Number one in 1977... finally the poll!

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Argento full, May 19, 2009.

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Number one in 1977??? Finally the poll!

Poll closed Mar 15, 2010.
  1. Vilas

    57.1%
  2. Borg

    42.9%
  1. Argento full

    Argento full New User

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    So...

    what do you think?

    Vilas or Borg?

    Numbers against better player?

    17 titles (incl. 2 GS) plus 50 matches streak ended with a spaghetti raquet vs. Wimby + 10 titles + probably greatest clay courter of all time (let`s see Nadal in the future) + 2-0 h2h (or 3-0 if we inlcuded the masters)....

    For previous discussion see the following thread:
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=134666&highlight=1977
     
    #1
  2. Argento full

    Argento full New User

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    #2
  3. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    You should add Connors. He was the ATP computer Nr.1 for the year.
     
    vive le beau jeu ! likes this.
    #3
  4. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    If I were being conservative, I'd rate the three as co-#1s for the year. Because each player had put together impressive accomplishments and based on these achievements it's perhaps quite close.
     
    #4
  5. swedechris

    swedechris Banned

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    Borg...I am being partial i admit it, my ancestors were Swedes..
    but the guy owned Vilas.
     
    #5
  6. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    When's its this close, looks breaks the ties. Borg had a way with the camera that made sweat irrelevant. Blondes get extra points
     
    #6
  7. Jim Courier fan

    Jim Courier fan New User

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    Vilas very close to Borg
     
    #7
  8. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    He was indeed:)
     
    #8
  9. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Vilas the Number 1, but Borg the Better player

    I think that being number 1 should strictly be based on achievement. And Vilas' achievements outshone Borg that year. 3 Grand Slam finals - winning 2. (Yes, I know the Australian was light, but still an achievement).

    Borg obviously was the better player - the head to head establishes that, but he just didn't have the results that Vilas had.

    Vilas - 18 Tournament wins that year (16 ATP verified, 2 smaller events). Vilas' greatest win of course was the US Open over Connors. That is an equal win to Borg's winning Wimbledon (also over Connors). Hence looking at the rest of Borg's achievements vs the rest of Vilas' achievements - Vilas wins.

    Have no idea how Connors got to be number 1 on the computer, as much of a Connors fan I am, his tournament wins were nothing like Vilas' during the year.
     
    #9
  10. gj011

    gj011 Banned

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    Connors, he was year end #1.
     
    #10
  11. jean pierre

    jean pierre Semi-Pro

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    The n°1 is the guy who had the better results. Compare :

    Grand Slam :
    Vilas : 2 victories, 1 Final.
    Borg : 1 victory.

    All tournaments :
    Vilas won 16
    Borg won 11

    Vilas won 46 matches consecutively (it's always the record)

    It's absurd to think that Borg could be the n°1, and absurd to say "if he played Roland-Garros", "if he wasn't sick at the US Open" .... It's absurd to say always "if" ! Only the facts are important. Borg beated Vilas 3 times this year, but compare the results ! No doubt possible : Vilas is n°1 this year, and the ATP is ridiculous when he refuses to recognize the mistake and to say that Vilas was n°1.
     
    #11
  12. ferim

    ferim New User

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    1.Vilas
    2.Borg
    3.Connors
     
    #12
  13. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Bogus arguments and it's already been explained why.
     
    #13
  14. jean pierre

    jean pierre Semi-Pro

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    ?????????
    Winning 2 Grand Slams (+ 1 Final), 16 tournaments and 46 matches consecutively are bogus arguments ??????????
     
    #14
  15. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Did you read the other thread?

    Numbers are worthless without context.
     
    #15
  16. flying24

    flying24 Banned

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    I dont think Connors deserved #1 in 1977 at all personally but he still should atleast be included on the poll with Borg and Vilas.
     
    vive le beau jeu ! likes this.
    #16
  17. DMan

    DMan Professional

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    I was a Borg fan, and remember that at the time, I felt Borg deserved #1. But revisiting the year, I would rate Vilas as #1.

    I don't understand how the ATP computer calculated rankings back then. It seemed weird that at the US Open, Vilas was seeded #4, behind Brian Gottfried. Vilas destroyed Gottfried in the French finals, and had an overall better record up to the Open. Vilas also finished #4 in 1976. So it shows you there were some definite quirks about the ATP ranking system back then.

    I do think that based on overall record Vilas gets the nod over Borg, with Cononrs third. If you did count the Colgate Masters for the 1977 season - played in January 1978 - as part of the rankings season, even though Connors won the event, and Borg beat Vilas in the semis, I think Vilas epic RR win over Connors was in a sense a reason for him to clinch #1. The win was on a surface that favored Connors. and while Jimmy beat Bjorn in the finals, it was his only big win of the year. So it really only salvaged the year for Connors, not clinch #1 for Connors. and Borg's failure to win that event is another reason that I think Vilas gets the edge.
     
    #17
  18. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    However Vilas lost to Borg in the semi and thus finished behind Borg at the Masters.

    Borg, I agree, would have had a better case had he won the Masters. But he definitely proved himself to be the better player on carpet - if not at the Masters, then definitely with his sterling fall stretch on the surface.

    Connors deserves more credit for this year. He made the finals of both majors, unlike the other two players. He won the masters - clearly a top-four event. He was also victorious at Dallas, which was still a very respected event. No clay titles though - before the US Open, he lost to Orantes in Indianapolis on har-tru. So mostly carpet/hard - although a near-win in Wimbledon.

    Borg's year is the most versatile, which is why I prefer it to the other three. Clay/Grass/Carpet - success on all three. The problem is that most folks evaluate his year based on contemporary standards, which I think is a huge fallacy and ignores context.
     
    #18
  19. jean pierre

    jean pierre Semi-Pro

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    Context is nothing. Only the facts are important. If we talk every year about the context, we can discuss for the n°1 every year all our life !
     
    #19
  20. 380pistol

    380pistol Banned

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    Vilas, end of story. If Borg played in the French Open things might have been different, but he didn't, so the Bull from Pampas is 1977 Player Of The Year.
     
    #20
  21. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Facts:

    - most dogs are hairy
    - starbucks coffee cups are recyclable
    - i'm typing out this post at work

    How do these facts relate to one another? They don't, aside from the fact I just typed them up in a quasi-random manner.

    Do you think Jan Kodes was a better clay courter than Rod Laver in 1971?
     
    #21
  22. jean pierre

    jean pierre Semi-Pro

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    Kodes won the French Open ! It's absurd to say "if Laver played the French this year, he won" ! Who knows ? So, today, you can say that Federer won a lot of times Wimbledon, but only because Sampras doesn't play anymore : you can say "if Sampras played, he won", but, excuse me, it's absurd.
    And, finally, the question is not : was Kodes a better clay player than Laver in 1971 ? The question is : who won the French in 1971 ? And for 1977, the question is not : who was the best player in 1977 ? But : who has the best results in 1977 ? And it's Vilas. So Vilas is n°1.
     
    #22
  23. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Uh-huh. So Jan Kodes had better results on clay in 1971 because he won a depleted French Open, while Laver won a much deeper event in Rome?

    You need to sit down and think this over a bit.

    The Sampras analogy is funny. Stupid, but funny.

    P.S. Speaking of Jan Kodes - he must have been a much better player than Stan Smith in 1973. I mean, he won Wimbledon, while Stan Smith (who didn't play in it) didn't. Thanks for clearing that up for everyone.

    You're clearly not interested in context, therefore it doesn't matter who plays in an event and who doesn't. It doesn't matter how well attended the event is and whether there are circumstances that prevent players from participating in good faith. Throw all of that out the window. Just go with the bare facts.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2009
    #23
  24. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    And since when an objective ranking cares about context? Ranking only care about those bare facts.

    Rankings don't care about Borg being injured, banned, crippled or blonde. Rankings don't care about Connors being lefty, gay, hairy or bald. Rankings don't care about Vilas being short, long-haired, an awful singer or liking the carrousel.

    Context means nothing. If Borg didn't play the FO, how does tha diminishes Vilas' achievements, ranking-wise?

    Who was the best player that year? probably Borg. Who deserved the #1 the most? Most likely Vilas.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2009
    #24
  25. 380pistol

    380pistol Banned

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    Agreed. As a Sampras fan it would have been 7 straight years at #1 if he didn;t miss Aus and US Open in 1999... but he did!!!!!! Best player Jan 1st, 1999 to Dec 31st, 1999, was Agassi. I'd still favour Pete 1999 over Dre 1999, but the player who had the best year was Agassi.

    Same in 1977. From Jan 1st, 1977 to Dec 31st, 1977, Vilas was the best player. Would I favour Borg over him in a fair one?? Probably. Like I said before if Borg went to RG, thngs may have been different, but he didn't. So 1977 belongs to Vilas.
     
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  26. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Rankings? What rankings? The ATP rankings? Nobody implied the necessity of a formula, nor make reference to an applied one.
     
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  27. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Not the same thing and I've already explained why. Borg had a good reason. Sampras was injured.
     
    #27
  28. mental midget

    mental midget Professional

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    maybe they should start inscribing some choice contextual details beside the winner's name on the trophy. however we will need a bigger trophy, and beyond that, who makes the decision as to which circumstances surrounding the victory are most relevant? factoring in the 'butterfly effect,' this is going to get complicated, gentlemen.
     
    #28
  29. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    We're not debating who the winner of the trophy is. I can't believe I have to explain such obvious things.

    Was my Jan Kodes analogy not sufficient?
     
    #29
  30. mental midget

    mental midget Professional

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    i can't believe you ended a sentence with a preposition! (facepalm!)

    i'm naming my next boat the 'jan kodes analogy.'
     
    #30
  31. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    I believe I just got served.
     
    #31
  32. mental midget

    mental midget Professional

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    i'm sorry, i was behaving like a cornered animal. let's return to the rule of law and not speak of it again.
     
    #32
  33. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Sorry, my slang was "incorrect". I went to the streets and was advised of the proper terminology.

    As for your behaviour - deplorable.
     
    #33
  34. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

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    I am going to remake this poll with Connors included as it just makes no sense to not have him atleast as an option.
     
    #34
  35. 380pistol

    380pistol Banned

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    Whatever the reason Vilas 1977 trumped Borg's. It has nothing to do with who's a better player, who would have done what, or if things would have been different. From January 1st, 1977 to December 31st, 1977 nobody put up better #'s than Vilas.

    Like I said I'd probably take Borg 1977 over Vilas 1977 in a fair one. But overall those 365 days, no one did it better than Vilas. Borg may not have had the chance to, granted, but Vilas did it.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2009
    #35
  36. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Disagree, but Vilas had a fantastic year for sure.
     
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  37. 380pistol

    380pistol Banned

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    Like your Koodes-Smith 1973 debate. Kodes was better than Smith at SW19 based on the fact he's better than someone who didn't show up. Champ > DNP everytime. Doesn't mean he's above Smith but he produced a better result.

    1999 US Open: Pioline SF > Pete's DNP. Does that mean Pioline is above Pete?? But his result was better. Vilas' end result were better than Borg's that year. Not saying he's better or beats Borg. POY is who does the best over those 365 days, and in 1977 it was Vilas.
     
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  38. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    A better result at a depleted tournament? It's silly logic. Do you even know why Smith didn't show up? You know, context? How much weight do you give to Johan Kriek's Australians?

    I've already explained this. Sampras was injured. When you're injured, you're not fit to play and therefore you're not better. Injuries are part of the game.

    Borg was not injured and was better than Vilas. And results show it. You're giving the French Open undeserved weight based on a contemporary perception of its importance.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2009
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  39. 380pistol

    380pistol Banned

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    Stan Smith didn't show up out of protest. So how do you explain not showing up is better than a title?? Yes the tournament may have been depleted, and I clearly said if Borg had gone to RG, things may have been different, But if my mother was my aunt, my sister would be my cousins.

    Borg was better than Vilas, I also said I'd take Borg 1977 over Vilas 1977 in a fair one did I not??? But over those 365 days, Borg's results were not superior to Vilas. I mean are you conna tell me the Boxer Of The Year 1968 was Muhammed Ali?? Sure as hell wasn't from jail. If he was free, he probably would have been but he wasn't. Aren't we giving the champ undesreved wight seeing how they never beat the champ, he was stripped??

    There's a difference between being "the best" and being "player of the year".
     
    #39
  40. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Reality of the times. Smith protested and so did other players.

    Borg's case is even more understandable. He didn't protest. He just chose WTT over RG. A reasonable choice done by others.

    I don't know enough about Ali's year, but I can see from Borg's year that he was 22-0 on red clay, including two wins over Vilas, which leads me to conclude that he was superior to Vilas on that surface.

    I don't see how Vilas is either.
     
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  41. 380pistol

    380pistol Banned

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    Again your missing the point. I don't begrudge Borg for choosing WTT over the ATP, and I never once said Borg would not have. The fact is he didn't not that he couldn't. Ali could have beaten any boxer in in 1968, he was the best. But Boxer/Player Of The Year means going out and doing it. Borg didn't. Not saying he couldn't, he just didn't, for whatever reason.
     
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  42. Tennisfan!

    Tennisfan! Rookie

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    vilas 10 char
     
    #42
  43. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Wow, I didn't know Connors was gay and bald. Thanks!
     
    #43
  44. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    CyBorg, I'm quoting these posts of yours from another thread because they've highlighted some key differences between the early Open Era and today. Just as an amateur student of history (one of my favorite subjects), there are a few things that you're doing which I really appreciate: 1) Context is everything; 2) don't judge the past by today's standards; 3) don't reduce everything to numbers.

    Since the tour has become standardized, everything now revolves around major counts. With Federer and Sampras so close to each other in their major titles, there's even more emphasis on it (there seems to be a hot fever around anything to do with Federer, Sampras, and major counts). And going forward, so long as the tour remains as it is today, I see no problem with the emphasis on majors. Going forward. But judging 1971 or 1977, or any other past year, you have no choice but to leave aside our thinking today and ask what people were thinking then. I've read your posts on 1977 before but I'm just beginning to understand your emphasis on that point.

    Often I see the whole question of 1977 reduced to the simple argument that Borg did not show up, while Vilas did. Usually that refers to the French Open. And today that makes sense: if you miss RG today, you've missed the premier claycourt event of the year, no questions asked, nothing more to be said. In essence you've avoided the biggest test.

    I know there's a case to be made that the Masters series events are harder to win; but seriously, missing RG is too much; if you duck a major today, or can't make it because of injury, you're missing too much.

    Yet you point out that Vilas avoided non-clay events in 1977, which immediately puts a twist on the argument that Vilas "showed up" and proved himself #1 while Borg "did not show up" and avoided the big competition.

    (I think you've said before that Vilas also avoided Borg when he could during that season? or during his record streak?)

    This is not to say that Borg is #1 for the year. At the moment actually, without carefully studying the year, I'd tend to lean toward co-#1's. I'm not sure why polls never include that option. We have a bit of a "king of the hill" mentality (a GOAT mentality; every post seems to be a defense of a particular player and nothing more; very few posters seem interested in any other issues, though at least this Former Players forum has a greater share of the interesting posters). But if we drop the need to name one player as king over the roost, it's possible to think of 1977 as a year in which all the top players were missing something important in their accomplishments, which means that they might have to share the POY honors.

    1977 aside, I appreciate a lot of what you're emphasizing. Like you I'm a Borg fan, but in everything I've studied I've always been taught that context is everything, that nothing can be boiled down to numbers, and that you can't do history by judging the past through today's lenses. Those are just attitudes I've held about far more important things than tennis and I'm glad to run across someone who operates the same way.

    But I'm not optimistic about how 1977 will be studied. Now that the tour is standardized a lot of the early Open Era may be forgotten -- whatever part does not resemble today's.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2009
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  45. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    *sigh* Borg went out and "did it" at the WTT. Geez.
     
    #45
  46. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Excellent post and the insight is much appreciated.

    I'm actually very open to regarding these guys (perhaps even with Connors) as co-#1s. All three have some evident gaps to their record in 1977.
     
    #46
  47. thalivest

    thalivest Banned

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    Tennis was completely differenct back even in the 70s. The 3 slams were not always the 4 biggest events, especialy the Australian and French Opens (well the Australian nearly every year).
     
    #47
  48. 380pistol

    380pistol Banned

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    This is first real debateable point you've made to me. This is something I can see. Now the question beomes.... is how much wieght is given to WTT tournaments, and how much to ATP?? Which holds more weight??

    Also did Borg do the equivalent in WTT that he would have needed to do to have done on the ATP to be player of the year?? Everybody, I summize, will have their own take on what's what.
     
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  49. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    I can tell you which one payed better. WTT was obviously respected and important at the time. And RG was evidently less important as a result.

    Also why ignore the Monte Carlo and Nice results?
     
    #49
  50. 380pistol

    380pistol Banned

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    I didn't ignore them. Vilas put up some absolutely disgusting #'s in 1977. Now like I've said time and time again, which you seem to ignore, if Borg hadn't chosen WTT, things quite possibly would have been different. You keep harping on with Borg this, and Borg that, why?? How many times have I said I would more than likely take Borg 1977 over Vlas 1977 in fair one. Do you what that means???

    As to who had the better year in 1977, the stats show Vilas. the results show Vilas. Now if Borg's accomplishments on the WTT match up or superceed Vilas' on the ATP, that I can consider it. If Vilas ATP #'s (or ATP in general) don't stack up, all fall short to what the WTT, I would definitely consider that.

    That's why I said the "WTT vs ATP" point was something that holds weight and needs to be looked at. But then again too many people will have too many discrepancies with their views. You say this, but somebody will probaly say that. That's why I said that point you made needs be looked at.
     
    #50

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