Pete Sampras beats Jim Courier in Champions series opener

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

  1. thor's hammer

    thor's hammer Semi-Pro

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    Pete Sampras beat Jim Courier 8-6 in the finals Thursday night of the HSBC Tennis Cup, the opening event of the 2011 Champions Series.

    Courier reached the finals with a 7-5 win over Jimmy Connors, who returned to competitive tennis for the first time in 11 years.

    Sampras beat Michael Chang 6-4 in the semifinals.


    http://www.washingtonpost.com/sport...eries-opener/2011/09/22/gIQAqlfJpK_story.html

    Anyone attend?
     
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  2. thor's hammer

    thor's hammer Semi-Pro

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    Last edited: Sep 23, 2011
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  3. Set Sampras

    Set Sampras Banned

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    Sampras stilll owning Courier and Chang. Nothing new here to see. :twisted:
     
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  4. thor's hammer

    thor's hammer Semi-Pro

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    Sampras can own anyone on any senior tour anytime he likes. I think for a couple sets he might own just about anyone, anywhere, period!

    On a fast court, anyway. ;-)

    BTW, looks like Connors is replacing Chang. In Philly, at least...

    On Saturday, Agassi, Sampras, Connors, and Courier will compete.

    http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/130398443.html
     
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  5. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    What's lame is they don't stream these matches live or show replays. The majority if your fan base is not going to be able to go to a live event. In 2011 there is no excuse to not have a large online presence. I’d rather be watching this than the ATP events going on atm.
     
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  6. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    nothing new to see, but I'd watch it anyway any day.
     
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  7. thor's hammer

    thor's hammer Semi-Pro

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    It would be great to get this stuff live over the net, or at least complete matches on youtube, but it takes some $$ to put a broadcast production together. Sure, someone can just put a camera on a tripod and stream/record, but that's typically not the quality we're used to for watching an entire tennis match.

    Hopefully these matches will show up on The Tennis Channel at some point soon. That still won't make them available to everyone who might be interested, but it would significantly increase the number, at least in the US.

    Maybe The Tennis Channel should think about offering "premium" content (including live matches as well as archived/on demand full matches) as a streaming service over the net for a modest subscription fee. I'm not stuck on TTC, but they already have the infrastructure largely in place, and with net delivery they could reach a worldwide audience.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2011
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  8. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    FWIW - here's the Champions Series TV schedule:

     
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  9. BrooklynNY

    BrooklynNY Hall of Fame

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    I wholeheartedly agree. So far the best there is is people posting random pics on twitter. We should make an official Champions Series thread, or make this the official thread.


    I'm thinking of getting tickets for a quick trip to Philly to see Pete play, it sucks that the MSG exo this year is going to be Federer/Roddick...like who really wants to go pay to see Roddick lose, maybe if he had won Wimby09, it would be intriguing, but everyone walking into he building knows Roddick has nothing for Fed
     
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  10. sportsfan1

    sportsfan1 Hall of Fame

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    If Sampras can put up a good exhibition match against the likes of Federer, he will own Connors any day.
     
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  11. thor's hammer

    thor's hammer Semi-Pro

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    I don't suspect Connors at this stage could hold his own against Sampras with his foot fully on the pedal, so I expect Pete will throttle down as necessary to keep things entertaining. I do suspect Connors still hits a great ball, and if he can move reasonably well it could still make for some very nice tennis. I would certainly pay to see it if it was coming to my area. As it is I'll look forward to seeing it on tv in a couple months. (Thanks VGP!)

    If anyone does get to see any of the matches in person a report would be great.
     
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  12. Set Sampras

    Set Sampras Banned

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    I think Pete definitely looks the best out of all the retired guys. Its amazing how far downhill Andre went after retiring. He looks awful anymore.
     
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  13. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    Andre has a debilitating injury, Petros doesn't. Plus Andre played way more than Petros did so he’s a bit more burnt out. Petros has also had enough time since retirement to refresh himself mentally. Andre looks like he plays just for a bit of publicity, maybe plug his charity here and there, while Petros looks like he plays because he has fun and it's something for him to do. Motivation levels look totally different on court between the two. I almost get the impression Petros wishes he was still 25 and playing on tour and mixing it up with the top guys to see how he would do. Andre looks like he's glad to be retired
     
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  14. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    I strung at the opener yesterday in Ft. Lauderdale.

    While watching them warm up early in the day and testing out the court, all the guys could still hit a clean ball.

    Was great fun being part of the opener.
     
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  15. big ted

    big ted Hall of Fame

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIoLQw3DbrQ

    i think connors would beat lendl now. its interesting how lendl was the fittest of them all on the regular tour but now he is the least. lendls weight during his prime was listed as 175lbs but i dont think that was his "normal" weight. in order for him to be that low he had to monitor every gram of food and do aerobics training.
     
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  16. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    #16
  17. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    Conners is 60 years old and on top of that has a replacement hip. How do you expect him to do against sampras?

    I think it is pretty amazing that he still plays at all.
     
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  18. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Sure wish they would play with wood. Would really show off all these champions vintage skills and allow more allcourt tennis. Maybe even have them play some dubs since it would even add more of an entertainment factor and surely help out some of the older players like Connors.
     
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  19. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Jimbo still has very fast, light, and quick feet and leans into his strokes like the good ole days. Ivans movement did not look so good. Just goes to show, movement and body conditioning are soo important for playing top level tennis.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2011
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  20. sportsfan1

    sportsfan1 Hall of Fame

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    Having never watched connors play (both live and on tv), I recently saw a youtube video of connors vs agassi us open quarter finals (I read somewhere he had a good slice backhand, but couldn't find it). I don't know if it was because of the video, but connors looked like he had a very 'push' sort of motion on the backhand, and did not put away short balls decisively (probably was looking at placement).

    Here's a video below, I thought it would be ripped cross court instead:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjBGHuMDE1I&t=2m33s

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjBGHuMDE1I&t=3m46s
     
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  21. thanu

    thanu Rookie

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    What strings was Chang using? Any details about the racquets the guys were you using? :)
     
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  22. thor's hammer

    thor's hammer Semi-Pro

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    Michael Chang beats Jim Courier in DC Champions Series event 09/23/11

    Michael Chang beat Jim Courier 8-3 in the finals Friday night at the HSBC Tennis Cup. Chang beat Pete Sampras 6-4 earlier to advance to the final, and Courier got past Andre Agassi 7-6 (4). Sampras won the opening event of the Champions Series Tour on Thursday at Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

    Link to full article

    Another article
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2011
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  23. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    As dominikk said, this old-timer stuff is a little silly when a 59 year old guy with an artificial hip has to play a 40 year old. That Connors can do as well as he did is remarkable.
     
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  24. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    Yes. federer is about 2 years older than nadal and his fans think that is unfair:D.

    I think that sampras took it easy on jimbo. still great how jimbo plays with that handycap and in his age.
     
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  25. thor's hammer

    thor's hammer Semi-Pro

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    Was Sampras playing with this?

    [​IMG]

    Got that pic from this article, which has lots of good stuff..

    “They should look at the top guys a little closer to their generation and see what they are doing,” said Connors. “Just take bits from their games that suit them. I would seek out Pancho Gonzalez and Pancho Segura because they knew more than I did. It’s a different game today and they can’t play the way I did. But a champion is a champion from any era and we all do what we have to do.”

    Connors caught sight of a name on my shirt. “Ah!” he exclaimed. “Lew Hoad! I actually played him once, right at the end of his career. What a player! He could hit you with volleys from mid-court. He could do anything.”
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2011
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  26. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    courier - donnay
    sampras- pure storm
    connors- prince mono
    chang- aero pro drive + (pro huricane tour)
     
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  27. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    No. He was using a pure storm tour all blacked out (even the butt cap)
     
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  28. pundekman

    pundekman Rookie

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    so basically Chang schools Pete and we expect PEte to be competetive in today's game?
     
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  29. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    So, Chang sucks right?
     
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  30. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Federer is nearly 5 years older.
     
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  31. thor's hammer

    thor's hammer Semi-Pro

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    The Champions Series is a mix of entertainment and competition. It's not WWE, but it's not ATP either.

    From an article on the Chang/Sampras match: Chang won his semifinal 6-4 over Pete Sampras, who had beaten Chang one night earlier in Florida by the exact same score.

    The current format is one set per match. Not like a traditional exo where evenly matched players could afford to swap first two sets and play out the final set/breaker. Maybe Chang came out hot and Sampras didn't warm up, maybe there was some kind of agreement to even things out over more than a single evening.

    I didn't see the match, and would be interested in the impressions of anyone who did, but regardless, a 6-4 win is hardly getting schooled. And Chang is indeed still a very good tennis player!
     
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  32. thor's hammer

    thor's hammer Semi-Pro

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    Sampras Narrowly Beats Agassi to win Champions Shootout

    PHILADELPHIA, (Sept. 24, 2011) – Two American tennis legends renewed their rivalry in Philadelphia Saturday night as Pete Sampras hung on to beat Andre Agassi in the championship match of the Champions Shootout 8-7 (5), to win the third event of the 2011 Champions Series at the Wells Fargo Center.
    ...
    Sampras advanced with a 6-4 semifinal triumph over Jimmy Connors. The 59-year-old Connors was making his second Champions Series appearance in his return to competitive tennis after a 10-year absence and played sublime tennis to push Sampras to 6-4. Connors had the crowd eating out of his hand during the semifinal but the younger Sampras was too tough in the end.


    Link to full article

    Look forward to seeing both of those matches! ;-)
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
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  33. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    these matches have players handing off racquets to ball boys, doing trick shots and playing left handed. Most players don't even warm up and roll out of bed and pick up a racquet. It's not exactly what i'd call hardcore competition.

    Which in a way is disappointing because i think there is room in tennis for a really serious and prestigious champion's tour that could be played along side the ATP tour with a limited schedule. Why not Wimbledon, AO, FO, and USO tournaments and trophies for 35+ legends? You could have 32 man draws and best 2 of 3 sets. Sampras vs Agassi seniors USO at 60 years old would still draw more viewers than a lot of ATP and pretty much all WTA matches.
     
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  34. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    The thing is, those guys are done with the working out and stress of the tour. The senior events these days are for fun....somewhat competitive since the top 3 of the Champions Series split a million bucks....but for fun and exposure of the game to smaller tennis markets.

    There used to be 35+, 45+, etc. tournaments at Wimbledon, even open to people that didn't play on tour.....but those were phased out a long time ago.
     
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  35. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    i get the idea that a lot of players wish they were still competing seriously at least part time for their mental state. Tennis is so physical soon you'll see top players retiring before the age of 30. I'm willing to bet those players will take 5-6 years off, find themselves in their mid 30s with a severe lack of purpose and wish they were still competing at as high a level as they can at that age. You still have guys like Muster starving for serious competition. Legends like that would be better served by a more serious senior's tour. So would the fans IMO
     
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  36. Fifth Set

    Fifth Set Professional

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    I have been to three of the Champions Series events over the years and these folks put on a very good entertainment offering. It's run by Jim Courier's company, InsideOut Sports and Entertainment: http://www.insideoutse.com/about.html.

    For anyone who loves tennis and especially this era of players, it's worth planning a little vacation around.
     
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  37. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Jimmy is soo correct and I love how he has never tried to hide his real feelings !

    Its a shame Roger did not take Tony Roche instruction more seriously since I think he would have had atleast one more slam championship and had a better way to compete against the faster/stronger baseliners now like Djokovich and Nadal.

    Jimmy tried to help ARod but that did not last too long either and Andy sure needs some more tactics now, as well.

    Right on Jimbo !
     
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  38. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Actually, at least at the Ft. Lauderdale event, all players tested out the court first thing when they arrived, then held clinics with fans. Later, before their matches they had about an hour practice to warm up. Sampras and Courier both changed tensions on their frames as a result of the way the court played and/or how they were feeling the ball. Additionally, they have a physical trainer on site to treat them before and after the matches.

    While Sampras was practicing he was definitely favoring his back.

    so they do, to a certain degree take it seriously.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
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  39. jackcrawford

    jackcrawford Professional

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    I saw Gonzalez play Sedgman in San Jose in 1978, and Rosewall play Laver in 1981 in Sacramento in the senior tour of that day. It was pretty much like what I've seen of the current Champion's tour when it's been shown on TV - the players cared about putting on some good tennis and would like to win, but they didn't want to go back to ATP tour level intensity. I think Muster is one of the few 40 +'s of any era willing to go back to the challenger tour and play guys that haven't made a name and are very hungry.
     
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  40. scotus

    scotus Legend

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    I have seen Courier in a number of exhibition matches, and he seems to enjoy letting his opponent win, especially the ones who are older than he.

    He probably plays the role of the graceful host in the Championship Series and doesn't try all that hard to win matches.
     
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  41. NonP

    NonP Professional

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    Don't have the time to write a "report," but I've got a few tidbits:

    - Chang actually outserved Sampras in that match. 8 aces to 3 IIRC, including 3 in a row to start off the match (or at least Chang's 1st service game). The crowd was chuckling at the irony of it all, which obviously wasn't lost on Chang, and after giving them a "what, you guys think I'm chopped liver or something?" shrug, he then shouted to Pete, "So how does it feel now?" :twisted: Laughter all around.

    - But it was a ballgirl who got the biggest reaction of the night. It started out as a standard exhibition shtick, players giving the ballboy/girl a chance to hit with the pro after a supposedly grueling point (this time between Courier and Agassi). At first she couldn't even roll her serves in, so Courier went up to the center of the net and held it down in good sport. An extended rally followed, which the ballgirl won, just catching the tramline with her FH. Agassi actually tried to get to it, but was unsuccessful. As you can imagine, the arena erupted in applause. :)

    - Chang was indeed the best player of the Fab Four that day. He certainly served well, and he hit at least 2 clean winners with his lob, which seems as good as it ever was.

    - Sampras frankly didn't impress much. One thing I've noticed in his recent exos is how much pop he has lost on his serve, which was still pretty big just a year or two ago. But then he did win the whole shebang just the day before, so maybe I've happened to catch him on bad days.

    - Both Agassi and Courier still can and did knock the bejesus out of the ball. Of course we already know this, but Courier's BH was really a surprise, because I don't remember him generating such pace with it, especially CC. (I didn't keep an exact count, but I doubt he fared all that worse in his BH exchanges with Agassi.) How much of that is due to the equipment or my hazy memory, I can't say.

    - None of these guys are slouches at the net; even Agassi displayed some good touch up there. (For the record I do think Agassi's touch is often overlooked, but you don't really expect it in the front court apart from a few swinging volleys.) Chang and even Courier would be considered among the better net players today.

    And I do agree with you on the CE being somewhere between WWE and the ATP, probably a little more towards the latter. Well, except for Mac and Connors, of course. :)
     
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  42. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Very interesting NonP. If a radar gun was present, did you notice what kind of speed Chang was getting?

    Yes, Courier and Chang volley very well. Chang had surprising touch and reflexes at the net, Courier was solid. Agassi had POTENTIAL, but under pressure, he occasionally just BRICK a volley 20 feet long, with Roddick-hands.
     
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  43. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Chang always volleyed well and frequently used that as B plan to mix things up, he also finished points at the net when the opportunity presented itself instead of retreating on the baseline or being caught in a no man's land while doing it, it kinda suprises me more people don't remember that (or maybe I remember it wrong), I think he would have been considered a genuine all-courter today.

    Overall not that I think that high of his game(if the top dogs were on their game I always felt he'd lose)but as far as oncourt brain/tactics and mental strength go he's one of the best I've ever seen.
     
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  44. thor's hammer

    thor's hammer Semi-Pro

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    Tennis legends shine in Philadelphia (with video)

    It seemed like old times in Philadelphia when Pete Sampras, who collected his first professional win across the street in what you used to be The Spectrum squared off against Andre Agassi for the Champions Series title in Philadelphia.

    In order to learn who he would be playing, Agassi had to wait for the second match between longtime rival Pete Sampras and icon Jimmy Connors. Once again hard play and good natured ribbing were on the agenda. Trailing 3-1 Connors staged another comeback and drew to within 5-4 before Sampras closed out the set to earn his spot in the finals.


    Tennis legends shine in Philadelphia (with video)

    More video...

    Sampras on Champions Series Victory

    Agassi Talks Tennis In Philadelphia
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2011
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  45. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Which is why I always chuckle at comments about how bad Courier's bh was by those who never saw him play. Courier's bh was a weapon. Not quite at Agassi's level, but, close.

    Correct! Agassi has always been an extremely talented player in every respect, including having great touch. His only real weakness was hitting on the stretch, and the diminution of his kick serve in the later half of his career, which he explained was the result of a congential lumbar spine defect. But for that, he may have been greater than Sampras.

    I also agree about Chang and Courier's net play. The best net player I've seen over the past 6-7 years is probably Nalbandian. After that maybe Ralph. So, the bar isn't that high.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2011
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  46. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    Nice to see Connors out there again; not too bad for 59yrs old! It's got to be rough because he's playing 40yr olds....(tho at that age he was still on the ATP tour). He does look very fit; much more than Andre or Lendl in their on-court appearances.

    I think the guys take it somewhat seriously....they are getting paid to put on a competitive show here. The "old" champions tour (pre-Courier) was pretty competitive as well. If they don't put in some effort, no one will buy the tix :)
     
    #46
  47. Yourtenniscoach

    Yourtenniscoach Banned

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    I'm looking forward to seeing Agassi, Chang , Courier & Todd Martin who is replacing McEnroe tomorrow night at the Target Center in Minneapolis!
     
    #47
  48. rjw

    rjw Professional

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    I can't believe that I missed the series opener, not 30 miles from me...:cry:
     
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  49. tennis-kid

    tennis-kid Rookie

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    Yeah there is nothing new. He has been dominating them when they were all active player
     
    #49
  50. thor's hammer

    thor's hammer Semi-Pro

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    Andre Agassi vs. John McEnroe - Champions Series Los Angeles

    Andre Agassi vs. John McEnroe - Champions Series Los Angeles

    http://youtu.be/DRRxYGbAsUA
     
    #50

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