Sunday, November 1, 2015

Marcelo Rios vs Andre Agassi Grand Slam Cup Part 2

Starting at 24:40, Rios looks to be hurting movement wise. He seems to favor one side and is trying to end points quickly.

Without control of his shots, Marcelo Rios hands Agassi the game.

Rios finishes with a passing shot finding the corner. Rios angles the ball away from Agassi at a relatively conservative angle by his standards.
Rios shuffles way behind the baseline, ready to move in either direction.Once he knows where the ball is going he turns and runs. He gets sideways to the ball so his racquet can swing through the strike zone.

So many players hit the ball long or wide because their feet are in open position and his or her arm only goes so far before it is forced to turn parallel with your body. You can make much greater angles with a closed stance. Or use a semi-open stance if you need to get around the ball. I invite your opinion on this subject in the comments below.

Rios stance seems more solid than Agassi's stance who seems limited in his angles. If you know the ball is going far way don't shuffle. Instead bend the leg nearest to the ball and take the first step with the other leg. In this way you get a sprinter's step. To illustrate my point check out Rios on set point. He runs further than anyone I have seen to track down Agassi's shots and hit a winner up the line.

6-4 first set goes to Rios. Set point is at 34:08
As far as movement goes to a ball far away don't shuffle. But turn and take the first step with the leg furthest away from the ball.  Bend the leg nearest to the ball for a sprinter's start.

Second set

Rios quick running has kept him alive. Another ace and it's 30-love. And the 30-love point is vintage Rios. He is moving Agassi around with angles.

Marcelo is simply running balls down to keep them in play. This uninspired and careless play of Rios gives Agassi an early psychological advantage in the second set. Marcelo is not getting his feet properly lined up for his shots. The first game goes to Agassi.

We are at 37:32 of Andre Agassi vs Marcelo Rios 1998 Grand Slam Cup. Rios shows his talent by dropping his racquet head below the ball to get tremendous topspin. Both on his ground strokes and especially his spin serve. His tremendous racquet head speed leads to aces. But a drop in the overall quality of play combined with the steadiness of Agassi means the set is getting away from Rios.

Agassi leads 2-1.
Now we are 43:15 in.
Agassi has raised his play but again Rios shows his pristine movement; he stops his weight leaving room to swing up the line.
Still Rios is misfiring, he is still hitting decent angles but not closing points out.
But don't count Marcelo Rios out. He hits 3 straight winners. With his high racquet head speed people don't see his power coming. His shots are unreadable. Agassi is frozen to open up the 3-2 game. An easy winner up the line for Rios.

49:50 you know somehow that when Rios is being pushed back behind the baseline by Agassi a great point is coming! Rios re-maneuvers Agassi and approaches the net. Rios falls on his back but keeps his eye on the ball and completes the smash.Tell me this isn't an excellent point? Do you have a better or equal point? Link it in the comments.

Yet somehow Agassi sneaks a 4-2 lead. He hits the serve out wide and loops a backhand winner Rios doesn't try for. But Agassi pays the price the next point by trying to go behind Rios. Rios pastes a forehand in the corner. Still Agassi perseveres and closes out the second set with his best point of the match. Agassi wins the second set 6-2!

We have a match folks! One set all.
Marcelo Rios                6           2
Andre Agassi                4           6

A Quick reset from Rios give him a 1-0 lead. We
He leads the third set 1-0.
We end today at 60 minutes flat into the match.
Thanks for reading!
Please share who you think is playing better so far in this match.

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