The quote below is from a blog article I wrote in 2010 (#10 THE NEXT LEVEL):
“This also makes me wonder about the upward evolution of the game, and who will achieve the next level. Djokovic has almost perfected “corner to corner” baseline strategy. One thing that does seem to be growing in effectiveness is the drop shot. The old adage that “you can’t drop shot on a hard court” is being tested more at the top level.
There are four corners on each side of the court. Two are up at the net. The only player I have seen who could hit a un-returnable drop-shot from the base line was Charlie Owens. Many watched Charlie dismantle quality players with a disguised, feather like drop shot that confounded even great players. Maybe there is someone coming along with this unique touch, who combined with the other tennis skills needed will produce the next level in the never ending evolution of tennis.
Women players might be well advised to note this possibility. And to be aware that not only should she be able to hit drop shots, she must be able to defend against them. My guess is that many players and teachers have realized there are four corners on each side of a tennis court.”
As I write this Andy Murray and Novak Djokavic are fighting it out in the 2015 semi-finals of the French Open. These two guys both have led the way in the predicted upsurge of the effective dropshot in modern tennis. The Joker was particularly adept in his quarters win over Rafa. Not only does the drop shot win points, it tires and discourages opponents. This ties to what seems obvious about the next “level of play” Nadel cited the Joker’s fitness level as being the back-breaker. The dropshot included in the wear and tear process.
Other observations from the French:
1. NOTHING has changed on the American front. Three men posted early tournament wins (Isner,Johnson,and Jack Sock), Again, all these guys had a college background and all have publicly said without college experience they would not be out there. Same story for doubles and the Bryans (College stars). None went without a scholarship. Serena is in the finals. She didn’t go to college, but neither did she go the USTA route. It seems to me the 17 MILLION USTA academy dollars produced little in our country. Or any “academy”. Unless you figure it this way: The academies housed,fed, coached and ostensibly schooled its clients. Isn’t this what a college program does. While Isner, our top ranked man, opted for college rather than turning pro, maybe the University of Georgia was a better “academy”. John thinks so. I do too.
P.S. A storm threat just halted the Joker and Andy. 3/3 in the fourth and while I wanted to see who would survive and win, I’m glad they stopped. One of these warriors may have died before quitting out there. What heart. And what a message to youngsters about the next level of play. You better be in shape. Agassi revived his career by getting super shape.
Be prepared to watch some dropshots and running. Borg had a one word explantion: “LEGS”.