Comparing men to women tennis?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by djones, Jun 21, 2004.

  1. djones

    djones Hall of Fame

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    What's your opinion on this, when comparing for example Serena williams/Justin henin to some average mens player somewhere ranked around the top 100th?
    I'd say the women don't have the slightest chance against any of the top 500 ranked men.
    Some people around me think Serena or any of the top ranked ladies would be the men ranked above the top 100.
     
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  2. pound cat

    pound cat G.O.A.T.

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    There is no chance on earth that a woman player could beat any the men on the ATP tour unless they broke their ankle and wore a blindfold. The calibre of tennis played by even the very lowest ranked players is amazing.
     
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  3. Cypo

    Cypo Rookie

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    Anyone who thinks a woman can beat a man at the same level has never played the opposite sex. The men are simply stronger. I don't have a clue how far down the ranking you'd have to go before skills would compensate, but I would guess pretty far down. The only way a woman can beat a man is to find a way to let him beat himself (and before you guys get too cocky, up to about a 5.0 there is usually a way). But to try strength to strength, the woman had better be a level or two better.
     
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  4. Don Felder

    Don Felder Semi-Pro

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    You need to go way down before you find a man who the top women can beat... how far I don't know, but certainly not top 100. Remember, Scud recently lost to some guy ranked in the 800s I believe. While that was partly due to Flipper's current lack of confidence and game, it still goes to show you how tough the men's field is. I would suggest that recent event to silence those who are telling you the women would beat those outside of the top 100.

    For a concrete, real life example, my mom is a 5.5 NTRP, certified USPTA teaching pro, and a national level player who has won several silver and bronze balls in her tournaments, even playing down an age group in the 40s, but she still can't beat a good, strong 4.5 man from around here.
     
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  5. IV10Spro

    IV10Spro New User

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    I don't post here a lot but I like to get the feel of the playing public's pulse on the state of tennis. And I get board at my office and read these boards a bunch.

    Anyway, this is a subject I get questions on quite a bit. I am not taking anything away from womens tennis especially since I have a daughter and used to coach a top 100 WTA player who I am still close with, but women can't come close.

    It women's tennis any better or worse. NO. It is just different.

    I will give two examples why. I had been off tour almost 6 years. I was on walkabout for about 6 weeks before I got married playing some Satellites/Future events. I got hooked up with a WTA top 20 woman player (i will spare her embarrassment by mentioning her name). I beat her 0 and 1 and the one was the first game - her coach told me to pummel her if I could. (I did actually pick-up one ATP point in this six weeks of madness - last time I had a ranking)

    I used to coach a top 200 woman from another country and she had trouble getting points much less games. (She did crack the top 100 for a few months)

    Another quick story but a friend of mine who tried to play the circuit for five years never getting one ATP point used to make money by being a hitting partner for some top WTA players (top 5 and even a couple of #1s). They could not get more than a game or two in a set.

    Anyway, my point is that a woman can hit (rally) with a man all day. They have the groundies (in most cases) to do that. Heck I think most women can hit just as hard as a man off the ground. But when it comes to playing they don't have the stregnth to hit the big serves and hard angles. This is where the games are different. Men are just naturally stronger - no better or worse - different.
     
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  6. Kevin Patrick

    Kevin Patrick Hall of Fame

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    This subject gets old, but I find it strange that this is the only sport where the public thinks women can compete with men. Remember Karsten Braasch & the Williams sisters? Also Capriati says she can't beat her brother, who plays for Arizona & has no plans at competing on the ATP tour.
     
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  7. Fat Boy

    Fat Boy New User

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    I'll go further. I think Donald Young, aged 14, would beat any woman in the world.

    Come on Justine, Serena, etc, take up the Fat Boy challenge...
     
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  8. a verrry large duck

    a verrry large duck Rookie

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    1v10pros:
    I had been off tour almost 6 years. I was on walkabout for about 6 weeks before I got married playing some Satellites/Future events. I got hooked up with a WTA top 20 woman player (i will spare her embarrassment by mentioning her name). I beat her 0 and 1 and the one was the first game - her coach told me to pummel her if I could.

    Awesome, a concrete example. Kind of puts it in persepctive. I think though that any guy who is still low enough to have a meaningful NTRP rating (5.5 or below) or even decent college players would not be able to beat a top 10 woman.

    But when it comes to playing they don't have the stregnth to hit the big serves and hard angles. This is where the games are different. Men are just naturally stronger - no better or worse - different.

    Yep yep the serves, and I think if women actually get to return hard men's serves on a regular basis and get used to it, they'd get to be as good as your average male more or less, which is to say, they will only break 1 time out of 6 or something. But they themselves, due to their attackable serves, will probably get broken half the time, and hence women can't really compete with men at the higher levels.
     
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  9. Poot

    Poot New User

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    Everything said already is true. Anyone with points(possibly excluding Trent Aaron or other jokers who bought their points) would beat any woman in the world, if the woman was playing well they might be able to get 2 games in the set. Donald Young would also beat them as he recently played a Futures and lost 4 and 4 in the first round, so soon he'll be getting some points. Any solid Division 1 player would also beat them, with maybe the top couple women being able to beat some players who play like 4-6 for teams out of the top 75. Keep in mind a few D1 teams suck and don't give scholarships, these don't count. I'd like to get this hitting partner job, does anyone know how these guys get into that?
     
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  10. a verrry large duck

    a verrry large duck Rookie

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    you gotta be good poot
     
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  11. SEVASTASE

    SEVASTASE New User

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    the very best women are about the amateur male top club player. not to take anything from them but they are 2 different animals. and the main problem is not serve or strength....: its the first step ....women are slower. the fastes woman on the tour is less athletic than the slowest guy. i played on the tour until 3 years ago and never managed to get 1 point. i also played squash, raquetball at lower pro level. i dated a top 5 womans squash player....which are far more athletic then girls like serena. her brother and I chated about this ( he was at that time no 1 in the world) that women because they lack the same explosiveness ,...that first step...they just cant compete. my old roommate played for the detroit lions and we worked out track together. and we noticed that both of us got 100 meter times better than the top female sprinters and our technique was less than perfect and we didn't wear spikes. so the problem for women if footwork ( explosiveness)....remember in tennis : no 1 footwork and no 2 is stroke production....if no 1 is lacking, there is no no2.
     
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  12. pound cat

    pound cat G.O.A.T.

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    "the public" as opposed to ????? I don't think the public gives a sweet damn abouut whether women can beat men at tennis or vice versa Mr. "board" (sic) at the office. I don't think the posts on this board reflect public opinion in any way: they're the opinion of die-hard tennis fans.
     
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  13. Kobble

    Kobble Hall of Fame

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    The Williams sisters wouldn't get past the qualifying of a Futures event.
     
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  14. Kevin Patrick

    Kevin Patrick Hall of Fame

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    Poundcat,
    I assume you were referring to my post. I have been following many sports closely for many years, & tennis is the only sport where the media regularly debate how women would fare against men(until golf recently with sorensam & wie). This is nothing new, when Martina N was dominating, male players were being asked how she would fare against men. Ditto Graf & Seles. It grew to an even larger level with the Williams sisters. McEnroe only started issuing his "challenge" because so many people were asking him if they could play with men. I remember reading an interview with Roddick last year, he was asked what question does he get asked the most by fans, he said "can you beat Serena?" everyone in the press room laughed, but he wasn't kidding. And I'm sure that the majority of casual tennis fans really think she could play with ATP players.
     
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  15. Morpheus

    Morpheus Professional

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    Wow, it's amazing how many former tour players we have on this board all of a sudden.

    Didn't Billie Jean King already settle this (one sided) debate? :lol:
     
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  16. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    The fact that WTA players are getting the same level prize money as the ATP players, means that either the WTA does a good job promoting the product, or the ATP needs new management.

    Where else can you find the same prize money, for such big a difference in caliber of the product.
     
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  17. Poot

    Poot New User

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    and i am good- luckily we haven't had any misguided souls saying women are nearly as good as we usually do when this topic comes up- I think on the issue of equal prize money, 1/4 of women's prize money should be taken away and added to men's Futures and Challenger tourneys. If you don't think so, then go play a Futures, and see how you can grind through 4 matches to make a whopping 118 dollars. It's a goddamn travesty.
     
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  18. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    The women's number 1, Justine Henin-Herdenne played Yanick Noah 10 years into his retirement and he beat her 2 sets to 1. Noah was a great player in his day, but to be 10 years retired and still beat the world's number 1 female means that the women won't beat the men on the pro tour, even if they're #1 and the men are ranked in the hundreds. Unfortunately, the strength factor is just too great and although the top women would wipe the floor with most amateur men who are weekend warriors, the ATP guys are just too strong for them.
     
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  19. Morpheus

    Morpheus Professional

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    They ougtha just disband the WTA for good. Women belong barefoot in the kitchen. Who wants to watch women play anyway. Their rallies are too long; they get all sweaty; they have the gall to act as role models for young girls everywhere who might just begin to think that one day too they will be athletic; they play with strategy; they play a game that (even) male club players can emulate--maybe even achieve on occasion; and, really, what male in his right mind would want to watch cute, sweaty girls in skimpy outfits with all that moaning and grunting, dashing and leaping... Hmm.
     
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  20. VamosRafa

    VamosRafa Hall of Fame

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    Although the WTA doesn't have the depth the ATP has, when the top players play each other, it can be very exciting. In many instances, the final rounds of women's tournaments are more interesting than the men's. Some exceptions, of course.

    But the WTA supports itself. The women bring in the viewers, fans, etc. As has been pointed out, the Williams sisters' matches tend to generate the best ratings.

    So does it matter if the men can beat them? No. The only thing that matters is whether people want to pay to see the best women tennis players play tennis. And they do.
     
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  21. gmlasam

    gmlasam Hall of Fame

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    Hhahahahahahaha!!! Really, back in the 70's the debate has been tried, and a woman did in fact beat a guy. Besides Morpheus, do any of you know about this? Do a google under "battle of the sexes" and include Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs.

    Here is a link
    http://ok.essortment.com/billiejeanking_rvwa.htm
     
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  22. Morpheus

    Morpheus Professional

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    I remember it well. Times were different then and this was a very serious topic for millions of men and women. Many actually believed in the superiority of men back then and that women shouldn't get paid as much as men for the same work--imagine that.
     
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  23. mileslong

    mileslong Professional

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    obviously you dont remember it that well. that match was just a publicity stunt. they wanted to bring some attention to tennis and have some fun. no one, other than yourself, really believed that women were equal tennis players to men...
     
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  24. Stinkdyr

    Stinkdyr Professional

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    We have a recent multi-slam doubles chick player now teaching at our club. She kills any of us B players with her solid consistancy. But I can tell you with metaphysical certainty that she would get stomped by any top 20 Div 1 college guy player.
     
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  25. Poot

    Poot New User

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    Riggs was close to 60 in the match, and only had the singles court while King got the doubles court. Remember that?
     
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  26. alfa164164

    alfa164164 Professional

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    VamosRafa

    "The women bring in the viewers?" - Maybe on TV (mostly because the only thing ESPN shows is the Williams sisters), but certainly not at tournments. Several years back, Atlanta ran a WTA hardcourt tournament, in which at least half of the top 20 players in the world competed. Earlier in the year, the men's ATP tournament ran a claycourt event that may have had 2 or 3 players in the top 40. The men's tournament outsold the women's by 3 or 4 to 1. Just take a look at the turnout for the women's year-end gala event at the Staples center (really packing in the fans?)! Fact is, the women's tour is a parasite on the back of the men's tour at the events where both are run at the same time. If those tournaments were run seperately, men's ticket sales would greatly outnumber the women's. Just look at the quality of 1st Rd. matches at men's events vs. women's. Sure viewers will watch the Williams sisters (the same viewers that watch golf just because of Tiger) and turn out to see Kournikova, but let's be realistic.
     
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  27. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Poot, I firmly believe Riggs gave here that match. Many knowledgeable observers notice that. Though Riggs always denied it. This is not to say the 60 yr old Riggs was really much better or any better than King...he was certainly an unspectacular specimen at the time....but I don't believe he was even trying to win seriously.

    Think about it...he had just beaten the then No. 1 Margaret Court 6-2, 6-1....then he is not even competitive with the No.2 player?

    I remember once watching Davenport and Seles watch a video of the match....at the end...Davenport blurted out "Oh! he gave it to her....that's how she won!" Then she turned to Seles and the 2 burst out in embarrassed laughter knowing she shouldn't have said that...

    On Riggs deathbed he reportedly simply said to King something like "We did it didn't we...we made a difference". I dont' think he was referring to trying his best and getting his butt kicked...but to the staged spectacle he and King created.
     
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  28. Kevin Patrick

    Kevin Patrick Hall of Fame

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    Interesting theory Datacipher,
    I've read that Riggs bet on himself to win Wimbledon in '39(singles, doubles, mixed) & earned a huge payday when he follwed through on it. Wouldn't be that surprised if he had some money riding on the result of his match with King. Either way it was a pretty ugly match(as was Connors vs. Navratilova '92, anyone remember that farce?)
    Where did you see that Davenport-Seles footage? sounds pretty funny.
     
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  29. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Yes, I've read that story about the Riggs Wimbledon bet as well! Now that was confidence!

    Actually one of the defense theories of Riggs NOT throwing the match was that it is claimed he bet money on himself to win....MY bet is that if he put money on the match it was on King! ;-)

    Yep, it was ugly....and that is why, though I cannot prove it obviously (perhaps only Riggs and maybe King knew for sure), I believe it was orchestrated by Riggs. When you play enough "matches" against students and courtesy appearances in club events....you just get a friggin feel for recognizing others "playing down". Bear in mind, I did not see this match until the late 80's and had no stake in it emotionally...but as soon as I saw it....I thought what the heck is this? Riggs sure isn't playing to win....

    I did see some of the Connors/Nav match....didnt' Jimmy purposely make the first set "close" then pull away in the second? Again it had the uninspired action of a guy playing down... I remember stories that Jimmy put a substantial bet on himself. I also remember that pre match mentality was intersting. Jimmy laughing and joking very loosely(possibly to annoy Martina? ha ha) and Navratilova looking like she was preparing to fight Ali...

    As for the Davenport/Seles clips...I may even have them on tape...but I dont' remember specifically the event. It was a special event ....like a charity thing or maybe a televised team tennis special...I think it was network television(maybe NBC)...and as filler they showed footage of Seles and Davenport watching the match on a monitor for the 1st time...they had not seen it before....I remember one noted how old Riggs was when he came out...and then at the ending of the match Davenport blurted that out...which seemed a very spontaneous and truthful reaction....now I suppose in defense her comment might have only been about the last point where I think Riggs hit some ridiculous double fault and was already running to the net for the handshake before the ball crossed the net! But that last point in itself is a pretty good indication of the Riggs mindset. I remember reading old match reports that said that Riggs jump over the net at the end was the most impressive display of energy seen that night!
     
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  30. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Connors played with 2 handicaps; he was allowed only 1 serve and he hit to a singles court, while Martina had a court width in between a singles and a doubles. I think he should have played her straight up because even if he would have lost, which he didn't, the handicaps could have been brought up as an excuse.
     
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  31. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    You don't think he played her straight up?
     
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  32. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Actually, Jimmy had a bigger handicap than I thought.

    11/26/1992: Martina Navratilova vs. Jimmy Connors

    Martina Navratilova was 35 and Jimmy Connors 40. Martina lost 7-5, 6-2 to Jimbo, although Connors was only allowed one serve and Navratilova was able to use the bigger doubles field for points.
     
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  33. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    Morpheus wrote:
    Exactly WHICH WTA are you watching? I don't think it's the same one that the rest of us are watching, because I rarely, if EVER see a WTA match these days in which the attributes you list are present on both sides. You must be in some kind of fantasy tennis league.
     
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  34. TwistServe

    TwistServe Guest

    Can a top 5.5 mens player (non-pro) beat a WTA player? I'm inclined to say yes?.. Maybe not beat a Williams because they play kind of like men, but I'm talkin about a dementiava, tatiana, etc.
     
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  35. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    No, you were correct orginally, Navatilova in effect... got 1 of the doubles alleys.
     
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  36. VamosRafa

    VamosRafa Hall of Fame

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    Again, does it matter?

    If the women's tour produces the requisite interest to get them top money, sponsors, etc., it doesn't matter if they can beat the men. That's why they have their own tour. They aren't dependent upon the men. They do their own thing. Which is the way it should be. :wink:

    Yes, the early round matches involving the top women tend to be snoozers; whereas, the early round matches involving the top men can be upsets. Yet, as I said above, the women's matches generally get far more interesting as the event moves on, whereas the men's quality of matches sometimes wanes. Not always, but it sometimes happens.

    I go to Indian Wells every year, and I often find that the early women's matches are snoozers, and the early men's matches are great stuff. But by the end of the tournament, a men's fluke or two gets through, and then gets steamrolled by the higher ranked players in the quarters or semis. Whereas, the women we expected to get through to the final stages, actually get through, and put on some good tennis.

    The good thing about being at the tournament is that you can move around, and watch what you want to see. ESPN doesn't give us that choice, unfortunately.
     
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