|11-10-2013, 03:59 AM||#1|
Hall Of Fame
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Bradenton, FL
Miloslav Mecir interview
Found this gem with the old Czech Master Mecir. Very unique player who had the capacity to beat the big time Swedes in so many big events. Unfortunately Mecir,, two time Gslam finalist and 88 OLY gold medalist had his fine career shortened by a back problem..
First Tennis Memory: “I started very, very young. And I look at friends playing tennis. I just remember playing tennis against the wall.”
Tennis Inspirations: “Mostly watching the big matches in the beginning, like U.S. Open. They showed finals of Wimbledon in our country. So that was an inspiration. I like very much the way some players played – Borg, McEnroe, Connors – when I was still young. Then I have the chance to meet them.”
First Famous Player You Met Or Encountered: “I can’t remember if I met any personally or when I came to the tournaments and met them. For me it was very special. My grandmother made my style from the west. She showed me things in the newspapers and on TV about Connors. I had the same style Connors used to have. The first big player I played against was in Philadelphia against Connors. Being on court with him – I never had the idea before that I could be on the same court. Those days as a kid.”
Greatest Sports Moment: “I don’t know. I remember very well the first club tournament we played, each tournament, championship of the city, the region. Every tournament that I could manage to win or to pass me to the next level was very important. I think one without the other would be nothing. But probably Grand Slam finals (’86 US Open and ’89 Australian Open) would probably be the most.”
Most Painful Moment: “Probably when I had to stop. Sometimes you had bad matches, sometimes you lose. But when I had the bad back and I had to go to surgery I realized I didn’t have it all and I was having more problems. That was hard to get used to it for a while. The end of the career was something I was a little bit sad about. But life is like that [smiles].”
Funny Tennis Memory: “Don’t have anything really special. I think I took it as a job. There was really no time to laugh. In the game I met nice people and I played so that I could see all the world, cultures around the world. How the other people live. So it was nice.”
Strangest Match: “So many of them. Sometimes you feel the match is won and you lose it. Sometimes you’re out of it and you win. I had a very tough match at U.S. Open. I was playing first round so I didn’t know the other player very well. I was losing two sets to love down and 5-2 in the third set and I managed to win.”
Embarrassing Tennis Memory: “No.”
Closest Tennis Friends: “Mainly our guys from Czechoslovakia. We spend a lot of time together on and off the court. And I was good friends with Michael Chang. We went fishing together. His mother was cooking a little bit. Mainly, the guys we spend more time together. Some strange guys as well, it was fun to meet the guys all the time.”
Funniest Players Encountered: “I think the most comedic on the court was – he now does exhibitions on the court – Bahrami. I don’t think I ever met any real comedians on the court. Everybody was trying hard.”
Why Do You Love Playing Tennis: “I like sports from a young age. I like all sports. Ice hockey – we have very good tradition for ice hockey. I follow the Olympics Games all the time from a young age. We had a big field behind the house. I like doing any sport. I did some basketball, athletics. I tried to compete with my older brother and his friends. Then I had some good results. Then in my age category I was successful and it was one like the other – with success came the appetite. So I like the sport. It’s a good opportunity to meet the guys and show that you know something [smiles].”
Favorite Tournament: “Hard to say. Usually the one I was making good results. It took me a while to get used to U.S. Open. I came here as a junior, with quite a high ranking as a junior. I was seeded here and I lost first round. So it was a hard time for me to learn on cement, the hard courts. I was grown on clay courts and similarly, grass. Everything took time. Some tournaments took me a while. But after a good time at the tournament I started to like it also.”
Favorite Sport Outside Tennis: “Not really one special one. Usually the ball sports, hockey. Skiing also, like downhill, not cross country [smiles]. Swimming. The motor sports as well, white water canoeing. I didn’t do it myself. They took me on the raft couple times on the channel. It’s a tradition in Czechoslovakia. On the small raft or kayak. I like that very much. It’s a little bit different.”
Favorite Players To Watch: “These days are boring. But there is always a good match when you have two different players – Borg-McEnroe or Connors-McEnroe. These days the top guys Murray or Djokovic or Nadal playing against each other is very high level. One has good touch, one has good legs, one has good stategy.”
People Qualities Most Admired: “I think everybody is original. You’re better with some types of people than others. I think everyone is original. Everyone is something special [smiles].”
Career Accomplishments: ’88 Olympic gold medalist in singles and bronze medalist in doubles; Reached career high ATP ranking of Number 4; Won eleven career singles titles and nine in doubles; Won the ATP WCT Finals at Madison Square Garden in ’87; Son Miloslav Mecir Jr. now competes on the ATP Tour.
"With success came the appetite."
"It may not be humanly possible for another female to come along who plays better tennis and competes harder than Serena Williams."