Rare Species: 90’s Style Tennis

A throwback Thurday column on serve and volley tennis becoming more and more rare

Tennis Abides: Dan Martin on Tennis and Life

Endangered Species

While I do not feel as rare as the East African Bongo (pictured above), I was watching some top junior players in my region hitting.  They all hit with extreme grips, generated a lot of topspin and hit two-handed backhands that were slightly different from the form I observed as a kid (I have hit a one-handed backhand for all but two weeks of my tennis life).  It was great to see young players who love tennis hitting the ball as hard as they were.

It was also a bit jarring.  Certainly in the 1990s, a lot of players had patterned their games after Andre Agassi, Jim Courier or Michael Chang.  Still, Pete Sampras, Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg, Patrick Rafter, Michael Stich and others gave templates for one-handed players who built their game around their serves.  I fell into this category.  My first year of regularly playing matches…

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