Originally Posted by urban
In 1964, the pros had an internal point system on a 18 or 20 tournament basis, with no difference between the status of the events. Many matches and some tournaments, especially on the South African tour late in the year, were not counted. Rosewall, who led the US tour until July 1964, finished on top in a close race under this system. But Laver had a 15-4 head to head, won US pro and Wembley, the two pro biggies, and won 11 events to Rosewalls 10, and if one looks closely, it seems, that Laver surpassed Rosewall with his Wembley win in September and closed out the year with his domination of the South African tour.
Overall a good list, Hoodjem, closely following the Wikipedia list, made by Carlo and others. Some years are always debatable: For instance, i would give Connors 1976 and Borg alone 1978, Newcombe 1971 or Smith alone 1972.
I like the list. The thing I find very interesting is that Kovacs, who has been known mainly as a clown is on the list three times. He fascinates me to a certain degree because it's almost universally accepted by those who see him how gifted he was. Bobby Riggs has hinted that when Kovacs was on his game that he was perhaps the greatest. Kramer mentioned in his book how he was in awe of Kovacs and how Kovacs was one of the few who returned so well that he couldn't serve and volley against him. I know some have argue for Kovacs to be in the Hall of Fame.
On the year 1964, while I do think Laver was number one for the year based on record, Rosewall was considered (perhaps incorrectly) number one. However since "officially" Rosewall was number one I do think it is reasonable for Muscles to be considered co-number one for that year. The records, despite Laver's great head to head advantage were very comparable which means that Rosewall must have done much better than Laver against the other players.
And yes I think Borg was clearly the best in 1978. In fact it's quite possible 1978 was Borg's best year.