Does Kramer have a viable case as a GOAT contender?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by TheFifthSet, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Okay, that's one RG appearance in how many years? Not much.
    How many clay majors? Zero.
    Not enough to qualify for top five all-time. Maybe top ten.
     
    #51
  2. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    a WCT Final win over Vilas in 176 and 2 Masters wins.

    In 79 he defeated, one day after the other, world´s nº 5 (Roscoe Tanner), nº 3 (Jimmy Connors) in the rr then nº 2 (John Mc Enroe) in the semis and, in the final, overwhelmed world´s nº 4 (Gerulaitis)

    In 1980, he defeated world´s n5 (Clerc) and nº 2 (Mc Enroe) in two cosnecutive days in the rr portion,In the semid he beat Jimmy Connors, world´s nº 3 and, in the final, a straight set win over world´s nº 4 (Lendl).

    I doubt ay other player in history has been able to do that, two years in a row.It is almost as rgeat as his three channel slams, when old clay and old grass with only 2 week s of adjustment.He did it three years in a row.
     
    #52
  3. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    The number the ATP has is wrong. I have a list of all his matches. He was astounding. Like I wrote, they didn't list so many of the old WCT tournament and other tournaments besides that. The ATP records only go back to 1973 I believe, perhaps 1968 in some cases. They only list Pancho Gonzalez with 3 tournaments won in his career. You can't go by the ATP records. They try their best but it's often inaccurate.

    Remember he started playing at a young age. His 1979 year was a year for the ages. He won the French, Wimbledon, the Canadian Open (beating McEnroe in straight sets on hard court), the Year End Masters and a total of 21 tournaments. I have always thought that on this year alone Borg deserved to get into the Hall of Fame. Compare it to Rafter's career in which he won 11 tournaments and 2 US Opens. Borg in 1979 did far more than Rafter did in his entire career and Rafter's in the Hall of Fame. Borg didn't just beat people that year he destroyed them. Borg destroyed players for a number of years. For example he won the 1978 French and only lost 32 games for the whole tournament without losing a set. I believe he holds the record for most love sets in a career as far as we know. Maybe Tilden could have surpassed that but records were not kept.

    So understand that Borg won 106 tournaments by age 25. That is stunning. He was that great.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2012
    #53
  4. Dan Lobb

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    I wass merely pointing out that his opponents at Wimbledon were not top class, certainly weaker than in most years.
     
    #54
  5. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Dan, I never claimed for Kramer a top five or top ten place on clay. But he still was very strong on clay.
     
    #55
  6. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Which would bring us to which is Bjorn´s greatest year?

    In 78, 79 and 80 made the double FO/W.In 78 he also added the IO and in 1979 and 1980 the Masters.In 1979 he lost the WCT final while in 1978 and 1980 he lost the USO final.

    Considering he " should" have won that USO final against Mc Enroe, I guess I´d pick 1980 as his most complete year.

    John did a great job in beating Borg at Flushing that year, and proved he was made of the real stuff, avenging his 5 sets Wimbledon lose in the most cruel way for Borg.
     
    #56
  7. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    And don't forget that in 1977 he won 13 tournaments including Wimbledon but couldn't play the French because he played World Team Tennis. I think the odds are that he would have won the French had he been able to play. How he beat Gerulaitis (an great match) and Connors in five sets at Wimbledon in 1977 in consecutive rounds boggles the mind!
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2012
    #57
  8. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Kramer became a pretty good clay court player after he turned pro. He always had solid groundies and I believe Pancho Gonzalez ranked him among the best baseliners he faced. That's impressive for a guy known as a serve and volleyer. Gonzalez ranked the three best baseliners as Kramer, Rosewall and Segura.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2012
    #58
  9. Dan Lobb

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    I meant top ten overall.
     
    #59
  10. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Kramer should have shown his clay ability by playing some big clay tournaments. That's how you do it.
     
    #60
  11. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Dan, Then I perhaps can agree.
     
    #61
  12. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    Kramer in 5.
     
    #62
  13. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    JoelDali, Do you really believe that Kramer is better than three out of my top 7: Tilden, Gonzalez, Rosewall, Laver, Borg, Sampras, Federer. But which three players would you omit?
     
    #63
  14. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    Kramer's pure GOAT juice blend eclipses the Rosewall 140 slice backhand.

    Kramer in straight sets.

    Laver's only last 2 months if you're a toe draggah. Go with the CB 2.3.
     
    #64
  15. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I don´t think 1977 was such a great year for Borg, even with that memorable Centennary Wimbledon win, which any fan should still remember.It was such a fantastic event from the first to the last day...

    But he was beaten by Connors at the Masters final and ahd a poor showing at Forest Hills.Not on line with 1978,1979 and 1980.Not even with 1981, when he won the FO and lost the Wimbly and Flushing finals.
     
    #65
  16. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Laver would have kept on beating Kramer on clay, so would Hoad.

    But we know Gonzales is so biassed when talking about Laver...
     
    #66
  17. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I think Laver was a better clay court player than Kramer but I would guess that in the pros that Kramer would regularly beat Hoad, even though Hoad did win the French when he was an amateur. Kramer mentioned that on tour he beat Sedgman something like 17 out of 20 on clay. That's pretty good.
     
    #67
  18. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Hoad was a far better cc player than Sedgman.
     
    #68
  19. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Perhaps but Sedgman was in the finals of the French and also in the finals of the French Pro. He was a very good clay player and to beat him 17 of 20 is very good.
     
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  20. Dan Lobb

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    Kramer DID regularly beat Hoad on the 1957 tour, but Kramer believed that Hoad was not giving his best against the older players.
    Actually, would you want to beat up on your own boss, the guy who signs the cheques and offers the contracts? Not good business.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012
    #70
  21. Dan Lobb

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    Which tour was that, in what year? I thought that clay was rare on the 1953 tour. Did Kramer play in Europe that year?
     
    #71
  22. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Kramer wrote that he and Sedgman played some matches down south on clay (in the United States) and Kramer won 17 of the next 19. And Kramer split with Sedgman from that point to win the tour. He also added Sedgman had a sore shoulder and the flu at that point. So I was slightly wrong. Kramer won 17 of 19 instead of 17 of 20. Not 100% certain all 19 matches were on clay but I thought he indicated they were. And yes it was on the long tour they played I believe in 1953.
     
    #72
  23. pc1

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    Well I don't think Hoad would lose to Kramer because Kramer was his boss but I do believe that Hoad didn't give his best against Kramer. Rosewall beat Kramer pretty badly on that tour. I don't think either Hoad or Rosewall worried about being paid or not if they beat Kramer. I do think Kramer was beyond that sort of stuff.
     
    #73
  24. Dan Lobb

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    I read somewhere that Sedgman won 12 of the 18 matches which opened the tour in Australia, and then pulled a shoulder muscle in his serving arm which caused the seious decline you noted above. This was enough to give Kramer the overall edge on the tour. Kramer claimed that he was "injured" too, although this was just his ongoing arthritis problem, similar to Laver's.

    I don't think that this tells us much about their relative merits on clay.
     
    #74
  25. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    pc1, You are surely right that Hoad has not lost rather often to old Kramer because the latter was Lew's boss. That's just Dan's invention.

    Sedgman was also strong on clay when he defeated Hoad in four sets (the last by 6-0) at Toronto in 1959.
     
    #75
  26. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    I agree, but a young 22-year-old player might want to be cautious until he knew Kramer's personality well.
     
    #76
  27. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Perhaps but I think he was good on clay.
     
    #77
  28. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    He also beat Hoad in the semi-final at Roland Garros that same year. Sedgman, like Gonzales, was good on clay, and was runnerup to Drobny at Roland Garros in 1952.
    As I say above, I don't think that you can read too much into the 1953 series because it coincided with Sedgman's shoulder injury.
     
    #78
  29. pc1

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    Possibly but we also can take into account that Sedgman was playing an older Kramer. I don't know for sure but my best guess would be that Kramer in his prime was superior to Sedgman in his prime on clay.

    Actually since we're discussing the old pros, one player who we don't discuss too much who was super on clay was Segura. He had a great game for clay.
     
    #79
  30. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    I find it especially sad for the clay surface, that open tennis arrived so late. I would have loved to see those pro mandarins like Kramer, Segura, Gonzalez and the others battle against the top clay amateurs of the day like Drobny, Asboth, Bergelin, Gardini, Patty, Merlo, later Pietrangeli, Santana, Lundquist, Darmon or Mulligan. Trabert and Rosewall did well on amateur and pro Frenchs, but what fine matches with a classic brand of tennis we did miss between Rosewall and Pietrangeli for instance.
     
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  31. pc1

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    That would be wonderful. I would have also loved to see Gimeno against Santana play each other often on clay.
     
    #81
  32. BobbyOne

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    urban, Yes, pro/am matches that never happened but would be very interesting.

    I believe the pros would beat the best amateurs even on clay. Rosewall,Trabert and Hoad who did so well in the pro ranks on clay had also defeated their amateur opponents clearly.

    Ayala is a good measure stick for comparisons. He was a top claycourter among the amateurs but failed to succeed in the pro ranks (lost to 40 years old Segura in 1961 French pro).

    Laver once beat Darmon in 1966 clearly . Gimeno trounced amateur claycourter Alvarez 6-0,6-0.

    Of course players like peak Drobny, Santana and Pietrangeli would have fared rather well against the pros.

    The four top pros (including 40 years old Gonzalez) beat the amateurs (including ex-amateur Emerson who was the holder) in the first French Open.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012
    #82
  33. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    In fact, they faced only once, in the 4 th round of the 1969 FO.They were 2 sets each when Santana alleged an injury and Gimeno reached the quarterfinals, where Laver defeated him.

    Some other matches were indoors.
     
    #83
  34. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    That is a great choice.Pietrangeli,Santana,Nastase,Rosewall and even Laver were some of the finest clay court players to watch, with wonderful touch and ability.I would add Gimeno,Patty,Drobny,Orantes and Panatta in that group although Orantes and Panatta belonged to the next generation ( 1970´s).

    Another fantastic touch player was the indian Ramanathan Krishnan, father of Ramesh, a player of the 80´s.Ramanathan was the truly first great Indian player before Amritraj and was one of the best amateurs of the 60´s.However, most of his success came on grass, which is the surface Indian pros get started with.
     
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  35. pc1

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    Speaking of great touch players I was reading a comment that Ken Rosewall made about the great Spanish player Manuel Orantes. He said that Orantes didn't have any weaknesses, had a very solid volley. I think Muscles respect Orantes game very much. It's a pity that Orantes didn't accomplish as much as he should have but you can say that about a lot of people.
     
    #85
  36. Phoenix1983

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    Kramer certainly has a case as a GOAT contender if we are talking about most influential man in tennis history.
     
    #86
  37. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Just as a player I believe he has a viable case.
     
    #87
  38. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    JoelDali, You seem to know nothing about Rosewall's backhand. It was not as defensive as Federer's . And it was better than Kramer's forehand.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012
    #88
  39. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    did it clock in at 140 mph? That seems to be the word around this side of the forum.
     
    #89
  40. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    Rosewall had a piercing deadly 140mph slice. Pure GOAT shot. It was supposedly clocked at 148mph at forest hills in '71.

    Robby Koenig would today, most likely call it a "Rippa" from the commentary booth.
     
    #90
  41. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    JoelDali,

    As you well know the joke (which is kind of getting boring now but that's okay) started with a couple of other posters and has been repeated ad infinitum. Bottom line is that Rosewall has a great backhand and he could hit it extremely hard and accurately. But if you want to call it the Rippa that's fine but I thought that was Kelli Ripa's nickname. It may be taken.

    Here's a link to a youtube video of Ken Rosewall against Tony Roche in the 1970 US Open final. Unless the person is Novak Djokovic I doubt if anyone reading here can match the Rosewall backhand in this video. And Rosewall is 35 about to turn 36 here. It's not 148 mph but it is just fast enough to pass people at the net, lob and hit winners. lol.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJubuKDN7Fk
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
    #91
  42. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Orantes had a big win over muscles in the Barcelona WCT event played in 71 and he took that title beating Lutz in the final just 2 yrs after beating Santana in his first win there
    I said many times before that injuries got in his way to win more big titles
    I cannot think of another case of bigger misfortune in the modern era, even more bad luck tham Hoad, Roche or Gene Mayer
     
    #92
  43. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I thought it was right up there with that Tilden serve.

    160+ mph.
     
    #93
  44. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    We should Rosewall's nickname from Muscles to The Surgeon (or The Carver).
     
    #94
  45. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    Pure Rosewall GOAT extacy right there.

    Epic GOAT slice.

    135 mph slice lob.
     
    #95
  46. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    JoelDali,

    You seem to be an apostle of the Holy Ignorance.

    Learn history and learn English!
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
    #96
  47. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    I'm pretty sure Rosewall's slice would tear most of us a new ass.

    Epic GOAT shawt.
     
    #97
  48. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    #98
  49. ARFED

    ARFED Semi-Pro

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    Well you are definitely in the top 3 ranking for the MDPOAT (most dense poster of all time) category. You must be a 60 year old virgin or something...
     
    #99
  50. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    ARFED, and I wouln't tell you what I am thinking about you. And be sure: in that category you are not only in the top 3 ranking. You are the undisputed king!
     

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