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Sports Then and Now



Todd Martin to Juan Martin del Potro: What’s Missing? 8

Posted on March 30, 2010 by Rob York
Juan Del Potro is a throwback to Todd Martin.

Juan Martin del Potro is a throwback to Todd Martin.

Todd Martin had many of the qualities we ascribed to a top pro in the 1990s. In fact, he had no real flaws in terms of shots, as his return of serve was deadly, his 6’6” wingspan shrouded the net, and his serve was one of the most effective in the game.

In fact, in his autobiography, Andre Agassi described Martin’s serve as being so accurate that he aimed not at the lines, but the edges of lines. Throw in his excellent tactical skills, and Martin was able to serve his way to a pair of major finals and eight titles.

He might well have made more had he been a great mover, not suffered frequent injuries, and his cerebral approach not led to meltdowns in some critical moments in his career. Nonetheless, Martin was a trendsetter in men’s tennis, as one of the first players standing at two meters in height to reach the last round of a major. It took the finest players of his generation – Pete Sampras in the 1994 Australian Open and Andre Agassi in the 1999 US Open – to beat him in the finals he reached. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Larry “The Zonk” Csonka
      January 29, 2022 | 4:43 pm
      Larry Csonka

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was the leader of a running attack that was the cornerstone of two Super Bowl Championship teams, including the only undefeated squad in NFL history.

      With his distinctive headgear and a body suited for punishing contact, Larry Csonka looked the part of a fullback and for 11 NFL seasons delivered and took regular punishment on his way to the Hall of Fame.

      Following in the great tradition of Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, Jim Nance and Floyd Little, Csonka earned All-American honors at Syracuse while rushing for 2,934 yards.  He began earning a name for himself as the Most Valuable Player of the East–West Shrine Game, the Hula Bowl, and the College All-Star Game.

      Read more »

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