User:Hayford Peirce

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There's an article about me at: Hayford Peirce

I created the original articles for, and have written most of the text of, the following:

I've also put in a ton of information about:


Only one men’s doubles team has won the grand slam – Sedgman and McGregor – who won all four majors in 1951. They then won the first three majors in 1952 – seven major doubles titles in a row. In the finals, the team of Mervyn Rose and Vic Seixas defeated “Hopman’s Pets” (neither Rose nor Seixas had partners, so they wound up playing together for the first time at Forest Hills). The upset denied Sedgman and McGregor from their eighth straight title, and second consecutive grand slam. After that, Rose said Hopman wouldn’t talk to him for two months. While in London, Hopman had his team run in Hyde Park. Emerson always led the way so Rose only ran part way and caught him on the way back. Unfortunately, Hopman was watching from his hotel room and made Rose run extra the next couple of days. Ashley Cooper told me that Mervyn Rose “named his dog Hopman so he could kick it once in a while.” I asked Mervyn if this were true. His reply – “Yeh, never fed him.” And yet, when asked whom he credited most for helping his tennis, Rose cited Harry Hopman. Mal Anderson was quite a squash player. Dennis Ralston, who had never played squash, tells the story that when he visited Queensland, Anderson set him up with his first squash game. It was against Heather McKay, whom Dennis didn’t know was ranked No. 1 in the world of squash for about 16 years. Dennis said, “It was embarrassing.” I asked Ashley Cooper if the story were true that Harry Hopman was a heavy gambler (he once had to sell the land he had purchased for his dream home). He said, “Hopman, during the Davis Cup matches, used to bring all of his newspaper clippings of the horse races. He bet on them a lot. This was common in Australia.” In 1974, 39-year old Rosewall lost to Connors in two major finals, but he had survived long semi-final matches, and Connors was 22. I asked Cooper if Rosewall had mentioned these matches. He replied that Rosewall had once told him, “Connors was the only guy I never felt that I could beat. I always thought I had a chance against Gonzales, Hoad and Laver. Not Connors.” The match-up was bad – Rosewall’s weak serve against Connors’ big return. As Rosewall left after reaching the finals of the 1970 US Open, one of his sons asked him, “Does that mean we have to come back tomorrow?” Each of the players was asked, “Who was the best player you ever played against?” Rose answered, “Hopman’s pet Sedgie.” Anderson named Pancho Gonzales, who “was very difficult since if you did get ahead, he had a way to upset you, and he could exploit your weaknesses fast. Though over the hill, he beat Rod until Rod lifted his game. Cooper also listed Gonzales whom “I never beat on the tour. But I did beat him a couple of times on clay where his serve wasn’t as good.” Margaret Court named Billie Jean King as her toughest opponent, especially on grass. Leslie Turner listed Margaret as the best she played against, naming grass as Margaret’s best surface. John Newcombe explained, “I spanned a couple of generations from Rosewall and Laver to Connors and McEnroe. On clay, Borg was best, with six straight French titles. After that, I’d give the edge to Laver. You can play him down to the wire, but he’d come up with something you wouldn’t expect at the end. Something you hadn’t seen all match.” Sedgman added, “I played against probably the greatest of all time, Jack Kramer. He could put his serve on a dime and had a great first volley. The second best was Gonzales. I played him a lot – a great competitor – a great athlete.”

A lot of Aussies still consider Lew Hoad, Wimbledon winner in 1956 and 1957 as the best player of all time. Anderson told me, “Lew Hoad, in his day was scary, though Gonzales was best day in and day out.” Emerson has written to me that Hoad is the best he ever played or saw play. Aussie administrator, Brian Tobin noted, “On his day, Lew Hoad was the best, but he had a lot of bad days.” Italian Pietrangeli explained, “For one match he was unbeatable. He could do anything – the best I ever played.” Art Larson said, “He had a harder serve than Roddick. He was the best I’ve seen.” Laver and Hoad are the two always mentioned as the best by the Aussies. Laver had a much better and longer record, but almost always lost against Hoad whose injured back kept him from his best after his early twenties. One Aussie called Laver a grinder who wore you down. “But when you play Hoad, it’s like you’re not even there.” Anderson said he’d never miss a match between Hoad and Gonzalez. “Since they didn’t see eye to eye, Hoad always tried (harder) against Pancho. It was unbelievable tennis. We won titles, but were like beginners compared to them.”