How many more Slams should the games legends really have won?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by JAY1, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. JAY1

    JAY1 Semi-Pro

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    Hoad, Laver, Rosewall, Newcombe, Connors, Borg, Vilas, McEnroe, Lendl, Becker, Wilander, Edberg, Agassi, Sampras?

    Ok i'll start off with Connors as an example....
    Should certainly have won the 3 Slam finals he lost in 1975! Let fame and burgers get to him.
    None in 76.
    Lost 2 finals in 77 Borg @ Wimbledon, many can argure he should have won this match, but no he just lost a close match. Should have beaten Vilas at the US open no doubt at all, but let the crowd totally physch him out.
    78,79,80 & 81, couple of close 5 set semi-finals, but nothing here 'Connors wilderness years.
    83 & 85 Wimbledon's, two losses to Kevin Curren when Connors was outstanding, especially in 83 - these losses irk me, the 83 4th round match when he was put out on court 2 'the graveyard' (Can't really count these he lost too early, only final losses count)!
    So all in all he won 8 slams but should have been Grand Slam singles champions on 12 occasions.
    Over to you experts......
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
  2. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    I don't like this "if" and "but" stuff. Many great players including today(Fed/Nole/Nadal) have lost some tough matches which you can argue that they could have won more. And at the expense of the players(who actually won the slam) is minimizing their wins.

    I know some of the losses are tough to swallow, like when Fed fans have to deal with Fed losing to Safin in 05 AO after having a match point. But that's part of sport. Some players have to deal with tougher losses than the others, I can agree, but that's not going gain them anymore credit than they actually deserve.
     
  3. JAY1

    JAY1 Semi-Pro

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    Your missing the whole point.
    What you say is well written but obvious. Any good tennis player will know in their heart of heart's, matches they should have certainly have won. Not close matches they can speculate about.
    If you were/are a good tennis player, you will be able to put yourself in the players shoes and see it from their perspective.
    Hence Connors lost two Slam finals in 1977, a closer one to Borg, but he should'nt have won, but should have won the US v
    Vilas.
    Anyway isn't this a 'Former Pro Player Talk'?! Why are you mentioning Federer?
     
  4. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    In Connors' case i find it more interesting, if we speculate (reasonably) about the circumstances of his era, which he couldn't change. Just imagine for a moment the situation of today with the majors surfaces clay, slow grass, and hard court and put it into the time frame of 1975-1983. Hard court was certainly Connors' best surface. Its not a stretch of imagniation, that he would have won 7 US opens on a hard court, when they had laid down a hard court instead of har tru at Forest Hills. He was in all finals anyway 1974-1977, but imo would have beaten Orantes and Vilas. Connors was vulnerable on grass, because of his pretty weak serve and his low forehand weakness, but it could be that he would have fared better on the slow grass of today (for instance against Ashe, Newcombe or McEnroe). Given he would have more participated, on the AO with a modern slower hard court, he could well have won the same amount of events like Agassi, who did very well at AO. So just this example of Connors shows, that the circumstances of previous eras era are be considered. The historical situation however gave Connors a record that will never be beaten: that he won the USO on 3 different surfaces.
     
  5. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    He was much closer to beating Borg than Vilas
     
  6. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    You have a better case if you talk about injuries.
    Connors injured his hand just prior to the 1977 Wimbledon final. In 1975, Connors injured his leg just before the Wimbledon final.
    Newk sprained his ankle after winning the first set of the 1966 Forest Hills final.
    Hoad's back acted up after Wimbledon in 1956, and was not recovered in the 1956 Forest Hills final.
    Crawford was fed alcohol by misguided friends and this cost him the 1933 Forest Hills final.
    Get the idea?
     
  7. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    Sampras

    2000 Australian (got injured but should have beat Andre there)
    1999 USO (if you consider his level from wimbledon to the end of the year. He was a for sure winer at the USO in 99. No doubt about it)
    2001 USO (Tough draw, ran out of gas)
    Same goes for the '96 french. Tough draw there and his blood condition hit in the end. If he got Kafelnikov and I think he definitely had the final. But playing with Thalassemia Minor (especially under conditions as the French OPen was that year) can wreak havoc on you fatigue-wise.. But he was playing his best tennis there
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
  8. helloworld

    helloworld Hall of Fame

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    Useless discussion. What if and what not. In the end, they all won as much as they deserved, plain and simple.
     
  9. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Nadal:

    2009 French and 2009 Wimbledon- knee injury cost him both slams.

    2006 Australian Open- Federer was in subpar form, the worst he ever played to win any of his 17 slams IMO, and all Nadal's nemisis went out in early rounds. Nadal would have probably won had he been able to play.

    2007 Wimbledon- Blew this one, really should have won. Tons of wasted break opportunities, even excluding the ones Federer saved with winning serves.

    2012 Australian Open- Should have won this one, only his mental block with Djokovic cost him the match in the end.


    That would actually have given him 16 slams and left Federer with only 13. Oh well.
     
  10. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Steffi Graf

    1986 U.S Open- Should have finished off Martina in semis and won title.

    1987 Australian Open- Should have played, probably would have won.

    1989 French Open- No idea how she blew this, and a historic 2nd straight Grand Slam. Total choke at end of 1st and 3rd sets.

    1990 French Open- Would have won had she closed out 1st set tiebreaker.

    1991 Australian Open- Should have won over Novotna after Jana choked trying to serve it out. Would have most likely beaten Seles in final at this point, as it this stage I think she still had edge in the matchup.

    1992 French Open- Should have won over Seles after making amazing comeback in 3rd set and getting on verge of victory, with Seles and her not exceptional serve needing to serve to stay in it 3 times straight. Got tight and blew it in end.

    1994 Wimbledon- Should have been able to close out 2nd set over McNeil with all her chances, and had she done so most likely wins 3rd, and cruises through this weak Wimbledon.

    1994 U.S Open- Needless to say should have closed out this match, even with her injury.

    1999 Wimbledon- Should have won this final. Even with her subpar play and Davenport's great play, Graf had many more chances to break throughout the match, had the 2nd set probably won without missing an easy forehand at 15-30 on Davenport's serving to stay in set, etc..
     
  11. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    using this line of reasoning, imagine what that slow grass at wimbledon and hard courts at Australia would have done to the Evert -Navratilova rivalry from 1978-1988 and Evert's final numbers. Evert came close enough to beating Martina in three setter after three setter in both venues. Give her that fraction more time on the return and those passing shots, a little more time to get in better position to return Martina's forehand and slice groundies/ approaches and the higher consistent bounce in Australia and , while you can't garrantee any specific win, ( Martina was a fine hard court player and would have had great results on the slower grass) the dynamic and percentages definitely alter in a way that will not make Martina sleep more soundly the night before. Evert definitely wins more of those matches.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
  12. JAY1

    JAY1 Semi-Pro

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    Seriously Dan, how do you know so much? The mind boggles, I thought I knew a bit?
     
  13. JAY1

    JAY1 Semi-Pro

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    Former Pro Player Talk!
     
  14. JAY1

    JAY1 Semi-Pro

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    Yes I agree from a score point of view, but the first set v Vilas he dominated to such an extent he was going to walk through the match, then he let the crowd get to him.
    But after reading 'Dan's' post, I did'nt realise he was injured v Borg in 77 Wimb final.
    The reason I posted this was when I used to play full-time I could look at past matches and think "Ok that was a close match and it was 50 - 50 but that's the way the cookie crumbles". But with other matches i could objectivly look back at them and think, "If I hadn't had been injured, been put off by a few bad line calls, choked etc etc", I should have won this match"! It does'nt mean i'm right, but it's a feeling every player has!
     
  15. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    OK, let's play this game your style.

    Federer:

    2008 AO – mono cost him this Slam.

    2008 Wimbledon -- tons of wasted break point opportunities

    2009 AO – Blew this one, really should have won. Only his mental block with Nadal cost him the match.

    2009 USO – Let this one slip away

    2005 AO – match point against Safin slipped away, would have won if not for blisters and a bad back.

    That would actually have given him 22 Slams and left Nadal with only 9. Oh well.
     
  16. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Where did you read or hear that these injuries took place just prior to the finals?

    Connors fractured his right thumb three weeks before the '77 Wimbledon final against Borg. He injured his leg in his first match of the '75 Wimbledon, two weeks (of course) before the final (and he went through to the final without dropping a set).

    There's no point in bringing up injuries if they're not described correctly.

    What's your source for this?

    Danzig mentions nothing about an injury in his report in the NY Times. In fact when he describes Newcombe's play in the second set he says that Newk was serving love games and returning better than Stolle.
     
  17. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Many felt that Lendl should have beaten Connors in their two USO finals, and that a healthy Borg would have beaten him in their second USO final. So drop Jimmy back down to 9.

    Not saying all this is correct, but "shoulds" cut both ways.

    Not to you in particular, but just to make a general point about injuries: sometimes they are freak accidents but sometimes they are the direct result of a player's style of play.

    That's especially true in Nadal's case. IMO he's where he should be at this point in time, with 11 Slam titles.
     
  18. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    LOL at the "your game" comments. I was just giving my opinion in what the spirit of this thread is for. You are likewise entitled your own opinion. As it is I disagree with some of those. There was nothing more he could have done to win the 2005 Australian Open, he played his best and still lost. Novak was flat out too good at the 2008 Australian Open, he would have beaten Federer no matter what.
     
  19. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Connors was definitely just the stronger player in 82. In 83 it appeared Lendl choked when he served for the 3rd set and didnt win another game, but Connors raised his game and probably would have been able to come back and win even had Lendl stayed on course. Connors owned Lendl until late 1984. He was just a bad matchup for Lendl and had no problem dealing with his baseline power and dishing it back. Only when he really aged and slowed, and Lendl improved his tactical game, could he begin to beat Connors more than once in awhile.
     
  20. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Until he officaly returns Nadal is unofically a former player for now.
     
  21. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

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    I think that Connors should have won 1977 Wimbledon against Borg as others have argued here, but Borg should have won the 1978 US Open.

    He played the final against Connors with a painful thumb injury and had taken a cortisone injection just before. That final was effectively a walkover, and I doubt Borg would have even played in it had it been at a smaller tournament.

    He had clearly overtaken Connors in the pecking order of men's tennis by then, and had no fear of him any more. I think a healthy Borg would have a great chance of winning that elusive US Open title and the third leg of the grand slam in 1978.

    Plus around that time his close friend Ronnie Peterson died from a pulmonary embolism following the 1978 Italian Formula One Grand Prix at Monza, so that was a tough time for him.
     
  22. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Possible about '77, though I tend to doubt it. Sports Illustrated actually said the thumb was no excuse, since the errors that cost Connors the match came off his forehand; and the injured thumb was on his non-dominant hand. They also said that with all the talk about his thumb, he took everyone by surprise in the final, right from the start, hitting 21 clean winners in the first set.

    When I see that match I don't see him affected by his thumb. I'm no expert, but I don't recall any expert observing Connors' play affected.

    I think that everything in your post about Nadal, and everything in my post about Federer, is questionable; that's my actual opinion. I'm surprised you missed my mimicry of your post.
     
  23. SusanDK

    SusanDK Semi-Pro

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    Stefan Edberg -

    Should have won the 1990 Australian Open when he retired to Lendl due to a stomach muscle injury, but had been playing an incredible tournament, dropping only one set up to the final, including total destruction of Mats Wilander in the semi-finals.

    Also I believe he should have won the 1989 French Open against Chang when he was two points away from serving for the match in the 4th set, and let it slip away.

    With those two wins, he would have had the career grand slam plus a total of 8 singles slam titles, forever putting to rest the "who is better - Wilander, Becker, Edberg" debate. I happen to already place Edberg as the best of those three, but most rate Becker or Wilander (or both) above him.
     
  24. jean pierre

    jean pierre Semi-Pro

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    Vilas should have won FO 1982. He had a second set point, and his return was out for one millimetre. If he won the set, he won the match.
     
  25. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Good point Susan.He should have defeated Lendl and won his third Aussie Open.But, with seven slams and a Masters ( which Wilander never won) he´d be ranked along Boris Becker...so the debate contiunes.Becker was the best of the three.
     
  26. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    he just run out of fuel and Wilander was the fair winner of the tournament.Vilas had a magnificient 1982, possibly his best year since 1977 and I agree it would have been fair to him to win at last one slam title more before retiring.However he was judged by drugs problems...what do you know about Vilas selling drugs?
     
  27. jean pierre

    jean pierre Semi-Pro

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    Never heard anything about that.
     
  28. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    He dammaged Peter Mc Namara, reputation
     
  29. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Yes, Connors was practising against Newcombe the day before the Wimbledon final in '77, when Connors threw down his raquet and said that he would not play the final because his thumb was bothering him, injured against Tanner (?). Newk talked him into continuing. Connors nearly won the final, but perhaps his hand prblem was the difference.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2012
  30. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    I used to watch tennis a lot on TV in the 1970's and used my university library to further my tennis education. This was before I entered grad school in economics, and had no further time for such research.
     
  31. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    I was using Newk's TV interview as a source, but it looks like you have better sources here.
    As for the 1966 Forest Hills final, this was mentioned for sure in the media of the time. Danzig almost never mentioned injuries or health issues.
    Newk won the first set, and was doing well in the second, when he clearly sprained his ankle. One reporter said, Fred had found himself on the losing end of finals so many times, that it was good to see him get a break for a change.
     
  32. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    What you say makes sense, but Newk made a big deal of it on the TV broadcast.
     
  33. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Sports Illustrated also did not mention the sprained ankle. Here's one newspaper that mentioned it: http://news.google.com/newspapers?i...AIBAJ&dq=stolle newcombe ankle&pg=844,2812150. They wrote:

    "Newcombe said later he hurt his right ankle when he fell going for a ball in the last game of the second set, but said he didn't think the injury affected the outcome. Stolle, however, said he thought the injury hampered Newcombe's play."
     
  34. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Most interesting. The article I read was by someone else, name escapes me.
    Note that Stolle turned down a $60,000 guarantee to turn pro (Emmo turned down $80,000). This was below the $125,000 Hoad accepted in 1957, and the $100,000 Laver accepted in 1962.
    This shows that the top amateurs were making good money.
     
  35. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Actually, Stolle did turn pro after the Davis Cup challenge round 1966.
     
  36. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Yes, Stolle did, but not Emerson or Santana, the two biggest amateur names. Presumably, they were making too much out of amateur tennis to sacrifice the celebrity and lifestyle they enjoyed for the obscurity and reduced income of professional tennis.
     

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