View Full Version : Post-match hugging

06-23-2009, 10:31 AM
This may sound like an odd question

Who were the first players to hug each other after an important match?

I don't think I've ever seen it done between top players in the 80s, not even after the most difficult of matches.

Moose Malloy
06-23-2009, 12:22 PM
My guess: Becker-Edberg '90 W.

Now it seems the norm. Guess players today are more touchy feely.

Think Nastase put his arm around Borg's shoulder after the '76 W Final(not quite a hug)

06-23-2009, 12:55 PM
Yes, Becker and Stefan were good friends and, as Boris has told me personally, that it was easy to lose to him and tough to win.

Borg looks extremely apologetic towards Ilie after the 1976-final. When they meet up at the net you see The Ice Man melting rapidly into a facial expression resembling deep regrets -- like "I'm sorry, forgive me" and Ilie just hugging Björn with a smile. Remember this was during a time Björn wouldn't hesitate to execute his parents out on the court (!). Ilie and Björn were friends outside the court and Ilie helped Björn in many ways (including feeling sorry for Borg being steamrolled in front of his home-crowd in the Commercial Union Masters (YEC Masters) 1975 to such a degree Nastase stayed in Stockholm practicing with Björn before the DC-final).

It reminded me of Newk's great comments after his Wimby win in five mercurial sets against Rosewall in 1970. Newk was strangely apologetic, like a "goose -- and a goose goes into the oven!" (yes, I remember the quote courtesy of you Moose :-)) quote from SI:

"When Rosewall rallied to win the fourth set, older newsmen in the press section, those who have seen every Wimbledon since Borotra and Lacoste were having at it, began warming to one of the epic stories. But John Newcombe wouldn't allow it. "It's not that I was unsympathetic," he said later. "But let's face it, I wanted to win, too." Then he turned to Rosewall, who was sitting beside him. "You're going to Bristol next week, aren't you? Good. You can win that."'


06-23-2009, 12:57 PM
We need to intellectually hug Pancho Gonzalez now I think -- so read 'em and weep:


06-23-2009, 01:24 PM
Many priceless bits about Pancho in the above-linked SI-article -- among others this around the time Gonzalez beats world No. 1 Laver:

"Later, lighting up a scrounged cigarette in the locker room, Gonzales said, "I wouldn't say that the match format is made just for me, but it is in favor of someone like myself because I'm older. I have six, seven or eight days of preparation. I've won enough five-set matches in the past few years to give me confidence."(!!!)