Originally Posted by corners
Actually, you didn't list the NFL tests that are most relevant to tennis: The first ten yard split of the 40 yard dash, the three cone drill and the 20-yard shuttle. All three test short-distance speed and change of direction ability. Vertical jump is probably the best single indicator of lower-body explosive power, so that is a good one. The best performers in these four tests in the NFL are cornerbacks, and I believe that someday we'll see an athlete that could have been a top NFL cornerback choose tennis instead, and he will transform the sport. These guys have explosiveness, speed and agility that has never been seen on a tennis court.
You're right that Tomic is nowhere near that class of athlete. But neither was John McEnroe. Speed and power are important but the gifts of touch, anticipation and court craft are even more important in tennis.
(Squat, deadlift and bench press would not be good tests for tennis athleticism as very high scores in those tests would indicate excess muscles mass which would make a player less efficient over a long match.)
That is only the fault of the pathetic pool of talent that tennis has to draw from where all the best go to the NFL and NBA, and tennis gets the leftovers who couldn't have made it in any other sport.
John McEnroe would never have been allowed to dominate in the manner he did if tennis took the best athletes, because then it wouldn't be long before a player came along who had volleys just as deft as his, but with the athleticism of an NFL wide receiver to go with it - and McEnroe would have gotten thrashed.
It makes me sick how everyone thinks Nadal is such a great athlete, when, compared to athletes of pretty much any other sport, he would be flat out appalling in any of those basic indicators of athleticism (bench, dead, squat, vert jump, 40 yard dash) I listed.