Why Rod and not Roy?

Catters 070911

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I notice that there seems to be lot of mentions about Rod Laver, not just at Australian Open time, but he is held up as our greatest Australian tennis player, and even has an arena named after him.

Yet why does Roy Emerson not get mentioned as much, considering that he is actually our winningest Grand Slam tennis champion?

Roy Emerson won 13 Grand Slams, a record that stood for forty years until Pete Sampras beat it. Emerson still stands fifth in the all-time most Grand Slam wins (behind Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Sampras).

Why is Roy Emerson not front and centre of discussions as our greatest players, since winning at the big tournaments would be the ultimate test of greatness?

Wouldn't winning 13 Grand Slams make Roy Emerson, not Rod Laver, as our greatest male tennis player of all time?
 

Gibbsy

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All of Emerson’s slams were pre-Open era so are judged differently. That’s just the way it is unfortunately – doesn’t make it right
 

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Stax on the mill

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Laver would have 20+ slams if he hadn't gone pro.
Yes, he lost 5 years of not being able to play in slams from age 24 to 29. For at least 4 of those years he was the best player in the world, pro or amateur. Missed out on playing in 20 slams at the height of his career. Surely would have won another 6 or 7 if given the opportunity.
 
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Catters 070911

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Yes, he lost 5 years of not being able to play in slams from age 24 to 29. For at least 4 of those years he was the best player in the world, pro or amateur. Missed out on playing in 20 slams at the height of his career. Surely would have won another 6 or 7 if given the opportunity.

Could have, should have. All that matters is facts, and Emerson won 13 ACTUAL Grand Slams, not just potential ones people think Laver would have won.
 

Stax on the mill

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Could have, should have. All that matters is facts, and Emerson won 13 ACTUAL Grand Slams, not just potential ones people think Laver would have won.
If you’re basing your definition of the greatest purely on number of Grand Slam events won, without any analysis of circumstance, then it’s pointless even having any sort of objective discussion, or this thread for that matter. No doubt Emerson was an excellent player, and probably doesn’t get the recognition he deserves. However put under any sort of objective scrutiny, his record is nowhere near as impressive as Lavers.

Emerson won 10 of his singles Grand Slam titles when the very best players in the world weren’t even allowed to compete against him. You can’t just dismiss that out of hand. It is very relevant. No way known would he have the same number of Grand Slam titles if he had to play against Laver, Hoad, Rosewall, Gonzales etc from 1963-67. Conversely Laver would have a lot more than 11 grand slam titles if he hadn’t been barred for 5 years. He was undoubtedly the best player in the world for 4 of those 5 years.

Also, in the head to head clashes between the 2 during their careers Laver led 51 to 21 over Emerson. Pretty significant in my opinion. Laver, the only man to win 4 slams in the same year twice. On his way to winning those 8 titles, he met Emerson 5 times, and beat him every time.

Yes, Emerson was a very, very good player, but not in Lavers league.
 
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Catters 070911

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If you’re basing your definition of the greatest purely on number of Grand Slam events won, without any analysis of circumstance, then it’s pointless even having any sort of objective discussion, or this thread for that matter. No doubt Emerson was an excellent player, and probably doesn’t get the recognition he deserves. However put under any sort of objective scrutiny, his record is nowhere near as impressive as Lavers.

Emerson won 10 of his singles Grand Slam titles when the very best players in the world weren’t even allowed to compete against him. You can’t just dismiss that out of hand. It is very relevant. No way known would he have the same number of Grand Slam titles if he had to play against Laver, Hoad, Rosewall, Gonzales etc from 1963-67. Conversely Laver would have a lot more than 11 grand slam titles if he hadn’t been barred for 5 years. He was undoubtedly the best player in the world for 4 of those 5 years.

Also, in the head to head clashes between the 2 during their careers Laver led 51 to 21 over Emerson. Pretty significant in my opinion. Laver, the only man to win 4 slams in the same year twice. On his way to winning those 8 titles, he met Emerson 5 times, and beat him every time.

Yes, Emerson was a very, very good player, but not in Lavers league.

Okay, then explain this to me.

How come Pete Sampras wasn't recognized as breaking the record for most Grand Slam wins until he won his 14th at the U.S. Open, which was his last match?

By rights, Sampras should have got recognized as winning the most slams much earlier.
 

Stax on the mill

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Okay, then explain this to me.

How come Pete Sampras wasn't recognized as breaking the record for most Grand Slam wins until he won his 14th at the U.S. Open, which was his last match?

By rights, Sampras should have got recognized as winning the most slams much earlier.
Why? Not saying that Emerson didn’t have the most legitimate slams ( 13 ) at that stage. He also won them fair and square. Just disagreeing with your contention that because Emerson has 13 grand slams to Lavers 11, then he is Australia’s greatest tennis player.
 

Minka Beaver

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Saying Roy Emerson was a better player than Rod Laver is a bit like saying Matthew Lloyd was a better footballer than John Coleman - an all-time great, but the total output doesn't reflect the true story.

Laver played more major tournaments against bigger and more internationalised fields - that's an accident of timing, but it cemented his legacy. Until professionals were allowed to compete in the major championships, the Australian and US Championships were both localised due to travel and financial restrictions. As mentioned, other players won majors in the mid 1960s precisely because Laver was banned from competing in them - such as Emerson.

Laver was extraordinary. Like Ken Rosewall, he dominated into his late 30s. He towelled younger, higher-ranked men like Jan Kodes and Stan Smith in Davis Cup ties in 1973 - in age and standard, that's like Federer coming back to win the 2017 Australian Open against opponents like Nadal and Wawrinka. Emerson's best tennis was all played before he turned 31 (and he didn't adapt well to the Open era, which started soon afterwards).

He's probably the best all-surface, multiple era player there's been - ergo, he's arguably the greatest of all-time.
 

Caesar

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Emerson was a very good player, but the fact that he never made it past the QFs of a Grand Slam in the Open Era gives you a bit of an idea how denuded of talent the tour was when he won his titles.
 

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Either way, you couldn't imagine either player throwing his racquet around and carrying on like a spoilt brat. I loved that era of Australian tennis when we had Rosewall, Laver, Hoad, Newcombe, Emerson, Stolle, Roche, etc. Better than the shit heads we have now.
 

Catters 070911

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Either way, you couldn't imagine either player throwing his racquet around and carrying on like a spoilt brat. I loved that era of Australian tennis when we had Rosewall, Laver, Hoad, Newcombe, Emerson, Stolle, Roche, etc. Better than the **** heads we have now.

Which goes to my contention that I think the problems in Australian tennis go beyond misbehaving players.

I think the current Tennis Australia is a toxic enviroment full of politics and oneupmanship, where there is a poor relationship between officialdom and players.

Just look at the Davis Cup. Newcombe and Philippousis had a running battle in one. Hewitt and Tomic have one now (and I blame the coach as much as the player, as they should be the bigger man, and not let the feud get where it did).

I would also say that there aren't the facilities in place for players to seek help for depression, etc, so they act out. Players bag coaches, coaches bag players, officialdom come out and bag players etc. Add a venomous media, sporting fans who demand that Australia be the best at every sport all the time, and Australia not having much tennis success for decades, have brought about a terrible enviroment where everyone is attacking each other, and there seems a lack of unity.

When Newcombe, Laver played, Australians won tennis all the time, and there wasn't the tearing down of tall poppies that there is today. It's the same as comparing Don Bradman to today's cricketers. Put any of those guys in today's society with social media, a thirst for schaudenfrede, and the lack of success we have had in recent years, then they would be treated as worse than they were back in their day.
 

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Catters 070911

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Either way, you couldn't imagine either player throwing his racquet around and carrying on like a spoilt brat. I loved that era of Australian tennis when we had Rosewall, Laver, Hoad, Newcombe, Emerson, Stolle, Roche, etc. Better than the **** heads we have now.

No, because they were winning all the time, so had no reason to carry on.

Besides, how do we know? There weren't the cameras and coverage that there is today, where we see everything a player does, and there was a love and respect for our sportspeople (Bradman had this too), not wanting to tear them down for every little thing and secretly wanting them to fail.
 

Caesar

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Which goes to my contention that I think the problems in Australian tennis go beyond misbehaving players.
The main problem with Australian tennis is that it is an expensive game to learn and play, and the professional rewards are fairly meagre for all but the top few dozen in the world.

I mean, the only reason Hewitt played tennis is because he was too short for footy.
 

Catters 070911

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The main problem with Australian tennis is that it is an expensive game to learn and play, and the professional rewards are fairly meagre for all but the top few dozen in the world.

I mean, the only reason Hewitt played tennis is because he was too short for footy.

I think there have been guys Hewitt's height who have played footy.

There used to be a player called Danny Craven, who played for St. Kilda, who I think I read was the shortest guy to play AFL footy.

I would have thought, especially back when Hewitt started, someone would have looked at him as a rover or small forward.
 

Caesar

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I think there have been guys Hewitt's height who have played footy.

There used to be a player called Danny Craven, who played for St. Kilda, who I think I read was the shortest guy to play AFL footy.

I would have thought, especially back when Hewitt started, someone would have looked at him as a rover or small forward.
I believe he chased Port Adelaide for a trial and they were thinking about maybe drafting him, but Roger Rasheed convinced him he had a better chance of making it on the Tour.
 

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