Rosewall > Laver

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Prisoner of Birth, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. Prisoner of Birth

    Prisoner of Birth Banned

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    In the Open Era :
    Rosewall has 4 Grand Slams
    Laver has 5 (including the calendar year Grand Slam)

    Pro Slams :
    Rosewall has 15
    Laver has 8

    So Rosewall has 19 Majors compared to Laver's 13.


    It's obvious Rosewall is far more successful. And these are some ways in which he is statistically better :

    Dominance - Rosewall won 9 consecutive Pro Slams that he participated in. Laver only ever managed 4 Pro Slams in a row and 4 Open Era Grand Slams in a row. His 4 in a row against amateurs isn't comparable.

    Longevity - Rosewall won his first Major in 1957 and his last Major in 1972. That's 15 years apart. Laver won his first in 1964 and his last in 1969. Just 5 years apart.

    Versatility - Rosewall has 5 Grasscourt Majors, 5 Claycourt Majors, 5 Indoorcourt Majors, 4 Woodcourt Majors. That's 5-5-5-4. Very balanced, showing he was a versatile player. Laver has 8 Grasscourt Majors, 1 Claycourt Major, 4 Indoorcourt Majors, 1 Woodcourt Major. That's 8-1-4-1. Very lopsided and grass/indoor heavy, showing he was more of a fastcourt player and not as versatile.


    I think Rosewall is head and shoulders above Laver, in almost every way. I don't even see it as debatable, statistically.
     
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  2. Onehandedbackhand

    Onehandedbackhand Professional

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    Laver held it longer, and that's the truth. When Laver was out of his prime, he was still giving guys like Borg and young Connors fits, and in some cases, late in tournaments. When Rosewall was out of his prime, Connors was cracking him like an egg, and still had enough energy to warm up doubles partners.
     
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  3. Prisoner of Birth

    Prisoner of Birth Banned

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    That's because Rosewall is older than Laver and has been winning Majors 7 years before Laver was. It's like, 2 or 3 years from now, expecting Federer to do as well as Djokovic and Murray against the next generation of players.
     
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  4. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Prisoner of Birth, Welcome to the Club!

    Thank you for giving these statistics that at least show that Rosewall belongs to the same group as Laver belongs. But, similary to me, you will not find many followers here....

    It's good that you omitted the amateur majors as they are not too meaningful.
     
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  5. Prisoner of Birth

    Prisoner of Birth Banned

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    I think the only reasons Laver is more highly regarded is

    1. The Grand Slam. I think it is a very overrated achievement. Don't get me wrong, it is definitely the most prestigious achievement in Tennis. But what people don't realize is that (1) A calendar year Grand Slam is no more special than a non calendar year Grand Slam. It's like saying a match won in November is more special than a match won in March, which is a total falsehood. And (2) You need luck to win a Calendar year Grand Slam. You may be Sampras on Grass, Federer on Hards, and Nadal on Clay, all put together, but you still wouldn't win one without an ounce of luck. That's what I believe.

    2. The head-to-head. Which is a joke. Laver is much younger than Rosewall. It was only after Rosewall was past his best, and Laver came into his own, that he started to win more matches than he lost. Head-to-head is meaningless regardless, anyway, because every player matches up differently to different players and no match is completely fair. Which is why you need to beat the field to win tournaments, titles and championships, not individual players.


    So, basically, I see no reason to think Laver is greater than Rosewall.
     
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  6. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    3 1/2 years is much younger?
     
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  7. Prisoner of Birth

    Prisoner of Birth Banned

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    3 years and 9 months. And yes, against guys like Borg who would make you run out of your legs, it is a big difference.
     
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  8. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Laver was number 1 for longer however. Like 6 or 7 years or something
     
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  9. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Prisoner, I still rate the Grand Slam very high. Laver has done it three times. Rosewall did it once. Rosewall would likely made an amateur GS if he stayed as long an amateur as Laver did (till 24).

    Old Man once wrote (and I believe him) Laver stands 99:83 matches against Rosewall which is a fine balance for Muscles considering that Rosewall was almost four years older. Yes, in most years (from 1965 onwards) age was a disadvantage for Rosewall. Of the first seven pro majors they played, Rosewall won five. Altogether Muscles leads 10:7 in big matches if we include the 1973 Dallas match for third place.

    Prisoner, I appreciate your courage to put Rosewall ahead of Laver in a "Laver forum"...
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
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  10. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Forza, but they were about even if we add the Co. No.1 years.
     
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  11. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Adding co-s is tricky business. Outright number 1 to me is fairer
     
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  12. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    I agree with both your points: 1) The Grand Slam is an awesome feat, but it requires a bit of luck to win it. Winning a very large number of titles, especially of majors, is also an awesome feat (which require probably some luck as well in some of the wins); 2) The H2H is not really interesting because it is already taken into account into the main titles count: All defeat that Rosewall suffered to Laver (especially in the later stage of tournaments) are as many titles less for him. Counting the H2H corresponds thus to count some defeat twice.

    However, your majors titles count is unfair to Laver because he didn't competed in them until 1963 (2?). That means a lot of major. When Laver became a pro, he needed roughly one year to become successful (BobbyOne will correct me if I'm wrong). That suggest that, while he needed adaptation to win on the pro tour, he was an excellent player already. Who know if he wouldn't have taken some of Rosewall's Wembley and French pro if he had turned pro earlier?

    It doesn't seems so clear to me that Rosewall is that much a better GOAT candidate than Laver!
     
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  13. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    Oh but you lack consistency here, my dear Knight of the Rosewall! The man continued to win majors (open slams or pro majors) until 1972. He was surely still in his prime! By the way, Wikipedia wrote (and I'm not sure to believe that) that Laver stand 80-63 in pro and open era matches against Rosewall. However, half of Rosewall's wins happened in 1963, when Laver just turned pro and was still adapting. Their following H2H is 68-30, form 1964 until 1976 (with only 4 matches from 1973 to 1976, including 3 wins from Rosewall, who is a testimony of his longevity).
     
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  14. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Forza, It is not tricky at all.

    Whom do you rank higher: Player A who once was No.1 but never a Co. No1 or player B who never was clearly No.1 but five times a co.No.1?
     
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  15. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    In this example the 2nd option; however, in Laver's case we're talking about several years (and consecutive) at number 1 spot, not just 1 year as in your example. Several consecutive years as the undisputed best speaks volumes to me
     
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  16. BobbyOne

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    Yes, Flash, Laver did not compete in the pro ranks through 1962. On the other hand they usually count Laver's first GS and his many amateur titles as a Rod's plus.

    It's a fact that Laver was not an early developer as Rosewall was (and also not as late a champion as Rosewall was). Therefore I'm not sure if an earlier pro Laver would have taken pro majors from Muscles.

    Prisoner did not count the amount of tournaments won. I would add it.

    Laver's a t least 200 wins are awesome and a big plus in his record.

    On the other hand we should consider that Rosewall turned pro earlier than Laver did (therefore more amateur wins for the Rocket) and that in Rosewall's pro career there seldom were years with many pro events while Laver in his prime was lucky that in those years there were many pro tournaments. But still Laver would be the all-time tournaments winner in any case.
     
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  17. BobbyOne

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    Flash, please avoid to agree with Phoenix who claims that Rosewall was in his prime as long as he won majors or even as long as he reached big finals. No player in history was in his prime at 37, not even Tilden. Rosewall was great regarding longevity but SURELY past his prime after 1965, especially after 1971 (his last year as possible No 1).
     
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  18. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    But in this case everybody agreed to not take into account Laver's amateurs slams, for obvious reasons. As good these reasons are, it remains that Laver didn't compete on the pro tour for as long as Rosewall did. And given Laver level, AND his H2H against Rosewall, I could really see him steal some of the pro majors. As for the number of pro events that were available for Rosewall, I think that we only take into account the pro majors here. Apart a French pro (who could probably have been won by Kenny), there was as many pro major available for Rosewall than for Laver.
     
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  19. Flash O'Groove

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    I know. It was a gesture of bad faith from me (not sure that this expression exist in english: "un geste de mauvaise fois") regarding our other discussion on Fed's prime. From what I know Rosewall prime ended around 1970?
     
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  20. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    But even then they sometimes exaggerate Laver's run. In my opinion he was undisputed No.1 from 1965 (or even 1966) to 1969, thus five years. Rosewall was near to the top in 1965 and 1966 even when being an oldie while Laver was at his peak. Even in Rosewall's "weak" year 1967 Muscles was the dominant player in the summer season...
     
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  21. BobbyOne

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    Flash, let's say the following way: Rosewall's peak ended 1964 and his prime (after a few lesser years) ended in 1971.
     
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  22. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    And when did his prime, respectively his peak, began?
     
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  23. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Bobby do you think Laver's marketing manager was better than Rosewall's?
     
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  24. BobbyOne

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    Guys and girls, Is n't it significant that we discuss seriously about who is greater, Laver or Rosewall? It honours Muscles. Because mostly in this forum and generally Rosewall is not considered as of in the same group as Laver is and as a GOAT candidate.

    For instance Limpinhitter (who does know much about tennis) did not rank Muscles among his best thirteen...
     
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  25. BobbyOne

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    Flash, it's also not easy to determine but I dare to say in 1959 when he had the best balance but failed at the majors. Rosewall was 8:4 against Gonzalez and about even with Hoad.
     
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  26. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    If I would be kiki, I would say yes...
     
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  27. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    It is obvious that Laver, Rosewall and Gonzales have to be considered as goat candidate given their resume. Good luck to rank them more precisely.
     
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  28. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Flash, I agree and would add that also Tilden deserves a place as GOAT candidate
     
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  29. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    I didn't give an exhaustive list of Goat candidates. I mentioned Gonzales, Rosewall and Laver because they belong more or less to the same era.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
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  30. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    Why Tilden by the way?
     
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  31. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    It's not a question of marketing but great timing also. Laver was the best player in the world when the Open Era started and even at that point considered one of the greatest if not the greatest that ever lived by many experts. Laver in the first opportunity to win the Open Grand Slam won all four majors in 1969 to accomplish this great feat. Television was beginning to make tennis a far more popular sport and Laver was really the first superstar of the Open Era.

    But marketing had nothing to do with Laver's greatness. Marketing does not win you an amateur Grand Slam, a Pro Grand Slam and an Open Grand Slam. When you do that it's a sign of great dominance. But the timing allowed Laver to become the main focus of the beginning of the Open Era.

    If Pancho Gonzalez was able to play in an Open Era it is very possible that he would have won the Open Grand Slam and this is the case with Rosewall.

    Laver won at least 200 tournaments in his career. Marketing does not allow you to do that. Talent and skill plus competitive zeal allowed Laver to do that.

    Rosewall was a super player, perhaps the GOAT but I do think Laver should be ranked slightly above Rosewall.
     
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  32. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Tilden has an awesome record (14 majors won, at least 161 tournaments won) which would have been even greater if he had travelled to Australia, to Wimbledon 1922 to 1926, if French Championship would have come earlier.

    It's not too bold to speculate about three or four Grand Slams (true GSs) for Tilden.

    Perhaps competition was not quite as tough as Gonzalez, Rosewall and Laver faced.
     
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  33. BobbyOne

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    pc1, I agree. I would find it fair to rank both players equal and reasonable to rank them ahead of all other GOAT candidates.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
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  34. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    Yes but that is so old that we barely know anything about the conditions back then. At least for Gonzales, Laver and Rosewall we know in which condition they played, we know which opposition they faced. For Tilden, we only know that he spanked a certain Mr. Johnson. If we take into account only the majors titles count and the potential titles count, why not add Fred Perry, Sears, Renshaw to the list? They also won a lot of tournaments, and they could probably have won more of them if they had played more of them.
     
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  35. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Tilden was arguably the most dominant tennis player in history. He won over 160 tournaments in his career. He won I believe 10 classic majors and 14 total majors, 15 if you included the World Hard Court on clay which was the most important clay court tournament in the world since the French was not open to anyone but French players. When he was dominant during his best years he won approximately 98% of his matches over a five year period. At that point he very well could have won not just one Grand Slam but several.

    Travel in those days was very tough. They had to travel by boat to the other countries to play majors like Wimbledon. Tilden won Wimbledon of course when he traveled there but when you travel there it would take many weeks and the player would get out of shape besides adjusting to the time lag.

    I believe Tilden at one point won eight straight majors that he entered. The man played until his fifties and even played Pancho Gonzalez in a match! He won more than half the tournaments he played in for his CAREER!

    You add that he was a great student of the game and was always trying to improve. Tilden late in his career toured with Fred Perry who was known for his legendary continental forehand which some have called the greatest forehand ever. Tilden was a disciple of eastern grips. He asked to have a hitting session with Perry during one of the breaks in their tours and told Perry to hit a ball to him, short and wide to his forehand. Tilden got it and returned the ball easily with a perfect continental forehand like Perry. Perry was astonished. Tilden told Perry that he was studying Perry's style and thought the continental forehand was the only way to return that type of shot. He also said that unless he mastered that he wouldn't feel he was a complete player. That to me is very impressive. It shows Tilden's constant willingness to learn and improve his game. Tilden was in his fifties when this happened. I have no doubt that at 6"2", fast and powerful with a great serve that Tilden would have easily adapted to today's game. Perhaps he would have played with a two handed backhand. Perhaps he would have devised different techniques of playing.


    The game we play today is due largely to the techniques that Tilden used and created.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
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  36. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Incidentally I see there is mention of the competition Tilden played and the question about the level of tennis. Tilden did play the top competition in his day plus in his long career he played and defeated greats like Cochet, Lacoste, Borotra, Johnston, Budge, Vines, Nusslein, Perry, Ted Schoeder (much younger than him), Richards, Richard Norris Williams, Norton, Shimizu. Schoeder was playing in the 1950's and I believe Tilden crushed him. They asked him how he defeated Schoeder and I believe he said something like he never loses to people he doesn't like. Schoeder was a Wimbledon champion by the way.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
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  37. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    I give Rosewall great props, but I still think Laver is ahead of him.
     
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  38. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Prisoner of Birth,
    IIRC, you said Rosewall doesn't deserve the goat candidates. Since you have Rosewall > Laver, that means Laver doesn't deserve it either.
     
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  39. Prisoner of Birth

    Prisoner of Birth Banned

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    I don't remember saying that but I may have. Anyway, this has nothing to do with the GOAT debate.
     
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  40. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Ok that's fine. You know some experts have Rosewall in the top 10 and some don't, and hardly(if any) have him in the top 5. But since your arguments with actual facts/numbers say Rosewall is head and shoulders above Laver, I don't know where Laver's placement in history now.
     
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  41. NadalDramaQueen

    NadalDramaQueen Hall of Fame

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    Don't go negative against other players, just stay pro-Federer. I know you are only responding to all of the crap Fed gets from a small number of nuts on this forum, but there is no need to join them. All of the players who are discussed here are greats and none of them deserve to have their careers trolled by a bunch of internet try-hard experts.

    On topic, it seems like a tough decision between the two. Laver is obviously the super star, but I think Rosewall was at least in the same league.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
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  42. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    +1. best and most sensible thing I've read today
     
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  43. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I believe that Tilden actually won the French of 1927 with an ace. Rene Lacoste (his opponent) seemed to also think so (he started to walk up and shake Tilden's hand).

    But the linesman was Henri Cochet (whom Tilden had defeated in the semis), and he called the serve out. Tilden was so rattled by the interruption and the call, he lost his concentration and went on to lose the match.
     
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  44. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Can you imagine the huge controversy that would bring about today?
     
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  45. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I cannot imagine that any sane tournament official would even consider letting a semifinal loser be a linesman in the final involving the player who beat him against a great friend and fellow Davis Cup teammate.

    Incroyable!
     
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  46. Dan Lobb

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    Allison Danzig wrote that Tilden played his greatest tennis ever in the 1927 Forest Hills final against Lacoste (and Danzig saw all of Tilden's great matches, including the 1927 French final).
    Tilden threw everything that he had against Lacoste, but lost in three sets. This was Lacoste's greatest showing ever.
     
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  47. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Onehandedbackhand,

    Laver never faced Connors (or Borg) at 39 as Rosewall did. When Rosewall was 37 he clearly beat Connors at L.A.
     
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  48. FedericRoma83

    FedericRoma83 Rookie

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    Hi guys, I was away for a while, you probably don't remember me :D

    I wanted to say that I definitely agree with Prisoner of Birth.

    Laver was obviously a giant, a tennis monument, and amazing player. He has won two times 4 majors out of 4 (1967, 1969), while Rosewall was able to achieve a similar feat only in 1963, but as you said, Rosewall emerge on his rival if we consider any other statistic.

    I don't know if there's a GOAT, but if Kenny wasn't, he was surely not so far :D
    Laver is probably in my top-5 too, but below Muscles.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
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  49. Doug_Hartley_2012

    Doug_Hartley_2012 Rookie

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    ROSEWALL...better than LAVER. Based on certain assumptions. Direct head to head; major tournaments won; opponents defeated; rankings; rankings by age from juniors to seniors; longevity; excellence. I have only had the free time to write one article about Rosewall online, but others have written three biographies of him. THREE. As fans discover more about the history of tennis, they discover more about Rosewall.He won't say he was the best, but others will. The man's record is aewome.
     
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  50. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Federic, There is some courage needed to pick Rosewall ahead of Laver in a Laver forum...
     
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