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Old Oct 7th, 2012, 04:04 PM   #1
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What players would have had more success in the modern game?

We hear all the time (from young kids and fools) how "modern" and "powerful" WTA tennis is at the moment, and that so-and-so would have done better if they were playing in the 80s with wooden racquets.

Any cases where the opposite is true? Are there any players who were perhaps a little bit ahead of their time, and if they were playing in today's era of homogeneous, slow ball-bashers, they would have seen more success?

One example I can think of is Amanda Coetzer. She had a decent career but played in an era where she had to face a murderer's row of champions. If we compare her to Wozniacki, Coetzer was by far a faster and better player. Her war-of-attrition based game would have worked perfectly against all of the one-dimensional players on today's slowed-down surfaces.

I also wonder how a player like Martinez, with her ridiculous spins, would fare against Azarenka & co...
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Old Oct 7th, 2012, 04:09 PM   #2
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Re: What players would have had more success in the modern game?

Since much of the change has been due to racket and string tech and in developments in training, it's tough to say. Let's put it this way - if you gave the current crop the rackets and strings that were around when Graf started out, the game would be a lot different.
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Old Oct 7th, 2012, 04:23 PM   #3
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Re: What players would have had more success in the modern game?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pov View Post
Since much of the change has been due to racket and string tech and in developments in training, it's tough to say. Let's put it this way - if you gave the current crop the rackets and strings that were around when Graf started out, the game would be a lot different.
Absolutely.

Actually that is one of the most impressive things about Graf. She was played in two totally opposite eras. Success in an era with smaller racquets, faster surfaces, and serve-and-volleyers. Then in 1999 she proves she is still the best player in the game, and does so against players like Venus and Serena Williams, who serve over 125mph. Enough said.

I will offer Gaby Sabatini as another answer.

Her topspin groundies were ahead of their time. She was exceptionally athletic as well. I think her game would translate well to today's era. Mauresmo was a 2x Slam winner in 2006, why not Sabatini?
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