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View Full Version : A good corrective to those who think that Modern players are better than old school


timnz
05-07-2009, 04:47 PM
Here is an exceprt of a clay court championship from 1979 between Connors and Borg - the Pepsi Grand Slam in Florida. So it is a slow surface, but the speed with which the two guys play here and the agressiveness - well, its impressive. Not saying these guys are superior to the current guys, but they certainly aren't weaker.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTMx--E0OhY

BTURNER
05-07-2009, 06:15 PM
From what I saw, Connors was playing well. those flat deep bullets should have made for some very easy volleys, even on clay. that they didn't, just reminds one how impossible it was to beat Borg on clay. He got to almost everything and made his passes talk. Yeah, Borg could move.

hoodjem
05-08-2009, 06:21 AM
Yes on clay against Borg you had to hit three putaway volleys (not just one) to win the point.

Watch Borg's speed at 3:50. Amazing!

charliefedererer
05-08-2009, 07:15 AM
Borg was the most freakishly good tennis athlete. A vintage Borg v. Nadal FO final would never end.

drakulie
05-08-2009, 07:19 AM
Both guys amazing.

That said, compared to toadys players their swing speed is extremely slow. They just don't generat the same pace or spin.

Still, their movement, and ball movement is phenomenal.

Gorecki
05-08-2009, 07:20 AM
it's these videos that cause me to rip my hair off when i see these kids that think Tony Nadal invented tennis. they were cranking the ball at amazing speed, with 65sqin wood tally wackers and racing like freaks wearing plimplsoles in theyr feet... and no kNee straps!:twisted:

Kemitak
05-08-2009, 09:54 AM
Borg... Nadal...
Has everyone forgotten Thomas Muster? If the wood racquet is a handicap, try getting hit by a car.

Caloi
05-08-2009, 11:32 AM
Is that a one and a half hand backhand? Seriously, I can't quite follow what is going on with Borgs backhand. Both hands start the racquet moving forward than he let's go with one hand near the end...

Gorecki
05-08-2009, 11:52 AM
Borg... Nadal...
Has everyone forgotten Thomas Muster? If the wood racquet is a handicap, try getting hit by a car.

if you are adressing me i could easily lose a few minutes to re-quote my self in several threads where i state that Thomas Muster recovery from the car accident is one of the most amazing achievements in tennis history, far more impressing than anything Nadal ever did...

but i guess you could do it yourself... it's only 3700+ posts for you to search!

slice bh compliment
05-08-2009, 12:04 PM
Is that a one and a half hand backhand? Seriously, I can't quite follow what is going on with Borgs backhand. Both hands start the racquet moving forward than he let's go with one hand near the end...

Yeah, he released right around contact and followed through with just the right.

Nicky B was a fan of it in his early days at the academy and taught it. But not a lot of guys adopted it. IIRC, Nick used to call it a one-handed release....or was it a two-handed release?

Anyway, I feel Youzhny was doing something like it early in his career. Now (and maybe it's my imagination), but now Youzhny's BH looks more like a regular one hander.

Anyway, back to the point, yeah, good choice. Nice contrast in styles in that match. Men's tennis on clay was good, as long as you had one guy playing the whole court.

I still love watching Borg and Mac on any surface. Ridiculously high level of tennis, tremendous concentration and tenacity, remarkable talents. I love tennis so much now, but....man, those were the days...the last days of the wood era.

scotus
05-08-2009, 12:48 PM
I wonder why, when Borg hits the ball, it sounds metallic sometimes. Surely he was not playing with a T2000.

mental midget
05-08-2009, 04:13 PM
I wonder why, when Borg hits the ball, it sounds metallic sometimes. Surely he was not playing with a T2000.

because he strung his racket at about a bajillion pounds.

grizzly4life
05-08-2009, 04:44 PM
i love these guys and think with today's racquets and modern training they'd be right at the top.

but playing the actual way they played, i think they'd get triple bagelled today.

thanks for posting. very enjoyable.

hey, can't someone just analyze frames and see how the hitting speed has changed. of course, spin too and a frame analysis won't capture that.

CyBorg
05-08-2009, 04:54 PM
i love these guys and think with today's racquets and modern training they'd be right at the top.

but playing the actual way they played, i think they'd get triple bagelled today.

thanks for posting. very enjoyable.

hey, can't someone just analyze frames and see how the hitting speed has changed. of course, spin too and a frame analysis won't capture that.

Even the washed-up Guillermo Coria couldn't get triple-bageled.

Open your eyes.

Benhur
05-08-2009, 06:16 PM
This is a great clip. A joy to watch.

I don't know if anyone has mentioned this, but the camera work, its placement (low on many of the points) and close behind the player, makes an enormous difference in the way you perceive the movement of the players. A rare pleasure for me when going to a pro tournament is to try to stand right behind the fence of practice courts, watching those guys move and hit right from behind them. I have often said here that the camera angles on most tournaments is a total disgrace, in many cases being placed so high that you lose all depth and it looks like a bi-dimensional video game, you can't even see the arc of the ball. And of course the movement of the players, their athleticism, is also lost to a great extent. I have no idea why they haven't figured out that tennis looks much better low and close than up and far.

See for example the same two at the 1978 USO final a few months earlier. Camera much higher. Not the same effect at all.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0dMd9q2o6w&feature=related

Still, it must be acknowledged that Borg's movement around the court is nothing short of amazing. He was also capable of generating a lot of topspin off both wings. Great as the movement is, you can still see the speed of the ball is considerably slower than today on most shots.

!Tym
05-08-2009, 07:16 PM
This is a great clip. A joy to watch.

I don't know if anyone has mentioned this, but the camera work, its placement (low on many of the points) and close behind the player, makes an enormous difference in the way you perceive the movement of the players. A rare pleasure for me when going to a pro tournament is to try to stand right behind the fence of practice courts, watching those guys move and hit right from behind them. I have often said here that the camera angles on most tournaments is a total disgrace, in many cases being placed so high that you lose all depth and it looks like a bi-dimensional video game, you can't even see the arc of the ball. And of course the movement of the players, their athleticism, is also lost to a great extent. I have no idea why they haven't figured out that tennis looks much better low and close than up and far.

See for example the same two at the 1978 USO final a few months earlier. Camera much higher. Not the same effect at all.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0dMd9q2o6w&feature=related

Still, it must be acknowledged that Borg's movement around the court is nothing short of amazing. He was also capable of generating a lot of topspin off both wings. Great as the movement is, you can still see the speed of the ball is considerably slower than today on most shots.

While I agree with you, imo, FAR more important than where you're standing are the court acoustics. My friends watched the pros up close on regular run of the mill chain-link fence practice courts in between matches, and even though some of these were well-known, big-name, explosive, big hitting players; my friends who are only casual players and fans were decidely unimpressed. You could literally see the dissapointment melt across their faces in the moist summer heat.

Their response? I think I (me) could hang with these guys, win a few games, seriously, they told me. I said no. You have to learn to differentiate the DRAMATIC difference and effect court acoustics play.

In many cases, advanced players on echoey court conditions will look and SOUND more impressive than pros on courts (like these) that had ZERO court acoustics to speak of.

I remember buying a tape of Pioline-Bruguera from the 93 Monte Carlo finals, and the person I bought it from said it's interesting to see how much the game has evolved since then and how much harder everyone hits. The problem when people make these assumptions based on perception, they're not realizing that that's what it really is, PERCEPTION. Why do I say this? Because oh just a few short weeks later, Bruguera won the French finals against Courier, and lo and behold both guys were suddenly playing "modern" tennis. Time warp? Black hole. Alternate universes? Something surreal, magical, and unexplained? Nope. The combination of better camera angle and better sound. The sound at this 93 Monte Carlo was beyond washed out.

I have a tape from the 93 French between Bruguera and Leconte, on this tape, however, the sound was again of the incredibly muffled variety. Result? You get this incredibly distant feeling, and you just can't seem to get into or "feel" the impact of any shots hit the entire match, not even ones that you know were technically great hits.

96 US Open Stich-Bruguera, again, WRETCHEDLY washed out sound on this tape. Like a lunar feed or something, NO LIFE to the sound at all. Result? Two guys, 6'2"-6'5"ish, manage to hit not ONE single shot that felt "hard" the ENTIRE match. You would think they were hitting nerf balls and that Fabrice Santoro hit harder than these guys.

Meanwhile, fast forward to the 97 Lipton finals, and Muster-Bruguera sound like they are absolutely pasting the ball, just crunching it back and forth with hellacious topspin. Meanwhile, fast forward to the 97 Wimbledon semis between Stich and Pioline, and lo and behold, even mere slice backhands from Stich sound like a gun shot going off.... Yes, pros have good days and bad days, but they do not literally grow quadruple in their ability to hit pace within a matter of a few weeks, a few months, a year, or even an entire career. You can make improvements yes, but since when does someone who doesn't have the serve of a Rusedski, Philipoussis, Krajicek, Stich, Becker, Goran, Sampras, Rosset, Roddick, Wayne Arthurs, etc. learn to serve that big if they didn't already before turning pro? The basic stroke motions and various limitations and caps are more or less cent in cement by the time guys reach the pro level. Improvements are made in inches, steps forward (during periods of intense motivation and peak confidence), and steps back (during the chicken pox years a la Juan Carlos Ferrero).

Benhur
05-08-2009, 09:43 PM
While I agree with you, imo, FAR more important than where you're standing are the court acoustics. My friends watched the pros up close on regular run of the mill chain-link fence practice courts in between matches, and even though some of these were well-known, big-name, explosive, big hitting players; my friends who are only casual players and fans were decidely unimpressed. You could literally see the dissapointment melt across their faces in the moist summer heat.

Their response? I think I (me) could hang with these guys, win a few games, seriously, they told me. I said no. You have to learn to differentiate the DRAMATIC difference and effect court acoustics play.


Yes, the sound is important, but not nearly as much as the position from which you watch, I don't think.

I assume your friends who were unimpressed by watching the pros practicing must have been standing in the usual place in those circumstances: to one side of the court behind the low fence, but not behind the baseline. Watching the game from the side of the court, even if you are very close to the court, has nothing to do with watching it from behind the baseline up close and low. In most practice courts, the only way you could be behind the baseline is if you are actually on the court, which of course you can't, or if you find a court with a gap big enough between posts on the draped fence behind the baseline. I’ve managed to do that a few times. The speed at which you see the ball come at you, and the quickness of the player moving just a few feet in front of you -- not just how fast they run but how fast they can change direction, their racquet speed… the whole effort, just looks incredibly impressive compared to the high angles normally shown on tv. This is so obvious it is hard to believe they insist in placing the main camera way up there, half way to the top rows. What a pity.

I also don’t understand why baseball is not shown from the perspective of the catcher or the umpire, or just behind them. Both the speed and the work of the ball, and the ability of the batter are seen much much better from that position, I think.

At any rate, even if watching from the side of the tennis court, if your friends got the impression they could hang with those guys for a few games, they must very good players themselves, 5.5 or above -- or else they must be slightly delusional. I certainly never got that impression from any angle.

grizzly4life
05-08-2009, 10:35 PM
Even the washed-up Guillermo Coria couldn't get triple-bageled.

Open your eyes.

LOL, you don't think bjorn borg circa 1979 would get triple-bageled by a top 30 player today.......... i'm speechless. that's all i have to say

DNShade
05-09-2009, 01:22 AM
LOL, you don't think bjorn borg circa 1979 would get triple-bageled by a top 30 player today.......... i'm speechless. that's all i have to say

No. Not at all. Even today at his age right now - Borg wouldn't get triple-bageled or even single for that matter. There is a lot more to tennis then hitting hard my friend. Santoro seems to do just fine today and he was - and is no Borg. Maybe you're right...you should remain speechless.

Gorecki
05-09-2009, 04:49 AM
LOL, you don't think bjorn borg circa 1979 would get triple-bageled by a top 30 player today.......... i'm speechless. that's all i have to say

grizzly... get real...! Jmac was winning ATP tournaments not long ago (doubles)... get real and please shut up! i.e. remain speechless!
--------------------------
FYI... (fom wikipedia)

McEnroe returned to the ATP Tour in 2006 to play two doubles tournaments.

In his first tournament, he teamed with Jonas Björkman to win the title at the SAP Open in San Jose.[8] This was McEnroe's first title since capturing the Paris Indoor doubles title in November 1992 with his brother Patrick. The win meant that McEnroe had won doubles titles in four different decades and is tied with Tom Okker for the second highest number (70) of doubles titles in history (trailing Todd Woodbridge).

In his second tournament, McEnroe and Björkman lost in the quarterfinals of the tournament in Stockholm.

hoodjem
05-09-2009, 06:19 AM
I wonder why, when Borg hits the ball, it sounds metallic sometimes. Surely he was not playing with a T2000.

Scotus. Greetings :). I think Krosero recorded this straight off of a television with a tiny speaker; that and yes, Borg strung his racquet close to 80 lbs. tension.

jimbo333
05-09-2009, 01:34 PM
Here is an exceprt of a clay court championship from 1979 between Connors and Borg - the Pepsi Grand Slam in Florida. So it is a slow surface, but the speed with which the two guys play here and the agressiveness - well, its impressive. Not saying these guys are superior to the current guys, but they certainly aren't weaker.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTMx--E0OhY

Great stuff:)

Brilliant to see again 2 of the Greatest! With Connors constantly attacking, playing an all-court game, and Borg playing remarkable shots!! With modern racquets they would compete well with anyone that is around today for sure:)

Also I agree that the low camera angle should be used much more, I would really like to know why it isn't?

!Tym
05-09-2009, 03:23 PM
Yes, the sound is important, but not nearly as much as the position from which you watch, I don't think.

I assume your friends who were unimpressed by watching the pros practicing must have been standing in the usual place in those circumstances: to one side of the court behind the low fence, but not behind the baseline. Watching the game from the side of the court, even if you are very close to the court, has nothing to do with watching it from behind the baseline up close and low. In most practice courts, the only way you could be behind the baseline is if you are actually on the court, which of course you can't, or if you find a court with a gap big enough between posts on the draped fence behind the baseline. I’ve managed to do that a few times. The speed at which you see the ball come at you, and the quickness of the player moving just a few feet in front of you -- not just how fast they run but how fast they can change direction, their racquet speed… the whole effort, just looks incredibly impressive compared to the high angles normally shown on tv. This is so obvious it is hard to believe they insist in placing the main camera way up there, half way to the top rows. What a pity.

I also don’t understand why baseball is not shown from the perspective of the catcher or the umpire, or just behind them. Both the speed and the work of the ball, and the ability of the batter are seen much much better from that position, I think.

At any rate, even if watching from the side of the tennis court, if your friends got the impression they could hang with those guys for a few games, they must very good players themselves, 5.5 or above -- or else they must be slightly delusional. I certainly never got that impression from any angle.

No, they had that impression about me. They're hacks. I can blend in pretty well with low-level pros off the ground, and have flashy looking strokes. 5.5 is about right for me, my stroke level might be higher, but not my serve, not my volleys. But the real reason their perception was skewed was because they were judging it by the sound I've made on indoor courts for example in which case they were just blown away. Of course, indoor courts are the most obnoxiosly "automatic level enhancer" there is in this sport. You step on an echoey indoor tennis court and wala, you INSTANTLY look and sound a full NTRP level up in my experience. To the untrained eye, an indoor court can make a 5.5 look like a pro...more importantly, SOUND like it.

I've stood side-by-side belive it or not court side, ON court, pretty much right behind the players believe it or not. Again, for me at least, SOUND is what makes the difference. Not court positioning so much. I actually don't like sitting behind the players at all at tournaments, I find it MUCH easier to get into the match sitting on the side.

Drowned out sound and NO ONE will look that impressive from my experience. It makes all the difference for me.

CyBorg
05-09-2009, 04:04 PM
LOL, you don't think bjorn borg circa 1979 would get triple-bageled by a top 30 player today.......... i'm speechless. that's all i have to say

Looks like a troll post, so I'll ignore it.

cristiano
05-09-2009, 05:19 PM
perception may be fallacious.

I once have seen Berdych play and win an easy match in Rome. I know he's a very powerful player, but he seemed to have twice teh power of any other player i've seen, to me.

I know, Berdych is a great player and his weaknesses are movements, mind, etc, not power, he hits the ball like few other do, but he's simply not as good as he was seeming to me.

But this was my impression.

ReopeningWed
05-09-2009, 05:39 PM
That said, compared to toadys players their swing speed is extremely slow.


Still faster than me :?

plasma
05-11-2009, 10:17 PM
caloi, its a natural and normal stroke in tennis, called a two handed backhand with one hand release. Two handed forehand (used by Gene Mayer) is a legitimate shot as well. If you are interested in the one hand release (and have an extra $75) feel free to visit the double dragon reflexology spa and wellness center on Powell street and ask for Mai Lee. When they ask if you've been there before, lie and say, "yes, many times"...

35ft6
05-13-2009, 12:55 AM
Good stuff.

hoodjem
05-13-2009, 04:19 AM
LOL, you don't think bjorn borg circa 1979 would get triple-bageled by a top 30 player today.......... i'm speechless. that's all i have to say
Wrong. If you're speechless, you have nothing to say.