What's level for former pros?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by CrispyFritters, Dec 18, 2010.

  1. CrispyFritters

    CrispyFritters Rookie

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    Messages:
    312
    Location:
    Sunny California
    I was watching Courier vs Borg on tennis channel today. They've definitely lost a step with age but they still got the court smarts. Yet, it still seems like there is a very large gap between the retired pros and the top players on the tour today.

    I was wondering....

    Could these guys still beat anyone in the top 100?
    What level of tennis are Courier and Borg playing now? Are they still 7.0? 6.0? 5.0+?
     
    #1
  2. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,466
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida
    I would say 6.0 plus.

    Guys like Courier, Rios, Agassi, sampras could still be competitive with top players,,,,,, but the problem more lies with having to do it for an entire tournament. Night and day, and the type of training they would have to commit to is too much for thier bodies to keep up.
     
    #2
  3. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2009
    Messages:
    10,500
    I hate to say it being a big Borg **** but Courier was slightly toying with Bjorn. I think if he would have given 100% he would have most likely goated Borg off the court. Borg had some great shots and it was a fun match to watch. Interesting and wierd to see Borg playing with a Dunlop though.

    Awesome to see Borg on the court. Dude is a true immortal.
     
    #3
  4. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    4,611
    I am sure he was. McEnroe often had to carry Borg only a couple years after his retirement. Bjorn s style was heavily dependent on huge volumes of practice... But also in this case , courier has a huge age advantage. If courier goes all out he could still hit with something close to tour form, no way Bjorn can be expected to defend against that at his age , in Borg s prime those two wouldn't have been an epic epic battle. Borg is probably one of the few players in history that courier would have feared on clay.
     
    #4
  5. hoosierbr

    hoosierbr Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2005
    Messages:
    1,837
    Borg is the oldest guy out there. He's even older than McEnroe so give him a break!

    He's still pretty quick for a dude in his 50's. Gotta give it to him.
     
    #5
  6. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Messages:
    3,907
    Location:
    Oakland
    No way. Even philopoussis wouldn't. Too slow, too injured, not enough speed, not enough smarts.
     
    #6
  7. Kaz00

    Kaz00 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2009
    Messages:
    703
    Location:
    Runnin round backhands
    The same level has a very high ranked college player maybe even better. I could see Muster whooping up on the top college players.
     
    #7
  8. BrooklynNY

    BrooklynNY Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2010
    Messages:
    1,627
    I watched Sampras play Safin and Roddick to 4-6 sets this year. His level was incredible.

    He also just beat Sam Querrey 8-4 in a champions set last week at Rock n Rackets
     
    #8
  9. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,658
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    Did you read about Borg warming up in Boston against Harvard's no. 1 player.

    Apparently Borg toyed with the guy, ran him all over the court, and wore him out.

    Here's the link:
    http://www.boston.com/sports/other_sports/tennis/articles/2010/04/29/bjorn_again/


    Tennis great Bjorn Borg taught at Harvard yesterday, but not in the classroom.

    The 11-time Grand Slam champion schooled the Crimson’s Alexei Chijoff-Evans, a talented 21-year-old junior whom Borg ran nonstop for nearly an hour on the court at Murr Center. Borg, still lean but now gray at 53, barely broke a sweat, displaying an array of forehands, backhands, and surgically placed lobs.

    “You’re so outrageously fit,’’ Chijoff-Evans told the living legend. “You’re just cruising. I’m dying.’’
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2010
    #9
  10. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    7,618
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Borg is still very good, but he is the oldest player out there. I agree. I think perhaps Courier was laying off a bit against him. He's a much younger player. Borg impressed me though, given that he's now 54. He can still hit some extremely good shots on the run. He's in pretty good shape too, but you can see the difference on the backhand most of all, and of course his mobility. His backhand has changed a lot in terms of form. He can't hit it the way he used to, with the big release over the shoulder. Also, on the serve, you can see a huge difference. He's not 30 or 40 anymore. It was great though. The crowds just love seeing him out there. He's a legend and I like the fact that the fans appreciate his contributions. Courier was clearly excited just to be on the same court as Borg. That was very nice. He mentioned how his parents talked about how Borg acted on the court and how Courier should try and emulate him on the court. Borg was having fun playing and now you get to see him react in ways that you'd never see during his playing days. The crowd enjoyed it.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2010
    #10
  11. CHOcobo

    CHOcobo Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Messages:
    1,235
    Location:
    MN
    any videos of the current Bjorn Borg? i'd like to see him play.
     
    #11
  12. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    34,767
    From the article above:

    "For those too young to remember the 1970s, Borg was an international sex symbol with his long, blond hair, headband, short shorts, and two-handed backhand."

    So 2 handed backhand makes you sexy?
     
    #12
  13. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,387
    I was going to mention this as well; even at 53, Bjorn is quite formidable. But, as others noted, these guys can no longer do this an entire tournament. On a given day, for a given set, a guy like McEnroe can clock probably anyone in the Top 100. But not day in and day out. That's the rub.
     
    #13
  14. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,658
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    Sure, of course. Look at Agassi.
     
    #14
  15. robow7

    robow7 Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Messages:
    967
    I remember Laver being asked how he would compete with the current pros when he was in his mid 40's and he felt he could still play with anyone in the world but for only one set, and no way for three sets. He said the day after was even worse which meant tournaments were impossible.
     
    #15
  16. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    7,618
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    #16
  17. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,541
    Location:
    Sweden
    #17
  18. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    7,618
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Thanks for posting that video clip The-Champ. He and McEnroe are tennis wizards, but their bodies no longer allow for the full effect. These videos give us a hint of their powers in their 20's. Also, for me it always makes me so curious about players from the pre-graphite era and what their play in their prime years would have been like with today's frames/strings. That looked like a really fun exhibition. I think you're right, seeing him and Nadal together would be great sometime, perhaps on the same court with perhaps Federer and McEnroe. Regardless, it's great for tennis that Borg is now visible and involved with promoting the sport again. He and McEnroe were powerful catalysts. Federer, Nadal, and others, would not be enjoying the fame and fortune they do enjoy without the work of Borg and McEnroe (and Laver and those before certainly).
     
    #18
  19. CHOcobo

    CHOcobo Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Messages:
    1,235
    Location:
    MN
    WOW.... borg has amazing speed and really good footwork for his age. beating a top college player like he did made college tennis level seems like nothing. i still want to watching play that harvard kid.
     
    #19
  20. GoSurfBoy

    GoSurfBoy Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2009
    Messages:
    595
    "You had two different personalities,’’ said Borg. “I come from Sweden, where our mentality is a little laid-back, a little more quiet. John grew up outside New York and he’s a little bit more outspoken.’’

    "...and he’s a little bit more outspoken.’’

    YATHINK!??? lol
     
    #20
  21. 0d1n

    0d1n Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Messages:
    3,674
    Location:
    Cluj-Napoca, Romania
    Hmmm, I don't think it's really about "needing a huge amount of practice".
    I think it's about Borg's style being the "most modern" of his time, which means his game was more physical than most...let alone McEnroe...regardless of practice time.
    In other words his game relies much more on a healthy fast and strong physique than McEnroe's game does. McEnroe has a unique game which isn't as taxing physically (and being the competitive SOB that he is...he is also staying in tip top shape himself...which doesn't hurt).
    Also...most of the "veteran" tournaments are played indoors and/or on fast surfaces which pretty much immediately puts McEnroe at an advantage. On clay/slower surfaces Borg's game would still be tough to counter by McEnroe.

    I'm thinking in similar terms. They can still play a set at a very very high level (not top 100 in full flight I think...but still "pro level"). The problem lies with playing 3 sets at that pace, and when you win and have to do it again tomorrow...well...that's pretty much impossible for their aging bodies.

    Yup, he's a great guy with a great game...who can still give plenty of young guys some humbling tennis lessons.
     
    #21
  22. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    4,721
    Location:
    Hotel CA
    The touch, strokes, and mental game skills will all still be world class with former greats and goat contenders. The cardio and foot speed are areas that age handicaps the most. With these considerations, I think that players like McEnroe, Edberg and Sampras would still have the best chance to win sets against the best players in the world because thier games are not based on endurance and footspeed, which are two of the most critical factors in the modern baseline game. Borg has no chance to beat a current world class player from the baseline but the others can still possibly win using the old school tactics. This is one reason I feel that more modern tennis coaches and academies should be teaching the old school styles since I believe championships can still be won using styles other than baseline blasting.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2010
    #22
  23. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,658
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    #23
  24. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    4,721
    Location:
    Hotel CA
    #24
  25. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,658
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    Only if he's mad at you.:)


    (Ha ha. Good one.)
     
    #25
  26. GoSurfBoy

    GoSurfBoy Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2009
    Messages:
    595
    Just sort of curious what Head racket Borg is using...All dark blue?
     
    #26
  27. Manus Domini

    Manus Domini Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
    Messages:
    4,853
    Location:
    Jersey
    they can play at the same level as the pros for a day, maybe not an entire match even, maybe just a set, or maybe a match, depending.

    Edberg can beat Safin, who just retired.

    I would say that a lot of them don't need their opponents to go easy in exhos to win or get a close match. They are good enough for one match, but they need a cooldown.

    @The-Champ, would be great to see JMac and Fed v. Borg and Rafa doubles exho. would be very interesting. In fact, would be great on wimby, where all of them won it
     
    #27
  28. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    4,721
    Location:
    Hotel CA
    Yep, I think Mac would have been pissed to lose a set of dubs to Bjorn and Roger ;)
    A rematch will be even more interesting, I think Roger may remember that closer ...
     
    #28
  29. adidasman

    adidasman Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Messages:
    1,459
    Location:
    Frederick, MD
    Federer, Borg, McEnroe...and Blake??? In the immortal words of the Sesame Street song, "One of these things is not like the others..."
     
    #29
  30. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2009
    Messages:
    10,500
    I'm currently playing 4.5
     
    #30
  31. Frank Silbermann

    Frank Silbermann Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    Messages:
    1,063
    #31
  32. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,658
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    It doesn't have to be much to be more than zero.:wink:
     
    #32
  33. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,347
    Anyone could hit more topspin with today's racquets. You can breath on these racquets and they'll hit topspin for you. lol.
     
    #33
  34. theagassiman

    theagassiman Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Messages:
    328
    'Former pros'
    Of course there are the "Sampras" former pros (inc Courier, Agassi...)
    And "McEnroe" generation.
    So they'll both be different.

    In fact I've seen Mac trounce Courier before, so I would hazard a guess that its more playing style than age, post 35 yo
    e.g Mac beat Pete in Boston once I think
     
    #34
  35. subban

    subban Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    181
    Location:
    Forest Hills Gardens, Queens, New York, USA
    From that current picture of Borg on a clay court, it looks like he switched completely to a two handed backhand. He used to have a hybrid backhand of starting it out with two hands and then letting go of one hand. Does he still hit his backhand like that? I have not seen him play recently.
     
    #35
  36. ttwarrior1

    ttwarrior1 Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Messages:
    1,145
    Location:
    kentucky
    you all must be kids , i see people here everyday that are over 60 years old and beating up on 6.0 and college players
     
    #36
  37. Harry_Wild

    Harry_Wild Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Messages:
    1,170
    I would say that Sampras could take on Federer and maybe Nadal and win if it was limited set match; like a 2 out of 3 and not the 3 to 5 set match setup. Djokovic I think he could still win over Sampras

    Basically, I would say that if it were a limited set matches; most of the retired pros would still be rank as a 7! The only difference is their stamina and maybe a little slower too! But definitely a 7 for Samprass, Agassi, Courier and possibly MacEnroe.
     
    #37
  38. Tobias Fünke

    Tobias Fünke Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Messages:
    131
    I think he was a late replacement for Nadal due to a Davis Cup final.
     
    #38

Share This Page