Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by hoodjem, Oct 30, 2009.
Ahh. That helps to explain it.
Jean Pierre has a point, though.
But he has not considered the differences between Kooyong high bouncing rass and wet and low bouncing Wimbledon grass.
I can´t honestly see Vilas beating Newcombe or even Nastase at the All England the way he did at the 74 Masters.
That's true too. Australian and england grass were very different (cf Wilander too).
One thing I would like to know is how Vilas reached the quarterfinals in Wimbledon in 1975 and 1976, beating good players(he played five sets against Tanner in 1975, and beat Tony Roche in 1976), and then he never passed the third round. Just causality? He managed to play and adapt better to the surface those two years? Some change in the surface? It would have been great if he had a great Wimbledon in 1977.
Vilas had a mediocre Wimbledon record overall. He could play on Aussie grass, never passed the QF at Wimby. Of course, to lose in the QF to Tanner and Borg is no disgrace. Tanner and Borg weren't just anybody, but after 76, not much from Guillermo. Strange in a way. A bit like Mats Wilander.
Too many TW TT fans think grass is grass and all grass is the same.
(Please read what Laver has to say about USO grass versus AELTC grass in 1969. It's like night and day, or as Laver himself suggests Racquel Welch and Twiggy.)
I remember that McEnroe lost in AO against Wilander and said : "I understand now how Vilas could have won 2 times here".
Vilas was a workalcoholic, like Borg, Gottfried and Gerulaitis.Yes, night lover Vitas worked as a horse during the day.
How curious they had Bergelin,Tiriac,Stolle to make them work.
Vilas probably trained in a week more than Mac in a whole year...
even Queen´s and AELTC are different
There is not a surface as dispar as grass.Not two grass courts are the same
Gottfried had an amazing year in 1977! A journalist that is making an investigation about the rankings of those years-looking for possibles mistakes- said maybe Gottfried has been number one in some moment.
What were my fingers thinking?
Sorry, nope. Connors beat Borg 4 out of 4 times in 1976.
In '77 it is between Vilas and Borg. Connors third (ATP rankings were goofy that year).
As I said, because of the depth and richness of the 70´s and 80´s, a brilliant singles and doubles players such as hard working, polite Brian Gottfried gets blattantly overlooked.But he was considered as having the best FH volley for some years, as even voted so by peers.Nice BH ( sliced), solid top spin Fh, but not a big enough first serve.
I liked him, a very nice to watch player, with a great record, only below the great names of his generation.I have a very particular crush for Gottfried and Ramirez doubles team.
Based on argumentation on the first few pages, why hasn't Rosewall been given no.1 status in this thread for one of 64 or 65? Even if the system of the time was faulty, Rosewall was the official number 1 for 1964 even though it could go to Laver and he wins out in more criteria. Laver may have bested Rosewall in titles and h2h in 65 but if that happened today but you only won 1 Slam event to the 2 of a rival, then you might win via the computer but the public would be very divided.
''It wasn't McCauley or Geist's logic. It was the official Pro Rankings that had Rosewall as number one. It was I believe an odd ranking system but nevertheless Rosewall was the "official number one" so I think he deserves at least co-number one for the year.
To quote McCauley's book
PRO RANKINGS FOR 1964
The pro tournaments were operated on a points system. The winner got 7 points, runner up 4, third place 3, fourth place 2 and the quarter-finalists one each. The final ratings were as follows-
1. Ken Rosewall
2. Rod Laver
3. R. Gonzalez
4. A. Gimeno
5. E. Bucholz
6. L. Hoad
7. A. Olmedo
8. L. Ayala
So while head to head is quite important, it's clear Rosewall was probably better against the other players than Laver and was perhaps more consistent.''
It seems clear to me that Rosewall should be given co.#1 for either and/or 1964 and 1965.
Also, can somebody explain to me why Laver is considered the clear and undisputed number 1 for 1970 despite not winning a single Major and in fact not even sniffing a final, reaching merely the 4th rounds of Wimbledon and the US Open and not even entering for RG (or the AO).
Laver won many titles in 1970, 15 as far as I can tell to Rosewall's 6, but Rosewall reached the final of Wimbledon AND won the US Open, also none other than Arthur Ashe, John Newcombe and Jan Kodeš won the other Slam Events for that year. In what world does that bring Laver to some undisputed no.1 position -- maybe by a computer but not by the many people who will find it almost impossible to reconcile the disparity in results at the majors between him and his peers?...
Here is a wiki page for world no.1 that seems to at least justify some of my concerns with the current list in this thread, where Rosewall and Laver are ranked equally for 1964 and again for 1970, including also, John Newcombe.
''Joe McCauley; Bud Collins; Lance Tingay; The panel of the 'Martini and Rosso' award; The WCT panel; Robert Geist; in the two biggest events, by far, of the year Newcombe won Wimbledon (over Rosewall) and Rosewall beat Newcombe and Roche in succession in the US Open; Smith beat Laver in the Masters; if Laver greatly failed in Grand Slam tournaments he also greatly succeeded in tournaments less important but nevertheless big ones as Philadelphia (over Roche), Dunlop Sydney Open (over Rosewall), the Pacific Southwest Open (Los Angeles) (over Newcombe) and Wembley Pro (over Cliff Richey); Roche beat Laver in U.S. Pro. Then with no player really dominating the circuit, different arguable opinions can be given to designate the World Champion : The panel of 10 international journalists for the 'Martini and Rosso' Cup, ranked Rosewall number 1 with 97 points (out of a possible 100) over Laver with 89 points and Newcombe 3rd with 81 points; the rest of the top ten were 4. Roche, 5. Ashe, 6. Richey, 7. Okker, 8. Emerson, 9. Nastase, 10. Gimeno; Judith Elian from L'Équipe placed Rosewall first ahead Newcombe, Roche and Laver; Lance Tingay, Joe McCauley and Bud Collins each ranked Newcombe ahead Rosewall; the panel of journalists which made the WCT draw for 1971 ranked Laver #1, Rosewall #2, Newcombe #3; and Robert Geist co-ranked Rosewall, Laver and Newcombe #1, summarizing all the opinions.''
But he didn't even get past the 4th round of a Major.
Of all the years in the list, the very oddest I can see (I can't extend past the 1950's yet due to lack of knowledge) is the 1970 judgment which, I'm going to be honest, almost starts to smell a little bit 'fanboyish' -- but perhaps I'm wrong.
Well done to Laver for his stellar year of winning many tournaments, but it seems more than odd to have him as an undisputed number 1 for the year, more like an equal no.1 with others.
If a similar situation happened this year in the current era, the opinion would be very divided and there would be no consensus with the only logical and fair choice being to have equally ranked top players.
Even in 2013 there is a debate as to who the best player for the year was, with the ITF awarding Djokovic the accolade of World Champion for the year. Most of us though believe that Nadal is the rightful best player of 2013. However, Djokovic was more active and consistent throughout the entire year and did win 1 slam and the YEC's.
My knowledge of this era is limited, but maybe Laver is ranked that high because the space between the slams and the other important tournaments wasn't considered as wide as it is today in general.
Today only a fixed number of tournaments of each category can count in the ranking, but was it the case at that time? If not, then Laver could have accumulated a lot of ranking points!
Another point is the specific context of 1970, with RG and in the lesser extend the AO weren't "full full slam", as some top players didn't attend in both case.
The diminished value of RG and the AO is attested by the relatively low ranking of Ashe and especially Kodes in the ranking you provided.
Therefor, determining the number 1 player only on the basis of the results of Wimbledon and the USOpen is not satisfactory. Imagine if for 2012 only Murray and Federer were discussed for best player of the year, leaving out Djokovic?
But as you I wait for an answer from a more ol...educated poster on this matter.
As far as I'm aware, there is not a single major in which Laver performed well in for the year 1970. The Majors are still the Majors and this seems to be backed up by the experts of the time who, according to the wiki page, have Laver as an equally ranked top player for the year with Rosewall and Newcombe. By the same token, the experts of the time gave Rosewall the official no.1 rank for the year 1964 and/or co.#1 with Laver. Yet, on the lists I see here in every 50/50 situation, including one in which the ranking system of the type had even officially deemed Rosewall the top player of the year, he has been left out with the accolade solely being attributed to Rod Laver.
At first glance, this seems highly bizarre.
I await more input.
Like I said, if such a situation occurred today the public opinion would be extremely divisive as it was back then. Even the results for 2013 have been somewhat divisive, though by the computer ranking, Nadal was the no.1 player. The huge issue with 1970 is that Laver underperformed badly at the most important events of the year, never mind a final, or a semi-final, or even a quarter-final... fourth rounds.
I may be missing a tournament or two for the year that were considered to be Major events for the time, but Wimbledon and the US Open were by far the biggest events of the year and were won by Newcombe (over Rosewall in the final) and Rosewall respectively.
The first WCT finals was not held until the 1971 season.
Nathaniel, Laver is considered the undisputed No.1 for 1970 only by a few posters here. True experts like Tingay and Collins ranked the Rocket at No.3 and No.4 respectively.
I find it fair to put Rosewall, Laver and Newcombe ex aequo at No.1.
Nathaniel, hoodjem was very strange in giving Laver a No.1 place for 1971.
I think that Smith, Rosewall and Newcombe together deserve that honour.
Flash, Wimbledon and US Open were then considered the two big tournaments that year, much more important than all other events. When Newcombe won the W. title, Jack Kramer said that Newk was now the world champion. When Rosewall won the US Open he had a certain claim to be the No.1 for 1970 considering that he had a better record than Newcombe overall.
And yet, I see Laver being given the sole number 1 in the lists presented here.
Nathaniel, I just wonder why some people come to that conclusion...
Probably the same "experts" who don't accept Jimbo's No.1 place for 1977 (ATP rankings) give Laver the top place for 1970 because Rod would probably have won the ATP title if there would have been one already in 1970.
So biassed.Stan Smith the Masters Champion and Jan Kodes, the French champion not in the top ten...with Emerson inside, a guy that did nothing in 1970 to even be mentioned.
Yes, those are the top three men in 1971, with Kodes and Nastase close..Laver was simply a notch below in 1971.One big title at Rome and a WCT final lost, but not a single decent result at slams.More or less like Ashe who has an AO F and a WCT&USO semifinal.
Tier 1: Rosewall,Newcombe and Smith ( a slight edge to the 2 australians however)
Tier 2:Nasty and Kodes
Tier 3:Laver and ashe
a true Magnificient Seven line up for such a great year.Music and tennis at least.
kiki, I would put Laver at tier 2 at least. Remember he won the tough Champions Classic (13 wins in a row) and reached final at Dallas.
Nathaniel, many consider the Dunlop essentially the Australian that year and a major. Laver won that in five sets over Rosewall in a very tough field. So in a way Laver did win a major that year.
Question for all of you, if that tournament officially had the title Australian Open would Laver be number one for the year?
Two secondary next to great wins at Rome and Classic
Two next to top finals at the 2 biggest WCT events
What about 76?
Connors bested Borg and took two biggies at the Open and US pro indoor
But Borg lost those two finals...and bested the remaining two top four players at Dallas and Wimbledon
Borg has the clear edge for the season ending number one spot
Nadal giving up #1 twice only to get it back over a five year period is super impressive. Then you notice Connors did the same thing over an eight year stretch. Tough as nails both of them.
pc1, I agree that Dunlop was the "true" AO of that year. Thus the more because both Sydney 1970 and the AO 1971 were held in March and had about the same participants and were WCT events.
Regarding strength of the field of the Dunlop event we should consider that the 1970 Wembley tournament (also won by Laver) was as strong as Sydney Dunlop. But of course the latter was not a substitude for a GS event.
Your question is difficult to be answered. Of course in such a case Rod's claim to be No.1 for 1970 would be increase. But Rosewall and Newcombe would maybe still have a certain claim to be tied with Rod.
But one thing is clear: If there was a computer ranking in 1970, Laver would surely be the No.1 therein.
I agree with Bobbyone here
Computer ranking would say Laver
Major behavior would certainly exclude him
1970 is Rosewall or maybe Newk
In case Dunlop was the AO Laver could be n 3 and that is debatable
You all know of much of a staunch Laverian I am
But stop giving him on boards what he did not earn on court
Laver himself would agree with me
Can't think of any scenerio where Newcombe was the 1970 YE #1. He didn't do anything outside of Wimbledon of note.
Here are the top 15 tournaments of 1970 - Newcombe 'only' won Wimbledon and was runner-up in Los Angeles; Rosewall 'only' won the US open, was runner-up at Wimbledon and Sydney , Laver won 6 of them and was runner up in 2 of them (Boston and the Masters):
Australian Open (near the bottom of these 15)
Tennis Champions Classic
Laver would be n 1 if he had done a couple of slam sf but he did not
Masters was a RR
This sums it up pretty well, IMO.
But it was still the Masters.
I agree that Laver isn't a slam dunk for number 1- but it is very clear that Newcombe wasn't. Any argument that placed Newcombe at number 1 - a stronger argument could be made in the same vein that Rosewall was number 1.
I think that the only reason that Newcombe was mentioned in the number 1 conversation was the old idea that a Wimbledon win trumped everything - even if the rest of the season the player had lacklustre performances.
Laver was the more consistent but not the best ( although for peak play he was).I give the nº 1 to Muscles.
For Newcombe, what is fascinating is that he was never a clear numbr one, not even in 67 amateurs (Emmo can have a claim too)...but he look unbeatable when big events came round.yes, some similarities with Becker.
In any case, lets go to the much more fascinating 1971.Who was the number one there?
Just for your memory
AO: Rosewall b Ashe
W: Newcombe b Smith
RG: Kodes b Nastase
FH:Smith b Kodes
Masters:Nastase b Smith
WCT:Rosewall b Laver
IO:Laver b Kodes
US pro Ind: Newcombe b Laver
as exciting as they come
Yes, kiki, It's a tough year to rank the top players.
I rate Smith above Newcombe a bit but will go for a three man tied decision as in 1970. This time Smith, Rosewall and Newcombe.
If you consider Philadelphia you also should mention US Pro (Rosewall d. Drysdale) as they had about the same field and Boston had still slightly more prestige than Philadelphia.
It really was s three men race with Smith and also Kodes marginally behind the 2 australians
Newk b Rosewall at W but still too close to call
Co number one is only option
Agreed. Sometimes winning majors is overrated. To be number one you have to look at the entire year. If a player won every Master Level tournament plus a ton of other tournaments but didn't win a major that year, should he or she be excluded from being number one? Of course not.
I'm pretty much convinced now that it's either Laver or Rosewall as number one for 1970 and that Newcombe shouldn't be in the running.
pc1, I agree of course. But Laver's case in 1970 is a bit different: Rod did not win a major and he did not reach even a QF of a major. Thus my reservation to give him the top position. That's also the reason why Tingay (Laver No.3) and Collins (Laver No.4!!) gave the Rocket low places (too low places in my opinion).
Anything higher than 3 would denigrate Laver' s former achievements
pc1, Yes, Newcombe is hardly the No.1 in 1970. On the other hand he won Wimbledon plus reached SF of the US Open. But Rosewall had the better record: 5:2 hth among other things.
kiki, Yes, I always wonder why most experts avoid to give tied No.1 places (or tied places for other positions).
Other hth stats were 0-5 and 0-3, among other things.
Laver sucked after 1969 for his own standarts-except at the WCT tour where he was one of the two dominant guys along Rosewall for the first 3 years.
But those are some standards!
Laver won about 76 tournaments in the Open Era along. After 1969, Rod was horrible, he won only 46 tournaments including the Dunlop in 1970, the Italian in 1971, a few Tennis Championship Classics. Just horrible. Let's face the guy couldn't play tennis after 1969. He should have retired. lol.
Pat Rafter won 11 tournaments and two majors in his whole career and he's in the Hall of Fame. Laver won 18 tournaments in 1969 including the Grand Slam. Laver's year in 1969 is better than Rafter's entire career in some ways.
Separate names with a comma.