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Old 11-10-2012, 06:23 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Mustard View Post
1960: Gonzales is finally free of his pro contract with Kramer, which had lasted for 7 years, and hardly plays any tournaments this year. However, Gonzales dominates the 4-man world pro tour against Rosewall, Segura and Olmedo.

1961: Gonzales wins the US Pro title for the eighth time, and wins the world pro tour against Gimeno, Hoad, MacKay, Olmedo, Buchholz and Sedgman. Rosewall was clearly doing increasingly well on the tournament scene, however. Gonzales retires from tennis at the end of 1961, and doesn't return until 18 months later, for a terrible loss at the 1963 US Pro against Olmedo. Gonzales then returned to the pro tour for a full-time schedule in 1964.
I give the "world best player" title to Gonzales in 1956, 1957, 1958. But 1960 and 1961? No way! In 1960 Rosewall won Wembley Pro and French Pro which were 2 important events, while Gonzales retired in May and came back in December. In 1961 once again Rosewall won the same 2 events while Gonzales won only Us Pro. Yes Gonzales had a good 4 man pro-tour head-to-head, but that was pro-tour. Nadal beat Federer more than vice versa, but it does not mean much in a large picture.

I have Gonzales as the best player in 8 calendar years.
I have 6, sorry, my bad. So his resume is not better than a guy named Sampras.

The world pro tours were even bigger than the pro majors back then, and Gonzales only lost the 1950 version against Kramer.
You said something interesting and I want to dig deeper on this topic. Maybe you are right, pro tour was bigger than pro slam back then. BUT, why that happened and what does it mean? It means that there were so few players made livings by playing tennis, so 4 certain guys played against each other to death. It was so pathetic and funny at the same time. Imagine you are forced to see Federer and Nadal matches everyday in a long 365 days of a year, and the circle starts again in the next year and so on. My God I would find a gun and kill them both.

The problem is, tennis was not big that age. It was a small sport with a few guys participated day in day out. What is the big deal if some guy won all the titles? Like I said before, it does not mean much.

Imagine if Federer played Nadal, Djokovic, Murray and Tsonga all year, and never a player outside of the current top 15-20. Would that make him a weak player? In the 1950s, the best amateur players turned professional and would be pitted against the ultimate competition. You had to improve considerably to survive on the pro tour. Laver said in early 1963, "I thought Hoad was good, but Rosewall is even better. I am going to have to learn how to play tennis all over again if I am going to compete with them". And this came from the man who had won the Grand Slam in the amateurs in 1962.
First: you just said Laver' 1962 was meaningless. So Laver won only ONE Grand Slam, nothing more.
Second: Like I said before, it is great to see Federer and Nadal match one in a while, but it will be disaster to see 100 matches of them day in day out. When you played against one or two players all the time, you do not have enough encouragement to up your game or your skill. You stand in one place or even worse, you downgrade to a lesser player. Today players need to train hard 3-4 hours per day everyday in a year and every year in 10-15 long years, if they have any desire to win titles and go to top 10. I remember reading an article claim that Gonzales was a playboy at that time, much like Safin today. He was going around, coming to bars, chasing women and still be undisputed world number 1 for 8, i am sorry, 6 years. How could it be possible? Or because he and his buddies were not as great as you want me to believe?
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