Originally Posted by pc1
I've written this before but I saw Newcombe play Connors at the 1973 US Open. It was a fantastic match if memory serves. Connors played great but Newcombe played better. The match scores were 6-4 (one service break) 7-6 (Points were 5-4 in tiebreaker so it was double set point in those days) and 7-6 in the third and against it was 5-4 in points in the tiebreaker.
So if Connors won two points he would have led two sets to one. There were no service breaks except for the first set. Newcombe served well even for him and that's saying something. As you know Newcombe went on to defeat another favorite of yours Jan Kodes in the final. It does say a lot for Kodes to play an in form peak Newcombe and take him to five sets. Very few could do that, especially on the fast grass of the West Side Tennis Club.
Kodes was always very very tough for Newcombe.They played a gruelling five setter at the 1969 RG event which could have gone either way, but Newcombe survived ( Okker beat him handily in the quarters due to Newcombe´s tiredness) and they also had a great DC match, I think also in 69.of course, Kodes beat Newk at Forest Hills in 71.Newcombe ( as all top players of that era) had the greatest respect for Kodes.
I think Newcombe is one of the most charismatic and legendary players of the Open era and still, so much unknown over here.But he´s an all time great and, as you said earlier, no single ever player in tennis history would like to play a hungry, fit Newcombe, and specially on fast grass.