Kent Carlsson: The Ultimate Supernova?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by LeftyServe, Oct 2, 2007.

  1. Gaucho Behrend

    Gaucho Behrend New User

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    Come on man, think about it. Borg and Vilas had plenty of topspin and they were using wooden racquets, this leads through to Kent Carlsson, considering the evolution of technology in the last 5 years, let alone to 1990 when Carlsson had retired, so naturally it isn't going to be extreme as it is today, commonsense dictates that.
     
  2. Gaucho Behrend

    Gaucho Behrend New User

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    Thanks for those clips, I am having some computer issues, but have an old Kent Carlsson match and once I have it fixed up, then I will upload it.
     
  3. galain

    galain Hall of Fame

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    Another thank you for the clips. Always love watching Noah play. I could never understand how such a perfect service motion could be part of the same package as those groundstrokes.

    Nice to see Carlsson again too.
     
  4. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    Well I agree. I wasn't trying to say his topspin is somehow deficient. I just remember watching him when he actually played and thinking that his topspin was just crazy, and now looking back, it doesn't seem as crazy as it did then.
     
  5. Gaucho Behrend

    Gaucho Behrend New User

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    The funniest thing with Noah was that he hated playing on grass almost as much as Carlsson did.
     
  6. Gaucho Behrend

    Gaucho Behrend New User

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    Actually his topspin of both sides was crazy given the particular equipment of the day. It's like Usain Bolt running now and comparing him to Carl Lewis, of course one (Lewis) is going to not seem as fast, when viewed in the current climate, but at that time, he was very fast.

    The same thing applies to Carlsson and the topspin of that day, then Bruguera was after him and so on.
     
  7. obsessedtennisfandisorder

    obsessedtennisfandisorder Professional

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    :twisted:
    And then Nadal:twisted:....How clean passes are there from Carlsson in those
    Youtubes after a net approach? I don't think extreme topspin helps against a top serve and volleyer.

    Nadal's backhand is actually quite flat when he goes for passing shot.
     
  8. Gaucho Behrend

    Gaucho Behrend New User

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    It's not that relevant, it depends on the player. Bruguera had vicious amounts of topspin and did very well against attacking players, he had a positive record against Sampras and defeated him on hardcourts, when they were actually fast.

    He defeated Rafter on a grass court, not the grass **** today, so it depends on the individual player, he was good against S/V, whereas Muster wasn't.
     
  9. matchmaker

    matchmaker Hall of Fame

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    That was a long time ago I had seen Carlsson.

    He really had an ugly forehand. Nadal's seems to be textbook in comparison.
     
  10. lordmanji

    lordmanji Guest

    theres a guy in my league with the same exact forehand lol
     
  11. Can any French speakers let me in on what happened with Noah at around 3:40 in part 2 of the above videos? Thanks in advance.
     
  12. Dino Lagaffe

    Dino Lagaffe Professional

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    From what the commentators said, and the umpire, it seems like Noah was unhappy about the fact that the crowd made too much noice before the point was finished. At least that's how I understand the situation.
     
  13. Thank you kindly, sir.
     
  14. Dino Lagaffe

    Dino Lagaffe Professional

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    No problem. I didn't get everything Noah said though, but maybe somebody else can add that.
     
  15. Gaucho Behrend

    Gaucho Behrend New User

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    [youtube]VDiAAebgD2c[/youtube]

    [youtube]-yVWUb03DOc[/youtube]
     
  16. Gaucho Behrend

    Gaucho Behrend New User

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  17. Borgforever

    Borgforever Hall of Fame

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    I was extremely impressed with Kent Carlsson.

    Perhaps the most one-dimensional tennis player I ever had the pleasure to watch many, many times often up close. He had an even more autistic game-style than Karlovic, if that's possible, but beyond Ivo's nuclear serve, he could still volley and smack around the baseline in a mildly mediocre fashion -- which is, funnily enough, enormous praise for versatility for him in this particular comparison to Kent, who just point-blank refused to do anything than spin in his serve and swat insane-topspin groundies until doomsday...

    He was great IMO. On his way to greatness -- I'm certain of it. RG was an obstacle he would've overcome -- several times in fact -- quite clearly in my eyes.

    Why? The greastest consistency and court-coverage I've seen any Swede have are the following:

    1. Bear Fortress (with a huge margin -- we never saw The Ice Man's peak because no-one pushed him enough. Won more than a few 100-stroke rallies many times in his short career -- but sometimes did 500 times -- easy -- at practice -- so there was plenty to go for a contender. You could see it in his eyes at RG. He just looked at you with the emotions of a seasoned executioner -- empathy for his opponents certain fate mixed with a tired, iron-clad decisiveness. Nadal is closing in -- but he isn't there yet...)

    2. Kent Carlsson (had the potential to reach Bear's level, probably still a little bit beneath him though -- once saw him beautifully place everything in an almost 200-stroke rally and he was very young -- Baby Carlsson)

    3. Henrik Sundström (when he was peaking around 1984 he could/would/proved that he could precision rip it with Wilander over 100 times easy and blowout Mats -- even beating a supreme McEnroe in the Davis Cup, here in Gothenburg on wet, slow indoor clay-court. Could probably manage a 150-stroke rally at best)

    4. Mats Wilander (A super clay-courter who could place the ball on a dime every time, grind and retrieve and outmaneuver for up to a 100 strokes and had the second best competitive mind/psychological strength of the Swedes after The Great Ice Cold Ghost Killah)

    Kent Carlsson had a first class competitive mind and was feared by every Swede as The New Real Deal -- a true sensation. On faster surfaces I do think he had to start to volley and create an entire fast court game to reach even modest to good success. For me, at the time, the chances seemed very slim for Kent to change his game for faster courts since he always appeared to play tennis out of sheer love for the game and if he wasn't inspired in the way he played it his focus would diminish.

    But who knows? But Borg did it -- but Björn could serve hard and volley pretty good even when he was between 16 and 19 years old -- he was just a little awkward doing it and wasn't able to do it consistently and with enough efficiency for success. And Kent completely lacks an attacking volley game in his arsenal. Even Sherlock Holmes couldn't find it...

    As many have already pointed out here -- the injuries did him in. His genes sucked. The membranes beneath both his knee-caps were abnormally fragile and the constant friction made them break down and get thinner and thinner. This incredible bad luck prevented an amazing tennis career and robbed lots of people from seeing a very watchable and unique player with really cool technique on his extremely limited number of shots -- but boy, what groundies he owned. Today his spin would beat Rafa's IMO just because Kent just let the ball have it with the juiciest, record-book-long round-house swings you could ever imagine. His extreme western grip and his absolutely psychotic passion in what he did so well was intimidating to say the least -- and at he same time a very rare and pure joy to witness for a lover of tennis who has a taste for eye-popping great grinders and retrievers...

    The doctor told Kent when he was very young that "if you continue your pro career -- just within a few years -- you'll sit in a wheel-chair -- for the rest of your life..."

    The knowledge of this possibility and the recurring injuries cementing this prediction made a severe crack in his clutch-ability and his results reflected this. He tried to play only on clay for a while and a lot of other things but in the end it was as exercise in futility. Sad. He didn't reveal any of this until a long while after the damage was discovered...

    One of the coolest and eccentric tennis-players ever IMO...
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2009
  18. nickynu

    nickynu Semi-Pro

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    Erm No I dont think he was the ultimate Supernova at all in answer to the OP question at the start of the thread.

    I need some help with this one please. There was a Spanish guy nobody had heard of probably early/mid 90s who came through the qualies in what would be now a masters series clay event (cant remember which one Im afraid) and he won the whole tournament unbelievablely. He then was hardly heard from ever again although I dont think he retired or anything. It was just a one off massive tournament win then ..............obscurity.

    He was spanish from memory but I think his name may have sounded italian or something else. I would appreciate help if anybody has a clue who I mean?
     
  19. Gaucho Behrend

    Gaucho Behrend New User

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    nick, the answer was Roberto Carrretero.
     
  20. nickynu

    nickynu Semi-Pro

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    thanks Gaucho, thats really been bugging me so appreciate the heads up. Anybody else remember him, He was built like a bull and absolutely pounded the ball, it was insane .... What happened to him?
     
  21. nickynu

    nickynu Semi-Pro

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    I lifted this from Wiki below - Yes this guy WAS THE ULTIMATE SUPERNOVA

    Roberto Carretero (born August 30, 1975 in Madrid) is a Spanish former professional tennis player. He won one singles title, the 1996 Hamburg AMS.

    Carretero, a former junior French Open Champion shocked the tennis world by winning the title in Hamburg as a virtually unknown player ranked outside the top 300. En route to the title he defeated two top 100 players, two top 20 players (Washington and Boetsch), and most notably, Yevgeny Kafelnikov in the semi-finals, and Àlex Corretja in the final. After winning the title, Carretero lost in the first round of Roland Garros and did not have any significant results other than winning a Challenger tournament held in Sopot, Poland in 1999.

    He retired from professional tennis after the 2001 season.


    [edit] External links
     
  22. johnkidd

    johnkidd Semi-Pro

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    Ding Ding Ding....we have a winner.
     
  23. rod99

    rod99 Professional

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    i know carlsson was a big time junior with great results. did his knee injuries start then? if not, when did they start? i heard he injured his knee badly at indian wells on hard courts but i haven't heard confirmation of this. he looked to be moving around great in that 1988 youtube clip.
     
  24. gzhpcu

    gzhpcu Professional

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    Thanks! Been trying to find some of Carlsson...:)
     
  25. Gaucho Behrend

    Gaucho Behrend New User

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    Yes, he was thrashing everyone in the European Cup junior events winning 0 and1 and this was in the finals. Borgforever gave extensive background details about it. If you have read the posts in this thread, then much of this has already been explained.

    He had knee problems beforehand, but playing on the hardcourts didn't help at all and after Indian Wells where he retired against Mecir, he took some time off, started the Euro clay season and played until August of 87 and then didn't come back until April off 88, which is when he had one of the surgeries.

    The problems well as he was still growing and not having full developed into his physique, this plus the already explained stuff, there you have it.
     
  26. rod99

    rod99 Professional

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    yeah, but i'm wondering if he had knee problems when he was still playing junior tournaments, as he had excellent results before he turned pro, or did the problems start after he was on the pro tour.
     
  27. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    I remember being in a Swedish company's hospitality tent in Boston in I think 1987. Everyone marvleled at Kent's work ethic, and how he was dermined to get to the top by spending more time practicing than anyone else. I distinctly remember thinking that I hoped he wouldn't burn himself out too soon.
     
  28. Gaucho Behrend

    Gaucho Behrend New User

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    He played Geneva at the age of 15, so the knee wasn't impacting on him and was able to play RG at 16 losing to Gomez, who was able to use the slice backhand to get him off the baseline.

    Think about it, if he had serious problems before he came on tour, then he would not have been able to do the heavy physical workload that he used to. It was the Mecir match in Indian Wells and the complications from the surgery, which wasn't as developed then as to know, plus the other factors already been explained and don't need going over.

    Yes, he worked very hard off the court more so on his endurance than overall strength, that is obvious enough due to his frame at the time. I mean he outlasted Thomas Muster, so that showed what level he was prepared to go to. He said himself, that he wasn't going to lose a match because of conditioning.

    There was talk that his father Lars-Göran did push him too hard, but Kent denied it, saying he wanted to do that physical work. The years between 89 and 91 were open for him to win Roland Garros, but the body didn't allow him to have a prolonged career.
     
  29. Bjorn Borg

    Bjorn Borg New User

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    yes, Kent Carlsson had a very cool style, I thought he owned the other Swedes, I didn't know he lost often to Matz. Now another supernova was Miloslav Mecir who owned the Swedes. He wasn't around for too long either due to a bad back. I remember Andres Gomez, what a cool win against the young Agassi in the French Open Final in the twilight of his career (1990), I think Andre was heavily favored in that one.. he was not a Supernova though, I think he was 30 when he won his French Open and won about 21 titles.
     
  30. Bjorn Borg

    Bjorn Borg New User

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    Supernova and cagey veteran

    yes, Kent Carlsson had a very cool style, I thought he owned the other Swedes, I didn't know he lost often to Matz. Now another supernova was Miloslav Mecir who owned the Swedes. He wasn't around for too long either due to a bad back. I remember Andres Gomez, what a cool win against the young Agassi in the French Open Final in the twilight of his career (1990), I think Andre was heavily favored in that one.. Gomez was not a Supernova though, I think he was 30 when he won his French Open and he won about 21titles in his career.
     
  31. PERL

    PERL Guest

    Thanks for the update.
    There are a few guys who were expected to do much better on clay in those years. You can call them supernovas : Mancini, Sundstrom, Perez-Roldan. They are enigmas, especially the first two. I assume that Mancini lacked the ethic of a professional athlete, Perez-Roldan would have needed a few more inches to succeed with that style of play. Mancini and Sundstrom especially had great potential and they lasted for not much more than one season.
     
  32. Gaucho Behrend

    Gaucho Behrend New User

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    Sundstrom had injury problems, Perez Roldan was a less strategic version of Manicni.
     
  33. Carlo Giovanni Colussi

    Carlo Giovanni Colussi Semi-Pro

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    I don't clearly understand what Noah said (bad sound), something like "à chaque fois que c'est près des lignes ...Il faut que ça s'arrête" ("whenever it's close to the lines ... it has to stop"). I don't know what he was referring to. But the commentator, Hervé Duthu on TF1, clearly said that Noah complained about the gallery too noisy. I have no time to watch the entire video but apparently whenever Carlsson's balls went close to the lines I guess the public made noise and perhaps tried to influence the umpire's decisions to favour Noah.
     
  34. Gaucho Behrend

    Gaucho Behrend New User

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    Thanks for that Carlo.
     
  35. Gaucho Behrend

    Gaucho Behrend New User

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    Kent had some quality lobs and seeing him hit a volley winner was a rare pleasure to be enjoyed.

    1988 was a great year for him, but Jonas Svensson was able to get him in 5 sets, which was hard fought.

    The two matches with Muster that year funny, especially in the final of Barcelona. He said playing Kent "was like watching a boring movie, next time I play him, I will come to the net from the start". He was a bit more offensive in Palermo, but lost that. He got a set off Wilander in the final that was tough and Kent, a bit similar to Jocke Nyström found it difficult to play against Mats and it wasn't just the match up.


    Did you see the documentary Tennisprinsarna? They had him on there very briefly and he was happy that he made the top 10.

    Since I did the translations and updated the wikipedia page. I found it interesting that he wasn't a from a well off background, travelling around the tournaments in a caravan. It was done a few years ago the interview.


    For those who don't understand the international language of Swedish.

    He basically says you don't need new balls, staying at the finest hotels and always flying (well hard to go overland to USA or Australia). Too many of todays players are too spoilt.

    For example, we stayed in a shabby hotel 4-5 to a cold room. I think it's important to go through the hard way.

    They play without brains

    Carlsson is critical in concern to Swedish tennis. The little of Swedish tennis I have seen is a big catastrophe and he blames the training. When I finished in 1990, we were the best in all aspects. Now the training seems to be like German tennis, hit the ball harder and without any brains.
     
  36. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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  37. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    Leconte v. Carlsson, Hamburg. Thanks for the clips. Really great watching these two. I adore Leconte.

    Absolutely love this era of tennis from mid 80s to 90s. Yes, I'm biased, as that is when i was growing up watching tennis. But, I just think it's the perfect balance and variety of styles, court speeds, and it was a good point in racquet technology, graphite racquets allowing the game to progress from wood, but not yet to the poly, lighter frame days.

    Great clips from Moose as well. Thanks.

    Carlsson seemed to try to hug the baseline as much as he could and didn't drift as far back behind it as Nadal and some other heavy topspin baseliners. Love the OS Prince Boron he's using.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2012
  38. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Most boring player to watch I can recall¡¡¡ tremendously nervous, on a given day on clay, could bore down any player...he was a Borg x 10...a real exageration¡¡
     
  39. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Sundstrom was a far better player than KC.Better serve, ocassionally came to the net, not so looping top spin shots and great conditioning.For 2-3 years he was just as feared on clay as Wilander or Lendl, I can see why.
     
  40. Wilander Fan

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    Lets not forget Michael Pernfors.
     
  41. Rock Strongo

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    That is some sexy hair he's got.
     
  42. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    LOL, so true. He could have been in an 80s hair metal band. "And now introducing Whitesnake, with new member Kent Carlsson!!!"
     
  43. Gaucho Behrend

    Gaucho Behrend New User

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  44. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Pernfors, another great tennis player from Sweden.great hands.
     
  45. Gaucho Behrend

    Gaucho Behrend New User

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    Along with Magnus Norman and Enqvist. Kent was inducted into the Swedish Tennis Hall of Fame.

    [​IMG]
     
  46. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Semi-Pro

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    This is good to see. These guys all deserve recognition for their achievements.
     
  47. MAXXply

    MAXXply Hall of Fame

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    Just wondering, Swedish ex-pros like Jan Gunnarsson, Magnus Gustaffson, Niklas Kroon and Niklas Kulti - have they been inducted into the Swedish Tennis Hall of Fame as well or are their achievements not considered good enough ?
     
  48. Gaucho Behrend

    Gaucho Behrend New User

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    Gustafsson and Sundström have.
     
  49. Mikael

    Mikael Professional

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    Does anyone else think Enqvist might still be the best tennis player in Sweden despite being 38? Soderling is still sick and Enqvist is in great shape, dominating the seniors tour a couple years ago.

    Swedish tennis has sunk so low that it might be better for Enqvist to play singles in Davis Cup instead of being team captain!
     

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