Does Prime McEnroe with 1984 racquet/strings win the NCAAs in 2022?

Would Prime McEnroe with his 1984 racquet and strings win 2022 NCAAs?

  • Yes

    Votes: 26 65.0%
  • No

    Votes: 14 35.0%

  • Total voters
    40
  • Poll closed .

galain

Hall of Fame
I wouldn't bet against him.

'84 Mac is one of the best tennis players in history and if you brought him forward to today he'd be making the NCAA players face stuff they don't often have to deal with, being done better than anyone has ever done it.

He might get caught out by the power and spin but I think at his peak he'd shock a few people.
 

RyanRF

Professional
I'd bet on prime Mac due to how unfamiliar his style would be to current players. I think it'd be a great match to watch.

Probably wouldn't bet on prime Borg.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Peak Mac would destroy the 2 most recent world #1 players. Medvedev and Alcaraz, because he would easily feast on their return positioning 20 feet behind the baseline. He’d just serve wide and angle off volley to the open court.

So yeah, he’d do ok in ncaa’s.
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
I'd bet on prime Mac due to how unfamiliar his style would be to current players. I think it'd be a great match to watch.

Probably wouldn't bet on prime Borg.
seriously. who is playing serve and volley at that level? No one. Folks yapping about spin....well, he played Lendl and Borg who had plenty of it. At his best, his serve was unreadable and he closed to the net super fast. No one plays like that nowadays.
 
Mac's racket is fine for the style he played, even today. He faced some of the hardest servers in history - Sampras, Becker, Tanner. etc.
I think he could win the NCAA if transformed from 1984.
 
As others have said, using a racquet from 1984 doesn't matter so much if your game is to rush the net
He can rush the net all he wants but the pace and spin of the ball coming at him now is greater than what he faced in 1984. I suspect it’ll be much more difficult for him to handle these guys now if he somehow time traveled from 1984 to now.
 

NicoMK

Hall of Fame
I've never seen anyone else playing at 1984 Mac's level, except for Henri Leconte when he won the Davis Cup in 1991. In terms of pure talent, they're the best that I have ever seen. So I voted yes.

Even if he lost, it's unbelievable tennis.

 

Olli Jokinen

Professional
Borg, McEnroe, and Lendl would win for sure. Their raw talent is miles ahead of what snotty college players can deliver. I watched pro tennis live in the '80s, and both physically and powerwise those guys were still scary good back then. You don't think prime Tyson would beat up college boxers today?
 
McEnroe's game had tremendous horsepower. His touch was a function of lower body control through his strong thighs. His serve greatness was because of his ability to maintain balance through his aggressively tilted motion
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
He can rush the net all he wants but the pace and spin of the ball coming at him now is greater than what he faced in 1984. I suspect it’ll be much more difficult for him to handle these guys now if he somehow time traveled from 1984 to now.
I'm not sure too many guys hit passing shots much faster or harder than Connors/Borg/Lendl. Besides, it's a matter of cutting off the angle at net...Mac was superb at that. You want to talk about rallying from the backcourt, perhaps he could be overpowered. But he was pretty crafty even then at blunting the force. His S&V game was pretty exceptional, bar none
 
I'm not sure too many guys hit passing shots much faster or harder than Connors/Borg/Lendl. Besides, it's a matter of cutting off the angle at net...Mac was superb at that. You want to talk about rallying from the backcourt, perhaps he could be overpowered. But he was pretty crafty even then at blunting the force. His S&V game was pretty exceptional, bar none
It’s all conjecture anyway. But I think that 1984 time traveling mac will get overwhelmed by the better technology and stronger and taller guys. However, if you gave him a few years to adapt to the current technology, he might do well in the NCAA.
 
I think that McEnroe would win. There is a huge gap between #1 in the world and the NCAA's. Most of the time it seems that the NCAA champs who get the wild card into the US Open lose in the first round. McEnroe's record was amazing in 1984 and that Dunlap racquet is not radically different than today's racquets; especially in the hands of a top pro. I am sure McEnroe beat plenty of tall, strong guys. So teleporting the 1984 McEnroe to the 2022 NCAA's, McEnroe would win--easily in my view.
 
Heh...he wasn't overwhelmed by Borg, Connors or Lendl, but the 2022 NCAA champ would be too much for him.
Um, no.
The young top college kids today with their modern rackets and strings will hit harder and with more spin than borg, Connors, etc. That max Dunlop racket mac used is way different than these powerful stiffer rackets we have today. That makes a huge huge difference.
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
The young top college kids today with their modern rackets and strings will hit harder and with more spin than borg, Connors, etc. That max Dunlop racket mac used is way different than these powerful stiffer rackets we have today. That makes a huge huge difference.
And, someone like Connors would eat up the pace, regardless of racket. These guys were great not based on how hard they hit or the amount of spin. Keep in mind Connors played with his archaic, steel T-2000 well into the 80's and was in the Top 4 in the world. Granted, he too had to evolve eventually to modern frames, but great players are great not based just on equipment. And, Mac's Dunlop 200G racquet was pretty sweet and cutting edge. Steffi played with it and Martina painted it black and gave it a go at one point. We are not talking about a wooden frame here.
 
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Pheasant

Hall of Fame
Put McEnroe on grass against any of those college kids, even with that garbage racket that he used back then, and he'd carve those college kids up. He'd hit that spinny lefty serve out wide, then charge the net and put everything away for easy winners all day long. All he'd need is one break per set and it's over. I'm taking 1984 Mac 10-0 in matches.

A clay match would be much more interesting. Mac would lose some of those 10 matches, due to that high bounce and his lack of modern conditioning.
 

Herald

Hall of Fame
Yes^yes. Athletically he'll be behind, but the sheer intimidation of dealing with someone as purely talented and magical at net, with the ability to hit astonishing shots at the baseline when necessary would get him to the quarters at least. If this is 1984 Mac with all the confidence from his wins, that confidence and his talent gets him the W.
 

Jack the Hack

Hall of Fame
The inverse question is whether the NCAA champion from 2022 could travel back in time and win the 1984 US Open with their "modern" racquets and strings?

Ben Shelton was the 2022 NCAA champ. He appears to be using a Yonex VCORE Pro 97 HD strung with the red polyester Solinco Outlast. Shelton has a 3-3 record at the main ATP Tour level and is currently ranked #172 in the world. He lost in the 1st round of the US Open this year.

If you really think that if Ben Shelton was magically transported to 1984 and would be a Slam champ and #1 in the world just because of his fitness, racquets, and strings, I'm afraid you don't know the game very well.

For those of us that have been around to witness tennis in the 1980s through to today, the concept in this thread is very disrespectful to the talent of the greats like McEnroe, Borg, Lendl, Agassi, Wilander, Sampras, Chang, etc. 1984 Mac was the greatest player in the world in 1984, at the peak of his powers, and he had one of the top seasons in the history of the game that year. That version of McEnroe would destroy these college kids today.
 

CHillTennis

Professional
Put McEnroe on grass against any of those college kids, even with that garbage racket that he used back then, and he'd carve those college kids up. He'd hit that spinny lefty serve out wide, then charge the net and put everything away for easy winners all day long. All he'd need is one break per set and it's over. I'm taking 1984 Mac 10-0 in matches.

A clay match would be much more interesting. Mac would lose some of those 10 matches, due to that high bounce and his lack of modern conditioning.
Modern conditioning?

McEnroe reached the finals of the French Open in 1984 and was just a few games away from beating Lendl (the fittest player on tour) in straight sets.

McEnroe has played against guys at the NCCA level when he was in his 40s.

They could barely win points against him.

There is absolutely no way in hell that he loses any matches to these guys while in his prime.
 

CHillTennis

Professional
My friends and dad all said prime mac wouldn't win 2022 NCAAs but prime Sampras would, prime Courier, they were split on. Prime Agassi, yes.
If the 2022 NCAAs are so good then why aren't they pros?

Why aren't they winning grand slam titles?

Why is it that 98% of them will never achieve an ATP ranking higher than 2,000?
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
The inverse question is whether the NCAA champion from 2022 could travel back in time and win the 1984 US Open with their "modern" racquets and strings?

Ben Shelton was the 2022 NCAA champ. He appears to be using a Yonex VCORE Pro 97 HD strung with the red polyester Solinco Outlast. Shelton has a 3-3 record at the main ATP Tour level and is currently ranked #172 in the world. He lost in the 1st round of the US Open this year.

If you really think that if Ben Shelton was magically transported to 1984 and would be a Slam champ and #1 in the world just because of his fitness, racquets, and strings, I'm afraid you don't know the game very well.

For those of us that have been around to witness tennis in the 1980s through to today, the concept in this thread is very disrespectful to the talent of the greats like McEnroe, Borg, Lendl, Agassi, Wilander, Sampras, Chang, etc. 1984 Mac was the greatest player in the world in 1984, at the peak of his powers, and he had one of the top seasons in the history of the game that year. That version of McEnroe would destroy these college kids today.
Great point! No way could they travel back and time using their current technique and use that equipment. With those tiny sweet spots they would need to change to a more conservative grip and flatten their strokes and that would take forever to learn. I couldn't even imagine those guys trying to use today's strokes with an old JK autograph.
 
Modern conditioning?

McEnroe reached the finals of the French Open in 1984 and was just a few games away from beating Lendl (the fittest player on tour) in straight sets.

McEnroe has played against guys at the NCCA level when he was in his 40s.

They could barely win points against him.

There is absolutely no way in hell that he loses any matches to these guys while in his prime.
and there's this annoying myth that McEnroe wasn't well conditioned. He played high school soccer so he probably ran more as an adolescent than today's aspirant pros
 
Well, it's relative. No one thinks Mac was working out like peak Lendl, or that he was anywhere near consistently focused throughout his career.

And high-school soccer.. it's a general indicator, sure, but there's a huge variance across leagues/programs and it's a hell of a jump to assume it means ATP-level conditioning.
 

BGod

G.O.A.T.
Yeah it's not like Borg's comeback from 82. He admitted he just wanted to play, without practice.

We're taking peak McEnroe.

McEnroe might not exactly slay but he'd win. NCAA are basically Challenger level at best.
 
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