Rod Laver was an insane monster!

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Mick3391, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    I used to think Laver was just some old sentimental favorite kept around for us to venerate.

    Last night I decided to watch him in several matches, WHAT A PLAYER! I'm telling you he looked like he'd devour any of todays top guys including Fed.

    I realize that they didn't hit as hard, so he was capable of things then that he probably wouldn't today, but his net play almost seemed doctored, like it wasn't real. He'd hit deep say then come to the net, Conners would try to pay him and he'd just get to it and put it where Conners wasn't, it was a SHOW!

    Man I'd watch that over the boring Murrays and Djokes anyday.

    Hard to judge from different eras, but if you just used your eyes, you'd say "This guy beats them all", he was just that good, a real treat to watch, I'd encourage you if you haven't to watch old youtube tape of Laver.

    Would he beat todays guys on those faster courts with S&V? I don't know, but I don't think he'd be far behind if not
     
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  2. Dark Magician

    Dark Magician Professional

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    Please post some links. I havent seen much of him either!
     
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  3. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Belongs to the Former Pro section
     
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  4. rudester

    rudester Professional

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    Younger players could treat themselves to some of these old films. Sometimes when i see the GOAT discussions, i am sure that they have not bothered to check out Lavers talents before they form their opinions.
     
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  5. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    Laver definitely is fun to watch. I have looked up some of his old videos myself, and it's awesome how good he was at net.
     
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  6. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    Who are you? Neighborhood watch?

    I am comparing him to modern players, mind your business
     
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  7. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    Take a half hour or whatever, this Conners match was interesting;

    Yea the play is so fast, cross court, net, retrieve, boom it's over.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SptdffCeVmM
     
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  8. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Modern players are far better than him
     
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  9. North

    North Professional

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    He was even better live. He did everything in S&V better than (or at least as good as) anyone else I have ever seen S&V. And he did it consistently. He had excellent footwork and phenomenal court sense; he was fast, but if you watched carefully, a lot of times he'd be halfway to where the ball was going to be as the opponent was hitting the ball.

    I think todays strings (especially) and some of the racquets make it a lot harder for pros to win with S&V but Laver was so good at it, I think he'd make a good showing against the best of the best in more recent times and today. Very gentlemanly unassuming guy personally (ie; in interviews) but a beast up at the net. He could, and did, also hang in there at the baseline with ball bashers when he had to (or on clay) to get the chance to get to the net.

    In interviews, Navratilova has said that when she was young, she got to see Laver play on TV and decided that's who she wanted to play like.
     
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  10. GoaLaSSo

    GoaLaSSo Semi-Pro

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    Rod was a great player, if not the greatest, but just look at all the differences in the modern game and the game when he played. Look at the video above and you should be able to determine for yourselves there is no fair way to make a comparison. The court was very fast and players didn't hit nearly has fast or heavy back at him when he approached net.

    A lot lot lot lot lot lot of good players back then had great volleys and touch, and there are obvious reasons why it isn't that way anymore. Look what Llodra can do with any volley that is within reach. Unfortunately he doesn't get the same opportunities at net that players back in the day do.

    I personally prefer fast court tennis and love watching tennis from the 60s-90s, but I don't see that becoming popular anytime soon with 130+ servers becoming more and more common.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
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  11. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    Check out his semifinal at wimbledon against Ashe, his groundstrokes were so powerful and had so much spin! And he had such incredible speed.

    Like you I assumed he'd be a joke compared to todays players. His rivals were all really tall too, most ere over 6 foot, Newcombe, Stan Smith and Arthur Ashe were really tall.

    He wasn't hitting his groundstrokes hard against Connors because of his age (He was in his mid 30's) and because he was trying to junkball Connors flat forehand, check out the Ashe match and you'll see he had plenty of power.
     
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  12. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    Who today hits the ball as hard Laver hits these two backhand passes?

    http://youtu.be/1Q13_STOUBc?t=5s
     
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  13. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Rod Laver is one of many GOAT candidates.
     
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  14. Doubles

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    Laver is a GOAT of a different era. His game wouldn't match up with pros of the modern era.
     
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  15. corners

    corners Legend

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    Everyone in the top 100. Laver is top 3 all-time in my opinion, but he was 5'7" tall.
     
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  16. Le Master

    Le Master Semi-Pro

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    That is some damn good tennis. Laver reminds me of Agassi here in that both seemed to hit more powerfully and consistently as they got older.
     
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  17. DolgoSantoro

    DolgoSantoro Professional

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    I still believe Federer is the greatest, but I have nothing but respect and admiration for Laver's ability. I only wish there were more available clips so that I might gain a greater understanding of his game.
     
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  18. BeHappy

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    Laver was 5'8" tall.

    So is Kohlschreiber (he is NOT 5'10") and he still serves 129mph and reached the QF of Wimbledon. Marcelo Rios was another one and David Ferrer does well today as well.

    Imagine if Kohlschreiber was left handed and could punish people's backhands with his cross court forehand all day, and could hit his 129mph lefty serves to the backhand all day, AND was as fast as Nadal, AND had the touch and skill of McEnroe or Federer and had the shotmaking ability of a Sampras or a Safin.

    For speed look at any video at all.

    For power look at the clip I just posted or the ashe match.

    For volleys look at any video at all.

    The only disadvantage of being short is having a weak serve, sometimes people like Laver or Kohlschreiber have such live arms that they can just serve big anyway. Then it's the best of both worlds.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
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  19. Goosehead

    Goosehead Hall of Fame

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    yes..mr r laver is an insane monster (in a good way:twisted:)..

    he did the triple grand slam 1962, 1967 (3 pro majors), 1969,

    also i was looking at the australian open list in i think and some of his wins were amazing..22-20 sets..one of his matches was 90games long or so :shock: the sf i think..also has a 18-16 set vs fred stolle in qf.

    he won 5 masters titles in 1970 at age 31/32 and was world no5 rank i think, when the world rankings started in 1973 ..when he was near his 35th burfdayy..actually he went up to no4 after that point also...

    the only blip i can see is in the first ever world tour finals in 1970 (age 32)and it was done on a games won in total basis or something over the matches..and Laver narrowly lost out to stan smith.

    oh and the 199 or 200 titles depending on where you look (why is that :confused:)..the boy laver, he could play a bit.
     
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  20. DeShaun

    DeShaun Banned

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    Rod played an all court game as well as anyone. I only wish we had more footage of Tilden playing.
     
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  21. Sid_Vicious

    Sid_Vicious G.O.A.T.

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    There is nothing extraordinary about the pace of any of those passing shots.
     
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  22. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    So?
    even if he's 5'8" that's still a huge disadvantage, lol.

    Players aren't at optimum height doesn't mean they can't be a superb player today. Kohlschreiber is 5'10" but still a lot better than 5'7". Rios, Ferrer are good but not the tier 1 great player. Since we're talking about players in GOAT status, being short is in a modern era would never reach that pinnacle. Capiche ?
     
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  23. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    Yes there is. There is no one today but Tsonga, Nadal and Federer who hits the ball that hard. Let alone with a 65 square inch wooden racquet.
     
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  24. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    I didn't know this, but he went pro I think 1963, which meant he couldn't play in GS's. It makes you wonder what his GS totals would be if he were allowed to play them in his prime years! Big queston huh?
     
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  25. NadalDramaQueen

    NadalDramaQueen Hall of Fame

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    Yep, I was sold after the 90 mph slice.
     
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  26. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    But he was left handed, had a live arm, tehcnically impeccable, possibly the most skilful player of all time and is one of the top 5 fastest players in history which makes up for being short and which are things that those players you listed don't have. Capiche?
     
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  27. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    Yea, and different. Nothing against today game, but serve, Conners puts it down the line, Laver returns, Conners puts in down the other line, return deep, then Laver comes to the net, and it just doesn't look real, Conners hit a perfectly good passing shot, but somehow Laver gets it.

    SUPER EXCITING in my book anyways
     
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  28. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    Yea, forgot about that, he's at the baseline, then in a nano-second at the net, very fast dude!
     
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  29. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    I don't know about Rosewall, but in 2005 Fernando Lopez was clocked hitting quite a few slices at over 90mph at Monte Carlo and Rome. Lendl used to do it as well. Lopez stopped doing it but everyone was very impressed.

    It was basically a complete flat shot and was only referred to as a slice because the racquet had a mild low to high path.

    If you can hit a flat topspin shot 90mph you can hit a flat slice 90mph. Same thing. It's perfectly possible Rosewall did it.

    The crazy thing is that he was in his mid 30's in that match against Connors. His speed held up very well as he got older.
     
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  30. Sid_Vicious

    Sid_Vicious G.O.A.T.

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    No it isn't. And Federer, Tsonga, and Nadal can hit the ball much harder than that. Fact.
     
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  31. Sid_Vicious

    Sid_Vicious G.O.A.T.

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    No it isn't. It's only perfectly possible in the mind of a crackpot like yourself.
     
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  32. NadalDramaQueen

    NadalDramaQueen Hall of Fame

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    What are you talking about? I just used some motion tracking software and found a slice that was 90 mph in the video.
     
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  33. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Here's some great videos of Laver.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3y2CpBpV5pg
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvpckZmLaEc
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2f60jJTbEps

    Here's Laver against Borg WCT championship semis. It starts around the 10:15 mark.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80bBJmnjefk

    Laver's serve, volley and forehand imo deteriorated from his best years when he played Borg here in 1975. Laver was still pretty great however.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
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  34. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    I disagree. Players don't hit the ball hard today at all. In the 90's there were quite a few huge hitting players, but today, in the wake of Soderling's possible retirement and Del Potro's post wrist injury forehand, there aren't that many big hitting players. Dinking pushers like murray etc are ruling the day.

    Tsonga is the only aggressive shotmaker.

    This is the biggest forehand I've ever seen by the way:

    http://youtu.be/TVKWNpdd7jk?t=2m35s
     
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  35. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    Yea man the dudes a monster, I mean imagine playing on fast courts with a heavy 65 square inch racquet, and doing that, just incredible, QUALITY.

    No point in theoretical, but if Laver was raised with modern equipment, would he tear through todays guys?

    I just don't see any weakness's, power, speed, but the best shot placement, every shot for a purpose it seems.
     
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  36. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    #36
  37. NadalDramaQueen

    NadalDramaQueen Hall of Fame

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    That is the biggest forehand you have ever seen? I can't believe that, as I have even seen pusher Murray spank a forehand above 115 mph off a ball that had no pace whatsoever coming his way.

    Please, go get out your wooden racquet and take some big cuts at some balls. You can get plenty of pop.
     
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  38. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    That's true, I practice with a 75 inch wood once in awhile to keep sharp, and the power is there if you can swing hard. Wood has SUCH a great feeling, just can't be put into words, and I forget until I hit, just aim and BOOM.
     
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  39. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    The conclusion I've come to is that Laver, Federer, Borg, Sampras and Nadal are all just equally good. They are all simply incredible and I find it impossible to say one is clear cut better than another.

    Look at Borg here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyuiEzBb7hk

    People who say the game has moved on and these guys wouldn't dominate today just don't know tennis and the quality of what they're seeing in these old clips.
     
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  40. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    Is that true? You really do have that? 90mph for Laver?
     
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  41. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    You think Murray has a bigger forehand than Sampras? The fact that since 2005 when Hawkeye came in Murray and Monfils, the two biggest pushers on the ATP, have the fastest forehands says it all when it comes to the power levels of modern tennis.

    On these slow courts, it simply doesn't pay to hit big.
     
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  42. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    Maybe you are right. I will tell you this, I would rather watch Laver than most modern players, it's just, FOR ME, much more exciting, crazy angles, crazy returns of crazy angles:)
     
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  43. NadalDramaQueen

    NadalDramaQueen Hall of Fame

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    Nah, I was just kidding. :)

    Bigger forehand? I don't think so. Able to reach a higher or similar maximum speed when they give it their all? Possibly, especially Monfils.

    I agree about the slow courts, as it doesn't make sense to put all of your energy into generating pace. It is instead rewarding to put a large amount of that into generating heavy spin.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
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  44. Sid_Vicious

    Sid_Vicious G.O.A.T.

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    LOL. That is weak.

    It is almost pathetic compared to this one.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=VO5JEg48Lm8#t=531s
     
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  45. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    What if Tennis has actually devolved and we just don't know it! Wouldn't that be funny.

    It would be interesting to know how Laver and others would have played if raised with modern equipment, wood is great, but very unmaneuvable.
     
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  46. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    #46
  47. GS

    GS Professional

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    I've got a dvd of Laver playing doubles with Borg against Ashe and Nastase, 1976. Laver was clearly the best player of the 4 that day.
    His left arm was once called, "a 2 by 4 with freckles."
    Some of you old-timers may remember years ago when TW brought Laver to San Luis Obispo for a Pro Kennex clinic. All TT members were invited to hit with him, for free.
     
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  48. NadalDramaQueen

    NadalDramaQueen Hall of Fame

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    I'm not even really sure what was up with the whole "80 mph" slice thing that is brought up often, but I think it just depends on what is meant by slice.

    If a flat drive is what they are talking about, then it is certainly possible, but perhaps not with a slice type motion. There is a fine line between a slice and a drive that would allow you to get enough leverage to breach 80 or 90 mph off the backhand side.
     
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  49. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    #49
  50. Sid_Vicious

    Sid_Vicious G.O.A.T.

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    Perhaps. You are, after all, the resident ******* and political pundit. Let me have a title too.

    You also make weird threads. Especially during the AO. Were you high or something?
     
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