Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by hoodjem, Oct 30, 2009.
You left out the Australian Open.
@NatF Here's a quote from Laver's autobiography by Bud Collins on the 1971 Tennis Champions Classic
Thus ended a season that began with the brightest tournament concept yet for pro tennis as well as an event I called "The Rod Laver Benefit." That's not what Fred Podesta, the promoter, called it, but he might as well have because Laver was the only one who made any money out of it. The "Benefit" was a $210,000 series of one-night stands across the U.S. actually named the Tennis Champions Classic. Rosewall and I launched the series at Madison Square Garden in New York, and the idea was that the winner would get $10,000 the loser nothing, and at the next stop another pro would appear to challenge the winner. I loved it. I don't think I ever sent Podestra a thnk-you note, but, Fred, here's a capitalized Thank You in print. Thirteen matches I played and thirteen matches I won, extracting $160,000 of Podestra's $210,000.
Getting myself into fantastic shape before the trek began, I found myself back in the old days of one-nighters in varying arenas. I had a good night right away to take care of Rosewall, and then I had a lineup of guys who weren't quite used to this sort of bouncing: Newcombe, Roche, Emerson, Ashe, Okker, Ashe, again, Taylor, Okker again, Ralston and Emerson again. Eleven matches--$110,000. Like plucking mangos from the trees at home in Queensland. Nobody was quite sure how Podestra decided who the next opponent would be but we wound up with a four man lineup for the semifinal and final at Madison Square Garden. I beat Ralston for $15,000 in one semi and Okker took Emerson in the other. Finally I overwhelmed Tiny Tom, 6-5, 6-2, 6-1 for $35,000 more.
A couple of points here. Note that Laver wrote that he got himself into fantastic shape. He wouldn't have done that unless he felt this was very important, whether it would be for the money or the prestige or both. Also note all the great players in the tournament. You couldn't get that sort of field unless the players wanted to be in the tournament. The lineup alone gives the tournament huge prestige.
No I didn't. It was played in March.
Edit--You're right. There was a typo on the info on Laver's career which had the semi and final of the TCC in February! I corrected it but the info was based on date so I missed the Australian. I will correct that when I get back home.
I looked at it and I will edit and correct on the other post.
It's funny to read Laver calling Okker "Tiny Tom," because Laver was shorter that Tom Okker.
Laver seems much bigger! Lol. Isn't Rod the same size as Isner?
Limpin, Naughton must be wrong.
NatF, I agree. I even doubt if the TCC is equal to one major. At least at that time the series was not regarded that highly.
urban, Naughton writes the interval was five days.
Dan, I referred to 1971 when Rosewall won the Finals. Thus he was a worthy world champion that year.
I was making a general statement about the WCT finals in the early seventies, the top players did not always participate, and that reduces the stature of the event. Smith played the 1971 WCT finals?
Nastase and Smith didn't play the WCT finals in 71.
Wimbledon was the only major tournament that year to feature Laver, Rosewall, Newk, Smith and Nastase.
The only other tournament I know that featured all these guys was Wembley, where Nasty won it, and he won it beating Newcombe and Laver.
Were there any other tournaments to feature all of them?
Wimbledon was clearly the top event for 1971....no doubter.
Stan Smith probably often thinks of what could have been in that final.
Dan, In 1971 and 1972 all 32 pros played in the WCT tournaments.
Smith and Nastase turned pro only in early 1973.
EDIT: Dan, Thanks for your "like" to my post 2686 about the 1974 Wimbledon final.
I don't agree. If there was a World Championship in 1971 it was the TCC. It had the biggest prize money, the toughest competition, and the most matches required to win, almost double the matches required to win Wimbledon.
You may be correct.
Limpin, You are wrong: The toughest competition had Wimbledon, then the WCT series with 32 pros, most of them strong. You cannot only count the 8-man finals. You had to qualify for Dallas in several tough tournaments. At Wimbledon you must play seven matches in 13 days. Laver at TCC had much more time to play his 13 matches. By the way, a few of his opponents were not really strong in 1971: Roche, Ralston and Emerson.
Regarding the draws in 1971, outside Wimbledon the best draw probably had the WCT tournament of Berkeley, where independent pros like Smith and Nastase joined the 32 WCT pros. Then came i think Queens Club, and the WCT tournaments of Rome (with Smith and Kodes) and Stockholm. Remember the independent pros (better ILTF pros) played their own Grand Prix Series circuit with the Masters at Paris.
If Laver beating these 13 players without a loss counts as multiple majors what does Federer's 18-0 record against top 10 players in 2004 count as?
NatF, Good question.
It counts as awesome and a credit to his domination of tennis. In some ways it shows his greatness more than winning three majors in a year.
Difference is that it wasn't in one tournament so we can't count it that way.
I was being facetious however the TCC didn't have a standard tournament format. I wasn't saying we should count Federer's awesome record in 2004 (which including 03-05 stretched to 24 wins in a row) as a major, I was just pointing out the difficulties in awarding the TCC multi major status.
Afterall as far as feats go Federer's is arguably at least impressive even if it doesn't come under the umbrella of one series.
You may have been facetious but it still points out how unbelievable the guy was at his height. Very few players in tennis history have been so dominant against all their competitors.
In some sports certain individuals occasionally appear who are so good they are far and away better than even the second place team or person. I would say the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls were that sort of team. Federer for a while in tennis. Tilden for a while etc. Fischer, Karpov, Tal, Kasaparov in chess. It's always fun for me to enjoy players like that. I like watching greatness.
Yes, peak Federer was ridiculous. At the end of 2003 he was part of a group of talented players all tipped for major success, guys who had been having success against the past generation since their teens (Hewitt beat Agassi as a 16 year old) and were major winners at 20-21, but in 2004 he just totally blew past everyone.
His serve is!
NatF, I just had looks into a few of my tennis books regarding TCC of 1971. Collins called the WCT Finals a "climax" and mentioned also the TCC as "the most astounding string" of Laver that year. He also says that Laver's biggest win was the Italian Open. Bud ranked Laver, "HIS" Laver, only at No.4.
In the World of Tennis yearbook the WCT Finals got two own chapters, written by Lamar Hunt and Rex Bellamy. The TCC is not described. Only the results are given.
Lance Tingay ranked Laver at No.3. I don't know how Joe McCauley ranked but most probably he gave Laver also place 3 or 4.
TCC was a fantastic feat of Laver but it seems as though the series did not have that big valuation in the year it was played. In retrospect it deserves a place as a major, but not more, I think. WCT Finals were a true "World Championship".
EDIT: By the way, As great Laver was in the final of the TCC against Okker (Tom only gained 8 games), Rosewall in the WCT Finals at Dallas was not bad either against Okker in the SFs: Tom gained only 7 games and said after the match: "He doesn't hit very hard, but you still can't get to the ball-it's very frustrating".
The above post has some opinions but none really of the 1971 Tennis Champions Classic. Here's some more opinions on the 1971 Tennis Champions Classic from the Fireside Book of Tennis.
The achievement of winning that tournament was considered incredible at that time. It was a new era and people didn't know how to fit this tournament in with the old traditional tournaments like Wimbledon. Frankly I still don't think some of the so called experts understand about that time.
And so came #13 for Rod. The final match to complete the impossible and it was Okker, who had led him two sets to love the first time, Okker the victim of some the greatest tennis Laver ever displayed in their second test, Okker who would make this last desperate stand.
"I do not like to lose," Laver said, "I can't understand anyone who is a good loser. If you go into a match with the idea that if you lose, you will be a good loser, you are going to be a loser."
Okker walked onto the court, and like Don Quixote tilted his lance and charged. The first set was a thrilling one, with the young Dutchman standing up to serves, the lobs, the drops, the dinks, the impossible retrieves--and losing the set in sudden death. And then the tide was inexorable. For Laver, the golden dream was about to become a reality, and he was not to be denied that reality.
The applause began to grow at the end of the second set. Applause in a special way--applause as a salute to what the fans saw happening as game after game dropped into Laver's column, bringing him to the ultimate victory. When it was over, applause and awe surrounded Laver as he accepted the final check.
The date was March 19 in Madison Square Garden, and the score was 6-5, 6-2, 6-1. Laver's earnings stood at $160,000.
"At the very outset," Laver said, "I totally agreed with everyone that it was virtually impossible for any one player to go through this Classic undefeated. I have just done that--and I do not believe it either."
Note the author points out the awe on the great feat of Laver. Note that even Laver thought the feat was impossible. So I would tend to think if you accomplish an impossible feat it is pretty impressive and obviously very tough.
Here's some viewpoints of a great match Laver played in that same tournament against Okker.
Here's a description about one of Laver's matches against Tom Okker from the Fireside Book of Tennis. "On one of his very best days, Bill Tilden might have had a chance against Laver." The speaker was a man associated with tennis for decades, a man who had seen them all--from Bill Tilden through Don Budge, Jack Kramer, Pancho Gonzalez, Lew Hoad--and now he had just seen the incredible skill of Rod Laver as he sent a match point whistling to the deepest corner of the ciourt in a Classic victory.
Laver on the match later "I feel I'm better prepared for this match than I was for our first," said Tom Okker as he went out on the court to challenge Laver once again.
And Okker was right. The young Dutchman played perhaps the finest match of his life. He had every shot, every move--but Laver had the answer to every shot, every move. It was, to that date, the greatest tennis Laver had played, and it was after this match that the grizzled veteran observer had said that maybe, just maybe, Tilden might have had a chance.
At one point Okker caught Rod flat-footed in the forecourt but Laver, in desperation, raced backward, caught up with the ball, ran around it and put it away. Okker dropped his racket in astonishment and the spectators, even the umpire in the chair howled in disbelief and admiration.
In the locker room, Okker declared flatly that he had played as well as he had ever played, perhaps better than he had ever played, "but I was never even in the match. I couldn't believe some of those shots. He couldn't believe them himself," Okker moaned.
The date was February 6 in Madison Square Garden. The score was 6-1, 6-4, 6-3. Laver's earnings were now $90,000.
Here's a little more on what they thought of the achievement of Laver winning the 1971 Tennis Champions Classic at the time.
Here's some more info on the 1971 Tennis Champions Classic. Note from the tone of the article how people considered Laver the number one player.
Bottom line is this, the achievement of winning that tournament was considered incredible at that time. It was a new era and people didn't know how to fit this tournament in with the old traditional tournaments like Wimbledon.
Was it a greater achievement than winning Wimbledon or any major? I think it probably was but that is just my opinion.
What months were these 18 wins? Which tournaments? Was it before the FO, or after? Must be after.
(Too bad he lost to Kuerten at the French that year.)
January to November. The whole season. Kuerten was not top 10 at the time, thought he played very well in dispatching a sub par Federer.
Two and a half majors?
This is the Rod Laver I have seen play. This is what I remember. The talent, the skill, the athleticism, the intensity, but most of all, hitting what I would have previously thought were impossible shots to hit.
Hey as long as you're consistent
There is no doubt in my mind that the TCC was the biggest event of 1971 and most deserving of World Championship status. The $210,000 of total prize money for the TCC was more than double the $100,000 of total prize money for the WCT final, and, in my view, accurately reflected the relative status of those two events.
Wait, this 18-0 was with losses in between--just not to top-10 players?
Yes of course. He was undefeated when he met top 10 players throughout 2004 only. I assume Laver lost matches in other tournaments as well during the months the TCC lasted.
OK. (I had thought he had an 18-0 streak in everything.)
Limpin, Prize money does not correspond in every case with importance of an event. Otherwise the Diamond Racquet Antwerp event would have been more important than all other tournaments!! I have proved that the WCT Finals at that time were much higher regarded than the TCC.
Djokovic won 43 matches in a row at the start of 2011. This included 13 wins against top 10 players, including beating Nadal on clay twice. More impressive in my opinion than the TCC. Woo! Let's give him 6 additional slams.
Laver thought it was impossible to win every match? What? He thought it was impossible to have a 13 match winning "streak"? Despite the fact he had actual streaks of this number (or bigger) previously? nonsense. Pure propaganda from The Rocket and the TCC crew.
Jack Kramer had multiple double figure win streaks over Pancho Gonzalez on their h2h tour, including if I recall one of 14 in a row (also more impressive than the TCC, so let's say an extra 4 slams for Kramer). To repeat, against Gonzalez, on a h2h tour, indoors. People thought going unbeaten in the TCC was impossible? Please.
Let's just call it what it is shall we? People hate Bobby, so let's big up Laver as much as possible, whilst dumping all over Rosewall, preferably with all the gold that Rod ***** out.
He had a 22 match win streak and a 16 match win streak during the year.
70sHollywood, I agree. Of course Laver increases his own significance when achieving the "impossible". Rod himself once had a winning streak of 6 tournaments and probably 18 matches in early 1967. A very great player can make even the "impossible" possible. Thanks for the Kramer example. Even Rosewall had some astounding winning streaks.
Thanks for your ´"like" for my post to Limpinhitter.
I don't understand your last paragraph, except for your premise that people hate Bobby. Hate is a very strong word, similar to the semi paranoid comment he makes when he refers to those who disagree with his opinions as his enemies. Further, in my view, he gives himself too much credit to believe that anything he might write on this board would elicit such powerful feelings as hate, or even being his enemy.
Mr. or Mrs. Limpinhitter, In contrary to yourself I am ready to concede own errors and to apologize for too sharp or wrong words. You are not ready as you have proved several times, especially when never apologizing for your mocking lie about my "40" Rosewall majors...
You are really an enemy of mine as you constantly ignore my request and refuse to address me in your posts where you attack me! Disgusting.
It's your next lie that I make paranoid comments to posters who just disagree with my opinions and that I call those posters "enemies". Tell us examples!
I know you know it is just a turn of phrase. "I hate going to work in the morning", "I hate watching Errani play tennis" etc...Should we speak like that? No, I agree. I don't like it when people use "kill" liberally, so I take it back.
I just think that people have become so fed up with Bobby that it seems they just want to wind him up, possibly in the hope that he responds in a manner that will get him banned.
Well I agree with you about prize money. However, I would still value the TCC above the WCT Finals if I was splitting hairs.
For all their flaws in 1971 I actually think the classic 4 majors were probably the top 4 events.
I'm glad you said that.
I can't speak for anyone else, but, in my view, although Bobby's incessant insults and personal attacks should be grounds for banning (if they aren't already), that is TW's problem. This is TW’s board and TW has to decide what kind of board they want. It is not my business and I'm not going to get involved with that.
To clarify, my motivation, at least in part, is to help maintain an accurate and balanced record for those who are unaware of Bobby's extreme bias, and the obvious fact that his exclusive motivation for posting on this board is to campaign for a better public opinion of Rosewall, which he does with some pretty outlandish and preposterous claims. For example, a poster recently asked words to the effect: "but wait, wasn't Rosewall #1 for 9 years?" I could only shake my head and try to correct his misapprehension. Anyone who Google's Rosewall is likely to get a hit on one of Bobby's comments about Rosewall.
Having said that, everyone is entitled to an opinion, informed or not. Hopefully, those who are more informed will have the courtesy to edify the those who are less informed in genuinely helpful and respectful way. (Okay, maybe some day). But, Bobby isn’t here to merely offer his opinions. He is here to cram his opinions down everyone’s throat by carpet bombing this board with his opinions about Rosewall (and virtually nothing else), in every thread, and then to respond in an extremely hostile and obnoxious manner to anyone who doesn’t agree with him.
PS: To further clarify, I think Rosewall deserves more consideration as an all time great than he gets by the majority of the tennis public. But, I think he would be embarrassed by what goes on here.
Limpin, I find it very disgusting that you want me getting banned for possible insults even though you began our tough relationship in 2012 with insults and again in 2016 with a mean lie about me which you never corrected or apologized for.
It's your next lie (must be your 5th or so) that I have an agenda (other than to present my opinion and the results my lifelong research of tennis history) and that I virtually write only about Rosewall. I could blame you that you virtually write only about Laver (with wrong stats) and about Rosewall too (as you desperately try to find weak points in Ken's career and in my argumentation).
Generally spoken: It might be strange a bit when one poster (BobbyOne) uses to write relatively often about his favourite player (who he thinks is significantly underrated in this forum and elsewhere) and to try presenting facts that are not known widely.(You never blamed Dan for that matter, by the way). But it's MORE than strange if a poster (Limpinhitter) has the obvious agenda to seek for opportunities to belittle a famous player, an all-time great, a probably GOAT candidate. That's not "love for a player" as most of us have: for Laver in this forum, for Federer in the other one), no, that's "hate AGAINST a player" which is negative, hostile energy, not the endeavour to search for truth and research in tennis history!!!!! You never bothered to seriously research tennis history. A short (and wrong) click in Wikipedia is enough for you to push one player and to damn another. I'm really sad. I wanted to tell this to you and my other readers in case that I would not be able to post anymore on this board in the (near?) future.
But you are right: Muscles would be embarrassed by your kind of "discussion" and your hate against him...
Are you suggesting that Bobby is obsessed with promoting Rosewall, and ignoring Rosewall's limitations as a great player?
It might help if Bobby could find some other topic of interest related to tennis, and then his comments on Rosewall would not appear to be so excessive.
Sometimes when I read Bobby's remarks I think that I am listening to a broken record that simply repeats the same material over and over....the ultimate in recycle.
Yes, I think winning something like this was a greater accomplishment than winning a slam, because pros go where the money is, and where the crowds are. People today just don't understand the psychology of that era.
Putting perhaps a little bit different spin on all this: I don't really remember hearing much about anyone else other than Laver and Rosewall around this time. Regardless of whether or not they were the greatest, they were for us a lot like Federer and Nadal were (and to some extent still are.) I'm not sure anyone ever warmed up to either Ashe or Newcombe the same way - maybe in Australia. But for me those players were place holders until Connors came along.
Separate names with a comma.