WORLD NO. 1 (by year)

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

  1. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    Delete post
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2010
  2. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    Good list. A couple of comments.

    1977
    I used to see Vilas as clear lone number 1 that year, but after learning the extent of the sorry state of the AO at the time (I was giving Vilas a full slam runner-up appearance for his performance there), I am more amenable to Borg sharing it with him.

    1990
    Edberg should be alone as number one, not sharing it with Lendl. Edberg had a clearly better record than Lendl and took the number 1 away from him in the summer and kept it through 1991. I think it was the ITF who came up with the outlandish idea of giving it to Lendl, just like they came up with the nonsense of giving 1989 to Becker.

    1989
    I don't see any way that Becker could be a lone number 1 that year. At most, if one is feeling extremely generous, he may be seen as Lendl's co-pilot that year. Their slam performances are much closer than it looks if you look into it beyond counting the titles, and outside of that Lendl was a machine in 1989. His overall winning percentage was 92, to Becker's 89, a big difference at that high percentage territory. Lendl took the number 1 spot in January and kept comfortably through the rest of the year, until August 1990, and Becker never came close to catching him at any point during 1989. The decision to give this to Becker is the most glaring case of an affliction called "slamitis," a kind of infantile simplification that reduces everything to counting slam titles.

    There is a rich and at times convoluted discussion of this here:

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/search.php?searchid=8119145
     
  3. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I also used to have Vilas as sole no. 1 for 1977, but after reading many of the arguments against Vilas's dominance in that year versus Borg, this seemed an appropriate compromise.

    You might search back in this thread; maybe start with post no. 8.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2010
  4. Scott_tennis

    Scott_tennis New User

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    US Pro Indoors and WCT Finals

    Previously I had posted a recap of the US Pro Indoors from the 1970's.
    For sake of comparison here is a recap of the WCT Finals from 1971 to 1979

    WCT Finals - Dallas recap of results 1971 through 1979
    (Draw of 8 each year)

    1971
    Held 11/18 to 11/21 Houston (Hofheinz Pavilion) and 11/26 Dallas (Mem. Aud.)
    F Rosewall d Laver
    Seeds (based on total points earned from the 1971 WCT tour - 20 tournaments)
    1 Laver 2 Okker 3 Rosewall 4 Drysdale 5 Ashe 6 Newcombe 7 Riessen 8 Lutz
    Attendance: 8,200 for finals and 21,200 for tournament (4 sessions)
    Same week(s) as: London Dewar Cup – F Battrick d Hewitt and
    Buenos Aires F Franulovic d Nastase

    1972
    Held 5/10 – 5/14 Dallas (Moody Coliseum)
    F Rosewall d Laver
    Seeds (based on total points earned from the final 10 tournaments of the 1971 WCT tour and the first 10 tournaments of the 1972 WCT tour)
    1 Laver 2 Rosewall 3 Okker 4 Drysdale 5 Riessen 6 Ashe 7 Lutz 8 Newcombe
    Attendance: 7,800 for finals and 25,400 for tournament (4 sessions)
    Same week as: British Hard Courts Bournemouth – F Hewitt d Barthes and
    Brussels F Orantes d Gimeno

    1973
    Held 5/9 – 5/13 Dallas (Moody Coliseum)
    F Smith d Ashe
    Seeds (based on total points earned from the 1973 WCT tour – 22 tournaments / 11 each for Group A and Group B . The top 4 finishers from each group qualified)
    A 1 Smith 2 Laver 3T Alexander 3T Emerson
    B 1 Rosewall 2 Ashe 3 Riessen 4 Taylor
    Attendance: 8,451 for finals and 37,260 for tournament (5 sessions)
    Same week as: British Hard Courts Bournemouth – F Panatta d Nastase and
    Ramona CA (Challenge Match) Riggs d Court

    1974
    Held 5/8 – 5/12 Dallas (Moody Coliseum)
    F Newcombe d Borg
    Seeds (based on total points earned from the 1974 WCT tour – 25 tournaments / 8 for Red, Blue and Green groups plus the US Pro Indoors for all groups.
    Points were also given for 1973 Grand Slam events. The two highest point finishers from each group qualified, along with next two highest point totals regardless of group)
    1 Newcombe 2 Nastase, 3 Ashe 4 Laver 5 Smith 6 Borg 7 Kodes 8 Okker
    Attendance: 9,238 for finals and 41,524 for tournament (5 sessions)
    Same week as: Florence – F Panatta d Bertolucci and
    the start of 1974 WTT season (Okker and Newcombe played WCT and WTT)

    1975
    Held 5/7 – 5/11 Dallas (Moody Coliseum)
    F Ashe d Borg
    Seeds (based on total points earned from the 1975 WCT tour – 25 tournaments / 8 for Red, Blue and Green groups plus the US Pro Indoors for all groups.
    The two highest point finishers from each group qualified, along with the next two highest point totals regardless of group)
    1 Ashe 2 Laver 3 Borg 4 Alexander 5 Tanner 6 Ramirez 7 Solomon 8 Cox
    Attendance: 9,244 for finals and 42,093 for tournament (5 sessions)
    Same week as: Bavarian Munich – F Vilas d Meiler; Nice - F Crealy d Molina; and
    the start of 1975 WTT season (Cox played WCT and WTT)

    1976
    Held 5/4 – 5/9 Dallas (Moody Coliseum)
    F Borg d Vilas
    Seeds (based on point averages from the 1976 WCT tour – 25 tournaments with one overall group of players, each player participating in up to 8 of the 25 events)
    1 Ashe 2 Vilas 3 Ramirez 4 Dibbs 5 Borg 6 Stockton 7 Lutz 8 Solomon
    Attendance: 9,251 for finals and 49,482 for tournament (6 sessions)
    Same week as: Munich – F Orantes d Meiler and
    the start of 1976 WTT season (Lutz played WCT and WTT)

    1977
    Held 5/10 – 5/15 Dallas (Moody Coliseum)
    F Connors d Stockton
    Seeds (based on point averages from the 1977 WCT tour “World Series of Tennis” – 12 tournaments with one overall group of players)
    1 Connors 2 Stockton 3 Gerulaitis 4 Dibbs 5 Nastase 6 Fibak 7 Drysdale 8 Panatta
    Attendance: 9,352 for finals and 53,801 for tournament (6 sessions)
    Same week as: Hamburg – F Bertolucci d Orantes and
    the start of 1977 WTT season (Gerulaitis and Drysdale played WCT and WTT)

    1978
    Held 5/9 – 5/14 Dallas
    F Gerulaitis d Dibbs
    Seeds (based on overall point standings from the 1978 WCT tour “World Series of Tennis” – 8 tournaments with one overall group of players. These eight WCT tournaments were also part of the Colgate Grand Prix)
    1 Borg 2 Gottfried 3 Dibbs 4 Gerulaitis 5 Ramirez 6 Nastase 7 Barazutti 8 Stockton
    Connors and A Mayer qualified but did not participate
    Borg withdrew prior to SF vs Gerulaitis (thumb injury)
    Attendance 9,128 for finals and 50,129 for tournament (6 sessions)
    Same week as Nations Cup Dusseldorf – F Spain d Australia and
    the start of 1978 WTT season (Mayer, Gerulaitis and Nastase played WCT and WTT)


    1979
    Held 5/2 – 5/6 Dallas (last year at Moody Coliseum; Reunion Arena starting 1980)
    F McEnroe d Borg
    I am unsure of official seedings……players qualified based on overall point standings from the 1979 WCT tour “World Series of Tennis” – 8 tournaments with one overall group of players. The eight WCT tournaments were also part of the Colgate Grand Prix
    WCT 1979 final point standing results were: 1 McEnroe 2 Borg 3 Gerulaitis 4 Connors 5 Tanner 6 Gene Mayer T7 Ashe T7 Vilas 9 Masters T10 Alexander T10 Gottfried and T10 Nastase. However Ashe, Tanner and Vilas all declined to participate
    Attendance: 9,321 at finals and 50,129 for tournament (6 sessions)
    Same week as Newport Beach Tennis Legends – F Laver d Rosewall
    Note: McEnroe beat both Borg and Connors to win tournament; previously accomplished by Ashe in 1975 at Wimbledon
     
  5. Scott_tennis

    Scott_tennis New User

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    Importance of various events in 1978-1979

    The 1980 WCT Media Guide (Rod Humphries editor) included a listing of what WCT rated as the highest-rated events from the entire 1978-1979 tour (not limited to WCT events). The tournament rankings were based on the following categories:
    - Total men's prize money
    - First place singles prize money
    - Strength of overall field
    - Average ranking top 5 players

    Based on these criteria the top ten events were:
    1. French Open
    2. Wimbledon
    T3 US Open
    T3 Masters
    5. US Pro Indoors - Philadelphia
    T6 WCT Finals - Dallas
    T6 Alan King - Las Vegas
    8. US Indoors - Memphis
    9. WCT Challenge Cup - Jamaica
    10. WCT Tournament of Champions - Forest Hills
    Note: The Australian Open was T12 on this list

    By this ranking, Philadelphia was slightly ahead of Dallas

    It is also interesting to note how few of these events still exist.
     
  6. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    1980 FO over Wimbledon? Really?
     
  7. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    That's fascinating.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2010
  8. Scott_tennis

    Scott_tennis New User

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    1980 FO over Wimbledon? Really?

    =

    The WCT analysis appears to have been used for a bonus pool at the Forest Hills Tournament of Champions. The rankings for these events appear to based on the time period of May 1978 through May 1979. Therefore the French Open and Wimbledon "rankings" are based on the 1978 events and not 1979 or 1980.

    Total Prize Money: French #2 (24 pts) and Wimb. T#4 (22 pts)
    First Place Prize Money: French #6 (20 pts) and Wimb. T#7 (19 pts)
    Strength of Overall Field: French #1 (25 pts) and Wimb. #3 (23 pts)
    Average Ranking of Top 5 Players: French T#4 (22 pts) and Wimb. T#1 (25 pts)
    Total "points": French #1 (91 points) and Wimbledon #2 (89 points)
     
  9. jeffreyneave

    jeffreyneave Rookie

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    1989 rankings

    I see becker as no1. He had a much better record in the majors than lendl.

    Becker lendl
    australian L16 w
    wct finals sf
    French Sf L16
    Wimbledon W sf
    Us open W ru
    Masters ru sf
    Davis cup W

    BEcker won 3 major events to Lendl's one. Both had one runner up. Becker importantly had the head to head advantage of 2-0. Becker also had 4-2 advantage over edberg the number 3 player. lendl was only 2-2 with edberg. Lendl's only claim is that he won 10 events to Becker's 6. Howver winning more minor events is not enough on its own to claim tne number one spot and lendl is behind in the other 2 categories of majors and head to head.

    AS for lendl topping the atp rankings in 1989 they are a joke in terms of coverage and their ratio of points between slams and minor events. In 1989 there were no points for wct finals, the masters or the davis cup - a total disgrace. The ratio of points between slams to masters series/super 9s to top tier of ordinary tournaments in 2010 is 2000:1000:500. In 1989 the ratios were 450:300:225. AS you can see in 1989 slams only had 50% mark up on superv 9s and only received twice the points of top tier minor tournaments. The much better current weights give slams a 100% mark up on super 9s and 4 times the points of top tier minor events. So the atp 1989 rankings are biased in favouir of minor events (lendl's strength) and don't give any points to some major events (becker's strength) The ITF in 1989 were correct to name becker as world champion and reject the dumb atp tankings.

    jeffrey
     
  10. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    The Lendl-Becker 1989 topic was discussed in some depth by me (with intermittent inane brayings by you) in the following thread two years ago. This is recommended for the masochistically curious about 1989.

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=203275

    And you have pulled that out of your lying nose, as usual.
    Their performance in majors in 1989 is Becker 2 titles to Lendl´s 1 title + 1 runner up. They performed exactly the same in the remaining two majors.

    The difference in slam performance in today´s system would be 800 points. This difference was amply, superbly overcome by Lendl in his much superior performance outside of slams. In today´s system, the difference in total year-end points would have been even larger than it was in 1989 because all four majors today get the same amount points.

    The only other tournament remotely resembling a ¨major¨ in existence in 1989 was Key Biscayne, which had a 128-man draw, and gave almost as many points as the AO (which by then was a fully attended slam). Key Biscayne was won by Lendl.

    No. You are lying again. Lendl had one runner up appearance at the USO. Becker had none. Did I alreay mention you lie?

    You are lying again. Did I mention you lie a lot? There were no fixed ratios for anything in 1989. In fact, Becker in 1989 earned 45% more points for his Wimbledon title than Lendl for his AO title. And he earned 39% more points for his USO than Lendl for his AO title. This at a time when the AO was a fully attended major. And IN SPITE OF THIS, Lendl was ahead of Becker the entire year by a fairly large margin in total points. And any calculation you care to make transposing the 1989 system to today´s system, or any other system in between, would show Lendl ahead by a comfortable margin (unless, that is, you use the Jeffrey customized manure system). It is not difficult at all to understand that an 800 point difference in slam perfomance today can be amply made up by a much better performance in non-slam events.

    You speak about jokes, as if you had a sense of humor. One of the best jokes in recent memory is the ITF giving 1990 to Lendl, when Lendl was only the third ranked player that year and his performance could in no way be compared to Edberg´s. That was the same entity that gave 1989 to Becker.

    But the somberest joke in all this is your continuous insistence in making up things, adding mud into the mix, tergiversing, lying through your teeth, stipulating what counts and what doesn´t by the imbecilic decrees of your own comic authority, declaring that the 1989 ATP rankins are ¨just opinions¨ whereas the Jeffery Knave concoctions are the letter of the law.

    Becker played 73 matches that year and lost 8. And this includes his memorable exploits in early Davis Cup play against challenger or club level players. Lendl played 89 matches that year (15 more than Becker) and lost only 7 of them – and all 7 of those losses were to the eventual winner of the tournament, something that has never happened before or after. Lendl´s winning percentage in 1989 was probably among the best 10 in the open era, and 3 full points ahead Becker´s (or, for reference, more than 2 points better than Nadal´s in 2008 ).

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=203275

    BECKER 1989

    Australian Open, Australia
    Grand Slam, 16-Jan-89, O, Hard , Draw: 128
    ROUND OF 16
    This Event Points: 35, ATP Ranking: 4
    ===
    ===
    Milan, Italy
    GP, 13-Feb-89, I, Carpet , Draw: 32
    WINNER
    This Event Points: 168, ATP Ranking: 4
    ===
    ===
    Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A.
    GP, 20-Feb-89, I, Carpet , Draw: 48
    WINNER
    This Event Points: 201, ATP Ranking: 3,
    ===
    ===
    Indian Wells, CA, U.S.A.
    GP, 13-Mar-89, O, Hard , Draw: 56
    ROUND OF 16
    This Event Points: 24, ATP Ranking: 3
    ===
    ===
    Monte Carlo, Monaco
    GP, 24-Apr-89, O, Clay , Draw: 48
    FINAL
    This Event Points: 155, ATP Ranking: 3,
    ===
    ===
    Hamburg, Germany
    GP, 8-May-89, O, Clay , Draw: 56
    SEMIFINAL
    This Event Points: 96, ATP Ranking: 2
    ===
    ===
    Roland Garros, France
    Grand Slam, 29-May-89, O, Clay , Draw: 128
    SEMIFINAL
    This Event Points: 219, ATP Ranking: 2
    ===
    ===
    Wimbledon, England
    Grand Slam, 26-Jun-89, O, Grass , Draw: 128
    WINNER
    This Event Points: 488, ATP Ranking: 2
    ===
    ===
    Cincinnati, OH, U.S.A.
    GP, 14-Aug-89, O, Hard , Draw: 64
    SEMIFINAL
    This Event Points: 102, ATP Ranking: 2
    ===
    ===
    US Open, NY, U.S.A.
    Grand Slam, 28-Aug-89, O, Hard , Draw: 128
    WINNER
    This Event Points: 466, ATP Ranking: 2
    ===
    ===
    Paris Indoor, France
    GP, 30-Oct-89, I, Carpet , Draw: 32
    WINNER
    This Event Points: 295, ATP Ranking: 2
    ===
    ===
    Stockholm, Sweden
    GP, 6-Nov-89, I, Carpet , Draw: 48
    ROUND OF 16
    This Event Points: 30, ATP Ranking: 2
    ===
    ===
    Masters, NY, U.S.A.
    WC, 28-Nov-89, I, Carpet , Draw: 8
    FINAL
    This Event Points: 0, ATP Ranking

    ================================

    LENDL 1989

    Australian Open, Australia
    Grand Slam, 16-Jan-89, O, Hard , Draw: 128
    WINNER
    This Event Points: 335, ATP Ranking: 2
    ===
    ===
    Dallas WCT, TX, U.S.A.
    GP, 28-Feb-89, I, Carpet , Draw: 8
    SEMIFINAL
    This Event Points: 0, ATP Ranking: N/A
    ===
    ===
    Scottsdale, AZ, U.S.A.
    GP, 6-Mar-89, O, Hard , Draw: 32
    WINNER
    This Event Points: 169, ATP Ranking: 1
    ===
    ===
    Key Biscayne, FL, U.S.A.
    GP, 20-Mar-89, O, Hard , Draw: 128
    WINNER
    This Event Points: 296, ATP Ranking: 1
    ===
    ===
    Tokyo Outdoor, Japan
    GP, 17-Apr-89, O, Hard , Draw: 56
    FINAL
    This Event Points: 126, ATP Ranking: 1
    ===
    ===
    Forest Hills, NY, U.S.A.
    GP, 1-May-89, O, Clay , Draw: 56
    WINNER
    This Event Points: 212, ATP Ranking: 1
    ===
    ===
    Hamburg, Germany
    GP, 8-May-89, O, Clay , Draw: 56
    WINNER
    This Event Points: 213, ATP Ranking: 1
    ===
    ===
    Roland Garros, France
    Grand Slam, 29-May-89, O, Clay , Draw: 128
    ROUND OF 16
    This Event Points: 72, ATP Ranking: 1
    ===
    ===
    Queen's Club, England
    GP, 12-Jun-89, O, Grass , Draw: 64
    WINNER
    This Event Points: 157, ATP Ranking: 1
    ===
    ===
    Wimbledon, England
    Grand Slam, 26-Jun-89, O, Grass , Draw: 128
    SEMIFINAL
    This Event Points: 211, ATP Ranking: 1
    ===
    ===
    Montreal / Toronto, Montreal, Canada
    GP, 14-Aug-89, O, Hard , Draw: 56
    WINNER
    This Event Points: 223, ATP Ranking: 1
    ===
    ===
    US Open, NY, U.S.A.
    Grand Slam, 28-Aug-89, O, Hard , Draw: 128
    FINAL
    This Event Points: 362, ATP Ranking: 1
    ===
    ===
    Barcelona, Spain
    GP, 18-Sep-89, O, Clay , Draw: 56
    SEMIFINAL
    This Event Points: 84, ATP Ranking: 1
    ===
    ===
    Bordeaux, France
    GP, 25-Sep-89, O, Clay , Draw: 32
    WINNER
    This Event Points: 125, ATP Ranking: 1
    ===
    ===
    Sydney Indoor, Australia
    GP, 9-Oct-89, I, Hard , Draw: 32
    WINNER
    This Event Points: 126, ATP Ranking: 1
    ===
    ===
    Stockholm, Sweden
    GP, 6-Nov-89, I, Carpet , Draw: 48
    WINNER
    This Event Points: 274, ATP Ranking: 1
    ===
    ===
    Masters, NY, U.S.A.
    WC, 28-Nov-89, I, Carpet , Draw: 8
    SEMIFINAL
    This Event Points: 0, ATP Ranking: N/A
    ---------------

    GS TITLES
    BECKER 2
    LENDL 1

    GS RUNNER-UP
    BECKER 0
    LENDL 1

    GS SEMIFINALIST
    BECKER 1
    LENDL 1
    -------
    TOTAL TITLES
    BECKER 6
    LENDL 10

    RUNNER-UP
    BECKER 2
    LENDL 2

    SEMIFINALIST
    BECKER 3
    LENDL 4

    TOTAL ATP POINTS
    BECKER: 2279
    LENDL: 2871
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2010
  11. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    May we keep this discussion civil, please?
     
  12. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    It would be nice wouldn't it?

    Hoodjem,

    I don't know if I brought this up in the past but do you think it would be interesting not to discuss who is number one by achievement and accomplishment for the year but who in your opinion is the actual strongest player in the world.

    For example, Arthur Ashe is generally recognized as the World's Number One in 1975 for his accomplishments in winning Wimbledon, the WCT championships and other tournaments. However my feeling is that Jimmy Connors was the actual strongest player in the world. I guess the test would be to ask if there was a round robin of top players playing each other on all surfaces, who would have the best win-lost record. I would think Connors would be the top by that standard in 1975, although it cannot be proved.

    I think Laver would be number one for 1970 by that standard but Rosewall and Newcombe were called by various sources as number one by accomplishment that year.

    I think I may have brought up this topic before so pardon me if I am repeating myself. I think it would make for an interesting discussion.
     
  13. newmark401

    newmark401 Professional

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    It’s fascinating to read through this thread and the "Lendl-Becker 1989" one. I remember that, when Boris Becker was awarded the world champion title back in 1989, I thought the decision was a fair one, in particular because of his performances at the two biggest tournaments, Wimbledon and the US Open, both of which he won that year.

    Of course, Ivan Lendl finished the year on top of the rankings in 1989, won more tournaments and was more consistent overall than Becker, but still I thought then – and still I think now – that Becker deserved the title of world champion.

    The distinction between world champion (the best player in a particular year) and the year-ending no. 1 (in the rankings) is an important one because a player can be so consistent across a year – possibly without winning one of the big four tournaments – and still end the year ranked number one. This was the case for the very consistent Jimmy Connors in both 1975 and 1977, years, nevertheless, in which almost no experts saw him as the world champion.

    Sometimes it can almost come down to splitting hairs when it’s a question of deciding on the world champion, or best player, for the year, but in such a case I would give special weight to the majors, especially Wimbledon and the US Open. By "special weight" I mean extra consideration beyond ranking points, given the special status of the majors. This is not to denigrate any player’s performance, but we tend to remember the players who did best at the very highest level of our sport. This has been the case since the days of the Renshaws back in the 1880s, and will, I think, always be so.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2010
  14. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    This is a view that at least I can understand, even if I don´t quite share it. It is a far cry from the jeffrey utterly dishonest manoevers to arrive at the conclusion that the problem was with the ranking system and that, under a current one it would have been different. No, it wouldn´t be different at all.

    The gist of the question is what to use to measure the title of ¨World Champion¨. It´s a matter of how much value you concentrate on the winning of some particular tournaments vs the overall performance. An apt comparison for those who follow soccer and similar sports may be how to determine the best team of a country every year. Most countries have national leagues where, in first division, say, typically a group of some 20 teams play each other once a week for about 9 months. Each team plays every other team twice, once at home in the first half of the season, and once away in the second half of the season, so each team plays a total of 38 matches (if there are 20 teams) and the team with the best results at the end of the season wins the league.

    Besides that, there are other national and international knock-out competitions of 6 -7 rounds (various ¨cups¨) where various teams participate. Some of them very prestigious and so on.

    The majority of people in the major soccer nations tend to agree that the hardest competition to win by far is the league, involving as it does a week to week struggle, that is, a measuring of every team against the entire field in the country, whereas in the other competitions everything is concentrated on the performance in just a few matches. The wisdom of the supposition that the league is the hardest thing to win is born out by the fact that it is much easier to predict the winner, or at least the top 2 or 3 teams, based on a previous assessment of their strenght, and in some countries the same two or three teams are always at the top year after year. Whereas the other competitions are totally unpredictable. To view the difference in tennis terms you would need to imagine a year-round league between, say, the best 30 players, were each player plays a best of 5 match against every other player twice, once in the first half of the season, and once in the second half, for a total 58 matches per player.

    The question now becomes how much value you give to the achievement of winning that kind of competition vs other regular format prestigious tournaments.

    The closest thing we have to that kind of assessment in tennis is to evaluate a player´s week in week out results at the end of the year, which is precisely what the ranking systems attempt to do, along with other peripheral measures such as winning percentages.

    It is in this sense that I defend the legitimacy of Lendl´s place at the top of 1989. He was the clear ¨league¨ winner that year, and on that count alone he should not be dismissed. He should, at the very least, share the position with Becker who, it must be remembered, never reached the first spot in the ¨league¨ the entire year, not even for a week. That is not a minor matter. it is revealing of a significant difference in overall performance.
     
  15. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    1979 - Laver beat Rosewall in a tournament?

    That's really interesting. I hadn't heard of Laver winning any tournaments after 1976. I know that Wikipedia isn't full proof.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod_Laver_career_statistics

    But it certainly doesn't have that tournament listed there. What do you know about the Newport Beach Tennis Legends?
     
  16. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    I think, PC1, that we did talk about this distinction concerning 1975.

    It's an interesting question -- who do you think is the best player in the world at any given time? -- but the answers to that might end up looking very different from the rankings based on accomplishment.

    I'm thinking of Sampras, for example. Based on his performance at the 2002 USO, someone could say that he remained the best player in the world all the way through then -- if by "best" we're talking about who is still capable, on a given day or a given tournament, of producing the best tennis in the world. It's like asking, who is best at his peak.

    In that case those who feel that Lew Hoad produced, on occasion, the finest tennis they ever saw, might want to say that he was the best player in the world for his entire prime (whatever years might define that).

    Or if you consider Pancho to be, at his best, a better player than Rosewall, someone could say that during some of Rosewall's #1 years Pancho was still capable of producing the better tennis, and was, on that basis, still the best player in the world.

    Pancho himself said that Hoad was a better player than him:

    (from Lew Hoad's Wikipedia page)

    So both Pancho and Kramer are using that distinction: someone who was known to be inconsistent (Hoad) could still be called the best, when he was "on."

    It's a legitimate distinction, but thing is, what do we do with someone like Safin, who between the 2000 USO and the 2005 AO showed that he was capable of beating (even mauling) the best, if he showed up. So how many of those years (2000-05) should go to Safin?

    The thing is, of course, that these "hot" players are not consistent. But if we look at the actual results to judge their consistency, how is that different from simply judging who had the best actual results? It's tricky.

    As for '75, I can see the argument for Connors being, at his peak, the best player in the world (particularly if you include clay). I don't know if I agree, though. I'm not sure that Connors at his best was really better than Ashe's best on grass, as of 1975. Maybe Connors could destroy Roscoe Tanner in a way that Ashe couldn't, but IMO that's a matter of match-up. In that Wimbledon final Ashe showed that in a direct meeting he could give Connors problems by doing certain things, and I think those things would have been a problem for Jimmy under any circumstances.

    So was Connors really the best on grass as of 1975, when both Newcombe and Ashe beat him with classical grasscourt games?

    clay, as I said, is a different story; Connors was better than Newk and Ashe. But he was not better than Orantes, who straight-setted him in the USO final.
     
  17. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Krosero,

    I would suppose when I write the best player of a given year I would say it would have to be the best average level on all surfaces. Connors lost to Newcombe and Ashe on grass but if they played a series of matches on all surfaces I would guess that Connors would win.

    It's hard to say of course since Ashe's high on grass was fantastic in 1975 (as in previous years also) but he was also liable to lose to players that was beneath his level. I think however it's reasonable to say Ashe would not have overwhelmed Connors on grass if they played on that surface head to head. And I think overall Connors was better on clay and perhaps some other surfaces.

    Clearly on clay since Ashe was never the best on that surface while Connors won a number of top clay tournaments including the US Open on har tru twice. I think Ashe lost to Eddie Dibbs that year at the US Open in the third or fourth round.

    Orantes was fabulous on clay that year. My gut feeling is that Orantes average level on clay was better than Connors that year but I have to research it to make sure. He was in the zone for much of the US Open in 1975 from my own memory which as you know can be quite flawed.

    I don't know if Hoad was ever better than Gonzalez over the period of a year or even a period of months. From observers and Gonzalez himself it was apparent to them that Hoad was superior to Gonzalez when he was "on" his game. I suppose that could be for a match or many matches but I am not sure if Hoad was better for a full calendar year. I guess Gonzalez proved his average level was superior to Hoad over the long run in their matches together. That could however be because of the Hoad injuries also, among other things since Hoad did jump out to an early lead in the first tour that Gonzalez and Hoad had. Some have also argued that Gonzalez was playing himself into shape and that is why Hoad tooked the lead. I'm a bit skeptical of the latter reason since it was argued by someone close to Gonzalez.
     
  18. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Yes, if you mean best average level, I think Connors is as good a candidate as any for best player of '75 (and you can see that reflected in his actual results as they stand). It all comes down to what you regard as best, and different people have different definitions. Best average level is something like the most consistent player: the most consistent results. And obviously consistency is key; I just think if someone is consistent, like Connors was in '75, but didn't have a major win, I can't see him as #1.

    Of course, going by average level, players like Pancho and Rosewall and Laver get the nod over Hoad. His actual results were inconsistent.
     
  19. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I was not talking about a player being number one. I agree with you that by the ranking system that Connors was not number one for 1975. But I do think he was overall the strongest and most consistent player for average level.

    If Ashe and Connors played on grass, red clay, har tru, indoor carpet and decoturf for 20 matches each in 1975 (assuming decent rest between matches) I would bet on Connors. Even if we eliminated the red clay and har tru I still may lend toward Connors. Ashe would win his share of course.

    So while I truly believe Ashe was number one for 1975, I also believe Connors was the strongest player. Ashe would be especially tough on grass, indoor carpet and decoturf. He would be okay on har tru and red clay. But I think Connors would excellent on all surfaces.

    We've had the discussion about 1970 also with Newcombe and Rosewall ranked number one by some people and Laver wasn't in the running. I think Laver overall was probably the strongest player on most surfaces but it didn't show up in the majors and he wasn't ranked number one. By the standards of ranking a player Laver didn't deserve to be ranked number one.

    However if I had to bet on a series of matches between let's say Newcombe and Laver, I would tend to think Laver would win the majority in 1970.

    Perhaps a series of matches may be a poor way to express it since some players have bothersome styles for other players. Perhaps a series of matches between the top players would be more logical. Nevertheless I think Laver would be on top in 1970 and Connors in 1975.

    Just something interesting to discuss.
     
  20. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Best over the long haul (of the year) as indicated by the record, not best on any given day for one one match.

    If we follow that logic too far then the best is the last person to defeat Fed, after which he retires.

    I would give 1970 to Laver (won 15 tournaments), and even 1971 (tied with Rosewall and Newcombe).
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2010
  21. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Offhand I would tend to agree with that.
     
  22. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Interesting idea. Of course, you don't mean who could pick up a Volkswagen or a Fiat.

    I do think that this could degenerate to who could beat any one on any particular day--which would be most problematic.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2010
  23. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    It didn't show up in the traditional majors, but many considered the Dunlop tournament in March the unofficial Australian Open, because it drew such a great field and was best-of-5 in all rounds; and it was not affected by the NTL dispute that left the actual AO depleted. So I think by the usual standards of ranking players -- looking for major and minor victories -- Laver does deserve consideration as #1 for the year. Now whether his record is good enough, is debatable, but he does have a major victory at the Dunlop.

    I think we mentioned up thread that these are unusual years, because Laver didn't win any of the traditional Slams (he didn't even enter 4 of the 8 traditional Slams played in 1970-71). But he won the special tournament that Dunlop organized in Sydney in 1970; and he won the Champions Tennis Classic in 1970-71. The Classic, especially in '71, should weigh a lot more than a minor one-week tournament. How much more, is strictly a matter of opinion, because the format was so different from a regular Slam, it's like comparing apples to oranges. But it was much more than a regular one-week tournament.
     
  24. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    I agree that Connors has greater surface versatility than the men who beat him in '75 (Newk, Ashe, Orantes). And by that logic, you might expect him to come out with the best W/L record in a hypothetical round-robin featuring all surfaces. But then I'm not so sure, because while he will win some matches on all surfaces, he will also lose on all surfaces; to Ashe and Newk on grass, to Orantes on Har-Tru; to Nastase on any surface.

    And I say Har-Tru, because as of 1975 Connors had played very few matches on red clay. In a hypothetical round-robin of the best players, with one surface being red clay, do we imagine that Connors has prepared for it, trained on red clay, played regular tournaments on it? I think we can't, because in '75 he hadn't yet done that. So I would expect him to take a good number of losses in any hypothetical matches on red clay.

    The way I picture a hypothetical series, is that the players already know that Connors is vulnerable. I think one of the big stories in '75 was that Connors was shown to have weaknesses; or to put it in a milder way, people found ways to beat him (when before he had seemed invincible). The players were finding out that he didn't like creating his own pace; and that he could make a lot of errors on a slow court where his powerful shots could be retrieved.

    I think if Connors had played more on red clay, all those things would have been discovered even sooner (I mean before Ashe and Orantes figured them out at Wimbledon and USO).
     
  25. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    It's funny, as you pointed out Connors seemed invincible in 1974 and after the Tanner match at Wimbledon I saw newspaper articles comparing him to Lew Hoad (at Hoad's best I assume) in pure power. At that point I think his reputation was comparable to Federer's a few years ago.

    Yes it's possible Connors would lose a round robin in 1975, especially to Nastase but I do think overall, considering Ashe, Nastase and Orantes had some weaknesses also that Connors may have won the round robin. I could be wrong but it's my best guess out of those players.

    Who knows, maybe Nastase would have been motivated and crushed them all?
     
  26. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Hypothetically, I think one could be world no. 1 without winning a major, but the tournament record would have to be pretty strong with wins over the other main contenders.

    On the other hand a slam winner may not be world no. 1, if there are three other slam winners, and one of them (or someone else) has a better record over the entire year.
     
  27. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Just for fun guys I'll subjectively rank Connors, Ashe, Nastase and Orantes in order of strength on a surface based on 1975. It doesn't mean anything but it's an opinion. Feel free to disagree.

    Grass-1. Connors 2. Ashe 3. Nastase 4. Orantes. I think there's a decent gap between Orantes and the top three. Although Orantes did well at Wimbledon one year. I rank Connors number one because Ashe was capable of losing to anyone. Ashe barely beat Roche (who is super tough) in the semi at Wimbledon in 1975. I think the next year at Wimbledon he lost to Gerulaitis (not sure) as the top seed. Connors probably had an injury at Wimbledon that year so I think a healthy Connors is number one on grass for average level in 1975.

    Har tru-1. Orantes-I saw this guy at the US Open that year and he had the ball on a string. He beat Nastase in that tournament and I thought Nastase played well. Vilas was beaten in that famous match.
    2. Connors-Nastase could be number two. 3. Nastase 4. Ashe-Clearly last in my opinion

    Red Clay-1. Orantes 2. Nastase 3. Connors 4. Ashe-again Ashe is clearly the worst of the four in my opinion. Ashe wasn't bad on red clay but he wasn't as good as the top three.

    Indoor carpet-medium pace-1. Ashe-fractionally ahead of Connors 2. Connors 3. Nastase 4. Orantes

    I know there's no hard court major in 1975 but I'll rank strength on hard courts too.

    1. Connors 2. Ashe-I can see Ashe as possibly number one here 3. Nastase 4. Orantes

    Just my opinions. Incidentally it occurs to me that all of these guys have so many shots. Players like Ashe, Nastase and Orantes can do anything. Very versatile players.

    One last thing. It's very possible Nastase may defeat Connors by a majority in every surface. Nastase knew how to play Connors. I don't think it would happen but it's not inconceivable.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2010
  28. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    True about Nastase; and he did win the Masters at the end of the year, so you already have to count him as one of the major winners of the year.

    Nastase was like Hoad; on any given day, or perhaps for an entire tournament, he could be the best player in the world.

    Connors was compared for a short while to Hoad, but he turned out to be actually one of the steadiest players of all time; one of the most consistent.
     
  29. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    No Newcombe here?
     
  30. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Can't believe I left out Newcombe. lol.

    Grass 1. Connors 2. Ashe 3. Newcombe-At his best Newcombe's number one but I feel he was at the end. That victory over Connors at the Aussie was magnificent. 4. Orantes

    Har Tru 1. Orantes 2. Connors 3. Ashe 4. Newcombe

    Indoor-1. Ashe 2. Connors 3. Newcombe 4. Orantes

    Hard Court 1. Connors 2. Ashe 3. Newcombe 4. Orantes

    Red Clay 1. Orantes 2, Connors 3. Ashe 4. Newcombe

    Newcombe is one of my all time favorites. He was an almost perfect serve and volleyer at his best but he was at the end in 1975. If he had his form of early 1974 when he dominated the WCT tour I might have ranked him first on grass, indoor and hard court. At worst second. And he was pretty good on red clay also.

    Ashe was still at his peak or near his peak in 1975 although Newk and him were close in age.
     
  31. newmark401

    newmark401 Professional

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    "Hypothetically, I think one could be world no. 1 without winning a major, but the tournament record would have to be pretty strong with wins over the other main contenders."

    I think you mean world champion - or the best player overall - for a particular year, as opposed to the actual number one on the world rankings.
    --

    Jimmy Connors was number one on the world rankings not only for all of 1975 and most of 1977, years in which he didn’t win a major but was in contention for the best player award, certainly where consistency is concerned.

    What I find strange, though, is that Connors was, apparently, also number one on the world rankings for all of 1978, when Bjorn Borg won the French Open and Wimbledon, and was runner-up at the US Open (in addition to winning seven other singles titles).

    But I know that Borg was, fairly in my opinion, awarded the ITF World Champion award for 1978 anyway. Still, this whole situation shows that the world ranking system was/still is flawed.
     
  32. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I have no doubt Borg was the best player in 1978 for accomplishments and in strength.
     
  33. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    I'd rank Newk ahead of Connors based on peak grasscourt ability. He was certainly aging in '75 (and he didn't end up having a good year after the AO). But in a quick series of matches with the best players I don't see a problem for him, considering how well he did at the AO playing marathon matches on a string of consecutive days. I don't know if I'd rank him ahead of Ashe, but probably I'd put Connors third -- on raw peak ability and of course on actual accomplishment during the year.

    Orantes' performance against Connors is one of my favorites. I know, the match had virtually no pace; and Orantes was chopping forehands like it was the 1920s; so to some tennis fans it might look boring. But if you know Orantes had a gameplan, I think it's fascinating. He would lull Connors with no pace, and then hit a winner when he had a chance. Perfect example of knowing when to pull the trigger and then executing. The way you put it is right: he had the ball on a string.
     
  34. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Orantes was a great clay courter from the 1970's. He was a true clay specialist.

    See:http://www.atpworldtour.com/Tennis/Players/Or/M/Manuel-Orantes.aspx



    See him here playing on clay against Panatta in 1977. Panatta won the match.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaI3zr_YJSI

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2010
  35. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    You're not the only one who loves watching that match. It was beautiful to see. Orantes played the same type of match against Connors in 1977 and defeated Connors easily. You'd think to yourself, "How does he make it look so easy against a player of Connors' level?" Whenever I make a great drop shot (and that doesn't happen often. lol.) I often think of Orantes.

    As far as Newcombe was concerned, it would be interesting to see how he would handle a series of matches in 1975 against top players.

    Speaking of Orantes, are there videos available for the Orantes-Vilas 1975 US Open semifinal?
     
  36. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    I don't know where that match might be available.

    As Cyborg says: locked up in a vault somewhere.
     
  37. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    I would rank Ashe the best grass and fast courter of 1975. He won the WCT series and the final indoors, and at Wimbledon he was clearly better than Connors. He did beat Borg and Connors quite clearly, and the resurging Roche was tough customer. His serve and volley were superior to Connors' and his backhand return was quite equal.
     
  38. jean pierre

    jean pierre Semi-Pro

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    Los invito a este grupo, a ver si podemos lograr que se haga justicia con el mejor tenista de la historia sudamericana...

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=130833504135&ref=ts

    Para que de una vez por todas la ATP reconozca a Guillermo Vilas como Nº 1 En el año de su máximo rendimiento tenistico,1977, Guillermo Vilas gano 16 títulos (marca nunca superada, entre los cuales se encuentran 2 Grand Slams) y participo de 5 finales mas (destacándose la de...
     
  39. newmark401

    newmark401 Professional

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    Translation:

    "I invite members of this group to see if we can finally get justice done for the best player in the history of South American tennis.

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=130833504135&ref=ts

    "For once and for all let the ATP recognize Guillermo Vilas as the world no. 1 for 1977, the year in which he had the most success in his tennis career, winning 16 singles titles (an unprecedented number, including two majors) and finishing as runner-up in five other finals (highlighting the...)"
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2010
  40. Scott_tennis

    Scott_tennis New User

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    The Tennis Legends tour was an over-35 circuit started after the demise of WTT (many of the male players in WTT fell into that age category). This tour was just one of several senior pro circuits. First was the Tennis Grand Masters (45+) founded by Al Bunis around 1973. In late 1978 the Tennis Legends (35+) tour was started by IMG, followed by the Grand Champions tour run by ProServ. In later years there were the (Connors) Champions tour, the ATP Senior Tour and the (Courier) Champions Series.

    I know that Laver won several events in both the Tennis Legends and Tennis Grand Masters tours, including the Newport Beach event in 1979.

    Apparantly the Wikipedia list of tournaments won by Laver does not include any senior titles.

    I have partial results from various years of each tour. Does anyone have a complete database or listing of the senior pro results?
     
  41. Scott_tennis

    Scott_tennis New User

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    The results from Newport Beach Tennis Legends were:

    1R Rosewall d Hewitt; Riessen d Ralston; Newcombe d Emerson;
    and Laver d Pasarell
    SF Rosewall d Riessen; Laver d Newcombe
    F Laver d Rosewall

    Doubles F Laver-Emerson d Newcombe-Rosewall
     
  42. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Resurrected.

    Connors in 1982.
     
  43. Cesc Fabregas

    Cesc Fabregas Legend

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    Nadal 2008-2010.
     
  44. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    2009?

    Federer?
     
  45. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Federer in 2009

    Not 2009. Federer was only 2 sets away from winning the calendar Grand Slam!!
     
  46. jean pierre

    jean pierre Semi-Pro

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    "Guillermo Vilas fue numero une en 1977" : it's a new site on facebook. They want to make a request to the ATP : ATP should publy an official declaration saying that Vilas is the real n°1 in 1977. It would be a great and fair action.
     
  47. jerriy

    jerriy Hall of Fame

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    Very telling.

    It does makes sense to me... although I presume a few others (especially those across the pond) might be shock-n-awed by those stats
    .
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2010
  48. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, on our own World no. 1 List, Cochet is not listed for 1922.

    1920—Tilden
    1921—Tilden
    1922—Tilden/Johnston
    1923—Tilden
    1924—Tilden
    1925—Tilden
    1926—Lacoste
    1927—Lacoste
    1928—Cochet
    1929—Cochet
    1930—Cochet
     
  49. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    1976

    At the Pepsi Grand Slam in Florida in January of 1977 - the people doing the admision (only 4 players admitted) regarded the WCT as a 'Major' from the previous year over and above the Masters. Borg was regarded as having won 2 majors in 1976 (Wimbledon + WCT Finals), Connors 1 (US Open), Panatta 1 (the French). Because Borg had won 2 majors and they needed a 4th player - the next tournament down was the Masters which Orantes won - so he was picked as a 4th Player. This was really interesting because it showed at the time that the WCT was clearly favoured over the Masters (and the Australian for that matter).
     
  50. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Resurrected for convenience.
     

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