Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Gundam, Feb 10, 2007.
are you sure they have that match? I don't see it listed on the site.
Maybe i am wrong, Moose, but i thought i saw it there some time ago. Just saw another side with many old matches, maybe You know it already:
thanks, I wasn't aware of that site. have you used it before?
lots of interesting matches they have, Rosewall-Smith '74 W SF sounds good
could you post one or two clips up on youtube?
Rosewell vs Ashe
AO Final '71
thanks for posting that, I see they also have the post match interviews, I've never heard Rosewall speak before:
urban, have you seen a documentary called "The French" about the 1981 French Open? is it worth seeing?
So if Laver or Rosewall would play Wimby 72-73 and RG 71-72-73 how do you urban (or pc1, sgt jhon, carlo g colussi, jeffreyneave) evaluate their chances to win some of those events?
Laver - Roland Garros 1971
I think it is pretty clear that Laver would be the favourite to win Roland Garros in 1971. He beat the winner of Roland Garros that year in straight sets in the Italian Open (a much more hotly contested event than Roland Garros) Jan Kodeš.
Good point by timnz: in many ways, Rome was the 'true' clay major in 1971, just as Sydney was the true australian major in 1970.
in 70-71, I think Laver could have won anything, he was so dominant throughout these years in 'smaller' tournaments. Still, as we saw at Wimbledon and the US Open, he could also lose at any time, because his mental focus was not on Slams anymore.
In mid 1972 (after the WCT finals), he was badly injured, so he would not have been a factor in Wimbledon 1972-3.
As for Ken, well, as his epic 1974 summer at Wimbledon and Forest Hills showed, nothing was impossible to this guy...He would have been a factor anytime anywhere...
It's hard to evaluate Laver's or Rosewall chances at these events. They obviously were much older and vulnerable but still great. I believe on most surfaces at least up to 1971 and even up to 1972, Laver would be as strong as almost anyone on any surface but an older player like Laver would take longer to recover and would be more vulnerable to being upset. In the Champions Classic in 1971 Laver had rest between matches and was able to defeat almost all the great players of the time but he lost at Wimbledon for example.
In 1972, I would probably bet on Laver, if he was healthy and fully rested for one match over anyone in the world at Wimbledon. Problem was that he would have to play seven matches and he was to turn 34 that year. All those matches would affect Laver more than a younger Newcombe for example.
Laver's chances were probably as good as anyone's but players like Newcombe, Smith, Ashe Nastase and Rosewall would have had great chances too. I would probably make Laver a co-favorite with Newcombe but it would be a very shaky choice because of Laver's clear decline.
In 1973 it would have been tough for Laver. I believe Laver had some injury problems and players like Stan Smith, Nastase, Newcombe, Rosewall and Jimmy Connors among other may have been favored over Rod on the faster surfaces.
Stan Smith dominated Laver on the WCT tour that year and many thought it was the changing of the guard from Laver to Smith as clearly the top player in the world. Obviously that never happened because Smith's game deteriorated.
Laver later that year (1973) proved he could still reach levels that even Smith couldn't reach when he crushed Smith in the Davis Cup in four sets. An incredible performance by Laver.
I would say that from 1970 to 1971 Laver would have been a favorite and perhaps even the top seed at the French. In 1972 there was some decline but I believe Laver and Rosewall would have top favorites at the French also. Clearly Rod was better than the champions that year (Kodes in 70 and 71 and Gimeno in 1972) but I believe Nastase would have been a problem for Rod in 1973 although I think Rod could have won.
Rosewall is also a player you could say would have been favored over Kodes and Gimeno. Although Gimeno was a great player on red clay and has beaten Rosewall many times. Gimeno against Rosewall on red clay is NOT an automatic win for Rosewall. Objectively by history Rosewall would have just as good a chance to win the French in 1970 to 1972 as Laver, if not better.
I also think that Muscles would have had an excellent chance if he played Nastase in 1973. It would be tough since Nastase was at his peak but Rosewall always played Nastase well on any surface.
I would give Laver World no. 1 for 1970 and 1971. Should he also get it for 1972?
1972 world rankings
laver was definitely not world number one in 1972 . he had his worst season failing to get beyond the qf of 10 events played after losing to rosewall in the wct finals in dallas. smith was definitely no1 with his wins at wimbledon, davic cup final , psw and stockholm and 4-1 edge over nastase his closest rival who won at the us open
By the standards of number one there is no doubt you are correct about Laver in 1972. However I am curious about what you think Laver's chances at the French and Wimbledon that year were. It was a very weak field at Wimbledon that year. For example Manuel Orantes, an excellent player but not that good on grass was third seed and an over the hill Gimeno, never as good as Rosewall and Laver in the old Pro Tours was fourth seed.
wot? no wikipedia?
1972 is difficult, because you had basically 2 different circuits - the WCT series and the ITF Grand Prix, with some Riordan events interjected. The only big event, where Grand Prix and WCT pros competed, was the US0, won by Nastase over Ashe, who had beaten Smith. At Wim, the 32 WCT players were banned from. I think the LA SWP was played by many pros, too, and won by Smith. The WCT series was split between a January-May series, where Laver lead the points race, and Rosewall won the play-off; and a "winter-series", where Newombe was the point leader, and Ashe won the play- off at Rome over Lutz. Laver, who had back trouble and a slump after May, Rosewall, who also wasn't a factor after May, and Newk, who qualified for Dallas in May at the last instance, had only one good half year each. As Jeffrey wrote, Smith was the most consistent, without having great form at Wimbledon. But over the year, he had the Indian Sign over Nastase.
Overall in those years, the main problem for the top pros, was focussing on the big events. Ashe wrote this in his Portrait book, that they played too much, and had problems to get ready physically and even more mentally for the main events. The tough WCT schedule sapped strength from many of the top pros. It was no surprise, that Newcombe did well in the majors in 1973, when he skipped the WCT series in spring, and on the contrary, he faltered at Wim and USO, when he had a great season on WCT in 1974. Rosewall did great on Wim and USO in 1974, when he didn't play the WCT series. As soon, as Nastase played WCT in 1974, he didn't excel any more at the big major and Grand Prix events. As he said in a recent interview on TW, Smith played his best tennis on the WCT series in spring 1973, but it took too much out of him, and he never found his form afterwards. The one exception from the rule was Ashe in 1975, who won WCT and Wimbledon. This double was seen as a big accomplishment then, and Ashe was ranked Nr. 1 by most experts in 1975.
Urban is perfectly right. The early 70s were really a mess. There was no 'special' status such as the one enjoyed by the majors today, and lots of confusion about whether the best player was the one winning the Majors and Davis Cup, as in the Amateur Era, or the one with the most prize money.
Though in 1970 and 1971, Laver could have a claim to the top spot, I think that no WCT pro was at the top of the game in 1972. Rosewall was occasionally brilliant, and amazing for a 38-year old, but did not have much success in the Open events. Laver was brilliant in the first WCT season but lost to Rosewall in Dallas and then got injured so he ended up with not one big title under his belt, unlike 1970 and 1971 when he did not win majors, but still had Wembley, Rome, the Champions' Classic, and so on. Same thing for Newcombe, he could not win the second WCT Finals, and had a forgettable summer in Open tournaments.
So in the end it's pretty much a tie between Nastase and Smith. Smith won Wimbledon, the PSW and the Davis Cup, and was very consistent. Nastase won the USO, by far the most important event, and played a lot, being a little erratic in the process, but in the end winning many good tournaments. Smith is often given the nod due to the positive H2H in his favour though.
Great point urban.
The best backhand ever according to many or most people, the best or one of the best footwork and, certainly, the best timing or , at least, one of top 3.Had no weakness except his serve...and his size.Never gave up, started playing as a top gun in 1953...and 24 years after, still reached a GS semifinal in the Australian Championships.That would be what people who haven´t seen him play would say.
At 40, beat worlds nº 1 Newcombe and nº 2 Smith being 2 sets down at Wimbledon... won both matches and reached the finals losing to the best Connors...which he repeated at the US Open a few weeks later.
He and Hoad made up for a great doubles team, winning Davis Cup several times ( the last one in 1973, wipping the floor with the US squad at Cleveland, 0-5)... called Pockets, because of his legendary stininess and Muscless, because of his size ( you´d cross him 1000 times in the street and would never turn back)
I have seen him live and what I said is still short.At one point, it is better even to " listen" him play than to even see him.
Newcombe was the nº 1, closely followed by Smith and Rosewall.Laver would be nº 4.In 1972,Nastase and Kodes would have had the edge over the Rocket.
Which doesn´t mean that, on a given day, Laver could beat anybody as he proved beating Borg in 1974 and 1975.After all, he is the greatest ever.
Where is that story of Vijay (being advised/coached by Pancho) playing against Rosewall. I think it was in the USO quarters of 1973.
Vijay thought he could serve to Rosewall's backhand because Muscles was cheating out wide. (Pancho had told him over and over to avoid Muscles' backhand.)
um, you actually were the one who posted that story in this thread:
maybe you should bookmark it or something.
Maybe . . . I should.
Saw him play a few times in the early 70's. Silky smooth backhand and quick!
Laver is the greatest of all because the media are obliged to remember the two Grand Slam .
In 1962 he won the first but Rosewall was number one in the world !!!
Rosewall & Gonzales are for me the two biggest of the old tennis ( with Laver ) and have been forgotten .
There is no one who now plays well . Perhaps Rafter once .
Gerulaitis & Kriek in 70-80 .
His career reminds me of Connors . The media and the critics underestimate , then scav .. excavations ... excavations ... and discover that they are aliens .
Here we go.
Everyone talks about his great backhand, but from the many clips I've seen, his forehand was very solid too. Laver has even stated in his book Rosewall had no weaknesses.
Simply put, Rosewall was a pusher.
No, this a completely false understanding of what i wrote some years ago. Please let my name out those crap assumptions.
Separate names with a comma.