Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by slowfox, Feb 11, 2013.
Share your thoughts on The Big Cat.
Terrific talent, great timing,touch,power and anticipation
Able to beat anybody as he did
With a good serve and better atittude and motivation here we have an all time great
Poor record for so much talent, won Dallas but lost all major finals he reached
Although different, reminds me of Mandlikova
Great doubs player due to a sensational ROS and great court sense
His tactical sense was exceptional
In a word: when playing well, one of the best pros to enjoy
he´s on my topten list for most enjoyable to watch
@kiki: i can´t seem to remember. did he have a regular doubles partner outside of daviscup?
could he be the last pro to ever play with a wooden racquet on the tour?
if we don´t count Borgs comeback
One of my favorite players ever. Didn't know much about him until I saw him play Boris Becker in the 1986 US Open semi? I looked at him and he just didn't seem like a typical top tennis player to me. I think he was the 16th seed but my assumption was that he was cannon fodder to be destroyed by Becker. My initial thought was that I wanted US Open semi matches to have marquee matchup and this one looked in my mind to be an awful match. I was wrong.
So I'm watching the match and this guy is going toe to toe with Becker. Actually he was doing better than toe to toe. I thought Becker was just barely holding on. To paraphrase "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" I was thinking to myself "Who is this guy!?" in amazement.
I remember watching Becker hit what I thought was a volley out of Mecir's reach for a winner, Mecir just seemed to get to the shot in a blink and hit an incredible crosscourt angle passed the stunned Becker. At this point I was beginning to think this guy was a tennis genius. Mecir went on to beat Becker in five sets to reach the final against Lendl.
Mecir was one of the greatest talents I've ever seen in tennis. His return was unbelievable. It's up there with anyone's. His groundstrokes were superb but it was his subtle changes of pace, angles, combined with almost lazy looking power that was shocking. He could volley well and his movement was unreal. Unfortunately back problems hurt his game and he never totally fulfilled his great potential.
Before Sampras, Andre Agassi once said Mecir was the player who give him the most problems.
Perhaps of all the players I've seen that didn't fulfilled what I thought was great ability, Mecir was the one which saddened me the most.
He had to have one of the laziest looking "take backs" on a forehand ever to grace court. Probably made use of his opponent's power as well as anyone ever has.
pc1, thanks for posting those clips, he was fun to watch and those clips demonstrated his ability to hit those short angles extremely well, remember he didn't have poly strings or hit with extreme top brought about by extreme racquet head speed that players today have available in order to achieve the same effect.
I agree with what everyone is saying..I remember him out pulling McEnroe shots back on McEnroe himself..Unless you're going to be a top pro, Mecir demonstrates to all of us all an alternative and very often better way to play below the pro level (without heavy topspin, window washer blah blah). Someone should start a Mecir forehand thread instead of the usual Federer/Nadal stuff
With all the power baseliners today you wonder if we can ever have a Mecir type player again. Mecir today probably would play differently although I'm sure his speed would be still be unreal.
Who's knows? According to Carillo he was self taught so maybe he would be similar today but with the current equipment.
I think it could be done, Stepenak plays like Mecir but i think Mecir would kill him
Love the movement.
Great thread! Loved The Cat. One of those players that only true hardcore fans know about. A supreme talent that should have won a GS. I think his daughter plays...
zpeed7, His son, Miloslav, plays but without success.
Remember him played at Wimbledon 1988 semi-final against future champion Edberg. Mecir leaded 6-4,6-2, but then lost 4-6,3-6,4-6.
First two sets Edberg was nothing, i think Mecir lost mentally 3 rd set, get nervous (thinking of possible winning), then it was difficult to come back.
Had this match somewhere on VHS (actually only half of it).
i remember that as well. wasn´t that the year he beat Wilander rather comfortably?
Great doubs team with underrated but solid and complete Tomas Smid
Smid was a joy to watch. lots of s&v
i remember him more as a doubles partner to Pavel Slozil.
wasn´t Mecir about 10 years younger?
Is this Becker semifinal on video anywhere? Some say it was the best match of the USO that year.
Yes, in 1/4 - 6/3 6/1 6/3.
It was first Edberg and Graf Wimbledon titles that year.
I remember Milo Mecir too. Talented player, Murray reminds me a bit of Mecir.
Mecir came to my notice first in reaching the Philadelphia f in 1985 beating Connors and losing to Mac. Beat Becker in the USO 86, then lost to Lendl in the final. Mecir beat McEnroe indoors in the Dallas final 87, I was thinking Mac was going to win that. Wrong!
Milo was known as the Swede-killer, I think, had a pretty good record against them at the time, had Edberg down 2 sets in the Wimbledon sf 88 before Stefan came through in five.
Milo won the Olympic gold in 1988 too. Lendl had his number in the Slams though.
His posture on court was quite unusual - he holded his back very vertical, was, probably, the only top player w/beard at that period. And his wood Snauwaert... His hobby was fishing.
Yes, saw Smid many times singles&doubs and was tough to beat in both seldom losing to a lesser guy
Key factor in the DC win in 1980
Good serve and great forehand, moved well at net and had strong body
didn´t he coach Becker for some time?
True, Smid spoke several languAged
I recall a story about Tony Roche, Lendl's coach, telling him to just hit down the middle so Mecir won't have any angles to hit.
Roche has coached some good ones.
He was tall and very upright and had a beard.They used to say a hobby of his was fishing, yeah.
Very good player for a few years, had a good touch for the ball.
He was even a hipster before it was hip.
It was at Australian Open 1989 final where Lendl won 6-2 6-2 6-2 and get back to №1 in the world.
Yeah, he was like a poet or a jazz cat. Just needed the shades
i think that if he were playing today as a 25 year old, he would hold his own very nicely. mecir had serious game because he was a true minimalist.
Agreed. Talent is talent, no matter what era.
(Don't tell certain persons, who don't believe that anyone before the present era was ever any good, and if you're under 6' tall you cannot have any talent.)
Today is the best of all possible times.
There is something about Tomic that reminds me of Mecir. Not the movement though. Mecir was superior at that for sure.
He wore those ugly Reebok tops
Mecir's signature shot was inside out on opponents deep shots down the middle. He could hit it off both wings. Often he would short-hop this shot to take time away.
This is the shot that devastated the Swedes. They were all taught to play safe shots deep the the middle, and the Big Cat would casually smoke the inside-out winner. They just never saw it coming. Epic battles with Wilander.
Best Thomas Smid memory.
Davis Cup Dbls in Hawaii with Petr Korda vs. John McEnroe-Ric Leach.
Smid didn't miss a 1st serve until the middle of the 2nd Set.
Korda poached like crazy. Mac and Leach just couldn't find an answer.
If anyone has a link, I'd sure like to see it again.
Could it be argued Torben Ulrich was the original tennis hipster? Or was he just the first hippy?
Kucera played just like Mecir in the 90s.
You could argue both and have a good case.
Just on a minor tennis note, I understand Torben had his service toss so perfected that he could practice his serve in the dark. I wish my service toss was so good.
Back to topic, yes Mecir seemed very relaxed but I guess it wasn't so since his serve (unlike Torben's) could really be off. Didn't he serve underhanded in one match?
Serve was definitely Mecir's weaker stroke. I don't know for sure, but I think the underhand serve was at the USO final (??).
Can you imagine if he had Lendl's serve? Mecir would have been a monster!
Mecir was an enigma, but a genius of a player on his day. My favourite match of his is the 1987 Miami final, when he beat Lendl 7-5, 6-2, 7-5, and drove Lendl crazy for good measure. Another excellent Mecir performance was beating McEnroe 6-0, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 in the 1987 WCT Dallas final. There's Mecir's 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 win over Becker in the 1986 US Open semi finals as well.
Wilander hated playing against Mecir. Mecir gave Wilander a lot of one-sided beatings. If Wilander didn't start well and dictate the match early, Wilander would soon be chasing shadows as Mecir weaved his magic.
Yes, Mecir coached Kucera as well. Mecir's nickname was "The Big Cat", while Kucera was known as "The Little Cat".
Maybe he was also the first exponent of Zen Tennis and was well practised in the art of letting go and just hitting...
See my avatar!
Mecir showed to public eye, I think around 1985.He beat Connors at Philadelphia, where he´d lose the final to mighty Mac.He also reached the IO final ( lost to Noah) after beating all the swede squad, one after the other.
I think he defeated, at least once, all the big players of the 80´s, from Jimmy Connors to Ivan Lendl, John mc Enroe,Boris Becker,Stefan Edberg and Mats Wilander.
He also looked like it was the easiest thing in the world.
Which makes his achievement all the more impressive. Just how did he do it...??
Boris Becker had his own theory. He said, that Mecir put him to sleep, especially with his sissy serve. I thought that Mecir looked always half asleep, walking and acting very slowly in between points. But, when the point was on, he could glide into his shots and hit very cleanly and deceptively, especially on his backhand. He was the one, who could outplay McEnroe, not only overpower him.
He looked like he'd rather be fishing...
tomic reminds me of a modern day mecir with more power. has very laid back strokes imo
Mecir with a better serve and bigger will to win is an all timer
But then, it is not Mecir
^^ I guess it would be odd if Mecir had a monster serve paired with those sleepy groundies. So yeah, you're right. It wouldn't be Mecir.
Best non-slam winner of the Open Era
It's pretty much between Mecir, Rios and Okker as the greatest open era non-slam winner. I like Mecir.
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