If Hoad had genuinely beaten Laver 13 straight, it would have been known widely and gotten out immediately as one of Hoad's great achievements. It would have become a key piece in the legend of Hoad, as his legend grew. It is not convincing at all, this claim that a 13-0 score could have been kept secret for so long. You think it's enough to say that Hoad and Laver were good friends? What about Rosewall? What about all the people that Hoad and Rosewall knew, or talked to? What about Trabert and all the organizers and directors of the tour? Information gets out. Particularly sports stats. People go crazy over such things. If Hoad had beaten Laver 13 straight, it would have taken an extraordinary effort to keep that information unknown to the tennis community. The entire tennis world, both amateur and pro, were invested in how the pros matched up against the new rookie. You think that if Hoad had whipped the rookie 13 straight, that this information would not get out? You know it's interesting that you bring up the Buchholz interview, because Buchholz is not directly quoted as saying that Hoad won 13 matches. Bodo writes that in his article; he does not put the information in quotes. Here it is: Before we leave the Sony Ericsson Open. I just want acknowledge the man behind it, tournament founder Butch Buccholz. This is a great event - it has been, through its long and rich history. And Buccholz is one of the great men in tennis. You need to read some of the things he said in his traditional post-event presser to get a good idea of why I say that. BTW, a few weeks ago in the California desert, Dennis Ralston told me that Buccholz was one of the most underrated pros of the pre-Open era (Ralston also believes Pancho Gonzalez was the GOAT, denied that recognition by a now defunct system that kept amateurs and pros from competing against each other). While we waited for a few more reporters to join the session, Buccholz told us that he thought the late Lew Hoad was the greatest player of their time, with a couple of interesting caveats: He was injury prone, and not exactly a model of fitness, unless you can consider lifting beer mugs a kind of weight training. According to Buccholz, if Hoad thought he could beat you, he did. If he had any doubt, you did alright - which helps explain why Buccholz led Hoad in their H-2-H. Story: When Rod Laver finally joined the pro ranks, a group of pros, including Buccholz and Hoad, had an intensive, multi-week training session for the upcoming tour. Everyone worked hard, there was no carousing or slacking. On the night before the tour launched, they had a little party. Hoad got into the beer, and pretty soon Buccholz and Hoad’s wife, Jenny, were loading Hoad into a car at 4 AM, in order to get him home. Hoad got up at 7 the next morning and went for a long run on Sydney’s famous Bondi beach. Then he had a practice hit and went out and waxed tour newbie Laver - it was the first of 13 consecutive wins for Hoad over Laver. “If you had an Earth vs. Mars match and had to pick one man to represent the planet, I would send Hoad,” Buccholz said. You argued once that Bodo's information was likely to come from Buchholz, and ever since then you've been naming Buchholz as a source for the 13-0 score. But your reaction was very different when I brought up the interviews of Rosewall and Laver from '63. You insisted that the Boston Globe's score of 8-0, printed in the interview with Rosewall, could not have come from Rosewall himself -- despite the fact that Rosewall demonstrates a detailed knowledge of many tour stats and was sitting down with the Boston Globe for the purpose of talking about all aspects of the tour. When the Boston Globe, a few days later, actually QUOTES Laver as speaking the 8-0 score, you still don't think the information came from Laver; you think that the journalist had his own information and that Laver sat silently and did not correct the mistake. Let's have some consistency here. If you're hyper-skeptical about these interviews in '63, then let me ask some reasonable questions about the Bodo-Buccholz interview. How do you know that Buccholz actually provided Bodo with the 13-0 score? Maybe Buccholz shared his general memories about Lew but cautioned Bodo to look up the actual stats because he himself (Butch) did not remember the precise numbers after so many decades had passed. How do you know it did not go that way? How do you know that Bodo did not get the 13-0 score from other sources? For example, one possibility is David Hernandez's online article about Pancho Gonzalez, which claims that Hoad won 13 consecutive matches from Laver, all in straight sets. Seriously, how do know it didn't go that way? If you tell me that you're confident that Buchholz, even decades later, would remember the precise figure since he was present on the tour; and that Bodo would simply have to ask Butch for the information; then I really want to hear you say that the Boston Globe had only to ask the two men sitting in their offices (Ken Rosewall and Rod Laver) for the information that was fresh in their minds. As for Laver knowing about the 8-0 score, I really don't think that champions think of their careers by doing statistical analysis, comparing their memories with stats in books. There are countless stats in these long careers, many of which are similar. It's hard enough for us to keep them all straight, and we study these details closely. We've said it before: it's a really easy mistake to make. Laver remembered playing 13 matches against Rosewall, which is true; he could easily assume over the years that he must have played 13 against Hoad too, on that first tour. Or, as Urban suggested, Laver might be confusing the tour with another accurate stat: namely that he lost to Hoad 13 times altogether in his first year as a pro. Or there was confusion with the 1964 tours; I think we said that some of the numbers are similar. So what about this Buchholz matter?