Vintage Tennis


Hall of Fame
I watched the film the other day, you know that one about Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe. First when you appreciate the context of the day, an era without a mobile phone, social media, an era without the internet. An era when players' voice was only heard through the television (with those limited channels), or a newspaper. Or a wireless (that is what they called the radio then). So when you appreciate the context, and try and morph yourself into that era - GOSH! Wow. What a time to be alive and see the rockstar of tennis versus the rising star.

And the tennis.

How different. How beautiful. How hard. The skill of s&v is truly gone. Today we have a modified version, S&V version 2.0 - only in this case it's not an upgrade but just a reminder of how tennis used to be played - at least on the hard courts. People have knocked it, people have found it boring - which is why of course today the courts have slowed down significantly. Maybe the sponsors wanted more for their buck too. But I miss those beautiful short points, and the intensity that went with them.

As a rec, you will be able to appreciate the mental toughness and aggression, the cojones you have to have in coming up to the net. And then volleying a hard hit ball trampolining off the opponent's racket (wooden ones in those days you know). The anticipation, the speed of thought, the deftness of touch, the direction and depth required....all these things. And people today still like to draw comparisons betweens today's players to the greats of yesteryear. In truth, you cannot - it's a different game with different technology. But why not - opine! It's fun :)

Staying on theme, I've started youtubing some old matches - Jimmy Connors for example. I knew of him. I knew he had records. But my word - his tenacity! Unbelievable. And his style of tennis - very risk driven (who hits flat today like that?!). And again, he had the cojones to come up to the net when required, when he had to change tactics, and somehow deal with the flying missiles at him.

I'll be doing some more surfin - it's tennis that we quite frankly do not see today. It's a tableau of a different skillset, a different time, but great entertainment all the same. And as a regular competitive rec player myself who has lived through 40 years, I can certainly appreciate that era, and all the trials and tribulations that went with it.

If you haven't done so already, I strongly urge you to look up some random vintage hit and just sit back. Appreciate and enjoy.