Former World No. 1 and retired Australian tennis star Pat Rafter says that the advancement in racquet technology has robbed juniors of fundamental tennis skills, adding that he would have struggled in today's modern game.
Speaking on Nine's The Greatest, Rafter commented, "I think I'd really struggle to be honest. It's a shame but that's just the way it is. You want to see a little bit of craftsmanship. "The problem with it is someone who comes along and they're a great tennis player, they've got good hands and they're good volleyers, if they haven't done that from a young age, it's pretty hard for a 20-year-old kid to say, 'OK mate, we're going to start coming to the net a lot more'
"It doesn't work that way and it takes a long time and junior tennis has to be where you start honing those skills. The problem is a lot of our kids don't do that anymore generally because the technology doesn't allow them to play that way."
"The technology has allowed these guys to make really good passing shots and (to) return a really good serve when they're off-balance (creating) a lot of power and spin. That really wasn't the case when we were playing.
The strings we had back then were either synthetic or a natural gut string which didn't allow you to get that sort of power, pace and spin." Rafter said he was also amazed at some of the new apparel that players wear as compared to his era.
"Some of the shirts that we wore were so baggy and so thick, it's quite amazing now these guys are wearing singlets so I'd be fine in my Bonds singlet." The 47 year old Rafter won consecutive US Open titles in 1997 and 1998 and also reached the Wimbledon finals in 2000 and 2001.