Official Outback Champion Series 2009 Surprise, AZ thread

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by jamauss, Oct 6, 2009.

  1. jamauss

    jamauss Hall of Fame

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    You can view last year's thread here: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=229761

    I'm stringing again for the event this year. McEnroe is out this year but I think Agassi more than makes up for his absence. :D

    Here is the 2009 lineup - first matches are Thursday night

    Andre Agassi
    Todd Martin
    Jim Courier
    Wayne Ferreira
    Mark Philippoussis
    Jimmy Arias
    Aaron Krickstein
    Mikael Pernfors

    I'm going to attempt to take pictures and post racquet/string info in here when I get a chance - not sure how busy the 8 of them will keep me this year. Last year wasn't too bad...
     
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  2. Mike Cottrill

    Mike Cottrill Hall of Fame

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    Put a new turnagrip on Jim's frames this time :shock:

    Oh, and Mac will not be missed.. What happend to Sampras??
     
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  3. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    are the matches on tennis channel or online??
     
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  4. pug

    pug Semi-Pro

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    Cool, I would love to be there. Thanks for taking pics and getting info for all us addicts.
     
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  5. rtruesdell

    rtruesdell New User

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    I've been checking the thread for updates... hoping for some of those pics and insights! Ditto the thanks for the inside stuff.
     
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  6. jamauss

    jamauss Hall of Fame

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    Well, tonight was the first night of matches. Not that much to report. Krickstien beat Courier in a match tiebreak and Ferreira tuned Flip, 3 & 1.

    Philippoussis plays with a really leaded up Flexpoint Prestige Mid - all gut string setup at ~23-24kg.

    Arias is playing with a KBlade 98 now instead of the O3 Tour. Agassi is playing tomorrow night, I will take pics of the action then.
     
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  7. eric draven

    eric draven Rookie

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    Thanks for all the info!!! I'm surprised Courier lost to Krickstein. Did it seem like he was out of sorts or was Krickstein really on? Ferreira is and always has been a beast, still suprised he handled Flipper like that though. Let us know how Agassi looks.
     
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  8. stever

    stever New User

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    Hi from an occasional forum reader, avid tennis fan and player. I was there last night and will be there every session this weekend. In the first match Ferreira spanked Phil after the first 6 or 7 seven games. Many unforced errors for Phil. Maybe his knee was bothering him. I don't know.

    The second match was really close. Krickstein played very well in the 3rd set tiebreaker and won 7 or 8 points in a row to go up 9-2. Krickstein hit some very good passing shots all match.

    Tonight should be fun. I am thinking the Agassi / Pernfors match will be a blow out for Andre but we will see. Arias / Martin will definitely be entertaining.
     
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  9. Fifth Set

    Fifth Set Professional

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    That was a great result from Krickstein and it inspired me to grab a flight to PHX tomorrow to see his Saturday night semifinals match against the winner of Martin/Arias. All good guys and friends with one another so should be a very interesting night.

    Krickstein has such a nice game so I'm pretty fired up to see him in action for the first time (some 26 years after he turned pro and set that record in Tel Aviv that will NEVER be broken).

    Hope to see you folks out at Surprise! :)
     
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  10. HookEmJeff

    HookEmJeff Semi-Pro

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    Andre won 6-2, 7-5 over Pernfors tonight. He'll play second up tomorrow.
    Martin crushed Arias, 6-1, 6-4.

    Jeff
     
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  11. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    Thanks for the updates.

    But, what Happened to PS?

    I thought he was in the draw?
     
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  12. HookEmJeff

    HookEmJeff Semi-Pro

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    No Pete Sampras. He was never committed to it. The big original 3 were Agassi, Courier and Wilander. Wilander pulled and Todd Martin replaced a couple of weeks ago.

    It was great just to see Andre out there playing again. He looked pretty at ease with playing again, smiling and having fun. He was even hamming it up with the crowd like when he first came up. He admitted (in the post-match on-court interview with Wayne Bryan) to being nervous because he hadn't really done it in so long.

    Surprise's courts probably set up good for his game...they're slow and pretty high bouncing, a lot like Indian Wells. His kick serve out to that backhand ad side was killer tonight.

    Probably heading for an Agassi-Martin final would be my guess.

    Jeff
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2009
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  13. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    Indeed. How cool that Andre is playing. I wish it was in a different tourney (AO).

    :)
     
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  14. @rob@

    @rob@ New User

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    Hi,

    has somebody perhaps taken some pictures of the Agassi-Pernfors Match?

    That would be great! :)



    Greets, Rob.
     
    #14
  15. DNShade

    DNShade Professional

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    The matches will be on TC in a few weeks.
     
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  16. jamauss

    jamauss Hall of Fame

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    Sorry I haven't been able to upload many pics yet - I've been keeping pretty busy and have only had a few spare moments to go out and watch some of the matches.

    Something interesting that some of you might like to know - Krickstien has been playing this week with some Wilson PS 6.0 85's - strung in the low 60's. Apparently he has stuck with them since his tour days.

    Agassi left a couple of his sticks for me to string before his match tomorrow - they're the new Head Youtek Radicals. He gets them strung at 64 lbs.
     
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  17. DNShade

    DNShade Professional

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    I actually talked to Krickstien a while ago about his sticks and apparently Pete S is the one who hooked him up with a bunch of PS 85's.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2009
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  18. rtruesdell

    rtruesdell New User

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    Interesting stuff, guys, thanks for the updates. Looking forward to more tidbits!
     
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  19. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    http://www.championsseriestennis.com/news.php?newsid=699
     
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  20. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    Thanks for the updates, great thread.

    Anyone know if this will this be re-broadcast anywhere?
     
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  21. Fifth Set

    Fifth Set Professional

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    Should be on Tennis Channel, as I was sitting right next to Leif Shiras doing interviews of each of Martin and Krickstein before their semi Sat. night.

    It was a fun night and I'm glad I flew out for it. Martin's service winners were the difference. Aaron double faulted to go down 0-4 in the first set tiebreaker so it was really going to an uphill battle for him from there. Todd played so smartly and consistently against Aaron (who has given him some trouble on this tour) that I wasn't surprise that Todd also beat Andre for the title.

    The facility is also impressive. Countless beautifully maintained courts right in the middle of the desert!

    Congrats to InsideOut Sports and Entertainment for another successful event. I hope they continue to expand the number of events and get all of these great guys to keep competing.
     
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  22. jamauss

    jamauss Hall of Fame

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  23. jamauss

    jamauss Hall of Fame

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    The final between Martin & Agassi today was a pretty good match, though I suspect Martin could have made quicker work of the match if he wanted to. Martin's serve was on and so were his ground strokes for the most part and there wasn't a whole lot Andre could do about it. After getting up 5-1 in the first set, I think Martin pulled off and then broke Andre to take it 6-3. After getting up 5-2 in the second set, he pulled off again (it seemed to me) to give the crowd a little more tennis and took the match after a 7-5 second set.

    I think the difference in the match was that Martin is a regular on the Outback Champion Series tour, and still plays competitively on a regular basis, while Agassi plays hit & giggle exo's against guys that aren't all that serious about winning vs. "putting on a show". Martin might be an "old man" but his tennis is still pretty good when he's playing well. Todd, IMO, is one of the better players on that tour and it showed today.

    Here are some interesting tid bits for you all. I figured I'll share what I can since I hung out with the 8 guys in the players lounge over the past 4 days.

    1. Mark Philippoussis (or "Flip" - a nickname he uses to refer to himself) is a seriously mean ping pong player. They had a table setup in the players lounge and he beat all opponents. I'm a pretty decent player and the closest I could get against him was 21-15. With his big long reach and tennis skills, he could play frustrating defense or smack a winner from either side. He started giving other people 10+ point leads and still would end up beating them. At the other end of the table tennis spectrum is Todd Martin, who will admit he is not that great at it.

    2. Todd Martin surpassed all in the string tension department this week. Before the final he had me string up 3 for him at 70, 72 & 74 lbs. At 74 lbs, I was worried that something bad might happen to the gut crosses while I installed them! The next closest was probably Agassi at 64 lbs. On the low end was Perfors at 46 lbs.

    3. All 8 of the guys are pretty laid back off the court. Arias & Krickstein showed up early on Friday around noon and hit on a couple of courts with me and a couple of the trainers for about an hour or so - Arias gave the trainer some tips on his backhand, while Krickstein fed him some balls.

    4. Todd Martin is probably about the most laid back guy we've had here. He will talk to & joke with anyone. He's polite, intelligent and just enjoyable to be around in general.

    5. The TV in the lounge was tuned into President's Cup (golf) the MLB playoff series games, college football, and the NFL games. The players and other people were watching and discussing sports pretty much the entire time. Most of the tennis players know golf well enough to speak intelligently about it. Baseball and Football were no different. You were out of place if you didn't know a fair amount about sports and the names involved.

    6. Hearing Andre discuss the technical aspects of tennis with the other guys was a treat. I got to overhear him talk about backhand grips, and how he felt Davydenko had the most troubling backhand because of how deceiving his grip was and what kind of shots he could produce with it from defensive positions. I also got to hear him talk to Todd Martin about extended length racquets, strings, racquet head sizes, etc. Being a fly on the wall is one of the perks I enjoy as the stringer for this event.

    7. At one point, I was among about 15 spectators engaged in a table tennis match between Philippoussis and a guy from InsideOut. It was a dramatic grudge match with trash talk coming from some Tennis Channel guys like Leif Shiras, Jimmy Arias, & Brett Haber. Some of the rallies were lasting 30 to 40 strokes with Philippoussis talking trash between shots. It was funny to watch.

    8. For being former pro's and knowing better when it comes to preparing for a tournament, some guys were surprisingly unprepared. Ferreira showed up with no string and borrowed all week from Pernfors & Martin. Philippoussis didn't have shoes or gut string and had to go buy some from a local shop. Some other guys didn't have the needed stencils or ink, etc. I had to fashion some power pads from a rubbery synthetic grip for Philippoussis because his gut was breaking prematurely near the throat...fun times.

    9. During this tournament, these guys sure do have it easy. They get chauffeured where ever they go, fed good food and served free drinks (of any kind) all week, massages whenever they want them, racquets re-strung for them on a daily basis, their choice of places to go out to each night, etc. It's probably not exactly the kind of pampering they had during their tour days, but it's not a hard life to live, either.

    10. Seeing what goes on behind the scenes at a tournament gives you a better appreciation for how much work the pro events must take. A lot of the staff from our city and InsideOut and others put in a lot of time to make sure everything was taken care of. Hopefully it pays off for our city and we can extend our contract with InsideOut to keep the event here for even longer.

    11. For people that think all pro's obsess over their racquets or know a lot about what they play with, don't include Jim Courier in that group. He will admit he knows very little about specs of any kind, and likes it that way. He figures the less he knows about that stuff, the less he has to think about (or blame) when his game isn't on.

    If anyone has more questions about the tournament or the players, let me know.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2009
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  24. @rob@

    @rob@ New User

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    @ jamauss

    Great pictures and very, very interesting postings. :)



    Greets,

    Rob.
     
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  25. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    Wow, best post ever!

    Todd Martin truly is a tennis mastermind. I think he's definitely the most under rated American player in the modern era.

    Its nice to hear the event was a success for a good cause.

    :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2009
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  26. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Sounds very close to the big time I had in Memphis. The guys are all, save McEnroe, very approachable & personable.

    The story about not having gear is funny and very typical. If they can't get what they need, they don't sweat it, they just get someone to overnight it to them. I know of a couple of instances where Pat Cash left town and spools of string only to have new string overnighted to him at his next locale. It must be nice...
     
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  27. goober

    goober Legend

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    Nice write up and photos Jamauss. Always interesting to hear details of things other than the tennis matches. It is pretty cool you got to hit with Krickstein and play table tennis with Flip. I didn't get to make it out there this year, but it sounds like it was a rousing success. :cool:
     
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  28. Fifth Set

    Fifth Set Professional

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    jamauss, thanks for the outstanding photos and posts.

    I too have had the pleasure of meeting several of the guys on this tour and think they are alot of fun. Not your typical, arrogant, detached from reality pro athletes (and don't even get me started on guys like Michael Vick).

    Not sure if you saw the Saturday night matches, but the way the doubles guys goofed around & entertained the crowd while still playing top quality tennis was pretty special. High level tennis is like second nature to these guys - when I met Krick a few years back he told me that when he retired from the main tour in '96, he literally did not pick up a racquet for four years. Mind boggling that he could just pick it all back up so easily.
     
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  29. Fifth Set

    Fifth Set Professional

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    A few of my pictures from the evening in Surprise:


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  30. jamauss

    jamauss Hall of Fame

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  31. goldenyama

    goldenyama Professional

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    Thank you jamauss for such an informative and well-written thread! This sort of stuff is really appreciated.

    I don't think that's a Youtek Rad, it's probably Andre's old custom Trisys 260 Rad with a Youtek PJ.

    The shape of the beam looks like a Trisys and also it has black grommets which is a giveaway - the new white Youtek grommets wouldn't fit Agassi's frame.
     
    #31
  32. ace0001a

    ace0001a Semi-Pro

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    Yeah Tod Martin seems to be doing really well on the "Senior's Tour" and it is cool that guys like Sampras and Agassi participate in it too. I watched on TV over the summer when Agassi played World Team Tennis. Like the great pictures jamauss posted, Andre looks likes he stays in great shape despite being retired...which is what I noticed watching him play WTT. I remember him talking tactics over the summer about shot selection and hitting "shots that you can cover"...it does seem to me with him being retired and not playing as much as he used to that he has definitely lost a step. I would think though that if he commited more to the senior tour, that maybe he could bring his court speed up a little. Though I'm not sure how much his body has healed from sciatica since he retired back in '06. Also, I like the pics of his paintjob Radical...I think I've read on several occasions that his is really custom in that it's a "104" instead of the 107 Radical OS racquets typically are.
     
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