Pro Grand Slams in the Open Era - should they be valued then than pre-1968?

timnz

Legend
The Pro Grand Slam events didn't finish at the end of 1967. In 1968, 1969, 1970 all or some of the events were still played.

My question is that - should they be valued less since they were played after April of 1968 (when the first open era tournament happened). For-instance these events won by Laver and Rosewall after 1967 are not listed in their lists of Pro-Major wins. But were they any easier to win?

Rod Laver won the French Professional Championships in 1968, the U.S. Professional Championships in 1968 & 1969, the World Professional Championship at Wembly in 1969.

From what I can gather these tournament had deep fields (the French Pro in 1968 had a deeper field than the French Open for-instance).

I can imagine that in the very early days of Open Tennis these Pro events continued like they had earlier in the decade, with deep fields and had as much prestige to the players at the time as the tournaments won pre-1968.
 
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TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
The Master Series today also have deep fields, but they certainly are not equal to the slam. And I believe the US Pro Championships was a 3 set format(except the final). I would say those Pro Championships tournaments are equivalent to the Master Series today.
 

timnz

Legend
Best of 5 sets

The Master Series today also have deep fields, but they certainly are not equal to the slam. And I believe the US Pro Championships was a 3 set format(except the final). I would say those Pro Championships tournaments are equivalent to the Master Series today.

Were those 3 events best of 5 sets in each round before 1968?
 
In answer to the question were the pro majors best of 5 sets pre 1968

The french pro was best of 5 sets for every round
the wembley pro was best of 5 for sf and final with the earlier rounds best of 3

The us pro was best of 5 for the final and best of 3 for all the other rounds.

By 1969 the 4 slams attracted all the best players, these pro events were definitely not as prestigous but would be equivalent to masters series events of today. The wembly event laver won in in 1969 was called the willis open. The world professional event he won was a bbc2 TV event for only 4 players played on one night and not the old wembly professional title he won between 1964-7.

jeffrey
 

urban

Legend
Its a good and difficult to answer question. I think the post 1967 pro champs were certainly not easier to win than the pre 1967 events. In 1968 you have actually only 3 majors (the Australian was still only amateur, won by Bowrey). The French pro has actually a better draw than the French open, played at RG too. You could name them Super Nine events, but you have to concede, that in those early open years there was very seldom a full major circuit (except for 1969). In another thread, Sgt. John did a very good job, to isolate the best 4 events for each year through history, and the adaequate Super Nine events.
 

timnz

Legend
1968

Its a good and difficult to answer question. I think the post 1967 pro champs were certainly not easier to win than the pre 1967 events. In 1968 you have actually only 3 majors (the Australian was still only amateur, won by Bowrey). The French pro has actually a better draw than the French open, played at RG too. You could name them Super Nine events, but you have to concede, that in those early open years there was very seldom a full major circuit (except for 1969). In another thread, Sgt. John did a very good job, to isolate the best 4 events for each year through history, and the adaequate Super Nine events.

So Top 4 for 1968 were : ?

Wimbledon, Forest Hills (US Open), French Pro, US Pro (or perhaps French Open in 4th place).

I'll look up Sgt. John's entries- thanks for your note. I notice that Carlo Giovanni Colussi had the US Pro, French Pro, Wembley Pro all below the French Open and the Pacific Southwest in terms of stature. While respectfully bowing to both those gentleman's much greater knowledge of tennis history than myself - I don't know that I can agree with the aforementioned rating as it is pretty clear that the French Pro was a more difficult event to win than the French Open.
 
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hoodjem

G.O.A.T.
Rod Laver won the French Professional Championships in 1968, the U.S. Professional Championships in 1968 & 1969, the World Professional Championship at Wembly in 1969.

From what I can gather these tournament had deep fields (the French Pro in 1968 had a deeper field than the French Open for-instance).
This fact would seem to suggest that some of these tournaments at least should be ranked at least equal to the open slams.
 

CyBorg

Legend
It depends. It depends. It depends.

You pretty much have to look at them individually to get any kind of idea.
 

timnz

Legend
French Open vs French Pro - 1968

It depends. It depends. It depends.

You pretty much have to look at them individually to get any kind of idea.


What are your thoughts on the French Pro vs French Open in 1968, for instance?
 

urban

Legend
For 1968, the Los Angeles Pacific Southwest event is a good choice for fourth important event. It was one of the few open events (with amateurs and all pros) on hard court, actually the last open of this inaugural year, and seen by the journalists (like Lance Tingay or German Wolfgang Lencer), who made the rankings then, as crucial for the year rankings. Most of the best players of the year, including Laver, Ashe, Rosewall (top 3 on most rankings), and others participated. The final Laver- Rosewall 4-6, 6-0, 6-0, was one of Lavers best all time performances. Ashe later called it the best match he ever saw.
 
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Here is a comparison of the 1968 French Open vs the 1968 French Pro event.

1968 French Open vs. 1968 French Pro

French Open – held 5/27 – 6/9 with a draw of 128
Players participated: none from WCT; all 6 from NTL; remainder from all categories of players

Seeds (here are the top 8 of 16 seeded players)
1 Laver
2 Rosewall
3 Gimeno
4 Emerson
5 Gonzales
6 Stolle
7 Hoad
8 Hewitt

Results
QF Rosewall d Koch
QF Gimeno d Jovanovic
QF Gonzales d Emerson
QF Laver d Tiriac
SF Rosewall d Gimeno
SF Laver d Gonzales
F Rosewall d Laver

Other events held at the same time as the French Open
WCT Baltimore
Davis Cup in Charlotte (US vs Ecuador)
West Berlin
Stockholm

French Pro – week of 7/9 - 7/15 with a draw of 21
Players participated: all 8 from WCT; all 6 from NTL; and 7 other pros

Seeds (I am only able to find references to these five seeds; I am not able to determine any remaining seeded players)
1 Laver
2 Rosewall
3 Roche
4 Ralston
5 Gimeno

Results
QF Newcombe d Rosewall
QF Stolle d Pilic
QF Gonzales d Drysdale
QF Laver d Anderson
SF Newcombe d Stolle
SF Laver d Gonzales
F Laver d Newcombe

Other events held the same week as French Pro:
Irish Open
Indianapolis
Baastad
 

timnz

Legend
1968

Here is a comparison of the 1968 French Open vs the 1968 French Pro event.

1968 French Open vs. 1968 French Pro

French Open – held 5/27 – 6/9 with a draw of 128
Players participated: none from WCT; all 6 from NTL; remainder from all categories of players

Seeds (here are the top 8 of 16 seeded players)
1 Laver
2 Rosewall
3 Gimeno
4 Emerson
5 Gonzales
6 Stolle
7 Hoad
8 Hewitt

Results
QF Rosewall d Koch
QF Gimeno d Jovanovic
QF Gonzales d Emerson
QF Laver d Tiriac
SF Rosewall d Gimeno
SF Laver d Gonzales
F Rosewall d Laver

Other events held at the same time as the French Open
WCT Baltimore
Davis Cup in Charlotte (US vs Ecuador)
West Berlin
Stockholm

French Pro – week of 7/9 - 7/15 with a draw of 21
Players participated: all 8 from WCT; all 6 from NTL; and 7 other pros

Seeds (I am only able to find references to these five seeds; I am not able to determine any remaining seeded players)
1 Laver
2 Rosewall
3 Roche
4 Ralston
5 Gimeno

Results
QF Newcombe d Rosewall
QF Stolle d Pilic
QF Gonzales d Drysdale
QF Laver d Anderson
SF Newcombe d Stolle
SF Laver d Gonzales
F Laver d Newcombe

Other events held the same week as French Pro:
Irish Open
Indianapolis
Baastad

So French Pro deeper at the top end but not all many rounds then.
 
What were the most important ten tournaments of 1968?

Here is a suggested list:

- Wimbledon
- US Open
- French Open
- French Pro
- US Pro
- Pacific SW/Los Angeles
- Wembley Tournament of Champions
- New York Madison Square Garden pro championships
- Queen's Club
- Bournemouth

Any other suggestions or recommendations for this list?
 

timnz

Legend
Laver

What were the most important ten tournaments of 1968?

Here is a suggested list:

- Wimbledon
- US Open
- French Open
- French Pro
- US Pro
- Pacific SW/Los Angeles
- Wembley Tournament of Champions
- New York Madison Square Garden pro championships
- Queen's Club
- Bournemouth

Any other suggestions or recommendations for this list?

Interestingly Laver won a significant number of these eg Wimbledon, French Pro, US Pro, Pacific SW, Wembley, Madison Square Garden?
 

urban

Legend
The tournament of champions at Wembley in October was won by Rosewall over Newcombe. Laver won the BBC 2 event at Wembley in spring over Rosewall, and there was another event at Wembley, in which Laver beat Rosewall 0,1 and 0. I think, Scott is referring to the MSG event in autumn, that was won by Roche over Gonzalez. There was another MSG event in May, that was won by Laver over Rosewall.
By the way, the list is good, combining the open events with the leading pro events. The PSW at LA had a big draw, i think 64 or 96, and i would rank it very high, although they played best of 3 sets. Due to rain, Queens with a 96 draw, was shared by Okker and Graebner.
 
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timnz

Legend
Weighting

The tournament of champions at Wembley in October was won by Rosewall over Newcombe. Laver won the BBC 2 event at Wembley in spring over Rosewall, and there was another event at Wembley, in which Laver beat Rosewall 0,1 and 0. I think, Scott is referring to the MSG event in autumn, that was won by Roche over Gonzalez. There was another MSG event in May, that was won by Laver over Rosewall.
By the way, the list is good, combining the open events with the leading pro events. The PSW at LA had a big draw, i think 64 or 96, and i would rank it very high, although they played best of 3 sets. Due to rain, Queens with a 96 draw, was shared by Okker and Graebner.

So which of the Wembley events was the continuation of the Wembey Pro Grand Slam event ie the one with the most prestige? Similarly what MSG event was the one of the most prestige?
 

urban

Legend
For Wembley the autumn event was the more credited. Until 1967 it was called London Pro, and was the unofficial Pro World Championship. In 1968, it was called Kramer tournament of Champions and both pro groups - NTL and WCT - participated. Since 1969 the autumn event went open and was called Wills British Covered Court Championships. Laver won it in 1969 (over Roche) and 1970 (over Richey). In 1971, Nastase beat Laver in a fine five-setter. Later Benson and Hedges patronized the event. It remained a leading indoors event until the mid 80s. I recall some fine finals between Mac and Connors and Lendl and Becker.
In the early open years, Wembley, Philadelphia and MSG were the leading indoor venues of pro tennis. MSG had several events each year: The spring event 1968 (won by Laver) had the tradition of the lucrative pro event of the last pro years ( i think in 1966 a 5 year contract with the pro tour and MSG was signed). The autumn event (won by Roche) had the better draw, consisting of both pro groups. In spring 1969, there were 2 important events at MSG: an open event (won by Gimeno over Ashe), and a pro event (Laver over Emerson), which had with 15000 $ the biggest winner cheque on the pro tour. To make things even more complicated: In 70 and 71, MSG hosted the Tennis Classic finals (and some challenge matches), too. But there was no big tournament any more at MSG, until the Masters got back to MSG in the late 70s.
 

DMan

Professional
There is nor was a pro Grand Slam in the Open era.

The Grand Slam only refers to the four major tournaments: Australian French, Wimbledon, and US.

No matter how hard you try and dress them up, French Pro, Wembley, Miami - the "5th major", Indian Wells - the 6th major, Cincinnati - the "new" major, blah, blah, blah....they aren't majors!!! There is, was, and only will be 4 majors that constitute the Grand Slam. period, bottom line, end of story discussion!
 

timnz

Legend
Well yes and no

There is nor was a pro Grand Slam in the Open era.

The Grand Slam only refers to the four major tournaments: Australian French, Wimbledon, and US.

No matter how hard you try and dress them up, French Pro, Wembley, Miami - the "5th major", Indian Wells - the 6th major, Cincinnati - the "new" major, blah, blah, blah....they aren't majors!!! There is, was, and only will be 4 majors that constitute the Grand Slam. period, bottom line, end of story discussion!

Well all 4 have only been officially majors since 1924 (and only Wimbledon before that was a major out of those 4) (NOte: no french Championships in 1924, so 1925 in that case), according to the International Lawn Tennis Federation. (ILTF - the fore-runner of the ITF) - hence, no they haven't alway been those 4 majors in tennis. From 1913 to 1923 - there were the World Hardcourt Championship + World Covered Court + Wimbledon, for-instance.

Anyway, this thread wasn't about comparing the pro-majors with the current 'Grand Slam events' it was comparing Pro-Majors prior to 1968 to Pro-Majors from 1968 to 1971 since they carried on after tennis went open. The French Pro in 1968 particularly seemed a higher quality to at the top level.
 
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