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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    Well dang. It looks like it is better to say Djokovic/Nadal/Murray/Federer (given the rankings as of today).
     
  2. newmark401

    newmark401 Professional

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    But how do you know that the type of tennis played by those players in 1963 and 1964 was better than that played by the players in the other eras? What made it better? Did you actually see any of the matches played by those great players in the early 1960s?
     
  3. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Gotta agree here.

    Don't forget the technology: one is aware that present technology does allow players to hit harder and faster, but one wonders whether it makes it actually easier to do so.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011
  4. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    True.I like the poster´s comment on how interesting that 1971 year was, not just because of the competition, but also - and mainly- because of the diversity of styles at the top, in a way all 7 players were quite different from each other...truly magic tennis.

    and , yes, while Laver remained still the best player, his results were the worse of that 7 players group and didn´t deserve the nº 1 spot at the end of the year.
     
  5. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I wasn´t there but having seen them play later, I can figure out what a great combination of smarts, talent and champion´s temper was that...and the 4 were alos, each one in their way, 4 interesting charachters
     
  6. Nadal_Power

    Nadal_Power Semi-Pro

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    1982 Ranking according to Tennis Magazine

    Overall : Connors/ Lendl/ McEnroe/ Vilas/ Wilander/ Gerulaitis/ Mayer/ Clerc/ Noah/ Higueras


    Grass : Connors/ McEnroe/ Kriek/ Edmondson/ Gerulaitis
    Indoor : Lendl/ McEnroe/ Connors/ Gerulaitis/ Mayer
    Clay : Wilander/ Vilas/ Lendl/ Clerc/ Higueras
    Hard : Connors/ Lendl/ McEnroe/ Gerulaitis/ Vilas
     
  7. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I have assigned 2011 to Djokovic. Whereas it may not have been the "greatest year in tennis history" (as we have demonstrated), he certainly had the best record.
     
  8. Vegito

    Vegito Professional

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  9. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Pretty safe to say.
     
  10. krosero

    krosero Legend

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  11. krosero

    krosero Legend

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  12. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    William Renshaw and Reggie Doherty also each have 6 straight years.

    Highest total # of years is 8, by Pancho.
     
  13. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    But I think Tilden lost a lot less in the years he was dominant although I think Laver and Gonzalez had better competition.
     
  14. Nadal_Power

    Nadal_Power Semi-Pro

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  15. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    I note two things:

    1. The rankings they arrive at in the criteria page (by assigning points according to their method) don't always correspond to the chosen number 1 for the year on the first page. I don't know why.

    2. From the criteria page, the method seems generally reasonable, except for the following statement which sounds a bit excessive to me. This is my own translation, followed by the original:

    The principle being applied is simple: a runner-up doesn't have more merit than a first round loser, because only victory is beautiful. In theory, a first round loser is not necessarily worse in the tournament than a loser in the final because, in the end, the only thing that's certain is that neither of them beat the winner of the title. In addition, this principle is upheld by tennis itself, since the fact of eliminating the losers (unlike what happens in football championships, for example) boils down to acknowledging that, when it comes to counting, only the winner of the tournament matters.

    Le principe appliqué est simple : un finaliste défait n'a pas plus de mérite qu'un battu du premier tour parce que seule la victoire est belle. Théoriquement, un vaincu du premier tour n'est pas forcément moins fort sur le tournoi que celui qui a chuté en finale, car à l'arrivée, la seule certitude est qu'aucun des deux n'a battu celui qui a finalement remporté le titre. C'est d'ailleurs implicitement le principe défendu par le tennis lui-même, puisque le fait d'éliminer les vaincus (à la différence des championnats de football par exemple) revient à reconnaître que seul le vainqueur du tournoi a une importance comptable
     
  16. Vegito

    Vegito Professional

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    That´s true, I had seen it, then I forgot it. I was fascinated with that table black and white photos! I thought these were two different things.

    Now, seeing a very interesting article in Wikipedia, I see these chosen number 1 for the year coincide with these rankings of Wikipedia, same the clasification writed by hoodjem in this Thread. These are rankings made considering opinions of journalists from different times and trying to be objective, considering the titles won by each player:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World-number-one_male_tennis-player_rankings

    There is an explanation for each year.

    This issue is complicated! The objectivity of the rankings in the 70's was questioned, but anyway it was difficult because often the top players chose to play different tournaments and they coincided only in a few tournaments. There was no Masters tournament 1000 (obligatory), but I think I once read a clasification of tournaments, even I read Vilas saying he played in Springfield because in the Grand Prix it was obligatory play two tournaments "one star":
    http://del7007led-entradasanteriores.blogspot.com/2009/07/vilas-en-springfield.html

    It´s like in these years these kind of rankings was more necessary, because the ATP rankings were stranges, I don't know until what year. I guess current ranking system is quite clear.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  17. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    1976—Connors
    1977—Borg/Vilas
    1978—Borg
    1979—Borg
    1980—Borg(4)
     
  18. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Based on who was the best player, yes ( I don´t care ATP ranks)...but based on results, Borg had a much better 76 uyear than Connors ( 2 Majors+1 final vs Connors only win at USO).

    Reversely, in 77 Vilas had a much better year than Borg: Won 2 majors, reached the F of another one...Borg´s only major win was Wimbledon, and F at the Masters.

    IMO
     
  19. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    In 1982 Lendl won 15 events + 2 YEC titles.More than Connors, who basically won much less regular tournaments...but 2 GS...who was the best player and who was nº 1?
     
  20. Nadal_Power

    Nadal_Power Semi-Pro

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    Ivan was 103-8 in ATP tournaments, from 23 tournaments played he made 20 finals and won 15 titles... not bad if you ask me

    Vilas, Connors and McEnroe won 19 titles overall
     
  21. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Some of those tourneys, mostly WCT tour´s, had pretty weak fields.But, of coruse, it still remains a sensational year; few other pros have achieved that much during the course of one single year.

    What denied him the nº 1 spot is poor showings at the GS ( just one final and got beaten ).But he beat Mc Enroe twice to win the Masters and the WCT finals, very important events by then.
     
  22. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    76 was a close call; Connors held the number one ranking, even tho' Bjorn won the French and Wimby. I think because Connors beat Bjorn at the USO, on clay, that tipped it in his favor.
     
  23. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    Ivan had a great year, but just could not produce at the 2 biggest events. And, if you look at it from the perspective that Connors beat his 2 greatest rivals of that time at those events, it seems like a clear choice. I think both Ivan and Jimmy had a fantastic year; Mac was really the laggard in '82.
     
  24. newmark401

    newmark401 Professional

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    Did Bjorn Borg win the French Open in 1976?
     
  25. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Borg won no RG in 76, losing to Panatta in the quarters.But he won 2 of the 4 major events of the year (WCT was considered the 4 th event ) and lost the final of a third.Much like Vilas in 76.

    No colour, basing on mere results.
     
  26. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    As I posted, I consider Connors the nº 1 player in 1982, even though Lendl won more ( second cathegory ) events.
     
  27. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    The WCT event had great prestige but like the Masters you have to look at it year by year because the draw was not always great. Dallas was missing Connors that year. The US Pro Indoor was a big title then, not much less than Dallas in pure prestige which is difficult to quantify, and that year it had a better draw. Connors was there and beat Borg in the final. So each man has at least one big title outside of the Slams.

    Meanwhile Borg took Wimbledon and Connors took USO. Still no great edge for either player.

    But Connors got more titles overall than Borg. And the H2H between them went decisively to Connors, including that huge meeting at Forest Hills.

    Edge to Connors.

    Here's an article giving one opinion about how the Dallas draw was viewed in '76: http://news.google.com/newspapers?i...&dq=borg connors caracas clay&pg=2867,3027260
     
  28. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Borg reached 2 major finals, Connors one.Very tight.As I said before, Connors was the better player, Borg had a better year ( not by far, but enough).Panatta came third, with RG and a great DC win, very difficult to achieve those days.
     
  29. krosero

    krosero Legend

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  30. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    BTW, now that the US Pro Indoor has been mentioned...what a great organization and tradition¡¡¡ the biggest indoor tournament for years, with a 64 men field and 5 sets from semis on...
     
  31. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Can't see Borg having a better record overall, since Connors led him 13-6 in titles. And he had fewer losses (7-11).

    Those are in tournaments officially counted today. Borg has a number of wins in exos as well, but I'm not sure how much weight can be assigned to them: the gap in official titles is large, and even if the gap were closed the H2H would remain between them.

    (Bergelin said that the H2H would go up to 4-0 for Connors if exos were counted, since Borg lost to him in one exo).

    On top of that, the gap in total losses for the year is not going to close if Borg's exos are counted, it's only going to widen further in Connors' favor.

    By the way Connors was impressive in the 12 titles he did win, he wasn't just stacking up titles against lesser competition as he did on the Riordan tour in '74 (a year in which he's still unquestionably #1, just in case anyone misunderstands me). He won 6 on carpet, 2 on hard, and 4 on clay.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2012
  32. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    whoops; my bad, you are right BB did NOT win RG in '76
     
  33. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Normal that you got confised...he almost always won RG¡¡¡
     
  34. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I didn´t have that record in mind.You are probably right, Connors being nº 1, even by a very very slight margin.Seems like the case of 1977 with the disicussion between Vilas or Borg; Borg beat constantly Vilas but had an overall lesser record in major events, so I´d give it to Vilas, bearing in mind that Borg was the better player , as proved by their h to h ( same as Connors in 76).

    Those 3 years, 75,76,77 were very disputed.For instance, in 1973 Nastase was clealry the best player, in 1974 and 1982 it was Connors, in 1979-1980-1981, it was Bjorn Borg, Mc Enroe was the nº 1 in 1981,83,84, Lendl from 1985 to 1987 and so on...but, who was nº 1 in 75?

    Most people will say it was Ashe, who won 2 out of the top 5 por titles (WCT and Wimbly), but then Nastase won the Masters, Newcombe won his last big one in Australia, Borg took his second RG, Orantes was the winner at FH, and, on top of that, Connors lost ALL 3 major finals he played...I think Ashe had the best arguments to be a nº 1, but not a solid nº 1, rather a circumstancial.The fact he beat Borg at Dallas and Wimbledon, and Connors at Wimbledon, gives him the edge.

    For instance, if Orantes had just won the Masters in 1975 instead of one year later, he could also claim to be world´s nº 1.
     
  35. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Me confised aussi.
     
  36. Vegito

    Vegito Professional

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    Was Andy Roddick definitely "the man" in 2003?

    2003
    [​IMG]
    Andy Roddick
     
  37. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    1958—Gonzales(6)/Sedgman(2)
    1959—Hoad
    1960—Rosewall
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2012
  38. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I agree with you. I tend to think of 1976 as perhaps Connors' best year. I believe he won over 90% of his matches (again) and he won the US Open over Borg that year. While I felt Borg far surpassed Connors later I thought at this point Connors was a better player than Borg.

    You can't go just by majors to evaluate a player's year or his career.
     
  39. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    For me, since 1974, the best players each year were:

    1974: Jimmy Connors

    1975: Jimmy Connors (although 3 big losses in major finals)

    1976: Jimmy Connors

    1977: Guillermo Vilas

    1978: Bjorn Borg and Jimmy Connors (take your pick)

    1979: Bjorn Borg

    1980: Bjorn Borg

    1981: John McEnroe

    1982: Jimmy Connors

    1983: John McEnroe (just about over Connors, Wilander and Lendl)

    1984: John McEnroe

    1985: Ivan Lendl

    1986: Ivan Lendl

    1987: Ivan Lendl

    1988: Mats Wilander

    1989: Ivan Lendl (although Becker did better in the big tournaments and was simply sensational in winning Davis Cup)

    1990: Stefan Edberg (despite losing in the first round in 2 majors as the number 1 seed!)

    1991: Stefan Edberg

    1992: Jim Courier

    1993: Pete Sampras

    1994: Pete Sampras

    1995: Pete Sampras (Agassi could have sealed number 1 like Lendl in 1989 had he played more after the US Open, but Sampras delivered more at the big tournaments than Agassi)

    1996: Pete Sampras

    1997: Pete Sampras

    1998: Pete Sampras

    1999: Andre Agassi (Sampras was sensational when fit in 1999, but missed the Australian Open through fatigue chasing the 1998 year-end number 1 ahead of Rios and Rafter, and missed the US Open because of a herniated disc in his back, allowing Agassi to take advantage)

    2000: Gustavo Kuerten (the number 1 actually came down to the final match of the Masters Cup, where Kuerten beat Agassi to replace Safin as world number 1)

    2001: Lleyton Hewitt (special mention for Kuerten who was well on his way to finishing the year number 1 until the start of his hip troubles in September saw a catastrophic decline in his form)

    2002: Lleyton Hewitt

    2003: Andy Roddick

    2004: Roger Federer

    2005: Roger Federer

    2006: Roger Federer

    2007: Roger Federer

    2008: Rafael Nadal

    2009: Roger Federer

    2010: Rafael Nadal

    2011: Novak Djokovic
     
  40. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Mustard,

    Are you going by who you think is the best player by real strength or are you going by record? I consider Connors the best player for true tennis strength for example in 1975 but by the way they judge number one Ashe was in 1975.
     
  41. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    A bit of both.

    You can certainly make the case for Ashe in 1975.
     
  42. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    His Davis Cup loss to Raul Ramirez was also considered one of his big losses in '75.

    Connors underwent so many reversals of his victories from '74, that what he did in '76 came to seem like something of a comeback (the first of many in his career).
     
  43. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    What are you drinking, boy ?
     
  44. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Connors only showed to be an undisputed nº 1 in 74 and 82.Could have a claim for 76 and 83 but others (Mc,Wilander and specially Borg) had better results in the events that count: GS and WCT or Masters.

    I´m sure Connors would have loved to have Borg´s year in 1976...
     
  45. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Guys when I write I think Connors' best year may have been 1976 it is because of a few reasons, one is that I truly believe he was a better player in 1976 than in 1974, second is that he played tougher competition because I don't think he played the Bill Riordan circuit at all or at least very little in 1976, third he beat Borg every time they played and Borg was extremely strong in 1976.

    Connors' year in 1974 looks impressive but by Games Won percentage I believe Connors was just as good or better in 1976 against tougher competition. I'm not certain but I believe so.
     
  46. Vegito

    Vegito Professional

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  47. Xavier G

    Xavier G Semi-Pro

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    Hiya all, first post on this forum. Love the 70's and 80's era in particular.

    I make Connors no.1 for 1974, 1976 and 1982. I would probably give Ashe the nod for 75 and Borg 77, though that is highly disputed, Vilas having a great year. Borg no.1 78-80, even though Connors had a strong 1978.
     
  48. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Agreed on all points. In '76 Connors was 16-4 against the Top Ten (Borg was 15-7). In '74 he was only 6-1 (Newcombe was 9-5, Borg 10-10).

    That's all in officially sanctioned events.

    Connors' 13 titles in '76 were his highest yearly total ever except for '74 when he got 15.

    One big difference between the two years is that in '74 Connors didn't meet Newcombe, arguably his main rival.

    Agreed that Borg was very strong in '76, so it counts for a lot that Connors beat him all three times they met. Beating Borg on clay was a particularly great achievement.
     
  49. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Per the ATP and Davis Cup sites, these are various H2H records against the Top Ten.

    1974
    Connors: 6-1
    Newcombe: 9-5
    Borg: 10-10

    1975
    Ashe: 13-9
    Orantes: 10-7
    Connors: 6-3
    Borg: 11-9

    1976
    Connors: 16-4
    Borg: 15-7

    1977
    Borg: 15-3
    Vilas: 15-6
    Connors: 17-9

    1978
    Borg: 21-2
    Connors: 14-3
     
  50. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    We´ll agree on disagreeing...BTW, did Connors play Newcombe in an official match in 1976? (Las Vegas exo isn´t even close to an official match)
     

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