Originally Posted by kiki
Can anybody report a 5 sets defeat of Newcombe at a true major?
Other than Kodes, maybe Roche at 1969 USO but Roche was John's half orange in tennis terms
Kodes also bested him in a long RG match back in 1969
Can't think of one in a major final. But to be fair Laver did beat Newcombe in some really big five set matches like in the 1971 Tennis Champions Classic.
Now are you only counting finals? Tom Okker beat Newcombe in five sets at the French Open in 1969. Okker lost in the next round in four sets to that man again, Laver. Roche beat Newk at the Australian in 1969 in the quarters in five sets only to lose to...guess who--Laver in five sets.
Still you're right Newcombe was great in five set matches. He seemed to beat Smith all the time in big five set matches like at Wimbledon and the 1973 Davis Cup final. Some have said that Newk would be their choice to play for their life in a single match.