Which decade had the weakest competition for men

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by grafselesfan, Jul 23, 2009.

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Which decade in last 50 years had weakest overall competition for men

  1. 1960s

    24.7%
  2. 1970s

    6.2%
  3. 1980s

    2.5%
  4. 1990s

    22.2%
  5. 2000s

    44.4%
  1. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    No brainer... 2000's.

    Probably some of the LEAST talented crew of guys Ive seen winning slams. Johannson, Gaudio, Roddick, Hewitt, 19 year old Nalbandian Schuettler, Puerta, Baghaditis, making slam finals? Huhh

    Sure.. You had some guys like Pioline making a slam finals in the 90s or maybe Martin (though Martin was good) but these guys weren't winning slams.

    Not saying they were all UN-talented, just not as talented or at a stage in their careers where they should be winning slams or reaching slam finals
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2013
    #51
  2. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    YaoPau, You have a good argument. On the other hand I'm sure that old Rosewall, old Laver, Newcombe and Ashe would not have been a big threat for Borg on clay in those years. But I concede that both Laver and Rosewall were still rather strong on clay in 1974 and 1975.
     
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  3. YaoPau

    YaoPau Rookie

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    Borg was just 18yo, and as great on clay I think it's realistic to suggest some of the top guys could beat him. Laver for example did beat him on clay just two months prior, at the finals of Houston (admitted on that fauxish clay stuff they have, but still, straight sets).

    Connors also beat Borg on clay that year (finals at Indianapolis two months after Roland Garros), and beat him again in 1975 in the semis of the US Open, also on faux-clay. Newcombe was 2-0 vs Borg in 1974 (neither match on clay).
     
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  4. illusions30

    illusions30 Banned

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    The 70s was never weak. Just poorly managed by the sports governing bodies in the first half of the decade, which is what led to some of the strange major finalists and results.
     
    #54
  5. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    90s had some of the best personalities; pretty good depth overall, but unremarkable at the very top.

    When we say competition, we have to decide what it is we mean: are we discussing depth or elite-level competition.

    In terms of elite-level competition, Federer's era has been exceptional since about 2006/2007. Conversely, the 90s were pretty much Sampras and a group of guys who couldn't decide whether they were in the mood to play.

    But the 90s did have more varieties of styles and more surface specialists.

    The 80s were the best in both respects.
     
    #55
  6. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Borg deserved those Frenches. Connors, Newcombe, Rosewall did not have a chance in hell on red clay. Laver won his last big red clay event in Rome in '71.

    Furthermore, Borg was winning other significant events on clay in those years, including a big one in Rome in '74. So he didn't come out of nowhere.
     
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  7. YaoPau

    YaoPau Rookie

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    Ok, they would've easily had "a chance". Borg didn't play a single player in the top-11 during his '74 French draw, and he was taken to a deciding set four times, including against superstar like #217-ranked Jean Francois Caujolle and Erik Van Dillen.

    Again, superb achievement for an 18 year old, and Borg might've been the best red clay player already by that point, but with such little red clay success for Borg up to that point (literally just Rome the tournament before), and with his losing to Connors+Laver on the faux-clay during '74 and '75, that Slam deserves a little asterisk next to it IMO. Not Borg's fault of course, but it's not comparable to the full draws guys have had to get through since.
     
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  8. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    hmmm... Two problems here:

    a) You're relying on computer rankings here, which were very flawed at the time
    b) What matters really is not what the rankings of the competition was, but how good they were on clay specifically. This was the era of the clay specialist remember?

    Think on how good was someone like Orantes relative to Connors on red clay specifically. Overall ok - Connors is better. On red clay? Orantes by a mile.

    Disagree. Again, Connors had no history of success on the surface and lost pathetically the year before.

    Sure, Borg was young. As was Nadal in 2005.
     
    #58
  9. YaoPau

    YaoPau Rookie

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    Agreed on the flawed computer rankings, but Borg still has a really easy Slam draw IMO.

    I'm curious about the differences on red clay though. What other tournaments were on red clay back then besides Rome, Monte Carlo, Roland Garros?
     
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  10. DMP

    DMP Semi-Pro

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    None of them were weak. They were just different and the differences reflected both the wider societies of each decade, and the changes that occurred within tennis. So the achievements in each decade have been different. The 50s and 60s had the amateur/pro split, the 70s and 80s had a lot of churn, which led to lots of new competitions and a rapid turnover of players at the top. The 90s and 2000s (the ATP era) have seen rationalisation and homogenisation, which has led to the top players finding it easier to monopolise.
     
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  11. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Hamburg, Gstaad, Kitzbühel, Baastad, Munich, Florence,Bournemouth,Hilversum
     
    #61
  12. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Ramirez, Solomon (who beat Nastase) and Orantes does not seem unusually "easy" to me.

    The real question you should be asking is whether another red clay event was better in this particular year and you can only really make an argument for Rome, which Borg also won.

    But RG was the top red clay event, with the likely exception of 1970-72.
     
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  13. illusions30

    illusions30 Banned

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    YaoPau believes Federer could be the 3rd best clay courter of all time, and is comparable to Lendl, and clearly superior to Kuerten. That already sums up this posters awareness of clay court tennis, and the obliviousness to the differences between a great player and a top clay courter.

    All the top red clay courters who mattered were in the draw at Roland Garros 74 and 75. Connors played RG 5 times while still in his prime from 79-83 and couldnt even make the final once. Newcombe on clay, and 40 year old Rosewall, would have also made no difference.
     
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  14. YaoPau

    YaoPau Rookie

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    Illusions, keep it on the other thread please. I asked you for data to back up your claims and you're still arguing with gut opinions. Hard for me to learn from that when the data often disagrees.
     
    #64
  15. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    the pool is right:

    2000 onwards followed by 1960´s ( split fields) and 1990´s...and almost nobody thinks 1970 and 1980 were weak.Of course, they were the two best decades along 1930 and 1950 but with much deeper fields.
     
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  16. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    2000's ~ 90's > any era with split fields

    The 70's is hurt by having weak draws in some of the slams due to disputes, so the 80's goes in front.

    In the later 90's you had guys like Rios taking over the #1 spot. No way is it tougher than the 00's with Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray, preceeded by Federer, Hewit, Roddick, Safin, Nadal, Agassi preceeded by Agassi, Hewitt, Safin, Kuerten, Ferrero etc...

    The early 90's were very strong but by the time you reach the mid 90's it's certainly no stronger than 00's.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2014
    #66
  17. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    As for the perfect combination of richness atop and competitive depth ( top 30), no decade can match the 70´s followed closely by the 80´s ( to the very early 90´s)

    The 30´s and 50´s were just as rich atop and maybe even a bit better but had no broader competitive basis

    The rest decades ( the 60´s due to split fields) don´t compare.
     
    #67
  18. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    kiki, The 1930s and 1950s had also split fields.

    The 1960s pro circuit had peak Laver, peak Rosewall, prime Gonzalez, peak Gimeno and strong Hoad...
     
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  19. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    I don't think Gonzalez was in his prime for the 60's, he was 32 by the time it started. He was still capable of playing at a high level, but that doesn't equal prime. Not sure how strong Hoad was either, didn't make it past the quarters at Wembley after 1963, likewise at the French Pro and US Pro where his performances before 1963 were worse as well.

    The 60's were essentially the Rodney and Ken show. With a declining Gonzalez providing a strong third man, a good Gimeno being the 4th and Hoad being more of a dangerous floater for the most part. There are several stronger decades IMO ofcourse.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2014
    #69
  20. Noleberic123

    Noleberic123 Legend

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    2000-2009..
     
    #70
  21. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    NatF, Sorry, I must contradict: Of course Pancho was in his prime in 1960 and 1961 as most or all experts would confirm. I did not write "peak" though. He was not declining then. Show me a player who can reach No.1 position clearly or tied with another player when he is after his prime.

    Gonzalez was a man of superb longevity like Rosewall who was in his prime till 1971 when being 37. He was No.6 as late as 1969 when being 41...

    I hope you are calling Gonzalez not being in his prime because of a strange reason: to belittle Rosewall who would that way be dominated by a non prime Pancho (as pc1 means) when being at his own peak....;-)

    Gimeno was not a "good" player in his peak years...

    Hoad reached SFs at the 1966 Wembley where he almost beat Rosewall (leading by 3:0 in the fifth set).

    Lew reached the 1960 French Pro final.

    A decade with a peak Rosewall and a peak Laver cannot be other than great...
     
    #71
  22. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    Sorry Bobby (I must contradict you back ;) ) but I really don't think 2 years at the beginning of a decade are enough to count Gonzalez as being in his prime in the 60's. He was close to semi retirement and coming in and out of it. It was noted that he had lost speed in 1964 , the man was declining. Plus he wasn't there every year either.

    I think you misunderstood my point, Gonzalez was in his prime for part of the 60's but for the majority of it he wasn't in his prime. Federer did it in 2012, overtook peak Djokovic and peak Nadal.

    I'm not belittling Rosewall at all, but Pancho was clearly out of his prime for most of the 60's.

    And I thought you liked Gimeno ;)

    Ok my mistake, one SF in 7 years is not particularly impressive especially considering the small draws. His performances at the French Pro were still worse in the 60's than at Wembley, 1 final versus 3.

    Hoad was a virtual non factor in the majors during the mid to late 60's.

    Going by your logic regarding Pancho and Hoad the 00's had prime Sampras and prime Agassi (this one is actually true).

    Likewise a decade with prime Federer and prime Nadal cannot be anything other than great either especially considering the great depth of this era.
     
    #72
  23. Dan L

    Dan L Professional

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    Remember, in 1960 Gonzales whipped Rosewall on the championship tour.

    In 1961, Mulloy rated Hoad as world number one based on hth against Gonzales on the championship tour.

    Hoad was still in top form in the 1961 and 1962 Kramer Cup, and performed better than Rosewall or Laver on the 1963 Australian tour and 1964 NZ tour.
     
    #73
  24. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    Again good performances in the very early 60's don't mean much in the face of sparse and weaker performances for most of the later years. After 1963 Hoad was much rarely a force.
     
    #74
  25. Dan L

    Dan L Professional

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    Indeed, not a threat after early 1964.
     
    #75
  26. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    NatF, Of course Gonzalez was in his prime only in 1960 and 1961 but he was almost there in 1964 (would have been a big threat to Rosewall and Laver for No.1 place of 1964 if he had participated in the big tournament tour also after Wembley) and he was still very strong in 1965 (better than Gimeno and all amateurs), arguably also in 1966 (did not play really much but beat Rosewall and Laver in a famous Wembley event) and was going strong from 1967 to 1969 (or even 1970 if you count the last year to the 1960s): he gave Laver a tough battle in the MSG final in 1967; beat holder Emerson at the French Open in QFs and beat world's No.2, Roche at the US Open in 1968; was ranked No.6 by Collins in 1969 after winning two big tournaments (Los Angeles PSW and Las Vegas beating Rosewall twice, Newcombe whom he destroyed, Ashe ditto, Smith, Richey twice); beat Laver thrice, Newcombe and Roche, all of them in their peak or prime, in 1970.

    Imagine how strong he must have been, say, in 1965 when he defeated Rosewall in six tournaments...

    Hoad also reached the 1963 French Pro SF after beating then strong Olmedo and MacKay.

    I have not refused to say that the last decade was great. I earlier only claimed that Federer in a great part of his peak years did not have strongest opposition. Almost no peak Nadal, no peak Djokovic, no peak Murray.

    Hope you forgive me ;-)

    I would be interested how you comment my long post (No.60) in the "How do you rank the pre open era players?" (about Laver in 1970/71 and so on). Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
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  27. Graf=GOAT

    Graf=GOAT Professional

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    1990's was the weakest era of all time.
     
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  28. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    1970 had Laver,Rosewall,Borg and Mc Enroe among others...what else can you ask for?
     
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  29. BGod

    BGod Professional

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    I feel this decade might be the weakest in retrospect.

    It remains to be seen but with guys like David Ferrer all of a sudden being contenders in their 30s and Federer, albeit the GOAT sticking around, it might look bad in hindsight.

    We don't know what the next 6 seasons holds but just keep it in mind.


    Of the current Top 10, only Raonic and Del Potro are under 27. That is insane. The physical prime is still 20-25 with people adding the mental maturity and making it 22-27, etc. Del Potro is going to be 26 in a couple of months and Raonic is 23 going to be 24 by the end of the year.

    May I remind you that the majority of Slam champions prior to this decade were aged 26 or younger?
     
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