Connors v Borg 1978 and the no.1 ranking

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Xavier G, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    If they were a gang band instead of players they'd certainly look more awesome than Capone or Jesse James bands:shock:
     
  2. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Connors was stronger than Borg in 1974, even on clay. (Maybe a GS for Connors that year.)
     
  3. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Connors was definitely a better player than Borg in 1974, but I would still give Borg the edge at the French Open, where he took out Orantes in the final. That would have been interesting though. Borg was a prodigy, no doubt, but he was still only 18 years of age, while Connors was having a banner year at the age of 21-22 in 1974.
     
  4. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    It was an injustice that Connors wasn't allowed to play at the 1974 French Open. The fact is, he was denied the opportunity to win the Grand Slam that year. His legal action against the French Tennis Federation failed.
     
  5. jrs

    jrs Professional

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    So it wasn't an Open event?

    So French Open was not an open event? So anyone who played that team tennis - they weren't allowed to play or was it just Connors? (I am not entirely familiar with the issue)
     
  6. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Not allowed FO and IO
     
  7. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Connors would not have won the RG. He was a so-so red clay player. Green clay was another story.
     
  8. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Borg vs Connors was the main rivalry of the 70 till JMac took Jimmy's place at the end of the decade that they closed with that breathtaking Masters confrontation that took place in the round robin and is certainly their best ever indoor match
    Laver vs Rosewall was longtime gone, Newcombe vs Roche did never really got any bigger
    Other than Borg vs Connors the other big rivalry was Nastase vs Smith, which provided lots of contrast and drama but was too short
    However their 71@72 Masters finals and Davis Cup finals and their 72 Wimbledon final rank among most dramatic matches of the open era
    No matter when, when both met, it was like fire and oil
    Does anybody remember that legendary rivalry?
     
  9. Xavier G

    Xavier G Semi-Pro

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    Connors-Borg 1976-79 was THE rivalry of the seventies. Their big clashes at Wimbledon, the US Open and Grand Prix Masters, usually finals, were always eagerly anticipated. It wasn't until 79 that Bjorn decisively got the upper-hand.

    I think the odds were against Jimbo ever winning the French, but he didn't play in his absolute best years, so he denied himself his best chances to win. I'm sure he regrets that from time to time now.
     
  10. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    But no more unfair than Borg forbidden at RG in 77
     
  11. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Nasty vs Godzila provided bigger styles contrast
     
  12. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    So many great players and richness of styles that it was hard to develope long lasting rivalries in 70's
     
  13. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I wish they had let him play so we would know, one way or the other.:???:

    As it stands we are mired in "coulda, woulda, shoulda."
     
  14. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    I agree hoodjem. Why did the French Open bar Connors from playing due to his WTT participation from 1974-1978? How about Borg in 1977? These were the same geniuses that insisted that Borg should have to qualify if he played in the French Open in 1982. Suppose Nadal was asked to qualify for the French Open and Wimbledon this year. You had power struggles with the Tour and players fighting for certain rights, autonomy, and of course maximized prize money/endorsements/appearance fees at a time when there was a tennis renaissance. Everyone wanted a bigger piece of a now bigger pie. I'm sure players like Borg and Connors thought that they should be rewarded justly for the work they were putting in on the courts and off the courts, especially since many Tour officials were profiting primarily because of them.

    Of course Borg knew that playing the WTT would prevent him from playing the French Open, and I'm assuming that Connors knew that he could opt for the FO instead of the WTT. He and Borg could be stubborn though as they were fighting for certain player rights while the Tour was growing and changing in the Open Era. Of course, tennis was becoming more and more popular as well and the money was increasing, at unofficial tourneys as well. It would have been much more interesting if you had Borg, Vilas, and Connors at the French Open during every year from 1974-1980, but even without Connors, there were many tough clay courters to overcome such as Panatta, Pecci, Clerc, Orantes, Vilas, Gerulaitis, Dibbs, Solomon, Higueras, and Lendl.
     
  15. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    These cases are best dealt with by applying some form of the canonical principle of indifference or principle of insufficient reason, leading to a strict application of Solomonic Wisdom. The cruelty of splitting the baby is unconvincing because this baby is an immaterial entity. But if it still causes unease, the splitting can be easily replaced by assigning joint custody.

    The reluctance to apply these most reasonable principles derives from the barbaric assumption that any deviation from a winner-takes-all approach should never be tolerated because it violates darwinian simplicity, or because gladiatory closure to any contest should be considered a basic human right, even if imposed retrospectively.

    The prosaic truth is that there exists no convincing reason why in the absence of a clear and decisive tilting of the scales, joint custody should be forbidden. Other years that are strong candidates to these considerations are 1977 and 1989.
     
  16. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Between 1974 and 1978, anybody who played in World TeamTennis couldn't play at the same year's French Open tournament. In 1974, Connors played in WTT for the Baltimore Banners, but at that time, it wasn't conclusively known that signing to play WTT would result in a ban from the French Open. Borg, for example, played WTT in 1977 for the Cleveland Nets, but he would have known for sure that it would make him ineligible for the 1977 French Open. Connors had travelled to Paris in 1974 to play at the French Open, took legal action, but failed and wasn't allowed to play.
     
  17. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Only in 1974. Connors stayed away in a fit of pique from 1975-1978. He went back in 1979, as by then, the initial version of WTT had finished.

    Borg knew that he would be banned by signing for WTT in 1977. It wasn't anywhere near as clear in 1974.
     
  18. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    The French Open ban of WTT players (supported by the ATP as well) lasted from 1974-1978. So, after 1974, did Connors not play WTT until he played it again in the early 1990's? I do see that LA Strings Owner Jerry Buss was trying to get Connors to play WTT again in 1976. See this article from August 76.

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?n...IwgAAAAIBAJ&sjid=jGUFAAAAIBAJ&pg=2461,1260313

    If he stopped playing WTT after 1974 or later, was he in fact made eligible once again, so that he was just boycotting the French Open? Were players that stopped playing WTT made eligible again by the FO? Connors lost to Pecci, Gerulaitis, and Clerc after returning to the French Open in 1979-1981, so he did return right after the FO ban on WTT players. In 1973 he had a loss to Raul Ramirez there. If he in fact boycotted the FO in 1975-1978 despite being eligible to play the FO, it seems strange that he would decide to return there in 1979 immediately after the ban on WTT players was lifted, but I suppose stranger things have happened. Keeping top players out of the FO just makes zero sense, but I'm sure there was a power struggle going on with the Tour.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013
  19. Xavier G

    Xavier G Semi-Pro

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    Affirmative. Very logical, Benhur. You're a credit to mankind.
     
  20. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    I wondered the same questions myself once, but I haven't seen any record of Connors playing in WTT from 1975-1978 during the original run of WTT, only in 1974 for the Baltimore Banners.
     
  21. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Thanks Mustard. Here is an excerpt on Connors' WTT record:

    See: http://www.wtt.com/players.aspx?playerid=594

    This info confirms that Connors was not playing WTT in 1975-1978, during the French Open's exclusion of WTT players. Connors did not play AT RG again until 1979, while Borg returned in 1978 after being away in 1977. Borg played again in 1978, after playing WTT in 1977, so he was eligible once again. Therefore, it does seem likely that Connors did not play WTT in 1975-1978, but in effect boycotted the FO despite being technically eligible for the FO.
     
  22. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Connors never took the FO seriously, as much as US journalist never did, since they only had eyes for the US open and maybe, Wimbledon

    You know, it is funny.While Europeans and most americans will always have Wimbledon as the biggest tournamet in the year, it changes a lot for the nº 2 spot.US has the Open and europeans and latin americans have the Fo as the second best.
     
  23. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    It was good to see Connors out there at Roland Garros from 1979 forward. That's a tough observation Kiki, but it is an interesting take that you present. I have to think that many U.S. journalists understood how big a FO was, especially in terms of the surface involved and the skill set required to win there. Yet, I suppose some may favor the US Open. It's ok to like the FO or US Open other more and attribute more prestige to one or the other. Yet, it is not fine to ignore the importance of either tournament. In the end though, Wimbledon was the biggest major to win and remains the biggest major to win. Ask any player what tournament is the most coveted.
     
  24. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Of course I never intented to sound critical sinceI understand that for a US journal the US open will be more relevant, for a French it should be RG and so forth
    Wait french are most chaubinistic of all: did you know for long time they were obsessed wuth Wimbledon and considered RG the greatest of all?
     
  25. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Lol Kiki. I know you were just being frank and presenting your view. You may be quite right. You know what that type of thinking among some all goes back to right? They each want to be the biggest major in tennis. Yet, neither the FO or the US Open will ever be Wimbledon. Sorry, it just won't happen unless something really unforeseen occurs. Wimbledon holds a very special place in the minds and hearts of both players and fans. France was an imperial power and was once the global leader before the British Empire surged, but of course they call the 20th century the "American Century" and we Americas are not modest in our view that the U.S. is the center of the universe. Of course, all countries can be somewhat "myopic" can't they? We all should have a healthy recognition of all countries, as long as they are not hurting others. Anyway, let's agree that we need all three majors, now along with the Australian Open, to be great tournaments. In the end though, in my view, there is but one Wimbledon. It is definitely the "cathedral of tennis" and actually as BobbyOne alluded to, I actually think Lance Tingay is on to something when he really focuses on the Wimbledon champion. For example, look at 2012, the four top guys each got a major right? Well, in my book, Roger Federer is a bit ahead last year in terms of the majors, even if just has one like the other guys. I know you can look at how he did at the other majors as well (SF? Final?), but to cut the chase, he nabbed the biggest prize of them all. Anyway, that's my take on it. I have a hard time seeing Wimbledon ever being eclipsed as in essence "The Championships".
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2013
  26. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    borg number one, Of course you are right that Wimbledon is the most prestigious and most important event.

    Nevertheless I cannot understand Tingay that he almost always ranked the Wimbledon winner as No. 1 even in cases when the W. winner has done little else in the same year.. Good examples could be 1954 (Drobny) and 1971 (Newcombe). I blame Tingay for never having ranked two or three players ex aequo first (or second and so on). He only tied players at tenth place from time to time.
     
  27. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    I completely agree. Many years are very close and you can't go overboard either and say that just because someone won Wimbledon, that's the end of the discussion in terms of the top ranking. You have to factor in a big win at Wimbledon, but there is still more to it than that .
     
  28. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    I'm Romanian and I still think that Nastase was one of the greatest, the precursor of the modern tennis player (fast etc and a genius).
     
  29. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    I got a chance to ballboy a Nastase match in about 1978 and even then, he was a great athlete. He was very strong, but also very quick and fast too. He was definitely one of the great players of the 1970's and a big influence on many players. Extremely talented player!
     
  30. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Wimbledom is the biggest price yet I pick a guy that wins RG and USOover a guy " simply" wins London
    When asked if he would change one of his many W titles for that single and elusive US Opem Borg answered in half a second: Never in life
     
  31. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    Nice! Apparently Nastase himself started as a ball boy (due to his uncle's influence I think). A great talent, too bad that he wasn't as strong mentally as the Borgs and the Connors...
     
  32. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Yes, Ilie should rank among the ten all-time best players regarding sheer talent and touch. But he had a rather doubtful character. He even once spewed at his opponent (Hans-Jürgen Pohmann)...
     
  33. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    He was more of clown if anything and probably a tad weak mentally (as exemplified in his unfulfilled at times, talent - Although he did win 2 GS or so- Roland Garros and USO).
     
  34. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Many latin greats have begun as ball boys
    Nastase,Panatta,Santana,Orantes and Vilas did also lots of it
     
  35. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    And 4 successive Masters as well
     
  36. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    After Connors strenghold in 74 and before Borg great dominance starting in 78 middle 70 did not have an undisputed number 1
    Ashe in 75, Borg in 76 and Vilas in 77 were a bit above the rest even if some could claim that Connors was the strongest guy in 75-76 and Borg in 77
     
  37. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    The first ones!
     
  38. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    Very true.

    Interesting that BobbyOne alluded to an article praising the Wimbledon champion, and yet he considers a man with a 0-5 record in Wimbledon finals to be the GOAT?
     
  39. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Listen, my friend: That's NOT a contradiction. I wonder when you will be open-minded enough to understand...
     
  40. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    If you accept that Wimbledon is the greatest tournament in tennis, you cannot make a claim that a man who could not win in five finals there can be GOAT. It does not matter if that was not at peak, if he was the GOAT (rather than an all-time great), he should have found a way to win at least once.

    This is obvious to me and many other observers who do not rank Rosewall as GOAT.
     
  41. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Phoenix, You always give the same old and wrong opinion.

    I'm glad that I am not alone with my conviction. There are some (Bud Collins, Carlo Colussi, pc1 and others) who agree that Rosewall is at least a GOAT candidate and who understand that it's not easy to win Wimbledon when mostly and in the peak years being banned (for 13 years!).

    You will be surprised: Rosewall is even the most successful player at all regarding success at the most important tournament (Wembley, Wimbledon and 1972/1973 US Open): Muscles won five times, reached five finals (of course I omit the amateur Wimbledon!) and reached five SFs. In comparison Laver stands at six wins, zero finals and zero SFs.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2013
  42. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    ^ BobbyOne, the matter is black and white for me. Rosewall cannot be GOAT with his record. I think some people here allow for too many GOAT contenders.

    I, on the other hand, feel that only Federer and Laver have perfect resumes...
     
  43. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Phoenix, Nobody's perfect, not even you.

    Laver never won a WCT final nor a Masters.

    Federer never won a Grand Slam.

    Life is not always black and white.

    I only agree that many posters have too many GOAT candidates.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
  44. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    The only reason Federer never won the Grand Slam is because he faced the greatest single-surface player of all time (Nadal on clay) in two finals (2006 and 2007).

    No one in history would have defeated Nadal in those matches.

    Thus I consider Federer's 2006/2007 to be essentially the same as Laver's 1962/1969.
     
  45. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Very bold, Phoenix, to equal a true Grand Slam with a great Federer year...

    I doubt if Federer had won a French final against Borg.

    Federer has also some other flaws in his resumee: (Hope the Federer armada will not "marching" again against me too "brutally"...).

    Federer has won "only" 17 majors ("Non-GOAT" Rosewall has 23).

    He has a negative hth against the number 2 of his era.

    He also has a negative balance against Nadal at big events.

    He played in a rather weak era :eek:nly Agassi, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray as all-time greats (Rosewall had Kramer, Gonzalez, Hoad, Sedgman, Trabert, Segura, Laver, Newcombe, Roche, Ashe, Connors, Borg, Vilas)

    Federer has made "only" one Channel Slam, Rosewall has made three in a row (1960 to 1962).

    He never pushed Nadal to five sets at Paris and never beat him there.

    Laver has also a negative balance against his main opponent at big events.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
  46. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    I don't think it's fair to equate amateur majors as open era grand slams Bobby. Federer also has the 6 WTF's. For the sake of being fair and objective and considering the change of era's. I think it's better to say that Rosewall and Federer have comparable records in singles majors. Obviously Rosewall has all those doubles majors etc...

    This is true. Although I'd argue Federer had the disadvantage of playing a disproportionate number of matches on clay, his worst and Nadal's best surface. He's also older.

    He does. In fairness it's only a slight disadvantage off clay.

    Why is Segura an all-time great with 3 pro slams? Likewise Kramer won only 2 pro championships and 3 amateurs. Roche only won one singles title. The last time Kramer was a runner up at a pro major was a year before Rosewall won even his first amateur. Rosewall never had the chance to play and beat Borg and Vilas on the big stages either I imagine? I wouldn't call Murray an all-time great either, not yet.

    Seems like you're inflating Rosewall's competition a bit, certainly not all of the players you mentioned are all time greats. Even players like Hewitt and Safin have as about as many majors as some of those players. Unless you're including doubles? Rosewall to his immense credit overlapped many era's due to his longevity, the greatest longevity of all time IMO. I wouldn't call him a rival of Kramer or Borg or Vilas though. Correct me if the information I've found on the internet is wrong...would be nice to get the egg off my face sooner rather than later.

    So yes while Rosewall has played against some great players, perhaps more than Federer. Going by your criteria if Federer sticks around a little longer we maybe able to add a few more names to it from the up and comers. Hopefully a few of them will develop into great players :?.

    Also Federer did beat Sampras at Wimbledon as a teen. Though it obviously wasn't a rivalry.

    He's down the atlantic slam 4 times though ;).

    Nadal at Paris is perhaps the most unstoppable player there has ever been.

    Don't Laver and Gonzales have overall head to head leads?

    I do agree Rosewall should be in the conversation or atleast mentioned. His longevity alone is incredible.


    Edit: Fingers crossed this remains civil.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
  47. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I would say this is an example of false reasoning.

    It is similar to "Slam Bias." Slam bias is when one states that only the winners of a slam can be the no. 1 player for a given year, and it does not matter what other tournaments a person may have won, because the only thing that matters is winning one of the slams.

    I firmly believe that I can accept that Wimbledon is the greatest tournament in tennis and that THE GOAT may never have won Wimbledon.

    Please allow me to illustrate with a hypothetical scenario:
    What if a player wins every slam but Wimbledon for ten years in a row and wins 8 Masters 1000 tournaments each year over the same ten years? That person would have 30 slams and 80 masters 1000 trophies. And that person would be the no. 1 ranked player for every one of those ten years (520 weeks at world no. 1 [?]). Maybe that player's match record over those ten years would be 90-1 every single year.

    You cannot say that winning or not winning a single tournament trumps absolutely everything else.

    Would that player be the GOAT? In my book, yes.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
  48. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    Do you not think that winning Wimbledon could be a tiebreaker between two players who have similar credentials?
     
  49. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    NatF,

    Thanks a lot for your serious argumentation and some interesting aspects.

    Segura is an all-time great. He was arguably the No.2 player in the 1950s.

    Roche won only one major, yes, but he was awesome in a few years. He beat Rosewall at the 1968 Wimbledon. He is 9:7 against Rosewall and 9:11 against Laver.

    Yes, Laver and Gonzalez have a positive balance against Rosewall but Muscles is 3:1 against Pancho in big events and 10:7 against the Rocket in majors events.

    It seems as though you rate Rosewall as a GOAT candidate. That's nice.
     
  50. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    That could be.

    I forgot as an argument against the "perfect resumee" (Phoenix) of Federer that Roger won "only" 80 tournaments while Laver won at least 200 and Rosewall at least 137.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013

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