I guess the following quote somehow adds to my previous point:Eh, I am not so sure about that. Mac could blunt power pretty well on a good day....he had a pretty good run against Ivan for some time. Again, everything would need to be working, the serve, the volleys, the footwork. I think we over-emphasize "power" simply by watching the current game, as it is played..
"I got a vivid sense of the stark divide between tennis’ big-power present and the old days while working with John McEnroe on his autobiography, You Cannot Be Serious. John spoke almost wistfully of his stunning first encounters with Boris Becker in the mid-1980s, as John’s days of greatness were starting to draw to a close, and Boris’ were just beginning.
The young German’s size and strength and athleticism, the hugeness of his serve—all were a harbinger of the game’s future. And though McEnroe, genius that he was, found a few ways to counter Becker’s game before hanging it up, the Brave New World had announced itself. Tennis had changed irrevocably."