Open Era : Those Who Revolutionized the Sport and Shaped Its Future [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Open Era : Those Who Revolutionized the Sport and Shaped Its Future

Clay Death
11-01-2010, 12:30 AM
who are some of the players who truly recolutionized the sport during the open era?

the floor is at your disposal. have at it.

and have a blast talking about this. give us a healthy list of those who you believe improved the sport for the better and truly revolutionized it and shaped its future.

all valuable, reasonable thoughts and comments are welcome.


***i can fire off the first take:

1. connors
2. agassi
3. borg
4. vilas
5. lendl
7. muster
8. nadal
9. fed

emotion
11-01-2010, 12:30 AM
Id say recently, Agassi

dombrfc
11-01-2010, 12:31 AM
Rajeev Ram

Clay Death
11-01-2010, 12:34 AM
Id say recently, Agassi



a related up question would be HOW?

how was agassi able to shape the game`s future?

emotion
11-01-2010, 12:48 AM
really ended s&v

Hewitt =Legend
11-01-2010, 01:04 AM
Well I'd say Sampras deserves a spot on the list, just for dominating grass court tennis with his style of play.

I wouldn't say Hewitt revolutionized the sport, just because he didn't bring anything new to the table. Apart from his grit, heart and determination, a lot of players have the talent that he has.

emotion
11-01-2010, 01:08 AM
I don't really see how Lendl or Nadal changed the game. No one really emulated their games.

GugaF1
11-01-2010, 01:21 AM
Agassi in my view, was the most serious in the recent years. Basically everyone has to incorporate an Agassi like game today in order to be succesful, meaning taking the ball as early as possible, playing the percentages. Agassi was the master of taking time and space from the opponent around a tennis court from the baseline. Of course that is not something new to tennis, but agassi epidemized and standarized the efficiency of playing from the baseline.

Of course that is still several styles from the baseline, but in nearly every player you can see agassi's touch. From Federer to Nadal.

GugaF1
11-01-2010, 01:28 AM
Nadal in order to win the U.S open had to play a more Agssi like game. Taking time away hitting more inside the court etc...

Audacity
11-01-2010, 01:28 AM
a related up question would be HOW?

how was agassi able to shape the game`s future?

Care to give us your thoughts on your own picks, old sport?

Clay Death
11-01-2010, 01:34 AM
in my estimation, borg, connors, and agassi changed the game forever.

fed and nadal just took it a step further and showed how you can play aggressive, assault-minded tennis from the backcourt.

agassi showed that one needed finishing power off not just one wing--like a forehand---but both wings.

borg showed how a bullet proof ground game based on tremendous athletic ability and a solid, driven, and focused mind could move mountains.

more later. stay tuned.

i will have to agree with H = L. sampras deseves a spot on that list.

emotion
11-01-2010, 01:50 AM
i dont see what sampras did... no one has played like him since.

leng jai
11-01-2010, 01:50 AM
MTF has revolutionized my outlook on life.

finishingmove
11-01-2010, 01:59 AM
fixers

Johnny Groove
11-01-2010, 02:05 AM
I don't really see how Lendl or Nadal changed the game. No one really emulated their games.

Are you serious?

Lendl set the tone for most 90's players. Big hitting, incredible fitness.

As for Nadal, we will have to wait and see his influence in the coming decades.

emotion
11-01-2010, 02:12 AM
meh, hardly lasted long :shrug:

I'm not sure most players are fit enough to have Nadal's style...

leng jai
11-01-2010, 02:25 AM
Are you serious?

Lendl set the tone for most 90's players. Big hitting, incredible fitness.

As for Nadal, we will have to wait and see his influence in the coming decades.

You mean in 5 years when a legion of moonballing, tank top wearing gym junkies flood the tour with their Vamosing?

Clay Death
11-01-2010, 02:27 AM
clay warrior took down one of the greatest ever to play the sport. and he did it over and over again on all surfaces to prove that it can be done.

his contribution: a spectacular mix of high percentage tennis combined with aggressive ground game.

he then backed that up with fitness and an iron will.

its the game that works on any surface. he showed the world that heavy topspin off both wings is a particularly deadly weapon if used effectively.

players are already experimenting with more topspin all over the globe.

bottom line: its the consistency that wins slams and topspin gives you the maximum consistency because of sky high margins.

the trick is to have his racquet head speed and acceleration to make it work.

Clay Death
11-01-2010, 02:30 AM
meh, hardly lasted long :shrug:

I'm not sure most players are fit enough to have Nadal's style...

that is a good point but it changes in the future.

we are already seeing players bringing better fitness to the battlefield.

just look at even the old dogs like melzer, shittler, and jarkko. they are winning because of their better fitness

supreme fitness and great athletic ability becomes more important than ever before in the future.

Priam
11-01-2010, 04:35 AM
Lendl for the modern era player.

Dedication to fitness/training, attacking style of play, heavy topspin, mental focus, match preparation.

n8
11-01-2010, 04:39 AM
I heard Australian commentators say a good half decade ago that Moya's early hard court results (1997 Australian Open final, 1998 US Open semi-finals and Masters' Cup final) made other Spaniards think they could have big results outside clay. Not sure how true this is...

I see players copying Hewitt's 'Comons' etc.

And some players copy Nadal's forehand follow-through from time to time (Djokovic, Federer for example).

Can't think of much else now but will add if/when I think of more. Does anyone know who was the first to get three balls for serve then reject one (like almost everyone does now)? Good topic by the way.

Clay Death
11-01-2010, 04:49 AM
lendl was a visionary of this sport.

the war would be waged from the backcourt as there was no other optimal way to snatch slams with regularity going forward. he, along with agassi, borg, connors, and company, paved the way.

lendl, to his credit, would make 19 slam finals. just did not have sufficient mental toughness at the big dance or he would not have lost 11 of those finals.

Clay Death
11-01-2010, 04:50 AM
I heard Australian commentators say a good half decade ago that Moya's early hard court results (1997 Australian Open final, 1998 US Open semi-finals and Masters' Cup final) made other Spaniards think they could have big results outside clay. Not sure how true this is...

I see players copying Hewitt's 'Comons' etc.

And some players copy Nadal's forehand follow-through from time to time (Djokovic, Federer for example).

Can't think of much else now but will add if/when I think of more. Does anyone know who was the first to get three balls for serve then reject one (like almost everyone does now)? Good topic by the way.

good post.

hewitt was one of the youngest #1 players ever. he too can be considered somebody who influenced the sport.

n8
11-01-2010, 05:03 AM
good post.

hewitt was one of the youngest #1 players ever. he too can be considered somebody who influenced the sport.
Thanks.

Yes but perhaps not for being the youngest number one. Since then the average age of top players has increased dramatically. In fact, the age that Hewitt reached number one (20 years) is younger than anyone in the top 100 (as of last Monday at least, haven't updated my website yet)!

name_change
11-01-2010, 08:05 AM
I heard Australian commentators say a good half decade ago that Moya's early hard court results (1997 Australian Open final, 1998 US Open semi-finals and Masters' Cup final) made other Spaniards think they could have big results outside clay. Not sure how true this is...

I see players copying Hewitt's 'Comons' etc.

And some players copy Nadal's forehand follow-through from time to time (Djokovic, Federer for example).

Can't think of much else now but will add if/when I think of more. Does anyone know who was the first to get three balls for serve then reject one (like almost everyone does now)? Good topic by the way.
Maybe to a lesser extent. Most Spaniards saw Arantxa Sanchez's success outside clay as inspiration.

Action Jackson
11-01-2010, 09:51 AM
I don't really see how Lendl or Nadal changed the game. No one really emulated their games.

Learn history.

fast_clay
11-01-2010, 12:45 PM
as far as animal mode / physical fitness goes, evolution would have went like this...

1968---> rosewall/laver ---> connors ---> borg ---> post 84 lendl (Biggest Evolutionary Jump Here) ---> courier ---> sampras ---> agassi ---> hewitt ---> nadal

as far as style goes... serve and volley became a popular way of beating the grinders over 20 years before the open era... but then high rotation baseline tennis made a huge evolutionary jump with borg... really made topspin popular and highly stylised, even tho it had been employed to varying degrees very proficiently before this... then, later, a similar evolutionary jump with nadal, which i dont think really anyone will match.. bruguera's rpm was massive, but, lacked the bite and sheer velocity of nadal...

on the serve volley side... edberg, and rafter got close to being able to emulate the golden eras of serve volley tennis, but sampras was the last one to be able to demonstrate the style and successfully dominate... before that macenroe (who didnt really evolve the art of serve volley so much as brought an inimitable talent and feel to the table)... and... before that you had the greats of the old pro and new open era... you could argue becker's huge all court offensive power game into the mix there as well... as his arrival is basically the marker of where old school feel was destroyed - the beiginning of the end - as well as pushing lendl to hit bigger for longer...

offensive baseline tennis i'd say evolution jumped like this: connors ---> agassi ---> (you could argue murray here, but not really until he wins multiple slams) but i include murray because he is the evolution that brings together highly refined and consistant returning skills of agassi, plus the retrieval skill and baseline fight of a connors (tho connors return was an evolutionary jump in itself, though agassi could do it consistantly vs higher average velocity)... agassi is pretty much the poster boy of the big return game and 'the bolletieri effect'... 'first strike' tennis was born here... messy at times as seen widely in wta, but effective...

fast_clay
11-01-2010, 12:49 PM
fixers

valid post

Timariot
11-01-2010, 01:03 PM
1. Connors. He brought two-handed backhand into top of the game (Borg had also 2-handed backhand, but it was more like 1.5 hand backhand...nobody really emulated that shot). More importantly, Connors showed it was possible to play attacking backcourt game. At the time, conventional wisdom was that backcourt game was defensive in nature and suited to clay. Baseliners were supposed to never miss and outmaneuver the opponent by constructing points. Connors brought aggressive, relentless baseline game, particularly from backhand side. Before him, only few players could really hit winners or dominate game with backhand. After Connors, it was a norm.

2. Borg. The Iceman brought Western forehand back into tennis. It is amazing to think that at one point Western forehand was thought to be obsolete and lots of 'experts' were berating Borg, why he would want to doom his obviously promising tennis career by not learning a proper technique? Borg also brought supreme atheticism. There had been great athletes and fitness freaks before (Emerson, for example) but Borg was first who was globally viewed as a great athlete, instead of just being a 'great tennis player'. He also showed that topspin game could work in modern tennis even in fast surfaces.

3. Lendl. He didn't so much bring anything truly new (his stroke production looks very obsolete today), but he combined what Borg and Connors had brought to the game and set a standard which others had to meet, or perish.

4. Becker. Boom-Boom was first to take advantage of graphite racquets. Whilst there had been big servers before (Roscoe Tanner, for example) and Beckers' serve speeds were not that exceptional even at the time, he combined it all to far more effective and scary package. He also hit forehand harder than anyone else had before that.

5. Agassi. He really showed what you could do with oversized graphite racquets from the baseline. Open (or semi-open) forehand stance, taking ball on the rise, stepping in and delivering a big winner outright, often becoming airborne during the shot (previouly thought as big no-no). Also, he pretty much ignored conventional wisdom on volleys and began to take swing volleys, which looks normal today but were thought as hideously ugly then. Combined with his fame, he probably attracted more juniors and amateur players to emulate his play than any other player ever.

6. Courier. Bit of a surprise entry, but he was pretty influental. People talk about his fitness, but there has always been fitness freaks in the game. He deserves more credit about his inside-out forehand. Unlike Agassi, he would not go necessarily for a big winner, but dominate & grind the other guy down. Lots of people emulated that, which was perhaps unfortunate as that style of play proved too one-dimensional to produce lasting success. Reasons for his decline are debated, but some maintain he was simply figured out. Nevertheless, along with Agassi he can be credited from pretty much inventing the modern forehand.

7. Sampras...like Lendl, he more like refined what existed to peak, rather than brought anything new. In fact his game can be described as classical '60s 'Big game' (serve & volley, chip & charge) with '80s Beckeresque influence (athleticism, Eastern forehand grip, running forehand). But he set a new standard of overall tennis prowess, and that standard was awfully high.

8. Rios. This might surprise many. What did he bring except jump backhand? But Rios was the first top player who started playing during graphite racquet era. All the earlier players had some "wooden racquet" heritance in their games. With his shortish career at the top, and failure to win a Slam, it can be debated how influental he actually was. But his game was very similar we now play at 2010. Quick but big, flattish strokes from both sides, very fast, quickly swings from defence to offense, excellent movement, big serve despite his short stature. He wasn't long at the top, but when he was there, he made Agassi look outdated. If Becker was proto-Sampras, Rios was proto-Federer.

9. Federer. Once again, we have a top player whose game in many respects isn't all that revolutionary in technical or tactical sense. His forehand grip is kinda anachronistic and he uses relatively small racquet. He can be perhaps credited from his innovative use of slice, which before him was thought to be somewhat outdated (compare to Borg...). But what is noteworthy is how quickly and completely he adapted to changed conditions of early '2000s, caused by slowed courts and polyester strings. Originally playing sorta semi-1990s aggressive game, he modified it to more "passive-aggressive" (I call it 'swinger game' as he swings from defending to attacking with one stroke) as the continued aggression became more and more tantamount to suicide.

See, in the past the conventional wisdom was that if you hit a great attacking shot, it would come back weak. You played your game as long as it worked. For top players this generally meant asserting themselves in every point. If you were S&V, you hit the approach shots and came in every time. Offensive baseliners would keep grinding until the other guy broke down. Graphite racquets changed this paradigm a bit (Sampras' running forehand one example) but it generally stayed that way until the '2000s. But with slower courts, new strings (Agassi said the nearly considered retiring because the strings changed the game so much) and new generation of players who had honed their passing shots and footspeed to answer to Sampras and other last great S&V players of the '90s, this sort of game was no longer feasible. Too many guys had ability to hit incredible defensive shots. Federer adapted, he changed his style to play sort of passive waiting game where he waited for opportunity to step in and finish the point in one (two at most) quick strikes. There was no point playing the point beyond that because it did not increase your chances of winning. If you made an error you did, next point. And he played that game better than anyone, his unflappable talent and modern strings allowing him to routinely hit shots which would have been highlights of the week just 10 years prior.

DrJules
11-01-2010, 01:04 PM
who are some of the players who truly recolutionized the sport during the open era?

the floor is at your disposal. have at it.

and have a blast talking about this. give us a healthy list of those who you believe improved the sport for the better and truly revolutionized it and shaped its future.

all valuable, reasonable thoughts and comments are welcome.


***i can fire off the first take:

1. connors
2. agassi
3. borg
4. vilas
5. lendl
7. muster
8. nadal
9. fed

Include Laver (only player in open era to win grand slam), Sampras and Hewitt (youngest number 1) and drop Muster and Vilas and you have 10 most influential.

Clay Death
11-01-2010, 01:07 PM
laver should be included in that list.

Raiden
11-01-2010, 02:14 PM
It's Federer who revolutionized the power/offensive/aggressive baseline game. It is he who reintroduced it to the forefront and made it what it is today: the currenly dominant "norm" (the most commonly practiced style). The original inventor of this style however is none other than Ivan Lendl, before whom baseline game was almost always fundamentally defensive oriented (return, etc) than aggressive.

Aside from baseline offense, Federer also revolutionized the forehand. The easily noticeable evidence of this legacy is not just the plenty other (younger) ATP players but also tennis schools all over the world: they are full of kids learning how to turn their entire upper body into one unified giant whip.

As far as defensive baseline is concerned, Agassi is the latest big "revolutionizer" of that. But if bicep-powered surface-proof-topspin tennis becomes common in the future then you will know that Nadal will be the one who'll be regarded as that style's exponent

LoveFifteen
11-01-2010, 06:58 PM
Some people have already mentioned it, but I'd say that the two-handed backhand popularized by Chris Evert, Jimmy Connors, and Bjorn Borg was one of the biggest revolutions in the game inspired by players. Lendl and Navratilova for taking fitness to new levels.

yonexforever
11-01-2010, 08:02 PM
I don't really see how Lendl or Nadal changed the game. No one really emulated their games.

Lendl was THE FORCE that shaped the modern power baseline game.
No one before him.. simply camped out on the baseline and laced ground strokes with such forocity.
Now that's the way the entire game is played for both men and women.
Nadal should NOT be mentioned YET.

yonexforever
11-01-2010, 08:05 PM
Are you serious?

Lendl set the tone for most 90's players. Big hitting, incredible fitness.

As for Nadal, we will have to wait and see his influence in the coming decades.

THIS ^
:worship:

hicdick
11-01-2010, 09:38 PM
1. Connors. He brought two-handed backhand into top of the game (Borg had also 2-handed backhand, but it was more like 1.5 hand backhand...nobody really emulated that shot). More importantly, Connors showed it was possible to play attacking backcourt game. At the time, conventional wisdom was that backcourt game was defensive in nature and suited to clay. Baseliners were supposed to never miss and outmaneuver the opponent by constructing points. Connors brought aggressive, relentless baseline game, particularly from backhand side. Before him, only few players could really hit winners or dominate game with backhand. After Connors, it was a norm.

2. Borg. The Iceman brought Western forehand back into tennis. It is amazing to think that at one point Western forehand was thought to be obsolete and lots of 'experts' were berating Borg, why he would want to doom his obviously promising tennis career by not learning a proper technique? Borg also brought supreme atheticism. There had been great athletes and fitness freaks before (Emerson, for example) but Borg was first who was globally viewed as a great athlete, instead of just being a 'great tennis player'. He also showed that topspin game could work in modern tennis even in fast surfaces.

3. Lendl. He didn't so much bring anything truly new (his stroke production looks very obsolete today), but he combined what Borg and Connors had brought to the game and set a standard which others had to meet, or perish.

4. Becker. Boom-Boom was first to take advantage of graphite racquets. Whilst there had been big servers before (Roscoe Tanner, for example) and Beckers' serve speeds were not that exceptional even at the time, he combined it all to far more effective and scary package. He also hit forehand harder than anyone else had before that.

5. Agassi. He really showed what you could do with oversized graphite racquets from the baseline. Open (or semi-open) forehand stance, taking ball on the rise, stepping in and delivering a big winner outright, often becoming airborne during the shot (previouly thought as big no-no). Also, he pretty much ignored conventional wisdom on volleys and began to take swing volleys, which looks normal today but were thought as hideously ugly then. Combined with his fame, he probably attracted more juniors and amateur players to emulate his play than any other player ever.

6. Courier. Bit of a surprise entry, but he was pretty influental. People talk about his fitness, but there has always been fitness freaks in the game. He deserves more credit about his inside-out forehand. Unlike Agassi, he would not go necessarily for a big winner, but dominate & grind the other guy down. Lots of people emulated that, which was perhaps unfortunate as that style of play proved too one-dimensional to produce lasting success. Reasons for his decline are debated, but some maintain he was simply figured out. Nevertheless, along with Agassi he can be credited from pretty much inventing the modern forehand.

7. Sampras...like Lendl, he more like refined what existed to peak, rather than brought anything new. In fact his game can be described as classical '60s 'Big game' (serve & volley, chip & charge) with '80s Beckeresque influence (athleticism, Eastern forehand grip, running forehand). But he set a new standard of overall tennis prowess, and that standard was awfully high.

8. Rios. This might surprise many. What did he bring except jump backhand? But Rios was the first top player who started playing during graphite racquet era. All the earlier players had some "wooden racquet" heritance in their games. With his shortish career at the top, and failure to win a Slam, it can be debated how influental he actually was. But his game was very similar we now play at 2010. Quick but big, flattish strokes from both sides, very fast, quickly swings from defence to offense, excellent movement, big serve despite his short stature. He wasn't long at the top, but when he was there, he made Agassi look outdated. If Becker was proto-Sampras, Rios was proto-Federer.

9. Federer. Once again, we have a top player whose game in many respects isn't all that revolutionary in technical or tactical sense. His forehand grip is kinda anachronistic and he uses relatively small racquet. He can be perhaps credited from his innovative use of slice, which before him was thought to be somewhat outdated (compare to Borg...). But what is noteworthy is how quickly and completely he adapted to changed conditions of early '2000s, caused by slowed courts and polyester strings. Originally playing sorta semi-1990s aggressive game, he modified it to more "passive-aggressive" (I call it 'swinger game' as he swings from defending to attacking with one stroke) as the continued aggression became more and more tantamount to suicide.

See, in the past the conventional wisdom was that if you hit a great attacking shot, it would come back weak. You played your game as long as it worked. For top players this generally meant asserting themselves in every point. If you were S&V, you hit the approach shots and came in every time. Offensive baseliners would keep grinding until the other guy broke down. Graphite racquets changed this paradigm a bit (Sampras' running forehand one example) but it generally stayed that way until the '2000s. But with slower courts, new strings (Agassi said the nearly considered retiring because the strings changed the game so much) and new generation of players who had honed their passing shots and footspeed to answer to Sampras and other last great S&V players of the '90s, this sort of game was no longer feasible. Too many guys had ability to hit incredible defensive shots. Federer adapted, he changed his style to play sort of passive waiting game where he waited for opportunity to step in and finish the point in one (two at most) quick strikes. There was no point playing the point beyond that because it did not increase your chances of winning. If you made an error you did, next point. And he played that game better than anyone, his unflappable talent and modern strings allowing him to routinely hit shots which would have been highlights of the week just 10 years prior.


brilliant post :yeah: (eventhough i don't agree about the bit on federer)
great thread! please don't ruin it nadaltards&fedtards.

Certinfy
11-01-2010, 09:41 PM
Nadal and Federer - They killed carpet courts! Ruined Berdych's career!

Action Jackson
11-01-2010, 09:42 PM
1. Connors. He brought two-handed backhand into top of the game (Borg had also 2-handed backhand, but it was more like 1.5 hand backhand...nobody really emulated that shot). More importantly, Connors showed it was possible to play attacking backcourt game. At the time, conventional wisdom was that backcourt game was defensive in nature and suited to clay. Baseliners were supposed to never miss and outmaneuver the opponent by constructing points. Connors brought aggressive, relentless baseline game, particularly from backhand side. Before him, only few players could really hit winners or dominate game with backhand. After Connors, it was a norm.

2. Borg. The Iceman brought Western forehand back into tennis. It is amazing to think that at one point Western forehand was thought to be obsolete and lots of 'experts' were berating Borg, why he would want to doom his obviously promising tennis career by not learning a proper technique? Borg also brought supreme atheticism. There had been great athletes and fitness freaks before (Emerson, for example) but Borg was first who was globally viewed as a great athlete, instead of just being a 'great tennis player'. He also showed that topspin game could work in modern tennis even in fast surfaces.

3. Lendl. He didn't so much bring anything truly new (his stroke production looks very obsolete today), but he combined what Borg and Connors had brought to the game and set a standard which others had to meet, or perish.

4. Becker. Boom-Boom was first to take advantage of graphite racquets. Whilst there had been big servers before (Roscoe Tanner, for example) and Beckers' serve speeds were not that exceptional even at the time, he combined it all to far more effective and scary package. He also hit forehand harder than anyone else had before that.

5. Agassi. He really showed what you could do with oversized graphite racquets from the baseline. Open (or semi-open) forehand stance, taking ball on the rise, stepping in and delivering a big winner outright, often becoming airborne during the shot (previouly thought as big no-no). Also, he pretty much ignored conventional wisdom on volleys and began to take swing volleys, which looks normal today but were thought as hideously ugly then. Combined with his fame, he probably attracted more juniors and amateur players to emulate his play than any other player ever.

6. Courier. Bit of a surprise entry, but he was pretty influental. People talk about his fitness, but there has always been fitness freaks in the game. He deserves more credit about his inside-out forehand. Unlike Agassi, he would not go necessarily for a big winner, but dominate & grind the other guy down. Lots of people emulated that, which was perhaps unfortunate as that style of play proved too one-dimensional to produce lasting success. Reasons for his decline are debated, but some maintain he was simply figured out. Nevertheless, along with Agassi he can be credited from pretty much inventing the modern forehand.

7. Sampras...like Lendl, he more like refined what existed to peak, rather than brought anything new. In fact his game can be described as classical '60s 'Big game' (serve & volley, chip & charge) with '80s Beckeresque influence (athleticism, Eastern forehand grip, running forehand). But he set a new standard of overall tennis prowess, and that standard was awfully high.

8. Rios. This might surprise many. What did he bring except jump backhand? But Rios was the first top player who started playing during graphite racquet era. All the earlier players had some "wooden racquet" heritance in their games. With his shortish career at the top, and failure to win a Slam, it can be debated how influental he actually was. But his game was very similar we now play at 2010. Quick but big, flattish strokes from both sides, very fast, quickly swings from defence to offense, excellent movement, big serve despite his short stature. He wasn't long at the top, but when he was there, he made Agassi look outdated. If Becker was proto-Sampras, Rios was proto-Federer.

9. Federer. Once again, we have a top player whose game in many respects isn't all that revolutionary in technical or tactical sense. His forehand grip is kinda anachronistic and he uses relatively small racquet. He can be perhaps credited from his innovative use of slice, which before him was thought to be somewhat outdated (compare to Borg...). But what is noteworthy is how quickly and completely he adapted to changed conditions of early '2000s, caused by slowed courts and polyester strings. Originally playing sorta semi-1990s aggressive game, he modified it to more "passive-aggressive" (I call it 'swinger game' as he swings from defending to attacking with one stroke) as the continued aggression became more and more tantamount to suicide.

See, in the past the conventional wisdom was that if you hit a great attacking shot, it would come back weak. You played your game as long as it worked. For top players this generally meant asserting themselves in every point. If you were S&V, you hit the approach shots and came in every time. Offensive baseliners would keep grinding until the other guy broke down. Graphite racquets changed this paradigm a bit (Sampras' running forehand one example) but it generally stayed that way until the '2000s. But with slower courts, new strings (Agassi said the nearly considered retiring because the strings changed the game so much) and new generation of players who had honed their passing shots and footspeed to answer to Sampras and other last great S&V players of the '90s, this sort of game was no longer feasible. Too many guys had ability to hit incredible defensive shots. Federer adapted, he changed his style to play sort of passive waiting game where he waited for opportunity to step in and finish the point in one (two at most) quick strikes. There was no point playing the point beyond that because it did not increase your chances of winning. If you made an error you did, next point. And he played that game better than anyone, his unflappable talent and modern strings allowing him to routinely hit shots which would have been highlights of the week just 10 years prior.

Brilliant work and sums it up perfectly throughout the evolution of the game.

fast_clay
11-01-2010, 10:55 PM
1. Connors. He brought two-handed backhand into top of the game (Borg had also 2-handed backhand, but it was more like 1.5 hand backhand...nobody really emulated that shot). More importantly, Connors showed it was possible to play attacking backcourt game. At the time, conventional wisdom was that backcourt game was defensive in nature and suited to clay. Baseliners were supposed to never miss and outmaneuver the opponent by constructing points. Connors brought aggressive, relentless baseline game, particularly from backhand side. Before him, only few players could really hit winners or dominate game with backhand. After Connors, it was a norm.

2. Borg. The Iceman brought Western forehand back into tennis. It is amazing to think that at one point Western forehand was thought to be obsolete and lots of 'experts' were berating Borg, why he would want to doom his obviously promising tennis career by not learning a proper technique? Borg also brought supreme atheticism. There had been great athletes and fitness freaks before (Emerson, for example) but Borg was first who was globally viewed as a great athlete, instead of just being a 'great tennis player'. He also showed that topspin game could work in modern tennis even in fast surfaces.

3. Lendl. He didn't so much bring anything truly new (his stroke production looks very obsolete today), but he combined what Borg and Connors had brought to the game and set a standard which others had to meet, or perish.

4. Becker. Boom-Boom was first to take advantage of graphite racquets. Whilst there had been big servers before (Roscoe Tanner, for example) and Beckers' serve speeds were not that exceptional even at the time, he combined it all to far more effective and scary package. He also hit forehand harder than anyone else had before that.

5. Agassi. He really showed what you could do with oversized graphite racquets from the baseline. Open (or semi-open) forehand stance, taking ball on the rise, stepping in and delivering a big winner outright, often becoming airborne during the shot (previouly thought as big no-no). Also, he pretty much ignored conventional wisdom on volleys and began to take swing volleys, which looks normal today but were thought as hideously ugly then. Combined with his fame, he probably attracted more juniors and amateur players to emulate his play than any other player ever.

6. Courier. Bit of a surprise entry, but he was pretty influental. People talk about his fitness, but there has always been fitness freaks in the game. He deserves more credit about his inside-out forehand. Unlike Agassi, he would not go necessarily for a big winner, but dominate & grind the other guy down. Lots of people emulated that, which was perhaps unfortunate as that style of play proved too one-dimensional to produce lasting success. Reasons for his decline are debated, but some maintain he was simply figured out. Nevertheless, along with Agassi he can be credited from pretty much inventing the modern forehand.

7. Sampras...like Lendl, he more like refined what existed to peak, rather than brought anything new. In fact his game can be described as classical '60s 'Big game' (serve & volley, chip & charge) with '80s Beckeresque influence (athleticism, Eastern forehand grip, running forehand). But he set a new standard of overall tennis prowess, and that standard was awfully high.

8. Rios. This might surprise many. What did he bring except jump backhand? But Rios was the first top player who started playing during graphite racquet era. All the earlier players had some "wooden racquet" heritance in their games. With his shortish career at the top, and failure to win a Slam, it can be debated how influental he actually was. But his game was very similar we now play at 2010. Quick but big, flattish strokes from both sides, very fast, quickly swings from defence to offense, excellent movement, big serve despite his short stature. He wasn't long at the top, but when he was there, he made Agassi look outdated. If Becker was proto-Sampras, Rios was proto-Federer.

9. Federer. Once again, we have a top player whose game in many respects isn't all that revolutionary in technical or tactical sense. His forehand grip is kinda anachronistic and he uses relatively small racquet. He can be perhaps credited from his innovative use of slice, which before him was thought to be somewhat outdated (compare to Borg...). But what is noteworthy is how quickly and completely he adapted to changed conditions of early '2000s, caused by slowed courts and polyester strings. Originally playing sorta semi-1990s aggressive game, he modified it to more "passive-aggressive" (I call it 'swinger game' as he swings from defending to attacking with one stroke) as the continued aggression became more and more tantamount to suicide.

See, in the past the conventional wisdom was that if you hit a great attacking shot, it would come back weak. You played your game as long as it worked. For top players this generally meant asserting themselves in every point. If you were S&V, you hit the approach shots and came in every time. Offensive baseliners would keep grinding until the other guy broke down. Graphite racquets changed this paradigm a bit (Sampras' running forehand one example) but it generally stayed that way until the '2000s. But with slower courts, new strings (Agassi said the nearly considered retiring because the strings changed the game so much) and new generation of players who had honed their passing shots and footspeed to answer to Sampras and other last great S&V players of the '90s, this sort of game was no longer feasible. Too many guys had ability to hit incredible defensive shots. Federer adapted, he changed his style to play sort of passive waiting game where he waited for opportunity to step in and finish the point in one (two at most) quick strikes. There was no point playing the point beyond that because it did not increase your chances of winning. If you made an error you did, next point. And he played that game better than anyone, his unflappable talent and modern strings allowing him to routinely hit shots which would have been highlights of the week just 10 years prior.

enjoyable read... i liked the summation on rios... indeed ahead of his time...

pray-for-palestine-and-israel
11-01-2010, 11:24 PM
sampras was gonzales for the 90s

laver brought top spin

roscoe tanner served with wood what 90% cant serve with modern racquets

nadal is muster- cant seperate them- what has nadal done that muster didnt do in 1995? he is a stronger consistent muster in an easier clay era. that isnt an insult, its great praise, muster could have been greater than borg had he maintained his form longer and been able to handle the S&Vers of his day

federer's wrist flick shot emergency defence shot winner, his forehand liquid whip with additional topsin from the wrist will never be copied anywhere near fed's level- he wont influence because he was just too good to copy

agassi is the only player that comes to mind who was equal on both wings- and both sides were excellent

Clay Death
11-02-2010, 12:24 AM
should johhny mac be incuded in the discussion here?

he snatched 77 singles to go along with his 77 doubles titles with his all court mastery of the sport.

surely he influenced the sport in some ways.

Timariot
11-02-2010, 12:26 AM
roscoe tanner served with wood what 90% cant serve with modern racquets


Actually, he served with steel...doesn't change the point though.


nadal is muster- cant seperate them- what has nadal done that muster didnt do in 1995?


Repeated it next year. And year after that and...

Muster tried to transfer his game to hardcourts, and his HC results did improve. However, his clay results went south very fast. Somewhat same happened to Kafelnikov - he won the French Open and looked like primed to clay greatness, then his clay results went to crappers, even if his fast court play improved. Curious, really.

Action Jackson
11-02-2010, 12:33 AM
Actually, he served with steel...doesn't change the point though.



Repeated it next year. And year after that and...

Muster tried to transfer his game to hardcourts, and his HC results did improve. However, his clay results went south very fast. Somewhat same happened to Kafelnikov - he won the French Open and looked like primed to clay greatness, then his clay results went to crappers, even if his fast court play improved. Curious, really.

Muster's last win was at Miami ironic, as that was the place where he had the accident that led to the injured leg being shorter than the other. Yes, he achieved everything on clay and switched to a longer racquet in getting success on hardcourts, his clay results got worse but 97 he lost to Guga, and 98 Mantilla, then retired after 99 with Lapentti loss.

Nadal hasn't done this

6uNB4tMl8P8

Timariot
11-02-2010, 12:35 AM
should johhny mac be incuded in the discussion here?

he snatched 77 singles to go along with his 77 doubles titles with his all court mastery of the sport.

surely he influenced the sport in some ways.

Mac's service motion was very influental. Lots of players tried to copy it to at least some degree. Other than that, his game was like Federers, bit too unique to be copied. Mac also brought another development, he revitalized Davis Cup in the USA. Sadly, this would not last beyond his retirement.

Clay Death
11-02-2010, 12:37 AM
muster was having some back and other health related issues that made things difficult for him.

his story is the greatest story in tennis never told.

he was a warrior of the highest order. more will be said about him later.

stay tuned.

Clay Death
11-02-2010, 12:40 AM
Mac's service motion was very influental. Lots of players tried to copy it to at least some degree. Other than that, his game was like Federers, bit too unique to be copied. Mac also brought another development, he revitalized Davis Cup in the USA. Sadly, this would not last beyond his retirement.


mac introduced an all court attacking style of tennis to the world.

he started out as a pure baseliner when he was a mere junior but his game evolved over time.

he also showed the world how to take the ball extremely early and attack.

he basically reduced the size of the court with his amazing ability to take the ball early and play well inside baseline.

Raiden
11-02-2010, 12:40 AM
1. Connors. He brought two-handed backhand into top of the game (Borg had also 2-handed backhand, but it was more like 1.5 hand backhand...nobody really emulated that shot). More importantly, Connors showed it was possible to play attacking backcourt game. At the time, conventional wisdom was that backcourt game was defensive in nature and suited to clay. Baseliners were supposed to never miss and outmaneuver the opponent by constructing points. Connors brought aggressive, relentless baseline game, particularly from backhand side. Before him, only few players could really hit winners or dominate game with backhand. After Connors, it was a norm.

2. Borg (........)

3. Lendl. He didn't so much bring anything truly new (his stroke production looks very obsolete today), but he combined what Borg and Connors had brought to the game and set a standard which others had to meet, or perish...Connors relied more on returning at the baseline but then setting up the winner at the net after an approach shot rather than routinely hitting winners left and right of his opponent without planning to go to the net. The credit for that new idea goes to Ivan Lendl.

Yes, building new things requires old pieces but the bottom line is that there is something new out there. So Lendl did bring something new to the top of the game as much as any other tennis player ever did, if not more. Today's game has the unmistakable giant stamp of Ivan on it, which, thanks to the modern invention of the internet and streaming video anyone can witness and verify. We no longer have to rely exclusively on (often agenda-driven) storytelling.

Clay Death
11-02-2010, 12:42 AM
great discussions in this thread.

keep up with the good contributions. well done old sports.

Action Jackson
11-02-2010, 12:45 AM
Mac's service motion was very influental. Lots of players tried to copy it to at least some degree. Other than that, his game was like Federers, bit too unique to be copied. Mac also brought another development, he revitalized Davis Cup in the USA. Sadly, this would not last beyond his retirement.

His personality bought a lot of people to the sport, as well as his unique gifts.

Clay Death
11-02-2010, 12:49 AM
affirmative.

out_here_grindin
11-02-2010, 01:23 AM
His personality bought a lot of people to the sport, as well as his unique gifts.

He made tennis popular in the USA, more popular than it is now. He,Connors and Borg. McEnroe was the most popular of these three and it often mentioned even today on tennis courts.

Mimi
11-02-2010, 10:59 AM
who are some of the players who truly recolutionized the sport during the open era?

the floor is at your disposal. have at it.

and have a blast talking about this. give us a healthy list of those who you believe improved the sport for the better and truly revolutionized it and shaped its future.

all valuable, reasonable thoughts and comments are welcome.


***i can fire off the first take:

1. connors
2. agassi
3. borg
4. vilas
5. lendl
7. muster
8. nadal
9. fed

you missed out my old pete:rolleyes::mad:

Echoes
11-02-2010, 12:13 PM
I'm very suspicious about all these "innovations". The Open Era started almost a century after the birth of tennis. Which innovation could come out after so many years?

For example, "Connors brought double-handed backhand into the game." That's inaccurate. John Bromwich already had it.

Even S&V being invented in the late forties by Jack Kramer is doubtful. Perhaps Kramer did it in a systematic way but I have the info that Borotra and Richards already came in after serve, at least occasionally. Can't check it myself though. Borotra was an opponent to the Big Game in the late fifties but ironically, so was Kramer.

Of course, innovations may come up if they are linked with technological innovations. Lendl probably was the one who brought the inside out forehand (+ inside in) to the game (or at least to use them efficiently) and the running forehand. But I'm pretty sure that new graphite racket allowed for the use of these shot in an efficient way. He then handed down to Sampras, first (and actually the whole new generation). Sampras was just Lendl with S&V. It's a bit ironical if you've read the article on atptennis.com that Sampras spent a few days in the Lendl academy in 1990 shortly before he won the US Open beating Lendl in his run. He would even beat him again in an exo tourney later in September.


However McEnroe would still be a mystery to me. The 180° rotation serve motion and the shortened moves ! How could nobody have played that way and thought of this serve technique neither before nor since !


Muster's last win was at Miami ironic, as that was the place where he had the accident that led to the injured leg being shorter than the other. Yes, he achieved everything on clay and switched to a longer racquet in getting success on hardcourts, his clay results got worse but 97 he lost to Guga, and 98 Mantilla, then retired after 99 with Lapentti loss.

If I remember well after Key Biscayne in 1997 he lost 1st round at every clay tournaments before RG, or at least suffered early exits. To Pioline in Barcelona, to start with.

Clay Death
11-02-2010, 01:58 PM
you missed out my old pete:rolleyes::mad:

we did say that we needed to include sampras.

his 14 slams on quicker surfaces do suggest a certain level of mastery. i think he left his mark on the game.

it was not an enduring style of play that would shape the future of the sport but it influenced the sport in his day.

brent-o
11-02-2010, 02:10 PM
Edberg, for his world-class forehand alone. Just kidding. But seriously, I would like to say he ushered in a new era of shared respect and sportsmanship between players. But I'm not sure if he's single-handedly responsible for it. He certainly was a classy guy though.

Forehander
11-02-2010, 02:58 PM
Understand this isn't a post to attack Nadal. But...

How about Nadal's taking time between points and constant coaching? That's rather revolutionizing I'd say. Surely many of the upcoming juniors are taking Rafa as a role model and already start practicing to do that.

Clay Death
11-02-2010, 03:30 PM
tony cannot play for nadal and he sure as hell does not know 1/10 of what nadal knows when it comes to winning tennis matches.

you best wake up and smell the coffee. tony is a cheerleader at best.

and you are talking about one of the most admired athletes in all of sports. he is also rated #1 global draw in tennis.

nobody but a few clowns here at mtf have a problem with his taking a few extra seconds.

they are all friends with him and just about all the players have the utmost respect for him.

what does that tell you?

fast_clay
11-02-2010, 04:32 PM
I'm very suspicious about all these "innovations". The Open Era started almost a century after the birth of tennis. Which innovation could come out after so many years?

For example, "Connors brought double-handed backhand into the game." That's inaccurate. John Bromwich already had it.

Even S&V being invented in the late forties by Jack Kramer is doubtful. Perhaps Kramer did it in a systematic way but I have the info that Borotra and Richards already came in after serve, at least occasionally. Can't check it myself though. Borotra was an opponent to the Big Game in the late fifties but ironically, so was Kramer.

Of course, innovations may come up if they are linked with technological innovations. Lendl probably was the one who brought the inside out forehand (+ inside in) to the game (or at least to use them efficiently) and the running forehand. But I'm pretty sure that new graphite racket allowed for the use of these shot in an efficient way. He then handed down to Sampras, first (and actually the whole new generation). Sampras was just Lendl with S&V. It's a bit ironical if you've read the article on atptennis.com that Sampras spent a few days in the Lendl academy in 1990 shortly before he won the US Open beating Lendl in his run. He would even beat him again in an exo tourney later in September.


However McEnroe would still be a mystery to me. The 180° rotation serve motion and the shortened moves ! How could nobody have played that way and thought of this serve technique neither before nor since !




If I remember well after Key Biscayne in 1997 he lost 1st round at every clay tournaments before RG, or at least suffered early exits. To Pioline in Barcelona, to start with.

yeah... not sure about 1990, but in 1989, lendl invited a young californian kid to train with him for two weeks... but, sampras was identified by lendl primarily to have him hit heavy serves at him at his inch perfect dimensional replica of the USO louis armstrong court... the idea being lendl needed to hone his skill at receiving due to the becker phenomenon of the time... here is where sampras saw the ultra professionalism first hand... and, the baton perhaps was handed on here... much akin to what used to happen in the aussie davis cup teams of the golden age but in a more professional manner... in any case, becker won the uso that year... and sampras the year following...

so yes... ironic for sure...

Timariot
11-02-2010, 05:10 PM
I'm very suspicious about all these "innovations". The Open Era started almost a century after the birth of tennis. Which innovation could come out after so many years?

For example, "Connors brought double-handed backhand into the game." That's inaccurate. John Bromwich already had it.


We were talking about changes in Open Era. No, Connors did not invent two-handed backhand. Borg did not invent Western forehand. But when they came to the scene, both shots were viewed as anachronistic compared to paradigm of the time, which was Kramer-esque S&V tennis with universal grip. Now, it's the universal grip which is obsolete.


Even S&V being invented in the late forties by Jack Kramer is doubtful. Perhaps Kramer did it in a systematic way but I have the info that Borotra and Richards already came in after serve, at least occasionally. Can't check it myself though. Borotra was an opponent to the Big Game in the late fifties but ironically, so was Kramer.


Jack Kramer of course did not invent S&V. However, he was the first top player who practiced it at systematic fashion ("percentage game") at top level and was able to prove that it brought the results.

Many S&V players of course existed in the 1920's already. Tilden thought that at theoretical level, baseliner should beat a "netman" (S&V player).


Of course, innovations may come up if they are linked with technological innovations. Lendl probably was the one who brought the inside out forehand (+ inside in) to the game (or at least to use them efficiently) and the running forehand.

Of course, there had been Pancho Segura, he (reputedly) pretty much always ran around to his forehand (I haven't actually seen any of his matches). But that was long before Open era. And anyway he was more like freak of nature, than someone who brought a big change to the game.

Clay Death
11-02-2010, 09:11 PM
who was the first to hit a double-handed forehand in the open era?

i do believe that a double-handed forehand is a shot of the future. the players in the future will employ this shot for its stability and power.

they will be able to hit both types of forehands but a double-handed forehand will have more stability, fewer variables, and of course significantly more power.

Filo V.
11-02-2010, 09:44 PM
Sampras, and the other S&V players/big servers/100% attacking players in that generation, did shape the game, because those players were the driving force in the changing of the court surfaces to medium all over, and the racquet technology that is geared towards spin and power/control combo and not just flat hitting.

Clay Death
11-02-2010, 10:00 PM
sampy, rafter, edberg, and cash style of play doesnt pay the mortgage any longer.

they influenced the sport in other ways to some extent but i would not call them true visionaries. they did not change the game.

pray-for-palestine-and-israel
11-02-2010, 10:38 PM
tanner used steel? surely not the same t100 zero sweet spot racquet connors used.
i read online that tanner was definitely using wood in 1974, so when did he switch

Clay Death
11-02-2010, 10:47 PM
why is tanner being mentioned here?

and who the hell is tanner anyway?

pray-for-palestine-and-israel
11-02-2010, 10:56 PM
fara ladan will be the most duplicated player

i know "strings" but still... nadal is hitting the ball with more topspin than anyone in tennis history

the heavy topspin has turned his H2H with federer one sided in his favour

the heavy topspin has shown weaknesses in the 1 handed backhand

i hear arguments that a player with a greater 1hbh would be able to handle the nadal topspin, but i disagree, i think fed's 1 hander wasnt a bad shot, by 2005 it was an exceptional shot-

would guga handle heavy topspin on the BH better? maybe, but i think nadal would destroy even him on clay anyway

nadal's forehand is the perrfect clay shot, that has successfully adapted itself to grass and hard courts

his improved serve won him wimbledon and the us open

his backhand is just as good on fast courts as his forehand

pray-for-palestine-and-israel
11-02-2010, 10:57 PM
http://www.tennisplayer.net/bulletin/showthread.php?p=3031

^read it clay-D

its an excellent analysis and has indepth opinions from a few serving experts

and they also discuss how nadal's improved serve was the real key to winning on grass.... how right they turned out to be when it was the serve that won him the us open as well

Clay Death
11-02-2010, 11:05 PM
http://www.tennisplayer.net/bulletin/showthread.php?p=3031

^read it clay-D

its an excellent analysis and has indepth opinions from a few serving experts

and they also discuss how nadal's improved serve was the real key to winning on grass.... how right they turned out to be when it was the serve that won him the us open as well

thanks tennis hero.

i will check this out.

Clay Death
11-02-2010, 11:09 PM
fara ladan will be the most duplicated player

i know "strings" but still... nadal is hitting the ball with more topspin than anyone in tennis history

the heavy topspin has turned his H2H with federer one sided in his favour

the heavy topspin has shown weaknesses in the 1 handed backhand

i hear arguments that a player with a greater 1hbh would be able to handle the nadal topspin, but i disagree, i think fed's 1 hander wasnt a bad shot, by 2005 it was an exceptional shot-

would guga handle heavy topspin on the BH better? maybe, but i think nadal would destroy even him on clay anyway

nadal's forehand is the perrfect clay shot, that has successfully adapted itself to grass and hard courts

his improved serve won him wimbledon and the us open

his backhand is just as good on fast courts as his forehand

some good stuff there tennis hero.

some experts agree: while gonzo`s and fed`s forehands are more explosive, clay warrior may have the most effective forehand ever seen in the game.

why?

he just doesnt miss off that wing when he is on. and he can have you on a string like a rat with it all match long.

lot of people can hit 110 mph forehands today and it means nothing. can you produce in the clutch and win slams with your forehand? his forehand is his most potent weapon. it simply ends your existence.

that is what matters.

pray-for-palestine-and-israel
11-02-2010, 11:14 PM
very important point you bring up

the clutch game of nadal is, in my opinion, the greatest i have ever seen

i was hesitant to rate nadal in the clutch over sampras, but i think- nadal has shown time and time again that he is the greatest clutch player i have ever witnessed

i cant speak for all time, as the pre open era had some clutch players- but i think its time to accept nadal amongst the elite... and his clutch game stands alone in my opinion

Clay Death
11-02-2010, 11:20 PM
there is one other dude tennis hero who must be given some credit also:

it is muster. until the clay warrrior king came along, nobody but nobody had a better/higher batting percentage in the finals than Muster.the man simply took care of business at the big dance.

and you know that is when it really counts.


that is by far the ultimate measure of mental toughness: how tough are you in the finals? can you perform when it really really counts?

that being said, even nadal is 2nd to the relentless will of muster. just look at what he was able to achieve after a drunk driver destroyed his knee.

luie
11-03-2010, 12:59 AM
fara ladan will be the most duplicated player

i know "strings" but still... nadal is hitting the ball with more topspin than anyone in tennis history

the heavy topspin has turned his H2H with federer one sided in his favour

the heavy topspin has shown weaknesses in the 1 handed backhand

i hear arguments that a player with a greater 1hbh would be able to handle the nadal topspin, but i disagree, i think fed's 1 hander wasnt a bad shot, by 2005 it was an exceptional shot-

would guga handle heavy topspin on the BH better? maybe, but i think nadal would destroy even him on clay anyway

nadal's forehand is the perrfect clay shot, that has successfully adapted itself to grass and hard courts

his improved serve won him wimbledon and the us open

his backhand is just as good on fast courts as his forehand
Exactly even if federer had a better 1 hbh or a 2hbh for that matter he would still lose most of his matches against nadull on clay,although a match-up issue is present, nadull is @ the end of the day a superior CLAYCOURTER to federer & pretty much every-one in the current game regardless of their playing style.
A few top players have a postive h2h against nadull off clay but when clay enters the equation its lopsided in his favour by the basic fact he is a freak on the surface.

Raiden
11-03-2010, 01:09 AM
Sampras, and the other S&V players/big servers/100% attacking players in that generation, did shape the game, because those players were the driving force in the changing of the court surfaces to medium all over,Hello? They weren't the driving force, at least not intentionally. After all, those surface changes came about not in the support of, but in direct opposition to (for the purpose of countering/reducing/nullifying) those players' game.

The famous (or infamous) 1990s ace-fest was a curious phenomenon at first, but very soon enough the novelty wore out and it became more and more a negative thing... negative to such an extent that it finally became an existential threat to the viability of professional tennis tournaments. Hence the surface changes that at the beginning of the new century.

Clay Death
11-03-2010, 02:30 AM
surface changes are overrated.

grass is still grass and the u.s. open surface is just about as fast as it has ever been.

the runaway speed of the game negates any changes out there in the surfaces.

the game is fast and getting faster with each passing year. technology has taken you as far as it can.

most of the power and the speed of the game now and going forward is coming from the athletes themselves. they dont hit the ball like they used to. now they launch themselves into the on coming ball as if they have not eaten in a month. athletes are also fitter and stronger than they have ever been before.

the new imperatives of the sport demand this.

Echoes
11-03-2010, 06:54 AM
We were talking about changes in Open Era. No, Connors did not invent two-handed backhand. Borg did not invent Western forehand. But when they came to the scene, both shots were viewed as anachronistic compared to paradigm of the time, which was Kramer-esque S&V tennis with universal grip. Now, it's the universal grip which is obsolete.

OK We agree on that.



Jack Kramer of course did not invent S&V. However, he was the first top player who practiced it at systematic fashion ("percentage game") at top level and was able to prove that it brought the results.

Many S&V players of course existed in the 1920's already. Tilden thought that at theoretical level, baseliner should beat a "netman" (S&V player).

Thank you, right what I thought. Great knowledge.



Of course, there had been Pancho Segura, he (reputedly) pretty much always ran around to his forehand (I haven't actually seen any of his matches). But that was long before Open era. And anyway he was more like freak of nature, than someone who brought a big change to the game.

Really? OK! But I guess he could not create as great angles as graphite could allow. Well it's been a long time since I last had a hit with wood.


tanner used steel? surely not the same t100 zero sweet spot racquet connors used.
i read online that tanner was definitely using wood in 1974, so when did he switch

I don't know exactly but he most definitely used the aluminum PDP in 1979 when he reached the Wimbledon final and upset Borg in Flushing: http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/1970s-pdp-junior-aluminum-tennis-76465236
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrCShV83rkU

Perhaps already when he won the Australian in 1977, I think:

http://www.chansons-net.com/tennis/annees-70-3/tanner-volee.JPG


who was the first to hit a double-handed forehand in the open era?

Segura played in the OE, so that has to be him, with a single handed backhand, though. Then probably Gene Mayer.

the runaway speed of the game negates any changes out there in the surfaces.

the game is fast and getting faster with each passing year. technology has taken you as far as it can.

Agreed !

nadal_slam_king
11-03-2010, 07:16 AM
Agassi clearly had the biggest influence, making the baseliner a more aggressive style of tennis player than ever before. And made the return of serve the big weapon on grass rather than the serve. He even changed the trend at Roland Garros by winning on clay with pure attacking baseline tennis.

Stefanos13
11-03-2010, 09:39 AM
Dare I say no-one has revolutionised men's tennis. Unlike the women's side of the sport, men's tennis has had exceptional players that marked their era (Sampras, Federer, Nadal as the last three) but none of them changed the game fundamentally. Possibly Nadal is the one with the most unique style the game has ever seen but I don't think that's something that can be adopted by other players.

Whereas in women's tennis we can definitely say Seles and the Williams sisters have managed to redefine how the game is played and the rest of the players have been playing based on 'their rules' since then.

:wavey:

nadal_slam_king
11-03-2010, 10:01 AM
Nadal can't revolutionize it because nobody can copy him, both technically and physically. To give you an example regarding physically, people talk about Monfils as being a freakishly good athlete, yet his stamina is awful and basically the polar-opposite to Rafa's level of stamina. And Rafa's forehand has no rival, nobody reminds me of him with that shot. And his backhand passing shot generates so much power from the flick of a wrist, unmatched. The only strength Rafa has that can be copied is his mental toughness, somebody may be able to play as clutch as him, but nobody yet. And although Rafa's serve is not known as a huge weapon (even though he equaled Roddick's US Open record for fewest breaks) I still haven't seen a player with his service action.

Timariot
11-03-2010, 10:55 AM
surface changes are overrated.

grass is still grass and the u.s. open surface is just about as fast as it has ever been.

the runaway speed of the game negates any changes out there in the surfaces.

the game is fast and getting faster with each passing year. technology has taken you as far as it can.


Say what? You may want to watch some of the '90s YEC classics, Goran vs Sampras and Becker vs Sampras. First game of the latter match is very educational.

Nadal would have no chance against Sampras on carpet...even Federer would struggle.

hicdick
11-03-2010, 12:43 PM
some good stuff there tennis hero.

some experts agree: while gonzo`s and fed`s forehands are more explosive, clay warrior may have the most effective forehand ever seen in the game.

why?

he just doesnt miss off that wing when he is on. and he can have you on a string like a rat with it all match long.

lot of people can hit 110 mph forehands today and it means nothing. can you produce in the clutch and win slams with your forehand? his forehand is his most potent weapon. it simply ends your existence.

that is what matters.


i still think when fed was at his peak his forehand was better. the variety was unbelieveble: short-angles, power, passing shots, topspin, flat.. you name it. it's the best shot in the history of the sport. unfortunately feds movement is not what it used to be, he misses more, shanks more etc.. because of that. like tennis-hero said, i think nadal's forehand is perfect weapon on clay (topspin cc, dtl, etc) and he has developed it to suit more on other surfaces. it's definetely the best forehand ATM. still, i think it lacks variety when compared to feds.

i think it was you clay death, who said (in other thread) we're lucky to have nadal because the future of tennis will be about big/tall man hitting hard flat groundstrokes and having a big serve. i agree with that, (eventhough) i don't like nadal, he is unique. no-one can duplicate his playing style because it's based on the ridiculous amount of topsin he can create and his movement (and of course his stamina and mental toughness). neither will federer be duplicated, his shot-selection and movement is also very hard to copy. unfortunately we have seen the future (or the glimpses of it) of tennis in berdych, soderling, del potro etc. i sincerely hope i'm wrong though :)

Action Jackson
11-03-2010, 12:53 PM
Say what? You may want to watch some of the '90s YEC classics, Goran vs Sampras and Becker vs Sampras. First game of the latter match is very educational.

Nadal would have no chance against Sampras on carpet...even Federer would struggle.

What can you expect when most people don't have a concept about how things evolve and change? They want to have it both ways, like yeah lets suck Federer and Nadal's gonads, they will kill everyone, when the circumstances aren't even close to the same, then when the next great players comes along, the cycle will continue.

How can Nadal be compared to Sampras on a carpet court, when they don't exist in the same time span. Clay Death like most assumes Nadal would be exactly the same player then as he is now and that is absolute horse shit of the highest order. Players can only do what is possible within their timeframe, and also they seem to expect Sampras would play the same way now as he did then. That wouldn't be possible for either player.

Vida
11-03-2010, 01:31 PM
so since top players from different eras, they all play(ed) different style, I suppose its fair to say either all revolutionized the sport, or none :shrug:

if that is true, than - since everything but the size of the court has evolved - we will stop seeing those 'revolutionaries' only when the time comes in which technology, conditions and that stops evolving. has that time come? I mean, can rackets, gear, jim-work, teaching tech actually get any better? well Id say maybe not better but different surely. that would, in turn, mean, that all the talk about how in the future, it will all be about big, tall, flat hitters - is false.

Clay Death
11-03-2010, 01:43 PM
What can you expect when most people don't have a concept about how things evolve and change? They want to have it both ways, like yeah lets suck Federer and Nadal's gonads, they will kill everyone, when the circumstances aren't even close to the same, then when the next great players comes along, the cycle will continue.

How can Nadal be compared to Sampras on a carpet court, when they don't exist in the same time span. Clay Death like most assumes Nadal would be exactly the same player then as he is now and that is absolute horse shit of the highest order. Players can only do what is possible within their timeframe, and also they seem to expect Sampras would play the same way now as he did then. That wouldn't be possible for either player.



aj learn to read my posts. this is why i dont believe in the goat concept.

and why dont you tell us how "things really evolve and change".

and who the hell is comparing nadal or fed to the players of the past. its not my thing.

i have said it a 1000 times here that comparing players from different eras is a futile exercise at best.

the greatest of all time bullshit was invented by the media who must sensationalize their stuff and the blind worshippers like you and the other federereeeeesians who needed a god to worship. your deep-seated disdain for the clay warrior is well known and understood by now. its no big deal. we all like and dislike players for various reasons.

dont try to drag me into your pile of garbage. you are hell of a lot better than that anyway.

so ditch the cheap liquor and lets talk some tennis bro.

to say that people "have no concept" of how things really evolve and change is ridiculous at best. you are smarter than that.


**and you responded to the poster who said that nadal and even fed would have no chance against sampras on carpet. sampras was a single trick pony who collected all his slams grass and hard courts. his game would be considered somewhat one dimensional today by the modern standards. if playing today, he would have had to evolve to a more complete player.

again comparing players from different eras is difficult. all time greats have dominated the fields that were in front of them and that is all one can ask for.

fast_clay
11-03-2010, 02:20 PM
Dare I say no-one has revolutionised men's tennis. Unlike the women's side of the sport, men's tennis has had exceptional players that marked their era (Sampras, Federer, Nadal as the last three) but none of them changed the game fundamentally. Possibly Nadal is the one with the most unique style the game has ever seen but I don't think that's something that can be adopted by other players.

Whereas in women's tennis we can definitely say Seles and the Williams sisters have managed to redefine how the game is played and the rest of the players have been playing based on 'their rules' since then.

:wavey:

here's one answer...

Sampras, and the other S&V players/big servers/100% attacking players in that generation, did shape the game, because those players were the driving force in the changing of the court surfaces to medium all over, and the racquet technology that is geared towards spin and power/control combo and not just flat hitting.

let alone the fact that lendl changed his fortunes in major tournaments and dominated by adhering to a strict dietry regime and training programs... it did reset the bar when a lot of players could still get away with talent and being semi-pro in camparison with lendl...former czechs lendl and navratilova showed the tennis world how to squeeze more dollar out of your body and redefined the word professionalism...

Clay Death
11-03-2010, 02:22 PM
Nadal can't revolutionize it because nobody can copy him, both technically and physically. To give you an example regarding physically, people talk about Monfils as being a freakishly good athlete, yet his stamina is awful and basically the polar-opposite to Rafa's level of stamina. And Rafa's forehand has no rival, nobody reminds me of him with that shot. And his backhand passing shot generates so much power from the flick of a wrist, unmatched. The only strength Rafa has that can be copied is his mental toughness, somebody may be able to play as clutch as him, but nobody yet. And although Rafa's serve is not known as a huge weapon (even though he equaled Roddick's US Open record for fewest breaks) I still haven't seen a player with his service action.

i am not sure i can buy that NSK. he has revolutionized the sport in some ways:

1. the players of the future and certainly those who aspire to dominate and win majors will have to superb athletes of the highest order. one dimensional stuff of the eras gone by would never work in the future.

2. the players of the future would have to arm themselves with supreme fitness. borg, lendl, and muster paved the way for that.

3. you cannot dominate the sport without consistency and topspin gives you optimal consistency. so look for players to hit with more topspin in the future.


**this applies for the next 100-150 years or so. i think we venture 200-500 years into the future, we will likely see guys as big as anderson and hi rise (dr isner) and bigger who are armed with 200 mph serves and 125 mph strokes.

in that environment, it wont matter how well you move. and the big fellas with such high center of gravity will not be great movers anyway.

something would have to change then like the first serve will be taken away for instance. and the courts will be made to play slower and the like.

Everko
11-03-2010, 02:22 PM
Nadal will revolutionize it when his career is over and he has done more than any pkayer. More young kids will look at Nadal's style and try it out, liekly fail though because onlt Nadal can master it.

tennis2tennis
11-03-2010, 03:43 PM
how exactly did rafa revoluntionize tennis? Don't get me wrong he's super talented but I don't see alot of people able to imitate his style...

Clay Death
11-03-2010, 04:22 PM
its happening already.

one just has to look a little harder.

Action Jackson
11-03-2010, 09:00 PM
here's one answer...



let alone the fact that lendl changed his fortunes in major tournaments and dominated by adhering to a strict dietry regime and training programs... it did reset the bar when a lot of players could still get away with talent and being semi-pro in camparison with lendl...former czechs lendl and navratilova showed the tennis world how to squeeze more dollar out of your body and redefined the word professionalism...

Lendl is the father of modern tennis.

Clay Death
11-03-2010, 10:58 PM
you gotta throw in connors, agassi, borg and company aj. they had a huge role in revolutionizing the sport.

lendl is a huge part of it indeed.

fast_clay
11-03-2010, 11:08 PM
Lendl is the father of modern tennis.

lendl solved his own equation by becoming a 7 match grand slam animal... an equation others found it hard to live with and even berated... but his solution would become the norm for any aspiring great...

allpro
11-03-2010, 11:14 PM
one could argue that becker and sampras so revolutionized the sport that the game itself had to be materially altered (surface and balls) so as to not obsolete the sport itself!.....now that’s impressive.

Clay Death
11-03-2010, 11:36 PM
lendl solved his own equation by becoming a 7 match grand slam animal... an equation others found it hard to live with and even berated... but his solution would become the norm for any aspiring great...

so true fast clay.

its a shame he could not bag a few more slams. he lost 11 slam finals.

but still he went very far. this is the guy who did not even own a topspin backhand when he started out. i understand he basically sliced the ball off his backhand wing.

he would go on to develop one of the most lethal topspin backhands of his day.

nadal_slam_king
11-04-2010, 12:01 AM
i am not sure i can buy that NSK. he has revolutionized the sport in some ways:

1. the players of the future and certainly those who aspire to dominate and win majors will have to superb athletes of the highest order. one dimensional stuff of the eras gone by would never work in the future.

2. the players of the future would have to arm themselves with supreme fitness. borg, lendl, and muster paved the way for that.

3. you cannot dominate the sport without consistency and topspin gives you optimal consistency. so look for players to hit with more topspin in the future.


**this applies for the next 100-150 years or so. i think we venture 200-500 years into the future, we will likely see guys as big as anderson and hi rise (dr isner) and bigger who are armed with 200 mph serves and 125 mph strokes.

in that environment, it wont matter how well you move. and the big fellas with such high center of gravity will not be great movers anyway.

something would have to change then like the first serve will be taken away for instance. and the courts will be made to play slower and the like.

In term so of fitness level I agree Rafa has revolutionized tennis, though the idea of being extremely fit isn't anything new. Just actually getting to Rafa's fitness level is new, since nobody seems to be at that level.

But in this current generation, no pros are copying Rafa's forehand. And that is because they aren't capable of it. Maybe future generations will be able to if they can copy it at childhood and execute it as pros. We'll see. I think it would be good if nobody can ever do it, showing that Rafa is more talented than any player ever (since every other player in history has been copied at one time or another by other pros - except for maybe the Sampras 2nd serve which is still in a class of it's own).

fast_clay
11-04-2010, 12:37 AM
so true fast clay.

its a shame he could not bag a few more slams. he lost 11 slam finals.

but still he went very far. this is the guy who did not even own a topspin forehand when he started out. i understand he basically sliced the ball off his backhand wing.

he would go on to develop one of the most lethal topspin backhands of his day.

yeah... wojtek fibak pretty much took him under his wing as lendl was just raw talent coming from the commie bloc and being forced to grow and develop his game in what was becoming, if not already, an ultra commercial world... he did develop that beast of a game on the run and as a result won his first major at 24... and was prolific after that... murray should take some heart from that...

i dont think anyone should hold his finals losses against him... there's a poster in here that says: 'what was he meant to do...? lose in the the 3rd round...?'

so, if anything it should count for him in what was a brutal era as far as greats go...

a machine

i remember hating lendl as a kid... he was just so dominant... you knew the result pretty much... but, in the last 3-4 years of his career, sentimentality took over and i loved that he was just this old warhorse hauling his arse around the globe fighting of the young dogs... and, still in supreme shape...

Clay Death
11-04-2010, 12:41 AM
yeah... wojtek fibak pretty much took him under his wing as lendl was just raw talent coming from the commie bloc and being forced to grow and develop his game in what was becoming, if not already, an ultra commercial world... he did develop that beast of a game on the run and as a result won his first major at 24... and was prolific after that... murray should take some heart from that...

i dont think anyone should hold his finals losses against him... there's a poster in here that says: 'what was he meant to do...? lose in the the 3rd round...?'

so, if anything it should count for him in what was a brutal era as far as greats go...

a machine

i remember hating lendl as a kid... he was just so dominant... you knew the result pretty much... but, in the last 3-4 years of his career, sentimentality took over as he was just the old warhorse hauling his arse around the globe fighting of the young dogs... and, still in supreme shape...

i messed up in that post fast clay. i said "topspin forehand" when i was really talking about his topspin backhand which did not exist when he was starting out on the circuit.

i will go back and correct that.

Clay Death
11-04-2010, 12:43 AM
yeah... wojtek fibak pretty much took him under his wing as lendl was just raw talent coming from the commie bloc and being forced to grow and develop his game in what was becoming, if not already, an ultra commercial world... he did develop that beast of a game on the run and as a result won his first major at 24... and was prolific after that... murray should take some heart from that...

i dont think anyone should hold his finals losses against him... there's a poster in here that says: 'what was he meant to do...? lose in the the 3rd round...?'

so, if anything it should count for him in what was a brutal era as far as greats go...

a machine

i remember hating lendl as a kid... he was just so dominant... you knew the result pretty much... but, in the last 3-4 years of his career, sentimentality took over and i loved that he was just this old warhorse hauling his arse around the globe fighting of the young dogs... and, still in supreme shape...



he is a legend of the sport indeed. he willed himself to greatness.