Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by corners, Feb 26, 2010.
Does a video exist of this match? It must have been televised.
Good question. It might not have been.
Was this the 1965 or 1967 U.S. Professional Indoor Championships or the 1970 Tennis Champions Classic?
TV was less interested in "broadcasting" pro tennis then.
The 1970 Classic. This match was mentioned by P. Bodo in a recent blog entry (http://tennisworld.typepad.com/tennisworld/2010/02/tk-6.html).
Tragic if they didn't record this. Say, do you know if anyone is cataloguing/archiving classic match video somewhere online?
I think Krosero knows of a source for DVDs of old matches. I'll try to find this out.
Here's a headline I found.
Sport: Pancho at 41
By Monday, Feb. 16, 1970
"My back gets very stiff and I put heat balm on it," he says. "The balls of my feet hurt too, so now I put the footpads on before the pain starts. The tension sometimes gives me a pain in the stomach, a nerve ache. So I take pills for that, and then I take another tablet that's full of minerals. It seems to help my vision."
The poor fellow sounds like a candidate for the geriatric ward, but it's only Pancho Gonzalez describing how it feels to be 41 and starting his 22nd year of professional tennis. It hurts, obviously. Yet there are compensations. Big compensations. In the opening match of the 1970 season at Madison Square Garden, Gonzalez took on Australia's Rod Laver, 31, the top-ranked pro on the tour for the past four years. The old outpatient not only survived; he outlasted Laver through five grueling sets and walked off with the $10,000 winner-take-all prize money. A week later in Detroit, Gonzalez picked up $10,000 more by running another Aussie, 25-year-old John Newcombe, off the court in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.
Jungle Cat. The matches were the first in a ten-city tour offering $147,000 in prize money, and Gonzalez is determined to get the lion's share. Not that Pancho is exactly strapped for cash. He has been topping $100,000 annually from tennis and other interests for the past several years. What keeps him going is the same fierce pride that has marked the moody, 6-ft. 3-in. Mexican-American ever since he arrived on the scene in 1949, firmly convinced that "I'm the best tennis player in the world." There have been disbelievers from time to time: in 1955 the promoters of one tour guaranteed Tony Trabert $75,000 and Gonzalez only $15,000. An enraged Pancho told his opponent: "You'd better get used to losing." Trabert did. So did Frank Sedgman, Lew Hoad and Ken Rosewall, as Gonzalez won the world professional championship every year from 1953 through 1959 and again in 1961. Some of the match-ups were so lopsided that promoters asked Gonzalez to "ease up a little." That was like asking an angry jungle cat to claw gently. Jack Kramer once said: "Pancho gets 50 points on his serve and 50 points on terror."
Like the big, blistering serve, the terror came naturally. A high school dropout who taught himself tennis on the public courts of Los Angeles, Gonzalez trained little, feasted on tacos and beer, and whiled the nights away playing poker and snooker. On the court Gonzalez displayed the temperament of a tiger. He snarled at opponents, drilled balls at judges' heads, once even rushed into the seats to strong-arm a heckler.
Tennis fans have loved every mean minute of it. They forgive his outbursts as part of his almost fanatical passion for winning, a feat that now takes as much heart as art. He has made concessions. He uses a lighter aluminum racket. He cuts the pockets out of his tennis shorts lest they get soggy with sweat and weigh him down. And he has taken to rigorous training, practicing three hours daily and jogging around his eight-acre Pancho Gonzalez Tennis Ranch in Malibu, Calif. As for court tactics, he likens himself to an aging boxer who can no longer rely on a quick knockout but must pick out a weak spot and "keep punching until the muscles give." His victory over Laver was a case in point.
Anger Uses Energy. Using "lots of spins and changes of pace," Gonzalez won the first set at the service line. "I used to hit aces out of sheer power," he explains. "Now I hit them out of deception." Though he lost the next two sets, he began to establish a pattern: "La-ver's not a very tall fellow and I felt that if I could get my lob going when he came to the net, I could work him pretty hard and penetrate more with a passing shot." In the final two sets the steady punching began to tell. Driven back by Laver's slams at the net, Gonzalez answered with top-spin lobs that dropped inches beyond the Australian's reach. Then, just when Laver seemed to be anticipating another pitty-pat shot, Gonzalez would power a thread-needle drive into the corner. Final score: 7-5, 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Throughout the grind, Gonzalez blew his cool only once. Fixing a hot eye on a linesman, he growled: "Every time I play you make at least one crappy call." That he didn't react more violently is part of the new strategy. "Anger uses up energy," says Gonzalez. "Because of the age factor I have to relax a bit more."
^^^The lob is a lost art today.
Its a shame there was not any filming of these great matches.
Would have also loved to see some of the Kramer vs Gonzales matches
Thanks for the news story Talker.
Yep, damn shame if that match wasn't televised. They should have known better - you've got to record the GOAT matches!!
This article should serve as a perfect illustration of why 99.99% of American publications have to be dismissed entirely as valid historical documents.
Curious as to why you made this statement? pancho,
laver, etc were way before my time, so I have no idea
how it actually went down.
I liked this article and it gives some posters an inside look at an ERA of the past.
Maybe a thread for "lost" articles on past greats would be good.
i liked the article also. thanks for posting it.
I found the site. here it is:
Separate names with a comma.