Quantcast
nodot nodot
Higdon's Net Game
January 27, 1997 Article

Latest Between The Lines Article

Higdon's Net Game /
Between The Lines Archives:

2003 - 2007
August 1998 - 2002
1995 - May 1998

Tennis Server
HOME PAGE

Do You Want To Be A Better Tennis Player?

Then Sign Up For A Free Subscription to the Tennis Server INTERACTIVE
E-mail Newsletter!

You will join 25,000 other subscribers in receiving news of updates to the Tennis Server along with monthly tennis tips from tennis pro Tom Veneziano that won't be found on the web site.
 
Best of all, it is free!

Player Profiles:
 
Top Pros (Women)
tennis ball Serena Williams
tennis ball Maria Sharapova
tennis ball Petra Kvitova
tennis ball Simona Halep
tennis ball Eugenie Bouchard
tennis ball Agnieszka Radwanska
tennis ball Ana Ivanovic
tennis ball Caroline Wozniacki
tennis ball Na Li
tennis ball Angelique Kerber
 ... more profiles
 
Top Pros (Men)
tennis ball Novak Djokovic
tennis ball Roger Federer
tennis ball Rafael Nadal
tennis ball Stanislas Wawrinka
tennis ball David Ferrer
tennis ball Tomas Berdych
tennis ball Kei Nishikori
tennis ball Marin Cilic
tennis ball Milos Raonic
tennis ball Andy Murray
 ... more profiles
 
Tennis Features Icon TENNIS FEATURES:

BETWEEN THE LINES - Ray Bowers takes an analytical and sometimes controversial look at the ATP/WTA professional tour.
 
PRO TENNIS SHOWCASE - Tennis match reports and photography from around the world.
 
TURBO TENNIS - Ron Waite turbocharges your tennis game with tennis tips, strategic considerations, training and practice regimens, and mental mindsets and exercises.
 
TENNIS ANYONE? - USPTA Pro John Mills' quick player tip.
 
WILD CARDS - Each month a guest column by a new writer.
 
TENNIS SET - Jani Macari Pallis, Ph.D. looks at tennis science, engineering and technology.
 
MORTAL TENNIS - Greg Moran's tennis archive on how regular humans can play better tennis.
 
MENTAL EQUIPMENT - Explore the mental side of the game with Dr. John Murray.
 
TENNIS WARRIOR - Tom Veneziano's Tennis Warrior archive.
 
HARDSCRABBLE SCRAMBLE - USPTA pro Mike Whittington's player tip archive.
 
TENNIS EQUIPMENT TIPS.

Tennis Community Icon TENNIS COMMUNITY:


Tennis Book, DVD, and Video Index
 
Tennis Server Match Reports
 
Editor's Letter
 
Become a Tennis Server Sponsor

Explore The Tennis Net Icon EXPLORE THE TENNIS NET:

Pro Tennis Calendar & Event Links
 
Tennis News and Live Tennis Scores
 
Tennis Links on the Web
 
nodot
Higdon's Net Game By David Higdon
 
Green Dot
 
Tennis Warehouse Logo
 
Green Dot

 
nodot
"1997 Australian Open Review"

David Higdon Photo
David Higdon

Doesn't it always seem odd watching the pro tennis proceedings in Oz? Whether you're in Melbourne or watching the Australian Open on TV, the tournament takes on a certain surreal look and feel, from the blaring sun that coats the players like a layer of white paint to the ubiquitous upsets that turn the draw into a free-for-all.

The tournament not only illuminates the players, it provides us with our first clear look at the season ahead. Here's what I think the Australian Open taught us about the following ten players:

Men

Pete Sampras: Though a bit rusty early, par for the course Down Under, Sampras never was threatened in Melbourne, and sends a clear signal to his peers that his personal travails are behind him. I still don't think he can win in Paris unless everything falls perfectly, but he'll be the clear-cut favorite at both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open this year.

Boris Becker: Though I picked Becker to reach the final (see 1997 Australian Open Preview), I hedged my bets when I wrote: "Last year's champ either will arrive in Melbourne rarin' to go... or fried from several months of intense indoor play." It turned out to be the latter. Though Carlos Moya's surprising run to the finals somewhat vindicated Becker for his first-round loss to the impressive young Spaniard, he simply wasn't prepared for a long two weeks in the hot sun. Last year, injuries kept him on the sidelines for much of the season, ultimately inspiring him late in the year. I wonder what will keep him pushing now, particularly after his early loss dropped him out of the top ten. He'll be looking at tough draws all year now.

Thomas Muster: Tougher than tough, Muster has his critics (including me), but no one will say he doesn't come to play. His defeat of Jim Courier in the fourth round and Goran Ivanisevic in the quarters will boost his already sky-high confidence. He's my early pick favorite to win the French, particularly because everyone will be focused on another clay-court stallion (Moya).

Carlos Moya: An unknown to many, Moya has been a player to watch for more than a year now. He was Tennis Magazine's 1996 Rookie of the Year, compiling a sparkling 36-19 record on clay. There's no doubt the slower balls helped baseline players in Melbourne (Six quarterfinalists--Moya, Muster, Michael Chang, Alberto Costa, Felix Mantilla and Marcello Rios--are backcourt players). He's a comer, but I wonder how he'll hold up to the now intense scrutiny as he sets his sights on Paris.

Michael Chang: Will this guy ever win a second Grand Slam? He not only can't seem to beat Sampras, he's got a host of Spaniards nipping at his tail.

Women

Martina Hingis: I never bought into the hype surrounding Jennifer Capriati, bothered by both off-court circumstances (her father always made me shiver) and on-court deficiencies (she doesn't move very well), but I'm sold on this New Sensation. Hingis had a game plan before she had a game, the opposite of her overmatched opponent in the final, Mary Pierce, who's all power and no poise. Most young women tennis players surface with big forehands and big familial entourages; Hingis showed up on tour without a serve. She's feeding off the power players now.

Steffi Graf: Inevitably, Graf had to run out of gas. She finally did so against Amanda Coetzer in the quarterfinals. A few days later, her father was sentenced to nearly four years in prison. So what will happen to Ms. Graf? She'll bounce back from these twin blows to her professional and personal life, and find inspiration in the form of the aforementioned New Sensation.

Mary Pierce: The draw was custom-made for the hard-hitting Pierce to blast her way into the final, but when she got there, she had to face someone who wasn't going to pound back ball after ball after ball. The ill-advised drop shot from the baseline on break point in the second set of the final says all you need to know about the Nike-painted Pierce. She's a rebel without a clue.

Chanda Rubin: Last year's New Sensation fell in the fourth round to Dominique van Roost, and continues to drop in the rankings since her high point last season when she reached the Australian Open semifinals. Rubin moves well and hits hard, but lacks a weapon and doesn't appear to have the win-or-die ambition of many of her peers.

Lindsay Davenport: A truly likable character off the court, Davenport's on-court prospects are hampered by her lack of movement. Though power can overcome many deficiencies, I still believe good court movement remains a necessary element to any player who expects to stake his or her claim on a Grand Slam title.

Picks of the Litter

In the men's tournament, I picked the winner (Sampras), two semifinalists (Sampras and Chang) and three quarterfinalists (Sampras, Chang and Goran Ivanisevic). I'm not complaining--or taking any lip from Net Game readers... I also was pleased that Muster and Courier produced my "Wish I Was There Live Showdown." Apparently, there still are testosterone stains left on the court from that match.

As for the women, I was one year off. I had Pierce losing in the final--in 1996. Sometimes it takes awhile for the game to catch up to my ambitious picks. This year, I did pick Hingis to reach the final, but expected her to lose to Graf once she got there. My Spaniard semifinalists were a big disappointment, as were Davenport and Capriati, two Americans I thought would reach the quarterfinals. "Capriati's going to be the talk of the tourney," I wrote. Obviously, I meant to write Hingis. It's hard to keep track of which Next Chris Evert everyone's talking about.

Green DotGreen DotGreen Dot

Higdon's Net Game / Between The Lines Archives:
1995 - May 1998 | August 1998 - 2002 | 2003 - 2007


If you have not already signed up to receive our free e-mail newsletter Tennis Server INTERACTIVE, you can sign up here. You will receive notification each month of changes at the Tennis Server and news of new columns posted on our site.

This column is copyrighted by David Higdon, all rights reserved.

David Higdon was named a senior writer of Tennis Magazine (U.S.) beginning with the December 1994 issue, which featured David's cover story on Andre Agassi. David worked for the magazine since August 1988, when he was hired by the magazine as a senior editor. In September 1991, he left his full-time editing position with the magazine to become a contributing editor, moving from Connecticut to Portland, Oregon. He currently works as a freelance writer, writing regularly not only for Tennis but also for publications such as Sports Illustrated for Kids, The New York Times, Self, Boys' Life and USAir Magazine. He also serves as editor of Rip City Magazine, the official publication of the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers.


 

nodot
nodot
Google
Web tennisserver.com
nodot nodot
The Tennis Server
Ticket Exchange

Your Source for tickets to professional tennis & golf events.
 
Barclays ATP World Tour Finals Tennis Tickets 11/7-11/14
 
Davis Cup Finals: France vs Switzerland Tennis Tickets 11/21
 
Chris Evert Pro-Celeb Tennis Classic Tickets 11/22-11/23
 
2015 BNP Paribas Open Tickets Indian Wells 3/11-3/22
 
2015 Miami Open Tennis Tickets 3/23-4/5
 
2015 US Open Tennis Tickets 8/31-9/13
 

 

Tennis MindGame

 
Popular Tennis books:
 
Smart Tennis by John Murray
 
Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis-Lessons from a Master by Brad Gilbert, Steve Jamison
 
The Best Tennis of Your Life: 50 Mental Strategies for Fearless Performance by Jeff Greenwald
 
The Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey
 
Most Recent Articles:
 
Tennis Warrior: Five Powerful Tennis Concepts by Tom Veneziano.
 
October 2014 Tennis Anyone: Why Can I Not Poach? by John Mills.
 
October 2014 Turbo Tennis: Momentum Revisited by Ron Waite.
 
October 12, 2014 Between The Lines: Home Stretch 2014 -- On the Hard Courts of Asia by Ray Bowers.
 
Tennis Warrior: In Tennis, Principle Trumps Emotion by Tom Veneziano.
 
September 2014 Tennis Anyone: Things To Do and Not To Do by John Mills.
 
September 2014 Turbo Tennis: The Only Thing You Have To Fear Is Fear Itself!!! by Ron Waite.
 
September 9, 2014 Between The Lines: Dissecting U.S. Open 2014 by Ray Bowers.
 
August 2014 Wild Cards: The Tennis Round Table: Interviews With Jim Courier, Todd Martin & Mark Philippoussis in Arizona by Vince Barr.
 
May 2014 Wild Cards: Michael Chang Wins Cancer Treatment Centers of America Tennis Challenge in Arizona by Vince Barr.
 

 

 

 

 
 
Featured events in the Tennis Server Ticket Exchanges:
 
  Featured Tickets:
BNP Paribas Open Tickets Indian Wells CA Tennis Garden
Miami Open Tennis Tickets Miami Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
 

  Featured Tickets:
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 13 W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 14 W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 15 W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 16 Finals W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters

  Featured Tickets:
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 11 Third Round New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 10 Men's Second Round Women's Third Round New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 9 Men's Second Round Women's Third Round New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 8 Second Round New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona

  Featured Tickets:
Sony Open Tennis Session 13 Tickets Miami Men's Singles 3rd Round Women's Singles 4th Round Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 14 Tickets Miami Men's Singles 3rd Round Women's Singles 4th Round Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 15 Tickets Miami Men's Singles 4th Round Women's Singles Quarterfinals Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 16 Tickets Miami Men's Singles 4th Round Women's Singles Quarterfinals Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center

  Featured Tickets:
Sony Open Tennis Session 21 Tickets Miami Men's Singles Semifinals Women's Doubles Semifinals Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 22 Tickets Miami Men's Singles Semifinals Women's Doubles Semifinals Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 23 Tickets Miami Woman's Singles Final Men's Doubles Final Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 24 Tickets Miami Men's Singles Final Women's Doubles Final Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Great American Beer Festival Tickets Denver CO Colorado Convention Center

 
 
"Tennis Server" is a registered trademark and "Tennis Server INTERACTIVE" is a trademark of Tennis Server. All original material and graphics on the Tennis Server are copyrighted 1994 - by Tennis Server and its sponsors and contributors. Please do not reproduce without permission.

 

Tennis Server
Cliff Kurtzman
Editor-in-chief
2323 Clear Lake City Boulevard
Suite 180-139
Houston, Texas 77062-8120
Phone: (281) 480-6300
Fax: (281) 480-7715
Online Contact Form
How to support Tennis Server as a Sponsor/Advertiser
Tennis Server Privacy Policy