Viewing a single comment thread. View all comments

taco_helmet t1_j95g1e1 wrote

He won his first major at 22 by 12 strokes. He won a US open by 15 stokes; nobody could break par and he was 12 under. You face 40-60 of the best golfers in the world and win by 15? That record still hasn't been broken. Tiger, MJ and Gretzky stand alone in terms of athletes in my lifetime.


mapoftasmania t1_j96bol3 wrote

Tom Brady and Lionel Messi checking in here.

And Mikaela Schiffrin just GOATed in skiing. She is the best ever, male or female, and still probably has a few years left.


ThatRandomIdiot t1_j97hege wrote

And if you are going to include Baseball, you gotta say Mariano Rivera. Best closer there will ever be. First ever unanimous Hall of Fame.


dumb_commenter t1_j95l3ra wrote

One can’t say that they’ve “stood alone” - but Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic have displayed an almost unparalleled dominance over a sport for 20 years.


C3PD2 t1_j95w14c wrote

If we're talking tennis dominance then it has to be about Nadal and the French Open. I'm not sure there is any other record like it in sporting history.

Nadal has won the title at Roland Garros 14 times in 17 years and his current match record stands at 112-3. He is a legitimate monster - it doesn't even make sense.


dumb_commenter t1_j964p05 wrote

Agreed - but I think it’s hard to limit sports dominance to a single open.


C3PD2 t1_j96cxse wrote

That was just one example of Nadal's sheer dominance on clay.

His overall record is 464-43. He won 13 consecutive clay court titles in the early 2000's and played in 18 back-to-back clay court finals. He reached the final at the French Open without dropping a single set 6 separate times.

He went 6-0 against Federer at the French Open and 14-2 on clay surface overall. Against Djokovic he's 8-2 at the French Open and 20-8 overall on clay.

Nadal isn't called the "King of Clay" for no reason!


dumb_commenter t1_j96pow6 wrote

Agree with all that. But again if we’re talking dominance over a sport hard to limit to a single surface that represents a quarter of the season.


C3PD2 t1_j971vww wrote

Fair enough. For me, 14 titles in 17 years and 112-3 is the definition of dominance. The French Open is also a major - it's most certainly not just "a single open" - all the best players are playing each year.

To put it in golf terms; if Justin Thomas won the next 12 straight PGA Championships he would still have a lower win rate than Nadal at the French Open. To be that much better than all your peers - when your peers are both the other best players in history - is absurd.


dumb_commenter t1_j9722ag wrote

No objection here. He’s still one of the 3 I listed. Who are all only close to matched by one another.


CyborgBee t1_j9855ri wrote

The comparison to Thomas doesn't work at all. In tennis, a moderately better player wins 90%+ of the time. In golf, a better player outplaces a similarly worse player like 60% of the time. There is so much more randomness in golf


GoX14 t1_j983x56 wrote

>Tiger, MJ and Gretzky stand alone in terms of athletes in my lifetime

If we can only put men's faces on this hypothetical Mt. Rushmore, I would swap Gretzky with Messi and I think the tides are shifting increasingly towards LeBron in place of MJ, depending on age. But it's also hard to choose from...

  • Michael Phelps
  • Serena Williams
  • Mia Hamm
  • Simone Biles
  • Tom Brady
  • Tony Hawk
  • Federer
  • Usain Bolt

One of the most extraordinary things about Tiger to me is that he created the same level of excitement (or more) around golf of all things. There won't be another one.