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timnz
06-10-2009, 07:04 PM
I would have to go with Laver's 1967 year. Won the Pro Grand Slam and also Pro Wimbledon. 19 tournaments in total that year.

Next would be Laver's 1969 year. Won the Open Grand Slam. 18 tournaments in total that year.

Honourable Mention years
-------------------------
Wilding 1913 (Won the top grass, clay and indoor titles in the world)
Tilden 1921 (Won French open equivalent - World clay court title, Wimbledon and US Open)
Connors 1974
McEnroe 1984
Borg 1980
Lendl 1986, 1987
Budge 1938
Federer 2004, 2006, 2007

Thoughts?

egn
06-10-2009, 07:12 PM
Add Fed 2005+2006 to honorable mention and that is about it.

timnz
06-10-2009, 07:20 PM
3 Slams in 1 year - 3 times! and the last 2 of those years also making the French Open final.

tudwell
06-10-2009, 07:32 PM
Just out of curiosity, how many times did Laver lose in 1967? Did he play any tours in addition to tournaments (obviously, that would inflate his number of losses)? How detailed are the statistics that we actually have about Laver's 1967 season?

charliefedererer
06-10-2009, 07:59 PM
You have to consider the 1984 season when Jonny Mac went 82-3 even though he lost that match to Lendl at the FO that cost him the Grand Slam.

pc1
06-10-2009, 08:53 PM
Borg in 1978 has to be considered also. He won the French and Wimbledon plus he holds the possible record for the Open Era of percentage of Games Won with 66.18% which is even ahead of Johnny Mac in 1984.

Frank Sedgman in 1952 was 103-6 possibly as high as 112-6, winning 16 tournaments out of 22. He won the Wimbledon and U.S. Championship and so far in the Pre Open era holds the record for percentage of Games Won with 66.82.

Budge in 1938 was super but he did lose at least five times that year and I don't think he played that much because of all the boat travel he had that year. The Grand Slam obviously was superb but I don't know if he won that many tournaments that year.

Another dominant year would be Tony Trabert in 1955 when I believe he won 18 tournaments plus the French, Wimbledon and the U.S. Championship. He may have had only seven losses all year.

The latter three is hard to rate since they didn't play all the best players but they were dominant years and should be up for consideration.

For pure dominance, perhaps Sedgman's and Trabert's years rank ahead of Budge for the amateur era. It depends on your definition of dominance.

Rosewall in 1963 is to be considered because he won the Pro Grand Slam. I don't know if he won that many tournaments considering that he was touring against Rod Laver a good portion of the year.

Rosewall in 1962 may be a better choice considering he won 9 of 15 tournaments that year plus two Pro majors. His winning percentage and Games Won percentage was also excellent.

Devilito
06-10-2009, 09:14 PM
nobody mentioned Wilander 88? Come on...

timnz
06-10-2009, 10:18 PM
1988. Yes you are right. However, he did 'only' win 6 tournaments that year including the 3 majors. Definitely a great year though.

AndrewTas
06-10-2009, 10:31 PM
Just out of curiosity, how many times did Laver lose in 1967? Did he play any tours in addition to tournaments (obviously, that would inflate his number of losses)? How detailed are the statistics that we actually have about Laver's 1967 season?

Laver's 1967 record
He lost 26 times, including 19 in tournaments.

Tournaments
Played 33
Won 19
Runner-Up 5
Singles Win-Loss 81-19

Australasian Pro Tour 7-4
Other Pro Tour Matches 6-3

Year Win-Loss 94-26

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Australasian tour

January 31 1967
Toowoomba QLD

Defeated Gonzales 46 63 64

February 6 1967
Rockhampton QLD

Defeated Gonzales 63 810 75

February 7-8 1967
Brisbane

Defeated Ralston 1210 06 62

Defeated Gonzales 62 57 97

February 18-19 1967
Melbourne

Lost to D Ralston 86 26 64

Lost to Gonzales 62 64

February 21 1967
Christchurch

Defeated Ralston 13-11 6-4

February 22 1967
Dunedin

Defeated Gonzales 6-0 7-9 13-11

February 24 1967
Auckland

Defeated Gonzales 6-0 6-3

February 1967
Auckland

Lost to Ralston 6-1 5-7 6-2
Lost to Gonzales 8-6 4-6 7-5

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March 1-5 1967
New York Pro Champs 34st. Armory

1R d. Stolle 6-3 8-6
SF d. Buchholz 9-7 6-8 6-3
F d. Gonzales 7-5 14-16 7-5 6-2

DF Gonzales/Ralston d Laver/Stolle 7-5 3-6 6-3

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March 8-12 1967
San Juan Pro Champs

1R d. Ralston 6-2 6-2
SF d. Buchholz 9-7 6-1
F d. Gimeno 6-4 3-6 6-1

DF Laver/Stolle d Buchholz/Davies 6-3 6-4

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March 15-19 1967
Orlando Pro Champs

1R d. Davies 7-5 6-8 7-5
SF d. Ralston 7-5 4-6 8-6
F d. Gonzales 6-4 2-6 6-0

DF Laver/Stolle d Barthes/Gimeno 4-6 7-5 6-1

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March 21-26 1967
Planters Pro Challenge Cup Miami Beach

1R d. Davies 5-7 6-4 6-2
SF d. Stolle 5-7 6-0 6-3
F d. Gimeno 6-3 6-3

DF Laver/Stolle d Gonzales/Ralston 6-4 3-6 6-4

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March 27-28 1967
Boston Pro Champs

1R d. Stolle 10-8
SF d. Ralston 10-4
F d. Rosewall 6-4 6-0

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March 30-31 1967
Montreal Pro Champs

1R d. Barthes 10-7
SF d. Gonzales 10-7
F d. Ralston 17-15 6-0

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April 5 1967
BBC 2 Pro Champs Wembley World Pro Champs

1R Lost to Ralston 10-7

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April 6-9 1967
Paris Pro Champs

1R BYE
SF d. Stolle 6-3 6-3
F d. Rosewall 6-0 10-8 10-8

DF Laver/Rosewall d Barthes/Stolle 6-3 6-4

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April 1967
Brussels Pro Champs

1R Lost to Ralston 6-3 2-6 8-6

No. 3 Lost to Barthes 6-4 4-6 6-4

DF Ralston/Stolle d Barthes/Laver 8-6 9-7

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April
French pro tour

Lille
d. Barthes 6-3 9-11 6-4
Laver/Ralston d Barthes/Stolle 8-7

Besancon
d. Barthes 4-6 6-4 8-6
Laver/Stolle d Barthes/ Ralston 8-3

Strasbourg
d. Stolle 6-4 9-7
Ralston/Stolle d Barthes/Laver 6-1 7-5

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April
Lyon Pro Champs

1R d. Ralston 7-5 6-2
F Lost to Stolle 6-1 3-6 6-4

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April
Marseille Pro Champs

1R d. Stolle 6-4 6-3
F d. Ralston 6-4 6-3

D Laver/Stolle d Barthes/Ralston 6-3 11-9

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Toulouse
d. Barthes 6-1 6-4

Bordeaux
d. Stolle 4-6 7-5 6-1

Remmes
d. Ralston 2-6 6-3 10-8

Laver won the French tour

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May 10-14 1967
Pacific Pro Champs San Diego

1R BYE
QF d. Barthes 6-4 6-3
SF d. Buchholz 6-3 6-1
F d. Ralston 6-4 12-10

DF Laver/Stolle d Buchholz/Davies 10-5

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May 24-28 1967
Los Angeles Champs

RR
d. Anderson 8-4
d. Segura 8-3
d. Davies 8-6
d. Stewart 8-3
Lost to Ralston 8-6
d. MacKay 8-4

SF d. Buchholz 6-1 6-4
F Lost to Rosewall 6-2 2-6 7-5

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June 1-4 1967
Pacific Coast Champs Berkeley

1R BYE
QF d. Davies 6-0 6-1
SF d. Gimeno 6-8 6-1 6-4
F Lost to Rosewall 4-6 6-3 8-6

DF Ralston/Rosewall d Laver/Stolle 2-6 6-4 6-2

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June 6-9 1967
Madison Square Garden Pro Champs

1R BYE
QF d. Stolle 7-9 6-3 6-4
SF d. Ralston 6-1 6-3
F d. Rosewall 6-4 6-4

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June 14-18 1967
US Hardcourt Champs St.Louis

1R d. Horwitz 6-2 6-2
QF Lost to Stolle 6-3 6-4

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June 21-25 1967
Newport Beach Champs

1R BYE
QF d. Davies 3-6 6-4 6-0
SF d. Gimeno 6-3 6-3
F Lost to Rosewall 6-3 6-3

DF Laver/Stolle d Ralston/Rosewall

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July 1-4 1967
World Pro Champs Oklahoma

1R BYE
QF d. Segura 6-1 6-0
SF d. Gimeno 6-1 3-6 6-3
F d. Rosewall 6-2 3-6 6-4

DF Ralston/Rosewall d Laver /Stolle 10-8

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July 6-9 1967
Cincinnati Champs
1R unknown or BYE
QF d. Olmedo 6-0 8-6
SF Lost to Gimeno 3-6 6-3 6-4

No. 3 d. Ralston 6-1 7-5

DF Laver/Stolle d Ralston/Rosewall
4-6 8-6 7-5

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July 11-16 1967
US Pro Champs Longwood C.C.

1R d. Olmedo 6-1 6-2
QF d. Ayala 6-1 6-2
SF d. Stolle 4-6 6-2 6-3
F d. Gimeno 4-6 6-4 6-3 7-5

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July 18-23 1967
Newport Casino RR

d. Davies 31-23
Lost to MacKay 31-24
d. Stolle 31-28
Lost to Gimeno 31-30

Final stages RR
d. Buchholz 31-16
d. Gimeno 31-27
d. Rosewall 31-20

Final standings
1 Laver 93 points

DF Laver/Stolle d Ralston/Rosewall 31-27

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July 27-30 1967
Binghamton Champs

1R d. Buchholz 6-0 12-10
QF d. Davies 8-6 6-2
SF d. Stolle 6-3 8-6
F d. Gimeno 6-1 6-3

DF Barthes/Gimeno d Laver/Stolle 6-3 6-4

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August 9-13 1967
Colonial Champs Fort Worth

QF d. Olmedo 6-2 6-4
SF d. Gonzales 9-7 6-3
F d. Ralston 8-6 6-0

DF Laver/Stolle d Olmedo/Segura 4-6 6-2 6-2

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August 25-28 1967
Wimbledon World Champs

1R d. Stolle 6-4 6-2
SF d. Gimeno 6-3 6-4
F d. Rosewall 6-2 6-2 12-10

DF Gimeno/Gonzales d Laver/Stolle 6-4 14-12

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South African pro tour

September 1-6 1967
Transvaal Pro Champs
(Pretoria Benoni and Klerksdorp)

1R BYE or unknown
QF d. Barthes 6-2 7-9 6-3
SF Lost to Gimeno 6-4 3-6 6-4

No.3 Lost to Rosewall 6-3 6-2

DF Laver/Stolle d Diepraam/MacKay 6-2 6-4

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September 4 1967
Coca-Cola Challenge Matches Johannesburg

Lost to Stolle 2-6 6-3 7-5

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September 7-10 1967
Natal Pro Champs Durban

1R unknown or BYE
QF d. MacKay 6-1 6-2
SF Lost to Stolle 6-3 3-6 6-1

No. 3 d. Gimeno 6-3 6-3

DF Laver/Stolle d Barthes/Gimeno 6-2 7-5

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September 11 1967
Border Champs East London

1R unknown or BYE
QF d. Davies 8-3
SF Lost to Stolle 10-8

No.3 d. Rosewall 8-5

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September 12 1967
Eastern Province Champs Port Elizabeth

1R BYE or unknown
QF d. Hoad W/O
SF Lost to Gimeno 8-2

No.3 d. Stolle

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September 13-16 1967
Western Province Champs Rondebosch and Cape Town

1R BYE or unknown
QF d. MacKay 6-2 6-1
SF Lost to Stolle 6-4 6-3

DF Laver/Stolle d Buchholz/Rosewall 8-6 6-3

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September 19-23 1967
Johannesburg Champs

1R BYE or unknown
QF d. Barthes 8-6 6-2
SF d. Buchholz 6-2 6-4
F d. Gimeno 6-1 8-6

DF Laver/Stolle d Davies/Rosewall 6-3 6-3

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September 24 1967
Swaziland tour matches Mbabane

Lost to Rosewall 6-2 8-6
Laver/Stolle d Gimeno /Rosewall 6-2 10-8

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October 11-16 1967
French Pro Champs Paris Coubertin

1R BYE or unknown
QF d. MacKay 6-2 3-6 6-4 6-4
SF d. Stolle 4-6 6-3 6-4 6-4
F d. Gimeno 6-4 8-6 4-6 6-2

DF Barthes/Gimeno d Laver/Stolle 6-3 6-4

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October 17-18 1967
Prague Pro Champs

1R d. Buchholz 7-5 3-6 6-1
F Lost to Ralston 7-5 6-1

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October 23-28 1967
London Pro Indoor Champs Wembley

1R bye
QF d. MacKay 6-3 6-1
SF d. Davidson 6-3 3-6 6-2 7-5
F d. Rosewall 2-6 6-1 1-6 8-6 6-2

DF Laver/Stolle d Buchholz/Hoad 7-5 6-3 6-4

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November 2 1967
Nice Pro Match
Lost to Gimeno 61 46 62

hoodjem
06-11-2009, 07:25 AM
Mac in 1984 I think had the highest winning percentage in the history of the gameL 82-3.

urban
06-11-2009, 07:45 AM
Great stats Andrew, as always. If i count it right, the pros in the 60s played in 49 different cities. With the travel facilities not near as good as they are today, the travelling alone must have been quite hard. Air travel was still quite limited and not without danger. If i remember it right, Laver escaped a near airplane disaster, flying to Amsterdam in 1962, hen he was in the middle of winning the Grand Slam.

chaognosis
06-11-2009, 08:51 AM
I consider there to have been five "Grand Slam"-equivalent years:

*Bill Tilden, 1921
*Don Budge, 1938
*Ken Rosewall, 1963
*Rod Laver, 1967
*Rod Laver, 1969

These are the five years in which a player won (a) the major British tournament, (b) the major American tournament, and (c) the major clay-court tournament in continental Europe. Wilding in 1913 cannot compare because of the absence of a U.S. title, though H.L. Doherty should receive an honorable mention for his achievement of winning both Wimbledon and the U.S. Championships for the first time in 1903, when there was no "major" European clay-court event (just many smaller ones). Doherty was, at the time, the defending Olympic singles champion--having won in Paris in 1900--so this could perhaps count.

Borgforever
06-11-2009, 09:19 AM
I consider there to have been five "Grand Slam"-equivalent years:

*Bill Tilden, 1921
*Don Budge, 1938
*Ken Rosewall, 1963
*Rod Laver, 1967
*Rod Laver, 1969

These are the five years in which a player won (a) the major British tournament, (b) the major American tournament, and (c) the major clay-court tournament in continental Europe. Wilding in 1913 cannot compare because of the absence of a U.S. title, though H.L. Doherty should receive an honorable mention for his achievement of winning both Wimbledon and the U.S. Championships for the first time in 1903, when there was no "major" European clay-court event (just many smaller ones). Doherty was, at the time, the defending Olympic singles champion--having won in Paris in 1900--so this could perhaps count.

...And Laurie won Davis Cup in 1903 AND every indoor tourney (especially Queens for the third straight year -- he retired with this title in 1906 having won it six straight years) AND every clay-court tourney. He won every tourney he ever entered AND he won every match he played that year.

Laurie Doherty in 1903 won absolutely everything in blow-out style, the USO without set-loss, he did it all that year regardless of any continent, any surface, any opponent.

Hugh Lawrence Doherty performed, quite easily in 1903, the single most dominating season tennis ever seen -- before or since. He did the true Grand Slam.

Amd his competition -- his rivals, were great players and they were many: Gobert, Smith, Decugis, Larned, Wright, Clothier, Gore, Mahony, Ritchie, Riseley, Hillyard, Roper-Barrett and many, many more...

So the question is answered. Laurie Doherty 1903 had the most dominant season ever recorded -- by far...

Rod Laver's finest years look very pale in comparison...

Q&M son
06-11-2009, 09:31 AM
You have to consider the 1984 season when Jonny Mac went 82-3 even though he lost that match to Lendl at the FO that cost him the Grand Slam.

Crazy Mac didn't won the Aussie Open that year, so the FO lost don't cost him the GS :)

Q&M son
06-11-2009, 09:34 AM
Borg in 1978 has to be considered also. He won the French and Wimbledon plus he holds the possible record for the Open Era of percentage of Games Won with 66.18% which is even ahead of Johnny Mac in 1984.

Frank Sedgman in 1952 was 103-6 possibly as high as 112-6, winning 16 tournaments out of 22. He won the Wimbledon and U.S. Championship and so far in the Pre Open era holds the record for percentage of Games Won with 66.82.

Budge in 1938 was super but he did lose at least five times that year and I don't think he played that much because of all the boat travel he had that year. The Grand Slam obviously was superb but I don't know if he won that many tournaments that year.

Another dominant year would be Tony Trabert in 1955 when I believe he won 18 tournaments plus the French, Wimbledon and the U.S. Championship. He may have had only seven losses all year.

The latter three is hard to rate since they didn't play all the best players but they were dominant years and should be up for consideration.

For pure dominance, perhaps Sedgman's and Trabert's years rank ahead of Budge for the amateur era. It depends on your definition of dominance.

Rosewall in 1963 is to be considered because he won the Pro Grand Slam. I don't know if he won that many tournaments considering that he was touring against Rod Laver a good portion of the year.

I was about to say Budge 38 and Rosewall 63 too.

Q&M son
06-11-2009, 09:37 AM
...And Laurie won Davis Cup in 1903 AND every indoor tourney (especially Queens for the third straight year -- he retired with this title in 1906 having won it six straight years) AND every clay-court tourney. He won every tourney he ever entered AND he won every match he played that year.

Laurie Doherty in 1903 won absolutely everything in blow-out style, the USO without set-loss, he did it all that year regardless of any continent, any surface, any opponent.

Hugh Lawrence Doherty performed, quite easily in 1903, the single most dominating season tennis ever seen -- before or since. He did the true Grand Slam.

Amd his competition -- his rivals, were great players and they were many: Gobert, Smith, Decugis, Larned, Wright, Clothier, Gore, Mahony, Ritchie, Riseley, Hillyard, Roper-Barrett and many, many more...

So the question is answered. Laurie Doherty 1903 had the most dominant season ever recorded -- by far...

Rod Laver's finest years look very pale in comparison...

Just... amazing.

Q&M son
06-11-2009, 09:39 AM
And thank you Andrew, fine stats as usually.

Borgforever
06-11-2009, 09:45 AM
Yeah, it truly is astounding. I'm soon going to start posting my entire study of him and it was no silly era by any means. A. Wallis Myers contend that Larned from 1902 to about 1910 had almost the strength of Tilden -- about even in the groundies but Big Bill had a slightly sharper serve -- Larned won the USO seven times (!) during this era and could be argued was the true No. 1 in 1901 -- even ahead of Reggie Doherty.

Laurie won every match he played against Larned that year and took him apart in the USO final 6-0, 6-3, 10-8 out at the lovely (and according to Laurie "the world's finest grass courts in the world bar none") Newport Casino, RI...

Laurie was 28 years old and became a superstar, famous on every continent and reached a level here that's hard to measure, much less understand...

chaognosis
06-11-2009, 10:25 AM
...And Laurie won Davis Cup in 1903 AND every indoor tourney (especially Queens for the third straight year -- he retired with this title in 1906 having won it six straight years) AND every clay-court tourney. He won every tourney he ever entered AND he won every match he played that year.

The one significant clay-court tournament he did not win was the Monte Carlo Cup, which was won by his brother Reggie. (I assume Laurie skipped this event, because the Dohertys greatly disliked playing against one another in competitive matches; they would often grant each other walkovers rather than compete.) Laurie did win the South of France Championships at Nice, which was probably the most prestigious clay title at the time, though not at the level of, later, the World Hard (Clay) Court Championships or, much later, the French Championships.

pc1
06-11-2009, 10:35 AM
Yeah, it truly is astounding. I'm soon going to start posting my entire study of him and it was no silly era by any means. A. Wallis Myers contend that Larned from 1902 to about 1910 had almost the strength of Tilden -- about even in the groundies but Big Bill had a slightly sharper serve -- Larned won the USO seven times (!) during this era and could be argued was the true No. 1 in 1901 -- even ahead of Reggie Doherty.

Laurie won every match he played against Larned that year and took him apart in the USO final 6-0, 6-3, 10-8 out at the lovely (and according to Laurie "the world's finest grass courts in the world bar none") Newport Casino, RI...

Laurie was 28 years old and became a superstar, famous on every continent and reached a level here that's hard to measure, much less understand...

Looking forward to your info on the Dohertys in the future.

John123
06-11-2009, 11:43 AM
I consider there to have been five "Grand Slam"-equivalent years:

*Bill Tilden, 1921
*Don Budge, 1938
*Ken Rosewall, 1963
*Rod Laver, 1967
*Rod Laver, 1969

These are the five years in which a player won (a) the major British tournament, (b) the major American tournament, and (c) the major clay-court tournament in continental Europe.

A very thoughtful approach. (One amusing feature of it is that it would grant Federer a Grand Slam if he were to win Wimbledon and the US Open this year.)

But in my opinion, it's hard to equate the first four with Laver's 1969 GS. Rosewall '63 and Laver '67 needed to win only three matches to capture each of those pro titles, unlike the seven required for an Open Era major (I realize that even Laver '69 won only five matches at the Australian). This issue is perhaps best illustrated by Tilden '21, who fought through illness to win the lone match needed to defend Wimbledon but almost certainly couldn't have won seven under the circumstances.

Budge '38 didn't have to compete with Vines and Perry, and even though he may have been better than they were (judging by his results in '39), that doesn't mean he would have beaten them at all of the majors.

To be clear: there's no doubt whatsoever about the greatness of Tilden, Budge, Rosewall, and Laver, or about the impressiveness of their accomplishments in '21, '38, '63, and '67. Some of those accomplishments, like Budge's Australian Open and Tilden's Davis Cup, aren't even counted in the criteria. And it's true that Rosewall and Laver had to beat most of the top players to win the pro majors. But the mere fact that two different players won this slam in the mid-'60s contrasts starkly with the fact that no one has won it (British, American, and clay in Europe) in the 40 years since 1969. This testifies, I think, to the extreme difficulty of winning Open Era majors.

Borgforever
06-11-2009, 05:20 PM
The one significant clay-court tournament he did not win was the Monte Carlo Cup, which was won by his brother Reggie. (I assume Laurie skipped this event, because the Dohertys greatly disliked playing against one another in competitive matches; they would often grant each other walkovers rather than compete.) Laurie did win the South of France Championships at Nice, which was probably the most prestigious clay title at the time, though not at the level of, later, the World Hard (Clay) Court Championships or, much later, the French Championships.

Reggie and Laurie simply refused to play against each other -- like many brothers of the day -- The Baddeleys, The Riseleys, The Renshaws et al. Laurie gave Reggie free reign in Monte Carlo because Reggie wasn't completely off the chart yet (Reggie also won the Paris Championship against Decugis in straights not competing at Wimby).

Reggie loved the Riviera and the clear air was really perfect for Reggie's asthma. But Laurie, who at the time didn't suffer so badly from his asthma, was in 1903 the title holder and big champ and had given w.o. so many times in the late 1890s and early 1900s when Reggie was the title holder.

Most famous example was the USO 1902 when Laurie again gave w.o. to Reggie, who couldn't for health reasons keep it up against the best Americans. Laurie would've probably won USO 1902 if "the brotherly chivalry" wasn't the form of the day...

timnz
06-11-2009, 05:31 PM
I consider there to have been five "Grand Slam"-equivalent years:

*Bill Tilden, 1921
*Don Budge, 1938
*Ken Rosewall, 1963
*Rod Laver, 1967
*Rod Laver, 1969

These are the five years in which a player won (a) the major British tournament, (b) the major American tournament, and (c) the major clay-court tournament in continental Europe. Wilding in 1913 cannot compare because of the absence of a U.S. title, though H.L. Doherty should receive an honorable mention for his achievement of winning both Wimbledon and the U.S. Championships for the first time in 1903, when there was no "major" European clay-court event (just many smaller ones). Doherty was, at the time, the defending Olympic singles champion--having won in Paris in 1900--so this could perhaps count.


"(c) the major clay-court tournament in continental Europe. "

I thought the French Pro in those years was played on Indoor Wood.

1st Seed
06-11-2009, 05:49 PM
Jim Courier dominant during his time at number#1.Also we both have red hair.

pc1
06-11-2009, 06:35 PM
Reggie and Laurie simply refused to play against each other -- like many brothers of the day -- The Baddeleys, The Riseleys, The Renshaws et al. Laurie gave Reggie free reign in Monte Carlo because Reggie wasn't completely off the chart yet (Reggie also won the Paris Championship against Decugis in straights not competing at Wimby).

Reggie loved the Riviera and the clear air was really perfect for Reggie's asthma. But Laurie, who at the time didn't suffer so badly from his asthma, was in 1903 the title holder and big champ and had given w.o. so many times in the late 1890s and early 1900s when Reggie was the title holder.

Most famous example was the USO 1902 when Laurie again gave w.o. to Reggie, who couldn't for health reasons keep it up against the best Americans. Laurie would've probably won USO 1902 if "the brotherly chivalry" wasn't the form of the day...

Borgforever,

Do you have won-lost records for the Dohertys as well as tournament victories?

Borgforever
06-11-2009, 09:12 PM
Yes, at least the ones that are available but I know that from my list kindly posted here courtesy of Carlo (and Karoly) is incomplete. I've added results here and there and for every day new results emerge.

From THE FIELD it clearly states that Laurie played four indoor wood (covered court) championships a year from 1900-1904 (when he cut down his schedule for health reasons) and Queens in the late spring was the biggest. We only have his Queens indoor results. Many results from early rounds are lacking. Look at Nice and Monte Carlo and Cannes -- all had deep fields and tourneys with many players -- we only have the final scores.

THE FIELD states in several issues that Laurie was undefeated between his five-setter Hillyard-loss in R3 at Wimby 1901 and his five-set defeat by Ritchie in R3 in the fall edition of the Queens Covered Court Championship in October 1904 -- a streak of three years and three months...

THE FIELD states that Laurie only lost in the indoor tourneys against Ritchie on that single occasion in 1904 after he reached his peak around 1902 and onwards. So that means at least three additional indoor-tourney victories for "Little Do" in each individual year between 1901-03 than what exists in my record-list and two tourney-wins more for the year 1904.

Laurie only competed on the finest arenas and courts and Europe and elsewhere where littered with tourneys during the turn of the century.

I could write a book about these guys easily. They were astonishing. Underrated...

Borgforever
06-11-2009, 09:35 PM
Bill Larned is also underrated -- sharpshooter-serve (with infinite variety and disguise including the extra, heavy kick-serve -- or "American Twist" to use one of the contemporary definitions) and rock-solid, powerful groundies and great volley. His competitive skill, tactical and strategical acumen together with a fierce clutch-ability firmly establishes him as a great champion. He regularly dominated the other great S&V Americans during this time (and they were tough and they were many) and he beat Reggie Doherty several times -- his finest win over Reggie must count the exhibition match in Southampton, USA 1903 -- after he lost the final to Laurie in straight sets he crushed a very good Reggie 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 demonstrating what he could pull off against one of the greatest players of the era. And note that Reggie wasn't really sick or exhausted during that match.

Larned never beat Laurie though -- but he pushed him to five sets twice in the Davis Cup-finals. Tough customer...

Borgforever
06-11-2009, 10:24 PM
I'm sorry -- I can write miles about these guys back then because there's so much to tell. So many fascinating things happened. It's a largely forgotten and dismissed era -- all unfairly.

So I'll add this tid-bit now; in around 1902 Laurie surpassed his older brother's playing level something severe. Reggie was thought to be the finest player ever -- THE GOAT -- and he could play even better than he did in the late 1890s between 1902-1904 in patches here and there. That was evident -- if he wasn't bogged down in too many long, grueling tourneys he would outshine himself in skill and performance.

But then his brother really reached his full bloom and started to do everything just a step better than his brother. Laurie was not as tall as the huge Reggie, who moved exceptionally well with superb anticipation and timing but he was much slower than his younger brother -- who shared his anticipation and economical movement on top of his speed.

Laurie was 5 feet 10. Remember that guy Björn Borg? Heard of him? The guy that ripped 16 aces past one of the greatest serve-returners in history Jimmy Connors in Wimby SF of 1981? Well, Borg was/is 5 feet 11... It's all timing and technique...

Laurie hit every stroke harder and more precise than his brother from about 1902 and onwards, being faster and having an even greater strategical sense combined with his much better health meant that he could explode quicker in his development of his skills.

Laurie achieved that ghostly, movie-star aura from then on. Reggie, still keen to compete, served as excellent coach, travel and practice-partner to his brother accelerating Laurie's excellence in every area. They were supreme experts about everything in tennis. Their faces turning up in commercials, in newspaper-articles over the world, interviews, on their own special brand of racquets and they even published a classic, popular tennis book. It's Laurie who writes all the time in their book "R. F. and H. L. Doherty on Lawn Tennis" 1903 and it's a great book. He sometimes says things like "Well R. F. is actually slow on the court but he anticipates so well and moves with such economy... R. F. this or that..."

Laurie gushes about USA. He says that the gallery (the crowd/spectators) in America is as great as the best anywhere, equally applauding great shots from any player, no favoritism and the Americans were also the finest sportmen, always being gentlemen and applying a great sense of fair play. And the American grass-courts of the day was apparently sublime. A sharp contrast to the late 60s and early 70s sadly. I wonder what happened...

His only complaint about America was the lax attitude towards foot-faults. The American line-callers of the era didn't really bother with foot-faults which meant that when Clothier and the other great S&Vs could sometimes spin in their banana kick-serves or cannonball them while already having a foot on the inside court beaming themselves to the net much faster to volley than if the British standard of calling foot-faults was applied.

I had to buy it hadn't I? Typically me. Then I found it online with great images. Well, well, I do have a paper-copy which is cool.

Read it here. Great images (especially a fearsome one of the American Assassin Bill Larned) Enjoy:

http://www.archive.org/stream/rfhldohertyonlaw00dohe#page/n5/mode/2up

In their book Laurie is incredibly smart, wise and astute but also a lot of fun to read. "A great grass-court is nowadays almost as rare a sight as a dead donkey!" he writes at one stage and goes on in extreme -- but never boring -- detail in how you easily create a superb grass-court of own. Priceless...

On tactics he says consistency and unpredictability is key. He even goes so far as to urge people to hit rocket first serves on their second serves a lot in unexpected moments just to off-balance the opponent among many great tips on your way to (quoting him now) "becoming a great killer"...

pc1
06-12-2009, 03:49 AM
Borgforever,

Sounds fascinating. It's a pity these players are rarely talked of today. I wish we had some video of Laurie playing.

Back to topic.
While he was clearly NOT the best player in the world, Roy Emerson in 1964 had a very dominant season in the amateurs with, according to the Collins book, a 122-6 record, won the Australian, Wimbledon and the U.S. Championships and 19 tournaments in total.

hoodjem
06-12-2009, 05:44 AM
Interesting article on this topic:
http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/columns/story?columnist=drucker_joel&id=3737793

pc1
06-12-2009, 05:52 AM
Hoodjem,

A bit of an unusual list in my opinion. I know Wilander won three majors in 1988 but he really didn't win that many tournaments outside of the majors and yet it's ranked ahead of Connors in 1974 and McEnroe in 1984.

Borg should be there. Several of his years were far superior to Sampras in 1994 for example.

This begs the question how truly important is a major? Is it worth two US Claycourt titles? Is a French Open worth 11/2 Italian Opens? What is the definition of dominance in tennis?

We've had this type of discussion in other threads, like the one where Laver's great 1970 year was discussed. Laver was the dominant player but Rosewall or Newcombe were ranked number one.

Another dominant season was Nusslein in 1938 when he won both the French Pro and Wembley, two of the three Pro Majors. He did not enter the US Pro which Perry won. I counted just in McCauley's book six tournament victories for him that year. I read one source that said Nusslein may have been unbeaten that year but I believe he may have lost at least once.

That year was overshadowed by Budge's Grand Slam year. It's a pity Nusslein wasn't able to play the French Championships. He and von Cramm were two of the great clay court players and you wonder how Budge would have done against them.

hoodjem
06-12-2009, 05:53 AM
"I examined many of the top seasons produced in the Open Era and finally decided to review John McEnroe’s awesome 1984 tennis campaign as one of the major candidates to consider when searching for the finest single-season in tennis history. Why McEnroe in '84? What are some of the superficial reasons for this analysis? Well, many experts saw John McEnroe play that year and some thought his level of play may have been the highest in tennis history. Other reasons are obvious, his 82 and 3 won-lost record is the highest winning percentage in Open Era history. McEnroe was as close to unbeatable that season as any player I've personally seen."


Another interesting article:
http://www.tennisweek.com/features/fullstory.sps?inewsid=6629632

pc1
06-12-2009, 06:09 AM
"I examined many of the top seasons produced in the Open Era and finally decided to review John McEnroe’s awesome 1984 tennis campaign as one of the major candidates to consider when searching for the finest single-season in tennis history. Why McEnroe in '84? What are some of the superficial reasons for this analysis? Well, many experts saw John McEnroe play that year and some thought his level of play may have been the highest in tennis history. Other reasons are obvious, his 82 and 3 won-lost record is the highest winning percentage in Open Era history. McEnroe was as close to unbeatable that season as any player I've personally seen."


Another inresting article:
http://www.tennisweek.com/features/fullstory.sps?inewsid=6629632

It's hard to disagree. I saw McEnroe that year dismantle Lendl in the US Open final. He was awesome. In another article by the same author it states that McEnroe won 65.32% of his games that year, which is far beyond anything Federer has done. Federer's best as far as winning percentage of games was I believe 61.78. An this high level, a one percentage difference is very large and McEnroe in 84 was over 3 and one half percent higher than Federer's best year in this category.

One minor and amusing note. My wife, when watching McEnroe play in person has never seen him lose in singles and she has seen him play often. That year in 1984 we saw most of his matches at the US Open. Maybe if she was watching in person in 1985 at the US Open against Lendl, Mac would have won. lol.

AndrewD
06-12-2009, 07:09 AM
I consider there to have been five "Grand Slam"-equivalent years:

*Bill Tilden, 1921
*Don Budge, 1938
*Ken Rosewall, 1963
*Rod Laver, 1967
*Rod Laver, 1969

These are the five years in which a player won (a) the major British tournament, (b) the major American tournament, and (c) the major clay-court tournament in continental Europe. Wilding in 1913 cannot compare because of the absence of a U.S. title, though H.L. Doherty should receive an honorable mention for his achievement of winning both Wimbledon and the U.S. Championships for the first time in 1903, when there was no "major" European clay-court event (just many smaller ones). Doherty was, at the time, the defending Olympic singles champion--having won in Paris in 1900--so this could perhaps count.

I wouldn't credit Tilden with anything equalling a Grand Slam year. That isn't because I don't rate him as one of the absolute best of all time - I do - but because Tilden didn't play the Australian, even though he could have. It's one thing to substitute a tournament for one that wasn't open to everyone (the French) or make allowances for players who were banned from playing, but its something else altogether to give someone credit when there was nothing impeding their ability to play. Otherwise you're saying that the Grand Slam only consists of three tournaments, something we know isn't the case.

Two questions:
1) Budge's 38 year and Laver's 69 year, were ACTUAL Grand Slams so why do you call them 'equivalent' ('equivalent' to what - themselves?) .
2) Trabert in 55 won Wimbledon, the French and the US Open. That equates to (a) the major British tournament, (b) the major American tournament, and (c) the major clay-court tournament in continental Europe. So, why don't you call that a grand slam equivalent (not that it is but....) ?

ClarkC
06-12-2009, 09:18 AM
I consider there to have been five "Grand Slam"-equivalent years:

*Bill Tilden, 1921
*Don Budge, 1938
*Ken Rosewall, 1963
*Rod Laver, 1967
*Rod Laver, 1969

These are the five years in which a player won (a) the major British tournament, (b) the major American tournament, and (c) the major clay-court tournament in continental Europe.

Why not Rod Laver in 1962?

It would seem that there are then six years on your list, with three of them belonging to one man.

John123
06-12-2009, 09:50 AM
I wouldn't credit Tilden with anything equalling a Grand Slam year. That isn't because I don't rate him as one of the absolute best of all time - I do - but because Tilden didn't play the Australian, even though he could have. It's one thing to substitute a tournament for one that wasn't open to everyone (the French) or make allowances for players who were banned from playing, but its something else altogether to give someone credit when there was nothing impeding their ability to play. Otherwise you're saying that the Grand Slam only consists of three tournaments, something we know isn't the case.

I think there's a distinction to be drawn between (i) the technical Grand Slam, won once by Budge and twice by Laver, and (ii) a year of accomplishment that is so impressive as to equate roughly with our open-era conception of the Grand Slam. Failing to go to Australia deprived Tilden of the first (to the extent that the technical Slam even existed in 1921, which it really didn't) but not the second. It's hard to fault him for choosing not to take a massive boat trip to a tournament where he wouldn't have even faced the top competition.

Two questions:
1) Budge's 38 year and Laver's 69 year, were ACTUAL Grand Slams so why do you call them 'equivalent' ('equivalent' to what - themselves?) .
2) Trabert in 55 won Wimbledon, the French and the US Open. That equates to (a) the major British tournament, (b) the major American tournament, and (c) the major clay-court tournament in continental Europe. So, why don't you call that a grand slam equivalent (not that it is but....) ?

By "equivalent," Chaog probably means that those five seasons amount to a similar level of achievement to what we now think of as the Grand Slam, i.e., the best player in the world wins the biggest tournaments on both clay and fast surfaces. Laver '69 was obviously an actual Slam in the sense used now (open era), but Budge '38 was not necessarily one because he didn't have to defeat any of the pro players to win it (Vines, Perry, Nusslein, etc.).

Trabert '55 -- like Laver '62 but unlike Budge '38 -- was beaten badly when he turned pro the year after his great amateur success. That's why Chaog is crediting Budge's season but not the other two as Slam equivalents.

John123
06-12-2009, 09:55 AM
Why not Rod Laver in 1962?

Because Laver got beaten badly by Rosewall upon turning pro in 1963, indicating that he wasn't the best in the world when he won the amateur slam in 1962. Again, there's a distinction between the technical slam (winning the Australian, French, US, and Wimbledon in a calendar year) and what we now take the slam to mean (winning those tournaments in one year against open competition).

pc1
06-12-2009, 11:31 AM
Because Laver got beaten badly by Rosewall upon turning pro in 1963, indicating that he wasn't the best in the world when he won the amateur slam in 1962. Again, there's a distinction between the technical slam (winning the Australian, French, US, and Wimbledon in a calendar year) and what we now take the slam to mean (winning those tournaments in one year against open competition).

That's why I was a bit puzzled about what the thread starter wanted. Trabert in 1955 was great in the amateurs but was crushed by Gonzalez 74 to 27. Still Trabert had a dominant year against his competition.

Now if we defined it as great years against top competition can we truly include Budge's 1938 season which didn't have Vines, Perry, Nusslein, von Cramm, even Bill Tilden. After all Budge defeated Vines by only 21 to 18 on tour and I see no reason why on grass that Vines wouldn't be almost a co-favorite on grass tournaments. Nusslein, Perry and von Cramm can be argued to be the best clay court players also as well as excellent on all surfaces.

Laver in 67 and 69 played against the best competition so perhaps we can include it as dominant campaigns.

McEnroe's 1984 season is great because of his winning percentage and his level of play as was a number of Borg's seasons. It's very possible that McEnroe was one set from a potential Slam (the last set in the French final) since the odds were very high that if he entered the Australian he would have won it.

Rosewall's 1963 season was fantastic and I think can be included as a dominant season, perhaps even more so than Budge's 1938 season because of the level of competition. Rosewall's opponents were Laver, Hoad, Trabert, Gimeno, Anderson, Olmedo among others in the majors, some of them he played more than once. Just beating any of these legends once is tough enough, beating all of them is incredible. I don't think anyone Budge played in the majors in 1938 were of that level.

hoodjem
06-12-2009, 11:39 AM
We've had this type of discussion in other threads, like the one where Laver's great 1970 year was discussed. Laver was the dominant player but Rosewall or Newcombe were ranked number one.
Yes, I have become convinced that Laver was the true world no. 1 in 1970. In that year he had a better winning record than Rosewall, and a much better record than Newcombe.

Also, I believe an excellent case can be made that Laver was, at least, a co-world no. 1 in 1971.

Please see this thread:
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=256012

John123
06-12-2009, 11:51 AM
Laver in 67 and 69 played against the best competition so perhaps we can include it as dominant campaigns.

[. . .]

Rosewall's 1963 season was fantastic and I think can be included as a dominant season

As I wrote above, Rosewall '63 and Laver '67 had great and dominant seasons, but I don't think we should equate their "majors" (Wembley, French Pro, US Pro, and in 1967 the Wimbledon Pro) with open era majors. It's a lot harder to win seven matches than three, which explains why two different men swept the pro majors in the mid-'60s whereas no one has swept the open majors in the last 40 years.

pc1
06-12-2009, 12:23 PM
As I wrote above, Rosewall '63 and Laver '67 had great and dominant seasons, but I don't think we should equate their "majors" (Wembley, French Pro, US Pro, and in 1967 the Wimbledon Pro) with open era majors. It's a lot harder to win seven matches than three, which explains why two different men swept the pro majors in the mid-'60s whereas no one has swept the open majors in the last 40 years.

Good point but the Pro Majors were played against the toughest of competition and these two players (Rosewall and Laver) weren't your typical great player. They were unique. Laver won the Open Slam just two years after his Pro Slam and I wouldn't have been surprised if Rosewall was able to do that in the early to mid 1960's if Open tennis was around then.

My point was, in looking at the competition, the players Rosewall faced were a who's who of tennis. Just a subjective look at the names and you are awed. The competition seems far greater than that which Budge face. The best Budge faced seemed to be Bromwich, Quist and Austin. Excellent names but not Hoad, Laver, etc.

John123
06-12-2009, 12:26 PM
Borgforever,

Do you have won-lost records for the Dohertys as well as tournament victories?

This was the key question, and it remains unanswered. If Laurie Doherty's match record in 1903 was something like 11-0 (and I have no idea whether it was; I'm just throwing out a number as an example), then I'm not sure I'd call that the most dominant year ever. I think that Tilden was undefeated in 1924, playing far more matches -- although he didn't play Wimbledon or a major international clay court event.

Is it more dominant to win a small number of matches with no losses, or to win a large number of matches with a few losses? More dominant to be 11-0 (or 15-0, or 20-0, or whatever) or 82-3? Or is it more dominant to be 106-16 while winning all four open majors, as Laver did in 1969?

I think I'd give the nod to Laver '69. After that I'd bunch together the others being discussed (chronologically): Doherty '03, Tilden '21, Budge '38, Rosewall '63, Laver '67, McEnroe '04, and Federer '06. The order to list those in depends on how much relative value is placed on each of the different criteria: (i) sweeping the most significant tournaments, including a major clay-court event, (ii) losing very few matches, (iii) winning many matches.

The only one who fulfilled all three criteria is Tilden '21, but I'd still pick Laver '69 because of the value I place on open-era majors.

urban
06-12-2009, 12:31 PM
Certainly the pro major had not the big draws of the amateur majors. On the other hand, Laver and Rosewall proved over and over again, that they won every kind of tournaments, regardless big draws or 16 man draws. During the 60s, Laver was in the final of all 35 majors (amateur, pro, open) he played, bar three.

John123
06-12-2009, 12:52 PM
Good point but the Pro Majors were played against the toughest of competition and these two players (Rosewall and Laver) weren't your typical great player. They were unique.

I acknowledged earlier in this thread that "there's no doubt whatsoever about the greatness of . . . Rosewall and Laver, or about the impressiveness of their accomplishments in . . . '63 and '67. . . . And it's true that Rosewall and Laver had to beat most of the top players to win the pro majors."

However, neither Rosewall '63 nor Laver '67 had to contend with the best amateurs -- unlike the open era players, who must contend with everyone. Rosewall and Laver were better than those amateurs, but it was still easier for them not to have to play the best ones. For example, Emerson upset Laver in the first round of Wembley 1968 but wasn't playing the pro events in 1967 because he was still an amateur. He would have been a formidable opponent in 1967, most of all on clay.

Pc1 wrote that "these two players (Rosewall and Laver) weren't your typical great player. They were unique." I am very skeptical of this claim. Which is more likely: (a) by incredible coincidence, the two best players of all time (both of whom are "unique" in their superiority over everyone else ever) played at exactly the same time in the mid-1960s; or (b) it was easier to sweep the professional majors of the 1960s than the open majors, due to the fact that the latter required seven wins rather than three and involved all the best players rather than just the pros?

"B" seems a lot more likely to me.

John123
06-12-2009, 12:58 PM
Certainly the pro major had not the big draws of the amateur majors. On the other hand, Laver and Rosewall proved over and over again, that they won every kind of tournaments, regardless big draws or 16 man draws. During the 60s, Laver was in the final of all 35 majors (amateur, pro, open) he played, bar three.

No one doubts Laver's greatness, but it's a misleading statistic because so few of those 35 were open majors. The amateur majors didn't contain the pros, and the pro majors didn't contain the amateurs and had very small fields.

The fact that Laver won only one Open Era major outside of 1969 testifies to the difficulty of winning those tournaments. It also testifies to the enormity of Laver's achievement in winning the Grand Slam in 1969.

Borgforever
06-12-2009, 12:59 PM
Laurie won at least 10 tourneys in 1903 with a record something like 45-0. In THE FIELD Myers' writes that Laurie won well over 40 matches straight that particular year.

And the draws back then wasn't ballooned like they became in the 1910s -- when spectators complained and wanted to go back to the way it was in the early 1900s with a draw around 50-70 people at Wimby instead of 128.

In the 1920s the complaints started again that the early rounds in 128 draw was lacking quality. In the 1900s you had hardcore, elite matches already in the early rounds making the tourney much more dynamic. But the complaints died down when people started to like the idea of the fortnight tourney. More matches with their favorite players -- what's not to like?

Then people said -- to heck with quality -- give me 10 rounds with Tilden, 15 if you can... I don't care if he plays my broomstick and so forth...

John123
06-12-2009, 01:04 PM
Laurie won at least 10 tourneys in 1903 with a record something like 45-0.

Thanks for the information. I stand corrected!

pc1
06-12-2009, 01:06 PM
However, neither Rosewall '63 nor Laver '67 had to contend with the best amateurs -- unlike the open era players, who must contend with everyone. Rosewall and Laver were better than those amateurs, but it was still easier for them not to have to play the best ones. For example, Emerson upset Laver in the first round of Wembley 1968 but wasn't playing the pro events in 1967 because he was still an amateur. He would have been a formidable opponent in 1967, most of all on clay.

Pc1 wrote that "these two players (Rosewall and Laver) weren't your typical great player. They were unique." I am very skeptical of this claim. Which is more likely: (a) by incredible coincidence, the two best players of all time (both of whom are "unique" in their superiority over everyone else ever) played at exactly the same time in the mid-1960s; or (b) it was easier to sweep the professional majors of the 1960s than the open majors, due to the fact that the latter required seven wins rather than three and involved all the best players rather than just the pros?

"B" seems a lot more likely to me.

I must respectfully disagree with you. Rosewall won the first Open Tournament and the first Open Major, the French in 1968, both over Laver. Laver won Wimbledon and Ashe won the US Open in 1968 before Laver swept all the majors in 1969. At that point Rosewall and Laver were both past their primes yet still great players. Rosewall won the US Open in 1970 and the Australian Open later at an age equivalent to a normal person being 70 years old. Muscles reached the finals of Wimbledon and the US Open in a year which he would turn 40.

A Rosewall in the early to just past the mid 1960's was a very dominant player. In 1963, the year of his Pro Grand Slam, Rosewall was 29 and perhaps at or near the peak of his greatness. Yes, Emerson may have been able to upset either one but frankly it's doubtful. Emerson's record against Laver was quite poor after Open Tennis started and while he defeated Rosewall several times, it's hard for me to imagine Emerson defeating a Rosewall at his best in a major. At the French Open I don't think Emerson would have a chance and I believe Rosewall would be an overwhelming favorite on grass against Emerson. In the mid-1960's I would venture to say that Gimeno would be favored over Emerson under most conditions.

pc1
06-12-2009, 01:08 PM
Laurie won at least 10 tourneys in 1903 with a record something like 45-0. In THE FIELD Myers' writes that Laurie won well over 40 matches straight that particular year.

And the draws back then wasn't ballooned like they became in the 1910s -- when spectators complained and wanted to go back to the way it was in the early 1900s with a draw around 50-70 people at Wimby instead of 128.

In the 1920s the complaints started again that the early rounds in 128 draw was lacking quality. In the 1900s you had hardcore, elite matches already in the early rounds making the tourney much more dynamic. But the complaints died down when people started to like the idea of the fortnight tourney. More matches with their favorite players -- what's not to like?

Then people said -- to heck with quality -- give me 10 rounds with Tilden, 15 if you can... I don't care if he plays my broomstick and so forth...

Great information my friend.

Borgforever
06-12-2009, 02:16 PM
It has been quite some job to gather this info I've collected as of now and I am ready post -- probably tomorrow. No use in collecting more -- I can add as I go along instead. I've boiled it down to a manageable length so it's sharp and clear and (hopefully) somewhat entertaining.

But there are blank areas which I am going to little by little try to fill in. The info is out there. The Doherty's have relatives (I think -- I hope).

But I must give an example of the incredible depth and strength in the tourneys even back in the mid 1890s at Wimby:

Harold Mahony (1867-1905) was a tall, muscular, blonde-haired giant with piercing blue eyes, movie-star looks and a handlebar mustache and he was 29 years old (he was usually a top 5/top 10 player -- even going so high as top three sometimes) when he won Wimby in 1896 in one of the toughest and longest finals (and according to witnessess -- one of the best matches ever) when he defeated Wilfred Baddeley, who made his 6th straight Wimby final (and his last retiring at the end of 1897 at only 25 years of age). The 1896-final ended 6-2, 6-8, 5-7, 8-6, 6-3 only beaten by Drobny's epic final against Kenny in 1954 for amount of games.

These are the names that the giant Irishman Mahony had to bury on his road to ultimate victory:

R1 Reggie Doherty 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 3-6, 6-2
R2 William Castle 6-1, 11-9, 6-4
QF Frank Riseley 7-5, 5-7, 7-5, 6-3
SF Harold Nisbet 6-4, 2-6, 8-6, 4-6, 6-3
F Wilberforce Eaves 6-2, 6-2, 11-9
CR Wilfred Baddeley 6-2, 6-8, 5-7, 8-6, 6-3

Absolute top 5, top 10 players in every round. And that's not one of the most severe runs.

I will mention later some serious hornet's nests...

Borgforever
06-12-2009, 04:09 PM
Am I alone in my interest in this era?

Maybe only pc1, Carlo, CyBorg, Sgt John, krosero, Urban, Hoodjem, Rabbit, Moose and I are interested in this. Oh well, but it would be cool if some more people would respect and show interest in what's happened in tennis the day before yesterday also...

I'm actually at a party (which is boring) so I sit here and post stuff instead and rant...

Sorry I think I'm slightly drunk maybe and they holler after me...

I'm sorry...

krosero
06-12-2009, 04:21 PM
Am I alone in my interest in this era?

Maybe only pc1, Carlo, CyBorg, Sgt John, krosero, Urban, Hoodjem, Rabbit, Moose and I are interested in this. Oh well, but it would be cool if some more people would respect and show interest in what's happened in tennis the day before yesterday also...

I'm actually at a party (which is boring) so I sit here and post stuff instead and rant...

Sorry I think I'm slightly drunk maybe and they holler after me...

I'm sorry...Don't be sorry, it's an entertaining post. I wish I was at a party.

Sorry to say, I am one of those trolls who thinks that tennis began with Tilden. Can't help it, was raised to think that way. Will change attitude with help.

Dean
06-12-2009, 04:42 PM
The fact that Laver won only one Open Era major outside of 1969 testifies to the difficulty of winning those tournaments. It also testifies to the enormity of Laver's achievement in winning the Grand Slam in 1969.

...and the fact that after 1969 he only played 6 or maybe 7 more slams for rest of his career. Form the end of 1962 to 1975 Laver only had one full year of grand slam events played. It was 1969 and he won them all.

pc1
06-12-2009, 06:46 PM
Am I alone in my interest in this era?

Maybe only pc1, Carlo, CyBorg, Sgt John, krosero, Urban, Hoodjem, Rabbit, Moose and I are interested in this. Oh well, but it would be cool if some more people would respect and show interest in what's happened in tennis the day before yesterday also...

I'm actually at a party (which is boring) so I sit here and post stuff instead and rant...

Sorry I think I'm slightly drunk maybe and they holler after me...

I'm sorry...

No, you're not alone. I'm terrified to write that one of my ideas for an enjoyable evening is studying and analyzing tennis history and numbers for hours. This is no joke.

Incidentally one of the evenings I suffered the most was at an 80th birthday party for someone at a restaurant in New York several years ago. Anyway I was seated at a table with a person who thought Donald Young was the new Tilden, Laver, Rosewall except better in the future. I pretended I didn't really know much about tennis and ask him about tennis. He explained everything about tennis to me and the rest of my family for the rest of the night. He told me Kuerten was a great LEFT handed hard court player among other things.

The best statement he made that I couldn't believe was that he claimed his son defeated Bobby Riggs grandson once. Oh joy. :confused:

Don't be sorry, it's an entertaining post. I wish I was at a party.

Sorry to say, I am one of those trolls who thinks that tennis began with Tilden. Can't help it, was raised to think that way. Will change attitude with help.

That's okay, everyone likes you anyway.:)

In all honesty Krosero a lot of us have read tennis books and it seems that many of them indicate that tennis did start with Tilden.

krosero
06-12-2009, 07:12 PM
No, you're not alone. I'm terrified to write that one of my ideas for an enjoyable evening is studying and analyzing tennis history and numbers for hours. This is no joke.We're all tennis nerds. We should be proud of it!

TennisFan481
06-12-2009, 09:48 PM
I'll stack Federer's 2006 season up against any open era season. 92-5 (90-1 vs. players not named Rafael Nadal), 3 GS titles, runner up at the FO, 12 titles, and the most impressive of all--16 finals out of 17 tournaments entered.

Dropped only one set at Wimbledon (a tie break 3rd set to Nadal in the final).

urban
06-13-2009, 12:06 AM
Regarding the discussion about pro majors and majors. One certainly cannot identify them one on one. They had different draws, and there were in almost all years (except 1967 when i reckon the Wim pro a major) only three, not four occasions to win one. Also the scheduling matter is important. There was no standardized schedule in tennis, and this reaches until 1983-1990, when the ATP was created. Only then the schedule of top players centred around the 4 majors. Even Borg played essentially a 3 way majors schedule, with the AO out of contention in those days. Lendl was the first Nr. 1 of the open era, who constantly played all 4 majors since 86.
In the older 'Kramer' days the pros played almost every week over 120 singles matches (plus ca. 80 doubles) in a year, in ca. 50 different cities and venues. The promoters and the money let them no choice. Now players can make a welcoming rest, if "exhausted", so save themselves for the majors. But on the other hand, it wasn't so easy to win a pro major, because you had no easy matches. A great player like Hoad never won a single one (except the 1959 Forest Hills event, which was a more unofficial major). Very good amateurs like Cooper, Stolle, Ralston, McGregor never reached a final resp. even a semifinal at the pro majors. When one looks at the Wembley pro and US pro, the most important events over the years, only Gonzales in 1956, Rosewall in 1963 and Laver in 1964,66 and 67 won them both in the same year.

hoodjem
06-13-2009, 09:34 AM
Am I alone in my interest in this era?

Maybe only pc1, Carlo, CyBorg, Sgt John, krosero, Urban, Hoodjem, Rabbit, Moose and I are interested in this. Oh well, but it would be cool if some more people would respect and show interest in what's happened in tennis the day before yesterday also...



I'm rather interested in the Dohertys. I didn't know much abou them--having only read the names in record books a few times.

Keep the info coming!

hoodjem
06-13-2009, 09:37 AM
I'll stack Federer's 2006 season up against any open era season. 92-5 (90-1 vs. players not named Rafael Nadal), 3 GS titles, runner up at the FO, 12 titles, and the most impressive of all--16 finals out of 17 tournaments entered.

Dropped only one set at Wimbledon (a tie break 3rd set to Nadal in the final).
You go right ahead: stack it up there. We'll watch. Just don't fall off the ladder. You're pretty high up there.

pmerk34
06-13-2009, 01:10 PM
You go right ahead: stack it up there. We'll watch. Just don't fall off the ladder. You're pretty high up there.

He'll be ok. Fed was brilliant that year.

Carlo Giovanni Colussi
06-15-2009, 05:05 AM
Don't be sorry, it's an entertaining post. I wish I was at a party.

Sorry to say, I am one of those trolls who thinks that tennis began with Tilden. Can't help it, was raised to think that way. Will change attitude with help.

I also used to think that tennis began with Tilden but when once I noticed that a pretty old Brookes in December 1920 at 43 years old, when he was more than past his prime, was able to extend Tilden, then the new #1, to 4 tight sets in Davis Cup, I began to change my mind.
In the mid-1920's George Whiteside Hillyard considered that Brookes at his best, had a serve even superior to Tilden's.
Wilding was the precursor of the modern athlet.
Johnston was a top player before WWI, during WWI and after WWI.

pc1
06-15-2009, 05:34 AM
I also used to think that tennis began with Tilden but when once I noticed that a pretty old Brookes in December 1920 at 43 years old, when he was more than past his prime, was able to extend Tilden, then the new #1, to 4 tight sets in Davis Cup, I began to change my mind.
In the mid-1920's George Whiteside Hillyard considered that Brookes at his best, had a serve even superior to Tilden's.
Wilding was the precursor of the modern athlet.
Johnston was a top player before WWI, during WWI and after WWI.

A lot of us felt that tennis began with Tilden. I think it's mainly because of all the books proclaiming Tilden as the best ever (possibly true) and dismissing anything before that.

I saw an expert (don't remember who) listing the top left handers in tennis history a number of years ago and this expert listed Brookes as number two, just behind Laver and ahead of Connors. I don't remember if the list had McEnroe. It may have been just before McEnroe came into prominence.

I wasn't that familiar with Brookes at the time and after a little research I was of course impressed with his record.

Of course if you want to joke a bit, you can argue Ken Rosewall is the greatest left hander in tennis history even though he plays the game right handed.

Carlo Giovanni Colussi
06-15-2009, 06:41 AM
No, you're not alone. I'm terrified to write that one of my ideas for an enjoyable evening is studying and analyzing tennis history and numbers for hours. This is no joke.
...

I'm terrified too because I'm taking the same drug as you.:)

pc1
06-15-2009, 06:58 AM
I'm terrified too because I'm taking the same drug as you.:)

It's the tennis disease. It's incurable I'm afraid.:oops:

Tennis Dunce
06-15-2009, 10:25 AM
Mac in '84

And if not for that sqwauking headset that stiff had at courtside, he'd have a calendar Slam.

pmerk34
06-15-2009, 02:11 PM
Mac in '84

And if not for that sqwauking headset that stiff had at courtside, he'd have a calendar Slam.

Mac was devastating in 1984.

John123
06-15-2009, 07:45 PM
after 1969 [Laver] only played 6 or maybe 7 more slams for rest of his career.

And never made it past the quarterfinals of any of them.

John123
06-15-2009, 10:41 PM
it wasn't so easy to win a pro major. . . . When one looks at the Wembley pro and US pro, the most important events over the years, only Gonzales in 1956, Rosewall in 1963 and Laver in 1964,66 and 67 won them both in the same year.

So, in a 12-year span this feat was accomplished 5 times, by 3 different players.


In the older 'Kramer' days the pros played almost every week over 120 singles matches (plus ca. 80 doubles) in a year, in ca. 50 different cities and venues. The promoters and the money let them no choice. Now players can make a welcoming rest, if "exhausted", so save themselves for the majors.

The schedule was the same for each player back then, just as it's the same for each player now. Someone isn't disadvantaged by having to play and travel a lot if his opponents have to do the same. Similarly, if players of today benefit from a welcome rest, then they must also suffer by confronting opponents who've had such a rest themselves.

The event schedule of the pro years is cited to explain decreased quality of play ("of course Laver lost all those matches; he was exhausted by the schedule") and increased quality of play ("it forged Laver into the greatest champion of all time") -- whichever is convenient for arguing that those pros were better than the players of other eras.

I'm awed by Rod Laver's achievements and by how he comports himself to this day. Maybe he's the greatest. But players from earlier eras (like Tilden) and from later ones (like Federer) are plausible candidates as well. Discussions about GOAT should be open-minded inquiries, not advocacy for a player (or an era) of whom one is a fan. When someone uniformly argues in favor of one player or one era and against the GOAT credentials of everybody else, he undermines his own credibility.

DMan
06-15-2009, 11:32 PM
Borg in 1978 has to be considered also. He won the French and Wimbledon plus he holds the possible record for the Open Era of percentage of Games Won with 66.18% which is even ahead of Johnny Mac in 1984.

Frank Sedgman in 1952 was 103-6 possibly as high as 112-6, winning 16 tournaments out of 22. He won the Wimbledon and U.S. Championship and so far in the Pre Open era holds the record for percentage of Games Won with 66.82.

Budge in 1938 was super but he did lose at least five times that year and I don't think he played that much because of all the boat travel he had that year. The Grand Slam obviously was superb but I don't know if he won that many tournaments that year.

Another dominant year would be Tony Trabert in 1955 when I believe he won 18 tournaments plus the French, Wimbledon and the U.S. Championship. He may have had only seven losses all year.

The latter three is hard to rate since they didn't play all the best players but they were dominant years and should be up for consideration.

For pure dominance, perhaps Sedgman's and Trabert's years rank ahead of Budge for the amateur era. It depends on your definition of dominance.

Rosewall in 1963 is to be considered because he won the Pro Grand Slam. I don't know if he won that many tournaments considering that he was touring against Rod Laver a good portion of the year.

Percentage of games won over the course of a year is a nice, little statistic. But means precious little.

Tennis is a sport where you have to win the best 2 of 3 sets, or best 3 of 5 sets. You could win every match 7-6,0-6,7-6, and actually lose more points and games than your opponent. But if you win every match, then you are UNDEFEATED. And I'd take the undefeated stat over the best percentage of games won.

In general, the best players will win the highest percentage of games. But whether Borg had the best Open era percentage of games won vs McEnroe or Federer should by no means by any determining factor in anything. I guess if you want to debate "dominance" it might mean something. Still, would you rather win matches and tournaments, or just the most # of games?

pc1
06-16-2009, 05:35 AM
Percentage of games won over the course of a year is a nice, little statistic. But means precious little.

Tennis is a sport where you have to win the best 2 of 3 sets, or best 3 of 5 sets. You could win every match 7-6,0-6,7-6, and actually lose more points and games than your opponent. But if you win every match, then you are UNDEFEATED. And I'd take the undefeated stat over the best percentage of games won.

In general, the best players will win the highest percentage of games. But whether Borg had the best Open era percentage of games won vs McEnroe or Federer should by no means by any determining factor in anything. I guess if you want to debate "dominance" it might mean something. Still, would you rather win matches and tournaments, or just the most # of games?

The general point is that if you are undefeated you should have a high percentage of games won.

You missed the point. Of course an undefeated record with a lower percentage of games won is better than a 95% winning percentage and a higher percentage of games won generally speaking. However percentage of games won, assuming a balanced schedule of surfaces (and this is the case with most of the greats) and comparable level of opponents will be a better indication of the actual strength of a player more than his or her won-lost record.

Is it a coincidence that most of those with an over 61% Games Won will win over 90% of their matches? Sampras in 1994 and Laver in 1969 had about the same games won percentage and they both won the same percentage of matches. In the long run it's a better indicator of won-lost percentage and strength.

I am not saying it is the end all. However if you had two players playing equal opponents in the same tournament and one wins each match 7-5 7-5 and the other wins each match 6-1 6-1, well just from this info who would you probably go with when they play each other?

It's not the end all but everything being equal the player who has the higher games won percentage is probably the better player. I put that in as another example of dominence.

Laver's year in 1969 can be argued to be better than Mac's in 1984 but at the same time, Mac won at a higher percentage and had a much higher GW percentage. Mac dominated his opponents more than Rod.

urban
06-16-2009, 06:00 AM
Yes, we should indeed make some insightful researches. Raymond Lee did an analysis, in which he relied on overall tournament wins in a year AND on percentages of won-lost matches. I think this is quite fair. By the way. Going by ATP and ITF stats, Laver has an 79,8% resp. 80% win loss record in open era alone, when he was 30-40. Andrew Tas has the best numbers for the overall career. I don't have them at the moment, but from my memory it was something like ca. 1500 matches with 300 losses.

I don't get the argument with the Wembley-US pro doubles, that by its frequency it should have been easier than winning doubles in open majors. In ca. 25 years of pro tennis after WWII it was done 5 times by 3 players, in the first 30 years of the open era the Wim-USO double was done quite often, i think 8 times by 5 different players. I never said, that pro majors and majors were the same, but i remain on the standpoint, the the level of competition on the old pro tour was very high, and that these events weren't easy to win.

julesb
06-16-2009, 06:01 AM
If McEnroe had won that French Open final he should have won, and gone on to win the Australian at years end his 1984 would easily be the most dominant year in history.

egn
06-16-2009, 06:05 AM
If McEnroe had won that French Open final he should have won, and gone on to win the Australian at years end his 1984 would easily be the most dominant year in history.

Thats two big ifs thats like Fed or Borg fans saying well if they had won that slam they lost and completed the calendar year slam it would be the most dominant year in history.

julesb
06-16-2009, 06:10 AM
Thats two big ifs thats like Fed or Borg fans saying well if they had won that slam they lost and completed the calendar year slam it would be the most dominant year in history.

Federer could win all 200 matches in one year and it would never be the most dominant year in history because of the competitive level and because his mediocrity at playing tennis is obvious just watching him. Borg never had a year losing only 2 or 3 matches like McEnroe in 84 so his case still wouldnt be nearly as strong, and there isnt a U.S Open final he had in the bag virtually like Mcenroe the 84 French.

pmerk34
06-16-2009, 06:27 AM
If McEnroe had won that French Open final he should have won, and gone on to win the Australian at years end his 1984 would easily be the most dominant year in history.

I don't think he needed the the Aussie. If he would have won the French and led the US to Davis Cup victory I don't think there would be much doubt.

John123
06-16-2009, 02:50 PM
Yes, we should indeed make some insightful researches.

The most important thing is to analyze the data in an open-minded way, rather than focusing only on the things that cut in favor of one specific player.


Raymond Lee did an analysis, in which he relied on overall tournament wins in a year AND on percentages of won-lost matches. I think this is quite fair.

Can we be honest, Urban? You like Lee’s article not because it’s objective and fair — which it is, for the most part — but rather because it concludes that Rod Laver was the best player of all time. Other objective and fair analyses have reached different conclusions, and you’ve argued against those analyses. For example, Wuornos’s computer rankings, based solely on match results, rank Federer #1.

I feel indebted to Lee, Wuornos, and others for their great efforts. But they haven’t come close to resolving the GOAT debate. Wuornos’s rankings seem skewed in favor of recent players, and Lee’s rankings have problems of their own.

First, Lee equates pro majors (and, at least in some cases, even amateur majors!) with open-era majors — something you yourself do not endorse (“I never said, that pro majors and majors were the same”). Second, Lee subjectively decides which eras he thinks were best and alters the results accordingly: he makes a timeline adjustment that privileges the 1960s relative to the 1920s, but not the 2000s relative to the 1960s. This helps Laver come out ahead of those before him and after him. Maybe this assessment makes sense and maybe it doesn’t, but what’s the point of a “statistical analysis” if the results ultimately get altered to accord with the author’s subjective judgment? Third, Lee names Bjorn Borg the second-greatest player ever -- a conclusion that very few people, probably including you, would agree with. If he's wrong about #2, then why trust him to be right about #1? A specific problem is that Lee overvalues career winning percentages (overall and in majors), so Borg is rewarded for retiring early. Lee also overvalues career tournament titles, privileging players from eras when tournaments were shorter and more plentiful. There are other big problems with Lee’s analysis as well, but I think I’ve written too much about it already.

Elsewhere in these forums, you’ve argued against using formulas and in favor of a “hermeneutical approach.” Unsurprisingly, that was in the context of disputing a formula that failed to rank Laver #1.


I don't get the argument with the Wembley-US pro doubles, that by its frequency it should have been easier than winning doubles in open majors. In ca. 25 years of pro tennis after WWII it was done 5 times by 3 players, in the first 30 years of the open era the Wim-USO double was done quite often, i think 8 times by 5 different players.

Wembley and the U.S. Pro were held in the same year only 17 times after WWII. In some of those 17 years, the double wasn’t even attempted. For example, in 1950 the best two players in the world, Kramer and Segura, both skipped Wembley. In the 12 consecutive years when both tournaments were held — 1956-1967 — the double was achieved 5 times by 3 different players.

(It’s probably also worth mentioning that even in 1966, when Laver had to beat Rosewall in the Wembley final, Laver’s draw before the final was so weak — Barthes and Davies — that the tournament was nearly canceled the next year due to insufficient depth. To my knowledge, no one in the open era has ever talked about canceling Wimbledon or the U.S. Open.)


I never said, that pro majors and majors were the same, but i remain on the standpoint, the the level of competition on the old pro tour was very high, and that these events weren't easy to win.

I agree.


Going by ATP and ITF stats, Laver has an 79,8% resp. 80% win loss record in open era alone, when he was 30-40. Andrew Tas has the best numbers for the overall career. I don't have them at the moment, but from my memory it was something like ca. 1500 matches with 300 losses.

First of all, no one is disputing that Laver was great, and the statistics you cite are among the many that reveal his greatness.

But career winning percentages are not too important in my opinion because they assign heavy weight to a player’s non-peak performance. Let’s say that someone has a horrible losing record from age 17-22, then wins five straight calendar grand slams (20 majors) from age 23-27, then returns to a horrible losing record from age 28-38. I’d call that player the GOAT even if his career winning percentage were very low.

When people cite Laver’s losses as a negative, they’re referring to the fact that he lost a lot in his peak years. His greatest two years were probably 1967 when his record was 94-26, and 1969 when his record was 106-16. By contrast, Federer’s records in 2004-2006 were 74-6, 81-4, and 92-5. And I believe that Tilden went undefeated in 1924, among his other spectacular winning percentages.

I am not arguing that Federer and Tilden are better than Laver. I attribute Laver’s losses primarily to the fact that he had few easy matches: he played the same guys, the best guys, over and over again.

I’m simply saying that the facts cut in different directions. A major point in favor of Laver is that he won the open-era slam, which no one else has ever done. A point against him is that his other signature accomplishments were not as meaningful. The 1962 amateur slam occurred when he wasn’t the world’s best player, and it was also achieved by Budge in 1938 and very nearly by Hoad in 1956. Trabert won 3 out of 4 in 1955, as did Emerson in 1964. By contrast, no one but Federer in the past twenty years has won 3 out of 4 calendar majors, and Federer has done it three different times. Laver’s 1967 pro slam also doesn’t set him apart, because the same feat was accomplished four years earlier by Rosewall. And Laver’s match records in his prime, though explainable, are not pluses.

Tilden, Federer, and all of the others have their own points in favor and against. Tilden lost no major matches for six years (1920-1925), winning six straight Davis Cups and six straight U.S. Championships as well as the only two Wimbledons and the only World [Clay] Court Championship he played during that time. His longevity was also awesome. But he lost 3 out of 4 matches to Johnston in 1922, almost never competed in his prime against the top Europeans on clay, and played in an early era when dominance was achieved by others as well (e.g., Doherty’s undefeated years and Larned’s five straight U.S. Championships). Federer has shattered records with his 20 straight major semis, 14 out of 15 major finals, 11 major wins in four years, and 237 consecutive weeks at #1. But he was never the world’s best player on clay during his dominant run from 2004-2007, unlike Tilden and Laver in their primes.

Urban, I appreciate your enormous knowledge and the respectful tone in which you write. But in GOAT discussions I’ve never seen you refer to anything that would cut against Laver or in favor of someone else. Instead of looking for the truth whatever it might be, you’re just arguing on behalf of your favorite player.

pc1
06-16-2009, 03:05 PM
John123,

I'm pretty familiar with the Lee article you discuss and if you examine the tables (the link is currently not working) you'll realize that he also has the lifetime tables also. I believe the purpose of both the five year peak period categories and the lifetime categories is that as a player's winning percentage may go down due to age, the cumulative accomplishments will go up.

The peak periods show the players strength at his peak and by doing this it doesn't hurt a player when he or she inevitably reaches the decline period.

Urban is very objective so I don't think he likes the study because of the result. Borg clearly was a very dominant player in his day. You are assuming the result of second by Borg is inaccurate but winning percentage, percentage of majors won and peak period are very important in evaluating the greatness of a player.

Remember Borg also won 100 tournaments in a short period of time. In the Lee study the number was smaller but still it showed a very high amount of tournaments won in a short period.

Federer for example has a very high peak period. If he, by some miracle loses every match for the rest of his career and somehow ends up with a sub 50% winning percentage, by the Lee study standards, he still is a great player. It locks the peak period in stone.

Federer may be reaching a decline period now by he may very well accumulation more tournament victories and the cumulative categories may rise while the percentage categories may go down. They offset each other.

Borg was not helped by his early retirement. If he continued the cumulative categories would probably have gone up while the percentage lifetime categories would have lowered.

John123
06-16-2009, 03:19 PM
My opinion about the Lee article is unchanged, primarily for the reasons I gave before.

Urban is very objective

He deserves praise for his good qualities. Objectivity isn't one of them.

pc1
06-16-2009, 03:29 PM
He deserves praise for his good qualities. Objectivity isn't one of them.

I disagree.

Second, Lee subjectively decides which eras he thinks were best and alters the results accordingly: he makes a timeline adjustment that privileges the 1960s relative to the 1920s, but not the 2000s relative to the 1960s. This helps Laver come out ahead of those before him and after him.



Incidentally the Lee study did adjust the 1960's relative to the 2000's.

And the 1980's and 1990's relative to the 2000's and every decade previous. So Federer and Sampras got the highest timeline adjustments.

It was not subjective at all. Every player was treated equally.


First, Lee equates pro majors (and, at least in some cases, even amateur majors!) with open-era majors — something you yourself do not endorse (“I never said, that pro majors and majors were the same”).


If I read the numbers and the article correctly I believe the Open Era Slam were given more weight than the Pro Slam and the Amateur. They clearly weren't weighted equally in the Lee article.

John123,

I find your posts very interesting and you're very knowledgeable about tennis but I do disagree with you on this issue. No method is perfect and Lee's is not of course but he clearly does cover the issues that you write he doesn't cover. Examine the article and the table again and you'll see.

Keep up the great info.

Here's some interesting articles by Ray Bowers on the subject also.

Very interesting reads.

http://www.tennisserver.com/lines/lines_09_03_30.html

http://www.tennisserver.com/lines/lines_00_12_23.html

Federer's cat
06-16-2009, 04:34 PM
Federer's 2008 year because he had cancer and lol.

urban
06-16-2009, 09:30 PM
I like those efforts by Raymond Lee, Bowers and others, because they show historical perspective and point to the problems of calculating. I do not completly agree with those analyses in all points, of course. And yes, going by philosophical concepts, there is no one objective truth.

But In recent tennis writing and broadcasting there is a real hype around the goat question. And most people don't know nothing about the contextual problems. Therefore i do like people like Steve Flink, who wrote a fine book about great matches and still calls Sampras the best he saw, i like Chris Clarey, because he has a analytical mind. I like Bud Collins, because he has deep love and inside knowledge of the game. People like Robert Geist (who prefers Rosewall), Andrew Tas, Carlo (also a Rosewall fan by the way) and Jeffrey (and a bit myself)here or elsewhere on the net have provided people with better information about the forgotten pro era. You wouldn't even know about percentages and wins or losses before 1968, if not for their fine work.

John123
06-16-2009, 11:45 PM
People like Robert Geist (who prefers Rosewall), Andrew Tas, Carlo (also a Rosewall fan by the way) and Jeffrey (and a bit myself)here or elsewhere on the net have provided people with better information about the forgotten pro era. You wouldn't even know about percentages and wins or losses before 1968, if not for their fine work.

I couldn't agree more. Fans of tennis history, including me, are indebted to them and to you.


But In recent tennis writing and broadcasting there is a real hype around the goat question. And most people don't know nothing about the contextual problems.

Once again, I couldn’t agree more. Much of the mainstream commentary on these questions is appalling.

But why does that justify playing the role of an advocate, in a discussion that needs even-handedness? The best way to educate those who know nothing is to acknowledge and give due credit to all of the relevant information, rather than emphasizing only the facts that favor one player or one era.

John123
06-17-2009, 12:05 AM
Thanks, pc1, for the good-natured comments. We can certainly agree to disagree.

Only a complete accounting of Lee's methodolgy would resolve this conclusively, and that's unavailable without his statistical table and maybe even with it. And as Urban points out, it doesn't really matter anyway because none of us views Lee's article as resolving the GOAT question.

Borgforever
06-17-2009, 02:37 AM
Hey John123 -- I think your writing is top-notch as well as your thoughts and points on this matter and I do think you touch on things that are very important.

I wish I could see Raymond Lee's table as well -- but I must say it's one of the finest articles of it's kind ever IHMO and I don't think Mr. Lee intended to really solve the GOAT-issue but more specifically shed some more light on the context concerning the various angles one can take approching the debate and a conclusion. At least that's how I understood it.

Urban might be biased (probably -- I think I am) but I don't think he jumps to conclusions just because it suits his already formed opinion (at least not frequently or alarmingly). I find Urban very non-biased and open to debate -- like pc1 and you as well -- as it should be...

Anyway I think your comments John123 are very worthy of further debate...

Idzznew
06-17-2009, 03:14 AM
No youre absolutely not alone in this. Count me in. Look at my site
www.tennisarchives.com and you will know what I mean. And speaking of that, I could need some help getting it more complete!

I have lots of Ayre yearbooks to us and I am curious which sources you use and maybe are willing to share.

Am I alone in my interest in this era?

Maybe only pc1, Carlo, CyBorg, Sgt John, krosero, Urban, Hoodjem, Rabbit, Moose and I are interested in this. Oh well, but it would be cool if some more people would respect and show interest in what's happened in tennis the day before yesterday also...

I'm actually at a party (which is boring) so I sit here and post stuff instead and rant...

Sorry I think I'm slightly drunk maybe and they holler after me...

I'm sorry...

John123
06-17-2009, 10:55 AM
Thanks so much, Borgforever! Very nice of you to say.

jamesblakefan#1
06-17-2009, 03:43 PM
Federer could win all 200 matches in one year and it would never be the most dominant year in history because of the competitive level and because his mediocrity at playing tennis is obvious just watching him. Borg never had a year losing only 2 or 3 matches like McEnroe in 84 so his case still wouldnt be nearly as strong, and there isnt a U.S Open final he had in the bag virtually like Mcenroe the 84 French.

What a dope this julesb character is. I'm sorry, but this is just plain dumb.

Steve132
06-17-2009, 09:35 PM
What a dope this julesb character is. I'm sorry, but this is just plain dumb.


Seconded. I'm wondering whether it may not be better to ignore such obvious trolls.

Carlo Giovanni Colussi
09-08-2009, 04:52 AM
...Lendl was the first Nr. 1 of the open era, who constantly played all 4 majors since 86 ... When one looks at the Wembley pro and US pro, the most important events over the years, only Gonzales in 1956, Rosewall in 1963 and Laver in 1964,66 and 67 won them both in the same year.

Hello urban,
for Lendl it was even true in 85 (no Australian in 86). But when Lendl was young (before being #1) he even skipped the Australian in 81-82 and Wimby in 82.
About the double Wembley-US Pro after WWII
there was no Wembley tournament in 1946-47-48, 54-55
and moreover the US Pro was a depleted event for 10 years in a row : 1953-1962.
Slightly weak from 1954 to 1959 and 1961 with all the top "not touring" pros missing every year,
very weak in 1953 and 1960, 1962 with most of the top pros missing.

Carlo Giovanni Colussi
09-08-2009, 05:02 AM
If McEnroe had won that French Open final he should have won, and gone on to win the Australian at years end his 1984 would easily be the most dominant year in history.

Mac didn't play the Australian that year because he was suspended 3 weeks after his horrible behaviour at the Stockholm Open against Järryd.
In his book McEnroe recognized that he should have been defaulted many times (before the Australian 1990) so it was simply fairness that he was forbidden to play the Australian Open 1984.
In 83 and 85 he entered the Australian so I think that there's a good probability he would have come to Australia in 84 hadn't he been suspended but the fact is that he was excluded.

Carlo Giovanni Colussi
09-08-2009, 05:13 AM
... People like Robert Geist (who prefers Rosewall), Andrew Tas, Carlo (also a Rosewall fan by the way) and Jeffrey (and a bit myself)here or elsewhere on the net have provided people with better information about the forgotten pro era. You wouldn't even know about percentages and wins or losses before 1968, if not for their fine work.

Thanks urban