Best player to never win a Slam - Miloslav Mecir

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by timnz, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    There's another thread talking about Agassi being the greatest returner of all time. It occurs to me that Mecir at his best was one of the greatest returners I've ever seen. Great range, great ability to hurt you off the return and incredible speed. He was unbelievable off both sides.
     
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  2. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Lendl hardly imploded. He was outhustled, outplayed and frustrated by Mecir in that match.
     
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  3. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    I'm a big Mecir fan, & also think Lendl played pretty poorly that day. he served at only 43%(he served at 68% in the '86 USO final & 52% in the '89 AO final vs Mecir) & made a ton of ue's(7 df's)

    don't think it was Mecir's finest moment either, it was more of a grinding match, very long rallies, 3+ hours, without the exciting winners he was hitting vs Wilander & Edberg in other matches I've seen(now Wilander was someone Mecir could make look silly, but Lendl? I don't think so)

    Lendl had arthroscopic surgery on his knee shortly after this match. Here's what both players said after they played at the '87 French:

    http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1987-06-06/news/8702200585_1_miloslav-mecir-clay-title-fitter
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2012
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  4. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Australian Open

    Sounds like from the Australian Open quote by Lendl - that the Australian Open had made it back to full slam status at least by 1987.
     
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  5. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    kinda funny considering what he said about the AO after losing in '85("it's not on the level of the big 3, maybe on the level of the WCT finals")

    Regardless of what players thought, ATP points at the AO only started equaling the other 3 majors in '95 (Mecir got more pts for winning the Lipton than Edberg did for winning the AO in '87 - Lipton had a larger draw)
     
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  6. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Australian Open

    The fields seemed as deep as any other Slam at least from 88 onwards. I wathced it pretty regularly from around that time - and the fields seemed to have all of the top players. (Agassi excepted himself for his own reasons until 95 - nothing to do with the tournament).
     
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  7. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    At Key Biscayne Lendl was definitely not playing as well as he did later in the year at the majors. He needed four long sets to put Connors away in the semis, but when he met Connors at the USO he swept him 4, 2, 2. To me he looks a level or two fitter, sharper and hungrier in the USO match. He was just a wall in that match.

    Lendl also dominated Mecir at Hamburg that year, 6-1, 6-3, 6-3.

    Thanks for the article, very interesting, esp. the bits about strategy. In their '89 AO final Lendl said his strategy was to hit down the middle, to take away the angles that Mecir thrived on.
     
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  8. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

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    The 1989 Australian Open final was painful to watch. Mecir's serving was terrible, and he melted under the brutal heat that day. That was a one sided massacre from start to finish.

    In the 1986 US Open final at least the first set was competitive, and Mecir changed to alter his gameplan a little, adjusting his positioning on the baseline.

    Lendl learned the lessons from his 1987 Lipton defeat very well and pretty brutally punished Mecir in their next 3 official matches.

    They had a 5 set final in the Eurocard classic in Stuttgart in 1989, with Mecir taking a two sets to one lead. In the 2nd and 3rd sets, Lendl's serving was terrible and Mecir's ability to vary the pace was driving him crazy. He recovered strongly in the 4th set though and got the job done in the 5th. That was an 'unofficial' exhibition tournament in 1988 and 1989, becoming an official tournament from 1990-2001 (was a masters series tournament from 1996-2001).
     
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  9. Leelord337

    Leelord337 Hall of Fame

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    guillermo coria on clay in his hayday
     
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  10. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

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    Clerc is my pick for the best player never to reach a grand slam final (at least in the time that I have followed the sport).

    He was a very talented shotmaker with an excellent one handed backhand, and was incredibly powerful.

    He had excellent h2h records against Lendl (7-7) and McEnroe (5-6).

    His Davis Cup matches against McEnroe were pretty memorable. They played each other in a meaningless dead rubber in 1979, but then squared off 4 times in live rubbers in from 1980-1984. Predictably Clerc won the 2 matches on clay in Argentina, and Mac won the 2 matches on carpet in the US. Clerc won their 1980 rubber in Buenos Aires, in a 6 hour 4 set match that lasted over 2 days. He took Mac to 5 sets in the decisive rubber in the 1981 final on carpet in Cincinnati. In 1983 he beat Mac in 5 sets on the clay in BA.

    He had a 6-3 6-0 victory over Mac on carpet in the 1980 Masters, but both players had lost their first two RR matches (against Borg and Mayer) and were already eliminated by then.

    He reached a couple of grand slam semi-finals at RG in 1981 and 1982. In 1981 he beat Connors in 5 sets in his QF, before taking Lendl to 5 sets in his SF. In 1982 he was stopped by Wilander who was on a great run at the time.

    He won 25 official titles including the 1981 Italian Open where he beat Lendl in 4 sets in the semis.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2012
    #60
  11. Tshooter

    Tshooter Hall of Fame

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    Mecir was one of those guys that would beat top players (didn't they used to call him the Swede killer back when the Swedes could play ?) and I couldn't quite figure out how or why.

    Like Medvedev.
     
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  12. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    Classy guy too. Respect.
     
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  13. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Leconte was told to have the best left arm since Laver....this is a typical french press chauvinist example.His mind was miles away from Rod´´d, though.

    And, yes, the french pair were somehow robbed because it was clear what Ken Flach did...but a point is a point.Martina Hingis ( one of my favourite players EVER) was also robbed a french open crown...but it is also something on her fault not to be able to overcome a single point´s bad decision.
     
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  14. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    He was too french IMO...but, yes, a very true talented player.A bit like Mandlikova, had so many options that his mind started wondering around and, usually, this led to a defeat.
     
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  15. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I agree...but he also happened to beat Lendl in 3 straight sets, too.
     
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  16. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    And don´t forget Mecir also defeated Connors; in fact, his first big win in the por circuit was his 1984 defeat of Jimmy at Jimmy´s all time favourite event at Philadelphia.Not a minor fact, considering Connors was probably the world´s second best player by that time.
     
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  17. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Definitely.He picked up the ball as early as Agassi, and he was clearly the second best returner of the 80´s, behind Connors.He was the guy that gave Edberg most trouble at returning his wide wicked serve and he also crushed Becker ( probably the best server of the decade) at the return.
     
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  18. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I always enjoyed Clerc´s elegant and perfectly tamed top spin groundies.Good server, too although quite erratic.he was too nice a guy to challenge for the big titles, even if, in 1981 and 1982 he was as good as Vilas or Lendl on clay, and used to beat them often, specially at the US summer events.
     
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  19. Gonzalito17

    Gonzalito17 Hall of Fame

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    Someone should ask Lendl who he thinks is better, Andy Murray or Mecir.
     
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  20. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Good idea! No conflict there.
     
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  21. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Lendl always believe the current players are better than the players during his days. That should give you a clue.
     
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  22. Xavier G

    Xavier G Semi-Pro

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    True, Kiki, Mecir did beat Connors in Philadelphia, though I think it was the 1985 event and then Mecir lost the final to Mac. What a great tournament it was, Philadelphia.
    Miloslav also beat Becker in the US Open 1986, semi finals I think, so he had wins over them all. A very clever player.
     
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  23. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Yes, it was 85.Connors had been the Wimbledon finalist in 1984 and had recently defeated Lendl at the big ( then) indoor event at Tokyo.Mecir was so surprising that he had no clue and had no answer the first time he played him.

    I remember vividly Miloslav great win over Becker at Flushing 86.Becker had no cards to show.
     
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