Hello peeps I’m the big mouth and hopefully on this blog ill impart my wisdom (and opinion) on various topics and that you’ll find my views interesting.
Okley dokely lets get started – right its Sunday July 8th 2012 just after 6pm and in one of the best tennis matches I have ever seen it is match point to Roger Federer in the men’s singles final at Wimbledon. Andy Murray smashes a shot across court pass the Fed Express – the linesperson shouts out!!!!!!! – Fed collapses to the floor in triumph, he is now a record equalling seven times Wimbledon champion and has further cemented the fact that he IS the best tennis player ever and not many people would disagree – even me.
HOWEVER the so called EXPERTS!!!!!!! who called him the greatest grass court player ever are in my opinion CLUELESS and just caught in the moment so they can try and claim they said it first.
My reasons for not believing this crock of sh!t are twofold – firstly its my belief that the whole point of grass court tennis is a fast as feck court and lots of net play as it USED to be. Nowadays grass is basically green clay – i.e. slow so in my opinion not like the good old days and the actual test of skill it should be after the clay court season.
Longer grass, slower balls – would Fed be winning as many Wimbledon titles if the ball was whizzing around much faster as it did in the old days ala McEnroe, Connors, Becker, Edberg, Cash et al – who knows. Ironically Rog in this years final came to the net a lot more than in previous matches because he had to – brilliant tactics.
I mean one of my favourite players ever Rafael Nadal a two time Wimbledon champion but even then on slow courts – grass was meant to be FAST!!!!!!! Admittedly the posh toffs at Wimbledon did need to do something as a lot of the clay courters used to boycott the tournament because of the conditions but I feel they have gone too far the other way – no surprise as it is about the money and prestige and you do want the best players there, but to make “greatest” statement you need to look at the various factors.
Some players like Agassi bucked the trend on the quicker grass surface, which brings me to one of the two players I feel, are the greatest ever on the green stuff (in my era anyways). A certain Mr Bjorn Borg – a five time Wimbledon champion (all back to back between 1976-1980) AND six time French Open champion (and before anyone says anything – I know Fed also won five in a row a fantastic achievement and ultimate respect – this blog ain’t ever going to discredit that – top work simple)
Anyways back to the stylish Swede – he managed to conquer the change of surface when the scuff marks were as prominent at the net as well the baseline during Wimbledon. Three times between 1978-1980 he won Wimbledon off the back of winning the French and in those years clay was SLOW and grass was SPEEDY – a massive change compared to today’s where clay is SLOW and the grass is SLOWISH. An amazing achievement when you look back now, and in 1981 he also got to the final of Wimbledon after his sixth French Open title. A true grass court legend despite being mainly a clay court specialist.
Now my other player in the mix is a certain Pete Sampras – (I have to own up at this stage but he is my favourite player of all time). The languid American first showed his potential on the hard courts of the US Open when he out powered Andre Agassi in the 1990 final. But it was on the grass courts of Wimbledon that we saw him at his best – 7 titles when the ball was whizzing past your head at the net.
Helped by an astonishing first serve and outstanding second serve (the kicker one was out of this world) he was always at the net on grass as that’s how its meant to be. His first Wimbledon title came in 1993 and six more followed with the last being in 2000. With all this being done on lightning fast grass courts – how they were intended to be.
Well that’s my two from the field Bjorn Borg and Pete Sampras. What do you think??????? – there have been so many great grass court players. Is it just about the number of titles or is it about the style of play, does the fact the courts and balls are so much slower make any difference, maybes its all about beating what’s in front of you.
Anyways I hope you have liked this blog – remember it only my opinion you don’ t have to agree – your thoughts would be much appreciated.