Interesting theory from Pete

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by ark_28, Dec 22, 2011.

  1. ark_28

    ark_28 Hall of Fame

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    It is from a Interview for the ATP site earlier this year.

    Many talk about technology today, and how it has killed serve and volley tennis.

    They asked Pete how he thought his game would hold up in this generation and he said that he feels his game would hold up in any generation but most interesting of all, he believes that while racket techology does help guys from the baseline it would give him more stick on his volleys too.

    It is an argument that we often over look of course you would need to have fantastic reaction like Pete to pull this off as the ball is coming at you that much faster.

    But would do you guys think of Pete's theory that today's racket technology also helps serve and volleyers and it should in theory "even things out"??

    Here is the interview

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3E6jqz9HIuk
     
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  2. SLD76

    SLD76 Legend

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    the serve and volleyer still has to contend with the slower surfaces.

    Then again , I saw florian mayer destroy Nadal in shanghai using serve and volley and general net play so....
     
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  3. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    Yeah, the modern string thing has turned what used to be out-wide 1 in 20 chance shots into 1 in 5 shots.

    If people thought Pete had a great serve using a PS85 with gut then imagine how good it would be if he had all the option players have today.

    Lastly, while people get more shots back, they hit on-average much higher over the net too - which could prove an advantage in many case to a player like Pete who closed off the net so well. Sure, there'd be fast dipping balls, but doing it every point when faced with such pressure would result in a lot more errors from the baseliners too imo.
     
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  4. DjokovicForTheWin

    DjokovicForTheWin Banned

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    There were more powerful racquets than the PS85 in Pete's day too
     
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  5. wings56

    wings56 Professional

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    love how at the start of the vid you can see pete swinging a non blacked out babby. wilson had to love that...
     
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  6. wings56

    wings56 Professional

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    scratch that, throughout the video. ha
     
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  7. AM95

    AM95 Hall of Fame

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    pets becoming senile. guys like rafa and roger would absolutely crush his serve and volley game. its not just the racket tech. surfaces have changed, and the quality of play and talent has increased. thats why we don't have 18-19 year olds winning slams anymore. pete was a great player in his generation. thats about it. he would not be able to hang with todays players who can transition from defense to offense faster than pete's own serve.
     
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  8. DjokovicForTheWin

    DjokovicForTheWin Banned

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    Pete said courts seem pretty much the same as when he played
     
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  9. Big_Dangerous

    Big_Dangerous Legend

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    I disagree with this, because one thing Pete had, was an amazing serve.
     
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  10. LameTennisPlayer

    LameTennisPlayer Professional

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    And the likes of Roddick/Isner/Karlovic don't??? You need more than an amazing seve to compete in todays game.
     
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  11. zcarzach

    zcarzach Professional

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    Came here to say this. Interesting point, if true.
     
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  12. ark_28

    ark_28 Hall of Fame

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    They all have amazing serves but none of the, have they ability to volley anywhere near as well as Pete.
     
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  13. Totai

    Totai Professional

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    Pete has a better second serve than all those guys, and he also served smarter. Also, pete had the ground game to back his serves up.

    Isner: Serve, and forehand. No backhand, bad movement
    Karlovic: Same as Isner
    Roddick: Serve and pusher(post 2004), no volley
     
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  14. Magnetite

    Magnetite Professional

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    A champion is a champion. If Pete played at the top level today, he would adapt his game to win. It would take him a couple of years to master the proper shots and tactics, but he would do it.

    He may not win as many titles and slams as before, but he'd be a serious contender.
     
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  15. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    Pete will talk crap to remain relevant at a time when Federer has far surpassed him and Rafa is on his way. Some points:
    1. more powerful racquets existed in Pete's time too (as already noted)
    2. luxilon was available in the late 90s, and Pete refused to use it calling to "cheatalon"
    3. for all his talk, Pete won "only" 2 slams during the slow-court season (jan - june), and he needed to avoid his arch rival in doing so. Now imagine stretching that for the entire year --- yeah, that's how well his game will hold up in today;s conditions. Add to the mix better returners and athletes who can retrieve the ball faster than a well-trained dog, and can make his life truly miserable.
    4. Most importantly, Federer made the switch in 2004 to a predominantly baseline-oriented game, and laments about today's conditions for lack of S & V. I'd take a currently active top player's assessement of today's conditions as opposed to a former great's who still wants to be in the news
     
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  16. sunof tennis

    sunof tennis Professional

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    Obviously Pete knows what he is talking about. However, I disagree slightly, I think the new racquets and especially the new strings gave an advantage to the returner that didn't exist in Pete's day. It would not surprise me if the average return is now 10 mph faster than in the 90's. With the prevelance of larger head sizes and poly strings, the guys can hit out and still keep the ball in the court. For the same reason, serve and volley is harder today because if you don't make a great first volley, todays' player will almost always pass the guy on the second shot.
    Pete, because he had the best serve of the open era and volleys better (at least more consistently) than anyone today, would still do well today.
    I would love to watch him play Nadal. If Nadal stays 8 feet behind the baseline in the deuce court, Pete would just constantly swing it wide, forcing Nadal to take his second hand off the racquet and probably hit a weaker return that Pete would easily put away.
     
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  17. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    no he wouldn't. He'd adapt as much as he adapted on clay during his times.
     
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  18. ark_28

    ark_28 Hall of Fame

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    Federer was a capable serve and volleyer but to be fair he never proved himself as being as accomplished at that facet of the game than Pete!

    I don't think it is a case of Pete wanting attention he is a 14 time major champion and has played many greats from different eras so of course he is in a good position to make a good call.

    As Pete said a couple of years ago "I can compete with Roger at 37 (playing serve and volley) so I think I would have been fine aged 27".
     
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  19. SLD76

    SLD76 Legend

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    What else would you expect a former champion to say???
     
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  20. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    They don't have Pete's disguise and placement. Regardless, he backs his serve much better than either of those guys.

    Clay does not = slow HC which is the way most surfaces play today. Pete's record at AO was still pretty good (he lost some AOs to greats there, like Edberg and Agassi).

    If Pete said that I think he's delusional with that statement, competing with 25-26 Fed in an exo is one thing, another one is playing a real match. That said, of course Sampras would be a big factor in any era you put him, he's one of the greatest players of all time.
     
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  21. SLD76

    SLD76 Legend

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    All of this here, but especially the bolded part.
     
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  22. nereis

    nereis Semi-Pro

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    Luxilon was widely available in the 90s and so were powerful rackets so that isn't it.

    Greater fitness and footwork on the baseline due to the overwhelming focus on a good ground game has also changed things. A guy like Chang used to be called the fastest guy in the game, yet I wouldn't be surprised if Del Potro at twice his size could match him on defense. So, what used to be winning volleys are now being swung at, which brings us to the main cause of the death of the serve-volley game (I don't call occasionally serve-volleying or coming in behind a hard hit approach shot anywhere close to the real thing as done by Edberg and Rafter).

    Technique on groundstrokes as improved to the point where professionals can consistently control where the ball ends up, with what pace and with how much spin. That luxilon gives them that extra spin to work with is merely a bonus as plenty of passing shots today are still hit flat.

    That skill used to be a very rare thing and limited only to a few top players per generation, who themselves may only have been able to do it consistently off of one wing or whose main advantage over competitors was being able to hit quality returns and passing shots (see Agassi). Now everyone and their mother has learnt how to do it and it is no longer special being able to consistently pass someone off of an under-120 mph serve.

    That is simply the nature of the arms race. Eventually, guys the size of Karlovic but the athleticism of Nadal will appear (it is only a matter of time) and we will see another resurgence of big serve + putaway winning slams.
     
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  23. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    LOL, honestly I've been hearing that from comentators and "experts" since I was kid. Yet since around 1984 the most dominant players were all similar height-Lendl, Sampras, Federer, Nadal, there's probably a good reason for that.

    I sincerely doubt we'll ever see "giants" dominating tennis for any extended period of time.
     
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  24. ark_28

    ark_28 Hall of Fame

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    He did say it here

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqVaLv0PTNs
     
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  25. quest01

    quest01 Hall of Fame

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    As much as I like Pete he wouldn't have fared very well playing a serve and volley game in this generation. Pete has an excellent serve but its no way he could consistently serve and volley on both his first and second serves, if he could you would see a lot more players playing this kind of style. There is too much spin and power from larger head sized racquets, thicker beams, and string technology such as co poly's, etc.. Pete would have to adapt to the changing times of playing more of an all court game like Federer to have any success. I think if Pete played in this generation its possible he could have won a few slams, but he wouldn't have had the kind of success he had during the 90's.
     
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  26. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    bold 1: yes, but his record is poor there compared to USO or wimbledon. For starters, he has never beaten Agassi there and lost to him a few times. And I don't see him beating any of the current top 5 there as well.

    bold 2: that's a fallacious argument at best. The fact that he's an all-time great came about because he did well in his time because conditions suited his game, not because he could play well regardless of the prevailing conditions. In other words, Pete does NOT have a game that transcends time and conditions; you could make an argument for Laver, Borg, Lendl, Agassi, Federer (and to some extent Djoker) that their games will work in any era.
     
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  27. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    great post, especially the bolded part.
     
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  28. Rattler

    Rattler Rookie

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    Pete's first serve was great, but his second serve was one of a kind...unquestionably the greatest second serve in the sport has seen.
     
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  29. Sartorius

    Sartorius Professional

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    Good point on how his volleys would have more stick on them. I guess that's true.

    However I believe the main problem for S&V'ers (or net players in general) in today's game is that they almost always have to volley from their feet, particularly the first volley. Everyone can hit with spin nowadays which forces the player at the net to play at least 2 or more volleys, eventually making him a sitting duck.
     
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  30. Mike Sams

    Mike Sams Legend

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    Just hard to imagine a guy with 14 Slams and 286 weeks at #1 being "crushed" by Rafa and Roger.
     
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  31. ark_28

    ark_28 Hall of Fame

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    Agree totally :)
     
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  32. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    but somehow, the idea of a 10-slam winner with 100+ wks as #1 being "destroyed" by Pete on old grass seems very likely to some Petetards?

    On a related note, Safin and Hewitt did "crush" Pete in his backyard. I'm sure Roger and Rafa can do it too.
     
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  33. BeHappy

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    Did you see that exo though? He played absolutely incredibly well.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRL2yngo_qo#t=03m58s
     
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  34. marc45

    marc45 Legend

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    what's forgotten is sampras was not a pure s+v guy like edberg and rafter for a good part of his career, he was comfortable from the baseline....nobody can be a pure s+v today but guys could mix it up much better, and it would make the game much more exciting
     
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  35. Mike Sams

    Mike Sams Legend

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    Safin also "crushed" elite level Federer too.:) And Djokovic is crushing Nadal like his red-headed step child. :lol: And most guys on this board don't even think Djokovic is as good as Safin at his best.
     
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  36. Mike Sams

    Mike Sams Legend

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    Well Djokovic did smash the crap out of Nadal on clay-like grass in the finals of Wimbledon this year. No surprise why many would think Sampras would tear apart Nadal on real grass. And Djokovic isn't even regarded as a grass-great.
     
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  37. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    Safin never "crushed" Federer, but he did "crush" Sampras (and so did Hewitt). There is no doubt in my mind that Pete will get his *** handed to him if he plays today using his S & V style. If he resorts to playing baseline tennis, then most players today will have a field day with his BH.

    I don't really care about the rest of the comparisons (Djoker, Safin etc.), so you're free to imagine whatever makes you feel better - FWIW, I believe you're just making up stuff about Djoker and Safin.
     
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  38. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    Good glad we agree - so, now tell me again why Rafa & Roger wouldn't smash the crap out of Sampras on ANY court today? Safin & Hewitt did it on super-fast USO courts, and they are not even considered as greats on those surfaces.
     
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  39. Mike Sams

    Mike Sams Legend

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    No I'm not. There was a poll on this forum 2 months ago. Safin won by a landslide. Most of the community here thinks Safin at his best is better than Djokovic at his best.
     
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  40. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Since Pete struggled against Agassi from the baseline, I'm sure he would struggle against the elite baseliners today. Unlike in the old days, todays conditions are favorable for the baseliners, which Pete's style would take a big hit.

    The argument about there isn't any player that can volley as well as Pete is weak. Of course you can't find one since the dominant baseliners doesn't allow this to happen.
     
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  41. mattennis

    mattennis Hall of Fame

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    If Pete thinks "exhibition match = real match" then he is delusional.

    He could say he won the USOPEN'02 (not so long ago) doing serve and volley on first and second serves.

    He could say he won Miami'00 (perhaps the slowest hardcourt) doing serve and volley on first and many second serves.

    But to think that beating Federer in an exhibition match means something...is quite delusional.

    And again, to think that Wimbledon and USOPEN play exactly the same speed than in 90s (contrary to what every active player say) is wierd.

    I think he would do better (in today's condition) playing more like he played from 93 to 97 (staying back on second serve and rallying with a bit more patience from the baseline) but maybe I am wrong (Henman won Paris M-1000 in 2003 doing serve and volley and got to the SF of the USOPEN'04 doing serve and volley on first serves, and Henman was far away from Pete's tennis talent). In reality nobody knows.

    In my opinion, if it were possible (to win many GS today doing serve and volley on first and second serves, chip and charge on returns...) Federer would have done it, because he said many times that he loved playing that style, and he has the talent to had done it if it were possible.

    But then, you see Tommy Haas making Wimbledon'09 SF playing serve and volley, as well as a 34 years old Bjorman making Wimbledon'06 SF with that style, or Philippoussis making Wimbledon'03 Final....and then you wonder....
     
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  42. DjokovicForTheWin

    DjokovicForTheWin Banned

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    If anybody watched the EXHIBITION matches between Fedal last year, especially the second one in which the TV time was running out so the 3rd set ended conveniently enough at 6-1. Tells you the value of exhibition matches and how they can fool idiots.
     
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  43. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    I think that some of you guys forget that while Sampras likely has the greatest serve (1st and 2nd combined) of all time and is definitely a top 5 volleyer (I'd say Edberg, McEnroe......you fill in the rest), he was still a monster off the ground. His BH got picked on because it was weak, yes, but a terrible ground game doesn't get you the 2nd most successful career in the history of the sport.
     
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  44. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    I agree - I've heard it from commentators and coaches for decades and it's not happened yet. Once you get over about 6 ft 2 the chance of niggling knee/hip/back etc injuries seems to rise pretty quickly, as does the reduction in both speed and endurance.

    Becker I think was the last great player who was in the over 6 ft 2 club. And even he was hampered by his reduced mobility at times.
     
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  45. Subventricular Zone

    Subventricular Zone Rookie

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    Quoted for truth.

    Same way that today's champions will still find a way to adapt their games to win if they were magically transported back to an earlier era.

    What differentiates champions from ordinary tennis players is not technology but what's between the ears.
     
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  46. ark_28

    ark_28 Hall of Fame

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    Agreed totally, a great player finds a way no matter what the era, they just get it done. Pete would have had his share of wins and slams no matter what decade he played in.
     
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  47. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

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    I think Pete would be competitive in any era. His serve was so good,even by today's standards that he would be able to take chances on the opposition's serve. Maybe he would not be quite as dominant,but certainly a chance for the Majors (except French).
     
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  48. mellowyellow

    mellowyellow Hall of Fame

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    Just a few points, I would look at what Pete accomplished in his 2001 run to the final, beating Safin, Agassi, Rafter. No one ever bested 3 USO champs in a draw before that. He also beat Hewitt the year before in the semi. In 2002 he beats AA, not Hewitt because Hewitt couldn't make it, and where was Safin?. He also beat ARod, Rusedski, Haas who was #3 at the time. The AusO is kind of a hit or miss for Pete, I don't think at the end of his career he was even playing matches before it started. Not to mention the higher bounce and courts were a little slower back then. I think the courts as they are now would suit Pete a little better than they did back then. The other point that is so hard to qualify is that Pete off the ground would have benefited from the racquets they have today. Many good 90/93 frames that would have suited his game. His 1hbh is clearly better today when he comes over the ball than before.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011
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  49. ark_28

    ark_28 Hall of Fame

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    Agree with what you say that run back in 2001 was very underated carving up 3 past champions!

    I do feel even in today's game with the technology his serve and volley game would hold up just fine.
     
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  50. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    Some of you are snorting some premium Agassi meth. Petros is with Federer as the best player to have ever lived and he couldn’t compete today? Wow. I mean, I thought they stop performing lobotomies at the dentist but some of you must have frequent customer cards. YAY! The modern game! Please explain to me how much more modern Murray’s game is than Agassi's. Or Soderling, or Berdych. Or how about Stepanek who cleaned up hard court matches last year playing 1970s tennis. You guys are delusional. Petros in his prime would only have competition from the current top 3 and that’s it.
     
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