Moya and Ferrero in Hall of fame

tkramer15

Rookie
No, he was. He lost to Fernando Vincente in Lyon in late 2003 shortly before he retired, and there was gossip about it immediately afterwards (e.g. this Guardian article from October 2003). Rumours re-emerged last year? This year? EDIT: Here's a Stuff.co.nz article from 2018 describing the investigation in greater depth.

Not saying they're true or not. I could put forward a perfectly strong case which exhonerates the Russian, and I strongly believe he should have been in the HoF a long time ago. But the accusations against Kafelnikov do exist.
I stand corrected. I had simply forgotten about this Kafelnikov story, although I don't remember it getting that much publicity then (no social media or Tennis Channel makes a difference). I do recall thinking that his retirement seemed somewhat abrupt considering that he was still in the top 10 until late 2002. However, his results had noticeably slipped during that season and even more so in 2003. Maybe the betting suspicion was enough to delay his HoF induction, but I'd bet more on Kafelnikov's overall standing with the media and his infamous losing streak prior to capturing the #1 ranking as overarching factors.
 

Martin J

Hall of Fame
Vilas? He won 4 majors, admittedly two weak Australian Opens, but he won the 1974 Masters at the same venue. Borg chose the Cleveland Nets and World Team Tennis over the French Open in 1977, and he knew what he was doing, i.e. making himself ineligible for that year's French Open, so not Vilas' problem.
The only Masters played on grass and he beat Newcombe, Borg and Nastase on his way, quite impressive I would say. His 1977 is probably enough to guarantee him a HoF entrance, two majors and another final, 16 titles and 5 more finals. Majority of these were on clay, but still has a title on hard and carpet, plus the AO final on grass. You could argue that his '77 was more impressive that the entire careers of majority of the listed players in the above comment, lol.
Him not being a #1 in 1977 at the end of the year is one of the biggest travesties in the sport.
 

Mustard

Talk Tennis Guru
The only Masters played on grass and he beat Newcombe, Borg and Nastase on his way, quite impressive I would say. His 1977 is probably enough to guarantee him a HoF entrance, two majors and another final, 16 titles and 5 more finals. Majority of these were on clay, but still has a title on hard and carpet, plus the AO final on grass. You could argue that his '77 was more impressive that the entire careers of majority of the listed players in the above comment, lol.
Him not being a #1 in 1977 at the end of the year is one of the biggest travesties in the sport.
Vilas was certainly the best player of 1977, on sheer activity in particular. The second half of the year, he won and won and won and won.

I don't think Vilas has been in good health the last few years. I've even heard dementia rumours. Remember that he used to be at all the big tennis events? When did we last see him at one of them?
 

Martin J

Hall of Fame
Vilas was certainly the best player of 1977, on sheer activity in particular. The second half of the year, he won and won and won and won.

I don't think Vilas has been in good health the last few years. I've even heard dementia rumours. Remember that he used to be at all the big tennis events? When did we last see him at one of them?
He hasn't been in good health at all, at least that was my impression from the Netflix documentary about his fight to get the recognition for 1977. Have you watched it? If you haven't, I strongly recommend it.
 

thrust

Hall of Fame
The Tennis Hall of Fame is a joke. It should be an exclusive club for those who stood out in their time and managed to win at least 3 GS titles. Incorporating one grandslam wonders makes THOF a farce. I am of the opinion that THOF should not be announced every year, but once every 5 years or 10 years.
I AGREE that the Tennis HOF is a joke! I would require 4 total slam wins on at least 2 different surfaces, 6 masters titles.
 

thrust

Hall of Fame
You would eliminate Gonzales?
Gonzalez played about 15 or so years on the pro tour, winning many big pro tournaments and tours with winning H-H vs Rosewall, Hoad, and every other top player of his peak era. He did not get to play Laver until he was about 36 and Rod was at his peak. Peak for peak, I think Pancho was every bit as good as Laver, perhaps better. Had he stayed on the amateur tour, Pancho would have won many more than 4 slams.
 

Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
Gonzalez played about 15 or so years on the pro tour, winning many big pro tournaments and tours with winning H-H vs Rosewall, Hoad, and every other top player of his peak era. He did not get to play Laver until he was about 36 and Rod was at his peak. Peak for peak, I think Pancho was every bit as good as Laver, perhaps better. Had he stayed on the amateur tour, Pancho would have won many more than 4 slams.
But according to your rules, he would not get into the HOF. "If's" don't count.
 

thrust

Hall of Fame
But according to your rules, he would not get into the HOF. "If's" don't count.
YES, he would. One has to consider the circumstances of players of different eras, players on the amateur and pro tours, etc.. I was primarily stating criteria for players of the open era.
 

Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
YES, he would. One has to consider the circumstances of players of different eras, players on the amateur and pro tours, etc.. I was primarily stating criteria for players of the open era.
Well, you have to give us criteria for the pre-Open era. Something which could apply to all players. For example, Kovacs is not included in the HOF, a major example of a No. 1 rated professional who was excluded from the major tournaments. Gonzales does not make it, unless you give us some new criteria.
 

thrust

Hall of Fame
Well, you have to give us criteria for the pre-Open era. Something which could apply to all players. For example, Kovacs is not included in the HOF, a major example of a No. 1 rated professional who was excluded from the major tournaments. Gonzales does not make it, unless you give us some new criteria.
Gonzalez gets into the HOF due to his pro tour achievements. As for Kovaks, his pro achievements are vastly inferior to Pancho's, Ken's, Laver's Segura, Trabert, Sedgman, Riggs and some others. By the way today, Nov 2, is Ken Rosewall's 87th birthday.
 
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thrust

Hall of Fame
While I think winning 4 slams would be ideal to enter the HOF, there should be exceptions. For instance Andy Murray, who only has 3 slams, but reached 7 or 8 other finals, won over 40 tournaments, won a WTF title, ended one year at #1, and to a lesser achievement, won 2 OG Medals. Lindsay Davenport is another exception. Though she only won 3 slams, she won over 50 tournaments, ended 4 years at #1, had 90 plus weeks at #1 and won a OG Medal. One slam wonders should not be in the HOF, as far as I am concerned.
 

Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
Gonzalez gets into the HOF due to his pro tour achievements. As for Kovaks, his pro achievements are vastly inferior to Pancho's, Ken's, Laver's Segura, Trabert, Sedgman, Riggs and some others. By the way today, Nov 2, is Ken Rosewall's 87th birthday.
Congratulations to Ken Rosewall, whose family background is from Cornwall, just as mine is. May he enjoy his life and family.
 

Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
While I think winning 4 slams would be ideal to enter the HOF, there should be exceptions. For instance Andy Murray, who only has 3 slams, but reached 7 or 8 other finals, won over 40 tournaments, won a WTF title, ended one year at #1, and to a lesser achievement, won 2 OG Medals. Lindsay Davenport is another exception. Though she only won 3 slams, she won over 50 tournaments, ended 4 years at #1, had 90 plus weeks at #1 and won a OG Medal. One slam wonders should not be in the HOF, as far as I am concerned.
Well, you are giving us subjective criteria for making the HOF. I think that Kovacs probably makes the grade with major events won. Perhaps you are unaware that Kovacs was ranked the world number one professional for two different years. That should be enough, plus winning the U.S. Pro title in 1951, beating Riggs in a 1947 head-to-head tour, winning five U.S. Pro Clay Court titles, and the world clay championship in 1946 over Riggs. His hth against Kramer was 16-4, not too shabby.
 
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PDJ

G.O.A.T.
I voted for Black, Raymond and Pennetta.

Black currently leads the pack on their website.
 
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NAS

Hall of Fame
While I think winning 4 slams would be ideal to enter the HOF, there should be exceptions. For instance Andy Murray, who only has 3 slams, but reached 7 or 8 other finals, won over 40 tournaments, won a WTF title, ended one year at #1, and to a lesser achievement, won 2 OG Medals. Lindsay Davenport is another exception. Though she only won 3 slams, she won over 50 tournaments, ended 4 years at #1, had 90 plus weeks at #1 and won a OG Medal. One slam wonders should not be in the HOF, as far as I am concerned.
Actually I agree with @Dan Lobb , we can't have hard and fast rule for hof
 

urban

Legend
Rules should be flexible, because pre 1980, we had many careers, where the slam count alone fails to give a picture of the real legacy of a player. We have of course de facto an over-representation of US players, i think with 135 inductees, the US has more than half of all members. European players are often overlooked. I think people like Andres Gimeno or Tom Okker did much more for global tennis than US contemporaries like Dennis Ralston, Chuck McKinley or pure doubles specialists like Woodbridge or Woodforde, or the Bryans or people like Karl Behr. But they missed many slams in their prime. I have no intention to discredit those inductees, far from, but the "International" HOF should look more for global recognition..
 
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ChrisG

Professional
All this hall of fame talk is really an American thing. I’ve never seen any sport media really talk about it in Europe. Criteria to get inducted seems unfair, as really important figures are regularly forgotten.
The exemple of Muster or Bruguera is really shocking. Bruguera (and Arantxa Sanchez) is probably the most influential player of the modern Spanish tennis. He paved the way to the Moya, Ferrero, Corretja and Nadal. And a two time GS winner.
 
I didn’t even know that there was a Tennis HOF. To me the whole thing is a very American concept (in sports at least) and serves foremost as a marketing/engagement tool. The English and German soccer leagues didn’t even have HOFs until very recently.
 

Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
Rules should be flexible, because pre 1980, we had many careers, where the slam count alone fails to give a picture of the real legacy of a player. We have of course de facto an over-representation of US players, i think with 135 inductees, the US has more than half of all members. European players are often overlooked. I think people like Andres Gimeno or Tom Okker did much more for global tennis than US contemporaries like Dennis Ralston, Chuck McKinley or pure doubles specialists like Woodbridge or Woodforde, or the Bryans or people like Karl Behr. But they missed many slams in their prime. I have no intention to discredit those inductees, far from, but the "International" HOF should look more for global recognition..
Gimeno got in in 2009. But Okker should also be there.
 

Musterrific

Professional
All this hall of fame talk is really an American thing. I’ve never seen any sport media really talk about it in Europe. Criteria to get inducted seems unfair, as really important figures are regularly forgotten.
The exemple of Muster or Bruguera is really shocking. Bruguera (and Arantxa Sanchez) is probably the most influential player of the modern Spanish tennis. He paved the way to the Moya, Ferrero, Corretja and Nadal. And a two time GS winner.
True. As much as I couldn't stand Bruguera while he was playing, he was the first of the Spanish Armada in tennis.
 

tkramer15

Rookie
All this hall of fame talk is really an American thing. I’ve never seen any sport media really talk about it in Europe. Criteria to get inducted seems unfair, as really important figures are regularly forgotten.
The exemple of Muster or Bruguera is really shocking. Bruguera (and Arantxa Sanchez) is probably the most influential player of the modern Spanish tennis. He paved the way to the Moya, Ferrero, Corretja and Nadal. And a two time GS winner.
You're right. And because it's largely an American thing (despite being the International Tennis Hall of Fame), considerable bias exists. There's an obvious lean towards certain playing styles with success at Wimbledon or the US Open given extra weight. Because the ITF isn't affiliated with the ATP or WTA, tour level tournaments are almost treated as meaningless, despite constituting the extreme majority of any player's career. We can all agree that the slams are clearly the most important in terms of someone's legacy in the sport, but a prudent person must analyze each player's full body of work and try to make objective comparisons when possible.

I've advocated for Ferrero and Moya having better overall career resumes than Bruguera, but I don't think it's right to possibly induct either ahead of him. Muster's accomplishments, particularly in light of his career threatening unique injury, speak for themselves. A former #1 ranked player, winner of 44 titles, including a grand slam and eight Masters events, and owner of several noteworthy winning streaks or stats in the league of Federer, Djokovic and Nadal (not saying Muster is anywhere close to their level; just saying he possesses some streaks and stats that are) should already be in.
 

Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
Well, you are giving us subjective criteria for making the HOF. I think that Kovacs probably makes the grade with major events won. Perhaps you are unaware that Kovacs was ranked the world number one professional for two different years. That should be enough, plus winning the U.S. Pro title in 1951, beating Riggs in a 1947 head-to-head tour, winning five U.S. Pro Clay Court titles, and the world clay championship in 1946 over Riggs. His hth against Kramer was 14-4, not too shabby.
My apologies to Frank Kovacs, his personal hth lifetime against Kramer was not 14-4, but 16-4, or an amazing 80% dominance rate, even more impressive than I remembered. Kovacs was capable of raising his game to great heights. No wonder that Kramer skipped the U.S. Pro Clay Court Championships, Kovacs dominated those events. Otherwise the hth numbers would have been even more lopsided in favour of Kovacs over Kramer.
 
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urban

Legend
I agree, that we must look more closely, especially in eras like the 1940s, which the most prominent pro events were. Kovacs often was seen in the shadow of Budge, Riggs and Kramer. His hth with Kramer and his wins at US pro clay courts deserve indeed nearer evaluation. I think, through the intervention of Bobby One and Bud Collins, Hanne Nuesslein posthum was inducted for his pioneer activities in the pro scene of the 1930s. This pioneering role could be a further aspect of evaluation. I think, what Ram Krishnan did for Indian Tennis, or Raf Osuna for Mexican tennis, was remarkable. Also a player like Eric Sturgess, who did much for South African tennis, is often overlooked.
 

Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
I agree, that we must look more closely, especially in eras like the 1940s, which the most prominent pro events were. Kovacs often was seen in the shadow of Budge, Riggs and Kramer. His hth with Kramer and his wins at US pro clay courts deserve indeed nearer evaluation. I think, through the intervention of Bobby One and Bud Collins, Hanne Nuesslein posthum was inducted for his pioneer activities in the pro scene of the 1930s. This pioneering role could be a further aspect of evaluation. I think, what Ram Krishnan did for Indian Tennis, or Raf Osuna for Mexican tennis, was remarkable. Also a player like Eric Sturgess, who did much for South African tennis, is often overlooked.
Osuna is in the HOF since 1979, but Krishnan is not yet in. Krishnan was noted for some major match wins over players like Laver (1959 Davis Cup at Wimbledon), Emerson (Wimbledon 1961). Krishnan was seeded No. 4 at Wimbledon in 1962, but withdrew with an ankle injury.
Krishnan was the last player to receive a $100,000 contract guarantee offer from Jack Kramer in 1960, but Krishnan turned it down. Two reasons, 1) he could earn more as an amateur, and 2) Krishnan was beaten badly by Hoad at Nottingham in 1957, and probably did not think that he could match up well against the top pros.
Krishnan won 54 tournaments, which is well within range of HOF territory. His game was a miracle of touch shots, and he often defeated power players.
 

urban

Legend
I think, the Krishnan-Laver DC in 1959 was in the US at Boston. I remember a note by Bud Collins, who was present. I doubt, that he could win more as amateur (the amateurs had a 7 months play rule per year), but i read, that he was also the president of the Indian Federation and made the contracts with other amateurs for playing in India.
 

Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
I think, the Krishnan-Laver DC in 1959 was in the US at Boston. I remember a note by Bud Collins, who was present. I doubt, that he could win more as amateur (the amateurs had a 7 months play rule per year), but i read, that he was also the president of the Indian Federation and made the contracts with other amateurs for playing in India.
Perhaps he calculated that overall, a career in amateur tennis and working with the administrative side could offer more money than turning pro, even with that $100,000 guarantee from Kramer.
 

Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
Krishnan had a strong record at Wimbledon and Queens Club. He won the Queens Club title in 1959 over Fraser, and although he was beaten by Gimeno in the 1960 Queens Club, he returned the favour by eliminating Gimeno from Wimbledon shortly afterwards in five sets. He reached the Wimbledon semifinal in 1960 and again in 1961, losing to Fraser in 1960 and Laver in 1961.
Kramer made his unsuccessful pitch for Krishnan at Wimbledon in 1960, after Krishnan had beaten Gimeno in a long match. Kramer then inked Gimeno to a much less lucrative deal.
Krishnan should be there in the HOF.
 

urban

Legend
Also Ramanathan won a lot on European and US clay at Amsterdam, Knokke, Düsseldorf Rochus Club and Houston River Oaks, so he was quite a good allrounder. Sutter had 47 singles titles for him. And he reached the DC Challenge Round with India. At Madras, what he won too, they played on cow dung.
 

Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
Also Ramanathan won a lot on European and US clay at Amsterdam, Knokke, Düsseldorf Rochus Club and Houston River Oaks, so he was quite a good allrounder. Sutter had 47 singles titles for him. And he reached the DC Challenge Round with India. At Madras, what he won too, they played on cow dung.
I think that he beat some famous names in Indian championship play. He also won the Canadian championship.
 

Drob

Professional
The only Masters played on grass and he beat Newcombe, Borg and Nastase on his way, quite impressive I would say. His 1977 is probably enough to guarantee him a HoF entrance, two majors and another final, 16 titles and 5 more finals. Majority of these were on clay, but still has a title on hard and carpet, plus the AO final on grass. You could argue that his '77 was more impressive that the entire careers of majority of the listed players in the above comment, lol.
Him not being a #1 in 1977 at the end of the year is one of the biggest travesties in the sport.
Where do you get the 16, what is that?
 

Drob

Professional
No, he was. He lost to Fernando Vincente in Lyon in late 2003 shortly before he retired, and there was gossip about it immediately afterwards (e.g. this Guardian article from October 2003). Rumours re-emerged last year? This year? EDIT: Here's a Stuff.co.nz article from 2018 describing the investigation in greater depth.

Not saying they're true or not. I could put forward a perfectly strong case which exhonerates the Russian, and I strongly believe he should have been in the HoF a long time ago. But the accusations against Kafelnikov do exist.
was this ever cleared up? Meaning, was a true investigation pursued and findings published?
 

Martin J

Hall of Fame
Where do you get the 16, what is that?
1. Springfield
2. Buenos Aires
3. Virginia Beach
4. FO
5. Austrian Open
6. Washington Open
7. Louisville Open
8. South Orange Open
9. Buckeye/Columbus Open
10. USO
11. Coupe Poree
12. Aryamehr Cup
13. ITC of Colombia
14. Chilean Open
15. Buenos Aires
16. South African Open
 

Drob

Professional
1. Springfield
2. Buenos Aires
3. Virginia Beach
4. FO
5. Austrian Open
6. Washington Open
7. Louisville Open
8. South Orange Open
9. Buckeye/Columbus Open
10. USO
11. Coupe Poree
12. Aryamehr Cup
13. ITC of Colombia
14. Chilean Open
15. Buenos Aires
16. South African Open
you are calling these Big Titles?
 
He was married to an Australian TV presenter for a while, think they lived in Noosa. Not sure if he went back to Europe after they divorced.
Yes, Jo Beth Taylor. Such a random event. I guess they must have met at some sort of Australian Open function and sparks flew!

Would love to know more about his time in Australia.
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
Yes, Jo Beth Taylor. Such a random event. I guess they must have met at some sort of Australian Open function and sparks flew!

Would love to know more about his time in Australia.
I have spoken to a couple of people who said he was reasonably visible in the community when living in Noosa - seemed to enjoy the fact it was only reasonably serious tennis fans that recognised him

Apparently speaks English with a pretty strong Australian accent now
 
Olympic Gold was nothing then, it isn't even a big deal today. Today it still isn't even considered on par with a WTF title. Back then not even a Masters title.

Doubles is subjective but per HOF entry standards it seems about 10 doubles slams are worth 1 singles slam is their metric.

I still do agree Kafelnikov should have entered the HOF sooner and there was MASSIVE bias involved there, but 0 Masters titles is still a horrible look for a 2 slam winner and puts him near the bottom of the 2 slam winners probably, although still probably above a 1 surface guy like Bruguera.
ummmm…it’s the TENNIS HOF, not the Tennis Singles Players HOF. Doubles is an art form that not every player can do, and to be accomplish Grand Slams at it is not to be crapped on. Kafelnikov definitely belongs in, and Doubles Slams are not the idiotic metric you stated (“10 Doubles Slams = 1 Singles Slam”). If you don’t care about Doubles just say that…it doesn’t mean that Doubles isn’t an integral part of tennis
 
ummmm…it’s the TENNIS HOF, not the Tennis Singles Players HOF. Doubles is an art form that not every player can do, and to be accomplish Grand Slams at it is not to be crapped on. Kafelnikov definitely belongs in, and Doubles Slams are not the idiotic metric you stated (“10 Doubles Slams = 1 Singles Slam”). If you don’t care about Doubles just say that…it doesn’t mean that Doubles isn’t an integral part of tennis
Doubles only specialists are never inducted unless they have double digit doubles slams. Singles only players are often inducted with 1. So per their own metrics, which is what I specifically stated if you had a brain and could read simple English, 10 double slams = 1 singles slam.
 
Doubles only specialists are never inducted unless they have double digit doubles slams. Singles only players are often inducted with 1. So per their own metrics, which is what I specifically stated if you had a brain and could read simple English, 10 double slams = 1 singles slam.
Yeah that makes no sense, as the Tennis HOF doesn’t compare Singles to Doubles Slams—because Singles is not Doubles and Vice Versa. I get how everyone these days is drunk on analytics, but not all metrics are equal. I guarantee nobody has ever won a Grand Slam doubles title with the thought process of “Gee if I win 9 more of these, it’ll be equal to 1 Singles slam”. That just makes no sense lol
 
Yeah that makes no sense, as the Tennis HOF doesn’t compare Singles to Doubles Slams—because Singles is not Doubles and Vice Versa. I get how everyone these days is drunk on analytics, but not all metrics are equal. I guarantee nobody has ever won a Grand Slam doubles title with the thought process of “Gee if I win 9 more of these, it’ll be equal to 1 Singles slam”. That just makes no sense lol
Like I said the HOF inductions of past indicate what their general standards for both singles and doubles are. Your opinion, or for that matter mine, are meaningless in this case. The evidence is there. I won't waste my time explaining something so simple to someone obviously dense.
 
I agree, that we must look more closely, especially in eras like the 1940s, which the most prominent pro events were. Kovacs often was seen in the shadow of Budge, Riggs and Kramer. His hth with Kramer and his wins at US pro clay courts deserve indeed nearer evaluation. I think, through the intervention of Bobby One and Bud Collins, Hanne Nuesslein posthum was inducted for his pioneer activities in the pro scene of the 1930s. This pioneering role could be a further aspect of evaluation. I think, what Ram Krishnan did for Indian Tennis, or Raf Osuna for Mexican tennis, was remarkable. Also a player like Eric Sturgess, who did much for South African tennis, is often overlooked.
Several posts on this thread have advocated consideration of Kovacs by the Hall of Fame. Initially I had some reservations regarding that position, however after a review of his career it appears to me that he should be given strong consideration.
Kovacs turned pro in late 1941 at a relatively young age (21 turning 22). As an amateur the USLTA ranked him #10 in 1938, #3 in 1940 and #2 in 1941. During that four-year stretch other highly ranked Americans were Budge (HOF 1964), Riggs (1967), Mako (1973), Wood (1964), Parker (1966), McNeill (1965), Hunt (1966) and Van Horn (not inducted).

Like Gonzales, Kovacs turned pro at an early age, so he had a brief amateur resume. Has this been held against him in HOF consideration?

Also, Kovacs made various public statements about “shamateurism” at about the time he turned professional. Did this also have an impact on his HOF consideration?

After turning pro, Kovacs participated in one “long” pro tour: the 1941-42 tour with Budge, Riggs and Perry (Mako and Stoefen were injury replacements). Kovacs won approximately 50% of his singles matches on the tour, finishing behind Budge in the standings, but virtually tied with Riggs, and well ahead of Perry. In head-to-head matches Kovacs had a losing balance vs Budge but was even with Riggs and Stoefen and had a slight edge over Perry. All of the participants on this tour except Kovacs and Stoefen are in the HOF.

For 1942 Ray Bowers ranked Kovacs fourth among pros, behind Budge, Riggs and Sabin.

For the period 1943 through 1945 Bowers ranked Kovacs third, behind Riggs and Budge.

Kovacs had a very successful outcome in the 1945-46 Tilden tournament circuit. He did not participate in the first eight events, but still won the events at Phoenix, Beverly Hills, Santa Barbara, Dallas, Birmingham, Kalamazoo and Chicago. He was also runner up at Miami, El Paso, Wichita Falls, Shreveport, Chattanooga, Asheville and Oklahoma City. Of his 20 tournament appearances he was finalist at 14 events, or 70%. Only Riggs and Budge had higher percentages of finals appearances.

The demise of the Tilden organized tour in 1947 impacted Kovacs as there were fewer tournaments available in comparison to 1946. He did participate in a series of one-night events in Florida in the early part of the year. He did win three indoor events in Buffalo, Rochester and Troy, reached the semi-finals of Philadelphia (indoor) and was runner up at Philadelphia (outdoor/grass). Kovacs also came out on top of Riggs in a short head-to-head series. Arguably Kovacs had the most successful season of the pros in 1947. However, the head-to-head tour which began late in 1947 matched new pro Jack Kramer against Riggs and not Kovacs.

From 1948 onward, Kovacs seemed to concentrate his play at various exhibitions in Florida (many of which were organized or promoted by George Lyttleton Rogers), as well as other occasional tournaments. He never participated in any of the “Kramer” tours.

Had the organized tournament circuit continued beyond 1946, it would have been interesting to see the outcome for Kovacs.

In light of his strong pro results from late 1941 through 1947, Kovacs does warrant consideration by the Hall of Fame.
 

Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
Several posts on this thread have advocated consideration of Kovacs by the Hall of Fame. Initially I had some reservations regarding that position, however after a review of his career it appears to me that he should be given strong consideration.
Kovacs turned pro in late 1941 at a relatively young age (21 turning 22). As an amateur the USLTA ranked him #10 in 1938, #3 in 1940 and #2 in 1941. During that four-year stretch other highly ranked Americans were Budge (HOF 1964), Riggs (1967), Mako (1973), Wood (1964), Parker (1966), McNeill (1965), Hunt (1966) and Van Horn (not inducted).

Like Gonzales, Kovacs turned pro at an early age, so he had a brief amateur resume. Has this been held against him in HOF consideration?

Also, Kovacs made various public statements about “shamateurism” at about the time he turned professional. Did this also have an impact on his HOF consideration?

After turning pro, Kovacs participated in one “long” pro tour: the 1941-42 tour with Budge, Riggs and Perry (Mako and Stoefen were injury replacements). Kovacs won approximately 50% of his singles matches on the tour, finishing behind Budge in the standings, but virtually tied with Riggs, and well ahead of Perry. In head-to-head matches Kovacs had a losing balance vs Budge but was even with Riggs and Stoefen and had a slight edge over Perry. All of the participants on this tour except Kovacs and Stoefen are in the HOF.

For 1942 Ray Bowers ranked Kovacs fourth among pros, behind Budge, Riggs and Sabin.

For the period 1943 through 1945 Bowers ranked Kovacs third, behind Riggs and Budge.

Kovacs had a very successful outcome in the 1945-46 Tilden tournament circuit. He did not participate in the first eight events, but still won the events at Phoenix, Beverly Hills, Santa Barbara, Dallas, Birmingham, Kalamazoo and Chicago. He was also runner up at Miami, El Paso, Wichita Falls, Shreveport, Chattanooga, Asheville and Oklahoma City. Of his 20 tournament appearances he was finalist at 14 events, or 70%. Only Riggs and Budge had higher percentages of finals appearances.

The demise of the Tilden organized tour in 1947 impacted Kovacs as there were fewer tournaments available in comparison to 1946. He did participate in a series of one-night events in Florida in the early part of the year. He did win three indoor events in Buffalo, Rochester and Troy, reached the semi-finals of Philadelphia (indoor) and was runner up at Philadelphia (outdoor/grass). Kovacs also came out on top of Riggs in a short head-to-head series. Arguably Kovacs had the most successful season of the pros in 1947. However, the head-to-head tour which began late in 1947 matched new pro Jack Kramer against Riggs and not Kovacs.

From 1948 onward, Kovacs seemed to concentrate his play at various exhibitions in Florida (many of which were organized or promoted by George Lyttleton Rogers), as well as other occasional tournaments. He never participated in any of the “Kramer” tours.

Had the organized tournament circuit continued beyond 1946, it would have been interesting to see the outcome for Kovacs.

In light of his strong pro results from late 1941 through 1947, Kovacs does warrant consideration by the Hall of Fame.
The 1946 Chicago event which Kovacs won was described in the planning discussions for the tournament series as "the world's pro clay court championships near Chicago", and Kovacs defeated Riggs in a five set final. Riggs was a great clay player, so this was a notable achievement.
Kovacs did not play at the U.S. Clay Court Championships in 1939, 1940 or 1941, events which he might have been expected to win. Also, Kovacs never played at Roland Garros. However, he did win five U.S. Pro Clay Court Championships in 1947, 1948, 1949, 1951, 1953. Altogether Kovacs won seven U.S. national titles. Worthy of HOF consideration? Yes, what is the holdup?
 
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