Originally Posted by 5263
I think if you took Rod Laver of the 60s and dropped him into the US Open...
he would likely get destroyed in the 1st rd and have a very tough time... much
like he did in 63 when he moved to the pro league. Would that great player and
competitor adjust and evolve? Yes, he would catch on quickly and be at least
as good a Ferrer or so with time and maybe prove he is the GOAT. That is why
they play the matches. But the play then cannot compare to today and that
is without question imo.
I played and did well with 4.0s and 4.5s in the 70s, but that "me" would get crushed
by how I played as a 4.5 when I came back to playing in the late 90s.
This is hotly debated in the former pro player section every other day, but I agree. It is not just the actual tennis, but the effect of height (Rod has said that he has no chance in the modern game unless he was 3 inches taller), training, nutrition, exercise etc.
Wooden rackets and gut were a great equalizer. Tennis was supposed to be a sport where physical attributes would not play a decisive role (I don't have a source to support it). But no longer today.