Emotion in tennis

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by urban, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    What makes it more fascinating to watch certain players than others, although the others may be as technically perfect or more so. In bullfighting, aficionados call a matador "cold", if he is perfect but lacks a certain amount of charisma, passion and flair. To give an example in tennis: Michael Stich may well have been the most talented player of the 90s (Courier said so), he was well equipped with every shot, but he lacked the passion of a Boris Becker, who certainly had his technical weaknesses. If Stich began losing, he often looked dull and disinterested. In the case of Becker, you could always expect a sudden explosion and a fight back. Tennis became a drama with a sort of katharsis for the spectator.
    In modern tennis, players like Mac, Connors, Nastase, Panatta, Rios, Becker, Leconte, Agassi, Muster, Safin, Kuerten - to name a few -had that certain flair. Ice-cold Borg had the advantage to put his stoneface-image against some of the most flamboyant players ever. Sampras often looked dull, but underneath the surface, he was a fighter, and he could certainly fight to the end. Today, i find - sorry to say it - Murray like a sleeping pill. Granted, he is talented, but he looks so dull, as if he is bored with his own game. Djokovic seems an interesting and funny character outside the court, his game lacks imo a sort of agressiveness and explosiveness. I hope that Nadal will come back strong, if he is motivated and fit, he certainly brings passion and fighting spirit with him.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
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  2. Xavier G

    Xavier G Semi-Pro

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    I missed the players like Jimbo, Mac and Nasty for a long time.
    I found the 90's/early 2000's and the scene with Sampras, Agassi, Courier, Ivanisevic, Henman, Krajicek etc largely dull. Lost some interest in the game, but the Federer era has been better with increased competition from the likes of Nadal and Djokovic. Even Murray is good to watch sometimes.
    Borg was quiet on court, an ice-man, but he had a sort of charisma all the same. I didn't find him dull, especially not when in contrast to the likes of Connors and McEnroe.
     
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  3. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Of course, it was called the Golden Era for some reason...Other guys like Hoad,Gonzales,Perry were also very hot headed.In another way, so were Santana and Pietrangeli.
     
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  4. PDJ

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    For sheer heart on their sleeve emotion the image of Novotna crying on the shoulder of HRH The Duchess of Kent takes considerable beating
     
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  5. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    It depend of your own character too. I like Lendl, Borg, Ferrer.
     
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  6. S&V Specialist

    S&V Specialist Rookie

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    Gael Monfils. Love his emotion.
     
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  7. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    I remember Kuerten's gesture well, when he curved a big heart out of the sand of Roland Garros, after surviving some matchpoints vs. Russell. Two Chang RG matches stand out too, one with Lendl, when he got cramps and served underhand. What a emotional match between two players who were not exactly acting like Mork of Ork. And a couple of years later, the Chang- Connors match at RG, when Connors retired with cramps at 1-0 fifth set. I have never heard such an ovation like the one on Connors that day.
     
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  8. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    I agree with a lot of what you've said, but I disagree with a few of the players mentioned completely.

    Sampras, a brilliant player, rarely showed any emotion on court, once you had seen him a few times, he was dull to watch (walking back from the net after yet another winning volley or serve, with his head bowed and mouth open, honestly it got boring, he was arguably too good for that era I think as I would have loved to see him serve volleying at his best in a different tougher era), he very rarely showed emotion on court.

    Murray however, shows emotion on court a lot of the time, he is very interesting to watch, the opposite of dull in my eyes at least. He can be extremely frustrating to watch, but again that is definitely not dull. Murray shows a lot of emotion out there, he just doesn't smile a lot, that's one reason why some people don't like him.
     
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  9. Gonzalito17

    Gonzalito17 Hall of Fame

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    Hewitt's fire, Guga's passion, Nadal's ferocity, Serena's beast mode, Djokovic's intensity, Fed's cool, Pete's controlled brutality, the funky flair and magic of Marcelo Rios, these players are/were joys to watch.
     
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  10. Lavs

    Lavs Professional

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    We would better to split up 'winning' and 'loosing' emotions..
    Rafa has highest rate of winning emotion (jumping with raising a knee).. and zero loosing one..
    Safin had (when was on a tour) highest level of loosing emotions (too many smashes) and lowest in winning (remember his absolute cool after winning both Slams)
     
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  11. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    I disagree, I think charisma is all well and good but certain peoples do not have it yet have every right to play with the hand they were dealt and become champions in their own way. Lendl, Edberg and Sampras have all been called boring and criticized for this yet are all champions. If Murray wins more then he joins this group. Society puts way too much emphasis on extrovertism (is that even a word?).
     
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  12. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    Murray is not introverti (is it a word too?), but he never show any positive emotion. He was annoying at the AO SF because he could make three excellent serve in a row to lead 40-0, then miss the next first serve and yell at himself as if he had missed the most important and easy shot to do.

    I agree with you for the emphasis on extrovertism.
     
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  13. PDJ

    PDJ Hall of Fame

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    I agree & disagree: i would concur that sampras could be extremely dull to watch, but i personally have always found games built around a serve boring, although i appreciate he was more than that.
    Murray is a fascinating player to watch but i just can't connect with him as a spectator. As a Brit i should be screaming for him to win, but i have no allegiance so it's nice when he wins but not the end of the world when he doesn't if that makes sense?
    Maybe it comes down to the emotional connection we have as viewers- for example i take far greater pleasure in seeing a point constructed than sheer power. I will always prefer the tactitian that was Evert to the brute force of a Williams. Or a player of true beauty like a mcenroe or goolagong. I can't stand to watch the current top 3 women as the noise plus lack of guile renders the tennis redundant to me.
     
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  14. Alex78

    Alex78 Semi-Pro

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    To me, the golden days were when Boris was bringing everything he had to the court. I was thrilled when he was pushing himself and won the big matches, and aghast when he was in despair and cursing :) All the highs and lows he obviously experienced, he shared them with everyone. Definitely a player who left his heart and soul on the court.
    - Of course, this is even more understandable given that I was a 6 year old kid from Germany watching his first triumph in Wimbledon and become a national hero...
    And I loved all the other players from that era who had a unique personality, especially Agassi and Ivanisevic, but even Lendl, who was so clueless in the 89 RG match against Chang (but I was a little too young to fully appreciate McEnroe and Connors).
     
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  15. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    I agree with most of what you've said. Many have criticised Murray for showing too much emotion on court, so it makes me laugh when many (like the OP here) imply he does not show much emotion. The fact is he does, but it is often negative emotion, which can be frustrating, and makes him unpopular with many. I personally like that he shows emotion on court. I would like to see him show more positive emotion, but Murray is definitely interesting to watch in my opinion!
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2013
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  16. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Also, I have to say one of the reasons I loved watching Connors play, was because of the emotion he displayed when playing. Nobody fistpumped like Jimmy, really great stuff!
     
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  17. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Boris was a great and colourful character; he added to a very entertaining era.
     
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