Jul/18

23

Tim Mayotte Analyzes the Young Americans

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By Scoop Malinowski

Up in Newport at the Dell Technologies Hall of Fame Championships, watching Lleyton Hewitt and Jordan Thompson play Artem Sitak and Jonathan Ehrlich, standing beside me was a tennis legend…Tim Mayotte.

The former top ten ATP player from New England had a storied career: Wimbledon and Australian Open semis, 12 ATP singles titles, NCAA champions at Stanford, 1988 Olympic silver medal, former agent of Amanda Coetzer and Greg Rusedski, former USTA national coach, Lipton International Players Championships (Miami Open) champion 1985, Queens Club champion 1987.

Mayotte, 58, is one of the most interesting interviews in tennis and any chance there is to talk with him about the sport is a privilege. Here Tim shares his thoughts on American tennis and much more…

Question: Which young Americans most impress you today, who have the best chances to become an elite player, of all the young Americans under age 22?

Tim Mayotte: Define elite.

Q: Top 10, top 25. Flexible range.

Tim Mayotte: Top ten I don’t see anyone. Top 25…Tiafoe. And…that’s all I see.

Q: Why? What impresses you the most about Tiafoe?

Tim Mayotte: I think his athleticism, his sense of competitiveness, the feeling that he’s in it for the long haul. And I think he’s going to continue to grow. Been impressed by how much his serve has improved. It was pretty bad about two years ago. His forehand has come along. I think he has great variety. He doesn’t shy away from the big moment.

Q: A lot of tennis observers criticize the Tiafoe forehand hitch, what do you think of it?

Tim Mayotte: I hate it. I’ve always hated it. Made it very clear to a number of folks, not that I have any impact on the situation. The forehand is going to be his achilles heel until he addresses it.

Q What is going to hold Taylor Fritz back?

Tim Mayotte: I haven’t seen his game enough. I really like the way he plays. To me, it seems, he’s going to have to learn how to take time away more, from his opponents. And to be able to change direction more effectively it seems to me. I’ve studied this very closely. And it seems to me efficiency of movement, particularly in relation to taking time away is the hallmark of the greatest players right now and obviously the greatest players of all time which is Federer and Nadal obviously. Connors did that. Agassi did that. And it takes remarkable timing, it takes super efficient footwork, particularly related to neutralizing which Djokovic has taken to a new level. And that is the element that is really going to help Taylor. To me, it looks like he’s off balance some of the time and not as centered in his movement as he needs to be.

Stay tuned for part II coming soon…

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10 comments

  • Dan Markowitz · July 23, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    Mayotte is turning 58 not 59. It’s obvious that Tiafoe and Fritz are only two young Smerrican with a chance to win a slam, but Mayotte can’t say he doesn’t think Fritz can break into Top 10 if he hasn’t seen him play much. I also like Opelka to be a big time player if he gets his head more straight and shores up backhand.

  • Duke Carnoustie · July 23, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    Tim is right, although I think Foe can sneak into the top 10. But 15 or so is his ceiling. Fritz and the rest don’t have it.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 23, 2018 at 4:22 pm

    Dan I asked Tim about Opelka and he said ‘I haven’t seen him play at all so I can’t really comment.” The rest of the interview he discusses Djokovic, Thiem, Zverev, Isner, and a tactical play that he thinks should be used against returners ten feet behind the baseline.

  • Chazz · July 23, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    Scoop, the tactical play should start and end with this: drop serve!

  • Duke Carnoustie · July 23, 2018 at 6:47 pm

    Watched some of DeMinaur v. Hurkacz today. Great match, some odd challenges by Hurkacz who didn’t return a returnable shot to challenge match point down and the ball touched a fraction of the line. Tough was to lose. DeMinaur won both TBs.

    Also saw a little bit of Lacko v. Gunneshwaran. The Indian player was very poor and outmatched. HE is not a tour-level player.

    The big news in tennis that Fed has pulled out of Toronto.
    Now all he has on his schedule is Cincinnati before the Open. Though he may pull out there as well, who knows.

    Other major news is that the ATP is revamping the challenger circuit. More prize money, bigger draws and mandatory hotel rooms for players. This is a major change as some cheap events forced players to live in dorms or host families or other ridiculous conditions for preparing to play a pro tennis match. Kudos to the ATP!

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 23, 2018 at 10:30 pm

    Another stunningly impressive win by deMinaur. got blasted 16 in set one then managed to eke out the 76 76 win. He spent all week with Hewitt in Newport, who has taken him under his wing, just like Newk and Rochey took young Hewitt under their wings and taught him the ropes. It’s great that Hewitt is doing this for deMinaur, hopefully his wife won’t keep him in the doghouse for too long for skipping the wedding anniversary and her birthday 🙂 Gunneswaran just beat Paul. Bye bye no 1 for Federer, he will lose all those Toronto final points.

  • catherine · July 24, 2018 at 2:21 am

  • Duke Carnoustie · July 24, 2018 at 2:29 am

    It’s great that the tour is getting rid of these faux professionals. 14,000 players is silly to call themselves “pros.” No other sport has that. 750 is a reasonable number and something to aspire to.

    Right now, Mitchell Thomas Mcdaniels is tied with Mohit Mayur Jayaprakash for No. 1102 in the world. No one can take this system seriously.

  • Duke Carnoustie · July 24, 2018 at 3:23 am

    Jo Tsonga and his gf married; they already have one child. Looks like he will focus on family with his best tennis behind him for sure although he shall be back on tour. A great player who brought plenty to the tour!

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 24, 2018 at 9:10 am

    DY down a set and at 5-5 in the second vs Ivo before rains stopped the match. DY hanging by threads. deMinaur vs Isner will be interesting.

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