Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by dima, Feb 28, 2007.
Dan, your logic is really top.
kiki, I don't believe that Buchholz was as good as Gimeno.
Andres had more skills and I rank him No.3 for several years, Buchholz "only" No.4 once and No.5 in some other years.
Butcholz was the Solomon or Ferrer or Arias of the 60´s.But I think he was even worse.A middle class journeyman with no chance to gain upper middle class status
Many, including Kramer considered Gimeno the third best player in the world for many years in the 1960's. Evidence of this was at the 1968 Wimbledon, the first Open Wimbledon and Gimeno was seeded third, behind Laver and Rosewall.
Is it a happy coincidence that peak Zep and peak Kodes came along?
This is a good point.
I notice that Emerson was seeded fifth. Was he still an amateur by the time of Wimbledon 1968?
kiki, I had thought you have learnt history?!?
hoodjem, Emerson had turned pro rather shortly before Wimbledon.
Okay. Thanks for the info.
Then, why can Butch be ranked among thre top five players in the mid-1960s?
hoodjem Emerson turned pro in April.
Interesting timing. Thanks again.
Not your biassed view of it, though.
Solomon was once ranked that high...in an open field, BTW.
kiki, I could imagine that I'm a bit biased regarding Rosewall. But why should I be biased regarding Buchholz?? I'm not a Buchholz admirer. I just respect his high level in several years.
Both of you are very biased.
And I suppose you're not. :shock:
In what way? I believe sports and tennis gets better over time, and most people would agree with me.
There are a number of ways to be bias:
*Double standard. The most common method that's use, and gets exposed often.
*Exaggeration. Making mountain out of a molehill when certain facts suit their agenda, but vice-versa when it works against them.
*Double-edged sword. I.e. If a player is too dominant, the field is weak. If a player isn't that dominant, it's because the supreme strength/depth of the field.
*Hide negative facts. Only employ by the old-timers. They know the younger fans doesn't know about history of classic tennis, so they take the advantage.
TMF, you are the last one who can blame others for being biased...
12055 posts to push Federer are not enough of bias?
TMF, not only younger fans don't know about history, also long-time posters with more than 12000 posts...
You forgot this one:
Blatant fanboyism towards a player. Create a username and avatar which are clearly supportive of a certain player. Post in every thread to argue that the player in question is not just GOAT but is, in fact, on a different tier to all previous greats. Maintain that this player's greatest rival is the fiercest competitor of all time, and yet is still far behind the GOAT. Maintain that this player plays in by far the strongest era of all time. Repeat ad nauseam.
And yet you won't write that Nadal or Djokovic by your logic is superior to Federer. Why is that? Incidentally I don't necessarily believe that.
Your logic I believe is somewhat correct but there are some flaws. Sports often get better due to former players setting up the foundation for today's players or new technology in training and equipment. It's not always that the players are superior today.
Top level chess today is superior to years ago. The reason is that they have the games of the past to study from and computers can analyze the positions. The top players from years ago, despite being far older are generally very competitive today because they have access to that knowledge.
Fed djok nadal greater than Laver. Better in all respects.
Maybe Murray too?
Here's the thing, we can make statements like that and who knows, it may be true or it may not be true.
As a baseball fan I may make the statement that Andy Pettitte is a harder throw than Nolan Ryan at his best. But I'd better back it up with facts.
Now I don't think Andy Pettitte is superior to Ryan in pure speed. I've seen how Nolan Ryan threw the ball and it's far faster in my opinion to Pettitte. Ryan's last pitch at age 46 was timed at 98 mph. He started playing in the 1960's. And I like Pettitte because I'm a Yankee fan. Point is that super athletes also played in the 1960's and way before. Pancho Gonzalez may very well been the greatest tennis athlete of them all at 6'3 and one half with great mobility and power. Here's a video of Pancho.
So my point is how are these guys superior to Laver? Is it your opinion or it is backed by facts?
Here's a video of Laver at the 1969 US Open. Notice how bad the grass is so you couldn't have the baseline rallies we have today. The ball often wouldn't bounce at all. The footing was also awful. Laver wasn't exactly a pity-pat type player who had no power and no skills.
The women playing today can hit the serve over 120 mph and great female players like Serena can hit the ball from the baseline like lightning. My question is this...do you really think they would win one game from Laver if they had the same equipment? I doubt it. Often level of play is determined by equipment.
I doubt if you can say all these guys are better than Laver by record since Laver won 200 tournaments, one amateur Grand Slam, One Pro Grand Slam and on Open Grand Slam so I guess it's by opinion.
So I'm curious about where guys like Nadal, Djokovic, Federer and Murray break down stroke by stroke with Laver? Do they have a better volley, serve, backhand, forehand?
Now bear in mind I actually think these guys are gifted players and who knows, you may be right. I actually think Murray is the most gifted of all of them but you know what, his record isn't as good as the other three.
Fed/Nadal/Nole are competing against the same field. Almost all of their slams, achievements have overlapped, facing one another. Unlike Sampras in the 90s, or Lendl in the 80s when the field was a complete separation. I've already explained it already.
That's true. But it's also true that more athletes increase add more depth/talent to the pool. Even if the technology/training stay "fixed", that doesn't mean number of talented athletes stay "fixed". Remember you agree that the international basketball have vastly improved in the past 20 years(since 1992 first dream team). Other countries know that they are greatly inferior to the USA, and have steadily improved. Still is behind the USA but the gap isn't as ridiculous huge as it was 20 years ago.
If you agree that global sport like basketball have improved, then you have to believe global sport like tennis also imrpoved. If you don't, then you fall under a bias type "double standard".
The total number of posts doesn't signify bias. It's the content of the posts, and your posts are littered with bias against modern tennis.
Not necessarily because tennis has had some many changes in the sports that it is hard to see skills differences for example. I've noticed you don't acknowledge that. And we are talking often about the top levels and greats are often greats in any era. The other thing you don't acknowledge is the possibility of a past great doing well (given time to adapt) in today's game and yet you assume current greats would automatically do well if transported into let's say 1969.
The same argument occurs in baseball, where modern record breakers are questioned about steroid use and corked bats, which affects the home run totals.
Also, the leagues determine the tightness of the baseball "wind" in manufacture, which has a big effect on the home run "pop" off the bat.
These all have to be kept in mind when comparing current home run champions with Babe Ruth or Roger Maris. Maris, like Aaron, played in an era when the balls were wound looser, and it was harder to hit a home run.
Yep. Look at all the Grand Slams they have won.
Good points Dan. It's doesn't mean that the sport of tennis has not advanced but do we really know for sure? The new technology certainly makes it easier to hit shots like hitting topspin lobs. I can now (given time) easily hit a backhand topspin lob where in the past it would have been very hard. The racquets are better. The strings are superior.
Does the advance technology hurt the skills set of the modern player since they can do more than less effort? Volleying seems non existence nowadays and while some say it's because of the excess topspin I see so many sitters hit out or into the net it's almost laughable. Servicing percentages are higher as well they should be because the extra spin allows all of us to serve more safely today.
Even Pete Sampras once mentioned that he would start a beginning off with a wood racquet to improve their skills.
The mound was higher also and the strike zone was larger.
You dont see the skill difference between taking a ball early that comes to you at 90 mph Vs. 60 mph.
Returning a serve coming at 140 mph?
Timing balls that are turning at more than 3000 rpm?
Anticipating and making split second decisions.
You need amazing hand-eye, and court sense to do all these things.
That is not to say that past legends didnt have it, but certainly modern players have DEMONSTRATED it.
Tennis unlike baseball is also an equalizer. If you get to use modern technology, your opponent also gets to use modern technology, and they can use it against you to make your level go down.
Tennis players succeed at the demise of the opponent.
I don't mind if people say they believe the greats of today are better than the greats of yesteryear because the game has progressed, as long as they concede that the same process will keep occurring moving forwards. Meaning that, in 50 years time, the dominant players then will be better than Federer or Nadal.
Strangely though, I feel some posters here believe that where we are now is the endpoint of the game and that Federer will forever be GOAT...
Don´t ask TMF about Butcholz...he´ll ask a big, toasted Butcholz next time he goes to Mc Donalds..
But the point is as you pointed out that it is not an apples to apples comparison. And considering how often modern players hold serve how effective is their service return.
Remember that the serving speed with wood isn't that much different than with modern racquets, it's returning well with wood that's the problem.
Yes the past players haven't demonstrated returning a big serve well but frankly doesn't anyone really return a big 140 mph well consistently? And very few serve 140 mph consistently. Even Karolovic and Isner don't do it consistently. Roddick in his prime didn't either.
I also propose that the reverse is also true, that the modern player hasn't proved to be able to return or serve well with a wood racquet. Point is that you can't compare that well.
...and, maybe, 5 of those 12.000 posts even mention Kodes
Not that he even gets major exposure on all of them...
What happened in the middle 60´s to Olmedo, Coop,Anderson, the so called second stringers, all of them with a far more impressive record than Buch?
You are not biassed concerning Rosewall...I think you have not paid tribute to his wonderful shots ( I won´t mention again THAT backhand) but you rather focused on his records...do that, give us your opinion about his strokes.
I´ll give you mine about Kodes game.
I heard about that in the 1930´s...but I have not learnt enough history according to Bobby One.
As an Austrian, he´ll certainly enlighten us about those wonderful years...
Fischer vs Spassky and Korchnoi vs Karpov are the peak of comeptitive chess, at least in the modern era.
BTW, Korchnoi was underrated as Kodes.
And Fischer, just overrated as Vines, probably because they had the same Marketing Agent.
Sorry to say but you know nothing about international basketball.and I hate to say this but, the story that international basketball has improved vs 1970´s and 1980´s is just a fake, an ilusion created by US journalists to enhance the NBA league overworld and their National Team so to create interest.The US Sports Marketing Top guys are just brilliant but they are the first to know that this is just an ilusional wisdom for ignorant, young fans catch up.
It seems that you clutching at straws. the players certainly max out near 140 mph, but on average roddick serves for example 130, and 20-30% of the time beyond 130 mph. Isner, karlovic and others are certainly within the same range.
The point is that it is considerably faster than 1930s or 1940s.
Federer, murray, djokovic, hewitt, safin, nalbandian have all demonstrated the ability to return 130 mphs serves. Enough so that sets arent inevitably decided in TBs.
The return game has improved tremendously and this is well documented by this generation of players. But serve speeds have increased as well. Roddick, isner , karlovic all serve consistently harder than players of past eras. not to mention sampras, krajicek, rusedski etc.
I dont quite understand the obsession with wood racquets, and why players of today need to play with wood in order to demonstrate superior skill. Why stop at wood? Why not play with frying pans or just your bare hands?
THere is a reason for this. Mastering a piece of equipment that has a broad spectrum of power, spins, strokes is more difficult than equipment that is very limited in what it can offer its owner.
This principle is the same one as to why we all care so much more about F1 Racing, than racing in toyota, honda, bmw sedans. F1 racing has a much bigger gear range, more brake power that allows its driver to display a level of technical talent that is not physically possible in a mid-size sedan.
I'm not clutching at anything. You're misinterpreting what I"m writing. With the equipment the game is of course better but I'm just talking about the player. Are the players themselves necessarily better? Serena with her equipment today may beat many males players of the past but is she a better player? I don't think she's better than Jack Kramer for example or Bobby Riggs in their primes. Would she beat Riggs with her equipment today versus Riggs' wood in the past. Perhaps. But give Serena a wood racquet versus Riggs with wood and I don't think Serena gets a game. I frankly prefer hitting with today's racquets than wood racquets. Who wouldn't except for a few? ]But the point is that it's a different game. I don't like playing with wood racquets. And what's wrong with playing with a frying pan?? lol.
Major League Baseball has wood bats. Colleges usually allow aluminum bats. Often the aluminum bats users can't make it in the majors leagues because they can't play with wood bats. It's a different game.
In most sports the game hasn't changed that much but tennis has changed a lot so I find a comparison tougher. If you don't than perhaps you're better in analysis than me and that's very possible.
It is also the level of athletic ability as well as tennis talent. I'd bet rafa can run a faster 40 and longer than Laver. Bench more and jump higher. So yeah the game changed to being better athletes compared to Laver in his prime. If Laver given his genetic tennis talent was playing in the current era he would be fitter because he has to be and probably have a chance at greatness just the same. But comparing Laver to rafa is a joke. Just look at the videos of both. Its not the same game they are playing.
Also Federer has a much superior bh to Laver.... regardless of era.
The above paragraph could very well be true. Laver however didn't exactly have a weak left arm by the way and I would think Rafa could ran a faster 40, bench more and jump higher than just about any player. You could make that statement about Rafa versus Federer.
However I do take issue with Federer having a better backhand than Laver? Have you seen Federer over the years and watched his backhand carefully? I could make a statement that Federer has a better backhand than Agassi or Djokovic regardless of era also but I'd be lying.
Oh well. :shock: You're entitled to your opinion.
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