Important Events aka Major Events on the Old Pro Tour

pc1

G.O.A.T.
I believe that perhaps we tend to look at the Old Pro Tour from fairly modern eyes. Wembley, the US Pro and the French Pro were generally important Pro Events but I don't believe you can call it a Major like we call the French Open or Wimbledon now. McCauley at the end of his book has a record section called the Past Results of the Three Major Pro Events. I think in this case major is the same as important but not "a MAJOR" along the lines of the current majors of today. Laver for example according to McCauley in 1965 won the first BIG EVENT of the season by winning the US Pro Indoor Champs over Gonzalez. Gonzalez had beaten Rosewall in the semifinals to meet Laver in the final. That was a major event also.

I believe there were a lot of major aka important Old Pro Tour events but they cannot be categorized as MAJORS in the way we call the Classic Majors of today. There were huge important tournaments that were major tournaments like the 1967 Wimbledon Pro, the Tournament of Champions in the 1950s, the US Pro Indoor Champs among others. Some of these tournaments can easily be argue to be more important than Wembley, the US Pro or the French Pro. We cannot be rigid in our approach to looking at the Old Pro Tour.

Perhaps some like @krosero and @Dan Lobb, @NatF, and others could give their input here.
 
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NatF

Bionic Poster
Good idea for a thread, I don't have too much to add now. I will say I think the big events probably changed somewhat year to year depending on draw and prize money. Wembley was the single greatest tournament in the calendar generally as far as I'm aware.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
Good idea for a thread, I don't have too much to add now. I will say I think the big events probably changed somewhat year to year depending on draw and prize money. Wembley was the single greatest tournament in the calendar generally as far as I'm aware.
I would think so generally speaking although one could say the Wimbledon Pro of 1967 was the single most important event on the Old Pro Tours history although the field was small. I also believe important Events would include the World Championship Tours that Kramer, Gonzalez, Vines, Budge, Riggs, Tilden among others won. The World Championship Tours in my opinion were the most important Events of the Old Pro Tours because of the magnitude of the reward which was the World Championship. In that way the Old Pro Tour World Championship Tour was akin to boxing in that the event could decide a World Title. Gonzalez was six or seven of them depending on what you believe. Kramer won four of them. Vines won perhaps five of them which adds to his prestige. Riggs won two of them. Budge also won I believe three or four of them.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
I would think so generally speaking although one could say the Wimbledon Pro of 1967 was the single most important event on the Old Pro Tours history although the field was small. I also believe important Events would include the World Championship Tours that Kramer, Gonzalez, Vines, Budge, Riggs, Tilden among others won. The World Championship Tours in my opinion were the most important Events of the Old Pro Tours because of the magnitude of the reward which was the World Championship. In that way the Old Pro Tour World Championship Tour was akin to boxing in that the event could decide a World Title. Gonzalez was six or seven of them depending on what you believe. Kramer won four of them. Vines won perhaps five of them which adds to his prestige. Riggs won two of them. Budge also won I believe three or four of them.
The Wimbledon Pro is for me hard to judge. It was very important because it finally showed the amateur world what it had been missing and led to Open tennis a year later. In terms of prestige it might be the highest due to Wimbledon but then how do we view the French Pro events which took place at Roland Garros etc...

The World Championship Tours superceding the major championships is a knock against those tournaments as well as you point out, though in the 60's these became less and less important.
 
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pc1

G.O.A.T.
Let's check out some extra "important events" for Pancho Gonzalez.
The Philadelphia Pro of 1950 and 1952.
The Tournament of Champions from 1956 to 1958.
The Master Pro Round Robin in 1957 and 1959

Perhaps the Milan Pro Champs on clay in 1961 with a field that included Rosewall, Hoad, Cooper, Trabert, Sedgman, Segura, Davies, MacKay, Ayala, Gimeno, Anderson, Olmedo and Haillet but I would tend to say no in this case.

Perhaps the Scandinavian Pro Indoor in 1961 with a field that had Rosewall, Hoad, Buchholz, Trabert, Gimeno, Segura, Nielsen, Cooper, Davies, Olmedo, MacKay, Ayala, Haillet and Worthington. It was essentially the same field as Wembley just a few days before with the same format.

There may be others but I have some things to do. Will look more later on Gonzalez and perhaps Laver.
 
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treblings

Hall of Fame
@pc1,
you raise an interesting question.
You´re asking about the US Pro(and Wembley) and whether it was important every year. Over at the Gonzalez career thread there is an interesting discussion of whether the US Pro was held at all between 1952 and 1961.
thanks to BobbyOne i have my own copy of the McCauley book now. i haven´t looked a lot at the records section though. I´m afraid i´m more interested in hearing stories about the old times than stats.:)

I believe that the importance of the French, Wembley and US Pro has to do with the fact that they were held every year and therefore
gave some structure to the pro scene. In that sense i agree with what you say.
i also agree about the modern eyes and believe that the old pro tour(or pro tours as @urban imo correctly calls them)was far too unstructured to determine majors in the way we do now.
My understanding is that to be called a major, a tournament needs a long-standing tradition behind it. I disagree for example with the idea that in 1970 the Dunlop International was the real Aussie Open.

I think for a tournament to be called a major, that needs to be done at the time it is played, not decades afterwards. Historians from 2066 might talk about whether or not Indian Wells should be considered the 5th major of 2016. Based on the prize money and the participants. I would strongly disagree.

glad you started a new thread about this, i think it´s a good idea
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
The Wimbledon Pro is for me hard to judge. It was the important because it finally showed the amateur world what it had been missing and led to Open tennis a year later. In terms of prestige it might be the highest due to Wimbledon but then how do we view the French Pro events which took place at Roland Garros etc...

The World Championship Tours superceding the major championships is a knock against those tournaments as well as you point out, though in the 60's these became less and less important.
Wimbledon Pro is tough because to be honest the field while excellent is not as deep or as strong as even the Milan Pro Champs in 1961 but the prestige was huge and it was on the hallowed grounds of Wimbledon. It was clearly super important. I would tend to think it was really a super important event.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
@pc1,
you raise an interesting question.
You´re asking about the US Pro(and Wembley) and whether it was important every year. Over at the Gonzalez career thread there is an interesting discussion of whether the US Pro was held at all between 1952 and 1961.
thanks to BobbyOne i have my own copy of the McCauley book now. i haven´t looked a lot at the records section though. I´m afraid i´m more interested in hearing stories about the old times than stats.:)

I believe that the importance of the French, Wembley and US Pro has to do with the fact that they were held every year and therefore
gave some structure to the pro scene. In that sense i agree with what you say.
i also agree about the modern eyes and believe that the old pro tour(or pro tours as @urban imo correctly calls them)was far too unstructured to determine majors in the way we do now.
My understanding is that to be called a major, a tournament needs a long-standing tradition behind it. I disagree for example with the idea that in 1970 the Dunlop International was the real Aussie Open.

I think for a tournament to be called a major, that needs to be done at the time it is played, not decades afterwards. Historians from 2066 might talk about whether or not Indian Wells should be considered the 5th major of 2016. Based on the prize money and the participants. I would strongly disagree.

glad you started a new thread about this, i think it´s a good idea
I would tend to think the US Pro was held in those years. I recall seeing on a video of the 1969 Howard Hughes on the electronic scoreboard which mentions Gonzalez won eight US Pros. Now it may not be correct but someone seemed to recognize it.

I will point out to you that there are errors in the McCauley book imo. I discussed this with Mrs. McCauley several months ago and she thought Joe may have changed it if he knew some of the current information.
 

urban

Legend
Good idea, pc1. I only hope we can have a somewhat peaceful discussion on this issue, with more pragmatic than dogmatic views. Maybe we should leave the terms majors or pro slams for a moment aside, and simply concentrate on important or big events, as You said. Nobody wants to diminish a players resume, the greatness of all those pro kings is out of question and needs no artificial support. Its simply a systematic question for research. The Old Pros certainly had no scheduling system, built around the 4 majors, as it was common in the amateur world, and by far not to the degree, as has evolved in the last years on the ATP/ITF circuit. Their circuit was a very flexible mix of match series, tours, one night stands, small tournaments, with constantly changing values and many ad hoc settings. I think, we have to explore every single year for itself, to make some general conclusions.There are some criteria, to determine the importance of an event (there could be other criteria added): the draws (they were always quite small, given the amount of touring pros), the prize money, some sort of tradition, at best some binding on and approval by the International Federations, the amount of media coverage and last not least the venues, which could give an event more glamour and publicity. And not to forget the power of the promoter, who stood behind the event. The titles were quite often hyperbolic for marketing reasons: In the case of Wembley for instance, i saw just recently many old programs of Wembley events. They were light at hand to give titles like World pro championships or such things, but in reality referred to the one day event, sponsored by the BBC 2, not to the more important week long London pro tournament in autumn. Same goes for Oklahoma and other events.
You mentioned McCauley, and indeed, as i understand him, too, he his quite open in his terminology regarding the importance of events in his narrative text.
 

treblings

Hall of Fame
Good idea, pc1. I only hope we can have a somewhat peaceful discussion on this issue, with more pragmatic than dogmatic views. Maybe we should leave the terms majors or pro slams for a moment aside, and simply concentrate on important or big events, as You said. Nobody wants to diminish a players resume, the greatness of all those pro kings is out of question and needs no artificial support. Its simply a systematic question for research. The Old Pros certainly had no scheduling system, built around the 4 majors, as it was common in the amateur world, and by far not to the degree, as has evolved in the last years on the ATP/ITF circuit. Their circuit was a very flexible mix of match series, tours, one night stands, small tournaments, with constantly changing values and many ad hoc settings. I think, we have to explore every single year for itself, to make some general conclusions.There are some criteria, to determine the importance of an event (there could be other criteria added): the draws (they were always quite small, given the amount of touring pros), the prize money, some sort of tradition, at best some binding on and approval by the International Federations, the amount of media coverage and last not least the venues, which could give an event more glamour and publicity. The titles were quite often hyperbolic for marketing reasons: In the case of Wembley for instance, i saw just recently many old programs of Wembley events. They were light at hand to give titles like World pro championships or such things, but in reality referred to the one day event, sponsored by the BBC 2, not to the more important week long London pro tournament in autumn. Same goes for Oklahoma and other events.
You mentioned McCauley, and indeed, as i understand him, too, he his quite open in his terminology regarding the importance of events in his narrative text.
i´m glad you´re joining the thread. let´s indeed hope for a peaceful discussion.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Let's check out some extra "important events" for Pancho Gonzalez.
The Philadelphia Pro of 1950 and 1952.
The Tournament of Champions from 1956 to 1958.
The Master Pro Round Robin in 1957 and 1959

Perhaps the Milan Pro Champs on clay in 1961 with a field that included Rosewall, Hoad, Cooper, Trabert, Sedgman, Segura, Davies, MacKay, Ayala, Gimeno, Anderson, Olmedo and Haillet but I would tend to say no in this case.

Perhaps the Scandinavian Pro Indoor in 1961 with a field that had Rosewall, Hoad, Buchholz, Trabert, Gimeno, Segura, Nielsen, Cooper, Davies, Olmedo, MacKay, Ayala, Haillet and Worthington. It was essentially the same field as Wembley just a few days before with the same format.

There may be others but I have some things to do. Will look more later on Gonzalez and perhaps Laver.
Do we have prize money figures for those events compared to say Wembley or the French? I do think it's tempting to attach major status retroactively but we should be careful. These days the majors stand apart due to being 7 rounds of best of 5 as well as the history etc...In an era where formatting for various tournaments was not defined it becomes more difficult to see what a major is.

Wimbledon Pro is tough because to be honest the field while excellent is not as deep or as strong as even the Milan Pro Champs in 1961 but the prestige was huge and it was on the hallowed grounds of Wimbledon. It was clearly super important. I would tend to think it was really a super important event.
What sort of prize money did the Wimbledon Pro offer?
 

hoodjem

G.O.A.T.
Yes. Calling certain specific unvarying pro tournaments MAJORS or Pro Slams is subject to several problems:
1) it is rooted in our desire to find a rhetorical equivalent to the four traditional national championships
2) it is not based on reality, with a long history or tradition (dating back for instance to the 1930s)
3) it ignores the depth of the fields or draws for those tournaments for any particular year
4) it overlooks the quality of the draws for certain other tournaments
 
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pc1

G.O.A.T.
Good idea, pc1. I only hope we can have a somewhat peaceful discussion on this issue, with more pragmatic than dogmatic views. Maybe we should leave the terms majors or pro slams for a moment aside, and simply concentrate on important or big events, as You said. Nobody wants to diminish a players resume, the greatness of all those pro kings is out of question and needs no artificial support. Its simply a systematic question for research. The Old Pros certainly had no scheduling system, built around the 4 majors, as it was common in the amateur world, and by far not to the degree, as has evolved in the last years on the ATP/ITF circuit. Their circuit was a very flexible mix of match series, tours, one night stands, small tournaments, with constantly changing values and many ad hoc settings. I think, we have to explore every single year for itself, to make some general conclusions.There are some criteria, to determine the importance of an event (there could be other criteria added): the draws (they were always quite small, given the amount of touring pros), the prize money, some sort of tradition, at best some binding on and approval by the International Federations, the amount of media coverage and last not least the venues, which could give an event more glamour and publicity. And not to forget the power of the promoter, who stood behind the event. The titles were quite often hyperbolic for marketing reasons: In the case of Wembley for instance, i saw just recently many old programs of Wembley events. They were light at hand to give titles like World pro championships or such things, but in reality referred to the one day event, sponsored by the BBC 2, not to the more important week long London pro tournament in autumn. Same goes for Oklahoma and other events.
You mentioned McCauley, and indeed, as i understand him, too, he his quite open in his terminology regarding the importance of events in his narrative text.
Yes. You couldn't have a set schedule of tournaments or events because of financial concerns and the unsettled nature of Pro Tennis in those days. Perhaps out of nowhere they could arrange some event of great financial worth so the schedule may change.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
Do we have prize money figures for those events compared to say Wembley or the French? I do think it's tempting to attach major status retroactively but we should be careful. These days the majors stand apart due to being 7 rounds of best of 5 as well as the history etc...In an era where formatting for various tournaments was not defined it becomes more difficult to see what a major is.



What sort of prize money did the Wimbledon Pro offer?
I'll try to find out.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
Do we have prize money figures for those events compared to say Wembley or the French? I do think it's tempting to attach major status retroactively but we should be careful. These days the majors stand apart due to being 7 rounds of best of 5 as well as the history etc...In an era where formatting for various tournaments was not defined it becomes more difficult to see what a major is.



What sort of prize money did the Wimbledon Pro offer?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wimbledon_Pro

That was a huge amount of money in those days.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
The Wimbledon Pro is for me hard to judge. It was the important because it finally showed the amateur world what it had been missing and led to Open tennis a year later. In terms of prestige it might be the highest due to Wimbledon but then how do we view the French Pro events which took place at Roland Garros etc...

The World Championship Tours superceding the major championships is a knock against those tournaments as well as you point out, though in the 60's these became less and less important.
In looking at the comparison in prize money between the 1948 US Pro (with a super field by the way) which had a total of $4834.26 in prize money and $45,000 in prize money for singles for the 1967 Wimbledon Pro I would say that even adjusting for inflation it was huge.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
In looking at the comparison in prize money between the 1948 US Pro (with a super field by the way) which had a total of $4834.26 in prize money and $45,000 in prize money for singles for the 1967 Wimbledon Pro I would say that even adjusting for inflation it was huge.
Only 3 rounds and only the final being best of 5 gives me a little pause. By the definitions of some other Pro Majors it should count but in wider terms it's more difficult.
 
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pc1

G.O.A.T.
is it true what wikipedia says, that in 1960 the ILTF voted about open tennis and the vote fell short by only 5 votes (134 instead of the needed 139)
I seem to recall Kramer mentioning something like that in his book. I think they had the votes but some changed their minds. I'll check.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
is it true what wikipedia says, that in 1960 the ILTF voted about open tennis and the vote fell short by only 5 votes (134 instead of the needed 139)
I just glanced at Kramer's book and while I'm not sure sure about missing by five votes apparently according to Kramer they just missed Open Tennis in 1960. That would have changed history because Gonzalez for example would have been still a potential threat in majors as Hoad would be.
 

treblings

Hall of Fame
I just glanced at Kramer's book and while I'm not sure sure about missing by five votes apparently according to Kramer they just missed Open Tennis in 1960. That would have changed history because Gonzalez for example would have been still a potential threat in majors as Hoad would be.
we would have totally different discussions:)
 
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Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
I would tend to think the US Pro was held in those years. I recall seeing on a video of the 1969 Howard Hughes on the electronic scoreboard which mentions Gonzalez won eight US Pros. Now it may not be correct but someone seemed to recognize it.

I will point out to you that there are errors in the McCauley book imo. I discussed this with Mrs. McCauley several months ago and she thought Joe may have changed it if he knew some of the current information.
Gonzales himself believed that he had won eight U.S. Pro events, but the question remains whether or not these events should be classified as U.S. Pro.
The title of "U.S. Pro" was certainly valid for the 1951 Forest Hills event, but when it was moved to Cleveland for the 1952 and 1953 seasons, it came up short of major status.
In 1954, PepsiCola signed on as sponsor and financial contributor, and we should presume did what is known as "due diligence", kicking the tires etc. The result of this was that the title of "U.S. Pro" was dropped from all media, advertising, and tournament programs for the Cleveland event. From 1954 on, Sports Illustrated referred to the event as the PepsiCola World Pro, not the U.S. Pro.
I think that under those circumstances, it is reasonable to accept the media tag. The 1963 Forest Hills U.S. Pro Grasscourt was not the successor or outgrowth of Cleveland, but of the 1959 Forest Hills Tournament of Champions, after which Kramer applied to the USPLTA for an official title for the Forest Hills event.
The Cleveland event was billed the PepsiCola World Pro without interruption from 1954 to 1964, there was no change of any kind throughout that decade for the title or management.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
we would have totally different discussions:)
No doubt. I think Gonzalez for example would have been viable threat to win majors up to 1964 or so and even up to 1970 he would have be a threat to defeat any opponent. Perhaps Emerson would have won many Open Majors if it started in 1960 also.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
No doubt. I think Gonzalez for example would have been viable threat to win majors up to 1964 or so and even up to 1970 he would have be a threat to defeat any opponent. Perhaps Emerson would have won many Open Majors if it started in 1960 also.
We might be waiting for the first Grand Slam since Budge ;)
 

thrust

Hall of Fame
Good idea for a thread, I don't have too much to add now. I will say I think the big events probably changed somewhat year to year depending on draw and prize money. Wembley was the single greatest tournament in the calendar generally as far as I'm aware.
Wembly and the French Pro were the two top major tournaments on the pro tour. The French was on clay till 63, of which Rosewall won four titles. Also, the French Pro I believe, was 3 of 5 sets in all rounds. In reality there is too much nit picking here in evaluating the greatness of the top players of the pro tour. Fact is, IMO, an argument can be made for either: Gonzalez, Laver or Rosewall as the greatest. In reality, these 3 players are among the very greatest of all time. Enough said?
 

thrust

Hall of Fame
I just glanced at Kramer's book and while I'm not sure sure about missing by five votes apparently according to Kramer they just missed Open Tennis in 1960. That would have changed history because Gonzalez for example would have been still a potential threat in majors as Hoad would be.
Gonzales, yes. Hoad, probably not. Fact is that Hoad lost 4 pro slam finals, 3 Wembly one French to Rosewall, 60-63. He also lost the 58 French final to Ken. If one does not consider the Cleveland event the US Pro till 63, then Gonzalez would lose 8 of his now credited 12 pro slam wins, which IMO would be unfair.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Wembly and the French Pro were the two top major tournaments on the pro tour. The French was on clay till 63, of which Rosewall won four titles. Also, the French Pro I believe, was 3 of 5 sets in all rounds. In reality there is too much nit picking here in evaluating the greatness of the top players of the pro tour. Fact is, IMO, an argument can be made for either: Gonzalez, Laver or Rosewall as the greatest. In reality, these 3 players are among the very greatest of all time. Enough said?
Too much nitpicking? I would argue there's not enough discussion on these things.

I can agree that all 3 are some of the greatest of all time, though you know my opinion of where Rosewall stands in comparison to the other two.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
Wembly and the French Pro were the two top major tournaments on the pro tour. The French was on clay till 63, of which Rosewall won four titles. Also, the French Pro I believe, was 3 of 5 sets in all rounds. In reality there is too much nit picking here in evaluating the greatness of the top players of the pro tour. Fact is, IMO, an argument can be made for either: Gonzalez, Laver or Rosewall as the greatest. In reality, these 3 players are among the very greatest of all time. Enough said?
Too much nitpicking? I would argue there's not enough discussion on these things.

I can agree that all 3 are some of the greatest of all time, though you know my opinion of where Rosewall stands in comparison to the other two.
First of all we aren't discussing whether Wembley and the French Pro are important tournaments. They generally were but never forget that they often were not played at all. Yes WW II affected the tournaments but the French Pro wasn't held from 1940 to 1949 and also not held 1951, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1957 and there is debate whether the 1953 French Pro was actually the French Pro.

Wembley wasn't held from 1940 to 1948 and in 1954 and 1955.

My point here is that when these tournaments weren't held other tournaments or tours or whatever tennis events may take their place. For example in 1951 the Philadelphia Pro was won by Jack Kramer over Riggs, Segura, Gonzalez, Kovacs, Van Horn. Sometime the tournament or event schedule would just be very small so how can players win majors or tournaments at all under those circumstances.

I'll try to discuss what important tournaments imo Laver won as a part of the Old Pro Tour and in the Open Era.

The Howard Hughes of 1969 is one I believe we can put into Gonzalez's column with a huge purse and a great field with Newcombe, Rosewall, Stan Smith, Ashe among others.
 
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Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
Wembly and the French Pro were the two top major tournaments on the pro tour. The French was on clay till 63, of which Rosewall won four titles. Also, the French Pro I believe, was 3 of 5 sets in all rounds. In reality there is too much nit picking here in evaluating the greatness of the top players of the pro tour. Fact is, IMO, an argument can be made for either: Gonzalez, Laver or Rosewall as the greatest. In reality, these 3 players are among the very greatest of all time. Enough said?
It shows you favour certain name players, which is ok...the issue we are concerned with is the actual status of some of the tournaments in the pro calendar, and I think that the promoter and manager Jack Kramer has an opinion which is worth hearing.
 
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pc1

G.O.A.T.
It shows you favour certain name players, which is ok...the issue we are concerned with is the actual status of some of the tournaments in the pro calendar, and I think that the promoter and manager Jack Kramer has an opinion which is worth hearing.
Nothing wrong with favoring certain players as long as we get the actual facts out.
 
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urban

Legend
Pretty good wikipedia article (which can't be said for all) on the Wimbledon pro, maybe one of the posters here produced it. I mentioned that in the Gonzalez thread, that there were initiatives for open tennis already in the 1950s. I read about about that 1960 Paris session of the ILTF, that out of the missing 5 votes, 2 or 3 voting members were drunk, and 3 or 4 other members were out in the Parisian night, to play some different ball games. Richard Evans in his book Open tennis gives some insight into the political turmoil of this pre open era and especially early open era. This is true also for the early open era, which was not really "open" at all, when all those rivalling organisations (NTL, WCT, ILTF, later ATP, WTT) amd mighty promoters and managers (Lamar Hunt, Chatrier, Donald Dell, George McCall, John Podesta, even Jack Kramer on the side of the ILTF) were fighting a bitter struggle for supremacy. Much of the ranking problems we have today is caused by that political struggle. I think in all of the 1970s, we had only two years with clearcut Nr. 1 rankings: 1974, 1979. In all other years the tours were divided into different circuits and therefore the ranking was always to some degree controversial.
 

treblings

Hall of Fame
Gonzales himself believed that he had won eight U.S. Pro events, but the question remains whether or not these events should be classified as U.S. Pro.
The title of "U.S. Pro" was certainly valid for the 1951 Forest Hills event, but when it was moved to Cleveland for the 1952 and 1953 seasons, it came up short of major status.
In 1954, PepsiCola signed on as sponsor and financial contributor, and we should presume did what is known as "due diligence", kicking the tires etc. The result of this was that the title of "U.S. Pro" was dropped from all media, advertising, and tournament programs for the Cleveland event. From 1954 on, Sports Illustrated referred to the event as the PepsiCola World Pro, not the U.S. Pro.
I think that under those circumstances, it is reasonable to accept the media tag. The 1963 Forest Hills U.S. Pro Grasscourt was not the successor or outgrowth of Cleveland, but of the 1959 Forest Hills Tournament of Champions, after which Kramer applied to the USPLTA for an official title for the Forest Hills event.
The Cleveland event was billed the PepsiCola World Pro without interruption from 1954 to 1964, there was no change of any kind throughout that decade for the title or management.
Dan, could you explain to me what you mean when you say that the US Pro in 52 and 53 "came up short of major status"
 

urban

Legend
Wembley also went through some changes and different designations. I cite here Lance Tingay, who is always very precise about the right designations: "In 1951 the event was officialy recognised by the British Lawn Tennis Association and renamed the London Indoor Professional Championships. It became arguably the leading event on the professional calendar" (The Guiness Book of Tennis. Facts and Feats, London 1983, p. 220). It was not held 1954 and 1955. In 1968, it was named Kramer Tournament of Champions, 1969-1971 it became the British Covered Court Champs, 1976-1981 the Benson and Hedges Tournament.
Tingay also gave the prize money for the winners:1951-1953 it was 350 Pound for the winner, 1957 425 Pound, 1958-1967 1000 Pound for the winner. That also shows, that the Wimbledon pro 1967 had enormous prize money for the time.
 
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Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
Dan, could you explain to me what you mean when you say that the US Pro in 52 and 53 "came up short of major status"
The 1952 event featured a great final, Segura winning over Gonzales in a five-set final, but the 1953 event was a Gonzales/Budge final. Kramer was absent from both events, and Segura skipped the 1953 championship. As McCauley says, "the quality of the field in Lakewood (Cleveland) was disappointing to say the least".
Lakewood was not Forest Hills.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
Gonzales, yes. Hoad, probably not. Fact is that Hoad lost 4 pro slam finals, 3 Wembly one French to Rosewall, 60-63. He also lost the 58 French final to Ken. If one does not consider the Cleveland event the US Pro till 63, then Gonzalez would lose 8 of his now credited 12 pro slam wins, which IMO would be unfair.
I was considering with Hoad how he got himself into great shape in 1963 and demolished Laver. With Open Tennis perhaps he never would have been out of shape and would have been a threat at the Open Majors.

Any comments on this @Dan Lobb
 
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treblings

Hall of Fame
The 1952 event featured a great final, Segura winning over Gonzales in a five-set final, but the 1953 event was a Gonzales/Budge final. Kramer was absent from both events, and Segura skipped the 1953 championship. As McCauley says, "the quality of the field in Lakewood (Cleveland) was disappointing to say the least".
Lakewood was not Forest Hills.
if i understand you correctly, you consider 52 and 53 as official US Pro, but don´t give them major status because of the lack of quality of the field.
i found the 53 quote by McCauley but no mention of a weak field in 52. how did you come to your conclusion about 52?
 

Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
if i understand you correctly, you consider 52 and 53 as official US Pro, but don´t give them major status because of the lack of quality of the field.
i found the 53 quote by McCauley but no mention of a weak field in 52. how did you come to your conclusion about 52?
No, not official, which is why I presume the name was changed in 1954 to World Pro...got it?
Check McCauley's text for my quote, which is for 1953, and could also apply to 1952, when Kramer and Riggs did not show.
 

treblings

Hall of Fame
I think i understand your view.
And as i said in my last post, i found the quote but i don't think McCauley meant 52 as well.
 

krosero

Legend
No, not official, which is why I presume the name was changed in 1954 to World Pro...got it?
Check McCauley's text for my quote, which is for 1953, and could also apply to 1952, when Kramer and Riggs did not show.
I think i understand your view.
And as i said in my last post, i found the quote but i don't think McCauley meant 52 as well.
There was no name change in '54; the World Pro designation goes back to the 1950 event. McCauley refers to the '51 event as World Pro.

The 1964 Cleveland tourney was called "the 15th annual world professional tennis championships", which goes back to 1950.

A report of the '53 event, from the Daily Times (New Philadelphia, Ohio) of June 22, 1953:

Pancho Gonzales Downs Budge For Pro Tennis Toga

CLEVELAND (INS)—Richard “Pancho” Gonzales reigns today as the world’s professional tennis king.

Gonzales copped his first world title Sunday by defeating J. Donald Budge, a 38-year-old veteran Racquet man, 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 in a torrid afternoon of tennis.

The 25-year-old Californian then teamed up with Budge to win the doubles crown by defeating Carl Earn of Los Angeles and Bob Rogers of Hollywood, 6-1, 6-4.

Gonzales lost in the 1952 world pro finals when he was beaten by Pancho Segura, the bandy-legged Ecuadorian, who, along with Jack Kramer, did not take part in the 1953 event.​
 

Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
There was no name change in '54; the World Pro designation goes back to the 1950 event. McCauley refers to the '51 event as World Pro.

The 1964 Cleveland tourney was called "the 15th annual world professional tennis championships", which goes back to 1950.

A report of the '53 event, from the Daily Times (New Philadelphia, Ohio) of June 22, 1953:

Pancho Gonzales Downs Budge For Pro Tennis Toga

CLEVELAND (INS)—Richard “Pancho” Gonzales reigns today as the world’s professional tennis king.

Gonzales copped his first world title Sunday by defeating J. Donald Budge, a 38-year-old veteran Racquet man, 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 in a torrid afternoon of tennis.

The 25-year-old Californian then teamed up with Budge to win the doubles crown by defeating Carl Earn of Los Angeles and Bob Rogers of Hollywood, 6-1, 6-4.

Gonzales lost in the 1952 world pro finals when he was beaten by Pancho Segura, the bandy-legged Ecuadorian, who, along with Jack Kramer, did not take part in the 1953 event.​
Krosero, the question which comes begging from all this, is when did Cleveland use the description "U.S. Pro"?
McCauley uses U.S. Pro in both his text and appendix for 1952 and 1953, and then switches to World Pro for 1954 to 1964.
Are you suggesting that Jack March did not make any claim to Cleveland being the U.S. Pro?
If he did, the press would have picked up on that, as they did for the 1963 Forest Hills event.
 

krosero

Legend
Krosero, the question which comes begging from all this, is when did Cleveland use the description "U.S. Pro"?
McCauley uses U.S. Pro in both his text and appendix for 1952 and 1953, and then switches to World Pro for 1954 to 1964.
Are you suggesting that Jack March did not make any claim to Cleveland being the U.S. Pro?
If he did, the press would have picked up on that, as they did for the 1963 Forest Hills event.
The exact details of this requires more research. I need to look up the World Tennis pages for the early 50s.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
Starting from 1964-These are the tournaments which is my best GUESS on what is called important tournaments. There may be more or less and of course I could be incorrect.
1964-Being the lazy guy that I am I will take Rod Laver's word in his latest autobiography that he won 7 important tournaments that year.
1965
US Pro Indoor
Masters Pro Round Robin
Newport Pro Champs
Wembley
1966
Forest Hills Pro Round Robin
US Pro Champs
Wembley
1967
Madison Square Garden Pro Champs
US Pro
Wembley
French Pro
Newport Casino Round Robin
Wimbledon Pro Champs

I may do the Open Era later.

Edit-Using Tennis Base to help.
1965
Victoria Pro Challenge
US Pro Indoor
CBS TV Pro Series
Masters Pro
Peacock Gap Pro
Newport Casino
Wembley
Rhodesian Pro
(An additional four for Laver)
1966
Forest Hills Pro Challenge
US Pro
Wembley
South African Pro
Western Province Pro
(an additional two for Laver)
1967
Madison Square Garden Pro Champs
World Pro Champs
US Pro
Newport Casino Pro
Wimbledon Pro
French Pro
Wembley Pro
(One additional for Laver)

So a total of 20 Important Tournaments from 1965 to 1967 instead of the 13 I had.
 
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Just to establish some ground work for myself to think around...

I think one of the best arguments for the importance of the (somewhat) recognized 3 pro slams, is the longevity of their history. There aren't too many other pro tournaments that had their sort of sustained longevity. (the Southport Pro, perhaps?)
The US Pro started in 1927
The French Pro in 1930
Wembley in 1934.

It appears most references now show that the 'recognized canon' of pro slams includes:
US Pro 1927-43, 1945-67, (and in the open era 1968-94; recognized as GP "Group One" etc = 1000 today from 1970-77) = 40 'official' pro slam editions
French Pro 1930-32, 1934-39, 1956, 1958-67, (and in the open era 1968) = 20 'official' pro slam editions
Wembley Pro 1934-35, 1937, 1939, 1949-53, 1956-67, (and in the open era 1968-71, 1976-90; recognized as GP "Group One" etc = 1000 today from 1970-71, 1976-83) = 21 'official' pro slam editions.

In total 40+20+21 = 81 pro slams.

Does the above seem like a good starting point summary?

After that, questions include:
1. Are all these years 'legitimate'?
2. What about other years? (i.e. FP 1933, 1950, 1953, Wem 1936, 1938)
3. Are there other tournaments that should be considered majors instead?
4. Should any pro events before 1967 be considered majors?

It sounds like we are already well into #1 above...

btw: It looks to me like the Wimbledon Pro of 1967 was not 'open'... i.e. it was invitational to 8 players... but I'm guessing.
 
... I recall seeing on a video of the 1969 Howard Hughes on the electronic scoreboard which mentions Gonzalez won eight US Pros. Now it may not be correct but someone seemed to recognize it. ...
This is a very signficant point, I think, if it was recognized as early as 1969.
 
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