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-   -   Why Laver didnt win a slam after 1969? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=311556)

bonga77 02-06-2010 04:44 PM

Why Laver didnt win a slam after 1969?
 
After having the greatest year in the history of tennis, Laver never won a slam.
What happened?

davey25 02-06-2010 04:52 PM

Many of the most important events werent the slams back then with rival tours and the big money exhibitions that were giving out more than the slams, the Aussie and to some degree French Open status, etc..... He didnt even play many slams he might have won. Though he did play 4 the next 2 years in 1970 and 1971 and his results in those were not good it turned out, which was kind of strange as his results on tour and vs the top guys in general were very strong still at that point.

bonga77 02-06-2010 05:08 PM

Rosewall reached multipel slam finals after 69 but Laver didnt reach even a slam final. very strange.

hoodjem 02-06-2010 05:14 PM

I've always thought for Laver it was psychological after 1969.

davey25 02-06-2010 05:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hoodjem (Post 4377297)
I've always thought for Laver it was psychological after 1969.

Do you think it was lack of hunger having already achieved everything or it was something else?

timnz 02-06-2010 05:44 PM

Not allowed
 
Some of the Slams, due to the tour Laver was in, were barred to him eg the 1970 Australian and the 1971 French. Those two tournaments it was obvious that he could have won.

Evidence - He won the Dunlop event in Sydney a month after the 1970 Australian Open, a tournament that was best of 5 sets and had a better field than that the Australian Open (and had most of the quality players from the Australian Open in it).

In the 1971 French Open example, he easily beat the guy who was the 1970 & 1971 French Champion ,on clay at the Italian Open, just before the French Open started.

Mustard 02-06-2010 06:05 PM

Rod Laver had a very surprising loss at 1970 Wimbledon to Roger Taylor in the fourth round. He was never his old dominant self in the slams again after that, and early open era tennis politics got in the way as well.

Still, Laver's results elsewhere were still very good in the early 1970s. Rather odd that his slam performances at the time didn't reflect that.

CollegeBound 02-06-2010 06:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bonga77 (Post 4377201)
After having the greatest year in the history of tennis, Laver never won a slam.
What happened?

Very, very simple answer. Not psychological (he was still the top player on the WCT tour) and no conspiracy. The primary reason, which was obvious to everyone who knew him or his family and is probably touched on in his book, is that is that he didn't want to be away from his wife and children any more than necessary. Unlike Rosewall and others, he had a very young family and had only been married a few years. He felt that his wife had sacrificed enough to get him to the Grand Slam and he owed her the same courtesy. That meant cutting right back on playing the majors and staying as close to home as possible. Simple enough.

Some men are just thoroughly decent and Laver was one of them. End of story.

CyBorg 02-06-2010 08:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CollegeBound (Post 4377415)
Very, very simple answer. Not psychological (he was still the top player on the WCT tour) and no conspiracy. The primary reason, which was obvious to everyone who knew him or his family and is probably touched on in his book, is that is that he didn't want to be away from his wife and children any more than necessary. Unlike Rosewall and others, he had a very young family and had only been married a few years. He felt that his wife had sacrificed enough to get him to the Grand Slam and he owed her the same courtesy. That meant cutting right back on playing the majors and staying as close to home as possible. Simple enough.

Some men are just thoroughly decent and Laver was one of them. End of story.

I'm not buying this at all. Laver played loaded schedules for years after 1969, constantly travelling. He couldn't spare two weeks for a major? Nah.

The psychological stuff is true, at least in part - Laver struggled big-time with his serving for quite a while in the 70s. Something that suddenly struck him, I don't know for what reason.

The stuff about him being barred from some majors is also true.

pc1 02-06-2010 08:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CyBorg (Post 4377780)
I'm not buying this at all. Laver played loaded schedules for years after 1969, constantly travelling. He couldn't spare two weeks for a major? Nah.

The psychological stuff is true, at least in part - Laver struggled big-time with his serving for quite a while in the 70s. Something that suddenly struck him, I don't know for what reason.

The stuff about him being barred from some majors is also true.

You're correct Cyborg. I will quote from Laver's book "The Education of a Tennis Player" I had no thought of another Grand Slam in 1970, simply because our pro group (Lamar Hunt's World Championship Tennis, which took over the MacCall-Podesta operation) did not enter the Australian or French Opens. The deal wasn't right.


So I would gather from this that Laver stayed true to his pro group and didn't or couldn't entered the first two majors.

Chopin 02-06-2010 09:38 PM

Fascinating thread.

urban 02-06-2010 11:05 PM

Laver at 32 went for the money, when he had all the titles. He played too much since 1968/69, which cost him a certain physical and more a mental freshness, to prepare properly for the Slams. Newcombe for instance, focussed for Wimbledon 1970/71 with a special 4 weeks of preparation.
Laver's 1970 Wimbledon loss to Taylor was maybe his weakest hour, he played horrible. Afterwards he was sort of relieved to finally lose at Wim, where he was unbeaten since 10 years. The expectations to always win, had got to him. Technically, his serve got weaker in the 70s resulting in double-faults, and the other guys saw more chances. After the 1971 season, he reduced hs schedule, played only a half season of tennis and skipped Wimbledon and most majors. He concentrated on tennis ranches, a new big business factor in the tennis boom years, which he run together with Emerson.

hoodjem 02-07-2010 09:27 AM

Maybe my definition of psychological is too broad:
"He felt that his wife had sacrificed enough to get him to the Grand Slam and he owed her the same courtesy."
"I had no thought of another Grand Slam in 1970"
"cost him a certain physical and more a mental freshness,"
"relieved to finally lose at Wim, where he was unbeaten since 10 years"

I would call all of these factors psychological.

I believe that the motivation to do what it takes to win just one slam was not there, after (because of contract deals) he could not win the calendar Grand Slam (because he could not enter the Australian Open).

In other words, after you've won all four in one year, can you really get yourself motivated to worry about just one?

(Also by 1970 Laver was supremely focused on making money? I believe that the emphasis on the greater significance of the slams that we have today was not quite so all-consuming in 1970 as it is now. Did the slams offer the highest purses of the time?)

El Diablo 02-07-2010 09:41 AM

Laver turned 31 in 1969. I think the overwhelming majority of slam winners are younger than that.

SgtJohn 02-07-2010 09:48 AM

Hi everybody,

I'm back after a long absence... Happy to see that topics are still very interesting around here :)

I'm with Cyborg and urban here.

I think the main factors are
1) Money : playing, among others, the almost forgotten Champion's Classic proved and 'offer he couldn't refuse', and who are we to judge? Tennis players did not have a lifetime of endorsements, commenting gigs and sometimes talk-shows ahead of them as they have today...

2)History: people who were watching tennis in these days might correct me, but I feel there was less talk about history, all-time greatness, etc. Few people cared about Tilden or Doherty in the 70s, so Laver being the absolute king of his era, that might have taken away some motivation to crush records at Wimbledon or the US Open. Even if Federer is no tennis history expert (he might be, for a player, actually), there is a sense that he'll always have another feat from the past to beat, that is more prevalent in the press.

3)Context: the early Open era was a revolution that blew away a lot of tennis's conventional wisdom... This was probably the time were the Majors were the least...major! Even if others went for Newcombe or Rosewall, in late 1970, the Times of London clearly named Laver the world's top player, despite mediocre Slam results. After his 1973 Dallas success, Stan Smith stated he felt for the first time like he had surpassed the Rocket...though he had won 2 majors + a Masters crown in the past 3 years, and Laver had lost at every occasion...
So it is likely that Laver was simply adjusting to the criteria of his time. If the journalists and fans had endlessly discussed about his decline after his Wimbledon loss, as they would today, he might have prepared a lot better for the next edition...

Have a nice evening,
Jonathan

pc1 02-07-2010 02:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SgtJohn (Post 4378924)
Hi everybody,

I'm back after a long absence... Happy to see that topics are still very interesting around here :)

I'm with Cyborg and urban here.

I think the main factors are
1) Money : playing, among others, the almost forgotten Champion's Classic proved and 'offer he couldn't refuse', and who are we to judge? Tennis players did not have a lifetime of endorsements, commenting gigs and sometimes talk-shows ahead of them as they have today...

2)History: people who were watching tennis in these days might correct me, but I feel there was less talk about history, all-time greatness, etc. Few people cared about Tilden or Doherty in the 70s, so Laver being the absolute king of his era, that might have taken away some motivation to crush records at Wimbledon or the US Open. Even if Federer is no tennis history expert (he might be, for a player, actually), there is a sense that he'll always have another feat from the past to beat, that is more prevalent in the press.

3)Context: the early Open era was a revolution that blew away a lot of tennis's conventional wisdom... This was probably the time were the Majors were the least...major! Even if others went for Newcombe or Rosewall, in late 1970, the Times of London clearly named Laver the world's top player, despite mediocre Slam results. After his 1973 Dallas success, Stan Smith stated he felt for the first time like he had surpassed the Rocket...though he had won 2 majors + a Masters crown in the past 3 years, and Laver had lost at every occasion...
So it is likely that Laver was simply adjusting to the criteria of his time. If the journalists and fans had endlessly discussed about his decline after his Wimbledon loss, as they would today, he might have prepared a lot better for the next edition...

Have a nice evening,
Jonathan


Probably everyone was right. It's most likely all these factors but wouldn't it have been great if Laver worked hard to tried for two Grand Slams in a row. I know he lost at Wimbledon but I wonder if he would have lost if he prepared for it heavily. Perhaps he did and lost anyway.

Andres 02-07-2010 02:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mustard (Post 4377412)
Rod Laver had a very surprising loss at 1970 Wimbledon to Roger Taylor in the fourth round. He was never his old dominant self in the slams again after that, and early open era tennis politics got in the way as well.

Still, Laver's results elsewhere were still very good in the early 1970s. Rather odd that his slam performances at the time didn't reflect that.

Roger Taylor


or

Roger Taylor?


:D

hoodjem 02-09-2010 06:06 PM

Nice post Andres.


Oh well, back to reality: "earth to Andres, earth to Andres?"

muddlehead 02-10-2010 09:42 AM

for those having trouble imagining a world where majors didn't matter that much. think of a time when the biggest thing in men's tennis was the davis cup.

gzhpcu 02-10-2010 09:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bonga77 (Post 4377201)
After having the greatest year in the history of tennis, Laver never won a slam.
What happened?

Laver already won the Grand Slam in 1962. He had to wait till open tennis arrived to repeat the Grand Slam in 1969. Who knows how many he could have won in between. In 1974 he, at 36 was still ranked number 4. Nobody else has achieved this.


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