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Timbo's hopeless slice
10-24-2011, 08:28 PM
well, league match last night could have been a huge waste of time, one of their guys was a last minute forfeit, leaving me without an opponent.

However, our (godlike) number one's father had come down to watch and offered to give me a bit of a hit. He is 63...

An hour later, I had just finished the best training session I have had in a good 20 years. This man was poetry. Beautiful strokes on both sides, incredible consistency (ie, NEVER msses) and a real gracious player who just knows where to hit the ball every time. He mixed it up for me with lots of different spins and speeds and just basically gave me the best workout ever.

Over a beer later I noticed for the first time just how many times this man's name appeared on the honour boards around the room. I won't bother with too many details but I did notice the 1964 Junior event where he was listed as winner, the runner up was some hack called Tony Roche...

He mentioned in passing that he was asked to play Davis Cup (for Australia) when he was in Melbourne for a tournament but he couldn't get time off from his job at the bank back home...

Did I mention he is 63?

Anyway, just wanted to share the experience. Was absolutely fantastic to play with someone with such high level skills. I hit with other coaches and what have you all the time but this was a different level.

Lawn Tennis
10-24-2011, 09:18 PM
awesome

10 char

Bacterio
10-24-2011, 09:29 PM
I'm willing to bet he was one of the most humble players you've come across as well wasn't he?

It seems like the guys that have been "there" are also the most unassuming on a court. They know they don't need to prove anything to anyone and just play and let their game do its thing.

I'm convinced it's one of the reasons this place is so volatile, lol. Too many wannabes and never was.

Timbo's hopeless slice
10-24-2011, 09:42 PM
I'm willing to bet he was one of the most humble players you've come across as well wasn't he?.

Yes, absolutely. The whole thing was just a privilege. Hell, he even told me I had a nice backhand! (only because he never sees his own!)

rkelley
10-25-2011, 04:03 PM
Can you describe his strokes? Modern, traditional, grips? I assume a 1hbh. It'd be fun to hit with someone like that.

Limpinhitter
10-25-2011, 04:08 PM
Cool story! I'd guess there are a few more Aussies in their 60's who play at that level. That age would put them in back end of the golden age of Aussie tennis.

Timbo's hopeless slice
10-25-2011, 04:24 PM
Can you describe his strokes? Modern, traditional, grips? I assume a 1hbh. It'd be fun to hit with someone like that.

His BH, OH and volleys were all classic technique. 1HBH that he could slice or come over (looked a bit like Fed in that he just seemed to use his wrist for TS)

His FH was really interesting, he used various stances depending on what he was trying to do and seemed to have a more or less eastern grip. Lots of pace, though!

Manus Domini
10-25-2011, 05:27 PM
@OP, he's actually 66! But it's awesome nonetheless!

Can you describe his strokes? Modern, traditional, grips? I assume a 1hbh. It'd be fun to hit with someone like that.

Here's even better (he's a lefty btw):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJubuKDN7Fk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWMUMG3Xb6I

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHaN2h21ANs

larry10s
10-25-2011, 05:42 PM
cmon who was it??
pretty please??:)

Manus Domini
10-25-2011, 06:01 PM
Wait, just reread the thing. Guess it wasn't Roche :(

thug the bunny
10-25-2011, 06:03 PM
Thanks Timbo, cool story. It seems you have experienced a glimpse into the classic essence of tennis. Graciousness, humility, sportsmanship, and artistry are some of the waning characteristics of sport in general these days.

Timbo's hopeless slice
10-25-2011, 06:23 PM
Wait, just reread the thing. Guess it wasn't Roche :(

lol, no mate, it wasn't!

But he DID beat him at least once back in the long ago...

As to who he is, well, he isn't one of the greats or anything, just a local god, if you will.

dennis10is
10-26-2011, 07:20 AM
@OP, he's actually 66! But it's awesome nonetheless!



Here's even better (he's a lefty btw):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJubuKDN7Fk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWMUMG3Xb6I

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHaN2h21ANs

Wow! Two 3.0 players playing on grass. How could they have afforded that?

Manus Domini
10-27-2011, 04:10 PM
lol, no mate, it wasn't!

But he DID beat him at least once back in the long ago...

As to who he is, well, he isn't one of the greats or anything, just a local god, if you will.

Ah, well must've been a great experience regardless. Did he give you any advice?

dozu
10-27-2011, 04:24 PM
Wow! Two 3.0 players playing on grass. How could they have afforded that?

3.0 is about right... can't even hit a topspin bh.

LeeD
10-27-2011, 04:28 PM
What intriques me the most about this "old fart" tennis, is the depth of volley, half volley, and lunging pickup volleys those old farts had.
Playing some pretty good old farts in the past, depth was the one thing that all the good player's had.
Seems few modern players can maintain a volley going within 3' of the baseline every time.
No, I didn't say I could, ever did, or wished I could.

dozu
10-27-2011, 04:34 PM
What intriques me the most about this "old fart" tennis, is the depth of volley, half volley, and lunging pickup volleys those old farts had.
Playing some pretty good old farts in the past, depth was the one thing that all the good player's had.
Seems few modern players can maintain a volley going within 3' of the baseline every time.
No, I didn't say I could, ever did, or wished I could.

well, because that's what they do all day long.

Timbo's hopeless slice
10-27-2011, 05:08 PM
Ah, well must've been a great experience regardless. Did he give you any advice?

Actually, yes, he liked my BH volley but didn't think I turned my shoulder enough on the FH volley.

He is quite correct, too!

He also muttered darkly about my FH groundstroke but reluctantly conceded that "all that spin keeps it in the court I suppose" :-?

LeeD
10-27-2011, 05:21 PM
Ah yes, advice from old school strokers!
Seems lots of people still think we need to turn our shoulders on every volley, but we both know that is impossible to achieve, especially during a rally. Too much time to work the turn, easier to hit with slight turn and solid footing. You can turn and move forwards when the point counts, and your shot is a putaway. No need to turn to "pop" the ball back up the middle and into NML.
I get all sorts of advice from "old school strokers" all the time. They don't seem to consider that their strokes are different, and require different techniques. Hard to apply continental forehand technique onto a full Western grip.

Timbo's hopeless slice
10-27-2011, 06:19 PM
Yeah, pretty much. Mind you, if I could volley like him I would be pretty happy!

Bhagi Katbamna
10-27-2011, 07:51 PM
What a great story. Brought a smile to me.

rufus_smith
10-28-2011, 07:43 AM
A similar expereince: Over the weekend I watched local USTA tourney. A crowd gathered around one match so I went to see what the fuss was. It turned out smallish 65 yo former pro was playing a well-known younger 4.5-5.0 player. The senior guy sliced his way to a 2-0 set win without breaking much of a sweat. It was a mesmerizing experience to see powerful groundstrokes gently sliced back to the only unreachable spot on the other side of court for winners. Also the senior was hitting approach volleys from the service line, a shot that I thought had disappeared from tennis. Just beautiful to watch.

vincent_tennis
10-28-2011, 01:40 PM
Steveeeeeeeeeee