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  1. #1
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    My Top Ten Open Era Men's/Women's Players

    Given our recent discussions about Nadalís place in history, now seems like a good time to post my top ten menís and womenís tennis players in the Open Era. Iíll explain picks that might be controversial.

    Menís
    10. Ivan Lendl

    9. Jimmy Connors- He and Lendl are pretty much dead even, but Connors was more dominant at his peak, and has 110 ATP wins.

    8.Novak Djokovic- If his career ended today Iíd drop him down a few spots, but barring some spectacular turn of events heís poised to pass by Connors and Lendl over the next few years. You also have to give him bonus points for having to deal with both Fed and Nadal

    7. Andre Agassi

    6. John McEnroe

    5.Bjorn Borg- 7 through 5 were really tough to rank for me. You have to give Agassi credit for winning the career grand slam, but McEnroe was better at his best and did better against Borg than Agassi did against Sampras. I really wanted to get cute and put McEnroe ahead of Borg, he won more titles, had better longevity, beat Borg like a drum when they were both at the tops of their games, and we donít know what McEnroe wouldíve done had he not taken that year off and come back an inferior player. But ultimately Borg has a top 5 player resume and McEnroe doesnít

    4. Rafael Nadal

    3. Pete Sampras

    2. Rod Laver

    1. Roger Federer- Nadal at no. 4 isnít going to be a popular choice, but heís only an all-time great on one surface. If you take out Fed, Laver, Sampras, and Nadalís best slams, Nadal has the least of any of them. If you take out Borgís six FOís, he has the same number remaining as Nadal, and he only won two of the slams. As I said in my post on the French Open discussion thread, Nadalís head to head advantage over Federer is an illusion. This isnít McEnroe-Borg or Graff-Seles where Borg and Graff were at the top of their games and got dominated. If Nadal and Fed were the same age, or if Nadal had been good enough to go deep in Grass/Hard court events earlier in his career when Fed was dominant, their record would be pretty even. If Nadal can rack up enough wins Iíll have no choice but to bump him ahead of Sampras though. You can make a serious argument for Laver still being no. 1. Heís the only man to win a season Grand Slam in the Open Era, and he was great on all surfaces and didnít really have any weaknesses in his game, which you canít say about Fed/Sampras/Nadal. He was also robbed of 5 years of playing in slams after he went pro. He won 8 of the 15 ďPro SlamsĒ he completed in during that time, and would definitely hold the all-time slam record had he been able to play. But you have to put an asterisk net to some of his accomplishments because they were before they Open Era. You donít have to do that with Fed and he has the records.



    Womenís-

    10. Evonne Goolagong- Iíd love to put Sharapova here, and she has won the career slam, but Goolagong has 7 slams to Mariaís 5 (plus 83 singles titles), and did better against Navratilova and Evert than Mariaís done against Serena. If Sharapova wins a few more slams sheíll get this spot and maybe move ahead of Henin too.

    9. Justine Henin

    8. Venus Williams- Venus and Henin are pretty close, and their career records are really similar. The difference for me is that Henin got the most out of her talent, which is great, but Venus at her best was better than Henin ever was, she just didnít always live up to it. Venus couldíve won more than she did, while I donít feel like I can say that about Henin, which gives Venus the edge since their accomplishments are about even.

    7. Monica Seles

    6. Billie Jean King- Seles won one more in the Open Era, but King was more or less in her prime in the last years before and certainly wouldíve still won some slams had the Open Era started earlier. Seles only winning one slam after the age of 19, with King winning 3 in her 30ís makes it hard for me to put Seles ahead.

    5. Margaret Court Ė No, sheís not the best player ever, but she was too dominant to have outside of the top 5. A lot of people would put King ahead of her, but Court did well enough against her head-to head for me to put Court ahead

    4. Serena Williams

    3. Steffi Graff

    2. Chris Evert

    1. Martina Navratilova- If Williams manages to pass Graff Iíll put her in the 3 spot, but with her starting to show her age finally this year thatís become less likely. Navratilova and Evert are, to me, the most complete players ever and either one of them would be ahead of Graffís Open Era record (and probably Courtís overall record) had they not had to deal with each other. Graff was consistent and great, but the one time she had to deal with a player who was more or less her equal when she was in her prime, she folded.
    Last edited by LordJohn; 06-10-2014 at 02:33 PM.

  2. #2
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    Nadal has to be in the top 3 and he should be top 2 really.

    He's not necessarily bad on the other surface He's made the QF for most of the slams, though not ideal when he has lost to guys he shouldn't have lost to (Ferrer, Murray, Soderling, etc). He'd still give other GOAT trouble on grass/hard courts.

    Kinda like how Federer is a successful clay court player but just happened to run into the GOAT of clay. I'd take my money on Federer over some GOAT players on clay outside of Nadal.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raps08-09 Champ View Post
    Nadal has to be in the top 3 and he should be top 2 really.

    He's not necessarily bad on the other surface He's made the QF for most of the slams, though not ideal when he has lost to guys he shouldn't have lost to (Ferrer, Murray, Soderling, etc). He'd still give other GOAT trouble on grass/hard courts.

    Kinda like how Federer is a successful clay court player but just happened to run into the GOAT of clay. I'd take my money on Federer over some GOAT players on clay outside of Nadal.
    I didn't say Nadal was bad on the other surfaces, just not an all time great (as in, being on the level of Fed, Laver, Sampras or maybe Borg). It's a different thing that have one surface where you aren't the very best, than it is to only have one where you're an all time great

  4. #4
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    I think Nadal would have more grass titles if it wasn't for Federer. And Djokovic is an elite hard court player as well.

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