Would Laver Now Lose to 4.5 Player?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by lordmanji, Nov 11, 2007.

  1. lordmanji

    lordmanji Guest

    hey all,

    got a question about the drop off in skill of a pro tennis player as they become older. Laver's like 60 now? Would he lose to a 4.5 player who's under 45? There seems to be a huge dropoff in athletic ability once you reach a certain age so I'll say 45 and under although it might be 50.

    my league tennis captain was a 4.5 but is now 79 and plays 3.0 doubles (and wins like a third of his games).
     
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  2. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Laver will be 70 next year. I don't know that he's able to move well enough to play singles. However, I would bet my house that he and Ken Rosewall could pretty much beat any 4.5 doubles pairing around.
     
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  3. FiveO

    FiveO Hall of Fame

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    In Laver's case post stroke and all I wouldn't hazard a guess. My suggestion would be to go to a well attended National 70's event and watch the final.
    Realize that the overall healthy guys playing were probably a full level and perhaps two below the legends of the sport. For example American, King Van Nostrand (you can look up his bio).

    Prior to Gene Scott's, founder of Tennis Week magazine, death he had played and Van Nostrand in the final of some international 65 or 70 Championship. I forget the outcome but Scott was quoted as saying "two artificial hips beat two artificial knees" (or vice versa, with Scott having the hip replacements and Van Nostrand having the knees) and a 4.5 wasn't beating either of them after their surgeries.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2007
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  4. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    When Laver turns 80, he will lose to a 4.0 player
     
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  5. gerikoh

    gerikoh Semi-Pro

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    i think any 4.5 can beat him in 5 set matches :D

    just make him run around :D
     
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  6. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Laver had a stroke in (I think) 1999. Does anyone know how much it affected his hand-eye coordination and mobility?

    Maybe he can't play at all anymore, which would be rather sad. But this discussion would be entirely useless in that case
     
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  7. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I've seen a 70 year old pusher doing well at 3.5. I'm guessing a former pro would be at least 4.0 and maybe 4.5. I think USTA experienced player guidelines might put them at 4.5, but I'm not positive.
     
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  8. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Laver has a severe stroke in 1998, handicapping his right side. But he seems able to play doubles from time to time.I think, in 2005 or 2006 he played a doubles with McEnroe, Roche and Agassi at the Hall of Fame classic at Newport.
     
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  9. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    ^And was very competitive when he could get to the ball. He was wearing a pretty big knee brace which severly limited his movement. Tony Roche, on the other hand who is 62, was at net against Agassi's groundstrokes. Agassi hit a few as hard as he could and Roche volleyed them back and away for a winner. After Roche hit the 3rd or 4th winner, you could hear Laver tell Agassi "Not to his backhand". Agassi said "I know, I know!"

    If Roche at 62 could handle Agassi's groundies, I would think Laver and Roche or any other former pro in his 60s could take a couple of 4.5s to the house.
     
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  10. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

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    About ten years ago a guy named Russell Seymour (former Aussie Davis Cup player) showed up at 4.5 sectionals in Texas and cleaned house. He was probably about 60 at the time. He never missed and his slice backhand gave guys fits.
     
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  11. lordmanji

    lordmanji Guest

    perhaps for a broader discussion, we could extend this discussion to any pro in their mid to late sixties, versus a 4.5 in his 50s to mid 30s.
     
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  12. CAM178

    CAM178 Hall of Fame

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    Not fair, as he is a stroke victim. If healthy, he should house a 4.5. He's got experience under his belt, and he can work a court like nobody's business. I've always had HUGE respect for Laver, but I gained even more when Federer was reduced to tears by Laver handing him the trophy at the AO.
     
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  13. superman1

    superman1 Legend

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    Federer said Roche's volleys are still better than anyone on tour's. Although to be fair, if Agassi and Roche played singles, it would be like target practice.
     
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  14. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    Yeah, he'd probably lose because of movement. Saw him playing doubles a few years ago and he's really lost a lot of faculty. He seems slower than his years.
     
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  15. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Absolutely no arguement here. But, the fact that Roche can hang at net with Agassi hitting balls at him pretty much proves that he could tool a 4.5. Roche and a 4.5 in singles? No contest.
     
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  16. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    I guess you've seen a lot of stroke victims play, huh? Do wheelchair players seem 'slower than their years', to you as well?
     
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  17. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I would love to see Agassi and Laver play doubles against McEnroe and Roche. Talk about great, classic players . . . wow!
     
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  18. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    it was very enjoyable
     
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  19. JohnP

    JohnP Rookie

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    I'm pretty sure it would be hard for any former world class player to drop far enough that they wouldn't be able to compete at least at the 5.0 level. It would take a severe restriction in movement from old, old age to cause that. From my experience, 4.5 players tend to be generally inconsistent players, who have finally developed most of the strokes there are, but aren't fully confident with more than a couple of them. A player like Laver has command of every stroke in the book, and has hit them consistently at a high level and has confidence to hit all of them most if not all of the time (as the top players in the world do). Any former world-class player should be able to beat most 4.5 players without issue for that reason.

    At the 5.0 level, you have players who can hit most shots consistently, and can exploit weaknesses of their opponents. Those are the players that could begin to give older world class players a match.

    All of the above are generalizations of course, but that's what NTRP ratings are anyway :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2007
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  20. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    What makes anyone think that a 4.5 player could make someone like Laver, Roche, or any former pro move?

    A 4.5 player would be exhausted after a set if the former pro decided to run them from corner to corner and the former pro wouldn't have a drop of sweat on them unless they warmed up really hard before they played.

    When my dad was in his 70's he was still a 4.5 player and he was never close to being a pro. Now that he's 80 he may be a lower 4.0, but I'd pick him in doubles over most any 4.0 around. It's only been the last couple or years that he's really slowed down.
     
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