Bruguera says he's playing better now then when he retired

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Moose Malloy, Aug 13, 2007.

  1. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    Sergi Bruguera stretched his lead at the top of the South African Airways Champions Tour Rankings, and now believes he is in better form now than when he retired from the regular ATP circuit.

    The Spaniard swept aside Fernando Meligeni 6-1, 6-4 in the Algarve final to win his fourth consecutive title on the BlackRock Tour of Champions in 2007. He remains unbeaten this year, having won 16 matches in a row.

    “It feels great – I’m playing even better than when I retired,” said Bruguera.

    “I have no idea where this form has come from, but I’m hitting with a lot of confidence. You could not get a nicer to place to play than here at Vale Do Lobo, so that helps as well.”

    The Vale Do Lobo Grand Champions CGD title was his first on hard court with the others coming on clay in Barcelona, Rome and Hamburg.

    http://www.blackrocktourofchampions.com/5/news/2007/algarve4.asp

    time for a comeback?

    his other wins this year:
    Barcelona, Sergi Bruguera d. Jordi Arrese 4-6, 6-1, 10-2
    Rome, Sergi Bruguera d. Wayne Ferreira 6-3, 6-4
    Hamburg, Sergi Bruguera d. Thomas Muster 6-1, 6-4
     
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  2. jmsx521

    jmsx521 Hall of Fame

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    He can give it another shot at RG 2008.
     
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  3. Warriorroger

    Warriorroger Hall of Fame

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    Please not, I still remember those boring finals, where a 20 shot rally was short.
     
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  4. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    Sergi Bruguera’s 16-match winning streak finally came to an end when he was beaten 6-4, 6-2 by an inspired Goran Ivanisevic at the s Tennis Masters in Graz-Reininghaus, Austria on Wednesday.

    Bruguera has built a huge lead at the top of the South African Airways Champions Tour Rankings after consecutive wins in Barcelona, Rome, Hamburg and Algarve, but he was overwhelmed on his favourite surface by the big-serving Croatian.

    “It’s my best match since Wimbledon in 2001, and by far my best match on the BlackRock Tour of Champions,” said Ivanisevic.

    “To beat Sergi on any surface is tough, especially after his 16-0 record, but to beat him on clay is incredible. It’s unbelievable. I can’t believe the way I played.”

    Ivanisevic broke Bruguera in the fifth game of the first set to go 3-2 up, then served out to take the set.

    Bruguera led the second 2-1 but and inspired Ivanisevic won five successive games to take the match.

    “I couldn’t do anything,” said Bruguera.

    “Goran played at an unbelievable level. He was serving better than normal and every time he hit winners from the baseline. I cannot be disappointed. I won the last four tournaments I’ve played. I’m playing great tennis and enjoying it, but Goran is the guy who hits hardest by far. Today he had a better serve than all the players on the regular ATP circuit. Better than Ljubicic, Federer, everyone!”

    http://www.blackrocktourofchampions.com/5/news/2007/graz2.asp
     
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  5. superman1

    superman1 Legend

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    It's why you can't compare the past with the present. The present learned from the past, grew up watching and emulating the past, whereas the past had no idea about the present. Now that these old guys have the new racquets and strings and can watch the new players, they are all learning a few new tricks. The roles have switched. Sampras is watching Federer on TV now and taking notes, not the other way around.
     
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  6. !Tym

    !Tym Hall of Fame

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    Henman needs to join the seniors tour...and QUICK! These competition tough old guys will push his game to new limits so that when he returns to the main tour next year at Wimbledon, Roger Federer will seem like a piece of cake. The title is his. I can see it.

    Btw, Bruguera was basically a half-retired player his last few years both in spirit and health...kind of like Goran, minus that one odd run out of nowhere (no doubt also thanks in part due to the heaping dose of pain killers he took so that his shoulder would hold up through the fortnight) at Wimbledon.
     
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  7. vive le beau jeu !

    vive le beau jeu ! G.O.A.T.

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    great win for goran ! :D
     
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  8. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Semi-Pro

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    Does Sergi still hit that slice forehand return of serve?
     
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  9. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Do you really think the new rackets are changing the way the old champions play ?

    When Goran's serve is on, he could beat anybody, including Sampras at his best.
    Is Goran still using a head PC600 ?

    I really dont think Mac game is any diff now with the dunlop maxply mac. Its still a pretty powerless racket like the old max 200g.

    How about Bruguera, is he playing a baboloat to get even more topspin like Nadal ?

    Im wondering how the past greats are learning new tricks ? If anything they are forgetting old tricks like the allcourt weapons and game, and that has alot to do with less speed and court movement, not new rackets.
     
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  10. brayman9

    brayman9 Semi-Pro

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    how many senior tours are there? I only thought there was 1. I saw it in Boston when Pistol Pete returned.
     
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  11. !Tym

    !Tym Hall of Fame

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    Two. The one in the states is a recent venture started by Courier. The European senior tour has been around for several years now. Some players like Ferreira, McEnroe, and Cash play both circuits. Bruguera played one of Courier's events as a last-minute fill-in for an injured player, was more of a favor though I believe. Mostly, the retired players who live in Europe play in Europe, and the guys who live in the states now or are American will play the Courier circuit.

    The European circuit is more meaningful, however, as they have the one true semi-marque event in seniors tennis. In other words, they have a year-ending masters tournament for all the marbles in which only the top ranking competitors after a calendar year are allowed to enter. The event is held at Royal Albert Hall in Great Britain, and its considered one of the most beautiful venues for tennis in all the world, and all the players really love it, many have said it's one of the most beautiful places to play tennis they've ever played, including McEnroe and Becker.

    ...as far as Bruguera chipping forehand returns, yup, he still does that. The biggest difference from his tour days is that he mixes it up A LOT more in the seniors matches I've seen him in. In his second senior event back, he drop shotted and drop volleyed Courier to death in a clay final. He literally toyed with him with almost nothing but drop shots and drop volley/dink type shots, he played a lot like Santoro in this match...and it was really messing with Courier's head. Courier kept on looking like he wanted Bruguera to just engage him like a man and go toe to toe more like how they used to play each other on tour, he didn't really expect this style of play from Bruguera in this match at all and looked totally unprepared and baffled.

    Bruguera plays much more loose and relaxed now. On tour, he would either go into a ball bashing mode or a just try to keep it in play until the other guy misses mode, one or the other...yet, he'd sprinkle in the occasional drop volley here and there too. He was known to have soft hands by McEnroe himself during his playing days, but he did not use them all that often in actual matches.

    Now, he does...and quite often. Basically, because he's not as serious anymore, you'll see him play A LOT more trick/dink/finesse shots than he did on tour. Courier, on the other hand, basically still plays the same style. Courier commented on this on air in the event Bruguera played for him, he said that Bruguera's very tricky to play now because he plays with a lot more touch now.

    This said, I haven't seen him playing during his recent hot streak and alleged return to form. The Bruguera in the seniors matches I have seen though played about as differently as I have seen from any seniors tour player. He's even modified his backhand technique now. He no longer has that unique cocked wrist, box beam, take back preparation on his two-hander...which I think is extremely unfortunate, as it was to me the most unique preparation on a two-hander I've ever seen and the nicest looking. Now, his two-hander looks pretty much just like everyone else's--GENERIC...*yuck*...with the straight, simple take back, and follow-through. He'll only very occasionally go to the regal, box-beam, take back now.

    As far as pace goes, he uses a more powerful racket than he did in his playing days, but I actually think he also does not swing as violently as he did in his touring days (remember Bud Collins saying, "he keeps on looking like he's going to hit his head with one of those swings"). He seems to have a more relaxed swing now, and doesn't look to pull the trigger as often at the end of a long rally now.

    In his touring days, his basic strategy was to wear you out and hope you made an error, but if you didn't after a few shots, he'd look to just pummel the ball on an all or nothing forehand at some point.

    Now, he'll just string you along for several shots just being consistent hoping you'll miss first, but the big difference is that instead of looking to setup an all-or-nothing power groundie...he seems to prefer just as much OR MORE going for the McEnroe-esque, all-or-nothing, shoe string finesse shot.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2007
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  12. Gorecki

    Gorecki G.O.A.T.

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    This is nice and rare to ear about my country, specialy coming from a Spanish
    :D :D :D

    Un saludo a nuestros hermanos desde Portugal.
     
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  13. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    You're joking, right?
    I have many old (and well-preserved) 200Gs. Best feel ever, but yeah, like you say, very low in the power department. I even have some old wooden Maxply McEnroes still. Nice feel, great look, btw.

    The current incarnation of the Maxply Mac (graphite with woodsy paintjob and a 98 head) is a little on the light side and is absolutely overflowing with power. Tons of power and spin, man. Plus, it is a fairly open string pattern. Have you hit with one, Joe?

    I'm sure Mac's is customized and heavy and flexible and all, but there is no way his stick is as low-powered as an old 200G.

    Anyway, it's nice to see the 30+ and 40+ guys playing well. They'd get some sets and win a few rounds on the main tour. I just do not see a whole week of that level happening.
     
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  14. classic tennis

    classic tennis Semi-Pro

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    He probably will as will Rusedski as their personal agent & IMG run the failing senior tour in Europe, anything to get more bums on seats !!
     
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  15. !Tym

    !Tym Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, the current Maxply has flex near 70. A lot of people have like it, but said it practically caused their shoulders to fall off due to the stiffness.

    Goran said that the match against Bruguera was the best he had played since Wimbledon 2001 believe it or not, and was BY FAR better than any match he's managed to put together on the senior tour thus far. He said he couldn't believe how well he played...funny thing is, he didn't even win the tournament.

    After that match, he went back to "naughty Goran" I guess, lol. Though, it's true; the 30 to 40 year old guys probably could on their best days still give youngen's all they can handle...the problem is that it took Goran how many years to recapture his grand slam winning form? Oh, yeah...more than half a decade! ...and only ONE at that...and not even for a true best of three let alone best of five sets match! ...not to mention all the jet lag from traveling all year...and the aches and pains of the body repeatedly breaking down because it needs to train but can't hold up to train...and so on and so forth.

    I remember Navratalova saying something about how when you get older, it's not so much that you can't play your best tennis anymore, it's that you can't play it back to back anymore, at least not enough to be able to count on your best form being there reliably anymore.
     
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  16. PimpMyGame

    PimpMyGame Hall of Fame

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    Cool, my dad used to live in Vale do Lobo in 1988-89.:)
     
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  17. jmsx521

    jmsx521 Hall of Fame

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    Ok, then forget about Bruguera... maybe they should give Ivanisevic a WC to Wimbledon 2008!
     
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  18. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Yes, I have several of the new maxply mcenroes and have taken them out hitting with some other great classic rackets like the head pc600 and dunlop max 200g. The new maxply is my least favorite and I feel its the most underpowered. I still like it better than most of the modern rackets.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2007
    #18

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