Female clay court specialists?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by christos_liaskos, May 8, 2007.

  1. christos_liaskos

    christos_liaskos Professional

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    In the men's game there seems to be players who can be called specialists on various surfaces. On clay the specialists usually seem to be the grinders or have the ability to do so and can also move well on the surface i.e slide well to the ball. They also tend to have extreme grips and use lots of top spin.

    The same can be said about other surfaces where the big hitters can hit through the grinders on the faster hard courts. There arent so many grass court specialists but grass plays much more like a fast hard court nowadays so that generally suits the big hitters.

    In the women's game there doesnt seem to be players who can be called 'clay court specialists' or 'hard court' or 'grass court specialists'.
    In general it just seems to be who can hit hardest on all surfaces.

    Some exeptions I can think of are Sharapova almost definitely not being a clay court player - apparently she doesnt move well enough.
    Mauresmo could be called a grass specialist but her results arent the most outstanding considering there arent really any other female players who are called grass specialists.

    Clay specialists could be Henin and the now retired Clijsters but because they seem to move well on the surface.

    However, all other female players just seem to be about how hard they can hit and dont seem to change their game in accordance with the surface.

    Any thoughts?
     
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  2. tintin

    tintin Professional

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    I disagree
    Mauresmo is a clay court specialist since she has won all the clay tournaments around but RG.
    she has 6 Masters on clay from Berlin
    to Rome
    to Warsaw
    you name it.
    but she's won on all surface really.The only place she hasn't won a title is in the States but she's won in Canada.
     
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  3. christos_liaskos

    christos_liaskos Professional

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    Ok, you might be right and I really dont mind about disputing one player. The point I am making is in the mens game there are whole sections of players who can be called clay court specialists and hard court specialists and maybe fast court specialists. It isnt the same in the womens is it? I might be wrong, I will admit I dont follow the womens as much as the mens but as far as I am aware I thought thats the way it was.
     
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  4. tintin

    tintin Professional

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    yeah I agree with you,they characterize the men more than the women but one can argue that F.Schiavone is a real clay court specialist despite the fact that she's never won a title in her life:shock::lol:
    put her and Schnyder on grass and they are done:lol:
     
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  5. johnny ballgame

    johnny ballgame Professional

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    Off the top of my head: Pennetta (ITA), Medina-Garrigues (ESP), Schnyder (SWI), Dulko (ARG). I'm sure there are others.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2007
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  6. christos_liaskos

    christos_liaskos Professional

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    None seem to dominate in the major clay events? Again its just the hard hitters plus Henin at that level.
     
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  7. tintin

    tintin Professional

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    in that list Henin,Mauresmo,Hingis and Clijsters have got more Masters on clay in this era than any other players around.
    Schnyder hasn't won in some time now.
    Garrigues has won her country's tournaments but on the biggest stages of clay court tennis;you won't find her.
     
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  8. pabloJD

    pabloJD Rookie

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    I wouldn't say Dulko is a clay specialist. She had better performances on hardcourt. Doesn't play with much topspin and is not very patient from the baseline. What about Anna-Lena Groenefeld? Never saw her play
     
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  9. johnny ballgame

    johnny ballgame Professional

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    True, but that doesn't mean they aren't clay specialists. They are.
     
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  10. johnny ballgame

    johnny ballgame Professional

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    I disagree:

    http://tennis.matchstat.com/player_stats.phtml
     
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  11. johnny ballgame

    johnny ballgame Professional

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    Just because they don't win Majors or Masters on clay doesn't mean they aren't clay specialists. A clay specialist is someone who plays much better on clay than they do on other surfaces.
     
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  12. tintin

    tintin Professional

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    well in that case P.Schnyder,Garrigues,Pennetta are dirtballers
     
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  13. pabloJD

    pabloJD Rookie

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    #13
  14. johnny ballgame

    johnny ballgame Professional

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    No worries!

    Dulko's winning % is much better on clay than other surfaces.

    But upon further examination of Schnyder, she actually has a better winning % on hard courts (going back to 2003 only).
     
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  15. Jack Romeo

    Jack Romeo Professional

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    there are no clay court specialists, or any surface specialists for that matter, on the women's tour because most of them play pretty much the same game. the only differences are their individual attitudes and how comfortable they are moving to the ball on each specific surface. for example: maria sharapova and nadia petrova play pretty much the same game. but sharapova is less comfortable moving on clay and is less patient so she is also less effective on clay as compared to faster surfaces. petrova's footwork and techniques are more solid than maria's so she succeeds more on clay (compared to sharapova) but she sometimes lacks the conviction to really play aggressively on the faster surfaces, even though she has the ability to do so. sharapova's aggression comes more naturally so that attitude serves her well especially on grass.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2007
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  16. LowProfile

    LowProfile Professional

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    He's basically got it. The thing that makes clay court specialists on the men side so successful at what they do (and often at little else) is the ability to hit massive topspin from three to six feet behind the baseline, and run all day doing it.

    The problem is, that the ability to generate that kind of stroke and do it consistently throughout matches is beyond most female players. I'm not saying that it's not possible for them to play like that (Justine Henin can play that kind of a game but chooses to play more aggressively, yet it shows in her record on clay), but nearly all the women rip hard, flat shots from the baseline. That's not the kind of game that would allow you to be successful on clay to the level of say Rafael Nadal or Chris Evert.
     
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  17. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    You make a very good point! There are 20+ clay specialists in the top 100 on the men's tour, and yet (pretty much for the last 18mths+) there's only 2 guys who have had a real chance at Majors or Masters...
     
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  18. johnny ballgame

    johnny ballgame Professional

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    Bingo. Example: Horna is unquestionably a "clay court specialist,' but he would need a miracle to win a Major or Masters.
     
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  19. tennis_hand

    tennis_hand Hall of Fame

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    Henin is not one?
     
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  20. Jonny S&V

    Jonny S&V Hall of Fame

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    She got to at least the finals of all the Grand Slams, and she has too much variety surface to surface, so no, I would not label Henin as a clay-court specialist. Mauresmo has the variety to do well on almost any tourney, but she almost always does well on clay (not Roland Garros) and on grass (including Wimbledon). She does decently well on hard courts, and Rebound Ace allows her to use all of her god given variety, although she has to think about 99% of her shots, which can lead her to choke (see Australian Open 2007). Mauresmo is much better on a more reactive surface (such as grass or fast indoor carpet) so she doesn't get to think about what she is going to hit (as much as it hurts to agree with Mary Carillo, it's true). There are very few "specialists" in womens tennis because between the Williams sisters (in there respective primes), Henin, Mauresmo, and whoever else there is in the top 10, they don't get enough notice to be called "specialists." I can only think of Schiavone and Peer (in some respects) to being clay specialists.
     
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  21. lacoster

    lacoster Professional

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    I have a theory....If they have 2 last names, they most certainly are a clay court specialist:

    On the women's:
    Lourdes Dominguez Lino
    Laura Pous Tio
    Anabel Medina Garrigues
    Mariana Diaz Oliva

    On the mens:
    Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo
    Martin Vasallo Arguello
    Guillermo Garcia Lopez
    Ivan Navarro Pastor

    These players might not win any Clay Masters series events, but they are always the ones who would play all the small clay court events after the USOpen rather than get clobbered in the fast indoor courts.
    ________
    FORD POWER STROKE ENGINE
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2011
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  22. tintin

    tintin Professional

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    well went to take a look at Mauresmo's record on clay
    she is a 5 time Rome finalist and 2 time winner
    a 2 time Berlin winner,I suppose it does make her a clay court specialist;)
     
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  23. tursafinov

    tursafinov Rookie

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    Grass Specialist:

    Eleni Danilidu (GRE)

    maybe
    Karolina Sprem
    ~Tursa
     
    #23
  24. charlottefromca

    charlottefromca Rookie

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    Well if people are saying Henin isn't a claycourt specialist because she is so successful at the other tourneys.. then Momo isn't one either because she has two Grandslam titles.. neither are on clay.

    I guess its all up to definition.
     
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  25. Alexandros

    Alexandros Professional

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    HARDCOURT
    214-72 win/loss
    74.8% winning percent

    CLAY
    111-41 win/loss
    73% winning percent
     
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  26. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    Do you people even watch tennis? Schnyder is by no means a clay specialist even though she is good on clay.

    She's made the QFs of the USO, the SFs of the AO (her best slam result) and won tournaments on all surfaces except grass.
     
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  27. christos_liaskos

    christos_liaskos Professional

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    Well either way, its clear that you cant define the female plays as easily as you can the male players as far as surfaces specialists goes. There may be one or two players that people will agree on (even though I havent seen 100% agreement on any female player so far) but you definitely cant define a whole section of female players as clay, or any surface specialists.
     
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  28. roysid

    roysid Professional

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    Chris Evert is the original clay court specialist. 6 FO titles. 125 match winning streak spreading across 6 years.

    After that, Monica Seles was very strong on clay. Steffi Graf has very good record on clay though her game was more suited to grass and hard.

    Among the current ones, most of them play similar. Though Clijsters has said clay is not her favorite, hard is.

    Justine Henin is very strong on clay.
     
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  29. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

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    Chris Evert is the record holder for most FOs with 7, not 6. ;)
     
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  30. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    There is a difference between a claycourt specialist and someone who is exceedingly good on clay.
    Mauresmo, for example is great on clay, but she good on grass, hard and indoors, too, so I would not say she specializes in clay.

    I think you could say the Patty Schnyder specializes in Rebound Ace, since the Oz Open is consistently by far her best Slam.

    Back to clay....
    Mima Jausovec and Virginia Ruczici...Aranxta Sanchez, Mary Joe Fernandez, they did best on clay.

    You know who played like a clay court specialist? Conchita Martinez. But she never won RG. She won Wimbledon in 94. Gaby Sabatini looked like a pure claycourter. Won the US Open, but not RG.
     
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  31. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    A totally agree with this. Being a specialist and having a surface be your favorite surface and doing well are different. Christ Everet was great on clay, but she was by no means a specialist. True surface specialists don't generally do well (at least relatively) on other surfaces and always have their best results on their chosen surface. Someone like Kent Carlsson on the mens side.

    With men, we've seen many clay specialists who appear during clay court season, seem to disappear thereafter, and then play smaller clay tournaments the rest of the year, with maybe a few hardcourt tourneys. Some of these men (Roberto Carratero - German Open, I think) have won fairly big clay tournaments and beat top players. On the women's side, even though there are clay specialists in terms of their best results, those results often don't include winning bigger tourneys.
     
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