In this special episode, Coach Johnny and Dr. L talk about some all-time great tennis matches from the most riveting to the most frustrating. The listeners will be surprised at some of the matches that come up as we walk down memory lane!



Hi, I'm Cici Bellis, WTA Tour player and you're listening to Compete Like A Champion.

J: Welcome to Compete Like A Champion. You're here with Dr. Larry Lauer, Mental Skills Specialist, and coach Johnny Parkes with the USTA Player Development. Today we've got a very special episode. It is Dr. Larry's first special birthday episode. Happy birthday, Larry.

L: Thank you, JP. Yeah, as you said, turning 35.

J: How does it feel to be 35?

L: Feels amazing just like the last time I turned 35.

J: So what have you got planned for your birthday? Well, we're in COVID situation so maybe not much but what we got going on.

L: Definitely some hockey, little practice little skating and then obviously work and I'm still working today and then getting ready for the NFL Draft. You know, this is the day the Cleveland Browns are gonna win. So.

J: Wll, for the listeners you won't see the shirt that Larry's wearing but he's got his Cleveland Browns NFL shirt on which I almost didn't do the podcast because of that but because it is his birthday I did decide may as well get on but uh yeah, so anyway. Well that'd be interesting to watch the draft later being that it's you know gonna be done via online platforms right? It's not going to be in a big room with everyone getting pumped and hyped up so

L: Can you imagine if someone tries to do this virtually and they have a bad connection and they can't get a trade in or something? Be a mess

J: All that waiting to hear what happens and all of a sudden the name gets announced they don't know it and they hear from someone else.

L: Pretty weird. Hopefully that doesn't happen. But you know, these trades, they have these calls that are going on non stop and, you know, they have to go into the NFL. I don't know. We'll see. It'll be it should be interesting. I hope there are no glitches so. Especially if the Browns make a big trade you know? Which could happen.

J: It could you could be seeing Odell Beckham be traded away somewhere...

L: That is not going to happen. Not gonna happen, which I'm gonna have to retract that statement and if it happens on a later podcast so yeah

J: alrighty well so we've got a pretty pretty cool episode here and that we're going to really harp on your emotional chords here.

L: Aw man. Great, great. Yep.

J: So, you, when we put this together, we figured, you know,let's you know we're all tennis fans here, we're all fans of tennis anyone who, well hopefully, anyone that's involved in the sport - juniors, pros that are playing you know, any player, Junior, College, Pro, any coach working at any level and obviously any parent getting their kids in the sport or kids and other, you know, or in the sport parents probably players themselves. This is one for everyone in that we're going to be looking back at some of the matches that really harped on your emotional strings. So we got a few different ones to go through here.

L: Yeah, if I get emotional, we'll cut that out Nick. Just so we know.

J: Mick, do not cut it out. And then we'll send the video cast out to so everyone can see the emotional connection here. To the match or the happiness.

L: It might just be wearing this Browns shirt brings back bad memories.

J: Well, it's definitely not a good luck shirt at the minute, is it?

L: And it hasn't been recently, like 20 years. 25 years. Yeah. Which is not how old the shirt is, by the way.

J: Very pleased to hear that

L: It's close enough... 

J: Keep it fresh. Okay, well you ready to get into it?

L: Yeah, let's do this. Come on. This is going to be a be fun. So hopefully the listeners will be thinking about their examples as we go through ours so. All time bests and we'll see from there.

J: All time bests. All righty. Well, let's get started because I think we've got some good emotions to tap through here. So we're, as I said, we're going to go through different matches. So let's start with this first one. So just to ease our way into it, we'll build the emotions up as we go.

L: Alright, feeling myself Alright, let's go.

J: Alright, so first one being the match that had you riveted so greatly that you were left just wanting more and more.

L: Yeah, so and people may not know this, I don't think I've ever said it on this podcast but I was a huge Andre Agassi fan. So just think he's an incredible athlete and man. So when he played Pete Sampras in the US Open was always a big deal because they played it in these huge matches, and back in the day that rivalry was THE rivalry. It was the rivalry before Federer and Nadal, and the one to follow you know, McEnroe-Borg, McEnroe-Connors, but the 2001 US Open quarters. They played, actually and they played a match where they had no breaks. So they played four tiebreakers and Sampras won that match in four and just like at the end, you're like, 'did he really lose that?' He didn't really lose the match did he, because he didn't get broken. It was really kind of a rare instance there were no breaks. And obviously Sampras was incredible and a great champion in his own right and deserved to win but yeah, that at the end of that match like man, I didn't want that. Then I wanted to see a ffith set, I wanted to see it continue. A little bit like Andre's match versus James Blake, a few years later. That epic match that went five. And then if I think about like the women's side, I think the match that I wanted to see continue, only because it was riveting and just wanted to see how everybody was going to deal with the situation, was Serena's match versus Naomi Osaka, the US Open final in 2018. I was hoping for that to have more of a happy ending, I guess not that Serena wins or loses but just that, you know, there was good tennis and you know, it ended in a good way. But that definitely was a riveting match as well. And that is one time that the whole country was paying attention to tennis.

Seemed like it anyway, everybody was talking about that match.

J: Yeah, no, that's great. And I'm guessing here. I mean, A lot of these emotions are tapping into a lot of things that I watched growing up, so a lot of mine might be more Wimbledon focused here and yours might be more US focus because obviously, growing up in America but the one that strikes, comes to mind for me is and it comes to mind because I was fortunate enough to work for IBM in my summers in between college doing as a statistician at Wimbledon. Right.

L: Did I know that? You were a statistician for Wimbledon?

J: Yeah, probably not. 

L: That's why I always disagreed with the stats, but go ahead.

J: Just forging them.  So you know so one that really came to mind for me is this sort of, and I know it's not one particular match here, well, it's the rivalry between Rafa and Roger, but you had in '07, the the roof was getting done on center court, and it was basically this big open bowl, and I was fortunate enough to be able to stat the final in that one. And that in that final it was Roger ended up coming out on top in five sets, and then the following year I was able to stat that match as well. And that's when Rafa had won I believe nine-seven in the fifth and that's when and that's the match where they played and it was getting really dark. And they just had to, you know, they had to finish, had to play through it. And that one was so that, the quality of tennis was so high and it just left you just gripped to the TV, just wanting more, wanting more, wanting more. And if it hadn't gone dark, I truly believe that that match could have gone on to who knows 12-10 to 14-12 and you just wanted it to keep going. So

L: Isn't that what.. 

J: That would have lasted till Wednesday the next week but, which was never never going to happen to finish the tournament. But you know you just kind of sensed that this was coming to a close one way or another and you know and then it was Rafa then coming out on top and I did the ceremony and it was in complete darkness the ceremony, but anyway. That was one that comes to mind 

L: That was an amazing match you know and they've made a film on that match. You can get it on iTunes like the name is escaping me now it's really cool. Tennis Channel did interviews with the players, with a lot of people including our our favorite mentor, Jose Higueras, you know, was interviewed for that. So that's a cool documentary. Everybody that's a tennis fan needs to check that out. And you really get into the mentality of both players, which is just fascinating. In fact maybe at one point we, you and I might want to break that down for another podcast. But I was thinking like memories as a fan, you're talking about riveting, I think it was I forget what year was maybe it was 2002. Where we had, we're at the US Open and we had three straight days of rain during the weekend. So the Labor Day weekend - just complete washout. And I had tickets for I think, Saturday, Sunday, Monday. And Monday comes and finally, you know, about halfway through the day, the sun comes out, they start play and everybody's playing. I mean, and you had unbelievable matchups on outside courts. I remember being like in the third row and watching you know, a top 10 player. Every great player played that day and it was unbelievable. The place was just abuzz and I think that was a day where I could have watched tennis all day long, because I think I was there at 2am watching a match on the outside courts and my friend and I like Okay, we got to go because we got to drive back to the hotel, but it was just an unbelievable day of tennis. You know, it was super exciting. And so that was a day where yeah, couldn't get enough tennis. So that just that just came to mind. That was a pretty cool day. And Johnny has muted himself so I'll keep going. Sorry. Oh, there you are.

J: Yeah, again, we do this so many times and still make this little mess up. So you know that's a that's a that's a nice moment. And we're gonna amp up the emotions now. So we're going to get to anger. We're going into the anger emotion.

L: Can I preface this question? This is this is a joke that I have with my kids. And we'll joke about how "I'm getting so angry I'm going to rip the TV off the wall and throw it outside." So they know that I'm getting fired up. Usually it's about a Flyers game at that point, that's getting pretty pretty tight but... J: Have you have you ever actually done that? L: No fortunately have not thrown a TV. Yeah, I have a friend who, well that's another story. That's the story we won't tell here. Okay.

J: All right so to that notion then, give us a match that made you obviously so angry that you wanted to literally rip the TV off the wall.

L: Alright, this was a tough one for me because typically I don't get that angry at tennis and I really haven't been angry at a tennis match in a long time. But I was thinking back you know what was upsetting and definitely the 2009, we'll go to your home country, Wimbledon final - Roddick and Federer. And Roddick has the high backhand volley and hits it in the net. He would have won Wimbledon finally beating Federer in a final. And that was so frustrating to see that you know, I'm not gonna bring that up to Andy. But yeah, I was that was that fired me up, man he had it! He had because he had lost to Roger and at the Open and Wimbledon before and so you're like he's got 'em, he's got 'em, and he was playing amazing tennis and it was so frustrating to see him hit the net on that.

J: Yeah to me that might qualify for one of the next questions but I I was thinking about that one too because you know, everyone's a Roger fan. I mean, find someone that's not a Roger fan, right? I mean, guy's just so graceful in the way he does things., so professional, Just seems like such a just a genuine, decent human being and

L: And this was back in the days where he was absolutely dominant. Yeah, very rarely lost. So,

J: Yeah. And you know,  I think Andy also had developed a reputation for having quite funny post match conferences, right and one that sticks out to me and I think he had lost fairly handedly to Roger at the Australian Open and he came on to the mic and was like, "Ah, you know, it just sucks, sucks playing, playing this guy when it's like there's nothing you can do, you know, he's just in like, absolute zone mode." And so you know, you've seen this go on you go okay and he's actually he's got some belief and he's given himself a chance and he's in this position and ahh that one point but he had him, he had it and you know, I was a big fan of Andy Roddick, so I loved his personality, the way that he played, he always gave it his all. He wasn't trying to hide his emotions, he wanted to play with them and manage them in a good way and channel it through his tennis. And anyway, it was just I enjoyed watching him a lot.

L: Yeah, me as well. And I think, you know, in a different generation, maybe he wins a handful of slams, you know, three, four or five, but wasn't to be, so.

J: Yeah. So one that comes to mind for me is, I've got two here. The first one was Henmen - Ivanisevic 2001. Do you remember that one? So this is the one..

L: Yeah. Ivo

J: This is the one where Henman, I think they played on like, let's say it's the Friday because I think it was semi, it was semi finals. It was the year that Ivanisevic actually won it. So Ivanisevic who had played Rafter, so that actually would probably be, that was a riveting one. I could go back to that.

L: Isn't that the one that where it ended where he went around and slapped everybody's hand in the crowd. And I was so happy for him.

J: Yeah, that was fun, I mean, because, you know, for me the angry part is this is obviously as a British guy and you got Tim Henman and the media is making so much, putting so much pressure on him. And as growing up in the sport, I think at that time I was 13 so I was, tennis was my only, at that point, 13-14 years old, tennis was my only sport. I'd dropped all other sports, so it's all tennis and that's all I was obsessed with right. And so you got Henman who's been build up, build up, build up, year after year after year and he has this opportunity - semifinals, Wimbledon, on the Friday. He's in a winning position. You know, he can, you can kind of smell the finish line and then the rain comes down, right? So right rain comes down, they leave, they come back the next day, and you think okay, let's get off to a good start. He's in a pretty comfortable position here. And he, Ivanisevic stepped up his game granted, that but Henman struggled and he ends up losing that match and it just felt, on that Saturday when you're watching it, tt just felt like sad to say that this way but it just felt like a almost like a slow painful loss or a slow painful death that you could see it just this was inevitable that it was going to go, you know, go Ivanisevic's way. As that was going on and on, I found myself just getting more and more angry because I'm like, "oh, like, how can you not finish this match off!" And obviously, as a 13-14 year old, it's easy to just say that, you know, and go oh come on, you're you know, 'you could finish this match off no problem, then you're in the final and you're gonna have a great chance of winning it,.' You know, and so you're just - that was one for me that I just felt angry but looking back now I mean, that's obviously, it's a painful moment for him. I'm sure he's sure, he knows it. But

L: Yeah, that was that was hard to watch. I you know, I did root for him and I wanted him to win. I wanted the Brits to have their champion. And fortunately, Andy Murray would win it later, but definitely would have been special if Henman was it. Yeah.

J: And I have one on the on the women's side from most recently. You know, again, it kind of comes with a little bit of anger, comes with a bit of happiness as well. So the anger with Henman losing came with a bit of happiness that Ivanisevic finally went on to win is one pride and joy that he'd been trying to gun for for so, you know he lost in previous finals when he was in winning positions, or had opportunities and lost and then finally, he did it and he broke down and you know, so you kind of felt happy for him. But along that same manner was Halep and Sloane Stephens from 2019. And actually remember being at the JTCC facility, we were doing an event there and remember kind of constantly popping my head in and out and Sloane was playing so well, doing a great job in the first set. And I love watching Sloane play especially, you know and she's really on form because she moves so gracefully. She sees the ball so well and you know, she, it's just beautiful to watch. And in that one you know she wins the first set against Halep. And then from there, Halep steps up the game a little bit, make some adjustments and you just sort of see you know, and it looked like Sloane was starting to, you know the wear and tear of the tournament was starting to get on her a little bit and it kind of in the same fashion started to then get away from her and then just felt like it was inevitable. And when you start to see that and those adjustments, but again easier said than done on the side of watching because they've gone through two weeks, seven you know seventh match, but you just kind of sat there going 'come on, you can do this, you can do this. I want you to do this, pick it up, pick it up,' but then you know the flip side of that is then you can then be happy for Halep. She'd gone through some Grand Slam finals and been on the losing end of it. And then finally, you know, she came through and won one. So anyway, that was that's another one that comes to mind. I think they go hand in hand - you kind of get a little angry, but then on the other side, you can feel happy for the other person as well. So

L: Yeah, no, absolutely. I think you can. Certainly was happy for Halep. Such a hard worker and certainly had earned, you know, that opportunity. So I would agree with you on that. So yeah tough to see Sloane lose that, but really awesome when Sloane was able to win the Open and just come through on that and play such amazing tennis, so that was a - that was one of those moments that was really cool to see Sloane win. And certainly that's the year we had four Americans in the semi finals, so it was an amazing year.

J: Yeah that was that was an incredible year, I mean to have all four, you know, of our females in the fire of the semifinals was just, and but the type of tennis they were all playing, the brand of tennis they were all playing was a little bit different, little slightly game styles. You know, that's the cool thing is so you had like, you know, you've got Sloane that's a bit more of a you know, she likes to absorb counter punch. And then and then take advantage that, you got sort of Madison that you know, likes to attack and likes to be on top of the baseline, likes to play almost first strike tennis. You've got, you had Venus has been around and you know was in there and you know, it was just amazing to see and Coco sorry. Yeah and then Coco that, you know that had a great year Coco Vandy. Yes, the big serve, big forehand, big kicker, and so they all had slightly you know, they, everyone has their unique dynamics, but it was just really cool to see that from four American women. That they're all pushing each other and anyway so that was very cool to see. All right, well, let's move on to it to the flip side of the anger emotion let's go to a match that made you feel the most happiest.

L: Yeah, what I'm gonna, I'm going to start with is with our good friend and colleague who's just a great coach and that's when Fed Cup won, when they won Fed Cup, the US and Captain Kathy Rinaldi, got that championship. And just so happy for her and that, you know really really was just an unbelievable moment and was great to see. So for just the pride that, you know, in US tennis and women's tennis so that was, that to me was a really cool moment.

J: Yeah, I had that one down as well. I've got, well so I put two down for this one. Okay, we're supposed to be doing one, but 2017 Fed Cup. I mean, think Captain Kathy is she's incredible at bringing people together, she inspires people, she's so passionate, and she does it out of just the love for the sport, the love for the game. And you know what was really great to see was over the course of that year, just how you know, and you got to see it through social media and all that, but all the things that they did off the court as well, in order to, you know, they had such a great - it seemed like such a great team dynamic. They all got on, they did all these cool little things together. They just looked like they were having fun. And it translated to when they got out on the court, I mean, they they embraced the pressure. They and they all just stepped up and they were all fantastic. And it was just it was brilliant to see just in an individual sport just, you know, group of athletes that come together who battle with each other every single tournament. And they just came together and blew it out of the park. It was brilliant and so happy obviously for Kathy and the rest of the players. But Kathy just because of, you know, she's such a great role model to us all. And so, yeah, I had that one down too. 

L: I think it was just a great sort of way to signify, because she talks about one team all the time, and she accomplished that with that team, and her philosophy came shining through in the way that played in the way they interacted. So we're very happy for her that she was able to realize that dream and really for the players especially as well.

J: Yeah. So I got one more for you on happiest moment because, again, it came off the back of some pain. Yeah,  I just I just like stories I like seeing people deal with resilience and adversity and how they bounce back from losses. I just I'm obsessed with that. And Murray's first Wimbledon has to be on the cards. I mean, he'd already won a US Open I get that, but his first Wimbledon, his home turf and obviously going back to the angry part, like Henman that would, he was so close and didn't quite get over the finish line. And now you've got Murray that you know, 2012 he lost to Roger. But then about a month later he turned round to beat Roger on the same court to win an Olympic gold, which was huge for him and he was very emotional about it, but I don't think it was quite the same as actually winning Wimbledon right. So you know, one minute they're in all whites, it's Wimbledon. Next minute, they're all in red, white and blue on center court at Wimbledon for the Olympics, and he beat Roger a month later on the same court. But next, you know during that loss to Roger in 2012 he completely broke down on camera, completely broke down. And you know as somebody, you know I don't know Andy super well but myself and you know my brother and we grew up sort of playing alongside him in the same tournaments and all that. So knowing him from juniors and seeing that emotion, pain was hard to watch. And you know, I can only imagine as well and I know Judy and Jenny I can only imagine, I can't imagine what they were going through. And but anyway, he obviously had great support from them and and other people around him because the following year, he beats Novak and he ends up winning it, and you could just see how much it meant to him and not just him but when you're on the fan side and you're from the UK, you get to see how brutal the media are on our athletes because we're a small country, and they tend to want to go all in on one person. That puts a lot of pressure on somebody. And that's tough. And to see him come through it, and when it was just an incredible happy moment, not just I think for me, you know, knowing Andy to a certain degree, but for his family, for just for everyone, and just as a fan of the game, I thought  that was a very happy moment.

L: Yeah, that was and I was so happy for him. And I remember him talking about where he couldn't remember anything that was going on in that last game. And I think just the absolute emotion he must have been feeling and just the intensity of it and, you know, being so close, but, you know, obviously feeling like probably those last four points probably felt like 10 miles away. So there's weird thing about you know, time and space that go on when you're in these extreme pressures. situations. But I guess I wanted to add to that, you know, I'm going to just point out a couple ones quickly, you know, one of the most enjoyable runs was when Jimmy Connors made his run in 1991. I think just watching him at that age and absolute and just intensity and fire and that was riveting, that maybe that should have gone to the riveting question, but really fun to watch. I remember watching him play, you know, over Labor Day weekend and you're home and you're watching these long matches and he's, you know, beating Krickstein and it ends up losing to, to Courier and which is in its own right a really interesting match. And I've talked to Jim about that match and we did a video on it, actually a professionalism video. And Jim talks, Jim Courier talks about beating Conners in that match and that's something our listeners should definitely check out. We can maybe put the link in the show notes. Then I think you know, just looking back, just the absolute I think joy you saw again, a bit biased, but from Agassi when he won first Wimbledon, winning the US Open, you know, those were big moments. And again these come during sort of when I was obviously more of a fan than working in pro tennis. And then at the same time when Sampras won his last Open, I think that was a pretty cool one as well. I'm certainly looking forward to the next slam that an American male wins, because I think that's going to be an awesome moment whenever that comes, hopefully it's not 77 years or whatever it was for the for the Brits but you know, hopefully that's going to happen soon. But when when Sonya was able to win the Australian Open, you know, extremely happy for her because I know how hard she works and how much she, how passionate she is about the game. So

J: Yeah, that's a great point. And, you know, it was great to see all the media coverage and pulling out all the videos of her when she was younger and just, she just, she's been in love with the game since she was born. And yeah, it was great to see. She's such a lovely person. And so yeah, that was that was that was a great moment. Alright, so we're gonna segue here to crying and pain.

L: I think we've already heard yours. You were in a fetal position after after some of those losses.

J: Ah, definitely was. But yeah, okay. So let's talk about some matches that you wanted to cry because you felt the pain of the situation so much. So yes, getting into the child's pose position and banging the fists on the floor. What was, what was what some matches come to mind for you here.

L: I remember watching Novotna play Graf in Wimbledon final. And that's the famous, the example all the textbooks use for a choke and just feeling so bad for her, and just the pain that that you were witnessing and this felt terrible you know. And I was at that time, okay, everybody's going to understand now that I'm not 35, but you know at that time, you know being in your teens you're like, again you mentioned that watching you know matches when you're younger and sort of maybe not truly understanding the full situation, but I think here it was evident to everyone that she was just breaking down. And being a young athlete, you know, I felt like that before and I hate to see that happen to someone else. So that would, that was tough to watch. I think the way the again, I'm gonna mention this match again, you know, the 2018 US Open final between Serena and Naomi Osaka, you know her winning her first slam and how uncomfortable it was for her, the whole situation. You know, I think Serena tried her best to sort of salvage that and be grateful, you know, and really courteous to Naomi, Sorry Naomi, in the ceremony, but you just felt bad because you could just see that she was so uncomfortable with how things were going in that situation. And then to win it and it's sort of winning your first slam and have that going on and kind of rips away a lot of the joy and we know Naomi's not she's not an extrovert. So for her it was going to be uncomfortable anyway. But the way that situation went down and then you look the next year when Andreescu wins, her first slam and just absolute joy and the way that went and you feel bad for Osaka because I think some of the joy of that moment, a lot of it was taken away just by the situation.

J: Yeah, no, that's, that's.... Yeah, that's definitely one that's going to want you to curl up in a bit of pain and cry. So I mean, the interesting thing about the Novotna - Graf, because I also wrote that one down, is that I think I want to remember that it was the same year, right? So the French Open, or maybe it was earlier. I'm sorry, I should have come better prepared with this. But Novotna had this reputation for being in these really extreme winning positions, and really starting to feel that pressure and let it overcome her. So the one that really came to mind was, I think it was she was playing Chanda Rubin at the French Open. It was early rounds, maybe second or third round. And she was five-love, 4-love up. Five-love, 40-love in the final set, and it must have been second or third round because she was actually then due to play Lindsay Davenport and the next match. And she ended up losing eight, six in the third, from five-love 40-love. And then so she had developed this reputation of losing, and then obviously that '95 final again Steffi, she was no she had, I believe she had how many she had match points? I think it was a lot. L: I don't remember the number. I think that Yeah, we'd have to look it up. J: Maybe nine match points? Anyway, she was she again, she was in an extreme winning position, the finish lines right there. And we all you know, you just obviously know what happens, so that was definitely a very painful moment to watch. I mean, I was, I can't say that I was a hige Giana Novotna fan. I mean, I love the serve and volley style, but I was at that time as well, you sort of, and as everyone was in awe with Steffi Graf just because of the type of game she played, a little bit more all court, always chiseled that backhand, wanted to come forward and, you know, the sort of the way that she played was great. And anyway, so that was very painful. But another one that I saw maybe for slightly different reasons, not because of winning or being in a winning position and losing, but just because of, at this time when I watched this match, I think I was about nine or 10. There was in Australia, Sampras versus Courier. And at that time, I mean this so, you know, just to premise this this was, this was a match that was played right after the sad news that Tim Gullickson had passed away who was his coach. And, you know, we're all good friends here with Tom Gullickson, who was a coach for many years with USTA Player Development, and de forma Davis Cup captain and just an absolute legend and an incredible person that, you know, I would like to call a great friend and a mentor. He mentors me so much. Now, and so, in this match, you know, as a nine year old watching, I remember going well, why is why is Pete crying? He was crying on court, he's in between points, he doesn't seem like he can keep this together, like what so, 'is it the heat getting to him?' Like I didn't know that, you know? Now, I think, you know, no one knew that that this went down and then after the match, after the match you've got the context. Well, his coach passed away, he meant a lot to him. And you know, and what was really great about that match was is you felt the pain as it was going on, even though you didn't know what was going on. But the incredible thing that happened on the other side of the net was Jim Courier brought Pete to the net and said, "Hey, I'm happy to finish this off tomorrow. We'll finish this at another time." And, and, you know, Pete was, you know, I think that was a really cool moment to see from Jim and it made you see tennis wasn't just winning and losing. Tennis was, it was - that humanized tennis to me. And that made me think that, you know, and at that time as well as a 9-10 year old, you're playing competitively and like most 9-10 year olds, you don't know how to really manage your emotions that well on a court in a competitive situation, and to see that I think, really absorbed and resonated deep within me that it's okay to show emotion, it's okay to let it come out. As long as you're obviously able to keep going, I mean, Pete was able to go on and actually then win that match. But that to me was - it was both a beautiful moment, but also painful moment to watch, just to see somebody suffering so much playing the sport that they love, obviously, for sad, tragic reasons. But uh, but yeah, that was a moment I wanted to share there.

L: Yeah, that was, that was tough to watch. And, you know, obviously, those emotions were at a very high level at that time, and Pete didn't probably want to show those emotions. That's not really - Pete often didn't show his emotions, but there was no way around it in that match. He knew that he was struggling and, you know, again to just one of the great things that you saw from Pete Sampras over the years, whether it's that match and being able to find a way to win, or the match against Corretja at the US Open where he's sick, and he's throwing up in the bushes, and you can just feel his pain. And yet, he's kind of, the crowd's pulling him along and he's given you everything he has, you know. He turned into this just unbelievable competitor. You know, I think he always was able to step up in the big moments and he won a US Open at 19. But to be able to, you know, literally gut out matches whether they're extremely emotional from loss and grief or being sick. Definitely was a great champion, and certainly one of the best competitors ever to walk on a tennis court.

J: Yeah for sure. All right, Larry. Well we're running short on time here and you're going to bring us home here by - I'm going to give you one rematch. Any match if you could watch right now, you could go back and watch it again. Could be from any era, what would it be?

L:  Wow I'm gonna cheat because I think I need two, but

J: Okay you can have two. This is your  birthday. You can have two and this is your drop the mic moment  with your rematches. 

L: Alright, definitely Agassi - Sampras in a final, when they're in their prime. Would love to see that one more time and just because it literally was like the Super Bowl of tennis when those two hooked up. And then would love to see McEnroe - Connors, US Open final at night. Now I'm kind of making that up. But that would be an amazing scenario to see those two battling and everything that would go on in a US Open final at night. That would be so much fun. So those are the two that I definitely would love to see. So

J: Awesome. I got one last thing for you because I think this is, I think everyone has a little bit of a subconscious unconscious bias to how they - why and how they watch. So mine is I think I've mentioned it obviously on this podcast is my unconscious is I love to see when people turn pain into happiness, right. That they've gone through so much pain and then they end up coming through that, they've been resilient through it and adapt, been able to bounce back, so there's bounce back ability. That's almost my bias that I love to see. Some people prefer - actually I just love to watch really professional performances - people just there, they get on with it and it's just flowing and you know, which is why I think so many people love Federer you know, and Serena and people like that, that are just obviously just champions of the sport. What is your maybe unconscious bias when you watch a match? What is something that really gets you to watch? What do you love seeing in all that as obviously as a mental skills coach, you teach so many qualities, but what is your ultimate when you watch?

L: I think similar to you, JP, the the comeback, the athlete that's struggling, that's down, is battling, they're not playing great but they're just gritting it out and just trying to find a way. I think of Andre's final against Medvedev. I think the French Open final it was at 1999 I'm gonna say, when he completed the and won all four slams, is that the year? If you remember correctly, we have to check it. But just being able to, you know, be down and in a situation where he had never been able to come through at the French and win that slam, and then to be down two sets and to fight back. And if you remember he was down to Moya early in that tournament as well, and I think he was down match point, and just so being able to grind out all those victories against great clay court players. You know that kind of defined it, but I love the comeback. I love the resilience and, you know, that you're beaten up, you've taken your shots, but you're still finding a way, It's really cool to watch.

J: Yeah, and you got a good memory that because it is 1999.

L: See, I thought so. Good. I was so confident he was gonna win that I went and played roller hockey that morning, and I remember it was extremely hot. And so I was coming back and I'm like, all right, I'm gonna come back, Andre is gonna be winning this match, and he was down I'm like, what is going on? And then to watch the end of that match was just enthralling. So yeah that's one of the moments you kind of able to even go back into memory bank is as old as I am I still remember where I was so

J: Awesome. Awesome. Well, well listen Larry this has been a great episode here and real special episode. Happy Birthday again and

L: Thanks, man.

J: Well, I hope you have a great day, maybe throw that boomerang around that's behind your right shoulder.

L: Good luck with that, it doesn't come back. Not for me.

J: Awesome. Well, thanks so much, Larry. It's been fun to share some emotions here.

L: And you didn't break down. I thought you were gonna break down at one moment. I was a little concerned when you start talking about Henman. I thought you were gonna break down

J: Yeah. Anyways. All right. Well, Larry this has been brilliant. Have a great rest of your day with your family. And I'm sure you obviously be doing some work today but have some fun with your family and we'll get on  next week for another another episode of Compete Like A Champion.

L: Thank you, JP

J: Thanks for tuning in this week and listening to some of our shared memories. You know, it's sometimes great and obviously it's a good time to reflect on that, but it's always great to go back and reflect on some of those great matches and maybe you know, YouTube or whatever, see if you can find them again and relive it. So go back and check those out and know and, you know, keep learning, keep watching through this time as well. So well that's a wrap for this week's episode. Thanks so much for joining us, and we'll see you next week.