Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Vegito, Oct 1, 2010.
from an article on the '78 USO
Vilas in those days from 1974 seemed to almost have a regular television show in the United States because he was on every week for the Summer Circuit. So Vilas was very popular here in the United States and I enjoyed his play also in those days.
I don't think if they acknowledged Vilas as number one for 1977 that he would have gained motivation. Vilas seemed to me to be very self motivated anyone.
I think his game, while excellent didn't have the penetrating power of some players like a Connors, Borg or Lendl so he wasn't as good on hard courts as these players.
I thought when Vilas won the Masters at the end of 1974 that it was possible that we could have another great superstar player. He beat players like Borg, Newcombe, Nastase and Ramirez on grass. You have three excellent grass court players that he beat. Newcombe may have been the best grass court player in the world at that time. I'm not sure if that performance by Vilas didn't even surpassed his great US Open victory in 1977.
Vilas turned out to be a great great star but he didn't quite reach legendary status in my mind.
Vilas was great on clay and great on grass (won Masters and Australian Open). And he was very good on hard courts (beated McEnroe in Basel 1978).
ATP Ranking 1977 is a scandal. I think that today, Vilas is affected by that, and ATP should recognize the mistake and publy an official declaration saying that Vilas was n°1. See the facebook group : Vilas fue numero uno in 1977
Yeah, it seems clear that he deserved that #1 ranking in 1977. And it wasn't the last time he'd get the short end of the stick, either. He was made an arbitrary example of a few years later when the ATP (I guess) suspended him for a year for accepting the same appearance fees as all the other top players. (I'm all for enforcing the rules, but they ought to apply to everyone.)
Right. Another scandal from the ATP.
To my recollection, Vilas was a very strange and depressed character who was known to write poetry and, in particular, write about suicide. I don't recall if this was before or after 77', but, I think it was before.
In his prime, Vilas was a bigger hitter than Connors or Borg, but, not quite as big as Lendl.
That verdict for the appearance money, where Vilas was fined $20,000 and suspended for 1 year by the Men's International Professional Tennis Council, was passed in June 1983. Vilas continued to play in tournaments though, so it looks like the 1 year thing was lifted.
I don't know if he was writing about himself, but, I do vaguely recall that there was some speculation about that by commentators.
A Vilas observation from the guy who taught me most of what I know about coaching: he used to get beat up by Vilas on the tour (this was way before 1977), and he said the scariest thing about playing him was that, after you'd hit your approach and come to net, Vilas would look up and stare right at you before whipping that tree trunk left arm through a passing shot. There was no way to out-guess Vilas – because he wasn't guessing!
1982: on very fast supreme court, beat an excellent Connors ( the year Jimmy won 2 slams) in 2 indoor finals week after week: Milan and Rotterdam.Vilas played very good indoor tennis indeed (WCT Finalist, 3 times Masters SF), lacked a winning shot to be there with Connors,Borg or Mac.
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