Originally Posted by pc1
I've read that also and frankly I would tend to believe that over the 13-0 record.
Incidentally a young pro who is just introduced to the Pro Tour in those days often had a big losing streak. I believe Hoad was losing quite often in the beginning to top pros like Segura.
Segura was no longer at the top when he played Hoad in 1957, and Kramer believed that Hoad tanked against him and Segura because of this.
Laver had an introductory series of practice matches against Hoad and Rosewall before the public matches began, and Laver won the most important match of the series against Rosewall at Kooyong (a televised match) in a four-set slugfest, after losing the previous evening a close five-setter against Hoad on the same court (also televised). Doesn't look like he had the rookie nerves.
Again, this 8 to 0 report conflicts with the press reports of a contract for 13 matches against Hoad, and the clear recollections of the participants of the series.
Someone like Laver doesn't say in public that he lost his first 14 matches to someone without being well aware of it. This is not something you would forget. Yeah, I still say it looks like grasping at straws.