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    Who is the greatest tennis player of all time?
    #1
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    It's easy to name the current star as the best ever. But is Federer better than Borg or McEnroe or Connors? (Don't bring up Sampras' name, since he shouldn't be mentioned with these three in the same breath.) I don't think Rod Laver or Don Budge ever won a major on a hardcourt. So just who is the best tennis player of all time? I have to go with the "Rocket," Rod Laver, as the best of all time.
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    #2
    Pete Sampras was an amazing player so why is it wrong to call him the best ever?
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    #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mocra
    Pete Sampras was an amazing player so why is it wrong to call him the best ever?
    Because Sampras was a one-trick pony(though it was a helluva trick!).

    A pure serve and volley player, with no baseline game, as evidenced by his inability to reach even the finals of the French, much less win it. It is indeed hard to consider him the equal of Borg, and even Federer was/is more well-rounded(but for Nadal, Federer would have a few French titles, and without argument be the best ever). Nadal has the potential to top them all if his hardcourt game progresses.
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    #4
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    Here's some quotes from tennis greats not in contention for this title. Andre Agassi, when asked who were the five greatest tennis players ever, said, "Sampras, Sampras, Sampras, Sampras, Sampras." Stan Smith, former Wimbledon champion, asked about 5 years ago if Sampras was the greatest ever, "I think you still have to go with Laver." Jack Kramer, great from the 40s, said if he had to pick one man to play one match for Planet Earth in the Universal Davis Cup, said he would pick Lew Hoad.
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by bambam
    Here's some quotes from tennis greats not in contention for this title. Andre Agassi, when asked who were the five greatest tennis players ever, said, "Sampras, Sampras, Sampras, Sampras, Sampras." Stan Smith, former Wimbledon champion, asked about 5 years ago if Sampras was the greatest ever, "I think you still have to go with Laver." Jack Kramer, great from the 40s, said if he had to pick one man to play one match for Planet Earth in the Universal Davis Cup, said he would pick Lew Hoad.
    Johnny Mac has picked Federer on more than one occasion.
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by bambam
    Here's some quotes from tennis greats not in contention for this title. Andre Agassi, when asked who were the five greatest tennis players ever, said, "Sampras, Sampras, Sampras, Sampras, Sampras." Stan Smith, former Wimbledon champion, asked about 5 years ago if Sampras was the greatest ever, "I think you still have to go with Laver." Jack Kramer, great from the 40s, said if he had to pick one man to play one match for Planet Earth in the Universal Davis Cup, said he would pick Lew Hoad.
    It would be good to check carefully over the Hoad-Gonzales matches in the Kramer circuit. I know that many people well versed in tennis, say Hoad at his best (and his form after 1955 was up and down) was virtually unbeatable. (My vote goes to Gonzales by the way, and I have seen him play, easily beating Sedgeman, the Wimbledon Champ of that time). One point of interest. I believe in his second Wimbledon Final, Hoad beat Ashley Cooper in 3 sets, giving up something like 2-5 games total. The next year (with Hoad a pro) Cooper became Wimbledon Champ.
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    #7
    The Fed Express has said it's Laver.
    "Long may you run"- Neil Young
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    #8
    In regard to Sampras, I'd say his one trick was so good that he never needed to develop many others. I don't have much doubt he could have developed a better baseline game (he had a deadly ability to hit bullet line shots with either hand on the run from the baseline), but why bother? Sampras was relentlessly efficient and wanted to put an end to points ASAP. Maybe he just got bored or didn't like running around (he was a bit chubby as a kid!) playing long rallies when he didn't have to.
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    #9
    How do you think Sampras would do against Nadal on grass?

    I think it's clear he'd get smoked against Nadal on clay so won't even ask that.

    I'm as big a Fed fan as there is but the gap is gone with Nadal (except on hard court as I hope we'll see at Flushing Meadows).
    "Long may you run"- Neil Young
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    #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mellow Johnny
    How do you think Sampras would do against Nadal on grass?

    I think it's clear he'd get smoked against Nadal on clay so won't even ask that.

    I'm as big a Fed fan as there is but the gap is gone with Nadal (except on hard court as I hope we'll see at Flushing Meadows).
    I think Sampras on grass was the greatest ever on that surface, at his best, even better than Federer or Laver. He would have been smoked on clay, and was not a great clay-court player, but important to remember he did once win the Italian Open, the second biggest clay-court tournament, so he wasn't that bad. Remember, McEnroe and Connors never won the French either. Remember that Sampras was the best for a long time, in addition to being so superb on grass, and excellent on hard courts. Anyone who doesn't think longevity means much should go look at the boards this January when some people were ready to anoint Djokovic the next greatest ever player, but what has now become of that?

    Hoad was supposed to be almost unbeatable for about 2-3 years in the mid-50s but back injuries shortened his time at the top.

    But if I had to pick one - I pick Laver. Two Grand Slams (1962, 68) and he was not able to play the Slams from 1963-67 because he turned pro. Had he played from 1963-67, considering that bookmarked those years by winning all four of the Slams, he would probably have won another 10 or more Slams.
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