Originally Posted by JAY1
I agree with everything you say except I think the great players of yesteryear would have evolved with the game, the technology, racquets, balls, training and courts etc and be the same level as the top players are now with all the benefit's they have, I really do!
I found a guy online who has the most amazing collection of DVD matches dating back until the 1950's and i've spent a lot of money on buying a fair few of them.
I really think Federer, Nadal & Djokovic would not play a higher level than Laver, Connors, Borg & Mcenroe if they had all the conditions the older players had all those years back.
The other way round is hard to imagine how Laver, Connors et al would have done with today's conditions.
I can't quite picture it, yet I find it easy to picture the other way round.
Last week I went with some friends to play at my club and we took along the old Dunlop Maxply and the Wilson T2000 racquets to compare them with our racquets of today, Babolat Pure Drive and the Babolat Nadal racquet.
We all play to a good level (national level) so were able to judge pretty well.
The difference is massive! For a start if you don't centre the ball you miss it, hardly no sweetspot.
The racquets are all a minimum of 400 grams-that is heavy on your playing arm believe me.
We all agreed at the end of playing that anyone of us playing with a new Babolat would have beaten anyone of us playing with one of the old racquets.
So my conclusion is... Roger, Raffa & Novak would not have be better than Rod, Jimmy & Bjorn were with the old racquets.
The other way round is too hard to judge.
Comments welcome please...........
I don't think it's really that hard to imagine. If we just use the Women's tour almost as a control group we know that top female players like Serena, Venus, Henin, Sharapova and Clijsters like hit the ball like lightning with great spin. Many of them have because timed over 120 mph on the serve. I believe little Henin at about 5'5" tall has been timed at or around 120 miles per hour. Is it really hard to imagine gifted talents like Laver and some others hitting the ball like heck today? You figure that they would hit substantially harder on serve than the Women and the groundstrokes would have greater spin and overall power. Trust me, it's not hard to adjust from a tiny little wooden racquet to a much bigger modern racquet with great strings, power and control. Laver said he probably would have changed his grip. It would have been nice to see a young Laver at let's say 24 transported to today to see how he would have adjusted. I say 24 between he already developed his old style so I would be curious in how he would have changed the way he played.
I know McEnroe almost beat Roddick in WTT a few years ago at around 50 years old.
It's always fun to think about what may have been but we will never know for sure.