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Old 09-20-2012, 03:04 PM   #7
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 9,252

Originally Posted by BTURNER View Post
All those threads about how Laver would do today with modern rackets, or how Sharapova would do with a wooden racket in 1965. We talk about who would adjust physically to the surfaces, styles and rackets. We do not ask if they could adjust mentally and emotionally to the kind of game, tennis culture and tempo that they would be playing week after week. If you transplant Wilander ( a total tactician) to today's era, where tactics play a lesser role, will his mind be stimulated enough, the enjoyment be such that he could survive and thrive or would power tennis point after point, leave him to unmotivated to put in the time training his body?

If you put Nastase in today's tennis world, which so marginalizes personality and creativity to the worship of sports pschology, statistical and computer analysis and constant discipline to squeeze every mental advantage and crush any distraction. will any top coach stay a week with HIM, ? Will his talent be smothered and his risk taking spirit punished to the point he'd never pick tennis as an outlet for his personality in the first place?

Would Serena have the tenacity to fight the kinds of segregation battles Gibsen did, and still succeed or would she not?

would Rosewall put up with the intense attention modern media smothers champions with, or would he find the goldfish bowl too bright and transparent?

These are the kinds of questions I am curious about. Not how well would Ashe's serve do today ? Or would Sampras do well on slow grass.

We look at these issues narrowly, we sort of presume the social, mental and emotional rewards and risks that produced these champions have not changed so much that they would not thrive enough, get enough joy from tennis or tennis culture to keep going and working toward being number 1.

any comments or am I being silly to pose these questions.
Actually they are super questions.

I think in the case of Rosewall, players who are very shy would have a whole media team to help with with this. For example Laver years ago I believe was with IMG and I can see Rosewall with that type of group. They would train him for this so I don't see it as a big problem.

The Serena question is interesting but I don't know if anyone can answer that correctly. Certainly Gibson went through a lot more in her day than Serena does now.

I have also thought about how tennis is so much more rigid today and it seems like they stifle creativity. Would we have a Nastase, Hoad, Laver, Orantes, McEnroe or Tilden types today who often were interested in the art of tennis? I have mentioned in the past that I have a very good friend who is a top tennis coach. I have asked him if he would ever want to teach old style tennis with one handed backhands and different varieties of play. He said he would love to but the parents don't want that.
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