Originally Posted by TonLars
Just want to give another perspective. This sort of discussion has been on this board several times. Mac is indeed, still at his age, a great player, and amazing for his age. This is because he is one of the all time greats from his younger prime days.
However, in these exhibitions with Sampras and the like, they are taking it easy on him. If you think otherwise you just dont understand the true nature of the exhibitions. Eric Butorac and I were somehow talking about this over a month ago. He also finds it laughable how some people still believe Mac can beat current professional players, even the low ranked.
I've never hit with players of even Tony's caliber, but even I can tell that some of those exhibitions are more real than others. Everyone seems to go easy on Borg. Sure, he hits some good shots, but you can tell that the younger guys are not giving it their all and letting him have opportunities to look good. OTOH, when Mac played Lendl I do believe that Mac wanted to beat him to the point of embarrassing him. Could be wrong about that, but that's what it looked like.
I've always wondered how real the Sampras/Federer exhibitions were back in 07. Pete seemed to take it pretty seriously and they were both hitting some great shots.
I know in my own experience playing 5.0 type of players that the difference between one guy dominating or the other can be small. The guy that can dish out that extra 10% of pace and spin and still keep it in, or can consistently take cc shot dtl, can rack up a lot of points. When I'm hitting that hard (basically swinging about as hard as I can) every once in a great while I have a point or two where I feel this sense of control and I hit the ball exactly how I wanted to hit it, and the ball goes exactly where I wanted it to go. Then reality sets back in, but it was fun while it lasted.