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Wuornos
04-03-2008, 08:34 AM
I have been looking back at past records and trying to educate myself further regarding the pre-open era including the professional 'professional Grand Slam tournaments'.

I'm perhaps missing something here, and I know Laver did the Grand Slam twice, once as an amateur and once in the open era, but I just don't quite get why Laver is looked on as a god, when the results seem to show that Rosewall possibly had an even better case.

I have to say I'm just awestruck by both of these players now, but just cannot reconcile the discrepency with how they are both now seen. It looks to me as a layman first examining these data that both of them were head and shoulders above the greats of the open era.

Can someone tell me why the reputation of these two great players are now so markedly different?

Also can anyone recommend a publication or website that might show the full draw and results for 'professional Grand Slam tournaments'.

Many thanks

Tim

Rhino
04-03-2008, 08:37 AM
i have a lot of respect for what you post, but is your conclusion "that both of them were head and shoulders above the greats of the open era" based on statistics or have watched a lot of footage too?

Moose Malloy
04-03-2008, 08:51 AM
Can someone tell me why the reputation of these two great players are now so markedly different?


Well, for one Laver won 2 calendar Grand Slams(one being in the Open Era against professionals)

And Rosewall never won Wimbledon, generally regarded as the most important event, while Laver won 4.

Those 2 things will always be much better known than Rosewall's achievements.

Plus the head to head:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=167553


i have a lot of respect for what you post, but is your conclusion "that both of them were head and shoulders above the greats of the open era" based on statistics or have watched a lot of footage too?

If you are interested, here is some great, higher picture quality/sound footage than is usually available from this time period, you can see what a great talent Laver was(and look how ripped he was as well):

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpdPX9avs1M

jeffreyneave
04-03-2008, 10:31 AM
I agree with moose that Laver's 2 slams (particularly his open era one) and 4 wimbledons stand out . Those two slams seem god like. No one has matched that.

Rosewall is downgraded because he unfortunately spent the peak of his career in his massive 12 year career as a pro. rosewall's 8 out 9 incredible french pro streak is much less well known. Overall Rosewall probably has more Grand slam equivalent wins (counting his pro major wins) than any other player. He probably just edges out Laver and gonzales. His longevity as a top player competeting well in major events is probably only matched by Tilden

Laver also had a head to head advantage over Rosewall every year they played except 1963 (first year they met when Rosewall was no1) and 1976 (when Laver was semi-retired and no longer a serious player)

I would regard Rosewall as the no1 player from 1960-3, but Laver's reign runs certainly from 1964-70 and in my opinion 1971 as well.

jeffrey

llgc8080
04-03-2008, 03:34 PM
I would regard Rosewall as the no1 player from 1960-3, but Laver's reign runs certainly from 1964-70 and in my opinion 1971 as well.

jeffrey

Agree with you.

SgtJohn
04-04-2008, 05:38 AM
Hi Tim,

The book you're looking for is "History of professional tennis" by Joe McCauley.

As you mention the "Pro Slam" tournaments, and as you mention you're a newcomer to the Pre-Open Era, be careful not to consider these 3 tournaments as always the best pro event every year (see threads like "4 greatest tournaments each year" etc.). I mention this just because it's a very common (and forgiveable) mistake...

As for your question, the 1967 and 1969 seasons, as well as his many years ( even if they were not all dominant) as #1 are the only reasons why Laver can be considered better. Rosewall"s achievements are more impressive but they are also more dispersed over time. If you consider longevity as more significant, Rosewall is the obvious choice...

Jonathan

Wuornos
04-05-2008, 05:41 AM
i have a lot of respect for what you post, but is your conclusion "that both of them were head and shoulders above the greats of the open era" based on statistics or have watched a lot of footage too?

Hi Rhino

It's not based on anything scientific, other than looking back athe pro tournaments that were played and seeing how many Rosewall won.

I really don't have the data to do anything else and while as a boy I saw them both play I was perhapsnot mature enough at that stage to fully understand what I was seeing.

Regards

Tim

Wuornos
04-05-2008, 05:45 AM
Well, for one Laver won 2 calendar Grand Slams(one being in the Open Era against professionals)

And Rosewall never won Wimbledon, generally regarded as the most important event, while Laver won 4.

Those 2 things will always be much better known than Rosewall's achievements.

Plus the head to head:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=167553




If you are interested, here is some great, higher picture quality/sound footage than is usually available from this time period, you can see what a great talent Laver was(and look how ripped he was as well):

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpdPX9avs1M

Thanks Moose.

The head to head was interesting as it gives the impression that there would have been an average of a 40 point elo Gap between them on average during their careers. Which isn't to shabby when compared with my peak Elo ratings of the open era which sees the difference as 60 points.

I'll have a look at the links tomorrow when I have a bit more time.

Much appreciated.

Tim :)

Wuornos
04-05-2008, 05:48 AM
I agree with moose that Laver's 2 slams (particularly his open era one) and 4 wimbledons stand out . Those two slams seem god like. No one has matched that.

Rosewall is downgraded because he unfortunately spent the peak of his career in his massive 12 year career as a pro. rosewall's 8 out 9 incredible french pro streak is much less well known. Overall Rosewall probably has more Grand slam equivalent wins (counting his pro major wins) than any other player. He probably just edges out Laver and gonzales. His longevity as a top player competeting well in major events is probably only matched by Tilden

Laver also had a head to head advantage over Rosewall every year they played except 1963 (first year they met when Rosewall was no1) and 1976 (when Laver was semi-retired and no longer a serious player)

I would regard Rosewall as the no1 player from 1960-3, but Laver's reign runs certainly from 1964-70 and in my opinion 1971 as well.

jeffrey

Thanks Jeffery

You're quite right in identifying Rosewall's French Pro streak, which was one of the chief factors in making me wonder why Laver is held in such high esteem compared with Rosewall.

I certainly feel even if Rosewall must be considered weaker than Laver, as would now seem the case seeing the posts from others, he still doesn't seem to get the recognition he deserves from current fans.

Take care

Tim

Wuornos
04-05-2008, 05:55 AM
Hi Tim,

The book you're looking for is "History of professional tennis" by Joe McCauley.

As you mention the "Pro Slam" tournaments, and as you mention you're a newcomer to the Pre-Open Era, be careful not to consider these 3 tournaments as always the best pro event every year (see threads like "4 greatest tournaments each year" etc.). I mention this just because it's a very common (and forgiveable) mistake...

As for your question, the 1967 and 1969 seasons, as well as his many years ( even if they were not all dominant) as #1 are the only reasons why Laver can be considered better. Rosewall"s achievements are more impressive but they are also more dispersed over time. If you consider longevity as more significant, Rosewall is the obvious choice...

Jonathan


Thanks Sgt John.

That really has helped. Seeing these events described as the professional slam events certainly made me consider them the strongest and not being able to see a full draw for each one I was unable to judge. I'm sure this is a big factor of my error in this matter.

Thanks for the note on the title of the book. I'll see if I can get a copy.


To be honest I have never been a fan of longevity as a measure of a players quality but prefer to try to judge a peak standard of play. Admittedly this has to be maintained over a reasonable period to be considered significant but to judge a player over an excessive number of years always seems to me penalise some with shorter careers and reward those with longer. I already rate Laver as third best player of the open era using the ELO rating system and if he were penalised by rewarding excessive career length within the open era, I'm sure his place would be much lower. No for me the best indicator of a players ultimate worth will be his / her peak playing standard as defined by results adjusted for quality of opposition faced, or in other words, ELO.

Thanks for the post.

Take care

Tim

hoodjem
04-05-2008, 06:09 AM
Tim,

Having seen Rosewall play on the telly, I do have the greatest respect for him, but Moose got it right.

Laver's win of two (three? incl. a 1967 "Pro Slam") Grand Slams and the fact that Muscles never won a Wimbledon title despite four times in the finals must put him slightly lower than Rocket.

I think Rosewall's most cogent claim as great tennis player (and potential GOAT) is his sheer longevity: winning the AO in 1953 and 1972, and losing the Wimbledon final in 1974. Winning the FO in 1953 and 1968; winning the USO 14 years apart. Amazing! His career spans 21 years at years at the highest level possible.

As I have said before, can we imagine Federer in the Wimbledon final in 2024? Can we imagine Nadal winning at Roland Garros in 2020?

Not possible. There is no doubt, Ken IS one of the greats.

Gene

Vector
04-05-2008, 06:24 AM
Well, for one Laver won 2 calendar Grand Slams(one being in the Open Era against professionals)

And Rosewall never won Wimbledon, generally regarded as the most important event, while Laver won 4.

Those 2 things will always be much better known than Rosewall's achievements.

Plus the head to head:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=167553




If you are interested, here is some great, higher picture quality/sound footage than is usually available from this time period, you can see what a great talent Laver was(and look how ripped he was as well):

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpdPX9avs1M

Great posting

noeledmonds
04-05-2008, 06:55 AM
I just don't quite get why Laver is looked on as a god, when the results seem to show that Rosewall possibly had an even better case.

Laver is generally regarded as the greater player than Rosewall but not by all experts.

The reason Laver is viewed as greater is that Laver had the head to head adavantage, Laver won over 180 tournaments (an all time record) and Laver won 2 calander grand slams (including an open-era one). The grand slams are what really make Laver stand out from all oposition. It is not just the grand slams but the years as a whole. In 1962 Laver won at least 22 tournaments (a pre open-era record) and in 1969 Laver won at least 18 events (an open-era record). Laver also won the largely overlooked pro slam in 1967. This involved winning the US Pro, French Pro, Wembley Pro and Wimbledon Pro. I believe no other player has won the US Pro, French Pro and Wembley Pro in the same year (the Wimbledon Pro was only played in 1967). This makes his Pro slam a very note worthy achivement and in fact undoubtably more difficult than his 1962 amateur slam.

Rosewall never won Wimbledon, which was a tournmanent he could have won as an amateur or open-era proffesional. Rosewall was also never particularly dominant compared to Laver. Rosewall has a massive list of achivements but these were developed through his longetivity as he played over 20 years near the top of the game. I think that if you had good pre-open era ELO data for Rosewall then his score would not be as high as many of the other greats as his achivements are spread out over a long time period.

Having said this there are informed induviduals who consider Rosewall to be greater than Laver and some even consider him the greatest of them all. Rosewall has won more majors (grand slam events and pro events pre-1969) than any other player in history with 23 in total (Laver had 19). Rosewall also holds an exceptionally large number of "oldest to win" achivements. Rosewall is in my opnion not as great as Laver but still underated as a player. Many statistical analyses I have seen put Rosewall in the top 3 all time, generally alongside Laver and Gonzales.

urban
04-05-2008, 07:34 AM
Agreed, Rosewall is often a bit underrated, often seen as a sort of Raymond Poulidor in cycling, who was overshadowed by Anquetil and Merckx. In his amateur career, Hoad was the more flamboyant player, stealing the limelight. In the early pros, Gonzales was the more popular, and later on Laver the more spectacular. Nevertheless Kenny had always the last laugh, outlasting all his peers. He never got to Nr.1 as amateur, losing crucial Wimbledon matches vs. Drobny, Nielsen (twice) and Hoad. He was angry about his loss to Drobny, blaming Hopman for giving him false tactical plans.His real Nr.1 pro status in 1961-63 looks a bit like an interim (in reality it wasn't so), after the demission of Gonzales and the arrival of Laver. He had surpassed Gonzales by 1960, but nobody took really care. In his best year 1963, he beat Laver clearly for ca. half a year and won all 3 pro majors. His longevity is only matched by Tilden (and an old English guy around 1910, whose name i forgot at the moment), but Kenny was in the world class as early as a 18 year old junior, while Tilden got to the top as a 27 year old veteran. Both stayed in the top well into their forties. Kenny hadn't the most powerful of serves, and he could be really overpowered by hard hitting returners like Hoad, Laver (who at his best, imposed his topspin backhand even on Kenny's sclice backhand) and Connors, who buried the 40 year old veteran at Wim and Forest Hills in 1974.

CyBorg
04-05-2008, 04:17 PM
...Muscles never won a Wimbledon title despite four times in the finals must put him slightly lower than Rocket.

Why is this important? Considering the context of his era and all. I just don't understand why this gets brought up so much... and by some good posters.

urban
04-06-2008, 12:53 AM
It was important, going by his own books. In his book with Peter Rowley there are great parts dedicated to his Wimbledon defeats. Especially his first final loss to Drobny in 1954 hurt him. He blamed Hopman, to have given him wrong advice, to stay back and wait. When he woke up in the third, it was too late, and he couldn't turn the match around. When he lost to Newcombe in 1970, everybody wanted him to win, and they booed Newcombe. The Wimbledon club accepted him as fellow member, although he never won the thing. Old friend Charlton Heston, who died yesterday, also became a member of the club after a long wait.

hoodjem
04-06-2008, 06:18 AM
Old friend Charlton Heston, who died yesterday, also became a member of the club after a long wait.

Heston was a member of the Wimbledon Club? Why he was nothing but a born-again, gun-slinging, bad actor. Sad day for Wimbledon.

When did he make the AELTA finals?

urban
04-06-2008, 06:28 AM
Heston was a friend of Laver and Rosewall since the 60s. Himself a big tennis fan and a quite good player, he did some promotional work for the early pro tour, including the WCT. He had a strong bound to the All England Club and did some commentating. He also wrote some columns for Tennis Mag and World Tennis. On the advice of some pro champions, he was introduced into the Club. That was way before his activity for the weapon industry.

hoodjem
04-06-2008, 06:42 AM
Yes, now that you mention it I used to see him in some crowd/audience shots occasionally. Looked like a loyal tennis fan, like Alan King.

Back before he went off the deep end and became infamous. (Sorry, my politics are showing.)

CyBorg
04-06-2008, 01:02 PM
It was important, going by his own books. In his book with Peter Rowley there are great parts dedicated to his Wimbledon defeats. Especially his first final loss to Drobny in 1954 hurt him. He blamed Hopman, to have given him wrong advice, to stay back and wait. When he woke up in the third, it was too late, and he couldn't turn the match around. When he lost to Newcombe in 1970, everybody wanted him to win, and they booed Newcombe. The Wimbledon club accepted him as fellow member, although he never won the thing. Old friend Charlton Heston, who died yesterday, also became a member of the club after a long wait.

I understand this, but to the intelligent tennis fan the Wimbledon losses shouldn't matter because we know full well that the reason Rosewall doesn't have any is because he didn't participate at the all-England club in his prime years.

So maybe... we can stop bringing this up? Maybe? Would only make sense?

hoodjem
04-06-2008, 03:25 PM
I understand this, but to the intelligent tennis fan the Wimbledon losses shouldn't matter because we know full well that the reason Rosewall doesn't have any is because he didn't participate at the all-England club in his prime years.

So maybe... we can stop bringing this up? Maybe? Would only make sense?

I would say the point of Rosewall's losses at Wimby is a bit of a two-edged sword: he was good enough to get to the finals four times over a twenty year period (quite a feat), but not quite good enough to win (as did Laver).

Was he completely beyond his prime in the open era? Ken was still good enough to win at Roland Garros in '68, the USO in 1970, and the AO in '71 and '72--but not Wimby in '70 or '74. Obviously he had a very long "prime"--perhaps the longest OAT. I nominate Ken for GPOAT.

How would we regard Muscles if he had not made any Wimby finals?
Even lower.

CyBorg
04-07-2008, 05:45 AM
I would say the point of Rosewall's losses at Wimby is a bit of a two-edged sword: he was good enough to get to the finals four times over a twenty year period (quite a feat), but not quite good enough to win (as did Laver).

Was he completely beyond his prime in the open era? Ken was still good enough to win at Roland Garros in '68, the USO in 1970, and the AO in '71 and '72--but not Wimby in '70 or '74. Obviously he had a very long "prime"--perhaps the longest OAT. I nominate Ken for GPOAT.

How would we regard Muscles if he had not made any Wimby finals?
Even lower.

The fact that Ken managed to win three of the four majors in the Open Era should be a positive, not a negative.

SgtJohn
04-07-2008, 02:02 PM
Hi Tim,

I am not such a fan of longevity either, but I think that the deeper you will dig in tennis history, the more you will realize that, due to (sadly) the lack of complete data, it is really hard to judge peak performance. In my humble opinion, complete historical ratings (that is: 1877-2007) can only be based on very general parameters, such as number of 'Majors' won or number of Years at #1, #2, etc. This is far from ideal or statistically satisfying but it is the best we can do with the very partial data we got for the (Amateur) pre-Open era. Of course, the ELO ratings and similar approaches can work as far as we can use reasonably complete data.

Jonathan



To be honest I have never been a fan of longevity as a measure of a players quality but prefer to try to judge a peak standard of play. Admittedly this has to be maintained over a reasonable period to be considered significant but to judge a player over an excessive number of years always seems to me penalise some with shorter careers and reward those with longer. I already rate Laver as third best player of the open era using the ELO rating system and if he were penalised by rewarding excessive career length within the open era, I'm sure his place would be much lower. No for me the best indicator of a players ultimate worth will be his / her peak playing standard as defined by results adjusted for quality of opposition faced, or in other words, ELO.

Thanks for the post.

Take care

Tim

AndrewD
04-07-2008, 06:25 PM
Can someone tell me why the reputation of these two great players are now so markedly different?

1. Simply because most people are happier being told what to think than actually doing the reading to come up with their own conclusion. They also find it easier to grasp a simple concept such as the player with the most majors = the better player.

2. Laver scored his Grand Slam in 1970 at the time when tennis was just getting ready to explode. When that happened it (the Grand Slam) was available as an immediate memory whereas Rosewall's achievements (the majority) came prior to that.

3. Open tennis, when it began, did it's best to act as though the 'professional years' never happened. How can people consider Rosewall's achievements as a pro if they have no idea what he did or how impressive it was.

4. American tennis publications and pundits dominate the market and they are, like all American publications (up to the 1990's) and pundits, incredibly unreliable.

AndrewTas
04-24-2008, 11:07 PM
These two players dominated the game between 1960 and 1969 with Emerson winning 12 Slams and Laver 11. There were 40 Slams during the decade and between them they won more than half.
Here is their head-to-head and Laver was in front 43-18. Between 1963 and 1967 the two did not play against each other but they met at least 61 times between 1958 and 1975.

1958 QUEENSLAND CHAMPS QF LAVER 63 61 86
1959 QUEENSLAND CHAMPS SF EMERSON 79 64 86 1012 63
1959 NSW CHAMPS SF EMERSON 60 36 36 64 63
1960 AUSTRALIAN CHAMPS SF LAVER 46 61 97 36 75
1960 WIMBLEDON QF LAVER 64 57 64 64
1960 QUEENSLAND CHAMPS SF EMERSON 61 26 62 79 63
1961 AUSTRALIAN CHAMPS F EMERSON 16 63 75 64
1961 NZ CHAMPS F LAVER 46 63 62 36 75
1961 Mexico City MEX F EMERSON 46 64 64 62
1961 Kingston JAM F LAVER 46 64 63
1961 BARRANQUILLA SF LAVER 63 62 64
1961 Houston TX F LAVER 75 75 16 63
1961 BRITISH HC F EMERSON 86 64 60
1961 Kitzbuhel AUT F EMERSON 63 63 36 06 62
1961 US CHAMPS F EMERSON 75 63 62
1961 QUEENSLAND HC F LAVER 75 63
1961 QUEENSLAND CHAMPS F LAVER 46 46 60 86 63
1961 VICTORIAN CHAMPS F LAVER 46 86 97 63
1961 NSW CHAMPS F LAVER 86 63 36 46 64
1962 AUSTRALIAN CHAMPS F LAVER 86 06 64 64
1962 Montego Bay JAM F EMERSON 86 75 46 36 62
1962 Caracas VEN F LAVER 97 62 60
1962 San Juan PR F EMERSON 75 75
1962 St Petersburg FL F EMERSON 61 64 61
1962 Houston TX F LAVER 61 75 75
1962 ITALIAN CHAMPS F LAVER 62 16 36 63 61
1962 FRENCH CHAMPIONSHIPS F LAVER 36 26 63 97 62
1962 QUEENS F LAVER 64 75
1962 US CHAMPS F LAVER 62 64 57 64
1962 PACIFIC SW F EMERSON 1614 63
1968 HOLLYWOOD PRO SF EMERSON 64 61
1968 MADISON SQR GARDENS CHAMPS SF LAVER 62 62
1968 LOS ANGELES SF LAVER 75 62
1968 PARIS PRO NTL 1R LAVER unconfirmed
1968 MIDLAND PRO SF EMERSON 64 64
1968 SAO PAULO RR RR LAVER 61 108
1968 LA PAZ RR RR LAVER 64 62
1968 LIMA RR RR EMERSON 86 64
1968 Buenos Aires ARG F EMERSON 97 64 64
1968 WEMBLEY PRO 1R EMERSON 63 97
1969 AUSTRALIAN OPEN 3R LAVER 62 64 36 97
1969 MIAMI QF LAVER 57 63 64
1969 TOKYO RR EMERSON 64 65
1969 New York NY F LAVER 62 46 61
1969 US OPEN QF LAVER 46 86 1311 64
1970 PHILADELPHIA 3R LAVER 46 63 64
1970 LAS VEGAS SF LAVER 63 36 62 36 63
1970 ST LOUIS SF LAVER 46 75 63
1970 BRETTON WOODS F LAVER 63 63
1970 Fort Worth TX F LAVER 63 75
1970 Vancouver CDA F LAVER 62 61 62
1971 MIAMI SF LAVER 26 63 75
1971 QUEBEC QF LAVER 36 76 76
1971 FORT WORTH SF LAVER 61 64
1971 SAN FRANSISCO 3R LAVER 67 64 60
1973 Miami FL WCT QF LAVER 64 36 62
1973 Richmond VA WCT F LAVER 64 63
1973 Toronto CDA WCT F LAVER 63 64
1973 Brussels WCT SF LAVER 46 64 61
1973 WCT FINALS DALLAS 1R LAVER 64 62 61
1975 SAO PAULO 2R LAVER 63 62

urban
04-25-2008, 01:19 AM
Great list Andrew Tas.It is correspondent for most parts with the informations, i have from the books of Sutter and Betty Laver. At the moment i can only add a couple of matches, they played in 1971 für the rich Champions Classic. i think it were two, won by Laver.
Philadelphia 17 th Jan 1971: Laver 6-2,6-3,7-5,
New Haven, (around 20 th) Feb 1971: Laver 6-3,5-7,6-3,3-6,6-3.

chaognosis
04-25-2008, 06:04 AM
4. American tennis publications and pundits dominate the market and they are, like all American publications (up to the 1990's) and pundits, incredibly unreliable.

There's a lot of hostility toward the media on this forum--not that I think it's wholly unwarranted, just a tad extreme. My own experience is that writings on tennis used to be quite a bit better than they are now, as there was simply more interest in the sport, and the journalists were more knowledgeable. (It's shocking how many glaring factual errors you find in some huge, mainstream publications when it comes to tennis these days!) Re: Rosewall/Laver coverage, I don't think the story is markedly different if you look at, say, the British press rather than the American. Even the Australian books and articles that I have tend to play into the "consensus" view, fair or unfair. (The French very much liked Rosewall, however, since they saw him as a sort of reincarnation of Lacoste/Cochet.) I think your third reason is what really hits the nail on the head: there simply was not much interest in the professional game until quite recently. Everyone knew that the pros were at a higher level than the amateurs, both in ability and in tactics, but nobody really saw the pros play what they would have regarded as "meaningful" matches... and the sporting world has traditionally cared a lot more about these big moments than about more obscure records or statistics. That only explains how writers felt in prior generations. I think today there has been a clear resurgence of interest in the "lost" years of tennis, and Rosewall's stock has risen tremendously, especially among the more serious fans, and this is good, a necessary correction. I agree with you now, for example, that Rosewall is definitely among the top 5-6 players who ever lived.

jeffreyneave
04-25-2008, 06:32 AM
love this list. I have two extra results

Laver beat Emerson 9-7,2-6,6-3 sf caracas 1961
Laver also beat emerson aug 11 1970 at madison Square Garden in what was possibly a one night stand or a quick NTL event between the US pro and Candian open

As urban commented there are two extra wins for Laver in the tennis Champions classic in 1971.

I 'm very interested in the Bretton woods match of 1970. I've never heard of this event. was it a 4 man event, a one night stand or a fully fledged tournament. I thought Bretton woods only started as a tournament in 1972


Laver did definitely beat emo in the ntl french indoors 1968 1st round (result reported in the london times)

jeffrey

hoodjem
04-25-2008, 07:30 AM
So maybe... we can stop bringing this up? Maybe? Would only make sense?
I'm happy to drop it (I do really admire Rosewall: that 1972 WCT final over Laver was an amazing match). But the main reason it is mentioned is to justify Laver's slight superiority. (With which I agree.) But it's also "the one that got away."

Simply put, Laver did something Rosewall did not and could not--despite Rosewall's coming extremely close four times. And (see other thread), Wimbledon is even today regarded as the "greatest Slam tournament."

hoodjem
04-25-2008, 07:37 AM
2. Laver scored his Grand Slam in 1970 at the time when tennis was just getting ready to explode. When that happened it (the Grand Slam) was available as an immediate memory whereas Rosewall's achievements (the majority) came prior to that.

Small correction: Laver's second Grand Slam was in 1969.

hoodjem
04-25-2008, 07:45 AM
I have to say I'm just awestruck by both of these players now, but just cannot reconcile the discrepency with how they are both now seen. It looks to me as a layman first examining these data that both of them were head and shoulders above the greats of the open era.

Can someone tell me why the reputation of these two great players are now so markedly different?

Another reason might be that Rosewall was more of a finesse player, and Laver a bit of a power player (with a great all-court game).

Today's tennis is more of a power game, so maybe people more highly regard a player who fits their pre-conceptions about "real tennis."

chaognosis
04-25-2008, 01:00 PM
Another reason might be that Rosewall was more of a finesse player, and Laver a bit of a power player (with a great all-court game).

Today's tennis is more of a power game, so maybe people more highly regard a player who fits their pre-conceptions about "real tennis."

You are right--but this is far from a recent phenomenon! Despite Rosewall's tremendous stylistic merits and his much greater long-term success, he very often fell under Hoad's shadow even among then-contemporary observers. Read Gordon Forbes's drooling description of Hoad's power game in A Handful of Summers, and you'll see what I mean. At least since Tilden (and perhaps McLoughlin), people have fawned over the power game at the expense of "finesse" players. The styles of Lacoste, Cochet, and Rosewall, among others, always appealed more to connoisseurs than to the public at large.

AndrewTas
04-25-2008, 09:23 PM
love this list. I have two extra results

Laver beat Emerson 9-7,2-6,6-3 sf caracas 1961
Laver also beat emerson aug 11 1970 at madison Square Garden in what was possibly a one night stand or a quick NTL event between the US pro and Candian open

As urban commented there are two extra wins for Laver in the tennis Champions classic in 1971.

I 'm very interested in the Bretton woods match of 1970. I've never heard of this event. was it a 4 man event, a one night stand or a fully fledged tournament. I thought Bretton woods only started as a tournament in 1972


Laver did definitely beat emo in the ntl french indoors 1968 1st round (result reported in the london times)

jeffrey

I knew about the Champions classic matches in 1971 but forgot to put them in. I first found reference to the Bretton Woods tournament in the New York Times. I dont know what kind of tournament it was but I think that it was either a day or two day tournament. Here is the first part of the article on the web:

Laver Takes $1500 Final, Beating Emerson, 6-3, 6-3
Aug 13, 1970 Page 57, 102 words
BRETTON WOODS, N. H:, Aug. 12 (AP)-Rod Laver took top prize of $1500 in the Mount Washington Invitation Tennis Tournament today by beating Roy Emerson, 6-3, 6-3 before a crowd or 2000

What was the score of the match between Laver and Emerson played on aug 11 1970 at madison Square Garden??. Could this be the Bretton Woods match?? Also what was the 1968 Paris Pro score??

urban
04-25-2008, 09:48 PM
I think the Bretton Woods event in 1970 was a four man affair. They had contracted Laver to promote this new tennis resort in the middle of (literally) the woods. Since 1972 or 1973 a regular event (on clay) was started there. I think Amritaj won the first, Laver in 1974 over Solomon (when he played very little in the summer) and Connors in 1975, when beating Laver and Rosewall. In 2005 or 2006 a book was published about the emergence of the tournament, which was exemplary for the tennis boom of that time. It was written by the entrepeneur, but at the moment i don't have the name. It was announced on Tennis Week.

Rosebud
04-25-2008, 11:56 PM
Jim Westhall. The book is called 'Nonsense at the Net'. This webpage http://www.nonsenseatthenet.com/ has a retrospective by Bob Sullivan, with a nice description of the atmosphere of the early years. Also: click on the tournament-logos on the left for a '73 aerial view of the court.

urban
04-26-2008, 12:11 AM
Thanks Rosebud. Real nice webside with good articles on the evolvement of the Volvo event. The tennis boom had hit the woods.

jeffreyneave
04-26-2008, 03:58 AM
andrew,

you are right. there was no MSG match. It took place at Bretton woods.


Laver bt stolle in the sf 6-8,6-3,6-3
Emerson bt Rosewall in the sf 3-6,6-2,7-5

Therefore I assume it was a 4 man event.



jeffrey

hoodjem
04-26-2008, 06:19 AM
I always liked Fred Stolle. He really knew his tennis, and certainly seemed like a very decent chap.

I bet he was a fun guy to have a pint with.

hoodjem
04-26-2008, 06:22 AM
Read Gordon Forbes's drooling description of Hoad's power game in A Handful of Summers, and you'll see what I mean.

I haven't read Forbes, but I have heard over the years heard a lot of fawning about Hoad's power game. (Older guys would say in hushed tones: "Ahh, you wouldn't believe Hoad." . . . whatever that means?)

I saw something recently suggesting that for a couple of years (before he went downhill due to injury and bad conditioning) Hoad was a definite GOAT contender.

Carlo Colussi
04-27-2008, 02:18 PM
These two players dominated the game between 1960 and 1969 with Emerson winning 12 Slams and Laver 11. There were 40 Slams during the decade and between them they won more than half.
Here is their head-to-head and Laver was in front 43-18. Between 1963 and 1967 the two did not play against each other but they met at least 61 times between 1958 and 1975.

1958 QUEENSLAND CHAMPS QF LAVER 63 61 86
1959 QUEENSLAND CHAMPS SF EMERSON 79 64 86 1012 63
1959 NSW CHAMPS SF EMERSON 60 36 36 64 63
1960 AUSTRALIAN CHAMPS SF LAVER 46 61 97 36 75
1960 WIMBLEDON QF LAVER 64 57 64 64
1960 QUEENSLAND CHAMPS SF EMERSON 61 26 62 79 63
1961 AUSTRALIAN CHAMPS F EMERSON 16 63 75 64
1961 NZ CHAMPS F LAVER 46 63 62 36 75
1961 Mexico City MEX F EMERSON 46 64 64 62
1961 Kingston JAM F LAVER 46 64 63
1961 BARRANQUILLA SF LAVER 63 62 64
1961 Houston TX F LAVER 75 75 16 63
1961 BRITISH HC F EMERSON 86 64 60
1961 Kitzbuhel AUT F EMERSON 63 63 36 06 62
1961 US CHAMPS F EMERSON 75 63 62
1961 QUEENSLAND HC F LAVER 75 63
1961 QUEENSLAND CHAMPS F LAVER 46 46 60 86 63
1961 VICTORIAN CHAMPS F LAVER 46 86 97 63
1961 NSW CHAMPS F LAVER 86 63 36 46 64
1962 AUSTRALIAN CHAMPS F LAVER 86 06 64 64
1962 Montego Bay JAM F EMERSON 86 75 46 36 62
1962 Caracas VEN F LAVER 97 62 60
1962 San Juan PR F EMERSON 75 75
1962 St Petersburg FL F EMERSON 61 64 61
1962 Houston TX F LAVER 61 75 75
1962 ITALIAN CHAMPS F LAVER 62 16 36 63 61
1962 FRENCH CHAMPIONSHIPS F LAVER 36 26 63 97 62
1962 QUEENS F LAVER 64 75
1962 US CHAMPS F LAVER 62 64 57 64
1962 PACIFIC SW F EMERSON 1614 63
1968 HOLLYWOOD PRO SF EMERSON 64 61
1968 MADISON SQR GARDENS CHAMPS SF LAVER 62 62
1968 LOS ANGELES SF LAVER 75 62
1968 PARIS PRO NTL 1R LAVER unconfirmed
1968 MIDLAND PRO SF EMERSON 64 64
1968 SAO PAULO RR RR LAVER 61 108
1968 LA PAZ RR RR LAVER 64 62
1968 LIMA RR RR EMERSON 86 64
1968 Buenos Aires ARG F EMERSON 97 64 64
1968 WEMBLEY PRO 1R EMERSON 63 97
1969 AUSTRALIAN OPEN 3R LAVER 62 64 36 97
1969 MIAMI QF LAVER 57 63 64
1969 TOKYO RR EMERSON 64 65
1969 New York NY F LAVER 62 46 61
1969 US OPEN QF LAVER 46 86 1311 64
1970 PHILADELPHIA 3R LAVER 46 63 64
1970 LAS VEGAS SF LAVER 63 36 62 36 63
1970 ST LOUIS SF LAVER 46 75 63
1970 BRETTON WOODS F LAVER 63 63
1970 Fort Worth TX F LAVER 63 75
1970 Vancouver CDA F LAVER 62 61 62
1971 MIAMI SF LAVER 26 63 75
1971 QUEBEC QF LAVER 36 76 76
1971 FORT WORTH SF LAVER 61 64
1971 SAN FRANSISCO 3R LAVER 67 64 60
1973 Miami FL WCT QF LAVER 64 36 62
1973 Richmond VA WCT F LAVER 64 63
1973 Toronto CDA WCT F LAVER 63 64
1973 Brussels WCT SF LAVER 46 64 61
1973 WCT FINALS DALLAS 1R LAVER 64 62 61
1975 SAO PAULO 2R LAVER 63 62

Matches missed.

AndrewTas
04-27-2008, 07:59 PM
Carlo what are the missing results??

Here is an updated List

Laver vs Emerson 47-18
1958 QF QUEENSLAND CHAMPS LAVER 63 61 86
1959 SF QUEENSLAND CHAMPS EMERSON 79 64 86 1012 63
1959 SF NSW CHAMPS EMERSON 60 36 36 64 63
1960 SF AUSTRALIAN CHAMPS LAVER 46 61 97 36 75
1960 QF WIMBLEDON LAVER 64 57 64 64
1960 SF QUEENSLAND CHAMPS EMERSON 61 26 62 79 63
1961 F AUSTRALIAN CHAMPS EMERSON 16 63 75 64
1961 F NZ CHAMPS LAVER 46 63 62 36 75
1961 F Mexico City MEX EMERSON 46 64 64 62
1961 F Kingston JAM LAVER 46 64 63
1961 SF Caracas VEN LAVER 97 26 63
1961 SF BARRANQUILLA LAVER 63 62 64
1961 F Houston TX LAVER 75 75 16 63
1961 F BRITISH HC EMERSON 86 64 60
1961 F Kitzbuhel AUT EMERSON 63 63 36 06 62
1961 F US CHAMPS EMERSON 75 63 62
1961 F QUEENSLAND HC LAVER 75 63
1961 F QUEENSLAND CHAMPS LAVER 46 46 60 86 63
1961 F VICTORIAN CHAMPS LAVER 46 86 97 63
1961 F NSW CHAMPS LAVER 86 63 36 46 64
1962 F AUSTRALIAN CHAMPS LAVER 86 06 64 64
1962 F Montego Bay JAM EMERSON 86 75 46 36 62
1962 F Caracas VEN LAVER 97 62 60
1962 F San Juan PR EMERSON 75 75
1962 F St Petersburg FL EMERSON 61 64 61
1962 F Houston TX LAVER 61 75 75
1962 F ITALIAN CHAMPS LAVER 62 16 36 63 61
1962 F FRENCH CHAMPIONSHIPS LAVER 36 26 63 97 62
1962 F QUEENS LAVER 64 75
1962 F US CHAMPS LAVER 62 64 57 64
1962 F PACIFIC SW EMERSON 1614 63
1968 SF HOLLYWOOD PRO EMERSON 64 61
1968 SF MADISON SQR GARDENS CHAMPS LAVER 62 62
1968 SF LOS ANGELES LAVER 75 62
1968 1R PARIS PRO NTL LAVER
1968 SF MIDLAND PRO EMERSON 64 64
1968 RR SAO PAULO RR LAVER 61 108
1968 RR LA PAZ RR LAVER 64 62
1968 RR LIMA RR EMERSON 86 64
1968 F Buenos Aires ARG EMERSON 97 64 64
1968 1R WEMBLEY PRO EMERSON 63 97
1969 3R AUSTRALIAN OPEN LAVER 62 64 36 97
1969 QF MIAMI LAVER 57 63 64
1969 RR TOKYO EMERSON 64 65
1969 F New York NY LAVER 62 46 61
1969 QF US OPEN LAVER 46 86 1311 64
1970 3R PHILADELPHIA LAVER 46 63 64
1970 SF LAS VEGAS LAVER 63 36 62 36 63
1970 SF ST LOUIS LAVER 46 75 63
1970 F BRETTON WOODS LAVER 63 63
1970 F Fort Worth TX LAVER 63 75
1970 F Vancouver CDA LAVER 62 61 62
1969 ONS BASLE LAVER 63 68 64 36 62
1971 RR Champions Tennis Classic, Philadelphia LAVER 62 63 75
1971 RR Champions Tennis Classic, New Haven LAVER 63 57 63 36 63
1971 SF MIAMI LAVER 26 63 75
1971 QF QUEBEC LAVER 36 76 76
1971 SF FORT WORTH LAVER 61 64
1971 3R SAN FRANSISCO LAVER 67 64 60
1973 QF Miami FL WCT LAVER 64 36 62
1973 F Richmond VA WCT LAVER 64 63
1973 F Toronto CDA WCT LAVER 63 64
1973 SF Brussels WCT LAVER 46 64 61
1973 1R WCT FINALS DALLAS LAVER 64 62 61
1975 2R SAO PAULO LAVER 63 62

jeffreyneave
04-29-2008, 06:28 AM
Laver beat Emerson 4-6,6-4,6-2




jeffrey

chaognosis
04-30-2008, 07:34 PM
In my opinion, the comparison of players across different eras is made a lot easier if we focus on three "major" events per year, rather than four. Almost continuously since 1912, there have been important international championships held in these three countries: Great Britain, the United States, and France (usually contested on clay). Prior to 1925, the three major tournaments were Wimbledon, the US Championships, and the World Hard Court Championships*. From 1925 to 1938, the French Amateur Championships replaced the WHCC. When Don Budge turned professional in 1939, the balance of power shifted away from these amateur events, as the bulk of the best players were on the early pros tours. The pro tournaments with the greatest tradition during this period became known as the "pro majors": Wembley, the US Pro Championships, and the French Pro Championships. Finally, since 1968, Wimbledon, the US Open, and the French Open have stood as arguably the three most important titles in tennis. The following ten players, then, have won at least eight of these major titles:

Ken Rosewall - 17
Pancho Gonzales - 12
Rod Laver - 12
Pete Sampras - 12
Bjorn Borg - 11
Bill Tilden - 11
Don Budge - 9
Roger Federer - 9
Henri Cochet - 8
Fred Perry - 8

Additionally, these nine players have won all three events at least once:

Ken Rosewall (x3)
Don Budge (x2)
Rene Lacoste (x2)
Rod Laver (x2)
Andre Agassi (x1)
Henri Cochet (x1)
Bill Johnston (x1)
Fred Perry (x1)
Bill Tilden (x1)

So Rosewall has won 17 of the biggest titles in the world--five more than any other player in history--and he is also the only player ever to have won the major British, American, and French championships at least three times a piece. That's a pretty impressive case. Still, Laver edges out Rosewall is in the concentration and pattern of his major wins: Laver won all three big titles in two separate years (1967 and 1969), whereas Rosewall only did it once (1963). So how you rate these two depends entirely on whether you put greater value on (a) longevity or (b) short-term dominance. I think it is an exceedingly close call. In any event, by this particular methodology, Rosewall and Laver are probably the most accomplished players of all time.

For reference, what I consider the five best years of all time:

Bill Tilden [1921]: Wimbledon, US Champs, WHCC
Don Budge [1938]: Wimbledon, US Champs, French Champs
Ken Rosewall [1963]: Wembley, US Pro, French Pro
Rod Laver [1967]: Wembley, US Pro, French Pro
Rod Laver [1969]: Wimbledon, US Open, French Open

*This event was held in Brussels in 1922, and replaced by the Paris Olympics in 1924.

CyBorg
04-30-2008, 08:20 PM
I think the fact that the younger Laver overtook Rosewall as the best in the world and began to dominate him from the mid-60s onward is what is giving him the edge on Rosewall... unfairly. Rosewall, of course, had every right to digress a bit after 10 years of top-notch tennis.

But regardless - that's what people remember. Laver overcoming Rosewall and even beating him on clay at Roland Garros.

But then again's that's 'history'.

FedForGOAT
04-30-2008, 08:51 PM
I think the fact that the younger Laver overtook Rosewall as the best in the world and began to dominate him from the mid-60s onward is what is giving him the edge on Rosewall... unfairly. Rosewall, of course, had every right to digress a bit after 10 years of top-notch tennis.

But regardless - that's what people remember. Laver overcoming Rosewall and even beating him on clay at Roland Garros.

But then again's that's 'history'.

I agree. At first, Rosewall was dominated by Gonzalez. At the end, he was dominated by Laver. People seem to forget that he was the world's best player some time in the middle. Yes, he is definitely underrated by the public, but I couldn't put him over Laver. If you had them both playing their best at the same time, I'd see Laver winning. He had an all court power game and could trouble Rosewall with his topspin backhand flicks.

chaognosis
04-30-2008, 09:01 PM
If you had them both playing their best at the same time, I'd see Laver winning. He had an all court power game and could trouble Rosewall with his topspin backhand flicks.

This would depend very much on the surface. On grass I could see Laver winning maybe two out of every three matches--both were excellent grass-court players, and Rosewall's backhand was tailor made for grass, but Laver had the much superior serve and that probably would make the difference in a series of matches. On clay Rosewall would probably win about three matches out of four. However, a confrontation between these two on any surface would almost certainly be an extremely close, hard-fought contest (as it usually was).

FedForGOAT
04-30-2008, 09:39 PM
This would depend very much on the surface. On grass I could see Laver winning maybe two out of every three matches--both were excellent grass-court players, and Rosewall's backhand was tailor made for grass, but Laver had the much superior serve and that probably would make the difference in a series of matches. On clay Rosewall would probably win about three matches out of four. However, a confrontation between these two on any surface would almost certainly be an extremely close, hard-fought contest (as it usually was).

I agree all confrontations would be close. I was picturing a surface like the USO, but I'm sure they'd do great on all surfaces.

SgtJohn
05-01-2008, 05:27 AM
I think Rosewall's most cogent claim as great tennis player (and potential GOAT) is his sheer longevity: winning the AO in 1953 and 1972, and losing the Wimbledon final in 1974. Winning the FO in 1953 and 1968; winning the USO 14 years apart. Amazing! His career spans 21 years at years at the highest level possible.

As I have said before, can we imagine Federer in the Wimbledon final in 2024? Can we imagine Nadal winning at Roland Garros in 2020?

Not possible. There is no doubt, Ken IS one of the greats.

Gene

Hi Gene,

Sure, this longevity is amazing. To use another analogy, Rosewall reaching the Wimbledon final in '74 by beating Newcombe and Smith is a bit like Boris Becker coming back to beat Nadal and Federer in back-to-back matches...

But still, we have to be careful with the comparisons. I'm not (at all!) amon people who judge the current time 'better' or 'harder' than the past, but it's an objective fact that players who turn pro in 2008 can expect less years at the top of their game than their 1958 counterparts. There are many reasons to this, and mostly technology ('high-tech' rackets mean a quicker ball, which means a quicker game, which means more injuries,etc.), and maybe 'mental fatigue'...
But let's make no mistake, Rosewall's longevity was already amazing in his time. Laver's career was more traditional in this regard (peaking around 30 and clearly declining after 33 or 34). In 'modern' terms, Agassi reaching the US Open final at 35 in 2005 can be compared to Rosewall's '74 exploits, so in a way, "35 is the new 39".

A full statistical study would be fascinating, with solid data to try and answer this question: "Rosewall won 23 'majors', but he enjoyed a longer career than Sampras, by virtue of the fact that he was born in the 30s and not the 70s...So how much are his 23 'worth' in 2008 criteria, and how do they stack up against Pete's 14?".

Jon

Q&M son
05-01-2008, 06:00 AM
Matches missed.

I don't think you are Carlo Colussi, I know him. You maybe... fake!

hoodjem
05-01-2008, 07:27 AM
But it's an objective fact that players who turn pro in 2008 can expect less years at the top of their game than their 1958 counterparts. There are many reasons to this, and mostly technology ('high-tech' rackets mean a quicker ball, which means a quicker game, which means more injuries,etc.), and maybe 'mental fatigue'...

I do wonder about these factors? From what I hear, the old pro circuit with its one-night stands in out-of-the-way towns was quite the grueling grind for very little money. Do pros today have it physically easier?

A full statistical study would be fascinating, with solid data to try and answer this question: "Rosewall won 23 'majors', but he enjoyed a longer career than Sampras, by virtue of the fact that he was born in the 30s and not the 70s...So how much are his 23 'worth' in 2008 criteria, and how do they stack up against Pete's 14?".

Jon

Good point. I agree, this is a significant question.

(Are 2008 criteria really that different from 1955 or 1972 criteria? I'm not sure what you mean by this.)

Bjorn99
05-01-2008, 08:13 AM
Most older Australians sigh and get this very spiritual look on their face when Lew Hoad is mentioned. They pretty well assume he is the GOAT of GOAT's. Just liked the suds more than tennis.

And Newcombe beating Rosewall is surprising. Newcombe had an awful backhand.

jeffreyneave
05-01-2008, 10:10 AM
i think this is too simplistic. the french pro disappeared after 1939 and did not really exist again until 1956. the british pro disappeared for two years in the the 1950s. the us pro wins of gonzales in 1961 and 1953 are worthless. Taking 1939 as a once and for all switch date is very generous to budge and mean to Vines. Vines was better than perry in 1937, 1938 and 1939, 1931 and 1932. that means he was probably the best player in the world in 1934, 1935 and 1936 (perry was ranked above budge in those years)

I prefer the sgt john approach of trying to identify the 4 major events, including at least one clay court event (the french pro was played indoors 1963-67). for each year. I did not agree with all of his choices (he was mean to jack kramer's achievements) and it becomes highly personal, but its worth making the effort. also winning major champs is not the only achievement in tennis. winning tournaments and head to head series count as well; as of course does one's world ranking for each year.


jeffrey

chaognosis
05-01-2008, 10:38 AM
Jeffrey,

I agree that it is not a perfect system, but then you can't even say that about counting the traditional Grand Slam events as "majors" for the Open Era. There are two problems I have with Jonathan's approach, as much as I admire it: (1) it does not allow for the value of tradition at an event, since it looks at the quality of each draw on a year-by-year basis without factoring in consistency/continuity over a longer span of time; and (2) it does not uphold the geographic/national identifications of the major events, which after all was the original intent and meaning behind the designation of the "Grand Slam." It pains me greatly to do away with the fourth major, but I have found no better alternative that still respects these significant factors and, most importantly, allows for a relatively smooth and stable standard of comparison since at least circa World War I. Reading through the literature, I think there is strong precedent for considering Wimbledon and the French/US Championships as the "Big Three" titles, and crucially, there seems to be a relative consensus--thanks to McCauley, Geist, Collins, et al--that the British, French, and US pro events were after all the most important "proper" tournaments during the professional years. So yes, I definitely appreciate your criticisms, but I also must stand by my conclusion that this is really the only way I see to create a comprehensible standard for comparison that is mostly fair to players throughout all four "eras" (as I define them).

chaognosis
05-01-2008, 11:15 AM
Continued...

Re: the 1930s. As Tim would be the first to admit, it is virtually impossible to mix results from two completely separate competitive populations, so one needs to decide which "pool" is stronger overall. Jonathan actually agreed with me here, last we spoke, about using 1939 as the cut-off year. I agree that it hurts Vines somewhat, but I see no alternative. It is not necessarily fair to extrapolate his success in head-to-head series with Perry in 1937-1939 backwards, as the format was so different... Vines's health and stamina were always suspect, and so I myself cannot see him being favored over a prime Perry in a single-elimination tournament against a larger and deeper field of opponents. (His margins over Perry, even as a pro, were usually quite narrow, too, and mostly restricted to the US circuit, if I remember correctly.) It has even been observed, by Kramer, that Perry's ambitions declined significantly after he left the amateur world, though Perry himself disputed this. These vagaries will always remain, but I think that all in all, 1939 remains the best date for switching over to the pro events, since from that date forward one can say that for the most part the top handful of players had turned professional (the only real exception perhaps being the immediate post-war years, 1946-1947, though this "blip" does not alter any of the above players' career totals).

BTW, I would never try to convince you or anyone of this methodology wholesale as being THE definitive standard of achievement in tennis; mostly it is just my own thought experiment, and I like it because it is relatively straightforward. I am essentially trying to make my own rankings internally consistent, rather than impose my standards on others. Even if one accepted the above data, one would then have to choose appropriate "weights" for the different criteria... the decisions are endless. I myself would most value the players who were able to win all of the "Big Three" titles in a single season--these to me are the true Grand Slams, in a historical sense, and represent the highest level of dominance and peak excellence possible in the sport. Beyond that, I would have to look at the career Big Three titles won, giving credit first for the overall number but second for versatility as demonstrated by winning each title at least once (a sort of "Career Slam" factor). Finally, I would also slightly favor those players who did best at the British events (Wimbledon and Wembley), as they seemed to maintain the highest level of prestige more or less in every era. But this is all beside the point, and you are right that there is more to greatness than what any one table of numbers can show. My effort here is only one way of simplifying and making sense of certain data.

CyBorg
05-01-2008, 12:23 PM
hoodjem: I do wonder about these factors? From what I hear, the old pro circuit with its one-night stands in ou-of-the-way towns was quite the grueling grind for very little money. Do pros today have it physically easier?

I'll hazard a guess that the 'more money' element is what is making some difference. Tennis was more of a way of life - as in, you play as long as you're young. Now it's more of a tenure, meaning that as long you prove yourself and make sufficient enough money you're fine. It's harder to accumulate enough drive to beat younger, quicker guys when you know that you have enough money to buy a small island.

Guys like Laver and Rosewall never seemed to want to stop playing. Sampras, however, always looked for reasons to not play. He focussed on grand slam events and after a while became concerned solely on Emerson's record.

Maybe there's another reason. Guys used to travel in packs - with their countrymen. Like the Aussies did. They were like a family; there was comraderie. Now everyone's alone. I think guys get burned out not just physically; they're just sick of being by themselves all of the time.

SgtJohn
05-02-2008, 03:01 AM
Jeffrey,

I agree that it is not a perfect system, but then you can't even say that about counting the traditional Grand Slam events as "majors" for the Open Era. There are two problems I have with Jonathan's approach, as much as I admire it: (1) it does not allow for the value of tradition at an event, since it looks at the quality of each draw on a year-by-year basis without factoring in consistency/continuity over a longer span of time; and (2) it does not uphold the geographic/national identifications of the major events, which after all was the original intent and meaning behind the designation of the "Grand Slam."

Hi Chaog,

*About the 'greatest years', I agree with you, though I would add Doherty's 1903 (Wimbledon, Newport, Davis Cup, British Covered, Nice).

*About the 1939 "cut-off", I don't see it as such. The level of play in the pro field was better, despite the absence of Budge, in 1937-1938. Had there been strong Wembley and US Pro tournaments with the Pro top 3 in these years, probably neither Forest Hills nor Roland Garros would be 'Majors' in my list, but the fact is that Vines, Perry and Nusslein played in separate circuits (except for the Elly/Fred tours). Fortunately Budge took part in most pro tournaments and led to their 'revival' (a very temporary revival, ultimately, because of WW2).
Conversely, I considered some post-1945 amateur Slams as Majors in years when there was not enough valuable pro tournaments or the pro field was aging, which would be most years before 1956. The true Golden Era of pro tennis was 1956-1968.

*about tradition: it's true I tend not to factor it when choosing my events for each year, but it's just a matter of personal opinion.
The problem in taking tradition into account is the risk of falling in the same traps as the "casual fan". It is in the name of tradition that people claim that Kodes's wins at Roland Garros are worth the same as Courier's, or that Emerson's 12 Slams show he's much better than Laver (11). Of course, you know better, thanks to your deep knowledge of history, but unconditionally supporting the US Pro as a major is dangerously similar to these assertions. I'm not a cynic, but I think, as CyBorg and others, that the money element is significant, and that it easily explains the ups and downs of the US Pro (McCauley mentions the changes in management and venues over the year). It had existed for decades, had had extremely prestigious winners (Tilden, Perry, Kramer, Gonzales, etc.), but the fact is that in the early 60s, everybody who wasn't American just abandoned it.

*about geography: I thought really hard about this one, but couldn't find a solution. Imposing a set of rules to force geographical diversity on the choice of majors led to unfairness towards really good tournaments who were rejected just because "there already were 2 in Europe", or else. In the current list, apart from the World Wars, there is not one single year when all the majors are played on the same continent, so I think the system is self-regulating enough.

*I aslo wanted to add that even I concluded that a 'fair' 4-Majors-a-year system was unworkable. I have always been very attached to this idea and didn't like assigning "fractions" to tournaments.
Still, I decided it must be done: each of my subjective choices were too important otherwise, and most importantly, some of my 'majors' were more 'fillers'. Some years, there just are not 4 really great tournaments, and that's all there is to it.

I'll take an example, to be clearer:

Take the year 1961. Among the 3 'Pro Slams', Wembley and the French were great successes, though the US was depleted. 2 other tournaments had great fields: Copenhagen and Vienna. Another one, the Kramer Cup (the 'Pro Davis Cup') had great matches, but using a DC format, was won not by 1, but 2 players.

My old way would have been to choose 2 tournaments apart from Wembley and RG and name them Majors.

The new way is:

-I decide that though they had excellent fields, Copenhagen and Vienna cannot be 'Majors' on the same level as the 'Pro Slams' because they don't have any tradition and would never have in the subsequent years (I bet that's the part you like, chaog ;-)). The same can be said about the Kramer Cup.

- I then use 'fractions': the majors for this year are:
--Wembley (1)

--French Pro (1)

--Copenhagen Pro (1/2)
--Vienna Pro (1/2)

--Kramer Cup (1/2+1/2) [as there are 2 players on the team]

-It is obviously a more complicated system, but also (I hope!), fairer: it would be unfair to deny Gonzales 2 victories in very difficult tournaments just because they're not traditional 'Slams', but it would also be unfair to award as much points for them individually as for Wembley...

-For those who wonder about the final results of this new system, I'm afraid they are not spectacular. I don't have the file with me currently, with the exact figures, but it went, very classically, something like this:

-Rosewall: 23
-Laver: 21
-Gonzales: 19
-Tilden 16
-L Doherty 14
-Sampras 14
-Budge 13
-Borg 13
-W Renshaw 12
-Federer 12


Jonathan

jeffreyneave
05-02-2008, 07:13 AM
about the 1930s, vines won the two tours against perry in 1937 and 1938. Frankly winning best of 80 matches series, playing 3 a week against a great player is far tougher than winning 7 matches in a slam with only 2 or 3 competitive matches in the final rounds. Vines was the best pro between 1934-6 beating both tilden and nuseilin; his two main rivals. Of 3 the major pro events , he won either 4/5 or 5/6 between 1934 and 1936. In 1939 he effectively finished his career by beating perry in a very long 4 set match at the us pro, which included tilden and stoffen. tilden inflicted the only major defeat on budge that year in 3 straight sets at southport ( a great feat at the age of 46), which was a major because it included the top 3 (budge,vines and nusellin); nusellin went onto win the event.

As to perry he certainly was not finished. in 1941 he had his greatest year as pro, winnining the us pro and out performing budge on tournament circuit (he had a head to head advantage) to claim the no1 pro ranking. He was 32 and that in my opinion is the general last great year for GOAT contender. (kramer 1953, gonzales 1960, rosewall 1966, laver 1970)

AS TO Mccauley, although he treats the us, french and wembley as the 3 biggest genreally, a read of the text would confirm that the us pro of 1953,.1960, 1961 and 1962 are not major events. he also likes the forest hills event a lot in some years; certainly treating hoad's win in 1959 as his biggest achievement in pro tennis. I like the Aussie pro, when it was played , because it was best of 5 sets and played at one the venues for aussie amateur slam.

As to 1961 , my choices would be the french pro, wembley and geneva. Geneva had a consistently strong field throughout the 1st half of the 1960s. It looks like it was played at the geneva tennis club , which probably means it was clay. borg 's last main tour win was late september 1981 at Geneva played outdoors on clay. The fourth choice would be the kramer cup which was at least held for straight years in the early 60s and attracted all the best players in1961. Looking at the results in 1961 would share it between trabert, hoad and Rosewall as nobody was undefeated.

Jonathan I would like to see your year by year list
of your 4 majors and debate your choices.

Jeffrey

chaognosis
05-02-2008, 12:11 PM
I think that we are sometimes too hard on the "casual fan." The number of people in the world who could even follow some of these discussions is extremely small, and I believe that if we are going to make any meaningful argument about ranking players, it needs to be in some sense accessible. Generalization is an important tool when doing any comparative work. It is possible that Roland Garros or the US Open may have an unusually weak draw some year, for any number of reasons, but does this mean that everyone holds the winner of Rome or Indian Wells in higher esteem instead? I doubt the winner would be too ashamed to display his trophies in a place of pride, and the history books, after all, are not often printed with too many asterisks and footnotes--all this is to say that we need to generalize, if we are going to make an argument that is comprehensible to anyone outside of the tiniest circle of devotees. (Here is where tradition is so important, allowing for a rough trend of continuity in spite of all the circumstantial variegation...) Of course, you and I can know all the pitfalls and shortcomings of any "simplistic" system, but my point is that we do need to assent to such imperfect measures, and admit that no perfect standard exists, or otherwise eschew the idea of making historical comparisons altogether. (McCauley is a great case in point here: as Jeffrey says, he notes all the year-by-year deficiencies of certain tournaments in his text, but that he nevertheless prints a special section in the back of his book with pro major results shows that he, too, recognizes the importance of generalization and a certain degree of simplification. This is essential for making an argument that can actually reach an audience, and which that audience can understand.)

P.S. Jonathan, I am curious how you would rate Wilding's 1913 relative to H.L. Doherty's 1903 and other "Slam" yeas?

Moose Malloy
05-02-2008, 01:26 PM
Jonathan I would like to see your year by year list
of your 4 majors and debate your choices.



here was his 'old' list:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=167531

SgtJohn
05-02-2008, 02:51 PM
*Chaog, I totally agree with your analysis.
At the end of the day, it's just a matter of knowing what one's aim are. Your list is not more or less 'right' than mine, your goals are different that's all: every one must choose their preferred position on the scale of 'tradition' v 'accuracy'.
On the 'tradition' end there is the 'official' ATP list (the 4 same tournaments again and again regardless of their fields), and on the 'accuracy' end a hypothetical "perfectly fair" list.
I want to point out, though, that tradition [I]is[I] one of the factors I used to choose majors. Otherwise, as you said, I could well have chosen some Masters Series events in recent years (one example off the top of my head: the absence of Sampras at the USO in '99 alone could have led to choose Cincinatti as a hardcourt major; there are many others).

*about 1913, by my count at least, Wilding won Wimbledon, the WHCC, Monte-Carlo, the British Covered and World Covered Championships. He didn't take part in the Davis Cup nor the US Championships.
Personally, I would rank this season far below the ones we evoked earlier. Doherty won events that were clearly the top 3 in his time, and after 2 DC victories by the Americans, clearly took charge and showed who was the #1 player. Wilding won Wimbledon, that was still the World Championship at the time, but the WHCC was just in its second year (and the first one with a good field); his other wins were in good, but not top-notch, tournaments.

chaognosis
05-02-2008, 04:34 PM
*about 1913, by my count at least, Wilding won Wimbledon, the WHCC, Monte-Carlo, the British Covered and World Covered Championships. He didn't take part in the Davis Cup nor the US Championships.
Personally, I would rank this season far below the ones we evoked earlier. Doherty won events that were clearly the top 3 in his time, and after 2 DC victories by the Americans, clearly took charge and showed who was the #1 player. Wilding won Wimbledon, that was still the World Championship at the time, but the WHCC was just in its second year (and the first one with a good field); his other wins were in good, but not top-notch, tournaments.

I agree and have usually considered Doherty's year more impressive than Wilding's, for the same reasons you've stated. What does seem special about Wilding's achievement is that he could claim to be "world champion" on three different surfaces (grass, clay, and wood). Here's an old question that's still bothering me. Prior to the WHCC (and besides the Olympics), were any continental clay events really considered as an international "championship," above the others? I know you highly value some of the early Monte Carlo wins, but do you think it's fair to put these on the same footing as the later WHCC titles? (And do you think Monte Carlo was more important than, say, the South of France tournament, also dominated by the Dohertys?) I really do not know the answer to this and would love to hear your thoughts.

BTW, I was reading The Tennis Set (1972), by Rex Bellamy, and thought you might be interested in his appraisal of the major tournaments in the late 1960s and early '70s. Wimbledon is clearly acknowledged as the most prestigious event (he quotes Laver saying so, as well), and he picks Roland Garros as the second most important title (and also the author's personal favorite venue). The US Open comes in third--he does not put it on par with Wimbledon or France--followed by a toss up between Italy and South Africa. So the Australian Open is accorded no higher than sixth place, despite its traditional designation as one of the four "Grand Slam" tournaments (presumably the German Championships would be seventh).

jeffreyneave
05-03-2008, 06:24 AM
there's no doubt simplification has its points, but frankly in choosing the goat
complication and detail is required. Raymond lee's list had lots of categories ,but still missed out on what i regard as the most important category : world rankings. Being world no1 is the ultimate goal. Samparas made great efforts to be ranked 6 years in a row as world no1. the point about a world ranking is that it is a summation of all factors : majors , tournament wins, win/loss %, head to head results. being the best is not just winning the majors. Rosewall has clearly won the most majors (however defined), but as lee's analysis shows its not enough to make you the GOAT.


As to bellamy I know he likes the French ( he loved clay court tennis and players like santana and pierangeli). however, being london based he never went to the Aussie open and not always the US open. ( he always went to the contential big three). In the late 60s and early 70s the US open was clearly no2. WCT players boycotted the French in 1970, but they all played the us open in 1970. in 1971 half the wct players played the french, but the best ones did not (including newcombe and okker). both Newcombe and okker played the us open latter in the year, even though they knew the ITF was going to ban them from the start of 1972. In 1972 and 1973 the Us open was the biggest in the world because of absences from wimbledon. Necombe was ranked no1 in the world by some (tingay) in 1973 because it was regarded as far bigger than nastase's win at the french.

I accept there was a sort of big seven at the of 1967, but there order of importance is a matter of personal choice. The convulsions in the early years of open tennis saw loots of changes in the status of events with the wct and the masters rising and the german and South African falling.


jeffrey

chaognosis
05-03-2008, 09:47 AM
Thanks for your comments, Jeffrey. I would be interested if you and Jonathan would be able to pick one tournament per year (beginning in 1900) in each of these three categories:

1) Most important British event
2) Most important American event
3) Most important European (continental) event

... particularly for the most problematic years. I'm curious how much you two would agree on the selections. Most of the time this is probably not so difficult, but I sometimes find it very tricky, as you both seem to agree that the American and continental events would do quite a lot of switching around. Only if you guys have the time and inclination, of course. Thanks!

P.S. I agree with you about the world ranking thing, though the problem there is reaching a consensus on what constitutes a "true" ranking and a "true" World No. 1. You've obviously done as much work in that department as anyone, though, so I would have to bow to your expertise.

SgtJohn
05-03-2008, 03:59 PM
Here's an old question that's still bothering me. Prior to the WHCC (and besides the Olympics), were any continental clay events really considered as an international "championship," above the others? I know you highly value some of the early Monte Carlo wins, but do you think it's fair to put these on the same footing as the later WHCC titles? (And do you think Monte Carlo was more important than, say, the South of France tournament, also dominated by the Dohertys?) I really do not know the answer to this and would love to hear your thoughts.


It's true I did give a special value to Monte-Carlo tournaments when I tried to build a list featuring at least one clay event per year. Now I would judge it excessive, so the answer is no. The main clay circuit of the time was centered on the Riviera, and included a handful of tournaments: Monte-Carlo, "South of France" in Nice, "Riviera" in Menton, and several events in hotels in Cannes. It's very hard to compare these tournaments, due to the lack of informations...I have lists of winners, but no ideas about the fields, though knowing who were the runner-ups for most years at MC did incline me to consider it the most significant event. One of the very few newspaper items about clay tennis from the 1900s that I could read seemed to state that Nice, Menton and Monte-Carlo were the top 3 tournaments...

I mentioned the Riviera circuit, but let us not forget the german clay circuit. Beginning in 1896, the Homburg Cup and the German Championships were held on clay in August. In the years when the Championships of Europe were on this surface, it seems to have been significant too...

SgtJohn
05-03-2008, 04:53 PM
Thanks for your comments, Jeffrey. I would be interested if you and Jonathan would be able to pick one tournament per year (beginning in 1900) in each of these three categories:

1) Most important British event
2) Most important American event
3) Most important European (continental) event



I voluntarily exclude Davis Cup from the lists, as it doesn't fall in any of these categories, even if it usually took place in one of these areas...
Naturally, I will also exclude the War years for the European lists.

I told before that geographical diversity wasn't a problem as any list had a tendency to 'self-regulate' in this regard, as long as we select the best events. So that everybod can decide if I overstated it or not, I will put a * whenever a tournament I evoke here (that is the best of its geographical area) was not one of my 'Majors' for the considered year...[Keep in mind that, under the new "fractional" system, I might have chosen more than 4 majors a year, otherwise you'd be surprised by some choices...]

1)Great Britain

1900-1914: Wimbledon
1919-1938: Wimbledon (Wembley in 1934-5 would be a strong contender too)
1939: Wembley Round Robin
1946: Wimbledon* (many good pro events, but all of them in the US)
1947-1948: Wimbledon
1949: Scarborough Pro
1950: Wimbledon* or Wembley* (no good event in the UK that year, both the amateur and pro top UK tournament had weak fields)
1951-1953: Wembley
1954: Wimbledon*
1955: Wimbledon (like in '54, but this time it is one of the year's majors, as the pro circuit was very small)
1956-1966: Wembley
1967: Wimbledon Pro
1968-2008: Wimbledon

2)U.S.A.

1900-1933: US Championships
1934: US Pro (with Vines, Richards, Kozeluh and Nusslein, the best pre-War US Pro, by far)
1935-1938: US Championships
1939-1940: US Pro
1941: Forest Hills Pro
1942: US Pro
1943-1944: US Championships
1945: US Pro Hardcourt
1946-1952: US Pro
1953: NY Pro Indoor or the Chicago Pro
1954: US Pro
1955: US Pro Hardcourt
1956-1959: Tournament of Champions (L.A., then Forest Hills)
1960: Santa Barbara/San Francisco/L.A. Pro *
1961: Forest Hills* (none of the top Australian pros seemed to go to the US that year)
1962: Forest Hills (same reason, but with Laver and Emerson near their prime, I consider it a major that year)
1963-1967: US Pro
1968-2008: US Open (the WCT Finals '72 is a contender though).

3) Continental Europe

1900: Paris Olympics
1901-1911:[one of the clay events I mentioned in my previous post...as I said it's virtually impossible to decide between them]*
1912: Stockholm Olympics
1913-1914: WHCC
1919: same as 1901-1911, as there was no WHCC*
1920-1923: WHCC
1924: Paris Olympics
1925-1936: Roland Garros
1937-1938: Roland Garros or French Pro* (none of them are majors for these years...frankly I would have to get my books to decide which one was the best)
1939: French Pro
1946-1949: [Roland Garros???]* (not a single good pro event in continental Europe...I don't have the complete results of Rome, Hamburg, etc. for these years, so I can only assume that RG was the best)
1950: Paris Pro Indoors
1951-1952: Roland Garros* (there were good Berlin Pro events, but I give the edge to the Drobny-Sedgman-McGregor era amateurs)
1953: Paris Pro
1954-1955: Roland Garros*
1956: French Pro
1957: Pro Team Cup in Vittel*
1958-1968: French Pro (RG'68 was prestigious but a bit depleted, so I give a tiny edge to the pro event)
1969: Roland Garros
1970: Barcelone or Hamburg*
1971: Italian Open
1972: Masters
1973-1974: Roland Garros
1975: Masters
1976-2008: Roland Garros


Jonathan

chaognosis
05-03-2008, 05:00 PM
Thanks so much, Jonathan. I appreciate your help with this, knowing that these are my parameters and not yours.

jeffreyneave
05-04-2008, 09:09 AM
looking at jonathan 's list, I bow to his superior knowledge of pre 1930 tennis.

I have very few changes to add.

GB

1950 Wimbledon (wembly was very weak)
1973 dewar cup (nastase, connors , borg, ashe, okker,cox, orantes gorman)


Us

1960 rosewall,gonzales , segura ,olmedo tour played mainly in us

1971 Washington star 8/10 (including laver/rosewalll) compared to forest hills with 7/10

Contential europe

1957 i feel it should be the Aussie pro even if it breaks your rules because no major pro event in europe

1970 paris indoors , although not on clay hurts its chances
1972 Roland garros same fiield as masters but on clay and 5 sets


jeffrey

jeffreyneave
05-05-2008, 09:57 AM
I had another think and read of bowers

In 1931 Tilden's level was decribed as far superior to cochet (possibly the best amateur accorging to the daily telegraph)

On that basis I would choose the US pro of 19312, the srongest pro event of the yearl.


In 1932 and 1933 cochet was still at the top of the european clay court game.he was soundly beaten by Tilden when he turned pro in late 1933.

I would choose the World pro hardcourt championship in berlin for 1932 and 1933, which was on clay and was the only event to attract all the best pros in those years.

In 1934, Von gram emerged as the leading amateur clay court player for the mid 1930s winning the French. Interestingly, he played Tilden and Nuseelin on clay in pro/amateur challenges. He was well beaten by Tilden but did manage to beat Nusellin; slightly suprising as by 1934 Nusellin tended to beat Tilden. Althogh in 1934 Tilden did win the French pro on clay to show his prowess on the surface. The re****s of 1934 easily confirm that Vines was ahead of these two closest challenges to the title of pro king. Consequently I would choose the Wembly pro for 1934, as it had the strongest field for that year.

In 1935 I would choose the French pro on clay, where Vines came thru field that included Nusellin and tilden. A reflection I feel that pros have the measure of the amateurs on clay.

In 1936 with the emergence Of Budge as a major force, I would suggest the amateur game was probably stronger and would let Von cram and perry keeep their titles. In 1937 with perry turning pro, still ranked ahead of budge at the end of 1936, I would choose the Vines perry tour of the US to reflect the equal status of the two fields. Budge obviously was still in improving in 1937. In 1938 I would let budge keep his titles based on the fact that he beat Vines 21-18 and perry 29-8 in 1939. Althogh I suspect Budge given his performances In 1939 was not worth a Grand slam . I feel having read decription of the matches that on a fast surface, that Vines if playing well would beat budge. Budge was more consistent and looking at his stats made more or less no unforced errors on his groundshots (like Agassi). However, Vines could hit a lot more winners; In a long matgh over 50 placements. He also served 32 aces in one 3 set match. For a head to head 21-18 is very close.


About 1971, the Washigton star had the best field (15 of the top 17), But Rosewall obviously regarede the WCT finals as the big one above US open and regarded the Washigton event (which he won) as just another good event. ITF players would regard the Usopen as best. Which one to choose would depend on who you regarded as the better player in 1971; Smith or Rosewall.

jeffrey

chaognosis
05-05-2008, 10:43 AM
Thanks, Jeffrey. I really appreciate your input.

Q&M son
05-06-2008, 03:26 AM
Joanthan and jeffrey, awesome!
Thanks both!

Lucio.

SgtJohn
05-06-2008, 08:03 AM
Hi Jeffrey,

About Wimbledon 1973, you are of course right, I wrote Wimbledon 1968-2008, forgetting the only very depleted year in the event's history...

Regarding the 30s, I tend to be a bit suspicious about the level of the pro game. I don't see how a 38-years-old Tilden could improve in just a year when he was soundly beaten by younger guys just some months before. Journalists were impressed by his style and power, that's a fact, but don't you think the combination of a weaker field, very fast surfaces and less pressure, helped. That's my opinion, I wasn't there and have just seen snippets of matches from this era so I admit it's very hard to judge...

Washington might have had a stronger field, but it lacks prestige a little. As for the WCT Finals vs the US Open, I would give a slight edge to the US Open because WCT players took part in it, though 'ITF' players were not allowed in WCT events...

jeffreyneave
05-07-2008, 07:57 AM
tilden won wimbledon and was ranked probably no2 behind cochet in 1930. The
point about the amateurs is that they got worse ; the two finalists at wimbedon were very ordinary players. Cochet declined as a player; the observation of the people who saw tilden in paris was that he was playing the better tennis. Obviously this is all subjective, but cochet was still a force in amateur clay court tennis in 1932/3 and was well beaten by tilden (8 years older) when they met in 1933. Nusellin is obviously a very fine player who completly dominated cochet throughout the 30s and overtook tilden around 1932. I see the pros as fairly strong and certainly worthy of at least one title out of 3 betwen 1931-3. After Vines turned pro I would regard the pros as just as strong as the amateurs in 1934-5. I regard Vines as a better player than perry. The head to head is clearly in Vines' favour.

Does anybody have detailed results of 1931 beyond the majors to determine who was the best ameteur of 1931 ?


As to 1971, laver, rosewall , drsydale , emerson and gimeno all boycotted the us open. top WCT players definitely felt thaqt Dallas was the big event.

jeffrey

urban
05-07-2008, 08:14 AM
I agree with Jeffrey about 1931, which was a sort of transitional year and is difficult to judge. Vines and Perry were just coming up, while the musketeers were just fading away. Cochet was ranked Nr.1 amateur by Myers mainly for his Davis Cup results on his favorite surface. Regarding the later part of the year, one could rank Vines the Nr. 1 amateur, because he came out strong at the US. Wood won Wimbledon, after Shields, who was seldom sober, fell in his semi and was put on the sidelines for the final by his Davis Cup captain, who wanted to save him for the Paris tie.

AndrewTas
05-07-2008, 11:29 PM
Does anybody have detailed results of 1931 beyond the majors to determine who was the best ameteur of 1931 ?
jeffrey

Jeffrey this is the tournament finals for 1931. Hope you can read it properly.

Part 1
Start Date/ End Date/ City/ Tournament/ Winner/ Loser/ Score

301229 310104 Cannes Beausite I Rogers Aeschliman 86 61 36 75
310100 310100 Geneva Swiss Covered Courts Brugnon Gentien 16 62 57 62 75
310100 310100 Roubaix Boussus Feret 64 16 63 64
310105 310111 Cannes Metropole Rogers Feret 810 75 46 64 62
310112 310112 San Remo Italian Riviera Champs Lesueur Berthet 86 75 16 36 62
310119 310125 Cannes New Courts Rogers Berthet 60 64 64
310120 310125 Montreal Canadian Covered Lott van Ryn 62 57 75 16 63
310125 310202 Paris FRA French Covered Courts Borotra Lesueur 63 119 57 64
310126 310201 Cannes Gallia Brugnon Rogers 68 60 64 46 60
310202 310202 Bremen German Covered Landry Ulrich 63 26 63
310208 310213 Cairo Egyptian Championships Garangiotis Campbell 62 36 75
310209 310215 Nice South of France Rogers Boussus 46 06 64 64 60
310215 310215 Heights Casino Brooklyn Heights Casino Indoor van Ryn Shields 62 26 26 60 61
310216 310222 Beaulieu Rogers du Plaix 61 108 36 57 63
310219 310219 Monaco Monegasque Champs Maier von Artens 62 57 61 63
310222 310222 Punta Gorda FL South Florida Champs Hall JG Vollmer
310223 310228 Hamilton Bermuda Champs Doeg Berkeley Bell 64 26 61 06 63
310223 310301 Monte Carlo Monte Carlo Cup Cochet Rogers 75 62 64
310223 310303 Miami Beach FL Pan American Tournament Lott van Ryn 62 16 62 64
310227 310307 London UK London Covered Courts Aoki Miki 63 75 64
310227 310309 Sydney AUS AUSTRALIAN OPEN Crawford Hopman 64 62 26 61
310300 310300 Cannes Carlton Rogers Hecht 63 63 62
310300 310300 Dubbo NSW New South Wales Hard Courts Hopman
310300 310300 Adelaide South Australian Hopman
310300 310300 Geneva Spring Meeting Gentien Martin Legeay 75 119 46 61
310302 310307 Palm Beach FL Florida Championships Hall JG Neer 62 63 26 61
310302 310308 Menton Riviera Champs von Kehrling Garcia 62 63 61
310307 310312 Bordighera Rogers von Kehrling 16 64 86 64
310308 310314 Ormond Beach Florida East Coast Championships Hall JG Rainville 63 64 911 64
310309 310315 Nice II Meeting Aslungul Aeschliman 06 26 63 63 62
310314 310321 New York NY US Indoors Borotra Berkeley Bell 61 36 64 36 64
310316 310321 St Augustine FL Southeastern Championships Neer Rainville 62 61 75
310316 310322 Cannes Cote D'Azur Rogers Aeschliman 16 62 46 61 97
310323 310329 Cannes Championships of Cannes Satoh H Rogers 36 64 61 86
310327 310404 Honolulu Mid-Pacific Championships Allison Hall JG 64 62 62
310328 310406 Johannesburg South African National Raymond L Bertram 63 46 64 62
310330 310404 Paddington Hard Courts Perry Miki 63 60
310330 310405 St Raphael Satoh H Haensch 63 86 64
310330 310405 New Orleans Lott Sutter 64 62 46 16 64
310400 310400 Copenhagen Danish Covered Court Cochet Ulrich 26 60 64 86
310403 310403 Birmingham Tally Ho Hard Courts Miki Frowen 63 63
310403 310407 Perth AUS Western Australian Hopman Schlesinger 64 64 57 62
310406 310412 Houston River Oaks Vines Barnes 63 64 108
310408 310408 London UK Queens Club Hard Courts Austin Perry 36 46 86 61 75
310413 310413 Melbury Hard Courts Aoki Olliff 36 61 63
310413 310413 Roehampton Hard Courts Hughes Tuckey 64 75
310413 310413 Juan-les-Pins Satoh H Satoh J 63 62 57 36 63
310418 310418 Monte Carlo 2nd Meeting Satoh J Bernard 64 62 62
310418 310418 Pinehurst NC North & South Tournament van Ryn Sutter 75 63 61
310420 310420 Athens Greek Championships von Cramm Berthet 36 26 60 62 63
310420 310420 South Croydon Hard Courts Lee Miki 64 61
310420 310425 White Sulphur Springs Mason & Dixon Sutter Lott 75 26 61 36 64
310420 310426 Beaulieu 2nd Meeting Lesueur Law 64 75 63
310427 310427 Bournemouth UK British HC Boussus Hughes 86 64 46 62
310500 310500 Barcelona Spanish Championships Maier Alonso 64 57 79 62 61
310503 310510 Vienna AUT Austrian Championships Cochet Menzel 46 61 61 64
310505 310512 Milan Italian Championships Hughes Cochet 64 63 62
310509 310509 Briarcliff Manor NY Westchester Club Partridge Tarangioli 79 60 61 62
310511 310511 West Kensington Hard Courts Lee Aoki 64 46 75
310516 310516 Richmond VA Old Dominion Seligson Bowman
310517 310531 Paris FRA FRENCH OPEN Borotra Boussus 26 64 75 64
310518 310518 University Heights North Side Tournament Lang Berkeley Bell 46 63 79 62 64
310518 310523 Surbiton Surrey Championships Lee Aoki divided
310522 310522 Priory Birmingham/ Egbaston Lee Lester 36 63 63
310523 310525 Manchester Northern Olliff Sharpe 63 36 79 63 ret
310525 310525 New York NY Amackassin Club Partridge McCauliff 57 62 61 64
310525 310525 New York NY Bronxville Seligson Onda 62 75 62
310525 310525 Chiswick Park Middlesex Championships Avory Powell 64 63
310526 310601 South Orange NJ Orange Club Doeg Berkeley Bell
310600 310600 St Georges Hill Weybridge Miki Lee HG 63 63
310601 310601 Liverpool Northern Sharpe Olliff divided
310602 310602 Berlin Menzel Prenn 64 62 61
310606 310606 Edgbaston UK Midland Counties Championships Satoh J David 75 64
310606 310606 Hartford New England Champs Jacobs Gilpin
310608 310608 New York NY Brooklyn Net Burns Kynaston 68 63 63 63
310608 310608 Beckenham UK Kent Championships Gregory Olliff 36 63 79 63 60
310608 310608 Bristol UK West of England Champs Rogers Sharpe 62 61 75
310613 310613 Baltimore Maryland State Berkeley Bell Jacobs
310613 310613 Philadelphia Middle States Gilpin Lavine 61 97 68 46 60
310614 310614 New York NY Metropolitan Clay Court Bowman Partridge 75 36 86 57 62
310615 310615 London UK London Queens GC Olliff Avory 36 64 62
310615 310615 Los Angeles CA Southern California Vines Chandler 64 68 86 64
310615 310615 Cincinnati Tri-State Sutter Barnes 63 63 26 63
310616 310621 Chicago Western Championships Coggeshall Rainville
310620 310620 Wilmington Delaware State Allison Berkeley Bell 26 62 63 62
310621 310621 New York NY Greater New York Champs (Staten Island) Kurzrok Bowden
310628 310628 New York NY Southern New York Clay Berkeley Bell Kynaston 61 75 26 1315 60
310628 310628 Memphis Southern Tri-State Sutter Cram D
310628 310628 Quebec City Wright Rainville
310629 310705 St Louis US Clay Court Vines Glenhill 63 63 63

AndrewTas
05-07-2008, 11:30 PM
Start Date/ End Date/ City/ Tournament/ Winner/ Loser/ Score

310700 310700 Sheffield & Hallamshire Satoh J Miki divided
310701 310701 Newport UK Welsh Open Satoh J Williams DH 64 62 61
310705 310705 Glen Cove Nassau Bowl Coen Junior Fiebleman 63 75 64
310705 310705 Montclair NY New Jersey State Murphy R Jones DN 97 75 36 36 86
310706 310706 Felixstowe East of England Matejka Scroope 62 63
310707 310712 Noordwijk Dutch Championships Kuhlmann Kawachi 810 62 75 63
310707 310712 Providence Rhode Island State Glenhill Vines 75 63 60
310711 310711 Schenectady New York State Murphy R McCauliff 57 61 64 16 63
310711 310711 Birmingham Southern Championships Cram D Wright L 75 62 62
310712 310712 Chicago Illinois State Barnes Burwell
310713 310713 Frinton-on-Sea Malfroy Wilde FHD 63 62 86
310713 310718 Brookline MA Longwood Bowl Vines Doeg 46 63 63 36 63
310713 310718 Peebles UK Scottish Championships Kirby Farquharson 62 1311
310719 310719 New York NY Richmond County Clay Court Taylor E Buxby 62 64
310720 310720 Dublin IRL Irish Championships McGuire Cronin 62 62 63
310725 310725 Ocean City Atlantic Coast Invitational Barnes MacGuffin 61 60 63
310727 310727 Vancouver Canadian Champs Wright Nunns 63 64 62
310727 310727 Tunbridge Wells Satoh J Kirby 86 16 60
310727 310802 Seabright Seabright Invitational Vines Doeg 1012 68 63 86 61
310800 310800 Homburg Menzel Kuhlmann 61 61 46 60
310801 310801 Westfield NJ North Jersey Coast Bowden Buxby
310801 310801 Hot Springs VA Virginia State Hess Mulheisen 61 63 64
310802 310809 Hamburg German Championships Menzel Jaenecke 62 62 61
310803 310803 Bournemouth UK Hampshire Championships Satoh J Kirby 36 97 75
310803 310803 Saxmundham Suffolk Championships Latchford Cazalet 75 36 62
310803 310808 Southampton NY Meadow Club Lott Sutter 63 36 26 63 61
310803 310809 New York NY Eastern Clay Court Gilpin De Mott 75 62 61
310803 310809 Le Touquet Bernard Boussus 86 62 64
310808 310808 Rye Eastern Grass Perry Hall 63 62 64
310810 310810 Buxton Derbyshire Championships Kirby Wilde 62 63
310810 310816 Portland MA Maine State Championships Shields Rockafellow 62 61 61
310810 310816 Cannes New Courts Summer du Plaix Gallepe 64 06 62 61
310810 310816 Dinard Merlin Gentien 61 62 108
310817 310817 Scarborough North of England Kirby Chamberlain 63 63
310817 310817 Bognor West Sussex Championships de St. Croix Horton 62 64
310817 310817 Torquay Satoh J Campbell 60 62
310817 310823 Newport Newport Casino Vines Perry 62 64 68 62
310824 310824 Hastings Satoh J Wackett 61 86
310824 310824 Southampton NY Kirby Fussell 64 64
310831 310831 Folkestone Cinque Ports Championships Satoh J Kirby 62 86
310900 310900 Le Touquet 2nd Meeting Feret Rogers 75 97 911 75
310900 310900 Merano ITA Dolomites Menzel Haensch 62 61 60
310900 310900 Warsaw Polish Championships Berthet Tloczynski 46 63 64 911 97
310900 310900 Bucharest Roumania Championships Malacek von Kehrling 06 86 26 75 ret
310900 310900 Zurich Brugnon Gentien 75 63 63
310901 310908 Budapest Hungarian Championships von Kehrling Satoh H 63 62 57 62
310905 310912 New York NY US Championships Vines Lott 79 63 97 75
310907 310907 Eastbourne UK South of England Satoh J Kirby 64 63
310908 310915 Prague Czechoslovakian Satoh J Kawachi 57 63 61 61
310914 310919 Cumberland Club Hard Courts Satoh J Avory 64 63
310914 310920 Montreux Swiss Champs de Stefani Sertorio 61 62 63
310918 310927 Los Angeles CA Pacific SW Vines Perry 810 63 46 75 62
310921 310926 Roehampton Spring Meeting Satoh J Lester 64 62
310926 311004 Berkeley CA Pacific Coast Championships Vines Perry 63 2119 60
310928 311003 Ealing Hard Courts Satoh J Williams DH 63 64
311000 311000 Paris FRA Poree Cup Feret Merlin 63 61 26 46 64
311000 311000 Brisbane Queensland Champs Crawford Hopman 63 64 75
311002 311002 White Sulphur Springs Greenbrier Autumn Hall JG Griffin 60 61 62
311008 311008 Hot Springs VA Hot Springs Fall Hall JG Brunie 64 64 64
311012 311012 London UK Covered Court Championships Borotra Satoh J 108 63 06 63
311012 311012 Santa Barbara CA Glenhill Vines 36 61 60
311100 311100 Sydney AUS New South Wales Champs Crawford Hopman 36 63 64 64
311102 311102 Cromer Perry Olliff 62 62
311109 311109 Buenos Aires Argentine Championships Boyd R de Castillo 119 64 62
311200 311200 Paris FRA Paris TCP Borotra du Buzelet 36 61 108 61
311204 311212 Melbourne Victorian Crawford Hopman 75 06 63 64
311227 320103 Paris FRA Coupe de Noel Perry Borotra 36 75 61 64
311228 320102 Cannes Beausite I Rogers Worm 61 62 119

urban
05-08-2008, 04:41 AM
Fine list Andrew Tas. Seems, that Vines indeed was Nr. 1 amateur of 1931.

jeffreyneave
05-08-2008, 11:22 AM
Thank you andrew for this very unique information

With 8 wins besides his Us open win, Vines clearly seems to be the best player. He importantly beat perry in number of finals; perry seems to be the only major player to play in Europe and the US.
.
Cochet and borotra seem to have only recorded 3 and 4 wins repectively beside their major triumphs. Wood seems to have done very little besides his win at wimbledon

jeffrey

Tennis old man
05-13-2008, 08:18 AM
Similar thread, look:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=167553

Carlo Giovanni Colussi
05-13-2008, 10:33 PM
I don't think you are Carlo Colussi, I know him. You maybe... fake!

Hello. My full name is Carlo Giovanni Colussi and I'm the person who mainly wrote the "Ken Rosewall", "Tennis male players statistics" articles in the English (and French) version of Wikipedia and contributed to others articles such as "World number one ...". I'm French and I'm living near Paris and I'm 45. My user name on Wikipedia will stay "Carlo Colussi" but I have to use another username to enter this forum because, as you can see, someone else has used this username before (perhaps it is his true name too). I don't think I will have time to discuss much on that forum but I've registered in order to make clear my identity. Hello to all the persons I know (some have different usernames on both sites but I think I recognize them).

Just a point about 1931 : that year Perry was sent by his Federation into the States and there Vines beat the Englishman 4 times out of 4. Cochet didn't go to the USA because he was shocked by the Forest Hills organization in 1928 and at the time he decided that he would not come back to the States (but he did in 1932). Remember also that in 1928 Tilden couldn't play the US because he was suspended by the USLTA for the Wimbledon articles. Vines was probably the best amateur in 1931. Cochet was ill that year : he won an ordinary tournament and Monte Carlo. Then when he entered the Italian he was already ill and lost in the final easily. He didn't enter Roland and played Wimbledon always ill (and lost in the 1st round). Then all the French feared to lost the Davis Cup. Cochet played it in late July, beat both Austin and Perry and virtually ended his season.

Q&M son
05-14-2008, 03:50 AM
Hello. My full name is Carlo Giovanni Colussi and I'm the person who mainly wrote the "Ken Rosewall", "Tennis male players statistics" articles in the English (and French) version of Wikipedia and contributed to others articles such as "World number one ...". I'm French and I'm living near Paris and I'm 45. My user name on Wikipedia will stay "Carlo Colussi" but I have to use another username to enter this forum because, as you can see, someone else has used this username before (perhaps it is his true name too). I don't think I will have time to discuss much on that forum but I've registered in order to make clear my identity. Hello to all the persons I know (some have different usernames on both sites but I think I recognize them).

Just a point about 1931 : that year Perry was sent by his Federation into the States and there Vines beat the Englishman 4 times out of 4. Cochet didn't go to the USA because he was shocked by the Forest Hills organization in 1928 and at the time he decided that he would not come back to the States (but he did in 1932). Remember also that in 1928 Tilden couldn't play the US because he was suspended by the USLTA for the Wimbledon articles. Vines was probably the best amateur in 1931. Cochet was ill that year : he won an ordinary tournament and Monte Carlo. Then when he entered the Italian he was already ill and lost in the final easily. He didn't enter Roland and played Wimbledon always ill (and lost in the 1st round). Then all the French feared to lost the Davis Cup. Cochet played it in late July, beat both Austin and Perry and virtually ended his season.

Carlo, maybe is a real name, but according to his post it's a kid ("9 years old", by his comments, mmmmmmmmmmmmm) that enters sometimes to Juniors Page.
Thanks for coming here.
I hope you add your thoughts to this forums.
Thanks.

Lucio.

WELCOME!!!!!

Q&M son
09-09-2008, 10:52 AM
1)Great Britain

1900-1914: Wimbledon
1919-1938: Wimbledon (Wembley in 1934-5 would be a strong contender too)
1939: Wembley Round Robin
1946: Wimbledon* (many good pro events, but all of them in the US)
1947-1948: Wimbledon
1949: Scarborough Pro
1950: Wimbledon* or Wembley* (no good event in the UK that year, both the amateur and pro top UK tournament had weak fields)
1951-1953: Wembley
1954: Wimbledon*
1955: Wimbledon (like in '54, but this time it is one of the year's majors, as the pro circuit was very small)
1956-1966: Wembley
1967: Wimbledon Pro
1968-2008: Wimbledon

2)U.S.A.

1900-1933: US Championships
1934: US Pro (with Vines, Richards, Kozeluh and Nusslein, the best pre-War US Pro, by far)
1935-1938: US Championships
1939-1940: US Pro
1941: Forest Hills Pro
1942: US Pro
1943-1944: US Championships
1945: US Pro Hardcourt
1946-1952: US Pro
1953: NY Pro Indoor or the Chicago Pro
1954: US Pro
1955: US Pro Hardcourt
1956-1959: Tournament of Champions (L.A., then Forest Hills)
1960: Santa Barbara/San Francisco/L.A. Pro *
1961: Forest Hills* (none of the top Australian pros seemed to go to the US that year)
1962: Forest Hills (same reason, but with Laver and Emerson near their prime, I consider it a major that year)
1963-1967: US Pro
1968-2008: US Open (the WCT Finals '72 is a contender though).

3) Continental Europe

1900: Paris Olympics
1901-1911:[one of the clay events I mentioned in my previous post...as I said it's virtually impossible to decide between them]*
1912: Stockholm Olympics
1913-1914: WHCC
1919: same as 1901-1911, as there was no WHCC*
1920-1923: WHCC
1924: Paris Olympics
1925-1936: Roland Garros
1937-1938: Roland Garros or French Pro* (none of them are majors for these years...frankly I would have to get my books to decide which one was the best)
1939: French Pro
1946-1949: [Roland Garros???]* (not a single good pro event in continental Europe...I don't have the complete results of Rome, Hamburg, etc. for these years, so I can only assume that RG was the best)
1950: Paris Pro Indoors
1951-1952: Roland Garros* (there were good Berlin Pro events, but I give the edge to the Drobny-Sedgman-McGregor era amateurs)
1953: Paris Pro
1954-1955: Roland Garros*
1956: French Pro
1957: Pro Team Cup in Vittel*
1958-1968: French Pro (RG'68 was prestigious but a bit depleted, so I give a tiny edge to the pro event)
1969: Roland Garros
1970: Barcelone or Hamburg*
1971: Italian Open
1972: Masters
1973-1974: Roland Garros
1975: Masters
1976-2008: Roland Garros


Jonathan

Great list, thank you

Carlo Giovanni Colussi
10-09-2008, 07:29 AM
[QUOTE=chaognosis;2298451]In my opinion, the comparison of players across different eras is made a lot easier if we focus on three "major" events per year, rather than four...

Hello,
I will answer you (and SgtJohn) about some points you have discussed in different quotes.
Firstly I don't agree to choose a permanent list to designate the greatest events. Tennis has a history so chaotic compared with almost any other sport. For a century the best players couldn't compete with each other so tradition doesn't mean much in tennis. Tradition has a true meaning since the Australian became a true Slam event that is between 1983 (Mc, Lendl, Mats entering the event) and 1995 (when Agassi played there for the first time). You perfectly know that before those years the 4 Slam events weren't the 4 greatest events of each year. Though many claimed that such or such event was the greatest one it was the truth. Look at every article since the early 1900s when Wimbledon was considered as the World Chp though many players couldn't enter. In 1906 Wimbledon was already labelled as the World Champ (see Spalding's 1907) though no Australasian or American player came. That year Brookes was possibly the best though he didn't quit Australia. Hugh Lawrence Doherty won Wimby but Brookes didn't came. Wilding who played all the English season and in the fall (spring) lost 60 64 97 to Brookes at the Victorian claimed that if Brookes played at Wimbledon 1907 as well as in the 1906 Victorian Chp no European (including the Dohertys) could prevent the Melburnian to win the title (it indeed occurred as Wilding forecasted but Brookes was helped by the Dohertys' virtual retirements (to obey their mother). Other thing : the great events have changed in the course of tennis history. In the 1890's the Irish Chp was considered as at least as great as Wimby. The Northern England Chp was also a great event and the England-Ireland team match (the ancestor of the UK-US team event later called the Davis Cup) too. In the 20's the Davis Cup was the greatest event by far : Tilden's first goal was to win the Davis Cup (then the US amateur) and Musketeers' graal too. Lacoste beat Tilden in 1926 in the Davis Cup (and also in the US-France indoor meeting earlier in the year) and though it was a countless match was then considered by many as the #1. Idem in 1930 when Cochet beat Tilden in the DC challenge round at Roland and so on ... Sure McCauley choose in the annexes of his book to list the winners of the "supposed great 3 pro events" but it is clear that in the text part he contradicted this assessment : in particular he granted great prestige to the Forest Hills Pro tournament in the late 50's and to Wimby pro 1967.
Because players had been prevented for many reasons (geographic remoteness, financial reasons, complete dependance to their federation(s) or pro promoters, ...) to play any event they wanted it is unfair to claim that the supposed traditional events were the most important ones. There are innumerable examples. Before WWII, most of the players couldn't quit their continent and even after they had financial constraints and had to obey at 100% to their boss (federations or promoters). Why Drobny didn't play Forest Hills in 1946 and since 1951 ? Simply because the USLTA didn't give a damn to European players and let them easily come into the US, Drobny went from 1947 to 1950 because in particular his friend, Ladislav Hecht (a Czech who had fleed his native country, because he was a Jew under Hitler era, to live in New York) gave him financial support. But in the early 1950 he couldn't cross the Atlantic (and besides couldn't play the Davis Cup because he had quit Czechoslovakia) and therefore he was penalized in the amateur rankings.
Bromwich was not allowed to play Wimbledon 3 years in a row (38-39-46) because Brookes wanted his country to capture again the Cup. The list is so long that one could write a book to explain that the supposed major events were not in reality so great.
Secondly as SgtJohn, you underrate very much Vines (in particular in your comparison with Perry). In the amateurs years he was always superior to the Britton except in 1933. In 31 Vines won 9 amateur tournaments including the US, he beat Perry 4 times out of 4 if I believe American Lawn Tennis (but somewhere I've read that Perry won once). In 32 he won two Slam tourneys (but didn't meet Perry along the year). In 1933 Perry was better but in their single meeting if Vines hadn't injured himself he could have won their Cup meeting. One of the reason why Vines's season wasn't very good was that he got Down Under in the 1932-1933 summer season. He tried to play at his best in all the Australasian matches and arrived completely exhausted to play the Australian in January and that tiredness continued through the rest of the season. When Borotra made his South hemisphere tour in 1927-1928 (South America, Australasia, South Africa) he was wholly exhausted when he came back to Europe in May 1928 and didn't do well at the first ever Roland and at Wimby. But when Budge was invited by Brookes in 1937-1938, Budge didn't make the same mistake as Vines. Budge concentrated on the Victorian Chp (November 37) and the Australian (January 38 ) and neglected all the other Australasian matches (except perhaps the Germany-Australia-USA tri-state event match against von Cramm on January 9 at Kooyong). In Davis Cup, Vines's record wasn't so bad (except his defeat to Borotra) : in particular he beat a young von Cramm on clay and Cochet on the same surface.
From 1934 to 1935 in the pro ranks Vines won many tournaments and tours including on clay (1935 French Pro) and though he didn't play any tournament from 36 to 38 (except perhaps Wembley 36 : though Tingay had this tournament in his records, Bowers is adamant that this event never occured), Vines was pretty good those years and dominated Perry in the indoor tours. And even in the November 1939 Caribbean tour when most of the matches were held outdoors, Vines-Perry win-loss record was 4-4.
I think that if Vines had won the 1933 Wimbledon final he would be now considered as one of the best ever. But almost no one take into account his great pro feats. Though he wasn't the greatest claycourters he won the French Pro in 1935 and even in 1939 when he was mentally declining, he did better than Nüsslein in the French Pro though the German was supposed superior on clay. Hans lost easily to Stoefen (a great surprise) whereas Vines beat (difficulty) Stofen in the next round. In the three years when Vines and Perry were separated, Vines was for me at least the equal of Perry (if not superior) in 1934 and 1935. I just give the edge to Perry in 1936 because Vines didn't play for many months in the summer because of his injuries (and the first quality of a sportsman is to be in good health).
Thirdly though I globally agree the choices of the greatest events by Jonathan (SgtJohn's other surname), my three main disagreements are 1) the eviction of some Davis Cup events, 2) the exclusion of many pro tours (in particular those won by Vines), 3) the automatic selection of a clay event in particular in the early 50's when there wasn't a French Pro. About the first and second points you have some glimpses of answer above. About the third one I would say that :
in SgtJohn's (and I guess in yours) opinion, to be fair with modern players (Federer in particular), who have to play a great clay event each year, one would have to choose a clay event in the 50's though there were not very great events on clay those years. Firstly I would say that clay events were not important in those years. In the pro ranks the great events were held on indoor (wood or canvas) courts or grass or cement courts. So why penalize Gonzales in the early 50's because he had no great clay events ? Secondly I would say : if we have to be fair with modern players then we have to be fair with ancient players too. And in this case we have to systematically eliminate a Slam event of today in favour of a truly fast court tourney. I explain myself clearly. Nowadays there is almost no true fast court event. The ITF has tried to classify courts speedness with indexes. Slow surfaces have indexes below 30, mid-slow (or mid-fast as you want) surfaces are between 30 and 38 and fast surfaces are above 38. Garros is a slow court. Melbourne Park (ex-Flinders Park) is about 34 so a mid-slow, mid-fast court. Wimbledon is between ... 30 and 34 if the ITF has to be believed so it is almost a slow surface. Wimbledon's garderer contradicts that assessment. He said that the game was "slowed down" but not the court : in 1995 the new balls were slower and in 2001 the turf was changed because the old one couldn't resist anymore to the "bombs" thrown by the players. A new race of turf was chosen and this new plant produced an odd effect on the ground. This one has become more compact, dense. Therefore the rebound of the ball has become higher, giving extra time for players in particular for the background players. So now the ball goes as fast as before but instead of slipping, gliding or little rebounding now it rebounds at hip level. Because of that (and of the new string equipments as the Luxilon which enables to control better the fast and heavy strokes as services or smashes) now modern players haven't to play serve-and-volley game at Wimbledon). Finally Flushing is between 38-39 so at the limit of the slowest fast courts. In conclusion there are no true fast surfaces used for the Slam tourneys. In the 2000's there isn't any great serve-and-volley player so the modern players aren't so complete as suggested by many. I conclude for the 3rd point :
This is why I don't truly agree with the automatic choice of a clay tournament each year (in particular in the early 50's) among the greatest events.

Carlo Giovanni Colussi
10-09-2008, 07:35 AM
It isn't a reply to my above message but the continuation (originally I wrote more than 10,000 characters) :

Nadal has never won a true major event on fast surface and even Federer isn't so great on truly fast surfaces. Sure the Swiss was very nice with old retired Sampras in the Asian and US exhibitions because in particular he gave some rest to Sampras after hard exchanges but nevertheless when you see all the problems caused to Roger by Pete (virtually retired between the US Open 2002 and the autumn of 2007) because of his science of the fast courts, you can almost be sure that Federer wouldn't have won 5 Wimbledon in a row had he been a contemporary of Sampras in the 90's. Federer has beaten Sampras in 2001 when the conditions had been changed and when Sampras wasn't a Top8 player anymore. I would bet that the best Sampras (for instance in his 1999 final against Agassi) would have beaten the best Federer at Wimbledon in the previous millenium when the rebound was lower. Many praise Federer's backhand when in particular they compare it with Sampras's but if you have seen the Madison Square Garden you can conclude that Sampras's backhand on fast surfaces was not as bad as claimed by so many. He had some backhand winners during that match and Federer couldn't especially attack on that side of the court. All this to say that if slow surfaces were neglected in the first century of the tennis competition, the same is true now in modern days for quick surfaces.

garcia_doomer
10-11-2008, 04:03 AM
yep yep, this is the real Carlo Colussi for sure

timnz
11-11-2008, 04:08 PM
Hello,

Really except for Davis Cup he won every important event (except the US Championships which he never played in in his career - being a Europe based player):

Here are his wins during 1913:

February 24 - March 3 Monte Carlo, Monaco probably Clay

Menton (Riviera), France probably Clay

Menton (Forme-Becharat Cup), France probably Clay

Hard ***** Court Championship of the World-Paris, France Clay Grass Court

Championship of the World-Wimbledon (Challenge Round)**** Grass

Deauville, France probably Clay

September 8, 1913 Le Touquet, France probably Clay

September 15, 1913 Montreux Autumn Meeting, Switzerland probably Clay

September 22, 1913 Montreux Palace Autumn Meeting, Switzerland probably Clay

October 18, 1913 Covered Court Championship of the World-Stockholm probably Wood

Tomaz Bellucci
11-16-2008, 11:36 AM
Hello,

Really except for Davis Cup he won every important event (except the US Championships which he never played in in his career - being a Europe based player):

Here are his wins during 1913:

February 24 - March 3 Monte Carlo, Monaco probably Clay

Menton (Riviera), France probably Clay

Menton (Forme-Becharat Cup), France probably Clay

Hard ***** Court Championship of the World-Paris, France Clay Grass Court

Championship of the World-Wimbledon (Challenge Round)**** Grass

Deauville, France probably Clay

September 8, 1913 Le Touquet, France probably Clay

September 15, 1913 Montreux Autumn Meeting, Switzerland probably Clay

September 22, 1913 Montreux Palace Autumn Meeting, Switzerland probably Clay

October 18, 1913 Covered Court Championship of the World-Stockholm probably Wood

Great add (Tim Martin?), good info :)

urban
11-16-2008, 09:53 PM
One interesting fact i found in the book by Betty Laver: Laver played Rosewall in a doubles in 1955, when he was a 16 year old junior. Together with Max Collins he took a set off Hoad and Rosewall (then 20), not a bad effort regarding the world class status of the Rosewall/Hoad combo in those years.

hoodjem
11-17-2008, 05:05 AM
In any post-match interviews I saw of the two of them, they always seemed like good friends with lots of mutual respect.

Of course, by then, they were the 'ole dogs' of tennis.

Carlo Giovanni Colussi
03-31-2009, 07:38 AM
Great add (Tim Martin?), good info :)

If you want to see all the tournaments won by Wilding see the list which I compiled in the Tony Wilding Wikipedia article (http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Wilding#Titres_en_simple_de_Wilding_.28au_ moins_112.29) from the Len and Shelley Richardson book "ANTHONY WILDING, A Sporting Life, Len and Shelley Richardson, Canterbury University Press, 2005 ISBN 1 877257 01 X" (main source of my work)

In the list I didn't originally count the 1906 Marienbad Cup and the 1907 Wiesbaden Cup because I thought they were the same tournaments as the 1906 Marienbad championship and the 1907 Wiesbaden championship but I was wrong. In fact in those years some events were played simultaneously at the same location. It was the case with the Wiesbaden Cup and the Wiesbaden championship, the former being considered as the most important. And in 1907 Wilding won both the same week.
In conclusion Wilding has won at least 114 titles in his career (I originally wrote 112 titles in the Wikipedia article).

I also didn't count the 1907 Wimbledon Plate because in my opinion it wasn't a true tournament : the losers of the first two rounds of the Wimbledon men singles championship were invited to enter the Plate (I think until the late 1970's or early 1980's). Some other tournaments in the world held sometimes a Plate event too.

pc1
03-31-2009, 08:29 AM
One of the charms that I find about the Laver-Rosewall rivalry is that we all know about many of the great matches they have played but only a few have been on video or seen on television. We all know a few of the matches are the 1970 Sydney Final which I have never seen but people here have said it was an excellent match and of course the 1972 WCT final played toward the end of their careers. For all we know they could have played a hundred matches superior in quality to those two matches.

It is quite possible that Laver and Rosewall are arguably the two greatest player in the history of tennis and yet so many of their matches and results are lost because the old pro tour was not covered well by the media. How many matches could they have played that may have been superior to the so called greatest matches ever that we all talk about like the 1980 Wimbledon final? No one knows for sure.

I understand that the 1964 Wembley Final could have been the greatest of their matches. Joe McCauley in his book called that match a connoisseur's masterpiece and I would think that it was probably a superior match to the 1972 WCT match considering both were close to the peaks of their abilities and each set was close, unlike the 72 match in which Rosewall won the second set 6-0.

I forgot who said it but in describing the Laver-Rosewall matches, one player said "It's not just the shots, but the shots off the shots" or at least something to that effect.

I think a lot of people tend to underestimate Rosewall because some think of him as a small man who was simply a retriever and they also remember late in his career Jimmy Connors defeating him soundly in two majors. Of course to think of Rosewall that way is incorrect. Rosewall could put tremendous pace on the ball and I believe if he played with the rackets of today, he would be considered an exceptional hard hitter. If you combine his great groundies with his super volley you come up with a player who can compare with any great.

hoodjem
03-31-2009, 04:15 PM
The Rosewall backhand was a thing of beauty.

Laver hated it, because to hit it back you had to scoop up the ball off your shoelaces.

Carlo Giovanni Colussi
03-31-2009, 10:29 PM
One of the charms that I find about the Laver-Rosewall rivalry is that we all know about many of the great matches they have played but only a few have been on video or seen on television. ...

Apparently Bud Collins thinks the best Laver-Rosewall match was the 1966 US Pro final. Laver in his book (1971 and 1973 editions) wrote that he played his finest match ever in the 1963 French Pro final though he lost it to Ken. Laver also said in his book that they played some matches in the pre open era superior to their WCT Finals. Ken apparently didn't say anything about that (he just cherishes his WCT Finals wins probably because they were his last great victories).

timnz
04-12-2009, 06:02 PM
[QUOTE=AndrewTas;2290547]Carlo what are the missing results??

Here is an updated List

Laver vs Emerson 47-18
.....
1970 SF ST LOUIS LAVER 46 75 63
1970 F BRETTON WOODS LAVER 63 63
1970 F Fort Worth TX LAVER 63 75
1970 F Vancouver CDA LAVER 62 61 62
1969 ONS BASLE LAVER 63 68 64 36 62
1971 RR Champions Tennis Classic, Philadelphia LAVER 62 63 75
1971 RR Champions Tennis Classic, New Haven LAVER 63 57 63 36 63
1971 SF MIAMI LAVER 26 63 75
1971 QF QUEBEC LAVER 36 76 76
1971 SF FORT WORTH LAVER 61 64
......

Was the Basle Victory in 1969, 1970 or 1971 ? It says 1969 but it is between the 1970 and 1971 year on your list.

Carlo Giovanni Colussi
06-24-2009, 03:26 AM
...
1970 F Vancouver CDA LAVER 62 61 62
1969 ONS BASLE LAVER 63 68 64 36 62
1971 RR Champions Tennis Classic, Philadelphia LAVER 62 63 75
...
Was the Basle Victory in 1969, 1970 or 1971 ? It says 1969 but it is between the 1970 and 1971 year on your list.

AndrewTas told me that he just have put the results in the wrong order but he confirmed that Basle was held in 1969.

sspihawaii
06-24-2009, 02:06 PM
Agreed, Rosewall is often a bit underrated, often seen as a sort of Raymond Poulidor in cycling, who was overshadowed by Anquetil and Merckx. In his amateur career, Hoad was the more flamboyant player, stealing the limelight. In the early pros, Gonzales was the more popular, and later on Laver the more spectacular. Nevertheless Kenny had always the last laugh, outlasting all his peers. He never got to Nr.1 as amateur, losing crucial Wimbledon matches vs. Drobny, Nielsen (twice) and Hoad. He was angry about his loss to Drobny, blaming Hopman for giving him false tactical plans.His real Nr.1 pro status in 1961-63 looks a bit like an interim (in reality it wasn't so), after the demission of Gonzales and the arrival of Laver. He had surpassed Gonzales by 1960, but nobody took really care. In his best year 1963, he beat Laver clearly for ca. half a year and won all 3 pro majors. His longevity is only matched by Tilden (and an old English guy around 1910, whose name i forgot at the moment), but Kenny was in the world class as early as a 18 year old junior, while Tilden got to the top as a 27 year old veteran. Both stayed in the top well into their forties. Kenny hadn't the most powerful of serves, and he could be really overpowered by hard hitting returners like Hoad, Laver (who at his best, imposed his topspin backhand even on Kenny's sclice backhand) and Connors, who buried the 40 year old veteran at Wim and Forest Hills in 1974.

I'm trying to understand why a couple of people in this thread show Rosewall as better than Gonzales in 1960. If a computer ranking were done for that year, Rosewall would probably be on top, but that's only because Gonzales temporarily retired in May. Prior to that, Gonzales was 49-8 in a tour that also included Rosewall (32-25), Segura (22-28} and Olmedo (11-44). See http://www.reference.com/browse/ken+rosewall. So while Rosewall may have had more success that year--since he played all year and Gonzales did not--it certainly does not sound like he was the better player. And to me, when evaluating potential GOATs, it's important to determine how often that particularly player was clearly the best in the world.

Carlo Giovanni Colussi
06-25-2009, 03:00 AM
I'm trying to understand why a couple of people in this thread show Rosewall as better than Gonzales in 1960. If a computer ranking were done for that year, Rosewall would probably be on top, but that's only because Gonzales temporarily retired in May. Prior to that, Gonzales was 49-8 in a tour that also included Rosewall (32-25), Segura (22-28} and Olmedo (11-44). See http://www.reference.com/browse/ken+rosewall. So while Rosewall may have had more success that year--since he played all year and Gonzales did not--it certainly does not sound like he was the better player. And to me, when evaluating potential GOATs, it's important to determine how often that particularly player was clearly the best in the world.

1960 will probably always be a debatable year.
Your reference comes from the article that I mainly wrote in late 2006-early 2007 in Wikipedia.
Here is the last true article edit I did on January 17, 2007, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ken_Rosewall&diff=101338209&oldid=101337920 (since the article has been edited and above all updated with new discovered results), where I listed at the time rough estimations of Rosewall's combined amateur-pro rankings according to "official" experts. Later this part of the article, was suppressed because it was considered (I recognize it was right) as non-neutral and so subjective (neutrality is one of the rule of Wikipedia). However it gives an indication of Ken's level throught the whole years of his career (those rankings were not exactly mines but essentially what I picked up in different sources).
You will see that in 1960 some considered Gonzales the best and others chose Rosewall as top dog. However as soon as Gonzales retired on May 16, 1960, Rosewall was at least as good if not better than Gonzales. In the second half of 1960 Rosewall played while Gonzales not. In 1961 Ken was at least the equal of Pancho and from 1962 to the end of their careers Ken had the edge (even though some years Gonzales has dominated Kenny in head-to-head meetings as in 1965 when Pancho led 7-3 but Ken had better overall results that year).
So until May (May 1, if we consider their last meeting at Sydney where Gorgo won 63 97, or May 16, when Gorgo played his last match on the circuit), 1960 Gonzales was superior to Kenny.

Then it depends on conventions :
either we consider that Ken was the best since the Australian pro indoor in May 1960
or we consider that Ken was the best only when both players played again simultaneously the pro circuit (Pancho was retired in the second half of the year and Rosewall took very long holidays because he rested from January to July 1961) in August or more precisely in September 1961 when Rosewall beat Gonzales at the World Professional Clay Court Championships in Paris (Roland Garros) 1961.

So 1960 is a debatable year as 1977 when Vilas played the "official" circuit (a sort of equivalent to "Rosewall 1960") and Borg, a sort of "Gonzales 1960" because Borg missed a great part of the official circuit in 1977 given that he entered the "WTT circus", but the difference between Rosewall and Vilas is that Rosewall dominated the following year while Vilas sank the next year (1978 ).

For both years I can't really decide who was the #1 (for 1977 I would choose Borg by the slightest margin but everyone with a good argument (but I haven't seen it until now) can convince me that Vilas was the best)
and in particular for 1960 I can't confirm or contradict urban's assertion which was "He (Rosewall) had surpassed Gonzales by 1960". It is either true (in mid-year) or wrong (only in late 1961) as I explained before.

urban
06-25-2009, 05:21 AM
Ok, Correct this sentence to 'late 1960'. If you read my whole post, you see, that i give Rosewall the real Nr. 1 status since 1961. That Gonzales retired mid 1960 (he retired umpteen times), makes the pro ranking very difficult. In the same post, i wrote the revervation, that no one cared about Rosewall's Nr. 1 status. In the mentality of older pro times, you had to beat the Champ to become the Champ. Today it is different. How, if Nadal wouldn't play for the second half year. Is he then still Nr. 1, because of default? No way.

pc1
06-29-2009, 03:17 PM
1960 will probably always be a debatable year.
Your reference comes from the article that I mainly wrote in late 2006-early 2007 in Wikipedia.
Here is the last true article edit I did on January 17, 2007, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ken_Rosewall&diff=101338209&oldid=101337920 (since the article has been edited and above all updated with new discovered results), where I listed at the time rough estimations of Rosewall's combined amateur-pro rankings according to "official" experts. Later this part of the article, was suppressed because it was considered (I recognize it was right) as non-neutral and so subjective (neutrality is one of the rule of Wikipedia). However it gives an indication of Ken's level throught the whole years of his career (those rankings were not exactly mines but essentially what I picked up in different sources).
You will see that in 1960 some considered Gonzales the best and others chose Rosewall as top dog. However as soon as Gonzales retired on May 16, 1960, Rosewall was at least as good if not better than Gonzales. In the second half of 1960 Rosewall played while Gonzales not. In 1961 Ken was at least the equal of Pancho and from 1962 to the end of their careers Ken had the edge (even though some years Gonzales has dominated Kenny in head-to-head meetings as in 1965 when Pancho led 7-3 but Ken had better overall results that year).
So until May (May 1, if we consider their last meeting at Sydney where Gorgo won 63 97, or May 16, when Gorgo played his last match on the circuit), 1960 Gonzales was superior to Kenny.

Then it depends on conventions :
either we consider that Ken was the best since the Australian pro indoor in May 1960
or we consider that Ken was the best only when both players played again simultaneously the pro circuit (Pancho was retired in the second half of the year and Rosewall took very long holidays because he rested from January to July 1961) in August or more precisely in September 1961 when Rosewall beat Gonzales at the World Professional Clay Court Championships in Paris (Roland Garros) 1961.

So 1960 is a debatable year as 1977 when Vilas played the "official" circuit (a sort of equivalent to "Rosewall 1960") and Borg, a sort of "Gonzales 1960" because Borg missed a great part of the official circuit in 1977 given that he entered the "WTT circus", but the difference between Rosewall and Vilas is that Rosewall dominated the following year while Vilas sank the next year (1978 ).

For both years I can't really decide who was the #1 (for 1977 I would choose Borg by the slightest margin but everyone with a good argument (but I haven't seen it until now) can convince me that Vilas was the best)
and in particular for 1960 I can't confirm or contradict urban's assertion which was "He (Rosewall) had surpassed Gonzales by 1960". It is either true (in mid-year) or wrong (only in late 1961) as I explained before.
Ok, Correct this sentence to 'late 1960'. If you read my whole post, you see, that i give Rosewall the real Nr. 1 status since 1961. That Gonzales retired mid 1960 (he retired umpteen times), makes the pro ranking very difficult. In the same post, i wrote the revervation, that no one cared about Rosewall's Nr. 1 status. In the mentality of older pro times, you had to beat the Champ to become the Champ. Today it is different. How, if Nadal wouldn't play for the second half year. Is he then still Nr. 1, because of default? No way.

Urban and Carlo, the thing about 1960 is that Gonzalez was mainly concerned about the World Championship Pro Series tour more than anything else. To him it was probably more important than the majors because it assured him (in his mind and I guess in the Pro Rankings) that he was number one and viable as a draw which would put food on the table.

As we all know the value of majors and tournaments change from year to year. The Australian Open was fairly unimportant for a number of years in the 1970's and tournaments like the WCT Championship and the Year End Masters were valued more highly during that time.

In 1960, Gonzalez won a tour over Rosewall, Segura and Olmedo with an awesome record of 49-8! Rosewall was far behind with a record of 32-25 with Segura at 22-28 and Olmedo at 11-44. Now admittedly the conditions of these tours may have favored the big serve and volley game of Gonzalez but Rosewall was not chicken liver on any surface and the one sided result shocks me to this day. There was no need for Gonzalez to prove himself for the rest of the year so he didn't play much.

Rosewall was clearly the best in 1960 as far as tournament play was concerned. Ken won the French Pro and Wembley and didn't compete in the US Pro. However the one sided tour in favor of Gonzalez has always disturbed me. If we rank by today's standards which concentrates on tournament results, yes Rosewall would be number one. If we rank by 1960 standards, it is debatable and Gonzalez may very well be number one.

That one sided tour result against Rosewall, Segura and Olmedo shows the incredible strength of Gonzalez on tour. You wonder how guys like Federer, Nadal and others would cope with a guy with such a weapon like the Gonzalez serve indoors.

SandV
07-04-2009, 07:26 PM
The conditions had not been changed in 2001 when Fed beat Sampras. The 100% rye was installed after the '01 tourney and first used in 2002. Fed serve-volleyed every first serve in that match, but later had to adopt a new style of play, because to quote him, "Things slowed down, all surfaces became slower and the polyester strings allowed players to hit winners from difficult positions."

380pistol
07-05-2009, 12:05 AM
In my opinion, the comparison of players across different eras is made a lot easier if we focus on three "major" events per year, rather than four. Almost continuously since 1912, there have been important international championships held in these three countries: Great Britain, the United States, and France (usually contested on clay). Prior to 1925, the three major tournaments were Wimbledon, the US Championships, and the World Hard Court Championships*. From 1925 to 1938, the French Amateur Championships replaced the WHCC. When Don Budge turned professional in 1939, the balance of power shifted away from these amateur events, as the bulk of the best players were on the early pros tours. The pro tournaments with the greatest tradition during this period became known as the "pro majors": Wembley, the US Pro Championships, and the French Pro Championships. Finally, since 1968, Wimbledon, the US Open, and the French Open have stood as arguably the three most important titles in tennis. The following ten players, then, have won at least eight of these major titles:

Ken Rosewall - 17
Pancho Gonzales - 12
Rod Laver - 12
Pete Sampras - 12
Bjorn Borg - 11
Bill Tilden - 11
Don Budge - 9
Roger Federer - 9
Henri Cochet - 8
Fred Perry - 8

Additionally, these nine players have won all three events at least once:

Ken Rosewall (x3)
Don Budge (x2)
Rene Lacoste (x2)
Rod Laver (x2)
Andre Agassi (x1)
Henri Cochet (x1)
Bill Johnston (x1)
Fred Perry (x1)
Bill Tilden (x1)

So Rosewall has won 17 of the biggest titles in the world--five more than any other player in history--and he is also the only player ever to have won the major British, American, and French championships at least three times a piece. That's a pretty impressive case. Still, Laver edges out Rosewall is in the concentration and pattern of his major wins: Laver won all three big titles in two separate years (1967 and 1969), whereas Rosewall only did it once (1963). So how you rate these two depends entirely on whether you put greater value on (a) longevity or (b) short-term dominance. I think it is an exceedingly close call. In any event, by this particular methodology, Rosewall and Laver are probably the most accomplished players of all time.

For reference, what I consider the five best years of all time:

Bill Tilden [1921]: Wimbledon, US Champs, WHCC
Don Budge [1938]: Wimbledon, US Champs, French Champs
Ken Rosewall [1963]: Wembley, US Pro, French Pro
Rod Laver [1967]: Wembley, US Pro, French Pro
Rod Laver [1969]: Wimbledon, US Open, French Open

*This event was held in Brussels in 1922, and replaced by the Paris Olympics in 1924.

This one flaw I see. Generally yu take the 3 biggest tourneys contested on grass, hard (sometime wood) and clay. But Tilden's 1922 consists of 2 on grass (Wim and US) and 1 on hard (WHCC). While other have their calculations tabulated with at least 1 on clay.

Also I was looking at Rosewall's caree recently, and some of the French Pros he won were actually on indoor wood rather than clay.

hoodjem
07-05-2009, 07:13 AM
For reference, what I consider the five best years of all time:

Bill Tilden [1921]: Wimbledon, US Champs, WHCC
Don Budge [1938]: Wimbledon, US Champs, French Champs
Ken Rosewall [1963]: Wembley, US Pro, French Pro
Rod Laver [1967]: Wembley, US Pro, French Pro
Rod Laver [1969]: Wimbledon, US Open, French Open

Should we also add to this list Federer's 2007 year?

hoodjem
07-05-2009, 07:13 AM
How'd I get a double post?

pc1
07-05-2009, 07:46 AM
Should we also add to this list Federer's 2007 year?

I think so and we can add Borg in 1978 plus McEnroe 1984.

galahad
07-05-2009, 09:13 PM
also, when Rosewall got to a major final against Connors in the open era, he got absolutely crushed at the US open - 1974 - 6-1, 6-0, 6-1

John123
07-05-2009, 09:36 PM
But Tilden's 1922 consists of 2 on grass (Wim and US) and 1 on hard (WHCC). While other have their calculations tabulated with at least 1 on clay.

The WHCC was played on clay, not hard courts. Indeed, it was the world clay-court championship. The name is confusing to modern fans because now we think of hard courts as distinct from clay. But at the time, there was no such thing as a hard court in our modern sense. Clay was "hard" in that it was harder than the only alternative known then -- grass.

By the way, Tilden won the WHCC in 1921, not 1922.

Also I was looking at Rosewall's career recently, and some of the French Pros he won were actually on indoor wood rather than clay.

Absolutely true, and a rare flaw in Chaognosis's analysis.

380pistol
07-05-2009, 09:44 PM
The WHCC was played on clay, not hard courts. Indeed, it was the world clay-court championship. The name is confusing to modern fans because now we think of hard courts as distinct from clay. But at the time, there was no such thing as a hard court in our modern sense. Clay was "hard" in that it was harder than the only alternative known then -- grass.

By the way, Tilden won the WHCC in 1921, not 1922.



Absolutely true, and a rare flaw in Chaognosis's analysis.

Thank you. So then how would one cross compare eras, not an exact science. What barometer would you use to measure, from Tilden in the 20's to Gonzales, Laver & Rosewall in the 50's and 60's to then Sampras and Federer of more modern times.

Nowadays slams are easy, but how should they get compared to prs championships for example, cuz different accomplishments have held different weight through the years. Also the fact of missing slams. For instance Laver missed slams 1963-67, but many seem to over look he won 6 slams in 1960-62while Rosewall and Haod didn't compete, and so on and so on,.... Rosewall/Hoad won slams, when Pancho coundn't compete and it keeps going.

Q&M son
07-12-2009, 04:01 PM
Can somebody confirm (or not) the title of Rosewall on New South Wales Hard Court Championships (Wagga Wagga) beating Neale Fraser 6–2 6–4 in late December 1956?

Cause in English wiki version of Ken article it is included, but not in French version.

Thanks in advance.

Lucio.

pc1
07-12-2009, 04:28 PM
Can somebody confirm (or not) the title of Rosewall on New South Wales Hard Court Championships (Wagga Wagga) beating Neale Fraser 6–2 6–4 in late December 1956?

Cause in English wiki version of Ken article it is included, but not in French version.

Thanks in advance.

Lucio.

According to Vainquers, that is correct.

chaognosis
07-13-2009, 03:20 AM
This one flaw I see. Generally yu take the 3 biggest tourneys contested on grass, hard (sometime wood) and clay. But Tilden's 1922 consists of 2 on grass (Wim and US) and 1 on hard (WHCC). While other have their calculations tabulated with at least 1 on clay.

The World Hard Court Championships were in fact contested on clay -- just different nomenclature. More recently I've taken to referring to the event as the World Clay Court Championships, to avoid this confusion.

Steve132
07-13-2009, 10:06 AM
Should we also add to this list Federer's 2007 year?

His 2006 season was better than the 2007 one. In 2006 he went 92-5 and reached the finals of 16 of 17 tournaments entered, winning 12.

Q&M son
07-13-2009, 11:56 AM
Can somebody confirm (or not) the title of Rosewall on New South Wales Hard Court Championships (Wagga Wagga) beating Neale Fraser 6–2 6–4 in late December 1956?

Cause in English wiki version of Ken article it is included, but not in French version.

Thanks in advance.

Lucio.

Sorry, my mistake. It was included in Frech version, just a date problem.

Q&M son
07-13-2009, 11:59 AM
According to Vainquers, that is correct.

Thanks pc1.

Q&M son
07-13-2009, 12:40 PM
Another question:

Why Ken lost so bad to Trabert in SF of French Pro 1959?

He won that event in 58 and 60-66, so I think it`s a good question.

Q&M son
07-16-2009, 06:48 AM
Another question:

Why Ken lost so bad to Trabert in SF of French Pro 1959?

He won that event in 58 and 60-66, so I think it`s a good question.

Bumping for get an answer.

Thanks.

hoodjem
07-16-2009, 06:55 AM
His 2006 season was better than the 2007 one. In 2006 he went 92-5 and reached the finals of 16 of 17 tournaments entered, winning 12.

Okay, I'll take your word for it. Was 2006 Fed's best year?

Borgforever
07-16-2009, 07:08 AM
That's very debatable -- 2006 or 2007. Both equals but for different reasons. Greater margin in his victories in 2006 -- but, arguably, Rafa wasn't really on consistent peak form (he nervously tanked the first set at the Wimby-final among other things).

In 2007 however, Rafa was a notch more polished but Fedex still was amazingly dominant holding the Matador at bay, brilliantly and with more Omph! especially round the indoor season and at Wimby -- plus his Hamburg-win. I go with 2007 -- but I include both of them in my list for supreme years.

The shadow in these two years -- unique for such a dominant player in comparison with other similarly dominant champions of the past -- he had a severe losing rivalry with Rafa. Björn Hellberg points out that no champion ever before have had a clear losing H2H to their main rival during their peak -- actually, mostly receiving twice as many defeats as victories.

But all major champions have always had some extenuating circumstance in their record...

Steve132
07-16-2009, 08:01 AM
Okay, I'll take your word for it. Was 2006 Fed's best year?

Yes, I think so. He was very good in every year from 2004 to 2007, but most consistent in 2006.

pc1
07-16-2009, 08:16 AM
Federer was 70-5 in 2004 with a Games Won Percentage of 61.88 and he was 90-5 in 2006 with a Games Won Percentage of 61.76. He had the better record in 06 but won by bigger margins in 04.

Carlo Giovanni Colussi
09-22-2009, 06:32 AM
Can somebody confirm (or not) the title of Rosewall on New South Wales Hard Court Championships (Wagga Wagga) beating Neale Fraser 6–2 6–4 in late December 1956?
Cause in English wiki version of Ken article it is included, but not in French version.
Thanks in advance.
Lucio.

Hi Lucio,
according to AndrewTas it's slightly different from Sutter because the NSW Hardcourt was held in March and not December :
March 15-18 1956
NSW Hardcourt Championships Wagga Wagga
1R defeated W Homann 61 60
2R defeated J Blizzard 62 64
QF defeated P Frankland 63 62
SF defeated D Candy 108 86
MF defeated N Fraser 62 64
MDF N Fraser/ Rosewall defeated Candy/ Rose 57 62 63

while the NSW Champs took place in November :
November 7-17 1956
New South Wales Championships Sydney
1R defeated G Kerr 61 61 62
2R defeated B Tobin 63 63 64
3R defeated Mark 64 64 63
QF defeated M Davies 64 60 60
SF defeated A Cooper 63 63 64
F defeated N Fraser 64 75 64

So eventually ask Andrew for confirmation

Q&M son
09-22-2009, 12:40 PM
Hi Lucio,
according to AndrewTas it's slightly different from Sutter because the NSW Hardcourt was held in March and not December :
March 15-18 1956
NSW Hardcourt Championships Wagga Wagga
1R defeated W Homann 61 60
2R defeated J Blizzard 62 64
QF defeated P Frankland 63 62
SF defeated D Candy 108 86
MF defeated N Fraser 62 64
MDF N Fraser/ Rosewall defeated Candy/ Rose 57 62 63

while the NSW Champs took place in November :
November 7-17 1956
New South Wales Championships Sydney
1R defeated G Kerr 61 61 62
2R defeated B Tobin 63 63 64
3R defeated Mark 64 64 63
QF defeated M Davies 64 60 60
SF defeated A Cooper 63 63 64
F defeated N Fraser 64 75 64

So eventually ask Andrew for confirmation

Thanks Carlo, I'll do.

urban
09-22-2009, 08:18 PM
Lucio, You asked about Trabert's win at French pro over Rosewall. I think, Trabert just was a very great clay courter, he won 2 RG as amateur (i think Rosewall was absent at one of them), and 2 French, when it was played at RG. He was grown up on hard and clay, and that surface suited his hard, solid baseline game. Had a good backhand, too. In his fisrt match series against Gonzalez, had had the tough luck, to play almost exlusively on indoor court carpet. On hard court it would have been mch closer.

Q&M son
09-23-2009, 01:22 PM
Lucio, You asked about Trabert's win at French pro over Rosewall. I think, Trabert just was a very great clay courter, he won 2 RG as amateur (i think Rosewall was absent at one of them), and 2 French, when it was played at RG. He was grown up on hard and clay, and that surface suited his hard, solid baseline game. Had a good backhand, too. In his fisrt match series against Gonzalez, had had the tough luck, to play almost exlusively on indoor court carpet. On hard court it would have been mch closer.

Thanks urban for the response.
It just too much that great Ken lost so bad vs Trabert that day.

urban
09-23-2009, 08:33 PM
I only saw short clips of Trabert at amateur RG. I think, he was a bit like prime Courier, a real bulldozer on clay.

pc1
09-24-2009, 04:49 AM
I only saw short clips of Trabert at amateur RG. I think, he was a bit like prime Courier, a real bulldozer on clay.

In Ellsworth Vines' book he ranks Trabert as the tenth best of the post WWII era. He mentions how strong Trabert was off both sides. The thing that kept Trabert from ranking with the all time top echelon in tennis history was his lack of agility, at least according to Vines. Vines mentions how Gonzalez took major advantage of that weakness on their tour, which Gonzalez won 74 to 27.

Steady Eddy
09-24-2009, 05:18 AM
also, when Rosewall got to a major final against Connors in the open era, he got absolutely crushed at the US open - 1974 - 6-1, 6-0, 6-1Does this mean that Connors was bringing in a new era of power tennis, and that Rosewall couldn't compete with it? When I hear about his 70 mph serve and slice backhand I wonder if this means he was successful only because the players of his day weren't very good? Or at least that they couldn't compare to more modern players.

That day he and Connors didn't even deserve to be on the same court. I've seen photos and in some shots he seems completely overwhelmed by Connors power game.

adidasman
09-24-2009, 05:24 AM
Does this mean that Connors was bringing in a new era of power tennis, and that Rosewall couldn't compete with it? When I hear about his 70 mph serve and slice backhand I wonder if this means he was successful only because the players of his day weren't very good? Or at least that they couldn't compare to more modern players.

That day he and Connors didn't even deserve to be on the same court. I've seen photos and in some shots he seems completely overwhelmed by Connors power game. You have to remember, Rosewall was almost 40 when he played Connors -- not exactly in his prime.

pc1
09-24-2009, 05:33 AM
Does this mean that Connors was bringing in a new era of power tennis, and that Rosewall couldn't compete with it? When I hear about his 70 mph serve and slice backhand I wonder if this means he was successful only because the players of his day weren't very good? Or at least that they couldn't compare to more modern players.

That day he and Connors didn't even deserve to be on the same court. I've seen photos and in some shots he seems completely overwhelmed by Connors power game.

Rosewall was forty years old and yet that year he defeated John Newcombe several times, Stan Smith, Roscoe Tanner and Raul Ramirez. He was one of the best players in the world for over twenty years.

Connors was in his prime or at worst near his prime and he was the only one who could handle Rosewall. If Connors was forty and Rosewall was forty, I would bet on Rosewall to win most of the time. If they were both twenty-five, I would go with Rosewall.

I recall a story of how Rosewall played a practice set (apparently they were both playing full out) against a young Ivan Lendl around 1979 or 1980. Lendl was already one of the top players in the world and Ken was 45 or 46.

According to the people witnessing the match, the rallies were fantastic and Lendl won by 6-4 I believe. I have no doubt that Rosewall would do well today, especially with the modern rackets.

Lendl in one of his instructional books wrote that you cannot pass very well with a slice backhand, UNLESS you're Ken Rosewall. I wonder if that sentence had anything to do with the set they played.

Q&M son
10-08-2009, 01:53 PM
In Ellsworth Vines' book he ranks Trabert as the tenth best of the post WWII era. He mentions how strong Trabert was off both sides. The thing that kept Trabert from ranking with the all time top echelon in tennis history was his lack of agility, at least according to Vines. Vines mentions how Gonzalez took major advantage of that weakness on their tour, which Gonzalez won 74 to 27.

Thanks pc1 as well.

whistleway
02-01-2010, 10:27 PM
1. Simply because most people are happier being told what to think than actually doing the reading to come up with their own conclusion. They also find it easier to grasp a simple concept such as the player with the most majors = the better player.

2. Laver scored his Grand Slam in 1970 at the time when tennis was just getting ready to explode. When that happened it (the Grand Slam) was available as an immediate memory whereas Rosewall's achievements (the majority) came prior to that.

3. Open tennis, when it began, did it's best to act as though the 'professional years' never happened. How can people consider Rosewall's achievements as a pro if they have no idea what he did or how impressive it was.

4. American tennis publications and pundits dominate the market and they are, like all American publications (up to the 1990's) and pundits, incredibly unreliable.

what a great post - thanks!

whistleway
02-01-2010, 10:52 PM
3) Continental Europe

1900: Paris Olympics
1901-1911:[one of the clay events I mentioned in my previous post...as I said it's virtually impossible to decide between them]*
1912: Stockholm Olympics
1913-1914: WHCC
1919: same as 1901-1911, as there was no WHCC*
1920-1923: WHCC
1924: Paris Olympics
1925-1936: Roland Garros
1937-1938: Roland Garros or French Pro* (none of them are majors for these years...frankly I would have to get my books to decide which one was the best)
1939: French Pro
1946-1949: [Roland Garros???]* (not a single good pro event in continental Europe...I don't have the complete results of Rome, Hamburg, etc. for these years, so I can only assume that RG was the best)
1950: Paris Pro Indoors
1951-1952: Roland Garros* (there were good Berlin Pro events, but I give the edge to the Drobny-Sedgman-McGregor era amateurs)
1953: Paris Pro
1954-1955: Roland Garros*
1956: French Pro
1957: Pro Team Cup in Vittel*
1958-1968: French Pro (RG'68 was prestigious but a bit depleted, so I give a tiny edge to the pro event)
1969: Roland Garros
1970: Barcelone or Hamburg*
1971: Italian Open
1972: Masters
1973-1974: Roland Garros
1975: Masters
1976-2008: Roland Garros

Jonathan

Could someone clarify what happened at 1975 Roland Garros? Thanks

SgtJohn
02-04-2010, 07:27 AM
Hi,

Nothing special happened... I had been asked what would be the most important European tournament for every year.
In 1975, Roland Garros was not as prestigious as it would become post-1978, and the draw was not great.
As it happened that the Masters was played in Europe that year (unlike 1974), I thought this event was the greatest on this continent that year...

Jonathan

pc1
02-04-2010, 07:44 AM
Hi,

Nothing special happened... I had been asked what would be the most important European tournament for every year.
In 1975, Roland Garros was not as prestigious as it would become post-1978, and the draw was not great.
As it happened that the Masters was played in Europe that year (unlike 1974), I thought this event was the greatest on this continent that year...

Jonathan
I was wondering about that myself. Thanks Jonathan.

adidasman
02-05-2010, 11:44 AM
what a great post - thanks! Laver won his second Grand Slam in 1969, not in 1970.

jswinf
02-05-2010, 02:16 PM
also, when Rosewall got to a major final against Connors in the open era, he got absolutely crushed at the US open - 1974 - 6-1, 6-0, 6-1

I remember watching that match (through the slats of my crib) and thinking it was too bad, Connors was just hitting the ball too hard and too far away for Muscles to handle. I also remember one of the big hyped-up winner-take-all exhibitions the Connors team put together against Laver, and Jimbo won that fairly easily, not as lopsided a score. Still griped my butt at the time. I think age was the big factor but who knows.

I was always a Laver fan, but I think Rosewall was very well regarded in the 1960s and 1970s.

pc1
02-05-2010, 02:31 PM
I remember watching that match (through the slats of my crib) and thinking it was too bad, Connors was just hitting the ball too hard and too far away for Muscles to handle. I also remember one of the big hyped-up winner-take-all exhibitions the Connors team put together against Laver, and Jimbo won that fairly easily, not as lopsided a score. Still griped my butt at the time. I think age was the big factor but who knows.

I was always a Laver fan, but I think Rosewall was very well regarded in the 1960s and 1970s.

You should check out this video of the Laver-Connors challenge match from Krosero. It's fun to watch.

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

jswinf
02-05-2010, 06:22 PM
Thanks, enjoyed it, good to see Laver make some shots. But how Connors could make those passing shots with that hand-cannon T2000 passes understanding.

pc1
02-05-2010, 06:44 PM
Thanks, enjoyed it, good to see Laver make some shots. But how Connors could make those passing shots with that hand-cannon T2000 passes understanding.

It's great watching Connors hit the ball so solidly. How he was able to control his shots with that racket is beyond me?

Since you like Laver matches, here's a link to my favorite one to watch on the internet. It's against Ken Rosewall, also from Krosero.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8IJ0F01IiU

jswinf
02-05-2010, 07:01 PM
Good stuff. I've read about about Laver making fun of his nickname "Rocket" saying his "mates" tended to give nicknames pointing out what someone was lacking, like "Muscles" Rosewall. Looks to me in this old stuff like Rod really got around the court.

hoodjem
02-06-2010, 06:48 AM
You should check out this video of the Laver-Connors challenge match from Krosero. It's fun to watch.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SptdffCeVmM
One thing I've always wondered about was Laver's body "thickness" in the 70s. The videos of him in the 60s show a much more lithe and lean figure who could move just as well.

In the 70s against Connors or Borg he appears mighty quick but seems to have much bigger thighs. I wonder if he didn't bulk up to compensate for his encroaching age?

pc1
02-06-2010, 07:06 AM
One thing I've always wondered about was Laver's body "thickness" in the 70s. The videos of him in the 60s show a much more lithe and lean figure who could move just as well.

In the 70s against Connors or Borg he appears mighty quick but seems to have much bigger thighs. I wonder if he didn't bulk up to compensate for his encroaching age?

Laver was in his late thirties in those videos so maybe it's just age adding some weight on the thighs. I found this in a liposuction article. Maybe it was less training on his part also since he probably was semi tired in the Borg videos. Somehow Laver and liposuction article in the same post didn't seem to mix. lol.

Fat on Thighs

There may be a lot of reasons for people to develop fat on the inner and outer thighs. Eating too much, having a sedentary lifestyle and old age may contribute to the development of thigh fat. A lot of women however may eventually develop a kind of thigh fat known as cellulite because of a genetic predisposition to it. Even athletes and very thin women may therefore still end up with cellulite deposits. Although men may also develop thigh fat, cellulite is more common among women because of the bee hive structure of female skin connective tissues.

borg number one
02-06-2010, 08:16 AM
Yeah, that is interesting Hoodjem. I noticed that too. It's probably some muscle, plus a little more fat due to perhaps a little less training/playing. Yet, you have a good point. He may have sought to add a little muscle, to help him combat the "young guns".

Anyway, Laver was obviously a splendid athlete in the 50's, 60's, or 70's. I think talk of him being too short gets exaggerated. The guy would likely adjust his game, depending on who he was facing. For example, with modern technology, he'd probably slice Del Potro a lot and make him keep reaching for skidding slice shots everywhere. That gets awfully tiresome by sets 3-5! So, there are some disadvantages in being say 6' 4"-6' 6" or so too.

Laver was pretty ripped:

http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:R6hV9Su_UJFocM:http://www.australianopen.com/images/pics/misc/f_Laver-Rod.jpg


http://i.cdn.turner.com/sivault/si_online/covers/images/1968/0826_large.jpg

http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:jO8hmq9TA5sAvM:http://www.sporting-heroes.net/files_tennis/LAVER_Rod_19680701_EL_R.jpg


http://www.tennisfame.com/HOFPics/Laver,%20Rod%201.jpg


Watching Rosewall/Laver video, their easy power is apparent. Seeing Rosewall and Laver knock off winners with such ease is so impressive.

I especially love how they can "wrong foot" each other so often, rushing the net and volleying behind the opponent, plus, it seemed like Rosewall loved to knock off overheads a lot.

Their compact and beautiful strokes should be watched by any junior, even today, as you can build great topspin strokes, even with many of those "fundamentals" that those two guys so exemplified.

Perhaps, since they played each other hundreds of time, they could not "fool each other" easily, so to win points each KNEW they had to basically try and outhit or "outslug" the opponent, and look for the slightest openings to take advantage during points.

What do you think Hoodjem and other Laver experts?

hoodjem
02-06-2010, 11:13 AM
Laver was in his late thirties in those videos so maybe it's just age adding some weight on the thighs. I found this in a liposuction article. Maybe it was less training on his part also since he probably was semi tired in the Borg videos. Somehow Laver and liposuction article in the same post didn't seem to mix.

No, I don't think it is fat, I'm pretty sure it is muscle. Take a look at the Laver-Borg at HH video.

hoodjem
02-06-2010, 11:25 AM
Perhaps, since they played each other hundreds of time, they could not "fool each other" easily, so to win points each KNEW they had to basically try and outhit or "outslug" the opponent, and look for the slightest openings to take advantage during points.

What do you think Hoodjem and other Laver experts?Rocket and Muscles must have played each other hundreds of times, and eaten many meals together also, probably sat next to each other on many a prop plane flight or a bus. No surprises between them--just minimizing errors while out-placing each other, and subtle strategical changes.

hoodjem
02-06-2010, 11:30 AM
I especially love how they can "wrong foot" each other so often, rushing the net and volleying behind the opponent, plus, it seemed like Rosewall loved to knock off overheads a lot.

Their compact and beautiful strokes should be watched by any junior, even today, as you can build great topspin strokes, even with many of those "fundamentals" that those two guys so exemplified. These guys had complete all-court games. The only shot Rosewall never hit was a topspin backhand (and a big serve). Laver was even more complete, with a huge topspin backhand (I am tempted to call it the orginal, "the prototype"), and a very respectable serve that earned him many aces through placement. Both had great lobs for those habitual net-rushers.

I had a debate on here a couple of months ago about Fed improving his lobs. This one guy concluded that the lob was a useless shot, and that Fed didn't ever need to lob he was so great.

borg number one
02-06-2010, 11:40 AM
These guys had complete all-court games. The only shot rosewall never hit was a topspin backhand (and a big serve). Laver was even more complete, with a huge topspin backhand (I am tempted to call it the orginal, "the prototype"), and a very respectable serve that earned him many aces through placement. Both had great lobs for those habitual net-rushers.

I had a debate on here a couple of months ago about Fed improving his lobs. This one guy concluded that the lob was a useless shot, and that Fed didn't ever need to lob he was so great.

Yes! That's it in a nutshell. I couldn't quite describe what I have watched on video. Complete all court games, that is it. Every shot in the book, such diversity, and "flexibility" in their games. They look to be so "seasoned" as if they've played 10 million matches before, but they look to always be "fresh as a daisy". Remarkable, especially playing all that time in the Australian sun, working their behinds off, competing fiercely, acting as gentlemen, etc. It really says a lot about the character of those guys.

whistleway
02-06-2010, 11:42 AM
Hi,

Nothing special happened... I had been asked what would be the most important European tournament for every year.
In 1975, Roland Garros was not as prestigious as it would become post-1978, and the draw was not great.
As it happened that the Masters was played in Europe that year (unlike 1974), I thought this event was the greatest on this continent that year...

Jonathan

Thanks, appreciate it.

pc1
02-06-2010, 02:29 PM
These guys had complete all-court games. The only shot Rosewall never hit was a topspin backhand (and a big serve). Laver was even more complete, with a huge topspin backhand (I am tempted to call it the orginal, "the prototype"), and a very respectable serve that earned him many aces through placement. Both had great lobs for those habitual net-rushers.

I had a debate on here a couple of months ago about Fed improving his lobs. This one guy concluded that the lob was a useless shot, and that Fed didn't ever need to lob he was so great.

That strikes me as unusual that a person would write to you that the lob was a useless shot. Rosewall used to lob a lot in the beginning to get the net rushers a bit further away from the net and after they moved back a bit, he would hit his passing shots more effective. Is it just me or does it seem to you that no one can lob effective? I'm talking about the defensive lob. Every time I see a defensive lob it seems to land about mid lob and the person smashes it away. Does it seem like that to you also?

Two guys who I thought were very effective with the lob was Jimmy Connors and Miloslav Mecir. I guess Connors learned it from Segura who was a great lobber. One of my favorite points to watch is Connors against Haarhius at the 1991 US Open. Love the lobs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7t5W6SDuEs