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-   -   Budge vs. Riggs 1942 U.S. Pro Nationals (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=441293)

Limpinhitter 09-27-2012 02:32 AM

Budge vs. Riggs 1942 U.S. Pro Nationals
 
I just saw this excellent quality footage of Don Budge vs. Bobby Riggs on YouTube and thought I'd share. I shows some great shotmaking by Budge, one of the all time great shotmakers, IMO.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXcz4MKygAQ

joe sch 09-27-2012 05:09 AM

Thanks for that video clip, the quality was excellent as was the sound. Provides a very good showing of how well those two early greats played with those wood rackets. The sound was like baseball bats. Its shows why the Budge backhand was rated one of the best ever weapons and his serve was just as dominating. Would love to see more of that match !

pc1 09-27-2012 05:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joe sch (Post 6921815)
Thanks for that video clip, the quality was excellent as was the sound. Provides a very good showing of how well those two early greats played with those wood rackets. The sound was like baseball bats. Its shows why the Budge backhand was rated one of the best ever weapons and his serve was just as dominating. Would love to see more of that match !

This is not the same match but it is from the same year.
http://www.britishpathe.com/video/ri...ge/query/budge

Here's another match of Riggs and Budge but from 1949 where Riggs was the dominant player. Riggs developed a much stronger serve. Some thought it was more effective than Budge's serve in his prime.
http://www.t3licensing.com/video/clip/634C230_024.do

Limpinhitter 09-27-2012 05:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joe sch (Post 6921815)
Thanks for that video clip, the quality was excellent as was the sound. Provides a very good showing of how well those two early greats played with those wood rackets. The sound was like baseball bats. Its shows why the Budge backhand was rated one of the best ever weapons and his serve was just as dominating. Would love to see more of that match !

Budge's racquet was 16oz., with a 5 1/4" wood handle, not leather. The butt cap was a leather strip around the bottom. IMO, Budge had the best groundstrokes and return game in tennis until Laver. Unfortunately, he suffered a shoulder injury in an accident in 1943 (if I recall correctly), that impacted his level of play from that point forward.

Limpinhitter 09-27-2012 05:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pc1 (Post 6921839)
This is not the same match but it is from the same year.
http://www.britishpathe.com/video/ri...ge/query/budge

Here's another match of Riggs and Budge but from 1949 where Riggs was the dominant player. Riggs developed a much stronger serve. Some thought it was more effective than Budge's serve in his prime.
http://www.t3licensing.com/video/clip/634C230_024.do

pc1, there's no way that Riggs' serve was EVER as big or as good as Budge's. Budge had a "great" serve. Riggs did not. At 59 years old, Budge's serve was bigger than Riggs serve ever was. Riggs had a very good, reliable, second serve. But, he never had much power in any aspect of his game. He was a slicer/dicer who won with mobility, variety and a lot of lobs and drop shots. He couldn't match the power of the big hitters and he knew it.

pc1 09-27-2012 06:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Limpinhitter (Post 6921865)
pc1, there's no way that Riggs' serve was EVER as big or as good as Budge's. Budge had a "great" serve. Riggs did not. At 59 years old, Budge's serve was bigger than Riggs serve ever was. Riggs had a very good, reliable, second serve. But, he never had much power in any aspect of his game. He was a slicer/dicer who won with mobility, variety and a lot of lobs and drop shots. He couldn't match the power of the big hitters and he knew it.

I didn't write that it was as big as Budge but people like Ellsworth Vines thought it was probably more effective than Budge's serve because of the variety Riggs had that Vines thought Budge didn't have.

Actually others like Pancho Gonzalez mentioned what a great serve Bobby Riggs had. There are newspaper accounts of Riggs serving a lot of aces against players like Budge.

I just wrote that some thought so and that has been written.

I'll see if I can find some of the articles that mentioned Riggs' serving. I may not have time to do it today.

pc1 09-27-2012 04:47 PM

Can't find the article yet but here's an article from the New York Times in 1995. Check out page two paragraph three. Riggs himself said he had a big serve.
http://www.nytimes.com/1995/08/27/sp...anted=2&src=pm

Limpinhitter 09-27-2012 05:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pc1 (Post 6923094)
Can't find the article yet but here's an article from the New York Times in 1995. Check out page two paragraph three. Riggs himself said he had a big serve.
http://www.nytimes.com/1995/08/27/sp...anted=2&src=pm

A big serve compared to who? Vines, Budge, Kovacs, Kramer, Gonzales? No. He had an excellent serve for a guy who was 5'6", nothing more than that. I'll say it again, Riggs was a touch player, a slicer/dicer/dropper/lobber. He was not a power player.

pc1 09-27-2012 05:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Limpinhitter (Post 6923129)
A big serve compared to who? Vines, Budge, Kovacs, Kramer, Gonzales? No. He had an excellent serve for a guy who was 5'6", nothing more than that. I'll say it again, Riggs was a touch player, a slicer/dicer/dropper/lobber. He was not a power player.

I'll try to find it but trust me he was able to serve a lot of aces. I've seen the newspaper articles.

And yes he was a touch player but so was Nastase and he could serve aces. I think Riggs was 5'8".

Limpinhitter 09-27-2012 05:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pc1 (Post 6923134)
I'll try to find it but trust me he was able to serve a lot of aces. I've seen the newspaper articles.

And yes he was a touch player but so was Nastase and he could serve aces. I think Riggs was 5'8".

Bobby Riggs standing next to Billie Jean King who was maybe 5'4", and standing next to Jack Kramer who was listed at 6'2".




pc1 09-27-2012 06:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Limpinhitter (Post 6923162)
Bobby Riggs standing next to Billie Jean King who was maybe 5'4", and standing next to Jack Kramer who was listed at 6'2".




She's listed at 5'4 and a half at the WTA site.
http://www.wtatennis.com/player/bill...g_2257889_4011

Anyway I'll try to find it. I think I found it a while ago in Google archives.

Guys like Gonzalez thought Riggs had an excellent serve, so did Vines.
http://www.t3licensing.com/video/clip/634C230_024.do

Anyway, thanks for the great video Limpinhitter.

Dedans Penthouse 09-27-2012 06:34 PM

Nice video - thx

krosero 09-27-2012 07:26 PM

Riggs was certainly a touch player; but through disguise, essentially, he got a lot of aces. More than players who served harder than he did.

This is what Vines wrote:
His balanced, penetrating groundstrokes on both sides were at least the equal of Rosewall's, including return of serve. Speed never disturbed him, not even a big serve. Budge had a harder delivery, yet Bobby's service was probably more effective because he had more varieties. He could hit a cannonball, slice, or American twist. The only server that gave Riggs real trouble was Kramer, because of Jack's unique ability to spot and mix up deliveries.
At one point during the ’42 pro tour Riggs was out-acing Budge, Perry and Kovacs, per a press report:
Riggs, whose habitual slow-hook serve contrasts strangely with the express-train deliveries of his companions, regularly serves far more aces than any one of them in the matches of the tour. Reason, Bobby draws his opponents out of position and lulls them into false security, then slips quick straight ones down the opposite side of the service court for 'surprises' that leave opponents flat footed.
Vines wrote that Riggs, after the war, was out-acing Budge, Kramer and Gonzalez.

Compare these ace counts for Bobby and Pancho in matches at Forest Hills.

Riggs in '48 pro semi -- 1.3 aces per game (d. Kovacs w/ 20 aces))
Riggs in '49 pro final -- 0.7 aces per game (d. Budge w/ 17 aces)
Pancho in '48 amateur final -- 0.8 aces per game (d. Sturgess w/ 16 aces)
Pancho in '49 amateur final -- 0.8 aces per game (d. Schroeder w/ 27 aces)

The New York Times said that Riggs' serving performance in that first match in '48 was "one of the most remarkable exhibitions of serving" that they had ever seen. "With comparatively little effort, Riggs gets remarkable speed on the ball, but it is more the spin and the cleverness and accuracy with which he places the serve that makes it so difficult to return. It was nothing less than demoralizing."

Ironically Kovacs, who was 6'4", served just 3 aces.

krosero 09-27-2012 07:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Limpinhitter (Post 6921713)
I just saw this excellent quality footage of Don Budge vs. Bobby Riggs on YouTube and thought I'd share. I shows some great shotmaking by Budge, one of the all time great shotmakers, IMO.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXcz4MKygAQ

Terrific video, thanks for posting. Love those beautiful flat strokes from back then.

Nice drop shot by Budge, though Budge wasn't trying to match drop shots with Riggs according to Allison Danzig in the NY Times.
Yesterday’s meeting between Budge and Riggs was their first on turf since 1938, when they were amateurs. Never before has Riggs taken so bad a beating on grass from his fellow Californian, and seldom has Budge played better tennis than he did in this match, in which he reached the amazing total of 43 earned points and 28 errors.

There was no inkling of the rout that was to develop as Riggs took the first two games. The smaller man was playing masterfully as he won the opening game with two service aces and two backhand drives, then broke through with his drop shots.

It seemed that Budge would have even more trouble with him than in their amateur days. Riggs was hitting the more sharply, opening the court with a greater variety of strokes and disturbing the big fellow with his drop shots and lobs.

Budge Takes Command

Then Budge went on the attack with a mounting pressure that instantly changed the complexion of the match. Refusing to fall into the trap of matching drop shots with Riggs, Budge brought his great hitting power of service and ground strokes to bear and went to the net for finishing volleys. He never deviated from this aggressive style of play.

Riggs was unable to withstand the onslaught. The ball shot with so much pace and came so low off the heavy turf that he was hard pressed to get his racquet on it squarely.

Going to the net in the face of such wrathful hitting was courting disaster, and when he was not passed or trapped by a lob he lacked the consistency of touch that usually characterizes his block volleying.

Budge won six games in a row from 0-2 to take the first set, and from 1-2 in the second he ran nine in a row until he led at 4-0 in the third set.

Riggs realized long before the third that he had met his master. Budge was not only beating him from the back of the court but volleying and smashing the better. Riggs’s passing shots, ordinarily so effective, did not score nearly as often as did Budge’s.
Score was 6-2, 6-2, 6-2.

joe sch 09-27-2012 08:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Limpinhitter (Post 6921855)
Budge's racquet was 16oz., with a 5 1/4" wood handle, not leather. The butt cap was a leather strip around the bottom. IMO, Budge had the best groundstrokes and return game in tennis until Laver. Unfortunately, he suffered a shoulder injury in an accident in 1943 (if I recall correctly), that impacted his level of play from that point forward.

Im glad you pointed the racket specs out. Most players and historians do not realize what kind of bats some of of these greats actually used. Budge actually got kramer to go heavier and it helped Jack be even greater. I have some of those antique woods with 5+ size grips and over 15oz's. They are truly impressive to hold and I have always wanted to give them a try. A woody event on grass would be the most ideal situation for such a stick trial.

treblings 09-28-2012 04:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joe sch (Post 6923468)
Im glad you pointed the racket specs out. Most players and historians do not realize what kind of bats some of of these greats actually used. Budge actually got kramer to go heavier and it helped Jack be even greater. I have some of those antique woods with 5+ size grips and over 15oz's. They are truly impressive to hold and I have always wanted to give them a try. A woody event on grass would be the most ideal situation for such a stick trial.

i´m amazed how easy those rackets are to swing and how well distributed the weight often is. wouldn´t dare to use them in a tournament though for fear of breaking them

Frank Silbermann 09-28-2012 05:05 AM

This is a good resource for those who are curious as to what tennis looked like back in the days when the top players still used correct technique.

Limpinhitter 09-28-2012 05:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Frank Silbermann (Post 6923830)
This is a good resource for those who are curious as to what tennis looked like back in the days when the top players still used correct technique.

And "correct" racquets.

pc1 09-28-2012 05:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by krosero (Post 6923374)
Riggs was certainly a touch player; but through disguise, essentially, he got a lot of aces. More than players who served harder than he did.

This is what Vines wrote:
His balanced, penetrating groundstrokes on both sides were at least the equal of Rosewall's, including return of serve. Speed never disturbed him, not even a big serve. Budge had a harder delivery, yet Bobby's service was probably more effective because he had more varieties. He could hit a cannonball, slice, or American twist. The only server that gave Riggs real trouble was Kramer, because of Jack's unique ability to spot and mix up deliveries.
At one point during the ’42 pro tour Riggs was out-acing Budge, Perry and Kovacs, per a press report:
Riggs, whose habitual slow-hook serve contrasts strangely with the express-train deliveries of his companions, regularly serves far more aces than any one of them in the matches of the tour. Reason, Bobby draws his opponents out of position and lulls them into false security, then slips quick straight ones down the opposite side of the service court for 'surprises' that leave opponents flat footed.
Vines wrote that Riggs, after the war, was out-acing Budge, Kramer and Gonzalez.

Compare these ace counts for Bobby and Pancho in matches at Forest Hills.

Riggs in '48 pro semi -- 1.3 aces per game (d. Kovacs w/ 20 aces))
Riggs in '49 pro final -- 0.7 aces per game (d. Budge w/ 17 aces)
Pancho in '48 amateur final -- 0.8 aces per game (d. Sturgess w/ 16 aces)
Pancho in '49 amateur final -- 0.8 aces per game (d. Schroeder w/ 27 aces)

The New York Times said that Riggs' serving performance in that first match in '48 was "one of the most remarkable exhibitions of serving" that they had ever seen. "With comparatively little effort, Riggs gets remarkable speed on the ball, but it is more the spin and the cleverness and accuracy with which he places the serve that makes it so difficult to return. It was nothing less than demoralizing."

Ironically Kovacs, who was 6'4", served just 3 aces.

Great information Krosero.

I have the Kings of the Court video and perhaps aside from Laver, I was so impressed by Bobby Riggs' strokes. He hit the ball so smoothly. I think they said he was a natural. Now to be fair they really didn't show the strokes of a younger Budge in his prime but an older Budge. I've also seen videos of a younger Budge and he looks great also.

The question that always arises in my mind is how good was Bobby Riggs in actuality? Yes we know he lost badly to Jack Kramer on tour 69 to 20 but Kramer himself admitted that after he (Kramer) got a lead on tour Riggs tanked. The reason according to Kramer that Riggs tanked was to set Kramer up and beat Kramer in the US Pro in 1948. The scenario was that if Riggs beat Kramer he (Riggs) could claim he was still the real champion. It didn't work because Kramer defeated Riggs in the final in four sets.

Still the tour was mainly indoors and the players perhaps were closer in actual ability than the final tour won-lost record would indicate. He also defeated a slightly over the hill Budge on tour several times. He dominated the Pro ranks winning far more tournaments (when Riggs was in his prime and Budge wasn't) than Budge, Kovacs and the others. I can also see from the videos that he seemed to have every shot plus an effective serve.

Many think of Riggs as just the hustler who lost to Billie Jean King in 1973 but the man did have a fabulous record.

pc1 09-28-2012 07:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Limpinhitter (Post 6921855)
Budge's racquet was 16oz., with a 5 1/4" wood handle, not leather. The butt cap was a leather strip around the bottom. IMO, Budge had the best groundstrokes and return game in tennis until Laver. Unfortunately, he suffered a shoulder injury in an accident in 1943 (if I recall correctly), that impacted his level of play from that point forward.

Can you imagine some of the players today trying to play with a racquet like that? Obviously it was a small wood racquet but super heavy. I think Budge had the heaviest or at least one of the heaviest racquets in tennis but it was perfect for him. A pity what happened to him with the shoulder injury.


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