The 70´s and 80´s big exhibiitions

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by kiki, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Golden tennis was meant to be also exo tennis since the enormous popularity of the sport and stars attracted losts of money to be thrown out for one night nstands, non sanctioned events and memorable exhibitional week ends all over the globe.

    Some of those events got world wide recognition and prestige and were more appealing than even many official tournaments.I am thinking of the WCT Forest Hills/Las vegas Tourney of champions that attracted all big names of those decades bar Bjorn Borg, the Suntory Cup at Tokyo, with Connors and mc Enroe usually at the finals or the Milano Brooklyn Masters with torrid matches involving Borg,Lendl,Mac and Gerulaitis among other.

    I also followed the Moolson Challenge at Toronto, which had big money and scored the first ever win of Vitas Gerulaitis over Bjorn Borg.The Antwerp Golden racket, maybe the most famous of the whole exos played in the 1980´s, and Lendl taking home that golden racket after three wins in a row.The sensational Europe vs America at Barcelona that attracted the best players of those continents except Jimmy Connors.The Chicago Challenge, with those sensational finals between Connors and Mc enroe in 81 and 82 and Connors and Lendl in 83.The french riviera tour of 1979 consisting of Nastase,Vilas,Mc enroe and Connors played at very classy venues at the Cote D´Azur.And many others (Frankfurt,Perth,Sidney,Munich with its Gran Slam Cup, of course the Boca Raton pepsi GS cup with those classic Borg vs Connors matches and so forth)

    which was your favourite exhibition'
     
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  2. Xavier G

    Xavier G Semi-Pro

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    When I was younger, kiki, I liked the Pepsi Grand Slam, Suntory Cup, Antwerp (which I got to see on tv regularly).
    Connors beat Borg in the 1983 Suntory Cup so that was one back for Jimmy! :)

    kiki, there's good video on You Tube of Connors and Borg in their 5 set exo-type match in July 1982 which was called Connors' first win over Borg since 78, breaking his ten match losing streak, as it was reported. Borg played pretty good that day.
     
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  3. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Yeah¡ I liked that as well as their other exos during the year 82 and 83, when officially retired Borg was still playing big time

    When I watch those tapes, i turn the volume off, serve my self a good paint of draught beer Guiness and turn on some of my favourites led Zepp tunes...and I feel like heaven:)
     
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  4. Nadal_Power

    Nadal_Power Semi-Pro

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    Antwerp by far, and AT&T Challenge
     
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  5. Paul Murphy

    Paul Murphy Hall of Fame

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    I remember in the early 1980s in Australia we had something called the Akai Challenge - played indoors in Sydney - Lendl and Vilas in the field from memory.
    A one-off I think.
     
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  6. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    These were not exhibitions

    The main thing to know is, the like of antwerp and suntory were not exhibitions They were real tournaments. It just that they weren't officially sanctifioned tournaments. The word exhbition implies that the players weren't going all out to win., that they were there merely to entertain. This wasn't the case. Exhibitions tend to be one night events not full blown tournaments like the ones referred to here.
     
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  7. paolo2143

    paolo2143 Rookie

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    Whilst borg was still playing some tennis during 82 & 83 he was nowhere near the competitive level he was at before he stopped playing regularly in 1981.

    Just look at what happened when he played the monte carlo open in monacco 1982 where yannick noah thrashed him on borg's favourite surface.I watched a few of those connors/borg exhibitions in 82/83 and i think at times connors was holding back a bit.

    There is no way that borg/connors were on level playing field at that time as connors was on tour full time and world number 1/2,the fact is when borg finished playing at end of 81 he owned jimmy at that point and it seems no coincidence to me that as soon as borg was "out" the picture jimmy had a massive resurgence in form.
     
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  8. paolo2143

    paolo2143 Rookie

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    Having said that i enjoyed a lot of the exhibitions /challenge tournaments duing late 70's -early 80's.As timnz said some were more like exhibitions but others like pepsi grand slam,suntory etc were much more serious
     
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  9. robow7

    robow7 Professional

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    I sat many an evening at the Rosemont Horizon in Chicago for those early 80's round robin tourneys. There were many great matches, maybe the best live match I ever saw was Lendl and Connors playing past midnight when most had gone home because technically the match didn't mean a whole lot in that both were going to advance anyway. But the ferocity with which both played was a tribute to nothing more than both hated to lose and both were in disdain of one another.

    Paolo, I saw Borg and Connors in the same venue when Borg was coming out of retirement in around 82, and Borg took Jimmy in 3 again and believe me, Connors was not happy about it.
     
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  10. suwanee4712

    suwanee4712 Professional

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    I wish there was a database for exhibition results. I have gone through papers and recorded some of the ladies exos results from the 80's. Suntory, Australian womens indoor, events in Cincinnati, St. Louis, Ixtapa, Barcelona, etc.
     
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  11. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    When people says Borg retired because of Mac, I inmediatly think Connors regained nº 1 position DUE TO BORG RETIRING
     
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  12. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    True.Great tourney at Rosemont, nearby Chicago.in 81 they had Connors,Mac,Gerulaitis and Tanner at the semis, a year later the same guys and Lendl instead of Roscoe.In 83, the famous quator of Borg,Lendl,Mac and Jimbo.Possibly the best unofficial event ever, along the Pepsi GS at Miami.

    Milan and Barcelona had top players fighting their balls out.None of them considered it mere entertaining and, because there was less pressure, they played better tennis.In barcelona, Lendl and Mac played very doggy matches and their mutual hate was always on the air.Same happened with Connors and Mac at Chicago.

    The Moolson at canada was also great, Gerulaitis beat Borg in the rr, Mac in the semis and Connors ( who had beaten Borg in the semis) in the last match.Tremendous tennis.

    Also, Las vegas winner takes all, run by WCT, as well as the Tournament of Champions at Forest Hills.No better tennis is really posible and I laugh at the idea players did not give their absolute best.

    Do you remember the superchallenges at Vegas ran by Riordan with Connors against Laver,Newcombe,Nastase and Orantes? it looked like a heavuweight world championship...those were times..
     
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  13. robow7

    robow7 Professional

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    kiki, one of those evenings included an over weight and over the hill Nastase vs Jose Luis Clerc, and Nasty made the #4 player in the world look like it was child's play with his vast array of shot making. Clerc was literally talking to himself like "how the hell can he do that with a ball?" Great stuff and believe me those guys didn't treat it like today's exhibitions, there was big money riding on those matches.
     
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  14. FedericRoma83

    FedericRoma83 Rookie

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    Sooner or later the Antwerp tournament will be recognized as official by the ATP. It was too important. It was bigger than the Championship Series tournaments for sure.
     
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  15. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Yes I can imagine
    Nastase as he aged reserved his best tennis to exos
    He and Clerc played some doubs as well
     
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  16. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Excellent thread Kiki. People these days often don't realize that players like Connors and Borg played very heavy unofficial schedules on top of their heavy official schedules, all while taking tennis to heights it had never reached before as they "spread the gospel" worldwide. These exhibitions were instrumental in making the Tour into what it is today, with big money for the top 100 players at venues across the globe. This would never have happened were it not for the tremenedous work put in by these past greats during the Golden Era of tennis (see the TV ratings for 1980 Wimbledon!). Players like Connors, Borg, and McEnroe put in a lot of blood, sweat and tears to take tennis to dizzying heights back then. The players of today have stood on their backs and owe them a temendous debt. Roger Federer and Nadal are two players that really appreciate the contributions of past greats like Connors, Borg, and McEnroe in my opinion (and Laver, Rosewall, etc..of course before them). Thanks for the thread. Good topic.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
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  17. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Thanks to you for posting&sharing experiences, glad to see you back
    Yes exos looked to me like those great rock concerts at stadiums
    Golden tennis and Golden music
     
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  18. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    BTW some of the best and hottest Lendl vs Mac, Connors vs Mac, Lendl vs Gerulaitis matches were exos or unofficial events
     
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  19. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    That's a good way to put it as to the exhibitions Kiki. Didn't Vegas have a really popular one? (run by Alan King). Also, thank you for the post. I appreciate it. I've just made it past a big deadline as to my work and am now a bit more flexible with my scheduling. I actually have time for frequent tennis, thank goodness! I enjoy this forum for all things tennis related.

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    You mean Caesar´s Palace? I guess I just recall those organised by Connors manager, Billy Riordan, against Laver,Nastase and Newcombe.I also recall WCT ran its Invitational event there, before they moved it to Forest Hills in 1978.
     
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  21. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    182 Golden Circuit at Australia: Perth,melbourne and Sidney with Borg,Lendl,mc Enroe and Gerulaitis.
     
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