What if there was a seven foot 6 player?

bjk

Hall of Fame
There are some small things that could be done to reduce serve dominance. Make first serve net cord a fault, second serve net cord in play. Eliminate catching the ball toss. No endlessly inspecting balls to pick the one with the least fuzz, play the first ball. Make tiebreaks to 10. Don't give the server a first serve if he wins a hawkeye on second serve.
 
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Shaolin

G.O.A.T.
This NBA player subject comes up every week around here.

Being tall with an athletic build does not guarantee to make one a good player.

Michael Jordan is said to to only a 3.5 at best even with tons of lessons and working with pros.

Look at Kenny De Schepper....the guy is 6'8 AND lefty. On paper he should be destroying the tour but the dude can't even get through W quallies, same with Opelka.
 

bjk

Hall of Fame
You have to think in terms of the baseline number of tall people. There are very few people in the world the size of Isner, Ivo and Opelka, we're talking hundreds between ages of 15-40. The fact that there are about a half dozen of them playing pro tennis means that they are vastly overrepresented. The height advantage is real and it's huge.
 
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EloQuent

G.O.A.T.
You have to think in terms of the baseline number of tall people. There are very few people in the world the size of Isner, Ivo and Opelka, we're talking hundreds between ages of 15-40. The fact that there are about a half dozen of them playing pro tennis means that they are vastly overrepresented. The height advantage is real and it's huge.
3. Not a dozen. There are 3 players labeled 6'10 and above. And they are probably more like 6'9, so redo your stats.
 

Bobby Jr

G.O.A.T.
I'd be more impressed thinking about a 6'8" Lebron James playing tennis. That's a debate worth having. He has the athletic abilities to not just be a great tennis player, but GOAT level.... Something that hasn't been seen in a tennis court yet.

Bigger, faster, stronger... Super fast hands, insane leaping ability, etc.
I just don't buy it. The myth, the legend the *whatever*.... Basketball isn't that similar to tennis and the type of movement tennis players absolutely must be good at starts diminishing from about 6'2''.

As for super fast hands and leaping ability... you know - crossover skills which have pretty much zero actual relevance to tennis. Tennis is not about fast hands, it's about fantastic, consistently produced technique and requires a stable torso and head which few people can manage. The tennis-specific traits are virtually non-existent in basketball. There is so much difference between throwing/catching a ball and holding an implement and using it as a tool like in tennis (or golf) across a range of completely different motions (strokes). Most of those finer details are basically non-existent in the passing/catching of balls which, beyond minor tweaks, requires next to no coaching on once you're already established as good at it. Basketball is more about how you shine within the team dynamic and understanding the plays. Tennis is the opposite, it's all you. Tons of people who are amazing team sports athletes are truly horrendous when the mental duress of any task is entirely on them.

This isn't to say that a guy like James couldn't have learned to play tennis. Rather that aside from being great at basketball he has never demonstrated that he has that ability at all to support pie-in-the-sky claims about how well his general physical feats and capabilities could be transfered to tennis in the form of an amazing tennis player. The idea probably has less merit than claiming Tiger Woods could have made a great tennis player. Arguably, his knack for fine-tuned technique using an implement and incredible concentration skills make him more suited as a sports cross-over thought experiment than any basketballer.
 
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West Coast Ace

G.O.A.T.
I just don't buy it. The myth, the legend the *whatever*.... Basketball isn't that similar to tennis and the type of movement tennis players absolutely must be good at starts diminishing from about 6'2''.

As for super fast hands and leaping ability... you know - crossover skills which have pretty much zero actual relevance to tennis. Tennis is not about fast hands, it's about fantastic, consistently produced technique and requires a stable torso and head which few people can manage. The tennis-specific traits are virtually non-existent in basketball. There is so much difference between throwing/catching a ball and holding an implement and using it as a tool like in tennis (or golf) across a range of completely different motions (strokes). Most of those finer details are basically non-existent in the passing/catching of balls which, beyond minor tweaks, requires next to no coaching on once you're already established as good at it. Basketball is more about how you shine within the team dynamic and understanding the plays. Tennis is the opposite, it's all you. Tons of people who are amazing team sports athletes are truly horrendous when the mental duress of any task is entirely on them.

This isn't to say that a guy like James couldn't have learned to play tennis. Rather that aside from being great at basketball he has never demonstrated that he has that ability at all to support pie-in-the-sky claims about how well his general physical feats and capabilities could be transfered to tennis in the form of an amazing tennis player. The idea probably has less merit than claiming Tiger Woods could have made a great tennis player. Arguably, his knack for fine-tuned technique using an implement and incredible concentration skills make him more suited as a sports cross-over thought experiment than any basketballer.
In addition to the fact that team sports athletes may or may not have the mentality to succeed at an individual sport.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
Bottom line: there is no evidence that the giants of today serve better than the giants of the past, and not one of them has ever been a dominant player.

On grass, where serving is most dominant still, here are the guys who aced more per game than any others:

Karlovic
Isner
Ivanisevic
Groth
Raonic
Arthurs
Philippoussis
Kyrgios
Anderson
Muller
Querry
Krajicek
Guccione
Ljubicic

And that's checking back about 25 years.

When you get close to around 6 feet 1 to 6 feet 4, that's where you find all the winners, with a few guys a bit shorter with fantastic return games.

In short, even though everything else has changed, the height of the winners has not changed much.
 

EloQuent

G.O.A.T.
Bottom line: there is no evidence that the giants of today serve better than the giants of the past, and not one of them has ever been a dominant player.

On grass, where serving is most dominant still, here are the guys who aced more per game than any others:

Karlovic
Isner
Ivanisevic
Groth
Raonic
Arthurs
Philippoussis
Kyrgios
Anderson
Muller
Querry
Krajicek
Guccione
Ljubicic

And that's checking back about 25 years.

When you get close to around 6 feet 1 to 6 feet 4, that's where you find all the winners, with a few guys a bit shorter with fantastic return games.

In short, even though everything else has changed, the height of the winners has not changed much.
Height of the winners hasn't changed much, but there has been an increase in Tall Men in the top 100 and top 10.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
Height of the winners hasn't changed much, but there has been an increase in Tall Men in the top 100 and top 10.
Probably because other tall people take note of the success of the tall players and figure they can win with just a serve.

But if you look at the height of guys winning majors, and even 1000s, I really don't see much change. Seems to me guys under 6 feet tall win as many events as the giants.

Karlovic has 8 wins in a rather long career, and nothing important.

Schwartzman already has 2 and may end up with as many as Karlovic.

I just look at them as two extremes. Decades ago Pancho Gonzalez was winning just about everything in the separate pro circuit, and he was about the height of top players today. Jack Kramer was 6'2". Rosewall and Laver were both huge outliers. Borg and Connors were just a bit shorter than Agassi. Sampras would be a freak server in any era.

I look at the really tall guys as just stumbling blocks in big events for the very best players. Annoying, but not much of a factor in finals.
 

Bluefan75

Professional
I just don't buy it. The myth, the legend the *whatever*.... Basketball isn't that similar to tennis and the type of movement tennis players absolutely must be good at starts diminishing from about 6'2''.

As for super fast hands and leaping ability... you know - crossover skills which have pretty much zero actual relevance to tennis. Tennis is not about fast hands, it's about fantastic, consistently produced technique and requires a stable torso and head which few people can manage. The tennis-specific traits are virtually non-existent in basketball. There is so much difference between throwing/catching a ball and holding an implement and using it as a tool like in tennis (or golf) across a range of completely different motions (strokes). Most of those finer details are basically non-existent in the passing/catching of balls which, beyond minor tweaks, requires next to no coaching on once you're already established as good at it. Basketball is more about how you shine within the team dynamic and understanding the plays. Tennis is the opposite, it's all you. Tons of people who are amazing team sports athletes are truly horrendous when the mental duress of any task is entirely on them.

This isn't to say that a guy like James couldn't have learned to play tennis. Rather that aside from being great at basketball he has never demonstrated that he has that ability at all to support pie-in-the-sky claims about how well his general physical feats and capabilities could be transfered to tennis in the form of an amazing tennis player. The idea probably has less merit than claiming Tiger Woods could have made a great tennis player. Arguably, his knack for fine-tuned technique using an implement and incredible concentration skills make him more suited as a sports cross-over thought experiment than any basketballer.
Please. Did you not watch the playoffs? While there was a bit of help from refs, Cleveland was only in the finals because of James. The solo aspect of tennis would not be the problem.

I keep hearing tennis is all this specialized skill, athletics have little to do with it. I swear some people are clinging to something to keep from better athletes taking over. Basketball is quite similar in footwork. Try playing defense. You're changing directions more often than in tennis, moving backwards, forward. Hand-eye coordination is hand-eye coordination. If you can put a ball through a hoop while on the move from more than a foot away, you can learn to hit a tennis ball with a racquet.

Some of the rationalization is just... wow.
 

Bluefan75

Professional
Probably because other tall people take note of the success of the tall players and figure they can win with just a serve.

But if you look at the height of guys winning majors, and even 1000s, I really don't see much change. Seems to me guys under 6 feet tall win as many events as the giants.

Karlovic has 8 wins in a rather long career, and nothing important.

Schwartzman already has 2 and may end up with as many as Karlovic.

I just look at them as two extremes. Decades ago Pancho Gonzalez was winning just about everything in the separate pro circuit, and he was about the height of top players today. Jack Kramer was 6'2". Rosewall and Laver were both huge outliers. Borg and Connors were just a bit shorter than Agassi. Sampras would be a freak server in any era.

I look at the really tall guys as just stumbling blocks in big events for the very best players. Annoying, but not much of a factor in finals.

The problem is there really hasn't been a good athlete who is that tall who played tennis. Isner? Karlovic? Could they even block a guys' spike if they played volleyball? The good tall athletes play other sports.

Look at Frances Tiafoe. I can't imagine anyone says he has what would be termed quality strokes, but look what he is able to do. His athleticism carries him a long way. Now take a guy 8 inches taller who is just as athletic. Not some guy who can barely dribble up and down the court without losing it three times. An honest to goodness athlete.

The winners are not above 6'4" because the best athletes taller than that make money at other sports a lot easier.
 

West Coast Ace

G.O.A.T.
Please. Did you not watch the playoffs? While there was a bit of help from refs, Cleveland was only in the finals because of James.
I knew someone would go there.

Sorry, doesn’t work. He was hardly a 1 man team (and he forced a lot of the trades - oops!). He got a few minutes rest; has players behind him if his man gets past him. Has the benefit of coaching in game.

Some of the players are incredible athletes - but to just assume they’d pick up the nuances of tennis strokes, be able to adapt tactics in match, accept tough losses, is laughable. Team sports and individual competitions are different worlds.
 

Bluefan75

Professional
I knew someone would go there.

Sorry, doesn’t work. He was hardly a 1 man team (and he forced a lot of the trades - oops!). He got a few minutes rest; has players behind him if his man gets past him. Has the benefit of coaching in game.

Some of the players are incredible athletes - but to just assume they’d pick up the nuances of tennis strokes, be able to adapt tactics in match, accept tough losses, is laughable. Team sports and individual competitions are different worlds.
You do realize you are defending an individual sport that requires spectators to be quiet during play, no?

Be able to adapt tactics...yep, cause they never go to a different move if the defense is stopping the first one. Accept tough losses.... James has never lost anywhere.

Tennis players get 90 second changeovers every two games, and a longer break between sets.

You're making tennis players look like pampered s***ies the more you defend it.
 

TennisLBC

Professional
Tennis isnt basketball, takes more than a single trait

He would break his leg when he trys to change direction. Would have major stamina issues (they play bball in air condtion). Mentally he would be a child on the court.
Spoken like someone who hasn't played basketball since elementary school. It takes more than a single trait to play basketball, especially now. Kevin Durant is 7 Ft tall and play point guard. And basketball player are not taking 30 seconds to towel off after every point.
 

Le Master

Professional
And basketball player are not taking 30 seconds to towel off after every point.
That's not a valid point to make. Points in tennis are anaerobic, like sprinting (over and over and over). Basketball is akin to jogging (with anaerobic mixed in) .
 

EloQuent

G.O.A.T.
That's not a valid point to make. Points in tennis are anaerobic, like sprinting (over and over and over). Basketball is akin to jogging (with anaerobic mixed in) .
Both involve a lot of running. Tennis probably requires more stamina, because a match is much longer than a basketball game.
 

Devilito

Hall of Fame
Federer is worth about 1/2 billion dollars. Anyone is welcome to step up and get this money. And to succeed in tennis is far easier in the sense that all you require is to be good at it. You don't have to be noticed by a team and hope that you get signed to a contract. Tennis is the ultimate merit based sport. If i was as good as Federer, there is nothing that would stop me from potentially winning Wimbledon next year (need some time to work up a ranking). Bottom line, tennis players look the way they do because these are the ideal traits for a tennis player to have. In tennis, there are negative consequences in being too small or too large. Tennis also has a huge mental component given the amount of time on court and the lack of a team/coach to help you out during a match. American's love to fetishise the athleticism of basketball and football players like they would dominate in any sport.
 

TennisLBC

Professional
That's not a valid point to make. Points in tennis are anaerobic, like sprinting (over and over and over). Basketball is akin to jogging (with anaerobic mixed in) .
Wow. I didn't realize how many non-athletes are tennis fans. Have you ever played competitive basketball?
 

Red Rick

Bionic Poster
Probably because other tall people take note of the success of the tall players and figure they can win with just a serve.

But if you look at the height of guys winning majors, and even 1000s, I really don't see much change. Seems to me guys under 6 feet tall win as many events as the giants.

Karlovic has 8 wins in a rather long career, and nothing important.

Schwartzman already has 2 and may end up with as many as Karlovic.

I just look at them as two extremes. Decades ago Pancho Gonzalez was winning just about everything in the separate pro circuit, and he was about the height of top players today. Jack Kramer was 6'2". Rosewall and Laver were both huge outliers. Borg and Connors were just a bit shorter than Agassi. Sampras would be a freak server in any era.

I look at the really tall guys as just stumbling blocks in big events for the very best players. Annoying, but not much of a factor in finals.
You can't assume Schwartzman and Karlovic are equally talented. For starters I assume that the population of kids that picks up a racket and grows to Schwartzman's size is larger (pun intended) than the population of kids that grows to be Karlovic size. Also, height keeps giving more serving advantage, whereas being short basically has no benefit under 175.
 

TennisLBC

Professional
Both involve a lot of running. Tennis probably requires more stamina, because a match is much longer than a basketball game.
http://www.vidamind.com.au/actual-playing-time-in-tennis/
When numbers speak …

Most people have the impression that a tennis match takes a long time. That idea in your mind greatly affects the way you practice, train and condition. And it also affects your attitude when you go out to play a match.

But here’s the surprising information: In the 90s, Vic Braden, a great tennis pro from the US, simply timed the actual playing time of some professional players. For a 2 sets match, let’s say 6/4 6/3, the actual total amount of time that both players spent hitting the ball in the match was only about 5 min. From the time the ball was served until the point was over, it was only 5 min for 2 sets! That broke down about 2.5 minutes for each set …

Another amazing result was that the average hits per person per point was about 1.5 shots – less than 2 shots by each person on each point!

With this in mind, you can follow Vic’s old advice: try to return the ball just one more time each point. If you re able to do that, you’re going to start winning a lot more points.

Knowing that in professional tennis, points are ended more quickly than in the average club match, let’s say your present average is 3 hits per point, if you could get your average up one – to 4 hits – you would improve 33 percent. So don’t worry to be able to hit ten more shot on a point. Just one more return than your opponent on a point will make an enormous difference in your game!
 

EloQuent

G.O.A.T.
http://www.vidamind.com.au/actual-playing-time-in-tennis/
When numbers speak …

Most people have the impression that a tennis match takes a long time. That idea in your mind greatly affects the way you practice, train and condition. And it also affects your attitude when you go out to play a match.

But here’s the surprising information: In the 90s, Vic Braden, a great tennis pro from the US, simply timed the actual playing time of some professional players. For a 2 sets match, let’s say 6/4 6/3, the actual total amount of time that both players spent hitting the ball in the match was only about 5 min. From the time the ball was served until the point was over, it was only 5 min for 2 sets! That broke down about 2.5 minutes for each set …

Another amazing result was that the average hits per person per point was about 1.5 shots – less than 2 shots by each person on each point!

With this in mind, you can follow Vic’s old advice: try to return the ball just one more time each point. If you re able to do that, you’re going to start winning a lot more points.

Knowing that in professional tennis, points are ended more quickly than in the average club match, let’s say your present average is 3 hits per point, if you could get your average up one – to 4 hits – you would improve 33 percent. So don’t worry to be able to hit ten more shot on a point. Just one more return than your opponent on a point will make an enormous difference in your game!
I'd need to see a more reliable source. What level was this timed at? How many matches were timed?
 
You can't assume Schwartzman and Karlovic are equally talented. For starters I assume that the population of kids that picks up a racket and grows to Schwartzman's size is larger (pun intended) than the population of kids that grows to be Karlovic size. Also, height keeps giving more serving advantage, whereas being short basically has no benefit under 175.
That's not true, though. Schwartzman's technique wouldn't be as good as it is if he were taller than he is. Being his height is overall a disadvantage, but it gives him some advantages. Same with Karlovic: he wouldn't have as good a serve if he were shorter than he is, but he would be more mobile.
 
I don't watch basketball, so I really don't know the answer to this, but it seems to me that tall tennis players have some major disadvantages in "athleticism" (assuming, as a poster said above, that that is being used as a synonym for "agility") in that it is much harder for them to get down to low balls. So, the question is, do these really tall basketball players have to do much close to the ground? And do they do it as well as shorter basketball players, or is it just that their advantage in jumping outweighs their disadvantage close to the ground? If the latter, that's likely why they're not as good at tennis: their advantage on serve is outweighed by their disadvantage at getting to low balls.
 

Jaitock1991

Hall of Fame
If you look at Riley Olpelka (sp?) who's nearly 7'. All he has is a serve. Nothing else. Can hardly move. It's not a benefit to be that tall for tennis. 6'1" - 6'4" is ideal.
Yeah. I think we underestimate the effect that a higher centre of gravity has on a player's movement, especially for a guy that muscular(heavy).
 

QuadCam

Professional
I just don't buy it. The myth, the legend the *whatever*.... Basketball isn't that similar to tennis and the type of movement tennis players absolutely must be good at starts diminishing from about 6'2''.

As for super fast hands and leaping ability... you know - crossover skills which have pretty much zero actual relevance to tennis. Tennis is not about fast hands, it's about fantastic, consistently produced technique and requires a stable torso and head which few people can manage. The tennis-specific traits are virtually non-existent in basketball. There is so much difference between throwing/catching a ball and holding an implement and using it as a tool like in tennis (or golf) across a range of completely different motions (strokes). Most of those finer details are basically non-existent in the passing/catching of balls which, beyond minor tweaks, requires next to no coaching on once you're already established as good at it. Basketball is more about how you shine within the team dynamic and understanding the plays. Tennis is the opposite, it's all you. Tons of people who are amazing team sports athletes are truly horrendous when the mental duress of any task is entirely on them.

This isn't to say that a guy like James couldn't have learned to play tennis. Rather that aside from being great at basketball he has never demonstrated that he has that ability at all to support pie-in-the-sky claims about how well his general physical feats and capabilities could be transfered to tennis in the form of an amazing tennis player. The idea probably has less merit than claiming Tiger Woods could have made a great tennis player. Arguably, his knack for fine-tuned technique using an implement and incredible concentration skills make him more suited as a sports cross-over thought experiment than any basketballer.
I appreciate your well thought out and supported reply. My thought about a Lebron type player in the tennis world has more to do with his freakish athletic abilites than how well basketball skills translate to tennis skills. For the most part, the world's best athletes didn't choose tennis or never had an opportunity to play tennis. Just look at how a good high school basketballer became a top 20 tennis player in John Isner. We can all agree that Isner is no Hall of Famer but he's a very successful tennis player. All he has is a huge serve and a hard forehand..... and he's been a top 50 player for almost a decade. He's a body that is made for basketball.....wasn't good enough to be a college BBaller.... and is now a top tennis player. I dare say Lebron could have been a much better tennis player than Isner.

Also, I highly disagree with you regarding hand quickness, throwing/catching, and jumping. We never even got into foot speed, fast twitch muscles movement, and overall quickness and reaction times. Hand speed and wrist movement have huge impact on spin production in tennis, serve speed, and volleying. Throwing a football/baseball is strikingly similar to serving. catching a ball is equally revelvant in the aspects of touch and feel, especially at the net. Jumping isn't a huge priority in tennis but it certainly doesn't hurt. Just look at the incredible shots Monfils is able to pull off because of his leaping abilities. His leaping abilities make the court feel that much smaller to opponents.

We will have to disagree as tennis still is not in any position to draw the world's best athletes into the sport. It will merely have to be speculative for a long time.
 

EloQuent

G.O.A.T.
I appreciate your well thought out and supported reply. My thought about a Lebron type player in the tennis world has more to do with his freakish athletic abilites than how well basketball skills translate to tennis skills. For the most part, the world's best athletes didn't choose tennis or never had an opportunity to play tennis. Just look at how a good high school basketballer became a top 20 tennis player in John Isner. We can all agree that Isner is no Hall of Famer but he's a very successful tennis player. All he has is a huge serve and a hard forehand..... and he's been a top 50 player for almost a decade. He's a body that is made for basketball.....wasn't good enough to be a college BBaller.... and is now a top tennis player. I dare say Lebron could have been a much better tennis player than Isner.

Also, I highly disagree with you regarding hand quickness, throwing/catching, and jumping. We never even got into foot speed, fast twitch muscles movement, and overall quickness and reaction times. Hand speed and wrist movement have huge impact on spin production in tennis, serve speed, and volleying. Throwing a football/baseball is strikingly similar to serving. catching a ball is equally revelvant in the aspects of touch and feel, especially at the net. Jumping isn't a huge priority in tennis but it certainly doesn't hurt. Just look at the incredible shots Monfils is able to pull off because of his leaping abilities. His leaping abilities make the court feel that much smaller to opponents.

We will have to disagree as tennis still is not in any position to draw the world's best athletes into the sport. It will merely have to be speculative for a long time.
I don't agree that Isner has the right body for basketball. He's tall, and that will help in HS competing against kids a foot shorter, but he doesn't have the physique. Look at the top NBA players, they aren't just tall, they are big guys.
 

existential dread

Professional
I'm not convinced someone near seven feet could ever be 'athletic' in the way we mean it on a tennis court. Yeah Hakeem was agile, yeah Robinson was explosive, but how fast can they change direction, time and time again, versus a similarly athletic freak who's in that sweet range of 6'1"-6'4"? Honestly I think they would look cumbersome by comparison.
 
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Le Master

Professional
I just continue to be baffled at this notion about Monfils. Almost every second match he plays he loses because he is bent over in exhaustion and to the point he makes more and more errors and poor shot decisions. Sure, he's fast and can do all manner of flashy stuff but he also spends half his year struggling with fitness and minor injury. That does not scream "most athletic" to me.
This is the general population's idea of "athletic." Which is why this thread is so laughable.
 

hugobosstachini

Professional
Even those guys would suffer from decreased mobility. Their movement in basketball is only somewhat similar to tennis. In the finer details of tennis movement guys who are 6'8'' (as James is) would suffer mobility issues which opponents could still take advantage of in the long run.

There is a reason we have never seen a single top play of that height stick around in the top 15 for more than a short stint. They just cannot hack the demands of tennis. I don't care what any basketball fanatic thinks - if someone 6'8'' could excel at the top echelon of tennis we would have seen it already.
That's not true because tall athletes do not consider tennis as an opportunity. I know this is a tennis forum but people really overrate the sport. It's not a global sport like volleyball or basketball that draw massive audience and if you are 6'4" + like talent, chances are you are either playing football, basketball... which draws lot of tall athletic people.

Tennis is a euro-centered middle-class sport. The best athletes generally do not have the means to engage in a tennis career contrarily to soccer or basketball where you can basically have a hoop anywhere.

Lebron is a physical genius. The dude is 33, never gets hurt and is not even in any kind of decline at that age. He even played football that is way rougher than tennis.

Durant is the greatest 6'9" athlete you'll ever see in sports. Footwork, agility, speed, vertical, stop & go, change of direction... you need to watch this guy carefully to understand that a person this tall should not be so good at these kinds of things at all.

These people are all time greats and there's no doubt they'd very good at tennis because of how they have the characteristics of short and tall people.

Yeah, for sure if you take the regular 6'9"er then you get the boring Isner's of this world...

But, a dude like Kobe Bryant trumps Berdych or Raonic in terms of athleticism anytime anywhere. Bryant was good in many other sports too when he was in Europe. And, no one will make me believe that Isner or Karlovic are more athletic than people like Anthony Davis despite being way taller.
 
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Pheasant

Hall of Fame
I cannot see somebody like Lebron James at 6 ft 8 and 250 lbs handling the grind of a full tennis season. Djokovic is 6 ft 2 and maybe 170 lbs. Lebron and his 80 lbs of extra weight couldn't handle one season with 80+ matches, let alone 5 seasons like Djokovic did. I could see Federer with his slice back hand giving a Lebron James type of player fits.

Michael Jordan at 6 ft 6 and 190 lbs would be interesting. But even then, I think that his length would cause him injures over time. I cannot even see a Michael Jordan sized guy being extremely durable.

I personally think that Djokovic is the perfect size for the game. Look at how long this grinder has held up. He has been extremely durable, given his style of play. Federer has been durable too. But he isn't the grinder like Djoker is.
 

Red Rick

Bionic Poster
http://www.vidamind.com.au/actual-playing-time-in-tennis/
When numbers speak …

Most people have the impression that a tennis match takes a long time. That idea in your mind greatly affects the way you practice, train and condition. And it also affects your attitude when you go out to play a match.

But here’s the surprising information: In the 90s, Vic Braden, a great tennis pro from the US, simply timed the actual playing time of some professional players. For a 2 sets match, let’s say 6/4 6/3, the actual total amount of time that both players spent hitting the ball in the match was only about 5 min. From the time the ball was served until the point was over, it was only 5 min for 2 sets! That broke down about 2.5 minutes for each set …

Another amazing result was that the average hits per person per point was about 1.5 shots – less than 2 shots by each person on each point!

With this in mind, you can follow Vic’s old advice: try to return the ball just one more time each point. If you re able to do that, you’re going to start winning a lot more points.

Knowing that in professional tennis, points are ended more quickly than in the average club match, let’s say your present average is 3 hits per point, if you could get your average up one – to 4 hits – you would improve 33 percent. So don’t worry to be able to hit ten more shot on a point. Just one more return than your opponent on a point will make an enormous difference in your game!
Have you seen Monfils play matches vs Nadal. He is absolutely gassed after 2 sets. Monfils doesn't have the aerobic engine to be a top player.
 

Bluefan75

Professional
I cannot see somebody like Lebron James at 6 ft 8 and 250 lbs handling the grind of a full tennis season. Djokovic is 6 ft 2 and maybe 170 lbs. Lebron and his 80 lbs of extra weight couldn't handle one season with 80+ matches, let alone 5 seasons like Djokovic did. I could see Federer with his slice back hand giving a Lebron James type of player fits.

Michael Jordan at 6 ft 6 and 190 lbs would be interesting. But even then, I think that his length would cause him injures over time. I cannot even see a Michael Jordan sized guy being extremely durable.

I personally think that Djokovic is the perfect size for the game. Look at how long this grinder has held up. He has been extremely durable, given his style of play. Federer has been durable too. But he isn't the grinder like Djoker is.
Here's a thought: James wouldn't be playing tennis at 250. He is 250 because that is what he needs to deal with the rigors of an NBA season where guys are banging him every possession. He's not physically locked into 250 pounds and there is no way he can ever be less. Geez.

Jordan was 190 only his first couple of years. They kept it listed that way but if you honestly believe a 6'6" guy that was as ripped as Jordan was at the end was under 200 lbs, I really don't know what to say.

The one good point that has been made so far is the low ball. That would be something that could be tough for a tall guy to handle. But all this other stuff? Sheesh.
 

TennisLBC

Professional
Varsity basketball and tennis through high school.
Then you know how hard basketball is.

Tennis, like basketball baseball, football, hockey etc., is a skill that can be learned and mastered. There is a very clear reason why the world has surpassed the US in tennis. It's because America's best athletes don't play tennis as compared to the rest of the world. The world's best tennis players are very likely among their country's top athlete, except in the US. If Federer, Nadal, Novak or almost any country's number one tennis player were directed to another sport at a young age other than tennis, they would make a very nice living at that sport. Isner and Querry could not make major D1 basketball program and forget about the NBA.

And just listening to former tennis pros turn t.v. commentators, you can tell it does not take a M.I.T. grad to play tennis at the highest of levels so lets slow down how mentally challenging tennis is to other teams sports.
 

hugobosstachini

Professional
I just don't buy it. The myth, the legend the *whatever*.... Basketball isn't that similar to tennis and the type of movement tennis players absolutely must be good at starts diminishing from about 6'2''.

As for super fast hands and leaping ability... you know - crossover skills which have pretty much zero actual relevance to tennis. Tennis is not about fast hands, it's about fantastic, consistently produced technique and requires a stable torso and head which few people can manage. The tennis-specific traits are virtually non-existent in basketball. There is so much difference between throwing/catching a ball and holding an implement and using it as a tool like in tennis (or golf) across a range of completely different motions (strokes). Most of those finer details are basically non-existent in the passing/catching of balls which, beyond minor tweaks, requires next to no coaching on once you're already established as good at it. Basketball is more about how you shine within the team dynamic and understanding the plays. Tennis is the opposite, it's all you. Tons of people who are amazing team sports athletes are truly horrendous when the mental duress of any task is entirely on them.

This isn't to say that a guy like James couldn't have learned to play tennis. Rather that aside from being great at basketball he has never demonstrated that he has that ability at all to support pie-in-the-sky claims about how well his general physical feats and capabilities could be transfered to tennis in the form of an amazing tennis player. The idea probably has less merit than claiming Tiger Woods could have made a great tennis player. Arguably, his knack for fine-tuned technique using an implement and incredible concentration skills make him more suited as a sports cross-over thought experiment than any basketballer.
You are mixing up everything.

Lebron James has over average athleticism and that is the base to any sport. I don't know if you've ever played sports or even watch other types of sports, but a coach would be in heaven to see people like James, Kobe or Durant in their academies everyday because these people are natural athletes.

When a young kid has natural co-ordination, speed, dynamic balance or agility, that is the base. These are things the person was born with an does not have be thought. Once you have that base, you are good for ANY sports. For sure, if you play volleyball then you might have to improve you vertical but all that base is immutable and trumps at first any additional motor skills you need to learn to be good a specific sport.

Furthermore, you clearly seem to lack knowledge over the history of James when you say "he has never demonstrated that he has that ability at all to support pie-in-the-sky claims about how well his general physical feats and capabilities could be transferred to tennis in the form of an amazing tennis player. "

Lebron James is the worst person to which this piece of logic can be applied to. In case you did not know, James is not a natural basketball player, well, contrarily to Durant or even Kobe. James is somebody who had extraordinary physical abilities for someone his height and who willed himself to greatness because he has that special kind of talent.

James would be good to any sports he would have decided to play because of that massive physical advantage he has over many athletes and that some still struggle to get in a lifetime (Berdych, Raonic...)
 

metsman

G.O.A.T.
That's not true because tall athletes do not consider tennis as an opportunity. I know this is a tennis forum but people really overrate the sport. It's not a global sport like volleyball or basketball that draw massive audience and if you are 6'4" + like talent, chances are you are either playing football, basketball... which draws lot of tall athletic people.

Tennis is a euro-centered middle-class sport. The best athletes generally do not have the means to engage in a tennis career contrarily to soccer or basketball where you can basically have a hoop anywhere.

Lebron is a physical genius. The dude is 33, never gets hurt and is not even in any kind of decline at that age. He even played football that is way rougher than tennis.

Durant is the greatest 6'9" athlete you'll ever see in sports. Footwork, agility, speed, vertical, stop & go, change of direction... you need to watch this guy carefully to understand that a person this tall should not be good at these kinds of things at all.

These people are all time greats and there's no doubt they'd very good at tennis because of how they have the characteristics of short and tall people.

Yeah, for sure if you take the regular 6'9"er then you get the boring Isner's of this world...

But, a dude like Kobe Bryant trumps Berdych or Raonic in terms of athleticism anytime anywhere. Bryant was good in many other sports too when he was in Europe. And, no one will make me believe that Isner or Karlovic are more athletic than people like Anthony Davis despite being way taller.
Volleyball? Seriously?

It is impossible to say whether anyone has the requisite coordination and motor skills to actually develop high level tennis technique no matter how athletic or tall they are. Then of course there are the separate issues of movement, mentality, fitness, etc. How on earth can you know if someone has the requisite wrist flexibility/fast twitch forearm muscles necessary to generate pro level racket head speed by watching them play basketball? Baseball is a much better comparable from that regard.
 

metsman

G.O.A.T.
Could see him as a pitcher tho.
Being a 6'10" decent pitcher is close to impossible besides 1 major outlier and 1-2 smaller ones. Isner is definitely more coordinated than most of that size so maybe he'd have a shot, but he still doesn't blow you away with body control so unlikely.

And again it's impossible to tell who'd make a decent pitcher because the subset of people whose body would even survive pitching is very small, likely dependent on genetics (strength of connective tissue etc.) and hard to tell from the outside.
 

metsman

G.O.A.T.
You are mixing up everything.

Lebron James has over average athleticism and that is the base to any sport. I don't know if you've ever played sports or even watch other types of sports, but a coach would be in heaven to see people like James, Kobe or Durant in their academies everyday because these people are natural athletes.

When a young kid has natural co-ordination, speed, dynamic balance or agility, that is the base. These are things the person was born with an does not have be thought. Once you have that base, you are good for ANY sports. For sure, if you play volleyball then you might have to improve you vertical but all that base is immutable and trumps at first any additional motor skills you need to learn to be good a specific sport.

Furthermore, you clearly seem to lack knowledge over the history of James when you say "he has never demonstrated that he has that ability at all to support pie-in-the-sky claims about how well his general physical feats and capabilities could be transferred to tennis in the form of an amazing tennis player. "

Lebron James is the worst person to which this piece of logic can be applied to. In case you did not know, James is not a natural basketball player, well, contrarily to Durant or even Kobe. James is somebody who had extraordinary physical abilities for someone his height and who willed himself to greatness because he has that special kind of talent.

James would be good to any sports he would have decided to play because of that massive physical advantage he has over many athletes and that some still struggle to get in a lifetime (Berdych, Raonic...)
Yeah, LeBron is pretty much the only 6'8" or above guy I can see moving at a high level on a tennis court.
 

metsman

G.O.A.T.
Then you know how hard basketball is.

Tennis, like basketball baseball, football, hockey etc., is a skill that can be learned and mastered. There is a very clear reason why the world has surpassed the US in tennis. It's because America's best athletes don't play tennis as compared to the rest of the world. The world's best tennis players are very likely among their country's top athlete, except in the US. If Federer, Nadal, Novak or almost any country's number one tennis player were directed to another sport at a young age other than tennis, they would make a very nice living at that sport. Isner and Querry could not make major D1 basketball program and forget about the NBA.

And just listening to former tennis pros turn t.v. commentators, you can tell it does not take a M.I.T. grad to play tennis at the highest of levels so lets slow down how mentally challenging tennis is to other teams sports.
I wouldn't rule out Isner being able to play D1. He's more coordinated/agile than most college bigs, at least the ones that don't go pro, and seems to have a nice shooting stroke too. Also has a pretty big 6'10" frame that he could easily fill out to 260 ish if he wasn't playing tennis considering he weighs 245 now.
 

TennisLBC

Professional
I wouldn't rule out Isner being able to play D1. He's more coordinated/agile than most college bigs, at least the ones that don't go pro, and seems to have a nice shooting stroke too. Also has a pretty big 6'10" frame that he could easily fill out to 260 ish if he wasn't playing tennis considering he weighs 245 now.
I'll give you that Isner could make a mid-major D1 team. But I sure he could not make the team at University of Georgia and that school has not be a major power in basketball for a long time.
 
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