WORLD NO. 1 (by year)

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by hoodjem, Oct 30, 2009.

  1. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Question re 1958: can we pick one? Is there a way to tip the balance?

    Here's what Jeffrey wrote on this matter:
    Who was the true world no. 1 for 1958 Gonzales or Sedgman?
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2011
  2. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    Some comments:

    I think 1990 should belong to Edberg alone. He ended the year as the clear number 1, well ahead of Lendl. Lendl should not be there.

    On the other hand, I think 1989 should belong to Lendl alone, or (being very charitable) to Lendl/Becker. Becker was not ranked number 1 for a single week that year. In any case, Lendl had a much better year in 1989 than in 1990, and was ranked number 1 for the entire 89 season (except the first two weeks of January before the AO). But in 1990 he lost the number one ranking to Edberg in the summer and never regained it.

    As for 1983, Wilander finished the year ranked 4, so it's hard to see him as co-number 1 for the year.

    The ranking systems in the 80s, though not exactly the same as today, were pretty reasonable, or so it appeared to those of us who followed tennis at the time, and especially to those who devised those systems at the time, who should kindly be allowed to be the main judges of their time. Happily dismissing such systems now by assuming that our sense of fairness and measurement is so superior to theirs is a dangerous conceit. As bad as the conceit of assuming that current players are so much better than past ones. It can be justified only in extremely odd, inexplicable cases like 1977, and even then you need to be careful. Because if you let yourself go in this direction, you will find reason to rearrange the rankings throughout tennis history and rewrite the records of all sports. The endeavor leads to madness.
     
  3. cristiano

    cristiano New User

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    many experts do not even consider sedgman in the top-3 (and even 5), having him at n. 1 is a bit weird
     
  4. Q&M son

    Q&M son Professional

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    Yeah! :) ;)
     
  5. Carsomyr

    Carsomyr Hall of Fame

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    Where are you getting Laver and Rosewall as co-favorites in 1971? All of the sources are disputed between Newk and Smith as the best player, with Laver and Rosewall being distant 3rd and 4th.

    EDIT: Nevermind, I see the case for Laver now because of the 13 match win steak at the Champions Classic - however, I'm not sure success at one event, no matter how remarkable, warrants a #1 ranking. It seems that the case for Laver's ranking is because he's Laver. For example, if say, Jan Kodes had done it (who also had a fine season in '71), would be be hailing him as a #1?
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2011
  6. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    These are good points, but Newcombe himself admitted that he believed Laver was the no. 1 player of 1971. (This does lend a little weight to that belief.)
     
  7. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I always figured it this way, there is always a player with the best record for the year but that player may not the actual best player. For example some may argue John Newcombe had the best record in 1971 overall for the year and yet if you put him against a Rod Laver, assuming both are rested and healthy, who would you favor in 1971? I would favor Laver on all surfaces.

    The Tennis Champions Classic that year proved how awesome Laver still was when he defeated arguably the strongest field in the history of tennis by winning all 13 matches.
     
  8. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    1983 is a tough call.
     
  9. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    One could argue for Laver in 1971, that he lead the 20 tournament WCT series at the end of the year, too, ahead of Okker, Rosewall and Newcombe. The Classic Series, in which he won 13 matches at the begin if 1971 is not included here. And he had leading hth over all other candidates, Newk, Rosewall and Smith. Laver had a dip of form between May and September 1971, though.
    Newcombe had a very good first half year with Wim and 4 WCT events wins, but faded in the second half (partly due to injury). I personally rank him nvertheless Nr. 1 for the year 1971, because of his Wim win.
     
  10. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    1971 Laver

    Laver also won the 1971 Italian Open - easily beating Jan Kodes (the French Open champion of 1970 and 1971). I believe for just a few years around then the Italian Open could of been on par with the French Open.

    Not saying that he was the best player overall for 1971 - but certainly in the first half of the year - he was the man. I noticed that in an early 1971 event he was seeded first, even though the same event had Rosewall and Newcombe in it. So the tournament people still viewed Laver as the number 1.

    My rule of thumb is that Laver was the clear number 1 from mid-1964 to mid-1971 - a 7 year unbroken run - approximately from his 26th birthday until his 33rd birthday.
     
  11. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Exactly right, timnz.
     
  12. Carsomyr

    Carsomyr Hall of Fame

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    I think this logic opens another can of worms entirely. I know, for example, a minority opinion favors Sampras over Agassi in 1999, and under this sort of reasoning, that would make perfect sense. But what about Federer in 2003? He had a winning record over all the other Slam winners (including Ferrero on clay). What if Nadal hadn't been injured in 2009?

    In my opinion, I think the concreteness of results, over the course of the year, are more useful in this kind of discussion than "what-ifs" and supposition based on one or two events.
     
  13. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Achievement wins over supposed strength

    I completely agree with achievement winning over who one thought was the strongest player. That is why I pick Vilas as the number one in 1977. Even though many think that Borg was the stronger player, the fact is Vilas achieved more in 1977. Achievement should always win.

    That said, Laver did achieve in 1971 - just not in the Slams. But he did the following:

    1/ Racked up the most points in the WCT race

    2/ Won the Italian Open

    3/ Won the Champions Classic - 13 straight matches of the highest level of players (imagine in a grand Slam playing Rosewall in the first round and Newcombe in the second round). In my view this last win was equivalent to winning 2 slams.

    Having said that Laver isn't my pick for top player of 1971, just my pick for top player of the first half of 1971 (When his achievements were the highest).
     
  14. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I think you misinterpreted my post. I never wrote that a top player should be picked on who we think is the best.

    I think that the top player for the year should ALWAYS be the one with the best overall record for the year. My point in that post is sometimes the actual top player isn't the one with the best record. We should never pick a player with whom we think is best as opposed to the one we believe has the best record for that year.

    That being said I just wanted to point out the strongest player isn't always the one with the best achievements in the year.

    And I totally agree Laver shouldn't have been picked as the top player in 1971. But here is the big question and it's simply opinion of course, but if Laver and Newcombe were healthy and they played a series of matches on all surfaces in 1971, who would you pick to win the majority? I would pick Laver to win the majority but I would pick Newcombe as having the better record for the year over Laver and I would rank Newcombe over Laver.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2011
  15. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    True.as a matter of fact, few times Laver lost to Newc in a big event...Isn´t it? I think Newc beat him in Phily but Laver beat Newc at the biggest placest...
     
  16. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I don't think it's a matter of "what ifs." I think it's a matter of giving the majors their proper weight. I think the current point system has it about right. Winning a major is equal to winning 2 1000 point masters events or 4 500 World Tour events, etc.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2011
  17. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I notice that no one is even mentioning Rosewall in the discussion of the top player of 1971.

    If Laver had the better first half and Newk had the better second half, then shouldn't they be co-ranked?
     
  18. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Same case as for 1977, Borg being heavily favoured vs Vilas, but Guillermo deserved the top spit year wise.
    in 71, Laver just won Rome and made it to the WCT Finals, very poor for a nº 1 candidate, and specially for a man that had won the GS just 2 years before.I´m sure he´d fully agree with me.

    Incidentally, I always rate Laver as the greatest player of all time.
     
  19. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Good post.Ken won the much coveted WCT Fianls - over Laver- and the AO - over Ashe-.1971 was a helluve year, with Newcombe winning Wimbledon, Smith Forest Hills and Kodes winning the French and being the beaten finalist at Rome....and Nastase, the FO runner up and Masters champion.A great race between those 6 players, and one of the greatest years in the history of the pro game since it started off in 68.
     
  20. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    In 1971, Laver won Rome plus 6 WCT tournaments, and he won the Tennis Champions Classic in which he was undefeated, had a record $292K in prize money, became the first player to win $1 million for a career, and to my recollection had a winning record against all the top players that year. Clearly, after winning the Grand Slam in 1969, Laver was focusing on prize money events, not the low paying majors.
     
  21. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    True, and this is the disappointing thing in his ending years.He was a bangy louser in the GS tournaments, unmotivated...which is something unbelievable for a man that had set in his mind the idea of conquering the GS for the second time...and achieve it.I understand after so mnay years of sacrifices he wanted to make as much money as possible before quiting..but, I´m sure, deep inside his soul, losing to a Tom Gorman or to a Roger Taylor at the Wimbledon first rounds may have been very, very discouraging.

    As much as I admire him, and maybe , because of that, he may be one of the greatest ever champions with the worst career ending results.And, as you said before, it is not he couldn´t suddenly beat the top guys, as a matter of fact, he did it constantly in minor events.
     
  22. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    1958

    Originally Posted by jeffreyneave
    I disagree that gonzales has the longest run at world number one. In 1958 sedgman deserved the honour. He won 2 majors wembley(the most important event) and aussie pro whilst Gonzales won only one. He also had 4-2 head to head advantage over Gonzales in proper matches including winning their two best of 5 set matches.


    The normal' Pro Slam' events were Wembley, US Pro and the French Pro. That said, on certain years other events rose to be of equal (and occasionally greater) stature. Included in that is the Aussi Pro of the late 50's, the Forest Hills Tournament of Champions in the late 50's and the Wimbledon Pro. of 1967. So if you are going to include Sedgman's win at the Aussi Pro in 1958 as being a Pro Major then you also have to include Gonzales win at the Forest Hills Tournament of Champions as being a Pro Major. Hence, it appears there were an equivalent 5 Pro Majors that year (though I wonder if the Aussi Pro had the stature of the others):

    US Pro - won by Gonzales
    Forest Hills - won by Gonzales
    French Pro - won by Rosewall
    Wembley - won by Sedgman
    Australian Pro - won by Sedgman

    Hence, Sedgman is not ahead of Gonzales in terms of 'Pro Major' wins that year. 2 all.
     
  23. jeffreyneave

    jeffreyneave Rookie

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    1958

    In my view the us pro was not a major in 1958. Rosewall and sedgman, 2 of the contenders for the world no1 spot, were absent from the us pro. Gonzales still only has one major the forest hills win. Us pro also did not deserve its major status in 1960,1961 and 1962. A major has to atract nearly the best players to retain its status. The other point is that sedgman had a 4-2 advantage over Gonzales in proper head to head matches including winning both of the best of 5 set matches. Sedgman also won Wembley the most important event (it was regarded as the world championship of pro tennis like wimbledon in the amateur game)

    jeffrey
     
  24. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    It would help a lot to know what players were at the US Pro and what players were at the Australian Pro that year.

    There is a wikipedia page called “World number one male tennis player rankings”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World-number-one_male_tennis-player_rankings

    Sedgman is ranked number 2 in 53, 54 and 56. But in 1958 they rank him 6th (according to Jack March) after Gonzalez, Hoad, Segura, Trabert and Rosewall. The ranking by Robert Geist for that year (pro-amateur combined) is: 1 Gonzalez, 2 Hoad, 3 Rosewall

    This is what it says

    Joe McCauley; Jack March; Robert Geist

    Gonzales def. Hoad 51-36 in the world tour and in the preliminary matches Trabert def. Segura 34-31; Gonzales beat Rosewall in the Pro Tournament of Champions at Forest Hills; Gonzales beat Hoad in U.S. Pro; Sedgman beat Trabert both in Wembley Pro and in the Australian Pro; Rosewall beat Hoad in French Pro;

    Jack March's pro ranking : 1 Gonzales, 2 Hoad, 3 Segura 4 Trabert 5 Rosewall 6 Sedgman 7 Parker 8 Kovacs 9 Riggs 10 Pails

    Geist's (pro-amateur combined) ranking : 1 Gonzales, 2 Hoad, 3 Rosewall.
     
  25. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Sorry for my ignorance of certain geographically select vernaculars, but what is a "bangy louser"?
     
  26. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Benhur,

    The US Pro had a pretty strong field in 1958. It had Gonzalez (who won it), Lew Hoad, Kovacs, Parker, Trabert, Segura among others. Gonzalez defeated Hoad in the final in five sets.

    The Australian Pro Champs had Sedgman, Rosewall, Trabert, Hoad and Gonzalez. Sedgman won it over Trabert in five sets.
     
  27. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    In 1958 Wembley was won by Rosewall over Segura in five sets. This was a Pro Major.

    The big Tournament of Champions was won by Gonzalez with a 5-1 record just barely over Rosewall with the same record. The field was bigger and stronger than the Australian Pro. The field had Gonzalez, Rosewall, Hoad, Hartwig, Segura, Trabert, Sedgman. A tremendous field that was stronger than the Australian Pro. Neither the Tournament of Champions or the Australian Pro was a Pro Major.

    Jeffrey, I respect what you are trying to do but to just assign the Australian Pro as a Pro Major because you think the field is strong is something I totally disagree with. If we are going to do this as a poster mentioned earlier (forgot who) we should then assign the Tournament of Champions at Forest Hills as a major since the field was stronger overall.

    It's treading on dangerous territory. Do we remove the 1973 Wimbledon from Jan Kodes or some of the other majors that were boycotted in the early years of the Open Era? I don't think so. In retrospect the 1973 Wimbledon had some super players in it with a young Jimmy Connors who was fantastic and Ilie Nastase, who was the number one player for the year.

    Laver and many of the WCT pros didn't enter some tournaments including the Australian in the 1970's. Do we decide by field if it was a major since the top players did not participate? I don't think so.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2011
  28. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    One may agree or disagree with him, but Jeffrey is right to shed a light on the problematic ranking of those old pro years. Before McCauley's book i often read, that the end 50s years were dominated by Gonzalez or a two men race between him and Hoad. Neither is true. It was a very strong field at the top, and Sedgman - an often underrated player -, Rosewall, Trabert and Segura had their share of big wins. The main championships, Wembley London pro was won by Rosewall in 1957, Sedgman in 1958 and Mal Anderson in 1959. In 1958, it depends how you weigh the World Series the mano a mano between Gonzalez and Hoad, which Gonzalez won 51-37. In the regular tour, i would give Sedgman indeed a slight edge.
    Overall the problem was, that the pros had no adequate ranking system. They had an unoffical point system of some 20 events without giving weight to bigger and lesser events (Hoad was Nr. 1 for instance in that scoring for 1959). And they had some subjective rankings as that of Jack March, Kramer or L'Equipe, but those were often depending on promotional interests. The years 1958-1961 were all very close at the top, and maybe need further research.
     
  29. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Good points.
     
  30. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    Urban and PC1, thanks for the information.

    The whole thing is very puzzling. How it worked. So Gonzalez and Hoad played each other 88 times in just one year (!!?!) By which system were players paired to play each other? Did most players go around playing in pairs like that or just a few? How would it work for example with today's top 10? Which players would be playing each other all the time?
    And I imagine when you add the tournament matches, these guys must have played a lot more matches per year than today's players. But still, 88 matches must have been by far the biggest part of the tennis they played in one year.
     
  31. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    As experts like PC 1, Jeffrey, Carlo, Andrew Tas and people like Robert Geist all know too well, this old pro tour lacked a solid structure. The centre of the old tour was the (originally) 100 match series, the mano a mano between the pro champ and a newly recruited amateur. Kramer and later Gonzalez were the masters of this format. Gonzalez beat Trabert, Rosewall and Hoad in those long match series for successive years. For up to a half year, two champs barnstormed through US halls, squaring off against each other every night. Since the 50s, the pros played also a circuit of tournaments through the US, Europe and Australia (and South Africa), with some big events like Wembley, the US pro (not always) and the French pro, played until 1962 on clay at Roland Garros, then indoors at Stade Coubertin. In some years, other pro events like Melbourne or Forest Hills, Madison Square Garden, or Wimbledon (in 1967) were more important and, partly, had better draws.

    So its difficult to decide the authentic ranking of the pros. Conventional wisdom (and often the pros themselves) ranked Gonzalez as the "man on the hill" from 1954 and 1961. But in some years it was much closer following the circuit results, than many historians believed. Probably, you have to go to all available results of a year, make a credible point system and make in the end a ranking. But it remains arbitrary, how much points you give to the World Series of the two champs.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2011
  32. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    In Rockhampton´s regional language, a Bangy louser means a guy that doesn´t pretty much care about losing.Well, it may be exagerated, of course, but it seems to me that Laver wasn´t quite worried for so many consecutive defeats at the hands of players he would have swept off the court just 2 years before.
     
  33. jeffreyneave

    jeffreyneave Rookie

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    pc1,

    For world ranking purposes kodes' wimbledon win of 1973, where only 3 of the top ten played, would earn considerly less points than the winners of the french and us opens in 1973. Similarly. the majority of aussie open winners in the 1970s would earn significantly less world ranking ponts than the winners of wimbledon and the us open in those years.

    rosewall defeated segura in the 1957 wembley event.

    the aussie open I treat as a major in 1958 because it had a very strong field (the top 5 pros played), it had 5 set matches, and its one of the traditonal slams which is the basis for the other 3 pro majors. I would also regard the forest Hills as a probable major in 1958 because of its strong field and the prestige of the event being played in new york.

    jeffrey
     
  34. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    You're right about Rosewall and Wembley in 1957. My error. Careless of me.

    However Rosewall won the French Pro in 1958, Sedgman won Wembley and Gonzalez won 1958. I would chose Gonzalez for number one in 1958 and you would choose Sedgman in 1958 for number one. We'll just have to disagree.
     
  35. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Benhur,

    The Pro Tour was set up on a star system and strangely enough the stars were the champions of the amateur circuit who were able to draw in the tennis fans to watch them. Gonzalez was the Pro Champion and the best player in the world but he wasn't the draw that Hoad was.

    So a great talent and amateur champion like Hoad would be brought in to play the Pro Champion in Gonzalez. Hoad, unlike many other amateur champions was able to play some Pro Tournaments before being tossed into the "one night stands" against the Pro Champion. Jack Kramer (the promoter and former World Champion) admitted he was trying to train Hoad to defeat Gonzalez who was not a very cooperative champion to say the least.

    The Hoad versus Gonzalez matches are the stuff of legend. Two huge powerful serve and volleyers who were extremely talented. Gonzalez said that if Hoad was playing his best and he (Gonzalez) was playing his best that he (Gonzalez) would lose. Hoad went off to a 18 to 9 lead (some had it 21 to 9) before Gonzalez rallied to win the tour 51 to 36.

    The incredible thing about this tour was that Hoad was getting to the Gonzalez backhand because Gonzalez was having problems passing Hoad crosscourt. Gonzalez made a change in his backhand grip and was able to win.

    So whoever would win these tours would be considered the World Champion. Gonzalez was the King of the Tours, after losing his first one to Kramer, he never lost another one.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2011
  36. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    This is all pretty fascinating stuff.

    Am still a bit confused. In the quote I gave fromt he wikipedia page (post 524 above) they say:
    What do they mean by "preliminary matches"? Were Trabert and Segura performing alongside Gonzalez and Hoad, or did they have a separate schedule?
     
  37. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Essentially it's like in a Las Vegas show where there is an opening act and you wait for the main show. Or in boxing where there is a preliminary fight and you may wait for the big championship bout.

    A preliminary match is the first match played and the main match is later in the day.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2011
  38. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Mostly the players drove with one vehicle from city to city. They had another vehicle behind them with the carpet and some workers, who laid down the carpet on the surface of the hall, they played at night. Only Gonzalez, who was a loner, stayed away from the others and drove his own fast car. As pc 1 writes, the two title contenders played the main match, two others played on the undercart. After the singles they played a doubles, so the public attended 3 tennis matches at night.
     
  39. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Fascinating, interesting reading here as to how former greats played. I would argue that too often when we discuss the increased "physicality" and the new training methods of the modern game, we often gloss over and overlook the inherently tougher conditions endured by players from the 50's and of course even earlier times. Let's add it all up shall we? They had tougher/longer travel, inferior air conditioning, equipment used (weight of racquets, grips, shoes), less time between points/games. Then, on top of that, these guys played so many matches and they were constantly facing tough competition on these tours, while also playing so many matches overall. You had great players constantly facing one another, thereby constantly pushing each other to great heights. We should remember that this sort of ideal environment for fostering tennis greatness had as a backdrop, very tough conditions which may have further fostered talent and strength/skill as well.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2011
  40. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Of course and that is why I am amused by people talking about how much tougher it is to play nowadays. Perhaps it is true, but perhaps not. But it is a fact that many of the top players today have entire teams of people to help them train, have the best facilities, equipment, food and places to stay plus the best transportation.

    The top pros in the world in the past be playing constantly plus they played singles AND doubles. That's a lot of work and I guess training.

    What's better is debatable but the top players in the past certainly played a lot more than the top players today.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2011
  41. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Great points PC1. They played singles and doubles and with no complaining of course about their conditions/pay, calls, etc. They were also expected to exhibit great sportsmanship at all times. They were doing this week in, week out:


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHaN2h21ANs

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3y2CpBpV5pg (Thanks Borgforever.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2011
  42. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    Yes, I wonder about that too. Working conditions were incomparably tougher and more uncomfortable in the old days.
    On the other hand, it does seem that players today get injured very often.
    This site keeps track of match retirements and tournament withdrawals due to illness and injuries. http://www.tennisinsight.com/injuries.php Just in the last 6 months, there are hundreds of cases. It seems like a lot. So I think there is also some validity to the notion that the current game produces more injuries
     
  43. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Perhaps not because many of the old timers used to play with injuries. The show must go on I guess.
     
  44. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Look at 1971m and tell me if there has been ever a most exciting and comptetitive fight among 7 super champions:

    Rosewall
    Newcombe
    Ashe
    Kodes
    Laver
    Smith
    Nastase

    all of them winning a major (Masters,Rome and WCT Finals included, because their fields were as good as any GS ).
     
  45. newmark401

    newmark401 Professional

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    It's strange to see Ken Rosewall being chosen by some people as the world no. 1 for 1962. Of course, he was the top professional that year, while Rod Laver was the top amateur. Indeed, Laver won the Grand Slam in 1962, in addition to the German, Italian, Irish, Norwegian and Swiss Championships.

    Two tours existed at that time, one for amaters and one for professionals, so there should be two separate ranking lists, one for each group of players. Otherwise achievements like Laver's in 1962 are not taken into consideration, which is ridiculous.
     
  46. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Not really. It was pretty clear to many observers that Rosewall, not Laver was the BEST player in the world. Rosewall perhaps had his best year in the Pros in 1962 even though he won the Pro Grand Slam in 1963.
     
  47. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Its of course a methodical problem and remains speculation, how to rank the two separate circuits (amateurs-pros), which existed at that time. I would prefer to make two separate rankings (i wrote that at the time on the wikipedia-discussion tables). Indeed many top amateurs struggled, when turning pro, especially in the first months or season. Some never made it to the pro top, like Ashley Cooper or Anderson. Others, like Gonzalez, Rosewall or Laver, made the to the very top after overcoming their rough baptism tours and getting accostumed to the new format of one night stands. It can be reasonably believed, that the pros standard was higher than the amateur standard. How much, however, remains speculation. I have seen rankings of 1962, which ranked the amateur Laver behind 6 or 7 pros. That is imo invalid: Other than Rosewall (and for some time Hoad), the amateur Laver of 1962 had to fear no one on the pro tour. Gonzalez was retired in those years, 1962-3.
     
  48. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Again, it proves that Laver/Pancho/Rosewall/Hoad in 63 or 64 were able to produce the best tennis ever played.

    Even better than Borg/lendl/mac/connors in 1981 or Becker/lendl/Edberg/Wilander in 1986, or Agassi/Sampras/Courier/Rafter in 1994... or today´s Fed/Nadal/djokovic/Murray
     
  49. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Champions event

    Which makes lavers unbeaten run of 13 straight best of 5 set victories in the 1971 champions event even more impressive, given the great density of completion that year.
     
  50. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    That's one of the reasons I believe that if Laver played head to head against any of the other players that year that contended for number one, let's say a series of ten matches apiece on clay, grass, indoors and hard court that Laver may have come out ahead. But while I feel that Laver may have been still the strongest player player in the world he did not have the best results for that year so players like Newcombe deserved to be number one perhaps more than Laver.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2011

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