We have a GOAT - Pancho Gonzales

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by jrs, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Vilas, Wilander and Agassi serves were not better than Rosewall.Kodes did not have a truly big serve, neither did Hewitt,Nadal and Djokovic.So, there are plenty examples.But a big serve helps a lot, of coruse.

    Borg and lendl got to nº1 when they developed a big serve ( although Lendl had it from his early years but was not too reliable)
     
  2. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    agassi, nadal, djokovic, hewitt have clearly superior serves to rosewall, no two ways about it .... I'm not saying they had/have big serves, but their serves were/are clearly much more effective

    vilas, wilander, connors are the ones closest to rosewall's, but I think theirs are superior ....

    I don't know why you would lump agassi with vilas/wilander either ... his serve was clearly superior ....

    for instance sampras broke him only once in AO 2000, couldn't break him in Indian Wells 2001 or USO 2001 ...there were some phases when his serve was not that good, but still better than vilas/wilander ....
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2013
  3. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    kiki, It's easier to make a good touch shot with modern racquets than with wooden.
     
  4. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    lol, no ......

    there is more topspin/power involved on an average these days from the player across the net and it and its more difficult to control touch shots with modern racquets .........
     
  5. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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  6. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    abmk, I can't remember that I once said Federer has a touch weakness. I usually referred to his backhand weakness. If yes, I stress that Roger yet has touch shots but that he shows it too seldom to be called a touch player.

    You are wrong regarding older players and topspin.. Laver and Rosewall did meet topspin players (Laver was a topspin player himself). Laver beat Borg, Rosewall beat Vilas (once even by 6-2,6-2,6-0 when Muscles was already 42...).
     
  7. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Thanks, kiki.
     
  8. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    yes, you did say federer has a touch weakness ......why else do you think I wrote what is in my signature ? why else do you think so many were ridiculing you about your comment about federer's touch ? do you want me to dig up that post ?

    federer is a power baseliner , with all-courter tendencies , who has excellent touch and shows it much more than most in the open era ........of course he uses his power game more as it is more effective in the modern era ....

    you are making the mistake of comparing with years prior to 1970, simiarly as you were doing when you were talking about peak/prime years of the players ......the game was clearly more touch based then ....

    coming back to the federer BH, how is then that in a baseline-oriented era, he gets 17 majors ( all in full fields ) and 6 year ending championships then ?

    fact is he has a pretty good backhand , but it can be a relative weakness ..... just like rosewall had a pretty good forehand, but it could be a relative weakness ....

    krosero already mentioned this and showcased instances, didn't he ?

    I'm not talking about a few exceptions here and there .... yes, I do know laver used quite a bit of topspin ... I'm talking about the shift as a whole ...across the tour ....

    it was a step up in early to mid 70s with borg, vilas, solomon, dibbs, connors ( not topspin, power) etc ....
    another step up with arrival of graphite in mid 80s
    another step up with the arrival of poly in early 2000s
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2013
  9. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    abmk, As you blame me for every word or even letter , I must give this back: You yet wrote that McEnroe and Nastase were the only ones playing against topspin players. Read your post!

    It's really not gentleman-like that you use your signation...

    You seem to be the last Federer admirer to whom I response. Maybe you will take it as an honour ;-) ...
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2013
  10. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I said first years Agassi.He put a lot of spin, kinda american twist serve but the guy had normal size and didn´t have too much power on that.It improved later on but was never a great serve.

    Muster,Vilas,Kodes,Hewitt,Wilander, Connors,Orantes and Rosewall are the modern era players that got the farest way without having a great serve.Some of them had a better serve ( a slighty better one I´d add) than the others but none of them had a real great serve.I think Gerulaitis was considered a medium class server, but my recall is that he had a significant better serve than any of those mentioned.
     
  11. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Rosewall also beat Solomon and Dibbs...

    He defeated Solomon 6-2,6-1 when being 41. He defeated Dibbs 6-2,6-2 when already 42. He even won a set from Dibbs 6-0 when being 43 and Dibbs the No.4 player in the world...
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2013
  12. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    I said :

    "but out of those, nastase and mac are the only ones who played once topspin/power game came into prominence circa the early to mid 70s"

    that doesn't mean others didn't play against "topspin"/"power" at all, just that on average, they played far less than the subsequent generations and used touch far more than the players in the subsequent generations ...

    as far as the sig goes, I will change it once I get a funnier/more apt one ...... don't worry , that will be soon :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2013
  13. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    All this talk about touch. The amount of touch used is determined by the instrument. Criticizing modern players for infrequent use of touch is like criticizing Eric Clapton for infrequent use of sounds best obtained with a soprano ukulele.
     
  14. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    I don't think you mentioned early years agassi in that post ... yes, in his earlier years, he used to spin it on more ........ later on he beefed it up ...

    wasn't gerulaitis' 2nd serve considered quite a bit of weakness ?

    none of those you mentioned had a great serve, but amongst the #1s, I don't think you can conclusively say rosewall didn't have the worst among them .....
     
  15. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    ..."were the only players". You did not write about exceptions.

    I appreciate your intelligence. So be serious!
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2013
  16. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Rosewall serve was not big but angled and well placed.Not easy at all to attack, specially for he was a great mover and counterpuncher.One of the things I found out watching him live is how well, knowing his serve was not a winning weapon, used angles and constant change of placements.the use he made of his serve is IMo far better than the use connors did of his.

    Gerulaitis definitely had a problem with his second serve.His first ball was pretty good, though
     
  17. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    read the whole sentence again .......

    it means once there was quite a bit more power/topspin across the tour as a whole , only players in your list who played quite a bit were nastase/mac .....

    the others did face players with power/topspin , but far less frequently ....
     
  18. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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  19. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    borg number one, Thanks for that remembrance of Big Pancho.
     
  20. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    ^ he does look kinda like Sampras. :)
     
  21. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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  22. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013
  23. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Of course, there are some questions here.

    His opponent in 1948 US final was Sturgess, not on my list of all-time greats.

    His opponent in the 1950 Wembley final was van Horn, who also doesn't make my list of all-time greats.

    Many of the Cleveland US Pros were weak fields, and an unaccredited title.
    (Didn't he beat Don Budge in one of the finals?)

    The 1954 Pro Tour was not a head-to-head, but a round robin series.

    In 1959, Gonzales did not beat Hoad, but since the predominance of Gonzales' and Hoad's matches were against each other, and not against the rookies, Gonzales concluded that he had lost a head-to-head against Hoad.
    ("The only player who beat me in a head-to-head tour was Hoad in 1959", obviously downgrading the Kramer tour of 1950).
     
  24. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    You're so predictable, Dan. Most of the US Pros that Gonzales won had strong fields, players like Budge, Segura and Hoad, also Sedgman in a couple of years as well. It's funny that you don't mention that the 1959 world pro tour was a 4-man tour (Gonzales, Hoad, Cooper, Anderson), whereas you do mention it for 1954.
     
  25. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Mustard, I agree. And also Rosewall and Trabert participated in a few years.
     
  26. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    The Cleveland was a joke. Never attracted a strong field.
    The best players took a pass on Cleveland, and it was simply used as a route-stop for the 4-man tour.
    Budge was how old when he played Gonzales in the 1953 final? Was it 37? For Budge, that was late.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2013
  27. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    The 1954 tour was a true round-robin, where every player played each other the same number of times.

    In 1959, Hoad and Gonzales played each other 28 times, Cooper and Anderson played each other 27 times (they played one match less than the two veteran headliners), but Hoad played Cooper only 20 times, and Gonzales played Anderson 20 times, Hoad played Anderson only 14 times and Gonzales played Cooper 14 times.
    Thus, each stop on the tour was provided with a Hoad/Gonzales match which headlined the stop, and gave the impression of a head-to-head between the top two players in the world.
     
  28. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    At the US Pros in Cleveland:

    1952 had Segura, Gonzales, Budge and Kovacs
    1953 had Gonzales, Budge, Riggs and Kovacs
    1954 had Gonzales, Sedgman, Segura, Budge, Kovacs and Riggs
    1955 had Gonzales, Segura, Kovacs, Riggs, Parker, Budge and Perry
    1956 had Gonzales, Segura, Trabert, Hartwig, Parker and Kovacs
    1957 had Gonzales, Segura, Rosewall, Trabert, Riggs, Parker and Kovacs
    1958 had Gonzales, Hoad, Segura, Trabert, Riggs and Parker
    1959 had Gonzales, Hoad, Segura, Cooper, Anderson, Riggs and Parker
    1960 had Olmedo, Trabert, Segura, Cooper and Parker
    1961 had Gonzales, Sedgman, Gimeno and MacKay
    1962 had Buchholz, Segura and MacKay

    The 1959 World Pro Tour was a 4-man tour, and Gonzales won it.

    Results of the 1959 World Pro Tour
    1. Pancho Gonzales 47-15
    2. Lew Hoad 42-20
    3. Ashley Cooper 21-40
    4. Mal Anderson 13-48
     
  29. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Here we go again.
    The Cleveland fields were clearly weaker than the Australian Pro.
    What you have here are the American tour players en route through Cleveland, no depth in the field, plus some old-timers like Budge, Riggs Kovacs, Parker along for the ride.

    As I stated above, the preponderance of matches on the 1959 4-man tour consisted of two series, the Hoad/Gonzales series (won by Hoad 15 to 13) and the Cooper/Anderson series (won by Cooper nineteen to eight).

    The year-long world tournament championship for 1959 was won by Hoad, with 6 tournament wins, and Gonzales second with 4 tournament wins.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2013
  30. redpurusha

    redpurusha Rookie

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    So there is a kid, Gonzales's last, Skylar, who's father was the top tennis player, who's uncle is an 8 time Grand Slam champion and former #1 and who's aunt is the greatest all time female player!
     
  31. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Not bad, eh? ;)
     
  32. vintagefan

    vintagefan Rookie

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    His serve was so fluid and effortless.

    [​IMG]
     
  33. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Keep in mind that from 1940 to 1955 inclusive there was no french pro clay court pro major. (The US pro did have a clay pro in 1950) In 1952 Gonzales won Berlin which almost certainly was the top pro clay court tournament of the year.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2013
  34. redpurusha

    redpurusha Rookie

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    I just read a long article about Pancho published at time of his death. Summary: World Class Tennis Pro and World Class ******. He helped paved the way and I would have done the same thing if I was in position after winning 2 US Championships. In doing so, in making a living playing tennis and innovating the game, he was deprived of the slams today are give such importance. Interesting how he used different string tensions and weights preparing for longer matches, he would switch from the heaviest and as his arm got more tired, in later sets use the lighter racquets and switch racquets for serving and receiving games.

    Surely as a Hall of Famer he has been recognized, but I'm concerned about how many pros did he beat when he played in these pro tours. Did he just play 3 other guys all year basically and because he won the round robin format between them he was the best player that year? It would amount to being placed into the semis of the grand slams today and then you win it every year, sure that's great, but wait a sec, that's not like you winning an "open" championship. Complicated. But he got his, good and bad.
     
  35. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Basically the pro game was very different back then
    The head to head series were important to popularize the big names but pros also had a lot of regular events topped by the pro slams, much alike nowadays
    They gave great importance to both, the series to cash big money and the slams for prestige
    The NTL run by George Mc Call had a 10-12 core players but some could be added to complete draws
    Kramer tour was much more oriented to series and rr formats
     
  36. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Pancho was extremely doggy in his mind but also extremely fluent and practical in his game
    Maybe, the best serve of all time or one of the very best
     
  37. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Better serve than Tanner ?
     
  38. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    More consistent
    And when you serve at that level, consistency makes difference
     
  39. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Laver: " when I was a junior all I wanted is just be like Hoad, play like him"
    Rosewalk: " I felt bad that I was the one to deprive Lew of the Gran Slam he so much wished,But Lew was great.On his day, he certainly was the greatest"
    Couvercelle ( L Equipe in his book Les Cannibales du Tennis: " and here comes one of the biggest enigmas in the history: Lew Hoad.His reign lasted too short but those who have seen him play will tell you that they have never seen something like the Blond Typhoon"
     

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