Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by pc1, Oct 22, 2010.
Yes that was a huge surprise.
"One swallow does a summer make" ..... similarly one bad match does not a failure make.
Dan, surely you're not suggesting that all of Hoad's losses including those to Cooper (who never once was able to beat Gonzales) on the 1959 tour were due to back problems. What about all his losses in the pro majors he played from 1958 onwards, only one of which he won (1959).
Again, how do we define "pro major"? This is controversial.
I give Hoad three pro majors, two at Kooyong, one at Forest Hills.
In major venues, Hoad held a strong edge over Gonzales.
"We have to admit"
We don't have to admit anything. Emmo spent 1963 - 67 in the amateurs, racking up six major finals over Stolle, while the world's best: Laver and Rosewall as well as others: Hoad, Anderson, Gimeno, Olmedo, etc., were in the pros. Additionally, Emerson like Smith-Court racked up a disproportionate number of Australian titles, which then didn't have the fields they have now. Emmo won 6 Big Three (2,2,2).
True, Gonzales bombed at Wimbledon in 1949. The next time he played Wimbledon (1968) he was over 40. Any mention of Gonzales' poor Wimbledon completely ignores the fact that in his best EIGHTEEN years he was banned from Wimbledon. Incidentally Gonzales beat Emerson, 8 years his junior at the !968 French Open. From 1954 to early 1960, NOBODY had a better overall tour record than Gonzales. Yes his personality left a lot to be desired, but he was the ULTIMATE competitor.
Gonzales played in 1967, and was upset by a retired Hoad.
He played OFF FORM in every Wimbledon he appeared in, all 7 times.
You're aware that Gonzales had a cyst the size of a dollar coin on his racket hand when he began the pro tour against Hoad.
I think that was against Rosewall.
You are thinking of 1957...no, he did not play Hoad on that tour.
You raise an interesting point..what role did Hoad's back injury play in his career?
We cannot know for sure, but Hoad had fairly long stretches of pain-free play, which allowed him to play an enormous amount of tennis in 1958 and 1959, and in those two years he reached his peak of play. I give Hoad the number one spot both years for the level of play he displayed, first on the Australian portion of the 1958 tour, which was like a separate tour, major outdoor venues on grass, best-of-five set matches. Then the initial period in the USA when he ran off ten straight wins, and apparently reached a 21 to 10 lead over Gonzales before his back seized up.
In major venues that year, Hoad won over Gonzales at Kooyong, Forest Hills, and Roland Garros, where his back was wrenched in the final, ending his season.
Hoad's bonus money winnings far exceeded Gonzales that year, although Hoad's bonus winning percentage was higher than Gonzales, which caused Gonzales to attempt to nullify the contract in court, unsuccessfully.
Hoad showed enough dominance in major venues in 1958 to reasonably claim to be the foremost player that year. He played about 122 matches in 1958.
For 1959, Hoad played what I consider to be the greatest year a tennis player ever had, while playing over 150 matches on the year.
After that year, Hoad had accumulated through prize money, endorsements, and investments roughly ten million in today's dollars, and refused to play a full tour thereafter.
In 1961, he briefly returned to the tour but withdrew with foot trouble.
After the 1959 tour, he played only about 30 matches per year for the next six years until retirement.
Personally, I doubt that, even with a sound back, his career would show a markedly different pattern.
He would probably have won the 1958 marathon series against Gonzales, but as it was, he demonstrated a decided edge when healthy, sufficient for a top ranking.
He basically lost interest in the tour after 1959, except for the 1963 Australian tour, where he skunked Laver 14 to 0, getting back into shape for the event.
This overall arch to his career would likely have happened with or without a back problem.
Interesting Dan. I would not have expected you to write that. Do you feel that he was too gifted for his own good and it came too easily for him?
He had strong off-court interests, wife and family were number one.
Actually, he would probably have toured more without his family commitments.
Vines and Hoad have been compared ad infinitum. This is another example of what they had in common.
Separate names with a comma.