Who has a weaker claim on the year end number 1?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by timnz, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

    Oct 17, 2008
    Connors - 1977


    McEnroe - 1982

    By my thinking McEnroe 1982 has the weaker claim.

    Neither of them deserve the number 1 ranking for those years, but the ATP gave it to them anyway. But McEnroe's is the weaker claim - he was a long way behind Connors and Lendl that year, whereas Connors was closer to Vilas and Borg in 1977 (close but not quite there).
  2. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Jul 18, 2008
    I would agree with you. According to the Collins book, Connors won 8 of 21 tournaments with a 70-11 record but he won WCT which was a big deal.

    McEnroe, according to some sources had a slightly better percentage record than Connors but won none of the top tournaments.
  3. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

    May 15, 2007
    In 1977 Connors won 8 'official titles', WCT titles at Birmingham and St Louis, Las Vegas, the WCT finals, Hawaii, Sydney, the WCT Challenge Cup and Masters.

    His record at the 5 biggest tournaments that year was:
    WCT Finals - Champion
    Roland Garros - Did Not Play
    Wimbledon - Finalist
    US Open - Finalist
    Masters - Champion

    He won 2 out of the 5 biggest tournaments, and reached the final at 4 of them.

    His h2hs against Vilas and Borg 0-1 and 1-2 respectively that year, so he didn't play them much.

    McEnroe won 5 'official titles' in 1982, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Sydney, Tokyo and Wembley. Philadelphia was the only title that he had won until September that year. He went on a tear at the end of the year between the US Open and Masters, winning 26 matches in a row including 4 out of his 5 titles for the year and his Davis Cup semi-final and final rubbers. 1982 of course was the year of his perfect 12-0 record in Davis Cup singles/doubles rubbers.

    Philadelphia and Wembley were both huge titles back then, definately among the top 10 most important tournaments I would say. However his record at the 5 biggest tournaments was:
    WCT Finals - Finalist
    Roland Garros - Did Not Play
    Wimbledon - Finalist
    US Open - Semi-Finalist
    Masters - Finalist

    So 0 titles at those events (in fact he also didn't win any WCT titles all year), and his h2hs against Connors and Lendl were 2-2 and 0-4 (with Lendl beating him at the WCT finals, US Open and Masters).

    Connors has much a greater claim in 1977 than McEnroe did in 1982, and was much closer to Vilas/Borg than McEnroe was to Connors/Lendl in those respective years.

    Since the creation of the computer ranking system in 1973, I would say that McEnroe in 1982 and Sampras in 1998 are the two weakest year end no. 1 players in the last 39 years.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2012
  4. Xavier G

    Xavier G Semi-Pro

    Feb 13, 2012
    I don't believe Jimbo or Mac deserve the no.1 ranking for 1977 or 1982 either, but Connors' 77 was better than Mac's 82. Connors won the two biggest indoor play-off titles for the season and beat Borg in the Masters final. John was dominated by Lendl all of the 82 season and was heavily thumped in the Masters final.

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