During the entire open era, what was the best ATP season ever?
my apologies. Thought you meant best player season's, not all around tour season.
It's quite difficult for me to name a single year as "the best". Still 1969 would be high on my list, it was the first year I can reasonably remember and 30-31 year old Rocket Rod Laver winning the grand slam was epic with a 90 game AO semifinal vs. Roche, beating legend Rosewall at Roland Garros, victories over Emerson, Ashe, and Roche at the US Open. He also won 14 other singles titles that year, the AO doubles title (with Emerson) and was the doubles finalist at Roland Garros. And then 41 year old Pancho Gonzalez come from behind marathon 2 day victory over 25 year old Charlie Pasarell in the 3rd round at Wimbledon cannot be forgotten, 22-24, 1–6, 16-14, 6–3, 11-9, saving 7 match points. This match probably was the "final nail" responsible for instituting the tiebreak. Gonzalez went on to win some high profile tournaments defeating top players like Newcombe, Rosewall, Stan Smith and Ashe late in 1969 and he was the top American money-winner for 1969 ($46,288).
Probably a couple of the late 70's-1980 seasons with Borg, Vilas, Connors, McEnroe and others rate high.
Late 80's early 90's with Becker, Lendl, Edberg, young Agassi, 39 year old Connors at the '91 USO. Perhaps Muster, Sampras, Becker, Agassi 1995. 2012 has been an interesting and competitive year thus far with Djokovic, Nadal, Federer and Murray providing the big highlights.
1. Rod Laver's 1969. 30-31 years old. THE Grand Slam, Match record 106-16, 18 tournaments won. He beat Tony Roche in the blistering heat on sun-baked grass of the Australian Open in a 90 game semifinal. He beat fellow Aussie legend Ken Rosewall on the clay at Roland Garros, and then at Wimbledon beat Ashe in the semifinal followed by the upcoming champion John Newcombe in the final. This was followed by defeating Emerson, Ashe, and finally Tony Roche at the rain soaked grass of the US Open.
Federer's 2006, 3 of 4 majors + masters cup, 92-5 match record, 12 titles. Nadal, Davydenko, Roddick main competition
McEnroe's 1984, 82-3 match record, 2 of 3 majors played + masters grand prix and WCT Finals, 13 titles. Lendl, Connors, Wilander main competition
Djokovic's 2011, 3 of 4 majors, 70-6, 10 titles with Nadal, Federer, Murray main competition.