The Australian Open’s fantasy history

Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows I am a fan of Douglas Perry’s Tennis Blog at the Oregonian.  His blog is called “The Spin of the Ball.”  He recently did a “what if” article about the Australian Open.  Anyone old enough to remember the 70’s and the 80’s in tennis will remember that the biggest and best often did not play the Australian Open.  During his heyday, Bjorn Borg openly  said he would play the Australian if he won the other legs of the Grand Slam.  Since the Australian Open was in December back then and Borg was never able to conquer New York and the U.S. Open, he was never in a position to need the Australian Open to complete the Grand Slam.  To say the Australian Open had a lot of weak draws back then is an understatement.   One Australian Open winner during this time period was Brian Teacher – a player who’s best performance ever at the U.S. Open was getting to the round of 16 at the U.S. Open and his best at Wimbledon was the round of 32.  Then there is Mark Edmondson.  The lowest ranked player to ever win a Slam – he was ranked 212th.  A player who barely had a winning record for his career (251-238).  Mr. Perry got his inspiration for the article from Jack Kramer‘s autobiography “The Game.”

“Last night I was flipping through Jack Kramer‘s 1979 autobiography, “The Game,” and in one chapter he plays a little parlor game. He lists the actual winner at Wimbledon and Forest Hills from 1931 through 1967 and then lists who he believes would have won each year if pros had been allowed to participate. The upshot, from Kramer’s point of view: Don Budge and Pancho Gonzales would be up there in double digits for major titles. Rod Laver would have added to his total, too, though not by as much as we tend to believe.”

“So, what would have happened if the top players had consistently gone Down Under every year, as they began to do after the classy Melbourne Park opened in 1988? Let’s ponder.”

Read the who article and see his projected winner if the tournament was as well attended back then as it is today.  CLICK HERE 

Mr. Perry also does some book writing on the side and he appears to be quite good.

His book “The Girls of Murder City” gets rave reviews.

Barnes & Noble Review    “The man is simply a wizard of words…”

Amazon gave it a 4 1/2 star customer rating

Open Salon Blog “Douglas Perry has written an engaging romp of a book with serious undertones touching on criminals and the culture of celebrity.” CLICK HERE for the entire review.

Wall Street Journal –  “The Girls of Murder City” spans several categories—true-crime, comedy, social history. It turns out that behind “Chicago” there was a sexy, swaggering, historical tale in no need of a soundtrack. Liked the movie. Loved the book.” – CLICK HERE for the entire review


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