Laver #2

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Chopin, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    Tennis Global Evolution (2)

    In addition to Graf, Germany also sported six more women in the top 60 and seven men in the top 100, while Sweden—led by world No. 1 Stefan Edberg—had a dozen male players in the top 100.

    Add to that the likes of Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, Conchita Martinez and Emilio Sanchez coming out of Spain and Nathalie Tauziet, Guy Forget and Henri Leconte challenging for titles in France, and it set the wheels in motion for Europe to become a real tennis powerhouse.

    As more money was pumped into women's tennis in Europe, TV broadcasters began taking notice. Prize money at Grand Slams hasn't always been equal, but it's still pretty simple to show how it, too, has evolved.

    Take Wimbledon, for example. In a report published by Reuters last April, the women's champion earned £207,000 (around $334,000) in 1990, more than 11 times the £18,000 earned a decade earlier and 77 percent greater than the £117,000 from 1985.

    In 2010 the prize purse, the same as the men's for the fourth consecutive year, hit the £1 million for the first time. To give that some context, the Bank of Scotland estimates that you would need just under £13 million today to enjoy the equivalent lifestyle of someone who had £1 million in 1968, the first year of Open Era tennis.

    2000
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    At a glance: America was not the only tennis superpower in 2000, with both France and Spain boasting impressive talent. The Soviet Union was now 15 separate countries, but that didn't stop Russia continuing to rise up the tennis rankings and, for the first time, the likes of China, Thailand and South Korea were being represented in the game's elite.

    Looking back at the tennis landscape in 1990, it's no real shock to see France, Spain and Russia right near the top of the sport 10 years later.

    While Lindsay Davenport was exchanging blows with Martina Hingis in a stark clash of styles, three Americans were taking the women's game to new levels with a dazzling combination of power and speed.

    Jennifer Capriati, Venus Williams and Serena Williams were amazing athletes just as much as excellent tennis players, and while they weren't the first to hit the cover off the ball (like Monica Seles and Mary Pierce did before them), they certainly made it more mainstream and fashionable. Let's not forget that the Williams' sisters didn't come through the usual USTA junior route.

    Four American women won 13 of the 15 Grand Slam finals from the 1998 US Open to the '03 Australian Open, but at the height of their dominance in 2000, there were more Europeans (five) than Americans (four) in the top 10.

    Obviously those four Americans were world class, but the Conchita Martinez's and Mary Pierces of the game were established, known entities.

    On the men's side, there was a lot of change brewing. Seven nationalities were represented in the top 10, and between the time Boris Becker won the Australian Open in 1996 and Carlos Moya lifted the trophy at Roland Garros in 1998, men from eight different countries had been successful in 10 Grand Slams.

    By 2000, Kafelnikov and Marat Safin had claimed three Major titles, Moya became just the second Spaniard in the Open Era to win a Slam, and Spain had its first of four Davis Cup crowns after nurturing the talents of Alex Corretja, Juan Carlos Ferrero and Albert Costa.

    Then there was France, often overlooked but right at the top of the sport because of Cedric Pioline, Arnaud Clement and Sebastien Grosjean. It was the second most popular spot in the country with more than one million licensed players, and new clay court facilities like the Palais omnisport Les Arènes in Metz helped the growth of the sport.

    In the background, Anna Kournikova had crept into the top 10 in singles, leading a female Russian contingent that included Elena Dementieva, Elena Likhovtseva and Tatiana Panova, while Safin and Kafelnikov were mainstays in the top five of the ATP tour.

    "The rise of Russian players in the standings is very impressive," Justine Henin told the Cincinnati Enquirer in 2004. "They're young, audacious and they never relinquish anything, even if they are losing."

    At the time, Patrick McEnroe said tennis had become a "way out" for less wealthy families in Russia, and by the middle of the decade, money initially funneled into developing the sport in the wake of the Olympics had made a real impact.

    ITF president Francesco Ricci Bitti told Tennis Week, "In Russia...an Olympic medal is prized above all other sporting awards. The growth of tennis in Russia has been phenomenal over the last 20 years." He was spot on.

    Things were similar south of the Russian border, and Yi Jing-Qian was still inside the top 100. 2000 marked her second Olympic Games and fourth Fed Cup appearance, and she rose to No. 70 in the WTA rankings, just one spot shy of her career best four years earlier. She also became the first Chinese player ever to reach the third round of a Grand Slam (Australian Open), and while people are rightfully high on the Li Na bandwagon, Yi was the real revolutionary in Chinese women's tennis.

    2010
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    At a glance: Russia and Spain carried the tennis torch at the end of 2010, with the USA a distant third at best. France, Germany and Italy were all there or thereabouts, and smaller nations like the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Serbia and Belgium were producing elite players. China, too, continued to improve, and nations such as Kazakhstan, Uzbekestan and Latvia were also joining the party. 34 nations were represented in the women's top 100 and 37 countries in the men's ranking, more than ever before.
    (continued next post)
     
  2. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    Tennis global evolution (3)

    Tennis fans across the world know that the sport today is more global than ever before. Sure, the same two men have been dominant for the last six years, but between Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Robin Soderling and Co. the field is talented at the top.

    On the women's tour, eight countries were featured in the top 10 of the 2010 year-end rankings, led by a Dane without a Grand Slam to her name. Following the Australian Open, the top-10 players hailed from 10 different countries for the first time since the inception of the WTA rankings in 1975.

    The bigger story is the emergence of the Russians and long-awaited dominance of the Spanish.

    Let's start with the Russians, in particular the women. There wasn't a single woman in the top 100 in 1980—five made the cut in 1990 and seven in 2000. At the end of 2010, there were 16 in total, including the world's No. 2 and No. 9 players and three more in the top 20.

    The Russian women tend to be cut from the same cloth...aggressive baseliners who are solid off both wings, excellent movers and even better counterpunchers. This fits Vera Zvonareva down to a tee, and it's also a pretty accurate description of former star Elena Dementieva and current players Maria Kirilenko, Maria Sharapova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, all top-20 players. Nadia Petrova and Alisa Kleybanova are slower and more powerful, but their game, too, is dictated by their baseline capabilities.

    Further showing the strength of the nation, the Fed Cup team has won four titles in the last six years and is only second best to the Italian team, which features four players inside the world's top 40.

    The emergence of Spain is less of a surprise, but they have also come a long way in the past few decades.

    In 1980, they had four men in the top 100. Today, it's eight men in the top 20, with the nation hosting two ATP 500 events and one ATP 1000 tournament for the men and a pair of International events and the highly-popular Premier meeting in Madrid for the ladies.

    The stunning Agora in Valencia—opened in 2009 for the ATP 500 event—and the $3 million Caja Mágica complex—opened in Madrid in the same year for the Masters—shows the kind of development the Spanish are putting into their tennis facilities.

    Rafael Nadal is the best thing to happen to the country since 1994 when Sergi Bruguera and Alberto Berasategui played in the first all-Spanish Grand Slam final, Conchita Martínez became the first Spanish woman to win Wimbledon, and the country won a total of 26 titles (14 ATP and 12 WTA) and its third Fed Cup.

    Then there's China. The WTA says recreational tennis has grown almost exponentially since the sport came back to the Olympic Games, from one million people in 1988 to 14 million today. The development of 30,000 courts has helped that project, and the Chinese Government is hoping to double its number of people playing tennis by 2016.

    The Swing for the Stars partnership, promoting the development of tennis practices in China, was unveiled in 2008, providing training to 250 junior players under 12, as well as 100 junior coaches. Add to that China's new national amateur tennis league, the Open Rating Tour, launched in '09, the creation of the Michael Chang Mission Hills Tennis Academy in Shenzhen and the investment in the sport in the run up to the Beijing Olympics the previous year and you start to see why tennis has erupted at the grassroots level.

    The WTA has also opened offices in the country, and the China Open, being held for the third time this October in Beijing, is one of the most prestigious tournaments on the calendar. The hi-tech Olympic Green Tennis Center, with 10 air-conditioned courts and six practice facilities, is a perfect venue, only seven years old and purposely built for the Olympics.

    After Li Ting and Sun Tiantian won gold in the women's doubles at the Athens Olympics in 2004, coach Sun Jinfang told China.org reporter Li Xiao: "Tennis is different from many other sports, because you cannot make any progress without heavy investment." The Chinese Tennis Association backed up this claim, investing $725,000 in sending its women tennis players to compete abroad. Spending in developing men's tennis took the total to over $1.2 million.

    The investment has now come to fruition. Li Na and Jie Zheng became the first Chinese pair to make it to the semifinals of the same Grand Slam when No. 16 Li and unseeded Jie got to the final four in Australia in 2010. Li was also one good set of tennis away from a Grand Slam in Melbourne this year, and many pundits think that 2011 will really be her year to shine. Li's captivating personality and no-nonsense approach has won her a lot of fans, all while helping tennis' popularity continue to grow back home.

    Tennis will remain one of the top three sports in China for a long, long time and people are starting to get behind their players like never before.

    The Future?

    Just as Serbia came out of nowhere in 2008, through the emergence of Novak Djokovic, Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic, the tennis world is now looking forward to seeing what will happen next.

    Australia is not nearly as strong as it once was and America has only a few legit prospects coming through the system. People have questioned America's development program, even John McEnroe. He decided to open his own academy on Randall's Island when he was told that his developmental objectives did not mesh with those of the USTA, headed up coincidentally by brother Patrick.

    Outside of the US, Eastern Europe, and, in particular, Central Asia, are set to make massive strides in the next 10-15 years. While there's no sign of France and Spain slowing down, competition will increase at a rapid rate.

    China is also going to continue to grow, and if it keeps putting the investment in, it's only a matter of time until its men catch up with the women. I believe a Chinese woman will win multiple Grand Slams in the next decade.

    Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan have also started to produce top-50 players, something unheard of a decade ago, and there's every chance growth will continue, if slowly, over the coming years. The Presidents' Cup has been held in Kazakhstan for the last four seasons, and the rapid growth of its Davis Cup team, promoted from the Asia/Oceania Zone of Group II in 2006 and now in the World Group for the first time, shows the sport is on the rise.

    The Kazakhs are on similar footing with Sweden right now, and we know the pedigree and history there. Don't count out smaller tennis countries like Japan and South Korea producing top-20 players in the not-so-distant future, either.

    In Western Europe, Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova became the first person to make the semifinals of a Grand Slam in the Open era when she got to the final four of Wimbledon in 2010, but this is an exception to the norm, and there's nothing to support the idea that the nation will be a legit threat any time in the future.

    Great Britain is another nation that has struggled in the tennis world for several years now, and Sport England says it is one of the five most underperforming participation sports in the country. However, with $40 million being invested between 2009 and 2013, partly because of the 2012 Olympics in London, there's every reason to believe the Brits will rise again.

    The popularity of Andy Murray has certainly helped tennis there, and even though he's only 23 years old, you have to think his best days will be behind him in five or six more years. Likewise, Elena Baltacha (No. 57) and Anne Keothavang (No. 91) are the best British ladies, but they're both 27 and unlikely to usher in a new era of elite tennis.

    I'm high on teenagers Heather Watson and Laura Robson, and having watched them play a bunch of times, I think they both have bright futures ahead of them. Watson is now getting Fed Cup experience and Robson, a lefty who won Wimbledon as a junior, is a big-serving, hard hitting talent who has been working with Ana Ivanovic. Even so, Britain has a lot of work ahead of itself if it is to ever get out of the Europe/Africa group, a place they have been in for the last seven years.

    Moving on to South America, if you're talking about Olympic investment then Brazil, too, has to be on your list because of the fact they will be pumping money into the sport ahead of the 2016 Games.

    The Marapendi Club in Rio de Janeiro, used during the 2007 Pan American Games, is a suitable venue, but the Olympics will bring a state-of-the-art facility in about 18 months' time.

    The country will spend an estimated $46 million on the four-court Olympic Tennis Center in Barra da Tijuca in Rio de Janeiro and the newly-created Brazil Open Series, a low-level Challenger event, will increase the reputation of the sport in and around Curitiba.

    Just as Spain, America, Australia and China invested in tennis in 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2008 respectively, Brazil will look to return to tennis prominence and prove that it's not just Argentina leading the way down there.

    Whatever happens, tennis is as exciting and global as it ever was before, and it's only going to get stronger. From the Americans and Europe to Asia and Australia, we're lucky to be witnesses to this part of tennis history. The future looks bright, and we're at the center of it.
     
  3. adidasman

    adidasman Professional

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    This is what I said - "So, Herr Chopin, based on your always-unimpeachable logic, why isn't Fabrice Santoro number one?" That doesn't sound sarcastic to you???
     
  4. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Much material, but i don't see many arguments. That the USSR would come out strong, is anything but a surprise, given the role of sports in communist countries, and the scientific approach of the former USSR or GDR on sports. Serbia didn't come out of nothing, but the former Yugoslavia had a string of fine players and academies, from Kukuljevic in the 30s to Pilic, Franulovic, Jovanovic, then to Ivanisevic, Zivojinovic and so on. On the other hand, eastern countries like Rumania, Hungary, Czechs had produced better players in the past than today.
    More significant is to me, that tennis never went beyond the high middle class in those countries, and the ATP does nothing to change that. The structure of youth development has changed fundamentally. In the past, many eastern countries had own schools of tennis coaching, now many young lads from the Eastern countries go to tennis academies in the West. This implies, that only youngsters from very wealthy families have a chance to go to the top, see Gulbis, or Djokovic, if they don't find at an early age a sponsor like MGM or Nike or Adidas, who see their later profit. What i miss, is the real gobalization of the game into a mass sport. What is with Africa? In soccer there is so much raw talent there, and also for tennis, there would be a giant pool. Ashe went for Africa in the late 70s and discovered Noah in Kamerun. In South Africa there was a strong tradition for tennis, among whites i must say. But where are developing programms for young blacks in Africa? In the US in the 70s, tennis as a active sport found its way to the middle classes but not to the young black kids (the Williams were exception from the rule). Peking did much for sports in behalf of their Olympics. Now the dynamcs seems to be over. Given their rank in table tennis for instance, the status for China is rather weak in tennis.
     
  5. Nadal_Power

    Nadal_Power Semi-Pro

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    Gulbis is not good example cause he is very very reach but the rest is truth
     
  6. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    I agree with you it never really went beyond the upper middle class, but by that token, tennis never was a “mass” sport anywhere at any time. It started as a kind of aristocratic game, so from that perspective it has made great strides, but always related to some kind of affluence. Its expansion in the last two decades may be viewed in parallel with the expansion of global capitalism, or "globalization". I don't think it will ever be a mass sport, and its existence will always be tied to the existence of a well to do middle class in communities able to afford the necessary installations. On a Saturday or Sunday morning, when you see all these more popular sports being played by school children in recreational grounds everywhere, you realize what it would take to have even half of them fit into tennis courts. It’s a lot of surface needed for just two people at a time.

    But to me, what the article illustrates is that the evolution of tennis as a kind of global sport (though never a “mass” sport, as you rightly point out) is totally unrelated to the vagaries of its standing among the US public and its unpredictable fickleness (if we believe the reports). The 19 million US television viewers that may whimsically start watching tennis from one year to the next -- and then disappear shortly thereafter to watch something else --are no explanation for the steady expansion of the sport in the last two decades. Was there really a huge decrease in the number of high school and college tennis players, or in the number of tennis schools and academies in the US, or in the number of tennis resorts, or in the number of challenger and futures level tournaments? Really? Was there really a time in the mid-70s when 30 million Americans played tennis (only to forget their racquets in the garage some time afterward and move on to the next trend) or is all this somewhat exaggerated? However that may be, the main point remains: what does any of that have to do with the enormous expansion of tennis all over Europe, into the former soviet countries, and even China and Japan? How can anyone believe that this expansion was somehow caused by a decrease in tennis popularity in the US? I certanly don't.
     
  7. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I can understand your confusion and skepticism since you are too young to have lived through and experienced the tennis boom of the 70's for yourself. However, your conclusions are as false as your premises. There was no sudden boom. That's a strawman. The Golden Era of tennis in the U.S., the 1970's, was preceeded by a build up in the 1960's and a decline in the 1980's. The Grand Prix Tour, and The WCT Tour, the richest, most important, most prestigious, tennis tour in the 70's, existed and succeeded as a direct result of tennis being the most popular recreational sport in the U.S. And, they all merged into the ATP Tour and died as a direct result of the decline of tennis' popularity in the U.S. in the 1980's. There just wasn't enough public popularity to sustain two tours.
     
  8. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    That's false! Tennis was the most popular recreational sport in the U.S. in the 70's.
     
  9. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Fact that australians dominated tennis turned into having many players competing.

    I think you have a hard difficulty in distinguishing between " more countries" and " better fields".If there are 50 aussies journeymen fro, say US or Australia, it´s the same that 20 from Ukraiana, 10 from Kazajstan, 5 from Liberia and 5 from Peru.You have to look at how competitive or not they are/were.

    Plus, tennis was much more international in 1970´s or 1980´s than today.Italy,Australia,SAF,NZ,UK,US,Romania,Czech Republik,Germany,Mexico,India,Netherlands, of course Sweden and, even Switzerland had more players in the top 100 than today.

    In Olympics, the same.It was harder for US to beat teams from Yugoslavia or the SU in basketball than now, because the teams being stronger.Quality over Quantity, that is my keyword
     
  10. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Right.Which gives me the perfect example.Take India.You´d say that, given their tennis tradition ( which China has not) and their huge population, they should have some pros in the top 100...well, they had Amritraj,Krishnan,Lall,Mennon in the 70´s and early 80´s...today only a good doubles pair(Paes/Buphaty) but no singles...
     
  11. volleygirl

    volleygirl Semi-Pro

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    How much could you have read about Laver when you earlier said he won NO GS doubles titles? Did you just skip those chapters or what?
     
  12. volleygirl

    volleygirl Semi-Pro

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    Incredible that he was given a 15 minute break then beat Laver. Can anyone see any of todays players agreeing to even play after just a 15 minute break?
     
  13. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Yes, and he accuses the others of non going by records¡¡¡¡
     
  14. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    You're forgetting all the doubles that weekend hackers play. And a lot of these players get out there only once a week, maybe on a Saturday morning. I think you're asking a lot for someone to play 2 hours a week if he's going to be considered a tennis fan/player. I play only once a week myself, typically, because I don't have time for more.

    Exactly!

    As Limpin said the boom was not that sudden and its demise was gradual. The advent of Open tennis was certainly an explosion -- an explosion in dollars, public interest, etc. It gradually died down but I would hardly describe the American interest in tennis during the 70s and early 80s as fickle.
     
  15. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Look at the big singles titles Laver won:

    As an amateur
    1. 1960 Australian Championships (Grass)
    2. 1961 Wimbledon Championships (Grass)
    3. 1962 Australian Championships (Grass)
    4. 1962 French Championships (Clay)
    5. 1962 Wimbledon Championships (Grass)
    6. 1962 US Championships (Grass)

    As a pre-open era professional
    1. 1964 Wembley Pro (Indoor Carpet)
    2. 1964 US Pro (Grass)
    3. 1965 Wembley Pro (Indoor Carpet)
    4. 1966 Wembley Pro (Indoor Carpet)
    5. 1966 US Pro (Grass)
    6. 1967 French Pro (Indoor Wood)
    7. 1967 Wembley Pro (Indoor Carpet)
    8. 1967 US Pro (Grass)
    9. 1967 Wimbledon Pro (Grass)

    As an open-era professional
    1. 1968 Wimbledon (Grass)
    2. 1969 Australian Open (Grass)
    3. 1969 French Open (Clay)
    4. 1969 Wimbledon (Grass)
    5. 1969 US Open (Grass)

    Laver's form in the majors was poor in the 1970s by his brilliant standards, but he still continued to deliver in other big tournaments into the early 1970s, like the Dunlop Sydney Open in 1970.

    Also notice how Laver won all 4 majors against the amateurs in 1962, all 4 majors against the pros in 1967 (the only year the Wimbledon Pro was held, BTW), and all 4 majors against the open field in 1969.

    Now, one can believe Federer is the best of all time, but the way some people act like Federer is a million miles above everyone else, is clearly wide of the mark.
     
  16. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    It doesn't seem likely. Let's also remember that players didn't even sit down at the change of ends in those days, and had to stand up as they had their drinks.

    What Gonzales did in his career is amazing. What a shame that he doesn't get the credit he deserves because he was a professional for 18 years before the open era had started. Some people don't recognise him as a legend because he doesn't appear on a list of Wimbledon champions, but do they know that at age 40 in 1968, Gonzales was only making his second appearance at Wimbledon, the previous one having been 19 years earlier? The year of Gonzales' famous match with Pasarell in 1969, was only Gonzales' third appearance at Wimbledon, when he was 41.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  17. volleygirl

    volleygirl Semi-Pro

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    I cant imagine any player agreeing to play with that little rest. Can you imagine how much whining you would hear from Roddick if they just told him he could only towel off every other point instead of between every single point of a match, much less he had to play again in 15 minutes?
     
  18. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    And that's why when I read constantly that the sport is more physically demanding today I think to myself, says who? They played with heavy small wooden racquets. They didn't travel first class on large planes but often car pooled in cars together. They play huge amount of matches each year.

    They didn't live in great hotels on the road.

    Is it really tougher physically today? Where's the proof?
     
  19. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    What did Pancho do at the 1949 tournament?
     
  20. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    You´re so completely wrong.Like I said taught to TMF, the nations were the same as today, only that under another name.

    See. if the US states split off and you have 51 new countries, would you still say that the base is broader than before, when there was just one country? The Soviet Union existed including kazajstan or Belarrus...the fact that there are more players coming from there is economichal, but not as a result of tennis growth.many nationas produce less and worse players now than before.

    Take Egypt, they had a top 50 or 60 guy called ismail El Saffei, back in the 70´s.This guy once beat Borg at Wimbledon.Now, how many top players from Egypt could you mention?

    next,South Africa.Kriek,Curren.Ferreira,Stevens,Kloss,Coetzer were household names...how many now?

    I could tell you many more examples.
     
  21. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    He lost to Geoff Brown 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-1 in the fourth round. Brown lost the next round to Drobny who lost the final to Ted Schroder in five sets.
     
  22. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Wasn´t Schroeder Kramer´s doubles partner? or was it Frankie Parker?

    BTW, Drobny, what a hell of a player was he¡¡¡.Many think he invented the drop shots.

    and what a passionate life¡¡¡
     
  23. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    He was Kramer's doubles partner. They made a great team.
     
  24. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    As pc1 said, Gonzales lost to Geoff Brown in the R16. Even though Brown was runner-up of Wimbledon just 3 years earlier (losing to Yvon Petra in 5 sets), the British press derided Gonzales for losing to Brown because Gonzales was the number 2 seed and expected to beat Brown without much fuss. One journalist called Gonzales a "cheese champion".
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  25. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Thats why they called Gonzalez Gorgo, from Gorgonzola. Geoff Brown was a small guy with one of the biggest serves ever. Newcombe said, that he had the most difficult and fast serve, he ever faced. And Newk himself had quite a serve.
     
  26. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Brown playing during Newk´s time? didn´t know he was so longevous
     
  27. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    In some friendly match with old Brown. Bud Collins was told that by Newk, and later on played himself a friendly doubles against Brown one day. So he was able to duck, when the thunder arrived.
     
  28. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    It just proves how a smaller man can have a huge serve if he is coordinated enough. Pancho Gonzalez himself said that some smaller players like Bobby Riggs and Rod Laver had GREAT serves and I would think Gonzalez would know a great serve. Gonzalez was a serving guru for many top players.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012
  29. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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  30. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    The list in my opinion is so far off that it's really not relevant. I think many of them just saw some famous names and decided that one seemed more famous than the other so therefore he or she should rank higher. The Tilden and Gonzalez rankings are laughable as is the Kramer ranking. But it makes for discussion and ratings and obviously that's what the Tennis Channel wants.
     
  31. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    "Finally, it was a pleasure to watch the film clips of Laver's hitting miraculous shots in his prime, something I well remember from watching Wimbledon telecasts and seeing him in person in the 1960s. Since World War II, he's really the only man without a blemish. Federer can't beat Rafael Nadal, Bjorn Borg never won the U.S. Open, the amateurs-only rule stifled Kramer and Gonzalez, and the French Open eluded Sampras, McEnroe and Connors. Laver won the Grand Slam as an amateur, spent five years unable to play the majors, then came back and won the Slam again in 1969.
    That's why I always have trouble placing anyone ahead of Laver."


    Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/tennis/news/20120327/top-100/#ixzz1qbmian9u
     
  32. adidasman

    adidasman Professional

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    Amen and amen.
     
  33. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    If there is a blemish on Laver it's him letting Rosewall beat him in so many big finals, and his poor performances at the majors in the 1970s, by his standards. Oh, and losing a 5-setter to a 41 year old Gonzales in early 1970, when Laver was at the peak of his powers and Gonzales nearly a decade past his best.
     
  34. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Agreed.But puts Federer ahead of Rod...
     
  35. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I´d never consider shameful losing to the great Pancho Gonzales.Not even if he was in a wheelchair¡¡¡
     
  36. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    So what? That doesn't mean todays' players have an advantage, because their apponents are allow to sit too. Both sides being equal, it's just different from one generation to the next.
     
  37. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Hoad rated Gonzales ahead of Laver, and so did Rosewall (who put Gonzales at #2, behind Hoad at #1, and Laver at #3, Federer at #4).
     
  38. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    Flink's top 10

    other thoughts by him:

     
  39. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    What i don't get from Flinks article, is, that he calls the men/women mix a new format. Tennis Magazine, in a list of top 40, just a few years ago made the same silly mistake. Obviously, they had some good experts to make comments on the show, and the show with some old clips was better than the list. Its vanished from you tube, and i still haven't seen it. Better they had reduced the list panel to real experts, instead of including business managers. I still find, that Lenglen and Wills are handled in the baddest way. Wills at 29 with 19 major wins and a record at Wim, US and RG, which nobody ever matched. Puh! Congratulations, BJK. And old Stevie is still the old Chrissie fan.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012
  40. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Which is comprensible.Hoad just picked up Laver´s prime closely to his ( anticipated) retirement, whereas he had to play the best Gonzales for years...
     
  41. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    You didn't copy his full quote.
    "That's why I always have trouble placing anyone ahead of Laver. Then again, I could be wrong."

    Anyway, based on these expert's opinion/knowledge some picked Sampras, Laver or Federer as #1. But overall, Federer is #1 most people's eyes.
     
  42. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    For peak play, that's not a ridiculous ranking.
     
  43. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    AAMOF, Laver´s time in the pros, denied him GS titles but made a better player out of him.That´s main reason he was able to dominate the field like nobody ever has, in the 1969 GS run.
     
  44. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    He won professional majors, though. In 1967, Laver won the French Pro, Wembley Pro, US Pro and Wimbledon Pro. That's better than his 1962 amateur CYGS ever was.
     
  45. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    But not as good as his 1969 Gran Slam.Emerson,Stolle,Roche,Newcombe and Ashe didn´t play as pros in 1967 but they all lost to Laver in 1969
     
  46. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    You're correct. But I also did not copy the whole article. The craft of quotation is the craft of selection.

    Most people eat at McDonald's.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2012
  47. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Yes, I think that Rosewall was ranking according to peak performance.
     
  48. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    That's why you're supposed to use an elipsis in place of omitted parts of quotes, alerting the reader that you are leaving part of the quote out. For example: "That's why I always have trouble placing anyone ahead of Laver. . . ."

    ZZZZZZZZING!!!
     
  49. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    Here's what I disagree with in arguments like Flink's regarding Kramer and Gonzales. He says
    Would have, should have, could have... The fact is however, they didn't. No theoretical achievement, however well argued, can ever be included as if it was achieved imo. To suggest they should be bestowed honorary achievements basically equivalent to Boris Becker's or Stefan Edberg's entire careers (more in fact) is just romantic, nostalgic folly which is not only an insult to people who actually achieved those things in later eras, but also diminishes their peer's actual achievements.

    Were they unlucky to have competed in the period around the amateur/pro change-over? Absolutely. But using non-achievements which might have been in different circumstances when compiling lists like this is poor argument imo.
     
  50. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I agree history goes like it goes.What would have happened in WWII and afterwards if the Luftwaffe had defeated the RAF and Hitler´s Wehrmacht invaded the UK? What if Nagumo hadn´t had such a bad strategy in the Midway? what if Hitler had stop for a few moths his inassion of Russia to allow better logistics? Truth is it ended like it ended.

    But, in the pro/am world of the 50´s and 60´s, except for 4-5 players, ALL the great players played the pro tour and they would probably have wo most of open tennis titles.Imagine that just Nadal,Tsonga,Fish and Verdasco could play for the GS titles and Federer,Djokovic,Murray and the rest of the top 15 not...wouldn´t you think that they were stolen a few big titles?
     

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