'78 U S Open early rounds best of 3 sets

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by muddlehead, May 3, 2013.

  1. muddlehead

    muddlehead Rookie

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    From the didn't know that file. Reading a book in which it is stated the 1978 U S Open was the first to be held at the new Flushing Meadow site ( built at a cost of $10 mill, by the way). Because of the heat, and the new hard court surface, author wrote the early rounds were reduced to best of three. Hmm. Checked wiki. Concurred. Checked Sports Illustrated vault for the U S Open issue - with victorious Connors on the cover - mentioned the three set matches only in passing. Anyone have any more details?
     
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  2. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    The following open era majors had best of 3 sets matches:

    1973 Australian Open: R64 matches
    1973 French Open: R128 and R64 matches
    1974 Australian Open: R64 matches
    1974 French Open: R128 and R64 matches
    1975 French Open: R128 and R64 matches
    1975 US Open: R128, R64 and R32 matches
    1976 US Open: R128, R64 and R32 matches
    1977 US Open: R128, R64, R32 and R16 matches
    1978 US Open: R128, R64 and R32 matches
     
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  3. Tshooter

    Tshooter Hall of Fame

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    "Because of the heat, and the new hard court surface, author wrote the early rounds were reduced to best of three."

    Not reduced. Maintained -- maybe.

    I remember a lot about that first crazy USO (suffice to say on this post, they were just working it all out...) but I can't remember if the early rounds were STILL 2 out of 3. As in, they didn't reduce them, they had been 2 out of 3 at Forest Hills.

    As I write this I'm looking at my copy of the official USTA program for 1977 (the final and BIZZARE year at Forest Hills) which has in it the complete draw/results from 1976 and it shows (which is consistent with my memory of FH) that it was 2 out of 3 through the third round (fixed error thanks to Mustard).

    It gets even better for the women. 32 of the women received a bye in the first round. The odd thing though is the byes did not go exclusively to the 16 seeded women players. For example, Betty Stove the 16th seed played Julie Anthony in round 1 (Stove lost in straights). Navratilova the 3rd seed had to play Janet Newberry in round 1 (Navratilova was upset in three sets). On a (very) quick and probably somewhat off count about 20 unseeded women received byes. The byes were distributed at the very top and very bottom of the draw.

    Aside, they did a Junior roundup article in the program and it featured such future stars as Lucia Romanov of Romania, Robert Van't Hoff of the USA and Ray Kelly of Australia. Oh, and three others names Yannick Noah, Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe (who made it to the main draw semis of W that summer but was still, I guess, a Junior) though JMac played his first main draw USO. I saw him upset Dibbs.

    PS, maybe someone else that went back then can confirm my recollection that, at least during the final years at Forest Hills, that the tournament was only 13 days and started on a Tuesday ? What day did it start in 1978 at Flushing Meadows ?
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2013
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  4. Tshooter

    Tshooter Hall of Fame

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    I'm looking at the Official 1977 USO Program as I write this (with the 1976 results in it). In 1976 men played best of three through the 4th round as well.
     
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  5. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Not at the 1976 US Open.

    Round of 16 results at the 1976 US Open
    Jimmy Connors def. Vitas Gerulaitis (6-4, 6-3, 6-1)
    Jan Kodes def. Frew McMillan (7-6, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6)
    Guillermo Vilas def. Teimuraz Kakulia (7-5, 6-4, 6-0)
    Eddie Dibbs def. Colin Dowdeswell (6-2, 6-4, 6-2)
    Ilie Nastase def. Roscoe Tanner (7-5, 6-7, 1-6, 7-6, 6-4)
    Dick Stockton def. Jairo Velasco Sr. (6-3, 7-5, 6-4)
    Manuel Orantes def. Stan Smith (3-6, 1-6, 6-2, 7-6, 6-1)
    Bjorn Borg def. Brian Gottfried (6-7, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2)
     
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  6. Tshooter

    Tshooter Hall of Fame

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    My apologies. I was reading it wrong. I was looking under the 4th round column. But that (duh !) shows the results of the 3rd round. You are correct sir.

    Tshooter <----- started the weekend a bit early.
     
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  7. Tshooter

    Tshooter Hall of Fame

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    I'm looking over the program. What a great year 1977 USO was. The NYT did a nice article about it a few months back.
     
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  8. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    A great final, in particular. Vilas and Connors hadn't dropped a set en route. Vilas was already on a long unbeaten streak over the previous 2 months, and it had longer to go.
     
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  9. Tshooter

    Tshooter Hall of Fame

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    Mustard, as you know your stuff. Here's a quiz for you. They advertise in that program the "WCT-Shakey's Tournamant of Champions" at Madison Sq Garden to be played not long after the USO was ended that year. 16 players started (I guess it was played over time). 2 players left playing in the finals for $60,000. Best of five sets.

    If you can tell me the two players that were left, I'll fall off my seat.

    Hints:

    One of them played with a 2HB (rare back then) and one of them had one of the sweetest backhands of all time.
     
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  10. muddlehead

    muddlehead Rookie

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    So, then, why did some majors have best of three in the early rounds between '73 and '78?
     
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  11. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    according to this it was Solomon & Rosewall. and was held at Lakeway, Texas.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WCT_Tournament_of_Champions
     
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  12. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Good question.
     
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  13. Tshooter

    Tshooter Hall of Fame

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  14. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    again another big comeback from Orantes...the king of coming back
     
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  15. muddlehead

    muddlehead Rookie

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    wtf. weird. Peter Bodo's 1995 book "The Courts of Babylon" make it seem like a first time thing. page 373. "The first sign the USTA was going to manage the US Open any way it saw fit appeared in 1978 when a desire to cut to the car chase in early round matches led the USTA to adopt the best of three format."
     
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  16. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    and old Kodes making it to the qaurters again...
     
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  17. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    It was 1975-1978 at the US Open. Bodo must have got the year wrong. It also wasn't just tried at the US Open. Out of the 4 majors, only Wimbledon didn't try it at all.
     
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  18. Tshooter

    Tshooter Hall of Fame

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    I bumped into Bodo at last years USO in the media dining room during a rain delay and we got to talking, coincidentally in light of this thread, about the 1977 USO. I was telling him some stories from it. Maybe he was more focused on the food than the conversation but I seem to recall him clearly saying he didn't attend it and didn't until years after (though he may have covered it).

    Not that he had to be there, obviously, to write the history but wherever he got his facts they were not first hand. I guess he made a mistake or didn't check his facts; a man ahead of his time because the internet requires no facts, right.
     
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  19. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    According to my sources, USO was a 12 day event in '77(8/31 to 9/11) and before.
    It was 13 days in '78.
    Looks like '87 was the first USO to go 14 days.
    And that Wimbledon was a 13 day event until '82.


    Yeah Sutter has the final as occuring on 9/17/77 in NY. Maybe earlier rounds were in Texas.
     
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  20. Tshooter

    Tshooter Hall of Fame

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    Not sure who/what Sutter is but I'm sticking with the actual advertisement -- the final occurred on Fri, Sept 16, 1977, an 8pm start time at MSG.

    On the length of the tourney, I can't speak to W but I'm pretty confident you are correct about the USO. In fact it answers something that didn't make sense to me.

    I always remember the tournament starting on a Tuesday (but couldn't tell you what year this changed and assume your date is correct) but I also remember 1977 pretty well. In particular, in 1977 they put Borg and Connors the top two seeds on field courts for their first round matches. (They have never put either top seeded male on a field court since. In 2011 The Woz who was seeded #1 played her QF match on a small field court because the play was backed up and her scheduled court, Stadium 2/Armstrong, had a water leak. She followed Roddick on the same field court who had requested a field court rather than a delay. That was the only time Roddick played on a field court since the Juniors).

    Back to 1977. I remember watching Connors on a field court for this first round match, I remember the guy he played but I also remember it happened on a Thursday. Which I couldn't really reconcile until you wrote "USO was a 12 day event in '77." That would explain it. It must have started that year on a Wednesday so Thursday was the second half of the men's first round.

    Now can you tell me what year they started dragging the men's first round out over three days ?

    Also, for your trivia pleasure. Can you explain why the heck they put the two most popular players in the tournament on field courts (same general start time though so you had to pick one) ? This one anyone attending that day would know.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2013
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  21. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    which were the results of the 75 Open in the fourth round?
     
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