Matchups you would love to see with both players in their primes

What are some matchups you would love to see with both players in their primes. Here are some for me:

Maureen Connolly vs Monica Seles-. I have never seen Connolly play but everything I have heard about her indicates she was almost a carbon copy of the Seles game, except she did it in the 50s. Devastating groundstrokes off both wings with amazing precision, power, and accuracy. Incredible focus and determination. Return of serve was devastating. Not such a great serve and no net game, but she didnt need it. Moved deceptively well. Controled the centre of the baseline and great court positioning. Would be amazing to see these two special agressive baseline experts slugging it out both playing that way.

Pete Sampras vs Bjorn Borg- This would be wonderful. Arguably the greatest offensive player in tennis history vs arguably the greatest defensive player ever. Pete's serve and volley attack and attacking groundstrokes vs Borg's return of serve, passing shots, unparalled court speed, and baseline accuracy and consistency. Would be amazing to watch.

Pete Sampras vs Rafael Nadal- This would also be incredible. Alot like Borg vs Sampras except Nadal is a lefty and the energy and enthusiasm he brings to the court would contrast with Sampras's quiet low key demeanor in a way the ice man Borg wouldnt.

Ivan Lendl vs Roger Federer- I think this would be an interesting match as I think they are similar in alot of ways. The Federer game is alot smoother than Lendl. However both build their games first around a dominant forehand which rather than an all out kill shot is more based upon its mix of power, consistency, placement, directional control, and variety, which allows them to control rallies and hit winners. Both have excellent although not completely dominant first serves. Both move very well and can play very good defense while prefering offense, though Federer undoubtably has the upper hand there. Both return similarily in that they focus more on placement and control, though I think Lendl might be the better returner. Both have backhands that are not as good as their forehands but effective nonetheless, and key their baseline game more around their forehands. Both can play well at the net but prefer the baseline. Their on court personalities are similar, and both have the reputation for being very tough at times but also cracking under pressure at times. I think it would be an intriguing battle.

Connors vs Agassi- Again it would be interesting to see two players whose games parallel so closely. Neither guy would want to be hitting alot of 2nd serves or getting pushed on defense much in this match. Such simlar players but Agassi has the more reliable forehand and better serve, while Connors clearly being the better mover and defender and much better net player. Connor's all court attack even if centred around an agressive baseline game would give Agassi who doesnt have this dimension ontop of his agressive baseline play something to think about.

Graf vs Wills Moody- From everything I have read on Wills Moody in many ways her demeanor and playing style was very Graf like. She was really the one that introduced power tennis to the womens game, and she used her wide serve and her forehand to control opponents just like Graf.

Lenglen vs Navratilova- Lenglen's stylish all court attack vs Navratilova's agressive attacking game would make for a great matchup.
 
T

TheMagicianOfPrecision

Guest
Bjorn Borg-Rafa Nadal on clay

Mats Wilander- Rafa Nadal on clay

Roger Federer-Pete Sampras on fast grass/fast HC

Stefan Edberg-Roger Federer on fast grass

Guga Kuerten-Rafa Nadal on clay

Andre Agassi-Roger Federer on Rebound Ace
 

Ledigs

Hall of Fame
I thinK Nadal vs. Connors would be interesting. How would Nadal deal with Connors' craziness!!!

Would Connors jump over the net and wring Nadal's neck while he did his pre-serve routine?
 

Dimitrov_Fan

New User
Pete Sampras vs Rafael Nadal- This would also be incredible. Alot like Borg vs Sampras except Nadal is a lefty and the energy and enthusiasm he brings to the court would contrast with Sampras's quiet low key demeanor in a way the ice man Borg wouldnt.
this would be so excellent
 

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
Seles vs Graf.

And I mean Seles playing freely WITHOUT the stabbing incidence.
 

mtr1

Professional
Henman versus Murray on 90's grass. To decide who is the GBOAT (Greatest Brit Of All Time).

P.S Henman wins 6-3, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4.
 
A) that was neither prime Federer nor prime Kuerten
B) everyone who likes great tennis would want to see that match
That wasnt prime Federer? He won 3 of 4 slams that year. Sorry that was prime Federer. I have heard some Federer fans says he was already past his prime in 2007. So now he is in 2004 too. So what was his prime then, only 2005 and 2006? That has to be the shortest prime of any all time great ever.
 

dropshot winner

Hall of Fame
That wasnt prime Federer? He won 3 of 4 slams that year. Sorry that was prime Federer. I have heard some Federer fans says he was already past his prime in 2007. So now he is in 2004 too. So what was his prime then, only 2005 and 2006? That has to be the shortest prime of any all time great ever.
I'm talking about clay only, Federer's whole clay game was different in 2004, backhand was a huge liability. In 2006 it was a pretty solid shot, even down the line. 2004 Federer would've lost in straights against Rome 06 Nadal.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
Nastase against Federer on clay or grass or any surface-How would Federer handle the Nastase speed, touch and temper.

McEnroe against Laver

Pancho Gonzalez against Federer

McEnroe against Nadal-Two of the greatest lefties but two very different styles.

Connors against Federer-Federer's not really a serve and volleyer and I'd be curious how he would handle the virtually perfect flat groundies of Connors and Jimmy's relentless attack. Jimmy doesn't have the best lefty serve but neither did Nadal and lefty serves tend to trouble Federer.

Sampras against Pancho Gonzalez-Two of the biggest servers in history.

Lendl against Federer-As someone wrote before the styles are actually very similar. With today's grass at Wimbledon, Lendl would have a much better chance to win the tournament. I think Lendl mishits less on the backhand but Federer has better footwork. Both cover a lot of ground. It would be very interesting on any surface today.

Mecir against Nadal-Mecir was able to hit virtually any shot. If Mecir is on I actually think his level may have been higher than Nadal's on most surfaces with the exception of red clay of course. Both are super fast. The rallies would be remarkable.

Goolagong against Henin-Both have power and touch and movement.

Newcombe against Nadal or Federer-It would be interesting to see a player with a virtually perfect serve and volley game in Newcombe play Nadal or Federer. Newcombe also had excellent groundies and superb stamina. His serve was comparable to Sampras.
 

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
I am surprised anyone who saw the 2004 French Open would want to see prime Federer face prime Kuerten on clay. :lol: To each their own I guess.
LOL...2004 is different from 2006. Federer was playing amazing on clay in 2006 and even had a match point against Nadal in Rome. I don't think 2001 Guga would of pushed Nadal to the edge in Rome.
 

P_Agony

Banned
That wasnt prime Federer? He won 3 of 4 slams that year. Sorry that was prime Federer. I have heard some Federer fans says he was already past his prime in 2007. So now he is in 2004 too. So what was his prime then, only 2005 and 2006? That has to be the shortest prime of any all time great ever.
Fed was in his prime in 2004, but not in his peak. After 2007 though Fed was neither in his peak nor prime, IMO.
 

Dutch-Guy

Legend
Borg vs Nadal on clay
Guga 01 vs Rafa 08 on clay
Sampras vs Fed on fast grass/hard court
Muster vs Nadal on clay
Venus vs Navratilova on grass
 

Tsonga#1fan

Semi-Pro
Bjorn Borg-Rafa Nadal at Roland Garros

Guillermo Vilas- Rafa Nadal at Roland Garros

Roger Federer-Pete Sampras at US Open

Stefan Edberg-Roger Federer at Wimbledon

Bjorn Borg- Roger Federer at Wimbledon

John McEnroe/Jimmy Connors at US Open
 

AAAA

Hall of Fame
Nadal vs Courier, Kuerten, Bruguera, Borg, Agassi on clay. Current great vs previous greats on clay.

Nadal vs Sampras on FO clay. Just to see how Sampras would do.

Federer vs Korda, Krajicek, Stich on grass/hard courts.

For all these hypothetical matches I'd assume the players are from the same era, either 90s conditions or current so the player moving areas(edit: ERAS) would likely have developed their games differently making theoretical predictions based on a shot vs shot comparison pretty worthless.
 
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I would love to see head to head series matches on all the surfaces (indoors fast, hard courts, grass courts, clay courts (red and green), at the grandest venues, between:

Federer vs. Borg
Laver vs. McEnroe
Connors vs. Nadal
Lendl vs.Federer/Nadal
Sampras vs. Borg
Pancho Gonzales vs. Sampras/McEnroe/Borg/Nadal
Laver vs. Borg/Nadal/Federer/Sampras

The possibilities are endless, yet here are some matchups that come to my mind.
 

CCNM

Hall of Fame
Federer v. Boris Becker at Wimbledon
battle of the sexes: Navritilova (1980's) v. Nadal (2008)
 
1999 version of Pete Sampras vs 2006 Version of Roger Federer at Wimbledon old grass

1984 John McEnroe vs 2008 Nadal at Wimbledon new grass. (Old grass, Mac would simply dominate and win 6-0, 6-0, 6-0).



1991 Michael Stich vs 2005 Roger Federer Indoors.

1991 Boris Becker vs anyone at Carpet... Becker would win.
 
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President

Legend
THAT is pure Serve and no Volley.

But, Goran would win that, he's the better volleyer by FAR.
But when would he need to use his volleys? I have trouble imagining either of them winning points on the others serve. In the end, it would be determined by a tie-breaker. Whoever managed to get more 1st serves in would win.
 

big bang

Hall of Fame
Ivanisevic v Karlovic on 90s grass. both having today's technology
why mention new technology when both players use old frames??
the new sticks are clearly not an advantage, many pros still use old models..
ppl are willing to pay more for the old prestige or pro staff models than the new ones.
 

timnz

Legend
Becker Carpet

1991 Boris Becker vs anyone at Carpet... Becker would win.
But he didn't. Even in 1991 he lost on carpet with his contemporaries. Sampras won the Masters Cup that year.

Lendl and McEnroe and Sampras all have superior records on Carpet than Becker.

Having said that I agree Becker was a very special player on carpet.
 

Elina

Rookie
Patrick Rafter vs. Roger Federer (at Wimbledon)
Gustavo Kuerten vs. Rafael Nadal (at Roland Garros)

:D
 

fps

Legend
prime federer vs prime nadal, both fully fit, on hardcourts. federer's back problem put paid to that at 2009 AO, although the first 4 sets were great so i have at least some of my wish.

i really wanted to see fed-rafa at the french 2009 as well because federer had finally started changing his style of play in a winning way and smartened up.

the only time the two of them have played their peak tennis together was 2008 wimbledon (even in 2007 it appears nadal was possibly injured in the final set rather than just fatigued) and it was on a knife-edge.

don't want to turn this into a fed-nadal thread, just thought i'd give me opinion on the 5 year age gap between them, and the ups and downs they've been enjoying and suffering.

Federer- Kuerten on clay
Nadal- Kuerten on clay
 

Andres

G.O.A.T.
Ivanisevic v Karlovic on 90s grass. both having today's technology
Today's technology? You make it sound like he was using a woody. He used a PC600, for crying out loud! A racquet still used by many, many players!

A PC600 strung tightly with VS Gut. I don't think he would have benefited at all from Luxilon.
 
J

Jchurch

Guest
That wasnt prime Federer? He won 3 of 4 slams that year. Sorry that was prime Federer. I have heard some Federer fans says he was already past his prime in 2007. So now he is in 2004 too. So what was his prime then, only 2005 and 2006? That has to be the shortest prime of any all time great ever.
Since Sampras won no more than two slams in a year, his prime must have started in 1990. Man what a weak prime that guy had :)

And yes that was prime Federer. However as others have pointed out there is a difference between prime and peak. Do you honestly think that 1990 USO Pete was better than 1993, 1995, or 1996 Pete. You can't just lump all performances of ones prime as equal.
 

NamRanger

G.O.A.T.
LOL...2004 is different from 2006. Federer was playing amazing on clay in 2006 and even had a match point against Nadal in Rome. I don't think 2001 Guga would of pushed Nadal to the edge in Rome.


You're right he would have beaten him.
 

wangs78

Hall of Fame
Bjorn Borg-Rafa Nadal on clay

Mats Wilander- Rafa Nadal on clay

Roger Federer-Pete Sampras on fast grass/fast HC

Stefan Edberg-Roger Federer on fast grass

Guga Kuerten-Rafa Nadal on clay

Andre Agassi-Roger Federer on Rebound Ace
Great list. I'd also like to see Federer vs. Sampras on clay. We all know who's winning that one, but it'd be nice to prove a point :)
 
J

Jchurch

Guest
I would like to see 05 Federer vs 84 McEnroe on each of the four slam surfaces.
 
Against Kuerten he had a bad day. It happens. Just ask Kuerten, who was one point away from losing to Michael Russell on clay in straight sets in his prime.
 

Matt H.

Professional
I'm talking about clay only, Federer's whole clay game was different in 2004, backhand was a huge liability. In 2006 it was a pretty solid shot, even down the line. 2004 Federer would've lost in straights against Rome 06 Nadal.

'04 Kuerten was a gimp with hip surgery.
 
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