How good was Pat Cash?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Adam, Jul 2, 2007.

  1. Adam

    Adam Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Messages:
    133
    So yeah I was watching Wimbledon and he was doing an interview while it was raining and it came up with a bar with his career stats on. It said he had won 7 career singles titles? I thought that seemed a little odd compared to John McEnroe who had 77 and Tracy Austin who had 30, maybe it's unfair to compare to those two but with him playing before my time and him having won Wimbledon I wanted to know how good he was.
     
    #1
  2. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    6,294
    At one time, his volley was regarded as GOAT.
     
    #2
  3. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Messages:
    12,724
    Location:
    Carrboro, NC
    His semi at the US open against Lendl was classic, a truly super saturday that day.
     
    #3
  4. theace21

    theace21 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    Messages:
    3,263
    Good serve, quick to close off volleys at the net - fun to watch.
     
    #4
  5. The Gorilla

    The Gorilla Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    2,495
    similar player to mahut in lots of ways
     
    #5
  6. lostinamerica

    lostinamerica Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Messages:
    565
    Location:
    Galt's Gulch
    I know everyone thought he had great volleys but I don't recall anyone saying his were superior to McEnroe's volleys or Edbergs volleys.
     
    #6
  7. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2004
    Messages:
    6,581
    Cash was a better player than his record would show or his personality would allow people to admit.

    Despite having a very solid build and exceptional athleticism (his sprint times over 50 metres were in the elite category) he was very prone to injury and his career at the top level was, effectively over by 1989, at the age of 24. In those times he was healthy, he won Wimbledon, was runner-up in two Australian Opens (one on grass and one on hard court), reached the semi-final of the US Open, the quarters of the French, played the leading role in two Davis Cup wins and was twice runner-up in the Wimbledon doubles (semis of Aus and US Open doubles as well).

    All up, just shy of the Edberg, Becker, McEnroe, Lendl, Connors, Wilander bracket BUT capable of beating any of them.

    Actually, I think it's quite telling that, apart from McEnroe and Becker, he was good enough to beat all of those players, plus Mecir, Noah and Leconte, at either a major (French, Aus, Wimbledon, US) or the Masters. Great players, like those, might slip up at a lesser event but it takes a genuine talent to beat them when it matters most.
     
    #7
  8. classic tennis

    classic tennis Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    Messages:
    606
    He was really a great serve & volley player, just to fragile (or perhaps finely tuned) & couldnt take a knock. Also the people around him didnt help much from what I remember he had a physio that kept him in cotton wool & was no help at all........she is now employed by the LTA so watch out you Brits !
     
    #8
  9. Warriorroger

    Warriorroger Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2005
    Messages:
    1,603
    Your opening sentence says it all. I agree with you. IMO A spectactular player to watch in those days.
     
    #9
  10. Jonnyf

    Jonnyf Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Messages:
    5,047
    Location:
    Scotland ;-)
    I was watching a replay of the '87 Wimbledon final yesterday and was trully impressed by his game. I've saw him play live a few years ago (maybe 04 or 05) and from then on I've been a massive fan. I spoke to him for about a minute in December 06 and he's a really nice guy.
     
    #10
  11. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Messages:
    12,724
    Location:
    Carrboro, NC
    Navratilova once said when her volleys were off she studied video of Cash's to help her get it back fundamentally.
     
    #11
  12. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,640
    During the Cash-Wilander final in the AO, Cliff Drysdale said he thought that Cash had the best backhand volley in the game. At the Wimbledon that Cash won, Dick Enberg and Bud Collins said that his volleys were the best in the tournament (so that would included Edberg, who lost in the semis, but not McEnroe, who skipped Wimbledon that year).
     
    #12
  13. theace21

    theace21 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    Messages:
    3,263
    Easy to volley when you are in great position all the time and sitting right on the net. The guy was super quick, great feet.

    Everyone could be a great volleyer if we were always balanced and in great position every time.
     
    #13
  14. Colpo

    Colpo Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    1,037
    Lacked consistency and a sturdy enough body to be even close to all-time. Similar to Rafter in many ways. Cash always seemed to have to work hard to succeed. His Wimbledon win was deserved, and he came close to winning another major, too. Definitely got up for the Slams and the Davis Cup, but relatively few tourney wins for a player of his talent.
     
    #14
  15. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,915
    Location:
    Parts unknown
    Very very fast and athletic...had that old school mentality where he served and volleyed on every serve and if he kept getting passed so be it, the opponent was better that day

    His weaponry was his quickness and he lacked any single big shot, but was good at all the shots. he earned his serve volley points the hard way as his serve was never one that was going to blow opponents off the court. He was from the early Edberg/Rafter school, but a bit different

    Nagging injuries (as others have said) precluded him from doing better longer
     
    #15
  16. ilovecarlos

    ilovecarlos Professional

    Joined:
    May 29, 2006
    Messages:
    1,214
    Location:
    at the Bistro
    Loved watching him play....his volleys were top notch...his knees would practically be on the ground he could get so low. He had lot's of injuries....if memory serves me...didn't he have his appendix removed about 8 weeks prior to winning Wimby? Think they removed them from the back so as to not mess with his stomach muscles....
    Had quite a rep as a bad boy...played guitar (badly) with Johnny Mac and and a fondness for ladies and beer!;)
    He was and still is a cutie
     
    #16
  17. Jonnyf

    Jonnyf Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Messages:
    5,047
    Location:
    Scotland ;-)

    I'd heard he had his appendix out but I thought he missed Wimbledon the year of that op.? Didn't he have another problem just before the appendix removal.?
     
    #17
  18. ilovecarlos

    ilovecarlos Professional

    Joined:
    May 29, 2006
    Messages:
    1,214
    Location:
    at the Bistro

    Cloudy memory here...sorry...but pretty sure the appendix operation was just before Wimby win...think he had it in Sweden? Know he had a Swedish gf then, had a few kids with her...I think he did have another medical probelm that year too...maybe it was in Japan? Jeez, a mind is a terrible thing to lose;)
    I always thought he was pretty cool tho...that whole bad boy thing...but have since been told that he was a pretty big jerk...was sorry to hear that
     
    #18
  19. Jonnyf

    Jonnyf Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Messages:
    5,047
    Location:
    Scotland ;-)

    You're probably right, All this happened a few years before I was born.! He was nice when I met him in December
     
    #19
  20. ilovecarlos

    ilovecarlos Professional

    Joined:
    May 29, 2006
    Messages:
    1,214
    Location:
    at the Bistro
    I read that you had met him...cool...where? I'm glad he was nice to you.
     
    #20
  21. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    6,294
    I know, that's why I said "one time". I clearly remember a Tennis magazine
    feauture story in early 90's that listed Pat Cash as the greatest volleyer
    of all time. I'm not syaing I consider his volley GOAT but I'm saying
    his volley was as good as to be compared to the best in the game.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2007
    #21
  22. vitasGremembered

    vitasGremembered New User

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    Messages:
    69
    In that match Lendl hit the gutsiest shot I've ever seen in 35+ years, Cash was up match point and Lendl hit a perfect topspin lob. Never seen anyone else ever hit a lob on match point. I hated "robot" Lendl up to then, afterwards had nothing but admiration for his guts.
     
    #22
  23. sandy mayer

    sandy mayer Rookie

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Messages:
    260
    Cash was a very good player who under achieved due to injuries. His greatest shot was his volley, but he also had a really good serve for his era, and also hit good passing shots and lobs.

    I watched several of his Wimbledon 87 matches: he played brilliantly, and was a worthy Wimbledon champ.
     
    #23
  24. FarFed

    FarFed Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Messages:
    290
    Incidentally, he's pretty pi**ed of with the whole tennis profession ("industry") as of now. This is an interesting article about how he was treated badly at lots of tournaments when he wanted a wild card. Lots of whining here, interesting article though.

    Pat Cash - "I'm glad I'm out of this cesspit".
     
    #24
  25. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Messages:
    3,336
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    i really enjoyed watching his matches.. i recall in later years, well into his retirement, he was commentating or having an interview and he said that the pressure was so great during a grand slam final that he didnt know whether he could handle going through another one.. upon reflection
    ________
    Dodge Ev
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2011
    #25
  26. kissmyace

    kissmyace Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Messages:
    265
    Rafter against Goran, 2001, match point down, Goran served and came in, Rafter return, Goran went behind Pat on the volley and Rafter hit the sweetest backhand lob over the rather tall Croatian, rather ballsy i think!!
     
    #26
  27. officerdibble

    officerdibble Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2007
    Messages:
    512
    I've met Pat Cash on several occasions and hit with him too. He's a strange character. He is one of the nicest people you'd ever meet in person, but when it comes to writing articles he can come across really, really, badly. I even his own autobiography (not the best of reads) made him come across as a bit of a d*ck! For example, I knew that he had an issue with Rusedski about payment for coaching, but reading HIS book (and expecting to find the emotionally awkward Canadibrit at fault) I couldn't help but feel Cash was in the wrong! In general he seems to feel that the world owes him something.

    I suspect that he suffers a little from having spent so much time competing and playing tennis when he was young, and not quite enough time on other things!

    Physically he's like a normal person who's been inflated several pounds all over - he is almost muscle bound - you can see it in his walk. I guess he has a sprinter's physique developed for and from the explosive style of tennis he always played.

    He suffered some major injuries along the way, which were a byproduct of poor technique. When he worked with a biomechanics expert (Brad Langevad) he made the adjustments necessary, but by that stage he was past his prime.
     
    #27
  28. Frank Silbermann

    Frank Silbermann Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    Messages:
    1,066
    In the years before Pat Cash was at his peak, many famous tennis teachers insisted that the (one-handed) backhand was "more natural" than the forehand and that most top players had "better" backhands than forehands. I realized what bunk this was when TV commentators pointed out how much better Cash's technique was on the backhand than on the forehand, only to hear one of them admit, "But opponents still play to his backhand because his forehand is still more effective."

    It is a strange kind of "better" that means "less effective." (That's when I decided to take advantage of my ambidexterity to learn a left-handed forehand.)
     
    #28
  29. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    7,950
    he was pretty good, but Nadal beat him when he was 14 and cash was 36..lol.
     
    #29
  30. classic tennis

    classic tennis Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    Messages:
    606
    Yep & I guess if Nadal wins Wimby you will have some credability.......
     
    #30
  31. Oh, my god. What a crotchety old gas bag!

    "I was at the French Open and it was lots of fun talking to players, seeing old friends. Then come the women's final and the men's - and you barely recognise anybody because of all the hangers-on.They're pushing in at the restaurants in front of the junior players and seniors like me, being loud and rude. And I'm thinking, "**** me! The arseholes have come in!" These are people who have got their tickets and don't give a **** about tennis really. They've got their men's final tickets, their women's' final tickets, and they're trampling over everyone because all they care about is themselves. They're not the people we want in tennis. We want people who are passionate about the sport, who care and do their best, nice guys who try their arses off.
     
    #31
  32. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Messages:
    7,884
    Location:
    Next door to Elisha Cuthbert.
    by whom?;) Most of the commentators are talking in the moment. I would rate him maybe top 20 of alltime. Becker, rafter, Mac,Edberg, Sampras, Goran, Stich, and a whole host of others were better SV in their career. He was really good for like 2 years. I would rate him higher if he sustained his career a bit longer. Nice player to watch and entertaining.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2007
    #32
  33. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Messages:
    7,884
    Location:
    Next door to Elisha Cuthbert.
    Read the article and have to say Cash was just being honest. You guys need to remember his words are in written form...context can be taken incorrectly. He seems to be telling us he got screwed over by rich, snobby tennis elitists. He was right to complain about his treatment at the AO. The guy didplay for his country and was a great player for Australia...I wouldbe pissed too. The guy just gave his views on a few experiences and some people want to make him out to be a whiner....
     
    #33
  34. PimpMyGame

    PimpMyGame Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    2,432
    Cash was always fun to watch but joins the list of players whose peak was too short and whose success fell short of expectations.
     
    #34
  35. diggler

    diggler Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    Messages:
    1,177
    Location:
    Sydney
    He was very athletic. Deserving Wimbledon champion. I thought Rafter and Edberg were better volleyers, but I could be wrong.
     
    #35
  36. anointedone

    anointedone Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    Messages:
    4,655
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario
    He was an extremely good volleyer, but I dont see how one says he was the best. If he was the best at his main game, he certainly would have won more then 1 slam title, considering how many Edberg for example won.
     
    #36
  37. anointedone

    anointedone Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    Messages:
    4,655
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Tennis magazine is entertaining to read, but it hardly contains the most valid expert analysis of the game. God how many years did that major dumbass Peter Bodo work in one of the premier roles of that magazine. That alone kills the credibility of that magazine from any expertise standpoint.
     
    #37
  38. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    7,914
    I think its hard to judge past players, by just our faded memories of them. Cash is one of my favorites & I've been able to watch quite a few of his matches in recent years, its hard to say anyone really had better volleys than him(maybe just make it a tie?)

    To this day, I've never seen a 'stronger' volleyer than him. Many are able to hit backhand overheads well, when they have the time, but I've never seen someone hit these high backhand volleys, not quite overheads, as well as Cash. Most of the time when players have to hit this shot they barely get a racquet on it, or the best they can hope for is to angle it out of reach & get get a chance to hit an easier shot after. Not Cash, he can just jump, & with no backswing hit these high backhand volleys into the stands. talk about a strong guy(& in terms of muscle mass, I think he & Vilas are the strongest players of the last 20 years, their physiques are not common to tennis, even in this age of better training, diet, etc)
    also he can make these incredible half-volleys from no-man's land like no one else(again his physical strength allows him to really stick these volleys, they are hit with pace, not just placed for the next shot)
    athletically, he ranks near the top of all slam champs of the last 20 years imo.

    I used to think Rafter was a better version of him, but now I'm not so sure.

    and as far a big match players go, he was great, he beat #1 Lendl 3 times in slams over the course of a year, & had some incredible Davis Cup campaigns.
    injuries plagued his entire career, even prior to his W win, he had some serious injuries.

    its a shame the atp didn't give him many wildcards, I think its yet another factor why tennis is so youth-based, the tour does nothing to help older players.
     
    #38
  39. morten

    morten Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,352
    He had a Norwegian gf, not Swedish, hate it when people confuse those countries! :( I am from Norway btw ;)
     
    #39
  40. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,607
    Location:
    OREGON
    Ever heard of Laver, Rosewall, Newcomb, Budge, Crawford, Tilden, Emerson, Hoad. GOAT volleyers goes beyond 80's and 90's
     
    #40
  41. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,640
    Neale Fraser, the great Aussie champion of the 1950s and 60s, coached Cash and had this to say:

    (Not sure when he said that, but it was quoted during Cash's Wimbledon final).

    After Cash spearheaded Australia's Davis Cup win in '86, this was reported by the NY Times:

     
    #41
  42. Wuornos

    Wuornos Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Messages:
    931
    Location:
    England
    I agree with those comments from people who say his career was to short. It's difficult for someone to prove they are one of the absolute greats beyond reasonable doubt in such a short time frame.

    For me sufficient eveidence was provided to currently rate him 27th best of the open era.
     
    #42
  43. morten

    morten Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,352
    not bad not bad....
     
    #43
  44. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    ¿did he say it before or after his daily pieces of Foster Lager?.

    Cash had talent the guts, the body and the legs to fare quite better than he did.I liked him a lot but, somewhat, was disapointing to many fans that wanted him to restore the "Australiam Empire" back¡¡ ( injuries, yes, but specially, self indulgence and too much taste for fun and good life).

    He just had 50% of the mind and brain of a Rosewall,Laver and Newcombe.

    Still, he lighted tennis in the 80´s - just the light turned off too soon-
     
    #44
  45. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    The best of the 80´s along Mac´s and Edberg´s but not the GOAT volley.Other aussies had a more complete volley - Roche and Sedgman, also Laver and possibly Newcombe and Rosewall-
     
    #45
  46. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    yeah, too much sex.

    Now seriously, few people know that Pat´s favourite sport - even more than tennis- was Australian Rules, which is the toughest team sports that has been invented.

    ...and I do not recall her name, but her girlfirend was terrific looking, too.
     
    #46
  47. BULLZ1LLA

    BULLZ1LLA Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    2,050
    Cash more entertaining than Rafter I find.
     
    #47
  48. rollingrock

    rollingrock New User

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Messages:
    8
    I remeber hearing at the time people say that Edberg had a better backhand volley, but Cash was maybe a little more complete package at net (fh/bh + overhead). I'm not sure I agree, but man could he get back for the overheads like a cat. I think that quickness allowed him to play closer to the net than most, which made him even more effective volleying.

    I think it was the achilles ruptrue that really killed him. He relied so much on quickness, and that really hurt him.
     
    #48
  49. morten

    morten Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,352
    i agree.......
     
    #49
  50. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    4,647
    Foot Speed

    The thing that Pat had was incredibly fast foot speed. If you look at his thighs you can see why - incredibly strong. Unfortunately in 1989/1990 he tore his archiles tendon and never was the same again. He was really unlucky with injuries.

    Incredible Volleyer. Though ironically his serve was a little weak. Interestingly his serve now as a senior player is better (faster, stronger) than it ever was during his 'peak' years. Seems to have worked out the bio-mechanics now.
     
    #50

Share This Page