Holy molasses at how fast the AO was before 2008

I have a hard time trying to imagine how Zverev or Medveded could blast Hewitt or Nalbandian (or really any other good player) off the court.

That's not their game at all.

To frustrate Hewitt or Nalbandian because both Zverev and Medveded are very tall and can cover a lot of court, retrieving shot after shot?

Maybe, though Hewitt was more patient than anyone else, and Nalbandian liked also to construct the point beautifully. So doubtful.

But blasting them off the court? No way...
Ok Blasting off the court might be a bit confusing.

I mean with blasting off the court that the giants zverev and medvedev will hit powerful, strong strokes so that the opponent will make lots of errors because they can’t handle the power, especially if they hug the baseline. That doesn’t mean they will hit winners left and right.
 

Silverbullet96

Hall of Fame
I’m still not saying hugging or playing behind the baseline is worse or better.

If nalbandian and Hewitt went a few meters behind the baseline that wouldn’t make them better. If zverev and medvedev got closer to the baseline they also wouldn’t be better. I’m saying that medvedev and zverev strokes are too powerful for nalbandian and Hewitt to be able to play well from the baseline.
You were clearly saying that if two players (Nalbandian & Hewitt) are able to hug the baseline then it means that they're worse players than two other players (Zverev & Medvedev) who are standing farther back, and therefore Zverev and Medvedev are better players than Hewitt and Nalbandian, which is not how it works at all.

This conversation is complicated enough without you backtracking on what you said before...
 
You were clearly saying that if two players (Nalbandian & Hewitt) are able to hug the baseline then it means that they're worse players than two other players (Zverev & Medvedev) who are standing farther back, and therefore Zverev and Medvedev are better players than Hewitt and Nalbandian, which is not how it works at all.

This conversation is complicated enough without you backtracking on what you said before...
No, I never said that. You should not make up what I said.

I said Nalbandian and Hewitt would not be able to hold the baseline well against Zverev and Medvedev and loose. I said that djokovic and Federer would be able to hold the baseline. Not that difficult to understand.
 
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Thetouch

Professional
90s was too fast, going back and watching PETE bot is unbearable. Sorry. Agassi is the only reason I watch matches from that era on YouTube. 2000s seemed like the perfect speed. Not fast enough for serve botting but not slow enough for pushing.

Yeah riiight, that's why Sampras and Becker are the only serve and volley players to ever win the AO on hard court because it was so rocket fast (you can add Edberg for grass too)..

john-jonah-jameson-lol.gif
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
I have a hard time trying to imagine how Zverev or Medveded could blast Hewitt or Nalbandian (or really any other good player) off the court.

That's not their game at all.

To frustrate Hewitt or Nalbandian because both Zverev and Medveded are very tall and can cover a lot of court, retrieving shot after shot?

Maybe, though Hewitt was more patient than anyone else, and Nalbandian liked also to construct the point beautifully. So doubtful.

But blasting them off the court? No way...
The idea of Medvedev blasting anyone off the court is laughable.
 

Blahovic

Professional
It is very hard to tell how it would have turned out. On one side, I don't remember Nalbandian having an easy time against players with more defense oriented games and good shot tolerance (although he matched up very well against Nadal) and the fact that both Med and Zverev return very well and serve insane on good days could prove to be a problem on his service games.

On the other hand, Medvedev's return position would be totally picked apart by Nalbandian, who can move forward very naturally. Nalby's incredible point construction (the best I've ever seen) and variety would trouble Med a lot aswell. Zverev on a good day would be a different beast, though, but it does not happen that often (which was also the case for Nalbandian for a good part of his career, though).
Whenever you talk about these match ups, you to account for the fact that tall baseliners like Medvedev and Zverev have a masisve advantage on serve compared to small baseliners like Nalbandian and Medvedev.

Nalbandian is similarly talented to Federer imo if we're talking pure skill, touch and timing, but he's smaller and less athletic and has a far inferior serve (+ work ethic and mentality etc.)
 

NoleFam

Bionic Poster
Lol, no Djokovic doesn't "hug" the baseline. Come on, how wrong can you be if you're saying that Djokovic plays just as aggressively as Federer or Agassi ? Djokovic is much more of a counterpuncher. He's the defender in majority of the matches he plays. By the way for some reason you avoided mentioning Agassi in your comment.
By the way Nadal is also GOAT-level, but he doesn't hug the baseline at all, does he ? So that kind of contradicts your logic. He relies on counterpunching and fitness even more than Djokovic. Nadal is also metres behind the baseline against players like Ernests Gulbis, does that mean Gulbis is now a better player than Hewitt and Nalbandian ?


Except they did, not just against Federer, but against Nadal and a young Djokovic also... Nalbandian has beaten all 3 multiple times (even back to back once) with his playing style of "hugging" the baseline. The matches are all on YouTube.

It seems you're thinking in very simplistic way that if a player makes someone stand farther from the baseline then he's better than someone who doesn't make you stand as far back, which is incorrect because they're all just different playing styles.
Djokovic and Nadal are aggressive baseliners who are also great on defense, and can turn that defense back into offense. They are not counterpunchers, and no Djokovic is not the defender in the majority of his matches. Counterpunchers don't hit 52 winners in a 3 set match on clay like Djokovic did in the RG final. A counterpuncher is a Hewitt or Chang, guys who use their opponent's pace against them but don't have a big weapon and have a hard time generating their own pace. When Djokovic is in the zone and in that aggressive mindset, he absolutely will stand close to the baseline and hit on the rise and did this a lot at his peak.
 

Silverbullet96

Hall of Fame
Djokovic and Nadal are aggressive baseliners who are also great on defense, and can turn that defense back into offense. They are not counterpunchers, and no Djokovic is not the defender in the majority of his matches. Counterpunchers don't hit 52 winners in a 3 set match on clay like Djokovic did in the RG final. A counterpuncher is a Hewitt or Chang, guys who use their opponent's pace against them but don't have a big weapon and have a hard time generating their own pace. When Djokovic is in the zone and in that aggressive mindset, he absolutely will stand close to the baseline and hit on the rise and did this a lot at his peak.
I said Djokovic is much more of a counterpuncher than Federer or Agassi. About the winners in the RG Final, I wonder how many of them were due to his serve. Someone even told me that Aces & Service winners are also counted in the Winners statistic, if that is true then I'd like to see Djokovic's winner statistic with those removed. But in the rallies what I saw is him being on the defensive more than Ruud was.
 

NoleFam

Bionic Poster
I said Djokovic is much more of a counterpuncher than Federer or Agassi. About the winners, I wonder how many of them were due to his serve. But in the rallies what I saw is him being on the defensive more than Ruud was.
Just because he's not on average as aggressive as Federer, or hit flat penetrating shots like Agassi the majority of the time does not make him a counterpuncher. 11 of them were on the serve and how exactly was he on the defensive more than Ruud when he beat him in winners 52 to 31, and forced 35 errors from Ruud when Ruud only forced 26 from him? Djokovic was the aggressor in that match and if you thought he was mostly defending, I have to question your knowledge about his game.
 

Silverbullet96

Hall of Fame
I feel like you said the same things as your previous comment even though I replied to those points already, so I'll just use quotes from my previous comment to reply again.

Just because he's not on average as aggressive as Federer, or hit flat penetrating shots like Agassi the majority of the time does not make him a counterpuncher.
My reply:
I said Djokovic is much more of a counterpuncher than Federer or Agassi.

how exactly was he on the defensive more than Ruud when he beat him in winners 52 to 31, and forced 35 errors from Ruud when Ruud only forced 26 from him?
My reply:
About the winners in the RG Final, I wonder how many of them were due to his serve. Someone even told me that Aces & Service winners are also counted in the Winners statistic, if that is true then I'd like to see Djokovic's winner statistic with those removed.

As for "forced" (or unforced for that matter) errors, I don't know how solid that stat is, since it's very subjective.
 

Apun94

Hall of Fame
You're just recency biased with all the surfaces converging to pretty much the same speed. It's all you've seen and you don't know any better, simple.
Lol. Youre telling me that ATG wouldnt adapt to different surfaces? Youre biased too because your mind cant imagine that Djokovic or Nadal can succeed on fast surfaces. Be creative. Imagine
 
I wouldn’t even say this is fast tbh, it’s just that Fed and Agassi (especially Andre) took the ball as early as anybody and played super aggressively. Hewitt was actually very critical of Rebound Ace for not being fast enough.

Back in the day, I think a lot of people thought that rebound ace was a fairly medium-paced surface, but that the rubber content in the court meant that it had a much higher bounce than most medium-paced surfaces would. (So, it would play in many respects like a medium-slow surface, except that compared to other medium-slow surfaces, the ball would come off the court a bit faster but would also bounce higher, thus meaning roughly as long between first and second bounce).

There were years when the AO definitely played a bit faster than that - most notably 2000 and to a lesser extent 2001 when paint jobs right before the tournament made it pretty fast. At the time, I think they even said that that was the point of the paint job, because Aussie players such as Rafter (and no doubt a young Hewitt, but not sure how much sway he had in late 1999) had complained that the court was getting too slow in the previous years.
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
Ya, that's silly if true. It shouldn't be that way, IMO. Especially aces since they're already mentioned separately.

not really. winner means you've got it past the other player (or very nearly so in case of service winner). so aces are winners.
 

Silverbullet96

Hall of Fame
not really. winner means you've got it past the other player (or very nearly so in case of service winner). so aces are winners.
Technically they are. But if they already have a column for Aces, then why include Aces in the Winners column ? Service winners have an even weaker argument for being included since it doesn't even follow the rule for a winner (the opponent's racket should not touch the ball).
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
Technically they are. But if they already have a column for Aces, then why include Aces in the Winners column ? Service winners have an even weaker argument for being included since it doesn't even follow the rule for a winner (the opponent's racket should not touch the ball).
To showcase a service aspect seperately. DFs are part of unforced errors and shown seperately as well.
 

Serve&Bash

Semi-Pro
Rebound ace wasn't particularly fast. I would say that there have been years on Plexicushion that were way faster than Rebound Ace ever was.


IMO what really changed was the USO. The courts got a lot slower over the years. I really noticed how much faster the USO was from the AO when I watched Federer vs Kiefer at the USO 2005 vs AO 2006 a few years back during the pandemic lockdown. In their match at the USO the first guy to flatten out the ball would win the point an overwhelming majority of the time and there were so many service winners and shanks especially from Federer who used to take really long swings back then. Then at the AO 2006 it was a completely different match. Early on it was competitive but once Federer got into the groove he butchered Kiefer with incredible tennis. Kiefer's hard flat shots were neutralized as Fed stated moving better and he just didn't have much else to offer after that as he lost the last two sets 6-0 6-2. Both were great matches IMO but I preferred when the USO was fast and the AO was slow. It was bizzare seeing Fed win the AO in 2018 and then lose to John Millman at the USO because he could not hit through him .
 
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