Whats your top 10 of all time right now?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by 90's Clay, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Crawford and the other Aussies also played during WW2. There were even Australian Championships under the title "Patriotic Tournament". 1941 Bromwich defeated Quist in the final in straight sets. 1942 Crawford d Bromwich in the final in four sets.

    Similary to Rosewall as a master of longevity are Gonzalez, Tilden, Borotra and Cochet.

    Gonzalez won his last tournament at 44 (Rosewall at 43).

    Borotra won his last tournament at 51, Cochet at 48.

    Tilden almost won a match against world champion, Riggs, at 53!
     
  2. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    yes, i knew that. he also reached the final in 56 and 70
    winning against Crawford in 50 and Fitzgerald in 80 emphasizes his longevity as a player for me. these two players are from totally different generations. it is like someone playing both against Vines and Kodes
    in the duration of his career:)
     
  3. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    i felt about the same when Tiger Woods appeared and started to win everything. many people immediately called him the best of all time. i found that remarkably respectless against former players like Palmer or Nicklaus,....,
     
  4. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    wouldn´t that make an interesting book, to tell the story of how former champions played on in their forties and beyond.
    Borotra i think played doubles in wimbledon even later in life.
    Gardnar Mulloy comes to mind and would it be fair to mention Gottfried von Cramm in this company?
    If i remember correctly he helped German Tennis after the war well past his prime
     
  5. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Yes, you are right regarding Borotra, Mulloy and von Cramm.

    Borotra played his last Wimbledon in doubles in 1964 (at 66), if I recall rightly.

    He even played his last GS doubles in the first open French in 1968.

    Mulloy was also great regarding longevity, especially in doubles competition but I think he is a bit overrated.

    Jaroslav Drobny won his last tournament at 44 in 1965.

    Von Cramm was great after WW2 winning two German Championships in 1948/49 and beating the best European claycourters in Davis Cup at 42...

    Nüsslein was best European pro as late as 1954 and lost to Gonzalez only 4-6,4-6 in the 1953 Wembley tournament at 43.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2012
  6. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    That's absolutely right. Now Woods, who seemed like a shoo in to break Nicklaus' majors record by a big margin doesn't seem like such a sure thing anymore. Golf however did not banned the pros from majors like tennis still so you can have better historical comparison.

    Tom Watson, who almost won the British Open a few years ago at the age of 59 is a perfect example that greatness is greatness. If we had the Tom Watson of the 1970's playing today he may very well be the dominant golfer in the world.
     
  7. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    Was Tiger really a shoo in to break Nicklaus' majors record? I just don't recall that being the case. I just remember hearing he has chances to break it by the time his career is up.
     
  8. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I actually didn't think he was but so many people thought so.

    To get back to tennis that is why I think the current "official" majors record is extremely vulnerable at a mere 17. The reason is I believe if players played all the majors like they do now throughout history and if the Professionals weren't banned from the classic majors the record would at least be around the mid twenties. Remember Federer won his 17 majors in 54 attempts. I think it's quite possible for a player in the future to win at least 18 in 54 attempts. It's not exactly an awe inspiring percentage of majors won to majors entered. That's why I point out that the women, who didn't have the bans that the men had have the current majors record of Margart Court at 24 with Graf at 22 and Evert and Navratilova at 18. This is all higher than Federer's seventeen. Of course Federer can improve on that but I believe he has to push it to the twenties to have it safe for a few years. Look at the Sampras' former record of 14. Everyone was in awe of the record which I thought was laughable and easily broken. Sure enough it was broken just a few years later.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2012
  9. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Does winning 14 majors rather than 17 majors tell us anything about the greatness of a player? I think not.
    What we need is to look at the absolute level of play against other great players. What happens when great players meet when both are at peak levels?
    This tells you who is the greatest.
     
  10. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    That's is true in my opinion. That's why I believe that simply counting the number of majors to decide how great a player is makes no sense. The amount of majors won is simply a part of the equation in understanding how great a player is. Players like Gonzalez, Hoad, Rosewall, Laver, Tilden, Kramer did not play many majors and could not amass the amount of majors that some lesser players like Roy Emerson won.

    However I was stating under current conditions the current official majors record of 17 is quite vulnerable.
     
  11. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Check the list of Ampol tournaments and winners for 1958;
    Kooyong --- Hoad (5 and 0)
    White City --- Sedgman
    Forest Hills --- Gonzales (5 and 1 (lost to Hoad))
    LA Masters --- Segura (6 and 0 (Gonzales defeated Hoad))
    Roland Garros --- Rosewall (Hoad defeated Gonzales in semi-final)
    Five tournaments, five different winners.
    The Cleveland Arena and Wembley Arena events were not managed by the Kramer tour and no points were awarded for them.

    This was the Ampol tour, five tournaments, for 1958. Hoad won the bonus pool on points.
    In 1959, the Ampol championship was expanded to 14 tournaments, Hoad winning six of them, Gonzales four, Rosewall two, Sedgman one, Trabert one.
    Hoad took the bonus pool for the 1959-60 series as well.
    By any standard, these championships were more impressive achievements than anything accomplished by the stars of today. The Ampol tour engaged all the top pros in a world championship contest, and was thus a more legitimate measure of ranking than the two-man circus which played small-town America, playing in high school gyms and staying in cheap motels. (Of course, no offence is intended here.)
    These two years were the point where pro tournament play began to overshadow, and in 1959 did overshadow, the head to head tours. The 1959 hth was a reduced affair compared to 1958.
    In 1969, Kramer proposed the creation of a Grand Prix series of tournaments with a bonus points system to determine the division of a bonus money pool at the end of the season. This was the same system he had devised in the 1958 and 1959 Ampol World Championships! It still exists. The use of the term "Grand Prix" suggests that Kramer based his model on the Formula One motor-racing series and world championship points system.
    The more things change, the more they stay the same!
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2012
  12. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    If there were a special award for longevity, then Tilden, Gonzales, Rosewall, Crawford, Bromwich, Perry (who was still winning tournaments in the 1950's) would rank very high indeed.
    But longevity is not the issue.
    The issue is GREATNESS. Simply surviving to play another day and upset top players in minor events is admirable and interesting, but NOT THE ISSUE!
     
  13. icazares

    icazares Rookie

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    I have about zero knowledge of what tennis was before the 80's. So I can't talk about Laver, Rosewall, etc. My list is:
    1- Federer
    2- Sampras
    3- Nadal (these 3 guys are one notch above everybody else)
    4- McEnroe
    5- Lendl
    6- Borg
    7- Edberg
    8- Connors
    9- Becker
    10- Agassi

    For the women, I will give you 5:
    1- Serena Williams
    2- Navratilova
    3- Seles
    4- Graf
    5- Henin
    No Chris Evert, sorry.
     
  14. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Longevity is yet one of several measure sticks for greatness.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2012
  15. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Tilden, Gonzalez, Rosewall did not only have longevity but sustained greatness for decades. They were also very dominant in their best years. Tilden for example was virtually unbeatable throughout most of the 1920's. I will quote the Collins Encyclopedia again, Tilden won 138 of 192 tournaments played from 1912 to 1930, lost 28 finals and had a 907-62 match record. That's a winning percentage of 93.6! How much more dominant and great could you expect Bill Tilden to be? Gonzalez was great for decades also.
     
  16. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Tilden's numbers were even more dominant from 1920 to 1926.
    So what? I was unbeatable at 14 years old on my block until I played the city championship, losing in the third round 6-0, 6-0 to the national champion.
    You have to consider the quality of opposition. When the Musketeers emerged, Tilden's results diminished in major events.
    Gonzales' really dominant years were 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957 PERIOD.
    For Rosewall, dominant years were 1961, 1962, 1963 PERIOD.
    Usually, players do not really dominate more than about three or four years. Laver from 1964 to 1969 was exceptional, but he was opposed by an ageing Rosewall, and a group of young players not yet at their peaks.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2012
  17. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Dan,

    Are you really comparing yourself to Tilden and Gonzalez? :)

    Point is that Tilden and Gonzalez were dominant at the top end of great competition. And in their non super dominant years they were merely great for a long sustained period of time. You combine the two and you accomplish a great deal in your tennis career. You can argue whether the French Musketeers ended the Tilden reign or not or perhaps it was also age.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2012
  18. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    We are interested in their best years, in which you say they were "very dominant", because this is how we judge the level of greatness. If someone struggles along for twenty years at a subpar level, this is not a fair way to judge that player's greatness. We should judge them at their best, which, for most great players, is about three or four years (here I am thinking about Gonzales and Rosewall).
    Actually, in Gonzales' case, his level of play peaked in 1958 and 1959, years in which he was not very dominant. He dominated from 1954 to 1957.
    For Rosewall, his most dominant years were 1961 to 1963, although he probably played just as well in the late 1950's, when he was not dominant.
    Tilden's play did not diminish from 1926 to 1929, but he was less dominant in those years because the level of competition increased.
    Tilden's dominant period from 1920 to 1926 was a relatively weak period, in which Tilden himself did not bother to travel to Wimbledon because the level of play was beneath his interest. Not great competition.
    Most players have a short peak period, but can survive and be heard from long after their peak or dominant years.
     
  19. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Tilden certainly got his own back on Cochet in 1933 after Cochet turned professional and reached the French Pro final at Roland Garros. In 1933, Cochet lost twice in Roland Garros finals (in the amateur and in the pro), to Crawford and Tilden.
     
  20. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Cochet's level of play deteriorated faster than most players. I read somewhere that he had a battle with the bottle.
     
  21. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    You say it was a weak period but according to at least some writers from that period who also watched tennis for years afterwards it was an extremely strong period. Tilden apparently didn't bother to go to Wimbledon because he was established as the best player in the world and there was no need to spent weeks on boat to get to Wimbledon.

    Here's some of the players in the field during a few of those years.
    For example in 1925 Wimbledon had Cochet, Borotra, Lacoste, Washer, Anderson, Brugnon. Very strong.

    In 1924 they had Dick Williams, Lacoste, Borotra, Richards, Kingscote, Washer and even old Norman Brookes, still pretty strong. Excellent

    In 1923 Wimbledon had Bill Johnston, Brian Norton, Hunter, Lacoste, Borotra. Top players.

    In 1926 Wimbledon had Cochet, Borotra, Kozeluh, Kinsey, Brugnon. Excellent players.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2012
  22. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    You re-write the whole tennis history in saying that only the very dominant years of a player are the measure for greatness. In fact there are many criteria to determine a player's greatness: f.i. how many majors he won, how many tournaments he won, if he made the Grand Slam , how many years he was in the top ten and so on.
     
  23. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    He also fails to mention that Tilden injured himself (badly torn cartilage) that would happen him for the rest of his career. He injured it incidentally in a 1926 Davis Cup match against Lacoste which he won by the way.
     
  24. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    "He was established as the best..no need to get to Wimbledon"---exactly, just what I said, there was no one capable of CHALLENGING him. Very unusual. There is normally SOMEONE who is worth playing against, who can provide a test. Not at this time!
    Tilden went to Wimbledon again starting in 1927, reportedly because he was now being CHALLENGED again and felt it necessary to re-establish himself against new challengers. This is precisely the point!
     
  25. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    I am suggesting that these are NOT good measures of greatness, because in many cases a player can win a tournament with a weak field, but no asterisk appears on the record book. It is necessary to look beneath the surface of a title and see what is really involved.
    For example, Tut Bartzen played Davis Cup for the USA in 1961, and won the US Pro in 1962. Does this make him a great player?
    No, if you look closely, he played only in a preliminary round for the Davis Cup squad, and beat Sammy Giammalva for the US Pro crown. Not overwhelming.
     
  26. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Are we putting asterisks for injury now? I thought that we were supposed to ignore that sort of thing.
     
  27. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    You don't understand that it happens often in history that a given player is dominating clearly even though there are several great players around.

    Gonzalez dominated but had tough opposition in Kramer, Hoad, Rosewall, Segura and Sedgman.

    Rosewall had Laver, Gonzalez,Gimeno and Hoad.

    Laver had Rosewall, Gonzalez, Hoad, Gimeno.

    Borg had Connors, Vilas and McEnroe.

    Tilden had Johnston, Williams, Richards, Borotra, Lacoste till 1925.
     
  28. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    That's not an adequate answer to my post.

    Of course, in Laver's 200 tournament wins there are some smaller tournaments included but still his record is just overwhelming because in most tourneys he had tough competition.

    Rosewall's 23 majors were mostly big tournaments (an exception might be his 1972 AO win). His 23 years among the top ten, his 16 years among the top three are important criteria for ranking him among the best of all time.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2012
  29. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    No there are no asterisks but you're saying Tilden stopped his dominance because of the Frenchmen and I'm pointing out age and injury which occurs to all players. Tilden was not he dominant player he was earlier and the Musketeers (at least some of them) deserved to be ahead of him.

    Please stop twisting my words around. You know very well what I mean.
     
  30. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    No it's not. But I agree with the latter point in 1927.
     
  31. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Right¡¡¡ maybe Pancho could have played Vines and Kodes, although it would be a very old Vines...
     
  32. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Good quot about Drobny, extremely underrated in spite of being a great talent...seems nobody likes czechs here...
     
  33. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    The 70´s and 80´s were also the Golden Era of Golf: Player,Treviño,Sevvy,Watson,Nicklaus,Norman,Irvin,Kite,Graham,Lyle,jenkings...
     
  34. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Kiki,

    I actually like Czechs like Lendl, Navratilova and I thought Drobny was interesting. And yes I like Kodes.

    I like Lendl's ball stroking ability and the high quality of his play. He's a very underrated player. I think Andy Murray appreciates him now.

    One of my all time favorites is Mandlikova who was so amazing when she was on but so frustrating at other times.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2012
  35. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Which Pancho? I doubt if Gonzalez ever played Vines since Vines was into golf by the early 1940's and became a pro golfer. Maybe Pancho Segura could have played Vines since he came in the United States in the late 1930's.
     
  36. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Tilden had worthy challengers but he felt the challengers should come to him since he was the World Champion instead of him going overseas.
    Also in 1926 I believe Henri Cochet defeated Tilden at the US Championships in which Rene Lacoste won. This was as you well know the first time Tilden had been beaten in that tournament in many years. They had come to the United States and finally defeated the great Tilden.

    He went to Wimbledon in 1927 and I believe was seeded second to Lacoste and was defeated in a legendary semifinal match by Henri Cochet against after leading two sets to none and 5-1 in the third before Cochet won I believe seventeen straight points to eventally pull out the set. Cochet won the match and defeated Borotra in the final after again trailing two sets to none and 3-5 in the fifth set. Tilden eventually won Wimbledon again but it was in 1930 after defeating Borotra in the semi.
     
  37. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    some of my best friends are czechs:) no seriously, what´s not to like
    is Tomas Smid czech or slovak? i particularly liked his style of play
     
  38. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Czech tennis is just behind Australia and US in historial terms.They have a great tradition that started with Kozehlu, followed up with Drobny,Vera Sukova, Kodes and Navratilova, and Lendl,Mandlikova,Mecir,Novotna and, maybe in the future we could add up Berdych.

    As for Mandlikova, she had too many shots and she made the wrong choice quite often.In the few ocassions she was on, I just don´t think she was beatable.
     
  39. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Cochet was the most dangerous of the three mousketeers for Tilden, and Bill Tilden praised him.He was unpredictable, a sort of pre Nastase.
     
  40. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Smid was a pure czech, although he had german ancestors as his name reveals.probably from the part of former Czeckoslovakia that had that big german population...I always liked him and saw him quite a few times.Solid, big serve and forehand, pretty good net play, and a great doubles partner for anybody.Extremely good on tactics and fit and well trained.He seldom lost to a lesser player although he had not a good record against higher ranked players.He always came a bit short.However, he gave his country their first DC title beating Panatta in a torrid five setter at Prague.
     
  41. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    I'm starting to think guys like Mac are better than the guys today.

    I understand you can't just go by a few clips, but I saw a very old Mac win three points against Djoke, and watched him play with other pros. It's not just that he did so well but you could imagine him wiping these guys out.

    We make the mistake of watching a prime Mac and a prime Djoke, but completely different equipment, Mac even said "I serve harder now at 49 then I did at 25"(In reference to equipment).

    If Mac was RAISED with modern equipment, I think we'd watch those old matches and they'd be doing more than what they did.

    Who knows, but I think we might be underrating guys like Mac.
     
  42. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    i saw him play quite often. wasn´t he coach to Becker at some time? for a short period anyway
     
  43. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I think so, he coached Becker at one point.He played doubles with Slozil,Kodes,Lendl (DC play),Fleming,Stewart,Jarryd,Mecir and Edmondson.Won a lot of titles.
     
  44. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    yes, and quite successfully i believe with John Fitzgerald
     
  45. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Mick, Mac´s genious has no age.He is an all time great no matter what era.
     
  46. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Yes.I wonder if anybody else has been so succesful with so many different partners.I know Hoad did very well with Hartwig,Trabert,Anderson and, of course, Rosewall.Stolle was very succesful with Emerson,Hewitt and Rosewall.Okker with Ashe,Riessen,Fibak and Nastase.But Smid is just so adaptable...
     
  47. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    I would add also that Stolle was very successful with Rod Laver in 1967. They were arguably the best team that year even though Ralston/Rosewall defeated them several times. I rank both teams ahead of Hewitt/McMillan and Newcombe/Roche for 1967.
     
  48. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I can't believe I forgot about Mecir who is one of my all time favorites. He was so gifted it was ridiculous. He seemed to have the magical ability to teleport to any position on the court
     
  49. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Exactly, no one was capable of challenging him until 1926! That is the point.
    Such total dominance as Tilden enjoyed between 1920 and 1926 is ABNORMAL and indicates a weak field.
     
  50. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    That of course is your opinion. It was not generally the opinion of observers at the time I believe. However I know you've made up your mind so let's just leave it at that.
     

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