Grand Slam equivalents

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by timnz, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Just after viewing the video on the 1975 WCT finals and the comments in the video, that at the time it was viewed as a major and the Australian Open wasn't. (See commentry about 2 minutes from end where it says that the 1975 WCT finals was Arthur Ashe's first major win in 7 years. Note: Ashe won the 1968 US Open, the 1970 Australian Open before the 1975 WCT finals tournament).

    This got me thinking that (And this has been confirmed by a number of places I have read in 1970's tennis publications) for all intents and purposes that we should treat the WCT finals as a Major and not consider the Australian Open a major during that time period. Certainly between 1972 and 1982 the Australian Open was certainly not really considered a major by the players. The years around the end one could debate. The WCT finals started in 1971, the same year the Australian Open had a deep field (which was the exception in those years). 1983 the top players started coming back to the Australian Open, but in losing the semi's in late 1985 Lendl commented that he didn't believe the Australian Open was a major really (might have just been hard feelings in losing... don't know.... he normally was a really straight talker though). Certainly by January 1988 when the Australian Open moved to Flinders Park on hard court it was a reconsidered a full major. The only question is the 1983 to 1987 period.

    So looking at the careers of some players who until 1983 didn't take the Australian too seriously:

    McEnroe - you could add at least 3 or 4 of his 5 WCT final wins to his 7 Grand Slam victories to have 10 or 11 equivalent majors.

    Borg - you could add his 1 WCT final win to his 11 Grand Slams to have 12 equivalent majors.

    Rosewall - I think he is the same - you take off the 1972 Australian Open but add on the 1972 WCT. The 1971 Australian Open win should stay on his resume because it was a deep field that year, hence you can't include his 1971 WCT finals win.

    Lendl - you could add his 1982 and 1985 WCT final wins to have 10 equivalent majors.

    Connors - you could take of his 1974 Australian and add on his two WCT finals wins to have an equivalent 9 majors.


    Note: To those who say that the WCT finals had a much smaller field that a Grand Slam event... remember the qualification standard to get into the event was much higher than a Grand Slam ie players already had to qualify by being high up the WCT points system.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2011
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  2. Nadal_Power

    Nadal_Power Semi-Pro

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    Article about AO 1985 :

     
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  3. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    If you are quoting someone else's work, you should give them credit and provide a link to the original, if available.
     
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  4. egn

    egn Hall of Fame

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    Careful the new wave of fans will call you on propoganda and tell you that these articles know nothing and the Australian Open at that time just like it is now was a major.
     
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  5. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Last edited: Jul 19, 2011
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  6. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I'll quote the first portion here for ease of reference.
     
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  7. NonP

    NonP Professional

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    This is a good point, and a few other posters have made a similar point on the thread re: the pro majors. Yes, the official majors are best-of-five and feature bigger draws, but the smaller fields of the pro majors/WCT/fill-in-the-blank make it more likely for the entrants to suffer an early upset, as most of them are the very top of the class and you have to face them head-on from the get-go. And of course there are those higher entry requirements.

    Still, as has been pointed out countless times, we should be wary of declaring this or that other big event equal to a major as we know it today. It's fine to compare on a case-by-case basis, but we often make the mistake of saying one is more important or difficult than another in general. Not necessarily so, as each has its own set of demands which vary from year to year even at the same tourney. You're really comparing apples to oranges.

    Now somewhat on topic, WCT wasn't always the de facto remaining major of the year after Wimbledon, the USO and (with a few exceptions) the FO. Sometimes it was arguably Philadelphia, or Rome in '71 when both Laver and Rosewall didn't enter RG. And of course there was the Masters.

    P.S. I see hoodjem beat me to it.
     
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  8. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Definitely a great job, and it's interesting, the first year that has the traditional four majors as the top 4 events of the year is 1983.

    Just to be precise, he did consider the Australian and French to be majors, but amateur majors. So they, along with Wimbledon and USO, often did not make it into his top 4 tournaments of the year.

    Interesting though that in some years he does rank a traditional major in the top 4. Wimbledon made it in 1956, and RG in 1954-55.
     
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  9. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    I think, he tried to have a clay court event in his top four for each year. In the whole pre open era, it is speculative to name four top events, across amateur and pro events. Generally the top pros were better than the top amateurs, but the differences change a bit over certain periods. In my estimation, until the mid 50s the amateur circuit wasn't that bad against the pro circuit, which had some years with no real circuit at all. The pro circuit became very strong at the end of the 50s, when virtually all top amateurs had turned pro. In the early 60s, some of the best amateurs didn't turn pro - like Emerson and Santana, often due to interventions of the amateur federations. In 1967, two of the best amateurs of 1966 - Stolle and Ralston - had turned pro, just before the advent of open tennis.
     
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  10. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I would tend to agree. By what basis can you logically rank it? Is it by prestige? Is it by strength of field? If the latter is true then in the 1960's and 1950's none of the classic majors would be ranked at the top? Just the Pro Tour top few tournaments would rank for strength of field. Is it by the views of the pros? If that's the case then it's totally debatable depending who is polled and the mood of the player.

    The WCT was considered by many to be a major at one point and clearly the players considered it to be a top tournament but I can see the viewpoints of those in favor of the Australian over the WCT in those years. I still would think in the early 1970's for all intents and purposes the WCT was a major but I wouldn't get upset if someone said it wasn't.
     
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  11. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, that just just about right, IMHO.

    Yes, you are correct. I was at a loss what to call them--not always majors, not necessarily slams. I guess his list is of the four tournaments-with-the-best-players-in-the-world for a given year.
     
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  12. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    WCT finals vs masters vs philly

    I guess I would have the WCT finals being a higher prestige event than the masters for at least from 1971 through to 1980 and maybe longer.

    But that is merely my opinion. What is clear is the downgraded status of the australian open during that period.

    My main point is that careers Borg, McEnroe and Connors tend to be judged by today's standards of primarily measuring wins in the 4 current majors. But is that really fair when 1 of those 4 wasn't held in high regard at the time and another event (whether it is WCT, masters or Philly) was the one then players wanted to win at the time. One should never judge by today's standards but rather by the standards present during the time.
     
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  13. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    I wish people on this board would do that but many do not, it's easier and lazier to count slams. In the 1970's right up until the mid 80's the main focus was being number one in the world and playing challenges and tournaments where the money was and the other top players were. The Australian Open had terrible facilities and joke prize money. The French Open finally got better in the mid 80's as well. Even Wimbledon was boycotted one year. While some here look back fondly at the Australian Open having metal folding chairs court side with no amenities to speak of for a so called "major" at the time, the players did not. Prestigious tournaments offer top notch facilities and prize money. For decades the French Open and the Australian did not have either.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2011
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  14. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Those lists with the most prestigious events through the years have great merits, but one has always put some perspectives on them. A couple of years ago, i had some discussions with Carlo and Jeffrey Neave about it. We agreed that one should rank them by their draws. For instance, in 1968 the Australian, still not open, was certainly no major, while LA had the best field outside Wim and Forest Hills, but went only to best of 3.
    For the pre open era, we simply have to live with this idiotic situation, that there existed two different circuits. Those lists - and that is a good thing -do rewrite the traditional tennis history somewhat, because the classic histories by Danzig, Tingay, even Collins tend to focus on the amateur events and exclude the pro tours. Since McCauley's book we have a solid basis to evaluate the old pro scene. It is to be said, that the pro game did not centre around majors, as the current tour does. Paris was mostly played just one week before Wembley, the US pro didn't always have good fields and so on. Of course, the pros had their own big events, especially Wembley, which they called World Champs, because it had the best public (often 6000 people), the best press (by the competent British tennis writers corps) and even good tv coverage by the BBC. But the greater goal was the tour itself, the whole amount of tournaments and one night stands, distributed over the whole world, on places where they were allowed to play (remind, that the amateur federations often didn't allow the pros, to play at the great venues).
    This situation went on in the early open era until the mid 80s. What counted the most, was something like the 'tour' itself. You hadn't a structured circuit like today with four events having much, maybe too much attention. This was the result of politics, by ITF men like Chatrier. The ATP, once the big rival of the ITF, is playing a supporting role today.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2011
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  15. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Whomever wrote that article seemed to hate the sport.
     
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  16. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Chatrier really did overhaul the facilities at RG. Not sure of the exact dates but he became president of the French Tennis Federation in '73.

    The AO's prize money did lag behind the other Slams for a long time, but even in the 70s the French was offering the men a first prize that was comparable to the other Slams, sometimes even higher.

    Here's a list, a work in progress, of the men's first prize at all the Slams, according to news sources of the time (Associated Press, United Press International, New York Times, etc.)


    1968
    French – $3,000
    Wimbledon – $4,000
    USO – $14,000

    1969
    AO – $5,000
    French – $7,000
    Wimbledon – $7,200
    USO – $16,000

    1970
    AO – $3,800
    French – $10,000 from a total purse of $100,000
    Wimbledon – $7,200
    USO – $20,000 from a total purse of $176,000

    1971
    AO – $10,080
    French – $10,000
    Wimbledon – $9,000
    USO – $20,000

    1972
    AO – $2,240
    French – $12,000 from $100,000
    Wimbledon – $7,800
    USO – $25,000

    WCT Finals in May ’72 – Rosewall won $50,000 from a purse of $100,000

    1973
    AO – $8,000 from a purse of $53,300
    French – $15,000 from a purse of $133,000
    Wimbledon – $12,500
    USO – $25,000

    1974
    AO – $6,500 or $9,685 (two sources)
    French – $17,500 from a purse of $180,000 (or $24,000 from $200,000)
    Wimbledon – $24,000 from a purse of $234,000
    USO – $22,500 from a purse of $271,720

    1975
    AO – $13,000
    French – $30,000
    Wimbledon – $23,000
    USO – $25,000 from a purse of $309,430

    WCT Finals in May '75 – Ashe won $50,000

    1976
    AO – $10,000
    French – $27,660
    Wimbledon – $22,125
    USO – $30,000

    1977
    AO in January – $25,000
    French – $38,000
    Wimbledon – $25,500
    USO – $33,000
    AO in December – $28,000

    1978
    French – $42,000 or $48,000
    Wimbledon – $34,200
    USO – $38,000
    AO – $41,000 from a purse of $300,000

    1979
    French – $49,000
    Wimbledon – $44,000
    USO – $39,000
    AO – $49,000

    1980
    French – $53,000 from a purse of $617,000
    Wimbledon – $50,000
    USO – $46,000 from a purse of $654,082
    AO – $50,000 from a purse of $350,000

    Note: the AO purse in all these years was split among 64 men. All the other Slams had draws of 128.
     
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  17. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    One thing about the very first years of the Open Era (1968-73) is that Wimbledon's first prize, while high, was much lower than the USO's. Some writers even make a point of it, but also state that Wimbledon is the most prestigious tournament in the world.

    Also it's interesting that the '71 AO was the one AO in this time period that had great draws, because of the political compromises that were reached that year -- and look at the prize money that year. Comparable to the other Slams, for once, especially compared to the puny sums in '70 and '72-76.

    (In think the '71 AO won sponsorship from Dunlop).

    Also the first prize at the '69 AO was not too bad relative to the other Slams. And the draw was a good one (partly because the major political disputes that kept top players out of top tournaments had not yet begun).
     
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  18. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I think Ashe won the inaugural US Open in 1968 as an amateur. I wonder what happened to the $14,000?
     
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  19. Tshooter

    Tshooter Hall of Fame

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    #19
  20. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    I think, amateur Ashe was in the US army at the time of his Forest Hills win 1968 and couldn't accept the prize money. I think, runner-up Okker, although not a contract pro, got the first prize.
     
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  21. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I wonder if Ashe was the only Amature to win an open major. I think Stan Smith was still in the Army when he won the 1971 USO and 1972 Wimbledon titles. Was he an amateur as well?
     
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  22. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    yeas, but you should also add the Masters.Orantes would have 2 majors (USO 75 and Masters 76), so would Gerulaitis ( AO 78 and WCT 78).Smith,Ashe,Nastase,Newcombe,Rosewall,Edberg,Becker would also have more majors under their belt.
     
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  23. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I agree with all of the posts above about majors: just accepting the four standard national titles for every single year as the four best or most significant tournaments (without considering the quality of competition, etc.) is overly simplistic and misleading.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2011
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  24. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    The Masters titles won by Borg in Jan. 1980 and Jan. 1981 could be added. That tourney was the 4th "biggest" during those years in my opinion, based on factors such as fan interest, prize money, and depth of draw. It was a BIG tournament played regularly before 10-20K folks at Madison Square Garden (about 19K for a Borg-McEnroe match in Jan. 1980). Players like Connors, Borg, McEnroe, Lendl, Gerulaitis, and Vilas squared off at the YEC and the AO was not even close to being as important and I would argue that neither was the WCT at that particular time (unlike earlier WCT finals that were a bit bigger). It was called the Volvo Grand Prix Masters at least in Jan. 1981 (see Borg vs. Lendl in the final below).


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyuiEzBb7hk
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2011
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  25. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    WCT Finals 1971 and 1972 (& 1974)

    I just heard an interview with Ken Rosewall that was just conducted in the last week or so. He was asked what was his most special victory. He said, and this will surprise you, that the WCT finals victories of 1971 and 1972 were. I seem to also remember that Newcombe said that the 1974 WCT finals win was his most special victory.
     
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  26. Tilden1893

    Tilden1893 New User

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    While prior to '68 you could (for the pros) add the US Pro Title, which was held from 1927, and amazingly was still being held until 1999, although the competition for this faded with the advent of open tennis. Also the French Pro, (1930-1968) and the London Pro, (1934 to 1968)
     
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  27. Tilden1893

    Tilden1893 New User

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    For the pros that were barred from the majors, you could use the US, London, and French Pro tournaments that were held from the 1930s [1927 in the US case) to 1968.
     
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  28. Nadal_Power

    Nadal_Power Semi-Pro

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    That match from 1972 was one of the best ever... I read there was almost 8000 people in the crowd and that other 21 million watched on TV

    5th set tie break and fantastic points for sure worth of Major crown
     
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  29. Tilden1893

    Tilden1893 New User

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    Oh, it was! A terrific match! Anyone here know where I could get it?
     
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  30. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Yep! I agree wholeheartedly. I've often said it was the best match I've ever seen.

    "Glued to my seat, holding my breath on every point I was."
     
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  31. Carlo Giovanni Colussi

    Carlo Giovanni Colussi Semi-Pro

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    Hello,

    urban is right. Okker was the first registered player in tennis history in the summer of 1968 : I think in July just after Wimbledon but I'm not sure so he possibly earned his first official prize (not "under-the-table") in the Irish Open ended on July 7, 1968 but it is to be checked.
    A registered player was a special amateur player (that is a player who must obey his national (and international) federation) who could take prize money in open events but wasn't allowed, as any other amateur, to enter in professional events (held by private professional promoters).

    Therefore this is Okker, as a registered player in an open event, who earned the first prize money of $14,000 (Rosewall, though the best pro in this tournament, was beaten in the semis by Okker and so Ken took the second prize, possibly $7,000). Ashe received his expensive money (if I remember well something like $28 a day for a fortnight).
    Ashe became independent pro circa the spring of 1969 : I think he took the runner-up prize money in the March 1969 Madison Square Garden invitational (to check too).
     
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  32. Carlo Giovanni Colussi

    Carlo Giovanni Colussi Semi-Pro

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    Except from mid-December 1970 to early April 1971 when Smith was really in the Army the rest of the time it was an honorary position. It is possible that Smith gave some of his earnings to the Army but not all : he was an independent pro (as Nastase, Orantes and others ...).
     
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  33. Carlo Giovanni Colussi

    Carlo Giovanni Colussi Semi-Pro

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    When you read World of Tennis' 73 (about the 1972 season) or Rowley's biography of Ken "Twenty Years at the Top" it isn't surprising : these were his last major victories : the last times that he was, on a short period, the best player in the world. When he won the 1970 US Open he said at the time it was his biggest win ever. So when he won the 1972 WCT Finals he was so delighted to play so well at such an old age because he thought he wasn't able to reach such a level again : it was his very last major victory.

    Newcombe has thought of retiring twice in his career :

    - in early 1972 after suffering from many early losses since the 1971 USO (where he injured his knee in the doubles final). He told it to two Aussie mates who laughed at him saying he was something like a sissy so Newk changed his mind and when he won the 1972 WCT Las Vegas tourney he was mentally back in the game.

    - after the 1973 boycotted Wimby this time his wife was the ear and she replied to Newk to think it twice. After some talking he was again motivated to really come back and decided to become the world #1 after the 1974 WCT finals. Before he wanted to win the 1973 US Open and Davis Cup. With a little luck Newcombe won the US Open : in the final Kodes was burnt. Both players had played the semis the day before but Newk had a 3-set win from Rosewall while Kodes had played after the Aussies and his match against Smith has ended around midnight. The Czech should have been granted the second set but the linesman made a very bad wrong call in the tie-breaker : Stan's shot was wrong by numerous inches though he was credited the sudden-death set point, in fact Kodes deserved a straight-set victory and not a 5-set win. So a few hours later he played his final against Newk completely out of form nevertheless he extended Newk to 5 sets.
    And in the Davis Cup Laver was the great man of the team helping very much Newcombe to hold the trophy in the end.
    In the 1974 WCT circuit Newcombe finished #1 ahead of Nastase and the Australian also won the WCT play-offs against Borg.
    So if we consider the "July 1973 - June 1974" period
    Newcombe won something like 9 tournaments including the 73 USO, the 74 WCT Finals and the 74 ATP tournament (in Tucson), he also beat Kodes, Smith and Gorman in Davis Cup (but lost to Hrebec) and he reached the semis of the 73 Masters : he was clearly the best player in the world if we consider this 12-month span and was thus rightly ATP #1 on June 3, 1974 : the 74 WCT finals held early in May 1974 were a sort of conclusion of his come-back. Later in the summer of 1974 he suffered from a let-down (2 big losses to old dinosaur Kenny at Wimby and the USO) which announced his future retirement. Originally he didn't want to play the 1974-1975 AO but when Connors has officially announced his intention to retain his Australian title, Newk decided to train very hard for the last time of his career and on Jan. 1, 1975, John beat Connors the world #1 then.
     
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  34. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Just a few additional notes. While Newcombe did train hard for the 1975 Australian when he heard Connors was entered, he did not have a great deal of time to train. So he was not in nearly the shape that he should have been in. Also the five set match in the semi with Tony Roche took a lot out of Newcombe. It was truly amazing that he won the tournament over Connors in the final. Newcombe admitted that if Connors won the fourth set that Connors would have been in great position to win the match considering Newcombe's poor shape.

    As I have written in the past, I was at the 1973 US Open for a number of the matches. Newcombe was in superb form during the tournament as evidenced by his straight set win over Connors earlier. Connors played superbly but was still beaten in straight sets in what was actually a very close match. Whether Kodes would have beaten Newcombe (which he has shown he was capable of) if he won the Smith match easily is debatable because I feel Newcombe is the type of big match player who can raise his game if his opponent was playing well. Bad calls were a part of tennis then (and now of course) and who knows, perhaps Kodes had the benefit of some bad calls against Smith. The old Aussis philosophy of letting the calls stand as the linesmen calls them to me works well because the player shouldn't keep thinking of the bad call you had in the past. What is done is done. Of course tell players like Ilie Nastase that.:)
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2011
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  35. Carlo Giovanni Colussi

    Carlo Giovanni Colussi Semi-Pro

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    Yes Newcombe had few time to train in late 1974
    however he was not so out of form as he was in early 1972 or early 1973. In late 1974 Newcombe had won the Japan Open over Rosewall, the Australian Indoor Open, the Gunze tournament in Osaka. And above all he had played two weeks before the '75 AO, the Masters at Kooyong on the same site as the AO where he beat young Borg and Parun (but was beaten by Vilas and Nastase). So the situation was different from 72 and 73. Newcombe in late 1974 was near the top while in early 72 and early 73 he was an ordinary player beaten by every journeyman (except at the AO 73 but there he didn't meet any true great player). In late 74 Newk was still a top5 player (and in my mind the #2 for the whole year behind Connors and ahead of Borg and Rosewall). So his win over Connors at the 1975 AO was not so surprising. Until that AO 75 Newcombe had always beaten Connors : US 73, WTT 74 (July) and AO 75 : Connors's first win occurred only in the April 1975 Las Vegas Challenge Match.

    About Kodes, of course no one can claim he would have won for sure however he was clearly at a disadvantage and Newk himself recognized that Jan had played unbelievably for two sets and besides Newcombe wasn't probably as strong in September 1973 as he was in early 1974
    so Kodes could have a great chance in this final had he not been cheated on this very important point of the second set.
    Apparently every witness except the linesman saw the ball clearly out. Yes it is possible that there were other bad calls in favour of Kodes however none hypothetical bad call was as important as that one given it enabled Smith to even the score (1 set all instead of 0 set to 2) which is hugely different.

    I liked the Nastase example who effectively thought almost exclusively of bad calls during his matches.
     
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  36. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Hi Carlo. The USO did not have night matches under lights until '75. The '73 semi ended in near-darkness, with everyone almost unable to see: http://news.google.com/newspapers?i...EAAAAIBAJ&dq=kodes stan smith&pg=4806,2337908

    For what it's worth Kodes said after the final that he had never seen Newk play better. I've seen the last half of the match, and it's high quality, very entertaining. All the reports I've read from the time also praise the quality on both sides. The New York Times said it was "considered by many who saw it to be one of the most brilliant ever played on the grass at the West Side Tennis Club." They noted how well Kodes was running and returning serve. Newk said that for the first three sets Kodes had an answer for everything he did.

    Kodes was asked if he was tired and he said, "Not tired, but it is hard to play semis and finals on successive days."
     
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  37. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    That is so much true.Any top player in the 70´s would rather win Dallas or the Masters than the AO...except all those that got a bid at the Oz open because it was the rest of the food the really big ones left ( great but not supergreat guys like Vilas,Tanner and Gerulatis, later kriek won the Aussie Open when the big 3 did not play it)
     
    #37
  38. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    He was takingt
    he money off the Gran Prix events, so it doesn´t look too amateur to me.Remember he got big money by winning the first Masters Tournament held in 1970 in Tokyo.
     
    #38
  39. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    so was the bad call the reason Kodes lost the 3rd set 6-1? Its a pretty big assumption to say Kodes would have won in 3 had he gone up 2 sets to love.

    was pretty surprised by the negative body language of Newcombe at the end of the 3rd set(throwing his hands up when Kodes hit winners. Kramer seemed pretty shocked, he thought those gestures were implying that Newk thought Kodes was hitting 'lucky shots.')

    Kodes' groundies were very impressive, esp to those used to seeing primarily slice bh's by players of that time(if it was a groundie to groundie battle with Newk it would have been no contest)

    Funny to see Court's first comments in that article directed to Riggs.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2011
    #39
  40. Carlo Giovanni Colussi

    Carlo Giovanni Colussi Semi-Pro

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    Hello krosero,
    yes you are right about the matches under light. I think that the first ever official match played under lights at the USO was the meeting between Smith and Onny Parun in 1975 (but my memory can be wrong).

    I don't say that, in fair circumstances, Kodes would have necessarily won the '73 USO final.
    But at a given page (of which the exact number I don't remember) in Kodes's biography,
    the Czech claims that he was robbed of the '73 USO victory.
    However further in this same book he sort of backs off
    by only stating that every winner of the second semi-final in the USO Champs
    is at a disadvantage when playing the final the very next day :
    as many I think this is a very true statement.
    This is why, in a selfish way, I enjoyed that the last two or three USO finals were played only on Mondays (for different reasons)
    and allowed the second semifinal winner not to be at a disadvantage in the final match.
     
    #40
  41. Carlo Giovanni Colussi

    Carlo Giovanni Colussi Semi-Pro

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    This is what Kodes himself stated in Petr Kolar's biography of the Czech.
    And it is true that being robbed of a 2 sets to 0 lead
    has a great effect on anyone's mind : it can explain in part Kodes's failure in the 3rd set.
    Had Kodes officially led 2 sets to 0, his victory would have been easier and the odds of winning in straight sets wouldn't have been nil given Kodes's great form then.
    Of course it's a big assumption but this is Kodes's own feeling and he can be right.
    However one never will know
    (all the assumptions are possible : even a Kodes's loss after a 2 sets to 0 lead)
     
    #41
  42. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    If i remember it right, Kodes had complaints quite often about umpires and linesmen. I think, that he also said, that he was robbed by linesmen in the Davis Cup interzone final with Australia in 1973. Wasn't the nicest man out on court, but as Carlo said, was a sort of proto-Connors in his aggressive returning and powerfull baseline game.
     
    #42
  43. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    WCT and the Masters were fantastic events, well in line or above the AO.

    From 1970 to 1990 I´d go with

    Top Tier: Wimbledon, US Open,Roland Garros
    Second Tier:Australian,WCT and Masters
    Third Tier: Philadelphia,Johannesburg,Barcelona,Montecarlo,Boston,Indianapolis,Rome,Canadian,Hamburg,Tokyo Indoor, Las Vegas ,Palm Springs.

    Some years the third tier events were better than some other years.But , in a 20 years stretch, those were the events that performed better.No doubt about that.
     
    #43
  44. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Will you bring it to TT?
     
    #44
  45. Carlo Giovanni Colussi

    Carlo Giovanni Colussi Semi-Pro

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    Hello urban,

    absolutely in Petr Kolar's book Jan Kodes A Journey to Glory from behind the Iron Curtain, http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51NNW4Fah4L._SS500_.jpg, Kodes also claimed that he was robbed of a set to Laver's advantage in this 1973 Davis Cup semifinal opener.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2013
    #45
  46. spinovic

    spinovic Hall of Fame

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    There's no doubt that the Aussie Open wasn't on the same level as the other majors in the past. One needs look no further than the fact that many top players didn't even play in the tournament, while hardly missing the others.

    Borg only played Australia one time, while never missing the other three with the exception of the '77 French.

    Johnny Mac played there 5 times, with the first being in 1983.

    Connors (2), Vilas (5), Gerulaitis (4), Ashe (6)

    It looks like around '83 is when the Aussie Open started getting the top players and deeper fields on a consistent basis.

    Even Agassi didn't play there until 1995 and only played in 9 in his career.

    While the Aussie Open is still the least prestigious of the 4 slams (IMO), I think the modern era has closed the gap. Still though, it is Wimbledon - US Open - Roland Garros - Australian Open.

    I think the Olympics is on a similar path thanks to the current generation and the importance they place on it. While I don't think it will ever be treated as a slam, nor should it be, it is certainly a more prestigious accomplishment than in the past.
     
    #46
  47. Carlo Giovanni Colussi

    Carlo Giovanni Colussi Semi-Pro

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    Hello spinovic,

    here is an extract (perhaps slightly edited since my original input) of what I wrote in 2007 in Wikipedia :

    The first tournaments of the Australasian Championships suffered from the competition of the other Australasian tournaments, and before 1905 all the Australian states had their own championships, the first being organised in 1880 in Melbourne and called the Championship of the Colony of Victoria (later become the Championship of Victoria). This tournament stayed the most important in Australia, including the Australasian Championships, until at least World War I, in those years the best two players by far, from "Down Under" the Australian Norman Brookes (whose name is now written on the gentlemen's singles cup) and the New Zealander Anthony Wilding, almost didn't play this tournament. Brookes came once and won in 1911 and Wilding entered and won the competition twice (1906 and 1909). Their meetings in the Victorian Championships (or at Wimbledon) were the summits which helped to determine who was the best Australasian players. Even when the Australasian Championships were held in Hastings, New Zealand, in 1912, Wilding, though three times Wimbledon champion, didn't come back to his home country. It was a recurrent problem for all the players of the era, Brookes only went to Europe three times, where he reached the Wimbledon Challenge Round once and then won Wimbledon twice. Thus many players had never played the Austral(as)ian amateur or open championships: the Renshaws, the Dohertys, William Larned, Maurice McLoughlin, Beals Wright, Bill Johnston, Bill Tilden, René Lacoste, Henri Cochet, Bobby Riggs, Jack Kramer, Ted Schroeder, Pancho Gonzales, Budge Patty, Manuel Santana, Jan Kodes and others while Brookes, Ellsworth Vines, Donald Budge, Jaroslav Drobny, Manuel Orantes, Ilie Năstase at 35 years old, and Bjorn Borg just came once.

    Beginning in 1969, when the first Australian Open was held on the Milton Courts at Brisbane, the tournament was open to all players, including professionals who were not allowed to play the traditional circuit. Nevertheless, except for the 1969 and 1971 tournaments, many of the best players missed this championship until 1982, because of the remoteness, the inconvenient dates (around Christmas and New Year's Day), and the low prize money. In 1970, George MacCall's National Tennis League, which employed Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall, Andrés Gimeno, Pancho Gonzales, Roy Emerson, and Fred Stolle, prevented its players from entering the tournament because the guarantees were insufficient, and the tournament was ultimately won by Arthur Ashe.

    In 1983, Ivan Lendl, John McEnroe, and Mats Wilander entered the tournament. Wilander won the singles title and both his Davis Cup singles rubbers in the Swedish loss to Australia at Kooyong shortly after. Following the 1983 Australian Open, the International Tennis Federation prompted the Lawn Tennis Association of Australia to change the site of the tournament, because the Kooyong stadium was then inappropriate to serve such a big event, and in 1988 the tournament was first held at Flinders Park (later renamed Melbourne Park) on Rebound Ace. The change of the venue also lead to a change of the court surface from grass to a hard court surface known as Rebound Ace. Mats Wilander was the only player to win the tournament on both grass and hard courts ...
    Before the Melbourne Park stadium era, tournament dates fluctuated as well, in particular in the early years because of the climate of each site or exceptional events. For example, the 1919 tournament was held in January 1920 (the 1920 tournament was played in March) and the 1923 tournament in Brisbane took place in August when the weather was not too hot and wet. After a first 1977 tournament was held in December 1976 – January 1977, the organisers chose to move the next tournament forward a few days, then a second 1977 tournament was played (ended on 31 December), but this failed to attract the best players. From 1982 to 1985, the tournament was played in mid-December. Then it was decided to move the next tournament to mid-January (January 1987), which meant there was no tournament in 1986. Since 1987, the Australian Open date has not changed.


    About the prestige of the tourney, Tennis Magazine (France) made a survey a few years ago (circa 2011, I don't exactly remember) among the players, be it men or women. The men indeed considered the Australian as the 4th event but
    very surprisingly the women put the Australian Open at the first place, ahead of the other Slam events including Wimby..
     
    #47
  48. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Correction: WCT and Masters were second tier amd Phily, Rome, Melbourne and SA open were third tier as the second greatest event in the 4 different surfaces
     
    #48
  49. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Carlo, It's good that you are posting again.
     
    #49
  50. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    ...back when reala men played no tie breaks, at least not in the fifth.Kodes was an exceptional fighter who could thrieve on pain.Newcombe was Mr 5 sets, his stamina was peerless.
     
    #50

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