Point-by-point I can’t say I disagree very much with this post. For one, I agree that when we talk about “taking big swings” or a huge cut on the ball, the critical aspect is racquet head speed. As you say, if we were just talking about long backswings, in general that will be more difficult in the wood era, but that doesn’t apply to someone with relatively compact strokes like Federer – and Borg showed anyway that long, loopy strokes were not a deal-breaker in the wood era, if you were talented enough to do it. I think Borg is also an interesting example because he went against so much conventional wisdom. They said he would never win Wimbledon with his strokes, but he won it five times in a row. For me, it’s as if the conventional wisdom nowadays is the opposite: the claim that serve-and-volley won’t work anymore. Someone moving against the grain today wouldn’t be a baseliner like Borg, or even someone like Federer. Instead he’d be showing that it was still possible to win many Wimbledons by SV, attacking the net, etc. And someone short winning big titles, as you say, would be another example. That’s why I just can’t agree with argumentation that says, nobody does this today, because it doesn’t work. The only thing obvious is that no one is doing it. The reason is not obvious. And examples like Borg show that you can create a winning style in tennis even if goes against what everyone else (including experts) are doing and teaching. As for how I see Federer and Laver adapting to each other’s era, I do think that Laver’s height is an issue. There’s no point in saying otherwise. However I have plenty of questions about Federer in the wood era. On the one hand, my thinking is similar to yours, and I see him as a bit of a throwback to the era of classical strokes, who has enough talent and variety of shot to make him tough in any era. On the other hand, as I’ve said before I’m just not sure how to imagine what his game would look like if you threw him back. I know that he’d be compelled to serve-and-volley at least on first serve, if we’re talking about Wimbledon’s old grass and certain indoor surfaces. How much he would attack beyond that, I have no idea. In his early career we do have some matches of him doing that and doing it well – SV on first serve on grass. But by the time he hit his prime he was already cutting back on that, so when we talk about prime Federer in the wood era, what does that mean? What you would like is a full career where you could see how committed the player was to that style, against different opponents, in different situations. How does this player perform, when playing this style under pressure year after year? Federer’s career suggests not just that surfaces got slower but that he prefers baselining, even if he’s a talented volleyer. So at best I’m confident that he’d be a skillful net player in previous eras. But whether he would really be the best of his time at that game, at a time when masters of that game proliferated, I don’t know, and I have my doubts. But mostly it’s just uncertainty, because his career has not been about SV. In simplest, neutral terms, the data’s just not there. And some other signature features of his game would be missing, like the inside-out forehand, which couldn’t do much damage in the wood era. His backhand would be more open, and that’s another question I have. On certain days that stroke works just fine. But he has other days, not just against Rafa, when he makes a ton of unforced errors off that shot, or gets timid with it (“shanks” is not all we’re talking about and I agree with you that if all we’re talking about is his obvious shanks into Row 12C, that’s not much of a problem). He’d be facing very different pressures on his BH in previous eras, and he certainly wouldn’t face Rafa’s spin; but does that mean that his BH would be a-okay, no questions asked? I don’t know, this is just another big question for me. And I don’t think there’s a right answer. His fans will have an optimistic view. His critics will suggest that his BH will have problems then, no less than now. And how could you know either way? The time travel game is about as speculative as you can get. However when you talk about players closer to the wood/graphite transition, I have some more certainty. I see Sampras in the 50s and 60s basically playing the same game as he did in the 90s. He wouldn’t hit any of his strokes with the same consistency and power, but he could basically take his game back to those eras and it’s easy to see how he would have gotten a lot of titles. With Federer, yeah, he’ll get his titles, I just don’t know exactly how it would look. In the end, these imaginary matchups are fun – if they’re treated as fun and unknowable. Getting dogmatic about it can’t have any good result.