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Sports Then and Now



Sebastian Grosjean: A Little Man in a Big Man’s Game 8

Posted on March 10, 2010 by Rob York

If you’re a tennis follower, you’ve probably heard it before: Little guys don’t have the power to reach the top of the game.

BNP Paribas Open.

Sébastien Grosjean has long been known as one of the game's speediest players.

If any “little” guy were likely to disprove that notion it’d have been Sébastien Grosjean. Now 31, Grosjean stands at 5’9” and weighs in at about 160 pounds. Now 31, he’s been a dangerous presence on the tour for more than a decade, thanks to his great speed, surprisingly punchy serve and ability to hit generate explosive forehands that belied his size.

He has been a regular, if not constant presence in the game since he introduced himself to the tennis-viewing public in 1998, reaching the fourth round on the lawns of Wimbledon. There he fell to Pete Sampras, who certainly knew a thing or two about grass, and the following year he reached his first ever Masters Series final in Miami.

In the early goings of the decade the Frenchman ironically nicknamed “Big John” established himself as a big threat on all surfaces, winning his first tournament on the grass of Halle in 2000 and the semis of both the Australian Open and Roland Garros the following year.

It’s through his 2001 RG result that Grosjean first attracted international attention, while earning his place as a footnote in tennis history. Facing none other than Andre Agassi in front of a hometown crowd, the young Frenchman appeared headed for quick exit, having been outmuscled in the first set 6-1. Read the rest of this entry →

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