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-   -   How would Borg have fared in this slow era? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=424842)

mcenroefan 05-21-2012 05:28 AM

How would Borg have fared in this slow era?
 
Basically, everything is slow now except the USO and the WTF....Borg would have had a hey day!

This is one reason that I think Borg is better than Nadal: he excelled on his best surfaces (slow surfaces) and was very, very good on the fast grass of Wimby. Conversely, I think if Nadal had played under Borg's conditions, he would have won the FO and maybe 1-2 other slams but that's it. When it comes to skill across all surfaces, Nadal seems more like a Vilas than a Borg.

zcarzach 05-21-2012 05:34 AM

Nadal has nothing on Borg, on any surface (perhaps hard courts). I agree with your assessment that Nadal is more like Vilas than Borg.

Leto 05-21-2012 05:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zcarzach (Post 6554303)
Nadal has nothing on Borg, on any surface. I agree with your assessment that Nadal is more like Vilas than Borg.

I think Rafa would dominate Borg on clay on a regular basis. No disrespect to Borg, but Rafa is just too good on the dirt.

On other surfaces, and factoring in their speed variances over time, it's a murkier subject.

zcarzach 05-21-2012 05:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Leto (Post 6554347)
I think Rafa would dominate Borg on clay on a regular basis. No disrespect to Borg, but Rafa is just too good on the dirt.

On other surfaces, and factoring in their speed variances over time, it's a murkier subject.

Rafa is the best clay court player right now, for sure. I don't think he would "dominate" Borg, however. Of course, this is all moot. But fun to think about nonetheless!

jackson vile 05-21-2012 05:58 AM

Borg had the talent of Federer and the mental and physicality of Nadal. He was a superior player.

zcarzach 05-21-2012 05:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jackson vile (Post 6554407)
Borg had the talent of Federer and the mental and physicality of Nadal. He was a superior player.

Indeed.

+10RealKingofClayIsASwede.

Leto 05-21-2012 06:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zcarzach (Post 6554367)
Rafa is the best clay court player right now, for sure. I don't think he would "dominate" Borg, however. Of course, this is all moot. But fun to think about nonetheless!

The key advantages I see Nadal having over Borg on clay, are his incredible RPM's and his being a lefty (like Borg's nemesis, JMac was).

Even if I mentally update Borg's groundies to more modern equipment, it's too much of a stretch to say he could match the level of Rafa's brutal top-spin FH's.

On the other hand, if Rafa had to play with wooden rackets, he'd probably be toast....but for a variety of reasons that I won't get into here, it is my preference to compare players of different eras, based on the most modern form of the game.

Leto 05-21-2012 06:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jackson vile (Post 6554407)
Borg had the talent of Federer and the mental and physicality of Nadal. He was a superior player.

I won't question the level of talent Borg had vs. Federer.

Both guys were talented, but in a lot of different ways, so you can't just boil down into some simple of equation Borg = Fed + Nadal :rolleyes:

But anyway, my point was regarding Borg vs. Rafa ON CLAY.

I still give the edge to Borg over Rafa, when ALL surfaces are considered.

zcarzach 05-21-2012 06:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Leto (Post 6554426)
The key advantages I see Nadal having over Borg on clay, are his incredible RPM's and his being a lefty (like Borg's nemesis, JMac was).

Even if I mentally update Borg's groundies to more modern equipment, it's too much of a stretch to say he could match the level of Rafa's brutal top-spin FH's.

On the other hand, if Rafa had to play with wooden rackets, he'd probably be toast....but for a variety of reasons that I won't get into here, it is my preference to compare players of different eras, based on the most modern form of the game.

A sensible approach, updating the game to modern equipment, rather than backdate modern players. Borg never had a problem with lefties (McEnroe was a problem, but not because he was lefty, but because Borg was starting to feel the burn of being at the top for so long by the time they started their rivalry).

The topspin forehand of course is troubling, but if you are updating Borg's equipment to modern racquets, you have no way of knowing that he couldn't match, or at least come close, to the RPMs produced by Rafa. Remember that Borg hit full Western with a 15 oz racquet, 72 square inch head, strung at 80 pounds with gut, and still managed to have incredibly heavy spin. Give '78 Borg a modern racquet on clay and he would be terrifying.

No matter what, I think it would be an interesting match, and I seriously doubt that either player would "dominate". Borg was quicker around the court, Rafa has the forehand advantage, Borg the backhand. Serve negligible between them (neither is all that strong). Borg would have the crowd (always did). Would be a classic, I'm sure.

mcenroefan 05-21-2012 06:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jackson vile (Post 6554407)
Borg had the talent of Federer and the mental and physicality of Nadal. He was a superior player.

I agree...not sure if I think he is quite as talented as Fed but he was very talented.

Borg also might actually equal or surpass Nadal in stamina which has always been Nadal's greatest weapon in my opinion. If Nadal saw a guy on the other side of the net who could go eight hours with him, it might affect Nadal's confidence.

The general point though is that Borg was incredible...to be unbeatable on slow and also excel on fast surfaces (nigh unbeatable on fast, low bouncing grass) is quite unbelievable. One thing for sure, Mac probably could not have beaten Borg at Wimby on today's speed grass. Playing today, Borg might have run off another couple of Wimby's and a few more FO's.

zcarzach 05-21-2012 06:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mcenroefan (Post 6554524)
I agree...not sure if I think he is quite as talented as Fed but he was very talented.

Borg also might actually equal or surpass Nadal in stamina which has always been Nadal's greatest weapon in my opinion. If Nadal saw a guy on the other side of the net who could go eight hours with him, it might affect Nadal's confidence.

The general point though is that Borg was incredible...to be unbeatable on slow and also excel on fast surfaces is quite a feat. One thing for sure, Mac probably could not have beaten Borg at Wimby on today's speed grass. Playing today, Borg might have run off another couple of Wimby's and a few more FO's.

Probably would have snagged a US Open as well, and maybe an Oz given his fitness and how slow the courts are.

mcenroefan 05-21-2012 06:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zcarzach (Post 6554539)
Probably would have snagged a US Open as well, and maybe an Oz given his fitness and how slow the courts are.

I don't think he even took the AO that seriously. In today's slow surface game, which has just turned into a chase for the most Slams and #1 ranking, and private jets to get you to tourneys (thus reducing some of the burnout factor), he could probably have racked up 20 or more by age 27-28.

This also is why I am sonewhat skeptical of slam count as the best baramoter of "greatness." I think it's a combination of things including #1 ranking, slams won, depth of field, excellence across multiple surfaces (speed, etc), etc.

It seems pretty clear that the greatest allcourt players include Laver, Borg, and Fed in chronological order. By the way, I don't believe in GOATS but I certainly would never rank someone who wasn't dominant across more than one surface type as even being in the running for such an imaginary title.

Sampras and Nadal are a bit interesting b/c I think they both benefitted and have been lucky in a way to have the predominant court speed of their era suit their strengths. What if Sampras had played today...on today';s grass? What if Nadal had played in Sampras' era on the grass of that era. I think both would have suffered but the all-court players mentioned above were great great across all surface speeds. I really don't think Sampras or Nadal are in category of Borg, Laver and Fed in all-court dominance.

Leto 05-21-2012 06:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zcarzach (Post 6554449)
A sensible approach, updating the game to modern equipment, rather than backdate modern players. Borg never had a problem with lefties (McEnroe was a problem, but not because he was lefty, but because Borg was starting to feel the burn of being at the top for so long by the time they started their rivalry).

The topspin forehand of course is troubling, but if you are updating Borg's equipment to modern racquets, you have no way of knowing that he couldn't match, or at least come close, to the RPMs produced by Rafa. Remember that Borg hit full Western with a 15 oz racquet, 72 square inch head, strung at 80 pounds, and still managed to have the heaviest spin of the day. Give '78 Borg a modern racquet on clay and he would be terrifying.

No matter what, I think it would be an interesting match, and I seriously doubt that either player would "dominate". Borg was quicker around the court, Rafa has the forehand advantage, Borg the backhand. Serve negligible between them (neither is strong). Borg would have the crowd (always did). Would be a classic, I'm sure.

The distance between Rafa's heavy topspin vs the rest of the field seems so much more pronounced, than Borg vs his field of the day. That is why I can't just assume Borg would have Rafa's FH by simply giving him the modern equipment.

And even if I give Borg an edge in quickness (though I'm not fully convinced about that yet), Rafa is still quick enough for his own defensive purposes that I don't see it as being a deciding factor.

Rafa is used to having fans in the stadium root against him, so also not a factor.

This takes me to one last argument that I didn't want to get into earlier, but at some point, the pure stats have to be considered. Rafa's winning % on clay shows a consistency that not even Borg can match. When comparing eras, stats have to be considered as they help to give a sense of dominance vs their peers at the time. But I also recognize that stats are not the ONLY thing that matters.

zcarzach 05-21-2012 06:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mcenroefan (Post 6554558)
I don't think he even took the AO that seriously. In today's slow surface game, which has just turned into a chase for the most Slams and #1 ranking, and private jets to get you to tourneys (thus reducing some of the burnout factor), he could probably have racked up 20 or more by age 27-28.

Totally agree. I think he only played it once, early in his career (73 or 74). If he had, I have no doubt he would have easily racked up a huge number.

cork_screw 05-21-2012 01:43 PM

So many dummies. Ok, WTF is considered a very very slow court, you think it's fast??? That is one big reason Fed dominates Nadal on that surface when they play the year end championships. It also doesn't bounce too high. The other thing, why does your brain not factor in other things besides court speed? Borg tried to play competitively when he came out of retirement at age 25, but he actually couldn't adapt to everyone else who started using graphite and modern equipment. The era he dominated was natural gut and woodies. Players nowadays play with much more pace and more spin. Since the advent of polys and copolys the spin has really changed the spin in that of consistancy, and top spin, but also in terms of you can't just rush the net anymore and S/V like borg and so many other tennis greats of that time were doing on a constant basis. The game changed and it isn't just the court speed. How do you not know any of this and start a stupid thread basing your idea on one thing???

Quote:

Originally Posted by mcenroefan (Post 6554287)
Basically, everything is slow now except the USO and the WTF....Borg would have had a hey day!

This is one reason that I think Borg is better than Nadal: he excelled on his best surfaces (slow surfaces) and was very, very good on the fast grass of Wimby. Conversely, I think if Nadal had played under Borg's conditions, he would have won the FO and maybe 1-2 other slams but that's it. When it comes to skill across all surfaces, Nadal seems more like a Vilas than a Borg.


Loose Cannon 05-21-2012 02:52 PM

Rafa, in all likely hood would blow a DEFENSIVE MINDED borg off the Court. His Groundies are simply too heavy. Poor Borg would be reduced to moon balls and running side to side.

Limpinhitter 05-21-2012 03:07 PM

IMO, a peak Borg with a modern frame would be the best player in the World right now. Federer is past his peak, and IMO, peak Borg was a better all around player and athlete than Nadal or Djokovic.

Borg would thrive with a modern frame. He hit heavy enough topspin with a 65 si wood frame and gut strings strung at 80lbs. Imagine Borg with a PDR strung with ALU at about 60 lbs. The prospect is fascinating to say the least.

Limpinhitter 05-21-2012 03:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Loose Cannon (Post 6556118)
Rafa, in all likely hood would blow a DEFENSIVE MINDED borg off the Court. His Groundies are simply too heavy. Poor Borg would be reduced to moon balls and running side to side.

Hahaha! With the same equipment, Borg would out hit and out run Nadal. Never mind that he had a much better serve.

gavna 05-21-2012 03:14 PM

Nadal playing with a 1977 - 78 Donnay or Adidas frame would be Thierry Tulasne

90's Clay 05-21-2012 03:56 PM

Oh I'm sure he would easily dominate with the other three guys.. No question about it. He would take many a slam from Roger, DJoker, and Nadal


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