Career omisson - whose is the most painful?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by timnz, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    No-one in tennis has ever won everything (not yet anyway). Every top player has something they haven't won. It would be interesting to see how people see the most glaring omission from former number 1's achievement and rank the most glaring omission.

    Laver - No WCT Finals or Masters
    Federer - No Olympics singles gold (yet)
    Nadal - no year end final championship
    Borg - no US Open
    Agassi - no Grand Slam Cup
    Connors - no French Open
    McEnroe - no French Open, no Australian Open
    Lendl - no Wimbledon
    Sampras - no French Open
    Edberg - no French Open
    Becker - no French Open
    Gonzales - no Clay court major (including Pro Majors)
    Rosewall - no Wimbledon
    Newcombe - no French Open
    Courier - no Wimbledon, no US Open
    Tilden - no Australian Open (don't think this is much of an omission - the Australian though existing wasn't a major until 1924 - note: He had the World Hard Court championships which is an equivalent to the French Championships - that is why I didn't mention the latter).

    My view is that Borg lack of a US Open must hurt a lot as much as McEnroe's lack of a French, Borg having more chances of winning that tournament than McEnroe. I feel that Federer's current (At the time of writing) lack of an Olympic singles Gold isn't anywhere is serious as Nadal's lack of a WTF. There are two main reasons for that - the WTF is far more important (double the points) and also Nadal has had 4 times as many opportunities to win the WTF as compared to the Olympics. If you have 4 times as many chances to win something the lack of getting it is more glaring. Tilden lack of an Australian probably didn't even register with him. Sampras' lack of a French Open title hurts him personally, but his career is so amazing in every other category that it doesn't hurt him that much. Laver's lack of a WCT finals wasn't much (though he really wanted it) since he only got to compete in it first at the age of 33.
     
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  2. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Whose is the most painful? It has to be Lendl at Wimbledon, considering how he became more and more obsessed with winning it as each year passed.
     
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  3. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Wilander - no Wimbledon or Masters
    Ashe - no French Open or Masters
    Vines - no French

    I think what hurts Pancho's career the most is the lack of any Grand Slam titles outside of Forest Hills. He was unable to play them for almost all his career. So his career remains underappreciated, to put it mildly.
     
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  4. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Credit to Lendl

    I think he deserves the most credit of all the people I have listed with regard to trying to fill that gap in his CV. I think he tried harder than anyone. He made 5 Wimbledon Semi's and 2 Finals through sheer hard work and dedication and focus. If he had todays slow Wimbledon then, he surely would have broken through.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
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  5. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Only should measure gaps during a players prime

    I guess it shouldn't be counted against someone if they couldn't play an event during their prime. Prime Gonzales was from 1952 to early 60's so that is why I didn't list Wimbledon or the French Open as gaps in his CV. The other thing is a player shouldn't be regarded as having a gap if a tournament wasn't regarded highly during their prime - even if it later came to prominence eg you can't say that Lendl's lack of the Olympics Gold is significant at all.
     
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  6. krosero

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    All this was true of Bill Johnston as well. Like Tilden he won Wimbledon, the US, the WHCC and the Davis Cup, but no Australian.

    Borotra actually went to play the Australian one year and won it. He also won a French and Wimbledon, but never won at Forest Hills (he made the final in 1926 but was blown out by Lacoste 6-4, 6-0, 6-4).

    Cochet and Lacoste each won all the Grand Slam titles except the Australian (which I don't think they ever played). Lacoste never won the WHCC, though (nor did Borotra).
     
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  7. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    And it's very wrong that Gonzales' career should be underappreciated. It needs to be said that he was the best player in the world for 8 years, that he won 8 US Pros, 4 Wembley Pros and 3 Tournament of Champions, and that even at age 41, he was capable of beating a peak Laver in 5 sets. This is why I was disappointed when I saw Gonzales ranked so slow in that Tennis Channel list. They clearly haven't understood how tennis was at the time.
     
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  8. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    I don't think he would have won Wimbledon in any era, personally. Lendl had tough 5-setters almost every year that he managed to win, in order to get as far as he did every year. With the exception of 1990 Queen's Club, I don't think he looked comfortable at all on grass.
     
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  9. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Did Anthony Wilding ever play at the US Championships? He won everything else, Wimbledon, the WHCC, the WCCC, and even the Australasian Championships before it was a major. Of course, Wilding won the WHCC, Wimbledon and the WCCC in 1913, which were the 3 officially recognised majors by the newly formed ILTF at the time.
     
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  10. krosero

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    Lew Hoad - no US Championships
     
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  11. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Pancho Segura - No Wembley Pro (was runner-up 4 times)
     
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  12. krosero

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    Not sure whether he did, looks like the most significant omission in his career. Of course travel conditions had everything to do with these omissions we're listing, in those days.
     
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  13. krosero

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    That would apply to the Australian championships at certain times in its history, for example during Tilden's prime, or Borg's.
     
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  14. krosero

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    Can anyone think of significant titles missing for Perry, Budge or Emerson?
     
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  15. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Rosewall never won Wimbledon!
     
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  16. krosero

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    And he lost 4 finals there, matching Borg's 4 USO finals.
     
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  17. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    Was 1990 the year he beat Mac at Queens? He really did struggle on the grass quite a bit; there was always someone more comfortable/skilled on it in his way, be it semis or final. (Mac, Connors, Becker, Cash, Edberg, etc.)
     
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  18. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Perry didn't win the Wembley Pro (although he only played it in 1951 and 1952, losing to Segura and Gonzales). Perry never played in the French Pro.

    Budge seems to have won everything as an amateur and as a professional. Emerson won everything in the amateur game during the 1960s. You can have doubts in regards to the fact that arguably better players were in the professional game when Budge/Emerson had their best amateur achievements (in Budge's 1938 case, even his biggest amateur rival, von Cramm, was out, because he was jailed), but I can't really see any holes in their resume.
     
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  19. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Yes. Lendl beat McEnroe in the semi finals and then beat Becker in the final. Lendl didn't drop a set in the whole tournament. On that form, Lendl was the red-hot favourite to win Wimbledon, but he didn't play anywhere near as well a few weeks later at Wimbledon.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
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  20. Mustard

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    Vines won the French Pro in 1935, beating Nusslein in the final. Did Vines ever play in the French Championships as an amateur? Vines didn't win the Australian Championships, losing to McGrath in 1933.
     
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  21. BTURNER

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    Evert remembers being the only American on the olympic team not to win a medal. I think she called that her most embarrassing result.
     
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  22. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    Lendl and Wimbledon. It seemed he wanted it so badly.
     
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  23. krosero

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    No he never played.

    According to this page, Wilding entered the US Championships only once, in 1914, and gave a walkover in the opening round. That was in late August, so just after the start of World War I.

    Also won a bronze medal at the Games in Stockholm (1912).
     
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  24. krosero

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    Emerson never won any pro majors and is kind of the opposite of Nusslein, who never won an amateur major. Similar cases, too; these were not so much failures as personal decisions.

    So I think this leaves Budge and Laver as the only men who have won all four amateur majors of the Grand Slam as well as the three traditional majors of the pro game (French Pro, US Pro, Wembley).
     
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  25. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    It wasn't a decision in Nusslein's case, was it? I thought he was ajudged by the German Tennis Federation of accepting money/gifts, and was declared by the authorities to have turned professional?

    Once a player turned professional in those days, they couldn't go back, could they?
     
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  26. Paul Murphy

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    I agree with that.
    To be that determined to win Wimbledon that one would skip the FO where he had, as usual, an excellent chance of winning, speaks volumes.
    I do think, considering his career - it's one of the most painful misses on the list, possibly the most.
     
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  27. Paul Murphy

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    Certainly Roger and Rafa aren't at the top of the list that's for sure.
     
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  28. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Wilding - Forest Hills

    I know that he played Davis Cup at Forest Hills in 1914 not too long before the US Championship. However, WW1 broke out and I believe he went back to England straight away (not certain about this though). But in a way you are right about Wilding winning everything. Because the US Champioship wasn't a Major in Wildings time - at least officially. The US Championship didn't officially become a major until 1924 (Along with the Australasian Championship) though many regarded it as a defacto Major in Wildings time.
     
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  29. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    You're right, that's what happened with Nusslein. Not his decision.

    Didn't mean to go into the particulars of what happened with Nusslein and Emerson; I just wanted to point out that the missing titles in their cases were due to personal circumstances and not to their failures on the tennis court.
     
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  30. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Yes, you're perfectly right. Budge and Laver are the only players to have won all the majors in the amateur and professional games. And, of course, Laver happened to be playing at a time when he also won all the majors in the open era as well.
     
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  31. Gizo

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    During their careers, Lendl's failure to win Wimbledon was the most painful omission. He was an excellent player on grass. His record at Queen's and Wimbledon were strong. Reaching the semis or better at Wimbledon in 7 out of 8 years from 1983-1990 speaks volumes. I have never agreed that he didn't look comfortable on the surface. He looked absolutely fine on grass, it was just that players like McEnroe, Edberg, Becker etc were even more comfortable on it. He would have loved the 100% rye grass that is currently used.

    However since his career has finished, Lendl has moved on and developed other interests away from the sport and new priorities.

    McEnroe on the other hand having such a giant ego hasn't moved on at all and has never been able to let things go. He continues to live off his achievements to this day as a commentator, always trying to remind people of how good he was. He says he still has nightmares about the 1984 RG final, while I'm sure Lendl got over his failure to win Wimbledon many years ago. Aside from incredibly self-obsessed players turned pundits/commentators like McEnroe and Navratilova, most tennis players don't actually care about their legacies as much as fans do, especially after they have retired.

    So right now McEnroe's omission would be the most painful given that he always thinks about it, and has banned other people from bringing it up in his company. Through his intense dislike of Lendl, he has tried to use revisionist theory and argue that he choked badly in the 1984 RG final, and because he is such a prominent figure in tennis to this day, unfortunately many people have believed him. However in reality, Lendl won that final more than Mac lost it, and it was an incredibly high quality match from start to finish, with Mac playing very well even in the sets that he lost.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
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  32. PrinceMoron

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    Painful????

    If you knew how much money I threw down the pan betting on Lendl, chasing a losing bet for years.

    Which idiot told him to serve an volley against Cash? He could have stayed at the back and won with his normal game and normal racquet.
     
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  33. urban

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    Emerson never won the Italian (nor did Federer), which was a big title on the amateur tour. Emmo is the only one, who won all singles and doubles majors at least once.
     
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  34. Russeljones

    Russeljones G.O.A.T.

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    Marcelo Ríos anyone?
     
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  35. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I do agree with you (the part I put in bold) but I also think McEnroe's level of play went down in the last three sets just enough to let Lendl get back into the match. I think if McEnroe kept the same very high level of play he had in the first two sets he would have won.

    That being written it is extremely hard to play at that level all the time. Lendl's exceptional fitness may have also come into play around the third set.

    Does McEnroe dislike Lendl nowadays? Not so sure about that part but it was clear they weren't fond of each other in 1984.

    As far as career omissions, hard to know which is the most painful. I'm sure Rosewall or Gonzalez would have loved to win Wimbledon but they weren't allowed to play Wimbledon during their peak years. Lendl skipped the French one year to practice for Wimbledon and I know McEnroe says he has nightmares of it. I'll go with Lendl since he skipped the French that year to practice on grass.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
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  36. Bobby Jr

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    Sergi Bruguera's career omission would be a bitter pill to swallow I imagine... being beaten in the Gold medal match at the Olympics only to discover 15 years later his opponent was a drug cheat (of a fringe sort - but still broke the rules) and the tennis powers-that-be not only knew about it and made it go away, but when it was admitted later they had no interest in doing anything about it.
     
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  37. kiki

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    Borg no US open title is the worst, by much
     
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  38. kiki

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    Kodes, no US Open title ( 2 finals lost, both in 5 sets)

    Stolle, no Wimbledon ( 3 finals lost)
     
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  39. Mustard

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    Frank Sedgman never won the French Championships.
    Jack Crawford never won the US Championships, agonisingly missing out on the Grand Slam in 1933.

    Wasn't Agassi's failed drug test in 1997, when he was at his lowest ebb? And it was for crystal meth, so not a "drug cheat" at all.

    Borg was never obsessed with the US Open like Lendl was with Wimbledon. Borg just trusted that one year he would win the US Open, but it never happened. Lendl got more and more obsessed with his quest to win Wimbledon as time went on.
     
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  40. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Rosewall´s 4 lost finals at the All England.History can be very cruel and this is the most cruel case in tennis history.
     
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  41. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Yes, it was bad for Rosewall not to win Wimbledon, and being unable to play in the mainstream majors for nearly 12 years. Gonzales had it even worse, being banned from the mainstream majors for well over 18 years, from age 21 to age 40.
     
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  42. krosero

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    I just think it's a nice distinction for those two. No one will ever do it again.
     
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  43. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Oh¡ but that doesn´t mean anything to *******s like TMF or ABMK.The Olimpic Gold medal is more important for them.

    BTW, " never" is a strong word.Graf won it 25 years ago and others have been very close.

    What I doubt, however, is that there will ever be such a strong field as 1969, with a top 10 loaded with all time great names.
     
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  44. krosero

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    Please read the discussion again. I was not talking about the Grand Slam. A Grand Slam, calendar or non-calendar, can definitely happen again.

    And please if you want to call people *******s don't include me as if I agreed.
     
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  45. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    Rosewall no wimbly gets my vote
     
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  46. BobbyOne

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    Limpinhitter, krosero,

    The big difference between Rosewall and Borg (plus McEnroe, Lendl, Connors, Sampras) is the fact that Borg and the others did participate in the championships in their prime while Rosewall (like Gonzalez) lost their deciding years to the pro ranks. Rosewall was absent for 11 years and Gonzalez even for18 years.
     
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  47. BobbyOne

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    pc1, Mustard,

    I apologize for having overlooked your posts where you say about the same as I do...
     
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  48. BobbyOne

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    Mustard,

    Even though it was not too easy to reamateurize, it yet happened form time to time: Jan Kozeluh, Noel Brown ,Cochet. Cochet was even winning tournaments after his reamateurizing after WW2.

    Nüsslein who never played as amateur prior to his pro career, was never allowed to play as amateur again after being pro.

    Don Budge once wrote to me that a Davis Cup team of vonCramm and Nüsslein would have been a great obstacle for the USA...
     
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  49. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I think a lot of this stuff about career omission is overrated. Greatness is proof you can win on all surfaces. Certainly Rosewall and Gonzalez could win a high percentage of the time on any grass surface and I am almost certain they would have won many Wimbledon titles if they were allowed to.

    Borg was a great fast hard court player and I'm sure he would have won a few US Opens if not for some bad luck and retiring early. It doesn't take away from the fact he could also win a great percentage of the time on any type of hard court.

    Laver was a great indoor player and not winning WCT is not a negative in my book against him.

    Most of these greats could win a very high percentage of the time on any surface. There are some exceptions of course but I think we all know them.
     
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  50. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    pc1,

    I agree of course that both Gonzalez and Rosewall would have won several Wimbledon titles.

    It's a more delicate question if Pancho would have won a French Open title. On one hand clay was his weakest surface, on the other hand he reached SFs of Roland Garros in 1949 and 1968 (when he was 40) and had some fine clay wins as a pro. He beat Cooper, Trabert and Sedgman in the 1959 Toronto tournament, he had wins against Laver on clay at Knokke in 1964 and in Hollywood, Florida, in 1966.

    In the 1950s Pancho would have tough opponents on clay: Segura, Rosewall,Trabert, Hoad, Sven Davidson, Drobny, Patty, Cooper, Ayala and in the 1960s Rosewall, Segura, Hoad, Cooper, Ayala, Pietrangeli, Santana, Emerson...

    I speculate that Gonzalez would have won at least one French title.
     
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