WORLD NO. 1 (by year)

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

  1. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    Sadly, i don´t have Rods mail address:( or maybe it´s for the best
    i can understand how it might be interesting to look into past years rankings and debate their worth

    in this long debate about 1964 i was more interested in whether there were official rankings at all (some doubted that) and how
    they arrived at Rosewall being no.1 when several parameters clearly had Laver in front.
     
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  2. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter G.O.A.T.

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    I think you are mistaken. I have seen no evidence for an official ranking for the entire year of 1964. I have only seen what was an obviously ill conceived point system for a particular tour which did not include all of the events for that year, some before and some after this specific tour started and ended.
     
  3. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    What I find strange about the 1964 points tour, was that there was no purpose or point in winning first place...no money, no trophy, no award, no ceremony, no celebration...nothing.
    What was the point of the "points"?
     
  4. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter G.O.A.T.

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    To give an obsessed Rosewall fanatic something to rant about?
     
  5. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Love does not "soften" the brain...love is strength...I learned that when I met my wife.
    Bobby, even love of humanity can bring strength...I would urge you to peruse my thread "The Second Golden Age of Sport" for a nostalgic view of a time when society was kinder and gentler, when the virtues of love and compassion were accepted as a sign of strength.
     
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  6. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    awarding points for winning a round, or the whole tournament,..., is an integral part of any ranking system
     
  7. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    that´s what makes discussions so interesting. two or more people can look at the same data and interpret it quite differently.
     
  8. NatF

    NatF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Well I'm not clued up on any official rankings but the papers at the time had Rosewall at #1.

    Who would you give the #1 ranking to?
     
  9. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    at this moment, i´m compromising by giving co-no.1´s to Rod an Ken.
    i´m not terribly interested in ranking players myself. I have my list of all-time-greats but have never took part in GOAT debates.
     
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  10. NatF

    NatF Talk Tennis Guru

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    That's fair enough. On principle I find co-#1's insufferable ;) I think there will always be a best player of the year, even if it is marginal it doesn't matter. I think it's a cop-out personally. I might dislike it even more than awarding Rosewall a sole place :D
     
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  11. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    i understand you point of view.
    my compromise is another way of saying, i don´t know enough about that year to reach a clear decision.

    anyway, i´m off to a game of tennis now, with a tournament to play on the weekend.
     
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  12. Dan Lobb

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    Usually an earned points system is rewarded with some sort of prize or trophy...you don't see the amount of work done to maintain the secretarial effort if there is no payoff in the end.
    My impression is that there was an intention to have a grand finale with an award, prize money, trophy, as there was in the 1959 tournament series, but that the attempt to line up money and trophy did not succeed in 1964.
     
  13. Phoenix1983

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    Maybe this explains Bobby's misanthropy. He obviously thinks it is better to be bitter and retain his supposed intellect.
     
  14. NatF

    NatF Talk Tennis Guru

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    That's fair enough. What information do you feel you are missing?

    When looking at the #1 placing for the year what criteria do you normally look at?

    Laver has;

    - More majors
    - More tournaments
    - Better win/loss
    - More wins
    - H2H with his top rival

    Rosewall has;

    - Superiority on the points tour

    Rosewall might have more that I'm not giving credit for but IMO the fact the that tour does not differentiate it's points between the calibre of events makes it almost meaningless. Laver came very close in that tour as it is.
     
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  15. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter G.O.A.T.

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    You said: "i am, as obviously you are too, quite convinced that Rosewall was apparently the official no 1 for 1964."

    My response was an invitation for you to explain why you think there was an official ranking for the year, 1964.
     
  16. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter G.O.A.T.

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    The present iteration of the debate about 1964 has been going on for several months. If there are any posters here who know of something more supporting Rosewall, there has been more than sufficient time for them to come forward with it.
     
  17. NatF

    NatF Talk Tennis Guru

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    I'm just wondering if I'm missing something. I have only been skimming the discussions. For me the points tour and the newspaper clippings are essentially the same thing. Neither of which hold sway in my view.
     
  18. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter G.O.A.T.

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    From what I've seen the points only applied to the 130 day tour, not the entire year. Further, the conclusions in the newspaper reports seem to be based on the points tour, not the year as a whole and the entire record, which would make those conclusions faulty.

    If you were missing something that anyone on this board knew about, it should have been posted a long time ago.
     
  19. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Indeed yes, I found it in British Lawn Tennis and Badminton ("BLT"), which is not online but the issues are at the Newport tennis library. I've also been checking online archives of British newspapers, mostly to check about that '64 edition of Wembley. I can tell Urban, quickly, that his guess was right: Herman David did indeed speak with Laver and the rest of the troupe at the '64 Wembley and they started talking, presumably about getting the pros to Wimbledon. It was described in the Daily Express (a London newspaper, I believe), and I'll post the article separately, although there are not a lot of details.

    In these British newspaper archives I've found that the British press tended to view Wembley Pro as the pro championship of the world (and it had that official sanction from the ILTF, as I've read on this board); some British newspapers acclaimed Laver the top pro for winning Wembley.

    An example in the Daily Mail:

    LAVER BIDS TO TOP THE WORLD

    by GERALD WILLIAMS

    ROD LAVER, a professional for only 20 months, can call himself the best player in the world if he beats Ken Rosewall in the final of the London Professional Indoor Championship at Wembley Pool tonight.

    Rosewall is currently acknowledged world champion, primarily on his achievement in winning the Wembley title for the past four years.
    So in England there was this tradition of calling the Wembley champion the world champion -- even if another player, for example Gonzalez, had won the H2H world series tour across the pond.

    In '64 it was similar, with British newspapers acclaiming Laver as the new world #1, but Laver himself saying that he's not yet #1 because he's still behind in the system set up by the pros.

    Laver said that as part of an exclusive interview with BLT, right after winning Wembley on September 19. Here's the quote -- and it's largely familiar because it's quoted on Wikipedia and I guess other places. I've bolded the parts that we didn't have before.

    “I’ve still plenty of ambitions left and would like to be the world’s number one. Despite this win I am not that yet; Ken is. I may have beaten him more often than he has beaten me this year but he has won the biggest tournaments except here. I've lost to other people but Ken hasn't. We are working on a points system which is the soundest way so that everyone has to try hard all the time and Ken has the most points.

    “But it’s tremendous just to feel that you are challenging the number one. And even if you are the number one there is still lots of ambition left.”

    … The seeding came under fire but the system seemed fair. Based on results around the American circuit, a win scored 7, a runner-up 4, third place 3, fourth place 2, and quarter-final defeats 1. On this basis Gimeno topped Hoad—just.

    BLT, in its full report of the tournament, was one British publication that didn't call Laver world champion, or number one, for winning Wembley.

    Laver doesn't give his own (and Ken's) personal total in points, so that's one thing missing. But his statement impacts several issues in this debate. For example PC1 argued that Laver actually finished atop the official rankings by the end of '64 (following what Laver wrote in his recent book) but that the points had perhaps not yet been calculated in full when Buccholz, later, called Rosewall the world's #1 player in his article for World Tennis. I have never considered this a plausible argument because on all their tours the pros knew, from day to day, what the standings were. That was true on the old H2H world series and it was true certainly in '64, which we could already see in the article reporting what the exact standings were among the top four players the day after the Dutch Pro final on August 24: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/world-no-1-by-year.295675/page-40#post-10413704

    Standings were updated on all pro tours regularly, and reported in the newspapers the next day. In fact the newspapers often reported the exact day that the leader would "clinch" the tour.

    And this was absolutely necessary to do. I can't imagine Hoad or Gonzalez, on their tours, not wanting to know which one of them was in the lead, or willing to wait days/weeks/months to find out. I'm sure they knew exactly, on each day, who was in front, and by how much. They could not have settled for being in the dark about that, and the situation cannot have been any different in '64.

    Laver's statement confirms that there was a points system to decide, not just the winner of a single tour, but to decide the world #1. He doesn't say which events gave out points. But his answer in the interview is a direct response to the issue, not of who would win the current tour (ie, the "Buchholz tour"), but who was number 1 overall: and his response is to say that that question is properly decided by a points system (I think he is implying that such a thing cannot be settled by winning a single tournament, as perhaps the British press wanted to do).

    And Laver is also showing here how much the players relied upon, and respected, their points system. Buchholz echoed Laver in nearly the same words, when he wrote his article for World Tennis: "The pros operate on a point system. The winner gets 7 points, the runner-up 4...." At the following year's Wembley ('65), the Daily Mail said it again: "their [ranking] list is compiled on a points system from tournament to tournament and not on personal opinion."

    Given all this, what would it mean to argue that Laver really finished atop the rankings in November 1964? It would mean that Buchholz, writing his article after the end of all the tennis activity for the year, did not know whether Laver or Rosewall had finished on top, but chose, despite his doubt, to write that Rosewall was "unquestionably" #1 in the world. Or it means that Buchholz did know that Laver finished on top, according to the points system which all the pros (including Butch) respected and said that they operated on, but chose to contradict the points system with his own personal opinion.

    And what would it mean about Ken and Rod, in April 1965, telling the newspapers that Rosewall was #1 and Laver was still #2? (You can see this is not an issue of what journalists or observers thought; this is the pros themselves, operating a points system to decide who was #1, and using that system to speak about the rankings.) Both men are on record saying as much, as late as May 1965: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/world-no-1-by-year.295675/page-51#post-10502854

    In Laver's case it would mean that several months earlier he had told the Wembley reporter that the points system really decides #1, but in April 1965 he's no longer relying on that, but going on .... well I guess on modesty, letting Ken continue to get acclaim as world champion even though the pros' own point system had toppled him from his perch. And not just Rod, but Ken himself, and Kramer, in all their statements to the press in early '65, are on record speaking of Rosewall as still #1. It makes it impossible to imagine that Laver really had finished #1 in the points system but that none of the players knew it or transmitted this vital bit of information to the press.

    Just a couple of other articles I found in BLT that had comments on the rankings.

    March 1965 issue:

    LAVER TAKES LEAD

    ROD LAVER made it two in a row by winning the pros’ tournament at Perry Lakes Stadium in Perth, Western Australia, on February 6, a week after he took the top prize at Memorial Drive in Adelaide, South Australia. In Perth, “Rocket” Rod defeated Earl Buchholz and Pancho Gonzalez whilst in Adelaide Ken Rosewall and Gonzalez were his victims.

    The final in Perth was a “fairy tale” contest between two adversaries at either end of the tennis spectrum: one the fallen king fighting to regain his crown, the other the budding prince striving to reach the former heights of the deposed….

    [PHOTO CAPTION] ROD LAVER. Following a back injury, he has come right back and is currently challenging for the pro top spot.

    June 1965 issue:

    NEW YORK—Rod Laver, of Australia, handling the vaunted service of Pancho Gonzalez with ease, won the National Professional Indoor Championships with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over the Los Angeles pro at the 71st Regiment Armoury.

    Laver picked up 3,000 dollars for his efforts, and Gonzalez received 2,000 dollars for second place.

    Ken Rosewall, of Australia, top-seeded in the tourney and ranked No. 1 in the world, took third place money, 1,500 dollars, by beating Spain’s Andres Gimeno 6-4, 6-2 in the night’s opening match.​

    I'll post some more material in later posts (including the Herman David article). But this one from BLT was the most important.
     
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  20. Dan Lobb

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    Again, the significance of these 1964 and 1965 points calcualtions means, in my view, very little if they were not leading to some grand finale or money prize, a trophy presentation...really nothing to play for of significance.
    That reduces the value of these mid-60's points systems, if the players were not getting any kind of reward for the points.
    Were they getting "a championship"? But where was the trophy and ceremony?
    I doubt that they received anything like a trophy or money award, there is no mention of it.
    If anyone claims to have won a championship of any kind, the first thing they need to do to verify it is show the trophy or award or money prize.
    If I get "points" on my credit card usage, at least I can use them.
     
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  21. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    Dan, Yes, then I realized that I don't agree with NatF because I knew you had understood Bud's words wrongly.
     
  22. Dan Lobb

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    Bobby, I merely said that I agreed with NatF, word for word...you claimed to agree WITH NatF...that ends the discussion, we are in agreement.
     
  23. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    urban, Don't you confuse the Buchholz article with the Buchholz "interview"?

    Thought you and others would be impressed and convinced by krosero's clear post about 1964 and that phone call.

    By the way, Your unfriendly behaviour toward me (not addressing me, contradicting every statement of mine, not accepting my apology) might be one of the reasons why I got psychological problems when reading all that crap I read within the last few monts...
     
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  24. Dan Lobb

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    There was no contradiction between Buchholz' statements in 1964 and recently, just a clarification of someone's wrong impression about that 1964 article.
     
  25. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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  26. NatF

    NatF Talk Tennis Guru

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    @krosero

    Thanks for gathering up that information krosero. Always great to get some contemporary sources - as a History grad I am especially appreciative :D

    What stock do you put in the points system personally? I know you view it as an improvement on the previous h2h to tours, however it's clearly still quite flawed by not differentiating between the different levels of event. Wembley being clearly the biggest event should offer more points IMO. If the French Pro was on it's level then that too etc...

    I still believe the fundamental issue for most of us is that Laver looks to have had better results. At this point I'm more interested in why we should be accepting the points tally from the tour. Evidently it didn't include all the results for the year which is another issue I have with it.
     
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  27. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    NatF, Please blame Rosewall, Laver, Gonzalez, Gimeno, Buchholz, Hoad, Olmedo and Ayala who all accepted the point system and knew that the winner would be the acknowledged world champion.
     
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  28. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    NatF, The hth is 3:1 in Laver's favour. But don't triumph: in that year there only was important who won the tour.
     
  29. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, of course, you are always right.
     
  30. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    treblings, Rosewall did be the official No.1 for 1964, as Buchholz, World of Tennis, and krosero have proved.

    As written several times, in retrospect Laver and Rosewall both deserve the top place. I cannot understnd NatF & Co.
     
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  31. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    NatF, I agree with a great part of your post. I think your problem is that you don't accept split No.1 places.
     
  32. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    treblings, Yes. In this heated debate there were two questions, sometimes mixed with each other: first, who was the acknowledged world champion in 1964 and second, how do we rate and value the achievements of the 1964 top players in retrospect. About the first question there cannot be any discussion anymore after krosero has found the missing link and those numerous rankings. About the second question there can be a lively debate even though I still believe that we should consider the achievements of both, Laver and Rosewall, as great feats: Laver's several top achievements vs. Rosewall's winning the important world champion tour. There are several years where we cannot justified give a No. 1 place to only one player. Best example is 1959 or 1977.
     
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  33. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    Limpin, Buy good eye-glasses.

    A world champion tour never embraces all events of a year!!!
     
  34. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    Dan, You must be a clairvoyant.
     
  35. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    Dan, Unfortunately I cannot use your thread because of the age of my computer. You might have seen that I never post therein.

    Love between a man and a woman (or between two men, two women) has often brought blindness and even crimes.
     
  36. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    treblings, Of course. Well said.
     
  37. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Good question, I know this is an important issue. For my part I haven't been posting newspaper excerpts as a way to canvass merely the opinions of the time period. This is not like Lance Tingay or another old fogey writing up an essay at the end of 1970 and giving his personal rankings. Now of course even that sort of opinion should be respected to some extent, but that's not what I'm on about, with those newspaper excerpts from '64: I've been trying to use them to piece together what the players' own rankings, based on their points system, were -- not only at the end of 1964, but from month to month.

    The points system can be criticized, but the reason I don't think it can be rejected totally is that the players themselves were using it: the system told them how to achieve whatever ranking they were after. And this is vital in the '64 race between Ken and Rod, and I'll tell you why.

    Ken ended his year on October 31, after beating Laver in three straight sets in a challenge match in Johannesburg. He went home at that point -- at the end of the South Africa tour. Once home he wrote a letter to World Tennis (I posted it somewhere in this thread) saying that "the last three weeks of the tour" took place in South Africa. He adds that Rod and some others chose to play "additional matches" in North Africa before heading home themselves.

    So in Ken's mind, he went home on Oct. 31, having already achieved his goal of retaining the #1 ranking. He had won the championship tour -- or Buchholz tour, as Bobby and I have started calling it, or the "points tour" as you and Dan are now calling it -- but we can set that aside for the moment because I know it's a controversial issue. If you just want to look at all results for the year without reference to a championship tour or a points system, then on November 1, Rosewall still led Laver 10-9 in all tournament titles, for the entire year (including Australia, including everything).

    The count is 11-9 in Ken's favor, on Nov. 1, if we go with McCauley who credited Ken with 11 titles for the year. As we discussed before and as PC1 speculated years ago, it could be that Ken's 11th title was his victory in the Trofeo Facis (a tour/series of one-night stands, in which Ken won 12 matches). Or possibly the 11th title could be the Challenge Match -- we don't know. I'm trying to find a newspaper report.

    But that's how their tournament results stood on Nov. 1, after Ken had gone home: Rosewall leading Laver in total titles, either by 10-9 or 11-9.

    In the month of November Laver won two more tournaments (4-man tourneys), to bring his year's total to 11.

    So that's when Laver forged an edge in tournament titles over Rosewall (or tied him 11-11): after Ken had gone home. Ken spoke in his letter as if "the tour" was finished in South Africa, on Oct. 31, and that Rod had simply decided to play "additional matches" (Ken's words). Ken had defended his #1 ranking already, as of Oct. 31, doing what he thought he needed to do in order to retain the #1 spot.

    For me this puts a twist on the comparison between the two men's results. Don't you think Rosewall would have chosen to play on, after Oct. 31, if he knew he still had not done what he needed to do to remain #1?

    PC1 has asked this same question with regard to 1960. He said that Gonzalez didn't play anything after the world series because he knew he had retained his #1 ranking and didn't need to play anything else; he said that's why it's important to know how things were done in the past.

    I disagreed with PC1 on the specifics -- I showed him newspaper reports that Gonzalez was not going home for the year but retiring permanently, in June 1960; and we had our disagreements about the exact value of the H2H tour that Gonzalez won. But I agree with the principle: you've got to find out how #1 was decided in those days, because only then can you decide how the players formed their personal schedules and why they chose to enter certain events, or not enter, or go home on a certain date and call it a season.

    It's not about respecting past convention merely for its own sake, or merely because historians say it's important to respect the past. There's a specific reason we're looking at the points system and asking such specific questions -- which might seem insignificantly minor otherwise -- like which events offered points, which did not.

    It's vital to know, for example, whether the November events offered ranking points. If they did, why in heaven's name did Rosewall not play them? And if they didn't, then we can say Rosewall didn't play because he didn't feel that he needed to play them, in order to defend his #1 ranking. Etc.
     
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  38. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    treblings, I properly don't think that Limpinhitter or Dan have read the sources differently. It's rather a case of bias. For Limpinhitter the 1964 matter is a double reason to be biased: pro Laver bias and contra Rosewall bias. Two of his great emotions come together...
     
  39. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    NatF, I just wonder after you have read all those sources.
     
  40. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    NatF, I will never understand this because a tied No.1 for Rosewall is nearer to your opinion (Laver a clear NO.1) than awarding Rosewall a sole place.
     
  41. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    ...and exactly YOU are talking about misanthropy... Great joke again. I really love you. Are you female? Maybe we can marry?
     
  42. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    NatF, Laver came close but not very close. About a ten points difference.

    Rod at that time accepted the system. Now he does not seem to accept its result anymore. A bit strange IMO.
     
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  43. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    Limpin, I know the answer: Because treblings is able to consider facts and to accept them without bias!!
     
  44. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    Limpin, They came forward but you did not listen to them. That's the problem, YOUR problem!!
     
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  45. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    Mrs. or Mr. Limpin, Are you sure you are able to think like a "normal" person? How the bloody hell can you still write about a "130 day tour" even though you were told by several serious posters that the 130 tour was NOT identical with the world championship??? With this attitude there is no discussion possible with you!!
     
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  46. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    It's curious and funny...
     
  47. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    It's even more curious and funny. You are a brother in mind with Phoenix. Thanks for your jokes.
     
  48. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    The summit of male/female love and commitment in marriage is a fulfillment of human relationships, a mutual servant relationship which gives strength to human capabilities for good. This relationship mirrors the ultimate transforming relationship between God and humanity in the church, often depicted as the "bride" of Christ.
    A great Viennese composer, Beethoven, gave expression to this in one of his greatest achievements, "Fidelio". I will give you a link to a monumental performance of this work in Vienna.
     
  49. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Daily Express of Sept. 21, 1964:

    SEDGMAN MEN MAY END THAT PRO BAN

    TENNIS

    By FRANK ROSTRON

    TENNIS professionals may—at last—play, on the famous Wimbledon Centre Court . . . on boards.

    Secret negotiations took place this weekend between Frank Sedgman, newly re-elected president of the Professional Tennis Players’ Association and Herman David, chairman of the 100 per cent amateur All-England Club.

    Neither would give details of the discussions. But after the enthralling 2hr. 40min. victory of Rod Laver, new claimant of the title of World Top Player, over Ken Rosewall, David said :--

    “It was absolutely magnificent. Laver and Rosewall should be playing at Wimbledon, where they belong. And it will happen, I trust, before I kick the bucket.”

    David disclosed that discussion had gone as far as the feasibility of making a temporary wood surface over the centre court grass to overcome the groundsmen's late summer growth problem.

    Last night L.T.A. secretary Basil Reay said: "Permission for an all-professional tournament would probably be given, but for an invitation tournament featuring, say, the top eight pro's and the top eight amateurs, sanction would be necessary from the International Federation, which is still officially opposed to open tennis."

    Laver’s thrilling 7-5, 4-6, 5-7, 8-6, 8-6 winning of the Wembley £1,000 first singles prize has revitalised the professional situation. Nearly £20,000 in gate receipts were taken.​

    EDITED: to add further text from article
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2016
    Gary Duane, Dan Lobb and treblings like this.
  50. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter G.O.A.T.

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    [I wasn't able to quote your prior post because, apparently, it with my response exceeded 10K characters. So, this one will have to do].

    Very interesting, but, not relevant to the question raised by this thread - who was really the #1 player for 1964. Further, you are trying to carve out a subset of the whole year, which happened to be won by Rosewall using a flawed point system, and argue that it was intended then, and should be considered now, as the equivalent of a year end ranking. I see no basis for it.

    Moreover, I think it's sophism to argue that the players of the 130 day magical mystery tour were very much concerned about, or motivated by, winning a tour with a dubious and flawed points system for which there was no reward in winning it. In my view, if anything, it is more likely that they were concerned about, and motivated by, winning the highest paying events.

    However, in my view, what is most relevant, now, is that one player, Laver, was the sole leader of the entire pro circuit in every single material measure for the year 1964, and another player, Rosewall, was not. If you want to post something interesting and relevant, post some material data in which Rosewall led Laver, if there is any. Herman David article contains no such data?
     
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