Can you beat Chris Evert today?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Gundam, Mar 16, 2007.

  1. Gundam

    Gundam Semi-Pro

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    First of all, it is not to start a heated debate. I am just curious.

    There was an article I read in the Tennis Magazine that says Chris Evert still can beat 95% (or was it 99%?) of all the male tennis players in the world. Of course she wouldn't be able to win a match against any ATP players or College players. But what about very good players who used to play seriously?

    I picked her because I always thought she was a kind of mystery (to me). Compared to Graf or Navratilova or even Austin, she didn't appear to be that athletic or strong. She was consistent, mentally tough, solid techniques-also, even though she didn't look superfast as Grat, it seemed she was always in a good position to hit probably due to her excellent strategy and anticipation.

    What kind of strategy would you use to defeat Chris Evert today? Since I don't belong to that 5% of all the male players in the world, I don't think I have a chance, to be frank with you.
     
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  2. snapple

    snapple Rookie

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    Since I'm pretty sure I can't out rally her (I'm about a 5.0+), and my power would probably not phase her too much, I would just feed her a barrage of drop shots and then lob over her head (hopefully) eventually wearing her down.
     
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  3. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    According to USTA guidelines, since she is 52 years old, she would be a 5.0 player. That would equate to a 4.0-4.5 men's player. So maybe she could beat 80% of males, but probably not 95%.

    But Navratilova is 50 and still playing WTA, so maybe its different for women. They can retain their rating older than men can. Who knows.
     
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  4. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    so what would mcenroe be rated? he's 48. Former pros don't apply to any rating system.
     
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  5. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    McEnroe is a 5.5 according to the guidelines.
     
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  6. Clintspin

    Clintspin Semi-Pro

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    Chris Evert, in her prime, could not beat her brother a college level player.
     
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  7. tarheels2323

    tarheels2323 Semi-Pro

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    I can tell you that McEnroe is better than a 5.5. I saw him play in Boston last year and although he certainly wasn't up to top 10 standards, he was playing pretty damn well.
     
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  8. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I think the guideline is meant to be taken as a minimum requirement. So McEnroe could not self-rate any less than 5.5 if he decided to play USTA. Although yeah he probably is above that, just like Evert is probably above 5.0.

    But I disagree with the college guidelines where they say unranked D3 players are 4.5s, when in reality college players can be as low as 3.0-3.5 at some schools, but would be stuck self-rating at 4.5.
     
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  9. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Wait, how in the world do you get McEnroe, John P. McEnroe, is a 5.5? The first thing the guidelines say is that they don't apply to professionals. The NTRP ratings are like handicaps in golf. McEnroe competed in two ATP doubles events last year winning one. This alone means he still has a 7.0+ rating which means that you don't need a rating.

    Remember, the rating system is meant to insure that you are competitive among a group of players. That's why you can't play down.
     
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  10. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    Look at the NTRP experienced player guidelines. There is a chart showing the downgrading of players as they age. I don't know if those numbers would actually be enforced if a former ATP tried to play USTA, but I'm just going by what it says. But like I said, its probably an absolute minimum for self-rating purposes, and is not necessarily accurate.
     
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  11. goober

    goober Legend

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    A lot would depend on whether or not Chris Evert has been playing actively. If she hadn't hit a ball in 10 years and is out of shape, she would not fare that well. But 95% of all male tennis players would actually probably mean 4.5 and below club players so that is not that far feteched. There are not that many 5.0+ players percentagewise in the total tennis playing population.








    -
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2007
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  12. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I think for sure a 5.0 male can beat her today. She still coaches at her academy and plays a little, but we don't know how good she is or whether she cares at all. The few times I have seen her at charities have been in doubles, and there was nothing exceptional about her play.
     
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  13. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    I agree, a 5.0+ male would most likely beat her. HOWEVER, I'm guessing that genuine 5.0+ players make up only 5% or less of the total (that means everyone, not just everyone you know) male tennis-playing population in the world. So, in that regard, the claim isn't as ridiculous as it sounds. Of course, I do also imagine that the actual percentage was exaggerated and not intended to be taken as gospel.

    Just a note: Athleticism isn't confined to the things we can see - muscles- or the showy display - obvious foot speed. Players like Evert, Rosewall or, to a degree, Hewitt, who don't appear obviously athletic are almost certainly in possession of physical traits that put them well above the average person. I'm not talking about hand-eye coordination but things like core/trunk and leg strength which is essential in hitting sports. Speed can also be overlooked when, like Evert or Rosewall, the player's anticipation is so good (not to mention, the way they orchestrate a point) they don't need to make so many of those last minute sprints.
     
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  14. Gundam

    Gundam Semi-Pro

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    I haven't watched Rosewall playing but think Hewitt very athletic, isn't he? Regarding 'anticipation', when Evert played Navratilova, she could look less athletic because Navratilova, being Navratilova, could hit really crazy shots from time to time. I read somewhere, Martina scored 140+ when she played bowling for the first time and the person who was playing with her was simply blown away. On the contrary, Evert's play seemed boring or slow but I'd open amazed with her anticipation and positioning-even though she didn't look very fast like Graf, often she seemed she was 'waiting' to hit the ball.

    BTW, we are discussing ratings and percentage, not how you would play Evert?:-(
     
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  15. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    I once saw an ex-pro play a few 5.0's. This guy was not ever a top ten player, or slam contender. He was in his mid to late 50's???.

    He beat the living daylights out of a few 5.0's. One of the 5.0's was ranked top 5 in Florida.

    After witnessing that, I would think Evert would have no problems with 5.0's.
     
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  16. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    Kaptain Karl could beat her, since apparently he can beat Serena.;)
     
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  17. Pete.Sampras.

    Pete.Sampras. Semi-Pro

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    I was about to say something similar. If McEnroe is a 5.5 then we're all just beginners :p
     
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  18. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

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    There's no way a 5.0 could beat her. It's not like she's been sitting around doing nothing since she retired, she's on the court all the time hitting balls. A good 5.5 who can serve and volley would give her a close match...maybe.
     
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  19. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    what issue was it? what was the article about specifically? did she say this or did someone else? thanks
     
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  20. Voltron

    Voltron Hall of Fame

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    Pffft, like I'd know
    I can beat Evert anyday, as long as I don't actually have to prove it. ;)
     
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  21. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    I would hit 100% of my shots to her forehand because her two-handed backhand is too accurate and deadly.

    But she would beat me 6-0, 6-0 in less than one hour.
     
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  22. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    That's what I think pretty much. I hit with a woman who was around 100 in the world in the early 80's, and I don't think she lost to any of the 4.5 or 5.0 players at this club I would sometimes place at. She was chunky, but her preparation, technique, and footwork were still so much better than everybody else's that it didn't matter. Her shots weren't powerful but I was surprised by how much weight they had. This is something I always notice with high level players, is that their shots are just flat heavier and sometimes it's a complete mystery as to how or why. And she did something with EVERY ball. Even if she just barely got her racket on the ball, she would redirect it someplace. With her, it was a matter of if I played her a few times, I think I could have beaten her relatively easy. It was just new to play somebody who could hit with so much precision. But she was out of shape and hadn't played seriously in nearly two decades.

    Since Evert was a WAAAAYYYYYY better player than this woman, and looks to have remained in better shape, and hits with world class juniors on a regular basis, I would think she could beat every male up to the 5.5 level. And on a good day, depending on the matchup, she could probably do beat a 5.5 player.

    I know a guy who actually hit with Evert once. He played 3 singles for Western Michigan way back in the day, and for a while had the most wins in MAC history. He said that she hit a very heavy ball.

    And McEnroe is still 7.0 when he's motivated. If it's just 1 set, he can still hang with top 50 players on fast courts. I've seen him absolutely raping a club pro in Queens, a guy who wins satellite tournaments in the area.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2007
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  23. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Details, please. What club? When was it? What was the score? etc.
     
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  24. officerdibble

    officerdibble Semi-Pro

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    I agree, McEnroe is still an awesome competitive force on a tennis court - he showed that when he played Rios in the Masters Tennis. However, having seen him with and without Hawk Eye, he's about 15% LESS effective WITH Hawk Eye in place. It was very entertaining seeing his hissy fits disappear because a 'definitive' answer existed. He really struggled to get to that angry place only he plays better from!
     
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  25. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    When you say hitting balls, is it mostly coaching or actual play with high level partners? If the former, I doubt a 5.0 would not be enough to beat her. Plus, those days serves weren't emphasized that much.
     
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  26. rjkardo

    rjkardo Rookie

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    A 50 year old ex pro male is not the same as ex pro Evert.
    I have watched 5.0 players give top 10 females a run for their money, and Evert is no 10 ten player now. Evert could not beat college players when she was in her prime. Neither could Martina, by her own admission.

    Zina Garrison and Lori McNeil used to practice with the mens Univ of Houston players, but they could not beat them. That is when they were top ten.

    Rod
     
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  27. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    No you haven't.
     
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  28. vudal

    vudal Banned

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    There is no way in hell that Chris Everret can beat me. She prob wont even get 1 game off of me. I own all chicks... young or old. Women are weaklings except for the Williams.
     
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  29. Gundam

    Gundam Semi-Pro

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    Moose,

    I wish I still have that issue. I just checked Tennis.com and the issue seems to be fromn 2001-2 cause their past issues posting started in 2003. I remember seeing Hingis as well as Seles, Stevenson.

    It was a instructional article (How to beat a man or something like that) and She was using PSC6.1 if I remember correctly. And at the end of the article, there was it - Former No.1. She can still beat 95% of ~. I might be wrong but Tennis magazine writers would do funny things from time to time. For example, "Cliff Drysdale has two sides, one forehand and one suicide" whatever it means. Maybe his backhand sucked?

    Regarding 'heavy balls', I had a chance to hit with a college player from San Jose. I cannot explain exactly how he could do it but his balls were like a brick-so heavy. Just amazing.
     
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  30. Rating


    What happens if they get fat and out of shape?
     
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  31. rjkardo

    rjkardo Rookie

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    Really? And you know this because?

    Rod
     
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  32. MrCLEAN

    MrCLEAN Rookie

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    I don't know about you guys, but she would kick my ***.
     
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  33. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Because your statement is so absolutely absurd that it can not be possible.

    I have a feeling that Drakulie would call my bluff if I said that I pounded a red bull sprouted wings, and flew off of the tennis court aswell.

    If a man beats a top 10 WTA player, he is not a 5.0, if a 5.0 man beats a woman, she is not top 10 WTA.

    J
     
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  34. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    But you're missing the single most important part of the NTRP ratings systems. They don't apply to world class players. McEnroe is still a world class player. So while the verbiage may fit some idea you have of McEnroe's abilities, reality is far from what you apply from the description.

    Now that may be an interesting question. I might be able to take a game or two off of 63-year old Billie Jean King, if I'm spot on.

    I got the Wimbledon internet feed last year and watched some of the senior matches. While the guys lack movement (Nastase, Dent, Smith, Stockton, etc.) they can still hit the ball. And when I say they lack movement, they don't move like current ATP guys. They are, after all, in their 50s and have put on some....enjoyed their retirement. However, I harbor no illusions of giving these guys a match.
     
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  35. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    Tennissport in Queens, on an outside clay court, against the guy I think Spadea talks about in his book, Alex something... score was probably about 6-2... supposedly, the pro can sometimes beat Mac... I was having a hard time believing it but the guy who told me said it was simply a matter of the guy being 20 years younger, and sometimes Mac isn't motivated... This was probably the summer of 2000, it was shortly after Leconte had beaten him at Central Park.
     
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  36. patrick922

    patrick922 Semi-Pro

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    i think that a former pro that is old would be at LEAST a 6.0. i mean they were pro at one point so they have to be good. even on the seniors tour, they hit pretty well. just because they havent been playing on the tour doesnt mean they suck. chris evert will probably beat a 5.0 player easily.
     
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  37. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    I would bet money on it. Even at her age, her timing, footwork, anticipation, preparation, depth, and precision more than make up for whatever advantage a man might have in strength, height, or speed. Yes, the men will have physical advantages, but in terms of skill Chris is in a completely different league. Maybe 5.0 guys would understand if they played Tony Roche, who is 62 yo. He will be very slow compared to every young 5.0 but I wouldn't be surprised if he could beat most or all of them. His precision alone would be too much for them. The pros, even former pros, really play a completely different game. A strong 6.0 is where it starts sort of resembling the tennis world class players play.
     
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  38. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    I know one guy who is 60ish, and his game is nothing to look at, you would all rate him 3.0. But he played for princeton in his younger days, played in the USO when it was still amature, and everyone says he is VERY hard to beat. The fact is that he is so fiercely competitive, that he wins by sheer force of will.

    J
     
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  39. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    This isnt true. I had a hit with a guy who is 50 or so and played the main draw of Wimby back in the day...he and i were really even, but i was playing fairly often and he wasnt. i'm a 5.0

    Evert is 50 herself and her serve is a lollipop that isnt going to hurt a 5.0. a 5.0 with a good serve could hurt her a lot however. from the backcourt, it's pretty tough against any wta player or former wta'er, so much would depend upon the style of play of the 5.0..a 5.0 baseliner likely would have no chance, but an allcourter would do pretty well i think
     
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  40. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    What about a 5.0 vs Vilas or Newk today? I have them both a couple of times on the TTC "Bragging Rights" program coaching recreational players. They are clearly out of shape with noticeable tummies. What would happen?
     
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  41. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    I've watched Vilas practice at the US Open the past two summers and don't imagine a 5.0 would pose much threat to him at all.
     
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  42. thejackal

    thejackal Hall of Fame

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    the key would be the serve. i'd think she would have trouble getting a racket on a good 5.0 first serve.
     
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  43. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Ok, so a 50-year old male 5.0 against a 53(?)-year old Evert. My money would be on Evert. A 30 year age difference in the combatants might make a serious difference however.

    That's the one fallacy in the NTRP. In singles, a 20-something year old <insert level here> will pretty much beat a 50-something year old <insert same level here>. Of course, doubles is a different story because in doubles you don't have as much riding on mobility as you do in singles.
     
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  44. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    The 5.0 would be lucky to win two games. I think he would get a steady diet of carbs, bagels and breadsticks that is.

    J
     
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  45. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    I dunno, maybe in the old days of ratings, when you were evaluated. But I mean you can either play 5.0 or you can't. A low, mid, or high 20 year old 5.0 plays even with a low, mid or high 50 year old 5.0.

    Now they may play different styles, but the scores should be close, or somebody isn't a 5.0.

    I could see if you said you knew a 50 year old guy who was a 5.0 dubs player, and a 4.5 singles player due to his mobility.

    I myself am a vastly superior singles player compared to my doubles play.

    J
     
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  46. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    But how would Vilas/Newk overcome their beer-belly fitness problem? Are you saying they would just hit great strokes and move very efficiently (i.e., less) and still dominate?
     
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  47. older players

    Unfortunately, you picked a player who is in still great shape today. There are plenty of others you could have picked on that have let themselves go physically. I remember years ago reading an article about a ITF top ranked 45's women player who wanted to play at one of the grand slams because she was the world #1 and she complained that they wouldn't let her play. She used Rosie Casals as an example(Rosie had gotten out of shape and was still invited to play doubles) She didn't think is was fair.

    So, the point was made that if a person WAS a world class player doesn't mean that they are 25 years later. Many people played the pro circuit.
     
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  48. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    I will let ya know if I ever play one, but I am fairly confidant that they would get it done. Despite all misconceptions by 3.X players 5.0s are not that good.

    J
     
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  49. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    Vilas and Newk would probably crush them. Like a 3.0 player would crush Allen Iverson. Athleticism, speed, youth, all those physical things become the determining factor when the skill is close enough to allow them to be.
     
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  50. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    My money would be on Allen Iverson over a 3.0. Maybe couldn't beat anyone higher though.

    I'm unfamiliar with Newk's current fitness, but I'm not sure Vilas even has a "fitness problem" having seen him play doubles at the USO. Presumably he could dictate points easily and not move much at all if he didn't care to.
     
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