Roscoe Tanner

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Bilbo, Sep 18, 2009.

  1. Bilbo

    Bilbo Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    Messages:
    532
    Why does no one respect old Psycho-T's game. He had one of the biggest serves EVER, if not the most effective serve ever. It was also the most unique serve, as he had the quickest motion of all time. He was a ****** on grass, and had hard firm groundstrokes. On top of all this... HE IS AMERICAN, and he WON A GRAND SLAM! So, why no love for Roscoe Tanner, huh? Let's use this thread to appreciate and remember Psycho-T


    p.s. I know... he's not dead:).
     
    #1
  2. goober

    goober Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,491
    I never really have seen any of matches until recently on TTC. Before I thought he was a one trick pony with the serve, but his ground game actually wasn't that bad it just wasn't at the level of Borg, Connors, ect. But he is a way better rounded player than someone like Karlovic. So I liked his game and watching his matches.

    Roscoe Tanner the person, however is another story...
     
    #2
  3. gzhpcu

    gzhpcu Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2005
    Messages:
    1,019
    Location:
    Switzerland
    I respect his game. Even saw him once playing live in Wimbledon on one of the outside courts. His serving was the most impressive I've ever seen.
     
    #3
  4. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Messages:
    2,545
    Location:
    Arizona
    I bought tickets to see him play Connors in an exhibition in Minneapolis, (actually Bloomington, but who's heard of Bloomington?) Tanner was a no-show, (no reason was given). The crowd was disappointed but the promoters redeemed themselves by getting Kreik to fill in. Now that I know more about Tanner's selfish personality I'm suspicious about why he was a no-show. Probably didn't care about the awful problem not going created for other people. How do you replace the hardest server in the world?

    Kreik and Connors had some great points, though. Up close, I could really appreciate their court covering abilities.
     
    #4
  5. gpt

    gpt Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    Messages:
    880
    Tanner always had a wicked serve.
    And for a time, a wicked perm.
     
    #5
  6. Tennis Dunce

    Tennis Dunce Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Messages:
    716
    Nobody raised their hand and said, "Ooooooh Mr. Kotter...pick me...I wanna play Roscoe Tanner."
     
    #6
  7. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    4,745
    Location:
    Hotel CA
    Just goes to show how 1 slam wonders are often forgotten, even when they had a stroke that gets talked about generations later as one of the best ever (serve). Most all love is lost when a prior slam champions personal problems blemish the reputation.
     
    #7
  8. El Diablo

    El Diablo Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,561
    Not that much to love here. Huge deadbeat on child support payments, then bounced a big check when he tried to buy a boat.
     
    #8
  9. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    7,640
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    #9
  10. Don't Let It Bounce

    Don't Let It Bounce Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,617
    A long time ago, Bud Collins published a collection of tennis essays called My Life With The Pros. One of the essays suggested that Tanner had saved Wimbledon by, if I remember correctly, taking Borg to five sets in what was supposed to be a cakewalk for BB, at a time when TV ratings had dropped because of Borg's dominance. The essay was called something like "How Roscoe Tanner Saved Breakfast At Wimbledon".
     
    #10
  11. ubermeyer

    ubermeyer Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2009
    Messages:
    2,176
    Location:
    Texas
    What's so important about Americans to non-Americans? (I'm american btw)

    Karlovic has a better serve, better volleys, and Tanner's backhand is only better by a little, though his forehand and movement are miles ahead.
     
    #11
  12. LttlElvis

    LttlElvis Professional

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2005
    Messages:
    1,357
    I think I remember that article. That was the first live telecast of a Wimbledon final. I believe Wimbledon used to start the Men's Final precisely on the hour, making it more difficult for television intros. Roscoe helped NBC by purposely taking a long bathroom break to delay the start, thus helping the television intro. Taking Borg to 5 on the first live telecast was exciting and started the "Breakfast at Wimbledon" tradition on NBC.
     
    #12
  13. heathcliff

    heathcliff Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2008
    Messages:
    124
    what was about his person? could you tell me pls?
    the only match i´ve seen recently was his sf-loss to gerulaitis at the 79-uso
     
    #13
  14. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Messages:
    12,716
    Location:
    Carrboro, NC
    I see he made the 4th rd at the French in 1978, thats quite an achievement really given his game.
     
    #14
  15. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    12,572
    Location:
    at the bottom of every hill I come to
    Karlovic has a better serve? Not in my book. Tanner was barely 6' and served routinely in the 130-140 range. I've heard commentators say that Karlovic's serve is fast, but it also has no work on it, it's just a flat bomb. Tanner's serve was all over the place with spin. Tanner's delivery was also better. His perfect toss and quick motion were perfect for disguising the location and type of serve.
     
    #15
  16. Borgforever

    Borgforever Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    Messages:
    1,564
    ^^^ Agree to the max.
     
    #16
  17. Bengt

    Bengt Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2006
    Messages:
    448
    Does anyone recall what racquets he used?

    My aunt babysat for his parents when they lived on Signal Mountain (just north of Chattanooga). I remember as a little kid being over at my cousins and her giving us what I vaguely recall was a steel Wilson she said the Tanners had given her. We sure beat the snot out that racquet. I've been wondering for years whether it had any significance.
     
    #17
  18. goober

    goober Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,491
    His post tennis exploits are well documented. Just google them. But basically he has a long history of multiple felonies involving check fraud and theft. He also was arrested for failure of child support payments.
     
    #18
  19. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    4,611
    I have tried to ignore this thread, but being the resident expert on Tanner, I will chime in on this serve related aspect!

    Karlovic does have the better serve, but it's not an easy call. Karlovic's is simply better due to greater margin for error and thus, higher percentages. However, Tanner had MUCH MUCH better diguise, his serve was as unreadable as they come.

    Also, on the subject of height, Tanner actually felt his height worked for him. Most servers of that time, and now, that achieved comparable speeds to Roscoe were 6'3 and up. Tanner purposely worked on hitting low bouncing, low angle, high speed serves, which he felt people were less used to seeing and forced them to make awkward returns.
     
    #19
  20. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    4,611
    Quite correct. Roscoe was asked discreetly by NBC to help as Wimbledon would not budge on this. He claimed he was nervous and went to the bathroom for an extended stay! His taking Borg to 5 was icing on the cake for "Breakfast at WImbledon".
     
    #20
  21. SVP

    SVP Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Messages:
    334
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    racquet Tanner used

    I thought he used a Head racquet with the red plastic middle piece.
     
    #21
  22. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    7,640
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Bengt, I know he used a "PDP" during the 1980 final. That may have been the precursor to the Head Metal Edge..but someone may know more about that than me. Thank you.
     
    #22
  23. LttlElvis

    LttlElvis Professional

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2005
    Messages:
    1,357
    At the height of his popularity he was using the PDP Open. The plastic yoke at the throat came in orange or white. The racquet became very popular after the '79 final. After PDP, he started using a Le Coq Sportif racquet. I can't recall the model. I don't recall what wood racquet he used prior to the PDP Open. I don't ever remember him using the red Head Professional or a Wilson metal racquet.
     
    #23
  24. papatenis

    papatenis Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2009
    Messages:
    526
    Just for your info, he had a daughter that played Div.1 tennis. She graduated two years ago.
     
    #24
  25. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,406
    #25
  26. LttlElvis

    LttlElvis Professional

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2005
    Messages:
    1,357
    #26
  27. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    7,640
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Yes, now I remember that very cool looking Le Coq Sportif racquet. That must have been VERY EXPENSIVE back then. I knew he didn't use a Head Edge Metal (which was so popular in the 1980's, but I believe the PDP led to the development of the Head Edge Metal, but I could be wrong about that. Thanks LttlElvis for that last info.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2009
    #27
  28. film1

    film1 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Messages:
    752
    He used the Red Head Pro

    The Master was navy blue was the Standard was light blue.
    They were good frames but the Pro was the top of the line. The Master and Standard were more round than the pro.
     
    #28
  29. Don't Let It Bounce

    Don't Let It Bounce Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,617
    Right, I was misremembering: it wasn't that TV rating were dropping due to Borg's dominance; it was that Wimbledon had not yet become a big deal on TV. And I'd totally forgotten about the bathroom delay business. He really pushed Borg in that final, though.

    It's a shame to hear that he came up short in the ethics department. I really enjoyed watching him serve.
     
    #29
  30. jnd28

    jnd28 Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    Messages:
    313
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    I remember him using the pdp not the head pro. BTW if you really want to feel your elbow pick up the old Head Pro and have a whack at it!

    JND28
     
    #30
  31. gpt

    gpt Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    Messages:
    880
    In the 1977 AO Final (January) it was Tanners' serve as described above that enabled him to whip Vilas something like 6-3 6-3 6-3. The match was dominated by his serve that was staying low and swinging aggressively.
     
    #31
  32. SVP

    SVP Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Messages:
    334
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    Roscoes's serve and ethics

    I always admired his efficient serving motion. Low toss, not a wasted motion. Like a windup toy.

    I'm always saddened upon hearing about former athletes in trouble. These days the athletes have smartened up, surrounding themselves with family and reputable advisors to take care of them. In the old days, they seemingly floundered around when their playing days were over and had to scramble to survive. Examples, Denny McLain, Art Schlichter, now Lenny Dykstra.
     
    #32
  33. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    4,611
    Yes. And video will never do that motion justice. To see it in person, is to see the single most awe-inspiring stroke ever developed. It's simply inhuman. On TV it just looks quick and a bit underwhelming. In person, it's sheer perfection. Seeing the blur of the racquet and the uncoiling of the body into the perfect ball position. It's stunning. Blinding and natural...yet unnaturally perfect, like a machine designed to serve.
     
    #33

Share This Page