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JAY1 07-10-2012 12:27 AM

Laver, Connors, Borg & Mcenroe as good as Federer, Nadal, Djokovic &Sampras-see below
 
There is so much talk about who is the greatest male player of all time.
I think the stats below will show once and for all there is very little difference in the very top male players of the last fifty years, numbers very rarely lie.
I think a lot of you don't really get how very different the racquets and balls are these days compared to the past, they may as well have been playing with a frying pan and potatoes, they were that different!
Please comment on what you read below, I am very interested in all perspectives.......

1969 Wimbledon Final - R.Laver bt J.Newcombe 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4
1971 Philadelphia Final - J.Newcombe bt R.Laver 7-6(5), 7-6(1), 6-4
1975 Australian Open Final - J.Newcombe bt J. Connors 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6
1975 Dallas Semi-Final - R.Laver bt B.Borg 7-6(2),3-6, 5-7,7-6(2), 6-2
1976 US Open Final - J.Connors bt B.Borg 6-4, 3-6, 7-6, 6-4
1977 Wimbledon Final - B.Borg bt J.Connors 3-6, 6-2, 6-1, 5-7, 6-4
1980 US Open Semi-Final - J.Mcenroe bt J.Connors 6-4, 5-7, 0-6, 6-3, 7-6
1980 Wimbledon Final - B.Borg bt J.McEnroe 1-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-7, 8-6
1982 Wimbledon Final - J.Connors bt J.Mcenroe 3-6, 6-3, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4
1989 Dallas WCT Semi-Final - J.McEnroe bt I.Lendl 6-7, 7-6, 6-2, 7-5
1992 US Open Round of 16 - I.Lendl bt B.Becker 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-4
1995 Wimbledon Semi-Final - B.Becker bt A.Agassi 2-6, 7-6(1), 6-4, 7-6(1)
2000 Australian semi-Final-A.Agassi bt P.Sampras6-4, 3-6, 6-7(0),7-6(5), 6-1
2000 US Open Semi-Final - P.Sampras bt L.Hewitt 7-6(7), 6-4, 7-6(5)
2002 Miami Final - Agassi bt R.Federer 6-3, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
2003 Davis Cup Semi -Final - L.Hewitt bt R.Federer 5-7, 2-6,7-6(4), 7-5, 6-1
2004 US Open 1/4 Final - R.Federer bt A.Agassi 6-3, 2-6, 7-5, 3-6, 6-3
2009 US Open R of 32 - R.Federer bt L.Hewitt 4-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4
2010 Wimbledon R of 16 - N.Djokovic bt L.Hewitt 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4
Last five years..Federer bt Nadal, Nadal bt Djokovic, Djokovic bt Federer,
Nadal bt Federer, Federer bt Djokovic & Djokovic bt Nadal.

Interesting eh?

Nadal_Power 07-10-2012 12:44 AM

Yeah, big problem with todays tennis, with 4 good players in past 5 years and no one in the making to join them

JAY1 07-10-2012 01:03 AM

Yes absolutely right, except it's 3 players in the last 5 years!

NLBwell 07-10-2012 01:09 AM

I did something a few years ago, where I compared head to head records of the top players in their prime vs. the top players who were a few years older (open era). The older players held their own vs. the prime players in each generation.

Xavier G 07-10-2012 01:42 AM

The likes of Laver, Connors, Borg and McEnroe would have been greats in any era, I'm sure. They were talented and true competitors. Federer is a genius and deserves to be compared with any great from the past. Seven Wimbledon titles. Even the amazing Laver may not have won that many if all players had been able to compete from 1961-1969. Rosewall would surely have claimed some. Federer, tennis player for the ages too.

Xavier G 07-10-2012 01:45 AM

Silly laughing face above in my post, emoticons, damn,lol! Edited!

pc1 07-10-2012 06:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JAY1 (Post 6715123)
There is so much talk about who is the greatest male player of all time.
I think the stats below will show once and for all there is very little difference in the very top male players of the last fifty years, numbers very rarely lie.
I think a lot of you don't really get how very different the racquets and balls are these days compared to the past, they may as well have been playing with a frying pan and potatoes, they were that different!
Please comment on what you read below, I am very interested in all perspectives.......

1969 Wimbledon Final - R.Laver bt J.Newcombe 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4
1971 Philadelphia Final - J.Newcombe bt R.Laver 7-6(5), 7-6(1), 6-4
1975 Australian Open Final - J.Newcombe bt J. Connors 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6
1975 Dallas Semi-Final - R.Laver bt B.Borg 7-6(2),3-6, 5-7,7-6(2), 6-2
1976 US Open Final - J.Connors bt B.Borg 6-4, 3-6, 7-6, 6-4
1977 Wimbledon Final - B.Borg bt J.Connors 3-6, 6-2, 6-1, 5-7, 6-4
1980 US Open Semi-Final - J.Mcenroe bt J.Connors 6-4, 5-7, 0-6, 6-3, 7-6
1980 Wimbledon Final - B.Borg bt J.McEnroe 1-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-7, 8-6
1982 Wimbledon Final - J.Connors bt J.Mcenroe 3-6, 6-3, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4
1989 Dallas WCT Semi-Final - J.McEnroe bt I.Lendl 6-7, 7-6, 6-2, 7-5
1992 US Open Round of 16 - I.Lendl bt B.Becker 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-4
1995 Wimbledon Semi-Final - B.Becker bt A.Agassi 2-6, 7-6(1), 6-4, 7-6(1)
2000 Australian semi-Final-A.Agassi bt P.Sampras6-4, 3-6, 6-7(0),7-6(5), 6-1
2000 US Open Semi-Final - P.Sampras bt L.Hewitt 7-6(7), 6-4, 7-6(5)
2002 Miami Final - Agassi bt R.Federer 6-3, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
2003 Davis Cup Semi -Final - L.Hewitt bt R.Federer 5-7, 2-6,7-6(4), 7-5, 6-1
2004 US Open 1/4 Final - R.Federer bt A.Agassi 6-3, 2-6, 7-5, 3-6, 6-3
2009 US Open R of 32 - R.Federer bt L.Hewitt 4-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4
2010 Wimbledon R of 16 - N.Djokovic bt L.Hewitt 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4
Last five years..Federer bt Nadal, Nadal bt Djokovic, Djokovic bt Federer,
Nadal bt Federer, Federer bt Djokovic & Djokovic bt Nadal.

Interesting eh?

In the 1975 Dallas semi, Borg beat Laver, not the other way around. Great match. Here's the video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5sBBFQfcNU

JAY1 07-10-2012 08:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pc1 (Post 6715555)
In the 1975 Dallas semi, Borg beat Laver, not the other way around. Great match. Here's the video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5sBBFQfcNU

Yep your right my mistake.
So what's your perspective on my thread?

TomT 07-10-2012 12:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JAY1 (Post 6715123)
There is so much talk about who is the greatest male player of all time.
I think the stats below will show once and for all there is very little difference in the very top male players of the last fifty years, numbers very rarely lie.
I think a lot of you don't really get how very different the racquets and balls are these days compared to the past, they may as well have been playing with a frying pan and potatoes, they were that different!
Please comment on what you read below, I am very interested in all perspectives.......

I played in the mid 70's with a wood racket and just recently (a few months ago) took up playing again. The improvements in rackets and balls do make a difference. More power of course, but I think that stroking technique has improved also. How much of the improvement in stroking technique is due solely to the equipment changes is hard, maybe impossible, to say.

Anyway, I think that there are some significant differences in the proficiency of the games of the top players of the 2000's (Federer, Nadal, etc.) and the top players of, say, the 60's (Laver, Rosewall, etc.) and the 70's (Connors, Borg, etc.), and that it's not entirely a matter of equipment. That is, if all external factors could be more or less equalized, then my guess is that the players of the 2000's would be favored over the players of the 70's and 60's.

The dominant players (since the 1940's) have been:
1950's -- Gonzalez
1960's -- Laver and Rosewall
1970's -- Connors and Borg
1980's -- McEnroe and Lendl
1990's -- Sampras
2000's -- Federer and Nadal

This is a group of fantastic players by any standard. People who have never seen, up close, world class players competing with wooden tennis rackets would be amazed I think. Would the likes of Federer and Nadal have prevailed had they been in their primes in one of those past eras? I think they would, but that's just my opinion.

Limpinhitter 07-10-2012 02:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JAY1 (Post 6715803)
Yep your right my mistake.
So what's your perspective on my thread?

Laver did Beat Borg on clay in Houston, in 1974, if I recall correctly. Your premise is fun. You could probably go all the way back to Tilden if you want to.

pc1 07-10-2012 04:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TomT (Post 6716670)
I played in the mid 70's with a wood racket and just recently (a few months ago) took up playing again. The improvements in rackets and balls do make a difference. More power of course, but I think that stroking technique has improved also. How much of the improvement in stroking technique is due solely to the equipment changes is hard, maybe impossible, to say.

Anyway, I think that there are some significant differences in the proficiency of the games of the top players of the 2000's (Federer, Nadal, etc.) and the top players of, say, the 60's (Laver, Rosewall, etc.) and the 70's (Connors, Borg, etc.), and that it's not entirely a matter of equipment. That is, if all external factors could be more or less equalized, then my guess is that the players of the 2000's would be favored over the players of the 70's and 60's.

The dominant players (since the 1940's) have been:
1950's -- Gonzalez
1960's -- Laver and Rosewall
1970's -- Connors and Borg
1980's -- McEnroe and Lendl
1990's -- Sampras
2000's -- Federer and Nadal

This is a group of fantastic players by any standard. People who have never seen, up close, world class players competing with wooden tennis rackets would be amazed I think. Would the likes of Federer and Nadal have prevailed had they been in their primes in one of those past eras? I think they would, but that's just my opinion.

Great choices. Wouldn't it be fun if they had several small wood racquets only tournaments on different surfaces?

pc1 07-10-2012 04:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Limpinhitter (Post 6716898)
Laver did Beat Borg on clay in Houston, in 1974, if I recall correctly. Your premise is fun. You could probably go all the way back to Tilden if you want to.

Maybe we could play Six Degrees of Ken Rosewall or anyone else. :)

Let's link Djokovic to Ken Rosewall. Djokovic played Nadal who played Agassi who played Lendl who played Borg who played Rosewall. That was too easy.

Let's link Nadal to Little Bill Johnston. Nadal played Agassi who played McEnroe who played Newcombe who played Gonzalez who played Tilden who played Johnston.

Let's link Andy Murray to Fred Perry. Murray played Federer who played Agassi who played McEnroe who played Roche who played Segura who played Budge who played Perry.

timnz 07-10-2012 04:33 PM

The jumps are much shorter than that
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by pc1 (Post 6717153)
Maybe we could play Six Degrees of Ken Rosewall. :)

1920's great Tilden played P. Gonzales and lost in the early 1950's (Tilden was nearly 60 at the time)

P. Gonzales beat Jimmy Connors in the early 1970's

Jimmy Connors lost to Agassi in the late 80's

Agassi played Federer a number of times in the early-mid 2000's

pc1 07-10-2012 04:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by timnz (Post 6717192)
1920's great Tilden played P. Gonzales and lost in the early 1960's (Tilden was around 60 at the time)

P. Gonzales beat Jimmy Connors in the early 1970's

Jimmy Connors lost of Agassi in the late 80's

Agassi played Federer a number of times in the early-mid 2000's

We could be starting something here.

:)

JAY1 07-11-2012 11:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TomT (Post 6716670)
I played in the mid 70's with a wood racket and just recently (a few months ago) took up playing again. The improvements in rackets and balls do make a difference. More power of course, but I think that stroking technique has improved also. How much of the improvement in stroking technique is due solely to the equipment changes is hard, maybe impossible, to say.

Anyway, I think that there are some significant differences in the proficiency of the games of the top players of the 2000's (Federer, Nadal, etc.) and the top players of, say, the 60's (Laver, Rosewall, etc.) and the 70's (Connors, Borg, etc.), and that it's not entirely a matter of equipment. That is, if all external factors could be more or less equalized, then my guess is that the players of the 2000's would be favored over the players of the 70's and 60's.

The dominant players (since the 1940's) have been:
1950's -- Gonzalez
1960's -- Laver and Rosewall
1970's -- Connors and Borg
1980's -- McEnroe and Lendl
1990's -- Sampras
2000's -- Federer and Nadal

This is a group of fantastic players by any standard. People who have never seen, up close, world class players competing with wooden tennis rackets would be amazed I think. Would the likes of Federer and Nadal have prevailed had they been in their primes in one of those past eras? I think they would, but that's just my opinion.

I agree with everything you say except I think the great players of yesteryear would have evolved with the game, the technology, racquets, balls, training and courts etc and be the same level as the top players are now with all the benefit's they have, I really do!
I found a guy online who has the most amazing collection of DVD matches dating back until the 1950's and i've spent a lot of money on buying a fair few of them.
I really think Federer, Nadal & Djokovic would not play a higher level than Laver, Connors, Borg & Mcenroe if they had all the conditions the older players had all those years back.
The other way round is hard to imagine how Laver, Connors et al would have done with today's conditions.
I can't quite picture it, yet I find it easy to picture the other way round.
Last week I went with some friends to play at my club and we took along the old Dunlop Maxply and the Wilson T2000 racquets to compare them with our racquets of today, Babolat Pure Drive and the Babolat Nadal racquet.
We all play to a good level (national level) so were able to judge pretty well.
The difference is massive! For a start if you don't centre the ball you miss it, hardly no sweetspot.
The racquets are all a minimum of 400 grams-that is heavy on your playing arm believe me.
We all agreed at the end of playing that anyone of us playing with a new Babolat would have beaten anyone of us playing with one of the old racquets.
So my conclusion is... Roger, Raffa & Novak would not have be better than Rod, Jimmy & Bjorn were with the old racquets.
The other way round is too hard to judge.
Comments welcome please...........

pc1 07-11-2012 12:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JAY1 (Post 6719343)
I agree with everything you say except I think the great players of yesteryear would have evolved with the game, the technology, racquets, balls, training and courts etc and be the same level as the top players are now with all the benefit's they have, I really do!
I found a guy online who has the most amazing collection of DVD matches dating back until the 1950's and i've spent a lot of money on buying a fair few of them.
I really think Federer, Nadal & Djokovic would not play a higher level than Laver, Connors, Borg & Mcenroe if they had all the conditions the older players had all those years back.
The other way round is hard to imagine how Laver, Connors et al would have done with today's conditions.
I can't quite picture it, yet I find it easy to picture the other way round.
Last week I went with some friends to play at my club and we took along the old Dunlop Maxply and the Wilson T2000 racquets to compare them with our racquets of today, Babolat Pure Drive and the Babolat Nadal racquet.
We all play to a good level (national level) so were able to judge pretty well.
The difference is massive! For a start if you don't centre the ball you miss it, hardly no sweetspot.
The racquets are all a minimum of 400 grams-that is heavy on your playing arm believe me.
We all agreed at the end of playing that anyone of us playing with a new Babolat would have beaten anyone of us playing with one of the old racquets.
So my conclusion is... Roger, Raffa & Novak would not have be better than Rod, Jimmy & Bjorn were with the old racquets.
The other way round is too hard to judge.
Comments welcome please...........

I don't think it's really that hard to imagine. If we just use the Women's tour almost as a control group we know that top female players like Serena, Venus, Henin, Sharapova and Clijsters like hit the ball like lightning with great spin. Many of them have because timed over 120 mph on the serve. I believe little Henin at about 5'5" tall has been timed at or around 120 miles per hour. Is it really hard to imagine gifted talents like Laver and some others hitting the ball like heck today? You figure that they would hit substantially harder on serve than the Women and the groundstrokes would have greater spin and overall power. Trust me, it's not hard to adjust from a tiny little wooden racquet to a much bigger modern racquet with great strings, power and control. Laver said he probably would have changed his grip. It would have been nice to see a young Laver at let's say 24 transported to today to see how he would have adjusted. I say 24 between he already developed his old style so I would be curious in how he would have changed the way he played.

I know McEnroe almost beat Roddick in WTT a few years ago at around 50 years old.

It's always fun to think about what may have been but we will never know for sure.

Dan Lobb 07-11-2012 01:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pc1 (Post 6717153)
Maybe we could play Six Degrees of Ken Rosewall or anyone else. :)

Let's link Djokovic to Ken Rosewall. Djokovic played Nadal who played Agassi who played Lendl who played Borg who played Rosewall. That was too easy.

Let's link Nadal to Little Bill Johnston. Nadal played Agassi who played McEnroe who played Newcombe who played Gonzalez who played Tilden who played Johnston.

Let's link Andy Murray to Fred Perry. Murray played Federer who played Agassi who played McEnroe who played Roche who played Segura who played Budge who played Perry.

Let's add some rules to the game.
Choose matchups where both players were in peak form, or even peak of their career. This gives a more disciplined result.
It also gives fewer results.

TomT 07-12-2012 07:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pc1 (Post 6717151)
Wouldn't it be fun if they had several small wood racquets only tournaments on different surfaces?

Yes, I think this would be fun to watch.

Quote:

Originally Posted by JAY1 (Post 6719343)
... I think the great players of yesteryear would have evolved with the game, the technology, racquets, balls, training and courts etc and be the same level as the top players are now with all the benefit's they have, I really do!

I agree that the great players of the past would also be among the top players today, but I think the dominant players of today are just a bit bigger and stronger than, and as quick and fast as, their predecessors. So I would give the edge to the current era players.

Quote:

Originally Posted by JAY1 (Post 6719343)
Last week I went with some friends to play at my club and we took along the old Dunlop Maxply and the Wilson T2000 racquets to compare them with our racquets of today, Babolat Pure Drive and the Babolat Nadal racquet.
We all play to a good level (national level) so were able to judge pretty well.
The difference is massive! For a start if you don't centre the ball you miss it, hardly no sweetspot.

I agree, and I think this is one of the main reasons why players didn't generally hit the ball as hard in the wood racket era (harder swing = increased chance of hitting outside the sweet spot), and why stroke technique was a little different in the wood racket era.

Quote:

Originally Posted by JAY1 (Post 6719343)
The racquets are all a minimum of 400 grams-that is heavy on your playing arm believe me.

The weight of the wooden rackets plus a higher of percentage of one-handed backhands produced, generally I think, a more pronounced difference in the size of a player's arms in the wood racket era, imo.

Quote:

Originally Posted by JAY1 (Post 6719343)
We all agreed at the end of playing that anyone of us playing with a new Babolat would have beaten anyone of us playing with one of the old racquets.
So my conclusion is... Roger, Raffa & Novak would not have be better than Rod, Jimmy & Bjorn were with the old racquets.
...
Comments welcome please...........

As I mentioned, I think that the likes of Roger, Rafa, and Novak would, had they been born in the wood racket era, have dominated. Just because they're a little bigger and stronger, and at least as quick and fast as the great wood racket players.

But maybe an argument could be made that the current greats aren't as quick and fast as the wood racket greats.

Anyway, I enjoyed your comments.

powerslave 07-12-2012 08:36 AM

Again one of those potential threads which will end up as oldies vs current generation.

These gents in question could become the players they were due to the kind of training and conditioning they recived during their times which was again influenced by the way the game was played . Equipment, money and ever increasing commoditization of the sport too have their fair share of influence.

There is simply no way to tell if Federer would have been as successful as he is today had he been born in 50s/60s. Same holds true for the great Laver there is no way to tell if he would have been as successful today as he was in his era.

Yes if it is the work ethic, never say die spirit or sportsmanship one is talking about then yes each of these greats have those things in common however these traits are not sufficient enough to win a tennis match.

pc1 07-12-2012 11:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TomT (Post 6721275)
Yes, I think this would be fun to watch.

I agree that the great players of the past would also be among the top players today, but I think the dominant players of today are just a bit bigger and stronger than, and as quick and fast as, their predecessors. So I would give the edge to the current era players.

I agree, and I think this is one of the main reasons why players didn't generally hit the ball as hard in the wood racket era (harder swing = increased chance of hitting outside the sweet spot), and why stroke technique was a little different in the wood racket era.

The weight of the wooden rackets plus a higher of percentage of one-handed backhands produced, generally I think, a more pronounced difference in the size of a player's arms in the wood racket era, imo.

As I mentioned, I think that the likes of Roger, Rafa, and Novak would, had they been born in the wood racket era, have dominated. Just because they're a little bigger and stronger, and at least as quick and fast as the great wood racket players.

But maybe an argument could be made that the current greats aren't as quick and fast as the wood racket greats.

Anyway, I enjoyed your comments.

Always hard to say. Pancho Gonzalez was actually bigger than Roger, Rafa and Djokovic and he was perhaps as great an athlete as anyone, possibly greater than anyone. Remember also that player born in that era would be different so if they were born in that era they probably wouldn't be as bigger or as strong. Different health standards. Different nutrition. Different training techniques.

John McEnroe played in the wood era and just a few years ago he almost defeated Andy Roddick during a WTT match, and McEnroe was over 50.


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