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McEnroeisanartist
11-29-2006, 10:00 AM
Even though, I am only 22, I recognize that up until about the late-1980s, the Australian Open and French Open were considered nowhere near the prestige of Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. Consequently, great players in the last 20 years who have been successful at the Australian Open (notably Wilander, Edberg, Agassi, and Lendl) and French Open (notably Wilander and Lendl) have had their grand slam totals inflated.

As talented and successful as John McEnroe was, it is suprising to many that he won "only" 7 grand slams, however, when one analyzes his championships
(3 wimbledons and 4 U.S. Opens) he is tied for 2nd place (with, of course, Connors and Federer) for most presigious grand slams in the Open Era.

Some tennis historians have suggested that up until the late-1980s, winning other non-grand slam tournaments (notably the now defunct Dallas WCT tournament played in Spring) was as difficult and impressive as winning a grand slam.

Consequently, for McEnroe, who won the Dallas WCT tournament 5 times (including final victories over Borg, Connors, and Lendl), his "true" grand slam total should actually be 12. What do you think?

Rabbit
11-29-2006, 10:01 AM
Nope. IMO, it is more impressive that Borg won 11 which consisted solely of the French and Wimbleond AND that he won the French and Wimbledon back to back more than once; a feat which has never been duplicated in Open tennis.

And, I truly don't think the WCT could ever be referenced as a venue equal to a Grand Slam. Those tournaments were usually 8 player events I think.

drakulie
11-29-2006, 10:03 AM
When you take into acount what he did in singles and doubles, I agree his accomplishments as a all-around tennis player are far more impressive than many other tennis players such as Agassi, Sampras, Lendl, Ederg, Wilander, etc.

Zuras
11-29-2006, 10:13 AM
The FO was less(it still is less), but not by that much. The AO was always the most neglected and least competitive compared to the other three by a significant margin. It still is today, though the differences are fairly small now between the slams.

Moose Malloy
11-29-2006, 10:22 AM
And, I truly don't think the WCT could ever be referenced as a venue equal to a Grand Slam. Those tournaments were usually 8 player events I think.

McEnroeisanartist is right, the WCT Dallas event was bigger in significance in the 70s than either Australia or Roland Garros. It offered considerably more prize money & attracted considerably better players, even though it was only an 8 player field(best of 5 throughout though)
Remember, Laver-Rosewall in the '72 WCT Final is probably the most significant match in television history(it made tennis a viable option for television)

When Newcombe won the '74 WCT Finals he called it the biggest win of his career(& he had won many majors at the time)

That's what's tricky about this GOAT stuff, standards of greatness are different in other eras.

Borg & Evert, arguably the 2 greatest claycourters ever, both skipped the French once during their prime years in order to play WTT.
Clearly the French did not has as much significance as it does today(which isn't to say Borg's achievement isn't amazing, just on a purely tennis level, but even he would say that his Wimbledons were a far bigger deal at the time than his FOs. He never fell to the ground after winning a French. Also he was in tears after losing to Newcombe in the '74 WCT Finals, a rare show of emotion. I think we can at least agree that the WCT Dallas event was bigger then than any 'masters series' of today.

And that Dallas WCT event(on carpet) was held only a few weeks before the French in those days, which shows how hard it was to peak on different surfaces those day. Very poorly organized sport in those days, players' needs weren't valued.

Jack the Hack
11-29-2006, 10:50 AM
I think the prestige of the French Open rose earlier than the Australian, which is one of the reasons why McEnroe was so distraught about his '84 loss to Lendl. After all, he did play the French 8 times between '77 and '88.

The Australian didn't get going on the same level as the other Slams until '88, when they moved it to the new stadium (on Rebound Ace instead of grass), went to a 128 member draw (instead of 64), and transistioned into the January timeslot (again). However, given that it was on grass until '88 and McEnroe was tutored by an Australian coach in his youth, you would think that he would have played there more often. The fact is that he did play in '83 (where he lost to Wilander in the semifinals) and '85 (where he lost 6-0 in the 5th set to Zivojinovic in the quarterfinals).

I do agree with drakulie that McEnroe's 70+ singles titles and 70+ doubles titles does appear to set him apart as an overall player. However, their are other similar "differential" type stats that others would use to argue that certian players are better than Mac. For instance:

Agassi, Connors, and Wilander are the only three players in history to win a Grand Slam singles title on hard, clay, and grass courts. (Wilander's '83 and '84 Australian wins were on grass, and he also won a Wimbledon doubles title in '86).

However, as Rabbit mentioned, none of this matters in a GOAT type discussion because of the accomplishments of Borg during the same era.

Bjorn99
11-29-2006, 11:18 AM
Mcenroe didn't play any good players. Borg was a mental case by the time Mac showed up. Or cyborg. And the rest of the field stunk. Vitas was partied out, and everyone else was stuck in a seventies matrix of bad technique and equpiment.

Laver was the GOAT until Federer.

Jack the Hack
11-29-2006, 11:32 AM
Mcenroe didn't play any good players. Borg was a mental case by the time Mac showed up. Or cyborg. And the rest of the field stunk. Vitas was partied out, and everyone else was stuck in a seventies matrix of bad technique and equpiment.

Laver was the GOAT until Federer.

Interesting discount of three decades of tennis. You're basically saying that the entire Open era was a waste. Where does Sampras rate in that timeline between Laver and Federer?

LttlElvis
11-29-2006, 11:36 AM
If you were a big tennis fanatic in the the 70s to early 80s, the Dallas WCT finals was an impressive tournament for the time. Personally, I would rank it higher than the Australian Open, just a notch below the French Open and Masters Finals in MSG, and lower than Wimbledon and USOpen.

You had the top players gunning it out in a round robin format.

To me, McEnroe winning it multiple times was close to as impressive as winning a slam event. Like Moose Malloy said, the timing of this tourney was terrible, but it was supposed to be somewhat of a maverick tour competing against the regular tour.

I remember seeing McEnroe, just dominate everyone in Dallas in '84. It was like he was toying with them. I still can't believe he lost the French Open that year.

If anyone ever saw McEnroe play live in '84, you would consider him the G.O.A.T. I have seen Federer, Sampras, Agassi play live, and I am still most impressed by McEnroe. Never saw Laver play in person.

laurie
11-29-2006, 11:52 AM
Interesting discussion. I heard that in decades past the Italian Open was considered as important as the French Open.

Can anyone shed any light on this?

chicagohpch
11-29-2006, 11:59 AM
McEnroe has no French Open titles, NOT because he did not go. He went 8 times and did not win it. It shows his game is crippled. Borg was more impressive in winning both French and Wimbleton. If Sampras had won a French Open, he would, WITHOUT DOUBT, have been the best player ever. McEnroe, in the history of tennis, will just be a clown because of his poor court behaviors. To put things in perspective, if he were not an American, he would have been hated by most tennis fans. He happened to be in an era Americans were enjoying a much better image in the world.

Grimjack
11-29-2006, 12:08 PM
McEnroe has no French Open titles, NOT because he did not go. He went 8 times and did not win it. It shows his game is crippled. Borg was more impressive in winning both French and Wimbleton. If Sampras had won a French Open, he would, WITHOUT DOUBT, have been the best player ever. McEnroe, in the history of tennis, will just be a clown because of his poor court behaviors. To put things in perspective, if he were not an American, he would have been hated by most tennis fans. He happened to be in an era Americans were enjoying a much better image in the world.

You hate us because of our freedom.

AAAA
11-29-2006, 12:26 PM
Interesting discussion. I heard that in decades past the Italian Open was considered as important as the French Open.

Can anyone shed any light on this?

I guess Sampras does have a French Open title, of sorts, after all.

Newsflash : History has been interpreted, Sampras has 15 slams.

laurie
11-29-2006, 12:30 PM
What an extremely funny guy. Why don't you do an audition for Broadway?

Anyway, I was actually asking a serious question. I read in a book last year that The Italian Open was considered the premier clay tournament for some time in decades past. If anyone has any info on that I would like to hear.

Not schoolkids like AAAA.

Watcher
11-29-2006, 12:39 PM
he is tied for 2nd place (with, of course, Connors and Federer) for most presigious grand slams in the Open Era.



Excuse me? Pete Sampras has seven Wimbledons and five US Opens.

AAAA
11-29-2006, 12:43 PM
What you really want to know is, was the Italian open the premier clay court event in 1996 when Pete won it. You want someone to say it was the premier event in 1996 so Pete can have his French Open title (of sorts).

laurie
11-29-2006, 12:47 PM
Ok, why don't you guy and do your school homework. I see your mum allowed you to look at the Tennis warehouse site in your leisure time. But since you are not contributing anything but rubbish, I think you can go away and do your homework now.

Or, have you been drinking too much Tetleys Bitter recently? Do you have that alcoholic bevergae in the States? It tastes terrible but some people like it.

Besides this comic, does anyone else have any info?

Condoleezza
11-29-2006, 12:52 PM
Nope. IMO, it is more impressive that Borg won 11 which consisted solely of the French and Wimbleond AND that he won the French and Wimbledon back to back more than once; a feat which has never been duplicated in Open tennis. ....

Nonsense.
Graf did it in 1988, 1993, 1995, 1996.
Last time I checked that was in the open era.

Condi

LttlElvis
11-29-2006, 12:54 PM
Laurie,

In the 70s, the Italian Open was a prestigious tournament. Probably just as big as the French Open at one time. It just didn't have a title as one of the Grand Slam tournaments, and the importance of the tournament has seemed to decline every year.

Moose Malloy
11-29-2006, 01:01 PM
In the tennis hall of fame website, for older players, they list the Italian Open results for the players as well as their results at the majors.

Here are some comments from Mac that may help explain how different the tour was in his time:

"You know, we used to have a big tournament that was played in Dallas. It was maybe the biggest event other than the French and Wimbledon and the US Open and the Masters, and this was even considered as big or bigger than the Australian Open at the time. That went into the early part of May and that was indoors. So you only have like a turnaround of like three weeks. All these other tournaments were either after the US Open or just before the French. Like Rome used to be the week before the French. Some people probably weren't even born that are, you know -- a few people are here that know that the French Open has done a great job of becoming a bigger and bigger event. But when I first started playing, it was, you know -- the biggest priorities were Wimbledon and the US Open for me."

Q. In retrospect, did you give yourself the best chances to win in Paris?

JOHN McENROE: In retrospect, it would have been approached, you know, and prepared more for the clay courts, you know, if I was completely fanatical about tennis or was able to spend ten straight weeks in Europe, say. Sometimes you don't realize you're maybe more spoiled or you have to make even more sacrifices.

A couple times -- I was five points away from winning the French, so it's not as if I wasn't there. You know, the tournament was mine, I had it. The next year I lost in the semis, but I felt like, you know, I got unlucky there, too. I felt like I could have won that even. I didn't play in -- you know, I'm not going to bore you with details, but, yeah, the short answer is yes, I would have liked to have prepared more.

Q. You were serious for the French how many times, would you say?

JOHN McENROE: I mean, I thought I was serious when I was first starting, but I'd say five or six maybe. But after having kids, it just seemed like it was really tough to stay away for a really long time. And then it was just difficult to, you know, figure out what to do exactly. That's what I had to deal with.

It's always easy to look back and go, "Yeah, yeah, I wish I had done that." It would have made sense, obviously. Times when, you know, I chose to go home to be with my family instead of, you know, playing some matches which I needed to play, I would have been much sharper.

http://www.asapsports.com/tennis/2006italia/051406JM.html

Q. We're on the eve of the Australian Open. The four slams are the big marquee events. Could you comment what do you like the very best about each of the slams and what do you like the very least?

JOHN McENROE: Well, I think the scheduling of the Australian Open is really weak ultimately. Some people don't mind it. I think training over Christmas and New Year's is something -- I mean, I just think this is another thing that is another important issue that's sort of been overlooked for many years. I don't know why.

Q. Best side of the Australian?

JOHN McENROE: The best part about it is the fact that they were the first people to put the roof over the top, to allow themselves to have the luxury of having matches played now on two courts. I think that's a great advantage to have. I think that they've done a great job improving their event. Until the mid '80s, I was offered guarantees to go to Australia. It wasn't in the same league.

http://www.asapsports.com/tennis/2006teles/011206JM.html

lol at the Australian giving out appearance fees to players. Don't forget, until a few years ago, the official title was the "Ford Australian Open." Doesn't sound that impressive, huh? And it used to be called the "Marlboro Australian Open"-not kidding.

Had Borg, Connors, Mac concentrated on winning as many majors as possible(they skipped quite a few during their prime) they'd all have a lot more. Prize money was a big deal in the 70s/80s to top players because it virtually exploded over night. You'd be stupid not to chase bucks, when that was what got the most attention, rather than winning the French in front of an empty stadium, which offered less prize money than some regular tour events. If suddenly the French or Australian cut their prize money in half, I wonder what those events would look like in ten years. The players would gradually lose interest, tv networks would cut coverage, etc.

AAAA
11-29-2006, 01:07 PM
Ok, why don't you guy and do your school homework. I see your mum allowed you to look at the Tennis warehouse site in your leisure time. But since you are not contributing anything but rubbish, I think you can go away and do your homework now.

Or, have you been drinking too much Tetleys Bitter recently? Do you have that alcoholic bevergae in the States? It tastes terrible but some people like it.

Besides this comic, does anyone else have any info?

Accusations for being juvenile.

Jack the Hack
11-29-2006, 01:11 PM
Great post Moose!

Really good info... and I think you are absolutely right about the prize money aspect here:

Prize money was a big deal in the 70s/80s to top players because it virtually exploded over night. You'd be stupid not to chase bucks, when that was what got the most attention, rather than winning the French in front of an empty stadium, which offered less prize money than some regular tour events. If suddenly the French or Australian cut their prize money in half, I wonder what those events would look like in ten years. The players would gradually lose interest, tv networks would cut coverage, etc.

laurie
11-29-2006, 01:12 PM
Thanks guys.

Moose, that's an interesting point about the Australian Open. They have worked hard to get the tournament to the level it currently is.

I would love to see the tournament played in february but maybe Australians out there might inform us about weather issues? It just seems so soon after christmas to play such a big event.

On another issue, I still use terms like Italian Open, Canadian Open, German Open. I refuse to use those horrific terms like Rome Masters or Rogers Cup etc.

laurie
11-29-2006, 01:15 PM
AAAA, you always try to lower the tone of the debate. It's just what you want.

As you can see, I'm having a nice discussion with Moose etc. Obviously to join that debate is too much of an intellectual challenge for you, so it's better if you don't engage in the debate.

Adios.

AAAA
11-29-2006, 01:23 PM
'Was Boris Becker the same force in the 90s as he was in the 80s?'

Discuss.

laurie
11-29-2006, 01:25 PM
Ahhh....What a big baby.

Adios

AAAA
11-29-2006, 01:27 PM
you've said Adios twice now and it was you that mentioned intellectual challenge.

laurie
11-29-2006, 01:37 PM
Looks like you have too much time on your hands. You're willing to write messages all night if you have to. Boy, you are such a child aren't you.

You're spoiling it for the others. The discussion is actually quite an intersting one.

So, what has your contribution been to this discussion exactly, other than acting like a little child.

By the way, are you the one who said you give Tennis lessons? Are you capable of giving tennis lessons? Your knowledge seems dodgy to say the least. Those people who actually pay you for lessons must be mugs.

Unless you are making it up of course, I wouldn't put that past you. After all, you have a dumb message board name so you could be anyone and anything.

Oh well... here we go, another stupid reply coming my way in less than 5 minutes time.

PBODY99
11-29-2006, 01:37 PM
Don't forget the one tittle that made MAC French Open Mixed with Mary C. None of the other GOAT wannabes mentioned has a Mixed Doubles tittle !!!!!!!!!:)

AAAA
11-29-2006, 01:41 PM
Looks like you have too much time on your hands. You're willing to write messages all night if you have to. Boy, you are such a child aren't you.

You're spoiling it for the others. The discussion is actually quite an intersting one.

So, what has your contribution been to this discussion exactly, other than acting like a little child.

By the way, are you the one who said you give Tennis lessons? Are you capable of giving tennis lessons? Your knowledge seems dodgy to say the least. Those people who actually pay you for lessons must be mugs.

Unless you are making it up of course, I wouldn't put that past you. After all, you have a dumb message board name so you could be anyone and anything.

Oh well... here we go, another stupid reply coming my way in less than 5 minutes time.

Personal attacks and false accusations.

Moose Malloy
11-29-2006, 01:59 PM
Here are some more French Open stats, from a post by Dedans Penthouse in Feb:

Things got so bad financially, that the French Open was actually called The Vanaos Open in 1972 as the French Tennis Federation took 350,000 francs from a cosmetics company for the right to rename it The Vanaos Open. Fortunately, they only sold their soul to the corporate devil for one year and the tourney regained its rightful name.

The attendence for the entire 2 weeks in 1972 totalled only 51,101 which over 14 days translates to a shockingly few 3,650 people on average per day

The site itself in the early 1970's was only 3.25 hectares (8 acres) and contained...get this: FIVE COURTS. (today it is 8 acres containing 20 courts).

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=65514

Rabbit
11-29-2006, 02:04 PM
The WCT tour was a big diversion from the ITF. The two entities went to war over who would play where. The ITF was against paying the players after everything went Open in 1968. Lamar Hunt started the WCT as an alternative and to promote professional tennis. I think his first round prize money was $5000 which was about half of what a player would make if they won a Grand Slam.

But, I don't know that a WCT 8-man event was as tough to win as a Grand Slam. For sure it was more interesting and had the top players, except for Ashe who opposed the whole thing (why?). It is for that reason that I don't give as much creedence to the WCT as a Grand Slam although I really used to love the WCT events.

jukka1970
11-29-2006, 02:15 PM
If you were a big tennis fanatic in the the 70s to early 80s, the Dallas WCT finals was an impressive tournament for the time. Personally, I would rank it higher than the Australian Open, just a notch below the French Open and Masters Finals in MSG, and lower than Wimbledon and USOpen.

You had the top players gunning it out in a round robin format.

To me, McEnroe winning it multiple times was close to as impressive as winning a slam event. Like Moose Malloy said, the timing of this tourney was terrible, but it was supposed to be somewhat of a maverick tour competing against the regular tour.

I remember seeing McEnroe, just dominate everyone in Dallas in '84. It was like he was toying with them. I still can't believe he lost the French Open that year.

If anyone ever saw McEnroe play live in '84, you would consider him the G.O.A.T. I have seen Federer, Sampras, Agassi play live, and I am still most impressed by McEnroe. Never saw Laver play in person.

Am glad you posted the format, it just made my decision ten times easier. Since it was a round robin format, then no, sorry but it doesn't go above the slams. Was already leaning this way anyways, because people had the choice to play any of the slams if they chose to. Round Robin is a horrible way to decide who moves on. One of the major problems being is say he needs to play 4 matches, and he's lost his first 3, which means no matter what happens in the 4th match he is not moving on. His opponent in the 4th match is someone who needs a win to move on. What guarantee is there that the person who lost the first 3 would give it his all?

jukka1970
11-29-2006, 02:20 PM
Don't forget the one tittle that made MAC French Open Mixed with Mary C. None of the other GOAT wannabes mentioned has a Mixed Doubles tittle !!!!!!!!!:)

Your point being? For me this is one time in tennis where playing doubles or playing mixed doubles should not be a factor. I don't think it should have any weight on if you are the GOAT. This is one time, where the argument that a partner must be playing well really has some weight to it. It's one thing when being inducted into the hall of fame, because lets face it, the person is one of the players of the doubles team. But to be called the GOAT, one needs to compare that persons abilities against another, which means it needs to be compared as a singles player where the abilities are just of the people being compared.

Jukka

laurie
11-29-2006, 02:23 PM
Am glad you posted the format, it just made my decision ten times easier. Since it was a round robin format, then no, sorry but it doesn't go above the slams. Was already leaning this way anyways, because people had the choice to play any of the slams if they chose to. Round Robin is a horrible way to decide who moves on. One of the major problems being is say he needs to play 4 matches, and he's lost his first 3, which means no matter what happens in the 4th match he is not moving on. His opponent in the 4th match is someone who needs a win to move on. What guarantee is there that the person who lost the first 3 would give it his all?

That's a scenario that happens often in football. Towards the end of a season, one team may need to win to stay in the league, the opponents may not need the points so much and maybe not try as hard, the managers of other teams in a similar position in the table usually make statements that they hope all teams will try their hardest so issues like relegation can be resolved without controversy.

Over here in England, all teams have to play at the same time on the last day of the season to avoid any possible collusion.

So that could well be an issue when they experiment with the round robin format next year in certain events. It will be interesting to see how it works out.

Moose Malloy
11-29-2006, 03:28 PM
Am glad you posted the format, it just made my decision ten times easier. Since it was a round robin format, then no, sorry but it doesn't go above the slams. Was already leaning this way anyways, because people had the choice to play any of the slams if they chose to.

It wasn't a round-robin format. The Dallas WCT event(which offered far more prize money to the winner & had far better attendance-bigger stadium as well- compared to the French Open in the 70s) was a single elimation 8 man event, best of 5 all rounds. Players had the choice to play slams, for sure, but why would they play slams that had no prize money, news coverage, or fans in the stands when WCT offered all that? Just so fans 30 years later could compare them to Federer or Sampras?

Like I've said many times before, you can't use the standards of greatness today compared to back then. Johan Kriek beating Brian Teacher in 2 AO finals doesn't seem quite as significant as Borg/Connors/Mac playing each other in Dallas Finals at the same time.

Plus you couldn't even watch the French Open on tv in the US in the 70s. You could watch Dallas WCT though. If it wasn't for the '72 Laver-Rosewall Dallas final you probably wouldn't be watching any tennis on tv today. It was that important an event to the growth of the sport.

Moose Malloy
11-29-2006, 03:45 PM
For sure it was more interesting and had the top players, except for Ashe who opposed the whole thing (why?).

1975 Dallas WCT F - Ashe d. Borg 36 64 64 60

Rhino
11-29-2006, 03:47 PM
Plus you couldn't even watch the French Open on tv in the US in the 70s. You could watch Dallas WCT though. If it wasn't for the '72 Laver-Rosewall Dallas final you probably wouldn't be watching any tennis on tv today. It was that important an event to the growth of the sport.

I'm not being funny but whether or not an event is televised in the US has no bearing on how big it is worldwide. I bet at the time you could watch the French Open on TV in Europe (where there are a lot more people) but could you watch the Dallas event? If you throw a lot of prize money at an event then of course the players will go (remember the Grand Slam Cup in Germany, all the big names played there too) but to compare an 8 man event it to a 128 man event and try to say that it is as important is a bit of a joke.
McEnroe had chances to win the French and the Aus, he just couldn't do it.

Moose Malloy
11-29-2006, 04:08 PM
I'm not being funny but whether or not an event is televised in the US has no bearing on how big it is worldwide. I bet at the time you could watch the French Open on TV in Europe (where there are a lot more people) but could you watch the Dallas event?

The Dallas event was televised worldwide. Read some of my other posts in this thread. Like the comments by Newcombe about his Dallas win. And the atrocious attendance at the French in the 70s.
I'm betting that Dallas was televised in more countries than Roland Garros in the 70s. That seems very likely considering the huge difference in prize money. Money dictates everything-fans, tv deals, revenue etc. When players are playing in empty stadiums for peanuts in one event & players are playing in packed 20,000 seat stadiums in another for much bigger purses, it stands to reason that tv networks worldwide would be paying more for the rights to televise that latter.

and BTW the French was 64 draw for a few years in the 70s(that's how tough times were for that event)
and the australian was between 56-64 draw until 1988. Kinda puts into perspective why so many consider them lesser slams.

LttlElvis
11-29-2006, 04:21 PM
It wasn't a round-robin format. The Dallas WCT event(which offered far more prize money to the winner & had far better attendance-bigger stadium as well- compared to the French Open in the 70s) was a single elimation 8 man event, best of 5 all rounds. Players had the choice to play slams, for sure, but why would they play slams that had no prize money, news coverage, or fans in the stands when WCT offered all that? Just so fans 30 years later could compare them to Federer or Sampras?

Like I've said many times before, you can't use the standards of greatness today compared to back then. Johan Kriek beating Brian Teacher in 2 AO finals doesn't seem quite as significant as Borg/Connors/Mac playing each other in Dallas Finals at the same time.

Plus you couldn't even watch the French Open on tv in the US in the 70s. You could watch Dallas WCT though. If it wasn't for the '72 Laver-Rosewall Dallas final you probably wouldn't be watching any tennis on tv today. It was that important an event to the growth of the sport.


Thanks for clearing that up Moose. The WCT Dallas Finals was a single elimination tournament. I had forgotten that. I just remembered there was a handful of players (8) and assumed wrongly that it was round robin.

ESPN would have a feature match every night of the week on prime time.

Moose Malloy
11-29-2006, 04:29 PM
Australian Open finals:
1972 Rosewall Anderson
1973 Newcombe Parun
1974 Connors Dent
1975 Newcombe Connors
1976 Edmondson Newcombe
1977 Tanner Vilas
1977 Gerulaitis Lloyd
1978 Vilas Marks
1979 Vilas Sadri
1980 Teacher Warwick
1981 Kriek Denton
1982 Kriek Denton

1971 Dallas WCT F - Rosewall d. Laver 64 16 76 76
1972 Dallas WCT F - Rosewall d. Laver 46 60 63 67 76
1973 Dallas WCT F - Smith d. Ashe 63 63 46 64
1974 Dallas WCT F - Newcombe d. Borg 46 63 63 62
1975 Dallas WCT F - Ashe d. Borg 36 64 64 60
1976 Dallas WCT F - Borg d. Vilas 16 61 75 61
1977 Dallas WCT F - Connors d. Stockton 67 61 64 63
1978 Dallas WCT F - Gerulaitis d. Dibbs 63 62 61
1979 Dallas WCT F - McEnroe d. Borg 75 46 62 76
1980 Dallas WCT F - Connors d. McEnroe 26 76 61 62

urban
11-30-2006, 01:19 AM
The importance of tournaments has shifted over the years.In the first years of open era, the traditional champs besides the GS tournaments were the Italian, German (both clay)and South African champs (hard). I am going here along the lines of the World of Tennis annuals edited by John Barrett and Lance Tingay. Biggest tournaments beside were the Pacific Southwest at LA (hard), the Philadephia indoor, the Wembley indoor and some events played at MSG, NY. In the early 70s the promoter-struggle between the WCT group (Lamar Hunt) and the ITF (Philippe Chartier) escaleted, resulting in banns and boycotts of the European and Australian majors, especially French, Melbourne, but also partly Wimbledon. 1971 the WCT played a 20 tournaments series over the year (including Australian and Italian Open), with a playoff at Dallas. Later since 73 the WCT reduced its schedule to the first 5 months of each year. To opposite this move, the ITF had established a Grand Prix series, with a Masters as a round robin playoff. This struggles - the WTT factor came also into play -generated a constant shifting of impotance of certain tournaments, and a unclear situation in ranking.Between 1970 and 73 there was no clear- cut Nr.1, and even Connors in 1974 profitated, in avoiding the difficult WCT series, and coming always fresh to the majors. Australia was hurt by the change of date to Christmas time, which conficted also with the US indoor circuit at begin January.

AndrewD
11-30-2006, 02:35 AM
Even though, I am only 22, I recognize that up until about the late-1980s, the Australian Open and French Open were considered nowhere near the prestige of Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. Consequently, great players in the last 20 years who have been successful at the Australian Open (notably Wilander, Edberg, Agassi, and Lendl) and French Open (notably Wilander and Lendl) have had their grand slam totals inflated.


Wholly innacurate. When Wilander won his first Australian Open it signalled a re-emergence of the tournament, a re-emergence which coincided with the best players in the world being from Europe, not the United States. 1984 was the last hurrah for both McEnroe and Connors. After that, they were supplanted by the likes of Lendl, Wilander, Edberg and Becker.

Also, take note that in 1983, when Wilander won his first Australian Open, he beat McEnroe in the semi-finals. If the tournament was so lacking in prestige at that stage (1976/77-1982 it certainly was a third-class field) what was McEnroe doing there? Probably, going on your thinking, trying to inflate his total of major wins. Unfortunately, he ran into Wilander who, subsequently, beat Ivan Lendl in the final. Not what anyone would call an 'easy win', was it?

Historically, prior to the emergence of Connors and Borg, the Australian Open had more prestige than the US event. Why? Quite simply because the best players in the world were Australian. However, with the emergence of Connors, Borg and, later, McEnroe (plus the larger number of top ranked Americans) the Australian Open became, naturally, less important to them. It couldn't draw on national ties to pull in the best players and it couldn't offer the financial rewards so it faded. When the tide turned and the European players began to emerge in the early 80's the Aus Open became relevant again.

Seriously, if you're going to arbitrarily down-play the accomplishments of men such as Wilander, Lendl, Edberg and Becker why not go the whole hog and say that McEnroe, Connors and Sampras inflated their totals by winning so many events on home soil?

AAAA
11-30-2006, 04:15 AM
Wholly innacurate. When Wilander won his first Australian Open it signalled a re-emergence of the tournament, a re-emergence which coincided with the best players in the world being from Europe, not the United States. 1984 was the last hurrah for both McEnroe and Connors. After that, they were supplanted by the likes of Lendl, Wilander, Edberg and Becker.

Also, take note that in 1983, when Wilander won his first Australian Open, he beat McEnroe in the semi-finals. If the tournament was so lacking in prestige at that stage (1976/77-1982 it certainly was a third-class field) what was McEnroe doing there? Probably, going on your thinking, trying to inflate his total of major wins. Unfortunately, he ran into Wilander who, subsequently, beat Ivan Lendl in the final. Not what anyone would call an 'easy win', was it?

Historically, prior to the emergence of Connors and Borg, the Australian Open had more prestige than the US event. Why? Quite simply because the best players in the world were Australian. However, with the emergence of Connors, Borg and, later, McEnroe (plus the larger number of top ranked Americans) the Australian Open became, naturally, less important to them. It couldn't draw on national ties to pull in the best players and it couldn't offer the financial rewards so it faded. When the tide turned and the European players began to emerge in the early 80's the Aus Open became relevant again.

Seriously, if you're going to arbitrarily down-play the accomplishments of men such as Wilander, Lendl, Edberg and Becker why not go the whole hog and say that McEnroe, Connors and Sampras inflated their totals by winning so many events on home soil?

The Winner and losing finalists from 1983-1993

1983 Wilander Lendl
1984 Wilander Curren
1985 Edberg Wilander
1987 Edberg Cash
1988 Wilander Cash
1989 Lendl Mecir
1990 Lendl Edberg
1991 Becker Lendl
1992 Courier Edberg
1993 Courier Edberg

AAAA
11-30-2006, 04:28 AM
the above list is for the Aus Open final.

Eviscerator
11-30-2006, 03:32 PM
Simple answer---No

Captain Haddock
11-30-2006, 04:08 PM
I sometimes think of this. Mac has 7 GS titles. He should have won the French in 84 (anyone who saw that match will remember how Lendl was outclassed during the first 3 sets), and Wimbledon in 80 and 82 (losses to Borg and Connors in 5-setters). Yes, I know that the "should have won" argument is subjective, and that he lost those matches, but Mac was clearly unlucky in these three finals, where he was the better player. That brings us to 10 GS. Let's assume he would have won the Australian (on grass) as many times as he won the US Open, and we're at 14 (all between 79 and 84).
I can't make the same argument for Mac post-85. Tatum, cocaine, and the advent of the modern game with modern racquets were too much for one volatile Mac to deal with. I still say that if players had to return to wood racquets tomorrow, Mac would be back in the top 10 right out of bed at 48 years old. Imagine Nadal with a Maxply Fort?
I know, I know, this is just nostalgia from an old man...

AndrewD
12-01-2006, 06:09 AM
Here's a comparison of the final 8 players from the French Open, Australian Open and US Open in the years 1983-1993 (the quarter-finalists are in brackets).

You can see that, apart from Connors absence at the Aus Open, they ALL compare favourably (some years a stronger final eight, some years a less auspicious one). Anyone suggesting that players at the Aus or French had it easy is suffering from a bad case of sour grapes (especially if that person played both events enough times to win at least one of them).

1983 AO: Wilander (W), Lendl (RU), McEnroe, Mayotte, (Masur, Kriek, Teltscher, Smid)
1983 USO: Connors (W), Lendl (RU), Arias, Scanlon (Dickson, Teltscher, Noah, Wilander)
FO 1983: Noah (W), Wilander (RU), Higueras, Roger-Vasselin ( Connors, Lendl, Vilas, McEnroe)

AO 1984: Wilander (W), Curren (RU), Kriek, Testerman (Edberg, Cash, Becker, Davis)
USO 1984: McEnroe (W), Lendl (RU), Cash, Connors ( Mayer, Lloyd, Wilander, Gomez)
FO 1984: Lendl (W), McEnroe (RU), Connors, Wilander ( Gomez, Noah, Sundstrom, Arias)

AO 1985: Edberg (W), Wilander (RU), Lendl, Zivojinovic (Lloyd, Schapers, Kriek, McEnroe)
USO 1985: Lendl (W), McEnroe (RU), Connors, Wilander (Noah, Gunthardt, Jarryd, Nystrom)
FO 1985: Wilander (W), Lendl (RU), Connors, McEnroe (Jaite, Edberg, Leconte, Nystrom)

AO 1987: Edberg (W), Cash (RU), Masur, Lendl (Evernden, Mecir, Noah, Jarryd)
USO 1987: Lendl (W), Wilander (RU), Edberg, Connors (McEnroe, Gilbert, Mecir, Krishnan)
FO 1987: Lendl (W), Wilander (RU), Becker, Mecir (Connors, Noah, Novacek, Gomez)

AO 1988: Wilander (W), Cash (RU), Lendl, Edberg (Chesnokov, Jarryd, Schapers, Witsken)
USO 1988: Wilander (W), Lendl (RU), Cahill, Agassi (Sanchez, Krickstein, Connors, Rostagno)
FO 1988: Wilander (W), Leconte (RU), Agassi, Svensson (Perez-Roldan, E Sanchez, Chesnokov, Lendl

AO 1989: Lendl (W), Mecir (RU), Muster, Gunnarsson (McEnroe, Edberg, Svensson, Ivanisevic)
USO 1989: Becker (W), Lendl (RU), Krickstein, Agassi (Noah, Berger, Connors, Mayotte)
FO 1989: Chang (W), Edberg (RU), Becker, Chesnokov ( Berger, Mancini, Wilander, Agenor)

AO 1990: Lendl (W), Edberg (RU), Wilander, Noah (Becker, Wheaton, Pernfors, Cherkasov)
USO 1990: Sampras (W), Agassi (RU), Becker, McEnroe (Krickstein, Lendl, Cherkasov, Wheaton)
FO 1990: Gomez (W), Agassi (RU), Muster, Svensson ( Leconte, Chang, Champion, Ivanisevic)

AO 1991: Becker (W), Lendl (RU), P.McEnroe, Edberg (Forget, Caratti, Prpic, Yzaga)
USO 1991: Edberg (W), Courier (RU), Lendl, Connors (Sanchez, Stich, Sampras, Haarhuis)
FO 1991: Courier (W), Agassi (RU), Stich, Becker ( Chang, Hlasek, Davin, Edberg)

AO 1992: Courier (W), Edberg (RU), Krajicek, Ferreira, (Lendl, McEnroe, Stich, Mansdorf)
USO 1992: Edberg (W), Sampras (RU), Courier, Chang, (Lendl, Ferreira, Volkov, Agassi)
FO 1992: Courier (W), Korda (RU), Leconte, Agassi ( Cherkasov, Kulti, Sampras, Ivanisevic)

AO 1993: Courier (W), Edberg (RU), Sampras, Stich (Bergstrom, Steven, Forget, Korda
USO 1993: Sampras (W), Pioline (RU), Volkov, Masur (Chang, Muster, Larsson, Medvedev)
FO 1993: Bruguera (W), Courier (RU), Medvedev, Krajicek ( Prpic, Novacek, Edberg, Sampras)

FO 1986: Lendl (W), Pernfors (RU), Leconte, Kriek ( Chesnokov, Becker, Vilas, Gomez)
USO 1986: Lendl (W), Mecir (RU), Becker, Edberg (Leconte, Wilkison, Srejber, Nystrom)

Captain Haddock
12-01-2006, 08:00 AM
The 1978 - 1983 period would be more indicative of the field at the Australian Open in Mac's prime. It is clear that the AO was an important event in the 60s, and that it made a lot of progress from the mid-eighties on, to the point of being equal to the 3 other slams. But there was a window in the 70s and early eighties when great players (Borg, Connors, McEnroe) simply did not play that event. When players like Vilas get to the final of an event on grass, it indicates that the field was weak. Check Vilas' record at Wimbledon for comparison.

urban
12-01-2006, 08:39 AM
Quite right, Fabrice. But one note: Vilas did indeed win the Masters 74 at Kooyong on grass, in a field with Newcombe (ok wasn't in the best of form, but won AO some weeks later over Connors), Borg and others, and beat Nastase in a quality 5 set final.

AndrewD
12-01-2006, 10:23 PM
Fabrice,

During the years 78-81, the Aus Open had a very poor field. However, Mac did play the event in 83 and 85 for no result. Regardless, if he had played the Aus Open during his 'best of' years (not counting 83 and 85) and had won the event, I don't think anyone would have suggested it was a less than deserved win. As a result, neither Vilas nor Kriek (the former with a 5-6 record against Mac, the latter with a 5-12 record) deserve less credit for having won.

It is interesting to note that in McEnroe's 1983 Wimbledon win he beat Chris Lewis in the final, Lendl in the semi (remember, that was Lendl circa 83 on grass), Sandy Mayer, Bill Scanlon, Brad Gilbert, Florian Segarceanu and Drew Gitlin. Johan Kriek, in his 1981 Aus Open win beat Steve Denton, Mark Edmondson, Tim Mayotte, Chris Lewis, Tomas Hogstedt and Drew Gitlin (lost one of the rounds, sorry).

Now, player for player those two fields (not counting the winner) stack up well, except for Lendl. When it comes to grass-court tennis they're almost identical although you could argue that Denton, Mayotte and Edmondson were tougher opponents than Segarceanu, Gilbert and Mayer.

As I've mentioned before, Australian grass is wholly dissimilar to English grass. The bounce is higher and there isn't the same desperate need to play from the net (it is the percentage play but it isn't the only option). That higher bounce helped Vilas enormously although he did train like a spartan in order to make the adjustment. Kriek, similarly, had a better record at the Aus Open and US Open because of that feature.

SgtJohn
12-06-2006, 12:59 AM
Hi everyone,

I actually think that this problem you discuss (which events were the most important at a given time) is the main reason why it's so hard to write an all-times list of the best players (and why the plain Grand Slam total-based list is a ridiculous way to do so)...

As for the Aus. Open, given the geographical and time of the year factors, it could only be a great event when:
a: there were great Aussie players.
b: Australia won the Davis cup, because then another team (usually the US) would challenge them in Australia, and then stay to play the tournament.
That was the case at diverse times, the 1910's (Brookes & Wilding Era), and mainly from the 50's to the late 60's.
I agree it became a great tournament, almost equal to the other GS with Wilander's victories. I'm pretty young and doesn't remember this era, but reading the articles from this period, I have the feeling that Edberg's win in 1985 was considered almost as big a breakthrough as Becker's at Wimby the same year.

The French, on the other hand was always a big tournament, from 1926 on...Maybe it wasn't very prestigious indeed for american players for cultural reasons, but for the great clay-courters it definitely was more important. Rosewall won the French pro (a clear copy of Roland Garros for the pro tour in the 60's) on clay 6 times and was considered one of the best players of this time, even if he was often beaten on gras at the US pro and Wembley by Gonzales or Laver. An inaccurate look at the firt Roland Garros Open fields could draw a wrong picture, because from 1970 to 1973, the field was totally depleted due to conflicts between the WCT and the ITF, evoked earlier...Basically, during these years, there were only 2 Grand Slams, Wimbledon and the US...After this brief period, RG became a big tournament again when Nastase, No1 in the world won it in 1973, and when Borg, supreme on clay, started to become an all-court player... At Mac's time, RG was clearly a VERY significant tournament.

Coming to the WCT Finals...After the creation of the ATP in late 1972 and thus the end of the conflict between WCT, WTT, NTL and ITF, Dallas was never as big as it had been. In today's standard, it was a bit like Key Biscane: the biggest non-Grand Slam tournament. In 1970-1972 it was very important, as well as the whole WCT tour, for one very good reason: the prize money was so much bigger... Players are human, and even if they're sensitive to the prestige of the Grand slams, they prepare better for the bigger-prized events, and that's why even the Wimby and US results cannot be considered as significant in these years as after that.
Look at 1970, a year when John Newcombe was named No1 in the World... He won Wimbledon and 3 tournaments. Rosewall was Wimbledon runner-up, won the US and 5 tournaments. Laver was miserable in Slams, losing in the 4th r of both Wimbledon and the US...but he won 13 tournaments (that is almost all the WCT tournaments), and dominated everybody, being 3-0 against Rosewall, and 5-0 against Roche...Who was the best? And can you think of a player this hot performing so poorly in Slams, not reaching even a QF? That should tell something about the preparation at this time...


I hope this wasn't too boring, I just like a little tennis history talk from time to time thats 'all :-)
Bye!

Jonathan

PS: Fabrice, I like your " Mac should have won this and that" theory...The Borg should have win at least 3 US Open and 3 australian if he had played them and would have 17 slams...
Plus, "if" some things were fair, for example, Mac would never have his celebrated 4-years-in-a-row-as-number-1, because in 82 he won nothing, though Connors made the Wimbledon-US double, and Lendl won 12 tournaments and was US runner-up...Mac should be No3 in 82!!!

Captain Haddock
12-08-2006, 09:43 AM
Yes, I know my argument is flawed. In truth, I still haven't gotten over Mac's loss at the 84 French Open. I still cringe when I think about it. But we all play tennis and we all know that a loss is a loss. I still think that Mac would have won a few AO titles had he made the trip down there in his prime (apart from 83). Regarding the other post by Colpo about Mac being the best, I would agree, although I am aware here again that this is not an objective assessment. No-one has enthralled me as a spectator more than Mac during his best years. I saw him anihilate Lendl at the 84 Brussels indoor (I had front-row seats) and was amazed at the imagination, the skill, the genius of Mac's game at the time. But I was 18, and I realize that, at that age, you perceive things with more intensity and you are more passionate about everything. Even though I still buy and enjoy music today, nothing will ever match the level of emotion I felt listening to music in those days. Stroke for stroke, Federer is clearly the best.

SgtJohn
12-08-2006, 12:39 PM
Well, I haven't gotten over Fed's loss at this year's French anyway, but I guess that's OK because I'm not 18 either :-). Actually I was 18 in 2002, a time when there wasn't any truly great player at (or near) his peak, I'm afraid...

Still, I watched lots of Mac's games, even if I wasn't even born when most of them took place, and I agree he was a really "artistic" player too, I think there are some shots in his arsenal that even Roger couldn't master, though Federer is probably the best overall... It must have been heartbreaking to see Mac being replaced at No1 by Lendl in 85, I think Lendl was very good too, but not nearly as gifted...

Jonathan

Grimjack
12-08-2006, 02:08 PM
Here's a comparison of the final 8 players from the French Open, Australian Open and US Open in the years 1983-1993 (the quarter-finalists are in brackets)...

FO 1983: Noah (W), Wilander (RU), Higueras, Roger-Vasselin ( Connors, Lendl, Vilas, McEnroe)


If there was ever a GS where the fix was in even more than with Sampras's last USO, this is pretty clearly it.

Q&M son
04-19-2008, 02:42 PM
Hi everyone,

I actually think that this problem you discuss (which events were the most important at a given time) is the main reason why it's so hard to write an all-times list of the best players (and why the plain Grand Slam total-based list is a ridiculous way to do so)...

As for the Aus. Open, given the geographical and time of the year factors, it could only be a great event when:
a: there were great Aussie players.
b: Australia won the Davis cup, because then another team (usually the US) would challenge them in Australia, and then stay to play the tournament.
That was the case at diverse times, the 1910's (Brookes & Wilding Era), and mainly from the 50's to the late 60's.
I agree it became a great tournament, almost equal to the other GS with Wilander's victories. I'm pretty young and doesn't remember this era, but reading the articles from this period, I have the feeling that Edberg's win in 1985 was considered almost as big a breakthrough as Becker's at Wimby the same year.

The French, on the other hand was always a big tournament, from 1926 on...Maybe it wasn't very prestigious indeed for american players for cultural reasons, but for the great clay-courters it definitely was more important. Rosewall won the French pro (a clear copy of Roland Garros for the pro tour in the 60's) on clay 6 times and was considered one of the best players of this time, even if he was often beaten on gras at the US pro and Wembley by Gonzales or Laver. An inaccurate look at the firt Roland Garros Open fields could draw a wrong picture, because from 1970 to 1973, the field was totally depleted due to conflicts between the WCT and the ITF, evoked earlier...Basically, during these years, there were only 2 Grand Slams, Wimbledon and the US...After this brief period, RG became a big tournament again when Nastase, No1 in the world won it in 1973, and when Borg, supreme on clay, started to become an all-court player... At Mac's time, RG was clearly a VERY significant tournament.

Coming to the WCT Finals...After the creation of the ATP in late 1972 and thus the end of the conflict between WCT, WTT, NTL and ITF, Dallas was never as big as it had been. In today's standard, it was a bit like Key Biscane: the biggest non-Grand Slam tournament. In 1970-1972 it was very important, as well as the whole WCT tour, for one very good reason: the prize money was so much bigger... Players are human, and even if they're sensitive to the prestige of the Grand slams, they prepare better for the bigger-prized events, and that's why even the Wimby and US results cannot be considered as significant in these years as after that.
Look at 1970, a year when John Newcombe was named No1 in the World... He won Wimbledon and 3 tournaments. Rosewall was Wimbledon runner-up, won the US and 5 tournaments. Laver was miserable in Slams, losing in the 4th r of both Wimbledon and the US...but he won 13 tournaments (that is almost all the WCT tournaments), and dominated everybody, being 3-0 against Rosewall, and 5-0 against Roche...Who was the best? And can you think of a player this hot performing so poorly in Slams, not reaching even a QF? That should tell something about the preparation at this time...


I hope this wasn't too boring, I just like a little tennis history talk from time to time thats 'all :-)
Bye!

Jonathan

PS: Fabrice, I like your " Mac should have won this and that" theory...The Borg should have win at least 3 US Open and 3 australian if he had played them and would have 17 slams...
Plus, "if" some things were fair, for example, Mac would never have his celebrated 4-years-in-a-row-as-number-1, because in 82 he won nothing, though Connors made the Wimbledon-US double, and Lendl won 12 tournaments and was US runner-up...Mac should be No3 in 82!!!

Great post Jonathan, fully agree.

Benhur
04-19-2008, 03:44 PM
Hi everyone,

I actually think that this problem you discuss (which events were the most important at a given time) is the main reason why it's so hard to write an all-times list of the best players (and why the plain Grand Slam total-based list is a ridiculous way to do so)...

As for the Aus. Open, given the geographical and time of the year factors, it could only be a great event when:
a: there were great Aussie players.
b: Australia won the Davis cup, because then another team (usually the US) would challenge them in Australia, and then stay to play the tournament.
That was the case at diverse times, the 1910's (Brookes & Wilding Era), and mainly from the 50's to the late 60's.
I agree it became a great tournament, almost equal to the other GS with Wilander's victories. I'm pretty young and doesn't remember this era, but reading the articles from this period, I have the feeling that Edberg's win in 1985 was considered almost as big a breakthrough as Becker's at Wimby the same year.

The French, on the other hand was always a big tournament, from 1926 on...Maybe it wasn't very prestigious indeed for american players for cultural reasons, but for the great clay-courters it definitely was more important. Rosewall won the French pro (a clear copy of Roland Garros for the pro tour in the 60's) on clay 6 times and was considered one of the best players of this time, even if he was often beaten on gras at the US pro and Wembley by Gonzales or Laver. An inaccurate look at the firt Roland Garros Open fields could draw a wrong picture, because from 1970 to 1973, the field was totally depleted due to conflicts between the WCT and the ITF, evoked earlier...Basically, during these years, there were only 2 Grand Slams, Wimbledon and the US...After this brief period, RG became a big tournament again when Nastase, No1 in the world won it in 1973, and when Borg, supreme on clay, started to become an all-court player... At Mac's time, RG was clearly a VERY significant tournament.

Coming to the WCT Finals...After the creation of the ATP in late 1972 and thus the end of the conflict between WCT, WTT, NTL and ITF, Dallas was never as big as it had been. In today's standard, it was a bit like Key Biscane: the biggest non-Grand Slam tournament. In 1970-1972 it was very important, as well as the whole WCT tour, for one very good reason: the prize money was so much bigger... Players are human, and even if they're sensitive to the prestige of the Grand slams, they prepare better for the bigger-prized events, and that's why even the Wimby and US results cannot be considered as significant in these years as after that.
Look at 1970, a year when John Newcombe was named No1 in the World... He won Wimbledon and 3 tournaments. Rosewall was Wimbledon runner-up, won the US and 5 tournaments. Laver was miserable in Slams, losing in the 4th r of both Wimbledon and the US...but he won 13 tournaments (that is almost all the WCT tournaments), and dominated everybody, being 3-0 against Rosewall, and 5-0 against Roche...Who was the best? And can you think of a player this hot performing so poorly in Slams, not reaching even a QF? That should tell something about the preparation at this time...


I hope this wasn't too boring, I just like a little tennis history talk from time to time thats 'all :-)
Bye!

Jonathan

PS: Fabrice, I like your " Mac should have won this and that" theory...The Borg should have win at least 3 US Open and 3 australian if he had played them and would have 17 slams...
Plus, "if" some things were fair, for example, Mac would never have his celebrated 4-years-in-a-row-as-number-1, because in 82 he won nothing, though Connors made the Wimbledon-US double, and Lendl won 12 tournaments and was US runner-up...Mac should be No3 in 82!!!

Good post. In looking at the 4 GS tournaments during the Open era (things are too complicated before 1968), I agree that in the 70s the Australian clearly did not attract as strong a field. But it wasn't a "third rate" event as someone posted. The Australian championships were a prestigious event since much earlier, and the term "grand slam" where the Australian was included was first used in the 1930s.

I disagree with the repeated attempts to minimize the importance of the FO in the 70s. Aside from the WTC/ITF disputes early on, it was a strong tournament from 1973 onwards. I do not consider it less important or less prestigious than the US Open since then. It has the additional virtue of being faithful to one of the two original natural surfaces for the sport, and representative of the world championship in that surface. The US open changed surfaces at least twice during the 70s.

I also agree that McEnroe's number one ranking in 1982 is just one of those theological tennis mysteries that doesn't make the least bit of sense, similar to Connors number one ranking in 1977. McEnroe was clearly number 3 in 1982. And not even a close number 3, as both Connors and Lendl obviously had much better results than him than year. All you have to do is look at the record. And by the way Lendl won 15 (not 12) titles + 5 runner up appearances. And he beat McEnroe all 4 times they met that year.

The explanation that the WCT tournaments didn't count that year is ridiculous. Why wouldn't they count?
On the other hand, when it comes to explaining the lowly status of of the AO and the FO we inevitably see WCT Dallas brought up as much more important.
None of this makes any sense.

jeffreyneave
04-20-2008, 05:25 AM
The aussie open regained its prominence when Wilander beat Mcenroe and Lendl in 1983. It was waek in the early 80s when Kriek won. In the 70s it varied. In 1970 it had good field (roche, necombe qashe, okker smith taylor and ralston -top grass court players)

In 1971 it was full grand slam with all wct players (laver, rosewall etc)
In '72 fairy weak (only Newcombe, metrevli and Rosewall from top 20)
In '73 same field as '72

In '74 not much depth, but had 3 best players of 74 (connors, newcombe, borg)

'75 no depth but 3 great grass court players newcombe, connors and Roche

'76 weak field - no top 10 from 1976

'77 Tanner beat roche, rosewall and vilas (all very good players and in the top 20 in 1977)

'77 dec Gerulaitis wins from reasonable field (includes dent, tanner, alexander ,roche and rosewall all rated players in '77)

'78 and '79 vilas wins from fairly weak field, but he is a quality player on aussie grass given his Maters wins in '74

Laver's 13 wins were not all on the wct circuit; 7 were open to ITF players (philaelphia, South Africa, Queens, Dunlop sydney open, South orange, PSW and Wemlby London) ; that's why he beat the top itf players(richey, nastase, ashe and Smith) as well The 1970 circuit was a mixed one with Laver and Rosewall both qualifying for the ITF masters even though they played plenty of restricted events for WCT player as well. Laver beat Rosewall 5-0; Newcombe 3-0.


jeffrey

Q&M son
04-20-2008, 06:11 AM
Thanks for info jeffrey.

Regards.

Lucio.

TennisExpert
09-09-2008, 02:08 PM
The aussie open regained its prominence when Wilander beat Mcenroe and Lendl in 1983. It was waek in the early 80s when Kriek won. In the 70s it varied. In 1970 it had good field (roche, necombe qashe, okker smith taylor and ralston -top grass court players)

In 1971 it was full grand slam with all wct players (laver, rosewall etc)
In '72 fairy weak (only Newcombe, metrevli and Rosewall from top 20)
In '73 same field as '72

In '74 not much depth, but had 3 best players of 74 (connors, newcombe, borg)

'75 no depth but 3 great grass court players newcombe, connors and Roche

'76 weak field - no top 10 from 1976

'77 Tanner beat roche, rosewall and vilas (all very good players and in the top 20 in 1977)

'77 dec Gerulaitis wins from reasonable field (includes dent, tanner, alexander ,roche and rosewall all rated players in '77)

'78 and '79 vilas wins from fairly weak field, but he is a quality player on aussie grass given his Maters wins in '74

Laver's 13 wins were not all on the wct circuit; 7 were open to ITF players (philaelphia, South Africa, Queens, Dunlop sydney open, South orange, PSW and Wemlby London) ; that's why he beat the top itf players(richey, nastase, ashe and Smith) as well The 1970 circuit was a mixed one with Laver and Rosewall both qualifying for the ITF masters even though they played plenty of restricted events for WCT player as well. Laver beat Rosewall 5-0; Newcombe 3-0.


jeffrey

Good choices

johann-681312
09-09-2008, 02:26 PM
McEnroe has no French Open titles, NOT because he did not go. He went 8 times and did not win it. It shows his game is crippled. Borg was more impressive in winning both French and Wimbleton. If Sampras had won a French Open, he would, WITHOUT DOUBT, have been the best player ever. McEnroe, in the history of tennis, will just be a clown because of his poor court behaviors. To put things in perspective, if he were not an American, he would have been hated by most tennis fans. He happened to be in an era Americans were enjoying a much better image in the world.

McEnroe will, in the history of tennis, be remembered as one of the
greatest players ever. You may not have appreciated his behavior
on the court, but if you are a fan of tennis, you have to appreciate
his game.

bluetrain4
09-09-2008, 02:30 PM
The French and AO were definitely not as prestigious as today, especially the AO before it moved from Kooyong. But, they were still big tournaments and it was a big achievement to win them.

Also, it's easy to dismiss them out of hand, but look at the fields and the quality of play. Edberg had to beat Wilander and Lendl en route to the title in 1985, just for one example. It's not like a lone single great player was flying down there and dominating a field of amatuers.

Benhur
09-11-2008, 10:06 AM
Posted by Moose Malloy:
Here are some more French Open stats, from a post by Dedans Penthouse in Feb:

Things got so bad financially, that the French Open was actually called The Vanaos Open in 1972 as the French Tennis Federation took 350,000 francs from a cosmetics company for the right to rename it The Vanaos Open. Fortunately, they only sold their soul to the corporate devil for one year and the tourney regained its rightful name.

The attendence for the entire 2 weeks in 1972 totalled only 51,101 which over 14 days translates to a shockingly few 3,650 people on average per day

The site itself in the early 1970's was only 3.25 hectares (8 acres) and contained...get this: FIVE COURTS. (today it is 8 acres containing 20 courts).

Posted by Rhino:
I'm not being funny but whether or not an event is televised in the US has no bearing on how big it is worldwide. I bet at the time you could watch the French Open on TV in Europe (where there are a lot more people) but could you watch the Dallas event? If you throw a lot of prize money at an event then of course the players will go (remember the Grand Slam Cup in Germany, all the big names played there too) but to compare an 8 man event it to a 128 man event and try to say that it is as important is a bit of a joke.
McEnroe had chances to win the French and the Aus, he just couldn't do it.

There is an enormous amount of confusion in these attempts to make McEnroe's Dallas tournaments count as a a sort of grand slams, I do agree with Rhino that it does not sound serious at all. Moose, you post some very sensible stuff, but this is not among it.

1. McEnroe did not win Dallas until 1979. McEnroe is most essentially a player of the 80s with some presence in the very late 70s (1979). To bring up 1972 in connection with McEnroe does not make sense.

2. 1972 was a special year because of the rift between the ITF and the WTC. The ITF forbid all players contracted with the WTC from playing the Grand Prix tournaments from January to July. So none of thse guys could play the French or Wimbledon. So of course the field was depleted in 1972. Talking about the status of things in 1972 at the French Open as representative of the entire decade makes about as much sense as to say that the month of September of the year 2001 is representative of the American airline industry during this decade. After 1972 most of the best players were there. The manoever is even more nonsensical when applied to John McEnroe, who in 1972 was a child entering the throes of puberty.

3. (and this is by far the most important point) You cannot possibly compare a two-week 128-men draw grand slam format with a 4-5 day 8-man tournament, no matter how good the players and how juicy the money. It is just preposterous.

You, Moose, make it a point to make a big deal of the number of courts around 1972 at the French. But you shouldn't. If you think the number of courts has any relevance to the status and importance of the tourament, please tell me: how many courts did they play on at Dallas WTC? The answer is ONE. And that was plenty, because the whole tournament consisted of 7 matches. SEVEN MATCHES! A grand slam tournament has 127 matches played in it. Hell, seven matches is what ONE player needs to win to get a grand slam. In Dallas, you could get there on Tuesday, say, play three matches through Sunday and come back home with a so called "grand slam." Is this some kind of joke? The logic that the tourament was more important than a grand slam because it attracted the best players is pretty silly. It's only 8 players! By that logic, why stop the reduction at 8? Why not say that a two-round tournament involving the 4 top players is a grand slam? Better still, why not say that the exhibition played by Federer and Nadal on a hybrid court this year is the ultimate "strong field"? This whole thing is nonsense.

I am not sure what the prize money was in 1979. One site I checked has these figures:
http://tennis.webz.cz/res/1979/1979.html

French Open $375K
Australian Open $350K
Wimbledon $300K
U.S. Open $300K

Dallas $200K
and for comparison:
Rome $200K
Richmond $175K
San Francisco $175K

Of course it's nice that there were only 8 players to get those 200K. But ultimately the price money is irrelevant to this discussion. Dallas is not a grand slam. Never was, or anything remotely resembling one. Its universal shine and prestige is a figment of you guys imagination. No doubt the players liked the money and went there if they could. You go there, you win one match, or none, and you make a significant amount of money. But what does that have to do with it being a grand slam? By the mid-70s in Spain I was mildly starting to follow tennis. I remember Orantes was somewhere in the top 6. The events that were televised were Wimbledon, the French, sometimes the US Open and *always* Davis Cup. Nobody knew anything about Dallas!! I never heard of the Dallas tourament until I moved to the US in the early 80s.

I have long noticed that the French and Australian Opens, especially the latter, are played like conveniently free parameters when evaluating a player's status in the 70s and 80s, and sometimes even the 90s. It all depends on the evaluator's preferences. The lever is pushed up or down depending on the needs of the moment. If Borg wins it twice in the mid-70s, then of course it is a grand slam, if he is not there in 1977 and someone else wins it, then it isn't really a grand slam. If McEnroe wins Dallas in 1979, but not the French, well then Dallas is the real deal, because, you know, in 1972 they only had 5 courts at the French. And of course everybody knows that the highest status of the French Open was attained in 1984, because McEnroe *almost* won it. Since he almost won it, he *should* have won it. And since he should, why not just think he did win it for all practical purposes, because he won Dallas?

The fact is that by the 70s it was very clear which were the four grand slams. The term was first used in the 30s. The New York Times archives only go as far back as 1981. If you search for "grand slam" in conjunction with Australian or French you will find hundreds of articles from the early 80s referring to those events as grand slams. There is no doubt about it.

In any case, Dallas was no grand slam at all! The very idea is a joke.

ClarkC
09-11-2008, 12:23 PM
McEnroe has no French Open titles, NOT because he did not go. He went 8 times and did not win it. It shows his game is crippled. Borg was more impressive in winning both French and Wimbleton.

No one who seriously writes "Wimbleton" should be allowed to keep their TW account.

hoodjem
09-11-2008, 06:04 PM
What about people that talk about the US Open of the 1950s?

beernutz
09-11-2008, 07:13 PM
McEnroe has no French Open titles, NOT because he did not go. He went 8 times and did not win it. It shows his game is crippled. Borg was more impressive in winning both French and Wimbleton. If Sampras had won a French Open, he would, WITHOUT DOUBT, have been the best player ever. McEnroe, in the history of tennis, will just be a clown because of his poor court behaviors. To put things in perspective, if he were not an American, he would have been hated by most tennis fans. He happened to be in an era Americans were enjoying a much better image in the world.

Dear God, please do not reproduce.

slice bh compliment
09-11-2008, 07:59 PM
Look, I love Mac, too, especially for his game. And yeah, his name was bandied about as an all-time great from about 1981 until the Sampras era. But, why do we have to adjust his Slam total upward? Why is slam total the measure for greatness...true greatness?

If we're talking just singles slams, well, yeah, seven is upscale, but it's not the Borg, Laver, Pete and Roger's neighborhood. I think we ought to emphasize dubs success and Davis Cup. If you count those, Mac is one of the true titans of the game.

As for John's behaviour? In the words of the great John McEnroe from his BiC disposable razor ad, "Some people like John McEnroe....and some people...myehh."

krosero
09-11-2008, 08:51 PM
There's a lot on this fourth page of the thread that is redundant and unnecessary -- even counterproductive, I think. The original post is two years old and the person who posted it never attempted to defend his argument (if what he posted can be dignified with the term "argument").

Someone else said that McEnroe for all intents and purposes won the 84 F, but he backed away from such talk in this very thread two years ago. Why is anyone getting mad about that one, when no one is even arguing it?

On the third page the thread was resurrected merely to say, I agree with this post, or thank you for this post.

When that's done, IMO it's merely giving fresh exposure to the OP -- it's just doing his work for him (because he's certainly not doing it; he didn't even defend his argument then).

Yes a lot of good posts were made refuting the OP, but a lot of people when they see a new thread just read the OP and the last post. They just see the arguments in the OP getting front stage again, when they should have just been allowed to die.

I'll tell why I say that. I read an interesting article about how the brain works: "Your Brain Lies To You (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/27/opinion/27aamodt.html?scp=1&sq=your%20brain%20lies%20to%20you&st=cse)." It's about how we read stuff that's bad -- either lies, or incorrect information, or just sloppy thinking. Then we might read good stuff correcting it. But what we heard first tends to stick with greater persistence. So it's not necessarily a good idea to give bad thinking center stage.

Sure, if someone is in your face arguing something and you disagree, go right ahead and argue back. But what's the point of giving fresh exposure to an argument that was so bad that its defenders gave it up almost as soon as it was offered, two years ago?

TennisExpert
09-12-2008, 05:11 AM
There's a lot on this fourth page of the thread that is redundant and unnecessary -- even counterproductive, I think. The original post is two years old and the person who posted it never attempted to defend his argument (if what he posted can be dignified with the term "argument").

Someone else said that McEnroe for all intents and purposes won the 84 F, but he backed away from such talk in this very thread two years ago. Why is anyone getting mad about that one, when no one is even arguing it?

On the third page the thread was resurrected merely to say, I agree with this post, or thank you for this post.

When that's done, IMO it's merely giving fresh exposure to the OP -- it's just doing his work for him (because he's certainly not doing it; he didn't even defend his argument then).

Yes a lot of good posts were made refuting the OP, but a lot of people when they see a new thread just read the OP and the last post. They just see the arguments in the OP getting front stage again, when they should have just been allowed to die.

I'll tell why I say that. I read an interesting article about how the brain works: "Your Brain Lies To You (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/27/opinion/27aamodt.html?scp=1&sq=your%20brain%20lies%20to%20you&st=cse)." It's about how we read stuff that's bad -- either lies, or incorrect information, or just sloppy thinking. Then we might read good stuff correcting it. But what we heard first tends to stick with greater persistence. So it's not necessarily a good idea to give bad thinking center stage.

Sure, if someone is in your face arguing something and you disagree, go right ahead and argue back. But what's the point of giving fresh exposure to an argument that was so bad that its defenders gave it up almost as soon as it was offered, two years ago?

Not agree. Why? I speak for me, but I didn't care about McEnroe discussion, just believe that post by jeffreyneave was very useful and that's why bump the thread, to other people can see it. The data included by jeffrey couldn't be imagine by the title of the thread, so maybe get undercover.
Besides that, I don't see the point to start a new thread for discuss same topics that in an oldy. (examples, Rosewall/laver; Titles won by Perry...)

hoodjem
09-12-2008, 06:16 AM
I'll tell why I say that. I read an interesting article about how the brain works: "Your Brain Lies To You (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/27/opinion/27aamodt.html?scp=1&sq=your%20brain%20lies%20to%20you&st=cse)." It's about how we read stuff that's bad -- either lies, or incorrect information, or just sloppy thinking. Then we might read good stuff correcting it. But what we heard first tends to stick with greater persistence. So it's not necessarily a good idea to give bad thinking center stage.
This sounds like the rationale behind many Republican campaign ads:
"McCain is a maverick. McCain is a reformer. Palin cleaned up Alaska politics."

Funny stuff.

AAAA
09-12-2008, 07:48 AM
But what's the point of giving fresh exposure to an argument that was so bad that its defenders gave it up almost as soon as it was offered, two years ago?

The defenders haven't offered a counter argument or acknowledged they were wrong so speaking generally what usually happens around here is that some time down the line the defenders will post the same cr&p hoping nobody remembers how the argument was shot down the first time.

Benhur
09-12-2008, 09:50 AM
Originally Posted by krosero
But what's the point of giving fresh exposure to an argument that was so bad that its defenders gave it up almost as soon as it was offered, two years ago?

Originally Posted by AAAA
The defenders haven't offered a counter argument or acknowledged they were wrong so speaking generally what usually happens around here is that some time down the line the defenders will post the same cr&p hoping nobody remembers how the argument was shot down the first time.

Well what I could gather from the arguments is that they got increasingly off the mark and mixed and totally misleading.

The initial goal was to minimize the fact McEnroe did not win the French by arguing that The French Open was not as important as the Dallas tournament, and since McEnroe won Dallas five times, it amply compensates and surpasses the French Open he didn't win.

This was then supported by references to state of the French Open in 1972, and by extrapolating it to the decade of the 70s as a whole, and then further into McEnroe's tennis career, which was mostly in the 80s.

Not just the initial assumptions, but the whole reasoning process is false at every step.

First, 1972 does not represent the 70s. It was an exceptional year. Most of best players were there after 1973.

Second, the 70s do not represent McEnroe's tennis career. He was a player of the 80s.

Third, at no point in time can it seriously be argued that an 8-man, 3-round turnament like Dallas was more significant than the French Open. Not even in 1972 (which has nothing to do with McEnroe in any case), and certainly not in the decade of the 70s as a whole. And most definitely not in the 80s, when McEnroe played it!!

So it is not just that the arguments are wrong. It's that they are totally muddled. Basically, the problems of 1972 are brought to demonstrate that Dallas was more important when McEnroe won it, which happened for the first time in 1979.

I watched the French Open (at least the finals) for most of the 80s. The way American television presented it, there was no doubt it was always as a grand slam -- as one of the top 4 tennis events. They never presented Dallas in such light. But even if they had, you cannot rate the worldwide importance of a tournament by what American television commentators say. Nor can you rate it by the volume of tears or emotion expressed by Borg or any other player when winning it. By the early 80s, winning the French was merely a routine for Borg, but not Dallas. This year, Nadal merely raised his hand at the end of the match with Federer. No sprawling on the ground. I am sure that if Federer had won it, his celebration would have been much more emotional, just as Nadal's was at winning the Olympics. Should we conclude that the Olympics is more important than the French Open because Nadal expressed more emotion when winning it?

The process of taking other events or accomplishments and converting them to "grand slam equivalents" can be endless. How many Dallases does it take to buy you a RG? How many year-end Masters titles does it take to buy you a Wimbledon? Etcetera.

Just take a look at the top 16 seeds at the French during McEnroes time, and try to argue that the event was smaller than Dallas, which featured 8 men, and not even necessarily the top 8.

French open 1978. Topt 16 seeds:
1. Bjorn Borg
2. Guillermo Vilas
3. Brian Gottfried
4. Eddie Dibbs
5. Manuel Orantes
6. Raul Ramirez
7. Corrado Barazzutti
8. Harold Solomon
9. Roscoe Tanner
10. Dick Stockton
11. Wojtek Fibak
12. Phil Dent
13. Tim Gullikson
14. Buster C. Mottram
15. John Alexander
16. Stan Smith

===================

French Open 1979. Top 16 seeds:

1. Bjorn Borg
2. Jimmy Connors
3. Guillermo Vilas
4. Vitas Gerulaitis
5. Emilio Montano
6. Harold Solomon
7. Eddie Dibbs
8. Jose Higueras
9. Arthur Ashe
10. Brian Gottfried
11. Jose-Luis Clerc
12. Wojtek Fibak
13. Manuel Orantes
14. Tim Gullikson
15. Corrado Barazzutti
16. Adriano Panatta

======================
French Open 1980. Top 16 seeds:

1. Bjorn Borg
2. John McEnroe
3. Jimmy Connors
4. Guillermo Vilas
5. Vitas Gerulaitis
6. Harold Solomon
7. Eddie Dibbs
8. Victor Pecci
9. Ivan Lendl
10. Peter Fleming
11. Jose Higueras
12. Hans Gildemeister
13. Wojtek Fibak
14. Victor Amaya
15. Manuel Orantes
16. Jose-Luis Clerc
-------------------------

French Open 1981. Top 16 seeds

1. Bjorn Borg
2. Jimmy Connors
3. John McEnroe
4. Sandy Mayer
5. Ivan Lendl
6. Guillermo Vilas
7. Jose-Luis Clerc
8. Harold Solomon
9. Vitas Gerulaitis
10. Eliot Teltscher
11. Yannick Noah
12. Brian Gottfried
13. Peter McNamara
14. Wojtek Fibak
15. Balazs Taroczy
16. Eddie Dibbs

--------------------------

French Open 1982. Top 16 seeds.

1. Jimmy Connors
2. Ivan Lendl
3. Guillermo Vilas
4. Jose-Luis Clerc
5. Vitas Gerulaitis
6. Eliot Teltscher
7. Peter McNamara
8. Yannick Noah
9. Andres Gomez
10. Balazs Taroczy
11. Brian Gottfried
13. Jose Higueras
14. Steve Denton
15. Chip Hooper
16. Mel Purcell
---------------------------

French Open 1983. Top 16 seeds:

1. Jimmy Connors
2. John McEnroe
3. Ivan Lendl
4. Guillermo Vilas
5. Mats Wilander
6. Yannick Noah
7. Jose-Luis Clerc
8. Jose Higueras
9. Vitas Gerulaitis
10. Eliot Teltscher
11. Jimmy Arias
12. Brian Gottfried
13. Wojtek Fibak
14. Henrik Sundstrom
15. Tomas Smid
16. Andres Gomez
---------------------------

French Open 1984. Top 16 seeds.

1. John McEnroe
2. Ivan Lendl
3. Jimmy Connors
4. Mats Wilander
5. Jimmy Arias
6. Yannick Noah
7. Andres Gomez
8. Jose-Luis Clerc
9. Henrik Sundstrom
10. Guillermo Vilas
11. Anders Jarryd
12. Jose Higueras
13. Juan Aguilera
14. Tomas Smid
15. Tim Mayotte
16. Chris Lewis
--------------------------------

French Open 1985. Top 16 seeds.

1. John McEnroe
2. Ivan Lendl
3. Jimmy Connors
4. Mats Wilander
5. Andres Gomez
6. Anders Jarryd
7. Joakim Nystrom
8. Eliot Teltscher
9. Yannick Noah
10. Aaron Krickstein
11. Miloslav Mecir
12. Henrik Sundstrom
13. Tomas Smid
14. Stefan Edberg
15. Brad Gilbert
16. Jimmy Arias
----------------------------------

French Open 1986. Top 16 seeds

1. Ivan Lendl
2. Mats Wilander
3. Boris Becker
4. Yannick Noah
5. Stefan Edberg
6. Joakim Nystrom
7. Anders Jarryd
8. Henri Leconte
9. Andres Gomez
10. Thierry Tulasne
11. Martin Jaite
12. Guillermo Vilas
13. Johan Kriek
14. Emilio Sanchez
16. Heinz Gunthardt
--------------------------------
French Open 1987. Top 16 seeds.

1. Ivan Lendl
2. Boris Becker
3. Stefan Edberg
4. Mats Wilander
5. Miloslav Mecir
6. Yannick Noah
7. John McEnroe
8. Jimmy Connors
9. Henri Leconte
10. Andres Gomez
11. Kent Carlsson
12. Pat Cash
13. Mikael Pernfors
14. Martin Jaite
15. Brad Gilbert
16. Johan Kriek
-------------------------------

French Open 1988. Top 16 seeds

1. Ivan Lendl
2. Stefan Edberg
3. Mats Wilander
4. Pat Cash
5. Boris Becker
6. Yannick Noah
7. Kent Carlsson
8. Tim Mayotte
9. Andre Agassi
10. Anders Jarryd
11. Henri Leconte
12. Emilio Sanchez
13. Andres Gomez
14. Andrei Chesnokov
15. Guillermo Perez-Roldan
16. John McEnroe

---------------------------
French Open 1989. Top 16 seeds.

1. Ivan Lendl
2. Boris Becker
3. Stefan Edberg
4. Mats Wilander
5. Andre Agassi
6. Jakob Hlasek
7. Tim Mayotte
8. Miloslav Mecir
9. Jimmy Connors
11. Alberto Mancini
13. Yannick Noah
14. Aaron Krickstein
15. Michael Chang
16. Guillermo Perez-Roldan

AAAA
09-12-2008, 10:05 AM
Benhur, I agree with you. My post was directed at those with the opposing viewpoint.

Whatever next, let's make the end of year championships in the next few weeks/months a slam equivalent as well because like the WCT the EOYChamps has the 8 best players in the whole world only competing barring injuries.

jean pierre
09-13-2008, 12:07 AM
Vilas worked very hard to win the Australien Open, and he beat a lot of good players of grass, like McNamara, Chris Lewis (who was finalist in Wimbledon), Tony Roche, Phil Dent ... It's not Vilas's problem if Borg and Connors was'nt there. And don't forget that Vilas won the Masters on australian grass, beating Borg and Nastase. Vilas didn't have great results in Wimbledon, because the grass of Wimbledon was very different + Wimbledon is just after Roland-Garros, and Vilas could'nt work like in Australia.

Tony Sideway
09-13-2008, 07:23 AM
Vilas worked very hard to win the Australien Open, and he beat a lot of good players of grass, like McNamara, Chris Lewis (who was finalist in Wimbledon), Tony Roche, Phil Dent ... It's not Vilas's problem if Borg and Connors was'nt there. And don't forget that Vilas won the Masters on australian grass, beating Borg and Nastase. Vilas didn't have great results in Wimbledon, because the grass of Wimbledon was very different + Wimbledon is just after Roland-Garros, and Vilas could'nt work like in Australia.

jean pierre: number one vilas fan of the world! :)

Rorschach
09-13-2008, 03:51 PM
The term "Grand Slam" was first used in 1933, by the American journalist John Kieran. In describing the attempt that year by Jack Crawford to win all four titles, he compared it with "a countered and vulnerable grand slam in bridge". Kieran singled out these four titles as being the biggest in tennis because, at the time, they were the main international championships held in the only four countries who had won the Davis Cup. Crawford failed to achieve the Grand Slam that year as he lost in the US Championships final to Fred Perry. It wasn't until 1938 that Donald Budge became the first person to achieve the Grand Slam.
The expression Grand Slam, initially used to describe the winning of the tennis major events, was later incorporated by other sports, notably golf, to describe a similar accomplishment.

Please stop making stuff up! A slam is a slam is a slam....it has been considered as such since 1933.
There's no such thing as a more or less prestigious....
One more fact....since the creation of the ATP rankings in 1968 all the majors distribute the same amount of points...
So where does this BS come from?

marc45
09-13-2008, 11:08 PM
Thanks for clearing that up Moose. The WCT Dallas Finals was a single elimination tournament. I had forgotten that. I just remembered there was a handful of players (8) and assumed wrongly that it was round robin.

ESPN would have a feature match every night of the week on prime time.
espn didn't come on the air until what 79-80?...did the wct dallas event coincide or are you thinking of year-end new york?...not ragging, just can't remember myself...anyone? not big i know, but now it's annoying me, sorry elvis

marc45
09-13-2008, 11:38 PM
hmm, maybe they did both now that i'm thinking of it....i'm getting old, teenager back then elvis, maybe you have a better memory

Benhur
09-14-2008, 12:22 PM
I sometimes think of this. Mac has 7 GS titles. He should have won the French in 84 (anyone who saw that match will remember how Lendl was outclassed during the first 3 sets)


No, not the first 3. The first 2, yes. After that, no.

Many people are under the impression that McEnroe was ahead in the third set. But the opposite is true. Also I never saw any choking by either player during that match

Here is the score sequence in the last three sets, with some additional comments.

3rd set. Lendl serving first

At 2-1, Lendl has 2 break points. Can't convert.
At 2-2, McEnroe has 4 break points. Cant'convert.
At 3-2 Lendl breaks. Goes up 4-2
McEnroe breaks right back. 4-3 Lendl.
They hold serve for the next two games.
Lendl breaks at 5-4 again to take the set.

Pretty even set.
---------------
4th set. Lendl serving first

At 1-1, McEnroe breaks. Goes up 2-1.
Lendl breaks right back at love. 2-2.
McEnroe breaks back, goes up 3-2.
They hold serve the next two games.
At 4-3, Lendl breaks back. 4-4
At 4-4 McEnroe has a break point, can't convert.

They hold serve until 6-5. Lendl then breaks to take the set. McEnroe was by now coming in behind almost every serve. The point that led to set point, he was passed easily coming in on a second serve.
------------
5th set. Lendl serving first.

They both held serve until 6-5. Lendl generally holding serve a lot easier than McEnroe, except at 3-3, when McEnroe had two break points he didn't convert. Otherwise Lendl held at love at 2-2. Held again at love at 4-4, and again at love at 5-5.

Mac, serving at 5-6, misses a pretty easy volley on the first point. Movement by now was pretty slugish. The next point was sharp play by Lendl. Lendl goes up 15-40. McEnroe saves the first match point. Then at 30-40 McEnroe hits a good serve to Lendl's backhand, pulling Lendl wide beyond the doubles line. Weak high return by Lendl toward the middle. McEnroe may have had enough time to choose whether to take it with the forehand or the backhand. He seemed to hesitate for an instant at the T before proceeding forward. Chooses a forehand volley aiming for Lendl's forehand corner, and misses wide. It wasn't in principle a difficult volley (shoulder's high) except that by the time he hit it, Lendl was already on the full run to the other side and the ball needed to be placed close to the line once committing to that side, else Lendl would have gotten to it. Maybe a drop shot would have worked better.

The only time McEnroe was ahead during these last three sets, was early in the 4th, but not very long. They exchanged a total of 5 breaks in that set, with McEnroe taking the early break at 1-1, losing it right back at 2-1, taking it back right away at 2-2, and losing it again at 4-3.

At no point in these last three sets did it look like either of the two players were tight or nervous or "choking" in any way on any points. They both faced and saved and made break points keeping their cool and going for their shots. What it did look like is that they were getting more weary, especially McEnroe.

Early in the 5th, with McEnroe serving at 0-1, Bud Collins mentioned for the first time that McEnroe's footwork seemed to have slowed down and that he might be tired. At 1-1 they mentioned his footwork again.

McEnroe started to attack more in the last few games, coming to net on second serves more often and on Lendl's second serve. He didn't seem tight, but was obviously trying to shorten the points. But it wasn't working.

At 3-3 McEnroe had a couple of break points. Lendl saved both. By then McEnroe was, according to Bud Collins, "giving every indication of a tired athlete." When Lendl reached deuce on that game, McEnroe kneeled down and put his head on the ground in dispair, then took about a 45 second break to pour some water on his knees and towel off. Lendl by now started to pick very well his moments to come to the net, winning most of the points when he did go there.

There was no question they were both pretty tired, perhaps more noticeably McEnroe was not moving as well starting late in the 3rd. But Lendl supposedly started vomiting right after the interview with Bud Collins He didn't look that good during that interview. Pale as a ghost. And exhausted.

You couls say it a war of attrition. Choking played no part in it.

urban
09-14-2008, 12:38 PM
Even the first set was pretty close. I had seen Mac-Lendl at Duesseldorf WTC two weeks before, when Mac really dominated Lendl. This one at RG was much more competitive right from the beginning. The big technical difference was, that Lendl began to hit backhand cross passing shots away from Mac's backhand volley. Before, Mac had always leaned to his left, covering the down the line shot, which would come like the Amen in the church.

krosero
09-14-2008, 12:40 PM
I'm sure you know this, Ben-Hur, but that argument you quoted from Fabrice Leroy was withdrawn by Fabrice himself two years ago:

PS: Fabrice, I like your " Mac should have won this and that" theory...The Borg should have win at least 3 US Open and 3 australian if he had played them and would have 17 slams...
Plus, "if" some things were fair, for example, Mac would never have his celebrated 4-years-in-a-row-as-number-1, because in 82 he won nothing, though Connors made the Wimbledon-US double, and Lendl won 12 tournaments and was US runner-up...Mac should be No3 in 82!!!

Yes, I know my argument is flawed. In truth, I still haven't gotten over Mac's loss at the 84 French Open. I still cringe when I think about it. But we all play tennis and we all know that a loss is a loss. I still think that Mac would have won a few AO titles had he made the trip down there in his prime (apart from 83). Regarding the other post by Colpo about Mac being the best, I would agree, although I am aware here again that this is not an objective assessment. No-one has enthralled me as a spectator more than Mac during his best years. I saw him anihilate Lendl at the 84 Brussels indoor (I had front-row seats) and was amazed at the imagination, the skill, the genius of Mac's game at the time. But I was 18, and I realize that, at that age, you perceive things with more intensity and you are more passionate about everything.

I mean, I would feel at least self-conscious about arguing with someone who 1) withdrew his argument and 2) may not even be listening. I would think it would look like grandstanding.

Sure, people still make Fabrice's argument. But I would quote them, in their current threads, for a real argument. Or start a new thread with your observations about the 84F final. The problem is not with your arguments, it's just that this whole business about being able to resurrect threads long after they're dead strikes me as problematic. But I've already said why above. It just strikes me as strange when people get all up in arms against others who are not even there.

I think other boards have rules about not responding to threads after 60 days.

thalivest
09-14-2008, 12:40 PM
Yeah the 84 French final was more of a true classic then a storied choke. It is too bad Lendl does not get the credit he deserves for that victory. Actually he often doesnt get the credit he deserves in general as a player it seems.

Benhur
09-14-2008, 02:12 PM
I'm sure you know this, Ben-Hur, but that argument you quoted from Fabrice Leroy was withdrawn by Fabrice himself two years ago:

I mean, I would feel at least self-conscious about arguing with someone who 1) withdrew his argument and 2) may not even be listening. I would think it would look like grandstanding.

Sure, people still make Fabrice's argument. But I would quote them, in their current threads, for a real argument. Or start a new thread with your observations about the 84F final. The problem is not with your arguments, it's just that this whole business about being able to resurrect threads long after they're dead strikes me as problematic. But I've already said why above. It just strikes me as strange when people get all up in arms against others who are not even there.

I think other boards have rules about not responding to threads after 60 days.

Well, after this thread was resurected a few days ago, I skimmed through it a bit but didn't actually see that post from Fabrice Leroy, or at least don't remember it. But in any case, he is withdrawing the notion that this match should count as a McEnroe victory of sorts. What I was addressing in my last post is the idea that Mcenroe outplayed Lendl in the third, or for that matter in any of the last three sets. This is I think a common misperception, not borne out by watching the match, as I explained. The third and fourth were very close, and in the fifth I think Lendl played better than McEnroe.

Goosehead
11-27-2012, 01:10 AM
some interesting stuff in here seeing as 'tennis history wars' are going on in other threads. :neutral:

i came to this via google search..mcenroe loses to wilander 1983 australian open sf.

timnz
11-27-2012, 01:43 AM
Thanks guys.

Moose, that's an interesting point about the Australian Open. They have worked hard to get the tournament to the level it currently is.

I would love to see the tournament played in february but maybe Australians out there might inform us about weather issues? It just seems so soon after christmas to play such a big event.

On another issue, I still use terms like Italian Open, Canadian Open, German Open. I refuse to use those horrific terms like Rome Masters or Rogers Cup etc.

The biggest reason that the Australian Open has stuck to the January time slot is the summer school holidays. Organizers feel that more people will come to the event during the summer holiday season - that is why they are reluctant to move it to a february to april time slot

timnz
11-27-2012, 03:37 PM
Even though, I am only 22, I recognize that up until about the late-1980s, the Australian Open and French Open were considered nowhere near the prestige of Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. Consequently, great players in the last 20 years who have been successful at the Australian Open (notably Wilander, Edberg, Agassi, and Lendl) and French Open (notably Wilander and Lendl) have had their grand slam totals inflated.

As talented and successful as John McEnroe was, it is suprising to many that he won "only" 7 grand slams, however, when one analyzes his championships
(3 wimbledons and 4 U.S. Opens) he is tied for 2nd place (with, of course, Connors and Federer) for most presigious grand slams in the Open Era.

Some tennis historians have suggested that up until the late-1980s, winning other non-grand slam tournaments (notably the now defunct Dallas WCT tournament played in Spring) was as difficult and impressive as winning a grand slam.

Consequently, for McEnroe, who won the Dallas WCT tournament 5 times (including final victories over Borg, Connors, and Lendl), his "true" grand slam total should actually be 12. What do you think?

The French Open had regained full prestige of a Grand Slam since the mid to late 1970's ie well before the late 80's. It has equal status with Wimbledon and the US open in the period you refer to. The Australian Open started to regain it starting in 1983 when players like McEnroe, Lendl and Wilander came - that process of rehabilitation came to full fruition in 1988 with the change of venue and change to hard court and the expansion of the field to 128.

re. McEnroe - keep in mind that he competed at the event in December 1983 (only a month before his peak year and he was number 1), December 1985 (when he still was number 3) - he was only 24 and 26- all on Grass - which suited him. So if it was a lesser event - it should have been easier for him to win ....but he didn't. (having said that reading his biography his mind wasn't in the 1985 event - but that was his problem, it shouldn't be an excuse). So it is a bit of a myth that some hold that McEnroe didn't really compete at the Australian Open as a top player.

On the other hand, I am in agreement that more credit needs to be put against Mac for his WCT finals wins. His 5 wins tend to get swept under the carpet. Memory is short in tennis. The WCT finals was a very big event.

pc1
11-27-2012, 03:59 PM
The French Open had regained full prestige of a Grand Slam since the mid to late 1970's ie well before the late 80's. It has equal status with Wimbledon and the US open in the period you refer to. The Australian Open started to regain it starting in 1983 when players like McEnroe, Lendl and Wilander came - that process of rehabilitation came to full fruition in 1988 with the change of venue and change to hard court and the expansion of the field to 128.

re. McEnroe - keep in mind that he competed at the event in December 1983 (only a month before his peak year and he was number 1), December 1985 (when he still was number 3) - he was only 24 and 26- all on Grass - which suited him. So if it was a lesser event - it should have been easier for him to win ....but he didn't. (having said that reading his biography his mind wasn't in the 1985 event - but that was his problem, it shouldn't be an excuse). So it is a bit of a myth that some hold that McEnroe didn't really compete at the Australian Open as a top player.

On the other hand, I am in agreement that more credit needs to be put against Mac for his WCT finals wins. His 5 wins tend to get swept under the carpet. Memory is short in tennis. The WCT finals was a very big event.

No doubt. The way they publicized it at the time in the 1970's you often would think the WCT Championship was the biggest tournament in the world. I think they did call the winner the World Champion of Tennis. It was a different value system in those days.

Mustard
11-27-2012, 08:52 PM
i came to this via google search..mcenroe loses to wilander 1983 australian open sf.

A surprising result. McEnroe then won his next 42 matches in a row.

No doubt. The way they publicized it at the time in the 1970's you often would think the WCT Championship was the biggest tournament in the world. I think they did call the winner the World Champion of Tennis. It was a different value system in those days.

It was most up to date event at the time, with the WCT fully embracing the open era and what it meant for the sport of tennis. The old guard in the ILTF just clung onto the past as much as possible.

timnz
11-27-2012, 10:58 PM
Should events only be assessed with regard to prestige on the basis on the present only? If an event was regarded as major or pseudo-major in the past but not now - should players who won those events in the past not be credited with those major wins anymore? Is the present the only time to accurately assess careers?

So if in 15 years, no-one rates the french open anymore does Nadal majors total of 'important tournaments' get reduced to 4? Oh, no surely not. Problem is that has happened again and again in tennis history:

1/The winner of the Wct finals was called the world champion of tennis. Now that event is forgotten from the cv of the most prolific winner John McEnroe. Note: 2 years ago Rosewall was interviewed and asked out of all his amazing career, what win was he most proud of? Answer: his two Wct finals wins

2/ Did you know that budge wasn't the first winner of the grand slam? The first winner of all the official majors in a year was tony wilding in 1913. But 2 out of the 3 official majors of the time are now forgotten events and don't appear on wildings list of major lists.

So, let players beware...Any major achievements they might accrue now could be wiped out by fashion going forward.

Note: they are far more civilised in golf. They value their history. For instance, they regard bobby jones as a grand slam winner of golf, even though the events he won were different than golfs current majors. Pity Tony Wilding doesn't get similar credit that he deserves.

kiki
11-27-2012, 11:42 PM
Ashe played almost all Dallas Finals in the 70
Who said he didn't?
He won it in 75 and lost the 1973 final
He was a semifinalist in 71,72 and 74
In contrast he just played 2 Masters and reached the final in 78 and semis in 75

krosero
11-30-2012, 08:26 PM
For instance, they regard bobby jones as a grand slam winner of golf, even though the events he won were different than golfs current majors. Pity Tony Wilding doesn't get similar credit that he deserves.This is such a good point, didn't want to just let it drop off. If the Grand Slam in golf has not always been made up of the same events, it makes you wonder why that is not the case with tennis' Grand Slam. As you've often noted, there were majors in tennis other than the four that came to make up the Grand Slam. Some of them no longer exist, but it doesn't mean they were not majors in their own time.

And I've seen myself how the definition of "Grand Slam" in tennis was once more flexible: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=416473.

Great point about Wilding.

Blocker
12-01-2012, 01:13 AM
Thanks guys.

Moose, that's an interesting point about the Australian Open. They have worked hard to get the tournament to the level it currently is.

I would love to see the tournament played in february but maybe Australians out there might inform us about weather issues? It just seems so soon after christmas to play such a big event.

On another issue, I still use terms like Italian Open, Canadian Open, German Open. I refuse to use those horrific terms like Rome Masters or Rogers Cup etc.

Late January and February is the hottest time of the year here in Melbourne. It would just be too hot for the players. There was also a push a few years ago to have the AO played in March. I'm not sure if non-Australians know this, but Melbourne is one of the event capitals of the world and has been voted the sporting capital of the world various times. In March, Melbourne hosts the Australian Air Show (every second year), The Australian Formula One Grand Prix which some people consider to be bigger than tennis grand slams on a global sporting scale, the Australian Motor Show, plus the AFL (which is to Melbourne what NFL is to the USA) kicks off in March. In addition to that, Melbourne has all these international comedy/jazz/food/screen festivals which are on between January to March. So the first three months in Melbourne is jammed packed with all these events, in particular, the AO and the F1 Grand Prix. I don't think there is a city in the world which has two monstrous international events so close to each other, and I don't think there would be enough hotels in Melbourne to accomodate all the tourists coming into the city.

Just on the comment about the Marlboro Australian Open, to the poster who stated that, you are correct, but the commentators used to refer to it as the "1.5 Million Dollar Marlboro Australian Open" lol.

Part of the problem with the AO was that it was shared around between cities, it never had a permanent home. Once it finally settled in Melbourne, it was only then that the wheels were put in motion to make it an event worth taking seriously. And today, it is the richest tennis event in the world. As for the question about what would happen to it if prizemoney was decreased, well that could apply to any tournament in the world, including W. If prizemoney was decreased, personally I don't think it would stop the players competing in it, well not the top players anyway. They have enough money, it's the title they want.

Gizo
12-01-2012, 01:32 AM
I do think though if events like Indian Wells, Rome, Montreal/Toronto suddenly started offering greater prize money round by round than the Australian Open or any of the slams for that matter, a lot of the players on the tour, especially the lower ranked ones, would start taking those events more seriously instead.

That was sort of the situation on the tour in the late 70s and early 80s. Many of the top players around then were not going to take the Australian Open more seriously than the Pepsi Grand Slam for instance which offered them considerably more prize money. Similarly its no wonder that Borg and Evert wanted to play in World Team Tennis instead of Roland Garros at some point in the 70s, when they could earn a lot more money at the former event than the latter one.

Mustard
12-01-2012, 11:44 AM
Part of the problem with the AO was that it was shared around between cities, it never had a permanent home. Once it finally settled in Melbourne, it was only then that the wheels were put in motion to make it an event worth taking seriously.

It moved around up to 1971, but then it settled down. The event has been in Melbourne since 1972, but the worst period of the Australian Open attendance slump was 1976-1982. I think moving it away from the Christmas period in 1982 was the start, and then moving to the new venue, Flinders/Melbourne Park, in 1988, was even bigger. Then there's the prize money difference as well.

Blocker
12-01-2012, 11:09 PM
It moved around up to 1971, but then it settled down. The event has been in Melbourne since 1972, but the worst period of the Australian Open attendance slump was 1976-1982. I think moving it away from the Christmas period in 1982 was the start, and then moving to the new venue, Flinders/Melbourne Park, in 1988, was even bigger. Then there's the prize money difference as well.

The AO was moved to January permanently in 1987. The event was not held in 1986, to allow for the change.

When I said the wheels were put in motion to make it a big event, I didn't mean straight away. Rome was wasn't built in a day and the status of the AO was not going to be elevated in a day either. I think the AO first began to be taken seriously in 1983 when Wilander and Lendl turned up. Then it wasn't too much longer that you had Becker and Edberg here too, and the move to Flinders Park, now known as Melbourne Park pretty much consolidated the AO's position as a worthy GS. The final nail in the coffin of the point of view that the AO was not a grand slam taken seriously was in 1995 when Agassi came over for the event. Given Agassi's reputation for being rebellious, the fact he came all this way to play the event was a massive boost for the image of the event. The fact he played Sampras in the final that year, even moreso.

The removal of any doubt whatsoever in my mind about the AO's importance was when Federer cried. And I don't mean when he lost to Nadal. I mean when he beat Baghdatis. At that stage he was seemingly unbeatable, had already won many slams and after an early fright, beat Baghdatis pretty comfortably in the end. Yet there he was getting emotional during his speech.

So by the time the 2012 final rolled around, it did not surprise me in the slightest that Djok and Nadal slugged it out for 6 hours. If you're going to come all this way down under, you may as well make it count while you're here.

Blocker
12-01-2012, 11:10 PM
And just on McEnroe and the AO, I remember he came here in 1985 and on the first morning here, he spat on a journalist who was standing outside his hotel lol.

kiki
12-02-2012, 12:51 AM
Mac has a total of 15 majors in relative terms since Masters and WCT finals were considered bigger events than the AO in most of the 70´s ( from 72 on and till 1987) and 80´s.

His 8 indoor majors include beating in the final match fellas like Connors and Borg, as well as Lendl a bunch of times, Ashe, all of them HOF players.

Becker,Federer,Rosewall and Sampras record should also be enhanced by their YEC and WCT wins.

Gizo
12-02-2012, 01:29 AM
It's interesting that when the likes of Connors and Mac were skipping the Australian Open year after year, they were still playing at the Sydney Indoor event.

Obviously it had a better/less inconvenient slot on the calendar than the Aussie Open did at that time, but still it shows just how highly they valued the event that they were willing to fly to the other end of the world to play in it year after year.

In addition to the WCT Finals, we've lost a lot of other big indoor events over the last 10-20 years, Wembley, Philadelphia, Milan, Sydney Indoor and Tokyo Indoor.

kiki
12-02-2012, 02:07 AM
It's interesting that when the likes of Connors and Mac were skipping the Australian Open year after year, they were still playing at the Sydney Indoor event.

Obviously it had a better/less inconvenient slot on the calendar than the Aussie Open did at that time, but still it shows just how highly they valued the event that they were willing to fly to the other end of the world to play in it year after year.

In addition to the WCT Finals, we've lost a lot of other big indoor events over the last 10-20 years, Wembley, Philadelphia, Milan, Sydney Indoor and Tokyo Indoor.

Memphis,Stockholm,Frankfurt,Antwerp,San Francisco and a lot of two-three days exos like Milan Brooklyne Masters, Chicago Michelob, Molson Challenge at Toronto, Europe vs America at Barcelona, GS Cup at München or the Las vegas Challenge of Champions.