Originally Posted by Dan Lobb
Yes, but suppose Hoad had turned pro in 1953 (and Kramer made him a hot offer), at the age of 19. (Alternatively, that tennis is opened in 1954).
What happens next? I think that Hoad matures by 1955, and is a serious challenge to Gonzales in every tournament.
Likewise, if Trabert and Rosewall turn pro in 1954, you also have two more contenders in majors, especially at Roland Garros (you cannot assume that Gonzales, who was tough on clay, would beat these three guys at Roland Garros, because all three were even better on clay than Gonzales).
Sedgman is also more of a contender, because on grass his game is tougher than on wood.
How do you see Gonzales winning twenty majors? Sorry, I don't.
The field in the late fifties (from 1956 to 1960) is just too strong for one player to "dominate" the way Federer has at times.
You make some very salient points, but there are a lot what-ifs there. I think if that would have happened, Gonzales would have been even more driven. Remember that Gorgo himself had his share of dry spells, like in '60, where he competed in few tournaments.
Also, even at the age of 26 after several years on the pro circuit, Rosewall was edged by Gonzo 16-5 in the h2h in 1960. From '57-'60, the head-to-head was 90-42 Gorgo, a very decisive edge.
I don't think Trabert would take many majors away from Gonzales. Gonzales was far better on fast surfaces (none of his 17 were won on clay).