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Old 01-03-2012, 01:37 PM   #29
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 506

Just read this in other big tennis forum.. can someone confirm we actually didn't have Pro Majors before 1968?

In fact, there were no Pro Slams before open tennis.
Some tournaments had more prestige and money than others, such as the Forest Hills Pro (held in 1957, 1958, 1959 only), the Melbourne Pro at Kooyong stadium (held in 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1962) and Roland Garros Pro (held in 1956, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1968 ).
Wembley was the most important indoor tournament (billed as the World Pro Indoor Championships), but was less prestigious than Forest Hills or Kooyong, judging from the list of finalists (Anderson won in 1959). Wembley, with its densely-smoke-filled interior, no air-conditioning, was hard on the bigger players who needed lots of oxygen, and favoured smaller players such as Rosewall, Segura, Laver who dominated the finals.
The same was true for Stade Coubertin, in Paris, a smoky, dingy place, where the French Pro located in the 1960's.
The so-called US Pro was not officially recognized as a pro championship by the USPLTA between 1952 and 1962 when it was held in Cleveland, but this did not stop Jack March, the promoter from extravagent billing. It usually only attracted two or three of the top pros.
In short, there was no regularly held Pro Slam tournament in the old pro days before open tennis, and each tournament has to be evaluated independently on its own merits.
By any standard, Hoad won three major pro tournaments, the 1958 Melbourne Pro at Kooyong, the 1959 Forest Hills Pro (the unofficial world pro championship), and the 1960 Melbourne Pro at Kooyong. All of these tournaments had concurrent doubles titles, which Hoad also won with Trabert or Anderson as partners. (The so-called US Pro had, of course, no doubles event).
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