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Borg vs. McEnroe

Discussion in 'Entertainment, Culture, and Sports' started by Bunter, May 11, 2006.

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  1. Violinist

    Violinist Senior member

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    I'd argue that the golden days you so viciously malign were, in fact, populated by more talented players than today. They played with equipment that required more finesse and technique; players couldn't simply wind up and hit the sh** out of the damn ball, aiming for corner after corner after corner. Go back and watch some old matches. Watch Mac, watch Bjorn. Hell, watch Jimmy Connors and Boris Becker. These guys poured their entire bodies into a match, diving to stop passing shots, running down lobs and crashing the net.

    I am not denying there is a lot of talent on the tour today, but it is a bunch of automatons wielding spaceage racquets at hyped up balls. Roddick (as much as I love him) is a symptom of what is wrong with tennis today: big serve but only a so-so game after that. That is why Federer has had such an easy time with him.

    I'm saying Federer's relative rank is lessened because he's not had to beat other "greats" week-in week-out like Mac, Connors, Bjorn, Edberg, Wilander, Becker, et al. The talent pool today may be deeper...but the number of potential champions at the start of a tournament today is far less than it was in the golden years you so snidely denigrate.

    Yes Federer is an incredibly talented champion. He hasn't anyone pushing him, which means to me he is not the best of all time.


    Dakato, I will respect your gentlemanly demeanour in a debate but I must confess that it will be difficult for me to continue as it seems that your knowledge of tennis is tenuous at best. To say that today's players are automatons is fairly alarming given how much time they spend honing technique and training. Tennis is a dynamic sport and no two shots are alike, and to compete at the top level you have to be consistent. In every tournament, Federer is facing amazing players. Forget the "space age" equipment. He could be doing the same thing with a 10 year old Wilson pro staff. People talk about tennis being simply about power, which is also totally false. There is a great deal of placement and finesse in the game, it's just done at a hopelessly faster pace than what Macenroe had to deal with.

    I have no idea where you get the notion that the competition today is weaker... you have this idea that Federer just stomps over everyone because he doesn't have to face a "great"... Mens tennis in Mac's time was like Woman's tennis now... a few dominant players and a bunch of nothings. Actually go to a men's tournament sometime... I went to my first ATP event last year with a very good tennis player.. I should also mention that as a kid I had friends who were top competitors, one of whom is on the verge of breaking the top 100 in the world and won the junior doubles at Wimbledon. Instead of going to see Federer play like all the other sheep, go to the side courts to see the "no names" play... prepare to be astonished.

    I can respect that you dearly love Pat Macenroe and all those guys, but what you're saying about them is based on nothing else but your emotional attachment. The debate about equipment is even more prevalent in golf, and Jack Nicklaus would be the first one (and I believe has said this), that most, if not all of those guys would could completely embarrass him. Yes, if Macenroe were to TRAIN today and actually learn strokes that aren't hideous, his talent would have made him great... but if you compare Mac in his prime to any top 500 ATP player or even good college player of today, and I'd be shocked if he could even hold his serve in an entire match.
     
  2. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Senior member

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    1. didn't we have this discussion before?

    2. that first picture of mcenroe looks like a foot fault.

    3. i voted mcenroe (the way he clobbered connors at wimbledon is the reason i started playing.)

    4. violinist, grow up.
     
  3. Dakota rube

    Dakota rube Senior member

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    Ever been to the US Open? Pacific Life Open? You've seen one tourney? I've been playing tennis for over 40 years and attending ATP evens for 30. You, young man, are entitled to your opinion, as I am to my own. We'll simply have to agree to disagree.

    Oh, and Patrick McEnroe is a far better television personality than he ever was on the hardcourt; his brother John, on the other hand, you may have heard of.
     
  4. Violinist

    Violinist Senior member

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    Ever been to the US Open? Pacific Life Open? You've seen one tourney? I've been playing tennis for over 40 years and attending ATP evens for 30. You, young man, are entitled to your opinion, as I am to my own. We'll simply have to agree to disagree.

    Oh, and Patrick McEnroe is a far better television personality than he ever was on the hardcourt; his brother John, on the other hand, you may have heard of.


    I know the difference between the two, I just find myself saying Pat because of the commentary.

    Well, I must say that those 40 years have taught you some interesting things. For all the tournies you brag about going to, you obviously had your eyes closed. I'm done with this discussion... history will prove me right. At the end of the day, my knowledge comes from top players and being around the game a lot, not some sentimental office worker with Macenroe posters on his bedroom wall (not specifically referring to Dakota)...
     
  5. Earthmover

    Earthmover Senior member

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    Wow violinist, stick that instrument. You are an idiot when it comes to tennis. I'm not the one to take cheap shots generally, but you're criticizing people on not knowing tennis when you can't spell Patrick McEnroe's name correctly? Give me a fucking break. You are obviously one of the stupidest of the categorically stupid people: someone who has no idea how wrong they are.

    Anyone who has ever played with a wooden racket knows how different the game of tennis becomes. Instead of putting the old guys at today's game, why don't you flip it around and put the new guys at the old guys' game? If any of the top 100 players played on grass with a wooden racket, I can only think of Federer as the one that can compete. And Federer would probably get killed in the semis to Connors, say 3 4 3, and he wasn't even that great on grass compared to Borg.

    I'll also throw in this tiny tidbit: Pete Sampras used a Wilson Prostaff 6.0 at 85 sq. in. with 70 lbs of tension on the strings. While this is a relatively outdated racket by today's standards, it's night and day compared to a wooden racket which:
    (1) had a very small sweet spot
    (2) racket head that's much smaller at around 65 sq. in. (since you're dumb, I'll do the math for you: that's ~23.5% smaller than Sampras's racket), and we're not even talking about the 95/midsize or 110/oversize rackets that are everywhere today.
    (3) cannot put anywhere near 70lbs of tension on the strings, due to warping of the racket, and
    (4) much higher margin for error with every shot, thanks to the reasons above, plus the wooden rackets' tendency to warp and less consistent manufacturing.

    The point is, YOU CANNOT COMPARE ACROSS GENERATIONS. Maybe Federer would be best of all time. Maybe Borg is. Hell, maybe even Fred Perry. They were all great in their respective times. The best you can do is conjecture, such as Roddick wouldn't even make it to the pros in the 70s, because his accuracy is shit; same with even a currently sublime player like Safin, because he can be so easily frazzled. Borg may or may not be a top player if he was born today, because maybe his body just wasn't cut out for a power game, even with the crazy accuracy he had.

    I don't want to waste my time anymore on someone who doesn't seem to appreciate the multitude of factors nor the history of tennis, so I will stop now, but it may behoove you stop talking in such absolutes, because it only proves your idiocy.
     
  6. Earthmover

    Earthmover Senior member

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    2. that first picture of mcenroe looks like a foot fault.

    I think Johnny Mac is in midair. No pro wouldn't be midair (Conchita Martinez excepted) at that point in a serve, although the photograph does make it seem like his feet are planted. Since it's not a foot fault unless the foot touches inside the lines before the ball is struck, I don't think it is. I think Johnny Mac had pretty good extension on the serve, and it looks to be here. He tosses the ball pretty far ahead to get the best leverage/angle and charge for the volley.
     
  7. j

    j Senior member Admin

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    I vote Bollocks and hereby lock this psychotic discussion before someone starts shooting people.
     
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