Originally Posted by FedericRoma83
Sure, but here I have to count another element: the prestige.
Philadelphia was amazing that year, as Sydney was in 1970, but they are not events comparable to the historical value of Masters and WCT Finals.
Counting Philadelphia as a substitute to a major would sound too arbitrary to me: I still prefer to choose between Masters and WCT, which are milestones in the history of tennis (obviously, I would have counted Philadelphia if WCT were totally depleted, but in my opinion they were still good, even if not perfect).
Anyway, this is only my interpretation, I think that your point of view is also definitely legitimate, and I agree that to choose the no. 1 we should also give credit to the Championship Series results: that's why I think that Connors has a big argument for 1976.
There is at least one problem with the historical prestige criteria for the Masters and WCT Finals: it's the same criterias used to argue that the AO, despite its weak field, should always be counted as a major. The AO has far more prestige from a historical standpoint, than Dallas or the Masters, so by that reasoning the AO should be kept as a major in the 70s and 80s.
In other words, if the AO is dropped as a major, it's because the criteria of strength of field is being elevated over historical prestige. And if that's the case then many tournaments can be placed over the Masters or Dallas, if those tournaments had stronger fields.
There have been lists on this forum of the 4 biggest tournaments per year. I don't know if this one was the most recent, but you can have a look; this one happens to take Philadelphia in '76 and '78: