Gonzales VS Rosewall: The Ultimate Battle Fight 2 - More Impressive Career?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Nathaniel_Near, Jul 22, 2012.

?

So, who is overall greater? Who had the more impressive career...

  1. Ricardo Alonso ''Pancho'' González

    61.5%
  2. Kenneth Robert ''Ken'' Rosewall aka, Muscles

    38.5%
  1. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Dan Lobb,

    Hello you non-ignorant expert!

    What other reference to the World Tennis information do you want? Just try to get the issue with covered the tour's results.

    I wrote that there is a strange discrepancy in World Tennis reporting between the listing of all the matches of that tour and the summary under the list.

    Just a question: Could it be that Gonzalez won in hth but the players themselves did not count their matches (just as sometimes is a fact) and only read the summary's result and that all other sources came out later and "borrowed" the result from W.T. Usually W.T. was the top source for pro tennis. Note that I don't say it was that way. It's just a question...
     
  2. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Actually I don't have any clippings that old, I found the article online by running a search in Google News archives for the text you quoted.

    The oldest clippings I had were from the late 80s and early 90s, though I don't even have those anymore. Pity because there were plenty of match stats in those clippings that I'd like to have a look at now.
     
  3. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    They would not rely on World Tennis (which is what? please give a further reference to this source, if you can, because it does not pop up on the browser. You say an English magazine?).
    They relied on Kramer's official count and the paycheques they received from him (Kramer's wife was the accountant/secretary).
    Don't think for a moment that Gonzales and Hoad could not count to 15, they both had enough savvy for that, and they knew the head to head score like the time of day. They also had complete agreement on the outcome.
     
  4. Dan Lobb

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    Sounds good. I'll look into it.
    If Hoad led 13 to 5, then Gonzales would have won the remaining matches by a count of 8 to 2, not the ten straight Hoad remembered. Still, not far off.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
  5. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Ok, I appreciate your reasonable tone here.

    Jeane Hoffman (note the correct spelling please) of the Los Angeles Times is a perfectly credible source, but what's really wrong here is that you're pitting the LA Times against the London Times. Hoffman reported a 23-all tally for the entire year; the London Times reported a tally as of July 1. There is no contradiction whatsoever, because Hoffman says nothing about what the count was on July 1.

    Furthermore, BobbyOne agreed with you about the 21-20 count that the London Times gave on July 1, which makes it all the more baffling why you're arguing with him about the credibility of the London Times.

    No one who was really paying close attention to the thread would have missed BobbyOne's agreement with the 21-20 count.

    Do you mean that Hoad won the prize money contest on the Kramer tour? That he won more money than Pancho did on that tour?
     
  6. Dan Lobb

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    He was paid for 15 wins against Gonzales, and Gonzales acknowledged that. No way would Gonzales have accepted less money than he was entitled to, or acknowledged the head to head win by Hoad.
    "The only only player who beat me in a head to head tour was Hoad in 1959, 15 to 13. During that tour, Hoad produced the greatest tennis I have ever seen. I had blisters under my blisters from the punishment. After that tour, Hoad's back bothered him so much that he lost his desire to practise."
    There was a bonus money pool for tournament play for the entire 1959-60 season (beginning in January 1959 to January 1960) involving the whole Kramer group of players. Kramer designated this tour as the overall world championship, as opposed to the four-man U.S. tour. The world title involved 14 designated tournaments, which did not include the Grand Prix de Europe or the "US Pro" in Cleveland. The series sponsor and funder was Ampol, the giant oil company. The tournaments were held throughout the year, with an early series in Australia, a middle series in U.S.A., and a concluding series in Australia. Hoad won this title, with Gonzales finishing second.
    In December 1959, Hoad announced to Kramer that he would not play the 1960 four-man tour. as he had exceeded his guarantee from Kramer (initially $100,000 to turn pro), and had accumulated over $250,000 in winnings since turning pro in July 1957. He felt he could now semi-retire and spend more time with his wife and children, playing the odd tournament when he felt like it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
  7. kiki

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    The biggest misfortune in tennis history is not having a healthy Lew Hoad during the second half of the 60´s.Not sure even great Laver would have won his Gran Slam in 1969...
     
  8. Dan Lobb

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    The issue then is what happened after July 1!
    I only see three matches, or even the possibility of three matches, Hoad winning the first two, and Gonzales the third.
    Where are the rest?
     
  9. BobbyOne

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    krosero,

    Thanks that you speak for me towards Dan Lobb.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
  10. BobbyOne

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    Dan Lobb,

    I will inform you about World tennis later.

    You contradict yourself in saying that players always know about their balances

    but in conceding that Hoad erred a bit regarding the 1959 tour and his matches against Gonzalez.

    Why do you exclude the possibility of two additional matches after July? You surely know that the pros often played a match here and there between of prior to tournaments.

    You should trust me that I have found that 23:23 balance also in British Lawn Tennis. I don't remember more details.
     
  11. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Bobby One, who do You think is to be rated Nr. 1 on the pro tour in 1959. Fo me its a tough call between Gonzalez and Hoad, maybe a dead run. Hoad won the personal head to head on the World Series 15-13, but Gonzalez won the whole Series (with Hoad, Anderson and Cooper). On the head to head over the whole year, it is almost too close to be called. Gonzalez beat Hoad rather badly at the Cleveland US Pro, but Hoad played maybe his best pro match in returning the favor at Forest Hills. Hoad seems to have won the point race of the pros. Despite that, most people seem to have Gonzalez as Nr. 1. The rankings of the year, i have read, by leading managers and players of the pro tour, seem to contradict themselves. most favor Gonzalez.
     
  12. BobbyOne

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    urban,

    1959 is really tough to decide.

    I have now found the papers with the world tour of 4 men. I have counted once more the Hoad:Gonzalez matches and yes, Gonzalez leads 15:13 even though in the summary it's written 13:15. It's an enigma and very strange.

    Hoad won the long tournament series. He did bad in the European GP with a 11:16 balance.

    I would give both players the No.1 position and I even would give Rosewall a Co.-No.1 place. Rosewall was 8:4 against Pancho that year and, so his words in the Rowley biography, had the best balance against his colleagues.

    Hoad: Gonzalez were probably 23:23 all year even though Dan Lobb contradicts.
     
  13. BobbyOne

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    Dan Lobb,

    I have found the answer in which issues of World Tennis we can find the results of the 1959 4 man tour. They are the issues of April, May, June and July.

    I again counted the matches and yet Gonzalez leads 15:13 which balance contradicts the summary in the same issue (July).

    Could it be that Kramer made an error when counting the matches?
     
  14. BobbyOne

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    Dan Lobb,

    11:2 for Hoad is absolutely wrong. After 13 matches it was 7:6 for Hoad.

    Could it be that you and krosero confused the 1959 tour with the 1958 tour when Hoad had a huge lead?
     
  15. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    1959, I have Gonzales as number 1, with Hoad right on his back. Hoad could even be co-number 1, but if you force me to choose just one player, it's Gonzales again. He won the 4-man world pro tour, won his 7th consecutive US Pro, and reached the Tournament of Champions final.

    Hoad's record shows that he beat Gonzales more times than he lost to him (15-13) on that 4-man 1959 world pro tour (despite finishing second behind Gonzales overall), and had beaten Gonzales in the Tournament of Champions final in what was his finest hour IMO. Gonzales, though, won a one-sided US Pro final against Hoad in Cleveland.

    They say that the champion has to be toppled, and I don't think Gonzales was ever toppled as the world's best player. Gonzales retired for 18 months from the end of 1961, and Rosewall took over as the world's best player, even though Rosewall can be argued as a co-number 1 in 1961.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
  16. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Are you sure? This is odd, if true. The final result of the 1959 world pro tour was:

    1. Pancho Gonzales 47-15
    2. Lew Hoad 42-20
    3. Ashley Cooper 21-40
    4. Mal Anderson 13-48

    Gonzales won every single match against Cooper and Anderson on this tour, so all of his losses were to Hoad.
     
  17. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    I wondered whether Hoad was thinking of '58, when he said he held an 11-2 lead. If so, it's still wrong. In the '58 tour he actually fell behind 4-5. When they left Australia Hoad held an 8-5 lead, as reported by Danzig.

    Hoad went on to hold leads of 9-7, 14-7, 18-9, 18-11 and 20-16. Pancho caught up to him at 21-all and thereafter pulled away.

    (All my numbers per press reports of the matches at the time.)
     
  18. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Just to be clear: I have not disputed the 15-13 count. I just asked you about the prize money.

    One possibility is that World Tennis put Pancho's name as the victor, incorrectly, in 2 matches. That would give Pancho a 15-13 lead.

    BobbyOne, I don't have press reports on all the matches, but you can compare what I do have against the list in World Tennis.

    The tour started Feb. 20. This is what I have:

    San Francisco - won by Pancho
    New York - won by Hoad
    Montreal - won by Hoad
    Washington, D.C. - won by Pancho
    Houston - won by Pancho
    Miami Beach - won by Hoad
    Palm Beach - won by Pancho
    Jacksonville - won by Pancho
    (I think that Hoad then won in Atlanta, Baltimore and Schenectady)
    White Plains - won by Hoad (NY Times gave him a 10-5 lead)
    Milwaukee - won by Pancho
    Phoenix - won by Pancho (Hoad now leading 15-12 in some press reports)
    La Jolla - won by Pancho, last match of the series (LA Times gave Hoad a 15-13 lead)​

    If you find any discrepancies with the World Tennis list, we can look up those individual matches to confirm who won them.
     
  19. BobbyOne

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    Mustard,

    I'm quite sure that I have counted correctly. I have checked this matter three times.

    The overall and final standings (Gonzalez 47:15 etc) was probably written down by Kramer AFTER the writing of the (right or false) balance Gonzalez vs Hoad matches.Therefore that overall balance of the four üplayers does not disprove of necessity the possible 15:13 balance of Gonzalez against Hoad.

    It's really an enigma.

    I just wonder that nobody ever seems to have found that discrepancy between the detailed record and the summary's record.
     
  20. BobbyOne

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    krosero,

    Thanks for giving those tour details.

    I must say that this case becomes more and more a strange enigma. Maybe we should have got an Inspector Columbo to solve the riddle...

    I have not found the following cities in World Tennis: Jacksonville, Atlanta, Baltimore, White Plains. I guess that these cities have also a second name which was brought in World Tennis. But I don't know which city was which other name.

    At Charlotte, April 2, it was 10:7 for Hoad. I think the discrepancy must happened before that date.

    I don't wonder that all sources after Kramer's counting have taken his numbers. The key question is if Kramer counted rightly!
     
  21. BobbyOne

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    krosero,

    You are of course right that World Tennis could have written down the names of Gonzalez and Hoad in the wrong order twice. So: was it Kramer's fault or W.T.'s fault?
     
  22. Dan Lobb

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    Hoad's error appears to be about the details of the prgress of the total, not the total itself, where he is supported by Gonzales, Kramer, Sports Illustrated, New York Times, etc.
    I trust that you know something about British Lawn Tennis, but I hunger after some more details. That would be more convincing than old memories.
     
  23. Dan Lobb

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    If you have found the papers, please show us the results.
     
  24. Dan Lobb

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    Did perhaps someone include tournament matches in your count, such as the Cleveland tournament, which was not part of the championship tour?
     
  25. Dan Lobb

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    This clinches the issue, and shows why Gonzales was convinced that 15 to 13 for Hoad was the truth.
     
  26. BobbyOne

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    Dan Lobb,

    It's just a bit more than old memories: I still keep the paper where I have written down that 23:23 balance in the library of ITF in the 1970s...

    No Cleveland tournament included in the report of the 1959 world series, you suspicious guy...

    That overall balancec do not clinch the issue! See post 119.
     
  27. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    The earliest sources -- the newspaper reports -- have 15-13 for Hoad.

    For example, just before the last match of the series United Press International reported Hoad in the lead by 15-12. Pancho then took the last match, in La Jolla.

    Just before that last match, the Associated Press reported that Pancho had virtually clinched the world professional title because he had an almost insurmountable lead over Hoad in prize money. When Pancho won the last match in La Jolla, the LA Times reported that Pancho won the tour, since his lead over Hoad in prize money was $29,150 to $28,250; and as a side-note they also reported that in actual matches between the two, Hoad came out ahead 15-13.

    I doubt very strongly that Pancho and Lew did not count their own matches, considering the intensity of their rivalry -- not to mention the fact that prize money was riding on the wins.

    Kramer, or some typist, or W.T., could have made a mistake in copying down the results, switching the names in a couple of matches. I'm sure that's possible.

    We can confirm whether that happened, if for example there's a discrepancy between W.T.'s list and the list I posted, which is based on the newspaper reports. The newspaper reports can tell us whether or not W.T. listed the victor correctly in every match.
     
  28. urban

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    As some (and me myself) have written before, the late 1950s had one of the best fields in pro history. And all rankings since 1958 were close and can be disputed. In most tennis histories, Gonzalez is named the king of the hill from 1954 until 1961. But in tournament play, the records of others cannot be overlooked. Jeffrey Neave made some reasonable arguments for Sedgman for Nr. 1 in 1958, winning Melbourne and Wembley and building a 4-2 record over Gonzalez. In 1959, Gonzalez and Hoad are almost too close to call. 1960 was quite clear for Gonzalez. But 1961 i would give Rosewall the nod, winning the big pro titles in Europe (with Gonzalez in the field). Gonzalez was leading the US series though.
     
  29. Dan Lobb

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    After 1959, there was insufficient play until 1963 to determine a world number one.
    Gonzales played only the four-man in 1960, and dodged the big tournaments, causing Forest Hills, the most important tournament, to be cancelled.
    In 1961, Rosewall missed the four-man tour, and his ranking is based on only a few tournament wins.
    In 1962, there were only a few tournaments played, plus a tour of Italy on clay, won by Hoad, and a televised event, won by Hoad, but in the Wembley final, Hoad seemed to have the edge in play but suddenly tired at the end.
    Even 1963 is open to debate, with Laver personally ranking Hoad as number one.
    In 1959, a good case can be made that the Ampol-funded world championship, in which all players participated, should be considered the determinative result, with Hoad in first, and winning 6 of the 14 tournaments (including the biggest at Forest Hills), Gonzales second with 4 wins (winning at Sydney twice, L. A. Masters, Toronto), Rosewall third with 2 wins, Sedgman and Trabert with 1 win each. (Note that the designated tournaments excluded the so-called "US Pro" in Cleveland and the "World Indoor Professional Championships" at Wembley, suggesting that these events were not top-drawer tournaments, and the top pros concentrated on winning the 14 designated events, which contributed to bonus money).
    This was a formal series, with a large bonus money pool divided according to final standings.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012
  30. urban

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    1963 is clear for Rosewall as Nr. 1, by quite a margin.
     
  31. BobbyOne

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    krosero,

    You are probably right about the sources.

    But as a "last attempt" I would guess that World Tennis got their records and results directly from Kramer and not from various newspapers.

    We will absolutely know only till someone would go through the newspapers of every city of playing...
     
  32. Dan Lobb

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    Is this a case of the Monty Python Holy Grail knight again?
     
  33. BobbyOne

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    Hello fans and experts,

    As a Rosewall admirer (more even than a true Gonzalez admirer) I'm disappointed about the poll of 9:4 in Pancho's favour.

    In my opinion Rosewall has as great a record as Gonzalez has (f.i. his 23 majors, his 137 tournaments won), he was stronger than Pancho on clay and arguably as strong on grass as Pancho was) and he was a greater touch player (lobs, hal-fvolleys, dropshots all better than Pancho's).

    Just a last example: Rosewall's eight French Pro titles are probably more impressive as Pancho's eight US Pro titles because Rosewall had the better opponents to beat. The US Pro in several years had a weak field.
     
  34. Dan Lobb

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    To say that the Cleveland "US Pro" had weak fields almost every year is an understatement.
     
  35. Dan Lobb

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    In 1958, Sedgman won at Sydney's White City, the second most important Australian pro tournament that year, as well as Wembley.
    He won Kooyong in January 1959, beating Gonzales and Rosewall, Hoad having lost his semi-final to Gonzales.
     
  36. BobbyOne

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    Dan Lobb,

    For your exaggerating Hoad praising and the permanent pushing down Rosewall
    I give you the title "Best among the non-experts".

    That you deny Rosewall the No.1 place for 1963 is a SCANDAL. A year when Muscles achieved the Pro GS!!!

    PLease give us the source for Laver ranking Hoad first for 1963.....

    Regarding 1962 you "forgot" (you KNOW the truth!) several pro tours won by Rosewall (New Zealand, France).

    Are you sure that the 1959 WEmbley was not included in the 14 tournaments tour?
     
  37. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Ken Rosewall was clearly the world's best player in 1962 and 1963.
     
  38. pc1

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    BobbyOne wrote in several years, not almost every year. That's a big difference in meaning.
     
  39. Mustard

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    The thing is, Rosewall never had the dominance of Gonzales. What Rosewall has is longevity in terms of being near the top for so long, but he wasn't the very best player in the world for much of that time, relatively speaking. For most of his prime, Rosewall was the second best player and the spoiler in the background who would regularly upset favoured opponents in big matches.

    Gonzales, on top of 8 US Pro titles, also won 3 Tournament of Champions, not to mention winning all those world pro tours. Take a look at the 4-man 1960 world pro tour results:

    1. Pancho Gonzales 49-8
    2. Ken Rosewall 32-25
    3. Pancho Segura 22-28
    4. Alex Olmedo 11-44

    We've been through this before. No need to exaggerate to that extent. The US Pro in Cleveland was only really "weak" in 1962, the year Buchholz won the title, when just 4 players participated (Buchholz, Segura, MacKay and Arkinstall). Segura was 41 years old and about to go into semi retirement. And yes, I'm aware that Rosewall stayed away from 1958-1962 and that Sedgman didn't play it in some other years.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012
  40. Dan Lobb

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    I do not wish to cause a scandal, what a terrible thing that would be.
    I gave the Laver source earlier, from 1993.
    Wembley was not included, Anderson got no points from it.
     
  41. Dan Lobb

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    "US Pro" rarely had more than two recognized names in it.
     
  42. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Let's look at some of the names:

    1952 had Segura, Gonzales, Budge and Kovacs
    1953 had Gonzales, Budge, Riggs and Kovacs
    1954 had Gonzales, Sedgman, Segura, Budge, Kovacs and Riggs
    1955 had Gonzales, Segura, Kovacs, Riggs, Parker, Budge and Perry
    1956 had Gonzales, Segura, Trabert, Hartwig, Parker and Kovacs
    1957 had Gonzales, Segura, Rosewall, Trabert, Riggs, Parker and Kovacs
    1958 had Gonzales, Hoad, Segura, Trabert, Riggs and Parker
    1959 had Gonzales, Hoad, Segura, Cooper, Anderson, Riggs and Parker
    1960 had Olmedo, Trabert, Segura, Cooper and Parker
    1961 had Gonzales, Sedgman, Gimeno and MacKay
    1962 had Buchholz, Segura and MacKay
     
  43. BobbyOne

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    Mustard,

    Here a few arguments in favour of Rosewall in comparison to Gonzalez that compensate for Pancho's assets.

    I can make a case that Rosewall was at least tied No. 1 for 7-9 years.

    Rosewall dominated the pro majors as nobody has done for 4 years (1960 -1963) winning 9 pro majors in a row (where he participated).

    Rosewall had Rod Laver as main opponent for many years, Gonzalez did not have in his prime a Laver.

    Rosewall was among the top three for 16 years- just equal with Pancho (if we add 1962 and 1963 when pancho was retired).

    Rosewall won 23 majors plus MSG 1966 and BBC2 1967.

    Rosewall leads Gonzalez by 3:1 in majors. He is the only man who has a positive balance against all great opponents in big events with the only exception of Connors which I do not consider because Rosewall was 39 when he lost to Jimbo.

    Rosewall has a 10:7 balance in big events against Laver.

    You forgot that Pancho and Muscles met mostly playing indoors where Pancho was the king. Imagine they would have played as often on clay or grass...

    Rosewall was ranked 2 (Tingay) at 40.

    Rosewall reached 52 big SFs

    Rosewall achieved a lot more in doubles than Gonzalez (24 majors won).

    Maybe we could add more...



    You see the case is not so easy to decide.
     
  44. pc1

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    Very impressive array of names.
     
  45. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    pc1,

    Impressive but still not as impressive than French Pro with Laver, Rosewall, Gonzalez, Hoad, Segura, Trabert, Sedgman, Gimeno, Buchholz.

    I rank Rosewall's four times win against Laver at the French pro as one of his greatest achievements.
     
  46. Manus Domini

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    Shh! Common sense when it comes to any questions of Greatest anything over any period of time is forbidden on these boards! :D

    Well, that'd be hard, considering most modern players aren't forbidden from the top ranked tournaments and don't play each other 200+ times. I do, however, like the idea.
     
  47. Dan Lobb

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    Okay, so Budge and Riggs were still hot in 1954, and 1958 had Riggs and Parker (Parker was a star in the early 1930's!).
     
  48. BobbyOne

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    BobbyOne,

    You imperfect guy!

    You forgot to mention two other feats of Rosewall.

    He reached 36 consecutive SFs (or better) in majors: from Wimbledon 1954 to French Open 1968. A record even better than Federer's run but of course Roger had to play in tournaments of 128 participants while Rosewall often played in 8 man or 16 man majors as a pro. But still a great achievement of consistency.

    Rosewall has also reached a record (at least) 356 SFs (or better) in general tournament play, probably slightly better than Laver's record despite the latter's at least 200 tournament wins.
     
  49. Mustard

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    What are talking about? Frank Parker was winning amateur majors in the mid and late 1940s. He also won the men's doubles title with Gonzales at 1949 Wimbledon.
     
  50. BobbyOne

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    7,773
    Mustard,

    In this case I tend to support Dan Lobb.

    Parker was not anymore a top player in the 1950s, not to talk about 1958. Remember that Parker lost to Kovacs in the 1950 US Pro winning just one game in three sets...
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2012

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