Connors v Borg 1978 and the no.1 ranking

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

  1. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, it is unrealistic. It is hypothetical, and used for the sake of argument.

    I certainly doubt we would ever witness such a scenario.

    My point here was simply to try to demonstrate that not having a Wimbledon title does not automatically and necessarily exclude one from the GOAT discussion.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
  2. ARFED

    ARFED Semi-Pro

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    Altough i don`t consider Rosewall the GOAT, it is just not reasonable to hold his record at Wimbledon against him. His 1974 Wimby has to be one of the greatest performances in a major during the open era (beating Tanner, Smith and Newcombe in succesion at 39 is just jaw dropping). There are numerous arguments agaist his GOATNESS, imo the main has to be the very weak field he reigned upon in the early 60`s, when the competition became tougher he never was alone at the top. However, his longevity (greatest in that department) and consistency at the top, which allowed him to perform so higly at the majors well past his prime, deserves nothing but praise.
     
  3. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    abmk, Before we start a new nasty battle, let's discuss seriously.

    Of course Murray's career is not yet over!

    Maybe I did not mention Safin because I agree that he had great potential...
     
  4. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Phoenix, I have refused to persuade you since a certain time. I just try to disprove you ;-)
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
  5. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    hoodjem, I could not express the matter better...
     
  6. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    ARFED, Thanks for this serious post.

    The field in Rosewall's heyday was not weak: Gonzalez, Laver, Trabert, Sedgman, Segura, Hoad, Gimeno, Cooper, Anderson, Olmedo...
     
  7. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Phoenix1983,

    I should have stopped my answers to your posts (in that matter) already after this your post.

    You blame me to be hypothetical regarding Wimbledon wins of Rosewall but you also are hypothetical in claiming that other all-time greats would not "have wasted that many opportunities"!

    The logic says that it's more probable that a great player like Rosewall would win at least one Wimbledon in his peak or prime than that another great player would win a Wimbledon outside his peak or prime!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You mention several other greats. Some of them have not won a Wimbledon outside their prime: Sampras, Nadal and arguably even Federer, Borg and Laver(the latter won his first Wimbledons in an age when Rosewall could not participate). Gonzalez never won Wimbledon or reached a QF there...

    It's not logic to claim that there is only ONE player out of the several all-time greats who would break down at Wimbledon in his peak years.

    Logic also tells that a player who reached five Wimbledon finals as a very young and a very old player would probably have done even better in his peak years.

    You claim a psychological deficit at Rosewall at Wimbledon. I contradict also here: Such a "deficit" player would not have beaten players like Trabert, Seixas, Newcombe, Roche and Smith at Wimbledon (again all of them outside of his peak years).


    Rosewall was a "specialist" for winning majors even when not being the favourite. Thus he would not have great chances to win in 1961, 1962, 1963 and 1964 but also from 1957 to 1960, from 1965 to 1966 and in 1972/1973...

    Muscles also was known as maybe best player regarding consistency. Thus he would be tough at Wimbledon in (almost) every year.

    By the way, I rank Laver equal with Rosewall. I also concede that Tilden or Gonzalez could be the GOAT, the latter even without winning a Wimbledon (but yet surely theoretically in his prime)...
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
  8. ARFED

    ARFED Semi-Pro

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    You don`t need to thank me, as this post wasn`t meant to back up your statements. I would be the first one to defend Rosewall, not that he needs my defense at all, but well...i just would like you to have the same attitude towards Federer and other great players. They have all contributed to made tennis global.
    Think about this, Federer is the greatest star tennis has ever seen, this being a combination of his succes and the vast media coverage we have today. If not for him, many casual tennis fans would never have even heard about the great feats of past players. Federer has brought many, many fans to this sport. After watching him alive here in Argentina last year, i can`t hardly believe what mass phenom this man has become. People who knew almost nothing about tennis idolized him to incredible levels, and i`m not talking about a few hundres but rather thousends.
    In a way, the hardcore fans of the game, not just of a single player , the majority of posters around here i would like to believe are in debt with Federer, Nadal and all the past legends.

    As for the field Rosewall faced, again, Sedgman, Trabert, Gonzalez, Segura were all past their prime (some of them wayyyyy past their prime) and many were part time players, being generous. Laver came into the scene in 1963, and lacked the experience of playing the top players. Hoad was having serious injuries around that time so he wasn`t the hardest opposition one could get. The rest were second class players (only Gimeno could be a top 10 in this era imo)
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
  9. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    ARFED, I just wanted to write a nice word as a certain appeasement between us.

    My sorrow is that because of the media hype of Federer, Nadal and so on the
    achievements of the older players get to the background.
     
  10. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    ARFED, Sedgman, Segura and Trabert were still very strong at that time: Sedgman had two or three matchpoints against peak Laver at the 1965 Wembley, Segura had a matchpoint against Rosewall at the 1962 Wembley, Gonzalez in 1961 was not past his prime, Hoad beat Laver 8:0 matches in 1963. Anderson was so strong even in 1972 that he beat Newcombe in the AO and had two matchpoints against peak Connors in 1974...

    Don't believe Dan all he claims!
     
  11. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    The media hype is excessive but I think it's justified for Federer and Nadal to some extent. They are two amazing players. Federer made a good quote about it not too long actually. He said something like, 'You play an ok match and they say it's amazing, play a good match and it's nothing they've ever seen before. I think it's a bit crazy.' It was something to that effect. The current guys are capable of incredible stuff but they're also capable of some very boring matches alla US Open 2012 and AO 13.

    Laver does get mentioned, as does Sampras. I recently watched a match where Rosewall's slice or backhand was mentioned.
     
  12. ARFED

    ARFED Semi-Pro

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    On the contrary, i became an avid tennis fan from watching the player i like the most, not Federer as you would think, but Edberg. His game was just like poetry in motion. But in the early 90`s internet wasn`t available so i couldn`t learn much about the past greats. Federer reminded me of Edberg (except the forehand :twisted:) in many ways, the effortles style he plays, etc. He is the best player i have ever seen, by far, even above my idol Steffan. He is the reason i came back to the courts and picked up a racquet again, after many years, and also the reason to learn more about the game and its best players.
     
  13. ARFED

    ARFED Semi-Pro

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    Hewitt beat Federer in 2010, Haas beat Djokovic in 2013. Anomalies always occur, but this doesn`t make this players a great opposition on a weekly basis. At least not when they are way past their best days
     
  14. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    ARFED,

    When Mal Anderson is able to almost beat the best Connors at 39 and after a 11 months gap you could (and should) imagine how good he was in his prime.

    Mal won the 1957 US Nationals and reached the final there in 1958. And he won the 1959 Wembley! He at least beat Rosewall 13 times.

    It's a fairy-tale that Rosewall had weak opposition in his peak years. The contrary is true...

    Haas is a great player who was often handicapped by injuries.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
  15. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    Sampras was not at peak in 2000, Federer not at peak in 2012, Borg probably not at peak in 1976, Laver not at peak in 1961-62 (albeit that Rosewall/Hoad/Gonzales could not participate).

    And none of these men has a 0-5 record in a particular tournament final.

    By the way, if tennis had been Open in the 1950s, Rosewall would likely not even have reached the two Wimbledon finals in that decade - he was fortunate that stronger competitors were not around, to allow him to reach two finals! Contrast this with Laver who, as well as dominating elsewhere, won two Wimbledons before turning pro.


    Newcombe is the only true great in that list.

    If Borg had never played the US Open, people would have said "he would have had great chances every year, especially when it was played on clay". Point is, he did play, and never won it.

    I actually don't find it likely that Rosewall would ever have got over his hump and won Wimbledon. I expect he would have consistently got to the latter stages and been beaten by Gonzales, Hoad and Laver.

    A tough challenge for the champion yes, but a champion himself? I'm not so sure.

    Very unlikely that the top 2 players of all time played in exactly the same era , and hail from the same nation.

    And you seriously think that nobody who began their career after the mid-1950s could be the GOAT? I humbly suggest that, as a 64 year old man, you are in thrall of the idols of your youth and cannot appreciate the greats of later eras (Borg, Sampras, Federer, Nadal) as much as they deserve.

    And finally, once more, you overrate Rosewall. :)
     
  16. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Phoenix1983, As a short farewell: You are wrong and not serious in several points:You confuse peak and prime.
    You don't tell any news that Rosewall would not have reached W finals in 1954 and 1956 if pros had participated.

    Laver won Wimbledon as an amateur in an age of life (23 and 24) when Rosewall was a pro.
    You disqualify yourself as a true tennis fan when omitting Trabert, Seixas, Roche and Smith as greats. By the way, Roche in his peak years was at least as strong as Newk...

    Rosewall has a positive hth against Gonzalez, Hoad (11:4) and Laver in big events. Learn history, you biassed guy!

    I don't find any wrong that two players are the greatest who played in the same era and coming from the same country.

    In music arguably the three greatest composers came from the same nation and lived about in the same era.

    I'm too tired to discuss with you anymore. Maybe we can discuss later in another thread (but not regarding Rosewall's greatness...).

    Goodbye my young friend!
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
  17. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    I am a true tennis fan, you're just annoyed that I don't share your fanboyish view of Rosewall. I think I have a higher standard for 'great' than you do though. And no way is Roche on the same level as Newcombe.

    By the way, when Rosewall dies, you will find many obituaries calling him one of the greats, very few saying he was GOAT. This is obvious to most. :?

    I won't argue with you any more on this issue, I think we are both convinced that the other one is wrong...
     
  18. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    This is an unrealistic thing to say

    Here's an equally unrealistic statement: it is very unlikely that a GOAT candidate could come from Switzerland, a country with virtually no tennis history or tradition.

    But apparently it has happened.
     
  19. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Here's my GOAT top-five country, era list:

    Australia--2 (1950-60-70s)
    USA--2 (1920-30s, 1950s)
    Switzerland--1 (2000-2010s)
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2013
  20. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    Where do you rank Sampras and Borg and Nadal? Do you have a preference between your top 5 for who goes first? Also what criteria do you use?

    I hope thats enough questions for you ;)
     
  21. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Sweden late 70´s and early 80´s...no US player of the 60´s could realistically be considered a GOAT candidate, just my two cents.But certainly, US 90´s yes
     
  22. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    The 1979 year was Borg´s complete domination over Connors ( who had just married and expecting a child, no focus on tennis).

    Las Vegas,Tokyo,Wimbledon,Frankfurt,Montreal and Miami were near the landslide cathegory.But Jimmy stroke back at the year´s end Masters and almost beat the Swede in the best indoor match of the year.
     
  23. Xavier G

    Xavier G Semi-Pro

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    Coming into 1979, the tag of 'player of the 70's' was still up for grabs, kiki.
    Bjorn had an extra Slam win, Jimmy had a Masters, had won more tournaments in the game and had the edge in the head to head.
    Bjorn dominated Jimmy in 79, giving him some brutal beatdowns and cemented his place at the top of the game without question.
    Jimmy started to make things a little closer again from the Masters 79 (Jan 80), but could never get that big win over Borg until Bjorn left the tour full time.
    Maybe Jimmy did take his eye off the ball a little bit with marriage and a kid on the way, got a bit content.
     
  24. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    True, XavierG.1979 switched the balance in favour of Borg, as the nº 1 player of the whole decade.

    IMO, three players were the dominant ones in that decade, ahead of the other elite players.Newcombe at the beginning of the decade, Connors in the central years and then Borg at the end of it.It is a nice mix: 1 australian ( the last true great Oz champion), 1 american ans 1 european.A S&Ver, an agressive baseliner who could play all around tennis and a defensive baseliner with the greatest physichal conditiong the game has known.
     
  25. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    I said you didn't mention safin in the list of "great" players that federer faced , but you mentioned murray ......that's what I found amusing ...

    of course murray's career is not yet over, but he's not had the misfortune of meeting peak federer at wimbledon/USO time and again like prime roddick/hewitt did ....

    he's not really that good on clay/at RG , so let's not go there ...

    AO is the only place where he faces a near equivalent of prime federer - in djokovic ...

    again, if you include murray right now as part of "greats" that federer faced, roche as part of the greats that rosewall faced, you just cannot exclude hewitt, roddick, safin and kuerten .... its just another example of you sub-consciously/consciously under-rating federer's competition at his peak ..

    again, if you are focusing quite a bit on talent/potential, you shouldn't be forgetting nalbandian, tsonga, del potro either ....
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2013
  26. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    oh really ? haas is a "great" player ?

    he's a very good player, but not a great ..

    haas is great player , yet hewitt who is a far superior player overall wouldn't be top 10 in your so called strong eras ? some bizarre logic that is ....
     
  27. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    Hewitt who was himself handicapped by injuries as well. I think Hewitt is really underrated, very good player who's prime was cut short.
     
  28. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    indeed ... sadly many people have forgetten/don't know how fast he was at his prime, how good his returning/passing/counter-punching was ... in part due to his injuries and in part due to federer getting a hold over him once he hit his prime .......
     
  29. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I put Borg, Sampras, and Nadal in the second section of my top-10.

    In my top-five, I do have a preference for the order and who goes first. I try to use career achievements as my criteria, rather than talent or peak level.
     
  30. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    coming back to topic.

    Connors last wins over Borg happened at exos.I think he defeated Bjorn at the Moolson Challenge in Montreal, back in 1981 and, again, at the Suntory Cup in 1983, when Borg was already retired.

    Of course, he should have won their epic 1981 Wimbledon clash.Probably, the greatest Gran Slam semifinal ever played, along the Ashe vs Laver 1969 Wimbledon semifinal.
     
  31. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    very good matches, but neither of them close to greatest semi-finals ..

    both bagel sets in the 81 semi were of course much closer than what the scoreline indicated ....

    gerulaitis-borg wimbledon 77, mcenroe-connors USO 84 , federer-safin AO 2005, nadal verdasco AO 2009 in chronological order were clearly better matches in semis of majors IMO ....
     
  32. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Great list!

    These were all titanic matches.
     
  33. ARFED

    ARFED Semi-Pro

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    Surely not the highest quality when talking about majors semifinals (my personal favourite is the Verdasco-Nadal match, insane shotmaking), but the atmopshere during the 4 set tiebreak between Agassi and Sampras in 2000 was probably the most intense on a tennis court i`ve ever seen.
     
  34. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    kiki: Rosewall was 4:3 against Newk in big events and 14:10 generally...
     
  35. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    abmk, Wer will never agree regarding Federer's competition (at least in comparison to Rosewall's opponents!).
     
  36. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    That you can sleep peacefully: Hewitt is at least as good as Haas.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2013
  37. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    Bobby you'll be pleased to know while watching an old match (US Open Semi 2005 Hewitt vs Federer), Rosewall got a decent mention. Said that he was an important figure in grand slam history. Also showed how many finals/semi's he made past the age of 35. He obviously has the record of making a final at age 39. I'm sure his longevity will never be forgotten.
     
  38. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    2005 an old match??? how old are you, son?
     
  39. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    NatF, Fine. Other Rosewall achievements are seldom or never mentioned: his record 23 major titles, his three times channel slam, his at least 356 singles SFs, his all-time best positive balance in big events against all his great opponents (with the only exception Connors) which make him a true GOAT candidate.
     
  40. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    I'm 22, should I have just called it an older match? It's not a new match...but I can see why it would be odd to call it 'old' considering you guys often talk about the 60's.

    Sadly the only full match of Laver I can find on the internet is his US Open 1969 victory over Roche. The quality isn't great either, can barely make out the ball.
     
  41. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    lol, tried to be nice and you moan! Can't win.

    Ps: With his 6 WTF's wins Federer arguably has 23 majors as well. I don't mind if you want to share the record...
     
  42. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    kiki, maybe grandson...
     
  43. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    NatF, Where do you see a problem with my answer? Where did I moan?. I just wrote a fact.There was no offense from myself. I would be glad if you and your Federer colleagues would always be nice (to me). I just don't want to be called "stupid old man" and addressed aggressively every time I post...

    Rosewall won two WCT finals. Thus he still has the edge.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2013
  44. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    It seemed a little moany to me. The 'fine' came across in a 'So what' way. But I accept it wasn't meant that way.

    4 of those majors are amateurs, Federer therefore has the edge in major singles titles ;). Federer has nothing to do with this thread though anyway, I thought you may like to know Rosewall got a decent mention.

    As for being nice, yes well as long as you don't descend into calling me a Federer fanatic etc...I will remain nice. I'm a fan of tennis, not just a fan of Federer afterall.
     
  45. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    hahahaha.Not intention to be offensive, though.But, too me, a Borg vs Gerulaitis 77 semifinal is AN OLD match, which I am watching now while posting.
     
  46. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    NatF, It's okay.
     
  47. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    kiki, Yes, a great match. I have watched it in that time. On the other hand, it's for me a certain hint that Borg would have had some trouble at Wimbledon with great grasscourters like Laver, Rosewall and Newcombe. It might be interesting that the same Gerulaitis lost a match in straight sets against 43 years old Rosewall the same year at Sydney.
     
  48. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Borg was lucky not to have played the best Laver and the best Newk at London.
     
  49. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Yes, Borg was significantly better on clay than on grass.
     
  50. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Borg was a great grass court player. He would have been very tough for Newcombe, Laver, or any other player at Wimbledon. He would have given them plenty of trouble as well, especially with his passing shots and all around play. He defeated Connors (several matches), Nastase, McEnroe, Tanner, and Gerulaitis in big matches at Wimbledon and won 41 matches in a row there. He also won Wimbledon without losing a set while winning 5 titles in a row.
     

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