Friday, November 4, 2016

Fan Page - Borg/Navratilova - (70's-90's)

Bjorn Borg - '73-81


Bjorn Borg's a former world #1 tennis player from Sweden widely considered to be one of the greatest in tennis history. Between '74 & '81 he became the 1st male pro to win 11 Grand Slam Open Era singles titles: 6 @ the French Open & 5 cons. @ Wimbledon. He won 3 YE Chps. & 15 GP Super Series titles.



Borg set numerous Open Era records that still stand, including winning 41% of the GS singles tourneys he entered & 90% of those matches, winning both the FO & Wimbl. for 3 cons. yrs,  and winning 3 GS w/o losing a set. His total career match win rate of 82.74% remains in top 2 of the era.


Martina Navratilova - '73-94
Martina Navratilova was World #1 for a total of 332 wks in singles, & a rec. 237 wks in doubles, making her the only player in history to have held the top spot in both singles & doubles for over 200 wks. She was YE singles #1, 7 times, including a record 5 cons. yrs, as well as YE doubles #1, 5 X's, including 3 cons. yrs during which she held ranking for the entire yr.

She won 18 Grand Slam singles titles, 31 major women's doubles titles (an all-time rec.), & 10 major MD's titles, marking the Open-Era rec. She won 20 Wimbledon titles, an all-time record. Navratilova holds the records for most singles titles (167) & doubles titles (177) in the Open Era. Her rec. as #1 in singles ('82–86) is the most dominant in pro tennis. She was ranked in the world's top 10 in singles for a rec. 20 cons. yrs ('75-94), a span which included 19 yrs top 5, 15 yrs top 3, & 7 yrs as #1.

14 comments:

  1. Tennis Channel's Top 100 of all time:
    #10 - BJ King - 12 major titles (mother of the WTA)
    # 9 - Chris Evert - 13 straight years winning a major
    # 8 - Margaret Court - 62 Majors - (GS '70, 24 singles - 11 AO)
    # 7 - Bjorn Borg - 6 FO & 5 straight Wimbledons
    # 6 - Nadal - 10 majors incl. the career GS & Olympic Gold
    # 5 - Sampras - 14 major titles (7 Wimbledons)

    # 4 - Martina Navratilova (59 majors, 9 Wbldns, 167 Sgls,177 Dbls)

    # 3 - Steffi Graf - 22 majors and an Olympic Gold Medal
    # 2 - Rod Laver - 2 Grand Slams ('62 & '69)
    # 1 - Roger Federer - 16 majors w/ a career GS

    ***Evert and Martina were ranked too high. I'm surprised Borg was ranked as high as he was but he deserved top 10. In those clips of Evert she sorta reminded me of Aggie, but she has more skills. Too bad Aggie wasn't in that era and had Evert been in this one she wouldn't have a slam, IMO.***

    I'm hardly an Evert fan, but the reason she made the list and rightfully so was the same reason Martina Hingis made it; max'd out what they had! Their minds were their weapon! So many times Evert played against someone who had tons more talent like Hana Mandlikova, but she won most of their encounters, esp. in the majors losing only 3 or 4 X's in semi's! I never liked Evert and taped every defeat; esp. to Martina Navr.! Their only match I don't have and want desperately is their '81 semi from the USO! I'll catch it one of these days on a classic night; I can only hope! While I'm at it: "ordering '86 USO semi, Mecir over Becker!" Totally missed the comeback in 5!

    ***Of course Evert in her smug unfunny way said "I should be #1 on the list...just joking."***

    In her mind she thinks it; I'm sure! 13 years with a major, 125 straight wins on clay, 18 majors, a few doubles titles w/ Navratilova, and had the most fierce and long rivalry ever in tennis! They played 80 times, a lot of finals, quite a few semi's when one was down in the rankings to Graf, Seles, & Austin, etc! After all is said and done, Martina edges her 43-37! That's historic and both had to be in the top 10!

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  2. Navratilova has everyone beat in most categories:

    - 30 odd years in the game, taking off '95-2000

    - 167 singles and 177 doubles titles in total (59 majors in singles, dbls, & MD)

    - Has the "Box Set" taking all titles at majors - 12 events; her last in MD at '06 USO (month short of 50)

    - Won 6 majors in a row ('83 Wimbledon - '84 USO) - in 11 str. major finals

    - Won all 3 events at '87 USO & at inaug. Lipton Int'l Chps in '85

    - Record 74 matches won in a row (54 & 58 match winning streaks)

    - WTA created a best 3 of 5 match to keep her on the court longer - VS Chp. '84

    ***Navr's overall #'s will prob. never be topped - truly the GOAT in many categories!***
    ---

    When Martina really started dominating the WTA in '83, her matches barely lasted 40-45 min.! To keep her out on the court for at least an hour, they made the '84 VS Chp best 3 of 5 sets! It was a spirited match in the final, but Martina really just toyed with Evert winning fairly easily 6-3, 7-5, 6-1! The 1st couple years it was ok, but by the time Hingis, Seles, Sabatini, & Graf ruled the game, it was almost painful watching them run around for over 3 hrs & 4 or 5 sets!

    ***As someone born in the late 80's, I do not feel well enough informed to vote on this, Gramps.***

    No offense taken! Just trying to learn you youngin's a few things about the history of the game! lol!

    ***Learn us good....but in all seriousness I wasn't aware those changes in the game (which, obviously, I was aware of) were so closely linked w/ individual players. That is interesting.***

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  3. ***I do wish the top single players would play more dubs, like in the old days.***

    In the old days, it was a lot more common for top players to play doubles; and win! Even Bjorn Borg won some WCT events with G. Vilas! McEnroe obviously ruled for quite a while with Fleming! Raul Ramirez was #1 in singles and doubles at the same time as well; partner Brian Gottfried! You had more of a cast of characters they actually showed if time permitted! Matches weren't lasting 3+ hours routinely so it wasn't unusual to get some doubles exposure! Even though it's been well over 30 years, I have vivid memories of legendary teams like Newcombe/Roche, Hewitt/McMillan, Stewart/McNair, & even Connors/Nastase on occasion! The women were even more renowned w/ Navratilova/Shriver, King/Casals, Court/Wade, and Stove/Durr! We have some classic teams today, but you almost never see them! The singles matches run too long as it is; "no doubles for you!"

    ***Edberg was another top player who excelled at both singles and doubles. He won AO doubles in his farewell year on tour.***

    His partner was the craziest of the Swedes; Anders Jarryd! He was an accomplished singles player taking Boris Becker to the limit in a rain-delayed semi at Wimbledon in '85!

    ***I really hated Adidas***

    When I started out in the 70's, Fila was "The Wear" to have with Borg their top spokesperson! It was rich looking, tight fitting to the body, and was classic just using white, beige, and creme with accented piping & collars of green, red, & blue! Call it old fashioned, but I loved it! Too freakin' expensive though! The tariffs were brutal! Someone I taught tennis with bought me a warm up; such a waste at $235! That was probably on sale! That was a lot of money for something to sweat in and needing to dry clean!

    ***Damn you were rich in the 70s. My dad took me shopping the summer after we came to Canada, to a thrift store...bought me a blue pair of shorts, red canvas shoes (with traffic signs all over them), and a t-shirt; $11.***

    We weren't rich, just comfortable! Back in the mid 70's tennis clothes were the only thing I wore; playing, teaching, and socially! I had a whole closet full of tennis shirts, shorts taking up 2 draws, and another full of wrist bands to match! The clothes lasted a lot longer than the rackets! I would make McEnroe proud with my tirades when I missed a shot! I was also a fan of Bjorn Borg's so for a while I played with his Bancroft racket strung at 76# of pressure! It was stressed enough with that tension in the strings, banging it on the ground didn't help much! lol! I have easily gone through 60 or more rackets over my career! Looked in storage and found a few of the oldies; a wood Garcia, an all fiberglass European model called Volkl (orange with blue zebra stripes), and an old aluminum "tear drop" Head Pro!

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  4. ***Is novak the most mentally tough player ever?***

    I'm going old school for my choices! For the men, Bjorn Borg had to be the most unflapable! I can't tell you how many times people thought they had him on the ropes, but even match point down, could come back and beat them; esp. in majors! For the ladies I'll have to go to Chris Evert! She's no favorite of mines with my thinking she almost killed women's tennis with the way little girls were emulating her style of play! Her strength was her mental stamina; willing to out last the best players of her generation; Goolagong, Navratilova, King, Court, Wade, Mandlikova, and others! I thought she was done by '85 with Navrailova "toying" with her, even on clay, but stay with it and won 2 more French Open titles; both over Navrratilova!

    ***Fiero...my first thought was Borg as well, but that little retirement incident says I just can't go there. How old was he when he retired? same as as Djokovic is now??***

    Borg was only 26, but it was time; being on the circuit since he was 15! He won a lot in a very short period of time; sorta like Federer! He was burned out! As a teenager, he had to overcome the career endings of Laver, Newcombe, & Ashe, then peers like Connors, McEnroe, & Nastase reaching the top and staying there until he finally circummed mentally in '81! He didn't have the protection of 32 seeds in majors either taking on all comers on all surfaces, winning 2 Masters, 1 WCT title, 5 Wimbledons and 6 FO's! He did all that with a wood racket; sweet spot the size of a fist, if that at 80+#'s of string pressure!

    ***As far as mental toughness goes, I'd place Nole ahead of Rafa and Rafa ahead of Federer.***

    I proved my impartiality by picking Evert who I loath! lol! I guess I'm more shocked you put Nole ahead of Rafa! That makes sense after '11 with 7 straight wins into '12 AO! - Borg was a fave of mines, but I witnessed some of the greatest escapes of all time including being 2 match points down to Jaime Fillol! In the 2nd round at the US Open in '76, I think Borg was down a couple breaks too and had to overcome best of 3, not BO5 in those early rounds on clay, 7-6 in the 3rd!

    ***Boris Becker: Federer would've been successful in Serve and Volley era. Nadal, Djokovic definite NO - Serve and volley had it's X, move on.***

    Ya better hope it comes back! Tennis is almost unwatchable these days with 3-5 hour contests being routine! The women are no better w/ the constant toweling off, meditation @ the back of the court, & the incessant bouncing of the ball before both serves! Back "in the day" as people say, there was true drama out there on the court! The fans heart rate was up, palms were sweaty living, breathing, & dying on every pt in some matches; i.e. the longest day in '84! I agree baseliners of today would have serious problems w/ players who weren't as health conscience, could have pot-bellies, but playing their game, could still compete with the best of them! Lendl was the best during his reign from the baseline, but he had major heartburn w/ many of the greats; McEnroe, Edberg, & Becker! His only real rival playing him @ his own game was Wilander! Now everyone plays like that, hugging the baseline & taking their X btw pts! (yawn) "Hail Roger" who @ least attacks someX's!

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  5. ***If you just go by the #'s, Graf, Navratilova, Evert have stronger claim than Federer; esp. Graf/Navr. Granted I would still put asterisk by Graf. I think Serena should be right around Sampras/Laver/Court, not quite with Fed/Navr./Graf/Evert yet. I really don't know where to place Nadal/Bjorg; my 2 faves.***

    I feel your pain! Growing up in the 70's, Borg was THE MAN, but I softened over time finally giving the nod to Sampras until Federer came along! The women, I always thought Navratilova would be the best and she didn't embarrass that opinion! Even though Evert is no fave of mines, she has to remain above any of the current stars due to her longevity and consistency' winning at least 1 major 13 straight years! She had a lot more rivals over the years including BJK, Goolagong, Navratilova, Court, Wade; ending with Seles and Graf! A big ol' asterisk goes by Graf's name for obvious reasons! I've raised Serena as far as I can; #5 all time behind Navr., Graf, Court, & Evert! The men: Federer, Laver, Sampras, Borg, Connors; imo for now!
    ---

    ...Evert was on the way out, Navratilova was in a funk in '88, Sabatini was a head-case, & Seles hadn't arrived yet! For the men, McEnroe was almost done along w/ Connors, Lendl & Wilander were winding down, & Edberg & Becker ruled w/ Agassi in waiting!

    ***167 single wins. Untouchable! 177 doubles wins. Untouchable! 86-1 in '83 - best single year winning % in history. Longest winning streak in history - 74 matches. 18 grand slam singles titles. 31 GS doubles titles. 8 YEC's. Are you kidding me? Martina Nav's records are Cy Young like. All respect due to Steffi - Most GS wins - 22 including the Golden Slam. Longest at #1 - 377 wks to Martina's 332 wks. But they were 9-9 head to head. 5-4 in GS with Martina having the edge. In terms of body of work and accomplishment, I don't think there is a close 2nd. To rank Martina 4th on this list is the biggest joke I've ever heard. She stands alone. - The GOAT: Martina Nav...***

    Agreed! She has records that can't and won't be touched including winning 6 majors in a row, almost toying w/ her closest rival & other opponents in her prime, & winning her last major @ 50 (49 yrs, 11 mo) in MD; '06 USO!

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  6. ***MARTINA NAVRATILOVA VS STEFFI GRAF - WHO IS THE GREATEST? - Navratilova. Its not even close.***

    I don't know where those 2 votes came from! Graf has at least 4 titles at each major, but how fewer would she have had if Seles hadn't been stabbed? Martina still outclasses her with all those doubles' titles finishing at 59 GS at 49 years, 11 months at '06 USO Mx Dbl w/ Bryan!

    ***Doubles titles have NADA to do with singles, Fiero. Where Graf surpasses Navratilova is in the diversity of Slams won. Graf: 7 Wimbys, 6 RGs - Martina: 9 Wimbys, 2 RGs. So it's not even close. - Graf for those who know tennis.***

    I wonder will you be consistent w/ your critique when I point out that Navratilova, like Federer was a lot older than her closest rival at the time, but still had a dominance at one major; USO beating Graf 4 of 5 times! By '91, many thought Navr. was past it even losing to Capriati at Wimbledon earlier that year! She came into USO ranked #5, but dropped to #6 in the seedings! She had only played WTT over the summer and didn't look sharp at all, but got thru Manuela Maleeva in 3 sets taking a tie-breaker in R16! Arantxa Sanchez-V had her down a set and a break, but managed to eek out 2 more TB in QF! By the semi's against Graf she was swinging freely, even on her backhand! Martina looked like a kid jumping on Steffi taking the 1 set in a tie-breaker, then breaking early in the 2nd! There was a horrible bad call serving for the match, but again she overcame adversity, mother time, and a much younger opponent winning in 3! In the final she finally ran out of gas losing 1st set TB to Seles, then succumbing 6-1 to finish off a good run for an old lady! I love tellin' that story! I read a magazine interview 20+ years ago with Steffi where she said Navratilova was "extraordinary!" She would know!

    ***Steffi Graf is the ONE. Martina changed the game for women forever, but she did get a later start on her championship career, and that's why she has less titles. Tennis is all about GS titles, and Graf owns it by a wide margin.***

    59 majors is nothing to sneeze at, not to mention 167 singles titles to go along w/ 177 doubles! No one else, male or female is even close! Graf finished w/ 107 singles titles IIRC!

    That's well behind Martina! When it comes to wide margins, Navratilova has it all over folks! Like Federer, she owns records that will never be broken!

    ***Navratilova played doubles &/mixed doubles in virtually every major she participated in. There were some tournaments where Navratilova played EVERY DAY yet still won the title... Playing dubs and MD's involves a different tennis game from playing singles. Navratilova truly mastered all 3 phases. She is one of only 2 tennis players to have the "box set" Grand Slam: all 4 major titles in singles, doubles and mixed doubles.***

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  7. ***... Claiming the superiority of one by showing the alternatives are inferior as you claimed Martina did in trying to tear down others to inflate her own accomplishments. You are doing the same.***

    Just proves my impartiality! Even though I think Martina is the GOAT, I'm not blind to her faults as some are on this board about their fave! Not trying to pull or incite anything, but we all know there are ostriches, then there are ostriches! I've been around too long to inflate and bestow greatness on someone I know is not! For a while I was giving it to Sampras, but we've all come to realize that was ridiculous since he didn't even play a FO final! We were looking at the #'s and totally dismissed that even though Laver was forced to miss 4 years in the last amateur days '64-67! He still earned 2 calender slams and a total of 11 majors! Roy Emerson had 12, but wasn't given as much credit for his majors since so many top players had gone pro! He was never in the discussion of Goat'dom even though his total was above Borg, Laver, and Lendl

    ***Nadal USO Record - Hey, Borg never won the USO either. = 2009: #3 seed: Semi-Final Loss to Del Potro, 2008: #1seed: Semi-Final Loss to Andy Murray, 2007: #2 seed: Fourth Round Loss to Ferrer, 2006: #2 seed: QF Loss to Youzhny, 2005: #2 seed: 3-RD Loss to Blake, 2004: Unseeded: 2-RD Loss to Roddick, 2003: Unseeded: 2-RD Loss to El Aynaoui***

    You got it all covered! ITA; both he and Murray will probably be done if either make the semi! I won't write Federer off quite yet! He's saved his season before with a lone win at the USO! Hard to believe he has so many doubters since he is holding onto the AO title! That's more than most out there including Djokovic, Murray, DelPo, Roddick, and Davydenko! Fed may go out in a blaze of glory taking this USO and hanging it up like Sampras! It just depends if he still has the desire! Heaven knows he doesn't need the money! The family is dragging him down; talk about "hanger ons!" Shesshhh!
    ---

    No one can compare to Navratilova! She was out there for 20+ years, winning until her last days on the court taking GS doubles titles! If you gave Serena, Venus, Steffi, or even Monica more years in their prime, they couldn't come close to her record! She was a great singles player, but obviously she's the best in doubles winning with whoever was free at the time! If it weren't for the ridiculous power generated by these new rackets, she could probably take most of these "chippies" now who think they are playing tennis! They aren't! It's something akin to "rollerball!" Just get out the lead balls, motorcycles, and some obstacles to jump!

    ***Ok, I was with you until you insulted the game. Tennis is a sport that has evolved just like every other sport. The men and women of today are still working hard just like the men and women of yester-year to stay competitive and achieve in the game of tennis as it is played today. So yes, they are playing tennis, not "rollerball". It may not be moon-ball, wooden racket tennis of the early 20th century, but it is still tennis, and you still have to beat the opponent on the other side of the net.
    ----

    Navratilova had it all. Strength, ability, guts, courage, net game, serve, FH, BH, foot work, speed, intelligence, mental toughness,...I think the advantage Graf & Martina had to get better numbers than Serena is based on their physical condition. Graf & Navratilova rarely had injuries while Serena, like Venus, is always struggling with form. I blame it on the modern hard hitting style of today's tennis.***

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  8. No time in recent memory have we had the women's ranking hanging by a thread for so long! You had a blip of controversy mid '85 when Evert had won the Aussie Open at the end of '84, then the French Open! By the time of Wimbledon the points were so close they made co-#1's with Evert at the top of the draw and Martina Navratilova at the bottom! Martina was a little shaky playing almost perfect tennis for 3 years, had to start wearing glasses, and was probably just plain tired, but got thru the draw and beat Evert in a 3 set final! We need Henin back to put Serena back in her place! lol!! The rankings will clear itself up soon after! It's funny that so many people were beating up Safina for not winning anything! Well Serena has won those 2 GS's and the YEC, but she's as devoid of good X's as much as Safina was this past year! Have any of you ever seen anything like this? Too weird!
    ---

    ***SW #1 - (11/07 - 3/09)***

    Well I've changed my mind about the slams over the years due to how they've evolved! Back in my day, the French and Australian Opens weren't as big as the Masters; or even the WCT Championship! They've both come a long way in stature and have become the best believe it or not! The French actually gave more money back in the late '70's; Vilas & Borg got about $42,000+!! No one liked going down to Australian due to the distance and the court conditions; bad grass, very windy, and of course "bloody hot!" The only real game in town were the big 2, Wimbledon and the US Open!

    The Open almost fell out of favor due to their own inconsistency; changing from grass, to clay, then finally to cement within 4 years! That was a real joke! That's the only reason Conners will be remembered for winning on 3 different surfaces during that period; '74 grass (Rosewall), '76 clay (Borg), '78 cement (Borg injured)!! So what I'm going to do is rate them from decades ago to now! The French Open really shows who's great in the long run since it's so hard to win; clay being an equalizer for the hard-hitters and players who are all serve and nothing much else! Wimbledon was always a joke until the last few years! Anyone could win just serving out of their minds back in my day! That's why so many upsets occur, with unseeded people making final!

    The old days:

    1) Wimbledon
    2) U S Open
    3) French Open
    4) Australian Open

    Now:

    1) Australian Open
    2) French Open
    3) Wimbledon
    4) US Open
    -----

    Saw John McEnroe on First Take today! They were asking him about the rivalry btw Federer and Nadal and who's the best of all X! Federer's already there just 1 behind Pete Sampras, but he thinks "Nadal can take over if he continues to play like he is now for a few more years!" He compared him to Borg in winning 4 of 4 French Opens; Borg won 6 of 8! He rates them Laver with 2 Grand Slams, Sampras (14 GS), then Federer(13 GS)! "Nadal can be added to that list soon!" I like that he was honest enough not to place himself in their company! Funny Conners in the conversation even though he's won more tournaments than any other men! He had too many weakness and was really just 'hanging on' those last few years I guess!
    ----

    ***List your worst tennis moments!***

    1) Borg losing to Conners in 4 sets at '76 US Open (it was on clay; it was his time)

    2) Borg losing to McEnroe in 4 sets at '81 Wimbledon ( sent him into retirement)

    3) Martina Navratilova losing to Austin at '81 US Open

    4) Martina losing to Helena Sukova at '84 AO (it whb 7 GS titles in a row; 6 will have to do I guess) - '83 Wimbledon thru '84 US Open

    These were my 2 fave players of all time w/ Martina holding up her end winning more tournaments in the history of the game, men or women; singles and doubles! Bjorn Borg had to settle w/ 6 FO titles & 5 str. Wimbledons!

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  9. 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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  10. ***- 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!***

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  11. ***That was the aggressive case vs Borg & you've balanced it nicely. Borg won a couple smaller events over McEnroe & Connors on HC's, but did not play a lot of those events.
    ---

    ...You don't really examine a lot of the arguments you present vs Borg; it's mostly surface-level stuff. He 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. Borg didn't duck HC's, they just weren't around much back then. Out of the 193 ATP-recognized tourneys he played in, 21.7% were on HC's. If you look at tennis' surface timelines, about 24% of the tourneys from '72-81 were HC. Also bear in mind that HC's were nonexistent @ the majors for much of BB's career... 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. ...To flatly state that Borg wouldn't win any HC majors today b/c he was blanked on a mere 4 attempts is very unconvincing.
    ---

    Exactly. Lavers the Yoda of tennis. Rog's Anakin Skywalker, the only 1 w/ potential to surpass him. But potential does not mean he actually will. Fed, Laver, Borg, Gonzalez & Sampras comprise my tier 1 GOAT candidate list. By that I mean that there's a reasonable argument that any 1 of them c/b the single >est player of all X. Djokovic & Nadal are not quite in that tier, in my view.
    ---

    ...Laver, Lendl, Wilander & Kuerten were all >er on clay for sure, but I'm not sure if they were >er on clay. ...then we're just left w/ those boys being above Fed 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 = 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 whh 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. - - Serena on her WAY to becoming the GOAT?
    ---

    Connors had a nightmare run vs Borg from '79-81 that's why. - ...The double standards are strong. How's Fed not being punished in the H2H dept. for being 5 yrs older & consistent on his worst surface?

    Connors was = in that rivalry til '78; you can forget about bringing up the entire H2H stories regarding how Borg 'turned it around' & reasons trying to convince me that Jimmy was playing his best tennis during that period when it's obvious that he was past his prime.***

    Call me when Serena approaches 59 MAJORS which Navratilova owns in singles, dubs, & MxD! Same when it comes to tourneys won since w/o looking, Serena's 100 events behind in singles alone! We really need to get off the Serena bandwagon b/c she wasted so many yrs like Agassi; a lack of passion & not thinking of the consequences of slacking off during their careers! Serena can hang on as long as Martina, but she won't ever achieve 1/2 of what she did in the 70's, 80's, & 90's!

    ReplyDelete
  12. ***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. ...
    ===

    Wimbledon '77 - Borg Vs Connors***

    I never thought Borg had a chance against Connors' attacking game on that choppy, slick grass! When Bjorn won Wimbledon the yr before, it was only Nastase in the final & Borg took the tourney w/o the loss of a set! Everything just fell his way including his comp.; Connors upset by Tanner in the Qtrs! In '77, Borg skipped the FO & went into private seclusion practicing! It obviously did the trick since he got to the final vs Jimmy barely getting past Vitas in the semis in 5 grueling sets! In the final Bjorn got up 2 sets to 1 & I thought he'd be ok! Then there was a sea-change & Connors stole the 4th set! IIRC, Borg went up 4-0 in the 5th, but Connors charged back to tie it up! Connors double faulted @ 15-all & never won another pt, Bjorn closing him out 6-4! Bud Collins complimented Borg on returning all but 2 of Connors' serves & committed only 5 FH UFE's! In 5 sets on grass? I'm starting to think maybe I'm not remembering correctly & it mhb the following yr where Borg annihilated Connors in straights!

    ***They played 13 X's after that Wimbledon match in official matches - Borg winning 11 of them, including 9 str. after '78:

    '81 USO SF Hard - Borg d Connors 6-2 7-5 6-4
    '81 Wimbl. SF Grass - Borg d Connors 0-6 4-6 6-3 6-0 6-4
    '81 ATP WTF's SF Carpet - Borg d Connors 6-4 6-7 6-3
    '80 ATP WTF's 10 Carpet - Borg d Connors 3-6 6-3 7-6
    '79 WCT Challenge Cup F Carpet - Borg d Connors 6-4 6-2 2-6 6-4
    '79 Tokyo Indoor F Carpet - Borg d Connors 6-2 6-2
    '79 Wimbledon SF Grass - Borg d Connors 6-2 6-3 6-2
    '79 Las Vegas F Hard - Borg d Connors 6-3 6-2
    '79 Pepsi GS CUP F Clay - Borg d Connors 6-2 6-3
    '78 USO F Hard - Connors d Borg 6-4 6-2 6-2
    '78 Wimbl. F Grass -n Borg d Connors 6-2 6-2 6-3
    '78 Pepsi GS CUP F Clay - Borg d Connors 7-6 3-6 6-1
    '78 ATP WTF's F Carpet - Connors d Borg 6-4 1-6 6-4
    '77 Wimbl. F Grass - Borg d Connors 3-6 6-2 6-1 5-7 6-4
    '77 Pepsi GS CUP F Clay -n Borg d Connors 6-4 5-7 6-3
    '76 USO F Clay - Connors d Borg 6-4 3-6 7-6 6-4
    '76 Palm Springs SF Hard - Connors d Borg 6-4 6-1
    '75 USO SF Clay - Connors d Borg 7-5 7-5 7-5***

    ReplyDelete
  13. ***..."Back in the day" everyone played whatever they liked & met each other < frequently. I've always been astonished that the Borg-McEnroe H2H is 7-7. They're considered a great rivalry?***

    ...There were also X tours if you remember; ITF, WCT, & the GP Series! ...The FO went to NBC in '83! The women continued t/b delayed until noon here in Chgo! Those '85 & '86 finals killed me allowing w/ Martina allowing Evert 2 more majors after being owned for yrs!

    ***I'd rank Borg ahead of Lendl & Connors, = if every single statistical system I've seen ranks him below them. Actually, late last yr. I did an Open Era top 20 blog for "TF," & I had Borg ranked just behind Rafa, Pete & Novak, & just ahead of Lendl, McEnroe, & Connors.***

    = w/ 4 extra FO's, I'd still put Borg ahead of Nadal due to his ability to leave the comfort of his best surface in Paris & w/ no tourney warmup, won 5 str. Wimbl.! Fedal's managed it 3 X's btw them, = w/ the homogenized courts! The imbalance continues in the rankings w/ Nadal woefully behind others @ #1 & no YEC's! ...I'd still place Rafa behind Nole w/ 3 < majors, but makes up for it w/ Masters 1000 dom., being #1 more consistently, & owning X YEC's!

    ***It really is a classic case of >er peak (Borg) vs. >er longevity (Lendl), but Lendl's peak was also very high. I also think Lendl played in a harder era; his prime overlapping sev. gens of greats in their prime yrs. Borg had to face a Connors & Vilas on one side, McEnroe/Lendl on the other, but Lendl had to face Connors/Vilas, Borg/McEnroe, but also Wilander/Edberg/Becker & Agassi/Courier/Sampras.***

    I felt the same way about Nadal & Djokovic; Rafa w/ a few extra majors, but woefully behind Nole in other stats including titles, wks @ #1, & ability to defend off "dirt!" As Brit may have commiserated w/ me that Nole's past yr has really hurt the argument, but he still has X to recover; just as he did after '13!
    ===

    The homogenized courts is why Borg's a legend & so revered by people in the know of tennis! The man was playing w/ a wood racket that had no real feel since the string tension made it a pane of glass! Borg also had to deal w/ grass that was lightning quick, choppy, & gave big servers a distinct advantage! He had to survive many like Tanner, V. Armitraj, & Dibley! Then there were the S & V specialist like McEnroe, Nastase, & Gerulaitis to overcome! He wound up owning the most relentless baseliner of his era, Connors in SF's & finals! Borg had to defeat these people X X's on terrible grass conditions, but survived making up his own immortality by winning 5 in a row; playing 6 finals str.!

    ***You made me nostalgic. Some of my earliest tennis memories are Borg fan-girling in '77 or so. ...I was someone who liked Pete so it didn't bother me that much, but man, there were a lot of snippy tennis purists who crapped all over the courts being too fast.***

    Borg's 1st "Chan'l Slam" was in '78 after he skipped FO in '77 to allow his good buddy Vilas to have that bone! He completed the FO/SW19 combo 2 more X's in '79 & '80! It's still a rare feat since most great players seem to have a tough X winning in Paris! Connors & Sampras never played a final, McEnroe, Edberg, and others were always 1 match short! Yeah, the matches c/b boring, but it all depended on the players! Nothing was more entertaining than Gerulaitis & Borg in the '80 semi, going 5 gloriously long sets!

    ReplyDelete
  14. ***In which era did Helen Moody play? How many GS singles titles did she win?***

    Not enough to make me care! If people want to discount Court who straddled the am. & Open eras w/ a CYGS & was queen in her day, why would Moody's name come up? Moody was only invoked due to her Wimbledon rec. being surpassed or tied by BJK & Navratilova respectively! One by one, players were regarded "greater;" Evert, Navratilova, Graf, S. Williams! So forgive us who really don't regard Moody as influential; more in line w/ Lenglen who dominated, nary losing a set, much < a match! The >est today loses to a doubles' specialist when going for a CYGS 2 yrs ago! You have to say the level of athleticism's obviously superior to past eras!

    ***Agree w/ Fiero - can't really put Helen Wills Moody above Margaret Court. ...maybe a tad unfair, as there never really was the impact of a split pro/am tour in the women's game like there was in the men's. Court was indisputably the best player of her era.

    Steffi Graf was always the GOAT for me, until Serena won her last major. It's close, but I'd edge toward Serena now.

    1. S. Williams
    2. S. Graf
    3. M. Navratilova
    4. C. Evert
    5. M. Court

    ...I don't think anyone else warrants serious consid.***

    1) Fed - 18 majors, CGS, 300+ wks @ #1, 7 Wimbl. & 5 str. USO's
    2) Nadal - Won 10 FO's, 15 majors & OGCGS (OG in singl. & dubs)
    3) Laver - 2 CYGS (1 am. 1 pro) - should have more majors (11) but for am. rules
    4) Sampras - Held #1 ranking 6 yrs & won 7 Wimbl., 5 USO's, 2 AO's
    5) Djokovic - Won Nole-Slam, 6 AO's, 12 majors, 5 YEC's, more TBD
    6) B. Borg - Won 5 str. Wimbl. & 6 FO's (4 str.)
    7) Agassi - OGCGS includ. 8 majors & OG in singles
    8) Lendl - 8 majors & won 94 titles includ. 3 USO, 3 FO's, & 5 YEC's
    9) Connors - Won 107 titles includ. 5 USO on 3 surfaces, 2 Wimbls., 1 AO
    10) McEnroe - Won 7 majors includ. 3 Str. USO's, 4 overall - 3 Wimbl.
    11) Emerson - Hon. mention winning 12 majors - (pre-Open era)

    ***Obviously talking all-X's problematic, b/c it's impossible to truly compare Wilding to Laver to Nadal. ...Greatness can only ever be relative to what the field is; we can't penalize them either - we can only compare them relative to their own eras.

    ...Chronological order:

    10 Greatest of All Time
    Tony Wilding
    Bill Tilden
    Pancho Gonzales
    Ken Rosewall
    Rod Laver
    B. Borg/J. McEnroe
    Pete Sampras
    Roger Federer
    Rafael Nadal
    Novak Djokovic

    Honorable mentions to Lendl, Connors, Josiah Ritchie, Laurence Doherty, Riggs, & sev. others
    ---

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

    I'd be happy ranking Lendl, Borg, & Mac in any order, but ahead of Connors & below Novak.

    Agassi w/b next, then a drop to Newcombe, Becker, Edberg, Wilander, Murray, Vilas, Nastase, Ashe, & Courier to round out the top 20.

    If Roger wins 2 more Slams, he passes Laver. They're already a close 1-2, but Laver's overall record & dominance is still >er.

    Nadal may deserve t/b ahead of Rosewall, but his record is marred by inconsistency as it shows up in his relative low wks @ #1. But if he wins another Slam this yr &'s YE #1, I'd push him past Muscles. Novak also has a chance of surpassing Pete & Rosewall, but needs to bounce back in a big way. If I were to + Gonzales to this list, he'd be btw Fed & Rosewall.***

    ReplyDelete