Chopin's New Poll: Venus Williams v.s. Laver

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Chopin, Aug 21, 2009.

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Venus v.s. Laver (Please read handicaps before voting)

  1. Venus

    32 vote(s)
    50.0%
  2. Laver

    32 vote(s)
    50.0%
  1. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

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    Have you ever swam with a family of reef squid and felt a deep connection with the natural order?

    “All a musician can do is to get closer to the sources of nature, and so feel that he is in communion with the natural laws.”--John Coltrane
     
  2. maddogz32

    maddogz32 Semi-Pro

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    there are too many stipulations for laver to win
     
  3. World Beater

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    height is not laver's major problem here. its stroke mechanics.

    laver's stroke mechanics and for the most part players of previous eras dont make use of as much of their athletic ability as players of recent eras.

    this isn't a knock on laver at all. if laver, kramer or anyone from their time were to play in today's era - they would play like players of today. i would say it is far more important to be physically gifted in today's game than it was in past eras though...and for that reason it will be challenging for someone 5'8...but then again laver is an outlier. so you never know!
     
  4. JoshDragon

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    What's the point of giving Laver such a difficult stipulation. You may as well give Venus a 2 sets 5-0 40-love lead.
     
  5. scraps234

    scraps234 Hall of Fame

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    well with the alleys ill go with venus and graphite and the scoring.... jeeze
     
  6. Henry Kaspar

    Henry Kaspar Rookie

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    Can we have a "silly irrelevant threads, good to kill some time" forum, such that this kind of business doesn't get mixed up with the real discussions.
     
  7. jnd28

    jnd28 Rookie

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    Great Idea! this has been very painful to read and digest for a somewhat newbie! I was naive in thinking that people who posted here would actually know something about tennis. It is clear that there are many who have absolutely no clue whatsoever. Seems like they are sitting in front of their computer holding themselves while they spew stupid hypotheticals .
    I know that someone who has actually played tennis would never question lavers greatness.

    JND28
     
  8. navratilovafan

    navratilovafan Banned

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    What an idiot. For your information Venus cant even handle other women on hard courts these days. Her last hard court slam final was in 2002 for crying out loud. Her results at the Australian Open on hard courts for the last 6 years are almost comical for such a big name:

    2004- lost 3rd round to Lisa Raymond in straight sets, a doubles specialist
    2005- lost 4th round to Alicia Molik in straight sets
    2006- lost 1st round to Tsvetana Pironkova
    2007- DNP
    2008- lost quarters in straight sets to Ana Ivanovic, ooh finally a quarterfinal
    2009- lost 2nd round to Carla Saurez Navarro
     
  9. Henry Kaspar

    Henry Kaspar Rookie

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    As you'll have noticed i'm quite a newbie myself in this forum, and like it. Generally, good quality, occasoinally excellent -- a place with many substantive debates. Well, and then there are the outliers.
     
  10. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

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    Except if you had read the original post you'd see that she has a huge handicap.
     
  11. Chopin

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    Exactly! Listening to some TW posters, you'd think that Laver would win playing with a frying pan though!

    The point of the poll is to show how out of teach with reality certain posters are.
     
  12. Chopin

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    Of course. Great post. His stroke mechanics would not hold up in the modern game. My analysis of his strokes will be featured in an additional thread coming in the near future. Please join me in this thread. Your opinion will be highly valued.

    Kind regards,
    Chopin
     
  13. Chopin

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    Exactly, which is the point. Yet the TW Historians may still insist Laver will win, through some divine gift from God.
     
  14. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    I know, TW can call it "Chopin's Corner"

    Great point. Why tennis gets this kind of attention and no other pro sport does is beyond me. The women's tour stands on its own as a competitive entity, but it has never been and never will be the athletic equal of the mens' tour regardless of era.

    It certainly wouldn't surprise me in the least if the OP came back with one more stipulation, that current day Laver play current day Venus; 71 vs 29 and Laver has to play right-handed.....who'd win? Narrow the parameters enough and you'll finally get the answer you so desperately seek.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2009
  15. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Now this, I think, is a decent post. You seem to recognize that the game is different from generation to generation and that if you imagine players in various timelines, they're not going to play the same way in every era. Federer's stroke mechanics, as they stand, would be a problem in the wood era. You can't take those big swings and big cuts at the ball. You'll not only hit the ball out, you'll be wasting energy (and hurting your arm over the long course of a match, or certainly over a season).

    As Urban pointed out in another thread, Federer shanks even now with large racquet heads, so he'd not only have to cut down on his swings and body rotations, he'd also have to start focusing in on a very small sweet spot. He's so talented that of course I think he'd be tough, but I have no certainty about how his strokes would look and it's even far from certain that he'd have powerful groundstrokes in the wood era. To find that sweet spot he might turn into a touch player in baseline rallies -- and depend on his volleys, which you had to do on the old fast surfaces.

    And to some extent on low-bouncing surfaces height will be a liability, although I don't think that will be a deal-breaker, and Federer is not too tall.

    The real question when you move players around on the timeline is how well they would adapt to different conditions and equipment.

    It's an extreme example but I'm using it to make the point clear. If you took basketball players and imagined them playing football (American soccer) the same way they play their own sport -- with their hands -- of course they'll fail. The reverse is true -- soccer players trying to play basketball with their feet are going to fail.

    It's extreme, of course, this example, because these games could not even get underway. With tennis there's still a lot of continuity, and the game has always required a core of certain skills, so that you can reasonably say that any great player with that core of skills would be tough in any era.

    But the point is, there's an interesting question if we imagine all players in all eras, and talk about how they would adapt to new conditions (or miss the ones they're used to). Talking about it in only one direction -- and answering in the negative, "they couldn't adapt at all" -- doesn't even begin to touch these things. It's not meant to. It's just meant to say, "We're better than you are," and "I'm better than you are."
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2009
  16. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    I see my Airplane reference was removed. Too risque I guess, even though the film was penned by three conservatives 30 years ago.
     
  17. Chopin

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    18-8 Venus over Laver!

    Hey, some of you guys actually think if Laver were just placed in the modern game and given a graphite that he'd stand any chance against Nadal and Federer?

    The guy would be a journeyman.
     
  18. Chopin

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    For those of you who voted for Laver--what about a 6-0, 5-0 and a 40-0 lead in each game for Venus? Would she win then?
     
  19. Chopin

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    There is no such thing as Chopin's Corner. There is, however, a "Children's Corner" by Debussy.

    I already got the answer I sought--Venus wins.
     
  20. lambielspins

    lambielspins Banned

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    The ridiculousness of trying to pit Laver up against any women tennis player aside couldnt you atleast have picked someone better than Venus. You could have picked anyone and yet you pick a glorified grass court specialist who is way past her prime, and isnt even competitive on the other surfaces anymore, and is an embarassment on any slower surface now which she never even won on even in her long ago prime. Why didnt you pick Navratilova or Graf in their primes, or Serena or Henin atleast. Would still be completely ridiculous, but you dont even have the decency to pick the top women opponent, LOL!
     
  21. Chopin

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    Yeah nice point man. I don't have the "decency" to do so. Let me ask you--what if Venus only had to win a single point in two sets--do you think she could do that? Or would the Rocket's Godly Powers be too much?
     
  22. lambielspins

    lambielspins Banned

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    If they played on clay Rod Laver would win 72 straight points. Venus often gets 3 or 4 games only off women players I cant even pronounce the names of these days on clay. I dont even remember the name of the player she lost to 6-0, 6-4 at this years French.
     
  23. Chopin

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    Also--slightly off topic--but on the subject of Laver's Extreme Powers, do you think he could solo over the changes in Coltrane's Giant Steps using his racquet and a tennis ball as an instrument? Probably, right?

    Those fast ii-V-I changes through three different key signatures would be no problem for a guy of Laver's talent and ability.
     
  24. Chopin

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    Great post. Probably the best post I've read in a month!!! I'm going to quote you on it.
     
  25. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

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    I believe it was Agnes Szavay. You make a good point, even prime Venus against and older near end of career Laver would likely get demolished easily on clay, as she was never good on it and it took a laughable draw for her to make a french open final, which by the way she has never in the last 7 years come close to repeating. On grass Laver would cream her to, Venus only plays Wimbledon, Laver played on many different types of grass and many grass court tournaments and new the surface quite well, I would not expect him to lose to Venus under normal circumstances. as for hard courts, Laver was no slouch there either and unless it was an extremely fast hard court Venus would still likely lose 9 games out of 10 (giving her the possibility of winning 1).
     
  26. lambielspins

    lambielspins Banned

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    Thanks. As you can see what I meant, who the heck is that kind of opponents, LOL!

    She beat the grand Clarissa Fernandez (another who is that, although I guess good for Venus to beat one of them rather than lose to one of them which is her norm on clay) in the semis to get there. The French Open draw that year was a sham. Serena, Justine, Capriati all on one half and Venus in her half with a badly slumping/injured Clijsters. It was like Papa Williams had made it himself. No surprise she was never close any other year, and the all Williams final that year sucked not because of the sister thing but because Venus's mediocre clay court skills were not even close to good enough to even hang with Serena on the red stuff and thus it was an uncompetitive, low quality and tedious final. This fact despite that clay also being Serena's worst surface by a huge margin. Capriati-Serena was the real final that year. Venus the years before that lost first round to a past her prime unseeded Barbara Schett, was drilled by a way past her prime Sanchez Vicario, was upset by a qualifier named Barbara Schwarz, was creamed by an out of form/injured Hingis who would get destroyed by Seles next round, and lost 3rd round to Natalie Tauziat. Venus the years after that would lose round of 16 to Vera Zvonareva, lost 2nd or 3rd round to a 15 year old long named Bulgarian who would be suspended for drug use soon after, was crushed by Vaidisova who is now off the main WTA tour, lost to Penetta, and this year was destroyed by that Szavay girl.

    Sounds about right.
     
  27. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Problem is, when Navratilova in her prime said she could beat the #100 man in the world and Vitas called her on it, she waffled. She then said if she played the #100 man on grass she could beat him and Vitas bet not only his house, but a Rolls on it. The game never was played for obvious reasons.

    Now, if the greatest grass court player on the woman's side in her prime couldn't beat the #100 man in the world on her favorite surface, what in the world makes anyone think Venus would beat the Rocket on grass?

    LOL

    Chopin's Corner
     
  28. lambielspins

    lambielspins Banned

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    Yes that is true. Martina also even mentioned in one of her autobiographies (the one that came out in the 80s) that Mike Estep her then coach, who at best was a marginal top 100 pro before injuries hit, would win sets 6-4 or 6-3 or her in practice but she could tell he wasnt even trying and could have really destroyed her if he pushed harder. She would talke about how she would hit some of her best shots and he would run them down and get them back easily and she would throw her racquet and get frusterated sometimes, even though she knew that was going to happen. So yes imagine Venus playing Laver even on grass, LOL!
     
  29. Chopin

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    19-8 Venus. 70% TW posters know tennis more than certain posters in this thread (who shall remain unnamed).
     
  30. Chopin

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    Yes, men have physical advantages in sports. Nice post guys. I'm glad you're here to tell us these things!! Great work TW posters.
     
  31. Henry Kaspar

    Henry Kaspar Rookie

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    There is an vident self-selection problem biasing the result. Most knowledgeable posters refused to take part in this silly and pointless poll.
     
  32. NonP

    NonP Professional

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    Most polls here are silly and pointless, but this was one for the prepubescents.
     
  33. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Amen to that.

    Chopin's Corner
     
  34. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

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    "Oh, Laver lost! The good posters must not have voted in it."
     
  35. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    And that's how you tell a good poster.

    Chopin's Corner
     
  36. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Yep, Martina also used to play Bill Scanlon practice matches when both lived in Dallas. Way back in the day in a Tennis magazine article, MN said that she felt she had a good day when she could get 3 games of Scanlon in a set. She also mentioned that Scanlon wasn't playing as hard as he could've.
     
  37. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

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    ^^ Who cares?

    You guys are quite dense. This isn't a fair competition. The odds are stacked against Laver. It's a no win scenario. Duh.

    Give a player so many advantages (court dimensions, racquets, scoring) and it won't matter who is across the net him or her. This poll was an attempt to see if you guys would recognize that. But you all failed.

    Venus destroyed Laver in the poll because other posters actually read the hypothetical, and didn't post knee-jerk reactions because they don't like my posts.

    Game, set & match, Chopin.
     
  38. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

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    Some people who voted in the poll realize the fact that in life some, no matter what obstacles are placed in their way, will overcome them and succeed. Some people, if they are talented and better, will win no matter how you set things up to challenge them. In creating this poll, you only saw one line of logic and failed to see another.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2009
  39. World Beater

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    okay. your point may be valued but you are not really coming across as objective.

    you are only showing one side of the coin. that is why it is so hard to compare eras.

    do you think laver, rosewall if born in this era would have played like players of today? utilizing the full potential of their physical abilities with modern stroke mechanics.

    its very possible. but if laver were born in this era, he could have become a dentist too. i mean seriously.
     
  40. World Beater

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    you make an interesting point about federer playing in the wood era with his current technique. but didn't borg show that it was indeed possible to play win topspin and utilize what were otherwise unconventional grips in his time to his advantage - he revolutionized tennis technique to a certain extent. He showed it was possible to play in the wood era with that type of technique.

    I think federer would need to make adjustments playing with wood - certainly but perhaps not as large as some make it out to be.

    the shanking imo is grossly overstated when it comes to federer. We just notice federer shanking because he is federer. I don't think his shanking is particularly more frequent than other players on tour.

    But if your point is that players of today shank more than players of past, that might be arguable. Though I am not aware of any evidence empirical or otherwise. I don't necessarily think its due to stroke mechanics ONLY. I think the pace of the game lends itself to much shorter reaction times and thus a lower margin for error in general because timing must be more precise.

    This is counterbalanced ironically by the technology and the longer/more vicious swing strokes that help generate the topspin to help the ball fall in the court. The movement in today's game also is more explosive owing to the pace and shorter reaction times - players have to be more explosive in speed and footwork to react to the ball. So overall it is actually possible to power the ball today because the movement, technology, and evolution of technique have made it a high percentage strategy.

    Also, i think where modern mechanics is different from older mechanics is not neccasarily in length of swing - but racquet head speed which is somewhat independent of swing length. Agassi and connors are two examples of players with large racquet head speed with relatively compact strokes. Both of these players showed that you could generate extreme pace utilizing trunk/hips etc without large swing lengths.

    So where do I stand? I certainly think that larger swing lengths would be harder to preserve in the wood era due to the possibility of shanking. the longer the stroke, the more vulnerable it is to imprecise timing. But as agassi, connors and others show players can still **** the ball with compact swings. You might also notice that federer gets most of his power not from his shoulder but from his wrist and forearm. The swing length might look long but only because of the initial acceleration of the racquet - the uncoiling effect. You will notice that federer's preparation is quite compact though.

    Federer actually prefers the ball bouncing low -not all players do. But i don't think that is the major difference. I do not see the ball bouncing low as being problematic because these days players like federer and nadal can utilize the wrist to simultaneously generate spin and power from their shoestrings.
    The ball did SKID more though in previous eras and that is problematic for players with vicious swing speeds/paths.

    I understand your intentions here. But i just do not think that your example here has any real value - tennis didn't suddenly become cricket or something.

    Well lets try to answer in terms of probabilities. Do you think federer is more likely to adapt to laver's time better than laver would to federer's time ?

    Here is the thinking among some...Federer has seen 140 mph serves / 80+mph groundstrokes. He has exhibited feel, power etc. Laver has done the same when the pace of the game was much slower in his era. Now who do you think would adapt better? For some there is a bigger questionmark over laver's ability to adapt to the faster, more explosive game than to the slower. I am not saying it cannot happen - laver is exceptional enough that it could - but some make the argument that it is less likely than federer adapting to the game of the previous era.

    My conclusion is this...I personally feel if we transplanted federer and laver as is...into the other respective eras, federer would have the clear edge in adaptability. But if we said - federer you grow up in laver's time...laver you grow up in federer's time. Laver would have easily adapted to the fast pace game like federer would adapt to the slower pace game. Who would be more dominant? Tough to say - but i don't think its out of the question that laver would have certain physical limitations in today's game. I just think the game demands more of athletes these days.

    But I could be totally wrong of course and all we need to see is a player of the physicaly stature of laver at some point in the future dominate the game - and he will automatically be a data point for laver's hypothetical success in the modern game.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2009
  41. Chopin

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    Vident? No, Venus is winning because it was designed as a no-win scenario for Laver and people recognize that.
     
  42. Chopin

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    OK, well, most people see my line of logic.

    Tell me though, what if Venus were given the graphite advantage, the doubles alleys and a 40-0 lead in every game would Laver still find a way to "succeed?"
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2009
  43. Chopin

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    Yeah, if Laver came of age during the modern game, he'd obviously employ different stroke mechanics (for example, no continental forehand). However, there is no way of knowing how good how successful he'd become.

    My point isn't about Laver being born into the modern game--it's simply a hypothetical in which I explore how Laver's technique and form ("as is") would translate into the modern game.

    And what I'm finding is that most posters are under the misconception (imo) that Laver would be going toe to toe with guys like Federer and Nadal. Some posters even have tried to tell me that Laver would be beating most top pros playing with wood (while the modern pro play with a graphite).
     
  44. Chopin

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    Also, for those of you who argue that the "good posters" don't participate in my thread, consider that many of you dislike my posts so much that you are undoubtedly voting for Laver.
     
  45. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

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    The only hinge would be the 40-0 lead. the racquet switch not that big, just because you have a more modern raquet doesn't mean you have the skill of your opponent, a racquet doesn't make the match. Chris Evert beat Martina Navratilova in 1982 at the australian using her wooden raquet while Martina had a graphite so its entirely possible for an older raquet to beat a newer one if the player wielding it has the talent.

    doubles alley's, yeah ok, Venus's shots would be fine but considering Laver was primarily a serve and volleyer I don't see Venus getting a ton of chances, especially on Laver's serves to actually make use of the doubles alley's.

    I actually figured you would bring up a 40-0 advantage argument in some attempt to salvage this poll and question and quite honestly, Venus gets tight, I have seen her blow game leads like that against no name players, throw her against Laver in his prime and see how she handles it, she plays very few Serve and Volleyers to, especially aggressive ones like laver could be. That would give Venus a huge edge...but seriously if you have to go that far to have venus beat Laver...it shows how slims the chances are in the first place.
     
  46. Chopin

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    ^^ Pure nonsense. I only bring up the 40-0 lead to see how far out in left field some of you guys are...giving Laver a chance to win while being down 40-0 in every game, forced to play with a wooden racquet (can we at least agree that Venus serves harder with a graphite than Laver did with wood?), and giving his opponent the doubles alleys...wow. What more can I say?

    I don't think I need to "salvage" a poll which is proving my point.
     
  47. Topspinslice

    Topspinslice New User

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    This thread before I posted here has 146 posts, 59 by Chopin. The man loves to bump his threads.
     
  48. Polaris

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    True.

    However, consider yourself lucky that he is not yet creating multiple new threads which link to his multiple old threads. :) He was on quite a roll some time ago.
     
  49. Chopin

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    What can I say--am I the greatest poster of all time? No, no. Am I one of the greatest? Probably. :)
     
  50. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    A Laver interview in TIME magazine.

    I notice here he doesn't rule out that he could compete today, he just seems to speculate about the different things he could try in order to adjust.
     

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