Ellsworth Vines' 10 Best List

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Moose Malloy, Feb 24, 2007.

  1. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    Just reading this book, Tennis:Myth and Method by Ellsworth Vines, pub 1978
    Great read, with chapters on strategy, technique, tactics, etc. Most of the book is devoted to players Vines considers among the "First Ten"- a term used for the best amateurs prior to the open era that were listed in the Spalding Year Book of Tennis, which apparently ensured a lot of opportunties for players that were listed in the book. He lists the best post Tilden players & provided a lot of detail on their game, how they matched up with the others, & their accomplishments(much of it their pro tour achievements, a lot of which I wasn't aware of)

    1 Don Budge
    2 Jack Kramer
    3 Pancho Gonzales
    4 Rod Laver
    5 Pancho Segura(chaognosis, he also agrees with Kramer that his 2 handed forehand was the best shot in the history of the game)
    6 Bobby Riggs
    7 Ken Rosewall
    8 Lew Hoad
    9 Frank Sedgman
    10 Tony Trabert

    He's not a big fan of the "big game myth" as he calls it, saying that that myth has created a mentality that one should S&V always, & when it isn't working you have nothing to fall back on because you haven't perfected your groundstrokes. Apparently he thinks that many top players in the early years of the open era experienced a lot of upsets because they relied too much on the big game. Likes that Connors & Borg in the 70s are changing this myth. Think he would have loved Federer.
     
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  2. pj80

    pj80 Semi-Pro

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    bs....i dont think i would lose a game against any of these players.
     
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  3. chaognosis

    chaognosis Semi-Pro

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    Then you are an idiot.
     
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  4. Hey Moe!

    Hey Moe! New User

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    Ellsworth Vines was a heck of a player, back in the day. He was extremely athletic, and had a lot of success in his day. BTW, he turned his attention to golf later on, and became am extremely comptetive golfer (not with the elite of the day, but not far behind).

    IMHO, he had a keen sense for talent. For that reason, I don't have a problem with his list. If you take a close look at his list, everyone there had to play to survive.

    It would be fun to put that group in a fantasy tournament against the players from the '70s on. In my simple mind, the person who could challenge the "legends" is Federer. I don't see a weakness there.

    A can of balls? Couple of bucks.

    A pair of shoes? 40-80 bucks, if you're not stupid.

    Watching Federer playing Laver/Budge/Kramer? PRICELESS!
     
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  5. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    All of those players would win almost every point against you and that is with them playing a standard head woodie and you playing your modern fly swatter :)
     
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  6. BeckerFan

    BeckerFan Rookie

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    I find the praise heaped on Segura's two-handed forehand to be somewhat surprising. I haven't seen it myself, though I'm sure it was a phenomenal shot ... but there are obvious weaknesses to any two-handed stroke. I saw an interview with Don Budge not long ago, and he said he felt 'sorry' for all the players who grow up today and learn the two-handed backhand. Strange, then, that so many of these guys consider Segura to have had the best FH of them all.

    Of the 'old timers' I've seen, I think Vines and Perry had the best FHs. A nice study in contrasts, the two of them: Vines with the deep, flat 'go-for-broke' shot hit at the top of the bounce; Perry with the wrist-flick shot hit on the rise. Kramer modeled his FH after Vines's, and it showed. As for Perry's game, it was supposedly modeled after Henri Cochet's, and I've heard some critics say it was a huge detriment to British tennis ... coaches tried to model whole generations of youngsters after Perry's strokes, but hardly anyone could actually pull off his highly personal style.
     
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  7. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    In a good book by Richard Schickel, World of Tennis, of 1975, he gives an interesting theory on Vines: Vines had too much power for his own sake, he couldn't quite control the new power of the flat strokes he generated, and therefore broke down in his last amateur year. He was tall and lanky, but not too athletic built, and had stamina problems. In some Davis Cup matches he collapsed and ended up on a stretcher. In his pro years he learnt to control his game better, and even overweight and out of form he gave new pro Budge a tough battle in 1939. I still think, that Perry in his prime in the mid 30s, was probably the toughest and most dangerous player of the 3 greats Vines, Budge and Perry. Vines with his flat style was probably at his best indoors and on hard courts, Perry with his lower balance point better suited for grass. The best of the 30s on clay however was von Cramm, who is always a bit underrated because of his Wimbledon losses.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2007
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  8. BeckerFan

    BeckerFan Rookie

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    By virtue of the Grand Slam alone, I would say that Budge probably deserves his reputation as the greatest player of the decade ... however, the first time I saw clips of Fred Perry, it was truly a revelation. There is no doubt in my mind that Perry would be one of the fastest players in the world even today. Jack Crawford called Budge the 'best' player he had met, though he also said that Perry was the toughest to beat at Wimbledon.

    Kramer is IMO way too harsh on Perry. In his book 'The Game', he estimates that if Vines had not turned pro, Perry would have won Wimbledon and the US Open only once each. By contrast, he gives Vines five Wimbledon titles and six US Open titles. He thinks Budge would have won Wimbledon twice and the US Open seven times, including six in a row. In a particularly self-promoting sentence, he says that HE, rather than Perry, would have been the first modern player to win three Wimbledon titles in a row ... in fact, he gives himself four straight, plus a later fifth. So from the 1931-1953, Kramer thinks Wimbledon and the US Open would together have been won by a non-American only three times!
     
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  9. chaognosis

    chaognosis Semi-Pro

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    A very interesting, if somewhat idiosyncratic list. Laver seems a bit low at No. 4. It is perhaps strange that Vines dislikes the Big Game but includes its two greatest practitioners in his top three--though I suppose it can be argued that Kramer, at least, had the groundstrokes to back up his predominantly serve-and-volley game. I am always a little surprised by the high ranking of Riggs in the minds of so many players of that era. He was a phenomenal player by all accounts, but better than Rosewall and Hoad? Certainly, most players and observers since then would disagree...
     
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  10. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    Seems like it's agreed that Hoad was better than this list points out.

    But there's no way a two handed forehand was the best shot in the game. That shot makes no sense. Sorry, but it's true.
     
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  11. andreh

    andreh Professional

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    Actually, some of them are no longer with us. He'd win by default!:)
     
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  12. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    From reading the book & what others said about Segura, I get the sense that they think he's the only guy who could pull of this shot because of his unique talents, not that they consider a 2 handed forehand a good idea for anyone else to try. Kind of like saying Mac's the best volleyer of all time, but not teaching anyone his unorthodox style. Apparently Segura hit more winners than any of his contemporaries off the forehand side.
    Segura did coach Connors, I wonder if Jimmy asked him about that shot.

    More from Vines on Segura:

    "Segura could do more with a forehand than any other player. His 2 hand technique(developed in Ecuador as a child because he had rickets) allowed Segura to pull the ball across a net opponent at the last second, drive it down the line, hit a surprise lob, or knock it through him.
     
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  13. llgc8080

    llgc8080 Rookie

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    Thanks For The Post!
     
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  14. forlino

    forlino New User

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    To Chaognosis, who was wondering why Laver was rated only 4th, may I respectfully suggest that he (and everyone else) read the following cogent little article by David Hernandez about Gonzales (also with a brief mention of Emerson): http://www.neta.com/~1stbooks/PG_.htm

    Of all the tennis I've seen on TV (since I started watching the sport in the 1960's), Laver is the greatest player I've ever seen; but I've never seen any tennis matches from the 1950's or prior so I think there've undoubtedly been several who were better.

    The reason, by the way, that Vines didn't include such luminaries as Tilden, Cochet, Lacoste, Crawford, Perry, Cramm, et al. was that, as he explains on Page 5 of the book, he was limiting his list to "post-Tilden" players (i.e., the era from Budge onward) -- in other words, "The Modern Game". I also feel it was quite modest of him to have omitted his own name in his top-10 list(!)
    I found a number of used copies of Vines's book, both paperback and hard cover, in Amazon for very low prices. Regarding why Riggs was rated so high on his list, one absolutely MUST read Vines's 11-page chapter on Riggs.

    Re Norman Brookes, I first read about him in R.S. Whitington's wonderful book "An Illustrated History of Australian Tennis". He was the true master of his time (at least among Australians). Tilden barely beat him in a match (when Brooks was in his 40's and way past his young prime), and after the match Tilden made the comment that Brooks was the single most "intelligent" player he'd ever known. Whitington's book is not confined only to Australian players.

    BeckerFan writes: "Of the 'old timers' I've seen, I think Vines and Perry had the best FHs..." May I just ask: Did you actually see these players yourself? Or rather on film?? If the latter, can you give me any advice on where and how I could see any of them?! I'd give anything to see films of tennis greats in 1920's through the 1950's. There's a videotape being sold, titled: "Tennis: The Greats" -- http://www.abc.net.au/abccontentsales/s1176274.htm --- But I'm not sure about buying it because I've read that it really doesn't have all that much in the way of pre-W.W.II players, save for a few not-very-long snippets/clips.

    >> Paul (forlino@ca.rr.com)
     
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  15. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    We've discussed that Hernandez article, and concluded that he inflates many of his "facts" about how good Gonzales was.

    To me the cogent factor that explains the top three on Vines's list is that these were all pre-1960s players (or late-30s through middle-50s).

    For a book published in 1978, it seems odd to make no mention of Borg and Connors. I wonder when the book was actually written, maybe a few years earlier.

    Here's what Jack Kramer said about Vines the player: "And here is Ellsworth Vines, 6'2-1/2" tall, 155 pounds, dressed like Fred Astaire and hitting shots like Babe Ruth."
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2008
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  16. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    I'm surprised he couldn't find room for another 4 American players.
     
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  17. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    True. The list does seem weighted in favor of Americans.
     
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  18. forlino

    forlino New User

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    Re my previous mention of Vines's 10-best list including only "post-Tilden" players, here's something interesting: Here were his choices of the top 5 players of all time, and his comments, in a 1990 interview in the L.A. Times:

    1. Tilden -- "He was just the best. He could play all the shots. Was way ahead of his time."

    2. Perry -- "Very fast -- covered the court so well. He didn't have TREMENDOUS speed on his shots but he got them all back. He also had a marvelous forehand drive."

    3. Budge --- "He had an all-court game. He could do most anything with his marvelous backhand, but most of the time he hit it down the line. He had a real will to win." (Budge's power was said to be amazing, of course, and hard for any opponent to deal with.)

    4. Crawford --- "He could play on any court. You couldn't get a shot past him. Could hit from either side and hit winners. He was underrated for what he could really do."

    5. Kramer -- He could beat any of these younger players today. His best shot was a forehand drive to the backhand. That gave the other players problems, and how!"

    I should say that perhaps he was thinking quickly and off the cuff during that interview, because in his book he said he would place Crawford alongside Rosewall and Hoad (on the post-Crawford/Perry/Tilden 10-best list).

    Vines did write the book around 1978 and DOES mention Connors and Borg...... For those relatively new players he reserved judgment (though he does discuss their great strengths) and suggests that time will tell...

    -- Re the idea that Vines's list seems "weighted" in favor of Americans, 4 of the 10 are Australians; and Segura was Ecuadorian (originally); and for "11th" place Vines said he might have ranked Emerson.

    I recall reading in one of my tennis books a few years ago a comment by one old-timer tennis authority (I've GOT to try to find out where I read this and should have marked it down!); he was answering an interviewer's question about Budge, and he said that while Budge and Kramer were wonderful players, "they were certainly not the equal of Tilden."

    In Sports Illustrated (7/5/93, pg. 56) --- an interesting comment: "In the 1930's, only Perry and Budge were Cramm's superiors are players." That might be true except that I think Vines was inadvertently left out, or perhaps the writer was referring basically to the middle and late 30's.

    Kramer rated Budge and Vines as the best; followed in 2nd place by Tilden, Perry, Riggs, and Gonzales; and then in the next category such stars as Laver, Hoad, Rosewall, Cramm, Crawford, Segura, Sedgman, Trabert, Borg, Connors, et al., and said that he was unsure of how accurately he could rank Lacoste and Cochet but they definitely MUST be ranked way up there with the greatest.

    By the way, Hoodjem, can you help me a bit --- do you happen to remember roughly the date of the posted message(s) regarding how David Hernandez tended to inflate Gonzales's reputation? I'd love to read the comments, to get a better understanding of Gonzales, but I had trouble locating it on the message board. Thanks.

    Paul
     
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  19. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I'll go digging.

    I found it. It goes on for three pages. Here it is:
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=183807
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2008
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  20. forlino

    forlino New User

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    Thanks, Hoodjem, for the Hernandez link !!!

    -- Paul ("forlino")
     
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  21. Carlo Giovanni Colussi

    Carlo Giovanni Colussi Semi-Pro

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    Hello,

    Vines didn't exactly listed the best post Tilden players in that book but I would say

    "the best post ... Vines players" (or the best players born since 1912-1915, Vines being born in 1911 and Budge in 1915)

    because he restricted the list to the players who played very well since WWII and he considered that Budge was the only great pre-WWII player who still played at a high level after that same WWII
    so Vines excluded himself (who didn't play at all after 1940) and of course older players than him such as Perry (born in 1909), Crawford (born in 1908 ) or Tilden (born in 1893) (and I don't speak of the Dohertys & al).

    Vines also excluded the great players who were in their mid-career, such as Connors and Borg, when he published that book in 1978.

    So the chosen era was roughly 1937-1978.

    I am reading that book (and many others simultaneously which explains why I have only read 16 pages of that book for the moment) and I agree with you that it is a very very interesting one (with some slight errors at the start of the book in particular about Rosewall's wins in the open era : for instance Rosewall didn't win the Wembley tourney in 1969 as suggested by Vines or Vier the co-author, and Kenny didn't beat Newcombe and Nastase and Amritraj in one and only tourney in 1975.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2009
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  22. nfor304

    nfor304 Banned

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    any of them would double bagel you and 10 + friends playing together
     
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  23. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Nice to have you back Carlo.

    There's a lot of errors in that book. For example Vines mentions that Gimeno only defeated Rosewall once and that he wrote was a fluke. As you and most people here know Gimeno defeated Rosewall numerous times.

    The tournament Vines was discussing was the Tucson tournament in which Rosewall did beat Vijay Amritraj but lost to Nastase in three sets in a match Rosewall was serving for the match in the second set. Rosewall didn't play Newcombe in that tournament.

    The list is interesting and I found the book fascinating however and it's very nice to read about Vines' opinions of many of these players.

    There was an interview that Vines gave several years later (1985) and in it he was asked "Who were the top five players in the world, thus far?" He said "Tilden and Budge and Kramer. Then Laver and ...up to now I guess McEnroe. No, not McEnroe, Borg."

    So close to the end of Vines' life he thought these were the top. Now we have to assume these were off the cuff answers and he could have forgotten great players like Gonzalez, who he rated ahead of Laver in his book or he may have changed his mind and decided Laver was superior to Gonzalez at the end. Still it is interesting how high he ranked Borg and McEnroe. You would guess from the tone of the conversation that he would have ranked McEnroe around sixth.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2009
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  24. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Good to see you back, Carlo.
     
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  25. Borgforever

    Borgforever Hall of Fame

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    Great to see you back, Carlo.
     
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  26. Carlo Giovanni Colussi

    Carlo Giovanni Colussi Semi-Pro

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    Thanks, krosero.

    I had much professional work and then I took long holidays (one entire month).
     
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  27. Q&M son

    Q&M son Professional

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    Thanks Carlo for coming back.

    Lucio.
     
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  28. Idzznew

    Idzznew Rookie

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    welcome back

    Good to see you back Carlo!
     
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  29. Carlo Giovanni Colussi

    Carlo Giovanni Colussi Semi-Pro

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    Thanks Lucio in particular for your "BS AS means Buenos Aires." answer in Wiki
     
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  30. Carlo Giovanni Colussi

    Carlo Giovanni Colussi Semi-Pro

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    Thank you Idzznew
     
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  31. Carlo Giovanni Colussi

    Carlo Giovanni Colussi Semi-Pro

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    I haven't Kramer's book to hand but his opinions were sometimes more or less debatable : he shared the 1967 titles (Wimby and Forest) between Rod and Kenny a year when Rod was almost omnipotent (Laver won every major and in all 17 tourneys while Kenny won "only" 7). Kramer only ranked Kenny #3 in 1963 behind Gonzales and Laver whereas Gorgo just played and lost the US Pro and Laver didn't win either Wembley or Paris or Forest Hills, all events won by Rosewall. Kramer also gave Hoad a title in 1957 whereas Hoad won nothing in the pro ranks that year (Hoady even asked Chatrier during the French tour some advices because he was beaten by every pro even the old Pails; Hoad couldn't play percentage tennis and even after the French stops, Lew lost to granpa' arthritic Kramer at Wembley). Kramer gave himself a title in 1952, a year when he was clearly dominated in the pro ranks by Gonzales and Segura (Kramer entered two tourneys and won none that year whereas Gonzales won 4 tourneys out the 5 he entered and Segura 3 out of 7; Kramer was beaten three times by Gorgo in three meetings, twice at Philadelphia and once at Wembley and once out of two matches in Philadelphia by Segoo). Kramer also gave Budge the Forest Hills title in 1941 when Don was clearly not the best pro that year (I concur with Ray Bowers who ranked Budge only 6th in a pro-amateur ranking : Budge entered 3 tourneys and won none that year), etc ...
    Other example : Jake shared both titles between him and Riggs in 1947 though previously in the same book he clearly explained that on fast surfaces Riggs was better than him before mid-January 1948 that is before Jack made a dramatic change in his game by adopting the serve&volley game in order to overcome Riggs (and on slow surfaces Riggs was still better) so in 1947 Kramer was below Riggs and not more or less Bobby's equal. Kramer chose Budge and Vines in 1938-1939 but added a comment stating that Perry could have been better than his two rivals though the records clearly show that in these years not only Budge and Vines were better than Perry but Nüsslein was probably at least Perry's equal (I think that at least in 1939 Hans was better than Fred).
    So Kramer's list is highly debatable.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2009
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  32. Wuornos

    Wuornos Professional

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    I love this post for two reaons.

    1. It provides a persoanl rating where the best player in the world prior to the open era was not Pancho Gonzales.

    2. The oriiginal writer considers players losses as being detrimental to their reputation as well as their successes being a credit to them. As in his criticsim of the the "big game myth".

    Thanks Moose.

    Tim
     
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  33. Q&M son

    Q&M son Professional

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    I will try to get this book, any ideas where can I find it?
     
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  34. Carlo Giovanni Colussi

    Carlo Giovanni Colussi Semi-Pro

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    #34
  35. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I think any of these players would spread you on toast . . . and call it a most unsatisfying breakfast.
     
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  36. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Vines was a great himself. Certainly on my GOAT-list.

    I do detect a curious chronological bias here, although it is difficult to formulate its exact nature.
     
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  37. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    No doubt you're right.

    Hoodjem,

    Vines just a few years later around 1984 mentioned his all time list at that time. It was Tilden, Budge, Kramer, Laver and Borg. He at first said McEnroe instead of Borg but changed his mind. It was off the top of his head because the interviewer asked Vines what his top five were all time. I noticed he forgot about Gonzalez so you can assume he either changed his mind about Gonzalez or he just forgot about Gonzalez.

    Since he mentioned Borg I would say that Vines may have tried to be fairly objective. I think many ex-players tend to favor their contemporaries.

    A lot of the ex-players are so biased it almost makes me sick. One ex-player who is often mentioned on GOAT lists was interviewed by a friend of mine while he was watching Sampras play. He mentioned how great Sampras was. Anyone my friend asked him how he would do against Sampras and he told my friend Sampras wouldn't win a set off of him! Now that is some ego.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2009
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  38. Q&M son

    Q&M son Professional

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    #38
  39. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    Hence the reason why Jack Kramer's opinion has to always be taken with a grain of salt (and Ellsworth Vines'). He's part of those unfortunate generations who are either completely blinded by parochialism or think that the American public couldn't bear to hear that someone from another country was better than them at anything.
     
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  40. the little dasher

    the little dasher New User

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    I don't think the opinions of 2 such greats of the game should be so lightly dismissed. Besides; we all tend to be biased towards our own favourite era and boyhood heroes. Atleast with Vines and Kramer they had the cache of being superb players themselves as well as good judges who viewed the parade of players they are commenting upon.
     
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  41. the little dasher

    the little dasher New User

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    I beg to differ. Vines was exceptionally athletic. He had a great build for tennis. Tall and wiry he gathered up the energy in his body and whipped the serve and fh at great speeds. Addirionally he was a fine basket baller and golfer which is further proof of his athletcism.

    I can only find one DC match where he retired. Against Perry and down 6-7 in the 5th. I can't find any other instance where he brokedown so the problem wasn't recurring and his stamina was probably superior to most players.

    Vines did suffer back problems but it didn't seem to affect his willingness to fight. An incredible come back win from 2 sets down against Cochet in a '32 DC rubber and his 39 win in the US pro against Perry played in tyrannical shows that at both ends of his career he had plenty of stamina. He also played many head to head tours on the pro circuit which would've tested a player's stamina.

    I can't find any reference where Vines weighed more than 80 kilos. Still well within his BMI. And for him to run Budge so close when the latter was thought to be all but invincible proves he was in great form in 1939.

    It is true that Budge beat him 15-5 in a mini tour at year end which made their overall score in 1939 37-22 to Budge. But I think there is a pattern that Vines used these mini tours as practice and conditioning for the subsequent major head to head tour following in the new year. After all he lost and drew with Perry and then lost to Budge in the mini tours but won all his major tours with the exception of 1939 to Budge 17-22.
     
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  42. kishnabe

    kishnabe G.O.A.T.

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    Use the same equipment as them, I bet you would cry for a point. Also no using of physical knowlodge of training that is discocvered in these times. Just use the stuff in those times, You won't win ubless u have ability.
     
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  43. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    Bobby Riggs? Does he belong here? Can anyone elaborate?
     
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  44. Dean

    Dean Rookie

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    Wow Hernandez doesn't really hold anything back for poor Rod Laver. Sure i agree his 1962 Grand Slam has only small weight, but to say that as a pro "he was not in any strict sense dominant from 1963 to 1969" and that "Perhaps his major claim to fame is the two grand slams" is really quite harsh and ridiculously wrong.

    I mean what does he have to do. He won the pro slam in '67 and then Open slam in '69 and holds the record for most titles in a season as an amateur, a pro and in the open era and of course overall career.

    Henandez also explains that: "For all practical purposes Laver was burnt out after he won his pro grand slam in ’69 at age 31."

    Is he kidding??? I think he was still the best player in the world in 1970 and '71. Just look at those Champions Tennis Classic whitewashes. was it 12 or 13 straight wins in '71? sure he wasn't winning slams anymore but he only played 5 or maybe 6 slams from 1970-75.

    It's ironic that Hernandez doesn't mention that apart from a handfull of losses here and there, Laver owned Gonzales.

    Anyway Vines has him at No.4 and it wreaks of Kramers' evaluation of Laver as a 2nd tier player. Sour grapes i think.
     
    #44
  45. ttbrowne

    ttbrowne Hall of Fame

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    #45
  46. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    Seems like Bobby Rigg's fate is to be eternally underestimated. I read a biography about Riggs, "The Last Sure Thing". By the end of WWII Riggs had learned to consistently beat Budge, and Budge is #1 on this list! Everyone remembers that Riggs "lost" to BJK, (it's quite possible that he guaranteed her the win to get her to play, then she refused a rematch, good call for her!), but people forget how easily he beat Margaret Court 1 and 2. Even when he was the second best player in the U.S. he still wasn't invited to play Davis Cup.

    I think the reason for all this is that Riggs used consistency, not power, as his weapon. People just don't like seeing that kind of tennis. They even insist that "you'll never get very far playing that way", but it's not because power triumphs over consistency in tennis, it's just that people don't think it should. Riggs was the greatest pusher of all time.
     
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  47. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    You would not win a single point.
     
    #47
  48. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Riggs was a super player. I have the video "Kings of the Court" and I love watching the videos of Riggs. He had beautiful form. Riggs, before his peak only lost to Budge on tour by 15 to 10 and defeated Budge later on two close tours. I am a bit suspect on the closeness of the tours considering Riggs went out to a big lead and "held on" to win. I kind of wonder if Riggs tanked a bit to make the tour close. He wasn't beyond that sort of thing.

    If it makes you feel better Kramer (who was a great friend of Riggs so he was very biased) considered Riggs barely behind his top players that included Vines and Budge. He thought Riggs was superior to Gonzalez, Laver and Rosewall.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2009
    #48
  49. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I've always found Kramer's list very suspiciously subjective. It seems fascinatingly fraught with personal likes, dislikes, and biases, (and maybe more than a little self-aggrandizing).
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2009
    #49
  50. the little dasher

    the little dasher New User

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    Has to be said though that Budge wrecked his shoulder while serving in the military in 1943 and wasn't the same player thereafter. So Riggs was up against a crocked player past 30 by the time he started beating him regularly from 1946.

    Riggs lost 15-10 to Budge in 1942 when he was 24 and had 3 slam titles to his credit. Budge had come off a bad year with injuries an ill health. Both men would have been close to their respective peaks in that year and considering the disadvantages imposed on Budge that score probably uderscores the latter's superiority over Riggs.
     
    #50

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