Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by hoodjem, Oct 30, 2009.
72 also came down to one single match
Borg had a fantastic peak season in 79 but this should not makes us forget how close Mcenroe came
It was decided on the tie break of the third set of their Madison semi
Is there any other in history compared to that drama?
Are you suggesting that if McEnroe had won their Masters match and went on to win the tournament, he'd be the best player of '79? I don't know how that result would have affected the computer rankings, but even had that happened, Borg would still have been far and away the best player with the best achievements in '79. Not even remotely close.
I do not agree at all
Mac would have beaten Borg in their two major meetings.
As I clearly set up in my former post
Didn' t I?
And computer means not much in 79
It had Connors at number two and Mc Enroe at number three
Gerulaitis could be the third best with Connors at four if we use common sense, not computer sense programmed by people with no common sense
Mac won the GP race at both,singles and doubles
Yeah, 2003 is interesting because Ferrero had the best slam results (1 win, 1 final) but he never seems to get a look in. Does he have a shout?
It's like 2004. It seems silly to claim Gaston Gaudio as the "real" number 2, but would Hewitt, Roddick and Safin swap their 2004 with Gaudio?
By 1979, you're definitely giving Dallas way too much weight. In the early-mid 70s, when the GS tournaments were a mess of bans and withdrawals - sure, you could call it a major. But by 1979, the FO, Wimbledon, and the US Open all had strong fields. The Masters in Madison was a more prominent event. McEnroe would have had one "major" win over Borg had he won the semi (and the final, which is no guarantee), but Borg would still have the Channel Slam and a myriad other tournament wins to his credit.
Yeah, you absolutely could make a convincing case for Ferrero. I think his case is a bit weaker than Federer's, but the three of them are pretty close.
The battle in 1972 between Smith and Nastase was great stuff. The fact that the 2 players had such contrasting styles and personalities also made things so interesting.
Smith won their classic, entertaining Wimbledon final 7-5 in the 5th set and the jumped over the net in celebration. The Wimbledon officials couldn't hide their happiness with that result as they didn't want a non-conformist bad-boy like Nasty to ever win their championships. At the US Open Nasty won the final in 5 sets against Ashe, who had beaten Smith in their quarter-final. So they split the big titles there.
In the Davis Cup final in Bucharest on clay, Smith surprisingly straight setted the far superior clay court player Nasty in the opening match of the tie, which was crucial in helping the USA to win their title. Had Nasty won it as he was expected to do, then Romania probably would have gone on to win their first ever Davis a Cup title.
Smith had also twice beaten Nasty earlier in year in 4 set finals in Salisbury and Hampton. So in their 5th and final match of the year, Nasty finally got a win over Smith, beating him in another entertaining 5 setter in the Masters final in Barcelona. Smith at the net unleashing his crisp and deft volleys vs. Nasty at the baseline (although he of course came to the net a lot himself as such a talented all-courter) unleashing his genius and artistic passing shots and lobs was just great to watch.
What I find interesting is that in 1972 McCauley, Tingay and Collins all voted Smith, yet in 1970 they all voted Newcombe.
It would seem they voted Newcombe because they valued Wimbledon so highly. Now, in 1972 the US Open was the only full strength slam, so by that logic Nastase should be the automatic number 1.
The fact Rosewall led Newcombe in the head to head overall for 1970 suggests to me the experts of the time placed huge importance on head-to-head in the biggest tournement, which is why they voted Smith in 72. He and Nastase didn't meet in the final of biggest, so they looked at the next biggest (davis cup or wimby).
Yes,a short lived,yet intense and very attractive rivalry which,in many ways preceeds the Mac vs Borg one
If it had had the media coverage of the Borg vs Mac confrontation ,it would certainly be more talked here
In 2003 Ferrero had 20 match wins at the 4 majors that year, while Agassi had 19 wins, Roddick had 17 and Federer had 13. While he fell apart at the YEC in Houston (although that was a brutally difficult group he had with Federer, Agassi and Nalbandian), but generally he was more consistent throughout the season than either Roddick or Federer were (they both lost in the 1st round at RG for instance). On the flip side he won 4 titles that year while Federer won 7 and Roddick won 6.
While Federer won the YEC in style, saving 2 match points to beat Agassi before wiping the floor with his arch-nemesis Nalbandian, Ferrero, Roddick and then Agassi in the final. However he didn't win any masters series titles that season while Roddick and Ferrero won 2 each. Winning the YEC beats winning 1 masters series title but does it beat winning 2? I would probably say no, especially with Roddick winning 12 matches in 13 days to win his Montreal-Cincy double, and Ferrero winning his 2 masters series titles on different surfaces on clay in Monte-Carlo and on in indoor hard in Madrid.
With Roddick reaching the semis or better at 3 out of the 4 majors that season, while Federer failed to reach the quarters at the 3 non-Wimbledon majors, and with his Montreal-Cincy double slightly more impressive than Federer's YEC title, I would say that he had the slightly better achievements that year. He even won a European clay court title at St Polten that year.
Roddick admitted that he was secretly happy that Ferrero beat his idol and friend Agassi in the opening US Open semi-final. Agassi was a much tougher match-up for him than Ferrero was. Plus in an Agassi-Roddick final the vast majority of the crowd would have been rooting for Agassi to win, while against Ferrero he firmly had his home crowd on his side.
DALLAS not a biggie in 79???
Yeah the US Open was clearly the biggest tournament of the year in 1972 ahead of Wimbledon or anything else, and even had a 148 player draw size. On the other hand the WCT contracted players were banned from playing at Wimbledon that year, including Newcombe who would have been trying to win his 3rd consecutive title there had he been allowed to play (so much for a so called 'open' era).
So regardless of the fact that Smith beat Nastase in such a classic Wimbledon final, Nastase's US Open probably has to take precedence over that with the fact that Smith was not able to progress to the final to face Nastase not really mattering too much, and it's not like Ashe wasn't a very strong opponent to face in a grass court major final as well. Interestingly the great Aussies Laver, Rosewall and Newcombe were all beaten relatively early on there.
Nasty won more titles overall that year Smith, 12 in total I think, and across a variety of surfaces as well. The Masters event which he won beating Smith in the final still has a good draw with the Spaniards Orantes and Gimeno plus Kodes and a young Jimmy Connors there.
It's true that the writers who ranked Smith as the no. 1 for the year probably did put a lot of emphasis on Smith's 4-1 h2h record over Nasty for the year, especially his big wins over him on grass in the Wimbledon final (especially with it being such a thriller) and on clay in the Davis Cup final in Bucharest. Given how strong Nasty's Davis Cup record was, with his staggering number of match victories in the competition, the fact that he blew that golden opportunity to win it with his country was such a shame.
Not nearly as big as it was half a decade before. This is in no way a definitive and conclusive method of evaluation, but SgtJohn stopped counting it among the four consensus majors in '74, effectively getting replaced by the Masters thereafter.
EDIT: Looking at an updated list of his, he was giving it "0.5" status up until 1976.
Maybe the WCT Finals were not a stellar event like in 1974, which is probably the best indoor tournament ever held, but it certainly had a major status by 1979, with the top four players of the world entering it.
True (and I rate Vilas number 1 for 1977 also - but that is a different thing than saying he was the best player (the former based on achievement the latter on playing ability)).
However, it is worth remembering that in 1977 the top events weren't necessarily the slams. The top five events for 1977 were Roland Garros, Wimbledon, Us open, Masters and the WCT finals. If we analyse those five
Vilas - 2 Wins, 0 runner-ups
Borg - 1 Win, 1 runner-up
Connors - 2 Wins, 2 runner-ups
And if you were to use the following link to determine Masters 1000 equivalents for 1977 (though I am in the middle of a deeper analysis of this):-
Then we have
Vilas - 1
Borg - 2
Connors - 1
We could also give Vilas a runner up place at Melbourne and, thus, a slam for Tanner, even if it didn´t have major status as compared to the big five you mention.
Now, maybe the toughest event of the year was the US Pro Indoor Championships, with Stockton defeating Connors in five sets.
Picking Masters equivalents for 1977 is brutal. It's tough for all years, but some are particularly bad (77,81). I start in 74 and manage to cut it down to 14. I would struggle to cut more.
In 77 Memphis and Barcelona were both decent, and they had some prestige in that era. Of course Borg won both.
Barcelona might be the most underrated tournament of the decade (at least up to 1977).
The news on TV about the support of Tiriac and Wilander to Guillermo in his claim to the ATP:
Barcelona attracted the best cc players ( also Laver,Rosewall,Smith,Gerulaitis) during the 1970´s and it equalls Memphis, even if it was played on a different kind of surface
Rome,Hamburg and Montecarlo were the only regular tour cc events above the Spanish Open, which was the equal to the 4 US CC majors (Boston,Indianapolis,Washington and North Conway) and about an inch above the Buenos Aires Open and the Houston WCT title.
77 was a great year, regardless of who was the nº1
Wimbledon centennial, with those great semis and finals and the presence of John Mc Enroe was the highlight of the year
But the US Open was also good, with great matches all through even if Borg had to retire with an injury
RG had guys who were playing great tennis such as Wojtek Fibak,Raul Ramirez,Adriano Panatta and Brian Gottfried, and while Vilas win seems easy, the field was strong enough
Phily had a very tough draw and a memorable win for Dick Stockton against Jimmy Connors; it was the reverse of the WCT finals, which were very competitive with 8 off the best top ten players on it and an extremely competitive schedule of 16 men draw events leading to the finals, with all the best players playing there, except Vilas and Borg
And the Masters offered us atough field with some fantastic battles.Vilas beating Connors in the rr and Connors beating Borg in a very close final...and we also had Tanner winning the AO against Vilas, after getting through a dangerous field with many grass court specialists.
Orantes destroying Connors at the US cc Championships was also memorable, just as it was Vitas Gerulaitis winning the Italian Open against Toninho Zugarelli.
1977 was a very good year for tennis
Funny that Dick Stockton had a winning record against both Borg and Connors in 77.
I think there is an argument for 77 being the biggest missed opportunity at the US Open for Borg. Played on Clay and Connors seemingly not as strong as in 76 or 78.
I think it's 1976. Borg was 1 set all with Connors and Borg had 4 set points in the third set tiebreak. Connors saved them all and went on to win in 4 sets. I remember reading an interview with Borg where he said that match was the most frustration he had ever felt after a match.
I will intend to create a ranking system for 1977, grading tournaments in accordance to their importance at the time and taking into account the surface issue. It is not a perfect method, and I may have even made calculation mistakes, but I would be grateful to hear ways of improving it.
US Open: 1024
French Open: 512 [many absences from top players]
Boca Raton [difficult choice due to 4-men field, but $200000 prize money and one of the few clay events with both Connors and Borg], Hamburg, Rome, Washington, Louisville, North Comway, Columbus, Indianapolis, Canada, Boston [even though it had $175000 prize money, many top players absent], Tehran: 384
Events with $100000 prize money: 256
Events with $75000: 192
Events with less than $75000: 128
Queens & Nottingham & Australian Open [Jan & Dec]: 256
HARD (including carpet):
Birmingham WCT, Philadelphia WCT, Palm Springs, Memphis, Las Vegas [they all have at least $175000 prize money], Dallas WCT [first I thought to award it 768 points but then I noticed not all top players were present and prize money was half that of the Masters]: 512
Johannesburg [both the March and the November event], Los Angeles PSW, San Francisco, Stockholm, Wembley [more tan $100000 prize money]: 384
Events with $100000 prize money: 256
Events with $75000: 192
Events with less than $75000: 128
[Note: I consider the Masters as part of the 1978 season, but it would have 768 points]
- Points system
As I said, it was my intention to adjust ranking points according to surfaces. Hence, I needed to calculate a player´s points in one surface divided by the total points available in that surface so as to make the adjustement. I thought the best solution was to state a number of tournaments x for each surface and add upp a player´s points in his best x tournaments divided by the maximum points available in that surface.
I decided on the values x=4 for clay, x=2 for grass and x=6 for hardcourt (this may be constroversial, but it is based on the quantity of tournaments played in each surface by most players and there was no other way to do the surface adjustement)
Runners-up earn half the points of the winner, semifinalists half the points of the runners-up, etc.
- 1977 calculations
Points available: 1024 + 512 + 384 + 384 = 2304
US Open: 1024
French Open: 512
... [it is not necessary to consider the rest as it is clear he has won the maximum points]
Boca Raton - F: 192
North Conway - Q: 48
Indianapolis - F: 192
Boston - Q: 48
US Open - F: 512
Best 4 tournaments: 512+192+192+48=944
Boca Raton: 384
Monte Carlo: 256
US Open - R16: 64
Best 4 tournaments: 384+256+256+256=1152
Points available: 1024+256=1280
Australian Open - F: 128
Nottingham - R64: 4
Queens - R32: 8
Wimbledon - R32: 32
Best 2 tournaments: 128+32=160
Queens - R32: 8
Wimbledon - F: 512
Best 2 tournaments: 512+8=520
Best 2 tournaments: 1024+0=1024
Points available: 512*6=3072
Baltimore - F: 64
Ocean City - Q: 32
Palm Springs - F: 256
Memphis - Q: 64
Johannesburg - F: 192
Virginia Beach: 256
Johannesburg WCT: 384
Best 6 tournaments=384+256+256+192+128+64=1280
Philadelphia - F: 256
Toronto Indoor WCT - F: 128
St. Louis WCT: 256
Las Vegas: 512
Dallas WCT: 512
Sydney Indoor: 128
WCT Challenge Cup: 352 [I did not know what to do here, but I thought it would be worth half the Masters, it is 352 instead of 384 due to 1 RR loss]
Best 6 tournaments=512+512+512+352+256+256=2400
Note: I have not taken into account some early losses that would clearly be out of his 6 best results
Best 6 tournaments:512+384+256+192+128+128=1600
Note: Once again, I have not taken into account some early losses that would clearly be out of his 6 best results
1. Bjorn Borg 18208 (,5+,8+,5208=1,8208 )
2. Jimmy Connors 15972 (,4097+,4063+,7813=1,5972)
3. Guillermo Vilas 15417 (1+,125+,4167=1,5417)
Based on that calculation,Lendl clearly beats Connors in 1982
I have not checked the numbers twice, but using that method in 1982:
1. Connors 15938
2. Lendl 12222
3. McEnroe 12083
Lendl has 0 points on grass and that hurts his chances.
Do you think the tournaments are valued correctly?
a) Should the Australian Open be ranked higher ($200000 after all, and a Grand Slam)
b) Should Birmingham be ranked lower due to its 16-man field?
c) Should Sydney Indoors be ranked higher despite its $50000 prize money?
d) Are there other changes to be made?
I would appreciate it if those who have an in-depth knowledge of the period could give me their opinion.
it does not evaluate level of field.16 men draw WCT events had stellar first rounds.Not a proper system
Thank you for your reply. The grading of tournaments is intended to evaluate level of field. I mean, of course my system is not perfect, but I would like to improve it. Which tournaments do you think are wrongly graded? Personally, I think I have given too much weight to 16 men draws (e.g. Birmingham WCT has as many points as several 64 men draws). What do you think? Are there other 16-men draw tournaments which were not included?
The whole WCT tour had 16 men except the US Pro Indoor
Thank you for your reply. If I am not mistaken, I have taken into account the whole WCT tour. In fact, most WCT tournaments are ranked quite highly on my system. The US Pro in Philadelphia, as well as Birmingham WCT and Dallas WCT, are within the highest ranked tournaments on hardcourt. Do you disagree with these weightnings?
Not at all.But Phily is above every other event on that tour.And the rest were as good as Birmingham, man
Yes, I see your point.
Do you think Philadelphia should be ranked as high as the Masters (768 points)? Or that some other events (eg. Palm Springs) should be ranked lower?
On the other hand, I would not say all WCT events were as good as Birmingham. Looking at the draws, I see that some of them (e.g. Charlotte, London) do not have such a strong draw, even if it is still better than most Grand Prix events.
What about a) dropping Birmingham to 384 level (as you say, Philadelphia is greater b) raising Houston and other important 16-man field WCT events to 384 level c) leaving the rest of WCT events as it is now, with 256 points, still higher tan most regular Grand Prix events?
I think there may be some mistakes in the ATP website in 1977.
*According to the ATP, the Canadian Open was played on hard. I had read somewhere (I do not really remember) that it was played on clay, and so I counted it as a clay-court tournament in my system.
*Did Sydney Indoors only gave $50000 prize money in 1977, yet in 1976 it had $125000 and in 1978 it had $175000. This looks quite suspicious to me.
Does anyone know anything about this?
The ATP website has always had a LOT of mistakes, and some obvious databasing errors with some tournament results that they had listed in the past. The ITF website is generally much better for accurate match results, although still not perfect.
The ITF says that the 1977 Canadian Open was on clay:
Thank you very much for the information. If you do not mind, I would be glad to hear your opinion about my ranking system for 1977 as I am interested in improving it.
My opinion, keeping in mind that 1977 was probably the year in the open era when the tennis tour was at its most disorganised, is that the majors (5 that year) still have to have the most points, even though the players wouldn't always play in all of them. That's the whole point of those times, i.e. that it was a disorganised tour, where players tended to chase the money, would often play a lot of smaller events, World TeamTennis etc. than play the bigger tournaments that seemed to cling as much to past times as they could.
I have Vilas as world number 1 in 1977 because of the sheer amount of events he played, as well as winning both the French Open and US Open. On any ranking computer, I don't see how Vilas cannot be number 1 for the year. Borg also had an excellent year, but he only won Wimbledon among the majors. While Borg beat Vilas a few times and also had a great record during the year, he cannot match Vilas' sheer activity level during the year, which is what the ranking computer is supposed to be based on.
So the two titles Vilas in Canada were on clay, right? Then they should change that statistic about how many titles he has in clay. That would increase his lead as the top winner of titles in clay. Could Vilas have played Canada in 1977? Anyone know why he didn´t? I think I read some article saying he was not going to play in Canada due to fatigue. Why he play South Orange instead of North Conway? Just wondering. And maybe he would have played Brussels instead of Nottingham and Berlin instead of Queen's.. But at least these no good results allowed him to have more rest.
Thank you very much for your answer. I agree, 1977 had a really disorganised tour. I have had lots of difficulties in making my ranking. However, I have posted above a computer ranking which shows Borg as no. 1; mainly because it takes surfaces into account. (It should be remarked that the system above consideres only achievements as I consider other things such as H2H as completely irrelevant for YE#1) However, I would not be surprised if other ranking which does not take surfaces into account also consideres Borg as the player of the year. Both Vilas and Borg won only 1 major (I would not consider the French Open a major in 1977) and also many other tournaments, Vilas has more in quantity but Borg´s are the most prestiguious. Even the current ATP system limits the number of countable minor tournaments, so it can be said that many of Vilas would be uncountable. In conclusion, and especially after my calculations shown above, I think Borg was the true #1 in 1977. I may be wrong though.
I still recall the surprise that Billy Martin caused when he defeated Vilas at Wimbledon
Maybe AO was not a real major (Vilas was finalist). But FO was ! FO was much a major than other tournaments won by Borg (or Vilas or others). Vilas won 2 majors that Year, and more tournaments than Borg, ans won 46 matches consecutively, he's the real number one.
Some people say that in 1977 Vilas won a lot of small tournaments but it's not true. He won big tournaments, beating in final great players (grand slam winner or top ten players), for example : Springfield (beating Stan Smith), Virginie Beach (Nastase), Kitzbuhel (Kodes), Washington and Colombus (Gottfried), South Orange (Tanner), Bogota (Higueras)... 2 Grand Slams + 1 Grand Slam final + 14 tournaments + 46 matches consecutively... and Vilas is not the World champion ? Impossible !
I think the French Open in 77 is harshly treated, at least in comparison with other years. I believe it had more Top 10 players than 75 and 76, and the same as 74, yet people rarely question Borg's first two French Open titles.
People will understandably point to the calibre of the players missing, but what about a year like 1982? No Borg or McEnroe but again no one ever questions the win for Wilander.
Don't get me wrong, I don't think every slam should be treated equal (The AO from 72 to 82 is pretty much not slam worthy) but you have to draw a line somewhere and you have to be consistent.
Three all-but-unanimously-agreed years I'm curious about -
Well, I think that FO 74-76 had only slightly better draws than FO 77, so I awarded 768 points for the formers and 512 for the latter instead of the usual 1024 I award for each full slam. Do you think that is okay? I would say 1982 is different, as Borg was semi-retired and McEnroe was not the favourite on clay anyway. However, I think you may have a point, so I will check the question in detail later.
Using the system described above for 1977 (see previous page) I have made rankings for most years of the Open Era. I have not checked the calculations, so I may have made mistakes, but in these surface rankings I have:
1. Edberg - 11777
2. Becker - 11098
3. Courier - 10970
[One of the most contested YE#1, so any calculation mistake I may have made could change the result]
1. Sampras - 12559
2. Kuerten - 12203
3. Safin - 8716
[Here Sampras benefits for his good grass-court results]
Brian does not look happy.
Maybe. I think he looks impatient and bored (which, you are right, are not happy emotions).
Brian did a great job in reaching a RG final when he was never considered a winning horse on slow surfaces, and in fact, he never did anything like that in his entire career.
He was probably in the best form of his life.He was also very fortunate with the draw.If he plays his doubs mate Ramirez instead of Dent in his sf, I don´t think he makes the final.Ramirez lost to Vilas and Dent to Brian Gottfried in the semis.
Separate names with a comma.