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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Tennis Players
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 7:35 am 
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I think if Federer gets back to number 1 in the world this year, wins an olympic gold medal and one of the remaining slams of the year that I would rank him first.

But even without that he could get there by staying a threat for the next few years and continuing to win titles and maybe a couple more slams. It seems he really wants to keep going for a few years yet. He talked recently about having ambitions of beating Connors all time titles record...which is 109. Federer currently has 74 titles. Personally I think that's probably beyond him. He'd need another 5 years at his current level to have any chance. Actually I guess once he becomes less of a top level threat he could play lesser tournaments but I just can't really see him doing that.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Tennis Players
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 7:42 am 
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Hewitt's game always suited grass courts and fast hard courts. He was a great returner of serve and a great, flat hitting counter puncher who loved a target. Also very fast when he was 20/21 years old.

I think Nadal would have struggled more on the faster Wimbledon courts because his return of serve isn't really a huge strength and I think he has struggled against serve and volley on the few occasions he's come up against it on suitable courts. On the other hand he can play all court when he decides to and has an excellent volley. I think he would have done reasonably well, just doubt he would have been able to beat the top serve and volley players or true all court (and good serving) players like Federer on the 90's/early 2000's grass. I could see someone like Sampras just serving to his backhand and putting the volley away every time.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Tennis Players
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 9:04 am 
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MintCondition wrote:
I could see someone like Sampras just serving to (Nadal's) backhand and putting the volley away every time.


I've thought the same thing about Sampras vs Federer on grass, too.

Such different games. Samp's philosophy seemed to be "If i don't get broken, i can't be beaten", while Fed has been more capable, and willing to put in effort, to breaking his opponents.

Though Sampras' service game seems to be more secure than Fed's, statistically, I doubt there's much in it. Fed won a Wimbledon (05?) being broken just once. He was broken just once going into the final '04, won Halle without facing a break point one year.

But its hard to see Fed breaking Sampras on grass. Not that Sampras would fare much better against Fed's serve.

wonder who'd win between those two on grass?


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Tennis Players
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 9:13 am 
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MintCondition wrote:

One thing that should be noted is it's very difficult to compare wooden racquet era tennis with modern racquet tennis.

With wooden racquets you couldn't put anywhere near the kind of top spin that players put on the ball today. Players used to hit it much, much flatter and so the margins were smaller. It was probably a more tactical but much less athletic and much less powerful game. It really is like two different sports. If you watch matches played on clay, even from Borg's era it looks so weak compared to the sort of play you get today.


I have a theory about this.

With the wooden rackets, skill counted for a lot, so the more skillful players almost always won.

With the modern rackets, less skillfull players could hit with enough power as to raise them up, relative to the more skillful guys. This served to even the playing field a bit.

The late 80s was probably the most competitive era in tennis. Big names being upset were probably more common than at any other time, and the majors got shared around more, too.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Tennis Players
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 10:33 am 
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Federer beat Sampras at Wimbledon in 2001. He broke him at least twice, beating him in five sets, but I don't really remember much more about the match.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Tennis Players
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 6:23 am 
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ahawk's take actually got me depressed.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Tennis Players
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 10:56 am 
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and what is ahawk's take? that borg retired so early because he was a virgin? not sure i follow...


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Tennis Players
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 1:20 pm 
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:lol:

ignore that. I had ahawk on mind when I wrote that. i meant waspsting on fed and Sampras. I think Sampras was a far better server and it shows, simply cause he was more confident with it I feel.

Also, being broken is hardly reflective of only how good one's serving is. I think Nadal won the US open of all tournaments without getting broken till the semis.That's pretty insane.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Tennis Players
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 6:34 pm 
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Didn't get broken until the final actually. That was when Nadal was cranking in 130+ serves.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Tennis Players
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 9:30 pm 
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George wrote:
and what is ahawk's take? that borg retired so early because he was a virgin? not sure i follow...

:lol: :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Tennis Players
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 5:41 am 
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Georgi wrote:
Didn't get broken until the final actually. That was when Nadal was cranking in 130+ serves.


yeah, where did that go :nono: :nono:


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Tennis Players
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 6:41 am 
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Yousha wrote:

Also, being broken is hardly reflective of only how good one's serving is. I think Nadal won the US open of all tournaments without getting broken till the semis.That's pretty insane.


I was referring to their respective service games, not just the serve.

Who do you think would have the edge in a Sampras - Federer duel on grass, both at their peak?

Let me look at some stats from each guys Wimbledon days and get back to this


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Tennis Players
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 7:38 am 
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i still think that one 'pure' grass courts, Sampras will have the edge. On the 'modern' grass courts, fed's just a better all round player, so he'll have the edge.

Also, sorry, I misunderstood you then Wasp. :cheers:


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Tennis Players
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 9:12 am 
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Waspsting wrote:

Let me look at some stats from (Federer and Sampras at) Wimbledon... and get back to this


For Sampras 93-2000, sans 96
broken 37 times in 824 games - 4.49%
lost 23 sets

For Federer 03-09
broken 43 times in 782 games - 5.50%
lost 13 sets

Hard to draw any conclusions, looking at it with the assumption that Sampras' courts were faster/lower, making holding serve easier and breaking harder.

Fed's obviously considerably better at breaking, and I think he would have been even on faster grass.

Sampras is pretty clearly harder to break, to what extent the difference in court speed contributes to that is up in the air.

Note these figures are for 7 wins for Sampras, and 6 wins/1 runner-up for Fed at Wimbledon


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Tennis Players
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:47 pm 
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Waspsting wrote:
MintCondition wrote:

One thing that should be noted is it's very difficult to compare wooden racquet era tennis with modern racquet tennis.

With wooden racquets you couldn't put anywhere near the kind of top spin that players put on the ball today. Players used to hit it much, much flatter and so the margins were smaller. It was probably a more tactical but much less athletic and much less powerful game. It really is like two different sports. If you watch matches played on clay, even from Borg's era it looks so weak compared to the sort of play you get today.


I have a theory about this.

With the wooden rackets, skill counted for a lot, so the more skillful players almost always won.

With the modern rackets, less skillfull players could hit with enough power as to raise them up, relative to the more skillful guys. This served to even the playing field a bit.

The late 80s was probably the most competitive era in tennis. Big names being upset were probably more common than at any other time, and the majors got shared around more, too.


Or, phrased another way,the required skillset to be a successful tennis player has changed. Power is a skill just like spin is a skill. Both of them require hitting the ball at a certain angle with a lot of racket speed. There's nothing inherently more skillful about hitting the ball (assuming you're consistent at doing one or the other) with tremendous spin than hitting with no spin.

Same goes for playing a baseline game or a net game. Patrick Rafter was not necessarily more skilled than Jim Courier just because he was a serve-and-volleyer. Or in modern terms, Max Mirnyi (who would have been very successful if he'd been born two decades earlier, imo) is not more skilled than Del Potro.


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