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View Full Version : Is Nadal Greatest Clay Court Player Ever?


snapple
04-26-2007, 11:58 AM
The following is an excerpt from this week's Sports Illustrated tennis column. Was wondering if people feel rafa can be considered greatest clay courter ONLY if he matches Borg's 6 French titles.
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This is such a weird time in the men's game. We're in the throes of the Gilded Age of Federer, a player we're all (self included) poised to call the Greatest of All-Time. Obscured by this aura is the niggling reality that on clay, it's the guy ranked No. 2 who is absolutely dominating.

It's not that Nadal owns Federer on the dirt. It's that he owns everyone! The guy is closing in on 70 straight clay-court matches, this at a time when the men's field has never been deeper. Before beating Federer in straight sets of the Monte Carlo event -- still another Masters Series title -- Nadal was surrendering an average of four games a match during the tournament.

And much as we hate this line of "reasoning," rev up a tape of Borg or Vilas, watch where their shots land, take note of the pace, and I defy you to tell me either would stand a chance against Nadal. Heresy, I know. But, I'm telling you, it wouldn't be close.

The problem with putting your chips on active players in these discussions is that their luck can change. Nadal goes on an inexplicable Guillermo Coria-like losing streak, and suddenly he's not such a force of nature. But the way things are going, and barring a radical change, he's on his way to becoming tennis' BMOC: best man on clay.

Warriorroger
04-26-2007, 12:23 PM
I think so. I don't like it, but I think so. Nadal is more than a counterpuncher.

drakulie
04-26-2007, 12:24 PM
Chris Evert/Bjorn Borg


But I agree he would destroy Borg if they were to play in their "prime".

Moose Malloy
04-26-2007, 12:31 PM
Doubt Nadal could get a 1st serve in if he had to play with a wood racquet.

Absurd comparison from Wertheim, imagine if baseball allowed metal bats, no one would even try to compare eras, major records would fall every year. How old is Wertheim anyway? 35? Yeah, he's an expert allright. I'll bet anything he's never seen Borg play live.

Andres
04-26-2007, 12:32 PM
Doubt Nadal could get a 1st serve in if he had to play with a wood racquet.

Absurd comparison from Wertheim, imagine if baseball allowed wooden bats, no one would even try to compare eras, major records would fall every year.
With a couple of months to get used to a wooden racquet, the feel and the reduced headsize, I think he could be a great matchup against Borg.

forzainter
04-26-2007, 12:34 PM
Doubt Nadal could get a 1st serve in if he had to play with a wood racquet.

Absurd comparison from Wertheim, imagine if baseball allowed wooden bats, no one would even try to compare eras, major records would fall every year.

doesnt baseball only allow wooden bats?

Morrissey
04-26-2007, 12:49 PM
As much as I like him I still have to put Borg above him. But if Nadal keeps this up he will be before his career is over. If he wins this French for the third time in a row I would put him second to Borg. All the Muster-Guga fanboys can kiss it. :-D

The Gorilla
04-26-2007, 01:11 PM
you people think he can outrun borg?

seriously?

Borg had a better backhand, better serve,better volleys, never ever ever ever got tired, ever.And is also the fastest player of all time.

The only shot comparable to one of borg's he has in his artillary is his forehand, but I think you people forget the the incredible power and spin borg generated with his wooden racquet, (he had a bigger ground strokes than lendl btw, and we all know how big lendl hit with his modern '90's racquet).

Moose Malloy
04-26-2007, 01:12 PM
With a couple of months to get used to a wooden racquet, the feel and the reduced headsize, I think he could be a great matchup against Borg.


I guess you could say the same thing if Borg got hold of a Babolat with lux strings when he was 20. Wonder what Nadal's unforced error count would be with a wood racquet. And more importantly, his winner count. Borg's racquet was the size of a toothpick compared to Nadal's, I'm not sure Nadal is the cleanest hitter of the ball around today, so a 65 sq inch wood racquet with no flexibility probably wouldn't make him look so good.

The changes in racquet technology effectively ended anyway to compare eras. Considering Borg was more of a freak of nature relative to his peers than Nadal(he was almost the only guy who could hit with topspin consistently with wood, & he strung his racquets at 80 ilbs! No one before or since ever played with that high a tension), I think he'd do fine had he been born 30 years later.

Its a shame the top players aren't timed over the years, I'm curious if Nadal's speed is in the same league as Borg(who outsprinted an olympic hurdler in the 70s)

That's something that could be used to compare eras, if they started timing all the top 10 players, & compare every 5 years to see if anything has changed. Somehow I doubt its changed much, tennis players aren't really covering that much ground per point on average.

harryz
04-26-2007, 01:15 PM
Borg could handle high looping balls from Nadal to the backhand too. Nadal doesn't have any shot that would hurt Borg on clay in his prime, and he lacks Borg's consistency-- believe it or not-- and variety.

Voltron
04-26-2007, 01:17 PM
No he is not, other great players have yet to exist.

fujitsu77
04-26-2007, 02:35 PM
IMHO, I think he is.

The Gorilla
04-26-2007, 02:39 PM
I would rate nadal as high as vilas, and like vilas he would be left shaking his head as borg won every.single.rally.

Moose Malloy
04-26-2007, 02:54 PM
Yeah it was amazing to see Borg thrash Vilas. Vilas was so fit, so strong, a human backboard that could play all day(& with "lefty" spin). Yet he still couldn't keep up with Borg.
So many of the games they played at the '78 French Open went to deuce or ad Vilas, yet Borg won almost every one of those games. Throwing out any physical comparisons between players of different eras, I don't think there has ever been anyone as mentally tough as Borg. No matter what the score, no matter how long the rally was, he simply wouldn't miss when it mattered.

In terms of long rallies, I think Borg probably played & won more long rallies than anyone in the history of the game. His resting heart rate was like that of a marathon runner.

The Gorilla
04-26-2007, 03:08 PM
his resting heart rate was far lower than that of a marathon runner, it was 36, the resting heart rate of a tour de france g.o.a.t.
It is incredible that one of the fittest human beings of all time played tennis.

dh003i
04-26-2007, 04:04 PM
It's not that I haven't read all this about Borg before, but the more times I read about him, the more difficult it is for me to say that you could whole-heartedly put someone ahead of him as a candidate for GOAT.

Even if Federer wins the FO, or gets more than 14 slams, it'd still be difficult to say he was greater than Borg. I don't think I can say Sampras was greater than Borg. Or even Laver.

I think we can get a sense of who the candidates for GOAT are, from one groups of players to the next. Among his peers -- Connors, Lendl, McEnroe, Vilas -- I think Borg clearly has the nod for representation there. Likewise, among Sampras' peers, he has the nod. Probably likewise with Laver (although some will claim that he was not nearly as good as Hoad, Gonzales, etc). And I think the same will be true of Federer.

But in terms of really conclusively saying who the GOAT was, I don't think you can really do it.

TennisandMusic
04-26-2007, 04:13 PM
It's not that I haven't read all this about Borg before, but the more times I read about him, the more difficult it is for me to say that you could whole-heartedly put someone ahead of him as a candidate for GOAT.

Even if Federer wins the FO, or gets more than 14 slams, it'd still be difficult to say he was greater than Borg. I don't think I can say Sampras was greater than Borg. Or even Laver.

I think we can get a sense of who the candidates for GOAT are, from one groups of players to the next. Among his peers -- Connors, Lendl, McEnroe, Vilas -- I think Borg clearly has the nod for representation there. Likewise, among Sampras' peers, he has the nod. Probably likewise with Laver (although some will claim that he was not nearly as good as Hoad, Gonzales, etc). And I think the same will be true of Federer.

But in terms of really conclusively saying who the GOAT was, I don't think you can really do it.

What a breath of fresh air. Someone actually admitting it is nearly impossible to name a GOAT, even when taking slam count into consideration. I agree Borg could have been the greatest. The man was incredible. I think the only thing you can do is discuss who the greatest playERS were. We have so many 15 year olds (and older people wanting to live vicariously through his victories) around here saying Federer is already the "GOAT" when that's the only player they have really watched. :roll: I don't know if I would even consider him top 5 yet. I don't care if he even wins 20 slams I don't think I could ever call him better than a few of the greats. He just hasn't had the mentally strong and talented competition, other than Nadal who generally spanks him, so...

great post.

Kaptain Karl
04-26-2007, 04:31 PM
To the OP's question: Not yet.... Borg is the reason.

- KK

35ft6
04-26-2007, 04:36 PM
He's the best I've ever seen. I would say yes. And I'm not even hesitating.

35ft6
04-26-2007, 04:38 PM
What a breath of fresh air. Someone actually admitting it is nearly impossible to name a GOAT, even when taking slam count into consideration. I think everybody has admitted this at some point. It's called stating the obvious. We talk about GOAT because it's fun, same reason why baseball fans will talk about greatest team ever, most of the players of the 20's being dead notwithstanding.

TheTruth
04-26-2007, 04:39 PM
What a breath of fresh air. Someone actually admitting it is nearly impossible to name a GOAT, even when taking slam count into consideration. I agree Borg could have been the greatest. The man was incredible. I think the only thing you can do is discuss who the greatest playERS were. We have so many 15 year olds (and older people wanting to live vicariously through his victories) around here saying Federer is already the "GOAT" when that's the only player they have really watched. :roll: I don't know if I would even consider him top 5 yet. I don't care if he even wins 20 slams I don't think I could ever call him better than a few of the greats. He just hasn't had the mentally strong and talented competition, other than Nadal who generally spanks him, so...

great post.

I totally agree. Every generation has its stand out competitor and people start to make comparisons, conveniently ignoring racket technology, nutrition and fitness issues, playing styles, etc. The GOAT argument is the silliest argument of them all. Playing in different eras, with all things being changed, there is no level ground upon which to make comparisons. But, it makes some people feel better...somehow!

Steve Huff
04-26-2007, 07:43 PM
I guess if Borg played with his trusty Donnay wood and Nadal played with his Babolat, Nadal would have the advantage. He would be able to keep balls deeper, get more spin etc. But, that's why it's difficult to compare different eras in sports. They DIDN'T use the same equipment. If Borg had grown up using what the pro's do now, he would have hit different shots--deeper shots. You don't think he could adapt?? Well, he did win 6 FO's, then turn around and win 5 Wibledons. I haven't seen Nadal do that yet. Nadal is definitely a great clay courter. But the best of all time??? Not until he reaches 6 FO's.

35ft6
04-27-2007, 06:11 AM
It's not equipment, Borg's backhand IMO would have been easy pickins' for Nadal. That two hander with one hand release backhand of his wouldn't be able to withstand Nadal's crosscourt kick forehands. I'd like to see what an in form Bruguera or Kuerten could have done, but not really Borg.

harryz
04-27-2007, 06:51 AM
you must not been watching or playing tennis very long. Borg is the best I've seen on the red stuff, bar none.

Andres
04-27-2007, 06:59 AM
It's not equipment, Borg's backhand IMO would have been easy pickins' for Nadal. That two hander with one hand release backhand of his wouldn't be able to withstand Nadal's crosscourt kick forehands. I'd like to see what an in form Bruguera or Kuerten could have done, but not really Borg.
Isn't that crosscourt kick forehand pretty much what Vilas was doing to him? (without much success, while we're at it)
I know, the pace, the equipment, yara yara, but I'm not sure if Nadal is generating THAT much more spin than Borg and/or Vilas. At least, not enough to REALLY bother Borg.

And for the record, no, I'm not a Nadal hater

dh003i
04-27-2007, 07:31 AM
What a breath of fresh air. Someone actually admitting it is nearly impossible to name a GOAT, even when taking slam count into consideration. I agree Borg could have been the greatest. The man was incredible. I think the only thing you can do is discuss who the greatest playERS were. We have so many 15 year olds (and older people wanting to live vicariously through his victories) around here saying Federer is already the "GOAT" when that's the only player they have really watched. :roll: I don't know if I would even consider him top 5 yet. I don't care if he even wins 20 slams I don't think I could ever call him better than a few of the greats. He just hasn't had the mentally strong and talented competition, other than Nadal who generally spanks him, so...

great post.

For the record, I'm not saying I think Federer will end up being a second-tier great player...although if he wins the FO, there really isn't anything to knock against him.

However, once you start learning about the game, you realize that you can't make judgements about GOAT very well. Some of the people who've been alive a long time, and seen the pre-open-era players play, maybe can make better judgements.

It's easy to under-rate the old players when you've never seen them play, saying their era just wasn't physical. I'm sure that in 20, 30, 40 years, when a lot of people will have never seen Federer play (although at least they'll have DVDs, or whatever that's transferred to), people will say, "Oh, how good could he have been...that era just wasn't as strong, athletic, etc as we are now".

Bassus
04-27-2007, 09:25 AM
Obviously the part about where Borg's shots landed is not fair, since it was a different era in terms of equipment.

A better hypothetical is how Nadal would do against a prime Kuerten. That would be a great match.

noeledmonds
04-27-2007, 09:45 AM
I can't see Nadal getting the better of Borg (presuming equipment equal). Borg was an extreme athlete who I don't think would stuggle in any era. Borg's leg strength was tested and shown to be stronger than any other Sweedish athlete. Borg had a resting heart rate of just over 30 beats per minute. Nadal is physically fit and fast, but not that amazing. Borg also really owned the clay courters back in his day. Borg won 2 FOs without losing a set. Borg used to win many matches to the loss of just 2 or 3 games. The number of bagels this man gave on clay was incredible.

snapple
04-27-2007, 10:10 AM
I can't see Nadal getting the better of Borg (presuming equipment equal). Borg was an extreme athlete who I don't think would stuggle in any era. Borg's leg strength was tested and shown to be stronger than any other Sweedish athlete. Borg had a resting heart rate of just over 30 beats per minute. Nadal is physically fit and fast, but not that amazing. Borg also really owned the clay courters back in his day. Borg won 2 FOs without losing a set. Borg used to win many matches to the loss of just 2 or 3 games. The number of bagels this man gave on clay was incredible.

However, I think it's revealing to examine HOW he won his matches compared to how Nadal is winning. Borg simply outlasted his opponents refusing to make unforced errors and no one could compete with him on this level, especially with the lack of power afforded by wood rackets in those days. Nadal, on the other hand, outlasts his opponents AND overpowers them. Typically he pounces on any short balls and exploits any opportunities to take control of the point. Borg was not nearly as ruthless in this respect, and I don't think he could ever get away against a Nadal utilizing the topspin hit semi-moon ball that was the stable of his day.

Not saying he couldn't adjust given today's technology, just not sure if he would be nearly as dominant employing a more aggressive style that I believe today's clay court game requires.

noeledmonds
04-27-2007, 10:18 AM
However, I think it's revealing to examine HOW he won his matches compared to how Nadal is winning. Borg simply outlasted his opponents refusing to make unforced errors and no one could compete with him on this level, especially with the lack of power afforded by wood rackets in those days. Nadal, on the other hand, outlasts his opponents AND overpowers them. Typically he pounces on any short balls and exploits any opportunities to take control of the point. Borg was not nearly as ruthless in this respect, and I don't think he could ever get away against a Nadal utilizing the topspin hit semi-moon ball that was the stable of his day.

Borg had far more diversity to his game than simply outlasting his oponents, although this was the stratergy that he often used to much effect. Borg won 5 Wimbledon titles and could play more aggressive tennis and at the net too if neccessary. Borg was a very powerfull power too when he wanted to be. Borg beat Lendl when Lendl was playing with a graphite racket. It is a common misconception to say that wood rackets are far less powerfull. You just need to hit the very small sweet spot on the racket to generate the power. The topspin Borg could generate with a wood racket was remarkable, and Borg had no trouble dealing with others top spin either.

grizzly4life
04-27-2007, 10:28 AM
it's absurd to compare guys from the past to today in actual court play. how many home runs would babe ruth hit against today's pitchers? of course, today he'd be juiced too.

..... nadal would destroy borg circa-1975. but borg in 2007 with modern racquet would be a different story. i think borg was better on clay relative to his peers. alot of bagels at FO, unheard of today (although again era's are tricky to compare)

i think nadal's competition for clay greatness are vilas, borg and muster. sorry if there's someone older i forgot. (maybe laver)

i don't know alot about muster but when they showed rafa's clay streak and the top 6-7 streaks, muster had two separated by a few months. two quasi-nadal streaks on clay.

snapple
04-27-2007, 10:29 AM
Borg had far more diversity to his game than simply outlasting his oponents, although this was the stratergy that he often used to much effect. Borg won 5 Wimbledon titles and could play more aggressive tennis and at the net too if neccessary. Borg was a very powerfull power too when he wanted to be. Borg beat Lendl when Lendl was playing with a graphite racket. It is a common misconception to say that wood rackets are far less powerfull. You just need to hit the very small sweet spot on the racket to generate the power. The topspin Borg could generate with a wood racket was remarkable, and Borg had no trouble dealing with others top spin either.

All true. Just don't think he ever faced anyone with the power and consistency the likes of Nadal. The 20 year old Lendl was just too inexperienced and prone to choking to rise to the occasion. I've watched too many highlights of his matches when a ball he hit barely reached the service line, took a big bounce due to the topspin, yet is merely bunted back in response - I just can't help but think that Nadal (or Fed for that matter) would never let him get away with that. I can even envision Agassi mercilessly pouncing on those shots on the rise and drilling them to the corners. If nothing else, Borg would be forced to utilize many more of his skills to which you refer in order to prevail. Whether that would have translated to 6 FO wins can only be left to speculation.

grizzly4life
04-27-2007, 10:43 AM
All true. Just don't think he ever faced anyone with the power and consistency the likes of Nadal. The 20 year old Lendl was just too inexperienced and prone to choking to rise to the occasion. I've watched too many highlights of his matches when a ball he hit barely reached the service line, took a big bounce due to the topspin, yet is merely bunted back in response - I just can't help but think that Nadal (or Fed for that matter) would never let him get away with that. I can even envision Agassi mercilessly pouncing on those shots on the rise and drilling them to the corners. If nothing else, Borg would be forced to utilize many more of his skills to which you refer in order to prevail. Whether that would have translated to 6 FO wins can only be left to speculation.

are people disagreeing? i haven't read too closely......

just read a borg book (by romanian first wife). borg was an amazing athlete. beat european 110 metres hurdle champion at 400 meters hurdles. i mean, that's amazing athleticism. and very, very well conditioned (as is rafa)

borg playing his 1976 shots would get killed by nadal. double-bagelled at least....... borg with today's racquet's would probably play a completely different game.....

i think we need to compare their greatness.... and agreed it's somewhat pointless but entertaining.... easier to see in baseball, but how do you compare mays/mantle/aaron to bonds/"prime" griffeyJR/A-Rod? they're all great.

SamBruin
04-27-2007, 10:50 AM
Maybe.. but I think Gustavo Kuerten was better in his prime.

noeledmonds
04-27-2007, 10:55 AM
All true. Just don't think he ever faced anyone with the power and consistency the likes of Nadal. The 20 year old Lendl was just too inexperienced and prone to choking to rise to the occasion. I've watched too many highlights of his matches when a ball he hit barely reached the service line, took a big bounce due to the topspin, yet is merely bunted back in response - I just can't help but think that Nadal (or Fed for that matter) would never let him get away with that. I can even envision Agassi mercilessly pouncing on those shots on the rise and drilling them to the corners. If nothing else, Borg would be forced to utilize many more of his skills to which you refer in order to prevail. Whether that would have translated to 6 FO wins can only be left to speculation.

Borg landed spectacular wins against many clay courters. Borg holds a winning record against the following great clay courters on red clay: Vilas, Connors, Panatta, Lendl, Willander, Orantes. Have you ever tried playing with a wood racket? Nadal would not be able to attack Borg's shots with wood. The sweet spot is so small that Nadal would likely make many more errors and generate less top spin. Borg with a modern racket would generate at least as much topspin as Nadal. You seem to think that Nadal's variety is some how greater than Borg's. Borg's Wimbledon titles (where he S&V nearly every 1st serve) clearly prove this is not the case. Borg could probabely outgrind Nadal without even using this aspect of his game. Do you really think that the likes of Federer and Agassi could put away Borg's shots with like equipment? Agassi was ownded by Lendl, who was of course a worse version of Borg in many respects, a worse grinder with less variety. Wilander bageled Agassi on clay, so I don't know how you come to the conlusin that Agassi could put away Borg's shots on clay. Federer struggles enough with Nadal, Borg would probabely be worse for him, or at least similar. Borg's 6 FO titles are not even the most impressive part of his FO story. It is how he won the FO titles. Borg won 6 of 8 FO titles, 2 without the loss of a set, lost to just one player (Pannata), holds a 5 set record of 5-0 there, won 4 consecutive titles before retiring. Borg would undoubtably have won more if he had played on, Wilander admits himself that he would have no chance of beating Borg at the FO in 1982.

Moose Malloy
04-27-2007, 10:57 AM
Borg simply outlasted his opponents refusing to make unforced errors and no one could compete with him on this level, especially with the lack of power afforded by wood rackets in those days. Nadal, on the other hand, outlasts his opponents AND overpowers them. Typically he pounces on any short balls and exploits any opportunities to take control of the point. Borg was not nearly as ruthless in this respect, and I don't think he could ever get away against a Nadal utilizing the topspin hit semi-moon ball that was the stable of his day.

That's not entirely true, I've watched both the 1978 & 1980 French Open final in their entirety recently & Borg would punish anything short(his forehand seems very like Sampras' to me) Just watching a few clips on youtube doesn't really give you the whole picture. He even S&Ved on occasion. He came in more than Lendl ever did on clay. Off course short ball has a new meaning today, but going back to racquets, its impossible to punish the short balls of today with wood.

Yes, most of his game on clay was based on not missing, but Borg was a complete player who had a hell of a lot more variety, power, etc than Eddie Dibbs or Harold Solomon(now those guys more accurately reflect 'moon ball' players than Borg ever did)

Borg won 5 Wimbledons, 2 masters-how aggressive do you think he was there? you think he hit moonballs on grass/carpet? the guy hit more volleys in one match at Wimbledon than Nadal does in a year. And more aces/service winners.

I think everyone on this thread should go out & play a match with a wood racquet today, its very odd to me that so many seem clueless that many aspects of nadal's evolved from graphite being introduced 25 years ago, it is simply impossible to play the way he does with wood, esp with those grips. Borg was the only guy that could hit with heavy top in his time, do you think that's because no one else tried? or because it was so hard to do with that equipment?

Its well documeted what a freak of nature he was athletically-his resting heart rate, his blowing away pro soccer players in training sessions, him being among the strongest athletes in his country(not just compared to tennis players in his country, all athletes!) I wonder what Nadals' heart rate is & how he compares to soccer players, athletically (like is he a better athlete than his uncle-the beast of barcelona?)

This thread is bizarre to me, kinda like someone saying that Dr. J or Michael Jordan couldn't compete with todays NBA players because they aren't athletic/skilled enough! Borg may or may not be the best player of alltime, but his is the best tennis athlete, & yet he couldn't adapt to todays game? Guess tennis requires no athleticism, that a superathlete who won 11 majors playing with a racquet the size of a toothpick couldn't be greatly helped by playing with a racquet the size of a 747. haven't we all been helped by larger racquets?

Ultimately I could just post this everytime someone tries to compare the 2, since people are trying to compare something that cannot be compared:

Borg's racquet-65 sq inches(strung at 80 ilbs, lol at those who don't think he was strong compared to todays players), with no flexibility at all & a sweetspot the size of an acorn.

Its a shame we'll never see an atp event with wood to once & for all prove that equipment is more responsible for the evolution of the game than any other factor.

I saw a wood racquet doubles exo between Nalbandian/Gaudio & Vilas/Clerc last year, you would have thought Nalbandian was a 3.5(or less) on the basis of that. I think Clerc would have double bageled him had they played a match(& he's in his 40s)
Wish it was on youtube, since so much of what appears there is what people use to make judgments on players apparently.

easier to see in baseball, but how do you compare mays/mantle/aaron to bonds/"prime" griffeyJR/A-Rod? they're all great.

big difference-there are all playing with the same equipment(basically) imagine if baseball introduced metal bats, no record would be safe. and no one would want to see it, it would hurt the game worse than steroids has.

latinking
04-27-2007, 10:59 AM
Borg never had to play the athletes of today. Tennis is way deeper now than back then. Its so hard to compare different eras in all sports, but everyone must agree that in all sports including tennis the athletes are much stronger and faster today. Now days you can't get by on just speed or a big serve, you need to be a complete player. Fed would beat borg on clay aswell as Nadal, and Guga. Sorry.

snapple
04-27-2007, 11:15 AM
I'm not saying that Nadal & co. would beat Borg using wood rackets. What I am suggesting is that Borg's style TODAY would not be as dominant. Moreover, the modern version Borg would be playing the game not on the same terms that would was so clearly the master of in his day. None of the players you cited ever put him in a position in which he was truly under relentless pressure - once again, that was a sign of the times. His whole aura of superiority was based on unbelievably consistent ground strokes. As everyone has already agreed, that would not be sufficient today, so the question becomes would the modern Borg be able to leverage the qualities which served him so well back in the day to anywhere near the same degree? Bottom line is that while it is difficult if not impossible to compare errors, it is legitimate to question whether the skills that gave a player his main competitive advantage would translate effectively to the modern era. IMO a game like Laver's would translate much better...and yes I realize Borg was a great athlete, fast runner...etc.

Finally, what he accomplished at Wimby, while obviously incredible, was due in large measure to his amazing return of serve and passing shots - strokes that would not be as critical on clay even today (especially against Nadal).

Moose Malloy
04-27-2007, 11:17 AM
Borg never had to play the athletes of today.

have any of todays players played an athlete of Borg's level?

did you miss the resting heart rate part, 80 ilbs racquet tension, blowing away soccer players, outsprinting an olympic hurdler, tests that proved he was one of the strongest athletes in Sweden, etc? we aren't making this stuff up.

Jackie Robinson lettered in 4 sports at UCLA in the 40s, call me delusional but somehow I think he would still have been an all star in todays MLB.

Sports get more athletic over time, yes. But that doesn't mean the best of today is better than the best of the past. Pele, Ali would still be great today(do you disagree?), so I don't think its a stretch to say Borg would still be great today.

federerfanatic
04-27-2007, 11:24 AM
Borg would have beaten Nadal 6-2, 6-2 or 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 almost every time they played on clay. Nadal would probably be the 5th or 6th best clay courter in another era. Todays clay court field is terrible. Federer who hates clay, absolutely cant stand clay, and is so extremely uncomfortable on it is his closest competition on clay. After Federer it is Robredo, Gaudio, and god knows who else. So Nadal pretty much wins all the clay events by default with no competition at all.

Players like Borg, Lendl, Wilander, all won over and over again against the most incredible competition. Nothing like todays field of clay court clowns.

Even though Nadal is incredibly consistent, Borg was far more consistent, if Nadal hits 10 balls point after point without error, Borg could hit 25 without error point after point. Borg looked about the same speed to me, but since that was the 70s and this is the 2000s he would be even faster then Nadal, on clay anyway, if he were in his prime today. Borg volleyed on the clay, Nadal rarely does. Borg would just have no problem with Nadal on clay at all. Borg domianted on clay vs real competition like Vilas, Nastase, Panatta, Ramirez, Dibbs, Solomon, just an incredible field of opponents. Nadal wins by default on clay by horribly uncomfortable clay courter Federer, one-slam fluke Gaudio, has been Coria, second tier Robredo or Ferrer.

Moose Malloy
04-27-2007, 11:28 AM
Finally, what he accomplished at Wimby, while obviously incredible, was due in large measure to his amazing return of serve and passing shots - strokes that would not be as critical on clay even today (especially against Nadal).

I'm not sure why you dismiss this as evidence that Borg couldn't adapt to todays clay game. No one gave him a shot at ever doing anything at Wimbledon around 1975. Borg worked his *** off in generating a bigger serve, taking the ball earlier, etc.
I don't think there has ever been a player who changed his game so dramatically(& we've seen what happens to players that try to change too much) & yet not lose what made him great in the 1st place.

Dunno, if the ultimate grinder could transform himself into a S&V/all court player enough to win 5 straight wimbledons, somehow it doesn't seem like much of a leap to change from a counterpuncher to an agressive counterpuncher on clay? claycourt tennis is more agressive today, but its still about making less errors, correct? didn't federer make the same amount of winners vs nadal in monte carlo? so why was that match so easy for nadal? because he didn't make any errors.
if Borg was able to change his game to hit more winners on grass, carpet, etc, why would he not be able to do it with vastly superior equipment on a surface that he grew up on?

snapple
04-27-2007, 11:35 AM
Federer who hates clay, absolutely cant stand clay, and is so extremely uncomfortable on it is his closest competition on clay.

Not true. Fed grew up on clay and has said many times that he feels quite at home on the surface. He's just not the best at it.

Grimjack
04-27-2007, 01:34 PM
Tennis is way deeper now than back then.

Manifestly not true. Tennis was far bigger and more popular then, and thus was able to draw not only a far higher percentage of the total athletes from the pool, but also a far higher percentage of the truly elite-level athletic talent.

Today, tennis is played by far fewer people on far fewer courts worldwide. Additionally, boatloads of sports have caught, surpassed, and left behind tennis in terms of professional popularity. Today's elite-level athlete has many more options available to him in terms of potential career paths. So, as kids, they are correspondingly less likely to be trained in tennis.

In general, you can always state the ranks of professional athletes (on average) of today will be bigger, faster, and better-conditioned than those of the past. But that is not the same as stating that depth is at an all time high. Tennis had way more of the world's truly great athletes in the 70's than it does today.

CyBorg
04-27-2007, 02:38 PM
Werthless is such a dumb tool. I like how he claims that men's tennis has more depth today as if that somehow applies to clay.

Clay court tennis is in the worst shape its been in years. Years ago we had guys like Moya, Ferrero and Kuerten in their primes, surrounded by the likes of Corretja, Rios, Norman and Costa.

Today we have Nadal..... ehhh, Robredo.... Robredo?

Werthless strikes again.

CyBorg
04-27-2007, 02:39 PM
Chris Evert/Bjorn Borg


But I agree he would destroy Borg if they were to play in their "prime".

Borg would grind him into submission.

Especially if one would give Nadal a wooden racket and add an extra layer of clay for 'extra slow'. He wouldn't win a set.

CyBorg
04-27-2007, 02:40 PM
Doubt Nadal could get a 1st serve in if he had to play with a wood racquet.

Absurd comparison from Wertheim, imagine if baseball allowed metal bats, no one would even try to compare eras, major records would fall every year. How old is Wertheim anyway? 35? Yeah, he's an expert allright. I'll bet anything he's never seen Borg play live.

I'll say it again. Werthless is an idiot.

CyBorg
04-27-2007, 02:41 PM
However, I think it's revealing to examine HOW he won his matches compared to how Nadal is winning. Borg simply outlasted his opponents refusing to make unforced errors and no one could compete with him on this level, especially with the lack of power afforded by wood rackets in those days. Nadal, on the other hand, outlasts his opponents AND overpowers them. Typically he pounces on any short balls and exploits any opportunities to take control of the point. Borg was not nearly as ruthless in this respect, and I don't think he could ever get away against a Nadal utilizing the topspin hit semi-moon ball that was the stable of his day.

Not saying he couldn't adjust given today's technology, just not sure if he would be nearly as dominant employing a more aggressive style that I believe today's clay court game requires.

Nadal's aggressive style would be useless in the 70's. He wouldn't be able to hit one decent passing shot with a wooden racket.

snapple
04-27-2007, 03:19 PM
Nadal's aggressive style would be useless in the 70's. He wouldn't be able to hit one decent passing shot with a wooden racket.

But my point was that Borg would have just as much trouble adopting his game to today as his largely passive style (on clay) wouldn't cut it against rafa.

latinking
04-27-2007, 03:57 PM
have any of todays players played an athlete of Borg's level?

did you miss the resting heart rate part, 80 ilbs racquet tension, blowing away soccer players, outsprinting an olympic hurdler, tests that proved he was one of the strongest athletes in Sweden, etc? we aren't making this stuff up.

Jackie Robinson lettered in 4 sports at UCLA in the 40s, call me delusional but somehow I think he would still have been an all star in todays MLB.

Sports get more athletic over time, yes. But that doesn't mean the best of today is better than the best of the past. Pele, Ali would still be great today(do you disagree?), so I don't think its a stretch to say Borg would still be great today.



I do think borg was a good athlete, and of course there was great ones before. But it is a fact that on average athletes are much better today.It is a fact. People are in better condition now. Yes there was great athletes back then, never said it wasn't. Today way more depth, Nadal has to face guys in the first round that would probably make quarter or semis, years ago. Way more depth. Borg only had to worry bout a few guys. Now days a player ranked 120 can play amazing.

latinking
04-27-2007, 04:01 PM
I think Borg , Ali, willy mays, would be great today, but everyone else would not be so far behind as it was back when they was playing thier sports.

champy511
04-27-2007, 04:12 PM
I think, as any of you could disagree, Nadal is the better...................
a s s picker :-D (he is very accurate at it, that one pick and he's done, haha) and he is much better at making sure he drinks the same amount of liquid from each bottle, and better at making sure they are back on the same exact spot, and also it has to face the same exact angle....
....than Borg.

champy511
04-27-2007, 04:15 PM
We need to test who sprints faster from the net to the baseline after the coin toss. I think I put my money on Nadal since Borg seemed to be more calm during that time.

CyBorg
04-27-2007, 05:07 PM
But my point was that Borg would have just as much trouble adopting his game to today as his largely passive style (on clay) wouldn't cut it against rafa.

Borg would have less trouble. Don't forget that he is the fastest player in the history of tennis, meaning that he would adjust to the pace of today's game quite well. Borg was also a natural baseliner, meaning that he wouldn't have to alter his game entirely unlike, say, Laver.

For Nadal it would be near impossible. Clay court tennis 30 years ago was about exchanging slow grounstrokes with great topspin with a heavy ball. Nadal's shoulder would fall off after 20 minutes trying to send balls deep.

A guy who I think would have been perfect for today's game is Vilas. Exchanging groundstrokes for hours with Borg was not to his advantage. He was a big, burly guy who would have loved to outmuscle guys with hard crosscourt and passing shots with the kind of upbeat tempo that was taken away from him every time he played the likes of Borg. Borg always kept Vilas deep behind the baseline, rendering him helpless and unable to employ an aggressive approach. Borg would have done the same with Nadal.

But Vilas would have been a multiple French Open champion today.

tricky
04-27-2007, 05:07 PM
I do think borg was a good athlete, and of course there was great ones before. But it is a fact that on average athletes are much better today.

Yeah, but if you scale Borg's athletic ability to modern training methods, he would probably blow everybody away in pure speed. The point Malloy was making was that Borg (like Graf) had Olympic-level talent in his foot and sprint speed. God-given genetics.

They say that even during his comeback, he still had pro-level speed.

The Gorilla
04-27-2007, 05:10 PM
I do think borg was a good athlete, and of course there was great ones before. But it is a fact that on average athletes are much better today.It is a fact. People are in better condition now. Yes there was great athletes back then, never said it wasn't. Today way more depth, Nadal has to face guys in the first round that would probably make quarter or semis, years ago. Way more depth. Borg only had to worry bout a few guys. Now days a player ranked 120 can play amazing.

borg was not a good athlete.Borg was an incredible athlete, there was and is no one in tennis who is in the same league as him, or anywhere near.

He had a resting heart rate of 36, the average resting heart rate of an adult is 72.That means that his heart was so strong it could pump twice the amount of blood in a minute as yours, and about 50% more than an outstanding athlete.
HE never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever got tired.

ever.

He was the fastest player of all time, far far faster than nadal.He beat the european 100m hurdles champion ina 400m sprint...




















over hurdles.














The fact that Borg even picked upa a racquet is a miracle, and nothing less.His resting heart rate is unparalleled except by a handful of tour de france champions.He was the fastest man in europe, easily the fastest white man in the world, the idea that federer and nadal could out run, out leap or outplay him is nothing short of ridiculous.

Look how tough it was for mac to beat him on grass, his best surface, and one which some claim he was the unparalleled master of,even though borg had a two hander and mac was left handed and able had a huge target to push him out wide with ihs lefty serve and open up the court, he only had a 50% record
against him.

To those who say Borg was just a baseline grinder, I say he won 5 wimbledons, in a row!, serving and volleying,


and then there's the matter of his volleying in this tie break.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Kcyn7PPG0k


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Phs5JZJ5EX4


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaxkCEh9_KY

tricky
04-27-2007, 05:14 PM
I think Federer's game play is the greatest of all time, but in terms of actual achievement -- Borg's 5 Ws and FOs is incomprehensible to me. Much moreso than Laver's 2 GS's. And Borg probably would have won the USO at some point in his life if he played a full career.

Oh, and Borg was a fashion icon. In SoBad's scientific analysis, only Safin would be a greater player;)

CyBorg
04-27-2007, 05:18 PM
There is one type of player that gave Borg fits. An expert volleyer.

There were two on clay: Adriano Panatta and Yannick Noah. Panatta beat Borg twice at the French (the only person to beat him at Roland Garros). Noah played Borg tough always when they met and upset him at Monte Carlo in '82.

This was also why Johnny Mac was tough on Borg. He was a great volleyer who intercepted Borg's passing shots.

Today there is virtually no volleying. Lendl volleyed more than Nadal does today. Tim Henman would be tougher on Borg today than Nadal.

latinking
04-27-2007, 05:32 PM
yes he was good, but the fact is that atletes today on average are better in every way. FACT. Never doubt how good of an athlete he was.

latinking
04-27-2007, 05:39 PM
There is one type of player that gave Borg fits. An expert volleyer.

There were two on clay: Adriano Panatta and Yannick Noah. Panatta beat Borg twice at the French (the only person to beat him at Roland Garros). Noah played Borg tough always when they met and upset him at Monte Carlo in '82.

This was also why Johnny Mac was tough on Borg. He was a great volleyer who intercepted Borg's passing shots.

Today there is virtually no volleying. Lendl volleyed more than Nadal does today. Tim Henman would be tougher on Borg today than Nadal.

You must be joking? Henman?

Mick
04-27-2007, 05:39 PM
wow. those youtube videos, Mcenroe served with a wood racquet and Borg stood 12 ~ 15 feet behind the baseline to return the serves.

The Gorilla
04-27-2007, 05:41 PM
yes he was good, but the fact is that atletes today on average are better in every way. FACT. Never doubt how good of an athlete he was.

how's this for a fact, his resting heart rate is 36, lance armstrong's is 34.

You are not clever my friend ;)

federerfanatic
04-27-2007, 05:44 PM
Werthless is such a dumb tool. I like how he claims that men's tennis has more depth today as if that somehow applies to clay.

Clay court tennis is in the worst shape its been in years. Years ago we had guys like Moya, Ferrero and Kuerten in their primes, surrounded by the likes of Corretja, Rios, Norman and Costa.

Today we have Nadal..... ehhh, Robredo.... Robredo?

Werthless strikes again.


That is what I said too. Federer hates clay and is still Nadal's biggest competition by far on clay, playing him in all the finals, and averaging 1 set per match. Comparing Federer to Sampras on clay would be too much, but comparing Fed's comfort level to say Connors on red clay might be right.

If Borg's biggest rival on red clay was Connor's people would say his clay court competition was a joke probably, so why dont people say that about Nadal's. Of course in Borg's case you had guys like Vilas and Panatta as his biggest competition on red clay, plus guys like Dibbs, Ramirez, Solomon, a bit of an older Nastase, a younger Lendl, plus Connors when he played. Nadal has only Federer on his worst surface by far, then after that Robredo, Gaudio, Ferrer.

In the mid 90s you had Muster, Bruguera, Medvedev(in his prime), Costa, Corretja. In the late 90s you had Kuerten, Moya, Rios, Costa, Corretja. Then in the early 2000s you had Kuerten, Ferrero, Moya, at their best.

latinking
04-27-2007, 05:45 PM
how's this for a fact, his resting heart rate is 36, lance armstrong's is 34.

You are not clever my friend ;)

U are not very smart. You are talking about one man? I am talking about on average. DO U UNDERSTAND. OK he was great. I am admiting it, but thats what separtaed him. Do you understand?

latinking
04-27-2007, 05:47 PM
Jordan was amazing, Borg, Babe ruth, I can go on abd on, but the average athlete today in any sport is better. Thats why records get broken. Hell Pele probably could not even play for Brazil today if he played the way he did then, mind you he would adapt as would Borg, but I think day in day out Nadal plays way more dangerous players, Borg only had to worry about a few guys. So what Nadal is doing is Amazing and you all need to give him his respect, I mean he even owns the probably the best overall player of all time on clay. Fed.

CyBorg
04-27-2007, 05:53 PM
That is what I said too. Federer hates clay and is still Nadal's biggest competition by far on clay, playing him in all the finals, and averaging 1 set per match. Comparing Federer to Sampras on clay would be too much, but comparing Fed's comfort level to say Connors on red clay might be right.

If Borg's biggest rival on red clay was Connor's people would say his clay court competition was a joke probably, so why dont people say that about Nadal's. Of course in Borg's case you had guys like Vilas and Panatta as his biggest competition on red clay, plus guys like Dibbs, Ramirez, Solomon, a bit of an older Nastase, a younger Lendl, plus Connors when he played. Nadal has only Federer on his worst surface by far, then after that Robredo, Gaudio, Ferrer.

In the mid 90s you had Muster, Bruguera, Medvedev(in his prime), Costa, Corretja. In the late 90s you had Kuerten, Moya, Rios, Costa, Corretja. Then in the early 2000s you had Kuerten, Ferrero, Moya, at their best.

I love Federer and all and I want him to win the French, but he is extremely lucky to play in an era where good clay court specialists are at a premium. Extremely lucky. Of course what sucks for him is that Nadal is one of the ten best ones ever.

The Gorilla
04-27-2007, 05:56 PM
If athlete were better years ago why is every record being broken in sprinting , baseball , football, damn name a sport and there is the proof.

because the equipment is changing, the athletes running the 100 metres for example ran it on clay 40 years ago, in heavy boots, in extremely unaerodynamic conditions.It's not that they were running faster, it's that the materials they used were extremely inefficiant.

he inspiration provided by Fosbury also required another element that lies behind many improvements in athletic performance: an innovation in athletic equipment. In Fosbury’s case, it was an improvement in the cushions that jumpers land on. Traditionally, high jumpers would land in pits filled with sawdust; flopping over the bar and landing backward in the pit would have been a recipe for injury. But by the time Fosbury was in high school, sawdust pits had been supplanted by large, soft foam cushions, ideal for flopping.

Other sports have benefited from better equipment. Speed skating was recently revolutionized when the Dutch introduced the “clap skate,” a skate with a hinge that keeps the blade on the ice longer, providing more speed. Skaters were slow to adopt this innovation, but when they did, the results revolutionized the sport, shaving seconds off previous records.

Clap skates are not the only innovation: pole vaulters have taken advantage of springier, fiberglass poles. To a lesser extent, runners have been helped by better shoes and special elastic tracks that do not absorb as much energy as previous surfaces did. The springy surface returns energy to a runner’s stride that would otherwise be consumed by an ordinary track. Still, the improvements possible through these technologies are not as critical as basic athletic ability. Dapena puts the importance of equipment in perspective when he says, “If you ask, ‘Would you like to have Michael Johnson’s body or his shoes?’ I’ll take the body.”

But materials do make a big difference. Gideon B. Ariel, one of the fathers of biomechanics and the founder of the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, compared the performance of Jesse Owens with that of Carl Lewis. In 1936 Owens ran the 100-meter event in 10.2 seconds, much slower than the 9.86 Lewis achieved in 1991. “Of course, what Jesse Owens was running on was not the same surface that Carl Lewis ran on,” Ariel explains. Owens ran on a clay track that absorbed more energy than the modern tracks on which Lewis set his record. “Imagine you’re running on the beach in very deep sand. Your joints might be very fast, but you don’t make the progress. If you run the same on the road, you will be faster. You’re really not faster, you are more efficient - you don’t lose as much energy.” Ariel was able to analyze films of Owens running and determine that his joints were moving as fast as Lewis’s. He determined that had Owens and Lewis run on the same track the results would not have been nearly as lopsided, although Lewis would probably still have run faster.



http://www.sprintic.com/articles/how_much_faster/

CyBorg
04-27-2007, 05:57 PM
You must be joking? Henman?

I'm not joking. A player's greatest nemesis is often someone who is not a dominant performer.

Henman is one of the few remaining pure volleyers. Maybe the last successful pure volleyer. He's the type that Borg would struggle against.

The Gorilla
04-27-2007, 05:59 PM
Jordan was amazing, Borg, Babe ruth, I can go on abd on, but the average athlete today in any sport is better. Thats why records get broken. Hell Pele probably could not even play for Brazil today if he played the way he did then, mind you he would adapt as would Borg, but I think day in day out Nadal plays way more dangerous players, Borg only had to worry about a few guys. So what Nadal is doing is Amazing and you all need to give him his respect, I mean he even owns the probably the best overall player of all time on clay. Fed.



Roger federer is not the best player of all time, it is a statistical impossibility for the comparitively small group of world wide players of today's best player to be better than the best player of the 70's when a much larger group played.

The Gorilla
04-27-2007, 06:00 PM
I'm not joking. A player's greatest nemesis is often someone who is not a dominant performer.

Henman is one of the few remaining pure volleyers. Maybe the last successful pure volleyer. He's the type that Borg would struggle against.

with a wooden racquet yes, definitely.With a graphite racquet Henman would be lucky to get a game.

federerfanatic
04-27-2007, 06:01 PM
I'm not joking. A player's greatest nemesis is often someone who is not a dominant performer.

Henman is one of the few remaining pure volleyers. Maybe the last successful pure volleyer. He's the type that Borg would struggle against.

While I dont disagree Borg struggles more with serve-volleyers then other baseliners, Henman is still just not good enough, particularly today. Seeing as how Hewitt took him to pieces even in his prime, even on grass in fact, I dont see how he would have been that much trouble for Borg even in his prime, let alone today.

latinking
04-27-2007, 06:02 PM
because the equipment is changing, the athletes running the 100 metres for example ran it on clay 40 years ago, in heavy boots, in extremely unaerodynamic conditions.It's not that they were running faster, it's that the materials they used were extremely inefficiant.

he inspiration provided by Fosbury also required another element that lies behind many improvements in athletic performance: an innovation in athletic equipment. In Fosbury’s case, it was an improvement in the cushions that jumpers land on. Traditionally, high jumpers would land in pits filled with sawdust; flopping over the bar and landing backward in the pit would have been a recipe for injury. But by the time Fosbury was in high school, sawdust pits had been supplanted by large, soft foam cushions, ideal for flopping.

Other sports have benefited from better equipment. Speed skating was recently revolutionized when the Dutch introduced the “clap skate,” a skate with a hinge that keeps the blade on the ice longer, providing more speed. Skaters were slow to adopt this innovation, but when they did, the results revolutionized the sport, shaving seconds off previous records.

Clap skates are not the only innovation: pole vaulters have taken advantage of springier, fiberglass poles. To a lesser extent, runners have been helped by better shoes and special elastic tracks that do not absorb as much energy as previous surfaces did. The springy surface returns energy to a runner’s stride that would otherwise be consumed by an ordinary track. Still, the improvements possible through these technologies are not as critical as basic athletic ability. Dapena puts the importance of equipment in perspective when he says, “If you ask, ‘Would you like to have Michael Johnson’s body or his shoes?’ I’ll take the body.”

But materials do make a big difference. Gideon B. Ariel, one of the fathers of biomechanics and the founder of the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, compared the performance of Jesse Owens with that of Carl Lewis. In 1936 Owens ran the 100-meter event in 10.2 seconds, much slower than the 9.86 Lewis achieved in 1991. “Of course, what Jesse Owens was running on was not the same surface that Carl Lewis ran on,” Ariel explains. Owens ran on a clay track that absorbed more energy than the modern tracks on which Lewis set his record. “Imagine you’re running on the beach in very deep sand. Your joints might be very fast, but you don’t make the progress. If you run the same on the road, you will be faster. You’re really not faster, you are more efficient - you don’t lose as much energy.” Ariel was able to analyze films of Owens running and determine that his joints were moving as fast as Lewis’s. He determined that had Owens and Lewis run on the same track the results would not have been nearly as lopsided, although Lewis would probably still have run faster.



http://www.sprintic.com/articles/how_much_faster/


Ok I understand your agruement, makes sense and I agree that equipment is better yada yada, but do you really not agree that atheltes are not better? Look at sports, the way football has guys the size of houses that run fast as sprinter. Basket ball has athlte that can do what they do. Baseball player look like bodybuilders. I mean look at the world of sports. The money people put into sports alone would help an athlete today, compared to years ago when they had to struggle.

CyBorg
04-27-2007, 06:03 PM
While I dont disagree Borg struggles more with serve-volleyers then other baseliners, Henman is still just not good enough, particularly today. Seeing as how Hewitt took him to pieces even in his prime, even on grass in fact, I dont see how he would have been that much trouble for Borg even in his prime, let alone today.

Probably not today, but Henman was a very good player in his prime who would have given Borg some trouble due to his aggressive volleying style.

The Gorilla
04-27-2007, 06:08 PM
Ok I understand your agruement, makes sense and I agree that equipment is better yada yada, but do you really not agree that atheltes are not better? Look at sports, the way football has guys the size of houses that run fast as sprinter. Basket ball has athlte that can do what they do. Baseball player look like bodybuilders. I mean look at the world of sports. The money people put into sports alone would help an athlete today, compared to years ago when they had to struggle.

Most of the muscles they are trained to build are useless, nadal's biceps for example are useless for every shot but the reverse forehand,(buggy whip), they are bigger, but not necessarily better.

And they definitely aren't better than borg, 36 is just frightening.

CyBorg
04-27-2007, 06:14 PM
Most of the muscles they are trained to build are useless, nadal's biceps for example are useless for every shot but the reverse forehand,(buggy whip), they are bigger, but not necessarily better.

And they definitely aren't better than borg, 36 is just frightening.

Nadal's muscles don't make him into a better volleyer, just like the added weight put on by Michael Chang didn't make him into a better player.

The fact is this: the game is changing in such a way to benefit the athletes and their changing bodies. Guys are getting bigger and more muscle bound (not necessarily fitter - look at Baghdatis and Nalbandian) and the game has appropriately become less reliant on touch and more reliant on pure power.

But give these guys wooden rackets and 98% of them will embarass themselves. A game based on touch and chess-like strategy is not to the advantage of most players today.

And anyone who thinks that a kid like Richard Gasquet is a better athlete than the average top 20 player 30 years ago is ignorant.

Chip n' charge
04-27-2007, 06:17 PM
I think that a healthy (Guga) Gustavo Kuerten in his prime could have broken Rafa's clay court streak.

federerfanatic
04-27-2007, 06:19 PM
Probably not today, but Henman was a very good player in his prime who would have given Borg some trouble due to his aggressive volleying style.

You may just have a higher opinion of Henman then I do. Who were players of Henman's style of game, who you would consider played even just that very specific game to a very similar level to Henman, who gave Borg fits?

Henman was not a McEnroe/Sampras level serve-volley player, not even close(although I am not insinuating you are thinking that). As for the player he was in his prime, again perhaps you have a higher opinion then I do. The only time Henman particularly impressed me was Wimbledons in 1998 and 1999when he took Sampras to 4 sets during Sampras's dominance at Wimbledon. I wouldnt say Hewitt's style is totally similar to Borg's style of play. However a player like Hewitt who passes, counterpunches, and moves so well, made Henman his personal b%tch even during the time Henman and Hewitt were both in their primes, on any surface. Henman did not make it to the quarters of any slam outside of Wimbledon until 2004, and it was the only year he ever did. 2004 was probably Henman's best season ever in fact, his overall results in slams and Masters would suggest it was; yet he still loses in straight sets to Mario Ancic in the Wimbledon quarters(a less experienced serve-volley player)and Roger Federer had an easy time of him in 2 of Tim's biggest matches of the year-Pacific Life final and U.S Open semis. Tim was not even a regular top 10 player in his prime, he battled to be in the top 10, and was sometimes in and often out. His place as a top 10 player was never secure.

Nadal_Freak
04-27-2007, 06:19 PM
Nadal's muscles don't make him into a better volleyer, just like the added weight put on by Michael Chang didn't make him into a better player.

The fact is this: the game is changing in such a way to benefit the athletes and their changing bodies. Guys are getting bigger and more muscle bound (not necessarily fitter - look at Baghdatis and Nalbandian) and the game has appropriately become less reliant on touch and more reliant on pure power.

But give these guys wooden rackets and 98% of them will embarass themselves. A game based on touch and chess-like strategy is not to the advantage of most players today.

And anyone who thinks that a kid like Richard Gasquet is a better athlete than the average top 20 player 30 years ago is ignorant.
Wooden racquets aren't that bad. More power= more weapons. I'm sure these players these days could learn how to play with it. I even see a big difference between now and the early 90's. Agassi actually made a comment a while ago that said that he got better later on but so did everyone else. Proof right there how much tennis improved.

federerfanatic
04-27-2007, 06:23 PM
I think that a healthy (Guga) Gustavo Kuerten in his prime could have broken Rafa's clay court streak.

Definitely. Kuerten would definitely not have "owned" Nadal on clay, but he sure as heck would have challenged him much more then totally uncomfortable on clay Federer, or second tiers quality players like Robredo, Ferrer, or Gaudio do. He would have been much more of a struggle, and gotten his share of wins, there is no doubt.

The Gorilla
04-27-2007, 06:24 PM
You may just have a higher opinion of Henman then I do. Who were players of Henman's style of game, who you would consider played even just that very specific game to a very similar level to Henman, who gave Borg fits?

Henman was not a McEnroe/Sampras level serve-volley player, not even close(although I am not insinuating you are thinking that). As for the player he was in his prime, again perhaps you have a higher opinion then I do. The only time Henman particularly impressed me was Wimbledons in 1998 and 1999when he took Sampras to 4 sets during Sampras's dominance at Wimbledon. I wouldnt say Hewitt's style is totally similar to Borg's style of play. However a player like Hewitt who passes, counterpunches, and moves so well, made Henman his personal b%tch even during the time Henman and Hewitt were both in their primes, on any surface. Henman did not make it to the quarters of any slam outside of Wimbledon until 2004, and it was the only year he ever did. 2004 was probably Henman's best season ever in fact, his overall results in slams and Masters would suggest it was; yet he still loses in straight sets to Mario Ancic in the Wimbledon quarters(a less experienced serve-volley player)and Roger Federer had an easy time of him in 2 of Tim's biggest matches of the year-Pacific Life final and U.S Open semis. Tim was not even a regular top 10 player in his prime, he battled to be in the top 10, and was sometimes in and often out. His place as a top 10 player was never secure.


Yeah, the reason hweitts passing ahots are so lethal to tim henman is that they are so low over the net, with borg's loopy groundstrokes, if you were fast enough, |(and you almost never were), you had a high volley that could be hit flat and forecfully at an angle.

CyBorg
04-27-2007, 06:25 PM
You may just have a higher opinion of Henman then I do. Who were players of Henman's style of game, who you would consider played even just that very specific game to a very similar level to Henman, who gave Borg fits?

Henman was not a McEnroe/Sampras level serve-volley player, not even close(although I am not insinuating you are thinking that). As for the player he was in his prime, again perhaps you have a higher opinion then I do. The only time Henman particularly impressed me was Wimbledons in 1998 and 1999when he took Sampras to 4 sets during Sampras's dominance at Wimbledon. I wouldnt say Hewitt's style is totally similar to Borg's style of play. However a player like Hewitt who passes, counterpunches, and moves so well, made Henman his personal b%tch even during the time Henman and Hewitt were both in their primes, on any surface. Henman did not make it to the quarters of any slam outside of Wimbledon until 2004, and it was the only year he ever did. 2004 was probably Henman's best season ever in fact, his overall results in slams and Masters would suggest it was; yet he still loses in straight sets to Mario Ancic in the Wimbledon quarters(a less experienced serve-volley player)and Roger Federer had an easy time of him in 2 of Tim's biggest matches of the year-Pacific Life final and U.S Open semis. Tim was not even a regular top 10 player in his prime, he battled to be in the top 10, and was sometimes in and often out. His place as a top 10 player was never secure.

Thanks for the history lesson, but I know very well what Henman's accomplished in his career.

I don't think Henman would have a winning record against Borg I do think he would give him more trouble than most baseliners today. His quickness and deft touch would have been more difficult to read than the baseline predictability of James Blake.

CyBorg
04-27-2007, 06:27 PM
Wooden racquets aren't that bad. More power= more weapons. I'm sure these players these days could learn how to play with it. I even see a big difference between now and the early 90's. Agassi actually made a comment a while ago that said that he got better later on but so did everyone else. Proof right there how much tennis improved.

That's not proof of anything. That's not even proof of a coherent paragraph.

federerfanatic
04-27-2007, 07:08 PM
Thanks for the history lesson, but I know very well what Henman's accomplished in his career.

I don't think Henman would have a winning record against Borg I do think he would give him more trouble than most baseliners today. His quickness and deft touch would have been more difficult to read than the baseline predictability of James Blake.

Yeah I agree but James Blake isnt that good. His being in the top 10 for a time, god forbid even the top 5 very briefly, is an example of the lack of depth of todays game. Guys like Davydenko, Ljubicic, and Blake ranking so high is something that just dont reflect well on the players today, outside of Federer and Nadal at the very top.

wyutani
04-27-2007, 07:10 PM
Is Nadal Greatest Clay Court Player Ever?

mada mada dane.

CyBorg
04-27-2007, 07:16 PM
Yeah I agree but James Blake isnt that good. His being in the top 10 for a time, god forbid even the top 5 very briefly, is an example of the lack of depth of todays game. Guys like Davydenko, Ljubicic, and Blake ranking so high is something that just dont reflect well on the players today, outside of Federer and Nadal at the very top.

Every era had its clowns, but I think seeing guys like Davydenko and Robredo in the top 10 is an indication of the state of sports today. One big tournament and you're a star - making money in endorsements and contemplating retirement before you're old enough to drink. This is why certain underachievers like Kolya and Tommy wind up so high while super talents like Tsonga remain near the bottom of the barrel. I just don't know if there's enough incentive for some of these talented kids to work hard. Blue collar players wind up picking up the slack.

35ft6
04-27-2007, 08:27 PM
Just watch the videos. Borg isn't some guy from the 1880. Watch videos of him playing, then watch videos of Nadal. It's not even close. Borg was a freakish athlete, but Connors didn't do horribly against him, and in the beginning, Connors dominated Borg, and Jimmy was never a great athlete IMO. An incredible tennis mind, but put Jimmy through some tests measuring his strength, agility, vertical jump, speed, etc, and he wouldn't make any balls drop. It's not just about raw athleticism and I'm not even sure if Nadal is any less impressive.

Nadal is the best clay courter I've ever seen. And I agree that clay court tennis has evolved the most, more so than the play on grass (which one could argue has actually gotten worse in some ways) and hard courts. Borg and later Lendl were renowned for their fitness, but these days most every clay courter is incredibly fit. It's the norm now. What people are talking about here, I think, is what could a physical freak like Borg have accomplished in modern tennis if his training, mechanics, and equipment were different, but he still had that speed and steely nerve. Who knows!? But just watch the videos. Nadal is schooling faster, more consistent, fitter, and more powerful players.

I think you're wrong, but you can make, and people here do EVERY DAY, an interesting argument that tennis was "tougher" back in the day, but does anybody here except for the dude a few posts up really think that clay court tennis was tougher back in the late 70's?

ATXtennisaddict
04-27-2007, 08:28 PM
Is Nadal Greatest Clay Court Player Ever?

mada mada dane.

we should have echizen challenge nadal on clay :D

35ft6
04-27-2007, 08:34 PM
Every era had its clowns, but I think seeing guys like Davydenko and Robredo in the top 10 is an indication of the state of sports today. What's wrong with these two? I predicted about 4 or 5 years ago that Davydenko would be top 10. People thought I was crazy. Robredo, he doesn't surprise me either. He's got good power, elite fitness, and good fighting spirit. You don't have to be super flashy to be a legit top 10 player. You see this in every sport, grinders becoming legitimate champions. Like the Detroit Pistons. I guess the Robredo's of the world should feel lucky that tennis isnt' judged like figure skating or gymanistics, where somebody scores you lower because they don't like your style. Luckily for them, winning is all that matters.

tricky
04-28-2007, 12:18 AM
And anyone who thinks that a kid like Richard Gasquet is a better athlete than the average top 20 player 30 years ago is ignorant.

Well . . no . . . you can't make that generalization either. The conditioning of the top 100 ATP athletes are on average better than most of the top-20 athletes 30 years ago. Both the Boliterri and Spanish academies today rigorously emphasize physical fitness at a level. You bring up muscle and power; but tennis power is still a technique-oriented stroke. Borg is the exception.

Wooden racquets aren't that bad. More power= more weapons.

Wood tennis and non-wood tennis really are different games. That's why it's unfair to compare Borg and Laver with today's generation . . . and why it's also unfair to denigrate today's generation against the golden generation.
For example, you can't really make the assumption that Borg would or would not have been able to regularly return heavy 100-130mph serves. That's a particular eye-hand skill that has nothing to do with your pure athletic speed. You can't make the assumption that Nadal could or could not consistently return back shots with his variation of the FH with a wooden racquet. He probably would have used a completely different stroke.

At some point, you have to take a side and state whether you prefer the wood game or the modern game. If you feel the wood game is "real tennis", then it's really a debate between Borg and Laver IMO.

Thor
04-28-2007, 01:02 AM
I think most of you are overlooking STROKE MECHANICS which have developed so vastly over the years.Looking at Past players i am amazed how far we have come,getting extra power and spin from every muscle in our body,stroke is more fluent,volleys are MUCH better today(remember the pace a player faces today,its not possible to come in time after time like back then).
Therefore imo who's a better natural athlete or who has better equipement isnt an issue - Nadal would SLAUGHTER Borg on ANY surface.

BTW,when people want to compare "players in their prime" im sure they dont mean "oh lets take young Borg and train him with todays methods and gear and match him up against Nadal",but an "as is" match - Borg in his prime VS Nadal(if u want to equipe them with the same its totally legit to ask for)

tricky
04-28-2007, 01:57 AM
I think most of you are overlooking STROKE MECHANICS which have developed so vastly over the years.

Yeah, but that's the thing. Nadal (and Federer) relies on a wiping action that simply is impossible with wood. Just can't be done. Western grip and wood racquets don't get along. Modern stroke mechanics doesn't really compromise between spin and pace, because the racquet lets you have it both ways. Wood-based tennis forces you to choose.

noeledmonds
04-28-2007, 03:08 AM
We have 3 debates here really:

1) Do Nadal's achivments match Borg's?
NO- clearly not yet by a long way

2) Could Nadal beat Borg with a wood racket?
NO- extremely unlikely, Nadal's game depends on an extreme grip and his targetting of the oponent's weaker side with extreme top spin. Nadal has shown little adabtability in his game.

3) Could Nadal beat Borg with graphite?
DOUBTFULL- Borg's game was one of the most adapted of all time in tennis history. To outgrind your way through the FO, and then S&V Wimbledon is incredible. Borg was an incredible athlete, way above the rest, do you not think that with modern equipment, personal trainers of today, diet experts and agents arranging events and traveling schedule that Borg would be even better?

The Gorilla
04-28-2007, 03:46 AM
actually borg could definitely have served huge as he had an average serve of 117mph with a wooden racquet.

The windshield wiper action was done with the wooden racquet, it was invented by john newcombe.You are misinformed.

CyBorg
04-28-2007, 10:29 AM
What's wrong with these two? I predicted about 4 or 5 years ago that Davydenko would be top 10. People thought I was crazy. Robredo, he doesn't surprise me either. He's got good power, elite fitness, and good fighting spirit. You don't have to be super flashy to be a legit top 10 player. You see this in every sport, grinders becoming legitimate champions. Like the Detroit Pistons. I guess the Robredo's of the world should feel lucky that tennis isnt' judged like figure skating or gymanistics, where somebody scores you lower because they don't like your style. Luckily for them, winning is all that matters.

There's nothing wrong with them. I explained earlier that they are overachievers taking advantage of the fact that more talented players would rather drink beer and eat nachos than work out six hours a day.

CyBorg
04-28-2007, 10:31 AM
does anybody here except for the dude a few posts up really think that clay court tennis was tougher back in the late 70's?

Pretty much everyone who knows what he's talking about thinks that clay court tennis was tougher 30 years ago.

But you have a bunch of teenage girls here on your side. Congratulations!

35ft6
04-28-2007, 02:27 PM
Pretty much everyone who knows what he's talking about thinks that clay court tennis was tougher 30 years ago. This is a joke. Watch the videos. I watched the 1983 finals last night between Wilander and Noah. The quality of clay tennis today is better by a significant margin. Stroke production has come such a long way. Compared to the players of today, Noah is just arming his forehand. I'm not taking anything away from past greats, it's just sports evolution. Just watch the videos.

35ft6
04-28-2007, 02:30 PM
There's nothing wrong with them. I explained earlier that they are overachievers taking advantage of the fact that more talented players would rather drink beer and eat nachos than work out six hours a day. Besides Safin, who are these beer guzzling and nacho eating talents of which you speak?

I've posted about this before, how I think inconsistency is sometimes automatically interpreted as "talent," so long as it's a flashy inconsistency, in the same way sometimes eccentricity is misinterpreted as high intelligence. The assumption always seems to be that a "talented" player, if ONLY they'd become smarter and more consistent, but the thing is, consistency and court sense are talents as well. Maybe not as entertaining or obvious, but talents nonetheless.

CyBorg
04-28-2007, 03:23 PM
This is a joke. Watch the videos. I watched the 1983 finals last night between Wilander and Noah. The quality of clay tennis today is better by a significant margin. Stroke production has come such a long way. Compared to the players of today, Noah is just arming his forehand. I'm not taking anything away from past greats, it's just sports evolution. Just watch the videos.

The 1983 final is comparable in quality to the 2004 final - as in being two of the worst ones in memory.

CyBorg
04-28-2007, 03:25 PM
Besides Safin, who are these beer guzzling and nacho eating talents of which you speak?

Safin is actually in pretty good shape. His problem is focus. When his head is in the game he's very good - see the first set against Vliegen in Monte Carlo.

I've already mentioned which guys are not in good shape. I don't feel like repeating myself.

And as for clay court tennis 30 years ago it was a drastically different game with a heavier ball, thicker clay and wooden rackets. Trying to hit that ball deep with topspin from behind the baseline is something many of today's players would struggle with. Federer wouldn't come close to making the Roland Garros final and I'm speaking as a big fan of the guy.

CyBorg
04-28-2007, 03:33 PM
I wonder if anyone on these boards has ever tried boxing.

Now, I'm not a boxer but I gave it a shot a few times. Something that surprised me greatly was just how difficult it was to keep my arms around my face. My arms grew extremely tired just being there, without even throwing any punches. Guarding my face alone was exhausting. This is something that one would not discern by just watching a boxer. It looks easy.

Old clay court tennis is similar. Imagine a heavy ball coming at you with a huge bounce. Now imagine extending your arm to hit that ball with all of the might you can muster and return it deep and accurate. Imagine the strain this has on your arm. Now imagine doing this 20 times in a single rally - how will your arm feel? Now picture yourself doing this for five sets.

This was clay court tennis 30 years ago. Now, continuous hitting the way it is today is not easy either. But it is much less straining on the shoulder - clay courters today push a lot, meaning that they can play defensive tennis without a big windup. The biggest windups they take are also generated much more by their lower body, taking away the strain on the shoulder itself. The bouncer ball goes farther and with less effort.

Watch how exhausted Lendl is at the end of the 1981 final (it's on YouTube). I bet the guy was throwing up for weeks after this. Look at how he is just going through the motions and the way Borg is just playing with him.

This is clay court tennis. This is the most insane fitness test a tennis player can go through. Today it's rainbows and flowers comparing to what was. But to those who don't know any better it may look easy. Like boxing.

Kaptain Karl
04-28-2007, 04:23 PM
We have 3 debates here really:

1) Do Nadal's achivments match Borg's?
NO- clearly not yet by a long way

2) Could Nadal beat Borg with a wood racket?
NO- extremely unlikely, Nadal's game depends on an extreme grip and his targetting of the oponent's weaker side with extreme top spin. Nadal has shown little adabtability in his game.

3) Could Nadal beat Borg with graphite?
DOUBTFULL- Borg's game was one of the most adapted of all time in tennis history. To outgrind your way through the FO, and then S&V Wimbledon is incredible. Borg was an incredible athlete, way above the rest, do you not think that with modern equipment, personal trainers of today, diet experts and agents arranging events and traveling schedule that Borg would be even better?Great summary. And I think only the 3rd conclusion is open to debate.



The windshield wiper action was ... invented by john newcombe.You are misinformed.Ha-ha! You're funny, Gorilla.
Does Newk have a patent? ... a trademark?

(You kids are amusing. Many of you seem to think the SW and W grips are "new". Only back in the 1930s those grips were the most common in tennis. All these "inventions" have been around for a long time....)



The 1983 final is comparable in quality to the 2004 final - as in being two of the worst ones in memory.So true.

- KK

ohlori
04-28-2007, 04:42 PM
Most of the muscles they are trained to build are useless, nadal's biceps for example are useless for every shot but the reverse forehand,(buggy whip), they are bigger, but not necessarily better.

And they definitely aren't better than borg, 36 is just frightening.

Miguel Indurain's (5 times Tour de France winner) resting heart rate was 28 :shock:

The Gorilla
04-28-2007, 04:49 PM
Miguel Indurain's (5 times Tour de France winner) resting heart rate was 28 :shock:

I know, that's just insane, that rodgers marathon runner was 26.

The Gorilla
04-28-2007, 04:50 PM
Great summary. And I think only the 3rd conclusion is open to debate.



Ha-ha! You're funny, Gorilla.
Does Newk have a patent? ... a trademark?

(You kids are amusing. Many of you seem to think the SW and W grips are "new". Only back in the 1930s those grips were the most common in tennis. All these "inventions" have been around for a long time....)



So true.

- KK


John newcombe is widely accredited as the first player to hit a reverse forehand. ;)

35ft6
04-28-2007, 06:50 PM
I wonder if anyone on these boards has ever tried boxing. I have.This was clay court tennis 30 years ago. Now, continuous hitting the way it is today is not easy either. But it is much less straining on the shoulder - clay courters today push a lot, meaning that they can play defensive tennis without a big windup. The biggest windups they take are also generated much more by their lower body, taking away the strain on the shoulder itself. The bouncer ball goes farther and with less effort. You're describing the changes, and that's fine, but I disagree with your implication, that somehow players of the past were superior for the conditions they had to play in. I don't know how football players survived wearing leather caps, but aside from that, I don't have to give them props for that. Today's football team would crush a team from the 20's.Watch how exhausted Lendl is at the end of the 1981 final (it's on YouTube). I bet the guy was throwing up for weeks after this. Look at how he is just going through the motions and the way Borg is just playing with him. Yeah, they're hitting awfully slow, eh?This is clay court tennis. This is the most insane fitness test a tennis player can go through. I agree. Off the top of my head in the world of major sports I think only the Tour de France is more grueling than winning the French Open. That's why I really wouldn't be that shocked if there's more doping in tennis than we know about.Today it's rainbows and flowers comparing to what was. Maybe their inability to rip winners with their technique and equipment required them to run more, but it was a jog compared to the sprinting players do today. Again, your making a value judgment on these differences that I disagree with. Watch the Noah and Wilander final.But to those who don't know any better it may look easy. You throw this fallacy around a lot.Like boxing. And like boxing, it's like saying boxing between two Mexican lightweights is "better" because they beat the crap out of each other for 12 rounds, going to a decision. Is Mayweather or Roy Jones any less of a boxer because they fight a more explosive way? Nah.

It CAN be argued that point construction is becoming a lost art on the tour. I think growing up playing with wood forces you to learn how to think 4 strokes ahead to set up a winning shot, whereas today, too many of the powerful guys simply go for the outright preemptive winner.

But with that said, the quality of hitting on tour today is WAAAAYYYYY better than it ever was. The players of today are almost literally tennis machines, created in academy assembly lines. If nothing else, they can hit the crap out of the ball with amazing consistency. And they're very fit, with a fitness regiment that develops flexibility, balance, strength, and explosiveness, the likes of which would have seen absolutely bizarre by early 80's standards.

On clay, today's players are beasts. The line of thinking some people are taking here, I might be more inclined to agree when it comes to grass tennis, but on clay, today's players are far superior to their counterparts of 30 years ago.

35ft6
04-28-2007, 06:51 PM
John newcombe is widely accredited as the first player to hit a reverse forehand. ;)Saw a documentary on the Tennis Channel, guys from the 30's and 40's. They were hitting the inside out forehand back then. I don't think it really took 70 years for a player to realize they can actually hit BOTH corners with their forehand.

35ft6
04-28-2007, 07:08 PM
I wonder what Borg himself has to say about all this? He did get a taste of how things changed in his ill-fated comeback. He went 0-12 in three years, but in his defense, it's amazing that he he took some sets in his last year when he was 39(?). His results can be interpreted in many ways.

Another interesting thing about Borg aside from that obvious, that he dominated the two tournaments that are the most unlike each other, is that he never won the US Open, which at least in the past 25 years or so, is the one with the least fluke winners. The guys who win the US Open tend to be the truly elite, guys who become number 1, if only for a few weeks, and so on, whereas Wimbledon and Roland Garros has more surface specialist winners and one slam wonders.

What might this mean? Not rhetorical.

CyBorg
04-28-2007, 08:55 PM
I wonder what Borg himself has to say about all this? He did get a taste of how things changed in his ill-fated comeback.

Like his contemporaries, Borg is a patriot to the game of old. He prefers wood, he tried wood in Monte Carlo in '91. He somewhat looks down on the way the game is today. But not altogether.

CyBorg
04-28-2007, 09:08 PM
I have. You're describing the changes, and that's fine, but I disagree with your implication, that somehow players of the past were superior for the conditions they had to play in.

I think that they were superior 'feel' players and were more fit. Today's players are bigger and stronger. I do not for a second dismiss tennis today, even if I do have a soft spot for the old game. In fact, I prefer watching clay court tennis the way it is today to the clay court tennis of yesterday.

I don't know how football players survived wearing leather caps, but aside from that, I don't have to give them props for that. Today's football team would crush a team from the 20's.

Not comparable. Football is where strength figures in heavily. If you're a tackle today, you'll destroy a tackle from the 1940s. If we speak of quarterbacks then maybe things get a bit more interesting.

Again, your making a value judgment on these differences that I disagree with. Watch the Noah and Wilander final. You throw this fallacy around a lot. And like boxing, it's like saying boxing between two Mexican lightweights is "better" because they beat the crap out of each other for 12 rounds, going to a decision. Is Mayweather or Roy Jones any less of a boxer because they fight a more explosive way? Nah.

What fallacy is that? Please elaborate. The point I was countering in this thread is that tennis players 30 years ago were inferior athletes to today's players and your assertion that all they did was to hit rainbows. You are the one who is making a fallacy. Unlike you I do not look down on the players of today - I do think that they are bigger and stronger, but these attributes, in my opinion, would not work in their favour under the old conditions.

It CAN be argued that point construction is becoming a lost art on the tour. I think growing up playing with wood forces you to learn how to think 4 strokes ahead to set up a winning shot, whereas today, too many of the powerful guys simply go for the outright preemptive winner.

They go for the outright winner because they can. It's the nature of the beast. The changing conditions create these players. It's natural - I realize that. If these guys were to grow up with wood, they would learn to volley. However if tennis was still played with wood we would see different guys thrive - most likely smaller players and the likes of Andy Roddick would most likely be no-names.

But with that said, the quality of hitting on tour today is WAAAAYYYYY better than it ever was.

It has to be better to compensate for the lack of variety. It has to be better because of the changing racket technology. That being said, I don't think a single player today returns the ball better than Ken Rosewall did.

The players of today are almost literally tennis machines, created in academy assembly lines. If nothing else, they can hit the crap out of the ball with amazing consistency. And they're very fit, with a fitness regiment that develops flexibility, balance, strength, and explosiveness, the likes of which would have seen absolutely bizarre by early 80's standards.

I do not see amazing hitting consistency and I do not agree that players are more fit than before. You are confusing strength and muscle for fitness. There is a lot of big guys in the game today who can knock the crap out of the ball, but get exhasperated after a couple of sets of tennis. Ever wonder how Rod Laver lasted into his late 30 and played amazing tennis all the way through? Ever wonder how Johnny Mac is kicking Marcelo Rios' *** on the seniors tour? You know, the scrawny Irishman? You're looking at the wrong attributes.

On clay, today's players are beasts. The line of thinking some people are taking here, I might be more inclined to agree when it comes to grass tennis, but on clay, today's players are far superior to their counterparts of 30 years ago.

They are beasts indeed. A few of them with pot bellies.

rafan
04-28-2007, 09:18 PM
I cannot agree that hard court players are more elitist - on the contrary I think the true test of tennis is clay and grass which I think can be so unpredictable. Maybe that is why clay and grass players are never boring. I often think some hard court tournaments remind me of a hard game of squash.
I thought the original surface at the US open was grass anyway - but I could be wrong.

CyBorg
04-28-2007, 09:21 PM
I cannot agree that hard court players are more elitist - on the contrary I think the true test of tennis is clay and grass which I think can be so unpredictable. Maybe that is why clay and grass players are never boring. I often think some hard court tournaments remind me of a hard game of squash.
I thought the original surface at the US open was grass anyway - but I could be wrong.

The US Open first switched to hard in 1978, after a few years on green clay.

I do think it was on grass before the clay. I could be wrong. Too lazy to check.

johnkidd
04-28-2007, 09:42 PM
An interesting perspective would be how many of you here were playing in the early 80's? I started playing in '81 using a wood racket, I now use a babolat 25 years later. My game has evoled as the year have gone on.

I think today's claycourt tennis is no where near what it was even a few years ago. They have speed up the courts, changed the felt on the balls so they don't play as heavy, etc. I think the ispressive thing about Borg was he won the French playing under slow conditons, then two weeks later was playing Wimbledon when the courts were ungodly quick. For what it's worth I think if the courts/conditons at Wimbledon were the way they were today back in the 80's, Lendl would have a carrer Grand Slam.

ALso of note, counting total Grand Slams is not a good comparison either. I think is the schedule were set up in the 70's/80's as it were today, McEnroe, Connors, and Borg might each have 1-2 more slams because back then no one played the Aus Open because it was right before X-mas.

War, Safin!
04-29-2007, 12:28 AM
For Nadal to be considered 'The G.O.A.T' he also needs what Federer is missing: a similar Hall of Famer on that surface to push him.

Borg had Vilas (on clay), McEnroe (on grass) and Connors....Becker had Edberg, Lendl....Sampras and Agassi had each other....

35ft6
04-29-2007, 12:29 AM
Like his contemporaries, Borg is a patriot to the game of old. He prefers wood, he tried wood in Monte Carlo in '91. Yes, I know. But I'm talking about how the shots of his rather average opponent felt compared to the stars of his day.I think that they were superior 'feel' players and were more fit. More fit? When Lendl was around, everybody talked about how he cross trained, now it's the norm.Not comparable. Football is where strength figures in heavily. If you're a tackle today, you'll destroy a tackle from the 1940s. If we speak of quarterbacks then maybe things get a bit more interesting. My point was that the conditions of 30 years ago weren't necessarily more difficult, just different. A guy who grows up with wood will be more used to wood, and a guy who grows up with graphite will be lost with wood, etc. If wood and the conditions of yesteryear were intrinsically more difficult, you would think that a master of wood, used to way more difficult conditions, would just dominate if allowed the ease of a modern racket, but that's not the case at all. It's just different. It's not like running with a 20 pound backpack on, then running without it.What fallacy is that? Please elaborate. It's a combination of an ad hominem, and an appeal to authority, but mostly the former. "If you disagree, you don't know what you're talking about" which isn't attacking the argument, but the person (ad hominem).The point I was countering in this thread is that tennis players 30 years ago were inferior athletes to today's players and your assertion that all they did was to hit rainbows. Quote me. Show me where I said all they hit were rainbows, or something similar. Softer than today? Yes.You are the one who is making a fallacy. Sorry, I was talking about logical fallacies. I forget not everybody cares about this poop. I just don't think continuously saying "the people who disagree don't know what they're talking about" over and over really adds anything. It's the adult way of talking trash, and there's really enough trash talking here.Unlike you I do not look down on the players of today - I do think that they are bigger and stronger, but these attributes, in my opinion, would not work in their favour under the old conditions. Of course not, it was a different game back then. But with that said, if the players of 30 years ago played the players of today, both using their weapons of choice, the players of today would destroy, just destroy the players of 30 years ago ON CLAY. Does that mean David Ferrer is a greater player than Nastase? In the historical context, absolutely no freakin' way. But if some alien superpower used time travel to arrange this match, both players at their primes, I would put my money on Ferrer. However if tennis was still played with wood we would see different guys thrive - most likely smaller players and the likes of Andy Roddick would most likely be no-names.I think Korda, Henman, Jiri Novak, and a few others would have been way more successful if the tour was all wood. Todd Woodforde, too.I do not see amazing hitting consistency and I do not agree that players are more fit than before. You are confusing strength and muscle for fitness. No, I'm talking about fitness. It's like Ivan Drago from Rocky 4 with these guys today.There is a lot of big guys in the game today who can knock the crap out of the ball, but get exhasperated after a couple of sets of tennis. Ever wonder how Rod Laver lasted into his late 30 and played amazing tennis all the way through?Yeah, Laver didn't play the same grueling schedule that top players play today.Ever wonder how Johnny Mac is kicking Marcelo Rios' *** on the seniors tour?To my knowledge, he hasn't beaten Rios.You know, the scrawny Irishman? You're looking at the wrong attributes. The players of today are fitter. To me, this isn't even worth arguing about. It's of no interest. The difference in abilities, that's interesting, but not if today's players are fitter.They are beasts indeed. A few of them with pot bellies.When Lendl made off court training a regular part of his routine, it was talked about endlessly. Now it's the norm. Nobody talks about. No more stories about the crazy pro who runs and sprints off court, unless it's an "old" guy like Agassi trying to make a comeback.

35ft6
04-29-2007, 12:38 AM
I cannot agree that hard court players are more elitist - on the contrary I think the true test of tennis is clay and grass which I think can be so unpredictable. I sort of think clay court is the ultimate test of fitness and strategy, and grass is all about sheer racket skills and nerve, and hard courts are a combination of the two.

If you look up the champs of the past 25 to 30 years of the US Open, Wimbledon, and the French, the US Open has the most number 1 players and least one slam wonder champions. In short, out of the Slams, the US Open is the one where the best players are most likely to win. Borg being the glaring exception.

The Gorilla
04-29-2007, 04:22 AM
Saw a documentary on the Tennis Channel, guys from the 30's and 40's. They were hitting the inside out forehand back then. I don't think it really took 70 years for a player to realize they can actually hit BOTH corners with their forehand.

no, a reverse forehand is one where the finish is on the right hand side of the body for extra top spin.You're mixing this up with an inside out forehand.

NamRanger
04-29-2007, 07:51 AM
I guess you're not understanding what everyone is saying about clay in the 70s.


The game was much slower, you could not hit winners off of balls easily. The ball was heavier, it had much more felt. You had a wooden racquet that weighed close to a 1 lb, with a puny head size of 65 inches. You really have to concentrate alot harder to get the ball deep and generate spin, and when you have to do it 20-30 shots, it gets tiring after awhile.

CyBorg
04-29-2007, 08:02 AM
More fit? When Lendl was around, everybody talked about how he cross trained, now it's the norm.

Lendl's training is relevant to the game the way it is today. It is much more important due to the added pace of the surfaces and the graphite rackets. Guys trained and practiced before Lendl - but they did it differently because their era required different skills. You understand this, but you seem to be stubborn in believing that somehow Lendl's training methods are superior to those of, for instance, Borg. That's nonsense.

My point was that the conditions of 30 years ago weren't necessarily more difficult, just different. A guy who grows up with wood will be more used to wood, and a guy who grows up with graphite will be lost with wood, etc. If wood and the conditions of yesteryear were intrinsically more difficult, you would think that a master of wood, used to way more difficult conditions, would just dominate if allowed the ease of a modern racket, but that's not the case at all.

And this is based on what exactly? Give a young Rod Laver a graphite racket and a few months to get used to it and he'll be a fantastic player. But of course this doesn't apply to everyone - Gerulaitis would probably be worse in the graphite age where it's baseline almost all the time. But same goes for the one-dimensional wonders such as James Blake who would be lost with wood. That being said, the best players 30-40 years ago would adjust better to the graphite racket than the other way around. They already have the variety, they already hit with power and topspin. Whereas today's players have the power and topspin, but no variety.

It's a combination of an ad hominem, and an appeal to authority, but mostly the former. "If you disagree, you don't know what you're talking about" which isn't attacking the argument, but the person (ad hominem).

This is classic. You are appealing to authority by referring to reports of Ivan Lendl cross training and that supposedly transforming the game. You have nothing to back this up with. If you did you would have said something more specific as opposed to 'well, it's just common sense that Ivan Lendl changed the game'. You're a piece of work.

Quote me. Show me where I said all they hit were rainbows, or something similar. Softer than today? Yes. Sorry, I was talking about logical fallacies.

Way to contradict yourself. You're doing a masterful job of twisting and distorting.

I forget not everybody cares about this poop. I just don't think continuously saying "the people who disagree don't know what they're talking about" over and over really adds anything.

Non sequitur. I spoke in great detail and with many examples. Your points mainly consist of claiming that the Noah-Wilander match was indicative of past clay court tennis and that groundstrokes were 'soft'. Speaking of logical fallacies. Weak.

It's the adult way of talking trash, and there's really enough trash talking here. Of course not, it was a different game back then. But with that said, if the players of 30 years ago played the players of today, both using their weapons of choice, the players of today would destroy, just destroy the players of 30 years ago ON CLAY.

Confidently stated with utmost certitude. Backed up logically and with examples? Not at all. Nice work. You want to tell me more about the Noah-Wilander match?

Does that mean David Ferrer is a greater player than Nastase? In the historical context, absolutely no freakin' way. But if some alien superpower used time travel to arrange this match, both players at their primes, I would put my money on Ferrer.

If one would hand a 25-year old Ilie Nastase a graphite racket right now and tell him to play Ferrer he would lose to Ferrer. But if one gave a 25-year old Ilie Nastase a few months to get used to graphite he would kill Ferrer. Nastase's grounstrokes were enormously accurate and he had the variety to play on all surfaces. He would tire Ferrer out.

I think Korda, Henman, Jiri Novak, and a few others would have been way more successful if the tour was all wood. Todd Woodforde, too. No, I'm talking about fitness. It's like Ivan Drago from Rocky 4 with these guys today.

Yeah - it's exactly like the Hollywood movie starring Sylvester Stallone. No logical fallacy here, folks!

Yeah, Laver didn't play the same grueling schedule that top players play today.

Hilarious. This is from an era when smaller tourneys had best-of-five semifinals. No logical fallacy here at all.

To my knowledge, he hasn't beaten Rios.

You're right - the 30 year old Rios did defeat Mac in the final. I wonder if we reverse the ages... how would that turn out. After all, Rios is so muscular. like Ivan Drago to Mac's Rocky.

The players of today are fitter.

Say this 25 times. Then repeat 25 times more. Does this feel more like the truth the more you do it?

To me, this isn't even worth arguing about. It's of no interest.

Certitude is wonderful isn't it? Let's dig up on old quote from you that seems particularly relevant right now:

"I just don't think continuously saying "the people who disagree don't know what they're talking about" over and over really adds anything."

Music to my years.

The difference in abilities, that's interesting, but not if today's players are fitter.When Lendl made off court training a regular part of his routine, it was talked about endlessly. Now it's the norm. Nobody talks about. No more stories about the crazy pro who runs and sprints off court, unless it's an "old" guy like Agassi trying to make a comeback.

Appeal to authority.

*bows*

CyBorg
04-29-2007, 08:03 AM
I guess you're not understanding what everyone is saying about clay in the 70s.


The game was much slower, you could not hit winners off of balls easily. The ball was heavier, it had much more felt. You had a wooden racquet that weighed close to a 1 lb, with a puny head size of 65 inches. You really have to concentrate alot harder to get the ball deep and generate spin, and when you have to do it 20-30 shots, it gets tiring after awhile.

But you see, the ball moves quicker today and these players with their rippling muscles are just so distracting! They must be in better shape! How can they not be?

:grin:

noeledmonds
04-29-2007, 08:16 AM
Does that mean David Ferrer is a greater player than Nastase? In the historical context, absolutely no freakin' way. But if some alien superpower used time travel to arrange this match, both players at their primes, I would put my money on Ferrer.

These arguments are getting more ridulous all the time. Do realise that Nastase is generally considered one of the most tallented players of all time? Nastase could play any shot in the book and even with a FO and a USO and 4 Year End Tournaments he is considered one of the biggest underachivers in the open-era. Have you actually seen this man play? By this I don't just mean serached for him on youtube but watched full matches.

Yeah, Laver didn't play the same grueling schedule that top players play today.

Laver played 32 tournaments in 1969. This is more than any player in the ATP top 100 has played in the last 12 months. Laver also progressed far in these tournaments so he was playing nearly every match in the tournaments (and 3rd and 4th place play off matches too). Laver also played a large number of doubles matches that year, winning the AO with Roy Emerson.

TheNatural
04-29-2007, 10:56 AM
I think Borgs unforced error cont would skyrocket with modern rackets. His crap forehand technique would make it hard for him to keep the ball in play.

I guess you could say the same thing if Borg got hold of a Babolat with lux strings when he was 20. Wonder what Nadal's unforced error count would be with a wood racquet. And more importantly, his winner count. Borg's racquet was the size of a toothpick compared to Nadal's, I'm not sure Nadal is the cleanest hitter of the ball around today, so a 65 sq inch wood racquet with no flexibility probably wouldn't make him look so good.

The changes in racquet technology effectively ended anyway to compare eras. Considering Borg was more of a freak of nature relative to his peers than Nadal(he was almost the only guy who could hit with topspin consistently with wood, & he strung his racquets at 80 ilbs! No one before or since ever played with that high a tension), I think he'd do fine had he been born 30 years later.

Its a shame the top players aren't timed over the years, I'm curious if Nadal's speed is in the same league as Borg(who outsprinted an olympic hurdler in the 70s)

That's something that could be used to compare eras, if they started timing all the top 10 players, & compare every 5 years to see if anything has changed. Somehow I doubt its changed much, tennis players aren't really covering that much ground per point on average.

Andres
04-29-2007, 10:59 AM
I think Borgs unforced error cont would skyrocket with modern rackets. His crap forehand technique would make it hard for him to keep the ball in play.
How do you come to that conclusion?
This modern racquets and strings allow you to hit with lots of spin to keep it in.

omniexist
04-29-2007, 11:05 AM
I think Borgs unforced error cont would skyrocket with modern rackets. His crap forehand technique would make it hard for him to keep the ball in play.

Crap forehand technique? You gotta be kidding! Sometimes I wonder if some these posters see the world through...I won't say it.

Imho:

Borg is #1 Claycourt Champion.

Kuerton #2 (for now)

Nadal has to win couple more French then we'll talk.

johnkidd
04-29-2007, 11:20 AM
I think Borgs unforced error cont would skyrocket with modern rackets. His crap forehand technique would make it hard for him to keep the ball in play.

I have a hard time not laughing at this comment. You really need to stay off the Nadal cool aid. And for what it's worth, I don't consider Sampras the GOAT, I think that mantle belongs to Laver. If Fed can win the French, and surpass Sampras' GS total, it would be hard to argue with him being given that mantle.

CyBorg
04-29-2007, 12:47 PM
I think Borgs unforced error cont would skyrocket with modern rackets. His crap forehand technique would make it hard for him to keep the ball in play.

And Nadal's forehand technique is smooth as butter.
:p

federerfanatic
04-29-2007, 03:18 PM
And Nadal's forehand technique is smooth as butter.
:p


Yeah if resmebling twisting a shovel to dig up a hole is smooth as butter, then sure. :p

Kaptain Karl
04-29-2007, 07:08 PM
John newcombe is widely accredited as the first player to hit a reverse forehand.Widely by YOU? I remember seeing Nastase, Newk and Ashe hit it. I'm sure some of their predecessors did too. And oddly enough, no one claimed to have "invented" it.

- KK

caulcano
04-30-2007, 01:14 AM
No, but he could be.

federerfanatic
04-30-2007, 01:21 AM
Nadal will never be anywhere close to Borg as the greatest clay court player unless someone comes along much better then anyone he faces now. Federer on his worst surface by far, Gaudio, Ferrer, that is not real competition. Borg did not need weak competition to dominate on clay, he literally stopped some great opponents and dominated anyway. Todays clay court field would be a crapshoot of mediocrity without Nadal. Federer on his worst surface playing really struggling ugly tennis unlike all other surfaces, but still winning some because of the no clay court competition. Gaudio, Ferrer, Robredo, having real shots to win the French Open, Monte Carlo, and Roma, ugh! In Borg's day, had it not been for the incredible Borg, real greats on clay like Vilas, Nastase, Panatta, and Lendl, would have collected the major titles on clay instead.

The Gorilla
04-30-2007, 02:41 AM
Widely by YOU? I remember seeing Nastase, Newk and Ashe hit it. I'm sure some of their predecessors did too. And oddly enough, no one claimed to have "invented" it.

- KK

commentators, sportswriters, people who know these things ;)

35ft6
04-30-2007, 08:53 AM
Lendl's training is relevant to the game the way it is today. It is much more important due to the added pace of the surfaces and the graphite rackets. Wait, so guys have to be more fit today? I agree. So they are.You understand this, but you seem to be stubborn in believing that somehow Lendl's training methods are superior to those of, for instance, Borg. That's nonsense. Nonsense. Stubborn. Blah blah blah. I'm not saying that Lendl's training methods are superior to Borgs. What was Borg's fitness regiment anyway?

What I'm saying is that Lendl is widely regarded as the guy who led the way in making strenuous off court training part of the modern tennis pro's daily routine. This is classic. You are appealing to authority by referring to reports of Ivan Lendl cross training and that supposedly transforming the game. You don't seem to understand what appealing to authority means.You have nothing to back this up with. If you did you would have said something more specific as opposed to 'well, it's just common sense that Ivan Lendl changed the game'. You're a piece of work. I don't think anybody here is going to dispute this except you.Way to contradict yourself. You're doing a masterful job of twisting and distorting. Huh? I don't even know what you're responding to.Non sequitur. I spoke in great detail and with many examples. Your points mainly consist of claiming that the Noah-Wilander match was indicative of past clay court tennis and that groundstrokes were 'soft'. Speaking of logical fallacies. Weak. Logical fallacies is not your thing. If you really think that was a non sequitor. Don't be a Wiki warrior, it's very unbecoming.Confidently stated with utmost certitude. Backed up logically and with examples? Not at all. Nice work. You want to tell me more about the Noah-Wilander match?Yeah, they would both get crushed by Nadal. They would barely win games.If one would hand a 25-year old Ilie Nastase a graphite racket right now and tell him to play Ferrer he would lose to Ferrer. But if one gave a 25-year old Ilie Nastase a few months to get used to graphite he would kill Ferrer. Just want to point out that you're saying this with utmost certitude.Yeah - it's exactly like the Hollywood movie starring Sylvester Stallone. No logical fallacy here, folks! Hahaha. I wish I never brought up the fallacy stuff. You're going to make people miserable misusing it over and over.

I'm talking about how sophisticated the modern pros training is. That's why I'm likening them to Ivan Drago.You're right - the 30 year old Rios did defeat Mac in the final. I wonder if we reverse the ages... how would that turn out. After all, Rios is so muscular. like Ivan Drago to Mac's Rocky. I like how even when your premise is proven incorrect, you still maintain your conclusion.Say this 25 times. Then repeat 25 times more. Does this feel more like the truth the more you do it? It was true the first time, and just as true the 25th time. Players today are more fit.Certitude is wonderful isn't it? Let's dig up on old quote from you that seems particularly relevant right now:

"I just don't think continuously saying "the people who disagree don't know what they're talking about" over and over really adds anything." Dude, you have serious issues with critical thinking.Music to my years.



Appeal to authority. Okay, I'm seeing you're one of those TW posters...*bows**ignore*

Kaptain Karl
04-30-2007, 09:29 AM
John newcombe is widely accredited as the first player to hit a reverse forehand.Your assertion is the first I've ever seen of this claim. I've learned -- these many months -- you have a history of making "authoritative" (but unsupported) claims. Please back up your claim with something other than heresay.

- KK

CyBorg
04-30-2007, 10:27 AM
*ignore*

Ditto.

P.S. Good work in not addressing the counter-arguments of everyone in this thread. You know, the countless times you got your *** handed to you. The 'wiki warrior' part was a nice ad hominem by the way.

Cheers, mate.

CyBorg
04-30-2007, 11:23 AM
A quick lesson here to folks about non sequiturs:

These are frequently formed in a structure such as when a statement is made that when something (x) is true, that means that something else (y) is true as well. The person thereafter states y to be true, thereby confidently proclaiming that thus x must be true.

For example: If the clay court era of the 1970s and 80s was an example of crap tennis, therefore the 1983 French Open Final between Wilander and Noah is poor quality tennis evidently. Thereby, one states that the match was an example of poor clay court tennis and concludes that it is sufficient proof that it is indicative of the era as a whole.

35ft6 is also guilty of bandwagon logic ("The players of today are fitter. To me, this isn't even worth arguing about") and anecdotal evidence ("Lendl made off court training a regular part of his routine, it was talked about endlessly").

This public service announcement was brought to you by CyBorg.

35ft6
04-30-2007, 05:09 PM
http://youtube.com/watch?v=zMHcKNPsifU

Video of Wilander and Noah... Mac and Ivan... and Nadal and Canas.

Morrissey
04-30-2007, 05:50 PM
Nadal will never be anywhere close to Borg as the greatest clay court player unless someone comes along much better then anyone he faces now. Federer on his worst surface by far, Gaudio, Ferrer, that is not real competition. Borg did not need weak competition to dominate on clay, he literally stopped some great opponents and dominated anyway. Todays clay court field would be a crapshoot of mediocrity without Nadal. Federer on his worst surface playing really struggling ugly tennis unlike all other surfaces, but still winning some because of the no clay court competition. Gaudio, Ferrer, Robredo, having real shots to win the French Open, Monte Carlo, and Roma, ugh! In Borg's day, had it not been for the incredible Borg, real greats on clay like Vilas, Nastase, Panatta, and Lendl, would have collected the major titles on clay instead.

Just because you hate Nadal doesn´t make him any less of a player. Let alone the greatest clay courter ever. But if he does suck like you say then handing Fed his *** constantly to him must mean that Fed isn´t even close to being the GOAT but just taking advantage of a depleted field. So if a crap player in Nadal repeatedly beats up on your boy what does make him look like? If Fed can´t beat a bad player in Nadal then Fed is probably not as good as you think. I disagree with everything you put out on the boards. Your bias (or insanity) clouds your vision. Fed is a great player and if it weren´t for being in the same era as the greatest clay court player ever in Nadal he would´ve won a FO by now. That´s not a diss but a compliment. It takes the best clay courter ever to keep Fed from winning all 4 slams. Nothing less would do. You really make the Fedfans look terrible with your attitude.

The Gorilla
04-30-2007, 06:06 PM
Your assertion is the first I've ever seen of this claim. I've learned -- these many months -- you have a history of making "authoritative" (but unsupported) claims. Please back up your claim with something other than heresay.

- KK

here's one

a commentator says that chang is hitting a forehand reminiscant of the buggy whip forehand of john newcombe in fourth of these clips, ( 1.40 sec in).

http://www.tennis*dvdclips.net/ATP.html

latinking
04-30-2007, 07:08 PM
http://youtube.com/watch?v=zMHcKNPsifU

Video of Wilander and Noah... Mac and Ivan... and Nadal and Canas.

Damn now if any of those guys who disagree with us after watching that they are in lala land. No comparison in today and yesteryear.Great find. You own them now.lol

johnkidd
04-30-2007, 07:26 PM
http://youtube.com/watch?v=zMHcKNPsifU

Video of Wilander and Noah... Mac and Ivan... and Nadal and Canas.

Biggest thing I saw was the pace which is a no brainer sine we know today's frames and string allow you to hit through the ball with more pace. Canas and Wilaners strokes really aren't that disimilar. Plus today's balls are easier to punish because they use a different felt that doesn't fluff up and hold the clay. That and Noah came to the net which you hardly ever see.

35ft6
04-30-2007, 09:53 PM
Damn now if any of those guys who disagree with us after watching that they are in lala land. No comparison in today and yesteryear.Great find. You own them now.lol If there were message boards in the 60's, there would be guys arguing that Tilden was way better than Laver. From music to cars to society in general, and sports, there's always going to be a huge group of people who insist that the people and things they grew up admiring are the best of all time.

I've seen Borg play... matches from 30 years ago on clay... 25 years ago... etc. To deny that today's clay court tennis is more powerful, more explosive, more athletic, better mechanics, is strange, there's so much video evidence. If today's clay court tennis is "better" is up to debate, I guess. I like today's clay court tennis way better but I'll admit there's less variety, although I don't think less variety is intrinsically a bad thing.

35ft6
04-30-2007, 10:01 PM
Biggest thing I saw was the pace which is a no brainer sine we know today's frames and string allow you to hit through the ball with more pace. Canas and Wilaners strokes really aren't that disimilar. Canas isn't that different, I'd agree. But in general, today's players use their bodies more, their legs, and the open stance allows for a greater range of motion. Canas and Wilander, not so different. Nadal forehand and Wilander forehand, big difference. Nadal forehand and Noah forehand, ever bigger difference. McEnroe forehand and Nadal forehand -- don't get much more different than that.

Today's pros hit a more punishing shot. Modern rackets is a HUGE factor for this evolution, but I also think it was a shift in how people perceived the game in terms of how hard is TOO hard. The analogy I often use is the 4 minute mile, which was thought to be impossible, but once one guy did it, suddenly a lot of people were able to do the impossible. It's a collective mental barrier. But a guy like Agassi comes around, and tons of kids start imitating him, taking big cuts at the ball, and some grow up to become players who can actually harness that power, and the game moves "forward" this way. It's the adults, the teaching pros who resist the most. With exceptions like Nick B, who seems open to anything that makes sense is proven to be effective.

I remember teachers totally against even the semi-western forehand, don't even get me started on what they thought of the western grip, and the first guy I took lessons from as a kid, in the late 80's, was trying to teach me the continental forehand! He thought the eastern was an okay compromise. Now nobody is going to give you crap about a semi-western forehand. I'm sure there are still guys out there teaching continental forehands with closed stances, the follow through pointing at the target, and the backscratch on the serve, etc.

Old ideas die hard in tennis, and that includes the notion of past generations of pros being the best of all time.

TheNatural
04-30-2007, 11:34 PM
To me his forehand technique didnt seem good enough to benefit much from any racket technology. I think he just bored his opponents until he won..lol

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfGfPc5eQJc

Can you point me to some clips where his forehand looks really great?

How do you come to that conclusion?
This modern racquets and strings allow you to hit with lots of spin to keep it in.

noeledmonds
05-01-2007, 03:12 AM
To me his forehand technique didnt seem good enough to benefit much from any racket technology. I think he just bored his opponents until he won..lol

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOqAxHZeOwU

Can you point me to some clips where his forehand looks really great?

The problem is you base your assumptions on a few minutes footage from youtube. Go and watch multiple Borg matches like the rest of us, then tell me you really think that Borg has poor forehand technique. Your arguments have no crediblity to me as you clearly were not around to experience the Borg era, and have not made any real attempt to watch him.

TheNatural
05-01-2007, 08:36 AM
I've watched footage of various matches Borg played in,and his forehand always seemed weak. He doesnt seem to hit throught he ball very well. He used too much arm and brushed the ball instead of driving through it. That link was just one example showing his forehand. But mabe you can point me to some footage where I can see how great his forehand is.

Meanwhile I'll just watch great forehands like these:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfGfPc5eQJc



The problem is you base your assumptions on a few minutes footage from youtube. Go and watch multiple Borg matches like the rest of us, then tell me you really think that Borg has poor forehand technique. Your arguments have no crediblity to me as you clearly were not around to experience the Borg era, and have not made any real attempt to watch him.

shavenstringer
05-01-2007, 11:07 AM
You can put any other player from the past or present against Mr. Nadal and theY will most likely lose to him . The 70+ matches in a row and 15 straight clay court tournament victories without a loss prove he is the greatest. No more asking questions. HE IS THE BEST CLAY COURT PLAYER EVER!

CyBorg
05-01-2007, 01:51 PM
Biggest thing I saw was the pace which is a no brainer sine we know today's frames and string allow you to hit through the ball with more pace. Canas and Wilaners strokes really aren't that disimilar. Plus today's balls are easier to punish because they use a different felt that doesn't fluff up and hold the clay. That and Noah came to the net which you hardly ever see.

Canas has extremely ordinary strokes, the kind that suggest that he should have no business being near the top of the rankings. But he has been and he is pretty high up right now.

He makes up for that with his hustle, outstanding balance (his lower body is very strong which allows him to hit the ball accurately) and he's built like a brick. But he'd be much less successful on clay 30 years ago, because his movement along the baseline would serve him much less. He'd have to move move front and back more and hit the heavy ball deep from all the way back. Not with those groundstrokes he wouldn't.

CyBorg
05-01-2007, 01:54 PM
I've watched footage of various matches Borg played in,and his forehand always seemed weak. He doesnt seem to hit throught he ball very well. He used too much arm and brushed the ball instead of driving through it. That link was just one example showing his forehand. But mabe you can point me to some footage where I can see how great his forehand is.

Meanwhile I'll just watch great forehands like these:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfGfPc5eQJc

Sampras' backhand wasn't amazing. It would look even more ordinary to you if he played with wood.

Borg had an ok forehand, but a marvellous backhand.

The Gorilla
05-01-2007, 02:54 PM
borg's forehand was incredible, literally incredible, all the wimbledon videos seem to have been pulled from youtube though.

Aykhan Mammadov
05-01-2007, 02:55 PM
"Is Nadal Greatest Clay Court Player Ever? "

Nadal is very strong player and he probably has chances to become, but by today Bjorn Borg is greater.

CyBorg
05-01-2007, 04:07 PM
borg's forehand was incredible, literally incredible, all the wimbledon videos seem to have been pulled from youtube though.

It was an extremely steady forehand, but not as explosive as his backhand. The kiddies here can say what they want based on the 2-minute clips they've seen on YouTube. They need a raison d'etre.

noeledmonds
05-02-2007, 01:58 AM
I've watched footage of various matches Borg played

But never full matches as I stated, yes?

The 70+ matches in a row and 15 straight clay court tournament victories without a loss prove he is the greatest. No more asking questions. HE IS THE BEST CLAY COURT PLAYER EVER

Do you realise that clay court winning streaks not considered significant in Borg's day. Borg retired to end his offical winning streak as streaks were irrelevant at the time. Borg effectivly had a winning streak of over 80 matches accross red clay:

This is an 82 match streak that Borg effectivly had on European Clay (also all on red clay I belive unless any of the clay events Borg lost at in the USA were played on red clay). This streak EXCLUDES a match that Borg lost in Hamburg in 1970 were Borg retired in the 1st when he was leading 4-1. Remeber that all of Nadal's streak matches have been played on European Red clay.

N.B Match results are taken from the ATP website so there is a possibility that the information is incomplete. Please make any additions or corrections if you know of any.

82 matches-

1977: Nice, Monte Carlo WCT, Pepsi Grand Slam, Madrid, Barcelona (23 matches)

1978: Pepsi Grand Slam, Rome, Roland Garros, Bastad (20 matches)

1979: Monte Carlo, Hamburg*,Roland Garros, Bastad, Palermo (24 matches)

1980: 2 Davis Cup matches on Swedish Clay, Nice, Monte Carlo, Nations Cup** (15 matches)


*Not including match in R16 where Borg retired against Eliot Teltscher, Borg was leading 4-1 in the 1st set at the time

** Borg loses to Vilas in the semi-final

Remeber that Vilas also had a long winning streak broken in a dubious way. Vilas's streak was broken by Nastase playing with the spaghetti racket, which was declared illegal the very next day. Vilas's streak without this match also exceeds 70 matches.

Do you know Lendl had an unbeaten streak of 66 matches on indoor courts, but I rarely hear that in the arguments for Lendl's greatness. This is because streaks were not important at the time, no doubt if Federer breaks the indoor streak we will here about it, but otherwise it will remain unnoticed.

baseliner
05-02-2007, 08:12 AM
Borg over Nadal and it isn't close. I'll go with the analysis above. Those who have only been watching tennis last few years are overly impressed with the current crop. I don't think there is any doubt if we put Nadal and Borg on all three surfaces--clay, grass and hard courts who would win the series. After Nadal wins at least one Wimbledon give me a shout and we'll discuss it.

35ft6
05-02-2007, 08:19 AM
Borg over Nadal and it isn't close. I'll go with the analysis above. Those who have only been watching tennis last few years are overly impressed with the current crop. I don't think there is any doubt if we put Nadal and Borg on all three surfaces--clay, grass and hard courts who would win the series. After Nadal wins at least one Wimbledon give me a shout and we'll discuss it. Would Borg have a chance over Don Budge?

The Gorilla
05-02-2007, 09:56 AM
It was an extremely steady forehand, but not as explosive as his backhand. The kiddies here can say what they want based on the 2-minute clips they've seen on YouTube. They need a raison d'etre.

I saw borg at the time, I was just saying that there was no way for me to prove it to him with a clip like he asked.

His forehand was exceptional, who had a better forehand than him?