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Gundam
02-10-2007, 12:33 AM
Hi all,

Among the old time greats, Ken is the one who intrigues me most. Please tell me about his style, famous flat backhand (according to Jack Kramer), personality, life, memorable matches, and yeah, that famous 72 WCT championship match against Laver (Only 25min highlight DVD is the only thing offered from that match...). I like his hairdo too, :) Thanks in advance!

PS), who would be his equivalent among the players of 80s, 90s, and this decade?

urban
02-10-2007, 01:06 AM
Rosewall reminds me a bit on Federer, not so much regarding the strokes, which are a lot wristier in Fed's case, but in puncto movement, anticipation, gliding into strokes. Ken was called the 'Fred Astaire in sneakers', his best shot was his movement, he always stood on the right position in court, and was very solid and consistent in his strokemaking. He was small (1,68), but quite strong and stocky. He famous backhand slice wasn't a real slice, more a hard drive with a bit of underspin. He could hit an handkerchief with it. He was more a counterpuncher, his serve was more on placement, but he backed it up with great volleys and half-volleys and surprisingly a strong smash. The serve remained a relative weakness (he was a born lefthander), and could be overpowered by good returners (hence his bad matchup with the young Connors). Rosewall was the most steady and long termed star in history, he was at the top for more than 20 years (1953-ca.1974/5), and crossed the amateur, pro and open eras. He was a young star and an old star, setting many records as youngest and oldest winner of a tournament. He was dominant for a while on the pro tour (1960/61-1963), and many year in the top 2 or 3, and accumulated over the years more big and overall titles than anyone or almost anyone. If you add to his 8 majors, the 3 US pros, 6 Wembleys and 8 French pros (the status of the French pro, not always played on clay at RG, is imo a bit less than Wembley and US pro), you get an idea, that he won over 20 big titles. He won also around 120 overall titles. Only Laver, Tilden and with a distance Gonzales have comparable stats. His calm, shy, small appearance never made him a big public attraction, although he was a cognoscendi's dream.

aussie
02-10-2007, 03:26 AM
Urban - that is a great summary of a wonderful player. Rosewall caressed the ball rather than hit it and his great timing of the ball I'm sure added to his longevity. He never seemed to have injuries and his effortless speed around the court was Federer like. A true champion of the game and great to see him looking well at the Australian Open.

rasajadad
02-10-2007, 03:39 AM
You can't overlook his fitness level either. His nickname was 'Muscles'. Although it wasn't mentioned here, the first time he won a major he was 17. I believe he last won one at 37. At 38 he lost two GS finals, Wimby and the US to Connors. I got to meet and play with him at a 'Grand Slam Legends' event about 10 years ago and except for the gray hair, he was still in playing shape. He was also a down to earth guy. All of the other players at this event revered him, yet he was still shagging balls after the matches.

[ GTR ]
02-10-2007, 03:56 AM
I'm not 100% sure about this but wasn't his nicknamed called muscles because he didn't have any?

rasajadad
02-10-2007, 11:39 AM
;1241723']I'm not 100% sure about this but wasn't his nicknamed called muscles because he didn't have any?

Absolutely not. The guy was slim, didn't have an ounce of fat on him and was ripped.

urban
02-10-2007, 11:50 AM
I think, Rosewall put on real muscles, after turning pro. He states that in an 1963 article in 'The Nestle book of Tennis'. In pictures of him, you can see, that he was quite powerful built, especially with strong legs. See the biography section in
www.histoiredutennis.com

FiveO
02-10-2007, 11:52 AM
You can't overlook his fitness level either. His nickname was 'Muscles'. Although it wasn't mentioned here, the first time he won a major he was 17. I believe he last won one at 37. At 38 he lost two GS finals, Wimby and the US to Connors. I got to meet and play with him at a 'Grand Slam Legends' event about 10 years ago and except for the gray hair, he was still in playing shape. He was also a down to earth guy. All of the other players at this event revered him, yet he was still shagging balls after the matches.

All the Aussies were incredibly fit, including Rosewall. However, the nickname of "Muscles" was ascribed to him if not by Harry Hopman himself, by his peers as a playful jibe, in that he was viewed as not having them. Especially in contrast to the much stronger and visibly more muscular Lew Hoad who broke in at practically the same point in time Rosewall was comparatively scrawny. Because they came up together Hoad and Rosewall were refered to as "The Twins", and the relative "runt" was given the monicker "Muscles" with a nod and a wink.

Hopman nicknamed Rod Laver, "the Rocket", when working with him early on because he could be lazy and did not use what turned out to be much more than serviceable foot speed consistently. From what I have read and understand it's almost an Aussie tradition to assign nicknames drenched in sarcasm or other forms of humor. More recently "Scud" being assigned to Flipper, as a Scud missile is a destructive explosive missile however no one knows exactly where it will hit, or "Killer" Darren Cahill, who is reputed to be one of the genuinely nicest people in the sport. Very similar to nicknaming a 6'8" and/or 300 pounder in America: "Tiny".

Great synopsis on Rosewall, urban.

Bjorn99
02-10-2007, 03:03 PM
I have some Rosewall stories, but his family wouldn't appreciate them, and they wouldn't be believed anyways. An Aussie coach of mine who knows him and knew Hoad well, had tons of them. Quite a shocker.

Jerry
02-10-2007, 03:32 PM
I have some Rosewall stories, but his family wouldn't appreciate them, and they wouldn't be believed anyways. An Aussie coach of mine who knows him and knew Hoad well, had tons of them. Quite a shocker.

In other words, you've got nothing to say but thought you'd try to big note yourself at the expense of someone with way more class than you'll ever have. Real nice way to try and ruin a good thread.

Rabbit
02-10-2007, 03:59 PM
All the Aussies were incredibly fit, including Rosewall. However, the nickname of "Muscles" was ascribed to him if not by Harry Hopman himself, by his peers as a playful jibe, in that he was viewed as not having them.

Yep, it was Hopman who called Rosewall "Muscles" and it was because he didn't have any. This is not to say that Rosewall wasn't fit, because he was unbelievably fit. However, he was a slight fellow. Likewise, Hopman called Laver "Rocket" because he wasn't exactly fleet of foot.

NoBadMojo
02-10-2007, 04:27 PM
I agree..terrific summary by Urban

For Rabbit: so using this very same logic, care to tell us why you are known as Rabbit? ;O

Yours!05
02-10-2007, 04:37 PM
I have some Rosewall stories, but his family wouldn't appreciate them...That's very considerate.:shock::lol:

Gundam
02-10-2007, 09:05 PM
Thanks urban and everyone. Great reads!
I wish that famous 1972 match vs. Laver becomes available someday. :p

urban
02-10-2007, 11:37 PM
There is a match on dvd recently offered by a British dvd seller on the internet between the two, that might be even better: the Sydney Dunlop Open final of 1970 on grass. It was won by Laver in 5 sets, and called the best match ever played in Australia.

chess9
02-10-2007, 11:42 PM
Rosewall was a firey competitor, but he was always a gentleman. Titles are nice, but being a great human being counts for so much more.

-Robert

AndrewD
02-11-2007, 12:23 AM
In regards to Laver's nickname, it's origins don't have anything to do with any lack of footspeed but, rather, his very casual nature.

Laver was a Queenslander and they are a notoriously 'slow' people. I don't mean slow as in stupid but slow as in casual/insouciant/unrushed: the type of people who like to take their time doing everything. With Queenslanders that extends down to the way they talk = v eeeee r y........s l o wwwwwww l y, dragging out their words as though they have all the time in the world.

With blokes like that we often say 'he needs a rocket under him to get moving' and they're often tagged with the nicknames 'Rocket' or 'Speed' (although 'Speed' often refers to someone who seems a bit dim).

A good example of the highly sarcastic nature of most Aussie nicknames is Bill Bowrey (he won the 68 Aus Open) who, after falling off a horse, was known as 'Tex'.

VikingSamurai
02-11-2007, 12:39 AM
In regards to Laver's nickname, it's origins don't have anything to do with any lack of footspeed but, rather, his very casual nature.

Laver was a Queenslander and they are a notoriously 'slow' people. I don't mean slow as in stupid but slow as in casual/insouciant/unrushed: the type of people who like to take their time doing everything. With Queenslanders that extends down to the way they talk = v eeeee r y........s l o wwwwwww l y, dragging out their words as though they have all the time in the world.

With blokes like that we often say 'he needs a rocket under him to get moving' and they're often tagged with the nicknames 'Rocket' or 'Speed' (although 'Speed' often refers to someone who seems a bit dim).

A good example of the highly sarcastic nature of most Aussie nicknames is Bill Bowrey (he won the 68 Aus Open) who, after falling off a horse, was known as 'Tex'.

I am a Queenslander, and I don't know if I am offended or just amazed at what a stupid comment that is. What do you class as talking slow?.. Get in a room with my 19y.o niece and you wont think QLD'ers talk slow at all?..

Maybe you elitist southerner's need to realize that we QLD'ers aren't as slow as you might think?.. If we were so bad, 1500 of you wouldn't be moving to our state every week like you are now?

If I remember correctly, you are from Victoria Andy D?.. Maybe I should call you a Mexican because you are south of the border? But that would be mean to Mexicans.....Coming from Victoria, I would be surprised if you can actually speak english?

Frank Silbermann
02-11-2007, 04:42 AM
I have some Rosewall stories, but his family wouldn't appreciate them, and they wouldn't be believed anyways. An Aussie coach of mine who knows him and knew Hoad well, had tons of them. Quite a shocker. Do these stories have anything to do with his reputed tightness with a nickel?

Moose Malloy
02-11-2007, 05:10 PM
There is a match on dvd recently offered by a British dvd seller on the internet between the two, that might be even better: the Sydney Dunlop Open final of 1970 on grass. It was won by Laver in 5 sets, and called the best match ever played in Australia.

urban, do you know where I can get this match? thanks

winebarrel
02-11-2007, 07:36 PM
I had the wonderful pleasure of playing against Ken Rosewall about 5 years ago in a pro am.
Of all the ex pros there, Darren Cahill, Wally Massur, Kim Warwick, Mark Edmondston, Rod Frawley, Alan Stone, John Alexander, it was Ken Rosewall who gave me the greatest trouble.
He just seemed to glide over the court [he was 72 then] and he would know exactly where I was going to hit the ball each and every time. I have a decent serve at 185kph but I recall serving a huge bomb to him down the tee and he blocked a clean winner back and I even heard him mutter, "Damn I hit it too early!"
The other pros treated him with the utmost respect as you might someone who is regarded as a living tennis legend and tennis royalty.
I remember attending a pre-Davis Cup dinner [France Vs Australia 1999] and when Ken walked into the room the entire French Davis Cup team gave him a standing ovation.

urban
02-12-2007, 04:55 AM
Moose, i saw the match recently announced on another board by a seller calling himself tennisvideos. His internet address is
http://www.users.bigpond.com/tennisvideos1/

Nice story winebarrel, and respect,to serve a 185 serve, is not easy.

CollegeBound
02-12-2007, 06:53 AM
I am a Queenslander, and I don't know if I am offended or just amazed at what a stupid comment that is. What do you class as talking slow?.. Get in a room with my 19y.o niece and you wont think QLD'ers talk slow at all?..
Maybe you elitist southerner's need to realize that we QLD'ers aren't as slow as you might think?.. If we were so bad, 1500 of you wouldn't be moving to our state every week like you are now?
If I remember correctly, you are from Victoria Andy D?.. Maybe I should call you a Mexican because you are south of the border? But that would be mean to Mexicans.....Coming from Victoria, I would be surprised if you can actually speak english?

Son, I'm a Queenslander and I don't take any offense whatsoever over AndrewD's comments. It's pretty obvious to me that he isn't making any comment on anyone's intelligence, he's just talking about the attitude of the average bloke up here. Unless I've been missing something over my 50 odd years on this earth, we are a darn sight more casual and laid back than most Aussies and we do have a far more pronounced drawl or talk a bit slower than the rest of the nation. That goes double for us who make our living on the land, something I'm reminded of every time I visit family in Adelaide and Sydney.

There isn't one thing he wrote that could get a sane and rational person's nose out of joint but by carrying on like you have, you're making us Queenslanders look like we can't read or understand plain English. That does make us seem stupid and I do take offense at that.

Rabbit
02-12-2007, 08:56 AM
I agree..terrific summary by Urban

For Rabbit: so using this very same logic, care to tell us why you are known as Rabbit? ;O

Ahem....no comment. ;)

In regards to Laver's nickname, it's origins don't have anything to do with any lack of footspeed but, rather, his very casual nature.

Laver was a Queenslander and they are a notoriously 'slow' people. I don't mean slow as in stupid but slow as in casual/insouciant/unrushed: the type of people who like to take their time doing everything. With Queenslanders that extends down to the way they talk = v eeeee r y........s l o wwwwwww l y, dragging out their words as though they have all the time in the world.

With blokes like that we often say 'he needs a rocket under him to get moving' and they're often tagged with the nicknames 'Rocket' or 'Speed' (although 'Speed' often refers to someone who seems a bit dim).

A good example of the highly sarcastic nature of most Aussie nicknames is Bill Bowrey (he won the 68 Aus Open) who, after falling off a horse, was known as 'Tex'.

Great post, I stand corrected. Thanks!

Sounds like Queenslanders' are analogous to Southerners in the States. I'm one and the "slow" thing never offended me. Hell, I kinda like a slower pace of life. It gives you more time to enjoy it.

NoBadMojo
02-12-2007, 09:14 AM
Ahem....no comment. ;)





well geez Furry One...could be lots of things..is your body covered with fur? do you reproduce a lot? slow afoot? fast afoot? eat lots of carrots? have something against RoadRunners and people named Elmer? c'mon Rabbit...what gives?? ;)

jmsx521
02-12-2007, 01:08 PM
I watched him play live 11 years ago... without knowing much of who he was back then... and what struck me was how good his back-hand was for his age.

VikingSamurai
02-12-2007, 02:33 PM
Son, I'm a Queenslander and I don't take any offense whatsoever over AndrewD's comments. It's pretty obvious to me that he isn't making any comment on anyone's intelligence, he's just talking about the attitude of the average bloke up here. Unless I've been missing something over my 50 odd years on this earth, we are a darn sight more casual and laid back than most Aussies and we do have a far more pronounced drawl or talk a bit slower than the rest of the nation. That goes double for us who make our living on the land, something I'm reminded of every time I visit family in Adelaide and Sydney.

There isn't one thing he wrote that could get a sane and rational person's nose out of joint but by carrying on like you have, you're making us Queenslanders look like we can't read or understand plain English. That does make us seem stupid and I do take offense at that.

It was a tongue in cheek ;) reply

VikingSamurai
02-12-2007, 03:04 PM
ps: When I lived in the US, I lived in the South (Atlanta) So I know all of the similarities there also.. Was a common joke with the other expats..

Anyway, back to Ken Rosewall

alwaysatnet
02-12-2007, 08:01 PM
I saw a Fosters Lager Legends exhibition back in '82(I suppose) and what immediately struck me about Ken Rosewall was his fitness level,his uncanny movement,his unerring underspin drive backhand. I remember as a very young kid watching the Laver vs. Rosewall matchups bankrolled by Lamar Hunt and being amazed at Rosewall's counterpunching abilities. I would love to see them again with my tennis perspective being much improved over the years. I couldn't really properly appreciate what I was seeing.

chaognosis
02-12-2007, 08:13 PM
There is a wonderful passage in Vijay Amritraj's autobiography where he describes how Pancho Gonzales, his coach at the time, tried to prepare him for a match against Rosewall. For two days before the match, as I recall, Gonzales just kept telling him, "Don't serve to his backhand." When Amritraj finally got out on the court, he thought he saw an opening and decided to serve to the backhand. Rosewall returned the ball for a winner. Thinking it a fluke, he tried the same tactic again, with the same results. Amritraj was quickly broken at love in the opening game, and when he looked to the stands he saw that Gonzales had already left the court, not to return. The two did not speak for three months.

AndrewD
02-13-2007, 01:20 AM
Urban,

One final Rosewall stat. After Open tennis started he lost 2 more years of competition and three majors due to the 73 Wimbledon ban, a problem at the 71 US Open affecting players on the pro tour and a similar one (I believe) at the 72 Wimbledon. I'm sure you'll have a much better idea what the exact details.

Of course, the player most affected by those two Wimbledons was Newcombe who, after winning in 70 and 71, plus a r/u in 69, would have been the odds-on favourite for both 72 and 73.

urban
02-13-2007, 05:49 AM
Yes Andrew, you are right about the period 1968-1973. Not only the pre open, but also the early open era is problematic regarding depleted majors and bannings. Except 1969, when indeed all 4 majors were played by the best players, in all other years at least two were played by a depleted field. The Australian 1968 was still an amateur event, won by little known Bill Bowrey, and decended since 72, Roland Garros was without the best WCT players 1970-72, Forest Hills had losses in 1971, but had mostly the best field, and Wimbledon was severely weakened by the absence of 32 WCT players in 72 and the boyott of 80 ATP players in 73. It would be no bad idea, to chose 4 big events for each year on the basis of importance and best draw, to get a better picture. Say in 1968 the 4th added to RG, Wim and Forest Hills would be Los Angeles. In 1970 Wim, USO, Sydney Dunlop Open and LA Open had probably the best draws, in 71 Wim, USO, Australian and Italian Open and so on. Since 74/75 you have the then established Masters Cup as a temporary replacement for the AO, which came to promincence again since 1983. For the pre open era you could do a similar prozedure, including the pro majors. Its of course sometimes arbitrary, but you could get a better resume for most pro players of this era.

Rabbit
02-13-2007, 09:52 AM
I disagree with the depleted argument. In 1966, the Grand Slams were won by Roy Emerson, Tony Roche, Manuel Santana, and Fred Stolle. In 1967, they were won by Roy Emerson and John Newcombe. In 1968, as you mentioned Bowrey won the Australian, but the French was won by Rosewall, Wimbledon by Rod Laver and the US Open by Arthur Ashe. Bowrey might well have been the 1968 version of Thomas Johannson.

Arthur Ashe, however, was part of the "depleted" field that you mention. He won the US Open in which the pros were entered. Rod Laver lost in the R16 at the Open to Cliff Drysdale. In 1969, Rod Laver played Arthur Ashe in the semis of the Open and won 8-6, 6-3, 14-12.

If you go back and look at the tournaments played right before and right after Open tennis was inducted, you'll see the same names playing the later rounds and winning before and after 1968. Thus, the players who were part of the depleted field, were still winning after Open tennis was announced. While Laver, Rosewall, Hoad, and Gonzalez would have certainly kept Emerson from winning a record number of Grand Slam titles, it is not a certainty that he wouldn't have won his fair share.

Moose Malloy
02-13-2007, 10:34 AM
Bowrey might well have been the 1968 version of Thomas Johannson.

That's a bit of a stretch, the 1968 Australian Open was just played by amateurs(& by none of the best amateurs of '67) There is no comparison between the draws of the '68 French, W, & US which had all the best players & the '68 AO. Laver or Rosewall would have given Bowrey some pain.

check out his profile, he is an amateur who certainly didn't do well on the pro tour:

http://www.atptennis.com/3/en/players/playerprofiles/?playersearch=bowrey

Arthur Ashe, however, was part of the "depleted" field that you mention. He won the US Open in which the pros were entered.

That's not what urban said, he said W, French & US of '68 were all top notch fields, not depleted in any way.

I'm not sure what your problem is with what he said, he just stated facts-many majors in the early years of the open era were affected by bans, boycotts, etc. Which I think is vaulable info that many tennis fans of today aren't aware of, when discussing 'most majors' etc.

Yes, many of the depleted majors were still won by great players, but fans should still be aware of this info. Smith-Nastase played a great 5 set final in '72 Wimbledon, but, as urban said, many great players were banned from that event-Laver, Newcombe(who was 2 time defending champ), Rosewall, Ashe & many others. Everyone knows about the '73 boyocott, but not many know about the WCT ban in '72.

also its nice that urban mentions some of the great non-slam events that are now forgotten. many seem to think prior to the masters series, there weren't events with great fields, but that certainly wasn't the case.

urban
02-13-2007, 11:19 AM
To Rabbit, i am the last, to deny the amateurs of the pre open era, like Emerson, Santana and Newcombe, their status as great players. They would have won some big titles anywhere, even with the best pros in the field, but the numbers would certainly be different. And while still some really good players won majors in the early 70s, many events were weakened (maybe depleted is too harsh) by the absence of a lot of contract pros. The problem of the early open period was the permanent promotional war for supremacy between the pro groups like WCT (or NTL) and the ITF, which controlled the majors. While WCT played a 20 tournament circuit with 32 players, the ITF constructed an own anti-series of tournaments, the Grand Prix. In 1970 the AO at Sydney, was played without the holder Laver, Rosewall and other NTL players, who had promotional struggles with the Australian Federation. In March all contract pros and many of the other best pros played a best of 5 set and 64 men tournament at Sydney, with effectively had a better draw than the AO that year. At RG between 1970 and 1972 only a handful of the best contract pros played the French open; Andres Gimeno won it in 72, after his contract with WCT had ended, and he returned to the ITF control. In 1972 only one big tournament, Forest Hills, had all the best pro players in the field, while each of the three others had only 2-3 players out of the top ten in the draw. So the situation was quite complex, and as Moose said, it should be taken into consideration, when we talk about the numbers of majors or the records of say Masters or Super Nine events. The modern Masters events had indeed equivalents in the 70s or 80s, and players like McEnroe, Connors or Lendl are on a level there with the official Masters record holder Agassi.

Moose Malloy
02-13-2007, 04:27 PM
urba, I just looked up the sydney event on the itf website, what a great field & best of 5 throughout. had no idea about it.

what do you think of this event, how big was it? looks like a great field, though only 16 player draw. was it indoors or outdoors?

WCT Las Vegas May 1970

http://www.itftennis.com/mens/tournaments/drawsheetbyRound.asp?tournament=1010002650&event=

GONZALES d LAVER
61 75 57 63

surprised this isn't mentioned on wikepedia, since they mention Gonzales beating Laver in a "challenge" match, but that wasn't an official tour match, this was.

In 1972 only one big tournament, Forest Hills, had all the best pro players in the field, while each of the three others had only 2-3 players out of the top ten in the draw.

It would be no bad idea, to chose 4 big events for each year on the basis of importance and best draw, to get a better picture. Say in 1968 the 4th added to RG, Wim and Forest Hills would be Los Angeles. In 1970 Wim, USO, Sydney Dunlop Open and LA Open had probably the best draws, in 71 Wim, USO, Australian and Italian Open and so on.

what would be your 'big 4' for '72 & '73? thanks

urban
02-13-2007, 11:52 PM
I didn't know, that the ITF webside had draws of old tournaments, thanks, Moose. Yes, the Las Vegas event, sponsored by Alan King, was a big money event from 69 to the late 70s, later had 32 or 64 draws. Along with the WCT final, it had one of the biggest winners prize, sometimes a Mercedes.It was played on hard courts outdoor. The biggest prize money event in the early 70s (only 70 and 71)was the Champions Classic, a sort of Round Robin winner take all series, that was played on various locations, MSG, Boston Garden, Detriot etc. Laver won both, in the last sweeping all matches. The Las Vegas event had sometimes the status of a Super Nine event. 1972 is a very difficult year, because WCT and the Grand Prix were virtually separate circuits, with only Forest Hills, won by Nastase, a common event. So USO, Wimbledon (only ITF players), WCT final, maybe Philadelphia (only WCT) or French (only ITF) - its quite difficult. In 1973 USO (won by Newcombe), French (won by Nastase), maybe the Masters Cup at Boston (won by Nastase) and Philadelphia (won by Smith) were the most prolific.

Rabbit
02-14-2007, 09:02 AM
Urban - my bad. I totally brain cramped or just plain lost reading comprehension. Your initial post, the one that I referenced above, is spot on. The fields were "depleted" and it is not too strong a word. The struggles between the ITF and in particular WCT are exactly what caused the situation you described. I recently read that even with the inception of the WCT back in the late 60s, the ITF was still insisting that the pros play the Grand Slams for free.

However, I don't know that the ATP has done such a wonderful job of managing the game either. Would you or Moose agree?

Moose Malloy
02-14-2007, 10:01 AM
I didn't know, that the ITF webside had draws of old tournaments, thanks, Moose.

not just old tournaments, but really old as well. was just looking at the draw for the 1956 US Open(Rosewall d Hoad in the final)- the 128 draw had 90 Americans in it!

did you look at that las vegas link I mentioned? apparently Segura was entered in that 1970 Las Vegas event. He was about 50 & only lost 64,63 to Roche! must have been quite a player in his prime.

have you bought that rosewall-laver sydney match yet?

chaognosis
02-14-2007, 12:30 PM
Moose, I too need to thank you for the info about the ITF website -- great find! One of the legendary shots that I was never able to see firsthand, and of which I haven't found any video footage, is Segura's two-handed forehand. Kramer famously called it the single greatest stroke ever developed, ahead of the Budge backhand and Perry's "table tennis" forehand. I don't suppose anyone knows of a match or archival footage that records Segura executing this shot in action? Thanks.

Moose Malloy
02-14-2007, 02:04 PM
urban, according to itf website the '69 Las Vegas event was in October. could it have been an outdoor event that late in the season?

http://www.itftennis.com/mens/tournaments/tournamentsearch.asp

also you mentioned that you would consider Los Angeles as the 4th best tournament in '68, due to the great field. what do you think of Bournemouth in '68? it was 64 draw & best of 5 througout.

Rosewall d Laver 36 62 60 63 in the final

http://www.itftennis.com/mens/tournaments/tournamentresults.asp?tournament=1010002102&event=

urban
02-15-2007, 12:13 AM
In 1968 two pro groups were operating: the NTL with the older pros like Laver, Rosewall, Gimeno, Gonzales, Emerson, Stolle, and selected others, and the new WCT group (handsome 8) with Newcombe, Roche, Pilic, Taylor, Drysdale, later Okker, Ralston, Bucholtz, Riessen and others. Bournemouth was the first open event, played by pros, registered players and amateurs. But only the NTL group played there (as was the case at RG), and only a few leading amateurs (no Santana, Okker, Ashe or others). Even the French open that year had only NTL players and a few of the best amateurs, and was held without the named above. Events, which had both pro groups assembled, were only ca. 6: Wimbledon, the French pro at RG (played one week after Wim, and had a better field than the French open in May), US pro, US open (with pros and amateurs), Wembley). At Los Angeles that year all the best pros and the best amateurs played in a 64 men field, like Ashe (Nr. 2 on the world ranking), and Graebner (Nr.7). Therefor it had great importance for the ranking.

Bjorn99
02-17-2007, 10:46 PM
Nothing to do with that.

Moose Malloy
04-02-2007, 02:00 PM
There is a match on dvd recently offered by a British dvd seller on the internet between the two, that might be even better: the Sydney Dunlop Open final of 1970 on grass. It was won by Laver in 5 sets, and called the best match ever played in Australia.

Moose, i saw the match recently announced on another board by a seller calling himself tennisvideos. His internet address is
http://www.users.bigpond.com/tennisvideos1/



Just finished watching this, thanks for the reference urban. was surprised by laver's 15 double faults, but he said in the post match interview that Rosewall puts so much pressure with his return.

and that passing shot that laver hit on his back was amazing!

triplefault
04-04-2007, 12:50 PM
I saw Ken Rosewall play in the early seventies. I was told before the match I would never see him hit a shot off balance as his footwork was the best in tennis. As best as I can recollect, he never was off balance. Wow.

urban
04-10-2007, 06:39 AM
Yes Moose, Laver served very poorly in this match. I bought the match as well. Was impressed by Rosewall's deft and acurate lobbing, and his pinpoint returns, going cross or at the feet or the volleyer. Rosewall often hit the ball with his backhand, by simply sticking his racket into the shot. At the end, imo Lavers greater weight of shot made the difference. Particularly his backhand drive was working deadly, especially when he hit his streaks. He forced Rosewall to stay at the baseline after second and often first serves. With his strong wrist, Laver could hide the direction until the last minute, and he hit some astounding baseline half volleys, completely by the force of the arm and wrist.

Rabbit
04-10-2007, 07:31 AM
You guys bought the Laver/Rosewall match? I need details! (Please?)

urban
04-11-2007, 02:09 AM
Rabbit, the seller is noted in the post above. The 1970 match is documented in total, 5 sets in ca. 160 minutes, in black and white, of course without slow motion replays or other modern tv techniques. They are playing at White City in Sydney on grass, which is not very good, a bit slippery around the t-line, and the surface seems to be rather slow (slower than the Wimbledon grass of the time). It's not the classical serve and volley contest, one would expect. Because of the very good returns from both players, you see many quite long rallies with great court coverage. Both are using every inch of the court. It's not that far different in style from the Wimbledon grass play today, but the volleying and forecourt play is much better. While Laver is coming in on most serves, Rosewall stays back a lot, and works his way to the net behind deep approach shots. Both players can improvizese their strokes very well, after bad bounces or deep shots. You see many great rallies with spectacular shotmaking, sometimes from way out of court. And you see many direct winners (they called them placements in those days). Imo the dominant stroke is Laver's wristy topspin backhand, which in this match is even more dangerous than Rosewall's own famous backhand.

Moose Malloy
04-11-2007, 10:17 AM
urban, did you buy any other matches from that site?

urban
04-11-2007, 10:58 AM
No, Moose, they have the Laver-Roche match of 1969, but only the first two sets of it, and the Emerson-Ashe Aussie final of 1967, the Rosewall-Ashe final of 1971 plus some women matches of the time. But i see , that Joe Sch on his wood tennis webside offers the Laver-Newcombe Wimbledon final of 1969. I believe you noted it on the tennis magazine webside, while you corrected - imo with full right - some not really insightful comments on Laver by Steve Tignor, who likes to refer to Laver as a 'small game' player. I don't know baseball, but if anyone with wood rackets went for outright winners with his shots, it was Laver.

Moose Malloy
04-12-2007, 09:24 AM
the Rosewall-Ashe final of 1971

are you sure they have that match? I don't see it listed on the site.

urban
04-12-2007, 10:03 AM
Maybe i am wrong, Moose, but i thought i saw it there some time ago. Just saw another side with many old matches, maybe You know it already:
http://www.replay-tennis-dvds.com/

Moose Malloy
04-12-2007, 02:30 PM
thanks, I wasn't aware of that site. have you used it before?

lots of interesting matches they have, Rosewall-Smith '74 W SF sounds good

The Gorilla
04-12-2007, 05:52 PM
could you post one or two clips up on youtube?

dirkgnuf
04-13-2007, 11:27 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzPuG5HWGmI&mode=related&search=
Rosewell vs Ashe
AO Final '71

Moose Malloy
04-13-2007, 12:19 PM
thanks for posting that, I see they also have the post match interviews, I've never heard Rosewall speak before:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaDsH6FCrlI

Moose Malloy
04-13-2007, 03:55 PM
urban, have you seen a documentary called "The French" about the 1981 French Open? is it worth seeing?

Tomaz Bellucci
08-04-2009, 09:31 PM
Yes Andrew, you are right about the period 1968-1973. Not only the pre open, but also the early open era is problematic regarding depleted majors and bannings. Except 1969, when indeed all 4 majors were played by the best players, in all other years at least two were played by a depleted field. The Australian 1968 was still an amateur event, won by little known Bill Bowrey, and decended since 72, Roland Garros was without the best WCT players 1970-72, Forest Hills had losses in 1971, but had mostly the best field, and Wimbledon was severely weakened by the absence of 32 WCT players in 72 and the boyott of 80 ATP players in 73. It would be no bad idea, to chose 4 big events for each year on the basis of importance and best draw, to get a better picture. Say in 1968 the 4th added to RG, Wim and Forest Hills would be Los Angeles. In 1970 Wim, USO, Sydney Dunlop Open and LA Open had probably the best draws, in 71 Wim, USO, Australian and Italian Open and so on. Since 74/75 you have the then established Masters Cup as a temporary replacement for the AO, which came to promincence again since 1983. For the pre open era you could do a similar prozedure, including the pro majors. Its of course sometimes arbitrary, but you could get a better resume for most pro players of this era.

So if Laver or Rosewall would play Wimby 72-73 and RG 71-72-73 how do you urban (or pc1, sgt jhon, carlo g colussi, jeffreyneave) evaluate their chances to win some of those events?

timnz
08-04-2009, 10:46 PM
So if Laver or Rosewall would play Wimby 72-73 and RG 71-72-73 how do you urban (or pc1, sgt jhon, carlo g colussi, jeffreyneave) evaluate their chances to win some of those events?

I think it is pretty clear that Laver would be the favourite to win Roland Garros in 1971. He beat the winner of Roland Garros that year in straight sets in the Italian Open (a much more hotly contested event than Roland Garros) Jan Kodeš.

SgtJohn
08-05-2009, 01:47 AM
Good point by timnz: in many ways, Rome was the 'true' clay major in 1971, just as Sydney was the true australian major in 1970.

in 70-71, I think Laver could have won anything, he was so dominant throughout these years in 'smaller' tournaments. Still, as we saw at Wimbledon and the US Open, he could also lose at any time, because his mental focus was not on Slams anymore.
In mid 1972 (after the WCT finals), he was badly injured, so he would not have been a factor in Wimbledon 1972-3.

As for Ken, well, as his epic 1974 summer at Wimbledon and Forest Hills showed, nothing was impossible to this guy...He would have been a factor anytime anywhere...

Jonathan

pc1
08-05-2009, 04:38 PM
So if Laver or Rosewall would play Wimby 72-73 and RG 71-72-73 how do you urban (or pc1, sgt jhon, carlo g colussi, jeffreyneave) evaluate their chances to win some of those events?


It's hard to evaluate Laver's or Rosewall chances at these events. They obviously were much older and vulnerable but still great. I believe on most surfaces at least up to 1971 and even up to 1972, Laver would be as strong as almost anyone on any surface but an older player like Laver would take longer to recover and would be more vulnerable to being upset. In the Champions Classic in 1971 Laver had rest between matches and was able to defeat almost all the great players of the time but he lost at Wimbledon for example.

In 1972, I would probably bet on Laver, if he was healthy and fully rested for one match over anyone in the world at Wimbledon. Problem was that he would have to play seven matches and he was to turn 34 that year. All those matches would affect Laver more than a younger Newcombe for example.

Laver's chances were probably as good as anyone's but players like Newcombe, Smith, Ashe Nastase and Rosewall would have had great chances too. I would probably make Laver a co-favorite with Newcombe but it would be a very shaky choice because of Laver's clear decline.

In 1973 it would have been tough for Laver. I believe Laver had some injury problems and players like Stan Smith, Nastase, Newcombe, Rosewall and Jimmy Connors among other may have been favored over Rod on the faster surfaces.

Stan Smith dominated Laver on the WCT tour that year and many thought it was the changing of the guard from Laver to Smith as clearly the top player in the world. Obviously that never happened because Smith's game deteriorated.

Laver later that year (1973) proved he could still reach levels that even Smith couldn't reach when he crushed Smith in the Davis Cup in four sets. An incredible performance by Laver.

I would say that from 1970 to 1971 Laver would have been a favorite and perhaps even the top seed at the French. In 1972 there was some decline but I believe Laver and Rosewall would have top favorites at the French also. Clearly Rod was better than the champions that year (Kodes in 70 and 71 and Gimeno in 1972) but I believe Nastase would have been a problem for Rod in 1973 although I think Rod could have won.

Rosewall is also a player you could say would have been favored over Kodes and Gimeno. Although Gimeno was a great player on red clay and has beaten Rosewall many times. Gimeno against Rosewall on red clay is NOT an automatic win for Rosewall. Objectively by history Rosewall would have just as good a chance to win the French in 1970 to 1972 as Laver, if not better.

I also think that Muscles would have had an excellent chance if he played Nastase in 1973. It would be tough since Nastase was at his peak but Rosewall always played Nastase well on any surface.

hoodjem
08-06-2009, 06:35 AM
Laver later that year (1973) proved he could still reach levels that even Smith couldn't reach when he crushed Smith in the Davis Cup in four sets. An incredible performance by Laver.

I would say that from 1970 to 1971 Laver would have been a favorite and perhaps even the top seed at the French. In 1972 there was some decline but I believe Laver and Rosewall would have top favorites at the French also. Clearly Rod was better than the champions that year (Kodes in 70 and 71 and Gimeno in 1972) but I believe Nastase would have been a problem for Rod in 1973 although I think Rod could have won.

I would give Laver World no. 1 for 1970 and 1971. Should he also get it for 1972?

jeffreyneave
08-09-2009, 03:59 AM
laver was definitely not world number one in 1972 . he had his worst season failing to get beyond the qf of 10 events played after losing to rosewall in the wct finals in dallas. smith was definitely no1 with his wins at wimbledon, davic cup final , psw and stockholm and 4-1 edge over nastase his closest rival who won at the us open


jeffrey

pc1
08-09-2009, 04:21 AM
laver was definitely not world number one in 1972 . he had his worst season failing to get beyond the qf of 10 events played after losing to rosewall in the wct finals in dallas. smith was definitely no1 with his wins at wimbledon, davic cup final , psw and stockholm and 4-1 edge over nastase his closest rival who won at the us open


jeffrey

Jeffery,
By the standards of number one there is no doubt you are correct about Laver in 1972. However I am curious about what you think Laver's chances at the French and Wimbledon that year were. It was a very weak field at Wimbledon that year. For example Manuel Orantes, an excellent player but not that good on grass was third seed and an over the hill Gimeno, never as good as Rosewall and Laver in the old Pro Tours was fourth seed.

wyutani
08-09-2009, 05:28 AM
wot? no wikipedia?

hoodjem
08-09-2009, 07:27 AM
1972—Smith/Newcombe/Nastase?

or

1972—Smith/Newcombe?

or

1972—Smith/Nastase?

or

1972—Smith?

urban
08-09-2009, 08:06 AM
1972 is difficult, because you had basically 2 different circuits - the WCT series and the ITF Grand Prix, with some Riordan events interjected. The only big event, where Grand Prix and WCT pros competed, was the US0, won by Nastase over Ashe, who had beaten Smith. At Wim, the 32 WCT players were banned from. I think the LA SWP was played by many pros, too, and won by Smith. The WCT series was split between a January-May series, where Laver lead the points race, and Rosewall won the play-off; and a "winter-series", where Newombe was the point leader, and Ashe won the play- off at Rome over Lutz. Laver, who had back trouble and a slump after May, Rosewall, who also wasn't a factor after May, and Newk, who qualified for Dallas in May at the last instance, had only one good half year each. As Jeffrey wrote, Smith was the most consistent, without having great form at Wimbledon. But over the year, he had the Indian Sign over Nastase.

Overall in those years, the main problem for the top pros, was focussing on the big events. Ashe wrote this in his Portrait book, that they played too much, and had problems to get ready physically and even more mentally for the main events. The tough WCT schedule sapped strength from many of the top pros. It was no surprise, that Newcombe did well in the majors in 1973, when he skipped the WCT series in spring, and on the contrary, he faltered at Wim and USO, when he had a great season on WCT in 1974. Rosewall did great on Wim and USO in 1974, when he didn't play the WCT series. As soon, as Nastase played WCT in 1974, he didn't excel any more at the big major and Grand Prix events. As he said in a recent interview on TW, Smith played his best tennis on the WCT series in spring 1973, but it took too much out of him, and he never found his form afterwards. The one exception from the rule was Ashe in 1975, who won WCT and Wimbledon. This double was seen as a big accomplishment then, and Ashe was ranked Nr. 1 by most experts in 1975.

SgtJohn
08-09-2009, 09:10 AM
Urban is perfectly right. The early 70s were really a mess. There was no 'special' status such as the one enjoyed by the majors today, and lots of confusion about whether the best player was the one winning the Majors and Davis Cup, as in the Amateur Era, or the one with the most prize money.

Though in 1970 and 1971, Laver could have a claim to the top spot, I think that no WCT pro was at the top of the game in 1972. Rosewall was occasionally brilliant, and amazing for a 38-year old, but did not have much success in the Open events. Laver was brilliant in the first WCT season but lost to Rosewall in Dallas and then got injured so he ended up with not one big title under his belt, unlike 1970 and 1971 when he did not win majors, but still had Wembley, Rome, the Champions' Classic, and so on. Same thing for Newcombe, he could not win the second WCT Finals, and had a forgettable summer in Open tournaments.
So in the end it's pretty much a tie between Nastase and Smith. Smith won Wimbledon, the PSW and the Davis Cup, and was very consistent. Nastase won the USO, by far the most important event, and played a lot, being a little erratic in the process, but in the end winning many good tournaments. Smith is often given the nod due to the positive H2H in his favour though.

Jonathan

Q&M son
08-18-2009, 04:59 AM
Overall in those years, the main problem for the top pros, was focussing on the big events. Ashe wrote this in his Portrait book, that they played too much, and had problems to get ready physically and even more mentally for the main events. The tough WCT schedule sapped strength from many of the top pros. It was no surprise, that Newcombe did well in the majors in 1973, when he skipped the WCT series in spring, and on the contrary, he faltered at Wim and USO, when he had a great season on WCT in 1974. Rosewall did great on Wim and USO in 1974, when he didn't play the WCT series. As soon, as Nastase played WCT in 1974, he didn't excel any more at the big major and Grand Prix events. As he said in a recent interview on TW, Smith played his best tennis on the WCT series in spring 1973, but it took too much out of him, and he never found his form afterwards. The one exception from the rule was Ashe in 1975, who won WCT and Wimbledon. This double was seen as a big accomplishment then, and Ashe was ranked Nr. 1 by most experts in 1975.

Great point urban.

kiki
10-31-2011, 04:39 PM
Hi all,

Among the old time greats, Ken is the one who intrigues me most. Please tell me about his style, famous flat backhand (according to Jack Kramer), personality, life, memorable matches, and yeah, that famous 72 WCT championship match against Laver (Only 25min highlight DVD is the only thing offered from that match...). I like his hairdo too, :) Thanks in advance!

PS), who would be his equivalent among the players of 80s, 90s, and this decade?

The best backhand ever according to many or most people, the best or one of the best footwork and, certainly, the best timing or , at least, one of top 3.Had no weakness except his serve...and his size.Never gave up, started playing as a top gun in 1953...and 24 years after, still reached a GS semifinal in the Australian Championships.That would be what people who haven´t seen him play would say.

At 40, beat worlds nº 1 Newcombe and nº 2 Smith being 2 sets down at Wimbledon... won both matches and reached the finals losing to the best Connors...which he repeated at the US Open a few weeks later.

He and Hoad made up for a great doubles team, winning Davis Cup several times ( the last one in 1973, wipping the floor with the US squad at Cleveland, 0-5)... called Pockets, because of his legendary stininess and Muscless, because of his size ( you´d cross him 1000 times in the street and would never turn back)

I have seen him live and what I said is still short.At one point, it is better even to " listen" him play than to even see him.

kiki
10-31-2011, 05:05 PM
I would give Laver World no. 1 for 1970 and 1971. Should he also get it for 1972?

Newcombe was the nº 1, closely followed by Smith and Rosewall.Laver would be nº 4.In 1972,Nastase and Kodes would have had the edge over the Rocket.

Which doesn´t mean that, on a given day, Laver could beat anybody as he proved beating Borg in 1974 and 1975.After all, he is the greatest ever.