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pc1 02-02-2013 09:10 AM

John Newcombe
 
Newcombe to me was a very underrated giant of the game. He won seven majors including three Wimbledons. He won majors by defeating superb players like Rosewall, Connors, Roche, Stan Smith, Kodes. He dominated the 1974 WCT tour and won the 1974 WCT Championship over a young Bjorn Borg.

Here's Kiki's description of the Newcombe style which I agree with.
Quote:

Originally Posted by kiki (Post 7185053)
Many people think Newcombe was a one dimensional player.He was not.he had a sensational attacking FH, one of the best I´ve ever seen and could keep it up with an effective although not offensive BH ( he could chip and come in very well, tough).see the way he dismantled mighty Connors in the 75 AO.

He is very underrated at lobbing, but he could hit this shot with the best.He was clever and could switch tactics from day to day, because he was very strong menthally.

But of course, he had one of the best ever serves and a very good volley to back it up.

Newcombe won the Italian Open on clay was a strong clay court player. He was also very good at the baseline. He was well known during his peak as a very strong five set player.

What is often forgotten is the during the 1973 Davis Cup in which the old Aussies romped to the title is that Newcombe was probably considered to be the top player on the team even over Rosewall and Laver. Newk defeated Stan Smith in five sets in the first match to set the tone. After that Laver and Newcombe dominated.

Newcombe was also considered to be a top doubles player, winning many of his titles with the great Tony Roche. This team is considered by many to be the top doubles team of all time.

Newcombe won just under 70 tournaments in his entire career.

Newcombe may be just as legendary in his ability to drink beer all night and play well the next day.

Now why didn't he have a better record than that even though his record is excellent? I don't know if he was always in top shape as far as training was concerned and I don't think his mind was always into tennis as a Laver or Rosewall might be.

kiki 02-02-2013 09:31 AM

PC1...you opened the threadĦĦ great.

kiki 02-02-2013 09:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pc1 (Post 7186586)
Newcombe to me was a very underrated giant of the game. He won seven majors including three Wimbledons. He won majors by defeating superb players like Rosewall, Connors, Roche, Stan Smith, Kodes. He dominated the 1974 WCT tour and won the 1974 WCT Championship over a young Bjorn Borg.

Here's Kiki's description of the Newcombe style which I agree with.


Newcombe won the Italian Open on clay was a strong clay court player. He was also very good at the baseline. He was well known during his peak as a very strong five set player.

What is often forgotten is the during the 1973 Davis Cup in which the old Aussies romped to the title is that Newcombe was probably considered to be the top player on the team even over Rosewall and Laver. Newk defeated Stan Smith in five sets in the first match to set the tone. After that Laver and Newcombe dominated.

Newcombe was also considered to be a top doubles player, winning many of his titles with the great Tony Roche. This team is considered by many to be the top doubles team of all time.

Newcombe won just under 70 tournaments in his entire career.

Newcombe may be just as legendary in his ability to drink beer all night and play well the next day.

Now why didn't he have a better record than that even though his record is excellent? I don't know if he was always in top shape as far as training was concerned and I don't think his mind was always into tennis as a Laver or Rosewall might be.

Newcombe was very very interested in business.He was probably the first marketing agent ( of himself) and tennis player at once.Ran a few ranch, had his own design and racket company and had such energy that french journalist Jean Couvercelle said in his book of the top tennis stars of the 70´s:

" this man can sleep for 9 hrs, drink beer for another 5, play a top tennis match next 5 and engage in a long business dealing for the remaining 5"..

pc1 02-02-2013 09:42 AM

Arthur Ashe once wrote that John Newcombe and Bjorn Borg are the two players who had a presence on the court like they wouldn't be beaten. At least I believe these are words to the effect.

Ashe also wrote that Laver and Rosewall didn't have that type of presence on the court but perhaps they were so good they didn't need it.

Wonder if Ashe thought Pancho Gonzalez had a presence on the court?

Mustard 02-02-2013 09:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pc1 (Post 7186668)
Wonder if Ashe thought Pancho Gonzalez had a presence on the court?

Most probably. Gonzales was Ashe's idol.

forzamilan90 02-02-2013 09:57 AM

I like his mustache

urban 02-02-2013 10:29 AM

His mustache with one eye, a sort of one-eyed-bandit was his logo. I saw him first when he annihilated poor Wilhelm Bungert in the 1967 Wim final. Had a very heavy serve, especially his second serve was the best i have seen- alongside Sampras. And he backed it up with one of the best forehand volleys, often hit as drive volley a bit from the side. Hoad remarked, that his nose was often over the net when he volleyed. Had a big forehand, and often ran around his backhand side on vital returns, going down the alley or forcing double faults.
Was a clever tactician, and knew to lob effectively and to play softer when needed. He wasn't the complete technical star al la Laver and hadn't the best natural stamina of a Emerson or a Laver, but masked his weakness- his backhand - very well and paced himself well. Over a season he needed rest for longer periods and tried to focus and train for special events. Wasn't a day- in, day- out player, more a man for the big Wimbledon or Davis Cup matches. But in clutch matches in five sets he was extremely tough to beat, because he had big court presence and confidence - like Becker later.

kiki 02-02-2013 10:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by urban (Post 7186832)
His mustache with one eye, a sort of one-eyed-bandit was his logo. I saw him first when he annihilated poor Wilhelm Bungert in the 1967 Wim final. Had a very heavy serve, especially his second serve was the best i have seen- alongside Sampras. And he backed it up with one of the best forehand volleys, often hit as drive volley a bit from the side. Hoad remarked, that his nose was often over the net when he volleyed. Had a big forehand, and often ran around his backhand side on vital returns, going down the alley or forcing double faults.
Was a clever tactician, and knew to lob effectively and to play softer when needed. He wasn't the complete technical star al la Laver and hadn't the best natural stamina of a Emerson or a Laver, but masked his weakness- his backhand - very well and paced himself well. Over a season he needed rest for longer periods and tried to focus and train for special events. Wasn't a day- in, day- out player, more a man for the big Wimbledon or Davis Cup matches. But in clutch matches in five sets he was extremely tough to beat, because he had big court presence and confidence - like Becker later.

Yes, I can see some similarities between Becker and Newcombe, both being very confident and not too fast.

Phoenix1983 02-02-2013 11:07 AM

Don't know too much about Newcombe but his singles record alone (3 W, 2 US, 2 AO, with 5 of these 7 in the Open Era) demands respect.

I agree he is not mentioned much compared to fellow Aussie greats like Rosewall and, of course, Laver.

pc1 02-02-2013 01:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Phoenix1983 (Post 7186944)
Don't know too much about Newcombe but his singles record alone (3 W, 2 US, 2 AO, with 5 of these 7 in the Open Era) demands respect.

I agree he is not mentioned much compared to fellow Aussie greats like Rosewall and, of course, Laver.

I can tell you that in person Newcombe was super impressive. I saw him play a late 1973 Jimmy Connors who was just a few months from winning the Australian and winning three out of three majors. I saw Connors defeat Okker (who was a tremendous player) earlier in the tournament with ease so he was in top form. Connors did played extremely well against Newcombe but lost in three close sets 6-4 7-6 7-6.

Here's a few clips of him.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sR2asq8ZrSk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_auZvAFcuI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_auZvAFcuI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-hIaUiA5Qo

Incidentally mechanically I think he was perhaps the ideal serve and volley player. He had perhaps the best first serve of his time. Ashe wrote that some may have served a little faster but Newcombe's serve was a great combination of power and spin. The ball was very heavy to the receiver and it would sting. His second serve is arguably the best of all time. He was very strong volleyer especially the forehand volley.

Phoenix1983 02-02-2013 02:07 PM

^ Some great play from Newcombe and Kodes in that last clip. Interesting how the whole grass court is worn out in those days, rather than just the baseline as would be the case today.

pc1 02-02-2013 02:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Phoenix1983 (Post 7187243)
^ Some great play from Newcombe and Kodes in that last clip. Interesting how the whole grass court is worn out in those days, rather than just the baseline as would be the case today.

Trust me I was at that US Open and you cannot play the game they play on the baseline today. The bounces were just awful if it bounced at all. They had to serve and volley to not let the ball bounce.

Kodes was pretty tremendous when he was on his game. But Newcombe was playing at such a high level. I think he beat Connors, Rosewall and Kodes in consecutive rounds to win the tournament. Newk wrote that at the beginning of the tournament he wasn't in form but it clicked in when he played Connors.

Gonzalito17 02-02-2013 02:55 PM

Heard the story that Newk and Roche or Stolle were playing doubles against the young John McEnroe who pegged Roche or Stolle at the net a couple of times and Newk went around the net and threatened McEnroe. It was on national TV too. Mac learned a lesson from Newk and obeyed the order.

Anyone remember this?

Gonzalito17 02-02-2013 02:55 PM

Anyway here's an interesting interview with Newk.

http://www.tennis-prose.com/articles...john-newcombe/

pc1 02-02-2013 03:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by urban (Post 7186832)
His mustache with one eye, a sort of one-eyed-bandit was his logo. I saw him first when he annihilated poor Wilhelm Bungert in the 1967 Wim final. Had a very heavy serve, especially his second serve was the best i have seen- alongside Sampras. And he backed it up with one of the best forehand volleys, often hit as drive volley a bit from the side. Hoad remarked, that his nose was often over the net when he volleyed. Had a big forehand, and often ran around his backhand side on vital returns, going down the alley or forcing double faults.
Was a clever tactician, and knew to lob effectively and to play softer when needed. He wasn't the complete technical star al la Laver and hadn't the best natural stamina of a Emerson or a Laver, but masked his weakness- his backhand - very well and paced himself well. Over a season he needed rest for longer periods and tried to focus and train for special events. Wasn't a day- in, day- out player, more a man for the big Wimbledon or Davis Cup matches. But in clutch matches in five sets he was extremely tough to beat, because he had big court presence and confidence - like Becker later.

Great description of Newcombe. I might add that his backhand was a relative weakness but it was solid. It was able to withstand pounding from players like Jimmy Connors. He did not have a great offensive backhand although I've bet with today's racquets he could hit one easily.

I think the match I think of most when I think of Newcombe was his epic five setter with Stan Smith in the first match of the Davis Cup final in 1973. It was an extremely well played match but as usual when these two played in a big match, Newcombe got the edge with Smith serving at match point, second serve in the fifth. Newcombe who had one of the all time great forehands moved way over into the doubles alley in the ad court basically saying I'm going to pound your second serve. You have to risk a big serve down the middle or you're in trouble. Smith went for the ace on second serve down the middle, missed, double faulted and lost the match.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vau...26/2/index.htm

pc1 02-02-2013 03:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gonzalito17 (Post 7187308)
Heard the story that Newk and Roche or Stolle were playing doubles against the young John McEnroe who pegged Roche or Stolle at the net a couple of times and Newk went around the net and threatened McEnroe. It was on national TV too. Mac learned a lesson from Newk and obeyed the order.

Anyone remember this?

Newk writes about it in his book. Apparently Stolle was hit very hard by a ball hit by McEnroe or Fleming (forgot who) and Newcombe threatened McEnroe. McEnroe and Fleming eventually beat Newcombe and Stolle, the old men 7-6 in the fifth set.

Phoenix1983 02-02-2013 03:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gonzalito17 (Post 7187309)
Anyway here's an interesting interview with Newk.

http://www.tennis-prose.com/articles...john-newcombe/

interesting how he says Gonzales was the most ferocious competitor he faced, even more so than the likes of Connors and Mac. I have heard this a few times about Gonzales now - what must he have been like? :shock:

mattennis 02-02-2013 03:50 PM

I get very nostalgic everytime I re-watch a tennis match from the 70s or the 80s (or even the 90s).

That clip of Newcombe-Kodes...how beautiful tennis was back then, almost like a totally different sport.

Laver, Rosewall, Newcombe, Kodes, Ashe, Nastase, Okker, Roche, Emerson, Gimeno, Smith...and then Connors, Vilas and Borg (and Tanner, Gerulaitis...).

The first half of the 70s had so many great players.

BobbyOne 02-02-2013 04:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pc1 (Post 7186586)
Newcombe to me was a very underrated giant of the game. He won seven majors including three Wimbledons. He won majors by defeating superb players like Rosewall, Connors, Roche, Stan Smith, Kodes. He dominated the 1974 WCT tour and won the 1974 WCT Championship over a young Bjorn Borg.

Here's Kiki's description of the Newcombe style which I agree with.


Newcombe won the Italian Open on clay was a strong clay court player. He was also very good at the baseline. He was well known during his peak as a very strong five set player.

What is often forgotten is the during the 1973 Davis Cup in which the old Aussies romped to the title is that Newcombe was probably considered to be the top player on the team even over Rosewall and Laver. Newk defeated Stan Smith in five sets in the first match to set the tone. After that Laver and Newcombe dominated.

Newcombe was also considered to be a top doubles player, winning many of his titles with the great Tony Roche. This team is considered by many to be the top doubles team of all time.

Newcombe won just under 70 tournaments in his entire career.

Newcombe may be just as legendary in his ability to drink beer all night and play well the next day.

Now why didn't he have a better record than that even though his record is excellent? I don't know if he was always in top shape as far as training was concerned and I don't think his mind was always into tennis as a Laver or Rosewall might be.

pc1, Newcombe might be underrated by the current experts and fans, just as all players of older times are now underrated or even forgotten. But he is not underrated in comparison to Laver and Rosewall. Remember that these two giants have won much more than Newcombe. Rosewall keeps 23 majors, Laver 19 while Newk only keeps 7. A huge difference.

Laver has a hth against Newcombe of about 12:5, Rosewall leads 14:10 even though the former was a grandpa when they met.

And Newcombe is in fact overrated in comparison to his doubles partner, Roche. As long as both were healthy, Roche was the stronger player in open era.

BobbyOne 02-02-2013 04:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mattennis (Post 7187409)
I get very nostalgic everytime I re-watch a tennis match from the 70s or the 80s (or even the 90s).

That clip of Newcombe-Kodes...how beautiful tennis was back then, almost like a totally different sport.

Laver, Rosewall, Newcombe, Kodes, Ashe, Nastase, Okker, Roche, Emerson, Gimeno, Smith...and then Connors, Vilas and Borg (and Tanner, Gerulaitis...).

The first half of the 70s had so many great players.

mattennis, I just agree.


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