WORLD NO. 1 (by year)

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

  1. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    That's the way it was.

    I said the Australian Open was a major and that the Masters wasn't a major. I didn't say either was more important.

    The Grand Slam Cup was the ITF's version of the World Championships. Neither were majors, but the Grand Slam Cup certainly paid a ton of money. $2,000,000 for the champion most years, I believe.
     
  2. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    The point is that the top two guys didn't consider it worth the effort to put out for this event.
    This is when you get the supporting cast, and everyone regarded Anderson as supporting cast, winning a tournament.
    At Forest Hills, the biggest event of the year, Anderson lost to Hoad in the first round, and Hoad and Gonzales contested the final. Get it? At the big one, the two top guys contested the final. Simple point.
    As Hoad said; "If it was the final of a major event, I would try to win. But if it was the final of the Hamburger Open (and there really was a Burger King Pro Championship in Hollywood, Florida, no less) against a player I knew I could beat, well..", he shrugged his shoulders.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2012
  3. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Kramer claimed that Segura had the edge over Hoad. The Tournament of Champions was another tournament altogether, anyway, on grass-courts. The Wembley Pro was indoors. Gonzales was the only big name missing from the 1959 Wembley Pro, and Hoad lost to Segura.
     
  4. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Well like you say, we don't have to be stiff about it, and that's really my main point about this. There's no need to be rigid about including the Masters and WCT Finals. I mean, what are we going to do, include the Masters as a major even in its first year (1970?), when it was just a set of round-robin matches? And include Dallas even as late as '88, when the tournament had long been in decline and the AO was back up to strength? Obviously we've got to be sensible and only pick those years when these tour-ending championships were genuinely strong.

    But that's the whole problem right there. If we are going by strength of field, then why not pick a tournament like Philadelphia in those years when it clearly has a stronger field than Dallas?

    Again your list is very close to what mine would be, so this is no great disagreement. But let me tell you how I think of it.

    One, I would prefer to count the traditional Slams as majors, whenever it's sensible to do so. Even when they have moderately weak fields, they still carry a certain prestige and still present the unique challenge of 6 or 7 rounds to win. Arguably the only Slam events that don't make sense as majors are the AO's of the 70s and early 80s, in which often 80% or 90% of the top players were missing (in 1982 all top ten players were missing). And in fact during the weak AO years it was common to call Wimbledon, the USO and the French the "Big Three." So there's very much a precedent for dropping the AO and continuing to think of the remaining three as majors.

    But if we take the step of dropping one of the Slams, placing strength of field over historical prestige, then I really don't want to pick a non-Slam tournament (Dallas) on the basis of prestige. If we're going outside of the Slams due to the problem of strength of field, then let's really go with the tournament that has the strongest field (Philadelphia). Going with the weaker field at Dallas, because of a prestige factor, just repeats the problem we have with the AO: we now have chosen yet another tournament that doesn't stack up as one of the best attended events of the year.

    And in 1976 that's what I see, when Dallas is called a major and Philadelphia is not. I see Dallas getting that distinction merely because of its title; or because of great draws and matches that had taken place in Dallas in 1971-75.

    Connors, arguably the greatest indoor player of the mid 70s, started playing Philadelphia in '76. That's when I think the tournament really hit top strength and was worthy of being called a major, with at least 6 rounds to play (7 for those who did not receive a bye). To me it is somewhat similar to the Lipton of the mid-80s which was a two-week event and was considered for a time as a kind of Slam.
     
  5. Xavier G

    Xavier G Semi-Pro

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    Philadelphia (the US Pro Indoors) was a very big tournament back in the 70's and 80's and the depth of field was impressive with best of five sets semi finals some years and five set finals. The winner often had to win six matches. Borg tried to win it on quite a few occasions, but never did.
     
  6. FedericRoma83

    FedericRoma83 Rookie

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    About the WCT Finals: we surely don't need to do that, because I consider the Masters more important since 1977. About the 1970 Masters: that year only 2 slam were great, we surely can't understimate the Masters. I don't know if you want to consider it a major or not, I accept both options, but it was surely an important event. Stan Smith had to beat both Laver and Rosewall (the stronger players of the year) to win it, I think he deserves some credit for that. ;)


    That's what I also do. If the field is only partially depleted (for example, Wimbledon & Roland Garros 1972), I would choose the slam anyway. I exclude slams only when they are totally depleted: that means only Roland Garros 1970 and Wimbledon 1973 (both with one player from the top-10) + the Australian Open 1972-82.


    The fact is that we have a different method.
    For what I can understand, your is:
    - we take the majors, we exclude the Australian Open weak decade, we take the other events with the best fields.
    Mine is more like:
    - we take the majors, we exclude the Australian Open weak decade, we take the WCT or the Masters because they were the most prestigious after the slams (they also had the best fields in 90% of the seasons, tough not on every one I have to admit).

    Obviously these are only two possibilities, there are a lot of others: for example, we can simply consider the 1972-82 a three-major-per-year era, even if this would give us two problems: 1. we'll got some troubles if we are going to compare different historical moments (but we don't necessarily need to compare them, because as Kiki rightly said, every era is a special case); 2. we know that journalists used to call the WCT finals a Major back in the days... that demonstrates how much the situation was messy at the time.

    Anyway I didn't say that the Philadelphia selection for 1976 is wrong, it's a definitely legitimate option, I accept every kind of vision, expecially when is so well explained (what I don't accept easily are statements like "the Australian Open was a Major because the ATP said that", but it's definitely not your case). Maybe tomorrow I'll wake up thinking "let's choose Philadelphia for 1976!", who knows... in Italy we use to say something like "only the idiots never change their minds". :D
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  7. FedericRoma83

    FedericRoma83 Rookie

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    It's strange to hear that because, just for example, Ken Rosewall said that the Wembley tournament was his favourite one during the Pro era.
    Your point sounds to me like: they went out before the finals = the didn't put out for it; they went to the finals = it was great tournament.
    I don't agree: in my opinion we have to consider the option that even the greatest players ever can lose a match.
     
  8. FedericRoma83

    FedericRoma83 Rookie

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    Krosero, can you post the Philadelphia 1976 draws?
     
  9. krosero

    krosero Legend

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  10. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Love that last phrase, I don't recall hearing it.

    I see entirely what you're saying, I don't have any big disagreements here.

    But about Kiki's argument, I do have to say something. I agree with him, and you, and Timnz, that each era is best compared in its own context -- according to the standards of the time. No problem there. But to do that with the 70s and 80s, it is not necessary at all to give the era 5 or 6 majors per year. That will only invite bitter wars with fans of players from other eras, who will object -- rightfully IMO -- that the players of the 70s and 80s are being made to seem as larger figures in tennis history as a whole, than they really were. IMO the discussion will all get bogged down in useless fights, rather than what you all really want, which is to explain and highlight the features of the 70s and 80s.

    To understand that era you have to take Dallas and the Masters into account, but there is no reason that cannot be done by simply considering them special tournaments -- and in certain cases, yes, one of them will be the fourth most important event of the year, maybe even rightfully called a major. There is no reason to call them all majors, every year they were held. All that needs to be done is to highlight the Dallas and Masters wins that a player may have.

    In other words, you can highlight McEnroe's wins in Dallas and New York, in order to evaluate his career rightfully in the context of the era. On occasion you can even say that one of those titles was the fourth most important event of a particular year, and perhaps rightfully called a major. But calling all of Mac's wins in Dallas and New York majors just gives him an inflated place in tennis history as a whole, since champions of every other era only have 3 or 4 chances per year to win majors.
     
  11. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Again, the 1959 Wembley final was between Segura and Anderson, two guys who lost in the first round at the biggest tournament of the season, Forest Hills, where the final was between the number one and number two players.
    The cream rises to the top in the big ones.
    Wembley was perhaps the fourth most important event of the 1959-1960 season. Perhaps the sixth most important.
    Kramer stated that Segura and himself had the edge on Hoad on the 1957 tour, because Hoad considered them over the hill, and concentrated on Rosewall.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2012
  12. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Rosewall won six Wembleys, so he must have liked it.
    I would like any event I won six times.
    No, the biggest events for the pros were in the major venues, Wimbledon (1967), Forest Hills, Roland Garros, Kooyong. Do these locations sound familiar? They are the sites of the major Slam events.
    Wembley was chosen by the pros as a poor substitute for Wimbledon, which wouldn't allow pro play until 1967.
    It was like playing in a gas chamber, and the smoke affected the level of play, according to the London Times reviewers.
    Gonzales didn't even show up for Wembley.
    The top players usually show up in the major finals.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2012
  13. FedericRoma83

    FedericRoma83 Rookie

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    I definitely agree with you on that, expecially on bolded parts.
    My personal view is to give no more than four "Majors-or-their-equivalent" per year. That means the Masters (1977-82) or the WCT Finals (1972-76), but surely not both in the same year, and no one of them since 1983 (only the Masters in 1986, but just because there was no AO).

    Coming back to Philadelphia - I agree with you that the 1976 WCT Finals were not great as in 1975: nonetheless, I'm still not persuaded in pointing Philadelphia as the fourth tournament this year. For example, in 1976 Palm Springs was entered by the same players who entered Philadelphia. Add to that the cumulative money prize: in Philadelphia it was around 120,000 dollars, while at Palm Springs was 200,000. The only Philadelphia advantage is the best-of-five-set final & semifinals (not a little advantage, I admit), but with the same field and more money around, Palm Springs can also be a legitimate choice (it would not change anything, Connors won both, but now I'm talking about the methodology).
    Still no one of those prizes can compete with the Dallas one (100,000 but they are distribuited to 8 players instead of 64), no one of those tournaments was called a Major back then (while the WCT Finals were) and I guess they had less resonance (tough I don't have official informations on this theme).
    I'm totally confused now, it seems that we have a lot of candidates for the fourth Major placement in 1976.
    Another messed up year was 1970. Wimbledon and US Open were ok, but is nearly impossible to pick up two other tournaments, there were a lot of great ones: the Masters (my personal third choice, but I can understand eventual disagreements on that), the Tennis Classic round robin, the Dunlop Internationals, an amazing Torneo Godò on clay, and so on...
     
  14. FedericRoma83

    FedericRoma83 Rookie

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    Gonzales didn't show up for Wembley? He won four times there! Come on!
    It was definitely one of the best tournaments, if I'm not wrong Rod Laver said that his favourite match against Ken Rosewall was the 1964 Wembley final.
    A lot of journalists of the time also pointed at the 1956 final between Gonzales and Sedgman as the greatest Pro match of the era...
    I really can't see your arguments, this sounds to me like if you have a personal idiosyncrasy to that tournament, with no real reasons.
     
  15. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    If you want to be fair to those fans that didn´t enjoy the Golden Era, why notn weighten the Ao.Masters and WCT by , lets say, give the winner of those events a 335 of the value...that way, you can give the 4 th biggest event its weighten value.

    It could look like this. Let´s take 1979

    Borg wins W and RG and 33% of the 4 th major (Masters)
    Mac wins USO and 33% of the 4 th major (WCT)
    Vilas wins a 3% of the 4 th major (AO)

    Now, I am too lazy to weighten all those titles from 1970 to 1989, but a Ken Rosewall resumee may look like this ( only open era, we should also value Por slams as 66% and amateur slams as 33%, thus Emerson won substantially 4 majors)...

    2 WCT titles: 66% of a major
    1 FO, 1 USO= 2 majors
    2 AO= 66% of a major

    so, he won, 3 majors and 1/3 of another one...
     
  16. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Great point.I still would go with Dallas as the 4 th biggest event from 1971 to 1976, then Masters replaces Dallas as the biggest 4 th from 77 to 82.From 83 onwards, I´d pick again Melbourne, even if 1983 and 1984 Masters/Dallas were, as good if not better than Melbourne.

    For 1970, yes, Godo Cup was exceptional, but I´d go with RG,W,FH and Masters ( instead of AO, sorry Arthur)
     
  17. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    The main problem I have with calling Dallas the fourth major of '76 is that there were other tournaments with greater numbers of Top Ten players -- including Connors. Connors was of course #1 at this time; and he was probably the strongest player indoors; which makes his absence or presence from an indoor tournament paramount.

    When, for the sake of argument, I consider Dallas a major in that year, I get the same feeling as when I try to consider the AO a full-fledged major: I feel that there are other tournaments where the winner can truly be considered to have faced the best players. Borg's win in Dallas was a fine win, but without the world's best player in the draw. Philadelphia had both Connors and Borg and so did Palm Springs (an event played on hard court, arguably Connors' best surface).

    Of course Connors had been absent from Dallas in previous years, too. But in those years he wasn't at Philadelphia or Palm Springs, either, since he was playing on the Riordan tour.

    That's why I feel Dallas is inadequate as a fourth major in '76: because there were two other tournaments that had Connors, and had better top ten attendance overall.

    The word "major" carries so much weight that, if it's applied to Dallas in '76, people will tend to think of Borg's victory there as greater than Connors' victories over better fields -- and that doesn't make sense to me.

    I feel the same way about the Masters in January 1979, where both Borg and Vilas were absent. That's why Philadelphia seems like a good choice for the '78 season, too, with 9 of the world's top ten playing. Today you get that sort of attendance all the time, but back then that was rare.

    I know the argument is that Dallas carried greater prestige, but when I see a tournament where all the top players show up -- in an era when tournaments rarely drew them all -- then I can't believe that there's anything second-tier about that tournament.

    But other than going with Philadelphia in '76 and '78, I'm with everyone else in choosing Dallas in the first half of the 70s, then the New York Masters up to the January 1983 edition.
     
  18. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Please list

    So your list for 4th event of the 1970's through to the 1982 season is:

    1970 ?
    1971 - Australian Open or WCT Finals (The Australian Open had a deep field that year)
    1972 - WCT Finals
    1973 - WCT Finals
    1974 - WCT Finals
    1975 - WCT Finals
    1976 - Philadelphia or Masters?
    1977 - Masters
    1978 - Philadelphia or Masters?
    1979 - Masters
    1980 - Masters
    1981 - Masters
    1982 - Masters

    If you could please elaborate on your choice for 1970, 1971, 1976, 1978 Thanks

    Also be interesting on your view of the 4th event from 1983 through 1987. My belief is that from 1988 the Australian Open was definitely up to full slam status again being in the new stadium and 128 draw and very deep field. I know top players started coming back in 1983 but did it still have the depth from 1983 through 1987? (I know it was much better than 1972 to 1982 - but was it up to full slam speed from 1983 through 1987?).

    The only WCT finals that seemed particularly week was 1976 and 1978. It seemed to be have strong fields the rest of the time even right until the end in 1989.

    Regarding the 1976 WCT Finals. I know the Pepsi Grand Slam organizers for their tournament in early 1977 regarded the WCT finals as one of the majors they used to select participants for their event. It was rated by them before the Masters. The Philadelphia event doesn't get a mention.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2012
  19. elegos7

    elegos7 Rookie

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    I think there is a fairly objective way to quantify the importance of tournaments, even choosing the 4 most important event in a year.

    Tournaments should be given „prestige points” (from 0 to 4) and “draw quality points” (from 0 to 4). So the maximum number of points is 8.

    Here is my proposition for the „prestige points”:
    4: GS
    3: year-ending championships (and the WCT finals)
    2: 9 premium events (called ATP 1000 today), DC Final
    1: other important events (called ATP 500 today)
    ,0: smaller events
    The only difficulty is to assign the premium events before 1990, but in this way we only have to take into account prestige and tradition, without looking at the entry field

    Here is my proposition for the „draw quality points”:
    It is based on the top 8 participants (current weekly ATP rankings, before 1984 interpolated monthly rankings)
    The participation of the No 1 player is worth 4 p, No 2: 3 p, No 3-4: 2 p, No 5-8: 1 p (max 15 points)
    So the „draw quality points” for tournaments:
    4: 11-15 p
    3: 7-10 p
    2: 3-6 p
    1: 1-2 p
    0: 0 p

    Here are some points for tournaments (I consider the first 4 the most important):
    1968: WIM 8, USA 8, FRA 7, PSW 6, AUS 4,
    1969: WIM 8, USA 8, FRA 8, AUS 7, PSW 6,
    1970: WIM 8, USA 8, Sydney Dunlop 6, PSW 6, FRA 5, AUS 7, Masters 5,
    1971: WIM 8, USA 7, FRA 6, AUS 8, Masters 5, WCT 7,
    1972: WIM 6, USA 8, FRA 6, WCT 6, AUS 6, Masters 6, PSW 6,
    1973: WIM 6, USA 8, FRA 8, WCT 6, AUS 6, Masters 7,
    1974: WIM 8, USA 8, FRA 6, WCT 7, AUS 6, Masters 5,
    1975: WIM 8, USA 8, FRA 6, WCT 5, AUS 7, Masters 6,
    1976: WIM 8, USA 8, FRA 7, WCT 6, AUS 5, Masters 5, Philadelphia 5,
    1977: WIM 8, USA 8, FRA 6, Masters 7, AUS 5 (both), WCT 5, Philadelphia 6,
    1978: WIM 8, USA 8, FRA 7, Masters 6, AUS 5, WCT 6, Philadelphia 6,
    1979: WIM 8, USA 8, FRA 8, Masters 7, AUS 5, WCT 7,
    1980: WIM 8, USA 8, FRA 8, Masters 7, AUS 6, WCT 5,
    1981: WIM 8, USA 8, FRA 8, Masters 7, AUS 5, WCT 5,
    1982: WIM 7, USA 8, FRA 8, Masters 7, AUS 4, WCT 6,
    1983: WIM 8, USA 8, FRA 8, Masters 7, AUS 7, WCT 6,
    1984: WIM 8, USA 8, FRA 8, Masters 7, AUS 6, WCT 6,
    1985: WIM 8, USA 8, FRA 8, Masters 7, AUS 8, WCT 7,
    1986: WIM 8, USA 8, FRA 8, Masters 7, no AUS, WCT 6,
    1987: WIM 8, USA 8, FRA 8, AUS 8, Masters 7, WCT 6,
    1988: WIM 8, USA 8, FRA 8, AUS 8, Masters 7, WCT 5,
    1989: WIM 8, USA 8, FRA 8, AUS 8, Masters 7, WCT 7,

    So in 1968 I choose PSW (Pacific Southwest) as the 4th important event. In 1970 the Sydney Dunlop and the PSW are 3rd and 4th. The problem here is comparing the Dunlop (2+4=6) and the AUS (4+3=7) events in Sydney. The former had better field, but the latter had more prestige. From 1972-76 the WCT, from 1977-1986 the Masters, for the sake of consistency. But looking at the points, in some years other events could also be the 4th event (like Masters 1973, AUS 75, AUS 1985).

    What do you think?
    This system is crude, but it gives an opportunity to evaluate events during the whole course of tennis history, using the same criteria. I am ready for the years 1977-2012, and slowly working my way backwards, but I can give you the obtained points for any tournaments you are particularly interested.
    Perhaps giving the same weight to prestige as the draw quality is not fair. In this way the AUS Open (and many amateur slams) already gets 4 points, even without a Top8 participant.
     
  20. FedericRoma83

    FedericRoma83 Rookie

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    My choices would be:
    1971 - Australian Open (no way: a Slam with a great field will always overcome other events from my point of view)
    1972 - WCT Finals
    1973 - WCT Finals & the Masters (we need two tournaments that year: Wimbledon was just insignificant, only one top-10 player in its field)
    1974 - WCT Finals
    1975 - WCT Finals
    1976 - WCT Finals (if you prefer the prestige & a partially depleted but still nice field), Philadelphia (if your prefer strong fields & 3-out-of-5 finals) or Palm Springs (if you prefer strong fields & great money prizes) [No way for the Masters Finals that year, they were weaker than the WCT Finals]
    1977 - Masters
    1978 - Masters (without any kind of doubt, at least from my point of view. The Masters was not strong as in 1977 that year, but it was still having Connors, McEnroe and five other top-10 players, the only difference was Borg, who lose in the Philadelphia quarterfinals to Tanner and didn't enter the Masters: it's definitely not fair in my opinion to put Philadelphia over a prestigious Masters).
    1979 - Masters
    1980 - Masters
    1981 - Masters
    1982 - Masters

    1970 is more complicated, we need two substitutes because that year the Roland Garros had only one top-10 player, but there are a lot of strong tournaments. My four favourite are Torneo Godò, the Dunlop Internationals, the Tennis Classic round robin and the Masters.
    If I have to pick two, I'll say the Masters (for two reasons: 1. it was the first edition of a great historical tournament; 2. Stan Smith defeated Rosewall and Laver to win it: he deserves some consideration for such a feat) and Torneo Godò (to pick up a great clay tournament as a Roland Garros substitute).
    But if you prefer the Tennis Classic or the Dunlop tournament, I accept it without problems: they were definitely big ones!
    I think there's really no way to estabilish a "real truth" about 1970.


    Yes I think it was: the only top player who keeps his Australian Open boycott was Jimmy Connors, all the other players regularly entered it, except McEnroe in 1984 because he was defaulted after the Stockholm accident. Surely the Masters was still really important during the 1983-87 years, but I think that we really can't understimate the AO Slam status after it was rehabilitated.


    Yes, but even with strong WCT fields, the Masters was slightly superior to the WCT Finals after 1977.
    In 1986, when there was no Australian Open, all journalists considered the Masters as a fourth tournament.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  21. FedericRoma83

    FedericRoma83 Rookie

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    I think this system is too rude.
    In 1975 you put the Australian Open ahead the WCT Finals only because it was entered by no. 1 and no. 2. What about the fact that the third seeded was the world no. 26? There are really no reasons to put the 1975 Australian Open over the WCT Finals that year.
    I also don't like the 1970-72 scores.
     
  22. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Wembley was just about the only tournament of significance in 1952, 1953, 1956, so of course it had to be important in those years.
    Starting in 1957, with a strong contingent of players, Forest Hills, Roland Garros, Kooyong, White City easily surpassed it.
    Several of the Wembley finals were decided by the buildup of heavy smoke, which caused the players to develop exhaustion due to lack of oxygen (especially 1952, 1962, 1964, 1967).
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2012
  23. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Sorry but Dallas had 3 OUT OF 5 from the very first round.And it was a KO event, not a round robin event like Masters ( with all that tanking and arrangements)
     
  24. FedericRoma83

    FedericRoma83 Rookie

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    To win the Masters you have to play five matches, to win the WCT Finals you have to play three.

    You just have to see the most important event, and since the Masters was played in New York its prestige esponentially increased year after year.
    Go and watch the 1986 Masters final between Lendl and Becker.
    If the fourth tournament was the WCT Finals (won by Jarryd) like you are saying, the Masters wouldn't have be so important to decide the world no. 1, because Lendl would have overtaken Becker anyway (RG&USO against WIM).
    On the contrary, if the Masters was the fourth tournament (and it was, because the commentators clearly said "this is a sort of Slam"), a Becker victory would have created a draw situation (RG&USO against WIM&Masters) and Becker would have been the world no. 1 thanks to the head-to-head score (4-1): this was what all the commentators were saying.
    (I don't agree with that, because even counting the Masters as a Major in 1986, and even presupposing a Beck victory, it would have been 2 Majors each, but Lendl had a stronger season overall. Nonetheless, this anecdote demonstrates without any kind of doubt which tournament was seen as most important).

    In my opinion there is no way to consider the WCT Finals more than the 5th tournament of the year after 1977.


    The Pro Majors weren't always played where you are saying: the French Pro was played at RG only until 1962. The Australian Pro had no less than four different locations.
    Sorry, but I'm convinced that your avversion to this tournament has not real motivations. Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall both consider it a great tournament, so excuse me if I give more credit to their opinions, as they were there and playing. ;P
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  25. FedericRoma83

    FedericRoma83 Rookie

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    [wrong post]
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  26. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I already posted before that WCT was the 4th event from 71 till 76, Masters from 77 till 82 and AO regained its status from 83 on.But 83 WCT Finals ( with that unforgetable final ) and 83 Masters, as well as 84 WCT and Masters were as good if not better than AO those 2 years.

    1979 was alos a very good year for both, Dallas annd MSG.Even when Masters was behind WCt or the other way back, both were premium tournaments.
     
  27. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    1970 - Dunlop and Masters as 3rd and 4th
    1971 - AO is fine, but Rome over RG
    1972 - WCT Finals
    1973 - WCT Finals
    1974 - WCT Finals
    1975 - WCT Finals
    1976 - Philadelphia
    1977 - Masters
    1978 - Philadelphia (very close call w/ the Masters)
    1979 - Masters
    1980 - Masters
    1981 - Masters
    1982 - Masters

    I've gone with Philly in '76 and '78 because in each case it had a couple more top tenners in the draw -- including the world #1 -- than the other tournament in question (Dallas and the Masters respectively).

    I agree with what FedericRoma83 said, the AO fields were still missing players but these fields were not as weak as those up to 1982. And he and I would both like to include the Slams except in the most extreme cases.

    It's a close call with the Masters, though.

    The AO's prestige at this time was still extremely low, if you go by the comments of players like Lendl in '85 who pointedly said it was not one of the top tournaments. The AO had been in the doldrums for so long that its reputation was still very low, even as the top players were returning to it. They returned but in cases like Lendl, after losing they would say the tournament meant nothing. However, I doubt they would say that if they won the tournament. So all in all I'm inclined to consider these AO's as majors.

    Yes they called the Big 3 Slams, and Dallas, the most prestigious events. It makes sense that if the Pepsi Grand Slam were looking for the most prestigious events, they would choose a "big name" tournament like the WCT Finals. But I tend to weight strength of draw more than prestige.
     
  28. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Exactly, the French Pro was only at RG in 1956, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1968.
    It moved to an indoor smoke-house in 1963 known as Stade Coubertin, another oxygen-deprived gas chamber, and no fit location for a major anything.
    Why the move? Because the pros wanted to breathe some deep fumes?
    No, because Stade Coubertin was cheaper than Roland Garros, and the pro game hit a financial dead zone after Gonzales and Hoad semi-retired. These guys WERE the pro game.
    Why Wembley? Because the pros wanted to play in dense smoke?
    No, because Wimbledon would not allow the pros to use their premises until 1967.
    So, the best players were forced to play in third-rate facilities. Third-rate facilities do not qualify as a major.
     
  29. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    You just can´t have more than 8 toptenners at the Masters or WCT finals..so Philadelphia may have been favoured because of its gigantic draw
     
  30. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    That's a good point, you can't just count the top tenners at Dallas in an absolute sense. Instead you could say, in '76, that of the 8 players at Dallas, 5 were year-end top-tenners. At Philadelphia, 7 of the top 10 were present. Numerically it's very comparable.

    What tips me in favor of Philly is the presence of Connors and Nastase. Borg was the top player at Dallas. The next highest of the year-end top tenners was #5 Ramirez, followed by #6 Vilas. Philadelphia had #1, 2 and 3: Connors, Borg, Nastase.
     
  31. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    And yet....

    And yet Wembley is considered the 'World Pro Championship' by tennis writers commenting on this event. eg

    http://www.worldtennismagazine.com/archives/2148

    I don't like smoking at all. However, it doesn't invalidate these events.
     
  32. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Oxygen? Fumes? Smoke? Facilities?

    Are we talking about a tennis tournament or a health spa?
     
  33. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    That' interesting. I've read players saying very negative things about the US Open and the Australian and yet they remain majors.
     
  34. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    This is good old Mr. Collins, and he doesn't capitalize "world pro championship", as you did above. This term was applied to a number of different events including a minor stop in Cleveland and one in Oklahoma City! We need something more substantial than this.
    Actually, Wembley was billed as the World Professional Indoor Tennis Championships, a self-proclaimed billing.
    The key is "Indoor", which immediately reduces the prestige of the event.
    There is no doubt from press coverage and player participation that the major pro events were held at the sites of the Slam tournaments, Wimbledon (1967 only), Forest Hills, Roland Garros, Kooyong.
    These events carried the prestige.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2012
  35. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    It makes a difference if the outcomes of matches are determined by smoke and lack of oxygen, as in 1952 Wembley final, 1962 Wembley final, also 1964 and 1967 Wenbley final (according to the London Times coverage).
     
  36. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Because they receive big-league coverage, money, national titles, etc. and are played in major venues, not indoor. Makes a difference.
     
  37. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Year End #1
    1. Sampras 6 (record)
    2. Federer 5
    3. Borg 4
    4. Connors 3
    = Lendl 3
    = McEnroe 3

    Consecutive weeks at #1
    1. Roger Federer 237 (record)
    2. Jimmy Connors 160
    3. Ivan Lendl 157
    4. Pete Sampras 102

    Most weeks at #1
    1. Pete Sampras 286 (record)
    2. Roger Federer 285 (active)
    3. Ivan Lendl 270
    4. Jimmy Connors 268
    5. John McEnroe 170
     
  38. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    That's only since the ATP computer was founded in 1973. And Connors had 5 years as ATP number 1 (1974-1978 ), however controversial, and Borg had 2 (1979-1980).
     
  39. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    No. Connors has 3 years(1974, 1976, 1982).
     
  40. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Delete post.
     
  41. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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  42. jean pierre

    jean pierre Semi-Pro

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    In 1977, Connors was n°1 ATP, without winning a Grand Slam. Totally absurd.
     
  43. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    1975 as well. McEnroe in 1982 is another one.
     
  44. FedericRoma83

    FedericRoma83 Rookie

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    Who cares? It was just a condition of the field, like wind, humidity, temperature... if there was smoke, there was smoke for every players.

    The 1964 final that you are trying to disqualify was pointed by Rod Laver as his best match ever against Ken Rosewall (who also pointed it as his favourite Pro tournament). I assume that you know that tournament better than Rocket and Muscles.
     
  45. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    The London Times review pointed out that Rosewall noticeably tired at the end of the match (from smoke and lack of oxygen).
    Sure, this was a hazard of the conditions, but not what you would find in a major outdoor facility, such as Wimbledon or Forest Hills.
    The only reason the pros were playing at Wembley was because they could not get into Wimbledon.
    That is, Wembley was not a location of choice, but of default. Second rate.
     
  46. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    You mean that the loser was not defeated by his opponent, but by the atmospheric conditions.? Outrageous.

    I'll be danged!
     
  47. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Jack Kramer had Gonzales on the ropes in the 1952 Wembley final, 5 to 2 in the fifth set, when the smoke and lack of oxygen caught up with him, and he suddenly became exhausted. He lost the last five games of the match.
    What did Gonzales have to do with that victory? He stayed alive until the smoke worked for him.
    I am not saying that Kramer's opponent had nothing to do with the outcome, but that the bigger man (Kramer was 185 pounds, Gonzales 180) had greater oxygen requirements, and didn't get them.
    Would Kramer have won if that match had been outdoors? Probably.
     
  48. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Gonzales beat Kramer in the 1952 Wembley Pro final, because he was better than Kramer that day.

    Smoke? LOL. What did Gonzales breathe then?
     
  49. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    There was an age difference of about seven years, which favoured the younger man when oxygen is scarce, and which is less of an advantage when oxygen is not scarce (such as at Wimbledon or Forest Hills).
    Further, Kramer was coming back from a long layoff, caused by back problems. His conditioning was below Gonzales, who was himself rusty from lack of play (there was no pro tour in 1952, indeed, the pro game had virtually ceased to exist).
    Actually, overall, I would say that Kramer was the better player that day, and would probably have won at Wimbledon or Forest Hills.
    What's the old song, "Smoke gets in your eyes...", but also into your lungs and bloodstream.
     
  50. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    What a hot steamy pile of horse pucky!
     

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