Lamar Hunt and WCT

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by LttlElvis, Dec 14, 2006.

  1. LttlElvis

    LttlElvis Professional

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    Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar hunt passed away today.

    http://football.guardian.co.uk/breakingnews/feedstory/0,,-6280571,00.html

    Not only was he responsible for the formation of the AFL, which later merged with the NFL, but he was a great tennis fan. He really was responsible for bringing tennis to television in the 1970s, which led to the big tennis boom. For those of you who remember the WCT tour, he was the founder and at one time the WCT finals in Dallas was argueably one of the biggest tournaments in men's tennis after the slams. He's the guy who started putting tennis on prime time TV.

    I have a lot of fond memories watching these tournaments. After the U.S. Open and Wimbledon, the WCT finals in Dallas was my favorite tournament.
     
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  2. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Yes, Lamar Hunt was a pioneer promoter in tennis. At the begin of open era he laid the foundation of the modern pro game, succeeding Jack Kramer, who was hampered by the pro-amareur-segregation.After starting with the handsome 8 in 68 and some weird scoring experiments, his WCT circuit evolved to the full in 71 with 20 tournaments around the globe - the first real solid pro tour.Since 73 WCT overexpanded with 2 or 3 different tours, played in the spring. Ironically, the old pro Kramer worked for Lamar's and his former enemy, the ITF, and conceived the rivalling Grand Prix circuit. ITF and ATP later shut out Hunt,maybe with him tennis would have fared better.
     
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  3. rasajadad

    rasajadad Hall of Fame

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    It's interesting that all of the news reports covering his passing neglected his involvement in the game.

    Tennis is definitely the Rodney Dangerfield of sports sometimes!
     
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  4. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    the article covers his contributions to tennis:

    http://www.wfaa.com/sharedcontent/dws/spt/stories/121406dnmethuntobit.90f04cf.html

    "Lamar Hunt to me should be remembered in historical terms as having the greatest influence on the sport of tennis," Mr. Drysdale told The News several years ago. "Who knows how long it would have taken tennis to wake up and turn pro?

    "He was ahead of the game and ahead of his time."
     
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  5. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    I want to emphazise Lamar Hunt's role in creating a legitimate pro tour. There are some recent good posting contributions on the Tennis mag webside, by Chris Lewis and Joel Drucker among others. While the first WCT tour in 68 with the handsome 8 or handsome 7 and Tony Roche (Newk, Drysdale, Taylor,Pilic, Ralston, Buchholz, Barthes), was experimental and somewhat weird (VASS scoring etc.), it became prominent in 1970, when it merged with the NTL including Laver, Rosewall, Emmo, Stolle, Gonzales, Gimeno). The 1971 was the first coherent and broadcasted pro tour ever: 20 tourneys with 32 players, each for 50000$ and 10000$ for the winner. It set a unsurpassed high standard of tennis with legends like Laver, Rosewall, Newk, Ashe, Emerson, Okker, Roche all playing for the top spot. And it had a global impact: in Germany for instance, the WCT event at Cologne was the first tennis event outside Wimbledon and DC and Rothenbaum, which was live televised. It was a sorry, that ITF, namely Ph. Chartier, and WCT were big rivals and bitter enemies. If they had cooperated and integrated the majors in the world wide tour, it would have been a phantastic model, even in today's tennis, when tennis is dying as a major professional sport.
     
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  6. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    Maybe unrelated but isnt he a huge donor/spnser of Major League Soccer? I imagine they will feel his loss.
     
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  7. Andy Hewitt

    Andy Hewitt Professional

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    I would think... there's a trophy named after him. US Open Cup I think.
     
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  8. FiveO

    FiveO Hall of Fame

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    He was a truly influential sportsman. Here's a synopsis:

    http://msn.foxsports.com/soccer/story/6272182?print=true

     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2006
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  9. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    Obviously he's going to get more press for the American Football work. But the WCT was a huge development, at least here in the US, to grow the game - tournaments in many cities, many not tennis hotbeds - e.g. Dallas - and the televising of the events.

    And on top of all the achievements, by all accounts, a true gentleman.
     
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  10. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    He and Laver made pro tennis turn out what we all know. a GOAT off court candidate.
     
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  11. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I don´t think we have realised how big and let me say trascendental the 1972 Rosewall vs Laver final was.

    May have been the greatest ever match but even more than that, it made tennis a world wide sport because it made tennis a premier sport to cover by nation wide TV.It really is the start of the modern era such as we are knowing it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2014
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  12. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    kiki, I agree. I guess it's yet too soon for you to enter an old-age home ;-)
     
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  13. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Certainly, the Dallas showcase has given us some of the most memorable moments of the open era.

    1972 was certainly the most famous

    1974 with Newcombe winning the possibly best indoor finals with a field that included Borg,Nastase,Ashe,Laver,Okker,Kodes and Stan Smith

    1975 with the epic Borg vs Laver semifinal and the great play of Ashe when he beat Borg in the F

    1979 when Mc Enroe dismantled both Connors and Borg, the first time in 4 years ( last one to do that was Ashe at 1975 W)

    1980 Connors resurgence,if brief, after dominating Mc Enroe at those great Philadelphia ( the biggest WCT regular tour tourney) and Dallas

    1983 with Lendl and Mac playing what, from a technical p.o.v. may have been the best match of the decade, just as good as the 1980 Wimbledon final between Borg and the New Yorker

    1986 and 1987 with Jarryd and Mecir playing the best tennis of their careers beating heavily favoured Becker and Mc Enroe to win the crowm

    and , of course, Mac´s last major title at the last year of WCT competition, in 1989

    Basically, and with the exception of Nastase,Vilas,Wilander and Laver, all the great names of the 70´s and 80´s would win a WCT final.
     
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  14. Willi62

    Willi62 Banned

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    Nation-wide TV means world-wide?:)
     
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  15. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    The WCT Final was a big success on US TV, that is when tennis became a big sport there
     
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  16. Willi62

    Willi62 Banned

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    So it became a nationwide sport in the USA.
     
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  17. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    yes, and Stefi was only 3 yrs old.Thanks to Laver and Rosewall among others, she could become a rich woman...
     
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  18. Willi62

    Willi62 Banned

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    What exactly did those guys have to with that?

    And why should a nationwide TV coverage of a sports event make this sport into a worldwide sport?

    Questions over questions ...
     
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  19. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    You´re right.She shouldn´t thank those two legends.She should thank Silvia Hanika.She opened the way for the german players in the late 70´s.
     
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