Lew Hoad-A discussion on his career

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by pc1, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. Dan Lobb

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    Hoad was a great jazz fan, a friend of Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz. Hoad would have enjoyed the jazz sections in the Ravel G major concerto above with Yuja Wang. Hoad himself could have picked up an instrument and joined into this jam session with Yuja Wang,

     
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  2. pc1

    pc1 G.O.A.T.

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    Very nice.
     
  3. Dan Lobb

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  4. Dan Lobb

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    A Canadian-trained pianist here plays a nicely-nuanced performance of the Ravel G major with Charles Dutoit, long-time conductor of the Montreal Symphony,

    [/QUOTE]
    My wife and I have heard Yuja Wang play several piano concertos in Toronto. After one performance, I had some business to attend to with one of the orchestra musicians, and I was standing talking about two or three feet from the pianist, unfortunately I had absolutely no excuse to get an autograph.
     
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  5. Dan Lobb

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  6. pc1

    pc1 G.O.A.T.

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  7. pc1

    pc1 G.O.A.T.

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    Dan,

    This is from another thread of mine from years ago but I thought I'd quote it to show that many believe in Hoad as among the greatest if not the greatest. I know now that Laver, Emerson,Pancho Gonzalez, Frew McMillan, Richard Evans among others have called Lew Hoad the GOAT.
     
  8. Dan Lobb

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  9. George K

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    Ahem .... Talented and the greatest isn't the same thing .... Hoad was NEVER world number one. The general consensus among those who saw him was that when he was ON, he could beat anybody. Gonzales respected him, saying that Hoad was the only player who could beat him even when he (Gonzales) was playing his best. The problem was that Hoad wasn't always as motivated as he could have been. So while Hoad had the potential to be the greatest ever who played with a wood racket, he never fulfilled that potential. Additionally, back problems also interfered.

    Kodes? You've got to be kidding! He himself said that if Richey hadn't choked and lost to Franulovic, he would never have won the 1970 French Open. His 1973 Wimbledon win was the boycott year when over 90% of the top players didn't show up .... about the equivalent of winning a very minor tournament. That leaves the 1971 French Open as his only real major win. What can be said of Kodes, was that he was a fine player, who never beat himself and made the most of his opportunities: finalist 1971 US Open, semi finalist 1972 Wimbledon, finalist 1973 US Open.
     
  10. George K

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    Lobb, You mist be kidding. Of all the pro Tournaments in the history of Pro Tennis, the US Pro was the one held almost every year. Wembley by contrast wasn't held every year, nor was the French Pro or the Australian Pro. Comparing to the 4 grand slam majors of the amateur era and from 1968 the open era, the pro slams equate as follows up until 1967:

    Most prestigious: US Pro / Wimbledon
    Second most prestigious: Wembley / US Open
    Third most prestigious: French Pro / French Open
    Fourth: Australian Pro /Australian Open
    Fifth: Kramer's Tournament of Champions / Masters or previously WCT final
     
  11. Dan Lobb

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    You have to look at each year, some years the US Pro was not held, like 1952 to 1961 period, check the USPLTA website for confirmation.
     
  12. Dan Lobb

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    Check the other threads on the 1959 season, the greatest season ever in pro tennis. Hoad was the most consistent player that year, and when healthy, the most consistent and dominant in 1958 as well.
    You are buying into one of the great myths of tennis history.
     
  13. pc1

    pc1 G.O.A.T.

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    You're convinced me on the excellence of that season. I was skeptical at first but I believe now.
     
  14. Dan Lobb

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    Thanks to Krosero for his superb research on that incredible year, when about six of the all-time greats played their best tennis.
     
  15. pc1

    pc1 G.O.A.T.

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    He is a great researcher.
     
  16. krosero

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    For you Dan, all the know Hoad-Gonzalez meetings in '59

    Victorian Championships in Melbourne (January 14)
    Gonzalez d. Hoad 8-6, 6-2, 6-3 in semis (Ampol WS)

    Canberra (January 17)
    Gonzalez d. Hoad 6-8, 8-6, 6-4

    Queensland Pro Champs in Brisbane (January 24)
    Gonzalez d. Hoad in third place match, score unknown (Ampol WS)

    NSW Pro Champs in Sydney (February 5)
    Gonzalez d. Hoad 15-13, 6-4, 6-4 in semis (Ampol WS)

    Honolulu (Feb. 17)
    Hoad d. Gonzalez 6-4, 6-1

    Feb. 21 in San Francisco
    Gonzalez d. Hoad 6-4, 6-2 (WS)

    Feb. 23 in Los Angeles
    Hoad d. Gonzalez 6-4, 9-7 (WS)

    March 1 in New York City
    Hoad d. Gonzalez 4-6, 12-10, 6-4 (WS)

    March 3 in Montreal
    Hoad d. Gonzalez 6-3, 6-4 (WS)

    March 6 in Washington, DC
    Gonzalez d. Hoad 18-16, 2-6, 6-4 (WS)

    March 7 in Chicago
    Gonzalez d. Hoad 3-6, 6-4, 6-2

    March 8 in Chicago
    Gonzalez d. Hoad 6-4, 0-6, 6-4

    March 9 in Boston
    Hoad d. Gonzalez 4-6, 6-3, 6-4

    March 10 in Boston
    Hoad d. Gonzalez 6-2, 4-6, 6-4

    March 12 in Detroit
    Gonzalez d. Hoad 4-6, 6-3, 6-2

    March 15 in Louisville
    Hoad d. Gonzalez 6-4, 6-3 (WS)

    March 17 in Kansas City
    Hoad d. Gonzalez 6-4, 6-4 (WS)

    March 20 in Dallas
    Hoad d. Gonzalez 6-1, 3-6, 8-6 (WS)

    March 22 in Houston at River Oaks
    Gonzalez d. Hoad 7-5, 6-4 (WS)

    March 26 in Miami Beach Auditorium
    Hoad d. Gonzalez 6-3, 6-4 (WS)

    March 29 in Palm Beach at Everglades Club
    Gonzalez d. Hoad 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 (WS)

    April 2 in Charlotte
    Hoad d. Gonzalez 10-8, 10-12, 6-2 (WS)

    April 8 in Schenectady
    Hoad d. Gonzalez 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 (WS)

    April 14 in Princeton
    Gonzalez d. Hoad 14-12, 6-3 (WS)

    April 16 in White Plains
    Hoad d. Gonzalez 6-4, 6-2 (WS)

    April 18 in Teaneck
    Hoad d. Gonzalez 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 (WS)

    April 22 in New Castle, PA
    Hoad d. Gonzalez 6-3, 6-3 (WS)

    Cleveland World Pro (April 26)
    Gonzalez d. Hoad 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 in final

    April 29 in Minneapolis
    Hoad d. Gonzalez 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 (WS)

    May 2 in Milwaukee
    Gonzalez d. Hoad 6-3, 7-5 (WS)

    May 7 in Denver
    Gonzalez d. Hoad 6-4, 7-5 (WS)

    May 10 in Salt Lake City
    Gonzalez d. Hoad 6-4, 6-3 (WS)

    May 14 in Vancouver
    Gonzalez d. Hoad 6-3, 6-4 (WS)

    May 16 in Seattle
    Gonzalez d. Hoad 6-4, 10-8 (WS)

    May 18 in Corvallis, OR
    Hoad d. Gonzalez 6-3, 6-1 (WS)

    May 21 in Palo Alto
    Gonzalez d. Hoad 3-6, 6-4, 9-7 (WS)

    May 24 in Santa Barbara
    Hoad d. Gonzalez 11-9, 6-3 (WS)

    May 27 in Phoenix
    Gonzalez d. Hoad 10-8, 7-5 (WS)

    May 31 in La Jolla
    Gonzalez d. Hoad 6-3, 14-12 (WS)

    Masters Round Robin in LA (June 6)
    Gonzalez d. Hoad 11-9, 10-8 (Ampol WS)

    Forest Hills TOC (June 29)
    Hoad d. Gonzalez 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 in the final (Ampol WS)

    Memphis (July 2)
    Hoad d. Gonzalez in final, unknown score

    Perth Round Robin (November 30)
    Hoad d. Gonzalez 7-9, 6-4, 12-10 (Ampol WS)

    South Australian Round Robin in Adelaide (December 4)
    Hoad d. Gonzalez 6-4, 6-0 (Ampol WS)

    NSW Pro Champs in Sydney (December 13)
    Gonzalez d. Hoad 11-9, 6-1, 6-1 in the final (Ampol WS)

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/inde...-series-gonzalez-hoad-cooper-anderson.554770/
     
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  17. Dan Lobb

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    Thanks, Krosero...I greatly admire your research on that quintessential year of 1959.
     
  18. George K

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    I beg to differ, no two athletes are EVER at the same points in their careers: Gonzales was born in May 1928 and had already been world #1 for 4 years (1954 - 57). Hoad was born in November 1934, some 6.5 years later. When they played each other in 1958/59, Gonzales was 31, when most athletic careers are winding down.
     
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  19. Dan Lobb

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    Laver was older than that when he won his open slam in 1969...31 is not ancient.
    Hoad's opinion was that Gonzales reached his absolute peak in 1958/59.
     
  20. Dan Lobb

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  21. George K

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    Well, if he trained as a boxer .... I guess that certainly makes him the greatest tennis player of all time.

    After all, Federer,Sampras, Laver, Gonzales, Kramer, Budge and Tilden never boxed as far as I know.
     
  22. Dan Lobb

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    Gonzales was a skilled pugilist...according to Arthur Ashe, he could knock out a "heavy" with one punch.
    Hoad allegedly picked up a chair with an obnoxious heckler by the front legs, warned him to "Shut the*******up" and then dropped the chair.
    Also, Hoad apparently had a physical confrontation with Gonzales in a locker room...
     
  23. pc1

    pc1 G.O.A.T.

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    They talk about the physicality of today's tennis. I guess Hoad and Gonzalez took that to another level. LOL.
     
  24. Dan Lobb

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    Today's mild and wimped out bunch would look for the nearest table to hide under if Hoad or Gonzales came into the bar.
     
  25. pc1

    pc1 G.O.A.T.

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    LOL.
     
  26. Dan Lobb

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    And that would translate onto the tennis court.
     
  27. pc1

    pc1 G.O.A.T.

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    I'm sure there had to be an intimidation factor when those two showed up on the court.

    I think Arthur Ashe used another term which was presence on the court. He didn't use it for Gonzalez because Gonzalez was retired but he used it for two players and that was Newcombe and Borg. Now Borg wouldn't have the intimidation type factor of Gonzalez or Hoad but they were intimidated by him even at a fairly young age.
     
  28. Dan Lobb

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    Here is some good footage of Hoad playing against Roche in about 1962, Roche having won the Australian Harcourt that year at age 17, just as Hoad did.

     
  29. Dan Lobb

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    Hoad actually looks in good shape in this video, which must be from about 1962/63, when he was training for the Laver series.
     
  30. Dan Lobb

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    Here is the 1939 Backhaus/Bohm performance of the Brahms 2, with the Saxon State Orchestra (now Dresden Staatskapelle) notice the great similarity of the piano chords at about 1:15 to Richter's 1960 account...like a rocket taking off.
    Backhaus, as a young prodigy pianist, met Brahms and played for Brahms. Brahms encouraged the young Backhaus to play this work, and Backhaus heard Brahms conduct this concerto live. This is the most authentic recording we have....indeed, given Backhaus' extraordinary achievement here, the definitive recording.

     
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  31. Dan Lobb

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    Roche was asked who was the greatest player of all time once, and he responded "Hoad was great, although I never saw him in his prime."
    Hoad looked in good shape here in this practice set against Roche, but he did lose the set to Roche, so perhaps Roche concluded that he was past his best.
     
  32. Dan Lobb

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    We have newspaper reports, including the London Times, that the hth for Hoad/Gonzales was 21 to 20, in Hoad's favour, as of the Forest Hills final. That would make it 24 to 21 for the whole schedule, with the three additional wins for Hoad above. There must have been additional Gonzales wins to make it 24 to 23.
     
  33. Dan Lobb

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    I recounted your list, Krosero, and I see 23 wins for Gonzales, so there must have been a recount in December for that final 24-23 tally.
     
  34. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    I agree, it looks like a recount was done.
     
  35. Dan Lobb

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    Hoad had the most range of shots of any player, using a sawed-off racquet and wrist action to change shots at the last possible split second.
    Sometimes he could not choose himself what to hit,

    http://www.10sballs.com/2016/02/11/lew-hoad-profile-by-richard-evans/
     
  36. NonP

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    I actually heard Wang play the very concerto about a year ago and posted the following review on FB afterward (account since inactivated, but temporarily brought back for exhumation):

    I'm afraid that YT clip doesn't supersede my initial impression of her take on the Ravel crowd-pleaser.

    Thanks for the referral, and yes, Backhaus' account is indeed an exemplary one. But I can't second you on the "definitive"ness of the recording. Most of the so-called authentic performance is little more than shoddy scholarship passed off as revelatory epiphany. Listen to any of the fin de siecle masters' own recordings and you'll see countless examples of them tinkering with the score (often their own) as they saw fit. Quite often the simplest approach is the best: when it sounds good, it is good.
     
  37. Dan Lobb

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    I like Wang's Ravel concerto better than you do, did you listen to the second and third movements? Wang allows you to hear the virtuoso passages more clearly than I have heard them. And in the appearance department...uh hem...she dances circles around the French competition you refer to.
    Backhaus gives us an impassioned account, quite different from the laid-back, relaxed recordings from more recent pianists. Only Richter in 1960 brings the same urgency and fire.
     
  38. Dan Lobb

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    Last edited: Feb 17, 2016
  39. Dan Lobb

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    And just a few months later, in early 1954, in a team match between Australia and South Africa, in the presence of the Queen.

    The tennis starts at 32:38.

     
  40. Dan Lobb

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  41. Dan Lobb

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    Rosewall states, "He [Hoad} had all the muscles, and I didn't have any, so the name stuck"

    "Some of my friends still call me that, so I put up with it."

    Thus is resolved one of the great nickname mysteries of sports.
     
  42. Dan Lobb

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  43. pc1

    pc1 G.O.A.T.

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    Delete post
     
  44. Dan Lobb

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  45. Dan Lobb

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    Rosewall states "we don't see as much tennis played at the net"...that sums up in a nutshell the big difference between classic tennis of the fifties and sixties, and the current game.
    Ironically, Rosewall was speaking just before the Brisbane event this year, which was won by Raonic, who chose to attack the net and volley, a revolutionary approach today.
     
  46. pc1

    pc1 G.O.A.T.

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    Dan, while I enjoy grass court tennis sometimes matches on grass can be snoozefest. Big serve, no return. Big serve, one volley and the point is over. Big serve, overhead smash.

    What's great about grass court tennis is the subtleties of playing the game. Obviously more volleying, players change their stroking style for the grass. More half volleys and different types of returns.

    I think a lot of the tennis establishment wanted to see the longer rallies that they have today for great casual fan interest.

    I think that grass court tennis improves a player's game in that they have to learn another way to play.
     
  47. Limpinhitter

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    In the 60's and 70's there was a lot of talk about how to make the game more like it was in the 20's and 30's with longer, more entertaining, rallies. Well, in my view, in 2016, the rallies are too damn long and a snoozefest for that reason.
     
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  48. pc1

    pc1 G.O.A.T.

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    Yes I agree with that also. I saw a rally a few years ago between Djokovic and Nadal. It may have been at the US Open. It was a very long rally and the commentators with their usual hyperbole called it one of the greatest rallies ever. I thought that no one tried to do anything with the ball. It was no big deal. It wasn't much different in my mind that a Solomon and Dibbs rally.
     
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  49. NatF

    NatF Talk Tennis Guru

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    I remember that rally. I hated it. Just lots of cross court and down the middle shots.
     
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  50. 70sHollywood

    70sHollywood Semi-Pro

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    You make it sound like it only happened the one time;)
     
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