Monday, February 15, 2016

Marcelo Rios vs Andre Agassi Grand Slam Cup 1998 Final Part

       We start this final part at 1:39:00. When Rios uses a basic slice return. Agassi hits an ace. Rios attempts to take the ball early but Agassi beats him to the punch with a shot up the line. Like in the second set, Rios's timing  and game is going off course.
       Marcelo Rios finds his angles with plenty of margin. However, he is almost dry heaving because this is such a physical contest. Agassi charges the net to execute a swinging volley. Not as easy as it looks.
       The point at 1:47:50 is an out wide slice serve from deuce court. Looks like a kick serve but bounces opposite way. Rios opens the court and takes the backhand early up the line. Rios has precise and impeccable timing. He glided away from himself  to hit the ball up the line. He is hitting deep into corners with pace and depth. Marcelo Rios is alive in the set, playing well.

       But Agassi does the same thing. Rios hits a running hook forehand down the line to end the point. Agassi fires back with an ace, and rips the ball up the line.

       Lesson Opportunity: The educational camera angle shows the quick footwork of Marcelo Rios. If you can copy his steps you will be very quick.

   1:55:20  shows Rios hook each shot with tremendous racquet head speed and racquet control. He smoothly puts the ball in each corner. He mixes up his serve for easy holds. He doesn't rely on super pace but mixes in a slice that curves into Agassi's body. He puts away the short ball.

     Like all great champions at 1:55:32 Rios makes opening up the court against pro players look easy. But Rios could miss easily on those shots because he is taking such big risks. One net cord from Agassi is enough to stop Rio's good timing.

     Rios gets so much pop on his serve. This is a result of a technique that has a loose arm that generates tremendous racquet head speed. He doesn't have to use brute strength. He is slight at 5'9 yet has huge serve.

      Agassi hits an ace out wide parallel to line. This conservative angle shows Agassi's percentage serving. Even on the run Agassi hits a great backhand that has Rios pressing. If you can play well you can also bring your opponent down. You can dominate the match.

        But Rios fires back with a solid inside-out forehand. Rios continues his fine play by hanging in a point he should have lost by hitting a brilliant shot from outside the doubles sidelines. Rios on the run hits a down the line forehand that just misses. Thereby keeping the threat inside Agassi's head.

       Rios is trying to wear Agassi down.Return winner up the line is easy enough for Rios. It's never a problem with Rios' topspin and net clearance.

      2:08:00 What a Rios Angle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Juniors can learn about the art of brushing the side of the ball in addition to brushing over the ball.  2:08:30 is how you hit a deep approach shot. Rios does it creatively with an angled inside out backhand.
       Juniors can also learn from Agassi's passing shot method. He sees the opening and exploits it.He is hitting hard to safe places knowing he can hit a winner.
       Rios breaks a string and stays competitive. He hits the slice in the general style of the his point structure. Rios hits the ball so close to the lines yet Agassi is always there. Agassi gives some words of advice and encouragement to the line judge. lmao.

        I wish I understood German so I could understand what the hell the commentators are saying. As long as Rios can keep the ball in front he can make these outrageous angles. Since he can hit the ball so short he has more margin that most players.

         Man! Agassi can run anybody radically around the court.

        Agassi strategically hit its short so he  can pounce on the ball down the line. Agassi quickly ends the 4th set. It's over in a flash. Although Rios almost got the ball back.

        German broadcasted world news we don't care about.

        2:22:40 Rios hits a second serve from the deuce court. His serve lands on the middle line and spins away from the outstretched Agassi. Then another ace out wide. Both guys are yo-yoing each other with so much control. Trying to keep the ball short so when it goes deeper it lands in. Both players are close to hitting winners from defensive spots. Rios catches the ball so early by having the non-dominant hand in front.

This helps him hit down the line winners from both his forehand and backhand return of serves.

        2:28:10 is a lovely point from Rios. He hits his angles with so much margin. How can he hit such miraculous shots with such consistency?  The key is recognizing when to gain court position. He rushes in to net to hit the flatly hard hit sharply angled cross court volley winner.  We constantly feel that a point is only good depending on how it ends. Although the point just shy of 2:29:00 doesn't end with a winner; it features both players with amazing racquet control and movement. What a  Rios winner to close off the game! So sharply hit on the backhand side. Rios is all in.

     Rios hits the ball softly enough over the long angles of the court so he can't miss the shot. His high margin of error keeps his confidence high and his opponent running. He doesn't restrict his body but lets his swing flow.

        Agassi is mad at Rios for not being ready?
       Agassi uses heavier slow topspin shots to mess up Rios' timing. Rios's has a long swing with precise topspin. Agassi should have stayed with the strategy of keeping Rios's rhythm and talents down.

         Rios's topspin makes even balls that look like they are going out land in. And his foots peed keeps him in the match. Rios keeps the ball out in front! Therefore dominating rallies by keeping the ball deep, staying in position and punishing short balls when he is controlling the action.

       But Agassi is tiring Rios by hitting measured angles. That's a solid volley from Agassi. These guys refuse to feel tired  because of their will power and conditioning. They don't want to waste their mastery of the game. Rios curls the ball furiously and astonishingly makes his shots dive down on the lines.

       Great play from Agassi to put the ball away at net. Rios has sneaked a 4 games to 3 lead in the fifth set. Rios fails going for the down the line winner. Topspin seems to win. But Rios is misfiring like the cylinders in my old Rav 4.

         Agassi doesn't apply scoreboard pressure by making a safe topsin forehand return. He missed by being too safe and having no racquet head speed. Rios plays great defense and takes the net from an approaching Agassi. Brad Gilbert looks dejected.

     It is now 5 to 3 Rios in the fifth set. He scorches a winner up the line. he's feeling it!
You gotta want it.

     Agassi hits an awesome kick serve but Agassi catches the intense Rios return late.
Agassi misses a kick serve and is in major trouble. 0-40 Three match points for Rios. He hits too weak a return. Second tournament point for Rios. You gotta win it  and not expect Agassi to give it to you.
Agassi gives the match away with an unforced error.

Final score of the match favors Rios

Agassi        4      6      6     7    3
Rios           6      2      7     5    6

Rios wins. I wish I heard Becker's thoughts on Rios.

Now we have unstable footage of Henman and Agassi. Great net point from Agassi. Great racquet head work on Henman's groundstrokes.  Henman is firing up his serves. Don't try Henman's service motion unless you want a strained back. I can teach you the Sampras serve if you take private lessons with me.

Thanks for watching leave any comments regarding this match.

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