laver gets too much credit

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

  1. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Wrong! (Faulty logic.) The sign of a strong era is greater distribution of slam titles among the top players (that's why they are the top players).

    This is a greater distribution:
    Top FIVE in 1969
    1. Laver (20 Slam titles: singles, doubles, mixed doubles)
    2. Rosewall (17 Slam titles: singles, doubles)
    3. Roche (15 Slam titles: singles, doubles, mixed doubles)
    4. Ashe (5 Slam titles: singles, doubles)
    5. Newcombe (26 Slam titles: singles, doubles, mixed doubles)
    *career totals

    than this:
    Top FIVE in 2009
    1. Nadal (6 Slam titles: singles)
    2. Federer (13 Slam titles: singles)
    3. Murray (0 Slam titles)
    4. Djokovic (1 Slam title: singles)
    5. del Potro (0 Slam titles)
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2009
  2. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    You're more right than wrong, and definitely describing accurately the general trend, but there's somebody like Rios, who is one only one inch taller. He's weird cuz he both supports and undermines your theory. When he reached number 1, he was serving incredibly well. Agassi, the best returner in the history of the game, said after losing to him that he wasn't expecting him to serve so big. I think "big" is the word he used, but at the time more often his serve was praised for how well he mixed it up. Speaking of Agassi, I once read that Brad told Agassi all he had to do was protect his serve and he would become number 1. Agassi didn't have a huge serve either but he learned to use it perfectly to suit his strengths. Hewitt didn't have a huge serve either, but not exactly attackable, and in general, people who don't have huge serves, the ones who reach the top, do so by being stronger in other areas. And I include Edberg in that category. He said he used to serve flat bombs like everybody else until he got injured around 17, and I just wonder if he would have developed into the best serve and volleyer I've ever seen if he could still hit bombs.

    I'm sure Laver would be a fantastic player today, but it's kind of speculative what kind of player he would be with today's competition and rackets. Just knowing how limited the competition was back then... how there were two tours... how 3 slams were on grass... and finally, simply being able to watch him play on Youtube and TTC... not just him, but I give extra credit to the more recent slam winners.
     
  3. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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  4. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    ^^^
    no. 13 seed RP Gonzales vs. no. 3 seed T Roche
    6-3, 10-12, 7-5, 6-0
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2009
  5. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    LOL! A new troll? Love how you contadict YOURSELF in the first 2 sentances above ie. best players = best serves....NADAL...UH...DOH!!!

    NOT A SINGLE ONE OF THE PLAYERS YOU then mentioned had the best serve of their era, with the arguable exception of Sampras, and even then, his first serve was clearly not the best, his 2nd serve arguably was, but it was the entire package that made the difference.

    In fact, Lendl, Becker, Edberg, Federer may not even be in the top 5-10 servers of their era. THEY DID HAVE GREAT SERVES, SERVE HAS BEEN THE MOST IMPORTANT STROKE FOR the last EIGHTY YEARS. Wow, IGNORANCE!!!!

    And of course you forgot to mention Hewitt, Rios, Agassi, Chang, Muster, Courier, and many, many others.

    And of course top players have high hold percentages...if you can't see the confounds and irrationality of making conclusions about their serve from that....well I just feel sorry for you.
     
  6. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Oh geez calm down buddy. I will take wager when the next 5'9" 150 lbs Laver type DOMINATES men's tennis with you any time you want.

    Because I see a lot of 6'1" plus guys the last 20 years.
     
  7. PERL

    PERL Guest

    This thread gets too much credit.
     
  8. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Not to compare her to Laver but Justine Henin at 5'51/2" tall dominated the Women's tour before she retired against tall players like Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Sharapova etc. And she overpowered a lot of players taller than her.
     
  9. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    The serve in the womens game is not nearly the factor it is in the men's game. There are almsot most as many breaks of serve in a WTA match then bathroom breaks :)
     
  10. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    True, but I was trying to support your viewpoint by pointing out height is not the end all in tennis. Otherwise we may have a bunch of NBA height players playing tennis.

    I like your analogy. lol.

    Hey it occurred to me, how talented in tennis was the former NBA player John Lucas who was also a world class tennis player?

    Edit-Just found this interesting link on Lucas.

    http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1010230/index.htm
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2009
  11. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    OH THE HUMANITY.

    First, great counterpoint ie "calm down buddy".

    Second, Considering the number of "dominant players" (about 1 per generation), and considering people have increased in average height, waiting for the next 5'9 dominant player may indeed take a while. Gee, what a bet. Love how you immediately (again) weaken your own argument by your very next line, you've noticed the players are generally taller have you??

    Nobody said that height cannot be an advantage in tennis, what is idiotic is your blanket dismissal of Laver or anybody else due to height. But your reasoning is so poor I'm sure you can't see this and the many other holes in your argument.

    Third, I can predict your next counterargument: "sez you!"
     
  12. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Again, as I've already mentioned - all of this height talk is irrelevant, because tennis is a much different game than it used to be.

    Some posters here are fallaciously judging the game of past based on contemporary standards. This is nonsense.

    Federer is taller and has a bigger serve. So what? Laver had a better lob and superior volleys. Big deal. Different time. Different skills. Different body types.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2009
  13. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    There really is no argument to weaken: being 5'9" is going to put you at a huge disadvantage in the men's game due to the limitations it puts on the serve. That doesn't mean 5'9" men are bad people or bad players.
     
  14. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    There is a clip on youtube of Laver playing I think Rosewall. Everytime Laver serves to the ad court he gets back and easy sliced bh reply that he punches away with a volley. Everytime no exceptions.
     
  15. darthpwner

    darthpwner Banned

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    dont discredit laver he played in the wood era when u couldnt hit the ball as hard as u can now b cuz of poly, giant headsizes, and extreme grips. also laver couldnt play the slams for 5 years cuz he turned professional and this was pre-open era.
     
  16. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Not sure what you're getting at here, but I'm glad you've learned so much from youtube clips.
     
  17. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    It was what what is was. Serve, sliced reply, volley point over. Pretty much looked as like a joke compared to today's game.
     
  18. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Um, okay. Thanks for chiming in.
     
  19. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Can someone explain to me if someone like Nalbo who is 5'10" can beat the crap out of both Nadal and Fed in TWO tourneys in a row(with Nadal barely winning games from him)how is that somehow Laver would not be able to compete with today's players because of his height?
     
  20. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    I don't know, but the answer is probably in one of those youtube clips some of the kids here are talking about.
     
  21. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Kids LOL. Is under 45 a kid. hahahahha
     
  22. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Explain how Laver could dominate now when every dominate player of recent vintage has been 6'1" or taller?
     
  23. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    So Hewitt wasn't a dominant player of recent vintage? He was number one for 2 years and won Wimbledon and USO.

    Despite his height IMO Nalbandian could have been a multiple slam winner if he was more dedicated and mentally stronger,height was never his main problem.
     
  24. PCXL-Fan

    PCXL-Fan Hall of Fame

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    Well you have to admit that in Laver's time period the weaker field, less people playing tennis, people not utterly dedicating themselves to tennis, professional tennis being in its infancy, only 2 surfaces, less prize money motivating people, inferior training/dietary conditioning/psychological training/physical conditioning would put Laver's GOAT status into question.

    Zagor... comeon Hewitt never dominated like Federer or Sampras. Hewitt would never be considered even one of the top ten greats. Neither would Nalbandian. Sure both Nalb and Hewitt are 5'10, but when you start going below 5'10 those nonexistant inches really start to take their toll. Your smaller, your leg stride is smaller and you are often less powerful then your larger framed counterparts. When was the last time there was a 5ft7- 5ft9 champion? Chang was probably the last.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2009
  25. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    It's not a knock on Laver to suggest he wouldn't win the Grand Slam in 2009 (if we could make Rocket 25 again) standing 5'9". It's reality.

    Hewitt was kind of an "in between" number one. Just after Sampras but before Roger really took off. Leyton was always entertainign to watch but to suggest he as dominant or was ever going to really rule mens tennis for any lenth of time is silly given his physical stature which made it necessary for him to kill himself physically. Sampras and Fed could sometimes almost lose interest until 4-4 in a set then get the break and serve it out in 90 secs as the opponent looks up and realizes the set is over.
     
  26. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    All of this pulled straight out of your ass. My favorite part is professional tennis being in its infancy. A good laugh. Yes.
     
  27. PCXL-Fan

    PCXL-Fan Hall of Fame

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    Open era pro tennis fool.
     
  28. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Right. Because tennis began with the open era. Nothing at all went on before that.

    Thanks for clarifying.
     
  29. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    No.
    1.the players in Laver's time WERE utterly dedicated to tennis, perhaps more so than many pros today. They worked/practiced VERY hard, they were NOT out partying or doing commercials or playing video games

    2.2 surfaces: so? The adaptability was there, the most extreme surfaces.

    3.LESS PRIZE MONEY MOTIVATING PEOPLE??? WOW. How incredibly misguided. Even some pros from the last few generations have admitted that this may have HURT motivation for some of their peers

    4.inferior training/dietary conditioning/psychological training/physical conditioning? IS THIS A JOKE? Although, I note, this has been part of the long running myth in athletics, that we "train harder/smarter" now, and that we "know more". REALITY: a great many "trainers'/"coaches" love to scam people into believing this. Simply not true. The more we learn, the more we realize how silly many of the current "trends" are. No, you don't need a rubber beach ball to develop core strength or balance. Meanwhile, we revinvent old-school methods and promote them as if they were new. CHOP WOOD YOU SAY?? WOW! FUNCTIONAL TRAINING??? In any case, the pros from Laver's era were in FANTASTIC shape. Very few who know the era dispute that. Hopman's boys were TOUGH and ABSOLUTELY FIT, by any standards.

    What has changed is:
    1.widespread doping
    2.larger athletic pool entering tennis

    #2 has enhanced the average athleticism of the average player, I doubt very much it has changed the bar at the elite level much. #1 is a factor but it's an external one that cannot be quantified...if anything, it's allowed less talented players to compete at a higher level relying on pure physical characteristics.

    Yet, still, somehow this, troglodyte, Rod Laver, who, wandered into a country club and found a racquet, while training part-time, with no real knowledge of conditioning etc. managed to have a FAR MORE COMPLETE game than almost any pro today. Managed to have a game, that Mcenroe and Sampras (among others) looked up to. Even though, he was really nothing in terms of talent or effectiveness by today's standards right? TROLLS.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2009
  30. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Let me also remind you newbs. That Laver's game was good enough for Pete Fischer to model several aspects of Sampras' game after, including the volley, the second serve(!), the backhand, and general stratgey.
     
  31. Young Pete

    Young Pete Professional

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    double post
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2009
  32. Young Pete

    Young Pete Professional

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    thank you very much! even sampras constantly refers to laver as the GOAT.
     
  33. Josherer

    Josherer Professional

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    Lol tall enough. The average height of man has increased since then. He was probably average where as now Fed is averageish.
     
  34. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Laver was definitely of a below-average height.
     
  35. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

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    Which makes what he did even more impressive.
     
  36. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    It happens. Steve Nash is below-average for NBA, even much below-average for the point guard position. And yet he is a great player.
     
  37. ormynameisntbill

    ormynameisntbill Rookie

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    but is steve nash a lebron james??
     
  38. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I think Laver gets pretty good credit--about exactly what he deserves.

    Don't forget that he couldn't play in any slams from 1963 until the Open era began. In 1969 he was beyond the peak of his career. His highpoint would have been probably 1967.

    If you ask Laver how good he was, then you will hear a humble gentleman say "ohh, I think I was pretty decent."
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2009
  39. Leelord337

    Leelord337 Hall of Fame

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  40. TrueFanOfTheGame

    TrueFanOfTheGame New User

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    Players from that era deserve some credit. Everyone talks about the wooden racquets, but everything was tougher. The surfaces, the shoes, training equipment & technology, etc. They struggled to make any kind of living. Today's top players are tremendously wealthy and enjoy an incredible amount of support in comparison. Everything is done to enhance every last aspect of their play. Today's players can be fabulously wealthy before they turn 20. Players from earlier eras had to pay some serious dues.

    IMHO the whole GOAT subject has been done to death though. There's no point in comparing eras looking for the GOAT. It's like asking which point guards would make the best quarterback. I guess I lose on that one because GOAT theory is about all the announcers talk about these days.
     
  41. Steve F.

    Steve F. Semi-Pro

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    I'm normally pretty tolerant of ignorance. Many say "ignorance is bliss."

    I say, "Do not post new threads in a state of bliss."

    We all have a learning curve. Some are steeper than others.

    This is a tennis forum.

    And the op has thrown up a stinking lob with his eyes closed.

    A lob is the steepest curve possible in tennis.

    (A stinking lob is even steeper.)

    My friend, the op, don't think of this thread as a beating, think of it as a clue, which the TW forum is giving you. (except for Chopin, locked in his personal nocturne) :)

    It's really not about GOAT, or height, or era.

    Stop posting, and play tennis! :)

    ...No really. Play more tennis. (Post less.)

    Play matches. Lose matches. Win matches. Keep score. Learn tennis.

    Post less.
     
  42. FiveO

    FiveO Hall of Fame

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    Some say this as if the entire world was 5'8" in Laver's time.

    These are just some Hall of Famers who crossed Laver's path:

    6': Emerson, Newcombe, Nastase
    6'1": Olmedo, Gimeno, Ashe
    6'2": Gonzales
    6'3": Stolle
    6'4": Stan Smith

    Some other Major seeds at the outset of the Open Era:

    6'1": Riessen
    6'2": Drysdale, Ralston, Dibley, Graebner
    6'3": Nikki Pilic, John Alexander

    and there were many more 6' plus guys in and out of draws, like Gene Scott and Herb Fitzgibbon along with many lesser knowns.

    The prevailing belief of the time was in fact that the 5'8"-ish had a distinct advantage over the 6' to 6' plus players of the era due to the extreme low bounces of the majority of venue surfaces of the day.

    On the other hand it is highly likely that today's slower, higher bounce yielding surfaces and the ever increasing use of heavy to heavier topspin tour wide, favored by the prevailing playing conditions today have served to raise player's optimal strike zone much higher favoring taller players.

    5
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2009
  43. World Beater

    World Beater Hall of Fame

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    height does have something to do with leverage on shots though.

    nalbandian is talented but one of the main reasons he could never win at slams was because he lacked a major weapon. It wasn't just because of his physical or mental frailties.

    there were a few slams that nalbandian entered with good form but couldnt win.

    height gives one more leverage on strokes especially the serve. if nalbandian had a bigger serve, he would have won a slam by now. the serve is the most imp stroke in tennis.

    hewitt did well too with his height but he is not really a legend anyway.

    the point is laver would have been a fine player in any era, but i doubt he would dominate the tour today.

    BUT HE gets credit for dominating his era, and that is what counts in the end.
     
  44. mental midget

    mental midget Professional

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    laver was a freak with serious SKILLZ. who knows what strokes he might have developed in a modern context, but the raw material of his athleticism would make for a formidable player in any era.

    rios was around in a big-hitting era, and clowned a lot of those guys, when he felt like playing. it can be done.
     
  45. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

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    Guys, I just wanted to let you know that a certain Polish composer of prodigious talent just posted his GOAT list in another thread (word on the street is that George Sand had some input). As you read it, I'd like all you guys to listen to Chopin's "Revolutionary" Etude.

    Here's a really technically sharp performance of it by Pollini:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-VjFKLCKwM
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2009
  46. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Excellent question. I think his victories have all been figments of our collective imaginations! Oh my....it's mass hysteria.

    ^This is priceless...you owe me a monitor my friend. :)

    Ohhh OK..not a kid, but incredibly uninformed.

    How recent? Agassi? 5'11" Rios 5'8" Hewitt 5'9"

    This week?

    #7 Gilles Simon 5'11"

    #11 Nikolay Daveydenko 5'10"

    #12 Fernando Gonzalez 6'

    #14 David Ferrer 5'9"

    #15 David Nalbandian 5'11"

    #17 Tommy Robredo 5'11"

    #18 Stan Warwrinka 6'

    So 7 out of the top 25 are 6 foot or under. That's 28% of the top 25 who are 6 foot or under.

    BTW, let's look at how they've fared recently....every one of these guys went pretty damn far in the French open.

    Hello theory meet holes.

    Don't forget another left hander who based his game on Laver, John McEnroe. Sampras has repeatedly said he watched footage of Laver. Arthur Ashe threw up en route to his semifinal against Laver at the Open because he was so nervous.

    Not if you factor in the entire world. :)

    Excellent post. BTW those who crossed Laver's path usually fell to him too.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2009
  47. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    There's this saying in Russian - don't juggle a diamond necklace in front of a pig's face. It won't do much good.

    I think there's a similar one in English too.

    One could accumulate as many facts as one wishes, but those who choose to be ignorant will simply deflect them. It's easy to do. Twist the facts or subtly change the subject. Reinforce the agenda. Distort opposing positions.

    There's a good deal of posters here who don't know a lot about the Laver days, but they present themselves with a great deal of modesty. They ask questions, engage in discussions and are open to new discoveries. If there's here to stay, chances are that they will gradually change as posters - their beliefs gradually altered by others here and they themselves somehow shaping points of view of everyone.

    Conversely, certain other folks are always the same. They already have their minds made up. Even worse, they aggressively pursue their agenda - or, in certain cases, passively-aggressively. Typically they're just in it to disturb the flow of things - to upset people, to get on their nerves, push some buttons.

    It's a shame. Tennis message boards have a less religious attitude towards past players. This is completely different than, say, baseball boards - go there and say something disparaging about Joe DiMaggio and they'll rip you to shreds.
     
  48. Chopin

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    You're right, Cyborg. It's a true shame that we don't have "religious" attitudes towards people who play tennis. Great post!
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2009
  49. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Yeah - you got me. That's exactly what I meant. Remarkable reading comprehension skills.
     
  50. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

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    Hey, I respect Laver more than I do the Pope (that's another can of worms though). Seriously.

    Also, you might want to check out my thread on Federer & Art.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2009

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