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TheTruth
02-25-2007, 05:35 PM
Did anyone hear the commentators repeat what Mats supposedly said about Sharapova. I'm paraphrasing. "She's a one-dimensional ball-basher not capable of rivaling the likes of Mauresmo and Justine with their variety and finesse."

Now, I am by no means a Sharapova fan, but give me a break. It's one thing for us (nobodies) to spout an opinion, but it's another one for him to put some garbage like that in print. I've never been a Wilander fan. Never even seen him play, thank goodness, but if I had been a fan, he would have really turned me off by now. Haven't heard a word from him in 20 years, now every time I turn around he's spouting vitriol left and right. Go crawl back into your hole, Mats. Your fifteen minutes are up!

Andrew
02-25-2007, 05:45 PM
And what would you call Sharapova's game, if not a ball basher?

Alexandros
02-25-2007, 05:47 PM
Which part of what he said was untrue? Also, I think even Sharapova would admit that she will never rival Mauresmo and Henin-Hardenne in variety and finesse. It doesn't necessarily make her a lesser tennis player, her strengths lie elsewhere - mental strength, power and so forth.

Polaris
02-25-2007, 05:52 PM
Did anyone hear the commentators repeat what Mats supposedly said about Sharapova. I'm paraphrasing. "She's a one-dimensional ball-basher not capable of rivaling the likes of Mauresmo and Justine with their variety and finesse."

Your paraphrasing might be interpreted wrongly. Mats didn't bring up JH and AM when he mentioned that Sharapova is a one-dimensional ball basher. He was comparing women's tennis to the men's game and mentioned that the men's game had been down that road (of 1-D ball bashing) before.

In the *next* question, he was asked about JH and AM. That was when he mentioned something about these two being ahead in the finesse and variety departments. He didn't say anything about Sharapova not being able to rival Henin and Mauresmo game-wise.

In this instance, I quite agree with him. JH and AM definitely play with more variety and finesse than MS. And if Shara is not a one-dimensional ball basher, what is she? Her ball-bashing is good enough to garner victories against almost everyone. She is an easy target for criticism because she is the most visible of tennis players. Besides, she has the almighty shriek to go along with the ball-bashing. Wilander made the right call there.

Phil
02-25-2007, 06:09 PM
Did anyone hear the commentators repeat what Mats supposedly said about Sharapova. I'm paraphrasing. "She's a one-dimensional ball-basher not capable of rivaling the likes of Mauresmo and Justine with their variety and finesse."

Now, I am by no means a Sharapova fan, but give me a break. It's one thing for us (nobodies) to spout an opinion, but it's another one for him to put some garbage like that in print. I've never been a Wilander fan. Never even seen him play, thank goodness, but if I had been a fan, he would have really turned me off by now. Haven't heard a word from him in 20 years, now every time I turn around he's spouting vitriol left and right. Go crawl back into your hole, Mats. Your fifteen minutes are up!

The truth, The Truth, is that Mats spoke...the truth. I believe he used the word "thoughtless" as in thoughtless ball basher-in Tennis Magazine.

jmsx521
02-25-2007, 06:21 PM
"She's a one-dimensional ball-basher not capable of rivaling the likes of Mauresmo and Justine with their variety and finesse."

She is one dimensional, but sure she has the game to beat Mauresmo and Justine... just not in terms of 'variety and finesse,' for which empires don't give better scores.

snapple
02-25-2007, 06:36 PM
As usual Mats is right on the money. Just wish we had the chance to hear Mats do tennis commentery here in the states.

breakfast_of_champions
02-25-2007, 07:57 PM
its the word "thoughtless" that is out of line. you don't become #1 by being thoughtless. and why does he single out sharapova? what are serena, venus, lindsay, and kim? i guess because maria dwarfs him in earnings. or maybe because mats was a pusher.

Andrew
02-25-2007, 08:04 PM
Maybe it's because Sharapova is #1 in the world right now and thus it would make logical sense to mention her?

Phil
02-25-2007, 08:08 PM
its the word "thoughtless" that is out of line. you don't become #1 by being thoughtless. and why does he single out sharapova? what are serena, venus, lindsay, and kim? i guess because maria dwarfs him in earnings. or maybe because mats was a pusher.

I think what he meant by "thoughtless" is one-dimensional, kinda mindless and unthinking. Come to think about it, he meant thoughtless! The women that you named, although also "bashers" have somewhat more variety to their games. I don't think it's jealosy on Mats' part-he just calls them as he sees them, and doesn't always coat it in diplomatic niceties.

breakfast_of_champions
02-25-2007, 08:10 PM
Maybe it's because Sharapova is #1 in the world right now and thus it would make logical sense to mention her?


connors and agassi played very similiar games to sharapova, powerful flat shots, in the corners, and on the lines. not an easy game to execute, but very effective when its on.

THUNDERVOLLEY
02-25-2007, 08:28 PM
Mats is correct. Sharapova is hopelessly one-dimensional; i'll add that Davenport is damn near the same. Both are rather graceless and have clear difficulty with lateral movement/basic running.

Alexandros
02-25-2007, 08:45 PM
its the word "thoughtless" that is out of line. you don't become #1 by being thoughtless. and why does he single out sharapova? what are serena, venus, lindsay, and kim? i guess because maria dwarfs him in earnings. or maybe because mats was a pusher.

Venus, Serena and Kim can play from all parts of the court, actually defend exceptionally well (Sharapova's defense is so-so), can hit a slice backhand (I swear that I only recall two times I've seen Sharapova attempt a slice, at the Aussie Open in 2006 - the only reason I remember is because one bounced before the net and the other landed at the bottom of it - and these weren't particularly difficult shots, she was stationary for both of them as I recall and not stretched out wide) and are proficient volleyers.

Nick Irons
02-25-2007, 08:47 PM
I agree with Mats completely

(And I'd love to have his 7 Grand Slams, er, 15 Minutes)

breakfast_of_champions
02-25-2007, 09:28 PM
Venus, Serena and Kim can play from all parts of the court, actually defend exceptionally well (Sharapova's defense is so-so), can hit a slice backhand (I swear that I only recall two times I've seen Sharapova attempt a slice, at the Aussie Open in 2006 - the only reason I remember is because one bounced before the net and the other landed at the bottom of it - and these weren't particularly difficult shots, she was stationary for both of them as I recall and not stretched out wide) and are proficient volleyers.

maria occasionally slices, like the others i mentioned, in every match. maria wins many points a the net as well, only with a swinging volley. basher yes, thoughtless no. your don't win from the baseline by being thoughtless.

Phil
02-25-2007, 09:42 PM
maria occasionally slices, like the others i mentioned, in every match. maria wins many points a the net as well, only with a swinging volley. basher yes, thoughtless no. your don't win from the baseline by being thoughtless.

Sure you can-in the WTA in 2007. If a player is big enough and strong enough and hits the ball hard enough, and really wants it bad enough, they can win. Maria's a thoughtless basher.

Young Pete
02-25-2007, 10:38 PM
The Truth just got OWNED!

Mick
02-25-2007, 10:51 PM
Mats is right about Sharapova doesn't have the skills that Henin and Mauresmo possess but she is much better looking :)

omniexist
02-25-2007, 11:06 PM
Mats is right about Sharapova doesn't have the skills that Henin and Mauresmo possess but she is much better looking :)

Heh. You are soooo right. Woof woof!

And so is Matts. Shriekapova does seem more mindless then even the Williamses. Damn, women's tennis needs to change.

TheNatural
02-26-2007, 03:20 AM
she is a relatively thouhtless ball basher. I like her backhand, but I dont like the rest of her shots. Besides that shes a good runner and fighter. I think her athleticism and determination are her biggest strengths. SHe has a very positive attitude on court.

Davenport had a way more rounded game than Sharapova, but Davenport could sometimes get that hangdog look and give up against people like Serena Williams.

I'd favour an athletic ball basher like sharapova over Mauresmo most of the time.

35ft6
02-26-2007, 03:25 AM
I want people in tennis to say more "provocative" things, not less. If the players and commentators are too worried about fines, retaining access, and endorsement dollars to express themselves, well, that sucks, but I hope retired players and other tennis insiders don't feel the need to make sure they don't offend every wackjob out there with nothing better to do than get ****ed at people on TV before they offer their well informed opinions.

bluegrasser
02-26-2007, 03:52 AM
She thinks = bash the serve, bash the forehand, bash the bkhnd. I much rather watch Henin or AM. Maria just took the book from the William sisters, heck, it works, but not good TV.

caulcano
02-26-2007, 04:32 AM
Bashing will get you so far. hopefully it's only a matter of time before someone else really dominates the WTA, a female version of FED?

Warriorroger
02-26-2007, 05:04 AM
Agree with him or not, Matt should look at his own game. For us 30 somethings, we had the misfortune of seeing him play. Those rallies at Roland Garros, BORING. BORING BORING.

THUNDERVOLLEY
02-26-2007, 05:15 AM
She thinks = bash the serve, bash the forehand, bash the bkhnd. I much rather watch Henin or AM. Maria just took the book from the William sisters, heck, it works, but not good TV.

The sisters certainly move around the court more than Sharapova ever has, and are never afraid to approach and win points at the net. As mentioned earlier, Sharapova is like Davenport, where her shockingly bad movement forces her to bury her feet at the baseline and hardly advances through the course of a match.

sureshs
02-26-2007, 05:45 AM
Mats is jealous that Maria is good enough now to beat him in his prime.

snapple
02-26-2007, 06:13 AM
Originally Posted by sureshs
Mats is jealous that Maria is good enough now to beat him in his prime.

Thank you for adding your insight.

wildbill88AA
02-26-2007, 06:46 AM
Right, if you can hit laser beams to the corners consistently and you'll win. And its such as easy game to execute. And to think in Mats era when women were pushing the ball around the court waitng for someone to miss. Now that was exciting tennis. Mats is now officially a grumpy old man.

snapple
02-26-2007, 07:06 AM
Originally Posted by wildbill88AA
Right, if you can hit laser beams to the corners you'll win. And its such as easy game to execute. And to think in Mats era when women were pushing the ball around the court waitng for someone to miss. Now that was exciting tennis. Mats is now officially a grumpy old man.

Mat's era featured Navratalova, Graf, Madlikova, Sukova, all players with more variety to their games than 99% of the current field. Also, he never said that Maria's game was easy to execute, just that it is one dimensional and lacks finesse, which of course is the truth.

wildbill88AA
02-26-2007, 07:59 AM
Originally Posted by wildbill88AA


Mat's era featured Navratalova, Graf, Madlikova, Sukova, all players with more variety to their games than 99% of the current field. Also, he never said that Maria's game was easy to execute, just that it is one dimensional and lacks finesse, which of course is the truth.

martina was like a man playing against women, coming to the net on everything, mandilikova managed only one slam. sukova? maybe novotna, who was more of a one dimensional s and v'er. the rest were the everts, austins, and jaegers. graf stayed on the baseline mostly. most of the points were won from the backcourt in long, slow rallies. points were rarely finished at the net. more points are finished in todays game at the net by the clisters, hingis, petrova, sharapovas than were in earlier generations.

mats seems to think the women are all suppose to play like rod laver, when the men can't even do that.

maria takes the ball early, dictates, consistently hits the ball deep with power, near the lines, and has power and variety on her serve. she also finishes a lot of points at the net with a swinging volley. and thats why shes a champion at 19. not that she doesn't have work to do, but why start hitting dinks, drops, moonballs, and slices, when power is her game.

mats is just jealous because she hits the ball harder than he does.

bluetrain4
02-26-2007, 08:04 AM
mandilikova managed only one slam.

Check the record books. Mandlinkova won four slams and made some other finals.

sureshs
02-26-2007, 08:14 AM
mats is just jealous because she hits the ball harder than he does.

I made a joke post about it in this thread, but now I am thinking it is correct. This guy has a major ego problem. First, he picked on Federer. Now he has turned to the women.

I think he has the same problem as many of the male posters here who complain about the women's game - he secretely knows he would get beaten by any modern woman player even if he plays like in his prime. Great players like Laver don't insult current players, but instead are always studying the game. Mats comes across as a ****ed-off has-been who is looking for publicity.

wildbill88AA
02-26-2007, 08:52 AM
Check the record books. Mandlinkova won four slams and made some other finals.

i guess its just that her uso win over martina stands out, and that two of her slams are aussies. no doubt she was a talented allcourt player.

snapple
02-26-2007, 08:55 AM
I made a joke post about it in this thread, but now I am thinking it is correct. This guy has a major ego problem. First, he picked on Federer. Now he has turned to the women.

I think he has the same problem as many of the male posters here who complain about the women's game - he secretely knows he would get beaten by any modern woman player even if he plays like in his prime. Great players like Laver don't insult current players, but instead are always studying the game. Mats comes across as a ****ed-off has-been who is looking for publicity.

So you'd rather him just offer the same old phony platitudes, a la Laver and the like, rather than his honest commentary as a former world's number one (who has no reason to be jealous of the women players...geez)

wildbill88AA
02-26-2007, 09:03 AM
I made a joke post about it in this thread, but now I am thinking it is correct. This guy has a major ego problem. First, he picked on Federer. Now he has turned to the women.

I think he has the same problem as many of the male posters here who complain about the women's game - he secretely knows he would get beaten by any modern woman player even if he plays like in his prime. Great players like Laver don't insult current players, but instead are always studying the game. Mats comes across as a ****ed-off has-been who is looking for publicity.


was a funny comment. didn't mats also tell safin he would be better off losing to fellow swede johanssen in the 2002 AO final, prior to the match. seems mats has made a few comments over the years that may be a little off base.

breakfast_of_champions
02-26-2007, 09:12 AM
So you'd rather him just offer the same old phony platitudes, a la Laver and the like, rather than his honest commentary as a former world's number one (who has no reason to be jealous of the women players...geez)


critisizing is the easiest thing in the world to do. maria plays to her strengths, like henin and mauresmo do. maria was not born with there athletic abilty. there are always going to be different styles in tennis. saying shes "thoughtless" is a little more insulting, and just plain wrong. fact is she has proven herself, and is one of tennis's biggest stars ever,

Budgerigar
02-26-2007, 09:22 AM
protect poor maria, thoughtless is so insulting an adjective.

sureshs
02-26-2007, 11:43 AM
So you'd rather him just offer the same old phony platitudes, a la Laver and the like, rather than his honest commentary as a former world's number one (who has no reason to be jealous of the women players...geez)

Honest and insulting are two different things.

And why would Laver's comments be phony? You can also claim Mats comments are nothing more than sensational comments designed to gain attention.

sureshs
02-26-2007, 11:45 AM
critisizing is the easiest thing in the world to do.

Specially on this board - 3.5 players criticizing a USO and Wimby winner!

Kevo
02-26-2007, 12:21 PM
I wouldn't say Maria's game is thoughtless. I bet she's thinking that if she can hit hard off both wings and go for lines then she will win. And she does win quite a lot. If Steffi Graf had been able to hit a two hander like Maria would she have done it, or would she have worried about her game becoming one dimensional? Of course Maria may be thoughtless, and it's just her father telling her how to play with lots of power so she can win, but I would gladly play a thoughtless game like that if I could win all that prize money. ;-)

bad_call
02-26-2007, 12:29 PM
I wouldn't say Maria's game is thoughtless. I bet she's thinking that if she can hit hard off both wings and go for lines then she will win. And she does win quite a lot. If Steffi Graf had been able to hit a two hander like Maria would she have done it, or would she have worried about her game becoming one dimensional? Of course Maria may be thoughtless, and it's just her father telling her how to play with lots of power so she can win, but I would gladly play a thoughtless game like that if I could win all that prize money. ;-)

i am so with u on that one. Maria's got a new nickname - BAM BAM...

snapple
02-26-2007, 12:33 PM
Hate to belabor this point to death, but what Mat's was observing, as have many others regarding the women's game in general, is that when their game's are off, the ladies (ie. Maria) typically have no plan B to fall back on. Thus, the thoughtlessness comment refers to a lack of ability to improvise an alternative winning strategy when plan A is failing.

35ft6
02-26-2007, 03:34 PM
The big babes of the tour just hit as hard as they can. It's been discussed on air by coaches and commentators. The thinking is they'll use a big racket, and just hit very flat balls, willing to make unforced errors knowing that because they're stronger and more powerful than their opponents, they can almost hit through them, and draw errors. It's a calculated risk, to hit very flat powerful shots knowing that in the end, they'll get easy putaways and such even if they might miss some easy balls every so often. This is pretty much how Serena, Venus, and Sharapova play.

jjames
02-26-2007, 04:21 PM
Maria is actually quite nifty at dictating points, hitting angles, moving her opponents around, opening up the court, and then going for the winner up the line, or crosscourt. Tennis is really not that complicated.

The Gorilla
02-26-2007, 04:22 PM
Maria is actually quite nifty at dictating points, hitting angles, moving her opponents around, and then going for the winner up the line, or crosscourt. Tennis is really not that complicated.

she is like agassi once the point begins.

TheTruth
02-26-2007, 09:01 PM
The Truth just got OWNED!

Ha ha ha! That's funny. Whatever it means!

TheTruth
02-26-2007, 09:08 PM
I made a joke post about it in this thread, but now I am thinking it is correct. This guy has a major ego problem. First, he picked on Federer. Now he has turned to the women.

I think he has the same problem as many of the male posters here who complain about the women's game - he secretely knows he would get beaten by any modern woman player even if he plays like in his prime. Great players like Laver don't insult current players, but instead are always studying the game. Mats comes across as a ****ed-off has-been who is looking for publicity.

That's my point! No matter how "well informed" the opinion, why offer it? It does who any good? A retired male player talking about the state of a particular woman's game speaks to jealousy. Why would Graf come out and talk about Roger in a negative light? Wouldn't make sense to me, and neither does this.

TheTruth
02-26-2007, 09:10 PM
So you'd rather him just offer the same old phony platitudes, a la Laver and the like, rather than his honest commentary as a former world's number one (who has no reason to be jealous of the women players...geez)

It's really not about platitudes, it's about the fact that his comment is unnecessarily cruel and vicious. As much as I hate platitudes, I'll take them over such harsh criticism any day!

VikingSamurai
02-26-2007, 09:29 PM
That's my point! No matter how "well informed" the opinion, why offer it? It does who any good? A retired male player talking about the state of a particular woman's game speaks to jealousy. Why would Graf come out and talk about Roger in a negative light? Wouldn't make sense to me, and neither does this.

Your reply to that original Suresh quote is in my mind just the blind following the blind.

For Suresh to say Laver didnt do this or that is like saying that Mats as an individual doesnt have the right.. Laver has been out of the spotlight for many years, and you simply dont know what he thinks or what he has said over the course of 30-40 something years. I also believe that given the chance he would give his opinion "honestly" and so would be interpreted by a person with any sense the way it was meant to be. Honest.. He seems to be talking about Laver like he knows him or is someone that would know?

For my thinking. Mats Wilander was a great player that almost won the year Grand Slam, and plenty of slams in general on every surface.. He has beaten some of the best, and been classed as one of them. So I think he deserves to be able to say what he thinks "honestly" and I think anyone with any sense hasn't taken this to be him being old and bitter. What he has says isn't all that hard to understand, and I for one agree..

I was lucky enough to get the 2007 Australian Open mens final on disc, and it was actually the first time I have had the opportunity to listen to Mats Wilander commentate.

I have to say that it was the most entertaining and interesting look at the game of tennis, from a former player that obviously has less to do with promoting himself than others that get about the place.. Mats comes across as a little bit crazy, and loving what he is doing, and also seems to try and get into the players brains and help the viewer understand what they are thinking and planning..

I loved him as a player, watched him all those years back, but never really knew alot about him.. Although not the greatest final in Melbourne. I will be keeping this one for the fact that Mats was commentating it.. Just wished we could get Eurosports here in Japan.

breakfast_of_champions
02-26-2007, 10:10 PM
Your reply to that original Suresh quote is in my mind just the blind following the blind.

For Suresh to say Laver didnt do this or that is like saying that Mats as an individual doesnt have the right.. Laver has been out of the spotlight for many years, and you simply dont know what he thinks or what he has said over the course of 30-40 something years. I also believe that given the chance he would give his opinion "honestly" and so would be interpreted by a person with any sense the way it was meant to be. Honest.. He seems to be talking about Laver like he knows him or is someone that would know?

For my thinking. Mats Wilander was a great player that almost won the year Grand Slam, and plenty of slams in general on every surface.. He has beaten some of the best, and been classed as one of them. So I think he deserves to be able to say what he thinks "honestly" and I think anyone with any sense hasn't taken this to be him being old and bitter. What he has says isn't all that hard to understand, and I for one agree..

I was lucky enough to get the 2007 Australian Open mens final on disc, and it was actually the first time I have had the opportunity to listen to Mats Wilander commentate.

I have to say that it was the most entertaining and interesting look at the game of tennis, from a former player that obviously has less to do with promoting himself than others that get about the place.. Mats comes across as a little bit crazy, and loving what he is doing, and also seems to try and get into the players brains and help the viewer understand what they are thinking and planning..

I loved him as a player, watched him all those years back, but never really knew alot about him.. Although not the greatest final in Melbourne. I will be keeping this one for the fact that Mats was commentating it.. Just wished we could get Eurosports here in Japan.

well maybe mats was being complimentary. maybe mats meant she was playing thoughtless, as in unconcious, in a zone.

VikingSamurai
02-26-2007, 11:38 PM
well maybe mats was being complimentary. maybe mats meant she was playing thoughtless, as in unconcious, in a zone.

Agreed.. Maybe he was sending her a message?

Zimbo
02-26-2007, 11:40 PM
I made a joke post about it in this thread, but now I am thinking it is correct. This guy has a major ego problem. First, he picked on Federer. Now he has turned to the women.

I think he has the same problem as many of the male posters here who complain about the women's game - he secretely knows he would get beaten by any modern woman player even if he plays like in his prime. Great players like Laver don't insult current players, but instead are always studying the game. Mats comes across as a ****ed-off has-been who is looking for publicity.

He didn't pick on Fed. He admires Fed and his game. This has been debated already so get over the whole French final thing. He was right about Fed just like he's right about Maria. And as for his ego. Every top player current or past has to have one. And if you think a a women now could really beat Mats your crazy. Saying that you might as well say women playing now could be Lendl, Connors, Mac, Edberg, and Becker. Cause those are the guys Mats competed against.

sureshs
02-27-2007, 10:01 AM
So I think he deserves to be able to say what he thinks "honestly" and I think anyone with any sense hasn't taken this to be him being old and bitter. What he has says isn't all that hard to understand, and I for one agree..


It depends on how it is said and whether the target of the insult appreciates it. His "balls" comment on Federer made Federer sad. That is what it comes down too - is he trying to humiliate people or not? Whether he was a good player or not does not matter. On that topic, most people would say Laver is a GOAT, but not Wilander. In quick succession, he has said the world #1 does not have the "balls" to defeat Nadal (since then Federer has defeated him in the TMC) and that a Wimby and USO winner is thoughtless. You have to admit there is something more behind his remarks rather than just an analysis of the game.

snapple
02-27-2007, 10:19 AM
It depends on how it is said and whether the target of the insult appreciates it. His "balls" comment on Federer made Federer sad. That is what it comes down too - is he trying to humiliate people or not? Whether he was a good player or not does not matter. On that topic, most people would say Laver is a GOAT, but not Wilander. In quick succession, he has said the world #1 does not have the "balls" to defeat Nadal (since then Federer has defeated him in the TMC) and that a Wimby and USO winner is thoughtless. You have to admit there is something more behind his remarks rather than just an analysis of the game.

Why is it that with just about any other sport, fans AND commentators use the most colorful and often derogatory language (ie. Rex Grossman stunk, Phil Mickelson choked...etc.), but in tennis saying a player's game is thoughtless is considered "rude and insulting". I see absolutely nothing personal or inflammatory about such a remark given that his analysis (IMO) supports the claim. How would you suggest he phrase his comments that would make them more amenable to your sensibilities? And the fact that the target of the remarks may not appreciate them should be irrelevent. If that were some sort of criteria then very few meaningful or interesting observations would be made at all.

sureshs
02-27-2007, 10:38 AM
Why is it that with just about any other sport, fans AND commentators use the most colorful and often derogatory language (ie. Rex Grossman stunk, Phil Mickelson choked...etc.), but in tennis saying a player's game is thoughtless is considered "rude and insulting". I see absolutely nothing personal or inflammatory about such a remark given that his analysis (IMO) supports the claim. How would you suggest he phrase his comments that would make them more amenable to your sensibilities? And the fact that the target of the remarks may not appreciate them should be irrelevent. If that were some sort of criteria then very few meaningful or interesting observations would be made at all.

Many interesting observations can be made without resorting to these remarks.

Did Mats say Federer choked? You are making up comparisons just for the sake of it. Show me where Palmer said Tiger has no balls and Michelle Wie is thoughtless.

And even then you are digressing. We are discussing tennis, so it doesn't really matter what happens in other sports. Otherwise we would have timeouts every 2 minutes or a foul every minute. In WWF, the opponents say very choice things about each other. Why not adopt that too?

snapple
02-27-2007, 11:05 AM
Many interesting observations can be made without resorting to these remarks.


Once again I ask you, how SHOULD Mats have phrased his comments to express his thoughts about Maria's game that would be more pleasant to you? (yet still conveying his message)

My point in using other sports as examples I feel was a valid analogy. Again, why is Mats held to a higher standard of rhetoric than his peers. Granted his comments tend to be colorful and outspoken but IMO I honestly do not feel they are meant to be mean spirited or intended to humiliate. I've met Mats and my impression of him is the same as almost every one else that has as well - that he is extremely gracious, friendly and seems to genuinely love to engage in tennis critique/analysis. Bottom line is most of his comments are right on target if not sugar coated. Finally, I really don't think the mighty Fed was "sad" or lost to much sleep over Mat's FO comments. Moreover, I have yet to hear analysis that captured just how I felt after that match as effectively as Mats did.

Rabbit
02-27-2007, 12:31 PM
she is like agassi once the point begins.

Yeah, Agassi-like....right.....ROTFLMFAO


Mats is dead on with this one. Sharapova is a mindless ball-bashing blonde bent on basically bludgeoning balls back at babes located on the other side of the net.

tricky
02-27-2007, 01:09 PM
Masterful use of alliteration Rabbit. :)

AndrewD
02-27-2007, 03:17 PM
Hate to belabor this point to death, but what Mat's was observing, as have many others regarding the women's game in general, is that when their game's are off, the ladies (ie. Maria) typically have no plan B to fall back on. Thus, the thoughtlessness comment refers to a lack of ability to improvise an alternative winning strategy when plan A is failing.

That is exactly what he said after last year's French Open semis (the women's). The girls arrive on court with no game plan other than to hit the ball as hard as possible. Their game style is the antithesis of cerebral.

MoFed
02-27-2007, 04:11 PM
Shreikapova is a thoughtless player. She hits hard and then she hits harder. She doesn't think through to the next shot, what should I do? She pounds the ball every time. She doesn't know how to change tactics if what she's doing isn't working. Like he said, she's a thoughtless player.

driger
02-27-2007, 04:36 PM
"Safin Would Be Better Off Losing The AO Final"------Mats To Safin Before The 2002 AO Final

"Federer Choked In The French Open"------Mats On The 2006 FO Final

"Federer Is Much Better Than Sampras"-------Mats On Men's Goat Pete Sampras

"She Is A Thoughtless Ball Basher"------Mats On Womens World #1 And Slam Champion Maria Sharapova


Seems Lately Mat's Comments To The Media Are A Little "thoughtless."

tennissavy
02-27-2007, 04:37 PM
Someone needs to replay sharapova's us open final vs. Henin in which she not only overpowered Henin but out-finessed her with delicate drop shots and volleys! Sharapova needs to keep that match in her mind and continue on that path. She really had the perfect balance of brutal power and touch. Anyway, Mats is wrong and that particular match is a great example to shove down his throat.

Alexandros
02-27-2007, 05:01 PM
Someone needs to replay sharapova's us open final vs. Henin in which she not only overpowered Henin but out-finessed her with delicate drop shots and volleys! Sharapova needs to keep that match in her mind and continue on that path. She really had the perfect balance of brutal power and touch. Anyway, Mats is wrong and that particular match is a great example to shove down his throat.

Sharapova's tactic in that match, which allowed her to win was to rally deep up the middle of the court. It robbed Henin of time and didn't give her a lot of angle to work with - Sharapova invariably comes out on the losing end of rallies where they work each other around the court because Henin moves better, can fire shots up the line or crosscourt with greater ease when on the run, can pull better angles and has superior defense. They are more on an even keel if it just came to a straight out hitting contest, which is what Sharapova did in that match and Henin tended to misfire when attempting to dictate (though admittedly she was rather flat in that match in general, this would also have contributed). There was nothing there about her 'outfinessing' Henin.

driger
02-27-2007, 06:03 PM
Sharapova's tactic in that match, which allowed her to win was to rally deep up the middle of the court. It robbed Henin of time and didn't give her a lot of angle to work with - Sharapova invariably comes out on the losing end of rallies where they work each other around the court because Henin moves better, can fire shots up the line or crosscourt with greater ease when on the run, can pull better angles and has superior defense. They are more on an even keel if it just came to a straight out hitting contest, which is what Sharapova did in that match and Henin tended to misfire when attempting to dictate (though admittedly she was rather flat in that match in general, this would also have contributed). There was nothing there about her 'outfinessing' Henin.

disagree. sharapova dictates better than anyone in the wta. she has too because she doesn't play defense well. if sharapova hit straight up the middle henin would take control of the point and put sharapova on defense. sharapovas groundstrokes are in the corners and close to the lines. other than that sharapova served extremely well, and both players seemed a little tight. when sharapova's game is on there is nobody in the wta than is going to win from the backcourt, if at all.

Alexandros
02-27-2007, 07:42 PM
disagree. sharapova dictates better than anyone in the wta. she has too because she doesn't play defense well. if sharapova hit straight up the middle henin would take control of the point and put sharapova on defense. sharapovas groundstrokes are in the corners and close to the lines. other than that sharapova served extremely well, and both players seemed a little tight. when sharapova's game is on there is nobody in the wta than is going to win from the backcourt, if at all.


Watch the match again - it's as I said previously. Henin couldn't take control because Sharapova was hitting too deep. Yes, she did go for the corners too but she didn't attempt to move Henin around as much as she usually does to her opponents, simply because it would give Henin more angle, room and options to work with.

And I don't care how 'on' Sharapova's game is - Venus and Serena easily surpass her from the backcourt (better movement, defense and greater power along with superior forehands). Also, Clijsters when she's on can outrally Sharapova, by virtue of having a much bigger forehand that can really control points.

Phil
02-27-2007, 07:55 PM
Watch the match again - it's as I said previously. Henin couldn't take control because Sharapova was hitting too deep. Yes, she did go for the corners too but she didn't attempt to move Henin around as much as she usually does to her opponents, simply because it would give Henin more angle, room and options to work with.

And I don't care how 'on' Sharapova's game is - Venus and Serena easily surpass her from the backcourt (better movement, defense and greater power along with superior forehands). Also, Clijsters when she's on can outrally Sharapova, by virtue of having a much bigger forehand that can really control points.

One other thing I notice about the Williams sisters: though they may be, primarily, big bangers, they can hit just about any shot. I've seen them hit perfectly placed drop shots, slices, and solid vollies. Although they may plan an entire match without hitting ANY of those shots, they do have them in their arsenals. They're a bit more than simply one-dimensional players. I've yet to see Sharapova hit a volley, or a "touch" shot. But maybe I just haven't seen enough of her matches?

tennissavy
02-27-2007, 07:55 PM
Alexandros, I did watch the match again and sharapova hit the corners a lot, not up the middle so much as you claim. You need to watch the match and watch it objectively- she out-finessed Henin. Will she do that again? Perhaps not but she did it in that match and she approached the net more than Henin too. Sharapova looked better in every way and Henin was not having an off day either. Maria had her in jeopardy with her power game and then used skillful soft touch shots which were winning shots. Great timing from Maria. Too bad you refuse to recognize it. People are going to start calling you "Mats" if for not giving Maria credit for the finesse. She may not use it in every match but the fact that she did so much more in this particular match than normal and that she did it so effectively proves that she can do it.

tennissavy
02-27-2007, 07:58 PM
One other thing I notice about the Williams sisters: though they may be, primarily, big bangers, they can hit just about any shot. I've seen them hit perfectly placed drop shots, slices, and solid vollies. Although they may plan an entire match without hitting ANY of those shots, they do have them in their arsenals. They're a bit more than simply one-dimensional players. I've yet to see Sharapova hit a volley, or a "touch" shot. But maybe I just haven't seen enough of her matches?

This very us open final match, in question, has maria executing drop volleys, traditional volley winners, swing volleys. Watch the match and you will see them.

Phil
02-27-2007, 08:16 PM
This very us open final match, in question, has maria executing drop volleys, traditional volley winners, swing volleys. Watch the match and you will see them.

The swinging volley is a shot that I associate with big bashers-those who have more confidence in hitting such a shot than hitting a true volley (or who simply can't volley). So I wouldn't put this in the category of other, more subtle shots. But I'll check out that match if I can get ahold of it.

driger
02-27-2007, 08:27 PM
Watch the match again - it's as I said previously. Henin couldn't take control because Sharapova was hitting too deep. Yes, she did go for the corners too but she didn't attempt to move Henin around as much as she usually does to her opponents, simply because it would give Henin more angle, room and options to work with.

And I don't care how 'on' Sharapova's game is - Venus and Serena easily surpass her from the backcourt (better movement, defense and greater power along with superior forehands). Also, Clijsters when she's on can outrally Sharapova, by virtue of having a much bigger forehand that can really control points.

maria has beaten kim 3 straight times, is 2-1 with venus, and now 2-3 with serena. the williams girls are way more inconsistant than maria. and there results over the last few years show it. although an "off-form"maria lost at the AO, she has a win over serena at the year end champs and wimby, ands it maria whose 19 and still developing.

and if henin can't return balls up the middle, she surely isn't going to return them deep in the corners, with maria moving her side to side. i think maria was just a little tight in the uso final and playing it safe by going up the middle more than usual.

driger
02-27-2007, 08:31 PM
The swinging volley is a shot that I associate with big bashers-those who have more confidence in hitting such a shot than hitting a true volley (or who simply can't volley). So I wouldn't put this in the category of other, more subtle shots. But I'll check out that match if I can get ahold of it.

yes, or watch the other 3 tournaments she won just after the uso.

Phil
02-27-2007, 08:39 PM
yes, or watch the other 3 tournaments she won just after the uso.

That just indicates how weak the WTA field really is. I saw her live at the Toray Pan Pacific and she didn't play well, even in the matches in which she wasn't hurt.

ibemadskillzz
02-27-2007, 08:40 PM
sharapova is a horrid player. They way she moves around the court is horrible. Almost all women in WPT moves better. She moves in a robotic form, looks so awkward when she runs at the ball.
Also her strokes are really weak in reality. She screams and moans to make her sound strong, making it look like her balls are hard. Sometimes she hits some strong shots but her shots overall are weak. Her serve is probably her only weapon, not even a weapon really
i don't like when she hits that over the head finish forehand. It's so weak and ugly.

stormholloway
02-27-2007, 08:43 PM
Did anyone hear the commentators repeat what Mats supposedly said about Sharapova. I'm paraphrasing. "She's a one-dimensional ball-basher not capable of rivaling the likes of Mauresmo and Justine with their variety and finesse."

Now, I am by no means a Sharapova fan, but give me a break. It's one thing for us (nobodies) to spout an opinion, but it's another one for him to put some garbage like that in print. I've never been a Wilander fan. Never even seen him play, thank goodness, but if I had been a fan, he would have really turned me off by now. Haven't heard a word from him in 20 years, now every time I turn around he's spouting vitriol left and right. Go crawl back into your hole, Mats. Your fifteen minutes are up!

You've never seen Wilander play? Well then you obviously have less ground to speak on than he.

Wilander was a great player and still is. He has ever right to an opinion. Certainly more so than the nitwits around here.

I agree with his opinion. Sharapova is a lesser Lendl with better legs.

TheTruth
02-27-2007, 08:44 PM
Your reply to that original Suresh quote is in my mind just the blind following the blind.

For Suresh to say Laver didnt do this or that is like saying that Mats as an individual doesnt have the right.. Laver has been out of the spotlight for many years, and you simply dont know what he thinks or what he has said over the course of 30-40 something years. I also believe that given the chance he would give his opinion "honestly" and so would be interpreted by a person with any sense the way it was meant to be. Honest.. He seems to be talking about Laver like he knows him or is someone that would know?

For my thinking. Mats Wilander was a great player that almost won the year Grand Slam, and plenty of slams in general on every surface.. He has beaten some of the best, and been classed as one of them. So I think he deserves to be able to say what he thinks "honestly" and I think anyone with any sense hasn't taken this to be him being old and bitter. What he has says isn't all that hard to understand, and I for one agree..

I was lucky enough to get the 2007 Australian Open mens final on disc, and it was actually the first time I have had the opportunity to listen to Mats Wilander commentate.

I have to say that it was the most entertaining and interesting look at the game of tennis, from a former player that obviously has less to do with promoting himself than others that get about the place.. Mats comes across as a little bit crazy, and loving what he is doing, and also seems to try and get into the players brains and help the viewer understand what they are thinking and planning..

I loved him as a player, watched him all those years back, but never really knew alot about him.. Although not the greatest final in Melbourne. I will be keeping this one for the fact that Mats was commentating it.. Just wished we could get Eurosports here in Japan.

OK. Well, here's what I think. Katrina Adams on the Tennis Channel offers the best commentary around. She gives on-point analysis, makes the game fan friendly, discusses tactics, strengths, and weaknesses all without denigrating any player. That's the type of commentary I appreciate. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I take issue not only with Mats Wilander, but Carillo, both Macs, wishy-washy Drysdale, Shriver, and Fernandez. I happen not to like people who are overly harsh with their criticisms, if you do, that's fine. But as far as the blind leading the blind comment, Mats would be proud of you!

driger
02-27-2007, 08:55 PM
That just indicates how weak the WTA field really is. I saw her live at the Toray Pan Pacific and she didn't play well, even in the matches in which she wasn't hurt.

she's been terrible so far this year, i'll admt. and last year she had the shoulder injury in japan. plus its probably tough going from oz to japan. she beat all the top players in the hardcourt season last year.

jjames
02-27-2007, 09:11 PM
OK. Well, here's what I think. Katrina Adams on the Tennis Channel offers the best commentary around. She gives on-point analysis, makes the game fan friendly, discusses tactics, strengths, and weaknesses all without denigrating any player. That's the type of commentary I appreciate. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I take issue not only with Mats Wilander, but Carillo, both Macs, wishy-washy Drysdale, Shriver, and Fernandez. I happen not to like people who are overly harsh with their criticisms, if you do, that's fine. But as far as the blind leading the blind comment, Mats would be proud of you!

it called being professional, fair and unbiased. even jimmy connors rarely ever said anything negative or, insulting about another player when he commentated. and you knew he had his differences with a few of them.

mats says a lot of good things, but he's just wrong here. if maria were a thoughtless basher, players like hingis would tear her up.

Phil
02-27-2007, 09:46 PM
it called being professional, fair and unbiased. even jimmy connors rarely ever said anything negative or, insulting about another player when he commentated. and you knew he had his differences with a few of them.

mats says a lot of good things, but he's just wrong here. if maria were a thoughtless basher, players like hingis would tear her up.

I like Mats' commentary, and I also like some of the more "refined" commentators, too. Each of them brings his own personality to the broadcast booth, and some are more outspoken and less neutral than others.

If all commentators followed a standard protocal (e.g. Don't say ANYTHING controversial, abrasive-sounding or reflective of your own personality), then I think sports commentary would be poorer for it. I'll take abrasive (with a purpose) over bland any day. There are more than enough commentators who do nothing but sprout cliches and take the "safe" approach to their job.

Commentators are entertainers, just like the players...so why shouldn't they...entertain?

jjames
02-28-2007, 08:44 AM
I like Mats' commentary, and I also like some of the more "refined" commentators, too. Each of them brings his own personality to the broadcast booth, and some are more outspoken and less neutral than others.

If all commentators followed a standard protocal (e.g. Don't say ANYTHING controversial, abrasive-sounding or reflective of your own personality), then I think sports commentary would be poorer for it. I'll take abrasive (with a purpose) over bland any day. There are more than enough commentators who do nothing but sprout cliches and take the "safe" approach to their job.

Commentators are entertainers, just like the players...so why shouldn't they...entertain?

true, former players are hired to give their opinions. think of all the things jmac, shriver, and carillo have said. i just prefer a more tactful style, ala, lief sharis, or barry mckay.

35ft6
02-28-2007, 11:57 AM
"Safin Would Be Better Off Losing The AO Final"------Mats To Safin Before The 2002 AO Final

"Federer Choked In The French Open"------Mats On The 2006 FO Final

"Federer Is Much Better Than Sampras"-------Mats On Men's Goat Pete Sampras

"She Is A Thoughtless Ball Basher"------Mats On Womens World #1 And Slam Champion Maria Sharapova


Seems Lately Mat's Comments To The Media Are A Little "thoughtless." How are they thoughtless? You mean thoughtless as in they can hurt somebody's feelings? Or they have no merit? Because I've seen each comment IN their contexts, and I more or less saw his point for each of them.

driger
02-28-2007, 12:34 PM
How are they thoughtless? You mean thoughtless as in they can hurt somebody's feelings? Or they have no merit? Because I've seen each comment IN their contexts, and I more or less saw his point for each of them.

"thoughtless" as in, he needs to let his brain catchup with his mouth.

TheTruth
02-28-2007, 02:38 PM
You've never seen Wilander play? Well then you obviously have less ground to speak on than he.

Wilander was a great player and still is. He has ever right to an opinion. Certainly more so than the nitwits around here.

I agree with his opinion. Sharapova is a lesser Lendl with better legs.

Not seeing Wilander play has nothing to do with it. The emphasis is on his brainless, hurtful, remarks and his irresponsibilitity in doing so. You can speak the truth without being so hateful. So again, what does seeing him play have to do with anything? Maybe the issue is that you agree with him, as opposed to the fact that he was ridiculous for having said it. Unless of course he used to love when the pundits dogged him out, which I doubt. He has even more reason to be respectful! But, it's not just about Sharapova. It's all of the thoughtless remarks he has made period!

stormholloway
02-28-2007, 02:45 PM
He said he's never been a Wilander fan, then he says he's never seen him play. Seems odd to dislike someone you haven't seen do what they do best. It's like saying James Brown sucks, even though I've never heard his music.

Sharapova is a thoughtless basher. I don't see hate. It's called criticism. She's part of the homogenization of tennis. All players hitting the same. No variety. Nothing of interest to see besides boobs.

driger
02-28-2007, 06:07 PM
He said he's never been a Wilander fan, then he says he's never seen him play. Seems odd to dislike someone you haven't seen do what they do best. It's like saying James Brown sucks, even though I've never heard his music.

Sharapova is a thoughtless basher. I don't see hate. It's called criticism. She's part of the homogenization of tennis. All players hitting the same. No variety. Nothing of interest to see besides boobs.

yep, no variety, nothing of interest, just titles.

TheTruth
03-01-2007, 03:44 PM
He said he's never been a Wilander fan, then he says he's never seen him play. Seems odd to dislike someone you haven't seen do what they do best. It's like saying James Brown sucks, even though I've never heard his music.

Sharapova is a thoughtless basher. I don't see hate. It's called criticism. She's part of the homogenization of tennis. All players hitting the same. No variety. Nothing of interest to see besides boobs.

Are you responding to me?

Dolphina
03-02-2007, 01:23 AM
I think itīs always so funny to read Sharapova just a thoughtless ball basher or what. I personally think, her strokes are simply fabulous, which is alone proved by the fact, that without having muscles like a bodybuilder, or without running around the court like a 100 m gold medal champion sheīs able to be number 1, to win grand slams.
Iīm really not a fan of Sharapova, but to be honest, I prefer her great shotmaking over terrific movement and physics like Mauresmo, without what she wouldnīt even be in the Top 10.
I agree that Henin consistently would be a stronger player, because she has powerful strokes and movement, but thatīs no reason to bash Sharapovas game.
I think criticism on her game is actually more based on disliking her character or not being able to accept, that without slices and topspins you can be successful in tennis, than really on objective facts.
I just would wish that Hantuchova could overcome her mental case, because I feel she has the same terrific shots, but also a lot more feeling and talent, but that would actually be right in comparison with most players.