Are strategies relevant today in Modern Tennis?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by sureshs, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    Haha, no worries! I don't post much unless a particular topic tickles my interest! I look at my post count compared to may others and wonder how on earth they manage it!
     
    #51
  2. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    One of the big difference that I see between the big 4 and the next group is shot selection - aka strategy. A guy like Tsonga for instance has the tools (I think) to be competitive with those top guys. But sometimes he just goes for stuff that's stupid, or seems to give up, instead of going for solid, hard shots that aren't going to win him the point but keeps him in the point.

    Also Tsonga impressed the heck out of me at Wimbledon with S&V skills. Why the heck isn't he doing that more. Some of these "almost" guys don't seem to realize what strategies are working for them.
     
    #52
  3. Cheetah

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    Really? This from 2 days ago.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GIdAcdUnjw&t=3m26s

    Nobody does this as their game plan. It only happens at certain periods of a match. You don't see any wta matches where one player is consistently playing narrow and blasting down the middle.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
    #53
  4. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    ^^ oh, like posting a clip of 1 point is gonna mean anything for the purpose of this debate.

    nobody? how did Davenport achieve what she achieved? for her, the narrower the better.

    down the middle baby.
     
    #54
  5. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    you said players like this don't exist today. I provided a clip proving otherwise.
     
    #55
  6. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    we are talking about trends - an aggregate of thousands of points from hundreds of players.

    Serena is somewhere middle of the road, she hits hard and has decent speed.

    you look at those girls who play 'big babe tennis'.... Venice, Sharapova, or any big/fat chick who can hit but cannot run, they all pretty much play this way.

    the recent example I can think of is Mauresmo, who uses spin as extensively as Conchita Martinez or Sabatini
     
    #56
  7. Ash_Smith

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    Disrespectful much?
     
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  8. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    No they don't. You are just spewing out some junk you heard casual tennis fans or some nba announcer who was tasked to cover a tennis match say.

    Sharapova vs Azarenka. Does this look like they are only bashing down the middle?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGmV6jxwVmk
     
    #58
  9. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    ok i will save you the trouble, no need to post youtube links... i know how they play.

    aza is not a good example.... once a player creates angle, the middle is no longer the middle anymore!

    and still... we are talking about 'TRENDS'.
     
    #59
  10. ShoeShiner

    ShoeShiner Rookie

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    Today tennis games in pros levels are dominated by power. In ATP and WTA, there are not much game varieties. But play styles and strategies are still needed.
     
    #60
  11. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Lol so true. I was just thinking the other day the gals are playing pretty angular these days.
     
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  12. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    it's called less PC :)

    both words are neutral in the dictionary.
     
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  13. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    and that aza-pova clip just proves my point..

    1) down the middle means for neutral ball, not put away balls, otherwise you never win any points.

    2) in neutral balls, aza is the one more willing to change direction (she is faster), while pova mostly try not to change the direction... again, in a CC battle, the middle is not the middle!

    3) due to this disadvantage (too much risk to change direction), pova has to take more risk in non-neutral situations - going for more on the return, or on the first ball coming back during her own serve game.
     
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  14. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    You cited Sharapova. I posted a vid of her proving otherwise.
    Sharapova doesn't just bash down the middle. She moves the ball around. So does azarenka stosur and aggie and Li Na and Shiavone and cibulkova and bartoli and kvitova. The list goes on so.

    Can you name a WTA player who plays by consistently bashing down the middle?
     
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  15. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    This proves you don't watch wta tennis. What about sam stosur? Does she consistently bash down the middle? Does she not aggressively hit angled winners from both sides from all areas of the court on a regular basis?
     
    #65
  16. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Geez, what the hell happened in here?
     
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  17. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    I think Luv's point is that over the last 10 or more years there has been a lack of variety on the WTA tour, and the general style of play since the end of the Graf and co era has been fairly generic baseliners trying to out hit each other (with the odd Hingis or Henin trying to mix things up).

    Maybe now there is more variety returning to the womens game, with players like Azarenka, Schiavone, Bartoli etc prepared to try and do a little more with the ball.
     
    #67
  18. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    It began with Sureshs...and went from there!
     
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  19. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    internet debates often go on in circles due to disconnects like this.

    i think they proper terms should be 'narrower' vs. 'wider'.... you can name a bunch who want to play wider, I can name a bunch who want to play narrower, and there are plenty of them in WTA.... and it only makes sense... player with good ball striking but slow speed, would rather play narrower.

    but it's hard to find among the top ATP guys who want to play narrower. ball striking/ foot speed difference still exist, but not as noticeable as in the WTA... in the ATP, if you can only hit but can't run, there is no chance.

    that is the difference.
     
    #69
  20. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Of course strategy is important. How important is the question. Big serve and forehand will take care of 99%, you agree? Even the great Nadal was wiped out by Rosol.
     
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  21. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    Ok but you haven't named any of them to support your position. Isn't that what your were accusing 5263 of over the last week?

    Anyway, the original point in contention was that you stated ATP play today is narrower than in the past. We'll just have to agree to disagree on that as I believe it is wider due to evolving technique and equipment and less serve and volley play.
     
    #71
  22. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    I post once in a while and mostly just read and sometimes add my 2cents. Sometimes people like it, other times they don't. That's fine. I don't agree with everything such as with a lot of the MTM stuff but I still respect 5263 & Oscar as coaches because they know how to teach tennis and have been in the trenches so to speak (for lack of a better term which I can't think of right now).

    What would open a lot of peoples eyes on here that aren't in the business is give them a racket, a bucket of balls, a bunch of players they have to work with individually for the next say 6 months and see how smart they will be then. I'm not talking a 1 hour lesson they can BS their way through, say some generic tips and thats its. I'm talking about developing a road map for each of those players, analyze the different playing levels and work with them to develop their game to the next level, and have to produce results. Maybe then they will realize what tennis is all about. Instead all I see on here is comments being made from what they think they see on tv, what they see other coaches doing, what they saw at a tournament, how taking lessons isn't necessary and so on. Outside looking in.

    I'm not trying to come across as a smart ass, and I don't mean to suggest coaches know it all (far from it) and everyone else should shut up. Its fun to debate, but sometimes this gets way out of hand with ridiculous comments being made. Yea I get it, you follow the game and are passionate about it. The internet has given you an anonymous voice to express yourself. Do us all a favour and use it wisely. Instead of trying to tell others your opinions all the time, just sit back, relax, have a Coke and a smile, read more instead and you might actually learn something worthwhile.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
    #72
  23. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    in absolute terms, wider for sure, more spin = wider, that's a gimmie... i am saying in relative terms, relative to faster players, it's arguable whether it's wider or not.

    but the north - south element is certainly taken away, no doubt, so in my view the court is smaller today than 50 or even 20 years ago.

    it's like in hockey you do 4 on 4 there is more strategy involved, because in 5v5 you often waste time trying to digging the puck jammed by the boards. the rink is 'bigger' 4v4.

    smaller court limits the influence of strategy on the outcome.
     
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  24. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Any comments on the side issue I brought up about WTA serves in the OP?

    Should rec players adopt the WTA approach? If they cannot serve (except for the Williams, Stosur), what is the issue? (I would also argue that Stosur has 2 second serves, not a real first serve.) Why can't the best coaches in the world make their serve happen? There was this woman yesterday who was falling to the right as she desperately lunged at one far toss after another. So bad even my wife noticed it. But she somehow came across the ball from the right and managed to hit decent serves, like many club players do.

    What about Ivanovic's serve? How unreliable is that?

    What is the lesson for rec players here?
     
    #74
  25. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Exhibit: A
     
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  26. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    I don't agree. Rosol won one match. Played great beat rafa. Every ATP pro has a great fh and a big serve just about. Its the rest that matters. So how come Rosol doesnt beat everyone 99% of the time then. Or isner. Or roddick.

    You posted strategy is irrelevant. Not needed. Your so wrong it is not even funny. Do you not realise it matters more the better you get?
     
    #76
  27. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    fair enough. thanks
     
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  28. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Yeah but you got to get there first. Nadal without the legs and the muscles and the strokes is nothing. With one simple strategy (to go to Fed's FH), which is basically nothing but a CC forehand for him, he is able to maintain an absurd H2H against Mr. Intelligent.

    Rosol's performance is not the issue. It was an example to show the importance of hitting heavy shots. If he can't do that all the time, it just means he can't keep up his level.

    I read tennis magazine and so many other sites and coaches and experts are analyzing this or that strategy. But I don't think the players themselves employ them. I get a good laugh when a commentator will talk about a particular strategy being used by a player, and the next shot proves the opposite! Then he fine tunes his commentary, and then is proved wrong again! They read too much into small random stuff and think there is a strategy underneath, when in reality it is not there!

    You know where strategy really works? In doubles.
     
    #78
  29. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    I give up. You win. Top ATP just bash fhs. And serve big. 99% brainless.

    Perhaps if you ever actually improved as a tennis player you will see things differently.
     
    #79
  30. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    .............next post
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
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  31. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    ^^^Well, that's your opinion based on the evidence you have available. For those of us with more evidence* (better evidence?) available, we are able to discern that as quality of strokes start to become more equal, quality of game plan/strategy and ability to execute it under pressure make the difference. You cant identify intent on TV!

    Cheers

    *by more evidence I am referring to speaking to and working with coaches who have and are currently coaching players on the ATP and WTA tours and actively discussing how they approach tactical plans with their players.
     
    #81
  32. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Well, the "game plan" I have heard on TV from commentators who supposedly spoke to the coach, and others, is usually of the form: "She wants to have a high serve percentage and take time away from the opponent, because her opponent sure is a tough player."

    Wow.

    I am kidding of course. There is of course strategizing going on, but I don't see much of the effect, except in the self-justification which is largely psychological ("My strategy was to play my own game and be myself and it worked.").

    I have read BG's book. How many pros really do it? How many pros really play 30-40 differently from 40-30? How many are really like Federer who will test out a serve and volley at 40-15 to prepare for the next match?
     
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  33. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    "how many indeed" ... ???
    Just how many have a good volley, are willing to use it, and play other than defensive baseline tennis with a serve which just goes to the side that doesn't get attacked?
    "Modern" tennis is unimaginative tennis because they weren't taught to take chances and still win. They equate defensive baselining as the only approach to winning, from the very beginning, so it's no wonder than don't attack more and use more variety.
     
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  34. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    LeeD, what is your take on the women's serve? You are the expert on women. Do you think recreational players should model themselves after the ATP serves, or instead study the WTA serve, with all its warts?
     
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  35. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Wouldn't that depend on how effective your serve works against your playing partners? How well they can handle your heat, your spin, your kicks?
    Seems only a handful of top women can hit a real twist serve, most can hit slice and top/slice, while a few can hit kickers. The flats are reserved for the taller girls and a certain Williams.
    I'd hope we have more variety and effectiveness than that.
    As for studying WTA serves, I say, WHY?, when ATP serves have all the variety and more swingspeed.
    OTOH, I'd recommend copying Serena serves.
     
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  36. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    The player that hits the ball better that day is going to pretty much all the time - see Rosol/Nadal. I don't think anyone would say Rosol played a much smarter strategy than Nadal and that was the difference in the match. On that particular day (and, it seems, only on that day) he just hit the ball incredibly well.
    However, in a match where players are of similar skill and playing at a similar level, strategy can determine the winner.
    Yes, many points are won off the serve and first forehand. That is plan A and if it is working there is no reason to go away from it. If the player is in a tussle, however, he will have to adjust his game in order to win.
     
    #86
  37. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    LeeD, I think you are not following my question.

    Let me take your own question and turn it around. Why don't the WTA players copy and achieve the ATP serve which has all the great stuff?

    Is it just because they are female and can't do it, and their being female is enough to make a male club player to be better than them and do whatever they cannot copy? Get what I am saying? If they can't do it, can we do it?
     
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  38. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Great post. The only point of contention I have is that the "adjustment" these days seems to be mostly "hanging in there till the tide changes." There don't seem to be strategies which are always physically possible. As an example, I don't think it is humanly possible to return many of the wide out serves. The strategy is simply to hope that the server can't do it often.
     
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  39. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I know you are stronger than most WTA pros, with possibly the exception being Serena. And you can throw farther, and willing to practice more for your skill levels, because you don't wish to run around fetching balls for your opponent to hit into your corners over and over again.
    Serena doesn't like fetching either, so her game is closer to ATP style.
    Guys like Ferrer, Nalbandian, and Davydenko love to fetch for the other guys, over and over again, and win thru their fitness. The latter was said to have mentioned his fitness 60%, while ball hitting only 35%, of the practice equation on TV. They don't need no stinkin real serves, but CAN hit them sometimes.
     
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  40. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    The wide serve itself is a strategy.
    You hit it wide so the other guy has to run out of court, then has to run all the way across to the other side to retrieve you next ball.
    Once they cheat a little, running perhaps too early, you hit behind them for a clean winner, wrongfooting them.
    Those guy can cover alley to alley PLUS, so you have to widen the court against them.
     
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  41. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I don't think it is only a matter of strength, and I am not sure I am stronger than non-Serena WTA pros in all aspects. Strength is just not being able to grab and crush, you know.

    I think there is some other element of body coordination involved in the serve which the WTA females don't have, and I am curious if it is only because they are female. We are talking about athletes who have been playing since they were 3 and received the best coaching, but still have a serve which is on the borderline of disaster every time.

    What I hope to hear is that there is a secret bio-mechanical component and someone will reveal that here.
     
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  42. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    There are no secrets.
    Stosur/Serena serves similar to ATP because they practice serving WINNERS, not satisfied with placing the ball to get a weaker return.
    Most WTA players care little about winning a point off their serves, relying on their fetching skills to outlast their opponents.
    Lots of ATP players also fetch for their opponents, including Nadal and Ferrer.
     
    #92
  43. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    How do you know the cause and effort are not the opposite of the above?
     
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  44. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Simple.
    Watch them practice.
    They practice a few serves, then go back to hitting strong groundies...and more groundies.
    Watch the guys like Isner, Roddick, and Milos practice. They place HUGE time serving and serving, using all the different serves, to different spots, over and over again.
    They have flat serves to 3 quadrants, slice serves to 2, top/slices to 3, kicks/twists to 3, and can place them closer or farther away from the opponent's body.
    Most women have a first top/slice serve to the backhand and to the forehand, period.
     
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  45. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Let us assume that it is true - that WTA players practice their serves less. Their coaches are mostly men, and former pros, who sometimes also coach ATP players. Why would they not make them hit more serves? Do they know less than you and me?
     
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  46. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    They know the women got to that level with their groundies, and will always resort to groundies for winning tennis.
    Women seem to have an affinity for hitting strong groundies...and weak serves compared to their groundstrokes.
    Why? Tons have been said, but we don't need to rehash that. Let it be said the women have weaker shoulders, for their ability, than the men. And less quick twitch style muscle, more endurance.
     
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  47. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    still go with consistent shot execution. not much more needed but hit to where the opponent isn't for the majority of us mortals...my $.02.
     
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  48. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Well this thread was about ATP and WTA players.
     
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  49. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    And guess what the Tennis mag just arrived now and there is an article on the serve and the importance of "spinal flexibility." That is what I need.
     
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  50. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    That is a good call, bad_call.
     

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