I'll say it: Mac Best Ever (on any given day)

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Colpo, Nov 30, 2006.

  1. Colpo

    Colpo Professional

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    I'll say it: Mac Best Ever (on a given day)

    The more I think about it, the more I can live with the notion that John McEnroe is arguably the best player ever in a restricted given match setting. I'm not talking about consistently - I'm talking about playing the game as well as it can be played in a given match. For that, I'll take the 1984 Mac against anybody. Sampras and Federer are consistently brilliant, so that it's hard to make out the peaks in their play. 1984 Mac is the guy I'd pick to play any single match that needed to be won. I might feel differently with a little more distance from Fed's current run, which will end someday, but Fed's Nadal Achilles heel and Mac's tremendous passion and intimidation tip the scales in his favor by a small margin. Think about it, 1984 Mac on a neutral surface really competing against ice king Fed, not sitting back on the baseline and letting Fed slowly dictate but hitting the deep approach, blanketing the net and serving lights out. 1984 Mac could beat this guy, no question, a majority of the time.
     
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  2. Dunlopkid

    Dunlopkid Guest

    Are you saying Mac would have beaten Fed the majority of the time? LOL.
     
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  3. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Mac's S/V attach game was a very unique and devasting tennis attack. Federer has not really even played any great S/V players. Mac played many great baseliners like Connors, Lendl and Borg. I think Federer would have a much harder time figuring out Mac's game than visa-versa. Its a shame we will probably never see any of these type of matches in the future, like all the Mac vs Connors, Borg & Lendl matches.
     
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  4. bluegrasser

    bluegrasser Hall of Fame

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    I'd give Mac a 50/50 chance against Federer on grass, that is - in his prime.
     
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  5. Colpo

    Colpo Professional

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    That's what I'm saying. He wouldn't have crushed Federer, but with Mac's serve & volley, lefty attack, he would've taken 6-4 or 7-3 on average from Federer if Mac were playing according to his peak form.

    Before you LOL too hard, did you see Mac play during that time?
     
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  6. Ripper

    Ripper Hall of Fame

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    His tongue was, also, a devastiting weapon that helped him win many matches.
     
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  7. deucecourt

    deucecourt Rookie

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    "You Cannot be Serious"

    Johnny Mac would lose in straight sets by both Federer and Sampras and whine the entire match.
     
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  8. LttlElvis

    LttlElvis Professional

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    McEnroe probably is the most talented player ever. I think he was better than Sampras. (I never saw Laver play live). McEnroe of 1984 is the greatest player I have ever seen. I didn't think any one could top that year. However, in the long run, we look at players career as a whole. Unfortunately for tennis, McEnroe didn't stay at the top for long.

    I too, think 1984 McEnroe would have a winning record vs. Fed. But that would only be 1984 McEnroe. The thing about Federer is it is amazing how dominant he has been 2004-2006. I think his 3 yr record so far is the best consecutive 3 yrs. any male tennis player ever has had. The scary thing is it is possible this can go another 3 years.
     
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  9. deucecourt

    deucecourt Rookie

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    What???

    Are you guys for real? This must be a joke. Johnny Mac had good touch around the net and that was really it. Average serve, less than average power and the biggest mouth in the game. Not even racquet technology would help his power game.
     
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  10. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    I don't think his wife would even call him the best ever.;)

    Although in the early-mid 80's, a lot of experts were comparing him favorably with the likes of Laver, Kramer and Gonzales.
     
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  11. chaognosis

    chaognosis Semi-Pro

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    There are many players about whom it could be said, that on any given day they could lose to no one. For decades players and writers seemed to agree that at his best, on a fast surface, Ellsworth Vines was literally unbeatable. Later the same argument was applied to Lew Hoad -- that his best match was better than anybody else's best match. Jack Kramer still holds out for Vines as having the highest "peak" performance of any player ever, while Pancho Gonzalez claimed well into the 1990s that Hoad was supreme in this respect. Gonzalez said that John McEnroe had the same genius as Hoad, but didn't hit with the same power -- a statement that could also perhaps characterize Rod Laver. Gonzalez also said that he ranked Pete Sampras alongside Hoad, but would not to call him better than Hoad.

    You heard some talk like this about Sampras, and even more now with respect to Roger Federer. Ultimately, I don't think we can know. If both Vines and Hoad at their best were supposed to be unbeatable, how do we choose between them? Who would win in a match where neither player could lose? Practically speaking, two great players would not each be able to achieve and maintain their absolute top level of play against one another, because the greatness of their opponent would (or should) disrupt their rhythm. But it is an interesting question nevertheless. I never saw Vines or Hoad play, but accounts of their game paint a pretty vivid picture. I would not choose McEnroe over Federer; both are shotmaking artists, but Federer has considerably more power... if McEnroe could not handle Lendl's game, I find it hard to believe that he could handle Federer's. Peak Sampras vs. peak Federer has of course led to much speculation, and I think both would have their hands full.
     
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  12. bribeiro

    bribeiro Banned

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    Mac himself has said he'd like to play like Fed.
     
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  13. Grimjack

    Grimjack Banned

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    I agree in the sense that I fully believe that Mac, in his prime, and playing at his best on a given day, had a bigger gap between himself and his contemporaries than anybody else in the history of the game. Fed included.

    I disagree mightily with the above analysis, however. Mac's serve-n-volley, net blanketing attack was state of the art in 1984. But tennis left that style behind. No matter how dominant a peak-form Mac was against his contemporaries, the power-baselining game of today has rendered S&V utterly hopeless as a strategy. And when it's executed with Fed's degree of skill and dominance?

    Peak-form Fed against peak-form Mac would not merely be ugly for Mac, it would be embarrassing. A peak-form Hewitt would have a better chance, even though he was nowhere near as great as Mac. The evolution of the game marches on.
     
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  14. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    As Chaognosis pointed out, this best on his day theme is difficult to measure. Often the best performances need an opponent, who isn't too strong on the day. Vines and Hoad had their best performances against Bunny Austin resp. Ashley Cooper at Wimbledon, who were not the best opposition, especially hadn't a big serve. And nothing against Connors, but with his weak serve,he could really be beaten badly at Wimbledon, as Ashe, Borg and Curren have demonstrated. But one note on Mac's serve: In his prime, it was far from weak, but with his nasty leftie slice pratically unreturnable. The returner had to play his shot from the side stands. I recall, that Ted Tinling actually demanded a rule change, that the leftie would be prevented from serving to the ad court at game point.
     
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  15. KFwinds

    KFwinds Professional

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    When I read this, I figured you would get responses like this one above, but I gotta tell you that you make a pretty good case for Mac. I'm a Mac fan myself, and although I won't go as far as to predict how he would fare against Fed, I think in his prime ('84) his game was virtually unstoppable. There are a lot of youngsters on this board that can't appreciate what his game was really like. Think about this: in 1984 Mac only lost 3 matches the entire year to DIFFERENT opponents - meaning no player beat him more than once. In 2006, probably Fed's best year yet, he not only lost more matches than Mac did in '84, but Nadal beat him on several occasions. Someone might be able to help me with the stats, but I don't believe even Lendl or Borg (Mac's biggest rivals) gave him that much trouble in a single year.

    Also, let me say that I'm not a Fed hater by ANY stretch - try to view these comments as more "pro-Mac" than "anti-Fed". I have no doubt that when all is said and done that Roger Federer will probably be considered as the greatest to play the game. I do agree, however, with those who feel that Mac had the greatest single season ever.
     
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  16. The Gorilla

    The Gorilla Banned

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    if you want to see how mcenroe would have fared in todays game look no further than tim henman,he's got all the same attributes as mcenroe,no power but incredible touch and speed around the court with a very accurate serve,devastating from the net,very consistent from the baseline without having any explosive power.Unfortunately the slowness of court surfaces has rendered these attributes ineffective against todays power baseliners,something mcenroe couldn't handle when lendl,this new style of play's pioneer picked up a graphite racquet.
     
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  17. haerdalis

    haerdalis Hall of Fame

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    I would say that Mac was a bit unlucky not being born 6 years earlier or so. His game on faster courts seems like as good as it gets with a wooden racquet. Borg being as good as it gets on clay with a wooden racquet. With modern equipment Mac's technique just doesnt cut it.
     
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  18. Colpo

    Colpo Professional

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    I have to disagree with this comparison. Henman, while a nice player years ago, wasn't the best at anything. Mac will go down as best hands, best volley, best lefty 1st serve, best lefty 2nd serve, and best balls-out temperament. That's got nothing to do with the eras they played in - Mac would be a great if he were in his prime now. All you've done is pick a current quality s & v'er, looked at his lack of success, and said that's Mac. That's not Mac.

    Mac, like Federer, won through point dictation. Mac had a great court brain. He could pick out opponent weaknesses exceedingly well, and then pick on those weaknesses mercilessly. He had pinpoint control, and coming from the left side was a big part of his effectiveness. He had myriad serve placements, deep approaches, and dead-eye volleys. I still say I like his matchup vs. Federer.

    More than one naysayer (and thanks for ALL opinions) has mentioned Lendl. Not only was Lendl already in the middle of his long prime period in '84, but he beat Mac in the French final that most agree was Mac's for the taking (nobody's perfect). Lendl played a power baseline game, was a righty, and played with a graphite racquet. Yes, there were years when Mac couldn't handle Lendl and was overpowered, but not in 1984. I think that shows that a 1984 Mac could be very, very great today.
     
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  19. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    I wish people would stop harping on Lendl's "power" being more than Mac could handle.
    Mac completely dominated Lendl '83/'84(after being dominated by Lendl around '82)
    Mac then went on a 6 month sabatical, married a crazy movie star, had kids, dabbled in drugs & returned to tour as a part time player. Lendl's game did not change at all in that time for the better, Mac's just turned for the worst. Imagine Federer taking 6 months off to do coke & coming back to a Roddick dominated tour. Thats sort of what happened.
    Mac never fully dedictated himself to the game from that point on, so I wouldn't draw too many conslusions about the game passing him by, though a Becker type player was certainly an evolution of the game that Mac may have never solved, had he been fully dedicated(but not a Lendl)

    You do know that Mac completely dominated the tour in '84 with a graphite racquet?
    I do agree that Mac with a wood racquet playing Fed with a wood racquet, on the fast surfaces of the 70s/80s would prevail.
    As urban said, that lefty serve was completely unreturnable. Anyone comparing him to the pedestrian Henman, or saying that his serve wasn't formidable, needs to get a clue.

    Also, you can't dismiss the intangibles that would be at play when Mac played Fed. Fed has never played anyone that intense or unsporting. Mac could turn a tennis crowd into a football crowd, it would be a supreme mental challenge for Fed. I'm not sure if Fed would react well to being called a ********** to his face on court, dealing with the best lefty serve of all time, someone who will attack relentlessly, a bloodthirsty crowd, intimidated linesman/umpires, etc. He might win, but wouldn't want to experience that ever again.

    But LttlElvis makes a great point, Mac was crazy good for one year, while Fed has been crazy good for 3, so that counts for something, even in a 'what-if' matchup.
     
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  20. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    Mac won 13 events in 1984.
    4 of them without dropping a set.
    Won titles on 4 different surfaces-carpet,clay,grass,hard

    Went 6-1 vs Lendl that year(5 of the 6 wins were in straight sets. He beat Lendl on twice on clay, 3 times on carpet, & once on hardcourt)

    He was 3-0 vs Wilander(including a win on clay)

    He was 6-0 vs Connors(4 were in straight sets, 2 on hard, 2 on grass, once on clay, once on carpet)
     
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  21. LttlElvis

    LttlElvis Professional

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    For people who never have seen McEnroe play, they should watch every round of his matches of Wimbledon 1983 and 1984. This may be the best display of grass court dominance ever. I don't think he even lost a set. Mac playing on grass was like a work of art. Actually, he was so dominant the matches were boring, but he was still amazing to watch.

    You really had to watch him live to see how much pace he put on the ball. His strokes were so efficient it didn't look like much, but the pace, spin, and placement were like no other. Like Federer of today, everything Mac did looked effortless.
     
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  22. TonyB

    TonyB Hall of Fame

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    That's partly because he strung his racquets so low. He didn't have to pound the ball to generate pace. On his volleys, he just "aimed" them where he wanted them to go and they would automatically have a significant amount of pace on them. He was most definitely an artist.

    Mac is my favorite player, by far. Sampras is a close second. Federer is also absolutely amazing to watch.
     
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  23. The Gorilla

    The Gorilla Banned

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    In fairness I haven't just taken a random quality serve and volleyer,I've taken tim henman,a player who is just as good a serve and volleyer as mcenroe.The reason I selected Tim henman as opposed to a lefty with a big serve and great vollleys like mario ancic is because henman has exactly the same attributes (minus the left handed aspect of course),as mcenroe,mcenroe was a)blindinglyfast,b)had incredible touch,c)had no power from the baseline at all but was very consistent,d)had a serve that was very well placed that was in the 120-132 range,(in the early 90's,I'm using the serves of this time for easy comparison) that came through for him in tight situations and could be counted on the be a veryery high percentage,usually above 60%,e)lived at the net and was pretty much impossible to pass and c)was tactically very astute.
    tim henman,if we're being honest with ourselves,is his equal in every respect,almost like a present day mcenroe without the attitude,the only diffence being that he isn't a lefty,and that isn't even a major difference as the backhand was mcenroes better shot,so the power,(relative to the nondominant shot),was coming from the same area of the court,as for the serve,he gets a similar number of aces and the ball is similarly well placed so I think that they are pretty much exactly the same player.(I'm talking about 90's henman,not todays baseline henman).Another interesting coincidence is the similarity of their success on grass after the graphite racquet mentality had truly taken off,just as henman always came just short,so too did john mcenroe.Don't get me wrong,I think they're both incredible players,in fact I think that back in the early eighty's henman would have been very successful,it's just that todays court surfaces and equipment don't reward those skills at all any more,I for one think that they should,but we'll just have to accept that mcenroe would be beaten by todays top players,and would probably have a very similar career to Henman's.

    in regard to volleys,henman,edurg etc are just as good,so he wsn't the best at them.best lefty first serve has to go to ivansavic,you say you like his match up versus federer,why federer of all players?his passing shots would give mcenroe a lot more trouble than borgs or connors,and lendl had a winning record over mcenroe,which indicates that mcenroe coudn't handle those big groundstrokes,which feder hits about as well as lendl did,(by the way,why is lendl never metioned in these best of all time posts?,he was just as good as federer from the baseline,got to three wimbledon finals serving and volleying,wich is pretty damn impressive seeing as he was never given credit for being an all court player,even if he was an a--h-le,these things shouldn't be tured into favourite player of all time awards).Anyway,the point is,it was a fair,and dare I say it,brilliant comparison.Apologies in writing please:)
     
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  24. Chadwixx

    Chadwixx Banned

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    Fed would hit pounding topspin at his feet, or an off paced chip. Both give serve and vollery'rs fits. Footspeed and low returns = the death of serve and volley tennis.

    I dont see jmacs backhand return doing him any favors vs fed either.

    Jmac as goat isnt too far fetched, he has maintained a very high lvl for a very long time. Something the greatest player of all time should be able todo.
     
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  25. theace21

    theace21 Hall of Fame

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    His style would give the current crop of players fits. Because of racket and string technology the game has changed, and you really can't compare...But for you guys new to tennis, watch some of his matches from the early 80's. He was amazing!!!
     
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  26. LttlElvis

    LttlElvis Professional

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    Putting Henman in the same level of McEnroe, is like saying a Honda Accord will do the same things as a Porsche 911. Sure, both will get you from point A to point B, but....... come on.

    Ask non tennis fans who Henman is, then ask who is McEnroe.
     
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  27. snapple

    snapple Rookie

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    Have to agree with Littlelvis. Henman is (was) a nice player but just has never come close to being the DOMINANT player that Mac was. Even if you strictly look at stroke production, Henman just doesn't have anywhere near the genius (touch, angles, athletisicsm, reflexes...etc.) that Mac routinely displayed. Though at times impressive, no one has ever marvelled at any of these traits from Henman.
     
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  28. The Gorilla

    The Gorilla Banned

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    well that's probably because mcenroe was lucky enough to come into his prime just before the people realized what you could do with these new graphite racquets,how to change their playing styles etc...,how they could hit shots at pace that would land right on a volleyers toes,not to mention the improvement in returning as players no longer had to heave heavy racquets up to meet the ball they had a lot more time to give the ball a much better return,I know serves have improved hugely to but it's the speed at which the return comes in that's killed serving ad volleying off.

    Henman,if we're being honest with ourselves has got the same touch and reflexes as mcenroe,I take it by athleticism you mean agility at the net?if so henman has that as well.It's just too bad,and I mean this sincerely,that touch,speed agility and on court intelligence aren't enough anymore.How could henman be dominant in todays game,with these slow surfaces and space age racquet materials?Even wimbledon's playing slow these days.It was lendls misfortune not to be playing today,with the newly predictable bounces of wimbledon,he could win from the baseline for sure.
     
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  29. LttlElvis

    LttlElvis Professional

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    I respectfully disagree with your Henman being equal to McEnroe. Henman just has nothing skillwise compared to Mac. Not one stroke. Therefore, the whole premise of Henman's losing to players with current technology just does not fly.

    McEnroe also had a lot of other intangible assets, including heart and intimidation.

    Even present day McEnroe is impressive. How does a 47 yr old still be able to play ATP doubles? Even in the Champions tour he impresses. (OK, it is retired players). But he is a guy closer to 50 competing with guys in their early and mid 30s, like Courier, Goran, and Todd Martin.
     
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  30. The Gorilla

    The Gorilla Banned

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    much as I love the way mcenroe plays(ed) the game,it annoys me when people say he could still play today in singles,it's just pathetic to watch him play because he just can't seem to break into a sprint and get to the net or run fast enought to defend from the baseline,he can play doubles however as he doesn't have to run while serving or volleying,having the best (doubles) players in the world qeueing up to play with you helps too!
     
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  31. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    Seems this thread wants to morph a little into "who would you have play one match if your life depended on it (and they knew that)" ;).

    For me: Hewitt, Hewitt, Hewitt, Federer, Lendl...in that order.

    Yup - I know Federer is a *much* better player than Hewitt, but if there was someone with their neck on a chopping block at the side of a court, the fighting-bull-terrier that is Hewitt would be who I'd go for! (just look at his Davis Cup record).

    He isn't. If TH was as good as McEnroe, he'd have a W title to his name. As I write this, there's a Rafter commercial on, and he was a better S&Ver than Henman (by a long shot), and even he couldn't get a W title.
     
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  32. The Gorilla

    The Gorilla Banned

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    no he wouldn't have a w title to his name,that's the whole point,with todays slow surfaces and souped up racquets,incredible speed,touch,agility and on court intelligence aren't enough anymore, who knows,hopefully they'll start speeding the surfaces up as apparently the sport is declining in popularity.I've just thought of something just now as I type this article,there's a clay court season in the mediteranean,the other half of the year is the hard cort season of america,why don't they change it to one third clay court in the mediteranean,1/3 hard court in the usa,and 1/3 grass court season in britain?that'd be deadly:)
    ps:I've just thouht of something else,could a major contributary factor to the plague of injuries to modern tennis players have anything to do with the fact that as they've slowed down the hard courts hugely,people are playing longer points on concrete?all those jolting steps on concrete aren't good for your joints,in the same way as vibration travels up your arm from the racquet,I'd say vibration from the hard,non shock absorbing hard courts of the us travel up your legs.just a thought,feel free to tell me if/why I'm wrong,or agree.
     
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  33. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    To run with my point:

    1. Rafter *very almost* scored himself a Wimbledon title.
    2. I believe McEnroe was probably a better (in his day) S&Ver than Rafter (most would).

    3. Therefore, if Henman was better than McEnroe, he'd also be better than Rafter, and better than Rafter would equal a Wimbledon title (or at least a W final or two like Rafter....
    Australia and the *rest of the world!* thanks you for not offering us...anything! ;)

    You're probably right. But don't forget every argument has a flipside - and people have much "surer" footing on hardcourts, so at least are less-liable to have slipping-injuries. I still agree with your point, however....
     
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  34. haerdalis

    haerdalis Hall of Fame

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    Mac dominated in 84 with a graphite racquet yes, but with woodenracquet type shots. Nobody had arrived on the scene with more modern strokes at that time. Clearly mac shots and tactics were much better suited to the woodenracquet game but would not hold up in todays game. What kind of player he would have been had he been born 1981 we will never know.
     
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  35. dpfrazier

    dpfrazier Rookie

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    Lendl was dominating Mac for awhile, until Mac started attacking down the middle instead of hitting approach shots to the corners (per a suggestion to Mac from Don Budge.) This cut down Lendl's angles for passing shots, and Mac ate him up after that.

    This type of attack might work on Fed as well. It would certainly make it harder to hit all those sick angles Fed seems to find...

    P.S. Nice thread! Lots of fervent discussion, and no name-calling/flames...
     
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  36. KFwinds

    KFwinds Professional

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    Sorry, Gorilla - there is NO comparison between Tim Henman and Johnny Mac. They are both S&V'ers, and that's where the similarities end.
     
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  37. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    I'm a bit confused by your comments there dp? Lendl won 11 of their last 12 encounters (well, 10 of 11 if you discount the one not played). It doesn't seem Mc was able to consistently eat Lendl up based on that stat (or the career h2h of Lendl 21 - 15 McEnroe)....
     
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  38. dpfrazier

    dpfrazier Rookie

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    This was in '83, when Lendl had beaten Mac 7 straight times. Then Mac switched to a down-the-middle strategy, and went on an 8-0 run (until Lendl beat him in the '84 French). After that, Mac dominated the rest of '84, beating Lendl numerous times, and then faded away in '85, during which no tennis strategy could counteract the dreaded Tatum Effect...!
     
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  39. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    I see. (and from looking at the records, still, no 8-0 run for McEnroe against Lendl - there was a final loss that broke it up. Picky I guess....)

    http://www.atptennis.com/5/en/players/headtohead/?player1=mcenroe,+john&player2=lendl
     
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  40. dpfrazier

    dpfrazier Rookie

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  41. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    Celebrity life and death matches

    Whoa. Can you guys imagine a weekend of Hewitt versus Connors and Pancho Gonzales vs Federer? Blood on the streets.

    Then winners play winner the next weekend.
     
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  42. The Gorilla

    The Gorilla Banned

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    well henman really should have beaten ivanisavic the year ivanisavic won,he probably would have beaten rafter in the final too,I never said henman was better than mcenroe,I said as good as mcenroe.Also when tim henman came into his prime the drip drip effect of the year on year increase in the size of the balls was just starting to have a noticable effects.


    that's exactly what I was trying to say,tim henman also has a graphite racquet and plays with wooden racquet type strokes,and even the exceptional skill,speed,agility at the net and on court intelligence that tim henman,mcenroe and there ilk have,it just isn't going to win you 6 out of ten points against a very powerful baseliner who likes a target,eg tursunov or federer.I mean,mcenroe was having trouble with borgs wooden racquet passing shots for gods sake!
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2006
    #42
  43. MordredSJT

    MordredSJT Rookie

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    Am I the only one who saw Andy Roddick get match points against Federer in Shanghai using an attacking game that I would call rudimentary at best? Roddick obviously has more firepower from the baseline and his serve is bigger, but he is right handed and everytime he hits an approach or a volley I cringe (in fact I only remember one really good approach shot that Roddick hit all day).

    Am I also the only one that noticed that Federer started missing what are usually routine passes for him when Roddick kept coming to net over and over again?

    I can't fathom how anyone could have watched that match and still think that McEnroe at the very peak of his powers would be blown off the court by Federer. It would be close.
     
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  44. The Gorilla

    The Gorilla Banned

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    mcenroe is nothing like roddick as a player,he's more like tim henman,who got to some mickey mouse atp final recently,tried to serve and volley against federer but got hammered.
     
    #44
  45. MordredSJT

    MordredSJT Rookie

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    I'm sorry...but Tim Henman is not in the same league as John McEnroe. Simply repeating it over and over is not going to make it so.

    I brought up the Roddick match not necessarily to compare McEnroe to Roddick. It merely illustrates that Federer is more vulnerable to a relentless attacking, pressuring, net oriented game than a lot of people seem to think. Roddick was merely employing the gameplan that some past champions said they would use against Federer (Laver and Sampras)...attack, attack, attack. It almost worked, and Roddick's net game is awful.
     
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  46. The Gorilla

    The Gorilla Banned

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    roddicks net game is not awful,he has excellent reflexes,positions himself perfectly,(the reason he used to lose all his points at the net,((I winced when I saw him hit a deep approach shot to the corner and then stand at the centre of the net against federer at wimbledon)),and hits the ball at wide angles with pace and slice at the earliest opportunity.Coming in behind 140mph serves helps too lol.mcenroe's serves didn't have that kind of pace,and he didn't have any weapons from the baseline apart from consistency.He's(roddick) a similar prospect at the net to sampras.
    if you look at mcenroe and henmans respective strengths and weaknesses,you'll see that they are pretty much the same player.Your arguement amounts to nothin more than a bald statement of opinion,mine is backed up with explanation and reason.I am not simply saying that henman was as good as mcenroe over and over,I'm just restating the points I made in my second post to refute your poorly thought out objections to my conclusion.Before anyone who's thinking of taking this further posts,take a look at my second and third posts,(the really long ones),where I outlined my position and explained the logic behind my conlusion.Much as it pains you all to admit it,in the cold hard light of day,henman is as good as mcenroe,and mcenroe wouldn't beat federer.Apologies in writing please:)
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2006
    #46
  47. Zimbo

    Zimbo Semi-Pro

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    Good point. However, his win against Wilander on clay was a best out of three set contest in the Davis Cup after Swenden already cliched the cup. That said Mac was the man in '84. Can he beat Fed if both played their best. Maybe sometimes but i think Fed would beat him most of the time. Mac always had problems with players who had a lot of power.
     
    #47
  48. bluegrasser

    bluegrasser Hall of Fame

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    Just touch, how about genius and there's 7 slams I think to go on his resume.
     
    #48
  49. snapple

    snapple Rookie

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    Gorilla, you remind me of someone on the debate team in school who has been assigned to argue a clearly untenable position. Often I feel that folks on these sites enjoy playing devils advocate merely for the sake of a spirited arguement or to hone their debating skills.

    And just because you have presented a coherent case does NOT necessarily mean it has any merit. There must be a reason why Mac is considered one of the top two or three S&V players of all time while TH is barely a footnote in tennis history. And please, this whole business about racket tecnology and slower courts does not account for the giant disparity in their respective statures. For me it is hard to envison Henman even taking a set against a peak level Mac, much less ever putting them on the same pedastool.
     
    #49
  50. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    Ahhh - agreed. The only thing you may be missing is a significant element of (bias-inducing) patriotism - perhaps Gorilla is british? I can't go on much, but from this one bit (perspective AND phrasing, i think there's a chance...)

    As for....

    How about, umm, err... "spelling please?" Edurg? Ivansavic?

    For the record - Lendl isn't given enough credit for his grass abilities, you're right on that front. But you've given him too much credit - he made 2 W finals not three. Federer is much better than Lendl from the baseline imho, and I was a big Lendl fan (the difference is mostly due to the change in the way the game is played, and technology & strings that allow incredible spin, etc).

    Lendl isn't mentioned in the GOAT discussions often (well, not for position 1, anyways) due to the lack of slams in comparison with Sampras. He was a more complete surface-player than Pete (he was much better on grass than Pete was on clay), but Pete won many more majors, it's that simple. If you're to wonder why Lendl doesn't get the comparison, also wonder about Agassi, who actually did complete the career-slam....

    BUT please stop wondering about TH being in the same league as McEnroe (or Rafter, for that matter). It just isn't so...
     
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