Tennis Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
28,582 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
:rolleyes:

French Open 2003

Attackers bite the dust at Roland Garros


Friday, 23 May , 2003, 17:06

Paris: It's been 20 years since an out-and-out attacking player won the men's singles French Open title on the claycourts of Roland Garros and that sequence looks unlikely to be ended this year.
Dreadlocked and dashing Yannick Noah was the last man to batter the baseliners defeating Mats Wilander in straight sets in 1983 and providing the only home win since 1946.

In the two decades since that heartwarming day on a sun-splashed central court, many attacking greats have tried and failed here.

John McEnroe, Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg, Pat Rafter and more recently Pete Sampras all came to grief on the dusty, red stuff and Sampras has just announced that he has all but given up hope of ever finding his feet in France.

A scan of the 32 men's seeds makes depressing reading for fans of serve-and-volley tennis with only Andy Roddick of the United States and Britain's Tim Henman fitting the bill and even they will be forced to mainly slug it out from the baseline.

The problem is that developments in recent years in terms of equipment and player' fitness mean that groundstrokes have become more and more powerful and accurate and charging the net is no longer a realistic tactic.

That leaves the more attack-minded players such as Andre Agassi, Roger Federer and Sebastien Grosjean to provide the entertainment against the crusty Spanish and South American claycourt specialists.

Tournament organisers must have been squirming at the recent Hamburg Masters when for the first time ever four Argentinian players filled the four semi-final slots.

It might have given cause for celebration in the streets of Buenos Aires and Cordoba, but it led to a half-empty stadium in Germany.

A similar mix in Paris with South American and Spanish claycourters monopolising the latter stages of what has become one of the highlights of the French sports calendar would not be welcome.

Top seed Lleyton Hewitt is aware of how deflating an experience Roland Garros can be for a non-claycourter having failed to get past the quarter-finals here in four attempts.

Playing in Dusseldorf this week, the Australian sounded less than confident of a better outcome this time.

"Whether I will ever win the French and master playing on clay, who knows," he said. "Maybe I have to work a bit harder on clay - it's a challenge and I've always liked challenges. Not having grown up on it means that it takes me a little longer to get used to it but I enjoy playing on clay, the strategy and the patience you need."

He could, however, take heart from the player he is seeded to meet in the final, Andre Agassi.

The Las Vegan came up short 10 times in Paris before finally winning at his 11th attempt in 1999 when he came back from two sets down to defeat Ukraine's Andrei Medvedev, a win that resurrected his career.

The weather could also play a part in providing an upset winner.

French all-court player Arnaud Clement said that aggressive players like Hewitt and Agassi will be praying for the sun to shine.

"The balls and the courts at Roland Garros are better suited to them than other claycourts, but for them to win the sun will have to shine and the humidity will have to be low." With the weather decidedly cool and rainy in Paris this week, the portents are not good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,729 Posts
Andy Roddick a serve and volley player?

Whoever wrote this article showed their glaring ignorance with that remark.

And could the half-filled stadiums at TMS Hamburg have had more to do with the weather and less to do with the players in the semis?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
871 Posts
this certainly upgrades Hewitt's status as a darling of the Press... a year ago he would have been included among the "similar mix of South American and Spanish claycourters", as if those players were part of a same faceless mold...:rolleyes: The article is clearly biased as the reporter seems to imply that fans would only be happy if Agassi or Roddick won.. :rolleyes:

And to think that only two months ago, during the American hardcourt season, we were complaining about the predicability of Agassi's and Hewitt's dominance...:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28,582 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
And to think that only two months ago, during the American hardcourt season, we were complaining about the predicability of Agassi's and Hewitt's dominance...
I think that most of us figured that the Hewitt-Agassi evils would be avoided for a couple months durring the clay season ;) One of them may yet prove me wrong and win RG.. but er, we'll see :devil:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
YES Rebecca~ one of them will most certainly prove you wrong!! And we all know who I`m talking about. Glad to see you noticed Hewitt`s win over Moya the other day. Mr.Potato will perplex you and other pundits over the following fortnight...! Lleyton has a sense of history: 2001-02 are testament to what he can do when he focuses. USO one year, Wimbledon the next==> followed by Rolland Garros 03. Take back the Davis Cup this December for AUS^ it`ll be a home final. And then work out a way to win Aussie Open 04. ps: when it unfolds like a dream#(my guy`s got guts+ inspiration),. remember I told you so....
Someday, maybe 10-years from now you`ll realise Hewitt career was no fluke*#* indeed the best thing to happen in tennis since Baldy`s comeback!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
So sorry to bore you PS,. I`ll keep it brief this time--> Hewitt will have the trophy in 2-weeks & you bunch of cynics will all be lost for words### Maybe you`ll have to hand `the man`(Potato, Llegs, Rocky..) a cigar...*
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,846 Posts
shalless said:
So sorry to bore you PS,. I`ll keep it brief this time--> Hewitt will have the trophy in 2-weeks & you bunch of cynics will all be lost for words### Maybe you`ll have to hand `the man`(Potato, Llegs, Rocky..) a cigar...*
Actually I won't be lost for words,cause I said I was going to write an essay on how much I adore Heewee if he wins the French...

as for me,Heewee and a cigar.No thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,406 Posts
This article is so controversial it's even made Becca use her dreaded roll-eyes smiley... but I can see why. Honestly, what a pointless diatribe. The writer seems to think that fans of tennis are all clamouring for an attacking player to win at RG, when they aren't. Heck, most of my favourites are attacking players, but I'm still not expecting the majority of them to suddenly win the tournament. By the same logic, I'm not expecting Nicolas Massu to suddenly win Wimbledon. What's the problem?

From what I saw of the latter rounds of Hamburg, neither the tournament organisers nor the public were dismayed at the sight of Argentines in the semis. Quite the contrary, they appreciated their skill and in particular the ability of the winner, Coria. No one can accuse him of being a dull, defensive baseliner.

I too hope that the latter rounds of RG aren't entirely dominated by Spaniards and South Americans, but the chances are they won't be; there are nearly always a couple of surprise performances by unheralded players. But by the same token, it's obvious that most of the familiar and successful names are going to be there in the second week, and I can't think of anyone who wouldn't welcome that.

Still, when you've got a journalist who classes Roddick as a serve-volleyer and Hewitt as an aggressive player, who cares about their opinion?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28,582 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Hendouble - I actually found the article on another site, and at the time of reading it I found so many things wrong with it that I couldn't be bothered to cut it up. I did take the time a little later on the same board that I found this on to write several paragraphs (if you can call them that... I was rather annoyed at the time) on what a burning pile of crap I thought it was.

For one thing, after reading 12339809 articles that seem to critisize Spanish/Portuguese speaking players, I have to wonder where all this prejudice is coming from. Because that is exactly what it is. Some of these "tennis writers" (I feel that I'm being quite generous by calling them that) like to group together all the Spanish/Portuguese speakers and assume that they are all just one robot that has been reproduced to form the Spanish Armada, the Argentine Legion (or whatever it is they call themselves), and the rest of the S American players. The very fact that they go on about "crusty clay courters" in the same paragraph that they discuss Hamburg (and Coria) pretty much proves my point.

The entire article smacks of prejudice, and I'm sorry that neither the authors name, nor am email were provided, as I would have gladly shared my thoughts with them personally.

There are many talented writers in the world, so why is it that prejudiced, unknowledgable twats like this one get jobs?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,406 Posts
Judging by your comments you sent to Wertheim, you should get a job in tennis journalism, Becca - after all, the tennis world needs more Nadal exposure...

It seems that no-one is able to distinguish between the different styles of clay-court players these days, even though they're plain to see. Would anyone class Kuerten or Rios as a 'crusty' player? And although he may not come to the net at every opportunity, it's hard to watch Gonzalez play and not call him an attacking player.

Chances are the writer watched Mantilla win the Rome final and reacted in disgust at the result. I did too, but only because of whom he was playing, not because of the way he did it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
181,834 Posts
Rebecca said:
It's true! Teenage athletes these days just do NOT get their fair share of press :mad:

...
Unless they happen to be from the US, then they are seen as the 2nd coming :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28,582 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I was being a little tongue and cheek with that comment ;) The American media loves "prodigies"... preferably their own. But they'll usually take what they can get. Just think of how they still called Roger Federer the "swiss teenage" well after this 20th birthday. I caught them calling Ferrero the "spanish teenager" AFTER he had turned 21 :rolleyes: This is why I was surprised when Moya losing to Nadal got virtually no English print. If that was Roddick upsetting Moya we'd have had 6000 articles thrust upon us about how he was the second coming. But eh...whatever :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,406 Posts
Just giving this long-lost thread a bump in light of the irony that, what with all the whining about attacking players failing at RG, we now have one in the final having beaten several of those "crusty" clay-court players. Mind you, when you consider that in the second round against Horna, Verkerk was down 2 sets to 1, 2-5 in the fourth set and 0-40 on his serve, it's remarkable that he's made it this far.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top