Alcaraz 2023 vs Bill Tilden 1921

RS

Bionic Poster
Tilden had some scary numbers but what was his record in 1921 in matches that were recorded?
 

RS

Bionic Poster
We need to admit Tilden was better in his time than Alcaraz was in his as of now though by a fair margin.
 

AgassiSuperSlam11

Professional
Preposterous to compare them in a hypothetical match. However, when it comes mental toughness and resiliency Tilden rates quite high. Dude lost both of his parents and his older brother (his tennis inspiration) at a young age and suffered numerous infirmities which resulted in him often collapsing at the end of matches and even needing help from Davis Cup teammates to get dressed and undressed. He was given a medical deferment from WWI due to "Flat Feet" and served at the Medical Corps at a local Pittsburgh hospital. He would continue to play a US National Final after a small plane crashed near the stands, as he knew if he stopped it would cause panic and a stampede and result in more deaths. Tilden even would finish a meaningless dead rubber Davis Cup match against Rene "Croc Shirt" Lacoste after suffering a meniscus tear on the knee since old school mighty warriors didn't like to retire in front of a live audience. Tilden also would defend his Wimbledon title in 1921 after being advised to skip the match as he was in no condition to play as he was recovering from a fever and boils. After dropping the first two sets he came back to win the final 3.

Tilden would also change his racquet grip after having a portion of his finger amputated to stop an infection and still go on to win many more titles. The finger amputation being a blessing in disguise as some of his prior infection and boil issues would ameliorate while he adjusted some of his shots. Reminiscent of guitarist Tony Iommi adjusting his method of playing guitar to write memorable riffs. Of course, not worthy of something like "Earth's Mightiest Warrior" but at minimum Tilden was one of the toughest P4P athletes that came out of Philly.
 
Last edited:

Lauren_Girl'

Hall of Fame
Tilden from Wimbledon 1921 was definitely better. The way he came back from 2 sets to 0 and turned around the match was impressive. He basically retired Norton in this final. The poor South African never recovered from that painful loss. And that breakdstick in the 3rd and that bagel in the 4th set, WOW, who can forget that. I was there, I can testify. Tilden blew him out of the water. Norton put up a great fight in the fifth set but Tilden was in control of the match. I will never forget that smashing half volley at 5-5 40-15. Absolutely sensationnel. Alcaraz from Wimbledon 2023 wouldn't have done that in the 5th set.

His US Open run was not too bad either. Beating Philips Goldsborough and Zenzo Shimidzu back to back isn't an easy task. Anybondy who played against them would confirm it. It shouldn't be minimzed. Certainly a much bigger achievement than beating Dominic Koepfer and Lloyd Harris back to back. I'm sure @Kralingen would agree with this. Tilden vs Goldsborough is one of the most underrated match of the 1920s...
 

accidental

Hall of Fame
Alcaraz’ movement would be heavily restricted by the long baggy wool pants and button up shirt.

His serve would become an absolute liability if he had to keep 1 foot on the ground at contact. He would be barely clearing the net at his height and with a wooden racquet
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Relative to eras Tilden is in the discussion for most dominant of all time, Alcaraz is not. Of course in absolute terms Alcaraz is a far better player...
 

AgassiSuperSlam11

Professional
Don't think he ever played the US Open. :cool:
Fair point. I think the US National Title prior to 1968 is often called the USO simply to avoid any confusion with other events and to make sure people know it was a slam event (I make the same error myself). It gets even more murky with the French National title as the tournament that would be known the FO would be quite exclusive until 1924 or 1925 and a guy like Tilden wasn't allowed to participate since he wasn't a member of a French tennis club. However, the "World Hard Court Championships" (actually played in Clay) was considered the more open and bigger tournament in which Tilden actually won in 1921. All things considered I can see why posters use the term to avoid all the ambiguities when using the title "national or US championship. Nonetheless, these tournaments weren't officially open until 1968.
 

alexio

G.O.A.T.
lol cute video, in trousers, of course we cant compare thru eras, plus such a big gap between it, but still its funny, even training nowadays looks better and yea, agree with razer with his post above
 

RaulRamirez

Legend
From that brief clip, one still gets a glimmer of Tilden's immense talent. He was a big guy, and the slice he imparted with those heavy, clunky rackets was impressive...and the quick overhead was a thing of beauty. You can't tell too much from 3 or 4 points, but he looks to have hit a much better ball than his opponent -' more pace, depth and bite.
 

nolefam_2024

Talk Tennis Guru
Anyone in early 1900s can't be really gauged by their highlights. At most we will say that these players were solid. But tennis was a sport played in maybe 4/5 major countries. Really how good was the competition then?
 

nolefam_2024

Talk Tennis Guru
We could thank these players for making foundation of tennis strong and creating records like CYGS etc that players aim for now. But apart from that their contribution is limited.

None of us would be probably born even when Pancho Gonzalez played. And what clips we have from that era show very less. The laver and Rosewall late years at least are properly videographed.
 

yonexRx32

Professional
Gonzales and laver played against each other. Gonzales was married to Agassi's sister. Here is a great movie about the great Pancho. It's not quite as old history as Tilden
 

Razer

Legend
Gonzales and laver played against each other. Gonzales was married to Agassi's sister. Here is a great movie about the great Pancho. It's not quite as old history as Tilden

As per google Pancho Gonzales was 32 years old when Rita Agassi was even born, is that true ?

Why did she marry such an old man?
 
Tilden is 38 here as well. He competed into his 50's against legends like Budge...

He literally wrote a book on tennis technique. This is a troll thread but adjusted for era Tilden is right at the very top of the ATG mountain.

A shame that there seem to be barely any available footage of that era.
 
As per google Pancho Gonzales was 32 years old when Rita Agassi was even born, is that true ?

Why did she marry such an old man?
He was her tennis coach and she maybe partly did it to rebel against her father Mike since it maximally pissed him off. He hated Pancho to the guts anyways and for some time was seriously thinking about having him killed. Rita is nuts due to the crazy upbringing she had and her hate for her father and brother is real. She went off completely few years ago when Mike died.

Pancho is one of the biggest jerks in tennis history btw.
 

nolefam_2024

Talk Tennis Guru
damm how much the game has evolved
Tennis was popular distraction for rich people before. It's invented by French royalty in 1500s. So even till Bill Tilden's time people talked about fashion and style alongside groundstrokes.

It's all changed now.
 

RS

Bionic Poster
Tennis was popular distraction for rich people before. It's invented by French royalty in 1500s. So even till Bill Tilden's time people talked about fashion and style alongside groundstrokes.

It's all changed now.
Was it even considered tennis then? I am sure I read it wasn't think that came later.
 

yonexRx32

Professional
He was her tennis coach and she maybe partly did it to rebel against her father Mike since it maximally pissed him off. He hated Pancho to the guts anyways and for some time was seriously thinking about having him killed. Rita is nuts due to the crazy upbringing she had and her hate for her father and brother is real. She went off completely few years ago when Mike died.

Pancho is one of the biggest jerks in tennis history btw.
You seem to have strong opinions (not to be confused with facts) about Pancho and his family. Did you know the man? Did you date him?
 
You seem to have strong opinions (not to be confused with facts) about Pancho and his family. Did you know the man? Did you date him?
Sorry? I never said anything about Pancho’s family unless you consider Rita and Mike his family. You can Google in few clicks what Rita said about her brother and father. About Mike countless of stories not only from Andre’s book are floating around and for Pancho himself we are talking a guy who left his wife alone the day her mother had been murdered to play some tennis tournament saying that if it had been their son he would have gone too.

Even if some of those stories might be exaggerated or even untrue, this does not all come out of the blue.
Your remark about dating Pancho was an amazingly lame attempt to make a ‘cool’ comment.
 

RS

Bionic Poster
Not sure. But I like how some people like Connors and Lendl made tennis more than the style and fashion stuff. Even Borg was fashion icon.
Read about the early origin of the development of ball and hit being around as early as the 13th century but I think the 1700s is when it was actually called tennis.
 
Top