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“I played a couple matches with him. It’s always something different because everybody said he was so talented, he was so gifted. And he had also a unique style of playing. He has very good hands. He used a lot of angles on balls at that time when we played (it) was not seen as often as nowadays because you see players like Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, they use the all court game. But this time all court game and playing angles and spin and taking the opponent out of the position and out of the court was very rare so he was one of the top players.”

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Apr/13

10

Remember How Great Hewitt Was?

P1010841
Lleyton Hewitt lost today to Martin Alund in Houston. Ranked in the 80s, Hewitt is a shell of his once great self.

I’m gonna catch some flak for this but I think Hewitt, at his best, his feistiest, most fired up and tenacious, could put a beating on anyone from tennis history…Federer, Nadal and Djokovic included.

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By Johan Kriek

Two-time Australian Open champ Johan Kriek penned this inspiring and insightful essay on Facebook about his early career struggles to succeed as a tennis player against all odds. Kriek won 14 career singles titles and reached a career high singles rank of #7. He had career wins over Agassi, McEnroe, Connors and Gerulaitis.

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May/17

22

The Week Before The French

Roland-Garros

Alexander Zverev earned his first Masters Series title yesterday in Rome with a dominant 64 63 win over Novak Djokovic. It looked like a routine win with the German getting his breaks early in each set. The final point was a Djokovic return long and Zverev’s reaction was quite muted given the specialty of the occasion. I still remember Roger Federer crying after winning his first Masters Series title in Hamburg vs Safin.

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May/17

21

Agassi to Coach Djokovic

P1010357Even as Novak Djokovic was stunning Dominic Thiem in the semis ceding only one game and then suprisingly losing in straight sets to Sasha Zverev in the finals of Rome, Djokovic had the last hurrah, naming former world no. 1 Andre Agassi to be his new coach. It’s not clear yet whether Agassi will be only a sometimes coach at the slams the way Ivan Lendl is for Andy Murray or whether Agassi will be more hands-on. But always known for his quickness, Agassi is suddenly back and for the French, where Agassi might’ve had his greatest slam win back in 1999.

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May/17

19

Opinion: Thiem Will Win Roland Garros

By Scoop Malinowski

Dominic Thiem convinced me today that he is ready to win Roland Garros and I believe he will in a matter of weeks.

He showed today he can not only exchange brutal topspin rallies with Rafael Nadal on red clay but he can outplay, outsmart and out-grind the king of clay.

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May/17

16

Mind Games In Tennis

mserveBy Scoop Malinowski

Playing serious competitive tennis for two decades has brought great pleasure, excellent fitness, improved play and also an entertainment factor of experiencing so many mind games from opponents.

Mind games and gamesmanship make tennis more intriguing and fun to play. Because you have to know how to properly handle these attempts to rattle your psyche.

I remember playing an older top player in Sarasota at Bath & Racquet Club in a set up match. I was leading 3-love in the third when the opponent on the changeover feigned total exhaustion. I still remember the image of his body draped over a waist-high fence, as if he might quit the match. Guess what?

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May/17

11

Biofile: Carling Bassett-Seguso Inteview

Status:  Former WTA tennis player. Won two WTA singles titles and three doubles titles. Reached a career high ranking of No. 8 in singles in 1985. DOB: October 9, 1967  In: Toronto, Ontario First Tennis Memory:  “Probably in the backyard of my home on the bridal path with a gentleman – I don’t remember his […]

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May/17

6

Djokovic’s Coaching Options

Novak_ready_to_enter_courtThis week Novak Djokovic has cleaned his coaching house, parting ways with his long-time coach, physio and fitness team members in one devastating swoop. So the big question has emerged…who will the former ATP world no. 1 hire to replace Marian Vajda?

Martina Navratilova: A longshot option for sure, but the legendary lefty knows the sport and could help Djokovic’s attacking game and his motivation issues. Navratilova was able to maintain her playing intensity and fitness through three decades. Navratilova had a failed relation with Aga Radwanska and could be eager to rebuild her lost coaching credibility.

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May/17

4

Facing McEnroe Book Interview

facing-macAt the Miami Open I did a quick interview with a reporter from a tennis site about my fifth tennis book “Facing McEnroe”…

Question: What inspired you to write Facing McEnroe?

Scoop Malinowski: “Curiosity to know what is it like to actually play tennis against John McEnroe. We’ve seen the matches live or on TV. I wanted to investigate deeper by talking to the players about their experiences on the tennis courts with John.”

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