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Old 04-13-2012, 07:01 AM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 4,317

I liked Okker very much, too. And saw him plenty of times on Dutch television, while playing the Hilversum (clay) and Rotterdam (indoors) tournaments, and as a kid live at Cologne on a WCT event. On this first WCT 20 tournament series in 1971, he finished second behind Laver but ahead of Rosewall, Ashe and Newcombe. He was very fast and a creative and flamboyant shotmaker. His topspin forehand from the wrong foot was called by non other than Fred Perry the best of his time (i think in a book on the top pro strokes by Tennis Magazine with comments by John Alexander). What he lacked was a bit of penetration on the serve and the volley - a bit like Gerulaitis later, but with a much better forehand. On that Cologne event, i saw him play doubles with Riessen against Emerson and Laver. A few times he left the two Aussies stranded at the net, when he hit those unbelievable topspin lobs over their heads. They didn't event bother to run back, because they knew this shot so well.
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