Originally Posted by Mustard
Big achievements of Pancho Gonzales
- Won 2 US Championships as an amateur in 1948 and 1949
- Won 3 Wembley Pros in a row in 1950, 1951 and 1952
- Added a fourth Wembley Pro title in 1956
- Won 7 US Pros in a row in 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958 and 1959
- Didn't play the 1960 US Pro, but won his 8th US Pro title in 1961
- Won 3 consecutive Tournament of Champions titles in 1956, 1957 and 1958
- Won the head-to-head World Pro Tours of 1954, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960 and 1961, which were the biggest events in professional tennis at the time. The only head-to-head World Pro Tour that Gonzales lost was to Kramer in 1950 (27-96). 1954 was Gonzales beating Segura, Sedgman and Budge. 1956 was Gonzales beating Trabert (74-27), 1957 was Gonzales beating Rosewall (50-26), 1958 was Gonzales beating Hoad (51-36), 1959 was Gonzales beating Hoad, Cooper and Anderson, 1960 was Gonzales beating Rosewall, Segura and Olmedo. And 1961 was Gonzales beating Gimeno, Hoad, MacKay, Olmedo, Buchholz and Sedgman.
- I personally have Gonzales as world number 1 for 8 years in a row (1954-1961), and it's pretty close at the top in 1952 between Segura and Gonzales without a big head-to-head tour involving Kramer that year.
- At the age of 41, Gonzales saved 7 match points, twice from 0-40 down, during his 1969 Wimbledon first round match against Pasarell. Gonzales won the match 22-24, 1-6, 16-14, 6-3, 11-9, and is thought to be the biggest reason behind the introduction of the tiebreak into tennis from 1970-1973
- Capable of beating Rod Laver in 5 sets during Laver's peak in a $10,000 winner takes all match, which he did in February 1970.
Of course, there are some questions here.
His opponent in 1948 US final was Sturgess, not on my list of all-time greats.
His opponent in the 1950 Wembley final was van Horn, who also doesn't make my list of all-time greats.
Many of the Cleveland US Pros were weak fields, and an unaccredited title.
(Didn't he beat Don Budge in one of the finals?)
The 1954 Pro Tour was not a head-to-head, but a round robin series.
In 1959, Gonzales did not beat Hoad, but since the predominance of Gonzales' and Hoad's matches were against each other, and not against the rookies, Gonzales concluded that he had lost a head-to-head against Hoad.
("The only player who beat me in a head-to-head tour was Hoad in 1959", obviously downgrading the Kramer tour of 1950).