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October 14, 1991 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-10-14

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The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday - October 14, 1991 - Page 3

The Grosse Pointe native discusses a
10-year career on the tennis circuit

Jeff Sheran

A local boy from Grosse Pointe,
Aaron Krickstein entered the pro
tennis scene at the tender age of 15.
Although he has not dominated the
circuit, he has remained a promi-
nent figure for nine years, triumph-
ing over a mass of injuries to stay
competitive. Recently though,
Krickstein was in the spotlight, los-
ing to Jimmy Connors during Con-
nors' amazing run in the U.S. Open.
Krickstein spoke to Daily Sports
Writer Ken Davidoff about this
match and life on the tour.
Daily: How did you deal with
the disappointment after losing to
Connors in the U.S. Open?
Krickstein: Well, it was pretty
tough at first. It was one of the few
'The umpire had the
Saudacity to say he
didn't hear him, when
everyone else on TV
matches, probably the only match,
where I had trouble sleeping for a
few nights after it. The night after, I
didn't sleep but one minute. With
all the hype, it was a big match. And
even though he's 39, it was labeled
"Connors-Krickstein," a big Labor
Day CBS match. I was kind of fired
up and I knew since Becker had lost I
had a good chance that, if I could
win this match, even though I had
never beaten him, I could possibly
get to the semis.
And then the way the match
turned out, after having so many
chances and then with the-crowd be-
ing like they were, it was a tough
one to lose. But I guess if there was
one person I wouldn't mind losing a
match to, Connors and I are pretty
good friends.
But it was a tough one to lose,
and there's no doubt it's one I'll
remember for a long time.
D: What did you think about his
tactics during the match?
K: Well, I knew what to expect
going in. I figured the crowd would
be 80-90 percent for him, it was 95
percent. I usually have pretty good
support at the U.S. Open, and it was
obviously a different atmosphere
for me to deal with here.
I felt pretty good about my
chances, I was playing pretty well
in the first set. And in the second
set, he started acting up and really
got the crowd into it.
If it was any other player, maybe

besides McEnroe, he probably
would've gotten at least a point or a
game or maybe even defaulted for
the things he said to the umpire.
Then the umpire had the audacity to
say he didn't hear him, when every-
one else on TV did.
I kind of expect that. I didn't
think they'd do much about it. I
could've seen if they had defaulted
him, (the crowd) probably
would've done anything from nuk-
ing the stadium to killing the ref-
eree. I mean, they were crazy. That
was the wildest crowd I've ever
played in, outside of Davis Cup, but
he got away with murder, that's for
sure, the whole Open.
D: Looking back, are you happy
with your decision to enter the pros
when you were only 15?
K: Yeah, overall, I don't have
any regrets. I think if I had been a
little slower to develop and not
done so well in the juniors like that;
I mean when I was 12 I was beating
guys 15, and then when I was 15 I
was beating guys 18 and 19 in the
I didn't want to turn pro until I
felt my game was ready to compete
at a professional level. After my
sophomore year in high school I got
to the fourth round of the (U.S.)
Open, and I started being able to
compete with them pretty good, and
financially I was getting quite a few
pretty big deals from some manu-
facturers - shoes, rackets, clothes
- and some other things. So, I
would have had to play on the pros
two years as an amateur before go-
ing to college.
I would've liked to go to col-
lege. If that would've been my last
year in high school I would've prob-
ably went a year and then probably
went out, but since I had two years
left, I thought it was best to do it
then, and, outside of the injuries, I
have no regrets.
D: You see a lot of players com-
ing out younger now; the obvious
example is Jennifer Capriati coming
out at 13. She got so much attention.
Do you think that could contribute
to burnout later?
K: I don't know, it possibly
could. I think it's a little different
in the .men's game than in the
women's game.
I think she just hits the ball so
much better than the other women
and is a lot more talented and
stronger physically. I think she'll
be able to win, maybe not to be No.
1, but I think she'll always be able

to be a top player.
In the men's game, if you lose
that little bit of an edge, then you
can fall right out of contention. But
I think it's definitely a factor.
When you're that young and you
make a ton of money like she's do-
ing, and then by the time you're 17-
18 you have more money than you'll
ever need, I think it definitely takes
its toll as far as desire and things
like that.
I think that's what's hurt
(Andre) Agassi. He's made so much
money, I think now he's finally re-
alizing he'd like to win. But I think
the last few years, he's just made so
much money, how can he be moti-
vated sometimes, for at least any
other tournament outside the
D: You've had a lot of injuries
throughout your career. Did you
ever think about just packing it in?
K: Once I did, in '87. It was the
fourth consecutive year I had a
stress fracture, this one was in my
left leg. I was out for four months,
from July to October, and then the
first day back in practice, I was in
New York and I got into a taxi cab
accident. Giant bruises and broken
ribs. I was out for two more
So after that, I felt like I was a
little snakebit. I was having a hard
time. It was the fourth consecutive
year I was getting these stress frac-
tures. It was a pretty tough time,
but I figured I'd give it one more
shot and try to get in better shape.
I've had some minor injuries
since then, but I've stayed away
from any major ones.
D: What do you consider to be
the high point of your professional
K: Well, '89, probably, when I
got to the semis of the U.S. Open
and I won three tournaments. I fin-
ished the year ranked eighth, and
then the next year I got to six, but
that was my best year, most consis-
tent. I was playing really well, and
I won Tokyo, when I beat Edberg.
That was my biggest tournament .
D: What about the low point?
K: '87, when I was out for eight
months, was pretty bad. I was really
frustrated to be out that long. When
you're out that long, sometimes it's
good, you have a lot of time to think
about what you're doing and how
lucky you are, because tennis life,
the tour itself, is kind of unrealistic,

it's not the real world.
A tennis player's life is kind of
fantasy. You get to travel all over
the world, you get to do something
you enjoy and yet make a good liv-
ing. I think a lot of players, when
their career is over, they get kind of W
scared because you do that all your
life and then there's still a lot of
life left....
Yeah, I'd say '87 was pretty low.
I've had some downers this year, I
haven't done that well this year.
Hopefully, I'm playing better now.
I think I'm back on track, so next
year will be a big year for me.
Hopefully, the next few years are
going to be big for me.
D: Is there a tournament which
means the most to you?
K: Well, my favorite is the U.S.
Open. I've played well there since
the first time I played there, and
probably that first year gave me the
confidence. I feel comfortable there,
and I just play really well there. I
think that's one tournament I'd like
to win one day, and I think I've got a
legitimate shot if I improve a cou-
ple of areas of my game to win ei-
ther that or the French Open.
D: What areas?
K: Well, I've got to improve my
serve somewhat. It's getting better
each year, a little more consistent. I

Tomahawk chop
sends bad message
Since the end of August, fans of Major League Baseball have seen the
Atlanta Braves challenge for the National League pennant. Likewise,
fans of college football have seen Florida State assert its dominance over
other college football teams. And in the Midwest, fans of the Big Ten
have seen Illinois race to the top of the conference standings.
The three sports organizations have each met with success these last
few weeks. But they share more than victories in common; they share an
emphasis on Native American rituals.
All three teams - the Braves, the Seminoles, and the Fighting Illini
- take their respective fields while their home crowds engage in what
has become the most popular cheer since the wave: the tomahawk chop.
Performed, appropriately enough, by chopping one's arm through the
air in a tomahawk motion, the tomahawk chop has spread with the suc-
cess and popularity of teams with Indian logos.
At a time when sensitivity toward Native American issues is escalat-
ing, a time when universities are taking steps to eliminate offensive ref-
erences toward Indian tribes, this revived emphasis on their rituals seems
In January, Eastern Michigan President William Shelton abandoned
the "Hurons" as the school's logo. Controversy ensued, some parties
claiming the logo was a show of respect for the Huron tribe. In addition,
the decision may have been an effort to become politically correct, to ease
the guilty consciences of a few administrators. Nevertheless, its overall
effects have been positive.
Similarly, in 1989, Central Michigan removed the Chippewa from the
school's logo, while preserving the Chippewas as its nickname and using
a "C" as its logo.
These actions represent a movement toward correcting the image of
Native Americans nationwide. However, the resurgence of the tomahawk
chop impedes this movement.
"What they're doing (using Indian logos) is not an honor," said Julie
Bloch, former president of the Native American Students Association.
"If they really wanted to honor the tribes, they'd go to the tribes and ask
the right way to do it. A lot of what they're going on is stereotypes and
It's not that Native American logos and mascots are inherently of-
fensive. But athletic competition manufactures a hostility toward an op-
ponent, and in this case, that opponent is an ethnic group.
"Even if you do honor the tribe," Bloch added, "the opposing team
comes in and says things like, 'let's beat the Hurons, let's kick the
Hurons' butt."'
And newspapers write headlines like, "Chiefs Scalp Cowboys." And
fans paint their faces and run around in ridiculous war dances. And a man
in a loincloth and a headdress rides a horse around a football stadium
wielding a spear.
And people develop antagonistic attitudes toward Native Americans.
My high school's nickname was the "Chiefs." I remember attending
football games, sitting in the stands, watching the marching band, the
cheerleaders, and the two students clad in Indian headdresses.
It never occurred to me that this weekly ritual could be offensive to
some. In the same manner, I don't think Jane Fonda, Ted Turner, or Jimmy
Carter, whom America saw in the front row of Saturday's Braves game
doing the tomahawk chop, believe it could be offensive.
But it is. The chop may not offend enough people that we care to elim-
inate it, but let's not pretend it's not offensive.

'A tennis player's life
is kind of fantasy.
You get to travel all
over the world, you
get to do something
you enjoy and yet
make a good living'
think I volley pretty well. I don't
use my whole game like I'm capable
of doing. I need to learn to use my
transition game from the backcourt
to the frontcourt; try to end some
points shorter and make it easier on
my body just because the game's
getting a lot tougher now and it's
tough just to win from the baseline.
So I think I'm gonna have to add a
little bit in the next couple years,
which I think I can do. Even though
I've been around a long time, I still
think I haven't played my best ten-
nis yet. The best is yet to come.


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Pick up Applications in K-106 West Quad


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visit, you are encouraged to contact:
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set an entire A
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Join students on campuses across the
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Opportunities will be available to work in
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Bishop Rethinks Human Sexuality;
and Rescuing the Bible from
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