what happened to old school tennis?

Discussion in 'Community' started by jefhatfield, Aug 17, 2004.

  1. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    for well more than a decade, tennis has changed into a fast, baseline power game

    gone are the standard width rackets and the serve and volley game with the lobs and slices...i go back even further when the rackets were made out of wood and the "cheaters" used the large headed prince rackets

    today, all rackets on the market have large heads, wide body designs, and an ultra light frame made out of some composite material or titanium...this design propels the ball at unheard of speeds which favors a power game

    unless you want to give your opponent a ball they will smash, then don't lob or give them a slice which the extra large head can compensate for

    and unless you are very lucky and they trip up, there is no way to charge the net and assuming you get there in time, realize that you are trying to work a ball that is going 30 percent faster than a traditional wood racket can go

    being an oldtimer, i miss the days when one could use a larger array of shots and use the powerstrokes for special occassions...i don't like this speed and power thing that rules the sport today...imagine if all pitchers in the majors only pitched up fastballs and nothing else?
  2. jefhatfield thread starter Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    when i first took tennis lessons more than 30 years ago, my best shot was the volley at the net and lob and the teacher emphasized finess and accuracy

    after many years of not being into tennis, i took lessons again and the teacher i had this time told me about the new strategies of the game from a whole new generation of high percentage power baseliners...andre who?? ;)

    i was taught to stay back and paint the lines with power never giving the net players a chance and running the baseliners back and forth...i admit that my game against the younger baseliners improved when i took the power baseliner approach...back when i was using finess shots, my opponents were passing me down the lane and i thought that maybe they were just lucky since i was much better than they were but they pulverized me ;)
  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I thought that the head of rackets are quite small for a good player. The better you are, the smaller the head of the racket will get. When you start out or aren't very good, they give you the ginormous headed racket because the ball practically leaps off those rackets. Later, they get to a normal to small size, depending on what you want. Then you have to choose what shape of head you want.

    Not sure about ol' school tennis, grandpa. I ain't that old. :p
  4. craigdawg macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2004
    Composite materials = lighter weight, more flex, bigger heads, more power!

    I would love to see Andy Roddick play someone using a steel T2000 or an old Pro Staff.

    The biggest thing I notice (besides the power in both the men's and women's games) is the exaggerated western grip that generates all that topspin. Watch how Roddick and other pros whip their forehands around versus some vintage Bjorn Borg footage. The difference is amazing.

    Other things I've noticed, in no particular order:

    1. The topspin lob
    2. Baseliners dominate on all surfaces
    3. No one plays doubles anymore

    I saw that Federer lost in doubles today putting him out of the Olympics. He has a bad tourney at Cincy, out in the second round. I think Roddick is poised to win his second US Open in a row.
  5. Inspector Lee macrumors 6502a

    Inspector Lee

    Jan 24, 2004
    East Lansing, MI
    Old school tennis died when Connors was eliminated in the quarters of his last US Open after one of the guttiest "runs" I have ever seen. He won a couple of 5 setters against guys half his age. They still show highlights during rain delays and it gets me pumped.

    The 70s-80s (even early 90s) had all of the rallying, the net play, the drama. Sure there were power players then - Tanner, Becker, Lendl - but you also had guys like Chang, Wilander, Cash, etc.

    I remember a Wimbledon a few years back with Ivanisevic and either Sampras or Agassi in which the longest rally was 3 shots all match - serve then return then winner or UE or some other combo.
  6. saabmp3 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2002
    Tacoma, WA
    Watching the olympic tennis today, there was actually alot of back and forth vollying going on. Equipment changes for sports as time goes on. You can say that golfers have the same advantage. However, players practice in better ways now and use (arguably) more time to practice. This just leads to better players. The equipment evolves with the player.


    PS. I however, do not think that Roddick would be able to serve as fast as he can if he used a wooden racket. The dang thing would fall apart mid air :p

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