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obsessedtennisfandisorder 12-09-2012 08:35 PM

calling NZ fans
 
hey i found this gem with brett steven playing...i know timnz will enjoy this>

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJ-9H16isvc

good performance from steven our last decent player...
pity injuries hit him from 97 just when he was playing well.

galain 12-09-2012 09:26 PM

Nice find! Some great tennis in that clip.

kiki 12-10-2012 01:43 PM

Onny Parun and Chris Lewis were the true last great kiwis.Brian Fairlie and Russell Simpson were pretty competitive at the DC.

I remember Lewis and Simpson against the Swede big team in 1983 at Eastbourne.They could have given them a scarce, but Lewis was just burnt out after his great Wimbledon fortnight.

Pozza 12-10-2012 01:54 PM

When I was growing up it was all Kelly Evernden and Belinda Cordwell.

When they were playing well they gave us Kiwis something to look up to at least.

timnz 12-10-2012 08:21 PM

Brett Steven
 
Yes I remember Brett Steven.

His first serve was not particularly fast, but his first serve % age was very high.

He was the only player to get a set of Richard Kraijcek in the 1996 Wimbledon, even Sampras didn't achieve that distinction in that tournament.

Thanks for the video.

galain 12-10-2012 10:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pozza (Post 7056463)
When I was growing up it was all Kelly Evernden and Belinda Cordwell.

When they were playing well they gave us Kiwis something to look up to at least.

Yes - Kelly Evernden was a fantastic player - especially considering he only had one lung.

I remember the first time I saw him he was due to play a young Boris Becker at (the US Open I think?). Becker had just won Wimby and had so impressed the world all eyes were on him, and Evernden just said "Well, he's just a normal guy like everyone else and I have nothing to lose", and then went out and started blasting from the first point on. He didn't win but he gave a good account of himself.

Goosehead 12-11-2012 10:35 AM

Ok..if any new zealand tennis fans here were about in 1983 could they say if chris lewis's run the the wimbledon final was a big deal for the people there or what ?.

it must have been on at a really early/late time..did you get wimbledon or aust/u.s/french open coverage on tv back then ? :)

Pozza 12-11-2012 01:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Goosehead (Post 7057947)
Ok..if any new zealand tennis fans here were about in 1983 could they say if chris lewis's run the the wimbledon final was a big deal for the people there or what ?.

it must have been on at a really early/late time..did you get wimbledon or aust/u.s/french open coverage on tv back then ? :)

I was 7 so I don't remember it.

I doubt it was televised back then as I can't recall much tennis shown on TV but if it was the daily coverage of Wimbledon wouldn't have started until about 1am.

Goosehead 12-11-2012 01:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pozza (Post 7058198)
I was 7 so I don't remember it.

I doubt it was televised back then as I can't recall much tennis shown on TV but if it was the daily coverage of Wimbledon wouldn't have started until about 1am.

ok thanks, 1am is a bit late if you were 7 :) even if it was on tv.

Bobby Jr 12-11-2012 02:43 PM

Chris Lewis' run at Wimbledon was huge news in NZ for sure. I watched it, although perhaps delayed coverage the next day. I don't remember.

Regarding Brett Steven - he had a respectable career but it was an anomaly for NZ tennis back then. He did have a great run but was plainly too undergunned to be a consistently top player and who didn't realise this until it was too late to make major changes to his game.

Like too many NZers, and indeed top local players all around the world, Steven's dominance of the local scene masked the fact that he was nothing in the bigger scheme of things. NZ players in general didn't train hard or smart enough in their formative years - much of this the result of an rubbish tennis system in New Zealand at the time which was run by people who generally had their own self-preservation at heart and weren't up to the task (talking about Jeff Simpson in particular in case people know of him). Whether this was arrogance or incompetence the key people clutched to their jobs for about 5-10 years too long. The legacy of NZ tennis' coaching system from the late 80s to the 90s was to see the best talent get basically nowhere once they left the junior game to become coaches. NZ had plenty of top junior talent but basically none managed to transition to the senior level.

NZ actually did have some very good coaches and Steven - a good case in point - is an example of someone who eventually pulled things together. After a period of stagnation he went off and got coaching advice elsewhere (and probably a bit of some soul searching) which helped him refocus himself into the areas he needed to work on - mainly that he was a pusher without any weapons other than a good net presence. He improved his serve a little and focussed on a dedicated net-rusher gameplan - which worked enough so that he shot up the rankings with some really respectable wins over a couple of years period. He was still far from a potential ten 10 player but, on his day, he was consistent enough to make his game stick.

His notable success came with an Aussie Open quaterfinal run with a win over Thomas Muster. Other wins elsewhere included over Sampras, Lendl (old man Lendl though), Becker and Agassi... he seemed to sometimes do well against big hitters - I think because he knew he couldn't rally with them so went for winners of most second serves he faced. When you do it enough you'll have some days when it works.

timnz 12-11-2012 03:01 PM

It was huge
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Goosehead (Post 7057947)
Ok..if any new zealand tennis fans here were about in 1983 could they say if chris lewis's run the the wimbledon final was a big deal for the people there or what ?.

it must have been on at a really early/late time..did you get wimbledon or aust/u.s/french open coverage on tv back then ? :)

It was huge. I am 4 years younger than Chris Lewis. It was front page news at the time.....people were saying that it was the best performance ever in tennis by a NZ'er. I disagree with that, because Tony Wildings performances were much greater. Even so, it was very big.

My older brother used to play Lewis in high school. Never beat him though......

Yes we did have coverage of Wimbledon then. No other international tournaments though then :-( New Zealand started to get international tournaments shown starting in the late 80's with NZ Sky TV coming. Now there is everything on.

On the back of that Lewis was able to get Borg to come out for a series of exhibitions with him that December in New Zealand (1983). Lewis won one of the matches and Borg won 2. (Lewis won the one on Grass in Christchurch). My best friend watched Borg practicing during that time - he said at the time that that fulfilled a lifelong ambition to see Borg hit tennis balls.

Bobby Jr 12-11-2012 03:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kiki (Post 7056444)
...Brian Fairlie and Russell Simpson were pretty competitive at the DC.

Not sure what ever became of him after the early 90s but Fairlie was one of the most talented coaches you could ever encounter. He was a tennis genius and ahead of his time. He was approached on a couple of occasions by top players from Europe for short "fix-up" coaching stints. I think he coached Goran Ivanisevic's sister or cousin at some point when she was a promising up-n-comer.

On coaching merit he should have been the main coach for the development programme in NZ but he was not a popularist sort of person - he called things how he saw them and this ruffled too many feathers, especially those of the parents of a few top juniors whose parents had close ties to the the administrators. They just wanted coaches who would tell them how amazing their kids were when they won local tournaments - small-town syndrome.

obsessedtennisfandisorder 12-11-2012 07:14 PM

goods calls bobby jr and timnz
 
yeah..agree with most sentiment there bobby,

mark lewis also seemed a decent coach...

there was a great interview the other day on radiosport here with
michael stich and him...great listening to stich talk about his career.

pretty sure the final (lewis) televised live here in nz but i was too young then too remember ..tvnz pretty much televised it live after that for a few years....until 92 i think cause sky was taking over.

it's hard work here in nz..it seems there are no real top caches left (eg chris lewis went to SoCal)

i think a solution is to work with closer ties with aussie...fares are cheap as
across the tasman these days so why not some top juniors setting up over there.

didn't know you were an kiwi bobby?

erakovic is doing ok but her issues seem physical.

Goosehead 12-11-2012 10:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by timnz (Post 7058358)
It was huge. I am 4 years younger than Chris Lewis. It was front page news at the time.....people were saying that it was the best performance ever in tennis by a NZ'er. I disagree with that, because Tony Wildings performances were much greater. Even so, it was very big.

My older brother used to play Lewis in high school. Never beat him though......

Yes we did have coverage of Wimbledon then. No other international tournaments though then :-( New Zealand started to get international tournaments shown starting in the late 80's with NZ Sky TV coming. Now there is everything on.

On the back of that Lewis was able to get Borg to come out for a series of exhibitions with him that December in New Zealand (1983). Lewis won one of the matches and Borg won 2. (Lewis won the one on Grass in Christchurch). My best friend watched Borg practicing during that time - he said at the time that that fulfilled a lifelong ambition to see Borg hit tennis balls.

thanks..a big event then, tv viewing was sparse here too before satillite tv came in.

Bobby Jr 12-12-2012 01:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by obsessedtennisfandisorder (Post 7058663)
yeah..agree with most sentiment there bobby,

mark lewis also seemed a decent coach...

I played his son recently in doubles actually. He had some hallmarks of having had a very competent coach. Mark achieved great things with Stich for sure.

Quote:

Originally Posted by obsessedtennisfandisorder (Post 7058663)
it's hard work here in nz..it seems there are no real top caches left...

i think a solution is to work with closer ties with aussie...

Or, as is the case with Sacha Jones (sp?) - just become an Aussie ha ha. She'll never get anywhere anyway. She spend a decade in the NZ tennis coaching system and she still serves like a mid-level club player. If I'd been her coach I would not tell anyone, ever.

Quote:

Originally Posted by obsessedtennisfandisorder (Post 7058663)
erakovic is doing ok but her issues seem physical.

Erakovic had some nice results in her injury comeback this year. She just needs to turning those good wins into some sort of momentum (which is easier said that done). Her doubles seems really solid - at some stage if she can't crack singles she should consider switching over permanently.

kiki 12-13-2012 02:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bobby Jr (Post 7058366)
Not sure what ever became of him after the early 90s but Fairlie was one of the most talented coaches you could ever encounter. He was a tennis genius and ahead of his time. He was approached on a couple of occasions by top players from Europe for short "fix-up" coaching stints. I think he coached Goran Ivanisevic's sister or cousin at some point when she was a promising up-n-comer.

On coaching merit he should have been the main coach for the development programme in NZ but he was not a popularist sort of person - he called things how he saw them and this ruffled too many feathers, especially those of the parents of a few top juniors whose parents had close ties to the the administrators. They just wanted coaches who would tell them how amazing their kids were when they won local tournaments - small-town syndrome.

hahaha, right.

Fairlie, like Simposn were honest pros witj limited playing talent.But he was a great doubles player and great doubles men usually have a court perspective that helps them become efficient coaches.

Letīs never forget that Onny Parun, 10 yrs before Lewis, made it to another slam final, the Aussie Open, which he lost to Newcombe over a 4 set battle.Parun was a great fighter and there was no single pro that never respected him.In his book, Borg cites his win over him, in 1972 or 1973 as his first great win on tour, since Parun was a top 20 player by that time, having reached twice the Wimbledon quarterfinals.

BTW, I rememeber watching Chris lewis years before his great Wimbledon run.He was a far better clay court or hard court player than he suposedly was a grass courter.In fact he had no good results on grass before 1982 or 1983.I was surprised he did so well in 1983, not because he was not a really good player, but because I always thought of him as a slow court player.

obsessedtennisfandisorder 12-13-2012 10:29 PM

I assume a bunch of people here have read lewis's "all the way to wimbledon'
it's a great read..almost as good as becker's book i reckon.

goes into detail about his career and why borg was a great player given the technology/courts of the time.

i was reading it again yesterday in the welly public library...he claimed his success had a lot to do with individual drive to succeed.

so i guess at the end of the day tennis authorities can only do so much.

it's about individual teenagers being obsessed with working hard.

pat rafter is a good example...in late 96 he realised he had to work hard.


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