this could go in our mens thread, BUT...it moreso relates to this.
i just had to transfer the 1981 wimbledon semi of borg d. connors 0-6 4-6 6-3 6-0 6-4 and got to sit & watch the whole thing. its more than about racquets, because one of the dynamic things is so much flat, sidespin, slice, and topspin in concert...whereas now we see predominantly TOPSPIN all of the time from both sides of the court.
i went to a tennis lesson just a couple of years back, which i took almost as a check-up, and the pro didnt know how to hit flat. I was hitting those super-flat bullets which he mistakenly read as slice and when we went over the stroke, he couldnt understand putting the racquet straight back, hitting through contact and then following through. he ONLY knew starting BELOW the level of contact and flipping the followthrough cross the body....which is topspin. he called it flat. and then exaggerrated that motion of low to high profusely to show what 'topspin' would be.
well, i knew we were having a generation gap, but i'm betting the players around the world are also taught tennis this way. ie, wrong. and it produces a profound monotony.
it was also notable that jimmy & bjorn ended 90% of the points in that last set with winners, not errors. and all of borg's aces...well, it is beyond impressive to hit those aces with a wood racquet, and here i think i'm moving beyond opinion and into fact: hitting aces with a wood racquet exemplifies skill that does not get communicated by a player using his modern racquet to do the same thing. one way feels like a cheap point, the other feels like brilliance.
so racquet is a big part of the standout quality of the 70s, though i will say 'personality' is ALSO a big part of it, and then the issue of how many variety of strokes were used throughout those rallies...the pace varied & the angles struck with sidespin, flat, topspin, etc.....just keeps you, the viewer, alert to the art in a way we cant get with these all-topspin affairs.
now i should also mention today was my birthday....and as i watched that & thought this, there was one clear conclusion: time keeps moving and boy am i getting old.