The Pancho Gonzales Serve!

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Limpinhitter, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    Why was it so great? I'm going with his amazing pronation.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #1
  2. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    More pronation:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #2
  3. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,954
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    I don't know what pronation means. (Ok, I'll be looking it up.)

    One thing to consider is that for much of Gonzalez's career servers had to keep one foot on the court while serving. I wonder how much better Gonzalez's serve would have been, given his obvious talents, had he been able to serve like modern servers do.
     
    #3
  4. sportsfan1

    sportsfan1 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,813
    What strikes me in the second pic is the extremely small racquet head size.
    The pronation must have been like Sampras, I suppose?
     
    #4
  5. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    Messages:
    25,063
    Location:
    Cwmbran, Wales
    Gonzales' service motion is so fluid. It's as close to perfect as I've seen.
     
    #5
  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,707
    We all should pronate like that, high hand finish, high elbow, and the racket pointing straight down at the ground.
     
    #6
  7. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,344
    Vic Braden who does computer analysis of tennis players wrote in his book Tennis 2000 that he thought that Gonzalez's serve was perhaps the most fluid serve ever and he believed that Gonzalez would have no problem serving at 140 mph regularly. Bear in mind he wrote this around 1998 when the serve record was in the low 140 mph range with the racquets of that time.

    Braden also wrote that Gonzalez's serve took very little out of him and he could still be serving bombs in the fifth set. I don't have the exact quotes but that's the essence of what he meant.

    Here's a video of Pancho Gonzalez
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nd0gJzm_EQY

    Edit-Made a minor error, wrote the Braden wrote Gonzalez would be serving bombs in the fifth set, it was actually 18 all in the third.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2012
    #7
  8. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    In some pics, Pancho's racquet is beyond straight down. He had an amazingly flexible shoulder.
     
    #8
  9. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    This video (has some of the same footage as your link), does a nice comparison between Gonzales and Federer's serves.
     
    #9
  10. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,541
    Location:
    Sweden


    120 mph with a wooden racket? That's incredible.:shock: He probably would have served in the 140s today. Did other contemporaries of him served at the same speed? I've always thought Sampras had the most perfect serving motion, this Pancho guy certainly rivals Pete.

    - Best player in the world for 10 consecutive years! Are you guys sure Laver is the greatest ever?? LOL :D

    The video was much appreciated btw pc1. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2012
    #10
  11. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,344
    Laver was great but the possibility is there that Gonzalez was greater than any player ever. I'm not sure if he was the best for 10 straight years but was possibly the best from the early 1950's to early 1960's. Gonzalez is one of the few players I would rank as a possible GOAT.
     
    #11
  12. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    3,661
    Plenty of players had "live" arms and excellent motions and were serving 120+ before the midsize/graphite era......Colin Dibley held the record serving at 148mph back in the 70s using a Dunlop Maxply......Gonzalez, Tanner, Smith, Ashe...etc all could and did serve over 120 with the old woodies.
     
    #12
  13. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    3,661
    Pancho also had was must have been the biggest chip on his shoulder in the history of the game. He was a beast and pretty much didn't like anyone nor they him on the pro tour. He was pretty much self taught and was treated like garbage by the USLTA (what is USTA today) and the tennis establishment in he 40s - had to play the pro tour for the money but I have little doubt looking at what he did at the end of his career if he had been able to play at Wimby, RG, USO....etc in his prime from 1950 on he would be even more firmly at the top of the GOAT lists.
    He and his son Richard were fixtures in the late 70s/early 80 on the father/son tournaments along with he likes of the Emerson's, Giammalva's and he still dominated.
     
    #13
  14. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,344
    From Vic Braden's Tennis 2000 on Pancho Gonzalez-What always impressed me about Pancho Gonzalez's serve was not his speed, but the fact that fundementally he had a flawless stroke and normally hit with 60 to 70 percent accuracy on his first serve. He didn't have one hitch or one wasted motion; he never made any muscles work against him. He hit the ball harder than anyone, yet his motion was so fluid that he never had upper arm and shoulder problems. At 18-all in the third set, back in the days before the tie-breaker, he would still be hitting rhythmically and throwing in bombs.

    Even in the 1960s, when he was winning matches at Wimbledon at the age of forty-one, Gonzalez was still the greatest server in the game because he generated his power with rhythm and the proper use of each body link, rather than brute strength.


    Later on the page-Out on the court, whatever he did while serving or preparing to serve was calculated to keep himself relaxed. He never bounced the ball hard on the court. He never gave his motion excess gyrations. When he walked to the line he would try to shrug his shoulder and shake his arms loose. He looked so calm you would think, "Why doesn't he get excited?" The first time one of my students, Jeff Austin, faced Gorgo's serve, his motion was so easy that Jeff thought Gorgo was going to take it easy on him 'cause he was just a kid. But when Gorgo uncorked the ball right down the middle, Jeff wasn't ready and it scared the heck out of him. I have no doubt Gonzalez would have served in the 140 m.p.h. zone with today's racquets. But a bigger issue is that he would have done it with very little force on his shoulder and elbow. In contrast, power servers like Greg Rusedski (143 m.p.h. in the 1997 US Open) and Pete Sampras hit with a style that places their shoulder and elbow in great jeopardy.
     
    #14
  15. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    I have no doubt that Pancho could serve bigger than 120mph with a wood racquet. Many players could. Perhaps that was Pancho's average 1st serve speed. Having played with wood racquets for almost 15 years, I can tell you that if you hit the sweet spot of a 14+ oz wood racquet, with natural gut string (by far the most powerful string still available), the power will be nearly as much as any modern frame. And it is much easier to swing hard and hit the sweet spot on serve than on groundies. The problem is that because the strings are so short the sweet spot is the size of a tennis ball, and if you don't hit it, you end up with a dead shot. So, you had to be more precise and more conservative with your swing with a wood racquet. On serve, you are in control of everything. There's no bounce, footwork or shot preparation to deal with. So, it's easier to swing hard and still consistently hit the sweet spot. Hope that explains it.

    As a big Laver fan, I'm not "sure" he is the greatest ever. That's why I like to say my top 5 are Laver, Sampras, Federer, Borg and Gonzales. The only one I haven't actually seen play live is Gonzales. Of the four I have seen, I was most impressed with Laver. And many, but not all, who have seen and played against Gonzales and Laver pick Laver. Laver also has a big H2H advantage over Gonzales. HOWEVER, Gonzales was passed his prime before Laver reached his. And, Gonzales beat Laver (and many other top 5 players), in some big matches after he turned 40. So, I, for one, can't say with certainty that Laver was greater. I can only go with what I've seen and read.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2012
    #15
  16. PrinceMoron

    PrinceMoron Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    Messages:
    3,142
    I remember something about restricting players to a first serve in an attempt to minimise PG's advantage, but he just cleaned up even more. Wonder what series that was?
     
    #16
  17. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,707
    Pancho was around 6'4" tall.
    If he was Segura's height, his serve would only be average.
     
    #17
  18. MikeyBigShot

    MikeyBigShot Rookie

    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    Messages:
    100
    I want this serve. It looks so smooth and easy.

    Can this motion really produce serves around 120 mph???
     
    #18
  19. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,707
    At 6'4", yes.
    At LeytonHewitt/JuanCarlosFerrero heights, no.
     
    #19
  20. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    Messages:
    25,063
    Location:
    Cwmbran, Wales
    When Pancho Gonzales was an amateur in the late 1940s, he was apparently a happy-go-lucky character who played with a smile on his face. The amateur Gonzales sounds similar in personality to Gustavo Kuerten. Jack Kramer said that when he beat Gonzales 96-27 on their 1950 world pro tour and Gonzales was told by Bobby Riggs that he was "dead meat as a pro tennis attraction", Gonzales' personality changed and he became very serious, extremely dedicated and had the biggest chip on his shoulder in history. Gonzales was determined that when he got his next chance, he would never fail again.

    Now, I get the feeling as the bitterness made Gonzales so dedicated and to put in the constant practice, do all that hard work, the constant travelling and playing to be the very best in the sport, that all this made Gonzales even more bitter. It both drove Gonzales to dominate and make him all the more bitter still because of all the dedication it took. And that is the "Lone Wolf" Gonzales. Another big factor in Gonzales' bitterness was how the newly turned professional players that he was beating were getting paid considerably more than him.

    The only players he got on with, apparently, were Pancho Segura, Lew Hoad and Alex Olmedo. And even then, he didn't speak to Olmedo for months after Olmedo beat the returning Gonzales at the 1963 US Pro. I suppose we can add Charlie Pasarell to the list as well.

    Lew Hoad was apparently the only player that Gonzales went out of his way to be nice to.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2012
    #20
  21. MikeyBigShot

    MikeyBigShot Rookie

    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    Messages:
    100
    Looks like I've found my new serve...:)
     
    #21
  22. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,344
    According to Vic Braden, probably 140 mph range regularly.

    See below
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2012
    #22
  23. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,657
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    I have Gonzales world no. 1 for six years, and Laver for seven. Tough call.

    Both are all-time greats.
     
    #23
  24. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    Messages:
    25,063
    Location:
    Cwmbran, Wales
    I have Gonzales as number 1 for 8 years, more years than any other player in tennis history.

    My top 2 tennis players per year
    1919: Bill Johnston, Bill Tilden
    1920: Bill Tilden, Bill Johnston
    1921: Bill Tilden, Bill Johnston
    1922: Bill Tilden, Bill Johnston
    1923: Bill Tilden, Bill Johnston
    1924: Bill Tilden, Bill Johnston
    1925: Bill Tilden, Bill Johnston
    1926: Rene Lacoste, Jean Borotra
    1927: Rene Lacoste, Bill Tilden
    1928: Henri Cochet, Rene Lacoste
    1929: Henri Cochet, Rene Lacoste
    1930: Henri Cochet, Bill Tilden
    1931: Bill Tilden, Ellsworth Vines
    1932: Ellsworth Vines, Bill Tilden
    1933: Jack Crawford, Fred Perry
    1934: Ellsworth Vines, Fred Perry
    1935: Ellsworth Vines, Fred Perry
    1936: Ellsworth Vines, Fred Perry
    1937: Ellsworth Vines, Fred Perry
    1938: Ellsworth Vines, Don Budge
    1939: Don Budge, Ellsworth Vines
    1940: Don Budge, Fred Perry
    1941: Fred Perry, Bobby Riggs
    1942: Don Budge, Bobby Riggs
    1943: ??????
    1944: Bobby Riggs, Don Budge
    1945: Bobby Riggs, Don Budge
    1946: Bobby Riggs, Don Budge
    1947: Bobby Riggs, Jack Kramer
    1948: Jack Kramer, Bobby Riggs
    1949: Jack Kramer, Bobby Riggs
    1950: Jack Kramer, Pancho Segura
    1951: Jack Kramer, Pancho Segura
    1952: Pancho Segura, Pancho Gonzales
    1953: Jack Kramer, Frank Sedgman
    1954: Pancho Gonzales, Frank Sedgman
    1955: Pancho Gonzales, Pancho Segura
    1956: Pancho Gonzales, Frank Sedgman
    1957: Pancho Gonzales, Pancho Segura
    1958: Pancho Gonzales, Frank Sedgman
    1959: Pancho Gonzales, Lew Hoad
    1960: Pancho Gonzales, Ken Rosewall
    1961: Pancho Gonzales, Ken Rosewall
    1962: Ken Rosewall, Lew Hoad
    1963: Ken Rosewall, Rod Laver
    1964: Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall
    1965: Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall
    1966: Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall
    1967: Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall
    1968: Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall
    1969: Rod Laver, Tony Roche
    1970: Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall
    1971: John Newcombe, Stan Smith
    1972: Stan Smith, Ilie Nastase
    1973: Ilie Nastase, John Newcombe
    1974: Jimmy Connors, John Newcombe
    1975: Arthur Ashe, Jimmy Connors
    1976: Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg
    1977: Guillermo Vilas, Bjorn Borg
    1978: Bjorn Borg, Jimmy Connors
    1979: Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe
    1980: Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe
    1981: John McEnroe, Bjorn Borg
    1982: Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl
    1983: John McEnroe, Mats Wilander
    1984: John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors
    1985: Ivan Lendl, John McEnroe
    1986: Ivan Lendl, Boris Becker
    1987: Ivan Lendl, Mats Wilander
    1988: Mats Wilander, Ivan Lendl
    1989: Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl
    1990: Stefan Edberg, Andre Agassi
    1991: Stefan Edberg, Jim Courier
    1992: Jim Courier, Stefan Edberg
    1993: Pete Sampras, Jim Courier
    1994: Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi
    1995: Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi
    1996: Pete Sampras, Boris Becker
    1997: Pete Sampras, Patrick Rafter
    1998: Pete Sampras, Marcelo Rios
    1999: Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras
    2000: Gustavo Kuerten, Marat Safin
    2001: Lleyton Hewitt, Gustavo Kuerten
    2002: Lleyton Hewitt, Andre Agassi
    2003: Andy Roddick, Roger Federer
    2004: Roger Federer, Lleyton Hewitt
    2005: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal
    2006: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal
    2007: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal
    2008: Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer
    2009: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal
    2010: Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer
    2011: Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal

    My top 2 amateur tennis players per year
    1919: Bill Johnston, Bill Tilden
    1920: Bill Tilden, Bill Johnston
    1921: Bill Tilden, Bill Johnston
    1922: Bill Tilden, Bill Johnston
    1923: Bill Tilden, Bill Johnston
    1924: Bill Tilden, Bill Johnston
    1925: Bill Tilden, Bill Johnston
    1926: Rene Lacoste, Jean Borotra
    1927: Rene Lacoste, Bill Tilden
    1928: Henri Cochet, Rene Lacoste
    1929: Henri Cochet, Rene Lacoste
    1930: Henri Cochet, Bill Tilden
    1931: Ellsworth Vines, Henri Cochet
    1932: Ellsworth Vines, Henri Cochet
    1933: Jack Crawford, Fred Perry
    1934: Fred Perry, Jack Crawford
    1935: Fred Perry, Jack Crawford
    1936: Fred Perry, Gottfried von Cramm
    1937: Don Budge, Gottfried von Cramm
    1938: Don Budge, Bunny Austin
    1939: Bobby Riggs, John Bromwich
    1940: Don McNeill, Bobby Riggs
    1941: Bobby Riggs, Frank Kovacs
    1942: Ted Schroeder, Frank Parker
    1943: Joseph Hunt, Jack Kramer
    1944: Frank Parker, Bill Talbert
    1945: Frank Parker, Bill Talbert
    1946: Jack Kramer, John Bromwich
    1947: Jack Kramer, Dinny Pails
    1948: John Bromwich, Pancho Gonzales
    1949: Pancho Gonzales, Ted Schroeder
    1950: Budge Patty, Frank Sedgman
    1951: Frank Sedgman, Dick Savitt
    1952: Frank Sedgman, Jaroslav Drobny
    1953: Tony Trabert, Ken Rosewall
    1954: Jaroslav Drobny, Tony Trabert
    1955: Tony Trabert, Ken Rosewall
    1956: Lew Hoad, Ken Rosewall
    1957: Lew Hoad, Ashley Cooper
    1958: Ashley Cooper, Mal Anderson
    1959: Alex Olmedo, Neale Fraser
    1960: Neale Fraser, Rod Laver
    1961: Roy Emerson, Rod Laver
    1962: Rod Laver, Roy Emerson
    1963: Roy Emerson, Chuck McKinley
    1964: Roy Emerson, Fred Stolle
    1965: Roy Emerson, Fred Stolle
    1966: Fred Stolle, Manuel Santana
    1967: John Newcombe, Roy Emerson

    My top 2 professional tennis players per year
    1927: Vinny Richards, Howard Kinsey
    1928: Vinny Richards, Karel Kozeluh
    1929: Karel Kozeluh, Vinny Richards
    1930: Karel Kozeluh, Vinny Richards
    1931: Bill Tilden, Vinny Richards
    1932: Bill Tilden, Karel Kozeluh
    1933: Bill Tilden, Hans Nusslein
    1934: Ellsworth Vines, Hans Nusslein
    1935: Ellsworth Vines, Hans Nusslein
    1936: Ellsworth Vines, Hans Nusslein
    1937: Ellsworth Vines, Fred Perry
    1938: Ellsworth Vines, Hans Nusslein
    1939: Don Budge, Ellsworth Vines
    1940: Don Budge, Fred Perry
    1941: Fred Perry, Dick Skeen
    1942: Don Budge, Bobby Riggs
    1943: ??????
    1944: Bobby Riggs, Don Budge
    1945: Bobby Riggs, Don Budge
    1946: Bobby Riggs, Don Budge
    1947: Bobby Riggs, Don Budge
    1948: Jack Kramer, Bobby Riggs
    1949: Jack Kramer, Bobby Riggs
    1950: Jack Kramer, Pancho Segura
    1951: Jack Kramer, Pancho Segura
    1952: Pancho Segura, Pancho Gonzales
    1953: Jack Kramer, Frank Sedgman
    1954: Pancho Gonzales, Frank Sedgman
    1955: Pancho Gonzales, Pancho Segura
    1956: Pancho Gonzales, Frank Sedgman
    1957: Pancho Gonzales, Pancho Segura
    1958: Pancho Gonzales, Frank Sedgman
    1959: Pancho Gonzales, Lew Hoad
    1960: Pancho Gonzales, Ken Rosewall
    1961: Pancho Gonzales, Ken Rosewall
    1962: Ken Rosewall, Lew Hoad
    1963: Ken Rosewall, Rod Laver
    1964: Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall
    1965: Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall
    1966: Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall
    1967: Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012
    #24
  25. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,715
    A living proof of Lew Hoad´s greatness.

    Gonzales may have been the fiercest competitior ever, even more than guys like Laver,Borg,Nadal,Sampras and Jimmy Connors.
     
    #25
  26. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    1,963
    Gonzales and Hoad both came from low-income working class backgrounds and learned to play on public courts, not the high-priced private clubs of other players. They both dropped out of school early, they could be very "casual" off-court, although Hoad imbibed beer more than Gonzales, and they lacked financial skills (both ended up broke at the end of their lives). They had much in common.
     
    #26
  27. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,715
    Gonzales was friends of Puerto Rico´s Charlie Pasarell?
     
    #27
  28. JW10S

    JW10S Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Messages:
    1,891
    No, they were not friends. But they did have an epic match at Wimbledon in 1969 that Gonzales won 22-24, 1-6, 16-14, 6-3, 11-9 even though at 41 years of age he was 16 years older than Pasarell.
     
    #28
  29. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    And Pasarell was the #1 ranked American at the time.
     
    #29
  30. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    Messages:
    25,063
    Location:
    Cwmbran, Wales
    #30
  31. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    3,661
    It's a misconception that Pancho came from a poor background - his family was firmly middle class - his Mexican background was a huge issue with idiots like Perry Jones who controlled Tennis in the Southland back then who pretty much blackballed Pancho. Get a copy of Pancho's book....excellent read. My brothers and I got to take lessons as juniors from Pancho and was always cool with us kids.
     
    #31
  32. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    You lucky dog, you! Very, very cool!
     
    #32
  33. TennisDawg

    TennisDawg Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2007
    Messages:
    613
    He did come from the inner city of LA, though. Just imagine what the country was like back then. Tennis has such a lilly white origin and here comes this bronze skinned, tall, athletic, fluid, bronze skinned Aztec warrior that beats the pants off the "anglo, white tennis estabishment" I think Pancho was a victim of racism and still to this day, we rarely hear his name mentioned when we talk about GOAT, still a travesty, I'm afraid!

    I am grateful, I got to see him at a "March of Dimes" fundraiser back in the mid 1970s, in Salt Lake City. He was in his mid 40s way past his prime, but still a joy to watch. He was very engaging with the audience and the juniors on the court during the event. Something, I noticed that went along with his loner bad boy image, he was smoking by himself when he wasn't on the court.

    Do you have the title of the Pancho Gonzales book???
     
    #33
  34. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    3,661

    You have 2 books - one is TENNIS LEGEND: Panacho Gonzalez by Doreen Gonzales and is good.

    The 2nd is a thinner soft cover published by the Hispanic Library and the Biography is called Richard "Pancho" Gonzalez - geared more for the younger reader - about 130 pages.

    He may not get respect on these boards but if you ask ANYONE in tennis and listen to folks in any discussion of the GOAT here is mentioned, I think what kinda hurts him is the way he dealt with the establishment and other players......dude was really not well liked and didn't care. In truth he had issues with his own family, at the end the only people who he was semi close to was his last wife and his youngest son Skylar.

    Saw him once explode I mean go off on a hotel manager once - he was giving a lesson and talking to clients and this hotel guy calls from like 50ft away for Pancho to come over and see him - in the middle of a lesson? - well Pancho just freaking went ballistic and rightfully put this fool down telling him how rude he was...etc etc after the manager left tail between his legs Pancho turned to us and laughed and smiled and made a comment about how some of the upper mgnt treat the staff like prisoners on a chain gang and try to show off in front of guests.......loved the guy. Would have hated to **** him off:). At the end I believe he got canned from Ceaser's because he blew off a hotel bigwig or something.....
     
    #34
  35. TennisDawg

    TennisDawg Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2007
    Messages:
    613
    Thanks for the book titles. That's a hilarious story. In the TV special, one of the commentators tells the story of an episode on the court when Pancho was disputing something on the court, probably a line call. The Tennis Official happened to be a woman as only Pancho could say it, don't remember the exact quote it went something like "Lady you're starting to irritate me, be careful, I may forget that you're a woman" hahaha!
    I think Pancho was a Mans-Man.
     
    #35
  36. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,344
    There's a lot of amazing stories about Pancho Gonzalez. If he played today he would probably scare a lot of the players today with his presence alone.
     
    #36
  37. Fearsome Forehand

    Fearsome Forehand Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,183
    Location:
    USA
    Was one of the best, perhaps the best player, of his era. Once Kramer retired, he was the best for quite a few years. Kramer owned him head to head.

    He was more 6-2 than 6-4 by the way. By the end of this thread, he will be 7 feet tall. :)

    His serve would be average at best now. Everyone on the men's tour serves 120+ as a matter of routine. The average serve back then looks almost like a club player serve now. Most players just rolled in their serves.

    Mark P served 120+ with wood rackets. It is how hard you swing, not the racket so much. After the serve, however, the new rackets make a big difference.

    Pancho smoked quite a bit, I believe. And he was known for being a surly pain in the ass. Not the world's nicest, most gracious guy by any means. Great player, though.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2012
    #37
  38. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    Thanks for confirming that you don't know much about Pancho, his serve, wood racquets, or Mark P's. experiment with wood vs. graphite.

    PS: But, I'm sure you're comments would be much better received in the GPPD sandbox.
     
    #38
  39. TennisDawg

    TennisDawg Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2007
    Messages:
    613
    Yea, I've read that Kramer also was the Kingpin of the Tennis tour back then and he had the tennis establishment behind him. No one really mentions how Gonzales basically owned Laver the one that is touted as the GOAT by many. He also taught the young Connors a thing or two and beat Arthur Ashe, he was way way past his prime when he did it.
    I've nothing against Laver, Rosewall, Hoad, Budge, however if I read these threads and no mention is made of Gonzales than I dismiss the thread, it's not a serious discussion.
     
    #39
  40. TennisDawg

    TennisDawg Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2007
    Messages:
    613
    I think you're correct about the height, I've read he may have been 6' 3". He also drank more than he should have. I give him a pass when it comes to being surly, he came from a different culture than most of the lilly white tennis establishment and he was proud of his heritage. I would bet he dealt with bias and prejudice which could make you a little pis**ed off and a bit surly. He basically took no sh**t and I admire him for that. He was not a boring player that's for sure. Give me Pancho any day over the likes of "Tony Trabert" and others.
     
    #40
  41. Fearsome Forehand

    Fearsome Forehand Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,183
    Location:
    USA
    Some people are just surly by nature.

    Mac and Connors weren't exactly beaners and they both acted like arrogant jerks. :)

    Pancho went to a reform school when he was young. (The spooky place in Central CA that was featured on Ghost Adventures.) He also served in the Navy so he didn't have the typical tennis academy upbringing commonplace today. There are worse things than being surly.

    He won a pro tournament in LV in his early 40's. Not too many players can do that.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pancho_Gonzales
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2012
    #41
  42. TennisDawg

    TennisDawg Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2007
    Messages:
    613
    You've just proved my point. If Pancho was subjected to terms like "beaner" and other types of racial slurs, he would become surly.
     
    #42
  43. Fearsome Forehand

    Fearsome Forehand Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,183
    Location:
    USA
    You could call me beaner all day long and it wouldn't alter my personality. Sticks and stones. But certainly, not being allowed to play at the all white clubs probably gave PG more incentive to kick some butt.

    I think to be number 1, you have to be sort of a selfish, self absorbed person. The "nice guys" are number 53. Fed seems too be an exception to that rule.

    PG also allegedly kicked the crap out of AA's sister Rita when he was married to her. Agassi's dad hated him. PG was married and divorced six times. Not exactly going to win citizen of the year but he was a great tennis player. Died penniless apparently. AA paid for his funeral.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2012
    #43
  44. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    Actually, Laver had a large H2H advantage over Gonzales. But, Pancho was past his prime before Laver reached his prime. Also, Pancho beat many top 10 players, including #1 Laver, Newcombe, Ashe, Emerson, Paserell and others, after he turned 40, and some of those wins were in the majors.
     
    #44
  45. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    Not exactly. Pancho was considered to be friendly, even jovial, when he was an amateur winning his two U.S. Nationals. It was after he turned pro and was dominated by Jack Kramer, and then paid less on the pro tour than the other lesser players, that his personality changed and he became recluse and bitter. It is presumed by most commentators that those were the primary factors in Pancho's change of personality.
     
    #45
  46. TennisDawg

    TennisDawg Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2007
    Messages:
    613
    Good for you, but some folks see that as a dismissive deragatory term, no different than the N word. I also don't approve of needling and harrasing someone because they happen to be a particular race or ethnicity. If you happen to be of Mexican heritage and you're not bothered being called a deragatory racial slur all day long, then you should have your head examined.
    If you're not of Mexican heritage then your comments don't make any sense and have no merit, you simply don't know what you're talking about!

    This conversation has gradually shifted into another area.

    I am going to let Pancho Gonzales rest in peace!
     
    #46
  47. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    Messages:
    25,063
    Location:
    Cwmbran, Wales
    Their head-to-head was pretty even after their 1950 pro tour had ended.
     
    #47

Share This Page