Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by BrooklynNY, Aug 22, 2011.
Edberg would give Pete a good match straight up
I'd have to go with Federer, he grew up playing with mid size tennis racquets, Nadal on the other hand wouldn't be able to generate enough top spin to win with a woody unless he used full RPM blast on the wood then its possible Nadal could win.
Isn't the whole point of the match to show that the level of wood racquet tennis was not nearly as far below the modern game, with oversized, graphite racquets, as many (who don't know any better), think it was?
Even then, I think there would be a lack of stability in a wood frame that would compromise the effectiveness of Rafa's shots. Also, Rafa would probably have a very tough time adjusting to the 65-70 sq" head size. Not to mention the 14 ounce weight!
Rafa's game is very much a product of the technological innovations of the 90s. Had he grown up during the 70s, methinks his game would be a lot like Borg's.
Fed's game, however, would have out-Lavered Laver!
The pros are typically pretty good about hitting the ball right in the center of the string bed, nay? That being said, even 65 sq in provides quite a bit of forgiveness. Nothing like this, for sure...
Let's give Sampras that racket next time he plays! ;-)
I'd be interested in some super slo-mo clips of Rafa (and other pros) hitting groundstrokes that show clearly exactly where the ball hits the strings and how much it moves across them before it's launched off. Heavy topspin (low to high) and heavy slice (high to low) both. Just how much stringbed surface area is really needed to generate heavy spin shots?
Now the weight, yea, that would take some adjustment.
Whoa! No one out-Lavers Laver. Unless of course you're talking about out-Lavering Laver of the Laverest Lavers of the Uni-laverse.
Maybe if Fed ate a ton of spinach.?
As I posted earlier, Sampras picked up a wood racquet for fun, for a few points in an exo while he was still on tour, and promptly hit a 124mph ace. (which would have clocked in the 130's today). I've seen Luke Jensen do that (though it wasn't timed), and of course, we all know Flipper did it, after a few minutes of adjustment.
Interesting, I wasn't aware of that, but yes, he was recorded at 121mph in another match. There is no doubt he was into the 120mph rang....he certainly was comparable to Mac for speed (perhaps even had a bit more pop on the flat serve), and Mac MIGHT have been going into the 130's.
Fed's game isn't even close to as well rounded as Laver's, so let's get serious here for a minute.
As for Nadal...I realize that the common folk-wisdom around here is that he'd have all these difficulties adjusting and couldn't play well. That's incorrect. Period.
I think many here would be shocked to find, that Nadal could generate a huge heavy ball with wood, like Borg, and others, before him, but Nadal has more swing speed than Borg. Nadal's athleticism, and very underrated feel in his hands would also be intact.
Furthermore, In terms of adjustment, Nadal has shown much better mental and strategic flexibility (eg. willingness to use all-court play under pressure) than Federer has.
I suspect that Nadal will still beat Federer the majority of the time with wood.
It's not as simple as people think.
The Lendl-Sampras exo was FUGLY!
Lendl can barely move laterally and cannot bend at the waist. He's also a good 40-50 lbs over his playing weight I would guess. His stroke form though is still really sharp when he could set up. Sampras was clearly taking it easy on him as he could have just hit side to side all day and watch Ivan pull up lame.
Pete's motion is still really beautiful on the serve, but it was a good 15-20 mph slower then a decade ago. Some of that likely was pulling off the throttle against an over matched Lendl. He did not look very good off the ground though, and was chipping and charging to camouflage that. He looked really BAD trying to deal with anything hard to his backhand, which I think showed the difference in the racquet as much as anything
Out Lavering Laver is strictly Laverian!
14-16oz, 66si, wood racquets are more stable than anything on the market today. Ralph's problem would be adjusting to the tennis ball sized sweet spot. And, he'd adjust to it pretty quickly. But, it would mean leveling out his stroke and compromising his biggest weapon. Fed would have the same problem to a slightly lesser degree!
With wood racquets Laver would beat either of them fairly routinely because his groundies would be equal or better, and his superior net game wouldn't be threatened by their groundstrokes with wood racquets.
Did you see this? I posted it for you in the other thread. It's the Ashe-Laver semi final of 1969.
I find a lot of these comments a bit odd. I get the impression many people think a wood racquet is not much better than a broom, so playing good tennis with it is a marvel for the ages. Anybody who watched tennis in the early 80s saw many matches where one player was using graphite while the opponent was using wood. It was very common. Nobody thought that the racquet would be a deciding factor, even though the players were much more evenly matched than Sampras vs current Lendl. Granted racquets have gotten better, but they are still racquets, not magic wands.
It would have been shocking if Lendl could beat Sampras just because Sampras is using a wooden racquet. It’s not just the age difference, but most importantly the fact that Lendl didn’t play any tennis at all for about 15 years after he retired, and he only started playing again about 2 years ago (apparently his insurance policy prevented him from playing after he retired with his chronic back injury, or something like that). The point is, I have no doubt that if Sampras played Lendl seriously today in a real match, the score would not be close at all. Wood or no wood, Sampras should be able to win easily. The racquet handicap in this case is very minor in comparison with the other differences. Sampras had to be taking it easy on Lendl to keep it that close.
And of course Sampras grew up playing tennis with wood.
Now if you take any of the current top players (who never used a wooden racquet) and have them play with wood against one of their peers with his normal racquet, then of course it's a totally different matter.
I've seen the Borg-McEnroe matches at the US Open many times, both live when it happened and on video. The fastest that Borg served in those matches was around 115mph.
Yeah, but could Sampras serve that big CONSISTENTLY (and inside the box) with a wood racquet like he can with a graphite racquet?
Oh, come on! McEnroe never served that fast when he was on tour and even slower when he used a wood racquet. His serves were about spin and placement, not pace. Borg had a much faster flat serve and I don't think even he ever served over 120mph.
McEnroe serves much faster today with his big, powerful modern racquet than he did when he was on tour (he's mentioned this fact many times), but even today he rarely serves faster than the mid-120's.
Nadal tried using a wood racquet a couple of years ago. It was a disaster. He couldn't hit anything with it and promptly put it down.
During the exo, Sampras said during one of the interviews during the changeovers that he used a wood racquet from 7 to 13 years of age and then used a graphite racquet ever since.
Back then they didn't check each serve with a radar gun. See Borg d. Connors in the 1981 US Open SF. Newcombe mentions that Borg is clocked at 115 after one service winner. I'm sure that wasn't as fast as he could serve it though. Plus, besides frequency of measurement (they have a radar measuring every serve a the majors these days and at all the big tournaments) you have varying technology and varying methods of measurement over the decades. I'll look it up in past threads, but I believe that Borg has been clocked at 125 at the U.S. Open (perhaps not in a final). I would not be surprised if he reached 130 on one of his hardest first serves and that's with a racquet strung at about 80 lbs. I bet McEnroe reached 130 too, especially in 1983-1984 when he went to the Max200G. Of course, he had vicious placement/spin as well, yett he could serve it flat and hard too. He could hit his serve flat, with kick, and slice as well. Most importantly, McEnroe could place his serve in every spot possible. Having said that, I'd say that Sampras had the best serve of all time, especially considering the second serve. Of course, it's not all about top speed.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOUb8m6-lH0 (thanks to BorgForever)
Thanks! I'm trying to download. But, I don't think I have a program that will play a rar file.
Abolutely. Why would you doubt this? Old time servers hit high speeds regularly...Flipper did it, when he could only generate 70-80mph on his first attempts...a few minutes later, boom, just as fast as his graphite consistently.
I, ME, can generate the same pace consistently at 110-120mph...it's NO PROBLEM at all for Sampras. NONE. You really think he'd be struggling...like a club player with an erratic motion? LOL
WOW. I simply do not know what to such a clueless premise. If you think Mcenroe in his 50's is serving "much faster" with his maxply or his C10...than he did at 25 with his 200g.....yikes.
If your premise was true, imagine then Mcenroe at 25 with the maxply....he'd be serving 145mph!!! LOL
Then of course there are even greater oddities watching say...Courier serve 130mph easily with an ncode prostaff....but barely able to reach 112mph with his 6.1 in his prime. DAMN! The ncode REALLY works! ;-)
Sampras may be able to hit a big serve now and then with a wood racquet, but I doubt he could serve at 70% serves in at over 124mph with a wood racquet day in and day out. With the small head and dense 18x20 string pattern in a small head, he just can't get as much spin on the ball for enough control to make sure the big serves always go in.
I don't "think". I KNOW. I've seen McEnroe play live from courtside when he was on the ATP tour and when he played the SAP Open at age 47 and he serves faster now than he did back then. McEnroe himself has stated this many times in interviews. He can serve much faster with his modern, powerful, big racquet than he could with his small, low-powered wood racquets and his Max 200G. When he was on tour, he NEVER served over 120mph. NEVER! When he won the SAP Open doubles at age 47, I watched every match he played from courtside and his fastest serves were in the upper-120's.
BTW, his service motion and technique hasn't changed, so if he used the same racquet at 25 as he does now, he would be serving at about the same speed as he does now.
BTW, Sampras was serving bigger with Federer's Tour 90 when he played those exos against Federer a few years ago than he did when he was on the ATP Tour with his PS 6.0 85. When he was on tour, he served around the mid-to-upper 120's mph. Against Federer in those exos, he was serving consistently in the mid-130's mph. Federer had lots of trouble just getting his racquet on Sampras' serves. Just because you get older doesn't mean you can't serve as fast any longer. If the technique is still there, so are your serves.
Uh oh...very troubling. More accurately: you think you "KNOW"
OK, so just to be clear. You believe that were to transport 47 grey grizzled Mac back in time to the 1990 USO, he would be the fastest server there. Faster than the likes of Becker, Sampras, and Ivanisevic.
I am curious...we saw how the serves of Sampras, in the teens to low 120's tore apart Agassi, younger Mcenroe, etc.....do you feel that Mac's current serve would be even more effective against young Agassi?
Yes...as I said...the various tech of the year in the pro staffs must truly be magical. ;-) Geez, good thing Fed doesn't have to serve with a classic pro staff! His average serve would be down with the fastest women of today! LOL ;-)
That's fine, I disagree. In any case, we know that it's more than possible as Flipper, for example, was able to serve a higher percentage in with a wood racquet, than he made with his graphite.
PS. Note: just to let you know, Sampras didn't serve 70% at over 124mph with any racquet.
Exactly my point.
Let's show that the top doubles teams of past eras were superior to the #1 doubles team of today.
Agree, that also would have had more entertainment value.
It sounds from the reports in this thread that this was never intended to be an exo for real tennis fans.
McEnroe serves much faster now than he did in his 20s.
I saw him at a legends event awhile back and there was no question. I remember watching him live many years ago and his serve was always a big weapon but nobody could serve like he does now back then. Sure, you might get the odd bomb but Mac's serve now is heavier, faster, and more consistent than it ever was.
I don't agree with that! The difference between Mac's serve now and in his 20's is minimal at best. Further, I can think of a few who I've seen who served significantly bigger with wood racquets than Mac does with his current racquet: John Alexander, Stan Smith, Colin Dibly and Frank Froehling. Rosco Tanner used an aluminum racquet. John Newcombe and Ilie Nastase were probably bigger, but not so much that I can say with certainty. I have no doubt that Pancho Gonzales served bigger, but, I never saw him play. I also expect that Alex Olmedo, Fred Stolle, Lew Hoad, Vic Seixas and Jack Kramer probably served bigger, but, I never saw them play either. I didn't see Don Budge in his prime, but, I did see him play in his late 50's and his serve, then, was a bomb, probably as big as Mac's biggest serves now.
Thanks! I did a search and www.cnet.com recommends something called 7zip. Any reason one's better than the other?
You just need something that will allow you to reassemble and decompress the multipart archive (RAR) file into what it was originally - AVI, MPG, etc.
Not familiar with 7zip, but if CNET recommends it it's probably good. Jzip is easy to use too.
Well, you seem to be taking the exact opposite position you had just 4 years ago, when you were claiming that you served much better with wood, even though your serve motion had not gotten worse. Your position was that modern racquets help only the returners. This is what you wrote on this thread:
Sifting through 30,000 posts to win an argument is pretty creepy.
Saw the match last night. And the Bryans with woodies vs Jensens with graphites doubles.
One thing is clear - the pros who grew up on graphite can play with woodies without much problem.
That would be true if you look for things by sifting through posts. It takes all of 5 seconds to find a post if you have a good memory and know what you are looking for and what keywords to use. In this case, I had recently looked at that old thread because there is a current thread going on about Curren on this page. Curren had the best serving performance I remember in a major (1983 Wimbledon) using a wood racquet. His opponent was none other than Connors, considered by many the best returner in history.
Oh man.... For the umpteenth time, this is simply not true. Just ask yourself, do you really expect a fiftysomething like Mac to serve harder than he ever did in his prime? For one thing, we know it's not thanks to some voodoo training regimen that he can now approach 130 mph on the senior tour. So what other explanation is there? New, bigger racquets? Sure, they might help you serve harder on average, but as has been demonstrated many times, equipment matters little in terms of top-end speed.
Again, the real reasons why Mac is serving "harder" today are changes in 1) technology (largely radar, as opposed to racquet), 2) strategy and, though this matters little in this case, 3) mentality.
Limpin, just so you know, you don't "play" a rar file. You first extract/unzip it, preferably using WinRAR, and then you play whatever file was archived (usually avi or other video files).
7-Zip is probably the best free file compression software there is, if you know how to use it. If all you want is extracting those rar files I strongly recommend WinRAR, just 'cause it's the easiest to use. Yes, I know it's supposed to be a trial, but that basic function remains intact after the trial period. Not that I can speak from experience, of course. :twisted:
Watched last night.
Bryan bros did not look all that uncomfortable with the wood racquets and after a few games to get used to them played quite well with the wood.
Sampras could still serve excellent with a wood racquet. Towards the tail end of the set you could easily see his serves were up in the 120's. Maybe there was a little less spin on them than with the graphite but they were still very effective.
On a side note I could definitely tell Pete absolutely hated playing with the wood while the Bryans seemed a little more receptive to it.
Wayne Bryan did not want his sons playing the exo due to fear of injury.
The Jensens could have smashed the Bryans out if they wanted, but took it easy on them, due to the much lower power of the wood frames. They deliberately fooled around and hit baby shots. The Bryans were pretty much tensed up - I think they did not want a loser label before going into the Open.
One of the Bryans cracked his frame and JMac gave him another one.
Pete cracked his frame too, but continue to play with it.
Pete was more tensed than Lendl - I think a loss would have hurt him.
According to JMac, the frames were in the 70s in sq in, not the "true" 65 sq inch size.
Most of the frames were not known to JMac, except when a Jack Kramer and of course the Dunlop was mentioned.
Bryans did not practise with wood for the exo (due to USO), but Sampras did.
Did you even READ that quote of mine that you posted? Read it CAREFULLY.
I said that my serve hasn't gotten any worse. If it hasn't gotten worse, how could it have been better before? All I said is that I used to serve more aces with wood racquets than I do today with graphite racquets, which is true. But that doesn't mean I was serving faster with wood racquets than with graphite racquets. And I explained why that was. It's because my opponents can return much better with modern racquets than they could with wood racquets back then. And hitting aces is not all about speed of the serve. Sampras used to hit tons of aces even though he didn't have the fastest serve. Same with McEnroe. It was about placement and spin. Besides, another reason I used to hit more aces with wood was because most of the opponents I played against in high school were not very good. Most of these kids just started playing tennis. Today, I play against much, much better competition.
Then why does McEnroe himself say that it's true?
McEnroe's serve is the same today as it was when he played on tour. Except that he now uses a bigger, more powerful racquet. Thus, he can serve faster now than before.
McEnroe said the wood racquets were "75 sq. in". That's incorrect. All the wood racquets being used in the exo were standard size, which is about 65 sq. in.
The other night, I superimposed my Maxply over my K90. The size difference was MASSIVE. A much bigger difference than if I superimposed my K90 over an oversize racquet.
yeah, i think you're right. the age difference between sampras and lendl is too much already and lendl had not been playing for years due to his bad back. Sampras' peers such as edberg, becker, agassi, and chang probably would fare much better against him if he plays with a wood racquet
There are some guys that would have been good regardless of what generation or type of racquet they played with. Clearly, Laver, Sampras and Federer would have exceled in any generation. Borg along with some others would have also been good in any era.
Dude, I was there in person. I saw it with my own eyes. I know what I saw.
If Becker's, Sampras's, and Ivanisevic's fastest serves were in the mid-120's, McEnroe at 47 with his big,, powerful, modern racquet would be able to match that.
I don't know about "more effective" as Sampras's serve was so good because of the placement and spin, and not just the pace, and because of his willingness to "go for it" at the right times without fear. But, yes, McEnroe's current serve would give Agassi a lot of trouble.
Don't forget that McEnroe recently had match point on Andy Roddick in a WTT match.
i forgot who said it but in one of the matches i saw on espn2, one of the commentators said sampras said 2nd serve was more important and if your 1st serve percentage is over 70%, you are not going for your serve enough
JMac had a huge collection of woodies hanging on the wall behind him in the commentary booth. I heard that most of them were donated by Breakpoint.
Pete and I are about the same age BTW. There is no way Pete was playing with wood in 1984-1985 when he would have been 13. Aluminum maybe (the Prince Pro or Yonex R1 or R3 were still around), but by 1985 you did not see juniors playing with wood in tournaments. The Prince Graphite was the Rolls Royce of top junior player's racquets for some reference around then with the Pro Staff 6.0 showing up more and more.
Separate names with a comma.