Originally Posted by pc1
Actually what I'm writing is that wood racquets force skill differences and that if Federer or Nadal used them they would play differently and if Laver or Rosewall used today's racquets they would play differently. There are skill differences, BOTH WAYS. So what I mean is that you can't tell EASILY the differences in play because the equipment is different and perhaps I forgot to mention, the surfaces are different.
For example I have changed my own forehand swing so it takes advantage of today's equipment so I can hit more topspin.
If if this is a contradiction to you that is okay but I don't see it.
Would you change you style if you used different equipment like a smaller wood racquet? I know that I do. Perhaps Serena would not.
Here's the thing, maybe you can tell the differences easily. If you can that's great but I do NOT think I can. The reason is that I believe the racquet and equipment differences would cause coaches to teach a different style of play so we don't know what would happen if they all operated under the same system or if the roles were reversed.
Would Federer or Nadal serve and volley more if they learned to play the old way? Would Rosewall use a semi-western grip? Would Laver use a two handed backhand? Would Rosewall play left handed because he's a natural lefty? We don't know the answers to this.
Here's a hypothetical example-Let's say Serena is playing Martina Navratilova at the 1969 US Open a wood racquet. The US Open is played on awful worn grass that takes terrible bounces and often doesn't bounce. So you're telling me that Serena can take the same swing as she does today? I don't think so. I think she would have to flatten out her swing to compensate for the bad bounces. She may have to volley more. And the racquets are a lot smaller so she probably would have a lot more mishits. I also doubt if she can get the heavy topspin she gets today with the better larger racquets and strings.
Here's a video of the 1969 US Open so you can check out the surface. Notice how awful the court is.
To put it simply I think the comparisons in tennis of the past and present often are an apples to oranges comparison. Yes we can compare but to me it's not that easy.
By the way notice that I also wrote greats will be greats in any era. That also means that a player like Nadal in my opinion would be great in the past because I think he would adapt. Not just the other way around.
Your hypothesis is fair.
But i happen to disagree. I am stating that wood racquets take LESS skill to master than modern racquets because of the amount/ number of shots you can manufacture with today's racquets.
simply, put - there is more that can be done with today's racquets which also necessitates that you must master more to take full advantage of the modern racquets.
meaning..if you want to hit with power - your swing has to be more violent with modern racquets, but that means you must have much better timing.
older racquets - much more difficult to generate power and the swings are far less violent. You swing slower but also timing becomes easier.
Its the same analogy - with F1 cars Vs. mid-size sedan cars.
If i prove myself to be the best mid size car sedan driver in the world...vs the best F1 driver in the world. Who would impress you more?
To be the best F1 driver is simply much harder.