Budge vs. Riggs 1942 U.S. Pro Nationals

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Limpinhitter, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I just saw this excellent quality footage of Don Budge vs. Bobby Riggs on YouTube and thought I'd share. I shows some great shotmaking by Budge, one of the all time great shotmakers, IMO.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXcz4MKygAQ
     
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  2. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for that video clip, the quality was excellent as was the sound. Provides a very good showing of how well those two early greats played with those wood rackets. The sound was like baseball bats. Its shows why the Budge backhand was rated one of the best ever weapons and his serve was just as dominating. Would love to see more of that match !
     
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  3. pc1

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    This is not the same match but it is from the same year.
    http://www.britishpathe.com/video/rigg-v-budge-aka-riggs-v-budge/query/budge

    Here's another match of Riggs and Budge but from 1949 where Riggs was the dominant player. Riggs developed a much stronger serve. Some thought it was more effective than Budge's serve in his prime.
    http://www.t3licensing.com/video/clip/634C230_024.do
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
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  4. Limpinhitter

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    Budge's racquet was 16oz., with a 5 1/4" wood handle, not leather. The butt cap was a leather strip around the bottom. IMO, Budge had the best groundstrokes and return game in tennis until Laver. Unfortunately, he suffered a shoulder injury in an accident in 1943 (if I recall correctly), that impacted his level of play from that point forward.
     
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  5. Limpinhitter

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    pc1, there's no way that Riggs' serve was EVER as big or as good as Budge's. Budge had a "great" serve. Riggs did not. At 59 years old, Budge's serve was bigger than Riggs serve ever was. Riggs had a very good, reliable, second serve. But, he never had much power in any aspect of his game. He was a slicer/dicer who won with mobility, variety and a lot of lobs and drop shots. He couldn't match the power of the big hitters and he knew it.
     
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  6. pc1

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    I didn't write that it was as big as Budge but people like Ellsworth Vines thought it was probably more effective than Budge's serve because of the variety Riggs had that Vines thought Budge didn't have.

    Actually others like Pancho Gonzalez mentioned what a great serve Bobby Riggs had. There are newspaper accounts of Riggs serving a lot of aces against players like Budge.

    I just wrote that some thought so and that has been written.

    I'll see if I can find some of the articles that mentioned Riggs' serving. I may not have time to do it today.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
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  7. pc1

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  8. Limpinhitter

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    A big serve compared to who? Vines, Budge, Kovacs, Kramer, Gonzales? No. He had an excellent serve for a guy who was 5'6", nothing more than that. I'll say it again, Riggs was a touch player, a slicer/dicer/dropper/lobber. He was not a power player.
     
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  9. pc1

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    I'll try to find it but trust me he was able to serve a lot of aces. I've seen the newspaper articles.

    And yes he was a touch player but so was Nastase and he could serve aces. I think Riggs was 5'8".
     
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  10. Limpinhitter

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    Bobby Riggs standing next to Billie Jean King who was maybe 5'4", and standing next to Jack Kramer who was listed at 6'2".

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. pc1

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    She's listed at 5'4 and a half at the WTA site.
    http://www.wtatennis.com/player/billie-jean-king_2257889_4011

    Anyway I'll try to find it. I think I found it a while ago in Google archives.

    Guys like Gonzalez thought Riggs had an excellent serve, so did Vines.
    http://www.t3licensing.com/video/clip/634C230_024.do

    Anyway, thanks for the great video Limpinhitter.
     
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  12. Dedans Penthouse

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    Nice video - thx
     
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  13. krosero

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    Riggs was certainly a touch player; but through disguise, essentially, he got a lot of aces. More than players who served harder than he did.

    This is what Vines wrote:

    His balanced, penetrating groundstrokes on both sides were at least the equal of Rosewall's, including return of serve. Speed never disturbed him, not even a big serve. Budge had a harder delivery, yet Bobby's service was probably more effective because he had more varieties. He could hit a cannonball, slice, or American twist. The only server that gave Riggs real trouble was Kramer, because of Jack's unique ability to spot and mix up deliveries.​

    At one point during the ’42 pro tour Riggs was out-acing Budge, Perry and Kovacs, per a press report:

    Riggs, whose habitual slow-hook serve contrasts strangely with the express-train deliveries of his companions, regularly serves far more aces than any one of them in the matches of the tour. Reason, Bobby draws his opponents out of position and lulls them into false security, then slips quick straight ones down the opposite side of the service court for 'surprises' that leave opponents flat footed.​

    Vines wrote that Riggs, after the war, was out-acing Budge, Kramer and Gonzalez.

    Compare these ace counts for Bobby and Pancho in matches at Forest Hills.

    Riggs in '48 pro semi -- 1.3 aces per game (d. Kovacs w/ 20 aces))
    Riggs in '49 pro final -- 0.7 aces per game (d. Budge w/ 17 aces)
    Pancho in '48 amateur final -- 0.8 aces per game (d. Sturgess w/ 16 aces)
    Pancho in '49 amateur final -- 0.8 aces per game (d. Schroeder w/ 27 aces)

    The New York Times said that Riggs' serving performance in that first match in '48 was "one of the most remarkable exhibitions of serving" that they had ever seen. "With comparatively little effort, Riggs gets remarkable speed on the ball, but it is more the spin and the cleverness and accuracy with which he places the serve that makes it so difficult to return. It was nothing less than demoralizing."

    Ironically Kovacs, who was 6'4", served just 3 aces.
     
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  14. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Terrific video, thanks for posting. Love those beautiful flat strokes from back then.

    Nice drop shot by Budge, though Budge wasn't trying to match drop shots with Riggs according to Allison Danzig in the NY Times.

    Yesterday’s meeting between Budge and Riggs was their first on turf since 1938, when they were amateurs. Never before has Riggs taken so bad a beating on grass from his fellow Californian, and seldom has Budge played better tennis than he did in this match, in which he reached the amazing total of 43 earned points and 28 errors.

    There was no inkling of the rout that was to develop as Riggs took the first two games. The smaller man was playing masterfully as he won the opening game with two service aces and two backhand drives, then broke through with his drop shots.

    It seemed that Budge would have even more trouble with him than in their amateur days. Riggs was hitting the more sharply, opening the court with a greater variety of strokes and disturbing the big fellow with his drop shots and lobs.

    Budge Takes Command

    Then Budge went on the attack with a mounting pressure that instantly changed the complexion of the match. Refusing to fall into the trap of matching drop shots with Riggs, Budge brought his great hitting power of service and ground strokes to bear and went to the net for finishing volleys. He never deviated from this aggressive style of play.

    Riggs was unable to withstand the onslaught. The ball shot with so much pace and came so low off the heavy turf that he was hard pressed to get his racquet on it squarely.

    Going to the net in the face of such wrathful hitting was courting disaster, and when he was not passed or trapped by a lob he lacked the consistency of touch that usually characterizes his block volleying.

    Budge won six games in a row from 0-2 to take the first set, and from 1-2 in the second he ran nine in a row until he led at 4-0 in the third set.

    Riggs realized long before the third that he had met his master. Budge was not only beating him from the back of the court but volleying and smashing the better. Riggs’s passing shots, ordinarily so effective, did not score nearly as often as did Budge’s.​

    Score was 6-2, 6-2, 6-2.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012
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  15. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Im glad you pointed the racket specs out. Most players and historians do not realize what kind of bats some of of these greats actually used. Budge actually got kramer to go heavier and it helped Jack be even greater. I have some of those antique woods with 5+ size grips and over 15oz's. They are truly impressive to hold and I have always wanted to give them a try. A woody event on grass would be the most ideal situation for such a stick trial.
     
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  16. treblings

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    i´m amazed how easy those rackets are to swing and how well distributed the weight often is. wouldn´t dare to use them in a tournament though for fear of breaking them
     
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  17. Frank Silbermann

    Frank Silbermann Professional

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    This is a good resource for those who are curious as to what tennis looked like back in the days when the top players still used correct technique.
     
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  18. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    And "correct" racquets.
     
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  19. pc1

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    Great information Krosero.

    I have the Kings of the Court video and perhaps aside from Laver, I was so impressed by Bobby Riggs' strokes. He hit the ball so smoothly. I think they said he was a natural. Now to be fair they really didn't show the strokes of a younger Budge in his prime but an older Budge. I've also seen videos of a younger Budge and he looks great also.

    The question that always arises in my mind is how good was Bobby Riggs in actuality? Yes we know he lost badly to Jack Kramer on tour 69 to 20 but Kramer himself admitted that after he (Kramer) got a lead on tour Riggs tanked. The reason according to Kramer that Riggs tanked was to set Kramer up and beat Kramer in the US Pro in 1948. The scenario was that if Riggs beat Kramer he (Riggs) could claim he was still the real champion. It didn't work because Kramer defeated Riggs in the final in four sets.

    Still the tour was mainly indoors and the players perhaps were closer in actual ability than the final tour won-lost record would indicate. He also defeated a slightly over the hill Budge on tour several times. He dominated the Pro ranks winning far more tournaments (when Riggs was in his prime and Budge wasn't) than Budge, Kovacs and the others. I can also see from the videos that he seemed to have every shot plus an effective serve.

    Many think of Riggs as just the hustler who lost to Billie Jean King in 1973 but the man did have a fabulous record.
     
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  20. pc1

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    Can you imagine some of the players today trying to play with a racquet like that? Obviously it was a small wood racquet but super heavy. I think Budge had the heaviest or at least one of the heaviest racquets in tennis but it was perfect for him. A pity what happened to him with the shoulder injury.
     
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  21. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    As I recall from Budge's explanation, his racquet was a standard sized, middle range, men's racquet in the 30's. If you do some digging and look for Suzanne Lenglen's racquet, you'll see it looks very much the same. It may be lighter, I don't know, but, probably heavier than any stock frame available today.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2012
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  22. Limpinhitter

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    I think Riggs was a great player. But, I also think he benefited from Budge's shoulder injury which, from what I've read, permanently diminished Budge's game and prevented him from returning to his prior form. There's no doubt in my mind that peak Budge was the better player. Whereas Kramer could only beat Riggs on a regular basis from the net, Budge could overpower Riggs regularly from the baseline. And, I think Riggs acknowledges that in terms of their early 40's losses, although he seems to disregard Budge's injury when talking about his late 40's victories.
     
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  23. pc1

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    I've seen some interviews with Riggs in which he does take into account the injury plus he also felt Budge gained weight which in his opinion also hurt Budge's game.

    Most people would agree with you that Budge was clearly the superior player over Riggs when both were at their peaks. Vines ranks Budge at his peak ahead of Riggs and Kramer also ranks Budge ahead of Riggs. In fact I can't think of anyone who ranks Riggs ahead of Budge.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012
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  24. Limpinhitter

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    Based on your posts, it seemed that you were arguing that Riggs was better than Budge. IMO, peak Budge played the highest level of tennis ever until Laver, possibly Gonzales.
     
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  25. Mustard

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    Jack Kramer, who said that he thought Don Budge was the best of all time, felt that a peak Ellsworth Vines was a better player.
     
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  26. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Limpinhitter check the post that I posted earlier. It's quoted below.


    I will state for the record I think peak Budge was probably superior to peak Riggs but I do think peak Riggs was very underrated. Remember peak Budge only beat Riggs before he reached his peak on an earlier tour by only a score of 15 to 10 that also included Kovacs, Perry among others. Budge had great power, an excellent serve, top volley (heard he could NOT serve and volley regularly because his strokes were too long but he didn't need to). Riggs was much faster, some ( and this is debatable)believe he may have had a better serve, had better touch and better stamina. Riggs also had the perfect strokes to handle the great power of Budge from the baseline.

    I don't think peak Budge would crush peak Riggs but I do think he was probably better.

    To be fair on that earlier tour Budge was supposed to be out of shape and he pulled ahead after he got back into shape.

    I do think that peak Pancho Gonzalez was clearly superior to peak Don Budge. Many also thought Jack Kramer was also superior to Budge. Riggs and many others thought so. Vines thought Budge was superior.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
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  27. krosero

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    Riggs did mention at least once that Budge was a different player after the war. It was in his book, Court Hustler (1973):

    Budge had turned thirty and had lost something of the greatness he had possessed before the war. I think he was less daring. He got smarter as he got older. He was more cautious and quit taking chances. When he was younger, he was reckless. He took chances -- but made them all. He had great shots. But after the war he took something off the ball and played his shots safer. I could play against that kind of game.​

    I think there's some evidence for that. As you saw, Danzig was amazed at the number of winners that Budge made in that match against Riggs. I have winner counts for over 90 matches before the Open Era, and Budge's rate of winners is the highest: he made winners, not including aces, on 26.6% of all the points in the match.

    In fact I don't know of any winner rate higher than that before 1988.

    Budge made only 1 ace against Riggs (who out-aced him even in this blowout!), and if you include aces then Budge's rate of winners drops to #3 on my list of pre-Open Era matches: just slightly behind Budge's own performance against Bunny Austin in the 1938 Wimbledon final and Trabert's performance against Vic Seixas in the 1953 US Nationals.

    R.N. Williams is another name high on the list, and he was known for being the best "on his day."

    I have winner counts for Vines' two US finals, but his rates are not at the very top -- though they're very high. It's tough with Vines because it seems he improved after he turned pro, but stats for pro matches are harder to come by.

    Anyway, there's no doubt that Budge could be a steamroller "on his day."

    And Riggs in '42 was a quality opponent, so the winner count there is more impressive than Budge's count against Bunny Austin.

    It's particularly impressive that Budge got so many winners past a defender of Riggs' quality.

    Trabert got just about as many winners past Seixas, and Danzig said that "on this day [Trabert] measured up to a Donald Budge, a Jack Kramer in the fearful toll taken by his forehand and backhand, particularly the latter."

    But Seixas was an attacker rather than a great defender. He came into net relentlessly against Trabert and was usually passed, so a great number of Tony's winners were passing shots.

    What Budge did against Riggs was possibly more impressive because I get the sense that there were more baseline rallies in that match, going by what Danzig reports (by the way, I've expanded my excerpt from that article above - post 14).
     
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  28. krosero

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    New York Times stats

    Given in the article by Danzig:

    Budge had 11 nets, 17 outs, 42 placements, 1 ace and no double-faults.
    Riggs had 29 nets, 19 outs, 33 placements, 4 aces and 2 double-faults.


    Budge had a lot of winners (42) from groundstrokes and volleys, but Riggs had a large number himself.

    I guess no one would think of this match as a great quality play from both sides, since it was such a blowout. But just a hairline over 50% of the points in this match ended with a winner or ace. That's the highest % in the entire database that Moose and I have compiled, from 1902 to the present day.

    A lot of matches these days have high winner rates because of huge numbers of aces; Isner-Mahut is close to Budge-Riggs in winners, but mostly because of the aces.

    If you don't count aces, Budge and Riggs ended 47% of the points in their match with winners -- still at the top of our database. The next match behind it is Navratilova-Evert at the 1987 Wimbledon, which is often called the highest quality match in that rivalry.

    Navratilova-Evert featured a very enjoyable kind of grasscourt tennis, not dominated by aces, and filled with winners from groundies and volleys. Budge-Riggs must have been very similar.
     
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  29. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    What big pro games did Kramer and Budge play againdt each othet?
     
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  30. pc1

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    The most famous was I believe the 1948 US Pro semifinal. Kramer was the Pro Champion and if Budge beat Kramer (and Riggs in the final) he could possibly be in line to tour against Kramer for number one. Budge played fabalously the first three sets and led two sets to one. Budge actually broke Kramer's great serve twice in the third but lost the set. The fifth set was a rout. Kramer won 6-0 and Budge won one point the entire set.

    I've done some research on Kramer/Budge matches after Kramer became Pro Champion and I can't find one win for Budge. Budge did beat Kramer previously. Of course Budge was older than Kramer by several years.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
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  31. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Budge, in his book, states that his conditioning was poor in that famous 1948 match, that he would have won otherwise, and that at 32 years old, he should have been in better shape.
    Kramer mentions that Budge battled the bottle after the war, which hurt his conditioning. Did he not also have marriage problems at about this time?
     
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  32. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Everyone has problems of some sort.
     
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  33. pc1

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    Dan,

    It's possible that Budge may have won if he was in shape but I don't see him writing that in his book. Not sure about his personal situation but at that point in time he never seemed to beat Kramer anyway. I could see him winning this match but at that stage I would tend to think Kramer would win the great majority of matches.

    Budge in his book wrote that he had cramps and perhaps that explains the total collapse in the fifth set.
     
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  34. Dan Lobb

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    Cramps, as Ashley Cooper wrote in his book, are the result of poor conditioning. Cooper gave exercises to avoid them, as did the other Hopman grads.
     
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  35. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    The top tier of pre open era of US players is reserved to Gonzales,Tilden,Budge and Kramer while second tier,IMO shall include Vines,Trabert,Parker,Riggs,Johnston or Richards and Seixas or Patty
     
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  36. pc1

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    Never wrote that cramps weren't perhaps the result of poor conditioning or at least poor training. I would tend to agree with you.
     
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  37. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I'm afraid Ashley Cooper is wrong about that. I don't know when he said that, but, cramps are caused by dehydration from electrolyte imbalance. It can happen to anyone no matter what kind of shape they are in. And in 1948, what did they know about all of the electrolyte minerals needed to keep them in balance when losing a lot of water during an athletic event? They may have known about salt. That's about it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
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  38. Limpinhitter

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    Kros, Just want to say thanks for all of your contributions to this thread. Much appreciated.
     
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  39. krosero

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    I know Laver and Roche were popping salt tablets at 69AO.
     
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  40. pc1

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    By the way. It's a really nice thread Limpin. Good discussion.
     
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  41. krosero

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    You're welcome. For me the biggest surprise was learning that Riggs played well in that match against Budge; he just got crushed. The video, and even the report in the New York Times, tend to focus on what Budge was doing; and they naturally emphasize his spectacular winners.

    But then you look at the stats, and Riggs hit 33 winners, plus 4 aces. That's an awful lot of winners for someone who loses 2, 2, and 2.

    One similar example: in the '78 Wimbledon final, Connors made 33 winners, but was crushed anyway, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3.

    There was not actually a great difference in winners, between Budge and Riggs. There was a larger difference in errors; that's really where Budge made it a dominating performance (similar to Borg, who had a tiny edge over Connors in winners, in the '78 match, but was able to dominate because he made far fewer errors).

    I'd have to think of Budge's performance against Riggs as one of the best performances ever in terms of level of play.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
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  42. pc1

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    It would be interesting to see the stats for the Budge-von Cramm 1937 Davis Cup match in which Budge said and others also said that the level was unbelievable.
     
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  43. krosero

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    My friend, entire books could be written about that match (they have been written as you well know).

    Here are the stats published in the NY Times:

    Budge had 8 aces, 49 placements, 50 nets, 53 outs, 4 df.
    Cramm had 8 aces, 53 placements, 59 nets, 65 outs, 4 df.

    It's often said that both players made twice as many winners as errors in this match, but as you can see it's really the reverse: they made twice as many errors.

    They still made a lot of winners and there's no doubt the match was extremely high quality. In virtually all tennis matches there are more errors than winners.

    I think the claim that they made twice as many winners may be based on a set of stats published in Britain, in which dozens of what we would call forced errors were counted as "winning aces" for the man who won the point. Those stats were published in Lawn Tennis and Badminton, and in those figures Budge makes about twice as many "winning aces" as errors. Von Cramm's ratio is not as high as twice as many, but he still makes more "winning aces" than errors.

    According to Lawn Tennis: "Budge scored 113 winning aces and made 60 errors; von Cramm 105 aces and 76 errors."

    But the stats in the New York Times are the ones most similar to stats you see today. Today most "winners" are clean winners (no contact by the opponent), with a few judgment calls also thrown in, especially with service winners.

    The Times stats are so clear because they report exactly how many times Budge and von Cramm hit the net, and how many times they hit out of bounds. So you know that the remaining figures -- the placements and the aces -- represent the maximum number of what we would call clean winners.

    Budge made, at most, 57 clean winners/aces. Von Cramm, at most, made 61.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
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  44. pc1

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    Thanks Krosero. I wanted to see a point of comparison. Of course stats may not tell the quality of the rallies but they are a great indicator of the level of the match.
     
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  45. krosero

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    Apparently Budge was having problems with his serve that affected his performance in the cross-country tour against Riggs, sometime before they met again in the US Pro final linked to by Limpin.

    Budge sought out the help of Ellsworth Vines when the tour was over, according to this article I found in American Lawn Tennis (April 20, 1942). It was a summary of the tour written by Al Ennis, the tour publicity man.

    Injuries to, and illness of, players had destroyed in great measure the competitive aspect of the tour, which had made it so outstanding in its original form. Appearances were made in 71 cities, and in 46 of them, or 65 per cent of the total matches played, at least one member of the original cast was missing from the line-up. In five matches, two members of the original playing personnel were on the sidelines as a result of injuries, their place being taken in the play by substitutes. Frank Kovacs missed 21 matches, Fred Perry 20, Don Budge 3 and Bobby Riggs 2.

    Before their labors ended, the touring professionals had made appearances in 71 cities in 31 states and 3 Canadian provinces, and had traveled 23,414 miles.

    Red-headed Don Budge clearly demonstrated his superiority over his rivals, and justified the claim made by most of the experts that he is the greatest player in the world today. At the end of the tour he had won 52 matches and lost 18, and was far out in front of his nearest competitor, Bobby Riggs, who finished with 36 victories and 36 defeats. Frank Kovacs appeared slightly behind Riggs in the final stands, with 25 wins and 26 losses. Fred Perry, bedeviled by injuries throughout the tour, won 23 matches and lost 30, while Lester Stoefen, who twice jumped into the breach as a substitute for injured players, won 2 matches and lost 28.

    Obviously overweight and in poor condition from lack of serious competition at the beginning of the tour, Budge addressed himself to the task of playing himself into condition, and after three weeks of play he moved into first place and was never headed thereafter. In compiling his amazing record, Don put together several winning streaks of seven, eight, nine and ten matches. Some conception of his consistently superlative play may be gleaned from the fact that during the period from February 1st to March 18th he won 34 matches and lost only 3. The following table shows that Don excelled his rivals in all departments of play during the long drawn-out tour:

    Matches
    Won-Lost
    15-10 Budge vs Riggs
    12-5 Budge vs Kovacs
    15-3 Budge vs Perry
    10-0 Budge vs Stoefen
    52-18

    Sets
    Won-Lost
    41-23 Budge vs Riggs
    29-13 Budge vs Kovacs
    33-12 Budge vs Perry
    19-0 Budge vs Stoefen
    122-48

    Games
    Won-Lost
    350-302 Budge vs Riggs
    223-164 Budge vs Kovacs
    256-183 Budge vs Perry
    128-67 Budge vs Stoefen
    957-716

    It was Budge’s superior steadiness, plus his tremendous and accurate hitting, which gave him the edge over his rivals. At no time was his service as potent a weapon as it has been in the past. The difficulty lies somewhere in the toss of the ball. Once the racket has begun its downward flight Don fails to let his left hand travel downward with the motion and then move up for the toss. He has contracted the habit of holding his left hand high and tossing from there. This has destroyed, or rather impaired, the perfect timing which made Budge’s delivery the lethal weapon it was. Don knows what the trouble is, but cannot seem to eradicate the fault. At present he is working out with Ellsworth Vines in California, and between them they will in all probability find the solution.

    Bobby Riggs turned out to be a real trouper. He was remarkably steady off the ground, and his retrieving in match after match was amazing. But Riggs does not have the power of Budge. Bobby could keep the ball in play, but did not have enough finishing shots to stave off the powerful attack of Budge. Don was just as steady as Bobby and could fence with his opponent, while always trying to create an opening. When it presented itself, he would blaze away with that mighty backhand, and the point was his.

    Kovacs’ play was both a surprise and a disappointment. There can be no question that the youthful Oakland player is one of the most brilliant shotmakers the game has ever seen. No less a person than Big Bill Tilden is authority for this. Frankie possesses a hard-hit, and well-placed service and adequate if somewhat erratic forehand; and a backhand which is the equivalent of anything seen to date, and this includes the mighty portside weapon of Budge. As a volleyer, Frankie still leaves much to be desired. His match temperament also is not the best in the world. Not that he is surly or anything of that sort, but he has not yet learned to retain control of a match once he has gained it, but fritters away many opportunities. Had he the concentration of a Vines, a Cochet or a Budge, he would indeed be a formidable opponent, despite his instability at the net. Perhaps all these things will come to Frankie with more experience.​
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2014
    #45
  46. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Wonderful information and analysis. Thanks.
     
    #46
  47. Dan L

    Dan L Professional

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    This was the Forest Hills Pro final of 1942.

    Other footage exists of these two players at another venue in 1942.

    Notice how the Forest Hills stands appear to be very full.

    In the 1950's and 1960's, the pros could not attract a decent crowd to Forest Hills.
     
    #47
  48. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    American Lawn Tennis had an article in late '38 about the fastest players in tennis. Can't recall the author but he named Riggs, alone, as the fastest. He mentioned some others who were fast, including Bitsy Grant. He said Budge could be very fast but generally only when forced to be, which, the author said, didn't happen very often.
     
    #48
  49. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    In watching videos of Riggs I was very impressed with the smoothness of his game. Some called him the natural I believe. Vines wrote that Riggs didn't have a weakness. In watching his strokes I believe it.

    I would tend to think Budge, with his great power dominated more the rallies against his opponents and so he didn't have to move much. I suppose much like a Federer over the last decade plus.
     
    #49
  50. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    On the road from would of to would have
    Or like an Agassi - which helped him to stay at the top of the game for so long. Players like that kept the opponents moving.
     
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