Which retired players will hold up today ??

dgold44

G.O.A.T.
For sure !!!
Agassi , Lendl , Becker !!!

Not so sure ???
Connors , Sampras ,

No chance in hell

Edberg , rafter , mac ,
 

Max G.

Legend
All of them would. Talent is talent.

Of course, if they were playing today, none of them would have the same strokes and technique that they had back then, they'd have a modern game.
 

ChrisRF

Hall of Fame
All of them would. Talent is talent.

Of course, if they were playing today, none of them would have the same strokes and technique that they had back then, they'd have a modern game.
No, that’s not the right thought IMO. I would say it’s exactly the opposite: Almost everyone who succeeded was lucky to be there at the right time for his style. An exception maybe an universal genius like Federer.

Talent is most important as you say. But exactly because of that, you cannot just be the same guy and have talent for another thing when it matters in another era.

Let’s pick someone like McEnroe (just as an example). You cannot expect him to be the best baseline basher in the world when he was born in 1990, only because he was “talented”. He was the greatest touch player of all time, but that’s almost a different sport compared to today’s tennis.

I agree though that due to modern training from the beginning all those guys could have been a bit better suited for today’s game. But if on top of they would have developed a totally different style, we couldn’t even talk about them as the McEnroe/Sampras etc. as we know, but rather about completely hypothetical players/characters.

Then other factors come into play as well. Think of Laver. He was just too small to have any success in today’s power game. If we assume he would be bigger today, we would talk about a hypothetical caracter again.

Maybe a touch player like Rafter would have had an era where he could dominate. Or maybe Agassi would have won more if he played today. Who know, but one thing is for sure, you have to be lucky that the style you are made for is the style of your era (or rather the best style for the actual equipment like racquets, strings and surfaces).
 

ChrisRF

Hall of Fame
For sure !!!
Agassi , Lendl , Becker !!!

Not so sure ???
Connors , Sampras ,

No chance in hell

Edberg , rafter , mac ,
Why do you favour Becker over Sampras? I would say both have problems today because serve and volley isn’t a winning strategy.

But they had a quite similar style with Sampras doing everything a bit better than Becker and he was also more consistant (while of course still being inconsistant compared to today’s Big 3).

I agree with all other assessments by the way.
 

Red Rick

Talk Tennis Guru
Basically all the early 2000s dudes would absolutely shred through the likes of Zverev and Tsitsipas. Especially Safin, Roddick and Hewitt would very quickly reach the point where they no long butcher them because they enjoy it but keep on humiliating them out of a sense of duty
 

PDJ

G.O.A.T.
Basically all the early 2000s dudes would absolutely shred through the likes of Zverev and Tsitsipas. Especially Safin, Roddick and Hewitt would very quickly reach the point where they no long butcher them because they enjoy it but keep on humiliating them out of a sense of duty
Like.
 

Pantera

Banned
Talent is talent, all the past ATG's would be winning majors now, all that would happen everyone would have a lot less if all playing at same time obviously.
 

Pantera

Banned
Why do you favour Becker over Sampras? I would say both have problems today because serve and volley isn’t a winning strategy.

But they had a quite similar style with Sampras doing everything a bit better than Becker and he was also more consistant (while of course still being inconsistant compared to today’s Big 3).

I agree with all other assessments by the way.
Becker and Sampras would be fine today. Look at that match they had in 1996 in hannover. They would have beaten any player in those conditions from this era.

Where they would clearly not fare well is clay. Not just because of nadal, but Federer and Djokovic and Murray and wawrinka would all beat them on clay.
 

ChrisRF

Hall of Fame
Becker and Sampras would be fine today. Look at that match they had in 1996 in hannover. They would have beaten any player in those conditions from this era.

Where they would clearly not fare well is clay. Not just because of nadal, but Federer and Djokovic and Murray and wawrinka would all beat them on clay.
But those conditions are nowhere in today’s game. Even if so, I doubt they would beat Federer and Djokovic with serve-and-volley.

A great serve and a great first forehand is always superior to serve-and-volley, because after a not perfect serve you will get passed when you are still in a net-rushing movement. With staying back you have the option to attack a weak return AND just constructing a normal rallye point.

And the offensive power of Federer’s first forehand after a weak return is just as lethal as the first volley of those great 90s players.

One more thing about Hannover 1996: It was a match literally without breaks (1 for each player). Federer and especially Djokovic would break much more often over 5 sets, no matter in what conditions they play.
 

Zara

Legend
All of them would. Talent is talent.

Of course, if they were playing today, none of them would have the same strokes and technique that they had back then, they'd have a modern game.
That’s right. It’s a stupid question to begin with. It’s like asking if Mozart would be just as great if he were born in this era.

Born champions always adapt no matter in which era they are born because the talent is within and doesn’t rely on outside environments.
 
No, that’s not the right thought IMO. I would say it’s exactly the opposite: Almost everyone who succeeded was lucky to be there at the right time for his style. An exception maybe an universal genius like Federer.

Talent is most important as you say. But exactly because of that, you cannot just be the same guy and have talent for another thing when it matters in another era.

Let’s pick someone like McEnroe (just as an example). You cannot expect him to be the best baseline basher in the world when he was born in 1990, only because he was “talented”. He was the greatest touch player of all time, but that’s almost a different sport compared to today’s tennis.

I agree though that due to modern training from the beginning all those guys could have been a bit better suited for today’s game. But if on top of they would have developed a totally different style, we couldn’t even talk about them as the McEnroe/Sampras etc. as we know, but rather about completely hypothetical players/characters.

Then other factors come into play as well. Think of Laver. He was just too small to have any success in today’s power game. If we assume he would be bigger today, we would talk about a hypothetical caracter again.

Maybe a touch player like Rafter would have had an era where he could dominate. Or maybe Agassi would have won more if he played today. Who know, but one thing is for sure, you have to be lucky that the style you are made for is the style of your era (or rather the best style for the actual equipment like racquets, strings and surfaces).
Everyone would be different in a different era but surely they could adapt and win some slams. Tennis changes a fair bit in a decade, even if no crazy new equipment is introduced, yet multiple players won slams 10+ years apart and more players had solid success both young and old even if they didn't win slams when old. And even the players who declined earlier, it's not that the game passed them by but their own level spiralled down: Borg and Wilander massively lost focus/hunger, while McEnroe and Edberg lost bite on their serves, which proved crucial as their s&v style was highly service-dependent. It's not that past ATGs would do equally well at any time, but I'm certain they would always slam contenders and win at least a few.
 
But those conditions are nowhere in today’s game. Even if so, I doubt they would beat Federer and Djokovic with serve-and-volley.

A great serve and a great first forehand is always superior to serve-and-volley, because after a not perfect serve you will get passed when you are still in a net-rushing movement. With staying back you have the option to attack a weak return AND just constructing a normal rallye point.

And the offensive power of Federer’s first forehand after a weak return is just as lethal as the first volley of those great 90s players.

One more thing about Hannover 1996: It was a match literally without breaks (1 for each player). Federer and especially Djokovic would break much more often over 5 sets, no matter in what conditions they play.
Just this very Wimbledon final, Djokovic couldn't even get to BP on Federer's serve until 2-5 in the fourth set. That's 19 straight routine holds for Fed. If only he didn't waste all three TBs...
 

van_Loederen

Semi-Pro
i pretty much agree with ChrisRF.
in tennis there is basic talent, that all the greats possess (f.i. hand-eye coordination, some aspects of shotmaking, clutchness),
but a talent for playing S&V at ATG level doesn't mean the player could also reach ATG level from the baseline in the poly era.

Sampras was very good from the baseline when he was younger, so i find it possible that he could play an ATG level attacking game also in modern conditions. he would not be as strong as Feder though. likewise would Feder not become a GOAT contender during the 90s.

It's not that past ATGs would do equally well at any time, but I'm certain they would always slam contenders and win at least a few.
but not all of them at every time. his example with McEnroe was pretty good. do you think he would be a slam contender nowadays? let alone Laver.
 

van_Loederen

Semi-Pro
Of course, that atheleticism isn't going anywhere. Sure they would have to play a different style, but why should they fail at it?
not "fail", it's just that for being a Slam contender you need to be among the very best.

S&V and modern baseline tennis are to an extent like different sports indeed (ChrisRF mentioned it).
the movement is very different. S&V relies more on reflexes. for modern baseline game you need great consistency in your coordination (and sort of 'strategical thinking' can help).
blending elements is possible too, but it's also so hard to do that we cannot know how well the given player(ATG) would manage it.
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
Becker would be a journeyman, unless he lost a LOT of weight - and learned to be consistent on the baseline, which new racket technology might or might not have done.

Rafter would be as successful as Llodra and Mahut, but in the 70s or 80s he would have been a dominator. His timing was OK though.

Lendl and Connors would thrive, for sure. As would Muster.

McEnroe would be a top 20 player, not more. Can't picture him being glued to the baseline.

Edberg would be worse than Mahut.

Agassi would dominate, Sampras would struggle to win a few slams.
 

BeatlesFan

Talk Tennis Guru
No chance in hell

Edberg , rafter , mac ,
Is this a joke? 15 slams between them while Mac and Edberg are the two greatest volleyers ever. If you bring them back, bring back carpet and they would decimate anyone out there (including Federer).
 

Darrell

New User
Guga would do excellently
I agree. Kuerten would fit right in. I absolutely loved watching that guy play. I also think Safin would be a force in today's game. Well, a focused and dedicated Safin, because he could go through stretches that would make you scratch your head.
 

deaner2211

Semi-Pro
No, that’s not the right thought IMO. I would say it’s exactly the opposite: Almost everyone who succeeded was lucky to be there at the right time for his style. An exception maybe an universal genius like Federer.

Talent is most important as you say. But exactly because of that, you cannot just be the same guy and have talent for another thing when it matters in another era.

Let’s pick someone like McEnroe (just as an example). You cannot expect him to be the best baseline basher in the world when he was born in 1990, only because he was “talented”. He was the greatest touch player of all time, but that’s almost a different sport compared to today’s tennis.

I agree though that due to modern training from the beginning all those guys could have been a bit better suited for today’s game. But if on top of they would have developed a totally different style, we couldn’t even talk about them as the McEnroe/Sampras etc. as we know, but rather about completely hypothetical players/characters.

Then other factors come into play as well. Think of Laver. He was just too small to have any success in today’s power game. If we assume he would be bigger today, we would talk about a hypothetical caracter again.

Maybe a touch player like Rafter would have had an era where he could dominate. Or maybe Agassi would have won more if he played today. Who know, but one thing is for sure, you have to be lucky that the style you are made for is the style of your era (or rather the best style for the actual equipment like racquets, strings and surfaces).
Opinions vary! That is just like saying only Federer would be successful in the 80's and 90's. Remember Fed modeled his game after Sampras only to modify it as the game changed.
 

DSH

Hall of Fame
Sampras or Isner?
Becker or Zverev?
Rafter or Kyrgios?
Lendl or Berdych?

Tell me if you do not prefer the first line of players even if it is in this era of slowing down, that the second line of players who have not been able or able to withstand the pressure of being great champions.
Just talking about the mentality; The talent is even more evident.
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
I agree. Kuerten would fit right in. I absolutely loved watching that guy play. I also think Safin would be a force in today's game. Well, a focused and dedicated Safin, because he could go through stretches that would make you scratch your head.
Good call. Safin would do quite well. Obviously, Nalbandian could have a good career too.
 

Pantera

Banned
But those conditions are nowhere in today’s game. Even if so, I doubt they would beat Federer and Djokovic with serve-and-volley.

A great serve and a great first forehand is always superior to serve-and-volley, because after a not perfect serve you will get passed when you are still in a net-rushing movement. With staying back you have the option to attack a weak return AND just constructing a normal rallye point.

And the offensive power of Federer’s first forehand after a weak return is just as lethal as the first volley of those great 90s players.

One more thing about Hannover 1996: It was a match literally without breaks (1 for each player). Federer and especially Djokovic would break much more often over 5 sets, no matter in what conditions they play.
Agassi was a better returner than Federer and he didnt fare well v becker or sampras on quicker courts...i do take your point about courts not as quick now as then tjough
 

ChrisRF

Hall of Fame
Agassi was a better returner than Federer and he didnt fare well v becker or sampras on quicker courts...i do take your point about courts not as quick now as then tjough
I agree that Agassi is generally the better attacking returner than Federer. It’s similar to Djokovic who is clearly better than Federer in punishing 2nd serves offensively.

But I’m not so sure if Federer is behind Agassi in bringing back big serves like he did so well against Roddick, Raonic, Isner etc.

Also of course Federer has the better game following his return. The return is only the start, but for winning receiving points the normal game is also very important.
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
I agree. Kuerten would fit right in. I absolutely loved watching that guy play. I also think Safin would be a force in today's game. Well, a focused and dedicated Safin, because he could go through stretches that would make you scratch your head.
Only a lobotomized - or de-lobotomized as the case may be - Safin would have a chance now.
 

Pantera

Banned
I agree that Agassi is generally the better attacking returner than Federer. It’s similar to Djokovic who is clearly better than Federer in punishing 2nd serves offensively.

But I’m not so sure if Federer is behind Agassi in bringing back big serves like he did so well against Roddick, Raonic, Isner etc.

Also of course Federer has the better game following his return. The return is only the start, but for winning receiving points the normal game is also very important.
Well yes as Nadal the best example. His ROS is very average in my view...but once he gets it back in play deep then he becomes dangerous.

Federer i think nowadays is an average returner compared to what he was when he was younger. At 38 any mans reflexes are slower and ROS is one area where youngsters should have the advantage. Even Djokovic i think is now not as good returning as a few years ago.
 

Bertie B

Professional
To the person who said, talent is talent, I disagree. Martina Hingis was one of the most talented players in this sport, yet the game simply passed her by. All professional athletes are talented, the most successful ones thrive because conditions favor them, not cause they're more talented.

Much like his slam record, Sampras would be left in the dust in today's playing conditions.

1. He doesn't have the personality for the "grinding" that takes place today.
2. His bullet serves, and point-ending forehand would be returned consistently.
 

BH40love

Rookie
To the person who said, talent is talent, I disagree. Martina Hingis was one of the most talented players in this sport, yet the game simply passed her by. All professional athletes are talented, the most successful ones thrive because conditions favor them, not cause they're more talented.

Much like his slam record, Sampras would be left in the dust in today's playing conditions.

1. He doesn't have the personality for the "grinding" that takes place today.
2. His bullet serves, and point-ending forehand would be returned consistently.
I strongly disagree. Pete had such a good second serve and the way some of these big servers still dominate, Pete would be fine. Not all players are out there “grinding”
 

Max G.

Legend
To the person who said, talent is talent, I disagree. Martina Hingis was one of the most talented players in this sport, yet the game simply passed her by. All professional athletes are talented, the most successful ones thrive because conditions favor them, not cause they're more talented.
I disagree. Players adapt to the conditions that they encounter, roughly speaking, between 3 years before and 3 years after they turn pro. After that age it's too late to make major changes and before that they're malleable enough that it doesn't matter what the conditions are.

Hingis dominated when she came on the scene. Then the game passed her by. If she was around 10 years later, she would have had a 10-year-later game.

Much like his slam record, Sampras would be left in the dust in today's playing conditions.

1. He doesn't have the personality for the "grinding" that takes place today.
His personality was to do whatever it takes to win. In his early 20s that was bullet serves and first-strike tennis, so that's what he did; by the time the game changed it was too late for him to change. If he was around 20 years later, he would have had a different game.

2. His bullet serves, and point-ending forehand would be returned consistently.
If he was growing up 20 years later, he would have a bunch more spin on his forehand and backhand and wouldn't rely on single-shot point-enders.
 

upchuck

Professional
Sampras is the greatest server of all time, no? If anybody can play S&V tennis and make it work, it's him.
 

Max G.

Legend
Sampras is the greatest server of all time, no? If anybody can play S&V tennis and make it work, it's him.
Why do you think he would even be trying to S&V if he was a 2010s player rather than a 1990s player?

He was flexible, athletic, fast. That stuff is good in any generation. He'd be blasting forehands and backhands from the baseline. Probably overall would play much like Federer does today.
 
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