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Old 12-27-2012, 12:51 AM   #38
TomT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbyOne View Post
TomT, I doubt that Federer is fitter than Hoad was. There are reports that Hoad was the fittest.
I think it can be argued that today's premier tennis players are generally more professional, stronger and fitter than those of the 1950s and 1960s. Maybe Hoad is an exception. Maybe Hoad was the fittest of his day, at his peak. Lots of maybes. So, let's call this even (and I think I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt here) ... because I think that the pro tennis game that Federer has excelled in for the past decade is very much more physically demanding than the game that Hoad and his contemporaries played.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbyOne View Post
His playing arm was more voluminous than even Nadal's.
I don't think that the size of Hoad's playing arm really has anything to do with whether or not he would beat Federer. Players in those days had to develop muscles in their playing forearms because of the much heavier racquets and the conventional continental grip of the times. Federer's superior modern technique and comparatively lighter racquet simply doesn't require a huge playing forearm. If Federer played in Hoad's time, then he'd have a bigger forearm. If Hoad was playing today, he'd have a smaller forearm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbyOne View Post
I would say that Hoad had a better backhand than Federer ...
Based on what? I'm guessing that Hoad's bread and butter backhand was the slightly undercut backhand of his day. Not that he couldn't hit it hard and place it extremely well, but it just doesn't stack up well against the extreme topspin backhands (including Federer's) of today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbyOne View Post
... and of course a better volley.
The comparative slowness of the '50s and '60s game rewarded serve and volley tennis. The speed and power of the modern game more or less precludes it. So, ok, Hoad had a better volley than Federer. So what?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbyOne View Post
Many experts and players who witnessed Hoad in his peak say that he was the strongest they have seen.
We're down to the nitty gritty. References and, most importantly, videos of Hoad playing are required. I've seen hundreds of videos of Federer. Lots of videos of Laver, Rosewall, Newcombe, Ashe, Nastase, Amritraj, etc., and based on that I think Federer would beat any of them badly. Need some vids of Hoad. Otherwise any comparison between Federer and Hoad is just moot.

Because there are so many variables to consider regarding the different eras of tennis, I think it boils down to this: who is the most talented player? In my opinion, considering all aspects of the game (from what I've seen live and on tv and video), Roger Federer is by far the most talented player who has ever played the game.
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