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-   -   We have a GOAT - Pancho Gonzales (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=457860)

jrs 03-16-2013 10:01 AM

We have a GOAT - Pancho Gonzales
 
We all know how good Roger Federer is, Nadal ...Rod Laver but here is the goat.. we can talk records, grand slams....with this dude they changed the rules to stop him from winning....my books "GOAT"!

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pancho_Gonzales

In his professional career, Gonzales won the United States Professional Championship eight times, the Wembley professional title in London four times, and the Tournament of Champions three times, plus beating, in head-to-head pro tours, all of the best amateurs who turned pro, which included every Wimbledon champion for 10 years in a row. During this time Gonzales was known for his fiery will to win, his cannonball serve, and his all-conquering net game, a combination so potent that the rules on the professional tour were briefly changed to prohibit him from advancing to the net immediately after serving. Under the new rules, the returned serve had to bounce before the server could make his own first shot, thereby keeping Gonzales from playing his usual serve-and-volley game. He won even so, and the rules were changed back. So great was his ability to raise his game to the highest possible level, particularly in the fifth set of long matches, Allen Fox has said that he never once saw Gonzales lose service when serving for the set or the match.
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90's Clay 03-16-2013 10:04 AM

I got Pancho at #2 just behind Laver. He had a longer reign at the top then Laver but Laver just had better all around achievements on all surfaces then Pancho

Pancho and Laver both definitely have a claim for GOAT though.. Neither player were anyone's rival love slave with Shackles.

jrs 03-16-2013 10:09 AM

Wait - can't compare records
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 90's Clay (Post 7280109)
I got Pancho at #2 just behind Laver. He had a longer reign at the top then Laver but Laver just had better all around achievements on all surfaces then Pancho

Pancho and Laver both definitely have a claim for GOAT though.. Neither player were anyone's rival love slave with Shackles.

The fact that they changed the rules throws the records out the window. The establishment changed to the rules to stop 1 guy.....has this ever been done before or since?

Bhagi Katbamna 03-16-2013 03:15 PM

Kramer used to beat Gonzales regularly when they played.

jrs 03-16-2013 03:18 PM

Did the rule change benefit Krammer
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bhagi Katbamna (Post 7280950)
Kramer used to beat Gonzales regularly when they played.

That's disappointing to hear. But were Krammer's victories assisted with rule changes?

Phoenix1983 03-16-2013 03:37 PM

Pancho never won a clay major. Therefore he cannot be GOAT.

He is something of a Sampras equivalent from an earlier era (that's a compliment btw).

This rule change business is a bit misleading, however good a player is, you wouldn't do this is if it were a proper tour, as opposed to the pro tour which could make up silly rules as and when it pleased.

Mustard 03-16-2013 03:44 PM

It's a fact that the rules were changed for a brief period to prevent serve and volleying altogether during the peak of Pancho Gonzales' dominance of professional tennis.

North 03-16-2013 04:05 PM

There was also a tournament series (run by Kramer, I believe - correct me if wrong) where only one serve was allowed to prevent Gonzalez from having such an overwhelming advantage with his serve, which was was deadly. I guess they figured Gonzalez would take something off his serve. He didn't - lol - and won just as handily with only one serve allowed.

jrs 03-16-2013 05:09 PM

So this completely crazy - so there is no objective way to judge how good this guy really was.

The fact he didn't win any major clay tournaments is an issue against him for the GOAT.

BeHappy 03-16-2013 05:29 PM

Well to stop Sampras winning Wimbledon first introduced larger tennis balls to slow them down with air resistance.

That didn't work so they started taking the lids off the cans of tennis balls 2 weeks before Wimbledon so they'd be flat and it would be harder to hit aces.

That didn't work either, so they introduced the slower grass after the 2001 final. Unfortunately for tennis, this worked. Sampras was knocked out in the 2nd round by Georg Bastl, along with Federer and all the other serve and volleyers.

The same is arguably true with Nadal at the French Open. The French put thinner and thinner layers of clay on the courts year after year so it became more and more of a hard court. Then they introduced the lightning fast tennis ball in 2011.

DropShotArtist 03-16-2013 05:51 PM

To prevent Federer from winning over 20 slams, they slowed all of the surfaces down.

Mustard 03-16-2013 06:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jrs (Post 7281433)
So this completely crazy - so there is no objective way to judge how good this guy really was.

The fact he didn't win any major clay tournaments is an issue against him for the GOAT.

Pancho Gonzales only played in 5 clay-court majors:

As an amateur (pre-open era)
1949 French Championships: Semi Final loss to Budge Patty in 4 sets

As a professional (pre-open era)
1956 French Pro: Runner-up to Tony Trabert (losing in 5 sets)
1958 French Pro: Semi Final loss to Lew Hoad in 4 sets
1961 French Pro: Runner-up to Ken Rosewall (losing in 4 sets)

As a professional (open era)
1968 French Open: Semi Final loss to Rod Laver in straight sets

forzamilan90 03-16-2013 08:48 PM

I am utterly convinced he is not the GOAT

BobbyOne 03-17-2013 12:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bhagi Katbamna (Post 7280950)
Kramer used to beat Gonzales regularly when they played.

Bhagi Katbamna, I must correct you: after their long tour where Gonzalez was too young, Pancho had the edge against Kramer.

BobbyOne 03-17-2013 12:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by forzamilan90 (Post 7281907)
I am utterly convinced he is not the GOAT

Forza, And I'm utterly convinced that he is possibly the GOAT....

BobbyOne 03-17-2013 12:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mustard (Post 7281618)
Pancho Gonzales only played in 5 clay-court majors:

As an amateur (pre-open era)
1949 French Championships: Semi Final loss to Budge Patty in 4 sets

As a professional (pre-open era)
1956 French Pro: Runner-up to Tony Trabert (losing in 5 sets)
1958 French Pro: Semi Final loss to Lew Hoad in 4 sets
1961 French Pro: Runner-up to Ken Rosewall (losing in 4 sets)

As a professional (open era)
1968 French Open: Semi Final loss to Rod Laver in straight sets

Mustard, That's a great balance. Pancho had only two opportunities to play a clay major in his prime. Losing to Trabert and Hoad is not a blame.

NatF 03-17-2013 02:37 AM

Wasn't he number #1 for 8 years or something? He has less majors some GOAT candidates though. Hard to evaluate guys from so far in the past. He's up there though. Perhaps someone could better list his notable achievements?

forzamilan90 03-17-2013 03:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NatF (Post 7282186)
Wasn't he number #1 for 8 years or something? He has less majors some GOAT candidates though. Hard to evaluate guys from so far in the past. He's up there though. Perhaps someone could better list his notable achievements?

Under absolute best appraisal of him we can give him 17 majors, 15 of which pro. Not a great clay court player compared to other high tier legends, no FO for him. I equate him to a Pete Sampras or something like that, only except Pete's performances in the open era over much larger fields and modernized tour give him the clear advantage.

NatF 03-17-2013 03:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by forzamilan90 (Post 7282240)
Under absolute best appraisal of him we can give him 17 majors, 15 of which pro. Not a great clay court player compared to other high tier legends, no FO for him. I equate him to a Pete Sampras or something like that, only except Pete's performances in the open era over much larger fields and modernized tour give him the clear advantage.

I don't really count the amateur majors. Even the pro majors in my mind aren't equal to a modern slam. I was counting 15 for him.

forzamilan90 03-17-2013 03:52 AM

I'll say this, pre open era yeah this guy is probably the GOAT. Once you factor in open era however, he's clearly behind Federer, Sampras, Laver (of course counting entire career of him spanning both open and pre-open). 8 years as The Man in the 1950s is incredible, but I think Sampras and Federer's less year end #1 finishes given the circumstances of the open era are a much greater achievement.


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