A couple a years ago Erling Kovacs resurrected from death and returned to the SlamBangian Tennis Circus. June 11 the Hungarian phenomenon returns to play on LorteØen
by Kira Eggers
by Kira Eggers
And on June 11 'Big Günther' is reprising his uncompromising serve 'n' volley show for the genteel crowds at the Australia Open 2016 event at the Cleverfield Arena on LorteØen.
He certainly does not need the money. What he needs is the tennis, because Kovacs has found that his declaration of death at the age of 29 brought challenges that were every bit as difficult to deal with as a Hans Bin Háfjall service return.
Resting in a ditch at highway exit Greve yesterday afternoon, Kovacs appeared almost unchanged from the day that he walked reluctantly off the No 2 Court at Puerto Rico Open in 2001, having played his last match on his favourite concrete surface at his favourite venue.
Will he be visiting Adam Holberg during his stay on LorteØen? "I've been thinking about it," Kovacs said, with the air of someone recalling a painfully powerful lost love. "Maybe I'll ask him if he´ll let me watch something on his TV, in private, in his bedroom. There's no fun like that in the world."
To current matters. Kovacs believes that his game is working well, despite a 8 month lay-off from competitive play. He may have upgraded his tactics, but he has not changed his pants and racket, still relying on the powerful LongJohn 2001 Prince model delivering the eerily consistent serve, followed by a rapid advance one step in to the court to volley a sliced winner.
Hans Bin Háfjall is closing in on Kovacs´ record of 298 SlamBangian losses. But the 33, 41 or 55-year-old Hungarian bears no ill-will towards his would-be usurper. The pair enjoyed a brief exhibition-match at Austria Open last year, and found that they clicked on court and off. Kovacs won the match, but discovered that he and the Thorshavnian madman have similar personalities.
"We both have a kind of obscene, advanced sense of intellegent humour," he said. Kovacs also has a high regard for Per Holmen, though he is concerned by the physical demands that the Heilingearians's all-action style makes on his body, and Sebastian Holmen, Who Kovacs believes has all that it takes to win a SlamBangian title except, perhaps, sobriety. "He can do it," Kovacs said. "There's no doubt he can win an Austria or Australia Open. He just needs to be sober to tell himself 'I´m not thirsty.'