‘The greatest player of all time’ debate.
Posted by tennisplanet on March 4, 2007
Until the mid-1950s, Bill Tilden was often considered the greatest player ever. Many observers, however, also felt that either Don Budge or Jack Kramer deserved consideration for the title. In 1938, Budge became the first person to win all four Grand Slam singles titles during the same calendar year. Kramer dominated the late 1940s and early 1950s.
By the latter half of the 1950s and 1960s, many had added Pancho Gonzales to the list of contenders. Budge himself reportedly believed that Gonzales was the greatest player ever. During the open era, first Rod Laver and then more recently Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, and Pete Sampras were widely regarded by many of their contemporaries as the greatest ever. Roger Federer is now considered by many observers to have the most “complete” game in modern tennis, with the potential to challenge the achievements of these past greats. Even among experts, however, no consensus has ever existed as to who has been the greatest of all. Kramer, for instance, still believes that Budge was the best ever on a consistent basis, while Ellsworth Vines was the best when playing at his best. Pancho Segura opts for Gonzales, and Gonzales himself considered Lew Hoad, at the height of his game, to be the best.
-Check out the Federer vs Sampras debate, here.