Originally Posted by tennisvideos
Lesley had beautiful groundstrokes, and was definately one of the top 4 baseliners of the 60s along with Durr & Richey..... Margaret Court of course was the top claycourter of her era as well as the top grasscourt player.
Margaret Court despite her slight loss of form in 1966 and 1968 was without question the top claycourter of the sixties. Lesley Turner up to 1965 I would also say was No. 2 and although after her "illness" in 1966 she never reached the same level of play as before she still won the Italian Champs in 1967 and 1968 reached the French final in 1967 and semi in 1969 so I would go with her as the ovweall #2.
However I disagree with who the #s 3 and 4 are. The candidates are Nancy Richey, Darlene Hard, Ann Jones, Maria Bueno (twice winner of the Italian) and Francoise Durr - the 1967 French Champion.
Darlene Hard can be quickly discarded because although she won at RG in 1960 she was beaten in the 4th round in 1961 and 2nd round in 1963 and never won the Italian.
These are the records of the others:
Italian ( 2 entries)
German (4 entries)
1965 lost in early round
1965 Q ( pulled out injured)
German (3 entries)
1964 2r (default)
Italian ( 4 entries)
German ( 5 entries)
These are the top players each beat at the French:
Bueno: Durr, Susman, Lehane, van Zyl
Richey: Durr, Smith, van Zyl, King, Heldman
Durr: Bueno, Melville, Turner
Jones: Smith, Lehane, Sukova, Kormoczy, Ramirez, Bueno, Richey, Turner,
None of them lost at the Italian or German Championships to a player who was not in the top 10. (Durr's 2r defeat at the Italian was to Lehane and 3r defeat at the German to Smith in 1964).
In the French Championships Bueno, Richey and Jones never lost to a player who was not top 10. Durr lost to Pericoli and Sheriff who, although fine players never quite made the top 10.
Because of the USLTA the Americans didn't go to the German.
Maria Bueno's great Italian Championship record of twice Champion and twice runner up as opposed to Jones' once champion, once runner up and twice semi-finallist is more than dwarfed by Ann's French record of twice champion, 3 times runner up and once semi finalist against Maria's once runner up and 3 times semi-finalist.
I'm afraid Francoise Durr's record of French champion in 1967 but never otherwise beyond the quarter-final even backed up by her German victory plus one other semi in both the Italian and German Championships just does not match either the overall records of Bueno or Jones. Furthermore she also lost to lower ranked players. You could say that her early defeats in 1960 and 61 were due to inexperience but in her only 2 appearances at the French in 1957 as an 18 year old Jones reached the semis losing to Knode, a top tenner and in 1958 the quarters losing to the eventual champion Suzy Kormoczy. Similarly, Bueno reached the semi and quarter final in 1958 and 59. Although she is credited as having lost the first round in her only other appearance at RG in 1957 this was because she had to default after the draw was made.
Francoise Durr is a great player with a wonderful personality and oh so unorthodox but in no way can she be considered one of the top 4 baseliners/claycourters of the 60s.
You can argue between Richey and Jones for #s 3 and 4. Nancy had a fantastic record in the US Clay Court Championships but in view of the minimal participation of overseas players this can only prove that she was by far the best American claycourter.
Jones won a number of British Hard Court titles but again not great opposition although she did beat baylon, Lehane and van Zyl in doing so.
I don't think anyone can say that the evidence points to anything other than the four best being Court, Turner, Richey and Jones with Bueno just outside the mix.