Playing majors in 4 decades

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by DBH, Jan 20, 2010.

  1. DBH

    DBH New User

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    Recently Fabrice Santoro has become the first man in the Open Era to play in major tournaments (i.e., traditional Grand Slam events) in four different decades (1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s for Santoro). Of course, Navratilova did the same (1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s) in women's majors.

    But there are at least a couple others who accomplished this feat, but with some appearances coming before the Open Era.

    Here are two that I found:

    Robert (Bob) Howe (1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s) -- played 1949 AO; also 1971 Wimbledon

    Torben Ulrich (1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s) -- played 1948 RG and W; also 1974 USO

    There were some also interesting near misses:

    Pancho Gonzales and Pancho Segura each played majors in the 1940s, 1960s, and 1970s, but were banned from majors in the 1950s because they turned pro. Segura actually played majors from 1941 to 1970, and Segura and Gonzales both turned pro after the 1949 Forest Hills, so they just missed the 1950s.

    The amazing Frank Parker played in major events from 1933 to 1968, but he missed the 1950s by being a pro. He also turned pro after the 1949 Forest Hills.

    Finally, two Aussies, Frank Sedgman and Mervyn Rose, played majors in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1970s, but missed the 1960s. Interestingly, they would have been eligible for majors in 1968 and 1969 after the Open era began, but apparently didn't play any majors in those years.

    Any comments or additions to this list?

    DBH
     
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  2. pennc94

    pennc94 Semi-Pro

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    All depends on how you define a decade.

    Technically, decades are X1 through X0 (i.e. 1971 - 1980) since no year 0. That would put Fabrice in 3 decades. Nevertheless, that is 22 years of playing majors - very impressive. Connors also played majors in 22 years. If you go by the technical decade, Connors also played in 4 decades (1970, 1971-1980, 1981-1989 he did not play any in 1990, and then 1991-1992).
     
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  3. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Rosewall not only played, but won majors in decades two apart:

    Australian and French Championships 1953, 1955, 1971, 1972
    US Championships 1956, 1970

    . . . and of course you could throw in French Champioships 15 years apart: 1953 and 1968.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2010
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  4. DrewRafter8

    DrewRafter8 Professional

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    I can't remember who was commenting on this on my DirecTV channels that I was watching when they reported his match score. The commentator was giving Santoro crap for retiring multiple times. I think it was a great idea for him to do this. It was a great accomplishment for him. It's not like the guy can rest his laurels on a Grand Slam title or anything.
     
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  5. newmark401

    newmark401 Professional

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    Santoro won the Australian Open men's doubles title twice with Michaël Llodra, in 2003 and 2004, and they were runners-up there in 2003 and at Wimbledon in 2006. In 2004, Santoro also reached the French Open men's doubles final with Nenad Zimonjić.

    In 2005, Santoro and Daniela Hantuchová won the mixed doubles title at the French Open. He will probably be remembered more for his success in doubles than in singles.
     
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  6. newmark401

    newmark401 Professional

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    Excluding the war years 1915-18, Arthur Wentworth Gore played at Wimbledon every year from 1888 through to 1927. That's 25 Wimbledons across four decades. Not bad.

    (A.W. Gore won the singles title at Wimbledon in 1901, 1908 and 1909, and the doubles in 1909, too, with Herbert Roper Barrett.)
     
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  7. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    ^^^He should get high marks for perseverance.
     
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  8. armsty

    armsty Hall of Fame

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    Tomic - 16 in 2009
    ........ - 17 in 2010
    ........ - 27 in 2020
    ........ - 37 in 2030

    Could happen...

    Laura Robson's probably the first girl that spings to mind.
     
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  9. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Very good point.
    Santoro had a very impressive duration for a modern player and its very interesting that it can be classified as 4 decades but as is normally the case with most records that are achieved today, they dont mention the caveots that disclude many of the past greats, ie the pro/amateur separations.

    Bottom line, what is more impressive is number of years competing at the top level, total matches and championships won. Players like Connors, Sequra, Gonzales, Rosewall, Laver, ... far exceed Santoro when these comparisons are considered.
     
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  10. Bossy

    Bossy New User

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    Japanese Kimiko Date did it recently
     
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  11. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    I think, Borotra played doubles at Wim up to the early 1960s, that would be a span of 5 decades, beginning in the early 20s.
     
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  12. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Vive Les Quatre Mousquetaires! Really ?! Wow! That is impressive.
     
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  13. Bossy

    Bossy New User

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    [​IMG]
     
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