Sep/19

19

Carling Bassett-Seguso Has High Praise for Andreescu

Former Canadian tennis hero Carling Bassett-Seguso, who exploded to fame as a 15 year old making the 1983 Australian Open quarterfinals, is highly impressed by the accomplishments of fellow Canadian and US Open champion Bianca Andreescu.

Bassett-Seguso, recently told the Toronto Sun the following words about the spirited 19 year old who has achieved a remarkable 42-4 record so far in 2019:

“She’s just there. She’s never running away. You just know that you’re going to have to win the bloody match from start to finish,” said Bassett-Seguso, the top-ranked Canadian player from 1982-1986. “She’s in the zone and she knows it. That’s sort of where you have to be. You get to the point where you get that confidence where you really feel invincible. Not to the point where you feel egotistical about it, but you have to have that within because tennis is separated by four or five points — that’s it — when you get into those close matches.”

“I love the way she uses the whole court. She’s very smart. She finds a way to win. She knows how to play tennis. It’s just timing now. It’s just keeping your head on and having the best (people) around  you to keep you focused, because tennis, man, it’s rough.”

“If I’m rolling the dice, I’d say she’s top-three in the world within the next couple years. She’s just solid everywhere. She’s got all four corners sealed right now. She’s not a huge girl ,so she’s going to have to keep it like that.”

Bassett-Seguso, who lives in Bradenton, Florida says Andreescu has sparked her interest to follow pro tennis again. She has been off the scene lately. The last time I saw her at a pro tournament was in 2017 at the Sarasota Open. She also made an appearance in the popular Nick Bollettieri Showtime documentary “Love Means Zero” two years ago.

“I haven’t been around (pro tennis) at all. Now I really enjoy watching it. I couldn’t say that a couple of years ago. There were like one or two matches that I wanted to watch and … even then, it was like, ‘Do I really want to watch Serena play again?’ ” said Bassett-Seguso. “There’s a lot of room now. I couldn’t believe the transformation. The way they were hitting the ball. It’s just big.”

Bassett-Seguso reached a career high rankings of no. 8 in 1985.

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106 comments

  • Hartt · September 19, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    This is a pinned tweet by Simon Briggs, so although he wrote it on Aug. 27, it shows up first on his twitter page. Since we’ve talked about what it is like for an introvert to cope with a lot of attention, I thought this was interesting.

    “Lots of introverts are prospering in the women’s game, so in the interests of balance, nice to have a new contender as sassy as Bianca Andreescu.”

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 19, 2019 at 9:03 pm

    Introvert to the media does not mean introvert in normal life.

  • Jon King · September 19, 2019 at 11:54 pm

    She makes no sense and is obviously pandering to the Canadian press. So she had no interest in watching the greatest female player of all time? So would a basketball fan say, I don’t want to watch Jordan play again? She did not like the amazing once in a lifetime Henin one hander? Or Clijsters extreme athletic ability? Only Bianca is interesting to her?

    Come on now, Bianca is a nice player, nothing amazing, no signature shots, likely will be in the pack and win 1-2 more Slams total in her career. You lose credibility when you say Bianca made you want to watch tennis again but a women winning 23 Slams did not.

  • Andrew Miller · September 20, 2019 at 12:02 am

    Liked the Carling game. I think she’s fluent in all things tennis.

    She’s asked to comment on Canadian tennis a lot and should be asked. Until Raonic came along, correct me if I’m wrong, she was easily the highest ranked Canadian on either tour and the best Canadian player unless we count Mary Pierce.

    When she came back I thought her game looked good, she was a complete player. I think she was also one of the few to use the Prince “Spectrum” racquet! It was may the most popular racquet at the time, just behind the Prince Graphite, that pros loved. Then the Donnay took over.

  • catherine · September 20, 2019 at 1:35 am

    Jon – we don’t know why Carling didn’t watch pro tennis – could have been something entirely personal and nothing to do with the game. She has a family and maybe other things to do. It’s been many years since she was a player.

    And to say she’s ‘pandering to the Canadian press’ – why would she want to do that ?

    ‘Bianca is a nice player, nothing amazing’ – so why do the rest have such a hard time beating her ? I’m not saying she’s the greatest ever but she’s the best to come along for a while. Why should Carling care about her own ‘credibility’ ? She may have seen Serena play many times in the past. She may have watched other players as well. She didn’t say. Life doesn’t revolve around tennis.

    Your comment really makes no sense.

  • Andrew Miller · September 20, 2019 at 7:08 am

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but press only seek out Carling for her take on Canadians playing tennis. I saw some press on her five years back when the other Canadian began making big slam runs. No one is looking for what Carling thinks these days about Medvedev, only top Canadians that are female!

    As for the number of slams any player wins including Serena I have no idea. Look no further than Osaka – I thought she had the game to be a multiple slam winner and she did that in barely half a year. I had no idea Halep could win Wimbeldon. I didn’t see Kerber getting her third slam.

    Carling take on winners shows she has taken a few years off of watching. It’s been almost entirely the hey there are a lot of good WTA players out there with four unique champs per year at slams.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 20, 2019 at 7:46 am

    Carling Bassett is a brilliant tennis mind, she was there, she was a big time player, knows the game at elite level. She watches too. This interview made it seem she doesn’t watch or follow, she does. I chatted with her three years ago in Sarasota Open, she even said Kozlov was one of her favorites to watch. She knew Kozlov, likes his style of play. So she knows the modern game. Like some, she may have just got tired of watching Serena. Nothing worse than watching Serena beat Wang and svitolina types by tank.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 20, 2019 at 8:12 am

    To get to know how good Carling Bassett was, check out the Biofile we did a couple of years ago. https://www.tennis-prose.com/bios/biofile-carling-bassett-seguso-inteview/

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 20, 2019 at 8:16 am

    I care what Bassett thinks about current tennis, she has a lot of offer, former top ten players know things mere mortals don’t. Any chance I get to interview her I take it. She shared excellent perspectives on Facing Graf and Seles and which one was much tougher for her (Seles). Like I said, very astute tennis mind. Not just a Canadian gimmick who only talks about Canadians.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 20, 2019 at 8:17 am

    Bassett Seguso has a big family and two very young kids along with three adults kids now, Carling Seguso, Ridley Seguso and Holden Seguso. She was also involved in equestrian.

  • Andrew Miller · September 20, 2019 at 8:18 am

    I like Carling. I like her analysis. As for the Carling game I’m sorry the tennis world didn’t see enough of it. I watched some Bassett vs Evert and Evert was an outstanding strategist, one of the best? She knew how to play Carling B.

    What was also surprising was how hard Carling B. was hitting. It shows that she had great coaching early on and her game looks like a predecessor of BB tennis, such as the tall long and strong girls that would begin to climb the ranks in the decades ahead.

    She almost had a few Agassi style to her. Big forehand big backhand, good all court game. Generally the mark of Bolletieri with the big FH and BH, but I think her earlier training must have contributed. Good technique. She should be a good development coach.

  • catherine · September 20, 2019 at 8:24 am

    Scoop – yes, it’s obvious Carling does watch the game although she may not watch it obsessively all the time. She might be choosy. Nothing wrong with that. And I can understand how Bianca could be re-igniting her interest – she wouldn’t be alone. Her comments seem pretty sharp to me.

    And Carling’s a Canadian past champ asked by a Canadian paper to comment on a rising Canadian player. Surprise surprise. The paper may have cut out a fair bit – that often happens.

    There were a few things around Carling’s playing career which encouraged her to leave the game relatively early when she got married. So she may feel ambivalent about it. She’s never really said.

  • Dan Markowitz · September 20, 2019 at 8:28 am

    I don’t think Jon’s post makes “no sense” as Catherine says. Why would Bassett pander to the Canadian press? Well, Bassett if I remember a little bit of a disappointment. She shot up very quickly as a teen and then because of injuries and also bulimia her career was done. So her remark that she’s tired of watching Serena play (and prosper at 37) could be made out of jealousy. I think there’s also truth in it too, but while Serena’s not Federer in terms of when she retires we’ll all miss her a lot, she pretty far up there on the totem pole of popular and inspiring players.

    Look, everybody thought Osaka too was going to be an ultra-dominant player and now she’s fallen. Andreescu is very intriguing and a very fine player and I think it’s almost impossible to judge if she’s going to be an all-time great at this point. What I do know is that she’s a shot in the arm for women’s tennis which dearly needs one because I can’t think of a really dynamic player these days except Serena and Osaka at times. Maybe Clijsters will add intrigue to the mix, but I know I’m exhausted by the prospect of watching much more of Halep, Wozniaki, Kvitova, Kerber and the rest of that ilk so I’m glad Andreescu has hit the scene with a big splash and a brash game and personality.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 20, 2019 at 9:02 am

    She would be an excellent coach for a serious junior who aspires to be a top pro or world no. 1. She’s been there, she knows what it takes. Saw her hit at US Open about ten years ago dressed in wrong shoes and tight jeans and she hit the hell out of the ball, perfect technique. Stunning to see. She was offering her coaching services in Bradenton/Sarasota a few years ago, her schedule should be packed.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 20, 2019 at 9:05 am

    Catherine, Andreescu has excited a lot of big name players, Fabrice Santoro also said he’s a big fan of her and loves the way she plays. I’m sure the Tennis Channel is on a fair bit at the Bassett-Seguso household.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 20, 2019 at 9:11 am

    Dan, Serena is dreadful to watch when opponents just roll over for her. As Wang and Svitolina did. When somebody stands up to Serena and looks her in the eye and matches her on court intensity, that’s always great to watch. But it happens rarely. The majority of WTA players seem to defer to her and lose to her because they are supposed to. Dreadful to watch that kind of deferral tennis. Aside from that, I like where WTA tennis is at right now. Good mix of characters and talents and ages, young and old and prime. Looking forward to see more of Gauff, Mcnally, Hsieh, Anisimova, Kenin, Andreescu, Osuigwe, Halep, Clijsters, Golovin, and anybody who smashes an umpire chair like Pliskova did after the horrible call vs Sakkari.

  • catherine · September 20, 2019 at 9:27 am

    Dan – I seriously doubt Carling is even the teeniest bit jealous of Serena. Carling’s pro career was over many many years ago, she has a large family and outside interests. No question of pandering – the reporter asked questions – she answered them.

    If I were you I’d just turn off the tv when your non-favourites are on. What’s wrong with Simona ? She won Wimbledon. Oh – I forgot – that’s one that ‘doesn’t count’, along with W’don 2018 and USO 2019.

    It’s a bit early to write off Naomi. Didn’t think peoples’ attention spans were that short.

  • Dan Markowitz · September 20, 2019 at 9:46 am

    I don’t watch a lot of women’s tennis; everyone who reads this web site knows that. But I did catch some of the Goubic match this morning against Stosur and I was impressed. I thought the only one-hander in the women’s game was Suarez-Navarro.

    Of course, Bassett is jealous of Serena. Bassett had all the advantages growing up; Serena had none of them. Bassett’s father was a zillionaire. Basset was an incredibly ferocious competitor. She was an earlier equivalent to Seles. The fact that her career petered out after reaching only one slam semis I think still galls a woman like her. When you are a hotshot like Bassett was and your career basically fizzles out after your teenage years, it’s got to be very frustrating. Her whole life revolved around tennis. She married a pro; her first son was a bigtime junior. These type of people are very competitor.

    Look I played tennis only at a Division III college and it was nearly 40 years ago, but it still galls me that I didn’t get to play my senior year when I would’ve been No. 1 on my team (they cut tennis at my college because of Title 9). I still grit my teeth when my son says to me something to the effect, “Dad, what do you know? You only played Div. III tennis.” And to think I could still beat him up to a year or so ago.

  • Jon King · September 20, 2019 at 9:48 am

    Come on now, 20 years from now no one is going to remember Bianca. The issue is all time greats, once in a sport accomplishments like Serena or Michael Jordan.

    Bassett saying she only came back to watching tennis because of the epicness of Bianca…give me a break, she makes zero sense.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 20, 2019 at 9:49 am

    To ASSume Bassett-Seguso is “jealous” of Serena is a major stretch.

  • Jon King · September 20, 2019 at 9:51 am

    Dan hit it on the head. Anyone who remembers Bassett knows her story, rich party girl, flew to her matches on private jets even as a junior, had a team of coaches even as a teen player. Had every advantage in life. She shows up to play vs girls who flew a cramped economy jet and stayed in flea bag hotels and had poor equipment and no coaches with them…while she had everything.

  • catherine · September 20, 2019 at 10:08 am

    Jon – what on earth have you got against Bianca ? And who knows who’s going to be remembered 20 years from now ? That’s a ridiculous statement. And Carling never actually said she only watched tennis because of Bianca.

    People watch sport for all sorts of reasons, few of which you seem to be aware of.

    I know all about Carling Bassett by the way since I watched her from the time she appeared until the time she left, wrote a bit about her and knew about her background. Did you ?

    I notice you didn’t include Federer in your All Time Greats. Wonder why he didn’t cut it.

    I love the way some people seem to think they can read people’s minds – people they’ve never met, never will and haven’t a clue about. I doubt Carling wastes a single instant of her life being ‘jealous’ of Serena Williams.

    And outside the US you’d be suprised the number of people who don’t know who Michael Jordan was.

  • Harold · September 20, 2019 at 10:27 am

    “ I love the way some people think they live in some people’s mind” says the woman renting a room in Kerbers Head.. 😂

  • catherine · September 20, 2019 at 10:36 am

    I don’t speak German so I’ve no idea what’s going on in Kerber’s head. Just what I see on the court. Maybe she’s wildly jealous of Serena too. No idea.

    Anyway, I said ‘the way some people seem to think they can read people’s minds.’

    This thread seems to have wandered far from the original innocuous quotes from Carling Bassett. Too far for me.

  • Hartt · September 20, 2019 at 11:16 am

    I am surprised that there is so much being said about Carling Bassett. Even the Canadian tennis media rarely bring her up, just once in a while when they want to talk about a successful female player from a long time ago.

    Jack Sock just won against Fognini at Laver Cup in SS. That is the real news!

    The first night match is Fritz vs Tsitsipas and then doubles – Sock/Shapo vs Fed/Zverev.

  • Jon King · September 20, 2019 at 11:32 am

    Jack Sock looks like a dad bod guy at the local park. It must kill super stud Fognini to lose to him.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 20, 2019 at 11:41 am

    Good win for Sock who is back to the backward cap look. Fognini couldn’t tame the Sock fearhand. Big reaction by Sock after match point Fog return sailed long. Fog failed to respond to Federer and Nadal coaching, imploring him to stay positive and don’t get frustrated.

  • Andrew Miller · September 20, 2019 at 12:55 pm

    Carling B. Bashing. Please. She’s expected to comment on Canadian women’s tennis and she does, without fail. Always in the corner of Canadian women’s players. And why not? How many Canadian women know top ten pro tennis?

    I have the answer! Three. Andreescu. Bouchard. Carling Bassett. That’s it.

    Her dad died in the heart of her young career. As a teenager she was already bulimic, throwing up on the order of 20-25 times per day. Following the death of her dad, she went for success over happiness, which is totally understandable yet from today’s standards confusing – the early to mid 1980s wasn’t today. She also poured herself into the Seguso career, to the detriment of her more distinguished singles career.

    The reason she doesn’t go into any of this stuff my guess is because that’s not her. I’d have to dig up clips. Let’s try anyways.

    2007 Bassett Comes Full Circle
    “Bassett lost much of her zest for the game after her father died in 1986.”

    Seguso
    “I sometimes think I rushed into the relationship. My dad had passed away and maybe I wanted to detach myself from tennis, and that was a way out. It just happened.”

    Post partum depression.

    She admits to pushing her children and bordering on being verbally abusive. “I guess it was all about making me look good with their success…That is really unhealthy” she said.

    On bulimia
    “It’s so easy to get into and so hard to get out of. I hated myself and I couldn’t stop”

    August 2014, “From one phenom to another” by Michael Grange
    “It all seemed perfect. And trying to keep it that way nearly killed her”.

  • Andrew Miller · September 20, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    Let’s all bash Asinimova now. Her dad also died just as her career was picking up steam.

    Sorry…tragedy hits everyone and it decked Basset’s career. She had as big a game as one could have in the early to mid 1980s. I don’t see anyone going after Barbie Schett or Federer, who both had some silver spoons.

  • Hartt · September 20, 2019 at 1:07 pm

    Fed’s parents were comfortably middle class, but he did not grow up with a silver spoon. In fact, at one point his mother, who worked part-time, increased her hours to help ensure the family’s financial stability.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 20, 2019 at 1:15 pm

    Money does not equate to tennis success and greatness for a rich kid. By far most of the rich kids do not make it in tennis, just a few do. The fact that Bassett did shows she was great player and fighter with an above average strong drive and will. Gimelstob, Gulbis, Bassett, Medvedev, had the big bucks behind them and made it. Sure there’s more. But there’s a lot more who never made it or came close to making it.

  • Andrew Miller · September 20, 2019 at 1:15 pm

    So the argument is Serena is better than Carling. Ok, not even debatable. That’s obvious, 23 majors beats none, and a half of fame career of supernova caliber beats a shooting star career of a thousand days or less.

    Carling vs Serena? Come on. She didn’t say that at all. She made a comment on seeing a new young champ from Canada, the first ever unless you count Mary Pierce.

    Serena is a once in a lifetime champion. She isn’t just an all time best player, she’s superior to her sister winning what, 3x the slams? Actually more than three times..If you count both of them that’s thirty slams, which is crazy.

    And we have seen Serena now for twenty years. Twenty.

    If anything Carling might have wanted to say that the wta is exciting including Serena going for 24 slams and history.

    I think it’s much fuss over nothing. Let’s leave it as Carling is a required quote for any Canadian piece on how far women’s tennis in Canada has come over thirty years. Otherwise we’d be grasping for straws and takking Jill H.

    Do we really want to go all Michibata on everyone? Really???

  • Andrew Miller · September 20, 2019 at 1:22 pm

    Sorry, Federer a pharma executive. That’s high up there.

  • Andrew Miller · September 20, 2019 at 1:26 pm

    Wealth isn’t same as talent. Bassett hit a huge ball.

    So many kids I played…they didn’t win because they were wealthy. They could buy ten racquets because they were wealthy and break all ten of them and replace them annually. And they didn’t play anywhere because they weren’t that good.

    The tennis ball doesn’t distinguish between how much money you have but definitely how much skill you have. Unless you are bribing opponents to drop out of matches.

  • Andrew Miller · September 20, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    Here, Seles also bulimic and wrote a book on it. Should we decide not to include Carling because she’s wealthy? Even though as far as bulimia goes, it’s relevant? Especially to players?!!!

    Anyways. I’ll leave it there. I enjoyed watching Carling because she hit a good ball. Big ball striking. Graf showed it works – Carling wasn’t the same power player or the same kind of strategist, and I don’t know if she’d have a slam. You can see she wonders too.

    It doesn’t matter.

  • Andrew Miller · September 20, 2019 at 1:37 pm

    Dan, can’t win situation re: match up with the kid. If you beat him he’ll be upset. If you lose you’ll be proud but upset.

    If you really wanted to you could go all Medvedev on juniors. Drop shot serves and everything. A top twenty US 18s player did this to me. I was up on the guy as a junior of the same age. Then he started serving drop shots followed by 120mph serves. I couldn’t recover and lost almost every game after a first set lead including a break.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 20, 2019 at 2:22 pm

    Sebastian Lareau, Andrew Snajder, Grant Connell.

  • Andrew Miller · September 20, 2019 at 2:27 pm

    …exactly. This decade has brought Canadian tennis to its highest level of all time. Indisputable.

    We can always praise Michibata.

  • Andrew Miller · September 20, 2019 at 2:59 pm

    In praise of Phil B., Peter P., Steven D.

    I can’t. I can’t do it. Canadian players have shown potential but we have to admit, the singles players of note have been:
    Andreescu
    Raonic
    Carling
    Bouchard
    Shapo
    FelixAA
    Pops

    That’s it. Dancevic, Michibata, Connell, Nestor. Fine. But of note? The smaller list above with Carling one of only three female Canadian players to scale the heights.

    Until this crop of players arrived we were looking Carling and no one.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 20, 2019 at 3:49 pm

    Helen Kelesi got to 13 in the world in 1989. Born in Richmond, British Columbia. She beat Sanchez Vicario, Conchita, Shriver, Novotna, Sukova, Manuela Maleeva. How come nobody remembers Hurricane Helen Kelesi? She won two WTA singles titles too. French Open QF twice.

  • Andrew Miller · September 20, 2019 at 3:54 pm

    Kelesi, yes. Not as good as CarlingB 🙂

  • Andrew Miller · September 20, 2019 at 4:15 pm

    Two nice pieces on Canadian women’s tennis
    1. Canadian Comets From Bassett Seguso to Bouchard and Andreescu (a photo essay on WTA Tennis site). Nice photo essay. If anything this made me appreciate Canadian Tennis
    2. Steve Simmons, “A historic day for Canadian tennis, just not a memorable one”. August 6, 2009. This was written with a lot of wit. A little mean, but I think it may go over well. And it was funny. I’m sure he wrote a bang up piece on Andreescu post US Open conquest.

  • Andrew Miller · September 20, 2019 at 4:21 pm

    Props to Scott Stinson and Steve Simmons. Both very good Canadian sports writers that write about tennis and covered Andreescu and Canadian players.

  • Hartt · September 20, 2019 at 4:47 pm

    Andrew, in his Federer biography, Swiss journalist wrote: “The Federer family was neither rich nor poor, but solid Swiss middle class. Roger grew up in a townhouse . . . in a suburb of Basel.” A suburban townhouse does not sound like great wealth.

  • Hartt · September 20, 2019 at 4:50 pm

    What’s with this interest in Canadian tennis players from the past? I think Canadian tennis fans would agree that, outside of Daniel Nestor in doubles, Canada did not have a great history in tennis. That is why there was so much excitement when Raonic broke through.

  • Hartt · September 20, 2019 at 4:57 pm

    Andrew, could you post a link to the WTA photo essay on Canadian players? Trying to find anything on that site is an exercise in futility.

  • Hartt · September 20, 2019 at 5:11 pm

    I found the WTA photo essay on Canadian women players through Google.

    https://www.wtatennis.com/photos/canadian-comets-bassett-seguso-bouchard-and-andreescu?photo=14

  • Andrew Miller · September 20, 2019 at 5:11 pm

    Re Bassett, just pointing out she was a very good player, because she was. Basell is nice! But I take Hartt’s point, Federer didn’t come from great wealth, just enough and stability. Nadal’s family actually did have some significant financial means – not on the level of a Gulbis, but more than enough to cover tennis and then some.

  • Hartt · September 20, 2019 at 5:54 pm

    Just a note that the Scott Simmons article is from 2019, not 2009. I was trying to figure out what could have happened in 2009.

    As Andrew predicted, Simmons did write a couple articles after Bianca’s USO win. One was sort of mushy, about how coming to Canada worked out so well for Bianca’s family and allowed her to develop as a tennis player, thanks to Tennis Canada.

    The other talks about how the Raptors championship and Bianca’s USO title had an impact on the popularity of basketball and tennis, bringing in new fans.

    “Andreescu has the talent, but there is still so much to learn about her sustainability. She’s only 19. This is her amazing beginning.

    But I have this feeling: We’re going to be watching a lot of tennis in the coming years. The way we watch basketball now.

    Championships and champions do that: They pull us in, change our habits. For now. Maybe forever.”

  • Andrew Miller · September 20, 2019 at 6:16 pm

    Kind of incredible. Now there are kids that know zero about tennis, who will follow the sport for decades, or who will remember when Andreescu won. Tennis Canada is ecstatic. And they should be.

    The track record for countries with new champs after seeing a great one isn’t amazing, because the competition is too good. After all, Canada has no legacy of great champion tennis players, and neither did Serbia.

    But, kids will look at tennis differently in Canada I bet. Some will say you know what forget Hockey or I’ll always love hockey but I want to play tennis. That’s entirely because of this young champ.

    Part of me is rooting for her. The other part of me says hey, tough sport, and there are four different slam champs a year these days on the WTA. I’m convinced though anytime you see that young a champ it has a huge effect – they are a teenager and a young relatable champ to kids.

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