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  • Thoughts about Tennis Tradition...

    Originally posted by tennis_chiro View Post
    if that is true, then we need to roll back the technology a little bit to preserve SOME of the tradition of the game.

    Thoughts?!
    don
    Well Don...I thought nobody would ever ask. Let's see where this leads us.

    You are a little late there, Don. Where were you when the Prince was making her debut? I remember going to war with every player that used it against me in tournaments. I was on my way up. The racquets derailed me. I was livid. I thought they were cheating...not only me but the game herself. And she was my great love. I loved her with all my heart and soul. I wanted to kill them. All of them. In defense of her Tradition. There were too many. There was only me...but it made no difference, I didn't care. I stood up. To the machine!

    Tradition? Forget about it. You are too late to be concerned with such trivia. In fact if you speak of such things you will have people calling you a "prisoner of your generation" and looking at you cross eyed. I hear the snickering. To which I say...phooey.

    One of my last memories in competitive tennis was going three sets with three opponents with Princess racquets in one day, me and my Kramers...lost the third. I tried to scrape myself off the bed the next day. I lost toenails. I went down fighting. I realized a long time ago...the gig was up. Nobody cared. Not like I do...to this very day. They still don't. That was the day the music died. That was the day that Don Quixote died...again.
    don_budge
    Performance Analysthttps://www.tennisplayer.net/bulleti...ilies/cool.png

  • #2
    Well, I went through about the same evolution. What I didn't like about the wooden rackets was the fact they were heavy, that I broke about 2 frames a year and that I had to string them with gut...

    In fact, as soon as Lacoste came out with his metal racket, I immediately switched... (guess you would have thought I was cheating, huh? )

    Never played with the Prince rackets, because I never liked the big size of them, though...

    Am glad to be playing today with a Babolat AeroPro with luxilon strings...

    Comment


    • #3
      I remember the Prince racket. All of a sudden people could volley where as they couldn't with traditional rackets. The Prince racket was the first taste of what technology could do, for the club player at least.

      I started playing with wood and often reminisce about playing with wood. Would I like to back to wood? No chance. Bloody hard work playing with wood and only half the power. I started of life living in a one room bedsit. I now live in a four bedroomed house. I reminisce about the fun I had in my one-room apartment. Would I want to return? Not likely. Nostalgia is often best left where it is, in the past.

      On balance the modern game is better and offers more. Clay court tennis is far more entertaining today than in the days of Borg and Vilas...slow rallies lasting forever. Slowing the grass at Wimblesdon has combated technology very effectively and the rallies are great.

      However, there is no doubting the net game back then was far better - no contest.

      Back in the days of Rosewall and Laver the serve was considered important, as it is now. But it wasn't the end if a player's serve wasn't a bullet. Rosewall couldn't serve, and it's doubtful he would have been able to serve any better today because his action and height would make that unlikely. He had a less than great forehand, too. The two major weapons of today's game, Rosewall was without. He wouldn't have survived today.

      This does not hold for all players of course. Gonzales, Kramer, McEnroe, Hoad, Borg. I could see them all adapting and surviving in today's tennis.

      I love retro tennis and defend it rigorously but on balance standards are higher today and the tennis better.
      Stotty

      Comment


      • #4
        comparing players through the years

        Originally posted by licensedcoach View Post

        On balance the modern game is better and offers more. Clay court tennis is far more entertaining today than in the days of Borg and Vilas...slow rallies lasting forever. Slowing the grass at Wimblesdon has combated technology very effectively and the rallies are great.

        However, there is no doubting the net game back then was far better - no contest.

        Back in the days of Rosewall and Laver the serve was considered important, as it is now. But it wasn't the end if a player's serve wasn't a bullet. Rosewall couldn't serve, and it's doubtful he would have been able to serve any better today because his action and height would make that unlikely. He had a less than great forehand, too. The two major weapons of today's game, Rosewall was without. He wouldn't have survived today.

        This does not hold for all players of course. Gonzales, Kramer, McEnroe, Hoad, Borg. I could see them all adapting and surviving in today's tennis.

        I love retro tennis and defend it rigorously but on balance standards are higher today and the tennis better.
        I think you are one of those people who likes to cite victories through the years to establish that Budge who beat...who beat...who beat Agassi...who best... etc. I don't think there is any question the player of yesterday would be overmatched if he was dropped into today's game, but the great ones would have found a way to compete.

        Perhaps Rosewall would not have been one of the top 5 for 10 years like he was in his prime (maybe more like almost 20 years; he was ranked 2 on the ATP computer in April 1975 at age 40!), but he would have been a force nevertheless. Certainly he would have had to learn to serve better (remember that he is a natural lefthander) and to hit a better forehand. But to say he would not have been able to compete.

        Remember,
        Laver said Rosewall was the most aggressive player he played against.
        Rosewall was voted repeatedly by his peers as having not just the best backhand and volley, but also the best overhead! (We need someone with a library of old World Tennis magazines.) But it wasn't any of those strokes that made Laver say that. It was the fact that he took the ball so early and put pressure on at every opportunity...immediately.

        But you say no one could survive today without a huge forehand and a huge serve... how about a guy about the same stature as Muscles with decent volleys, a medium serve, an unbelievable pair of sneakers and two-hands on both sides: Fabrice Santoro. Fabrice carved out a pretty good career and demonstrated great longevity without the big forehand or the big serve. He did it with his speed, quickness and touch; but most of all with his mind. Think about it in those terms, Stotty. If Santoro could get to 17 in the world and win over $10,000,000, what do you think Rosewall could have done.

        I, for one, think he would have done just fine!

        don

        Comment


        • #5
          I agree about Santoro. He restores my faith that the unorthodox, less conventially coached player can still survive in the game today. But his number 17 ranking was short lived and he spent the bulk of his career in the 30s, 40s and 50s, and far lower sometimes. His unorthodox game made him all the more easy to work out. Once players played him a few times he became a little predictable.

          In the case of Rosewall (and a few others) it might be that we have to accept he was best suited to his generation and that adapting to today's tennis would be difficult and unlikely. Granted, Rosewall may have been better at serving lefthanded, or maybe not - who knows? There was just as much incentive to be a good server back then as there is today, yet unlike Newcombe and Gonzales he failed to develop a decent serve. Fortunately back then he could get a away with it and compensated with speed, good volleys, and good backhand. Nowadays there is no way to compensate for a weak serve. A player is dead in the water if he can't keep powerful returners at bay.

          Of course, it does work the other way around. How many players today would be as successfully ranked if the world's tennis circuit were given wooden rackets to play with? I'd wager plenty would be as successful, but a small minority might not. And this is what I am driving at: Some players are designed/born to play in a certain generation and not another.

          I still stoically defend what I have repeatably said in the past. That by tracing back thru history and charting where great players careers' have intersected you can find amazing, irrefutable results. That Kramer beat Gonzales, Gonzales beat Connors, Connors beat Edberg, Edberg beat Becker, Becker beat Agassi, Agassi beat Sampras, etc. etc etc. But it was always done with the prevailing equipment of the day. Never did a player play another with vastly inferior equipment.

          I love Rosewall's style of play, admire it...but he really would struggle in the modern game.

          I can't believe Don_Budge hasn't taken a knife to my words yet, or me? Maybe he keeled over reading my post and hasn't recovered yet.
          Last edited by stotty; 05-22-2011, 12:54 PM.
          Stotty

          Comment


          • #6
            here's johnny...

            I played my first singles match in 18 years yesterday. My guy Olof, he with the flimsy shoes, did not show yesterday so I was forced into action. My opponent was a local hot shot 15 year old in Ã…lingsas which is just outside of Gothenburg. 6-0, 6-1.

            I felt terrible beating up on a little kid so bad...me being 57 years old and all. We started on clay then moved inside after two games when it started to rain. Outside it was very windy, slow red clay and the balls looked like they were three days old. Inside it was a fast carpet and poor lighting and new balls. I still have all the shots and the will to use them to exploit my opponent. If I only had the body to match. But I don't want to play, I just want to teach a bit...and write. It's amazing that once the ball is in play that I haven't lost that competitive blood lust. I was kicking myself for losing that one game. If my opponent had been tougher I probably would of hurt myself. I don't know when to quit that is for sure. After eighteen years!

            It doesn't sound like I've keeled over I hope...but I do have a bit more to say on the "Thoughts about Tradition". But no matter what, I am very interested in what anyone has to say on the subject. Perhaps these thoughts about tradition spill over into other areas of modern life these days that have an affect on our lives. There has been a lot of change in our existence over the last forty years and not all of it has been good. It's sort of difficult...or rather impossible for the young people these days. They used to be able to measure their existence somewhat with the prevalence of tradition. We are in uncharted waters. I think that the changes in the game of tennis could possibly be representative of a much bigger picture. Symbolic.

            Btw...my backhand sort of resembled a rapier, a sword, or a knife or what have you...Don Quixote lives! Carved that kid up real nice.
            Last edited by don_budge; 05-22-2011, 09:55 PM.
            don_budge
            Performance Analysthttps://www.tennisplayer.net/bulleti...ilies/cool.png

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            • #7
              Steve,

              I am all for tradition, and paying it due respect. But I am also for progress, and I think the two need not necessarily conflict. The past shows where we are coming from.

              I think it is endemic to the human race to look at the past back fondly. I am interested in Roman history, and it seems that even over two thousand years ago, the Romans where writing about how times during the previous generation were much better, and youth has no respect. Later, I came across a similar passage in a Victor Hugo novel.

              Comment


              • #8
                Serve and Volley Tennis

                Interesting article about the state of Serve and Volley Tennis

                http://essentialtennis.com/spotlight/2011/05/313/

                I find it a little sad that serve and volley tennis seems to be a dying art, at least at the pro level.

                I have been using the serve and volley pretty successfully at the 4.0 NTRP level. I am aspiring to eventually get to the 4.5 level. Does anyone have any experience with successfully serving and volleying at this level?

                Blake

                Comment


                • #9
                  Nice article Blake. Thanks.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Geee...

                    Geee...I am not alone after all.

                    "After this conspiracy of factors had successfully killed the last great serve-volleyers, what remains of serve and volley going into the new decade?"

                    This is a quote in the article...it's a conspiracy theory. Hmmm...right up my alley.

                    Thanks for the article, Blake. More thoughts to come.
                    Last edited by don_budge; 05-24-2011, 03:17 AM.
                    don_budge
                    Performance Analysthttps://www.tennisplayer.net/bulleti...ilies/cool.png

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Great summary

                      this article really crystallizes all the elements. And I'm afraid it's true. I still hope for the Safin sized/talented player who develops the volleying skills necessary to use the s&v tactic at least a good portion of the time on first serves. hard to believe, but we served and volleyed all the time, first and second serves.

                      But when you look at the confluence of different items that are enumerated in this article: rackets, balls, surfaces, and finally strings on top of the development of better athletes and better ground strokes, it's pretty clear: it's going to take something pretty amazing to bring back just a little of the serve and volley.

                      Golf limited the size and rebounding qualities (COR) of the driver as well as strictly limiting characteristics of golf balls. Perhaps the governing bodies of tennis needed to be a little more aware of the changes that were taking place in strings. As long as there are matches like the Roddick/Federer final and the Isner/Mahut serving marathon, Wimbledon is unlikely to speed up the courts or the balls. The data that is being revealed by articles like the stinging article this month is relatively new information.

                      I, for one, will sign on for the campaign to limit the "progress" of tennis equipment. But I doubt such a movement will ever amount to a hill of beans. Actually, I'm a little depressed.

                      don

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Check an old thread

                        Originally posted by blake_b View Post
                        Interesting article about the state of Serve and Volley Tennis

                        http://essentialtennis.com/spotlight/2011/05/313/

                        I find it a little sad that serve and volley tennis seems to be a dying art, at least at the pro level.

                        I have been using the serve and volley pretty successfully at the 4.0 NTRP level. I am aspiring to eventually get to the 4.5 level. Does anyone have any experience with successfully serving and volleying at this level?

                        Blake
                        Check this thread, Blake. Damn, that article bummed me out!



                        don

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Too late tennis_chiro...nobody cares!

                          Originally posted by tennis_chiro View Post
                          I, for one, will sign on for the campaign to limit the "progress" of tennis equipment. But I doubt such a movement will ever amount to a hill of beans. Actually, I'm a little depressed.

                          don
                          Too late tennis_chiro...there has been a lot of kool-aid being drunk in the last 30 years.

                          I would also like to verify the drug testing...I suspect that some of that increased athleticism that some posters are referring to may be the result of another technology boost...that of performance enhancing drugs. There have been a lot of rumors. Shhhh...
                          Last edited by don_budge; 05-23-2011, 10:17 PM.
                          don_budge
                          Performance Analysthttps://www.tennisplayer.net/bulleti...ilies/cool.png

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                          • #14
                            OK Steve and Don,
                            I am going back to serve and volley....
                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gY0u59ArtoI

                            Don't have to run as much...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Serve and volley...

                              Good action on the volley...nice and simple. Left foot meets the ground precisely at the same time the ball is meeting the racquet.

                              I watched the serve many times. I feel that you have the proper physique and a nice combination of flexibility and strength to hit a nice serve. All that is lacking is the motion...the right mechanics. See how the left hand goes up immediately with the toss. Down together, up together.

                              How adaptable are you to change?

                              Maybe a spot of HGH wouldn't hurt either. I like the sound of the birds singing in the background.
                              Last edited by don_budge; 05-24-2011, 03:13 AM.
                              don_budge
                              Performance Analysthttps://www.tennisplayer.net/bulleti...ilies/cool.png

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