Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Surecatch, Dec 28, 2012.
His temper won't leave him, but it's certainly a bit of a gimmick on the seniors tour.
It is really hard to judge the ability of old pros hit until you get on court with them. It's usually quite silly to try and determine someone's ability by who they have beaten, and then subsuquently who that guy has beaten, and so on and so forth.
But that's not going to stop me from trying.
Last year I got the opportunity to hit with Agassi, Chang, Courier and Martin before an event. A lot of it was just messing about, but I hit with Chang for a minute or so and it was completely different to anything I've ever experienced. He was a complete backboard. A machine. His ball was so clean, constant, and deep.
I like to tell myself (an average 5.0 player from the ground) that I held my own. I even "won" a couple points. But deep down I know he was taking it very easy. I feel that if we played a set with serves I could maybe get a few free points off my serve, but they would be few and far between.
I've also hit a few times with TonLars on this board. He is a 5.5+ player who plays In a few satellites. We played seriously once 2 and a half years ago and he cleaned my clock 0-1. The games weren't super close, we maybe went to deuce 4-5 times. I came away feeling that if I wasn't so nervous (50+ people watching) I might have served better and at my very best won a couple more games.
The thing that sticks out looking back at this is that both players (Chang and Larson) is that both were extremely impressive and daughnting to play. The difference between the two was I felt I had a chance to win points and even games against Larson, whereas during my brief hit with Chang I felt as though I had no chance. I was at his mercy, a puppet on a string.
Alright time to attempt to answer the original question. Chang and McEnroe are obviously not the same player, with differences in playing style, age, fitness, and # of grand slams won. They were both at the top of the ATP tour at one point in their careers. I would take a punt and say right now they are of similar ability. Hopefully that gives some insight into how skilled these guys are.
No insult to Serena, but Mac would still beat her IMO. Seriously. It's just apples and oranges. I know Mac is in his mid 50s, but still. I've seen him play in plenty of events as he's got older and I'd have to say that his play and/or fitness has not dropped to a level yet where he couldn't beat Serena.
NLBwell, you are very generous towards Muster. I'm sure Thomas has rated his comeback trail as a big failure...
Why are these threads often about Mac? Nobody is starting any threads wondering if last year's D1 champ can beat Lendl. Stop picking on Mac ! lol
Here's another way of looking at it.
This was McEnroe in 1995...fat, out of shape, and breathing heavy in the first game.
Now think about McEnroe now. He's in fantastic shape, plays all the time, and hits with more power now than ever.
Think a 5.0 has a chance?
Just want to give another perspective. This sort of discussion has been on this board several times. Mac is indeed, still at his age, a great player, and amazing for his age. This is because he is one of the all time greats from his younger prime days.
However, in these exhibitions with Sampras and the like, they are taking it easy on him. If you think otherwise you just dont understand the true nature of the exhibitions. Eric Butorac and I were somehow talking about this over a month ago. He also finds it laughable how some people still believe Mac can beat current professional players, even the low ranked.
Haha hey, fun to read your perspective on this! Thanks for the kind words. Hopefully we will play again one day and youll have another shot!
We're not saying he can beat current professional players. The athleticism exhibited today would just be way too much. I do think he'd still win doubles though.
Point being is that he'd blast 5.0-6.0 USTAs without even taking his warmups off.
i think mcenroe would be able to beat low ranked satellite players in a tiebreak or pro-set where longterm fitness/endurance would not be an issue and on a quick court. the senior pros who retired in the 2000s like sampras and rafter may go a little easy on him kind of like how everyone goes easy on borg when they play him, it seems.
Serena is a great player, but Mac has kept himself in shape and plays a lot from what I've seen. It's a huge tribute to Serena that she could probably legitimately pick up some games off her serve because it's so good, but no way she beats him. His serve would be very, very difficult for her to break. He's so good at absorbing and redirecting an opponent's pace, and his hands are so friggin' good even now. I just don't think she can consistently get enough on the ball pace and spin wise to really bother him, and she couldn't keep him off the net where he'd really hurt her.
Agassi and Rafter are younger men, with hard hitting games. They CAN get enough pace and spin on the ball to bother a guy like Mac, their serves are going to be bigger weapons, they can handle Mac's serve better, and Rafter will take the net from Mac whenever he can.
They are all great players.
I've never hit with players of even Tony's caliber, but even I can tell that some of those exhibitions are more real than others. Everyone seems to go easy on Borg. Sure, he hits some good shots, but you can tell that the younger guys are not giving it their all and letting him have opportunities to look good. OTOH, when Mac played Lendl I do believe that Mac wanted to beat him to the point of embarrassing him. Could be wrong about that, but that's what it looked like.
I've always wondered how real the Sampras/Federer exhibitions were back in 07. Pete seemed to take it pretty seriously and they were both hitting some great shots.
I know in my own experience playing 5.0 type of players that the difference between one guy dominating or the other can be small. The guy that can dish out that extra 10% of pace and spin and still keep it in, or can consistently take cc shot dtl, can rack up a lot of points. When I'm hitting that hard (basically swinging about as hard as I can) every once in a great while I have a point or two where I feel this sense of control and I hit the ball exactly how I wanted to hit it, and the ball goes exactly where I wanted it to go. Then reality sets back in, but it was fun while it lasted.
He's prob about a 5.0 now
If he played strictly right handed, and you cuffed his feet together.
Ha ha ha ha....
Love this place. Unbelievable.
mac beat andy murray something like 8-1in superset tennis back in 04 or 05. a top itf junior might be the.best match for him right now. that or a really good D1 player from a top program
Mac played a local 5.0 after a charity auction bid and Mac won the set 6-0 and only lost TWO points. This was a couple years ago.
no matter what his age is hes a 7.0 - world class player
And Mac was probably taking it easy on the 5.0
I would think a 5.0, going for his shots, could pick up a legitimate point or two over the course of a set. A player with decent strokes playing with nothing to lose can be dangerous occasionally even to someone like McEnroe. But that's not being competitive with him.
There are quite a few local players here who are past 50 and still rated 5.0. Most likely played college tennis and some had their cup of tea in the pros. I imagine most of them also have full time jobs outside of tennis so I'm sure their practice time is relatively limited. In Mac's case, you're talking a multiple grand slam winning former #1, an all-time great. And, he still gets to practice and play tennis for a living.
I would say he's a little better than 5.0. But just a little bit...lol
He is not good, he is god on a tennis court, well to a 5.0 at least.
Tolstoy said the biggest surprise in a man's life is old age. Mac is at the stage of his life when things can fall off in a big hurry. The point is that unless you've seen him in the past few months, you really don't know what's left.
I think he's great for his level. He's a fierce competitor.
Someone should ask him to rate himself in the NTRP!
He owns his own tennis academy in NYC - so he must know different levels of tennis skills.
Ask him if he is at least a 5.0 level player?
Mac's current game is predicated more on his 1st serve than ever before. His back court strokes still do well, but are not his strength. I have seen him play lousy (for him) when he had to live on his second serves and still 1st serve/put away volley when his serve is on.
Serve on, Mac wins 6-2, 6-2. Serve off? Mac wins 6-4, 6-4 vs Serena.
Any D1 singles player? It's a complete joke... Mac wins hitting second serves only and staying back.
Plus there's no substitute for "match intelligence". Mac's database for tennis dynamics must be crazy good. He's been there. If some D1 (let alone a 5.0) thinks he's "seen everything"... pffftt ! Guess again.
I think she'd smoke Laver, easy.
Laver had a stroke, has arthritis in his wrist, and doesn't play any more.
At his prime in 1967, it's no contest--Serena was not even a zygote with a big butt.
McEnroe is still fantastic. I would say he may be the GOAT in terms of longevity. He has not really lost that much since his retirement. The only other player that really impresses me in terms of movement is Edberg who still looks great.
It should be said that the way these players hit the ball and move transitions well higher ages. I cant see a player like Courier or Chang not falling off without a lot of training. They look pretty good as well though.
I almost forgot...Wilander is also very impressive....still moves great.
your way off, he would beat serena 6-0- 6-0
mac also said there wasn't a 5.0 in the country that can win a game off of him
Lol, so you think someone beats Serena at 4 and 4, but then a top Division 1 male singles player is a joke to them? AND staying back? Youre completely off base.
an elite D1 singles player will beat mcenroe pretty easily, you're talking like a steve johnson-caliber player, you realize that right? he's won futures tournaments and has qualified for the AO main draw. he would demolish mac.
Paying any attention at all to what Mac says about his own game is a bit pointless. Some of us recall when he took a short break from his tour career many years ago, then said he was back in training and would reappear on tour with a game so advanced and superior that the typical tennis fan would be unable to comprehend it. He reappeared with what appeared to be the same game and got hammered.
there are some ex elite college guys that do play world team tennis. Guys like JP smith and Sam Warburg. Someone look up what Mac has done in matches with them.
in the last 3 months, mcenroes beaten courier, chang, lendl, and sampras in the seniors matches, and i dont think sampras let him win
I think Sampras had some trouble with his knee or leg in that match, but either way Mac has been playing very well. The only guy he can't seem to beat is Rafter.
Based on what someone says who I have hit with a couple times that plays WTT and is seeded at Slam doubles events, the matches like that are fixed. Mac is not beating them otherwise.
Who are we to insult Mac with such theoretical nonsense?
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