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View Full Version : Pancho Segura Interview-Thoughts of Nadal/Fed etc


dirkgnuf
04-18-2009, 02:18 PM
Pancho Segura shares some of his ideas and insights in this new interview. Interesting stuff, also touches on Nadal and Federer as well.


http://blog.tennisweek.com/?p=487#more-487

tennis-hero
04-18-2009, 02:46 PM
I hope I am wrong because I am a friend of Rafael Nadal. He is a good person and he is a gentleman. But talking about tennis only, the longevity might be only another two or three years because there are too many guys 6-foot-3 and taller coming up and coming on strong. Let me break down his game for a moment to explain. Does he have a great serve? Questionable. Does he have a great return of serve? Questionable. He is great on rallies, great on defense, he has the heart of a lion, the conditioning of a giant and heís got guts, therefore he wins. But look at some of his biggest matches, with the exception of the Federer match in the French Open final last year, he wins many of these matches in tight ways. Look at the scores. He is winning some sets, 7-5 or 7-6. That shows he is a better player, but not a dominant player. When you win a set 7-5 it means you are just a little bit better than the other guy, not a dominant player and when you win a set 7-6 the margin is so small. Therefore I think there will be a new crop of players like del Potro, who lost today. If del Potro could serve better ó his first serve percentage for a guy 6-feet-6 is so bad it is unbelievable ó del Potro would be so dangerous. Look at a guy like Cilic or a Querrey ó they are big guys who will get better. To beat Nadal you got to have a backhand because his best shot is his forehand crosscourt and on serve on key points he serves to your backhand, pulls you wide and takes you off the court. However, the big guys have good leverage and good reach to get to the ball. The high ball does not bother them the way his high topspin bothers others. Therefore Nadal, in my opinion, could be in a lot of trouble in 2010. Again, I hope I am wrong. I like Nadal very much as a person. He is a gentleman, but I believe these guys coming up are going to be able to play him.

Tennis Week: Here is a hypothetical question: you are coaching Roger Federer, what do you do?

Pancho Segura: I would make him come to the net a little bit more and run around his backhand and attack the second serve with his forehand on a 15-30 or 30-40 point. The thing is: if youíre gonna run around your backhand and hit your forehand you must have more depth on that shot. You gotta return deep against Nadal to keep Nadal behind the baseline. I would make Mr. Federer practice the ************ return on his backhand. You gotta hit out at times so Nadal does not dictate from the beginning of the point. Nadal has the best forehand of any left-handed player I have ever seen. Connors didnít have that forehand, Laver didnít have it and neither did McEnroe. So that is a big weapon and once Nadal is inside the baseline he can hit the forehand inside-out or play your backhand with his crosscourt forehand. You canít teach the forehand Nadal has because itís unique. He has that natural, unique loop to his forehand swing. I think Murray has a better chance to make a move than Djokovic because Murrayís got a bigger serve than Nadal and to beat Nadal you gotta serve out wide on the first point, stretch him out, come to net and make him use that slice backhand. There is not enough net play in tennis today. Why? My question is youíve got guys with great returns and great ground strokes but some of them never attack the second serve. They stand so far back on the return like del Potro. If del Potro learned to finish points at net he would be so dangerous. I donít likt it when guys play so far back, but theyíre all grinders today. People talk about the equipment, about the surfaces being slower, but there is no reason why you canít attack the second serve, why you canít serve and volley at times. You attack a short ball near mid court so why canít you attack the second serve?

pound cat
04-18-2009, 03:00 PM
Great interview. Thanks for posting it.

roundiesee
04-18-2009, 05:23 PM
Great post, thanks for the link! Now ifonly Mr Federer would pick up the phone and call Pancho....

veroniquem
04-18-2009, 05:45 PM
One preposterous statement in this interview is: he claims that Nadal is not a "dominant" player because he plays tight sets: 7-5 or 7-6 in the "big matches". ROFL. He can't be serious! Do you want to know the # of sets Federer has won on that score, including during his very best year 2006 when he beat everyone, do you know the # of sets Sampras won on tie-breaks? Please don't make me list them, it will be long!! Of course big matches are tight. When both players play well, it's inevitably tight. If the # of tie breaks or 7-5 sets played demonstrates that one is not "dominant", then noone including Fed and Sampras has ever been dominant in the game of tennis!

Chelsea_Kiwi
04-18-2009, 06:10 PM
One preposterous statement in this interview is: he claims that Nadal is not a "dominant" player because he plays tight sets: 7-5 or 7-6 in the "big matches". ROFL. He can't be serious! Do you want to know the # of sets Federer has won on that score, including during his very best year 2006 when he beat everyone, do you know the # of sets Sampras won on tie-breaks? Please don't make me list them, it will be long!! Of course big matches are tight. When both players play well, it's inevitably tight. If the # of tie breaks or 7-5 sets played demonstrates that one is not "dominant", then noone including Fed and Sampras has ever been dominant in the game of tennis! I have to agree with you on that. Sampras for example would win set slike this and like 6-4 because he would just try once to break service because he knew he could rely on his service games to hold serve so he wouldn't waste as much energy trying to break their service games every single time.

OTMPut
04-18-2009, 06:34 PM
One preposterous statement in this interview is: he claims that Nadal is not a "dominant" player because he plays tight sets: 7-5 or 7-6 in the "big matches". ROFL. He can't be serious! Do you want to know the # of sets Federer has won on that score, including during his very best year 2006 when he beat everyone, do you know the # of sets Sampras won on tie-breaks? Please don't make me list them, it will be long!! Of course big matches are tight. When both players play well, it's inevitably tight. If the # of tie breaks or 7-5 sets played demonstrates that one is not "dominant", then noone including Fed and Sampras has ever been dominant in the game of tennis!

Pete's 7-6 is not the same as Nadal's. Nadal's never so sure of holding his serve that he conserves energy to wait for one break like Pete. Most of the time he gets broken several times and breaks several times. Yesterday's semi with Murray is a good example.

veroniquem
04-18-2009, 06:39 PM
Pete's 7-6 is not the same as Nadal's. Nadal's never so sure of holding his serve that he conserves energy to wait for one break like Pete. Most of the time he gets broken several times and breaks several times. Yesterday's semi with Murray is a good example.
Please don't be ridiculous, it's not just Sampras, Federer played a lot of those sets too and every single player in the history of tennis for that matter. Don't tell me that they were all doing it on purpose as a "clever strategy" because that makes no sense at all.
About Sampras specifically, the reason why he played so many tie-breaks is because his return game wasn't that efficient (compared to Agassi for instance), even in his particular case it was rarely a deliberate decision, he was just better at serving than returning.

Chelsea_Kiwi
04-18-2009, 06:42 PM
Please don't be ridiculous, it's not just Sampras, Federer played a lot of those sets too and every single player in the history of tennis for that matter. Don't tell me that they were all doing it on purpose as a "clever strategy" because that makes no sense at all.
About Sampras specifically, the reason why he played so many tie-breaks is because his return game wasn't that efficient (compared to Agassi for instance), even in his particular case it was rarely a deliberate decision, he was just better at serving than returning. Don't be so bias, are you trying to compare Nadals serve to Sampras or (Prime) Federers. They have better serves so they don't need to waste time trying to break their oppositions serve everytime as they know they can hold serve (unlike Nadal) and can conserve energy.

OTMPut
04-18-2009, 06:47 PM
Please don't be ridiculous, it's not just Sampras, Federer played a lot of those sets too and every single player in the history of tennis for that matter. Don't tell me that they were all doing it on purpose as a "clever strategy" because that makes no sense at all.
About Sampras specifically, the reason why he played so many tie-breaks is because his return game wasn't that efficient (compared to Agassi for instance), even in his particular case it was rarely a deliberate decision, he was just better at serving than returning.

again you have said nothing about the way nadal plays his 7-6. my point is to compare pete's 7-6 and nadal's 7-6. did i mention fed anywhere?

grow up and not be a fan boy.

veroniquem
04-18-2009, 06:47 PM
Don't be so bias, are you trying to compare Nadals serve to Sampras or (Prime) Federers. They have better serves so they don't need to waste time trying to break their oppositions serve everytime as they know they can hold serve (unlike Nadal) and can conserve energy.
I'm not comparing serves, we're drifting off topic here. I'm just saying Segura's statement makes no sense because EVERY single dominant player has played those tight sets in big matches (this is not about Sampras).

The-Champ
04-18-2009, 06:48 PM
Great post, thanks for the link! Now ifonly Mr Federer would pick up the phone and call Pancho....


pancho said Venus and Serena are better than Navratilova!

veroniquem
04-18-2009, 06:50 PM
again you have said nothing about the way nadal plays his 7-6. my point is to compare pete's 7-6 and nadal's 7-6. did i mention fed anywhere?

grow up and not be a fan boy.
I am the one mentioning Fed because when one says "dominant player", one thinks immediately about Fed , no? And according to Segura's silly theory Fed has actually never been dominant because he has played a lot of tight sets! The same could be said about the other greats. Don't try to make this about Sampras, which it isn't at all.

veroniquem
04-18-2009, 06:54 PM
pancho said Venus and Serena are better than Navratilova!
He also says Cilic and Querrey are gonna become major threats to Nadal next year. The guy has some weird ideas.

brc444
04-18-2009, 07:39 PM
In terms of Nadal and tight sets and tight matches, I am a bit suprised how in some big matches how Nadal appears in control and looks to take they guy out but then it gets close. Here are some examples: Wimbledon final 2008, it looked like Nadal was going to win in 3 sets (especially when had 3 break points in the middle of the sets, but it went 5 sets. In the Verdsco AO SF, when he went up 2 sets to 1 (I think), I thought Nadal would win in 4 but went to a 5th set. In AO final, when he went up 2 sets to one I thought he close fed out in 4 but went to 5 sets. In todays match, I thought when he was up 6-2, 5-2 he would win the next game but it went to a tiebreaker. Even though it got close, Nadal prevailed each time (which says a lot about him).

egn
04-18-2009, 07:42 PM
He also says Cilic and Querrey are gonna become major threats to Nadal next year. The guy has some weird ideas.

Anything can happen.

He has been reading the forums is what I think lol and ran into my I <3 Cilic thread. xD Seriously though nothing really new...I have read it all before..others have said it...just another former great reiterating what is known..hoping Roger will hear it so we can have some decent matches again and no more landslides or 5th set choke festivals =\

veroniquem
04-18-2009, 08:04 PM
Anything can happen.

He has been reading the forums is what I think lol and ran into my I <3 Cilic thread. xD Seriously though nothing really new...I have read it all before..others have said it...just another former great reiterating what is known..hoping Roger will hear it so we can have some decent matches again and no more landslides or 5th set choke festivals =\
I agree anything can happen but Segura seems to consider that whoever is very tall and has a massive serve is gonna automatically dominate tennis! If that was true Karlovic would be #1 right now, lol.
I like Cilic's game by the way, so I hope he keeps progressing.

egn
04-18-2009, 08:05 PM
I agree anything can happen but Segura seems to consider that whoever is very tall and has a massive serve is gonna automatically dominate tennis! If that was true Karlovic would be #1 right now, lol.
I like Cilic's game by the way, so I hope he keeps progressing.

Second that Cilic has some great shot making ability and a nice game that shows more than just the baseline bashing that the tour is heading towards. He seems like a solid top 10 player with a shot at one or two slams.

veroniquem
04-18-2009, 08:12 PM
In terms of Nadal and tight sets and tight matches, I am a bit suprised how in some big matches how Nadal appears in control and looks to take they guy out but then it gets close. Here are some examples: Wimbledon final 2008, it looked like Nadal was going to win in 3 sets (especially when had 3 break points in the middle of the sets, but it went 5 sets. In the Verdsco AO SF, when he went up 2 sets to 1 (I think), I thought Nadal would win in 4 but went to a 5th set. In AO final, when he went up 2 sets to one I thought he close fed out in 4 but went to 5 sets. In todays match, I thought when he was up 6-2, 5-2 he would win the next game but it went to a tiebreaker. Even though it got close, Nadal prevailed each time (which says a lot about him).
About the Wimbledon final 2008: when there are long rain delays the momentum almost always switches. I remember RG 1991, Agassi was dominating Courier and it seemed he was heading toward a comfortable victory, then came the rain and after the delay the momentum turned completely and Agassi ended up losing that match.
The most extreme case of momentum reversals I have seen recently were Federer vs Nadal in Hamburg 2008, how can one lose a set 5-7 after leading 5-1?! Murray vs Fognini was down 1-5 in Monte-Carlo and still won the set. In the last set of Rome 2006 Federer was leading 5-2 before he lost the set in a tie-break. I think those situations actually happen more often than one would think. One leads comfortably, starts to relax and the other guy starts coming back...

Bjorn99
04-19-2009, 02:43 AM
The man is obviously off his meds. He was a great small player, who obviously doesn't like his peer group. Big men, get BIG injuries playing the brutal schedule of ATP, that is why you don't see too many trees winning Grand Slams. Just once in a while, injury free dominating one, once in a while. Ivanisovic, The Dutchman(name escapes me) who won Wimbledon(great game) etc...

Bud
04-19-2009, 02:49 AM
About the Wimbledon final 2008: when there are long rain delays the momentum almost always switches. I remember RG 1991, Agassi was dominating Courier and it seemed he was heading toward a comfortable victory, then came the rain and after the delay the momentum turned completely and Agassi ended up losing that match.
The most extreme case of momentum reversals I have seen recently were Federer vs Nadal in Hamburg 2008, how can one lose a set 5-7 after leading 5-1?! Murray vs Fognini was down 1-5 in Monte-Carlo and still won the set. In the last set of Rome 2006 Federer was leading 5-2 before he lost the set in a tie-break. I think those situations actually happen more often than one would think. One leads comfortably, starts to relax and the other guy starts coming back...

Murray was down 0-5.