[GOAT] Which kind of domination?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Nickognito, Nov 19, 2007.

  1. SgtJohn

    SgtJohn Rookie

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    Thank you for this information. I considered this might have been the first part of the 1954 tour, and then that I could maybe attach it to the year 1953, considering that 1954 already had a big tour in the US with the same players.

    Quite honestly, this year is awfully hard to rank because Kramer and Gonzales never played in the same event, so having as much of a balance as possible between the events that these 2 participated in seemed quite fair and might have influenced my choice.

    Of course if the tour did not take place in 1953 at all this is not legitimate, and I'll remove this from the list. i'll try to do some research on this, if at all possible...

    Jonathan
     
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  2. Carlo Giovanni Colussi

    Carlo Giovanni Colussi Semi-Pro

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    Clearly awful year. H2H records known to me are :
    Segura-Kramer : 1-1, Segura-Gonzales 1-1, Segura-Sedgman 7-3
    Kramer-Sedgman : 56-41 (including 2-0 in tournaments)
    Sedgman-Gonzales 3-0
    (Kramer-Gonzales 0-0)
     
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  3. jeffreyneave

    jeffreyneave Rookie

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    aussie tour 53 or 54 ?

    I think the results reported by macauley, are so similar for 53 and 54 that there was only one tour, probably in '54, because the players played auusie pro and continued to play in australia in early '55 (Earn repacing Macgregor) for another tour (L'm not sure about this early '55 tour either because Macauley does not provide any overall results, only a few results showing sedgman and Gonzales tied for wins- therefore there is no '55 aussie win for Gonzales without extra results).

    Gonzlaes overall record in the late '54 was 16-9 against sedgman, 15-0against macgregor ,and 4-2 against segura.

    Macauley reports Gonzales record as 15-9 against , total domination against macgregor and anedge over segura. This is so similar to 54 withthe same players, i strongly suspect there is only one tour.

    jeffrey
     
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  4. Fay

    Fay Professional

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    [​IMG]

    I think for a player to be considered great they would have won on various surfaces and over more than just a few years.

    I think I read that the Australian Open used to be grass years ago.
    A lot of player did not travel there then either .... cost?

    And what about Nadal getting a Gold at Olympics and that not being figured in ... but it must have taken its toll physically and mentally.

    What about players like the Williams Sisters who don't play in much of anything except Slams? Which amounts to resting up while others are defending their points.

    It is a bit uneven as well that we now have something called the Open period when players like Pancho Gonzales beat just about everyone they played for years, up until he was 42 years old and the records really do not reflect that.
     
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  5. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Love these lists - but why does AO only rate 0.5 from 83 through 89?



    I understand it was a relatively weak tournament between 1972 to 1982 inclusive. But from 1983 through to 1989 it had a strong field (I know there was no AO in 1986).

    I certainly don't see a lot of difference from 1989 to 1990 - the latter year you give it 1.0.

    Curious as to your reasoning.

    Thanks
     
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  6. SgtJohn

    SgtJohn Rookie

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    Hi timnz,

    Actually the change is relative to the Masters rather than the AO. I consider the Masters a great event while it was played in NY. Its decline started with the new 1990 ATP-controlled tour when it started being moved around... As at the same time the AO started consistently having all the top players participating if healthy, this is the reason for the change.

    Of course this evolution was progressive on the period 1988-1995 probably, but you have to draw a line somewhere and the year of the big organizational change with the ATP take-over is a good line, I thought.

    Jonathan
     
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  7. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Masters

    Jonathan,

    I have seen your posts around this bulletin board, and I have to say I really respect your opinion and knowledge. But I saw most of the ATP finals of the 90's (on TV) and they were top notch, with all the best players in them. There was no decrease in depth or quality from when it was in New York.

    I do agree though that Madison Square Garden in New York has a huge tradition to tennis. Famous tennis matches there go back to the time of Tilden, Vines and Budge. It was a big Pro event in the 60's with Laver, Rosewall etc. too. Hence, I would, along with Ivan Lendl, like to see it back there.
     
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  8. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Masters continued

    Sorry I should clarify... it wasn't the Masters in the days pre-1970 with Tilden, Budge, Vines (30's, 40's) , Laver, Rosewall (60's)... but I was simply saying that the venue had cache.
     
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  9. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Still, Jonathan's thinking here makes sense. In 1990 there was a pretty major change with the tour, which seemed to solidify the AO standing, which made the masters a clear #5. Perhaps the change was more gradual, but it's hard to account for that.

    The other option would be to count the Australian as a clear #4 starting with 1987 - the move of the event to january.
     
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  10. cristiano

    cristiano New User

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    About the masters in the '90s.

    This event was in general definitely less important tha in the 80's and more important than now.

    But it was actually very different between players. For some players it was also very very important, for other it was less. And remember that in the 90's we had a lot of great carpet players who could compete to win the masters but were not competitive for three slams. For them, it was a central event. For others, it was less.

    c.
     
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  11. Wuornos

    Wuornos Professional

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    This point about Pancho Gonzales is beating everyone up until he was 42 is something that reallly bothers me.

    There are two reasons I can think of for this occuring:

    1. Pancho was superman.

    2. The overall level of competition was lower than it is today allowing great players to dominate more and for longer.

    I suspect that it is neither one of these but is in fact a combination of the two. However, to what relative extent each factor has influence is crux of this.

    I can see why the level of competition might be lower given a smaller playing population, the sport being less prevalent in developing countries than it is today, less public courts and less facilities to identify young talent and bring it on.

    The objective evaluation of players is a field frought with difficulties and almost ceratinly requires some form of evalution to measure the shape of the distribution of the dominance of players at any point in time from a point a ranking point low enough to have not changed to significantly overtime.

    The greater the spread the better the standard of peak players at that point even if less dominant while a narrow spread dominated by one or two players would tend to indicate a lower overall standard even though the top players have a greater level of dominance.

    I think this is something that many people fail to factor in to their calculations or assesments when evaluating past players.

    As yet I have been unable to make any progress using the statistical rating methodolgy in relation the pre open pro era. Hence my concern over the pancho debate.

    Players like Laver are less problematic as he was able to achieve the highest rating for any player up to that point before turning pro. We therefore have sufficent results in the general population to to calculate the extent of his talent. Pancho's career was much shorter before turning to the pro game and as a result a truly reflective rating cannot be calculated from the limited results available.

    Tim
     
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  12. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Why does it bother you?

    Pancho Gonzales did not "beat everyone up until he was 42". I don't know where this is all coming from.

    Yes, he had some very decent comebacks where he was very competitive, but his dominance pretty much ended in the early 1960s.
     
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  13. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    This doesn't make a lick of sense. Open period? Pancho Gonzales dominated until he was 42?

    Says who?

    Gonzales' peak span as #1 in tennis was actually comparable to that of Sampras.
     
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  14. SgtJohn

    SgtJohn Rookie

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    Good evening everyone,

    About the Masters, I agree with you Tim that the level of play and depth of competition were still excellent in the 90s, but those cannot be the only criteria, otherwise events such as Key Biscayne would also fit the description, for instance. That's where 'prestige' enters into account, and I agree that it is very subjective.

    I think we can all agree on the fact that: a) in the mid-80s the AO was still not on the level of the other majors, and the Masters was a highlight of the season. b) today the 'Masters Cup' is the 5th event of the year, but clearly behind the other 4.
    So some kind of 'switch' has to happen some year.

    As CyBorg underlined, others could be considered:
    -1987, when the AO was set in January again.
    -1988, when it moved to its current location.
    -1990, when: 1) the Masters moved to Germany.
    2) the new ATP tour's rankings made the 'four-majors' system official by awarding equal numbers of points for each of them for the first time.

    This is by no means diminishing the quality of the Frankfurt and Hanover masters, but acknowledging the renewed quality of the Melbourne Park event.

    By the way it will be interesting to see in some year's time if the prestige of the year-end event will have been increased, now that the 'World Tour Finals' will take place in London, not in a historical stadium for tennis, but definitely in a historical city!

    Jonathan
     
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  15. Wuornos

    Wuornos Professional

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    Thanks for that Cyborg.

    I was taking it as a fact as I have very little data in relation to the pre open pro era.

    If he had dominated until he was 42 that would have given me real reason for concern regarding the quality of play for the reasons stated.

    Thanks again.

    Tim
     
    #65
  16. Carlo Giovanni Colussi

    Carlo Giovanni Colussi Semi-Pro

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    SgtJohn's 1953 weighting

    Hello Jonathan

    Given that there was probably no 1953 Australian pro tour here is the weighting I would propose :

    0.75 World Championship Series Kramer
    0.75 Wembley Sedgman
    0.3 New York Pro Indoors Kramer
    0.3 Chicago Pro Kramer
    0.3 Paris Pro Sedgman
    0.3 Caracas RR Segura
    0.3 Lyon Pro Segura (Segura, Sedgman, Gonzales and Cawthorn entered that event so it's quite comparable to New York, Chicago, Paris and Caracas)
    0.5 Davis Cup Hoad
    0.5 Forest Hills Trabert

    I don't know if Geneva (in November) was a tournament or two-day tour matches (Segura beat Gonzales there)

    What do you think, Jonathan ?


    Additional thinking about that awfully 1953 year :

    I) About the best pros :
    Kramer probably avoided that year to meet Gonzales who deserved to play a big tour.
    But I recognize that Kramer was under a new and big pressure as a professional tour promoter : he had to gain and not lost money. Since Gonzales has become the number one in anonymity in 1952 after having been trounced by Kramer in their 1949-1950 tour and after having had a short amateur career (1947-1949) with few titles, Pancho was not famous at the beginning of 1953 and couldn't draw big crowds. Kramer, even though he has played very little in 1952, was the most famous pro player so economically the best pro tour was one opposing the most famous amateur (Sedgman) to the most famous pro (Kramer). And perhaps Kramer has not enough money to sign Gonzales to tour with Sedgman, Segura, McGregor and himself.
    Thus because probably of politics (Kramer possibly fearing Gonzales's domination) and probably of economic problems (Gonzales not drawing big crowds and then money) the year 1953 was a skewed one and for me it is horribly hard to determine a hierarchy.
    Here were the nine best pros in 1953 :
    - in the top rank we had Segura, Kramer, Sedgman and Gonzales (the real order has to be established),
    - in the second echelon we had Budge, McGregor, Riggs, Kovacs and Pails, those five well below "the Big Four" because they were very rarely beating one of the top rank.
    I will list the "Big Four" records to clarify (not sure) the situation :
    i) Segura :
    - he has won 5 tournaments in 1953 more than any other pros (Gonzales 3, Sedgman 2, Kramer 2, Riggs 2)
    - he has dominated Sedgman in their confrontations (7-3) and he was equal with Kramer (1-1) and with Gonzales (1-1)
    ii) Kramer :
    - he has dominated Segdman in their tour (54-41) and again Segdman in tournaments (respectively 2-0) but he has played only one half of the year due to his injured back (osteoarthritis) and above all he avoided Gonzales against whom he has not won since 1951
    iii) Sedgman :
    - to his credit he won Wembley, the tournament which had the strongest field (Sedgman, Gonzales, Segura, Budge and Riggs) so the biggest tournament of the year (Note that were missing Kramer, McGregor, Kovacs and Pails at Wembley so you can conclude that in every tournament of that year at least 4 of the best 9 players were always absent : it does not help to rank the players). The Australian also swept Gonzales 6-1 6-2 6-2 at Wembley and repeated the same feat in Paris two days later (November 22) 6-1 6-3 and in Geneva 6-3 7-5 (November 25 or 26)
    - to the Australian's debit there were his defeat to Kramer in their tour and his numerous defeats against Segura iv) Gonzales :
    - I said before that Kramer has drawn aside Gonzales of the great competition for ten and a half months : because Gonzales was not invited in the long tour with Kramer, Sedgman and Segura, Pancho could just play in tournaments with weak fields where the only good players he has beaten were Riggs and Budge who were past their prime. Because of this, the first time he met a top rank player (Segura) was on November,18 in the semis in Wembley so in the first ten and a half months of the year he hasn't faced a top player (in fact he hasn't faced a great one for twelve months since his victory over Kramer in the same tournament the year before).
    In 1953 Gonzales in head-to-head matches was crushed so strongly by Sedgman.
    Here are the statistics of the head-to-head matches between the four players :
    Segura-Gonzales 1-1
    Segura-Kramer 1-1
    Segura-Sedgman 7-3
    Sedgman-Kramer 41-56
    Sedgman-Gonzales 3-0
    Kramer-Gonzales 0-0.
    Here are the players's wins in tournaments :
    Sedgman has won the greatest event Wembley (with Sedgman, Segura, Gonzales, Budge and Riggs but without Kramer, McGregor, Riggs and Kovacs) and the Paris 4-man tournament (probably not at all a French Pro) (with Sedgman, Gonzales, Segura and Budge).
    Segura has won the Caracas 4-man tournament with Segura, Kramer, Sedgman and McGregor probably as important as the Paris event if the latter wasn't as I think a French Pro. The Ecuadorian has also won the Lyon 4-man tournament probably almost as important as Paris and Caracas because Segura, Sedgman, Gonzales and Cawthorn entered this competition. Finally Segura won 3 other minor tournaments quite equivalent (Scarborough with Segura, Sedgman, McGregor and Pails; Riccione a 4-man tournament with Segura, Sedgman, Pails and McGregor; and Rimini with the same players)
    Kramer has won 2 tournaments equivalent to the Paris and Caracas events : New York a 4-man tournament with Kramer, Sedgman, Segura and McGregor and Chicago with the same players.
    Gonzales has won 3 minor tournaments : the U.S. Pro with Budge, Riggs and Kovacs, the Canadian Pro-Quebec City with Riggs and Kovacs and the California State-Beverly Hills with Budge.
    Finally Kramer won his tour against Sedgman.
    Kramer is probably the best player of the first half of the year because he had dominated Sedgman in the tour and he had better global results than Segura in the 3 tournaments they played together but Kramer has missed the second half of the year and in particular the Wembley tournament which was the greatest tournament of the year and he intentionally avoided Gonzales.
    Gonzales has been crushed three times out of three by Sedgman in particular in the Wembley final so he can't be the #1.
    There left Sedgman and Segura. Sedgman and Segura have won each one equivalent events : Paris for Sedgman and Caracas for Segura. Sedgman has also won Wembley the greatest event (and nothing else) while Segura has won Lyon, Scarborough, Riccione and Rimini. So I think that in tournaments Segura is at least equal to Sedgman because I think that these 4 Segura wins weight as much (if not more) as the Sedgman's Wembley win. Let's suppose there is a doubt, another argument gives the edge to Segura : his win/loss record against Sedgman : 7-3.
    Then I propose these fragile rankings for 1953 : 1) Segura, 2) Sedgman, ( 3) Kramer, 4) Gonzales) but I am not sure.

    II) About the other pros Budge, McGregor, Riggs, Kovacs and Pails I can't say much. Budge and McGregor never played in the same event but it seems that their records were quite equal. Budge beat Riggs (Wembley) and Kovacs (US Pro).
    About Pails who played little because he wasn’t a very top pro we can say that he was dominated by Segura and Sedgman but in two meetings with McGregor he was even (1 all). So if McGregor was around the 10th place (in a pro-amateur ranking) then Pails was probably in the same zone.

    Those players can hardly be compared to the amateurs

    to be continued
     
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  17. Carlo Giovanni Colussi

    Carlo Giovanni Colussi Semi-Pro

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    1953 : continuation

    III) In the amateur ranks, Trabert was the best for me. He came back (from the Navy) around June and therefore couldn’t play the Australian, the French and Wimbledon but he won the US (where Drobny was the only great missing) trashing Rosewall and Seixas. In the Pacific Southwest Rosewall got his revenge but until the middle of the second set he was helpless against Trabert’s power. Finally in the most important match Trabert easily beat Rosewall in the Davis Cup match. I don’t remember but Trabert-Rosewall win-loss record in 1953 was something like 3-2 (I think Rosewall beat Trabert once in August (not sure)). Seixas was always inferior to Rosewall (except at Wimbledon) in great events and moreover in direct confrontations Kenny always won (except possible forgetting) that year. So Trabert ahead of Rosewall himself above Seixas.
    The “problems” are Hoad and Drobny. Hoad was the hero of the Davis Cup beating both Trabert and Seixas (while Seixas had always defeated Hoad that year before that last meeting : at Roland, Wimbledon, Forest and probably elsewhere). Morever Hoad just before the Cup had won all the Australian States titles beating Kenny and the Americans. Tennis de France even ranked Hoad #1 amateur in the world because of his successes at the end of the year. Hoad was terrific in the last months but he didn’t have to meet Drobny (not invited in Australia and not allowed to play Davis Cup).
    If 1952 was Drobny’s best year in my thinking, spring in 1953 was his apogee. Drobny probably never played as well as in the 1953 Italian Chps in Rome (perhaps Wimbledon 1954 matches it). In the last rounds he crushed Rosewall and Hoad (and before Rome, Drobny had probably won all the tournaments on clay he entered). As he claimed at the time, he was over-confident when he came to Roland and lost to Seixas who played very well in that match (as told by Drobny). At Wimbledon Drobny explained that the draw had been very bad to him and ruined his entire season. He was seeded #4 behind Rosewall, Seixas and Rose. He agreed that Rosewall and Seixas deserved better seedings but not Rose who hadn’t done much in the first part of the season. Drobny as 4th seed had to meet Patty in the 3rd round, Patty unseeded (only 8 seeded players). Everyone agreed that both men played at a very high level, the best match of the fortnight. Unhappily they killed each other and Drobny had his thigh so injured after the match that the doctor advised him not to play anymore. In the 4th round Hartwig fairly recognized he hadn’t noticed that Drobny couldn’t run and Sven Davidson, in the quarters, played his worst match (Drobny’s statement) of his entire career. Drobny reached the semis but was helpless against Nielsen. After this “accident” Drobny didn’t enter any competition before nearly two months (he came back for the Monte Carlo summer tournament in August). He wasn’t invited once more to play the US Chps (as it was the case in 1952). He said that he began to trust his leg only in late October-early November. That wrong seeding at Wimbledon has probably changed the tennis amateur season. Drobny and Patty were possibly the best players with Seixas at Wimbledon. Had Drobny only met Patty in the final the Czech would have been possibly injured as in their third round meeting but at least Drobny would have captured the title.

    All this to say that Drobny’s season has been better than one can think at a first look at the records.

    One thing I have recently learnt is that Drobny has never lost in Europe until at least early in 1955 to any Australian except Sedgman. I don’t know when Hoad beat for the first time Drobny but Jaroslav beat Lew even in 1956 (Northern tournament in Manchester) and in 1957 (British Hard Courts) and Rosewall in two meetings (Rome 1953, Wimby 1954) never beat Drobny. Anyway Drobny repeated his Rome 1953 feat at Wimbledon 1954 by eliminating both Australians.

    So in 1953 Drobny and Hoad weren’t far from the Trabert-Rosewall-Seixas trio.

    So my fragile and incomplete 1953 ranking : 1 Segura 2 Sedgman 3 Kramer 4 Gonzales.

    Then Trabert > Rosewall > Seixas.
    Where to place Hoad (a very strong ending season) and Drobny (virtual Wimbledon winner and real Italian amateur champion) ?
    Budge > Riggs, Kovacs
    Budge = ? McGregor = ? Pails
    Budge-McGregor-Pails > Trabert-Rosewall-Seixas-Hoad-Drobny ?
    or
    Budge-McGregor-Pails < Trabert-Rosewall-Seixas-Hoad-Drobny ?

    For instance Pails was virtually retired from 1954 to 1956.
    However in the week before the 1954 Davis Cup challenge round he trained the US team and crushed the amateur Seixas in a one-set practice match. I recall that Seixas was at the time the US amateur champs holder and was to beat Rosewall the next week in the challenge round.
    And in 1957, though being 4 years older than in 1953, Pails was still able to beat Segura a few times in their tour (anybody able to beat Segura even seldom was a good player). Pails that year beat Hoad, Wimbledon champ, in their single meeting in the Masters Round Robin tournament in Los Angeles and a few months before he even beat Rosewall on clay at Hamilton in Bermuda.
    So I'm not sure at all that Pails in 1953 was inferior to the best amateurs.
     
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  18. Tennis old man

    Tennis old man New User

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    Another fin posts by Carlo, really good ones.
     
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  19. Carlo Giovanni Colussi

    Carlo Giovanni Colussi Semi-Pro

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    Once again thank you.
     
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  20. GameSampras

    GameSampras Banned

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    every GOAT candidate has a strike against their name. Sampras on Clay, Federer's H2H with Nadal, Laver's shallow competition (depth of the field)...

    Bit of a subtle difference between "best" and "greatest" too IMO. If you're talking about the greatest - then Laver's achievements still outweigh the rest for sure. But I'm equally certain, guys like Sampras, Federer, Nadal would take Rod apart in any era.... Most likely. If we take into account their "peak games." I think they would be too much for ANY PLAYER to handle aside from maybe Borg on clay who could handle all 3. Though I doubt he could handle Prime Pete on grass
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2009
    #70
  21. elegos7

    elegos7 Rookie

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    Goat

    SgtJohn, thanks for your list of Top4 events. I will have a thorough look at them, and then write my opinion.

    But I feel that even in the 1950s and 1960s one of the Top4 events should be amateur Wimbledon because of its great tradition, and the US Championships and Davis Cup should also have a larger weight.

    I often do not agree with your selection of events before WWI. I do not think we should choose 4 events obligatory in each year, only if they had some tradition as well. In the 1880s Willie Renshaw, arguably the best player had played only one singles match each year, when he defended his Wimbledon crown. It would be unfair to select 3 other events where he did not even bother to enter.
     
    #71
  22. elegos7

    elegos7 Rookie

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    Here is a suggested list of top events, maximum 4 a year. I have taken into account both the traditional simportance of en event and the strength of the field.
    Based on this Rosewall and Gonzales are the winners with 20 victories each, followed by Laver (18) and Tilden, Borg, Sampras, Federer (all with 14 victories).
    But I do not think any compilation of Top4 event will be unanimously accepted among tennis historians. Furthermore, it is impossible to measure tennis greatness based on these numbers. In many years, the best players played in inly one of these events (like Willie Renshaw in the 1880s, or Vines at the end of the 1930s, not to speak of the war years).
    But it is much better than the current compilations that take into account only the amateur GS events before 1968 (although I myself included amateur Wimbledon each year because of its prestege, even when the field was weak in the absence of professionals).

    1877 WIM Gore
    1878 WIM Hadow
    1879 WIM Hartley
    1880 WIM Hartley IRL W. Renshaw
    1881 WIM W. Renshaw IRL W. Renshaw
    1882 WIM W. Renshaw IRL W. Renshaw
    1883 WIM W. Renshaw IRL E. Renshaw
    1884 WIM W. Renshaw IRL Lawford
    1885 WIM W. Renshaw IRL Lawford
    1886 WIM W. Renshaw IRL Lawford
    1887 WIM Lawford IRL E. Renshaw USA Sears
    1888 WIM E. Renshaw IRL E. Renshaw
    1889 WIM W. Renshaw IRL Hamilton
    1890 WIM Hamilton IRL Lewis
    1891 WIM Baddeley IRL Lewis
    1892 WIM Baddeley IRL E. Renshaw
    1893 WIM Pim IRL Pim
    1894 WIM Pim IRL Pim
    1895 WIM Baddeley IRL Pim
    1896 WIM Mahony IRL Baddeley USA Wrenn
    1897 WIM R. Doherty IRL Eaves USA Wrenn
    1898 WIM R. Doherty IRL Mahony
    1899 WIM R. Doherty IRL R. Doherty USA Whitman
    1900 WIM R. Doherty IRL R. Doherty USA Whitman
    1901 WIM Gore IRL R. Doherty USA Larned
    1902 WIM L. Doherty IRL L. Doherty USA Larned DC Whitman
    1903 WIM L. Doherty DC L. Doherty USA L. Doherty
    1904 WIM L. Doherty DC L. Doherty USA Ward
    1905 WIM L. Doherty DC L. Doherty USA Wright
    1906 WIM L. Doherty DC L. Doherty USA Clothier
    1907 WIM Brookes DC Brookes USA Larned
    1908 WIM Gore DC Wright USA Larned
    1909 WIM Gore DC Brookes USA Larned ANZ Wilding
    1910 WIM Wilding DC - USA Larned
    1911 WIM Wilding DC Brookes USA Larned ANZ Brookes
    1912 WIM Wilding DC Parke USA McLoughlin ANZ Parke
    1913 WIM Wilding DC Parke USA McLoughlin WHC Wilding
    1914 WIM Brookes DC McLoughlin USA Williams WHC Wilding
    1915 USA Johnston
    1916 USA Williams
    1917 USA Murray
    1918 USA Murray
    1919 WIM Patterson DC Patterson USA Johnston IAT Gobert
    1920 WIM Tilden DC Johnston USA Tilden
    1921 WIM Tilden DC Johnston USA Tilden WHC Tilden
    1922 WIM Patterson DC Johnston USA Tilden
    1923 WIM Johnston DC Tilden USA Tilden WHC Johnston
    1924 WIM Borotra DC Tilden USA Tilden OLY Richards
    1925 WIM Lacoste DC Johnston USA Tilden FRA Lacoste
    1926 WIM Borotra DC Johnston USA Lacoste FRA Cochet
    1927 WIM Cochet DC Lacoste USA Lacoste FRA Lacoste
    1928 WIM Lacoste DC Cochet USA Cochet FRA Cochet
    1929 WIM Cochet DC Cochet USA Tilden FRA Lacoste
    1930 WIM Tilden DC Cochet USA Doeg FRA Cochet
    1931 WIM Wood DC Cochet USA Vines pUSA Tilden
    1932 WIM Vines DC Borotra USA Vines pUSA Kozeluh
    1933 WIM Crawford DC Perry USA Perry FRA Crawford
    1934 WIM Perry pWEM Vines pUSA Nusslein FRA von Cramm
    1935 WIM Perry pWEM Vines pFRA Vines FRA Perry
    1936 WIM Perry pTour Vines USA Perry FRA von Cramm
    1937 WIM Budge pTour Vines USA Budge pFRA Nusslein
    1938 WIM Budge pTour Vines USA Budge pFRA Nusslein
    1939 WIM Riggs pTour Budge pUSA Vines pFRA Budge
    1940 USA McNeill pUSA Budge
    1941 USA Riggs pUSA Perry
    1942 pUSA Budge
    1943
    1944
    1945 phUSA Riggs
    1946 WIM Petra pTour Riggs pUSA Riggs phUSA Riggs
    1947 WIM Kramer pTour Riggs pUSA Riggs USA Kramer
    1948 WIM Falkenburg pTour Kramer pUSA Kramer USA Gonzales
    1949 WIM Schroeder pWEM Kramer pUSA Riggs pSlaz Kramer
    1950 WIM Patty pTour Kramer pUSA Segura pWEM Gonzales
    1951 WIM Savitt pPhil Kramer pUSA Segura pWEM Gonzales
    1952 WIM Sedgman pPhil Gonzales pUSA Segura pWEM Gonzales
    1953 WIM Seixas pTour Kramer pUSA Gonzales pWEM Sedgman
    1954 WIM Drobny pTour Gonzales pUSA Gonzales phUSA Gonzales
    1955 WIM Trabert pSlaz Gonzales pUSA Gonzales phUSA Gonzales
    1956 WIM Hoad pWEM Gonzales pUSA Gonzales pFRA Trabert
    1957 WIM Hoad pWEM Rosewall pUSA Gonzales pToChamp Gonzales
    1958 WIM Cooper pWEM Sedgman pUSA Gonzales pFRA Rosewall
    1959 WIM Olmedo pToChamp Hoad pUSA Gonzales pFRA Trabert
    1960 WIM Fraser pWEM Rosewall pTour Gonzales pFRA Rosewall
    1961 WIM Laver pWEM Rosewall pUSA Gonzales pFRA Rosewall
    1962 WIM Laver pWEM Rosewall USA Laver pFRA Rosewall
    1963 WIM McKinley pWEM Rosewall pUSA Rosewall pFRA Rosewall
    1964 WIM Emerson pWEM Laver pUSA Laver pFRA Rosewall
    1965 WIM Emerson pWEM Laver pUSA Rosewall pFRA Rosewall
    1966 WIM Santana pWEM Laver pUSA Laver pFRA Rosewall
    1967 WIM Newcombe pWIM Laver pUSA Laver pFRA Laver
    1968 WIM Laver USA Ashe FRA Rosewall pFRA Laver
    1969 WIM Laver USA Laver FRA Laver AUS Laver
    1970 WIM Newcombe USA Rosewall RSA Laver AUS Ashe
    1971 WIM Newcombe USA Smith WCT Rosewall AUS Rosewall
    1972 WIM Smith USA Nastase FRA Gimeno WCT Rosewall
    1973 WIM Kodes USA Newcombe FRA Nastase Masters Nastase
    1974 WIM Connors USA Connors FRA Borg WCT Newcombe
    1975 WIM Ashe USA Orantes FRA Borg AUS Newcombe
    1976 WIM Borg USA Connors FRA Panatta WCT Borg
    1977 WIM Borg USA Vilas FRA Vilas Masters Connors
    1978 WIM Borg USA Connors FRA Borg Masters McEnroe
    1979 WIM Borg USA McEnroe FRA Borg Masters Borg
    1980 WIM Borg USA McEnroe FRA Borg Masters Borg
    1981 WIM McEnroe USA McEnroe FRA Borg Masters Lendl
    1982 WIM Connors USA Connors FRA Wilander Masters Lendl
    1983 WIM McEnroe USA Connors FRA Noah AUS Wilander
    1984 WIM McEnroe USA McEnroe FRA Lendl AUS Wilander
    1985 WIM Becker USA Lendl FRA Wilander AUS Edberg
    1986 WIM Becker USA Lendl FRA Lendl
    1987 WIM Cash USA Lendl FRA Lendl AUS Edberg
    1988 WIM Edberg USA Wilander FRA Wilander AUS Wilander
    1989 WIM Becker USA Becker FRA Chang AUS Lendl
    1990 WIM Edberg USA Sampras FRA Gomez AUS Lendl
    1991 WIM Stich USA Edberg FRA Courier AUS Becker
    1992 WIM Agassi USA Edberg FRA Courier AUS Courier
    1993 WIM Sampras USA Sampras FRA Bruguera AUS Courier
    1994 WIM Sampras USA Agassi FRA Bruguera AUS Sampras
    1995 WIM Sampras USA Sampras FRA Muster AUS Agassi
    1996 WIM Krajicek USA Sampras FRA Kafelnikov AUS Becker
    1997 WIM Sampras USA Rafter FRA Kuerten AUS Sampras
    1998 WIM Sampras USA Rafter FRA Moya AUS Korda
    1999 WIM Sampras USA Agassi FRA Agassi AUS Kafelnikov
    2000 WIM Sampras USA Safin FRA Kuerten AUS Agassi
    2001 WIM Ivanisevic USA Hewitt FRA Kuerten AUS Agassi
    2002 WIM Hewitt USA Sampras FRA Costa AUS Johansson
    2003 WIM Federer USA Roddick FRA Ferrero AUS Agassi
    2004 WIM Federer USA Federer FRA Gaudio AUS Federer
    2005 WIM Federer USA Federer FRA Nadal AUS Safin
    2006 WIM Federer USA Federer FRA Nadal AUS Federer
    2007 WIM Federer USA Federer FRA Nadal AUS Federer
    2008 WIM Nadal USA Federer FRA Nadal AUS Djokovic
    2009 WIM USA FRA Federer AUS Nadal
     
    #72
  23. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Thats a very thoughful list, Elegos. We had many discussions here about the status of the amateur events pre 1968, and i always found, that there was played some real great tennis, and that they should tell for something. Of course, all these lists remain problematic, because of the separate draws and circuits. But what we can see from these, that Gonzales, Rosewall and Laver were really great players for their domination, consistency and longevity.

    I found Sgt Johns attempt very interesting, to single out a kind of Super 9 events for each year. On this middle basis, - say since 1919 or even since 1905-8 - we can better compare the season records of modern and old players, with the modern standardized schedule of today and the old "always play" schedule of yesterdays pros and amateurs. Some in the 30s and 40s like Budge, Kramer or Vines were more selective in their activities.
     
    #73
  24. Q&M son

    Q&M son Professional

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    Seems like a great prediction to me!!!!!!!
     
    #74
  25. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Sorry, posted deleted--wrong place.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2009
    #75
  26. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Hoodjem,

    This rating system is a bit of problem for me. While I respect what St. John is attempting to do, it's really hard to get an accurate read on what is the true values of a tournament.

    For example in 1971 the number is 1.5 majors for Rosewall and .5 for Laver. Yet Laver won perhaps the most powerful tournament of all time in the 1971 Tennis Champions Classic with 13 victories and no losses against a super field with Rosewall, Newcombe, Roche, Ashe, Okker, Ralston, Taylor and Emerson. How do you rank this? It's clearly a much more powerful field than any normal major and Laver won almost double the amount of matches. Yet at the same Laver got a lot of rest between matches and a rested Laver was probably still the best in the world. It was a tournament of great prestige.

    Heck I can see this ranked as 1.5 majors. However I don't think it should be done.

    Yet at the same time I think a person who ranks the players for the year should examine the prestige and strength of the tournaments that the player has won and in this case Laver was very impressive in crushing everyone to win the Tennis Champions Classic in 1971.

    But to rank tournaments as almost majors or even stronger than majors is a problem to me. I think it leaves too much to opinion and human error and you may forget tournaments like the Champion Classic. I think they must be a better way. I respect the logic but think there are flaws in the system.
     
    #76
  27. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    A very interesting list of the world's most important tournaments for each year.

    One cannot assume that the "four majors" were only and always the most important tournaments throughout the history of the game, even fairly recent history.

    Such an assumption would lead to a number of misconceptions about tennis history and greatness.

    All should at least be aware of this.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2010
    #77
  28. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    That's why I find it's a big problem to simply rank players on the basis of majors won. In the 1970's, while majors were important, some tournaments may have been more important than the majors.

    How do you rank Bill Tilden who "only" won I believe ten majors? He did enter as many majors because of problems with travel and he won other tournaments that were essentially majors like the World Hardcourt.

    It's just too simplistic to rank players simply on the basis of majors won. It should be a top consideration of course but it should be taken often in the context of its time.
     
    #78
  29. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Good points.
     
    #79
  30. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Tilden


    The French Open only started in 1925. Tilden had already been the top player 5 or 6 years by then. The pre-1925 equivalent Major was the World Hard Court Championship played on Clay. Tilden won it in 1921. The ILTF designated it a 'World Championship' event ie a major, at the time. Hence, Tilden had a French Open equivalent.
     
    #80
  31. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Lavers' competition

    Not sure where you got this.

    Pancho Gonzales
    Ken Rosewall
    Lew Hoad
    Arthur Ashe
    Tony Roche
    John Newcombe
    Roy Emerson etc etc

    I could go on and on...... all of these players were ranked 1 or 2 in their career. Laver had some of the deepest competition in the history of tennis.
     
    #81
  32. SgtJohn

    SgtJohn Rookie

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    Hi pc1,

    First things first, it's SgtJohn, not St John ;) that would be a bit megalomaniac from me, wouldn't it :)

    I agree with you. At times I might have argued that counting Majors was the closest thing to a good ranking system for the whole of tennis history, because it is the one constant factor. Criteria have changed over time, in the 1880s, winning one match could be enough to be named player of the year, in the 30s pro circuit, world tours were the most important, while during the 70s and early 80s winning lots of tournaments and prize money was essential. However during all eras there have been a handful of tournaments or other events (Davis Cup, pro tours) that were essential to a great player's resume.

    Then again, I agree that even if it is a good-enough ranking system it is still really imperfect, so let's say this list is not an attempt at ranking player's career, but rather at measuring their ability...to win majors.

    A point system would obviously be preferable, for the reason you describe. With a points system, if I decide for example that Dallas in a given year was more a Masters-level event (1000 or 1500 pts) than a major event (2000 pts), it has a limited impact on a winner's ranking (500 or 1000 pt out of a total of maybe 6000). But if I only count Majors, debasing one event of this status and promoting another has a very large impact on a player's assessment, so subjectivity is a very big issue.

    By and large, the issues with tennis are lack of data and complexity. Professional baseball has a long tradition of book-keeping and has had an organized league for a century, so it's pretty easy to devise a solid ranking system. For tennis it will always be extremely hard to do so.

    Jonathan
     
    #82
  33. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Sorry SgtJohn for the misspelling. :(

    Baseball works better as far as analysis is concerned and the baseball stat people are amazing. They can tell you when Ty Cobb ate a hot dog in 1911.

    Like I wrote earlier, we should try to examine the greatness of a player by looking at the context of the times. Sometimes to just look at a fixed number like majors won can be misleading and frankly inaccurate although the number of majors won can be extremely helpful in looking at greatness.
     
    #83
  34. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Hoad and Vines - the evidence

    I take your point, but there is objective evidence from the record. Vines pushed Budge really hard in the their head to head series. So on his day he could beat the best of the best (which Budge was at the time). Similarly like in the Forest Hills tournament of Champions in 1959, Hoad took out a peak Gonzales rather easily. Before he hurt his back in 1957 he was leading Gonzales in their head to head and Gonzales is universally regarded as being the best player of the 1950's. Hence, these two guys have a track record of beating the best players of their era's multiple times on any one day they click.
     
    #84
  35. dandelion_smiley

    dandelion_smiley Banned

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    Gonzales played his best tennis in the 50's, he was nowhere near his best when he played Laver.

    Same with Hoad.

    Arhur Ashe started winning in the late 60's when Laver was on his way out.

    Same with Newcombe.

    Tony Roche is in the 3rd league compared to Rod.

    Agreed with Rosewall and Emerson, tho
     
    #85
  36. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Comments


    But on many ocassions still beat Laver throughout the 60's.

    On occasion could still play unbelievably well. Like when he completely dominated Laver in 10 or so straight matches in 1963
    1968 Laver was ranked 1. 1969 he won the Grand Slam. In 1970 Laver beat Newcombe 3-0 (on the way out?)

    Laver in 1970/1971 thought that Roche was his heir. I think that the Roche/Laver head to head in 1969 (Laver's Grand Slam year) had Roche ahead of Laver.
     
    #86
  37. dandelion_smiley

    dandelion_smiley Banned

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    That's true but I don't see him doing so in a big match. Pancho was more than 10 years older than Laver which should tell the story.


    Laver was a rookie in 1963 after just entering the pros, he was beaten all round by pretty much everyone in the pro circuit.


    1969 was Laver's last really good year (obviously)



    Based on what the ATP sais it was 4-2 Laver.

    But come on, Roche was like Roddick for Federer. 1 Slam win + 5 finals
     
    #87
  38. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    actually no, hoad and rosewall were the only two to dominate him on the pro circuit in 63 as far as I know


    he mentioned 1970 I believe

    I wouldn't say that , it was ashe who was like roddick from what I know

    even I have read roche lead their H2H in 69, but laver always got the better of him in the big matches
     
    #88
  39. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Rosewall and Hoad beat Laver initially when Laver first turned Pro but by the end of the year Laver was second to only Rosewall. Hoad beat Laver occasionally after 1963 but Laver pulled away to eventually have a one sided head to head against Hoad.

    According to Laver's book Roche beat Laver 5 out of 8 before they met in the 1969 US Open final which Rod won in four sets. I am not sure if they met later in the year but I suppose after the US Open, Roche led Laver 5 matches to 4 for 1969. Laver did beat Roche in the two times they met in majors in 1969. Laver defeated Roche in five sets in the 1969 Australian Open semi and in the 1969 US Open final.

    Ashe and Roche were extremely gifted players and it's had for me to put them in the same category as Roddick like Dandelion Smiley wrote. I understand that results are being compared but it bothers me nevertheless.

    Ashe, like Roddick was number one in the world one time. But he did win the US Open, the Australian and Wimbledon. Ashe also won the WCT championship when it was essentially a major. I think Ashe's career is far greater than Roddick's. As far as talent is concerned Roddick isn't even close to Ashe in my opinion. Ashe's serve in his prime was so good it is comparable to Roddick's and the rest of his overall game was in my mind clearly superior.

    Roche won the French once and was in a few major finals, losing to Laver twice and to Rosewall. He probably would have accomplished far more if not for the injury problems.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
    #89
  40. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Consistently making to the final.
    Consistently healthy(don't skip event)
    Consistently beating the top ten player
    Consistently ranked in the top 3
    Consistently the favorite at every slam
    Consistently winning award(e.g. Sportsmanship)
     
    #90
  41. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Depth of field, apparently, is in the eyes of the beholder.



    Draw at 1967 US Pro Championships
    Ken Rosewall
    Mal Anderson
    Mike Davies
    Pierre Barthes
    Pancho Segura
    Andres Gimeno
    Dennis Ralston
    Butch Buchholz
    Fred Stolle
    Barry MacKay
    Luis Ayala
    Sammi Giammalva
    Rod Laver
    Alex Olmedo

    Draw at 1967 Wembley Pro Championships
    Dennis Ralston
    Fred Stolle
    Mike Davies
    Owen Davidson
    Butch Buchholz
    Lew Hoad
    Andres Gimeno
    Pierre Barthes
    Barry MacKay
    Rod Laver
    Alan Mills
    Ken Rosewall

    Draw at 1967 French Pro Championships
    Andres Gimeno
    Robert Haillet
    Lew Hoad
    Pierre Barthes
    Fred Stolle
    Jean Claude Molinari
    Butch Buchholz
    Dennis Ralston
    Ken Rosewall
    Mike Davies
    Barry MacKay
    Rod Laver
     
    #91
  42. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    The draw in these fields have legends in them.
     
    #92
  43. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    #93
  44. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Several flaws here: 1963 was Laver's rookie pro year, but by the end of that year, he was the no. 2 ranked pro behind Rosewall.

    1969 may have been Laver's best year (although this is disputable, some would argue that 1967 was his greatest year), he continued to to be the no. 1 ranked player in the world for at least 1970, and co-no. 1 even for 1971.

    Go here: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=295675
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
    #94
  45. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    World Hard Court Championships

    Thanks so much for these lists. I know they represent many hours of study and reflection. I have a query - why have you rated the World HC Championship only at 0.5. Between 1913 and 1923 it had equal status to Wimbledon (at least officially from the ILTF point of view). Was the field any less deep than Wimbledon? From what I have seen of the draws - the World HC championship had deep fields ie high quality players.
     
    #95
  46. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    yeah¡¡ comparing Ashe with Roddick, with all due respect to Roddick, is like comparing caviar with a big mac.it´s just " different" kind of food.
     
    #96
  47. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Why 1970 Barcelona over these events?

     
    #97
  48. Pete M.

    Pete M. New User

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    Just a question: 1887 wimbledon championships - I know Herbert Lawford was finally the champion and he defeated Ernest Renshaw in 5 sets but this victory just allowed him to play the challenge round (he won by a walkover because W. Renshaw was injured).

    So, can we consider the runner-up of that year W. Renshaw? Or is it Ernest?
     
    #98
  49. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    #99
  50. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    I tend to Ernest because William did not play a single match.
     

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