My Childhood Tennis Heroes
I started watching and understanding tennis around 86-87. My favorite was Stefan Edberg, I really adored his play , the best part was obviously his consummate volleying and net play, but I also liked his athleticsm and his gentle demeanour. Becker was my second best, he was somewhat more flashier, and I preferred the simpler types. Though when these guys contested 3 consecutive wimbledon finals from 88-90. my loyalties were alternate in them , and it so happened that always the other guy won. My appreciation for Becker was more due to his nationality, I was fanatic about the German soccer team in the early 90s , so anything Deutsch was the way to go.
I somehow disliked Lendl, he was too Robotic and i used to consider baseliners inferior in status.
So I always supported anyone who played against Lendl.
Same was case with Agassi , he was too cocksure and an iconoclast too appeal to me. Plus he was a baseliner.
Goran was a enigma, he had this vulnerable look about him the total antithesis of Agassi those days, I was rooting madly for him in 92 Wimbledon it was heartbreaking to see him lose, but he hit innummerable aces, his favorite being the curling one which swings like crazy in the air, I still remember Goran was tiring fast, and I was so involved that i was willing him to leave his racket relax his left hand for some time, but he held the racket continuously all through the match like an appendage of his hand.
Its incredible that I remember it in so much detail . upto my 10th standard, I followed tennis like crazy, i used to take cuttings of ATP top 10s. i used to play by hitting shots on the walls of our terrace. I made myself as one player , and the wall as another, playing tournaments this way. A complicated points system based on where i hit the wall and for how many times consecutively.
Nowadays my interest in tennis has spiralled negatively, I cant make myself sit and watch a full match, changing channels intermittently, all the effect of the multiple channels with good ol DD our only succour those days.
Also no great stars on view currently, everyone's game seems the same, too monotonous.