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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 11:58 AM   #1
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Is the Oz Open still viewed as an "inferior" slam?

by the media?

I know this was true in the 70's but that was because a lot of the top players skipped it (any idea why that was?). But now everyone plays it (barring Jelly ), and its fantastically well-attended. So why do journalists when listing a players achievements always put the Oz Open as the last slam? Am i completely off-track? That is what i sense is still happening both on the ATP and WTA.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 12:15 PM   #2
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i think top players didnt play the oz open coz they thought it was to early in the season for such a big event didnt nav skip it a couple of times?
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 12:36 PM   #3
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it wasn't helped by the field and the matches on the women's side this year
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 12:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cooolconchita
by the media?

I know this was true in the 70's but that was because a lot of the top players skipped it (any idea why that was?). But now everyone plays it (barring Jelly ), and its fantastically well-attended. So why do journalists when listing a players achievements always put the Oz Open as the last slam? Am i completely off-track? That is what i sense is still happening both on the ATP and WTA.
It's kind of improtant to point out the Australian WASN'T view as an 'inferior slam'. THE WOMEN'S SIDE was viewed as inferior. But inthe 50's 60's and early 70's Australia produced more of the top male players than any other country. (Rosewall, Newcombe, Laver, etc, etc, etc.) Of course, they also produce the most accomplished female player ever, but the level of competition was lower.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 12:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volcana
It's kind of improtant to point out the Australian WASN'T view as an 'inferior slam'. THE WOMEN'S SIDE was viewed as inferior. But inthe 50's 60's and early 70's Australia produced more of the top male players than any other country. (Rosewall, Newcombe, Laver, etc, etc, etc.) Of course, they also produce the most accomplished female player ever, but the level of competition was lower.
Well in the tournaments early days, most of the top European and American starts just were not up to travelling down under because of the distance and time it took to get there in those days.

It's why you see that so many Aussies, many still unknown today, had won the tournament in it's early years.

But I honestly believe the Australian Open gained real prominance once it moved to Melbourne.

Hot weather aside, I think it's considered to be the more laid back of all the Slams and it seems to be the one Major tournament players seem to feel less pressure competing in.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 01:19 PM   #6
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Good post Jakeev In the days before plane travel was safe a trip to Oz took weeks by slow boat.

Hell-until the early 80s even the US Open and the French were "inferior" slams. The brutal fact is that the Aussie was ALWAYS seen as inferior 4th slam up until about 1988-when it acheived some parity with new facilities and a 128 player draw on both sides.

This is true of the men as well as the women by the way-though the men's fields were often better in years when Davis Cup came to Oz. At times even Aussie males like Laver and Rosewall questioned if the Aussie even deserved slam status at all-forget about it being "equal".

I'm not ripping the Aussies. to them for turning OZ into the Asian slam.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 01:33 PM   #7
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I think that is already kinda tradicion that we have imprtance of slams:

1 WIMBLEDON
2 US Open
3 French Open
4 Australian Open

If thats a wright I dont think so but Im affraid no one would ever change that
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 01:58 PM   #8
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Although the Australian Open was the 4th Grand Slam, I disagree that the women's Oz was weaker than the men's in the 60s. The fact is that half the top 10 during much of the 60s were Aussies - Court and Turner were constant top tenners, Lehane and Ebbern were top tenners in the early 60s and then Melville and Krantzcke came along. Judy Tegart also reached top 10 status in the second half of the decade. Helen Gourlay, Lesley Hunt, Evonne Goolagong, Dianne Fromholtz and Wendy Turnbull carried on the tradition into the 1970s. The Australian women were the best in the world at this point. Court won 21 slams 1970-72, Goolagong won 2 and Turner won 2 to make 28. In addition, Melville, Tegart, Lehane and Gourlay reached finals.

By contrast the US totalled 15. Darlene Hard (three) and Karen Susman (one) were the only two American women to win a slam 1960-65 and BJK (nine) and Nancy Richey (two) likewise 1966-72. Only Graebner (once) and Casals (twice) reached finals.

The Americans usually sent down a top player or two during the 60s - Darlene Hard (62), Nancy Richey (66 & 67) BJK ( 65, 68 & 69), Carole Graebner (65,66), Rosie Casals (67,68 & 69) - as did the Europeans and South Americans - Ann Jones (65, 69), Christine Truman (60, 63 65), Frankie Durr (65,67,69), and South Americans Yola Ramirez (62), Maria Bueno (60 & 65). So in most years even if the depth wasn't there, the number of top players was greater than in most other tournaments apart from the big three.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 03:00 PM   #9
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Adam-I think many would agree with you-though others would put the French second now. It's the only slam on clay, while the US and Oz have to share honors as slams on hard courts.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 03:02 PM   #10
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It's location, time, history and prizemoney unfortunately overrides its facilities + atmosphere, so yes.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 03:14 PM   #11
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Historically it used to be not as good as the other Slams, but now that everything is pretty much equal it shouldnt really be viewed as inferior anymore.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 03:16 PM   #12
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I love AO.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 03:18 PM   #13
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True Experimentee-nowadays they are more or less equal-a plus for our sport IMO
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 03:57 PM   #14
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The Aussies have got the profile as the people's slam and the Asia-Pacific image right but the surface is wrong and the timing should be a tiny bit later (a week or two). Wimbledon is slipping because of the ridiculously short grasscourt season. RG has been helped enormously by the buoyant state of French tennis and the effect of new technology on the claycourt game (especially for women). The US is suffering because of the facilities, so there is movement all round.
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Last edited by Andy T : Apr 22nd, 2004 at 05:12 PM.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 03:59 PM   #15
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We need to get some things clear. The Australian Open got rotten draws when it was held at the END of the year, in December just before Christmas-time. Many top players were tired, didn't want to make the long trip, and/or wanted to pick up easy money at exhibitions.

The Open's move to the BEGININNG of the year was actually a huge help to the tournament as the players tended to be more eager, with it being the very beginning of the season.

I think everyone recognizes the AO as being a legitimate, prestigious Slam now. The only reasons why it's considered a shade less important the other three are: 1) It offers considerably prize money than the other Slams 2) It's held very close to the Super Bowl, which takes attention away from it in the U.S. & 3) People are still talking about its past as an inferior Slam, which it WAS for both the men and the women before 1988 or so. The past shouldn't matter perhaps, but it does affect people's perception.

And Rollo's comment about AO having to share the same (well, almost the same anyway) surface as another surface (U.S. Open) applies as well, I believe. I wish there was some way of turning all of the Aussie Open into an indoor carpet event. It's so impractical to be a real possibility, but still, it would be so logical (4 slams representing the 4 different surfaces). Sigh...
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