Modern Tennis Is A Brutal Sport

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by TMF, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Is everybody enjoying the Australian Open lately ?

    This is what happen to Kavcic after his match in the 2nd round. He was completely gone after a brutal match, with exhaustion, injuries, pain, and force to see medical attention. He's only 25 years old, unlike 40 years old Gonzales who had no problem competing in the old days when tennis was easier on the body. That's why players in the pre-open era and even in the 70s were able to win so many titles. I hope you all understand why it's not possible to win a lot titles because the game is way more physical then ever. So please, don't use Laver's 200 titles as has equal weight to today's standard. It holds a standard to his era but no way it's comparable to today.

    http://www.news.com.au/sport/tennis...ive-set-marathon/story-fndkzym4-1226556127915
    [​IMG]
     
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  2. KineticChain

    KineticChain Professional

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    I sense a lot of angry old geezers in your near future
     
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  3. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Another negative post about the past game and Laver from TMF. What a surprise. You realize that players in the past also have collapsed during long matches also.
     
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  4. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Just a few examples of players collapsing: Vines 1933 in Davis Cup vs. Perry, Buchholz cramping and collapsing vs. Fraser on matchpoint for himself, Wim 1960. At the AO the players had to play in the brutal heat on midday, there was no roof and mostly there were no evening matches.
     
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  5. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    PC1, are you saying players were calling the MTO as often as today? Retire prematurely as often? I don't know about the 60s, but does anyone know that players were getting treatment as often as today? I doubt that. Please be honest, and don't hide the fact.

    The match between Nole and Stan was another gruesome encounter, where Stan need all the treatments from the trainer he can get, and yet, that wasn't enough because he could barely jogging due to the cramp and fatigue. ESPN was showing both players ran over 3+ miles throughout the match.
     
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  6. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    There also was no sitting down between games. Shoes were terrible compared to today causing blisters so the players would have problems walking if they played too much. I believe Laver and Gonzalez played the final of the US Pro in 1964 in conditions that has been described as monsoon like.
     
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  7. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    I understand every sport there's bound to be an incident when one player is almost helpless. But the point is how often it occured.
     
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  8. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    The match was the great encounter between two top players but it does amaze me that you complain about some posters here writing negative things where you often initiate it.

    Yes players are in great shape today and players were in great shape in the past.

    Here's one point from some oldies. They did a little running here.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSXETXKi7OI
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
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  9. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Perspective

    There are a few ways to look at this. You can say that the game today is more grueling than in the past because of the long baseline rallies or you can also look at it also as perhaps many do not want to venture to the net to put away easy shots with strong volleys. Pete Sampras was hardly known for his great stamina although he won many five set matches. He was able to serve and volley more in later years because his skills (great serve and excellent volley) allowed him too.

    I understand for example that after the Laver-Connors challenge match in 1975 that Connors collapsed with cramps in the locker room. Laver said afterwards he could have played ten sets if need be.

    Djokovic was super impressive with his movement and stamina today as was Wawrinka but does Wawrinka look like a Superman to you that would sweep aside all players in the past? After all you are implying that the tennis is so physical today that players of the past could never handle it. Logically Wawrinka should wear down guys like Borg and Gonzalez with his baseline play. Are you saying that?

    The game is very physical today but they also have the best equipment to minimize the wear on the body. Is it tougher today? Maybe but maybe not.
     
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  10. NadalDramaQueen

    NadalDramaQueen Hall of Fame

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    Are you telling me that the ancient ballerinas collapsed after dancing around patting the ball back and forth? Maybe they shouldn't have worn pants LMFAO.

    ROFL don't even get me started on the heat back then. Every1 knows that the global warming has only recently made tennis in the brutal heat possible. Go 2 school, kid.

    --------

    Just kidding, everyone. I don't know why everything has to be a competition between modern and past tennis.
     
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  11. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    The recovery time from such matches is sooner as is the recovery from injuries, because of medical advances in nutrition and hydration therapy, pain and physical therapy. It is easier to replenish the right nutrients, when we better understand what they are and how they interrelate and how they are digested.. It is easier to treat injuries when you can see them better, diagnose them quicker and repair them less invasively. Recuperation times frames are shorter when you have more options for pain relief and muscle, tendon and bone repair and when you can target your response more accurately.

    Modern science is more than a convenience for modern athletes. Kavic should be back on the court and effective again sooner than he would if this happened in 1967. It is more than convenient that specialists in sports injuries, and imaging equipment are all over the globe, and not just LA, New York and some capitals. Its nice for athletes than those specialties actually exist and are meaningful.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
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  12. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Didn't know the Joffrey had tennis players?:)
     
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  13. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    Peple want it both ways: they claim the game is more physical now so it's harder to win more titles, but at the same time say that nutrition and training are so much more advanced than they were decades ago. Which is it? The players of the 1960s were poorly conditioned, trained on beer, but were able to play enough to win 200 titles????
     
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  14. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Thing is that it's tough in any era. Laver used to play every day when he was in the pros. They played in horrible conditions and horrible places. It only started getting much better in 1968 when the Open Era started. No there were not ballet stars dancing around. Incidentally aside from singles most of them played doubles. Less effort than singles of course but still some extra work.

    Here's Laver when he was 36 against Connors in 1975. Do they look like they're just dancing? Like I wrote earlier, I understand Connors collapsed of cramps after the match and Laver walked around easily saying he could have played ten sets.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SptdffCeVmM

    A few points here, it's not easy swinging a heavier wooden racquet for thousands of swings over the years. The vibrations also hurt your arm. The equipment like the tennis shoes were not nearly as great as what we have now. When I used to play when I was younger I used to get blisters all the time on my feet. I never get them now due to the better shoes.

    Guys like Vines and Budge could barely walk after a few matches on their tours due to the horrible bloody blisters on their feet. I don't think they got that from dancing around. A few quotes from Budge's excellent book "Don Budge, a Tennis Memoir"--When we could, then, we would leave right after a match and drive as far as possible that night, stopping only when we were all just too tired to continue. Often we would pull in at random into some tourist cabins or a small-town hotel. More than once we startled some wizened old room clerk, who would be slumped down, half asleep, when we would barge in at two or three in the morning.

    Another quote--"I pulled off my shoes as gingerly as I could. The bottoms of my feet were covered with blood that was gushing from several big broken blisters. "Ellie," I said, "how in the world am I going to keep playing this tour?" We've hardly started and look at my feet already."

    Ellie only chuckled, "Well kid," he said, "take a look at these." He carefully pulled off a shoe and the sock off one of his feet, and , if possible, the sight reveal was even uglier and bloodier than the one my feet had prevented.


    It's all subject to debate whether it was tougher in the past or now but no doubt we do have better health care on the court now. Medical people are there to take care of the pros. Clothing is better so the sweat evaporates quickly now. Player have teams of trainers and professional caring for them.

    I would say Tennis at the Top Levels has always been brutal. Ask Jimmy Connors if every match he played wasn't a battle.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
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  15. Blocker

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    Makes you wonder how many players in eras past had a cig before a big match.

    What the OP fails to realise is that yes, tennis is a much more brutal sport today than it was 50 years ago. But it's more brutal today because of the advancements in technology. Better racquets, better training methods, better recovery methods, better diets, better footwear, better IP in just about every facet of the game. Plus, tennis did not always have sit downs at the change of ends. Tennis did not always have tiebreaks at 6-6 of a set to bring it to a premature close. Give Laver that sort of technology and groom him for today's era and then you would see a more brutal version of himself. He would still probably have that Popeye forearm and he would still have that tennis ability, but he would have all the other stuff that goes with being a top player today.

    Each generation learns from the previous generation. Next the OP will talk about how office secretaries are so much better today because they have Microsft computers yet the secretary from yesteryear only had typewriters.

    OP, I'm afraid you're comparing apples with oranges.
     
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  16. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    This is such a great post whether a person agrees with it or not. Love next to the last paragraph.
     
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  17. dunlop_fort_knox

    dunlop_fort_knox Semi-Pro

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    that's how he would look after a match with laver too. :)
     
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  18. big ted

    big ted Hall of Fame

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    tennis does seem more grueling now and the players are in better shape, but players decades ago got exhaustion and iv's after their matches too, they just didnt instagram or write about it back then. for example during connors 91 run at the usopen he got iv's after his matches.. its the only way to quickly hydrate yourself so you can recover fast enough.
     
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  19. piece

    piece Professional

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    I don't think this was TMF's point. Rather, he meant to argue that past players could never accrue those insane title counts if they were playing a game as physical as the modern one. If one were to endorse this point they could nevertheless maintain that past greats would do very well in the modern game.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013
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  20. makinao

    makinao Rookie

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    Yes, you really don't know about the 60s.
     
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  21. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    The advanced nutrition and medical gets totally blown out of porportion. Of course it helps modern players, but it's not going to turn a player into superhuman. If you're injured due to physcial stress on court, you still have to take time off, have surgeries, and even injuries can stay permanent(eg hip injury). Nole is incredibly fit, but does anyone believe advanced science is going to keep him playing as long as Rosewall? Hell no. Nothing can help if he put so much stress on his leg, shoulder, knee, etc(as we have seen many of his matches).

    I supposed if Laver had all the access to modern science...nutrition, better doctor, better equipments in the 60s, he would win 400 titles ?? LOL
     
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  22. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    You're twisting the words. Like I wrote in past posts which you again fail to acknowledge, one of the big reasons players played longer in the past was three reasons, money, money, money. Pancho Gonzalez was not that rich for example. He had bills and ex wives to take care of. These players at the beginning of the Open Era played in big money tournaments to literally cash in on the big money in tennis. It wasn't close to the money they have today where a guy like Sampras can retire early and never worry about bills or finances again.

    Just recently Agassi has played to his mid thirties, retiring at age 36. Sampras probably could have played a number of years longer considering he won his last major in his last tournament at I believe age 32. You have your hero saying he wants to play in the Olympics in a few years at around age 35. So are you going to say that players cannot play in later ages at that point?

    Navratilova played into her late thirties very successfully.

    Jimmy Connors played past age 40 and was very competitive. He was in I believe his mid thirties for example when he crushed Edberg at the US Open. He was 39 when he went to the US Open semi in 1991. The key to this I believe is that the players we mentioned are all fantastic players. If they decline the decline is from such a high level that they still are often very good and competitive. It's not always the case but guys like Rosewall or Gonzalez were winning tournaments into their forties although they generally weren't a top force (with the exception of Rosewall in 1974) in the majors.

    Players in the past generally retired early also. Rosewall, Laver, Agassi, Connors, Gonzalez, Navatilova and probably in the near future Federer will be the exceptions. Notice anything in common with these people? They're all great players.

    Sometime I think my fingers will get tired repeating the same answers over and over and over again.

    Here's a match by the old guy Jimmy Connors at age 39. Pretty grueling rallies here.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9AuBGmLw1ZY
    Connors was always a grinder but he knew how to finish off rallies at the net.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
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  23. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    And way more stupid.

    Maybe Blaz is a wimp.? 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-7, 10-8 in 104 degree weather--sounds like a tough match. Bet he couldn't play a tough match before the tie-breaker was invented, like Gonzales did.

    Gonzales won at Wimbledon against Charlie Pasarell: 22-24, 1-6, 16-14, 6-3, 11-9. But it was probably hotter in Sydney. But then Gonzales lived in Las Vegas where it has been known to get hot . . . occasionally.

    Pancho would have won this match easily with his S&V style--no hours of brainless, exhausting baseline-bashing.

    If only they knew how to volley today.?

    But, oh yes, volleying is obsolete and endless baseline-bashing is so "heroically" physical (and so dumb in that heat--but it's all they know how to do).

    Duh!?
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
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  24. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Are players allowed to volley? I didn't know you're allowed to hit the ball in the air. :shock: I thought the net was a place you're guaranteed to be passed or lobbed over.
     
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  25. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Stop getting all upset just because I speak the truth. The baseline, long rallies is all part of the conditions that players must follow. Unlike in the old days when conditions allow you to shorten the point. That's another reason why tennis today is more gruesome. The extensive playing on hc, with demands to run faster and more distance, more exertion in every strokes.

    Unfortunately, we can't control the weather. The players today get cramp, pull a muscle(hamstring), back problem, knees, ankle, etc. Had there isn't any trainer/MTO during the match, there would be many incidents of players retire early.

    Also, notice they had to build the roof on Laver's Arena just to protect the players. Which reminds in 2009 AO when Nole's was about to collapse after the suffering from heat exhaustion. He was leading and in control of the match against Roddick, however the heat got the best of him and Roddick managed to take over and win in the end. The next day Serena also was effected by the heat, and was losing the match. But the difference was the officials decided to close the roof to protect the player's health, and Serena regain her strength and managed to win in the end.

    I agree there were heat wave during the old days, but it doesn't have the significant effect on the players as it has for the modern players.
     
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  26. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Please explain that statement. Is heat and humidity different today as opposed to the past? :shock: :confused:
     
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  27. NadalDramaQueen

    NadalDramaQueen Hall of Fame

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    Did you not read my poast, pc1? :lol:
     
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  28. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    I'm saying more physical exertion, the more suffering under the hot sun. Players get cramp/exhaustion more easier.
     
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  29. heninfan99

    heninfan99 Legend

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    Sometimes I feel like that Kavcic in this pic just from browsing these tennis threads. It's exhausting.
     
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  30. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Interesting, so Laver and Roche playing in 105 degree temps in the shade for 90 games at the 1969 Australian wasn't as exhausting or tough on them. Oh yes, I forgot the tiebreak wasn't around so I think Laver and Roche played a 22-20 set or something like that.
     
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  31. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Yes it is exhausting but reading funny posts like yours makes it worthwhile. :)

    Not that it means much but I normally played doubles early in the morning on Saturdays with a few buddies of mine. They usually are very good and the rallies are generally very long. However this one day one guy who has a pretty big serve and great power took this day to be super erratic. He was serving either aces, service winners or double faults. If they got the ball back he was hitting winners or errors. I was his partner and literally just stood at the net for about a dozen or much deuces and didn't hit a ball for about twenty minutes. After the match was over (somehow we won) I decided to exercise for 45 minutes because I didn't get any exercise at all playing tennis. This is the opposite of exhaustion in tennis. :) I set up a singles match for the next day so I could actually hit the ball on occasion.

    Incidentally big serving players like Pancho Gonzalez could rest on service return until they felt they had a great opportunity to break because they knew the odds of them holding serve was very high. I think Agassi once complained about Sampras in that Sampras could played really badly and yet still be tied because of his serve. Sampras could play a few good minutes of tennis and win the set. Funny but I guess it's true.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
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  32. Nadal_Power

    Nadal_Power Semi-Pro

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    You can go and check in what hell of a weather played Courier and Edberg in AO 1993 final.. in the middle of the day with no roof or anything. But, maybe bloody djokovic and federer are more important than these two
     
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  33. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I didn't read the second part believe it or not until now. The second part about the global warming is very amusing considering my later statement. Funny how it fit perfectly with my statement to TMF.

    Somehow I don't see Jimmy Connors as a ballerina. :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2013
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  34. World Beater

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    Serve - volley is actually physically quite taxing to play as well.

    Having to basically sprint after every serve and get to net as fast as possible for fear of hitting a tough volley or getting passed.

    S/V requires explosive movement and anticipation.

    Look no further at for example pat rafter and what an athlete that guy was in the 90s. He would physically deplete himself from constantly rushing the net after his serve and on the returns.

    Baseline tennis doesnt have to be exhausting, but s/v with the ball coming back at 90 mph is definitely tiring over 5 sets.

    s/v requires more anaerobic type fitness while baseline tennis is much more aerobic in nature especially on slower surfaces. Two different kinds of fitness...

    Contrast for example Bjorn borg to Stefan Edberg. Both amazing athletes but different builds.

    borg was super quick, had amazing endurance. But edberg was more explosive and stronger.
     
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  35. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    "must"?

    Do the rules of the game of tennis now state one is not allowed to go to the net? No.

    I guess you are speaking the "truth" again. (But it's only your personal "truth" in your private little world.)
     
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  36. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Is this when they were not allowed to sit between games?
     
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  37. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    In the Brisbane heat, Laver used some old farmer tricks, and put leaves into his hat, so cool his head. Nevertheless, Roche thought that Laver was completely gone, when they showered in the 15 minutes break after the 3rd set. Later at the AO, Lendl wore a cap a la the French legionaires, to protect his neck from the heat. He had a pretty long neck and it was burnt by the sun. Nevertheless i remember a semi with Muster in 1989 or so under extreme heat, when Lendl looked completey out of it. He looked like a dead man walking.
     
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  38. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, were they lettuce or cabbage leaves?
     
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  39. urban

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    Cabbage leaves, i think. Emmo wrote later, that they grew out of Rodney's ears.
     
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  40. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Of course. Everyone knows that, not only is tennis harder and better and stronger today than at any time in the past, it is also hotter and more humid--thus more brutal.

    It's global warming.
     
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  41. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Ah, this explains the mystery of how heat and humidity when you have a higher temperature in the past is more brutal today. The global warning causes the sun to break through a tiny fraction of the Ozone layer to just focus on the tennis player today. Therefore the heat is more concentrated just at the baseline. :confused:
     
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  42. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    that is the reason we need another Rocket to crush the earth.
     
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  43. fed_rulz

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    taking a stroll in the hot sun for 4 hrs is not the same as running for 4 hrs, if you get my drift..

    old-timers are truly delusional if they have trouble acknowledging the simple fact that tennis today is more physically brutal today than it was during lavers.
     
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  44. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    ...and brutal means " better"?
     
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  45. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    I am not so sure, if baseline tennis takes more energy than serve and volley tennis. Before WWII, when baseline tennis dominated the scene, people thought it would be impossible, to serve and volley for 5 sets. The only one in the 20s and 30s, who attacked the net, Jean Borotra, often threw sets to get a rest and come back to the net in the next set. It was the Hopman training regimen that changed this perception. The Aussies, fine athletic specimen like Emerson, who excelled at track and field, certainly could attack the net for full 5 sets. Gonzalez knew how to win, he paced himself well, focussed on his own serve and - for instance in the Pasarell match - did nothing on return games, when he fell behind in such a game.
     
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  46. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Serve and volley tennis takes a lot of energy too, no doubt about it. As some posters have touched on, including Urban above, serve and volley tennis can be very demanding as well. It takes a lot of explosive speed and strength too. You end up covering a lot of distance and it's that fast back and forth type of running (sprinting), with plenty of lateral movement mixed in as well. Don't forget the heavier frames too and what that does to your arm over the course of a match. Players like Rosewall, Laver, Roche, Emerson, Borg, Vilas, etc. (the list goes on..) were all former players that worked their tails off in training out there on the courts for many, many years, starting at a very young age. They were all extremely fit and just plain tough customers. Go out this weekend and run like this for about 30 mins and see how it feels.

    Laver vs. Roche in the 1969 Australian Open SF

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHaN2h21ANs
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
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  47. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Ahhh, simple facts.

    Young-timers will grab at any straw to persuade themselves that now is the best of all possible times.

    Ohh, for Ockham's Razor.

    Here's a simpler, less convoluted, less delusional interpretation: Kavcic was not in good condition and is weak.
    The results are the same: he is exhausted, injured, in pain, and needs medical attention.

    Poof--the tennis is harder and more brutal conclusion evaporates into the hot air of which it is composed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
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  48. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Don't mind him. I doubt that he even saw Nole and Wawrinka match. Even if he did, he probably think it was a stroll in the park.:shock:
    And the game/condition can reward a player to win 200 titles.:D
     
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