1984 John McEnroe vs 2005 Roger Federer?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by President of Serve/Volley, Oct 5, 2009.

  1. President of Serve/Volley

    President of Serve/Volley Semi-Pro

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    On Grass. Natural Gut Strings. and so forth..
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2009
    #1
  2. TheFifthSet

    TheFifthSet Hall of Fame

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    I think Mac won 65% of his games that year . . . . stunning.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2009
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  3. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Fed's power and speed would keep it close, when he found his groove, he blister some passing shots all over the place. Great battle, but yes, Mac wins the majority. He had an undescribable feel for the ball and the game that year. He didnt' blister 200mph shots...yet on a subtle level, he could just TOY with the best players in the world. That was the closest to true artistry the game has ever come. Mac seemed to improvising ways to win points with spontaneous, instinctive shots. He'd let you play...but you knew he was was going to get the last word.

    The other aspect is that Mac was mentally stronger in that year, than Fed ever has been. Connors, Borg, Chang etc. get much deserved credit for the consistent super-toughness, Mac was up and down over his career...but at his best, he was not unlike those guys..(with a raging temper lol).
     
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  4. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    too much nostalgia in this post. If Mac played like he played in 84, and fed like he did in 2005, then there is no contest: fed will blow mac out of the court, given the superior racquet technology, strings and conditioning available to Fed.

    If you want to put both of them under similar conditions, then it would boil down to who has the "game", talent etc to succeed under those conditions. Mac was a genius at the net, but he had nothing much to show from the baseline. Both are very talented. But I doubt if Mac would have much success if you put him in 2005.

    OTOH, Fed is an all-courter, and has shown that he can play very well at the net (not to the level of Mac, but still very good). His baseline game needs no introduction. Fed has shown the adaptability and hence has the "game", IMO to succeed both in the 80s and the 00s. Advantage Fed.

    And Mac was mentally stronger that year? Does an epic choke in the FO finals ring a bell? sorry, doesn't make sense.
     
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  5. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    i think federer would win because i think overall, federer hits the ball even harder than lendl and he is more precise and have more shot selections in his arsenal.
     
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  6. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Also, Mac wasn't playing a prime Lendl in 1984.
     
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  7. caesar66

    caesar66 Professional

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    I'd rather see Mac from 84 with a max 200g vs Mac from around 2003-4 with a newer maxply
     
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  8. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS. fed wins all the way. too much firepower for mac. besides movement ,shot execuion etc
     
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  9. David_86

    David_86 Rookie

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    Who do you think would win on clay between 84 McEnroe and 05 Federer?
     
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  10. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    federer because federer is a much better claycourt player than mcenroe. to have any chance against federer, mcenroe would have to play like the claycourt was a grasscourt. if he hangs around on the baseline, he would have no chance, imo.
     
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  11. eugenius

    eugenius New User

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    "You cannot be serious."Mc only reached the FO final once,Fed reached the final 3 in a row and won the 4th.On other surfaces,the athletic and shotmaking Fed(with 80's racket)would still beat Mc most of the times(the odd loss for Fed on fast grass)
     
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  12. President of Serve/Volley

    President of Serve/Volley Semi-Pro

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    On Grass, Mac would take the majority.

    Hard Court, Fed would.
     
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  13. flying24

    flying24 Banned

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    It is hard to say. I know people will say Federer didnt have the best competition in 2005 but neither did McEnroe in 84. Connors who was aging by then, and while still very determined was definitely past his best tennis. Lendl who was not the same player as 85-89 yet. Wilander was tough of course. Becker and Edberg not threats yet.

    I really dont know how they would match up at their best. Of course Federer has had by far the better career but McEnroe in 84 could probably hold his own vs any player in the Open Era. Whether he would be better or worse overall than Federer really depends alot on the matchup and how Federer would counter that playing style which is unforseen today.
     
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  14. Chopin

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    You make at least one outstanding point (and several good ones), which is the OP makes no claim to weigh in racquets and strings and simply says, "Mac wins" in a thread titled, " 1984 John McEnroe vs 2005 Roger Federer." And to take the thread literally (as the OP wrote it), it's a silly question. Federer's play MUST be higher by virtue of his racquet and string advantage--no question.

    Also, I agree that it's tough to call Mac "mentally stronger." Incredibly talented? Yes. Mentally strong? Only if smashing your racquet is a sign of that strength.

    Anyhow, thanks for bringing some logic to some of the nostalgic fanboy posts.
     
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  15. cadfael_tex

    cadfael_tex Professional

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    delete. 10 char.
     
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  16. Chopin

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    Please make us a poll with a specific scenario (conditions, racquets, ect) and we shall vote.
     
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  17. World Beater

    World Beater Hall of Fame

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    lol.

    mcenroe beating federer?

    again, lol.

    okay, okay. IF mcenroe and federer grow up together, then it might be a toss up.

    But federer has way too much firepower for mcenroe if we were to match up their games as is.
     
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  18. ubermeyer

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    Fed > JMac
     
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  19. Chopin

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    Shall I make the poll? And we can vote...Would you guys like another Chopin poll for the people to decide?
     
    #19
  20. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    As a former national level player and coach, I can tell you that high level players realize that "racquet technology/strings" etc. are largely irrelevent in this context. Even for somebody with no experience at that level, it's quite obvious that Federer's racquet, while lighter, is not much more advanced that Mcenroe's. You could literally have them switch racquets, give them one week, and the level of play would be indistinguishable. As to conditioning, Mcenroe was in fantastic shape in 84. Again, most would not debate that.
    "nothing much to show from the baseline". WOW. That speaks volumes to your knowledge. Even Mcenroe's most hated rival, Connors, would strongly disagree with you. He specifically mentioned in the 90's, just how strong Mcenroe was from the baseline, and how underrated he was. Of course, to knowledgable observers from the time, this was well known. Mcenroe had an all-court game...ask Brad Gilbert. I realize that young fedfanboys, won't realize this though, and are making sweeping generalization based on charicatures.

    Unfortunate. Here you've shown a very irrational judgement by making a generalization about an ENTIRE YEAR by one match. One of 3 Mac lost! lol. Even in that match, most agree that it wasn't an "epic" choke, it was an "epic" loss. Mcenroe let that match slip, then Lendl raised his game. It was a tough battle...Mcenroe hardly wilted away as Federer has sometimes done. Bear in mind that that is the Federer WHO GAVE UP in the SECOND game (albeit only for the first set) of the FO final against Nadal. But that has happened more than just once, nevertheless, this isn't an easy call, and the fact that you, FEDRULZ, make such generalizations while being so very ignorant of basic details, makes your post self-refuting.
     
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  21. TheFifthSet

    TheFifthSet Hall of Fame

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    ^^I agree with most of what you are saying, but Mac himself said he choked the RG final.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2009
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  22. nfor304

    nfor304 Banned

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    You can take many matches of Federer's and say that he 'choked'.

    AusOpen 2009 for example. USopen 2009, AusOpen semi 2005, Roland Garros 2006 etc etc
     
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  23. meltphace 6

    meltphace 6 Rookie

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    Gotta love those tt debates.

    Ugh.
     
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  24. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    1. you don't understand the term "matchup"
    2. you never watched Mac play, EVER
    3. see 1 and 2
     
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  25. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    people have mentioned mentally stronger. Maybe in 84 Mac was at the height of his skill and mental strenght, but Mac lost it routinely. Did it help him win?? Not sure, he did win a lot of matches while he went nuts, but I remember people stating he would have been even stronger if he kept his cool. Especially after 1985. Roger seems to keep it together better than Mac, so I don't know.
     
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  26. President of Serve/Volley

    President of Serve/Volley Semi-Pro

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    Alright. I will.
     
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  27. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    And I don't disagree with it either. All I"m saying is:
    1.it was ONE match...what was Mac's record that year
    2.it was a pretty darn minor choke...look at the opponent, look at the level he elevated his game to, look at how tough they played the match...Mac choked just enough to let him back in the door...but he certainly didn't give it to Lendl or do the classic choke. Lendl of course, has disagreed at least once...feeling he earned the match....somewhere in the middle is the truth, but really, this was hardly an outright collapse!
     
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  28. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    sorry, not buying that. Sampras called luxilon "cheatalon" - the strings do have an impact,and so does the racquet technology. you didn't find guys hitting 30+ aces every match at wimbledon in the 80s.

    Was McEnroe as good at the baseline as Borg? Pls, Fed was much better at the net than Mac was from the baseline. His BH is a joke. And you should stop with the condescending "i-know-it-all" attitude and debate to the point. Just because you're old, former national player and coach, does not make you right. If it did, then Mcenroe would be predicting the outcome of every match correctly while commentating.

    It was an epic choke, McEnroe said so himself. I'm not debating whether McEnroe was mentally strong; he was. You said he was mentally stronger that year than Fed has ever been, and so I brought it up.
     
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  29. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    1. you don't understand that just because you think it is bad-matchup, does not make it so. A bad match-up for Fed is someone who is great defensively. And that's a FACT. Here's a thought: try to refrain from passing of your biased CLUELESS opinions as facts.
    2. you never learn, and thus are the laughing stock now.
    3. I don't care about what you think, as I've realized that your opinions are worthless.
     
    #29
  30. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for the nice words :).
     
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  31. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    somehow you missed my #3.
     
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  32. Chopin

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    How could someone say that 20 years in advances in racquets and strings makes no difference at all when professional tennis players are incredibly finicky about such things?

    More importantly, why isn't '09 Mac playing with his 84 racquet and strings?
     
    #32
  33. darthpwner

    darthpwner Banned

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    Other than the Wimbledon final this year, you rarely see more than 30+ aces in today's game. The 90s was the time when you had ace fests with great servers like Sampras, Ivanisevic, Stich, Krajicek, Becker, Phillipousis, and even Edberg. Luxilon didnt come out big on tour till around the late 90s.
     
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  34. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Has Fed ever had an 80-3 win-loss year?

    Just asking. What was his record in 2005 (isn't that regarded as his peak year)?
     
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  35. darthpwner

    darthpwner Banned

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    Federer had 81-4
     
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  36. cadfael_tex

    cadfael_tex Professional

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    I'm not so sold on the racquet technology being huge leaps forward but the strings have definitely had an impact.

    re Racquets: from the stats I've seen on the pro racquets (at least on the men's side) they seem roughly the same weight and flex as they were in the late eighties. What has technology benefited? I'm not saying it hasn't but I'm not seeing it.

    re strings: I really believe this is where the gravy is. The amount of bite they give allows full swings and serious spin.

    re 84 racquet: they don't make they any more.

    re the question: don't know, my bet would be Fed but i think it would be an interesting match.

    re Mac's groundies:don't underestimate them, they were ugly but served a purpose - they were super compact and allowed for quick transitions to net.
     
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  37. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

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    Federer historically doesnt fare well vs outstanding competition who believes they can beat him and impose their will and game on him. He collapses somewhat both physically and mentally in that case. With that being said I would give the nod to McEnroe of 1984.

    Datacipher is right too that McEnroe in 84 had an outstanding ground game. A shockingly great one considering his reptutation is mostly just as a serve/volleyer. Connors in that Wimbledon final where he was being humiliated by an historically great performance from McEnroe kept coming in to net despite being passed and lobbed all the time I think mainly since when he tried to stay back on his serve McEnroe was killing him even from there that day.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2009
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  38. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    That's damn good. Was that 2005?
     
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  39. Chopin

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    Yeah his 2004 was scary good too though.

    "He won three of the four Grand Slam singles tournaments, did not lose a match to anyone ranked in the top ten, won every final he reached, and was named the ITF Tennis World Champion.[42] His win–loss record for the year was 74–6 with 11 titles, which included three of the year's four Grand Slams and three ATP Masters Series titles."
     
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  40. Chopin

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    To the qualifying statement in your argument: er, what? What is Federer's history of collapse and how has he accomplished more than anyone in tennis history with such a history? Through the grace of God?
     
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  41. World Beater

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    hopefully u are sarcastic.

    most amateur historians and tennis analysts are aware of this particular year.
    for us to consider yourself a serious poster in this section, but not know this particular record shows a serious lack of credibility on your part when evaluating players in history.
     
    #41
  42. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Yes, it's another factually incorrect statement, but that's fine, it just highights the fact that this is a kid who has no clue what he's talking about. You're always going to get those...funny how they must be so passionately certain aboiut something, despite no experience or knowledge of it, because it threatens their current paradigm! LOL

    In any case, unless your name is Goran, (and really, not even him), nobody REGULARLY hits 30+ aces every match. In the 80's though, there were plenty of guys lighting up the ace boards with big numbers, Becker, Curren, Zivojinivic, Denton, Tanner, and many, many others. Of course, there has a been some strategy changes that have helped, but most knowledgable posters, even here, know that the serve (and specifically, the ace), is REALLY not dependent on the racquet, let alone the STRINGS! LOL. Funny funny stuff. (gee, imagine Goran's ace numbers with poly.... ;-)
     
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  43. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    strings yes, but not sure how much racquet advancement has helped. what advancement have they really made in racquet technology FOR A PRO?
     
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  44. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    you obviosuly don't know hoodjem.
     
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  45. wyutani

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    the match will be a draw.
     
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  46. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    Ok, 30+ was an exaggeration, but the point still stands. Yes, true about the ace fests, and what was the reason for that? Luxilon aided return games, while the racquet technology aided servers. All I was trying to say was racquet and string technology BOTH have impacted how the game is played - quite different from the 80s. To claim to the contrary is quite surprising.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2009
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  47. Chopin

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    THANKS, Data. It's NICE to know that we have you to KEEP us straight with your NATIONAL level tennis skills.
     
    #47
  48. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Nope. Give Mcenroe Fed's prostaff, and give Fed a 200g. Give im a month to practice, impact will be about 2% literally. Not really worth consideration in this fantasy matchup.
     
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  49. FD3S

    FD3S Professional

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    Racquets maybe might not make such a big difference in this case, but I think string might. Poly strings have changed the game a lot.
     
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  50. statto

    statto Professional

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    If they were both playing with 1984 level equipment then Mac wins in straight sets. Both playing with 2005 level equipment then it's closer, but Mac still takes it in four or five.

    Fed was fantastic in '05, but Mac was just insane.
     
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