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Tennis/Catalogs/World No. 1 male players

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Under construction: This will be a chronological listing of both the male tennis player who, at the end of a full year of play, has generally been considered to be the best overall player for the entire year, and of the runner-up for that year. Before the Open era of tennis arrived in 1968, rankings for amateur players were normally only compiled for a full year of play and the professional players had no rankings at all except for seedings in individual tournaments. Even for the amateurs, there was no single official overall ranking that encompassed the entire world; rankings were done by the national tennis association of each individual country. It was only with the introduction of computerized rankings in the Open era that rankings became common on a more frequent basis than at the end of the year. There were no official rankings of players worldwide until approximately 1972, so that all rankings in this list, no matter how authoritative, are both unofficial and entirely subjective. For each year, however, at least one, and sometimes more, authoritative source for that ranking is given:

(A. = Amateur, P. = Professional)

Year Name World No. 2 Source of Ranking and Additional Information
1913 Tony Wilding (NZ) A. Norman Brookes (AUS) A. and Maurice McLoughlin (USA) A. A. Wallis Myers of the London Daily Telegraph; his top 10 players, all amateur, were Wilding, Brookes and McLoughlin tied for 2nd, Jim Cecil Parke, R. Norris Williams, Percy Dixon, Otto Froitzheim, Stanley Doust, André Gobert, and Max Décugis.
1914 Maurice McLoughlin (USA) A. Norman Brookes (AUS) A. and Tony Wilding (NZ) A. Myers: his top 10 players, all amateur, were McLoughlin, Brookes and Wilding tied for 2nd, Froitzheim, Williams, Parke, Arthur Lowe, F. Gordon Lowe, Heinrich Kleinschroth, and Décugis.
1915 World War I, no world rankings The United States Lawn Tennis Association (USLTA) ranked the top 10 American amateurs as being Bill Johnston, Williams, McLoughlin, K. H. Behr, T. R. Pell, N. W. Niles, C. J. Griffin, W. M. Washburn, G. M. Church, and W. M. Hall.
1916 World War I, no world rankings The USLTA ranked the top 10 American amateurs as being Williams, Johnston, Church, R. L. Murray, Ichiya Kumagae (a Japanese player), Griffin, Washburn, W. E. Davies, J. J. Armstrong, and Dean Mathey.
1917 World War I, no world rankings No USLTA rankings
1918 World War I, no world rankings The USLTA ranked the top 10 American amateurs as being Murray, Bill Tilden, F. B. Alexander, Hall, W. T. Hayes, Niles, Kumagae, C. S. Garland, S. H. Voshell, and Pell.
1919 Gerald Patterson(AUS) A. and Little Bill Johnston (USA) A. both ranked equally Myers: his top 10 players, all amateur, were Patterson and Johnston tied for 1st, Gobert, Tilden, Brookes, Algernon Kingscote, Williams, Percival Davson, Willis Davis, and William Laurentz.
1920 Big Bill Tilden (USA) A. Little Bill Johnston (USA) A. Myers: his top 10 players, all amateur, were Tilden, Johnston, Kingscote, Parke, Gobert, Brookes, Williams, Laurentz, Zenzo Shimidzu, and Patterson.
1921 Big Bill Tilden (USA) A. Little Bill Johnston (USA) A. Myers: his top 10 players, all amateur, were Tilden, Johnston, Vinnie Richards, Shimidzu, Patterson, James Anderson, Brian Norton, Manual Alonso, Williams, and Gobert.
1922 Big Bill Tilden (USA) A. Little Bill Johnston (USA) A. Myers: his top 10 players, all amateur, were Tilden, Johnston, Patterson, Richards, Anderson, Henri Cochet, Pat O'Hara Wood, Williams, Kingscote, and Gobert.
1923 Big Bill Tilden (USA) A. Little Bill Johnston (USA) A. Myers: his top 10 players, all amateur, were Tilden, Johnston, Anderson, Williams, Frank Hunter, Richards, Norton, Alonso, Jean Washer, and Cochet.
1924 Big Bill Tilden (USA) A. Vinnie Richards (USA) A. Myers: his top 10 players, all amateur, were Tilden, Richards, Anderson, Johnston, René Lacoste, Jean Borotra, Howard Kinsey, Patterson, Cochet, and Alonso.
1925 Big Bill Tilden (USA) A. Little Bill Johnston (USA) A. Myers: his top 10 players, all amateur, were Tilden, Johnston, Richards, Lacoste, Williams, Borotra, Patterson, Alonso, Norton, and Takeichi Harada.
1926 René Lacoste (FR) A. Jean Borotra (FR) A. Myers: his top 10 players, all amateur, were Lacoste, Borotra, Cochet, Johnston, Tilden, Richards, Harada, Alonso, Kinsey, Jacques Brugnon; the promoter Charles C. Pyle signed Richards, Harvey Snodgrass, Kinsey, and Paul Féret for the first professional tour, which toured the United States and Canada in the fall of 1926; the headliner, however, was the French female player Suzanne Lenglen against Mary Kendall Browne and there are only scattered records of the men's matches.
1927 René Lacoste (FR) A. Big Bill Tilden (USA) A. Myers: his top 10 players, all amateur, were Lacoste, Tilden, Cochet, Borotra, Alonso, Frank Hunter, George Lott, John Hennessey, Brugnon, and Jan Koželuh; Ray Bowers, in History of the Pro Tennis Wars, ranks Karel Koželuh, the older brother of Jan Koželuh, and Vinnie Richards as being tied for #1 among the few professional players but does not make a joint amateur-professional ranking.
1928 Henri Cochet (FR) A. René Lacoste (FR) A. Bowers merges his professional rankings with Myers's amateur list and rates the top 8 players in the world as being Cochet, Lacoste, Tilden, Karel Koželuh, Richards, Hunter, Borotra, and George Lott, with Koželuh and Richards being the only professionals.
1929 Henri Cochet (FR) A. René Lacoste (FR) A. Bowers ranks the top 8, both amateur and pro, as being Cochet, Lacoste, Borotra, Tilden, Karel Koželuh, Hunter, Lott, and Richards, with Koželuh and Richards being the only professionals.
1930 Henri Cochet (FR) A. Big Bill Tilden (USA) A. Bowers ranks the top 8, both amateur and pro, as being Cochet, Tilden, Richards, Karel Koželuh, Borotra, Doeg, Frank Shields, and Wilmer Allison, with Koželuh and Richards being the only professionals.
1931 Big Bill Tilden (USA) P. Henri Cochet (FR) A. Tilden, aged 38, turned professional and, in a head-to-head tour, def. Koželuh either 63 matches to 13 (Joe McCauley) or, according to Tilden himself, 50 to 17 in the North American part of the tour (see Bowers); Bowers ranks the top 8, both amateur and pro, as being Tilden, Cochet, Bunny Austin, Ellsworth Vines, Fred Perry, Karel Koželuh, Richards, and Shields, with Tilden, Koželuh, and Richards being the only professionals; this was, however, the first year that a professional was ranked either No. 1 or No. 2.
1932 Ellsworth Vines (USA) A. Big Bill Tilden (USA) P. In the pros Tilden beat Vinnie Richards 12-1 and, according to Bud Collins, was 60-40 against the young German Hans Nüsslein; Bowers ranks the top 8, both amateur and pro, as being Vines, Tilden, Cochet, Karel Koželuh, Borotra, Martin Plaa, Allison, and Nüsslein, with Tilden, Koželuh, Plaa, and Nüsslein being professionals.
1933 Jack Crawford (AUS) A. Fred Perry (GBR) A. The professional picture was murky: Cochet, aged 31, turned pro; neither Tilden, aged 40, Koželuh, 38, nor the younger Nüsslein, Cochet, Richards, or Plaa was able to establish any clear superiority; data from more than half of the Tilden-Nüsslein tour in America (January—early May) indicate that Tilden won 2/3 of their meetings; the amateur Ellsworth Vines ranked the top pros as being Tilden, Cochet, Koželuh, Richards; the professional Albert Burke, however, ranked them as being Nüsslein, Tilden, Koželuh, and Plaa; Bowers ranks the top 8, both amateur and pro, as being Crawford, Perry, Nüsslein, Tilden, Karel Koželuh, Jiro Satoh, Austin, and Vines, with Nüsslein, Tilden, and Koželuh being the only professionals.
1934 Fred Perry (GBR) A. Ellsworth Vines (USA) P. Vines, aged 22, turned pro; in their initial head-to-head tour, Vines def. Tilden 11 matches to 9; in subsequent tours Tilden beat Plaa 10-0 and Cochet 8-2 while Vines beat Cochet 10-0 and Plaa 8-2; Bowers says that by the end of May, having played somewhat more than 50 matches, Vines led Tilden by 19 wins; Bowers ranks the top 8, both amateur and pro, as being Perry, Vines, Crawford, Gottfried von Cramm, Nüsslein, Tilden, Austin, and Allison, with Vines, Nüsslein, and Tilden being the only professionals.
1935 Fred Perry (GBR) A. and Ellsworth Vines (USA) P. both ranked equally Vines beat Les Stoefen 25-1 in a head-to-head tour while Tilden was beating George Lott 20-4 with one tie; after Stoefen fell ill, Vines beat Nüsslein in another tour about three-quarters of the time (and also Tilden in their few meetings); Bowers ranks the top 8, both amateur and pro, as being Perry and Vines tied for #1, then Crawford, von Cramm, Tilden, Nüsslein, Allison, and Austin, with Vines, Tilden, and Nüsslein, being the only professionals.
1936 Fred Perry (GBR) A. and Ellsworth Vines (USA) P. both ranked equally In the American tour Vines defeated Les Stoefen; exact results are unknown but on March 29th Vines led 33-5; in an Asian tour Vines led Tilden 8-1 at the end of the Japanese part of the tour; Bowers ranks the top 8, both amateur and pro, as being Perry, Vines, von Cramm, Nüsslein, Don Budge, Tilden, Adrian Quist, and Cochet, with Vines, Nüsslein, Tilden, and Cochet being the only professionals; Bowers also writes that three other experts, L'Auto (a French sports magazine), Don Budge, and Bill Tilden, all ranked Vines ahead of Perry for the year.
1937 Fred Perry (GBR) P., Ellsworth Vines (USA) P., Don Budge (USA) A. all 3 ranked equally Vines beat Perry in the North American head-to-head tour 32-29 while Perry won a short British Isles tour 6-3; Perry def. Tilden 4-3 in America; Bowers ranks the top 8, both amateur and pro, as being Perry, Vines, and Budge tied for #1, with von Cramm and Nüsslein being tied for #4, then Henkel, Austin, and Tilden, with Perry, Vines, Nüsslein, and Tilden being the only professionals.
1938 Don Budge (USA) A. Ellsworth Vines (USA) P. On the professional tour Vines def. Perry 49-35 (or 48-35); Bowers ranks the top 8, both amateur and pro, as being Budge, Vines, Perry and Nüsslein tied for #3, Austin, John Bromwich, Bobby Riggs, and Tilden, with Vines, Perry, Nüsslein, and Tilden being the only professionals
1939 Don Budge (USA) P. Ellsworth Vines (USA) P. Budge defeated Vines 22-17 in the North American tour and also defeated Perry 28-8; Budge, Vines, Tilden, and Stoefen competed in a spring-summer European tour that was mainly a succession of 4-man tournaments; Budge was the winner, in particular beating Vines 15-5; Bowers ranks the top 8, both amateur and pro, as being Budge, Vines, Nüsslein, Perry, Riggs, Bromwich, Quist, and Tilden, with Budge, Vines, Nüsslein, Perry, and Tilden being professionals, the first time that 5 of the top 8 were pros.
1940 Don Budge (USA) P. Fred Perry (GBR) P. Because of World War II there were no more world rankings of amateurs by the Telegraph, but Bowers ranks the top 4 players as being Budge and Perry, followed by the American amateurs Don McNeill and Bobby Riggs; he goes on to say that in spite of uncertainty because of the war the next four are probably the 4 top American amateurs as shown in Bud Collins' Official Encyclopedia: Frank Kovacs, Joe Hunt, Frank Parker, and Jack Kramer; however, he also says that the Australians Bromwich and Quist could plausibly be included in the top 8.
1941 Fred Perry(GBR) P. and Bobby Riggs (USA) A. both ranked equally Both Collins and McCauley say that Budge defeated Tilden 51-7 in their head-to-head tour, but Bowers says that by his count the outcome was most probably 46-7 plus one tie, with 49 matches being fully documented for a result of 43-5 plus 1 tie; Perry completely dominated Tilden in a summer tour; there were no more world amateur rankings because of the war but Bowers ranks the top 6 as Riggs and Perry in a tie for first with amateur Kovacs third, while amateur Parker and professional Dick Skeen are tied for fourth; Budge is sixth.
1942 Don Budge (USA) P. Bobby Riggs P. (USA) and Wayne Sabin (USA) P. Riggs and Kovacs turned pro; in round-robin matches Budge was the winner, 52-18; Riggs was 36-36, Kovacs 25-26, Perry 23-30, Stoefen 2-28; because of the war the only significant amateur rankings were American: Shannon lists Ted Schroeder as number 1, followed by Parker, Gardnar Mulloy, Pancho Segura, Bill Talbert, Sidney Wood, Seymour Greenberg, George Richards, Vic Seixas, and Ladislav Hecht; Bowers ranks the top 8, both amateur and pro, as being Budge, Riggs and Sabin tied for number 2, Kovacs, Perry, Schroeder, Parker, and Skeen, the only amateurs being Schroeder and Parker; the United States Professional Lawn Tennis Association ranked the top pros as Budge, Riggs, Sabin, and Kovacs.
1943 World War II, no world rankings The United States Lawn Tennis Association ranked the top 10 American amateurs as being Joe Hunt, Kramer, Segura, Talbert, Greenberg, Wood, Bob Falkenburg, Parker, James Brink, and Jack Tuero; there were a few professional exhibition matches but no real tour.
1944 World War II, no world rankings The USLTA ranked the top 10 American amateurs as being Parker, Talbert, Segura, Don McNeill, Greenberg, Falkenburg, Jack Jossi, Charles W. Oliver, Jack McManis, and J. Gilbert Hall; in the professionals, there were a number of matches for the war effort or Red Cross benefits.
1945 World War II, no world rankings The USLTA ranked the top 10 American amateurs as being Parker, Talbert, Segura, Elwood Cooke, Wood, Mulloy, Shields, Harold Surface, Greenberg, and McManis.
1946 Bobby Riggs (USA) P. Don Budge (USA) P. Collins says Riggs defeated Budge 18-16 on the head-to-head tour,[1] while McCauley has it 23-21;[2] Riggs himself says twice in his autobiography that it was 24-22;[3] Tilden organized a series of 31 tournaments: Riggs won 14 of them, Kovacs 7, Perry 4, Budge 3, Van Horn 2, and Skeen 1; the "Official PPA" top 10 rankings for the year were Riggs, Budge, Kovacs, Perry, Van Horn, Wayne Sabin, Carl Earn, Jossi, John Faunce, and Jack March;[4]
1947 Bobby Riggs (USA) P. Jack Kramer (USA) A. Tilden was imprisoned for sexual offenses and his series of tournaments fell apart; Collins says that Riggs defeated Budge 24-22 on a head-to-head tour,[5] but McCauley says that the only tour was a short USA Challenge Series between Riggs and Kovacs that Riggs won 11 matches to 10, while Earn defeated March "easily" in preliminary matches;[6] Kramer had a sensational amateur year, winning 8 of 9 tournaments and 48 of 49 matches[7].
1948 Jack Kramer (USA) P. Bobby Riggs (USA) P. Kramer defeated Riggs 69-20 on the head-to-head tour after being behind 5-8 and then drawing even at 14-14; this was the last time an amateur-turned-pro beat the reigning professional champion; in the preliminary matches, according to Kramer, Dinny Pails beat Pancho Segura 41-31.
1949 Jack Kramer (USA) P. Pancho Gonzales (USA) P. Two-time American amateur champion Pancho Gonzales turned professional and played the first match of a head-to-head tour against Kramer on October 25; by the end of November, Kramer led by 22 wins to 4, clearly retaining his position as the best player in the world.
1950 Jack Kramer (USA) P. and Pancho Segura (Ecuador-USA) P. both ranked equally Kramer defeated Gonzales 74 matches to 23 in their head-to-head tour that ended on May 21, for a final result against Gonzales of 96-27 (or 97-26 according to Kramer's book); Segura beat Frank Parker "comfortably" in the head-to-head preliminary matches;[8] Kramer dominated Segura in the next tour that began on October 28; by mid-November Kramer led 10-4; the PLTA released "Official" pro rankings for the year but, as McCauley writes, "It is difficult to understand how the following rankings were arrived at: "Segura, Kramer, Kovacs, Riggs, Van Horn, Parker, Carl Earn, Jimmy Evert, Nogrady, Joe Fishbach, Jack Rodgers, Joe Whalen, Al Doyle, Robert "Junior" Stubbs, Jimmy Adler, March, Faunce, Vivian McGrath, Pierre Pellizza, Bill Kenney.[9] McCauley considers Kramer to be the No. 1 because of Kramer's domination of the tours; the PLTA possibly ranked Segura as No. 1 because he had dominated the various tournaments that the professionals also played; it is notable, and curious, that Gonzales, who played 97 matches against Kramer, is not even mentioned.
1951 Jack Kramer (USA) P. and Pancho Segura (Ecuador-USA) P. both ranked equally Kramer defeated Segura 54-22 [10] (48-23 according to Kramer) [11] in their head-to-head tour that finished in March, for a final result against Segura of either 64-28 or 58-27; the PLTA "Official" rankings for the year were Segura, Gonzales, Kovacs, Riggs, Van Horn, Earn, Parker, Jimmy Evert, Bob Rogers, Jack Rodgers, Fishbach, Nogrady, Adler, Elwood Cooke, McGrath, Doyle, Harris Everett, Len Hartman, Norman Copeland, Mitchell Gornto; according to McCauley, "Kramer and Budge were not ranked due to insufficient data". [12]
1952 Pancho Gonzales (USA) A. and Pancho Segura (Ecuador-USA) P. both equally ranked McCauley writes that "the PLTA ranked Segura #1; Kramer was semi-retired; Budge and Gonzales played only sporadically"[13]. Gonzales played 5 tournaments and won 4 them; he also defeated Segura 4 times out of 5. In the July, 1953, issue of "Sport" magazine, Don Budge was quoted as saying, "In the past two years Pancho [Gonzales] has won the majority of all the big pro tournaments. He has to be considered the best, at least until somebody proves otherwise."
1953 Jack Kramer (USA) P. Frank Sedgman (AUS) P. Kramer defeated Sedgman, the top amateur turned pro, 54-41 on the head-to-head tour; Segura defeated McGregor, another new professional from the Australian ranks, 71-25 in the preliminary matches; Segura won 5 professional tournaments, more than any other player.
1954 Pancho Gonzales (USA) P. Frank Sedgman P. (Aus.) and Pancho Segura P. (Ecuador-USA) Gonzales won an American tour, a succession of 4-man tournaments, defeating both Sedgman and Segura by identical scores, 30-21 (or 30-20); Segura beat Sedgman 23-22; it appears that Gonzales also won a shorter Australian tour in November and December, beating Sedgman 16-9, Segura 4-2, and McGregor 15-0; this has also erroneously been called a 1953 tour.
1955 Pancho Gonzales (USA) P. Pancho Segura P. (Ecuador-USA) Tony Trabert, the top amateur, turned pro and began a long head-to-head tour against Gonzales; Lawn Tennis and Badminton ranked the top 12 professionals as being Gonzales, Segura, Kovacs, Sedgman, Riggs, Earn, Budge, Parker, Dinny Pails, Perry, Doyle, and Sam Match.[14]
1956 Pancho Gonzales (USA) P. Frank Sedgman (AUS) P. Gonzales defeated Trabert 74-24 on the American head-to-head tour that had begun in 1955, while Segura defeated Rex Hartwig 56-22 with 5 ties in the preliminary matches; Jack March, promoter of the Cleveland tournament, ranked the top 10 professionals as Gonzales, Sedgman, Segura, Trabert, Hartwig, Kovacs, Earn, Riggs, Budge, and Pails.
1957 Pancho Gonzales (USA) P. Ken Rosewall (AUS) P. Gonzales defeated Rosewall 50-26 in the world head-to-head tour, while Segura defeated Dinny Pails 51-8 in the preliminary matches; Rosewall won some much smaller European and Australian tours over Hoad, Segura, Sedgman, and Kramer.
1958 Pancho Gonzales (USA) P. Lew Hoad (AUS) P. After initially trailing by 9 wins to 18 against Lew Hoad, the top amateur turned professional, Gonzales rallied to win the world tour head-to-head tour by 51-36; Trabert defeated Segura 34-31 in the preliminary matches; promoter Jack March ranked the top 10 professionals as Gonzales, Hoad, Segura, Trabert, Rosewall, Sedgman, Parker, Kovacs, Riggs, and Pails.
1959 Pancho Gonzales (USA) P. Lew Hoad (AUS) P. There was an American round robin as well as numerous professional tournaments; Gonzales won the round robin matches 47-15, ahead of Hoad at 42-20, Ashley Cooper 21-40, and Mal Anderson 13-48; Hoad, however, defeated Gonzales 15-13 during the round robin; Frank Sedgman ranked the first three pros as Gonzales, Hoad, and Rosewall; Ashley Cooper concurred but added Sedgman as #4; Mal Anderson wrote in World Tennis that Kramer had established a 14-tournament point system to rank the players; the results of this system were: Hoad, Gonzales (only 11 tournaments played), Rosewall, Sedgman, Trabert, Anderson, Segura, and Cooper; Kramer's personal ranking, however, was: Gonzales, Sedgman, Rosewall, Hoad, Trabert, Segura, Cooper, Anderson, Rose, McGregor, and Hartwig; Robert Roy in L'Équipe had a combined pro-amateur ranking with no amateurs among the top 11: Gonzales, Sedgman, Rosewall, Trabert, Hoad, Segura, Kramer, McGregor, Hartwig, Cooper, and Rose; Robert Barne, Kramer's Australian manager, ranked the professional as: Hoad, Gonzales, Rosewall, Sedgman, Trabert, Segura, Cooper, Anderson, and Rose.
1960 Pancho Gonzales (USA) P. Ken Rosewall (AUS) P. Four players competed in a "World Series Round Robin" for the "world championship"; Gonzales won 49 matches and lost 8; Rosewall was 32-25, Segura 22-28, and Alex Olmedo 11-44; Gonzales semi-retired shortly thereafter and Rosewall beat Hoad in a number of subsequent matches; Kramer again ranked Gonzales and Sedgman as #1 and #2 for the year; L'Équipe, however, ranked Rosewall #1 overall because of his European results.
1961 Pancho Gonzales (USA) P. and Ken Rosewall (AUS) P. both ranked equally Six players (and their replacements if injured) competed in another "World Series Round Robin" of 47 matches for the "world championship"; it was followed by 28 head-to-head matches between the top two finishers in the Round Robin, and between the numbers 3 and 4, in order to determine the final champion; Rosewall, however, took several long vacations and played very little in the first half of the year; the results of the Round Robin were: Gonzales (Segura) 33-14; Andres Gimeno 27-20; Hoad (Trabert, Cooper, Sedgman) 24-23; Barry MacKay 22-25; Olmedo 18-29; Butch Buchholz 16-31; #1 Gonzales then defeated #2 Gimeno 21-7 and #3 Sedgman (who had replaced Hoad) defeated #4 MacKay 15-13; Gonzales then retired for 20 months; L'Équipe once again ranked Rosewall as No. 1 for the year, primarily because of European results in the second half of year; he was followed by Gonzales, Hoad, Trabert, Segura, Gimeno, Cooper, MacKay, and Olmedo, with no mention of Sedgman; McCauley's chapter on 1961 is entitled Gonzales Still World Champion but says in the text that Rosewall had a good claim to being No. 1.[15]
1962 Ken Rosewall (AUS) P. Lew Hoad (AUS) P. There was no American tour and very little professional tennis for the first 6 months; Rosewall won 10 tournaments, including the big European tournaments; Rod Laver had a sensational amateur year, winning the Grand Slam, but was badly beaten in his early days on the pro tour in 1963, indicating that the pros were still superior; Rosewall announced his pro rankings at the end of 1962, omitting Segura, who was semi-retired: Rosewall, Hoad, Gimeno, Laver, and Buchholz.
1963 Ken Rosewall (AUS) P. Rod Laver (AUS) P. The new professional headliner, Rod Laver, was badly beaten by both Rosewall, 11 victories to 2, and Hoad, 8-0, in early matches; a "World Championship Series" was then held in the United States between 6 players; in the first phase Rosewall had 31 wins and 10 losses, ahead of Laver, 26- 16, Buchholz, 23-18, Gimeno, MacKay, and Luis Ayala. In the second phase Rosewall beat Laver 14-4, while Gimeno beat Buchholz 11-7.
1964 Rod Laver (AUS) P. and Ken Rosewall (AUS) P. both ranked equally Laver won 11 tournaments and Rosewall 10; Laver beat Rosewall 12-3 in head-to-head matches; Laver is quoted as saying: "I ... would like to be the World's No. 1 ... 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... I've lost to other people but Ken hasn't"[16]; A point system for 19 pro tournaments also resulted in Rosewall being No. 1 to Laver's No. 2; McCauley's 1964 chapter is entitled: Rosewall Tops Again But Only Just.[17]
1965 Rod Laver (AUS) P. Ken Rosewall (AUS) P. Laver won 15 tournaments to 6 for Rosewall; Laver beat Rosewall 13-5 in head-to-head matches.
1966 Rod Laver (AUS) P. Ken Rosewall (AUS) P. Laver won 15 tournaments to 9 for Rosewall and 6 for Gimeno; Laver beat Rosewall 7-6 in head-to-head matches.
1967 Rod Laver (AUS) P. Ken Rosewall (AUS) P. Laver won 18 tournaments to 7 for Rosewall and 3 for Gimeno; Laver beat Rosewall 8-5 and Gimeno 12-4 in head-to-head matches, while Rosewall and Gimeno were equal, 7-7.
1968 Rod Laver (AUS) P. Arthur Ashe (USA) A. First year of the Open era; at least 10 open tournaments were played, with professionals winning 8 and amateurs 2; of 244 matches, professionals won 199, amateurs 45;[18] McCauley ranked the top 10, professional and amateur, as being Laver, Ashe, Tom Okker, Rosewall, John Newcombe, Tony Roche, Clark Graebner, Cliff Drysdale, Gonzales, and Dennis Ralston;[19] Lance Tingay ranked them as Laver, Ashe, Rosewall, Okker, Roche, Newcombe, Graebner, Ralston, Drysdale, and Gonzales; Bud Collins had Laver, Ashe, Rosewall, Roche, Okker, Newcombe, Graebner, Ralston, Drysdale, and Gonzales; a panel of 17 journalists, mostly Europeans, ranked them as Laver, Ashe, Rosewall, Okker, Newcombe, Roche, Graebner, Drysdale, Ralston, and Gonzales.
1969 Rod Laver (AUS) P. Tony Roche (AUS) P. The first full year of Open tennis; Laver won 18 tournaments; Roche beat Laver 5 matches to 4; a panel of 17 journalists at the SID (Sport Informations-Dienst) ranked the top 10 as: Laver, Roche, Newcombe, Okker, Ashe, Rosewall, Gonzales, Drysdale, Gimeno and Fred Stolle tied, and Roy Emerson.

References

  1. Collins, page 118
  2. McCauley, page 41
  3. Riggs, page 129 and page 171
  4. McCauley, page 43
  5. Collins, page 122
  6. McCauley, page 192
  7. Collins, page 122
  8. McCauley, page 195
  9. McCauley, page 53-54
  10. McCauley, page 197
  11. Kramer, page 187
  12. McCauley, page 57
  13. McCauley, page 57
  14. McCauley, page 66
  15. McCauley, pages 108 and 111
  16. McCauley, page 128
  17. McCauley, page 126
  18. McCauley, page 157
  19. McCauley, page 158

Sources

  • The Official Encyclopedia of Tennis of the United States Tennis Association (formerly the United States Lawn Tennis Association), edited by Bill Shannon, Harper & Row, New York, 1981, has annual rankings for the top 10 amateur players as compiled every year from 1914 through 1980, pages 496-501. These rankings were made annually by various tennis experts at a London newspaper, The Daily Telegraph: A. Wallis Myers (1913-1938), Sir F. Gordon Lowe (1939), Pierre Gillow (1946 and 1951), John Dliff (1947-1950), and Lance Tingay (1952-1980). Beginning with the late 1920s, first many, then most, of the best players in the world were professionals; once turning professional, as Bill Tilden did in 1931, they were not longer included in these annual lists. It also has the official top 10 amateur American players for every year from 1885 through 1980, with professionals being including from 1970 on, pages 480-488. These rankings were made by the USTA (USLTA).
  • History of the Pro Tennis Wars, by Ray Bowers, is a Web site associated with the Tennis Server site. In twelve chapters, Bowers gives a very detailed account of the first sixteen years of professional tennis, from its modest beginnings in 1926 on through 1942. In his summing-up for each year, he gives his rankings for the top 8 to 10 best players of the year, combining both amateurs and professionals. In almost all cases, as far as amateurs are concerned, his rankings coincide with those of the Daily Telegraph.
  • Total Tennis: The Ultimate Tennis Encyclopedia (2003), by Bud Collins. This massive work has year-by-year chapters in which Collins gives a brief summation of the Pro Tour results, often with personal comments about the players. It also has somewhat more complete rankings from the early years of the Daily Telegraph. The combined amateur-professional rankings for 1968 through 1972 are those of Collins himself. Beginning with 1973, the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) began issuing computer-generated weekly rankings. Total Tennis shows the top 10 players in these rankings for the last week of every calendar year through 2002, and the top 2 player are included here.
  • The History of Professional Tennis (2003) by Joe McCauley. This book, published in England, is a year-by-year account of the professional tours and tournaments between 1926 and 1968, then has 80 additional pages of year-by-year results of as many tournaments, tours, and head-to-head matches as the author, a long-time writer for World Tennis, could find.
  • PLTA. The Professional Lawn Tennis Association was a group of professional players in the late 1940s and early 1950s who, for several years, issued their own official rankings of the professional players at the end of each year; it was also apparently called the PPA, or Professional Players Association in at least 1946.
  • The Game, My 40 Years in Tennis (1979), by Jack Kramer. Kramer's autobiography has information about the 1954 professional tour that is somewhat different from the other sources but that must be considered authoritative in that Kramer himself was the tour promoter that year.
  • Tennis Is My Racket (1949), by Bobby Riggs. Riggs's autobiography has information about the 1946 professional tour that is slightly different from the other sources. He also writes at length about his 1948 tour with Jack Kramer but says nothing about his playing record in 1947, about which there is much conflicting information.
  • The Life & Times of Bobby Riggs, The Last Sure Thing (2003) by Tom LeCompte. A biography published after Riggs's death that jibes with Riggs's own information for 1946 but that is at odds with other sources about Riggs's record in 1947.

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