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Mr. Nasty

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  • Mr. Nasty

    Would love to hear what you thought of Steve Tignor's article "Mr. Nasty".

  • #2

    Nastase was the first professional tennis player I saw playing live. I saw him at Wimbledon in 1976. I was 14 at the time.

    I saw Nasty near his best. Wimbledon 1976 gave him a kind draw and he demolished everyone in his way. He reached the final without dropping a set. Borg was waiting for him in the final. He had the tougher draw but also reached the final without dropping a set.

    In the final Nastase got off to a great start and raced to a 3-0 lead. Gradually, however, Borg raised his game and the occasion became too much for Nastase. Borg won 3 sets to love.

    To this day I feel Nasty is the most talented player ever to play tennis. No one has ever been able to steer a ball around like him. The things he could do with a ball were uncanny. His touch was the best ever. The old clips don't do him justice. You had to be there to see just how gifted he was.

    Sadly, his buffoonery was an act to cover up his lack of nerve, lack of backbone. He lost his nerve very early in his career and was incapable of winning after that. And that's the truth. It's so sad to see someone so talented who couldn't win when it counted. Sure, he won a couple of slams early on before he lost his nerve, but he is the game's biggest underachiever by a long, long way.

    I really, really loved watching him play, though. He REALLY was a genius.


    • #3
      Ille Nastase...The Rumanian Tempest

      The Mercurial One. Nasty...Ille Nastase. Classic bad boy syndrome. I remember watching him and Jimmy Connors playing doubles together at some staid lawn tennis club in 1973 or so...Nasty slipped on the grass and was laying face down so Connors jumped on top of him and started humping him in the butt right in front the most conservative of crowds you can imagine.

      The long hair, the Loki jokester personna, the ability to flip that middle finger...the faces and expressions ranging from the scowl to the insane grin. He was provocative with a capital P. One of a kind. Those days were ripe with rebels and provocateurs. There was a lot of finger flipping at the system in those days. It was before the lame days of political correctness. The odd character was tolerated whereas today they are banished. He paved the way for McEnroe.

      His genius with a tennis racquet was unparalleled...at least during his era. Part of it was his mesmerizing personality. His game was to distract you for a moment and at the same inflict murderous damage to your game with his stiletto of a racquet while he played with your psyche. He was a master of his craft. Perhaps he was a product of his culture and his mentor...the infamous Tiriac. Count Dracula.

      One has to wonder if Nastase had focused all of his attention in conventional means how much it would of influenced his tennis game. But that being said...he certainly made a game that by its nature puts you to sleep with it's monotonous back and forth motion of the ball worth watching. He could create mayhem at the drop of a hat and he didn't hesitate to make a spectacle of himself. He was very exciting...very sexy.
      Last edited by don_budge; 05-22-2012, 01:21 AM. Reason: for clarity's sake...


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