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vkartikv
06-08-2006, 06:41 AM
... do you regularly see huge 5-1 or a set and 5-1 leads being thrown away. It seems to happen almost everyday! And the UF errors column always dominates the winners column. I recall a time (Graf/Navratilova/Seles) when watching women's tennis was as enjoyable as watching the men. Nowadays even the tennis kid (from TTC) can come off with better serves and mental strength than the WTA pros.. And they ask why we complain about the quality of women's tennis...

skip1969
06-08-2006, 07:01 AM
well, women do get broken a lot more (especially on clay), but i don't wanna make excuses. i agree with you. when i started watching tennis, the women could impress you as much (or even more so) than the men. you saw epic matches and rivalries. you saw real mental strength and that ruthless determination of champions. and (as a reagular joe) you could really take a lot from watching the women's game. seeing evert tear up the competition in her quiet, domination way. watching martina grow from an out-of-shape mental weakling into the most trained professional who took the game to a new level. graf was a giant out there, and so was seles, from a very early age. . .

the women at the top really seperated themselves physically and mentally from the also-rans. the drama and the tension was built-in, with their differing personalities and contrasting styles of play. you sat back and you watched in awe.

these days, it's not quite the same. so-called "big babe" tennis (god, i hate that term) with almost every girl looking to hit harder than the other. less variety of styles, more hype, less strategy, sooooo many unforced errors . . .

i'm not bashing the wta, i still watch it. but the quality certainly isn't what it used to be. and even the girls at the top in recent years (davenport, williams, mauresmo, hardenne. . .) haven't shown the kind of consistency on the court (in terms of high quality play AND mental strength) that you used to see back in the day. now you watch a big semi or final and just wait for the inevitable mental breakdowns, or the string of unforced errors. matches aren't won, so much as they're abdicated.

ohplease
06-08-2006, 07:46 AM
5-1 is no different from 5-2, 4-1, or sometimes 3-0: they're all two service breaks. Winning a set 6-3 with two breaks is just as "huge" as winning it 6-1. That some players (male or female) are unable to consolidate in the race to get to 6 first might make for a more interesting story, but in the end it has little bearing on the tired men vs. women debate.

skip1969
06-08-2006, 08:03 AM
well, personally i wasn't comparing the men to the women. i was comparing the women of today to the women of a couple of decades ago (in terms of rallies, strategies, mental dominance, etc.). i'm not one to rate the atp vs the wta. i watch them both, and take what i can from each.

sureshs
06-08-2006, 08:11 AM
... do you regularly see huge 5-1 or a set and 5-1 leads being thrown away. It seems to happen almost everyday! And the UF errors column always dominates the winners column. I recall a time (Graf/Navratilova/Seles) when watching women's tennis was as enjoyable as watching the men. Nowadays even the tennis kid (from TTC) can come off with better serves and mental strength than the WTA pros.. And they ask why we complain about the quality of women's tennis...

There is much more power in serves and ground strokes today than in the past. I don't know what the tennis kid does, but was there a tennis kid in the good old days who was somewhat different?

Listen to the comments from past WTA players and they all agree that the power level has gone up and fitness has become more important. Players are also stronger and taller.

dubsplayer
06-08-2006, 08:11 AM
I happened to have the Safina/Shrieker match on the other day (it must have been a repeat) and I almost fell out of my chair when I heard Mary Joe say how unusual it was for a (woman) player to be up two breaks and lose the set and how it happens so much more on the men's side. What fecking planet is she living on??? I couldn't believe my ears but I tivo'd it and sure enough she said it.

ohplease
06-08-2006, 08:23 AM
well, personally i wasn't comparing the men to the women. i was comparing the women of today to the women of a couple of decades ago (in terms of rallies, strategies, mental dominance, etc.). i'm not one to rate the atp vs the wta. i watch them both, and take what i can from each.

It's been said many times, but it's tough to compare different eras. For example, I challenge anyone to compare Martina Hingis from 97/98/99 to Martina Hingis today - especially in her match with Clijsters this year at Roland Garros. Or even the Roddick/Hewitt 2001 us open QF to either of those players today. Ok, maybe not Roddick - but Hewitt, for sure.

Yes, there was a time where both men and women were content to play a certain way. Now, they've all taken a page out of Federer's playbook: if your feet are set, you're on offense. If your feet are set and you're standing inside the baseline, you end the point on that shot or on the next one, which will be off a weak reply. If you don't do it, the other person will, so pull the trigger now.

Yes, that means more errors, but for now it is what it is - at least until someone comes along that shows the tours a style of play that can defend well enough such that those consequent errors are no longer affordable.

The whole hit-it-hard and wait style of academy tennis from the 90's is dead and gone. This is something new, and frankly, it's resulting in much more midcourt and net play than that era, which is good.

skip1969
06-08-2006, 08:48 AM
i'm not one to compare eras, usually. i never post on threads that say 'so-and-so from back then could never beat so-and-so of today" or "who was the best player EVER." to me, that's all subjective and speculative. and on this board, usually leads to a lot of useless name-calling or arguements completely devoid of common sense and logic.

i'm all for progress. and i realize that tennis, like everything else in life, is cyclical. the only reason i dared to comare eras in this thread is because my issue is with the quality of play, and the mental strength that the pros have (or don't have, as the case may be).

forgetting eras for a moment, i will use john mcenroe as an example. i don't understand why he is so gung-ho on having coaching during matches. to me (and i may be wrong here), it signifies (implicitly) that he doesn't think today's player is capable of thinking his/her way out of a jam and winning a match without the 'expertise' of a coach on the court. to me, this only reinforces the perception that a lot of today's players are just out there brainlessly bashing away at the ball, with no notion of strategy or constructing individual points. however, thinking on the court, making adjustments, etc. . . that has been an integral part of the game, and what separates the best from the rest. the best players have always managed to find ways to win matches, even when they are down and out. now, mac is saying what?? that today's players need more help? in addition to their bigger, fitter bodies and technologically advanced equipment? today's players (seemingly) have more advantages than their predecesors. except what . . . they can't think on the court? they can't use their brains?? nonsense.

and this is why a player like federer (or to a lesser degree, hardenne or even hingis) seems to float above the rest of the tour like some super-human god. not because he is that much wiser and more clever than his peers. but because no-one else is even TRYING to be wise or clever on the court. i guess everyone else is just too lazy to use their heads. and if johnny mac is right, they'll simply keep bashing away brainlessly until we get some coaches out there to have a little chit-chat with them during the changeovers.

sureshs
06-08-2006, 10:04 AM
i don't understand why he is so gung-ho on having coaching during matches. to me (and i may be wrong here), it signifies (implicitly) that he doesn't think today's player is capable of thinking his way out of a jam and winning a match without the 'expertise' of a coach on the court

Or it might simply be that he is influenced by other sports. Or echoing what the networks say they want to add more excitement to the game. The networks want to make tennis into a game with badly behaved fans, angry coaches with serious faces, and even WWF-like players. Quiet, dignified sports with gentlemanly (or womanly) players don't get good ratings. The more barbarism, the better, like the Roman gladiator sports.

vkartikv
06-08-2006, 10:16 AM
Coaching during the match should not be allowed. I'd hate to see tennis become like football or basketball with stupid timeouts and constant breaks. If you can't perform in an individual sport without coaching (during the match) then you might as well quit.

sureshs
06-08-2006, 10:22 AM
I'd hate to see tennis become like football or basketball with stupid timeouts and constant breaks.

Or the "fouls" in soccer. Or the crowd shouting all the time in cricket, even when the ball is about to be pitched.