“He’s gonna touch you in your dirty spot”. (Plus 10 life points to anyone who knows that quote)
So Pete Bodo had a conference call with the P. Samp. earlier and does a write up on it, with an emphasis on the GOAT question and Fed’s record against Nadal and being a “man of a generation”.
“I do understand the argument as far as being the best ever. You have to be the man of your generation. He (Roger) has come up short against Nadal. I can see the point. It’s hard to answer that. I don’t know how to answer it.You know, it’s not done yet. Roger’s career isn’t done yet. He’s going to play Nadal a number of times over the next number of years, and he has to beat him. He has to beat him in the finals of majors. To be considered the greatest ever, he certainly in my book is (already that). But he has to figure this kid out. He has to beat him. He’s lost to him a number of times. You know, you got to be the man of your generation. He certainly is the man of his generation; he just has to figure out Nadal.”
Pushed to elaborate vis a vis his own experience wih Agassi, Pete added:
“Well, God, you’re giving it some thought, huh (laughter)? It would have bothered me if I had a losing record against Andre in majors. It wouldn’t have sat well with me. Did it mean I was the greatest or not the greatest? I don’t know. It’s the debate of greatest of all time. We so badly want to pin it on someone. With the numbers you have to give it to Roger. His record against Nadal, okay, you might not give it to him.
…Just a few weeks ago, John McEnroe told me, “Watching these guys today, I keep thinking that if Sampras walked out there, he’d still drive these guys bananas. In my opinion he’s still the greatest fast court-player who ever lived. Where Roger is the greatest, period.”
To be honest, the GOAT argument just overall kind of angers me, cause its a little bit silly, and it really reminds me of trying to pingeonhole metal bands into a specific sub or even sub-sub genre (we’re a picky bunch). Sometimes its a little silly. Here’s my thoughts, so I can get them out of my system.
- Stop dreaming up “if Fed played Pete”, “if Fed played Rod” crap like that. Different times are different times, they breed different quality and different strategy and game styles. Leave it alone.
- Numbers-wise, Fed is the best. Not much point in arguing over that.
- Fed’s numbers against Rafa (and Muzz for that matter) suck. Period. That doesn’t deny Fed the “man of a generation” tag, as he was for years until Rafa came along. I personally think that Rafa will grow to be a “man of a generation” once Fed runs out of steam and eventually retires, they just happen to be overlapping at kind of awkward times.
- Yes, we should still keep Fed’s record against Rafa (especially in slam finals) in mind. They’ll become even more important when they play each other over the next year or two, which presumably is only going to be in finals or semis.
- Numbers wise, Fed is the GOAT. Rafa has 6 slams in 5 years, and presumably would only have 12 by the time he reaches Fed’s age. However, he didn’t even have a chance to defend Wimbley this year, and is only just now reaching the pinnacle of his hard and grass court domination. Yes, there’s still Muzz, but Rafa’s slam chances only go up over the next couple years as Fed gets older.
All in all, we should probably just leave this argument until Fed retires. He’s only going to help his chances if he goes out and wins another slam or two, and he’s only going to hurt them if he continues to lose to Rafa, and Rafa starts nabbing more and more non-RG slams. Therefore, we should probably stop arguing about this, and all my above points seem semi-useless, but meh. Those are my thoughts on the issue, feel free to respond, let me know what you think.
Here’s hoping for a Rafa/Fed USO final.