Do you really like eighties/nineties tennis better than modern matches when you watch replays?

socallefty

New User
Just like all other tennis fans, I’ve been watching a lot of replays of old Grand Slam finals and semifinals on the Tennis Channel and YouTube since the shutdown of Pro tournaments in March. I am in my fifties and grew up watching Borg, McEnroe, Connors, Lendl, Becker, Sampras, Edberg, Agassi etc. before watching today‘s players like Federer, Djokovic, Nadal etc. In fact, I was a big fan of McEnroe in the Eighties and Sampras in the Nineties and definitely liked their serve-and-volley style at that time. However, when I watched replays of old matches from the Eighties/Nineties including classics like Borg/McEnroe 1980, Edberg/Becker 1989, Sampras/Agassi 1995/1999, Sampras/Rafter 2000 etc., I just did not enjoy them at all compared to watching epic Federer/Nadal, Nadal/Djokovic and Djokovic/Federer matches from the last fifteen years. Does anyone else feel the same way?

The matches from the Eighties/Nineties on quicker courts (including faster grass at Wimbledon) seem like servebot tennis (even a baseliner like Agassi has so many service winners against Sampras) and the passing shots are so inferior before poly strings. The groundstroke styles pre-dating modern ATP technique seem so outdated and quirky/awkward with so little topspin and angles. Watching these old strokes in Grand Slam epic finals from 20-30 years ago looks likes watching club-level players with bad technique these days. The movement and footwork and level of defense seems so bad compared to modern tennis. Even though I grew up watching those players and liked serve-and-volleyers battling baseliners in those days, I feel like the quality of shot-making, athleticism, defense, building points from the baseline etc. has improved so much in the 21st century that for me, matches from the Eighties/Nineties are not enjoyable anymore. Do others feel the same after being forced to watch classic match replays on TV in the last few months?

I have never been someone to complain about the slowing down of courts and have always enjoyed watching high-level modern players compete even with different styles like Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Del Potro, Wawrinka etc. I like watching long baseline rallies or points being finished at the net as long as the technique and shot-making is great. I don’t like watching servebots like Isner, Karlovic, Opelka etc. and Nineties tennis had so many servebots at Wimbledon in particular that the major tournaments including Wimbledon made the business decision to slow down courts to get more viewers. Tennis is way more popular now everywhere except in the US than it was in the past and I don’t see the tournaments speeding up courts anytime soon. After watching all these replays of old matches. I’m thankful for that. I am also happy that players with quirky-looking flat groundstrokes like Connors and McEnroe cannot make it even to the college level these days as they frankly now look ugly to me. I would much rather watch Federer’s forehand, Wawrinka’s backhand, Djokovic‘s backhand, Thiem’s groundstrokes etc. and the movement and defense of modern players along with less service aces and less volleys. The modern players may not serve-and-volley anymore but most of them finish points well at the net when they get short balls and I do not bemoan the reduced effectiveness of net play when everything else has become so much more aesthetically pleasing.

I don’t think this is a controversial opinion if you watch classic matches and modern epics with an open mind, but I am sure that there will be many who disagree.
 

Milanez82

Rookie
I saw Becker live in 2007 or so, he played exib vs Nestor at the opening day of Toronto masters.
Afterwards Ancic played vs Dancevic 1st rd match. Gap in hitting power was astounding.
I had a feeling as a club player i could outrally Becker how bad it looked.

Funny thing he looked old and slow at 40 and now we have Federer at that age competing for Slams
 

McLovin

Legend
What’s missing from today’s tennis is the clash of styles. In the 80s & 90s you had a ton of good serve & volleyers to push the baseliners to be more aggressive. You had true clay court specialists that forced hard court players to learn to construct points & be patient.

You can’t argue that today’s tennis isn’t exciting in its own way as the physicality & skill level have definitely gone up. But...I’d like to see a few different styles emerge from the new crop of players. Yes, there are a few players who don’t bang a huge serve then finish with a forehand, but when you break it down, most have the same game plan. I’m hopeful Tsistipas will be one of the new players to change it up a bit.
 

Nadal_Django

Hall of Fame
Just like all other tennis fans, I’ve been watching a lot of replays of old Grand Slam finals and semifinals on the Tennis Channel and YouTube since the shutdown of Pro tournaments in March. I am in my fifties and grew up watching Borg, McEnroe, Connors, Lendl, Becker, Sampras, Edberg, Agassi etc. before watching today‘s players like Federer, Djokovic, Nadal etc. In fact, I was a big fan of McEnroe in the Eighties and Sampras in the Nineties and definitely liked their serve-and-volley style at that time. However, when I watched replays of old matches from the Eighties/Nineties including classics like Borg/McEnroe 1980, Edberg/Becker 1989, Sampras/Agassi 1995/1999, Sampras/Rafter 2000 etc., I just did not enjoy them at all compared to watching epic Federer/Nadal, Nadal/Djokovic and Djokovic/Federer matches from the last fifteen years. Does anyone else feel the same way?

The matches from the Eighties/Nineties on quicker courts (including faster grass at Wimbledon) seem like servebot tennis (even a baseliner like Agassi has so many service winners against Sampras) and the passing shots are so inferior before poly strings. The groundstroke styles pre-dating modern ATP technique seem so outdated and quirky/awkward with so little topspin and angles. Watching these old strokes in Grand Slam epic finals from 20-30 years ago looks likes watching club-level players with bad technique these days. The movement and footwork and level of defense seems so bad compared to modern tennis. Even though I grew up watching those players and liked serve-and-volleyers battling baseliners in those days, I feel like the quality of shot-making, athleticism, defense, building points from the baseline etc. has improved so much in the 21st century that for me, matches from the Eighties/Nineties are not enjoyable anymore. Do others feel the same after being forced to watch classic match replays on TV in the last few months?

I have never been someone to complain about the slowing down of courts and have always enjoyed watching high-level modern players compete even with different styles like Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Del Potro, Wawrinka etc. I like watching long baseline rallies or points being finished at the net as long as the technique and shot-making is great. I don’t like watching servebots like Isner, Karlovic, Opelka etc. and Nineties tennis had so many servebots at Wimbledon in particular that the major tournaments including Wimbledon made the business decision to slow down courts to get more viewers. Tennis is way more popular now everywhere except in the US than it was in the past and I don’t see the tournaments speeding up courts anytime soon. After watching all these replays of old matches. I’m thankful for that. I am also happy that players with quirky-looking flat groundstrokes like Connors and McEnroe cannot make it even to the college level these days as they frankly now look ugly to me. I would much rather watch Federer’s forehand, Wawrinka’s backhand, Djokovic‘s backhand, Thiem’s groundstrokes etc. and the movement and defense of modern players along with less service aces and less volleys. The modern players may not serve-and-volley anymore but most of them finish points well at the net when they get short balls and I do not bemoan the reduced effectiveness of net play when everything else has become so much more aesthetically pleasing.

I don’t think this is a controversial opinion if you watch classic matches and modern epics with an open mind, but I am sure that there will be many who disagree.
Yes. And it's called an evolution... ;)
 

ForehandCross

Hall of Fame
I will be very honest, I personally find myself unable to watch most of 1990s matches. Anything from early 2000s feels familiar and interesting (Poly effect?). To me the best matches are from early 2010s, and that's not because of the big 4 only.

1990, especially early 90s feel a tad bit too alien to watch the entire matches.

But I also fail to see some significant difference between say a good match from 2007 and one from 2019.

Probably because no huge drastic change like poly has occurred since early 2000s.
 

McGradey

Rookie
HD picture makes modern matches more re-watchable. It's very hard to track the ball on a lot of the old videos, and thus they often aren't as engaging.
And to be honest, most Wimbledon matches from the 90s are not the best spectacle.

I love the duels between play styles though, which you don't see anymore because everyone plays the same. Agassi-Sampras, Borg-McEnroe, Agassi-Rafter, Hewitt-Sampras, Safin-Sampras, Safin-Federer etc made for exciting tennis, showcasing every shot in the book.

On the flipside, as much as grinding baseline tennis gets boring, and it really does, it's a better spectacle as a style of play than a slew of aces and 2 shot rallies. Compare Djokovic v Wawrinka at the AO to Ivanisevic v Sampras at Wimbledon.
 
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MeatTornado

Legend
I agree, in general I do not enjoy the slow nature of 80s matches or the serve fests of the 90s.

I think tennis was briefly perfect in the early to mid 2000s. When the game was shifting almost entirely to the backcourt but guys were going for winners every rally.

Now it's still backcourt but every point has 6 topspin shots down the middle of the court before anything happens and are completely allergic to the net.
 

King No1e

G.O.A.T.
I agree, in general I do not enjoy the slow nature of 80s matches or the serve fests of the 90s.

I think tennis was briefly perfect in the early to mid 2000s. When the game was shifting almost entirely to the backcourt but guys were going for winners every rally.

Now it's still backcourt but every point has 6 topspin shots down the middle of the court before anything happens and are completely allergic to the net.
Weak era weak era weak era weak era weak era ewak rea wek errae ekwak re weka ear wekwkarkeaekarkekwk
 

MeatTornado

Legend
Weak era weak era weak era weak era weak era ewak rea wek errae ekwak re weka ear wekwkarkeaekarkekwk
lol, I know. Fed haters will actually think that's what I'm doing, propping up his time like it was some magical era.

In reality I hated Fed at the time and became a fan of him later during the Big 4 era in large part because he was the only one left still playing that style of offensive tennis that I fell in love with years ago.
 

88fingers

New User
good and accurate post socallefty !
I was just wathing an old rePlay of Borg vs Laver on youTube. Laver doesn't even jump on his serves like every modern male and female player.
His non hitting hand flops and hangs during his forehands. Laver looks more like the club players that I see everyday than a professional player of today.
Also todays players train with weights. Yesterday's players were much physically weaker and smaller.
 

BeatlesFan

Talk Tennis Guru
As someone who actually was alive and watching tennis in the 80's, I enjoyed it massively more than now.

Why? Simple! No wasting time between points, toweling off was almost non-existent. There were people winning slams regularly aside from three players. There were four absolutely distinct surfaces by 1985, when the AO switched away from grass: moderately fast AO, regular clay FO, extremely slick and fast Wimbledon grass and a fast USO. There was also insanely low bouncing and fast carpet tournaments indoors.

So the variety then was monumentally superior to the uniformly slow courts of today.

You had distinct and fascinating contrasts of personalities: Mac, Connors, Lendl, Becker, Agassi, Mecir, Muster... and even the "boring personality" players of Edberg and Wilander managed to win 13 slams between them and foil the more flamboyant guys. There's no question it was so much more interesting then that there's no comparison.
 
Obviously I did not see any of it live till late 90's, but it is hard to watch any matches before that. Mainly due to lack of knowledge on the players and matchups, but the video quality is usually pretty poor.

That being said, the variety and offensive play would be nice to see in today's game. I wish we could integrate the two eras.

Like @MeatTornado said. There was a point when they kind of collided for brief time.

But how do you get the modern game to add variety with courts that play slow now?
 

Rosstour

Hall of Fame
Different styles in different periods. As the sage put it, "About matters of taste there is no dispute."
Yes, but also evolution.

Watch Sampras play is eye-opening. The backhand that seemed like a laser-guided missile back then looks very awkward now as he tends to stand up/dump out of the shot, you can see his shoulders just pop right up on contact. Contrast that with 1H'ers today who keep their entire bodies still through the shot and it does look just...antique.

Even old Fed matches look weird, he moves well but hits everything so upright, he looks every bit like a 90s player before he became Fedr.
 

Third Serve

Legend
I’ve only experienced the 90’s era through replays. What I saw of Wimbledon didn’t impress me very much. People talk about boring slow courts but the 90’s Wimbledon was the exact opposite extreme. Fast courts + evolving racket technology wasn’t going to spell well for Wimby and it would be even worse nowadays if the courts were still that fast. Slowing them down was a net positive, imo, but they didn’t have to slow them down that much. 2001 and 2003 speeds seemed good enough.

Aside from Wimbledon, I enjoy watching replays of old matches like the ones at the YEC. You can tell that the shotmaking on the quicker indoor carpet courts is superb even though the players hit differently from today’s players. In addition, there were plenty of slower hard courts like the AO and clay was still as slow as it usually is. That way, fans of faster tennis have their own favorite parts of the season and fans of slower tennis had theirs.

I think the early 2000’s (up until about 2005) had it down in terms of court speeds and players’ styles. Faster (but not too fast) Wimbledon and USO, medium-slow AO and slow RG. Didn’t last for too long, though.
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
The OP is yet more proof people are more susceptible to marketing than they like to think they are. Just about every one of those talking points is a tired regurgitation of the "evolution" canard that's been used to sell the game from the inception of pro sports, and while I've done my own share of adding insult to injury such talk just bores me silly now.

Personally I'm a die-hard fan of the "big game" and would prefer to see more 1st-strike tennis (which BTW stats strongly suggest is still possible), but I dig almost all kinds of tennis and my enjoyment depends less on what's being played than who's playing it. The problem with today's tennis at least on the men's side is its pathetic paucity of world-class talent, and no, that ain't because the Big 3 are still winning everything left and right. I don't what could be done to improve the situation in the short term, but going forward tennis academies (I'll be generous and spare them the F-word) would be wise to encourage more customization/experimentation than the current by-the-book regimentation which clearly isn't making the best case for the supposedly inexorable march of "evolution."
 

Rosstour

Hall of Fame
The OP is yet more proof people are more susceptible to marketing than they like to think they are. Just about every one of those talking points is a tired regurgitation of the "evolution" canard that's been used to sell the game from the inception of pro sports, and while I've done my own share of adding insult to injury such talk just bores me silly now.

Personally I'm a die-hard fan of the "big game" and would prefer to see more 1st-strike tennis (which BTW stats strongly suggest is still possible), but I dig almost all kinds of tennis and my enjoyment depends less on what's being played than who's playing it. The problem with today's tennis at least on the men's side is its pathetic paucity of world-class talent, and no, that ain't because the Big 3 are still winning everything left and right. I don't what could be done to improve the situation in the short term, but going forward tennis academies (I'll be generous and spare them the F-word) would be wise to encourage more customization/experimentation than the current by-the-book regimentation which clearly isn't making the best case for the supposedly inexorable march of "evolution."
endless servebotting is really boring too, though.

I like the "Big Game" or the "Beautiful Game" more than most, but I do remember when I was a teenager having to read the endless self-conscious existential fretting from sportswriters about the plummeting ratings and declining interest.

The metrics were abysmal, points were so short that only tennis nerds could even understand what was going on. Aside from the flashes from Agassi, the game had one star in Sampras and was completely unipolar.

Hate to say this, but the Williams sisters saved tennis and carried it until Federer emerged and then gave way to the Big 3 Era.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
I saw Becker live in 2007 or so, he played exib vs Nestor at the opening day of Toronto masters.
Afterwards Ancic played vs Dancevic 1st rd match. Gap in hitting power was astounding.
I had a feeling as a club player i could outrally Becker how bad it looked.

Funny thing he looked old and slow at 40 and now we have Federer at that age competing for Slams
Becker is bad example. He didn’t age well.
 

Mike Sams

Legend
Watching the old days of McEnroe, Lendel and Conors, I think Nadal would annihilate all 3 of these guys all on the same day at the French.
 

1stVolley

Professional
Yes, but also evolution.

Watch Sampras play is eye-opening. The backhand that seemed like a laser-guided missile back then looks very awkward now as he tends to stand up/dump out of the shot, you can see his shoulders just pop right up on contact. Contrast that with 1H'ers today who keep their entire bodies still through the shot and it does look just...antique.

Even old Fed matches look weird, he moves well but hits everything so upright, he looks every bit like a 90s player before he became Fedr.
You know, this sounds exactly how a modern classical music listener might respond to the music and the instruments of earlier music periods. Compare, for example, the early version of the piano, the fortepiano, with the modern concert grand. The former sounds tinny and has little bass resonance compared to the latter. Certainly the modern grand can play louder and is more suitable for concerted music in a large, 2,000+ seat, auditorium. Does that make it better than the fortepiano. Not really. Modern music is not better than early music. The instruments can play with a greater compass, sometimes louder, but that isn't better, just different.

The same thing can be said of recent tennis players vs those of the early Open Era (or earlier periods). Today's players can run faster and hit faster on average. They can even beat their older compatriots using the equipment existing in their respective eras. I would argue that this does not make them better. It is that today's tennis is different. Baseline play has replaced serve and volley. We have gained something. And we have lost something. Same thing in music. The modern concert grand has gained more range and resonance. It has lost delicacy and the ability to play with the woodwind in a certain way. Not better. Different.
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
endless servebotting is really boring too, though.

I like the "Big Game" or the "Beautiful Game" more than most, but I do remember when I was a teenager having to read the endless self-conscious existential fretting from sportswriters about the plummeting ratings and declining interest.

The metrics were abysmal, points were so short that only tennis nerds could even understand what was going on. Aside from the flashes from Agassi, the game had one star in Sampras and was completely unipolar.

Hate to say this, but the Williams sisters saved tennis and carried it until Federer emerged and then gave way to the Big 3 Era.
Call me what you will but I actually enjoy servebotting, especially when the bot digs him/herself out of a 0-40, 15-40 hole with consecutive unreturnables.

Plus the degree of servebotting in the '90s is really overblown. Only an Edberg or Rafter looked to come in everywhere on every point, and while Wimbledon was admittedly S&Vers' playground even a bot like Krajicek stayed back plenty in the '96 final vs. a baseliner in Washington and none other than Pete and Goran had more winners off the ground than at the net in their '98 final. Even most hardcore fans didn't have/watch a lot of live coverage back then and their moaning about the supposed lack of baseline play in the '90s is more a regurgitated-ad-nauseam talking point than anything else.

Becker is bad example. He didn’t age well.
Apart from Kafelnikov (though he seems to have dropped a few lbs of late) and clear injury-ridden cases like Lendl (and Jimbo to a lesser extent) I can't think of another former pro who's aged less gracefully than Boris. Definitely not the best example for this my-boys-are-better-than-yours "discussion."

Besides you absolutely have no clue if you really think Boris friggin' Becker in his prime would yield to the likes of Ancic and Dencevic in power. It's debatable whether even a Delpo or Soderling would be able to outhit him, LOL.
 

Swingmaster

Rookie

This one? Very crisp hitting and one of the rare times the crowd was for Federer's opponent.
Yeah, that one. Kind of a golden light to it. Not only is it crisp hitting from Agassi (and Fed), but his body movements were so calm, if you know I’m saying. Guys like Nadal and Djoker, of course they’re incredible, unbelievable, but they look like they’re working so freakin hard on every shot. Limbs flailing around like they’ve been shot. Mouths gaping. Again, it’s amazing, but there’s something about it that’s a little off putting. Less relaxing to watch, more stressful, though of course, impressive.
 

Milanez82

Rookie
Call me what you will but I actually enjoy servebotting, especially when the bot digs him/herself out of a 0-40, 15-40 hole with consecutive unreturnables.

Plus the degree of servebotting in the '90s is really overblown. Only an Edberg or Rafter looked to come in everywhere on every point, and while Wimbledon was admittedly S&Vers' playground even a bot like Krajicek stayed back plenty in the '96 final vs. a baseliner in Washington and none other than Pete and Goran had more winners off the ground than at the net in their '98 final. Even most hardcore fans didn't have/watch a lot of live coverage back then and their moaning about the supposed lack of baseline play in the '90s is more a regurgitated-ad-nauseam talking point than anything else.



Apart from Kafelnikov (though he seems to have dropped a few lbs of late) and clear injury-ridden cases like Lendl (and Jimbo to a lesser extent) I can't think of another former pro who's aged less gracefully than Boris. Definitely not the best example for this my-boys-are-better-than-yours "discussion."

Besides you absolutely have no clue if you really think Boris friggin' Becker in his prime would yield to the likes of Ancic and Dencevic in power. It's debatable whether even a Delpo or Soderling would be able to outhit him, LOL.
Yeah sure you are full of clue
And delusional
Athletes are stronger quicker bigger
Like the other user said, Rafa would eat for breakfast those clay court specialists of earlier era's
 
I like watching late 90's early 2000's more- more variety, personality, and of course US had players in contention. And more competition to win at each venue- yes the big guys won but they it didn't feel like they dominated like they do now.

I also liked the more serve speeds and camera angles then.

Tennis misses out- they have more stats than ever, but rarely share any of them: rpm, ball speed, %UE forehand/backhand, etc. RPM and trajectory of serves. And slow mo/break down of shots. That could be good (they certainly have time between points). All stuff that golf, NFL, baseball etc do more and more of.
 

TheGhostOfAgassi

Talk Tennis Guru
Just like all other tennis fans, I’ve been watching a lot of replays of old Grand Slam finals and semifinals on the Tennis Channel and YouTube since the shutdown of Pro tournaments in March. I am in my fifties and grew up watching Borg, McEnroe, Connors, Lendl, Becker, Sampras, Edberg, Agassi etc. before watching today‘s players like Federer, Djokovic, Nadal etc. In fact, I was a big fan of McEnroe in the Eighties and Sampras in the Nineties and definitely liked their serve-and-volley style at that time. However, when I watched replays of old matches from the Eighties/Nineties including classics like Borg/McEnroe 1980, Edberg/Becker 1989, Sampras/Agassi 1995/1999, Sampras/Rafter 2000 etc., I just did not enjoy them at all compared to watching epic Federer/Nadal, Nadal/Djokovic and Djokovic/Federer matches from the last fifteen years. Does anyone else feel the same way?

The matches from the Eighties/Nineties on quicker courts (including faster grass at Wimbledon) seem like servebot tennis (even a baseliner like Agassi has so many service winners against Sampras) and the passing shots are so inferior before poly strings. The groundstroke styles pre-dating modern ATP technique seem so outdated and quirky/awkward with so little topspin and angles. Watching these old strokes in Grand Slam epic finals from 20-30 years ago looks likes watching club-level players with bad technique these days. The movement and footwork and level of defense seems so bad compared to modern tennis. Even though I grew up watching those players and liked serve-and-volleyers battling baseliners in those days, I feel like the quality of shot-making, athleticism, defense, building points from the baseline etc. has improved so much in the 21st century that for me, matches from the Eighties/Nineties are not enjoyable anymore. Do others feel the same after being forced to watch classic match replays on TV in the last few months?

I have never been someone to complain about the slowing down of courts and have always enjoyed watching high-level modern players compete even with different styles like Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Del Potro, Wawrinka etc. I like watching long baseline rallies or points being finished at the net as long as the technique and shot-making is great. I don’t like watching servebots like Isner, Karlovic, Opelka etc. and Nineties tennis had so many servebots at Wimbledon in particular that the major tournaments including Wimbledon made the business decision to slow down courts to get more viewers. Tennis is way more popular now everywhere except in the US than it was in the past and I don’t see the tournaments speeding up courts anytime soon. After watching all these replays of old matches. I’m thankful for that. I am also happy that players with quirky-looking flat groundstrokes like Connors and McEnroe cannot make it even to the college level these days as they frankly now look ugly to me. I would much rather watch Federer’s forehand, Wawrinka’s backhand, Djokovic‘s backhand, Thiem’s groundstrokes etc. and the movement and defense of modern players along with less service aces and less volleys. The modern players may not serve-and-volley anymore but most of them finish points well at the net when they get short balls and I do not bemoan the reduced effectiveness of net play when everything else has become so much more aesthetically pleasing.

I don’t think this is a controversial opinion if you watch classic matches and modern epics with an open mind, but I am sure that there will be many who disagree.
Agree.
It’s so disappointing watching 90s and older tennis matches replays... cause it’s a bit boring... tennis has evolved and more action and power now, more finesse.
 

Swingmaster

Rookie
I like watching late 90's early 2000's more- more variety, personality, and of course US had players in contention. And more competition to win at each venue- yes the big guys won but they it didn't feel like they dominated like they do now.

I also liked the more serve speeds and camera angles then.

Tennis misses out- they have more stats than ever, but rarely share any of them: rpm, ball speed, %UE forehand/backhand, etc. RPM and trajectory of serves. And slow mo/break down of shots. That could be good (they certainly have time between points). All stuff that golf, NFL, baseball etc do more and more of.
Something I’d like to see displayed is the likelihood of winning for a player at any given time. Like Federer with those two match points on his serve against Djoker. What were his odds? Maybe 95%? Of course it’d be using computer analytics by IBM Watson or whatever the hell.
 

Rosstour

Hall of Fame
You know, this sounds exactly how a modern classical music listener might respond to the music and the instruments of earlier music periods. Compare, for example, the early version of the piano, the fortepiano, with the modern concert grand. The former sounds tinny and has little bass resonance compared to the latter. Certainly the modern grand can play louder and is more suitable for concerted music in a large, 2,000+ seat, auditorium. Does that make it better than the fortepiano. Not really. Modern music is not better than early music. The instruments can play with a greater compass, sometimes louder, but that isn't better, just different.

The same thing can be said of recent tennis players vs those of the early Open Era (or earlier periods). Today's players can run faster and hit faster on average. They can even beat their older compatriots using the equipment existing in their respective eras. I would argue that this does not make them better. It is that today's tennis is different. Baseline play has replaced serve and volley. We have gained something. And we have lost something. Same thing in music. The modern concert grand has gained more range and resonance. It has lost delicacy and the ability to play with the woodwind in a certain way. Not better. Different.
This tensions exists in every discipline/hobby and is the reason that vinyl records outsold CDs last year IIRC. I think music may be an imperfect example because there is no scoring, and there is a universal language underpinning it. Anyone can, at any time, use or reproduce a fortepiano. That's not gone.

But, the fortepiano wasn't used because it sounded better. It was used because it was what was available at the time.

This debate has been playing out in F1 since I started watching F1. The older folks hate the newer cars because the reliance on aero grip has arguably decreased the role of driver skill when the cars were more about mechanical grip (tire and suspension).

Call me what you will but I actually enjoy servebotting, especially when the bot digs him/herself out of a 0-40, 15-40 hole with consecutive unreturnables.
I like it too but we are tennis players, probably pretty decent ones, who can appreciate one stroke for the work of art that it is.

Casual fans cannot connect with rallies under 5 strokes unless you are Monfils or Kyrgios.
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
Yeah sure you are full of clue
And delusional
Athletes are stronger quicker bigger
Like the other user said, Rafa would eat for breakfast those clay court specialists of earlier era's
Yeah, I'm sure I need to get a clue from the same genius that posted this gem:

I saw Becker live in 2007 or so, he played exib vs Nestor at the opening day of Toronto masters.
Afterwards Ancic played vs Dancevic 1st rd match. Gap in hitting power was astounding.
I had a feeling as a club player i could outrally Becker how bad it looked.

Funny thing he looked old and slow at 40 and now we have Federer at that age competing for Slams
So a club player would outrally an ATG, let alone any pro. "[D]elusional" doesn't begin to describe it.

I like it too but we are tennis players, probably pretty decent ones, who can appreciate one stroke for the work of art that it is.

Casual fans cannot connect with rallies under 5 strokes unless you are Monfils or Kyrgios.
You sure about that? See above. :happydevil:

I actually haven't picked up a racquet in a long time, but serving was basically the only thing I was good at (kinda like shooting was my only reliable skill in basketball, though I used to play it a lot more often) and maybe that's why I'm partial to servebots (though I've never developed what could even pass for competent volleys). Anyhoo I don't think lack of sophistication is the main culprit. Rather these youngsters grew up watching the Big 3, hence their attachment to the younger gens. Their preference for baseline rallies is a function of said attachment rather than an appreciation of tennis excellence.
 

Milanez82

Rookie
Yeah, I'm sure I need to get a clue from the same genius that posted this gem:



So a club player would outrally an ATG, let alone any pro. "[D]elusional" doesn't begin to describe it.



You sure about that? See above. :happydevil:

I actually haven't picked up a racquet in a long time, but serving was basically the only thing I was good at (kinda like shooting was my only reliable skill in basketball, though I used to play it a lot more often) and maybe that's why I'm partial to servebots (though I've never developed what could even pass for competent volleys). Anyhoo I don't think lack of sophistication is the main culprit. Rather these youngsters grew up watching the Big 3, hence their attachment to the younger gens. Their preference for baseline rallies is a function of said attachment rather than an appreciation of tennis excellence.
It's a figure of speech bud to portray how things looked
Enjoy the art of serve botting since that's as far as your tennis excellence can reach
 

Rosstour

Hall of Fame
Anyhoo I don't think lack of sophistication is the main culprit. Rather these youngsters grew up watching the Big 3, hence their attachment to the younger gens. Their preference for baseline rallies is a function of said attachment rather than an appreciation of tennis excellence.
Or, the advancements in racquet & string tech, combined with the surface slowdown of the major tournaments, produced players like Nadal and Djokovic, because the advantages of S&V were blunted.
 

Robert F

Semi-Pro
Tennis of the past had great variety and more contrast.
Tennis of today has great athleticism, but much less contrast.

Unfortunately, with the ultra-professionalization of tennis, I think more players are trained to play high percentage tennis, combined with other factors this makes most players styles look similar.

Tennis of the past had players willing to try other strategies because they didn't have all the weapons of today. Watching some of the old matches, a lot of the older guys wouldn't/couldn't put away approach shots, instead they'd drive the ball and then have to volley and that would create more fun points. Today, many players can put away approach shots, so they don't have as much need to volley. Both styles are fun.

If you got rid of poly, you might get more volleying around, but I think I'd also miss some of the incredible groundie winners and passes.

My gut tells me that there are probably more fun matches to watch in the old days, but when you get the big 3 to play each other they are able to encapsulate athleticism and variety.
 
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