who is the best non tennis pro athlete in tennis

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by schaefferm46, Feb 24, 2005.

  1. schaefferm46

    schaefferm46 Rookie

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    I have always wondered who the best non tennis player athlete is if anybody knows of anyone please post.
     
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  2. Pushmaster

    Pushmaster Hall of Fame

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    Sorry, but I'm not sure if I understand your question? Doesn't make any sense to me. Are you trying to ask who is the worst athlete in pro tennis?
     
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  3. ragnaROK

    ragnaROK Professional

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    I think he's trying to ask who is the best tennis player that isnt a pro.
     
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  4. schaefferm46

    schaefferm46 Rookie

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    Who plays another pro sport that is also good at tennis but not a pro tennis player

    thanks



    micheal
     
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  5. Vlad

    Vlad Professional

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    I heard that Pavel Bure had nice practice sessions with Anna Kournikova. Although he couldn't take more than a game off her...
     
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  6. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    I read a few years ago that Brady Anderson, former Baltimore Orioles CF and boyfriend of Amanda Coetzer, was a 5.0 or better and was considering playing satellite tournaments. I haven't followed the story, though.
     
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  7. ragnaROK

    ragnaROK Professional

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    lucky *******... i'd like to have some nice practice sessions with Kournikova too...
     
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  8. Pushmaster

    Pushmaster Hall of Fame

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    Kinda makes sense that a pro baseball player would be the best non pro tennis player considering the somewhat similar hand and eye coordination requirements.
    Hitting a baseball coming at you at 95mph has got to be one of the most difficult things to do in sports, that's why guys hitting .250 in a stationary position are making 5 million+ a year. The magor difference is pro tennis players are routinely returning 130+ mph serves on the run, just a thought.
     
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  9. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    I have heard Gretzky and Jordan play tennis but not too well. Gretzky has said that he would never have been as good in tennis as he was in hockey.

    I've heard Joe Morgan is quite good and takes his tennis pretty seriously. I remember reading an article where it was said that he could probably get a national ranking in his age group if could play more tournaments.

    I know several other hockey players are said to play, but I don't think any play particularly well.

    I watched Peggy Flemming play John Mcenroe in mixed doubles once...lol. She looked like an OK club player. Though her best contribution to the match was being the butt of Mcenroe's tongue in cheek sexist jokes.

    I've heard of many NBA'ers playing, I think Joe Dumars is supposed to be fairly good.
     
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  10. Newby

    Newby Rookie

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    How good are Dr. Phil and Matthew Perry from "friends"? I always see them in celebrity matches.
     
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  11. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    A guy I play with has played with Mathew Perry. Says he's okay. Crazy looking serve but if it's on, could be decent. Useful in doubles, said I'd probably beat him like 6-2, 6-2 if he's playing good. I'm 5.5.

    Shannon Elizabeth supposedly played some decently high level tennis at one, or so she claims. And the blonde from 8 Rules for Dating My Daughter, too.
     
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  12. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Mathew Perry is quite good. Probably the best actor...I believe he was ranked something like #14 in doubles in Canada at one point early in the juniors.

    Lars Ulrich is also pretty good and I've heard Shannon Elizabeth is pretty good.

    Paul Sorving claims to be unbelievably good, but his claims are a bit too outlandish....probably something like Dustin Hoffman who claims to be 5.0...but is in reality reported to be anywhere between 3.5-4.0.

    Also, Harrison Ford, Bill Cosby, Elton John, Alan Alda, Tracey Gold, Carlos Santana, Seal and many others are said to be avid players.
     
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  13. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    A guy on my team hit with Harrison Ford. Said he could keep the ball in play, wasn't impressed.

    This NFL coach was supposed to be really good. The bald black dude? Ugh. Can't remember.
     
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  14. Shaolin

    Shaolin Legend

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    Joe Dumars
     
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  15. andfor

    andfor Legend

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    #15
  16. aj_m2009

    aj_m2009 Professional

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    Gavin Rosdale(sp?) is pretty good. I saw him play at the Evert charity event in doubles, he had a pretty fast serve and seemed to volley well.
     
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  17. Deuce

    Deuce Banned

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    Yeah - one would think so...

    That's why I was quite surprised when I brought a couple of Major League ball players to a tennis court - about 10 years ago - and found that they were terrible tennis players. These professional athletes were quite unathletic and awkward on the tennis court. One even walked off in embarrassment (and he hit .300 one year in the Majors). The other guy (still in the Majors) lost two balls over the fence in 30 minutes. After that I was the one who quit, as it was torture.

    Comparatively, I - a non-professional tennis player - could (and did) drill with them on the baseball diamond without looking out of place.

    I think tennis requires an unusual and/or unique ability which is very different than the ability required for any other sport. Is it my imagination, or do we see really bad tennis players in celebrity tournaments, etc. far more than we see really bad celebrity golfers, or really bad celebrity baseball (softball) players? The only other sport where I see worse celebrity talent than in tennis is in hockey - but that's easily explained in that most of them have never learned how to skate.
     
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  18. HookEmJeff

    HookEmJeff Semi-Pro

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    Since John Lucas actually played college tennis for Maryland, I don't think he qualifies for your "best non tennis player athlete" here. By the way, Dr. Phil's game is a JOKE. All you have to do is check out that Serving for Tsunami thing on The Tennis Channel. ****-eyed serve, no movement. Like his advice, his tennis game is VERY basic (i.e. he's not good at all).
    Lars Ullrich, the drummer from Metallica was supposedly a good player once, and I saw him at a tennis exo once. I'd say he was a decent 4.0 player. Every celebrity I've seen play tennis from George Bush (41) to Lance Armstrong really stinks, quite honestly. I've never seen Matthew Perry play.
    I guess we should start a new thread here, since we're on the celebrity thing. What celebrity would you most like to peg, if his/her doubles partner left you a high floater and this celebrity was in your crosshairs?
    Despite her being a girl, I think I'd go right at Paris Hilton. Her 15 minutes of fame should've been up long ago, and she is so trashy and dingy. Either her or that annoying Gilbert Gottfried dude.

    Jeff
     
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  19. aj_m2009

    aj_m2009 Professional

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    I wouldn't think so. Baseball players are really trying to hit the ball as hard and as far back as they can as where tennis players have to keep it in a lot smaller area. My brother-in-law came to play tennis with me and my dad one time and he kept hitting the ball over the fence. He kept saying that he just tried to hit it hard because that is what he did when he played baseball.
     
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  20. Deuce

    Deuce Banned

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  21. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Yes, I recall hearing that Torben once sat staring at the locker room wall for a very long time....when somebody asked him what he was doing....I think he said something about experiencing being the wall or some such metaphysical mumbo jumbo....lol

    Lars I recall was a good player in his native country but when he moved to L.A. he realized "he wasn't even the best player on his block".....later when watching a rock band play a small gig in a bar he realized that they were probably something like the number 500 band in the world, but that their gig was a lot better than being the number 500 tennis player....so he started a band....worked out OK....
     
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  22. peter

    peter Professional

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    Bode Miller perhaps?
     
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  23. Camilio Pascual

    Camilio Pascual Hall of Fame

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    Deuce has a point. I was really surprised that so many people said basketball helped them the most with tennis as opposed to baseball/softball. It makes sense. I used to play with a lot of Ohio State football players years ago. They initially looked clumsy, and then very quickly adapted their football footskills to the tennis court. Big football players can dart around the court a lot better than you might think.
     
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  24. andfor

    andfor Legend

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    Since we are now disqualifying nominees like John Lucas who played college tennis even though he is a NBA HOF'er and now full-time basketball coach, I disqualify Lars Ulrich. He trained at Bollitierii's. LOL ;)
     
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  25. andfor

    andfor Legend

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    The great US President George Bush II was supposed to be a 5.0 at one time.

    He's my pick as the best tennis player among all world leaders.
     
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  26. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    JANE FONDA, AND THAT ANNOYING FEMALE COMEDIAN WITH GLASSES AND FAT FACE (SHE WAS IN THE MOVIE SINGLES, I FORGET HER NAME). ALSO, ROSIE O'DONNEL!
     
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  27. joe sch

    joe sch Legend

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    John Lucas was an AA in both tennis & bball at UofMD, he also played and coached pro tennis !
     
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  28. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    The author's question makes it sound like he's asking which pro tennis player is the most talented athlete in a sport other than tennis. Federer's good at table tennis.
     
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  29. 357sig

    357sig New User

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    Pat Summeral, the NFL announcer was a # 1 in his state as a junior but played football instead . also the guy on Hill Street Blues for us older farts out there is a bonofide 5.5 player he was the black partner with the chubby white guy that patroled the streets together, he was also a starter on the UCLA football team, sorry, I cannot remember his name but he is still acting on tv shows , around 50 years old now
     
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  30. Kevin Patrick

    Kevin Patrick Hall of Fame

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    Deuce,
    so what if your MLB players looked awkward & clumsy(there are a ton of past & present tennis pros whose athleticism is pretty awkward, they just have been working on the technical aspects of tennis from birth), I don't think that has any bearing on their tennis if they chose to work on it. How many years have you spent working on your game? As we all know the game is harder to master if you start at a later age.
    I wouldn't be surprised if those MLB player had never picked up a racquet before in their life(& I doubt they ever had/ever would have an interest in the sport) Athletes are athletes. If Michael Jordan or A-Rod(the real A-Rod) started playing tennis at the age of 6-7(like virtuously every pro tennis player) I have no doubt that they would be pro level players(& take the athleticism of the sport to new heights)
     
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  31. andfor

    andfor Legend

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    Uppp, since we have rules now, Pat Summerall doesn't count, he played tennis at U. of Arkansas.

    http://archive.profootballweekly.com/content/archives2001/features_2001/wallace_091701.asp

    Good pick in my book though.
     
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  32. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

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    Lucas in his prime, but right now it's Bode Miller.
     
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  33. raftermania

    raftermania Banned

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    I don't normally watch the Ellen Degeneres show but I caught a segment where she was being interviewed and she said she was a very successful high school tennis player.
     
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  34. USCfan

    USCfan Professional

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    Yeah, I heard Bode's really good.
     
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  35. coach

    coach Semi-Pro

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    In high school I batted over .500 on JV and when I moved to Varsity pitching, my average fell to below .200 - the big difference was picking up the curve ball. I couldn't recognize and adjust to it in the 60 feet from the pitchers mound. In tennis, I have no problem with kick serves and spins because I can recognize them in advance by the toss and motion. I agree though, major hand/eye coordination in both sports.
     
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  36. Brettolius

    Brettolius Professional

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    who in god's name is bode miller? forgive my ignorance.... shannon elizabeth, i know her. love to play some dubs with her...ya' man!
     
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  37. Deuce

    Deuce Banned

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    I'd give you a million dollars, Kevin, if either of the two Major League ball players I took to the court would have ever reached the 4.0 level. The necessary attributes simply weren't there. You can tell right away when you look at someone on a tennis court whether they have true potential or not - and these guys simply didn't.

    I totally disagree that a great athlete can excell in just about any sport. The capacities required for given sports are simply too diverse. It wouldn't surprise me at all if Deion Sanders and Bo Jackson - professionals in both baseball and football - looked extremely awkward on a tennis court.

    As for myself, I first picked up a racquet at the not so young age of 14. And right away, I was rather adept at playing the game. I recall my first day playing, where I was invited to play doubles with a group I had seen at the courts frequently (the courts were just beyond my friend's backyard). On this, my first day of tennis, armed with an $8 racquet, I was at least as good as the rest of them - an observation which was made by them, as well. I took to the game very naturally. I never took naturally to soccer or basketball, however.

    To me, the skills required in tennis are vastly different than are the skills in most other sports. This isn't to say that tennis is more difficult or less difficult - but that it is simply quite unique among sports in that it requires a combination of elements and capacities not found in other sports.
     
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  38. raftermania

    raftermania Banned

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    Deuce are you implying that people were born to play tennis???

    This just in! Geneticists locate the elusive tennis gene, present in only the most elite, powerful and omnipotent humans!!!

    Just being facecious, I have to agree with you that Tennis has mechanics which are very very different then other sports, even other racquet sports.
     
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  39. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    I would agree that sporting success in one field doesn't necessarily translate to success in another. I played professional Aussie rules for about 16 years and competed at state level in athletics but Im just an average 3.5ish kind of tennis player. Admittedly I didnt learn to play until I was 14 then had a long break until I hit 30 but the reasons why I was successful in Aussie Rules just dont easily transfer to tennis. I think, if Id started tennis at a very young age, the most I could have achieved based on athletic ability, 'will to win' and competitive drive was a 5.0-5.5 rating. That next step up requires an indefinable 'something' that differs from sport to sport.
     
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  40. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    357, is the black guy on Hill St. Blues the starting pt. guard for UCLA in 1969, Michael Warren, played Bobby Hill? Never knew he was that good in tennis.
     
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  41. legolas

    legolas Banned

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    matthew perry, wasnt he on his high school team
     
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  42. Steve Huff

    Steve Huff Legend

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    Agree with Joe Dumars. I think he's a 5.5 player. As quick as he was on the Bball court, I'd imagine it would be tough to get a ball by him.
     
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  43. Tennis_Monk

    Tennis_Monk Hall of Fame

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    I thought KimClijsters said in an interview that she plays Badminton very good.
     
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  44. bcaz

    bcaz Professional

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    There are a few I know of -- I played league singles at my club against Garth Jax, who played linebacker in the NFL for 11 years and is now a bit over 40, I believe. He is strong, fast and agile, tons of power, a legitimate 3.5-4.0 who would be rated higher with more consistency -- but he'd rather play basketball ...

    Chris Speier played shortstop in the big leagues for 18-19 years and is a member at my club. He's about 55 now. Word is he moved from a virtual novice to 4.5 in 6-8 weeks, which is hard to believe. I don't know his tennis background, but from what I've seen he's a strong, legit 4.0, maybe a 4.5.

    Connie Hawkins belongs to a different club in town and is supposed to be good but I've never seen him play. The Hawk must be in his mid-60s at least.

    I read somwhere that Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant is a 4.5; can any of you blokes in the UK confirm?
     
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  45. goober

    goober Legend

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    Probably a local urban myth which is greatly exaggerated. If Pete Sampras never played tennis at all and picked up a racquet at age 55 for the first time no way he would be a 4.5 in 6-8 weeks.
     
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  46. pound cat

    pound cat G.O.A.T.

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    Elton John is a non-athlete who managed to serve OK and return a few balls in WTT a while ago. He probably was very very nervous playing tennis on TV.
     
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  47. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    The way he plays should wear a skirt
     
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  48. Mr.Federer

    Mr.Federer Hall of Fame

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    Apparently Sergei Federov is a pretty good tennis player aswell...
     
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  49. mellofelow

    mellofelow Semi-Pro

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    Ernie Els. He won a major junior tennis tournament at age 13. But at 14 he was a scratch golfer. He now has 3 majors on the PGA tour and more $$$ than anyone in tennis... smart choice
     
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  50. goober

    goober Legend

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    Earnie Els career prize earnings: $36.4 million + 16.million/year endorsement
    Agassi- career prize earnings:$31 million + $28 million/year endorsements.
     
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