Was Jonny Newcombe the best player of early 70's

dgold44

G.O.A.T.
I am really trying to learn more about the 70's tennis.Seems to be a big topic here I really enjoy the amazing serve and volley of that time.

From lets say 1970 to 1974 would you say Newcombe was the best player on the planet.

I know Connors was top dog from 75 to like 79 then Borg for a few years.

I assume by the early 70's that both Laver and Rosewall were past their prime but not sure.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Laver was the best in 1970 and arguably 1971 IIRC. Over the course of the whole period? Not sure.
 

Phoenix1983

G.O.A.T.
He certainly had the best moustache of the period, and perhaps he is a GOAT contender in this realm.



On a more serious note, he was certainly one of the dominant players of the early 70s, and is underrated on this forum. Three Wimbledons, 2 US Opens and 2 Aussie Opens is nothing to sniff at. I think he gets overlooked because he played in rather transitional years at the beginning of the Open Era, after Laver and Rosewall had begun to decline, but before Borg and Connors were dominant.
 

mmk

Hall of Fame
Besides the best moustache, he might also have had the best sense of humor. Really funny guy in person.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PDJ

PDJ

G.O.A.T.
This definitely needs Kiki's contribution.

When younger I player a junior tournament ( Solihull, UK ) and he was there with lots of kids from his school. They were easy to spot - they all had tshirts with a huge moustache printed on the front.

My mother and Grandmother adored him. Second only to Rosewall in their eyes.
:)
 

KG1965

Legend
I think John Moustache was a born actor .
Great character , cinema .

From 1968 to 1971 he was among the first but the old aussie were still .. a step forward .
In 1971, perhaps the front were also Nastase and Smith, but not playing the WCT as John .
In 1972 perhaps it was the best but being the only one who played a little bit in the WCT and a Grand Prix ended behind Rosewall - Laver ( WCT ) and Smith - Nasty ( GP ) .
Always at a high level in 1973 and 1974 but perhaps Nasty in 1973 and Connors in 1974, were higher .

7 Slam , Masters WCT , Bournemouth and Rome 1969, Philadelphia in 1971 and Las Vegas in 1972 , Johannesburg in 1972 ...
a good haul .

Great on grass, carpet, hc, but also very good on the clay.
 

KG1965

Legend
dgold44,
I think you look at these threads as the number 1 in the period after Laver , and before Connors .. why did you notice that there is a hole .

1 ) One who takes to slap all for 4 or 5 years there was not .
2 ) There were five players who were one step ahead : Laver , Rosewall , Newk , Nasty and Stan Smith .
3 ) the number one problem that prevents us from awarding the best , is in the two circuits , competing WCT & GP , because of which , the five champions can not be addressed .
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
He certainly had the best moustache of the period, and perhaps he is a GOAT contender in this realm.



On a more serious note, he was certainly one of the dominant players of the early 70s, and is underrated on this forum. Three Wimbledons, 2 US Opens and 2 Aussie Opens is nothing to sniff at. I think he gets overlooked because he played in rather transitional years at the beginning of the Open Era, after Laver and Rosewall had begun to decline, but before Borg and Connors were dominant.
I agree with you totally. Newcombe is often forgotten nowadays but when he was healthy and in shape (which he perhaps often wasn't because he was famous for drinking all night) he was awesome. He had such an presence on the tennis court. He had a lot of huge weapons that could hurt you. He had of course his great serve which imo is up there with Sampras on first and second serve. Like Sampras, Newcombe's second serve has been called the greatest ever. His forehand in the early 1970s may have been the best in tennis. I think it was. His serve and volley game was practically perfect. Vic Braden wrote that until Edberg arrived that no one got closer to the net for the first volley than John Newcombe. His backhand was not great but solid. Like many of the players of that time he didn't hit topspin off the backhand side but sliced it. He did lob extremely well and was strong from the baseline. He wasn't the fastest player like a Laver, Okker, Nastase or Rosewall at the time but he did move okay. His volley and overhead was superb and he was known for ability to win big five set matches. Newcombe's forehand volley is one of the best in tennis history imo and also by many tennis experts. His backhand volley was merely excellent.

Newk was strong on every surface defeating players like Rosewall, Ashe, Smith on grass and players like Rosewall, Okker and Roche on clay. He won the Italian Open and a number of clay titles but he was most famous for being a great grass player, winning at Wimbledon, the Australian and the US Open. Here's a clip from his 1973 Final at the US Open against Kiki's favorite Jan Kodes.

Perhaps his greatest five set win was his 1973 Davis Cup Victory over Stan Smith. It was really a great match but forgotten. I hope they can show it on television someday. Here's an article about that Davis Cup.
http://www.si.com/vault/1973/12/10/618455/america-went-way-down-under

And of course he was a great doubles player with his partner Tony Roche but he was excellent with many different doubles partners including Laver in the 1973 Davis Cup final.

In summary Newcombe had a lot of great strengths and few weaknesses. If he was able to maintain it for a few more years he would be ranked with almost anyone.
 
Last edited:

dgold44

G.O.A.T.
dgold44,
I think you look at these threads as the number 1 in the period after Laver , and before Connors .. why did you notice that there is a hole .

1 ) One who takes to slap all for 4 or 5 years there was not .
2 ) There were five players who were one step ahead : Laver , Rosewall , Newk , Nasty and Stan Smith .
3 ) the number one problem that prevents us from awarding the best , is in the two circuits , competing WCT & GP , because of which , the five champions can not be addressed .

So would you say that both Smith and Newcombe were basically on equal level in accomplishments ???

I did just learn about a huge gap in the early 70's that was inbetween the 60's greats and then Borg/Connors.
 

KG1965

Legend
So would you say that both Smith and Newcombe were basically on equal level in accomplishments ???

I did just learn about a huge gap in the early 70's that was inbetween the 60's greats and then Borg/Connors.
Yes, I think Stan Smith has been great as Newk .

Tennis is gradually improved until 1973 .
Since 1973 he becomes "Tennis 2.0" .
From 1968 to 1973, the only clear thing is .. the amazing Grand Slam Rodney Laver .
The rest is difficult to interpret .

IMO it will never be possible a realistic ranking for double circuit .
We can make a hypothesis ranking unrealistic .

Without any kind of analysis , I believe that Laver & Rosewall were the strongest in 1970 & 71 , Smith & Nasty in 1972 & 73 .
And perhaps the most continuous Newk and then the best in the period 1970-1973 .
I have many doubts . Perhaps the empire Laver extends up to ... Connors .
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
So would you say that both Smith and Newcombe were basically on equal level in accomplishments ???

I did just learn about a huge gap in the early 70's that was inbetween the 60's greats and then Borg/Connors.
Newcombe was definitely superior in overall skill, talent and accomplishments. Newcombe won more tournaments, more majors and was better than Smith in big head to head matches. Smith was known for his big serve but Newcombe had an even better serve. Smith had an excellent volley but Newcombe had a better volley. Newk was just a more solid overall player.
 

urban

Legend
Newk was ike Boris Becker a player more for the special occasions at Wimbledon or in Davis Cup, not a day in, day out player. His body couldn't tolerate a strong schedule through a full year or more. The poster slasher made a very solid and respectable reconstruction of the Computer ranking system between 1968 and 1973, according to the then functioning points rules. He has Laver at 187 weeks at Nr. 1, Newk at around 40 weeks, and Smith and Nastase both with around 30 weeks. At years end, according to this System, which corresponds mith my own calculations, he has Laver at Nr. 1 for 1968-1970, Newcombe in 1971 (just over Laver without - according to the Points rules - the Champions Classic and the WCT finals), Smith for 1972 and Nastase for 1973 (just over Newcombe). As said, in the early 1970s we had that promotional rivalry between WCT and ItF, which resulted in different circuits. Imo Newk had his best year in 1971, winning Wimbledon (over Rosewall and Smith in a fine final), and 4 WCT tourneys, among them Philadelphia on carpet and Canadian Open on clay. He faded in the last part of the season, losing Forest Hills first round to the hot Kodes (who reached the final), and skipping sveveral WCT tournaments due to injury, so that he finished 6th in the Points race ofthe 20 tournament series (which Laver won). he had another good streak late 1973 and early 1974, winning USO, Davis Cup and the WCT Tournament series and final in spring 1974. He has a case for Nr. 1 in 1973, but i would rank Nastase just ahead of him, because he was more consistent over the year..
 

KG1965

Legend
Newk was ike Boris Becker a player more for the special occasions at Wimbledon or in Davis Cup, not a day in, day out player. His body couldn't tolerate a strong schedule through a full year or more. The poster slasher made a very solid and respectable reconstruction of the Computer ranking system between 1968 and 1973, according to the then functioning points rules. He has Laver at 187 weeks at Nr. 1, Newk at around 40 weeks, and Smith and Nastase both with around 30 weeks. At years end, according to this System, which corresponds mith my own calculations, he has Laver at Nr. 1 for 1968-1970, Newcombe in 1971 (just over Laver without - according to the Points rules - the Champions Classic and the WCT finals), Smith for 1972 and Nastase for 1973 (just over Newcombe). As said, in the early 1970s we had that promotional rivalry between WCT and ItF, which resulted in different circuits. Imo Newk had his best year in 1971, winning Wimbledon (over Rosewall and Smith in a fine final), and 4 WCT tourneys, among them Philadelphia on carpet and Canadian Open on clay. He faded in the last part of the season, losing Forest Hills first round to the hot Kodes (who reached the final), and skipping sveveral WCT tournaments due to injury, so that he finished 6th in the Points race ofthe 20 tournament series (which Laver won). he had another good streak late 1973 and early 1974, winning USO, Davis Cup and the WCT Tournament series and final in spring 1974. He has a case for Nr. 1 in 1973, but i would rank Nastase just ahead of him, because he was more consistent over the year..
Can you indicate me where I can read the ranking 1968-73 poster slasher ? Thank you.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
Newk was ike Boris Becker a player more for the special occasions at Wimbledon or in Davis Cup, not a day in, day out player. His body couldn't tolerate a strong schedule through a full year or more. The poster slasher made a very solid and respectable reconstruction of the Computer ranking system between 1968 and 1973, according to the then functioning points rules. He has Laver at 187 weeks at Nr. 1, Newk at around 40 weeks, and Smith and Nastase both with around 30 weeks. At years end, according to this System, which corresponds mith my own calculations, he has Laver at Nr. 1 for 1968-1970, Newcombe in 1971 (just over Laver without - according to the Points rules - the Champions Classic and the WCT finals), Smith for 1972 and Nastase for 1973 (just over Newcombe). As said, in the early 1970s we had that promotional rivalry between WCT and ItF, which resulted in different circuits. Imo Newk had his best year in 1971, winning Wimbledon (over Rosewall and Smith in a fine final), and 4 WCT tourneys, among them Philadelphia on carpet and Canadian Open on clay. He faded in the last part of the season, losing Forest Hills first round to the hot Kodes (who reached the final), and skipping sveveral WCT tournaments due to injury, so that he finished 6th in the Points race ofthe 20 tournament series (which Laver won). he had another good streak late 1973 and early 1974, winning USO, Davis Cup and the WCT Tournament series and final in spring 1974. He has a case for Nr. 1 in 1973, but i would rank Nastase just ahead of him, because he was more consistent over the year..
I actually feel Newcombe may have had his best year in 1974 when he dominated the extremely tough WCT circuit and won the WCT title over Borg in a very well played match. He faded late in the year and was overshadowed by Connors fantastic year in 1974 when he won three majors out of three.
 

urban

Legend
Thanks for giving the link. The sheed deserves attention on this forum here, because it is a very well researched and performed study, and imo fills a missing link in early open era research.
 

urban

Legend
Yes PC1, Newcombe played a great first half of 1974. Maybe the 1971 WCT circuit with all 32 players was a bit deeper, because in 1974 they had 3 separate groups operating. I think, Newks Group was called the John and Stan Show, because only those two top stars were competing. I thought that the other group consisting of Ashe, Laver, the young Borg, Kodes, Pannatta was maybe a bit deeper.
 

Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
I actually feel Newcombe may have had his best year in 1974 when he dominated the extremely tough WCT circuit and won the WCT title over Borg in a very well played match. He faded late in the year and was overshadowed by Connors fantastic year in 1974 when he won three majors out of three.
However, the Australian Open in early 1975 was almost like an end of year tourney, allowing the top two players of 1974 a chance to square off...in this case, Newcombe winning.
For me, that gives Newk the overall edge for 1974, at least on grass.

For 1971, I rate Newk a definite number one, given his second straight Wimbledon, and the Philadelphia US Pro Indoor win over Laver, a great match,
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
However, the Australian Open in early 1975 was almost like an end of year tourney, allowing the top two players of 1974 a chance to square off...in this case, Newcombe winning.
For me, that gives Newk the overall edge for 1974, at least on grass.

For 1971, I rate Newk a definite number one, given his second straight Wimbledon, and the Philadelphia US Pro Indoor win over Laver, a great match,
I think Newcombe at his best was a bit superior to Connors at his best on grass. I did see the both at them near or at their best in the 1973 US Open quarters. Newcombe was in shape which he wrote in his autobiography that he wasn't for the 1975 Australian final. Excellent US Open match in which Newk won 6-4 (one break), 7-6 7-6 but it was even closer than that! Both tiebreakers were tied at 4 and whoever won the ninth point won the set. Connors played at an extremely high level and still lost. Newcombe also beat Rosewall in the next round in straight sets. Always been curious what would have happened with Connors beat Newcombe and faced Rosewall in the semis. Connors in my opinion was already playing at near 1974 levels or perhaps at 1974 levels. In retrospect I may have favored Connors in the semis if he faced Rosewall.
 

KG1965

Legend
I want to get to know who was the best in the period 1970-73 .

The ways that I have are 3 :
1 ) I try to analyze the four years ( 1970-1973 ) and then I check with the ranking of Slasher , if I understand it is certainly very precise ,
2 ) check on the ranking of Slasher then I try to have my own opinion .
I choose the first point .

Giving birth to the contrary since 1973 .

Up to April , there are two circuits indoor: IPA Riordan (home Nastase ) and the most important WCT ( where they play Smith , Laver , Rosewall and Newk ) .
Nastase is not strong in Riordan and lost the two most important events ( Salisbury & Hampton , won by the young Connors ) .
In WCT Rosewall and Laver won three titles , but Smith is unbeatable and won 6 titles + the Masters of Dallas .

And Newk ?
For many , John started strong , winning the slam Australian , but for me he starts badly because only win in Melbourne , a tournament in 1973 equals a Master500 ( as in 1974 , 1975, 1976 ... )

Now Rosewall and Laver eclipse, earning slipping in the rankings.

The second part of the season is on the European red.
Wimbledon is boycotted and on red clay Nasty proved unstoppable, winning seven titles, including RG, Rome (BIG title), Barcelona and Madrid.

The third part of the season is the US summer on har tru and none of the big five is good (only Nasty wins in Cincy), but the big events will win Ashe (Washington), Orantes (Indy & Louisville), Connors (Boston) and Okker (Toronto).

A Forest Hills takes place the most important tournament of the year and wins Newk who earns the 3th place in the end of 1973.

For the 1th is war between Nasty and Smith.

The last big tournaments are win Gorman (Stockholm) and Connors (Los Angeles & Johannesburg), but Nasty performs two masterpieces in Paris indoor beating Smith and winning the Masters GP

1 NASTASE
2 SMITH
3 NEWCOMBE

In front of Laver and Rosewall to me there are also Connors, Okker, Orantes.

The ATP provides Newk & Connors before of Smith but I think it's because few points calculated WCT tournaments that were rather good tournaments (at least in 1973).
 
Last edited:

KG1965

Legend
1972 was a big soup because there are two circuits .

WCT : dominate Newk ( 6 titles) & Laver ( 5 ) .
Rosewall win 2 titles, but he won the most important : the Masters of Dallas .

Grand Prix : commands Smith , 2th Nasty close .

Newk , Rosewall and Laver suck in the slam .
Laver jump RG & W , and sucks in Forest Hills .
Rosewall jump RG & W , sucks in Forest Hills , he won the AUS , but the AUS in 1972 .. is a national championship ... a Master250 !
Newk just sucks .

If you ask me who was the ranking in 1972 and my answers are 2 :
1 ) circuits was 2 , then 2 rankings , are not able to know if Smith & Nasty were > Newk & Laver & Rosewall .
2 ) Smith & Nasty won major tournaments , then :
1th SMITH ( W + Los Angeles + Stockholm + Paris indoor )
2th NASTASE ( Toronto + US Open + Masters )

I choose one.
For me there is not number 1 of 1972 !

The numbers were one 3 !!! !!! !!!

GRAND PRIX: Smith
WCT until may : Laver
WCT inveranle : Newk
 
Last edited:

KG1965

Legend
1972 + 1973 : Nasty = Smith >> Newk > Laver > Rosewall

But I do not care just two years, I care who was the best of the period 1970-73 .
... coming soon.
 

KG1965

Legend
1971 was a great soup, because there are two circuits.

The WCT is the most important in 1971:
the larger the Masters of Dallas, the second Philadelphia, the other 19 are all important in the same way.
Among them are historic tournaments as Washington, Boston, Toronto, Louisville, Stockholm, Rome, which from 1972 will not be the WCT but Grand Prix.
There is also the Australian Open.

WCT: dominate Muscle (3 titles + Dallas Masters + Australian Open), then Newk (4) and Laver (4).

Grand Prix: Command Smith, 2nd Newcombe close.

Laver jump RG & USE, and sucks at W & AUS.
Rosewall jump RG & USE, SF W, won the AUS, and the AUS in 1971 .. is a real slam.
Newk jumps RG, sucks AUS & USE but wins W.
Smith jumps AUS, won USE Finalist + W.
Nastase less competitive of 5 greats.

If you ask me who was the ranking in 1971 and my answers are as for 1971:
1) circuits was 2, then 2 rankings, are not able to know who is the number 1.
2) Smith won Grand Prix, Rosewall won the WCT.
But Newcombe is better than both.

I choose one.
For me there is not a number 1, in 1971!

The numbers were one 3 !!! !!! !!!

GRAND PRIX: Smith
WCT : Rosewall
but Newk is the best.
 
Last edited:

KG1965

Legend
1971 + 1972 + 1973 : Newk > Smith > Nasty > Rosewall > Laver

Missing 1970 , the year .... lopsided
... coming soon.
 

KG1965

Legend
1970 for me is the biggest mess Open Era , most of 1971 and 1972 of the two circuits , the 1975 or 1977 or 1982 .

The WCT begins his story, but most of the tournaments are not serious .
The best are Boston ( Roche ) and Las Vegas ( Gonzales ) .
There is not even the Masters of Dallas .
The WCT began seriously in 1971 .
In 70 WCT dominates Laver with 6 titles .

The other major tournaments ( Grand Prix ) are the four slams ( Ashe , Kodes , Newk , Rosewall ) .

The ranking is very short ( even in 1975 ) , the big 5 win just a little bit :

Rosewall USO + 2 WCT
Newk W + 1 WCT
Nastase Salisbury & Rome
Smith GP Masters & Stockholm
Laver won 6 WCT + Wembley + Los Angeles + Johannesburg win much more but in the slam ago ... sucks.
Jump AUS & RG , lost to 4th round at W & USE .

The number 1 worst in the history of tennis is Laver in 1970 , uncrowned king .
Not even a quarter -final slam !!!
 

KG1965

Legend
Un miserable and pitiful and painful 1970 does not change my ranking.
1970 + 1971 + 1972 + 1973 : Newk > Smith > Nasty > Rosewall = Laver

Smith 2th very very very near Newk.
 

KG1965

Legend
Since GS 69, Laver played very strong in the WCT but he literally sucks in the slam .

Did he earn a few dollars in the circuit of Lamar Hunt ?

In slam play like a donkey .
Rodney doesn't have a physical collapse because the challenge of a day is very strong , the problem is that perhaps no longer able to play well the long tournaments .
 

urban

Legend
According to Slasher's database Laver had 187 weeks at Nr. 1, Newcombe 57, Smith 37 and Nastase 47. Nastase and Smith were very close to me. Smith won the most important matches at Wim 1972 and Davis Cup, but Nastase was overall on all surfaces more consistent. Maybe Nastase played too much, and lacked the focus on the big events. But this was the sign of the day. If you read Ashe's Portrait in Motion, you get an idea of the day in, day out grind of the pro tour in those days. The players simply didn't put their schedule around the majors, as it is today, but played for the money first. Events like the Champions Classic in 1970 and 1971 were far more lucrative than all majors together.
 

hoodjem

G.O.A.T.
I am really trying to learn more about the 70's tennis.Seems to be a big topic here I really enjoy the amazing serve and volley of that time.

From lets say 1970 to 1974 would you say Newcombe was the best player on the planet.

I know Connors was top dog from 75 to like 79 then Borg for a few years.

I assume by the early 70's that both Laver and Rosewall were past their prime but not sure.
Laver (1970)
Newk (1971)
Smith (1972)
Nastase (1973)
Connors (1974- )
 

goldenera

Semi-Pro
I place him along Nastase followed by Smith with Ashe,Rosewall,Kodes a very close second tier
Laver and Okker were,results wise,behind
 

barone

Rookie
He certainly had the best moustache of the period, and perhaps he is a GOAT contender in this realm.



On a more serious note, he was certainly one of the dominant players of the early 70s, and is underrated on this forum. Three Wimbledons, 2 US Opens and 2 Aussie Opens is nothing to sniff at. I think he gets overlooked because he played in rather transitional years at the beginning of the Open Era, after Laver and Rosewall had begun to decline, but before Borg and Connors were dominant.
He looks like Magnum :)
 
I am really trying to learn more about the 70's tennis.Seems to be a big topic here I really enjoy the amazing serve and volley of that time.

From lets say 1970 to 1974 would you say Newcombe was the best player on the planet.

I know Connors was top dog from 75 to like 79 then Borg for a few years.

I assume by the early 70's that both Laver and Rosewall were past their prime but not sure.
1970 number 1 is debated between Laver, Rosewall and Newcombe. 1971 is debated between Newcombe and Smith, 1972 is generally given to Smith and 73 to Nastase, Connors was the best in 74 and 76, Ashe in 75, 77 is debated between Vilas and Borg. Borg was number 1 in 78-79.
 

Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
I am really trying to learn more about the 70's tennis.Seems to be a big topic here I really enjoy the amazing serve and volley of that time.

From lets say 1970 to 1974 would you say Newcombe was the best player on the planet.

I know Connors was top dog from 75 to like 79 then Borg for a few years.

I assume by the early 70's that both Laver and Rosewall were past their prime but not sure.
Newk did not have a single year where he was officially ranked sole No. 1, but for the whole period 1970-75 he was clearly the biggest match winner, especially on grass.
 

thrust

Hall of Fame
Newk did not have a single year where he was officially ranked sole No. 1, but for the whole period 1970-75 he was clearly the biggest match winner, especially on grass.
Though Newcombe was ranked #1 in 70, in reality, Rosewall should have. John won Wimbledon in a 5 set final over Ken, but Ken had the overall H-H vs John and a much better H-H against the top ten that year. Ken won the USO in 70 beating Newcombe in straight sets in the semi's and Roach in the final. Ken won 2 WCT finals, 71-72 while John won only one in 74. Ken won the AO in 71-72 while John won it in 73 and 75. Overall, I would rate Rosewall, who was 10 years older, over Newcombe in the 70-74 years.
 

DMP

Professional
I find it amusing to see Newcombe referred to as Jonny. He always struck me as being the antithesis of a 'Jonny'!

How about - Artie Ashe? Roddy Laver? :)
 
Last edited:

Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
Though Newcombe was ranked #1 in 70, in reality, Rosewall should have. John won Wimbledon in a 5 set final over Ken, but Ken had the overall H-H vs John and a much better H-H against the top ten that year. Ken won the USO in 70 beating Newcombe in straight sets in the semi's and Roach in the final. Ken won 2 WCT finals, 71-72 while John won only one in 74. Ken won the AO in 71-72 while John won it in 73 and 75. Overall, I would rate Rosewall, who was 10 years older, over Newcombe in the 70-74 years.
I notice that you (ahem) skipped over the 1971 Wimbledon, a serious thrashing of Ken by John.
For their total careers overall, I would rate them about the same. Ken had bad luck at Wimbledon, where hay fever probably cost him the 1970 final against John.
 

Olli Jokinen

Semi-Pro
I am really trying to learn more about the 70's tennis.Seems to be a big topic here I really enjoy the amazing serve and volley of that time.

From lets say 1970 to 1974 would you say Newcombe was the best player on the planet.

I know Connors was top dog from 75 to like 79 then Borg for a few years.

I assume by the early 70's that both Laver and Rosewall were past their prime but not sure.
It's still pretty debatable whether Connors was top dog 1975-79. Borg was probably the best from 1976 and on. And then there was Vilas in 1977 too.
 
Last edited:

thrust

Hall of Fame
I notice that you (ahem) skipped over the 1971 Wimbledon, a serious thrashing of Ken by John.
For their total careers overall, I would rate them about the same. Ken had bad luck at Wimbledon, where hay fever probably cost him the 1970 final against John.
No way are Newcombe and Rosewall equal, total career wise. Ken won 4 slams at age 18-23, won 15 pro tour majors, won 4 OE slams at ages 33.-37, won two WCT titles ages 36-37. By age 33, Newcombe was finished. Ken had many more wins vs Laver than John did, and many wins over Gonzalez. Ken won about 140 tournaments, overall, Newcombe probably has less than 50 and no slams on clay. IMO, Ken is a tier one ATG, Newcombe, tier- 3
 

Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
No way are Newcombe and Rosewall equal, total career wise. Ken won 4 slams at age 18-23, won 15 pro tour majors, won 4 OE slams at ages 33.-37, won two WCT titles ages 36-37. By age 33, Newcombe was finished. Ken had many more wins vs Laver than John did, and many wins over Gonzalez. Ken won about 140 tournaments, overall, Newcombe probably has less than 50 and no slams on clay. IMO, Ken is a tier one ATG, Newcombe, tier- 3
No question that Ken racked up enormous career totals.
But my own assessment was about the level of play achieved by these two players, and I would rate them about the same on grass.
You would expect that Rosewall would have the edge at Roland Garros, but Newk actually won their Roland Garros encounter in 1968 in a marathon five set match.
 

Frankc

Professional
(Sorry, perhaps off topic, but must be said.)
I have read that many find that Newcombe was very good tactically and had a well tuned sense for the heat of competition on the court, tactics and psychology. I just finished, yet again, a look at the '81 USO Final - Mac and Borg. Newcombe's commentary is a joy on the ins and outs of tactics, patterns, and the momentum (as he calls it). Any match from that era with Newcombe on the mic is a joy , if you love the stuff that the other announcers usually miss or cannot "see."
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
I find it amusing to see Newcombe referred to as Jonny. He always struck me as being the antithesis of a 'Jonny'!
In Australia, it's unusual for a man named John to be nicknamed Johnny - they usually get Jack.

Newk used to call his alternative personality Jack Newcombe. He came out at about 11:30pm after half a dozen beers.

John Newcombe would then have to go around the next day and apologise to everyone that Jack had offended.
 

Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
In Australia, it's unusual for a man named John to be nicknamed Johnny - they usually get Jack.

Newk used to call his alternative personality Jack Newcombe. He came out at about 11:30pm after half a dozen beers.

John Newcombe would then have to go around the next day and apologise to everyone that Jack had offended.
I understand that he has abandoned that beer lifestyle some years back, to preserve his health, and is a happily settled family guy.
 

Larry Duff

Hall of Fame
Newcombe and Stan Smith's mustaches tell you everything you need to know about the difference between Australia and america
 
Top