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  1. #76
    Unregistered Guest
    Well, I'm not sure Federer is exactly unstoppable. Yes, Federer has beaten both Agassi and Sampras, but all those times were towards the end of their careers. It would be interesting to see whether Federer could beat Sampras at his prime stages of his career (1997-1999) and Agassi at his prime stages of his career (1995, second half of 1999).

  2. #77
    Unregistered Guest
    Almost forgot...Federer doesn't use the Wilson nCode Six-One Tour. He uses a paint job.

  3. #78
    Unregistered Guest

    Tennis and the Revenge of Technological Revolution

    Quote Originally Posted by Mpol
    I agree with Martina's statement, technology is changing tennis so much,..
    And Edward Tenner (Part 1):

    Tennis and the Revenge of Technological Revolution

    Edward Tenner

    (an excerpt from Tenner's When Things Bite Back: Technology and the
    Revenge of Unintended Consequences)

    By the standards of professional sports, tennis officials once were casual about
    equipment. They strictly policed the dimensions and conditions of courts and
    nets and the specifications of balls, but well into the 1970s they left racket
    design and dimensions to the imagination of athletes and manufacturers. As late
    as 1977, the president of the U.S. Tennis Association could declare, 'You can
    play with a tomato can on a broomstick, if you think you can win with it." This
    freedom, far from encouraging a profusion of fanciful designs, was permitting a
    slowly evolving uniformity. Equipment was not so important as skill--tennis
    professionals with frying pans can achieve excellent results against lesser
    players with rackets--but this was not the whole reason for conservatism. A
    similar advantage for skill as opposed to equipment exists in most sports and
    has not necessarily stopped invention.

    What seemed to set the tennis racket apart was the properties of the materials
    that went into it. Cutting ash and beech into strips, laminating them, and more
    recently reinforcing them with a variety of plastics improves racket strength,
    but these techniques could not overcome an apparent natural size limit of about
    seventy square inches. A larger wooden or even aluminum racket face would
    tend to break with the force of the hardest shots, or reduce the speed of play
    because of weight. (Heavier rackets add little speed to balls, because a slower
    swing cancels out most of the advantage of the added mass, while lighter and
    faster-moving rackets do add speed significantly.) Steel rackets had been tried
    as early as the 1920s--a Birmingham manufacturer introduced a model using
    piano wire--but it was Jimmy Connors, who won in the late 1960s with the
    steel Wilson T2000, and Pancho Gonzalez, who used an aluminum Spalding
    Smasher at Wimbledon in 1969, who signaled the approach of an age of more
    rapid evolution of rackets.21

    The real revolution in materials, however, did not begin until nearly ten years
    later, and it started at the bottom: with rackets designed to make the game
    easier for less skilled players. Howard Head, an engineer who made millions
    developing and producing laminated skis, saw that many amateur tennis players
    were frustrated by their inability to hit the ball consistently with conventional
    rackets. The early Wilson and Spalding metal rackets were of little help to the
    majority of players. Head realized that the absence of official specifications
    created a unique opportunity. A patent issued in 1974 for his aluminum model
    (marketed as the Prince in 1976) gave him a legal monopoly on oversized
    rackets. The original Prince has a surface of 130 square inches, nearly twice
    the area of conventional models. While sports physicists and engineers
    recognize three different plausible definitions of a "sweet spot," a zone of
    maximum efficiency in hitting a ball with any object, there was no doubt that
    the Prince had a significantly larger one than conventional models. (Because
    fewer shots twisted or vibrated players' arms, some believe larger rackets have
    reduced the incidence of tennis elbow, though this is hard to determine. In the
    early 1990s, half of all amateur frequent players still were reporting symptoms
    eventually. Midsized racket heads do reduce vibration and twisting, but the
    largest ones may twist more, and stiffer rackets are poor absorbers of shock.

    Equipment that will forgive errors has never mattered much to professionals in
    any sport; nobody reaches top-level play without consistency. Those who first
    adopted the Prince racket were well-off, middle-aged, competitive but ordinary
    players--like Head himself. In fact, if the larger sweet spot had been its only
    benefit, bigger rackets might have suffered from a kind of prosthetic stigma in
    the face of traditional macho designs. But oversize construction has another,
    unexpected benefit that appeals to professionals. The new rackets--both the
    Prince and later models made of fiberglass, boron, graphite, and Kevlar in
    various combinations of materials--are both lighter and stiffer than traditional
    models. They permit velocities up to 30 percent greater than the old designs.
    And this improvement in performance had serious consequences for the sport.

    (The market for more forgiving equipment can be anything but gentle. A
    slightly oversized, slower-moving tennis ball, the Wilson Rally, flopped among
    its intended market of older and less skilled amateurs in the early 1980s. Its
    weight conformed to regulations, but it felt heavier than standard balls when it
    hit the strings. Wilson soon had to withdraw it.)

    Within only five years of the Prince's introduction, larger rackets had taken
    over tournament play. The move began with Pam Shriver and helped make
    women's tennis one of the few female sports that could compete in media
    attention and cash with their male counterparts. But the effect on the men's
    game was much more complex. For individual stars, there was no alternative.
    Some leading male professionals were determined to show that they could win
    tournaments with wood-but they failed. John McEnroe was the last to use a
    wooden racket at Wimbledon in 1982; when Bjorn Borg tried one at the Monte
    Carlo Open in 1991, he lost twelve of seventeen games to a Spanish player
    ranked fifty-second but playing with a graphite fiber model. By the early
    1990s, wooden rackets had become a niche product, available mainly from a
    single manufacturer in Cambridge, England.23

  4. #79
    Unregistered Guest

    Tennis and the Revenge of Technological Revolution

    Part 2:
    The triumph of metal and composite rackets, combined with the entry of
    stronger and better-conditioned young players, transformed the men's
    professional game. By the 1990s the sometimes monotonous serve-and-volley
    game was a thing of the past, with only a few of its specialists left on the tour.
    On the other hand, the new rackets multiplied the advantage of a powerful
    serve, especially on a fast surface like grass. Serves clocked at over 100 miles
    an hour became routine, and a number of top players have even been able to
    surpass 120 miles an hour. These results are all the more impressive because
    most top professionals are not yet using the most radical designs, exceptionally
    stiff wide-bodied rackets that they feel don't allow enough topspin. A growing
    number of serves are aces that no player could return, and more and more
    games have become serving contests. In the 1994 men's Wimbledon
    tournament, Pete Sampras defeated Goran Ivanisevic with a magnificent
    display of technique, but his 125-mile-per-hour serves bored many fans. The
    longest rally was just eight strokes, and the correspondent for the Guardian,
    David Irvine, appealed for action 'to save the grass-court game from self
    destructing.' As of the mid-1990s, every proposed solution to the revenge
    effects of larger rackets in men's professional play appears to have unintended
    consequences. Higher nets or less lively balls in tournament play would affect
    not only the service but all other shots. Different court dimensions for
    professionals and amateurs would confuse training and make thousands of
    courts unusable at least part of the time. Requiring players to have both feet on
    the ground while serving would rob professionals of the benefits of countless
    hours of practice-possibly giving an advantage to some competitors better
    adapted physically to the new rules. New restrictions on rackets would not only
    raise questions about the usability of older models but invite U.S. antitrust
    action by manufacturers who might consider themselves penalized. And
    converting Wimbledon from grass to clay might affront tennis traditionalists
    more than any new racket design ever could.

    The irony of the new rackets goes even further: they are not as profitable for
    the manufacturers as they once were. The large racket, for all the benefits it
    may give the average player, did not do very much for the tennis boom of the
    1970s. According to the records of the Tennis Industry Association (TIA). the
    number of tennis players had already peaked in 1974, two years before
    introduction of the Prince in 1976. Participation remained stagnant, then began
    a sharp drop through the early eighties, bottoming out at ten to eleven million
    adults by the middle of the decade. This is not entirely surprising; a
    higher-performance product often needs a broad base of consumers eager to
    upgrade. What is unexpected is that participation continued to decline so
    sharply despite greater ease of learning and play. The TIA attributes the slump
    of the 1980s to the rise of aerobics and health clubs, but it still is not clear why
    these should have competed so successfully to the detriment of tennis but not
    of other outdoor sports. Could one reason be the higher price of the new
    rackets? Less affluent players might simply have rejected the prospect of a
    new $150 investment just to remain competitive. This cost would not, of
    course, deter a serious player but might give casual ones second thoughts. And
    some otherwise satisfied with their old rackets might have found the sweet spot
    unacceptably small, especially once their opponents began to play with
    large-head models.25

    Just as the first boom in tennis ended before technological innovation, a
    recovery of participation began around 1985, three years before the
    introduction of wide-bodied rackets in 1988, with thinner but deeper frames
    that added stiffness--once more at a higher price point of $200 to $250. There
    was no doubt that these rackets made learning easier for beginners and gave
    serious players stronger shots. Compared with wood they had fully twice the
    hitting area and were often twice as stiff, yet weighed 35 to 40 percent less. In
    the early 1990s the industry was expecting to regain something of the
    popularity it had reached at its peak.

    Once again, though, technology failed to save tennis. Instead of continuing to
    rebound, the sport was foundering by the mid-1990s, despite but also partly
    because of its success in innovation. The number of players continued its slow
    recovery from the trough of 1985, reaching 25 million by 1993, yet the sale of
    tennis balls--a measure of activity--dropped significantly between 1990 and
    1993. Manufacturers and retailers were quick to blame inadequate marketing,
    but the game's explosion in the 1970s appeared to owe little to marketing
    campaigns, and even companies as adept as Nike have not been consistently
    successful. Whatever the reason, racket manufacturers began to slash prices in
    the mid-1990s and stores cut back on their space for tennis equipment.
    Meanwhile the higher quality of the new equipment seemed to work against the
    industry. The New York Times reported that the new metal rackets were lasting
    far longer than wooden models and needed less frequent restringing. This has
    not stopped the introduction of still more powerful rackets, but these show little
    prospect of bringing back the boom of the 1970s.

    Tennis shows how unpredictable technological change can be in any sport. For
    two decades, equipment improved for the average player as for the
    professional, yet participation never approached the peak of the wood-racket
    era at the end of the 1970s. The added power of male professionals did not
    seem to increase the game's appeal to spectators; if anything, the intensification
    of the game began to bore them.

  5. #80
    Unregistered Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    Well, I'm not sure Federer is exactly unstoppable. Yes, Federer has beaten both Agassi and Sampras, but all those times were towards the end of their careers. It would be interesting to see whether Federer could beat Sampras at his prime stages of his career (1997-1999) and Agassi at his prime stages of his career (1995, second half of 1999).
    I defenitely agree with this. Federer is very good, but Agassi and Sampras at their prime are defenitely at the same level as Federer. But, there's not doubt in my mind that these three players are probably the most talented tennis players in the past 25 years.

  6. #81
    Unregistered Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    Look, I know Andre is the americans hero, but you guys have to come to grips that Roger is just too unstopable. Roger is going to be tough to beat in the next couple of years. Especially with the racquet he has, the wilson ncode. Thats a hell of a racquet. I was looking online at the differences between andres and rogers and rogers is much heavier, producing more power and is a much stiffer frame.
    Actually, Agassi and Federer both use racquets of about the same weight: around 13 ounces each. In fact, it would probably be more difficult to generate racquet head spead with Agassi's racquet than Federer's racquet because Federer's racquet head size is 88 square inches and Agassi's racquet head size is appr. 104 square inches. Both of them use racquets that are heavier than stated on racquet retailers because both of them use paint jobs.

  7. #82

    Post

    Pete Sampras

  8. #83
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    111

    agree

    Quote Originally Posted by TJohansson
    Pete Sampras
    I agree

    Tibor

  9. #84
    captainwiggly Guest
    I agree that Pete Sampras is the better of the two, but in the next 5 years we will all be speaking of another who will be the greatest male player Roger Federer.

  10. #85
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    West Palm Beach FL
    Posts
    1

    Best Mens' Player Ever

    This is a big statement. I think you have to look at each player for the time they played.
    Chris

  11. #86
    If you look in another way - has the player used his talent to his maximum?

    Pete - yes, very close. He won most of the stuff he "should" have based on his talent.

    Andre - no, not in my opinion. His mental side was too shaky. I think if Andre used his talent (natural) with the mental side of Pete than Andre would have won 4 or 5 more majors and at least 15 more tournaments. And at least 3 or 4 of those should be the end years Masters cups.
    Winning Mental Tennis Tips
    Make your mind your best ally

  12. #87
    George Guest
    greatest player of all time: Pistol Pete...
    Most talented player of all time: Marcelo Rios (damm injuries)

    Future greatest player of all time... Roger...

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