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View Full Version : Where have all the lefties gone?


heycal
06-07-2006, 07:23 PM
When I was growing up in the 1970's, the game seemed to be dominated by lefties. What's the conventional wisdom on the reason for the dearth of lefties these days?

EclipseRydr97
06-07-2006, 08:06 PM
I heard Rafael Nadal plays left handed...may have to double check though...

LowProfile
06-07-2006, 08:14 PM
Nadal is indeed a lefty. As is Nieminen (although he is by no stretch of the imagination dominant). There really aren't that many great lefties right now besides Rafa.

heycal
06-07-2006, 11:21 PM
There really aren't that many great lefties right now besides Rafa.

Yes, this is my point... Anyone know why this might be the case? In the good old days, a lefty won the U.S. Open like 11 years in a row. (Connors, McEnroe, Vilas, some other guy -- Orantes maybe?) And then there was Tanner, and of course Laver, and Martina Navritilova, and so on. In fact, I don't think there were any right handed players that came in-between Bill Tilden and Roger Federer...

Viper
06-07-2006, 11:28 PM
It's about time righties dominated. Lefties are so lucky.

fastdunn
06-08-2006, 09:40 AM
Yes, this is my point... Anyone know why this might be the case? In the good old days, a lefty won the U.S. Open like 11 years in a row. (Connors, McEnroe, Vilas, some other guy -- Orantes maybe?) And then there was Tanner, and of course Laver, and Martina Navritilova, and so on. In fact, I don't think there were any right handed players that came in-between Bill Tilden and Roger Federer...

Yep, during last few years, we've had unusually low number of
top players who are lefty. Some German tennis magazine article
even suggested there are less lefty's advantages in modern tennis.

Then along came Nadal. I'm sure we'll have a few more soon in the
future. Tennis is inherently favorable to lefties. I'm sure we'll have
some more.

sureshs
06-08-2006, 09:42 AM
Lefties are 10% of any population.

Just FYI.

simi
06-08-2006, 10:32 AM
As has been mentioned many times in this forum, and is well know . . . Rafael Nadal is right handed. He throws right handed and writes right handed. The only thing he does left handed is yield a tennis racket, and quite well at that.

LeftyServe
06-08-2006, 10:32 AM
There's always been at least one top lefty around. Besides the ones previously mentioned: Muster, Rios, Andres Gomez. And now Nadal. There are probably about 5 currently in the top 50, roughly equal to the proportion of the general population. Off hand, I can think of Nadal, Niemenen, F. Lopez, Verdasco, Rusedski...

Eviscerator
06-08-2006, 10:58 AM
Lefties are 10% of any population.

Just FYI.

Exactly, so it stands to reason there is not going to be a disproportional amount of them given their small numbers. I think Goran was the last lefty to win a slam until Nadal won the French.

fastdunn
06-08-2006, 11:25 AM
Exactly, so it stands to reason there is not going to be a disproportional amount of them given their small numbers. I think Goran was the last lefty to win a slam until Nadal won the French.

There was a ITF funded research on this in 1980's and 1990's.

In 1980's study, the conclusion was that there is no advantages for
lefties. In this study, they count natural lefties only. So they would
not count Nadal as lefty.

In 1990's study, the conclusion is there is a significant advantage.
In this study, they counted left-hand "player". (Nadal would be
counted as lefty.). In addition, they also surveyed top players.

If you count *all* pro tennis players, the percentage of lefties
are about similar to that of genral public. But if you count top
players only, the percentage goes up. And if you count % of
weeks held by lefty #1, it goes up as high as 40%.
The number #1 spot has been held by a lefty about 38% of
the time, as I recall (However, Navratilova single-handedly added
large portion of it..)

By the way, it is very unclear how much percentage of general
population is naturally born lefty. 10% is rough estimate.
It's not that easy to determine whether you're meant to be
lefty or not... It's a different issue from whether you're
"using" left hand or not...

Andres
06-08-2006, 11:26 AM
There's always been at least one top lefty around. Besides the ones previously mentioned: Muster, Rios, Andres Gomez. And now Nadal. There are probably about 5 currently in the top 50, roughly equal to the proportion of the general population. Off hand, I can think of Nadal, Niemenen, F. Lopez, Verdasco, Rusedski...
Why does everyone forgets about Ivanisevic? :mrgreen:

LeftyServe
06-08-2006, 12:29 PM
Why does everyone forgets about Ivanisevic? :mrgreen:

Good point! I don't know. And he had that classic lefty outsider status, didn't he.

simi
06-08-2006, 12:55 PM
...
In 1980's study, the conclusion was that there is no advantages for
lefties...

Hush. I need all the help I can get. Don't let the secret out.