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Welcome to the Evolution
by Nick Bollettieri
, 12 September 2007
In the 1980's, the game of tennis was pretty much defined by polar opposites. On one end of the spectrum you had flamboyant characters like Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe. They brought colorful personality and edgy attitude to a game that up until then had been fairly conservative. When these two were on the court, the world tuned in.
On the other end of the spectrum were the serious and dominating personalities of Bjorn Borg and Ivan Lendl. Their games were calculating, methodical, and consistent. It was a pleasure to watch them from a technical standpoint. Some of the best shows ever put on in the history of tennis were when these two worlds collided - Cowboys and Indians, Cops and Robbers... Borg and McEnroe.
The same can be said for the women's game in the 80's, although without quite as much flash. The division occurred between the Baseliners and the Serve and Volleyers. Those who dominated from the baseline included players like Chris Evert and Tracey Austin. Then you had players like Martina Navratilova and Hana Mandlikova who were phenomenal Serve and Volleyers. This was East versus West, Attacker versus Counter Puncher, and there wasn't a whole lot in between until the late 80's when a player named Steffi Graf arrived on the scene.
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