Team Todd Got Him Going Martin Makes His Move

Article excerpt

After Todd Martin's lethargic performance in the first round of the U.S. Open, during which he was extended to a fifth-set tiebreaker against Frenchman Stephane Huet after squandering three match points in the third set, the Ponte Vedra Beach resident got a "pep talk"from everyone in his small entourage.

Martin got the verbal business from his coach, Dean Goldfine, from long-time adviser and former ATP Tour player Jose Higueras, and finally from his girlfriend, Amy Barbato.

Judging from Martin's 6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 victory yesterday over fellow American Richey Reneberg, it would appear that Team Todd knows something about motivation. Martin picked up his play considerably, serving up 20 aces and dominating an opponent who had beaten him in their previous meeting at Philadelphia last year.

"I walked off the court Tuesday thinking I was lucky and not a very good player and that's not the way you want to conduct business," Martin said in a phone interview from Flushing Meadow. "I heard about it from everybody I know. The difference was my mind. I was intense from the word go and when I'm that way, I move forward more and I'm more aggressive."

If a ho-hum showing against Huet wasn't enough to inspire him, the seventh-seeded Martin should get a boost from seeing a top half of the men's draw with only one player, No. 5 Gustavo Kuerten, left seeded above him. Martin could benefit from the withdrawal of top-seeded Pete Sampras, who had a 15-2 career record against him, and No. …

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