suddenly the name Wojciech Fibak pops into my head today...

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by IvanYentl, Dec 23, 2004.

  1. IvanYentl

    IvanYentl Rookie

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  2. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Wasn't he the 2nd fiddle to Lendl on the WCT Tour in the early 80s?
     
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  3. SC in MA

    SC in MA Semi-Pro

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    This is going back in time and my recollections are definitely fuzzy. I did see Fibak play a few times. I think it was back in the mid-70's and I think it was in team tennis matches. He wasn't a big guy, maybe 5'10" with average weight, or maybe a little bit on the thin side. My recollection is that he had a very solid allcourt game with good movement and with no real weaknesses, nor any predominant strengths. Though I seem to recall he had a very nice one-handed backhand. He was a nice player to watch. I also seem to recall that he was known as a very intelligent guy. I believe he was either going to law school, or else was already a lawyer. Or maybe he was already known as a savvy businessman. I can't recall exactly. I also think his career was cut short, maybe by injuries, but don't hold me to that one. Anyway, those are my very fuzzy memories.
     
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  4. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    how long have you had this malady ?? ;) you may need a Fibakectomy should your condition warsaw...err worsen....Wojchek is a pretty cosmo polish guy as i recall and quite the artist or art collector or something like that. little guy..really quick as i recall?
     
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  5. Dedans Penthouse

    Dedans Penthouse Hall of Fame

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    When Ivan "The Terrible Eye-Lash Plucker" Lendl moved to the U.S., Wojtek Fibak took Ivan Lendl under his wing (in the Greenwich, CT neck of the woods) and taught Ivan "the ropes" as far as the finer things in life outside tennis, i.e. art collection, etc.. While in Greenwich, Fibak should've taught Lendl that driving too fast (even in a Porsche) on wet pavement/wet leaves in the autumn is a Bozo "no-no" (fortunately, only the Porsche got hurt). Lendl btw, owns Banksville Tennis, a tennis club in 'Banksville,' an area bordering Westchester Co., NY and Fairfield, CT.

    Fibak (as mentioned above) was pretty much a solid (if unspectacular) all-court player who had a "can hit it all day" slice backhand that he could put on a dime. I think he was top 5-8 at his peak. Nice person; curiously drove a somewhat junky (for him) blue Mercedes Diesel as I recall. Then again, maybe he was driving his "B" wheels that day.
     
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  6. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

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    I just remember he used the Head Professional (Red Head).
     
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  7. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

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    Fibak was supposed to have an excellent drive off the backhand too. Lendl in his book says he copied Fibak's "rolling" backhand when he finally added an attacking topspin shot to his defensive slice.
     
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  8. pound cat

    pound cat G.O.A.T.

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    Interesting articles Ivan. He's still a high flyer in 03...& I doubt if he made all his money from tennis although he did play a lot of matches(403-241) & won 12 titles including AO doubles with Ken Warwick.
     
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  9. SC in MA

    SC in MA Semi-Pro

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    Now that you mention his AO doubles title pound cat, I think he was known to be an excellent doubles player.
     
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  10. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    fibak played alot like tiny tom okker IMO..they both had complete games, but no real weapons..both small in stature and fleet of foot...maybe johan kriek was a more current fibak or okker..cant think of anyone on the tour currently like either one of them..maybe a grosjean since there seems to be a french flaire on the board this day
     
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  11. pound cat

    pound cat G.O.A.T.

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    NoBadMojo...yes, t's good to have French flair whether one is playing tennis or not. La vie en rose.
     
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  12. SC in MA

    SC in MA Semi-Pro

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    I also had a chance to see Okker a number of times back in the mid-70's. My recollection is that Fibak and Okker played very differently stylistically. Okker appeared to be slightly smaller than Fibak and despite his small physical size, he really crunched the ball, much more so than Fibak. Okker had an incredibly huge serve for his size. Also, Okker went for his shots much more than Fibak. Okker had a big forehand and loved to hit a power topspin backhand, that could be sort of hit or miss. Fibak was a much more conservative, consistent, higher percentage player.

    In doubles, when Okker was at the baseline hitting to an opponent at the net, on the forehand side he had an exaggerated sideways turn and really crunched the ball with an incredible windmill topspin, which would put the ball at the feet of net guy(s). I loved watching him play. I think Tom Okker is one of the all time underrated, underappreciated players.
     
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  13. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    I THINK (though this is a fuzzy memory) to Fibak's credit it was also he who suggested that it was time for Lendl to move on and that Lendl needed things he could not provide and set Ivan up with Roche.
     
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  14. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

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    Hmmmmmm i'm not sure Data. The thing is if you have even a hazy memory of that happening it's odds on it did. You know your stuff. If i come across such info in my old archive i will certainly holler. I do know Lendl used Fibak's rolling backhand as his template.
     
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  15. alfa164164

    alfa164164 Professional

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    For whatever reason, Fibak and Gerulaitis couldn't stand one another. In Scanlon's book, he says that Fibak called him (unsolicited at that) to give him strategy on beating Vitas before a match.
    Fibak did have a decent record against Mr. Studio 54 if my memory serves me correctly.
    I also thought that Fibak was in the news a couple of years ago being implicated in some sort of European (possibly French) upscale prostitution ring, don't know the outcome. I think Lendl mentioned that alot of Fibak's business ideas were more fanciful and bust than successful. But hey, one homerun makes up for alot of strikeouts.
     
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  16. CliffH

    CliffH Rookie

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    Hey guys, I remember in 1984 Fibak used to jog past my dorm most mornings with Carling Bassett (now Mrs. Seguso) in Toronto
    Canada. He was very approachable and Bassett was as good as Canada could do. Not too tough on the eyes every morning. :)
    Some guys always wanted a girl named after a beer...
     
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  17. Deuce

    Deuce Banned

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    KIM Warwick - an Auusie who won the Aussie Open doubles title 3 times (in '78 with Fibak, and in '80 and '81 with Mark Edmonson), and the Roland Garros doubles title in '85 (with Edmonson).
     
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  18. Kirko

    Kirko Hall of Fame

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    !979 on television of course saw him beat Roscoe Tanner at the Phillie Indoor Tournament . He didn't have big shots just very clever.
     
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  19. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Wojtek Fibak was Brad Gilbert's tennis father. The guy won ugly when it wasn't even a term. I saw him play in Memphis in 1984. He was playing doubles using a pink Volkl frame and his partner was Nduka Odizor, the Nigerian Nightmare.

    Fibak was a journeyman-type player duing the 70s. He was not as physically gifted as a lot of other players, but he was very smart and played good strategic tennis always emphasizing his strengths and trying to exploit his opponents weaknesses. He was, IMO, a better doubles player than singles although he had some good singles victories.

    I remember him playing the majority of his career with a Red Head, I think it was the model was called the Professional. Fibak hailed from Poland. He wound up being an advisor/coach/mentor to Ivan Lendl when Lendl was young on the tour. My memory of Fibak/Lendl and their split was that there was a disagreement over some money. Fibak was managing all of Lendl's affairs and if I remember correctly, there was a disagreement over where some money went. I think Lendl accused Fibak of pocketing some of Lendl's money. Prior to that, the two were very close. Fibak learned Czech as a birthday present to Lendl. Fibak was described in an old, old Tennis magazine article as a renaissance man. He loved art and antiques and was fluid in I think 7 languages. He is mainly responsible for Lendl's love of art, although I think Lendl's love of art was more in the investment side than the appreciation side.

    Fibak was one of those guys you loved to see Connors or Vilas or Nastase or any of the big names beat the crap out of. :)
     
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