Todd Martin chat(covers a lot-Nadal/Federer/Donald Young)

Moose Malloy

any one see this chat from this week? I'll post some excerpts because espn might remove it from the site soon.

Dave (NYC): Todd, I totally disagree with your positive assessment of Roddick's game. He's got a good serve and a good forehand, but at this point he gets broken consistently and the whole world knows to hit to his backhand, and that his court sense and volley are also weaknesses. You were a guy with a varied game: plus backhand, forehand, volleys, court intelligence, serve. Don't tell me you don't think you were a better player than Roddick is now, and that you couldn't beat Juan Carlos Ferrero to win a slam because you almost beat Andre in his prime to win the Open. Don't give the politically correct blase answer, be honest, in your prime - Martin vs Roddick at the Open, who would win? In my opinion you're not going to lose to a one dimensional overrated player like Roddick.

Todd Martin: (1:23 PM ET ) Well, the only way to answer this is to say in my prime vs. Andy's prime Andy would beat me. That being said, my prime vs. Andy right now. I probably would beat him. Most of your analysis is correct about Andy but he is by no means past what could very well be his prime.

Matt: Since the effectiveness of his game is not based solely on power but also on finesse, movement and creativity, it seems that the only way that Federer is going to be challenged consistently by multiple players is for the tennis world to adapt to him. I think it was different for Sampras' dominance. How would you compare the solvability of their games for their opponents? Does Federer's creativity and ability to improvise make him tougher to solve?

Todd Martin: (2:41 PM ET ) Yes, tougher to solve. But not necessarily tougher to beat. Solving Pete's serve was almost impossible. Everybody understood what to do once that shot was returned though. The challenge with Pete was executing. With Federer it is almost more like hoplessness. If I go big I lose. If I go small I lose. Etc. I think intellectually Federer's game is harder to solve.

Tom: Hey Todd - You were always a player that I believed was on the edge of greatness what held you back?

Todd Martin: (3:03 PM ET ) A few things probably. One, I played against some guys who were simply better than me. Besides that, when presented with prime chances to be "great" I didn't perform as well physically or mentally as I could.

David, Franklin: Todd, will Roger tweek his strategy at all when he plays Nadal? If he were to serve and volley and take angles that even Rafael cannot get to then he will win. After the first two rounds, Nadal has shown that he is capable of beating grass court players - his confidence must be rising.

Todd Martin: (3:40 PM ET ) I think he should serve and volley a fair bit. He is very evenly matched with Nadal from the back court, but if he gives himself frequent chances to attack the net he separates himself. Not sure if he is willing to do that.

John (Richmond, VA): Have you heard of any players possibly thinking of a comeback? Who would you like to see make a comeback?

Todd Martin: (1:18 PM ET ) I would like to see Patrick Rafter play against some of these guys. I don't think he is interested but he had a unique game and I would just like to see how he would match up with some of these guys.

undefined: You mentioned the up-and-comers of American tennis earlier. Have you had much of a chance to watch Donald Young play? His results don't seem to be very good, but he's still young. Do you think he can still be a great player, or is it more likely for him to be a disappointment?

Todd Martin: (1:50 PM ET ) I have watched Donald play a little bit and am impressed by his talent. I believe it to be unfair to him and detrimental to his development to play so much at the ATP level. He is still so young that for sure he can still become a great player. But, it is important that he understands and respects the fact that it is a long process.

Tim M: I constantly hear Johnny Mac talking about how racket technology allows players to hit amazing shots? What is your take? I think players are simply in better shape than before and that new rackets don't supply the shots. Roger's 90 sq. inch stick should be great proof of this point.

Todd Martin: (1:16 PM ET ) In my opinion, the players' improved shot-making abilities are partially attributed to technology...string technology though. I also believe they are better athletes in general.

Nathan: Hi Mr. Martin! Where do rank Andre Agassi amoung tennis all-time greats?

Todd Martin: (1:14 PM ET ) I think Andre is a great player and a huge part of tennis history. He is the 2nd best player I played, behind Sampras. In some ways he was better than Sampras. I don't like to compare players from different generations though. Impossible to know who was better.

Nate Weaver Boston: Are you playing in the 35's at the US Open this year?

Todd Martin: (1:15 PM ET ) Yes, I am playing in the 35's at the Open. I can't believe it has come to this, but it will be fun.

Andy (Lehi,Utah): Do you think Federer will be considered better than Sampras one day? I think its kinda early for someone to say he is the greatest. He still hasnt accomplished all that Sampras has.

Todd Martin: (1:55 PM ET ) Yes. It is early to say he is the best of all time, but he is the most complete player I have seen. He'll have to continue his winning ways in order to surpass Sampras' legend.

Ron (North Carolina): Todd, besides Andre Agassi's injuries, do you think he still had a top-10 game?

Todd Martin: (1:07 PM ET ) I think he has the type of game that can still compete against the top 10. But to have a top 10 game you have to sustain tha level of play for 20-25 tournaments a year. And I don't think that is what Andre is concerned about right now

Ashby Richmond, VA: If you could replay any match, which match would you choose?

Todd Martin: (2:18 PM ET ) I would probably say in the semifinals of the 94 Davis Cup when I lost to Magnus Larson on Sunday in the fifth match. I played awfully well, had beaten Edberg on Friday, and started out well but just lost my way. That was still really early in my career and I think with more experience I could have composed myself a little better and kept it together for that match. If I had, we would have stood a great chance to win the whole thing in the finals.

Ryan: Was there any highly ranked opponents that you just seemed to dominate and who was always surprisingly difficult for you?

Todd Martin: (2:53 PM ET ) Pretty close to the best player I never lost to was Albert Berasetegui (or something like that) .. I just matched up real well against him.

Noah (Boston): What are your thought on Johnnie Mac's on-court antics during the Senior Cup events? Does it bother you?

Todd Martin: (2:59 PM ET ) It's not the most enjoyable situation to play in. But so be it. More people were there to watch him play than me. Hopefully I stayed out of the way enough.

CBS (Chicago): You frequently mention that Roger Federer has a more complete game than Pete Sampras. What do you mean?

Todd Martin: (2:10 PM ET ) Yeah, I think due to Pete's serve, he didn't have to develop as complete a game as Federer. The one thing other than serving that Federer doesn't do as well is volley but he vollies well enough and knows how to get to the net very well. His backhand and forehand is better than Pete as well. He returns infinitely better than Pete, but Pete was pretty good at that as well.

A.J. (Chicago): Do you think Wimbledon will eventually reduce the weight of the balls and make a return to a quicker surface so that we don't see the death of genuine grass court tennis?

Todd Martin: (3:31 PM ET ) I felt like the speed of the conditions this year were quicker than 2004 when I was there last. That is primarly due to the surface and not the balls. I would like to see them speed the ball up just a little bit. They don't need to go back to 10 years ago but it would be great for the game to reward guys for coming to the net and taking more chances.


Talk Tennis Guru
Wow, the one game he would replay was a Davis Cup loss-thats pretty impressive.