Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by hoodjem, Mar 15, 2013.
Fed beats them both more often than not, especially Kodes
Great humour, NatF.
These players would match Nadal on red clay.
Fed and Djok would rate equally on clay with Gonzales and Sedgman, both of whom were twice runner-up at RG.
Fed correctly blamed the 2008 Wimbledon loss on the darkness.
So they'd go 10-0 against Federer and Djokovic? Is that what you're saying?
Don't think so.
We can blame many things for Federer's loss, the fact is Nadal deserved it and played excellent.
Nadal deserved to lose that final, was saved by darkness.
Would Rosewall, Hoad, Trabert, Borg, or Laver go 10 to 0 against Fed or Djok in an RG final?
Probably, if Fed and Djok had wood racquets.
The way you guys talk about wooden racquets is nonsensical. What if they had modern racquets? Are you giving Federer and Djokovic the same time to practice with those racquets. Champions would be champions in any era.
Sorry but no way would those players go 10-0 against Federer and Djokovic with equalized equipment training. Especially not Federer.
Modern racquets would be an equalizer, reducing the premium accorded to skill.
Fed is no better on clay than Gonzales.
Modern racquets allow you to hit more angles and harder ground strokes, but there's no way to know if older players could hit the same angles with the same equipment. Your argument is silly if you're saying that players have been losing skill down the generations. I've seen Federer hit lobs and drop shots as good as any one you can name. Modern racquets don't have any benefits for touch. He has the hand eye coordination to half volley huge ground strokes from the baseline etc...but yeah he couldn't learn to use wood racquets :lol:
Federer's record on clay is far superior ergo he's better on clay.
If you want to see hard angles and heavy spin, look at Hoad with WOOD.
Let's see some current guys do that.
There's not enough video of Hoad, he can't hit the angles with wood that Federer or Nadal hit with current racquets.
You're probably right but I have seen Borg hit some incredible angles in his prime with a wood racquet. Same with Laver. Nevertheless there is no doubt in my mind that all of these players would hit these shots more effectively with today's racquets.
Look at some of these angles, I don't see anyone with wood hitting these.
What they could achieve with modern racquets is another question entirely, they would be able to do a lot more no doubt but I don't see them necessarily doing it as well or better than Federer or Nadal.
I find it quite annoying when posters say "Ah he can just do that because he uses a modern stick," as if that makes it easy. It makes it possible but not easy. The level of skill required to hit these extreme angles is immense which is why so few can do it even today.
Whether they could achieve the angles of the players today with today's racquets is of course debatable but there is no doubt in my mind that the racquets today would have the players of the past improve the spin and therefore the angles they could hit.
Here's a match of Borg and Connors at the Pepsi. Borg hits some decent angles with wood here.
A player like Rosewall who hit very flat may not be able to use today's racquets to its fully effectiveness because he wouldn't be able to take advantage of the spin as well. I would suspect that Rosewall would have changed his swing somewhat and adapt. It would certainly help him on the serve.
It would help on the serve but it would still be liability I imagine, just like I give him the benefit of the doubt and assume his backhand would still be destructive.
I agreed with you that modern racquets would let Borg, Laver etc...hit with more extreme angles. I just wouldn't assume that even minor greats like Trabert would be hitting the same shots as Federer with these racquets.
Never cared for Rosewall's serve. I could see his serve nowadays around the Ferrer level or so but not great. I can still see his backhand being great but that's because of his unique genius. Perhaps he would hit some topspin backhands with today's racquets as he did in practice in the past with wood.
I think Rosewall would be consistent with his delivery but it wouldn't be a weapon. The stronger returners would cause big issues IMO.
I think he'd have to hit topspin I don't see his slice drive being consistently doable across 5 sets with the heavy topspin. I think grass not clay would end up being his best surface too.
On a subjective basis the serve is the biggest problem I have with Rosewall. At least Connors had a heavy spin LEFTY serve that was hard to attack and that he just spun in.
I do think a player of Rosewall's talent wouldn't have much problems hitting topspin nowadays.
Yes, even a mediocre lefty serve can be a problem. One of the main reasons Nadal was such a ****** even in his early years he could get the serve into play (with a very high percentage mind you) and his ground game was still exceptional enough to dominate.
My suggestion was never that Rosewall couldn't hit with topspin he most definitely could. I only meant that he would have to use different strokes, unlike a Laver who hit with topspin. I think Rosewall's biggest problem would be his build in this era. I think he'd struggle to generate the pace to hit through the top players on slow surfaces. He'd have to be very aggressive.
That's the problem I do have with Rosewall adapting today. I think he could easily adapt but what changes would he make? That part puzzles me in my own imaginary scenarios. Borg for example wouldn't have to adapt at all and McEnroe would also play the same way. I don't think Laver would have any problem either or Pancho Gonzalez. I don't see problems with Connors either.
Rosewall could because of his great reflexes take the ball very early ala Agassi so I could see him doing that.
The problem is due to his height he'd have to take the ball even earlier. I think on low bouncing services he'd be very tough, he's excellent at the net, though with his serve I'd probably say him S&V'ing on every serve would be dangerous.
I can't see him serving and volleying that often. I spoke to a legendary former great a number of years ago and he is (this guy is also known as one of the smartest players in tennis history if not the smartest) of the opinion serving and volleying is still feasible but you need an exceptional serve. I think a player like Pancho Gonzalez could do it but he's arguably the greatest server in history but Rosewall would have to use serve and volley as a change of pace imo.
How many former players have you spoken to? I'd love to pick their brains about tennis.
Players return so well with the topspin nowadays, serve and volleying is definitely more difficult. It's a case of good approach shots now and the element of surprise. I do think Pancho Gonzalez could get away it better than most but not everywhere and not on second serves.
The last serve and volley players left the top 20 in the middle of the 00's.
Both Hoad and Laver used heavy topspin on their returns in the late 1950's and 1960's.
That was a basic reason for their success.
I wish I could see some of those matches from the 50's and 60's.
with Laver, it really didn´t matter if flat, sliced or top spin, his returns were violent, fast and would go to the angles least expected to land.Hoad had an uncredible wrist, as well.
I remember Emerson and Stolle returning very well and very consistently from the BH side.But not nearly as flashy.
and, of course Ken Rosewall.
NatF, check this out for the fifties.
Thanks Dan, a good clip that. Don't think they'd overpower Sampras with those racquets though.
Are there any other clips of similar length from that era you think I should have a look at?
They would have zero chance against Pete. I'm sorry but no one anyone's posted can come close to Pete. Novak Djokovic is the most complete player I've ever seen tho
Federer would beat him more often than not.
Give Sampras wood, and they would both show more powerful shots.
The 1956 Wimbledon final is available, or 22 minutes of it.
Sampras would get blown away by Hoad if he tried to pick up a wood racquet.
Again, no contest.
Of course, Hoad had great respect for Sampras' game, and they apparently met each other.
Probably Hoad, Gonzales, and Laver would also.
You have to use the same equipment and surface, of course.
I think we have to break it down by Surfaces. Medium-Fast surfaces we would have to include guys like Sampras/Pancho on the short list due to their zoning in of Serve and attack play
Slow Surfaces you have to favor someone like Nadal as far peaking goes.
Regardless of how "peaking" a great slow court player is, it isn't going to be enough on medium/fast surfaces and vice versa
You can't know that though. Sampras had a big forehand for his time, I don't see it being so easily outclassed in any era. I tend to assume if a guy has an awesome shot in one era it will be relatively awesome in any. So Sampras with a top forehand, serve and volleys for his day would also have a top serve, forehand and volleys in the 50's IMO.
The field was much tougher in the late fifties.
Djokovic is a complete player? I'm having trouble typing because I'm laughing so hard. Djokovic looks like a lost puppy when he goes to net. See his volleys vs. Nadal yesterday for an example. He dumped easy backhands into the net or floated them long. And while he has an offensive service return, it doesn't work well against bigger servers, which is one of the reasons why Roddick always gave him trouble.
You want a complete player? Borg and Connors were probably the two most complete players the game has ever seen. Borg won the RG-Wimby combo three straight years, at a time when the surfaces were much different and required different tactics. Borg used to serve and volley a majority of the time at Wimbledon. And Connors is one of a handful of players to win Slams on three surfaces (clay, grass, and hard), and was adept at both the baseline and the net. He was also to my mind a better returner than Djokovic ever was, because he needed to get offensive returns back against people charging the net, and he was very good at getting seemingly unreturnable serves back.
Borg had a great record on grass and clay.
But he came up short on rubber.
Connors was at his best on rubber, but on grass was bested by Newcombe, Ashe, Borg, and McEnroe.
Borg had a great record on grass and clay.
But he came up short on rubber.
Connors was at his best on rubber, but on grass was bested by Newcombe, Ashe, Borg, Tanner, and McEnroe.
I would give Newcombe the edge over Connors on grass, with the two big showdown wins at Forest Hills and Kooyong.
Borg was tremendous on all surfaces including the surface at the National Tennis Center. Connors IMO would defeat Ashe the majority of times on grass and he did beat McEnroe in the Wimbledon final in 1982. Connors had an injury when he lost to Ashe at Wimbledon in 1975.
Yes, I agree with your points.
But I would still rate Newcombe ahead of Connors on grass, based on Forest Hills and Kooyong.
I agree with you there. I saw the match that Newcombe played Connors at the US Open in 1973. I would venture to say that Connors was already playing at his 1974 form. He destroyed Okker in straight sets earlier in the tournament. Connors imo (it was a long time ago so my memory could be wrong) played at a very high level yet he lost to Newcombe in straights 6-4 7-6 7-6. Both tiebreakers were best of nine and were tied at 4-4 before Newcombe won the last point. The first set was decided on one break of serve. There were no other breaks of serve for the rest of the match. It was a very close straight set match. Connors could have easily been ahead for the want of a few points. Newcombe served great.
It does make you wonder if Connors would have won the tournament if he got by Newcombe. He was to faced Rosewall next if he beat Newcombe and you wonder if Rosewall in 1973 would have done any better than he did against Connors in 1974.
Funny thing is that Connors was actually seeded higher than Newcombe at the US Open. Connors was the ninth seed and Newcombe was the tenth seed.
NatF, In Austria we say that the improbable happens (rather) often.
I know you rank Laver very high. Are you aware that Gonzalez, Hoad and Rosewall were about of the same level? We cannot rank them significantly below Laver (if at all).
pc1, Leconte and Amritraj and possibly Rosewall. GREAT!
NatF, Today I read an official list of the best claycourters of the ATP time (or open era?) regarding percentage of claycourt matches won: Nadal is clearly first, then Borg, Lendl and...Rosewall! I was astonished because Muscles was 33 (or 38) when that era began.
Tilden around 1920, Lacoste around 1924, Cochet around 1928, Vines and Crawford around 1932,F Perry around 1936,Budge in 1940, Jack Kramer in 1946,Sedgman in 1950, Pancho in 1954,Hoad in 1958,Ken Rosewall in 1962,Laver in 1966, Newcombe in 1970, Connors in 74, Bjorn Borg in 78, Mc Enroe in 1984, Lendl around 1988, Sampras around 1994, Federer around 2006, Nadal in 2010.
kiki, Lacoste a few years later. In 1924 Tilden was stronger. Lacoste reached his peak level in 1926 and 1927.
Kramer in 1948 (improved during his tour with Riggs).
Sedgman also improved after turning pro, as he admitted. Peak level 1954 to 1958.
Which Pancho? ;-)
Laver in 1967. In 1966 he lost in French Pro and MSG to Rosewall and beat Kenny only in five sets in the US Pro.
That's all u need to know
Nole fan, YOU need to know a bit more...
It is impressive that he's so high up on the list. I imagine he would be third in terms of win percentage had he competed during the Open Era from the beginning of his career.
NatF, I agree.
I agree that Lacoste was a bit behind Big Bill until 26 or so.Kramer was very good during the first half of the 50´s, 1950-54; then Hoad,Rosewall,Gonzales and Trabert ( and of course Sedgman) took it over from him.
Separate names with a comma.