Who was number 1 for 1970?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by timnz, Apr 17, 2009.

  1. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    I had this discussion with Carlo and Jeffrey Neave a couple of years ago on the Wiki discussion sides on the question of the real big four tournaments a year. For 1970 we thought, that Sydney and LA (had a 64 draw) had the best draws and fields outside Wim and Forest Hills. Sgt John has made a valuable list here on TT about the big four in a year. LA was also probably the most important event with best draw outside Wim, Forest Hills and RG in 1968, because Australia wasn't yet open (Bowrey's win was a joke).
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2012
  2. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    yes, it can. It makes for some dramatic "reading". I wasn't that serious when I made that post ...:)

    Borg's burnout circa 81 and Lendl coming short at the big events in the early 80s are all well supported by the facts .....The Mac one I just threw that in just like that. I don't really believe in that "story" .....
     
  3. Doug_Hartley_2012

    Doug_Hartley_2012 Rookie

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    Bowrey

    Bowrey's win at the 1968 Australian championships was not a joke. It was a logical progression to the next rung of amateur champions. The probability is that guys like Bowrey and Ray Ruffels and others would have had lead roles in another amateur season, along with the likes of Arthur Ashe, and challenged for Majors. That's where the sport was at and aren't we all grateful it went 'Open' in April 1968.
     
  4. Doug_Hartley_2012

    Doug_Hartley_2012 Rookie

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    World Rankings 1968 - 1973

    What would be very interesting would be IF someone could map/recreate the first six seasons of Open tennis and accurately compute player rankings based on contemporary criteria of Majors, other significant tour events and take account of fields and prize money. It is frustrating that even from a statistical point of view we are handicapped in undertaking complete match analysis and rankings comparisons of the COMPLETE Open era because the ATP computer, even in its imperfect form, arrived six years too late. There is no statistical basis to any full season number 1 ranking prior to 1974 and plenty of reason to suspect that top ten lists 1968-1973 exclude players whose form warranted inclusion. And who can forget the last amateur season of 1967 for which Lance Tingay came upwith a top 10 including TWELVE players. Yep.Amazingly, three guys tied for tenth spot. Maybe Rino Tommasi has lists out there that could be rediscovered and posted.
     
  5. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Bowreys win was not logical progression, because almost all leading amateurs of 1967 in one great rush had signed pro contracts with Lamar Hunt, some like Emerson had signed with McCall, and the rest, who stayed amateur like Ashe or Santana didn't play.
     
  6. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    I agree, that a statistical analysis of the 1968-1973 years would be very helpful. I have seen some some points rankings on the basis of a simple points race with adding results together. The French webside with the year rankings, which some posters linked lately, has tried such a scheme.
     
  7. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Unfortunately, there is an intrinsic chronological contradiction here:

    If you are talking about the early 80s when Borg was still playing, then you cannot be talking about the same period in which McEnroe had lost interest after Borg left the game.
     
  8. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    I have RT's top 10 for '68 to '72

    1970
    Rosewall
    Newcombe
    Laver
    Roche
    Ashe
    Richey
    Smith
    Nastase
    Okker
    Kodes
     
  9. Doug_Hartley_2012

    Doug_Hartley_2012 Rookie

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    Moose, I would love to see the lists for those years, esp the top 10s. They were published as I recall in some World of Tennis annuals but as I have yet to assemble a full collection I can't be sure. eg World of Tennis 75 and 76 - profiling the 74 and 75 seasons - do include RT's top 100. Other issues from 71 and 77 onwards seem not to. And of course I'm happy to see a statistical table puts Rosewall at 1 in 1970, where I'm convinced he was.
     
  10. Doug_Hartley_2012

    Doug_Hartley_2012 Rookie

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    Bill 'Tex' Bowrey

    Australian number 1; last Australian amateur champion in 1968;defeated Ashe in 1968 Davis Cup final; married Aussie female tennis great Lesley Turner.

    Tex made the 1965 Australian quarters, losing in 5s to John Newcombe after leading 2 sets to 1. He made the Australian quarters again the following year, losing a titanic 5s battle to eventual champion Roy Emerson 9-7 4-6 4-6 7-5 9-7 after leading 2 sets to 1. The next year - 1967 - he was again the Australian quarters and again up against eventual champion Emerson. He took the first set and lost an even longer 4 set match than the previous year, 4-6 6-4 11-9 16-14. Tex was also a quarterfinalist at the 1966 US championships.

    Bowrey was the heir apparent to Australian tennis when Emerson, Stolle, Newcombe and Roche departed to play pro tennis. He won the next Australian championships in 1968 and, when a strong pro field contested in 1969 he still reached the quarters, losing in 5s to his close rival Ray Ruffelsafter being 2 sets up, 9-11 2-6 6-0 6-3 6-4. He also won the Western Australian and South Australian titles 2-3 years prior to Metreveli.

    Tex was a WCT pro 1968 - 1971 and retired in 1972 at age 28 to teach in Texas.
     
  11. Doug_Hartley_2012

    Doug_Hartley_2012 Rookie

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    And while I have sourced Bowrey's 1968-71 connection with WCT from Max Robertson's Encyclopedia of Tennis, a more contemporary source - World of Tennis '71 - says he joined WCT in 1970. Tex came in at 21st on the pro earnings list that year with an awesome $12,213! Well, only Laver and Rosewall broke $100,000 with Emerson 3rd on about $97k. Tex was also a fine doubles player.
     
  12. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Now i know Bowrey, but heir apparent of Newk and Roche, who were same age or maybe younger than him, is a bit too much credit. If any was seen as heir apparent, it was the very young John Alexander.
     
  13. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I don't think that in general people considered Bowrey the heir apparent.
     
  14. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    If i remember it right from the top of my head, then Hopman chose 17 or 18 year old Alexander together with Bowrey as singles players for the Davis Cup Challenge Round in 1968 against the US team of Ashe, Graebner, Pasarell. To notice the difference between the Australian Champs in 1967 and 1968, both strictly amateur champs, one has to look at the semifinal line-up in 1967, which consisted of Emerson, Ashe, Newcombe and Roche, if i remember it right. A pretty strong field, with players, who all would have had a chance to win 1969, 1970 or 1971.
     
  15. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    RT publishes a 'Tennis Record Book' every year. It includes his top 10 rankings for '68 to '72(after that he just lists ATP rankings)

    '71
    Rosewall
    Laver
    Newcombe
    Smith
    Nastase
    Kodes
    Ashe
    Okker
    Drysdale
    Riessen

    '72
    Rosewall
    Laver
    Smith
    Newcombe
    Nastase
    Ashe
    Okker
    Riessen
    Orantes
    Drysdale

    Its crazy to that Rosewall had a good case at being world #1 at age 36, 37, & 38. Esp after Laver's '69 season.
     
  16. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    In the World of tennis yearbook for 1975 (published 1976) is a own ranking by Tommasi, different from the ATP ranking.
     
  17. Doug_Hartley_2012

    Doug_Hartley_2012 Rookie

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    urban, that's right. Tommasi's rankings were different from the ATP. I think his were based on matches played and calculated on a simple win-loss percentage, but I'm not sure about that.
     
  18. Doug_Hartley_2012

    Doug_Hartley_2012 Rookie

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    And thanks Moose, so that gives Rosewall a statistical claim to world number 1 three years in a row - 1970,71 and 72. Unreal. And at his age, it just reminds you of how efficient his game was - his court coverage, that he could not only mix it with the best...he was the best. Someone with a big serve and volley game would not be able to do that. You lose a few km per hour and suddenly you're toast. Rosewall had the game.

    Can I ask two more favours please Moose. How about 1968 and 1969? I am surprised that neither Emerson nor Stolle featured in the other years. They were still seriously good at the start of the 1970s.
     
  19. elegos7

    elegos7 Rookie

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    I also think that Tommasi's rankings were calculated on a simple win-loss percentage.
     
  20. Doug_Hartley_2012

    Doug_Hartley_2012 Rookie

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    Granted neither Bowrey or Ruffels were younger than Newcombe or Roche or Davidson BUT they were the next in line. They played singles for Australia in Davis Cup challenge round in 1968. Alexander only played doubles, partnering Ruffels. Ray Ruffels was a leftie, our top junior by the end of 1964 and starting to make waves. Australian semis in both 1968 and 1969 against amateur and open players; Wimbledon quarters in 1967; Aust HC champ in 1969 and Australian number 1 in 1970. I've already mentioned Bowrey's results.

    They performed creditably against a USA side in the DC final that featured Graebner and Ashe in the singles and Smith and Lutz in the doubles. Graebner recovered from a set down to defeat Bowrey in 5s in the opening rubber. Ashe similarly conceded the first set before overhauling Bowrey in 4s. Lut/Smith took the doubles in straight sets - no big surprise there. In the reverse singles, Graebner was down a set twice before defeating Ruffels in 5s and Bowrey defeatedAshe in the final match in 4s.

    The scores are worth reading as they suggest an even and hard fought battle that Bowrey and Ruffels were not quite able to close out. Sets were decided 10-8 8-6 8-6 7-5 8-6 11-9 and 8-6, aside from the more straightforward results ala 6-4 or better. The Aussies won 4 of those 7 long sets but it was the Americans who triumphed, with both Ashe and Grebner being ranked in the world top 10 at season's end.
     
  21. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    '68
    Laver
    Rosewall
    Ashe
    Okker
    Roche
    Newcombe
    Graebner
    Santana
    Drysdale
    Mulligan

    '69
    Laver
    Roche
    Newcombe
    Okker
    Ashe
    Rosewall
    Gimeno
    Drysdale
    Smith
    Stolle

    That certainly wasn't the case with his 1982 rankings(I have an Tennis magazine with them, he was part of the panel they used for their rankings. But he did have Lendl as #1 that year, while all the other members of the panel picked Connors)
     
  22. Doug_Hartley_2012

    Doug_Hartley_2012 Rookie

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    Moose, thanks very much. Confirms the view that Stolle was a top 10 player in 1969, but I'm surprised Emerson doesn't appear in any of Tommasi's lists 1968-71. I can only guess he was top 15 because he was so close and was beating the top Aussies and Gonzales on occasion, but clearly not regularly enough.
     
  23. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I agree.In 1970, Emerson,Stolle,Fraser could be dangerous customers for a match here and there, but were not consistently beating the top players and I don´t think they figured in the top 10.

    Guys like Gorman,Richey,Riessen,Nastase,Roche,Kodes,Pilic,Taylor or Franulovic were far more consistent.

    But, on any given day and , specially on grass, they could beat anybody.

    In 1972, old time pro Mal Anderson reached the finals of the AO.That proves they could still give you a serious scarce.
     
  24. Doug_Hartley_2012

    Doug_Hartley_2012 Rookie

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    Moose, I know you posted that Tommassi published his world top 10s 1968-1972 but I remember seeing them later than that. The World of Tennis annuals published them for the 1974 and 1975 seasons at least. Sooooo, would you have any idea about a 1973 list from Tommasi? Now, I'm assuming one was published in World of Tennis 1974 edition - covering the 1973 season - but wouldn't you know it...that's one edition I DON'T have. I have issues with the ATP 1973 computer ranking because, as I understand it, it only covers part of the season. If that's correct,Tommasi might be a better source for a statistical top 10 for that year.

    I have always felt that Newk was world number 1 in 1973. He started the year winning the Australian Open; the French and Wimbledon were no goes; and he won the US Open, defeating the Wimbledon champ Kodes who had been the best of a second tier bunch. He then followed that up with a straight sets demolition of Kodes in a Davis Cup semi; narrowly lost the Australian Indoor final to Laver in 5s; and defeated Smith and Gorman in the Davis Cup final. Nastase? I don't think so.
     
  25. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    ... in 1974 he won the WCT finals over Borg, reached the US Open sf against Rosewall and the Masters semifinals where Vilas defeated him.In 1975 won the AO, defeating Connors in the finals, and reached the 1976 AO finals, where surprising Mark Edmondson had the best in 4 sets.I don´t think Newk recovered from that loss and almost retired in 1976, although he kept playing a few events during 1977 and 1978 - but he didn´t take tennis seriously in his last 3 years-
     
  26. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Most experts had Nastase as Nr. 1 in 1973, with good reason imo. Newcombe's first half of the year was littered with early and real bad losses, especially on the European tour, vs. people like Szoeke and others. The Aussie open had a pretty weak field that year.Newk came alive in the second half with wins at Forest Hills and Davis Cup (although losing to Hrebec there). Nastase, although going out early at Wim and Forest Hills, had the overall better year, with great wins at Rome and RG (without losing set) and Queens. And he won the Masters at Boston, during which i think he beat Newk in the round robin round. Newcombe had bad luck injuring himself in the semi against Okker, but imo he needed this Masters win to even up with Nasty.
     
  27. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Both players were even until the Masters, having both won 2 big titles each.But, I agree with urban that the Masters gave the final edge to Nastase ( who also had a favourable H2H against John)
     
  28. Doug_Hartley_2012

    Doug_Hartley_2012 Rookie

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    Newk

    kiki, Newk was born in 1944 so by 1978 he was 34. He didn't lose interest; he just reached the end of the competitive road. He was a big serving guy and IMO it's harder for them to play on than say a Rosewall with an all court game.

    And to be fair to Newk, he was a contender for world number in 1973 aged 29; he was widely accepted as the world number 1 mid-1974 season when he claimed the WCT title but before Connors swept both Wimbledon and the US Open without meeting him; and he opened 1975 with a decisive victory over Connors in the AO final.

    With every reason to believe he was on course to challenge for number 1 yet again, he suffered a knee injury playing World Team Tennis of all things in Hawaii in June and that crippled any hope of winning Wimbledon one more time or taking top ranking.
     
  29. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Which was the reaction in Australia when Edmondson won the 76 Open, defeating all time greats Rosewall and Newcombe? It was supossed to be the " burial" of both all timers and the emergence of a new force to be reckoned with.Unfortunately, Edmondson just deliveried twice more and then went on to playing doubles .He reached the 1979 AO semifinals, losing in 5 sets to Sadri, and reached the Wimbledon semifinals, defeating Vilas and Gerulaitis and bowing in straight sets to Connors.
     
  30. Doug_Hartley_2012

    Doug_Hartley_2012 Rookie

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    Eddo was a talented player. He performed better than many people realise. I never felt he was truly fit and he came so close to nailing Borg at Wimbledon in 1977 - he had him 2 sets down and also had match points against Fibak at Wimbledon in 1980 before losing. In 1981 he beat Gerulaitis at Wimbledon to reach the semis. It was some revenge for having lost to Vitas in the 1979 Davis Cup semi after being up two sets to nil in the opening rubber.Eddo lost that match 8-6 16-14 8-10 3-6 3-6. If I was looking for one word to describe Eddo, it would be 'nearly'.
     
  31. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Good turn of phrase.
     
  32. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Even if not true champs, aussies like Alexander,Dent,Warwick or Frawley ( and the most succesful one Mark Edmondson) were extremely dangerous on grass.Borg must know it pretty well since Edmondson in 1977 and Frawley in 1980 were close to beat him...just as Amaya in 78 and, of course, Vijay Amritraj in 1979...BTW, has anybody gotten footage of that match?
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2013
  33. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    What happens if we credit the Dunlop at Sidney as the 4 th biggest event in 1970? We basically have Laver with one major win, Rosewall with a major ( + a lost final) and Newcombe ( with a major).Kodes was not in their league in spite of his FO win.

    Rosewall seems to behave better at the GS championships but Laver was the most consistent player.

    But for a given match, I take Newcombe...
     
  34. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    kiki, we could also take the Masters as the fourth greatest match.

    I rank Rosewall, Laver and Newcombe as tied No.1.

    I think it's impossible to rank Laver ALONE No.1, a player who failed terribly at the GS tournaments.

    Rosewall edged out Newcombe clearly: won 5:3 sets in GS competition, finished ahead of Newk in the GP and the Masters, finished ahead in WCT series, was 5:2 in hth...
     
  35. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I agree about the Masters as one of the best events then.Smith won this first Masters played on a full rr system, and Laver and Rosewall were there.

    I think Kodes,Franulovic and Richey made up for the three remaining positions, because it was a 6 men tournament, if I recall well.Newck did not play this tournament.But WCT started off its full tour in 1971, how could Rosewall finish ahead of Newcombe if there was no official tour?
     
  36. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    kiki, Ashe was the remaining player finishing fourth behind Smith, Laver and Rosewall.
    Newcombe did not qualify for the Masters. He finished only seventh in Grand Prix.

    Richey finished first in the Grand Prix but did not enter the Masters (injury?).

    You are right that there was not an official WCT series but there were many pro events probably under the aegis of WCT. I believe that NTL had finished that year.

    In the pro prize money list Rosewall finished second behind Laver and ahead of Emerson and Newcombe.

    Newcombe did not qualify for the First Tennis Classic series where Rosewall lost in final to Laver (MSG).
     
  37. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    OK, so Ashe instead of Richey.Still a very strong tournament with the best 6 guys of the year excepting John Newcombe at Tokyo for the first Masters of history.

    Kodes never performed great indoors as opposed to clay and grass.maybe he ebnjoyed naturakl conditions and not artificial.He never reached an indoor major final, be it at Dallas or at the Masters.Franulovic was excellent on clay, but nothing special outside it.
     
  38. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    kiki, I must correct me. Newcombe was yet a part of the Tennis Classic but did not qualify for the FINAL 4 man tournament because he lost to Gonzalez and did not play another match. In that MSG event Rosewall defeated Emerson and Laver defeated Gonzalez in the SFs. Laver beat Rosewall yet another time in the final.
     
  39. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    kiki, I must correct me once more: Newcombe played yet a second match in that pro (WCT) series in 1970. He lost to Rosewall 7-5, 5-7, 1-6, 2-6. I did not find that in the World of Tennis Annual but found it in Rosewall at Wikipedia.

    Altogether Rosewall lead 5:2 matches against Newcombe in 1970.
     
  40. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    well, those three-four first years of the 70´s had no clear number one, in the way of 1974 Connors or 1978-1980 Borg.But the quality of the top players was astounding, much more than a shortcoming, it was a real advantage.

    nothing to see with the first three -four years of the 2000´s, when , except Sampras and Agassi played their best, the talent was obviously missing.
     
  41. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    kiki, Yes, 1970 to 1973 did not have a clear No.1. But yet it was a strong period.
     
  42. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    That is what makes interesting to find a number one with a valid argument to back it up.

    Not the best player in absolute terms, not even the best one for a given match or tournament but the player that did a bit better than the other opponents to be considered as the best in the world.

    In the women´s ranks it was basically Court with King and Goolagong having each one a dominating year.Evert came round in 1974 as a solid number one.

    But I can think of 7 players that could claim to be number one at some periods of the season during the 70-73 frame.

    while I concede it is very debatable, my feeling is:

    1970 1/ Rosewall 2/ Newcombe 3/Laver
    1971 1/ Smith 2/Rosewall 3/Newcombe and Kodes
    1972 1/Nastase 2/Smith 3/Rosewall
    1973 1/Nastase and Newcombe 3/Kodes

    Ashe had periods when he could also be considered but didn´t win anything big except the 1970 AO and the 1972 WCT winter finals which were basically second rate tournaments.

    If we consider the full four years as a whole, the final outcome would be:

    1/Nastase and Smith 3/Rosewall 4/Kodes and Newcombe 6/Ashe and Laver

    No other player can fit in, although Gimeno and Roche were always top ten players and then, it is a toss up with Okker,Franulovic and Pilic, although I think Okker deserves the tenth place much more than the others since he was a much better all round player.

    From spectator point of view, given the contrast and mixture of styles and the great quality of these players, I consider 1970 to 1973 as one of the best periods in tennis history.

    Those top ten plus Pilic,Orantes,Franulovic,Lutz,Gorman,Riessen,Metrevali,Taylor,Richey,Panatta and young and emerging guys such as Borg and Jimmy Connors...you don´t get it much better.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2013

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