did modern technology annihilate tennis history?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by dominikk1985, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    this is not supposed to be an anti plastic racket thread, as plastic rackets are reality and will stay.

    however (without judging it) plastic rackets basically made tennis history a joke. 1960 players look like middle aged country club women compared to modern players rather than real athletes. no tennis fan (apart from a few old blokes here) respects the players of the past.

    tennis fans now think that serena williams would bagle bill tilden while baseball fans think that babe ruth would hit 100 bombs today.

    baseball did not do this to their past by preventing technical advancement in bat technology and protect the history of the game.

    there is some people who say metal bats and plastic tennis rackets cannot be compared because in tennis both players have the same racket and thus the dynamic doesn't change.

    however that is not really true, the dynamic has changed because of video evidence which makes past time tennis look like an unathletic joke compared to modern tennis.

    why did tennis allow progress while baseball didn't?
     
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  2. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Today's players may be better trained (debatable) or have better nutrition or hit faster, but I question if this necessarily means they are better athletes or better players.

    One could posit that today's "plastic" racquets allow mediocre players (us) to appear to be more skillful than we actually are. One could also validly argue that smaller, heavier, wooden racquets required more strength, timing, and skill.

    Presuming these to be true, one could argue that the players who won with them were, therefore, superior athletes.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2014
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  3. NameNumber

    NameNumber New User

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    Who knows? I wish they'd have some kind of exhibition tournament with the top eight players all with wood racquets with traditional head size, weight, etc. on a grass court. Really curious to see what kind of shape the matches would take.
     
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  4. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    You're a product of your time.
    Evolution.
    The past is still valid, you might learn something from it, but don't try to copy it.
     
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  5. ARFED

    ARFED Semi-Pro

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    Valid point, but by the same token one could argue that modern racquets have leveled the field in terms of skills (you said it yourself), making it harder for the current players at the very top to excel and dominate, thus making them the superior athletes
     
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  6. KineticChain

    KineticChain Professional

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    agreed. the players of yesteryear look like country club gentlemen out for a nice jaunt at the local club.

    i think the reason why the rackets changed in tennis and bats stayed the same in baseball is because of the immediacy of the apparent effects. In baseball, it was immediately obvious that a metal bat allowed you to hit much further. Wood --> metal. That's all it was, the effect very apparent.

    With graphite and types of carbon fiber construction for rackets, that was a gradual change in materials technology, simply making the racket lighter. There was no glaring immediate effect. People still swung relatively the same and thus hit the ball near the same. When advances in stroke mechanics took advantage of the lighter racket, is when we really started to see players smacking the ball on the dead run, only to have it returned back just as hard by a dead run smack by the other guy. Keep in mind, the string is more important here than the racket. The change in materials of racket and string increased potential of faster swings while keeping the ball in. Using the strokes of yesteryear would not utilize this potential as much as the pro strokes now. It took time for the modern pro stroke to change, thus the change tennis went through was gradual, and not an instantaneous effect like changing bat material in baseball.

    that's my opinion anyways
     
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  7. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Could be. It all seems to be comparative.

    (You can only beat the guy on the other side of the net.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2014
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  8. USS Tang

    USS Tang Rookie

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    Modern technology not only ruined tennis history but also ruined tennis.
     
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  9. Goosehead

    Goosehead Hall of Fame

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    no sport stays the same..look at football,

    the ball is artificial and not leather that used to soak up dampness and get heavy which was the case until early 1960s..and top clubs now play on perfect lawns of green..not chopped up muddy pitches that were often around until the turn of the century.

    ...and goalies wear gloves, I was looking at an ray clemence in an England/Liverpool match from late 1970s and he was barehanded :shock:(a stinger or what).
     
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  10. Vensai

    Vensai Professional

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    Tennis just changed. Simple as that.
     
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  11. Maximagq

    Maximagq Banned

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    Tennis has changed.

    It's not about finesse, or strategies.
    It's not even about nuance, variety, or point construction.

    It's an endless series of baseline bashing,
    fought by grinders and machines.

    Tennis, and its rich history of leisure and upperclass past time,
    has become a rational, well-oiled athletic war zone.

    Tennis has changed.

    Tennis carry graphite rackets,
    use poly strings.

    Microfibers inside their compositions
    enhance and regulate their spin and power.

    Spin control.. racket head control..
    speed control.. ball control.

    Everything is monitored, and kept under control.

    Tennis has changed.

    The age of serve and volley is now the age of consistency,
    averting errors due to massive topspin.

    And he who controls the graphite rackets, controls history.

    Tennis has changed.

    When the tennis racket is under total control,

    tennis becomes routine.
     
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  12. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    you are so poetic:).

    do you enjoy games of djokovic, nadal or murray or do you prefer oldschool tennis?
     
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  13. Maximagq

    Maximagq Banned

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    I enjoy a bit of both. I just enjoy tennis in general as long as it is played well haha. I'm more of a purist honestly though. My favorite era was the 90s.
     
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  14. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    It's an interesting question.
    I think I personally try to make the most of it,
    But the way tennis turned out today, it's not really interesting.
     
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  15. PDJ

    PDJ Hall of Fame

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    Very interesting. I have to say I much prefer to watch goolagong v evert with wood than say, s.Williams v sharapova with modern rackets. I'll happily take variety & intelligence over power.
     
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  16. Blocker

    Blocker Semi-Pro

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    The thing is, technology changes every 4-5 years. Who is to say Laver's era is how tennis technology has always been? I'm sure there were advancements in tennis technology from 1900 to 1950. Technological advancements never stop. When the iphone was first released, we all thought wow. Now it's prehistoric. Can't wait for the iphone 6.
     
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  17. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    LeeD, It's always a profit to try to copy the game of Laver or Rosewall or at least to learn from them. Unfortunately a Federer is not able to play their game...
     
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  18. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    KineticChain, It's obvious for everybody that you never saw a match of Gonzalez or Laver...
     
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  19. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Vensai, Yes, it got worse!
     
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  20. Steve132

    Steve132 Professional

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    By the same token Laver or Rosewall can't play Federer's game either. Change works both ways. I would have loved to see Borg play Nadal at Roland Garros, but even if we could invent a time machine that match will never happen. Changes in racquet technology make such a contest impossible - they would be playing under either Borg's or Nadal's conditions.
     
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  21. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Not Laver and Ashe in the semis at SW19 in '69.

    Take a look:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34gDQrJyhBA
     
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  22. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    I grew as a kid in the 70's, so i am only witness to the near beginning of the open era.

    Tennis is not more athletic now, but maybe there are more numerous athletic players now.

    It is played with ''wackier" equipment and the players
    are bigger and stronger, more fit etc.......larger pool to draw from, yada yada.

    Equipment is HUGE.

    I'm not saying the modern bashers aren't badass, but i don't like the tennis as much generally. Of course there are still some great matches.
     
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  23. DMP

    DMP Semi-Pro

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    I remember watching it at the time. Ashe was on fire, or as he would say 'in the zone' for a set and a half, and was blitzing Laver with his backhand. But Laver just kept trusting his game and Ashe gradually went off, and Laver reeled him in.

    Actually, if you want a real trip along memory lane look at this

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWGTB_kSXPA

    Nastase and Borg against Ashe and Laver at the WITC in 1977. Lots to appreciate

    - Gonzales/z commentating
    - the 'old guys' winning
    - old foes (Borg beat Nastase at W, Ashe and Laver had that famous semi at W) partnering each other.
     
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  24. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, Ashe was "in the zone". He later said that first set was the best he ever played in his life.

    Yep, lots of respect out there (except for Nasty's antics).
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014
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  25. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    History is always valid.
    The greatest swordsman of 1011 has to considered "great".
    The best fighter pilot of WW1 is still a great pilot.
    ChristopherColumbus is no less the explorer than any astronaut of today.
     
    #25
  26. droliver

    droliver Semi-Pro

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    Tennis is without question MORE athletic now, and only continues to get more so. The guys today are bigger, stronger, and faster then before, which only continues to evolve
     
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  27. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Of course, evolution is always going on.
    But the old greats were great nonetheless. They had less opportunity to train like today.
    The smartest human of year 1 was still a smart person, for his time. NOW, you now more than him.
     
    #27
  28. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Steve132, I'm sure the giants from the past would adapt better to modern equipment than Federer would adapt to wood racquets. Reason: They were more skilled than Roger!
     
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  29. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    LeeD, Thanks. But Columbus did not discover America. Some Vikings did it much earlier.
     
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  30. ARFED

    ARFED Semi-Pro

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    You know what, probably Rosewall would adapt well nowadays, he would find his place in the 14-16 age bracket. Given his size i`m sure that the organizers would let him play with the kids. He would take home many Orange Bowl trophies. Not the same as Wimbledon but at least is something :)
     
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  31. ARFED

    ARFED Semi-Pro

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    So self centered you europeans...american natives discovered this amazing continent
     
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  32. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Vikings were supposed to wander into the "America's somewhere around 1,000.
    Native Americans were already there.
    Some adventurous souls made the trek across the Bering Straits around then.
    Nobody said Columbus discovered America.
     
    #32
  33. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    The extended video of the doubles Ashe-Laver vs. Borg-Nastase is a nice memory lane. Fine to see the steely power of King Arthur with his wild swinging volleys, who could go into the zone (like at the end of the second set), but could be also sometimes erratic. Nastase had those quick reflexes, fine court sense and could retrieve anything. Borg had a massive forehand, quite underrated these days, maybe not quite as heavy as Lendl's but carrying more spin, and he was quick as a cat. His low forehand volley looks sometimes a bit vulnerable, maybe due to his extreme grip. Laver looks and was quite old here in 1977, and has a sore arm, he serves at only about 60-70% pace and cannot zip his backhand. But nevertheless: The one with the extreme angles on the volley, is the still Rocket. Nastase had fine reflex volleys, but Laver had more wrist control, and could hit volleys almost parallel to the net, like McEnroe later.
    And he is showing some sheer bravery by going in, always moving into the line of fire, against all those zipping, dipping topspin returns and passings of Borg and Nastase. He struggles, but at last he gets through. This bravery i miss sometimes on modern champions against those heavy topspins of today.
     
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  34. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    ARFED, Guess you are playing in the Under 10 group of Argentina...
     
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  35. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    ARFED, Here you are right.
     
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  36. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    LeeD, Probably you cited Columbus as the first who make stand an egg...

    I doubt that Columbus had Christopher as first name.
     
    #36
  37. Frank Silbermann

    Frank Silbermann Professional

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    Tennis did not become better; it did not become worse. It simply became incorrect.
     
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  38. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    Fortunately Federer was able to win 7 out of 8 Wimbledon finals, whereas Rosewall won 0 out of 5...
     
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  39. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    Actually LeeD discovered America. He is old enough:D.
     
    #39
  40. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Phoenix1983, Fortunately your comparison is not relevant because of the reason which I have given you so often that even you should it understand...
     
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  41. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    BobbyOne, I reject your reasoning.

    I know you believe that Rosewall was so phenomenal that, when he was banned, he would have won Wimbledon multiple times, and he was so great even when not at peak that he was still able to make loads of finals there.

    However, in my opinion, he may never have won Wimbledon even if not banned, and secondly, even if he wasn't at peak, he should surely have won 1 out of 5 finals! You are setting the standard too low for GOAT if you accept that it's OK for him to have not won any of those finals.

    As you so often say to other posters: Get serious!
     
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