The Ultimate ATP Tournament: Introduction

Sergey ZikovSenior Analyst IFebruary 24, 2009

In light of my recent article "The Top 25 Greatest Male Tennis Players of the Open Era", I have decided to branch out a little farther with the topic. I thought, "Wouldn't it be cool if there was actually a tournament between the world's greatest players?". 

We could see who is actually better between Nadal and Borg or Federer and Sampras.

This could never actually be accomplished, as many of the legends from the past are now well into their 40s or 50s. But who says I couldn't set up a tournament and predict who would win?

So that is exactly what I did.

56 of the finest players the world has ever seen make up the draw, with the top eight players receiving first-round byes. The seeds go in accordance to my article above, with a few small exceptions.

  1. Ivan Lendl has been moved to eighth overall. Ken Rosewall and Rafael Nadal have moved down one spot each to allow this.
  2. Stefan Edberg and Arthur Ashe have traded places in the rankings.
  3. Lleyton Hewitt, who is listed at 25b, will be placed at 26th.


How could you take into account the different playing surfaces?

Ah, I thought you might ask. Since many of these players had their unique strengths, some being great on clay, some being terrific on hard courts, I devised a way so that the tournament would be fair to all.

Each match is a best-of-five set match. So, each set will be played on a different surface. The first will be indoors, on hard courts. Set two will be played outdoors on red clay. The third set will be played outdoors on grass.

Since the fourth and fifth sets are optional, pending player victory, set four would be played indoors on carpet, while the fifth and final set would be played outdoors on hard courts.

Seems fair enough to me.


Which players receive first-round byes? I'm too lazy to click the link.

Well then. That's easy enough. Here are the eight players with byes.

  1. Rod Laver, Australia
  2. Bjorn Borg, Sweden
  3. Roger Federer, Switzerland
  4. Pete Sampras, United States
  5. Andre Agassi, United States
  6. John McEnroe, United States
  7. Jimmy Connors, United States
  8. Ivan Lendl, Czech Republic


When will the draw be released?

Soon enough, padre. Don't lose your pistachios. First will be the upper half of the draw, then the bottom half.

Please remember that this draw is not realistic; it is merely educated opinion mixed with some logic and statistics.