Kozeluh--the 1st Great Baseliner

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by hoodjem, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    "After watching one of Karel Koželuh’s lengthy matches, a tennis expert J. Parmly Paret, wrote that Koželuh had 'the most perfect defense that I have seen. . . . But defense alone does not make a champion.'
    He went on to say that either Cochet or Tilden at their best would be able to defeat Koželuh by attacking him consistently from the net.

    Koželuh defended his baseline style by saying: 'Why should I change my style, when it is so successful?'

    At the end of 1930 Tilden organized a pro tour with several lesser players and with himself to play the headline match against Koželuh. Their first encounter was in February 1931 before 14,000 spectators in NYC.

    Tilden won in straight sets in only 65 minutes, attacking from both the baseline and the net and overwhelming Koželuh with his power. Tilden won the next eight matches as well, all of them played indoors on a canvas surface that seldom gave Koželuh enough room to play his normal game from far behind the baseline."
     
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  2. YaoPau

    YaoPau Rookie

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    Interesting. Although the title of the post makes it sound like Kozeluh was a pioneer, when he probably just had a terrible strategy lol. There's a reason why net players dominated the wooden racquet era, they had a clear advantage. I'm guessing if Kozeluh had played Amateurs longer instead of teaching he would've had more of a hybrid game.
     
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  3. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Tony Wilding was the first real great baseliner
     
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  4. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I guess it depends on how one feels about being a baseliner.

    Pioneer or unimaginative?
     
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  5. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Yes, I was wondering that. I am assuming that because clay was his best surface. But what do we know of the styles of the Doherty brothers that came before Wilding? Also was the great American William Larned a baseliner?
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2013
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