If McEnroe was right handed......

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by NoBadMojo, May 11, 2004.

  1. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    I dont think he would have accomplished nearly what he did. Someone posted he was mechanically sound. he isnt/wasnt. Serve is very unorthodox, forehand is goofy. he won plenty because he was a different 'look' than what his opponents usually saw back then and because he was such a jerk. Granted he has great hands. How many lefties were there back then in the top50 or so? roscoe tanner? one dimensional..guy forget? spotty. i think mac is an anomoly....if he was a rightie, i dont think he would have done bupkis.......you just dont see lefties, and when you see one that is unorthodox to boot? ed
     
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  2. jun

    jun Semi-Pro

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    for him to be left handed was big advantage for sure. It's an advantage for any one.

    his serve wasn't all that unorthodox. If you look at his serve, it was just his stance, other than that, he did everything as correct as anyone else did on the serve. Plus, his serve was extremely tough to read.

    You are also underrating his athletic ability. He was very quick with his hand, feet, had very good eyes. On top of that he was a smart player..

    Had he been righty, I am sure he would have been as good as he is/was
     
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  3. Lambro

    Lambro New User

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    Mac mech

    Mac was unconventional but his mechanics were sound - maybe mechanics has become too vague a word. Mechanics don't have to subscibe to a certain look as long as the function is accomplished.

    On his serve he had everything you want to have (toss off back foot, knee bend, chest pointing up before contact - (not to mention placement) plus the incredible rhythm to come in to the net at the right pace - just some movements were exagerated

    On his groundies and volleys eventhough he looked odd..(say compared to Laver or Vilas) he still had the weight loading and momentum shift neccessary behind his shots. If he didn't his volleys would have been week for sure. He may look upright often, but his hips move forward.

    Also Mac played when Conners and Vilas played, so I don't think the Lefty mojo is the only thing that propelled him. He had incredible anticipation, fought hard as hell, and was a dynamo that we will be lucky to ever see again.
     
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  4. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

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    Even without the advantage of being left handed, Mac still would have been a genius. Connors returned his serve pretty much as well as he did righty's, and many of Macs early titles involved wins over Jimbo. Mac had arguably the best net game in history, and whether left or right handed his serve would have been great. He also had that greatness inherent in all true champions. If born right handed he probably just would have played a similar game to what he did, but better. Champions find a way to win and overcome obstacles.

    If you wanted to make a straight transfer to him being right handed without considering any intangibles, well yes he would have been SLIGHTLY less effective.
     
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  5. bcaz

    bcaz Professional

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    Ed's points about Mac have some merit, but the scoreboard says Mac was a great player ... would have been better if he had taken better care of himself ... hardly a single muscle in his whole body ... hanging out with Vitas ...

    Why is it in tennis righties are alway whining about lefties? Granted, there are some advantages. It's one of the sports that doesn't totally discriminate against lefties. You see very few lefties in golf. Equipment? Instruction? Har har ... Baseball ... we are allowed to play a few positions, that's it. ... Football quarterbacks? The receivers whine about the spin on the ball ... sheesh ...

    Even in tennis ... I read countless posts, look at books ... the instructions always have to be reversed to make sense ... try a group class or a ball machine session ... lefties are like lepers ...

    Sure our spin makes righties whine; so what? Try being an intermediate lefty and be made to hit so many backhands ... The biggest disadvantage we have, actually, is we don't learn to play inside-out like rigthies do as they improve. Think about it -- how many lefties have that gigantic forehand? We're just as capable; look at baseball (Koufax, Carlton, Randy Johnson); but we don't see many lefties either, and when we do, it's a revelation, we have to remind ourselves that the inside out play is there. For righties, it's instinctive.

    I'm sick of righty whining. I can't wait for my next wide hook to the ad court or the blast up the deuce T to the righty backhand :p
     
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  6. Camilio Pascual

    Camilio Pascual Hall of Fame

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    OTOH if Mac wasn't doing as well right-handed, he might have paid more attention to getting in top physical condition and made it to the top. I'm tired of righties whining about lefties, too. The way tennis scoring is set up, it inherently favours righties.
     
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  7. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

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    Yeah the author seems to have it well and truly in for lefties hehehe. Trouble is, in comparative terms numbers wise they have been amazingly dominant. Let's even forget Mac for a second. How bout Laver? One dimensional or spotty? Hardly. Two grand slams. What about Jimmy Connors? Martina? Seles? Vilas? Then you have lesser lights, Roche, Korda, Gomez, Goran, Muster and Rios. They have done pretty well considering, specially as literature and coaching is geared toward right handers :)
     
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  8. VJH

    VJH New User

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    the biggest advantage for lefties is that they get to use their hook on game points....Serving wide on the ad court. It is tough for a right hander to open up the court on a big point (ad side) with anything other than a kicker.
     
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  9. Lambro

    Lambro New User

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    I'm a lefty

    when playing doubs witha lefty partner against 2 righties, one of the righties invariable goes "hey 2 lefties!" and I always respond "what are you talkin about we're playing against 2 righties"

    spin potential is in the player
     
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  10. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    connors wasnt really like playing a lefty. he hit a pretty flat ball and had no distinct strength from either side and a two fisted backhand. and his serve was nothing. vilas was a clay courter. those other mentioned names werent from the same era really. i have nothing against lefties..more of a something against mcenroe who is a real jerk.. but having said that, most righties dont enjoy playing lefties that hit with spin unless you have a lefty as a regular hit..i think they should all be given full frontal cortex lobotomies (sp?). anyway..it's all in good fun. you just dont see many lefties out there. i know i really have to concentrate and try and think backwards when i teach a leftie. it's a righty's world out there and nothing against the evil sinister lefty's ;) ed
     
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  11. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Well, there is the southpaw curse on the U.S. Open to consider.

    1974 - Connors
    1975 - Orantes
    1967 - Connors
    1977 - Vilas
    1978 - Connors
    1979 - McEnroe
    1980 - McEnroe
    1981 - McEnroe
    1982 - Connors
    1983 - Connors
    1984 - McEnroe

    Billie Jean King has said that tennis scoring favors lefties because more game points are played in the ad court which favors a left-hander's serve.

    I think left-handers do have a distinct advantage in tennis. First, playing doubles with a southpaw is a real advantage because if you're right handed, you're 99% guaranteed that the sun won't be a factor on serves. Second, left-handers usually play ad court, which puts their crosscourt forehand against a right handers natural spin. A left-handed partner in doubles also gives your opponents a completely different serve to have to deal with every other service game from your side of the court.

    With respect to McEnroe, I can see both sides of the coin. His stroke production was extremely unorthodox, but his mechanics were extremely sound. If you watch his groundstrokes, he takes the racket straight back. There is no loop, which lessens his chance for error. The big handicap playing with excessive topspin is that your timing has to be perfect. McEnroe's mechanics, much like Ken Rosewall's, give him more room for error on his groundstrokes.

    McEnroe's volleys are also unorthodox. He is probably the only guy who ever played who volleyed consistently with the head of the racket below wrist level. This is completely against the standard teaching, but his hands were so good that he could do it and produce winners. McEnroe also produced angles like nobody else ever did before or after. While Edberg volleyed into the open court for a sound winner, McEnroe hit drop volleys that became his trademark i.e "The DROPPER!". McEnroe's proclivity for hitting angles on his volleys that no one else could is probably the single biggest reason for folks granting him genius status.

    McEnroe's serve mirrored the rest of his game. Unorthodox stroke production, but very solid mechanics. His toss is in the same place regardless of the serve he's going to hit, his body disguises the placement of the serve, and he uses more spin and placement than power. I think it's a testament to the change in equipment that everyone says McEnroe serves better today than when he was on tour. McEnroe's game in his prime was built on his serve and the ability to make his opponents hit weak returns. I read that Lendl, when preparing to play McEnroe, would have hitting partners stand two feet inside the baseline hitting serves to simulate the difficulty of McEnroe delivery. The can opener that McEnroe his to a right-hander's forehand was only effective because his swing serve out to the backhand was so good.

    I have been told that if I were right-handed, I'd be a 3.5, maybe. I always nod my head and agree. When you're a lefty, you get used to phrases like "damn left hander" and "oh, I forgot you were left-handed" (I get this usually right after a lob), and "I hate your serve". When you've been left-handed and played tennis as long as I have, these are compliments. 8)
     
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  12. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Oh and by the way, sinister is from the Latin for left, gauche is French for left, being left-handed was a sure sign that you were in league with the devil...(DaVinci). It goes way back.
     
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  13. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    I read somewhere over ten years ago that the general consensus among tennis experts at the time was that had McEnroe been a right-hander instead of a left-hander, he would have been a perennial 4th round loser at the Grand Slams at best. I tend to agree. His "can-opener" heavy slice serve out wide in the ad court caused Borg to quit tennis. He just couldn't reach it consistently with his two-handed backhand, and if he did manage to get his racquet on it, he'd be so far out of the court that he left the entire court wide open for McEnroe to hit an easy volley into the open court. Very frustrating for righties, indeed! :x
     
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  14. Verbal_Kint

    Verbal_Kint Rookie

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    If McEnroe would have been a righty playing the exact same game, sure he wouldn't be as good. But I tend to think he would have found another way to win regardless, just like Sampras would have if he didn't have his serve, or Agassi without his return.

    Marnix
     
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  15. @wright

    @wright Hall of Fame

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    Rabbit just gives too many reasons for righties to hate lefties. Damn them!
     
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  16. Steve Huff

    Steve Huff Legend

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    I'm right-handed, and I love playing lefties. If the server can place his serve accurately, a lefty (just like a righty) is only as good as his backhand. If you can serve wide on the deuce court and slice up the middle on the ad court, you have just as big of weapon on the serve as he's got on you. I do like playing doubles with a lefty though, as you shouldn't have to serve with the sun in your eyes. I think most lefties play the deuce side these days. With the open stance forehand so widely used, most good doubles teams of late put the forehands in the middle. MacEnroe played the forehand side with Flemming. I think the Bryan Bros play the forehands in the middle too.
     
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  17. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

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    McEnroe very definitely played the ad side :)
     
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  18. joebedford

    joebedford Rookie

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    The only lefty I play, I beat regularly. :)
     
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  19. baseliner

    baseliner Professional

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    If McEnroe were a righty, If Sampras didn't have that big serve, If Courier didn't have that big inside out forehand, ... But they do. Take em they way you dind em. If JenCap didn't eat so much and would train more ...
     
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  20. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

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    If Monica Seles didn't get stabbed.....
     
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  21. Max G.

    Max G. Hall of Fame

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    If I only had a brain...
     
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  22. Markus Kaila

    Markus Kaila Rookie

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    Markus Kaila has said (a little bit later) the same thing in this way:
    " Left-handers do get undeniable advantage of the fact that the decisive point of a game may be played in the second service court at the certainty of over 75 per cent."

    Here:
    www.helsinki.fi/~jpheikki/3malli
     
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