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Old 02-11-2010, 04:55 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by timnz View Post
A lot of people talk about the Majors in the 60's that Laver couldn't compete in and therefore missed out on Grand Slam events then. But can we compile a list of those majors of which he was barred in the first 1/2 of the 1970's (and couldn't compete due to political, contract or other reasons?) eg Australian Open 1970 and the French Open 1970 & 1971. And of those events which ones was he a possible contender for the title. (I think he had a strong chance of winning all three of the above titles).
I don't know about that. I can speak to the barring though. Again from Ilie Nastase, the pros had a choice to make. They could either play WTT or two of the majors, the Oz and the French. Nastase was the defending champion and chose to take the WTT deal because it was more lucrative financially. I'm quite sure Laver did the same thing. There was some real resentment from the players against the ITF back then because the ITF tried to keep the players as amateurs.

Laver signed to play WCT. He did so knowing that Lamar Hunt ran his tour in competition with the ITF. That meant that Laver was contractually obligated to play WCT and could not play majors. Laver & Rosewall both chose WCT because the money was better. Nastase signed with them as well. After a period, Hunt signed an agreement with the ITF which allowed "his" players to compete.

And again, the commitment to Davis Cup is evident as the most important to the players as Nastase missed both WCT commitments and the Alan King Classic (one of the highest paying at the time) to play Davis Cup. So it is clear that the priorities of the pros at the dawn of professional tennis were vastly different than those of the last 20 years.
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