Originally Posted by Mustard
It wasn't "depleted". Defending champion, Panatta, was there, as was 1973 champion, Nastase. Other tough players like Ramirez, Solomon and Gottfried were in the draw. Borg consciously knew that signing a contract to play 1977 WTT for the Cleveland Nets would make him ineligible to play at the 1977 French Open.
More importantly, Borg wasn't there. This was not a case of him showing up and losing. He just wasn't there. He figured that WTT was more important than whatever peanuts the FO was tossing out. Other noticeable absences: Connors, Gerulaitis, and Orantes, all of which were threats on clay, the latter two being FO finalists. Three of year-end top 5 skipped the event, and half the top 10.