Greatest Canadian player ever

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Dan Lobb, Oct 20, 2012.

  1. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    I expect that this will be a short list.

    Here are the most legitimate candidates for greatest ever Canadian player.
    This is not an exhaustive list.

    1) Lorne Main
    Current World #1 over 80
    World #1 over 70 in 2000
    Champion Monte Carlo clay 1954
    Davis Cup 14 wins 14 defeats in singles

    2) Bob Bedard
    Last Canadian to win the Canadian championship 1955, 1957, 1958 defeating in the finals Ramanathan Krishnan (World #3) and Whitney Reed (U.S.A. #1)
    Davis Cup greatest success in 1961, defeating both Llamas and Osuna (World #1) in singles
    Defeated Emerson (World #1) at Queens Club 1958
    Won a set off Hoad at Wimbledon 1954, lost 3 matches to Hoad in Slam events (Roland Garros, Wimbledon, Forest Hills) lost to both Hoad and Rosewall in 1955 Davis Cup

    3) Mike Belkin
    Rated #7 in world in early 1960's
    Davis Cup record 14 wins 7 defeats in singles

    4) Daniel Nestor
    Defeated world #1 Edberg in five sets in 1992 Davis Cup singles
    Won numberless doubles titles, all four slam events and world titles

    5) Greg Rusedski
    U.S. Open runnerup 1997
    Ranked #4 in world
    Dual citizen, played Davis Cup for Britain

    6) Milos Raonic
    Current world #14
    Defeated Murray at Japan Open 2012 (career record 2 wins 1 defeat against Murray)

    7) Filip Peliwo
    Current 2012 Wimbledon and U.S. Open Junior Champion
    World Junior #1 2012

    Canada has not been a hotbed of tennis until recently, but the above is an honourable list.
    I would rate Bob Bedard as all-time number 1, but this could change if Raonic or Peliwo continue to develop.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2012
    #1
  2. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    i appreciate that you include Lorne Maine.
    the ITF Seniors Circuit is extremely competitive and his multiple world championships over decades deserve recognition
     
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  3. Hidious

    Hidious Professional

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    Daniel Nestor hands down.
     
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  4. treblings

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    do the canadians consider greg rusedski as own of their own?
     
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  5. Dan Lobb

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    He is one of our own, and was trained here with Canadian development funds.
    On his Wikipedia bio, you will see TWO flags, Canadian and British. He is a dual citizen.
     
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  6. treblings

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    so, no hard feelings toward him?
     
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  7. Dan Lobb

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    The Canadian tennis public has hard feelings, because they paid for his training but he acquired British citizenship to get on the well-funded British team. Or so goes the story.
    Personally, I have no hard feelings, and Rusedski continues to claim that he is a proud Canadian.
     
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  8. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    Glen Michibata was the coolest I thought.
     
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  9. Dan Lobb

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    The funniest thing I have seen on television was John Lloyd's commentary of a Rusedski match just after Greg joined the British team, when Lloyd stated "Greg actually played a couple of seasons in Canada and picked up his fighting spirit there."
    Actually, he lived his ENTIRE life in Canada until he switched Davis Cup teams. Some joke.
     
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  10. Carsomyr

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    Nestor, and it's not close.
     
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  11. treblings

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    what where Rusedskis reasons for playing for GB? i seem to remember he had relatives there.
     
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  12. Dan Lobb

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    His mother was BORN in Britain, but his parents were and ARE devout Canucks. Greg would, of course, have some relatives in U.K., as I do.
    I have second cousins in Cornwall who put up myself and my father when we visited in 2009, and a cousin offered me use of his summer house on the coast. First time I have met these folks, but I do not consider myself a Brit. Not by a longshot.
     
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  13. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Rusedski stopped representing Canada in tennis in June 1995. 1995 Queen's Club was Rusedski's first tournament representing Great Britain, and he was beaten by Mark Petchey, who didn't hide his delight. Rusedski then reached the Round of 16 at 1995 Wimbledon, the best British performance at the tournament, before losing to Sampras.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012
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  14. PeteD

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    I heard at the time it was a matter of money - Rusedski could make more on endorsements if he represented himself as a Brit. I remember feeling like he turned his back on Canada for money and it left a bad feeling.
     
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  15. Gonzalito17

    Gonzalito17 Hall of Fame

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    Saw Lorne Main play in Sarasota, even played doubles with him once, he used to play there a lot, very fine player, very smooth and elegant with good placement. Gentleman too. Not very big or strong but a lot of talent in his hands and feet and head.
     
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  16. Gonzalito17

    Gonzalito17 Hall of Fame

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    You have to go with Greg Rusedski as the most accomplished Canadian singles player. And Nestor in doubles. Expect Raonic to surpass Rusedski though.
     
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  17. treblings

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    most of my relatives are over in Canada, immigrated at one point in history or another, and they always make me feel at home:)
    doesn´t change the fact that i am austrian
     
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  18. treblings

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    now why did i have the feeling, that it might have something to do with money:???:
     
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  19. treblings

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    people like him, or Gardnar Mulloy, are real idols for me. i believe they change our perspective on aging and what we can do if we keep on playing and training(and being lucky and having the right genes i guess)
     
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  20. MAXXply

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    Grant Connell? Sebastien Lareau? Pete Burwash?!
     
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  21. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    Carling Bassett, Helen Kelesi?
     
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  22. NadalAgassi

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    Lorne Main or Daniel Nestor. The rest dont even come close.
     
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  23. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Would rather be a many time doubles champion or best over 70 player in the World, then a bottom end top 15/top 10 player for about a year.
     
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  24. Dan Lobb

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    Frank Dancevic, Keith Carpenter, others.
    There are many who were on the edges of stardom.
    I have listed only those who had significant championships or wins over big-time players in significant events.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2012
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  25. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Rusedski, of course.
     
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  26. Dan Lobb

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    Eugenie Bouchard is the current Wimbledon Junior girl's champion.
     
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  27. treblings

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    with her and Peliwo as evidence, the canadians seem to be doing something right these days in their junior program:)
     
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  28. Dan Lobb

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    It's about time.
    For too many years, tennis in Canada was viewed as a gentleman's game, an amateur pastime for wealthy people in private clubs, not as a high-level professional sport.
    I think that Bob Bedard was never properly developed, never had top-level training, and learned by tough experience against more "full-time" players, such as Hoad and Rosewall.
    He was a muscular, hard-hitting player, but had trouble with players such as Herb Flam, who had more developed skills.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2012
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  29. treblings

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    how does Karl Hale fit in?
    45+ world champion of 2012,and he played DavisCup for Jamaica if i heard correctly.
    was he ever a force in canadian tennis as a player?
     
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  30. Dan Lobb

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    He is Tournament Director for Tennis Canada, and manages the Canadian Open. He has won two top level 45+ tournaments in the last three months. He never had the opportunity to play the pro circuuit in his prime years.
     
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  31. treblings

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    i would have met him int the quarters of one of them last month, but managed to loose the round before:)
     
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  32. Dan Lobb

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    Bedard once reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon and the Italian.
    He never was a fulltime player, but split his time as a college teacher. In 1955, he played 40 weeks, his most active year. He concentrated on the Canadian "Open" (actually, the Canadian International Championships) where he beat some top players in defending his title in 1955, 1957, 1958 (including Krishnan and Whitney Reed, both #1 players for their countries.)
    Currently Bedard is an active senior player at age 81, with a career senior record of 42 wins and 4 defeats, and 8 wins and 0 defeats in 2012.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2012
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  33. Dan Lobb

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    Compared to the time that Bedard emerged, the change is astronomical.
    Bedard, born 1931, did not pick up a raquet until age 15. He received only one year of coaching, in southern California, in 1952, age 21.
    He only played two years on the international circuit in his entire career. There was no support of any kind from the Canadian tennis establishment.
    Yet, this man would go on to win three Canadian Opens, and beat many top players in important matches such as Emerson, Krishnan, Whitney Reed, Rafael Osuna, to mention a few.
    He is currently undefeated this year at 8 wins 0 defeats at age 81.
     
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  34. treblings

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    impressive. i guess many national federations have become more professional over the last decades, with the increasing prize money in tennis, resulting in the sport to become more international
     
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  35. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    I rusedski counts it is of course him as he made a GS final and was ranked top5. then I would rank nestor ahead of raonic but Roanic will overtake him soon if he continues as singles are more important than doubles and nestor was only highest ranked 58 in singles.

    I don't rank guys like peliwo and bouchard yet. those were nice achievements but junior titles don't really mean anything.

    but as soon either of them makes the top100 he probably directly ranks behind raonic and nestor with a potential to climb more.
     
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  36. Dan Lobb

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    True, in the 1950's it was only Australia and U.S.A. that provided support and training for their promising junior players.
    And in the 1960's, the top amateurs from Australia were paid wealthy "stipends" after 1963 to stay amateur and defend the Davis Cup.
    Emerson turned down an $80,000 offer from Rosewall and Laver to turn pro in 1964, claiming he could do better as an amateur.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2012
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  37. treblings

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    Emerson actually said that? i mean it´s one thing to stay amateur, but to say you can do better as an amateur when the whole point of amateurism is not taking money is incredible
     
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  38. Dan Lobb

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    This was reported in, I believe, World Tennis.
    This was in 1964, when Emerson was at his peak of dominance and celebrity, and when he was reportedly given $10,000 at one event for jumping over his suitcase in the hotel room he was given.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2012
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  39. treblings

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    i find it astonishing that he talked openly about it
     
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  40. Dan Lobb

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    He didn't talk about it until after Open tennis had arrived and he had turned pro himself.
    The shamateur situation really changed after Laver turned pro at the end of 1962, which angered the Australian tennis administration. Until Laver's signing, pro tennis had ground to a halt, and looked like failing altogether. Thereafter, the top Aussie amateurs received huge and confidential stipends, and the amateur tournament directors beefed up the "living arrangements" and "service payments" given to the top amateur stars. Small wonder that the pros could not sign Emerson or Santana in the mid-1960's, when the pros needed a shot in the arm to revive public interest in professional tennis.
    The top pro sponsors and funders, Ampol and Qantas, pulled out of pro tennis in 1960, when Hoad and Gonzales became part-timers.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2012
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  41. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    A noble and munificient profession.
     
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  42. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    sebastien lareau also was a good player.

    in singles his highest ranking was 76 but in doubles he was ranked 4th and won wimbledon
     
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  43. Francis27

    Francis27 Semi-Pro

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    Milos Raonic and Filip Peliwo is the new era of Canadian Tennis!!
     
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  44. Dan Lobb

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    I remember watching Bedard play the Davis Cup tie against Mexico in 1961 at Montreal on television (I was ten years old, and this was my first exposure to exciting tennis).
    Bedard was now a part-time player, 30 years old, and out of condition. In the opening match, he suffered cramps , and crumpled to the court, taking a few minutes to walk off the cramps, and defeated Llamas in three close sets.
    In the reverse singles, he lost the first set to Osuna, and then took three straight sets. Osuna was near the top of the rankings in the amateur game.
    Bedard did not play Davis Cup again until 1967, the Canadian Centennial, when he came out of retirement to lead Canada against Britain.
    In the opening match, Mike Belkin gave Canada the lead by beating Sangster in a great four-set match.
    Bedard followed up, and the 36 year old veteran pushed Roger Taylor to 7-5 in the fifth set before losing.
    The doubles went to Britain at 12-10 in the fifth set, and Taylor won another five-setter against Belkin in the reverse singles.
    Close, but no prize.
    Now, at 81, Bedard is enjoying an undefeated season at 8 wins, 0 defeats.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2012
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  45. Dan Lobb

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    I should mention that Bedard has the distinction of winning a set off both Hoad and Rosewall.
    He took a set off Hoad at Wimbledon in 1954, and a set off Rosewall in the 1955 Davis Cup. Not bad for someone still learning the game.
     
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  46. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Rusedski is the only one to be a top player and reach a major final, the only one deserving to be mentioned in singles, because afa had a few only doubles players such as Nestor or Wostenholme.Sorry Canada but tennis is not for you
     
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  47. Dan Lobb

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    Kiki, are you joking?
    Raonic is 2 wins and 1 defeat against Murray.
    Peliwo holds both the Wimbledon and U.S. Open junior titles for this year, and is number one in the world for juniors.
    The future looks bright.
     
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  48. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Raonic is far from Glen´s achievements, very very far.He is a good player and that is it for the moment.He has got potential to be a true star but he is very unmature although I believe he is improving.In a way he´s a bit like Safin, but Safin could reach an all time high I don´t think Raonic can reach at this stage.

    Didn´t know about that junior.It would be nice if canada finally develops a true champion, and eventually beat the US in a DC rubber, all the way.
     
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  49. Dan Lobb

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    Canada's number one, Bob Bedard, beat America's number one, Whitney Reed in the 1958 Canadian final.
    By the way, the Canadian was a significant tournament, and included many famous names among its champions. Bedard won in 1955, 1957 (beating Krishnan in the final), and 1958 (beating Whitney Reed, U.S. #1, in the final).
    Champions of this event in men's singles read like a who's-who of all-time tennis greats, including Parker, Emerson, Santana, Laver, Krishnan, Whitney Reed, Cliff Richey, Newcombe, Okker, Orantes, Nastase, Connors, Borg, McEnroe, Gerulaitas, Becker, Michael Chang, Rafter, Federer, Djokovic, Murray, Nadal, Agassi, Safin, Lendl. Beals Wright, William Larned, Jimmy Evert (Chris' father).
    The greatest final: 1964, Emerson lost the first two sets to Stolle, but won at 6-4 in the fifth set.
    Rosewall teamed with Laver to win the doubles in 1973 (beating Newcombe and Davidson).
    Bedard's name stands proudly among them.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
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  50. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Never heard of Berdard or Reed
    I know the CO is one of the best events after majors and ranks up there along Rome,Hamburg,Barcelona,Montecarlo,Philadelphia,Boston,Indy,Cincinnati,Johamnesburg,Wembley and Stockholm in historical terms
     
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