Top 10 most important tournaments in the 90s?

SamprasisGOAT

Professional
If you were to do the top 10 most important tournaments now days it would be quite easy but in the 90s it was more spread out.

1. Wimbledon
2. US open
3. French
4. YEC
5. Davis cup
6. Grand slam cup
7. Australian open
6. Cincinnati
7. Miami
8. Indian wells
9. Rome
10. Monte Carlo

Honourable mentions to
Queens
Philadelphia
Los Angeles open
Paris
Canadian open

Hope people will correct me if I’m wrong. Maybe I’ve underestimated the Aussie open abit but I think Federer Hewitt and Safin make that tournament big. Before 2003 not all the top players traveled every year look at agassi and Sampras appearance records for an example.
 

KG1965

Legend
If you were to do the top 10 most important tournaments now days it would be quite easy but in the 90s it was more spread out.

1. Wimbledon
2. US open
3. French
4. YEC
5. Davis cup
6. Grand slam cup
7. Australian open
6. Cincinnati
7. Miami
8. Indian wells
9. Rome
10. Monte Carlo

Honourable mentions to
Queens
Philadelphia
Los Angeles open
Paris
Canadian open

Hope people will correct me if I’m wrong. Maybe I’ve underestimated the Aussie open abit but I think Federer Hewitt and Safin make that tournament big. Before 2003 not all the top players traveled every year look at agassi and Sampras appearance records for an example.
If we were to do the first 10 major tournaments these days it would be quite difficult.

It was difficult even in the 90s but it was easy with slams.

1. Wimbledon
2. US open
3. French
----------------------------
4. Australian open
5. YEC
---------------------
6. Grand slam cup
7. Miami
8. Indian Wells
9.?
10.?

I agree enough with AO, not with the Davis Cup.
 

SamprasisGOAT

Professional
If we were to do the first 10 major tournaments these days it would be quite difficult.

It was difficult even in the 90s but it was easy with slams.

1. Wimbledon
2. US open
3. French
----------------------------
4. Australian open
5. YEC
---------------------
6. Grand slam cup
7. Miami
8. Indian Wells
9.?
10.?

I agree enough with AO, not with the Davis Cup.
I always thought the Davis cup was massive in those days.
 

NicoMK

Professional
I think the 4 GC were equally important back in the 90s. Each one had its own very specific surface. Wimbledon has always been Wimbledon, the French had an almost equal prestige back then and it was clay (before the Nadal years). The USO with his lights and noise and night sessions, and mainly the AO with its new stadium were the modern slams!

Apart from that, I'd pick - in order of the year calendar - Indian Wells, Key Biscayne, Monte Carlo, the Queens (the only one that "matters" before Wimbledon, Cincinnati, the Paris Open (at that time the biggest indoor tournament with the ATP Masters) and of course the Masters.

Don't forget the Davis Cup - outside the ATP tour - and I count 12, sorry :cool:.
 

NicoMK

Professional
I have fond memories of most of these tournaments...

The AO:
1990: Mac being defaulted in round #4
1991: the great Lendl-Becker final, with Becker becoming number one
1995: the Courier-Sampras battle in the quarters...

The French:
1990: seeds one and two out in the first round and Agassi with his flashy Nike suits which the French federation president didn’t like :cool:.
1996: Edberg’s last ride
1994-1998: Pete struggling because it was clay (after that year he didn’t seem to really care)
1999: Agassi’s victory

Wimbledon:
1988-1990: the Edberg-Becker rivalry
1993-2000: the Sampras domination with Pete walking on the water during the 99 final.

US Open:
1990: young Pete’s coming and, the following years, the Nike Agassi-Sampras rivalry
1992: Edberg’s victorious marathon
1996: Pete being sick during his quarterfinal against Alex Corretja.
1999: the epic Kuerten-Pioline quarterfinal

Indian Wells and Key Biscayne: the Sampras-Agassi rivalry with some great finals
Monte-Carlo: the Becker finals against Mancini (1989), Bruguera (1991) and Muster (1995), all lost :cry: .
The Queen’s: Wimbledon rehearsals with the Edberg, Becker, Lendl or Sampras victories...
Cincinnati: the Sampras-Agassi semis in 1999 comes to my mind first.
Paris Open:
1990: Becker forced to withdraw after 6 games in the final. Number one spot was at stake had he won.
1995: great Becker-Sampras final despite 3 sets only.

ATP Masters:
1990: the nice Agassi-Edberg final and the Edberg-Becker battle for number one (Becker lost in the semis I think, just coming back from the Bercy injury).
1993: Stich at his best, nice SV game
1996: epic Sampras-Becker five setters, one of the best finals that I have seen.

And the 1991 french Davis Cup victory, you may like it even if you're not French because it was a great tie in a fantastic stadium ; the 1995 Sampras biggest accomplishment on clay and DC, winning 3 points almost all alone on the slowest clay ever in Moscow etc. etc.

And all that I have forgotten of course, with so many great players, all of these being some of my favorites they came to mind first but shall I mention the end of McEnroe-Wilander-Lendl area, the rise of young Spaniards as Moya, Corretja ; the epic victory of Kuerten at the French in 1997 and Kafelnikov, I liked his game very much. And so many more things...
 
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If you were to do the top 10 most important tournaments now days it would be quite easy but in the 90s it was more spread out.

1. Wimbledon
2. US open
3. French
4. YEC
5. Davis cup
6. Grand slam cup
7. Australian open
6. Cincinnati
7. Miami
8. Indian wells
9. Rome
10. Monte Carlo

Honourable mentions to
Queens
Philadelphia
Los Angeles open
Paris
Canadian open

Hope people will correct me if I’m wrong. Maybe I’ve underestimated the Aussie open abit but I think Federer Hewitt and Safin make that tournament big. Before 2003 not all the top players traveled every year look at agassi and Sampras appearance records for an example.
Australian Open was definitely a top 4 event since at least 1988. Yeah some top players skipped(heck, fed skipped French Open last 2 years, it's still a major) but the majority of the top 50/100 was there. And it had a lot of ranking points and prize money. None of that was true circa 1975-1982(lots of challenger level players were getting direct in back then)

After that YEC would be #5, then Miami. Miami was one of the most important events in the history of the tour, the first mini major. It initially was a 2 week event and best of 5 all rounds. Had more ranking points than Australia until 1990. And it got TV coverage like a major. In the 90s it was still a big deal and was on network tv for the finals. Indian Wells was pretty minor in comparison(facilities were much smaller than Miami, it wasn't a combined gender event until later. the women's event wasn't a premier event (Graf, Seles weren't playing it in early 90s) until later.

After that it's sort of debatable. grand slam cup was a big deal for 4 or 5 years, by end of decade it clearly wasn't. Davis cup definitely declined in 90s compared to 80s(many top players were skipping - Sampras, Agassi. Even Edberg and Becker, who never would have missed in 80s)

After Miami, I would say Rome and Paris were biggest Masters. Rome was called the Italian Open for many years before it was Rome Masters and it was a pretty important title historically. Becker helped elevate the status of Paris in late 80s. All the top players were playing it in 90s, some epic finals(Forget Sampras in 91 right before Davis Cup final) and many drama filled events(Becker had to win it in 92 to qualify for YEC, which he did. Then he won the YEC)
 
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I'd say since 1983 it was the no. 4 tournament.
Maybe. The Lipton(Miami) offered more ranking points than Australia as late as 1987(you can see points breakdown on atp website for Mecir and Cash that year)

Also McEnroe has said he was offered appearance fees to play in 1983. I believe Lendl was as well(his comments after losing the final in seemed to hint at that - "I'll be back next year if I can fit it in my schedule) That's sort of telling, it's like playing Rotterdam or Dubai today.
I think most non Australians valued the YEC more back then.
 

NicoMK

Professional
I still think it was Federer who made the Australian the 4th biggest.
I'd say that what made the Aussie Open great was the moving to Flinders Park (now Melbourne Park) in 1988. Hyper modern new stadium with a roof on the center court, almost 30 years before the 3 others !

All the GOATs since then have their name on the Cup : Wilander, Lendl, Becker, Edberg, Sampras, Agassi etc. and the current generation too : Nadal, Federer, Djokovic etc.
 

andreh

Professional
Maybe. The Lipton(Miami) offered more ranking points than Australia as late as 1987(you can see points breakdown on atp website for Mecir and Cash that year)

Also McEnroe has said he was offered appearance fees to play in 1983. I believe Lendl was as well(his comments after losing the final in seemed to hint at that - "I'll be back next year if I can fit it in my schedule) That's sort of telling, it's like playing Rotterdam or Dubai today.
I think most non Australians valued the YEC more back then.

True, I remember that. I wonder, though, if Lendl had made the same remarks, had he won the final.
 

SamprasisGOAT

Professional
I'd say that what made the Aussie Open great was the moving to Flinders Park (now Melbourne Park) in 1988. Hyper modern new stadium with a roof on the center court, almost 30 years before the 3 others !

All the GOATs since then have their name on the Cup : Wilander, Lendl, Becker, Edberg, Sampras, Agassi etc. and the current generation too : Nadal, Federer, Djokovic etc.
Great points you make. Good post.
 

timnz

Legend
If you were to do the top 10 most important tournaments now days it would be quite easy but in the 90s it was more spread out.

1. Wimbledon
2. US open
3. French
4. YEC
5. Davis cup
6. Grand slam cup
7. Australian open
6. Cincinnati
7. Miami
8. Indian wells
9. Rome
10. Monte Carlo

Honourable mentions to
Queens
Philadelphia
Los Angeles open
Paris
Canadian open

Hope people will correct me if I’m wrong. Maybe I’ve underestimated the Aussie open abit but I think Federer Hewitt and Safin make that tournament big. Before 2003 not all the top players traveled every year look at agassi and Sampras appearance records for an example.
The Australian open was definitely 4th. The amount of time the AO wasn’t up to scratch is exaggerated. It was weak in the 1970, 1972-1982. From 1983 to 1987 it was improved. From 1988 it was at full slam status. People make something of Agassi not playing it until 1995 but that was a scheduling time of year choice. Agassi also skipped Wimbledon at times too , are we to downgrade that tournament too?
 
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