some great grass courters of the 80´s

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by kiki, Jan 18, 2014.

  1. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    and now talking about grass.Borg,Connors,Mac,Becker,Kriek,Wilander,Edberg and Cash are the big names that dominated on grass.The Wimbledon or the Aussie grass.

    But here are a few names that have also left great emories, even short ones.

    of course Kev Curren, the fastest server of the decade and one of the best ever.Extremely quick at the net where his crushing volleys were able to demolish the likes of Connors,Mac and Edberg at Wimbledon...how could he lose to Chris Lewis in the 1983 tournament? He lost to Becker at the 85 Wimbly final and to Mats Wilander at the 84 AO final.

    Steve Denton, his doubles mate, reached two AO finals.His serve was almost as fast and lethal as Kevin´s.

    The same can be said about the giant Yugoslav Bobo Zivojinovic, who trashed Mac at Melbourne and almost beat Lendl at London.One semi at each two grass majors.He had big returns and was extremely muscled.

    Tim Mayotte, never lost before the fourth round at Wimbledon FOR A WHOLE DECADE.Reached the QF in 1981 and in 1989 and was a semifinalist in 1982.In Australia, he also made it to the last four in 1983.Solid and technically perfect S&V tennis, but slow afoot and a sweet personality.Gentleman Tim they called him.

    There maybe a few more names but I think those 4 dudes were classic grass courters of the 80´s.
     
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  2. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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  3. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Yes indeed.I just wanted to portray other players that had their biggest success on grass.Lendl´s career was built on the other 3 surfaces.That does not mean that Lendl didn´t become a great grass court player, just that he has many other opportunities to be talked about in the other threads about clay, hard and carpet,while those guys I mentioned would be true grass court specialists who were representative on this kind of turf mainly ( even if they had also great results on indoor carpet).
     
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  4. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    I see. Thanks. I did like Mayotte. Loved his serve and was really good on grass and your information confirmed my notion of him. I have talked about him in that past basically from memory. Didn't realize his Wimbledon record was that good.
     
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  5. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Tim may have been the GOAT of the non top ten players as far as GS consistency concerns.
     
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  6. PMChambers

    PMChambers Professional

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    Some good names in there,

    Lendl - He definite had developed into a great grass court player by mid 80's thanks to his coach and desire to win all 4 GS. His 2nd serve was a slight issue.

    Kev Curren - Awesome natural fast player, saw him live in the mid 80's, he was fit and strong. I think he suffered from being Sth African in the 80's. In Aust at this time we had the redel tours, defections of top athletes playing in Sth Africa during ban on apatite. He had demonstrations against allowing Sth African professional players to tour, hence they where kept out the media. There was that "black" ball episode at AO one year where people threw lots of black balls onto center court to disrupt play, I think that was against Wayne Ferrierria.

    Kriek - not many people really know Kreik. He also seems to be forgotten as well.

    Bobo Zivojinovic - Maybe a slight embarrassment to tennis. When we was in the mood, very funny. But he had a zero baseline game, he chipped and charged everything, more so than Cash. He also aced Mac with under arm serve at AO unless my memory is breaking up. He's definitely not a poster boy, he was over weight by the mid 80's. My memory could be wrong but he always seemed to have gorgeous woman around, and looked like he wined and dined then a lot hence his gut. His GS record is not good even Wim & AO.

    Mayotte - One of my favorite players at the time, don't know why. With the exception of the multiple racquet breaking Wimbledon episode, he always seemed cool and calm. He suffered from being anther sound US player but not top 5. US fans don't really back their countrymen unless they're in the top tier, though could be worse UK *******ise theirs if they can't win Wimbledon. Probably underrated by fans, not by players.
     
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  7. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Kriek is a bigger name than Curren.
     
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  8. Kirijax

    Kirijax Hall of Fame

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    I remember both Kriek and Curren but Curren more probably because of his '85 Wimbledon runner-up finish. Remember Kriek too. Seem to remember him and Denton(?) always around in the doubles draws.

    Always enjoy your posts kiki!
     
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  9. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Thanks Kkrijax¡

    Denton´s mate was Curren.

    Johan did not play too much doubles although, for a few years, he used to team up with Fritz Buehning, another member at the Rossignol Club
     
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  10. Kirijax

    Kirijax Hall of Fame

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    Ah! Got my guys mixed I see! Maybe I'm getting it confused. Wasn't it Denton that Kriek beat in the Australian Open final. Both times maybe? Need to google...
     
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  11. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Don´t google.You are right.Kriek beat Denton in 1981 and 1982.The first final was a relatively close 4 setter but the second one was a blast.

    It seems to me that Kriek returned very well off the huge Steve´s serve.

    When Kriek was playing well and for the whole match - which almost never happened, like Mandlikova- there were few players more enjoyable to watch in the first half of the decade.
     
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  12. Kirijax

    Kirijax Hall of Fame

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    Didn't Kriek make a Wimby or U.S. Open semis once as well? Really overworking my memory banks now. Starting to hurt...
     
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  13. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Kriek reached two USO quarters at the late 70´s as well as two Wimbledon quarters in 81 and 82, in those US Open qf, Gerulaitis beat him and at the All England it was always Mc Enroe.He played a great 1980 US Open but lost to Borg in the semis, squandering a two sets lead¡¡¡ he just fumbled away from set nº 3.
    He topped that with his two Australian titles, a WCT Final and a WCT semi ( always handling down to Mc Enroe) and, quite surprisingly, a RG semi when nobody took him seriously anymore, in 1986.He had a good field but still had to beat there a former champion, Guillermo Vilas.Of course, he was no match for peak Ivan Lendl.

    So, Kriek has one of the best records of the 80´s.In my book, he and Cash just come behind the big 7 of the decade.One of the most underrated great players of a great decade.
     
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  14. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    Kriek was an excellent player; a lot of fun to watch when he was "on". Mandlikova is a good cross gender comparison! He accomplished a bit more than Curren, tho' Curren was quite the scalp hunter w/wins over Mac and Connors at the Big W.
     
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  15. helterskelter

    helterskelter Professional

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    I was at Mayotte's quarter-final in 1989, when he lost 6-7 6-7 3-6 against Edberg. The first set tiebreak was a blow-out, but the second set one was very close indeed. Mayotte had a good chance and got very annoyed that a crucial call went against him. He argued it vociferously and at length, but was still reasonably "gentlemanly" about it.

    That was the first professional tennis match I ever attended.
     
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  16. Rosewall

    Rosewall Rookie

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    Because I grew up in the Bay Area, Tim Mayotte was one of my favorites of the 80s. He was at the tail end of the Dick Gould serve-and-volley machine at Stanford (Mac, Mayers, Grabb, Tanner).

    I'm going to throw out two other long-forgotten names. These guys were not "great" grass-courters, but were two serve-and-volley favorites of mine:

    Brian Gottfried -- he is known for winning the French, but he most certainly was a serve-and-volleyer. He looked like a power lifter (tree-trunk legs, ridiculous forearms) but didn't hit with power (I still don't understand this). He was an all court finesse player that followed an averagish kick serve in to set up an exceptional volley.

    Hank Pfister -- I think he was a San Jose St product. Typical west coast serve-and-volleyer. If you don't remember him, think Tim Mayotte... About 6'4 or 6'5 with a sizzling serve. I remember him playing doubles with Kevin Curren and that was fun stuff to watch.
     
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  17. jean pierre

    jean pierre Semi-Pro

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    Yes, Pfister was a good grass player, with a great serve. I think he was in the top 30 or even the top 20. And I think 2 SF in Australian Open.
     
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  18. jean pierre

    jean pierre Semi-Pro

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  19. Rosewall

    Rosewall Rookie

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    Nice find.
     
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  20. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Gottfried never won Paris.he was wipped out by Vilas in 77.I agree he was a fine and graceful volleyer.Never seemed such an athlete to me¡¡¡

    Hank-No, he and Amaya lost to CURREN and Denton the 82 USO F.But they had won RG in 1980.
     
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  21. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Rosewall, Gottfried only reached the final of the French Open against Vilas.

    Edit: I see that our teacher for the old tennis, kiki, has already corrected you.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2014
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  22. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    you will embarras me...
     
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  23. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    kiki, As a 97 years old you should not be embarrassed by anything anymore ;-)
     
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  24. Fedinkum

    Fedinkum Hall of Fame

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    Anyone remember David Wheaton? Never a top tier, but he had a decent serve and volley game, and had a great run in the early 90s.
     
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  25. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    After the five set 1980 US Open semifinal loss against Borg, Johan Kriek said that Borg was just so fit. Kriek had great wheels too and was very quick/explosive around the court. He could also produce a lot of easy power and could hit very big off both wings. He had great looking strokes too.
     
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  26. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Yes Fedinkum. David Wheaton was an excellent player. I first saw him play as a great junior player during the 1980's on rubico playing against guys like Al Parker and company back then. He did have very solid volleys, plus he had very good strokes off both sides and an extremely effective serve too.
     
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  27. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    Wheaton was a Christian radio talk show host for a while after retiring, may still be. I think he did some college coaching at Minnesota too.
     
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  28. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    That's right, he was from MN jaggy. That's interesting. Here he is serving at Wimbledon versus Agassi.

    [​IMG]
     
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  29. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Yes, it often gets overlooked because of the great Connors-Mac semi and next the unforgetable Borg-Mac final.But, in the first two sets, Borg must have had one of the biggest scarces of his life¡¡¡
     
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  30. Rosewall

    Rosewall Rookie

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    kiki: Gottfried never won Paris.he was wipped out by Vilas in 77.I agree he was a fine and graceful volleyer.Never seemed such an athlete to me¡¡¡

    You are correct. Gottfried was a bit stiff and somewhat of a plodder. He was the tennis version of a gym rat -- fanatical about fitness and extreme practice sessions. Definitely a self-made player that took great pride in his craft. If you just looked at him back then, his physique looked more like a modern tennis player. Huge forearm, huge legs, huge back. He made it to the Wimbledon quarters in 78 and semis two years later with his slick volleying.
     
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  31. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Borg: "what is going on today??? Ok I better take care of this now and get this guy really running around starting early in the third"....ha ha..I'm kidding. I do remember that it was was a shock lead, but Borg got down to business. I had the television on an I see a two set lead for Kriek and thought what in the world? It's telling that someone as fit as Kriek mentioned how fit Borg was after really going all out in the way Kriek could. He was apparently talking pretty big before that match by the way, so I'm sure he was at least pretending to be very confident of a win. Some of his matches with McEnroe in the 1980's were great as well. He was a very streaky player as you know.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2014
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  32. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    That is a good description of Gottfried! I used to think his strokes were really unique. He reminded me of Eliot Teltscher in many ways. I got to see both play live. See Brian Gottfried playing just a couple of years ago here on this video demonstrating the "sneak attack"..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbEAS6pK0ms
     
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  33. jean pierre

    jean pierre Semi-Pro

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    Nice backhand and volley.
     
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  34. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Really? I don´thave a vivid memory and he may have been an athelte.I know he was the hardest working player on tour, along Vilas, but he never seemed a big body to me.He was more of a finesse player in any case.
     
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  35. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Yes, Kriek was streaky as they come, no doubt my friend.He , of all the top players, had the best record against Mc Enroe; his fast ROS helped him return the wide serve of Mc Enroe, and he was a quick mover as well.
     
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  36. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Do you remember the great Gottfried-Ramirez team?
    One of my favourites doubles teams.Nimble, quick, complementary, solid backcourt game and, when both at the net, sometimes it looked like a ballet.Great watching and two nice, quit guys, too.
     
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  37. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    Gottfried won the FO? Doubles???
     
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  38. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    Not sure if I missed him in the thread but Scott Davis had a great grass game
     
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  39. 10smonkey

    10smonkey Rookie

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    Scott Davis also played some pretty good doubles with David Pate
     
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  40. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Gottfried and Ramirez were most likely the best doubles team on clay courts during the 70´s.
     
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  41. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    the 80´s where a time when i could watch tennis all day long and never get bored:) anyone remember Derrick Rostagno?
     
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  42. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    Was he the one who drove to tourneys in America in a van?
     
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  43. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    75 and 77 and runner up in 76
     
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  44. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    treblings, Fine to find you as poster again!
     
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  45. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    the way i remember it, he had two vans. one for the east coast, and another one for the west coast:)
    he also has wins against McEnroe, Connors, Lendl, Sampras, Wilander and Courier:)
    didn´t he play with Rossignol rackets?
     
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  46. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    thanks Bobby, for the kind words:)
    i´ve been following the lively debates of course, but was a bit to busy playing tennis, teaching tennis and collecting fine vintage austrian tennis racquets:)
     
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  47. Edburger

    Edburger Rookie

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    Anders Jarryd was very underrated singles player. Played very nice SF at Wimbledon in 1985 against Becker, and QF against Edberg in 1987.
     
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  48. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    treblings, Guess you also are glad that Austria has now a very talented young player who could surpass Jürgen Melzer relatively soon since Melzer seems to decline...
     
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  49. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    of course i am.let´s just hope that Dominik Thiem is able to achieve what we hope he will.so we don´t have to wait for Lukas Miedler to be the next Austrian world class player:)
     
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  50. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    plus a big WCT title against Boris Becker and a Masters semifinal as well.he seemed to be linked to Becker.Great returns, good stounch volleyer and very good groundies.Very fast and quick reflexes.
    In the 1983 Canadian Open he beat Mc Enroe in straight sets at the semis but got plummered by Lendl in the final.
     
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