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  1. #1
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    Player's of the 80's - 90's

    ooooweeeee! You whipped out a name I hadn't heard in a while! Jay Berger! How about thost Prince Pros strung at 90 pounds?!? To be very honest with you, the players of today are not as good as the ones of th 80's and 90s across the board. Were Federer playing in 1991, in order to win the U.S. Open, he would have had to go up against Edberg, Becker, Courier, Agassi, Chang, Wheaton, Sampras, Gomez, Muster, Ivanisevic,etc. Now, here are the names of some "spoilers" from back then.......Andrei Chesnokov, Jaime Yzaga, Magnus Larson, Brad Gilbert, Todd Martin, and numerous Australians. Todd Martin is a top 5 player all day long in today's game. He was a floater back then. Racquet technology has really killed the feel shots in the game of tennis. You may say, well look at Federer and his touch. Well, Federer is playing with a Wilson Pro Staff original that is still 17 0r 18 millimeters in the crossbeam and is the same stick it was back in 1985. They just took it to a 90 inch head size instead of 85. To be honest, of all the players I have hit with, Jimmy Arias hit a forehand that was so much more powerful than the rest, it still makes me laugh. I think the spoilers that I mentioned are top 20 players in today's game. Edberg, if he were 22 years old, would have taken three or four of the last 8 Wimbledons and the same with the U.S Open. Nobody plays his style today and noone today practices against it. He would embarrass most of today's players I truly believe. I watched him beat Tim Henman 1 and 1 just a few short years ago while Henman was tuning up for Wimbledon and was ranked 7 or 8 in the world. A true and complete whipping. Edberg had been retired for 8 or 9 years at the time. Thing is, Edberg could still beat most of the guys out there, but he can't bring that level of play together for two weeks of a Grand Slam anymore. Parents, watch some of these older players and notice the finesse and shot making ability. It still wins matches. Hey Coach, you are getting me addicted to this site! We are gonna be on here yakking at 4 a.m. if we aren't careful! Lol!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by tennisking1 View Post
    ooooweeeee! You whipped out a name I hadn't heard in a while! Jay Berger! How about thost Prince Pros strung at 90 pounds?!? To be very honest with you, the players of today are not as good as the ones of th 80's and 90s across the board. Were Federer playing in 1991, in order to win the U.S. Open, he would have had to go up against Edberg, Becker, Courier, Agassi, Chang, Wheaton, Sampras, Gomez, Muster, Ivanisevic,etc. Now, here are the names of some "spoilers" from back then.......Andrei Chesnokov, Jaime Yzaga, Magnus Larson, Brad Gilbert, Todd Martin, and numerous Australians. Todd Martin is a top 5 player all day long in today's game. He was a floater back then. Racquet technology has really killed the feel shots in the game of tennis. You may say, well look at Federer and his touch. Well, Federer is playing with a Wilson Pro Staff original that is still 17 0r 18 millimeters in the crossbeam and is the same stick it was back in 1985. They just took it to a 90 inch head size instead of 85. To be honest, of all the players I have hit with, Jimmy Arias hit a forehand that was so much more powerful than the rest, it still makes me laugh. I think the spoilers that I mentioned are top 20 players in today's game. Edberg, if he were 22 years old, would have taken three or four of the last 8 Wimbledons and the same with the U.S Open. Nobody plays his style today and noone today practices against it. He would embarrass most of today's players I truly believe. I watched him beat Tim Henman 1 and 1 just a few short years ago while Henman was tuning up for Wimbledon and was ranked 7 or 8 in the world. A true and complete whipping. Edberg had been retired for 8 or 9 years at the time. Thing is, Edberg could still beat most of the guys out there, but he can't bring that level of play together for two weeks of a Grand Slam anymore. Parents, watch some of these older players and notice the finesse and shot making ability. It still wins matches. Hey Coach, you are getting me addicted to this site! We are gonna be on here yakking at 4 a.m. if we aren't careful! Lol!
    As with each new generation that comes on the Scene, I find myself getting upset because I had so much attachment to the Players of the generation before. As I told you, I began watching Tennis when Lendl began making his run to the top of the Field. The badass guys of that day were Lendl, Becker, Edberg, Wilander, Noah, Muster, etc. with some others that I'm forgetting at this moment but I couldn't get enough of Tennis in those days.

    Then the next group started making noise with Pete beating Ivan in the Semis of the USO essentially announcing the arrival of the his group which included Agassi, Courier, Chang. Now those guys were the most celebrated but it's refreshing to see someone like you knows there were others that made a huge impact on the Game, like Weaton, Arias, Martin, Krickstein, Dan Goldie, Tim Mayotte, etc.

    For some reason those guys got glazed over by the Media and you're correct, Todd Martin was a very dangerous player and had he remained healthy, you know as well as I that he would have accomplished much more than his Record illustrates. But in the clutches, guys like Krickstein, Arias, Mayotte, Berger, Chezzy (Andre) weren't great closers.

    Krickstein against Connors 91' USO was in Krick's hand, he had the match won but allowed Connors way too many oportunities which he took advantage of.
    You just can't give a guy like Connors too many chances because Connors was experience enough to beat you with them.

    In the late 80's when Steffi became dominant, I was pleased beyond words simply because I could never seem to warm up to Martina N. something about her just made me, well you get the point. So I enjoyed her losses especially when it was Steffi that beat her down. Chris Evert, although an accurate performer had no power to her game and when power made its' debut in Tennis, Chris couldn't seem to adapt to that change. Evert was all about hitting until you made a mistake. If I see a kid simply keeping the ball in play allowing openings to go by, I will sit that kid down for that set.

    No, I do not try to run a Nick B. type regime but when you've taken the time to set up a point and that rare opening happens you had better go for the shot. When a student fails to do so, that indicates to me that they are afraid to fail. I have zero tolerance for kids who are afraid to go for their shots.
    Nothing Ventured - Nothing Gained. In our Classes, is the very place for these kids to apply what they've been training for. If not then, when?

    One last thing, if you were to ask any of my students what I tell them constantly, they'd say, Coach tells us to watch any matches with the Players of the 80's as possible. It's not a more powerful game nor more accurate game but the way those players constructed a point was poetry.

    When you hear people ask about the best S&V Players of all time, you rarely hear someone mention Edberg. Stefan was an Artist at the net. He had a horrible forehand but when he came in, if you didn't have your footing well balanced with a clear vision of what you had to do, you were losing that point. When you think about someone like Stefan beating Becker more than once, even at Wimbledon, you have to realize that he had to have something going on. Boris was pretty good at the Net as well until one day, he decided to become a strict Baseline Player. Of course people criticized him for it, when they witnessed him taking out Ivan Lendl from the Baseline, that shut a lot of people up.

    Just think about back in the day >

    Mayotte would always lose to Lendl at Wimbledon
    Gomez would always lose to Lendl at Roland Garros
    Lendl would always lose to Becker at Wimbledon
    Noah would always lose to Lendl at the US Open
    Dan Goldie would always lose to Lendl at Wimbledon
    David Weaton would always lose to Becker at the US Open
    Rastagno (sp) please help me out with his name, who almost beat Becker at the USO the very year that Becker won it for the 1st time. He would drive to US Tournaments in a VW Bus. Great guy who wore puka Shells around his neck. A real surfing dude that the ladies liked. I think his first name was David
    Magnus Larson, (swede) was a fantastic striker of the ball but didn't have that killer instinct. It was as if Magnus was afraid to win in my opinion. That was another Player who could get you on the ropes but against guys like Lendl, Becker, Edberg, etc. Larson would then find a way to lose so they wouldn't be mad at him I guess

    I still have VHS Tapes of these matches from back then starting in 1987 but they are no longer in order as they were when we lived in California.
    The only acceptable loss is when your opponent was better than you on that given day.
    It is never acceptable to lose when your opponent was not.

  3. #3
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    Derrick Rostagno. He carried a bong in his tennis bag I think. He had that match point on Becker in the '89 US Open and came to the net. Becker drilled a running shot that hit the net tape and somehow sneaked over Rostagno's racquet. I think the reason that Conners made that run at the Open (besides his tremendous skill, talent, and experience) was that simplified forehand grip that he used. It was effortless. No wasted motion and no extra body language was needed in his shot. While others were sucking wind, he would lightly stroke the ball back to the corners. No problem! Ha Ha! That was great. Plus Krickstein was so mad, he didn't know what to do. He lost it in the head. Of course, he did the same thing to others that Conners did to him. I think Krickstein was the king of being down two sets to none and coming back and winning. Wow. Dan Goldie. He loved his Pony tennis shoes! I remember Jim Courier got into a hard-headed hitting match with Jimmy Arias at the '88 or '89 Clay Court Championships. They traded forehands the entire time and Arias knocked Courier off the court forehand to forehand. First time I ever saw Courier get outhit on the forehand side. Arias did it though. Arias won that match and lost to Agassi in the final, but he was blowing that forehand by Courier the entire match. Oh yeah, I forgot about Henri "I love to choke" LeConte. I have a better spelling for his last name, but I will be civil. Or how about Guy "I am scared to win" Forget? This is too much fun. Your making me remember a bunch of killer players. As much as I have an issue with Leconte (I warmed him up for the Nuveen Masters tour back in '99 and that guy was a true prick (sorry)), he hit the greatest shot I have ever seen in tennis. He was playing the French Open and got pulled off the court to his forehand side. The other player was at the net and basically ready to turn around and walk back to the baseline. Leconte was not longer even on the television screen and he ripped a cross court angle that popped up on the screen from out of nowhere (it looked like someone hit it from the stands) and it literally landed on the line under the outstretched racquet of his opponent. Maybe two feet from the net. Clean winner. Leconte was lying in the crowd. It was crazy. Of course, Leconte had to blow kisses to the crowd and run his hands through his hair and spray some cologne on in preparation for his night out with the ladies, but it was still an absolutely crazy shot among crazy shots.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by tennisking1 View Post
    Derrick Rostagno. He carried a bong in his tennis bag I think. He had that match point on Becker in the '89 US Open and came to the net. Becker drilled a running shot that hit the net tape and somehow sneaked over Rostagno's racquet. I think the reason that Conners made that run at the Open (besides his tremendous skill, talent, and experience) was that simplified forehand grip that he used. It was effortless. No wasted motion and no extra body language was needed in his shot. While others were sucking wind, he would lightly stroke the ball back to the corners. No problem! Ha Ha! That was great. Plus Krickstein was so mad, he didn't know what to do. He lost it in the head. Of course, he did the same thing to others that Conners did to him. I think Krickstein was the king of being down two sets to none and coming back and winning. Wow. Dan Goldie. He loved his Pony tennis shoes! I remember Jim Courier got into a hard-headed hitting match with Jimmy Arias at the '88 or '89 Clay Court Championships. They traded forehands the entire time and Arias knocked Courier off the court forehand to forehand. First time I ever saw Courier get outhit on the forehand side. Arias did it though. Arias won that match and lost to Agassi in the final, but he was blowing that forehand by Courier the entire match. Oh yeah, I forgot about Henri "I love to choke" LeConte. I have a better spelling for his last name, but I will be civil. Or how about Guy "I am scared to win" Forget? This is too much fun. Your making me remember a bunch of killer players. As much as I have an issue with Leconte (I warmed him up for the Nuveen Masters tour back in '99 and that guy was a true prick (sorry)), he hit the greatest shot I have ever seen in tennis. He was playing the French Open and got pulled off the court to his forehand side. The other player was at the net and basically ready to turn around and walk back to the baseline. Leconte was not longer even on the television screen and he ripped a cross court angle that popped up on the screen from out of nowhere (it looked like someone hit it from the stands) and it literally landed on the line under the outstretched racquet of his opponent. Maybe two feet from the net. Clean winner. Leconte was lying in the crowd. It was crazy. Of course, Leconte had to blow kisses to the crowd and run his hands through his hair and spray some cologne on in preparation for his night out with the ladies, but it was still an absolutely crazy shot among crazy shots.
    Henri was known for his shot making no doubt. Couldn't put the points together enough to win anything significant although. Very much the showman on Court. Guy Forget was the serious (French Player) from that era. He was all business on Court. I watched a fantastic See-Saw match between him and Micheal Stich (GER) at Wimbledon one year. The betting polars were probably going nuts because just when you guessed one had the Big Mo, it turned around and the Mo went the other way. It was like neither guy wanted to give it away. They were going for everything. In the end, Stich won in the 5th.

    Which is your favorite Major, which one did you enjoy playing the most?
    My favorites are Wimbledon - French - USO - Aussy in that order. But if I had to choose just one, I think and I was in great physical condition, I would go for the French Open. I'm a baseline player and of all the Tourneys I ask my kids to what that prefer the baseline, I push the French for obvious reason.

    Are you a baseline Player or S&V Player?

    Do you know the real story behind Brian Shelton bowing out of the Pro Circuit? He wasn't the best but I always thought with the right Coach, he could make some noise. And then he was gone. But before I go, in our tradition of digging up the Old Bones, Can we possibly ever forget about Ronald Agenor? This was the ultimate Clay Court Player. You never heard from him until Roland Garros came around each year and he was extremely dangerous on Clay. You had to bring your A-Game or he would beat you.

    Great Stuff

    Coach

    .
    The only acceptable loss is when your opponent was better than you on that given day.
    It is never acceptable to lose when your opponent was not.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coach View Post
    Henri was known for his shot making no doubt. Couldn't put the points together enough to win anything significant although. Very much the showman on Court. Guy Forget was the serious (French Player) from that era. He was all business on Court. I watched a fantastic See-Saw match between him and Micheal Stich (GER) at Wimbledon one year. The betting polars were probably going nuts because just when you guessed one had the Big Mo, it turned around and the Mo went the other way. It was like neither guy wanted to give it away. They were going for everything. In the end, Stich won in the 5th.

    Which is your favorite Major, which one did you enjoy playing the most?
    My favorites are Wimbledon - French - USO - Aussy in that order. But if I had to choose just one, I think and I was in great physical condition, I would go for the French Open. I'm a baseline player and of all the Tourneys I ask my kids to what that prefer the baseline, I push the French for obvious reason.

    Are you a baseline Player or S&V Player?

    Do you know the real story behind Brian Shelton bowing out of the Pro Circuit? He wasn't the best but I always thought with the right Coach, he could make some noise. And then he was gone. But before I go, in our tradition of digging up the Old Bones, Can we possibly ever forget about Ronald Agenor? This was the ultimate Clay Court Player. You never heard from him until Roland Garros came around each year and he was extremely dangerous on Clay. You had to bring your A-Game or he would beat you.

    Great Stuff

    Coach

    .
    Wow. I'm about to make you grin. Bryan Shelton went to Georgia Tech and was an intelligent guy. I think the travel and constant lack of a constant in his life made him get burnout and then add some injuries. He also would get down on himself fairly easily, but he was a great Wimbledon player. As for Ronald Agenor, man, he was great! I play exactly like the guy except I am a white guy. I was a clay court specialist. Funny thing is, when I commited to coming in, I was good at it. I enjoyed playing on grass. I knew I had to come in. But the French Open is the tournament of choice for me. I am a huge fan of Monte Carlo and the Italian Open as well. Ronald Agenor spoiled many a big name players bid for a clay court title. I watched him beat Muster once which was no easy feat on clay. He has a few titles to his name. I think his biggest problem was the he, like Lawson Duncan, could hit anyone off the court groundstroke wise, but they were not as strong when it came to the first two shots of tennis. The serve and the return. Take those two shots away and both of those guys were top 20 players. You think Michael Stich would beat todays players? OH YEAH! That guy could think his way through a match and had the power to back it up too. He just hung his head too much. God knows what would have happened had Stich and Ivanisevic played each other. They would have moaned and groaned so much that the ump would have called the match. Here's another few blasts from the past. Jason Stoltenberg, Wally Masur, and Darren Cahill! Those boys could play some tennis! Masur was one tough son of a gun. How about old Horacio de la Pena or Alberto Berasetagui(spelling?)? Great claycourters. Another great 80's player was Alberto Mancini. We didn't go into depth about him, but that guy could flat rip a groundstroke. Had one of the best looking games from behind the baseline I have ever seen. Can you believe he was favored to win the French Open in 1989 and lost to none other than Edberg? His party habits and late night dancing with the ladies is what ended his career. Of course, if you have seen the women of Italy and Argentina (he was Italian, but grew up in Argentina and was considered Argentinean) you can't blame him. I played some challengers down there in South America and I was staring into the stands all the fricking time. I fell in love at least 30 times a match down there. Alberto made that comeback in 1991, but he started partying again and then that was that. I heard he used to come in at 5 in the morning after being out all night and that was during tournaments. I have no idea how he made it to 10 in the world back in '89 and then made his comeback in '91 and reached number 14. He was just that good. He beat the pants off of Agassi at the Italian Open a couple of times. He must have hit 60 winners in each of those matches.

  6. #6
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    This is in Three Parts - Part One

    This is in Three Parts - Part One

    Quote Originally Posted by tennisking1 View Post
    Wow. I'm about to make you grin. Bryan Shelton went to Georgia Tech and was an intelligent guy. I think the travel and constant lack of a constant in his life made him get burnout and then add some injuries. He also would get down on himself fairly easily, but he was a great Wimbledon player. As for Ronald Agenor, man, he was great! I play exactly like the guy except I am a white guy. I was a clay court specialist. Funny thing is, when I committed to coming in, I was good at it. I enjoyed playing on grass. I knew I had to come in. But the French Open is the tournament of choice for me. I am a huge fan of Monte Carlo and the Italian Open as well. Ronald Agenor spoiled many a big name players bid for a clay court title. I watched him beat Muster once which was no easy feat on clay. He has a few titles to his name. I think his biggest problem was the he, like Lawson Duncan, could hit anyone off the court groundstroke wise, but they were not as strong when it came to the first two shots of tennis. The serve and the return. Take those two shots away and both of those guys were top 20 players. You think Michael Stich would beat todays players? OH YEAH! That guy could think his way through a match and had the power to back it up too. He just hung his head too much. God knows what would have happened had Stich and Ivanisevic played each other. They would have moaned and groaned so much that the ump would have called the match. Here's another few blasts from the past. Jason Stoltenberg, Wally Masur, and Darren Cahill! Those boys could play some tennis! Masur was one tough son of a gun. How about old Horacio de la Pena or Alberto Berasetagui(spelling?)? Great claycourters. Another great 80's player was Alberto Mancini. We didn't go into depth about him, but that guy could flat rip a groundstroke. Had one of the best looking games from behind the baseline I have ever seen. Can you believe he was favored to win the French Open in 1989 and lost to none other than Edberg? His party habits and late night dancing with the ladies is what ended his career. Of course, if you have seen the women of Italy and Argentina (he was Italian, but grew up in Argentina and was considered Argentinean) you can't blame him. I played some challengers down there in South America and I was staring into the stands all the fricking time. I fell in love at least 30 times a match down there. Alberto made that comeback in 1991, but he started partying again and then that was that. I heard he used to come in at 5 in the morning after being out all night and that was during tournaments. I have no idea how he made it to 10 in the world back in '89 and then made his comeback in '91 and reached number 14. He was just that good. He beat the pants off of Agassi at the Italian Open a couple of times. He must have hit 60 winners in each of those matches.
    TK - I am amazed at how interesting it is to speak of these guys who I watched when I first became immersed in Tennis. You haven't mentioned a single name that I am not aware of and can actually see their faces in my head.

    Given you are a walking encyclopedia I wish to ask you something of you. Before we relocated here to the East Coast, I had to come out and secure a house and get some basic things setup of for us. As it turned out, New Haven, CT. was just starting their Pre-USO Warmup Tourney called the Pilot Pen but when i came here, it was the week before the tournament started
    and it was the last year they called it the Volvo.

    Given I had time on my hands and plenty of money to get me by for several weeks before I returned to Ca. I decided to volunteer as a Driver for the Tourney. The Tennis Gods have always been extremely good to me over the years and this was no exception. I got to meet many of my Tennis Heros during those two weeks by picking them up from the airport and then subsequently driving them around the City of New Haven when needed. As t turned out, due to strange circumstances, I later became the sole driver for none other than the real Fab Four, Rod Laver, Fred Stolle, Roy Emerson and Cliff Drysdale. They referred to them as the Legends which for some unknown reason none of the other drivers wanted to be bother by them given guys like Agassi, Becker, Rafter, etc. were here and they wanted to get the opportunity to drive them instead. I think it's funny how life throws you curve balls because when the call came into the Trailer to pick up some senior members at the VIP Tent, while sitting in this trailer waiting for an assignment, I looked around at who was going to go blasting out the door to get whoever it was and nobody moved a muscle. So I raised my hand and the rest is history. And to make that even funnier, the Volvo Corp. essentially gave the afore mentioned Players, private cars they could keep until the tournament was over, so the other drivers lost out.

    cont...

    .
    The only acceptable loss is when your opponent was better than you on that given day.
    It is never acceptable to lose when your opponent was not.

  7. #7
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    Part Two of Three

    This is Part Two of Three


    All of this is a prelude to something I need to ask you but before I get to the meat of the matter, how I became the private driver for the Fab Four is, when I drove up to the Tent to pick up whoever I was assigned to and when I saw Rod Laver standing on the sidewalk, I was besides myself with tremendous excitement. I got out, helped them with their bags and when they were all in and we started driving away to their destination, I started laughing uncontrollably. I don't know who asked the question but Rod Laver was sitting in the front passenger seat, while Emerson, Stolle & Drysdale sat in the back and my excitement manifested itself in laughter. I recall saying, Guys I'm sorry but if you can imagine what it must be for someone like myself to be sitting in a car driving the four of you around, I mean, can you imagine what this must be like?

    Fred Stolle said, I guess you're a tennis fan and then he asked if I played. Given I wasn't a teenager, I comfortable to relate to them more on a equal level given our ages although, they are way older than me. I remember saying not only can I play but even though they were all the greatest that ever lived, I could probably beat the pants off them with all due respect and then I chuckled. Rod Laver laughed as well and said I was probably right since no one has legs anymore he claimed.

    You have to understand that I was only into the drive about 5 minutes at this time and the car was filled with a warm comfortable joking around feeling. They all knew I was having an experience that no one soon forgets. So they asked if I knew my way around New Haven and I said, sadly about as good as they did or worse because I just came from Ca. Laver asked where in Ca and I said, Huntington Beach, which is in Orange County just north of LA. He then looked very surprised and said well guess what, you & I are practically neighbors because I live in Newport Beach which is the bordering town. And then he said, we have to hit when we get back home.
    Like that was going to happen so jokingly I said yeah I'll have my people call your people and everyone in the car laughed After about two hours of driving them around to these different places, they asked what time I sign in, in the mornings. I said, they ask us to be there at 9am but if there's something special you need, my time is my own right now. They asked me if I would mind picking them up at 8am and of course I said will do. It turns out they made reservations for Tee Off time at this Golf Course near by. I don't play golf but after dropping them off, I asked what time they wanted me to pick them up and reminded them that if I'm on another assignment, a different driver may come and get them, so Fred Stolle then made a phone call and after he was done, he informed me that they had me for the entire day so relax, go to the Club House,. have a cold one on their tab etc. Can you believe this???

    Every syllable I am telling you is exactly how this encounter happened between myself and these incredible Tennis Legends. They played 9 Holes, I hung around watched Sports on the huge TV in the common area, was asked a hundred times if I was a new member and basically glanced at High Society in the early part of a day.

    When we were driving back Roy Emerson asked me what my rating was and when I told him, he then asked if I ever played on Grass before. I told him not only had I not but I never saw a real grass court other than on tv. Apparently where they were staying for the duration of the Volvo, they had a couple of grass courts, right in the middle of Yale University New Haven.

    They began telling me to pull out some white shorts, tennis shoes and a top and come there later that afternoon to play doubles with them. Cliff Drysdale wasn't going to be able to play because of his On-Air commitments and they decided I could be their 4th. TK ~ You gotta understand the magnitude of what was happening here, not only was I driving around the very guys that people would do anything to get an autograph from, I was about to play doubles with Rod Laver, Roy Emerson and Fred Stolle on a grass tennis court. My biggest fear was how embarrassed was I going to be watching balls fly by me. Even though I was a pretty good hitter, this was very different. This was on grass against guys who know how to serve, volley, spin, drop shot, lob and slice you to tears. How was my power game going to match up against that? Well my friend, I found out very early. Rod Laver was my partner in the 1st Set. His instructions were simple, "Don't let anything get by you" I remember looking into his face and if I could see my own face at that moment, it must have screamed with a simple question:
    And just how do I make certain of that Sir Laver?

    Just as I suspected, they know how to handle power to a point where I had to abandon my game plan and try to adopt theirs which didn't work because I was not adapted at Serve & Volley just yet.

    I don't know how many of you know the right way to Lob but if you think you have a good Lob, guess again. You haven't seen a Lob until you see one from these guys. Drop, Lob & Slice was the motto of the day. I got pulled in knowing what was coming next and preparing for it and still getting passed as if I were 4 ft tall. At one time, I lost my racquet while trying to get a slice down the backhand line. I saw it coming and still I missed it.

    We lost the 1st Set however Roy Emerson & I did win our 2nd Set in a Tie Breaker. I did serve pretty well and I went outwide as often as possible which set up Emerson for the put away. Emerson is a fairly tall guy, I'd say he's about 6' 2" and very strong at Net. Laver's legs are somewhat bowed and he wasn't fast or nimble by no means. Fred Stolle is tall as well and so is Drysdale who are both around 6'+.

    It was the very best situation one could find themselves in, so if I tournament happens to come to your area, try signing up as a volunteer driver, good things will happen if they like you.

    cont'd .....


    .
    The only acceptable loss is when your opponent was better than you on that given day.
    It is never acceptable to lose when your opponent was not.

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    Part Three of Three

    Part Three - Conclusion


    Aside from these guys, I did meet a lot of current Pros on the Circuit and there was one Player that I can not remember his name. I think his first name was Jonathan or Jonas maybe. Anyway, he was from Sweden and he liked me a lot, he gave me one of his Tee Shirts from the Tour and actually called the trailer asking for me. Then when it was time for all of them to head out for New York, he told me he was going to give me a Player's Pass to watch his first Match against non-other than Stefan Edberg on the Grand Stand Court.

    I was awesome as they say. I drove down, went to Will Call and got this incredible Player's Pass that hung around my neck allowing me to basically go anywhere I wanted without hassle. If you could in anyway help me out with who this fantastic guy was, I'd be internally grateful.

    Ok here's where I turned into a jerk. I'm sitting in the Player's Box watching him get spanked by Edberg when all this noise was coming from the Court next to us. Some people who sat just behind me had recently come to their sits and I asked them if they knew what all the excitement was about.

    They said, Steffi Graf was playing in the Stadium Court as we speak. Now people you have to understand, although this was the absolute worst thing a human could do when someone is so incredibly generous to you but Steffi Graf was the lady I was going to marry someday if my wife gave my a divorce. I loved this woman in every way and here I was, capable of just walking in and strolling down to the Box Seats without a problem but had to stay and watch this very un-exciting match between my friend and Edberg, who I enjoyed very much but STEFFI GRAF was just a few feet away and I wanted badly to see her live for the first time. So I got up during a change over as if I were going to the bathroom and booked over to the Stadium Court. Just as I suspected, when the Security Guards so my Player's Pass they basically pointed down to the very first row of seats and said enjoy the match Sir.

    I found myself so close to Steffi that I could have slapped her five. I can't tell you who see was playing but it was a young girl who was just happy to be on Stadium Court with Steffi Graf and could careless what the score was.

    I think her goal was to at least get on the Board and then nothing else mattered as long as Mom, Dad and Friends saw her on TV. And I think Steffi being the Noble person she was, knew that and gave her a couple of games.
    There was at least one point that Steffi could have spanked away with no problem but sailed the forehand as if she shanked it so that this kid could get a game and then it was back to business.

    If I could only somehow find out who this Player was that gave me the Pass. I know I didn't see him on the Tour very much after that and he probably just left the game with no fanfare. Is there a way to find out what the Draw was if I know the year?

    Sorry for the long story but it was too much fun not to share it with others.

    Coach


    .
    The only acceptable loss is when your opponent was better than you on that given day.
    It is never acceptable to lose when your opponent was not.

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    Player's of the 80's - 90's

    TennisKing and I were having a running discussion about Players of this era and I felt it was not appropriate for the Thread it is currently in so this now is for that.

    .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coach View Post
    TennisKing and I were having a running discussion about Players of this era and I felt it was not appropriate for the Thread it is currently in so this now is for that.

    .
    Ah, the golden days. I would have loved to have met those guys. To tell you the truth, I have thoroughly enjoyed hanging with all the older players much more so than the younger guys. I had the best time at the Nuveen Tournaments when they hired me to warm those guys up. It was great. I don't think we talked about tennis at all. The biggest topic was baseball. Conners and Eddie Dibbs were betting on everything in sight. Small fun bets. Nothing big. It was more for bragging rights. If Conners betted, he won. It was crazy. If Conners had bet the sky would fall, just before Dibbs could rub it in that he had won, the sky would have fallen and Conners would have grinned from ear to ear and Eddie would have gotten so mad and stomped off like Elmer Fudd. I remember the Braves were playing the Mets and Dibbs was a huge Mets fan. They got into seperate cars to go eat and the Mets were leading when they got in. I remember as they were pulling off, Conners put his arm out the window and did the tomahawk chop and Dibbs' arm came out of his car with his middle finger flying high. Conners told me later that he had bet on Atlanta and someone had homered at that exact moment and the Braves took the lead. It was quite funny. Dibbs was really one of the most fun guys I have been around in tennis. He talked to everbody like they were his cousin. He played good tennis too. It's funny, but all of those old guys have a great sense of humor. They don't take life so seriously. If there is a piece of advice I can give anyone (and not just tennis players), it's learn to laugh at yourself. When I was coaching at Saddlebrook, it felt like someone was going to burst into tears at any moment or someone was going to go postal. Geez. Corporate America's entry into the game has truly hurt it in my opinion. Parents who read this, take note, help your child have a great time and laugh at themselves when they make a mistake. You can correct a problem and still have a sense of humor about it. That way, the player can focus on the positive things and not just the negatives. It will also keep them from feeling negative everytime they miss a shot. Negativity kills. That is a fact. Remember how much fun Conners was having at the '91 U.S. Open run? Funny, when Agassi started having a good time on the court, he was at his best. He smiled all the time and really had a good time his last few years. I bet those Australian greats you played with had a great time when they played.

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    I have one that will make you grin maybe. How about Al Parker? The junior who won everything ever. Best junior tennis player in tennis history. He used to whip Agassi, Sampras, Courier, and anyone else who wanted a piece and then decided to play for the University of Georgia instead of going pro. His lower back gave him so much trouble at the end of his college career that he never really gave professional tennis a try. He is a stock broker now in Atlanta. He was a surgeon on the court. I used to watch him practice when I was a kid and he just had it. He won like twenty-four national championships. Unheard of.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tennisking1 View Post
    I have one that will make you grin maybe. How about Al Parker? The junior who won everything ever. Best junior tennis player in tennis history. He used to whip Agassi, Sampras, Courier, and anyone else who wanted a piece and then decided to play for the University of Georgia instead of going pro. His lower back gave him so much trouble at the end of his college career that he never really gave professional tennis a try. He is a stock broker now in Atlanta. He was a surgeon on the court. I used to watch him practice when I was a kid and he just had it. He won like twenty-four national championships. Unheard of.
    Now there's a name I haven't heard before. You have the advantage here my friend. Amazing how many players went out due to back injuries. The ones I'm familiar with are;

    Lendl, Agassi, Rios, Becker (I believe) and I'm thinking Noah also had back problems that caused him an earlier retirement than normal. Are these correct?


    .
    The only acceptable loss is when your opponent was better than you on that given day.
    It is never acceptable to lose when your opponent was not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coach View Post
    Now there's a name I haven't heard before. You have the advantage here my friend. Amazing how many players went out due to back injuries. The ones I'm familiar with are;

    Lendl, Agassi, Rios, Becker (I believe) and I'm thinking Noah also had back problems that caused him an earlier retirement than normal. Are these correct?


    .
    You are exactly right. Check out Al Parker. There was an 8 or so page article on him in Tennis Magazine a couple of years ago. He was from a tiny town called Claxton in south Georgia. His parents own the Claxton Fruitcake Company. You know, the prettily packaged fruitcake that sells like crazy during the holidays. Coach, that guy could have easily been the greatest player of all-time. He moved like Mecir and could hit any shot from anywhere. Sampras himself said that all of the big wigs in pro tennis and himself included used to duck out of tournaments that Al played in in the juniors. He was about 6'1" tall and 165 lbs. and knew where the ball was going before the other player even knew where they were going to hit it. He was the #1 college player as well. He holds the all time record (it can't be beat since there are no 10 and under nationals anymore) for national championships with 24 or 25 major wins in the juniors. He won every age division at the Claycourt Championships as well as all divisions at Kalamazoo and all the others as well. He won those titles over a ten year period. Had he gone pro and done that, he would have been as dominant as Federer for a full ten years and been at the 20 to 22 mark in majors. Now that is crazy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tennisking1 View Post
    You are exactly right. Check out Al Parker. There was an 8 or so page article on him in Tennis Magazine a couple of years ago. He was from a tiny town called Claxton in south Georgia. His parents own the Claxton Fruitcake Company. You know, the prettily packaged fruitcake that sells like crazy during the holidays. Coach, that guy could have easily been the greatest player of all-time. He moved like Mecir and could hit any shot from anywhere. Sampras himself said that all of the big wigs in pro tennis and himself included used to duck out of tournaments that Al played in in the juniors. He was about 6'1" tall and 165 lbs. and knew where the ball was going before the other player even knew where they were going to hit it. He was the #1 college player as well. He holds the all time record (it can't be beat since there are no 10 and under nationals anymore) for national championships with 24 or 25 major wins in the juniors. He won every age division at the Claycourt Championships as well as all divisions at Kalamazoo and all the others as well. He won those titles over a ten year period. Had he gone pro and done that, he would have been as dominant as Federer for a full ten years and been at the 20 to 22 mark in majors. Now that is crazy.
    Wow Well I haven't checked him out as yet but since you speak so highly of him, you can bet I'm going to. Amazing .. I can't believe that with so much talent he didn't make a go of it.

    Tennis is so much a mind game. Once you've learned how to control the ball and add some pace to your shots, the real game of Tennis begins. This is why players like Blake can hit just about every shot in the book and blinding pace and still can't seem to beat anybody. There's something going on in Blake's head that isn't Champion level. You mentioned the Cat, who I loved to watch play. Moved incredibly well and yet whenever Lendl had his number.
    Mecir was one dimensional unfortunately.

    Was Al Parker white or black? Doesn't matter of course but I just wanted to know given he was from the South.



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    The only acceptable loss is when your opponent was better than you on that given day.
    It is never acceptable to lose when your opponent was not.

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    [QUOTE=Coach;16076]Wow Well I haven't checked him out as yet but since you speak so highly of him, you can bet I'm going to. Amazing .. I can't believe that with so much talent he didn't make a go of it.

    Tennis is so much a mind game. Once you've learned how to control the ball and add some pace to your shots, the real game of Tennis begins. This is why players like Blake can hit just about every shot in the book and blinding pace and still can't seem to beat anybody. There's something going on in Blake's head that isn't Champion level. You mentioned the Cat, who I loved to watch play. Moved incredibly well and yet whenever Lendl had his number.
    Mecir was one dimensional unfortunately.

    Was Al Parker white or black? Doesn't matter of course but I just wanted to know given he was from the South.

    He was a white guy who looked a lot like Christian Bale (Batman). When he played, he had this look of I know exactly what I'm doing and I am not going to lose, ever. Best all-court player I've ever seen. You couldn't tell if he was a baseliner or a serve and volleyer because he was so good at both. His transition from baseline to net was excellent and he knew when to come in. He had a temper, but the one thing I noticed about his temper was that when he got ticked off, he had this look of I am so about to whip you. He didn't get mad and pout. He turned it on like Johnny Mac. Right-handed player and his game was similar to Mecir's except he had bigger topspin shots and a semi-western forehand. He reminded me of Edberg at the net. Very fluid.

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