Rosewall's final tournaments

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by NLBwell, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Just happened upon this:
    Ken Rosewall won the first rounds of his last 3 tournaments in Oct. 1980. He was 46 years old and hadn't played a tournament in about 10 months. He beat John Fitzgerald (on grass), Tim Wilkison (indoor carpet), and the big-serving Butch Walts (indoor carpet) who was top 50 at the time.

    Amazing that a semi-retired 46 year old guy could still be one of the top 50 or so players in the world.

    As I've said before, the true greats would be the greats in any era.
     
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  2. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Also consider Bob Bedard, who at age 81 has a 42 and 4 record as a senior (world #1 in 80+ category is Powless, a player Bedard defeated in tournament play in the mid-1950's).
    At age 45, Bedard won a minor tournament in Canada against much younger players, and stated that his only competition for several years had been his wife and children.
     
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  3. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Don't nobody have sleeker, darker hair than my man Kenneth. Bad ass tennis hero.
     
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  4. AndrewTas

    AndrewTas Rookie

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    These tournaments were Rosewall's last ATP events. He came back to play the 1982 New South Wales hard court event and he reached the final (losing to B Edwards 64 62).
     
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  5. Xavier G

    Xavier G Semi-Pro

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    Kenny Rosewall had a top-five ever career, in my humble opinion, for titles won in both singles and doubles, Davis Cup, amateur era, pro career, then the Open era and longevity taking on the best of several generations often giving away so many years too. Amazing.
     
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  6. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    Yes. His longevity in particular is amazing. It is not only the aging, it is also the changes in the way the game is played.

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Hello Andrew, I'm very glad to see you writing again.
     
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  8. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    NLBwell, Yes, these three victories are astonishing and should rank among Rosewall's finer achievements.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2013
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  9. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Bedard rates Rosewall as the greatest player he ever saw (Bedard played Hoad many times). Bedard lost to Rosewall in Davis Cup in 1955.
     
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  10. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Dan, It really honours you that you mention this (I did not know it) even though you are the "great Hoad man" here.
     
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  11. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    I disagree with Bedard, although he has the advantage of actually playing these guys. I think that he only played Rosewall once, in Davis Cup, but played about five times against Hoad in majors. Bedard clobbered Emerson and Howe, among other Aussies.
    Bedard was 15 and 0 last year in senior's play.
     
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  12. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Andrew, I forgot to mention that it was you who found the results of that late 1982 tournament and many other results of Rosewall's illustrious career. As a Rosewall fan I'm very grateful for your input since years.

    By the way, Muscles could be the only player in history who won matches in five decades (1949 to 1982)...

    Sorry, I just realized that also Tilden has won matches in five decades. These two players, along with Gonzalez, rank as the greatest regarding longevity even though there also were A. Gore, Brookes, Segura, von Cramm, Borotra, Cochet, Connors...
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2013
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  13. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Dan, Bedard did not meet both Hoad and Rosewall in their prime.
     
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  14. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Hoad and Rosewall turned pro in 1956-57, and did not play Bedard in his prime, which was about 1957-58. Had Bedard turned pro, and had proper coaching, he might have won something against them. He was a muscular, natural athlete.
    Hoad reached his absolute prime in 1958-59, and Rosewall about 1957-65.
     
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  15. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Xavier G, Yes, quite amazing. Altogether Rosewall won not less than 57 big titles: 23 singles majors, 2 WCT titles, 24 doubles majors, 1 mixed major, 3 Davis Cups (or 4 if we also count 1973 where Rosewall played only doubles), 3 Kramer Cups and 1 World Cup...
     
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  16. Xavier G

    Xavier G Semi-Pro

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    'Muscles' looks a good read too.
     
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  17. Xavier G

    Xavier G Semi-Pro

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    Good info, BobbyOne. Rosewall liked the doubles too.
     
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  18. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Xavier G, Yes, but in Ken's time most top players played doubles and enjoyed it.
     
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  19. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Does anyone have any idea about the H2H between Rosewall and Hoad?
     
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  20. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    hoodjem, I once had a 83:59 balance in Rosewall's favour but I'm not sure if it is correct. I will check once more. But I'm sure that Muscles has the edge.
     
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  21. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    We've been through this several times.
    Hoad appears to have the edge on both grass and clay through 1960, but Rosewall has a strong edge after 1960.
     
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  22. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    ................................
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2013
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  23. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Has anyone heard the story about how the "Muscles" nickname for Rosewall started? No?

    Well, here it is.

    In 1952, Rosewall and Hoad made their debut with the Australian Davis Cup team, which provided them with entrance and transport to the world men's tour.
    Rosewall and Hoad were only 17 years old, and although Hoad enthusiastically joined Sedgman and McGregor in the strenuous weight-lifting and muscle-building exercises, Rosewall did not.
    Anyway, Hoad himself invented the nickname "Muscles" for Rosewall, presumably because of these exercise routines. It was an ironic nickname, just as Laver would get the nickname "Rocket" because he was initially slow to react around the court.
     
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  24. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Dan, what about the nickname Pocket (kiki's claim)? Was it an often used nickname?
     
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  25. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Rosewall once stated, when asked, how he had changed over the pro years: " Not much, maybe i am a bit heavier in the pockets now." His other nicknames, i know, were Little Master and Doomsday stroking machine (by Bud Collins). I thought Hopman invented the Muscles, as he did woth Rocket.
     
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  26. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    You might know about the common origin of "Rocket". No, it was not Laver.

    The first famous Rocket was "Rocket" (Maurice) Richard, the top NHL scorer from 1944 until his retirement in 1960.
    In addition to Laver, baseball's Roger Clemens borrowed the "Rocket" nickname. Also football's "Rocket" Raghib Ismail, in both the CFL and NFL. Also Rodney Morris in professional pool in the 1990's to the present

    Maurice's younger brother, Henri, joined the Montreal team as his linemate in 1955, and acquired the nickname of the "Pocket Rocket" because of his small physical stature. (Henri was an instant all-star, and remained so until he retired in 1975.)
    NBA point guard Calvin Murphy borrowed the "Pocket Rocket" nickname from Henri Richard. Also boxer Wayne McCullough, a world champion, officially named himself "the Pocket Rocket" in the 1990's. The great weightlifter Naim Suleymanoglu of Turkey took the nickname "The Pocket Hercules" in the 1990's to the present.

    I doubt that Rosewall was known as "Pocket" in the fifties or early sixties, when Hoad and Gonzales were making more money than Rosewall was. However, it is possible that the Henri Richard nickname was used by some due to Rosewall's relatively small physical size.
    It may have started after Laver's 1971 autobiography, ghosted by Bud Collins, where Laver stated that no one knew how much money Rosewall had, but that it was "easily enough to wallpaper his house with cash".
    Probably the younger players on the pro tour in the early seventies would pick up on this.
    It seems strange, because Laver was top money-winner in the early seventies.

    The nickname "The Little Master" was borrowed from Clive Churchill, the great Australian rugby player of the 1940'S.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013
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  27. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    No, Hoad invented the "Muscles" nickname, and it seems appropriate given the difference in attitudes of the two players to weight and muscle training.
     
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  28. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    I am not sure about Hopman's reliability on this. Rocket was a common sports nickname, derived from Maurice Richard, a true superstar.
     
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  29. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Dan, Thanks for the explanation.
     
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  30. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    hoodjem, I counted exactly the head to head: 68:48 in Rosewall's favour.

    As amateurs the score is 13:8 in Hoad's favour.

    Of course some pro matches are missed, among them the 20:5 balance of Rosewall against Hoad for the early 1960s mentioned in Rosewall's biography (Peter Rowley).
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2013
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  31. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    I have a different breakdown. No surprise in that, eh?

    Beginning in 1952 for men's play:

    Through 1960, on grass Hoad 16 wins to Rosewall's 9 wins.
    Through 1960, on clay Hoad 15 wins to Rosewall's 7 wins.

    After 1960, Rosewall had a dominant edge.

    In fact, the only wins of any consequence I see for Hoad against Rosewall after 1960 are the Adelaide final on March 17, 1962 where Hoad won 7-5, 6-8, 6-4 (stats courtesy of Andrew Tas)
    and the decider of the 1964 New Zealand tour, although Rosewall had won the first three matches between them in the series.

    In long matches at Wembley in the 1962 final and the 1966 semifinal, although close, Hoad seemed to tire at the end.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013
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