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-   -   Looking again at Laver's 1969 - Exploding the Grass/Clay only Myth (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=423009)

timnz 05-06-2012 02:40 PM

Looking again at Laver's 1969 - Exploding the Grass/Clay only Myth
 
Some have depreciated Laver's open Grand Slam year - by saying - "yes but he only played it on Grass and Clay" - as if that takes anything away from it.

However, it is worth looking at Laver's 1969. Did he in fact win the top hard court titles of the year and why we are talking about it, did he win the top indoor events? Did he in effect make a clean sweep of the top tournaments on all surfaces?

The top hard court titles in 1969 were:

The South African Open - Laver won that in the March over Frew McMillan
The US Pro Championship (played on Outdoor Uni-Turf). Laver won that over John Newcombe

The top indoor court titles in 1969 were:

British Covered Court Championships - Laver won that over Tony Roche
Philadelphia - Laver won that over Tony Roche

One might throw in the BBC2 World Professional Championship & the Madison Square Garden Invitational - Laver won both of them also.

------------------

What do people think? Should people get off Laver's back about his Grand Slam 'only being on Grass and Clay'? Were there more prestiguous hard and indoor titles in 1969 that I have missed (perhaps in 1969 the Pacific Southwest which Laver didn't win (he won it in 1968 and 1970) - was it more prestigous hard court event than the ones I listed)?

hoodjem 05-06-2012 03:14 PM

Here's Laver speaking to the tournament directors in 1969 at each of the Australian and US Opens:
"You need to change the surfaces of these tournaments. One day some newby bloggers will say my legacy is worthless because I did not win a slam on hard-court."

Tournament director: "Huh? What's a blogger?"

Laver: "But they'll say I could win the Grand Slam because it's on only grass and clay."

Tournament director: "Sorry Mr. Laver, we are not going to change the surface of our tournament."

Laver: "Then I refuse to play."

Tournament director: "Then, in that case, you never will win an open-era Grand Slam."

pc1 05-06-2012 03:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hoodjem (Post 6510858)
Here's Laver speaking to the tournament director in 1969 at each of the Australian and US Opens: "You need to change the surfaces of these tournaments. One day some newby bloggers will say my legacy is worthless because I did not win a slam on hard-court."

Tournament director: "Huh? What's a blogger?"

Laver: "But they'll say I could win the Grand Slam because it's on only grass and clay."

Tournament director: "Sorry Mr. Laver, we are not going to change the surface of our tournament."

Laver: "Then I refuse to play."

Tournament director: "Then, in that case, you never will win an open-era Grand Slam."

Didn't that conversation actually happen??:confused:

Like I've written before, does anyone hold it against Nadal and Federer that they did NOT win a major on wood like Laver did with a Pro Major?

timnz 05-06-2012 04:14 PM

One has to judge an era by the standards of the time, not current standards
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by pc1 (Post 6510874)
Didn't that conversation actually happen??:confused:

Like I've written before, does anyone hold it against Nadal and Federer that they did win a major on wood like Laver did with a Pro Major?

That is the bizarre thing. The historical revisioning. It will be really interesting when one of the current Grand Slam tournaments that is highly valued now - that many be not in the future - then the person who did well at that tournament career will be downgraded eg the French Open. If in the future people say that only hard court slams count then they will look at Nadal - look only 2 hard court slams - those other grass and clay ones don't count!

One has to judge an era by the standards of the time, not current standards.

That is partly why I just can't understand why the ITF/ATP doesn't recognize the World Hard Court championship as a major win now - since it was the ILTF gave it major status back in 1913. Historical revisioning. Just judging past tournaments by the current view of things.....

timnz 05-06-2012 04:16 PM

Top Hard Court tournament of 1969
 
Was it the:

South African

US Pro

Pacific Southwest

or some other tournament??

Mustard 05-06-2012 04:46 PM

I think the tennis authorities do a very poor job in promoting the history of the sport, to the point where even tennis enthusiasts struggle to understand who were the best players in certain years in the past, and what all the dynamics were in past eras.

The World Hard Court Championships and the World Covered Court Championships were both majors, as the Australian (or Australasian, as it was up to 1926) didn't become a major until 1924 and the French didn't become a major until 1925 when they opened their doors to non-French tennis club members. The WHCC was the French amateur major pre-1925, as it opened its doors to international tennis club members. There's also the pro/am split from 1927-1967, which is explained very poorly. For example, many people make out that Laver was the best player in the world in 1962 because of the CYGS, when the reality is that the 1962 CYGS was amateurs only and it was clearly Rosewall who was the best player in the world in 1962, after Gonzales had gone into an 18 month retirement at the end of 1961.

Also, a big deal was made when Sampras equalled and then overtook Roy Emerson's 12 majors, yet they seldom mentioned that those 12 majors Emerson won were against amateur only fields and that the best players in the world were the professionals like Laver, Rosewall, Gonzales and Gimeno.

timnz 05-06-2012 05:12 PM

Majors vs Grand Slam tournaments
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mustard (Post 6511013)
I think the tennis authorities do a very poor job in promoting the history of the sport, to the point where even tennis enthusiasts struggle to understand who were the best players in certain years in the past, and what all the dynamics were in past eras.

The World Hard Court Championships and the World Covered Court Championships were both majors, as the Australian (or Australasian, as it was up to 1926) didn't become a major until 1924 and the French didn't become a major until 1925 when they opened their doors to non-French tennis club members. The WHCC was the French amateur major pre-1925, as it opened its doors to international tennis club members. There's also the pro/am split from 1927-1967, which is explained very poorly. For example, many people make out that Laver was the best player in the world in 1962 because of the CYGS, when the reality is that the 1962 CYGS was amateurs only and it was clearly Rosewall who was the best player in the world in 1962, after Gonzales had gone into an 18 month retirement at the end of 1961.

Also, a big deal was made when Sampras equalled and then overtook Roy Emerson's 12 majors, yet they seldom mentioned that those 12 majors Emerson won were against amateur only fields and that the best players in the world were the professionals like Laver, Rosewall, Gonzales and Gimeno.

That is why we should be resisting the term 'Grand Slam tournament. Or even worse 'Grand Slams' by which some people mean individual tournaments eg 'Sampras won 14 slams'. The much better term - which golf uses is the term 'Major'. And golf has had an understanding that what tournaments are 'majors' has changed throughout the years. This current bad habit of calling the 4 top tournaments 'Slams' encourages people to view all tennis history through the current top 4 tournaments only. If the term 'major' was used with the understanding that the current majors are different than what was historically the case, then things would be easier and clearer.

Mustard 05-06-2012 05:18 PM

I always call them majors now.

timnz 05-06-2012 05:26 PM

Any thoughts on this?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by timnz (Post 6510953)
Was it the:

South African

US Pro

Pacific Southwest

or some other tournament??

Just would like to understand what the number 1 hard court and number 1 indoor court tournament was for 1969 (I think that latter is probably Philadelphia).

Mustard 05-06-2012 05:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by timnz (Post 6511096)
Just would like to understand what the number 1 hard court and number 1 indoor court tournament was for 1969 (I think that latter is probably Philadelphia).

Wasn't the South African the number 1 hardcourt tournament of 1969?

borg number one 05-06-2012 05:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by timnz (Post 6511096)
Just would like to understand what the number 1 hard court and number 1 indoor court tournament was for 1969 (I think that latter is probably Philadelphia).

Timnz,

Good thread. The results on surfaces other than grass and clay definitely look like they support the contention that Laver won on all surfaces in that unique year.

See this link on the 1969 South African Championships. It had a 64 draw that included great players such as Laver, Emerson, Drysdale, Gimeno, Gonzalez, Stolle, Roche, Richey, Ralston, Okker, and McMillan. Rod Laver won the final over Tom Okker 6-3 10-8 6-3.

http://www.tennisarchives.com/voorlo...oorloopid=4949

The 1969 Philadelphia Open had a 32 draw, with Laver beating Bucholz in the 2nd round, Pasarell in the 3rd, Rosewall in the SF and then Roche in the final.

http://www.tennisarchives.com/voorlo...oorloopid=4449

timnz 05-06-2012 05:54 PM

Comparison to other top hard court titles
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by borg number one (Post 6511119)
Timnz,

See this link on the 1969 South African Championships. It had a 64 draw that included great players such as Laver, Emerson, Drysdale, Gimeno, Gonzalez, Stolle, Roche, Richey, Ralston, Okker, and McMillan. Rod Laver won the final over Tom Okker 6-3 10-8 6-3.

http://www.tennisarchives.com/voorlo...oorloopid=4949

Thanks very much. Just the info. I was after. Do you or anyone know how that tournament compared in field depth and prize money with the other hard court contenders for the top hard court tournament of the year eg the US Pro and the Pacific Southwest?

borg number one 05-06-2012 06:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by timnz (Post 6511125)
Thanks very much. Just the info. I was after. Do you or anyone know how that tournament compared in field depth and prize money with the other hard court contenders for the top hard court tournament of the year eg the US Pro and the Pacific Southwest?

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=344482

Per Scott_tennis in the thread above Timnz:

Quote:

MSG Open = Garden Challenge Trophy Open
Held week starting March 24
Same week as minor events in Norfolk, Rome and Nice
F Gimeno ($5,290) d Ashe
Draw size 32
According to World Tennis: “the best 32-man draw in the history of the game”
WCT participants (7): Newcombe, Roche, Ralston, Buchholz, Riessen, Moore and Okker
NTL participants (4): Laver, Emerson, Gonzales and Gimeno
Stolle and Rosewall each withdrew prior to the event


US Pro
Held week starting July 7
Same week as Newport Wales, Bastaad, Dusseldorf and Washington DC
F Laver ($8,000) d Newcombe
Draw size 16
WCT participants (10): Newcombe, Roche, Drysdale, Ralston, Buchholz, Barthes, Riessen, Moore, Okker and Holmberg
NTL participants (4): Laver, Rosewall, Stolle and Gonzales

The MSG Open gets the edge for:
- Larger draw than the US Pro
- Its draw included contract pros along with non-contract pros and “amateurs”; the US Pro was almost entirely solely the contract pros
- There were fewer competing events held the same week

urban 05-06-2012 08:34 PM

South Africa open did very well under the influence of promoter Owen Williams, and was the number one hard court event ahead of US pro, which had a good tradition at Longwood and changed to hard court in 1969, and the South West Pacifik at LA. Premier indoor event was imo Wembley with a great 64 draw in October, ahead of Phladelphia and Madison Square Garden Open. There was also a Madison Square Garden pro in May 1969, (Laver over Emerson), which had the best prize money outside Forest Hills (12ooo $ for the winner).

NadalAgassi 05-06-2012 10:53 PM

The Master of Fail/DjokovicFakeFanWin not here with his first trolling post yet in a Laver related thread. That is something new. No need to worry though, I am sure it will arrive soon.

hoodjem 05-07-2012 04:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pc1 (Post 6510874)
Like I've written before, does anyone hold it against Nadal and Federer that they did win a major on wood like Laver did with a Pro Major?

You heard it here first: Fed cannot be the GOAT, because he did not win a major on slick, indoor wood. (Never mind that they don't exist as major tournaments anymore. If he were truly the GOAT, he'd find a a way.)
:razz:

pc1 05-07-2012 04:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hoodjem (Post 6511702)
You heard it here first: Fed cannot be the GOAT, because he did not win a major on slick, indoor wood.
:razz:

Incidentally I meant to write did NOT win a major on wood. I just corrected it.

Limpinhitter 05-07-2012 06:06 AM

Having seen Laver win a WCT hard court event, singles and doubles, it's my opinion that Laver's best surface was hard court. It only stands to reason why this is so. His ground game was even greater than his net game, and his return game greater than his service game.

Limpinhitter 05-07-2012 06:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NadalAgassi (Post 6511502)
The Master of Fail/DjokovicFakeFanWin not here with his first trolling post yet in a Laver related thread. That is something new. No need to worry though, I am sure it will arrive soon.

I think DFW is a "her."

Limpinhitter 05-07-2012 06:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by timnz (Post 6511062)
That is why we should be resisting the term 'Grand Slam tournament. Or even worse 'Grand Slams' by which some people mean individual tournaments eg 'Sampras won 14 slams'. The much better term - which golf uses is the term 'Major'. And golf has had an understanding that what tournaments are 'majors' has changed throughout the years. This current bad habit of calling the 4 top tournaments 'Slams' encourages people to view all tennis history through the current top 4 tournaments only. If the term 'major' was used with the understanding that the current majors are different than what was historically the case, then things would be easier and clearer.

Exactly! I've been making that argument since I joined TT. The term "Grand Slam" was imitated by tennis from the golf "Grand Slam," which has always referred to the individual events comprizing the Grand Slam as "majors." The use of the word "slam" or "grand slam" to refer to a single major cheapens the term and disrespects the achievements of the greats who actually won Grand Slams.


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