Great thread idea. Out of the 12 most successful open era players who plays in a similar style?

SamprasisGOAT

Professional
Everyone knows the 12 most successful butt here gos anyway

1. Federer
2. Nadal
3. Djokovic
4. Sampras
5. Borg
6. Agassi
7. Lendl
8. Connors
9. McEnroe
10. Wilander
11. Edberg
12. Becker

So here’s me trying to match them up stylistically

Federer-Agassi before I did this I never thought of them as similar but they are both attacking baseliners who like to take the ball early. It’s a struggle to match Federer up with anyone really.
Nadal-Borg very similar
Djokovic-Lendl very similar
Sampras-Becker very similar
Connors-Wilander the worst pick here but had no choice
McEnroe-Edberg pretty close style wise both played serve volley feel touch based.

I know that they are all different players but when you think about it the top 12 players ever aren’t all that different.
 

tonylg

Hall of Fame
Borg and Wilander - Mats was a mini-borg. Both had clay games and did an amazing job of adapting to faster surfaces. I forgot Lendl and will throw him in here because he was also a baseliner who learned to volley, just not as successfully as the other two.

Connors and Agassi - Similar stature with compact two handed backhands before it became the norm. Both had great ROS and enjoyed success against players who on paper had bigger games.

Federer, Nadal and Djokovic - Fed may have started out as an all court player and he occasionally shows glimpses of those skiils, but by the late 2000s poly had created the "modern game" and they are all just big spin grinders now.

McEnroe, Edberg, Sampras and Becker - True all court players rather than baseliners who learned to volley. Each with their own strengths and weaknesses but all stand clear of the others due to the way they consistently played an attacking game.
 

BTURNER

Legend
how are you measuring 'successful'? Doesn't anyone who won a major prior to 1974 manage to make into this category?
 

Tshooter

G.O.A.T.
Weakly disguised GOAT thread. 8-B

The "12 most successful" that "everyone knows" I presume were listed randomly and not in order of "most success."

Butt [sic] maybe not ?

PS, so long as we're ranking our own material, great post by me. (y)
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
I remember after he won the French as a teen and people made that suggestion he didn't like it -- at all. :giggle:
Rightly so. He soon went on to show he wasn't anybody's mini-anything with 8 Slams to his name won, unlike Borg, on all 3 surfaces. Just couldn't hack it at Wimbledon for some odd reason (in sharp contrast to Borg).
 

KG1965

Legend
Federer-Sampras-Becker
Nadal-Vilas
Borg-Wilander-Lendl
Courier-Djokovic
Connors-Agassi-Hewitt
Laver-McEnroe
Newcombe-Edberg
Rosewall-Nastase
 
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jrepac

Hall of Fame
Borg and Wilander - Mats was a mini-borg. Both had clay games and did an amazing job of adapting to faster surfaces. I forgot Lendl and will throw him in here because he was also a baseliner who learned to volley, just not as successfully as the other two.

Connors and Agassi - Similar stature with compact two handed backhands before it became the norm. Both had great ROS and enjoyed success against players who on paper had bigger games.

Federer, Nadal and Djokovic - Fed may have started out as an all court player and he occasionally shows glimpses of those skiils, but by the late 2000s poly had created the "modern game" and they are all just big spin grinders now.

McEnroe, Edberg, Sampras and Becker - True all court players rather than baseliners who learned to volley. Each with their own strengths and weaknesses but all stand clear of the others due to the way they consistently played an attacking game.
Agree with all but the Fed/Nadal/Djoker combo. Are they really that similar? Fed is kind of in a class of his own. If forced, I'd put him with Mac/Edberg/Becker. And, are Nadal and Djoker more like Connors and Agassi? as you say they are grinders that get everything back? Djoker on the return game is closer to JC and AA, and Nadal is the ultimate grinder. You could also make the case for putting Nadal with Borg and Wilander.
 

tonylg

Hall of Fame
Agree with all but the Fed/Nadal/Djoker combo. Are they really that similar? Fed is kind of in a class of his own. If forced, I'd put him with Mac/Edberg/Becker. And, are Nadal and Djoker more like Connors and Agassi? as you say they are grinders that get everything back? Djoker on the return game is closer to JC and AA, and Nadal is the ultimate grinder. You could also make the case for putting Nadal with Borg and Wilander.
I agree that Nadal definitely has similarities to Borg and Wilander. Also that, except for stature, the older Agassi got the more he played like Djokovic. I would not put Connors with any modern players though.

More than any of that though, I really do think Federer, Nadal and Djokovic play a similar style, because that's the modern homogenised game. Had Fed been born 20 years earlier, he would certainly be grouped with Edberg, Becker and McEnroe, but that style of play is now dead.

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
I agree that Nadal definitely has similarities to Borg and Wilander. Also that, except for stature, the older Agassi got the more he played like Djokovic. I would not put Connors with any modern players though.

More than any of that though, I really do think Federer, Nadal and Djokovic play a similar style, because that's the modern homogenised game. Had Fed been born 20 years earlier, he would certainly be grouped with Edberg, Becker and McEnroe, but that style of play is now dead.

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
Well, of that group of 3, I'd say Fed is the most diverse of them, in terms of all court play. It's somewhat homogenized, but not totally. Until some guys start playing S&V again and winning...but I won't hold my breath with those heavy balls and thick grass courts. And slower hard courts as well vs. 30 years ago
 

tonylg

Hall of Fame
Well, of that group of 3, I'd say Fed is the most diverse of them, in terms of all court play.
Definitely, but although Fed has some of the best all court skills the game has ever seen, I think you have to group them on how they actually play and he now grinds virtually all the time.

It's really the only play these days.
 

clout

Hall of Fame
Federer is pretty similar to Sampras and Becker
Nadal is also quite similar to Borg and Connors
Djokovic is Agassi and Lendl...but a better version of them
McEnroe and Edberg also controlled the game using similar styles of play
 

King No1e

G.O.A.T.
Connors, Agassi, and Djokovic are the cleanest strikers, aggressive baseliners with GOAT returns and backhands.
Borg was the prototypical topspin clay-courter, a model that Nadal followed.
Lendl and Wilander were similar baseline grinders who rarely came forward to the net.
The "aggressive fast-court great" has evolved over time: McEnroe, Edberg, Becker, Sampras, and finally Federer. This type of player became increasingly power-oriented and more solid from the baseline (Federer is almost a baseline bot by 80's standards)
So I'd separate them into 3 categories:
Aggressive fast-courters: McEnroe, Edberg, Becker, Sampras, Federer
Defensive Baseliners: Borg, Lendl, Wilander, Nadal
Aggressive Baseliners: Connors, Agassi, Djokovic
 
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Olli Jokinen

Semi-Pro
Connors, Agassi, and Djokovic are the cleanest strikers, aggressive baseliners with GOAT returns and backhands.
Borg was the prototypical topspin clay-courter, a model that Nadal followed.
Lendl and Wilander were similar baseline grinders who rarely came forward to the net.
The "aggressive fast-court great" has evolved over time: McEnroe, Edberg, Becker, Sampras, and finally Federer. This type of player became increasingly power-oriented and more solid from the baseline (Federer is almost a baseline bot by 80's standards)
So I'd separate them into 3 categories:
Aggressive fast-courters: McEnroe, Edberg, Becker, Sampras, Federer
Defensive Baseliners: Borg, Lendl, Wilander, Nadal
Aggressive Baseliners: Connors, Agassi, Djokovic
Lendl was an aggressive baseliner.
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
Connors, Agassi, and Djokovic are the cleanest strikers, aggressive baseliners with GOAT returns and backhands.
Borg was the prototypical topspin clay-courter, a model that Nadal followed.
Lendl and Wilander were similar baseline grinders who rarely came forward to the net.
The "aggressive fast-court great" has evolved over time: McEnroe, Edberg, Becker, Sampras, and finally Federer. This type of player became increasingly power-oriented and more solid from the baseline (Federer is almost a baseline bot by 80's standards)
So I'd separate them into 3 categories:
Aggressive fast-courters: McEnroe, Edberg, Becker, Sampras, Federer
Defensive Baseliners: Borg, Lendl, Wilander, Nadal
Aggressive Baseliners: Connors, Agassi, Djokovic
This grouping makes good sense to me....
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
Re: Lendl, not in the same way Connors was, or even Agassi. Lendl actually played more aggressively on grass. He was not one to look for the midcourt ball to come in on, as JC did, or Agassi, later in his career.
 

PMChambers

Hall of Fame
Federer, Becker, Sampras - All court serve dependant

Nadal Borg - kind of baseline but Borg played fast court and S&V. On clay similar.

Djokovic Agassi, Lendl - baseline control point. Play closer to baseline.

Connors - no one, slice a lot always looking to go to net but not good enough serve to S&V.

McEnroe Edberg - S&V pure

Wilander - no one real all court. Nearly opportunist playing opponents weakness rather than his strength.
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
Federer, Becker, Sampras - All court serve dependant

Nadal Borg - kind of baseline but Borg played fast court and S&V. On clay similar.

Djokovic Agassi, Lendl - baseline control point. Play closer to baseline.

Connors - no one, slice a lot always looking to go to net but not good enough serve to S&V.

McEnroe Edberg - S&V pure

Wilander - no one real all court. Nearly opportunist playing opponents weakness rather than his strength.
RE: Connors, huh? Slice a LOT? He S&V'd quite a bit at Wimbledon, actually. And, he did play closer to the baseline. So, if anything, I'd put him with Djoker/Agassi/Lendl. Tho' I think Djoker and Lendl are more similar, where Connors & Agassi are more similar. They could all be considered 'aggressive' baseliners to varying degrees.
 

Rui Lopes

Rookie
Rightly so. He soon went on to show he wasn't anybody's mini-anything with 8 Slams to his name won, unlike Borg, on all 3 surfaces. Just couldn't hack it at Wimbledon for some odd reason (in sharp contrast to Borg).
First of all he didn´t won 8 slams , he won 7. Than the only reason Borg only won at Wimbledon And Garros , was because he never played a single time in Austrália , and in the US Open he played only a few times and every time he played there he was forced to play every match at night, which was something he hated , since he couldn´t see the ball straight..And on top of that he retired at the age of 26. He is not some guy that only won in two surfaces...
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
First of all he didn´t won 8 slams , he won 7.
Stand corrected. Thank you.

Than the only reason Borg only won at Wimbledon And Garros , was because he never played a single time in Austrália , and in the US Open he played only a few times and every time he played there he was forced to play every match at night, which was something he hated , since he couldn´t see the ball straight..And on top of that he retired at the age of 26. He is not some guy that only won in two surfaces...
He did play in Australia once (in 1974) but playing or not playing there was HIS choice. Fact remains he only won Slams on 2 surfaces, unlike Wilander.
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
Stand corrected. Thank you.



He did play in Australia once (in 1974) but playing or not playing there was HIS choice. Fact remains he only won Slams on 2 surfaces, unlike Wilander.
To be fair to Mats, he was a very versatile player...you cannot deny him that. Mats, Connors (and later Agassi) from that era were highly effective multi-surface guys...with Lendl not far behind. Borg did not lose at the USO only because of the lights....that's a bit of a stretch. He had his chances but was a bit unlucky....and squaring off against JC on clay when Bjorn was younger and JC peaking. Then having to deal with Mac on hard courts. I'd say same for Lendl...he had to square off against all time greats on a surface that he was least comfortable with AND was unlucky. It's not just about the number of slams...you have to look at their careers in the context of the period in which they played.
 

Rui Lopes

Rookie
To be fair to Mats, he was a very versatile player...you cannot deny him that. Mats, Connors (and later Agassi) from that era were highly effective multi-surface guys...with Lendl not far behind. Borg did not lose at the USO only because of the lights....that's a bit of a stretch. He had his chances but was a bit unlucky....and squaring off against JC on clay when Bjorn was younger and JC peaking. Then having to deal with Mac on hard courts. I'd say same for Lendl...he had to square off against all time greats on a surface that he was least comfortable with AND was unlucky. It's not just about the number of slams...you have to look at their careers in the context of the period in which they played.
I agree,
But Lendl had a great chance at Wimbledon against Pat Cash, and he still blew it...Kind of the same as my all time favourite, Edberg , blew is chance at the French loosing to Chang...It´s not just luck or unlucky , you have to grab those chances, even more when the competition is huge...
I believe that every player has the same ammount of luck during their careers , it´s those more important moments that make history , or not...
Edberg was unlucky loosing a final at the Australian , when he was ahead in the match against Lendl , and controling the whole thing , and than , bum , back injury...But loosing to Chang at the French with a break up in the fifth...He should be slapped that day...I´m pretty shure he did that to himself...And that moment , that lost title , would put him to the majority of the tennis fans , where i know he is, way above the ranking in the best of all times...
 
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jrepac

Hall of Fame
I agree,
But Lendl had a great chance at Wimbledon against Pat Cash, and he still blew it...Kind of the same as my all time favourite, Edberg , blew is chance at the French loosing to Chang...It´s not just luck or unlucky , you have to grab those chances, even more when the competition is huge...
I believe that every player has the same ammount of luck during their careers , it´s those more important moments that make history , or not...
Edberg was unlucky loosing a final at the Australian , when he was ahead in the match against Lendl , and controling the whole thing , and than , bum , back injury...But loosing to Chang at the French with a break up in the fifth...He should be slapped that day...I´m pretty shure he did that to himself...And that moment , that lost title , would put him to the majority of the tennis fans , where i know he is, way above the ranking in the best of all times...
Cash was in form before and during Wimbledon.....he reached the semis at Queens and then at W took out Wilander and Connors, no mean feat. So, I don't think it was a slam dunk for Lendl. Perhaps a better chance than the year before.....
 

Rui Lopes

Rookie
Cash was great on grass. In fact , before i watched Edberg play for the first time , Cash was my favourite , but still the one that Lendl should grab , even thought that playing a 17 years old Becker with no experience in Slams is a hard lost too. The diference is that Becker proved in the years to come , that he was one of the best of all time in grass. cash never did it...
 

Drob

Professional
Everyone knows the 12 most successful butt here gos anyway

1. Federer
2. Nadal
3. Djokovic
4. Sampras
5. Borg
6. Agassi
7. Lendl
8. Connors
9. McEnroe
10. Wilander
11. Edberg
12. Becker

So here’s me trying to match them up stylistically

Federer-Agassi before I did this I never thought of them as similar but they are both attacking baseliners who like to take the ball early. It’s a struggle to match Federer up with anyone really.
Nadal-Borg very similar
Djokovic-Lendl very similar
Sampras-Becker very similar
Connors-Wilander the worst pick here but had no choice
McEnroe-Edberg pretty close style wise both played serve volley feel touch based.

I know that they are all different players but when you think about it the top 12 players ever aren’t all that different.
LAVER? ROESEWALL? NEWCOMBE? MURRAY?
 

Drob

Professional
Everyone knows the 12 most successful butt here gos anyway

1. Federer
2. Nadal
3. Djokovic
4. Sampras
5. Borg
6. Agassi
7. Lendl
8. Connors
9. McEnroe
10. Wilander
11. Edberg
12. Becker

So here’s me trying to match them up stylistically

Federer-Agassi before I did this I never thought of them as similar but they are both attacking baseliners who like to take the ball early. It’s a struggle to match Federer up with anyone really.
Nadal-Borg very similar
Djokovic-Lendl very similar
Sampras-Becker very similar
Connors-Wilander the worst pick here but had no choice
McEnroe-Edberg pretty close style wise both played serve volley feel touch based.

I know that they are all different players but when you think about it the top 12 players ever aren’t all that different.
1. Roger and Novak
3. Laver
4. Nadal
5. Borg
6. Sampras
7. Lendl and McEnroe
9. Connors
10. Becker
11. Agassi
12. Rosewall
13. Newcombe
14. Murray
15. Edberg
16. Wilander
 
Notice all the top modern players have many similarities to Bjorn Borg. I see him as a bridge of sorts. Revolutionary.


 
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Drob

Professional
As to styles, very difficult question.

1. Laver/Sampras/Becker

Reason: First serve: (Sampras most consistent; Laver incredible when "on"; ditto Becker; Becker hardest second serve but subject to double faults; Laver cleaver 2nd serve but not of the very highest level; Sampras, very strong, reliable 2nd); backhand - Laver, one of first with the massive topspin backhand - one of most under-regarded shots in history); Becker, not the most consistent, but "Gawd"! could he peg that thing; Sampras similar to Becker but not quite the impact on the bh; forehand: Sampras overall and particularly off the run, a big weapon; Becker, strong, but not like Sampras; Laver, good forehand - great overall game - but his forehand from baseline might be his least impressive weapon; Overhead: ALL INCREDIBLE. Sampras "Slam Dunk" the style winner and maybe the psychological winner; Laver was over-the-moon, no doubt in part the result of probably hitting more overheads than anyone in history (save Gonzalez); Becker great, but not quite in class of the other two. S/V: When on, Laver the best, period. Period. But Rocket had his off moments. Becker second. Sampras third, but a close third to Becker. (Sampras would disagree and he might be right). Sampras more consistent s/v but less "offesnsive". Becker more spectacular. Offensive lob: Laver by a kilometer (kilometre). Touch (drop shot). Give it to Laver for his clay brilliance, but not really sure. Don't have enough Laver DVDs. From what I have read, say Laver clearly.

Conclusion:

Serve - Sampras

Backhand - Laver

Forehand - Sampras

Overhead - Laver barely over Sampras

Net - Three-way tie? No. Pete used it less often, but was so efficient. Maybe this gives him unfair %. Laver used whenever possible. His bread and butter and look at the results. Becker, in-between, but just not quite as steady as Pete. Going to say Laver/Sampras tie, albeit, they used it so differently.

Offensive Lob - Laver

Touch - can't say for sure, but very probably Laver.
 

Drob

Professional
So you think Murray is more successful then Becker edberg Wilander?

NOT BECKER BY ANY MEANS.

But, always versus Novak, Roger, Rafa (and sometimes Delpo) as his opponents:

3 Majors (2 Wimbledons)
8 Slam finals, and final in every Slam
1 ATP Finals
1 YEC No. 1
Two Olympic Gold Medals (prestige equivalent to WTF) So Three Slams and three WTF
11 Masters 1000s

Wilandar, I will leave for moment.

Edberg had to face Becker (10-25 and they are considered roughly equal rivals), Lendl, Sampras, Agassi, Courier (4-6), Stich (6-10),(Chang?), (Ivanisevic?), and over-the-hill Connors (6-6), and past-peak McEnroe (6-7)

Murray had Djokovic, Federer, Nadal, Warwinka, (del Potro all too occasionally), Roddick, Davydenko, Haas, Soderling, Tsonga, Ferrer, Cilic, Nishikori, Thiem.

No, I cannot say Murray superior to Edberg. (And if "beauty" is criterion, Stefan get the the nod easily). But is beauty our major criterion? Murray has to be included in this "styles comparison."

Then there is this little thing called the Davis Cup. Edberg, pretty much "choke city" at Davis Cup (at a time win D.C. was still indubitably a MAJOR MAJOR). Well, maybe he did well enough to be respectable by normal standards, but "choke" by standards of the greats.

Murray, on the other hand, a 30-3 D.C. singles record, THIRD best in history, and essentially single-handedly leading UK to Cup in 2015 with 8-0 singles and 3-0 doubles record and WGF hat-trick. Stefan ain't in it.

Still, I will rank Stefan a place or two above Andy (all-time, not just OE. To that extent I make a correction, and cede that you are right). I like Edberg's style, and he does have six Slams. But Murray deserves to be considered in this comparison of styles. Surprised you did not see that.
 
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Drob

Professional
Laver Rosewall and Newcombe were all in there prime pre open era so it’s better to leave them out because it doesn’t do there careers justice.

Newcombe?

5 of 7 Slams in Open Era plus WCT Finals in 1974 when still clearly considered a Slam. You tell me. (Oh, and banned from Wimbledon at his peak (1972) and boycotted Wimbledon by necessity at his peak (1973) (Newk won authentically Open USO in 1973 and WCT Finals in 1974 and defeated Connors at 1975 ASO finals). So, you tell me, please?
 

Drob

Professional
LAVER?

Laver Rosewall and Newcombe were all in there prime pre open era so it’s better to leave them out because it doesn’t do there careers justice.
No. 1 in first three years of Open Era. Arguably No. 1 in 1971.


Majors?

1968 Wimbledon
1968 US Pro
1968 French Pro

1969 CYCS

1970 TCC

1971 TCC

1971 Italian Open (effective clay court World Championship because "open" whereas French was not).

10 Majors in four seasons.


quasi majors or M1000 equivalents

1968 MSG
1968 PSW
1969 MSG Invitational
1969 US Pro Indoor
1969 US Pro
1969 Johannesburg
1969 Wembley
1970 US Pro Indooor
1970 Johannesburg
1970 Sydney Dunlop
1970 Wembley
1970 PSW
1971 Italian Open
1972 US Pro Indoor
1974 US Pro Indoor
1974 Las Vegas

17 quasi M1000s in seven seasons.


You tell me, please?
 

Drob

Professional
Notice all the top modern players have many similarities to Bjorn Borg. I see him as a bridge of sorts. Revolutionary.


Very good, thank you very much.

Borg started "it" Lendl upped it. Djokovic perfected it. Really, because Connors''s game could not possibly be replicated, Borg's was. Lendl was the key to bringing Borg's game into the technological age. Among the most famous followers of his style were or included: Jim Courier, Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick to some extent, Marat Safin and, or course, Novak (and, to a rather lesser degree Lendl acolyte Andy Murray). Thiem has some of this, but his back hand makes his game different. Even Guga Kuerten, for all that his style seemed unique, was following the Lendl playbook, when you break it down.

I see Djokovic more as the latest progression, rather than Nadal. There is something more extreme, more radical in Nadal's whip-around. I think watching your video of Borg and Nadal, you can see what I mean. What "it" means, I am not sure. Not a good enough tennis technician nor physicists to say why the Nadal whip is more effective than any other.
 

Drob

Professional
Weakly disguised GOAT thread. 8-B

The "12 most successful" that "everyone knows" I presume were listed randomly and not in order of "most success."

Butt [sic] maybe not ?

PS, so long as we're ranking our own material, great post by me. (y)
The question was a good one. If Initiator included someone, or left someone out (and I made quite a fuss over players left out), it is clear he did not mean to disguise a G.O.A.T. debate, but is earnestly looking at approaches to the game and styles of play. The Post is perfectly legit. And, in fact, above-average question, and much above-average in difficulty in answering with specific examples.

Good Post. I have had my say on who inadvertently left off. I say we get to the question of really trying to match up approaches to the game and styles of play among the very best of the Open Era.
 

Drob

Professional
Regarding styles comparisons: I gave a thorough comparison of Laver/Sampras/Becker.

It is not easy to analyze two or more distinct great players, even w somewhat similar styles. I thought the question excellent. I trust other posters will give thought to this, and will write. I think this one is my last contribution.

Two S/Vs that don't seem to fit with the above-mentioned trio (I analyzed Laver/Samprars/Becker) are Edberg and McEnroe.

Extremely, subtle, touch volleyers who set up their winners exquisitely, they could also hit "smart" bombs and "unguided bombs." Their respective refelex abilities and lunges were almost equal (though I might give the edge to McEnroe).

Edberg was cooler and seemingly more in control, but if stats were ever created on their respective careers, my hunch is that Mac would be equal or better on effectiveness, at least on total net points won (not S/V necessarily).

Which raises and interesting issue:

How to count Mac's points on aces or, more often, service winners, when it appeared he was going to the net, but it is a matter of interpretation? Mac was the more lethal server - thanks in part to the nature of an preternaturally angled left-hand serve to the backhand of a right-handed player (in those days, remember, the back hand was usually the weaker side [still is]). We all know this was Mac's biggest advantage against Borg.

Edberg did not have a "big serve". Perhaps in the the 117 mph or so, to be generous. But a great kick serve, and precision-like placement. The high kick serve helped him get to the net in plenty of time.

With his sometimes torpedo-like backhand ground stroke, I might think Edberg had the greater range of tools. McEnroe, in contrast, so often hit groundstrokes little stronger than "push" and "puff". But they were deep. The intentionallly iconolastic -in-the-extremis (the "Mouth that Roard") McEnroe could not then have appreciated that he was executing the prime maxim of the game's greatest gentleman, The Baron Gottfried von Cramm: "The mark of aristocracy in the tennis stroke, the mark of quality, is neither force nor rotation. It is depth." Junior hit his groundstrokes with depth.

It remains surprising that Junior did not win more Majors. But the explanations - too much time off, cocaine, Tatum O'Neal, his disheveled nature - make sense.

It remains surprising that Edberg - the only player ever to win the "Junior Grand Slam" - did not take a couple more Slams, another YEC, the WCT and a and a few more "Super Nines" Perhaps this is understandable to some extent. Becker overpowered Edberg. Also, to a lesser extent, did baseliner Courier, briefly, but when both were at their peaks. He lost the match he should not have lost at the 1989 French Open final - the match that would have completely changed our perspective on his career. Later, Pistol Pete was too much for Stefan.

Somewhat similar styles. But McEnroe seemed to have more fortitude (taking nothing away from Edberg's ultra-valiant defense of the USO in 1992).

And, Again The Davis Cup. Murray? Johnny Mac was superhero of three Davis Cups! Between 1979 and 1982, years of savage fights for D.C. titles, McEnroe went 19-3 in singles and volleyed two WGF finals hat-tricks in leading USA to three Cups. Stefan would not have been up for that. McEnroe cannot be ranked outside the top-10 all-time Davis Cup competitiors, and perhaps belongs a wee bit higher.

Similar styles. McEnroe superior. McEnroe I think better on the nuances of the offensive lob, a now non-existent shot for the most part.

Both magnificent doubles players, but, again, McEnroe the the more durable, consistent and effective, although, other than Mac, not sure there has been a world No. 1 singles player who was also No. 1 doubles since Stefan Edberg.
 

Drob

Professional
Borg and Wilander - Mats was a mini-borg. Both had clay games and did an amazing job of adapting to faster surfaces. I forgot Lendl and will throw him in here because he was also a baseliner who learned to volley, just not as successfully as the other two.

Connors and Agassi - Similar stature with compact two handed backhands before it became the norm. Both had great ROS and enjoyed success against players who on paper had bigger games.

Federer, Nadal and Djokovic - Fed may have started out as an all court player and he occasionally shows glimpses of those skiils, but by the late 2000s poly had created the "modern game" and they are all just big spin grinders now.

McEnroe, Edberg, Sampras and Becker - True all court players rather than baseliners who learned to volley. Each with their own strengths and weaknesses but all stand clear of the others due to the way they consistently played an attacking game.

Wilander you seem to imply superior to Lendl. I either misunderstand, or W--- T-- F---?
 

Drob

Professional
Rightly so. He soon went on to show he wasn't anybody's mini-anything with 8 Slams to his name won, unlike Borg, on all 3 surfaces. Just couldn't hack it at Wimbledon for some odd reason (in sharp contrast to Borg).

7
 

Drob

Professional
I agree that Nadal definitely has similarities to Borg and Wilander. Also that, except for stature, the older Agassi got the more he played like Djokovic. I would not put Connors with any modern players though.

More than any of that though, I really do think Federer, Nadal and Djokovic play a similar style, because that's the modern homogenised game. Had Fed been born 20 years earlier, he would certainly be grouped with Edberg, Becker and McEnroe, but that style of play is now dead.

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk

Absurd
 

Drob

Professional
Connors, Agassi, and Djokovic are the cleanest strikers, aggressive baseliners with GOAT returns and backhands.
Borg was the prototypical topspin clay-courter, a model that Nadal followed.
Lendl and Wilander were similar baseline grinders who rarely came forward to the net.
The "aggressive fast-court great" has evolved over time: McEnroe, Edberg, Becker, Sampras, and finally Federer. This type of player became increasingly power-oriented and more solid from the baseline (Federer is almost a baseline bot by 80's standards)
So I'd separate them into 3 categories:
Aggressive fast-courters: McEnroe, Edberg, Becker, Sampras, Federer
Defensive Baseliners: Borg, Lendl, Wilander, Nadal
Aggressive Baseliners: Connors, Agassi, Djokovic

Interesting. Have to think about these categories.
 

Drob

Professional
RE: Connors, huh? Slice a LOT? He S&V'd quite a bit at Wimbledon, actually. And, he did play closer to the baseline. So, if anything, I'd put him with Djoker/Agassi/Lendl. Tho' I think Djoker and Lendl are more similar, where Connors & Agassi are more similar. They could all be considered 'aggressive' baseliners to varying degrees.
/


Connors' not much S/V but a heck of a lot of approach shots and winning volleys, that is for sure. Went to net on most crucial points. Much more than any non S/V player I can think of, possible exception of RF and a couple of the new guys.
 

Drob

Professional
To be fair to Mats, he was a very versatile player...you cannot deny him that. Mats, Connors (and later Agassi) from that era were highly effective multi-surface guys...with Lendl not far behind. Borg did not lose at the USO only because of the lights....that's a bit of a stretch. He had his chances but was a bit unlucky....and squaring off against JC on clay when Bjorn was younger and JC peaking. Then having to deal with Mac on hard courts. I'd say same for Lendl...he had to square off against all time greats on a surface that he was least comfortable with AND was unlucky. It's not just about the number of slams...you have to look at their careers in the context of the period in which they played.
Again, what is this Lendl behind Wilander? There is practically no comparison in a career sense, nor in a versatility sense. I don't get it. Wilander (a legit. top-30 all-timer) is still one of the luckiest players in history of the sport. Crafty, yes, persisent, yes, will-to-win, yes. But sheer ability?
 

Drob

Professional
I agree,
But Lendl had a great chance at Wimbledon against Pat Cash, and he still blew it...Kind of the same as my all time favourite, Edberg , blew is chance at the French loosing to Chang...It´s not just luck or unlucky , you have to grab those chances, even more when the competition is huge...
I believe that every player has the same ammount of luck during their careers , it´s those more important moments that make history , or not...
Edberg was unlucky loosing a final at the Australian , when he was ahead in the match against Lendl , and controling the whole thing , and than , bum , back injury...But loosing to Chang at the French with a break up in the fifth...He should be slapped that day...I´m pretty shure he did that to himself...And that moment , that lost title , would put him to the majority of the tennis fans , where i know he is, way above the ranking in the best of all times...

He was trailing, not leading, when he retired. "Controlling the whole thing?"
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
Again, what is this Lendl behind Wilander? There is practically no comparison in a career sense, nor in a versatility sense. I don't get it. Wilander (a legit. top-30 all-timer) is still one of the luckiest players in history of the sport. Crafty, yes, persisent, yes, will-to-win, yes. But sheer ability?
In terms of surface versatility, yes, I put Wilander ahead of Lendl. Overall career, no? He seems to be underestimated here because he did not have any one 'big' weapon. But the guy could mix it up incredibly well and was both steady and tenacious. Was he Borg, no? But did he vex many of the top players of his era? Surely. Guy did not get to #1 on nothing in '88, when Lendl was still pretty close to the peak of his powers.
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
/


Connors' not much S/V but a heck of a lot of approach shots and winning volleys, that is for sure. Went to net on most crucial points. Much more than any non S/V player I can think of, possible exception of RF and a couple of the new guys.
It's interesting, setting aside the serve, you can see similarities in the playing styles of Fed and Connors. A good amount of controlled aggression, looking for that short ball to come in on. Plus, both wings solid from the back court, but one slightly better than the other. Fed with more touch and finesse, but JC could surprise you at times even on that front. The JC net game had its foundation in those approach shots...some of the best ever...he just had a sixth sense on when to approach and rarely if ever hit a fluff shot. You can still watch the '91 Krickstein match and be amazed by the 5th set...it was the net play that won it for him as Krickstein was steadier from the back court that day. I remember Tennis magazine writing a recap on how Krickstein was in a virtual "coffin' at the back corner of the court due to Connors' charging tactics. Fun stuff.
 
http://www.tennisindustrymag.com/articles/2006/01/the_inch_that_changed_tennis_f.html

If there had been no Bjorn Borg, would there have even been a Lendl, Djokovic, Nadal or Federer? I know that Federer was a Edberg fan, but during the 70s coaches started learning from the template Borg laid down and his fame and influence impacted juniors the world over. That’s why I refer to Borg as one of the most revolutionary players in the game’s history. When he came on the scene he played in ways that former greats had a difficult time even comprehending. They predicted that his style would never produce Wimbledon titles at a time when the grass was so fast, and wood frames tipped the balance heavily in favor of serve and volleyers, but Borg simply danced to his own beat. That’s tennis genius. I watched the 1977 Wimbledon final between Connors and Borg and sitting court side was a young Ivan Lendl soaking it up. So many greats watched Borg and had understood that tennis could be played very differently from the baseline, although Borg would often rush the net plenty during matches if you look at the stats. Having said that, his style of play required superb conditioning, blazing foot speed, and mental fortitude. He was a tennis genius, extremely gifted but also revolutionary and extremely rebellious in many ways. I see elements of Borg in all the big three. It’s tough to say that about most any other former greats, especially amongst those that played with wood. Lendl did learn with wood frames but of course he was playing with graphite by the 80’s. Those narrow wood frames provide very little margin for error if your swingpath is utilized to generate tremendous topspin. That tilt in a frame that is narrow means you are forced to hit the just so, otherwise you will not hit it square at all. These modern frames are a whole new ballgame. Prime Borg with these modern frames and poly strings and even the latest shoes? Scary prospect for opponents indeed.

Borg d. Lendl - Jan. 1981 at the Masters Indoors at the YEC, New York 6-4, 6-2, 6-2.

 
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