Originally Posted by NatF
How are you judging 1958 and 1959 as the toughest field ever? I think ranking competition is pretty hard, what big tournaments did he win? Etc...
If it's comparable to 3 majors, a WTF and 4 masters then we can discuss competition. Them after that you can try and explain how it could beat winning all 4 majors in a calender year...
Remember, that in the 4 current majors there are several rounds of lesser competitors to go through, sometimes even six rounds of weak competition.
In the old pro tour of the late 50's, there was a tough match every day.
Is the WTF a major? Didn't look like it this year.
In 1958, Hoad won the tournament championship on points and money in a field consisting of Hoad, Gonzales, Rosewall, Sedgman, Segura, Trabert. Four top ten all-timers, and two on the short-list.
The series consisted of 5 tournaments, Hoad winning at Kooyong, and a 3 to 1 edge on Gonzales. Overall 13 wins, 10 losses.
In 1959, in a 14 tournament series, he won on points and money in a field of Hoad, Gonzales, Rosewall, Sedgman, Trabert, Anderson, Segura, Cooper, Rose, Hartwig, Giammalva, McGregor. Not a weak link anywhere, and Hartwig defeated Hoad once in the series. Hoad won 6 tournaments, including the Australian Pro at Adelaide, the Forest Hills Pro, Kooyong. He was 6 to 2 over Rosewall (including Kooyong, Forest Hills, Adelaide, Roland Garros) and 3 and 5 against Gonzales (2 and 2 in tournament deciders).
Overall 34 wins and 13 losses.
In addition to the tournament series, he was 36 and 51 against Gonzales in the 1958 American/Australian tour (although he had a 15 to 3 winning streak early in the series, and won the greatest match of the series at Kooyong in 80 games), and 42 and 20 on the 1959 American tour (15 to 13 against Gonzales).
The numbers of matches he played these two years were 120+ in 1958 (despite missing four months to injury), and 150+ in 1959, far more competition than Federer or Sampras played in a year.