NFR Tennis

BDD

Active Member
#1
I never played tennis officially in high school as I played other so-called “real” sports that conflicted with tennis season. I did however hang around the courts enough to get decent, playing competitively with those on the team and got to where I enjoyed playing about as much as or maybe even more than the other sports I played (football, basketball, baseball, wrestling). I learned enough about the game to come to appreciate the pros and what they can do on the court, simply hitting a ball back and forth. My philosophy early on was get the ball back over the net one more time, inside the lines than your opponent and you will win. I beat a lot of guys who had much better form and when watching them hit, almost looked unbeatable with that philosophy and mentality.

Having been a fan since the days of Bjorg, Connors, and McEnroe (earliest ones I remember) I can’t help but look back and compare the players, their different styles and mulling over who was the greatest. While it is hard to compare over different eras, just like football, basketball, or baseball, it can be fun, maybe even a little entertaining.

It is hard to argue that the Big Three (Federer, Nadal, Djokovic) now playing, are not better than all the rest that have come before them. Federer has the most men’s Grand Slam wins of all time (20) and at 37, is arguably the best player of all time by many, but other still say he’s not even the best of his era. Nadal (33) considered the best clay court player ever has 18 with Djokovic, being 32, just beat Federer for number 16 in a very competitive, close match that Federer had several opportunities to win the match.

Regardless of who’s best, there are players that perhaps you like more, because of their behavior, attitude, sportsmanship, and humility but it’s hard to put a finger on why. I could appreciate (though not necessarily condone) McEnroe and Connors with their fiery outburst and temper because I could relate to that; I would not have been able to control my temper and would have smashed rackets so that rings true to me. With that said, I’m even more impressed by Federer and Nadal, both showing great composure, humility, and respect for opponents on the court. Federer is such a smooth, fluid player he seems to float effortlessly. He has been my favorite player for a while but have learned to appreciate Nadal, having watched him play and come to appreciate him as a player over the years as well.

It would be a shame to at not least mention the women. Graf was my favorite player, winning 22 Slams, retired when she was only 30. Both Williams (23) and Court (24) have more Slam wins, both players played much longer to accumulate those wins. What Williams is doing at age 37 (just lost Wimbledon title yesterday); you could say the same thing about Federer, losing the title to Djokovic today at age 37. Both could add more Slam wins before retiring but their opportunities to do so are certainly getting fewer.

While the William sisters have kept the US in quality tennis players on the women’s side, there really has not been a threat to the Big Three in a long time. Sampras and Agassi are the last US men’s players that could be considered amongst the great ones. It seems like the rest of the world is passing the US in that regard.

But then you can’t forget about folks like Laver, still watching in the stands even today, at 80 years old. It’s interesting to think 40 or 50 years from now, when you see Federer, Nadal, or Djokovic sitting in the stands at the US Open or Wimbledon and say to yourself, there was the best guy that ever picked up a tennis racket. And we can discuss it more…with all the newcomers that will inevitably come along in the meantime. Now who was better, Joe Louis or Rocky Marciano?
 
#2
Many years ago I was into tennis, but when Borg quit at 26, our household sorta lost interest. Total bummer.

One cool thing was watching Bjorn Borg versus Jimmy Connors in an exhibition match at the Seattle Coliseum about 83-ish? It was supposed to be Borg versus Ivan Lendl, but Lendl was hurt so Connors showed. A very nice surprise.

The only downside, exhibitions are basically jokes and goofing around. Still, they were incredibly precise.

Tennis is just too hard a sport to play for fun unless you keep up at it, so it is general a pain to play in my eyes.

To the players of today, I never cared for Federer, not sure why, or Sampras. I like Nadal and Djokovic. Djokovic used to be kind of a jerk, like Connors and Illie Nastaste, which I like in a player. McEnroe was fun to watch at times, but overall..such a baby, so he was the easiest to root against.

Womens tennis had not a lot of appeal to me ever, especially after Martina and eventually Serena and others turned up the strength part of the game, it became too much a power game, less finesse, graceful. I also cannot handle the noises..WHOOOOOOOP!!! EYAKKKKKK!! AWWWHHHHHHKK! after ever ball hit or served in the Ladies game. Brutal.

I'd love to go to Wimbledon (my brother has been), or to the Australian Open
 
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Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
#3
I never really noticed tennis until I was in my early 30s and then decided it might be a good sport to take up between weekend fishing trips. That's when I learned just how bad my "tennis elbow" condition was. That was the end of that idea. Mrs. Salmo is the tennis player at our house; she's been at it for 40 years or so now, playing in a local league on the seniors team.
 

Buzzy

Active Member
#4
I never played tennis officially in high school as I played other so-called “real” sports that conflicted with tennis season. I did however hang around the courts enough to get decent, playing competitively with those on the team and got to where I enjoyed playing about as much as or maybe even more than the other sports I played (football, basketball, baseball, wrestling). I learned enough about the game to come to appreciate the pros and what they can do on the court, simply hitting a ball back and forth. My philosophy early on was get the ball back over the net one more time, inside the lines than your opponent and you will win. I beat a lot of guys who had much better form and when watching them hit, almost looked unbeatable with that philosophy and mentality.

Having been a fan since the days of Bjorg, Connors, and McEnroe (earliest ones I remember) I can’t help but look back and compare the players, their different styles and mulling over who was the greatest. While it is hard to compare over different eras, just like football, basketball, or baseball, it can be fun, maybe even a little entertaining.

It is hard to argue that the Big Three (Federer, Nadal, Djokovic) now playing, are not better than all the rest that have come before them. Federer has the most men’s Grand Slam wins of all time (20) and at 37, is arguably the best player of all time by many, but other still say he’s not even the best of his era. Nadal (33) considered the best clay court player ever has 18 with Djokovic, being 32, just beat Federer for number 16 in a very competitive, close match that Federer had several opportunities to win the match.

Regardless of who’s best, there are players that perhaps you like more, because of their behavior, attitude, sportsmanship, and humility but it’s hard to put a finger on why. I could appreciate (though not necessarily condone) McEnroe and Connors with their fiery outburst and temper because I could relate to that; I would not have been able to control my temper and would have smashed rackets so that rings true to me. With that said, I’m even more impressed by Federer and Nadal, both showing great composure, humility, and respect for opponents on the court. Federer is such a smooth, fluid player he seems to float effortlessly. He has been my favorite player for a while but have learned to appreciate Nadal, having watched him play and come to appreciate him as a player over the years as well.

It would be a shame to at not least mention the women. Graf was my favorite player, winning 22 Slams, retired when she was only 30. Both Williams (23) and Court (24) have more Slam wins, both players played much longer to accumulate those wins. What Williams is doing at age 37 (just lost Wimbledon title yesterday); you could say the same thing about Federer, losing the title to Djokovic today at age 37. Both could add more Slam wins before retiring but their opportunities to do so are certainly getting fewer.

While the William sisters have kept the US in quality tennis players on the women’s side, there really has not been a threat to the Big Three in a long time. Sampras and Agassi are the last US men’s players that could be considered amongst the great ones. It seems like the rest of the world is passing the US in that regard.

But then you can’t forget about folks like Laver, still watching in the stands even today, at 80 years old. It’s interesting to think 40 or 50 years from now, when you see Federer, Nadal, or Djokovic sitting in the stands at the US Open or Wimbledon and say to yourself, there was the best guy that ever picked up a tennis racket. And we can discuss it more…with all the newcomers that will inevitably come along in the meantime. Now who was better, Joe Louis or Rocky Marciano?
Big Dave stands there for a second, not quite believing the line judge's call that Dave's ball was out. Soon, there's a sound, like a locomotive coming out of a tunnel. Big Dave is angry, no, angry doesn't begin to describe his emotion. His racket, soon reduced to rubble, like one of Pete Townshend's guitars.....

I never knew you played tennis but I do recall you on the basketball court! :D
 

BDD

Active Member
#5
I never really noticed tennis until I was in my early 30s and then decided it might be a good sport to take up between weekend fishing trips. That's when I learned just how bad my "tennis elbow" condition was. That was the end of that idea. Mrs. Salmo is the tennis player at our house; she's been at it for 40 years or so now, playing in a local league on the seniors team.
Been fortunate to never experience the infamous tennis elbow but over the last couple of years, I started getting fly rod wrist/fingers when fighting lots or large fish...pain where there never was pain before. Growing old ain't for wimps.

Big Dave stands there for a second, not quite believing the line judge's call that Dave's ball was out. Soon, there's a sound, like a locomotive coming out of a tunnel. Big Dave is angry, no, angry doesn't begin to describe his emotion. His racket, soon reduced to rubble, like one of Pete Townshend's guitars.....

I never knew you played tennis but I do recall you on the basketball court! :D
"You can't be serious"?

"Answer the question, jerk"!

I never got mad at opponents, lines people, or umpires like McEnroe but I did at myself. One time while playing @Don Shearer I smashed my beloved Silver Fox racket on the ground after missing a few shots. It felt good for about a second then I felt like a total dumb ass for a long time afterwards for not being able to control my temper better. Unfortunately I've never been able to totally learn from it. I guess that is why never took up golf...the clubs are much more expensive.
 

Buzzy

Active Member
#7
One time while playing @Don Shearer I smashed my beloved Silver Fox racket on the ground after missing a few shots. It felt good for about a second then I felt like a total dumb ass for a long time afterwards for not being able to control my temper better. Unfortunately I've never been able to totally learn from it. I guess that is why never took up golf...the clubs are much more expensive.
ha ha - one of our former colleagues was out golfing one day and had a moment (I don't know if he hooked, sliced or just missed the ball). He threw his golf club, it ricocheted off his golf cart and somehow hit him in his head. Not only did he get a black eye but a few stitches.
 

NW_flyfisher

if it's not this, then what?
#8
I used to play a ton of tennis during my college years. Spent a lot of time practicing too. One day I played a game with a guy who was really good. During the game he hit a rocket of a serve that came right at me. I couldn’t figure out whether to move left or right and during that split second of indecision, the tennis ball bounce and hit me in the nuts. We both laughed, but that fast serve did hurt!
 
#9
I was going through a box in my mom's house after my dad passed away and found some older tennis rackets that I remembered him using when I was in my late teens/early 20s. Wood rackets....Wilson Jack Kramer autograph and Davis Cup.

I also remember Connors and his Wilson T2000 aluminum racket.

Pete Sampras was my favorite. Great on court demeanor and very classy. I wish his health would have allowed him to win a few more majors. If I remember correctly, at one US Open he beat 2 or 3 top 5 players in a row to get to the final and then he lost to Lleyton Hewitt in final. It was a little disappointing because it only went 3 sets. But Pete was getting criticized from the press. That was pretty remarkable at his age and he had some blood ailment (which he has had all his life) that kind of zapped him.

In today's game, I am getting tired of all of the grunting, especially on the women's side. I don't mind it immediately when the ball is hit as a sign of effort, but when the grunt lasts until the other player hits the ball, that is a bit much. And sometimes it sounds more like a shout and that it is a forced loud grunt/shout in which it is used to try and intimidate the other player. I had thought umps were supposed to crack down on it, but I haven't noticed any reduction.
 

Vladimir Steblina

Retired Forester...now fishing instead of working
#10
I played in high school. It is hard to find tennis players that match you in skill and ability for good games.

My fondest memories were playing in Boulder City, outside of Las Vegas, in my middle 20's. I was doing study for the NPS and drove up from Searchlight to play with the other person on the project and two middle aged woman that taught tennis. It was a perfect match in ability and they were great games.

I played for a bit when I moved to Coeur d'Alene, but when I served my shoulder hurt. The doctor said, quit serving and I gave up the game.

I tried playing a couple of years ago. I got a friend with a tennis membership to let me play for a couple of hours with him. His comment was wow, you do know how to play tennis. That was great, but for the next two days I spent recovering from the pounding on knees.

So these days I play pickleball. The best of doubles tennis. Most important I can play for three hours a day, everyday without beating up my body.

You can play pickleball anywhere. A couple of years ago, we shoveled the snow and used a portable net to play through the winter in Wenatchee. Great game, much, much more fun than tennis. Try it....BTW...the game was invented on the coast. So there..... a game invented in Washington state. It is called Pickleball, since the original ball belonged to Pickle the dog....it was his ball.

 
#11
I haven't played in a while due to tendinitis in my shoulder, but I enjoyed playing with my dad in Florida when I visited. A lot of the courts are har tru, which is plays like a clay court. No arguments on whether a ball is in or out and, easy on the knees because you can slide.
 
#12
As Bruce was mentioning the old rackets, I dug up my Jimmy Connors T-3000 and one I bought many years later at a Goodwlil for a few bucks, because they were $200 new in the late 70's and I could not afford, a space age looking (at the time) lightweight Arthur Ashe Boron Competion 2.

I bought a Fenwick Boron 4 1/2' UL spinning road about the same time, I still have it.


rackerts.jpg
rac99.jpg
 
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