The true no.1 of 1977

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by sandy mayer, May 22, 2007.

  1. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    Very good points. Particularly about the surfaces. Clearly clay was a much more important surface in the 70s than today. Hard courts did not began to acquire their current status until the US Open switched to it, and later the AO. Today the balance is very heavily tilted toward hard, of course, to the point where clay is almost seen as a less worthy surface, and the green clay events have almost completely disappeared in the US and are disappearing elsewhere also. This, along with the disappearance of grass from the AO, is one of the most regretful developments of tennis since the 80s. Much more than the change in racquet technology I think. The human body did not evolve to prance and bounce on flat rocks, but rather to glide and dance gracefully on the soft earth and the cushy green grass. Cement is an abomination and an insult to the art of tennis.
     
  2. Tennis old man

    Tennis old man New User

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    Please guys, take it easy... come on!
     
  3. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    Great post, jeffrey. You'd provided more specific info on exactly how the ranking system worked in the 70s/80s than anyone else on this board has provided over all the years I've posted here. It seemed like such a mystery.

    You confirm some of what I thought - that the big money events (sans WCT) offered pretty big points in the 70s/80s.

    I have many questions (maybe you can point in me in the direction of where to find this out, if you don't wish to answer them. I'd love to get ahold of those World of Tennis Yearbooks. I notice you post on wikepedia, do you have any articles detailing the ranking methods/points of the time there?)

    You mentioned the slams offered 250 pts in 1977, do you know how long that number was the case? how much did you get for a Runner-Up at the majors in '77? did that number hold true in the early 80s as well? Also you mentioned that Vegas in '77 offered 175 pts, do you have the ranking pts breakdown of all the events that counted for ranking that year for Connors, Vilas, Borg? Was it a close race in the ATP ranking?

    I have a Year in Review tennis magazine issue for 1982, that year Mac finished at #1 with a 122.58 average & Connors finished with a 121.47 average for #2, a very close margin. I wondered how many pts Connors got for his W & USO wins that year & how Mac managed to top him.

    Also, concerning prize money - I mentioned I was trying to compile a list of the 1st place prize money for majors & other big events over the years, do you know where I can find that? Right now I'm just using old magazines, or the actual videos of the finals to learn how much prize money went to the winner.

    For instance, do you know much the AO, FO, W, & USO champions got in '77? or '82? I'm curious if there was a big difference & want to see how much the money increased over the years.

    As I mentioned, I thought it was interesting that the WCT finals (& other WCT events that year) offered more prize money to the winners than the USO champion that year. I wonder how long this was the case, that the majors didn't offer the biggest prizes on tour.
     
  4. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    But in 1978, Tennis Magazine picked Connors as #1!

    I have an issue which has all their top 10s until the mid-90s(when they discontinued doing that since their ranking & the atp were now basically the same) They also have what they voted as the top 5 players on all surfaces (clay, indoor, hard, grass) over the years. Some interesting names.

    This was the panel that voted on top 10 in the 80s(presumably the same that voted in 1977)

    John Barrett
    Peter Bodo
    Judith Elian
    Alexander McNab
    Rino Tommasi
    Alan Trengrove
    Wataru Tsukagioshi

    It's too bad I don't have the '77 issue, I'm curious how the vote went(in the 80s issues I have, they listed their specific top 10s as well. In 1982 6 of the 7voted Connors as #1, Tommasi picked Lendl)

    This was their top 10 for '77(which didn't differ from the names that finished in the ATP top 10, just in the order)

    Borg
    Vilas
    Connors
    Gottfried
    Gerulaitis
    Orantes
    Ramirez
    Stockton
    Dibbs
    Nastase
     
  5. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    That was closer than it looks. Connors won a handful of top-level singles titles that year, did not play the French and avenged the Wimby loss to Borg in the US Open.

    Philly may have been the fourth biggest event in 1978 and Connors won it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2008
  6. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Tennis magazine had Borg at Nr.1 in 1977, World Tennis had Vilas (he was on the cover with a green Fila shirt). I bought that magazine then in Germany, but don't know, if i still have it. On the internet auction side, several year end magazines of the time are sold at the moment. These magazine rankings were pretty high accepted at the time, in some circles more than the computer ranking.
     
  7. jeffreyneave

    jeffreyneave Rookie

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    hello moose.

    The points on the atp rankings changed each year during the 70's and early 80s due to inflation. The points total got higher as prize money went up. The ratio between a slam and the next tier, usually las vegas or palm springs did not change much. In 1975 A slam was 160; Las Vegas 120.

    In 1977 connors did just edge it out . Vilas and Borg suffrerd a bit because the they played some 50,000 events like Nice which only gave 50 points. In 1982 the same problem arises, the slams only have a 1/3 mark up on the next tier. With today's ratio of 2, Connors would be an easy winner over McEnroe. 1982 was a year of dispute. no WCT events counted towards the rankings. Hence Lendl is usually credited with winning 15 of 23 events in 1982, but according to the ATP he only played 12 or 13. Lendl had a far better record than McEnroe.

    Highest 1st prize money events:

    1970 Champions tennis classic 70000 laver
    1971 Champions tennis classic 160000 Laver
    1972 WCT finals 50000 Rosewall
    1973 WCT finals 50000 Smith
    1974 Wct finals 50000 Necombe
    !975 WCt finals 50000 Ashe
    1976 Avis challenge cup nastase 180000
    1977 WCT challenge cup 180000 Connors
    1978 WCT challenge cup 170000 nastase

    Of the slams the US open, always paid the most In 1970 and 1971 20,000. In 1973 25000. I've forgotten the rest but it rose fairly rapidly. Neither the US open or Wimbledon ever lost their prestige as the most important events, save 1971-73 when there were political disputes. Laver and others openly boycotted '71 US open because of the ITF ban which stopped WCT pros playing Wimbledon 1972; Rosewall and laver regarded their WCT showdown in '71 as more important. In the Borg/connors era Wimbledon and the US open were always the most important events whatever the prize money.

    In 1978 Connors won 11/14 ATp events counting events; Borg 7/14. And of courses the French slam had lower ratio to other events as I mentioned at the top. Looking at true competition, Connors won 12/18 and borg 9/18, but Borg won 2 slams to Connors' one. Borg had 2-1 head to head advantage ( or 3-2 depending on the legitimacy of evens).

    I would very much like to see the full panel list of world rankings you mentioned from tennis magazine.

    jeffrey
     
  8. SgtJohn

    SgtJohn Rookie

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    Hi Jeffrey,

    Thank you for all this information!

    Do you or anyone else have information about the Champions Classic in New York? I couldn't find draws on atptennis nor itftennis.com...

    Jon

    EDIT: I saw on an older post that it was a winner-take-all series with a final between the best 2, according to urban. Do you know who was in the final? Was it widely considered as the main event of the year (before the Masters)?

    I now realize that the early Open Era is probably the period I know the least about. Even for the 1880s or other ancient eras I have a pretty clear idea of the main tournament and their winners, but the 70s are a mess!
    Do you have a list of the few top-prize money events for each year, as well as an indication of whether the draws were good (I don't think a huge prize money always leads to stellar draws: I found those of the WCT Challenge cup for the late 70s and they were not remarkable. We could say the same about the Grand Slam Cup in the late 90s).

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2008
  9. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Maybe Jeffrey has more information, i must go to the World of Tennis yearbooks for results of matches. At the moment this: The Classic Series was played in 1970 and 71 between the top ten pro players in US indoor arenas for then unheard big money. It had a complicated system. The winner of the first match was challenged by the next in line player, the winner subsequently challenged by the next. Loser of first and second rounds of preliminary matches could qualify, to challenge again. Then there was a semifinal and final with the top four qualifiers at the Garden in New York. In 1970 sf, Laver beat Gonzales in straight and Rosewall beat Emerson in a tough five-setter. In July, Laver beat Rosewall 64,63,63 for the crown and 35ooo $. In January to March 1971, Laver beat all comers, Rosewall, Newcombe, Roche, Ashe, Okker, Ashe again, Ralston, Emerson, Taylor, Emerson again in succession, 11 winner take all matches in all. Then he won the sf over Ralston and the final over Okker (63,63,61), booking another 35ooo $.
     
  10. SgtJohn

    SgtJohn Rookie

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    Thanks for the info, urban!

    Jeffrey, the atp "vault" website lists the '70 US Open prize money as $137,800...Is it a typo??
     
  11. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    That sounds plausible as the total prize money for a 128 player event with a $20,000 prize for the winner. As far as 100,000+ to just the winner, the USO didn't hit that mark until 1983 or so.

    That's quite an amazing number for just winning one event back then. In an ATP guide I have they have all the prize money leaders year by year, & Laver is at #1 with 292,000 for all of 1971. 2nd place was Rosewall with 138,000.

    Do you know who he beat in the final? Trying to see if it is listed on itf or my ATP guide(which has events listed that aren't on the atp site)

    I only have individual lists for the panel for 1982. I have all the overall top 10 lists that tennis magazine listed for 1972-1991(the year they stopped publishing rankings)

    What lists do you want to see specifically?

    here was 1972:

    1. Smith
    2. Rosewall
    3. Nastase
    4. Laver
    5. Newcombe
    6. Ashe
    7. Okker
    8. Orantes
    9. Drysdale
    10. Riessen
     
  12. SgtJohn

    SgtJohn Rookie

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    My mistake...:oops: I thought 20,000 was the whole purse.
     
  13. jeffreyneave

    jeffreyneave Rookie

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    Nastase beat borg in sf and ashe F in 1976


    The prize money is for winning the event.

    The ATP prize money is always dubious in the 70s. Nastase's win would not have counted in '76. The USTA prize money list is better

    I would like to see all rankings between '73 and '83. It always interesting to see a panel vote rather than one man's view

    jeffrey
     
  14. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    1973:
    1.Nastase
    2.Newcombe
    3.Smith
    4.Okker
    5.Connors
    6.Laver
    7.Kodes
    8.Ashe
    9.Rosewall
    10.Gorman/Orantes

    1974:
    1.Connors
    2.Newcombe
    3.Rosewall
    4.Borg
    5.Vilas
    6.Laver
    7.Smith
    8.Nastase
    9.Ashe
    10.Orantes

    1975:
    1.Ashe
    2.Connors
    3.Borg
    4.Orantes
    5.Vilas
    6.Nastase
    7.Ramirez
    8.Laver
    9.Rosewall
    10.Tanner

    1976:
    1.Connors
    2.Borg
    3.Nastase
    4.Vilas
    5.Ramirez
    6.Orantes
    7.Panatta
    8.Dibbs
    9.Solomon
    10.Tanner

    1978:
    1.Connors
    2.Borg
    3.Gerulaitis
    4.Vilas
    5.Dibbs
    6.McEnroe
    7.Gottfried
    8.Ramirez
    9.Solomon
    10.Barazzutti
     
  15. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for the information, Moose and Jeffrey.
     
  16. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    here are the rest of the list, jeffrey

    1979:
    1.Borg
    2.McEnroe
    3.Connors
    4.Gerulaitis
    5.Tanner
    6.Vilas
    7.Solomon
    8.Higueras
    9.Dibbs
    10. Pecci

    1980
    1.Borg
    2.McEnroe
    3.Connors
    4.Lendl
    5.Mayer
    6.Vilas
    7.Gerulaitis
    8.Solomon
    9.Clerc
    10.Gottfried

    1981
    1.McEnroe
    2.Borg
    3.Connors
    4.Lendl
    5.Clerc
    6.Vilas
    7.Mayer
    8.Tanner
    9.Teltscher
    10.McNamara

    1982
    1.Connors
    2.Lendl
    3.McEnroe
    4.Vilas
    5.Wilander
    6.Gerulaitis
    7.Mayer
    8.Clerc
    9.Noah
    10.Higueras

    1983
    1.McEnroe
    2.Connors
    3.Lendl
    4.Wilander
    5.Noah
    6.Arias
    7.Higueras
    8.Vilas
    9.Scanlon
    10.Clerc

    You didn't ask for it, but was a bit surprised at the Tennis rankings for 1988, they dropped Lendl to #4.
     
  17. llgc8080

    llgc8080 Rookie

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    Backing 77, don't forget the spaguetti raquet>>> look this post:
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=78496

    Michel Sutter, a recognized journalist - tennis historian, choose Vilas over Bjorn too (and the true is that I'm a fan of BORG, he played better for me, but... that year Guillermo take advantage of Iceman injuries and bad choices>>> not Vilas fault, he won the events).
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2008
  18. llgc8080

    llgc8080 Rookie

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    That's an opinion, of course. I don't have thr true.
    I really really like Ice (he's the GOAT for me!), but at some point results (always in 77) are more important that "if, would".
    Thanks to Moose, Jeffrey and urban for the info.
     
  19. garcia_doomer

    garcia_doomer New User

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    Look this!!!!

    Vilas was the number one!
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2009
  20. garcia_doomer

    garcia_doomer New User

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    ***********
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2009
  21. garcia_doomer

    garcia_doomer New User

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  22. Tennis old man

    Tennis old man New User

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    Well add Garcia, I don't think this is the right place to post it! But thank you!!!
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2008
  23. Tennisfan!

    Tennisfan! Rookie

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    Totally agree. The injuries of Connors and Borg are not Vilas problem. And not all the titles won by the argentine were mickey mouse tournies (so... & Pepsi Grand Slam? 4 men draw?), like Borg titles are'nt all "greats". 2 slams, 1 final in a depleted Aussie Open (but a Slam too, and IN GRASS!). Borg or Connors don't won Hamburg or Rome too. A straight run "cuts" by a spaghetti raquet.


    I think that some day, ATP will recognize Vilas at number one at least at one "week" in 77. Not today, of course.:)
     
  24. Tennisfan!

    Tennisfan! Rookie

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    Not Vilas fault.:)
     
  25. Q&M son

    Q&M son Professional

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    I saw all the discussion on this thread, very interesting: for me, numbers said that Vilas was the N° 1 in 77. We're talking about points. So... 16 tournies (2 GS) is enough for me.
    Greetings.

    Lucio.
     
  26. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Bumpity . . bump.
     
  27. Q&M son

    Q&M son Professional

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    Maybe...
    All threads in TT "Former Players" are in some point "bumped".:)
    The main discussion about this thread was about Feb-March 08, take a look...
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2008
  28. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Back by popular demand.

    Borg was 3-0 against Vilas in 1977 - this is year-specific.

    Yes, Vilas' US Open victory is very impressive. But Borg's win at Wimbledon isn't less so. Maybe even more so. I think that Vilas' French Open accomplishment is a big deal, but there is a lot of things to keep in mind, in retrospect. It wasn't big enough for Borg to play in, as he went to play World Team Tennis. Vilas' victory there is not more impressive than Borg's dismantling of Vilas in Monte Carlo.

    Borg retired due to an injury, while leading.

    These facts aren't 'objective' in the full meaning of the word, because they are skewed. Vilas gets rewarded for playing more, for being picky with his tournaments and for avoiding the really heavy fields. Borg played less; missed a few months due to an injury; participated in higher profile events and still won 11 singles titles. In a more standardized ATP-led schedule, Vilas wouldn't get to double digits in titles. This is why context is important and it reveals to us that Vilas' year isn't what it was cracked up to be. He dominated on clay the whole year round in events where the real top player was not participating.

    W-L is a silly way of comparing these guys. I have already explained why.

    And I am not only arguing that Borg was the better player. He also had the better year, by having better results on all surfaces than Vilas and by dominating Vilas head-to-head. Vilas' only truly great victory in 1977 was the US Open.
     
  29. Q&M son

    Q&M son Professional

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    CyBorg is back here! That's the big one!
    Thank you!:)
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2008
  30. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I never said it was less impressive. Who did? I regard these as equal.



    Irrelevant as to why Borg did not play. That's his business, and interpreting it makes no sense. You can't win a world class tournament if you don't play. It was certainly important enough for Borg in 1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1980, and 1981.

    You can't award Borg any credit for not playing and then say Monte Carlo is equally impressive. A win at Monte Carlo is simply not as impressive as a win at the FO. This logic does not hold--take way everything else and suggest that player X beats player Y at Monte Carlo. Player X does nothing else all year. But player Y wins at the French Open. Player Y is and should be ranked higher: he won a bigger tournament and was runner-up in another. All Player X did was win one less-important tournament.


    OK, then Borg has Wimbledon, and Vilas has the USO and the FO.

    I certainly do not regard Borg's victory at Monte Carlo as equal to Vilas's victory at Roland Garros.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2008
  31. jean pierre

    jean pierre Semi-Pro

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    Just the facts in 1977 :

    - Grand Slam :
    Vilas : 2 victories, 1 Final
    Borg : 1 victory
    - ATP Tournaments :
    Vilas : 16 victories (almays a record)
    Borg : 11 victories
    - Matches won consecutively :
    Vilas : 46 (always a record)

    But Borg is n°1 because he beats Vilas 3 times ??? It's a joke.
    OK, so the real n°1 since three years is not Federer, it's Nadal, because he beats Federer a lot of times.
     
  32. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Don't cloud the issue with facts. (What a silly idea :).)

    CyBorg doesn't like that--the facts are always against him.
     
  33. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    I subscribe to the Bill James mentality on this one.

    He's a baseball statistician and writer who wrote about the relative worth of baseball players in the WWII years when many were in the middle of their military service and thus were not playing.

    His argument was that these players lost valuable years because of military service, but were nevertheless great players when they were away. He assigned them a fixed value for these years, stating that even though these players were away they were still objectively speaking amongst the best in the world but were affected by circumstances beyond their control. He added that players who had injuries did not have the same excuse.

    In my situation Borg's situation is similar in that what matters is that he was objectively better than Vilas on clay and in this case there are results that actually prove this. Now, your argument would be stronger if you could demonstrate that the French Open was as irreplaceable as it is today. But it wasn't - it was not uncommon for a player to skip the event to play World Team Tennis. There were also tremendous restrictions and bannings in place in this era, which speaks to circumstances that were beyond the players' control. Saying that Borg should have foreseen the future and chosen to play at the French Open is frankly unfair. The aspect that is beyond Borg's control is the contemporary perception of the French Open, which sees the event as indispensable, something that wasn't the case 30 years ago.

    Weak logic. Player X did do something else all year. Player X was playing World Team Tennis and not merely sitting on his ass. He chose one high profile event for the time over another.

    It was better. Borg beat Vilas in Monte Carlo. Vilas beat Gottfried in Roland Garros.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2008
  34. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Nadal is only objectively better than Federer on one surface.

    Weak logic.
     
  35. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Holds little water. Winning at the FO is always better than winning at Monte Carlo: more players, more rounds, more sets, more history.

    And don't forget Borg beat Vilas at Nice also. But Vilas's record was better than Borg's record in 1977. Period.
     
  36. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Sgt John and I agree on this in principle. See the discussions about Rome vs. French Open in 1971.

    Again, standardization began in 1990. Until then few events were objectively better than any others particularly when it came to the French Open up until the 1980s.

    It was worse with the women. Evert skipped this event for a number of years in the 1970s. I guess you would also argue that whoever won this title in her absence was better.

    Platitude.
     
  37. jean pierre

    jean pierre Semi-Pro

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    OK. So, in 2003, Memphis is more important than Roland-Garros, because in Memphis Taylor Dent beats Roddick, and in RG, Ferrero beats Verkerk. Idem in 1986 : Dallas was more important than Roland-Garros, because in Dallas Jarryd beats Becker, and in RG, Lendl beats Pernfors. And in 1983, any tournament is more important than Wimbledon, because McEnroe beats Chris Lewis in final !! ........
     
  38. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    None of this is similar. Read the thread again.
     
  39. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    CyBorg,

    I respect your opinion in this matter, and I think it's provocative and worthy. But I do not and cannot agree.

    I also don't think there is anything to be gained by continuing to debate: I don't believe I will convince you, and I don't believe that you will convince me.

    I propose that we agree to disagree.
    Salute,
    Hoodjem
     
  40. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Yeah - that's fine. Your position is quite reasonable and partly chaognosis-esque (in that you feel that Roland Garros herein has a particular kind of fixed prestige value).

    I think that context provides more complex revelations, which I think explains why much of the world at the time rated Borg's year higher than Vilas' (probably about half-and-half). Ultimately this debate is fairly open-ended, particularly in light of the fact that we cannot approach a year like this by employing common standards.
     
  41. Q&M son

    Q&M son Professional

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    Sorry hood, I suposed you said that I bumped (well maybe I did it!!!) the thread... Have to go on Google and discover the meaning of the word, ha! Apologies Rocket.

    Here's a link with points in GP and ATP ranking on 77:
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=130373
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2008
  42. Vegito

    Vegito Professional

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  43. jean pierre

    jean pierre Semi-Pro

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    Yes, incredible injustice. It's totally absurd. The rules of the ATP has changed today, and with the rules of today, Vilas would have been n°1 during several monthes. But everybody (or almost everybody) consider that Vilas is the world champion in 1977, and the magazine "World Tennis", which was the autority at this period, has elected Vilas as the N°1. Some people (but only a few persons) consider that Borg was the N°1 because he beats Vilas 3 times in 1977 : it's absurd, because the n°1 is the guy who has the best palmares, and not the guy who beats X or Y. Vilas won 16 torunaments (record) and Borg 11, Vilas won 46 matches consecutively (record), and in the Grand Slam Vilas has 2 victories and 1 final, and Borg only 1 victory. So, there's no doubt, Vilas is the world champion. Everybody is agree with that.
     
  44. noeledmonds

    noeledmonds Professional

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  45. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    My favorite.
     
  46. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Not again. . . (pssssttt, don't get Cy riled up).
     
  47. garcia_doomer

    garcia_doomer New User

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    Again with this one? Sincerely, I'm happy: if you discuss today facts of 30 years ago, something wasn't right back then. Vilas should be proud, ha! :)
     
  48. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    bah, never mind.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2008
  49. Vegito

    Vegito Professional

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    Of course. I do not discuss if Connors or Borg were more or less talented than Vilas; or “what would have happened if Borg had played…” (we imagine that Federer is injured and nothing plays in 2009, and Nadal wins everything: Nadal would be #1, although Federer is better) The important thing is what they obtained, and in 1977 Vilas was unquestionably the best one. I don´t have bad thoughts, but I consider that perhaps then(at that time) it was more “business”, “more advisable” than somebody well-known (if he were American, better) was number 1. That is the real reason. I hope that the ATP puts the trousers and recognizes that Willy was number 1.
     
  50. Vegito

    Vegito Professional

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    Sorry, I don´t "DESIRE" have bad thoughts
     

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