Originally Posted by hoodjem
Using the point system laid out by Sgt. John's list, 1983 would look like an easy year to call: McEnroe. (Indeed it would suggest that Wilander should be ranked fourth, behind Noah and Connors.)
But is this the whole picture?
I admired the effort by St. John and yes it makes some sense the partial major credit but I don't want to seem like the it's a fact that certain majors are rated .5 major and another .742322 major. There's no really accuracy to the fractions.
Check Wilander's opponents at the Australian in 1983.
Australian Open Australia
GS 29 Nov 1983 to 11 Dec 1983 Entry: DA Grass (O)
128 B () BYE
64 W Ben TESTERMAN (USA) 6-4 4-6 6-7 6-3 6-2
32 W Roscoe TANNER (USA) 6-4 6-7 6-3 6-1
16 W Paul MCNAMEE (AUS) 6-4 6-2 7-6
QF W Johan KRIEK (USA) 6-3 6-4 7-6
SF W John MCENROE (USA) 4-6 6-3 6-4 6-3
FR W Ivan LENDL (TCH) 6-1 6-4 6-4
This is a very very strong list of opponents. I've seen a lot of majors won with a far less impressive list of opponents.
Others in the tournament were a young Edberg, Tim Mayotte, Teltscher, Brian Teacher, Phil Dent, a very young Pat Cash (who was in the US Open semi next year), Vitas Gerulaitis. It was pretty good field and Wilander defeated the top contenders. I wouldn't call this a .5 major.
Like I said it's very dangerous to change the status of a major from year to year. Wilander defeated Kriek, McEnroe and Lendl in consecutive rounds, winning nine of ten sets. It's a superb performance. Certainly in my opinion a more impressive list of opponents than for example Jimmy Connors had in winning the Wimbledon in 1974 even given the fact Wilander had a bye in the first round. McEnroe was certainly a better grass court player than anyone Connors played at Wimbledon in 1974, Kriek won two consecutive Aussie titles and while grass wasn't Lendl best surface, he still was a very good grass player.
Jimmy Connor's opponents at Wimbledon 1974.
Wimbledon Great Britain
GS 24 Jun 1974 to 06 Jul 1974 Entry: DA Grass (O)
128 W Ove BENGTSON (SWE) 6-1 7-9 6-2 6-4
64 W Phil DENT (AUS) 5-7 6-3 3-6 6-3 10-8
32 W Adriano PANATTA (ITA) 6-2 7-5 6-2
16 W Jaime FILLOL (CHI) 6-3 5-7 6-0 6-1
QF W Jan KODES (TCH) 3-6 6-3 6-3 6-8 6-3
SF W Dick STOCKTON (USA) 4-6 6-2 6-3 6-4
FR W Ken ROSEWALL (AUS) 6-1 6-1 6-4
The thing is where does it end? If you devalue the Australian, do you make the 1971 Tennis Champions Classic the equivalent of two majors since it was prestigious and Laver won 13 matches without a loss against super competition. Are the people sure of the fractions? Does Federer's French count for less because he didn't play Nadal? (Incidentally I don't think a lot of these arguments are true but I'm using it to show how far it can go. Clearly the previous comment on Federer I do NOT believe.) Is Dallas better than a major in the 1970's and when was it devalued?