Originally Posted by pc1
They (Kramer and Tilden) are definitely candidates for most important player. I suppose most influential might be a better term.
Laver and Rosewall helped keep the popularity of tennis alive in the 1960's so they were influential also. Borg created almost the rock star image of tennis in the 1970's with some other players I suppose.
Pancho Segura was very influential in his own way as a player and a coach.
Lew Hoad (and his close friend Tony Trabert), who brought tennis alive in the new media, that is TELEVISION. Their 1955 Davis Cup match drew an audience of over 10 million, the first mass audience for the game.
The Wimbledon finals of 1956 and 1957 provided the highest display of tennis in the postwar game to that point.
Although Kramer refused to allow TV cameras into the major pro tournaments at Forest Hills, for fear that TV would hurt ticket sales, Trabert himself succeeded Kramer as the tour manager in 1962, and televised hugely popular matches in Australia, including a 1962 tournament final where Hoad defeated Rosewall, and big matches at Kooyong in 1963 where Hoad defeated Laver in a close, five set match, and Laver defeated Rosewall the next day in four sets.
Hoad was responsible for bringing tennis to TV with mass popularity.