Saturday, September 22, 2012

What if the Big 4 didn't play tennis?

Let's consider the physicality and athletic ability of today's tennis players.  Is there any doubt we are witnessing the most athletic bunch of players to ever wield a racquet?  The difference in athletic ability between today's players and the stars of the past is so great I am not sure one of the greats like Rod Laver could even take a set off a journeyman player like Jurgen Melzer (although admittedly he was once a top 10 player).  Heck, I'm not sure old Rocket Rod could win a match against the pride of Luxembourg, Gilles Muller.  But I'm not here to pick a fight with the tennis lions of the past.  Instead, I want to ponder what sport would today's top player be playing if they weren't playing tennis.

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee!
Roger Federer:  
He floats around the court like a butterfly and stings like a bee.  Sound familiar to anyone?  Call me crazy but I think Fed's unsurpassed timing, footwork, and power translates perfectly to boxing.  He could bob and weave (drop shot), sticking his jab (backhand) while flooring his opponent with a powerful right hook (forehand).  I am quite sure, however, that Fed wants no part of busting up that pretty little face of his.





 
Rafa Nadal:  
The easy choice here is soccer.  Futbol is his favorite sport after all.  But what does Rafa love to say about tennis?  He proudly says that he "enjoys the suffering" and that it is a key component to his success.  Given his athletic abilities - he is arguably the fastest player on tour, as well as the strongest - I see Rafa's gifts translating to the National Football League (NFL).  He is the perfect complement of size, speed, and power to play running back in the NFL.  And most importantly, as he says, he enjoys the suffering.  As an NFL running back, he would endure his fair share of suffering.



Andy Murray:  
If not playing tennis, clearly he would be playing seeker for the British national quidditch team.  We here at Tennis Maven kid .... because we love.  But seriously, do we see this guy playing any other sport than table tennis.  His game is full of funk, junk (aka old man tennis), slices, spins, etc.  This is perfect for schooling this competitors in table tennis.  Plus, no one cares when you whine, complain, and berate yourself in table tennis.


Novak Djokovic: 
The human gumby machine.  He twists, slides, and contorts his body in ways that are inhuman at times.  His will to win is beyond reproach.  And his ability to perform under earth rattling pressure is legendary (check out his forehand service return winner on match point if you don't believe me).  This author says here that the Djoker would have been a gold medal winning gymnast.  It doesn't fit with his macho reputation and attitude, but I guarantee you he doesn't care a lick about that.  The Djoker is all about winning.


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