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Old 08-09-2012, 09:04 AM   #49
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 7,773

Originally Posted by Dan Lobb View Post
"The top tournaments that they played were the Pro Slams."
Unfortunately, this was not always true. In fact, between 1952 and 1962 the so-called US Pro at Cleveland was not officially recognized by the USPLTA as an official championship. The 1951 US Pro, definitely a pro major, was held at Forest Hills, and lost a ton of money for the promoter, Jack March. He decided to hold the 1952 US Pro in a minor locale in Cleveland, where the costs were lower, and the USPLTA refused to sanction the event, or the other so-called "US Pro" events he continued to hold in Cleveland.
Jack Kramer moved his own Tournament of Champions to Forest Hills in 1957, where it became the preeminent pro tournament of the late 1950's, and following the 1959 Forest Hills Pro, a great event with Hoad defeating Gonzales in an awesome display of tennis, Kramer applied to the USPLTA for official recognition of the event as the real US Pro. Kramer obtained approval for this application, but the 1960 Forest Hills Pro had to be cancelled when Gonzales pulled out of the tournament schedule. In 1963, the event was finally held, with Laver and Rosewall playing the final to a largely empty stadium for no prize money.
In short, you have to look at each individual tournament, and its peculiar circumstances, to assess its importance.
In 1967, the most important tournament was not Wembley (held in a densely smoked arena, with no air-conditioning), or the equally smoky Stade Coubertin, or the Boston US Pro, but the Wimbledon Pro, with a great final between Laver and Rosewall, the best of the year.
Similarly, the list of competitors and champions at the Kooyong Pro in the late 1950's and early 1960's, held in Australia's foremost stadium, marks it as a major Pro event. The pretender US Pro at Cleveland, the British Pro at Nottingham, and the Australian Pro at various small venues in Australia, were actually minor events with weak fields.
You will never admit that Kooyong was not a pro major.

The 1967 Wimbledon final was not the best pro final that year. In fact Wembley with or without smoke was clearly the best final: 5 set on the highest level...
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