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What are the Criteria to be considered one of the all time greats and the all time great?

Is it the number of single grandslam titles?

Having a career slam but less slam titles?

Having a calendar slam?

The number of singles titles?

The number of doubles titles?

The number of mixed titles?

The number of grandslam doubles titles?

The number of grandslam mixed titles?

The number of weeks as number one?

The number of years ending as number one?

The length of career?

Do you consider pete sampras the greatest tennis player or martina nav? How should the elite and greatest ever be determined?
 

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Being "An All Time Great" is a pretty vague description. Some people would consider that a group of 5, others would say a group of 100.

By my thinking "All-Time Great" is pretty exclusive. You need to have 5 Slams to even be considered. Most players with less than 7 Slams still would not qualify. The next most important criteria are quality of opposition (goodbye, Daphne Akhurst), and total number of titles.

To be considered for "The All-Time Great", you need at least 15 Slam titles, generally speaking, unless you have an absolutely amazing short career. If Monica had won the calendar Slam in 93 then been stabbed in the offseason, she would have been in the running. Similarly if Mo Connolly had won 2 or 3 more Slams in a row before her accident. But for now it has to be Court, Graf, Moody, Evert, or Navratilova.
 

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many consider billie jean king as an all time great though and she has 12 slams so I guess other things play a part too. (maybe in her case the 20 wimbledon titles )
 

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THE all time great is the one who holds the most RELEVANT records (slam titles, weeks at number one, slams in a row, best record for a single year, most tournament titles, etc.). However, THE all time great in my book is Martina N. over Steffi for one key reason: Martina had to deal with another all time great during her career (Chris Evert), wheras Steffi didn't. Plus Martina was a much better doubles player, and had a longer career.
 

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All Time Greats:
1. Martina Navratilova
2. Steffi Graf
3. Chris Evert
(easy top three)

4. Margaret Court
5. Suzzane Lenglen/Hellen Wills
7. Mo Connelly
8. Monica Seles
9. BJK
10. Evonne Goolagong
 

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Sometimes racial and socioligical impact should be measured too... and that´s why at the end of the day the williamses will go down as al-time greats. For their impact in opening tennis to another racial group.
 

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bandabou said:
Sometimes racial and socioligical impact should be measured too... and that´s why at the end of the day the williamses will go down as al-time greats. For their impact in opening tennis to another racial group.

I completely disagree with the above statement. Tennis has always been available to all races, all countries, and most humans in the world (Third world countries an obvious exception but some players do come from these countries).
 

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Which criteria you use is entirely subjective and depends on what you consider to be the important factors..

My perosnal criteria for greatest ever includes:
records - slam titles, other titles, statistics
domination - to what level did they dominate the tour?,
longevity - anyone can have a couple of hot seasons but how long they can remain at the top is a big factor,
intangibles - things like injuries, competing across different generations, surfaces they won on, level of competition etc...
 

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1. I think longevity and dominance.

A lot players are very dominant, but they weren't dominant for a long time. E.g. Maureen Connolly. She only slams spanning over 4-5 years.

A lot players played a long time and won a lot but they were completely dominant in those years. E.g. Chris Evert. She never won more than 2 slams in a calender year.

Players who did both (won slams in periods of over 10 or more years and won 3 or more slams in at least 2 years) IMO were:

Steffi Graf
Martina Navratilova
Helen Wills
Margaret Court

2. And then you have to take into consideration where they won their slams. Wimbledon is the most important, and Australian the least. So I thought maybe weighing the GS will be a good idea.

I.e. Wimbledon = 1, French and US Open = 0.75 and Australian = 0.5

This is because historically those other slams are less important than Wimbledon.

This means...

Graf = 17.25
Navratilova = 16.5
Wills = 16.25*
Court = 16


*never played the Australian.

That maybe a good way of determing the best.
 

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to be an all-time great it they have to of done something very memorable in their career.

imo there is more than one all-time great. but there is all-time great in singles alone or doubles alone but there is all-time great with all of them being considered (singles, ladies doubles, mixed doubles) not many people believe there should be the latter but imo the all all-time great would have to have done exceptionally in all 3 of these forms of the game.
 

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Sam L said:
2. And then you have to take into consideration where they won their slams. Wimbledon is the most important, and Australian the least. So I thought maybe weighing the GS will be a good idea.

I.e. Wimbledon = 1, French and US Open = 0.75 and Australian = 0.5

This is because historically those other slams are less important than Wimbledon.
Sam, I was wondering about giving weights to the Slams. Is it really that good an idea? I mean, since 1988, the Australian Open has had an equally good if not better field than the other majors. Also, they have an equal number of ranking points, so which Slam is the best can't be determined from that as well. If you want to go with most prize money, US Open should be your answer. IMO, 1988 onward, all four Slams deserve to be on equal footing.

Oh, and I guess it would be worth mentioning that I don't consider Wimbledon to be all-that. It's just a bunch of snobbery and elitism. Too damned prim and proper. :(
 

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hingis-seles, I've been thinking about that too. And you are correct in that since around 1988 all the slams have evened out.

But you can't say they were in the eras of Lenglen, Wills and Court.

Hmm... so I thought about this and this is far more difficult, but give weights according to eras.

For instance, in the 1920's and 1930's, the Australian was nothing. Therefore have the weightings like:

Wimbledon = 1.9, French and US = 0.8, Australian = 0.5

But then in about the 1960's the other slams' positions have improved so I'd say:

Wimbledon = 1.6, French and US = 0.9, and Australian = 0.6

And then from 1988 onwards it can be:

All slams = 1.0

In other words, the weighting will have to be out of 4.0 in total and then divide it by the 4 slams as you see fit.
 
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