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timnz 07-18-2011 10:50 PM

Grand Slam equivalents
 
Just after viewing the video on the 1975 WCT finals and the comments in the video, that at the time it was viewed as a major and the Australian Open wasn't. (See commentry about 2 minutes from end where it says that the 1975 WCT finals was Arthur Ashe's first major win in 7 years. Note: Ashe won the 1968 US Open, the 1970 Australian Open before the 1975 WCT finals tournament).

This got me thinking that (And this has been confirmed by a number of places I have read in 1970's tennis publications) for all intents and purposes that we should treat the WCT finals as a Major and not consider the Australian Open a major during that time period. Certainly between 1972 and 1982 the Australian Open was certainly not really considered a major by the players. The years around the end one could debate. The WCT finals started in 1971, the same year the Australian Open had a deep field (which was the exception in those years). 1983 the top players started coming back to the Australian Open, but in losing the semi's in late 1985 Lendl commented that he didn't believe the Australian Open was a major really (might have just been hard feelings in losing... don't know.... he normally was a really straight talker though). Certainly by January 1988 when the Australian Open moved to Flinders Park on hard court it was a reconsidered a full major. The only question is the 1983 to 1987 period.

So looking at the careers of some players who until 1983 didn't take the Australian too seriously:

McEnroe - you could add at least 3 or 4 of his 5 WCT final wins to his 7 Grand Slam victories to have 10 or 11 equivalent majors.

Borg - you could add his 1 WCT final win to his 11 Grand Slams to have 12 equivalent majors.

Rosewall - I think he is the same - you take off the 1972 Australian Open but add on the 1972 WCT. The 1971 Australian Open win should stay on his resume because it was a deep field that year, hence you can't include his 1971 WCT finals win.

Lendl - you could add his 1982 and 1985 WCT final wins to have 10 equivalent majors.

Connors - you could take of his 1974 Australian and add on his two WCT finals wins to have an equivalent 9 majors.


Note: To those who say that the WCT finals had a much smaller field that a Grand Slam event... remember the qualification standard to get into the event was much higher than a Grand Slam ie players already had to qualify by being high up the WCT points system.

Nadal_Power 07-19-2011 01:45 AM

Article about AO 1985 :

Quote:

If the Australian Open was tennis's long-awaited this-settles-everything playoff for No. 1—jostling at the bottom of the world to get to the top—obviously we should all stick to bowl games. Boris Becker, for example, competing on grass for the first time since his stunning victory at Wimbledon, stared the No. 1 spot in the face in Melbourne and lost in the first round to Michiel Schapers, whose ranking on the ATP computer (188) is surpassed by the likes of Alessandro De Minicis, Alejandro Ganzabal, Eleuterio Martins and the legendary Givaldo Alves Barbosa. Schapers is a Dutchman. But Becker, 18, closed out his season really in dutch.

For another example, John McEnroe, the touring pro out of Bic, had an extremely close shave with sanity. After scuffling with a reporter, spitting on a photographer—well, how is a guy supposed to react when somebody wants to take a picture of him with Ryan O'Neal's daughter, smile?—complaining about the court and insulting most everybody in the country but the koala bears, McEnroe lost 2-6, 6-3, 1-6, 6-4, 6-0 to Slobodan Zivojinovic in the quarterfinals. Mac then hightailed it out of Kooyong Stadium so fast that he skipped a compulsory meeting with his close pals from the media. Maybe Junior was hurrying to the bank to pay the $3,750 in fines he had accumulated during the tournament. Whatever, as he departed the court after losing, he screamed at his conqueror, "You're going to pay for this." Zivojinovic, a 6'6", 200-pound Yugoslav whom his manager, Ion Tiriac, calls "Rambo in sneakers," is known around the circuit as Bobo. For his verbal transgression Mad Mac may hereafter be referred to as Dumbo.

As for Ivan Lendl, he came to Australia riding a 27-match, five-tournament winning streak that started at the U.S. Open. However, Lendl's No. I ranking was about as solid as his golf, which, incidentally, he played more of in Melbourne than tennis. In October, Lendl opted out of a Czechoslovakia- West Germany Davis Cup singles confrontation with Becker in Frankfurt because of an "injured elbow." The next week he was seen blasting away in exhibitions in Jericho, N.Y. and that other tennis mecca, the Meadowlands in New Jersey.

In Melbourne, Lendl seemed ready to quit in his semifinal with Stefan Edberg. This time he complained of a bum knee. "I consider myself fortunate to have escaped serious injury," he said after bravely finishing the match, which he lost 9-7 in the fifth set. Oh, well. As Lendl pointed out, Kooyong "should be paved over" and the Australian Open was a "second-class" event anyway. What does it matter?

It matters to Mats Wilander, who had won the tournament in 1983 and '84 and made it to the finals this year before losing 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 to Edberg on Monday in the first All-Swedish final of a Grand Slam championship. Just 19, Edberg is the only player ever to win all four Grand Slam junior events in a single year, but this was his first appearance in an adult Slam final. Edberg will be in many more.

So who's No. 1? Wilander? He won the French Open, coming from behind to beat Lendl in the final. He also reached the semis of the U.S. Open and can enhance his claim with a victory next week over Becker in the Davis Cup finals in Munich. But Wilander went five months without a tournament victory, and he suffered two embarrassing losses to Thierry Tulasne. Also, his cumulative head-to-head record against the rest of the contenders—McEnroe, Lendl and Becker—in '85 is 3-5. ( Lendl is 9-4, McEnroe 6-4, Becker a kaboom 1-5.) But what most hurts Wilander is a first-round loss at Wimbledon to Zivojinovic. Make Bobo spoiler of the year. Wilander, however, avenged that defeat with a 7-5, 6-1, 6-3 win over Zivojinovic in the semifinals last week.

Is McEnroe No. 1? Are you kidding? For only the second year since he began semidominating the game in 1978, Mac didn't win a major title, and he reached only one Slam final, the U.S. Open. What's more, McEnroe was just 4-2 against Bjorn Borg—who?—in their Rip-off Over America tour.

Another sneakered fossil, Jimmy Connors, didn't bother traveling Down Under to challenge the Big Four. On the year limbo was 0-6 against them, not to mention 0-1 against Mike DePalmer and 0-1 against Jose Higueras, now retired. This must be the first year Connors has gone without a tournament victory since he was in swaddling clothes. He did, however, show up last week on The Tonight Show with Joan Rivers. Can we talk? Can I play?.

So who is No. 1? Heinz Gunthardt, who reached the late rounds in three Slam events and won Wimbledon doubles with Balazs Taroczy? Ken Flach, for his hair ball that basically won the U.S. Open doubles for him and Robert Seguso? Bobo, for his twin humongous upsets? Shlomo Glickstein? Borg?

Mostly by default, all the tennis magazines, human-rights organizations, dating services, political-action groups and whoever else names a No. 1 will choose Lendl. After all, he did put together winning streaks of four and five tournaments and did not suffer what the players call a "bad loss" all year. Last week he also matched McEnroe in diatribes and punishments, going over the fine limit that draws those gossamer 21-day suspensions covering a period in which neither man planned to play anything anywhere anyway. Still, go ahead and give Lendl No. 1.

Not since 1968 had both the men's and women's titles at the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open gone to six different players. But at least the scramble for the top spot among the women was settled definitively in Melbourne. Wimbledon winner Martina Navratilova barely got by U.S. Open champion Hana Mandlikova to meet Chris Evert Lloyd, who won at Paris, for the 67th time. Navratilova prevailed 6-2, 4-6, 6-2—"one set for the world," according to the inimitable Bud Collins. Navratilova finished the year with a 4-2 record against Evert Lloyd.

Back on the men's side, the most perplexing question in Melbourne wasn't who's No. 1 but what's up with McEnroe. Might he retire behind a picket fence to raise Little Darlings with Tatum? Might he go off to string rackets with the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh? Might he stay with demon tennis long enough either to retire all the trophies or to zap all the lines persons, or both?

In Melbourne, McEnroe was at his most enigmatic. Once he demanded referee Peter Bellenger's presence on the court and then asserted just as strongly that Bellenger had no business there. McEnroe also told colleagues he didn't know whether "to try or to tank" in Australia—and there seemed plenty of the latter in his debacle against Zivojinovic. That was the first time Mac had ever been shut out in a fifth set.

Maybe it was merely the surroundings. Aborigines once stalked winged meals with boomerangs on the site of what is now Kooyong. The name means "haunt of the wild fowl" in their native tongue. In Melbourne, tennis again produced weird birds.

Limpinhitter 07-19-2011 05:54 AM

If you are quoting someone else's work, you should give them credit and provide a link to the original, if available.

egn 07-19-2011 05:56 AM

Careful the new wave of fans will call you on propoganda and tell you that these articles know nothing and the Australian Open at that time just like it is now was a major.

hoodjem 07-19-2011 09:00 AM

Sgt. John did a great job with this very question (going way back to 1879) before. It appears that he did not rank the AO consistently as a major until the 80s, and RG as a major consistently until the 1970s.

Here's his original post--
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showp...2&postcount=10

hoodjem 07-19-2011 09:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SgtJohn (Post 1892492)
(Sorry about the terrible layout, I had to copy this from MS Word directly, and it didn't keep any of my page settings...)

2007
AO Federer (Gonzalez)
RG Nadal (Federer)
Wim Federer (Nadal)
USO Federer (Djokovic)

2006
AO Federer (Baghdatis)
RG Nadal (Federer)
Wim Federer (Nadal)
USO Federer (Roddick)

2005
AO Safin (Hewitt)
RG Nadal (Puerta)
Wim Federer (Roddick)
USO Federer (Agassi)

2004
AO Federer (Safin)
RG Gaudio (Coria)
Wim Federer (Roddick)
USO Federer (Hewitt)

2003
AO Agassi (Schuettler)
RG Ferrero (Verkerk)
Wim Federer (Philippoussis)
USO Roddick (Ferrero)

2002
AO Johansson (Safin)
RG Costa (Ferrero)
Wim Hewitt (Nalbandian)
USO Sampras (Agassi)

2001
AO Agassi (Clιment)
RG Kuerten (Corretja)
Wim Ivanisevic (Rafter)
USO Hewitt (Sampras)

2000
AO Agassi (Kafelnikov)
RG Kuerten (Norman)
Wim Sampras (Rafter)
USO Safin (Sampras)

1999
AO Kafelnikov (Enqvist)
RG Agassi (Medvedev)
Wim Sampras (Agassi)
USO Agassi (Martin)

1998
AO Korda (Rios)
RG Moya (Corretja)
Wim Sampras (Ivanisevic)
USO Rafter (Philippoussis)

1997
AO Sampras (Moya)
RG Kuerten (Bruguera)
Wim Sampras (Pioline)
USO Rafter (Rusedski)

1996
AO Becker (Chang)
RG Kafelnikov (Stich)
Wim Krajicek (Washington)
USO Sampras (Chang)

1995
AO Agassi (Sampras)
RG Muster (Chang)
Wim Sampras (Becker)
USO Sampras (Agassi)

1994
AO Sampras (Martin)
RG Bruguera (Berasategui)
Wim Sampras (Ivanisevic)
USO Agassi (Stich)

1993
AO Courier (Edberg)
RG Bruguera (Courier)
Wim Sampras (Courier)
USO Sampras (Pioline)

1992
AO Courier (Edberg)
RG Courier (Korda)
Wim Agassi (Ivanisevic)
USO Edberg (Sampras)

1991
AO Becker (Lendl)
RG Courier (Agassi)
Wim Stich (Becker)
USO Edberg (Courier)

1990
AO Lendl (Edberg)
RG Gomez (Agassi)
Wim Edberg (Becker)
USO Sampras (Agassi)

1989
AO Lendl (Mecir)
RG Chang (Edberg)
Wim Becker (Edberg)
USO Becker (Lendl)

1988
AO Wilander (Cash)
RG Wilander (Leconte)
Wim Edberg (Becker)
USO Wilander (Lendl)

1987
AO Edberg (Cash)
RG Lendl (Wilander)
Wim Cash (Lendl)
USO Lendl (Wilander)

1986
RG Lendl (Pernfors)
Wim Becker (Lendl)
USO Lendl (Mecir)
Boca West Lendl (Wilander)

1985
AO Edberg (Wilander)
RG Wilander (Lendl)
Wim Becker (Curren)
USO Lendl (McEnroe)

1984
AO Wilander (Curren)
RG Lendl (McEnroe)
Wim McEnroe (Connors)
USO McEnroe (Lendl)

1983
AO Wilander (Lendl)
RG Noah (Wilander)
Wim McEnroe (Lewis)
USO Connors (Lendl)

1982
RG Wilander (Vilas)
Wim Connors (McEnroe)
USO Connors (Lendl)
Masters Lendl (McEnroe)

1981
RG Borg (Lendl)
Wim McEnroe (Borg)
USO McEnroe (Borg)
Masters Lendl (Gerulaitis)

1980
RG Borg (Gerulaitis)
Wim Borg (McEnroe)
USO McEnroe (Borg)
Masters Borg (Lendl)

1979
RG Borg (Pecci)
Wim Borg (Tanner)
USO McEnroe (Gerulaitis)
Masters Borg (Gerulaitis)

1978
Philadelphia Connors (Tanner)
RG Borg (Vilas)
Wim Borg (Connors)
USO Connors (Borg)

1977
RG Vilas (Gottfried)
Wim Borg (Connors)
USO Vilas (Connors)
Masters Connors (Borg)

1976
Philadelphia Connors (Borg)
RG Panatta (Solomon)
Wim Borg (Nastase)
USO Connors (Borg)

1975
RG Borg (Vilas)
Wim Ashe (Connors)
USO Orantes (Connors)
Masters Nastase (Borg)

1974
WCT Finals Newcombe (Borg)
RG Borg (Orantes)
Wim Connors (Rosewall)
USO Connors (Rosewall)

1973
WCT Finals Smith (Ashe)
RG Nastase (Pilic)
USO Newcombe (Kodes)
Masters Nastase (Okker)

1972
WCT Finals Rosewall (Laver)
RG Gimeno (Proisy)
PSW Los Angeles Smith (Tanner)
USO Nastase (Ashe)

1971
AO Rosewall (Ashe)
Rome Laver (Kodes)
Wim Newcombe (Smith)
USO Smith (Kodes)

1970
Sydney Laver (Rosewall)
Wim Newcombe (Rosewall)
USO Rosewall (Roche)
Barcelone Santana (Laver)

1969
AO Laver (Gimeno)
RG Laver (Rosewall)
Wim Laver (Newcombe)
USO Laver (Roche)

1968
RG Rosewall (Laver)
Wimbledon Laver (Roche)
PSW Los Angeles Laver (Rosewall)
USO Ashe (Okker)

1967
Wembley Laver (Rosewall)
World Pro Laver (Rosewall)
Wimbledon Pro Laver (Rosewall)
US Pro Laver (Gimeno)

1966
Wembley Laver (Rosewall)
Barcelona Gimeno (Rosewall)
New York MSG Pro Rosewall (Laver)
US Pro Laver (Rosewall)

1965
French Pro Rosewall (Laver)
Milan Pro Gimeno (Rosewall)
Wembley Laver (Gimeno)
US Pro Rosewall (Laver)

1964
Noordwijk Pro Gimeno (Rosewall)
French Pro Rosewall (Laver)
Wembley Laver (Rosewall)
US Pro Laver (Gonzales)

1963
French Pro Rosewall (Laver)
Wembley Rosewall (Hoad)
US Pro Rosewall (Laver)
Italian Pro Rosewall (Laver)

1962
French Pro Rosewall (Gimeno)
Wembley Rosewall (Hoad)
Stockholm Pro Rosewall (Gimeno)
Wimbledon Laver (Mulligan)

1961
Geneva Pro Gonzales (Rosewall)
Copenhagen Pro Gonzales (Olmedo)
French Pro Rosewall (Gonzales)
Wembley Rosewall (Hoad)

1960
Victorian Pro Hoad (Rosewall)
World Cham’p Tour Gonzales (Rosewall)
French Pro Rosewall (Hoad)
Wembley Rosewall (Segura)

1959
Melbourne Pro Sedgman (Gonzales)
French Pro Trabert (Sedgman)
Los Angeles Pro RR Gonzales (Hoad)
Tourn. Of Champ. Hoad (Gonzales)

1958
Australian Pro Sedgman (Trabert)
French Pro Rosewall (Hoad)
Wembley Sedgman (Trabert)
Tourn. Of Champ. Gonzales (Rosewall)

1957
Australian Pro Segura (Sedgman)
Wembley Rosewall (Segura)
Tourn. Of Champ. Gonzales (Sedgman)
RG Davidson (Flam)

1956
French Pro Trabert (Gonzales)
Wembley Gonzales (Sedgman)
Tourn. Of Champ. Gonzales (Sedgman)
Wimbledon Hoad (Rosewall)

1955
US Pro Gonzales (Segura)
US Pro Hard Court Gonzales (Segura)
Scarborough Pro Gonzales (Segura)
RG Trabert (Davidson)

1954
Australian Pro Sedgman (Segura)
US Pro Gonzales (Sedgman)
US 4-men Tour Gonzales (Segura)
Roland Garros Trabert (Larsen)

1953
New York Indoor Kramer (Sedgman)
Scarborough Pro Segura (Sedgman)
Wembley Sedgman (Gonzales)
Paris Pro Sedgman (Gonzales)

1952
Phil. Indoor Pro Gonzales (Segura)
Wembley Gonzales (Kramer)
US Pro Segura (Gonzales)
Wimbledon Sedgman (Drobny)

1951
Phil. Indoor Pro Kramer (Gonzales)
Berlin Pro Segura (Earn)
Wembley Gonzales (Segura)
US Pro Segura (Gonzales)

1950
Phil. Indoor Pro Gonzales (Kramer)
Wembley Gonzales (Van Horn)
Paris Pro Indoors Segura (Kramer)
US Pro Segura (Kovacs)

1949
Scarborough Kramer (Budge)
Wembley Kramer (Riggs)
Barcelona Kramer (Segura)
Forest Hills Gonzales (Schroeder)

1948
Melbourne Pro Kramer (Pails)
US Claycourt Pro Kovacs (Lufler)
US Pro Kramer (Riggs)
Davis Cup Schroeder (Parker)

1947
US Indoor Pro Riggs (Budge)
Buffalo Pro Kovacs (Riggs)
US Pro Riggs (Budge)
RG Asboth (Sturgess)

1946
Southern Pro Budge (Riggs)
Miami Beach Van Horn (Kovacs)
US Pro Riggs (Budge)
US Pro Hard Court Riggs (Budge)

I'll quote the first portion here for ease of reference.

NonP 07-19-2011 09:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by timnz (Post 5845138)
Note: To those who say that the WCT finals had a much smaller field that a Grand Slam event... remember the qualification standard to get into the event was much higher than a Grand Slam ie players already had to qualify by being high up the WCT points system.

This is a good point, and a few other posters have made a similar point on the thread re: the pro majors. Yes, the official majors are best-of-five and feature bigger draws, but the smaller fields of the pro majors/WCT/fill-in-the-blank make it more likely for the entrants to suffer an early upset, as most of them are the very top of the class and you have to face them head-on from the get-go. And of course there are those higher entry requirements.

Still, as has been pointed out countless times, we should be wary of declaring this or that other big event equal to a major as we know it today. It's fine to compare on a case-by-case basis, but we often make the mistake of saying one is more important or difficult than another in general. Not necessarily so, as each has its own set of demands which vary from year to year even at the same tourney. You're really comparing apples to oranges.

Now somewhat on topic, WCT wasn't always the de facto remaining major of the year after Wimbledon, the USO and (with a few exceptions) the FO. Sometimes it was arguably Philadelphia, or Rome in '71 when both Laver and Rosewall didn't enter RG. And of course there was the Masters.

P.S. I see hoodjem beat me to it.

krosero 07-19-2011 12:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hoodjem (Post 5845860)
Sgt. John did a great job with this very question (going way back to 1879) before.

Definitely a great job, and it's interesting, the first year that has the traditional four majors as the top 4 events of the year is 1983.

Quote:

Originally Posted by hoodjem (Post 5845860)
It appears that he did not rank the AO consistently as a major until the 80s, and RG as a major consistently until the 1970s.

Just to be precise, he did consider the Australian and French to be majors, but amateur majors. So they, along with Wimbledon and USO, often did not make it into his top 4 tournaments of the year.

Interesting though that in some years he does rank a traditional major in the top 4. Wimbledon made it in 1956, and RG in 1954-55.

urban 07-19-2011 01:07 PM

I think, he tried to have a clay court event in his top four for each year. In the whole pre open era, it is speculative to name four top events, across amateur and pro events. Generally the top pros were better than the top amateurs, but the differences change a bit over certain periods. In my estimation, until the mid 50s the amateur circuit wasn't that bad against the pro circuit, which had some years with no real circuit at all. The pro circuit became very strong at the end of the 50s, when virtually all top amateurs had turned pro. In the early 60s, some of the best amateurs didn't turn pro - like Emerson and Santana, often due to interventions of the amateur federations. In 1967, two of the best amateurs of 1966 - Stolle and Ralston - had turned pro, just before the advent of open tennis.

pc1 07-19-2011 01:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by urban (Post 5846425)
I think, he tried to have a clay court event in his top four for each year. In the whole pre open era, it is speculative to name four top events, across amateur and pro events. Generally the top pros were better than the top amateurs, but the differences change a bit over certain periods. In my estimation, until the mid 50s the amateur circuit wasn't that bad against the pro circuit, which had some years with no real circuit at all. The pro circuit became very strong at the end of the 50s, when virtually all top amateurs had turned pro. In the early 60s, some of the best amateurs didn't turn pro - like Emerson and Santana, often due to interventions of the amateur federations. In 1967, two of the best amateurs of 1966 - Stolle and Ralston - had turned pro, just before the advent of open tennis.

I would tend to agree. By what basis can you logically rank it? Is it by prestige? Is it by strength of field? If the latter is true then in the 1960's and 1950's none of the classic majors would be ranked at the top? Just the Pro Tour top few tournaments would rank for strength of field. Is it by the views of the pros? If that's the case then it's totally debatable depending who is polled and the mood of the player.

The WCT was considered by many to be a major at one point and clearly the players considered it to be a top tournament but I can see the viewpoints of those in favor of the Australian over the WCT in those years. I still would think in the early 1970's for all intents and purposes the WCT was a major but I wouldn't get upset if someone said it wasn't.

hoodjem 07-19-2011 02:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by krosero (Post 5846395)
Definitely a great job, and it's interesting, the first year that has the traditional four majors as the top 4 events of the year is 1983.

Yes, that just just about right, IMHO.

Quote:

Originally Posted by krosero (Post 5846395)
Just to be precise, he did consider the Australian and French to be majors, but amateur majors. So they, along with Wimbledon and USO, often did not make it into his top 4 tournaments of the year.

Interesting though that in some years he does rank a traditional major in the top 4. Wimbledon made it in 1956, and RG in 1954-55.

Yes, you are correct. I was at a loss what to call them--not always majors, not necessarily slams. I guess his list is of the four tournaments-with-the-best-players-in-the-world for a given year.

timnz 07-19-2011 06:27 PM

WCT finals vs masters vs philly
 
I guess I would have the WCT finals being a higher prestige event than the masters for at least from 1971 through to 1980 and maybe longer.

But that is merely my opinion. What is clear is the downgraded status of the australian open during that period.

My main point is that careers Borg, McEnroe and Connors tend to be judged by today's standards of primarily measuring wins in the 4 current majors. But is that really fair when 1 of those 4 wasn't held in high regard at the time and another event (whether it is WCT, masters or Philly) was the one then players wanted to win at the time. One should never judge by today's standards but rather by the standards present during the time.

pmerk34 07-19-2011 06:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by timnz (Post 5847002)
I guess I would have the WCT finals being a higher prestige event than the masters for at least from 1971 through to 1980 and maybe longer.

But that is merely my opinion. What is clear is the downgraded status of the australian open during that period.

My main point is that careers Borg, McEnroe and Connors tend to be judged by today's standards of primarily measuring wins in the 4 current majors. But is that really fair when 1 of those 4 wasn't held in high regard at the time and another event (whether it is WCT, masters or Philly) was the one then players wanted to win at the time. One should never judge by today's standards but rather by the standards present during the time.

I wish people on this board would do that but many do not, it's easier and lazier to count slams. In the 1970's right up until the mid 80's the main focus was being number one in the world and playing challenges and tournaments where the money was and the other top players were. The Australian Open had terrible facilities and joke prize money. The French Open finally got better in the mid 80's as well. Even Wimbledon was boycotted one year. While some here look back fondly at the Australian Open having metal folding chairs court side with no amenities to speak of for a so called "major" at the time, the players did not. Prestigious tournaments offer top notch facilities and prize money. For decades the French Open and the Australian did not have either.

urban 07-19-2011 10:20 PM

Those lists with the most prestigious events through the years have great merits, but one has always put some perspectives on them. A couple of years ago, i had some discussions with Carlo and Jeffrey Neave about it. We agreed that one should rank them by their draws. For instance, in 1968 the Australian, still not open, was certainly no major, while LA had the best field outside Wim and Forest Hills, but went only to best of 3.
For the pre open era, we simply have to live with this idiotic situation, that there existed two different circuits. Those lists - and that is a good thing -do rewrite the traditional tennis history somewhat, because the classic histories by Danzig, Tingay, even Collins tend to focus on the amateur events and exclude the pro tours. Since McCauley's book we have a solid basis to evaluate the old pro scene. It is to be said, that the pro game did not centre around majors, as the current tour does. Paris was mostly played just one week before Wembley, the US pro didn't always have good fields and so on. Of course, the pros had their own big events, especially Wembley, which they called World Champs, because it had the best public (often 6000 people), the best press (by the competent British tennis writers corps) and even good tv coverage by the BBC. But the greater goal was the tour itself, the whole amount of tournaments and one night stands, distributed over the whole world, on places where they were allowed to play (remind, that the amateur federations often didn't allow the pros, to play at the great venues).
This situation went on in the early open era until the mid 80s. What counted the most, was something like the 'tour' itself. You hadn't a structured circuit like today with four events having much, maybe too much attention. This was the result of politics, by ITF men like Chatrier. The ATP, once the big rival of the ITF, is playing a supporting role today.

pmerk34 07-20-2011 06:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nadal_Power (Post 5845284)
Article about AO 1985 :

Whomever wrote that article seemed to hate the sport.

krosero 07-22-2011 07:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pmerk34 (Post 5847070)
I wish people on this board would do that but many do not, it's easier and lazier to count slams. In the 1970's right up until the mid 80's the main focus was being number one in the world and playing challenges and tournaments where the money was and the other top players were. The Australian Open had terrible facilities and joke prize money. The French Open finally got better in the mid 80's as well. Even Wimbledon was boycotted one year. While some here look back fondly at the Australian Open having metal folding chairs court side with no amenities to speak of for a so called "major" at the time, the players did not.

Chatrier really did overhaul the facilities at RG. Not sure of the exact dates but he became president of the French Tennis Federation in '73.

Quote:

Originally Posted by pmerk34 (Post 5847070)
Prestigious tournaments offer top notch facilities and prize money. For decades the French Open and the Australian did not have either.

The AO's prize money did lag behind the other Slams for a long time, but even in the 70s the French was offering the men a first prize that was comparable to the other Slams, sometimes even higher.

Here's a list, a work in progress, of the men's first prize at all the Slams, according to news sources of the time (Associated Press, United Press International, New York Times, etc.)


1968
French – $3,000
Wimbledon – $4,000
USO – $14,000

1969
AO – $5,000
French – $7,000
Wimbledon – $7,200
USO – $16,000

1970
AO – $3,800
French – $10,000 from a total purse of $100,000
Wimbledon – $7,200
USO – $20,000 from a total purse of $176,000

1971
AO – $10,080
French – $10,000
Wimbledon – $9,000
USO – $20,000

1972
AO – $2,240
French – $12,000 from $100,000
Wimbledon – $7,800
USO – $25,000

WCT Finals in May ’72 – Rosewall won $50,000 from a purse of $100,000

1973
AO – $8,000 from a purse of $53,300
French – $15,000 from a purse of $133,000
Wimbledon – $12,500
USO – $25,000

1974
AO – $6,500 or $9,685 (two sources)
French – $17,500 from a purse of $180,000 (or $24,000 from $200,000)
Wimbledon – $24,000 from a purse of $234,000
USO – $22,500 from a purse of $271,720

1975
AO – $13,000
French – $30,000
Wimbledon – $23,000
USO – $25,000 from a purse of $309,430

WCT Finals in May '75 – Ashe won $50,000

1976
AO – $10,000
French – $27,660
Wimbledon – $22,125
USO – $30,000

1977
AO in January – $25,000
French – $38,000
Wimbledon – $25,500
USO – $33,000
AO in December – $28,000

1978
French – $42,000 or $48,000
Wimbledon – $34,200
USO – $38,000
AO – $41,000 from a purse of $300,000

1979
French – $49,000
Wimbledon – $44,000
USO – $39,000
AO – $49,000

1980
French – $53,000 from a purse of $617,000
Wimbledon – $50,000
USO – $46,000 from a purse of $654,082
AO – $50,000 from a purse of $350,000

Note: the AO purse in all these years was split among 64 men. All the other Slams had draws of 128.

krosero 07-22-2011 07:35 PM

One thing about the very first years of the Open Era (1968-73) is that Wimbledon's first prize, while high, was much lower than the USO's. Some writers even make a point of it, but also state that Wimbledon is the most prestigious tournament in the world.

Also it's interesting that the '71 AO was the one AO in this time period that had great draws, because of the political compromises that were reached that year -- and look at the prize money that year. Comparable to the other Slams, for once, especially compared to the puny sums in '70 and '72-76.

(In think the '71 AO won sponsorship from Dunlop).

Also the first prize at the '69 AO was not too bad relative to the other Slams. And the draw was a good one (partly because the major political disputes that kept top players out of top tournaments had not yet begun).

Limpinhitter 07-22-2011 07:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by krosero (Post 5853735)
Chatrier really did overhaul the facilities at RG. Not sure of the exact dates but he became president of the French Tennis Federation in '73.

The AO's prize money did lag behind the other Slams for a long time, but even in the 70s the French was offering the men a first prize that was comparable to the other Slams, sometimes even higher.

Here's a list, a work in progress, of the men's first prize at all the Slams, according to news sources of the time (Associated Press, United Press International, New York Times, etc.)


1968
French – $3,000
Wimbledon – $4,000
USO – $14,000

1969
AO – $5,000
French – $7,000
Wimbledon – $7,200
USO – $16,000

1970
AO – $3,800
French – $10,000 from a total purse of $100,000
Wimbledon – $7,200
USO – $20,000 from a total purse of $176,000

1971
AO – $10,080
French – $10,000
Wimbledon – $9,000
USO – $20,000

1972
AO – $2,240
French – $12,000 from $100,000
Wimbledon – $7,800
USO – $25,000

WCT Finals in May ’72 – Rosewall won $50,000 from a purse of $100,000

1973
AO – $8,000 from a purse of $53,300
French – $15,000 from a purse of $133,000
Wimbledon – $12,500
USO – $25,000

1974
AO – $6,500 or $9,685 (two sources)
French – $17,500 from a purse of $180,000 (or $24,000 from $200,000)
Wimbledon – $24,000 from a purse of $234,000
USO – $22,500 from a purse of $271,720

1975
AO – $13,000
French – $30,000
Wimbledon – $23,000
USO – $25,000 from a purse of $309,430

WCT Finals in May '75 – Ashe won $50,000

1976
AO – $10,000
French – $27,660
Wimbledon – $22,125
USO – $30,000

1977
AO in January – $25,000
French – $38,000
Wimbledon – $25,500
USO – $33,000
AO in December – $28,000

1978
French – $42,000 or $48,000
Wimbledon – $34,200
USO – $38,000
AO – $41,000 from a purse of $300,000

1979
French – $49,000
Wimbledon – $44,000
USO – $39,000
AO – $49,000

1980
French – $53,000 from a purse of $617,000
Wimbledon – $50,000
USO – $46,000 from a purse of $654,082
AO – $50,000 from a purse of $350,000

Note: the AO purse in all these years was split among 64 men. All the other Slams had draws of 128.

I think Ashe won the inaugural US Open in 1968 as an amateur. I wonder what happened to the $14,000?

Tshooter 07-23-2011 01:49 AM

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=371892

urban 07-23-2011 04:14 AM

I think, amateur Ashe was in the US army at the time of his Forest Hills win 1968 and couldn't accept the prize money. I think, runner-up Okker, although not a contract pro, got the first prize.


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