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Old 04-17-2012, 07:45 PM   #194
pbeam
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CyBorg View Post
That's certainly the point.

If woodies were introduced again tennis would change drastically. Yes - you can hit very hard with wood. It's true. You can also serve very hard with wood.

BUT.... your accuracy suffers, which is why players hit much 'safer' in the old days and didn't hit the **** out of the ball like they do now.
Yes, more or less true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CyBorg View Post
I don't think Sampras would be very effective with wood with the kind of state of mind that he developed when growing up with a graphite racket.
Well, he did actually grow up (at least partially) - with wooden racquet, and vas already as 10 year old kid showing vast amount of talent and technical prowess hitting with - wooden racquet.
There are some recordings of this - were present at youtube, and elsewhere, practice session with Robert Lansdorp.

Sampras mentioned more than once that he would even today start kids with wooden racquets to some extent (agewise) and that he would never have developed such sound technique if he hadn't started and honed his game (in terms of his basic technical skills as junior) with wooden racquet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CyBorg View Post
We know the Wilander story - when he was defeated by Pete at the 89 US Open - how Pete won despite generally low IQ tennis (but plenty of power). Hand him a wooden racket and he'd have to get a brain transplant.
No, not really. On the basis of sheer facts, I disagree on several statements here.

Sampras was not as tactical genius as Wilander is. But he is much underrated by many (notably at tennis talk, and modern tennis followers oblivious of the tennis past) in that (tactical and tennis-brain) context.

He won that match fair and square, playing better tennis in that match, and (for the exception of Wilanders ability to climb on the high ball and attack it with that double-hander) technically (in terms of stroke mechanics) more accomplished player already then than Wilander ever was.

First of all, 1989. was the year that followed Wilanders peak year, 1988. He has lost his father prior to US Open, I believe.

According to his own statements, Wilander:

1. Lost his motivation almost completely - for dogfighting it out with the rest of the guys at the top, after defeating Lendl in that famous 5-setter in 1988. US Open.

2. He acredited, according to his own statements in swedish radio - at least part of his decline to switching from his Rossignol to then current line of the Prince racquets (CTS Lightning Midsize or similar model, which did look like an oversize version (110 sq. in. visually), played with it already at Wimbledon that year and lost a five set match to none other than McEnroe.

He said that he is regretting to this day that he made that switch.

Now, we all (well, most of us who played with both of these - Prince used by Wilander, and Pro Staff 85 used then by Sampras) know which one is more "modern", and has more power potential. Sampras racquet that year was not as heavily leaded as in subsequent years.

3. Wilander himself mentioned Sampras and Agassi being two of the last dinosaurs on the tour playing the old kind of tennis, constructing their points, and taking the initiative and oportunities at the right moments.

Sampras is today much (in the eyes of many pos(t)ers here at this forum) and simply so underrated even as someone playing tactically very mature and smart game, almost in every point. Check his match from AO 1997 against Alberto Costa, and some of the baseline points.

That stick he used was anything else than easy to play with, and not so far in some regards (head size) from wooden racquets.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CyBorg View Post
It's all fair and square. Different eras, different players. Whatever. I accept it.

But, folks, try and be fair to the players of yesteryear. They'd wipe the floor with today's players if wooden rackets were used.
True.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CyBorg View Post
They possessed unparalleled touch compared to today's pros because they had to learn a different, more subtle game.
Well, generally yes, but when you compare players from different generations on case to case basis - difficult to talk in such absolute terms.

Wilanders game was not overpowering, yet, he wins the RG in 1982. against who in the final?
And was it due to his better touch than his then opponent in the final - or more power?
Or, if we claim otherwise - how come that the other guy, a player from than older generation did not win - utilizing his "superior touch" ?

Rossignol Wilander played with, or Vilas's Puma Vilas - later to be used by Becker - were not miles from each other - puma being somewhat more playable in my eyes than Rosignol...

Of course, if we speak about today's player's, and player's from the 70's, the differences are obvious, but in general I agree: different eras.

You couldn't play today's tennis with yesterdays equipment, nor would you need (or be need to be as inclined) to play as subtle in the vice versa situation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CyBorg View Post
It sure didn't look like something from a video game with lightning fast rallies, but it was impressive all the same.

It was art. But not everyone can recognize art. Everyone can recognize Paul Haggis. Broad and obvious. That's right - modern tennis is Paul Haggis on a golden toilet.

No, check that - modern tennis is Commando or that '300' movie .. old-age tennis is Total Recall with its subtle satire and Fascist undertones.

(I'm drunk)
I can see the point here, but metaphysics of this last part of the post are not all that easy to put in the whole context for everyone...
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