'You can't blame the big-hit servers'

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Todd Martin believes there will be more to today's duel of big serves between Greg Rusedski and Goran Ivanisevic than meets the eye. No mean server himself, the 6ft 6in Martin, who plays Tim Henman in the last 16, was asked to analyse the battle of the Goliaths.

"You can look a lot deeper than we tend to at this style of tennis, due to the quality of the courts and the players. You'll see a lot of interesting stuff. It won't be groundstroke rallies, but there will be so many interesting dynamics, game-wise and emotion-wise.

"If we could dwell on the more positive factors of it, rather than counting the number of balls hit other than serves, the fact of the matter is you put a guy out on the tennis court, he has a second serve to hit at break point, that's the toughest shot he's going to hit all day. It's not the groundstrokes.

"A lot of it will be 15-love, 30-love, game. Don't underestimate those 40-love points, don't underestimate the easy holds. If you have one guy holding at 15 the whole set, another guy who's holding at love, maybe getting to deuce once, they get to a tie-break, a tone has been set. One point needs to be won on the other guy's serve.

"There was a match between Goran and [Richard] Krajicek years ago, when they played deep into the fifth. It was an amazing match. If you looked at it point by point and just looked at the quality of each point, you'd say, 'Gee, grass court-tennis is really boring'. If you looked at it as a competition between two athletes, it's one of the more interesting matches that we've had in the last few years.

"The disappointing thing for me is that the media talks about the speed of the game and all these things. In college basketball, they play zone defense and they play man-to-man defense. They don't get criticised for one or the other, it's simply a strategy. In soccer, there's different strategies and different strengths. Teams work to their strengths. You can't blame Ivanisevic and Rusedski going out there to hit serves.

"I thought Friday's match between Goran and Andy [Roddick] was awesome. It wasn't just because Goran played so great. It was because Andy had one chance on the return game, and he made the most of it. It made the match very interesting. I think Goran versus Greg is going to be a great match." Would Martin pay to watch it? "Absolutely. But I don't have to."

Comments