About Vilas motivation and his game in hard surfaces after 1977.

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Vegito, Oct 1, 2010.

  1. Vegito

    Vegito Professional

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    I wonder if the controversial ATP ranking of 1977 may have affected emotionally to Guillermo, and his motivation to keep training hard and trying to adapt to the hard surfaces, and simply his confidence in general in all the rest of his career. What do you think about that?

    Was the ATP rankings very important at that time? Or it was more important the World Tennis magazine rankings? His performance in 1978 was not so good, but maybe he just relaxed and I'm paranoid.

    I found this statement of Guillermo in 1977:
    "I knew it would be like this, I'm South American, I come from a part of the world that matters little to the great owners of tennis. But I know I'm the best, I proved it in the court, and no one takes me that"

    I know hard surfaces was not Vilas favorites courts, but he had had enough good results to date. He could have done it better at the U.S. Open and the Masters between 1978 and 1981? I do not know if he could have won, but maybe reach larger instances in those tournaments. Some examples:

    1974: Champion in Canada(hard)
    1975: Runner up in San Francisco(Indoor/Carpet) and semifinalist in the Masters.
    1976: Champion in Sao Paulo(Outdoor/Carpet), Canada(hard), semifinal in the Masters.Runner up in Dallas WCT(Indoor/Carpet)and Sao PauloWCC(Indoor/Carpet), the both losing to Borg in very good matches.
    1977: Champion in Springfield(Indoor/Carpet), Virginia Beach(Outdoor/Hard) and Johannesburg WCT(Outdoor/Hard) Runner up in Palm Spring(Outdoor/Hard) and Baltimore(Indoor/Carpet) Semifinalist in the Masters when he beat Connors in the Round Robin.

    He played better on clay, but he was not doing badly in those years on hard surfaces. What do you think? Or maybe the surface of the US Open was different? I did not experience the time, but I am a fan. I wonder it also because also he said that "to try to win on this surface he would have to vary so much in his style, which was not worth trying"

    Do you think if ATP had been recognized as number one he would have more motivation to try to defend his title in the US Open, and in all his career? Maybe I'm just imagining things? What do you think?

    Thanks for reading! I am a hug Vilas fan.
     
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  2. Vegito

    Vegito Professional

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    He won in Basel 1978, he looks happy in this pic with the trophy:

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    from an article on the '78 USO

     
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  4. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Vilas in those days from 1974 seemed to almost have a regular television show in the United States because he was on every week for the Summer Circuit. So Vilas was very popular here in the United States and I enjoyed his play also in those days.

    I don't think if they acknowledged Vilas as number one for 1977 that he would have gained motivation. Vilas seemed to me to be very self motivated anyone.

    I think his game, while excellent didn't have the penetrating power of some players like a Connors, Borg or Lendl so he wasn't as good on hard courts as these players.

    I thought when Vilas won the Masters at the end of 1974 that it was possible that we could have another great superstar player. He beat players like Borg, Newcombe, Nastase and Ramirez on grass. You have three excellent grass court players that he beat. Newcombe may have been the best grass court player in the world at that time. I'm not sure if that performance by Vilas didn't even surpassed his great US Open victory in 1977.

    Vilas turned out to be a great great star but he didn't quite reach legendary status in my mind.
     
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  5. jean pierre

    jean pierre Semi-Pro

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    Vilas was great on clay and great on grass (won Masters and Australian Open). And he was very good on hard courts (beated McEnroe in Basel 1978).
    ATP Ranking 1977 is a scandal. I think that today, Vilas is affected by that, and ATP should recognize the mistake and publy an official declaration saying that Vilas was n°1. See the facebook group : Vilas fue numero uno in 1977
     
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  6. Don't Let It Bounce

    Don't Let It Bounce Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, it seems clear that he deserved that #1 ranking in 1977. And it wasn't the last time he'd get the short end of the stick, either. He was made an arbitrary example of a few years later when the ATP (I guess) suspended him for a year for accepting the same appearance fees as all the other top players. (I'm all for enforcing the rules, but they ought to apply to everyone.)
     
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  7. jean pierre

    jean pierre Semi-Pro

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    Right. Another scandal from the ATP.
     
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  8. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    To my recollection, Vilas was a very strange and depressed character who was known to write poetry and, in particular, write about suicide. I don't recall if this was before or after 77', but, I think it was before.
     
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  9. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    In his prime, Vilas was a bigger hitter than Connors or Borg, but, not quite as big as Lendl.
     
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  10. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    That verdict for the appearance money, where Vilas was fined $20,000 and suspended for 1 year by the Men's International Professional Tennis Council, was passed in June 1983. Vilas continued to play in tournaments though, so it looks like the 1 year thing was lifted.
     
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  11. Vegito

    Vegito Professional

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    About suicide? Wow, I didn´t know that.
     
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  12. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I don't know if he was writing about himself, but, I do vaguely recall that there was some speculation about that by commentators.
     
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  13. Don't Let It Bounce

    Don't Let It Bounce Hall of Fame

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    A Vilas observation from the guy who taught me most of what I know about coaching: he used to get beat up by Vilas on the tour (this was way before 1977), and he said the scariest thing about playing him was that, after you'd hit your approach and come to net, Vilas would look up and stare right at you before whipping that tree trunk left arm through a passing shot. There was no way to out-guess Vilas – because he wasn't guessing!
     
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  14. Vegito

    Vegito Professional

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    Vilas in Basel 1978:

    Basel, Switzerland; 24.10.1978; GP; Indoor: Hard; Draw: 32

    Round Opponent Ranking Score
    R32 Ivan Dupasquier (SUI) N/A W 6-1, 6-2
    R16 Louk Sanders (NED) N/A W 6-2, 3-6, 6-3
    Q Rolf Gehring (GER) N/A W 6-2, 6-7, 7-6
    S Wojtek Fibak (POL) N/A W 6-3, 6-0
    W John McEnroe (USA) N/A W 6-3, 5-7, 7-5, 6-4

    [​IMG]
     
    #14
  15. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    1982: on very fast supreme court, beat an excellent Connors ( the year Jimmy won 2 slams) in 2 indoor finals week after week: Milan and Rotterdam.Vilas played very good indoor tennis indeed (WCT Finalist, 3 times Masters SF), lacked a winning shot to be there with Connors,Borg or Mac.
     
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