MUST SEE footage of De Niro vs Laver in the 1975 WCT!! Also Ashe! [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

MUST SEE footage of De Niro vs Laver in the 1975 WCT!! Also Ashe!

MatchFederer
12-17-2011, 09:35 PM
ntJquiEpVMY


Go to 10:20 for the Borg/Laver stuff.


Also, the video focuses on Ashe's victory and his first Major championship in 6 years, at the time.

abraxas21
12-17-2011, 09:38 PM
seems like good stuff

thanks for sharing

Looner
12-17-2011, 09:57 PM
Watched around 10 mins of it (Intro and Borg v Laver) and I have to say these guys with modern racquets would be a sight to see! Thanks a lot. I was not even close to being born in 1975 so this is really special footage as far as I'm concerned.

fsoica
12-17-2011, 10:00 PM
amazing...tks a lot...nice to see those amazing defensive/offensive skills of the rocket at 36....just wow

TennisOnWood
12-17-2011, 10:04 PM
Ah, 1975 Dallas WCT.. clash of the titans :worship:

SI article :

The image of Arthur Ashe that many tennis fans have is the personable, articulate UCLA graduate and ex-Army officer with the dynamite serve, the cheetah quickness—and the incredible weakness of choking in a big match. Among the traditional sights in sport is Ashe putting an easy volley into the net on a crucial point. By his record in Lamar Hunt's World Championship of Tennis tournaments this year, Ashe should have been the favorite going into last week's WCT finals in Dallas. Instead, in a poll of 79 WCT pros, Ashe was picked to win on only three ballots.

So last Sunday in the final match at Moody Coliseum, there was Ashe up against Bjorn Borg, the 18-year-old Swede whose every top-spin forehand is as big news in Scandinavia as a change in the price of herring. A perfect time for masochistic Ashe rooters to see their hero fail them again. This time, though, it was the other guy who wilted. Ashe followed the same pattern he had established earlier in the week in matches with Mark Cox and John Alexander, losing the first set and fighting back to win. Against Borg the score was 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-0, and Ashe left Texas with the $50,000 first prize.

After the match Ashe said he had been told by a Spanish-Swedish gypsy fortuneteller in Stockholm last month that he would soon come into a lot of money, that something would soon happen to make him cry a lot and that he was soon going to have a child.

Ashe had the money, all right, and he did shed a few tears when he stood at the podium.

"So far things have gone just as she said," said Ashe, "but I don't even have a steady girl friend!"

On top of the $50,000, the winner's jackpot included the use of a new car for a year, a ring featuring a diamond tennis court, a $1,200 Swiss wristwatch as thin as a coin (the seven other contestants received similar watches), a $1,000 wardrobe and for his mother or girl friend a bracelet to match the ring. The runner-up booty was a trifling $20,000.

In addition, early in the week Ashe received a unique trophy. This year Haggar slacks put up $33,333.33 for the WCT player who earned the most points in the tournaments leading to Dallas. Ashe was the winner, with 760, some 60 points more than Rod Laver amassed. However, instead of a routine check, Haggar and WCT commissioned a Dallas jeweler to make a solid-gold tennis ball that was worth precisely $33,333.33 on the day it was completed.

"I like it so much that I'm going to have it bronzed," said Ashe to Lamar Hunt.

Actually, he plans to put it in a vault, where it will remain regardless of how high the price of gold zooms. He may take it out occasionally to fondle, much as Scrooge McDuck joyfully wallows in his money bin. Ashe will have a cheap replica made for display.

All in all it was a fairly classy week, what with the players driving around in official tournament Cadillacs and the pretty Courtmates (almost all of them SMU coeds) ushering for the matches, then dancing the nights away in the hospitality room of the Ramada Inn Central. About the only rough moments were when Lew Hoad almost got in a fight with a British newspaperman at a party and when Harold Solomon had $1,000 worth of equipment stolen while he was practicing. All but his WCT warmup jacket was returned the next day with a note saying, "I am not a thief, just a souvenir hunter."

As often happens in tennis, the best match wasn't the final but Borg versus Laver in the Friday night semis. Laver, twice Borg's age at 36, was in the WCT "exceptional eight" for the fifth straight year and was a clear favorite. He had a 30-5 record in the Blue Group, set a WCT record by winning 23 matches in a row and won four straight events: La Costa, Sao Paolo, Caracas and Orlando. In the poll of pros, 57 picked Rocket Rod to win at Dallas. All but five picked him to reach the final.

Even more clearly he was everyone's sentimental choice. Laver has won just about everything worth winning, including two Grand Slams, en route to becoming the sport's first millionaire. But he has never won the WCT championship, although he came painfully close with a fifth-set tie breaker in the 1972 final.

"Sentimentally, I'm with Rod Laver," said Don Budge, who was at courtside. "If the Rocket's on his game, he will win."

The feeling among some of the press and public was that if Laver failed to win this time, there would be an embarrassingly empty space in his trophy case at home in Corona del Mar, Calif. and a permanent bruise on his ego. There was some speculation that a suicide leap from the top of the 50-story First National Bank Building was not entirely out of the question. Laver got a little tired of hearing about it and insisted that it was not that important, and that his life would not be shattered by a loss.

After Borg had beaten Mexico's Raul Ramirez in the quarters Wednesday night, Laver had a long struggle before beating Solomon, the movable backboard. He was plainly tired in the fifth set, but he had a full day of rest before the semis. As it turned out, rest, polls, sentiment and his steel-cable left wrist were not enough against the iceBorg, who in scientific tests has been proved to have the pulse rate of a corpse.

Borg-Laver lasted more than four hours, unusual in this tie-breaker era, and had enough drama to fill a Broadway season. Laver was leading two sets to one and, after falling behind 5-2 in the fourth set, broke Borg's serve twice in a row to tie it at 5-5. When he then blasted two straight aces on his own serve, Laver seemed to have the match locked up. Yet instead of submitting quietly, Borg fought back to win that game. Then Laver broke his serve a third straight time in a game that took 17 points to decide. But Borg won the tie breaker to even the score at two sets apiece. It wasn't a tennis match, it was a roller-coaster ride. Laver was too tired to keep up the terrific pace in the fifth set and Borg won his way into the final round 7-6, 3-6, 5-7, 7-6, 6-2.

The match, full of drop shots, lobs, impossibly angled volleys and hard ground strokes hit to within inches of the baselines, backed up Lamar Hunt's claim that WCT had "finally come up with an outstanding surface, the best ever in indoor tennis." The carpet, made by Supreme Court in Rome, Ga., has a rough surface that slows down even hard-hit balls and gives the player without a cannonball serve a fairly good chance.

In the interview room, Laver gave due credit to Borg's splendid passing shots, griped a bit about line calls and then bade an unmawkish, dry-eyed farewell to WCT.

"No, I don't think I'll try it again," he said. "Very doubtful. I've had five good shots at it and enjoyed it immensely. It's been a great challenge...I don't go out with any sadness. I've enjoyed playing it all."

It wasn't exactly Lou Gehrig's farewell speech at Yankee Stadium (for one thing, Laver is playing this week in Las Vegas), but the reporters and assorted hangers-on at the press conference felt they had been in on a semihistoric occasion, maybe like Big Bill Tilden's last appearance at Forest Hills or Jimmy Connors' first obscene gesture. It was nice to have been among the 9,208 people who were there when Bjorn Borg on the way up passed Rod Laver on the way down—but not easily, not unchallenged.

"For sure it's my finest win," said Borg, the youngest man ever to make Dallas (he lost to John Newcombe in the final last year) and the youngest man ever to win the Italian and French championships.

Unfortunately, his finest win also drained him emotionally and physically and left him unable to put up a good fight against Ashe as he all but conceded the final games.

Borg has escaped the Swedish tax bite by moving with his parents to Monte Carlo, but there is no way he can escape the nipping of the Swedish press. Ashe, who played in the Green Group with Borg, reported that after Borg had been upset by a lesser-known countryman, a headline in one Swedish newspaper said: IS THIS THE END OF BJORN BORG?

The truth of the matter, of course, is that the end is not in sight for this tennis phenomenon. And the truth about Arthur Ashe is that he can win the big ones—the U.S. Open in '68, the Australian in '70, three Davis Cups and now the rich WCT singles. Sometimes nice guys finish first.

Johnny Groove
12-17-2011, 10:09 PM
Great stuff.

Sunset of Age
12-17-2011, 10:13 PM
Awesome stuff, thanks for posting!
Arthur Ashe :worship:

Mr.Michael
12-17-2011, 10:17 PM
Brilliant stuff and great quality.

I have already mentioned it before, but check out the footage called "Professional Tennis at Odsal Stadium". It's very rare color footage from 1939, it's real history. Also on YouTube.

gaitare
12-17-2011, 10:40 PM
I have already mentioned it before, but check out the footage called "Professional Tennis at Odsal Stadium". It's very rare color footage from 1939, it's real history. Also on YouTube.

Great footage but you forgot your standard "Tilden liked arseholes" reference.

abraxas21
12-17-2011, 10:48 PM
what a point at 13:10 :worship:

Mr.Michael
12-17-2011, 10:57 PM
Great footage but you forgot your standard "Tilden liked arseholes" reference.

I didn't forget it. I just decided to show some respect towards the great footage and not mention it. But you're right, the "Sandusky" of tennis, Bill Tilden, should be mentioned yet again. Pay attention when the players arrive on court, the old perv is already checking out if he sees something he likes. Around 0.16-0.25.

MatchFederer
12-17-2011, 10:58 PM
I didn't forget it. I just decided to show some respect towards the great footage and not mention it. But you're right, the "Sandusky" of tennis, Bill Tilden, should be mentioned yet again. Pay attention when the players arrive on court, the old perv is already checking out if he sees something he likes. Around 0.20-0.25.

Well spotted, wondered what all that was about. Compelled to watch again.

Mr.Michael
12-17-2011, 11:07 PM
Well spotted, wondered what all that was about. Compelled to watch again.

I always believed the USTA decided to use only adults as ball kids or as ball persons at the US Open because they feared a comeback from Bill "Jailbait" Tilden.

Pirata.
12-17-2011, 11:07 PM
Pay attention when the players arrive on court, the old perv is already checking out if he sees something he likes. Around 0.16-0.25.

:lol:

Great find, thanks for sharing. Borg :hearts:

Dr. Frankenfed
12-17-2011, 11:50 PM
Charlton Heston :worship:

Dr. Frankenfed
12-18-2011, 12:21 AM
GOAT point at 13:13

SetSampras
12-18-2011, 12:52 AM
Heres some great Borg-Laver footage from '76 as well. Just look at these two move.. Also considering how OLD Laver was at the time


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMfBpkUJeKE

abraxas21
12-18-2011, 01:40 AM
what a point at 13:10 :worship:

GOAT point at 13:13


it's marvellous how versatile were the players of before in terms of styles and the stuff they could do on the court.

it is actually hard to watch these vids and avoid pondering on the one-dimensionality of today's era.

leng jai
12-18-2011, 02:44 AM
Laver's backhand passing shots are a thing of beauty.

LeChuck
12-18-2011, 04:14 PM
Thanks for the video, some great tennis on display there.

The WCT finals in Dallas was an absolutely huge event in the 70s and 80s, more important than the Australian Open and very close in stature to the other slams. Borg talked about how hard he prepared and trained to win it in 1976, and apparently Newcombe broke down in tears and called it the proudest moment of his career when he won it in 1974.

fmolinari2005
12-18-2011, 04:17 PM
At the begining of the video I couldn't help but smilling at Ashe's comment that the court was slow so it was difficult following a second serve to the net succesfully! :lol:

tennis2tennis
12-18-2011, 04:19 PM
gotta love the OTT narration!:cool:

Sophocles
12-19-2011, 12:19 AM
It's amazing how good Laver still was in his mid-30s.

samanosuke
12-19-2011, 12:41 AM
It's amazing how good Laver still was in his mid-30s.

it was much easier to last longer when lever was playing than today . in those times talent and technique were winning, today almost everything is in physical shape

MrChopin
12-19-2011, 12:47 AM
8 breaks in the first set on indoor? ATP pre-McEnroe = WTA.

Pirata.
12-19-2011, 01:09 AM
At the begining of the video I couldn't help but smilling at Ashe's comment that the court was slow so it was difficult following a second serve to the net succesfully! :lol:

He'd be rolling in his grave if he saw how slow it was these days :lol:

allpro
12-19-2011, 05:52 AM
the old lion went down fighting! :mad: :worship:

Clashcityrocker
12-19-2011, 10:23 AM
espectacularrrrr

EliSter
12-19-2011, 11:56 AM
Amazing match this one...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43csIDKmkMk&feature=related

philosophicalarf
12-19-2011, 03:15 PM
Great post, thanks.

As above, Laver's backhand passes are a thing of magic. Unbelievably repeatable and fluent action for such a difficult shot.

Always nice to see these "crossover of the epoch" meetings too, even if the narrative then created is a little contrived :-) A bit like Sampras-Fed 2001, or Nadal-Fed 2005 ..... but the age gap here makes it even more poignant.

bjurra
12-19-2011, 06:02 PM
it's marvellous how versatile were the players of before in terms of styles and the stuff they could do on the court.

it is actually hard to watch these vids and avoid pondering on the one-dimensionality of today's era.

What a load of bull. Ashe wouldn't be able to hit a top spin forehand if his life depended on it. Borg was a pusher and Laver, while enjoyable to watch, was like seeing Arazi on a good day.

Did you see the beginning of the video? Salomon, what a gigantic mug...

The highlight of the video was Ashe making fun of Borg's abilities as a public speaker.

Guy Haines
12-20-2011, 01:29 AM
One great thing about this footage is how many of the highlight points consist of Borg immediately charging the net and Laver hitting passing shots. It's directly opposed to the popular images of both.

That old William Klein movie The French is another treasure trove of old footage. I think it might've been reissued on DVD recently. Some of it is up on YouTube.

qIHX9PwoLuM

MatchFederer
12-20-2011, 01:52 AM
One great thing about this footage is how many of the highlight points consist of Borg immediately charging the net and Laver hitting passing shots. It's directly opposed to the popular images of both.

That old William Klein movie The French is another treasure trove of old footage. I think it might've been reissued on DVD recently. Some of it is up on YouTube.

qIHX9PwoLuM

Yep, great stuff indeed.

Sophocles
12-21-2011, 12:00 PM
What a load of bull. Ashe wouldn't be able to hit a top spin forehand if his life depended on it. Borg was a pusher and Laver, while enjoyable to watch, was like seeing Arazi on a good day.

Did you see the beginning of the video? Salomon, what a gigantic mug...

The highlight of the video was Ashe making fun of Borg's abilities as a public speaker.

Ridiculous post.

Orka_n
12-21-2011, 01:43 PM
What excellent stuff. Thanks for sharing.

Chirag
12-21-2011, 02:26 PM
JK Rowling ??

Har-Tru
12-21-2011, 05:04 PM
Beautiful. Many thanks.

Kat_YYZ
12-21-2011, 05:27 PM
why do you keep changing the thread title? :scratch:

LoveFifteen
12-21-2011, 05:29 PM
J.K. Rowling? :unsure: :rolls:

Guy Haines
12-21-2011, 07:46 PM
J.K. Rowling :lol:

fmolinari2005
12-22-2011, 12:32 AM
Great post, thanks.

As above, Laver's backhand passes are a thing of magic. Unbelievably repeatable and fluent action for such a difficult shot.



The thing that strikes me the most when I see footages of Laver is, indeed, his fluent action. When you compare him with Borg and even McEnroe it is even more striking. The first entire old match I watched was that classic Wimbledon final (81) between Borg and McEnroe (the official DVD from Wimbledon). I remember cringing at how akward their ball striking was- and I assigned it to the heavy wooden rackets.

However, the first time I watched Laver playing I was stunned. Even with such a heavy and small racket his game was so fluid. I can only imagine what this guy would do if he started playing with a modern racket. My Fedtardism tells me that Roger is pretty much a modern, right handed, version of Rod. Often times people chat on this site what would happen if a guy from back then started playing now and vice-versa. I suppose Federer and Laver answer this question.

And the same goes to Ashe- the guy played a beautiful brand of tennis also. This only solidifies in my mind a couple of things: McEnroe's artistry is a bit overrated and that I don't like the way Borg used to play tennis.

One thing is for sure: Arthur Ashe and Rod Laver are the right names for the respective USO and AO main courts. :lol:

MatchFederer
12-22-2011, 12:59 AM
McEnroe's artistry isn't overrated at all, of course he was incredibly unorthodox, but his effectiveness and brilliance simply can't be denied.

Yep, Laver's strokes were smooth as silk, but his movement in between shots also looked awkward and unorthodox, Rosewall by comparison was more smooth like silk in this regard and more comparable to Roger.

fmolinari2005
12-22-2011, 01:35 AM
McEnroe's artistry isn't overrated at all, of course he was incredibly unorthodox, but his effectiveness and brilliance simply can't be denied.

Yep, Laver's strokes were smooth as silk, but his movement in between shots also looked awkward and unorthodox, Rosewall by comparison was more smooth like silk in this regard and more comparable to Roger.

I am not saying that McEnroe isn't brilliant or an artist at the tennis court. But often times when you read about him, you get the impression that he was the greatest natural player ever to have picked up a racket. I just cannot subscribe to it, at least aesthetically.

One of the greatest talents ever?! Sure. But there is some hype around McEnroe regarding that. Even if on a totally different level, it reminds me the endless debates about Rios, for example. There are those who picture the guy as this unmatched tennis genius. I happen to disagree. A great talent, sure. But not that sort of genius that only didn't win a GS because his talent was so big that made him not care so much about it ...

If I compare Borg and McEnroe, I pick McEnroe on a heart beat, despite his resume not being as impressive as Bjorn's. But I can't bring myself to saying "wow, I never saw such amount of talent in one person". In my eyes, there were people more talented than him playing with wooden rackets.

rhinooooo
12-22-2011, 01:41 AM
That was awesome. Great post. That laver backhand is too fucking good.

MatchFederer
12-22-2011, 09:19 AM
I am not saying that McEnroe isn't brilliant or an artist at the tennis court. But often times when you read about him, you get the impression that he was the greatest natural player ever to have picked up a racket. I just cannot subscribe to it, at least aesthetically.

One of the greatest talents ever?! Sure. But there is some hype around McEnroe regarding that. Even if on a totally different level, it reminds me the endless debates about Rios, for example. There are those who picture the guy as this unmatched tennis genius. I happen to disagree. A great talent, sure. But not that sort of genius that only didn't win a GS because his talent was so big that made him not care so much about it ...

If I compare Borg and McEnroe, I pick McEnroe on a heart beat, despite his resume not being as impressive as Bjorn's. But I can't bring myself to saying "wow, I never saw such amount of talent in one person". In my eyes, there were people more talented than him playing with wooden rackets.

That's the thing, aesthetically it's basically inconsequential because ultimately it's effectiveness that gets the job done. In terms of effectiveness, his peak level of play was sensational and there basically wasn't a shot he couldn't hit + his shot-making was absolutely outrageous ala Federer, Laver. In a way you can argue that the fact he was able to achieve such brilliance in such an unorthodox style, which was far less 'to the book' than Laver or Federer, is further proof of his pure natural talent.

I think what we read about McEnroe as a natural talent is fair enough more or less, but ultimately results matter and I certainly consider for example, Laver and Federer, to be more natural. McEnroe sure made Connors and Borg look ordinary and even boring at times, similar to Roger in comparison to Nadal and Djokovic.

dodo
12-23-2011, 04:21 AM
Great stuff, terrific to see such high quality old material.
The Borg/Laver part really had a Fedal feel to it - the super quick and relentless guy vs the amazing shotmaker. I wonder if all the modern day Fed/Nadal fans gravitate towards their respective counterparts in this equation... I certainly do.