laver gets too much credit

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by ormynameisntbill, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. gpt

    gpt Professional

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    I am either confused or naive. I can't work our whether most of the posters here are being deliberately provocative or are just thick. Any goat contender can only be judged by their accomplishments in their own era.
     
    #51
  2. Chopin

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    So instead of responding to my arguments, you respond to a technicality in my language? I apologize, but I didn't mean to imply that the film was deliberatively sped up by a third-party. However, that doesn't change the fact that the playback IS faster than the live action itself.

    And I'm old enough to know that your penultimate sentence contains passive voice, pronoun reference problems, and the use of a semicolon with a coordinating conjunction (a combination that, in this instance, leads to very a muddy sentence).

    Seriously though, Laver was a great champion, but I don't think his strokes or athleticism would hold up against current ATP pros (regardless of what racquets or strings players are using).

    It's OK though, we can agree to disagree. No hard feelings! Peace. :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2009
    #52
  3. Chopin

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    Quite old. But I wasn't the one who suggested that we should speculate on Laver's ability to cope with modern tennis from his matches with Connors.

    Hey, I think Laver is a great, great champion. No doubt! But he's no GOAT.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2009
    #53
  4. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    I agree somewhat. By all accounts, he was a fantastic player, but the tour back then just wasn't as tough. And wasn't 3 of the 4 slams back then played on grass? How many Slams would Fed or Sampras have won if this were still the case?
     
    #54
  5. weallwegot

    weallwegot Rookie

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    I agree, Laver is over rated. Winning a calender slam is tough and amazing, but doesn't deserve all this hype about him.

    Sorry Laver fans.
     
    #55
  6. chrisdaniel

    chrisdaniel Semi-Pro

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    ...

    That's really all you had to say in this entire thread.
     
    #56
  7. Chopin

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    I know, I know. :)
     
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  8. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    You're rejecting the evidence of your own eyes and ears if you really believe this, or else just trolling. Let's see which one it is. Why do the voices of the announcers sound no faster than they do in real life? Why does the soundtrack keep pace with the images? Why are the players moving between points at their normal pace?
     
    #58
  9. Danstevens

    Danstevens Semi-Pro

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    I agree, height doesn't really make the blindest bit of difference. Nadal and Fed are quite tall but no more than a lot of people. Height may change the playing style you have but play your style well enough and you could still be GOAT.

    However, I must admit, I think there are greater players than Laver. He;s up there in my top 5 but not top of the list. What he accomplished was still amazing though.
     
    #59
  10. DNShade

    DNShade Professional

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    You are totally 100% wrong with that statement. The playback is not faster than the live action at all. Sorry to burst your bubble or whatever. If you knew anything about video/film and how TV was recorded and broadcast then - you'd know that the audio is linked to the video so any speeding up would effect the audio as well. Not to mention that the freaking timecode is right there on screen. That is how exactly how fast JC and Laver hit live.

    And the Caesars Palace thing was HUGE in tennis then and very serious.
     
    #60
  11. Chopin

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    I think, actually, it's because the cameras recorded at a slower speed, in terms of frames per second, than today. So, it's all synced together at a certain speed, but when it's sped up for playback (which it is in the technical sense), it's still in sync, but the tape speed is faster. Honestly though, I'm not a film guy. Regardless, the video didn't show me anything that would lead me to believe that Laver could compete with today's guys. We'll agree to disagree. :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2009
    #61
  12. JoshDragon

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    That's not true. There were indoor hard courts.
     
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  13. Chopin

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    #63
  14. 380pistol

    380pistol Banned

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    I just wanna touch on this height thing. Laver did play Gonzales (6'2"), Newcombe (over 6 feet, 6"1" or 6'2"), Emerson (over 6 feet), Ashe (6'3" I believe) and more than held his own.

    Yes the depth of the game was no where near what it is today. But one must remeber on the flipside getting Rosewall, Newcombe, Emerson, Ashe, Fraser, Roche in the 2nd week of slams is a tougher road than Roddick, Davydenko Gonzalez, Baghdatis, Nalbandian etc.

    And yes he played when 3 slams were played on grass. But he truned pro (arguably tougher than the amateur ranks) and won 3 or 4 Wembley Pros on indoor wood.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2009
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  15. harryz

    harryz Semi-Pro

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    The tour wasn't that tough back then?

    You must be kidding. No really; you can not be serious.

    Players now should be grateful that early pro and open era players paved the way for them. Men AND women. Pros in the 40s, 50s and 60s played over 100 matches a year, travelling from town to town at their own expense. No appearance money. No lucrative racquet or clothing deals. No pampering. No fancy hotels and people doting on them. No fawning media or entourages. No coaches and cross training and a fraction of the money, if any, even accounting for inflation. This as recently as the 80s. Plenty of very fine players; anybody who thinks that there weren't strong, fast and talented athletes back then is delusional and never saw them play in person. I did. And those who came before and saw Lew Hoad and Pancho Gonzales (Allen Fox, Brad Gilbert's coach and now Kunitsyn's, says Gonzales was the best ever) say that nobody-- even Becker, Agassi and others who bust the felt off of the ball, hit any harder. Contemplate that. And they did it with early metal frames and wood.

    Young people have always thought that they discovered the universe and they often have a misplaced and misconceived notion of their own value and importance. I certainly did at a younger age. And (young, I presume) folks on this thread who think that tennis players are so much better now don't know very much. Players are faster, stronger, more agile, and bigger across the board, without a doubt. By and large, however, most play utterly brain dead tennis. Interestingly, all of the talk about the modern power game is pretty ironic and paradoxical. The best players of every generation win with their feet, their brains, and by controlling their power. Guys further down the rankings often hit harder-- they just make more errors and don't think as well on the court. And this will just continue, as it has for decades.

    Case in point-- I saw both Lopez and Niemenen implode in Indian Wells last year in windy conditions against Donald Young and HT Lee, respectively. Neither one is a hard hitter. Both played smart, basic tennis. Their success had nothing to do with size or superior athleticism, either. And this happens every week on the pro tour.

    So in a nutshell, I'd take Laver in his prime against most players today, all factors (equipment etc...) being equal. An amazing player; not some two handed backhand, semi-western forehand clone who can't volley to save his life, but someone with great touch and variety and feel for the ball, regardless of the surface.
     
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  16. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    There's no such problem with video from 1975, you're talking about old camera technology used to make silent films decades earlier. And you're still claiming that the clip is faster than real life, even though the announcers are speaking in their regular voices? And their commentary keeps in sync with the points? And the timecode is right there. Sorry but there's no room for disagreement here; you're just wrong.

    You have made one thing abundantly clear, though. By trying to deny that Connors and Laver could hit that hard, you've made it clear that that clip is displaying a pace of tennis that some people did not know was possible for 1975.

    That's the one thing that's coming out clearly in your posts, and it's much appreciated.
     
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  17. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    Height is a big advantage since the serve is the most important shot in tennis. But that's not to say being 6'5" is better than 6'4", and so on. It's not about "the taller the better!" More about not being too short. Seems like 6'1" or 6'2" is ideal.
     
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  18. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    So do older people. There's a reason why advertisers prize people younger than 35 than those over 35 and it's not because older people are open minded to changes and improvements. I think a lot of guys worship the older players because they were kids when they watched them. So they were kids watching grown men. But now that they're older, the players today seem like kids. Just whippersnappers. Even thought Mac, Laver, and Borg were probably just as young when they started watching them.
    Almost every former pro, commentator and coach agrees that the game is better today. In terms of entertainment value, if you prefer more all court or serve and volley styles, it might not be better, but in terms of put today's player up against a player from 50's, 60's, 70's, and 80's, and have them slug it out, today's players will win more often.
    I agree point construction is different. But Lendl was accused of playing robotic, boring tennis, too. Personally, overall, I find today's game way more interesting. I think this is actually pretty boring, and it's been edited down:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHaN2h21ANs&feature=related
    I don't know about guys way down hitting harder. I feel like the top guys are the hardest hitters who also manage to keep the ball in play. And brains becomes the X factor when all the physical skills are roughly equivalent. Santoro will still simply get hit off the court lots of times. Variety in and of itself is overrated, as if it alone can determine who wins. We all know guys who can only do a few basic things but beat "better" players with prettier games because they know how to maximize what little they have.
    But isolated incidents aside, when you look at the big picture, Donald Young and HT Lee aren't dominating the ATP tour.
    He did have CRAZY MAD skills.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2009
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  19. DNShade

    DNShade Professional

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    You are TOTALLY WRONG. Stop. I am a film/video/TV guy (what I do for a living) and I can tell you for a fact that there is no speeding up of the video. That is exactly the speed they were playing at live. You can tell it for yourself as you see the balls bounce and drop at the correct speed - but that's besides the point. There is no speeding up of video - it's still being broadcast in the same frame speed as it was then (HD is a different animal - but not that different).

    So just stop with the video breakdown, okay? Move on. Figure out some other tactic to tell everyone that Rocket sucks and couldn't compete today.
     
    #69
  20. PCXL-Fan

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    For those that think Laver can be compared to todays players ask yourself how many people entered tennis professionally back in the 60s? the pool of people was far smaller and attracted far less people to the sport in america and worldwide then it does now. People didn't utterly dedicate themselves to tennis. And far fewer were motivated to pursue a career in tennis. Professional tennis was in its infancy.

    Back in the 60s tennis was considered sort of a sissy sport sport by some. And the financial incentive to dedicate ones life was far less. Nobody would become fabulously rich player tennis.
    And don't kid yourself, wealth is a titanic motivator.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2009
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  21. harryz

    harryz Semi-Pro

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    To 35ft6

    Thanks for your thoughtful response. I agree with much of it. However, most ads target people under 35 because they are written by people under 35. The popular culture and marketplace are targeted to people under 30 for a reason-- younger people prize novelty. So today's popular music and movies, which are variations on yesterdays, continue to sell even when they are insipid and ridiculous and have no value. Granted, some does, and what is good will stand the test of time.
    But to suggest that people over 35 live in the past and have "rose colored glasses" is equally biased, if not more so. It's funny-- most other cultures value age and the wisdom that should come with life experience. We put people in nursing homes and sell products to prevent wrinkles. Everything is about the external.

    I don't buy the argument that today's players are better. They are bigger and stronger and have newer technology and all sorts of advantages. The game has changed in many ways; whether it has improved is subject to debate. The best players and athletes of prior generations, given today's equipment, coaching, nutrition etc... would hold their own just fine.
     
    #71
  22. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Competition was tougher in 1969 than it is today.

    Top FIVE in early 2008
    1. Federer
    2. Nadal (6 Grand Slam titles: singles)
    3. Djokovic (1 Grand Slam titles: singles)
    4. Murray (0 Grand Slam titles)
    5. Del Potro (0 Grand Slam titles)


    Top FIVE in 1969
    1. Laver
    2. Rosewall (17 Grand Slam titles: singles, doubles)
    3. Roche (15 Grand Slam titles: singles, doubles, mixed doubles)
    4. Ashe (3 Grand Slam titles: singles)
    5. Newcombe (26 Grand Slam titles: singles, doubles, mixed doubles)*

    *career totals, not as of 1969
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2009
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  23. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    I see that you haven't finished making ridiculously stupid threads yet. Hard and grass only? Are you kidding me?
     
    #73
  24. Chopin

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    I even admitted that I was not a film guy in my video. I didn't claim to be an expert on it.

    I'm sorry, but I just watched the video again and regardless of how it was filmed--it does appear faster (though once again, I'm unsure of the exact reason for this). Look at Connors running at 1:50 or the paper clapping at 2:29. It's manic. Anyways, it doesn't matter because it's still not an accurate way to gauge how Laver would fare in the modern game, as I've already pointed out. Peace.

    Also, there's no need to type in capitals as if you're shouting.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2009
    #74
  25. Chopin

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    Yeah, but why do you think those guys had all those slams? It's because the era was so weak. The sign of a strong era is less slams for the top players.
     
    #75
  26. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Really? Does "less slams" won really mean a stronger field?

    Would that mean that no slams won is the strongest field of all time?

    (Maybe we'll never resolve this difference of opinion to the point of agreement.)
     
    #76
  27. Xuxa Kuerten

    Xuxa Kuerten Rookie

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    About the height issue. A comparison:

    1969 (I've selected 12 players that appeared the most on majors):

    Laver – 5'8
    Rosewall – 5'7
    Tom Okker – 5'9.5
    Tony Roche – 5'10
    Newcombe – 6'
    Pancho Gonzalez – 6'3
    Stolle – 6'3
    Riessen – 6'1
    Ashe – 6'1
    Emerson – 6
    Gimeno – 6'1
    Smith – 6'4

    Average height: 6'

    1999:

    Sampras – 1.85m
    Agassi – 1.80m
    Kafelnikov – 1.90m
    Rafter – 1.88m
    Kuerten – 1.91m
    Henman – 1.85m
    Martin – 1.98m
    Moya – 1.91m
    Rusedski – 1.93m
    Rios – 1.75m
    Corretja – 1.80m
    Krajicek – 1.95m

    Average height: 6'2

    2009 average height of top 10 players: 6'2

    Source: Wikipedia and ATP website.

    So if you compare Laver's era with contemporary players, the difference isn't big at all. In fact, if you exclude Rosewall and Laver, the average height of 1969's players is only 1 inch smaller than 2009's. So in fact Laver's feat is incredible, and he definitelly shouldn't be discredited due to his height. In fact, it's quite the opposite.
     
    #77
  28. 380pistol

    380pistol Banned

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    Well done!!! But if you're taking Laver's best year then put it up against Roger's best year which was 2006

    Top FIVE in 2006
    1. Federer
    2. Nadal
    3. Davydenko
    4. Blake
    5. Ljubicic

    Compared to the top 5 of 1969. You can do that for a few years this decade. Yes Laver's era may have lacked depth, but it was certainly tougher at the top.
     
    #78
  29. Cesc Fabregas

    Cesc Fabregas Legend

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    The top level competition might of been tougher but it was basically cake walks in the early round in todays game the depth is stronger in the top 100.
     
    #79
  30. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Saying "peace" is not going to make the problems in your claim go away, nor do you get to make a claim, fail to back it up, and then hide for cover by saying you're not an expert.

    I cannot find, at all, what you're seeing in those two moments. Something is playing tricks with you -- or you are playing tricks with us.

    I captured that video by pointing a camera at the TV screen (where the video plays EXACTLY at the same speed as you see it on YouTube). You lose resolution with that method, and more is lost when the video is uploaded. That means that sudden movements in the action can appear less than smooth (maybe DNShade knows better how to describe this), but that does not mean that anything has been done to the speed. It just means that with better resolution you'd see the same action, at the same speed, but it would appear smoother to you.

    Most people get that when they're watching a YouTube video of imperfect quality; and in a way I'm being redundant saying so, because YouTube videos ARE of imperfect quality. Occasionally playback even stalls and becomes herky-jerky on all sorts of YouTube clips, for a variety of technical reasons -- but I don't let my imagination run away with me when any video looks too slow or too fast at any given moment.

    Yet I don't even see what you're seeing, in this instance.

    Again, most people understand instinctively that they're not looking at a clip of super high resolution. So they don't make anything out of any imperfections they see -- and what you claim makes no sense even theoretically. Why would the video be sped up at certain points? Who would have done that, and for what purpose? Why would clapping, of all things, be sped up? Why would Connors' running AFTER a point is over be sped up? Why, for the third time, is there no problem with the voices of the announcers? Why does the time clock keep moving at its normal pace all throughout the video and EVEN DURING those two moments you pinpointed?

    What you seem to be doing is letting your preconceptions about tennis in 1975 (and your mistaken notion that you're looking at old film) affect your judgment about what you're seeing. You're taking any imperfections in a YouTube upload and imagining that it must be a speeding up of the video (because that fits your preconceptions). Stop letting your imagination run away and just do the decent thing and admit you made a mistake. You have no cred otherwise.
     
    #80
  31. Chopin

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    Hmm...but you could never have "no slams won," which in many ways, is precisely the point. There is always a winner of slams, right? So listing a top 5 at a given time with their total slam count over their careers is not telling you much (in 1969, Rosewall, for instance, did not have 17 slams yet).
     
    #81
  32. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    If you really have to ask this question then you probably aren't qualified to comment on anything related to Laver.
     
    #82
  33. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    I'm glad that Chopin has finally outed himself for being the troll that he is. 35ft6 as well.

    At least now it is quite clear to everyone here.

    As for Laver's height - I've played against some shorter guys than myself and the really stocky ones are often much stronger and fitter than the tall ones.

    I am myself 6-foot-4 and gangly. I get tired earlier and lack upper body bulk comparing to guys sub-six feet.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2009
    #83
  34. Chopin

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    My point stands, the video is of poor quality, blurry and of an exhibition match. It shows me very little of Laver's potential ability to cope with the modern game. I'm not sure this is about doing the "decent" thing--this is an internet forum discussion about tennis, right? Let's not take it so seriously.

    Best,
    Chopin
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2009
    #84
  35. Chopin

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    Wow. Saying Laver is over-rated and not the GOAT is like speaking out against the Church of Scientology!

    Seriously though, Cyborg, I have no hard feelings towards you. There's no need to get into another "war of words."

    And I think 35ft6 is not troll. Let's all just relax.
     
    #85
  36. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    It's not the tennis that matters here.
     
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  37. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    I'm feeling very relaxed. As I've said, I'm very glad that you've made your intentions so apparent to everyone here.

    As for 35ft6 - you may be right that he's probably more ignorantly well-intentioned, unlike yourself.
     
    #87
  38. Chopin

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    I suggest that you just smile and let it go. :)
     
    #88
  39. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    This of course has been posted numerous times already, but people really should stop saying that tennis is more popular now than in the early days of the open era.

    This really depends on the country. If we're talking about the United States, then I hate to burst your bubble - it isn't.

    Tennis was at the peak of its popularity in America in the early 1970s. It's been in steady decline ever since.
     
    #89
  40. Chopin

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    Well, we clearly have different perspectives on Laver. Besides, Cyborg, it's not as though you never try to push people's buttons on this board. :)
     
    #90
  41. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Trolling with a smile - that's just how you roll.

    I find it curious how you suddenly persist in trying to convince everyone that none of this is a big deal or that you're suddenly just joking. All of this after persistently trolling threads on this board.

    Yup - you don't seem insecure at all. Keep it up - your song-and-dance is quite amusing to me.
     
    #91
  42. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Folks on this board will take you up on your bullshit. You don't have to admit to it - but others will know.
     
    #92
  43. Chopin

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    I'm not joking that Laver is over-rated and not a GOAT candidate. Nor was I joking when I pointed out that the video is of poor quality and shows us very little. I'm merely suggesting that I don't have time to waste arguing with people who clearly have different perspectives and that are not going to be receptive of viewpoints critical of Laver.

    The fact is, whether you'd like to accept it or not, that many posters in this thread have made up their minds about Laver (including you) and are going to be hostile to any and all arguments that diminish his greatness. Quite frankly, I don't have time to waste arguing with you (or trading verbal insults), so I'm done. People take this forum far too seriously, and many of the posts are rude, aggressive, and not at all how people interact face to face. I'm guilty of it, you are, and so are many of the other posters. I see now that threads like this are a waste of my time.
     
    #93
  44. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    No one really cares what you believe, Chopin. What really matters is the strength of the argumentation. Whether you're logical and reasonable.

    Without strong argumentation, there is only a claim. And claims are a dime a dozen.
     
    #94
  45. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    You're putting the cart before the horse here. They go after people under 35 the most because they're not as set in their ways. (if there are a lot of young people creating ad campaigns, it's because the people in charge assume a young person knows how to appeal to a young person better than an older person...) They're more of an untapped market, by comparison, older people have already decided what they like best and are more resistant to new things. We all know this to be true. And just like an older person might think Tide is the best detergent, in general, by a certain age, people have their favorite brand of car, music, TV, film, and sports stars, and surprise surprise they tend to be songs, cars, films, and tennis players from their pre-35 yo years. I'm just pointing this out as a matter of human nature, not to condemn anybody. We're all getting older.
    But the people most involved in the sport, the ex players, the coaches, agents, promoters, and commentators, the general consensus is overwhelmingly that today's tour is better. But it depends on how you define "better."
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2009
    #95
  46. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Yes it was. Laver could pound the ball as could Connors. The difference then was tactic and equipment. Percentage tennis then was different than Academy tennis today.

    Amen! And, I would add that Rod Laver's court sense and tactical mind were also what made him stand out. He and Ken Rosewall simply knew what to hit when.

    Gee, so today is a weak era? Since Roger Federer won his first Major in 2003 there have been 24 titles. Of those 24 opportunities, 18 have been won by either Federer or Nads. Bring it on in to 2009 and 19/25 have been won by either Nads or Federer.

    By your own logic then we are in the single weakest period since Open tennis came around? Hmmmmmm...makes Laver look all the better.

    Excellent post!

    The whole height argument is ridiculous. Justine Henin was a dominant champion and not close to "average" height.

    Yeah, those of us that saw Laver play know he was the best ever.

    And, BTW, Laver's game translated from S/V tennis to Borg's heyday. Laver could stay on court with any player using any tactic. While you say no one can prove Laver's game would translate to today's game, the same is true of you. You can't prove it wouldn't. The height argument has been proven specious. You just don't have a leg to stand on.
     
    #96
  47. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Most people define best or better by what they saw as a kid as you have alluded to. Most baseball announcers came of age in the 60's when the strikezone, rules and ballparks all favored pitching. Therefore they still insist that only 2-1 games are "real" baseball and that Sandy Koufax is a god while never putting his accomplishments in perspective to his era and never once thinking that the way the game is played now Sandy would never pitch 300 innings a year or win 27 games in one season.

    Tennis is actually much more immune to this thinking. I have heard both Laver himself and McEnroe (who idolizes Rod) speculate on how Laver's small physical size would hurt him in today's game.

    With Graphite frames the only frames used now the Serve has become the an almost indispensable stroke in attaining dominant and immortal status. The best players ever since 1985 have either had the best serve or certainly had the highest hold %'s I would imagine. This is why Nadal does nothing except work on improving his to win cheap points.

    Since 1985:

    Lendl had a huge serve that one him free points outright and also set up weak replies.

    Becker's game was based around his monster serve.

    Edberg's whole game revolved around his kicker to get him into net.

    Sampras probably had the best service game ever.

    Federer - when his serve is on he crushes people.

    Wilander- a clear exception. In my opinion 1988 was the last year before outright power became the norm at the top.

    Rod was immortal but no 5'9" player is going to be near the top of his peers in serving in today's game.

    The Women's game and Justine Henin are irrelevant to this argument.
     
    #97
  48. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    McEnroe and Laver have both said how his height and small stature would make it very difficult to compete with a Pete Sampras for instance.
     
    #98
  49. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Funny you even mention Koufax. There is a story about the Dodgers when Steve Garvey played for them and they were in the World Series. Koufax was pitching batting practice. He got in a groove and began striking out the heart of the Dodger order. The manager had to come to the mound and remind Koufax not to dismantle the team's confidence.

    Point being, there probably was a reason Koufax, Drysdale, and Gibson were idolized. They were that good.

    I don't agree, and haven't heard them say that. Physical size didn't hurt Andre Agassi too badly in his competition with Sampras. I don't think it'd hurt Laver either. As noted, Laver played against competition which averaged 2" shorter than today.

    Two points here. First, the advent of the graphite racquet has seen just as big an improvement in the return of serve. It is not the serve which has changed the game, it is the return. If the serve was as dominant as you mention, S/V tennis would still prevail. Clearly, the ability of the returner of serve to hit winners is what has curtailed the S/V tactic.

    Second point is that the rules regarding serve changed. When Laver learnt the game, one had to keep one's foot on the ground when serving. Laver never really embraced the jump that came later. Even so, Laver's serve was more than adequate.

    We disagree. The argument put forth was that height was a pre-requisite for modern tennis. Clearly this is not the case.

    Who? McEnroe or Laver? Laver has one bad habit. He continually deflects attention away from himself. He's an Aussie :) . Laver said he was "honored" to be mentioned in the same breath as McEnroe when McEnroe was #1. He said Sampras was the best ever, he's said the same thing about Federer. Laver is a great ambassador of the game who builds up the current champion because it's good for the game in his view. He's not like some of the guys who talk about their day.

    Everyone has an opinion and that's fine. But fact is, Laver competed during a time when the average height (including Laver & Rosewall) shown here was 6'. I don't think 2 inches is going to make a ton of difference. Laver would be a force in any generation as would Federer, Pancho Gonzalez, Bjorn Borg, Jack Kramer, Bill Tilden, or any other champion. Denigrating Laver or any other champion as non-competitive is just plain wrong.
     
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  50. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    This is all fine, but we have to be aware of the fact that synthetic changes in the game have also changed the kind of athlete that thrives in the game.

    I have made this point a number of times. Technology that favours power will also favour a power powerful athlete and there most likely a taller athlete and thus most likely a bigger server.

    Conversely, technology that favours more touch and feel will allow shorter players (not necessarily smaller ones, if we look at build) to compete and even dominate the sport.
     

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