Jimmy Connors wonders whatever happened to 'killer instinct'

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by thor's hammer, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. Bjorn99

    Bjorn99 Professional

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    Jimmy's age group was not vaccinated. So they were a lot more aggressive. From having owned two pharma companies, I can tell you a lot of bad things about vaxxies. But one of the worst is that there are a lot fewer aggressive men nowadays.
     
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  2. ClarkC

    ClarkC Hall of Fame

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    Do you have any data on the changes in sports salaries in the team sports since 1974?
     
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  3. ClarkC

    ClarkC Hall of Fame

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    That sounds better than telling you, "We are not a very desirable tennis and academic destination for American players, and we could not possibly sign top recruits from the USA." This is the case for every college tennis team that I have seen that is almost all foreign players.
     
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  4. Set Sampras

    Set Sampras Banned

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    At the end of the day.. guys like Roddick, Fish, Blake Isner and who ever came after the days of great american tennis of Pete, Andre, Courier, Mac, Connors just didn't match up talent wise against their predecessors. Nothing you can do. Not every era is going to produce all time greats for your respective country.


    Pete, Andre, Connors, Mac etc. have more talent in one bone then Roddick has throughout his body. Roddick is a good player, he was a never a great player.. And it takes a great player to carry on the lineage of the 80s and 90s fellas. And no one that came after had that talent.. Thats like asking Kobe Bryant to be as great as Jordan. He just doesn't have all those intangibles.

    It sucks being an american and having to go through this for the better part of 10 years. But thats the nature of sports. Not all eras produce greats
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
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  5. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

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    Part of the issue is down here in Australia,all of the land developers are buying anywhere with a lot of space;ie places with tennis courts and putting up townhouses.The cheapest block of land is ridiculously expensive,and there are almost no public courts to play on.Who wants to pay $20/hour to teach your child who doesn't know how to hold a racquet?It becomes very dear after a while.
     
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  6. thor's hammer

    thor's hammer Semi-Pro

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    Laurie posted a bunch of clips recently. This one provides pretty good evidence in support of the position above...

    http://youtu.be/YFiOslvMvXY

    IMHO that video is not an argument against serve and volley, but rather is a good example of what a brilliant shotmaker Sampras was, which was a function of his quickness, solid groundies off both wings, and creative/reactive improvisation.

    Don't miss the look at the very end of the clip - there's your killer instinct!

    Tennis Genius, Sui Generis! ;-)
     
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  7. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    I won't go as far as to say Connors could not compete today, but you have nailed the big picture. Even Mike Agassi says he would put Andre into another sport today as the global competition is 100 times what it used to be.

    In Connors day there were not massive numbers of Russian, Croatian, Serbian, European players being trained from childhood by organized tennis federations.
     
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  8. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    So we should all suffer and not improve because adversity builds character? That doesn't make sense.

    What about bringing polio back? Sounds like a good thing to me. Smallpox too.
     
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  9. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    Yeah but there were far more North Americans playing. North America's decline in tennis pretty much cancels out Eastern Europes rise as far as competition goes. There were just as many many Western Europeans and Scandinavians (Borg, Edberg, Wilander, Boris Becker, Leconte, Yannick Noah, etc etc) and far more Australians.

    edit: What am I saying? What about Lendl and Navratilova? Where were they from?

    So I definitely don't agree when you say the competition's higher now.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011
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  10. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    :)
    Jajajajaja
     
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  11. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I never liked Bolletieri, but he certainly could make Agassi,Seles,Courier or Arias hit the right spot...
     
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  12. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    That is really ass-breaking, since it was used to say that there was almost one grass tennis court for any single aussie, back in the good times.Do they make as much money through Australian Rules or Rugby or Golf to spare all those many years of big tennis champions?.

    I know the country pretty well, but not enough to answer that question.As you said, may be speculators broke down any possibility to make it possible for the youngs to develop their talent.And there is so much athletic talent per capita in Australia than in any other country.Probably more...
     
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  13. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    To say that of Jimmy Connors is an arrogant act only a tennis born kid can allow himself to make.
     
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  14. I get cramps

    I get cramps New User

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    He may have a point though: ""Sports are a microcosm of society," Billie Jean King said. "When I was playing, we didn't have to compete against everybody in the world. Now it's a truly global sport, so the competition's much greater, just like it is for our children in every other area, whether it be in science or technology or whatever you talk about. So we have to work that much harder. We have to get kids who are eager. We have to get good athletes in our sport if we're going to win globally."

    http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/...d-to-americans-tennis-superstars-2281988.html
     
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  15. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Connors would have thrived in today's game with all this pace and power.
     
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  16. 6-2/6-4/6-0

    6-2/6-4/6-0 Semi-Pro

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    I have to imagine that with good coaching and a good head there are at least 10 players in the US who - if they had chosen tennis as a path - could beat a Gael Monfils. The guy's a top-10 and he could kick my butt and not break a sweat doing it (assuming the on-court temp was under 100 degrees), but honestly, I think that outside the top couple players many highly-ranked tennis pros today have glaring holes in their game (even #4 Murray has serious head issues, kinda like a Becker with a stiff-ish upper lip but without the chutzpa to take him to a Major title or 6).

    As they said when I lived in North Carolina for a while, "The South Will Rise Again..." or at least some day American tennis will be resuscitated and we'll have another great player or string of players like we did in the 80s and 90s. I think it's mighty democratic of us to let the rest of the world kick us around for a while...

    Finally, if you look historically, there has usually been only one great (Major winning) US player in any given chunk of time, Don Budge, Jack Kramer, Tony Trabert, Arthur Ashe, and Stan Smith all came more or less in succession. In the 80s and 90s we had multiple Major winners and that is why they are the golden days of US tennis. Even guys without the gravitas to become 'Greats' of the sport were good enough to win a French Open title or two (Chang and Courier).

    Sure, having Roddick as the only current US player to have won a Major is a drought. But, we're coming off an incredible era of US tennis and maybe, just maybe one of the current crop of hopefuls will really become a student of the game and learn how to be a great champion rather than simply achieving enough quickly enough to marry a model and make a good living.

    Federer had un-remarkable results at first, but he was such a student of the game that once he was able to fully understand it inside and out that he developed into one of the greatest players ever. Taking the time to develop properly is more important in my book than coming out with a splash, learning how to do a couple things well enough to get through to the round of 16 or the occasion quarter at a Major, and being hamstrung by expectation and the need to hold up your ranking rather than growing as a player for the rest of your career.

    And maybe that's the lesson: That US players have all had the weight of expectation that greats like Agassi, Sampras, Conners, and McEnroe create within the American public. That the desire to live up to those virtually-impossible standards and to make the kind of impression that those players made as quickly as possible in their career is part of the reason that our players are not stacking-up in the long run. Learning enough tennis to win a few matches and a few tournaments is one thing, learning enough to be Great like Mac or Sampras is an entirely different task.

    Let's stop being an instant-gratification society and give the next group of players the time to mature. Maybe that will help, but I can't see how it would hurt...
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011
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  17. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    A lot of this just overlooks the fact that the dramatic slowing down of the balls and courts have killed Americans. The US Open slowed the courts down in 2004 - the year after Roddick won. The French open is like mud although this year was faster because of the Babalot tennis ball used (ironically enough). Spaniards in the 80's and 90's it seemed never did much on the hard stuff or grass. Occasionally a guy like Correjta would but he would play more aggressive and look to move forward to finish points at net. Now these guy who are heavy topspin baselines just play exactly the same on grass and hard and are rewarded. In fact as numerous pros have stated the strings and the above mentioned factors have killed attacking tennis -which is what Americans have always excelled at. Agassi and Courier were aggressive baseliners with massive (for the time) forehands. Sampras was an explosive player, perhaps the best fast court player of all time. Mac and Connors both had aggressive games. Now the best player in the word at a given time makes and win the finals of almost all the slams. Right now the best grinders and fastest players are not from the United States and that is what is needed now.
     
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  18. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    You're right; it would be hugely interesting to see a matchup between Connors and Nadal.
     
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  19. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    But, I'd say Borg had a killer instinct....he was a silent assassin!

    He wanted to win at all times, no? And he had some real knock down, drag out matches with both Mac and Jimmy.

    I think "killer instinct" here is not merely on court antics, but that real drive to win. You see it in Nadal and Djokovic, not so much from Fed now.
     
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  20. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    Baloney! Their were numerous foreign born players in the 70's...Vilas, Orantes, Borg.....maybe not Russians, but a lot of very good Europeans.

    Of those from the 70s/80s, Connors could probably adapt to the game of today; he loved nothing more than pace. but, he'd have to amp up his serve, I think.
     
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  21. GRANITECHIEF

    GRANITECHIEF Hall of Fame

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    Ya you'd think the serve would be a liablility, but then you got Donald Young winning matches, just spinning it in lefty style, so it makes me wonder.
     
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  22. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Connors' serve would be fine. Not near the best, but fine enough. The pace of today's game and the momentum he could build up would be irresistible to Connors. That, in turn, would get the crowd involved and more energy to feed off.
     
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  23. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Powerful flat groundstrokes versus heavy topspin. A player who approaches the net on most short balls versus a great counterpuncher. Yes it would be fascinating. Two great lefties battling it out.
     
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  24. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Couldn´t be truer.Connors loved pace, I think the problem are strings and equipment, but Connors had an all round game, which isn´t seen today.

    Tennis was very very international those days, except for the USSR.Ilie Nastase and Jan Kodes were raised in communism, yet they adapted so well to the pro tour.There´s no Johan Kriek, no Vijay Amritraj, no Adriano Panatta, no Raul Ramirez, no Tom Okker, no Wojtek Fibak, just one outstanding swede ( they had like 5 top 20 players before), no Stich or Becker, no Muster...that makes up for the lots of croatians, russians, serbians and some other new countries...like, say , switzerland.

    And of course, there are -almost- no Us and Australian players...did you say international?
     
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  25. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    There were an awful lot of colorful international characters in the 70's/80's....I think everyone dwells on Borg...who was simply astounding...and forget about so many other guys who lurked below that very top tier. Some of them were giant killers too...

    So, I'm not sure how anyone would conclude there is more "international" competition now then there was then...aside from the Russians, as you noted.
     
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  26. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    True, I think I've mentioned this matchup before. It would be fascinating. Connors style is much much more efficient. It would be interesting to see if a young, in shape Connors could wear down Rafa....Rafa has much more power/swing speed, but Connors ball is so flat, he could sometimes run Rafa with the deep/low/fast drives.

    There is always controversy about Connors style vs Borg's. Some point to Borg's wins and say his game was superior....others say that was due to Jimmy's aging, and that Jimmy initially loved to play topspinners like Borg....he himself said that once. He had the ability to take those balls early and drive them back.

    Yes, Jimmy knows how to approach the net and be successful...and with his flat drives would likely be able to do it more....but actually, Rafa does that well also when he tries it.

    It would be fascinating to see if the Connor's style and fighting atittude could tame the force of nature Nadal. One thing is certain, both men would be in for a war....perhaps the most intense war tennis has ever seen.

    I bet Courier would want to take a shot at Nadal as well. Perhaps make it a round robin with Borg also. Despite the ignorant allegations of some, Borg's prime game (yes, even with WOOD...OOOH) would match up well. Courier himself, in a moments of candor has admitted that his dream match would be best of 5 against Borg at the FO (both he and Sampras said the prospect of facing Borg there would be scary....given the speed and heaviness of his shots...Sampras said that Jim would have to rush the net a bit!). And Courier also mentioned once that he see anything out there now that he couldn't handle in his prime (save for a Federer in the zone....and I doubt very much Fed would want to tangle with Jim at the FO). Good battles all around.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2011
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  27. thor's hammer

    thor's hammer Semi-Pro

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    In some alternate universe perhaps that match is going on at this very moment, with all of us watching, and lots of these on ice!

    [​IMG]

    In this universe I would simply like to see Nadal incorporate more of that Connors style into his own game. I really think that's what he needs now to compete with Djokovic.
     
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  28. kul

    kul New User

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    Perhaps Americans just aren't taking the same creative risks necessary to gain an edge as in years past...
    Where are the mad scientists that hit volleys like Mac, or train vs the "Dragon" like Agassi, or pioneer the two-handed BH like Connors? And what about that "unusual" inside-out forehand from Courier?
    With a few exceptions (Pete, Fed), it seems like the top players have a unique technical advantage for their era.
    Where are America's mad scientists?!?
     
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  29. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    [​IMG]
     
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  30. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Hall of Fame

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    It isn't a matter of shouting or swearing, it is a matter of desire and not being distracted. I'm sure Connors would say that Borg had a huge killer instinct.
     
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  31. chrischris

    chrischris Hall of Fame

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    Its all being used up in the fear mongering in media and in computer games.
     
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  32. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    True.In the 70´s, except for Metrevali, no outstanding player came from the Soviet Union.And just Chesnokov in the 80´s.Tennis was seen as a capitalist sport, just like golf.Plus severe climate conditions... today´s russians have learnt the game in sunnier venues, not in their mother soil.And don´t forget, Yugoslavia was one country, now it´s broken into 5 or 6 countries, just like the USSR.

    But many many countries with good to great tennis tradition have no player even in the top 50...so, my conclusion is, tennis is possibly less international than in the 70´s or 80´s.

    I forgot Checoslovakia, with some of the finest players in the world - men and women-.Now, aside Berdych and Hantuschova, they got no one.
     
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  33. 8F93W5

    8F93W5 Rookie

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    Maybe Jimmy just wants some attention
     
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  34. ttwarrior1

    ttwarrior1 Professional

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    they leave it in their head and its also why some play bad
     
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  35. ttwarrior1

    ttwarrior1 Professional

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    i can't get article to work,

    another link?
     
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  36. morten

    morten Hall of Fame

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    i agree with him...
     
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