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Old 02-23-2013, 10:21 AM   #34
Xavier G
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 505

Originally Posted by krosero View Post
I presume that experts voted for the top player of the year before Jan. 1. In that case they may have counted Jimmy's Masters victory in Jan. '78 -- not because they truly regarded it as belonging to the '78 season but simply for the expediency of having 12 months of results to evaluate.

In December '77, for example, most experts came out with their rankings for the year even though they were aware that the season would not officially end until the Masters was concluded in Jan. '78. It's just a tradition everywhere to vote for 'best of the year' -- in all things, not just tennis -- before New Year's Day.

And because of that tradition, I'm not sure there was any expert ranking of the '78 season that ended with the January '79 Masters. If there had been, Jimmy's Masters victory in Jan '78 would not have been counted, and then you have to ask how that would have affected votes. Maybe the experts who voted for Jimmy best of the calendar year would have stuck with him and called him the best of the tennis season, too. But maybe not.

Borg was 21-2 against the rest of the top ten, Connors 14-3.

I calculated that stat myself using the official computer rankings at year's end -- and using only sanctioned events.

You don't hear too much about that stat today -- probably because conditions are uniform on the tour and everyone faces essentially the same field. But back then, H2H against the whole field was regarded by some as important (Sports Illustrated used it to judge the '77, '83 and '85 seasons; and other experts in '77 also used it).

Borg won 9 non-sanctioned titles: Goteborg; Copenhagen; Tokyo Suntory Cup; Menton French Riviera; Frejus Arena; Essen; Hamburg; Manila; Antwerp.

Connors won 3 non-sanctioned titles (his first such titles since 72, per his Wikipedia page): Beckenham; Kobe & Tokyo; and Lucerne Invitational.

Borg's winning streak -- ended at the USO -- was also reported prominently in the press, and in year-end publications. I don't know what the official count is, at the ATP, today. Back then it was reported as 55 straight matches.
Good info there.
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