Originally Posted by Limpinhitter
Sorry, not a chance. Emerson was one of the greatest all around athletes in tennis history. He had a first tier 1hb, a first tier net game and was among the fastest players who ever played. Kodes was a tireless, fearless competitor, but, not an exceptionally talented athlete like Emerson.
Tony Roche was as much an underachiever as Kodes was an overachiever. Injuries was partly responsible for that. Roche could also get angry and down on himself in tough matches. Roche also had the misfortune of coming up with Laver, Rosewall, Newcombe, Ashe, Smith, Nastase and others with championship level competitiveness.
I think Roche´s real problems were in his head, and it was a great way to overcome them to be able to take Lendl were he took him.
The guys you mention as tough opposition for Roche, were exactly the same guys Kodes had to play during his prime, while Borg,Connors,Vilas came a bit after his prime.