Anderson on Gonzalez

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by urban, Sep 5, 2009.

  1. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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  2. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Excellent article Urban. Thanks.
     
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  3. gzhpcu

    gzhpcu Professional

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  4. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    "He is often forgotten now, but had the lofty lords of tennis opened the best tournaments to pros long before 1968, Richard Alonzo Gonzalez would be in the conversation with Roger Federer, Rod Laver, Don Budge, Bill Tilden and several others when the best players are discussed."

    Absolutely yes.
     
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  5. gzhpcu

    gzhpcu Professional

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  6. Q&M son

    Q&M son Professional

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    Nice article urban.
     
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  7. Wondertoy

    Wondertoy Professional

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    Kramer rates Gonzalez a better player than Sampras or Laver. Ashe called Gonzalez the only idol he ever had. Segura, Olmedo and Ralston say Gonzalez was the best player in history. Connors said once that if he needed someone to play for his life, he'd pick Gonzalez. Pasarell agrees: "He was the toughest competitor who ever played. He just fought and fought and fought until he died."

    In 1969 at the age of 42 he rolled through the cream of the tennis crop at the Howard Hughes Open in Vegas, swatting aside John Newcombe, Rosewall, Stan Smith and Ashe. Then, in January 1970, at Madison Square Garden, Gonzalez beat Laver—the No. 1 player in the world, four months removed from winning his second Grand Slam—in five sets. A few months later, in 102� heat in Vegas, he beat Laver again.

    The following year the 43-year-old Gonzalez beat a 19-year-old Connors from the baseline in the Pacific Southwest Open. "Nobody remembers," Olmedo says of that match.

    Wow.
     
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  8. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Ashe wrote in his book "Off the Court" I never saw Gonzalez when he was twenty or twenty-one. But I played against him when he was thirty-seven and still battling Rod Laver, so I have a fairly good feel of his game. He, Laver, and Bjorn Borg would have to rank as the best of all time.

    The Kramer remark about Gonzalez is I believe rather self serving of Kramer. Kramer hints throughout his book that he (Kramer) is superior to Gonzalez so if he writes Gonzalez is superior to Laver, he is therefore superior to Laver also. Gonzalez may very well be superior to Laver but Kramer's remarks and the reasons behind it can be questioned at times.
     
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  9. Borgforever

    Borgforever Hall of Fame

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    Of course I think you make a very good point pc1 -- but I have to add that during his TV-commentaries Jack Kramer was very gracious -- even when it came to Pancho Gonzalez.

    In the Borg-Wimby-1976-YT-clips I will include some serious praise that Jack heaped on Pancho, as regards to Pancho's unfathomable clutch-fighting-skills of working himself out of a jam. It comes during a change-over when Borg as yet again managed to extricate himself out of trouble, being break-points down to Nastase -- I am paraphrasing now, being almost exact but not quite I think:

    "Borg here surprising everyone again by pulling himself out of trouble. It's a quality that comes to very few people. Gonzalez was the greatest that I ever saw (when it came to this quality)..."
     
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  10. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Kramer said that many times about Gonzalez. He was very gracious about Gonzalez on the air.

    Here's the amusing thing about that comment, just a few years ago, I think it was in Deuce or Ace Magazine, they interviewed Kramer and asked him about that comment and would he have picked Gonzalez over himself at 5-5 in the fifth (it was a situation along those lines anyway) Bear in mind that over the years he always said that at 5-5 in the fifth set, there was no one in tennis history he would have picked over Pancho Gonzalez. He said something like "Of course I would pick myself." So I guess Kramer's comment about Gonzalez in the fifth set included everyone but himself.

    Incidentally Fred Perry thought Borg was the greatest he ever saw at getting himself out of tough situations.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2009
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  11. Dean

    Dean Rookie

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    Kramer was a *****. Fancy calling the only man since 1938 to win the Grand Slam(and twice for that matter) a second tier player.
     
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