Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Chaognosis tennis GOAT analysis: Ken Rosewall

Chaognosis is a blog on tennis history.

Chaognosis has an interesting article, proposing an alternate method of counting "grand slam equivalent tournaments", which I will make up a term here for discussion as GSE (no Fannie Mae ReThuglican Corporate Welfare C-E-Ho disasters just in case).

Chaognois' method takes the most important UK, France, & USA tournament for a given year, chosen by Chaognosis' subjective analysis. It ignores the Australian, which was not taken "seriously as a grand slam" until sometime in the 1980s (as recently as John McEnroe's prime, McEnroe & many other top players skipped going Down Under [||]). Read the article itself for more detail.

Bottom line, by Chaognosis' analysis, Ken Rosewall has 17 GSEs, compared to Pete Sampras' 12 (7 Wimbledons, 5 US Opens) & Roger Federer's 10 (5 W, 5 U).

Personally, I'm not buyin it, on the account that the depth of competitors of the tennis game has in general been increasing dramatically into the 90s (Sampras' decade) & even more into the 2000s (Fed's decade). IMHO if Federer ties Sampras' 14 GS by winning 1 more GS tourney, I would vote for Fed as the GOAT.

It should be noted that any such comparisons are "apples-to-oranges". There has been significant change that even make it hard to compare the 1990s/Sampras era to the 2000s/Fed era. The synthetic type of tennis strings Luxillon "Big Banger" [||] which allow more spin, & the slowing of the courts for example. Sampras was dominant as a serve & volleyer, whereas in the 2000s there have been very few serve & volleyers in the Top 100 such as Ivo Karlovic, & none off hand I can recall that have made the Top 10.

Bottom line, Fed is the Illest. Sampras himself has admitted it. Prolly ol man Rosewall itself would also agree.

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