Reem With A View

"Names and attributes must be accommodated to the essence of things, and not the essence to the names, since things come first and names afterwards." – Galileo

Is NOVAK DJOKOVIC the GOAT of Tennis?

NOTE: We are only discussing the greatest MALE tennis player of all time.
The FEMALE GOAT is between Marina, Steffi Graf, Serena. And Steffi wins it as she is the only female player in open era to win a calendar grand slam. And yes before anyone points out, she also won the Olympic gold, but thats not a prize money event, so am not taking that into criteria for GOAT, which am basing on pure professional prize money events.

djokovic

Novak Djokovic wins the 2016 FRENCH OPEN and with it completes non-calendar GRAND SLAM or the Djoker Slam. Is Djokovic GOAT?

Now, in my view, the most basic qualification criteria for GOAT or GREATEST TENNIS PLAYER OF ALL TIME is to win a Major or slam in all 3 surfaces. That automatically (and unfortunately) rules Rod Laver out as he won only on grass and clay. It is arguable if he would have won had majors been played on hard courts in 60s.
Only the following 6 players have won Tennis Majors in ALL 3 surfaces (clay, grass, hard court) in the Open Era:
The great Jimmy Connors! Yes, while he didn’t win French Open, not many know that his US Open triumph in 1976 came when it was played on clay.  YES.. for 3 years, the US Open was played on clay as the hardcourt stadium was being renovated. And he beat BORG in that clay court US Open final. Borg as we know was a clay master!
Connors obviously also won US Open on hard court and Wimbledon on grass.
The sportive Wilander we know didnt win Wimbledon, but he did manage to win the Australian Open in 1983 and 84 when it was played on grass. He has also won the French Open on clay and the US Open on hard court.

And then come the modern greats – Agassi, Federer, Nadal and now Djokovic – have all completed  a “career grand slam” (all 4 majors played in 3 surfaces).
Out of these 6 players, Novak Djokovic is the ONLY PLAYER to win 4 CONSECUTIVE MAJORS in a row across 3 surfaces. This makes Djokovic a massive GOAT contender.

But despite that, Nadal remains, the only male player to win 3 consecutive MAJORS IN 3 DIFFERENT SURFACES within a single calendar year when he won the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open in 2010. No player has ever done this to date.

And Federer of course has 17 majors. But his poor losing record to Nadal in head to head really puts a dampener on his GOAT claims.

BUT if Djokovic wins WIMBLEDON, then he will equal Nadal’s under-rated record above and also become the first to win 5 majors in a row. UNPRECEDENTED.

And if he wins the US Open, then he wins the “calendar grand slam”, the ONLY male player to do it across 3 surfaces. And also winning 6 majors in a row in that process.

Djokovic has ticked almost all other boxes: better head to head against the top 4 best players of his era: Federer, Nadal, Murray and Wawrinka and barring one, ALL his Major wins he faced another major winner as opponent. Plus, he has won more ATP Masters Series titles than anyone else.. and  is also the first to cross $100MN prize money.

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In short:
Just Wimbledon and US Open wins this year stand between Djokovic and the crown of UNDISPUTED Greatest Of All Time (GOAT).

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The Best Decade of All Time in Tennis

In no generation or decade in the Open Era have the top active players won 91% of all grand slams!
Never before. Not the Agassi, Sampras, Courier period nor the Connors, Borg and Mcenroe period
Not even the Wilander, Lendl, Edberg and Becker period.
Have taken a top player to mean anyone who has AT LEAST won 4 grand slams in the Open Era in their entire career!
Agassi, Courier and Sampras together won LESS THAN 60% of all grand slams.
Borg, Connors, Vilas and McEnroe were better and they CUMULATIVELY won 75% of all slams.
The immediate next group of Connors, McEnroe, Wilander won just 83% of their slams.
Even the highly competitive 80s era of Wilander, Lendl, Becker and Edberg together won just 82% of all slams.
But FEDERER, NADAL AND DJOKOVIC HAVE WON 32 OF THE LAST 35 SLAMS. 
Never before have the top tennis players DOMINATED a decade like this.
This is a phenomenal 91% win rate in all grand slams.
And the best part? the TIME PERIOD of this era is now 9 YEARS!!!  so its not like a brief 2-3 year bright period. Its freaking 9 YEARS!!!
(Click on the image to see full size).
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India become World Champions in Cricket after 28 years!

The shot that will remain etched in the memory of the 70 Million Live TV viewers in India on 2nd April 2011.

Winning shot by Dhoni in 2011 World Cup Final

Dhoni hits a 6 to win the ICC 2011 Cricket World Cup for India

Every Indian cricket fan would want to watch the India-Australia, India-Pak & the Final vs SL again and again! I searched around and found that the  official highlights are already available! Check it out at Flipkart: ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 – Official Highlights.

Full credit not just to the current Indian team led by M.S.Dhoni but to Ganguly, Dravid, Laxman and Kumble who laid the winning foundation for the current team by consistently winning test matches  home and away.

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India is now the No. 1 ranked team in Test Cricket

UPDATE: Dec6 2009: INDIA is now the NO. 1 Ranked Test Team basis official ICC rankings! This phenomenal achiement came when India defeated Sri Lanka in the recently concluded Test in Mumbai.

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India’s 100 Test Match Wins – Growing Win%

Have a look at India’s decade wise Test match performances, and we can easily understand that India’s win rate is increasing every 10 year years. More importantly, the more tests we play, the more we win. This chart also probably highlights how Indian team selection over the last few years has improved. The more merit involved in team selection, the better the results.

India's 100 Test Match Cricket Wins

More than anything else, this coincides with the entry and rise of the Big 5 batting superstars:  Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Virender Sehwag and  Saurav Ganguly. India’s bowling strengths were Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan. The youngsters, Ishant Sharma and Sreesanth will hopefully carry the pace bowling torch forward.

In terms of captaincy, India’s winning streak started with Azharuddin in a series of Home Wins… and Saurav Ganguly started India’s Overseas Wins.  Dravid/Kumble maintained the win rate for their brief stints. The new captain, M.S. Dhoni has taken over from the previous generation and consolidated the win percentage.

Decade No. of Tests No. of Victories Win % Cume Tests Cume Victories Cume Win %
1931-1940 7 0 0 7 0 0%
1941-1950 13 0 0 20 0 0%
1951-1960 50 6 12% 70 6 9%
1961-1970 46 9 20% 116 15 13%
1971-1980 67 18 27% 183 33 18%
1981-1990 86 11 13% 269 44 16%
1991-2000 69 19 28% 338 63 19%
2001-2010 96 37 39% 434 100 23%

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Cricket’s Top 10 Test Batsmen and Bowlers of all time

The recent ICC rankings of the “greatest” cricketers of all time was so atrocious that it defies logic. The less said and written about it the better. Better rankings have been provided by Wisden and most recently by even Shane Warne.

There is even an acclaimed book written about the  100 greatest cricketers of all time by Geoff Armstrong. According to the summary in Flipkart,  the book

“presents a list of the best players, ranked from one to 100. It is complemented with a broad range of colour and black-and-white photographs, as well as individual statistics for each selected player. “

To know more, check out the book: The 100 Greatest Cricketers Of All Time by Geoff Armstrong

Here is my list of the Top 10 Batsmen and Bowlers of all time. But please note that this is not a “ranking” as different statistical models have different rankings…with the exception of the legendary Sir Don Bradman who is unanimously rated as the best. So this list shows the greatest “10” in any order you like and is not a “rank”.

Batsmen:

1. Don Bradman

2. Sachin Tendulkar

3. Barry Richards

4. Viv Richards

5. Garry Sobers

6. Brian Lara

7. Jack Hobbs

8. Sunil Gavasakar

9. Greg Chappell

10. Graeme Pollock

Bowlers:

1. Dennis Lillee

2. Wasim Akram

3. Imran Khan

4. Shane Warne

5. Sydney Barnes

6. Fred Trueman

7. Richard Hadlee

8. Waqar Younis

9. Malcolm Marshall

10. Courtney Walsh/Curtly Ambrose

Top All rounders lists would always include any of the following:

1. Keith Miller

2. Ian Botham

3. Imran Khan

4. Kapil Dev

5. Garry Sobers

6. Wally Hammond

7. Richard Hadlee

8. Shaun Pollock

9. Andrew Flintoff

10. Jacques Kallis

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