Originally Posted by urban
In 1971, most people had Newcombe as Nr. 1, and i would agree. Its a difficult year for ranking, because of the split between the more pominent WCT and and the non-contract ILTF Grand Prix tour. Newcombe won Wim over Smith and Rosewall, and did well on the WCT tour, winning 4 events, including Philly on carpet and Montreal on clay, and was leading the WCT points race until autumn, when he fell out with an injury. His bad loss came to Kodes in the 1rst round at Forest Hills, but Kodes went on to the final. Overall Newcombe did better on the regular pro tour than 1970.
Rosewall won the AO, but this event was integrated in the 20 tournament WCT series, and he won 3 other WCT events, finishing 3rd in the points race, plus the 8 men finals. Laver was the by far leading money winner, won all of his 13 challenge matches at the Legends series, and he won the WCT points race after 20 tournaments, ahead of Okker and Rosewall. He was 2-1 on Newcombe, 3-2 on Rosewall and 1-0 on Smith. Smith played mostly on the Grand Prix tour, he played however Rome and Berkeley on the better WCT tour, without much success. He reached the Wim final and won Forest Hills over Okker and Kodes. A very uneven year, but i would give the nod to Newcombe. In 1973, i have Nastase, despite his bad losses at Wim and Forest Hills, in a close race ahead of Newcombe, who had some bad losses on the European spring tour. The decider was imo the Masters Cup at Boston.