Discussion in 'Pro Match Results and Discussion' started by UpTheT, Feb 19, 2006.
There were some great points in this one.
did anyone record this match? If so drop me a line and I would love to get a copy.
Goldstein USA / Thomas USA (2)____6___6___7
Bjorkman SWE / McEnroe USA (WC)_7____4___10
Just got back from there. Yes, it was quite a match!! Both the singles and doubles finals went the distance today. You definitely got your money's worth today.
So the youngest and the oldest players in the tournament both won their finals today.
Congrates to Andy Murray and Johnny Mac!!!!
It was a fantastic atmosphere. Some people left after the Murray match and they missed out on something great. McEnroe was impeccable and net, served incredibly well (high first serve %) and returned everything the big guy (Thomas) could throw at him, and I was really surprised at how good Bjorkman was. Without a partner like Bjorkman, Mac would have had a much tougher time. Only problem is now McEnroe is uneven: 77 singles titles and 78 doubles.
I believe we'll be seeing McEnroe at Wimbledon. He said he'd take a few months off, go back to the senior's tour, and enjoy this victory. By a few months I think he meant the clay court season. I wouldn't be surprised if he wins another Grand Slam, albeit doubles.
Good for John and Jonas! I'm glad to see them win the title. Other players also would love to play doubles with Mac -- as Fabrice said in his blog this week. So I think he'll have other chances.
And I think one of the things that makes him a great commentator is that he's still this much involved with the Tour. Along with his humor, of course.
And thanks for the report, Superman. I'm sure having Jonas by his side helped a lot. But still, for them to win the tourney is a great feat.
I wonder who Mac will team with if he goes to Wimbledon? Max Mirnyi is usually Bjorkman's partner these days. They are still using traditional scoring at the slams, aren't they? As good as John still is, as he has proven this week, he needs a strong partner. Look at how close a lot of the matches were this week, and that was with Jonas, one of the best in the business. Perhaps we will see the J and J show at Queen's this year, if not at the AELTC?
I doubt John would play best out of 5 dubs, or have they switched to 2 sets at majors?
The match wasn't really that close, actually. Mac/Bjork were clearly the better pair. The break to win the second set (I think it was on Deuce) came out of nowhere. Then in the super tiebreak they quickly jumped to 5-1 with some incredible points, then Thomas had a few big serves and the score got a little closer.
Yeah, in that 2nd set, they were on serve at 4-5 and Mac was serving up 40-love, then out of nowhere, Goldsten and Thomas win 4 straight points and the set (remember that they play no-ad now in doubles).
I just watched the first set and I cannot share the impressions given here. I turned the TV off because it was already 3 am but I didn't find this very exciting to watch. Maybe doubles isn't my thing but I just find it quite boring to follow. The points seem to be much shorter than in singles and because you so often have four people at the net trading volleys, it is often very hard to make out on TV what is actually happening.
I also didn't find Mac that impressive. His volleying was nothing like impeccable and indeed Bjorkman was at least as good. He also missed a few quite easy shots. Maybe all this changed in the next sets but the first one was definitely nothing to write home about. Maybe people here are getting a bit too taken by the myth...
Well, either doubles isn't your thing or you're not all that knowledgable about tennis or you haven't been playing very long. It's the quick points and the quick exchanges at the net that makes doubles so exciting to watch. There's also more strategy and court positioning in doubles than in singles. In fact, I find doubles more fun to watch than singles because there's more variety of points, more variety of shots, more angles, more diving and jumping and lunging, more lobs and touch shots, and the quick points and fast mano-a-mano volley exchanges makes it much more exciting to see than just two guys mindlessly bashing the ball from the baseline in singles IMHO.
It is true that it can be "much more exciting to see than just two guys mindlessly bashing the ball from the baseline in singles". However, when did you last witness that? The game seems to be changed away from from pure baseliners who just muscle the ball down to more allrounded play. My point i sthat it's very hard to see any of the drama you describ eon TV. Often you would see the ball land in the net and not even know which side! I'll stick with singles...
PS: why do you have to be playing very long or be knowledgeable to enjoy what you are watching?? I don't think this sort of ad hominem jibe supports your argument.
Either you had to have been there or you had to have seen the entire match. There were some insane points that ANY tennis fan should appreciate. McEnroe got pounded at but got 95% of the volleys back. On the 5% that he didn't get he'd stare a little and slouch around really pissed off. His little antics were hilarious, like putting his face into the camera. The best point was a between-the-legs shot by Bjorkman on game point. I forgot exactly what happened, but I know that Bjorkman ran backwards to retrieve a ball, hit the tweener, it was returned and McEnroe put it away. McEnroe imitated the shot when they were at the chairs. As doubles usually is, it was slow at times, and then there were moments where the crowd just went absolutely crazy. Doubles requires some patience because it takes a little longer for everyone to get into position. The main reason why you should be excited about this match is because it is history! John McEnroe just walked out of the history books and won a title.
Of course it does. I'm not very knowledgable about curling so I find it very boring to watch during the Olympics, but I'm sure people who are very knowledgable about curling find the Olympic coverage of curling to be very exciting. Why? Because they understand all the nuances and the strategies involved and the reasons why the competitors are doing what they're doing, whereas, I don't have a clue so I find it boring. Same is true of tennis - singles or doubles, which are completely different games by the way.
Sometimes, one doesn't know enough to know that one doesn't know.
Uncalled for. If you're looking for a fight, look elsewhere. You won't get it from me...
No one in that tournament that I saw play, including Bjorkmann, has a better first volley than John McEnroe. McEnroe's reflexes were second to none. Did anyone else see the point where Thomas and Goldstein were crowding the middle banging balls at McEnroe? At the end of the point, Thomas creamed one at McEnroe and McEnroe hit it back down the middle between them. It was all Goldstein could do to stand up!
I also noticed that Golstein and Thomas did something that the other teams didn't. They played McEnroe. When there was a choice of where to hit the ball, they directed it to McEnroe. They didn't go monster on him like the other two did, but when there was a choice between hitting to Bjorkmann or hitting to McEnroe, they tried to wear McEnroe out. It didn't work and McEnroe acquitted himself brilliantly in the match. His volley is as solid now as it's ever been. McEnroe didn't go for too much pizzazz as he directed most of his volleys down the center of the court (where everyone should). His tactics and his volleys were no nonsense and solid.
I was equally impressed with Goldstein and Thomas' speech after the match. Both gave huge amounts of credit to McEnroe, his game, and his love of the game.
This is amazing. Mac at 47 and Bjorkman at 3??? (who has the best McEnroe serve other than Mac himself) win an ATP doubles event!
Isn't this a teer 3 event? Was the field deluted?
Does this show that the talent level in doubles has dimished to the point where a 47 year old can compete at a high level, or is Mac such a freak of nature that he is that dominate a doubles player at that age?
Mac with Rick Leach would be a good combo, if Bjorkman or Mirnyi are not available.
I think we could also see Mac played mixed with Martina Hingus or maybe even Steffi Graf, if Andre approaved
I agree. If there's one thing this board doesn't need, it's common sense.
Doubles is about talent and reflexes and Mac has unreal natural abilities in these areas.
Singles today is about conditioning and strenght, so Mac could not last 3+ sets. If the mens tour was like todays new dubs format (2 sets, no-add, 10pt TB) then Mac could probably still contend for slams today !
I'll give you conditioning, but strength isn't the most important thing in tennis. You are correct about doubles being about talent and reflexes, but it's also quickness. An the thing that goes with age first to me would be quickness. You can maintain strength and conditioning with age, but you can't maintain quickness.
Having said that, one of the reasons you lose quickness is that with time you gain weight, and that slows you down. Mac seems as fit and slim as when he played. And I think he is in better shape than he was in his playing days even. He was known to have a poor diet and exercise habits while he was playing.
I saw their two of their matches, as well as seeing Mac in person at the local tennis shop where he was signing autographs (he signed the grip of my 200g!). He is skinny as a rail. Six feet tall, looks like he wears about a size 27 inch waist in pants.
As for his playing, I agree that if he is around long enough for the others to get used to his shots, they might get a little better at playing him. At this point though, he's hitting shots that the other guys look like they've never seen before. His hands are so soft and he seems to be able to hold the ball on the strings and massage it at the last second to the open court. And they're having a lot of trouble getting his serve back over the net. In the matches I watched, he was getting 2 or 3 easy points off his nasty hook serve every game. The fastest serve I saw him hit was 118, which is probably faster than he ever used to hit it when he was on the tour, but, more importantly, he just seems to be able to nail the corners with it at will.
Look at a picture of McEnroe in '77 when he was at Stanford and look at him now. He's much thinner now than then.
Anyone who watched the Masters' Doubles competition knows that the talent on the doubles tour is not second rate. It's a different brand of tennis. I agree that the majority of these guys couldn't hack it on the singles tour, but most of the top singles players can't volley to save their lives. How are they going to make it on the doubles tour?
McEnroe proved that he can hang in doubles.
Leach isn't the right partner for Mac. Mac needs a big hitter to get easy points. Leach has a style too similar to Mac's.
Oh well, guess he could not win with Martina Hingus either then.
There was once a saying that Mac could basically win with any other good partner.
A fight? I don't know what you're talking about?
I merely pointed out that sometimes I don't know enough about a sport to know what I don't know, and that this can be true of anyone and any sport. How is that picking a fight?
BTW, how often do you play doubles anyway?
austro, he didn't say that you are not knowledgable or anything of that sort. He listed that as a possiblilty and the other possiblilty is that doubles isn't your thing. Nothing he said remotely resembles trying to start a fight, you are way overreacting, IMO.
Would love too see Mac go after a GS in doubles, hopefully he enters the FO!
Congratulations to both John McEnroe and Jonas Bjorkman. I am very pleased to have both been able to see the match on The Tennis Channel, as well as seeing them win.
Wow, I don't know what match you were watching. McEnroe hit great volleys. It's the thing he does best!
After playing a lot of aging tennis players, my experience is that guys with quick hands seem to STILL have good hands as they age. It's the LAST thing to go. Maybe they can't cover the court like they used to, but they can still hit amazing volleys.
As Goldstein and Thomas kept hitting right at McEnroe, and McEnroe kept sticking back good volleys I had to laugh. I imagine he did, too.
If anyone has the match on tape or DVD, I'd love a copy. I called Dish to request the Tennis Channel but the nice fellow in India had never heard of it. He noted my comments ($!%$^#$#) and send them along as suggestions
No wonder austro didn't appreciate the match. When McEnroe questioned the lines calls he must have been personally offended. "That is way out of line, McEnroe. I'm not here to pick a fight with you. I'll turn off the TV if you do it again, I swear to God."
Wouldn't it be great if Mac teams up with another great from the past and win Wimbledon?
How about Mac and Becker, or Mac and Edberg?
Those are doubles matches worth buying tickets for.
Mac and Edberg would be insane-- Not many could break them.
Mac and Laver? Nah, that might be asking for a bit much. Tony Roche?
No, I still like the idea of McEnroe and Sampras. Now that Pete has plenty of free time, let him focus solely on doubles. The man is younger than Agassi, he's still got to have some juice left in those legs.
...Tennis is in an odd state right now. All the old greats must be thinking, "Hey, I'm better than these guys, why did I ever leave?" The new retirement age will be the same as everywhere else - 65.
Ha ha ha! Good one, superman1 !!! LOL
BTW, I agree with you. Mac and Sampras would make an amazing doubles team. They've had success playing Davis Cup doubles together in the past, so they've already played together before. Would love to see that again!
That would be incredible! I'd travel a long way to see them play as a team.
Wimbledon is best of 5 all rounds(and no tie break in the 5th) No no-ad either. That would be too much for Mac, plus he's too busy doing commentary during the slams.
I think he should play more non-Slam doubles events, but Bjorkman is commited to Mirnyi. But Mac won't have trouble finding another partner.
I'd like to see Mac play singles at Newport. It has a very weak field & is on grass. I'm sure he could get a win or 2.
Would be nice to see Becker have a go as well. Maybe with Haas or Kiefer at that Halle event on grass?
Mac says he is fit enough to handle 2 sets of singles at high intensity. So, with some work, I think he can handle the best-of-5 doubles.
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