Who Wins 1980 Wimbledon?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Superbrat4Ever, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. Superbrat4Ever

    Superbrat4Ever New User

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    It's Wimbledon 1980. Everyone employs wooden rackets. Four players have made it to the semi-finals. An '84 Mac, a '79 Borg, Nadal and Federer playing their best tennis. Borg and Nadal are coupled in one semi and Mac and Fed in the other. Who wins the 1980 Wimbledon final?
     
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  2. zcarzach

    zcarzach Professional

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    Connors in five.
     
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  3. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

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    Hmmmmm 84 JMac would be my call. Even with the current slower conditions - if they played with Wimbledon as it was in the late 70s thru 80s Nadal and Fed would be having to hit balls below knee level on super fast grass.
     
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  4. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Not just the low bounces, but the bad bounces. A player was lucky if he could hit 2 groundstrokes in a row cleanly. You really had to be at the net to have a good chance of winning the point. What's so amazing about Borg is that he adjusted his game to be able to play on grass. He developed a pretty big serve and moved forward and volleyed quite a bit and was able to win Wimbledon consistently. Still, I guess I'd pick Mac.
    Given a year to re-tune their games to the different conditions, Fed and Nadal would be just as good as Borg and Mac. (In Fed's case, just developing the game he had when he was young.) The greats of any era are special and would be great under any circumstances.
     
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  5. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

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    Playing with wood would not affect Fed as much as Rafa.....the amount of pace and spin he gets with the poly strings and that crazy stick just cannot be matched in any way with anything wood. The only guy I saw who hit such loopy shots would be a young Theirry Tulasne who had HUGE looping shots that he tried to always crush.
    I can see JMac using that heavy slice Serve to Feds backhand on grass over and over....JMac in 4 tight sets. I don't think Nadal v Borg would not be close - Borg in 3.
     
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  6. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    I disagree...equipment is WAY overrated. I know it superficially seems to most like it would be more natural for Fed, but Borg got huge spin....Nadal would get more...his racquet speed is considerably higher and still would be. Further, Fed's BH won't like that tiny head if it goes off. We'll see some big shanks then!

    Borg/Nadal would be something to see indeed, I don't see it so one sided for Borg. Actually, I think it a bit of a toss-up between Borg/Nadal/Fed.

    However, 84 Mac all the way...tough battle against any of theses players, but his artistry, feel, feel for the points and for grass would trump these players, and have them discombobulated. Would be quite a show though.
     
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  7. robow7

    robow7 Professional

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    IMO, Fed is one of the few players that could play at anytime and still excel. Fed could serve and volley easily with his grip, not Nadal. I think he and Mac both would hold serve until somebody blinked, but in the end, Fed shanks just enough that Mac wins in 5.
     
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  8. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Data,

    I agree with you on Nadal's racquet speed but a few minor disagreements.

    Borg's serve, relatively speaking is better than Nadal's and Borg wasn't exactly bad at serving and volleying. Borg had one of the best serves in tennis. Nadal's serve, while good isn't what I call a big serve except at the 2010 US Open.

    I read an article once in which Borg stated he felt he was more of a grass player than a clay player. Something about him playing on a grass court near his home so he knew naturally how to play on grass. And we all know that Borg's groundies on old grass was still pretty good. The Borg of 1979 was perhaps the best Borg so I think it would be some battle on grass between McEnroe and him.

    Remember that Borg defeated McEnroe during the 1980 Wimbledon with either a strained or torn stomach muscle. McEnroe in 1984 was awesome and may be the favorite but a match with a healthy Borg around 1979 would be incredible.

    One advantage Federer may have on old grass is that Nadal or Borg wouldn't be able to use the heavy topspin to the backhand tactic as well because the old Wimbledon grass wouldn't bounce as high. Of course sometimes the old Wimbledon grass wouldn't bounce at all.

    And as Data wrote, playing on grass with a small wood racquet would cause more shanks.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2011
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  9. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    McEnroe

    I think today's players - Federer and Nadal would struggle especially Nadal. I think his entire game exists because of Modern rackets. He wouldn't be able to generate the spin or produce the passing shots given wooden rackets.

    1984 McEnroe would dominate I think.

    Another interesting thread would be 1980 Borg vs Nadal at the French Open both using wooden Rackets. Again, I think Nadal would struggle.
     
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  10. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    '84 Mac wins Wimbledon and then the universe implodes because of the time paradox.
     
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  11. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

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    how can you think that???? Equipment is soooooo different than what we played with 30+ years ago. Of all of them Nadal is the most a product of the technology. No way he hits with the same pace and control with a small woodie at 13 or 14oz strung with gut.....he of course would still be great but take away the APD and full poly and his game changes. Have you ever hit with 1980 wooden sticks????
    you can't compare him to Borg or even Vilas as their stroke dynamics are so different.....you stick a Head Vilas in his hands and of this group he comes out 4 th.
     
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  12. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Mc or Borg, after some struggle win it...just to be beaten by 1969 Rod Laver in 4 sets in the true W final
     
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  13. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    No, I strongly disagree. The stroke mechanics of these players aren't radically different. Slight grip alterations dictate slight changes in arm position and swing, overall swing speed has gone up, but in fact, the fundamentals remain exactly the same. Nadal's (and other current players) strokes really differ in IMPRESSION from Borg's only due to exaggerated follow-throughs and other csometic elements.

    Yes, I have hit with everything from wood to a Thunderstick. I can serve with all of them upwards of 120mph, and I can still hit heavy topspin. It's the player, not the racquet. Nadal would get more spin than Borg or Vilas, with no major swing alteration. There would be times, particularly on the run, or on difficult balls, where he would have to alter his shot selection (which would come naturally), due to less inherent power in the racquet, but basically, he'd be fine.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2011
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  14. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    I don't know that I disagree with any of this PC. I just can't see a very clear distinction between any of those 3 at their best....Borg was great on grass....but Nadal was no slouch either....I think it's fair to say that at his best, he at least matches Federer.....4 sets on his first big try, 5 sets, and then beat Fed.

    Mac isn't that far ahead of the pack either, but grass, more than any surface, favors improvisation, low bouncing shots, net play, feel in the hands, creativity, and unpredictability. Mac IS ahead of all 3 in these areas, so I think ultimately, he'll win more matches from all of them than they will from him.
     
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  15. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Obviously not Rafa. It'd be a shank-fest, as he goes for his big topspinners, unless he uses a custom-made, graphite-reinforced 100 sq. in woodie.

    (What was the head-size on the Head Vilas?)

    Also, I think not Connors--his pace depended on something other than wood.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2011
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  16. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Bjorn Rune Borg.

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    68 sq inches ;)
     
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  18. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Mcenroe of 84 would win for sure. Federer would be the other finalist if he played Borg in the semis. Nadal would be the other finalist if he played Federer in the semis. Borg would be the other finalist if he played Nadal in the semis.
     
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  19. zam88

    zam88 Professional

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    Who knocked out Sampras '95 and Connors '76?
     
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  20. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Delete post.
     
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  21. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    ¿ Tanner ?
     
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  22. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Agree. Mac with wood on those conditions was really a special player. Borg and Federer could also win depending on the day. Nadals game just does not convert to the same level a greatness without the current technology.
     
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  23. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I think he's talking about who knocked out Connors and Sampras in the imaginery tournament they are having.

    But yes Tanner knocked out Connors in 1976 and no one knocked out Sampras in 1995 because Sampras won Wimbledon that year.
     
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  24. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Well, if you believe Nadal and uncle Toni is going to stick with the same mechanics using the wooden racquet, then yes there will be a problem.
     
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  25. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

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    good point, Connors himself has said many times the T2000 allowed him to elevate his game. If you've never seen him in person he is quite small, less than 5' 10" and pretty small upper body in fact his chest was almost "concave". It was like magic the way he was able to control that thing no way he becomes as dominant with a kramer staff.
     
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  26. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I'm not sure about that. Admittedly the T2000 was a super powerful racquet but as many experts have pointed out, Connors had great techique. Perhaps he wouldn't have quite the power but I think perhaps he would have had even more control. Either way I don't think it was the racquet that made Connors. Somehow I would think he would find a way to win even if he used a broom.
     
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  27. Strobe Lights

    Strobe Lights Semi-Pro

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    Why is this set in 1980 specifically? For such a hypothetical situation, setting it at an actual Wimbledon of the past seems bizarre.
     
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  28. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    I am also highly skeptical about that PC. First, as I've been saying, the equipment difference is TINY....second, while the racquet might be particularly well suited to Connors, and he may have been most comfortable with it, the racquet is never key to the game. It definitely wasn't the power in a general sense....maybe Connors was the only one with the game and talent to control the power, but in fact, when Jimmy switched to even more powerful racquets, particularly his widebody estusa, his game suffered...he slowed his swings quite a bit. I think if you gave him his Slazenger ceramic, he would have been just as good in his heyday.

    Ironic isn't it that, some would argue that the change in technology made such a positive difference for most players, but hurt Connors! (both are HIGHLY exaggerated here in my opinion)
     
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  29. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I have a story that goes with this. A buddy of mine had an old T-2000 (a racquet I had and hated by the way) and he went to an event Jimmy Connors was at just a few years ago. Connors was hitting with his current racquet and my buddy yelled from the crowd and pointed out his T-2000 racquet to Connors. Connors grabbed my friend's T-2000 and according to my friend hit the ball perfectly. I think he said that Connors may have not missed one shot with the T-2000. He didn't have to get used to his old racquet at all.

    Incidentally with the Laver Chemold and Connors' T-2000, why couldn't some of these greats have racquets most people can play well? I don't even think Laver could play well with the Chemold. The Chemold may be the worst racquet I've ever used.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011
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  30. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    I think Connors would have been considerably tougher with all modern technology. I also think he could have adjusted to wood frames, but I do think he'd have the edge with the T2000 vs. wood frames. That frame was magic in his hands.

    1971 with the UCLA Bruins

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2011
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  31. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

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    I didn't say it made him, he himself has said it many many times that the T2000 gave him that extra edge. Wether it was just confidence or just that extra bit of power that frame was different enough for him. Even with wood he would have been great, but maybe not as great. Proof is lots of pros picked it up in the early 70s and just couldn't handle it. Even BJ King who won a Wimby with it went back to wood.
    As for dismissing the new technologies and thinking its minor in the development of today's players I'm taking my cue from hearing and talking with ex top players....when a Tony Roche, Dennis Ralston or Owen Davidson says that today's tech is a difference maker I kinda take that over what us hackers on a board think they know.
     
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  32. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Good question since lots of modern fans do not understand the difference in both the courts and technology of the past. That was a fast and unpredictable playing surface which required great timing and footwork for hitting low balls off the rise. Precise half volleying is a hugh prereq. This is the reason why Nadals game would be soo drastically effected since he likes to hit higher bouncing balls with an extreme western grip and strokes. Very difficult with the bounces on that older grass where eastern grips and closed stances were the norm.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2011
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  33. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Oh well then there is indeed no discussion necessary for you. Simple appeal to authority. That is fine, though certainly, there would still remain the question of who's authority. (bear in mind that some experts didn't even disagree with Borg's use of wood, when Borg when he attempted to comeback years past his prime).

    Even more troubling, I think you are likely misinterpreting the opinion of those experts. They may well claim that graphite makes a big difference, however, let me remind everyone else that "big" would be ill-defined. Are they saying it makes 2% difference? Or a 5% or 10% difference? Or maybe 40%, like some people seem to imply? Most importantly, in the case of Nadal, which is how this tangent started, I'd question any expert who would claim or believe that Nadal couldn't play with a wood racquet. I'm sure there are some out there, but I believe they are falling for myths and generalizations without truly having thought it through.

    However, Gavna, as you say, in your opinion, you and I are hackers, and thus have no weight in your system. You are entitled to that epistemology, and I appreciate you being up-front about it.
     
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  34. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

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    Hahahaha I don't think my 50yr old brain that fried yet as to not understand what we were talking about. I never said Nadal couldn't play with wood but that what he does today hitting with his current set up would be a big enough difference between these 4 players to have him finish 4. As I said before he would still be great, I also had some fun and showed this discussion to Owen Davidson this morning who I hit with on a regular basis.....he just about laughed his A** off at your logic.
    And as I'm a fairly strong 5.0 ex D1 player who worked on tour for 12 years I have no issue calling myself a hacker. I don't take it as a slur, Bud Collins who also uses the term quite a bit is a damn strong player - you must take yourself and your game way to serious.....if your not making money playing tennis your a hacker (in a good way just to be clear...hahah).
     
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  35. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Uh oH! Were you and Aaron Krickstein laughing at my haircut also?! :-(

    LOL. No, seriously, thank you. It's great to know Davidson read through all my postings. I assume you're misusing the term "logic"; while many of arguments here are subjective, and thus open to debate, neither you, nor anyone else has pointed out a flaw in "logic".

    I'm afraid you're in error here. I took no offense whatsoever to the term! It would help if you were to quote what you're replying to, so I know what it is that made you think some offense was taken. If indeed, that is really the case, and this is not a simplistic attempt to imply arrogance where none was present. Just for your own edification, it was actually Fred Stolle, who is credited with popularizing the term in modern tennis, and Fred is of course, one of the better players of the 20th century.
     
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