Today’s ESPN Cahill/Fernandez Conference Call

ESPN’s Mary Joe Fernandez and Darren Cahill held a conference call today wherein they discussed current events and observations of the game.

For one, Fernandez is fond of Christina McHale:

Christina is such a hard worker, with a great disposition. She wants to keep improving her game and she had a really good week. The next step for her is to finish off her matches. She had bad luck not finishing off Kerber, but I was proud of how she finished against Kvitova. She knows the keys to improving and her ranking just keeps going up.

Darren Cahill

Cahill was asked if he would compare the men’s top 10 of today to the top ten of ten years ago.

Every generation is different, but if you go back to Chang or Krajicek, Sampras and the others, if you were outside the top 10, if you could step your game up a notch, you felt like you had a chance. Now, these players today, the top 4, are more physical than I’ve ever seen. Djokovic had problems with his serve. He solved that problem. (Today’s Top 4) are the best movers and the best returners, too. We’re very lucky to be in this era.

On the hindrance rule of which Serena Williams fell afoul in last year’s US Open and Mardy Fish violated at Indian Wells before retiring to Matthew Ebden:

MJF: If you say “C’mon!” before the point is over, that’s hindrance. I think it was a good call on Serena at the US Open.

DC: The rule is quite simple. The point is awarded to the other player. Even if you smash a point and yell ‘come on’ before the second bounce. There needs to be a little more common sense in interpreting the rule. That was pretty rough that Mardy lost that point. 

After declaring that Nick Bollettieri should definitely be in the International Tennis Hall of Fame, Cahill opined to Tennis Maryland on the difficulties of a younger coach coming along in the style that Bollettieri or Braden did.

The question of putting together a tennis academy is much tougher than it once was. The elite juniors of the world and their associations hire away good coaches. But the best coaches in the world are the ones whose names we don’t know. They’re the ones on court with the 8-to-12 year olds day in and day out.

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