Good Interview w/PMAC (Nadal, Monfils, Nalbandian)

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Kevin Patrick, Feb 25, 2005.

  1. Kevin Patrick

    Kevin Patrick Hall of Fame

    Feb 11, 2004
    nice interview with Pmac from tennis week. I just included excerpts I found interesting(about Nadal, Nalbandian, Monfils)

    Tennis Week: Before your first tie as Davis Cup captain in February, 2001, I remember talking to you and you saying then you thought Federer was a future number one. Now you saw Nadal in a big spot in the Davis Cup final in December. I'm not saying Nadal is going to be another Federer — two totally different styles of play — but would you agree that Nadal really has that big-match presence and that he is a guy who gets up for the big moments and can rise to the occasion?

    Patrick McEnroe: He's got that presence — definitely. I mean to show up and play one hell of a match against Roddick in the Davis Cup final was just a tremendous performance. It was a physically-demanding match. Both guys killed themselves physically. Roddick gave everything he had and Nadal gave the same. He handled the pressure well. I don't think he has the power in his game to be a serious factor on a surface other than clay. But I think that on clay he is a serious threat. I don't think he hits the ball through the court enough just yet. His serve is terrible, which is not a huge factor on clay, but you put him up against a great clay-court player who has got a big serve and then he might have some trouble.

    Tennis Week: But look at the two guys in the French final last year: neither of them is a big server.

    Patrick McEnroe: That's true. That's exactly true. So clearly on clay, he's going to be a factor on clay this year. So I put him as maybe not the favorite, but certainly a contender for the French Open, but on any other surface absolutely not until he first of all can serve a little bit better or hit the ball a little bit flatter off the ground. Because he hits with so much spin guys can really get to him on a faster court.

    Tennis Week: But don't you think those are adjustments he can make over a period of time?

    Patrick McEnroe: I think they are, I mean I saw him take the ball earlier in that match against Roddick. His tendency is to hit a heavy topspin shot and I just don't think in the men's game right now, that's enough.

    Tennis Week: What's your view on Nalbandian? He hits the ball so cleanly when he's playing well and can look so good yet he never quite gets that big win a major and in fact he's only won two tournament titles.

    Patrick McEnroe: To me, here's the story with Nalbandian: if he goes up against a great player in a major match it seems to me that the great player has that little bit extra whether its Federer with a bigger forehand, Roddick with a bigger server or Hewitt with that competitive x-factor. It's almost like certain players when they get to a semi or final — players like Chang, for instance — Chang would get to a semifinal of a major and would play Sampras or Agassi or Becker and if those guys are in the semi or a final they're playing their best tennis at that point and he's not going to beat them. He might beat them in the quarters of San Jose or in early-round matches, but when you get to the semis or final of a major, most of the time the best players are playing their best tennis. So I think that's what happens to Nalbandian.

    Tennis Week: So you're saying Nalbandian's just a shade below those top guys?

    Patrick McEnroe: Yes.

    Tennis Week: Last question: of all the young players coming up is there anyone who really stands out to you, like a Tomas Berdych, who is potentially a big-time player?

    Patrick McEnroe: Berdych is certainly one. He's been a little shaky since the Olympics, but he's got a great game. He's very smooth and easy, you know Federer-like in sort of the way he feels the ball, not as good, obviously. Monfils is one. You know, Monfils knows how to win matches.

    Tennis Week: Monfils seems like he gets up for playing the big players and rather than stressing it, he looks forward to it.

    Patrick McEnroe: He does. And the other factor is he also wins. He just won a Challenger and beat some good good players. I watched him play Ginepri at the Australian and he just has a knack of knowing how to win big points at crucial times and that's something you can't necessarily teach so certain guys know how to win. Nadal is already there basically, but I think Berdych and Monfils have bigger games than Nadal, they're not as consistent yet and maybe not as good on clay, but they've got games that are explosive and they hit the ball big.

    Tennis Week: Have you ever said something on air that really pissed a player off?

    Patrick McEnroe: Definitely.

    Tennis Week: What?

    Patrick McEnroe: There's been plenty of times where it gets back to me in one way or the other or where someone will give me the cold shoulder. Of course I have to walk a bit of a fine line, and sometimes a tricky one, as far as being a captain and being supportive of the guys who are going to play for the U.S. and I have to do that and I want to do that, but I have to be critical when it's necessary. I am not criticizing guys for the sake of criticizing them. I'm criticizing them for the court. I try to go on what I see on the court and that's it.
  2. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

    Oct 29, 2004
    Montreal, Canada
    Nice interviews, indeed. The links:

    Part 1

    Part 2

    I'd say 2nd part is way more interesting.
    I also think US will have a very tough job against Croatia, Ljubicic and Ancic playing very well at this time.

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