WORLD NO. 1 (by year)

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by hoodjem, Oct 30, 2009.

  1. pc1

    pc1 G.O.A.T.

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    I really didn't see anything in the article Buchholz wrote in 1964 that contradicts what he communicated to me just a few weeks ago.
     
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  2. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    Limpin, You are again wrong (as usually): Buchholz's rankings were official!

    Laver cannot have been the dominant player in 1964 as he did not win the official pro tour. The discussion in this forum was about the question if Rosewall was acknowledged in 1964 as the top player. krosero has proved that Rosewall was.

    Another matter is the question if we should -in retrospective- give Laver a tied No.1 place. I plead for doing that as I did since many years and maybe as the first person at all.

    LImpin, I'm still waiting for your apology. It's time for you to correct your wrong behaviour and the wrong data in your Laver thread if you want to be recognized a serious poster!!
     
  3. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Urban, you've speculated that the pros had some sort of rolling ranking system. I think they did. The World Tennis issue of December 1964, which covered all events through the end of October, had this:

    The ranking of the Playing Pros, based on their performance through last month, is as follows:

    1. Ken Rosewall
    2. Rod Laver
    3. Pancho Gonzales and Andres Gimeno (jointly)
    5. Lew Hoad
    6. Alex Olmedo
    7. Butch Buchholz and Robert Haillet (jointly)​

    These rankings are slightly different from the rankings in Buchholz's article in the following issue, covering all events through November (and therefore covering the entire tour, through Tours on Nov. 26). Buchholz gave those rankings as:

    During out European tour, which does not include the South Africa segment, I probably made $7,000 or $8,000. The figures are not yet in, but I believe I cleared $5,000 in South Africa and $1,000 a week in France. In other words, I made $16,000 in 130 days. Muscles must have made somewhere between $20,000 and $25,000. We play for money and so the winner gets the largest portion of the jackpot. I was at the bottom of the totem pole along with the donkeys until six weeks ago. Then I started to play better and my earnings went shooting up.

    The Pro Rankings

    The pros operate on a point system. The winner gets 7 points, the runner-up 4, third place earns 3, fourth place 2, and the quarter-finalists 1. During the greater part of the tour, my point score was very low. Lew Hoad and Alex ("The Chief") were ahead of me most of the time. Then I earned 12 points in South Africa and jumped from No. 7 to No. 5. The final tour ratings were as follows:

    1. Ken Rosewall
    2. Rod Laver
    3. Pancho Gonzales
    4. Andres Gimeno
    5. Butch Buchholz
    6. Lew Hoad
    7. Alex Olmedo
    8. Luis Ayala​

    And these rankings were reported as year-end rankings, not only by McCauley, but also in the press report I posted from the St. Louis Dispatch, on April 27, 1965:

    Neither Rosewall nor Laver is overlooking the powerful influence of Gonzales. The temperamental Gonzales, unbeatable on many days with his smashing service, finished third in the 1964 competition. Gimeno was fourth and Buchholz, who had been No. 4 in the two previous years, settled for fifth place.​

    That much is clear, but I'm wondering about the end-October ranking in World Tennis. It's slightly different from what Buchholz gave, which implies that ranking points were still being earned in the month of November. The only tennis activity we know of in November are the tour matches in the Middle East and France, plus one tournament, in Cairo, won by Laver. There was a stop in Nice, which you know of, which the press described as a tournament.

    It's unclear to me in what way the November activity would have counted toward the ranking, but the fact that the rankings changed in the last month suggests that at least something was included toward the rankings, beyond the South Africa tour which ended on Oct. 31.
     
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  4. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    I agree completely with that: the title or official description of the tour matters less than its actual features (prize money, ranking points, draw strength). We know, for example, how little the title "World Pro Championships" mattered at Cleveland.

    If the 1964 tournament series was short on prize money, lacking in top player participation, and gave out no ranking points, then no mere title is going to give it an importance that it doesn't have.

    Conversely, if the series had all those strong features (and it did), then no lack of a formal title such as "championship tour" can detract from its significance.

    I think you're probably right about Zurich consisting of stands, rather than being a tournament. What's confusing to me is why no match results are reported for Laver and Rosewall, both of whom are mentioned in the article as having arrived with the troupe in Zurich; even their returns of service are described, as if someone had seen them play some matches there. I'll post more of the article in a separate post (just some rough translation using Google Translate).

    The article was a feature almost entirely about Pancho Gonzalez and his return to tennis, so perhaps that is the reason only his results are reported. As I say, French newspapers had very spotty coverage of tennis -- which is why I think it's likely that the entire first week of September could have featured stands in Zurich and other places in Switzerland (or France), before French Pro began on Sept. 8. I don't see why the pros would not have put on stands in the meantime, while they were waiting for French Pro to begin. It would only have earned them more money.

    As for Nairobi, you could well be right that Rosewall departed for home directly from South Africa. If the troupe played in Nairobi, they probably played there at the start of November, flying from South Africa, on their way to Cairo.

    Maybe you know of this already, it's a letter that Rosewall wrote to World Tennis at the end of the year:

    Home again, at long last, and it’s [good] to be back. Wilma was in Europe for [___] months. The break from the children [was] the hardest thing for her to get over [and] making up her mind to come away [with me] made her bring her tennis things and she got in a couple of games during her second week away, but after that her tennis was over. She is no indoor player; she likes something a bit slower—like me!

    The tour went very well. Pat Hughes did a great job organizing tour matches and tournaments in France, Italy and elsewhere. Owen Williams also did beautifully for us in South Africa where the last three weeks of the tour took place. Actually, Rod, Butch, Alex and Andres played additional matches in North Africa for three weeks, before heading for home.

    The NSW Championships are starting and I will be doing some of the TV commentary the final two days. I will also have a chance to talk with Roy for the first time in over a year. I look forward to seeing him play, too. Jack Kramer wrote me that he was very impressed with Roy’s play in Cleveland. Unfortunately, there is no one to make Roy even stretch this season.

    Ken Rosewall

    Sydney, Australia​

    Still I think it's technically possible that Rosewall went home from Nairobi, though not likely. I think you're right that he went home after "clinching" the points race in South Africa.
     
  5. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    krosero, Thanks for your new discoveries and the "end-year rankings".

    But this time I have two problems with the new list. !) Buchholz in his January, 1965 article only referred to the 17 tournaments and not to the additional events in November (IIRC). 2) Buchholz himself did very well in October and also in November. Therefore I cannot understand that he fell down behind Hoad and Olmedo.
     
  6. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Krosero, thanks for the Information. To me this a matter of historical understanding of the very instable pro circuit in those years, which, as i said, had many quite odd years with many quite obscure rankings and scorings. The old pros had no Greg Sharko and no Ponte Vedra Computer System. And since McCauleys book, who stated on the same page, that Rosewall finished just on top in a tournaments ranking, and on the same page, that there was "no doubt, who the master was (Laver)", i found the year end situation in 1964 unclear. And the discussions with Carlo Colussi and Jeffrey Neave confirmed the notion, that very much activity, in fact more than half of the activity, was excluded from this 17 tournaments series (i thought in 2005 of a 19-20 tournament series). That the pros had a sort of rolling ranking system i believe indeed, and it could be interesting, if such events like Cairo or Nice were indeed tournaments and had some impact. And i repeat, this rolling system corresponds with Laver's quite explicit statement in his new book.
     
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  7. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    krosero, Again interesting information. Thanks for clarifying the "title" matter.

    Thanks for the Zürich information. II think that if Zürich would have been an eight man tournament it would have counted to the long tour and mentioned by Buchholz.

    I now am sure that Rosewall did not enter Nairobi (thanks for reporting the Rosewall letter to W.T.) as he says that "Laver, Buchholz, Olmedo and Gimeno played additional matches in North Africa (he surely meant North Africa as an opposite to South Africa) FOR THREE WEEKS". That probably meant Cairo, Nairobi and a third event.

    EDIT: It's important to read Rosewall's words that in South Africa the last three weeks of the tour took place. Thus Rosewall meant obviously that all events afterwards did not count to the tour.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2016
  8. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter G.O.A.T.

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    Urban, thank you for your consistent clarifications of 1964. It seems that some insist on repeating the errors of the past. I see no point in doing that when an objective, retrospective clearly corrects those errors.

    PS: It seems that 1964 can be analogized to a foot race. If Rosewall was ahead for most of the race, but, got passed by Laver at some point before the finish line, Laver is the winner of the race.
     
  9. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    urban, I'm convinced that even if krosero provides 263 reports that Rosewall was the No.1 pro in 1964, you still will tell us your doubts. That way you seem to be a second "Dan Lobb" which would surprise and disappoint me...

    The old pros did not need a Greg Sharko. They knew exactly who was the top man. By the way, even ATP does not always have correct data.

    In your strong endeavour to push your darling, you now even distort Joe McCauley's words about Laver and Rosewall in 1964. Firstly Joe did write that "Rosewall tops again but only just" which means generally not only regarding tournaments. Secondly he wrote there was "no doubt who was the master IN HEAD-TO-HEAD CONFLICTS" (Laver) which of course does NOT mean that Laver was the overall master over Rosewall. Remember that Nadal was the master in head-to-head conflicts against Federer but not the master over Federer generally. Please try to quote correctly!
     
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  10. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    Limpin, Your source for clarifications is a weak one as it (urban) quoted wrongly. No-one is repeating errors of the past. There were no errors in 1964 at all.

    But you made many errors in your Laver thread and elsewhere...
     
  11. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter G.O.A.T.

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    First, I'm glad to see that you are regularly updating your OP so we don't have to search for your most recent list. Second, it is almost unbelievable that if Djokovic finishes 2016 as #1, he will have tied Federer and be behind only Tilden, Gonzalez, Laver and Sampras in year end #1's, all in a prime that included prime Federer and prime Nadal. Only 5 years ago, it seemed that the vast majority were sure Federer was the undisputed GOAT probably for the foreseeable future. Now, during Federer's career, if not his prime, we may be on the verge of a new undisputed GOAT. Amazing!
     
  12. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Bobby, you cannot simply ignore the hth numbers for the two top players, that is a very important statistic by itself, which is why you so often see it in print as an indicator of greatness.
    You cannot convince anyone of Rosewall's supremacy by simply repeating the parameters which are in his favour.
     
  13. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    Limpin, What arguments do you have for your claim???
     
  14. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    Dan, It's difficult to answer you because your style of discussing is so bad that I easily could become angry.

    I never ignored the hth numbers. The 1964 balance between Laver and Rosewall are one reason why I gave and give Rod a tied No.1 for 1964. I even contradicted Ken when he claimed that he was the (clear) No.1 that year.

    I just corrected urban's quote of Joe's words regarding the hth because urban has distorted them by omitting deciding words.

    It's you (and a few other posters) who ignore the main parameter for 1964, the official tour, always giving new excuses why the official rankins would be wrong and making wrong claims. It's tiring and disgusting!

    I never claimed a supremacy of Rosewall for 1964. I always write that Laver and Rosewall were equal that year.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2016
  15. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    A very rough translation (using Google Translate) of some parts of the Zurich report:

    Found. After having abandoned some time tennis competition, Pancho Gonzales returned. And already he finds much of the form that has actually long been the best player in the world. Was it [he] not a finalist in Geneva tournament?

    ... Laver Even Stronger

    The second event of the week, it was the arrival in Geneva professionals troupe led by Tony Trabert. Some of these players are aging and in saying this we believe is especially Lewis Hoad who has ceased to accumulate mistakes. However Pancho Gonzales has lost none of its [his] qualities as Rod Laver is even stronger than it [he] was when it [he] succeeds the "grand slam" among amateurs. What strikes us particularly at Laver, Rosewall and Gonzales is violence service returns, and that the strongest balls. These players never content with "keep the ball in play." They strike without rest and they hit it! And do not ask Gonzales to miss a "smash" for he smashes his racket of anger!

    If you now ask us what an Emerson Lundqvist or would Osuna against these champions, would answer us this: a good day, Lundquist could get out a Hoad, a Gimeno Olmedo or during a tournament but if you were playing a series Gonzales Laver of thirty matches against Emerson or Pietrangeli, they gain in probably 28 or 29!
    The article ends with the match results I posted above, with the headline, "Les pros a Zurich."

    I recalled this article saying that the troupe arrived in Zurich, but now I see that the arrival is specified in Geneva, where we do know that Laver and Rosewall played. Perhaps Ken and Rod never went to Zurich -- though the possibility that they played in unknown stands during this first week of September remains.

    Best I can do with a report in French.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2016
  16. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    krosero, Thanks again. Interesting that the Zürich report says that Tony Trabert led the pro troupe (not Rosewall, as Dan suggests).

    Also interesting that the source states that the best amateurs would lose almost all matches against Gonzalez and Laver. As Gimeno was not far behind them (plus Rosewall), I could be right with my claim that Gimeno was stronger than peak Emerson on the long run.
     
  17. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Trabert no longer held a regular position with the pros.
     
  18. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    Dan, Can you prove your claim which contradicts krosero's source?
     
  19. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    No, it does not contradict his sources...and I see no confirmation that Kramer held an official position with the pros that year.

    Further, PC1 has pretty much proven that no one was calling that tour a world championship, there was apparently no ceremony or trophy or prize money for a world title event.
     
  20. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    Dan, Are you able to read English words? "...professionals troupe led by Trabert" (according to krosero a non-perfect translation from French). What, great expert, do these words mean???

    For the 100th time: As krosero has explained (and all non-idiots have already understood) it's secondary if the deciding long 17 tournament tour was called a "world championship" or not or even called a "trophy for determining the toughest sack racers". Deciding is only that it was the official tour that determined who was the No.1 player in the world, who the No.2 player and so on till Nr. 8 (even though the last one or two places were doubtful as a few strong players did not participate in the tour, i. e. Sedgman and Anderson who both would probably have finished ahead of Ayala and maybe ahead of Olmedo.

    Dan, I must disappoint you: I really consider not to answer you anymore because of your stubborness and curious "logic". I like to disprove guys (or girls) like Limpinhitter and Phoenix1983, but I dislike to again and again explain you the same things hundreds of times.
     
  21. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Bobby,, in English "led" does not necessarily mean a position of administrative or business authority...it could mean that he did some publicity work or arranged some hotel deals, who really knows?
    But Trabert officially retired at the end of 1963, as I showed you with an earlier press report.

    Bobby, normally a world championship tour has some kind of presentation ceremony for the winner, a trophy, a winner's money prize, that is the sort of thing which Buchholz and the other players would certainly have remembered, and which would be almost a necessity for any real world championship tour.
     
  22. pc1

    pc1 G.O.A.T.

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    Buchholz was very clear to me that the 1964 tour was not a world championship tour! Despite the AP report I would tend to believe a participant in that tour. The main reason is what you said Dan, that it would be hard to believe that he would forget that he was playing for the world championship. That would be like Muhammad Ali forgetting that when he fought Joe Frazier in 1971 that it was for the heavyweight championship of the world! I suppose it's feasible that a participant could forget but I can't imagine it!
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2016
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  23. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    Dan, Please stop writing about a world champion tour. You suggest that such a title would be the deciding thing even though krosero has explained us why there maybe was not such a title of the tour at all. You formulate it correctly: "...which would be ALMOST a necessity"!!

    You seem to miss the key discussion since weeks here: It went about the question if Rosewall was the No.1 player in 1964 determined by the 17 tournament tour. As we all have learnt, he was the POY due to his win in the tour. There was no other deciding tour that year. It's senseless to speculate about a possible title and a possible trophy. Perhaps there was a trophy, perhaps not.

    krosero has shown that the tour was something NEW then as there had not been before only ONE tournament tour in ONE year (1959 there were two world series).
     
  24. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Well, we are in partial agreement, I think that some one was at least trying to make that 1964 tour into a world championship tour, but somehow they failed to arrange a suitable final event where a trophy, a championship money award, a ceremony could be performed, and there was no talk about this tour being a formal world championship , unlike the two tours of 1959. It all turned out to be a case of enormous wishful thinking that got derailed.
     
  25. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    Dan, We are not in partial agreement. The 1964 official big 17 tournament tour was not less but more than any of the two 1959 series (even the latter were titled and the 1964 tour not titled) because in 1959 there were TWO (=2!) tours whereas in 1964 was only ONE tour (=1!)! End of story.
     
  26. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    You can have two championships in the same year...nothing unusual about that. WCT often shared a season with other main events like Wimbledon.
     
  27. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    No comment.
     
  28. Vision

    Vision Banned

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    In 71, if you compare the overall major record I think Smith and Rosewall had the best year and Newcombe and Kodes came a close second.At the end, people are impressed by the way Newcombe beated up Rosewall at the AELTC semi and the way he also won the US Pro Indoor against Laver but he had too many misses to be an undeniable number one.Peak tennis wise, he certainly was.Now, record was we could keep on arguing for years...
     
  29. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    Vision, Reasonable thoughts about 1971. I'm glad you rate Rosewall so high.

    My rankings for 1971:

    1 Smith, Rosewall and Newcombe tied
    4 Laver
    5 Kodes

    Smith won the US Open and lost a five-setter to Newcombe in the Wimbledon final.
    Rosewall reached the Wimby SF and lost only to eventual winner, Newcombe. The crushing score was, at least partly, caused by Rosewall's very long QF match against strong Richey. Rosewall won the AO (tough field) without losing a set and the Dallas WCT Finals against Laver. Both tournaments arguably among the best 3 or 4 of that year. He also won the prestigious US Pro and the South African Championships. He was 1:0 against Smith in their hth.
    Newcombe of course won THE Wimbledon and the strong US Pro Indoors, the latter over Laver.
    Laver won the high-class Tennis Champion Classic where he beat all 13 top players without losing a match.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2016
  30. Vision

    Vision Banned

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    Bobbyone, thanks for your comments.I may review it according to it.To me 71 is an exciting year, Ashe lost the AO final while Kodes lost to Laver the IO final and Nastase lost the FO final to Kodes but won the Masters against Smith.So seven top players in addition of Okker,Roche,Gimeno and Franulovic who did very well as well
     
  31. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    Vision, Thanks. Again my compliment: You are one of very few people who give Rosewall a possible No.1 place for 1971. In fact Muscles is the only one that year who did very well at three very big occasions (AO, WCT Finals, Wimbledon).

    I would not say that Roche, Gimeno and Franulovic did very well in 1971. Roche was "out of order" for the main parts of 1971, 1972 and 1973.

    Lance Tingay in World of Tennis yearbook ranked as follows:

    1 Newcombe
    2 Smith
    3 Laver
    4 Rosewall
    5 Kodes
    6 Ashe
    7 Okker
    8 Drysdale
    9 Riessen
    10 Nastase

    I cannot agree with Tingay that Laver is ranked ahead of Rosewall. Muscles did better at Wimbledon, beat Laver at Dallas and won the AO where the Rocket failed. Bud Collins ranked Rosewall third and Laver fourth.
     
  32. Vision

    Vision Banned

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    Yes; in fact after 69 Rosewall always had a better year than Laver and by a reasonable margin.Laver had some bright moments like the 70 Dunlop Classic or 71 Tournament of Champions as well as the 1972 WCT Finals which he barely lost to his former nemesi and the 73 DC final at Cleveland.But he was far from Rosewall if we count on the whole year and that is something that offers little, if any doubt.And Laver is my all time fave, so I am pretty fair here.
     
  33. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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  34. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    Thanks, Vision. You seem to be a very objective Laver admirer and a serious poster. It would be interesting to learn about your all-time Top 10 (if you have made such a list at all).
     
  35. Vision

    Vision Banned

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    Thanks to you-I will give you my list ( 10 faves and 10 best in the future)
     
  36. Vision

    Vision Banned

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    Laver, except for the WCT tour ( the regular tour, not the finals which Rosewall won) which he dominated until 1973, wasn´t any motivated for the other tourneys, including the Gran Slam Championships.He had won the big four in 1969 and said " enough".Which is very comprehensive.
     
  37. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    Vision, In 1973 Smith edged out Laver on the WCT circuit (even though Rod was great also in 1974 and 1975 on that circuit).

    I must contradict a bit that Laver was not motivated for the GS tournaments after 1969. Surely, he did the huge achievement of winning the open era Grand Slam but I'm sure he wanted to show his high class also in 1970 and 1971 to confirm his Grand Slam. Rod had to defend a high reputation and was seeded No.1 at the 1970 and 1971 Wimbledon and the 1970 US Open.
     
  38. Vision

    Vision Banned

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    Yeah, Newcombe was the best in the WCT winter tour in 72 and Smith had a great WCT spring tour leading all the way to the title against Ashe.Laver was still able to bat anybody on a short length tournament (WCT ha 16 or 32 men draws) in 74 and 75, beating Borg and Ashe quite often.
     
  39. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter G.O.A.T.

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    I'm sorry, but, that's not true at all. In 1970, Laver had a much better year than Rosewall and Newcombe, by a wide margin. Further, in 1970 and 1971, Laver won the TCC which, in my view were far more difficult, far more impressive, and higher paying events than any of the majors.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016
  40. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    Dear Limpin, Instead of repeating again totally absurd claims you should correct your old mistakes and your mean lie...

    The 1970 TCC far more difficult than any of the majors?? Thanks for that first-class joke, arguably the best ever joke in this forum since Adam and Eve! Thanks a lot, tennis expert!

    Following your claim about Laver having a far better year than Rosewall and Newcombe, I'm forced to think that Bud, Lance and Joe were pure idiots...
     
  41. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter G.O.A.T.

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    Here is my analysis of 1970 that I previously posted in my thread "Is Rosewall a GOAT Candidate":

    In 1970, Laver won a total of 15 titles: the Dunlop International, plus 4 more Masters 1,000 equivalent titles, the Tennis Champions Classic (arguably another major equivalent or super major and the top prize money event of the year), and 9 more smaller titles. Based on the current ATP ranking points system a major is worth 2000 points and a Masters is worth 1,000 points. Therefore:

    1) 5 of Laver's titles are worth either 5,000 or 6,000 points depending on whether you value the Dunlop as a Masters equivalent or Major.
    2) The value of the TCC could be 1,000, 2,000 points or more depending on whether you value that as a Masters equivalent, a Major or Supermajor.
    3) Assuming, arguendo, that the remaining 9 titles are worth 500 ATP points each, they total of 4,500 points.

    Therefore, Laver's ATP equivalent points for 1970 would total from 10,500 to 12,500 (or more), depending on the value you give the Dunlop and the TCC.

    Compare Rosewall's total of 5,000 points and Newcombe's total of 3,000 points and the fact that Laver was 5-0 vs. Rosewall and 3-0 vs. Newcombe, and that Newcombe acknowledges that Laver was #1 for 1970.

    Laver was #1 for 1970 by a wide margin.
     
  42. Gary Duane

    Gary Duane Legend

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    The best any fair person can do is to read the extreme views of Limpinhitter and BobbyOne then assume the truth is probably somewhere in the middle. ;)

    There are arguments to be made for at least three players in 1970, which is why "experts" were divided on who was #1 that year.

    Nothing has changed since then.

    Instead of arguing round and round about who was #1 it might be fairer to keep in mind that Rosewall was very nearly 4 years older than Laver, and what he was doing at such an advance age in the Open era remains unique to this very moment.

    If that alone does not get him full respect, nothing else will...
     
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  43. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    Interesting. I'm a native french speaker if some better translation needs to be done.
     
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  44. NonP

    NonP Hall of Fame

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    All this obsession about whether a certain tourney or tour was THE world championship is another classic case of missing the big picture. I believe the chaotic '77 season was earlier cited as another example of a player presumably boasting better numbers than his rival but being considered inferior by the press and his peers, but I say a better analogous situation to '64 is '99. In this case there seems to be even less controversy about who was better: Agassi won two official AND de facto majors to Sampras' one, on two surfaces to boot and with the latter missing two majors altogether, and though they won the same # of titles and had roughly the same win % that comes with the caveat that Dre actually played a full season (63-14 vs. Pete's 40-8). And indeed Agassi was universally declared the world #1 at the end of the year, with something like 3000 points more than Pete per the objective ATP ranking system. Case closed, right?

    Ah, but there are a couple more caveats. One of those 5 titles of Pete's happens to have come at the YEC, where he beat Dre in the final in straights which is justly touted as one of the all-time great exhibitions. In fact Pete held a commanding 5-1 edge over Dre for the year, never surrendering a set in any of his wins including the even more celebrated Wimbledon exhibition (frankly a little overrated, but that's for another discussion) and his sole loss incurred in only his 3rd match after his comeback from injury which forced him to pull out of the USO. There's a tendency on the part of some posters to dismiss H2Hs as mere happenstance, matchup issues or some other element of luck, but none of these facile explanations can disguise the likelihood that a gap that big reveals something more. And we know the H2H in this case does tell us more about the season than just a bunch of results between two players, as Agassi never had a run against the entire field like Pete's brilliant summer campaign (which again was cut short by his back injury) and acknowledges himself in his book that it just didn't feel right for him to claim the top spot when he had been so thoroughly bested by his rival.

    So let's turn our attention back to '64, in which Laver led Rosewall 15-4 in their meetings, give or take a few. As with the Pete-Dre H2H in '99 that's not just having an edge over your rival, but near complete domination. And again we know this great disparity was no accident: the two won roughly the same # of titles, with Rod beating Ken himself en route to winning Wembly and US Pro, both de facto majors, and being ranked just barely below Ken per the point system of the discussed-to-the-death 130-day tour. Of course we also know from the contemporary reports (many of which krosero has dug up for us) that Rosewall in '64 like Agassi in '99 was widely considered the world #1, which is not surprising as people tend not to question the system they're part of, but is that really enough to override Laver's own advantages by the standards of his own time?

    As you may have gathered I obviously think the answer is no, but others will disagree and there's definitely something to be said about the "objective" criteria of a clear ranking system. The one point I wanted to make here, as I often do, is that numbers never tell the full story and it's important to think for oneself rather than listen to a bunch of so-called experts and players who may not know as much as you think they do. Even if everyone else in the world said Agassi was the clear #1 in '99 that would not change the merits of my case for Sampras instead, and the same goes for Laver vs. Rosewall in '64. Which player you give the top spot, or how many, will depend as much on your "objective" criteria as on your bias, however we like to pretend otherwise.
     
  45. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    Dear Limpin, You overlook a little, a tiny matter: 1970 is NOT 2016!! In 1970 they did not use the ATP point system as we have it now.

    Again my question: Why do you think that Collins, Tingay, McCauley and others did not rank Laver first in 1970? Do you really believe you are a greater expert than them?

    Ceterum censeo: Apologize for your lie!!
     
  46. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    Gary, Yes, what Rosewall did at 35/36 was extraordinary.

    I think to have a "middle" solution for this discussion in giving Rosewall, Laver and Newcombe a tied No.1 place for 1970. I don't think I have an extreme view at all!!
     
  47. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    NonP, The 1964 tour was NOT a 130day tour. You must have overlooked krosero's new discovery!

    According to the standards of the players and experts of 1964, Rosewall was a clear No.1 even though we now think (justified) that Laver deserves a tied No.1 place.

    It was Laver himself who stated in 1964 and in mid-1965 that Rosewall was the top player. So you blame the Rocket himself if you blame krosero and me.

    Laver did not finish in the tour "just below Rosewall". As far as I know Muscles edged out the Rocket by about ten points which means that Laver would have lost the tour even if he would have won an additional tournament and Rosewall had lost in the first round.

    Rosewall's win of the big tour (May till October) does not override Laver's advantages. I never have claimed that. Since many years I'm claiming that Laver deserves a tied No.1 place.

    Head-to-head was not that important back then (see also Hoad's hth against Gonzalez in their 1959 tour). Even today all experts agree that Federer has edged out Nadal in several years even though Rafa had the better hth.
     
  48. NatF

    NatF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Laver #1 in 1964 and 1970, damn the official rankings.
     
  49. NonP

    NonP Hall of Fame

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    I know krosero has uncovered new details, none of which are very relevant to this discussion. I was trying to make a larger point.

    Again you missed the point I was trying to make, namely that it hardly matters what the experts thought at the time. It should be considered, yes, but if you're comparing the results of a set system then why do you need anyone's approval to arrive at your own conclusion? I prefer to think for myself and believe there's more to tennis than just numbers.

    Yes, 10 points below Muscles. BFD. Did you not see the part where I said Agassi had a ridiculous edge over Pete at the end of '99? FYI it was exactly 2024 extra points, which even when converted in "real" terms of '64 I'm sure would amount to more than just 10 points.

    I never said you did. Hell, I even gave your boy an arguable sole or co-#1 spot. What more do you want me to say?

    H2Hs do matter when the race is tight and the gap so obviously wide as is the case for '64 and '99, 'cause that's when they're likely to be part of a bigger picture. And as you may have noticed I don't pay much attention to the bean-counting "experts" you cite, who BTW just ranked your boy and Gonzales below Emerson yet again in that chortling ESPN poll. Fed does have better numbers but I've long maintained that it's quite defensible to bestow the top honor on Rafa or Borg for that matter, and not just because of the H2H. To wit, both are at heart clay-courters who had to navigate the tricky waters of a tennis tour where most of the surfaces are faster, but who were able to overcome such inborn disadvantages to rise to the very top in the face of stiff competition, perhaps even more so in Rafa's case as he had to deal with two GOAT candidates in Fed and Novak who are arguably tougher opponents than Mac and Jimbo. Most of the "experts" ignore things like this and just count the numbers. I say we ignore them and think for ourselves.
     
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  50. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter G.O.A.T.

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    You correctly imply (as I have also said), that the point of this thread is to re-examine the unofficial (opinion), and official rankings of the past when the true and complete record shows them to be faulty. Having said that, in my view, in 1964, it seems clear to me that Laver not only had a commanding h2h lead over Rosewall, he also had the better year overall and deserves the #1 ranking for 1964.
     

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