John Newcombe

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by pc1, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. SoCal10s

    SoCal10s Hall of Fame

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    I don't think so,his backhand never came over the ball to create that amount of topspin.. but his serve and forehand would have been awesome for today's game.. plus the way he covered the court and retrieve those volleys,1 1/2 steps backwards to cover every lob for a put-away overhead.. he had the biggest first step I've ever seen,pretty much like Sampras ..
     
  2. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Always thought that Newcombe technically was almost the perfect serve and volley player. The guy had all the tools and skills for a great serve and volleyer. He had a big first and second serve. He moved in very quickly toward the net off the serve. He had what some called the best first volley in the game along with a great forehand volley and a very good backhand volley. And of course as you wrote a great overhead. Sampras had a great first and second serve too but I don't think he was quick as solid at the net although he was terrific.

    I do think Newk would have been able to change his backhand with today's racquets to hit the topspin. It was tough in the past with those tiny heavy wood racquets. But maybe you're right.

    The forehand was really a terrific shot. I am amazed people now forget what a great forehand the man had.
     
  3. North

    North Professional

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    I will. Thanks!
     
  4. SoCal10s

    SoCal10s Hall of Fame

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    I saw him play with those aluminum rackets too.. he did great with those .. his b/h flatten out and he just reached out pretty much like Pancho Gonzalez did to hit tons of winning forehands at the end of his career.. his slice b/h had more depth due to the racket change,that made it easier for him to use it more for approach shots to win points up at net..
     
  5. mmk

    mmk Professional

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    I have a really great story about Newcombe & Roche from the early 70s, but I think I'll send it in to John Wertheim for one of his encounters with a pro segments. Laver was there too, but the best part was Newcombe.
     
  6. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    He and Kodes had always long, tight matches as the two warriors they were.In the 69 FO quarters, Kodes pounded him so much he couldn´t leave the therapeut, even if he won (I¡Okker defeated him easily next day).

    They also had a magnificient DC match, over 5 sets on the Australian grass.Kodes beat him in the 71 USO and Newcombe got sweet revenge in the final of that event a couple of years later.
    Kodes always pulled Newk to the tight end, and only his legendary ability to win in the fifth set kept him going...
     
  7. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Sounds interesting. If Wertheim mentions it please share the story or at least the link for us.
     
  8. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Always been curious about that 1969 French Open match. I think Kodes led 4-1 in the fifth before Newcombe won. I think Newcombe polished Kodes off with a couple of aces. Newcombe was definitely capable of winning the French.
     
  9. BobbyOne

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    Ask Dan Lobb!
     
  10. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    pc1, Thanks. I wrote so because all we see in that video from Newk are backhand slices....
     
  11. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    In fact he won the Italian which was almost a slam event
    Like the SA open which Laver also won in 69
     
  12. kiki

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    See his WTC match vs Borg in 77 or against Connors in their AI final and his slice backhand looks brilliant to me
     
  13. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    It was a solid shot. It was fine on baseline rallies, excellent on approach shots and he was consistent with it. It wasn't a Laverian backhand but it was hard to take advantage of. He lobbed extremely well and he knew how to use it to set up his powerful forehand. If he had a Laver or Rosewall backhand we probably would be talking about a top tier great.
     
  14. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I couldn´t agree more; he was almost a top ten with a regular to good BH...
     
  15. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    John Newcombe was also great indoors.The biggest indoor event back then, the WCT finals saw him the champion of a fantastic 1974 event, beating Bjorn Borg in a 4 sets match.

    he also reached the philadelphia finals a couple of times, where he lost to Laver.Phily was generally considered the hugest indoor event and had tremendous fields.It was a great great event.unfortunately lost since ATP organizes the men´s circuit.
     
  16. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Which one was bigger?

    Which was bigger in your opinion, the wct finals or philly? Also what about the masters?
     
  17. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Just from personal opinion and the general discussions at the time but I felt the WCT Championship was viewed as perhaps as big as any tournament. That was one of Newcombe's goals in 1974. Let me quote from Newcombe's book "Newk."
    Late in 1973, my masterplan to win the WCT final and regain my no. 1 ranking, receive a mild setback. I suffered a calf-muscle injury at the Masters semifinals in Boston, right after the Cleveland Davis Cup finals.

    The year 1974 was one of World Championship Tennis's big ones. Although I was no longer contracted to WCT, I continued to play in many of its tournaments. The glittering event in the pro calendar in '74 was the WCT finals in Dallas in May, the winner of which would be deemed the best professional player in the world, and therefore the best player in the world, period.


    That's basically my impressions at the time, that perhaps the WCT championship was as big as any tournament, including Wimbledon and the US Open, arguably bigger. Newcombe's top goal was not Wimbledon but the WCT championship. Now perhaps it was because he won Wimbledon several times before but he indicates in the quote that he wanted to win the WCT championship to be acknowledged as the best player in the world. When he won it in May he was at that point considered the best in the world even over Jimmy Connors who won the Australian and was in the middle of perhaps his best year.

    Ashe was number one the next year mainly because he won WCT and Wimbledon.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2013
  18. kiki

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    Both belonged to WCT.The Dallas finals was the biggest indoor showcase, and the Masters a close second, catching up in the late 70´s-early 80´s.I posted time ago a comparison year per year between the Masters and the WCT finals.i´d do it again eventually.

    Philadelphia was the biggest draw indoor tennis ever had.absolutley no top player skipped it.Jimmy Connors had paralel success to that of the US Open, winning the Philadelphia US Pro indoor title 4 times.He beat Borg in 1976,Tanner in 1978, Ashe in 1979 and Mc Enroe 1980.He was a beaten finalist in 1977 ( Stockton) and 1982 (Mc Enroe).His 1980 final against Mc Enroe is one of the best indoor matches ever seen.

    I loved both Dallas and Phily as well as MSG.Unfortunately, that ahs been lost since ATP took over the game ( and WCT ceased its operations in 1989)
     
  19. Xavier G

    Xavier G Semi-Pro

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    Nah, the WCT Finals was a big prestigious event to win back then, but not bigger than Wimbledon and the US Open.
    Newcombe wanted to win the WCT championship, he already had 3 Wimbledon singles. Didn't have a WCT, so he wanted that crown. For the first half of 74, Newk was generally considered no.1, yes, he was having a good year.
    The WCT Finals were very strong in the early to mid 70''s especially though. I used to love that event myself.
     
  20. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I think you're right but a lot of people argued it was for the World Championship. It was a huge big money tournament in those days. It is interesting to understand Newcombe's thinking.
     
  21. kiki

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    All the big names except for Laver , Nastase, Kodes and Wilander have been crown Wct champions in the period 1971 to 1989
    Laver was defeated in the two first finals by long time nemesis Ken Rosewall and their second final is generaly considered greatest of any time
     
  22. pc1

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    Incidentally McEnroe won a number of WCT Championships that should really count in his resume of big titles.
     
  23. pc1

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    The great tennis writer Rex Bellamy years ago was often asked a question to name his favorite players. When Newcombe was at his peak Bellamy used to say "Nastase to play for my pleasure but Newcombe to play for my life."
     
  24. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Not sure I agree after those 1974 losses to Rosewall at Wimbledon and the US Open.
     
  25. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Mustard, I agree that those two losses of Newcombe's are negative points in his career.

    I would rather let Gonzalez fight for my life...
     
  26. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Well that's who Bellamy picked for that time period. I don't think that is who Bellamy would pick all time. Muscles was a pretty great clutch player also even in 1974 so while Newcombe should have won it's not a horrible loss. Rosewall also beat Stan Smith who was on a roll at that point.

    Always wondered what would have happened if Newcombe won that match and reached the Wimbledon final against Connors. We know Newcombe defeated Connors later at the 1975 Australian final. It probably would have been a very close match. Newcombe at that point had never lost to Connors I believe.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2013
  27. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I have no doubt Gonzalez is a better choice than John Newcombe in a big spot. But Newcombe isn't what I call a bad choice for anyone assuming he's in shape.
     
  28. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Yes Newcombe a good choice, but i'd still pick Jimmy every time:)
     
  29. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    didn't want to divert the topic in the other thread .. since kodes was a contemporary of newk, might as well post here


    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=442163&page=13

    yes, and he's very rightly regarded as clearly inferior to them since none of his 3 majors were in full fields ... all of them weak .. weak weak weak ...

    nalbandian is a better player than kodes, just unluckier ..he's beaten federer, kuerten, safin in slams, beaten the top players in the world to win YEC 2005 (incl federer), beat federer/djoker/nadal in a row in late 2007 etc etc ....

    coria was level wise a bit better than kodes on clay

    ancic/johansson/henman on faster surfaces, when on, were better or more dangerous than kodes .....

    even keeping them aside for a second , you still have agassi, ferrero, federer,roddick,hewitt,safin .... the only way kodes is going to win a major in fields like that is in your dreams !


    ironical though that in your so called journeymen list , you missed the guys who were actually more temporarily in-form like verkerk, el ayanoui ...... because you don't even know who they were ...... didn't mention gaudio , but mentioned coria, even though coria was the better CCer ...

    most hilarious is mentioning nalbandian as a journeyman... that guy was ridiculously talented and at his peak of his powers, brilliant ...... that would be like calling rios and mecir as journeymen ... LOL !
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2013
  30. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    yeah, he lost in the finals to the other ... proving he couldn't win in majors with full fields ..

    soderling beat nadal/fed in RG 2009/10 playing at a level higher than kodes ever did, yet lost to the other .... (both were #1 at those times btw ) ... no one says he was 'insanely' great or anywhere close to great ...

    kodes was just a very good player, not a great ... there's a very good reason he isn't rated highly - he won very weakened majors ....... his low # of titles won, 8, is one clear indicator that he wasn't that good ...

    nastase was the only significant win in the 3 majors he won and yet laver/rosewall who were better on clay that time didn't play .... laver did beat kodes @ rome 71 - a field that was deeper than RG 71 ...
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2013
  31. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    on a 5 sets match, no pick is better than Newcombe
     
  32. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Quit drugs
     
  33. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    I don't do drugs ...

    but again, I wouldn't expect much different a response from you ... as you have near zero idea about the facts and reality in tennis apart from your beloved laver-kodes era ( of which you have only a little clue )

    you just have no answers to any of the facts ...
     
  34. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    being an indian an never mentioning Amritraj, as opposed to your crush on Fed, proves how little tennis you watched...probably you inflate yourself with papers and magazines...
     
  35. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    lol, wut ? just because I'm an Indian, I have to keep on talking about Vijay Amritraj ?

    what do you want me to tell about him ? him beating borg @ USO 74 , a match having some fine tennis, being one of the 3 to beat jmac in 84 (cincy), having borg in trouble @ wimbledon in 78, connors in trouble @ wimbledon in 81

    a fine SnV player with brilliant touch, but inconsistent ......was the one to give becker the title of Boom Boom ......
     
  36. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    his match at Wimbledon vs Borg was in 79.
    he also beat Connors at a WCT event
    and you know who stopped Vijay at the 73 Wimbledon quarterfinals?...yes, him.
     
  37. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    while newk was a great player under pressure when motivated ... would take borg, djokovic, nadal at the very least in a 5th set over him ...
     
  38. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Borg was another great 5 set player.I can´t remember a big 5 sets match he lost...Orantes in 74, Connors in 77 and 81, Mc Enroe in 1980, Lendl in 1981...wait¡¡ Mc Enroe was the one to beat him over the long distance at the USO 1980...and they say JMac had no stamina¡
     
  39. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    borg had a stretch of 5-setters where he was unbeaten until jmac in USO 1980 ...
     
  40. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    yeah, match vs borg was in 79 ...

    kodes stopped him in 73 wimbledon QF, so ? again, unless he was really focussed and playing well, Vijay wasn't a big threat .....players much inferior to kodes have also beaten vijay in majors ...
     
  41. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Lendl was the second, at the Basle indoors final of 1980, in October.

    Of course, Amritraj also beat him in the 1974 USO.Those three megatalented guys are the ones able to achieve such a feat.

    Panatta was close, but lost the 1978 IO final in five sets.Panatta was another big talent of that unforgattable era.
     
  42. jimbo333

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    You can pick who you like, I'm picking Jimmy for any 5 set match against anyone:shock:
     
  43. comeback

    comeback Professional

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    I shook Newcombe's hand at the US.Open last year..His hand/wrist were huge and strong..probably the reason for his awesome serve
     
  44. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I vageuly recall reading ane xcellent book with a chapter dedicated to each of the most charismatic players of the 1970´s.Of course, one of them was John Newcombe, who excelled not only on the tennis scene but also as the first businessman-player ( or the second after Jack kramer)

    The writter, a long time tennis journalist, defined him as " a man with thundering energy.He can dreen bber for 6 hrs, sllep for 6 more hrs, play a 6 hrs five sets match and end up the day with a 6 hrs business meeting.or something to that effect"
     
  45. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Newcombe was known as a very very strong man. And yet it is amazing to me that for wrist strength tennis purposes he was not as strong as Rod Laver.
     
  46. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Both friends, Newcombe and Roche felt in GS finals to the unheralded, yet great Fred Stolle, who ended up his career as Vitas Gerulalitis coach, before he moved onto Tv commentating.Stolle won FH and RG and several DC titles, as well as many doubles majors, being considered one of the best doubles players of any time.He also was almost as unfortunate at Wimbledon as his long time doubs mate Ken Rosewall.He lost the Wimbledon final of 1963 to Chuck Mc Kinley ( whom he should have beaten anyway) and the 64 and 65 finals to his countryman Roy Ememrson ( himself another long time Fred doubles mate¡¡¡)

    Big serve, solid BH, specially efective on the ROS and fine and steady volley.Funny guy, a favourite of his fellow players, no question he and Vitas became very close.Incidentally, Gerulaitis played his best tennis when coached by Stolle.
     
  47. TennisDawg

    TennisDawg Semi-Pro

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    Newcombe had an amazing serve/volley game, he could volley like a God. He had one glaring weakness though. I thought his backhand was very mediocore and he couldn't rely on it. Fortunately for Newcombe his great serve and volleys were able to overcome the weak backhand.
     
  48. mmk

    mmk Professional

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    Okay, since I doubt Wertheim will use it:

    In the early 70s, while I was in high school, the ATP came to Denver for the first time. As a promotion the pros had an exhibition at the May D&F department store downtown around noon on a school day. My mother offered to take me, and I couldn't say yes quick enough. As the only teenager in the audience I was asked to be a ballboy. Laver, Newcombe, and Roche were there, along with a number of others including (if I remember correctly) Smith and Ashe. Newcombe was one of the first to play, and the announcer said that whoever lost the first game would play Laver next. Newcombe's eyes widened at hearing that, and promptly hit an ace. When Laver came on and was warming up, I thought he was out of balls and ran, crouching, along the net to pick one up and he hit one about an inch over my head which produced a laugh from everyone else there.

    After a few games there was an autograph and Q&A session inside the store with Newcombe and Roche. There were a number of standard questions, and then a striking blonde woman asked how they felt about sex before a match. Roche looked startled and somewhat embarrased, but Newcombe's trademark mustache couldn't have spread any wider. He said that it reduced pressure and helped his ball control, and everyone laughed. A few questions later someone asked what the two thought about the new pressureless balls that had just come on the market, and Roche finally got some laughs when he said that Newcombe should handle that one, since he knew about pressure and ball control.
     
  49. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    It's hilarious.
     
  50. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Newk was known for his sense of humour which added to his charismatic personality
    I think he only had a menthal problem with Laver
    Newcombe NEVER lost a major final, which is one of the best records in tennus history...except 1969 Wimbledon, to Laver
     

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