Originally Posted by JAY1
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.