Tournament of Champions - 1956 to 1959 - is it a Pro. Slam - yes or no?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by timnz, Jun 19, 2012.

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Are the 1956 to 1959 Tournament of Champions/1967 Wimbledon Pro Pro. Slams?

  1. Neither should be regarded as Pro. Slams

    1 vote(s)
    16.7%
  2. Wimbledon Pro. 1967 - should be regarded as a Pro. Slam

    4 vote(s)
    66.7%
  3. 1956 to 1959 Tournament of Champions - should be regarded as a Pro. Slam

    5 vote(s)
    83.3%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    I notice on wikipedia that the World Pro Championships in Berlin in 1932-1933 had been added to the list of professional majors. Does anybody know what the scores were for the finals in these years?
     
    #51
  2. BobbyOne

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    In 1932 Plaa d. Tilden for first place (it was a r.r. with also Nüsslein and Albert Burke participating) 6-0,7-5,8-6. Nüsslein emerged third.

    In 1933 there was again a round robin. Nüsslein beat Tilden 1-6,6-4,7-5,6-3 for first place. Third was K. Kozeluh, fourth Najuch.

    It's worth mentioning that both events had large participation. In 1932 there were at least 64 players participating.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2012
    #52
  3. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Thanks very much :)
     
    #53
  4. timnz

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    Berlin - World Pro Championships 1932 and 1933

    Yes I will own up. That was me who updated the Wikipedia article.

    The evidence just got overwhelming that this was a Pro Major. It had a much larger field than any of the other Pro Majors of the 50's or 60's. In 1933 it had over 80 players! I also did an Internet Search of the newspapers at the time - consistently it was called the World Pro. Championship. Tilden who was runner up to Plaa in 1932 - rated Plaa the number 1 for 1932 - one would think largely on the basis of that tournament. The final confirmation for me was Tennis Historian Ray Bowers in the 'History of the Pro Tennis Wars Chapter IV' this tournament at the time was regarded as the most prestigious professional tournament in the world.

    I have to say, an equally strong case is developing for the Bristol Cup being a Pro. Major. It is very clear that Kozeluh was regarded by everyone as the World Pro. Champion at the beginning of 1931. That was the primary reason he had the head to head tour with Tilden once Tilden turned Pro. to determine who the new Pro Champion was. Why was Kozeluh regarded as the World Pro Champion? - because he was the winner of the Bristol Cup (he actually won it many times). Now if a tournament establishes who is the World Champion for the year - surely it should be regarded as a Pro. Major.
     
    #54
  5. BobbyOne

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    Mustard, I have forgotten something to tell: I possess a photograph (got it from Frau Nüsslein) showing Martin Plaa after his sensational win against Tilden. It shows Plaa in tears...

    I find it worth to mention that Plaa won the first set by 6-0! Tilden in those days seldom lost a set that way...


    In 1935 he lost two sets by 6-0 in the final of the US Pro against K. Kozeluh.

    Plaa's win shows also that he, Kozeluh, Nüsslein, Ramillon, A. Burke and Najuch were more than just journeymen as some posters (or is it only one poster?) try to insinuate...
     
    #55
  6. treblings

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    is there a definition of the term ´journeymen´that is widely accepted?
     
    #56
  7. BobbyOne

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    I'm not of English language but I think that kiki and maybe others use that word to belittle players like Nüsslein and K. Kozeluh...
     
    #57
  8. treblings

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    i sense that as well, that it is sometimes used to belittle players.
    i wanted to ask for a definition of that term in order to see whether everybodys definition is about the same:) if it´s not, how can you argue?
    is someone not a journeyman, who beats the no.1 player in the world?
    or do you need to win a major or be ranked top ten to not be a journeyman?
    btw, i don´t think kiki is a native english speaker and i know i´m not.
    the more reason to find a common definition to know what the other means
     
    #58
  9. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Never heard of guys like Plaa,Ramillom,Najuch and Burke
    Where did they come frpm?
     
    #59
  10. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Aren' you a vampire? I mean your relation to old Fraulwin Nusslein is just....
    Journeymamship is the general standart for 90% of normal people that must work a whole journey to make a living including middle to high class, midle to middle class, middle to working class and, of course, working class
    In my mouth it never pretends being an insult but rather to aknowlwdge a non true champuion player who, in spite of this shortcoming he or she never overcame, can have high middle class status and be respected in his profession in the way a Nusslein, a Kovacs, a Segura or more recently a Ferrer and other non major achievers were respected
     
    #60
  11. Carsomyr

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    In no definition of "journeymen" would you find reference to players like Nusslein and Segura.
     
    #61
  12. Mustard

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    Just one thing you need to do now, get the World Pro and "W (1933)" to show up on Hans Nusslein's infobox on his wikipedia page. Also, "F (1932, 1933)" on Bill Tilden's wikipedia page.

    Plaa won the 1931 French Pro and the 1932 World Pro. Ramillon won the 1932 French Pro. Najuch and Burke were professional in the relatively early Bristol Cup years, when there was no professional tour to speak of, as such. Burke beat Najuch in the 1924 Bristol Cup final in Cannes.
     
    #62
  13. urban

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    We should consider up and downs in pro tennis history. The pro scene of the 20s was in reality contested by tennis coaches, who had given tennis lessons and were no longer available for the strict amateur code. Dan Maskell tells his story in his autobiography. Real pro tennis as a spectators sport started with Suzanne Lenglen and C.C. (Cash and Carry) Pyle, who promoted the first tour between the French star, who had trouble with the Queen Mary and the Wimbledon committee, and a hapless US counterpart. Some men played on the undercart, among them Vinnie Richards. Despite the boost given by Tilden, the pro scene in the 30s was still evolving; all in all i still reckon the amateur game at the majors and the DC to be a bit more competitive.

    In the late 40s, the pro game got a shot in the arm with the arrival of Kramer. The 1948 US pro at Forest Hills was a fine affair with 128 men competing, and Kramer, Budge, Riggs and Kovacs in the draw. In the early 50s the pro game took a dip. Kramer was very selective in his play, Gonzalez sometimes in and out, the whole tour sometimes in disarray. McCauley describes the Gonzalez-Trabert tour as the begin of the real strong pro game. In the late 50s, the pro tour overshadowed the amateur game, when virtually all leading amateurs had turned pro. But somehow, promoter Kramer let this big chance for an earlier pro or open game go. In the early 60s, the tour had financial and personal problems before Laver's arrival. 1967 was again a strong year, when 7 pros were in the overall top ten.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
    #63
  14. treblings

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    agreed, to include them in a list of journeymen seems just to be meant as a provocation
     
    #64
  15. treblings

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    was there a real chance in the late 50´s for open tennis to come that soon?
     
    #65
  16. Mustard

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    I think the top pros were better by the times Vines became professional (as well as Tilden in 1931), although the gap between the top pros and the top amateurs was close from 1931-1947. When Kramer became the best pro, the level of the top professionals started to become considerably greater than the level of the top amateurs.

    For example, I think Vines in 1934-1936 was better than Perry in the same period, and I also think Vines was better than Budge in 1938. Although, as I said earlier, the gap was close.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
    #66
  17. Mustard

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    There was a vote on whether tennis should go open in 1960, and it missed out by 5 votes.
     
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  18. treblings

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    i didn´t know that. who had the right to vote? members of the ITF?
     
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  19. Mustard

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    The latter. The ITF (then ILTF) voted on it in Paris in 1960. In order to pass, it needed 139 yes votes out of the 209 votes in total. There were 134 yes votes in total, so 5 short of what was needed.
     
    #69
  20. Mustard

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    I have Karel Kozeluh as the best professional player in 1929 and 1930, with Vinny Richards as the second best professional player in those years.

    Kozeluh won the 1930 French Pro at Roland Garros, the first French Pro tournament. At the time when Tilden turned professional, it's clear that Kozeluh (French Pro champion) and Richards (US Pro champion) were the best professional players at that time.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
    #70
  21. timnz

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    Wikipedia

    Someone has just updated the wikipedia article

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_professional_tennis_tournaments_before_the_Open_Era

    and wiped out the tournament of champions, wimbledon pro and world pro from being pro majors. I just don't get it. At the time these tournaments were regarded as majors. See this link of Nusslein with his 1934 US Pro trophy where it refers to him being the current World Pro champion (from his win at the berlin world pro the previous september)

    http://www.corbisimages.com/stock-photo/rights-managed/VV12245/hans-nusslein-holding-his-trophy

    There is no sense from that webpage that the world pro is a lesser championship than the US Pro

    I just think that we should judge history from how things were viewed at the time. If sometime in the future people say, well the French open wasnt really a major because xyz reason.....well we would view that as not being right, because we know that we all viewed it as a major now. Same with these 3 tournaments under discussion.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
    #71
  22. Mustard

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    The guy says that the French Pro, Wembley Pro and US Pro are seen as the big 3 by sources because of their longevity, but that in some years, the other big tournaments listed were as big, if not bigger, but they were shortlived by comparison.

    Personally, I agree with you Timnz, that the Tournament of Champions, Wimbledon Pro and World Pro, should be listed there on the table. I have never understood the argument that "sources" should predominate, as if sources were any more impartial and perfect.
     
    #72
  23. timnz

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    Sources?

    Who are these 'Sources'? Why can they not be challenged? And are they in fact saying that these three tournaments weren't majors? I know that Ray Bowers for instance says that the World Pro was the most prestigious Professional Tournament in the world. How then can it not be a major? See to me it is all opinion. But the way to establish 'Major' status is how were the tennis Authorities and public, at the time, viewing these events. It is clear when you look at the history - they viewed them as majors. So to not have them on the list wipes out the achievements of Hoad (1959 Tournament of Champions winner), Nusselin (1933 World Pro winner) etc - just because of these 'Sources'......
     
    #73
  24. Mustard

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    On the wikipedia page now, there's the French Pro, Wembley Pro and US Pro on the main table, and the other shorter lived big tournaments listed below, with champions each year also listed.
     
    #74
  25. BobbyOne

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    In kiki's posts you would.
     
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  26. BobbyOne

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    They came from Mars. That's why you don't know them.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
    #76
  27. BobbyOne

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    Anneliese Nüsslein (she died a few years ago) was not a Fräulein but a Frau (Mrs.)

    You can't compare Ferrer with Nüsslein, Kovacs and Segura who were first class competitors.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
    #77
  28. BobbyOne

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    That's also my view: World Pro, F.H. pro and Wimbledon 1967 are big tournaments but not majors because they did not be equivalents to the GS tournament and did not have enough tradition.
     
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  29. timnz

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    Although

    What is equivalency in your view? What made them equivalent?

    Regarding Tradition - what establishes tradition? The duration of the event right? But that is only discovered retrospectively. They only knew the French Pro, Wembley and the US Pro had longevity retrospectively. But at the time, refer to the photo of Nusslein from my last posts, they regarded the World Pro alongside of the US Pro. - as being part of the 'big' events. They weren't to know that the World Pro. didn't have staying legs. We must judge history as how people perceived it at the time. Otherwise if we might find that the present 4 majors drop off the list of majors in the future because one or more might go out of fashion.

    I think it is useful to compare this to golf. Golf's 4 majors changed over times. Bobby Jones is regarded as the guy who won Golf's calendar Grand Slam. However, the majors he won are different than today's majors. Nobody depreciates Jones' achievement and says that it is not a grand slam, because the events are not the same as today's events. No, they realise that the majors change over time - so they judge his achievements according to what was perceived at the time. Everybody in late 1933 early 1934 regarded Nusslein as World Pro. Champion. They did because of his win in Berlin. It's very clear that that event held at least as much weight if not more than the US Pro championships at the time. The fact that it didn't continue as the World Championship shouldn't take anything away from the fact, at the time, it was the World Championship and therefore worthy of a Major status.

    Let me rephrase this. If the Berlin World Pro. Championships had continued for decades - then it would be regarded as a Pro. Slam right? (According to your 'tradition' statement). But if it had continued in 1934,1935, 1936...etc etc, 1966, 1967 - would that have made the 1933 event more different for Nusslein to win? No, not at all. It was was it was at the time. He should be given credit for winner what was a major at the time.

    The same problem has happened with the World Hard Court Championships. It was officially (according to the ILTF) and regarded by all of the players of the day as a Major. But these days because it is a forgotten event - suddenly people don't recognize it as a Major anymore. But that doesn't take away from the fact that it was recognized as a major at the time. We must get away from historical revisionism.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
    #79
  30. Mustard

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    Agreed timnz. The tennis authorities are truly appalling at explaining the sport's history, such as the fact that there were once 3 official majors, which were the World Hard Court Championships, the World Grass Court Championships (aka Wimbledon) and the World Covered Court Championships, rather than the 4 official majors we know today (which only came into effect in 1924-1925). Of course, when the WHCC, Wimbledon and the WCCC were the official majors, the US Championships was widely seen as an unofficial fourth major. This is seldom explained though, as some people who should know better act like the current 4 majors were always so from the beginning of their existence.

    Then there's the pro-am split, which lasted for more than 4 decades, and which the authorities are dreadful at explaining, and the single most important reason as to why Pancho Gonzales is criminally underrated on the GOAT lists, not to mention other greats whose greatest achievements were on the professional tour rather than on the amateur tour.

    Even in the open era, there was chaos for much of the 1970s and early 1980s with politics on the tour. The order to the tour's structure, like we see today, only really began in 1983, which is less than 30 years ago.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
    #80
  31. BobbyOne

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    I partly agree with your reservation regarding tradition and equivalents. But only regarding the pre WW2 events. Not regarding the post WW2 events. The latter had long tradition and were equivalents to the G.S. tournaments as they were held at Paris, at London and in the USA.

    The US Pro was establishes as early as 1927 and had a certain tradition even in the 1930s.

    I think it's common sense at the majority of experts that pro tennis had three majors after the war (or since 1956 the Paris event). Thus we were able to state that Rosewall and Laver achieved a so called Pro Grand Slam even though the players themselves did not call it that way.
     
    #81
  32. Mustard

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    The Tournament of Champions (1956-1959) was just as big an event, as was the Wimbledon Pro of 1967.

    Laver won the Wimbledon Pro in 1967, anyway.
     
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  33. pc1

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    I think sometimes we get too much in technicalities. The Tournament of Champions and the Wimbledon Pro were super important tournaments and arguably the most important of the year. Were they Pro Majors? I don't think so. But the fact they were so prestigious is more important. I don't think the pros were into the idea that "I have to build up my majors count now." They were into winning big tournaments and winning money.

    What was more important to the Pros in 1972, the WCT Championship or the French and Australian? I would think the WCT Championship. Rosewall won it over Laver that year. Some may argue that it was a small field but I would argue back that they earned it by playing so well over the course of the WCT circuit as the WTF tournament is now.

    I would also argue that the 1967 Wimbledon Pro, while perhaps not a Pro Major was the biggest and most important tournament in the Old Pro Tour history.

    This is another reason why I think it's so flawed to count majors as the most important criteria to determine the best player of all time.
     
    #83
  34. Mustard

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    The Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open have been official majors, recognised by the ITF, since 1924-1925. That is why WCT Dallas and the Masters, as big as they were at the time, were not majors. They were just the tournaments that had the most prize money and were more up to date with the immediate demands of open tennis, unlike the establishment that clung to the old ways as much as possible.
     
    #84
  35. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    But as you know the WCT Dallas was perhaps a title more desired by at least some players over at least some majors.
     
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  36. timnz

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    WCT Finals vs World Pro

    But it wasn't self-describing itself as a Major - whereas the World Pro in Berlin in 32/33 was. The public perceived it as such at the time - newspaper clipping reveal that. Nobody in 32/33 didn't think that the World Pro wasn't a major championship. In fact they though of it as THE Professional Major championship.
     
    #86
  37. BobbyOne

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    #87
  38. Mustard

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    #88
  39. BobbyOne

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    #89
  40. timnz

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    Losing Pro Major status retrospectively

     
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  41. BobbyOne

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    Last edited: Sep 28, 2012
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  42. Dan Lobb

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    Great points here. The "official" pro majors were often minor events.
    While the 1967 Wimbledon was the most important pro tournament in the way it transitioned to open tennis, and showed Laver at his absolute peak form, I would suggest that the 1959 Forest Hills had a stronger field and showcased a number of greats at their prime. Hoad, Gonzales, a younger and better Rosewall, Sedgman, Trabert, Anderson at his best, Cooper, Segura, Rose, Giammalva (who was a good player, and won a pro tournament that year at Tuscaloosa beating both Riggs and Budge).
    Plus, the last TWO rounds were best-of-five sets, a tougher challenge than the semis in 1967, which featured a very deteriorated Hoad among the last four.
     
    #92
  43. BobbyOne

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    I agree that 1959 ToC had a stronger field than Wimbledon pro 1967.

    Dan, do you realize that Budge was 44 and Riggs was 41 at Tuscaloosa? It's hardly a proof of Giammalva's greatness...
     
    #93
  44. timnz

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    Berlin

     
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  45. BobbyOne

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    #95
  46. Dan Lobb

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    True, but they were not REALLY ancient, and could probably beat a lot of players in 1959.
    Giammalva won the 1955 Eastern Grasscourts Championships, an important tournament, and played for the U.S.A. Davis Cup team.
     
    #96
  47. BobbyOne

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    Budge won only ONE match in his 1954 tour...5 years earlier than 1959!
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
    #97
  48. Dan Lobb

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    That ONE match was a great win against first-place Gonzales.
     
    #98
  49. BobbyOne

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    Yes it was. But what did Budge win in 1959?
     
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  50. Dan Lobb

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    Budge and Riggs were still active, and Budge won a set off Laver in 1962.
    Riggs beat someone in 1973, who was that?
     

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