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Larri seems to be a wonderful person and it appears that Guga has a very familial relationship with him, but sometimes I wonder if a change of coach would not provide Guga with the sparkle he needs to get back to his heydays... I haven't seen Guga adding any new strategy or weapon in the last couple of years, but a beefed up serve, and Larri doesn't strike me as the kind of professional coach with vast knowledge and modern resources, the way Darren Cahill and Brad Gilbert seem to be... I know Guga has Larri is high esteem and would hardly abandon his coach and family friend, but that option seems to be hurting his advance in the rankings IMO...

South Americans male tennis players have historically been resistant to being coached by outsiders, a bright exception being Marcelo Rios when he reached the #1 spot in the ATP rankings... If Guga is to be successful in WImbledon and the USOpen, he will definitely have to change his stance while returning his opponents's serves, which presently stands way too back and passive... I don't see Larri Passos trying to make Guga more daring and aggressive on the court, their relationship seems to be more of a father-son nature than a professional one... Larri is maybe so concerned in having Guga's comfort level pleased, that he will not ask or impose a change on the way he plays, even if the change is for the better... theirs is a relationship that looks accommodating rather than dynamic and I think Guga would profit a lot if a more professional approach or coach is considered... what do you guys think?
 

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Ouch, here we go again...

Its really wonderfully ironic sometimes. All the time Guga wins, people praise the Guga-Larri long time union, and point at it as one of the main factors.
As soon as Guga loses a couple of matches, or starts struggling (which is normal in a career of 8 years or so), they start saying that maybe Guga should change coaches.

IMO, if he dumps Larri, he better dump his tennis career first, because it would be faster.

You didnt see any major improvements in Gugas game since when? Since he got injured?
Well, if that is it, then I will agree with you. He is working on coming back to his form, not inventing new stuff. AFTER that, he can think of the rest.
And if you meant before that, than I am really wondering if we´re seeing the same matches...
Do you mind checking some stats on Guga´s net plays? Take a look throughout his career, or take sample years as 1997, 1999, and then take 2001. Dont use 2002 because it was too shaky and irregular a year for obvious reasons.
The net play is ONE of the things that got better. There are more:

1. He stays back on the return of serve. Why? Because he likes to hit the crap out of the ball, and if he is too close to backline, the ball will go long. AND his backswing is too long, and it gets difficult to hit his strokes if he is into the court.
BUT, if you analyse one of his GOOD matches, you will see that as his confidence rises, he starts to approach the back line for the second serves, and slowly he does the same with the first ones. He hits some return with no preparation whatsoever, and most players fear his return of serve even from all the way back. hmm, a reason HAS to exist for that.

2. He approaches the net a lot more, and doesnt always use the dropvolley, which shows he is a lot more confident in his volleys and overheads.

3. His serve has LOADS of more variation, as you see him hitting some beautifully executed slice serves (especially in the deuce court) to take him out of bad moments, in addition to the blasted flat ones to the middle he already had.

4. He is dangerous in more surfaces, as you could see in his last 9 finals:
2001 _ Masters Series Monte Carlo / clay _ Guga d. Hicham Arazi
2001 _ Masters Series Roma / clay _ Juan Carlos Ferrero d. Guga
2001 _ Roland Garros / clay _ Guga d. Alex Corretja
2001 _ Stuttgart / clay _ Guga d. Guillermo Canas
2001 _ Cincinnati / hard _ Guga d. Patrick Rafter
2001 _ Indianapolis / hard _ Patrick Rafter d. Guga
2002 _ Brasil Open / hard _ Guga d. Guillermo Coria
2002 _ Lyon / indoor carpet _ Paul Henri Mathieu d. Guga
2003 _ Auckland / hard _ Guga d. Dominik Hrbaty

So, there you see, 4 on hard, 4 on clay, 1 on carpet.
He won 3 on clay and 3 on hard. hmmm....

So, as I explain here, I am strongly against this idea, which I think is flat out BAD.

And your last sentence...
I don't see Larri Passos trying to make Guga more daring and aggressive on the court, their relationship seems to be more of a father-son nature than a professional one... Larri is maybe so concerned in having Guga's comfort level pleased, that he will not ask or impose a change on the way he plays, even if the change is for the better... theirs is a relationship that looks accommodating rather than dynamic and I think Guga would profit a lot if a more professional approach or coach is considered...
...is probably the one with which I disagree the most. Guga´s game has evolved, and we have seem him trying some things throughout his career that were clearly against his nature. Like serve-and-volley, which they started to work on in 1999. Guga struggled big time using it in some matches. Now, he can use that weapon and feels comfortable with it.
The last one is about Guga´s aggressiveness... You really think he is not aggressive?? He goes for the lines MANY times! Did you see his matches in Auckland? Or are you making all these judgements based on ONE bad match in the Aussie Open? Please, dont tell me that. If thats the case, I will ask you to give him a little more time. ;) Wait for the US hardcourt season, and then we can discuss this topic with better accuracy.

oofs, sorry it was so long. :wavey:
 

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I think Guga should dump him...

nah, of course not. When someone is more than your coach, then the partnership is more than just a paid oath of allegiance. And Larri and Gugster are one of the rarities of the sport where it's more than just a job
 

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yah, Guga is so more happy and motivated with him.. he'll never forget what they did together and he wants to continue to train with him of course!!
 

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As a fan, we can always comment on how our fav performing on tennis court. How many matches he/she win, improving in fitness, etc. If you are my friend, you can comment on how I look, whether I feel happy or sad and so on.

But, I always have the feeling that the relationship between a coach and a player is like marriage (other than till death do us part), so if you ask me whether I should dump my hubby because we are not making a lot of money or I am not getting prettier everyday or...... then I will say

MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS!
 

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Hitman, that was an amazing review of Guga's game. To all doubters of Guga/Passos as a team, get a grip. I support them because of the father/son relationship. Their bond is a spiritual one and rare in this world;many go through their whole lives never experiencing what they have together. No way can any other replace Larri as a coach, friend, father, brother, or kindred spirit.
Things happen in life for a reason. Even the loss to Stepanek follows the same argument. He may not have been ready to play Hewitt if he had won. He can continue working on his game.
He has lost many Aussie Open matches in five setters to excellent opponents over the years, i.e. Safin, Portas, and Rusedski. Boutter last year was an injury related loss. Stepanek just is too good an opponent to play in the second round; he has moved from 540 to 63 in 12 months. He is good. Kuerten will bounce back. The greater the battle the greater the victory.
Guga puts it all out on the line and I saw from the highlights that he tried his best. He won a warm-up tournie before the Aussie Open for a change. I look at the first two weeks of January as a successful one for Kuerten. He is in the top 30, and if he keeps this up he can end the year in the top 8. He is planning to play Wimbledon. The clay season is coming up. He played a good US Open last year on the comeback trail. He may play another one as well. Stay positive, all fans of Guga!
 

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I'm with you Dissident (and Tommyboy and Lee, and everybody else). While I may not be able to talk the tennis talk (describing plays, etc.), I know a good player and partnership/friendship when I see one. It's like Tommyboy says, their bond is a rare and good one - it's more than a coach/player - and for that reason (and others) they shouldn't dissolve it. As far as doing better - he started getting better last year at the USO (IMHO), and followed that up with the win in his homeland and then the one in Auckland. He will continue to get better and better, of that I have no doubt.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I just posed a question guys, no need to be aggressive on the responses... :confused:

Dissident, you seem to be a great fan and follower, with a vast knowledge of Guga's career, but i would like to state my opinion when you say that...

He stays back on the return of serve. Why? Because he likes to hit the crap out of the ball, and if he is too close to backline, the ball will go long. AND his backswing is too long, and it gets difficult to hit his strokes if he is into the court
...that's the whole point of this thread... I know that Guga has a comfortable relationship with Larri, one that more ressembles that of a father-son than a coach-pupil, and it looks like everybody in this thread prefers that way if I understood you correctly... Father(mother)/son(daughter) tennis relationships are more common in the WTA, where even top athletes like Jennifer Capriati, the Williams sisters, Jelena Dokic and Martina Hingis are coached by their parents... Aside of the Wiliams sisters, who are completely dominating the WTA world, there's been a growing sense that these relationships are getting more and more stale the lower the ranking gets, one main reason being that it's an ongoing relationship that hasn't changed for years, and after that much time, there is little left to keep the coaching and learning experience dynamic and updated... Martina's is the showcase for that, most fans would not dare to mention that Molitor should step aside, but more and more tennis experts are proclaiming that a radical change like that could provide Martina's career with a much needed revamping...

Guga's game has certainly evolved, and so has top level tennis, in a much faster pace than I believe Larri's methods are providing... Going back to your point of view, yes, Guga likes to hit the crap out of the ball while returning serves, and he still possesses a HUGE backswing that is certainly hindering his progress and results on faster courts... I think everybody agrees that Guga is more talented than a couple of quarterfinal appearances in the USOpen and Wimbledon make believe; heck, I even believe he has enough talent to win those Slams, provided he makes a few changes on his game... Staying way back to return serves might help him against someone like Andy Roddick, who serves a hard but relatively flat ball, but is suicidal (and has already been deadly) against someone who serves with a lot of spin and angle (Arthurs, Boutter anyone?)...

and that's a major problem I am finding in Guga's game, his inability to shorten his backswing and adjust the return accordingly to the opponent's serving style... Guga's groundstrokes, if his movement is not hindered by injury, are among the best in the tour, but his return is not his forté... but I dont see Larri trying to improve this particular part of Guga's game, and if he does, I don't see the effects on court... Heck, Brad Gilbert is considered among the best and most knowledgeable coaches around, and still Agassi had no doubts to switch coaches when he felt the relationship grew stale...Agassi's relationship with Gilbert lasted for years, but Andre knows that he has always to update his game to keep himself on top...

Maybe Guga won't feel comfortable with anybody else but Larri, maybe he, more than happy, is satisfied with the way he is playing, and if that is the case, things should stay the way they are... but don't tell me that this professional relationship hasn't become fittingly comfortable and consequently static...JMHO
 

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Ace Tracker, no one's attacking you! Anyway, I see what you're saying! And there is truth to that about personal relationships.
 

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Ace, my point in this was never to attack you personally.
It shouldnt come out that way at all. I even commented when someone asked about this thread that "I tried to take it easy because Ace Tracker is cool".

But anyway, I keep on disagreeing with you. I will come back later on with more time in my hands, and then I will explain why.

As I said before, I had to put up with that "dump the coach" thing A LOT back in 1998 and 1999. I shake just to see it! lol
I was very direct, as that is my way of speaking AND writing. Dont take it personal, it is not. ;)

Ill come back to this later. :wavey: for now
 

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Ace, sorry if you have the feeling being attacked.

I really not aiming at anyone particular on my point. I'm not even thinking about just Guga and Larri but lots of other players and their coaches.

You make your points why you think Guga should do this while there are lots of other fans just say things like that without anything to support their call. Those are the ppl really make me mad.

But I have to admit if the title of the thread is 'Should Guga have a new coach?' or something like that instead of using the word 'dump', I'll be much calmer on my reply!

Again, sorry if you feel being attacked!
 

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Ace Tracker said:
I just posed a question guys, no need to be aggressive on the responses... :confused:

Dissident, you seem to be a great fan and follower, with a vast knowledge of Guga's career, but i would like to state my opinion when you say that...



...that's the whole point of this thread... I know that Guga has a comfortable relationship with Larri, one that more ressembles that of a father-son than a coach-pupil, and it looks like everybody in this thread prefers that way if I understood you correctly... Father(mother)/son(daughter) tennis relationships are more common in the WTA, where even top athletes like Jennifer Capriati, the Williams sisters, Jelena Dokic and Martina Hingis are coached by their parents... Aside of the Wiliams sisters, who are completely dominating the WTA world, there's been a growing sense that these relationships are getting more and more stale the lower the ranking gets, one main reason being that it's an ongoing relationship that hasn't changed for years, and after that much time, there is little left to keep the coaching and learning experience dynamic and updated... Martina's is the showcase for that, most fans would not dare to mention that Molitor should step aside, but more and more tennis experts are proclaiming that a radical change like that could provide Martina's career with a much needed revamping...

Guga's game has certainly evolved, and so has top level tennis, in a much faster pace than I believe Larri's methods are providing... Going back to your point of view, yes, Guga likes to hit the crap out of the ball while returning serves, and he still possesses a HUGE backswing that is certainly hindering his progress and results on faster courts... I think everybody agrees that Guga is more talented than a couple of quarterfinal appearances in the USOpen and Wimbledon make believe; heck, I even believe he has enough talent to win those Slams, provided he makes a few changes on his game... Staying way back to return serves might help him against someone like Andy Roddick, who serves a hard but relatively flat ball, but is suicidal (and has already been deadly) against someone who serves with a lot of spin and angle (Arthurs, Boutter anyone?)...

and that's a major problem I am finding in Guga's game, his inability to shorten his backswing and adjust the return accordingly to the opponent's serving style... Guga's groundstrokes, if his movement is not hindered by injury, are among the best in the tour, but his return is not his forté... but I dont see Larri trying to improve this particular part of Guga's game, and if he does, I don't see the effects on court... Heck, Brad Gilbert is considered among the best and most knowledgeable coaches around, and still Agassi had no doubts to switch coaches when he felt the relationship grew stale...Agassi's relationship with Gilbert lasted for years, but Andre knows that he has always to update his game to keep himself on top...

Maybe Guga won't feel comfortable with anybody else but Larri, maybe he, more than happy, is satisfied with the way he is playing, and if that is the case, things should stay the way they are... but don't tell me that this professional relationship hasn't become fittingly comfortable and consequently static...JMHO
Well, it´s a matter of putting things in perspective. Guga doesnt change the return of serve because HE feels comfortable with it. If he goes into the court, he cant get ready, and he puts away all the returns. I´ve seen him doing that. It´s a matter of strategy. I understand your point, and that is certainly one of the reasons why he has problems with players with no-flat serves AND powerful ones. Pat Rafter used to have the best kick and slice serves out there, yet he didnt hit it REALLY hard and Guga didnt seem to have problems with him.
The main point is: the return of serve is an example you use, but it´s the one point I see as fragile in his game. He stays back, to gain time and power to his return. That hurts him with some players, true. They chose to keep it like that and slowly change it during the matches. You can see that when Guga is confident, he steps into the court for return. When he is not confident, he goes back again. That´s not something you can change easily, because it´s a characteristic of the player.
Other thing he does is that it takes too much for him to move up-and-down, while the sideways seem to work fine most of the time. That is caused by his body work, and that is really hard to change.
Some other points people make while criticizing him are way off the mark, like when I read Guga can´t make it further in Wimbledon because of his "extreme western grip" in the forehand. WHAT??? Extreme western is what Moya has. Guga would never hit dropshots so easily if he had that grip!

Anyway, that was not your point, so it doesnt matter.
I was just trying to point out to you that it´s not easy AT ALL to know if a coach´s methods are good enough or not. Guga went all the way to the top, leaving Safin in his best behind him (Safin in his best is better than Hewitt in his best, imo), so they accomplished a huge deal together.
Guga keeps on working, and Larri is really hard on him. They work perfectly well together, both tecnically and mentally. As I said and I will insist, Guga´s game has evolved a lot, with a break only because of the injury.
The moment where he started with the injury was in the US Open, against Kafelnikov. He doesnt admit it, but you could tell he was not alright to move. From there on, you cant really judge his game.
I remember the two tournaments right before that: TMS Cincinnati and Indianapolis 2001. Try to remember his game by then. Would your points be the same?
How many matches of him have you watched since then? Are you sure they are material enough for you to have such a strong position?

Anyway, this is my point. I read yours and respect it. There´s no point in us arguing forever. ;) So, we can keep the conversation going as long as we make a deal that any of us all will take that personally. Is it okay?

Thanks pal. :wavey:
 

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no way. and guga is a teef!!
stole my pen!


thanks a lot guga!! :mad: :mad: :mad:

:p
 

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By a part I think Guga should dump Larri Passos, you know, MAYBE a new coach could be like some "fresh" air, maybe could discover in him new weapons in a so talented player as he is.

But by other part, I don't think he should dump him, Larri is like Guga's father, and he's the "guilty" who made Guga the player he is.
 
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