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    How would a player with the best shots of the 80s do today?

    How would this player do in 2023 with the following attributes, using modern equipment and surfaces against 2023 players? The first serve of Boris Becker The second serve of Stefan Edberg The return of serve of Jimmy Connors The forehand of Ivan Lendl The backhand of Jimmy Connors The passing...
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    How often was the Australian Open a big slam?

    Tilden, Cochet, Lacoste, Riggs, Kramer, and Gonzales never played the Australian Open. Borotra, Budge and Vines played it only once. Perry played it only twice. I realise this may have been because of how difficult it was to travel to Australia until the rise of the passenger plane. It seems...
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    Best wins of players

    Here are a few: Ashe: win over Connors in 1975 Wimbledon final Orantes: win over Connors in 1975 US Open final Connors: win over Borg in 76 US Open final (to beat Borg on any clay is amazing) Vilas: win over Connors in 77 US Open final Borg: win over Connors in 78 Wimbledon final, because Borg...
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    The weakness of Vilas' 4 slam wins

    I admire Vilas. He won many events and matches but I do think he is a little overrated because of his 4 slam wins. Look at them: in 77 he won the French, but there's no way he would have won it if Borg had played it instead of World Team Tennis. The 77 US Open win over Connors was a great win...
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    Was Lendl's win over Edberg at the 1987 Wimbledon his best ever grass court win?

    I know he beat Becker to win the 90 Queen's but I tend to think Lendl's Wimbledon semi final win over Edberg in 87 was his best grass court win. That is because Wimbledon is a much bigger event than Queen's and also because it was best of 5. Edberg was already a double Australian Open champion...
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    Connors' forehand is possibly the most underrated shot in tennis history

    His forehand is so often criticised as a big weakness. Connors in his book says it wasn't a weakness, only compared to his backhand, which was the best in the world. It was a weapon. If you look at stats of his matches you will see he hit more winners off his forehand than the vast majority of...
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    What if Connors had played Lendl in the 87 Wimbledon final?

    Connors lost in the semis to Cash who played a blinder that day. If Connors had won ( and many expected him to as he beat Cash in Queen's a few weeks before) he would have played Lendl in the final. That would have been very interesting. By 87 Lendl was on a streak of beating Connors every time...
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    Who was the women's number one in 1987?

    The computer says Graf but some say Navratilova because she won Wimbledon and the US Open, while Graf won only one slam: the French. I have to say I think the computer got it right. Graf won 11 tournaments to Navratilova's 4, and Graf won the year end Virginia Slim Championships. Graf won 75...
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    When did McEnroe's decline really start?

    I have heard it said he got an injury towards the end of 84 and was never the same player again, but I don't think it's as straightforward as this. He started 85 very impressively winning 5 tournaments by Wimbledon. I was shocked when Curren destroyed him at Wimbledon, but then McEnroe won two...
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    Who do you think has the best unreturned serve percentage in history?

    That is a different question to number of aces, and it's better to have a higher unreturned percentage than more aces. If a serve doesn't come back it makes no difference to the score line whether or not it was an ace. Sampras didn't often hit as many aces as Ivanisevic but Sampras' unreturned...
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    Anyone watched Buster Mottram?

    He had a pretty good career. 15 in the world, 4th round, at Wimbledon, the US Open and Roland Garros, 2 ATP titles, and wins over Borg, Vilas, Tanner, Laver, Smith, Kodes, Dibbs and Gottfried when they were in the top 10. He even beat Vilas on clay in Vilas' best year of 77. I have never seen...
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    What happened to Thierry Tulasne?

    He was very gifted. He had excellent top spin groundstrokes on both wings, and didn't have a problem hitting top spin with a one handed backhand. He was very fast. He got to number 10 in the world and beat Wilander and Nystrom in two clay court ATP finals. I noticed he took great big swings...
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    Did Kooyong grass offer a big advantage to players strong on other grass courts?

    The Australian Open was played on grass until 1987. In 88 it changed to hard courts. The Kooyong grass tended to have higher bounces than other grass courts, and were also uphill for the serve volleyer. Wilander beat McEnroe and Curren on the way to his two grass Australian titles. I doubt...
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    What happened with McEnroe's 1979 Wimbledon defeat?

    Tim Gullikson was a very good player. He was 15th seed when he beat McEnroe in the 1979 Wimbledon. But it was a shock result, especially when you think it was in straight sets. Mac was seeded 2 and seen as a title contender. He had won 5 tournaments in 1979, was the reigning Masters champion...
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    Jimmy and Brett Connors interview of Bjorn Borg

    It is a fascinating interview, though I didn't like the swearing. Here are a few points that came out: Borg and Connors are good friends though McEnroe and Connors still aren't. Connors was very disappointed when Borg retired to the point of thinking about retirement himself. Brett believes...
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    What are the most strangely lopsided rivalries?

    Here's a few: Borg 17 Gerulaitis 0: Of course Borg was the greater player, but you would expect Gerulaitis to have scored a few wins. He used to beat Borg in practice often. Lendl 17 Gomez 2: Again Lendl was the greater player but Gomez was a regular top tenner and French Open winner. Lendl...
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    Becker Curren head to head

    They played 5 times and Becker won all 5 times, and Curren pushed him into a final set only once. Why do you think Becker dominated Curren? I think Becker was a better all round player. Becker was definitely comfortably better off the ground than Curren. When Curren was serving well his serve...
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    An amazing thing about Becker's 1985 Wimbledon triumph

    The more I think about it, the more amazing Becker's 85 win was. He was only 17 and had a very tough path to win. He dropped 8 sets, which is a record number of sets dropped for a major winner (shared with Kuerten in the 97 French). He came close to losing against Mayotte and Nystrom. He could...
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    Curren vs Connors Wimbledon 1985

    I watched the match again recently on YouTube. Here are a few observations: Curren's serving performance was a candidate for the best serving performance I have ever seen. Curren played solidly in return games but not so well that you would expect him to break Connors so many times. Connors...
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    Would Evert have caught Court's record if she had played all the slams at her peak?

    Evert won slams between 74 and 86. Yet in that time she missed 3 French Opens and 8 Australian Opens. I believe she would have won all 3 French Opens she missed in 76-78. She was virtually invincible on clay in this period. This brings her to 21 slams. How many Australians would she have won...
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    Players who won slam finals against players with superior racket technology

    Borg won French Open 81 with wood against Lendl who had a superior graphite racket. Connors won US Open 82 and 83 with a T2000 against Lendl who had superior graphite. Evert won Australian Open 82 with wood against Navratilova who had superior graphite Evert won French Open 83 with wood against...
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    Has a year had as many births of top male tennis players as 1952?

    In 1952 2 legends were born in Connors and Vilas, but also top tenners Harold Solomon, Brian Gottfried, Wotjek Fibak, and Sandy Mayer. That's 6 top tenners in total. Does any other year compare?
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    McEnroe said Wilander moved better than him. Is that true?

    It's said here (1/10): John McEnroe visits the Live @ Wimbledon studio - YouTube I always thought Mac and Wilander were great movers on a par with each other, but not quite as quick as the likes of Borg, Kriek and Gerulaitis. But Mac seems to disagree with me about Mats. What do you think?
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    The change in Ivanisevic's physique

    In the 1992 Wimbledon final Ivanisevic at the age of 20 is like a stick insect, but by his 2001 Wimbledon win he was definitely alot heavier. He put on alot of muscle while remaining lean the way pros tend to do. How did this happen? I have never heard anything about a regime he went through to...
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    Did Sampras really take the keys from Becker?

    Boris Becker has often said he owned the keys to centre court until Sampras took them from him. Let's look at the facts to see if it's true: Becker lost 9 times at Wimbledon in his years as a top pro 1985-1997 (I won't count 96 when he retired due to injury). He lost 3 times to Sampras, twice...
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    Why were Panatta's rankings so bad?

    Considering his talent, and the fact he won a slam, and did the extraordinary feat of beating Borg twice at Roland Garros, I am shocked at how low the year end rankings of Adriano Panatta were. Only one top ten finish, and only two top 16 finishes. Why? 1973- 14 1974- 34 1975-14 1976- 7 1977-...
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    Why was Vilas' Wimbledon record so bad?

    Vilas had good results on grass elsewhere. He won the 74 Masters on grass beating Newcombe and Nastase, a very impressive feat. He won the 78 and 79 Australian Opens. The field was weak for a slam but he still beat some useful grass court players. Yet at Wimbledon he only managed one quarter...
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    Any idea of the mph of pros' volleys?

    I am not talking here about drop volleys, but the penetrating volleys of top players. I have heard mph stats for serves, forehand groundstrokes, and backhand groundstrokes, but never for volleys or smashes for that matter.
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    Connors serve against Seguso in Queen's 1986

    Just watched this Queen's semi final match and I am amazed at how well Connors served. He dropped only 7 points in 9 service games. He served quite a few big serves, for him at least. What most struck me is how much he varied his serving. I have seen quite a few Connors' matches, and he would...
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    Why I now think Lendl was greater than McEnroe

    I used to say that McEnroe was greater than Lendl because McEnroe won Wimbledon 3 times and Lendl never did, and in the 80s Wimbledon was more important than the Australian. Lendl was desperate to win Wimbledon. I think as well my judgement was influenced by being British (in the 80s in...