Which retired players could come back and make it on the tour today?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Recoveringhobo, May 13, 2013.

  1. Recoveringhobo

    Recoveringhobo Rookie

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    I think someone like Pete, who is only 41, could be successful on tour today because of his big serve and forehand. His movement would prohibit him from entertaining his former success but I think he could be a solid top 20 player.

    Of course Roddick, Ljubicic, or even Gonzales are still relatively young so they could still be successful but just not at as high of a level that they once were. Muster tried to make it back but the game proved too physical for his game.
     
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  2. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Gonzales died a few years ago
     
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  3. dirtballer

    dirtballer Professional

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    For the women, Justine Henin could still win on clay.
     
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  4. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    Seriously? Another one of these threads? Sampras would not even be close to a top 20 player. Anyone who takes his results from the "Seniors" tour, and seriously thinks he would be any kind of contender on the ATP World Tour is smoking some seriously good crap!
     
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  5. Recoveringhobo

    Recoveringhobo Rookie

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    How can you say that with certainty? Instead of just casually dismissing the thread why don't you add to the discussion with reasons why he couldn't make it back on the tour. My argument is that -- solely by virtue of his serve -- Sampras could be doing reasonably well on tour. If serve-bots like Querrey, Raonic, and Isner can stay happily with the top guys then why couldn't Sampras? It's not like his serve game would deteriorate with age. At least I don't think someone's serve deteriorates with age. My former coach once held the world record for fastest serve in the world in the 80's but he could still serve accurately at 130 mph when he was in his 40s. I'm assuming that Sampras would be the same. His quickness, agility, and his famous "slam dunks" might be gone but his serve would stay intact.
     
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  6. S&V Specialist

    S&V Specialist Rookie

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    One problem, Sampras struggles to get his serve over 120 nowadays...He never had anywhere near as big of a serve as guys like Isner and Raonic. He has also lost a lot of his spin on his serve, making it less effective.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2013
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  7. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    I think you need to go watch some more videos of the current Sampras. You will find out very quickly that his serve would not even come close to carrying him with the current top 20, or top 50 or top 100.

    Sampras was one of my favorite players too, but you're living in a dream world if you think he would be competitive in the current game.
     
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  8. Goosehead

    Goosehead Hall of Fame

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    no way, are you drunk..Sampras was 'a solid top20 player' in 2002..and you think he could be at that level 11yrs later. :confused:
     
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  9. magnut

    magnut Hall of Fame

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    None of the legends could do it. They are just too old now. Bodies change and you just cant recover from matches the same. If they were the same age it would be a different story.
     
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  10. heninfan99

    heninfan99 Legend

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    I agree. A one week tourney twice a year, sure but not day in day but Haas is changing what can be accomplished at 35 for sure.

    Maybe Sampras/Mac in doubles could work year round.


     
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  11. magnut

    magnut Hall of Fame

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    I always wish these guys would continue to play doubles a good bit once they leave the singles. Guys like Rafter and Edberg could have kept playing the majors for a long time.
     
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  12. robow7

    robow7 Professional

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    I remember them asking Laver if he felt he could come back and compete on the pro tour when he was in his early/mid 40's (mind you I don't think he retired until he was almost 40). He said he felt he could compete with anyone for a set, maybe two, but his legs were probably done by the third set. He stated that no way could he go 5 sets and the worst part was that he couldn't recover fast enough anymore to have play several days in a row. Interestingly grandpa Pancho playing top notch tennis into his 40's claimed that it's the eye that go first and not the legs.
     
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  13. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    I don't think so. Couple years ago he can't beat grandpa JMac on the senior tour. If a player struggled on the senior tour, playing in a highly completive pro tour would be a disaster.
     
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  14. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

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    In doubles probably..in singles it depends on what you mean by make it. Kimiko Date is in the top 100 in singles so if that defines making it then yes maybe some people could if they were willing to work for it. However I doubt even Pete could get to the top 100 now. His serve his worse...his movement isn't great anymore...his stamina would in no way cut it in a 5 setter.

    If the men played best of 3 everywhere than maybe he might with a very select schedule do something but even then not likely.

    However I could see Henin, Davenport, Graf, Peirce and other women maybe being top 100 now if they really worked for it....I mean if Date can so can they.

    Thing is why would they want to? They've had their time and I think most are satisfied with that.
     
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  15. spinovic

    spinovic Hall of Fame

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    Kim Clijsters comes to mind. Since she retired relatively recently, I think she could come back and compete.

    But, of players who are in their 30's (or older), who have been away from the game for several years - none of them could. Maybe, maybe, a guy like Sampras or Rafter could get that big serve clicking and give some current tour level player a good match on a given day, but they couldn't advance deep in a real tournament. They couldn't hold up to the physical demands of the game now. If they did get it going and win a match, I doubt they'd fare well having to come right back and play the next day, and the next day - and then another tournament next week. They're too old and have been away from the game too long. And that doesn't even take into account the changes tennis has seen over the past decade and how they would have to adjust to that.
     
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  16. robow7

    robow7 Professional

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    A guy who relied on s&v in his own day like Rafter and Cash would have no chance now. Guys in their prime can't do it presently and unfortunately as you age, you lose a step or two, and nowhere does that become more evident than a s&v guy being forced to lunge for that volley than being set . McEnroe lost that crucial step as the 80's wore on and his number of wins decreased dramatically and he was still a younger guy.
     
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  17. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    Sampras, Rafter, Roddick and such could easily be #1 multi slam champions on WTA...
     
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  18. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Of course, Martina Hingis
     
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  19. realplayer

    realplayer Semi-Pro

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    With the poly strings and slower courts the game has transitioned into a much more physical game which makes it impossible for retired players to make any impression.
    If they would speed up the courts again and ban the poly strings serve and volley players could do quite well.
     
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  20. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    Years after he left the pro tour, Connors said it was his legs that went first...not his will, nor his eyes, but his legs.
     
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  21. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, this 6 minute video of a 38 year old Laver playing a 20 year old Borg is evidence of Laver's absolutely unbelievable skill and mastery of the game.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYr9ZCmeLP0

    He lost the match, but he really gave Borg a tough time. And this was on clay. Totally unreal.
     
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  22. corners

    corners Legend

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    Thanks for posting the link. There's another collection of highlights from that match that's been on Youtube for a while, but the one you posted has more action and includes a bunch of nice court-level footage. Amazing how well Laver could play at 38, and he won that event the year before, at 37!

    Pancho Gonzalez's color commentary is fantastic!
     
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  23. robow7

    robow7 Professional

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    That clip was fun to watch. Borg's foot speed and gets were unreal, especially on the one Laver topspin lob that hit near the baseline and yet Borg some how on the slide ran it down. Also Laver looked so comfortable at the net with his volley.
     
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  24. Harry_Wild

    Harry_Wild Professional

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    If Justine Henin came back again; she would be in the top 5 within a year! She would win the French and be in the finalist in the other three major with a chance at winning. Serena would be her only challenge! She has a great record against Sharapova. Azarenka started to go up the ladder as Henin got injured and retired again.
     
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  25. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    I think Steffi Graf could be a force to contend with
     
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  26. ttwarrior1

    ttwarrior1 Professional

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    you have to realize, they would also comeback and train harder and play better than they are currently.

    If these retired pros can beat someone that has only been retired just 1 to 3 years then of course they could.
     
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  27. 1477aces

    1477aces Hall of Fame

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    Sampras no too old. Seriously. Roddick could be a top 30 player if he hasn't ate too many burritos in his 8 months of retirement.
     
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  28. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    Sampras at 31 was barely in the top 20 when the surfaces were way faster than nowadays. Sampras would struggle to stay in the top 100 at 41.
     
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  29. magnut

    magnut Hall of Fame

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    Tough field when he was 31. Not that it matters. At 41 his back would go out after the first couple of matches. 41 iis pretty ancient on the tour. Especially when you have been laying on the couch playing with the kids for 10 years.
     
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  30. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    None. At that age it's not necessarily about tennis skill, it's the physicality and grind (mental, travel, non stop tournaments, etc) of the tour that's going to kill you. If Petros trained daily and went full blast he could probably still have wins over top 20 players on a 1 match best 2 of 3 set basis on a faster court. To do it consistently week in week out, forget it. He'd be six feet under within a few weeks.
     
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  31. mattennis

    mattennis Hall of Fame

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    Depends on what you mean by "make it".

    I think no one would make it to top-10 for example.

    Henman? No. Roddick? don't think so. Kafelnikov? No. Rafter? Too old at 40.

    Sampras or Agassi? They are 41 and 42 years old. Impossible for them right now. Just too late.


    You may point to Haas case, being nº13 in the world at 35 and you may claim that both Agassi and Sampras were much much better than Haas (which is true of course), but I really think 41 and 42 years old is just too old, WAY OLDER (in tennis terms) than 35.


    I think in todays tennis 35 or 36 may be the oldest you can be in the top-10.
     
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  32. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    You don't want me to go through the list of players Sampras lost to in 2002.

    Btw I've read numerous times that 2002 was one of the weakest years in tennis ever.
     
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  33. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    I think the OP means Fernando Gonzalez, not Pancho Gonzales (died of cancer in July 1995).
     
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  34. DolgoSantoro

    DolgoSantoro Professional

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    I think Kiki was nitpicking their spelling to make a point.

    Anyhow, I'm not sure if any player could do very well. Even if the shots are there, the hunger and fitness isn't.
     
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  35. 1477aces

    1477aces Hall of Fame

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    Only Roddick and maybe lubjubicic. Sampras and Agassi would struggle to win matches they would be max Donald Young's level and that is pushing it. See Thomas muller's failed comeback
     
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  36. tkoziol

    tkoziol Rookie

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    Coria (depends on his serve tic), Roddick, and Safin
     
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  37. KineticChain

    KineticChain Professional

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    I tend to agree somewhat with this. I don't think Pete could come out of retirement and win enough consecutive matches to get a high ranking. He may get some close matches and even pull off a few wins with top 100 players but he wouldn't be able to handle the constant grind the tour demands. Although he amazingly won that last US open, he retired ranked 17... 11 years later, he would not be able to touch anywhere near that ranking.
     
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  38. UKmattG

    UKmattG New User

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    He had the moves when Rafa was still dribbling into his porridge and could kick the butt of any player on tour today....

    [​IMG]

    ...I jest, of course, but what a guy!
     
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  39. Anaconda

    Anaconda Hall of Fame

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    Probably Safin.
     
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