Originally Posted by egn
Nobody argues Laver should not have won more slams, however the argument for the millionth time is that in the 1960s the pro majors hold more weight than the amateur slams. This appears to be a difficult concept for some people to wrap their skull around, but times change. Laver only won 11 slams but if you count his pro majors it was a lot more. I think it is clear we can say the pro field was the better of the two because when it went to open era and the amateurs and pros were thrown together who dominated? Roy Emerson couldn't even beat late 30s Pancho on his worst surface (clay) and Emerson had won 2 of those amateur French Opens. He never made another semi or final. He chose not to go pro and fell far behind his peers. Same happened for most of the big ameatur guys in the mid 60s that didn't go pro, when open era came around they were no longer top players and more of the middle tier. The only ones who could really compete at the top level was Newk.
So yes it is unfair to say Laver would have dominated the majors had he played them in the 60s, but it is safe to say that most of the 'slams' as you call them that were won in the 60s were not as impressive. Which is why most consider Laver's best two seasons to be 69 and 67 and 62 is kind of iffy. 62 was a great accomplishment but 69 was much more impressive as the level of talent Laver disposed of was ridiculous. He didn't play some of the slam events because he wanted to make money off playing tennis. Lets be real if all the majors nowadays gave out no prize money at all and told players if they were sponsored they could not show up and play them, I could imagine things being pretty different. The players wanted to make money and be the focus and in the spotlight. The pro tour in the 60s gave them that opportunity.
Again judge on the times and realize yea he has only 11 'slams' but numerous pro majors and dominated the pro tour for most of the mid to late 60s. As well as then being the dominating force when the open era came to be.
Agreed. But to put it in perspective, when Open Tennis started in 1968, Laver would be thirty that year and most likely past his prime. Yet Laver won the first Open Wimbledon and the Grand Slam the next year when he would turn 31. So Laver won five of the first seven majors played when he was about 30 and a bit above 30. How many majors did he miss winning when he was at his physical peak?
It's all speculation of course but I think the general opinion of those who saw his dominance was that he probably would have won many more majors. We cannot prove it of course but imagine if Federer or Nadal couldn't play majors anymore when they were in their early twenties. It would be a crime but they would have the amount of majors they have in reality now reduced by a great amount. I don't think it would reduce Federer's or Nadal's greatness one bit if they didn't win the classic majors during the period they would have been banned but it may affect how some may view them, however wrong it may be. Federer would be no less great if he didn't win classic majors during that time and won Pro Majors. Heck the Pro Majors probably would have a stronger field in this type of scenario.
Now if Federer and Nadal were robbed of an opportunity to play in the majors for years I think it would be fair to speculate that they would have won a lot more majors even if they did not assuming they did very well in the Pro Tour like Laver and Rosewall did. No we are not talking about fact but we are talking about probability. The probability would be that Federer and Nadal would have won a lot of majors just as the probability Laver and Rosewall would have won a lot of majors when they were banned from playing the majors. Isn't logical speculation one of the fun things in discussing sports in general? Notice I say logical speculation.
We do know for a fact Laver was dominant in the Pro Tour for years and won the Pro Grand Slam in 1967 plus the Wimbledon tournament they played on the pro circuit that year. Experts at the time knew Laver and Rosewall were the best in the world and not Roy Emerson for example who won a good portion of the majors.