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 .

crimson87

Rookie
Vilas was a thing in the 70s and 80s. He won some tournaments here and there I believe. I don't think he was inferior to modern players from a fitness standpoint. NCAA Give him Nadal s Babolat and would make RG SF on a consistent basis.

Johny Mac had different style. Less suited to the modern game but o think he could win.
 

CHillTennis

Professional
I think a better question would be: could Chuck McKinley win the 2022 NCAA title.

McKinley was a fantastic player. Very athletic. But more of an amateur than a pro.
 

mental midget

Hall of Fame
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.
there’s footage of fairly recent mac playing a challenger level player, definitely competitive, and mac holds his own…particularly impressive in his return abilities, was catching 115-120 serves VERY early…makes me think 1984 mac would win comfortably.
 
there’s footage of fairly recent mac playing a challenger level player, definitely competitive, and mac holds his own…particularly impressive in his return abilities, was catching 115-120 serves VERY early…makes me think 1984 mac would win comfortably.
What youtube match? Is it the one of him playing indoors at his academy?
 

BGod

G.O.A.T.
there’s footage of fairly recent mac playing a challenger level player, definitely competitive, and mac holds his own…particularly impressive in his return abilities, was catching 115-120 serves VERY early…makes me think 1984 mac would win comfortably.
Yup. People assume wooden racquet means no chance but I'm sure he could adjust quickly with just a smaller frame or maybe just same feel. I often wonder about 80s players if given the RF97.
 

mental midget

Hall of Fame
What youtube match? Is it the one of him playing indoors at his academy?
man i tried to find it again the other day, no luck…but yeah it was indoors, other guy was like a futures player or something? very high level player. match was about even, but macs ability to 1. return (unbelievable) and 2. handle heavy duty groundies (no issue, and surprising power with almost no swing) surprised me.

you tend to think of macs game as very touchy touchy, kind of fragile, not suited to the “modern game” i guess…but honestly, not that he was winning every point BUT he was easily handling some very heavy duty stuff with no issues whatsoever. talent was just obvious.

like i said, made me think how lopsided it would have been with mac 40 years younger. no contest.
 

mental midget

Hall of Fame
man i tried to find it again the other day, no luck…but yeah it was indoors, other guy was like a futures player or something? very high level player. match was about even, but macs ability to 1. return (unbelievable) and 2. handle heavy duty groundies (no issue, and surprising power with almost no swing) surprised me.

you tend to think of macs game as very touchy touchy, kind of fragile, not suited to the “modern game” i guess…but honestly, not that he was winning every point BUT he was easily handling some very heavy duty stuff with no issues whatsoever. talent was just obvious.

like i said, made me think how lopsided it would have been with mac 40 years younger. no contest.

this is the clip
 
I think it would be close but I got Mac. If he got a good draw, that he could play himself into he would have a great chance. His biggest problem would be the heavy ball he would receive from his opponents forehands. He would struggle to get to neutral on returns leaving him open to the serve plus one. I think with the racket technology difference it would be close. But I think his toughness and the fact that he is not going to shank 2 forehands into the fence in a row or double fault 3 times in a game, gives me faith in him.
 

hoodjem

G.O.A.T.
NCAA are basically Challenger level at best.
Yep.

If you look at a list of NCAA champions and see how many turned pro, then factor in how long it takes them to become competitive (with very few exceptions it takes at least a year or two) on the tour, this is pretty much true.
 
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jrepac

Hall of Fame
man i tried to find it again the other day, no luck…but yeah it was indoors, other guy was like a futures player or something? very high level player. match was about even, but macs ability to 1. return (unbelievable) and 2. handle heavy duty groundies (no issue, and surprising power with almost no swing) surprised me.

you tend to think of macs game as very touchy touchy, kind of fragile, not suited to the “modern game” i guess…but honestly, not that he was winning every point BUT he was easily handling some very heavy duty stuff with no issues whatsoever. talent was just obvious.

like i said, made me think how lopsided it would have been with mac 40 years younger. no contest.
yah, gonna watch it below. But younger folks who never saw Mac live watch a few videos and think the guy has no ground game, which couldn't be farther from the truth! Mac played all the way through to Sampras and Agassi, so it's not like he was in some dinosaur era. Not to mention (which I have many times) his wins against Borg, Connors and Lendl, 3 guys who are on the 'best of baseliners' list. He was able to deftly handle their power, block returns and quickly scramble to net, particularly behind his incredible serving.

AFTER WATCHING VIDEO: Yeah, my opinion is unchanged; perhaps reinforced. While Mac's footspeed is a liability, he's striking the ball awfully well when he is in position. Plus, the volleying is as sublime as it ever was. Really interesting to watch the trajectory of his strokes vs. the other guy. Much flatter! And how old is Mac here? 60's? Give him back his youth and there is no chance this guy beats him or is even close. Let's trot out 70yr old Connors next w/his 2 metal hips and see how he does....today's players never faced those kind of strokes.
 
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Olli Jokinen

Professional
yah, gonna watch it below. But younger folks who never saw Mac live watch a few videos and think the guy has no ground game, which couldn't be farther from the truth! Mac played all the way through to Sampras and Agassi, so it's not like he was in some dinosaur era. Not to mention (which I have many times) his wins against Borg, Connors and Lendl, 3 guys who are on the 'best of baseliners' list. He was able to deftly handle their power, block returns and quickly scramble to net, particularly behind his incredible serving.

AFTER WATCHING VIDEO: Yeah, my opinion is unchanged; perhaps reinforced. While Mac's footspeed is a liability, he's striking the ball awfully well when he is in position. Plus, the volleying is as sublime as it ever was. Really interesting to watch the trajectory of his strokes vs. the other guy. Much flatter! And how old is Mac here? 60's? Give him back his youth and there is no chance this guy beats him or is even close. Let's trot out 70yr old Connors next w/his 2 metal hips and see how he does....today's players never faced those kind of strokes.
McEnroe beat prime Becker, Lendl, and Edberg well after his own prime. Anyone think college players could beat those guys?
 

big ted

Legend
whats special about mac is you can tell he tries to do something with every ball he hits..
unlike alot of players today who look like they just hit it back until they get an opening..
mac makes openings
 

mental midget

Hall of Fame
yah, gonna watch it below. But younger folks who never saw Mac live watch a few videos and think the guy has no ground game, which couldn't be farther from the truth! Mac played all the way through to Sampras and Agassi, so it's not like he was in some dinosaur era. Not to mention (which I have many times) his wins against Borg, Connors and Lendl, 3 guys who are on the 'best of baseliners' list. He was able to deftly handle their power, block returns and quickly scramble to net, particularly behind his incredible serving.

AFTER WATCHING VIDEO: Yeah, my opinion is unchanged; perhaps reinforced. While Mac's footspeed is a liability, he's striking the ball awfully well when he is in position. Plus, the volleying is as sublime as it ever was. Really interesting to watch the trajectory of his strokes vs. the other guy. Much flatter! And how old is Mac here? 60's? Give him back his youth and there is no chance this guy beats him or is even close. Let's trot out 70yr old Connors next w/his 2 metal hips and see how he does....today's players never faced those kind of strokes.
yeah honestly, movement is the only thing holding him back in this vid. if he's there...he does something with it. 2nd serve a bit of a liability here too but i mean, yeah...60+ in this vid i think, and that other guy's gotta be like 6'2 at least, he's a horse.

and upon watching it myself for the umpteenth time...volleying a given, but...his returning is kind of terrifying honestly, standing like, inside the baseline almost and just catching it so cleanly. crazy.
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
yeah honestly, movement is the only thing holding him back in this vid. if he's there...he does something with it. 2nd serve a bit of a liability here too but i mean, yeah...60+ in this vid i think, and that other guy's gotta be like 6'2 at least, he's a horse.

and upon watching it myself for the umpteenth time...volleying a given, but...his returning is kind of terrifying honestly, standing like, inside the baseline almost and just catching it so cleanly. crazy.
Mac's return game was vastly underrated...I think only because Connors was in his era, honestly. Mac would block/catch those hard serves somehow and zip them right back. He had great eye/hand coordination and took the ball very early. I recall a commentator once saying his return looked like a half-volley. Guy was amazing. I always put him and Fed at the top of the skill sets...no offense to the other greats, but these guys did some pretty special things w/the ball.
 

socallefty

Legend
Would you expect an athlete from 1984 to win at the world championship level in any other sport? The technique, training, diet etc. have all progressed too much for that to be realistic.
 
But we're not talking about the world championship level. Thread is about the NCAAs. The question is, how far has the sport progressed, and is that enough for even the collegiate level to have eclipsed the pros of yore.

Pretty sure there's already been enough evidence that no, the top college players aren't near to that level yet.
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
Of course our resident dilettante is peddling the boilerplate "progression" nonsense and unable to see '84 Mac would absolutely toy with any NCAA kid, LOL. I knew the geezer is clueless but JFC.

To those who like to stay in reality, I highly recommend that clip posted by @mental midget in #58. Seriously, if you think that Mac with fresher legs wouldn't be a force to reckon with today, let alone humble a college kid, you seriously need to find yourself a different hobby.

In fact I can't imagine any 60-year-old playing the game better. I still remember Pistol saying about 10 years back he was "in awe" of how competitive Mac still was with younger legends on the senior tour. Looks like the guy hasn't lost much.
 
I remember a very big deal being made (rightly) about Mac being "the best 50-year-old tennis player who ever lived". So much more time has gone by and he still doesn't seem to be losing much.
 

mental midget

Hall of Fame
I remember a very big deal being made (rightly) about Mac being "the best 50-year-old tennis player who ever lived". So much more time has gone by and he still doesn't seem to be losing much.
i would not doubt that assessment. i can't think of anyone who does 'more with less', and other than age preventing him from getting where he needs to be sooner, stroke-wise, hands-wise...his game is like...eternal. just a very unique flavor of player.
 

big ted

Legend
I remember a very big deal being made (rightly) about Mac being "the best 50-year-old tennis player who ever lived". So much more time has gone by and he still doesn't seem to be losing much.
mayyybeeee connors would give him a run for his money... i remember connors beating mac in a '98 match when he was 48
 

big ted

Legend
This is no joke one of the most impressive clips I’ve seen in the modern era from anyone. The guy’s reflexes are frighteningly good, his returning is almost too good to be believed. He looks like he’s from another planet even at that age. Just a special special talent, a truly unique player.
i think alot of what he does is possible becuz his mechanics are so simple and he only uses one grip for everything


John McEnroe practice with Kyrgios (2018) - YouTube
 

Grafil Injection

Professional
i think alot of what he does is possible becuz his mechanics are so simple and he only uses one grip for everything


John McEnroe practice with Kyrgios (2018) - YouTube
This reminds me of David Gower playing cricket. It doesn't make sense, no one else can use the same technique, he seems to exist in his own slow-motion time-zone, and yet the results are indesputable. Some very rare people just cannot miss-time a ball.
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
I agree, that video of Mac at our/my age is crazy. Obviously he can't get to some of those balls but man that is nuts.

What I love is the hitting into the open court and moving forward and the serve and volley. They look just like I remember way back then.
 

mental midget

Hall of Fame
This is no joke one of the most impressive clips I’ve seen in the modern era from anyone. The guy’s reflexes are frighteningly good, his returning is almost too good to be believed. He looks like he’s from another planet even at that age. Just a special special talent, a truly unique player.
i know right? i would characterize his game as 'dismissive' of his opponent, in a way, as in 'why don't you just do it like this instead, it's a lot easier.'

btw i count ONE missed return when he's anywhere near the serve.
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
mayyybeeee connors would give him a run for his money... i remember connors beating mac in a '98 match when he was 48
yup...that was one of the last seniors matches he played.....few and far between after '98
I remember Mac making jokes about the seniors tour and then he wound up joining
and discovered that Connors was taking it seriously...playing to win
[perhaps he had some bets on himself on the side!]
 
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