I'm going to have a special guest on the podcast in two episodes: Todd Martin! I'm really excited to have him on the show and thought I'd see what kind of questions you all could come up with for him. What would you ask if you had the chance?
I posted this on Facebook, but Todd Martin is the first "big" player to play baseline well.
He's 6'6", but didn't play serve/volley as much. How did he know he could play baseline and go against traditional tennis wisdom which said big guys had to serve and volley (he did do this more as time went along)?
I'd also ask how a big guy plays tennis. It looks like Isner, Querrey rely on big serve and set up for big forehand to compensate for speed issues. Will there ever be a big guy that moves as well as Rafa?
I'd like to know about his experiences working with Djokovic. What is a top player like Djokovic looking for in a coach? How do you coach within the framework of the rest of Djokovic's team? What was the story behind the video where Djokovic is serving from his knees?
Todd Martin saw tennis from the 1980s growing up, played in the 1990s, and has watched tennis in the 2000s. Most of the changes in the game have occurred because of the equipment. How has that affected the strategy players use? In particular, are their strategies that are used now that would never be used before because it was unthinkable, and are their strategies that are no longer used because the game has changed too much?
Where does he see the game going? For example, does he expect a player that can serve like Isner, but move like Rafa?
Who does Todd think would win a match between John McEnroe and Serena Williams using conventional tennis rules? And why? (This is McEnroe currently and Serena currently). How does he think Serena would do if she was able to use modern equipment and play players from the 1970s in their prime (say on hardcourts)?
Does Todd Martin ever give advice that is very technical in nature suitable for pros (or high level juniors) which they wouldn't ordinarily give to club/rec players because its a bit too complex? (For example, a swing coach might advise Tiger Woods far differently from the weekend hacker). Or is the advice about the same for both groups?
What does Todd think of the current state of American tennis, men's and women's? Who does he think is the next great US superstar, if any? What does he think of Andy Roddick's game in general and going forward? Does A-Rod have the juices left for another GS title?
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I would like to hear Todd's thoughts about the current controversy about the tour and tournament organization, and all the politics going on between the players, the ATP, and the ITF. This has been brewing for some time, but recently flared up after the US Open SNAFU.
So; should there be fewer compulsory masters tournaments? Should we have one or two of the masters on grass? Should they speed up the surfaces, at least at Wimbledon and the US Open? Should there be a longer winter break? Should they schedule the US Open a week or two earlier so as to avoid conflict with the NFL season? Should the Davis cup final only be held once every four years, like the soccer world cup (with qualifying events in the preceding years)? Do the top players have a legitimate complaint or are they just a lot of overpaid crybabies?
Too many individual questions there to answer, I know, but I would love to hear Todd's thoughts about this topic in general.