Are strategies relevant today in Modern Tennis?

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

  1. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    Benoit Paire was defeated by Federer in AO 1st round last night. Commentators pointed out that Benoit's FH was a bit shaky and Federer peppered his FH side with 1st serves and pace off the ground. So, there's a simple case of a pro using strategy (or, at least tactics) even in an early round against a lesser opponent. Federer even hit a few approach shots to the guy's FH when he was position to approach on the BH. Paire didn't handle pace to the FH as well as he handled it on the BH.

    I seem to be in the minority but I think there is quite a bit of strategy/tactics on ATP. Yes, each player has their strengths and favor their strengths but game plans do vary.
     
  2. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I agree with your points about that match, as it shows he does adjust, even
    in the easy early rd matches; although he was not pushed at all in this one. I
    hope that did help to tune up some of his less used patterns to the Fh, he will
    need against DJ.
     
  3. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    hitting to a shaky forehand is a strategy? lol

    lot's of brain power required for that i guess
     
  4. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    actually, in even-matched situations, there is a big influence from strategy.. problem is TV sells that so short, it only puts people to sleep.

    put the camera at court level, you see difference in pace/trajectory/spin much better, and can appreciate the strategies much better.

    also can appreciate how brutal the brutal force is.

    when the camera is high, it does look just like human pong.
     
  5. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Here you say this, pointing out how little the strategy required in easy match,
    then your next post you say there is lots of strategy even in the uneven matches,
    but go on to talk about hitting hard with lots of spin???

    Imo it makes more sense to say it as several of us have...There is always lots
    of strategy involved, but it less important and obvious in many easy matches.
     
  6. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    seat available in my logical couch, 5263.
     
  7. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    I'd say luvforty is getting close to sureshs trolling territory. Keep it up young grasshopper, soon you will be on par with the TTW guru.
     
  8. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    thanks, I guess I need it :)
     
  9. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    you young balla.
     
  10. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    I dont even know if what you type is serious or not anymore.
     
  11. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    could be as serious as the torreball...or not. :)
     
  12. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    The Torreball is very serious bidniz. Dont mock it..
     
  13. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    truth be told, i´d rather watch a badminton match than a tennis match myself these days:)
     
  14. Calor1

    Calor1 New User

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    If you don't like watching tennis, don't watch it...simple as that.
    I don't see strategy in badminton because I only watch it once in 4 years (olympics), but that doesn't mean it's not there.
    Same for tennis, just because you have to 'detect' strategy because maybe you -no offence- have few experience. Believe me, if you were playing tennis at a high enough level yourself, you would enjoy watching modern day and classical tennis alike :).
     
  15. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I think the pt above is good.
     
  16. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    no offence, but i still may prefer one or the other:) just like someone might prefer watching Federer over Nadal or vice versa
     
  17. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Pretty much my opinion as well.
     
  18. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    if I don't watch tennis on TV, is it my fault,,the tennis' fault, or the TV's fault?
     
  19. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    maybe the couch is pointed in the wrong direction?
     
  20. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    ok I forgot about the couch.

    but seriously... i mean probably 50/50 between tennis and TV.

    tennis has turned into brain dead hitting.

    TV, it still looks the same from a broadcast from 100 years ago. a stupid trapezoid in the middle of the screen.

    I myself can't be wrong, because the customer is always right.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013
  21. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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  22. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    luvforty, have you ever watched a pro-level match live? what about university level/high-level juniors?

    it could be an awakening for you if you haven't, but it would mean leaving the couch.
     
  23. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    notice i gave TV 50% ... visited US open and Toronto (Rogers) multiple times, as well as pro golf, basketball, hockey.... college (all sports)...

    watching pros on TV is about as exciting as watching couple of my 4.5 buddies courtside.
     
  24. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    Almagro is a good example of a pro who does not use enough strategy or tactics. He served for the match 3 times in AO and looked totally lost all 3 times. His 1st serve percentage for the match was poor. He was blasting almost all 1st serves frequently hitting 135 mph. Yes, he won almost all 1st serve points but his serve percentage was 47% for the match. Almagro has a world class kick 2nd serve. I think he would have won the match if he mixed in a few aggressive kickers as 1st serves. I have seen Federer, Djoko and Isner all mix in a kicker. Also, Alamgro's slice serve was not all that great. He hit a couple of boomers wide but was not consistent with the slice serve. Serving wide would have opened the court and given him room to take control of the rally on the next shot.

    Ferrer is not the greatest tactician either as he mostly grinds but he was serving much smarter. Ferrer would hit a 110 mph serve near the line on several key points for an ace or unreturnable or to setup a weak reply. Almagro consistently went for 135 MPH serve and missed.

    Almagro also looked confused on when to pull the trigger on DTL shots frequently going for too much too soon.

    Almagro reminds me of Blake which is basically blast it and if that doesn't work blast it harder. Almagro really needs to work on strategy and tactics and the mental aspects of the game. He certainly has the physical skills to have won the match. But, mental and tactical errors lost the match for him.
     
  25. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    not sure i'd call it strategy.... the guy choked, plain and simple... it's hard to blame him though, 12 previous losses plus a bull dog of opponent is a very tough situation to over come.

    Ferrer was basically just sending every ball down the middle and turn it into a contest of consistency... and almagro missed a few easy balls.

    if that can be called a strategy.... well, then tennis would be too primitive, strategically speaking.
     
  26. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I would not call mental strength a strategy.
     
  27. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    That's a strategy in my book. It forces Amagro to choose - go for the winner or hang in the rally. Ferrer's saying (with his tennis) that he can hang with Almagro all day long. So now you're Almagro. Do you try to hang with Ferrer and stay conservative? Can't go too conservative or Ferrer will hurt you. Or do you get brave and take Ferrer dtl at some point? When? Higher risk shot, and you know that if you don't hit it well that Ferrer's going to run it down and now you've potentially put yourself in a bad position. You have several hundred milliseconds to make your decision while you're running down the next shot - take your time.

    Again I disagree. Mental toughness, keeping your head in the point, having the confidence that you can hit extra balls and not go for the winner too soon, is a weapon. You fold that into an overall strategy of when and how to get aggressive or stay conservative.

    Remember that these guys are hitting big almost every shot. Even the conservative shots are pretty good rips. I don't think that maintaining that belief in yourself, and not letting the doubts creep in, is trivial.
     
  28. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    tomayto tomahto
     
  29. morten

    morten Hall of Fame

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    i agree with suresh on this one, a bore compared to before...
     
  30. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Yeah the whole level is different I suppose. Easy for me to say mental strength is not a strategy, but holding it together for 5 sets is quite a taxing situation.
     
  31. eliza

    eliza Rookie

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    January 2013 not even passed that you guys had TWO very interesting threads closed.
    Aheaheahe, you truly cannot learn to argue civilly!
    Happy 2013 to all of you!!!!! :)

    Especially the TW moderators!
     
  32. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    yeah, internet anonymity brings out the best of us.
     
  33. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Hey Eliza welcome back!

    What happened to Francesca? Why am I not seeing her in the AO?

    Did you follow the Errani and Co win over the Williams yesterday?
     
  34. Wilander Fan

    Wilander Fan Hall of Fame

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    Surprisingly, I noticed the biggest improvement to my game after strength training. You would not think so but a ton of knee bends and squats adds power and consistency and most of us have really pathetic back muscles which hold back the spin and power on the serve. If you can whip a heavy racket around with ease on serve and groundies, you are going to create some problems for people. I think now that most bad hitting days are not the result of bad strokes but feeling weak in the legs and upper body on a particular day.
     
  35. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    I read something that Jim Courier said a while back about having the guts to hit the big forehand on the big points and how hard it is. Those guys (and gals) definitely feel it.

    For me staying in any point can be mentally taxing. You've seen me and Cheetah hit. I'll tell you that for me, believing I can continue hitting that big (it's big for me anyway) shot after shot, and believing that I'm going to keep the ball in and keep the rally neutral until I'm ready to be aggressive, and deciding what ball is weak enough to try something more aggressive is really hard for me. After a couple of big shots you feel like it should be over - you want to mentally check out, but against better players that's rarely good enough. They can come up with answers, and you have to roll with it and keep the focus.

    So Courier's comment really resonates with me.
     
  36. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

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    Honestly I did not see very much strategy in the 2 quarter finals last night.

    Almagro & Berdych:
    * hit a huge serve and put away the weak returns.
    * backhand slice ~ 5% of the time (when in trouble or on the run)
    * rip every ball for a winner or hit to a position where the opponent does not seem to be standing.
    * or trade topspin groundies till the other guy misses.

    I did not see directional's being employed.
    I did not see a single surprise first serve kicker wide + volley put away.
    Forehand approach shots were hit with topspin (ala Roddick).
    Very few approaches on short balls to the backhand side.
    Few Backhand approaches were short slices that sat up.
    .....

    So, I gotta go with Suresh on this one. :)
     
  37. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    the part i've made bold is the opposite of the strategy Almagro was using successfully apart from his choke games. He postponed going for winners, was pinning Ferrer back by hitting at him using backhand to backhand, or backhand (almagro's) to inside-out forehand rallies until he had a good opening to change direction and get a short ball.

    It's only during his choking games when he broke down and tried to end the point too soon with a winner, or try to go play ferrer's grinding, who-can-catch-the-ball-furthest-away-from-the-baseline-while-running game. The result of not following his strategy was repeatedly losing the chance to win the match.

    He had a strategy and it was working, until he choked and didn't have the mental toughness to stick with it. Then he devolved into shot making/blasting/pure athleticism, which fell pray to Ferrer's strategy of high percentage, defensive grinding tennis.

    Ferrer stuck to his strategy, even during the final set when Almagro was injured. He didn't end points quickly and was playing his grinding, low error/low aggressiveness, game of retrieval. It was so apparent that commentators, the crowd, viewers, were all frustrated that he wasn't going for winners and wasn't ending the points quickly, even though Almagro was barely walking to make his strokes. That's the kind of mental toughness you need to stick to a certain strategy.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
  38. eliza

    eliza Rookie

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    How are you and everybody here? Hope I can read very interesting and constructive posts, since I am (again!) sidelined, with loss of points and position that I am afraid I will never gain back............
    Francesca has had a turbulent personal (which reflected in the professional) 2012, and the 2013 did not start well, neither. Hope she can re-group mentally. I also missed the match and win by Errani-Vinci: I know Errani has been "growing up"these few past months. You guys will agree many new players are coming up, all of whom (IMO) good players: it should be an awsome year for the WTA.

    I will read on TW all comments on their shots and training (I recently read tennis Pros new training formats, that excludes long runs to favor jumps/agility=what about stamina?).

    Have a great season!
     
  39. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Are you back in Europe now?

    What happened with Francesca? Some personal romantic matter?

    I don't know about great new players, but the buzz is about the resurgence of US women's tennis, with Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens.
     
  40. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, I'll bite.

    I think your basic point (that WTA player serves suck) kind of sucks.

    These women are some of the best athletes in the world. All of the top women (Serena, Azarenka, Sharapova, Stosur, Li, Radwanska) have serves that range from good enough to excellent. They have all figured out how to maximize their strengths on the serve, and I don't see why any more is required.

    The fact that a man can serve faster is entirely beside the point. Indeed, you yourself complain that men's tennis is a big serve and a missed or desperate return. This is so boring for me that I don't even enjoy players like Berdych. Why criticize women for not being like men, especially when there are many things that get dull about the men's game?

    Anyway . . .

    That bit about Stosur reveals your bias. It seems that you consider men the yardstick by which women should be measured. I see no reason to view it that way. Stosur's first serve is the one she hits first; her second is the one she hits second. There may be all kinds of reasons why they may are indistinguishable from the vantage point of your sofa. I'll bet if you asked her she could tell you that she goes for more or perhaps goes for more spectacular placement on the first. What's wrong with that?

    Same for Sharapova, now that her shoulder has healed. She hits two fairly flat, aggressive serves. Top male pros tend to hit one fairly flat aggressive serve followed by a second serve that is a kick. There is nothing wrong with Sharapova's approach, as proven by her four slams. It's just different from what the guys do.

    Players who have hitches in their serves will struggle. I also often wonder how anyone makes it to the pro level with a jacked up stroke of any kind, but they do. Tsonga's BH is an example. What the heck?

    Oh, I would say about as unreliable as Verdasco's serve in some years. 17 DFs in a match for him?

    The lesson for male rec players is that they will never, ever serve like the male pros, ever. They should consider adding way more spin to their serves for margin rather than trying to rock the radar gun and bragging about it here and ignoring their 25% first serve percentage.
     
  41. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    You said it yourself - all the top women have great serves. A level below them, it crumbles. In many cases, you can see that the serve was good, but it was a hasty adjustment to a bad toss.

    These second tier players have also been playing since they were kids. Why are they so shaky?

    And no, Verdie was never the embarrassment that Ivanovic was.
     
  42. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Well, how far down are you talking?

    I think if you look at the seeded women at the AO, their serves are fine.

    Now and then you will see a player with a jacked up (by pro standards) aspect of their game. Why pick on the serves of the women?

    Let's talk about Tsonga's BH. Or how Del Potro's serve isn't the cannon you would expect for a guy 6'6"? Or Woz's FH? Or Almagro's head? Or Monfils . . . well, Monfils' everything?
     
  43. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    It is an absolute collapse, not a scaling down.
     
  44. Relinquis

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    sureshs is probably just venting because he's not happy with his own serve. i suppose he (i'm assuming it's a he) can identify with some of the lesser serving women on tour. It's ok, I'm reworking my serve as well as i've returned to the game after a long absence (15 years or so). to be honest i wouldn't model after WTA as I am a man (wouldn't mind Serena's or Sharapova's), but I am receiving one-on-one coaching so my serve will probably be mine, but with good fundementals.

    ivanovic's serve has improved, although her toss is still inconsistent. It's often said that Berdych has a WTA style toss, but his serve is good.

    In terms of what you should learn, i think you should learn the basics of a flat serve, kick serve and slice serve. Use whichever you see fit depending on what you like and what you find most effective. having a consistent serve that you can place well is probably better than focusing on the max speed of your fastest serve.

    Anyway, why don't we get back to talking strategy? Do you guys think about strategy in your own game? Do you use any?
     
  45. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    You have to, if you don't, you're an idiot.
    My last match, playing a newbie 3rd year player with extreme speed and huge forehand, I knew better than to feed his forehand, and also since he could get to almost anything, it would be stupid of me to go close to the lines.
    Then his second serve was weak, so I had to pressure it moving forwards and going for an approach to his backhand...or the threat of.
    That's minimum strategy, I'd not hit with this guy before.
     
  46. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    You should not think when playing. It should all flow.
     
  47. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    i'd say at this moment on tv, there is not much strategy.
     
  48. dyldore

    dyldore Rookie

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    Sitting on the baseline and hitting to where the opponent is not is a strategy. Going for your serve and then going for a winner if you get a weak reply is a strategy. Seriously, guys, anything you do on the court with any intention to win is a strategy. Moonballing, pushing, hitting only slices, w/e, they're all different types of strategies.

    So get real, you don't really believe today's game has no strategy, you just don't like the strategy it does have. S&V is dead in the pros, sorry for your loss. But you wanna know the even better thing? You can still use it when you play! And no one is forcing you to watch these bore-fest five set matches, with no strategy lol.
     
  49. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    it's not a strategy if it can be figured out with 80 IQ points.
     
  50. Relinquis

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    The WTA match?
     

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