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35ft6
02-16-2007, 05:31 AM
From Sports Illustrated (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/writers/richard_deitsch/02/15/sampras.qa/1.html):
SI: Would you be okay with Federer passing your Grand Slam majors record?

Sampras: Sure, you would love to have that record but it's true: Records are made to be broken. Players are better today and I believe Roger is going to break my record, Tiger Woods is going top break Jack Nicklaus' record and Barry Bonds is going to break Hank Aaron's record. Unfortunately for me, Roger would only have given me the record for about eight years. But I don't believe in not rooting for him. I've never believed in that. I believe the record will be broken and the person who will break it is a phenomenal player. He is someone who I would want to see do it because I think he is a credit to the game. I think he's a nice guy. He handles himself well on and off the court. He has good temperament there. Those are the things I like in an athlete. He doesn't transcend the sport because of where we are today and all the controversy people want. I know this isn't going to sway the hardcore Pete huggers, but I'm going microwave some popcorn in anticipation of the creative ways Pete's comment will be rationalized and ultimately dismissed. :-D

illkhiboy
02-16-2007, 05:57 AM
Pete's a classy guy, something you cannot always say about his fans. And something his detrators don't ever wanna admit. How is this guy arrogant? I think Pete has just the right amount of arrogance. He basically gives credit where it's due and is not scared to speak his mind. THAT's classy!

ATXtennisaddict
02-16-2007, 06:20 AM
The best thing is to be both a Pete and Roger fan.

In other words, a tennis fan.

TheNatural
02-16-2007, 06:58 AM
I think its pretty logical or him to say that players are better today. Heck even he says he says that the new racket and string technology allows him to hit the ball better today(at 35) than he did in his prime. Enjoy your popcorn:D

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/tennis/wires/02/05/3000.ap.ten.seniors.sampras.1st.ld.writethru.0691/index.html
(Posted: Monday Feb 5, 2007 )
"I know that he can beat most of these guys still - certainly at Wimbledon - so there's a temptation for him to want to do that,'' McEnroe said. "I know he's right. He can handle these guys but that's his call.''

Sampras did play some exhibitions and World Team Tennis last year.

"I've been hitting the ball pretty well and using the bigger racket with the new technology string,'' Sampras said. "It's really given me the ability to hit the ball better today than I did in my prime.''



From Sports Illustrated (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/writers/richard_deitsch/02/15/sampras.qa/1.html): I know this isn't going to sway the hardcore Pete huggers, but I'm going microwave some popcorn in anticipation of the creative ways Pete's comment will be rationalized and ultimately dismissed. :-D

brucie
02-16-2007, 07:04 AM
I think thats a great comment from Pete, its most likely also true in Rogers case, don't know about Tiger but its probable.

If only... (was it Vilas?) was like that about Nadal surpassing him.

Bjorn99
02-16-2007, 08:10 AM
In real life, Pete is probably cursing a thick stream of vitirol. He is NOT happy with Federer's sudden appearance making him old hand news THIS FAST. Not at all. Don't let his political smarm fool you, for a second.

whistleway
02-16-2007, 08:11 AM
Too much was made out of USO '02 win. Sampras should have at least played a few more years. However u slice it, 31 is still too young to have been retired. He probably thought, yeah, that record would not be broken, at least for a few decades. And bam, it is gone !!

TGV
02-16-2007, 11:03 AM
Similar comments from Pete (from a Dec 2003 article):

Many among the cognoscenti would point to 1993-97 - when he collected nine of his majors - as his prime. But Sampras contends: "The best tennis I played was when I was older. I wasn't as consistent week in and week out but that match I played against Andre [Agassi] at the 2002 US Open - my last match ever - was the highest level I have ever played.

"Everyone was getting better when I was No 1 in the world and winning majors left and right. I was 10 times the player as I got older. When I was dominating I didn't have any bad matches and players overall weren't as good. The 2002 US Open Pete would beat the 1994 or 1995 Pete easily."

Sampras clarifies why he believes he was better later in his career. "I served-and-volleyed a lot more on my second serve in the mid-to-late Nineties, and started using it more as a weapon. It was worth a few double faults to go for big second serves. The more I came in behind the second serve, the more effective a volleyer I became."

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_20031223/ai_n12718304

stormholloway
02-16-2007, 11:26 AM
I don't really care about records, just good tennis. I think the record breakers like to focus on records, but I really don't care.

I just want to play tennis and be inspired by great tennis players.

christopher07
02-16-2007, 11:52 AM
I know a lot of people with rush to dismiss the comment above but Agassi
[at Queen's Club, 2003] made exactly the same point: that 'today's players'
are vastly superior, both technically and athletically. Agassi made
the point that the technique on groundstrokes had improved enormously
during his playing career. And i got the impression that he took some credit
for the technical evolutions in the game.

In all honesty, looking at matches from the 1980s etc. it's quite astonishing
how crude the technique on groundstrokes was, even at the highest level.

Remodel today's players with the greatly reduced (and far less explosive)
swings of the 1980s and they would hardly strike the ball and harder than

the players of that generation, using the supposedly ' more powerful' racquet
frames of today.

The tennis guy
02-16-2007, 06:58 PM
I had said this many times, every 10 years, tennis at absolute term (without if this if that) improves dramatically. I just don't understand why many people don't believe that.

Sampras said many times he played at higher level later in his career than his earlier career; Agassi said the same thing; Hewitt said he was a better player in 2004-2005 than when he was No. 1. It has nothing to do with relative to other players, just in absolutely term.

When you talk about one player's decline, it doesn't refer to his asbolute level of tennis, it is relative to other players.

The Gorilla
02-16-2007, 07:01 PM
I know a lot of people with rush to dismiss the comment above but Agassi
[at Queen's Club, 2003] made exactly the same point: that 'today's players'
are vastly superior, both technically and athletically. Agassi made
the point that the technique on groundstrokes had improved enormously
during his playing career. And i got the impression that he took some credit
for the technical evolutions in the game.

In all honesty, looking at matches from the 1980s etc. it's quite astonishing
how crude the technique on groundstrokes was, even at the highest level.

Remodel today's players with the greatly reduced (and far less explosive)
swings of the 1980s and they would hardly strike the ball and harder than

the players of that generation, using the supposedly ' more powerful' racquet
frames of today.



but lendl hit bigger than players today, bigger than agassi even, and he used what would genuinely pass for a squash racquet,(75 inches^2)), then again you may be right because I've noticed recently that henman's serve hasn't increased in speed at all in 10 years of competetive tennis, it has stayed in the high 120's/low 130's, which suggests that the technology hasn't made the difference.
I don't know what to think, there's conflicting evidence.

NamRanger
02-16-2007, 07:58 PM
but lendl hit bigger than players today, bigger than agassi even, and he used what would genuinely pass for a squash racquet,(75 inches^2)), then again you may be right because I've noticed recently that henman's serve hasn't increased in speed at all in 10 years of competetive tennis, it has stayed in the high 120's/low 130's, which suggests that the technology hasn't made the difference.
I don't know what to think, there's conflicting evidence.


Yes, that and John Mcenroe well past his prime hitting 120s all of a sudden? I don't think so.

christopher07
02-16-2007, 08:18 PM
With respect, unless you can provide measurable data, i think that it is
highly doubtful (imo).... i have seen several of Lendl's matches
(eurosport sometimes broadcasts old matches of his) and his
strokes do not seem particularly fast, especially not comapred to likes
likes of Verdasco, Gonzales or even Federer*.... Tim Henman does reach
those speeds on the [1st] serve but only as top speeds, certainly
not as an average first serve speed. Henman's first serve is
typically struck in the 105-118 range. In 2002, during the years in which
he opted for more 'consistency' on the serve, serving at lower speeds
today, his first serve average was lower than Venus Williams's.


*I'm quite accurate at guessing at groundstroke speed, having made a
study of recorded [actual] groundstroke speed of WTA players.



but lendl hit bigger than players today, bigger than agassi even, and he used what would genuinely pass for a squash racquet,(75 inches^2)), then again you may be right because I've noticed recently that henman's serve hasn't increased in speed at all in 10 years of competetive tennis, it has stayed in the high 120's/low 130's, which suggests that the technology hasn't made the difference.I don't know what to think, there's conflicting evidence.

christopher07
02-16-2007, 08:24 PM
Yes, that and John Mcenroe well past his prime hitting 120s all of a sudden? I don't think so.

There was also a study for the ATP Tour (in the early 2000s) which found
that the leading servers could serve at almost exactly the same speeds
using wooden racquets, as when using 'modren' composite frames.
The difference was, in fact, negligible.

For his own part, John McEnroe has pointed out that he has improved his
technique on both the serve and on his groundstrokes by some distance
since he retired from the main Tour.

vudal
02-16-2007, 08:30 PM
I think Rod Laver can beat Pete and Roger if they were the same age.

drakulie
02-16-2007, 08:49 PM
but lendl hit bigger than players today, bigger than agassi even, and he used what would genuinely pass for a squash racquet,(75 inches^2)), then again you may be right because I've noticed recently that henman's serve hasn't increased in speed at all in 10 years of competetive tennis, it has stayed in the high 120's/low 130's, which suggests that the technology hasn't made the difference.
I don't know what to think, there's conflicting evidence.

I agree about Henman, but whole-heartedly disagree about Lendl.

There is no way Lendl hit as hard as the guys today. He hit hard relative to the players he was playing against.

If you watch an Agassi/Lendl match from the early 90's you could see they are hitting about the same pace. However, Agassi when he retired was blasting the ball way faster than he was in the early 90's.

christopher07
02-16-2007, 08:57 PM
There is quite a high level of ignorance and misconception regarding the influence of technology as opposed to highly significant changes in technique on the professional game.

As an aside, I have seen several players from the 1970s and 1980s and, quite frankly, they would be crushed, using the type of gentle 'half-swing' technique they had back then. Assuming they were equipped with today's I just can't see them generating enough power - or getting anywhere close to cope with the pace generated by today's players. It is insightful to note that of the players of his generation, 1970's player John Lloyd (commentating at Roland Garros 2006, for the BBC) thought that only Bjorn Borg (who he also claims to be 'faster' than Blake or Nadal) alone would be competitive off the ground with the players of this generation.


During the rain at Wimbledon, players such as Chris Evert, Tracy Austin, John McEnroe, Virginia Wade, Martina Navratilova etc. etc. often discuss (the best) players' strokes and, inevitably, they select the strokes of this, or very recent, generations as being 'the best' in the women's game. Indeed, Tracy Austin selects today's players [Serena, Henin-Hardenne, Davenport, Venus (backhand)] as having the best (ever) strokes in the game. The only player player from a previous era that receives a mention is Graf (forehand). However, Navratilova and Billie Jean King are frequently credited with their volleying skills. Of today's players, Tracy Austin seems to feel that only Mauresmo and Henin-Hardenne are the only truly gifted volleyers, among today's top female players.

Austin regularly points out that groundstrokes are far better technically today than during her career, or at any point in the past and that many of leading players of her generation had real technical 'weaknesses' off the ground. Tracy commented that Navratilova was 'weak' off the ground until well into her professional career - though not while Navratilova was in the studio. Chris Evert commented that groundstrokes had improved vastly since the end of her playing career, pointing to players such as Hingis, Davenport and Seles. Evert also made the specific point about passing shots becoming more accurate and controlled than in her era.

Jo Durie (who is now professional coach and commentator for eurosport), says that you "cannot compare" the baseline play from her era that of today. Moreover, she recalls how certain players players (Seles and Capriati) arrived on the Tour in the late 1980s/ 1990s and literally 'blew' her peers "off the court'. At the time, Seles and Capriati were both teenagers; neither were physically strong, and did only limited physical training. Jo Durie was rather taller (6 ft+), and physically stronger, than a coltish fifteen year-old Capriati - yet she laughs (now) at the difference in power, when they played, back in the early 1990s (Durie lost 6-1 6-2). Capriati's Prince Mid racquet was smaller and less 'powerful' than Navratilova's [I]Yonex Midplus frame. Both Capriati's and (especially) Seles' technique and game-style was a portent of what was to come. On a broader scale, Steffi Graf, Monica Seles and Jennifer Capriati all made their impact upon the professional game in the late 1980s and 1990s. All three were using racquets made of the same material(s) that Navratlova used - and Steffi's Wilson and and Jennifer's Prince frames were smaller than Navratilova's Yonex frames of the late 1980s/early 1990s. Yet Steffi, Monica and Jennifer all hit a heavier/faster ball off the ground than Martina, sometimes by an acute margin. Jo Durie made the point that even as 13-14 year-old, the Tour novice Jennifer Capriati was hitting the ball much, much harder than far taller and physically stronger women - and with 'humiliating' results. Capriati destroyed the confidence of senior Tour players by hitting right through - and past - them. At the time Capriati was small and ertainly not physically imposing, as was the 16 year-old Monica Seles. As a coach, Jo Durie fully understands (and appreciates) the changes in technique and the levels of fitness (movement is far more 'explosive' than before) that have transformed the game. In her eurosport broadcasts from WTA tournaments throughout the year, Durie also provides a technical description of how groundstrokes have changed mechanically :

* far longer swings
* far greater trunk and shoulder rotation
* changes in playing stance etc. etc.)

- though she does say that changes in racquet technology partly enabled these mechanical changes to occur within the game.

The downside of longer, and far more aggressive (and faster) swings, is that injuries are far more prevalent on both Tours than at any point in the past. Many injuries (to the trunk, abdomen) have increased exponentially, as an ATP trainer, working at Queen's Club (London) pointed out. He said that these kind of injuries hardly occurred back in the 1980s but are now commonplace today...

drakulie
02-16-2007, 09:43 PM
Christopher, awesome post!

I just don't understand how some people REFUSE to see the difference in the swings from the 80's and how different they are compared to today.

Forgetting the result of the shot, and just looking at the massive upper body rotation and full swings players today take compared to yesteryear, I just can't explain how some people are stuck saying the players from the 70's, 60's, 50's, and beyond were hitting just as hard. Or that it is the equipment.

Jeez!

Anyways, excellent post!

vudal
02-16-2007, 09:52 PM
Players today are better players and stronger players because the humans have evolved to have bigger tootles then back in the stone age.

Zimbo
02-17-2007, 01:18 AM
I agree about Henman, but whole-heartedly disagree about Lendl.

If you watch an Agassi/Lendl match from the early 90's you could see they are hitting about the same pace. However, Agassi when he retired was blasting the ball way faster than he was in the early 90's.

You are kidding. Agassi of the late 80's and early 90's hit way harder then later in his career.

The Gorilla
02-17-2007, 07:03 AM
I agree about Henman, but whole-heartedly disagree about Lendl.

There is no way Lendl hit as hard as the guys today. He hit hard relative to the players he was playing against.

If you watch an Agassi/Lendl match from the early 90's you could see they are hitting about the same pace. However, Agassi when he retired was blasting the ball way faster than he was in the early 90's.



I don't know about tha, I thought so too, not having seen lendl in years, but if you download a the becker- lendl ao final from Laurie's website it is actually shocking how hard Lendl hit the ball.

Nick Irons
02-17-2007, 07:14 AM
Yawn

Yes, atheletes are smarter in terms of nutritional, conditioning and strength training.

Yes, the evolution of the game has created powerful shots from off both sdes of the ball.

But make no mistake, it is the racquet technology that is the key component in this equation.

NamRanger
02-17-2007, 07:47 AM
There was also a study for the ATP Tour (in the early 2000s) which found
that the leading servers could serve at almost exactly the same speeds
using wooden racquets, as when using 'modren' composite frames.
The difference was, in fact, negligible.

For his own part, John McEnroe has pointed out that he has improved his
technique on both the serve and on his groundstrokes by some distance
since he retired from the main Tour.


So you're saying John Mcenroe added 20-30 mph to his serve as he aged? That's not very plausible.

Nick Irons
02-17-2007, 07:48 AM
So you're saying John Mcenroe added 20-30 mph to his serve as he aged? That's not very plausible.


When did he say 20-30 mph ?

drakulie
02-17-2007, 08:02 AM
I don't know about tha, I thought so too, not having seen lendl in years, but if you download a the becker- lendl ao final from Laurie's website it is actually shocking how hard Lendl hit the ball.

Oh, I agree. Lendl had a viscious forehand that seemd to get harder and more dialed in throughout the course of the match. I've seen that match several times.

Still don't think it is as hard as todays players. Even Agassi has said he hit harder at the end of his career than in the early 90's. And as I said, Lendl and him hit at about the same pace back then.

What was it that Lendl use to say about AA? "Forheand and a haircut".

stormholloway
02-17-2007, 08:02 AM
http://www.tennisone.com/club/lessons/king/lost/budge.gif

http://www.tennisone.com/club/lessons/burwash/backhand/guga.gif

Hmm...

drakulie
02-17-2007, 08:03 AM
You are kidding. Agassi of the late 80's and early 90's hit way harder then later in his career.

LMAO!

No he wasn't. He has said so himself.

stormholloway
02-17-2007, 08:04 AM
Oh, I agree. Lendl had a viscious forehand that seemd to get harder and more dialed in throughout the course of the match. I've seen that match several times.

Still don't think it is as hard as todays players. Even Agassi has said he hit harder at the end of his career than in the early 90's. And as I said, Lendl and him hit at about the same pace back then.

What was it that Lendl use to say about AA? "Forheand and a haircut".

You gotta give some nod to technology on that one. Lendl's racquet was not that far dated from a woodie. I'm pretty sure he used the same frame in '88 that he used in '81 when he lost to Borg at the French.

drakulie
02-17-2007, 08:05 AM
storm, could you split those two clips up? Put them in back-to back posts? The guga one gets stuck.

TheTruth
02-17-2007, 09:41 AM
From Sports Illustrated (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/writers/richard_deitsch/02/15/sampras.qa/1.html): I know this isn't going to sway the hardcore Pete huggers, but I'm going microwave some popcorn in anticipation of the creative ways Pete's comment will be rationalized and ultimately dismissed. :-D

Personally, I have a problem with "opinions" of any kind, since they are both biased and deal with whatever the sayer is comparing it to in their own wealth of experience. McEnroe, Laver, Shriver, etc. all have different and conflicting opinions on this issue and an array of other topics. If you're a person who believes in the validity of "opinions" which one do you go with?

1. The first published one
2. The last published one
3. The one concealed in hate

Please, the idea of people spouting someone else's opinion as a fact, is um, well, I won't say what I think about that!

The tennis guy
02-17-2007, 09:44 AM
You are kidding. Agassi of the late 80's and early 90's hit way harder then later in his career.

You are a moron. Go ask Agassi himself, and watch his serve speed and ground stroke speed. It's not how fast you feel by watching on TV. Many guys had the impression some women hit harder ground stroke than Roddick by watching TV.

christopher07
02-17-2007, 11:25 AM
Thanks a lot, dude :)

I know (also) that if i used the swing path of the older club players (who learned technique back in the 1970s and 1980s, i wouldn't generate anything like the power that i do with my long, aggressive swings. And they use more 'powerful' [oversize] racquets than the control frames that i play with. It's simply a matter of physics and creating momentum toward the ball. Far more torque - but also far more strain (placed) upon the body, hence all the injuries on both Tours. The swings were totally different then and any pro tennis player (especially those that now teach) will point this out immediately, without hesitation.

I don't think that the fundamentals of a good service motion have changed all that much, though, so i would not be surprised if certain players back in the 1960s and 1970s were serving 100MPH + serves on a consistent basis. Serving (from the television footage that i have seen) could be very dynamic back then - though the women seemed to simply get the ball into play, even on first delivery.



Christopher, awesome post!

I just don't understand how some people REFUSE to see the difference in the swings from the 80's and how different they are compared to today.

Forgetting the result of the shot, and just looking at the massive upper body rotation and full swings players today take compared to yesteryear, I just can't explain how some people are stuck saying the players from the 70's, 60's, 50's, and beyond were hitting just as hard. Or that it is the equipment.

Jeez!
Anyways, excellent post!

christopher07
02-17-2007, 11:31 AM
You are a moron. Go ask Agassi himself, and watch his serve speed and ground stroke speed. It's not how fast you feel by watching on TV. Many guys had the impression some women hit harder ground stroke than Roddick by watching TV.

Actually, on many shots some women do hit the ball harder on some shots than Roddick does. You only need to study Hawk-Eye data to see that.
Serena Williams both regularly strike forehand measured in the 85MPH to 90 MPH + range, and that it is harder (faster) than many of Roddick's measured forehands, though his top speeds are higher, no question. The BBC present extensive Hawk-Eye data (average speed of all groundstrokes struck, fastest groundstroke recorded) at Queen's Club and at Wimbledon each year. I've recorded so much of it that i'm now very accurate in guessing actual speeds before checking them against the graphical displays. I'd like to get a job presenting this data! :-)

Roddick is not an especially heavy ballstriker (off the ground) in the men's game. Federer actually hits a heavier forehand and both Verdasco and Gonzales hit rather heavier groundstrokes.

christopher07
02-17-2007, 11:40 AM
I'm inclined to go with the opinions of players that have become professional coaches, that have taken a long-terns interest in the development of technique throughout their own career, and subsequently.

And, in all honesty, there really isn't disagreement among these kind of players, not in the broadcast interviews that i have seen. This includes Pam Shriver, Tracy Austin, John Lloyd (Davis Cup captain), Chris Evert, Jo Durie (coach to Elena Baltacha), and Sam Smith. All describe radical changes in technique off the ground, from the 1980s onward. It's not a debatable point. There is unanimity across the board.

To use just one example, Pam Shriver pointed out [at Wimbledon, 2001] that her own forehand, as it was coached in the 1970s, would be 'totally crushed' in the modern professional game.


Personally, I have a problem with "opinions" of any kind, since they are both biased and deal with whatever the sayer is comparing it to in their own wealth of experience.

Polaris
02-17-2007, 11:42 AM
Well played, Christopher07. That was a pleasure to read.

christopher07
02-17-2007, 11:45 AM
LMAO!
No he wasn't. He has said so himself.

Absolutely.
Agassi made the point at both Queen's Club and at Wimbledon [2003] that he hit the ball 'better' in the 2000s than ever before, and that he hit it harder. And, he argued, he had to keep improving to stay at the top of the game, as it evolved.
That seemed to be his attitude toward tennis, and toward sport in general.

christopher07
02-17-2007, 11:47 AM
Thanks a lot, Polaris :-)

BlackSheep
02-17-2007, 11:48 AM
Wow that was pretty deep.....who knew that Pete had this side.

christopher07
02-17-2007, 11:55 AM
I'm not where you got this... McEnroe (apparently) regularly served in the 100 - 110 MPG range during his 'first' career. Now McEnroe typically serves between 110 and 120 MPH on the first serve, as recorded at both Queen's Club (exhibition match) and on the Delta season ending Championships. It's an 'improvement' - but certainly not an increase of 20 -30 MPH...

And, just to add context, his opponent in the exhibition at Queen's Club, Boris Becker (who was playing with a contemporary Fischer racquet) was serving no harder than when he was playing at Wimbledon in the 1990s - a first serve average consistently struck in the 120 - 130 range. Becker said that he practised hard ahead on the match and that the primary difference in his game was not being able to move as explosively to the ball as he once did.

So you're saying John Mcenroe added 20-30 mph to his serve as he aged? That's not very plausible.

The tennis guy
02-17-2007, 02:46 PM
Actually, on many shots some women do hit the ball harder on some shots than Roddick does. You only need to study Hawk-Eye data to see that.


Why do you have to put so many "some" in there? Look at average speed.

The notion Serena Williams hit 85+ mph off ground CONSISTENTLY is just ridiculous. Yes, she hits 90+ occasionally.

I have seen many of those hawk eye graphic as well. They showed them when someone hit incredible shot. Look at the average speed.

christopher07
02-17-2007, 03:09 PM
I know the average speed. Did you read the post?
I didn't say consistently (ball after ball) at all.
Oh dear.

I'm used to seeing/recording the average speeds and the fastest speeds. I think that you missed the general point of the post. Also, the detail i isn't presented with nearly as much complexity (or completeness) in US television broadcasts (I have friends that live in the US). The BBC present the data in terms of graphical charts, analysing the trajectory and speed etc. of the ball across an entire match.


Why do you have to put so many "some" in there? Look at average speed.

The notion Serena Williams hit 85+ mph off ground CONSISTENTLY is just ridiculous. Yes, she hits 90+ occasionally.

I have seen many of those hawk eye graphic as well. They showed them when someone hit incredible shot. Look at the average speed.

acetennisman
02-17-2007, 07:05 PM
I believe that the technique is the biggest change. The only thing the new technology allows you to do is hit the ball will a more consistent result with less effort. Another point: dont judge how hard players are hitting but the feel of the speed of play. Instead also watch how early they take balls. Often enough todays game, players have all learned to, with the proper technique(as a yet), take balls off the ground with greater consistency power and control.

Ronnie92
02-17-2007, 07:16 PM
All players of the 70's and 80's would get KILLED in today's game. This I agree with.

However, I cannot tell if Pete is better or worse than Fed. I'd like to say that people like Agassi are much, much better than Andy Roddick and Nadal (despite how much I like Andy).

I think Pete would have won 18+ if he had the same [lack of] competition Fed has.

Phil
02-17-2007, 07:23 PM
I don't know about tha, I thought so too, not having seen lendl in years, but if you download a the becker- lendl ao final from Laurie's website it is actually shocking how hard Lendl hit the ball.

Also...I can recall first watching Sampras live at the USO in around '93 or '94-and in later years, of course-and I haven't seen anyone hit a harder forehand-before or SINCE. And he played with an 85 si racquet. Of course, he was unique in how hard he hit his forehand, but reading through this thread, you'd think that the #120 player today would blow the top 10 from 1990 or 1995 off the court. I doubt it.

federerforever
02-17-2007, 07:38 PM
This is the funniest thing I have ever heard. Sampras is also a great comedian. With the exception of Federer todays players have so little talent and mental toughness that it is not funny anymore. People should watch matches between Macenroe and Borg in 80s and realize that what makes tennis players legends is not what racquet you have but how mentally tough you are and what variety as well as how smart you are on court. MacEnroe in 81 after beating Borg in US Open final did not even have a smile on his face in the presentation ceremony. He was a true cyborg and the same thing can be said about Borg.

TheTruth
02-18-2007, 12:49 AM
I'm inclined to go with the opinions of players that have become professional coaches, that have taken a long-terns interest in the development of technique throughout their own career, and subsequently.

And, in all honesty, there really isn't disagreement among these kind of players, not in the broadcast interviews that i have seen. This includes Pam Shriver, Tracy Austin, John Lloyd (Davis Cup captain), Chris Evert, Jo Durie (coach to Elena Baltacha), and Sam Smith. All describe radical changes in technique off the ground, from the 1980s onward. It's not a debatable point. There is unanimity across the board.

To use just one example, Pam Shriver pointed out [at Wimbledon, 2001] that her own forehand, as it was coached in the 1970s, would be 'totally crushed' in the modern professional game.

Well, there you go. I think the commentators are crappy. All of them, and I wouldn't believe one word that came out of their mouths. Tracy Austin whose article before the AO had to be pulled because it was so dismissive of Serena Williams, a 7-time gs champion. Mary Carillo who was foolish enough to say that Sharapova was a better player than Serena Williams. Again, that crazy logic, when she said it, Serena had 6 slams to Maria's one. Who listens to these people? or do people really listen to these people? Tracy Austin who rather than commentate on the actual game concerns herself with Serena's weight. Pam Shriver, so full of hatred it's pathetic, and the McEnroe's, come on. But, I guess it's a matter of who we choose to listen to, and as far as commentators I'll take the lesser known Katrina Adams on the Tennis Channel, she is objective, breaks the game and not the players. I guess I like a little truth in my commentary and I can spot a liar a long ways off!

jktennis59
02-18-2007, 07:19 AM
In the past, tennis players were athletes because they played tennis. Today they have to be athletes to play tennis. That's the difference. Todays game is more phisically demanding than 15 or 20 years ago.
To me, the golden era of tennis was in the 90's (Sampras, Agassi, Courier, Becker, Edberg, Ivanisevic, Chang, Rios...etc.) but I have to admit that today tennis players are phisically and technically better than before.
The problem is that 10 or 20 years ago we were younger and more passionate. At this age we had our idols and it's hard to admit that Federer is a better player than mi idol (Sampras, of course). Federer and Sampras never played each other at their best condition so it's impossible to compare.

In two years Federer will break Sampras grand slam record. In 20 years my grandson will break Federer's records and......

christopher07
02-18-2007, 04:10 PM
but I have to admit that today tennis players are phisically and technically better than before. The problem is that 10 or 20 years ago we were younger and more passionate. At this age we had our idols and it's hard to admit that Federer is a better player than mi idol (Sampras, of course). Federer and Sampras never played each other at their best condition so it's impossible to compare.
Well, i'm still young and, though i have no particular attachment to today's players i think that its glaringly obvious that that they better technically equipped than players of the 1970s and 1980s. I cringe when i look at the groundstroke (not the serve or the volley) technique in replays of 'classic matches'.

And, If so many pros that were playing then can admit that there has been enormous technical improvement in the game without hesitation, then why on earth is it so hard for fanatical contributors to tennis forums to admit the same?
Do they actually know the sport better than the (ex)pros, some of who now teach?

christopher07
02-18-2007, 04:14 PM
Also...I can recall first watching Sampras live at the USO in around '93 or '94-and in later years, of course-and I haven't seen anyone hit a harder forehand-before or SINCE.
His forehand doesn't (didn't) look especially heavy to me, certainly not on most shots. The annoying thing is that there is no means of proving it (and making a direct comparison with today's players etc.) as groundstroke speed etc. wasn't recorded back then as it is today.

The Gorilla
02-18-2007, 04:20 PM
His forehand doesn't (didn't) look especially heavy to me, certainly not on most shots. The annoying thing is that there is no means of proving it (and making a direct comparison with today's players etc.) as groundstroke speed etc. wasn't recorded back then as it is today.

there actually is, if you go into the tennis tips section there is a sticky on how to measure the mph of shots from vids.

christopher07
02-18-2007, 04:28 PM
That's frankly bizarre, with all due respect... you completely dismiss the observations of professional that actually played the sport in favour of your own opinions?

I'm absolutely certain that Tracy Austin must have been referring to Serena's recent level of play. Even though Serena's results had clearly improved during last summer's US hardcourt season, she clearly wasn't fully match fit, and was observably sluggish when forced to move across the court. Consequently, very little was expected of her at this year's Australian Open, especially after a five month gap from tournament play. The woman hardly practised at all if the 'off season' because of court appearances etc. Why would you expect a Grand Slam win on the back of that? It's very, very rare for a player to win a Grand Slam coming off the back of nothing, or very little. Yes, Serena turned it on last month, as Venus did in June 2005 but it's not (at all) common.

Back to Tracy Austin. This is the same woman that stated that Serena Williams (in her opinion) was the 'best ever player' in the women's game. [Wimbledon, BBC, 2003, 2006]. She also stated that Serena and Venus could both be at the very top of the game "if they wanted it" and committed themselves to the game. She has commented that both players are enormously talented, and athletically gifted - and has asserted this on numerous occasions. In a wider sense, that it is hardly 'dismissive'.



Well, there you go. I think the commentators are crappy. All of them, and I wouldn't believe one word that came out of their mouths. Tracy Austin whose article before the AO had to be pulled because it was so dismissive of Serena Williams, a 7-time gs champion. Mary Carillo who was foolish enough to say that Sharapova was a better player than Serena Williams. Again, that crazy logic, when she said it, Serena had 6 slams to Maria's one. Who listens to these people? or do people really listen to these people?

christopher07
02-18-2007, 04:30 PM
there actually is, if you go into the tennis tips section there is a sticky on how to measure the mph of shots from vids.
But i wonder how accurate this can be... (?) as the speed is being measured using a 'second source'... still, interesting to know.

sureshs
02-18-2007, 04:40 PM
That's frankly bizarre, with all due respect... you completely dismiss the observations of professional that actually played the sport in favour of your own opinions?


That is the problem. Real players confirm that the pace is much faster today. But not on this board.

bluegrasser
02-19-2007, 04:53 AM
His forehand doesn't (didn't) look especially heavy to me, certainly not on most shots. The annoying thing is that there is no means of proving it (and making a direct comparison with today's players etc.) as groundstroke speed etc. wasn't recorded back then as it is today.

Lendl's groundies had big time pop, but he also hit those loopy topspin groundies when he wanted to change the pace. The man was the most fit player on the tour, and would have no problem competing with the current group, in his prime that is.

caulcano
02-19-2007, 05:35 AM
I think Pete would have won 18+ if he had the same [lack of] competition Fed has.

I diasgree slightly.

SAMP had the opportunity to win more than 14 but didn't (due to age/motivation etc). I think he believed his record of 14 GS would stand a lot longer, without being threatened so soon.

capriatifanatic
02-19-2007, 06:05 AM
All players of the 70's and 80's would get KILLED in today's game. This I agree with.

However, I cannot tell if Pete is better or worse than Fed. I'd like to say that people like Agassi are much, much better than Andy Roddick and Nadal (despite how much I like Andy).

I think Pete would have won 18+ if he had the same [lack of] competition Fed has.

Where do you think Pete would have picked up those extra 4+ slams if Federer was never born, and Fed was born 10 years later per say?

Obviously a 19 year old Sampras would not have beaten a smoking hot Safin in the 2000 U.S Open final so he is already down 1, needing to gain 5+. From 1993-2000, his main period on top he won Wimbledon 7 out of 8 years only losing once. I dont see how one can assume he would do any better then that today, 1 loss at some point is inevitable, I can see somebody thinking he would have matched the 7 of his 8 he did there born 10 years later with no Federer though. So still needing to gain 5+. From 1993-2000 losses at the U.S Open were to Yzaga, Korda, to Rafter while injured in the semis, and getting destroyed by Safin. He wasnt going to win the U.S Open 10 years later in years he lost to Yzaga and Korda in the 4th round. Since he was injured in his semi loss to Rafter it is unlikely he wins 10 years later with an injury either. Getting destroyed by a smoking hot Safin the way he did he probably does not win that 10 years later either. The French Open? Forget it. Australian Open? In 1993 he had shin splits and lost in straight sets to Edberg in the semis, in 1995 he lost to Agassi in the final after struggling the whole event due to distress over his coaches illness, in 1996 he lost to Phillipousis in the 2nd round, in 1998 he lost to Kucera in the quarters, in 1999 he chose not play, in 2000 he lost injured to Agassi in the semis. He was not going to win an Australian Open 10 years later where he had serious shin splints in the semis and lost in straights to Edberg, he would not win an Australian Open 10 years later where he lost to Kucera in the quarters and had his worst early hard court season in years that year, he likely would not have finished and won an event 10 years later he was injured enough in the semis to have missed 4 weeks after for-despite almost beating Agassi in that semi. So the only possable 2 I see are the 1995 and 1996. Well if he couldnt even win a set from Phillipousis in the 3rd round, what makes you think he was going to win the title ten years later? I know how dangerous Phillipousis can be but Pete didnt even get a set in that match. As for 1995 Sampras struggled so much to reach the final and fought emotional diress the whole event, still since he did play well enough to beat Courier, and almost go up 2-sets-1 vs Agassi I will concede maybe he would have won that time 10 years later without Federer. So so far I only see 1 additional slam.

There would be 1991 and 1992 10 years later to look at. The only real possabilities would be 1992 Wimbledon and 1992 U.S Open 10 years later. Hewitt won Wimbledon in 2002, was Sampras a better player in 92 then he was in 2000 and 2001 when Hewitt beat him both times they played on grass? Would Sampras who left the court with stomach ailment in his 4 set loss to a fatigued Edberg in 92 have won the same U.S Open 10 years later and older in 2002? I am not sure on either of those, I would guess 1 out of 2 though.

Speaking of that last 2002 U.S Open would he won that at the 2012 U.S Open without Federer? Well since as many rightfully point out 2002 was a transition period, I doubt the mens game will be as weak then as it is now. So right now I would guess no. As for the other 2001-2002 slams 10 years later, the only other slam he was past the 4th round was the 2001 U.S Open where he was crushed by Hewitt in the final due to massive fatigue. Hard to see him winning that one 10 years later either.

So that leaves him at 14 slams born 10 years later, facing the same field Federer does today, without Federer, adding the 1995 Australian Open he would have won 10 years later, and 1 of the 1992 or 2002 U.S Opens he might have won 10 years later. Losing the 1990 U.S Open and 2002 U.S Opens he would not have won 10 years later. Same number he has now.

35ft6
02-19-2007, 01:31 PM
Yawn

Yes, atheletes are smarter in terms of nutritional, conditioning and strength training.

Yes, the evolution of the game has created powerful shots from off both sdes of the ball.

But make no mistake, it is the racquet technology that is the key component in this equation. Technique and racket technology are not mutually exclusive. Besides, we're talking about Sampras versus Federer mostly, and I think they use the same racket still. (confirm somebody?)

I've used this example before, it's not just technology, though. Like people thought the 4 minute mile was impossible until somebody did it, and then all of the sudden many people could do the impossible. From Wikipedia:It was once thought by some to be impossible but has now been achieved by many male athletes, and is now the standard of all professional middle distance runners. In the last 50 years the 4 minute barrier has been lowered by almost 17 seconds. Still, it remains the standard by which all male amateur milers, including American college milers, are measured. Shots that were once considered reckless in how big the swings were, the grip, and the pace attempted, are now considered the norm. Swinging volleys aren't considered ridiculous anymore. It wasn't just technology creating the shift, it was juniors who tried to hit harder and harder, pushing the envelope even as, probably, their coaches told them not to, and then, for some of them, there comes a day when suddenly their shots stay in play. Except for maybe Nick B, who is a big believer in the disproportionately powerful Killer Forehand. Each generation takes it a bit further. They take bigger and bigger cuts at the ball. We may reach a limit at some point, and maybe we already have. Or maybe we haven't.Personally, I have a problem with "opinions" of any kind, since they are both biased and deal with whatever the sayer is comparing it to in their own wealth of experience. McEnroe, Laver, Shriver, etc. all have different and conflicting opinions on this issue and an array of other topics. If you're a person who believes in the validity of "opinions" which one do you go with?

1. The first published one
2. The last published one
3. The one concealed in hate

Please, the idea of people spouting someone else's opinion as a fact, is um, well, I won't say what I think about that! Is that based on your opinion or some kind of fact? This is a message board, you're going to hate it here. It's all about opinions here. If you like objective truth, you might want to check out a math forum but even there you're likely to run into some subjectivity.Well, i'm still young and, though i have no particular attachment to today's players i think that its glaringly obvious that that they better technically equipped than players of the 1970s and 1980s. I cringe when i look at the groundstroke (not the serve or the volley) technique in replays of 'classic matches'.Case in point, Lendl versus Borg 1981 (http://youtube.com/watch?v=E6Cl3fQgPwU). Didn't search long, took the first recent french open men's match that came up, but just to compare here's Ferrer versus Nadal (http://youtube.com/watch?v=JaqyrGxSxYE). If the sound throws you off, then by all means just turn off the volume. And, If so many pros that were playing then can admit that there has been enormous technical improvement in the game without hesitation, then why on earth is it so hard for fanatical contributors to tennis forums to admit the same?
Do they actually know the sport better than the (ex)pros, some of who now teach? This is the eternal question.

tricky
02-19-2007, 02:29 PM
His forehand doesn't (didn't) look especially heavy to me, certainly not on most shots. The annoying thing is that there is no means of proving it (and making a direct comparison with today's players etc.) as groundstroke speed etc. wasn't recorded back then as it is today.

I think most agree that the ball today is so much heavier than it was even 10 years ago. That said, I think Sampras's crosscourt FH (probably Eastern grip, and so not much spin) has the most pace of any shot I've seen, including guys like Gonzo's FH. It has 2nd serve pace.

I actually don't think average pace has gone up that much over the past 10 years, because the role of defense is more important now than 10 years ago. If a ball is fast and spinny, it's harder to take the ball on the rise unless you're a unusually tall player (i.e. the ball is "on the rise" longer for you.) I guess I kinda see Hewitt's ascendancy years back, as reflecting this shift in the overall baseline game. At the same time, people taking on more TS-friendly swings means that less players can take low shots or pounce aggressively on shortballs. So, we're talking about probably a feedback cycle here.

In terms of technique, yeah, I just don't think today's style could work with a wooden racket. Especially Federer's FH. Even though he uses a smaller racket, it's designed with the assumption that you got a generous sweet spot. That said, Fed's feel, movement and defensive game from both wings is better than anybody else in this generation, and perhaps better than from Sampras's era. Considering that he's rarely going at full speed, and that a 1 handed BH is not as strong a defensive weapon as a good 2-hander with depth, his footwork truly is exceptional regardless of generation.

On the other hand, Sampras would be better now, because he could have opted to use a lighter racket or use one of equivalent weight with more fine-tuned power distribution. Probably his BH errors would have gone down, and likely his double faults would have gone down too. The nature of his equipment means he strikes heavy shots relatively well given his technique.

christopher07
02-19-2007, 03:42 PM
This is the eternal question.
It could be (of course) that all the people here that believe there has has been no technical improvement, indeed, no technical transformation, in the sport are.... all world class coaches.
;-)


Just as an aside: i have bought a collection of [4] wooden racquets (from charity shops; i think that they look 'cute' :-). I have played with a couple and found that i can generate almost as much power off the ground, on most shots. I have long, extended swings off both wings and hit with controlling topspin. They are heavier and the sweet spot is much smaller, no question of that - but they are still playable, even for a person like me who had never picked up a wooden racquet in their life (before). The problem with the wooden racquets is that i cannot hit with the kind of topspin that i apply with my normal racquets - thus my margin for error is greatly reduced[/i] and i can't swing at freely as i normally would with the same results. And they are far less responsive on the return-of-serve. But even with my playing style, the wooden racquets are still more than playable.

I have also used a Yonex frame (used by a club player in his sixties) produced in the mid 1980s (he thinks it was 'Navratilova's racquet', of that period). I can hit just as hard - and strike just as many winners - using his fame as i can using my Prince Diablo. If anything, this 1980s Yonex frame is more (rather than less) 'powerful' than my 2000s Diablo..... And if you read a articles on racquet technology, you'll find that racquets (today) are still made of essentially the same materials as the graphite/composite racquets on the 1980s. I'm sure that racquets are a little more 'powerful' today but there is tendency to vastly overstate this.

35ft6
02-19-2007, 03:57 PM
^ Maybe the Babolat is notably different, but, yeah, if you look at the specs, the players frames of today aren't much different. Still thin beam, flexible, and low powered. Head sizes seem to be bigger on average, but Federer essentially plays with the same racket as Sampras, no? (confirm? hehe)

tricky
02-19-2007, 03:59 PM
They are heavier and the sweet spot is much smaller, no question of that - but they are still playable, even for a person like me who had never picked up a wooden racquet in their life (before).

Yeah, the thing with wooden racquets is that you just can't crank on the ball and keep the ball in. Also, you depend more on swing plane than very little hand rotation because you absolutely need to make sweet-spot contact with the ball.

Which is the inherent problem with the modern FH mechanics you see today -- Fed's hybrid swing, Roddick's throw swing, Nadal's reverse FH swing and most other swings relying on wrist stretch-shorten mechanics -- use a lot of hand rotation to accentuate spin while mantain pace. You could do all this with old-school graphite racquets. It's extremely difficult with wood. Laver could (albeit without the elbow bend), and well he cleaned house.

That all said, it's fun learning strokes on wood. In fact, it's not a bad idea trying to tweak your swing with a wooden racquet (it forces you to feel everything), and then transition it to the current one.

Agassi's abbreviated stroke works fine on wood. There's a lot of rotational dynamics, but his abbreviated style (leading to a nice distribution of those dynamics) and conservative grip means he'd keep the errors down. No doubt in my mind that Agassi would have dominated the sport had racquets stayed wood.

I kinda speculate that Sampras would have been a dangerous, dangerous baseliner with a 2-handed BH had the game stayed with wood. A 1H BH would have been a serious liability for him; instead he'd build his entire game around running FHs.

35ft6
02-19-2007, 04:36 PM
^ I think Jiri Novak would have been top 10 if wood was mandatory. Korda would have been a legend. Sampras would maybe have dominated even more.

Zimbo
02-19-2007, 05:07 PM
You are a moron. Go ask Agassi himself, and watch his serve speed and ground stroke speed. It's not how fast you feel by watching on TV. Many guys had the impression some women hit harder ground stroke than Roddick by watching TV.

Hey tennis guy calm down. Did I say something to **** you off or something? I always enjoyed reading your post and respected you opinion so I don't think it's necessary to call me a moran. You are right about watching tennis on TV and makig conclusions and you are right about Agassi serve speed and his overall ground game. What I was refering too was that when Agassi was younger he blasted his forhand for winners a lot more then later in his career. In other words, he went for the winner more. I've seen Agassi live since '87 and it appeared that his forehand was bigger then when he retired, but overall his game was better and faster later on. I think other on this board would agree.

Nick Irons
02-19-2007, 05:09 PM
Agassi was a much more punishing player in his later years.

Zimbo
02-19-2007, 05:17 PM
Agassi was a much more punishing player in his later years.

Agreed. His strokes got more compact and he became a more punishing player. But would you agree that he went for more winners earlier on, thus this his forehand was bigger. Because of this he was also a lot more inconsistant.

tricky
02-19-2007, 06:11 PM
That's true, Agassi went for lines earlier when he wasn't playing percentage tennis. Also, the baseline game then was much flatter, which plays to Agassi hitting on the rise.

Just looked at old Agassi vs. Sampras from 1993. Whoa, forgot how Agassi used to serve. :(

The Gorilla
02-19-2007, 06:12 PM
That's true, Agassi went for lines earlier when he wasn't playing percentage tennis. Also, the baseline game then was much flatter, which plays to Agassi hitting on the rise.

Just looked at old Agassi vs. Sampras from 1993. Whoa, forgot how Agassi used to serve. :(

he did very well back in the days of wooden racquets, only he went by the name of jimmy connors back then...

Kaptain Karl
02-19-2007, 06:18 PM
35ft6 - Great post. I think you broke it down very well.

My only "beef" with your argument is your contrast of Borg / Lendl 1981 French -vs- Nadal / Ferrer French 2005. (You aren't the first -- or the last -- to use that '81 match to "prove a point" but it's disingenuous to claim those are "fair" comparisons.) Lendl was *spent*, completely spent, by that point ... and Nadal / Ferrer was in the first set. Borg was happy to let Lendl finish collapsing. Not a fair contrast at all.

(But I still agree with your basic point....)

- KK

christopher07
02-19-2007, 07:51 PM
Federer essentially plays with the same racket as Sampras, no? (confirm? hehe)
I think that Federer's Six-One Tour 90 racquet is (essentially) the 'descendant' of Sampras's Wilson racquet of the 1990s...

christopher07
02-19-2007, 08:00 PM
Yeah, the thing with wooden racquets is that you just can't crank on the ball and keep the ball in. Also, you depend more on swing plane than very little hand rotation because you absolutely need to make sweet-spot contact with the ball.

That is essentially what i found... i don't think that i use too much rotation on the ball but i had to make (more) certain of the contact, otherwise the ball would fly out or i would get too many mis-hits.

Agassi grew up using wooden racquets, of course - he must of been one of only a couple of players left on the Tour that actually used wood racquets as a child/junior.

I'm sure about Sampras being baseliner with wooden racquets, though... from what i have read he seemed to develop the mentality to be a serve-volleyer, to be a generally 'attacking' player, and i think that he would have been even better served as serve-volleyer in the wooden era as returns (in [i]relation to the serve) weren't nearly as effective - or devastating. Thus, i fear that he would have been even more dominant in the wood era, with his natural game style.

Mick
02-19-2007, 08:24 PM
Today's players may be better but I don't think many will end up in the Hall Of Fame if Federer keeps on winning all the big tournaments.

BeckerFan
02-19-2007, 08:49 PM
I agree that Sampras's strengths would have been even better suited to the wood era; however, he also would have faced opponents whose games were similarly fine-tuned to wood racquets. I'm not so sure he could have dominated Gonzales, Rosewall, or Laver any easier than he dominated Becker, Agassi or Ivanisevic. People often make the case that Sampras would have won more Grand Slam titles in the past, when three of the four tournaments were played on grass. I don't buy it. Sampras played in an era when grass was something of a specialist's surface. Back then, EVERYONE was the equivalent of a 'grass-court specialist.'

TheNatural
02-20-2007, 12:15 AM
well sampras just switched rackets and strings now, probably to feds racket. And he says it lets him hit the ball better now than in his prime. So obviously the racket and string technology feds been playing with currently was better than what Sampras had been playing with in the past. So it lets Fed hit with more controlled pace and wicked angles. Dont forget fed and other atp players have been able to develop and fine tune their game with the new technology, and develop different skill sets that the past technology didnt allow to do, so obviously they should be better than past players. Anyways Sampras and others chose theirracket and strings and game that were available and which suited the times they were playing in. Things have changed now and in the future something else will change and the next era of players will also be better.

They should have a few 85 square inch wooden racket and standard string tournaments a few times a year to bring more pure skill and less ball bashing into play..lol. Obviously if that happened a lot of the different skills and types of shots current players have developed would be obsolete, and they would have to develop different skills.







^ Maybe the Babolat is notably different, but, yeah, if you look at the specs, the players frames of today aren't much different. Still thin beam, flexible, and low powered. Head sizes seem to be bigger on average, but Federer essentially plays with the same racket as Sampras, no? (confirm? hehe)

35ft6
02-20-2007, 12:19 AM
Agreed. His strokes got more compact and he became a more punishing player. But would you agree that he went for more winners earlier on, thus this his forehand was bigger. Because of this he was also a lot more inconsistant. Agassi did go for bigger shots earlier in his career. He really played on sheer instinct, and won on shotmaking. He didn't learn to play tennis until he met Brad.

But, also, when Agassi came out, he was a completely new breed of player. Mac said nobody had EVER hit the ball that hard at him -- and remember, Mac had played Lendl several times -- and I think he said this about a 16 or 17 year old Agassi. And Agassi could hit huge off both sides and he didn't need a sitter to unload. So in comparison to other players back then, when he arrived on the scene, his balls looked harder if only by comparison, too.
My only "beef" with your argument is your contrast of Borg / Lendl 1981 French -vs- Nadal / Ferrer French 2005. (You aren't the first -- or the last -- to use that '81 match to "prove a point" but it's disingenuous to claim those are "fair" comparisons.) I've posted that match before, so it was probably me. Here's Muster's match point against Chang in the 1995 French Open (http://youtube.com/watch?v=Mi87vyvi7wM). Just spent some time looking for the match point of a long match at the French. I probably don't think it's as unfair a misrepresentation as you do. I have a taped match of Lendl versus Mecir, and it's actually SLOWER. And not just the fifth set. And I would contend Nadal hits like that on every point, first to last. But I understand what you're saying...

Here's a video of Borg Vilas final of 1978? (http://youtube.com/watch?v=jOqAxHZeOwU) Pretty sure it's not the end of a tiring match.

tricky
02-20-2007, 12:51 AM
I'm sure about Sampras being baseliner with wooden racquets, though... from what i have read he seemed to develop the mentality to be a serve-volleyer, to be a generally 'attacking' player, and i think that he would have been even better served as serve-volleyer in the wooden era as returns (in relation to the serve) weren't nearly as effective - or devastating. Thus, i fear that he would have been even more dominant in the wood era, with his natural game style.

I actually wonder whether Sampras would have made the transition had the game stayed with wood. Would he have been initially comfortable volleying with it as a matter of course? Would he have given up the rallying stability of the 2H BH, given that he could put away his opponent if he set up the running FH? It's often been said that for the first half of his career, Sampras only played true S&V on grass, otherwise applying an aggressive mix of power serving and selective net approach.

Also, his game was quirky in that his baseline game was really built around linear transfer. He not only had arguably the perfect tennis body, essentially a 6'2 Scottie Pippen, but he was especially good at using his foot speed in order to improve his baseline accuracy as well as his running FH. Studies have shown that the energy produced from rotational mechanics and that of linear transfer come out about the same, and so if Sampras was moving toward his FH wing, he could generate as much if not more power than his opponents. He brought a "baller" athleticism to the game.

And Agassi could hit huge off both sides and he didn't need a sitter to unload. So in comparison to other players back then, when he arrived on the scene, his balls looked harder if only by comparison, too.

In a way, I think the effect between early Agassi and tennis is similar to how we see Safin now. Like, when he came onto the scene, other people were stunned at the ungodly pace he could mantain from both wings. Just as today, the idea of an Agassi-Sampras hybrid who looks like Heath Ledger is too good to be true.

35ft6
02-20-2007, 01:08 AM
In a way, I think the effect between early Agassi and tennis is similar to how we see Safin now. Like, when he came onto the scene, other people were stunned at the ungodly pace he could mantain from both wings. Just as today, the idea of an Agassi-Sampras hybrid who looks like Heath Ledger is too good to be true. It may have been Becker, who said something about how he came along after Lendl raised the ante, so Becker came along to hit bigger than Lendl, then Goran came and hit bigger than him/Boris, then Safin came along and outhit Goran. I think those are the names he mentioned. But, yeah, every so often a youngster comes out who appears to be hitting big almost to a reckless degree and sort of makes people redefine what an acceptable level of pace is. Kids grow up idolizing, usually, the biggest hitters. 10 year olds don't appreciate variety so much, but they know a big hitter when they see one. When I was growing up, everybody was idolizing Agassi. And for a while it was probably Roddick, and now there are probably kids idolizing Nadal, Federer, and Gonzalez, so tennis might be very interesting in about 5 to 10 years when all these kids come into their own. IMO, of the current pros, Agassi is the most copied and idolized. Sampras might be a close second but you really can't see his influence in their game so much.

Rabbit
02-20-2007, 04:26 AM
There was a joint interview in Tennis Magazine some years ago. The objects of the interview were Andre Agassi & Pete Sampras. This interview came after John McEnroe had made some disparaging remarks about the then current pros and the state of American tennis (Sampras & Agassi had recently reached the apex of the professional game).

I remember Sampras stating his admiration for the old Aussie pros because they respected those who came after them and didn't "pop off" at the mouth. Sampras was making a direct comment about McEnroe's "popping off".

I think Sampras is following the lead of his idol, Rod Laver and doing what he thinks is "giving back" to the game by saying that the latest greatest are better. When pressed about his chances against Federer, Sampras gives himself a better than even chance on grass. The dichotomy is pretty clear here.

About Becker's comments, remember who "retired" him at Wimbledon? Yep, it was Sampras. After beating Becker at Wimbledon, the two came to net for a handshake and Becker let Sampras know before anyone that he had just played his last match at Wimbledon. Sampras was shocked. Becker said he didn't think he could ever beat Sampras on grass and he might as well bow out. I think that tennis pros, regardless of the era, start out knocking the crap out of the ball because that's all they know to do. Once they learn how to win, once they figure out they are in the big leagues, once they have something to lose, then they start learning how to win and reigning in the power.

The Gorilla
02-20-2007, 05:22 AM
I think it's important to remember that Sampras was much better at playing the all court game Federer's playing now than serve and volley.After Guillickson died he turned himself into a pure serve and volleyer under paul annacone and his dominance plummeted.

Playing Federer's style he was pretty much exactly as dominant as Federer, as a serve and volleyer he was nowhere near as dominant.

Sampras says in that interview that he was playing the best tennis of his life in that 2002 US open title, he probably was playing the best SERVE AND VOLLEY of his life but he was only playing to about 3/4 of his potential.
__________________
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=1260981&postcount=324



you'll have to copy and paste

35ft6
02-20-2007, 01:08 PM
I think that Federer's Six-One Tour 90 racquet is (essentially) the 'descendant' of Sampras's Wilson racquet of the 1990s... I'm talking about how he's playing with a paintjob, and I'm not sure what the consensus is these days, but not too long ago people thought he was literally using Pete's racket. Painted to look like the latest line Wilson was shilling, of course.
People often make the case that Sampras would have won more Grand Slam titles in the past, when three of the four tournaments were played on grass. I don't buy it. Sampras played in an era when grass was something of a specialist's surface. Back then, EVERYONE was the equivalent of a 'grass-court specialist.' That's a legitimate way of looking at it. Never thought of it that way. By the same token, maybe Laver would find that he just couldn't compete on modern hard and clay courts against the specialists.well sampras just switched rackets and strings now, probably to feds racket. Fed plays with a paintjob. Just did a half butt search in Player's Rackets forum. Not sure what Fed is playing with right now.And he says it lets him hit the ball better now than in his prime.There was nothing stopping him from using the racket he thought served him best. So it lets Fed hit with more controlled pace and wicked angles. Dont forget fed and other atp players have been able to develop and fine tune their game with the new technology, and develop different skill sets that the past technology didnt allow to do, so obviously they should be better than past players. Except for the Babolat rackets, many players are still playing with rackets that use technology circa 1985. Well, maybe not "many" any more, but certainly Federer. He DOES use Big Banger crosses, though. Crosses? WTF? But if you hit with Sampras' racket, and Federer's racket, except for the grip and static weight, you most likely wouldn't feel that much difference. Federer's would probably feel even deader because at least Sampras played with thin gauge gut, albeit strung pretty high.They should have a few 85 square inch wooden racket and standard string tournaments a few times a year to bring more pure skill and less ball bashing into play..lol. I would love to see this, but the players would be hitting and giggling. Some local tournaments would be nice, too. I would play in a wooden racket tournament fo sho.

Zimbo
02-20-2007, 10:16 PM
But, also, when Agassi came out, he was a completely new breed of player. Mac said nobody had EVER hit the ball that hard at him -- and remember, Mac had played Lendl several times -- and I think he said this about a 16 or 17 year old Agassi. And Agassi could hit huge off both sides and he didn't need a sitter to unload. So in comparison to other players back then, when he arrived on the scene, his balls looked harder if only by comparison, too.


If I remember correctly I thought Mac said that about Becker. He could have said that about Agassi later on also. It was because of Becker that Mac went to Dunlop and asked them to create a more powerful racket for him. His 200g wasn't cuting it anylonger. Does this ring a bell with anyone? My memory is kinda hazy.

TheTruth
02-20-2007, 10:26 PM
That's frankly bizarre, with all due respect... you completely dismiss the observations of professional that actually played the sport in favour of your own opinions?

I'm absolutely certain that Tracy Austin must have been referring to Serena's recent level of play. Even though Serena's results had clearly improved during last summer's US hardcourt season, she clearly wasn't fully match fit, and was observably sluggish when forced to move across the court. Consequently, very little was expected of her at this year's Australian Open, especially after a five month gap from tournament play. The woman hardly practised at all if the 'off season' because of court appearances etc. Why would you expect a Grand Slam win on the back of that? It's very, very rare for a player to win a Grand Slam coming off the back of nothing, or very little. Yes, Serena turned it on last month, as Venus did in June 2005 but it's not (at all) common.

Back to Tracy Austin. This is the same woman that stated that Serena Williams (in her opinion) was the 'best ever player' in the women's game. [Wimbledon, BBC, 2003, 2006]. She also stated that Serena and Venus could both be at the very top of the game "if they wanted it" and committed themselves to the game. She has commented that both players are enormously talented, and athletically gifted - and has asserted this on numerous occasions. In a wider sense, that it is hardly 'dismissive'.

Well, what's bizarre to me is that people actually listen to and believe in their opinions. Playing the game means nothing when it comes to opinions about players. They could give me knowledge regarding the game, but not about what they think about a particular players chances, or state of fitness. That is reserved for me. Regardless of what they were saying, Serena played last August, came in match rusty, and beat Myskina, Mattek, and a couple others en route to a semifinal appearance after months off of the tour. History tells me that she can repeat that feat, (which she did) so IMO, which is most bizarre? Ruling out what has been done by them on a consistent basis, or attempting to sway the people with their "expert" opinions?

Regarding Tracy, and the others, they always admit the WS are great players, but as many accolades as they give, there give just as many rebuttals to their legacy. It comes down to what we choose to believe. But in addition to the praise they also had numerous comments about what a hard time Serena was going to have with Santangelo, Kremer, Petrova, etc. up until she had that trophy in her hand. Then, and only then did they become believers!

TheTruth
02-20-2007, 10:33 PM
The fact is, we all have an opinion, and all opinions are subjective. Therefore, no one's opinion is any better than anyone else's. What makes our opinions valid to us is our own wealth of experience to back up those assertions. So, no, I won't have a problem being here, nor do I need to go to a math board, because I understand that opinions are not facts and that I do not have to fear espousing my own opinion, or bow down to the will of others. It is a message board to speak on our opinions and everyone is entitled to their own.

35ft6
02-20-2007, 10:49 PM
If I remember correctly I thought Mac said that about Becker. He could have said that about Agassi later on also. It was because of Becker that Mac went to Dunlop and asked them to create a more powerful racket for him. His 200g wasn't cuting it anylonger. Does this ring a bell with anyone? My memory is kinda hazy. I'm almost positive he said this about Agassi. It may have been after a match against Andre in the former Mt. Vermont tournament. It's possible he said about Becker, too, a few years before meeting Agassi. Mac, being a serve and volleyer, probably meant it in the context of Agassi's returns, the likes of which he'd probably never seen before. Yeah, Connors had a great return, too, but he didn't rip it like Andre did. The fact is, we all have an opinion, and all opinions are subjective. Therefore, no one's opinion is any better than anyone else's. Just want to point out that this is a self defeating argument. If we're to believe the bolded part, we must disregard the bolded part. Who cares? Of course former players who become coaches, who get to run tennis federations and coach Davis Cup teams -- of course their opinions are better informed. Nobody asks a drunken TW poster to give an impromptu interview the way Wilander was.

Kaptain Karl
02-21-2007, 04:57 AM
35ft6 - Thanks for digging-up more clips. I think the Borg/Vilas one is the "reverse" of the Borg/Lendl one. (First point of the match. They seemed like they were both still "getting the feel" of how their match was going to go.)

Muster/Chang was, IMO, more "representative" and more fair. Those two were *hitting* the ball, even though that was match point, too.

And to your point ... Muster/Chang still were not *clocking* the ball like in your Nadal clip. But the difference wasn't so "glaringly dramatic" as using a *spent* Lendl as the representative clip of that era's tennis.

I think even the casual observer would look at your Nadal clip and your Muster clip and say, "Yup. Nadal hits the ball significantly more energetically than Muster did."

Good discussion. Thanks for staying with it (and me).

- KK

alwaysatnet
02-21-2007, 06:45 AM
35ft6 - Thanks for digging-up more clips. I think the Borg/Vilas one is the "reverse" of the Borg/Lendl one. (First point of the match. They seemed like they were both still "getting the feel" of how their match was going to go.)

Muster/Chang was, IMO, more "representative" and more fair. Those two were *hitting* the ball, even though that was match point, too.

And to your point ... Muster/Chang still were not *clocking* the ball like in your Nadal clip. But the difference wasn't so "glaringly dramatic" as using a *spent* Lendl as the representative clip of that era's tennis.

I think even the casual observer would look at your Nadal clip and your Muster clip and say, "Yup. Nadal hits the ball significantly more energetically than Muster did."

Good discussion. Thanks for staying with it (and me).

- KK
It pays to hit the ball hard and harder in today's pro tennis world. That's how juniors are taught to play and if they are a physical specimen,like Nadal, it pays off. There's a three legged stool that the modern game rests on: One,the players are bigger and trained better so,two,they can better access the power that modern racquets and strings can provide. Because of his new racquet and strings even Pete Sampras says he can hit harder now than ever.Three, with the rise of topspin that allows one to wail away at the ball like you're beating a rug, that's how the short sighted coaches teach the game now. Tennis has become like the cold war arms race where the ante for the level of destruction that can be dished out keeps rising. And like the post nuclear age,we can never go back,or are extremely unlikely to.

Linda
02-21-2007, 08:01 AM
In real life, Pete is probably cursing a thick stream of vitirol. He is NOT happy with Federer's sudden appearance making him old hand news THIS FAST. Not at all. Don't let his political smarm fool you, for a second.

i don't know if this was meant to be funny...but it was. thank you for the humour.

alwaysatnet
02-21-2007, 08:11 AM
How does someone make such an observation about Pete's inner motives? Is this guy a psychic? I don't find it humorous so much as presumptive.

nikdom
02-21-2007, 01:28 PM
http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2007-02-17/142.php

tricky
02-21-2007, 01:43 PM
The way Sampras talks is pretty much how Jordan talked, though. Going out on top may be the best way to establish your legacy, but it also means you left the game looking down at your competition.

That said, I also think Sampras philosophically doesn't like the current game. After all, here was a guy who could have stayed a power server-baseliner, but he idolized Laver and wanted to attain a true all-court style. He sees the relative monotony of the current game and kinda wonders out loud who but Federer really plays tennis as it "should be played."

Moose Malloy
02-21-2007, 02:56 PM
I'm almost positive he said this about Agassi.

That's wrong, Mac said that about Becker, not Agassi. As did a number of players in the 80s. Becker shook up the tennisworld far more in 1985 than Agassi in 1988. He hit much harder than Agassi on all shots, Agassi just hit harder more consistently, because Becker wasn't a baseliner & the ball wasn't in play as much. And Becker sure as hell didn't need a sitter to unload. I think its obvious that Becker has quite a bit more natural strength than Agassi. Mac commented that no one had ever hit the ball harder than Becker in 1985. He never said anything of the sort about Agassi. check out your copy of mac's book to confirm.

Even Lendl, considered a power player, was freaked out by Becker's power & said so(check out the 1986 W final with 18 year old Becker manhandling #1 Lendl)I have almost every issue of tennis magazine in the 80s, there was far more talk all around about Becker than Agassi, He was the true new breed, something that tennis had never seen. Mac went off on the racquets when Becker won Wimbledon as did many players. There were discussions about ways to change the game, surfaces, rules. People were freaking out because of Becker all through the tennisworld. lendl said many times of becker, "he just has more power than me" never said that about agassi. wilander also said the same(five o's link with wilander helps put into perspective how different becker was to anyone else. agassi, however powerfull, still played a game with many rallies, so it wasn't quite as earth shattering as becker just completely overpowering guys from the 1st strike)

becker was sampras before sampras. there's a reason more players tried to emulate agassi than sampras or becker. its an easier type of play to learn. you can learn to swing out with much larger racquets with topspin, even if you are a little guy. its hard for a junior to learn how to be 6'1/6'3 & be blessed with so much natural strength/atheticism & a roger clemens type arm that you can just go for winners all the time from all areas of the court & not care if you make a ton of errors, because you know you'll make enough winners in the long run.

and as far as "relative power" to peers go, becker wasn't static either. he hit harder than sampras during their meetings from 1994-1996(higher mph on the serve) he was clearly still one of the biggest hitters on tour when he retired in 1997, when the game had changed so much since 1985. I wish the tennis channel just put that becker-sampras masters final from 1996 on a loop, I have a feeling it would open quite a few eyes here.

BTW, the way people use clips of random points to prove whatever is rather silly. A tennis match consists of 100s of points, not sure how you can really see it in black & white terms. There are so many factors in why a match may look faster or slower than another. I have the 1980 W final from both BBC & NBC. The NBC feed is like watching a completely different match, camera is close to the players you can see how fast they(wow at Borg) are & a microphone on court makes the pace of shot sound so fast, while the BBC feed is flat & makes them look like dinosaurs(no mike on court). watching their serves from a close angle is impressive, they were hitting world class shots with ridiculously small frames.

also, I'd advise watching the entire Muster-Kafelnikov SF, the entire Buruguera-Chang SF & the entire Muster-Chang F from Roland Garros before coming to concusions on "pace" of the game back then. Certain players play a different way & that affects the way the other plays, & their strategy. Chang gets so much flack on these boards from a few clips, its absurd. If Kafelnikov & Muster look like their teeing off the ball in the semis in 1995 & a match a few days later looks considerably slower, what does that mean? did the a game take a few steps back in a few days? the same thing happens today, but we aren't microanalyzing every match. Watch Hewitt-Murray one day & Federer-Safin another, its night & day, but they are still playing the same game, in terms of pro level. wonder what you'd think of muster-bruguera & muster-becker matches on clay I have. They certainly weren't holding back at all. chang couldn't generate the same racquet speed of nearly any of his contemporaries so he always looked slower, pacewise. was still able to hold his own though. hewitt's racquet head speed is quite slow as well. fortunately he isn't a midget like chang(guy was 5'6, not his listing of 5'9 on the atp site) like I said, if sampras-becker circa 1996 looked as modern as any tennis today, pace-wise, maybe chang was a bit more modern as well since he beat both becker & sampras around that time?

you should try to find match point of the '93 FO final, I don't think I've seen a better match point with a player absolutely unloading on the ball with no hesitation(courier) at the end of a close 5 setter. it probably wouldn't help your point though.

was just watching laver-connors from 1975. guys were crushing the ball(guess what,there were mikes on court & great angles) too bad its not on youtube.

and connors did rip the return. he was doing it at at time when 3 of the majors were on grass, & with a even more antiquated racquet than wood racquets, so he was no joke.

whistleway
02-21-2007, 02:59 PM
Thanks for the great post, Moose Malloy..

StunLock
02-21-2007, 03:04 PM
i always wondered how sampras commented on the only match between the two...

Zimbo
02-21-2007, 04:36 PM
Thanks for the post Moose. I knew it was Becker that Mac talked about and not Agassi. However, I do disagree with you about Becker vs Agassi forehand. I remember everyone saying Agassi forehand was the biggest out there in '88.

The Gorilla
02-21-2007, 04:40 PM
Thanks for the post Moose. I knew it was Becker that Mac talked about and not Agassi. However, I do disagree with you about Becker vs Agassi forehand. I remember everyone saying Agassi forehand was the biggest out there in '88.

no way, lendl had the biggest forehand of all time, only gonzales is his equal for pace.His backhand was virtually as strong too.

35ft6
02-21-2007, 04:54 PM
That's wrong, Mac said that about Becker, not Agassi. Just found it on Google: “Nobody has ever hit the ball that hard against me,” John McEnroe said after ending Agassi’s Stratton run. (http://www.tennis.com/tournaments/2006/usopen/usopen.aspx?id=40764)

Zimbo
02-21-2007, 04:55 PM
no way, lendl had the biggest forehand of all time, only gonzales is his equal for pace.His backhand was virtually as strong too.

Lendl had the better forehand but Agassi's was bigger back then ('87-'89) . Everyone said it. Lendl himself said it. But he also said that when he was younger and went for more that is forehand was equal to Agassi's in pace. As for Gonzo's, I think his has more pace then the both Agassi and Lendl.

Zimbo
02-21-2007, 04:57 PM
Just found it on Google:

Good find. I guess he said it about both players.

shakes1975
02-21-2007, 05:01 PM
moose malloy, excellent post about becker. yes, becker was the first player to truly revolutionize the game.

as that excellent indian sportswriter rohit brijnath said "when boris becker won wimbledon in 1985, it wasn't just the end of the mcenroe and borg era. wimbledon, and tennis, were never to be the same again."

sampras is a faster and more accurate version of becker. when they played against each other, becker was essentially playing a more mobile, accurate version of himself.

35ft6
02-21-2007, 05:05 PM
He hit much harder than Agassi on all shots, Agassi just hit harder more consistently, because Becker wasn't a baseliner & the ball wasn't in play as much. And Becker sure as hell didn't need a sitter to unload. Becker could potentially unload bigger on his shots than Agassi, not really sure about that, but I maintain that on average, Agassi was generating more heat. I think its obvious that Becker has quite a bit more natural strength than Agassi. Have you seen Federer's arms lately? It's about timing. Agassi had better timing than almost everybody, and he's arguably the purest ball striker of all time.
BTW, the way people use clips of random points to prove whatever is rather silly. Maybe, but it's not like Youtube doesn't exist and we have to completely rely on hearsay. People are free to respond with a link that they think is better.also, I'd advise watching the entire Muster-Kafelnikov SF, the entire Buruguera-Chang SF & the entire Muster-Chang F from Roland Garros before coming to concusions on "pace" of the game back then. Nah, I'll pass. I've seen enough tennis in my life, don't need to watch those matches in entirety before I'm entitled to an opinion. If you believe in the dangers of sample bias, choosing only certain parts of matches, then extend that to certain matches out of a season as well.wonder what you'd think of muster-bruguera & muster-becker matches on clay I have. They certainly weren't holding back at all. chang couldn't generate the same racquet speed of nearly any of his contemporaries so he always looked slower, pacewise. Are you saying the game wasn't slower back then?you should try to find match point of the '93 FO final, I don't think I've seen a better match point with a player absolutely unloading on the ball with no hesitation(courier) at the end of a close 5 setter. it probably wouldn't help your point though. I wasn't looking for clips to prove my point. I'd love to see any clips that relate to this. Find it. If you think I'm only finding clips to prove my point, you or anybody are free to go youtube and post counter clips. Nobody has done this.

35ft6
02-21-2007, 05:08 PM
moose malloy, excellent post about becker. yes, becker was the first player to truly revolutionize the game. I think Lendl is the person who truly revolutionized tennis at that time. Incredible fitness... huge serve that you don't necessarily follow into the net... a huge forehand you use to control the center of the court by hitting inside out... etc.

I don't know if Becker's bigger hitting was his main advantage over Lendl. I think it had more to do with Becker's superior natural talent for moving to the ball and knowing when to attack. Lendl truly was robotic when it came to point construction, and a guy like Becker will just zero in on those patterns and T off all day. He could never do that with Sampras, who was even more of an explosive mover and had better natural instincts than Becker. It wasn't just sheer power.

The Gorilla
02-21-2007, 05:10 PM
Lendl had the better forehand but Agassi's was bigger back then ('87-'89) . Everyone said it. Lendl himself said it. But he also said that when he was younger and went for more that is forehand was equal to Agassi's in pace. As for Gonzo's, I think his has more pace then the both Agassi and Lendl.

lendl's forehand got more powerful as he got older, gonzalez' coack says that lendl hit as big as gonzalez.Lendl's forehand was bigger than Fed's is now, Agassi never had the best forehand on the world, in his entire career.

drakulie
02-21-2007, 05:17 PM
Gorilla, Lendly had an awesome forheand>>> there is no doubt about that>>>> for his time.

However, his forehand is nowehere near that of Gonzalez, Fed, or even Agassi's when he retired.

Mick
02-21-2007, 05:22 PM
Gorilla, Lendly had an awesome forheand>>> there is no doubt about that>>>> for his time.

However, his forehand is nowehere near that of Gonzalez, Fed, or even Agassi's when he retired.

The way Lendl hit the forehand is quite unique. Nobody else would wind it up and hit it the way he did.

35ft6
02-21-2007, 05:23 PM
^ I think Federer has a bigger forehand than Lendl did. I think Blake, Berdych, and Safin do, too. And Roddick definitely used to, and as for the clay courters, it's tougher to tell. Lendl hit pretty flat so I'm not sure about guys like Verdasco, Nadal, and Gonzalez if we're talking sheer speed.

BeckerFan
02-21-2007, 05:26 PM
Lendl had one of the great forehands. He pretty much wrote the book on the inside-out FH. It was not as natural as Borg's, though, and I certainly wouldn't rate it as high as Federer's.

TheTruth
02-21-2007, 09:12 PM
I'm almost positive he said this about Agassi. It may have been after a match against Andre in the former Mt. Vermont tournament. It's possible he said about Becker, too, a few years before meeting Agassi. Mac, being a serve and volleyer, probably meant it in the context of Agassi's returns, the likes of which he'd probably never seen before. Yeah, Connors had a great return, too, but he didn't rip it like Andre did. Just want to point out that this is a self defeating argument. If we're to believe the bolded part, we must disregard the bolded part. Who cares? Of course former players who become coaches, who get to run tennis federations and coach Davis Cup teams -- of course their opinions are better informed. Nobody asks a drunken TW poster to give an impromptu interview the way Wilander was.

We'll have to agree to disagree then, because there are many "experts" whose opinions vary greatly, whose do you believe? Is Wertheim's opinion better than Tignor's? Evert's better than Shriver's? Is the majority of your opinion coming from one source? There are too many factors involved, so I respectfully disagree with your logic and stand by my statement!

Zimbo
02-21-2007, 11:05 PM
lendl's forehand got more powerful as he got older, gonzalez' coack says that lendl hit as big as gonzalez.Lendl's forehand was bigger than Fed's is now, Agassi never had the best forehand on the world, in his entire career.

Gorrila. If you read my post carefully I never said that Agassi had the best forehand. I said Lendl had the best. But I did say Agassi's was bigger. I know you don't agree with me but Lendl even said it. So I guess I'll take Lendl's words over yours. Lendl also said he was hitting harder off the forehand side when he was younger so again I'll take his words over yours. Maybe Lendl was hitting harder late in his career. It's probably when he switched rackets so I'll give you that. But the argument was during the period of '87-'89 when Lendl was still using that puny racket. How come you are so hell bent in your theory that Lendl had the biggest forehand? Where do you get this idea? I'm guessing from watching him play. Was it just on TV or was it live? Well I watch both Agassi and Lendl live and my opinion was Agassi's forehand was bigger during '87-'89. So, your opinion differs from mine. That's cool, because it's our opinion. The tie break is that Lendl himself said Agassi hits harder off that wing. Nuff said.

35ft6
02-21-2007, 11:34 PM
We'll have to agree to disagree then, because there are many "experts" whose opinions vary greatly, whose do you believe? Is Wertheim's opinion better than Tignor's? Evert's better than Shriver's? Is the majority of your opinion coming from one source? There are too many factors involved, so I respectfully disagree with your logic and stand by my statement! That's fine. But I was just pointing out that your thoughts on opinions aren't very logical.

The Gorilla
02-22-2007, 02:30 AM
Gorrila. If you read my post carefully I never said that Agassi had the best forehand. I said Lendl had the best. But I did say Agassi's was bigger. I know you don't agree with me but Lendl even said it. So I guess I'll take Lendl's words over yours. Lendl also said he was hitting harder off the forehand side when he was younger so again I'll take his words over yours. Maybe Lendl was hitting harder late in his career. It's probably when he switched rackets so I'll give you that. But the argument was during the period of '87-'89 when Lendl was still using that puny racket. How come you are so hell bent in your theory that Lendl had the biggest forehand? Where do you get this idea? I'm guessing from watching him play. Was it just on TV or was it live? Well I watch both Agassi and Lendl live and my opinion was Agassi's forehand was bigger during '87-'89. So, your opinion differs from mine. That's cool, because it's our opinion. The tie break is that Lendl himself said Agassi hits harder off that wing. Nuff said.



but I know for a fact that he hit bigger as he got older, we all do, look at his us open final against mcenroe and his aus open final against becker, the difference is incredible.

TheTruth
02-22-2007, 01:02 PM
That's fine. But I was just pointing out that you're thoughts on opinions isn't very logical.

Don't know what you mean, but it's quite simple. I take my own insights and form my own opinions from the world around me, rather than (a.) jump on the bandwagon, or (b.) believe everything that I hear. Rather, I take into account as many factors as I can to come up with my particular take on a situation. The reason being, most people's opinions to me sound like regurgitated bile from the ESPN booth, unoriginal and unresearched. Also, I wouldn't dare side with commentators that I already have a low opinion of.

Nick Irons
02-22-2007, 01:12 PM
However, his forehand is nowehere near that of Gonzalez, Fed, or even Agassi's when he retired.

And that, is a matter of technology, not technique.

drakulie
02-22-2007, 01:28 PM
And that, is a matter of technology, not technique.

I disagree. Just look at the force in their swings compared to Lendl's.

In fact, just looks at Sampras' forehand which had way more pace than Lenlds, and he used a racquet equal to Lendls.

The Gorilla
02-22-2007, 02:16 PM
I disagree. Just look at the force in their swings compared to Lendl's.


how?


In fact, just looks at Sampras' forehand which had way more pace than Lenlds,

no.



and he used a racquet equal to Lendls.

He used a racquet that was at least ten inches bigger, possibly 15 I'm not sure, Lendl's racquet was 70-75 inches squared, his racquet is the size of a modern day squah racquet.Federer's 90 inch racquet has 15-20 inches squared greater area.




Not having seen Lendl play in years I thought, like everyone, that Federer's forehand was the best I had ever seen, but Laurie posted the Sampras v Becker '91 Australian open up on her site and I was shocked by how hard he hit the ball.It was incredible.


furthermore:

''
Article : Mr Forehand

Mr Forehand by Jake Niall
January 26, 2007


Fernando Gonzalez, or “Signor Derecha” - Spanish for “Mr Forehand” - in action at the Australian Open. I know I have one of the best forehands on tour, but I need to improve my backhand, my net game, my return of serve.

In his decades of coaching, playing and watching the greats, Larry Stefanki has seen only one forehand as potent as that of his pupil Fernando Gonzalez.

Stefanki is on the run to his man’s final major practice session before Gonzalez plays Tommy Haas for a berth in the Australian Open final. The interview, thus, is done busy West Wing style, rushing down the corridor, interrupted by the sagacious coach’s conversations with Jimmy Connors and others.

Is there another forehand like Fernando’s? “No, he has the best forehand in the game,” said Stefanki, who coached John McEnroe in Mac’s dotage, dual slam winner Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Tim Henman, and guided another Chilean, Marcelo Rios, to the No. 1 ranking. Historically, there was only one forehand in the league of Gonzalez: “Lendl”. That’s the only one? “Yeah.” ''

http://fernandogonzalez.wordpress.com/tag/fernandos-articles/

drakulie
02-22-2007, 02:49 PM
how?

Just look at a video of Lendl hitting a forehand and then Sampras. You could clearly see Sampras swung much faster.

Although I personally feel Lendl had the better forehand.

He used a racquet that was at least ten inches bigger, possibly 15 I'm not sure, Lendl's racquet was 70-75 inches squared, his racquet is the size of a modern day squah racquet.Federer's 90 inch racquet has 15-20 inches squared greater area.

Lendl used a racquet between 75-80 square inches. (There has been much discussion of this board about his racquet). Later in his career he switched to a 90 inch, and possibly even played with a 95 inch.

Sampras always stayed with the PS 85.

As I said, there racquets were very comparable. So Nick Irons saying it was due to the technology is BS.

Nick Irons
02-22-2007, 03:47 PM
So Nick Irons saying it was due to the technology is BS.

The only BS is you thinking you're a tennis player Draculie and with each and every post by you that I have to siphon through, it reminds me of the staggering number of kooks in the sport.

You stated:

However, his forehand is nowehere near that of Gonzalez, Fed, or even Agassi's when he retired.

I then replied with

And that, is a matter of technology, not technique.

Gonzo, Fed and Andre are using insanely quantam developed racquets compared to Ivans little 80 sq inchers.

Where you started talking about Pistol Pete's Wilson 85 is beyond me. On that note, the reality is that Petes racquet was bigger, lighter, it's graphite composition was different (as oppossed to Ivan's Kevlar mix for example) among other variables (using shared holes).

See, me making a remark about technology isn't saying IVAN IS THE GREATEST EVER; it is merely an observation on Agassi, Gonzo and Federer's current fh's compared to Lendl's; nothing more, nothing less.

Please try and stay on course in these discussions and not try and turn every reply into a flamefest.

drakulie
02-22-2007, 04:08 PM
Please try and stay on course in these discussions and not try and turn every reply into a flamefest.

Hmm??? Interesting. And what does the following comment have to do with this discussion? The only one repeatedly "flaming" is you, and in more ways than one.

The only BS is you thinking you're a tennis player Draculie and with each and every post by you that I have to siphon through, it reminds me of the staggering number of kooks in the sport.

I know what I stated. And I stand by my observation/opinion. Lendls forehand-regardless of technology is:

1. Nowhere near Feds, Gonzo's, or Agassis.
2. Regardless of technology, it did not have as much pace as Sampras'. They both used compareable racquets.
3. Lendl, as I already pointed out, used a 90+ square inch racquet later in his career. Which is bigger than Pete's 85. By the way, in case you haven't noticed--Fed hits with a 90 square inch racquet.


Don't be mad because you have a 65 mph serve, and got "owned" in your nadal thread.

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=119518

35ft6
02-22-2007, 04:52 PM
Don't know what you mean, Here's what I mean:The fact is, we all have an opinion, and all opinions are subjective. Therefore, no one's opinion is any better than anyone else's. This is a self defeating proposition, similar to a person saying (A) "the only thing that is objectively true is that everything is subjective." But if A is true, and EVERYTHING is subjective, than A is not objective as it claims.but it's quite simple. I take my own insights and form my own opinions from the world around me, rather than (a.) jump on the bandwagon, or (b.) believe everything that I hear. Bravo. You and everybody else here.

The Gorilla
02-22-2007, 04:53 PM
Hmm??? Interesting. And what does the following comment have to do with this discussion? The only one repeatedly "flaming" is you, and in more ways than one.



I know what I stated. And I stand by my observation/opinion. Lendls forehand-regardless of technology is:

1. Nowhere near Feds, Gonzo's, or Agassis.
2. Regardless of technology, it did not have as much pace as Sampras'. They both used compareable racquets.
3. Lendl, as I already pointed out, used a 90+ square inch racquet later in his career. Which is bigger than Pete's 85. By the way, in case you haven't noticed--Fed hits with a 90 square inch racquet.


Don't be mad because you have a 65 mph serve, and got "owned" in your nadal thread.

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=119518



just to put paid to this, could you measure the speed in mph of lendl's flat out forehand using your frame counting method drakulie?

Chadwixx
02-22-2007, 05:11 PM
May wanna change your sig. A 4.0 pusher with a 120mph serve?

drakulie
02-22-2007, 05:18 PM
just to put paid to this, could you measure the speed in mph of lendl's flat out forehand using your frame counting method drakulie?

Interesting. You may want to contact Maverick1. He is the one who worked on those calculations/formula with Mike Cotrill, and he may be able to do it. Not sure.

Zimbo
02-22-2007, 05:56 PM
but I know for a fact that he hit bigger as he got older, we all do, look at his us open final against mcenroe and his aus open final against becker, the difference is incredible.

Gorilla I don't want to continue debating with you if you don't read my posts clearly. The argument is not if Lendl hit harder later in his career, which by the way he probably did (due to switching rackets) as I stated in my previous post, but the argument is wheather he hit a bigger forehand compared to Agassi during '87-'89. You still haven't answer my questions.
1. Did you see both Lendl and Agassi play live during that time? Watching them on TV doesn't count. If you did watch them on TV, did you watch the '88 US Open semi's and the '88 Masters. Yes Lendl won both matches but you could see that Agassi's forehand was bigger. (Again I am not saying better.)
2. What's your response on Lendl's own admission that Agassi's forehand was harder. (Again I am not saying better, I'm saying bigger).
3. This a new question. How do you know for a fact that he hit bigger as he got older? He may have, but how do you know for a fact?

Please answer these questions on your next reply.

The Gorilla
02-22-2007, 06:43 PM
Gorilla I don't want to continue debating with you if you don't read my posts clearly. The argument is not if Lendl hit harder later in his career, which by the way he probably did (due to switching rackets) as I stated in my previous post, but the argument is wheather he hit a bigger forehand compared to Agassi during '87-'89. You still haven't answer my questions.
1. Did you see both Lendl and Agassi play live during that time? Watching them on TV doesn't count. If you did watch them on TV, did you watch the '88 US Open semi's and the '88 Masters. Yes Lendl won both matches but you could see that Agassi's forehand was bigger. (Again I am not saying better.)
2. What's your response on Lendl's own admission that Agassi's forehand was harder. (Again I am not saying better, I'm saying bigger).
3. This a new question. How do you know for a fact that he hit bigger as he got older? He may have, but how do you know for a fact?

Please answer these questions on your next reply.


(1)I didn't see them playing live at the time, but the camera angle on all matches is the same, allowing for easy and accurate comparison.


(2)ok first of all, the original question was which of the two had bigger forehands, agassi may have hit the ball harder at lendl than he had ever experienced, however I know that the ball travelled at a greater speed from lendl's racquet than agassi's as I watched them play on tv;the same way I know Federer hits bigger than Lendl, by comparing the two with my eyes.


(3)Because, using my eyes I noticed that it took less time for the ball to travel from on point to another, the same way I can tell if a car is a safe distance away from me to cross the road.

Zimbo
02-22-2007, 07:03 PM
(1)I didn't see them playing live at the time, but the camera angle on all matches is the same, allowing for easy and accurate comparison.


(2)ok first of all, the original question was which of the two had bigger forehands, agassi may have hit the ball harder at lendl than he had ever experienced, however I know that the ball travelled at a greater speed from lendl's racquet than agassi's as I watched them play on tv;the same way I know Federer hits bigger than Lendl, by comparing the two with my eyes.


(3)Because, using my eyes I noticed that it took less time for the ball to travel from on point to another, the same way I can tell if a car is a safe distance away from me to cross the road.

Fair enough. I still disagree but what can you do? Still it's been a pleasure debating with you. Even though we disagree I am glad we still kept it civil and respectful. By the way, is Lendl you fav player? Even though I think Agassi's forehand was bigger I would take Lendl's over Agassi's any day. Lendl was able to do more things with it and knew when to unleash that beast at the perfect time.

justineheninhoogenbandfan
02-22-2007, 11:05 PM
Article : Mr Forehand

Mr Forehand by Jake Niall
January 26, 2007


Fernando Gonzalez, or “Signor Derecha” - Spanish for “Mr Forehand” - in action at the Australian Open. I know I have one of the best forehands on tour, but I need to improve my backhand, my net game, my return of serve.

In his decades of coaching, playing and watching the greats, Larry Stefanki has seen only one forehand as potent as that of his pupil Fernando Gonzalez.

Stefanki is on the run to his man’s final major practice session before Gonzalez plays Tommy Haas for a berth in the Australian Open final. The interview, thus, is done busy West Wing style, rushing down the corridor, interrupted by the sagacious coach’s conversations with Jimmy Connors and others.

Is there another forehand like Fernando’s? “No, he has the best forehand in the game,” said Stefanki, who coached John McEnroe in Mac’s dotage, dual slam winner Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Tim Henman, and guided another Chilean, Marcelo Rios, to the No. 1 ranking. Historically, there was only one forehand in the league of Gonzalez: “Lendl”. That’s the only one? “Yeah.” ''

http://fernandogonzalez.wordpress.com/tag/fernandos-articles/


So your proof that Federer's forehand is not as good as Lendl's is the fact Stefanki, the biased Gonzalez coach chose to say his pupil's forehand and Lendl's are the two best in history? Well the credability of his statement is already gone by the simple fact Federer has proven his own forehand to be superior to Gonzalez every single time they have played, producing better stats of that side in every match.

35ft6
02-23-2007, 01:38 AM
^ Wow, Stefanki just lost some credibility with me. For him to really sit there and say Gonzalez has a better forehand than Federer...? Wow.

capriatifanatic
02-23-2007, 03:23 AM
Well I can understand since even though as outsiders we wouldnt judge Gonzalez to have a better forehand then Federer. However if Gonzalez cant outdo Federer on the forehand, he wont be able to outdo him on anything. So to make Gonzalez feel he has any shot whatsoever to beat Federer, which a good coach has to do, he has to believe Gonzalez has a better forehand and convey that belief to his player somehow. Since Lendl is not a current opponent of Gonzalez it is more manageable to be objective.

The Gorilla
02-23-2007, 03:28 AM
Fair enough. I still disagree but what can you do? Still it's been a pleasure debating with you. Even though we disagree I am glad we still kept it civil and respectful. By the way, is Lendl you fav player? Even though I think Agassi's forehand was bigger I would take Lendl's over Agassi's any day. Lendl was able to do more things with it and knew when to unleash that beast at the perfect time.


actually I ated Lendl, he was boring, but his groundstrokes were undoubtedly the best.

FiveO
02-23-2007, 03:56 AM
I agree with those who describe Agassi hitting the ball harder earlier in his career. He was flashy and overhit early. His game could be great or a self-destruct button and his results reflected that, up and down. Then came Gilbert's and Gil Reyes influence which enabled his transformation into his "Punisher" incarnation where he reigned in his propensity for blasting and which allowed him to rely on his superior level of fitness. In his last couple of years, increasingly so, Agassi was forced to up the pace simply because he had lost a step plus and in a baseline game predicated on the ability to set up and grind that step or step in a half is the difference between dominating or being dominated by an opponent. Especially v. Federer Agassi couldn't grind anymore. His serve did improve throughout his career but it still was never a noteworthy weapon compared to the rest of his game nor his peers. And toward the end of his career he took his "puncher's chance" going for more haymakers, against Roger in particular, than he did in his prime but it was still not the point to point, shot to shot, power off the ground he demonstrated at the very beginning of his professional career.

It's not at all unusual. Sampras ratcheted down the power in his ground game under Gullickson who harped on him adding topspin off the ground. More recently Roddick and Gonzo have improved their own games dialing down their own ground games and employing their improved movement and fitness levels. Late, as Sampras aged losing a tick in quickness and footspeed his inate ability to generate power crept back into his game and we'll likely see ARod and Gonzalez return to hitting harder than they are now as there core athletic skills begin to slip with age.

drakulie
02-23-2007, 06:02 AM
^^^^^Agassi undoubtedly went for more earlier in his career. He tried to finish points quick.

However, it is very evident he hit much harder and cleaner later in his career. Even he states he was hitting much harder off both wings. This wasn't necessarily because of him losing a step.

In addition, Gullickson worked with Sampras on the backhand side, wanting him to hit more Topspin on that side, rather than slicing so much.

The Gorilla
02-23-2007, 06:54 AM
^^^^^Agassi undoubtedly went for more earlier in his career. He tried to finish points quick.

However, it is very evident he hit much harder and cleaner later in his career. Even he states he was hitting much harder off both wings. This wasn't necessarily because of him losing a step.

In addition, Gullickson worked with Sampras on the backhand side, wanting him to hit more Topspin on that side, rather than slicing so much.


yeah, in the US open '06 he was just crushing the ball.It reminded me of Rocky Balbos, where to paraphrase the coach:You've no movement, no flexibilty and you have calcium deposits(sciatic nerve).we're gonna focus on making hurtin' bombs.

drakulie
02-23-2007, 08:19 AM
^^^^ I'm not talking about his last match-- rather his last few years. And quite frankly, against Baghdatis he WAS crushing the ball.

BeckerFan
02-23-2007, 09:12 AM
If pressed, I would probably have to agree that Sampras's opponents were a bit tougher. There certainly seemed to be more guys with a winning formula for grass.

The difference is pretty insignificant though, if you ask me. Sure, Sampras played with a number of Hall of Famers ... but the Hall of Fame includes a lot of guys who aren't exactly all-time greats. Hell, some of Federer's supporting cast will probably end up there one day (Nadal, Safin, Hewitt, Roddick, and who knows about the younger guys). History's not exactly going to look back 50 years from now and perceive a HUGE disparity between the competition in the 1990s and the competition in the 2000s.

The main issue for me is that neither had a fellow all-time great to push them throughout their careers. The closest they both had was Agassi. Agassi was very on-and-off during Sampras's best years, and never really found the answer to playing Sampras on the big stages. And he didn't even come CLOSE to finding the answer against Federer. Nothing like Connors/Borg/McEnroe or Lendl/Wilander/Becker/Edberg ... those were eras with some genuine strength at the top.

Zimbo
02-23-2007, 09:52 AM
I agree with those who describe Agassi hitting the ball harder earlier in his career. He was flashy and overhit early. His game could be great or a self-destruct button and his results reflected that, up and down. Then came Gilbert's and Gil Reyes influence which enabled his transformation into his "Punisher" incarnation where he reigned in his propensity for blasting and which allowed him to rely on his superior level of fitness. In his last couple of years, increasingly so, Agassi was forced to up the pace simply because he had lost a step plus and in a baseline game predicated on the ability to set up and grind that step or step in a half is the difference between dominating or being dominated by an opponent. Especially v. Federer Agassi couldn't grind anymore. His serve did improve throughout his career but it still was never a noteworthy weapon compared to the rest of his game nor his peers. And toward the end of his career he took his "puncher's chance" going for more haymakers, against Roger in particular, than he did in his prime but it was still not the point to point, shot to shot, power off the ground he demonstrated at the very beginning of his professional career.

It's not at all unusual. Sampras ratcheted down the power in his ground game under Gullickson who harped on him adding topspin off the ground. More recently Roddick and Gonzo have improved their own games dialing down their own ground games and employing their improved movement and fitness levels. Late, as Sampras aged losing a tick in quickness and footspeed his inate ability to generate power crept back into his game and we'll likely see ARod and Gonzalez return to hitting harder than they are now as there core athletic skills begin to slip with age.

I've been waiting for someone to back me up. Glad it's someone who actually knows what he's talking about.

drakulie
02-23-2007, 10:30 AM
^^^^^ So because he agrees with you, he knows what he is talking about, and everyone in this thread who does not agree with you doesn't know what they are talking about?

In addition, Agassi (who disagrees with you), doesn't know what he is talking about? I'm quite certain, Agassi who happens to be the one who is hitting the ball, could make a determination of when he hit harder. >>>>>He said he hit much harder later in his career.

!Tym
02-26-2007, 10:39 PM
I agree with Moose Malloy entirely. Players often times get the feeling that they're playing better now than before if they're like Agassi and Sampras and relatively able to continue with their careers too abruptly halted by injuries. Then, you have guys like Rios, Kuerten, and Bruguera who will point to matches way long ago as being, wow, wish I could play that well again. It's just a natural human psychology in my opinion to think that way, which is why guys like Agassi and Sampras will always believe that they're continuing to be such superior players as they continue. Yet, what did Rusedski say about him during his decline? He said that he had clearly lost a step. What did Stich say about Edberg when he declined? He said the guy's lost his speed, he's too slow, and he needs to retire. Guys, Edberg played at his peak in that Open final vs. Courier. Stich was in the zone that day against Becker at Wimbledon, etc. It happens. I honestly believe it is NOT the highest level of play that improves, it's players decline and they either do or don't realize it. I mean if you were to believe Agassi, you'd think he hit cream puffs or something in his earlier days. I remember bringing a former decently ranked junior who had quit the game cold turkey for five years because of burn out and just plain hating the game. He didn't even touch a racket during that time and couldn't even find his old ones anymore. I had been hitting with open players during that time, and got him to try it again. First 15 minutes he was whiffing at balls, literally swinging and missing, and very nervous and tentative. Then, I just started bashing balls at him, forcing him to just react again, and use his natural ability, within five minutes, he was banging balls back with me. After twenty minutes more, you would NOT have been able to tell that he wasn't an open player. He was going toe to toe with me, and hardly missing a beat. That summer, he ended up training one of the elite juniors on the east coast, and again did not miss a beat. That told me VOLUMES.

It truly showed me how much of this "perceived improvement" and oh my God, I'd never be able to keep up now, improvement is in our HEADS and PERCEPTION. That's why Gene Mayer did what he did as a forty something year old on vacation, when asked to fill in at the last second as a favor at a challenger. He smoked the guy who months later took Sampras to the brink of defeat at the French, and had he not got tired and basically thrown in the towel, was routining Mike Bryan (back then the Bryan's actually tried to play some singles as well). He had NOT been training seriously AT ALL. Now what does that tell you? We're not even talking about some legend of the game here.

I'm telling you Agassi can say what he wants, but a lot of this IS in our heads. If you're playing a lot and not overly taken out of the game by injury (which Agassi wasn't until the tail end...and there you saw suddenly how he too suddenly "looked his age" when he too couldn't fight off the injury bug anymore), then it's human nature to be thinking yeah, wow, I'm improving each and every day. But the fact is, these guys hit soooo much, in my opinion, there really isn't that much more they can do better than their best days from before. As I said, you're best days just become less likely as you get older and/or more injured or burnt out. This does not mean that a grown old man like Agassi who later in life stopped taking as wild cuts at the ball, suddenly hits harder than he did before. It's about racket head speed, and the young Agassi was far from gun shy. I mean look Olivier Rochus is a small guy, but he generates a lot of racket head speed, he can still paste the ball pretty good. Things do not change that much in my opinion.

I mean if I'm playing everyday and start getting in a groove, I start to think wow, I've never hit better. Why? Because by human nature you remember the SENSATION of being in the zone of a more RECENT zone experience. It by nature will "feel" more alive and vivid in your head, and like you're just so much better than before. Yet, what does that mean, Agassi's old best tennis was chump change by comparison? NO. That was world class tennis and ability still, and we only remember the latest though.

And furthermore, the broadcast quality does make a HUGE difference as Moose points out. He points to the the final game of the Bruguera-Courier final where Courier was swinging from his pantyhose with absolutely ZERO fear...cough-cough, now compare that to the so-called "modern" Coria vs. Gaudio "epic" final game...cough-cough.

Moose has a copy of the Bruguera-Leconte French match from that same 93 tourny. The broadcast quality on that match was just soooo bad though, the sound and colors soooo washed out and muted, that it was like NOT ONE single shot "felt" alive or hard or smoked...NOT ONE for an entire match; you would think they were in the nerf ball age vs. the modern age they played at it in the finals...just, gasp, a few matches later. Then, I have the tape of the 96 US Open between Stich and Bruguera, and again the same washed out/muted broadcast feed from Eurosport, and again NOT ONE single ball struck that entire match felt "live" or hard hit or "modern." You're telling me two guys that tall, and NOT ONE single ball or point "felt" or "seemed" modern? I don't think so, when fast forward just gasp...a few months, and you have the 97 Lipton finals between between Muster and Bruguera and the 97 Wimbledon semis between Stich and Pioline. In these matches, the sound quality was very good and MODERN. In that they had that "gun shot," you're right there on the court, "live" sound quality and feel to them. That makes/made ALL the difference in terms of perception. Watch and hear those BROADCAST FEEDS right now, and I have no doubt that many would say wow, that actually surprisingly does APPEAR to be fairly "modern" play. IF, however, you point to the horrible broadcast feeds, you'll hear oh my God, a 4.5 could take them, my uncle Harry could take them, Conchita Martinez' modern newphew could take them, etc. Those guys are hitting less harder than moi!

YET, I GUARANTEE you take your local great hack, and let's see them do what Gene Mayer did. It would not happen in a MILLION years. The Gene Mayer story is reality and it does not even surprise me because what I saw with my old friend. That experience proved to me right there how much of it is in our head, heck in my friend's head. He was like oh no, I can't hit anymore...the game has passed me by for sure. Then, wouldn't you know.... Once he stopped being tentative and second guessing himself and relying on his PERCEPTION and "logic" of how well he should be playing, in other words, when I just said, this isn't working, and on a hunch started stuffing the ball down his throat thinking that would "help" him find his form much quicker and more naturally because it'd make him just start REACTING out there and using his own natural ability and HAND-EYE coordination to guide him. And it worked, and it worked almost INSTANTLY. You wouldn't believe it unless you were there to see the AMAZING transformation in a matter of minutes that just went on, from a guy who hadn't touched a racket in five years or so.

Someone just posted a Muster Bruguera from the 97 Lipton finals, and it is a good example of just how "modern" these old guys could hit WHEN they were given the benefit of not modern technology and strings so much as modern SOUND and a modern feeling broadcast.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3xovDYu8Wk&mode=related&search=

This is the 5th clip out of eight which takes you through the first set. The tie break (clips 7 and 8) go out of sink, unfortunately, by several seconds half way a quarter of the way through. It was so hot that day, that Bruguera basically threw in the towel at the end of the tiebreak, because Muster's fitness was so crazy. However, you'll not amazing topspin, athleticism, speed, and explosiveness right up there with today's best in my opinion, and *without* any Babolats or Luxilon either. I think clips 5, 6, 7, and 8...i.e. NOT just an isolated highlight...go a long way to proving Moose's "theory." The game was STILL modern back then too, the difference, however, is that PERCEPTIONS are much more likely to change than reality in my opinion. The technique is PLENTY modern in these clips and so too is the at times gasp...racket head speed. Yes, people back then too could gaps at racket head speed, they did NOT swing THAT slowly, the techniques have NOT been revolutionized since.

35ft6
02-26-2007, 11:25 PM
^ Aside from the players, and retired players, what do you say of all the commentators and coaches who say the same thing?

Zimbo
02-26-2007, 11:29 PM
Great post !Tym. Agreed with you %100.

tricky
02-26-2007, 11:39 PM
Aside from the players, and retired players, what do you say of all the commentators and coaches who say the same thing?

It's a difficult argument either way, really. The pace of the game was faster 10 years ago, but today's game is noticeably heavier. If the game was as flat as it was 15 years ago, Sampras probably would have a dominant 1H BH.

In terms of modern stroke and service technique, I don't think it's changed all that much in the past 10 years except for a handful of elite players. And even then, it's largely the forehand.

35ft6
02-27-2007, 12:54 AM
It's a difficult argument either way, really. The pace of the game was faster 10 years ago, but today's game is noticeably heavier. If the game was as flat as it was 15 years ago, Sampras probably would have a dominant 1H BH.

In terms of modern stroke and service technique, I don't think it's changed all that much in the past 10 years except for a handful of elite players. And even then, it's largely the forehand. My personal feeling is that the top 10 of today and top 10 of 5, 10, 15, maybe even 20 years ago, it's close, but vast difference between guys ranked 20 to 150, the difference becoming greater with time. Maybe that's what Sampras meant. I mean, do we all agree on that? For instance, if you had the guys ranked 50 to 100 play their rankings counterpart of 1990, today's 50 players would win? Like maybe 40 to 10 or something?

drakulie
02-27-2007, 06:06 AM
If the game was as flat as it was 15 years ago, Sampras probably would have a dominant 1H BH.

Sampras didn't have a "dominant" backhand 15 years ago. So what leads you to the conclusion that he would have a dominant backhand now?

Kaptain Karl
02-27-2007, 06:18 AM
Great post !Tym. Agreed with you %100.Then you're confused? !Tym covered every possibility in his post:
They ARE better.
They're NOT better.
They only THINK they're better.
They compare their game to their peak performance.
Their peaks cannot be surpassed.
Their "baseline" game/level doesn't improve.
Their "baseline" level does improve.

!Tym - You could be in politics....

- KK

jackson vile
02-27-2007, 09:23 AM
Pete is a class act end of story, as of how good the players are you can not deny the win/lose and rankings

Fact is Andy is only now getting back up on his feet and still is no where near what he once was, same for Hewitt, same for Safin, ect.

So how are these tennis players better now days when all the numbers say they are worse?

All of the real competitors are either not up to par or for the young guys not yet up to par.

The rest of the people like Nadal ect are really only great on one surface and that is clay, while we have a really really strange line up where Nalbandian, Davydanko, Lubicic ect are at the top.

When players like that are at the top you know something is wrong.


We are in a transition and have been for quite some time, all the true possbile champions have been out of the picture for a very long time and are only now getting back.

While all the young guys are not yet full matured ect to rise to the top.

So you end up with a lot of good but not great players in the top 5.

Once the past GS winners come back into form the like of Lubicic, Robredo, ect will not be in the top 10 any more, and they will be pushed out even further as the young players get better and then take over in the next 2-3 years.

The Gorilla
02-27-2007, 09:36 AM
Sampras didn't have a "dominant" backhand 15 years ago. So what leads you to the conclusion that he would have a dominant backhand now?

http://youtube.com/watch?v=MFIE7WSLXvw&mode=related&search=

before he changed his game he did.

federerfanatic
02-27-2007, 09:37 AM
The transition period was when Hewitt and Roddick were on top. They were only keeping a seat warm until Federer was ready, once he was he killed them all the time. In 2004 and 2005 Hewitt and Roddick were 2nd and 3rd in the world alot of the time and Federer kept beating them in semis and finals because he is way better then them. If Federer was in his prime sooner Hewitt would never have been #1 and probably won zero slams, same with Roddick. Lucky for them they got the transition period before Federer took over.

federerfanatic
02-27-2007, 09:38 AM
http://youtube.com/watch?v=MFIE7WSLXvw&mode=related&search=

before he changed his game he did.

That is one shot. You dont have a dominant shot with one shot. Sampras's backhand is nowhere near the backhands of Agassi or Federer for example, a youtube highlight doesnt show anything different. Maybe Rusedski even hit a spectacular backhand on a youtube clip for all we know, maybe his backhand is spectacular.

The Gorilla
02-27-2007, 09:42 AM
That is one shot. You dont have a dominant shot with one shot. Sampras's backhand is nowhere near the backhands of Agassi or Federer for example, a youtube highlight doesnt show anything different. Maybe Rusedski even hit a spectacular backhand on a youtube clip for all we know, maybe his backhand is spectacular.

watch the clip m8, before he changed his backhand it was up there with edbergs, much better than Federer.
He used to play Federer's game, and played it better than Federer, in every department, but back in those fast Grass days it was impossible to win on grass with that game.

drakulie
02-27-2007, 09:52 AM
http://youtube.com/watch?v=MFIE7WSLXvw&mode=related&search=

before he changed his game he did.

Gorilla, Sampras NEVER, in his entire Career had a dominant backhand. In fact, his backhand was better towards the end of his career.>>> It had more variety, from slice to topspin, and he drove thru the ball more. This is one of the things Gullickson specifically worked with him to improve.

The Gorilla
02-27-2007, 09:59 AM
Gorilla, Sampras NEVER, in his entire Career had a dominant backhand. In fact, his backhand was better towards the end of his career.>>> It had more variety, from slice to topspin, and he drove thru the ball more. This is one of the things Gullickson specifically worked with him to improve.

that's not true, watch the youtube clip, it is an entire match with Gilbert in 1990.

federerfanatic
02-27-2007, 09:59 AM
Gorilla, Sampras NEVER, in his entire Career had a dominant backhand. In fact, his backhand was better towards the end of his career.>>> It had more variety, from slice to topspin, and he drove thru the ball more. This is one of the things Gullickson specifically worked with him to improve.

It is amazing what crap people think some of us will buy isnt it. The older Sampras lovers think that those of us who are Federer fans are teeny boppers or something who never saw Sampras play for almost his entire career, when we have, and think we will buy whatever nonsense they throw at us. Sampras and Edberg a much better backhand then Federer, Sampras a dominant backhand, etc....We werent born yesterday.

Also youtube clip to prove a point is annoying, people thinking 1 or 2 shots prove something, you have to hit a quality shot over and over for it to mean something.

The Gorilla
02-27-2007, 10:00 AM
It is amazing what crap people think some of us will buy isnt it. The older Sampras lovers think that those of us who are Federer fans are teeny boppers or something who never saw Sampras play for almost his entire career, when we have, and think we will buy whatever nonsense they throw at us. Sampras and Edberg a much better backhand then Federer, Sampras a dominant backhand, etc....We werent born yesterday.

Also youtube clip to prove a point is annoying, people thinking 1 or 2 shots prove something, you have to hit a quality shot over and over for it to mean something.



it's an entire match.He hits that backhand over and over and over...

federerfanatic
02-27-2007, 10:07 AM
Federer would have torn Gilbert to pieces, against a master junkballer type player, which is not the kind of player Federer ever has trouble with, any shot Federer would hit would be spectacular over and over and over.

The Gorilla
02-27-2007, 10:12 AM
Federer would have torn Gilbert to pieces, against a master junkballer type player, which is not the kind of player Federer ever has trouble with, any shot Federer would hit would be spectacular over and over and over.

what's your point?
It's a full match, sampras hits many backhands.


Oh, and didn't andy murray beat him a while back?
Didn't santoro oush him to three consecutive tie breaks in the aussie open?

drakulie
02-27-2007, 10:15 AM
that's not true, watch the youtube clip, it is an entire match with Gilbert in 1990.

Gorilla, like I said Sampras never had a dominant backhand. Gullickson specifically worked with sampras to improve his backhand. With Gullickson, Sampras was able to improve his drive and topspin backhand, along with his already consistent slice.

One match on youtube from 90 against Gilbert hardly helps your argument. In addition, Edberg's backhand compared to Fed's was not even remotley in the same league.

drakulie
02-27-2007, 10:17 AM
It is amazing what crap people think some of us will buy isnt it. The older Sampras lovers think that those of us who are Federer fans are teeny boppers or something who never saw Sampras play for almost his entire career, when we have, and think we will buy whatever nonsense they throw at us. Sampras and Edberg a much better backhand then Federer, Sampras a dominant backhand, etc....We werent born yesterday.

Also youtube clip to prove a point is annoying, people thinking 1 or 2 shots prove something, you have to hit a quality shot over and over for it to mean something.

Well, some people are very passionate. My favorite players are Agassi, Sampras, Mcenroe. However, I have no problem saying Federer blows all of them away.

In regards to Sampras' backhand, it puzzles to me read when people say he had a dominant backhand. I seriously laugh out loud.

The Gorilla
02-27-2007, 10:19 AM
Gorilla, like I said Sampras never had a dominant backhand. Gullickson specifically worked with sampras to improve his backhand. With Gullickson, Sampras was able to improve his drive and topspin backhand, along with his already consistent slice.

One match on youtube from 90 against Gilbert hardly helps your argument. In addition, Edberg's backhand compared to Fed's was not even remotley in the same league.



But it's a full match,commentator says, 'His backhand is the better shot'.It's a full match, you cannot dismiss a full match.Saying 15 second clips can be misleading is absolutely correct but an entire match?

Please just watch the whole match, Sampras moves like a dancer and plays virtually flawless all court tennis.

tricky
02-27-2007, 10:22 AM
Sampras didn't have a "dominant" backhand 15 years ago. So what leads you to the conclusion that he would have a dominant backhand now?

Combination of opponent's lower bounce and his heavier racquet would have let him hit more cleanly. Against spinny shots, I'm sure Sampras shanked a lot.

The Gorilla
02-27-2007, 10:23 AM
Combination of opponent's lower bounce and his heavier racquet would have let him hit more cleanly. Against spinny shots, I'm sure Sampras shanked a lot.

he's playing brad gilbert!

tricky
02-27-2007, 10:28 AM
Yeah, but that's a fast surface with low bounce. Sampras is just grooving his shots in his wheelhouse. If Gilbert were playing Sampras on today's typical surfaces, Pete would probably have serious problems finding his range on the BH. I'm not saying that Sampras had a big BH weapon at the time; but I think if the surface conditions had stayed as it did then, his BH would have been more of a weapon.

The Gorilla
02-27-2007, 10:38 AM
Yeah, but that's a fast surface with low bounce. Sampras is just grooving his shots in his wheelhouse. If Gilbert were playing Sampras on today's typical surfaces, Pete would probably have serious problems finding his range on the BH. I'm not saying that Sampras had a big BH weapon at the time; but I think if the surface conditions had stayed as it did then, his BH would have been more of a weapon.

watch the video;gaze in awe at Pete's amazing backhand;pick your jaw up off the ground;accept Sampras for what he is and move on.

Moose Malloy
02-27-2007, 10:39 AM
In regards to Sampras' backhand, it puzzles to me read when people say he had a dominant backhand. I seriously laugh out loud.


did you laugh when Fred Stolle called it his best shot in that youtube clip? That was said by many players/analysts circa 90-92, I have many matches where commentators rave about his backhand in that period(Tony Trabert, Mary Carillo, etc), some saying it was the best one hander on tour at the time. Sampras' backhand only went to pieces when Annacone made him a pure S&V in 1997.

federerfanatic
02-27-2007, 11:29 AM
Sampras from late 1990 until he retired I saw play tons of times and he never had a backhand nearly as good as Federer's. Anybody who says otherwise is a deluded Sampras fanboy.

Yeah I did remember Stolle saying that once and although the question wasnt to me I laughed out loud to that indeed, as it was around when I started watching the game closely it was one of my first introductions to idiocy of tennis commentary and to take it with a big grain of salt. The new hotshot is always overpraised by commentators who come up with metaphors, and who probably laugh at themselves years later and how stupid they were. Federer is now too, no difference.

The Gorilla
02-27-2007, 11:32 AM
Sampras in 1990-1992 I saw play tons of times and he never had a backhand nearly as good as Federer's. Anybody who says otherwise is a deluded Sampras fanboy.

Yeah I did remember Stolle saying that and although the question wasnt to me I laughed out loud to that indeed, it was one of my first introductions to idocy of tennis commentary. The new hotshot is always overpraised by commentators who come up with metaphors, and who probably laugh at themselves years later and how stupid they were.



Fred Stolle is stupid?
what?

You 'remember'?
right.

watch the video.

TGV
02-27-2007, 11:34 AM
Yeah, but that's a fast surface with low bounce. Sampras is just grooving his shots in his wheelhouse. If Gilbert were playing Sampras on today's typical surfaces, Pete would probably have serious problems finding his range on the BH. I'm not saying that Sampras had a big BH weapon at the time; but I think if the surface conditions had stayed as it did then, his BH would have been more of a weapon.

Spot on. When there was a high bounce, the frailty in the backhand showed up: at about the 5:36 mark, there is kick serve from Gilbert and Pete returns with that akward elbow-in-front technique and the return sails long.

As for the commentators saying it's the best bh in the game, they can get caught in the moment and go overboard in their praise. At Paris Masters last year, commentators were gushing about Davydenko's play - saying they had seen very few people playing at the level, he was returning better than Agassi ever had etc.

That said, on seeing these clips, it's evident how wrong the people who say Sampras is all about serve or power are. His game is so beautiful to watch and he makes it look easy from everywhere on the court. Sweet Pete and Silky Sampras were absolutely apt monikers. With others who possess beautful games, there is at least a part that makes me sometimes cringe (like McEnroe hitting groundstrokes, Edberg a FH and Federer, until the last 6 months, hitting low volleys).

federerfanatic
02-27-2007, 11:36 AM
I didnt say he was stupid, I said he like others so called experts loves to comes up with dumb metaphors and exagerrations about the "new hotshot" which is what an irrational statement like that is based on, and overgush them on air and to the press until the initial excitement factor wears off, then return to making rational statements about the player without being unreasonable. "oh goody goody the new hotshot, lets gush him to pieces" is always the way it is when the new hotshot first appears. When Phillipousis first came on the scene Drysdale said once he had the best backhand on tour. Drysdale and P Mac said Roddick had the best serve ever, and an amazing net game when he first came on tour. Irrational gushes over the new hotshot are just common practice, and the statements are probably laughed at by the same people themselves who made them years later.

I dont need to watch a stupid youtube clip, I started following tennis in 1990 which was when Sampras came into prominence. Sampras NEVER had a backhand anywhere near as good as Federer, Agassi, or many others. His forehand was by far his better side always, and even his forehand is nowhere near the forehand of Federer or Lendl for example. This whole conversation is stupid, anybody who even argues a dominant Sampras backhand is a demented Sampras fanboy and even debating something so obvious with those who live in a delusion is a waste of my time.

Moose Malloy
02-27-2007, 11:41 AM
As for the commentators saying it's the best bh in the game, they can get caught in the moment and go overboard in their praise.

True, but Stolle is generally quite reserved in his praise over the years. Carillo & Drysdale were calling Sampras(& Mac before him) the best ever in his prime, while Stolle was just a "wait & see" type.

Ditto Tony Trabert, he's as reserved as they get & he was very impressed by the Sampras backhand circa 1990. It was considered better than his forehand.

Sampras from late 1990 until he retired I saw play tons of times and he never had a backhand nearly as good as Federer's. Anybody who says otherwise is a deluded Sampras fanboy.


I'm not comparing Sampras' backhand to Federer's but to other one-handers on tour from '90-'93 & it compared very favorably.

BTW, how many user ids are you up to by now? 10? Try not to misspell the same words over & over again if you don't want anyone to notice.

drakulie
02-27-2007, 11:57 AM
But it's a full match,commentator says, 'His backhand is the better shot'.It's a full match, you cannot dismiss a full match.Saying 15 second clips can be misleading is absolutely correct but an entire match?

Please just watch the whole match, Sampras moves like a dancer and plays virtually flawless all court tennis.

Gorilla, I have seen many 'full matches" of Sampras. In fact I own many, many of his full matches. His backhand was not dominant.

GRANITECHIEF
02-27-2007, 11:59 AM
Attacking the Sampras backhand, especially with high bouncer, was on page one of the playbook, in bold.

!Tym
02-27-2007, 12:10 PM
did you laugh when Fred Stolle called it his best shot in that youtube clip? That was said by many players/analysts circa 90-92, I have many matches where commentators rave about his backhand in that period(Tony Trabert, Mary Carillo, etc), some saying it was the best one hander on tour at the time. Sampras' backhand only went to pieces when Annacone made him a pure S&V in 1997.

Yeah, actually I tend to agree. Sampras may think he was so much better with Annacone, but it's better in what way? It happens to EVERYONE though if you try to emphasize another part of your game, by nature, another part of your game tends to go down a bit in my experience. It happened with my backhand, when I started on focusing on making my forehand as good as my backhand. I think it's also what happened to Sampras with his backhand when he started focusing so much on the chip and charge tactic and his serve and volley attack.

Just goes to show that much like MMA, there are SO MANY ways to win AND lose in tennis, such that improving and regressing one area or another can tend to equalize itself out relatively.

Also, the point about court surfaces is a great one I had not really considered. Back in the days of the Grand Slam Cup, the court surfaces were ridiculously slanted to flatter hitters in my opinion, skidding low and fast. I think it was around 98, however, that they really started to slow down the indoor surfaces more noticeably. Still not like it is now, where it's practically like a slow hard court they've made the top surface so grainy at times. That would definitely hurt Sampras' backhand. His backhand held up well against Agassi I always felt, because Agassi's shots were semi-top but still fairly flat and thus right in Sampras' ideal strike zone. He would always connect just right on a few backhands in an Agassi match and send a message I felt, but it was deceptive because it was against a guy who's groundie trajectory I felt was tailor made to fit right into Sampras maximum power zone in terms of his wheelhouse.

drakulie
02-27-2007, 12:12 PM
did you laugh when Fred Stolle called it his best shot in that youtube clip? That was said by many players/analysts circa 90-92, I have many matches where commentators rave about his backhand in that period(Tony Trabert, Mary Carillo, etc), some saying it was the best one hander on tour at the time. Sampras' backhand only went to pieces when Annacone made him a pure S&V in 1997.

The fact you mentioned Mary Carillo just blew your entire argument. She was/is a diehard Sampras puller who felt he could do no wrong.

In addition, I will take Agassi's word (who played sampras 34 times) over Stolle who never played Sampras.

Believe what you want>>> bottom line HE NEVER HAD A DOMINANT BACKHAND.

PS: I have many matches where the commentators don't rave about his backhand, and say it's his only weakness.

!Tym
02-27-2007, 12:16 PM
Then you're confused? !Tym covered every possibility in his post:
They ARE better.
They're NOT better.
They only THINK they're better.
They compare their game to their peak performance.
Their peaks cannot be surpassed.
Their "baseline" game/level doesn't improve.
Their "baseline" level does improve.

!Tym - You could be in politics....

- KK

I have absolutely zero interest in politics in real life, but that IS how *real* life is in my opinion. There is A LOT of grey area, and things are NOT definitive. You have opinions and more importantly hard and seemingly irrefutable evidence and opinions and case example in *every* which way, and it is not something as subjective as getting clocked in a race in my opinion.

To treat it as anything less or anything less simple or anything perfectly obvious and straight forward would in my opinion be disingenuous, again, in my opinion.

...AND? And if I contradict myself, so be it. It's not a big deal to me, again, that IS real life, and I think contradictions are the ground-shattering remains upon which man has built himself up to be anything more than what he really is...an an animal, an ape, nothing more, nothing less...we only think we're important and that tennis is important and politics are important and science is important and so on and so forth. When we're all kaput in the grave, we're kaput though, and really don't know after that now do we?

Kaptain Karl
02-27-2007, 12:21 PM
<Mod Mode> Gorilla, stop posting the same "watch the match" remark repeatedly. That's the same as SPAM. Thank you. </Mod Mode>


it's an entire match.He hits that backhand over and over and over...1 - Stolle was simply doing what commentators have been doing for decades ... puffing-up the match. Sampras' BH was never his dominant shot.

2 - Gilbert was pretty smart as a player. Did you ever think Pete was getting lots of BHs because Brad knew better than to attack his FH? (The answer for anyone paying attention would be "Yes".) Sampras' BH was ... good. His FH was great.

3 - Gilbert's approach shots were amazingly poor in that match. (He was choosing to attack ... but his approaches lacked "zip" and depth. *I* could have passed Brad off those approach shots....) I think he played badly *because* he was playing Pete. He'd psyched himself out already....

4 - Give it up, Gorilla.

- KK

shrakkie
02-27-2007, 12:55 PM
Mac said that Roddick hit the ball harder theb any other player he has seen also.

federerfanatic
02-27-2007, 02:54 PM
This is about the 12th time you posted the same message and each time it keeps getting deleted. Did you ever think you are wasting your time re-posting it. Yeah we get it, you are a Sampras addict who thinks Sampras once had an amazing out-of-this-world-backhand that those of us who followed tennis then never came to realize, and that you think his backhand was once much better then Fed's which bewilders almost all of the rest of us who remember him back then. You arent going to get anybody other the most loyal of loyal Sampras fans to come over to your side so give it up.

Kaptain Karl
02-27-2007, 04:18 PM
whistle - Sorry, but you quoted a post complaining about moderation. (Not your fault.)

Posts which whine about moderation routinely get nuked. And quoting a "zappable" post makes your post subject to being zapped, too.

(Gorilla knows the rules. He's just being ... Gorilla.)

- KK

drakulie
02-27-2007, 04:31 PM
^^^ "He's just being.... Gorilla". LOL

federerfanatic
02-27-2007, 04:33 PM
Mac said that Roddick hit the ball harder theb any other player he has seen also.

Exactly so if we have to accept some bogus opinion that Sampras, who most of us feel never had more then a top 30 backhand at any given time, somehow had the games best 1 handed backhand, which also was much better then Federer's backhand today, because "expert" Fred Stolle was having a Sampras orgasm that day and choice to say so; then we must also accept Roddick is the most powerful hitter ever, with the most powerful forehand ever, because John McEnroe, who is every bit as qualified an "expert" as Stolle, decided to say so one day. That pretty much puts the ridiculousness of the whole argument in perspective.

drakulie
02-27-2007, 04:44 PM
Exactly so if we have to accept some bogus opinion that Sampras, who most of us feel never had more then a top 30 backhand at any given time, somehow had the games best 1 handed backhand, which also was much better then Federer's backhand today, because "expert" Fred Stolle was having a Sampras orgasm that day and choice to say so; then we must also accept Roddick is the most powerful hitter ever, with the most powerful forehand ever, because John McEnroe, who is every bit as qualified an "expert" as Stolle, decided to say so one day. That pretty much puts the ridiculousness of the whole argument in perspective.

I'll take this further. Mcenroe (both brothers), have stated Sampras' backhand was mediocre, and was definitely his biggest weakness. So, who do we believe?? The McEnroe brothers who both played Sampras? Agassi who played him 34 times?

Or Fred Stolle, Mary Carillo, (who never faced him)?

federerfanatic
02-27-2007, 04:49 PM
I'll take this further. Mcenroe (both brothers), have stated Sampras' backhand was mediocre, and was definitely his biggest weakness. So, who do we believe?? The McEnroe brothers who both played Sampras? Agassi who played him 34 times?

Or Fred Stolle, Mary Carillo, (who never faced him)?

Exactly, excellent point. Also John only ever played Pete from 1990-1992 didnt he, those years that Stolle and Carillo made those comments. So he played him when according to random comments by Stolle and Carillo that Sampras's backhand was the cream of the game, but apparently John failed to notice anything close to that while on court with him. ;)

Nextman916
02-27-2007, 05:07 PM
Mac said that Roddick hit the ball harder theb any other player he has seen also.

When was this quote said about Roddick? It must have been upon his rise to fame, because at that time his forehand was actually the biggest on tour. He could hit it so big and so consistently all the time it took many players off guard. Him with his huge serve+forehand game labeled him a status of big hitter, which he was no doubt. I agree Mac's statement was pretty wack but i also recall many other sources labeling roddick as the biggest hitter in the game at that time. Roddick even admitted in at interview late 2006: "they used to say I was the biggest hitter but I dont know if thats the case anymore" (chuckles).

35ft6
02-28-2007, 12:29 PM
I have absolutely zero interest in politics in real life, but that IS how *real* life is in my opinion. There is A LOT of grey area, and things are NOT definitive. You have opinions and more importantly hard and seemingly irrefutable evidence and opinions and case example in *every* which way, and it is not something as subjective as getting clocked in a race in my opinion.The thing I find interesting about this line of thought, though, is that it's often used to help prove ones argument. I know you said contradictions are cool, and I'm not getting nitpicky, and you're certainly not the only person who's done this, but it usually goes something like "players say things for different reasons whether it be ego or lack of ego, so you really can't trust their opinions... except for the ones who say the game was stronger back in the day of course..."

!Tym
02-28-2007, 05:36 PM
The thing I find interesting about this line of thought, though, is that it's often used to help prove ones argument. I know you said contradictions are cool, and I'm not getting nitpicky, and you're certainly not the only person who's done this, but it usually goes something like "players say things for different reasons whether it be ego or lack of ego, so you really can't trust their opinions... except for the ones who say the game was stronger back in the day of course..."

Actually, it was a throwaway post, because I didn't appreciate the insinuation/tag of being politician when it was just a post on tennis, nothing more, nothing less to me, I really, honestly don't care either way *that* much anymore; it's just a post on tennis, that's all. It's not really that big a deal, but that's just how I post naturally--long. I was born that way, and I am tired of of some people insinuating like there's something underhanded or duplicitous about me and the way I post just because I post long (not you, by the way). I don't understand why people can't just post whatever they have to say, without having to take underhanded jabs at one another (again, not you), and gently, subtly nudging people back into their "place."

Anyway, I think that there's merits to both sides of the "debate," but I choose to "argue" on behalf of Moose Malloy's side more so just because I feel like it's under represented on this issue. Just trying to lend a different perspective on the neverending debate, that's all. Again, just as for "balance" sake as much as for true belief. A belief at 70% toward one side of 50/50 split line is still a belief, but it doesn't necessarily have to mean or be qualified with I believe this 100%. That's all.

Jayst
02-28-2007, 05:56 PM
Guys

Stumbled on a website with some interesting analysis of Federer vs. Sampras. Did Sampras really have a tougher group to deal with????

Here is the website:

************.wordpress.com

35ft6
02-28-2007, 08:44 PM
^ What's the website, dude!?I don't understand why people can't just post whatever they have to say, without having to take underhanded jabs at one another (again, not you), and gently, subtly nudging people back into their "place."There's a lot of angry dweebs on these boards. ;)

drakulie
03-01-2007, 02:18 PM
Gorilla, you need to let it go man. You are going to get banned, and that would suck.

For your sake, just get back on topic and let this go. Believe me, I may not agree with your stance, but I do appreciate your posts. Just let it go. :)

Kaptain Karl
03-01-2007, 04:35 PM
Gorilla - I apologize.

I just learned that when we Mods delete a post and leave a note like, "Complain via e-mail or on "TW Questions / Comments;" NOT within a thread" ... that Mods and Admins are the only ones who can see these notes.

I thought you knew this already.... When you have a complaint or challenge to moderation, you should do so via e-mail or on the "TW Questions/Comments" thread; NOT within a thread.

(When you complain within a thread, we are instructed to zap it....)

- KK

alwaysatnet
03-01-2007, 06:04 PM
Somebody call for a waaahmbulance?