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Boris Becker-frank or sour grapes?

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Boris Becker-frank or sour grapes? Empty Boris Becker-frank or sour grapes?

Post by Veejay on Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:22 pm

Roger Federer the best of all times? I don’t know. I can affirm with certainty that Roger is the most winning player in the history of this sport, but can we say he’s the best of all? Comparing generations is difficult, above all in tennis, even if Roger would have all the features to be so defined. He won 17 Slam, more than everyone else. He holds the record of weeks at number 1, it’s impressing his consistence and his quality at the same time. However would he have been able to win against McEnroe in 1984 in Wimbledon when John was at his best and using a different type of racket than the current one? I have doubts about it. Would he have beat Borg at Roland Garros and Wimbledon? Also in this case I doubt about it but I don’t want to diminish in any way the successes of the Swiss.”

The German keeps on: “ Technology in modern tennis plays a fundamental role. I started to play with wooden rackets with which it was impossible to do certain things that instead are very easy for Nadal and Federer with this kind of materials. They would have had to get used to different styles. I would like to see Roger or Rafa play a match with a wooden racket and see how they behave. It was a different sport from the one practiced by McEnroe and Borg but it’s clear that the current winners of the Slam deserve respect.”

http://www.tennisworldusa.org/Boris-Becker--Roger-Federer-Hes-not-the-best-of-all-times-He-would-have-lost-from-McEnroe-and-Borg-articolo6851.html

I agree with him that its pretty much impossible to compare different eras,but I recall earlier this year at the AO that the great Laver claimed he believed that Roger would still be playing close to the level he is today during his era with wooden rackets.He went on to claim that he believed that what separates Roger from many players of the current generation is that a lot of them are manufactured by racket technology
What do you think,is Roger all about racket technology and benefitted from the surfaces being more similar during his era then those before him?
Or is he the real deal,is it down to a shot making ability never seen before,flawless technique and because he is the most complete player the sport has ever had?
Whose opinion has more credibility,Laver or Becker?

* Edited The funny thing I find with Beckers comments is that he firmly believes its hard to compare eras in tennis,but his comments clearly does that,his doubts seems to over ride his uncertainty


Last edited by Veejay on Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:25 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Post by Tenez on Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:01 pm

Good thread Vee.

IMO there is a lot of nonsense in what Becker says....but that's not that surprising.

It's not so much the material that is important when considering eras, it's not the fitness either. Cause those are going to be the same roughly for all players of same generation. It's the pool of competitive players in a given era which makes an era tough or not.

Tennis was very different before Borg and after Borg to start with. Back then not many people could afford to risk a life in pro tennis so those who actually worked to become professionals were far and few in between. It was therefore much easier to be a successful player then than now. You coudl have brothers doing well at singles and being ranked closely (The Meyers, the Wilkinsons, The McEnroes (though it was already getting harder)). Nowadays one can fill in a 1000 players between the Djokovics, Murrays or Davydenkos and it so tough that in fact only one succeeds while the other turns agent or at best doubles players.

So it is fair to say that whoever is successful now is likely to have been very successful then cause they simply train much harder and are selected amongst a much bigger pool of potential pros than in the 70s, 80s, 90s and I bet 00s. One day the difficulty to make a living out of professional tennis is going to be so tough that that "pool" of players trying to be successful might get smaller as more will be put off and then it may become easier to make a name of yourself again....though that will be always down to the money behind that sport.

Now having said that there is a pretty new dimension in recent tennis and that is teh physical side helped by science. This has indeed considerably reduced the need for skilled, technical shots at the very top, and the lighter racquets/strings has made it even easier to get away with poor shots as long as one can keep the ball in court. Becker is talking about that but we still have plenty of players with amazing talent and technique, much better technique in fact than in the 70s and 80s.

As said, just watch a LLodra and an Edberg, they roughfly play with same material but one is clearly better than the other....unfortunately it is not the one with the titles. Just have a look with an open mind forgetting their achievements andand have a look at who has the better serve, the better volleys and anticipation..especially considering that Llodra is dealing with much spinnier and harder balls.

It's not to say the guys were not good in the past. They were simply not as pushed as now and I suspect many big names would have been unknown had they played nowadays. However our mind love and believe in icons and not many are keen to diminish teh achievement of past heros....And in a way rightly so cause they did the best with what they coudl then.

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Post by truffin1 on Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:28 am

Well, McEnroe certainly thinks Federer is better than him, and Laver said if he had to pick one player of the modern generation who would be just as great with a wooden racquet, it would be Federer.

All that matters is what Federer did against his peers who had the technology, and we know he was successful.. What's ironic though is of them all- Fededer uses the oldest technology.. a repaint ProStaff.

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Post by raiders_of_the_lost_ark on Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:39 am

Comparing eras is futile as its such a subjective matter it can never lead to anything logical. Becker is trying to glorify his peers and in the process, himself. Though I do believe that the most amazing things that the most current players are able to do, its solely due to technological advancements, dietary and science advancements ( this includes advancement is PEDs technology too ).

If Becker thinks Federer couldn't win against McEnroe with a wooden racquet, it can always be assumed that even McEnroe couldn't have touched Fed if McEnroe had to be playing with the modern racquet. He certainly found it difficult to against Pete who played with newer technology. And Pete in turn found it very tough when Hewitt and Safin played with newer synthetic strings. So how does one decide?

So he is frank about his opinion, he is saying what he thinks. But what he thinks and says, how much correct that is, is questionable. Because for me he is just behaving like an old grandpa who is nostalgic about his golden days.


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Post by legendkillar on Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:15 am

Boris Boris Boris. Why does he always feel the need to come out and put some spin on debates he knows he doesn't fully believe? I mean I used to love the guy as a player, but as a pundit he annoys the shit out of me.

This is another one of those arguments which again is used to 'normalise' Federer. Heard so many arguments like this. Oh if Federer played in the 90's against Sampras hogwash.

For me there are so many factors that point against it. McEnroe wasn't as dominant as Federer. Borg didn't carry on playing into his 30's. I mean come on Boris. Federer from 2004-2007 was untouchable. Borg never won 3 Slams in a year and nor did McEnroe. For such comparisons to made, you are looking to really stack the odds in favour of Borg or McEnroe if such a fantasy is to be competitive.

I very much echo Raiders point. It never leads to anything logical.

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Post by Tenez on Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:58 am

But what I don;t understand is that players and posters always forget to mention the main point in which eras are comparable. They are comparable in teh number of potential players trying to make a living out of the sport.

It's like being the best in your club and being teh best in Britain or even the best in the world. THis is in effect the difference between eras. The pool of players in Laver's time trying to make a living was 10, maybe 100 if we really want to stretch it, the rest were just serious amateurs but only 10 could affoard to make a living out of tennis. Nowadays we have a 1000 players in every single country to make a living out of playing tennis. That means we are much more likely to have "quality" players at the very top of the pyramid.

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Post by noleisthebest on Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:13 am

That was an excellent perspective you gave there Tenez.

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Post by legendkillar on Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:19 am

Tenez wrote:But what I don;t understand is that players and posters always forget to mention the main point in which eras are comparable. They are comparable in teh number of potential players trying to make a living out of the sport.

It's like being the best in your club and being teh best in Britain or even the best in the world. THis is in effect the difference between eras. The pool of players in Laver's time trying to make a living was 10, maybe 100 if we really want to stretch it, the rest were just serious amateurs but only 10 could affoard to make a living out of tennis. Nowadays we have a 1000 players in every single country to make a living out of playing tennis. That means we are much more likely to have "quality" players at the very top of the pyramid.

But then the amateur days made it nigh on impossible for 100 players to make a living given the lack of tournaments and prize money in those days. Especially if we go as far as Laver. How many potential top players missed out in the amateur days due to the lack of money in sport. I would dread to think what the NPV of prize money in those days.

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Post by SayonaRa on Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:31 am

truffin1 wrote:Well, McEnroe certainly thinks Federer is better than him, and Laver said if he had to pick one player of the modern generation who would be just as great with a wooden racquet, it would be Federer.

All that matters is what Federer did against his peers who had the technology, and we know he was successful.. What's ironic though is of them all- Fededer uses the oldest technology.. a repaint ProStaff.

Fact of the matter is, Fed has the established stats and records on his side, best so far. Those are facts. So subjective discussions aside, we don't need Boris or anyone else's input to tell us what 17 Grand Slams titles mean in tennis history.

He's achieved GOAT status using the oldest technology bc that's enough when combined with his natural skills. I think he believes in good old tennis sense relying on his own court and courtly intelligence rather than artificial aids that modern technology can provide.

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Post by Tenez on Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:53 am

legendkillar wrote:
But then the amateur days made it nigh on impossible for 100 players to make a living given the lack of tournaments and prize money in those days. Especially if we go as far as Laver. How many potential top players missed out in the amateur days due to the lack of money in sport. I would dread to think what the NPV of prize money in those days.

Well I am not blaming anybody for the state of tennis before Borg. If anything they did a good job to push it professional though they did not have to do much as this is where all sports were going as it became a lucrative industry with the arrival of pictures at home.

They coudl only beat who was in front of them...but let's not forget who was in front of them and comparing those with who are in front of Federer and Llodra nowadays.

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Post by Veejay on Tue Nov 06, 2012 6:21 pm

truffin1 wrote:Well, McEnroe certainly thinks Federer is better than him, and Laver said if he had to pick one player of the modern generation who would be just as great with a wooden racquet, it would be Federer.

All that matters is what Federer did against his peers who had the technology, and we know he was successful.. What's ironic though is of them all- Fededer uses the oldest technology.. a repaint ProStaff.

Thats exactly what I was thinking,Roger is old school.
You use the same racket eh Ruffin?
I think this is something that is greatly overlooked

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Post by Veejay on Tue Nov 06, 2012 6:26 pm

raiders_of_the_lost_ark wrote:Comparing eras is futile as its such a subjective matter it can never lead to anything logical. Becker is trying to glorify his peers and in the process, himself. Though I do believe that the most amazing things that the most current players are able to do, its solely due to technological advancements, dietary and science advancements ( this includes advancement is PEDs technology too ).

If Becker thinks Federer couldn't win against McEnroe with a wooden racquet, it can always be assumed that even McEnroe couldn't have touched Fed if McEnroe had to be playing with the modern racquet. He certainly found it difficult to against Pete who played with newer technology. And Pete in turn found it very tough when Hewitt and Safin played with newer synthetic strings. So how does one decide?

So he is frank about his opinion, he is saying what he thinks. But what he thinks and says, how much correct that is, is questionable. Because for me he is just behaving like an old grandpa who is nostalgic about his golden days.

Another thing thats overlooked or just presumed
Love how you put it ROTLA, frank and sour grapes..I should have put an option for both Cool

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Post by Veejay on Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:13 pm

legendkillar wrote:Boris Boris Boris. Why does he always feel the need to come out and put some spin on debates he knows he doesn't fully believe? I mean I used to love the guy as a player, but as a pundit he annoys the shit out of me.

This is another one of those arguments which again is used to 'normalise' Federer. Heard so many arguments like this. Oh if Federer played in the 90's against Sampras hogwash.

For me there are so many factors that point against it. McEnroe wasn't as dominant as Federer. Borg didn't carry on playing into his 30's. I mean come on Boris. Federer from 2004-2007 was untouchable. Borg never won 3 Slams in a year and nor did McEnroe. For such comparisons to made, you are looking to really stack the odds in favour of Borg or McEnroe if such a fantasy is to be competitive.

I very much echo Raiders point. It never leads to anything logical.

Another good point

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Post by laverfan on Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:33 pm

It was a different sport from the one practiced by McEnroe and Borg but it’s clear that the current winners of the Slam deserve respect.

Why did you make the statements you did, Boris? Laugh

“Technology in modern tennis plays a fundamental role. I started to play with wooden rackets with which it was impossible to do certain things that instead are very easy for Nadal and Federer with this kind of materials. "

The use of that technology to it's utmost is what the players bring to the court. He himself used technology that was different than what Laver/Rosewall/Emerson/Perry used, so what is new Boris? Winking

It seems to me that he wants to glorify himself and his own peers more than anything else.

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Post by Veejay on Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:41 pm

laverfan wrote:
It was a different sport from the one practiced by McEnroe and Borg but it’s clear that the current winners of the Slam deserve respect.

Why did you make the statements you did, Boris? Laugh

“Technology in modern tennis plays a fundamental role. I started to play with wooden rackets with which it was impossible to do certain things that instead are very easy for Nadal and Federer with this kind of materials. "

The use of that technology to it's utmost is what the players bring to the court. He himself used technology that was different than what Laver/Rosewall/Emerson/Perry used, so what is new Boris? Winking

It seems to me that he wants to glorify himself and his own peers more than anything else.

Laverfan making sense... Bubbly
He himself benefitted from racket technology but I dont see him penalising himself over that Thumbs Up

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Post by Tenez on Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:58 pm

I don;t understand how one can benefit from technology? I am afraid that's not right. Well it is only right within a generation. We can say for instance that Hewitt benefitted from new string over Pete who learnt his tennis without. The benefit only affect generation who play in the same era but not between eras. Borg and Mcenroe first played with teh same material roughly as Laver. Like Nadal and Djoko play with teh same material too.

The real benefit belongs to past players who only had to play very few pros. Things have been getting tougher and tougher...until very recently when new diet science was known or used by a few to really get a huge advantage no different than LA.

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Post by noleisthebest on Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:08 pm

The entire late 80s & early 90s generation look almost one- dimensional compared to Federer.
Very foolish of Becker to get himself in this conversation

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Post by Tenez on Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:04 pm

I am not sure about that. The one dimensional is more now at the top than ever.

Federer has roughly as varied a game as Becker and Sampras but on top he has more choice on the trajectory of the ball thanks to new strings but he also does everything better than those past players...whcih cannot quite be said of the other top 5.

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Post by noleisthebest on Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:16 pm

Tenez wrote:I am not sure about that. The one dimensional is more now at the top than ever.

Federer has roughly as varied a game as Becker and Sampras but on top he has more choice on the trajectory of the ball thanks to new strings but he also does everything better than those past players...whcih cannot quite be said of the other top 5.

I think Nole would handle Becker no problem even Sampras if they were playing in this era.

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Post by noleisthebest on Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:17 pm

.....which is why it's silly of Becker to even start comparing eras and talk himself up.

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Post by Tenez on Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:52 pm

noleisthebest wrote:I think Nole would handle Becker no problem even Sampras if they were playing in this era.

But that is not the way to set the encounter between Becker and Djoko. You have to imagine Djoko being born same time as Becker learning tennis with a wooden racquet up to 13/14 then suddnely adopt bigger graphite racquets play only with nat gut on very fast surfaces, no modern medecine giving you 4 lungs and developing your reflexes against an even older generation.

Now from what I have seen of both, Becker woudl win anytime me thinks on teh above conditions/circumstances cause he is simply a more natural player than Djoko. On today's conditions Becker woudl go nowhere I agree cause mouvement was never his strength...even compared to his generation.

I am pretty sure (99%) that Djoko v LLodra or Dolgo woudl lose in today conds if all were given nat gut. I am not sure how many here have tried to play with both strings (Nat gut v Luxilon). It completely change the dynamic of teh game. YOu can forget those long rallies and balls dipping in your feet with those nat guts. That woudl give a huge advantage to teh SVer....and Dolgo taking more risk woudl really cause Djoko lots of troubles. He already does in those conditions but with Nat gut it woudl be a one way traffic.

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Post by noleisthebest on Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:05 pm

Becker is more natural as the old school. However, I think Novak is gritty and talented enough to be good in any era.
I choose to give him the benefit of the doubt although I know where you are coming from.
It' s easier to project previous era players than the other way round.
On that basis Becker started talking Federer down in the first place.
It's highly hypothetical and really uncalled for , but that's Boris for you. I like the fact he's proud of his tennis and his era, he should be,but equally give these players some credit, they can't help being born in the era of modern strings.
I'm sure a lot if them would gladly swap.

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Post by Tenez on Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:30 pm

The thing that is really important to take into account is that all those shots that come back while stretched just by blocking the balls or flick it with the wrist would hardly pass the net.

Once we understand this we understand how much those retrievers have gained with those light racquets and synth strings. Technology AND NOT the players has managed to turn a defending shot into an aggresive one. and this is teh base of Nadal, Djoko and Murray (and now Ferrer)'s tennis helped tremendously by modern diet.

I know it sounds comical to compare Llodra with Djoko but as we saw last week, Llodra is not that far from giving the top players a good run..but give those those players natural strings and you will see how different they will have to play. Their spinny shots woudl be piece of cake to volley for Llodra and therefore woul have no choice to hit through the ball (flatter like Llodra does) to give it more pace but a much less curvy trajectory.

You will hear a lot of commentators talk more and more about those strings: Henman, Agassi, Pete, Cash and soon many others.

You know how much I have moaned about the slow conds...but with what I have seen the last 2 years I do not think they influence as much as strings.

The FO 2011 showed how much power it took off Nadal's shots...untill he realised he had to lower the tension of teh strings to dimish the effect of the harder balls....and that was on clay. Imagine those balls on HC or grass....even better imagine tennis without those strings. SVing would be back with a vengence.

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Post by noleisthebest on Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:54 pm

From my modest playing experience with wooden/gut only once ages ago, I can say I know what difference the strings make and how much easier it is to look good with modern strings as well as how the game is affected by those strings.
Feel and timing are being replaced by hitting the ball hard and players are able to rely less on their instinct and almost turn their brains off now and then metaphorically speaking.
The wooden/gut racquet era is a totally different world and it's pointless to even try to compare it to modern tennis.
It's not likely that it will go back to those days, so we won't have the opportunity to see nowadays players compete with that technology.
It would be nice to have a tournament, even an exo with old style racquets once a year, maybe New Year's classic, like the New Year's concert in Vienna.....

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Post by laverfan on Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:29 pm

Kuerten is one player who benefitted from switching strings.

On a wooden racquet/gut, the sweet spot is very small. If you are off by a cm or two, no way in hell is the ball landing in the court.

I really admire the wooden racquet era guys, very wonderful players.

Even a small thing like a string dampener makes quite a difference.

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Post by Tenez on Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:36 pm

That's why when comparing era's players we have to look at their strengthes and weaknesses.

Let's take Murray for example. I don;t think he coudl have developed those kind of legs and arms in the 90s. No way. Though it woudl not have been that beneficial the science wasn't not quite there yet (certainly not in tennis). Which means he woudl have had to rely on a very different type of game to reach the top. Could he have served as well as Becker and Pete? Coudl he have volleyed as well as them without moving as well, holding the racquet so firmly thanks to his big arm and without a great serve?

Murray's first serve is not bad for instance but again that is essentially due to his strong arm and the spin he puts in (strings). Would he have such a good serve with nat strings? doubt it very much.

This is why timing is essential. Back in teh 90s Pete was in a way lucky to have to face a younger generation who learnt tennis with a wooden racquet, fast conds everywhere bar FO giving him a great opportunity to accumulate 14 slams.

I woudl say in fact it is the conditions which select who is going to be successful more than the athlete itself. No different than it's the discipline (100m up to the marathon) which is going to have its own champions. A champion doesn;t not choose the track he wants to be successful in. His physiology decides for him.

Having said all that Laver was right by saying that Federer ceratinly has enough skills to be successful in all eras...bar the latest one where clearly one needs to be bigger, taller and have more lungs. So there is no gurantee that Federer coudl have been as good had he been born 10 years later and refuse to develop those big muscles.

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Post by Tenez on Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:42 pm

laverfan wrote:Kuerten is one player who benefitted from switching strings.

On a wooden racquet/gut, the sweet spot is very small. If you are off by a cm or two, no way in hell is the ball landing in the court.

I really admire the wooden racquet era guys, very wonderful players.

Even a small thing like a string dampener makes quite a difference.

I agree with all that bar the bold text. They were only relatively "wonderful". They spent all their days playing tennis between themselves (10 of them max) and were never stretched much by the millions of players who now take on the game everywhere. It made their job much easier.

For having played recently again with a wooden racquet I can tell you it's a lot of fun and though it is difficult, it;s difficult for teh opponent too. You place teh ball more than you whack it and because of that it;s easier to handle it too cause it's not as spinny and fast as it is nowadays with the modern racquets.

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Post by Veejay on Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:58 pm

Tenez wrote:I don;t understand how one can benefit from technology? I am afraid that's not right. Well it is only right within a generation. We can say for instance that Hewitt benefitted from new string over Pete who learnt his tennis without. The benefit only affect generation who play in the same era but not between eras. Borg and Mcenroe first played with teh same material roughly as Laver. Like Nadal and Djoko play with teh same material too.

The real benefit belongs to past players who only had to play very few pros. Things have been getting tougher and tougher...until very recently when new diet science was known or used by a few to really get a huge advantage no different than LA.

I guess when we say "benefit" we mean the technology enables you to do things you wouldn't necessarily be able to do with previous racket technology,but you have a point,you only really benefit when youre winning against someone so it can only work within a generation
Boris' argument kinda implies Roger was able to achieve more cause of racket technology,therefore he benefitted from it,without it he wouldnt have done as much and its debatable if he would have been able to beat the great players of earlier generations...thats basically what he is saying,or at least that how I read it

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Post by Tenez on Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:05 pm

I certainly disagree with most of what Becker says as I am one who says things get actually tougher as more and more players take on the game.

Pete says exactly the same thing BTW in 2002. He says he woudl not have won as many slams had his tennis remained at his 1997 level and I remember a lot of players expressing already then how tougher it was getting year in year out.

And Rodick, Federer have also said the same thing though unlike in the past there were saying specifically that it was getting much harder physically.....for a reason.

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Post by noleisthebest on Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:16 pm

Tenez wrote:That's why when comparing era's players we have to look at their strengthes and weaknesses.

Let's take Murray for example. I don;t think he coudl have developed those kind of legs and arms in the 90s. No way. Though it woudl not have been that beneficial the science wasn't not quite there yet (certainly not in tennis). Which means he woudl have had to rely on a very different type of game to reach the top. Could he have served as well as Becker and Pete? Coudl he have volleyed as well as them without moving as well, holding the racquet so firmly thanks to his big arm and without a great serve?

Murray's first serve is not bad for instance but again that is essentially due to his strong arm and the spin he puts in (strings). Would he have such a good serve with nat strings? doubt it very much.

This is why timing is essential. Back in teh 90s Pete was in a way lucky to have to face a younger generation who learnt tennis with a wooden racquet, fast conds everywhere bar FO giving him a great opportunity to accumulate 14 slams.

I woudl say in fact it is the conditions which select who is going to be successful more than the athlete itself. No different than it's the discipline (100m up to the marathon) which is going to have its own champions. A champion doesn;t not choose the track he wants to be successful in. His physiology decides for him.

Having said all that Laver was right by saying that Federer ceratinly has enough skills to be successful in all eras...bar the latest one where clearly one needs to be bigger, taller and have more lungs. So there is no gurantee that Federer coudl have been as good had he been born 10 years later and refuse to develop those big muscles.

That's why I find it difficult to compare eras, the game has gone from its pure form and mutated in all shapes and forms, from ball-striking to movement and fitness.
I said more than once that Nadal is death of tennis, he is everything Laver is not and vice versa: all brutal physicality, zero flair.
There is almost no common ground there on which to compare them, that's how far removed the game has become.
The athletics strengths would have obviously been useless or at least not a weapon in the past as it is now.

It's two guys hitting the ball across the net, and that's about the only similarity between them.

It's tempting to think that the percentage players are the ones who'd struggle in olden days, I must admit Boris Becker-frank or sour grapes? 1071211947

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Post by laverfan on Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:53 pm

Tenez wrote:They spent all their days playing tennis between themselves (10 of them max) and were never stretched much by the millions of players who now take on the game everywhere. It made their job much easier.

It made it tougher, IMVHO, because they were very familiar with the styles and games of each other. I cannot imagine a 79-63 Laver-Rosewall-like Fedal rivalry.

Tenez wrote:For having played recently again with a wooden racquet I can tell you it's a lot of fun and though it is difficult, it;s difficult for teh opponent too. You place teh ball more than you whack it and because of that it;s easier to handle it too cause it's not as spinny and fast as it is nowadays with the modern racquets.

Large cuts at the ball are impossible with heavier wooden racquets. I tried the newer, lighter racquets and was unable to place the ball close to the lines, they were always out. I am not sure how the current players have milli-metric accuracy as hawkeye shows on the challenges. Perhaps 8-10 hours of tennis practice provides that level.

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Post by noleisthebest on Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:02 pm

laverfan wrote: Perhaps 8-10 hours of tennis practice provides that level.
just like anything else in life, practice is everything.
Even pros these days do not go for the lines that much, you only remember the "good" ones, but there are at least 5 times as many misses.
I think it's better to trust the feel than the spin.
To me, SBH is the most difficult shot even with the new racquets. Fed's racquet is very heavy, so I can see where he gets the compromise.
I can't believe so much fuss was made about Nadal adding a few grams on the tip of his racquet, where Fed's racquet must be about 40 grams heavier than Nadal's.
Clay tennis with wooden racquets must be such fun!

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Post by Tenez on Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:40 pm

laverfan wrote:Large cuts at the ball are impossible with heavier wooden racquets. I tried the newer, lighter racquets and was unable to place the ball close to the lines, they were always out. I am not sure how the current players have milli-metric accuracy as hawkeye shows on the challenges. Perhaps 8-10 hours of tennis practice provides that level.

Not at all. They have no more millimetric precision as the past players with wooden racquets. Are you suggesting they hit balls closer to the lines now than then? Actually the other way around. MUrray/Nadal/Djoko?Ferrer all play with quite a healthy margin. And because they topspin a lot, they have bigger margins than when hitting flat.

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Post by laverfan on Fri Nov 09, 2012 3:16 am

Tenez wrote:Not at all. They have no more millimetric precision as the past players with wooden racquets. Are you suggesting they hit balls closer to the lines now than then? Actually the other way around. MUrray/Nadal/Djoko?Ferrer all play with quite a healthy margin. And because they topspin a lot, they have bigger margins than when hitting flat.


This may be worth watching a couple of times. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWMUMG3Xb6I

The Topspin BH, the DTL BH Return and some fantastic tennis. Wish it was in HD.

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Post by Veejay on Fri Nov 09, 2012 4:40 pm

I certainly disagree with most of what Becker says as I am one who says things get actually tougher as more and more players take on the game.

The thing with racket technology is that its not like anyone is benefitting from having an unfair advantage,the racket technology is there for all to use so theres no "uneven playing field"
I dont get why Boris has to single Federer out as if he is the only player who has ever used racket technology to his advantage,Boris himself moved with the times too..so its very hypocritical of him
Federer achieved what he did against a field using the best technology available to them while he was using the oldest technology among his piers


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Post by noleisthebest on Fri Nov 09, 2012 4:53 pm

Veejay wrote:
I dont get why Boris has to single Federer out as if he is the only player who has ever used racket technology to his advantage,Boris himself moved with the times too..so its very hypocritical of him

What Boris is trying to say , but hasn't quite got the guts to - is that he'd thrash Federer back in the 80s.

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Post by Veejay on Fri Nov 09, 2012 4:57 pm

noleisthebest wrote:
Veejay wrote:
I dont get why Boris has to single Federer out as if he is the only player who has ever used racket technology to his advantage,Boris himself moved with the times too..so its very hypocritical of him

What Boris is trying to say , but hasn't quite got the guts to - is that he'd thrash Federer back in the 80s.


Thumbs Up

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Post by Tenez on Fri Nov 09, 2012 5:14 pm

Veejay wrote:
I certainly disagree with most of what Becker says as I am one who says things get actually tougher as more and more players take on the game.

The thing with racket technology is that its not like anyone is benefitting from having an unfair advantage,the racket technology is there for all to use so theres no "uneven playing field"
I dont get why Boris has to single Federer out as if he is the only player who has ever used racket technology to his advantage,Boris himself moved with the times too..so its very hypocritical of him
Federer achieved what he did against a field using the best technology available to them while he was using the oldest technology among his piers

In fact Boris got the advantage of new technology compared to teh older generation he was facing cause he was still very young (13/14?) when he adopted a larger frame. The older generation (McEnroe/Lendl) did not have that chance as their game was fully mature when they went for bigger frames but their technique (certainly McEnroe's) could not get the most of the bigger frames. Becker had almost no adaptation to make to new technology in his whole career as it remained very similar all along.

On teh other hand, Federer developed his tennis in the end of an era (heavy graphite racquets/natural strings) which really ended when he arrived at the peak and had to face players who had learnt the game with new strings and lighter racquets and ridiculous physique which certainly did not exist in his time....plus conds slowed everywhere while he was at his peak in the middle of his career. We can simply see how different is the game now compared to 2003.

It's like we'd force everybody back to nat gut and speed up the courts......It woudl be completely detrimental to Djoko Murray and Nadal and I woudl not be surprised if they were to struggle staying in the top 20.

In that respect Becker is completely wrong but to be honest I do not read Becker as being as bitter. Imo he is just trying to put things in perspective....but he does it poorly.

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Post by noleisthebest on Fri Nov 09, 2012 5:26 pm

Tenez wrote:

It's like we'd force everybody back to nat gut and speed up the courts......It woudl be completely detrimental to Djoko Murray and Nadal and I woudl not be surprised if they were to struggle staying in the top 20.
.

Vintage Tenez Boris Becker-frank or sour grapes? 83870220

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Post by Tenez on Fri Nov 09, 2012 6:05 pm

And that is before my weekend first drink! Winking

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Post by noleisthebest on Fri Nov 09, 2012 6:29 pm

He who drinks last (on Monday night) drinks best....
I may even lash out on a glass of bubbly Boris Becker-frank or sour grapes? 2211252749

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Post by Tenez on Fri Nov 09, 2012 6:39 pm

I seem to remember once that you said you never used to drink alcohol prior to that misadventure in your first Wimbledon CC appearence. Things have changed obviously. Winking

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Post by noleisthebest on Fri Nov 09, 2012 6:52 pm

Tenez wrote:I seem to remember once that you said you never used to drink alcohol prior to that misadventure in your first Wimbledon CC appearence. Things have changed obviously. Boris Becker-frank or sour grapes? 1071211947

I can see you are already on your second weekend bottle of red.... Boris Becker-frank or sour grapes? 421504855 !

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Post by noleisthebest on Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:39 pm

Boris Becker with more on the good old days Boris Becker-frank or sour grapes? 1071211947:

"At a leadership summit in India, 1980s standout Boris Becker says the
reason why the game is generally faster is because of improvements in
equipment, but that doesn’t mean that this generation can hit serves
faster.

“I was in London during the Tour Finals doing commentary,” Becker said.
“The fastest serve was 133 M.P.H. I served at 139 M.P.H. 20 years back
and I was not the fastest. Others were serving faster with bad rackets
in those days. But today you have players using more spin and power
three, four feet from behind the baseline, which wasn’t possible in my
day.”

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Post by Tenez on Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:37 pm

Yes...he is right there. The balls being smaller made serving faster in general too.

But the main difference is again in the strings. Natural gut made a big difference in pace whether hit flat or spinny. Flat meant a fast serve while spinny meant a slower one, so they really learnt to hit serves flatter.

Now with new strings one can hit spinny and pacy so they all try to find the perfect compromise of fast/safe serve. And same applies for grounds shots.

A muscled FH was a poor shot in the 80s...now it's teh best shot if you have the legs ad lungs to back it up.

Becker like most commentators is finally explaining that "great" era. When people see a passing shot pulled from 2m outside the baseline and trameline, the crowd applauds..but if we knew we should not cause it's not such a skilled shot.

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Post by Veejay on Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:57 pm

This creates another interesting debate...

Were players of that era much better then the current players and does racket technology take such a big slice out of the challenge that the current players arent really that good,they rely on the technology way too much?

Players from that era didnt have the current racket technology but Becker claims he could serve faster...


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Post by Tenez on Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:50 pm

Veejay wrote:Were players of that era much better then the current players and does racket technology take such a big slice out of the challenge that the current players arent really that good,they rely on the technology way too much?

I do not see it quite in those terms. For me you have guys nowadays who are better than in the 80s and 90s...in fact considerably better skill wise.....but the funny part is that they are not necessarily at the very top of the game, and sometimes not even close.

The best way to describe it woudl be as follow:

The 100m racers of today are faster and more skilled than the 100m racers of the 80s and 90s...however the top players of the ATP are the ones who can run a marathon faster. In other words, it doesn;t matter how fast you can run a 100m, as one needs to run a marathon nowadays to win and reach teh top at tennis.

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Post by Veejay on Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:04 pm

Tenez wrote:
Veejay wrote:Were players of that era much better then the current players and does racket technology take such a big slice out of the challenge that the current players arent really that good,they rely on the technology way too much?

I do not see it quite in those terms. For me you have guys nowadays who are better than in the 80s and 90s...in fact considerably better skill wise.....but the funny part is that they are not necessarily at the very top of the game, and sometimes not even close.

The best way to describe it woudl be as follow:

The 100m racers of today are faster and more skilled than the 100m racers of the 80s and 90s...however the top players of the ATP are the ones who can run a marathon faster. In other words, it doesn;t matter how fast you can run a 100m, as one needs to run a marathon nowadays to win and reach teh top at tennis.

I look at it pretty much the same way,athletes push their bodies further and further,run faster,run faster for longer etc
But Boris claims he could serve faster then the faster serve at the WTF
So the question is are the current players better skill wise because of technology or if they were handed a wooden racket would they still be better skill wise then Boris and players from his era?
Or to what degree does racket technology really come into play in the shotmaking side of the modern game?
You raise very a good and valid point about how much more physical the game has become,but its an interesting thought to question when just thinking about shotmaking
I know its impossible to be sure as ROTLA raised a very valid point that theres no guarantee that anyone would be better with racket technology just as theres no guarantee anyone would as good given a wooden racket..but it is nice to debate and consider the different variables

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Post by noleisthebest on Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:26 pm

The best way to know the difference is to try the racquets yourself, both wooden/with gut strings and modern ones.
The difference is huge both in the weight and the way you have to hit the ball.
Old style racquets leave a lot less margin for error and force you to be energy conserving i.e. avoid rallying.


I don't like comparing the quality of players through eras because they all play with different tools and different conditions, but the fact is that tennis is going nowhere at the moment and it would certainly benefit from pulling it a bit the way it once was.
As we saw in Davis Cup, speeding the courts does not kill defensive game, but it certainly helps attacking and it's fair that both have the chance on a tennis court.

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Post by luvsports! on Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:35 pm

pretty impressive that ferrer, not known for his fast court prowess, didn't drop a set on a fast court.

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