Please stop equating 1960s tournaments with Open Era majors

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by John123, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. John123

    John123 Rookie

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    When people want to argue for the greatness of present players like Federer or Sampras, they sometimes point to total victories of major tournaments (Wimbledon, FO, USO, AO), where Federer (16) and Sampras (14) top the list. This is an absurd argument, because those specific four tournaments didn’t always mean what they do today, for reasons that vary by era. To whatever degree that list matters, it matters only from the mid-1980s onward and can’t be used to compare recent players to those of earlier eras.

    Similarly, when people want to argue for the greatness of past players like Laver or Rosewall, they sometimes point to total victories of the top tournaments from the professional tour of the 1960s. With all due respect, I believe that this too is completely wrong. Pro majors were different from Open majors, and they should not be treated the same way.

    The three big differences between pro and Open majors are these:

    1. From 1963-1967, all pro majors were played on fast surfaces.

    2. Pro majors had fields of anywhere from 8 to 14 players, as opposed to 128 players.

    3. Amateurs, who were among the world’s best players, could not compete in pro majors.


    These things made it easier to win pro majors in bunches, which aided Laver and Rosewall in winning so many of them.

    To be clear: You can only play who’s in front of you, and you can only play on the surfaces that are being used. It’s not Laver’s fault that things were like this in the mid-1960s. Also, Point #3 shouldn’t be overstated. The pro majors of the mid-1960s typically included 4 out of the 5 best players in the world, with only Roy Emerson missing. Emerson certainly wasn’t as good as Laver or Rosewall, though his absence did matter, as did the absence of other amateurs who were among the top 10 or top 15 players in the world.

    To illustrate what pro majors were like, here’s an accounting of Laver’s major wins in 1967. I've supplied rough, theoretical 2011 equivalents of the opponents if Djokovic (the current #1) were substituted for Laver:

    1. US Pro (field of 14): Laver beat Olmedo, Ayala, Stolle, and Gimeno
    2011 equivalent: if Djokovic beat Seppi, Chela, Monfils, and Murray

    2. Wimbledon Pro (field of eight): Laver beat Stolle, Gimeno, and Rosewall
    2011 equivalent: if Djokovic beat Monfils, Murray, and Nadal

    3. French Pro (field of 12): Laver beat MacKay, Stolle, and Gimeno
    2011 equivalent: if Djokovic beat Malisse, Monfils, and Murray

    4. Wembley Pro (field of 12): Laver beat MacKay, Davidson, and Rosewall
    2011 equivalent: if Djokovic beat Malisse, Almagro, and Nadal



    Bottom Line

    Laver’s achievement in sweeping those four tournaments in 1967 was very impressive and significant, just as it would be very impressive and significant if Djokovic were to beat the equivalent players from 2011 in four important tournaments (two on grass and two on a fast indoor surface, with fields of 8 to 14 players) in a calendar year.

    But that achievement was not nearly as impressive or significant as Laver’s achievement in 1969 of winning the Grand Slam.

    The pro tour of the 1960s was terrific, and its best players were as great as those of any other era. But the right way to assess those players is not to count up majors from that era as if they were the same as majors of other eras. The 1960s majors were less difficult to sweep than Open majors from the mid-1980s to the present.

    Pro majors ≠ Open majors
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2011
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  2. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Really? What was the surface at Wembley? Was it a carpet or a canvas laid down? (Just asking.)
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2011
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  3. John123

    John123 Rookie

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    Indoor wood, like the French Pro of the mid-1960s.
     
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  4. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    You may be correct but it's all debatable. Let's look at the first Open Era Open tournaments. The first Open era tournament was won by Ken Rosewall over Rod Laver. The first French Open was won by Ken Rosewall over Rod Laver. The first Wimbledon was won by Rod Laver over Tony Roche and Roche was a Pro. The first US Open was won by Arthur Ashe (technically an amateur) over Tom Okker. The first Australian Open was won by Rod Laver over Andres Gimeno, both pros. The second French Open was won by Rod Laver over Ken Rosewall, both pros. The second Wimbledon was won by Rod Laver over John Newcombe, both pros in 1968 although Newk (and Roche too) were amateurs in 1967. The second US Open was won by Laver over Tony Roche.

    In 1970 Rosewall won the US Open over Tony Roche and was in the finals of Wimbledon. He also won the Australian in 1971 and 1972 over Ashe and Anderson respectively. There were also a number of boycotts in which Laver, Rosewall and company did not play the majors.

    Gimeno won the French Open in 1972 in a relatively weak field. But Kodes won the French in 1970 and 1971. It's debatable whether Kodes would have won the French if Laver and Rosewall were in the tournament. Considering that Laver beat Kodes easily in the Italian Open final in 1971 I would tend to think that Laver or Rosewall would have been favored over Kodes even though Kodes was an excellent clay court player.

    As you can see by the results, the pros did quite well in the majors. Actually the Pros from the 1960's dominated the early majors. They may as well been the Old Pro Majors considering the results. This happened regularly in those days.

    A small field with greats I think would be preferable to a large field with weaker players. Think of it this way, the YEC has been ranked as about equivalent to majors in the past and clearly above the Australian for some years. The WCT championship was clearly considered a major although not a classic major. It only had an eight man field. Arthur Ashe was ranked number one in 1975 primarily on his Wimbledon win and his WCT win.

    You have a point John123 but imagine a field in the 1950's with Hoad, Rosewall, Sedgman, Segura, Trabert and Gonzalez. All at or near their primes. Might be a small field, but it definitely is an awesome tournament.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2011
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  5. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    The pro majors consist only 8 to 14 players vs. to today's 128 is a huge difference. Even today's smallest event(atp 250) consists of at least 32 players. I'm curious to know how many countries participated in the pro majors. The pro major event can only be use against Laver's era. B/c the way i see it is...if there's a bigger pool and more matches to play, the greater chance of getting eliminated. When you have 128 players, the best players and the one who brings their A game will march into deeper round. There's no fluke performance that a player can sneak in deep. You either a better player AND can't have a bad week. As appose to 8/14 players, suppose 6 of the players don't showed up or had a bad week, that would makes it easier for Laver. Sure it would.

    And while we can't equate the 60s tournaments today's slam event, but on average, the tournament today has much more weight than in the 60s.
     
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  6. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    So TMF, how do you rank the YEC currently?

    Was the 1975 Australian Open more important or the 1975 WCT championship at that time?

    I'm not going to point the direction in any way but to point out there are debatable points either way.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2011
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  7. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhh! (The wrong answer buzzer).

    Sorry, but your analysis doesn't withstand scrutiny. I agree that pro events of the 60's aren't equivalent to majors. Pro events with 8-16 players were like playing a major starting in the round of 16 or quarter finals with only seeded players. No easy rounds with qualifiers and low ranked wannabees. When players like Gonzales, Rosewall and Laver dominated the pro tour, they dominated 16 of the best players in the world.
     
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  8. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    IMO, the WCT finals of the early 70's might have been the most important tournament in the of the year.
     
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  9. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    The YEC is still below the slam event b/c you must win 7 matches and it's a 5 setters. YEC only 8 players and I know what you are trying to say. But the 8 players that are selected is base on their performance throughout the year. Which means the best players in the world competiting.

    I don't know about the 1975 AO. Did all the best players in the world competiting? Or were some just didn't take it seriously?
     
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  10. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    The WCT for years was considered one of the elite events and clearly in 1975 it was more prestigious than the Australian. For all intents and purposes it was really a major.

    The Masters for much of the 1970's was also an elite event that the top players didn't want to skip.

    My point is that size of the draw doesn't not necessarily equal prestige.
    Here's a video of the 1975 WCT and notice at around the 4:30 mark Heston says the WCT Championship is this years first major. It had great prestige at the time.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5sBBFQfcNU
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2011
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  11. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    John123 raises some excellent points but I just wanted to write that size of draw doesn't necessary equal prestige and strength of draw. We could have an eight man tournament today with Nadal, Djokovic, Federer, Murray, Tsonga, Ferrer and some others and it would considered terrific. We could have a 128 man tournament without the aboved mentioned and it would be awful. Is the 1973 Wimbledon that Jan Kodes won really that impressive? It's a great accomplishment but with the player boycott it really wasn't as great as in the past years.

    John Newcombe in 1974 was considered number one by perhaps most for the first half of the year. Why? The reason was that he won the WCT Championship and dominated the WCT tour. Jimmy Connors won the Australian and yet was not considered at that point to have as good a year as Newcombe. That changed later of course as Connors won Wimbledon and the US Open.

    So is it so unreasonable that the old Pro Tour majors may be considered very strong and prestigious? Can we so casually say these tournaments aren't considered even close to majors?
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2011
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  12. World Beater

    World Beater Hall of Fame

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    question: what did you need to do in order to gain entrance into the grand slam tournies of the 60's? Did you have to establish yourself in the qualies, challengers, futures, satillites? How did it work...was the overall competitve structure as hierarchial and large as today?
     
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  13. John123

    John123 Rookie

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    Pc1 and Limpinhitter:

    There's no question that the pro majors were significant tournaments, or that the pros were better than the amateurs. There's also no question that it was a very impressive feat for Laver to sweep those tournaments in 1967. The 1950s and 1960s produced fantastic tennis: I view Laver and Pancho as two of the greatest three players of the past 80 years.

    But I started this thread to disagree with what I see a lot in this forum, which is the claim that pro majors were basically like starting a modern Slam in the quarters, with the top eight players. They most certainly were not like that. Just look at Laver's draws in 1967: he won 13 total matches to sweep the pro majors, and 5 of those matches were against guys who definitely weren't top-10 players in the world (most not even close), with another 3 matches against a guy who wasn't in the top 5. Of the five matches he did play against the best competition, three were against Gimeno, who is an analogue to Andy Murray: excellent, but never a guy who really challenged for #1 or won majors (excepting the 1972 FO over Proisy).

    Still, it's a great feat. But not that great. Rosewall basically duplicated it in 1963, and Pancho would have done the same in the mid-1950s if the French Pro had been played on indoor wood (or maybe just played at all) then. It's no stretch to imagine Federer, Nadal, or Djokovic doing something like that at their respective peaks.

    What no one else did, by contrast, is win the Grand Slam like Laver did in 1969. That was a much, much more important and difficult accomplishment.
     
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  14. John123

    John123 Rookie

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    TMF:

    Let's suppose you like Roger Federer and think he's really great. You'd be right -- he is really great -- and it would be ignorant for anyone to say otherwise.

    Rod Laver was the Federer of his day. If you'd rooted for him during his era, then you'd probably feel the same way about him that you do about Federer. And that's how those who support him in this forum feel: they like him and think he's really great. And they're right -- he is really great -- and it would be ignorant for anyone to say otherwise.

    No one needs to make arguments against Laver in order to argue how great Federer is. It is indisputable how great Federer is. And no one needs to make arguments against Federer to argue how great Laver is (a point that I wish some others here would take to heart). It is indisputable how great Laver is.

    Really, the two have nothing to do with each other. Sure, I'm the worst person to make this point because I just put together a GOAT list that ranked them, but the point is still true. The best approach is probably just to say that they (along with Bill Tilden and Laurie Doherty, but no one else) were the greatest of their own times and as great as anyone from any other time.
     
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  15. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    But, it isn't just what Laver did that made him so great. It's the way he did it. Here is part of one of my posts from the "greatest backhand" thread that I think will explain what I'm talking about. As you read this, remember that Laver used a Dunlop Maxply Fort.

     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2011
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  16. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    You aren't giving Barry MacKay enough credit.

    I like your analysis. Still, winning a 3 round tournament filled with guys like Nadal, Murray, Monfils, etc. is pretty impressive. I think in 90's and earlier when early round upsets were more common, playing a 128 draw was tougher, but these days with 32 seeds and everyone playing similar games on surfaces that are closer to medium in speed, the early rounds really are rarely a challenge.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2011
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  17. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Agreed. Federer is great. Laver was great. Every player has weaknesses and we don't have to lower another player to make another player look better. Both are fantastic.
     
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  18. John123

    John123 Rookie

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    I was hoping someone would bring this up! My reason is that in 1967, Barry was far past his prime.

    Thanks!

    No doubt.

    Maybe, maybe not. Nadal has had some close calls in early rounds (Kendrick at Wimbledon, Isner at the French), and I think Federer beat Tipsarevic 10-8 in the fifth set in the 3rd round of the Australian Open a few years ago. This is just off the top of my head. I think we should give the top guys of today some credit for how rarely they lose early.
     
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  19. Carsomyr

    Carsomyr Hall of Fame

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    Really? Didn't Nadal just get taken to five sets in the first round at the French? Federer taken to five sets in the first round of Wimbledon the previous year? Nadal taken to five in both the second and third rounds of the same tournament? And as the OP pointed out, Federer's five-setter in the third of the 2008 Australian Open? His five-setter in the fourth round during his 2009 French title run? Even in his peak year of 2006, getting taken to five by Haas again in the fourth round?
     
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  20. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Some people don't watch tennis these days.

    I've said it before...if there's more athletes and countries competing on the tour, it's natural to have more quality players players in the draw. Of all the 128 best players made the slam draw, you can bet there's many more talented players that were left out. And these left out players could have easily qualify to play the slam from the previous era.

    Just think of it..the more players trying to improve and fighting for the spot on the tour, the more difficult for a tennis player to make a living on the tour.

    I heard that the average career for an NBA player's only lasted < 5 yrs. Why is that? Too many players around the world competing for the position.
     
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  21. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    WCT Finals and Masters

    I think the post about these two tournaments is apt. THere is a number of times in the 1970's I have seen the WCT finals tournament mentioned as a major. Players certainly viewed it as such at the time. This continued into the early 80's. It was a hotly contested tournament where the best of the best played. It had far fewer than 128 players (16 players). But that didn't detract at all from the achievement. Similarly the Masters - with 8 players. Players all wanted to win this. Discussions about who was number 1 for the year sometimes balanced on the outcome of this tournament.
     
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  22. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    I said rarely a challenge, there are exceptions. (Fourth round would be round of 16 however - so wouldn't apply as an early round, even 3rd round, you would expect a player ranked 32 to 17, so the same situation as now) However, on those days when the top player was playing at a level where they were challenged by a lower ranked player, what if they were playing the 17th best player instead of someone ranked far lower? Also, expecially on faster courts there were a lot more guys like Kendrick and Isner who on a good day could beat anyone with their serve, so there would be a lot more of that type of matches that could be upsets.

    Edit:
    Of course one reason for not as many upsets is that the guys take it much more seriously and aren't likely to be partying hard the night before. (Yeah, Lendl took all the fun out of the game.)
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011
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  23. ClarkC

    ClarkC Hall of Fame

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    I would rather play a 3-4 round Wimbledon than to run into a John Isner in the round of 32 and risk being beaten by a player who is well suited to that surface, regardless of his ranking.

    I would rather play a 3-4 round French Open than to run a gauntlet of players who grew up on red clay, even if the first few of them are lower ranked, at least in part because it wears you down to play 7 such matches.

    I put Laver up there with the best of all time, but counting up his pro championships and adding them to his major titles is not how I evaluate him. It is apples vs. oranges.
     
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  24. egn

    egn Hall of Fame

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    I'd agree as has been stated in the past in the 60s, 70s and early 80s a tally count of majors wasn't really ever a huge deal. As in Australia was skipped a lot, France for a while as well. Wimbledon and US were the only two that I could say for all of the the open era were steadily played with exception to Wimbledon 73. I would go as to argue in the mid 80s to late 80s players even valued winning a complete set maybe a bit more. Lendl skipped his best major and even stopped focusing on it for the later part of his career in a never ending quest to win a wimbledon. The tally wasn't as important as the prestige of having won wimbledon. Mind you back then he didn't even seem to care so much about Australia as up until probably the start of the 90s the three biggest tournaments in the world were Wimbeldon, US and French. Australia was still just starting to catch on.

    Here is where I agree and disagree. Where I will agree with you winning a pro major is not the same as winning an open era major at the time I feel the amateur majors were much further off. Most of the amateur majors were played on pretty fast surfaces, sure Aussie grass was a bit slower than wimbledon but it still was a quick surface and with only one being played on clay that's still not a wide variety. I'm going to make my case against point 3 cause I agree with 2 in a second..

    My whole disagreement with this is when open era came about it was the pros who dominated until the young guys matured. The amateurs were very good players, but the cream of the crop were low top 10 at best with exceptions to Newk and Emerson, Newk was probably a top 5 at his best and Emerson as well. Though I'm shaky no Emerson as when the open era came around he vanished. The only big time amateurs who had real success in the open era was Newk and Roche to an extent. In the early years of the open era, Laver, Rosewall, Gimeno. I would say Roche and Newk had some good success but none of the amateurs ever were able to really control the tour with the exception to Ashe (who played very little amateur tennis and hit is prime in the open era) same goes Stan Smith. Soon enough younger new guys took over like Ashe, Smith, Nastase, Kodes leading into then Borg, Connors and Mac.

    This is where again I am sorry I have to greatly disagree and this where your logic now is confusing me. Seppi in the 1950s would stand no chance at winning any major pro or amateur, yet you rank Olmedo to his level. You would argue than in 1959 Olmedo would be in contention for the top as you said above top amateurs were top players. Seppi was a player who never even made it into the top 25 let alone top 10. Olmedo in 1967 is the equivalent to say Hewitt but not Seppi. Sure I'll be first to say amateur majors had less competition than pro majors, but anyone who won multiple of either majors in a single year was top 10 for that season and if you won two I'd make a case for you being top 5. A guy who had numerous success on the pro tour and beat a couple of the big guys. He was by no means a seppi. He was easily a top 5 player from 58-62 and then a steady top 20 guy post that. Sounds more like a Hewitt, Nalbandian, Davydenko type than a Seppi.

    Ayala is Chela, but then this just makes your argument seem even more stange. You argue that these guys are top players than make them into nothings. Ayala won 2 French Championships. Ayala is easily more of the Ferrer, Corretja, Robredo, Costa type than the Chela type.

    I can agree with almost everyone else though Stole might be a bit underrated and Mackay might be a bit overrated...


    I can agree with you there, but at the same time when equating important tournaments won pro majors should tally. Weigh them less figure out something, which is why in the earlier years I go by dominace of the tour, ranking, etc. However I would say Open majors > Pro Majors > Amateur majors. There is a reason there are tons of guy who won Amateur majors and then went pro and could never grab a pro major, it was still a level above that field at the moment. As you above compared some guys who won amateur majors to Seppi, Monfils and Chela shows that at that point in time the pro majors were truly the greater accomplishment. Yes they are not the same as the open era majors, but they were the best in their time.


    Besides even when looking at open era majors a major nowdays can be looked upon as easier than won in the mid 80s to mid 90s. Just think about wimbledon before they starting seeding the top 32. Imagine a wimbledon draw this year that just went

    R1: Del Potro
    R2: Isner
    R3: Llodra
    R4: Tsonga
    QF: Roddick
    SF: Murray/Fed
    F: Nadal/Djok

    That is potentially the draw a player could have faced if they did not seed the top 32 players..and only the top 16...I feel the early rounds of majors have become a bit of a snoozish because you get all the top guys into a good rhythm before they have to play each other. However if it's your first match of the year at wimbledon and you say are ranked 8 and draw the ranked 17 guy who just missed being seeded, yea the later rounds might *lack depth* but by the QFs you'll probably still wind up with most of the top 10 and two or three upsets. However top players would be more challenged.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2011
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  25. John123

    John123 Rookie

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    Completely agreed. No doubt.


    Once again, there is no disagreement here whatsoever. We're on the same page.


    I'm very glad you brought this up. I wanted to explain it in my original post, but it was a long post already, so I waited to see if anyone would ask.

    I chose analogues based solely on where I estimated each player would be in the respective world rankings of his day. Seppi is ranked #37 now, and I figured that was about right for an old Olmedo. I actually considered using Hewitt as you suggested because his career was a much better fit; but Hewitt's current ranking is #174, so I didn't think that was fair to Olmedo. Of course you're right that Olmedo was a much greater player over the course of his career than Seppi -- no comparison at all. But all I meant was to describe where Olmedo and the others ranked in 1967.


    I know -- see my last comment. I'm talking about Ayala's level of play in 1967 only.


    Someone else here said that I underrated MacKay, so you can never please everyone! But I think we're basically in agreement on everything. I should have explained my approach in the original post.


    Exactly.


    Once again, this is precisely what I think.


    Yes.
     
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  26. egn

    egn Hall of Fame

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    Okay I can see where you are coming from with that. However I would always feel that say a Hewitt/Nalbandian/Davydenko type older ranked 37 is better than a Seppi at 37. Sure both are 37 but the first group has shown the ability to play at the highest level and as Goran did in 2001 although a fluke but similar to Safin 08, Hewitt 09, Sampras 02, Connors and McEnroe late career US Open runs showed that they can still relive greatness. I agree though in 1967 Olmedo was a top 20 players and not a top 5.
     
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  27. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    I think I agree with the message here. We have to be careful assigning numbers too liberally.

    I think that those pro majors do matter. A lot. And knowing who won and which ones is important. But counting them up and comparing those totals with those of the present eras is no doubt misleading.

    However these very results, the pro majors, are still useful in order to illustrate the extent to which some players dominated their respective tours. For example, we know from looking at the results of the majors in 1967 (whatever they may be) that Rod Laver ruled tennis.

    I would also like to remind that the so-called 'pro majors' were not always the same three or four events from year to year in the 1960s. Yes, typically we would look at the US Pro, Wembley and French Pro, but participation in these events did vary depending on the year. Although less so than in the 1950s.
     
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  28. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    This is a good post as well. The so called "grand slam" majors of the open era were also not always the most important tournaments. At least until the mid-1980s or so. Definitely until the standardized tours of 1990 and beyond.
     
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  29. Nadal_Power

    Nadal_Power Semi-Pro

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    Just read this in other big tennis forum.. can someone confirm we actually didn't have Pro Majors before 1968?

     
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  30. Terre Battu

    Terre Battu Rookie

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    THANK YOU!!!
     
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  31. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    well said.Those poster knows nothing...Olmedo a Seppi? he should learn a bit before posting...Ayala a Monfils,Chela or Almagro? Knows nothing about tennis.
     
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  32. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Typical Lavertard respond, especially when this place happened to be a pro-laver forum.

    It's like being in a Mercedes forum when one try to argue BMW > Mercedes. You can't win !
     
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  33. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    The Pro Slams from the 50s and 60s should just count instead as those are were the best fields and best players were, not the amateur slams. Of course even that is somewhat unfair to those players as there was no Australian Pro.
     
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  34. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    And that brings up a difficult question: what if the pro majors were more difficult to win than the amateur majors? What if we don't even go that far, and we just say, for the sake of argument, that the pro majors and amateur majors were comparable in difficulty.

    They why would we count the amateur majors among a player's "biggest" titles (for example, Laver's 1962 Australian title), and not count his pro majors?

    I agree with you and John123 that a pro major, and an amateur major, are not the same as an Open Era major. But why count the amateur majors and not the pro, especially if the pro events had the best players in the world?
     
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  35. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I never mentioned Laver.I just think it is pathetic to compare Ayala to somebody called Chela or Almagro, or, even worse, Olmedo to " Seppi"...Would you like to compare Federer to John Douglas or Djokovic to Herbie Fitzgibbon? Douglas and Fitzgibbon being the Seppis , Chelas or Almagros of the era.
     
    #35
  36. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    BTW, all Lavertards know that Alex Olmedo was one of the only 2 players to beat Laver at a W final, that was in laver´s first ever slam final, back in 1959 (Neale Fraser beat Laver again in 1960).
     
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  37. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    I didn't say you mention Laver. All I'm saying is your typical response is like a lavertard.

    I don't expect John123 get much support in here. Just like a BMW fan would get much support in a Mercedes' forum. Capiche ?
     
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  38. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    In TMF's sad and truly pathetic World tennis did not even exist until his god Federer won his first slam. He probably jerks off to Federer photos every morning and night. His whole sad excuse of a life revolves around Federer, who does not even know he exists (and would file a restraining order against his stalker if he ever did). Truly sad.
     
    #38
  39. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    You are right.Because BMW is for newcomers and Mercedes for the well stablished people ( who break off their asses laughing at the pathetic attempts of new rich proving to be in their same class)
     
    #39
  40. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    So true...so cruel.Don´t be so harsh on TMF.We need him, he is not such a jerk like ABMK,Fedrulz,Aphex or Drakulie...
     
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  41. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I think you better think twice to make those absurd comparatives.Olmedo vs Seppi is the same as comparing Safin vs John Douglas ( a 1960´s journeyman)
     
    #41
  42. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    So did the Pro players of the 50's and 60's do nothing?

    Yes the Pro slams can't be equated with the Open era slams. However, it is pretty much universally agreed that the Pro's were better players than the amateurs.

    So if we care at all about tennis history - we want it to be accurate. Open era Grand Slam's didn't exist before 1968. So what do we say to that. Nothing that happened before 1968 was important in tennis? Or that the pre-1968 players weren't good players? Obviously neither of those. So how do we assess the best players in the world of the 1950's and 1960's? The only way we can is with the tournaments (and perhaps the head to head tours) that they played. The top tournaments that they played were the Pro. Slams - so we can discount those. And they have to be rated than the amateur slams at the same time. Almost everyone believes that Rosewall was number 1 for 1962 not Rod Laver. So if Pro. Slams rated over Amateur slams - then they were the highest rated events at the time. Hence, unless you feel that tennis should be totally discounted before 1968 - then you have to rate the Pro. Slams. There was no other standard to measure by at the time.

    A very significant event was Laver's Open era slam of 1969. That showed that the best Pro was also the best Open era player.

    Do we really think that Laver or Rosewall wouldn't have won most of the Grand Slam titles from 1963 to 1968 Australian - if tennis had gone open in 1961 (which it very nearly did)? If we do - then doesn't it just make sense to rate their top titles?
     
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  43. ttwarrior1

    ttwarrior1 Professional

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    big deal, if laver had more matches to play he would of just beat them as well
     
    #43
  44. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    "The top tournaments that they played were the Pro Slams."
    Unfortunately, this was not always true. In fact, between 1952 and 1962 the so-called US Pro at Cleveland was not officially recognized by the USPLTA as an official championship. The 1951 US Pro, definitely a pro major, was held at Forest Hills, and lost a ton of money for the promoter, Jack March. He decided to hold the 1952 US Pro in a minor locale in Cleveland, where the costs were lower, and the USPLTA refused to sanction the event, or the other so-called "US Pro" events he continued to hold in Cleveland.
    Jack Kramer moved his own Tournament of Champions to Forest Hills in 1957, where it became the preeminent pro tournament of the late 1950's, and following the 1959 Forest Hills Pro, a great event with Hoad defeating Gonzales in an awesome display of tennis, Kramer applied to the USPLTA for official recognition of the event as the real US Pro. Kramer obtained approval for this application, but the 1960 Forest Hills Pro had to be cancelled when Gonzales pulled out of the tournament schedule. In 1963, the event was finally held, with Laver and Rosewall playing the final to a largely empty stadium for no prize money.
    In short, you have to look at each individual tournament, and its peculiar circumstances, to assess its importance.
    In 1967, the most important tournament was not Wembley (held in a densely smoked arena, with no air-conditioning), or the equally smoky Stade Coubertin, or the Boston US Pro, but the Wimbledon Pro, with a great final between Laver and Rosewall, the best of the year.
    Similarly, the list of competitors and champions at the Kooyong Pro in the late 1950's and early 1960's, held in Australia's foremost stadium, marks it as a major Pro event. The pretender US Pro at Cleveland, the British Pro at Nottingham, and the Australian Pro at various small venues in Australia, were actually minor events with weak fields.
     
    #44
  45. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    "The top tournaments that they played were the Pro Slams."
    Unfortunately, this was not always true. In fact, between 1952 and 1962 the so-called US Pro at Cleveland was not officially recognized by the USPLTA as an official championship. The 1951 US Pro, definitely a pro major, was held at Forest Hills, and lost a ton of money for the promoter, Jack March. He decided to hold the 1952 US Pro in a minor locale in Cleveland, where the costs were lower, and the USPLTA refused to sanction the event, or the other so-called "US Pro" events he continued to hold in Cleveland.
    Jack Kramer moved his own Tournament of Champions to Forest Hills in 1957, where it became the preeminent pro tournament of the late 1950's, and following the 1959 Forest Hills Pro, a great event with Hoad defeating Gonzales in an awesome display of tennis, Kramer applied to the USPLTA for official recognition of the event as the real US Pro. Kramer obtained approval for this application, but the 1960 Forest Hills Pro had to be cancelled when Gonzales pulled out of the tournament schedule. In 1963, the event was finally held, with Laver and Rosewall playing the final to a largely empty stadium for no prize money.
    In short, you have to look at each individual tournament, and its peculiar circumstances, to assess its importance.
    In 1967, the most important tournament was not Wembley (held in a densely smoked arena, with no air-conditioning), or the equally smoky Stade Coubertin, or the Boston US Pro, but the Wimbledon Pro, with a great final between Laver and Rosewall, the best of the year.
    Similarly, the list of competitors and champions at the Kooyong Pro in the late 1950's and early 1960's, held in Australia's foremost stadium, marks it as a major Pro event. The pretender US Pro at Cleveland, the British Pro at Nottingham, and the Australian Pro at various small venues in Australia, were actually minor events with weak fields.
     
    #45
  46. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    pc1

    I agree that the middle to late 1950s were extremely tough in competition. At the pros we have six all-time greats from Gonzalez to Trabert (the latter the "weakest" of them; pc1 has mentioned them) plus Cooper, Anderson, Rose and Kramer (the latter partly
    playing). At the amateurs we have Olmedo, Laver, Emerson, Fraser, Drobny, Patty, Seixas, Sven Davidson, Flam, Nielsen (twice Rosewall conqueror at Wimbledon), Ayala, Richardson. Porbably I have forgotten a few...
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012
    #46
  47. newmark401

    newmark401 Professional

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    Personally, I would treat the professional tour as a completely separate tour from the amatuer one, simply because players who played on one tour couldn't play on the other. This doesn't invalidate either tour.
    --

    The comparisons between both of the above tours reminds me a bit of the comparison between the majors and the Olympic tennis events. Some commentators are arguing that the Olympic tennis tournament should be raised to the level of a major. However, this is a rather strange argument, given that the Olympics are held only once every four years. Also, there were no official tennis events at the Olympic games between the years 1924 and 1988. In addition, the Olympic tennis events are held over just one week or so and have smaller draws than the majors. So, all in all, the Olympic tennis events are not nearly on a par with the four majors, despite the undoubted prestige of an Olympic medal.
    -----
     
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  48. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Best explanation of that matter.

    It's also interesting that the old pros (Laver, Rosewall, Gimeno) won eight out of the first ten open majors where they participated (only Ashe and Newcombe broke that rule). This even though all three were oldies already in that period (1968 to 1972)...

    Thus we can be sure that Laver and Rosewall (and maybe Gimeno on clay) would have won all open majors 1963 to 1967 if open era came earlier.

    In fact Laver and Rosewall won all 15 pro majors of that period even though Gonzalez, Hoad and Gimeno were among their opponents.
     
    #48
  49. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    You will never admit that Kooyong was not a pro major.

    The 1967 Wimbledon final was not the best pro final that year. In fact Wembley with or without smoke was clearly the best final: 5 set on the highest level...
     
    #49
  50. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    correction : many of the open majors, not all . They would still be prone to the occasional upset. Wouldn't the best amateurs in emerson, santana have any shot at any of the majors ? really ?

    emerson was 5-5 with laver for example in 68 though he was already on a rapid decline by then ....

    obviously hoad would have had excellent chances in 63 , given he was thrashing Laver left right in that year ......

    gonzales in 64 would have decent chance as well ....
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2012
    #50

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