Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by timnz, Aug 2, 2012.
I don´t think Fraser´s wins at Wimbledon are a surprise.At least, they weren´t to Emerson or Laver.
This sounds to me like the 1976 issue between Borg and Connors or the 1977 involving Borg,Vilas and, maybe, Connors.
The best player in any given year is not the player who plays the best tennis but the one with the best records, weightening the 4-6 majors.
IMo, although by a very slight margin, Rosewall should be the nº 1 player for 1970, even if Rocket´s record in the H2H favours him.
1971 was very open, Newcombe, Smith,Kodes and, maybe Rosewall, all can have a claim at nº1.I think that year was one of the best in the history of pro tennis, with 7 great players, all of them with a very personnal style going at each other.
As I stated, my opinion is that Connors was the strongest player in 1976 but Borg was the nº 1 for that year and Vilas was nº 1 for 1977, with Connors second and Borg a close third.
Connors over Borg in 1976.
Which are Fraser's wins at Wimbledon?. As far as I know he only won in 1960 when Rod Laver was already the best amateur but rather tired in the final after doubles competition. Fraser did not have much apart from his excellent service...
That USO loss, along w/the USO loss to Mac in '81 probably give Bjorn nightmares from time to time....
1980 US Open
Wasn't it 1980 where he got the closest? I seem to remember there was a controversial call that went against Borg in the 5th set. So he got really close.
I think his best chances for the US Open were 1977 (still on clay, but I think he was injured and lost early?? - not sure) and 1979 again injured, but dominated McEnroe in a warm up tournament on Hard. 1981 he got death threats, so hard to know how that affected him.
Fraser is another underrated player, from what I see.He was the best amateur in 1960-1961 and won twice the US open...Laver hated facing Neale more than facing Emmf course, at that time.
1980 was the year he should have won.If any other player not named John Mc Enroe had been in the final, Borg would have steamrolled him that year.And, of course, Brian Teacher wouldn´t even have the lesser chance to close the AO that year...
You are right about US Championships which I did not consider.
I guess you meant 1959/1960 as Fraser's years on top.
Roddick took Wimbledon 2009 pretty hard. That's the most heartbroken I've seen a player.
'80 was the closer match between them, but Bjorn seemed more mentally broken after the '81 clash. The USO was his own personal waterloo. Injuries, illness, bad luck, night matches and a few guys named McEnroe, Connors and Tanner got in his way.
hell yes, that would be right up there. It was devastating even to watch. He SO deserved to win....
I wanted to say Sampras - no French Open, but I know that he gave up trying very early on. He didn't have the right coach to give him good advice on how to play clay court tennis better.
Speaking of Neale Fraser, he never won the Australian Championships, despite being runner-up on 3 occasions, and having a championship point in his last final there.
Ashley Cooper beat Fraser in 4 sets in the 1957 final in Melbourne. Alex Olmedo beat Fraser in 4 sets in the 1959 final in Adelaide. And in the 1960 final in Brisbane, there was that amazing 5-set match where Laver won his first major by coming back from 2 sets down, and a championship point in the fourth set, to beat Fraser in 5 sets.
Fraser got revenge over Laver by beating him in the 1960 Wimbledon and 1960 US Championship finals, but Fraser never did win the Australian Championships.
It's tough to say whether he deserved to win or not. He missed an easy volley at set point but I've seen Roddick miss a ton of easy volleys in the past. This is remembered more because of how important the point was, which was a point to put him up two sets to none. Errors are a part of the game.
If he missed a volley like that on a less important point no one would have thought about it. He missed it because he's just not a skilled volleyer.
As Borg himself said, the combination of a wild, raged and willing to retaliate Tanner, with his huming serve and artificial, night lights was simply unpalatable for him.
The real surprise is that Borg lost against Connors in 1976 on clay court ! But I think american clay is very different than european clay.
I think the Har tru was just a bit faster than European clay, at least from my playing experience.Connors was a bit better than Borg in 76.
He was so utterly deflated. I don't know what it would have done to Fed if he lost because he had had the five set losses against Nadal at Wimbledon and AO before it.
I like the way you have a "yet" at the end of Federer's no singles Gold Medal, like he might just pick one up in Rio, but there is no "yet" after Nadal's Year End Champs, because well, we all know he has no chance.
I would say Lendl's lack of a Wimbledon, just because it's the biggest tournament in tennis, and with it he would be included in all GOAT conversations.
If Lendl is so sad he never won Wimbledon in 2 finals, imagine Rosewall, who played 4 ¡¡¡
I've played on both and I think har tru is clearly faster. I believe that's the general opinion. I also agree with you that Connors was slightly better than Borg in 1976. I also was there in person during the Borg/Connors semi at the US Open (on har tru) and in 1975 Borg was clearly having a lot of trouble with Connors heavy penetrating groundies and approach shots. In 1976 Borg improved but I don't think quite enough.
It's was bad luck for Borg that they did continue to have the tournament on har tru. I think Borg would have been a shoo in to dominate the tournament if there was no injury.
Here's an example (thanks Krosero) of Borg in 1979 against Connors on har tru at the Pepsi. I think Connors played quite well but the level of play by Pepsi is well just Borg like.
The big difference to me in watching Borg on har tru is notice how easily Borg handled the Connors power in 1979 as opposed to just a few years earlier. Borg was driving the Connors groundies back deep and with pace unlike just a few years before in which the Connors depth and pace on his groundies forced a lot of short balls from Borg. Borg's level of play in those years (78-80) was unbelievable.
Kodes never winning the USO by a pubic hair in 2 ocassions.
You realize that Kodes lost to Smith in four sets, not five?
Roddick's because of federer's existent :wink:
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