Out of print for more than 30 years, now available for the first time as
an eBook, this is the controversial story of John Wooden's first 25
years and first 8 NCAA Championships as UCLA Head Basketball Coach.
This is the only book that gives a true picture of the character of John
Wooden and the influence of his assistant, Jerry Norman, whose
contributions Wooden ignored and tried to bury.
more than 40 hours of interviews with Coach Wooden, learn about the man
behind the coach. The players tell their stories in their own words.
Click the book to read the first chapter and for
ordering information. Also available on Kindle.
Sports Medley: All
time ranking of Tennis Players 30 Jan 17
by Tony Medley
When John McEnroe
defeated Bjorn Borg in the 1981 Wimbledon Finals, I felt that Borg had
been weakened by his tough five set victory over Jimmy Connors the
previous day in the semifinals. Borg had come from two sets down to win
the match. McEnroe beat him in a tough four set match to break Borgís
five year winning streak at Wimbledon.
Similarly, after Rafa
Nadal survived a 5 set, 5 hour marathon semi-final against Grigor
Dimitrov, it seemed to me that he ran out of gas in the fifth set of his
Australian open final against Roger Federer. After being up a break in
the fifth, Nadal completely lost it. Federer broke him twice to win the
final set 6Ė3, and his 18th Grand Slam championship.
This leads to the
ultimate question, who is the better player Federer or Nadal? Which
leads to the next question, what is the ranking of the greatest players
of all time? Hereís mine, limited to the players Iíve seen play, so it
does not include players like Bill Tilden, Rene Lacoste, Fred Perry, Don
Budge, and Jack Kramer:
Rod Laver: The
Rocket became the second man to win the Grand Slam in 1962, after
which he turned pro and was ineligible to compete in the four Grand
Slam tournaments. When Wimbledon went pro in 1968 and the other
grand slams followed, Laver won the Grand Slam again in 1969. It has
only been accomplished three times, twice by Laver, who ended his
career winning 11 Grand Slam tournaments. How many would he have won
between 1963 in 1968, had he been competing? Because he was clearly
the best player in the world throughout all these years, dominating
good competition headed by fellow Aussies Ken Rosewall, John
Newcombe, Fred Stolle, and Tony Roche, itís not unreasonable to
think he would have won at least two a year, which is 12 more grand
slams, or a grand total of 23. And he probably wouldíve won a lot
Rafa Nadal: Many
felt that Federer was the greatest player of all time. But Nadalís
record against Federer is 23Ė12, including Sundayís loss. How can
anybody say that Federer is better than Nadal when Nadal beats him
two thirds of the time?
Roger Federer: He
dominated until Nadal came on the scene five years after Rogerís
first Grand Slam Championship, and, at 35, is still one of the best
players in the world.
although he never could win the U.S. Open and didnít compete that
much in the Australian open, he was the dominant player in the years
1975Ė81. And he had tough competition, including Jimmy Connors,
McEnroe, and Yvan Lendl. People thought of him as a baseliner, even
McEnroe. But maybe thatís why John lost to Bjorn in that classic
five set Wimbledon final in 1980, because Bjorn served and volleyed
on every first serve. As an aside, in a match of generational
greats, I saw Laver beat Borg in three sets in a match played in
1974 when Borg was 19 and Laver was 36. In another match of
generational greats I saw Pancho Gonzales beat Jimmy Connors in the
finals of the Pacific Southwest tournament in 1971 when Gonzales was
42 and Connors was 19, and a freshman at UCLA.
John McEnroe: a
charismatic, gritty player whose career was cut short by a bad
marriage and alleged drug use, McEnroe was a dynamic serve and
volleyer who took over from Borg as the top player when Borg retired
early at age 25 in 1981, but he was basically finished at age 25.
Winner of 11 Grand Slams so far, and leads Nadal 26-23 with most of
his wins (18) on hard courts. To be fair, the past few years Nadal
has been injured. But Novak is moving up the list.
Only won three of the four Grand Slams; of his 14 wins, none was at
the French Open.
Strictly a grass/hardcourt serve and volleyer.
Jimmy Connors: As
intense a competitor as ever trod the courts, Jimmy was robbed of
the chance to win the Grand Slam in 1974 by petty Phillippe Chatrier,
President of the French Tennis Federation, because he had signed to
play for World Team Tennis. He won the other three Grand Slams and 8
Yvan Lendl: A
bust in the Grand Slams until he came from two sets down to beat
McEnroe in the 1984 French Open Final, which started his Grand Slam
success winning three U.S. Opens in a row, three French Opens, and
two Australian Opens.
Andre Agassi: Won
the career Grand Slam from the baseline. Maybe the best returner of