Originally Posted by Flash O'Groove
I'm sorry, I'm not sure that I have understood your first paragraph. Are you speaking of the average level of play? If yes, I can imagine that the average level of play was effectively higher in average. But it could be wrong. My point is that the place of the lesser pro player was not threatened. We don't know how good they really were, and we can't only assume that they were all time great just because they lot a bunch of tournament against proven all-time great. Look, Davydenko is a great player. He is clearly inferior to Federer and Nadal, even in somehow he find a way to dominate him on hard court. If, like I proposed before, these players played only in WTF tournament, his fame would be better and is name would be more recognized, but that wouldn't mean that he is that a great player.
I know it's not your case, but Dann Lobb claims that all this past pro would be dominant players today. We know that it is true for Rosewall and Laver because they proved it in the open field. But we really don't know how the other would fare in different era. Just the same for Davydenko or even Murray. They are great contemporaries players, but they are clearly inferior to Nadal and Federer. As much respect they deserve, I don't think that we can assume that they would have a lot of success against the over all-time great. There is really a big gap between the all-time great and the over merely great players.
Finally regarding Emerson, I can imagine that he won some money. Endorsement are not born with the last rain, and he was famous. But what about the first round guys? How good were they? And finally, how well would have Emerson fared against the pro, had he become one of them?
Finally you should note that I really don't disrespect these old timer. I genuinely rank Rosewall and Laver respectively at the second and third place on my all time ranking. What I disagree again is the idea that they played in toughest era ever, against all time great such as Gimeno who would trounce Fedal. I don't believe in magic nor in hazard. For an era to be significantly tougher or weaker than an other, there must be some explanation. I provided a socio-economical analysis to argue my case, and I would need socio-economical argument to believe that this era was tougher. The opinion of Rosewall is only marginally heavier than Murray's or Djokovic's.
Thanks for reading my long post (and I guess this one is not well constructed) to you and Feather (I'm always very interested by the post of both of you by the way).
Look, Rosewall was well past prime when open tennis arrived, and he won more than his share of Open majors against Newcombe, Roche, Ashe and other younger players.
Rosewall probably peaked in 1958-59, when he ranked third behind Gonzales and Hoad.
Think about it.