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Old 01-08-2010, 04:48 PM   #27
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 5,532

This is from Times Online, published in June 2004:

Those of us who stayed deep into a grey Wimbledon evening to watch the 1992 quarter-final were witness not just to a humiliating demolition of Boris Becker’s serve, but a seismic shift in the balance of power between the baseliners and the serve-volleyers. Bjorn Borg had shown what mental resolve and brilliant athleticism could achieve from the back of the court, but that was before rackets became lighter and more powerful. A lanky left-hander from Croatia called Goran Ivanisevic served a record 206 aces in those 1992 championships, 37 of them in the final, which he lost to Agassi, but the way Agassi picked Becker’s serve and hammered it back past him on the rise left a lasting impression on the game. Every kid on every court wanted to play like Agassi, and although Sampras usually had Agassi’s measure at Wimbledon, the numbers of genuine serve-volleyers in the game has continued to dwindle. Only a few years later, at the Oktoberfest in Munich, when Becker was winding down to retirement and the pair were sharing a few beers, did Agassi reveal the secret of his excellent record against the three-time Wimbledon champion (Agassi won 10 of their 14 matches).

“If you look at the early tapes, as Boris goes into his service action,” Agassi recalls, “just as he puts his racket up, he puts his tongue out. When the tongue was in the middle, he was serving down the middle of the deuce court or into the body; when his tongue was off to the side, he was serving out wide. It was the reverse for the ad court. Hey, you look for any advantage you can get.” Becker, who with McEnroe became one of Agassi’s few friends on tour, still laughs at the indignity of it.
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