Why did Panatta trouble Borg?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Moose Malloy, Apr 3, 2007.

  1. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Thanks for that Gerulitas link Hoodjem, that's a great one. People forget (including me) just how tough Gerulitas was, especially at that time. He was very fit, athletic, and had impeccable form, mechanics, speed/quickness/stamina. He had the whole package, except the same killer instincts as Borg, Connors, and McEnroe. He made a great practice partner for B. Borg for many years.
     
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  2. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I watched that vid, and was amazed to see Lendl striking the ball pretty hard. Is this the 1981 final?

    Then I saw the score and learned that it was during the 4th game of the fifth set. I have seen the last few games of that match where Lendl looks completely exhausted, and hits 'poofter' balls and can barely move his feet. I think Lendl was worn out, and just gave up.

    Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kW4z0FnUz4o&feature=related
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2009
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  3. David_86

    David_86 Rookie

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    Gerulaitis is one of the most underrated clay-court players. He was very very good on clay. 2 Italian Championships (including a 5-set win over Vilas) and a very good FO record prove that.
     
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  4. pc1

    pc1 G.O.A.T.

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    It's a shame that Connors never made it to the French Open final in 1980. While I think he would have been destroyed it would have been interesting to see how Connors would do against Borg on red clay. And frankly you never know.

    Vitas had a great style to play on clay. He was one of the fastest men in tennis so he could run down anything and he good baseline game. And when he got to the net, his volleys could be very forceful. He played a super match in defeating Vilas in the Italian final.

    Didn't Gerulaitis bolt from WTT to play the Italian that year when he played Vilas in the final and was being fined for every day he missed?
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2009
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  5. David_86

    David_86 Rookie

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    It was at the Italian Championships in 1977 (Zugarelli in the final) when he got fined for skipping the WTT. He said he had to win the tournament just to break-even.
     
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  6. pc1

    pc1 G.O.A.T.

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    I always thought that was funny but I guess it was worth it since he won the tournament and the prestige.

    Thanks David.
     
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  7. Tenez!

    Tenez! Professional

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    Borg - Panatta H2H at French Open : 1-2

    So not only did Borg take 100% of his career defeats at Roland-Garros against the same player, but Panatta was a serve & volleyer.
    That is truly mysterious.
     
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  8. DUROC

    DUROC Professional

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    Not that mysterious.......back then everyone learned to play on clay....even the Americans.........McEnroe, Stockton, Gottfried, Vitas are all yanks that got to finals and semis at RG and won at Rome.........back in the 60s and 70s almost all the courts from Florida up to Boston were Har Tru and even red clay.......even public courts (NYC had red clay public courts until th early 1980s).

    But Euros like Noah, Leconte, Nastase,,Panatta, Okker, Fibak......plus all the Aussies who were able to S&V on the dirt.

    It was Slew Hester when he built the NTC that mandated Decoturf hard courts and thus killed clay in the USA.
     
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  9. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Not so mysterious if you actually watched their matches at RG.

    Prior to Borg coming along, almost everyone who won the French Open were serve and volleyers.
     
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  10. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat G.O.A.T.

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    http://www.rcta.info/
     
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  11. DUROC

    DUROC Professional

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    Yep.......I still make it a point to try and get at least 1/2 a day there when I'm in NYC...........
     
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  12. daddabompa

    daddabompa Rookie

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    I heard many Panatta interview here in Italy, in which almost every time he was asked about his winning streak at RG vs Borg.
    He always said that he "loved" playing against him because Borg didn't hurt his game, done of serve and volley, drop shots, slices, ecc
    He said many times that he did not "fear" Borg games at all.
    I think Panatta statements are a bit "snob", because actually he lost vs Borg more that he won, but there's something real in his words.
    Furthermore I know that they are really good friends (often they went out together during tournaments, at disco club and restaurant).
    So maybe that relationship helped Panatta ( which was also a bit "snob" and "arrogant" on court ) to not fear him and gave him the necessary confidence to beat him more than one times.
     
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  13. KG1965

    KG1965 Hall of Fame

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    Great serve , great net play and... lethal attack of slice backhand .
    Unbearable for Borg .

    He had a style close to Ashe and Noah .

    Even Noah would beat Borg sometime.
     
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  14. Tshooter

    Tshooter Hall of Fame

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    Not "even." Americans played mostly on clay as you said. At least in the East which is mostly where the tennis action was anyway.

    You forgot Solly and Dibbs. Both made it semis or finals at French.

    Red clay still there.

    http://www.rcta.info
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2016
    #64

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