I think Jim Courier has some really ugly strokes.

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by ATXtennisaddict, May 4, 2007.

  1. ATXtennisaddict

    ATXtennisaddict Hall of Fame

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    Watched the FO classics and he has such ugly strokes. Mainly the fact that he pulls his shots so late. Like a rushed delivery instead of a smooth motion.
     
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  2. Ten_is

    Ten_is Rookie

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    I was waiting for someone to say this! I absolutely agree. The funny thing is Roddick thinks his strokes are so clean. He hits like a recreational player. You'd never think he's a pro now, he'd get crushed by one.
     
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  3. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    I disagree. Other than his backhand, he has a very good serve motion, and excellent forehand motion.
     
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  4. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

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    I agree with you. His backhand was ugly but the rest of his strokes were decent.
     
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  5. vive le beau jeu !

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

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    glad to read this ! :)
     
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  6. Wingshellphelp

    Wingshellphelp New User

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    i agree also
     
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  7. gsquicksilver

    gsquicksilver Semi-Pro

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    his backhand looked like he was swinging a baseball bat.
     
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  8. Ten_is

    Ten_is Rookie

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    havn't seen his backhand. His forehand looked "old style" with very little topspin, seemed flat.

    I'll have to look again. Anyone has any vids to post? The vid I saw was him practicing with Roddick on TV. I remember thinking wow his strokes are odd
     
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  9. bluegrasser

    bluegrasser Hall of Fame

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    He$$, I'll take his strokes and take the #1ranking he had, who cares what they looked like, it's what he did with what he had.
     
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  10. Gasquetrules

    Gasquetrules Semi-Pro

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    Good topspin on the forehand

    Courier had good topspin on his forehand, which was by far his best shot. It was really top notch for his day (early 90s). Let's not forget, he cleaned Agassi's clock in a French Open final and held off both Agassi and Sampras for a couple of years.

    His backhand was pretty unorthodox, and though servicable, was his weaker side, for sure. It wouldn't hold up in today's game.

    Jim had a fairly strong serve.

    But he sure got ouplayed in the finals of the '93 French finals by Sergi Brugera. Out hit is more like it.

    Perhaps part of his problem was that he was an aggressive baseliner who used a serve-and-volleyer's racquet (the ProStaff 6.0). Lendl got away with using a very small-headed racquet to play the power-baseline game and dominate men's tennis for nearly a decade, but Courier was only able to do it for a couple years.
     
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  11. Chip n' charge

    Chip n' charge New User

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    Im not sure whether the word ugly is right. More like akward. His serve especially. But, he does get the job done.
     
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  12. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    Sounds like you guys don't seem to know much about Jim Courier.......man, am I that old?
     
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  13. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    I wonder if there are any TW members out there who would imitate Jim Courier's strokes :)
     
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  14. Gasquetrules

    Gasquetrules Semi-Pro

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    Whadayamean we don't know about Jim Courier?

    Jim Courier pretty much followed the Ivan Lendl style of play: pound the serve in, and instead of following it to the net to put away the volley, just wait for the weak return and pounce on it with the big forehand and rip it for a winner.

    Courier hit his two-handed backhands the way Pete Rose hit hit a baseball. Rose just went for a consistent base hit; Courier just looked to keep the ball in play until he could deliver the killer stroke with the forehand. Both used a short swing and made contact well out in front of the lead foot, basically using the forearms instad of the shoulders and trunk.
     
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  15. suwanee4712

    suwanee4712 Professional

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    LOL! Doesn't work for me. I use more classic grips and was taught to hit the ball in a closed stance. I could never pull it off.

    Jim's strokes represented his game very well as a pure brawler with all of the touch of a bricklayer. But the important thing is he made his game work for him in an era that greatly rewarded power baseliners. In fact, I think he's an overachiever, which I mean totally as a compliment.
     
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  16. junbumkim

    junbumkim Professional

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    Except for his volleys, Jim Courier's strokes weren't really pretty..
    His forehand was massive, but it sure didn't look that pretty with extreme grip and so on.
    His backhand, he once told that he didn't want to lose his baseball swing and that's why he ended up swinging a racket that way as well. In fact, his backhand was just O.K. When he didn't have to hit it on the run, it was a reasonable, neutral shot.
    His serves, well...He certainly had pretty big serves, but again, it wasn't as smooth as some other players.
     
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  17. jmsx521

    jmsx521 Hall of Fame

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    I think Courier’s and Berasategui’s forehands were a bit unorthodox. But if it wasn’t for them, pro tennis in the early 90s would’ve been more monotonous. I loved their forehands.


    When I was learning to play better tennis in the early 90s, I was emulating his forehand for 2-3 years, just like kids today try to copy Federer, Nadal and Roddick.
     
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  18. FEDEX1

    FEDEX1 Rookie

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    Besides his backhand everything looks good
     
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  19. goober

    goober Legend

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    JC hits like a recreational player? If you have ever seen him play in person you would not be saying that. I would take the word of a top player like Roddick who has hit with him many time personally over some club player posting on the internet.

    I think Courier right now can still beat a lot of players ranked outside of the top 200.
     
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  20. andreh

    andreh Professional

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    BTW, doesn't it look like he switches grip really quickly in his service motion, just before he tosses the ball? Always thought that looked weird.

    His strokes in general may not have been pretty, but I suppose its debatable. They were, however, very effective.
     
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  21. EasternRocks

    EasternRocks Hall of Fame

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    he cocks up his forehand and his backhand is really UGLY!
     
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  22. Z-Man

    Z-Man Professional

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    His backhand is pretty ugly, but watching old matches, it surprises me how often he's able to hit a backhand winner under pressure. That forehand motion is also a little weird, but the way he hits so close to his body really works because he's always running around his backand. I'm not sure a larger racquet would have helped. He might have used that small head to get the control he needed for hitting sharp angles close to the lines. It seems like Courier doesn't go for the corners--he tries to hit a little shorter in the court at a sharper angle than most of today's players.
     
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  23. Setmatch45

    Setmatch45 Rookie

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    Jim is the greatest, no his backhand is not what we are taught. He is a model for us all he worked harder than anyone to become number one with the week backhand side. I agree with the post that it is about doing our best with what we have. Instead of being critical learn how he could accomplish what he did. Jim is my favorite player not for the perfect strokes but the total package he brought to the court.
     
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  24. Kid Carlos

    Kid Carlos Semi-Pro

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    Tennis is not about style points, the guy was NUMBER 1 in the world, clearly, he was doing something right!
     
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  25. Setmatch45

    Setmatch45 Rookie

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    Why is it the Courier's bad and ungly strokes can win the French but all of theese other guys can get it done? Maybe Courier just had the perfect heart!
     
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  26. Bottle Rocket

    Bottle Rocket Hall of Fame

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    Couriers backhand is not real pretty, I'll agree to that. I want to add that I have never seen a two-hander from anybody that was a real pleasure to watch.

    With that said, I don't think it was the weakness you guys are making it out to be. In that final against Agassi he was going toe to toe with him and it held up well.

    The one thing I've noticed about all of his shots, and Z-Man sort of mentioned this, is that he really seemed to lack depth on his shots. It was especially apparent to me in some of his Davis Cup matches against people like Tim Henman. It didn't seem to matter because nobody was taking adantage of it, but he seemed to him everything near the service line.

    With that said, he seemed to make up for it by rarely ever hitting a ball in the center of the court.

    I thought it was interesting during the FO final that even Jimmy Conners couldn't believe the racket setup he was using. For a while they were discussion how incredibly tight he was stringing his racket and Conners didn't think it was such a good thing to be doing on clay.
     
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