Remembering Aaron Krickstein

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Bilbo, Aug 26, 2009.

  1. Bilbo

    Bilbo Semi-Pro

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    It would be foolish of me to ask you guys if you remember Aaron Krickstein... how could you not remember Aaron Krickstein? He is widely known as the guy who got beat by 60 year old Jimmy Connors (exaggeration :)) in the US Open 4th round 1991 epic.

    I noticed a recent Krickstein thread, so i thought to myself, "why don't you look this fellow up bilbo, might find out some interesting stuff!" When we look back at that 1991 draw we say to ourselves, damn, how did that old man get lucky enough to play the sorry McEnroe, Aaron Krickstein, Paul Haarhaus, and some other guy who's name i dont remember... and when he finally meets someone worth while, Connors gets blown of the court.

    Sorry, I went off on a tangent again :). Newhoo my point is that none of us generally consider Aaron Krickstein to be a GOOD tennis player. When his name comes up, what do we say to ourselves? Journeyman! Well, if we go by the facts, this "journeyman" was ranked 6 in the world at one point:shock:! And, won 9 career singles titles... 1 more than Todd Martin!

    I've racked my brain to figure out how we could have missed this fella, considering the fact that he's american... And i've come to the conclusion that it must've been his style of play. I mean, really, it's stereotypical modern tennis!

    Cross court, Cross court, cross court, short ball, attack down the line and win the point! He was just a reeeaallllyyy good factory player! I think he used a average semiwestern forehand grip (http://www.vimeo.com/2241804) with an average serve. His forehand was his best shot, and he ran around his backhand when he got the oppurtunity. Other than that, he's kind of ordinary. Am I missing anything?

    So, let's salute Aaron Krickstein and give the man a little bit of love... hell, i'll even mention him in my signature because he get's No Respect:cry:.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2009
  2. GS

    GS Professional

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    Connors played Haarhuis in the quarters, then Courier in the semis, at the '91 US Open.
    Krickstein complained about arm pain from his Yonex racquets then, so he tried some Wilson ProStaff 6.0's from his buddy, Sampras, and used em (with a blacked-out paintjob, of course). He did pretty well with them, until that long match with Connors.
     
  3. drwood

    drwood Hall of Fame

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    We missed him because he never made a slam final, and only made it as far as the SF after the newer generation had already begun winning slams (Chang, etc.).

    He was a good, solid top-10 player, but was never a threat to win majors b/c he didn't have any real weapons. At least in 1994, Todd Martin was clearly the 2nd best grass court player in the world to Sampras -- he also owned Ivanisevic on grass, beat Sampras to win Queen's that year, and was the only person to take a set of Sampras at Wimbledon that year -- probably Pete's most dominant GS from start to finish.
     
  4. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    As others have stated, Krickstein was a good (sometimes very good), but not great player. He was, as the OP stated, a very good factory player. If you ever want to teach someone compact strokes, just watch Krickstein's matches. Very compact, uncomplicated strokes.

    His career was beset by injuries. Not saying he would have won a Slam or anything, but more continuity could maybe have lead to some more tourney wins. He made at least the 4th Rnd of all the Slams, and the SFs of the AO and SFs of the USO. Had some really nice wins over top players throughout his career.

    A generally uncomplicated, likeable guy. He is the uncle of women's pro golfer Morgan Pressel.

    My favorite Krickstein stat is that 10 times he came back from 0-2 sets down to win a best of 5 match, earning him the nickname "marathon man". (This is discussed in the "Jimmy Connors At the Open" program on Tennis Channel).

    I guess there's not much to remember, because he didn't have any huge results, wasn't a big personality, and wasn't controversial in any way.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2009
  5. gsquicksilver

    gsquicksilver Semi-Pro

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    the only reason why todd martin was able to take a set from sampras during wimbledon that year was because during a point, sampras turned his ankle.
     
  6. drwood

    drwood Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, I'm sure Sampras twisted an ankle when Martin straight-setted him 2 weeks earlier at Queens, too.

    I saw that SF -- it was a great match; Martin playing at that level would have been a serious threat to win Wimbledon any year from 99-03.
     
  7. Arafel

    Arafel Professional

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    Krickstein also made the US Open semis in 89, losing to Becker.
     
  8. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    You're right. My mistake. I'll edit my post.
     
  9. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Wrong section. But he was sort of the first guy from Bolls with a big forehand.

    edit: Sorry that was Jimmy Arias
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2009
  10. Kevin T

    Kevin T Professional

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    With the thread title, I though Aaron had kicked the bucket! Glad to hear it's just a trip down memory lane. I was young when Krickstein was on tour and I only have a few memories of him:
    1. Played with a Yonex R-22 long after they stopped making them.
    2. Rocked some crazy striped Ellesse polos
    3. Was always in 4 hour, 5 set matches
     
  11. theenrighthouse

    theenrighthouse New User

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    I always thought he was the guy widely known for wearing knee braces.
     
  12. PaulC

    PaulC Semi-Pro

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    Scooping Forehand

    I remembered his "Scooping Forehand", which not surprisingly copied by Tommy Haas out of the same academy.

    They don't drive THRU the shot, but rather tried to exaggerate the "Wrap-around the ball" action to impart topspin.
     
  13. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    It's not like we will ever see his games on tv again though, well maybe if it rains in the next 2 weeks they will find something of his..........poor guy, must tear him up, every rain delay, lol.
     
  14. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    I remember him with a consistent but rather mediocre backhand compared with contemporaries. Not as much pace other two handers and not very versatile like one-handers. Not much of serve but that forehand! He moved very well too.
     
  15. Henry Kaspar

    Henry Kaspar Rookie

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    Very smooth, elegant player. Unfortuantely plagued with chronic injuries that hampered his career. Whenever he seemed to get his act together, out he went again.
     
  16. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

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    I remember he got his most fame by far for having the best 5 set record on tour of anyone for awhile. This made him feared in the early rounds of majors, even by the top guys.
     
  17. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

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    I recall that he upset Edberg at the US Open which was a great win for him, but ultimately he seemed like an upgrade from Arias, I liked his ellesse shirts.
     
  18. Deuce

    Deuce Banned

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    Remembering Aaron Krickstein

    Did he die?
     
  19. Lakers4Life

    Lakers4Life Hall of Fame

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    Wasn't he the one who was playing Yanick Noah, when Yanick did his famous "between the legs" shot winner?
     
  20. goober

    goober Legend

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    As far as I know the term is not derogatory. Jewish comedians coined the term during the early 90s. My bro in law (who is jewish) uses it regularly when he sees a jewish guy from that era with a mullet. Another jewish hair term is the jew fro which is basically a curly hair or a fro on a jewish person. 90% of the time when I hear these terms they are from jewish people themselves. They think it is funny or amusing. I have never seen or heard anybody get upset about it till now. Are you jewish btw?
     
  21. ElSuegro

    ElSuegro Rookie

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    No, he's very much alive at 42. Wikipedia has a good article on him if anyone wants to learn more about him.
     
  22. 10ACE

    10ACE Professional

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    How did you go from deep south mullet, into asking him if he's jewish from his explanation? 9.9-10 if you asked someone about a mullet you would get his answer not yours.

    Business in the front, party in the back
     
  23. eagle

    eagle Hall of Fame

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    Like Deuce, I thought he died based on the title of this thread.

    r,
    eagle
     
  24. rtruesdell

    rtruesdell New User

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  25. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Yep, and his low key on-court personna is matched off court. When I attended a seniors event, I was lucky to have passes to the Champions Club. One of the competitors always had an "on duty" in the club to mingle. (Some, like Pat Cash, Mats Wilander, and Magnus Larsson did a way better job than others who were clearly annoyed to be there [McEnroe]).) Anyway, the day Kricker had duty, he was in the room, eating dinner with apparently someone he knew. The room was crowded, and no one really noticed he was in there. It wasn't until Jimmy Arias came in to eat that he was acknowledged. After that, he was the center of attention. Some folks just have the innate ability to blend, Krickstein is one of them. Hardly a knock, it's really more a compliment.
     
  26. goober

    goober Legend

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    A bunch of posts were deleted. Apparently I used an offensive term ...
    ___ mullet.
     
  27. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Close, I'm Methodist. ;)
     
  28. Don S

    Don S Rookie

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    I have a feeling that we may very well be saying the same thing about James Blake, Taylor Dent or Marty Fish in 10 years
     
  29. Frank Silbermann

    Frank Silbermann Professional

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    When Krickstein was on the pro tour my late father-in-law traveling on business was once on the same plane as him. He said that Krickstein was a real *sshole on the plane, complaining about everything and in general being a difficult customer. But he might have caught him on a bad day.
     
  30. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Krickstein looked like one of the Cobra Kai from The Karate Kid vs Jimmy Connors in the '91 Open with that mullet and headband.

    His father had a bigger hook than Howard Stern man alive.
     
  31. Mike Cottrill

    Mike Cottrill Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for using the video I shot last year at SMU.
    He is defiantly a counter puncher. It seems he refuses to let go of his PS St. Vincent’s.
    One thing I remember after the match when Wayne Bryan asked Aaron as he was leaving to hit a few points with this young girl wearing jeans and flip-flops. To be honest, his body language seemed to give off a feeling of annoyance but he agreed. Then even more so when he asked if she could use one of his St Vincent’s.. These sticks have been through the ringer and I suspect he is running out of them. So he walks up the base line and spins in a serve about 60mph and she wins the point. He seemed annoyed she won the point, then he tries (I mean try lol) to crank a serve at her. He missed the next two and then got one in and he won that point. IMO not a bright moment for him. Funny thing is the girl really could care less. I yelled at her, he is not being nice, keep his racquet. I yelled it twice but I don’t think he heard. To bad, I could tell he was keeping an eye on that stick.

    I have other videos of the players on the VIMEO, but had them set private.
    Here is one of his forehands at 240fps. Just unlocked it.
    http://www.vimeo.com/2241778

    I unlocked a few high speed shots of his serve since it was mentioned in your post.
    Front View at 240fps:
    http://www.vimeo.com/2220515

    Back View at 240fps:
    http://www.vimeo.com/2220406

    His counter punching drove Wayne nuts.

    I have photos too, but I have to look them up if you are interested.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2009
  32. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    Krickstein...

    Was a very solid player...always thought he'd pull off a Grand Slam somewhere along the way...perhaps the French...early on, he looked like a promising clay courter (much like Arias)...

    Aaron played for a very long time, but was overshadowed by the other guys (named McEnroe and Connors)..

    Aaron will be forever remembered for the '91 US Open match....Jimbo went thru guys who were younger and much more highly ranked...at age 40, he had more fire in his belly....even if age was his enemy...

    Towards the end of that match, he really let Jimmy play him into a corner...watch that 5th set kids....Connors has all the forward motion as Aaron falls deeper behind the baseline...it is pretty surreal...
     
  33. Frank Silbermann

    Frank Silbermann Professional

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    Krickstein was one of the first modern players whose technique wasn't even close to being correct. Correct technique will probably remain a historical artifact recalling the days when rackets had tiny, all but dead sweetspots, weight 14-16 ounces, and most of the prestigious tournaments were on patchy grass.
     
  34. Fifth Set

    Fifth Set Professional

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    Well, I wouldn't say Krick got no respect. He actually had many fans (and still does to this day on the Champions Series). He has been my favorite player for a very long time.

    What did sometimes happen though is he would get overshadowed by some wacky events out of his control, whether it be Connors' unsportsmanlike display at the '91 US Open, Agassi's flashy image or ill-timed injuries (Krick was playing great in '95 at the Australian Open but practically had to retire in the semis against Agassi).

    Today he is the Director of Tennis at the ritzy St. Andrew's Country Club in Boca Raton, FL and by all accounts doing a fantastic job there.
     
  35. meltphace 6

    meltphace 6 Rookie

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  36. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    That is an unbelievable point. Edberg was serve and volleyer but had more game in other areas than given credit for.
     
  37. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    He had a great forehand, with that old Wilson Ultra, and he had a very solid, consistent 2 handed backhand. When he reached with the 2 hander, and had to to one hand, he wasn't that great off that side. Also, though he had great stamina, his quickness was a little suspect, especially with his very long swings. As a junior he was considered a real prodigy, with many thinking that he was a lock to become one of the top pros on Tour.

    He ended up having a very respectable career, but never made it to the very top, but how many do? Foot injuries while on Tour really impacted his rise in the rankings.

    Here's the Wikipedia synopsis of his career:


    "Junior

    Krickstein began playing tennis when he was six years old.

    He became an active competitor on the high school tennis scene during his teens, and still holds the Michigan record for most consecutive match wins in at this level (56); he played for University Liggett School. He also won the American National Under 16 championship in 1982.

    While still only 16, he was the US National Junior Tennis Association Champion, Clay Champion, and USTA National Champion in the 18s in 1983.

    Professional

    Krickstein set and still holds ATP records for being the youngest player ever to win a singles title on the ATP Tour (at age 16, 2 months after his 16th birthday, in Tel Aviv), and for being the youngest player to ever break the top 10 (at age 17).

    His best finishes in a Grand Slam event were at the 1989 US Open, and the 1995 Australian Open, where he reached the semifinals.

    He had a record of 10 career wins from 0–2 set deficits. Krickstein was nicknamed "Marathon Man" because of his ability to come from behind.

    He had an injury-plagued career, which included stress fractures in both feet, knee and wrist problems in 1985 and 1986, and injuries suffered when he was side-swiped by a New York City taxi in 1987.

    He defeated a number of top players when they were at the very top of their game. He beat Ivan Lendl (world #1) in 1990, Michael Stich (world #2 and #4) in 1994 and 1991, Stefan Edberg (world #3) in 1988 and Boris Becker (world #3) in 1992, Mats Wilander (world #4) in 1984, and Jimmy Arias (world #5) in 1984 and Sergi Bruguera (world #5) in 1994. He also amassed wins over Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi.

    Davis Cup

    He was a member of the United States Davis Cup team from 1985-87, and also was a member of the 1990 squad. He compiled a 6–4 record in singles play during Davis Cup ties.[3] The highlight of Krickstein's Davis Cup career came in 1990 when he scored two hard-fought victories in a World Group Quarterfinal tie against Czechoslovakia, leading his team to a 4–1 win."
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2009
  38. wyutani

    wyutani Hall of Fame

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    no idea who he is. sue me.
     

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