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Old 07-14-2011, 01:12 PM   #28
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Location: Atlanta, GA
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Originally Posted by pc1 View Post
You may be correct but it's all debatable. Let's look at the first Open Era Open tournaments. The first Open era tournament was won by Ken Rosewall over Rod Laver. The first French Open was won by Ken Rosewall over Rod Laver. The first Wimbledon was won by Rod Laver over Tony Roche and Roche was a Pro. The first US Open was won by Arthur Ashe (technically an amateur) over Tom Okker. The first Australian Open was won by Rod Laver over Andres Gimeno, both pros. The second French Open was won by Rod Laver over Ken Rosewall, both pros. The second Wimbledon was won by Rod Laver over John Newcombe, both pros in 1968 although Newk (and Roche too) were amateurs in 1967. The second US Open was won by Laver over Tony Roche.

In 1970 Rosewall won the US Open over Tony Roche and was in the finals of Wimbledon. He also won the Australian in 1971 and 1972 over Ashe and Anderson respectively. There were also a number of boycotts in which Laver, Rosewall and company did not play the majors.

Gimeno won the French Open in 1972 in a relatively weak field. But Kodes won the French in 1970 and 1971. It's debatable whether Kodes would have won the French if Laver and Rosewall were in the tournament. Considering that Laver beat Kodes easily in the Italian Open final in 1971 I would tend to think that Laver or Rosewall would have been favored over Kodes even though Kodes was an excellent clay court player.

As you can see by the results, the pros did quite well in the majors. Actually the Pros from the 1960's dominated the early majors. They may as well been the Old Pro Majors considering the results. This happened regularly in those days.

A small field with greats I think would be preferable to a large field with weaker players. Think of it this way, the YEC has been ranked as about equivalent to majors in the past and clearly above the Australian for some years. The WCT championship was clearly considered a major although not a classic major. It only had an eight man field. Arthur Ashe was ranked number one in 1975 primarily on his Wimbledon win and his WCT win.

You have a point John123 but imagine a field in the 1950's with Hoad, Rosewall, Sedgman, Segura, Trabert and Gonzalez. All at or near their primes. Might be a small field, but it definitely is an awesome tournament.
This is a good post as well. The so called "grand slam" majors of the open era were also not always the most important tournaments. At least until the mid-1980s or so. Definitely until the standardized tours of 1990 and beyond.
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