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View Full Version : 1975 - Who was the best player that year?


Gizo
06-15-2007, 10:54 AM
The contenders:

Arthur Ashe:
8 Titles - WCT Barcelona, WCT Rotterdam, WCT Munich, WCT Stockholm, WCT Dallas, Wimbledon, Los Angeles, San Franciso
Grand Slam Record - DNP, DNP, W, R16

Bjorn Borg:
5 Titles - WCT Richmond, WCT Bologna, French Open, Boston, Barcelona
Grand Slam Record - DNP, W, QF, SF

Jimmy Connors:
9 Titles - Bahamas, Birmingham, Salisbury, Boca Raton, Hampton, WCT Denver, North Conway, Hamilton, Maui
Grand Slam Record - F, DNP, F, F

Manuel Orantes:
8 Titles - Cairo, WCT Monte-Carlo, Bournemouth, Hamburg, Bastad, Indianapolis, Montreal, US Open
Grand Slam Record - DNP, R128, DNP, W

chaognosis
06-15-2007, 11:32 AM
Pretty much everyone rated Ashe as the world's best player that year. Even the ATP awarded Ashe its Player of the Year award, despite the fact that Connors came out on top of the computer ranking.

CyBorg
06-15-2007, 12:11 PM
Ashe definitely had the best year. Dallas and Wimbledon were both big titles that meant a lot.

Connors was definitely the best player overall, but he had the clasisic letdown after his first huge year.

All in all this was a transitional year - it was all up for grabs between guys who were either on the downswing (Ashe) or still on the upswing. Connors was probably somewhere in between in the sense that he was an excellent player but probably benefitted from playing older, decaying guys like Rosewall, green youngsters like Borg and inconsistent types like Orantes. Connors was the Lleyton Hewitt of these years.

Moose Malloy
06-15-2007, 12:44 PM
I vote Connors, mainly due to his W & US showings, but it is debatable.

But looking at the non-slam titles he won that year, both Orantes & Ashe won events with better fields(no masters series like wins for Connors that year, while Ashe won Dallas & Orantes won Monte Carlo, Indianapolis, & the Canadian Open)
And Borg won Boston, & made the final of the Masters(indoors) beating Ashe in the SF. Connors wasn't entered in the Masters, while the other 3 were. Borg was 3-4 vs Ashe that year. 0-2 vs Connors. Orantes was 2-1 vs Ashe. Like 1974, Connors was entered in many events with weaker fields between January & May, while Borg & Ashe were battling it out the first half of the year in stronger events. It does seem fast court players had a bit of an advantage in the 70s, so many of the big events were on carpet(and Ashe did very well indoors that year)
I think Borg probably did the best of those 4 players on all surfaces that year, he did great on carpet early in the year, won the French on red clay, did well on green clay in the summer, & made the finals indoors at the masters.

These were the final atp rankings that year:
1 Jimmy Connors
2 Guillermo Vilas
3 Bjorn Borg
4 Arthur Ashe
5 Manuel Orantes
6 Ken Rosewall
7 Ilie Nastase
8 John Alexander
9 Roscoe Tanner
10 Rod Laver

krosero
06-15-2007, 02:20 PM
The contenders:

Arthur Ashe:
8 Titles - WCT Barcelona, WCT Rotterdam, WCT Munich, WCT Stockholm, WCT Dallas, Wimbledon, Los Angeles, San Franciso
Grand Slam Record - DNP, DNP, W, R16

Bjorn Borg:
5 Titles - WCT Richmond, WCT Bologna, French Open, Boston, Barcelona
Grand Slam Record - DNP, W, QF, SF

Jimmy Connors:
9 Titles - Bahamas, Birmingham, Salisbury, Boca Raton, Hampton, WCT Denver, North Conway, Hamilton, Maui
Grand Slam Record - F, DNP, F, F

Manuel Orantes:
8 Titles - Cairo, WCT Monte-Carlo, Bournemouth, Hamburg, Bastad, Indianapolis, Montreal, US Open
Grand Slam Record - DNP, R128, DNP, WI've always thought Ashe took 1975, by winning the WCT Finals (where he beat Borg) and Wimbledon (where he beat Borg and Connors). I feel that even more now, seeing that he had so many titles (only Connors had more, and barely).

Gizo
06-15-2007, 02:35 PM
I would have go for Arthur Ashe as well. 1 grand slam and 5 WCT titles (including the biggie at Dallas) represents an outstanding title haul, and in my opinion was more impressive than anyone else's that year. He had a superb rivalry with Borg in 1975, with the pair playing each other 8 times (according to the ITF website) and Ashe winning on 5 occasions. They met in the quarter-finals of Wimbledon, 5 WCT event finals, 1 WCT event semi-final, and the semi-finals of the Masters, so the stakes were very high for all 8 of those matches.
I agree with Moose that Borg was probably the most versatile player accross the different surfaces that year.
Also props to Rod Laver for winning the WCT Puerto Rico title at the age of 36, beating Ashe in the final.

Moose Malloy
06-15-2007, 03:10 PM
Gizo, don't you feel that the surfaces of the time favored Ashe in those encounters with Borg in '75? They were all on grass or carpet. Ashe beat Borg at Wimbledon but was unable to get far enough to play Borg on clay at the US.

Ashe had a great year, but the fact that all his big wins were on faster surfaces, makes me rank Connors higher.

Ashe didn't play the French & lost in the 16s at the US Open, while Connors was able to make the finals in majors on very different surfaces-grass & green clay.

But Connors not playing the Masters was also a blemish on his record that year, that may have sealed the real #1 that year(anyone know why? he missed it in '74 as well)

krosero
06-15-2007, 05:45 PM
Ashe had a great year, but the fact that all his big wins were on faster surfaces, makes me rank Connors higher.

Ashe didn't play the French & lost in the 16s at the US Open, while Connors was able to make the finals in majors on very different surfaces-grass & green clay.

The fact that Ashe had no clay-court titles in a year when two Slams were contested on clay is a good argument, I think, but it raises at least one question: how can Connors be #1 if he didn't win any of the Slams?

And though Connors won two titles on clay (and maybe Bermuda?), those were not major titles. His one major final on clay, at the USO, he lost.

Among the clay Slams, both Ashe and Connors skipped the French. Connors went farther than Ashe at the USO, but again, he didn't win the title.

Also, if it comes to deciding between Ashe and Connors, that Wimbledon final is a huge factor (regrettably it was their only meeting of the year).

Gizo
06-16-2007, 12:57 AM
Some excellent points Moose and Krosero.
The surface breakdown of Connors 9 titles that year was 4 on carpet, 3 on hard and 2 on clay. For Ashe's 8 titles, it was 1 on grass, 6 on carpet and 1 on hard, so Connors was the more versatile player as Moose said. However I agree with Krosero that Connors's 2 claycourt titles that year, Bermuda and North Conway (he did beat Laver and Rosewall but they were both past their peaks), weren't particularly huge events.
Moose is right that the Ashe-Borg rivalry that year is clouded by the fact that all but one of their matches was on grass and carpet. They had met more frequently on hard or clay (green or red), it could/would have been a different story.
Ashe won Wimbledon the WCT finals, which in my opinion were both far bigger than anything that Connors won that year.
Also like Krosero, I don't feel particularly comfortable annoiting someone as the best player over the course of a year, when they haven't won any grand slams or the Masters in that time. Although Connors reached 3 grand slam finals, I'm very much of the mentality that it's titles and crossing the finishing line that count in tennis. To quote Herman Edwards, 'You play to win the game'. It is a close call. However if I was given the choice between Ashe's collection of titles that year or Connors's, I would lean towards Ashe's.

Dean
06-16-2007, 02:57 AM
Rosewall & Laver really were phenoms. Ranked in the year end top 10 in 1975 at age 41 and 37 respectively.

The Gorilla
06-16-2007, 03:09 AM
why don't you just apply todays ranking points system to their results and decide that way?

FiveO
06-16-2007, 03:48 AM
While '75 can be argued I always felt that Ashe eked out his competition that year.

'77 was much more clear cut for me when I thought Vilas clearly should have finished the year ranked #1.

I have always factored out those two year ends at #1 in any discussion of where Connors stands in relation to his contemporaries and the greats of other eras.

krosero
06-16-2007, 04:24 AM
However if I was given the choice between Ashe's collection of titles that year or Connors's, I would lean towards Ashe's.I may be reading you wrong, but are you asking which collection of titles you or I might like to have ourselves? That would make a great question: Which year would you rather have? Connors' or Ashe's?

I'd definitely say Ashe's.

Gizo
06-16-2007, 05:54 AM
I may be reading you wrong, but are you asking which collection of titles you or I might like to have ourselves? That would make a great question: Which year would you rather have? Connors' or Ashe's?

I'd definitely say Ashe's.


Yes you're right I was posing that question to the board. I also would pick Ashe's year. A Wimbledon title, 5 WCT titles and 2 other titles beats 0 grand slam titles, 1 WCT title and 8 other titles in my opinion, regardless of the surface breakdown.

stormholloway
06-16-2007, 10:22 AM
If you didn't win a slam, you aren't the best.

PBODY99
06-16-2007, 01:43 PM
I saw most of the televised matches, read Tennis Week & I have to go with Ashe. He won the head to head vs Connors, that most said he had no chance of doing ,plus the fields in the WTC were much stronger than on the circuit that Jimmy played on. Yes, fast courts ruled then and the US Open should have never gone to green clay.

CyBorg
06-17-2007, 09:29 AM
If you didn't win a slam, you aren't the best.

A major, my dear friend. A major.

goober
06-17-2007, 08:44 PM
These were the final atp rankings that year:
1 Jimmy Connors
2 Guillermo Vilas
3 Bjorn Borg
4 Arthur Ashe
5 Manuel Orantes
6 Ken Rosewall
7 Ilie Nastase
8 John Alexander
9 Roscoe Tanner
10 Rod Laver

Wow I am amazed that Rosewell was still top 10 in 1975. He would have been 41.

I just read that he remained in the top 15 at age 43! Talk about Ironman.

sandy mayer
06-18-2007, 12:17 AM
Ashe definitely had the best year. Dallas and Wimbledon were both big titles that meant a lot.

Connors was definitely the best player overall, but he had the clasisic letdown after his first huge year.

All in all this was a transitional year - it was all up for grabs between guys who were either on the downswing (Ashe) or still on the upswing. Connors was probably somewhere in between in the sense that he was an excellent player but probably benefitted from playing older, decaying guys like Rosewall, green youngsters like Borg and inconsistent types like Orantes. Connors was the Lleyton Hewitt of these years.

Connors was no transitional champ like Hewitt. He was a much greater champion than Hewitt.

sandy mayer
06-18-2007, 12:19 AM
While '75 can be argued I always felt that Ashe eked out his competition that year.

'77 was much more clear cut for me when I thought Vilas clearly should have finished the year ranked #1.

I have always factored out those two year ends at #1 in any discussion of where Connors stands in relation to his contemporaries and the greats of other eras.

It's true that Connors should not be considered no.1 for 77 certainly, and probably not 75. However he was clear no.1 for 82 when he didn't finish 1 on the computer. This makes him no.1 for 3 years, same as Borg, Mac and Lendl, and Federer (though this will surely change). Connors is 1 of theall time greats.

CyBorg
06-18-2007, 05:49 AM
Borg was actually a five-time player of the year.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATP_Awards

I would have given the 1976 honours to Connors myself, who beat Borg in the US Open, also won Wembley, Philadelphia, Las Vegas and Denver.

'77 was close as well between Vilas and Borg, but I agree with the rating of Borg as the top player. Vilas won 16 titles to Borg's 11 and had 2 majors to Borg's one. However none of his 14 non-slam titles were top-drawing WCT events and he barely played Borg at all that year (if memory serves, in Monte Carlo and the Masters - both losses). Borg, of course, skipped the French.

A further examination of Vilas' year - http://www.atptennis.com/5/en/players/playerprofiles/playeractivity.asp?prevtrnnum=0&year=1977&query=Singles&selTournament=0&player=V028&x=5&y=11 - shows that he:

- lost in the SF of Monte Carlo
- Lost in the QF of Hamburg
- didn't even bother with Dallas, Denver or Philadelphia
- 2nd round loser in Rome
- skipped Canada Masters, Cincinnati and Boston in the summer (all big draws)
- skipped Wembley in the fall
- SF loss in the Masters

On a related note, I miss the Tehran, Iran tournament. They should bring it back.

Gizo
06-18-2007, 06:42 AM
Looking back, Connors wasn't the best player in 1975 (Ashe was), and Vilas and Borg were both clearly better than him in 1977. Borg was better than him in 1978, but as people have said, he was much better than McEnroe in 1982. I prefer to look at results and titles rather than the year end rankings which don't always paint an accurate picture, and from this, the 3 years that Connors was the best in the world were 1974, 1976 and 1982.
On related note, McEnroe in 1982 was surely the weakest year end no.1 since the introduction of the ATP computer ranking system in 1973. That year he won 0 grand slam titles, 0 WCT titles, plus he also failed to win the Masters.

chaognosis
06-18-2007, 08:41 AM
I agree Gizo, the computer ranking has always been flawed - though it has greatly improved since the 1970s. In general, since '78 a better indicator of the true World No. 1 has been the ITF award, which went to Borg in '78, Connors in '82 and Becker in '89. The one exception is 1990, when they strangely picked Lendl over Edberg.

Moose Malloy
06-18-2007, 08:56 AM
The one exception is 1990, when they strangely picked Lendl over Edberg.

ITF runs the slams, & Edberg lost 1st Round in 2 of them that year.

On related note, McEnroe in 1982 was surely the weakest year end no.1 since the introduction of the ATP computer ranking system in 1973. That year he won 0 grand slam titles, 0 WCT titles, plus he also failed to win the

True, but he did win Philadelphia, Tokyo, & Wembley, some big events at the time.

Gizo
06-18-2007, 09:50 AM
True, but he did win Philadelphia, Tokyo, & Wembley, some big events at the time.

Good point. I completely forgot about that.

Regarding 1989 which Chaognosis mentioned earlier, as big a Lendl fan as I was, I also would have given the edge to Becker that year. Despite the fact that Lendl won twice as many titles as Becker, the German achieved the big Wimbledon-US Open double which was fantastic.

chaognosis
06-18-2007, 09:55 AM
ITF runs the slams, & Edberg lost 1st Round in 2 of them that year.

I had heard that the 'snub' was largely politically motivated, as Edberg did not want to play the Grand Slam Cup. Regardless, almost everyone aside from the ITF had Edberg as the true No. 1.

chaognosis
06-18-2007, 10:13 AM
Good point. I completely forgot about that.

Regarding 1989 which Chaognosis mentioned earlier, as big a Lendl fan as I was, I also would have given the edge to Becker that year. Despite the fact that Lendl won twice as many titles as Becker, the German achieved the big Wimbledon-US Open double which was fantastic.

Also, it is significant that Becker defeated Lendl en route to both of his major wins that year - the only two times they met in '89.

Gizo
06-20-2007, 02:56 AM
On the theme of this thread, here's my take on who the true year end no. 1 players were, since the introduction of the computer ranking system in 1973:
1973 - Ilie Nastase
1974 - Jimmy Connors
1975 - Arthur Ashe (I've stated my reasons for this earlier in this thread).
1976 - Jimmy Connors (Both Borg and him won 1 grand slam title each. Although Borg did win the huge tournament at Dallas, Connors won twice as many tournaments as him that year, including very important titles at Wembley and Philadelphia).
1977 - Guillermo Vilas (It's a very close call between Vilas and Borg. I know that Borg was absent for the French Open, and retired from his 4th round match at the US Open, but Vilas winning 16 titles that year was amazing).
1978 - Bjorn Borg (Borg claimed the French Open-Wimbledon double and was the finalist at the US Open, which surely elevates him above Connors for this year).
1979 - Bjorn Borg
1980 - Bjorn Borg
1981 - John McEnroe
1982 - Jimmy Connors (Won 7 titles including the big Wimbledon-US Open double, compared to McEnroe's 5 titles with no grand slam titles, or WCT titles for that matter).
1983 - John McEnroe
1984 - John McEnroe
1985 - Ivan Lendl
1986 - Ivan Lendl
1987 - Ivan Lendl
1988 - Mats Wilander
1989 - Boris Becker (I would take his 5 titles which includes a Wimbledon-US Open double, beating Lendl in both events, over Lendl's 10 titles including an Australian Open title).
1990 - Stefan Edberg (Lendl isn't too far behind but Edberg's title haul was better than anyone else's).
1991 - Stefan Edberg (His performance against Courier in the US Open final that year was simply majestic).
1992 - Jim Courier
1993 - Pete Sampras
1994 - Pete Sampras
1995 - Pete Sampras (Agassi had a great year. However Sampras's 5 titles with 2 grand slam titles and 2 Super 9 titles, beats Andre's 7 titles with 1 grand slam title and 3 Super 9 titles).
1996 - Pete Sampras
1997 - Pete Sampras
1998 - Patrick Rafter (He won 6 titles, consisting of 1 grand slam title and 2 Super 9 titles, compared to Sampras's 4 titles, consisting of 1 grand slam title and 0 Super 9 titles. Both players failed to win the ATP Tour Championships).
1999 - Andre Agassi
2000 - Gustavo Kuerten (Edges out Safin by a very small margin. Safin won 2 more titles than the Brazilian, had a better grand slam record, and won 2 masters series titles to Safin's 1. However Kuerten winning the Masters Cup on a fast hardcourt, beating both Sampras and Agassi in the process, seals the deal for me).
2001 - Lleyton Hewitt (Edges out Agassi, with his Masters Cup title the crucial reason for this. Agassi had the better grand slam record than Hewitt, and won 2 masters series titles while Hewitt didn't win any. Hewitt won 6 titles on hard and grass, while Agassi won 4 titles all on hard).
2002 - Lleyton Hewitt
2003 - Andy Roddick (I think he deserved top spot over Federer. Both players won titles on European red clay, grass and hard. Roddick had the better grand slam record. Federer won the Masters Cup, but Roddick won 2 masters series titles while Federer didn't win any. Roddick winning 27 out of his 28 matches in the North American hardcourt season was fantastic).
2004 - Roger Federer
2005 - Roger Federer
2006 - Roger Federer

My personal opinion is that a player cannot be classed as the best player over a course of a season, unless in that time, they have won at least 1 grand slam title, and at least 5 titles in total.

Moose Malloy
06-20-2007, 09:27 AM
Not sure about '98, Gizo. Sampras did better in the majors(QF, 2R, W, SF) than Rafter (3R, 2R, 4R, W)

and rafter missed the masters, while sampras made the sf there.

plus rafter finished '98 #4, if he was 2 it would be more debatable.

looks like you agree with the atp, for the most part, since 1980

chaognosis
06-20-2007, 10:29 AM
Agreed, Moose. 1998 was certainly the least dominant season of Sampras's six-year run at No. 1, but it would nevertheless be hard to give top honors to anyone else that year - virtually all of the major sources rated Sampras as the world's top player. A good reference is the Wikipedia article 'World No. 1 Tennis Player,' which cites a number of ranking authorities for each year, and concludes that Sampras was the undisputed No. 1 player in '98. The point could be made, though, that when players have dominant stretches of many years they often continue to be considered the top player even if the ranking is not so clear cut. The computer ranking has helped to an extent, but especially back on the early pro tour, players like Kramer and Gonzales were credited with extraordinarily long reigns - where in retrospect if you scrutinize the results, some of those years are very debatable. The head-to-head format was largely to blame for this, especially when it was emphasized at the expense of the major pro tournaments. But I'm digressing, as I tend to do. The point is that if a player, like Sampras, dominates for five years, and then in the sixth year it's a toss up among several players, the dominant star will probably retain his No. 1 status in the public eye simply by default.

urban
06-20-2007, 11:09 AM
98 was quite close. If the ATP would have counted the Munich Grand Slam Champs, which Rios won over Agassi on carpet in five, Rios would have most certainly reached the top. He was injured late in the year and defaulted in the ATP Masters. Rafter was called the best in Tennis Magazine, which counted also his results in Davis Cup. Overall Rafter had probably the best wins in GS and Super Nine combined. And he had a 2-0 over Sampras that year. Because of a back injury he defaulted in Paris and skipped the ATP Masters.

chaognosis
06-20-2007, 11:21 AM
And he had a 2-0 over Sampras that year.

Ah, yes. I forgot to take that into account - very significant.

Gizo
06-20-2007, 11:39 AM
You guys have all raised some excellent points (as usual). 1998 is hard to call. Had Rios not had a mental breakdown against Korda in the 1998 Australian Open final and won the match, I would have given the mantle to him, but unfortunately he didn't/
In the 7 year period from 1993-1999, I personally thought that 1998 was Sampras's weakest year. The two reasons why I give Rafter the edge over Sampras, are 1) because of his 2-0 head to head over Sampras that year, and 2) Rafter won 3 out of the 14 biggest tournaments (the 4 grand slams, the ATP Tour Championships, and the 9 masters series events), compared to only 1 out of 14 for Sampras. I must be said that I was a big fan of Rafter, so perhaps I'm showing my bias here.
2000, between Kuerten and Safin was also fiercely difficult to call. Kuerten only finished ahead of Safin by 75 points in the year end rankings. Safin won 7titles, including the US Open, Toronto Masters and Paris Masters titles. Plus he won titles on clay, hard and carpet that year, so he has a strong case.
Perhaps Agassi has a stronger shout than I gave him credit for in 2001 (Aside from the Australian Open, he also achieved the Indian Wells-Miami double).
I also forgot to mention Ferrero in 2003. He won 2 masters series titles in addition to his French Open title that year, had a better record across the 4 grand slams than anyone else, and had no 1st round defeats.

Moose Malloy
06-21-2007, 08:19 AM
A case can be made for Moya as #1 in '98 as well, FO Winner, US SF, Monte Carlo winner, Masters RU.

Hey, Moe!
06-21-2007, 07:23 PM
I would go with Ashe myself. Winning WCT and Wimbledon were two major titles then.

Most of you are dissecting this down to the molecular level. How do you find time to play tennis? ; )

stormholloway
06-21-2007, 07:39 PM
98 was quite close. If the ATP would have counted the Munich Grand Slam Champs, which Rios won over Agassi on carpet in five, Rios would have most certainly reached the top. He was injured late in the year and defaulted in the ATP Masters. Rafter was called the best in Tennis Magazine, which counted also his results in Davis Cup. Overall Rafter had probably the best wins in GS and Super Nine combined. And he had a 2-0 over Sampras that year. Because of a back injury he defaulted in Paris and skipped the ATP Masters.

Significant indeed. I say it goes to Rafter.

Gizo
06-21-2007, 11:13 PM
A case can be made for Moya as #1 in '98 as well, FO Winner, US SF, Monte Carlo winner, Masters RU.

True, he was excellent in 1998, although what counts against him is that he only won 2 titles that year (albeit pretty major ones), and only reached 4 finals in total.

Gizo
06-21-2007, 11:20 PM
Regarding 1995, Thomas Muster had an outstanding year as well, winning as many titles as Sampras and Agassi combined, including the French Open and 3masters series titles. His titles:
1 - Mexico City – Clay
2 - Estoril – Clay
3 - Barcelona – Clay
4 - TMS Monte-Carlo – Clay
5 - TMS Rome – Clay
6 - French Open – Clay
7 - St Poelten – Clay
8 - Stuttgart – Clay
9 - Kitzbuhel – Clay
10 - San Marino – Clay
11 - Bucharest – Clay
12 - TMS Essen – Carpet

Australian Open - 3rd Round
French Open - Champion
Wimbledon - Did Not Play
US Open - 4th Round
Masters - Lost all 3 matches in the RR stage

Of course, the fact that he only won one title away from clay that year does hurt his cause with regards to the best player mantle, and I would still place him behind Sampras and Agassi, but still, this is a mightily impressive title haul. On his way to winning the title at Essen on fast carpet, he beat Sampras in straight sets in the semi-finals.

CyBorg
06-22-2007, 09:10 AM
Regarding 1995, Thomas Muster had an outstanding year as well, winning as many titles as Sampras and Agassi combined, including the French Open and 3masters series titles. His titles:
1 - Mexico City Clay
2 - Estoril Clay
3 - Barcelona Clay
4 - TMS Monte-Carlo Clay
5 - TMS Rome Clay
6 - French Open Clay
7 - St Poelten Clay
8 - Stuttgart Clay
9 - Kitzbuhel Clay
10 - San Marino Clay
11 - Bucharest Clay
12 - TMS Essen Carpet

Australian Open - 3rd Round
French Open - Champion
Wimbledon - Did Not Play
US Open - 4th Round
Masters - Lost all 3 matches in the RR stage

Of course, the fact that he only won one title away from clay that year does hurt his cause with regards to the best player mantle, and I would still place him behind Sampras and Agassi, but still, this is a mightily impressive title haul. On his way to winning the title at Essen on fast carpet, he beat Sampras in straight sets in the semi-finals.

Guys like Muster altered my philosophy to tennis. After watching him in 1995 I began to give more credence to peak play and less to overall longevity. While Muster had a fairly lengthy career by today's standards he only had that one grand year - with the rest relatively imperfect.

I judge him by that year in particular as one of the great claycourters. He was untouchable.

Wuornos
08-08-2007, 04:02 AM
Who was the best player as opposed to who had the best results, I would have to go with Connors.

In my own ratings Connors finished 1975 with p = .339

while Ashe was languishing with .127

Yes he had a good run of results but the single year sample is to small to be conclusive.

Connors results coupled with his outstanding results in 1974 are enough to be more than 95% certain that he was superior player to Ashe at that time.

Connors would continue to hold the number 1 slot based on my calculation of his p rating for another 2 years and have held the number 1 slot for 4 years solid eventually being over hauled in 1978 by Bjorn Borg.

Moose Malloy
09-14-2007, 08:12 AM
Here were the prize money rankings for '75:

Ashe
Orantes
Vilas
Borg
Ramirez
Nastase
Gottfried
Connors
Tanner
Alexander

Surprised Jimmy would be so far down the list.

As far as Muster, just came across this, Muster had the best record vs the top 10 in '95, at 12-3. Sampras was 14-7, Agassi was 8-5.

sandy mayer
09-14-2007, 10:27 AM
Thinking about this further: the best player was Connors, in that if he had played Ashe in 10 Wimbledon finals or any other matches that year, he probably would have won 9 out of 10. Ashe's win was a one off upset, not something that would have happened every time they played.

Their records throughout the year indicate Connors was the better player.

If I had to have a player to play for my life from 1975, I would take a fully fit Connors (he was injured in his loss against Ashe) over a fully fit Ashe, Orantes, Borg or anyone else from 1975.

But at the end of the day Ashe won wimbledon and Connors won no grand slams, so Ashe gets the nod as no.1 because in deciding who the no.1 is you have to look at the results, and in particular grand slam wins, and I don't see how a player who didn't win a slam could be world no.1

Rabbit
09-14-2007, 11:51 AM
IMO, Ashe had a better '75. Connors was the better player over a career, but Ashe had the better '75.

Connors always picked Gonzalez if he had to have someone play for his life... ;)

CyBorg
09-14-2007, 12:29 PM
Again, Dallas was a biggie and Ashe also won that. It was the fourth most important tournament of the year for the top seeds. The Masters didn't pick up steam until a bit later in the decade.

sandy mayer
09-14-2007, 01:53 PM
IMO, Ashe had a better '75. Connors was the better player over a career, but Ashe had the better '75.

Connors always picked Gonzalez if he had to have someone play for his life... ;)


I don't think anyone would think Gonzales was better than connors in 75. Ashe had the better 75 simply because he won wimbledon and Connors was unable to win either of the 2 big finals he contested: Forest Hills and Wimbledon.

But that doesn't mean Ashe was a better player than Connors throughout 75. I think ashe was better than connors 1 day out of the whole year. His win over Connors was a one off upset.

I think we need to distinguish between who was the better player in a year and whose results were best.

Rabbit
09-14-2007, 09:43 PM
^I didn't mean to imply that Gonzalez was the better player in '75. No, the quote that "a guy to play for my life" was taken from Connors, who always picked Gonzalez...regardless of year. Gonzalez in his prime was probably the fiercest competitor, including Connors, that the game has ever seen.

I doubt anyone who know anything about Gonzalez, in prime or after his "prime". would argue that Gonzalez didn't give 100% each time he went on court. Gonzalez in his 40s was the match of guys half his age. Gonzalez's supposed last tournament as documented on film was in Las Vegas. In that tournament, Gonzalez beat the current Wimbledon titlest, John Newcombe, Ken Rosewall, and Arthur Ashe (in the finals) handily. After the tournament, Gonzalez said he may have to rethink retirement.

Gizo
09-15-2007, 01:54 AM
Again, Dallas was a biggie and Ashe also won that. It was the fourth most important tournament of the year for the top seeds. The Masters didn't pick up steam until a bit later in the decade.

That's an excellent point. Even if we were to take Ashe's Wimbledon title out of the equation just for a moment, Dallas was a far bigger title than anything that Connors won in 1975. Ashe won 5 WCT titles in 1975, compared to 1 for Connors.

Wuornos
09-18-2007, 03:19 AM
This is a great question as I don't believe a single year is enough to provide sufficiently robust data to know who is the best player.

The ratings I calculate which cover results for more than one year, reflect domination and quality of opposition give the following standings for November 2005.

1 Jimmy Connors 509
2. John newcombe 428
3. Bjorn Borg 404
4. Ken Rosewall 384
5. Manuel Orantes 365
6. Arthur Ashe 363
7. Jan Kodes 362
8. Illie Nastase 347
9. Stan Smith 336
10. Guilermo Vilas 326

These ratings include players who may have been inactive but were were sufficiently strong enough recently to be considered top 10 at this time. Recent typical example: Lindsay Davenport who the sytem considered having been sufficiently strong that even allowing for a decline due to inactivity to be probably able to still play at a level of world number 8 in the womens singles game.

hoodjem
09-19-2007, 09:40 AM
Thinking about this further: the best player was Connors, in that if he had played Ashe in 10 Wimbledon finals or any other matches that year, he probably would have won 9 out of 10. Ashe's win was a one off upset, not something that would have happened every time they played.



I remember watching that Wimbledon final. Connors had a lot more power, but Ashe outsmarted/out-stategized/out-placed Connors throughout the match. Connors was like a barroom brawler (lots of youthful strength, no brains), and Ashe was a fencing master. All in all, Ashe played a better "game of tennis" than Connors did at the final.

It ain't all about power, Ashe taught Connors a lesson and I think Connors learned it well after that.

garcia_doomer
03-17-2008, 02:18 PM
Ashe was the best

jeffreyneave
03-18-2008, 01:02 PM
This system is based on 4 majors plus 14 regular tournaments plus a bonus for the Masters.

There is for total points share a ratio of 2 (4 majors) to 3 (14 others).

In 1975 the majors would be Wimbledon (200 points), Us open (200), french open (150), WCT finals (120).

At wimbledon 15 of the top 20 attended; at Us open 17. The usual given one or 2 injuries. The french open is given a lower total because only 12 of the top 20 played. The Wct series and its finals were prestige events in 1975. 13 of the top 20 attempted to qualify for Dallas. 120 is derived from 13/16 * 150 (masters total) = approx 120.

This means less points overall and a lower number of points for the other 14 events. Fortunately it neatly fits with the fact that were less super9s in 1975

Only 5 were obvious candidates based on the participation of the top 6 and number of top 20 players.

These were Philadelphia, Nottingham, Louisville, Us pro and stockholm. To make the system balance out a sixth was required. This turned out to be a choice between Tuscon and Rome. Tuscon was chosen because it was played on a hard court (none of the others were), it had 10 of the top 20 ( rome had eight) and it had the highest total prize money of regular tour events.


With 6 super nines, this leads to 8 best others. The ponts were as follows:


Ashe 920
Borg 857
Vilas 785
Connors 750
Nastase 638
Orantes 622
Alexander 522
Tanner
Ramirez all approx 445
Laver


Jeffrey

llgc8080
03-19-2008, 05:17 AM
Good info jeffrey. Agree with that, Ashe was the best.