1984 John McEnroe vs 2005 Roger Federer?

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

  1. lawrence

    lawrence Hall of Fame

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  2. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

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  3. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    Fed

    While he has the quantity of Big W titles, skill set to skill set, Mac looks like the better player on grass (prime to prime). Further, I think both Borg and Connors (in their respective primes) would have a pretty good shot at Fed on grass...Fed is not a serve and volleyer...he is a server who sometimes volleys...Both Borg and connors would enjoy the rallies, to be certain. Not being nostalgic here, just looking at their games. To think they would be "stomped" 100% of the time by the Fed, I think is not very realistic and really undercuts their skills on the green turf.

    Shoot, I'd love to see a red-hot Roscoe Tanner take him on....how's THAT for nostalgia? LOL!

    Fed has a great record on the grass at W, but that does not mean his game is flawless, nor that he would/could beat everyone, all the time. Nadal trumped him last year and Roddick game very close to unseating the Fed express....if not for that backhand volley.....whoopsie..
     
  4. World Beater

    World Beater Hall of Fame

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    lots of delusional people here.
     
  5. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Hard to say. We often tend to think of players coming off dominant years as virtually unbeatable, but their greatness is also relative to their respective fields.

    Both Federer and McEnroe, in 2005 and 1984 respectively, appeared to play in a transitional period. Federer's closest competition was Nadal and beyond that the field featured mostly has-beens and young talents not yet ready to fill the void. Eventually Djokovic, Murray and Del Potro would emerge, but not yet. McEnroe's competition was also a sprinkling of old guys and some young guys not yet ready to seriously challenge him. Lendl was sort of the Nadal of the time - young and often dominant, but not yet a true champion.

    Because of these players' great results we tend to look back and consider years like this to be their peaks. And while that might be true, I think it is also an example of everything falling in the right place. Players are never fully in control of their results - much depends on the rest of the tour.

    This inability to look at players and their results without analyzing them relative to the rest of the field makes this a guessing game.
     
  6. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    To this point, while I think Federer is right up there as possibly the GOAT, one does have to look at the period in which he played. Aside from Nadal, did he really have Hall of Fame caliber competition? I am a huge Roddick fan, and enjoy watching Djokovic and Del Potro, but are they really on Federer's level? I liked the late 80s and early 90's when you had Courier/Agassi/Sampras/Edberg, even Chang and Becker, all fighting for slams and having a chance at it. I just think Fed has NOT had to face such determined competition.

    Similarly, those of us who may be "nostalgic" re: 70/80s and Connors/Borg/Mac/Lendl, saw a lot of similarity in that you have several exceptional players fighting for the GS titles...so, many of us feel that Mac's 7 titles are worth more than they appear. And, when you look at the skills of the top guys in the 70's, 80's and early 90's, I'm not so sure that Fed is that much better. The guy hits amazing shots, has fantastic skills and has shown excellent determination in crunch matches....but I think his competition, aside from Nadal, has been 1/2 levels below him.

    If I had to pick one guy to play for my life and it was '84 Mac or '05 Fed, I'd pick Mac....hands down.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2009
  7. statto

    statto Professional

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    A few points:

    The Mac clip is unedited whereas the Fed clip is the best points stitched together, so of course it will look more impressive. Mac is using 1984 technology, whereas Fed is using 2005 technology. Mac is playing an eight time slam winner (twice at Wimbledon), whereas Federer is playing a one time slam winner (never at Wimbledon).

    Quite unfair to compare the two clips like for like.
     
  8. lawrence

    lawrence Hall of Fame

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    That 8 time slam winner, twice at Wimbledon, was 31 years old at the time wasn't he?

    I guess the more fair comparison then, would be to show a 19 year old Federer's 2001 match vs Sampras - a 13 time slam winner at the time, 7 times at Wimbledon, in his 30's. Granted he didn't dominate Sampras like McEnroe dominated Jimmy, and he was 4 years pre-prime, but it's the closest comparison we have.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2009
  9. Steve132

    Steve132 Professional

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    There is an obvious difference between McEnroe 1984 and Federer 2005. 1984 was a career year for McEnroe. While it was not the only year in which he finished as world no. 1, it was far, far better than any other year he ever had. By contrast, 2005 was merely one in a string of great years for Federer. It was not even his best year - that distinction belongs to 2006.

    If we are assessing McEnroe on the basis of his 2004 performances, we are in effect judging him according to a You Tube highlights version of his career. This would not be true of Federer's 2005 performances, since he played as well in 2004, 2006 and 2007.
     
  10. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

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    Here: I'll sum up the topic for you guys

    Fed>Sampras>Mac>Laver

    Oh, wait, I forgot:

    William Renshaw>The Sum of All Tennis Ever Played
     
  11. cigrmaster

    cigrmaster Semi-Pro

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    Chopin.... you are soooooooooo close to being right.

    Sampras.....Fed........Laver......Mac......Eddie Dibbs........heheh
     

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