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View Full Version : My 80's identikit player


JohnThomas1
04-24-2005, 04:44 AM
You guys had better come up with something good and modern to beat him!!!

1st serve - Becker
2nd serve - Becker
Overhead - Noah
Forehand Volley - Mac
Backhand Volley - Edberg
Return - Connors
Forehand - Lendl
Backhand - Connors


Wish i could have stole the Sampras serve and Agassi return :)

galain
04-24-2005, 05:09 AM
Looks pretty good mate. I'd have put Cash on the forehand volley and Edberg on the backhand. Footspeed to Chang. Hard to go past your choice of first serve, but put a gun to my head and I'd say McEnroe for first serve or Lendl. Lendl's wasn't quite as big as Beckers first serve, but I remember it being much more dependable - and it was still bloody huge.

Guts go to Jimbo. Concentration and mentals to Wilander (did you ever see that French Open semi of his vs Mac? McEnroe tried and tried but he was ice).

I like your list though. And I'm very glad you put Noah on there!

driger
04-24-2005, 05:11 AM
Might as well give your player Connors heart and mind. Borg's speed and conditioning, too.

Haka Boy
04-24-2005, 05:32 AM
As for concentration and mentals surely Borg has to rate a mention. I know he retired in 1983 but he was there for the early part of the 80's.

JohnThomas1
04-24-2005, 05:48 AM
Thanks guys. My fave players were Lendl and noah Galain so i had no probs mentioning them. If i mentioned footspeed i would have nominated Cash at net and prolly Chang at the back.

As much as i loved Ivan i have to admit his first serve was pale compared to Boris's. Very dependable but Boris's was da bomb. Ivan even admitted Boris had it over him comfortably in this department. I've seen many a match where Boris returned Ivan's quite well yet Ivan struggled like crazy with Boris's. Also remember Lendl had the better groundies so........

I actually wanted to nominate Ivan's backhand. Like fine wine it got better and better. Some people remember Edberg's as better but believe me it was mainly due to grace. I watched them play numerous times and in baseline rallies Ivan's was comfortably heavier and more offensive.

galain
04-24-2005, 04:49 PM
I agree - Lendl's drive backhand was a thumping crushing shot. It wouldn't have been easy being on the receiving end of it for a whole match, but I was always uncomfortable with his slice shot. It never looked well produced or that effective. Edberg had the more versatile backhand for my money.

I'd have put Leconte up there for backhand if he'd managed to keep his head about him - when it was on it was untouchable.

Deuce
04-24-2005, 09:31 PM
The fact that none of you bothered to mention the most talented player of the 80s exposes your complete lack of knowledge of the game.

Shlomo Glickstein owns all of the categories mentioned - with the possible exception of backhand volley. How could you even THINK of giving 'footspeed' to anyone but Shlomo??

galain
04-25-2005, 12:39 AM
Damn Deuce! Don't I feel like the proverbial village idiot?

How could I forget Shlomo? I remember him frightening the bejesus oout of Mac in the first round of a US Open one year!

Now that we're talking REAL powerhouses - Nduka Odizor, Amos Mansdorf and Sammy Giammalva - not to mention the mighty one - Vince Van Patten - my brain is starting to hurt!

(NB - for those scratching their heads going "Wha...?" - Shlomo DID give Mac a scare at the Open - and I DO still have my tongue firmly in my cheek)

AndrewD
04-25-2005, 01:09 AM
If ever a player was aptly named it was Shlomo Glickstein. If the first part didn't seem to take forever to finish the last part moves at the speed of a turtle with a gammy leg. I believe the earliest known examples of Shlomo have been discovered in your Labrada tarpits. Duece, have you seen ?


As to the backhands, Id pick Edberg's ahead of Lendl's. Not for grace - although it was beautiful to watch- but for power (equal to Lendl's but effortless), the ability to change direction at the last possible second and the ability to turn a drive into an approach, again at the last minute. Lendl's was brutal and blunt - you knew where it was going even if you couldnt get to it. Having called lines in both players matches I've seen the weight of shot up close and Edberg had a lot more work on the ball than you would expect. Interestingly Edberg started off with a two hander and Lendl, for quite some time, only had a slice backhand. So both backhands, as magnificent as they were, weren't something either player had from day one which is unlike Henin-H who said she'd hit her backhand the same way since age 7.

baseliner
04-25-2005, 04:36 AM
For return substitute McEnroe's for Conners. I know you wanted to list Conners for something, but not service return. Maybe best run by senior citizen at USO.

RB
04-25-2005, 06:03 AM
Baseliner--are you crazy?---Connors and Agassi have (had) the best return in the history of the game.......

JohnThomas1
04-25-2005, 10:53 PM
lol@baseliner, surely you jest. You may have onlt seen Jimmy in his much older years. Truth be told i'm not even a Connors fan but credit must be given where due. Interesting comments from someone who watched both so close Andrew. Can you tell me about Lendl's forehand and serve?

John

AndrewD
04-26-2005, 02:46 AM
John Thomas (very funny handle you've chosen, if deliberate -guess only the Poms and Aussies will get it LOL)

Lendl had a very good serve although noticeably around 85 started to take quite a bit of pace off it and worked on getting in a higher percentage and moving it around a bit. Very much a reaction to McEnroe - stop Mac attacking a second serve and dictating the point. Although, I do remember a couple of years down the track there was some suggestion that, when facing Becker etc, he struggled to find the old pace. Very high ball toss although he had great control over it. However, from the time he got ready to serve to the time he actually hit it you could go out for a coffee, make a sandwich and be ready with time to spare. Not a huge amount of top on it, but he still got plenty of kick although swinging the serve out wide wasn't really his style.

The forehand was definately one of the most impressive I've seen. Nothing as torturous as Roddicks or any of the clay courters (he used a semi-western grip as he outlined in his book 'Hitting Hot') it just looked like the absolute model of efficiancy. Had a good wind-up and then just smacked the ball, really spanked it and only added as much top as he needed. Also, because of his fantastic court coverage (probably the fastest 'big man' Ive ever seen) he loved to hit it on the run and, I think, used to dare players to give him a shot he had to move to. Much better to attack him down the middle otherwise he could just rip it anywhere. If you thought Sampras had a great forehand on the dead-run then double that and you've got Lendl's.

All up, a brutal game that would beat anyone most every time except for those players with that little touch of 'genius' or, in the case of Wimbledon, a little extra class at the net. Despite his amazing athleticism he always appeared a little too upright and rigid which I think hampered him at Wimbledon where you need a lot more flexibility physically as well as in your game. I dont think its surprising that he developed back problems at the end of his career (gather he doesnt play now because of the back trouble) as I think that stiffness of posture, which hurt him at Wimbledon, was always a physical problem but not wholly apparent on other 'truer' surfaces.

JohnThomas1
04-27-2005, 01:11 AM
Thanks kindly for your excellent summation Andrew. Thru bad planning or just plain bad luck i know not, but this is my real handle lolol. Totally agree with you comment about him scaling his serve back, and across the baseline he had amazing speed. I know his running forehand well, i have many matches of his on tape and he hits some amazing forehands on the run. Maybe the finest shot ever. You are spot on when you say he wanted opponents to feed him this shot, especially for a pass. How powerful was his serve when he let it go? Also who were the biggest servers you got to see?


Thanks kindly

John