Phoenix1983, you haven’t seen evidence that the Davis Cup topped Wimbledon before 1960 so I will give you some references, and sorry for not summarize but I have to give you numerous examples in order to clearly prove that you are deadly wrong on that point :
- Most of the years the world #1 amateur won the Davis Cup competition before 1960 (and even until 1967);
- in 1905, the US team decided to play the British tourneys including Wimby in order to train for the Davis Cup series : Beals Coleman Wright, from the USA, was rated higher than Brookes in world rankings, though the latter did pretty much well at Wimby but Wright later beat Brookes in Davis Cup.
- In 1907 this same Wright was ranked ahead of Wilding though the latter had beaten Wright in a straight-setter at Wimby whereas Wright needed four sets to overcome Wilding in the DC.
- In 1912 Gore beat twice Gobert including at Wimby but Gobert took his revenge in DC and was better ranked than Gore.
- In 1914 McLoughlin won no individual major but his two defeats of Brookes and Wilding in the Davis Cup Challenge Round put him at the top of the world ahead of his victims.
- From 1920 to 1925 Tilden and Johnston trusted the first two places though they didn’t play Wimby respectively in 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925 (and 1926) and in 1921, 1922, 1924, 1925 (and in later years) but both were undefeated in Davis Cup.
In 1925 though he won both the French amateur International and Wimby, Lacoste was only ranked #4 in the amateur ranking after Tilden, Johnston and Richards. Tilden and Johnston had beaten Lacoste in Davis Cup while Richards had defeated Lacoste in the US amateur and none of the 3 Americans had crossed the Atlantic to play the French and the British (Wimby) events.
Read Tilden’s autobiography “My Story” and you will note that his greatest disillusionment in 1927 was not his failures at Saint-Cloud or Wimby or Forest Hills but at Philadelphia when his team lost the DC
(about his Saint-Cloud setback I will use later an argument contradicting one of yours about Tilden)
- Lacoste claimed that his greatest triumph ever was the 1927 Davis Cup.
- Cochet had written in his book ‘Tennis’ (co-written with Jacques Feuillet) : “La Coupe Davis est la plus prestigieuse des épreuves tennistiques. / Elle est la moderne Toison d’or dont ils (les joueurs) rêvent d’être les nouveaux Argonautes" (« The Davis Cup is the most prestigious tennis event. / It is the modern Golden Fleece they (the players) dream of being the new Argonauts”.
- When Cochet lost in the 1st round of Wimbledon in 1931 the French nation was disappointed but it was nothing compared to the fear of losing the DC. That year Cochet’s health had been bad : he was ill since the Italian Champs which he lost in the final then he skipped the French, unable to play, and when he entered Wimby he hadn’t recovered and even at the end of July for the DC Challenge Round it was hoped he wouldn’t play any 5-setter. Happily for him and France he won both his singles in 4 sets : the main goal was to win the team event and not Wimby. And Myers ranked Cochet world #1 amateur (though I contradict his ranking).
- Vines’s defeats in Davis Cup are always considered as great failures in his career and Borotra considered that his defeat of Vines in the 1932 edition was his greatest feat ever, greater than winning Wimby or Roland, both tourneys won by the Basque
(incidentally Vines and above all Allison were robbed in this DC tie and I mean it given that I am French but that’s another subject)
- Henri Christian Hopman wrote in “Aces and Places” p. 141 : “… the world’s most universally sought sporting trophy - the Davis Cup.”
. In this book, published early in 1957, he devoted a chapter for each great player of the time and each annual Davis Cup but no chapter were devoted to Wimby.
- Had von Cramm beaten Budge in the 1937 Davis Cup USA-Germany tie, his fate would have been quite different : their match in this event was the match of the year in everyone’s eyes.
When Brookes invited in September 1937, Budge (and Mako) to play in Australia during the following austral summer, Budge began to think about his 1938 season. In the previous years the USA had not won the DC (their last success being in 1926) so they had to play each year several ties in order to win the event : therefore they planned their season based on the DC ties. But at the end of 1937 this process has changed because the USA had just won the DC at last. So instead of playing 12 matches (4 ties) spread over several months as in 1937, Budge had to play only 3 matches (1 tie) over a week-end. It suddenly created a gap in his schedule. So he decided to set goals before the Davis Cup climax. Brookes’s invitation fired Budge’s imagination who then thought of playing the amateur championships of the great nations who had won the Davis Cup that is
the USA, the British Isles, Austral(as)ia and France and so he definitely sort of created the Grand Slam (which had been used earlier as, for instance, Alan Gould, did (before Kieran and Danzig) in The Reading Eagle (Pennsylvania), Tuesday, July 18, 1933, http://news.google.com/newspapers?n...3gzAAAAIBAJ&sjid=DeIFAAAAIBAJ&pg=2327,2495314
So the Davis Cup is the Grand Slam events’ MOTHER and not the reverse though two of them (the British and US events) were born before (the Davis Cup) but were not then Slam events. This is the Davis Cup which has given these 4 tourneys their future legitimity. Wimby was already a great event but it really became the greatest with the advent of the open era. In the meantime the Slam events have killed their mother by becoming much more important than the modern Davis Cup which now has even less prestige than the ATP World Tour Finals and even any Masters 1000 Series tournaments.
- “…the greatest honor in the lawn tennis world, the win of the Davis Cup.” Stephen Wallis Merrihew (“American Lawn Tennis” editor) in “American Lawn Tennis” April 20, 1938 p. 40.
- In 1939 Bromwich was ranked as high as world amateur #2 by Francis Gordon Lowe, Pierre Gillou and Edward Clarkson Potter though he didn’t play Wimby and only reached the semis at Forest Hills but his team won the Davis Cup (and he won 8 singles out of 10).
Norman Brookes, as President of the Australian Lawn Tennis Association, wanted his country win the Davis Cup and not Wimbledon. Especially in 1939 the Australian team was not allowed to travel to Europe but to go directly to the US in order to recapture the Cup. And for instance a player such as Bromwich had not the opportunity to play Wimbledon at his apogee three editions in a row (1938, 1939, and 1946).
- Mervyn Weston in ‘American Lawn Tennis’, April 20, 1939 p. 34 wrote “… The Davis Cup is regarded far more highly as a prize than individual championship honors (including Wimbledon) …”
In his book “Playing for life” page 95, William Talbert wrote “the climactic event of the tennis year : the challenge for possession of the Davis Cup”
- In 1946 Pétra’s failure in the decisive match of the Yugoslavia-France tie (against Puncec) was more lamented in France than his success at Wimby was celebrated.
John Sheldon Olliff ranked Frederick Frederick Rudolph Schroeder as high as #2 amateur in the world from 1946 to 1948 though the American never played Wimby in those years but he won all his DC singles during that period.
- In American Lawn Tennis, February 1947, page 36 Harley Malcolm wrote “the premier event in the lawn tennis world, the Davis Cup challenge round.”
- In 1953 Rosewall won 2 Slam events while Trabert only won one and didn’t won a single match in the 3 other Slam tourneys (in fact he didn’t enter neither the Australian nor the French nor Wimby). Nevertheless Trabert was considered by the great majority as the #1 amateur in the world because he had beaten Rosewall in the DC Challenge Round (in head-to-head meetings Rosewall trailed Trabert only 2-3 in 1953). Some even considered Hoad as the #1 amateur in 1953 because he had beaten Trabert and Seixas in that DC tie even though he had lost to Seixas something like 6 times previously this year and especially at the French and Wimby. And Seixas, though Wimby winner was never rated as the #1 in any world amateur ranking.
- About the 1955 Davis Cup Henry Christian Hopman wrote in his book ‘Aces and Places’ p. 184 :
“It was decided that the (Australian) team might become over-tennised if it played in the Italian and French championships and that it would be hardly fair to ask our players to try to be at their top for these championships and Wimbledon and also the Davis Cup engagement. It must be remembered that our main objective was to bring back the Davis Cup
So you could note that the Italian (and at the time it was much more important than nowadays) and French amateur champs were merely sacrificed (Rosewall, Hoad and Hartwig didn’t enter these events) and though the Aussies were allowed to play Wimby, the greatest individual amateur event, this tourney was nevertheless that year a sort of “warm-up” to the true climax of the amateur season, the Davis Cup ties played in July and August (the challenge round being held the last week of that month).
- Hoad’s wife, Jennifer Staley, claimed that her husband when reading newspapers, in the tennis section, was only interested, until his death, in Davis Cup results and not Slam results.