Most important factors to consider when ranking the greats (after slam count)? - TennisForum.com
View Poll Results: Outside of winning Slams, what is the next most important factor when it comes to ran
How many total weeks spent @ number one. 54 25.35%
Versatility; being able to win titles on all surfaces. 57 26.76%
Total number of (non-slam) tournaments won. 44 20.66%
Win/Loss record; H2H Records. 39 18.31%
How many years you end the season @ number one. 8 3.76%
other (please explain) 11 5.16%
Voters: 213. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 129 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 2010, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
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Most important factors to consider when ranking the greats (after slam count)?

For better or worse, they'll never be a way to truly measure greatness. The general consensus and usual place to start is with the number of slam Won. So what factor would you say was the next most important?

Truth is there are probably way too many x-factors at play to really measure greatness. How does one actually measure potential, skill level, and even mental strength? And how do you weigh those factors against career titles, career H2Hs and longevity? Then there's the task of ranking players from different generations- different technology, different attitudes about certain tournaments (Oz)- and how does the level of competition a player faced factor in?

Even when you're concentrating on slams it's still hard to know which achievements are most impressive. For example if:
1. Player "A" has won Wimbledon 10 times and has no other majors
2. Player "B" has won each major twice for a total of 8 majors

Who's achievement is the most impressive??

It's all subjective to a point. Is winning 10 majors greater than winning 8, or is winning each major twice greater than just winning one major a lot of times??


So what do you guys think is most important when it comes to ranking greatness?

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post #2 of 129 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 2010, 07:13 PM
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Re: What's most important when it comes to ranking GREATNESS?

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1. Player "A" has won Wimbledon 8 times and has no other majors
2. Player "B" has won each major twice for a total of 6 majors
Doesn't that make 8 in total?

But Player B is greater.

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post #3 of 129 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 2010, 07:14 PM
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Re: What's most important when it comes to ranking GREATNESS?

Player B is greater even it were 6 majors but won all four.
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post #4 of 129 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 2010, 07:16 PM
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Re: What's most important when it comes to ranking GREATNESS?

I think everything you mentioned is important when determinism a players greatness. Outside of slam titles I think #1 is the 2nd most important because it shows consistent quality.

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post #5 of 129 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 2010, 07:17 PM
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Re: What's most important when it comes to ranking GREATNESS?

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Originally Posted by toby345 View Post
Doesn't that make 8 in total?

But Player B is greater.
I think they meant won each other major 2X=6...so not Wimbledon.

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post #6 of 129 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 2010, 07:19 PM
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Re: What's most important when it comes to ranking GREATNESS?

Why did you choose Wimbledon as the slam player A had won 8 times? Seeing as a lot of the people on this forum tend to think Wimbledon is worth more than any other slam, I'm sure you'll get a lot of players rating player A as better.

I'm more impressed by player B's resume. It takes versatility to win on all four surfaces and each slam represents it's own problem. Australian - right at the start of the season; harder to find your groove. French - it's on clay. Wimbledon- it's on grass. US - totally different feel from the other slams. Fatigue after a long year is already starting to set in.

I think most people would agree that player B's achievements are more impressive. It's one reason why Seles is not really considered in GOAT discussions, despite her amazngness Not because she only has 9 slams, but because of the lack of Wimbledon title.

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post #7 of 129 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 2010, 07:20 PM
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Re: What's most important when it comes to ranking GREATNESS?

Gotta say weeks at number one, on first glance.

Versatility is nice, but without a definitive record you're simply a "Jack of all trades.. master of none."

Total # non-slams is not telling either. Maybe the player played a lot of MMs.

Head to head often boils down to just a match up thing rather than indication of overall dominance.

Ending season at #1 is overrated. Being #1 in spring is no less an achievement than #1 in winter.

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post #8 of 129 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 2010, 07:21 PM
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Re: What's most important when it comes to ranking GREATNESS?

weeks at number 1 is a big one for me as it shows domination/consistency throughout a year. also number of titles won.

winning on different surfaces is my sort of tie break for if they are tied on slams.

H2H is kind of meaningless.

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post #9 of 129 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 2010, 07:23 PM
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Re: What's most important when it comes to ranking GREATNESS?

I would like to say head-to-head, but not for the reason people are thinking. Indirectly, if you lead H2H with all of your main rivals or most of them there's a 95% chance that you have also won a lot of events and big titles. Very rarely will a player have a lot of spread/split head-to-heads.

I suppose the same thing you could say for #1. You have to win a lot of matches meaning you would be beating your rivals as well and the head-to-heads would come as a result of that. Either way, I think if you have winning H2H over all your main rivals its pretty important.
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post #10 of 129 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 2010, 07:27 PM
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Re: What's most important when it comes to ranking GREATNESS?

I think the most important thing when it comes to ranking greatness is... defining greatness.

I think the reason many people run into trouble on these sorts of topics is that they want to make everything as simple as possible and reduce complex issues into one number or some generalised idea. IMO if people really want to have meaningful discussions, they need to be a little more specific in their questioning and more flexible in the information they consider e.g. finding some measure for the quality of opposition faced in achieveing what they have.

For instance with your player A player B question, I dn't think we can really go far beyond player A being the "greater" player on grass, and player B having a game that translated well on the four surfaces. I doubt you will really be able to get agreement on anything more than that, especially when the question - who is greater doesn't have to be asked in the first place.

That's what I think at this time anyway.

-edit/addition-
Relating specifically to the question, what I mean is, you are better off asking who was more dominant in with their slams, or who was the the more dominant number one... or something to that effect - than who was greater based on weeks at number on and game translatiton on across surfaces because the latter condenses and ignores far too much to be really meaningful IMO.

Last edited by Marshmallow; Apr 30th, 2010 at 07:37 PM.
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post #11 of 129 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 2010, 07:27 PM
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Re: What's most important when it comes to ranking GREATNESS?

I think all of those are really important but for me weeks at number one are right after how many slams you have won. Whenever people talk about the greats, its how many slams they won and how long they were #1.

And player B is better
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post #12 of 129 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 2010, 07:29 PM
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Re: What's most important when it comes to ranking GREATNESS?

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Damn...lol That's the second time I've started a thread with bad math- better edit that. thanks...
It would be more conceptualized if you did Player A 6 Wimbledon against Player B all 4 majors.
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post #13 of 129 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 2010, 07:30 PM
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Re: What's most important when it comes to ranking GREATNESS?

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I would like to say head-to-head, but not for the reason people are thinking. Indirectly, if you lead H2H with all of your main rivals or most of them there's a 95% chance that you have also won a lot of events and big titles. Very rarely will a player have a lot of spread/split head-to-heads.

I suppose the same thing you could say for #1. You have to win a lot of matches meaning you would be beating your rivals as well and the head-to-heads would come as a result of that. Either way, I think if you have winning H2H over all your main rivals its pretty important.
i completely disagree. H2H can be a matter of surface to like nadal vs fed, they play very rarely on grass but more often on clay favouring nadal. or then you have venus vs henin, who met loads during venus's peak and only once during henins, thus a lopsided H2H. also serena say has a 0-2 h2h with bam bam, doesn't make serena any less of a player.

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post #14 of 129 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 2010, 07:32 PM
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Re: What's most important when it comes to ranking GREATNESS?

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i completely disagree. H2H can be a matter of surface to like nadal vs fed, they play very rarely on grass but more often on clay favouring nadal. or then you have venus vs henin, who met loads during venus's peak and only once during henins, thus a lopsided H2H. also serena say has a 0-2 h2h with bam bam, doesn't make serena any less of a player.
And again you misread. I'm not talking about a single comparison H2H. I'm talking about a player having MULTIPLE winning H2Hs against her main rivals.

Chances are if you have that, you are the most successful of your pack. As is true with Navratilova, Graf, S. Williams.
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post #15 of 129 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 2010, 07:37 PM
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Re: What's most important when it comes to ranking GREATNESS?

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And again you misread. I'm not talking about a single comparison H2H. I'm talking about a player having MULTIPLE winning H2Hs against her main rivals.

Chances are if you have that, you are the most successful of your pack. As is true with Navratilova, Graf, S. Williams.
yes but surely this thread is about comparing 2 players and why each would be greater than the other, why would random H2H's vs other players have any baring on that?

if you were comparing evert and nav as to who is better, their H2H vs say mandlikova is a pointless thing to measure who is better.

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