I know all of this and none of this is representative of how good these players were in relation to each other because unlike in today's era a player could pad his results significantly by playing many smaller events in place of deeper, popular events where all the big boys were.Vilas: 16 titles: including 2 slams
Runner-up: 5 tournaments, including AO
Borg: 11 titles, including 1 slam
Runner up: 1 tournament (Masters)
It is an inflated percentage. Inflated by playing in smaller events where Borg and Connors and many more great players weren't.Add to this his amazing 91% winning percentage over more than 150 matches played.
Stan Smith was an old man by this time. He was 30 years old and won a single title that year, a minor one in Los Angeles. Nastase reached the age of 31 in 1977 and was past his prime. He was still a pretty good player, but barely stayed within the top 10.You dismiss this blizzard of *facts* by referring to the Virginia Beach and Springfield tournaments as "mickey mouse." And yet he beat Nastase in the Virginia beach final, and he beat Stan Smith in the Springfield final, not exactly mickey mouse players in my book.
Well, we know that he beat Connors at Forrest Hills. It's quite an accomplishment. The other guys you've listed are all pretty good players but are mostly the kinds of guys you would see attend events like Washington, Valencia or Chennai. Good, but not elite, although Gottfied was a really strong player and was probably around his peak at this time. A closer look at the draws shows that the really big names are missing. The Kitzbuhel draw for example where Vilas played Kodes (a washed up player by this time) is weak. As is the Washington draw. Louisville, South Orange, Columbia - all of these are minor events. What was stopping Vilas from playing in Boston, Indianapolis or Cincinnati? You're also neglecting to mention that most of these wins were on Vilas' favorite surface - clay. He played on his best and favorite surface all year 'round, something that one cannot do today.In other finals he beat, among others, Connors, Fibak, Gottfried (who was in a great number of finals that year), Kodes, Tanner, Higueras and Fillol. Mickey mouse players? Not really.
Look at the Monte Carlo draw. You'll find that Borg beat Vilas on the way to the Monte Carlo final. Barrazzutti was a strong player. Better than Kodes, Fillol or Fibak. Would you feel differently about Monte Carlo if Borg faced Barrazzutti in the semi and Vilas in the final? What's the difference?How about Borg beating Corrado Barazzuti in the Monte Carlo final, or John Lloyd in the Basel final? If this is a Mickey Mouse contest, who are the Mickeyest?
The reasoning is simple. Borg was better on clay than Vilas.Sorry, but the fact that Borg did not play the French that year is not something that should be counted in Borg's favour (!!!) -- by reasoning that if he HAD played it, he may well have won it, which seems to be your approach. What kind of reasoning is that???
You're taking way too much offense to this. I have presented a clear and concise argument. I actually think that this is relatively close. Anyone who thinks that this isn't is being a little bit too emotional.This is not even close. It's a case of severe blindness. The record clearly and overwhelmingly shows that Vilas had by far the best results in 1977. It's the record that determines who was the best player, not subjective considerations about who one thinks was the best player. I know you are a big Borg fan, and so am I, but the facts are what they are in 1977, and you should get over it.