Jimmi Connors FH - and we are making rocket science of the stroke.

Dou

Semi-Pro
show me one current pro who hits like this then you have a point.

the game evolves with the equipment. with today's massive spin if you hit flat you lose.

yes the past legends had great strokes. but they are past legends for a reason. today nobody hits like this because nobody can win like this.

let it go.
 

Curious

Legend
show me one current pro who hits like this then you have a point.

the game evolves with the equipment. with today's massive spin if you hit flat you lose.
Hmmm. While none of that is happening in rec tennis why is everyone trying to and wasting time to hit like the current pros then?!
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
If he were born 30 years later he'd have never hit the ball like that in the first place. Those strokes were the result of growing up with wooden rackets.
Even the steel Wilson T2000 racket Jimmy used starting in the late 60s only had a head size of 67 sq inches.

@acintya, if you had Jimmy’s control, outstanding hand-coordination and his other athletic skills, you Might get away with his lack of topspin and his type of stroke mechanics against older players. Since you probably don’t, I would opt for more suitable mechanics commensurate with modern tennis equipment.
 

JohnYandell

Hall of Fame
Jimmy Connors was one of the greatest ball strikers in tennis history--and a killer. Ever try hitting the center of a T2000? While hitting the ball on the rise? At about age 40 he got to the semis of the Open. Of course the game has changed. If he had grown up with a babolat racquet and poly strings his game might have looked different--sure. He would have still had the same timing and ferocious competitive drive.
As for his forehand, any player on this board with anything remotely resembling that kind of technical simplicity, precision, depth and consistency would win the club title 20 years in a row. It's the classic fallacy, I need the extreme elements of top 5 players to be good at my level. Coiling and extension are two elements that all good forehands of all eras share.
 
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Dou

Semi-Pro
Hmmm. While none of that is happening in rec tennis why is everyone trying to and wasting time to hit like the current pros then?!
rec tennis anything goes. there are plenty of recs, especially old people, who hit flat.

young kids however, with high performance in mind, don't play like this because that is a low probability way to succeed.
 

Curious

Legend
rec tennis anything goes. there are plenty of recs, especially old people, who hit flat.

young kids however, with high performance in mind, don't play like this because that is a low probability way to succeed.
Ask Connor, Mcenroe or Edberg to change their grip to SW and give them a Babolat and 2 months to practice, I'm sure they will figure it out without chaging their stroke styles much.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
Jimmy Connors was one of the greatest ball strikes in tennis history--and a killer. Ever try hitting the center of a T2000? While hitting the ball on the rise? At about age 40 he got to the semis of the Open. Of course the game has changed. If he had grown up with a babolat racquet and poly strings his game might have looked different--sure. He would have still had the same timing and ferocious competitive drive.
As for his forehand, any player on this board with anything remotely resembling that kind of technical simplicity, precision, depth and consistency would win the club title 20 years in a row. It's the classic fallacy, I need the extreme elements of top 5 players to be good at my level. Coiling and extension are two elements that all good forehands of all eras share.
I tried hitting with the T2000 back in the early 80s. Tried it for 10 mins and put it down. What an absolute piece of rubbish! Major respect for jimbo and his ability to play at a world class level with a trampoline! :)
 
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Bobs tennis

Semi-Pro
This is an endless battle. Discussing players and styles from different times in history. To many years ago watched him play on grass in orange lawn tennis club with his t2000 and he hit hard. He was so exciting to watch compared to todays big serve stay on the baseline players. What sport hasn't changed over time. 20 years from now those who love this present style will be laughed at for whatever follows.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
It still baffles my mind why people open up this threads arguing that players played x way 50 years ago, and were in the top of the world, so x way is good.

x way is outdated and would get destroyed in today's game.

Thats like saying you could teleport Niki Lauda from 1978 with his old formula 1 car and have him race in today's game with his old 40 year formula 1, and arguing that he was the best then, so he would surely win today against modern formula 1 cars.

Does anyone seriously think for 1 second if jimmy connors was born 20 years ago, that he would play like he did then and not how modern players play today?
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
show me one current pro who hits like this then you have a point.

the game evolves with the equipment. with today's massive spin if you hit flat you lose.

yes the past legends had great strokes. but they are past legends for a reason. today nobody hits like this because nobody can win like this.

let it go.
Show me one current pro under the age 30 who could beat peak Connors in a slam event.
 
Speaking of Connors forehand grip, from the video I would guess it to be somewhere between continental and eastern forehand. Yes no?
 

JohnYandell

Hall of Fame
Let's remember that really there is no such thing as flat. Connors probably spun the ball only a little less than Agassi. If you can stand on the baseline keep the ball in your strike zone you can do a lot...few ever have since the new equip.
 

navigator

Hall of Fame
show me one current pro who hits like this then you have a point.

the game evolves with the equipment. with today's massive spin if you hit flat you lose.

yes the past legends had great strokes. but they are past legends for a reason. today nobody hits like this because nobody can win like this.

let it go.
"Nobody" comprises an awfully small group (comprised of no one). I'll agree that you'd never teach juniors, or at least a junior with plans to be a world class player, to hit like Connors, but... these folks are virtually (although not completely) non-existent on this forum. The vast vast majority of folks here are adult rec players, and using Connors' strokes - quasi-properly, that is - would certainly get you to the very top of that heap. Peak Connors, using modern racquets, would still likely be a top-1000 ATP player, even with his antiquated strokes.
 

Dou

Semi-Pro
Show me one current pro under the age 30 who could beat peak Connors in a slam event.
there is always some nostalgic old fart comment like this that is impossible to prove.... if I give you some names and you are gonna pay the bill to make this happen? plenty of young guys today can beat Fed and Rafa, who at this point are no doubt #1 and 2 on the all time GOAT list... and what is Connors' rank on that list? #10 maybe.
 
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stiggytennis

Semi-Pro
show me one current pro who hits like this then you have a point.

the game evolves with the equipment. with today's massive spin if you hit flat you lose.

yes the past legends had great strokes. but they are past legends for a reason. today nobody hits like this because nobody can win like this.

let it go.
Tomic maybe...?
 

navigator

Hall of Fame
Ask Connor, Mcenroe or Edberg to change their grip to SW and give them a Babolat and 2 months to practice, I'm sure they will figure it out without chaging their stroke styles much.
I don't think they can. Decades of muscle memory... it's too much to ask. McEnroe is incredibly competitive even at 60. If he thought he could improve his game by practicing something for two months and changing racquets, he would do it. But he can't - his game is his game. And for a 60-year old guy, it's one of the best on the planet. I doubt he gives any thought to altering his game or strokes.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
I don't think they can. Decades of muscle memory... it's too much to ask. McEnroe is incredibly competitive even at 60. If he thought he could improve his game by practicing something for two months and changing racquets, he would do it. But he can't - his game is his game. And for a 60-year old guy, it's one of the best on the planet. I doubt he gives any thought to altering his game or strokes.
Edberg changed his forehand, Pete tweaked his backhand.

J
 

Curious

Legend
I don't think they can. Decades of muscle memory... it's too much to ask. McEnroe is incredibly competitive even at 60. If he thought he could improve his game by practicing something for two months and changing racquets, he would do it. But he can't - his game is his game. And for a 60-year old guy, it's one of the best on the planet. I doubt he gives any thought to altering his game or strokes.
Not to the competitive level for their standards but I thought they could still surprise us with their adaptation/performance considering their talent and experience.
 

Curiosity

Professional
Curiosity,
Mostly without the underlying fundamentals of either
Greetings. That was my meaning. So much talk about which is which, while mostly ignoring what is in common to both and just starting with that. If my doubles partner hit like a slow version of Sharapova or Mugaruza, I'd be thrilled.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
True, but... that was while they were playing pro tennis. We're talking about 60-year old dudes... 50+ years of tennis behind them. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't see it.
I meant those two changed in retirement, Borgs strokes are different on the senior tour. I think when you quit the tour you have time to change your strokes. My coach has better strokes now than when he was playing even if his reflexes are slower.

Mac plays about the same, I guess it depends on the individual.

J
 

Wander

Professional
I don't think most players hit their ground strokes as flat as Connors did even during his time. I don't think it's as easy as he makes it look either, but I'm sure it still works if you can do it while remaining consistent. In fact, there are still relatively flat hitters playing on the tour as well. Take Gilles Simon:

 

big ted

Hall of Fame
from what i see the most important part of any stroke is what happens at contact point
I don't think most players hit their ground strokes as flat as Connors did even during his time. I don't think it's as easy as he makes it look either, but I'm sure it still works if you can do it while remaining consistent. In fact, there are still relatively flat hitters playing on the tour as well. Take Gilles Simon:
thats true, i dont think its as easy as connors makes it look.. for example he looks to lay his wrist back on his forehand with a pretty stiff and rigid arm.
probably hard to duplicate shot after shot, unless your jimmy connors. that said, his strokes held up on tour for 20+ years, longer than his body/legs held up..
 

Kevo

Legend
Jimmy Connors could beat anyone of us with a frying pan today.
Speak for yourself. I'd take that bet with any pro. I still might lose, I mean Federer and Nadal are so intimidating that might be enough to do it, but honestly that would be a serious handicap.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
I'm really sick of those frying pan stories. Does anyone think Federer can beat me with his RF97 unstrung?! Jeesus!
Yeah, Fed can probably beat you with an unstrung racquet. Have you seen the video of djokovic playing mini tennis using the side of his racquet? :)
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
Strokes evolve with time. JMac or Jimbo would be playing differently now if they were young, because their peers hit with heavy spin. However, for most rec players the argument that flat simple strokes won't work due to the heavy topspin involved doesn't really hold true. Unless you are playing a high 4.5 or above, you're not facing anyone with massive top spin that kicks up nastily at you. Relatively flat simple strokes will work fine. The fact that JMac even at about 60 gives Roddick/Blake a run for their money with his simple but effective strokes, shows that rec players who have strokes like that will do pretty well against most other rec players.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
...However, for most rec players the argument that flat simple strokes won't work due to the heavy topspin involved doesn't really hold true. Unless you are playing a high 4.5 or above, you're not facing anyone with massive top spin that kicks up nastily at you. Relatively flat simple strokes will work fine...
Agreed. Hitting flatter is an effective weapon at any level because it takes away time from your opponent.
 

ptuanminh

Hall of Fame
Speak for yourself. I'd take that bet with any pro. I still might lose, I mean Federer and Nadal are so intimidating that might be enough to do it, but honestly that would be a serious handicap.
Believe it or not, I have seen a retired pro (5.0,5.5) beating a 3.0 with a wood stool.
 

Kevo

Legend
Believe it or not, I have seen a retired pro (5.0,5.5) beating a 3.0 with a wood stool.
I'd have to see the stool, but honestly 3.0 is an athlete that picked up a racquet for the first time, or a non-athlete that has put in a modicum of work. I wouldn't be surprised that they could be beat with anything that has a flat hitting surface somewhere by a semi pro level player.
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
Believe it or not, I have seen a retired pro (5.0,5.5) beating a 3.0 with a wood stool.
Doesn't have to be a retired pro. A few guys (I suspect 4.0 to 4.5) in my group do that quite often -- using a wooden tray or folded chair to beat a 3.5. The hustlers usually win though. The secret is they have trained to play this many times before and they only challenge an opponent after they have assessed the weak points.

I bet many 4.0s here wouldn't be able to beat this guy I know who plays with bare hands. You play normal tennis while he catches the ball with bare hand(s), stays in the same spots and immediately in one motion tosses the ball back to your court as his version of hitting. If you have never played a spinless, skidding ball, you won't last long.
 

ptuanminh

Hall of Fame
Doesn't have to be a retired pro. A few guys (I suspect 4.0 to 4.5) in my group do that quite often -- using a wooden tray or folded chair to beat a 3.5. The hustlers usually win though. The secret is they have trained to play this many times before and they only challenge an opponent after they have assessed the weak points.

I bet many 4.0s here wouldn't be able to beat this guy I know who plays with bare hands. You play normal tennis while he catches the ball with bare hand(s), stays in the same spots and immediately in one motion tosses the ball back to your court as his version of hitting. If you have never played a spinless, skidding ball, you won't last long.
So i think Federer or nadal can beat a lot of people with a decent quality frying pan.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
That is not impressive. It takes skill to use a tool. Running with a dart and sticking it in is easier than throwing a dart

Doesn't have to be a retired pro. A few guys (I suspect 4.0 to 4.5) in my group do that quite often -- using a wooden tray or folded chair to beat a 3.5. The hustlers usually win though. The secret is they have trained to play this many times before and they only challenge an opponent after they have assessed the weak points.

I bet many 4.0s here wouldn't be able to beat this guy I know who plays with bare hands. You play normal tennis while he catches the ball with bare hand(s), stays in the same spots and immediately in one motion tosses the ball back to your court as his version of hitting. If you have never played a spinless, skidding ball, you won't last long.
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