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Old 11-30-2006, 12:19 AM   #42
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 4,329

The importance of tournaments has shifted over the years.In the first years of open era, the traditional champs besides the GS tournaments were the Italian, German (both clay)and South African champs (hard). I am going here along the lines of the World of Tennis annuals edited by John Barrett and Lance Tingay. Biggest tournaments beside were the Pacific Southwest at LA (hard), the Philadephia indoor, the Wembley indoor and some events played at MSG, NY. In the early 70s the promoter-struggle between the WCT group (Lamar Hunt) and the ITF (Philippe Chartier) escaleted, resulting in banns and boycotts of the European and Australian majors, especially French, Melbourne, but also partly Wimbledon. 1971 the WCT played a 20 tournaments series over the year (including Australian and Italian Open), with a playoff at Dallas. Later since 73 the WCT reduced its schedule to the first 5 months of each year. To opposite this move, the ITF had established a Grand Prix series, with a Masters as a round robin playoff. This struggles - the WTT factor came also into play -generated a constant shifting of impotance of certain tournaments, and a unclear situation in ranking.Between 1970 and 73 there was no clear- cut Nr.1, and even Connors in 1974 profitated, in avoiding the difficult WCT series, and coming always fresh to the majors. Australia was hurt by the change of date to Christmas time, which conficted also with the US indoor circuit at begin January.
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