Why Rod and not Roy?

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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?
 

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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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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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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.
 
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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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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.
 
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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.
 

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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.
 
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