Originally Posted by urban
The internal ranking of the pros was always a bit problematic and eclectic, in 1959 for instance, Hoad came on top of this point race of 15-18 events, which all got the same number of points, while most people saw Gonzales as the World Champ. But speaking of now, because of Andrew Tas new findings, Laver's claim for 1964 imo gets even stronger. It seems that Laver had the best of the Australian/ NZ tour in spring over Hoad and Rosewall, then Rosewall won the US tour in spring and early summer (Gonzales second and Laver third), but Laver won the climactic event at Boston (Rosewall had a bout with foot poisoning in the sf). In Europe in the summer, Laver and Rosewall were close, with Laver winning the World Champs at Wembley. Then at last, the South African tour was dominated by Laver. One other factor besides the head to head in favor of Laver is the the overall win-loss percentage (Jeffrey mentioned it), which Andrew Tas put on another thread. I wrote it down somewhere, but for the moment cannot find it. Maybe Carlo or Andrew Tas can put it here.
"In 1964 Rosewall won one main tournament: the French Pro over Laver on wood (at Coubertin). At the end of the South African tour, Rosewall also beat Laver 6–4 6–1 6–4 in a Challenge Match held in Ellis Park, Johannesburg. In the official pro points rankings (7 points for the winner, 4 points for the finalist, 3 points for the third player, 2 for the fourth one and 1 point to each quarter-finalists) taking into account 19 pro tournaments, Rosewall ended #1 in 1964 with 78 points beating #2 Laver (70 points) and #3 Gonzales (48 points). Nevertheless that ranking brushed aside at least 10 tournaments because McCauley has traced at least 29 pro tournaments played by the touring pros (plus some minor tournaments) and several short tours. It also granted each tournament the same points and thus was unfair to the big events where Laver was globally superior to Rosewall.
Laver had a great season and could also claim the top rank. Rocket has captured two very great tournaments: 1) the U.S. Pro over Rosewall and Gonzales and 2) the Wembley Pro over Rosewall in one of their best match ever (Gonzales won the probably fourth greatest tournament of that year, the U.S. Pro Indoors, at White Plains, defeating in succession Anderson, Laver, Hoad and Rosewall). Laver was equal to Rosewall in big direct confrontations, 2 all (Coubertin and Johannesburg for Rosewall, US Pro and Wembley for Laver).
Laver won one more tournament (including small 4-man events) than Rosewall (11 to 10) and above all Rocket was clearly superior to Rosewall in minor direct confrontations, defeating Rosewall eleven times out of thirteen in these smaller events, making thus a 1964 Laver-Rosewall win-loss record of 13-4. So the pro leadership began to change."
I believe that for much of 1964 things were equal, but by the end of the year Laver was on top. It appears that this odd point system is skewed to minimize Laver's more important wins. A head-to-head of 13-4 (or 14-5) is not even close and--when everything else is almost--rather decisive in my estimation.