Originally Posted by krosero
Something similar was said about Vilas not winning the big ones. When he won the French, a lot of people said he had the monkey off his back. But not everyone. When he won the USO, this was in the Associated Press:
Guillermo Vilas finally has won a big one....solidifying his claim toward being the No. 1 tennis player in the world.... Although Vilas had captured the French Open title in Paris earlier this summer, he never had won one of the sport’s two premier events – Forest Hills or Wimbledon. But now the stigma of not being able to win the big one has ended – decisively....
I just think that the top tournaments were viewed on a continuum, more than being sharply divided between traditional majors and non-majors.
And if there was ever a time when there was confusion about what a major was, it was the early Open Era.
Wimbledon and the US Open were the 2 biggest events at that time, but that article makes it sound like they were the only majors. Tony Trabert mentioned Vilas' French Open win on the 1977 US Open final broadcast, how Vilas had won the 1977 French Open in "decisive fashion".
And yes, the early open era was chaotic to say the least in terms of organisation.