Cal- thanks for the reply.. I compeltely agree-- it's just fun to debate it with some people, but the reality is it will go on forever and the all time greats are all worthy and should be appreicated and focus not on ranking. Look forward to more talks in the future- hopeuflly Bleacher will get rid of some of the craziness going on right now.
I thought I would reply to you on your page, as I am getting spammed by crazies every time I post on VeeJays article. Apparently, a couple of people(going by the manes Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer..lol) have decided that they are going to attack Federer fans in the name of Ruffin and Vee Jay.. whihc I know those two aren't asking for, but these nuts are doing anyway. I don't know why I am being targeted as none of us have any real issues beyond good natured debate, but whatever.
First I have much respect for Laver and like most experts consider him,Sampras, Federer the top solid 3. For him being from that era and basically the only older era player ususually listed in the top 5 is an incredible testament to his abilitiies. I also agree there are not too many negatives in his resume.. In fact, some of what he achieved is mind boggling.. He's certainly up there.. Also keep in mind my stament was in context answering what Tim Ruffin was saying... i.e. that two things-- Federer's h2h and weaker era (in his opinion) stop him from being Goat.. My point is you can find stuff amongst everyone.. Very few things in Federer's case and Lavers, and many incredible positive things in both their cases.. Also keep in mind I was around durng the end of that era and played college tennis competively.. some(many) of my opponents during that time made it on the tours.. I can attest... there is just no comparison to how good modern players are compared to us back then. Thats happens in all sports as I often argue-- it's evolution of sport, technology, strategy, diet, medical, etc.... so it is what it is.
But Laver was good!! real good!
If the two things argued against Federer are valid, then this is my answer to you.
He has a losing grand slam and pro slam record to Rosewall. He also lost his two World tour championships finals to Rosewall- and said it was the most important title missing for him. In his favor his overall head to head is apparently in his favor but they met over 100 times,and used to go on barnstorming tours and one night stand matches night after night, so it's not really comparable to how modern era players play.. For ex in 1963- Rosewall beat Laver 33 times to 12 losses.. Those kind of numbers are just not comparable to modern matches, and I doupt Rosewall was that much better than Laver in that year..They were basically going on exhibition tours playing each other every night. The actual pro slams and grandslams and bigger tournaments are more comparble.
He also had a losing record to Neale Fraser in Grand Slam finals.. His record in Grand Slam finals was 11-6 compared to Federers 17-7. His professional slams finals record was 8- 6.
While you say we can't count the major titles, I just disagree.. AS someone else said- it's a what could have been scenario.. IF allowed, I agree Lavers would have the titles, but it just wasn't set up that way or happened, and it's not fair to speculate.. Maybe he faces Rosewall and loses.. we just don't know... I think Montana should have a 5th Superbowl but he had his hand broken in the last minutes of the 49ers leading the Giants in the NFC title game, and Young came in and botched a time killing handoff ot Craig and the 49ers lost.. What could have been............. oops.. why did I go there?! lol
Also due to the rankings at the time and fractured tours, Laver didn't get ranked by the ATP until later in his carreer and was never #1.. It's a part taht isn't comparable.
Jack Kramer another alltime great pointed to a peak period Laver losing to a 41 year old Gonzales as proof in his personal opinion that Pancho was better in his prime. But that might have some bias.
The era talent pool and difficulty was fractured and split up due to the competing ametuer and proffessional tours. Like the ABA/NBA, NFL/AFL If Federers era is a negative on him, then Lavers is too. If there is arguement whether two modern eras like Federers and Nadals are weaker or stronger... there is just no way to reasonably compare the modern eras to then. Players played each other 50 times a year.. The top players basically played practice worthy players until later stages of tournments. Many experts I read in looking for this info point out that in modern tennis an early round upset is many times more likely than what Laver was faced with , and point to Federer's quarters, semis, finals streaks as a + in his collumm compared to Laver.
This is my opinion but Federer/Sampras due to size and abilities would have been extremely dominant in Laver's era-- Federer more so as he would have been a master even with the technolgy then. Laver at 5-7,5-8 and 150 pounds--- some say these are even inflated-- would be successfull because he's that much of a talent and I have much respect for thta, but he would not be a dominant player in todays era..
Anyway, that's my views.. but I certainly wouldn't fight you if you said Laver is #1 or #2.. FRankly I don't care... I'm more than satisifed if my favorite player is even a top 10 player of all time because that means he entertained me with some great great tennis.. It's just fun to pull for your guy and argue it.. CU.
Hey Cal, in my latest Australian Open analysis, I've taken a look at how Li Na was able to break down Caroline Wozniacki earlier today.
If you get a chance, your thoughts would be appreciated as always.