Speaking to the Times of India during his trip to Indian for the inaugural IPTL exo, Pete Sampras gave a harsh critique on the current state of the men’s game.
“The players have become too much one dimensional,” Sampras said. “They stay at the back of the court and wait for the opponent to commit the mistake. It is harder to return to the net and easier to stay at the back.”
The former No. 1 who was known for serve and volley, says the net rushing era has past, for now.
“That seems difficult because young players learn from the top players and most of the top players play from the baseline,” Sampras said. “Even in Wimbledon players are staying back. Maybe, not really knowing how to come forward. During our playing days, we’d play Boris (Becker) one day and then Stefan (Edberg) the next day. It was a different game altogether. Obviously, a lot of things have changed. All youngsters are now looking at Rafael and Roger. Even Roger is playing from the baseline.
“To be a top player, one needs to have a good and penetrating forehand. All good players have it, he said. “Look at Rafa (Nadal). He has a very good forehand. Well, to be a tennis player, you need to be in good shape and have some other strengths also. Still, I fell, the most important weapon should be the forehand.”
Sampras also ruled out joining the new trend of celebrity coaching and he also doesn’t hold out much hope for a future rebirth in American tennis for the men. “I don’t even see them among the Top 10 in near future,” he said of the current young American men.
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