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Old 11-21-2012, 02:45 PM   #649
Join Date: Jul 2008
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Default Value of tournaments and matches and how they relate to GOAT

Originally Posted by jeffreyneave View Post
Just because a player wins the world tour does not automatically make you number one. Gonzales won every world tour played between 1954 and 1961, but that does not mean he was necessarily number one every year. Other play namely tournaments count as well. I rate sedgman as number 1 in 1958 and Rosewall as number one in 1961. The same is true in 1964. All active play counts towards world rankings not just the activity on the world tour. In 1964 19 tournaments made up the world tour but in all play there were 31 tournaments plus numerous one night stands. On the world tour Rosewall won 7 tournaments and Laver 6. But on overall play Laver won 11 tornaments and Rosewall 10. That's point why the world tour should be ignored because it does not cover all play. The world tour also failed to give extra points to the 3 pro majors. The world tour is not representative of overall play which showed that Laver had an edge in tournaments won, won 2 majors to one for rosewall and had huge 15-4 edge in their head to head results. Laver's win loss percentage was also superior at 74.8% to Rosewall's 69.5%.

I am very confident that the world tour consisted of 19 tournaments. I have added up Rosewall's 78 points, Laver's 70 points and Hoad's 29 points from these tournaments. These tournaments are all the events with 8 or more players except the Port Elizabeth tournament. That gives 18 events. The 19th event is the 4 man golden Racquet at Wembley where Gonzales and and hoad earned extra points.

Originally Posted by pc1 View Post

You have excellent points but we also must take into consideration the rules and how the players valued things during their time. To give an example, let us say that in 1979 player X won the Australian and player Y won Wimbledon. The rest of the year they had an equal record. Well by today's standards it is even but by the standards of 1979 it's not close, Wimbledon is by FAR a bigger tournament. I would venture to say that the Australian was below several other tournaments aside from majors in 1979.

If you look at 1960 for example Rosewall won the French Pro and Wembley. That's two of three majors and Olmedo won the US Pro. Pancho Gonzalez did not win a major that year but he very well had a great right to be called World Champion because he crushed Rosewall on a multi player tour along with Segura and Olmedo winning an incredible 49 of 57 matches!! Gonzalez's main focus were the tours and it is definitely true that these tours were MORE important than any major to the top pro at the time. Whoever wins it is considered the World Champion and it put money on Gonzalez's wallet. Lose the tour and he was no longer World Champion and a has been. There is no ifs ands or buts about it. The tours were BIGGER than a major.

So the same thing applies for 1964, by the standards of that time and that tour Rosewall was number one. Now in this case it's so close you can give an excellent argument for Laver as World Champion but I have no problems with calling Rosewall co-number one with Laver. You cannot just apply the standards of today to this.

By this logic Federer is the GOAT easily despite the fact guys like Tilden were more dominant in their respective times but didn't play the majors because of the travel problems among other things. Laver, Gonzalez, Kramer, Sedgman, Segura, Hoad, Budge, Nusslein and Trabert couldn't play the majors for a good portion of their careers. Do you penalize them for not winning as many majors as Roy Emerson because all in my opinion were superior to him? By applying the standards of today you can make an argument Emerson is the third best player ever and that would be wrong.
Originally Posted by BobbyOne View Post
jeffrey, Omitting the world tour is as wrong as considering it alone. Thus I give tied No.1 places. Also for 1959, 1960, 1961.

Originally Posted by BobbyOne View Post
pc1, You have explained the matter better than I could do. Very convincing to me.
Originally Posted by urban View Post
Good points and discussion here. Indeed we have the problem of applying todays standards. On the other hand, the standards of the pro tour were not always that clear for the pros themselves. Especially in transition years the pros leaned towards holding on the old king, in a way that a boxing champion had to be dethroned, even if he didn't defend his title. Dempsey for instance was the world champ in the 20s without even boxing for more than 3 years.
So Kramer was seen as the world pro champ until 1953 inclusive, although he played only sporadically 1951-1953, and was in my estimation overhauled by Gonzalez or Sedgman, if you consider the full seasons of tennis. Rosewall was imo the true pro Nr. 1 since 1961, but in that year most people still thought of Gonzalez as the real champ. In years like 1959 the pro ranking was a real mess, with all kinds of promoters and players giving ranking lists, which heavily differed from each other. Sometimes the pros didn't seem to know, what the reigning standard was. Since McCauley' book we have at least a solid statistical basis for reconsideration. We do this also in open years like 1975 or 1978, when the computer system was in its infancy. McCauley himself follows the old system of favoring the older champ as explained above - in his paragraph titles, but in the text he makes modifications.
Above is a discussion in the Alan Trengove on Rod Laver thread. I thought it would be interesting to quote some of the posts and put them in this thread.

Essentially the discussion was about the changing value on what is important in tennis accomplishments during a tennis year and how it varies depending on the year or decade. For example the Australian while always technically a major was not really considering that important for a while in the seventies and eighties. Many top players skipped the tournament.

One thing that has been not discussed is the head to head tours the top pros use to play for the World Championships. These were not technically tournaments but whoever won them was considered to be World Champion and it was really MORE IMPORTANT than any major. This adds to the resume of the great Pancho Gonzalez in that he won more of these tours than anyone in history. Most of them for the World title.

Gonzalez defeated on tour greats like Trabert, Rosewall, Hoad, Segura, Gimeno, Cooper, Anderson. Some of them were beaten on several tours. You combine this with all his Pro Majors and his tournaments won and it is arguably a record without parallel.

Do I personally think Gonzalez had the greatest record in the history of tennis? I think he's in the mix with greats like Laver, Rosewall, Tilden and Borg among others. But the tour record is incredible.

Last edited by pc1; 11-22-2012 at 06:31 AM.
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