Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pancho Segura

Pancho Segura - now 88 with a lifetime of learning and coaching to his tennis career.

Segura was close friends with the great Pancho Gonzales, and coached Jimmy Connors to World No. 1.

The late Jack Kramer would once call Segura's devastating two-handed forehand: "the single greatest shot in the history of tennis."

It was said that no one better understood the geography of the court and the flow of a match than Segura. "You are trying to draw a short ball so you can attack," Segura said.

A few other Segura tidbits of strategy:

"30-love is when you can afford to take the chance; 15-30 is when you can't. At 30-30 you better get your first serve in and play close to the vest. On a big point against a net-rusher, it's good to return down the middle -- he can't afford to go for much, so you can pass him on the next shot. Punish second-serve returns so that you make the other guy go for too much on his serve -- and then he'll start missing. Lob a lot early in the match so that you make the opponent aware that you might lob -- and leave a few inches open for passing shots. On and on and on."

Segura believed that tennis was the ultimate test of democracy in action: "It doesn't take more than a racket and a heart to play this game. That's the great thing about a sport like tennis. It's a great test of democracy in action. Me and you, man, in the arena. Just me and you, baby. Doesn't matter how much you have, or who your dad is, or if you went to Harvard, or Yale, or whatever. Just me and you."

For Joel Dricker's very nice article at ESPN: Pancho Segura


No comments:

Post a Comment