Connors Vilas USO 82

kiki

Banned
Both had very good years but Connors wouldn´t let anybody take his Open.

However, Vilas had beaten Connors twice on carpet erlier in the year.Vilas had his best season in many years that 82.
 

kiki

Banned
topping his biggest award that year, 1982 (Princess Caroline), Vilas had an exceptional 82 with those outstanding results

FO finalist ( and Spanish Open finalist) to Wilander
USO sf ( to Connors)
WCT Winter finalist (Lendl)
beat Lendl at the Madrid and Montecarlo finals on clay ( the first one, after trailing two sets down)
beat Connors, the year´s number one, on two big carpet finals at Rotterdam and Milan

except on grass, in which he didn´t play that year, Vilas was outstanding on the other tour´s surfaces
 

jean pierre

Professional
topping his biggest award that year, 1982 (Princess Caroline), Vilas had an exceptional 82 with those outstanding results

FO finalist ( and Spanish Open finalist) to Wilander
USO sf ( to Connors)
WCT Winter finalist (Lendl)
beat Lendl at the Madrid and Montecarlo finals on clay ( the first one, after trailing two sets down)
beat Connors, the year´s number one, on two big carpet finals at Rotterdam and Milan

except on grass, in which he didn´t play that year, Vilas was outstanding on the other tour´s surfaces
Yes, it was a great great year for Vilas. Unfortunately, without a Grand Slam ...
 

KG1965

Legend
Great semifinal

Great year for Guillermo. Great match.
1982: uncathcable Jimbo.
As well as 1974, 1976, 1978.
 

kiki

Banned
I recall Vilas escaped from a 5 sets big fight against hot server Steve Denton who had just defeated Mc Enroe and Gerulaitis a week before at Cincinnati and was having his best season ever.Vilas won that match saving a mp against one of the world´s best servers if not the best that season.He had courage and was perfectly fit.But Connors was exactly as fit and as motivated so it is quite normal that Connors won in 4 sets.

Vilas did just as well as Lendl would do in the final.

Curiously he didn´t play the Australian Open in 1981 and 1982 ( and would not play there anymore in the future if I am right) after being the only top player loyal to the AO for years...
 

jean pierre

Professional
I recall Vilas escaped from a 5 sets big fight against hot server Steve Denton who had just defeated Mc Enroe and Gerulaitis a week before at Cincinnati and was having his best season ever.Vilas won that match saving a mp against one of the world´s best servers if not the best that season.He had courage and was perfectly fit.But Connors was exactly as fit and as motivated so it is quite normal that Connors won in 4 sets.

Vilas did just as well as Lendl would do in the final.

Curiously he didn´t play the Australian Open in 1981 and 1982 ( and would not play there anymore in the future if I am right) after being the only top player loyal to the AO for years...
He played AO in 1981, for the last time, and lost against Pfister I think.
 

Ramon

Legend
As soon as Borg left, Vilas and Connors had great years. Neither of them could beat Borg. Amazing how one guy changed the face of tennis by retiring.
 

KG1965

Legend
Borg before to 77 had won 1 match

Connors much stronger of Borg up to 1977.
Betting regularly Borg up to 1978.
 

eldanger25

Hall of Fame
As soon as Borg left, Vilas and Connors had great years. Neither of them could beat Borg. Amazing how one guy changed the face of tennis by retiring.
Connors beat Borg regularly in '82 in invitationals. And Borg in '82 was tired of the grind, and wasn't interested in making or able to make the late 20s transition from peak athlete to wily veteran with an outside life that Connors and many other greats successfully navigated during their careers. Connors stuck around to take his lumps in the late 70s/early 80s as his body slowed, young rivals emerged, and wife/family issues split his focus. So did Vilas, who blended tennis and non-tennis interests through the early 80s as well.

Borg didn't - that was his right, but it ain't a reason to knock the guys who made it to the other side of the river.
 

Ramon

Legend
Connors beat Borg regularly in '82 in invitationals. And Borg in '82 was tired of the grind, and wasn't interested in making or able to make the late 20s transition from peak athlete to wily veteran with an outside life that Connors and many other greats successfully navigated during their careers. Connors stuck around to take his lumps in the late 70s/early 80s as his body slowed, young rivals emerged, and wife/family issues split his focus. So did Vilas, who blended tennis and non-tennis interests through the early 80s as well.

Borg didn't - that was his right, but it ain't a reason to knock the guys who made it to the other side of the river.
I was Connors' biggest fan. I cheered for him every time he played Borg, but as the rivalry got more and more one-sided, deep down I knew he couldn't beat him. It didn't surprise me that he did beat Borg a few times after Borg came back from early retirement, but I knew it wasn't the same Borg. I have to concede that Borg was the better player while both were in their prime.
 

eldanger25

Hall of Fame
I was Connors' biggest fan. I cheered for him every time he played Borg, but as the rivalry got more and more one-sided, deep down I knew he couldn't beat him. It didn't surprise me that he did beat Borg a few times after Borg came back from early retirement, but I knew it wasn't the same Borg. I have to concede that Borg was the better player while both were in their prime.
I agree with your last sentence as well, but a Borg who elected to play the full tour in '82 wouldn't have been the "same Borg" either. That's all I'm saying - you can't assume one guy whose head/heart wasn't in it anymore would inevitably keep winning against another guy who from '81 Wembley onward or so had gotten his head screwed on straight and was about to turn in about 36 months of resurgent, crafty veteran play.
 

Ramon

Legend
I agree with your last sentence as well, but a Borg who elected to play the full tour in '82 wouldn't have been the "same Borg" either. That's all I'm saying - you can't assume one guy whose head/heart wasn't in it anymore would inevitably keep winning against another guy who from '81 Wembley onward or so had gotten his head screwed on straight and was about to turn in about 36 months of resurgent, crafty veteran play.
I think you're right. Borg wouldn't have been the same Borg even if he returned to the tour full-time. Even later in the Grand Masters series, Borg did not do as well as Connors and McEnroe. It just goes to show how Borg's game in his prime was so dependent on his superior fitness and mental focus. I think Wilander went through the same thing, and he burned out as well. It's a shame.
 

Vegito

Hall of Fame
I wonder if Vilas would have had better results in the US Open between 1978 and 1981. He lost all those years in R16. Agains Walts, Dibbs, Fibak and Tanner. I read he had some problem in his leg during the match against Fibak, that year probably he would have reach at least the semifinal.
 

kiki

Banned
I wonder if Vilas would have had better results in the US Open between 1978 and 1981. He lost all those years in R16. Agains Walts, Dibbs, Fibak and Tanner. I read he had some problem in his leg during the match against Fibak, that year probably he would have reach at least the semifinal.
He would have met Kriek at the QF, on Kriek´s favourite court and don´t forget Kriek took Borg to five sets in their semifinal.

But it would have been very interesting to watch

Dibbs was always a tough customer for Vilas on fast surfaces, because of his fast feet and steadiness, so I don´t think it is that surprising he beat Vilas in 79, even if Guillermo had a better ranking.

It was Dibbs, not Vilas, the guy injuried.After his win he defaulted to Mc Enroe in their quarterfinal.

Tanner beat Vilas on grass twice (Wimbledon and Australian Open) as well as at Flushing Meadows in 1981.He was a very tough customer at the US Open.On fast surfaces, Tanner should normally win.

Walts played very good S&V tennis in 1978.It reminded me of Denton, who barely lost four years later to Vilas at the same stage of the tournament.
 

KG1965

Legend
1982 swan song

Us Open 1978-79-80-81 on decoturf, hardcourt.
In 1982 came back much strong (Rotterdam, Milan, M.Carlo, Madrid and Boston M1000-M500)
After 1982 Vilas played poorly; he has wrong to play WCT circuit.
 

jean pierre

Professional
Us Open 1978-79-80-81 on decoturf, hardcourt.
In 1982 came back much strong (Rotterdam, Milan, M.Carlo, Madrid and Boston M1000-M500)
After 1982 Vilas played poorly; he has wrong to play WCT circuit.
He did a good come-back in 1986, 34 years old : final in Forest-Hills and QF at FO after a great match against Forget.
 

Vegito

Hall of Fame
He would have met Kriek at the QF, on Kriek´s favourite court and don´t forget Kriek took Borg to five sets in their semifinal.

But it would have been very interesting to watch

Dibbs was always a tough customer for Vilas on fast surfaces, because of his fast feet and steadiness, so I don´t think it is that surprising he beat Vilas in 79, even if Guillermo had a better ranking.

It was Dibbs, not Vilas, the guy injuried.After his win he defaulted to Mc Enroe in their quarterfinal.

Tanner beat Vilas on grass twice (Wimbledon and Australian Open) as well as at Flushing Meadows in 1981.He was a very tough customer at the US Open.On fast surfaces, Tanner should normally win.

Walts played very good S&V tennis in 1978.It reminded me of Denton, who barely lost four years later to Vilas at the same stage of the tournament.
I just wonder that because Vilas reached the semifinal in 1982, also for his results in Rotterdam and Milan in 1982, and a great victory against Connors in the Masters 1977. Although that was indoor, that shows Vilas could play well in hard surfaces. Maybe those were exceptions. Also it´s true 1982 was one of his best years and he was in great form. I wondered if he lost motivation or confidence after his great 1977 and not being the number one in the rankings. I hope not.

I know that about Dibbs. I read him saying he considered retiring from the match in the fourth set.

Then once I read that Vilas had a problem in his leg in the match against Fibak in 1980, so he could not move to the sides. But Fibak was a great player and maybe he was going to win anyway. Also I read Fibak-Kriek was a great match.

I´m agree that on fast surfaces Tanner should normally win. Although Argentina Davis Cup in 1981 says he is sure Vilas would have beat Tanner in a decisive rubber in 1981, in Cincinnati. The score in the first set was 11-10 for Vilas and then the match was suspended.

Anyway I know it was a very different surface and it was many times tough for specialist in clay. Orantes didn´t like the surface.
 
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KG1965

Legend
Always top 10

Dibbs, Tanner, Orantes & Fibak = Ferrer, Wawrinka, Muster & Berdich... big champions and wins great titles.
Guillermo stronger, but with little margin.
 

Vegito

Hall of Fame
And Butch Walts would be like John Isner. I compare Vilas more with Ferrer than to Nadal. Because the Nadal of that time was Borg.
 
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KG1965

Legend
Vilas - Ferrer 6-2 6-4 6-4

Style Nadal = Style Vilas.

Vilas 75-76-77-82 stronger Ferrer.

Nadal 9,5 / Borg 9,5 (Borg 8,5 up to 1978, 10.. 1979-1980)
Vilas 8,5 (9 ... 1974-75-76-77-82)
Ferrer only 7,5.
 

Vegito

Hall of Fame
I know. Vilas is better and greater than Ferrer in my opinion and his style is more similar to Nadal. But Borg also has some things in common with Nadal(very succesful since very young, unbeatable in clay, many times winner in the French Open) That´s why in a game of comparations I said Vilas would be a Ferrer improved, adding to him many things of Nadal and Muster but being Ferrer. (Nadal is Borg, so can´t be Vilas :) ) , although the style is not the same. I compare them because both play well in all surfaces but specially in clay and because they are more "humans" than his nemesis in clay(Vilas´s nemesis was Borg, Ferrer´s nemesis is Nadal) Both Borg and Nadal seems "machines", hard workers but with natural talent too. Ferrer and Vilas 100% work.
 
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kiki

Banned
I just wonder that because Vilas reached the semifinal in 1982, also for his results in Rotterdam and Milan in 1982, and a great victory against Connors in the Masters 1977. Although that was indoor, that shows Vilas could play well in hard surfaces. Maybe those were exceptions. Also it´s true 1982 was one of his best years and he was in great form. I wondered if he lost motivation or confidence after his great 1977 and not being the number one in the rankings. I hope not.

I know that about Dibbs. I read him saying he considered retiring from the match in the fourth set.

Then once I read that Vilas had a problem in his leg in the match against Fibak in 1980, so he could not move to the sides. But Fibak was a great player and maybe he was going to win anyway. Also I read Fibak-Kriek was a great match.

I´m agree that on fast surfaces Tanner should normally win. Although Argentina Davis Cup in 1981 says he is sure Vilas would have beat Tanner in a decisive rubber in 1981, in Cincinnati. The score in the first set was 11-10 for Vilas and then the match was suspended.

Anyway I know it was a very different surface and it was many times tough for specialist in clay. Orantes didn´t like the surface.
Orantes won the Masters on carpet ( and Vilas played it) in 76, Vilas really never won a big title on carpet, and the farest he got was a WCT Final against Borg in 1976

No that you were talking about Fibak, Fibak was the man whom Orantes beat in the final of the Masters

Hard and carpet have very few to see.
 

Vegito

Hall of Fame
Well, that show players would have some exceptionals performances in their non-favourite surfaces. Because Orantes had also most of his best results on clay. And not an excuse, but I write something I read. In that Masters 1976, Vilas played the third match of the round-robin against Solomon, the match ended in the early hours of Thursday. In the same thursday he had to play the semifinals against Fibak, which had more than 24 hours of rest. Probably Orantes.Vilas would have been the final.

Vilas: "After the game with Solomon I could not sleep until 5 in the morning and during the first two sets I could not even move my legs. The players believe that this is truly a Masters seriously, but organizers do not think so ... At least they could have played the doubles before "

Fibak:"I became very nervous from 5-4 in the third and there I thought I could not beat him, something that was repeated at 6-5 in the final set. Luckily I had two days to recover"

I read it here in spanish: http://www.tenniscom.com/aminisitetemporal/columnasmoro2.htm
 

kiki

Banned
Well, I didn´t know.Orantes trailed 1-2 sets in the final, just similarly to him trailing 0-2 at the US Open vs Vilas the former season.He was one of the best at coming back from behind .Curiously, his worst ever loss, against Borg at the 1974 RG F came also after he was leading two sets to zero.Comebacks have been a central part of Orantes career as it looks.

Vilas worse surface was carpet, yet in 1982 he was able to defeat Jimmy Connors in two regular season tournaments on carpet.He also reached the WCT Final in 1976, the WCT Winter segment final in 1982 as well as the Masters semifinal in 1975,1976,1977 and 1982 so he was, at least, competent on that surface.But no big title.Very close, however.
 

Vegito

Hall of Fame
I found that casually searching information about Vilas. I had heard that was an important match for Guillermo. The Fibak vs Vilas was a tremendous battle, according to the article. Probably Fibak was going to win the match anyway, who knows. Then it seems that Orantes was playing better than Vilas in that tournament, the spaniard had beat him that year in Tehran, that title was destinated for Orantes, he deserved it.

Interesting story I read in that website too:

When Fibak was 4-1 in the fourth set of the final, they did an interview with the actor Kirk Douglas, which praised the game of Fibak. They showed it in the big screens. He got not only distracted seeing the actor talking about his game, but also listened to the wife of Douglas supplementing her husband's words: "Despite the score, never count out Orantes; care that he never gives up ... ". After the chair umpire manifest the classic "time" for the players return to the track, spectators attended another match. The distraction of the Polish destroyed his concentration and Orantes survived as the wife of Douglas predicted. Same screens would show later "Orantes champion" and the score 5-7, 6-2, 0-6, 7-6, 6-1. When the tie-break of the fourth stage scored 7-1 for Orantes, his opponent could not erase from his mind the images that the screens headers showed him in the fateful break between the 5th and 6th game of the fourth set. Who some time after was the commissioned to playing tennis with his compatriot, Pope John Paul II, was still seeing the wife of Douglas with his foreboding message: "Beware that Orantes ...".

Orantes had not many great performances in hard surfaces, right? So I wanted to say it looks like they both would have excepcionals performances in hard or carpet-when they were inspired or if they liked that particular tournament- but not all the time.
 

kiki

Banned
I found that casually searching information about Vilas. I had heard that was an important match for Guillermo. The Fibak vs Vilas was a tremendous battle, according to the article. Probably Fibak was going to win the match anyway, who knows. Then it seems that Orantes was playing better than Vilas in that tournament, the spaniard had beat him that year in Tehran, that title was destinated for Orantes, he deserved it.

Interesting story I read in that website too:

When Fibak was 4-1 in the fourth set of the final, they did an interview with the actor Kirk Douglas, which praised the game of Fibak. They showed it in the big screens. He got not only distracted seeing the actor talking about his game, but also listened to the wife of Douglas supplementing her husband's words: "Despite the score, never count out Orantes; care that he never gives up ... ". After the chair umpire manifest the classic "time" for the players return to the track, spectators attended another match. The distraction of the Polish destroyed his concentration and Orantes survived as the wife of Douglas predicted. Same screens would show later "Orantes champion" and the score 5-7, 6-2, 0-6, 7-6, 6-1. When the tie-break of the fourth stage scored 7-1 for Orantes, his opponent could not erase from his mind the images that the screens headers showed him in the fateful break between the 5th and 6th game of the fourth set. Who some time after was the commissioned to playing tennis with his compatriot, Pope John Paul II, was still seeing the wife of Douglas with his foreboding message: "Beware that Orantes ...".

Orantes had not many great performances in hard surfaces, right? So I wanted to say it looks like they both would have excepcionals performances in hard or carpet-when they were inspired or if they liked that particular tournament- but not all the time.
Yes, who knows.Carpet and hard were not similar you know.Carpet was very popular then but hard was, except a few events, a very rare surface.Just the exact opposite as today.

Good you brought up those memories.I opened a thread with that famous incident with Kirk Douglas wife.When Orantes was awarded the cup, he publically greeted Douglas wife saying something like she was the only one out of 18000 people in the Houston Astrodome ( greatest attendance ever for a tennis match) who thought he would win...of course, Douglas wife was a keen tennis fan and still rememebered the miraculous come back of Orantes, the year before, at the semis of the USO against Vilas.
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
Us Open 1978-79-80-81 on decoturf, hardcourt.
In 1982 came back much strong (Rotterdam, Milan, M.Carlo, Madrid and Boston M1000-M500)
After 1982 Vilas played poorly; he has wrong to play WCT circuit.
Vilas was very strong in '82...the USO match w/Connors was not a forgone conclusion. Jimmy was just very, very solid that day. Not that Vilas was playing badly by any stretch; Jimmy wasn't giving him anything.

Yeah, I thought Vilas would have had a few more strong years. but it wasn't to be. Wasn't he caught up in a couple of scandals tho? Cash kickbacks at tourneys? I seem to recall that being a big distraction.
 

Alien

Hall of Fame
Vilas was very strong in '82...the USO match w/Connors was not a forgone conclusion. Jimmy was just very, very solid that day. Not that Vilas was playing badly by any stretch; Jimmy wasn't giving him anything.

Yeah, I thought Vilas would have had a few more strong years. but it wasn't to be. Wasn't he caught up in a couple of scandals tho? Cash kickbacks at tourneys? I seem to recall that being a big distraction.
He received guarantees, forbidden by then and normal today. So he took some suspension. Stupid thing.
 
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