Pete Sampras & Boris Becker apparently Believes This Is the Strongest Era Ever - Page 12 - MensTennisForums.com
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post #166 of 600 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 06:03 PM
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Re: Dr. Sampras , Ph.D, MD, DVM, Believes This Is the Strongest Era Ever

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I'm questioning how many people have actually watched matches of the players from that era. Not highlights. Not statistics. But watched the matches, and understand the tennis of that era. And not just the 1 or 2 top guys (Laver, etc). 1 or 2 guys doesn't make "the strongest era".

All of these Tilden experts. How much have you seen him play? What do you know about his opponents?

Most people responding are not even 30 years old and I really doubt if any single one of them knows anything more about Laver than some highlight reel film and some statistics. To me, that isn't much of an argument to proclaim that he played in the strongest era.

Anyway, of course you can't compare era's. But it's even worse when you compare them without knowing too much about them. All I'm reading is that people don't really like the tennis played today, so in an attempt to dismiss it, they are reminising about the "good old days"......which they now nothing about. My guess is that if these people were around back then, they would be thinking that Laver was only good because it was a "weak era".
This is a fair post. All I can say is that I have seen extensive highlights & several whole matches from a range of players in the 1960s & 1970s, & as far as I can tell, the game then was slower paced but more deft, a difference largely attributable to the difference in racquet technology. If you compare the best player then to the best player of the current era, even without alliowing for difference in racquets, there's not much in the serve or return, or indeed movement. Federer's forehand is way better, Laver's backhand looks about the same as Fed's even with a wooden racquet, & Federer has never got anywhere near Laver's springing agility at the net. Allow for the fact that Laver was using a racquet that made the game about 10 times more difficult & you are brave indeed to assert Laver couldn't have hacked it today.

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post #167 of 600 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 06:07 PM
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Re: Dr. Sampras , Ph.D, MD, DVM, Believes This Is the Strongest Era Ever

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It never ceases to amaze me how little respect some people have for Laver, Rosewall etc. Those guys played with rackets that had sweetspots the size of a fist, if they hit it flat. Imagine how small the sweetspot became if they hit with slice ( which they did all the time) or topspin ( less than Nadal, but they did that too). The hand-eye coordination had to be sublime, focus had to be absolute, and if you hit outside the sweetspot, the racket was pretty much dead. Is the game more physical now than it was then? For sure, but that´s at the cost of artistry, accuracy, touch and finesse that existed back then. Who would win with older/newer equipment is always subject to debate, and it´s pointless to argue about it. But players of the 1960-80´s were certainly not worse than Fed or Nadal.
Excellent post. Couldn't have put it better myself.

Why people feel the need to denigrate past champions I will never know. Guess what? The human species hasn't evolved over the last 10,000 years, let alone the last 50. There is no field of human endeavour in which mankind's abilities have magically risen. Plato & Aristotle are just as intelligent as anybody today. We know more than the great minds of the past, but what? We know them. Performance has improved in some fields because we are able to build on the past, & adjust technology to enhance our performance still further.

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post #168 of 600 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 06:08 PM
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Re: Dr. Sampras , Ph.D, MD, DVM, Believes This Is the Strongest Era Ever

Oh & it's worth pointing out that in the clips Groove has put up, Laver was about 35 & way past his prime.

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post #169 of 600 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 06:08 PM
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Re: Dr. Sampras , Ph.D, MD, DVM, Believes This Is the Strongest Era Ever

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It works both ways. I agree, most people havent seen the 60-70´s era in action. But then how can you dismiss those eras in favor of this era? It´s always debatable, but having some respect to past great shouldn´t be too much to ask.
I don't dismiss them. I know very little about them. I suspect few people around here really do.

I think what I object to most is that people are pretending to be experts on past era's (and this one) and that they are in a position to compare the two. I'm guessing pretty much nobody around here is.

With that in mind, I have far more respect for Sampras' opinion than most (and you'd be a fool not to). He's certainly in a position to compare his era to the current era. He probably can make a pretty fair comparison between some former era's as well. Better than most anyway.

By the way, the thread title is very disrespectul to Sampras.
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post #170 of 600 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 06:09 PM
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Re: Dr. Sampras , Ph.D, MD, DVM, Believes This Is the Strongest Era Ever

I dunno... laver was pretty small. Could he physically go up against the mountain of men with the new racket technology of the 90s-present? I find it hard to believe Laver could hang with Sampras, Fed, Nadal, Nole with newer racket technology. Laver was a great, but his style fit the wooden racket era. Not sure he could hang. Maybe.

Maybe these guys could only succeed with the wooden rackets. I believe Borg came back and tried to adapt to the modern style without the wooden racket and he didn't fare too well

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post #171 of 600 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 06:15 PM
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Re: Dr. Sampras , Ph.D, MD, DVM, Believes This Is the Strongest Era Ever

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I dunno... laver was pretty small. Could he physically go up against the mountain of men with the new racket technology of the 90s-present? I find it hard to believe Laver could hang with Sampras, Fed, Nadal, Nole with newer racket technology. Laver was a great, but his style fit the wooden racket era. Not sure he could hang. Maybe.
Well, Ferrer can & Laver was a fair bit more talented than him.

And Borg tried to come back with a wooden racquet in his mid-thirties, 10 years after he last played serious professional tennis, at a time when everybody else was using state-of-the-art equipment.

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post #172 of 600 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 06:18 PM
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Re: Dr. Sampras , Ph.D, MD, DVM, Believes This Is the Strongest Era Ever

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I don't dismiss them. I know very little about them. I suspect few people around here really do.

I think what I object to most is that people are pretending to be experts on past era's (and this one) and that they are in a position to compare the two. I'm guessing pretty much nobody around here is.
Nobody's "pretending to be an expert", but some of us are trying to make a fair judgment on the basis of common sense & the limited evidence available, resisting the modern media-based trend to glorify the present day.

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post #173 of 600 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 06:20 PM
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Re: Dr. Sampras , Ph.D, MD, DVM, Believes This Is the Strongest Era Ever

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I dunno... laver was pretty small. Could he physically go up against the mountain of men with the new racket technology of the 90s-present? I find it hard to believe Laver could hang with Sampras, Fed, Nadal, Nole with newer racket technology. Laver was a great, but his style fit the wooden racket era. Not sure he could hang. Maybe.

Maybe these guys could only succeed with the wooden rackets. I believe Borg came back and tried to adapt to the modern style without the wooden racket and he didn't fare too well
Why would Laver´s greatness be measured by how he would adapt to modern technology or physical demands of the game??? Put a wooden racket in Nadal´s hands and move him to 1970´s, and he´d be triple-bageled by Rosewall. So who´s to say who´s the greatest?
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post #174 of 600 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 06:22 PM
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Re: Dr. Sampras , Ph.D, MD, DVM, Believes This Is the Strongest Era Ever

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Why would Laver´s greatness be measured by how he would adapt to modern technology or physical demands of the game??? Put a wooden racket in Nadal´s hands and move him to 1970´s, and he´d be triple-bageled by Rosewall. So who´s to say who´s the greatest?
Well can't just throw a wooden racket in Nadal's hand and say, "Here go beat Laver or Rosewall". Same as you can't throw a racket of today in Rod's hands and tell him to go beat Fed and Nadal. You have to grow up and play under those conditions. Players have gotten bigger ( something Rod was short of) and stronger etc since Laver's time. I just find it hard to believe someone whos 5'6 or 5'7 could dominate the game the way Laver did in the 60s. Havent seen too many dominate guys in the last 20 some years who were 5-6 inches below 6 feet tall. Laver was incredibly talent but I think he would need more strength and size to dominate like the 80s-present.

The only guy have heard about and seen a bit of who I think could dominate in the later years was probably Pancho Gonzales. He had the size, strength, and all around ability.
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post #175 of 600 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 06:28 PM
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Re: Dr. Sampras , Ph.D, MD, DVM, Believes This Is the Strongest Era Ever

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Well can't just throw a wooden racket in Nadal's hand and say, "Here go beat Laver or Rosewall". Same as you can't throw a racket of today in Rod's hands and tell him to go beat Fed and Nadal. You have to grow up and play under those conditions. Players have gotten bigger ( something Rod was short of) and stronger etc since Laver's time. I just find it hard to believe someone whos 5'6 or 5'7 could dominate the game the way Laver did in the 60s. Havent seen too many dominate guys in the last 20 some years who were 5-6 inches below 6 feet tall. Laver was incredibly talent but I think he would need more strength and size to dominate like the 80s-present.

The only guy have heard about and seen a bit of who I think could dominate in the later years was probably Pancho Gonzales
And by an extraordinary coincidence, Gonzales is the player from that era most similar to Sampras.

You may well be right, but as Dougie says, that's only half the story. How would Nadal do in Laver's era with his weird technique & his main weapon, his extreme topspin, unavailable to him?

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post #176 of 600 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 06:34 PM
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Re: Dr. Sampras , Ph.D, MD, DVM, Believes This Is the Strongest Era Ever

This is another reason why many people believe Federer is the GOAT, assuming he could play in any era with any equipment.

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post #177 of 600 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 06:38 PM
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Re: Dr. Sampras , Ph.D, MD, DVM, Believes This Is the Strongest Era Ever

Pancho was a good 6'2 or 6'3.. Moved like a cat around the court despite his size. Serve absolute bombs even with a wooden racket, he was great the net, great from the baseline. While Laver had a pretty looking serve, he wasn't a big server by any means. I think he beat Laver in a big match in Madison Square Garden when he was 41 years old? He had the ability to bully the best of best on the court because of his serve. Pancho was a physical beast of Nature (at that time in the 50s) that could have dominated any era. In alot of ways he was like a Sugar Ray Robinson. 40 plus years too soon but had the type of game and the size and the strength to dominate in any era
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post #178 of 600 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 06:40 PM
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Re: Dr. Sampras , Ph.D, MD, DVM, Believes This Is the Strongest Era Ever

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This is another reason why many people believe Federer is the GOAT, assuming he could play in any era with any equipment.
It would be raining Shanks if you stuck Fed out there with wooden racket. And he had a good net game, but he would have had to develop a much better one to compete with some of those guys though.
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post #179 of 600 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 06:42 PM
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Re: Dr. Sampras , Ph.D, MD, DVM, Believes This Is the Strongest Era Ever

if anything history taught to us, it is the idea that tennis is 80% mental......laver had the heart of a champion......like somebody above said, forehand bot david ferrer hit the top 5......there is no reason to believe that laver wouldn't have hung with today's players......the little man had mad skill and a champion's head......
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post #180 of 600 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 06:46 PM
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Re: Dr. Sampras , Ph.D, MD, DVM, Believes This Is the Strongest Era Ever

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if anything history taught to us, it is the idea that tennis is 80% mental......laver had the heart of a champion......like somebody above said, forehand bot david ferrer hit the top 5......there is no reason to believe that laver wouldn't have hung with today's players......the little man had mad skill and a champion's head......
Yea.. and even Ferrer has been overpowered most of his career by select individuals. Heck Roddick overpowered him.
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