Over the past 15 years, the GOAT analysis in tennis has got, many a tennis fan’s, writer’s and even player’s goat. The most recent goat-gotten victim of GOAT analysis is none other than one of my favourite tennis writer, Steve Tignor. Most people take the easiest path out : “There is no GOAT”. That is such a bad cop-out. Of course there is a GOAT. As Yann Martel – one of the GOAT writers, IMO, elucidates so beautifully in his master-piece “Life of Pi” – it is all about which story you want to believe. Do you want to believe the boring story where there is no GOAT [or tiger in Mr. Martel’s story] or the more exciting version where there is a Tiger, an orangutan, hyena and ofcourse the ubiquitous GOAT! If you are going to choose the boring version, let me bid you adios my dear friends. Let us not journey any further into this thrilling and exciting journey of GOAT, a statistical and logical analysis, replete with tennis knowledge and history. My fellow brethren who live life on the edge, like I do, let us foray further into this wonderful world, my dear friends, tennis fans and GOATians…..
Without much beating around the bush, let me lay-out our 1st step into this analysis. For the past 15years, the primary criteria for GOAT rating has been the total number of Grandslams. As Federer and Nadal started showing up Sampras’ relatively poor results on clay, it was obvious one has to factor in performances across the slams as a starting point for the GOAT analysis. Our team at Sportz Cosmos has done so and computed a weighted sum for the performances of GOAT contenders across all slams. For this purpose, we assigned 2000 points for each GS win, 1200 for a final, 720 for the semi-final and so on, using the same points that ATP awards for players during a GS tournament. Please find below the results of such an anlysis for some of the players who figure in GOAT discussions on a consistent basis. The idea is to include more parameters into this analysis to make it more comprehensive tool in the pursuit of that
mythical creature called GOAT.
Please also let us know your choice for the GOAT in our latest tennis poll.
77 thoughts on “GOAT : A Methodical Analysis To The Madness – Part I”
Great way to look at it. I wonder why this hasn’t been done before. It is very intuitive.
It definitely is very intuitive. Better late than never! The pursuit of the GOAT is on. 🙂
Djokovic already figures prominently in this list because it rewards not just grand slam victories but also consistency in reaching the later stages of a grand slam.
True dat! Overall, a great 1st step…. quite a few parameters can be updated, added and so on and so forth…..
Do you intend to do more on this?
Definitely. We have a few ideas up our sleeves…. wait and keep watching this space friend 🙂
You should also add a column for average points per slam. Nadal does the best in this category, averaging slightly over 1000 points pre slam, while Federer is second with 915, and 3rd and 4th places are way behind, below 800 points.
Thanks for posting Vinod. We will definitely take that suggestion aboard.
Vinod: how does Nadal average 1000 points? Oh ok, you neglected the slams he missed due to injury? Why should we do that? All slams considered, Nadal has had a chance to play 42 slams. He averages 871.43 points…. so, RF trumps him there too 🙂
sorry but that’s absurd.. it only matters if you entered the draw, how would you analyze someone like Borg then who skipped all those Australian opens? or the other guys who skipped it.. the slam was still on but nobody cared. If you do include the slams he missed due to injury, you lose all credibility almost instantly. Specially since your named doesn’t help that part to begin with, not trying to attack.. just saying from a neutral persons perspective it is very difficult to read on when such a bias is being presented in the analysis. If that’s the case, just label this as the quest to prove RF as the GOAT and guys like me will continue reading.
We all have our biases. I will stick to the topic and talk about injuries. Rafa’s injury was not Seles like, meaning his injury is very much correlated with his playing style.
Please tell me why Federer and Sampras did not play the injury card as often as Nadal? Even in his own generation, Nadal has Djokovic who is now on a 30+ consecutive slam streak.
Nadal’s injuries are going to always be an asterisk. I am not saying we should have it in the analysis per se, but if you are going to gloat that Nadal has terrrific numbers, let us look at those numbers.
Rafa’s numbers will be worthy of gloating even if he retires at this instance (as are Federer’s), my point was to look at this openly with no reservations from before. Let’s put them all on an equal footing. But to my query, how will you analyze the men from the late 70’s and early 80’s when Australia wasn’t important enough for them to play it.. and what about Connors being banned from the French? Should we rate the Australian below the other majors to compare the guys from the earliest days to now? Or should that be left alone because the main criterion is the competition that you had to deal with.. makes it all the more interesting in my opinion, and brings up the top 10 record even more so, because the players that entered the draw alongside are the most important,.. would you agree with that?
Definitely agree with your points. My point being, Rafa’ injuries are more his infliction or a direct result of his playing abilities/style than say Connors getting banned from French or Borg and others not making the trip to Oz land. You can even include Andre with Borg and Connors- I cannot believe that he did not bother to go to Oz land till 1995. It is his best slam – 4 titles, 2-0 against Pete and so on.
This will definitely be a very tricky and challenging point to deal with but I hope to brainstorm with our team [filled with engineers and tech/math guys] to come up with some way of having a numerical representation for such factors. As I said, we will incorporate the obvious or straight forward numbers and then get into finding a way to convert “opinion/subjective” stuff into numbers so that we can assign the GOAT a number. Who knows, maybe it will be 42 – that magical number Douglas Adams [RIP] claims as the answer to life, universe and everything!
I would like to say we should consider weeks at no.1 for the open era guys. Performance against the top 10 seems a good criteria to involve.
Should we then also look at how good the top 10 was?
While its RF and RL at the moment, I believe RN is still on his way UP. So, he has got a good chance to take over the GOAT crown from these two legends. However, when he had won USO 2010, everyone was going nuts over how RN at 24 leads RF at 24 and so on. Rafa Nadal has been prone to lacking consistency in dominating the field for long stretches. That considered, I still see RF remaining the GOAT, for the next few years atleast.
You make valid points. Rafa is the best when it comes to achieving something once he puts his mind to it!
I support your argument that you need to include Points earned per slam.
Nadal is freakishly good at building momentum and I see him reaching Federer’s 17 by mid of 2015…mark my words ladies…hahaha
yes but leaves out masters which withouht masters and tournaments we will have no atp world tour so that counts too.
Kimberly: That is a good point. We do plan to include masters tournaments in there too.
Great. I second Kimberly and say we need to include masters tounaments, weeks at number 1 and WTFs.
I will be looking forward to future analysis.
I think Roger Laver made a valid point. You cannot look at points per slam when Rafa gets injured because he plays a defensive style of tennis. Nothing wrong, but just like the pros that come with that style [Dominance on clay] there is also negative side – injuries!
Actually, Nadal has always had problems in his career with his knees, since very young. I just think that he was unfortunate to be one of those guys that has to deal with this issue. Look for example at a player like Ferrer, which says very defensive tennis, long points, yet very healthy and successful. There are many other clay courters that have avoided injury over the years as well with this style of play. I don’t think it is fair to penalize Rafa for having this bad luck. Nadal should be judged by the tournaments he played, not the “could have played if healthy”. Having said that however, Federer’s longevity should be used as a valid factor over Rafa in this discussion, its only fair to give credit to Fed for being so consistent.
Carlos, I agree with your points. Rafa has my sympathy, but that should not convert to brown points in a numerical analysis.
Federer’s longevity is unbelievable to the point of crazy. His style is elegant and efficient, but the wear and tear on the body is real. I know tennis is severe on the body at challenger level. I can only imagine how brutal it must be at the pro-level.
Thanks AD Tennis! Great posts!
“Nothing wrong, but just like the pros that come with that style [Dominance on clay] there is also negative side – injuries!”
Well said. Rafa fans cannot have it both ways! 🙂
This is a good start, I’m trying to write something on my own as well, I do agree taking all slam performances into account since longevity has to play a vital role in analyzing the GOAT (it is time we are interested in after all). The one factor though that I think should weigh in heavily is performance against top 10 players. Why? because anyone who reached top 10 was basically, more than just good at least across a 52 week period at the very very least! These are the most consistent players and back in the day the pro tour (think Laver days) that’s pretty much what the tour was like. This gives us a very even platform to start comparing them on. I don’t think surface wars are to be taken into account very seriously, given that the tour is biased in that sense and surfaces haven’t remained the same across the years either (so much slower now), and it does give the more complete players an edge over guys who were just great at one dimension of tennis, think Agassi over Edberg (I assume most guys would agree with me on this). Adaptability is key here, because the surface was the same for everyone. That being said, I’,m excited to read with what you guys keep coming up with! This is a great start and I think I have started to agree that we can come up with a GOAT, though I still feel more strongly about labeling the best of a generation first.
On a side note, how many people would agree if I said that Nadal and Federer aren’t direct rivals because their own respective peaks did not match up? Federer’s direct rivals are Hewitt, Roddick, Ferrer etc. while for Rafa it is Novak, Andy, Tomas, Tsonga etc. . Reason I say this is because in my opinion, Rafa is the anomaly here, he became a Grand slam contender and top 5 very early and as his career matured we realized his early years were actually not his peak.. Thoughts? Open to to all ideas.,
Great post Cross Court Tennis. I will reply in detail later, but I do agree that Federer and Rafa are from different generations.
“The one factor though that I think should weigh in heavily is performance against top 10 players. Why? because anyone who reached top 10 was basically, more than just good at least across a 52 week period at the very very least! ”
That is definitely one of the criteria we will add on to our analysis. Our next stop is to include Masters titles, Tour finals and then all the tournaments [500s and 200s].
We will then start adding in performance against top 10, weeks at number 1 and other such criteria.
Sounds good! Very similar to the approach I am taking here. I will also post a link to my piece once I’m done with it
Please do. It sounds like it will be a wonderful piece to read. 🙂
Cant wait to see this up there!! Could you also add both, average points per slam entered, as well as average point per grand slam that could have played? That way everyone can see what they want, or they think should be analyzed. The first number to normalize for only entered tournaments, and the second to measure longevity. Keep up the good work guys!
” I don’t think surface wars are to be taken into account very seriously, given that the tour is biased in that sense and surfaces haven’t remained the same across the years either (so much slower now), and it does give the more complete players an edge over guys who were just great at one dimension of tennis, think Agassi over Edberg (I assume most guys would agree with me on this). ”
Definitely Agassi over Edberg. I do agree with you regarding the changing conditions/surfaces. It would be a very huge challenge to account for these changes, at least right now. So, this will be for a later day.
Regarding the generations. I have always said Fedal is an anomaly. With Nadal being 5 years younger – that is a generation in tennis. Federer was one of the last in his generation to win a GS [hewitt, safin etal won slams a few years before Roger] and Nadal was the 1st in his generation [won his 1st slam 3 years ahead of Djokovic].
I think we can safely say we are looking at 2 of top 5 GOATS in action. [my list has Fed, Laver, Sampras, Rosewall/Nadal and Nadal/Borg in that order]. That throws a major spanner into such a one-stop GOAT analysis on so many levels. A lot of complications – but that is the fun of analysis- no point analysing what 2 and 2 will add up to 🙂
“A lot of complications – but that is the fun of analysis- no point analysing what 2 and 2 will add up to”
Very well said. I will be following your analysis with interest.
Well, I agree that Nadal is a competitor of Djokovic in reality. it is here that I think he has a lot to prove. If Nadal is as great as many claim, how come he had so many problems with DJokovic?
With all respect to Novak, he has troubled Nadal in many matches but not over a very long course. That is the noteworthy factor here. It’s always been a tough match for Nadal, but he’s still come out on top. Novaks year in 2011is one of the best of all time, and 7 of Novaks 15 wins including all 3 slam wins have come within a 10 month period. For a rivalry that started in 2006 (they are only a year apart so age barely matters.. saying Novak bloomed later only attributes to Nadals consistency, tenacity and greatness in that case). So essentially in over 90 months of a rivalry Novak got half his wins in 1/9th of the period, that points out to Nadal having held a greater standard than Novak over the course of what each call a career so far.
How does it matter what time-frame the results were achieved in? 22-15 and on clay 13-3, on grass 2-1 Rafa. Hardcourts 11-7 Djokovic.
of course it matters, you can’t take a h2h just for what it is.. example, Murray vs. Federer.. Murray has a losing record in Slams to Federer but leads h2h, is that really favorable for Andy? Don’t think so. Novak had 1 great year where within a 10 month span he was able to compile 7 wins against Nadal. What about since then? 1-6.. or before that? 7-16. They have played each other for 8 years and the only time he has had a decisive advantage over Nadal was for just 10 months.. On the contrary, what happens to Novak that ever since the Australian, he has only faced Nadal being ranked the number 1 player in the world and lost 6 of those 7 encounters, what does that say about him? how deserving are you of that ranking then? how good of a tactician are you? A lot of questions can be brought up. 2011 is in the past. Why does 1 Monte Carlo win stand out over 6 other losses? The scoreline is still 15-22. It is more of a question for Novak than Nadal.
You can also look at it another way. On clay Rafa is better, Grass they are about even and on Hardcourts Djokovic is better. agreed?
I think Novak has to prove himself more before being equal to Rafa on grass despite Nadal’s last 2 matches on the surface. Rafa still has 5 Wimbledon finals in 5 consecutive appearances and has played 3 of those finals against possibly the best player on the surface. Novak hasn’t done that yet. He will likely get there, but not yet. The difference then really is this, Rafa has 20 (clay + hard) while Novak has 14 despite the fact that 18 of those 34 have been on hard, plus Nadal has 2 hard court slam wins over Novak at a tournament Novak has made 5 finals at (4 consecutive). So Nadal is a better clay player than Novak is hard and Nadal is a better hard player than Novak is clay (so far), would you agree?
I agree with most of what you say, but to say if Nole was deserving or not is not fair. He went to all slam finals this year (French was the de facto final, no disrespect to David, who I like a lot). He went to a couple of Masters 1000 finals and semis and won 1 of them. Is only behind Rafa this year in terms of record and points. He has been very consistent. And even in his defeats with Rafa he tested Rafa very significantly (with the exception of the last USO set). He has been the deserving number 1 and has lost it now to an also deserving number 1.
@Cross Court Tennis @ Roger Laver @Djoker Fan
I agree with you guys that Federer is a different generation from Nadal.
Djoker fan, Nadal has no problems with Djokovic. 22-15, remember?
Nadal has no problems with Djokovic? ha ha ha! Really? I think the 5 losses in a row (including 3 grandslam final losses in a row) in 2011 and the mauling Rafa got from Djoker in Monte Carlo this year
might have misled me.
That is how Rafa fans think and operate. Being in denial.
“I think Novak has to prove himself more before being equal to Rafa on grass despite Nadal’s last 2 matches on the surface. Rafa still has 5 Wimbledon finals in 5 consecutive appearances and has played 3 of those finals against possibly the best player on the surface. Novak hasn’t done that yet. He will likely get there, but not yet.”
If Novak wins 2 more wimbledons, Will he be considered better on Grass than Rafa? I am glad we agree Roger is possibly the best player on Grass.
If Novak win’s two more Wimbledon’s with Rafa not adding any more finals/titles.. I would agree. But keep this in mind, the losses tell a lot to, Rafa lost to finals to Roger Federer, the name that echoes Wimbledon. It will all depend on who Novak ends up beating to attain those titles.. maybe we will be able to conclude that Novak is more adaptable than Rafa on the surface but Rafa at his peak was about as good as Novak will ever be on grass.. think of it this way, Novak in 2012 still couldn’t beat Federer on grass. It says a lot. Federer is to grass for Rafa is to clay, the ultimate challenge with a record that is beyond comprehension. Rafa’s accolades on grass for me trump Novak’s at the moment because he was able to take Federer to the distance in his prime while Novak couldn’t even take a man turning 31 to a 5 setter. How would Novak have matched up against Federer 5-6 years ago? I wouldn’t have bet on him.
” The difference then really is this, Rafa has 20 (clay + hard) while Novak has 14 despite the fact that 18 of those 34 have been on hard, plus Nadal has 2 hard court slam wins over Novak at a tournament Novak has made 5 finals at (4 consecutive). So Nadal is a better clay player than Novak is hard and Nadal is a better hard player than Novak is clay (so far), would you agree?”
I would agree, but why are we comparing apples to oranges? I mean Novak on hard, Nadal on clay and vice versa are apples and oranges, yes?
Haha, overall it leads to Rafa being a better player as far as success goes. In terms of game, Novak is far better. He is perhaps the most complete player in a long time, he has no real weakness, he can do everything well. There’s nothing you target against him and pick as a weakness, you just play your best and remember that his level of play does see a dip, making Novak his own biggest enemy. At the end of the day though, what matters most are the numbers and my point was that Rafa has done better than Novak in that case, which is why he is the better player.
“At the end of the day though, what matters most are the numbers and my point was that Rafa has done better than Novak in that case, which is why he is the better player.”
Agreed, but it is also clear that Novak is the better hardcourt player, and he has a better chance of overtaking Rafa’s credentials on grass than Rafa has of overtaking Novak on hardcourts. [Remember, hardcourts include Indoors too]
Wonderful article. It is great to see Rafa getting some credit as a thinker, which he deserves so much
Rafa is Leonardo Davinci? That is funny. he struggles a lot against Djokovic/Davydenko – 2 players against whom Federer has had relatively lesser trouble, because Rafa doesn’t have the variety to beat Djokovic. He gets by Djokovic often willing and limping his way to victory – guess why? because he does not have the variety that players like Federer/Murray use trouble Novak.
I will say Novak is more of a thinker than Rafa. Murray is ahead of both of them.
You should get joke of the year award.
LOL! You will be surprised it is not a very easy award to win – that joke of the year award 😉
Lol.. I’m sure. But Andy a better tactician than Rafa? I still say this one wins it.
Bigger joke than Rafa being Da Vinci?
absolutely. No question about it. You can like and hate whoever you want, but rating Murray a better tactician than Nadal? let me put in McEnroe’s words “Are you serious?”, what problem has Nadal not solved in his career? Took 08 Wimbledon from Federer on grass, Since 06 and 09 has never lost to Berdych or Del Potro, Owns the 3rd best player of his generation (Andy, who will be a future top 20 at the very least imo), Turned 7-0 from Novak to 6-1 in his favor, went from clay court specialist for the first two years of his career to an all round player, not as complete as Novak or Federer in his arsenal maybe but that’s about the only 2 guys you can rate better than him in overall game. Not tactics, game play. Rafa is the best problem solver on tour, the way he tilts match ups in his favor are proof of it, unlike Federer and Novak he doesn’t have a game that is just better than everyone elses, he has weaknesses to defend. The fact that his name has 13 slams next to it and that he leads every active player in the current 30 should be enough to say that for a man with his type of game to have that many wins, he’s pretty much one of the smartest players to take on the court.
Nadal is yet to win the WTF. It is not like he is Moses and he has parted the Red Sea. I stick by my opinion that Murray is a better tactician, I consider only Roger superior to him in tactics – not even my favorite, Djokovic.
Look, as your opinion, that’s all well and good. But you’re digging yourself a hole by applying that sort of logic “Nadal has yet to win the WTF” . Let’s make a little list then buddy:
Murray has yet to:
Win Australia ( been thrashed in finals by Novak and Federer)
Beat Nadal on grass (0-3).. has 1 set in all meetings?
Beat Nadal, Novak or Fed on clay
yet to win WTF
yet to win French
yet to win a clay tournament
yet to win a clay semi final
yet to become number 1
yet to win back to back slams
yet to be number 2 for more than just a few weeks in the middle
I’m going to stop here because well, it gets boring after a while. Point being, you want to make an argument? be fair. No one cares if you hate or like someone, just be fair in your views. I actually really enjoy watching Andy play, I think his backhand wing and forehand on the run are phenomenal, and atm he has the best first serve among the big 4. But a great tactician? He has a lot to prove to get up there.
With all due respect, you are wrong in pretty much everything you said. NOBODY in the game today thinks and plans and adjusts his game (before and during the game) better than Rafa. Murray is not even close to Rafa in this regard. Nadal uses tactic in everything he does, especially on when and where to serve bigger or slower, his placement, how much spin. Just look at how he (a “bad server”) was barely broken at all in the US tourneys. He knows when to hit hard ground strokes and when to play more conservative. Just look at how Novak was basically just bombing his shots in the US Open (hence the amount of errors), while Nadal turned it up only in specific moments, and shift for defense to offense (and vice versa) when needed. Also, a lot of people have the misconception that Nadal is more defensive than Murray. NO WAY IN EARTH. Murray loses to guys like Wawrinka and Gulbis because when they are on, they wont miss shots and that a big part of Murray success, to keep hitting the balls back and let the others miss. That’s also how it was in the Verdasco game at Wimby. And that is why he lost to Berdych, Stan and Gulbis in the USO series tournaments. Nadal is the ultimate stategic, better than anyone today, and possibly ever. Also, when you say: “he does not have the variety that players like Federer/Murray use trouble Novak.” You do know that Rafa is 22-15 (and 22-9 without the 2011 incredible year where he beat everyone, not just Rafa) vs Nole, whereas Murray is 8-11, and Federer 16-13. Where is your logic in saying this? Also, if Murray is so great at tactics, why is he 5-13 vs Rafa? Please, just think about the things you are saying before posting them.
Good points. There is no doubt Rafa is one of the smartest players to take on the court.
My All-time list would have J-mac/Borg/Federer/Santoro/Mecir[only read about this guy].
To me Federer is not a greater tactician than Nadal. Federer only has 1 game plan on court (a damn great won however that for the most part didn’t need any adjustment). Everything he does depends on improvisation (and on that my friend, no one is better). But to be a great tactition, you need to demonstrate adaptability to given situations. And Federer has shown that he is to stubborn to change his game to adjust to the Rafa riddle (or even when he lost to Robredo this year, never adjusted his game plan, kept on doing the same things that where not working vs an inferior opponent). He had the talent to do so, no doubt in my mind. He just didn’t like to change his game plan. Nadal adjusts a lot depending on the opponent and also on his and his opponents level of play on the given day. That’s why he wins a lot even when not playing his best. So to me, Nadal is the better tactition and Federer is the better improviser. But I do agree with the rest of your list though. Of course, just my humble opinion, I might be wrong.
“Murray has yet to:
Win Australia ( been thrashed in finals by Novak and Federer)”
How does that prove Rafa is a better tactician than Murray? When I see Murray, I see a player with a lot of variety and you need a lot of tactical nous to master that.
I cannot remember anyone accusing Nadal of having variety in his game. If he is such a great tactician why does Toni Nadal go and admit that he coaches Nadal on-court [not my opinion, fact]
How does Nadal not having won the WTF prove that he isn’t a great tactician? Stick to one thing. You think Novak and Murray don’t talk to their camps? Or other players for that matter? All a coach can do is discuss strategy with you, which all coaches do. That’s why all players have such elaborate teams, it is no surprise. The execution depends on the player, Nadal’s number in comparison to Murray’s? I’ll let you bring those up.
Oh, now that you have been caught with your lies about Nadal, you want to sling mud on Novak and Murray? Let us stick to one thing – Please tell us when Ivan Lendl openly admitted he coaches Murray on-court or Marian Vajda.
Why does Nadal, such a great tactician, need uncle Toni to give on-court coaching – Toni’s words, not mine.
woah lets not try and make this personal dude.. I said at the very start you are entitled your opinion, all I said was be fair in your analysis. Firstly, I haven’t been caught with any lies, Why don’t you highlight which part of the statement you are pointing out to? Secondly, you’re the hater here.. you argue that Nadal isn’t a great tactician because he hasn’t won a specific tournament while Murray is great because of the things you see in him, when I pointed out the flaw/lack of logic/lack of intelligence in your argument by naming just a few things Murray hasn’t done to counter, you completely ran away from the topic. Where are Murray’s tactics buddy? what happens to him on clay? why does he have such a hard time against Berdych? Why has he never even made a final of it? Go on, enlighten me.. since he’s got all the variety, shouldn’t he be more adaptable?
Lastly, judging by how you define tactics, it seems like you’re pointing out to variety. Having more shots means variety, not tactic. Tactics points out to figuring out how to win, since that is the aim of every player when he gets on court. Or am I wrong in saying that? Please, elaborate.
“Where are Murray’s tactics buddy? what happens to him on clay? why does he have such a hard time against Berdych? Why has he never even made a final of it? Go on, enlighten me.. since he’s got all the variety, shouldn’t he be more adaptable?”
Murray has great tactics – In what universe does that mean he will win all matches on all surfaces?
“Lastly, judging by how you define tactics, it seems like you’re pointing out to variety. Having more shots means variety, not tactic.”
I agree, but you need a lot more tactical acumen to master a variety of shots than to implement a one-dimensional game. Do you agree?
but the objective is to win.. so if one tactic works well enough for you, say Nadal vs Federer on clay. Nadal always does the same thing, same patterns or same tactics and comes out winning majority of the time. Federer on the other hand never changed his approach and has I believe, 2 of 15 matches? I could be wrong, but it’s one sided enough on that surface.. so why would you change a winning scheme? Know what I mean? Why fix what isn’t broken.
Then who is the better tactician – Nadal or Federer? You seem to believe winning justifies everything. By that logic Federer is the greater tactician.
If you go by your example on clay, Nadal is the greater tactician.
I think, Murray is tactically better than Rafa. For me, I can see it when they play. Rafa wins for many other reasons, maybe – superior athlete, greater mental strength, better coach. I dont see anything wrong in this assertion of mine.
I like this analysis a lot. As a engineer and scientist, when I see numbers well used to present an argument, I always get excited! However, in statistics it is always important to normalize you results to get a real comparison. This analysis is missing that normalization. The average points per tournament should be added to this analysis. However, the total points still is very important, because the average tells us who played better per every tournament played, but the total number tells us who was the most consistent and had most durability, which is also an important factor to consider. Therefore, my ideal analysis would in some way take both number into account to determine the statistical GOAT. When you apply this to your analysis, Rafa and Federer are in a universe of their own 🙂 To the other people complaining about the system, please understand that when you do analysis like these, it is inherently obvious that this is not the only important component in the discussion. Their are intangibles that will never be able to analyze numerically. However, I do think this is a very nice and intuitive way of having numbers that are relevant and useful in this debate. Great job guys!
BTW, that reference to the movie “Life of Pi” is awesome! I love that movie SOOOOOO MUUUUCH. And that quote definitely applies to the topic.
When you apply this to your analysis, Rafa and Federer are in a universe of their own 🙂
Well said Carlos. As awesome as Federer and Nadal are individually…. they are even better as FEDAL!
“However, I do think this is a very nice and intuitive way of having numbers that are relevant and useful in this debate. Great job guys!”
Thank you for that wonderful endorsement Carlos. Our team will be adding some more strings to this bow soon and we hope to have part 2 of the analysis with more updated analysis soon.
I got burnt on the WTA big time. Serena walloped Radwanska 2 and 2! Kvitova couldn’t keep her 3 set magic continuing.
We have a Serena-Jankovic final in Beijing!
Nadal and ? [My pick is obviously Novak]
I just realized something, why is Laver not included in this list? As well as some of the older guys like Gonsalez, etc? Are you guys only taking into consideration the last couple of decades?
Carlos: This is just a open era anlysis. In future posts, we plan to expand this to pre-open era stalwarts like Laver, Rosewall and Gonzalez, too.
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Very interesting! Please see the goat-list by Mastertennis.nl (a Dutch tennisblog) at the bottom of our article: http://www.mastertennis.nl/de-goat-door-mastertennis-2/#more-1343
Superb blog! Do you have any helpful hints for aspiring writers?
I’m hoping to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
Would you recommend starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There
are so many choices out there that I’m completely confused ..
Any recommendations? Thanks!