For me personally this question stretches far beyond what I’ve been lucky enough to witness in tennis as I’ve only been an avid fan since the early 90’s while still in my pre-teens when the scare of serving power and one Goran Ivanisevic threatened to take over the sport! (ノロ≦。)！Hmm..but it did take him I think 15? 14? years to win Wimbledon so those fears were greatly exaggerated~. 😛 ? Serving power?…something that the person across the net never needed to worry about while looking at me and while I wish I were much taller me being so so short! even if heels were feasible on court I’d still be very little~…(。ーωー。). Hmm….getting back on track, and still so many amazing players over the years since so thus lingers the question.
Federer is amongst a very elite group of 6 names to have won all four grand slams conquering all surfaces along with Rod Laver & Andre Agassi in the open era~. And while Rod Laver continues to be the sole male player to have achieved a real calendar grand slam we can still consider his a “Federer” slam~. Competition always is an issue too….how athletes were trained back then verses today…the progressive speed of the game which inevitably came with racquet technology…the size and strength of players….wood verses graphite…and today’s seemingly space age compounds which continue to progress with newer and greater innovations in racquet technology.
…..still in the end the game of tennis is still a court, a ball, net and its competitors~.
So perhaps to compare different eras of tennis greats is unrealistic in reaching a final conclusion but how else can we sincerely decide who’s the greatest ever? If only there were a unflawed way to combine all of their stats…legacies….equipment…level of competion…and fitness in figuring out a one decisive greatest player of all time…..
Could we then witness a real time match between Laver….Sampras….Borg…McEnroe….Connors….Agassi….Becker….Nadal…and the list goes on, all in their prime in a single instant on center court?
Surely we can’t leave such a prestigious conclusion to micro calculations of stats and fibers of their on court triumphs and lifetime achievements but in there somewhere must lie the precise answer to this question…..I wonder?
While as in all sports the game has changed over time…the players who play….and the very environments are also to be considered.
But what of the nuances of the players techniques?…how would they match up one on one with great players of different eras and whom would then prove triumphant? Surfaces…the time….the players….. and even if a difinitive conclusion could somehow unanimously be reached through it all through stats and techniques, would the overall winner be then declared the greatest of all time? One tournament. All the greats. In their prime. In one slam final to determine the greatest of all time. But surely anyone who follows tennis knows that on any given day any player no matter what rank is capable of taking down a giant even when at the very top of his/her game~.
And what of head to head matchups? Nadal has owned Federer in head to matches and especially notable in grand slams which is the measuring stick of tennis players’ greatness so arguably even in this moment, if Nadal wins the U.S. Open this year and then has all four grand slams under his belt as well along with Federer….it would be very considerable to say that perhaps Nadal may arguably be……in the room at least in this discussion~.
So throw most of these theories out and we’re back to lifelong achievments….and at this very moment one player named Federer is still writing his….. ＾ ＾