Originally Posted by zcarzach
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.