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Old 03-06-2012, 06:10 AM   #1094
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Originally Posted by Carlo Giovanni Colussi View Post
The problem is that
I didn't accuse Pancho of vanity for correcting his name to its standard form
but because I thought
(wrongly due to a comment I read somewhere and given my ignorance in Spanish language)
that Gonzales considered his then name to be pejorative whereas it wasn't.

So what I wrote wasn't silly.

However apparently Gonzales's motivation wasn't a problem of misplaced pride as claimed in the article I read
but as you suggest a simple correction of a wrong mispelling.

Now I wrote both Gonzales or Gonzalez according to the circumstances given that
his official name was Gonzales before circa 1966
and Gonzalez since that date.

So Gonzales beat Rosewall in the 1960 world pro tour
whereas Rosewall beat Gonzalez in the March 1966 Madison Square Garden tournament.
Okay, Carlo. Don’t get upset. It’s clear to me now that the problem lies not with you but with the article you read being misguided on this issue in attributing the spelling change to vanity or snobbery or whatever. You may take some comfort in the knowledge that s/z (and b/v) are some of the most common misspellings in Spanish because they are pronounced the same in most places.

I remember in one of the 77 Vilas thread polls you saying you intended to study the topic in some depth. It would be interesting to see your detailed views of that year since you obviously know a lot. No doubt from an attendance point of view the French was below Wimbledon and the USO. A good way to to start sorting things out is to see what its real status was in the overall mix of things. Two extreme lines of thought are easily detected here. Vilas defenders tend to refer simply to its status as a major without qualifications. Borg’s defenders often take the opposite route and indulge in offhand dismissal of that tournament to the basement, mainly because of the absence of Borg, Connors and Orantes without examination of the rest of the draw and apparently no consideration of its format requiring 7 rounds of best of 5matches.

In another thread I calculated that the average ranking of the 10 highest ranked participants in the USO, Wimbledon and the French in 1977 were as follows:

USO 5.5 (highest possible, since all top 10 ranked players were there)
Wimbledon 7.2
Roland Garros 10.5

Similar calculations might be done with the best 15 or best 20 etc.

An issue that seems to be systematically ignored is format. It seems to me that the 128-man, best of 5 format must be indicative of something, as only two or three tournaments had it. The difficulty of winning a tournament of those characteristics vs a 16-man draw with best of 3 matches is not at all trivial (if the density of draws is comparable). This must be so because the probability, over 7 rounds, of running into a player who is having a hot day or a hot tourament and can knock you out if you are having a so-so day, is so much higher. Crossing a 40-meter swamp you run a certain risk of being bit by a snake. The risk increases substantially if the length of the swamp goes up to 70 meters, even if the smaller swamp contains a few snakes of higher ferocity. So the topic of where exactly to place the FO in the overall arrangement is crucial, as are other issues like the 72 of 73 match wins interrupted only by the Nastase spaghetti strings and a sore wrist.
(Tiriac, in an interview after the racquet was banned, said that Vilas had a lot of pain in his wrist and had been on antiinflamatories for 3 days. And apparently that’s why he quit (not because of the Nastase racquet). He also said some funny things about the racquet: that it gave tennis a “new dimension" and banning it was the wrong thing to do, and that this racquet in Vilas’ hands, with his spin, the ball would be "bouncing over the stands." He added that the racquet would be excellent for guys like Borg, Vilas and Solomon.)
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