Becker Pioline

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by krosero, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Some entertaining highlights from this marathon at Wimbledon back in '95, which Becker won 6-3, 6-1, 6-7, 6-7, 9-7.

    Grasscourt tennis in the 90s was often filled with short SV points, but this one is different because Pioline stopped following his serve in after the first two sets. Ironically that's when his comeback began.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfd1rLde2OY

    Washington Post: "Today, with Pioline winning 84 points from the baseline and Becker drawn into a type of game that caused him to compile an unusually high 53 baseline points, the game was more about drama."
     
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  2. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    This match was full of drama. What looked like being a rout turned into a very hard fought match for Becker. Huge credit to Pioline, as you say, for changing his tactics and staying back on the baseline on his service games.
     
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  3. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Pioline was really a great player, able to beat no matter whom.He was unfortunate he run into prime Sampras at both Wimbleodn and Flushing Meadows.I think he was better than Korda, who won a GS title in 1997.The best non slam winner of the 90´s, ahead of Rios,Martin and Corretja, IMO.
     
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  4. corners

    corners Legend

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    Great video, but I wish the folks converting from VHS to Youtube understood aspect ratios. This one was 4:3 but they converted it to 16:9, which stretches the image vertically and makes the players look short and thick and the court look wide and short.
     
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  5. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    Maybe but Korda was insane as well. Had tons of weapons and talent. He could also beat anybody on any given day if his game was on. Pioline definitely suffered from a totally stacked era.
     
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  6. ClairHarmony

    ClairHarmony Rookie

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    Pioline was a choker when it mattered most. He could never reproduce his best stuff in the finals...you konw what they say, always a beautiful seminfinalist/quarterfinalist type guy.

    He lost about one...BILLION...times in a row once he'd reach the finals. It was getting to be kind of a joke on tour.

    Talent wise, he was up there with the elite, athleticism for sure was like that of a prime Rocky Stallone...the only thing he lacked was a visible Adrian like Barbara Felton to give him coaching shout outs during the match like, "Hey, bozo, get yo head back in the game!"

    Rocky Pioline could at times play some of the most sublime, inspired tennis you've ever seen. He seemed to prefer playing in the underdog role, just a hair below the best in the rankings, with a penchant for sneaking up on you when you least expected it.

    Shine the spotlight on him directly, however? When it mattered most, and there was *nowhere left to hide*; well, then he had a regrettable tendency to shy up and become, play unconscious.

    In other words, there was the Pioline who was like a fire dancer, who could do ballet and crane kicks on water, and shoot a machine gun like Rambo atop firey hot coals.

    When "on," his game was a total wide, body-mind, intuitive experience. There was no ground he could not cover, he was like a gazelle. No overhead he could not trample, his parents were veritable, volley gallant studs.

    His touch could be immaculate one day...then, drive you bonkers the next...ker-plunk, another botched drop volley for Pioline today. That one rimmed off his head, and onto his real head...ouch, that sucks.

    Really, it depended on when you caught him. Because he could not focus to save his life. It was like his mind just wasn't built that way, NOT for this sport at least. He would have been able to utilize his considerable athletic gifts MUCH, MUCH, MUCH better I feel in a sport like baseball, or even prize donkey kong fighting, where there's nowhere to run or hide or muck around or go clueless for a few, "He always looks soooo...out of it," then he's not, then he's the *IT* thing for a second...then, he's back to looking all shoulders slumping this way and that, "What is a he a row boat? ...or, a cheetah? One second, he's a row boat, then the next second he's a Ferrari, a real cool cat eating cheetohs and Lays, and driving with no hands," yup, with nowhere to duck and cover into his repeateable, predictable, "lulls," or "spells," or whatever you call them...THEN, Pioline would have been able to show off his considerable talent far more often...better than getting your teeth knocked out, that's what I always thought. Honestly, from a MENTAL standpoint, tennis is a very tough sport for wishy-washy INFP's to thrive in. They're just not "built" for the kind of day-in, day-out, PEAK intensity that tennis requires. TOTAL body coordination skills/talent/athleticism wise, however, the present the "perfect" picture of utter catatonic symphonic harmony when on. They are what you call a hurricane...*carried out with class,* when on.

    When in the "zone," don't ever cross them or make them burning mad, because then all bet's are off. When finding the 1-day, FUEL...they're more or less unstoppable. It's just the way it is.

    Examples of Pioline at his best? The final two sets against young blood Safin at the French, once Pioline got going, he was a runaway a freight train locomotive shuffling in his feet...he was there, before Safin even knew he was there. Stich, Wimbledon semis. One of the few times, anyone's been able to outclass, outedge, a FULLY motivated and game Stich.

    As for Korda. They were two different kinds of talents. Pioline's talent was more of an "all consuming" kind, where the PASSION became insurmountable. At his best, his talent *FELT* insurmmountable (think MJ, the other one who loved to pat little kids hair...but NO more, he WAS innocent I tell you, just ask Aphrodite Jones...nice FU media monger *****s, and the gullible public out in their rush to judgement as always).

    Korda on the other hand, was a mean Araibian prince with one *sharp* knife at his best.

    His knife strikes were of the long, hard, PRECISE...*yet vicious,* variety.

    It's hard to hit back, what don't bounce back up, for it skimmeth the ground like a flying dart sent at 100mph...to a corner, with fresh cut Gillete bladed precision.

    He was basically your perfectly engineered, razor blade...but brittle. The tip would all too often fall off on that one.

    He ran like hot and he's cold, like Katy Perry and his dance with religion. Sometimes you got the good side of Katy, but mostly the good mixed in with the bad...who will be the ultimate victor? That's what it was always like growing up watching, the sweet, saucy, legs of Petra Korda...what a babe, the way he sashayed, and then swipe, cut, I hate to say this, but he had the *skill* to be a great cocunut guilliotine operator in the Bahamas. That'd be the life, he'd never tan!

    Oh, such wonders never cease to amaze. Petr Korda was an unnerving player to watch, because one second he'd be a hundred perfect slices a minute. The next, he'd beam the fat bozo eating a chilli dog with sardines on top up in the stands, "How dare he!"

    Yes, two very different kinds of talents, who at their "best" left you feeling helpless. Again, ANY degree of style at its best will leave you feeling this way.

    With Pioline, he lacked that one KNOCKOUT weapon to build around...that would allow him to go into his cruise control, regular, "walkabout" modes more often and get away with it. He had a nasty habit of not being able to put away dudes *when* he shoud, meaning, he'd almost seem to let them "hang around," before finally waking up, hopefully, just before it's too late...and the match well in hand had gotten away from him.

    His talent was built around, all around CONSUMING you. He ABSORBED your best intentions if you will, and used them against you in unpredictable, creative ways, when at his best. Create from nowhere...a lil' bit of this, a lil' bit of that. The problem is that requires a TOTAL mind-body connection, which again can be a very fleeting thing...unless your Christy Evert flocking sheepish males in bed.

    It simply required too much passionate will for Pioline to summon on a regular outer body oasis. I mean to play his best, he kind of needed to go into "exorcist" mode for a spell...and they're everyday swaying shoulder vibe, didn't always wanna complictly jive with that...always making things harder on himself than it needed to be. Why go from A to B in a straight line, when you can jump rope, diddle, dizzy, and daddle...before returning to valiant hero to save the world mode? Good question, one Pioline unfortunately never found an answer too.

    Korda from a TECHNICAL standpoint, his game offerred to little margin..and yet, as a whole, he was better built "upstairs" to handle the day, to day, focus grind, that killer's mindset required, to take on the daily chore of year-round tournament to tournament life. It was more about health, and too little margin for him, not so much mental as many believed.

    Pioline was more about not being able to sustain his bluesy variety of rock n' roll mountain symphony highs...then, inevitable lows. He'd wear himself out, before going all the way...and in the end, fall up short, with a few zinger, out of nowhere, performances (like against Courier at the 93 US of A Open, or outing the Aussie at US of A Open, Rafter, a great spoiler was Pioline, but never the guy who could sustain it to till the END, sounds kinda like a Nowitski doesn't it? Yeah, also a typical INFP) to keep his hopeful fans up at night, before inevitably dissapointing them again.
     
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