Rosewall and Gonzales Careers Official Thread

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by forzamilan90, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Both have great records, great longevity. Let's analyze their careers and compare them. Also, let's Try not to emphasize other players (a lot of threads get their topics off track). Serious discussion only. I personally want to get educated about these two cause they fly under the radar somewhat and there may be some misconceptions about these guys. Of particular interest to me is which of the two you feel had a greater career.
     
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  2. FedericRoma83

    FedericRoma83 Rookie

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    Gonzales was a pretty epic character, in the modern era he probably would have been a sort of Lendl. I'm not talking about his playing style obviously (very different from the czech), but he was described by Trabert as a lonesome man, he didn't like to stay with other Pro players.
    He probably would have been a "hated one", opposed to yankee and australian super-heroes. :D
    I definitely like what I know about him.
     
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  3. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    I see they both have 15 pro majors, which is the most respectably in that category. I don't know how to separate these two. Rosewall has 8 slams to Gonzales' 2 in addition to the pro majors, so technically Rosewall has more and would lead him to a higher tier. However, from what I've read Gonzales tends to be rated higher by experts. Is that cause he has more time spent as number 1?
     
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  4. FedericRoma83

    FedericRoma83 Rookie

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    Pancho also had a positive head-to-head, but I think it was because they had a lot of matches in 1957 (top-form Gonzales defeated a strong but not top-form Rosewall 58-28 ), while they didn't meet each other in 1962-63, when Rosewall was at his absolute peak.
    In my opinion Gonzales may have been more dominant on fast courts, but he was slightly less complete than Muscles (Trabert stated that on clay, where his serve was slowed down, he was not one of the strongest).
     
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  5. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    The thing that weights heavily in Gonzalez's favor is that in 1960 he played a tour against Rosewall, Segura and Olmedo and won it with an incredible won lost of 49-8. The individual head to head was I believe around 15-4 against Rosewall. Now they probably were playing mostly indoors on canvas which favored Gonzalez but it was still against peak Rosewall. That's a great achievement by Gonzalez. That was obviously for the World Title. Gonzalez was the greatest in history on these head to head tours. These tours can be argued to be toughest and perhaps more important than majors.
     
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  6. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Care to elaborate on the bolded? That sure as hell isn't present in today's game. It's like they just play against each other consecutively in a certain time frame or what? I'm not familiar at all.
     
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  7. FedericRoma83

    FedericRoma83 Rookie

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    True, but in my opinion it was just the start of Rosewall reign (in fact, some consider Gonzales the world no. 1 in 1960), while they had no matches when Rosewall was totally dominant.

    No doubt that Gonzales had a greater career achievement than Rosewall on wood indoor. I think he was clearly the GOAT on that surface.
     
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  8. FedericRoma83

    FedericRoma83 Rookie

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    Exactly. :)
    It was a four men tour: Gonzales, Rosewall, Segura, Olmedo. Gonzales won it 49-8 (15-4 against Rosewall) and then retired. He didn't play at Wembley Pro and French Pro (the two Major tournaments that year), both won by Rosewall (Gonzales wouldn't have won the French anyway in my opinion, as it was played on clay).
    That's basically why there's no clear consesus on who was the world no. 1 in 1960.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
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  9. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    what was the time frame for the tour? Did they play each other every day, several times a day?
     
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  10. FedericRoma83

    FedericRoma83 Rookie

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    It depends, it changed from tour to tour. It wasn't their first tour anyway, the first was in 1957, when they played against each other nearly every day (2-set matches, sometimes using a super tie-break in the third) from janaury to may. The 1960 tour was also played in the first half of the year (as most of the tours were).
     
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  11. FedericRoma83

    FedericRoma83 Rookie

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    a thing that I like to note is that Gonzales was comfortably against Rosewall (at least on wood indoor), but he had a lot of trouble against Hoad.

    If you think that Rosewall dominated Hoad, it is clear how much tennis was a strange game even back in the days!
     
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  12. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    That's pretty cool, yeah there's clearly nothing like that today. I'd love to see it done (on a smaller scale I guess) with the current top 4 doing a tour against each other
     
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  13. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Would you say Gonzales is better on clay, than say Rosewall on grass (assuming grass is Rosewall's weakest and clay is Gonzales' strongest surface)?
     
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  14. FedericRoma83

    FedericRoma83 Rookie

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    Pros played not many tournaments on clay and grass, they played mainly on wood indoor. Anyway, Rosewall was more complete in my opinion: he won some Majors on grass (Australian Open 1971, US Open 1970, US Pro 1963 & 1965), while Gonzales never won a Major on clay (lost two finals at the French Pro, in 1956 against Trabert, in 1961 against Rosewall). Rosewall had not weak surfaces.
    But on wood indoor Gonzales was the king, as he had one of the most incredible serves ever (up there with Tilden, Sampras and a few others, as far as I know).

    p.s. I'm not saying that Gonzales was weak on clay, he was strong on every surface, but on clay he was not as strong as elsewhere (let's say just like Lendl on grass).
     
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  15. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Hmmm the more I learn about Rosewall, the stronger he seems. Definitely underrated.
     
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  16. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    It wasn't played that often on wood indoors. They played also on indoor canvas during the head to head tours. In fact Kramer used to transport an indoor canvas from tournament to tournament to have it laid down on the area where they would play in previous years. Remember I'm talking about the head to head tours also and not just the tournaments. They played often on hard court, clay and grass also. I would say the clay, grass and hard court were actually the most common. Wood of course would be played on occasionally, particularly at Wembley. A great feat of Rosewall was that he would win the French Pro on red clay and the next week play and win Wembley on wood, perhaps the fastest of all surfaces. This is perhaps superior to Borg winning on red clay at the French and a few weeks later winning at Wimbledon on grass.
     
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  17. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    That's why we cannot automatically assume the best players of all time are always playing in the present. People make that assumption all the time. Yes it could be true but I'm always of the opinion that the odds are the perhaps the greatest player of all time already has played regardless of the sport or just about anything to be honest. My logic is that in the history of tennis there have been so many greats that outnumber the very few great players in recent years that the odds favor the past.

    forzamilan90,

    You are discovering what I enjoy about reading and learning about past players. You often uncover information that surprises you and interests you. Rosewall is a player I often compare to the great former World Chess Champion of the 1920's Jose Capablanca who is considered even to this day perhaps the greatest and most gifted chess player of all time. Capablanca played a crystal clear chess style. It's was smooth elegant and but the moves just didn't seem often spectacular. A sort of a joke comment was made about Capablanca's games in that he played easy obvious moves that anyone could see. And yet when the game ended with another victory for Capablanca they would "How did he do it?!"

    Rosewall has super footwork, great anticipation and he was a great mover. He was a terrific volleyer with super groundies. It was maximum efficiency with minimum effort. He didn't always hit the mind boggling shots (he did hit his share however) like Laver did but often he was more effective. Rosewall's movement was so great that he was on balance to hit shots that others, even very quick players would have to rush to hit well.

    Here's a video of an old Rosewall against the great Tony Roche in the finals of the 1970 US Open.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJubuKDN7Fk
     
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  18. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Shame footage is extremely limited.
     
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  19. FedericRoma83

    FedericRoma83 Rookie

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    I didn't know about canvas, I thought that except where stated otherwise, their indoor matches were all on wood. What's the difference between canvas and wood? Is it like saying hard indoor vs carpet indoor?


    Not from what I've seen. It depends on nations also. In Australia and Britain they played mainly on grass, but the american tours were mostly indoor, and they were the longest ones.
     
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  20. Frankc

    Frankc Semi-Pro

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    Great thread - I am just "discovering" Rosewall myself. Watching his 5 set Wimby win over Smith right now - Muscles was was 39 right?

    Pc1 - thanks for the link - just gorgeous, varied stuff...
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
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  21. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Forza, I believe that Rosewall was a bit better on grass than indoors even though he won most of his majors indoors.
     
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  22. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Forza, Welcome to the club! I made the same experience many years ago (guess I'm older than you).
     
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  23. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    pc1, I'm very glad you mention Rosewall's great feat at the French Pro (on clay)and Wembley which he won three years in a row (1960s to 1962). He actually had only one or two days for travelling from Paris to London and to adapt his game from the slowest surface to the (probably) fastest one. All these tournaments had 16 strong participants. Yes, I rate this run as a greater one than even Borg's famous run because Borg had two full weeks to transform his game from clay to grass.

    Alone with this achievement Rosewall is for me a GOAT contender.

    It's a shame that this probably greatest feat of Rosewall is almost unknown. Therefore a great Thank you to you, pc1.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
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  24. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Frankc, Even as a Rosewall admirer I must say that that Wimbledon SF match was not Rosewall's best. Yes, he played well in the fourth and fifth set but he also profited from a lapse in Smith's game. I would rather like to watch the QF match against Newcombe because Newk was the undisputed No.1 at that time.
     
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  25. FedericRoma83

    FedericRoma83 Rookie

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    This is tennis, if someone rises, the other may decline. Every victory is a well deserved victory, and that was a hell of a match, something really epic (even though I've seen only its highlights unfortunately).
     
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  26. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Bobby if you know Rosewall and communicate with him tell him might be a good idea to pop up for a chat with the Aussie Open commentators (ESPN). Laver has been getting media attention recent years and introduced to the younger audience, yours truly including. If Rosewalll does something like that many of the younger people will become more familiar with him and his legacy.
     
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  27. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
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  28. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    #28
  29. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    And remember that at 39, while still an excellent player he was but a shadow of what he was. I don't think he was even as good as he was just several years before.

    It's funny some posters tend to focus on Rosewall's height but he was incredible with the overhead and his range at the net was unbelievable. I remember watching him at Forest Hills and some players would hit some blazing attempted passing shots when Rosewall was at the net. The ball would seem to pass him but somehow with his back almost to the net he would hit a great angled stop volley. But he was known for his legendary backhand, mostly flat with some slice.

    He had amazing variety, far more than most players that I have seen.
     
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  30. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Would you say his backhand was stronger than Budge? By strong I mean more "hard hitting?"
     
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  31. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Yes, it was a great victory for Rosewall at 39 plus and after saving a match point against the mighty Smith on grass.
     
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  32. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Forza, I know that Muscles is rather reserved rearding commentating. I even don't know if Ken has ever commentated a tennis match for TV or radio...
     
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  33. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Forza, I'm sure that Budge played his backhand harder than Rosewall did. But I could imagine that Rosewall's was mor exact and steadier. I concede I never saw Budge.
     
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  34. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    It helped that the opposition was weaker than in 1958 or 1959.
    Rosewall played the 1960 4-man, which sharpened his game for these.
     
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  35. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Big achievements of Pancho Gonzales

    • Won 2 US Championships as an amateur in 1948 and 1949
    • Won 3 Wembley Pros in a row in 1950, 1951 and 1952
    • Added a fourth Wembley Pro title in 1956
    • Won 7 US Pros in a row in 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958 and 1959
    • Didn't play the 1960 US Pro, but won his 8th US Pro title in 1961
    • Won 3 consecutive Tournament of Champions titles in 1956, 1957 and 1958
    • Won the head-to-head World Pro Tours of 1954, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960 and 1961, which were the biggest events in professional tennis at the time. 1954 was Gonzales beating Segura, Sedgman and Budge. 1956 was Gonzales beating Trabert (74-27), 1957 was Gonzales beating Rosewall (50-26), 1958 was Gonzales beating Hoad (51-36), 1959 was Gonzales beating Hoad, Cooper and Anderson, 1960 was Gonzales beating Rosewall, Segura and Olmedo. And 1961 was Gonzales beating Gimeno, Hoad, MacKay, Olmedo, Buchholz and Sedgman.
    • I personally have Gonzales as world number 1 for 8 years in a row (1954-1961), and it's pretty close at the top in 1952 between Segura and Gonzales without a big head-to-head tour involving Kramer that year.
    • At the age of 41, Gonzales saved 7 match points, twice from 0-40 down, during his 1969 Wimbledon first round match against Pasarell. Gonzales won the match 22-24, 1-6, 16-14, 6-3, 11-9, and is thought to be the biggest reason behind the introduction of the tiebreak into tennis from 1970-1973
    • Capable of beating Rod Laver in 5 sets during Laver's peak in a $10,000 winner takes all match, which he did in February 1970.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
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  36. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    That's not really relevant is it. The point is that you are interested in their careers, so you can also read further stuff there.
     
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  37. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    The "US Pro" was unaccredited between 1952 and 1962.
    The Kramer organization held the official rights to the US Pro title after 1959, but did not exercise its rights until 1963, owing to the absence of Gonzales in 1960 and 1962, and Hoad in 1961.
     
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  38. FedericRoma83

    FedericRoma83 Rookie

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    In these years it wasn't called US Pro, but World Pro (at least since 1954).
    It was surely a first class tournament on some editions (1952, and from 1954 to 1957), while others had depleted fields (1953, and from 1958 to 1962).
    Of the eight victories Gonzales had there, only four can be considered effective Majors.
     
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  39. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    At the US Pros in Cleveland:

    1952 had Segura, Gonzales, Budge and Kovacs
    1953 had Gonzales, Budge, Riggs and Kovacs
    1954 had Gonzales, Sedgman, Segura, Budge, Kovacs and Riggs
    1955 had Gonzales, Segura, Kovacs, Riggs, Parker, Budge and Perry
    1956 had Gonzales, Segura, Trabert, Hartwig, Parker and Kovacs
    1957 had Gonzales, Segura, Rosewall, Trabert, Riggs, Parker and Kovacs
    1958 had Gonzales, Hoad, Segura, Trabert, Riggs and Parker
    1959 had Gonzales, Hoad, Segura, Cooper, Anderson, Riggs and Parker
    1960 had Olmedo, Trabert, Segura, Cooper and Parker
    1961 had Gonzales, Sedgman, Gimeno and MacKay
    1962 had Buchholz, Segura and MacKay
     
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  40. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Yeah I gotcha
     
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  41. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Dan, Rosewall on his fantastic run 1960 to 1962 (winning the French pro on clay and seven days later winning Wembley on painted wood) did beat Gonzalez, Sedgman, Segura, Hoad, Trabert, Gimeno, Olmedo, Cooper and Anderson. Weaker than in 1958 and 1959?

    It might be of interest that in all three years the runner up of Paris was not identic with the runner up of Wembley. This shows Rosewall's consistency on a high level at that time.
     
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  42. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Mustard, great list. By the way, I have made a similary list for Rosewall's achievements a few months ago.

    I rate several Gonzalez wins in open era (two wins against Laver, two wins against Rosewall, the wins against Newcombe, Roche, Ashe, Smith higher
    than the famous victory over Pasarell (even though the latter was a big win).
     
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  43. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    I say weaker because the two big guys, Hoad and Gonzales, were past peak in the 1960 to 1964 period.
    This is clear from the descriptions of eyewitness reporters, who noted that Hoad was carrying extra pounds and moving slower in 1960, etc.
    Sedgman had a big year in 1959, winning at Kooyong and winning two tours, Grand Prix de Europe and South Africa. But he clearly dropped down in level after 1959.
    Gimeno and Olmedo never reached the heights of greatness, despite their promise.
    Trabert slowed down after 1959.
    Cooper and Anderson had good years in 1959, but played little after that.
    How old was Segura in 1962? 45?
     
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  44. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Is clay truly Gonzales' strongest surface?

    (With his big serve and great net play, I would have thought a faster, hard-court surface.)
     
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  45. FedericRoma83

    FedericRoma83 Rookie

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    It wasn't, in fact. As I've said before, he missed a clay Major, reaching two finals and losing them both. That's why I don't put him in my three GOAT candidates (anyway, he's just below them).
     
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  46. FedericRoma83

    FedericRoma83 Rookie

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    This is tennis, when one goes up, the other goes down. Someone says that Lendl domination was helped by the fact that Connors was too old and McEnroe passed his prime after 1984. Other says that Connors wouldn't have been no. 1 in 1982 if Borg had not retired. Other says that Djokovic is helped by the fact that Federer is much older and Nadal his slowly fading (except on clay). This is how tennis works: we will never know the truth, we just have to accept that the player who is on top deserves his spot. :)
     
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  47. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Dan, you really are the old Dan. Will you ever stop to belittle Rosewall and his opponents? Please stop to rank Rosewall in the top ten! It's just irony to include him who did not have any strong opponent in his career...

    You belittle even your two darlings when writing that Hoad and Gonzalez were past peak in that period. Gonzalez was at least a Co.-No. 1 in 1960 and 1961 and Hoad was still very strong in 1960 and even later. All that nonsense in order to belittle Rosewall...

    All the players you mentioned were still damned strong in the early 1960s. For instance Segura, who was 41 in 1962, was at the Laver level that year.

    Gimeno did reach the heights of greatness as No.3 in several years.

    You also are wrong regarding Anderson. He did play much every year in that period. And he did play very well.

    I would say it's wasted time to discuss with such an unserious poster. I'm aware that some posters now will again say I'm intolerant but I would say that even my intolerance is reasonable and not as terrible as your non-seriousness!
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2013
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  48. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Segura at Laver´s level? OMG¡¡¡
     
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  49. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Segura was the second or third best player of the 1950s.
     
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  50. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    How many pro majors did he win?
     
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