What’s up with all this sick French Open fascination?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by dudero, Feb 8, 2006.

  1. dudero

    dudero New User

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    Who’s currently the best male player in world? (I’ll give you a hint – it’s Roger Federer). Who was the best player before Federer? Pete Sampras. They have combined for 0 French Open final appearances while winning at least 2 of each of other grand slams. And for some reason I don’t think it’s coincidence. Let’s face it – clay court tennis is about endurance, not about skill. If you enjoy watching 5 hours of Montilla vs. Montanes – fine, it’s your prerogative. But enough crying already that Sampras, Federer, MCcenroe, Connors not winning French open is something negative – I have even more respect for them since they never did win Fraud Open.
     
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  2. norcal

    norcal Hall of Fame

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    I've read a lot of strange stuff on this board and that statement ranks right up there.
     
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  3. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    Man, what a troll sounding post.

    Winning Roland Garros is quite the accomplishment. Hats off to those that have done it more than once.

    dudero - do you just turn a blind eye when the players hit the dirt?
     
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  4. ezdude1970

    ezdude1970 Semi-Pro

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    I agree with Dudero’s post. For me watching the Dirt Open matches it is like staring at the pendulum for 5 hours straight, don’t get me wrong, it might be more exciting than just staring at the wall, but I could find couple other things to do to occupy my time. It is just unfortunate that the dirt season lasts for the agonizing 5 month, and we have to suffer thru praises to yet another Sancho Panzo that came out of nowhere and now is the greatest thing since slice bread. Wake me up the week before the Wimbledon when the real tennis begins!
     
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  5. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    Is that a racist comment?
     
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  6. norcal

    norcal Hall of Fame

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    I think Sancho Panzo is a character from the book Don Quixote.
     
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  7. Galactus

    Galactus Banned

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    I kind of agree...and I don't.
    True, watching cklay-court tennis can get rather dull but you have to face facts: is it one the most common surfaces in the world.
    For me, the last true al'-round tennis players to 'own' Rolland Garros were Mats Wilander and Ivan Lendl in the 80s.
    Forget Kuerten and Brugera: they didn't do s*h*t on any other surface, bar clay.
     
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  8. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Dud, like it or don't, you best learn to love dirt/slow surfaces. Your fast court season lasts about 8-10 weeks now.
     
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  9. Colpo

    Colpo Professional

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    I think you're wrong about the French. It's a great event, it's a Slam, and it's in a showcase world city (uh, Paris). Unlike the Australian Open, the French has never had a 'down' period, although it is and has been generally regarded as the 3rd of the 4 Slams. Clay court tennis, in this power laden age, is very entertaining to watch because the points have to be developed and they're easier to follow strategy-wise (anybody see either of Acasuso's sf or f victories in Chile last weekend? - that's balling!). Finally, it would be an extraordinary accomplishment for Federer to add this title to his list, because it's probably his least best surface and because it's the favorite surface of so many other players. I admire Roger's goal and am looking forward to see how the spring develops.
     
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  10. Shaolin

    Shaolin Hall of Fame

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    Clay is an important surface throughout the world. Its possible that the majority of tennis worldwide is played on clay. If youre going to complain about something, complain about grass. The grass court season=1 month and 4 tournaments. And our most prestigious major is played on it. Thats a joke.
     
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  11. jgunnink

    jgunnink New User

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    I'll be tuning in to see if Roger can pull it off. If he does, he clearly distinguishes himself from Sampras et. al. as the consummate all-surface player.

    When was the last time we had one of those? Agassi's the only man in recent history to do a career slam.

    Roger almost did it last year. I felt Nadal caught him on an off day and it was still a 5 setter. I think it's exciting.
     
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  12. Galactus

    Galactus Banned

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    So why can't clay-courters do jack-**** on hard-court, grass or carpet? :confused:
     
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  13. spinbalz

    spinbalz Hall of Fame

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    Don't you remember Agassi?
     
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  14. Galactus

    Galactus Banned

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    Yeah - he had ONE win against a guy who got to ONE final in his entire career. Even worse, that guy couldnt shut Agassi out at 2 sets up. :rolleyes:

    Both Wilander and Lendl won Garros 3 times each.
     
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  15. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    I (partially) agree with the OP.

    When the French Open is on TV, I get lots more done than with any other Slam event. Because I mostly *listen* to the French and get my work done. I listen for the announcers to get excited about a particular point and watch the (usually abbreviated ... Yea!) replay of that point.

    I love most clay events. I don't like the "clay" they use in Roland Garros. It is not just too slow; it's BORING.

    Har-Tru and Rubico (the American green clays) are my favorite surfaces of all....

    - KK
     
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  16. Rataplan

    Rataplan Semi-Pro

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    Nope, it was a 4 setter
     
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  17. spinbalz

    spinbalz Hall of Fame

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    No, he had 1 win against the rest of the ATP field composed of the 128 best players of the moment, like every other winner of every other Slam event, it doesn't take a genius to be able to understand that! :rolleyes:

    And you can add 2 FO finals for Agassi, which says much about his ability to compete on clay.
     
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  18. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    Yup. I agree with spinbalz.

    Chang broke the "no USA man since Trabert" curse.

    Do I sense the start of the "no USA man since Agassi"......?


    Perhaps the OP has something against the French?
     
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  19. yo_3133

    yo_3133 Rookie

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    i agree, fed can win in clay, and if you're good enough to be the best ever you must be able to win in all sorts of courts
     
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  20. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    I don't have more respect for Sampras, Fed, etc. for NOT winning RG, and would certainly have more respect if they HAD won it. Otherwise, I agree with the rest of this post.

    RG is one of the Majors and it is a big part of professional tennis, but it truely does bring out the one-dimensional no-names who seem to, amazingly, disappear completely after RG. But...this subject has been debated ad naseum on this Board!
     
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  21. donnyz89

    donnyz89 Hall of Fame

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    I think French is a tough surface for anyone to win. The best fitted player will come out on top, thats why you dont often see one player dominating the french because it all comes down to on court fitness and how one player feels that day. The best trained players will last the longest. This just makes federer winning it so much sweeter. I think he will win it.
     
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  22. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    Borg was great.
     
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  23. FalconX

    FalconX Rookie

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    haha. I learned tennis on clay (grew up outside the US). I love sliding around on the dirt. To me it's an art. Dirt adds a new dimension to the game. it's the only surface when during a single point players can switch between from defence to offence 3-4 times. You have to use all your tennis skills to win on clay. Got to have the touch, and the all the big shots. Most of these clay courters are even better volleyers than most American players these days (except Dent). With the new racquet technology even the serve is important. You see a guy like Verkerk make it all the way up to the final with his big serve beating along the way the most proficient of clay courters in Coria.
     
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  24. FalconX

    FalconX Rookie

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    As if wimbledon doesn't have their Alexander Popp and Ivo Karlovic types who probably couldn't win a single point from back of the court against average college players in the US.

    Talk about one-dimensional...
     
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  25. FalconX

    FalconX Rookie

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    That one-dimensional greaser won exactly 3 championships @ wimbledon only 2 weeks after beating everyone on the clay courts of Paris.
     
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  26. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    Don't forget Wayne Arthurs. But against COLLEGE PLAYERS? That's stretching it a bit. I hear you though, but there are a lot...A LOT more clay savvants than there are grass ones. Scores of them.
     
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  27. arosen

    arosen Hall of Fame

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    Having more respect for players that DONT win the French? Some twisted logic here. I loved watching Henman go all the way to the semis at the French, he served and volleyed ( how crazy was THAT?) his way up the draw and guess what, Verkerk wasn't exactly your classic clay grinder either. All this whining about French being boring, the whiners watch the wrong matches.
     
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  28. Steve Huff

    Steve Huff Legend

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    Borg never won the US Open though. I don't think he even went to many (if any) Australian Opens. Lendl never won Wimbledon. Connor, although he never won the French, did win the US Open when it was played on clay. He's the only player to win the US Open on all 3 surfaces (clay, grass, and hard courts). Laver won the Grand Slam twice, so I guess that would make him one of the top, if not THE top, player ever.
     
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  29. Max G.

    Max G. Hall of Fame

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    Nah, you think??? ;-) I would've never guessed!

    Well, upon careful analysis, maybe he does... nah, can't be.





    (sorry, couldn't resist the sarcastic comment.)
     
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  30. jgunnink

    jgunnink New User

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    You're right, Rog did lose in 4 to Nadal. My bad.

    I loved Henman's run at the French. So unlikely and yet he didn't give up even to the end.

    If Sampras had gotten to just one final there I could feel that he tried. Maybe with the new racquet technology he could have, since, as someone else said, the serve has become more important at RG.

    As for Laver's slams - not to diminish, but I believe several of slams were grass courts then (I thought at least the u.s. open was).

    Not to ask a stupid question, but has RG been red clay forever?
     
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  31. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    Yes. It has.
     
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  32. jgunnink

    jgunnink New User

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    I just looked this up, turns out the red clay has been there since 1928:

    The French Open began as a national tournament in 1891. In 1925, the French Championships opened itself to international competitors with the event held on a grass surface alternatively between the Racing Club de France and the Stade Français. For the 1928 Davis Cup challenge, a new tennis stadium was built at Porte d’Auteuil. Named for a hero of World War I, the new Stade Roland Garros, and Court Philippe Chatrier, was built with a red clay (terre battue) playing surface, one which alters the ball's bounce and the player's approach to the match vis-à-vis grass courts. As such, over the years, clay court specialists have evolved who often succeed here whilst higher ranked players may struggle like the great champion Pete Sampras and current World No. 1 Roger Federer who won every other Grand Slam several times but never the French Open. As of 2006, the last six, 8 of the last 9, 11 of the last 13, and 13 of the last 17 French Open men's singles championships were won by men who did not win any other Grand Slam tournament. On the female side of tennis, the French Open is the title that has prevented players such as Lindsay Davenport from achieving a career Grand Slam and in 1997, it was the only Grand Slam that a 16-year old Martina Hingis failed to win.
     
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  33. fishuuuuu

    fishuuuuu Hall of Fame

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    Actually ... any match regardless of the surface is won by skill. Federer winning one would show that he had not only skill but also endurance to conquer clay court specialists, something Sampras was unable to do.
     
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  34. sandiegotennisboy

    sandiegotennisboy Banned

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    i like the FO better than wimpy-don
     
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  35. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    True but Wimbledon has never had one of these one-dimensional types actually win the whole thing. While the French has Gomez, Bruguera, Muster, Costa, etc. Guys who never did anything outside of the French. At least Krajicek, Stich, Ivanisevic have had good results at the other slams.
    A guy like Mariono Puerta(who I believe had 2 wins total on hardcourts before the French) almost won the French last year. No way would Karlovic or Popp get anywhere near the final at Wimbledon.
     
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  36. ACE of Hearts

    ACE of Hearts G.O.A.T.

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    I think Fed knows that a french open title would separate him from Sampras.I will say that Fed is already a better clay courter then Sampras was.It will be interesting too see these masters series clay tournaments leading up to the french open.Its about indurance like someone mentioned.
     
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  37. Gustavo Kuerten (BRA )

    Wimbledon, England
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    --------------
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    ---------------------------------

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    ------------------------------

    Indianapolis, IN, U.S.A.
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    R64 Bye, () N/A
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    -------------------

    Tennis Masters Cup, Lisbon, Portugal
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    S Sampras, Pete (USA ) 3 6-7(5) 6-3 6-4
    W Agassi, Andre (USA ) 8 6-4 6-4 6-4

    ---------------------------
    Cincinnati TMS, Ohio, USA
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    Q Henman, Tim (GBR ) 7 3-6 6-1 7-5
    S Ivanisevic, Goran (CRO ) 11 1-6 6-3 6-2
    F Rafter, Patrick (AUS ) 4 2-4

    ------------------------
    US Open, NY, U.S.A.
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    R16 Costa, Albert (ESP ) 41 6-4 6-4 7-6(7)
    Q Kafelnikov, Yevgeny (RUS ) 8 4-6 6 3-6
     
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  38. ACE of Hearts

    ACE of Hearts G.O.A.T.

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    I think Guga is definetly the exception, the guy has one of the best backhands.I want to see him compete at Wimbledon this year.Come on Guga!That backhand is lethal, especially on grass!
     
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  39. Defcon

    Defcon Hall of Fame

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    The worst thing about clay court tennis is these so called 'clay specialists' who have no hope of competing on any other surface, and instead of making an effort, usually withdraw and whine about Wimbledon not giving them the proper seeding they 'deserve'. The typical clay court game consists of endless looping topspins, waiting for an unforced error, with an occasional drop shot thrown in to spice things up.

    Thankfully this has changed with players like Nalby, Ferrero and Nadal who have all court games and actually have a stated aim of winning other slams.

    However I will say that the neutralizing aspect of clay allows some (a very few some) to play smart, tactical tennis and not get overpowered. I don't think we'd have Fabrice Santoro's if they didn't have clay to develop their game.
     
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  40. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    Remember, Federer grew up on clay. Sampras didn't.

    Although that didn't stop Chang, Courier, and Agassi.

    Would have been nice if all of the fab four could have had RG titles.
     
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  41. FalconX

    FalconX Rookie

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    Muster, Ferrero, Coria, Kuerten have all had good results in other slams. Neither Krajicek nor Ivanisevic reached a final at any other slam. The two of them might have reached 2 semis besides wimbledon. It's a bigger shock to me that someone like Goran after 3 years of doing virtually nothing can still come back and win wimbledon.
     
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  42. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    Ahh, the beauty of tennis ;)
     
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  43. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    Ok, Falcon let me put it this way. Wimbledon champs Sampras, Stich, Becker, Edberg, Krajicek all made the semis of the French, their worst surface. Do you honestly believe Muster, Bruguera, Costa, Puerta, Nadal, Ferrero, Coria etc could ever realistically make the semis of Wimbledon? That's what I mean by one-dimensional.
     
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  44. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    That's a good point.

    But, where's the motivation? There are so many clay court events that players can make a lot in earnings and boost their rankings (Rios) being clay court specialists. Hence the term.
     
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  45. FalconX

    FalconX Rookie

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    Which proves what?That clay court specialists' game is perhaps less adaptable to grass than is fast court players game to clay.Which begs the question: is French open more exciting than Wimbledon since so many players with different style of play could make deep runs into the tournament?
     
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  46. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    [KK shakes his head....]

    Wow! [size=-2]I agree with Moose.[/size]

    Did you people just feel the Earth *wobble* just a little?

    - KK
     
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  47. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    "French Open" and "exciting" don't belong in the same sentence. (But to answer your question) "No" the FO isn't more exciting than Wimby -- ever.

    - KK
     
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  48. FalconX

    FalconX Rookie

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    And again as far as one-dimensional is concerned I still maintain that those types of players who depend so much on their serve are the most one-dimensional ones.

    Anyone remember that match Agassi played against Rusedski in canada last year?I think Rusedski must have only won 3 or 4 points on Agassi serve. And it wasn't that Andre was serving well. He was getting balls back into play, but he just couldn't win a point chiping and charging or playing from the baseline. It was incredibly embarassing. Karlovic, Philippoussis (although he can occasionally crack a winner), and even roddick have far more one-deminsional games. Once you take their serves away, they can barely do a thing to win a point.
     
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  49. FalconX

    FalconX Rookie

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    I think many people in South America, western Europe, russia and even some Scandinavia disagree. FO is the one they wanna watch and win. But you're entitled to your opinion.

    For me personally I think Australia has had some of the finest matches in recent years. That's the one I really find exciting. I don't really like Wimbledon.
     
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  50. dudero

    dudero New User

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    Falcon, how could you forget about Japan, where every little boy's dream is to be like their hero - Kabayashi, and eat 60 hotdogs in 3 minutes...
     
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