Does anyone have a source of good information on Andres Gimeno? I can't seem to find a valuable source of a list of his titles and head to heads. I was wondering if anyone knows more about him outside his slam victory at France in 72. Thanks =]
Gimeno was a player who peaked in the mid to later 1960's and was considered to be perhaps the third best player in the world by some at one point, behind only Laver and Rosewall. He was an excellent touch player with a great forehand and a very good volley and a backhand that while very consistent, didn't have great pace, generally speaking.
He took a back seat to some of the all time greats like Pancho Gonzalez, Ken Rosewall and Rod Laver but he was able to on occasion defeat them. For example in 1966, according to "The History of Professional Tennis" he was 6-14 against Laver and 6-8 against Rosewall and he won six tournaments that year.
In 1967 I counted three Gimeno tournament victories and his record was 4-12 against Laver and 8-5 against Rosewall, according to Joe McCauley.
It's possible that he may have been a better player than the more celebrated Roy Emerson but Gimeno didn't have a chance to built up his major titles in the amateur ranks. Gimeno had the pleasure of battling legends like Gonzalez, Laver, Hoad, Rosewall, Sedgman, Anderson, Trabert and Olmedo, among others. It's tough to have a great record against competition like that.
I had some more information on him a few years ago but I misplaced it. I'll try to find it, hopefully.
The best information I have on him for now is "The History of Professional Tennis" by Joe McCauley but it's really not much. Wish I could give you more.
According to Vainqueurs, the latest edition Gimeno won 28 tournaments but I'm fairly certain he won more tournaments, probably much more.
In head-to-head meetings Gimeno was even in 1967 with Ken, 7-7, so McCauley was slightly wrong : in the text part McCauley stated that Gimeno led 7-5 but if you carefully look at his results in the annexes of the book you count 14 meetings between these players with wins-losses equally shared : 7-7, you will see below all the locations of their 1967 meetings.
Here is what I wrote about Rosewall in Wikipedia about 1967, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Rosewall, when Gimeno that year was a true threat to Kenny for the 2nd place :
Rosewall's true decline began in 1967 when many players defeated several times Sydney's Little Master. Not only Laver reached the apogee of his career, almost invincible on fast courts and then the undisputed pro's king, but Gimeno threatened Rosewall's second place. The 20 main tournaments of the year where shared by a) Laver, ten titles including the 5 biggest ones, all played on fast courts (U.S. Pro outside Boston, French Pro, Wembley Pro, Wimbledon Pro, Madison Square Garden, World Pro in Oklahoma, Boston Pro (not to be confused with the U.S. Pro), Newport R.R., Johannesburg Ellis Park, Coubertin Pro in April (not to be confused with the French Pro at Coubertin in October), b) Rosewall, six titles (Los Angeles, Berkeley, U.S. Pro Hardcourt in St Louis, Newport Beach, Durban and Cape Town), c) Gimeno, three titles (Cincinnati, East London, Port Elizabeth) and d) Stolle, one tournament (Transvaal Pro). Including lesser tournaments Laver's supremacy was even more obvious: 1) Laver 18 tournaments plus two small tours, 2) Rosewall 7 tournaments, 3) Stolle 4 tournaments and 4) Gimeno 3 tournaments. In head-to-head matches Rosewall trailed Laver 5–8 and was equal to Gimeno 7–7 (Gimeno-Laver: 4-12).
Before 1967 Gimeno always trailed Rosewall in direct confrontations but that year they split their matches. Rosewall defeated Gimeno in Los Angeles, Madison Square Garden, St Louis, Newport, Johannesburg (challenge match), Durban and Wembley whereas Gimeno won in Cincinnati, U.S. Pro, East London, Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg (tournament), Marseille, French Pro. Having won more tournaments than Gimeno, Rosewall deserved nevertheless the second place behind Laver, the latter being for the first year the #1 by far after the 1964-1966 close rivalry between the two Australians.
The following stats have been greatly compiled by AndrewTas.
According to those stats, Gimeno has won 9 amateur tournaments, 21 pro tournaments in the pre-open era and 11 pro or open tourneys in the open era that is at least 41 tournaments in his entire career.
In my opinion his peak was in 1966-1967 :
in 1966 he was the greatest pro claycourter, winning the greatest clay events over Rosewall and Laver, in Oklahoma (har-tru) and Barcelona (European red clay) and given that in 1966 the best amateur claycourters were not that great in my opinion (Roche won both the Italian and French but without Santana, Stolle won the German in a quite depleted field, Emerson and Santana didn't play great on clay that year), Gimeno was possibly the greatest claycourter that year.
In 1967 Rosewall was certainly declining however he had a great run in June 1967 being almost invincible, winning 4 out of 5 pro events and beating Laver at least twice. So Kenny was still a great player that year. However Gimeno played better than Rosewall in the greatest events of 1967 (US Pro, Wimbledon Pro, Wembley Pro and French Pro) : in particular Gimeno beat Kenny at the US Pro and the French Pro and he also extended Rosewall to 5 sets at Wembley just before Ken played a classic in the final with Laver.
I think that Rosewall played much better than Gimeno in lesser events this is why I rank Kenny just ahead of Andres that year but by a very slight margin.
So in 1967 Gimeno was very close to Kenny and was perhaps (in my opinion) better than Newcombe or Emerson that year.
Unfortunately Gimeno clearly declined as soon as 1968, however he reached the semis at Wimby in 1970 only beaten by the future winner, Newcombe. He also played the 1969 Australian final defeating Rosewall and Buchholz. In 1968 he almost beat Rosewall in the semis at Roland Garros and in 1972 he beat Smith in Davis Cup (but on clay) and extended the same Smith to 5 sets on grass at the US Open and could have won in 4 sets (2-6 7-6 6-4 1-6 6-3). And won a depleted Roland Garros in 1972 (with Nastase, Orantes and Kodes as great claycourters)
Here are Gimeno's tournament wins in his amateur days (until July 1960) :
570304 570310 Provencal FRA Cap d'Antibes Gimeno Maggi 64 75 46 75 FRA
570311 570317 Menton FRA Menton International Gimeno Jacobini 63 61 62 FRA
570318 570324 Cannes FRA Cannes Club Gimeno Stolpa 63 64 FRA
590104 590111 Perth AUS Western Australian Championships Gimeno Buchholz 61 64 63 aus
591000 591000 Madrid ESP Spanish Championships Gimeno Couder 16 64 61 63
600321 600328 Caracas VEN Caracas Altamira International Gimeno Davies 63 36 64 63 USA
600414 600419 Monte Carlo MON Monte Carlo Open Gimeno Davies 86 63 64 FRA
600530 600606 Barcelona ESP Conde de Godo Gimeno Merlo 61 62 61
600613 600618 London UK London Queens GC Gimeno Emerson 86 63 GB
Here are Gimeno's tournament wins in his pro days before the open era (from August 1960 to mid-April 1968 ) :
600800 600800 Scheveningen Holland Pro Gimeno Cooper 97 46 75
630601 630602 San Diego San Diego Pro Champs Gimeno Laver 26 75 63
630801 630806 Poertschach Poertschach Pro Champs Gimeno Sedgman 36 86 64 46 61
630924 630927 Geneva Geneva Gold Trophy Gimeno Rosewall 97 64
640519 640524 College Park MD College Park Pro Champs Gimeno Hoad 46 62 108
640820 640824 Noordwijk Holland Pro Gimeno Rosewall 86 62
640920 640924 Munich Bavarian Pro Champs Gimeno Rosewall 62 64
650814 650816 Riccione ITA Rimini Pro Gimeno Laver 16 63 75
650817 650818 Aix-les-Bains Aix-les-Bains Pro Champs Gimeno Laver 26 119 63
650900 650900 Milan City of Milan Pro Champs Gimeno Rosewall 62 57 75
651000 651000 Port Elizabeth Port Elizabeth Pro Champs Gimeno Laver 106
660400 660400 Versailles Versailles Pro Champs Gimeno Barthes 75 86
660614 660619 St Louis US Pro Hardcourts Gimeno Laver 64 16 63
660630 660704 Oklahoma City World Pro Champs Gimeno Rosewall 64 63
660901 660904 Geneva Geneva Pro Champs Gimeno Laver 63 62
660918 660922 Barcelona Barcelona Pro Champs Gimeno Laver 64 108 36 46 62
661105 661107 Kampala Uganda Pro Champs Gimeno Laver 60 62
670706 670709 Cincinnati Cincinnati Pro Champs Gimeno Rosewall 64 63
670911 670911 East London Border Pro Champs Gimeno Stolle 6-3
670912 670912 Port Elizabeth Eastern Province Pro Champs Gimeno Rosewall 10-0
680329 680401 Bogota COL Bogota PRO Gimeno Stolle 1113 63 64
Gimeno's victories in the open era (from late April 1968 ) in pro or open events (for instance the Cannes pro tournament below wasn't open to amateur players (and to WCT pro players as well) but was held in the open era, I consider that the open era began on April 21 (start of the British Hard courts) though it was voted in Paris on March 30) :
680500 680500 Cannes Cannes Pro Gimeno Stolle 64 26 75
680808 680811 Binghampton NY New York Binghampton Masters Gimeno Stolle 64 61 USA
690300 690300 New York NY Madison Square Garden Open Gimeno Ashe 61 62 36 68 97 USA
691018 691020 Cologne GER Spoga Cup Gimeno Emerson 63 1917
691100 691100 Barcelona ESP Barcelona Pro Gimeno Laver 26 86 46 63 61
700421 700426 Dallas TX Dallas Tournament Gimeno Emerson 62 63 62 USA
710207 710213 Los Angeles CA The May Co International Gimeno Barthes 63 26 62 USA
710800 710800 German Open German Open Gimeno Szoke 63 62 62
720522 720603 FRENCH OPEN FRENCH OPEN Gimeno Proisy 46 63 61 61 FRA
720619 720624 Eastbourne UK Eastbourne International Gimeno Barthes 75 63 GB
720710 720716 Gstaad Swiss Open Gimeno Adriano Panatta 75 98 64
Gimeno was a truly great player who was extremely unlucky to peak at the same time as the GDOAT (greatest duet of all time), ie Rod and Ken.
He was probably number 3 in the world from 1962 to 1966 (with the exception of 1964 when Gonzales came back from retirement), and was arguably second only to Laver in 1967.
Great posts as usual Carlo and SgtJohn. Here's a question for all of you. Who had the better career and who was the better player during their career, Gimeno or Emerson? I would go with Gimeno.
Rankings from 1961 to 1967 when Gimeno was at his peak (1961-1963)
just a preliminary remark : I have slightly edited my previous post (Oklahoma instead of Cincinatti).
I rate Gimeno very slightly less well than you.
From 1961 to 1967 I rank him as follows :
#4 in 1961 (this year I ranked him high enough)
between #3 and #6 in 1962 (quite equal to Segura-Laver-Buchholz)
#3 in 1963
#4 in 1964
#4 in 1965
#3 in 1966
#3 in 1967
You can note Jonathan that our very slight disagreements are about 1965 and 1967. In particular in 1967 Gimeno had better results than Ken in the first 4 greatest events but in the events just below Rosewall had well better results and Kenny won twice as many tournaments as Andres. Besides Ken had also better H2H stats than Gimeno against the other players (see below the details in the 1967 part).
To explain my 1961-1967 rankings here are several extracts from a long e-mail I sent to Károly, AndrewTas and Robert Geist circa September last year. And this message referred to previous ones that I had sent them before where I explained with many details my 1966 amateurs rankings (the exact reverse of Tingay and Judith Élian) with Emerson first ahead of Roche then Stolle and Santana (though the latter were #1 or #2 in Tingay's, Élian's and McCauley's rankings) and why I considered Emerson at least the equal of Newk in 1967.
Have a good reading.
At Wembley and Roland Segura was each time better than Gimeno. In the Kramer Cup I would give a slight edge to Gimeno (but not sure) because the Spaniard beat Gonzales but at home and on clay. In the World Pro Series Segura just replaced Gonzales but beat Gimeno in their single meeting. At Copenhagen, Milan, Vienna, Gimeno performed better than Segura each time but at San Remo, Viareggio and Noordwijk Segura was superior (but in less important events by far). So Gimeno seemed to be globally superior for all the 6 tournaments but the Spaniard won none of them while Segura captured the 3 minor ones. So finally Segura was possibly (but not sure at all) better for those 6 events. Moreover Segura has done better at Wembley and at Garros too whereas Gimeno has perhaps been greater in the Kramer Cup. So globally I think Segura was a little better than Gimeno in 1961 especially as the Ecuadorian has won tournaments and Gimeno not and Segura-Gimeno win-loss record was 4-0 (World Pro Series, San Remo, Noordwijk, Geneva).
Here is my new 1961 ranking (slightly different from the Wikipedia ranking which is one and a half year old):
1 Rosewall 2 Gonzales 3 Segura 4 Gimeno 5 Hoad 6 Trabert 7 Cooper and even less sure 8 MacKay 9 Olmedo 10 Emerson-Laver
(Since I wrote this e-mail 7 months ago, I've slightly changed my mind and now I think that Laver was possibly better than Emerson and that Laver and Emerson were also possibly better than MacKay and Olmedo as well)
For me the greatest events that year were Wembley and the French Pro, then the Kramer Cup (without MacKay) and 4 tournaments (Geneva Gold Trophy, Zurich (without Cooper), Milan, the Swedish Pro). Then 2 other tournaments : the South Australian Pro and the Victorian Pro. Rosewall won 7 of these 8 tournaments but Zurich and all his singles in the Kramer Cup. I also agree that Hoad was second. Hoad was the player who won the tournament lost by Rosewall (Zurich). Hoad reached the final of the greatest event (Wembley). With Gimeno, Hoad was the only to beat Rosewall twice that year : at the Australian TV Series (though Ken won the event) and in the Adelaide Indoor final. In direct confrontations Hoad led Segura 3-2 and Gimeno 6-1. Then I think followed Gimeno slightly better than Segura. Gimeno was superior in the two greatest events and also in the 4 other tournaments and in the 2 Australian tournaments cited above Segura didn’t enter (retired at the time). It is hard to compare both players in the Kramer Cup. Gimeno lost his two singles but it was against Rosewall and Hoad. Finally Gimeno beat twice Segura in two meetings. Then in the pro rank followed Buchholz with 3 wins in tournaments, a 3rd place at Wembley and a set taken from Kenny at Roland. We all agree.
The great problem is to compare Laver-Emerson with the pros.
It is very likely that Laver was no match for Rosewall and Hoad. See their January 1963 matches : in the summer of 1964 Hoad explained in World Tennis that he had trained hard for 10 days before facing Laver whereas Rosewall had come back from his holidays in Brisbane to Sydney just 2 days before meeting Laver, showing thus that he didn’t fear Rocket at all.
The true problem is to compare Laver with Gimeno, Segura and Buchholz. He met them as pros for the first time in February 1963 when he had already improved (after his 16 or 19 matches against the Aussies in January) since his 1962 amateur days so comparisons were already skewed. In January Gimeno and Buchholz had only faced Ayala and declining Sedgman and Cooper. And Segura didn’t play until next June. In the first 4 weeks of the Norht American tour the standings were (Rosewall 12-3), Buchholz 8-7, Laver 8-7, MacKay 7-8, Gimeno 6-9 and Ayala 4-11 and he direct meetings Laver trailed Rosewall 0-4, MacKay 0-2, was even with Buchholz 1-1 and … led Gimeno 3-0. If players’ levels had not changed from 1962 to February 1963 we could say that Buchholz and Laver were equal and that Gimeno was below as shown by the February 1963 results. Unfortunately it contradicts the 1962 pro ranking with Gimeno ahead of Buchholz. Therefore I can’t conclude anything for 1962. Laver in 1962 was either superior to Gimeno (if we pick up February 1963 results) or inferior to Gimeno and equal to Buchholz ((if we pick up February 1963 results too). I just can say that my method isn’t terribly convincing to say the least and I will say that in 1962 Laver was between the 3rd place. This is exactly the same problem with Sedgman in 1952 when the Australian was between the 1st and 3rd places according to me. So 1 Rosewall 2 Hoad 3-4-5-6 Gimeno-Segura-Buchholz-Laver in disorder (order unknown to me).
Rosewall far ahead : we all agree. For that year I’ve used a rough point system ranking for the tournaments. For the tours and the Kramer Cup I haven’t estimated anything but I’ve compared tour results with tour matches. At the top of the events : Wembley Pro and the French Pro, all the best 10 pro players entered those events. Then far below the US Pro with only 6 of the Top10 pro players in particular because Gonzales and Segura, both virtually retired, were invited instead of Gimeno and Sedgman (Anderson and MacKay absent too) and because it was a “8-man only” tournament. That year the Kramer Cup with only 3 matches per meeting and its best-of-three set matches in the semifinals wasn’t worth much. After the 3 great tournaments came Kitzbühel, Noordwijk, Geneva and Rome with the best 10 pros (Rosewall, Laver, Gimeno, Buchholz, Hoad, Sedgman, Olmedo, Anderson, MacKay and Ayala). Then Poertschach with the best 7 just the last 3, Anderson, MacKay and Ayala were absent) and Los Angeles (Sedgman, Anderson and Ayala missing). I have given points to tournaments according to the draw. If 8 Top10 pros entered, the tournament winner was granted 8 points (the runner-up 4, the semifinalists 2 (if 3rd play-off match was played I’d give 2.5 points for the 3rd player and 1.5 point for the 4th) and the quarterfinalist 1. Because of tradition or prestige I’ve weighted Wembley, the French and the US Pro by 2. Nowadays Slam tournaments are so prestigious that in my future rankings I will weight them by 4 (the ATP World Tour Finals-ex.Masters Cup by 2 and “1000” tournaments (ex Masters Series Tournaments) by 1 and other tournaments by x (0 < x < 1) and Davis Cup and Olympic Games by y and z, still unknown to me, right now). Let’s come back to 1963 : so Rosewall received 10*2 = 20 points as Wembley winner but only 6*2 as the US Pro winner. I’ve done that tournaments ranking 3 years ago so it can be improved and I haven’t checked it since so everyone can contradict it :
1963 tournaments rankings was as followed : 1 Rosewall (sorry I’ve lost his point score), 2 Laver (idem), 3 Gimeno 37.75 points, 4 Buchholz 33.5, Hoad 25.625 and 6 Sedgman 21 (then Olmedo, Anderson, MacKay, Ayala, Robert Haillet) . The main American tour confirmed that tournament ranking for the first 4 places (though Buchholz has led Gimeno in the first part of the American tour, in the end the Spaniard “stole” 3rd place from Earl). If my tournament ranking is good then Hoad was better than Sedgman though the old Australian beat Hoad 4 times with no loss.
In my original rough draft I’ve much developed the explanations of my pro ranking but since time is missing I won’t develop anymore.
In the amateur ranks I’ve already explained in previous e-mails that for me Emerson was the best (followed by Osuna, McKinley, Santana, Stolle, Wilson, Ralston, Froehling, Darmon, Pietrangeli. Because Emerson had in particular a bad summer he couldn’t match at all the very best pros but because Olmedo and Anderson had almost not progressed since they turned pro I suppose Emerson was better than both pros.
Here is my 1963 ranking : 1 Rosewall 2 Laver 3 Gimeno 4 Buchholz 5 Hoad 6 Sedgman 7 Emerson 8 Osuna 9 McKinley 10 Olmedo (11 Anderson …).
see 1964 to 1967 below
Rankings from 1961 to 1967 when Gimeno was at his peak (1964-1965)
This time I’ve given points to 29 tournaments (opposed to the 17 tournaments chosen for the “official pro ranking”). In 1964 the biggest events were the US Pro, the French Pro and Wembley which I’ve weighed by 2. Then the US Pro Indoor Chps (weight=1.5) and finally the 25 other tournaments (weight=1). Points granted according to the fields as in 1963. Once again this is rough because I haven’t given points to tour matches (if I have courage and time perhaps I will do it for the USA-Australia Series in early 1967) but that year there weren’t many of them except the Trofeo Facis tour and the Johannesburg- Ellis Park Challenge Match labelled (exaggeratedly) as “World Pro Championship”. Here is my old pro ranking (not checked as usual) : 1 Rosewall 116.5, 2 Laver 116.125, 3 Gonzales 74.5, 4 Gimeno 44, 5 Hoad 30.25, 6 Buchholz 28.625, 7 Olmedo 21.25, 8 Sedgman 16.5. As you can see Rosewall and Laver are so close in that tournament rankings that I can’t certainly claim that Rosewall was better than Laver from that ranking because the margin of error is superior to the points difference between both players : 0.375 ( = 116.5 – 116.125). So I just can say that they are quite equal but because Laver beat Rosewall 15 times out of 19 (Andrew’s statistics) or 12 out of 15 (McCauley’s) I give Rocket the edge. Another argument in favour of Laver : according to Jeffrey Neave (Wikipedia writer), Laver’s 1964 record was 81 wins and 27 losses whereas Rosewall’s was “only” 69-30. Perhaps my reasoning is skewed because being a huge Rosewall’s fan as a player (my all-time favourite) I don’t want to overrate him at any price. In this case I can’t mentally accept to give the No. 1 or even the co-No. 1 spot because of his so bad record against Laver.
Now let’s talk about the amateurs : Emerson had his best results ever with no bad loss in the greatest events (the only year he managed to do this). His only loss was at Roland Garros to Pietrangeli a player able to beat any amateur (and perhaps pro) on clay. Then followed in my opinion, Stolle, Santana, McKinley, Osuna, Cliff Drysdale, Ralston, Darmon, Pietrangeli and Lundquist.
Now I compare the pros and the amateurs. Between 1962 and 1964 Laver had very very probably enlarged the gap which separated him from Emerson. In 1964 Rosewall being so close to Laver, was therefore superior to Emerson without almost any doubt. For once in the 1960s Gonzales played throughout the year (except the South African tour) so I can’t downgrade him (as I do for 1966 or 1967). In 1964 Gonzales was very close to the top : he won the 4th greatest event (US Pro indoor) and was very good in the 3 others : in particular at the French he would possibly have beaten Kenny (if I believe Tennis de France report) hadn’t he been injured. In head-to-head meetings he led Laver 8 to 5 and trailed Rosewall 3-11 (but for once Rosewall had the advantage because many of his matches against Pancho were played on clay). So Gonzales is the 3rd pro very likely to be ahead of Emerson.
Here comes Gimeno’s case : in 1964 he wasn’t so impressive and was far behind the pro trio for me (30.5 points below Gonzales) : at the US Pro (3rd) and the French Pro (4th) he confirmed his “normal” level but at Wembley (against the old Sedgman) and in the US Pro Indoors (against MacKay) he suffered two bad losses unworthy of his rank. Nevertheless Gimeno won 3 tournaments (College Park, Noordwijk aan Zee and the Bavarian Pro) and except against Laver and Rosewall none of his head-to-head win-loss records were negative.
Hoad who followed Gimeno in my pro ranking was simply declining : he didn’t win any tournament in 1964 (Zurich in September 1962 was his last ever tournament win if I except some minor obscure tournament in the open era) and he had negative win-loss records against Laver, Rosewall, Gimeno, Gonzales and even Ayala. His best 1964 performance in the great events was his 4th place at the US Pro Indoor Chps.
Because on one hand Gimeno wasn’t very good and Hoad was over the hill and on the other hand Emerson was at his very best with no bad loss I suggest that Emmo was possibly as good as Gimeno in 1964.
My 1964 ranking : 1 Laver, 2 Rosewall, 3 Gonzales, 4 Gimeno, Emerson, 6 Hoad (Stolle was too far behind Emerson for being considered as in the same league as the 5 leading pros).
I concur with Andrew. Moreover Laver led Rosewall 13-5 in direct meetings, Laver winning the last 7 begun the day after Wembley ended.
I place Hoad in the Top15 but I can’t rank him among the Top10 players because he was absent too long, from February to October, because of his foot operation. During the few weeks he played he had “good” win-loss records against all except the two leaders : Hoad was even with Gonzales (2 all) and Gimeno (1 all and moreover Gimeno’s win was a w.o.), Buchholz (3 all), Sedgman (1 all) and Hoad led Anderson. Had he played the whole year he would have been possibly in the Top5 as suggested by Robert but it wasn’t the case.
Even Gimeno and Gonzales didn’t play so much : a little more than 6 months (but if I believe McCauley’s there wasn’t any pro tournaments for more than 2 months between February and April). However Gimeno didn’t play at all the Australian circuit and began in late April and stopped in early November and Gonzales didn’t play after the US Pro (he played from mid-January to mid-July). If Emerson hadn’t lost his US amateur title (to Ashe in the quarters) perhaps I would have ranked the Aussie above the “lazy” Gimeno and Gonzales but as almost ever (except in 1964) Emerson failed to fulfil his supposed destiny (to win all or almost all the great amateur events). So I place Gonzales and Gimeno above Emerson. Perhaps Pancho was better than Andres (by a very small margin) : Gonzales’s records against Laver and Rosewall were respectively 4-8 and 7-3 whereas Gimeno’s were 6-9 and 3-9. Buchholz was possibly behind Emerson because the American’s record wasn’t impressive at all : he won just one tournament in South Africa in late 1965 (in South Africa he recorded his last ever win over Laver) and against the best, his win-loss records were weak (Laver : 2 to 12, Gonzales 1 to 4, Gimeno 3 to 7, his only correct record being against Rosewall : 4 to 7).
My 1965 ranking : 1 Laver, 2 Rosewall, 3 Gonzales, 4 Gimeno, 5 Emerson, 6 Buchholz, 7 Stolle, 8 Santana (his loss to Stolle in the 5 set match in the Challenge Round Davis Cup making the difference for me).
see 1966 and 1967 below
Rankings from 1961 to 1967 when Gimeno was at his peak (1966)
In 1966 I have difficulties to rank the greatest events. The Madison Square Garden Pro tournament was by far the richest tournament to date, with a very great coverage in World Tennis magazine which devoted 6 full pages to report the event, it has never been done for any pro event of the pre open era. To give an example, there was only 1 page in that magazine for the 1966 Wembley event. Forest Hills Pro used VASS scoring not the best liked scoring among the players and spectators and then possibly devaluing the tournament. There was no Gonzales at the US Pro, Wembley and the French Pro. Finally where to rank the Pro Clay Court Championships at Barcelona and the World Pro Champs at Oklahoma (played on har tru according to Robert who got his info from Rosewall) and even the US Pro Hard Court Chps in St. Louis and the San Rafael tournament (with a very good field). However I’ve cited the possibly 9 greatest events. I would place perhaps the Newport tournament in 10th position and possibly tied (or in 11th position) the BBC2-Wembley (not better because it was a 4 man event).
Laver #1 and Rosewall #2 without any doubt. Both players grabbing all the finals (and therefore wins) of all the greatest events held on fast courts : Laver winning the US Pro, Wembley Pro and Forest Hills Pro and Rosewall capturing Madison Square Garden Pro and the French Pro (I don’t remember who won the US Pro Hardcourt Chps : Gimeno or Rosewall ?). This was the greatest year of their rivalry, confirmed by their head-to-head statistics, 7-6 in favour of Laver with just one more win for Rocket (the 5th of the US Pro was perhaps what made the small difference between the two Aussies). Gimeno #3 sure though he never beat Gonzales (2-0 for Pancho) because Andres won the two greatest tournaments on clay, the Pro Clay Court Championships at Barcelona and the World Pro Champs at Oklahoma beating each time Rosewall in the semis and Laver in the finals (surprisingly Laver resisted better than Rosewall to Gimeno suggesting the 1966 World Clay Court ranking as 1 Gimeno, 2 Laver, 3 Rosewall)). Because Gonzales played little : perhaps there were money problems but these weren’t the only reason why Gonzales didn’t play throughout the year, he was simply too old to play regularly without long rests. So he can’t be ranked better than #4 among the pros and perhaps he deserved an even lower ranking (but I should made a precise enough 1966 pro ranking to better assess Gonzales’s ranking). However he had good win-loss percentages : he was even with Laver (2 all), he trailed Rosewall only 2-3 and led Gimeno 2-0. In the two very great events he entered, Madison Square Garden Pro and Forest Hills Pro, he played well enough, ending each time 3rd, beating Hoad and Gimeno in the former and Gimeno again in the latter. In the BBC2-Wembley event Gonzales proved he could still be the best on indoor wood in “pro and/or best of 3” set matches. If I get on with my pro ranking I will shock Robert : Buchholz leading the pack ahead of Barthès, Hoad, Davies and Anderson.
Buchholz reached the semifinals and ended 3rd at the US Pro as well as in Pro Clay Court Chps in Barcelona and reached again the semifinals in the French Pro (but this time ended only 4th) : no player of “my” pack did that. Moreover Buchholz led Barthès (4-3, with one w.o. for Buchholz and one result missing in the Johannesburg round robin tournament which followed the Johannesburg Pro tournament) and Hoad (3-1) in direct confrontations.
Barthès didn’t reach any semifinals in the greatest events as Buchholz (see above) or even Hoad (I will detail later) but among the 21 biggest tournaments of the year (the 20 ones evoked by McCauley in his book and the BBC2-Wembley tourney) Barthès was the only one with Laver, Rosewall, Gimeno and Gonzales (once at BBC2-Wembley with a win) to reach a final (he was runner-up at the South Australian Pro) :neither Buchholz nor Hoad succeeding in doing that. Barthès also reached another final but in a minor tournament, the Oporto tournament. Barthès also clearly led Hoad 8-3 in direct meetings. Barthès was quite equal to Hoad in the Australian circuit but was better than Hoad in the US (if we trust the IPTA rankings : in the US summer circuit, Hoad ended 8th behind Buchholz, the old Segura, Barthès and even Davies) and in South Africa. The only time when Hoad was clearly superior to Barthès was during the Wembley tournament. This is the only time when Hoad was truly Hoad : he led Rosewall 3-0 in the 5th set of their semifinal and had previously beaten Gimeno (but Hoad was well helped : the Spaniard was called back on Monday to Spain because his wife was ill and returned just in time to play (and lost) his match to Hoad on Wednesday : for Gimeno it was not the best way to train in order to play such a tournament). Then in the 3rd play-off match he crushed Davies 63 60. But outside Wembley Hoad made poor performances in 1966 except in San Rafael where he ended 4th after the 3 great pros. I repeat Hoad was regularly beaten by Buchholz and Barthès (1-3 and 3-8 ). One positive point for Hoad however : against Gimeno he played well enough because he won 7 times in 18 meetings, not bad.
Davies reached the semifinals at Wembley, beating Buchholz (in 1966 Davies always defeated Buchholz : 2-0) but ended 4th (losing to Hoad).
Anderson’s only good performance in tournament was his 2nd place at Newport behind Rosewall but ahead of Laver, Buchholz, Gimeno, Davies and so on. Nevertheless he was ranked below Davies by the IPTA for the whole US summer circuit. I was going to forget all the same that Anderson has beaten Barthès 4 times in 6 matches.
In the amateur ranks I’ve detailed in a previous e-mail my 1966 amateur ranking : 1 Emerson, 2 Roche, 3 Stolle, 4 Santana, all 4 players very close (the (almost) exact reverse of Tingay’s or Elian’s ranking)). But it was Emerson’s worse year at the top of the amateur game, losing at Wimbledon, Forest Hills and Roland Garros. Stolle as said just before was very close to Emerson so his 1967 pro performances can give an indication of the 1966 Emerson-Roche-Stolle-Santana level because I think Stolle didn’t improve between 1966 and 1967 (I will detail it in the 1967 section). In 1967 Stolle was dominated by Laver, Rosewall and Gimeno in the pro ranks and in direct meetings he trailed Gonzales 2-5 and I think he was slightly better than Buchholz. I can’t rank Stolle (and Emerson-Roche-Santana) above Gonzales in 1966 though the American had not played many great events that year.
My 1966 ranking : 1 Laver, 2 Rosewall, 3 Gimeno, 4 Gonzales (a very debatable ranking because, I repeat, Pancho played little), 5 Emerson, 6 Roche, 7 Stolle, 8 Santana, 9 Buchholz, 10 Barthès (11 Hoad, 12 Ralston, 13 Davies, 14 Anderson …).
Robert, I think you (and many of us, including me) are a huge fan of Hoad as a player : you have according to me overrated him in 1961 though he had been out for a long time after his “Coubertin” injury, in 1965 (foot operation), in 1966 … but in particular in 1966 except at Wembley (and San Rafael) his performances were weak.
see 1967 below
Rankings from 1961 to 1967 when Gimeno was at his peak (1967)
What I regret the most now is that I intended to make a 1967 point system pro ranking including even the Australian tour matches but because I have no time to devote to tennis at the very right time (early September), I will give a very rough 1967 ranking because one of the problem is to decide between Ralston, Gonzales and Stolle (the other problem being to compare the best amateurs with those 3 pros).
I’m not fully satisfied with any ranking of those three players. A) Ralston-Gonzales-Stolle in that order is “attractive” but “Stolle-Ralston-Gonzales” too and finally both rankings are problematic.
I will try to explain my hesitations, doubts.
Before listing them I think there is no doubt about the Ralston-Gonzales comparison. Ralston was surely better than Gonzales. Firstly Ralston played throughout the season except the South African tour because he had a foot operation at home in the US just after Wimbledon Pro and he retired in some matches at the end of the season because possibly he hadn’t fully recovered from his foot while Gonzales missed many events including the US Pro, the French Pro and Wembley. Secondly Ralston had the best win-loss percentage record 49/84 (or 52/87 if I include some “easy” early rounds in Fresno) i.e. 58,33% while Gonzales’s is 17/33 (or 19/35 by including easy early rounds in Birmingham (US)) i.e. 51,51%. Except Laver and Rosewall (and Owen Davidson who “beat” Ralston at Wembley after a w.o.), Ralston had a positive (or equal) win-loss record over every pro player including Gimeno (and in our precise case, over Gonzales 2-0) while Gonzales trailed Laver, Rosewall, Ralston and Hoad. Thirdly another, very slight, advantage for Ralston : he won two minor tournaments Fresno and Prague whereas Gonzales won just one (Birmingham US, according to Andrew, Melbourne wasn’t a tournament but a team event).
Therefore the big problem is to place Stolle : before Ralston ? between Ralston and Gonzales ? after Gonzales ? I can’t answer now. Previously I thought that Stolle was the last one of the trio : the main reason was that Stolle was clearly led in direct confrontations with Ralston (8-14) and Gonzales (2-5), knowing that all three players hadn’t won or reached great tournaments finals. But last week-end I’ve taken a deeper look at the 1967 pro results and my thinking has perhaps changed.
In very great events (chronologically US Pro, Wimbledon Pro, French Pro and Wembley) the best of the trio was clearly Stolle. He ended 4th at the US Pro and at the French Pro reaching thus two semifinals while Ralston never got beyond the quarters and Gonzales just played one of these events and lost his only match. In the little less prestigious tournaments (Madison Square Garden, LA, Berkeley, World Pro (Oklahoma), Cincinatti, US Pro hardcourt (Saint Louis), Newport Beach), Ralston’s record was the best of the three : he reached the semis at the MSG and in LA (he ended 3rd), Oklahoma (3rd), St. Louis (3rd) and Cincinatti (4th) whereas Stolle “only” reached two semifinals at Newport Beach and St. Louis (but ended 4th). Now in “third” class events because of little less dense fields (BBC2-Wembley, Boston Pro (not the US Pro), Newport RR, Johannesburg-Ellis Park, Durban, East London, Prot Elizabeth, Cape Town, Transvaal Pro, Coubertin Pro (the April tournament, not the French Pro), Stolle had once again undoubtedly best records, the main reason being that Ralston under surgery couldn’t tour in South Africa. As I’ve explained before, strength and health are the first qualities of a sportsman so Ralston’s weakness has to be taken into account for a ranking. In those tournaments, Stolle won one, the Transvaal Pro and reached 3 finals (Durban, East London and Cape Town) whereas Ralston reached only one (BBC2-Wembley where he had “only” to beat Laver in a pro set but I recognize it was a great performance then to take a set from Laver who at the time was omnipotent (5 ? tournament wins just previously). And Gonzales once again just played two of those events (Boston Pro and Coubertin Pro) losing two matches (with no win) therefore Pancho was again the third of the troupe in that case. So Stolle was better than Ralston in very great events and in third class tournaments while Ralston was better in great (i.e. second class tournaments) and in direct meetings (I recall 14-8 ). After my last week-end check I would be inclined to place Stolle ahead Ralston and Gonzales but I have still great doubts and I can’t certify it all, something retains me in particular Ralston’s so good win-loss record against all the pros except the top two Australians. I’m not even completely sure that Stolle was better than Gonzales but I have less much doubt than for the Stolle-Ralston comparison. In conclusion for the moment I can’t solve the “pro” problem.
Now have a look at the pro-amateur comparison problem.
Robert, about Stolle you told me that he had improved in 1967 because he should face top opponents. I’ve told you that he wrote in his autobiography that he had reached his apogee before turning pro. He said that he had never been as good as in late 1965 for the Davis Cup Challenge Round and in late 1966 (particularly in the semifinal at Forest Hills against Emerson which he considers his best ever match). He wrote that in the pro ranks in 1967 he wasn’t in a good frame of mind : he had several explanations for it. The first one was the passage from successive tournaments format to tour matches. Loss in an amateur tournament meant elimination but loss in a pro tour match wasn’t definitive because you had another opportunity to play and eventually win next day. Stolle explained that he had difficulties to motivate himself well under such new conditions. The second reason was that the pro competition was then often held under lights : he said that he didn’t play well because he didn’t serve well under such conditions. Thirdly he gave a temporary reason : during his first couple of nights in New Zealand (early 1967) his eye suddenly got very irritated with blood vessels bursting. The medical conclusion was an eye strain supposedly from the poor lightning. Stolle concluded by saying that the seasoned veterans could beat him 8 or 9 times out of 10 and that he thought about going back to the bank (where he had worked when he was an amateur).
So perhaps on one hand a part of Stolle made some progress because he faced better players than before but on the other hand his mental strength was possibly declining because of the reasons listed before. Therefore I think that Stolle hasn’t improved between 1966 and 1967 or hasn’t “much” improved. I explain the “much”.
The only moment when Stolle played great in 1967 was in the South African tour. The South African tournaments were only “third class” tournaments if my 1967 events ranking is accurate. Those tournaments weren’t as prestigious as the Big 4 or even as the second class tournaments (mainly held in the US) : those were usually “only” 10-man events with Gonzales absent all along. But the good point for Stolle is that he won the South African tour, that is he had the better results in the tournaments. This is the only period of 1967 when Stolle globally dominated Laver, Rosewall and Gimeno in “pure” results and in head-to-head meetings he led Laver 4-1 and Gimeno 2-1 whereas in the rest of the year those players regularly dominated Stolle. So in September 1967 it is likely that Stolle played better than before (and after) and it was on outdoor courts contrary to most of pro events. This is what makes me think that he has perhaps a little progressed in 1967 but it was the only true bright period of Stolle as a pro.
Ralston was in a different frame of mind. At the BBC2-Wembley tourney the witnesses said that Ralston had markedly improved with a service vastly better and Ralson confirmed that in British Lawn Tennis - May 1967. “I feel happier playing as a professional than I did as an amateur… What I didn’t do was get many first serves in on my bad days (as an amateur). Now (as a pro) if I am serving badly I get three-quarters in.” Before the BBC2-Wembley event Ralston had beaten Rosewall twice in Australia and the third time in Montréal (in a pro set, a result missing from McCauley’s book) probably showing Ralston’s improvement in the pro ranks (though since the BBC2 event Rosewall won all the next 1967 meetings).
1 Laver, far behind 2 Rosewall, 3 Gimeno (just behind Ken). After this is very hard to make any ranking and for the moment I rank equally at 4th place Stolle, Ralston, Newcombe, Emerson (I’ve sent all of you a long explanation saying that for me Emerson was a) at least the equal of Newcombe and b) at the best level of his entire career (his best game at the Australian and French amateur Chps). And then only in 8th place (or even lower) I put Gonzales because he played too little and in particular he missed almost all the great events (except Wimbledon Pro and some US tournaments). Next years at the beginning of the open era he continued not to play much but he rarely missed great events : in 1968 he played all the open Slam tournaments and all the great pro tournaments (US Pro, French Pro, Wembley, Madison Square Garden) and in 1969 all the 3 grass “Slams” and many great open or pro events. In 1967, 1966 and 1965 he had avoided many of the great events. This is why perhaps my Gonzales’s rankings, 8th, 4th, 3rd respectively are perhaps slightly overrated. After all perhaps I should rank Buchholz (pro) and Mulligan-Roche-Santana (amateurs) tied or even above Pancho.[/i]
I haven't seen your post when I added the 4 next ones but in those you will see that I rank Gimeno ahead of Emerson.
In 1959 I'm not sure but Gimeno was possibly better than Emerson.
In 1960 until July (before Gimeno played his first pro matches in August), the Spaniard was possibly better too (he won Monte Carlo and the Queen's and beat Emerson in their only single meeting in 1960 known by me at the Queen's) and in the pro circuit, Gimeno’s record wasn’t great but quite good.
Between 1961 and 1967 the only time I rank Emerson as high as Gimeno is in 1964 (tied for 4th place) : see the 4 previous posts.
I haven't studied their open years which weren't their best ones. I think Gimeno's peak was in 1966-1967 and Emerson's in 1967 (according to some Emmo never played better than in the Australian amateur and French amateur champs that year and he was also the best "Davis cupper" of the year (I recall that the Davis Cup was for the last year in 1967 the greatest amateur event) and he also won the prestigious Pacific Southwest amateur champs and the German amateur champs. Emmo also beat Newk in their only 1967 match).
For 1968 Robert Geist ranked them respectively #11 and #12 (just outside the Top10) giving Gimeno the edge because he led Emerson 6-2 in their 1968 direct meetings.
In 1969-1970 at a very quick glance they were both quite equal.
In 1971 both declined again and were close to the bottom of the Top20.
In 1972 Emerson was perhaps still at the bottom of the Top20 (with 3 finals but no win) while Gimeno was around the 10th place due to his Garros win and Smith's two defeats (but on clay at Garros and Davis Cup).
In 1973 Emerson was still in the Top20 this time clearly ahead of Gimeno who lost a final to Okker at Hilversum (I don't understand why Gimeno wasn't ranked in the ATP ranking : sure he played little that year but his Hilversum final should have given him some ATP points).
Since 1974 Emmo's record is weak (and Gimeno's nil)
So you can see that except some years when it is hard to compare them (1959, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, besides in those years they weren't at their best) the only year when Emerson clearly surpassed Gimeno was 1973 whereas Gimeno was always better in my opinion the other years (except 1964 when they were equal for me).
Here are some Robert Geist's statements (to be finalized) :
Rosewall vs. Emerson is 18:7 and Rosewall vs Gimeno is 74:31(probaly not final standing).
Gimeno won 7 pro tournaments from 1963 to 1967 where he beat both Laver and Rosewall (!!) and furthermore 22 tournaments where he beat one of the two giants!!
Gimeno was a very good, solid all court player, who - in the contrary to his countryman Santana - was a bit predictable. I think he accepted the strict pecking order, established on the smaller pro tour of the sixties, and in big matches had somewhat of an inferiority complex to Aussies Laver (in particular) and Rosewall. I saw him sometimes live: He was very tall, a bit stiff looking, but had an elegant style. From his casual style and somber face he looked a bit aristocratic and noble. Good, hard serve, solid groundies, his best weapon was his big forehand. In the 1964 book 'The Art of Tennis' by Alan Trengove on the leading pros of the day, Gimeno represented the forehand (Gonzo the serve, Rosewall the backhand, Hoad the smash and volley, Laver the lefthanded play, Segura the brain). His best pro win pobably was his 1966 Barcelona win, when on his home turf, he beat Rosewall and Laver (in a tight five setter in the final). Another good win was his MSG win over Ashe in spring 1969. Overall, he wasn't a pure clay specialist, but also had a very good indoors record.
Gimeno and Emerson were probably on the same technical standard. In big matches, especially on grass, i would give prime Emmo (1961-1967) the slight nod, because he was more aggressive and success-minded.
He was also underrated in Spain, which was a country that did not accept too well Gimeno´s status as a pro, and rather had a devotion for Santana and his amateur big successes (4 GS and 2 DC finals, which put tennis into the spanish map).I think Gimeno´s win at the 72 FO was an act of justice and honoured his great talent.In the 60´s, Australia won everything singlehandedly...but the rest were 2 spanish players, who were the only ones to really challenge OZ supremacy.Each one in their own field ( pro and amateur).
where can I find the draws of tournaments such as Noordwijk Pro 1964, Milan Pro 1965 and Barcelona Pro 1966?
Gimeno won them all, I was curious to see the results...
Gimeno led the Spanish DC team for a while, and most of the players considered him the best possible coach.He was a team guy.
I don't know that much about Andres Gimeno apart from him winning the French Open one year. I didn't see him play live, but it seems he was a fine player. So, who was the better of the two Spanish players, Manuel Santana or Gimeno?
They played at the FO fourth round, back in 1969, their only official meeting.They were 2 sets all...and Santana retired in the fifth set after a feet injury.
In 1969, Gimeno lost to Laver at the AO final and the FO quarter finals.Santana never reached a major stage at any GS tournament after 1966 or 1967.
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