Best Ever Season Without Winning a Major

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Doug_Hartley_2012, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. Doug_Hartley_2012

    Doug_Hartley_2012 Rookie

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    Talking about who was really number 1 in 1970 got me thinking about players who had superb seasons WITHOUT actually nailing a Major. Laver in 1970 for example. Playing great everywhere EXCEPT the Majors.

    And what about Tony Roche in 1969. With Laver at his open peak, Roche seemed to most likely to nail him wherever. Both lefties AND had Laver not won the Grand Slam that year, just how close was Roche himself to winning the Grand Slam? Of course, we know he finished empty-handed. But look at this....AO semifinalist, lost to LAVER 5-7 20-22 11-9 6-1 3-6. How close was that to ending Laver's Slam before it even started?

    French Open semifinalist, lost to defending champion ROSEWALL 5-7 2-6 2-6. Wimbledon finalist, lost to LAVER 3-6 4-6 2-6. And lastly, in the US Open he defeated Newcombe in the semis in 5s to make the final, losing to LAVER 9-7 1-6 3-6 2-6.

    So, semi semi final final, last man standing against Laver in 3 of the 4 Majors and he walked away with.....nothing. Well, he did get the world number 2 ranking but no silverware. So obviously the successor to Laver, injury crippled him literally in the early 70s and only a miracle cure got him back on caught and challenging for Majors in 1975 in his 30th year. OK, your suggestions for greatest season WITHOUT Major silverware.
     
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  2. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Lendl 1982

    I think it is clearly lendls 1982. He won 18 tournaments (plus 6 other finals). He won the two biggest tournaments outside the grand slams - the wct finals and the masters. He had dominant win loss records over his two main rivals - connors and mcenroe. It was a more impressive year than lavers 1970
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2012
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  3. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

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    Lendl 1982 was just scary good and to think he didnt win a major that year. Didnt he beat pretty much everyone at some point during the year?

    For the women I would say Clijsters 2003
    2 major finals amd 2 SFs
    9 titles
    90 match wins (most on the wta since 1982)
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2012
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  4. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Mac in 85 also had a good year...Lendl´s 82 is the best ever for non slam winners.

    In 69 Roche didn´t meet Laver at Wimbledon, because his doubles teammate Newcombe, defeated him in 5 sets in the semifinals.It was in 1968 that Rochey played - and lost- the London´s final against Rod.
     
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  5. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Actually Roche lost to Laver in the 1968 Wimbledon final, Newcombe lost to Laver in the 1969 Wimbledon. If I recall in one tournament either in 1969 Roche was actually seeded number one over Laver. The reasoning by the seeding committee was that Roche, while not having quite Laver's record did defeat Laver most of the time that year.

    When you made the thread, are you including the Pro Majors? If not Rosewall's years in 1962 and 1963 are in consideration as is Laver in 1967.
     
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  6. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    In chronological order:

    Rod Laver in 1970
    Ivan Lendl in 1982
    John McEnroe in 1985
    Thomas Muster in 1996
    Marcelo Rios in 1998
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2012
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  7. sandy mayer

    sandy mayer Rookie

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    Connors in 75, 77 and even 84 is up there.
     
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  8. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Yes, you're right. I should have mentioned those, 1975 in particular. Connors was the huge favourite going into the 1975 Wimbledon final and a big favourite going into the 1975 US Open final, yet lost both. Earlier in the year, Connors lost to Newcombe in the 1975 Australian Open final in a match between the best 2 players in the world who didn't manage to meet in 1974. Connors got some revenge over Newcombe in the 1975 Las Vegas exhibition, and as mentioned, was utterly dominant going into the Wimbledon final.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2012
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  9. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I was thinking about 1975 also and some of Connors' years following in which he was dominant but not winning majors due to a more dominant Bjorn Borg by Sandy Mayer beat me to it.
     
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  10. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Why laver over lendl?

    Why do you put laver over lendl?
     
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  11. robow7

    robow7 Professional

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    He listed them in chronological order (earliest year first), he didn't mean it had greater significance. But then he listed them in alphabetical order as well. That clever Mustard
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2012
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  12. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    In alpha-chrono order.
     
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  13. PCXL-Fan

    PCXL-Fan Hall of Fame

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    He also ordered by # of letters in 1st name, ordered from least to most.

    That clever Mustard.

    The genius of Mustard is on a cognitive level far beyond 98% of the primates on this forum. He toys with us with these posts. He could easily have spelled Rod as Rodney.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2012
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  14. PCXL-Fan

    PCXL-Fan Hall of Fame

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    alpha-chrono-amplitudonomen order

    I just realised he even mind****ed me.
    Also the last digit is in numerical order

    alpha-chrono-amplitudonomen-ultimanumero order
     
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  15. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    1988 Becker - 8 titles overall, Wimbledon finalist, winner of the Masters over Lendl, also won Dallas, led W. Germany to Davis Cup

    1973 Stan Smith - 8 titles (per ATP so there may be an undercount), including Dallas.

    1974 Newcombe - 9 titles (again per ATP), including Dallas.
     
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  16. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Vilas in 74 won a bunch of tournaments+Masters.One of the best ever seasons without the reward of a GS title...
     
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  17. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    ...and Connors in 1980...most pros wouldn´t even dream a season like that ( he won the WCT championship and the 2 biggest indoor events in the world)... but it was rather mediocre for Jimmy...
     
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  18. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Good job.1988 Becker was a great season.He won the two best events out of the big 4, beating Lendl at Madison and Edberg at Reunion Arena.Plus the DC, the first ever won by Germany.

    in 1977, Connors won a few events, plus the Masters and Dallas, but no slam ( he lost in 2 finals ).That ranks well along 1988 Becker season.
     
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  19. Doug_Hartley_2012

    Doug_Hartley_2012 Rookie

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    OK, I got a bit carried away with Rochey in '69 and while quickly going through the annual results I cited his '68 Wimbledon final instead of his '69 semi. My apologies. But it was still a great year. Prompts an interesting trivia question.....how many times has a player reached the semis or better at ALL FOUR MAJORS in one season, and not won any of them?

    Roche in 1969 is clearly one of them. But is he the only one? Emerson in '62 made 3 semis or better without winning anything and Neale Fraser did likewise in '58. And Connors in '75.
     
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  20. jean pierre

    jean pierre Semi-Pro

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    Vilas 1982 : winning 7 tournaments, beating 2 times Lendl and Connors, final in FO and SF in USO. But he lost FO final, unlucky against Wilander.
     
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  21. Doug_Hartley_2012

    Doug_Hartley_2012 Rookie

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    Connors in 1975 was clearly the biggest surprisesince Laver in 1970. Who would have bet against them? Somebody could have won a lot of money betting either would not win a Major in those two years. Especially Laver if you'd said immediately after the 1969 US Open final that a/he would not reach a Major final the following season and b/he'd never reach a Major final again - period.

    After watching Connors destroy Rosewall twice in 1974, he seemed unbeatable.OK, Newk taking him down in the AO final was NOT a huge surprise, but Ashe at Wimbledon and Orantes at the US Open were.
     
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  22. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Orantes beat him even easier in 1977 US CC at Indy ( 6-1,6-3).Clealry one of the worst matchups for Jimmy.
     
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  23. DBH

    DBH New User

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    How about Andy Murray in 2011?

    DBH

     
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  24. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    I can't agree. Connors won 11 matches out of 14 against Orantes.
     
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  25. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    But Orantes beat him on US clay courts.That must have been tough for Jimmy, anyhow.

    Can you post up their h2h? I just don´t remember Orantes other win against Jimmy ( Forest Hills 75, Indy 77 and...)
     
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  26. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Jimmy Connors 11-3 Manuel Orantes
    1972 Omaha QF: Jimmy Connors def. Manuel Orantes (6-3, 6-1)
    1972 Los Angeles R16: Jimmy Connors def. Manuel Orantes (6-3, 7-6)
    1972 Washington SF: Jimmy Connors def. Manuel Orantes (4-6, 4-6, 6-1, 7-6, 6-4)
    1973 Cincinnati SF: Manuel Orantes def. Jimmy Connors (6-3, 6-1)
    1973 Stockholm QF: Jimmy Connors def. Manuel Orantes (6-2, 6-1)
    1973 Masters RR: Jimmy Connors def. Manuel Orantes (6-3, 6-2)
    1974 Indianapolis SF: Jimmy Connors def. Manuel Orantes (6-4, 6-3)
    1975 US Open F: Manuel Orantes def. Jimmy Connors (6-4, 6-3, 6-3)
    1977 Indianapolis F: Manuel Orantes def. Jimmy Connors (6-1, 6-3)
    1977 US Open QF: Jimmy Connors def. Manuel Orantes (6-2, 6-4, 6-3)
    1978 Masters (Jan) RR: Jimmy Connors def. Manuel Orantes (6-2, 6-3)
    1978 Indianapolis SF: Jimmy Connors def. Manuel Orantes (7-5, 6-1)
    1979 Dorado Beach RR: Jimmy Connors def. Manuel Orantes (6-3, 6-1)
    1979 French Open R16: Jimmy Connors def. Manuel Orantes (4-6, 6-1, 6-3, 6-1)

    Hardcourt: 4-0 to Connors
    Clay: 4-3 to Connors
    Grass: 0-0
    Carpet: 3-0 to Connors
    In Majors: 2-1 to Connors
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2012
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  27. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Good post.Thanks.I see, except their 1972 match at Washington, whenever they played each other, the winner would lanslide the loser...
     
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  28. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Mustard. Dorado Beach was a WCT exo, right?
     
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  29. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Connors also beat Orantes in straight sets in a Las Vegas 'heavyweight' challenge match.
     
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  30. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    an exo, it doesn´t count ( well, it counted a lot for the " winner takes all" bank account, surely)
     
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  31. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    It was a WCT event. Was it an exo?
     
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  32. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    let´s call it a non official event.
     
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