Tennis legend Jim Courier on CTL
Tue, 16 Oct 2012|
Jim Courier talks about the current state of American tennis and the Senior Tour event he's currently in Chicago playing in - 10/16
-- -- Q can -- challenge presented by the cancer -- for better. Of America featured Jim Courier each time Lendl John McEnroe Pete Sampras for a golf. The power -- series dot com enjoy yourself a four time Grand Slam winner former world number one Jim Courier. Congrats on your success is thanks how is the state of American tennis today because I remember grown up when you were playing some of the names we just have to -- it was unbelievable. What certainly in the men's game the depth isn't there we don't have a current player playing who's won a Grand Slam with Andy Roddick having retired this year as US open the women's side -- incredibly healthy with Serena Williams doing most of -- the heavy lifting in really being the dominant player in the second half this year. But I think it's a great question why is it happening. I think honestly we have so many other choices for our athletes to play football basketball baseball and hockey lacrosse now you go down the line in you know tennis. Is quite frankly is a very international sport you know most of the big tournaments take place outside the United States is a sport where. The top players internationally common player only four times a year and that's of the US open in Cincinnati not too far from here and then in Miami and Palm Springs so. Yeah imagine if golf was like Patten and tiger and Phil and and Sergio and Rory only played four US we'd be asking that person. Question of how the men's game you look at right now -- Murray is probably have to -- the best in the last three months or so we win the Olympics. Emotional day there and and at Wimbledon not to lose in a month earlier breaking down into tears really comes -- he wins the US open. And I think it's an example maybe you could speak this a lot of guys get to the point their career where. You know it's it's now or never you got to get over that hurdle for him it was this this mental hurdle where you can never quite. Finished the job and they're like question about you know his make up -- -- whatever it is mental toughness yet. How does an athlete like that. All of a sudden get to the point where. You overcome that he wins it didn't just take that one may mean for the Olympics and open up this opportunity now and in its US open finished the job. I think it was a process I think. He hung Lendl who's playing in our tournament tomorrow night is a really critical piece of the puzzle for an America's Murray was a player who was always hanging around the basket get swore. And that some would come and swatted away from he never really peaked at the right moment. And Lendl and he shared a lot a lot of similar circumstances when the lost his 41 four Grand Slam finals. And then 18 by the end of his career he overcame that demon. And I think Murray has taken a lot of of of Solis in being able to confide in what he's feeling. -- -- gotten working with a sports psychologist I think people are just rounded a few things out and also haven't selective on in your corner. Can give you that extra dose of belief. It's like a great manager for baseball team or -- or coach for football team sometimes just get that extra push is Murray had the skill. He just wasn't able to -- to peak at the right moment now he has. Jim back in the day as a kid who didn't play tennis I was aware of tennis because of all the great personalities guys that transcended the sport and then there's those guys started to leave. There weren't those guys did tennis school on their way to kind of make everybody fall in line so that the sport was bigger than the personality or -- just know guys coming up who had that kind of magna. We know it's an interesting question because there there's a period in time where work is a perfect storm for tennis we had the country club set with Stan Smith and Arthur ration. And Chris efforts in the world and then you had the brash boys -- this -- he's a Connors to McEnroe was abroad in the people who. Just wanted to see wrestling wanted to see a car crash didn't care about tennis for their fascinated what they're good to see on the court -- a personality standpoint. And there's a case that some people are making that maybe that pushed away some of the core tennis audience and in the -- the brash and this was sort of tamp down by the authorities. That did some of that audience disappeared not I would counter that that right now if we take a look take our American hats off and we went over. Into Asia where they just played in Shanghai so we went to Europe where they'll be playing this week and the rest of the season. This is massive it's never been more powerful it's never more profitable -- been more popular than it is today. But what's missing for the American fans is there's not that American to cheer for in the men's game. It's sad they've they do miss Johnny Mac is at 53 of 54 years old still plays great. It was still venomous as ever out there he doesn't turn that switch off. There are some bill who might still managed and it's not fake it's real it's him. Which he can't turn that switch off -- family does -- -- if we had another player who came out with that kind of for a punk rock personality in a way you know be interesting to see if if people would gravitate back towards it if what if we're an American. -- -- What was your childhood like because. Thank you roomed with Andre Agassi at the solitary tennis academies -- did what was it like because I -- McCalebb Maroney and Jordan Weaver from the -- interest in women's gymnasts are gold medals here yesterday. And they said. Eight hours today that's my whole life -- what was your childhood life. I think -- different than there is first of all like I grew up and playing a public park with my parents I live at home until I was fourteen I played baseball. I played soccer at a pretty normal childhood until I was fourteen and I had I was sort of at that. Dividing line where I needed to go to a place where I was surrounded by a professional atmosphere. Andre Agassi wasn't in the first room that I ruined in a voluntary -- along with many other Goran Ivanisevic -- Wimbledon champion was there. We had lots of great players professional amateurs at the same time so at that point that was my college experience because I'd like Andre who turned pro fifteen I turned pro at seventeen. Sampras turn pro at sixteen Michael Chang fifteen. We are ready because we'd already been through groomed for that success. You know and and that's you know the tennis. Yet when you can't so if you're good enough to skip college you do so and not if you're not to go to college junior and number eleven player in the world right now John Isner. -- four years University of Georgia so they're they're different avenues for different people post about the -- So -- it's part of power -- series which is the senior tour for tennis we have twelve of these one night tournaments. In the next six weeks so we had our first -- last weekend of Phoenix Arizona. -- -- Johnny Mac GA finals I didn't want to because I haven't. We're both fuming at the umpire the umpire was good static so we're losing our minds both of us but I was able I think I actually was worse saved me was that night -- -- I got the worst calls in will be able plan tomorrow in Chicago at the United Center it's it's a one night shoot at tournaments like going to what I hope you'll see soon as well. A hockey game we have 31 set matches of starts 730. Finishes around 1030 and it's out it's a lot of competitive competitive fun for us. And numb and for the fans is a chance to go on season high level professional tennis here in Chicago which is why Chicago was -- great tournament. Besides us on the because thank you for being here thanks guys regrets on crash that party and absolutely.