Question about Laver's 62 Grand Slam

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by harinder, Jun 20, 2009.

  1. harinder

    harinder Rookie

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    What was the competition level during this year in the amateur circuit? I heard somewhere that most of Laver's main competition had already moved to the pro circuit and Laver was one of the last few to do so in 63.
     
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  2. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Dude that was 47 years ago.
     
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  3. Lion King

    Lion King Semi-Pro

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    Still it would be good to know...
     
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  4. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

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    If tennis were like today he would have just completed 2 Calender Slams in 1967 and 1969 instead of 1962 and 1969 so no difference really. Except he would have more slams overall than he has now.
     
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  5. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Laver's competition was reasonably good for amateur ranks. Emerson, Mulligan, Drobny, Hewitt, Fraser, Santana, McKinley and Stolle are all remembered as excellent players.

    The pros in 1962 included Rosewall, Hoad, Trabert, Gimeno, Sedgman, Segura, Cooper, Buchholz, MacKay, Olmedo, Davis and Anderson. Among others.
     
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  6. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Don't forget Pancho Gonzales in the pro ranks, who was the world's #1 player in the late-50's to the early-60's. If Gonzales has been allowed to play in the Slams, I don't think Laver would have won a (calendar) Grand Slam in 1962.
     
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  7. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Gonzales I think was retired in 1962. Also, if he was allowed to compete in the slam then so would be the other pros.
     
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  8. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Yes, Gonzales was retired 1962-63. In 1963 he only played the US pro tournament at Forest Hills and lost first round to Olmedo.
     
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  9. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Gonzales didn't fully retire until the early-70's.

    Most of Gonzales's career as a professional fell before the start of the Open era of tennis in 1968, and he was therefore ineligible to compete at the Grand Slam events between 1949 (when he turned pro) and 1967. As has been observed about other great players such as Rod Laver, Gonzales almost certainly would have won a number of additional Grand Slam titles had he been permitted to compete in those tournaments during that 18-year period. Jack Kramer, for instance, has speculated in an article about the theoretical champions of Forest Hills and Wimbledon that Gonzales would have won an additional 11 titles in those two tournaments alone.


    In 1969, however, it was Gonzales's turn to prevail in the longest match ever played till that time, one so long and arduous that it resulted in the advent of tie break scoring. As a 41-year-old at Wimbledon, Gonzales met the fine young amateur Charlie Pasarell, a Puerto Rican younger than Gonzales by 16 years who revered his opponent.


    Final professional years

    Roy Emerson, the fine Australian player who won a dozen Grand Slam titles during the 1960s as an amateur when most of the best players in the world were professionals, turned pro in 1968 at the age of 32, Inhaving won the French Open the year before. Gonzales, 8 years older, immediately beat him in the quarter-finals of the French championships. In the following years, Gonzales beat Emerson another 11 times, apparently losing very few matches to him. the Champions Classic of 1970 in Miami, Florida, however, Emerson did beat Gonzales in straight sets, 6–2, 6–3, 6–2.[15]

    Another great Australian player was Ken Rosewall, who won 8 Grand Slam titles during his long career, first as an amateur, then as a professional in the early years of Open tennis. Gonzales played 160 matches against Rosewall, winning 101 and losing 59.

    In late 1969, Gonzales won the Howard Hughes Open in Las Vegas and the Pacific Southwest Open in Los Angeles, beating, among others, John Newcombe, Ken Rosewall, Stan Smith (twice), Cliff Richie, and Arthur Ashe. He was the top American money-winner for 1969 with $46,288. If the touring professionals had been included in the United States rankings, it is likely he would have been ranked number 1 in the country, just as he had been two decades earlier in 1948 and 1949.

    Gonzales continued to play in the occasional tournament in his 40s. He could also beat the clear number-one player in the world, Rod Laver, on an occasional basis. Their most famous meeting was a $10,000 winner-take-all match before 15,000 in Madison Square Garden in February 1970. Coming just after the Australian had completed a calendar-year sweep of the Grand Slams, the 41-year-old Gonzales beat Laver in five sets.

    He became the oldest player to have ever won a professional tournament, winning the Des Moines Open over 24-year-old Georges Goven when he was three months shy of his 44th birthday. In spite of the fact that he was still known as a serve-and-volley player, in 1971, when he was 43 and Jimmy Connors was 19, he beat the great young baseliner by playing him from the baseline at the Pacific Southwest Open. Around this time, Gonzalez relocated to Las Vegas, working as the tennis director at Caesars Palace.


    Some people connected with the game consider Gonzales to be the best male player in tennis history, primarily because he was the World No. 1tennis player for probably 8 years — the status of a few of the earlier years is still unclear.



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pancho_Gonzales
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2009
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  10. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    I know that, but he was retired in 1962. He just unretired lots of times due to money problems.
     
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  11. CountryHillbilly

    CountryHillbilly Banned

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    There is a separate forum about former tennis players.
     
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  12. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    I think if Gonzales were allowed to play in all the Grand Slams in 1962, he would have played them. For one thing, he knew he could beat all the amateurs playing in them, and I agree with other experts that he would have beaten Laver in one or more of them. That was my point.
     
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  13. Borgforever

    Borgforever Hall of Fame

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    Ooooh, yes! Don't forget. This match is a GOAT-peach and I luckily have it on tape. That's why I'm gushing I'm sorry. Gonzalez is juuuuuuuuust beeeeyyyyoooond here. Never seen anything quite like it.

    If Pancho's Sedgman-classic at Wembley in, off the top of my head, 1956 (?) -- the one with the two 11-9 sets -- is finer than this (which many say) then I don't know what to say...

    Can anyone imagine anyone born 1969 beating every top ten player today like there's no tomorrow -- in one clean sweep -- and also beat Fedex at MSG in five great sets?

    Call Guinness...
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2009
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  14. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Why bring up Gonzales? I can bring up more than one professional who could have beaten Laver the amateur.

    The Gonzales mention is just random and ignores the fact that he was long retired.
     
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