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Full Open Era Rankings ~Volume I~ Dawn of Open Tennis

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Hello and welcome to this first edition of my special research project destined to recreate the full rankings that would have been and were given to tennis players in the Open Era. This project will go through the different periods of the Open Era and use different ranking systems to recreate the exact rankings. The goal of the project is to see how ATP awarded ranking points during it's "dark" times, award points to players before computer rankings were created and redo the rankings from the known era in my specific format enabling access to what tournaments actually counted to a player's ranking.

The first volume starts from the Open Era's earliest beginnings. I tried to adapt the system first used by the Grand Prix in 1970 for tournaments prior to the Grand Prix being invented for tournaments based on the possible prize money pots these tournaments had. The first year to target is 1968, and this is the exact system I chose to implement:

As you can see the system will be using an average ranking with a minimum of 4 tournaments, thus eliminating any potential "accidents" from producing a new World Number 1, given the small difference between values awarded in an average system.

In this first episode, we will be looking at the first rankings that would have been exactly 45 years ago to this day: 29.04.1968 if there would have been computer rankings at that time and the 1970 system would have been used for tournaments. It is the spring of 1968, april 22. Bournemouth is the first tournament ever to accept both pros and amateurs into the draw, becoming the first open tournament and kick starting the Open Era. The tournament awards $2400 to the winning player and $1200 to the runner-up classing it's prize pool above 10K, into the second category pool. The winner will thus be getting 8p, with the runner-up, 6.

The final's outcome is 3-6, 6-2, 6-0, 6-3 in favor of Rosewall, making him the first unofficial World Number 1 of the Open Era, and because only Open tournaments are counted into the rankings, 1968 is going to bring little change to this hierarchy. It is also nice to see veteran Pancho Gonzales attending this tournament. It's too bad however that the Open Era started so late into his career.

Here is a picture with Laver and Rosewall fighting at Bournemouth 1968:

And one with the winner:


--- Code: ---1. Ken Rosewall - 29.04.1968 - 10 weeks
2. Rod Laver - 08.07.1968 - 9 weeks
   Ken Rosewall(2) - 09.09.1968 - 21 weeks (31 total)
   Rod Laver (2)* - 03.02.1969 - 19 weeks (28 total)

--- End code ---


--- Code: --- 1. Ken Rosewall - 1968

--- End code ---

If you have any trouble seeing the latest image, please clear your internet cache and try again... Help on clearing the cache:

To view and download historical rankings, access this link and navigate to the year you wish to view (which will be expanding as we progress further):

The signature profile:

Be ready as our venture will continue into Roland Garros 1968. Somebody should do a count of weeks at number 1 for these guys.


--- Quote from: Slasher1985 on April 29, 2013, 07:29:48 AM ---Be ready as our venture will continue into Roland Garros 1968. Somebody should do a count of weeks at number 1 for these guys.

--- End quote ---

I volunteer to keep track of weeks was #1 :)

FreakyGOAT > CD:
Nice work Marv  ;-()  I never thought about how old most players were back then  :)~ :)~

Good day everyone.

The story continues, as the Open Era was prepared to bring us the first Grand Slam open to all. Ken was determined to win this one as he was in top shape, but Laver also wanted to win this so much. Many players were on the main draw of this first Open Era Grand Slam, including veteran Pancho Gonzales and future star Ilie Nastase. After a very strange first round with half of the draw offering the match to the adversary as a walkover, the quarterfinal stage brought entertainment to all. Tiriac managed to bring Laver to a fifth set after winning the first two, but the Australian prevailed in the end 4-6 4-6 6-3 6-3 6-0. Pancho Gonzales also needed five sets to defeat Roy Emerson in an even tighter match that was turned around by Roy, 7-5 6-3 3-6 4-6 6-4. Gimeno didn't work much in defeating Boro Jovanovic in straights, and Rosewall lost his second set of the tournament against Koch.

A tired Pancho gave Laver easy entry into the final, but Gimeno was a tough nut to crack by Rosewall, who had to come back from 0-1 at sets and needed 5 sets. The final was much easier for Rosewall than expected, and thusly, Ken manages to increase his lead in the rankings, consolidating his World Number 1 status in the Open Era.

An image with the two finalists:

With this, Ken has 7 weeks at World Number 1. Put that in, General Markus, as the story will continue when I return next week.

You can look back the OP to notice the updated rankings and link to the full tables on my skydrive.


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