If Fed faced Borg....

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chandu612

Guest
If Fed faced Borg in all those matches on clay, instead of Nadal, how would he have fared? worser or any better?
 
On clay, an upset could be possible, but I like gavna's reply lol. He would have lost a lot. Borg set a record by losing only 32 games in the 1978 FO for example.



 

BevelDevil

Hall of Fame
Wood rackets (Fed has a few months to adjust): Borg wins by outplaying and outlasting Fed. Fed's only possible advantages over Borg might be serve and volleys, which won't go over well.

Modern rackets (Borg has a few months to adjust): Fed wins by overpowering Borg. Borg won't be able to develop reliable modern strokes in a few months, and Federer will be able to punish a lot of his balls.
 
Wood rackets (Fed has a few months to adjust): Borg wins by outplaying and outlasting Fed. Fed's only possible advantages over Borg might be serve and volleys, which won't go over well.

Modern rackets (Borg has a few months to adjust): Fed wins by overpowering Borg. Borg won't be able to develop reliable modern strokes in a few months, and Federer will be able to punish a lot of his balls.
I don't think so, not with modern frames either. Borg plays with those today and former pros marvel at things they can do these days hitting. Prime Borg would be much too fit and too good on clay for Federer. Borg would be much too consistent, no place for Federer to go. Borg was great off both wings, very fit, fast, very good serve, and he could go on offense on clay as well. Borg on his strengths.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPGh4p0dyIk
 
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Nathaniel_Near

Guest
Much better avatar.

Borg would probably pose less of a stylistic problem for Federer than Nadal, with handedness being a somewhat key issue. Nonetheless, if we are to fantasize about such hypothetical, I don't see much happy hunting here for Roger, though just like against Nadal he'd get his odd wins on clay against him.

Borg vs Rafa at Roland Garros, now there's an interesting debate to be had with that hypothetical.
 
Much better avatar.

Borg would probably pose less of a stylistic problem for Federer than Nadal, with handedness being a somewhat key issue. Nonetheless, if we are to fantasize about such hypothetical, I don't see much happy hunting here for Roger, though just like against Nadal he'd get his odd wins on clay against him.

Borg vs Rafa at Roland Garros, now there's an interesting debate to be had with that hypothetical.
Yes, I agree. Borg has said that he'd like to have played Nadal on clay. Borg vs. Nadal on clay would have been great tennis to watch. Two clay court maestros. Many tennis fans these days either don't know much about how Borg really was or they misunderstand him. He was very modest and he often praises Nadal and Federer for example, but Bjorn Borg thinks he could have beaten anyone on a tennis court. That's just how these all time greats are wired. They do not lack self belief.
 
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Nitish

Professional
Yes, I agree. Borg has said that he'd like to have played Nadal on clay. Borg vs. Nadal on clay would have been great tennis to watch. Two clay court maestros. Many tennis fans these days either don't know much about how Borg really was or they misunderstand him. He was very modest and he often praises Nadal and Federer for example, but Bjorn Borg thinks he could have beaten anyone on a tennis court. That's just how these all time greats are wired. They do not lack self belief.
Except fed when he plays nadal,he has that helpless look on his face everytime they play.
 
Let's put it this way, fed lost to nadal (who now must be regarded as the best clay court player ever) 5 times at RG, whilst also winning once. I think it's fair to say that 2005-2009 (even mono 2008) it was highly unlikely any other player would've beaten fed at RG. Also fair to say by now that the reason rafa demolishes fed is because of his crazy ripped forehand. case can be made that if rafa was a righty fed might've still had issues earlier in rafa's career (when I do believe rafa was a step faster and a little more explosive) but still I'd be confident fed would've cleaned him up.

nadals crosscourt forehand, beast of a weapon it is, is I think 90% of the reason fed struggled to beat him earlier in their matchups, and as a result will forever struggle mentally now. same reason djokovic competes so well, his backhand up high is still pretty solid so nadals biggest weapon which he uses to abuse the tour, doesn't have half the effect....which is when the DTL forehand comes into play but that's a whole other story. so in the end, even though he gets smashed, I'm glad rafa is there to play against him, because he's made feds backhand immeasurably better and i freaking love watching rafa play.

all in all, case is pretty solid that fed would be more than a competitive matchup to any player who cant get the ball up high on him. regardless of era. so back to the fed v borg debate. if we're talking straight up, fed would destroy him with all the technology and fitness work they do these days....if borg was around now and had the same, different story. still I would be pretty confident fed would hold his own, probably making a close matchup. might go with borg 6-7 out of 10 matches, but farout would they be close!
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
I think he might of beaten him once or so. I doubt Borg would hit with the same topsin as Nadal (even with modern raquets) nor does he have the benefits of being a lefty. Federer should atleast be able to take him to 5 sets lol.
 

Flash O'Groove

Hall of Fame
I think the reasoning in this thread is wrong.

a) Federer has been dominated by the clay courter of the era.
b) Borg was the best clay courter of a former era, who have similar record with Nadal.
c) Federer would be dominated by Borg.

I don't agree with it. Federer has been dominated by Nadal because of how their games match-up strongly in his defavor, especially on clay. Versus the rest of the field, he has been extremely dominant on clay. Without a match-up as bad as it is against Nadal, Federer is up there with the best clay courters of the open era.

Also, remember that Borg lost twice the US Open played on clay against Connors, winning only one set.

For me Borg would be the favorite on clay, but he wouldn't dominate Fed as Nadal did it. Far from it.
 
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chandu612

Guest
what equipment would they be playing with? you guys dont seriously think borg would beat federer with a wooden racket do you?
well I was asking what if Borg was born and came along the same time as Nadal did. So he would be using the same current era racquets.
 
They would be playing with wood racquets in that case, and with a wood racquet Federer would get owned badly by Borg on clay. Borg would even have a good shot vs Federer on all other surfaces with wood. With graphite Borg would still be the heavy favorite but Federer would have more chance vs Borg than Nadal since Borg is the lesser clay courter (compared to Nadal) and since he doesnt have the lefty factor working for him which works against Federer.
 

mental midget

Hall of Fame
well I was asking what if Borg was born and came along the same time as Nadal did. So he would be using the same current era racquets.
i have a hard time figuring how a 2-3 inches shorter, 30 lbs lighter, right-handed version of nadal would pose a bigger threat than nadal.
 

DolgoSantoro

Professional
I seem to be one of the only people who thinks Fed would do just fine. Yes, Borg was a monster on clay, but I don't believe that any of his strokes, even adjusting for rackets and strings and such, could trouble Federer even close to as much as Nadal's forehand can. No lefty serve to spin to his backhand either. I'm not sure if he would have a winning record against him, but I think Federer could hold his own. And this is speaking for clay. He'd lead the H2H on grass by a bit and on hardcourts by a bit more.
 
Fed would have a good chance. To trouble Fed on clay, that lefty topspinny bouncy ball curving away from his backhand is critical. Borg would have to hit insane inside-out angles with topspin to come close and that is much harder to do.
 

Bjorn99

Hall of Fame
Borg is a midget, compared to those two guys and not even as fast, even though he was extremely fast in his day. Both Nadal and Federer would destroy Bjorn. His strokes whilst setting up the future for perfect biomechanics of today, are prehistoric, compared to todays players.

Just as Laver looked hilarious playing Borg with his antiquated Continental strokes on Clay in South Carolina, so too would Borg looks funny and outdated against these two guys. I doubt he would touch Federer's serve all that often.
 
Borg is a midget, compared to those two guys and not even as fast, even though he was extremely fast in his day. Both Nadal and Federer would destroy Bjorn. His strokes whilst setting up the future for perfect biomechanics of today, are prehistoric, compared to todays players.

Just as Laver looked hilarious playing Borg with his antiquated Continental strokes on Clay in South Carolina, so too would Borg looks funny and outdated against these two guys. I doubt he would touch Federer's serve all that often.
Laver was way past his prime back then when he faced Borg and Borg was still very young. It's not a prime versus prime comparison with those two. Borg was faster than both Federer and Nadal actually, with more stamina too. He would give both all they could handle and then some. If the three faced off, Equalized for equipment, the surface would make a big difference, but all the matchups would be competitive. Borg strokes would be different with modern equipment, which allows for much more easy pace and spin, just as Federer and Nadal would have to adjust their strokes substantially with the frames Borg used. Borg was a better athlete than either.
 

r2473

G.O.A.T.
I say Fed has a good shot at beating Borg.

The main reason Fed loses to Rafa on clay is the repeated heavy, high bouncing forehand to the Fed backhand. Borg doesn't have that shot (nobody but Rafa has ever had that shot).

Fed beat Djokovic 2.0 on clay during his "god mode" year. He's done well against everyone else on clay in his career as well. Rafa simply has that one big shot that he can keep winning with over and over.
 

TennisLovaLova

Hall of Fame
Even post peak ******** would beat Borg on any surface.
But that would be only one match and one only, because Borg would immediatly retire after that loss :)
 
I say Fed has a good shot at beating Borg.

The main reason Fed loses to Rafa on clay is the repeated heavy, high bouncing forehand to the Fed backhand. Borg doesn't have that shot (nobody but Rafa has ever had that shot).

Fed beat Djokovic 2.0 on clay during his "god mode" year. He's done well against everyone else on clay in his career as well. Rafa simply has that one big shot that he can keep winning with over and over.
It's not just that one shot that causes Federer to lose to Nadal on clay though. Even Kuerten took out Federer on clay, when Federer was in his prime. I think Federer could get an odd win, but you have to equalize for equipment. Borg would also be able to hit very substantial topspin off both wings (esp. with poly too). He was just too fast and consistent too, with incredible stamina. Federer would have a tough time with players like Kuerten, Wilander, Lendl, and Vilas as well, but it would be even tougher versus Borg. Borg also had a better first serve than Nadal.
 

RF20Lennon

Legend
I dont know how you would compare them. Does Federer use a wooden racquet? or does Borg use a graphite one? I mean I guess Federer would fare better against Borg than Nadal as he doesnt have to constantly hit high backhands. As to who would win...I really dont know. Too many variables but I think you have to favor Borg because of experience maybe but then again its Fed were talking about.
 

RF20Lennon

Legend
It's not just that one shot that causes Federer to lose to Nadal on clay though. Even Kuerten took out Federer on clay, when Federer was in his prime. I think Federer could get an odd win, but you have to equalize for equipment. Borg would also be able to hit very substantial topspin off both wings (esp. with poly too). He was just too fast and consistent too, with incredible stamina. Federer would have a tough time with players like Kuerten, Wilander, Lendl, and Vilas as well, but it would be even tougher versus Borg. Borg also had a better first serve than Nadal.
But I think Federer became a much better clay courter from 2006-2008. His only odd loss was Radek Stepanek in Rome.
 

President

Legend
I don't think Borg would have had enough power to bother Federer like Nadal does. Federer doesn't struggle too much with just pure backboards (Gilles Simon is the only exception), you need to have some serious power to bother Federer. Nadal is a much bigger athlete than Borg and, even equalizing for modern equipment, I doubt that Borg would have had a huge weapon off the ground like Nadal's forehand. I think they would split most meetings, people forget that Federer would have 4 or 5 RG titles without Nadal and many Masters titles, he would be a legendary clay player.
 

BevelDevil

Hall of Fame
well I was asking what if Borg was born and came along the same time as Nadal did.
this is too hypothetical to take seriously.
This.

It's one thing to extrapolate a player's known swing technique into modern equipment. We actually have evidence of this, when Evert, Connors and even Borg himself switched to modern gear. Technique adjustment wasn't big, though Borg now holds on the the 2hbh on the follow through. However, his forehand is nowhere near a full ATP stroke, and neither is his bh.


But to try to figure out who they would play if they were born in a completely different era? That's an order of magnitude more speculative. Maybe he would have grown up idolizing Sampras...
 

cc0509

Talk Tennis Guru
^^LOL..So Borg wasn't a great athlete??
Borg is indeed a great athlete, a better athlete probably than Federer but he is not a better athlete than Nadal. John McEnroe who always praises his rival Borg to the heavens says that in terms of the best athletes ever in the game Nadal is one and Borg is two. I agree with him here.
 

TennisLovaLova

Hall of Fame
I guess you guys are just trolling me here about this "borg is a better athlete" stuff.
It's like saying Gary Lineker was a better athlete than Ronaldo, it's just pure nonsense.
 
Borg is indeed a great athlete, a better athlete probably than Federer but he is not a better athlete than Nadal. John McEnroe who always praises his rival Borg to the heavens says that in terms of the best athletes ever in the game Nadal is one and Borg is two. I agree with him here.
I'd agree that Nadal is a bit above Federer. Borg was much lighter on his feet than Nadal though and Nadal's running style is extremely taxing on the body. Nadal has been injury prone. Two of the very best certainly.
 

BobbyOne

G.O.A.T.
I think the reasoning in this thread is wrong.

a) Federer has been dominated by the clay courter of the era.
b) Borg was the best clay courter of a former era, who have similar record with Nadal.
c) Federer would be dominated by Borg.

I don't agree with it. Federer has been dominated by Nadal because of how their games match-up strongly in his defavor, especially on clay. Versus the rest of the field, he has been extremely dominant on clay. Without a match-up as bad as it is against Nadal, Federer is up there with the best clay courters of the open era.

Also, remember that Borg lost twice the US Open played on clay against Connors, winning only one set.

For me Borg would be the favorite on clay, but he wouldn't dominate Fed as Nadal did it. Far from it.
Flash, Connors beat Borg on clay (green clay) only before Borg reached his peak.
 

BobbyOne

G.O.A.T.
Borg is a midget, compared to those two guys and not even as fast, even though he was extremely fast in his day. Both Nadal and Federer would destroy Bjorn. His strokes whilst setting up the future for perfect biomechanics of today, are prehistoric, compared to todays players.

Just as Laver looked hilarious playing Borg with his antiquated Continental strokes on Clay in South Carolina, so too would Borg looks funny and outdated against these two guys. I doubt he would touch Federer's serve all that often.
Bjorn99, Laver was an old man when losing to Borg. As late as 1974 The Rocket defeated Borg twice.
 

BobbyOne

G.O.A.T.
I say Fed has a good shot at beating Borg.

The main reason Fed loses to Rafa on clay is the repeated heavy, high bouncing forehand to the Fed backhand. Borg doesn't have that shot (nobody but Rafa has ever had that shot).

Fed beat Djokovic 2.0 on clay during his "god mode" year. He's done well against everyone else on clay in his career as well. Rafa simply has that one big shot that he can keep winning with over and over.
r2473, Borg had a topspin forehand comparable to Nadal's.
 

Bobby Jr

G.O.A.T.
Factor in also: Federer would also be a comparably better clay court player in the early 80s as the conditions were faster than they are now.
 

Chopin

Hall of Fame
I don't think so, not with modern frames either. Borg plays with those today and former pros marvel at things they can do these days hitting. Prime Borg would be much too fit and too good on clay for Federer. Borg would be much too consistent, no place for Federer to go. Borg was great off both wings, very fit, fast, very good serve, and he could go on offense on clay as well. Borg on his strengths.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPGh4p0dyIk
Don't you think he'd have to modify his strokes to play with modern frames, at least to maximize his success and have a chance of beating Federer or Nadal on any surface?

I do.

I think Borg would be a top ten player today, but I doubt he'd be able to beat Federer, Djokovic, or Nadal on a consistent basis in the big matches. I think he'd probably be closer to a David Ferrer type player in game with something extra and results closer to Andy Murray.
 
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