I am wondering as to why Jim Courier's career is going downhill.
The following is my explanation...
He still has all the tools to survive and thrive on the ATP tour. It is
not his lack of confidence ( I know many people will follow up,using that
train of thought). The main reason for his lack of success is he has not
*upgraded* his skills. While banging the hell out of the ball did wonders
for him in the early nineties, when not many of his opponents could match
his "banging" capacity. Now, on the other hand there are a number of
players, even in the bottom 50 (of the top 100 players) who can go head to
head with him.
By upgrading I mean the following. Michael Chang, worked hard and improved
his serve, backhand, and forehand to the point where he can be very
threatening from the backhand side. He has moved from a passive-counter
puncher to a more aggressive counter puncher.
Agassi, truly enough, realized that many people could match him in terms
of the ferocity of his shots. So started to construct his points, better,
by moving the players around the court. Bear in mind that this has
alwaysbeen his game, but in the recent past, he has greatly refined it, thereby
maintaining high level of play.He now has gone from an agressive counter
puncher to a passive-aggressive counter puncher.
COURIER, on the other hand, was the first person who I saw who could
construct the points, to hitting an outright winner from anywhere in the
court (like Agassi). HE did not *wise* up. He still seems to think he can
hit himself out of any match. While his two counterparts have improved
their backhands, Courier still has the same backhand (from the nineties).
His backhand is essentially a flat shot, which does plays no role but to
counterpunch. WHile his inside-out forehand is the best in the business,
his backhand has suffered from lack of its use in crisis situations (he
usually runs around and whacks the ball).Las but not the least, he hits
his shots really flat, unlike many baseliners, due to which errors can
creep up at an astounding rate. If I were his coach, I would advise him to
hit his shots with more topspin.
I am a big fan of Courier, and sincerely hope that he rises back from the
smoldering ashes and joins his fellow Baseline Geniuses, Chang and Agassi.
Baseliners rule! :)
Your thoughts are welcome. :)
Bye for now.
Kaushal Kashyap Tennis anyone?