Originally Posted by FiveO
AA was the better "pure ball striker" the way I understand the description. He centered the ball more often and markedly so for how close to the bounce he would take the ball on the rise.
That isn't to say that AA is the better player or even better, overall, off the ground than Fed. You can't view the two players being compared in a vacuum. Fed did and does attempt far more varied shots, in terms of speed and spin, off the ground than AA ever did, from the far greater amount of topspin off either wing to the severe chop backhands he mixed/es in to his shot choices. For what he attempts and succeeds in accomplishing off the ground Fed truly can't be expected to center the sweetspot nearly as often as AA did.
That's a good point. Federer plays closer to the boundry between extreme shotmaking and mis-hitting than pretty much anyone else. He has some of the wrist-i-est groundies I've ever seen which helps him generate power and spin, but, also results in less consistent ball contact. So does Ralph, as could be seen in his numerous fh shanks in the USO final against Joko! Obviously, Ralph wasn't at his best that day, and that's what happens when you live by the sword, so to speak.
Laver's game and attitude was exactly the same. He had very wristy, high power, heavy topspin, groundies and preferred to go for more and risk a few more errors. For example, on one hand, Laver was criticized for hitting too many double faults, and on the other hand, he was praised for the power, depth and kick (and alternatively slice), he got on his second serve.