Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by krosero, Dec 23, 2007.
Hope you enjoy.
Good find krosero. If only I could serve and volley like Laver...
Fine stuff, Krosero, thanks for putting it on you tube. The more the young onlookers see of the old guys, the more they begin to appreciate this kind of tennis. Lastly i saw a comment about the real goat by Steve Tignor, who had put clips from the Laver-Roche AO 1969 match on his side. Regarding the time span, 40 years ago, the standard of play was unbelievable high. This is definitely not tennis, a la a Buster Keaton picture (Nothing against The General), which many associated with this old times.
Wow... I have to say... I've never knew tennis was played this way back then. The ball is being hit with such power and precision. And its more amazing with the fact that they're using wooden rackets. I'm starting to question... maybe the pros from the past could compete with todays pros given the more updated rackets.
Thanks for posting that krosero, that was the first time I ever saw Ashe or Laver play. That was good stuff
Great find and great post. It is great to see how well they played then and how hard they hit the ball. A pro Ashe with a wood racket....that is a rare find.
Wilson versus Dunlop. Classic match. Lovely combination of touch, power, and precision.
Outstanding post. Its soo nice to see some of the best classic tennis posted on youtube. Most of the modern players and fans just do not realize the level of play in classic tennis using those 65" head, heavy rackets, 13+ oz's. Its also soo nice to see tennis being played moving forward rather than corner to corner. I still believe that the classic game could be very effective and win slams today. Just look at how well Sampras is still playing and how he just beat Federer in the 3rd of 3 end of year 2007 "exhibitions" playing serve/volley on a fast hard court. Thanks again for allowing all to ponder the old game and maybe think of some new years resolutions
Next onto my 1972 WCT Dallas Rosewall vs Laver match ...
When looking at some of those old score lines it's hard to believe that Santoro played the longest match ever just last year. 1st round of that Wimbledon Pancho Gonzales beat Charlie Pasarell 22-24, 1-6, 16-14, 6-3, 11-9. That's enough games for three or four matches in the tiebreak era.
thats some mad crazy agressive serve and volley i have seen in awhile. i can't believe the power these players can generate on those small headed wood racquets. plus they aren't afraid to gamble take a chance with the serve and volley. i'd say if sampras was playing in this era sampras better watch out!
Wonderful. Thanks much for sharing.
Can you upload some of that one onto YouTube?
I remember watching that one. That was a GREAT match!
Would like to at some point ... I must admit, I have never uploaded to utube so not sure how to go from DVD to computuer to youtube ? I have tons of great old classics on DVD and would love to put some of the better snippets for the public.
Your soo correct. Many of the old classic matches were five setters with some single sets that were longer than WTA matches Not only that, but most of the top players back in that day also played dubs ! These are some of the points that make comparing the GOATs of different era very difficult.
I agree: if one is to truly be GOAT, then doubles should factored in. Otherwise we are only discussing greatest singles specialist of all time, not greatest tennis player of all time.
great video, great court positioning and instinctive movement by Laver. A few Ripping backhands by Ashe too. That Laver Backhand looks magical. All those Aussies used to play singles doubles and mixed doubles all the time and were super fit training under Harry Hopman. It's no wander they played so instinctively at the net. Do you have any clips of any of Lew hoad's good matches?
What's even more amazing is that, to hit these backhands, they merely used the other side of the racket, holding it with the very same continental grip they used for their forehands! (The "eastern" grip players of that era would adjust their grips between forehand and backhand, but only by a single bevel.)
Thanks for posting, That's a quality video. Laver really could go through a serve in those days couldn't he!
At 7:03 with Ashe at the net, Laver rushes the net and hits a lob over Ashe's head.
I don't see that too often in today's game: both players at the net and one hits a lob volley.
This is a wonderful video with both players all over the court. It makes me feel that the present game lacks . . . er, something.
Yes, it was great to see it. I saw them both in the early '70s, and they were pretty precise. All of the good players were then. You had to be on the nose with those racquets.
Remember, Laver may have been at the absolute peak of his career in '69.
Rabbit-Within a year, Ashe was using the Head Arthur Ashe Competition--one of the early composites (I owned four of them).
Anyway, great stuff! Anyone have more?
Wouldn't this discount pretty much every great player in recent years and years to come? You don't see Sampras/Federer doing anything in doubles.
It is quite a rewarding feeling to blast flat winners using Eastern grips. I sure wish there was video of the Aussies before Laver and Rosewall, like Hoad, and some of the other all-time greats from that ear like Kramer and Gonzales. It would really surprise many of today players and fans to see how powerfully those players would blast flat winners with those small wooden clubs.
So glad everyone has enjoyed it.
Where could I order that one? Or even older matches?
I don't have DVD editing software so all I do is set a digital camera on a flat surface and shoot the TV. I then take the MPG's and edit them with Windows Movie Maker, which comes with Windows these days. From there I upload them to YouTube. If my final video is more than 100 MB, YouTube allows larger uploads through their Multi-Video uploader. This one, for example, came under 100 MB.
I'd like to to get some DVD editing software to eliminate the camera. But one advantage I may be getting from this method is that the court comes out somewhat dark, which might allow the ball to show up better than if I just cut clips straight from the DVD.
The slight darkness does not come from my setting a low exposure -- I used only default settings on my camera -- but probably just from the darkish lighting in my living room when I film. Of course, with a digital camera you could manually adjust the exposure. I think such experiments are at least worth trying, since the ball is hard to see in so many tennis videos on YouTube.
That would be up to them. No one is forcing Fed or Sampras to specialize in singles to the exclusion of doubles.
McEnroe used to play GOBS of doubles (and won Wimbledon a few times with Peter Fleming), and he claimed that it improved his net game a great deal. He said it made him lot sharper at the net.
(I used to do a bit of filmmaking and photography in my college days.) Could I suggest that you experiement with manual settings of the exposure. Sometimes in this Laver-Ashe video it appears that the auto exposure setting is trying to correct, so it goes from lighter to darker and resolution suffers a bit. (Yes, the overall quality is quite high: my congratulations).
If you tried shooting the video off the screen at 3-4 different settings set on manual, then viewed and picked the best one under your living room lighting conditions, the apparent lighting should not change, and the resolution should remain high for the entire video. Just a suggestion.
Many thanks again,
Now that is what I call smooth tennis, none of this loopy topspin crap!
Thanks, yes, let me see what I can do with manual settings. For the next one I'll film a few seconds at different exposures and compare. The adjustment under the auto setting is one thing I was concerned about in that video.
There was a video, posted on YouTube, devoted solely to Lew Hoad. Not sure if it's up now but it might be somewhere on the web. Best I can offer now is the word of Ashley Cooper and Mal Anderson - both still live in my area- who say that, once you've seen Laver, just swap hands, add more power, more presence and you've got Hoad.
I also noticed that someone has posted the 1969 Aus Open Laver-Roche final which, according to people like BJK, ranks as one of the best matches ever played. The picture is a bit small but, if nothing else, the shot-making is amazing. Really gives you an appreciation for the way in which those guys were able to use spin and power, despite the limitations of the equipment.
What does Ashley Cooper's backhand look like? I've heard great things about it, but I've never even seen still photos of it.
I have to admit being a fellow Queenslander and growing up on grass, that I have a very big soft spot for Laver..
There is one shot in that clip were by Laver hits a half volley slice forehand to Ashe's forehand corner, and on grass, the ball completely takes off away from Ashe.. Just amazing stuff..
Its a shot that I practiced as a kid and still confuse the youngins with today. Although I am a righty..
There was a thread about who would be better today, Laver or Fed.. And in my opinion, Laver would beat Fed 8/10 on grass, but I feel it would be equal on hardcourt.. Laver was leathal with a low bounce.. Although he could handle the high stuff aswell as who proved with his clay court abilities..
If you look at Laver play, especially on his serve, he doesn't try to serve bombs. Rather he just loops it in to start the point and go from there.. When he wants a bomb, he hits it.. The same with his playing style. Very relaxed with his right hand only touching the frame for a split second before impact, and he simply holds the racquet to his side to all other times when running around.. Just beautiful to watch.. The strength in his wrists alone must have been enormous!
I grew up on grass, so I can really appreciate good old grass court tennis, and just love watching Laver play..
I was a QLD school boy rep and McDonalds Junior that trained at Ashley Coopers academy when Rafter was there..
Ha ha ha, I havn't heard Coops' name in years..
Thanks for uploading this wonderful clip kosero. Ashe was such a poweful player but Laver gradually took hold of the match until he was dominanting Ashe. I love the shot Laver hits at about 2.20 in the clip. Its a sort of forehand, side-spin, slice approach shot. I don't know how many players would even attempt such a shot.
I noticed that shot, too. His slice return at 7:33 is also impressive.
Thats the one that I was talking about... Great shot.. It just takes off away from Ashe..
Andrew, I searched youtube for Lew Hoad but no tennis stuff appeared. It would be great to see some more video of Hoad. Let me know if you find any
What's your point?
The Kings of the Court video has some good clips of Lew Hoad. Well worth it for the footage of other tennis greats as well (Gonzales, Tilden, Perry, Vines, Budge, Kramer, Laver et al).
Yep. I have probably watched that video half a dozen times. The segment that TTV produced called Tennis Greats from the 1920s to 1960s also has some great footage. I would still like to find more complete playing segments for many of the all time greats before Laver ...
Thanks for mentioning the Kings !
Joe, in 2005 there was edited a massive 6 part video history of the Davis Cup by the ITF. I think, it is sold on tennis warehouse. They seem to have collected old footage of Davis Cup matches.
My point is my original one: if not playing doubles discounts pretty much every great player in recent years--so be it. Each player is choosing to not play doubles. If this choice puts him out of the running for GOAT, then . . . so be it. Maybe they aren't that great. ("Well, Fed is obviously one of the great players, so we have to construct a definition to include Fed. . . and Sampras. . . and Agassi." I bgelieve that this is faulty logic. I don't think we should tailor the definition to fit the person; we should construct the definition, then see how well the person fits the criteria of the definition.)
I believe that Sampras and Federer are certainly in the running for GSSOAT, but not GOAT, because of their choosing.
BTW, I don't think this would discount players in the future who could choose to play doubles, as well as singles.
I don't think it is faulty logic to want to include Federer and Sampras.
One has to be cognizant of the context of each era to understand why doubles was either commonly played or not played. Today tennis is that much more physical and players are making that much more money to commit full time to both singles and doubles. This is just not realistic. A star singles player will not be playing doubles regularly. You cannot say that this is of his choosing, as it is the smart thing to do to commit oneself to singles and singles alone. No tennis coach will allow his star pupil to play as much in doubles as he does in singles.
Guys are already getting banged up due to the increasing amount of hard court surfaces and the juiced rackets and balls. To boot we're seeing more doubles specialists - that is guys who dedicate their lives to excelling in doubles - to a greater degree than in the past eras. You just won't see another guy like McEnroe until conditions begin to change - until it is realistic for players to take on both challenges.
Tennis is a different sport than it used to be and what you're doing is ignoring all of that for a superficial standard that you yourelf have developed - an unchanging, almost biblical standard that does not account for changes in the game. Sports are fluid and context is always important.
Several good points.
I didn't say it is faulty logic to "want to include" Federer or Sampras, but it is faulty logic to build the criteria for GOAT around Federer and Sampras. Why? Because then all you will get are Federer and Sampras (or other players that resemble them).
All I am suggesting is establish the criteria, then see who fits, not the other way around.
My criteria would include some factoring in of doubles. It sounds like yours would not include doubles at all.
Yes contexts are important, but we are trying to define the criteria for greatest of all time, so this requires that we establish criteria that are applicable across various contexts. If doubles were outlawed today, then I would agree that it is inapplicable and should not be used as a criterion. But if a group of players simply chooses not to play, then I believe that they are limiting themselves.
"Guys are already getting banged up due to the increasing amount of hard court surfaces and the juiced rackets and balls." This is a very good point, but I think it suggests that players should limit their play on hard courts, not limit the play to obviate doubles per se.
I do not think it is that important a point. I appreciate doubles, you do not (apparently). I think it should be "factored in" in a point-scheme for figuring out who is GOAT. I do not think it is all-important or required. (I do think calling my standard both "superficial" and "biblical" seems contadictory.)
I do think development of a consensus standard for GOAT might prove interesting and useful. (IMO, doubles should be given some weight and not ignored.)
Oh, bye the way, you forgot the mixed doubles, that must of course also be counted in :roll: Come on, no one gives a **** about the doubles. Only reason the GS-events has'nt thrown it out is that it can be quite crowd pleasing and therefore is a nice appetizer for the matches that matters.
Urban, I did recently buy that 6 DVD DC package from TW and yet to watch it. Hope to watch some in the next few days. I also got the 1972 WCT Dallas Rosewall v Laver from TW, which was nice footage but was only 25 mins including some video of the other 8 players in this WCT. Hope to report some excellent video from some of the seldom seen GOAT contenders ....
hoodjem, I agree with your logic for having a complex criteria for selecting the GOAT including doubles, all-court play, skills, level of competition, and records on all types of surfaces. Unfortunately, the varied skill competition and surface factors are becoming less and less important in modern tennis. Doubles is not played by many of the top players, very few players play allcourt S/V tennis, and fast grass courts are pretty much exstinct. These are reasons why I find it hard to proclaim Federer GOAT, even if he wins 10 more slams.
Many people are guilty of restructuring history based on present and present alone. I wouldn't be one of those people as I tend to be quite old-school actually. One good example of some of this kind of reasoning is in regards to the grand slam (that is, the majors), whereby people qualify greatness based on the number of majors a player has won. That is certainly faulty logic.
I don't see how you could possibly establish a criteria, when one era has top-10 singles players playing doubles and another doesn't. If a player is successful in doubles in the 1960s I think that you would be wise to note this as an accomplishment worth paying attention to. But you cannot apply these same standards to today.
I don't think they are limiting themselves, because doubles is a completely different game than it used to be. It is much more difficult to master doubles in tennis today when there are more doubles specialists and when tennis is much more physical a game to play. It is just not smart to be a full-time doubles player when you're a singles star.
Players can't limit their play on hardcourts when the vast number of mandatory events are on hardcourts.
I never said I don't like doubles. This is your premature assumption.
I don't think my statement was contradictory, as you are the one who wants to apply a fixed standards across different eras.
There is nothing interesting about applying a set standard. What interests me is dialogue and scouting, not a formula drenched in some kind of PC ideology where both doubles and singles are figured in.
I am inclined to agree with you that too much emphasis is given to the majors. But I do think a moderately complicated formula could be devised that would "pay attention" to matters other than GS singles wins. Others have suggested weeks at no. 1, total match wins, wins on different surfaces, etc. I am simply suggesting that doubles could be factored in.
I meant limiting themselves regarding the records books
This has me somewhat confused. But I would agree that if one is a "singles star", then it would be hard to be a "full-time doubles player". I believe that if one is a "singles star", then it would be exceedingly difficult to be more than a part-time doubles player, a la McEnroe.
I apologize if it appears that I assumed that you do not like doubles. I did not say you don't like doubles; I said you apparently not "appreciate" doubles. I meant "appreciate" in the sense that you were unwilling to "value" doubles in a point-system scheme in order to compare players from different eras.
When you said that my standard was "superficial", I interpreted this to mean thin, shallow, or applying to only surface qualities. When you said my standard was "biblical", I interpreted this to mean deep, eternal, so high as to be unattainable. These seemed to suggest divergent qualities, but I apologize if I misinterpreted.
I guess here we simply disagree. I am interested in a set, objective standard based on facts. (Perhaps it would need to evolve periodically, if basic criteria become outmoded or obsolete--such as wins at discontinued tournaments.) The alternative to an objective standard based on facts is not very appealing to me: a multitude of solipsistic, subjective standards based on opinions. (I've got my GOAT, and you've got your GOAT. And there's no point in discussing them because mine is correct for me and yours is correct for you.)
The formula might be fairly complicated if it is reached by consensus, but such is the nature of accomodating many person's ideas about criteria. I have no idea what you men by "drenched in some kind of PC ideology".
I too am interested in dialogue. But I want it to lead somewhere, specifically in this case to a consensus about criteria that can be applied across eras. Otherwise, I think we are stuck with X is the GOAT of this era, and Y is the GOAT of that era, and the two cannot be compared because the eras are so different. Or we are stuck with comparing what is precisely the same, for instance GS singles records, and ignoring any variables. This would leave us, again, with the GMSSOAT.
Your stance is becoming more and more reasonable and more removed from your original statement which was quite extreme if you look back.
It's important to note that McEnroe treated doubles as an alternative to practice. Conversely a guy like Borg preferred practice and exhibitions to doubles, because he felt that that made him the better player. I think that doubles suited Mac's game better.
I don't think that a point system is possible - at least one that would provide definitive answers. There was a poster here - Wuornos - who had an influence on a number of guys on this board. He provided a number of formulas that he presented and altered them accordingly. At no time were those formulas intended to provide a definitive list. The point was that a formula would act as an aid to foster discussion. Tennis has changed too much over the years for there to exist a definitive formula - unlike baseball which has maintained most standards since the days of WWI. In tennis we've had the open era begin just in 1967 and most of the great singles stars do not have exemplary track records in doubles.
False dichotomy, in my opinion. There is a lot of statistics that one can work with which can aid one's argument. No one will respect shallow, undeveloped statements.
Again, your original statement was much too extreme, which is why I took you up on it. And to suggest that I am against incorporating mathematics into tennis discussion is incorrect. What I am against is what you called "objective standard" and also "consensus". Almost everything that I know to be commonly believed to be true is false in some way or another. Even science is driven by theory; not objective standards.
OK. All I am suggesting is that we let mathematics in the door, and see how far it will take us. It might lead to a mathematical model where one plugs in this number or that number, and out pops a ranking.
The reason I would be willing to call it "objective" is that it is not based on opinion, but on facts (e.g. how many Australian Opens did Rosewall win--this is fact not opinion). Should the AO be ranked lower than the USO or Wimby, because fewer top 10 players went to it before X year? Probably. Let's hear the arguments.
The reason I want to call it based on "consensus" is because I would wish everyone who is interested to be able to put their two cents in regarding what is important and not important (as we are doing now regarding the importance or unimportance of doubles). In this way we build a system involving dialogue that is agreeable to everyone, or if not agreeable, then at least everyone considers fair and not based merely on opinion and whoever rants the loudest. (Some people get pretty upset on this site; why I do not know. Too may personal attacks I guess.)
This is what I meant by "objective" and "consensus".
I watched the 3rd DVD of the 6 set DC package from TW. It had lots of great clips of Lew Hoad, Ken Rosewall, Roy Emerson, Ashley Cooper, Frank Sedgman, Alex Olmedo, Tony Roche, and many others. Most of the clips were single points of both singles and doubles. Probably atleast half of the video was commentary about the strategy and decisions involved in the various ties. It was nice to see live action that was very good video quality for these seldom seen players. I will be very interested to see the quality of the 1st two DVDs which cover the era 1900-1926 and 1933-1936, respectively, but I was satisfied with this 3rd DVD which covered the "Austrailia Supreme" era from 1950-1967, which further helped explain this confusing era that transitioned amatuer to professional "open" tennis.
Separate names with a comma.