Article : Portrait of Miloslav Mecir: The Big Cat (Clips Added) - Page 5 - MensTennisForums.com
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post #61 of 95 (permalink) Old 07-30-2008, 05:53 PM
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Re: Article : Portrait of Miloslav Mecir: The Big Cat

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Pleasure Players: Stylists We Love

By Raymond Lee and Stavo Craft
Monday, July 28, 2008




It began, as so many ideas do, during a discussion with friends. At a time when much of the debate among tennis fans on courts and in chat rooms around the world centers around "Who is the best player?" we began to reflect on our favorites who exuded a pleasure for playing.
As the game goes on there's often a tendency to proclaim the latest champions as the greatest players, but what about the players who have reserved a special place in the minds of life-long tennis fans for their style, grace and mesmerizing skills?
Tennis history is filled with standouts and stylists who have either been underrated or overlooked by fans who follow the sport today. These are players ranging from former champions who may have been overshadowed by more accomplished rivals, competitors whose careers were cut short due to injury or those who simply slipped through the cracks of public consciousness playing in an era when there was scarce coverage of the sport.
Here are three of our all-time favorite players who are connected by their graceful style and gracious sportsmanship.
One of our favorite players of the recent past is the brilliant Czech Miloslav Mecir, the 1986 U.S. Open finalist. Very rarely have we seen a player with a great combination of skills and smoothness. Mecir had such wonderful footwork and speed. He seemed to cover the court in just a few steps where he could make use of his remarkable groundstrokes. Because he was able to get to reach the ball so early he had the ability to wait a fraction of a second and disguise his shots.
Mecir had amazing touch and the ability to change pace in a way rarely seen before or since. To quote Herbert Warren Wind, writing for The New Yorker, in the late 1980s: "He plays points differently than anyone else today. He is like no one I’ve ever seen when changing pace. He really knows how to change pace on an opponent’s serve and his serve, which is something else I haven’t seen. He can also play pretty hard-hitting tennis. You really have to be hitting as well as Lendl did in that U.S. Open final to beat him because Mecir is out there thinking all the time."
Mecir, like Andre Agassi a bit later, often stood on top of the baseline and took the ball on the rise and also like Agassi he had perhaps the best return in the game. Unlike Agassi he seemed so often to be able to hit one shot and turn a rally in which he was on the defensive into a rally in which he was in control. Mecir had an excellent volley and his approach shots were very controlled and hard to read because of his short backswing. One of his few vulnerabilities was that his second serve could have been a bit better to take advantage of his 6-foot-3 height. It wasn’t a bad serve by any means, but it could have been used more effectively to get some a few additional free points.
I’ve basically given all of you a brief description of Mecir’s style of play but I can’t adequately describe to you the how truly mesmerizing he was. At his best, Mecir was such a smooth operator, it was sometimes difficult to watch his oppponent because Mecir commanded your attention on court.
I remember one rally that he was in involved in with Boris Becker in which Becker hit what I thought was a winning volley. Mecir seemed light years away from the ball, but all of a sudden he was there with time to spare and hit the ball sharply crosscourt passed a stunned Becker. I couldn’t believe it and I don’t think Becker did either!
At the risk of sounding like someone quoting Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid I thought to myself, "Who is this guy? How can anyone do this to Boris Becker?" At this point he immediately became one of my favorites. I enjoyed his unique play in so many matches over the next few years but unfortunately due to a back problem he was unable to continue what I thought would be a Hall of Fame career. Because of his premature retirement from the tennis scene, I felt robbed that I couldn’t enjoy his play anymore.
You always wonder what might have been and while he has continued a career in tennis as a Davis Cup captain for the Slovak Republic, I will always remember him as one of the best-moving big men I've seen.

Source: http://www.tennisweek.com/news/fulls...newsid=6614829
Thanks for that. It's amazing what he could do with a wooden racket early on especially since he picked up the game late.
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post #62 of 95 (permalink) Old 08-15-2008, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Article : Portrait of Miloslav Mecir: The Big Cat

He's an Olympic gold medallist, perfect time to bump this thread.

Showing his wit here against Lendl.

[youtube]-1zkNyxSrzE[/youtube]

On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".


Wilander on Dimitrov - "He has mind set on imitating Federer and yes it looks good. But he has no idea what to do on the court".

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I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
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post #63 of 95 (permalink) Old 08-15-2008, 07:54 PM
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Re: Article : Portrait of Miloslav Mecir: The Big Cat

I loved see Mecir in the 1980s. Noone could work the angles at him. Unforutnately he remnained a bit of an underachiever, compared to his talent.

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Re: Article : Portrait of Miloslav Mecir: The Big Cat


The Big Cat - Wall Of Champions - AHOY Convention Centre - Rotterdam

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why are you so seriously
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post #65 of 95 (permalink) Old 03-13-2009, 10:20 PM
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Re: Article : Portrait of Miloslav Mecir: The Big Cat

Pure class. Huge fan since the first time I saw him playing
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post #66 of 95 (permalink) Old 03-30-2009, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Article : Portrait of Miloslav Mecir: The Big Cat

Will upload some more clips on youtube at some point soon.

On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".


Wilander on Dimitrov - "He has mind set on imitating Federer and yes it looks good. But he has no idea what to do on the court".

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Originally Posted by Filo V. View Post
I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
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post #67 of 95 (permalink) Old 03-30-2009, 11:35 AM
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Re: Article : Portrait of Miloslav Mecir: The Big Cat

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I loved see Mecir in the 1980s. Noone could work the angles at him. Unforutnately he remnained a bit of an underachiever, compared to his talent.
It appears I'm not the only one after all AJ.

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Armstrong says in-competition testing will never catch anyone, only out-of-competition testing and the blood passport can.

Tennis has no blood passport system, and does basically no out of competition testing.

The methods and drugs used by Armstrong in 1999 would work in tennis right now, with zero chance of being caught (not slightly surprising to anyone familiar with the topic, btw).
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post #68 of 95 (permalink) Old 03-30-2009, 11:37 AM
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Re: Article : Portrait of Miloslav Mecir: The Big Cat

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Will upload some more clips on youtube at some point soon.
Can't wait mate.

Youtube needs more Mecir clips.

Robin Bo Carl Söderling
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post #69 of 95 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Article : Portrait of Miloslav Mecir: The Big Cat

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It appears I'm not the only one after all AJ.
Kaspar tried to convince me that Monte Carlo was slower than Hamburg, therefore it's a grain of salt I take that endorsement.

How was he better mentally than Lendl, Becker, Edberg, Wilander or McEnroe? That's right, he wasn't.

On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".


Wilander on Dimitrov - "He has mind set on imitating Federer and yes it looks good. But he has no idea what to do on the court".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Filo V. View Post
I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
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post #70 of 95 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Article : Portrait of Miloslav Mecir: The Big Cat

Even though Johnny Wilkinson spelt Milo's first name wrong, interesting choice for a favourite player from him.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/spo...cle6540633.ece

Miloslav Mecir was always such a masterful presence

Here’s a name to remember: Miroslav Mecir. I remember him, anyway. I remember him well. And with huge admiration. Slovakian, or Czechoslovakian, as he would have been in the late Eighties when he was at his peak, he had an amazing run that took him to the Wimbledon semi-finals in 1988. Beautiful player. But what I loved about him was his humility. I mention Mecir because, in a strange way, he is important to me — like a lot of tennis players are.

I am a Wimbledon buff, I love the fortnight. When I was younger, I used to do queue early in the morning to get a ticket to rove around the outside courts.

And after the fortnight was over, I’d always buy the Wimbledon highlights video and watch it again and again. Yes — this may sound familiar — I got obsessive about it. I’d watch it and then, on holiday, drag my brother out on to the court to try to copy what I’d seen. You could see the look on his face sometimes: Jonny, this isn’t fun any more. And at that stage I’d set up a court next to the pool using sun loungers. I guess there were limits to how much fun that was for everyone else.

But why tennis is important to me is because of the impression that those players of the late Eighties and early Nineties made upon me. I think tennis is a great sport because it can showcase true athletes at their hard-working, talented best. I could learn a little bit from them, from people such as Mecir: players who bring their own, particular sporting qualities to the courts.

I’ve said before that Boris Becker is one of my all-time heroes. I loved him because he was a great player — that’s the obvious bit — but what I really liked was how he seemed to live every point, he so visibly made so much effort. He symbolised a never-say-die spirit. That’s why I liked Jimmy Connors, too: all that “never-die” courage, never consider losing a possibility, always fight on when you are two sets down and staring at defeat. When you are a 10 or 11-year-old and your dream is to become a professional sportsman, this is the sort of thing that can make a real impression on you.

Other favourites from that era included Henri Leconte and Michael Chang. But I’ll return to Mecir; him and Stefan Edberg, because there were strong elements of Mecir in Edberg, too.

What impressed me about them was the understated grace with which they went about their game. There was no sense of “look at me”. You felt they were good people who cared. This was especially true of Mecir, even down to the way he played. He could absolutely skin someone, yet never rub that opponent’s nose in the dust. It seemed you could be at the wrong end of a Mecir thrashing and yet proud of it.

Mecir could play beautiful tennis but would never make a big deal out of it. That’s the humility in him and it was that characteristic that I took away from watching him. That’s what your heroes are for, isn’t it? To admire and copy. So I said to myself back then, that if I am going to play sport, I want to behave like Mecir.

On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".


Wilander on Dimitrov - "He has mind set on imitating Federer and yes it looks good. But he has no idea what to do on the court".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Filo V. View Post
I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
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post #71 of 95 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 04:27 PM
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Re: Article : Portrait of Miloslav Mecir: The Big Cat

what's up with youtube?
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post #72 of 95 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Article : Portrait of Miloslav Mecir: The Big Cat

I am still going through the clips and editing, there are a few of them.

On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".


Wilander on Dimitrov - "He has mind set on imitating Federer and yes it looks good. But he has no idea what to do on the court".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Filo V. View Post
I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
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post #73 of 95 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 04:36 PM
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Re: Article : Portrait of Miloslav Mecir: The Big Cat

i could've written this myself:

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I’ve said before that Boris Becker is one of my all-time heroes. I loved him because he was a great player — that’s the obvious bit — but what I really liked was how he seemed to live every point, he so visibly made so much effort. He symbolised a never-say-die spirit. That’s why I liked Jimmy Connors, too: all that “never-die” courage, never consider losing a possibility, always fight on when you are two sets down and staring at defeat. When you are a 10 or 11-year-old and your dream is to become a professional sportsman, this is the sort of thing that can make a real impression on you.
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post #74 of 95 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Article : Portrait of Miloslav Mecir: The Big Cat

Becker, Connors and Mecir, got all of the bases covered there.

On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".


Wilander on Dimitrov - "He has mind set on imitating Federer and yes it looks good. But he has no idea what to do on the court".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Filo V. View Post
I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
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post #75 of 95 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 05:53 PM
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Re: Article : Portrait of Miloslav Mecir: The Big Cat

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What impressed me about them was the understated grace with which they went about their game. There was no sense of “look at me”. You felt they were good people who cared. This was especially true of Mecir, even down to the way he played. He could absolutely skin someone, yet never rub that opponent’s nose in the dust. It seemed you could be at the wrong end of a Mecir thrashing and yet proud of it.

Mecir could play beautiful tennis but would never make a big deal out of it. That’s the humility in him and it was that characteristic that I took away from watching him. That’s what your heroes are for, isn’t it? To admire and copy. So I said to myself back then, that if I am going to play sport, I want to behave like Mecir.
Great article, especially this part. I hope Miloslav gets to read it.
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