Lendl vs. Becker - 1991 Australian Open final

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by BreakPoint, Jan 5, 2008.

  1. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,251
    Now that's what I'm talking about!!! :grin:

    I just watched the replay of the '91 Australian Open final between Lendl and Becker and it was so refreshing watching these two guys play as compared to most of the pros playing today. This is when real men played tennis - two warriors using the entire court and variety of shots. No grunting, no shrieking, no capri pants, no sleeveless shirts, no extreme topspin-only, no baseline bashing-only, no two-handed backhands, no western grips, etc. This was about big serves, all-court play, ripping one-handed backhands crosscourt and down-the-line, chipping and slicing backhands when needed, serve and volleying to mix things up, using all angles of the court, hitting the ball precisely into the baseline corners, hitting mostly flat, attacking the net, hitting great approach shots, chipping and charging, wearing real shorts and not "longs", polo shirts with collars, heavy midsize racquets (was Lendl's under 80 sq. in.?), no light midplus nor oversized racquets, etc.

    This was so much more enjoyable to watch than most of today's pros, with the exception of Federer.

    Man, I wish tennis could be like that again! :|
     
  2. TonyB

    TonyB Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    Messages:
    2,779
  3. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    Messages:
    2,057
    Location:
    NJ, USA
    I miss those days too. The days when tennis wasn't all about hitting the ball as hard as you possibly can, but using your brain and strategy as well as power. I too also prefer the one handed backhand (I use a one handed backhand when I play) as opposed to the two hander. Also I agree that those capri shorts have to go and they should be banned immediately. Maybe if _____ wore normal shorts he wouldn't then have to constantly pull his underwear out of his ass.

    That match was a great clash between Lendl and Becker and Lendl was always one of my favorite players going back to when I first got into tennis in the 80s. Powerful forehand, very good serve, and a great one handed backhand especially down the line and he hit the ball that hard with such a small headed, very tightly strung racket.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2008
  4. ericsson

    ericsson Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Messages:
    3,679
    Location:
    Land of beer and chocolate
    I agree BP, that kind of tennis is the most enjoyable to watch, to me Federer belongs in that era, not now...
     
  5. FedForGOAT

    FedForGOAT Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Messages:
    921
    I cannot agree that Lendl hit mostly flat.
     
  6. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    5,939
    Location:
    In the moment.
    What a great match! I remember it so clearly from all those years ago because Becker got SPANKED in the first set but remained composed and came back for a tough four set win. All court tennis is so much more entertaining. CC
     
  7. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,251
    Compared to Nadal or Roddick, he did.

    BTW, there is no such thing as a completely flat shot. "Flat" in tennis means no loppy topspin. Watch Lendl hit his backhand and forehand, they are flatter than most pros hit them today, more like Blake's. Were you playing or watching tennis during Lendl's entire career?

    I recall watching Lendl play Vince Van Patten in the 1st round on an outside court at the 1979 US Open. Lendl hit a lob that went over the back fence. I thought to myself - "Geez, this guy will never make it as a pro". Boy, am I glad I didn't place a bet on that! :wink: :lol: LOL
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2008
  8. Richie Rich

    Richie Rich Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    Messages:
    5,274
    i bet lendl and becker would still hit a heavier ball than most of the pros today.
     
  9. Sixpointone

    Sixpointone Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Messages:
    959
    I recall watching the Finals back when it actually happened and truly enjoyed the replay. It is one of the reasons that I enjoy the Tennis Channel.
     
  10. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,251
    I agree. Those heavy racquets produced heavy balls. You really can't compensate for weight.
     
  11. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Messages:
    6,557
    Lendl and Becker used to be criticized for this, for mindlessly bashing. Lendl was often compared to a robot.
     
  12. scotus

    scotus Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2005
    Messages:
    7,517
    Does anyone know why Becker rushed off the court after the match and could not even make a proper winner's speech?
     
  13. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2004
    Messages:
    5,889
    Interesting match to watch -- I was awed by the way Becker absolutely knifed his volleys and played on the edge, seeming to love going for the bold shot. I recall that Tiriac once chastised him for not playing more sensibly; Becker complained that he liked to have fun out there.
     
  14. hoosierbr

    hoosierbr Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2005
    Messages:
    1,837
    That was a great match, Dracula vs. Boom-Boom. I really liked how Lendl rocked the eagle shirt. Mizuno was it?

    What was nice about that match was that it showed Lendl was a sufficient all-court player who could attack the net with success, he always gets labeled as a guy who couldn't volley to save his life and didn't win Wimbledon as a result.

    Also, really illustrates how, in my opinion, Lendl had one of the smoothest, aesthetically pleasing and effective service motions ever.

    And when he serves to stay in the match in the fourth set you see his nerves slowly go until they shatter completely. I believe that was his last slam final.
     
  15. Richie Rich

    Richie Rich Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    Messages:
    5,274
    he went and jumped into the river near the stadium. i think
     
  16. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    5,939
    Location:
    In the moment.
    I thought that was Courier................:confused: CC
     
  17. Richie Rich

    Richie Rich Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    Messages:
    5,274
    i think he copied becker - but it was so long ago and i have trouble remembering things from a week ago!

    EDIT - you are right. Becker apparently ran around a gum tree when he ran out of the stadium. Courier jumped in the river
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2008
  18. couch

    couch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    Messages:
    1,887
    Haven't seen that match in a while, certainly was a great one. I checked and I think it's on again Tuesday on Tennis Channel and I'm gonna record it.

    Those late 80's early 90's matches bring back some great memories as that's when I started playing at the ripe old age of 19 (1989) and being a huge Agassi fan. I also remember I'd have my grandfather record the matches on his VCR and then mail them to me at college so I could watch them. LOL No cable in the dorms back then, only in the main areas on each floor. :)
     
  19. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    Messages:
    2,057
    Location:
    NJ, USA

    Maybe for the time they did but compare them to today's pros and you see them using angles and spins and volleys much more judiciously and much more effectively than most any pro playing today (Federer might be an exception to that rule) and not just focusing on power to the exclusion of anything else which is unfortunately what we see all too much of these days.
     
  20. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,251
    Right on!! I couldn't have said it any better myself. :)
     
  21. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,251
    Craig,

    Your new avatar is very fitting for this thread. :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2008
  22. HappyChappy

    HappyChappy Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    Messages:
    110
    1)Becker had a Western grip on his forehand

    2)Lendl had a semi western

    3)Both players hit with a huge amount of topspin

    4)It was pretty typical/indistinguishable of today's style, lot's of pretty mindless baseline bashing, just going for random winners.Lots of their shots went in, that's why this match was so amazing, but if you ever saw there USO final which was unbelievably error strewn with the most aggressive baseline bashing I have ever seen in my life, they both played like james blake, you'd change your mind about their stylistic superiority.
     
  23. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,251
    Sorry, but this does not look like a full western forehand grip to me. If anything, it's closer to an eastern grip:

    [​IMG]

    And Lendl's forehand grip also looks more eastern than semi-western to me:

    [​IMG]

    BTW, neither was hitting massive topspin that was going 6 feet over the net a la Nadal. Their shots looked much more penetrating than loopy.
     
  24. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,251
    BTW, this 1991 AusOpen final between Lendl and Becker is being shown again on The Tennis Channel on:

    Monday, Jan. 7th at 12:00pm EST/9:00am PST
    and
    Tuesday, Jan. 8th at 12:00pm (noon) EST/9:00am PST (Maybe as the TTC online schedule regarding this match is totally unreliable.)

    Enjoy!! :)

    Note: I had to edit the above because TTC's online schedule regarding this match has been off. They tend to show this match when the schedule says it's supposed to show a Williams sisters AO match and vise versa. The same thing happened last week. Anyway, the match is on right now!
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2008
  25. HappyChappy

    HappyChappy Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    Messages:
    110
    you can't judge by looking at pictures like that, anyway, this is getting ridiculous.Becker says he has a western grip and lendl says he uses a semi western.Not all the great players of all time use eastern grips Breakpoint
     
  26. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,632
    Location:
    Bierlandt

    From these photos Becker's grip looks to be between an Eastern and a semi-Western. Lendl's grip is a bit harder to judge, but I would have to say maybe even a Continental. (I try to look at where the "V" between the index finger and thumb falls on the bevels.)

    By the way, I saw Becker in person play at Wimby (when he was unknown) in 1985. He hit with incredible speed and power with sizable topspin but only 2-3 feet over the net.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2008
  27. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,251
    Well, as we've seen from this forum, most people don't really know the proper names of the grips they really use and that would probably include some pros. Also, back then anything that was even a bit more extreme than a "normal" proper eastern grip was probably described as a "western grip". Borg used to say he used a western forehand grip, but in all the pics I've seen of him hitting forehands, he was using an eastern grip or a mild semi-western at the very most.
     
  28. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    5,939
    Location:
    In the moment.
    Thanks! :)

    You will appreciate that I actually changed it in response to watching this match on TTC Classics!!

    Best, and Happy New Year!

    CC
     
  29. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    5,939
    Location:
    In the moment.
    Yes. I watched him from 10-15 feet away on multiple occasions (at the old RCA Championships in Indy) and he appeared to be using something between an Eastern and SW forehand grip (like I do now!). He just RIPPED the ball deep with TONS of pace and a modest amount of topspin. Net clearance of say 3 feet or so. :) CC
     
  30. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    5,939
    Location:
    In the moment.
    Agreed. No way was Borg using a full western. His strokes were long, loopy, and 'classic'. He DID hit with good deal of topspin (for HIS time) but nothing compared to today's players. :) CC
     
  31. scotus

    scotus Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2005
    Messages:
    7,517
    Becker did come back for the awards ceremony but stated that he was sorry for not being able to say a thing. It was quite bizarre to say the least.
     
  32. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    7,863
    Becker was overcome with emotion at having achieved the #1 ranking for the 1st time in his career.

    He never celebrated like that when he won 3 wimbledons & 1 uso.
    I'm sure everyone in the crowd understood why he was speechless & didn't consider it to be 'bizarre.'
     
  33. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    7,863
    just read this on tennis.com:

    "But most entertaining of all may have been the vintage Aussie Open final from 1991 that the Tennis Channel was running, between Boris Becker and Ivan Lendl. Those guys were playing some ball. (See the last game here.) I’d forgotten how complete a player and outstanding an athlete Becker was. He broke Lendl with a running, hooking forehand pass to win the third set, and then won the match in the fourth by taking a forehand return on the rise and rifling it down the line for a winner.

    That was 17 years ago, and I’d say either of these guys would be Top 5 now, even Top 3, without changing a thing, including their racquets. Hopefully they would change their shirts, however. Lendl had what I think was an eagle screaming across his chest, while Becker might have been mistaken for a NASCAR driver with the Ford patch on his shoulder and the yellow mullet draped over his neck.

    We’ve all heard that tennis evolves over the decades, but I think it’s safe to say that the evolution has slowed considerably in the last decade and a half. Rebound Ace in Melbourne routinely brought out the best in players, but Becker and Lendl were using the same power-baseline style we see today, with big serves and more forays to net from Becker. I’d forgotten how solid Lendl had made his backhand by his later years; he had something like 15 winners from that side in this match, and it was tough to attack. As for Becker, the quality and consistency of his return was a stunner. His big serve, big forehand, and all-court skill would make him a tough match-up for anyone today, including Federer and Nadal."

    http://tennisworld.typepad.com/thewrap/2008/01/8-questions-for.html#comments

    Nice to see a tennis writer admit that he forgot a lot about how some great players played. It puts a lot of praise by the experts today in perspective. I wonder what Cliff Drysdale & co would think after re-visting this match. Most of their analysis when comparing players/eras is based on old memories.
     
  34. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,251
    I wholeheartedly agree! :)
     
  35. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,915
    Location:
    Parts unknown
    i agree that both would be Top 5ers right now, but there is no way they would be playing the same same style they were in 91 nor would they be using the same racquets. you cant do a couple thousand UE's in a match anymore and still win. that just isnt possible. the only thing i question is if they are fast enough as tennis is a running game more so than ever and not a hitting game..it's turned into smething resembling bicycling
     
  36. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,251
    Hmmm......I've watched this match a few times over the past couple of weeks and I didn't notice "a couple of thousand UE's" in the match. In fact, I think there were no more unforced errors in this match than the average ATP match today, and perhaps even fewer.
     
  37. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,915
    Location:
    Parts unknown
    oh sure..anyone who knows tennis knows that there are much fewer UE's now than then for a number of reasons
     
  38. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    5,939
    Location:
    In the moment.
    Greetings Mojo,

    What are the reasons that we see fewer unforced errors nowadays?

    Allow me to say (because of the context) that I was truly not aware this is the case, but do find it interesting.

    Best,

    CC
     
  39. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    Messages:
    2,057
    Location:
    NJ, USA
    I think the opposite is true. We see more UEs then ever because when a player is hitting the ball as hard as possible there isn't much room for consistency or accuracy, so more UEs are generated. If it's any consolation, it's even worse on the women's side than on the men's.
     
  40. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,915
    Location:
    Parts unknown
    Hi Craig..check it out sometime...watch Laver play back in the day....UE's all over the place...in fact he could stink it up at times making all kinds of errors and recover by reeling off a series of magical winners and still win. he could get away with it because opponents were also making mistakes. the Lendl/Becker era there were fewer...and now fewer still.

    the racquets have bigger sweetzones and they play a lower risk style of tennis now versus then dont you agree? higher net clearance/more spin. even watching the lendl/Becker match, you didnt see much net clearance...they hit with spin, but lower trajectory (which was a lot more common back then)....much higher risk and therefore more UE's..i will say there were more 'what i call' forced errors back even when lendl played becker in that match. example: becker pressuring lendl by hitting a hard sliced backhand and coming in behind it. this produced the error several times. not really a UE point, but certainly not a winner......a forced error. this types of shots are missing from the game i think...instead of getting the opponent to hit a forced error, they just hit winners...thoughts?
     
  41. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,251
    Um...did you actually see this match? If so, could you please share with us where you saw the "thousands of unforced errors"?

    Like I said, I've seen this match a few times now and I don't think there were any more unforced errors in this match than you would typically see in the average ATP match today. In fact, I think there were fewer as both Lendl and Becker were hitting with incredible control and precision.
     
  42. hoosierbr

    hoosierbr Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2005
    Messages:
    1,837
    Watching matches from 15-20 years ago makes me wonder if the quality of shotmaking was better than it is today. Lot more errors true but more interesting rallies and matches and stunning winners.
     
  43. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    5,939
    Location:
    In the moment.
    Hey Mojo,

    Interesting points. Although I don't perceive a lower rate of UE's nowadays, what you are saying does make sense. I think guys have also taken the net out of play by using Luxilon string, and that is a factor here.

    I know my game style is based on controlling the point by moving the ball around the court with different spins, height, and pace. I look to force errors by attacking weak(er) shots, and by consistently hitting deep. I also know everyone I play seems to think I use an 'Old School' approach. ;) I actually see myself as a blend of the old and the new.

    Best,

    CC
     
  44. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Messages:
    6,834
    Location:
    New York City
    There are always going to be more errors with smaller racquet heads and less spinny strings, all things being equal. Seems like a technological issue to me.
     
  45. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,915
    Location:
    Parts unknown
    the variety of shots and contrasting style matches was certainly greater then. passing shots are pretty non existent now with people not getting to net. approach shots have been replaced by winners..the one thing that has changed for the better is that a lot more serves are being put into play

    even at my lowly 5.0 level there isnt the percentage to play serve/volley other than just to mix it up a little and it is really difficult to be at net and that's what i used to do

    hope your year is off to a great start Randy, and that those knees are back to good. Mojo
     
  46. Gasquetrules

    Gasquetrules Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    Messages:
    414
    The string is the difference in today's game...

    The recent revolution in string technology has changed the game. Players can hit harder and still control the ball better with today's poly-based string, and thus produce fewer unforced errors. I can well see why Rod Laver could make a lot of errors, hitting with a wooden racquet and gut string. It just amazes me how consistent Borg was with the same setup.

    I've got a couple of ESTUSA Powerbeams just like Becker played with at that time. I string them with Big Banger Ace (18 guage) and they play great! All the power you need. My go-to stick is a Gamma G325, which is a retro-stick quite similar to racquets from the late 80s. I use TiMo 18 and Banger Ace, depending on the opponent. I get plenty of power and much more consistent results with this style of heavy, flexible, thin-beamed frame than with the newer light-weight powerful frames. Like the Powerbeam, the G325 is fine for an all-court game with a one-handed backhand.

    I'm a huge fan of '80s tennis, and I've stated on a previous thread on this subject that I think Boris Becker is the most talented and complete player to ever play the game. Great serve (by any era or standard); great return (especially the backhand drive return); the best groundstrokes the game had ever seen when he burst upon the scene in 1985; and one of the top-five vollyers of all time; and a tremendous natural athlete! He was the total package!!!! He could hit from the baseline on equal terms with Lendl, Agassi or any of the best players of his era; and he was terrific at net. Probably only McEnroe and Edberg were better pure volleyers.

    Go to Roger Federer's official website, and you will see that the two players he idolized while growing up were Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg. It shows!

    I'm also a huge Lendl fan... the most dominant player of the '80s, a decade filled with tennis greats!

    One of the reasons that I admire the French tennis system is that they turn out so many solid players who play an all-court game similar to the style of Becker: one-handed backhands, ample topspin off both sides to hold their own from the baseline while always looking to get to net.

    In some ways Richard Gasquet is a nice blend of this classic style with today's game. He plays with the new poly-based strings and a very powerful racquet, but plays with a lot of variety from all over the court and can play well on any surface. He generates a lot of topspin (partly because of the strings) but volleys quite well and is always looking to get to the net to end the point. Certainly not the cookie-cutter type of baseline player that US junior and collegiate tennis churns out.

    Becker did hit with a lot of topspin by 1985 standards, but the players that followed quickly caught up. And I also think the definition of what constitutes a western and semi-western grip has changed over the past 30 years.

    For debatable reasons Boris Becker didn't win as many grand slam titles as he could have -- or should have -- but when he was at the top of his game he could beat all the best players of his era -- and did! And he moved amazingly well for such a big and powerful man.

    I've got several matches on DVD of Lendl and Becker, and it is wonderful stuff. Certainly tennis today is no better... and only rarely so good.
     
  47. Gasquetrules

    Gasquetrules Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    Messages:
    414
    More thoughts on the unforced errors issue...

    Now that I think upon the issue, for most of the 1980s tennis was amazing because of the incredible consistency that was so often displayed. Recall the 1987 US Open final between Lendl and Wilander. Half the points in that match were rallies of 30 or more points, often with rallies much longer than that. Get on red clay and you could watch 50 to 80 stroke rallies, all with very good depth and placement. Lendl prevailed against Wilander in the '87 final, so the following year Wilander shotened the rallies and came to net much more quickly, forcing Lendl to do the same.

    I recall the Lipton final in the late 80s between Lendl and Mecir, with both men moving with silky smoothness on the baseline trading dozens of groundstrokes to decide one point. Mecir's flawless precision finally utterly frustrated Lendl, forcing him to go for more and more powerful shots and lose the match.

    Becker had the ability to ramp up the power-level from the baseline and blow his opponents away. So Lendl had to hit with more power, too, or lose on all surfaces but clay. Lendl really began the power surge in the early 80s, Becker pushed it to a higher level, and then Agassi came along and made hard-hitting mandatory in the pro game by 1990. That's the main reason Wilander hung it up, despite winning three grand slam titles in 1988 and finishing the year at #1.

    So yeah, these guys could play unbelievably consistent tennis with basic graphite frames and gut string, but as the players got bigger and stronger and finally grew up playing with graphite from childhood power became the way to win, and unforced errors naturally increased -- along with the fantastic shot making.
     
  48. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,915
    Location:
    Parts unknown
    Poly alone wasnt it. It was poly coupled with larger headed powerful racquets a la PureDrive that changed how the game was played I think.

    Poly was available when Lendl/Becker were in their primes and even earlier. It was the cheapest string you could find and nobody would use it because of the downsides many have come to know of but somehow be willing to endure.

    I think Luxilon and Babolat are forever indebted to one another..
     
  49. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Messages:
    6,557
    Responding to earlier posts, in that picture, Lendl was probably returning a big serve, thus the eastern/continental forehand grip. You can find videos and pictures of Federer doing the same thing at times. They both wait with backhand grips, so sometimes they block back returns when they don't have time to switch grips.

    I've been watching this match, too, and I don't think they could be top 3 today let alone with the same racket. Top 10, probably. Lendl might have to switch rackets. And I'm old enough to have seen plenty of these guys in their primes in case you're wondering.

    Variety isn't a weapon in and of itself. It might make for more entertaining tennis, but in terms of winning I tend to think that results speak for themselves, that individuals aside, the most effective playing styles (effective being defined here as "most likely to give you a win") can be determined as being such by looking at rankings/results. Lendl and Becker were a generation that grew up when people played with wood, so they were sort of in that transitional period when new materials were making serve and volley a riskier proposition but there were still guys raised on wood doing it. So yeah, they played with more variety and if you enjoy that type of tennis, which most of us do, they can be considered "better" in those terms. But in terms of being able to step into a time machine, departure 1991, arrival 2008, and dominating, don't think so.

    Of course I'm not saying people shouldn't try to develop a well rounded game.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2008
  50. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,251
    I thought you'd appreciate this one too, Craig. :)

    [​IMG]

    This one might actually have been taken during that '91 AO.

    Happy New Year to you, too. :D
     

Share This Page