Check out these old greats on vid

keithchircop

Professional
Laver vs Ashe 1969
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpdPX9avs1M

Ashe vs Rosewall 1971
http://youtube.com/watch?v=HzPuG5HWGmI

Laver vs Connors 1975
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SptdffCeVmM

Laver vs Borg 1977
http://youtube.com/watch?v=7-VeBIal8TU

Vilas vs Connors 1977
http://youtube.com/watch?v=SWpY6Qe0go0

Ilie Nastase
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSqQXvDIwno

Borg vs Vilas - French Open final 1978:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-MdM908TnQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKQVdZNsyuQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4pPc9YesFc (endless rally)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDhqZxbS8Es (endless rally)

A documentary about Borg winning Wimby 5 times in a row (includes highlights from matches against Taylor, Vilas, Nastase, Vitas, Connors, Tanner and Johnny Mac)
http://youtube.com/watch?v=VsT_b_cPgAY
 
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morten

Hall of Fame
Wow, this is what tennis should look like, i wish it was still like that, todays game has more power but thats about it, athleticism and shot making is outstanding in those clips, more talent than today and more fun to watch... Vilas was great...
 

keithchircop

Professional
Ilie Nastase
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSqQXvDIwno

From Wikipedia:

In his recent book, Năstase claimed that he slept with around 2,500 women. After hearing this, his wife said that she was happy to have conquered such a man.

Among referees and other players, his reputation for gamesmanship resulted in the nickname "Nasty" after several incidents where his temperament got the better of him. For one year, other players scorned him in locker rooms and did not speak to him.

==> Can anyone shed some light on his nasty cheating ways?
 

urban

Legend
Nastase was one of the most gifted athletes of all time. Like Borg, his best shot was his body. Was fast like the wind. In tennis terms, he played an artistic allround game like Santana or now Federer. Had all the shots, including the topspin lob. Developed a very hard, underrated serve, especially in his later years. Only weakness was maybe the penetration on the volley, which cost him at least one Wimbledon win. Played and won many , many tournaments, around 80, if you count pre open and open era. Could beat and demolish all top players, including Borg and Connors, whom he owned for most of his career.Under the tutelage of Tiriac, he turned to nasty tricks, often to his own detriment. His nerves were as highly strung as his rackets. Had problems with favorite-status. In 1973, as the only top player, to play Wimbledon, and hottest favorite ever, he lost to Sandy Mayer in round of 16. Playing on his home ground, home clay and before all his relatives as line judges, he gifted the Davis Cup 1972 to the Americans, which made him very unpopular in Bukarest.Was disqualified by referee Horst Klosterkemper in the first round of 1975 Masters vs. Ashe, only to win the tournament vs. Borg 2,2 and 1.
 

urban

Legend
All things, that can distract an opponent. Stalling, mocking, arguing, screaming, spitting, even throwing sets and matches. Often a bit childish. Once he played a Wim doubles with Connors with a bowler hat or with an umbrella. Sometimes he screamed at line judges and umpires, they should call him Mr. Nastase.At Bournemouth against Panatta, once a match was halted for an hour, due to his antics. At USO he almost got into a fight with German Pohmann, called him Hitler. Another time at USO, in an infamous match with McEnroe, the umpire Frank Hammond disqualified him, but, as a riot rose among the crowd, the decision was corrected by the tournament referee Talbert. Between him and his close friend Connors, a bitter conflict started, when Connors told him (falsely) in a Las Vegas match, that his mother had died in an Rumanian earthquake.
 

The Gorilla

Banned
All things, that can distract an opponent. Stalling, mocking, arguing, screaming, spitting, even throwing sets and matches. Often a bit childish. Once he played a Wim doubles with Connors with a bowler hat or with an umbrella. Sometimes he screamed at line judges and umpires, they should call him Mr. Nastase.At Bournemouth against Panatta, once a match was halted for an hour, due to his antics. At USO he almost got into a fight with German Pohmann, called him Hitler. Another time at USO, in an infamous match with McEnroe, the umpire Frank Hammond disqualified him, but, as a riot rose among the crowd, the decision was corrected by the tournament referee Talbert. Between him and his close friend Connors, a bitter conflict started, when Connors told him (falsely) in a Las Vegas match, that his mother had died in an Rumanian earthquake.

this I have to see
 

galain

Hall of Fame
He was playing doubles with Arthur Ashe at Wimby, and in an effort to have his team colour coordinated, turned up for his match in black face paint!
 

Gorecki

G.O.A.T.
I roll on floor peeing myself of laughter everytime a see someone claiming that the greatest time of sport (any sport at all) are long gone.

the athletic performance is nowadays 10 times bigger that in the 70's. and this goes for tennis too.

i wonder why people dont compare Rene Lacoste with Bill Tilden... saying those were the days... lets face it. tennis is now more developed than it was back then in every single aspect....

ps: no... im not 16 years old... im am 30.
 

keithchircop

Professional
In case you didn't notice the number of unforced errors keeps increasing and the number of winners keeps decreasing. Just re-watch this year's French Open final. Do you prefer watching players banging from the baseline until one hits it out, or do you prefer someone hitting a winner?
 
In case you didn't notice the number of unforced errors keeps increasing and the number of winners keeps decreasing.
There were far more errors in the wood racquet era & far less winners. The equipment(racquets & strings) today has drastically reduced the margin for era(look at some of those wimbledon matches, gasquet had 90 winners & 20 errors vs Roddick, that is simply impossible with wood racquets, regardless of superior fitness, athleticism, technique of todays players compared to the 70s)
Djokovic, Ginepri & Robredo hit with woodies earlier this year & said it would be impossible for them to play the same way(swing hard & freely) as they do with modern racquets, saying that they would have to play 'safer' in order to do win with those racquets.
 
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CyBorg

Legend
That's certainly the point.

If woodies were introduced again tennis would change drastically. Yes - you can hit very hard with wood. It's true. You can also serve very hard with wood.

BUT.... your accuracy suffers, which is why players hit much 'safer' in the old days and didn't hit the **** out of the ball like they do now. I don't think Sampras would be very effective with wood with the kind of state of mind that he developed when growing up with a graphite racket. We know the Wilander story - when he was defeated by Pete at the 89 US Open - how Pete won despite generally low IQ tennis (but plenty of power). Hand him a wooden racket and he'd have to get a brain transplant.

It's all fair and square. Different eras, different players. Whatever. I accept it.

But, folks, try and be fair to the players of yesteryear. They'd wipe the floor with today's players if wooden rackets were used. They possessed unparalleled touch compared to today's pros because they had to learn a different, more subtle game. It sure didn't look like something from a video game with lightning fast rallies, but it was impressive all the same.

It was art. But not everyone can recognize art. Everyone can recognize Paul Haggis. Broad and obvious. That's right - modern tennis is Paul Haggis on a golden toilet.

No, check that - modern tennis is Commando or that '300' movie .. old-age tennis is Total Recall with its subtle satire and Fascist undertones.

(I'm drunk)
 
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keithchircop

Professional
Cy, you had me until you compared old tennis to Total Recall.

Are we sure there were less winners with S&Vers constantly coming to the net?

Btw, that Gasquet match was a total anomaly, even Federer was amazed.
 

Rabbit

G.O.A.T.
At USO he almost got into a fight with German Pohmann, called him Hitler. Another time at USO, in an infamous match with McEnroe, the umpire Frank Hammond disqualified him, but, as a riot rose among the crowd, the decision was corrected by the tournament referee Talbert.
this I have to see
Urban is right, as usual. In the first match, Nastase got particularly ugly. He beat the German and when the German refused to shake hands after the match, the crowd began to vent on Nastase. Nastase's response was to spit a mouthful of his courtside orange drink back at the crowd.

In the second match, I believe at the 1979 US Open, he and McEnroe did get into it. The match started late and the crowd, in anticipation, was fairly well lubricated with whatever beer they served back then. Frank Hammond was one of the most respected umpires around back then and if I remember right, one of the few professional umpires. He DQ'd Nastase and the crowd went ballistic. If I remember right, McEnroe had, typically, lost the crowd by trying to hit Nastase. Of course, Nastase acted like he'd done nothing. But, when the match started to turn against him, Nastase began questioning every call in fairly graphic terms. I think that match ended after midnight.

There are tons of more examples. One of my favorites was when Nastase was playing a US claycourt event in preparation of the US Open. The match was to be televised and he was given a pre-match briefing by the TV folks. They pleaded with him to not use any vulgar language or gestures. They almost got what they wanted. Nastase agreed to be a good boy. His opponent that day was an Italian whose name I can't remember. Nastase made good on his promise, he didn't use any vulgarities in English, rather saying what he had to say in Italian for the benefit of his opponent. Nastase also used an Italian version of the finger during the match which finally sent his opponent over the edge.

During the whole match, Nastase's behavior and demeanor toward the English-speaking American crowd was light and playful. He smiled and acted like nothing out of the ordinary was going on.

There were two players who bothered Nastase. Those two were Stan Smith and Bjorn Borg. The reason they bothered him was that neither ever reacted to any of Nastase's antics. It got into Nastase's head that he couldn't get into theirs. I remember once, Nastase was getting his clock cleaned against Borg. In desparation, Nastase stood facing Borg, spread his legs, and dropped two balls from behind his back. Borg hadn't seen that before, apparently, and smiled. Then, Borg went back to beating Nastase's brains out.

Nastase's biggest weapons IMO, outside of his physical prowess, were his anticipation and unpredictability. He seemed to know where the other guy was hitting and had the uncanny ability to hit a shot that his opponent couldn't predict. Nastase was the first player I ever heard of who hit topspin lobs off forehand and backhand and on the dead run.

His most famous shot was the Bucharest Backfire as named by Bud Collins. When lobbed, Nastase would run back and with his back to the net, hit an over the shoulder overhead usually back past his opponent, with a wood racket. Nastase could also volley from anywhere around his body, between the legs, behind his back, over his left shoulder with his arm behind his head (at least that's all I saw).

The guy had incredible talent and phsyical ability.
 

Tshooter

Legend
Can anyone shed some light on his nasty cheating ways?

What can you say. Biggest A-hole to ever play pro tennis? The reason (along with Connors) for the rules intended to curb player misbehavior? That he was also one of the most talented players ever? That he was the most fun to watch? That the crowd in NY would try to get him going (much like they would do to McEnroe) but that can't excuse the way he treated his opponents and officials (the Barazzutti match the year before the Pohmann match was almost as bad.) That what Frank Hammond did was overdue for years? And the fact that the tournament caved pleased the crowd but arguably set back the game.

Nastase wasn't a complete jerk. At a time when there was a lot of controversy about whether Renee Richards should be allowed to play on the women's tour, Nastase played mixed doubles with her at the USO. And the crowd was into it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renee_Richards.
 

noeledmonds

Professional
Borg and Gerulaitis at Roland Garros (1980 final)

I re-uploaded the clip of Borg and Vilas hitting 86 strokes, in a better visual quality:
Thanks a lot for uploading these highlights krosero. They highlight to me the difference between Borg and all his oponents on clay during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Borg was so consistant while still being able to work the points and put some pressure on his oponent. Borg also seemed very comfortable at the net in comparison to the clay court specilists he was usually up against.
 

Gimmick

Semi-Pro
Laver vs. Ashe 1969. Great video, I can't believe how many passing shots were hit. You would think that after losing a dozen points with S&V they would have started hanging back. Apparently there was something more to this than simply the opponent's ability to hit a passing shot.
 
^thanks. love the camera angles, it really shows the players in a better light that so many of the old Wimbledon BBC matches. wish I could see the whole match.

this was the Masters where Lendl tanked his final RR match to avoid playing Borg in the semis. Looks like that was a good call.
 
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