Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by hoodjem, Oct 30, 2009.
Sea Pines, South Carolina.
. . .
Tilden--7 years as world no. 1
Gonzales--7 years as world no. 1
Rosewall--4 years as world no. 1
Laver--7 years as world no. 1
I would suggest that a better ranking would be to take the winner of the most important showdown of each year, one big match.
1948 Kramer (U.S. Pro) over Riggs
1949 Kramer (Wembley) over Riggs
1950 Gonzales (Philadelphia) over Kramer
1951 Kramer (Philadelphia) over Gonzales
1952 Gonzales (Wembley) over Kramer
1953 Sedgman (Wembley) over Gonzales
1954 Gonzales (MSG) over Segura
1955 Gonzales (Slazenger) over Segura
1956 Gonzales (Wembley) over Sedgman
1957 Gonzales (Forest Hills) over Sedgman
1958 Hoad (Kooyong) over Gonzales
1959 Hoad (Forest Hills) over Gonzales
1960 Hoad (Kooyong) over Rosewall
1961 Rosewall (Wembley) over Hoad
1962 Rosewall (Wembley) over Hoad
1963 Rosewall (Forest Hills) over Laver
1964 Laver (Wembley) over Rosewall
1965 Rosewall (Longwood) over Laver
1966 Laver (Longwood) over Rosewall
1967 Laver (Wimbledon Pro) over Rosewall
This is the High Noon period of pro tennis.
By this standard, Kramer gets 3 years, Gonzales gets 6 years, Sedgman gets 1 year, Hoad gets 3 years, Rosewall gets 4 years, Laver gets 3 years in pro tennis, plus 2 more in the open era.
High Noon. Good movie.
I'm not sure one can declare a world no. 1 for an entire year based on one, single "big match". Interesting idea, though.
timnz, Rosewall was the official champ because he won the big tour (consisted of many tournaments). I plead to give Laver and Rosewall a tied place 1.
For me that "Laver won 11 tournaments and Rosewall 10; Laver beat Rosewall 15-4 in head-to-head matches" says a lot.
Plus, "Laver beat Rosewall & Gonzales in U.S. Pro; Laver again beat Rosewall in Wembley Pro".
Look at this. I hope ATP will not be stubborn. Tiriac and Wilander are right, Vilas is the n°1.
Excellent thread! I really like the list.
I agree: what's the point of having history if you can't re-write it every once in a while.
OK, now again.1000 times is not enough, well, let´s do it 1001 times...
1976 Connors wass the best player but 1976 Borg had the best results, so he deserved nº 1
1977 Borg was the best player but 1977 Vilas had the best results, so he deserves the nº 1 position...in fact, in 1977 Connors had the best indoor major results ( won the two events) and reached the Wimbledon and USO final; could have a legitimate shot at nº 1 as well...
Vilas was definitely the No 1 in 1977. Two majors, the final of another, and a huge winning streak which included winning multiple tournaments.
Round and round we go.
I am not suggesting that these results represent merely one big match.
Rather, it is a showdown match between the top two players in the world.
The two players have to prove themselves to be the top two based on annual results.
Before 1948, it its difficult to claim that the top two players were both pro.
Perhaps in 1939 (where Budge skipped the big showdown in the U.S. Pro), and 1942 (where Budge defeated Riggs at the U.S. Pro) such a claim could be made.
I had initially posted this on completely the wrong thread for some reason, but for 1983, most people seem to think that the title of 'player of the year' is between McEnroe and Wilander.
However with Connors's unofficial but still very big and important titles at the Toronto Molson Challenge, Tokyo Suntory Cup, Beaver Creek and especially the Rosemont Challenge of Champions (in January 1984 but as a precursor to the Masters should be part of the 1983 season), plus 6 other such titles to go with his official body of work, I think he is at worst the no. 2 player for the year, ahead of Wilander and challenging Mac for the title of best player.
1983 was evened, basically due to the split in the major titles.But with his two indoor wins (Masters and WCT) plus Wimbledon I think mac is deservedly nº 1.Connors won all those titles and the US Open while Wilander won a few cc tournaments (Lisbon,Barcelona), the Australian Open ( beating Mc Enroe & Lendl) and reaching the RG final.I think either choice is good enough for number 2.excellent year, 1983.
Yes I agree that overall Mac was the best in 1983, with him winning 3 huge titles at Wimbledon, Dallas and the Masters. His 1983 SF win over Lendl at Wimbledon was one of the best displays of tennis I've ever seen from any player (and Lendl didn't play that badly that day at all). Their showdown in the Dallas final that year was the best match of their rivalry IMO, and one of the best matches ever full stop.
In fact all 7 of Mac's official titles in 1983 were big ones, as Philadelphia, Forest Hills, Sydney Indoor and Wembley were all important events as well.
Plus he won the unoffical ECC in Antwerp which was also a big deal.
I would say that it's 1) Mac, 2) Connors, 3) Wilander for the year.
If only clay courts are regarded, Noah may have been the world´s best player of that year.Very closely followed by Mats Wilander, who won events at Lisbon,Barcelona and Montecarlo
OTOH, didn´t Connors beat both Lendl and Mac at Queen´s?
Yes he beat Lendl in the semis, and Mac in the final, only dropping a total of 9 games in those 2 matches.
Overall and impressively, he had winning 4-3 head to head against Mac on grass, with them splitting their 4 Wimbledon matches, and Connors beating him in the 1982 and 1983 Queen's finals, while Mac beat him in the semis there in 1984.
He also beat Borg in the Suntory Cup.
Noah won big titles at Madrid and Hamburg to go with his RG title where he beat Lendl in the quarters and Wilander in the final, so an excellent clay court season for him, although didn't do much on other surfaces that year.
Wilander beat Mac in the Cincy final that year, and won the biggest indoor title of his career at Stockholm (obviously a huge deal for all Swedish players and a very important event in the 70s and 80s). Overall his career indoor record wasn't that good though for such a great and talented player.
Lendl had a frustrating year, with Mac turning around their rivalry and owning him, and losing in 4 big finals at the US Open to Connors again, Dallas and the Masters to Mac and the Aussie Open to Wilander. Still he won some good quality titles at Milan, Montreal and Tokyo Indoor and the Molson Challenge in Toronto.
Yeah, I have a similar recolection of that year.
I´d add Lendl had a big win in the Rosemont Cup, even if one can consider this tourney part of 1982, since it was a preparation for the Masters.
I think Noah lost to Connors at the Palm Springs finals, didn´t he?
he also reached the USO quarters, losing to Jimmy arias but he had a greta match in R16 against young Krickstein.I do vividly recall that great shot, back to the net, hitting through the middle of his legs.It went over and over on Tv.
And Arias won the Italian Open, his first important title on tour.
2012 had four different slam winners. Most agreed that Djokovic was world no. 1 for the year.
2013 is looking similar, with three different slam winners so far (and none from the maestro so far).
Say Delpo wins the USO, who will be world no. 1?
If Del Potro wins the US Open, you'd have the following at the majors:
US Open- Del Potro
Yet, elsewhere the WTF would be very important in my opinion, as well as Masters tourneys, and how the major winners did at the majors they did not win and some other factors as well. If Del Potro won the US Open, I'd also look at how Djokovic, Nadal, Murray and Federer did as well as how the matches went, etc. For example, if Djokovic went out fairly early at the US Open, say R16 or the QF while Nadal made the final, I'd probably lean towards Nadal as the new #1. If Djokovic goes deep, with Nadal losing early at the US Open, I'd likely lean towards Djokovic. It seems to be a two way race for #1 no matter what if Del Potro wins it Hoodjem. Now if Murray wins it, things could get very interesting.
If the majors are split 4 ways, then the player with the most points would be the year end number one, probably without much controversy.
If they are split 3 ways among the current top 3, then the guy holding 2 majors will most likely also have the most points, so no controversy.
There is the unlikely (but always theoretically possible) scenario of one player holding one more major but significantly fewer points than another at year´s end. In that case, hell may break slightly loose and fighting may rage for decades between defenders of the current Constitution (year end ranking is determined by ATP points) and royalists who adhere to slam bias.
Not so unlikely ...how about 1975, 1977, 1978, 1989 ?
And what about 76?
Weirdest may have been 1982 where Mac, with no majors, ended up first in the rankings. But it's still a rare occurrence, only 4 or 5 times in more than 4 decades. And it hasn't happened since 1989 as far as I know.
I'm glad we are using the term and admitting that there is 'slam bias'.
That's a good first step.
A rather extreme example was in the first year of the computer rankings in 1973 when Newcombe won 2 majors, the Australian and US Opens, while Nastase won 1, RG.
However I doubt anyone would disagree with the computer and argue that Newk was the player of the year, considering Nasty won 15 official titles including the Masters on carpet, Monte-Carlo, Madrid, Rome and Barcelona on clay and Queen's on grass.
That was close: to each one one half of the year with 2 exceptions: the AO ( not a great field then) and Masters ( which still lacked some of the pros)
Who would you give #1 for the year Kiki? Nastase vs. Newcombe on clay, would Newcombe have been able to take some matches? Thanks.
Deep down I pick Nastase for his big titles & winning streak was slighty better and he also beat Newcombe in the play off that was the Masters
Ilie dominated the Masters and this is a huge achievement
On clay I also take Nasty but Newk was also strong on slow surfaces which many people overlooks
Newcombe had a poor year in '73 overall (only 3 titles per the ATP) and a dismal record on clay. He lost in the first round at the French, in his first match at the Italian, and in his second match at Hamburg (losing there 15-13 in the fifth to Paul Gerken).
He did reach clay-court finals later in the year, in Louisville (beating Dibbs and Vilas, losing to Orantes) and Teheran (beating Laver, losing to Ramirez).
He also reached the quarters in Canada (losing to Okker).
Nastase led the tour in titles not only in 1973 but in '71 and '72 as well, if I'm not mistaken. So three straight years.
Laver had been the leader three straight years (1968-70).
Connors had three straight years as the leader right after Nastase (1974-76).
Didn´t Newcombe lead the WCT point table in 1973? or maybe it was 1972?
kiki, In 1973 Smith gained the most points. Newcombe was the best in 1972 after Dallas.
Newk also lost a big final at the Sydney Indoor event to Laver in 1973. Like all players he must have had quite a bit of unofficial activity in other tournaments and invitationals that are not shown on the ATP/ITF websites, but I can't find details of that.
However this is a year where Nastase's overall day to day success is easily enough to offset the fact that he won one fewer major than Newk did. 15 official titles vs. 3 is a pretty emphatic difference.
But in 71 and 72 the WCT lasted the whole year and ran in paralel to Gran Prix...do you count them together?
I don't have individual lists of all the titles won, only the totals. The numbers should be comprehensive (combining all tours), because I've taken them mostly from sources like Bud Collins rather than the ATP.
1968 - Laver 12 titles
1969 - Laver 18
1970 - Laver 13
1971 - Nastase 11 (per Jeffrey Neave)
1972 - Nastase 12 (per ATP)
1973 - Nastase 15 (per Collins)
I'm uncertain about '72 because I got Nastase's total from the ATP website. However the ATP has all of his main rivals behind him (eg, Smith at 9 titles, Newk at 7). And Collins has Nastase as the leading money-winner, followed by Smith.
Anyone know of higher totals for the years above?
Makes sense but all WCT events were top level while many GP were micky mouse and maybe if Nasty took, say, 6 big GP tourneys&6 micky mouse, then Newcombe or Laver totals would count for a higher value right?
Yes, something like that must have happened, because Newk/Ken/Stan/Laver are generally regarded as #1 in 1971-72 rather than Nastase.
Stan competed straight against Nastase on the Gran Prix tour as well as all the slams and masters and, of course, Davis Cup.They wer eknoen as " players" to distinguish themselves from " professionals": that is, the WCT cast led precisely by Laver,Rosewall and Newcombe.So Smith and Nastase were facing each other very frequently, and I think the edge is coming to the Wimbly final that Stan won over Ilie.even if Nastase got sweet revenge at the Masters, Smith had that monumental win at the DC final, and that makes him the best " player" of the year.Whereas the three aussies were under contract with WCT.
I hate hair-splitting.
Connors gets three.
Hoodjem, we actually agree on this, although Borg's RG/Wimbledon double in 1977 gives him the number one for that year.
The status of these two tournaments shows the range of Borg's skills on any surface.
Can you see Vilas ever winning at Wimbledon?
Dan, Borg did not win the 1977 French Open (did not play there).
You have a bad typo.When you wrotte 76 Connors you really meant Borg and when you wrotte 77 Borg/Vilas you really meant Connors/Vilas.
Those things happen...
73 is damn close between Newk and Nasty with Kodes very close.Newk won the AO and USO and lost to Nastase at the Masters semis.Ilie took RG and the Masters but also won the Italian Open.That win over Newcombe at Boston may give him the very narrow edge.
71 is at least, a four or five men race with Rosewall with two majors, Smith with one major and two major finals,Newcombe with one major and the greatest indoor tournament at Phily, Nastase win one major and another major final and Kodes, with one major and one more major final.
In the foto finish, it is between Ken and Stan.Ken won AO and WCT F and reached the W sf.Smith won USO and played the Wimbledon and Masters final.
What is the HtH between both in 1971?
Could it have been one of the greatest years in tennis history?
kiki, Rosewall:Smith 1:0 (Washington SFs, 6.3, 6:2)
No, but he did win the AO!.?
(I have a hard time "seeing" him do that.)
Vilas played very good on australian grass. He won 2 AO (the 1978 final against Marks is on youtube, great match). He won also the Masters in january 1975, beating Borg, Nastase and Newcombe. He served and volleyed very good. But every time, he went in Australia six weeks before the tournament and trained 6 or 7 hours by day. He could'nt do that in Wimbledon.
Separate names with a comma.