24 Comments on Better racket-smasher: Gulbis vs. Paire?

  1. You do manage to dig up some esoteric nuggets of information Augusta 🙂

    They both have a way to go before surpassing the Baggy effort though

  2. Gulbis for the quality of raquet smashing. I’m convinced he incorporates it into his practice sessions to perfect it.
    Paire’s is a simple matter of losing control.

    On the subject of being a head case. Paire edges Gulbis – he is ‘barking mad’.

  3. They are all pretty good. Baggi impresses with his systhematical and thorough approach, but the King is still Goran Ivanisevic, who managed to have to withdraw mid match, because he had destroyed ALL his racquets and had none left to play with. Unfortunately, this historic incident wasn’t captured by a camera.

      • ed, Goran was the King of Headcases. Actually, as he himself admitted, there were three Gorans in his head: Good Goran, Bad Goran and Crazy Goran. Good Goran had to fight against his opponent as well as against Bad and Crazy Goran. Only at his magic run to the Wimby title 2001 as a lowly ranked wc, since he didn’t make the cut, he managed to work together with those other two guys in his head.
        But you probably know all this, because he destroyed Henman’s only realistic chance for a Wimby title, since a certain Swiss player had taken out Sampras. The Brits said later jokingly, they should’ve never given Goran this wc. All three Gorans were expert racquet smashers, which might explain the the above mentioned incident.

    • Goran foolishly only brought 3 racquets onto the court that day. He should have had more self-awareness and never come to the court with fewer than 5 or 6. I still like how the tournament supervisor, Gerry Armstrong, announced the situation to the crowd. Armstrong himself said “I announced to the spectators that he could not carry on because of lack of appropriate equipment.” LOL

      • LOL!
        But that probably was the lowest point of his career. The three Gorans must have decided there and then, to get it together. And to bring more racquets on court next time. A couple of weeks later he was holding his one and only Wimby trophy.

      • Forgot about 911 Goran. He wasn’t in his head, but he could be dialled in emergency situations.
        If you think, Andy’s last service game at Wimby this year was agonizing, go to youtube and watch Goran winning WImbledon. Agonizing doesn’t even describe it. It’s Goran battling his demons. Rafter is barely there. He’s a spectator, watching the three man show, that was Goran Ivanisevic. And his father, who had a heart condition, was watching his son cursing ,praying, serving double fault after ace after double fault, and then Rafter missed a return, and all of a sudden it was over. It was one of the greatest miracles in modern sports history, since Goran wasn’t even ranked in the top 100 back then, due to a bum shoulder, which required pain killers every match, and prevented him from serving effectively.

    • For me, there’s no doubt: The crown goes to Goran, though he has to share it with his alter egos. No only is he the only one, who sacrified a whole match to the art of racquet smashing, he also took it on himself to teach new generation with theoretical and practical advise: “If you really want to smash a racqet, you have to meann it!” (commentary at a feeble attempt of Fed, who miserably failed)
      So, if Rafa ever plans to get better and develop skills, which were cruelly suppressed by UT (and since he always strives to improve, that day might come), he knows, whom to call.

  4. I think Rafa would racketsmash only on Halloween, impersonating Goran the Great at some party.

    Racketsmashing is not an art everyone is gifted at. Rafa’s style is a quick vocal outburst at himself or such. No one can master all the arts :-).

    • Ha, he could do so today, lol! But first, he has to confront another big server tonight, and hopefully there won’t be any reasons for racquet smashing.

      • I just can’t ever see Rafa smashing a racquet. First of all, Uncle Toni would have Rafa’s head on a platter if Rafa did it. Secondly, it’s just too ingrained into Rafa’s psyche that it’s not appropriate. Rafa even chastised his good friend Marc Lopez once when Marc smashed a racquet while they were playing doubles. Rafa told Marc that if he ever did it again while they were together, he would no longer play doubles with him.

    • Rafa already did a very successful impersonation of Goran at the US Open ’10, and he had to pay a prize for that. When it became clear, that Rafa was well on his way to complete the career slam by serving as he had never done before, Cheryl Murray wrote: ‘Who could’ve predicted, that Rafa would suddenly turn into Goran Ivanisevic”. Later that year, Rafa pulled out of Bercy because of a bum shoulder, which might have been caused by his new serving motion. As I wrote above, Goran was plagued much of his late caeer by shoulder troubles. He got an operation eventually, but his career was basically over by then. Rafa’s US Open serve got archived for further use, but so far, he hasn’t used it again, and , I guess, he knows, why.

  5. He’s been going more for serve finesse or serve subtlety. Timing of different choices (e.g. unexpected choices at times), type (e.g. kick, spin), variety of speeds, and placement. On his now frequent good serving days it is hard to imagine how much of a liability his serve used to be in the first half of his pro years.

  6. Jpacnw,

    I agree with you. I can’t ever see Rafa smashing a racket. Uncle Toni did a good job of disciplining Rafa and making him aware of the fact that rackets cost money and should not be wasted.

    I am proud that Rafa has never smashed his racket. Good for him!

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