The open era's greatest strokes

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by JohnThomas1, Jun 7, 2004.

  1. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

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    Here be my opinions :)

    First Serve - Goran or Pete Sampras
    Second Serve - Pete Sampras
    Overhead - Pete Sampras
    Forehand Volley - John Newcombe
    Backhand Volley - Tony Roche or Stefan Edberg
    Half Volleys/Touch Volleys - John McEnroe
    Return Of Serve - Andre Agassi
    Forehand - Ivan Lendl
    Backhand (OH) - Ivan Lendl (Others prettier but...)
    Backhand (TH) - Hmmmmm, if Safin's performances were consistent...
    Lob - Wilander
    Footwork - Too many amazing athletes. Sampras, Cash, Noah, Borg, Hewitt, Mac, Edberg, the list goes on.

    Any takers? :)
     
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  2. Camilio Pascual

    Camilio Pascual Hall of Fame

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    Chris Evert - 2HBH
    Its influence on the way the game is played makes it the most important stroke of the Open Era.
     
    #2
  3. irishbanger

    irishbanger Rookie

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    Echo John Thomas, but put Roddicks second serve, Federer's return of serve and footwork, Becker's forehand volley.
     
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  4. @wright

    @wright Hall of Fame

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    I'm proud of Johnthomas for not putting Federer, Roddick or Gaudio on the list.
     
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  5. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

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    Maybe in the long hall @wright but not yet :) hehehe
     
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  6. BigboyDan

    BigboyDan Semi-Pro

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    Two-handed backhand:


    Borg.


    Not only could he hit a dime with it, he won 5 Wimbies and 6 Frenchies with it. He had no other great strokes. Amazing.
     
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  7. gofederer

    gofederer Rookie

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    i recently bought a dvd of sampras v lendl match in 1990 us open and was unimpressed by lendl's groundies at all... they were just far below average by the current standards... not sure if he had used a 90-100" modern racquet instead of the 80" adidas but even so i thought to myself all the hype for lendl's ripping back & forehands was probably due to people's dimming memories... with a slightly bigger (85") racquet federer hits much much better groundies than lendl on both wings...

    btw my vote for backhand smash goes to henman...
     
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  8. galain

    galain Hall of Fame

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    Guillermo Vilas owned the backhand smash...

    Hey JohnThomas - how's Rocky treating you?

    First Serve - Sampras for end result, Noah for aesthetics
    Second Serve - Pete Sampras
    Overhead - Boris. Jimbo's skyhook for something unique.
    Forehand Volley - Cash
    Backhand Volley - Tony Roche or Stefan Edberg - yep
    Half Volleys/Touch Volleys - John McEnroe
    Return Of Serve - Jimbo
    Forehand - Ivan Lendl
    Backhand (OH) - Edberg or Stich
    Backhand (TH) - Borg
    Lob - Lendl
    Footwork - Cash, Edberg or Vilas
     
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  9. !Tym

    !Tym Hall of Fame

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    One thing about Lendl not ripping groundies, he had no problems holding his own and even at times bullying around Agassi and Courier from the baseline.

    You must be VERY cautious when reviewing OLD tapes. It's almost impossible to make an unbiased direct comparison, namely because you can't. The difference in sound quality really does skew reality. Trust me, the perceived difference is very much in the SOUND. The old tapes and broadcasts, the on court mic-ing was incredibly poor by today's standards. I have several matches from the early 90s where the sound is so muffled that it's almost as if the players are playing on Mars with no spectators and everything on mute. NONE of that artificially enhanced shot-gun effect you get today. I.e. Turn on a broadcast of Roland Garros today and even a mere slice backhand sounds like a CRISP explosion. It really is the sound effects. Even Santoro sounds like he wallops the ball because of the artificial sound enhancement. You'd be surprised, having watched McEnroe in old age from a few feet away play sets with current tour players, his groundies still hold up surprisingly well.

    Lendl was several notches above McEnroe from the baseline, and his groundies also held up against Becker whose groundies as you saw were still plenty heavy enough to knock a "modern" speed player like Chang around from the baseline like a gnat at the 95 Autralian final. Until Lendl's back gave out in fact, he still held up fine with "modern" players from the baseline. Check his records against some contemporary top players you might know in the twilight of his career, and it's surprising just how well he was still able to stack up past his prime. Lendl also hit a flatter and heavier ball than most due to the sheer mass of his racket.

    As a final test, compare a match from a player you have on tape from a muffled sounding mic set up, and then compare it to a match with a lively mic setup. You'd be shocked at just how much difference the sound makes, it really is a NIGHT and DAY difference in terms of the perceived pace of the ball. I, in fact, have a match of Stich from the 95 U.S. Open and the 96 U.S. Open. The sound on the 96 U.S. Open match is messed up, it sounds like Stich's hitting a foam ball...absolutely no sensation of any pace whatsover. The 95 Open tape, however, is normal sound. By comparison, watching the 96 tape is virtually impossible because the sound is so muted that you just can't get a sense of appreciation for the level of play.

    Seriously, it sounds and feels like he's hitting about as hard as a local rec player. The muffled sound really does make that much of a difference.
     
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  10. kreative

    kreative Professional

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    First Serve - Sampras
    Second Serve - Sampras or Edberg
    Overhead - Sampras
    Forehand Volley - McEnroe
    Backhand Volley - Edberg
    Half Volleys/Touch Volleys - McEnroe
    Return Of Serve - Agassi
    Forehand - Berasetegui or Brugera
    Backhand (OH) - Edberg
    Backhand (TH) - Borg or Agassi
    Lob -
    Footwork - Edberg
     
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  11. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    I once posted here that Lendl's record against the next generation of baseliners demonstrated he stacked up well for the record:

    Lendl leads Agassi 6:2

    Lendl won the 1st 6 meetings all the way until 1992 at the Canadian where Lendl was coming back from injury and Agassi had just won Wimbledon, they still went 3 sets....Agassi then won the last match in Lendl's last injury plagued year of 93

    Lendl leads Courier 4:0

    Courier never won a set, in fact in 9 sets, Courier won just 22 games....think about it....

    They never played in Grand slam except(I remember this killing) at the USO 89. Now admittedly Courier was very green, on the other hand he was having a breakthrough year having eliminated Andre from the French and rising quickly....at the time I thought he might give Lendl a fight but.....the score 6-1, 6-2,6-3.
     
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  12. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

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    Hi Galain, very well thanks :) I appreciate your choices too.

    @gofederer, nab the 1986 Lendl - Edberg US semi and give us another holler. If Feds forehand (And i adore it) is better than Lendl's i'd be amazed. I'm sure Lendl would have no trouble at all trading groundies with him.

    Ahhhh the good jolly Datacipher! I love the clarity of facts you use in discussions. Yet again you have told it like it is with irrefutable facts to boot. I also remember it being well stated on tour that Lendl hit the ball far harder than both Agassi and Courier, and that's when Agassi used to really rip into every shot. We also must remember that later in Lendl's career he learnt the value in hitting well within himself until given the exact openings he wanted. Early on he hammered everything he could, but then scaled back somewhat and was a far better player for it.
     
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  13. gofederer

    gofederer Rookie

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    yeah, guys (tym, datacipher, johnthomas), i'll take a good look at the dvd again, bearing in mind the sound effect, comparing it with other "modern" players' videos... all i wanted to say was lendl's groundies in that particular match were not that "ripping" hard at all except for just a couple of passing shots... i admit lendl by 1990 might have scaled down his strokes somewhat but my initial impression about his bread & butter groundies was an anticlimax really... it may be because one just doesn't swing too fast & furious with a 80"/400+g stick and what if he used a 107" racquet as agassi does i don't know... but then again fed can swing big and fast with just a slightly bigger & lighter stick making lightning shots and he's not the hardest-hitting guy at all... as for head-to-head statistics, i didn't say lendl couldn't handle younger generation so it isn't relevant here...
     
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  14. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

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    Trust me, Lendl hits far harder than Fed.
     
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  15. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

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    And i'm a big fan of Fed.
     
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  16. Andy Zarzuela

    Andy Zarzuela Professional

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    WOMEN

    1st Serve: Venus (127.4 mph still the rec today....although she just missed a 135 mph at the Aus Open 2003)

    2nd Serve: Serena

    Forehand(1h): Graf

    Forehand(2h): Seles

    Backhand(1h): Justine/Gabby S./Mauresmo (when she is on)

    Backhand(2h): Seles/Venus/Serena

    Volleys: Martina N./Anna K/Rubin

    Serve Return: Davenport

    Shot Variation: Martina Hingis/Loit/Schnyder

    Lob: Martina Hingis/ Anna K/Clijsters/Justine

    Speed (quickness): Anna K

    Overall athleticism: Clijsters/Serena/Venus/Justine

    Backcourt Power (in order): Serena/Venus/Clijsters/Justine/Capriati





    [/b]
    ________
    Medical Marijuana
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2011
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  17. Max G.

    Max G. Hall of Fame

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    I think Anna and Rubin do not belong on that line. There's just NO comparison. Martina's volleys are on a level above theirs.
     
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  18. kreative

    kreative Professional

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    First Serve - Venus
    Second Serve - Serena
    Volleys - Navratilova
    Return Of Serve - Seles
    Forehand - Graf or Seles
    Backhand (OH) - JHH
    Backhand (TH) - Seles
    Lob - Hingis
    Variation - Hingis
    Athleticism - Serena/JHH/Venus
    Backcourt Power - Serena/Venus/Clijsters/Justine/Capriati
     
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  19. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

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    Excellent post Andy Zarzuela, i'll come back and do my own list later :)
     
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  20. Andy Zarzuela

    Andy Zarzuela Professional

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    I dunno man, Anna can volley. She has quick hands, her technique is definately one of the best of the women out there. Rubin can volley too. Rubin may not be as natural as a volleyer as Navratilova, but she can hardly misses up there when she has her oponent on the run. Usually it's a winner.
    ________
    Redhead girl live
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2011
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  21. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

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    First Serve - Venus (Sukova and Schultz had goodies too)
    Second Serve - Serena
    Overhead - Navratilova
    Forehand Volley - Navratilova
    Backhand Volley - Navratilova
    Half Volleys/Touch Volleys - Navratilova lol
    Return Of Serve - Seles
    Forehand - Graf
    Backhand (OH) - Justine (Catarina L had a ripper too)
    Backhand (TH) - Seles
    Lob - Evert Lloyd/Hingis
    Footwork - Graf comes to mind and omg those legs!
     
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  22. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    post delete
     
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  23. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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  24. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Yikes, I agree Andy that Anna and Rubin can volley but.....I disagree even with Max, I really think Martina is several levels above them.
     
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  25. galain

    galain Hall of Fame

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    Datacipher

    Sounds like you might have an interesting video library mate. Are there any favourite matches you have that you go back to often?
     
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  26. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

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    Thanks mate, i enjoy your posts too. You obviously watched a lot of players when i did and have a superb way of conveying your opinions and perceptions. I bet English/Literature etc was a very strong asset of yours thru your educational years, you are the equal of a top sports journalist in my opinion. Just one thing about that Connors match, Becker and others also commented that Lendl was just pushing the ball that tournament. He had beaten the lot of them of course lol. Lost to Edberg in a super semi final from memory. I think it came out that Lendl's back troubles were close to their peak that tourney and he was simply trying to get thru matches intact. What a performance :)
     
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  27. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

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    1992 U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP
    Flushing Meadows, New York, NY


    September 4, 1992


    I. LENDL/J. Connors

    3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-0


    INTERVIEW WITH



    IVAN LENDL

    Q. You played very well, tactically. You pulled Connors to the net and you were steady and very patient, you know. It was -- you planned the tactics before?

    IVAN LENDL: That is the way I have been playing against Jimmy for a long time now, and it has been working for me very well. I don't know. Last eight years or so I couldn't see any reason for change. I just felt I have to stick to it, and hopefully it's going to come my way.


    Q. Ivan, in the post-match interview we heard on television, Jimmy said he was "bunting the ball back. I guess that is the way he plays now"?

    IVAN LENDL: If it works, why not.



    1992 U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP
    Flushing Meadows, New York, NY


    September 6, 1992


    I. LENDL/C. Adams

    2-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4


    INTERVIEW WITH



    IVAN LENDL

    Q. Ivan, we had, for the second straight interview with your opponent, we had Chuck Adams in here saying, of you, he doesn't play like he used to. I am baiting him with short balls. He lets you back-in points. In order for him to win it, he has got to loosen up and go for it, some of-- sort of the same stuff Connors was saying the other night. I guess-- your response?

    IVAN LENDL: I don't care what they say.


    Q. Not that you don't care, but you also disagree?

    IVAN LENDL: I disagree, because why I would play hard against Connors and let him eat me up with pace? He loves pace. He hates it when you hit it short and slow to his forehand. He just can't stand it. I mean, if you hit hard to his forehand or to his backhand, he would take the ball early and attack you and eat you up. It would be stupid. And Chuck over here was hitting the ball really well. Also when I had looped the ball a little bit to his backhand and I chipped it to his backhand, all of a sudden he started making some errors. If you hit it hard, he just hits it hard down the line and comes in. I mean, it is, you know, if I will see that it is helping me, I am going to do it. But I am not going to do it when I will see it is hurting me.


    Q. So you are ready to change your game, until the time comes, do what you need to do?

    IVAN LENDL: Yes. You got to play what is right. Just shouldn't go out there and hit your head against the wall. I have been around long enough to know better than that. I have been hitting slice backhands to Connors' forehand for eight years. He hasn't beaten me once. Why should I change that? It worked 17 times. It has worked 17 times. Does he think I'm so stupid only because he doesn't like it, or what?
    Q. When you go to a baseball game and see somebody bunt the ball, do you see any resemblance between what you do on forehand down the line?

    IVAN LENDL: I wouldn't call forehand down the line a bunt exactly. It is a fairly -- if it is a bunt like then why does Chuck duck when he is hitting that? I don't understand the duck is sort of contrary to itself, doesn't it?


    Q. Would you say that they are talking sour grapes; they are bad losers, these guys?

    IVAN LENDL: Certainly not very gracious, let us put it that way. I mean, if it is such a bad play, if you call it bunting, if it is such a bad play, how come they didn't beat me? I don't know.


    Q. Is there any extent to which you would agree that you aren't playing the way you used to, any area where you weren't?

    IVAN LENDL: Yeah, I agree with that that I go under the ball more than I used to when I have to. I go over the ball when I have to. But as I was saying before, why should I give somebody who likes pace, the pace. Did you see the match yesterday between Sampras and Martin? I played Martin in Canada myself, and he started with a break up. He was hitting his backhand off my backhand, top spin, down the line, four winners; he broke me for second service game, and then I started chipping to his backhand and I won three and two and yesterday what happened when Sampras was leading, he was hitting the ball, and Martin, all of a sudden, was eating him up. And then Sampras fell behind; started chipping the ball and Martin started missing. I mean, what is wrong with that? It is just smart play. Something doesn't work or, you know, it is not going to work, so you change it.

    1992 U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP
    Flushing Meadows, New York, NY


    September 8, 1992


    I. LENDL/B. Becker

    6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 6-4


    INTERVIEW WITH



    IVAN LENDL

    Q. Ivan, what turned it around for you after the third set?

    IVAN LENDL: Well, it is difficult, I mean, you play out there, lose A couple of tie breakers. You have to keep trying. That is the only way. I finally made some breakpoints when I had to and that turned it around.


    Q. When was the last time you played as good a match like that versus somebody like Becker?

    IVAN LENDL: I haven't played anybody like that in the Grand Slams. I played pretty well against Edberg until 5-4 in the second at the Australian. I haven't played against top guy this year in the Grand Slams.


    Q. Did that match kind of, even though it was only a fourth round match, did it almost have the feeling of a final or later round match because of the intensity of the match that it was?

    IVAN LENDL: Not really. I had a little trouble with the intensity first because of the postponement and so on and so on. In the fourth set, I really got into it very well.


    Q. Ivan, tonight seems like the crowd was more rooting for you than like in previous matches; they were like against you. Does it make any difference or are you--

    IVAN LENDL: You are just so pumped, you really don't know what they are doing. You really want to win the very next point; concentrate on that.


    Q. How satisfying is it for you after what you have been through, the last month?

    IVAN LENDL: I haven't been through much, last month. I thought I was playing good tennis, last month.


    Q. Last few months?

    IVAN LENDL: It is nice. I always felt that I have it still in me and it is coming together, which is nice.


    Q. What about your forehand, you were supposed not to hit anymore?

    IVAN LENDL: I thought this bunting today did pretty well for me. I was happy with it. I don't care what you call it. It works.


    Q. Emotionally, can you -- physically, you can probably get a day rest and raise it to another level. How about emotionally?

    IVAN LENDL: I will be fine. Don't worry.


    Q. You talked about playing Edberg in the-- any thoughts about playing Edberg?

    IVAN LENDL: I don't worry about it now. I am looking to go home, get some sleep, enjoy the family, tomorrow; have a hit, play some golf maybe and worry about it on Thursday.


    Q. What do you think about the match-up?

    IVAN LENDL: It will be okay. You can quote me on that.


    Q. At what time do you think you will be home in your bed?

    IVAN LENDL: I will be home in about a half hour.


    Q. How do you spend that long time you had to wait for the match to even get start? What were you doing?

    IVAN LENDL: I went to-- when they told us at 5-4 in the third set of the women's match that I was ready to go, they told us we are not going. I went and had to eat something because I ate at 12:00 for a 3:00-4:00 match. Then I was sort of putting little a more in; couple of bagels, here's a couple of bananas here. Then you have to get a warm meal sometimes. Them I went for a warm meal. I had some fish. I was feeling a bit heavy at first.


    Q. Can you make comments on your and Becker's play today?

    IVAN LENDL: Well, you know, I don't think he plays the way he used to. He bunts the ball now. That seems to be the thing to say, so why shouldn't I say it? Everybody else does.


    Q. Thanks a lot.

    IVAN LENDL: Thank you.
     
    #27
  28. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    The women's picks seem a bit easier as their haven't been nearly as many huge, dominating weapons in WTA history. Thinking outside the box a bit...

    You stole my contribution to 1st serve with Brenda schultz....and I still prefer Serena's serve to Venus in terms of mechanics.

    I don't think it was the best backhand because I don't think she could flatten it out all that well but for topspin and just aesthetic beauty, Conchita Martinez.

    In the speed category I think Aranxta Sanchez Vicario deserves a mention, her legs were short by they covered the court darn well on sheer athleticism and determination.
     
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  29. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

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    Sorry bout the length Data but i got a few good chuckles in there lol
     
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  30. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Great interview quotes John. I hadn't heard the Chuck Adams comments before! The last line from Lendl about Becker bunting is priceless! lol. Now I remember it, but i had forgotten!

    Yes, a few experts noted that Lendl was much closer to winning that USO than people give him credit for. He was leading Edberg in the 5th set. He would have had a good chance had he made the final against the ailing Sampras.
     
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  31. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    I should go back and watch that Becker/Lendl match...all I remember is Lendl hit a huge ripping forehand pass towards the end and uncharacteristically posed and pumped for the late night crowd and that Becker looked very tired at the end....
     
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  32. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Gee that's a great but very tough question Galain...and it's too late to really think about it ;-)..I have a couple hundred tapes filled with matches now....so many were good for different reasons.

    I do have certain matches I go back to...but not even necessarily because they were great matches but because of something I appreciated in the tennis itself. Great serving or a certain great stroke....

    Just tonight a student of mine came over and we watched some Agassi/Brugera from the Canadian open. It just popped into my head as he was interested in heavy topspin exchanges on hard court. It was a very very tight battle, the best I ever saw Sergei play on hard court. Both players seemed to enjoy the battle a great deal, though Andre gets an audible obscenity and has quite a bit of conflict with the chair....although he later apologizes and tells the chair he was stressed and feels better now that at least one of the sets has gone his way! Sorry this is way off topic...lol...
    Then we watched a bit of Jim Courier taking a Sampras 1st serve and purposely blasting his forehand at Dana Loconto in the chair(he hits him on the leg). Courier then shows good acting skill feigning innocence!

    Anyways who hit what in the what now? Time for sleep....
     
    #32
  33. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

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    No argument with Serena at all. Conchita yeah, very versatile too. Aranxta hmmmm yes! Come to think of it she relied a helluva lot more on her court coverage than Graf due to her less penetrating strokes. She was damn hard to get the ball by tho. Very interesting thought that one. I'll add the last interview i have in case it is of interest

    1992 U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP
    Flushing Meadows, New York, NY


    September 11, 1992


    S. EDBERG/I. Lendl

    6-3, 6-3, 3-6, 5-7, 7-6 (7-3)


    INTERVIEW WITH



    IVAN LENDL

    Q. Ivan, knowing that you didn't have to play a whole full set, what was your plan in the set?

    IVAN LENDL: Basically, come out there for them, try to pick up my rhythm as quickly as I can.


    Q. Ivan, all the matches in this tournament you lost the first set. Were you concerned at all coming in that--

    IVAN LENDL: That happens sometimes. Sometimes you win the first set easily for a few weeks in a row, and sometimes you don't win it.


    Q. Did you do anything differently out their today?

    IVAN LENDL: No, I haven't figured out a pattern for that yet.


    Q. Was it difficult to come in warm, giving that doubles match that you never knew when you were going to go on?

    IVAN LENDL: Well, when you-- we knew not before 1:30, so that was much easier because of that. And I timed it pretty well. I went out; warmed up only when they were halfway through the third set. So I came back to the lockerroom and it was last game.


    Q. Was the level of play this afternoon about equal to last night?

    IVAN LENDL: No, I think it was better last night. Conditions late in the match last night were much better than today. It was been windy out today. Light was changing because of the clouds and so on and so on. I think we both had better rhythm last night.


    Q. How did that affect you, specifically?

    IVAN LENDL: It is just harder to keep your rhythm because the conditions are changing.


    Q. Is it hard emotionally to get involved in a fifth set? You know, that means right now that you got to get--

    IVAN LENDL: Not really. It is rather easy.


    Q. Did you think that the delay last night when you had to stop was going to either help him or hurt any --

    IVAN LENDL: We both have been through it so many times. It is just one of those things which you have to deal with it. It is not pleasant. It is better to finish the match in one stretch, but things like that happen.


    Q. Did you expect him to maybe not come out a little down after having to lose the four match points yesterday and having had to come--

    IVAN LENDL: As I said, we both have been through it so many times, that you know how it is. If he came out, and I won, everybody would say, yeah, he came back a little bit down after losing four match points yesterday. Now he came back and won and everybody is going to say, yeah, he is really tough mentally. He could have gone five and five and you would have two different answers each time.


    Q. Ivan, given that you had gotten the match points last night, do you feel you were going to run him off there in the fifth set of last night had it not rained in that first--

    IVAN LENDL: I don't think you can feel you are going to run Edberg off easily in the fifth set. He is not a pushover, but it is difficult. Sometimes it happens. Give you two examples, I played him-- I believe two years ago at the Australian. Had two match points in the fourth set. I won it in 5; ran him off 6-3 or something like that in the fifth, and then this year, I won the fourth set in the tiebreaker; then he ran me off of 6-1 in the fifth. So again, it can go either way.


    Q. What is it like to have a whole night off, do you want to avoid thinking too much about what is going to happen today or do you want to use the time to think as much as you can?

    IVAN LENDL: You don't think. You go to sleep. At least, I do. That is the best way to do it.


    Q. By the time you got out of the car, and got home, you were finished thinking about what had transpired and what was about to--

    IVAN LENDL: Pretty much so, yes. Nothing you can do about it, anyhow. Why bother with it?


    Q. What was your feeling or reaction when you saw the forehand net volley crawl over?

    IVAN LENDL: I thought at first actually it dropped on his side, but then I saw it dropped on my side. I said look, you can't let it worry you. You have to keep going.


    Q. Who is going to win this tournament now?

    IVAN LENDL: How do I know?


    Q. You are an expert tennis player, and observer?

    IVAN LENDL: Not Edberg, he doesn't play the way he used to. He just bunts the ball.


    Q. Ivan, on the last shot of the match, did you get frame on the ball, or the --

    IVAN LENDL: It was just the frame. He hit really deep return; it skidded off the court, and I caught it late.


    Q. Were you able not to let it bother you after you saw that, even though you say--

    IVAN LENDL: Yeah, what can you do? I just try to win the next point which fortunately I did. But it wasn't enough.


    Q. After saving those match points last night, and everybody is here and paying attention, it is like you were kind of the grand old man of American tennis, suddenly it seemed like a lot of people were pulling for you. Did you feel any of that at all?

    IVAN LENDL: Not really. You just -- I just try to concentrate on the match, and not what is going on around.


    Q. Do you think he got more aggressive in the last few games on your serve?

    IVAN LENDL: Well, I was trying to do what I thought was right. That is what I tried to tell you the other day. Why should I attack Connors if that is his strength, return of serve is his strength and he likes space; why should I give it to him? Then if I played Becker or Edberg, I think my proper play is to attack and mix it up; then I will do that.


    Q. You had talked prior coming into here that you thought you could always keep on playing well. Playing would come back. Do you feel that you have played-- that you are back to that level that you wanted to through this entire two weeks?

    IVAN LENDL: Well, I would like to be better, of course, because that would mean I would have won this match. But I thought I played pretty well.


    Q. I mean, this is the kind of progress that you were looking for, hoping for?

    IVAN LENDL: I was hoping for more so I can win, but as I said, I thought I played pretty well.


    Q. Ivan, have you ever had a harder run through this tournament, given all the sets you have played, and all the emotional matches or whatever?

    IVAN LENDL: I had really hard round last year. I had tough five setter first round and then fourth setter in the third, and five-setter in the quarters. That is pretty tough.


    Q. How much did you feel the 8th game of this fifth set hurt you? Have you beat him off a -- he had a breakpoint; then you had advantage three times before he finally broke. That was sort--

    IVAN LENDL: I thought that was pretty big. If I had 5-3, it is obviously much better than 4-All, and he played -- I did couple of times what I really wanted to do, and he played some good shots.


    Q. Ivan, what is your feeling about playing Davis Cup for the United States?

    IVAN LENDL: Well, I do not think it is in question at the moment.


    Q. Is it something that you would like to do?

    IVAN LENDL: Well, if I get invited, I will consider it very seriously, and would like to do it. But it is -- I don't think it is a question at the moment.


    Q. Have you ever seen him this emotional?

    IVAN LENDL: Yeah, Stefan gets pretty pumped up. I know you guys don't see, don't know it, or whatever, but I think he is pretty emotional.


    Q. You seemed much more emotional in the Becker match. Was that a right perception, or much more pumped up in that match?

    IVAN LENDL: Well, Stefan was keeping me down pretty much for two and a half sets yesterday, so it is hard to get pumped up when you are getting swept off the court, there is nothing to be pumped about.


    Q. How did you get back in the match then yesterday?

    IVAN LENDL: You just have to keep plugging away, and try to create some opportunities and if he presents you with some, then take it. That is what happened. He presented me with one, then I created another one and took it and all of a sudden, I was serving for the fourth set.


    Q. Ivan, more than a year, without a victory, does this leave you angry? Does it leave you frustrated?

    IVAN LENDL: I don't even think about it. You guys think about it much more than I do. I mean, you worry about it, I am not. It is going to come.


    Q. Thank you very much.
     
    #33
  34. laurie

    laurie Guest

    Greatest strokes? Hmmm

    My picks are:

    Serve - Sampras & Becker
    Forehand volley - Sampras
    Backhand volley - Edberg
    Forehand - Lendl & Sampras
    One handed backhand - Kuerten & Henin Hardenne
    Two handed backhand - Agassi
    Backhand smash - Henman
    Overheads - Sampras
    Stop volleys at net - Sampras
    Drop shots - Coria
    Diving volleys - Becker

    Tym, I agree with you on quality of soundtracks in the 1980s. Tennis played then and now is closer than a lot of younger people would imagine
     
    #34
  35. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,076
    :lol:
    at the Lendl interviews and "bunting the ball"
     
    #35
  36. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    977
    LOL!! Yeah it cracked me up too.
     
    #36
  37. Kevin Patrick

    Kevin Patrick Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    2,025
    Great posts. I agree that many 80s players would be able to hold their own today. Many had the power, but were just more selective in using it(Lendl being a great example) Also, as !Tym pointed out sound/camera angles can really influence one's perception of how hard players are hitting.
    Re: the '92 US Open, Lendl really was ridiculously fit, both mentally & physically even at the end of his career. I remember him beating Yzaga in the 1st round in 5 sets(over 4 1/2 hrs), Connors & the crowd in 4, tough 4 setter with Adams, & Becker in a match that went over 5 hours(though the match time was certainly affected by how much time those guys took in between points) All that just to reach the quarters! Can you imagine how fried many players of today would be after logging that much courtime? His QF match with Edberg was my favorite match of theirs(in one of the alltime best rivalries) It started as a nightmatch, Edberg came out playing like he did in the '91 final, perfect S&V tennis for 2 sets, Lendl pulled out the the next 2(saving match points) before the rain came. The next day Lendl got an early break, was serving for a 5-3 lead, Edberg broke back in a great game, got a crucial netcord volley in the tiebreak(kissed the net after). Would have been interesting to see how Lendl would have played Chang in the SF & Sampras in the finals.
     
    #37

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