Newcombe's achievements as an Open era player

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by timnz, Aug 3, 2014.

  1. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Some have placed Newcombe as a tier 3 open era player - alongside Becker, Edberg, Wilander. I don't think he quite makes their level for the reasons given below.

    I also feel that for players who spanned the pre-open and open era it is a bit hard because not all of their achievements are easy to weight. But for the purposes of this discussion - we are looking at Open era achievements.

    I will weight his achievements (& equivalent achievements) at current ATP points weightings.

    Slams wins - 5 x 2000 points =10000 points

    Slam runner-ups = 2 x 1200 points = 2400 points

    Season End finals * = 1 x 1500 points = 1500 points

    Season End finals runner-ups = 0 x 1000 points = 0 points

    Master 1000 equivalents ** = 4 x 1000 points = 4000

    This totals 17900 points.

    If we compare that record to Becker, Edberg and Wilander - who have over 40000, 28000 & 26000 points respectively, if you look at their top event records in a similar manner.

    see the following link to compare:

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=463381

    * 1974 WCT Finals
    ** 1968 Hamburg, 1969 Rome, 1971 Philadelphia, 1972 Las Vegas. By Masters 1000 equivalents, I mean the top 9 events of a calendar year outside of the Slams and season finals (WTF (ATP), WCT Finals (WCT), Grand Slam Cup (ITF))
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2014
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  2. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    Newcombe is more Courier tier I expect. How does he compare to them in terms of total titles?

    No clear years as the #1 player hurts him too. Though Becker wasn't #1 on the computer in 1989 the ITF and ATP awarded him the player of the year. Edberg has two YE #1's and Wilander has one.
     
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  3. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    I would Newcombe rank at least at the level of Becker or Edberg. The selection of achievements here gives a slightly unclear picture. I think, Newcombe won overall over 70 titles (going by Michel Sutter, can look it up for exact numbers). His open era tally is 32 or something titles. Those Masters equivalents on Wikipedia are not officially selected titles by any institution. In 1971 for instance all 20 WCT events had the same weight (including AO or Italian open, Newk won 4 of them.). Some further won titles like Canadian Open in 1971 or Tucson in 1974 (an ATP event with maybe the best field in whole 1974) are to be regarded, also his fine play in Davis Cup 1973.
     
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  4. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    Becker with his record in Indoor majors has got to be above Newcombe IMO.

    What sort of draws did those WCT events have? A lot of players from that era played tons of tournaments a year and ended up with inflated title counts IMO.
     
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  5. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    32, sometimes 64 players. Very deep draws with the top players of the time.
     
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  6. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    Ok thanks. Wish there was better documentation of the tournaments of that era. So many aren't counted. Looking at the list of tournaments he won, just in the finals he beat a lot of very good players.

    Hard to balance that with the fact Becker simply has a significantly better record in the majors with 6 slams and 4 indoor majors. I'd say the 1973 Australian Open at least for Newcombe is barely major status.
     
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  7. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    urban, I guess you wrote "Tucson in 1974 with maybe the best field in whole 1974" meaning "apart from Wimbledon and US Open" which had even better fields.
     
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  8. BobbyOne

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    NatF, The 1970s tournaments are well documented both in the World of Tennis yearbooks and in Sutter's book Winners.
     
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  9. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I would definitely agree with you about the 1973 Australian.

    My first reaction about the best level of play for both is that it's very close. Newcombe, when in shape could beat anyone on any surface. He clearly was a stronger clay player than Becker in my opinion with the Italian and a higher winning percentage. I actually think Newcombe had a better overall serve game when he was in shape than even Boris, although I wouldn't be upset if someone thought Boris had the better service game. He was more solid on the volley and I think had a better forehand. Becker's backhand was far more explosive than Newcombe's backhand although Newcombe's backhand was a very solid baseline shot. Newcombe didn't have a great passing shot off the backhand although he could lob extremely well.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2k1rVZFgYAw

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7P-JfY55cE
     
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  10. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    Alas Bobby I have none of those. But I'm glad to know the information is out there ;)

    I haven't seen enough of Newcombe to judge his peak play, from what I've read your analysis could well be spot on.

    Who had the better movement?

    That second video is crazy :lol: Poor Jimmy!
     
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  11. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Both weren't the greatest movers so I'd say about even. I saw Newcombe at his best in the 1973 US Open. He played Connors and Connors' level in my opinion was the Connors of 1974 which wouldn't be strange since 1974 was only a few months away. Anyway Connors played great tennis when they met in the1973 US Open quarters but never broke Newcombe even once. Newcombe won 6-4 7-6 7-6. It was even closer than the score may suggest since tiebreaks at the US Open in those days were the first to five. Both tiebreakers went to 4-4, simultaneous set points (in the third set it was simultaneous set and match point) so if Connors won both points he would have been ahead two sets to one.

    If memory serves Newcombe had more break chances against Connors and was clearly the better player than day. His form was great and of course he went on to win the tournament by beating Rosewall and Kodes.

    Newcombe at his best in my opinion was superior to Edberg's best. Bigger serve and forehand although Edberg had the clearly better backhand. Edberg's volley was only a little better than Newcombe's which is saying a lot for Newcombe's great volley.
     
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  12. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    Thanks, for this pc1. Beating even a 'near' peak Connors in straight sets without being broken is very impressive.

    Do you consider the peak play hierarchy to be;

    Newcombe > Edberg > Becker

    Wilander in 4th?

    I still find his achievements lacking a little bit compared to the Edberg, Becker and Wilander. Unless some of those 32 Open Era tournaments he won were very prestigious?
     
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  13. DMP

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    I would have to agree with that assessment. Without having detailed results, but just going on memory I would have Newcombe slightly ahead of Becker. I was rather puzzled by the conclusion of the OP, but put it down to having only Open Era results.

    As I've said many times, to me Becker was Newcombe reborn (but slightly lighter weight).
     
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  14. pc1

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    Remember Newcombe won a lot of tournaments in the pre-open era too. If Open Tennis was around for the whole of his career I'm sure he would have had a higher level at an earlier age. I think he won about 60 plus tournaments in total if you include the pre-open era.

    As far as peak play is concerned I guess I would go with Newk, Becker, Edberg. Mats is tough to define. I actually think his best year may be 1983 instead of the more famous year of 1988 in which he won three majors. I'll have to think about that.
     
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  15. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    Yes but you know how I feel about amateur tennis...plenty of light weight players would look great if you removed the top 4 players. The value of amateur tournaments are quite low in my estimation. He at least lags behind Becker in terms of major titles IMO. Even if we accept his tournament total is equivalent considering Amateur titles.
     
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  16. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Good points but I'm just thinking of a subjective level of play at their best. In that case, that is my opinion.

    If you eliminate amateurs and don't assume what would happen if Open Tennis was around for the whole of Newcombe's career, then I agree with you.

    Let's put it this way, if I had to pick one player out of all those guys, not knowing the surface at their best for one match, Newcombe's my choice.
     
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  17. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    That's fair enough, in terms of overall greatness peak play is a huge factor. So perhaps that nudges Newcombe a head or at least equal to the players the OP mentions.

    Although the OP does specify achievements. In which case I think Newcombe lags behind the other 3 despite having the potential to win as much or more.
     
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  18. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I can go with that given the conditions.
     
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  19. Dan L

    Dan L Professional

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    Against that, the wins Newcombe achieved in most of his majors were well above the average in quality.
     
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  20. timnz

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    I am an achievement guy. In my thinking we should only count what someone actually achieved, rather than what they potentially could or would have achieved. Rios was more talented than a lot of the all-time greats, but was he a great himself? - No because of his relatively modest achievements.

    Now, it is entirely appropriate to have threads about peak play GOATS and other threads about players who rose to the big ocassions. But in terms of rating players relatively, I think it is best to stick to achievements. That is somewhat more objective (though I realise nothing is completely objective in this business).

    I agree that the Masters 1000's are hard to quantify back in the day, but if I include the extra 2 tournaments that Urban mentioned (Urban - I have enormous respect for your tennis knowledge!) - that still has Newcombe on only 6 masters 1000's equivalents. John was a great player, no doubt at all - but he just doesn't make the Becker, Edberg and Wilander level in achievement, in my thinking.

    My view of Newcombe is that he was a great player on the big occassion. He seemed to struggle with motivation from time to time. He seemed to be really good at peaking for the tournaments that mattered to him (like the 1975 Australian Open where he beat Connors in the final). But he didn't have the achievements of the tier 3 players I have been talking about eg Becker - 6 slams, 4 slam runner-ups, 5 Indoor Majors (and many runner-ups at Indoor Majors), 13 Masters 1000 equivalents. Becker could also be credited with a great Davis Cup record to be at least compared to Newcombe's record there.

    Now are a doubles player - Newcombe was light years ahead of all these guys (except perhaps Edberg). But I am speaking of singles here.
     
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  21. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    I agree with the assesment of timnz, that Newcombe wasn't a great day in-day-out player, more a player for the big occasions. He was quite similar to Becker, both were physically and mentally very strong, but had to spend a lot of energy, and had often injury problems after some peaks, so that they seldom had a really consistent full year. Newcombe mostly played well for a half year stretch and had his best year probably in 1971, when he won Wim and was leading the WCT race up until late summer, but then was injured and did nothing until years end; in 1972 he played a very good late season at the WCT, winning the winter race. Both, Becker and Newcombe, were Nr. 1 mid year for a short time, Newcombe would have had more time at Nr. 1, if the ATP Computer would have been invented earlier than late 1973. Newcombe was close to Nastase in 1973, but had bad luck at Boston Masters, when he got injured in the semi at mp against Okker and had to forfeit for the deciding final against Nastase. I still think, he had a good chance for 1974, but had two - i feel - bad losses to old Rosewall at Wim and Forest Hills. Newcombe did something before 1968, too, he was chosen as DC final player at 19 by Hopman in 1963, had a win over Laver in late 1962, and was Forest Hills Finalist in 1966, before winning Wim and Forest Hills in 1967. I will look up further results in Sutter's book.
     
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  22. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    The systematic problem, i addressed, is the problem we have always in evaluating history, that we do it post festum with the parameters of today. This constructing aspect has to be dealt with, we cannot do better, but it has to be regarded. We always get only nearing dates, not exact results to compare. It's is the problem with the Masters equivalents and the so called pro majors. Sure the old pros had some more important than others tournaments, but they were embedded in long tours and nobody told them, that they were playing a "real" major which would would lead to some evaluation 50 years later. Another problem is, when those pro champs ended, in reality they were continued after 1967, and for instance Laver won 5, not 3 US pros, Rosewall 3, not 2, Laver won 6 Wembleys, not 4, Rosewall 6, not 5, and Laver won 2 French pros, not 1. That those events had "lost" their "major status", which the officially never had, they "forgot" to tell the players, because the draws were in fact partly better then pre 1967.

    Same with the Masters equivalents in early open Tennis. Sure one can single out some 9-10 events, which were close to the traditional 4 Majors, and in some years they were even more eminent in terms of draws than even some Majors like Australia. For instance: The 1968 LA South West Pacific was the last open event of the year, had decisive influence on the World Ranking and was a sort of equivalent if not to a major, than at least to a year end final.
    Today we have the fixed Super Nine or Masters concepts, and players know beforehand, for what price they are playing. Newcombe didn't know that, when he entered a tournament, he simply followed his promoter, not an anonymous wikipedia contributor 50 years later, who constructs a Grand Prix Championships series (which was of course another matter, a series organized by the ILTF since 1970, which rivalled the WCT tour).
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2014
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  23. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Pc1,
    Great comparative vs Becker and vs Edberg and I fully agree
    In your opinion,What made Newk vs Kodes such exciting matches?
    Both seem to take off the best of the other,such as Lendl vs Clerc.for example..isn' t it?
     
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  24. DMP

    DMP Semi-Pro

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    Yes, just...yes.

    I think it is impossible to really recreate now what was important then. And of course the players then played what was important then. That is why any tournament counting method is doomed to be inaccurate, imo. It is also why I think the best judgement was the rankings created by the experienced and knowledgeable tennis watchers of the time, because they knew, were immersed in, what was important at that time. Of course it has become simpler since 1990 as players have aligned what they see as important with the agreed ranking system, but even here it is only an approximation, because not all players play exactly the same tournaments.

    FWIW my recollection is that Newcombe was viewed at the time as a more commanding figure than Becker was in his time.
     
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  25. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    urban, I must contradict: The old pro majors were really majors for the pros. For instance Rosewall said in the great World Tennis 1963 interview that Roland Garros, Wembley and partly Forest Hills were the big pro tournaments even though he did not call them Pro GS tournaments or pro majors as some experts now do.

    These pro majors lost their importance with the begin of open era because they lost their status as the most important events of the year, even though they had sometimes better fields than before open era.

    Frank Sedgman confirmed my assumption that Wembley was the world's pro championship.

    When Rosewall won at Roland Garros in 1961 New York Times wrote:"Aussie Captures World Pro Title". This sounds contradictory but at least it shows how important these events have been and how significant they were in the players' and public's recognition.
     
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  26. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    DMP, Nobody is recreating now what was important then. The serious experts just research what was important then. Where is the problem?
     
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  27. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Newcombe as you know, when in shape was almost the perfect serve and volley player. Big first serve and a great second serve with the best first volley in the game. I think Vic Braden said that until Edberg he never saw a player get so close to the net on the serve and volley for the first volley as Newcombe. Huge overhead.

    Kodes had an excellent attacking return on both sides but particularly on the backhand side. Very few one handers have a great attacking backhand return. He also was very fast and could hit amazing winners when he was on.

    So you have Newcombe, a great player who also was capable of improvising on the court but basically a powerful player who burgeoned opponents versus a very quick agile player in Kodes who could somewhat neutralize the awesome Newcombe serve and volley game. Kodes was dangerous on both sides and capable of hitting winners from everywhere.

    If both were playing well it was made for great tennis.

    I remember my old friend Jimmy mentioning to me after that US Open match that he thought Kodes was the best when on. I disagreed and still thought it was Laver but it just shows how impressive Kodes was in that match.

    Laver was fairly old in 1973. I wonder who was the best when "on" their game in 1973. I think on medium to fast it may be Arthur Ashe. It could be Nastase overall in 1973. Maybe it was Jimmy Connors. Maybe even Newk. Maybe on slow surfaces it could be Orantes.

    Any ideas Kiki?
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2014
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  28. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Bobby, i agree that those venues were very important for the pros. It makes sense, because London, Paris and New York were the classic settings for tennis, as it was established on the amateur scene in the 20s, and somehow the pros followed this concept, albeit very loosely. Wembley as an Olympic venue was a well implemented substitute for Wimbledon, Roland Garros and Forest Hills were established venues. But what is with the Cleveland event, or even the Coubertin event? What was with the public attendance or the media coverage in those years? On the fine French webside
    www.histoiredugrandslam.com
    is a contemporary French article about the Coubertin final in 1964 or 1965 cited, where no result nor the winner is given.
    I don't think, that the old pros organized their circuit around the cornerstones, like the 4 Majors are today, with preparation time, build up tournaments and so on. I read, that the US pro at Boston in 1964 was played in the rain, because the finalists had a commitment to play in Edinburgh the next day. No USO final today would be played in the rain because of Edinburgh (nothing against this fine City).
    Even in the sources you cited, as helpful they may be, there is indeed some contradiction and no cristal clear definition of pro Majors. Also in McCauley's book, who includes the 1968 pro champs, or Bud Collins Encyclopedia, who includes even further pro champs results, the matter isn't clear.
     
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  29. Dan L

    Dan L Professional

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    But there was no consistency.

    Wembley was not the premier event EVERY year.

    It was overshadowed by Forest Hills in 1957, 1958, 1959, even 1963.

    Sedgman's opinion conflicts with the media coverage of the time, which emphasized Forest Hills.

    Of course, Sedgman won Wembley twice, in 1953, when it was the most important tournament, and 1958, when it was outranked by Forest Hills, Roland Garros, and even Kooyong in money power for the players.

    Gonzales' biography of 1959 emphasizes that the Australian tournaments were the most prized by the players, because the gates were higher, the stadiums filled to see the pros, unlike the U.S., where major venues like Forest Hills were mostly empty for pro tennis.

    The 1963 Forest Hills Pro final between Laver and Rosewall was played for NO MONEY, because of light attendance.

    Laver and Rosewall were great players, but lacked box office power.
     
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  30. DMP

    DMP Semi-Pro

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    You obviously don't read beyond a few select threads :)

    I don't say there is a problem. Just that it is difficult to exactly get a sense now of how things were then. I often hear something described about tennis which I remember experiencing, even by posters I consider knowledgeable, and I think 'well that is not how I remember it being viewed at the time'.

    I can illustrate with a hypothetical example. Suppose some time in the period 2007-9, when Federer and Nadal were really slugging it out, they had shared the four majors between them (interestingly something they never did), and they had both reached the WTF finals with only a few ranking points between them, and both in good form and healthy (again something that never happened). How would the WTF have been seen at the time?

    I say it would have been seen as a huge thing, resolving a huge rivalry for the year, deciding the #1 ranking, etc. Basically the biggest event of the year. And yet for ranking purposes it would have been just as normal, behind the slams and ahead of Masters.

    So the sense at the time, would have been quite different from how it seen now. It surely wouldn't have been seen as the fifth most important event (and really, is it seen as that?) as it is officially assessed right now.
     
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  31. DMP

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    :confused:
    Really? In Australia? In the UK? In continental Europe?:confused:
     
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  32. Dan L

    Dan L Professional

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    In Australia, they were banned from playing in major venues.

    In U.S., they lacked drawing power.

    Also in Europe, where they could no longer attract crowds to Roland Garros or Scarborough.
     
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  33. DMP

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    Wasn't that more about the pro circuit losing drawing power as it ran out of steam and we could see there was going to be a rapprochement between the pro and amateur games? So it was more about the the pro tour losing its special cachet than about Rosewall and Laver. I certainly don't remember Rosewall and Laver ever being other than big names here in the UK.
     
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  34. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I wouldn't pick Laver in that year
    Smith b Ashe at the world premiere indoor competition, as well as Laver,while playing very well on his way to those finals and dominating the indoor tour
    Nastase had some fabulous moments at Rome,ParĂ­s and Masters while Newcombe dominated two Slams
    It is Nastase or Newcombe with Kodes and Smith right behind...and Connors winning the SA Open with a clear win vs Ashe in the final and already in a very prominent position that would be more obvious in 74
    He also b Smith three times that year and many believed the USTA should have ranked him number one instead of Smith,in Dec. 1973
     
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  35. SpicyCurry1990

    SpicyCurry1990 Hall of Fame

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    This is why its dangerous to value achievements by a purely objective metric using ATP points as you do.

    Clearly in Newcombe's time the Masters circuit was not as fleshed as it is now and counting those potential titles as 1/2 of a slam is what leads to the discrepancy.

    Also in the early 70s Wimbledon should undoubtedly be viewed as higher in value than any other slam and he won that twice.

    You really have to take pure numbers with a grain of salt when looking at 70s dudes. I think Newcombe belongs in the same class as Becker/Edberg/Wilander (although ranked lowest of that group) and above the Courier/Vilas level for the same reasons why I think Connors should be well above McEnroe and near Lendl despite the "achievement" gap. Ashe/Nastase should be bumped up as well (although not quite enough to make the same cut as Newcombe, but into arguable territory vs Vilas and Courier).
     
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  36. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    urban, I think you are too much doubtful.

    Even though the old pros did not have build up tournaments and so on, the pro majors were acknowledged by the players as the big ones. They did not need cristal clear definitions to do this.

    Also the amateur GS tournaments were not described anywhere as the four biggest events.

    Tennis de France brought two full pages on the 1965 French Pro at Coubertin plus all results. I guess it was similary in the other years.

    The US Pro at Cleveland was always considered as an important event ("World's Pro Championships").
     
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  37. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Dan, It's your fault that you are obsessed by prize money.

    World Tennis brought several pages about the 1963 US Pro.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2014
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  38. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    DMP, I hardly can follow you.

    ATP ranking is not all. WTF can yet be deciding even as only the fifth important event.
     
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  39. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    DMP, Yes, Laver & Rosewall were big names then, not only in the UK even though old Gonzalez was maybe an even bigger name, at least in the USA.
     
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  40. Dan L

    Dan L Professional

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    No, the pro tour lost steam RELATIVE to the glory days of the late fifties.

    Why?

    Gonzales and Hoad had great box office power.
     
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  41. Dan L

    Dan L Professional

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    No, the pros did not consider Cleveland a major.

    Only the small tour stopped there.

    And it was NOT the U.S. Pro, which was not held between 1952 and 1961.

    Even Jack March did not call it the "U.S. Pro".

    Why?

    Because he had no permission to do so.
     
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  42. Dan L

    Dan L Professional

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    The point is that pro tennis declined after the heyday of the late fifties.

    Laver and Rosewall lacked box office clout.
     
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  43. DMP

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    Maybe in the US, but that was because they weren't US players. Just look at Neilsen ratings nowadays for finals where there isn't a US competitor. In the 50s and early 60s that was important because the US was a continent-sized economy and Europe was slowly recovering from the ravages of WW2. However I have no doubt that they were box office in the UK and Europe, else how do you explain they managed to survive as long as they did?

    I don't know about Roland Garros, but I am underwhelmed by your quote of Scarborough as an indicator of lacking box office. Do you know what Scarborough is? It is a seaside retirement/holiday resort. It is about as much a tennis hotspot as Kelowna. I fell off my chair laughing when you quoted it as an example of lacking box office clout.

    Re Australia, they may have been banned from major venues, but that was more about the establishment closing ranks against them. I simply don't believe they lacked box office clout in their own homeland.

    I think instead of, wrongly, trying to tear down Rosewall and Laver you would be better praising the box office clout of Hoad. Now he was box office. When you went to see Rosewall and Laver you went to see the best players in the world. When you went to see Hoad you went to see a charismatic star. A bit like Usain Bolt these days.
     
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  44. Dan L

    Dan L Professional

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    The pros barely survived, playing minor venues and even in public streets.
    Scarborough was a big pro event in the fifties, couldn't make it in the sixties.

    The amateur circuit strengthened, so that Emerson and Santana got more money than Laver and Rosewall.

    I agree that Hoad and Gonzales possessed unusual box office allure.
     
    #44
  45. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Dan, The issues of USPLTA don't mean too much. Gonzalez's eight US Pro wins were mentioned in all Gonzalez obituaries.
     
    #45
  46. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    DMP, Thanks for this expanation. I agree.

    Wembley f.i. had mosty big attendance.

    Scarborough was a minor event. The top pros mostly avoided it.
     
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  47. DMP

    DMP Semi-Pro

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    The pro circuit was show business. Kramer recognised this. So you needed an underpinning 'story'. It was exactly like P T Barnum, or Wild Bill Hickok and his Wild West show.

    The 'story' in the early 50s was could the upstart Gonzales overturn Kramer - 'roll up, roll up and see if he can'. Then, when Gonzales was top dog there was the new American, Trabert, so still interest for North American crowds. Then he struck lucky and got the two new wunderkids, Rosewall and Hoad from under the noses of the authorities. Great new challenges for Gonzales, especially Hoad who was the golden-haired Adonis. Eventually even they, and Gonzales, were 'old hat' so he needed a new story, and he got Laver. So now the story was again could the new kid topple the old guard.

    But then Gonzales got older, Hoad injured, and older, and there were no new challengers, especially American. So the story got a bit stale....and then Open Tennis galvanised everything again.

    So it wasn't so much that Rosewall and Laver were not box office, it was that the 'story' needed new blood, and it never happened. Of course they weren't as big box office as Gonzales (American) and Hoad (Adonis) had been, but they must have had some sort of draw, otherwise how did they captivate an American audience like they did in 1972 in Dallas?

    In fact in terms of great box office 'draw', by which I mean drawing people to watch tennis who wouldn't normally, then there have been only a few, if my tennis history is correct, and off the top of my head they are:

    Tilden and Lenglen (definitely)
    Riggs (maybe ?)
    Gonzales?
    Hoad
    (Nastase I don't think was quite big enough to be a draw outside tennis fans)
    The Big Three (Borg, McEnroe, Connors)
    Becker ?

    Other players have been big in tennis, and well known generally, like all top sportsmen, but the above are the only ones I can think where people went to see the person, not their play, and even then I am not sure how big a draw some of them were
     
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  48. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Good arguments. Kramer made some mistakes however. He didn't let TV in, which made golf with that box office star Palmer (had much more charisma than Nicklaus) great. Even Pancho Villa and Adonis couldn't get out of the smoky town halls and small school halls on their long tours. Kramer never built up a real circuit. And he should have made some compromise with the amateur institutions (say 10 open tournaments a year), instead of always playing the villains role. Wimbledon with Herman David was interested in pro and open tennis. The Wimbledon pro 1967 was a big success (live and on TV) and showed the way, which was followed by Lamar Hunt.
     
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  49. Dan L

    Dan L Professional

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    Bobby, the USPLTA was the only body which could authorize a "US Pro", and Kramer obtained the rights to the US Pro in 1959.

    Cleveland was never in the picture.
     
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  50. Dan L

    Dan L Professional

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    Scarborough couldn't survive in the 1960's, when pro tennis declined.
     
    #50

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