What player in history played the highest level of tennis for one match?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by pc1, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    It's great that you can see the Sea Bright Tennis Club. Not only was Vines a great golfer but he was by all accounts a terrific basketball player. People have said he had incredible power in baseball.

    When we talk about the greatest athletes (there are so many definitions of great athlete that I often wonder if everyone discussing it are at least somewhat close in their definitions) people never mentions Vines. But I do think Vines has a great argument that he is the greatest athlete in tennis history simply because he was so good in a number of sports.
     
  2. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    if we talk about game series, Hana Mandlikova when she wanted to.Look at her 85 US Open final vs Navratilova
     
  3. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Yes I wonder about that too, about how a player responds late in a match, when challenged with all sorts of problems. How that impacts this question of highest peak level, I'm not sure. Anyone can look great against a lower-ranked player who presents no problems and never makes the match close (and we're more likely to be talking about close matches if it's alltime greats meeting each other).

    Not sure what Mandlikova's record in 3-setters might be. I know that Vines had a great record in 5-setters (Tennis Archives has him at 7-2 in his amateur career, not including Davis Cup), and he's always one of the top candidates for "in-the-zone" blowouts. Which shows that the two things are not necessarily opposed. Maybe Mandlikova has a great record in 3-setters, I don't know (I'm a little skeptical only because Vines showed a great consistency over the years that Mandlikova never did).
     
  4. heftylefty

    heftylefty Hall of Fame

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    I'm going with Ashe 75 SW19. He was able to change his game to beat a heavily favorite Connor.
     
  5. Vegito

    Vegito Professional

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    1983. Vilas won 6-4, 6-0, 6-1. He lost one game intentionally in the last third set because Tiriac said him he had to do that, I don´t know why.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iciAqvUiRaM
     
  6. KG1965

    KG1965 Semi-Pro

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    My list

    1 Connors against Borg Master NY 1977 (youtube)
    2 Rosewall against Laver Dallas 1971-72
    3 Connors against Borg USO 1976
    4 Djokovic against Federer Wimbledon 2014
    5 Borg against Vilas Paris 1978
    6 Borg against Connors Wimbledon 1978
    7 McEnroe against Connors semifinali USO 79
    8 Connors against Lendl USO 1982
    9 Mac against Lendl 1984
    10 Connors against Borg USO 1978
     
  7. Dan L

    Dan L Professional

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    Looks like the record needle is stuck in the groove there.

    Here's ten more:

    1) Hoad against Gonzales Forest Hills 1959
    2) Gonzales against Kramer Philadelphia 1950
    3) Laver against Rosewall Wimbledon 1967
    4) Federer against Sampras Wimbledon 2001
    5) Rosewall against Laver Forest Hills 1963
    6) Budge against Riggs Forest Hills 1942
    7) Vines against Perry Los Angeles 1939
    8) Sampras against Agassi Wimbledon 1999
    9) Borg against Connors Wimbledon 1978
    10) Sedgman against Gonzales Wembley 1953

    This gives a broader perspective.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2015
  8. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Nice list. There was also a match where Laver defeated Rosewall in three sets with the loss of only one game. Some of the Connors matches against Rosewall could be included too.

    I probably would pick another Federer match since neither he or Sampras were at their best.
     
  9. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Some good lists. A few more matches:

    McEnroe d. Connors, 1979 Dallas WCT semifinal 6-1, 6-4, 6-4
    Lendl d. Wilander, 1987 Masters final, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3
    Perry d. von Cramm, 1935 Wimbledon final, 6-2, 6-4, 6-4
    Becker d. Wilander, 1989 Davis Cup final, 6-2, 6-0, 6-2
    Rosewall d. Laver, 1965 US Pro final, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3
     
  10. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Btw, any love for Soderling?
     
  11. Captain Ron

    Captain Ron Semi-Pro

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    Lock thread in 3, 2, 1. ;)
     
  12. encylopedia

    encylopedia Semi-Pro

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    It was probably not as good as the mature Sampras would sometimes perform later, but I think his one sided 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 1990 USO final beating of Agassi may have been the highest level a teenage, first-time in a slam final, player may have played. Very comprehensive beating from all parts of the court, and for those who never saw it, it wasn't even as close as the one-sided score suggests.
     
  13. Dan L

    Dan L Professional

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    Laver vs. Rosewall at Wembley 1966? Rosewall was off-form there..but according to the sportswriters, Rosewall played brilliantly in the 1967 Wimbledon final, Laver was just incredibly pumped.

    Connors/Rosewall? Rosewall past prime.

    You may be right about Sampras/Fed as below their absolute career best, but they were still better than anyone else at that time, and both look pumped in that match.
     
  14. Dan L

    Dan L Professional

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    None of the above are on clay....I would suggest the greatest ever match on red clay as the 1957 The Hague final between Hoad and Rosewall, a brilliant marathon with Rosewall holding a match point in the fourth set, but losing to Hoad in five.
     
  15. Dan L

    Dan L Professional

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    If we include Connors/Rosewall at Wimbledon, we should also include Newcombe/Rosewall in the 1971 Wimbledon semi-final, which was an even worse shellacking.
     
  16. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    No doubt Rosewall was past his prime but Connors was amazingly in those matches.
     
  17. mental midget

    mental midget Professional

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    that match was amazing, comprehensive beating is a good description. he was doing things with regularity that you just hadn't seen--insane shoestring volleys, 115mph 2nd serves, which was just crazy...blasting groundies left and right. it was definitely a 'who is this kid?' moment. he was walking on water and absolutely outclassed a very, very good player.

    i remember showing up at tennis lessons that monday and we were all just in shock of how GOOD he was. next level stuff.
     
  18. Dan L

    Dan L Professional

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    I am not so impressed...Rosewall could get clobbered when he was older (say, past 1965) and tired, and I don't see that Connors did any better against him than Laver or Newcombe, who had walloping one-sided encounters against Rosewall.
     
  19. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    yeh, probably Newk´s most rounder ever performance
     
  20. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Very possible. Rosewall of course was super tough but Newcombe still won.

    The gutsiest performance may have be Newcombe's win over Jimmy Connors in the 1975 Australian final. Newcombe was out of shape, had little time to train, almost lost to Roche in a five setter the round before and found a way to beat Connors. It was to be Newcombe's last major.
     
  21. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    What about some of Agassi's performances at the Australian Open in '95? That was one high level tournament for that guy
     
  22. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Dan,

    Rosewall was still tough and hit a lot of great shots that Connors reached and hit for winners. Laver hitting the zone would be able to slaughter almost anyone and Newcombe was considered by some to be the best grass court player in the world by some at the time. Essentially Dan you're comparing Laver and Newcombe in the zone with Connors in the zone. That's still pretty super.

    Rosewall only winning one game against Connors in the US Open final is incredible.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7jkeZ0kNq8

    Connors was also in the zone against Tanner in the 1975 Wimbledon semi. My basic point is that Connors was capable of hitting incredible highs in his game.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2015
  23. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    At times Agassi seemed invincible in what I view as his peak year of 1995.
     
  24. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Santana played his best ever match at the 1970 Spanish Open final clobbering world´s nº 1 Laver 6-4,6-3.6-4
     

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