Originally Posted by NLBwell
Thomas Muster came back to play Challengers after getting terribly out of shape and actually won a couple of matches and many of the matches were very competitive. Of course, that is at a level far higher than any woman, including Serena, plays. She probably wouldn't get more than a game or two if the Challenger guy relaxed a lot. Similarly, she would barely get a game from guys like Sampras or Rafter on the old guys tour. McEnroe is 8 years older than Muster and still plays a very high level of tennis, but even watching the tour on TV, I can tell he isn't as good as a few years ago. His game can still be mystifying, even to the former greats though, if he is playing well.
All in all, I'd say he'd still beat any woman pretty easily.
You make some good points. However, Muster is a very different type of player. He is basically a clay court grinder. Muster's game style relies on consistency, heavy topspin strokes, physicality, stamina and intensity. Considering that the 1st thing to diminish in world class athletes is foot speed, that type of player would be in way over his head competing on the current ATP tour. He just couldn't get to every ball and would end up having to go for winners out of position, just to win points. As opposed to outlasting his opponents, which he would prefer.
McEnroe is a serve and volley player with the softest hands at the net in history. On a fast court, his game could give the young guys trouble. They've never seen a game like his. It's amazing to watch. But, the game seemed to pass him by in the late 80s and early 90s. He just did not have the powerful, controlled topspin groundstrokes that were starting to rule the game at that point. Along with losing a step, McEnroe was being pushed back by the heavy, hard groundstrokes and could not get to the net easily. His serve and volley game was still effective. When he hit the serve the way he wanted. Overall, he just had to hit phenomenal shots just to win points. But he may have more power in his game right now, due to training advances and racquet/string technology. He would lose to Serena, but it would be close. McEnroe's skill vs Serena's physical strength. If McEnroe could get to the net and hit low volleys Serena couldn't dig out easily, maybe a chance. Serena does like rhythm and McEnroe could disrupt that. If she is clicking off the ground, she will get stronger and more confident throughout the match.