    Djok w/b a 9x YE #1 in the 90s
    Nadal w/b an 8x YE #1 in the 90's.
    ---

    There's a Masters Series that the ATP requires that last yr's top 30 players attend every 1000 pt event (except MC) unless they are over 31, have 12 yrs on the tour, or have played 600 matches. - The requirement to play in these sorts of events did not exist in the 90s, hence their comparatively low amounts of 1000 pt tourn. wins. Sampras missed on avg 3 of those Masters series events a yr. Notably, he played much < in MC, Hamburg, & Toronto, but he was known to skip Stuttgart, Paris, & Rome as well. It also wouldn't be a stretch to say he took it < seriously, since all of this wasn't mandatory, he would meet specialists of a surface more & the overall best players of the gen. <.***

    ReplyDelete
  85. ***Right now we’re amidst somewhat of a tide of upcoming young players: from highly touted A. Zverev & Kyrgios, to the large # of young'uns in or approaching the top 100.

    - The Pace of >ness

    The 1st of the benchmarks is entering the top 100 before one’s 19th BD. Of the young players currently on tour, only a few have accomp. this so far: A. Zverev, F. Tiafoe, T. Fritz, Hyeon Chung, & Borna Coric. Missing the mark already are Thiem, Kyrgios, Kozlov, & many others. Now this is a benchmark that all 6+ Slam winners of the Open Era—or at least going back to accurate ATP rankings, so from Bjorn Borg on have reached. But that doesn’t mean that all future 6+ winners must.

    - 2 Breakthru's

    ...One, winning a title. This is the rite of passage that every good tennis player must go thru. The 2nd is winning a big tourn.; by “big” I don’t only mean Slams, but Masters (or their =lent) or a WTF. This is the pt that a player gen. reaches elite status & has shown they can play w/ the big boys.

    What I noticed was that in almost every case, the true greats went from winning their 1st title in 1 yr, to their 1st big tourn. w/i the same yr or next. The only exception in the Open Era is Agassi, who won 7 minor tourn. over 3 yrs ('87-89) before winning his 1st big tourn. in '90. But everyone else from Connors to Djokovic went from winning their 1st tourn. (whether big or small) to a big tourn. w/i a CY.

    ...Of the 7 players winning 3-4 Slams in the Open Era, only 3, Vilas, Kodes, & Kuerten went from a small to big title in sequential CY's; Ashe, Courier, Wawrinka, & Murray all took longer.

    Of the 8 2-Slam winners, only 3 did it: Nastase, Bruguera & Safin who, @ the X, was considered a probable future great, but ended up having a disappointing career. Bruguera was a clay court specialist who played during a X when courts were quite diff. from each other & specialists who were otherwise relatively mediocre on other surfaces could compete for the biggest prizes on their best courts. Nastase was a borderline great player, whose level isn’t adequately expressed by his mere 2 Slams.

    •12 of 13 (92%) 6+ Slam winners
    •6 of 15 (40%) of 2-4 Slam winners
    •6 of 23 (26%) of 1 Slam winners

    - For Whom Is The Clock Ticking?

    There is no clear yr that the proverbial “NextGen” starts, although we can say it definitely includes all of those players who w/b eligile for the Milan NextGen Finals later this yr, so those who don’t turn 22 until Dec. (so gen. born in '96 & >). We'll also look @ slightly older players, who're still considered young.

    So who “has to” win a big title in '17, to reach this benchmark?

    Thiem won his 1st title in '15, but although he improved his performance in '16, did not win a big title – so he missed this benchmark last yr.

    Then we have a group of players: Pouille, Kyrgios, & A. Zverev. These are the 4 who all won their 1st titles in '16, & thus have started their “clock” & must win a big title in '17.

    We should see sev. other young players win their 1st ATP titles in '17, thus “starting the clock” for '18.

    ...Ivan Lendl was an elite player in his early 20s, winning tons of tourn. & = reaching #1 before winning a Slam, but did not win his 1st Slam until he was 24. Andy Murray was 25 &'s arguably the >est Open Era player w/ < than 6 Slams, & he only has 3 (so far).

    ...Now poor A. Zverev didn’t win his 1st title until late last yr in Sept., so for him the 1 CY gap is esp. small – only about an actual yr – whereas for Kyrgios, who won his 1st last April, he has (or has had) a yr 1/2. So continue watching, and we shall see.***

    ReplyDelete
  86. ***- Most GS titles:
    1. Roger Federer 18* (CS)
    2. Pete Sampras 14
    = Rafael Nadal 14* (CS)
    4. Novak Djokovic 12 (CS)*
    5. Björn Borg 11
    6. Andre Agassi 8 (CS)
    = Ivan Lendl 8
    = Jimmy Connors 8

    - GS Finals:
    1. Roger Federer 28*
    2. Novak Djokovic 21*
    = Rafael Nadal 21*
    4. Ivan Lendl 19
    5. Pete Sampras 18
    6. Björn Borg 16

    - Cons. GS Finals:
    1. Federer 10
    2. Federer 8
    3. Djokovic 6
    4. Nadal 5
    5. Agassi 4
    = Laver 4
    = Djokovic 4

    - GS SF's:
    1. Federer 40*
    2. Connors 31
    = Djokovic 31*
    4. Lendl 28

    - Cons. GS SF's:
    1. Federer 23
    2. Djokovic 14
    3. Lendl 10
    4. Djokovic 8*

    - GS QF's:
    1. Federer 49*
    2. Connors 41
    3. Djokovic 37*
    4. Agassi 36
    5. Lendl 34
    6 Nadal 30*

    - Cons. GS QF's:
    1. Federer 36
    2. Djokovic 27*
    3. Lendl 14
    = Murray 14
    5. Nadal 11

    - All 4 Slams/Yr:
    Rod Laver '69

    - 3 Slams/Yr:
    Connors '74
    Wilander '88
    Federer '04, 06, 07
    Nadal '10
    Djokovic '11, '15

    - All 4 Slam Finals/Yr:
    Federer '06, '07, '09
    Djokovic '15
    Laver '69

    - All 4 Slam SF's/Yr:
    Laver '69
    Lendl '87
    Federer '05-09
    Nadal '08
    Djokovic '11-13, '15
    Murray '11

    - Most cons. matches won @ 1 GS event:
    1. Björn Borg (Wimbledon), 41
    2. Federer (Wimbledon), 40 (41 if incl. wlk/ov in '07)
    = Federer (US Open), 40
    4. Nadal (French Open), 39
    5. Sampras (Wimbledon), 31

    - Most GS match wins:
    1. Federer 314*
    2. Connors 233
    3. Djokovic 229*

    Other Stuff

    - YE Chps:
    1. Federer 6
    2. Lendl 5
    = Sampras 5
    = Djokovic 5

    - Most YEC finals:
    1. Federer 10
    2. Lendl 9
    3. Becker 8
    4. Sampras 6
    = Djokovic 6

    - Most Wks @ #1:
    1. Federer 302*
    2. Sampras 286
    3. Lendl 270
    4. Connors 268
    5. Djokovic 223*

    - Cons, Wks @ #1:
    1. Federer (1) 237
    2. Connors (1) 160
    3. Lendl (1) 157
    4. Djokovic (1) 122

    - YE #1:
    1. Sampras 6
    2. Federer 5
    = Connors 5
    4. McEnroe 4
    = Lendl 4
    = Djokovic 4

    - Highest Season Winning %:
    1. McEnroe ('84) .965 82–3
    2. Connors ('74) .959 93–4
    3. Federer ('05) .953 81–4
    4. Federer ('06) .948 92–5
    5. Borg ('79) .933 84–6
    6. Djokovic('15) .932 82-6
    7. Federer ('04) .925 74–6
    = Lendl ('86) .925 74–6
    9. Lendl ('85) .923 84–7
    10. Lendl ('82) .922 106–9
    11. Borg ('80) .921 70–6
    = Djokovic ('11) .921 70-6

    - Most ATP Titles:
    1. Connors 109
    2. Lendl 94
    3. Federer 89*
    4. McEnroe 77
    5. Nadal 69*
    6. Djokovic 67*

    - Most match wins vs top 10: (- http://tennis-strangeforest.rhcloud.com/record?recordId=MatchesVsTop10Won -)

    1. Federer 202*
    2. Djokovic 180*
    3. Lendl 161
    4. Nadal 142*

    - Most Master Series or =lent win:
    1. Djokovic 30*
    2. Nadal 28*
    3. Federer 24*
    4. Lendl 22

    - Cons. Match Win Streak:
    1. Guillermo Vilas 46 '77
    2. Lendl 44 '81–82
    3. Djokovic 43 '10–11
    4. McEnroe 42 '84
    5. Federer 41 '06–07
    = Borg 41 '79–80
    7. Borg 35 '78
    = Muster 35 '95
    = Federer 35 '05
    10. Connors 33 '74
    ---

    In actual fact, Wimbledon shares w/ the USO the least # of 1 X Slam winners in the Open Era. Both have 4 apiece compared to 6 for the AO & no < than 10 for RG.***

    Well both AO & FO were stepchildren in comparison to the other majors where it was more likely to have an out of the imagination winner like Johansson "down under" in '02! I still remember the 1st real upset there when Mark Edmondson took out the defending champion Newcombe in '76! Wilander, Edberg, & Lendl made it fashionable to make the trip & it's been well attended by the top players ever since!

    ***Edmondson remains, to this day, the last Aussie to win the singles title @ the AO!***

    ReplyDelete
  87. ***Robbie Koenig's predictions:

    * Pencil Novak for 2 of the next 3 majors (Wimb, USO) & Murray for the 3rd, the FO

    * No more major for Fed

    * Don't see anybody dominating in the next 5 to 10 yrs apart from the old guard.

    * It w/b @ least 3 yrs down the road before guys are going t/b able to win X majors. Certainly it's going t/b difficult to knock the old guard off their perch.

    On Novak: "...Novak's a diff. breed. Even if he struggles @ the FO, I wouldn't be surprised if he won Wimbledon & the USO. If there's 1 guy who I would want to play for my life it would probably be Nadal, but I tell you what: Djokovic w/b right up there as well given what we have seen from him the last 5 yrs."

    On Thiem: "I love Thiem," he asserts. "He has got a real opportunity of winning on clay and certainly is a threat to win the FO. But I'm concerned about him being able to finish pts off @ the net. I saw that 1st hand when Thiem lost to Goffin @ the AO."

    On Zverev: "Alex Zverev's going to have to + something to his game and dimension. He has the skills t/B a top 10 player, but to dominate the sport or @ least be a x GS champion, he has to improve in taking the ball earlier & finishing @ the net."

    On Raonic: "...Raonic if he stays pain free will definitely be a major contender at the majors.

    On faster courts @ AO : As a s & v, a part of me is disappointed that it seems t/b a dying art. You have got to give the s&v 1/2 a chance. The one thing that could change & help w/ that is speeding up the courts. That's what I liked about the AO this yr. Those courts allowed for more attacking & that was 1 of the reasons we saw the results we had. Why should you discriminate? ..."
    ---

    ...Djokovic '15-16 on clay would have his hands full w/ Murray today. Don't see Djokovic getting quite that sharp by the FO, but the # of Masters this Spring will give him the play to get back to '12-14 level ....
    ---

    Novak is a big ?? @ the moment. No result would surprise me from him for the rest of the yr (whether winning 2 slams or continuing his fall). Murray will get back to his prev. level pretty soon I expect, but he's not nearly as dangerous for Fedal as Novak returning to form is so as far as I'm concerned they shouldn't be grouped together here.
    ---

    ...Fedal have problems w/ Djokovic. Murray's by no means beyond their reach. Federer hasn't lost a set to him for more than 3 yrs & hasn't lost his serve to him for 2 1/2 yrs. And this is the guy whose exit is supposedly the only reason Federer reached the final & went on to win the whole thing? I agree that they wouldn't have beaten Djokovic, but Rafa wasn't gonna face him before the semis anyway & = a SF's exit whb a good result for Rafa considering his form over the last 3 yrs. Fed would've only met him in the final & reaching the final would still have been a good result for the 17th seed!
    ---

    ...A Djokoray resurgence is very possible. Plenty of Masters 1000s for Djokovic to find form by the FO. For me the test is will he play all of them + either Queens or Halle. I suspect the retiring Djokovic may skip up to 2 Masters + the grass warmup.
    ---

    Current Elo:
    Rank - Player - Age - Elo - Peak Match Peak Age Peak Elo
    - 1 - Djokovic 29.7 2506.7 '16 MC Masters R32 28.9 2570.6
    - 2 - Murray - 29.7 2432.7 '17 Doha - F - 29.6 - 2438.7
    - 3 - Federer- 35.4 2355.0 '07 IW's Masters R64 25.6 2524.3
    - 4 - Nadal- - 30.6 2261.7 '13 Beijing - F - 27.3 - 2489.5
    - 5 - Nshikori 27.0 2251.7 '16 Basel - F - 26.8 - 2301.3
    - 6 - Raonic - 26.1 2217.2 '16 Wimbl. - F 25.5 - 2243.3***

    ReplyDelete
  88. ***Well, I think there is no reasonably disputing that Fed & Nadal's styles clash in a way that tends to favor Nadal independent of surface-- consider that a teenage Rafa beat a prime Roger @ '04 Miami, that the 2 are 10-10 in career non-clay-ct meetings in spite of the fact that Federer has always been the far-superior player on non-clay surfaces (has won 17 non-clay-ct Majors to Nadal's 5), etc. ...but their 3 grass meetings have consisted in a 4 & 5 set wins for Federer & a 5-set win for Nadal-- hardly dominant on Fed's part. I still tend to think that in a peak-to-peak match-up w/ a larger sample, Federer would likely defeat Nadal more than 2/3 of the X, but that's not borne out by the facts as they stand.

    Taken on the face of it, the H2H figure of 23-12 does significantly misrepresent the Federer-Nadal match-up due to the disproportionate # of clay-ct meetings. What the record indicates is that Nadal's significantly better than Federer on clay. While Federer's significantly better than Nadal on HC & grass, Nadal's stylistic advantage closes the gap & renders their H2H match-up tight on those surfaces. If they had met an = # of X's on each of the 3 surfaces, I would still expect Nadal to have a winning record vs Federer, but only narrowly.
    ---

    I think you pretty much nailed it. But I would also add that changes in everything have favored Nadal a good bit off clay in a way that has been a disadvantage to all players who are aggressive & who thrive on faster conditions.

    For sure Nadal's grass results vs Fed suggest the bad match-up, since logically we would have expected him to slaughter Nadal on grass; quite obviously that didn't happen. The recent AO final was a lot closer than most people are now remembering & I can't say that I rule out the speed of the courts (and movement of the balls) mhb the deciding factor.
    ===

    Halle, if given mandatory status (s/b given to replace another Masters) will attract a great pool of players. They have the prerequisites in terms of stadia capacity. What say?***

    On another site we mused about making a grass-prelim to Wimbledon Masters' status! I thought it was a lit'l too soon before a major to make something mandatory! Borg or Nole won X titles, but never played any warmup events! If Roger, Andy, & Rafa want to receive appearance $$ for playing Halle, Queens, or any other tourney willing to pay; I just don't want to hear any whining about long seasons & being tired!

    ***Guys, Masters tourneys should typically come before a GS tourney on that surface. Like Roma before RG & Cincy before USO. Similarly, a Masters @ Halle w/b great IMO in this sense.
    ---

    I don't have a problem w/ this. Of course, ideally it c/b before Wimby, but it's not a must. Problem lies w/ the calendar. There is simply more X for it during the end of July. June is pretty crowded. And Hamburg w/b the perfect candidate. Alternatively, move Hamburg t/b @ the same X as Queens, & then push Halle to mid/end of July for grass 1000 Masters. - OR if they'd allow changing the dates of Wimby slightly, it c/b mid-July w/ the grass Masters being @ the end of June. That w/b ideal.
    ---

    What's even scarier is that in the last 6 yrs, only 4 of the 45 Masters tourneys have been won by non-Big 4 players:
    *'16 Cinci - Cilic
    *'14 MC - Wawrinka
    *'14 Can. - Tsonga
    *'12 Paris - Ferrer

    '10 saw 3 non-B4 win Masters: Ljubicic, Roddick, Soderling. You have to go all the way back to '04 to find a majority of the Masters not won by B4 (& that's b/c Andy & Novak weren't on tour yet, & Rafa was 17-18 & not yet prime). - Crazy dominance. That said, I'm hoping to see @ least 1-2 Masters won by someone else this yr. Next yr c/b more, but it probably won't be until '19 that the majority are won by non-B4 members.***

    Been ranting about it for yrs! It's been a gutless tour allowing it! Where've you been?

    ReplyDelete
  89. ***Which ATG's w/b great champions across the board?

    -My short list is:
    Sampras: Serve, athleticism, strong all court game, & well-oiled volleys vs a field that hit comparably hard as the current.

    Federer: Gazelle like movement, GOAT hands, & no weaknesses except for a BH on clay v Nadal.

    Laver: GOAT hands, easy movement, perfect volleys, every shot ITB - in fact he helped write the book. Give this guy a modern racket & his young legs & be wowed.

    Nadal: Yes. Really. One of the best athletes tennis has ever known. He'll dominate RG in any era, & snag a Wimbledon or 2.

    Bjorn Borg: Will win RG's in any era, may not dominate it if Nadal is in the field. Won Wimbledon in an era where S&V was the dominant style. He'll win a Wimbl. or 3 in any era. Immense speed, revolutionary FH, solid volleys, & anticipation make him a danger anywhere.

    Becker: Pete-lite, w/ surprisingly great groundstrokes- a better BH than Petros - IMO. He'd snag X Wimbls & USO's in any era w/ that game.

    ...Lendl's BH would get shredded in either the S&V of the 50s/60s or the modern game. Djokovic's returns won't translate w/ a wooden racket, and Agassi's lack of mobility is going t/b a major hindrance in the early eras.
    ---

    Borg & Federer are no-brainers as I would believe Tilden w/b.

    Laver IMO w/b excellent b/c of his huge left arm & wrist strength. I do have some reservations about his height @ about 5'9," but he could handle high bouncing kick serves w/ his great wrist strength.

    Pancho Gonzalez already had all the shots & @ about 6'3 1/2 in., he was a very good height for tennis & the high topspin of today. He was very mobile & agile w/ excellent movement. ...
    ===

    Crazy to see what Djokovic did in '07. So, so good. How he fell off in '09-10 I'll never understand.***

    The same c/b said of Nole's quiet '12-14 winning only 1 major each season when his best of '11 & '15, he took 3! Strange to also group '16 w/ those subpar seasons = though he took 2 majors & 4 Masters events!

    ***Djokovic's early wins vs Zverev:
    '06 Dutch Open (clay) - Coria retires injured after 1 set in SF
    '16 Nice (clay) - an exhausted Zverev loses in 3 sets to Thiem in final.
    '06 Moselle (HC) - Djokovic beats no seeded players & takes the event.
    '16 St. Petersburg (HC) - Zverev beats Berdych & in form USO champ Wawrinka breaking his 11 final winning streak.
    '08 Queens (grass) - Djokovic makes his 1st grass final 2 yrs older in age. Only wins on grass have been Wimbledon.
    '16 Halle (grass) - Zverev makes final after beating Fed, but way off game after heroic win.
    '07 Adelaide (HC) - Djokovic beats no seeds & barely beats a WC in the final.
    '17 Montpellier (HC) - beats in form Tsonga SF & defending champ Gasquet in finals in str. sets.

    Thru the same period this is really not = close. Djokovic was 1-3 vs top 10 players. W/ recent loss to Thiem, Zverev is 4-6 vs the top 10.

    Lets not get too worked up about Djokovic's early Masters success either w/ that part of the season still to come for Zverev:

    '07 IW - Djoko makes final beating no better than #13 seed. (Folderer & weakeraers Blake, Gonzalez, Davydenko, Haas all gone)
    '07 Miami - wins it beating 1 decent player, Nadal in QF's

    Call me underwhelmed by the Djokovic resume. Zverev'll easily keep ahead of Djokovic's pace until '21. I'd be shocked if Zverev does not win a slam by '21 if not quite a few. Really no comparison.
    ---

    This is part of the reason I value Novak's 3 slam final wins in a row over Nadal so much---this is something that is so hard to do. The combo of repeated brutal groundstrokes vs Nadal who has the upper hand in long rallies w/ his heavy spin & controlled off./aggr. is something no one else has really been able to do to a prime Nadal in slam finals.***

    ReplyDelete
  90. ***Final GS count for Fedalovic:

    1) Federer - 19 (5 AO, 1 FO, 8 WIM, 5 USO)
    2) Nadal - 16 (1 AO, 10 FO, 2 WIM, 3 USO)
    3) Djoko - 15 (7 AO, 1 FO, 4 WIM, 2 USO)

    Other Players:

    4) Murray - 6 (1 FO, 3 WIM, 2 USO)
    5) Stan - 4 (2 AO, 1 FO, 1 USO)
    ---

    You know, having 5+ wins @ 3 of 4 slams' something like a million X's better than winning 10 @ 1 of them & being completely crap @ the other 3 like Rafa.
    ---

    1) Federer - 18 (5 AO, 1 FO, 7 WIM, 5 USO)
    2) Nadal - 15 (1 AO, 10 FO, 2 WIM, 2 USO)
    3) Djoko - 13 (7 AO, 1 FO, 3 WIM, 2 USO)
    ---

    1) Federer - 18 (5 AO, 1 RG, 7 WIM, 5 USO) (I do think he has a chance @ Wimb., but many people said Federer would never win another slam before the AO this yr. I think it's 50/50 on his win. I think we've been hyping him hard- I haven't seen enough to endorse him at Wimbledon yet.)

    2) Nadal - 14 (1 AO, 9 RG, 2 WIM, 2 USO) (May win another RG, but '17 is his last chance, I think. I say 50/50.)

    3) Djoko - 16 (8 AO, 2 RG, 3 WIM, 3 USO) (May get some chance slams well into 30's. Not very many, but m/b 2 like Fed.)

    I'm a cynic for all but Djokovic, it seems. But that's fairly obvious.

    Federer- he's playing well, but it's nothing we haven't seen before. He's recovered from his injury, but I don't think he can muster up 2 slams this yr, & a 36 yo Federer w/ a new gen. finally ready to take their place doesn't seem like he'll win another.

    Nadal- he's still playing good tennis, but I doubt we see him play enough physical tennis to win 2 wks in a row on clay. And t/b fair, clay is where he'll win if he does.

    Djokovic- I'm a fan- a fanatic, really. I see 2 more AO's over the next few yrs given his domination of the slam. I also see him winning RG this yr if he's up to it. I also think he deserves a USO after all the finals he's reached.

    Murray HAS TO win an AO eventually. He can't be what- 5-0?- in finals there w/o EVER winning.

    Stan- he did it. He's won 3 slams, but I think the rising level of the new gen. will decrease his chances in the future, but he may pull thru.
    ---

    That's a good pt about Nadal & Djokovic benefitting from 1. Today's era & 2. Federer's decline.***

    That's some decline; wins '12 Wimbl., takes over #1 for a while, stays in the top 3 for 4 more yrs until an injury takes him out for months, & 5 yrs later wins his 18th major "down under!" How many would love t/b in such a decline?

    ***Laver was the biggest hitter in the history of tennis w/ a wood racquet. I have no doubt that he w/b 1 of the biggest hitters in any era w/ a modern frame. Borg was not strictly a power player. He could rip the most blistering passing shots I've ever seen 8 he hit a very heavy ball, w/ the >est net clearance I've ever seen & wore his opps down. IMO, both Borg & Laver w/b competing for major titles today.
    ---

    The 2 of them are too small to generate the kind of power required in the modern game. We can certainly argue that it's unfair to penalize them for size when the avg. size of athletes (& of people in gen.) was smaller back then. If we =ize for that then, yes, I would include Laver. Still not sure about Borg, but maybe.***

    ReplyDelete
  91. ***Sampras is not as highly regarded as McEnroe now = though he achieved more. Forget about the #'s, the players who have captured the imagination of the public are Laver, Borg, McEnroe, Federer & Nadal. I'm not talking about achievements.***

    Pls seek professional help; STAT! McEnroe shouldn't even be mentioned in the same breath as these other ATG's! He had one great year and disappeared for good only taking a WCT champ. several years later! I'll give him '84 and that's about it! '81 was noteworthy, but not uncommon taking a Wimbl./USO double over Borg!

    ***If Borg had seriously tried to make a comeback in '82-84 or so, & by that I mean actually play the tour, then he'd have been extremely comp. I reckon.***

    You didn't have a lot of that "coming & going" by top players back then! If you had a serious injury or were burnt out, you were just plain gone! Players like Connors, Agassi, & a couple others started what's pretty common now! It's amazing how all the top players of this era have had an issue to overcome, but still acquired the #1 ranking; Djokovic actually completing a Nole-Slam last season! Del Po's been amazing; esp. upsetting Nole in the 1st Rd of Rio & carrying Argentina to their 1st DC! He accomplished what couldn't get done w/ so many stars of the past who never = got to a final, going back to Vilas, Clerc, & Nalbandian! Haas has made it part of his career; the injuries & rehab over 2 eras that extend from Becker to Nole!

    ***Though I think accomplishment-wise & Djoker's superior performance vs Nadal on clay gives some credence to your belief Nole's better than Roger.
    ---

    Djokovic was aged 29.1 yrs @ RG '16 win. Federer was aged 29.8 @ RG '11. But yeah, Djok was @ peak @ age 29.1 & Fed was Grandfather @ 29.8. ...Roger has never won a match with Novak in the 5th set. Djokovic defeated Fed @ RG '12. Look @ their clay accomps; only rival for Nadal on clay is Djokovic. He doesn't have to prove it to anyone!
    ---

    Djokovic is not Federer. They can have primes @ diff. ages.***

    It all balanced out for the most part, but Federer still winds up w/ 18 majors; unprecedented by a man in the Open Era! Most will say it was a weak era, but Roger @ least had to deal w/ 2 other ATG's to keep his rec. on this plane of existence! For a while there, he owned the recordbks, but both Nadal & Djokovic have stolen some of his thunder thank GAWD!

    ***Well I'll be among the 1st to say that Fed's the superior player @ a good part of events if we compare his & Novak's best forms. However 1 guy's claim that both Federer & Djokovic were @ their best in the Wimbl. final (or @ any pt in X) couldn't trigger the discounting of many Djoker's wins that's been going on for yrs now.
    ---

    Could you elaborate the primes of each player & their respective peaks please? This is what I'm catching:

    Federer: '03-09 prime, peak '04-07.

    Djokovic: '07-16 prime, peak '11-15.

    Nadal: '05-14 prime, peak '05-09.

    This seems fair, no?

    ...Players play prime level tennis outside of their prime all the X, & someX's mediocre tennis w/i their prime or peak. What's better, Federer's '17 AO performance or his '05 Hamburg? People use these statements too much to excuse results & don't look enough at the actual standard of play produced in the match. ...Why the heck does Fed have a prime that lasts 7 yrs & Djokovic/Nadal have primes lasting @ least 10 despite being 5 yrs younger, w/ 1 of those periods potentially ongoing (Djokovic, '17 results pending)? What's this madness? What miracles have Fed produced since '10 onwards? He m/b a genius of the >est order.***

    ReplyDelete
  92. ***What probability would you assign that Fed can make #1 in the rankings again? Assuming Murray ends the yr w/ the same # of pts he had last yr - what he had for the AO final, that w/b 11,390. For Fed to get that, it would require 1 major win, 1 slam final, 2 major QF, 2 masters wins, 2 masters finals, 1 masters SF, 1 masters QF, 2 masters R16, the WTF, 3 500 wins, 2 500 final. He would then have 11,440 points. I gauge the likelihood of such a season at 5%. However, if Fedal plays @ such a level, Murray & Djokovic's pts go down. If he can keep them from winning an approx. 2000 pts each, Federer could quite realistically make it to #1 again. I gauge the likelihood of this t/b about 10%-15%.***

    A lot more thoughtful, but I just can't see all that falling into place!

    ***All depends on what kind of results he takes w/ him from Dubai & IW's IMO. If he can win @ least 1 of them & make the SF/F in the other, he's in a good position. Right now, I'd say btw 15-20%.
    ---

    If he loses early in IW's & perhaps "only" makes the final in Dubai, he might as well say "screw it, you know what, let's just focus on the Slams." But if he OTOH has 3K+ pts after IW's, I think he'll really go for it.***

    I'm just thinking back to result of Nole who already was #1, won the 1st 2 majors of the season to complete his Nole-Slam, took 4 Masters' events, & was a YEC finalist, but still wound up being #2 for the season; just seems like a long haul for granddad!

    ***Well yeah, but in many yrs those achievements would far & away be enough to secure the #1 position @ the end of the yr. I don't think Murray will pull off the kind of yr he had in '16, and though Djokovic can play a lot better than he has the last 6 months, I don't see him dominating like before. Fed's in w/ a chance, but there are too many variables @ the moment. One is, like you mentioned, the "long haul." Federer might get injured & will probably find it difficult to keep an = level thru the entire yr. But who knows? Who did really think he was going to win or beat 4 top 10 players in the AO (3 of them in 5 setters) & defeat Nadal in the final? Let's just say I'll never count him out again.
    ===

    Which is Murray's most heartbreaking loss? - Not a Murray fan. I vote Shanghai or Wimbledon. He wasn't winning any of the other tourneys.***

    That's my thinking; a major s/b involved, but Shanghai had the situation having 2 MP's! One of them was the epitome of what I call "his gutless play!" Nole was @ the net helpless, Murray hit a beautiful lob over his head & it appeared the match w/b over w/ the weak reply "tweener" hit back, but Murray was stuck on the baseline, hit a short shot & gave Nole his opp. to blast a FH for a winner! I'm sure some of Murray's losses to Nole, Rafa, & Roger @ majors s/b more heartfelt; esp. home @ Wimbledon, but having MP's only to choke it away in 3 @ '12 Shanghai, it was no wonder he destroyed his racket after losing 2nd set TB (13-11)!
    ===

    ***Borg only competed in 42 HC tourneys in his career. 7 of 42 (76.0 match winning %) is pretty good when you consider that it's his worst surface, & 5 of those tourn. were during his absolutely ridiculous early-90's comeback. You admit that he rarely played on HC, yet still hold his low # of tourn. wins vs him; doesn't really make sense. Borg didn't duck HC's, they just weren't around much back then. Out of the 193 ATP-recognized tournaments he played in, 21.7% were on HC's. ...only 14.8% of the GS tourneys he played were HC, bringing the overall % down.

    ...Borg's a lot like Djokovic of the past 5 yrs in the sense that he rarely played non-essential tourneys in his prime. Make no mistake about it though, he was an excellent HC player, as he beat prime Ashe, Connors & McEnroe in masters-=lent HC finals, & reached 3 finals in his 4 HC major tourneys.***

    ReplyDelete
  93. ***...I forgot Nole's only faced Nadal once at the AO!***

    I wonder will some continue that lame argument that Nole caught up & passed both Fedal in the H2H j/b of "father X?" They seem to forget the 1st X Nole went on a 7 match winning streak on Rafa was 2 yrs before Nadal retook #1! Same w/ Roger who's been more comp. over the yrs & also took over #1 in '12 after Nole's great campaign of '11 winning 3 majors & 5 Masters!

    ***I don't think you can compare Fed '12 to Fed of '05. There's only a 1 yr age difference btw Nadal & Djokovic, so I do think the Father X argument doesn't hold as much weight w/ those 2. However w/ Federer, there's no doubt that there has been a significant decline; add to the fact that he's 6 yrs older than Novak, and it's a no brainer. One can argue still that Nadal's peak was only really for a few yrs, & that Novak has taken advantage of his injuries & decline in movement- all of which making Nadal a er than '14/15 to get 11,000 for '17. (That's ~2 Masters QF wins.)

    ...Q4. How likely is all this to happen?

    •If Fed isn't injured, I give him a 65% chance of reaching 11k pts; this is based on the fact that he basically needs to replicate his last 2 uninjured seasons to get 11k (+/- a few 100 pts)

    •If he gets 11k, I give him an 80% chance of being #1◦If Djokovic repeats his '16 from here on, it won't be good enough to overhaul 11k; & I don't see him getting back to his '12-14 form, much < his '11 or '15 form

    ◦If Murray replicates his '16 from here on, he'll just barely get 11k pts; but I don't see him doing that w/ a fully fit Fed on tour

    ◦Finally, there has never been a 3 yr stretch w/o a 1st-X major winner in the Open Era; expect a new major winner this yr, which will take further pts away from Murray & Djokovic

    •Putting that together, I give an uninjured Fed a 50-50 chance of getting YE #1***

    I just can't go there! ;-(

    ***...No rookie tennis players are "deserving" of anything unless they can WIN. To oust Fed, just beat him regularly.***

    You're no real sports fan if you can't understand what I just described as taking up space; esp. in other sports! One of the most tragic & obscene events when I was growing up were All-Star games where players dragging a leg w/ graybeards hanging are selected again & again as starters! In baseball it was "The Wizard of Oz" Smith & Carl Ripken, Jr.! In B-ball, Kareem AJ was practically on Soc. Sec.! You're telling me that was fair; regardless if it was the fans or other players selecting them? In tennis it's = more willful when we have what's called "protected rankings!" An injury's not something that should = come into play concerning a "PR!" Monica Seles getting stabbed & coming back eventually was worth it, not Tommy Haas returning again & again after surgery/rehab stints! Other players who have played all season shouldn't be thrown out of tourneys to accommodate him!

    ReplyDelete
  94. ***Nadal didn't lose that AO match vs Fed b/c of the xtra day allotted to him. Super Saturday was worse?***

    Nothing was as bad as Orantes finishing off Vilas in '75 USO semi in 5 around 2 am! He then came back after a nap to play Connors in the final, defeating him in "str!" ...Connor had lost all 3 defenses of majors he won in '74 & it mhb Vilas' X but for that colossal choke job up 5-0 in the 4th w/ X MP's vs Orantes!

    ***Yes, Connors fully expected to win B/C Orantes had had to play so late into the night. Boy, was he in for a rude shock!
    ---

    Jo-Willie is back in the top 10; @ #7 tmrw. What a great yr he's having so far - 2 titles.***

    All the more reason to look back & wonder what chb! Why is it these guys are having such late surges in success like no other period I can remember? Cilic came out of nowhere to win a USO & Wawrinka who's been owned by the "Big 4" throughout takes 3 hard fought majors going thru the best of them!

    I'm going a lit'l far afield trying to elevate Tsonga into that crowd, but it's been impressive for him to win these last 2 tourneys after being obscure for the most part! ...I doubt Murray will defend! He's given me NO REASON to believe he can do that which is why he can't be elevated too far = w/ all his accomplishments! It's gonna be tough trying to defend 2 more majors w/ a lot of pts!

    ***Fiero, I hear you in that I too have been frustrated in that the last player to come up that looked like he might challenge the Big 4 was del Potro, & his career has been a mess. Of course Stan threw it in the works w/ his late blooming, but I think that is cause for celeb.

    It also looks like typical decline phase is changing from the historically late 20s to 30s, & being pushed back a few yrs to more the early-to-mid-30s. IDK if I'd be this drastic, but it almost seems like "35 is the new 30." Maybe more likely it is 33 is the new 30. Similar, it c/b the beginning of peaking is also being pushed back a bit, but maybe not as much. By age 20-21, great players have all been historically in their prime. We haven't seen a truly great player since Novak, so we don't know if this is changing, but it does seem likely it w/b pushed back a yr or 2. Zverev bears watching, in this regard.
    ---

    To revisit this idea of player's maintaining a high level later into their 30s, the cut-off would really have t/b AFTER Roger's gen. Consider that most of his best peers all declined in the usual age range, some = a bit young. Here are the best players of Roger's gen. (born '79-83), w/ the YE age in which they were still either top 10 or won a big tourn. (Slam, WTF, Masters):

    Fed: '02-17+ (age 21-36+)
    Safin: 2000-05 (age 20-25)
    Ferrero: '01-03 (age 21-23)
    Hewitt: 2000-05 (age 19-24)

    As you can see, of the 9 best players of Roger's gen., he's the only 1 still @ or near prime form, & only he & Ferrer (2 of 9, or 22%) maintained a prime form into their 30s. Now a few others of his gen. maintained a prime-ish form into their 30s--namely Deliciano & Dr. Ivo--but those are <er players.

    If we look @ the next gen., born '84-88, we have a diff. picture.

    Nadal: '05-17+ (age 19-31+)
    Djokovic: '07-17+ (age 20-30+)
    Murray: '08-17+ (age 21-30+)
    Wawrinka: '13-17? (age 28-32?)
    Tsonga: '08-17? (age 23-32?)
    Berdych: '05-16+ (age 20-31+)
    Cilic: '14-16+ (age 26-28+)
    del Potro: '08-13+ (age 20-25+)
    Soderling:'09-11 (age 25-27)

    ...These are pretty small samples to make definitive statements, but I do think they @ least give us a sense of an aging trend. What they do tell us is that more elite players are entering AND exiting their primes later, but what they do not tell us is whether truly great players are peaking later. Again, we're probably going to have to wait until "Gen. Zverev" comes more fully of age.***

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  95. ***Djokovic can say as much as he wants that he's getting back to his previous form, but his results say otherwise. Rafa's the better player @ the moment IMO...***

    Well if Djokovic takes care of business, including taking an 8th str. match over Nadal, what will you say then? I say Rafa's best yrs are behind him & he might have a major in his future, but a lot of luck will have to take place!

    ***You m/b right, but Djokovic isn't the same player he was since the FO & Nadal isn't the same player he's been since he's come back again.***

    I personally don't think Nole's been himself since their last meeting in Rome! He's struggled since; allowing Kei & Andy to take him to the limit, lost Rome final, & as you said "been a shell of his former self!" I was overall satisfied enough he got his FO, but that falloff afterwards was a shock!

    ***Djokovic has beaten Nadal 7 X's in a row in the last 2 yrs for the 2nd X. Last X this happened, Nadal snapped that 7 match losing streak w/ 3 match winning streak of his own. However, in '17, you would think there's more possibility of Djokovic extending his winning streak.
    ---

    So when Nadal used to Win, it's a strong era!
    - When Djokovic wins it's a weak era?
    - What about 10 yrs of "Clay" weak era where 1 person won 9 slams alone? ..And probable GOAT w/ 18 slams, wins just 1 FO

    - What has Djokovic won after '11?
    - 4 AO - Nadal can't beat him there, So era irrevalent
    - 1 FO - I dont think you too believe Rafa beats him there @ RG '16
    - 2 Wimby - I don't think you believe Rafa can beat him there too for obvious reasons.

    - 1 USO- Rafa got beat by Fognini & this yr by Paire I think. Could he win vs Djokovic in '15 USO?

    - So Djokovic's wins has nothing to do w/ Rafa during this extended period.

    - Rafa peaked early; Djoke peaked late.
    ---

    I'm wondering when the media 1st started hyping Roger as the "GOAT." I'm sure it's hard to know exactly when, but what yr was it approx?

    Here's a video from what I believe t/b '05 where Cliff Drysdale's talking about it (Fed would've had 5 majors @ the X, assuming this was from before the USO that yr):

    - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8A1AxLqwwI -

    I know @ the FO in '06 McEnroe said he'd anoint him if he completed the Roger Slam, which he didn't.***

    It had to of started early w/ 3 separate yrs winning 3 majors! Before Fedalovic, winning 2 was an achievement, while 3 happened once a decade! Roger started making it routine w/ 3, Nole was able to grab 2 (w/ Nole Slam), & Rafa once! We've been truly spoiled; @ least these past 2 gens! I didn't think I'd live long enough to see this kind of excellence on the men's side! I figured the tours w/b too strong w/ all the new tech & nutrition, but it hasn't happened allowing Fedalovic to just about own the tour for over a decade!

    ***Fave Masters & why? - Rome b/c of the prestige, + clay's my fave surface. Miami a close 2nd.***

    I have to say the same! I = like their trophies; Rome's quite iconic! I've watched Miami from it's inception as "'85 Lipton Int'l PC" when it was considered the 5th major! All players showed up except McEnroe & Connors who were protesting = $$! IIRC, since there was MxD as well, Navratilova blitzed her comp. taking 3 titles as she did @ '87 USO! The men's draw was decimated w/ upsets, but wound up having a comp. final going 5 sets w/ TIM Mayotte defeating Scott Davis! Tim was a lot >er player @ the X, but was being quite stubborn trying to blast/topspin the service returns allowing Scott to raise to a 2 set to 0 lead before it started clicking! ...w/ many players deciding to go "Boom Boom Becker" tennis hoping to click @ crucial X's to break serve! To me it just extends matches unnecess. when chipping it @ an opp's feet can suffice ala Fed/Roddick!

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  96. ***...I can remember McEnroe saying @ that X that Roger could end up being the GOAT b/c of how he played the game. ...From my perspective it was after he won the 3 slams in the yr '04 after he had 1 Wimbl. in '03. = though he had 4 majors, the feeling was that he could become the best ever based upon how we played the game & his apparent lack of weakness. Surely by the end of '06 he was clearly being anointed as perhaps the best ever if not definitely.
    ===

    Look @ where the young players are relative to their '16 YE rankings (which're tech formulated right after the WTF's over, so late Nov.)

    Using the live rankings as of 2/2 & compare them. Players age 21 & < in order of current (live) ranking.

    Top 100 (21 & <)
    - 15. Nick Kyrgios (-2)
    - 21. Alex Zverev (+4)
    - 51. Karen Khachanov (+2)
    - 57. Borna Coric (-9)
    - 62. Daniil Medvedev (+37)
    - 70. Hyeon Chung (+34)
    - 82. Yoshihito Nishioka (+18)
    - 93. Frances Tiafoe (+15)
    - 94. Taylor Fritz (-18)
    - 95. Jared Donaldson (+10)

    ...but it made me want to research players age 18 who finished in the YE top 100.

    '15: Alex Zverev (83)
    '14: Borna Coric (93)
    '07: Donald Young (100)
    '06: JM del Potro (92)
    '05: Murray (64), Djokovic (78)
    '04: Rafael Nadal (51)
    '03: Nadal 17 (49), Gasquet 17 (93)
    '02: Mario Ancic (89)
    '00: Guillermo Coria (88)
    '99: Hewitt (25), Fed (64), Vinciguerra (98)
    '98: Safin (49), Hewitt 17 (100)
    '96: Dominik Hrbaty (78)
    '92: Medvedev (24), Enqvist (63), Corretja (86)
    '90: Chang (15), Santoro (62)
    '89: Chang 17 (5), Bruguera (26), Ivanisevic (40), Sampras (81)

    There are tons in the 80s, gen. a few/yr, including Agassi, Chang, Courier, Sampras, Becker, Edberg, Cash, Wilander, as well as plenty of forgotten or <er players like Nargiso, Davin, Stoltenberg, Skoff, etc.

    But as you can see, there's a big gap w/ no 1 btw Young in '07 & Coric in '14. If Ruud makes it this yr, that's 3 in the last 4 yrs; & of course Alex de Minaur & Denis Shapovalov have outside chances, so it c/b as many as 3 18-yo's in the YE top 100 this yr - that hasn't happened since '99.
    ---

    That's 23 18-yo's who finished in the top 100 from '89 to the present. Let's extend it to a rounded 30 yrs, so '87-16, so we add in:

    '88: Agassi (3), Chang 16 (30), Courier (43), Stoltenberg (70), Nargiso (90), Davin (94), Sampras 17 (97)

    '87: G. Perez Roldan (19), Agassi 17 (25)

    That's 29 players in the last 30 yrs. Let's not count Coric & Zverev, so that gives us 27. Let's brk them up by "tier."

    - 5 (19%) ATG's (6+ Slam winners): Agassi, Sampras, Federer, Nadal, Djokovic

    - 8 (30%) Elite/near greats (1-4 Slam winners): Courier, Chang, Ivanisevic, Bruguera, Safin, Hewitt, Murray, del Potro

    - 4 (15%) <er elites/2nd tier players (@ least a Masters): Medvedev, Enqvist, Corretja, Coria

    - 5 (19%) Solid players/reg. top 100: Perez-Roldan, Santoro, Hrbaty, Ancic, Gasquet

    - 5 (19%) Med. players: Stoltenberg, Nargiso, Davin, Vinciguerra, Young

    In the last 30 yrs, of the 27 players who finished a yr in the top 100 as an 18-yo or younger, almost 1/5 (19%) went on t/b ATG's, & 1/2 (49%) went on to win @ least 1 Slam. The bust-race is either 1 or 2/5, depending upon what you consider a "bust," w/ the median being that of a <er elite, or 2nd tier player. It's also worth nothing that 3 of the 5 mediocre players were all in the 80s, w/ only Young being really recent. So my guess is that "bust rate" is actually lower these days, b/c it's harder for a young player to reach the top 100 now than it was 20+ yrs ago.***

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  97. ***Weak era w/b back if somehow Djokovic gets his act together & takes Fed out to the woodshed.***

    Hope Djokovic takes @ least 1 (IW/Miami) after winning both the last 3 seasons! Perfection can't last forever; proved w/ early Rd loss in his 2nd home "down under" @ the AO!

    ***True he's going t/b spotty. Maybe we could see a deep FO run. But might not be until the USO he gets to a final & has a chance to win another major.
    ---

    ...I also disagree w/ Vilas being >er on clay, & he certainly wasn't better than Fed.

    Laver, Lendl, Wilander & Kuerten were all >er on clay for sure, but I'm not sure if they were >er on clay. However, the whole "better" thing is very subjective, but if we're talking about who would transcend eras, it comes into play. If we're just going to go by Majors on clay as the comparison, then we're just left w/ those boys being above Federer period & him not winning over them ever @ the FO. I don't think that's an entirely reasonable thing to say for sure. - Borg was a great athlete, extremely consistent, & could outlast most opps in his era on every surface...except HC's! That combined w/ his lack of size & power suggests that he couldn't be as successful in the modern era as say Nadal or Djokovic.***

    No Borg? Only lost to 1 person in 8 FO runs winning 6! He was the Clay God before Nadal was even born!

    ***Borg was also clearly >er than Federer @ the FO & better. However, I don't think Borg would have completely shut out Fed @ the FO, but that's just me. Nadal had a unique shot not possible in the era of wood rackets that really troubled Fed. It's difficult to say if Borg would have Nadal's level of topspin in the modern era or if Fed playing in the 80s would have had just as much trouble vs Borg's <er spin w/ wooden rackets. I think = adjusting for racket tech, Federer had a superior offensive game than any of the players Borg beat in his FO finals & probably comparable defense.
    ---

    This interesting article puts some context around the achievements of Laver & Rosewall making the interesting point that the tour was really like a "musical act." He does briefly mention that the system they had back then was arguably superior for producing the best tennis ability, as Rosewall & Laver played 140+ X's.

    Imagine if Nadal, Federer, Djokovic, Murray, Wawrinka played each other around that many X's (on a variety of surfaces, no cartoonish responses about 23-12). The author implies the result w/b an elevation by each of their games due to constantly playing vs the very best in of the best.

    - https://asubstituteforwar.wordpress.com/2011/01/16/rod-laver-and-the-overrating-of-the-pre-open-era-grand-slam/ -

    I've never seen Roger come apart like that before. Dropping this 2nd Rd. match to Donskoy in Dubai after serving for it a couple X's is inexplicable!***

    It had to happen sooner or later! He was depending on the kid to choke giving him his chance, but he blew it! I just hope those dreamers making out this was Roger's 2nd coming after his AO win reflect & try t/b more rational & judicious w/ predictions of extending his career records further as if the tour will allow it w/o a fight!

    ***I think for now the #1 spot belongs to the Big 2 ATM. Thay're both miles away from the rest in ranking pts. - I didn't watch the match, but a bit worrisome in that I've been wondering whether the AO w/b a last great push by Roger, and whether or not he'll be able to muster the focus & drive to continue playing @ a high level. I know this is only 1 match, but he should have won it easily.***

    Maybe, but for the most part people flipped making this out t/b Roger's 2nd coming & only the beginning of his run back to #1! I couldn't have been more nauseated, but this loss today will stay some of that BS!

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  98. ***WILLIAM WAS NOT TREATED THE RIGHT WAY in "Underworld: Evolution"***

    It was written the way they wanted; the most dangerous of the immortals! It was just as insane of Marcus to want to free his brother to rampage & destroy cities w/ no conscience! He whb a blight on the planet! I found no problem w/ how William was written, but some might have come up w/ a better way of imprisoning him!

    ***...he was the brother of Marcus & the strongest wolf & he s/b = to Marcus not the inferior brother they showed us like he was no real leader never changed to human & they only told us he was just for rampage & out of control & then he was imprisoned until Marcus freed him only to die @ the end of the movie by Michael.
    ---

    1st of all, William couldn't become human again. He was the "source", the original werwolf. As Tanus said, these were rampaging monsters, unable to return to human form ever again. This was why William was sealed away to begin w/, b/c he was destroying everything in his path & infecting anyone he came across. How's someone who's basically a rabid animal supposed to lead anyone? He was a rampaging monster. ...Don't forget that as a hybrid, Michael's strength @ least matched William's. ...Actually, he was likely in a hibernative state similar to what the vampire Elders did, & we saw how weak Viktor was when he 1st woke up.***

    You have to blame the father most of all; couldn't care < about his compassion & unwillingness to kill his own son! He called him a rampaging monster so was quite aware of the repercussions of allowing William to run amuck!

    ***...The rest of them despise Selene b/c of their old customs of prejudice. They thought like Victor did. David was a visionary in "Awakening;" he wanted to fight back. He didn't care that Selene was a hybrid. To him she was still a vampire and a legendary Deathdealer.***

    Well it was hard to have any sympathy for the vampires since they were the ones who enslaved the Lycans initially & treated them so poorly! After that, the extermination by "Death Dealers" was a fake war made up by Viktor! Am I wrong?
    ===

    ***Man Alex Cabot was such a bitch and such a bad ass. ...I have always enjoyed Casey Novak, but rewatching this show I have to say Cabot m/b one of the most bad ass individuals ever on TV. Who do you guys like the best as ADA on "Law & Order: SVU?"***

    I prefer the stories when Cabot is being beat up a bit by defendants; Fred Savage in "Futility" & Sharon Lawrence in "Chameleon" were great examples of Alex getting her clock cleaned! They were quite entertaining; Donnelly ready to give up the store to a hooker/serial killer! Loved the quick scene w/ DA Nora Lewin getting into a tête-à-tête w/ Liz & Alex over the death penalty!

    ***I think she is a self serving bitch & I enjoy moments like those as well. Due to eps like S2 episode "Runaways" where she refuses to make a deal w/ someone b/c he might kill again in 20 yrs results in the death of a 16 yo girl. I feel like she's kinda a bad guy on the show. She's usually in confrontation w/ the SVU team, has her eyes set on the governor's office & God help anyone in her way.

    She's the Terminator of the ADAs though relentless & taking no prisoners (unless it serves her politically to) & this is why I love watching her & call her a bad ass. ...I enjoy seeing her do exactly what we know she will .... The X's she pulls out 'impossible' to get warrants, has the high up contacts that crack open the case where she gets defendants to admit to stuff.***

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  99. "The Real Housewives Of BH's" - Tonite's preview shows Lisa Rinna admitting she said all those horrible things about Kim to Eden, but another clip shows her going on the attack @ their "come to Jesus" meet to discuss it! Rinna's a chronic deflector & shit-stirrer! She's not going to take her beating w/o passing the buck! "I was provoked!" I can hear it now!

    ***I agree; 'Lisa pass the buck Rinna.' She's so insipid.***

    Speaking of "enabler;" Harry Hamlin fits the bill backing Rinna no matter how inane the situation! Nothing was said or done to warrant anyone going off in Amsterdam like that a few yrs ago! It's just not rational!

    ***I think he loves the adulation she provides, no matter how unstable she appears.***

    OMG, the ep was the best! Rinna got hers from all sides! She deflected a bit trying to justify her lies, but for the most part "she got hers!" The reunion s/b = >er w/ the clips to show her complicity getting Dorit & Eden on board the "Kyle enabling train!" I can watch it again & again! "SHUT UP CARNIE!"

    ***I loved how she just remembered it, like, oh yes now I know what I said. If Carnie hadn't been there, it whb worse. Of course Rinna wants to move on, it let's her off her lying hook. Talking to Harry Hamlin she remembered; she sure has him bamboozled! I noticed Erica drinking, & saying "I'll be an alcoholic by the X this shit is over." I didn't see Rinna as having balls either; she lied, she knew it, & she tried her darnedest to wriggle out of it! I don't like her, in fact I dislike her. - I love that Lisa's still kidding herself that she 'only wants to help' w/ Kim. She's gross.***

    Well Kim took a swipe @ her during that drama last night; "pick a lane!" LVP shut her mouth tight like no other X I've seen before!

    ***Rinna saying @ the end of the whole convo ... "Can we PLEASEEEEEE all move off from this?"... "Let's just put this to rest now. Can we?"

    'Rinna, you are the ONLY ONE that has continued to bring KIM up season after season, ep after ep & you want everyone to "put it to rest?"'
    ---

    If I was 1 of those ladies I would NEVER trust Rinna as a friend again & NEVER, EVER confide in her EVER. She LIES & can't remember her LIES & then LIES that she did not say it & then all of a sudden remembers her LIES.***

    Sounds like the making of a star! A yr ago how credible was Trump? Now look @ him! Talk about scary! We reward stupidity, lying, cheating, & = high crimes as long as there's a publicist & book tour to explain it all away!

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  100. How convenient as Rinna's getting her ass chewed for lying & challenging the sobriety of Kim on Nat'l TV! The entire so called apology tour of Rinna's was being justified & deflected the entire X so no wonder Kim hasn't forgiven her! Why should she since the woman was being so reckless?

    ***...I'm not a fan of Kim's!***

    I'm no fan of any of these broads, but Kim has been delightful so far! She looks great, been coherent, & calmly tells people how she feels! That didn't stop Rinna from trying to run her down which is a good reason to keep that bitch @ arm's length; same for Eden coming @ Kim w/ that "lack of compassion" crap! They were maligning her sobriety & nothing they can say will ever justify venting like that on Nat'l TV about someone who isn't even a cast member! Kim's minding her own business while Rinna's sitting/standing over in a corner talking shit w/ Eileen & Eden deserving all the backlash! I can't wait for the reunion to put her on BLAST = more b/c everyone knows Andy will highlight this conflict!

    ***W/ Kim, Rinna's falling for the mistake many people are guilty of where she's holding to an old judgement of Kim based on old behavior and assuming it to still be the case. Many of the other women have paid attention more to see that Kim has made some changes - Rinna hasn't.***

    But the thing is, = if Rinna was correct, why is she pretending to move on, but continuing to spread gossip & rip Kim to shreds? It just doesn't make sense either way! She s/b more in tune w/ her own "gifted" life, husband, & daughters! What's all this other crap meant to accomplish but to make her storyline?

    ***Because that's Rinna. She is a horrible person. She w/b 91 yo sitting in a nursing home gossiping about someone. She actually OWES Eden an apology from when she met her in the Park & accused her of being "very very busy" (another words accused Eden of being the LIAR) when all along it WAS HER.
    ---

    I think she knows right from wrong - she just hasn't found a way to control herself in making decisions that are right instead of wrong. Even worse, she's got a husband who'll validate & justify everything she does rather than ever lovingly telling her she may have gone a lit'l too far. Having your spouses back is one thing - finding ways to justify bad behavior is another. I guess you could say that Rinna is addicted to gossip & Harry enables her. Maybe that's why she relates so well to the Richards sisters.***

    Lacking control is a lot diff. than overtly lying & that's exactly what Rinna was doing in MX! She was busted & couldn't 'own' her malicious comments going on the attack & starting to blubber instead of admitting her fault! I wouldn't ever be able to get past her looking me in the eye & "FORGETTING" how malicious she had been w/ someone she didn't = know that well in Eden! How do you forget terms like "enabling" & "close to dying?"

    ***I want to know what Harry said to make her see the light? He was on the phone & said "well you never said anything like that to me?" I think they are both sampling from the same pill bag.***

    Lisa put LVP on Blast last season & it's all boomeranged back to her! Lit'l Miss Perfect who always 'owns it' will have the spotlight & be the center of ire j/b she couldn't keep her vile mouth shut! She almost got her daughter in trouble since she fanned drama over Yo's health! "I'm ...in a show ... w/ Gigi!" The Hadids easily could have blackballed Rinna's daughter but haven't! They're obviously a lot classier! ;-)

    - http://www.bravotv.com/the-real-housewives-of-beverly-hills/season-7/videos/lisa-rinna-and-kim-richards-entire-feud-in-90 -

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