Quantcast
nodot nodot
Higdon's Net Game
March 8, 1996 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
"More From the Masses"

David Higdon Photo
David Higdon

Like Hollywood, I'm not above an occasional sequel. This month, I'm following up my last column, which featured letters from Higdon's Net Game readers, with one featuring a similar structure but different storyline. We'll update you on Steffi Graf, ponder the complexities of Goran Ivanisevic and discuss the attributes of a man called Mats.

First, though, an addendum to last month's question about the whereabouts of Tracy Austin. I've been informed that she and her husband, Scott Holt, are expecting their first child in April. Congratulations! I hope she'll be able to wobble her way out of Los Angeles to Indian Wells, California, when both the men and women compete in the desert this month. The women's State Farm Evert Cup runs March 8-17, while the men's Newsweek Champions Cup begins a few days later, on March 11. I'll be there for most of the event, but before I leave, let's take another peek into my In Box...

Graf is Back

I am a big fan of Steffi Graf and I am wondering if you know when is the earliest possible time she will be back on the Corel WTA Tour. How is she doing after her foot surgery, and has she been practicing lately?
--Wanto Wijaya

    Graf will be back this week at the Evert Cup, and her agent, Phil de Picciotto, informs me that she's strong, healthy and eager to return. But enough about Steffi: What I want to know, Wanto, is where you got such a cool name?

Is Mal Content?

What is going on with MaliVai Washington? His ranking has really dropped. Is he playing less? Worse? Getting tough draws? What's the word on this guy?
--Mike Lyde

    Washington finished the 1995 tennis season ranked near where he finished the previous two years: in the top 30. During his best year, 1992, he nearly cracked the top ten in October before ending the season at No. 13. He sank out of the top 50 last year until a good showing at a fall tournament in Essen, where he beat Andre Agassi and Thomas Enqvist, vaulted him back into his familiar rankings spot.

    Washington's situation is not all that dissimilar from many other players on the tour: He can post some impressive results during the year, but falters come Grand Slam time. He's only reached the quarterfinals at one Slam (1994 Australian Open) since turning pro in 1989, and didn't get past the second round at any Slam in 1995.

    Why? Two reasons come immediately to mind. For one, he lacks a weapon, a shot that can hurt the top guns on a regular basis. Second, he's an athletic fireplug, but I don't believe he's 5-feet-11 (1.80m), as he's listed in the ATP Tour Player Guide. He's more Chang's size (5-feet-9, or 1.75m), but doesn't have the consistency or mental fortitude of his American peer. He's a tough competitor, no question, but only a select few (including Chang, Thomas Muster and the player we're about to discuss below) can overcome physical limitations to compete with the gifted likes of Andre Agassi, Boris Becker and Pete Sampras.

Mats is the Man

How did Mats Wilander EVER get to No. 1 in the world with NO weapons in his game?
--Dennis Schaub, New York, NY

    You're right: Wilander had no identifiable stroke weapon, but that doesn't mean he went into battle ill-equipped. In fact, one of his biggest strengths was his lack of a weakness. He was solid on both wings, possessed a decent volley, could place his serve with pinpoint accuracy (though not with bullet-like pace). He also was incredibly well-conditioned, never faltering during long matches and always maintaining a positive state of mind. These attributes put tremendous pressure on his opponents, who needed to perform at top level from the first through the last point. Most importantly, though, Wilander may have been one of the greatest court tacticians of all-time. He worked a point like Michelangelo painted ceilings.

    Wilander reached No. 1 in 1988 the old-fashioned way: He earned it (unlike the most recent member of the No. 1 club). He won the Australian and French Opens, reached the quarterfinals on the grass at Wimbledon (a Grand Slam performance almost as impressive as the wins in Melbourne and Paris), then faced Ivan Lendl, the No. 1 player for the past 156 weeks, in the U.S. Open final with the top spot at stake. I'm often asked: What's the best tennis match you've ever seen? My answer is this oft-forgotten Slam final. "Perhaps it was the thin air," I once wrote for TENNIS Magazine, "but I believe the view from the stadium nose-bleeds provided me with the perfect seat upon which to sit and relish this riveting final. Two baseliners, moving each other from side to side, front to back, for nearly five hours on a perfect Sunday afternoon, proved absolutely intoxicating. It was like watching two frantic mice scurrying to free themselves from a box."

    No man, by the way, has won three Grand Slams in a calendar year since.

Oink!

My husband and I were trying to figure out if Billie Jean King had an advantage in the famous match against Bobby Riggs. My husband said she was able to use the doubles court, and Bobby Riggs only had one serve.
--Sophia

    Tell your MCP hubbie that King whipped Riggs' butt without any gimmicks or rule changes.

Goran, Goran, Gone?

I'm a big fan of Goran Ivanisevic and as you probably understand, I'm very frustrated at the moment. About two years ago, I saw Goran as a future No.1, but today I see him falling down the rankings. Is it true, like my friends say, that Goran is just a server and nothing more? I constantly argue that he is one of the most talented players on the tour, but the results tell another story. Will Goran Ivanisevic ever win a Grand Slam - or will he be remembered as a two-time Wimbledon finalist and one-time No.2 in the world?
--Frustrated

I repeatedly tell my friends that Goran "The Gunslinger" is one of the best tennis players ever born, but it seems impossible for him to get the stability that's needed to become a real high-class player. Will he ever win a Grand Slam title and/or become No. 1 in the world, the position where I think he belongs?
--Frustrated Too

    The enigmatic Ivanisevic's place in history is yet to be determined. If he retired today, most fans would barely remember his accomplishments in the game, even at Wimbledon.

    That's where he'll establish his lifelong reputation, good or bad. Ivanisevic nearly made it to a Wimbledon final for the third time last year, falling in a tough five-setter to eventual champion Sampras. John McEnroe may have said it best afterwards: "Goran basically defined the big difference between a really good player and a great one. His errors were just unacceptable."

    The same thing could have been said about his first Wimbledon final, against Agassi in 1992. He was playing near flawless tennis until his last service game, when he inexplicably played too loose (likely the result of feeling too tight), shanking a couple of easy volleys. At Wimbledon, where Ivanisevic has the best chance of copping a Grand Slam title, one or two points always seem to determine the big matches. Ivanisevic has yet to cash in on those big points. Until he does, he'll remain a "really good" player.

    My opinion? I think he's got a great chance to keep Bjorn Borg's record five consecutive Wimbledon titles safe from Sampras' assault. (Sampras goes after his fourth consecutive Wimbledon title this year.) But he'll never have the year-long consistent play needed to climb to No. 1. If he wins Wimbledon, though, he could care less what the computer says.

Big Bill

How many Wimbledon and other major titles did Bill Tilden win? How many titles all together did he win? I also have a 1925 card of him from Willards chocolate "champions of sport" in Mint condition. Do you have any idea what it could be worth?
--Anonymous

    "Big Bill" Tilden won three Wimbledon singles titles and seven U.S. Open titles. As an amateur between 1912-30, he won 138 of 192 tournaments, losing in 28 finals and compiling an impressive 907-62 match record, a .936 average. In "Bud Collins' Modern Encyclopedia of Tennis," the author writes: "If a player's value is measured by the dominance and influence he exercises over a sport, then William Tatem "Big Bill" Tilden II could be considered the greatest player in the history of tennis. From 1920 through 1926, he dominated the game as has no other player before or since."

    As for your mint chocolate question (yuck, yuck, yuck...), I have no clue. As one of my card-collecting friends says: "If you wouldn't take $10,000 for it, then that's what it's worth to you." Value is in the eye of the beholder.

That's Zal, Folks

I was looking at your fantastic web page and I wanted to tell you that within the next two years, my name will be right up there, above Sampras and Agassi. I will be No. 1. You haven't heard my name yet, for I am only 15, but keep a close eye on the tennis picture, and remember I am going straight to the top.
--Zal Phiroz

    Your name's already above Sampras and Agassi in my book, though you've still got a way to go before replacing the great Wanto Wijaya among my favorite Higdon's Net Game readers. Good luck in your quest to be the best!


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:
AT&T National Golf Tickets Bethesda MD Washington DC Congressional Country Club
US Senior Open Golf Tickets Omaha NE Omaha Country Club
Bridgestone Invitational Golf Tickets Akron OH Firestone Country Club
PGA Championship Golf Tickets Rochester NY Oak Hill Country Club
Dick's Sporting Goods Open & Tim McGraw Tickets Endicott NY Enjoie Golf Course
Solheim Cup Tickets Parker Denver CO Colorado Golf Club
2013 Presidents Cup Tickets Dublin Columbus OH Muirfield Village Golf Course
Masters Golf Tournament Tickets Augusta GA National Golf Club
2014 US Open Golf Tickets Pinehurst NC Resort
2014 Ryder Cup Tickets Auchterarder Scotland UK Gleneagles Golf Course

  Featured Tickets:
PGA Championship Golf 7 Day Pass Tickets Rochester NY Oak Hill Country Club
PGA Championship Golf Monday Tickets Rochester NY Oak Hill Country Club
PGA Championship Golf Tuesday Tickets Rochester NY Oak Hill Country Club
PGA Championship Golf Wednesday Tickets Rochester NY Oak Hill Country Club
PGA Championship Golf Thursday Tickets Rochester NY Oak Hill Country Club
PGA Championship Golf Friday Tickets Rochester NY Oak Hill Country Club
PGA Championship Golf Saturday Tickets Rochester NY Oak Hill Country Club
PGA Championship Golf Sunday Final Tickets Rochester NY Oak Hill Country Club

  Featured Tickets:
Masters Golf Tournament Tickets Sunday Competition Augusta GA National Golf Club
Masters Golf Tournament Tickets Saturday Competition Augusta GA National Golf Club
Masters Golf Tournament Tickets Friday Competition Augusta GA National Golf Club
Masters Golf Tournament Tickets Thursday Competition Augusta GA National Golf Club
Masters Golf Tournament Tickets 4 Four Day Badge Augusta GA National Golf Club
Masters Golf Tournament Tickets Wednesday Practice Round Augusta GA National Golf Club
Masters Golf Tournament Tickets Tuesday Practice Round Augusta GA National Golf Club
Masters Golf Tournament Tickets Monday Practice Round Augusta GA National Golf Club

  Featured Tickets:
US Open Golf Tickets Final Round Sunday Fourth 4th Pinehurst NC Resort 2014
US Open Golf Tickets Third 3rd Round Saturday Pinehurst NC Resort 2014
US Open Golf Tickets Second 2nd Round Friday Pinehurst NC Resort 2014
US Open Golf Tickets First 1st Round Thursday Pinehurst NC Resort 2014
US Open Golf Tickets Wednesday Practice Round Pinehurst NC Resort 2014
US Open Golf Tickets Tuesday Practice Round Pinehurst NC Resort 2014
US Open Golf Tickets Monday Practice Round Pinehurst NC Resort 2014
US Open Golf Weekly Pass Tickets Pinehurst NC Resort 2014

 
 
"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