How come the 7 footers do poorly on tour?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Golden Retriever, May 6, 2004.

  1. Golden Retriever

    Golden Retriever Hall of Fame

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    Remember the guy who took out Hewitt at Wimbledon first round last year? He is now nowhere to be seen. How come the really tall guys (6ft 6 and above) don't do well on tour given their serves and reach? Theoretically they should have a tremendous edge.
     
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  2. Fat Boy

    Fat Boy New User

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    Well timed post there dude, since "the guy" (Ivo Karlovic) is currently in the last 16 at Rome.

    If you're very big you tend to be very heavy too. This makes you (i) not as mobile as you need to be, and (ii) prone to injuries, especially knee injuries from the huge strain your weight puts on them.

    These more than outweigh the height advantage. I think the optimum height for a male tennis player, balancing reach and mobility, has been "proved" to be about 6'2".
     
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  3. Deuce

    Deuce Banned

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    "How come the really tall guys (6ft 6 and above) don't do well on tour given their serves and reach?"

    Probably for the same reason that 30 inch racquets don't have much success.
     
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  4. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    The pundits used to say it was because of hand/eye coordination, or lack thereof. Wasn't Vic Amaya about 6'6" tall? Of course now, that's almost the average height.

    Back in the olden days, when everything was serve/volley, taller guys had trouble getting down for volleys on a consistent basis. Since everything has moved back toward the baseline, taller guys fare better. Also, the level of athleticism has moved in an upward direction. The money in tennis is attracting a bigger athlete.
     
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  5. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    That's true to some extent. But they've been saying this for 15 y ears now. Players are getting taller...but I'm not sure they're getting any taller than the population in general! There has been a resurgance in small players last 5-10 years. Showing that even if the bigger man has an advantage...there is still space for extremely gifted little guys.

    Also I think there might be a point of diminishing returns. Once you get beyond let's say 6'5....is the continued reach advantage enough to compensate for the difficulty in getting down for low balls in a balanced manner. Plus, even the most athletically gifted big men(think NBA) are really only quick and agile for BIG MEN! lol....even the best don't quite move the precise footwork and quickness of a Chang, Rios...or even a Sampras(who had the serve of the big men...but the quickness and agility of the small man)....with the extreme high power of today's game...you better have very balanced, quick, precise footwork....or you're not going to fare all that well out there!

    If you are big and relatively slow...I still think serve/volley is better for you...at least you'll be threatening....you can't hang on the baseline with a power baseliner consistently....
     
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  6. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    hi there. it's just a matter of geometry in my opinion. try it yourself if you ever play someone really tall. feed them low sliced backhands short in the court to their backhand and see what they come up with..not much. like datacypher sez, afte a certain point...say 6'2 or so, height may actual be a hindrance rather than a help. but having said that, atletes in general are bigger, stringer, faster, better with each generation. tennis may be an anomoly. ed
     
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  7. @wright

    @wright Hall of Fame

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    Deuce's posts was right on. Guys that tall can't slap both ass cheeks at the same time. Richard Krajicek should be a model for tall tennis players, sadly his career was cut short by injuries.
     
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  8. @wright

    @wright Hall of Fame

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    Deuce's post was right on. Guys that tall can't slap both ass cheeks at the same time. Richard Krajicek should be a model for tall tennis players, sadly his career was cut short by injuries.
     
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  9. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    I agree with all said, taller players are more injury prone and don't have the movement of a smaller player. There are exceptions, of course.

    @wright - surely we can communicate on a higher level.
     
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  10. ucd_ace

    ucd_ace Semi-Pro

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    What seven footers?
     
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  11. Frodo Baggins

    Frodo Baggins Semi-Pro

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    What Happened Awright?? Did the needle get stuck??? :shock: Interesting.. :lol:
     
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  12. ezdude1970

    ezdude1970 Semi-Pro

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    I think the optimum height for a male tennis player, balancing reach and mobility, has been "proved" to be about 6'2".[/quote]

    here is the ideal height and wait proven by

    Pete Sampras (USA)

    Birthdate: 8/12/1971

    Birthplace: Washington, D.C., USA

    Residence: Los Angeles, California, USA

    Height: 6'1'' (185 cm)

    Weight: 170 lbs (77 kg)

    Plays: Right-handed

    Turned Pro: 1988
     
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  13. Cigo

    Cigo Rookie

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    Hitting low slices can be difficult if the guy knows how to keep you from doing that, with a huge kicker for example, they 6'5" guy I played a few weeks ago sure knew how to kick his serves. I was slicing them above my head at baseline :shock: (it felt like it anyway). Thoug I am only 5'9". Isn't Joachim Johansson 6'6"?
     
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  14. Golden Retriever

    Golden Retriever Hall of Fame

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    ***What seven footers?***

    I guess that proves my point, doesn't it?
     
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  15. Metzler

    Metzler Rookie

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    There are no 6'7" pro golfers, another sport that involves the controlled swinging of a stick.
    Ellsworth Vines went on to a pro career in golf after quitting tennis, and Ivan Lendl is a scratch golfer. Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley are both 20+ handicappers despite great expenditures of time, money and effort.
    It's just too big of a swing arc for very tall players to be consistently excellent in either sport.
     
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  16. VamosRafa

    VamosRafa Hall of Fame

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    I agree with the comments above. Since there aren't any guys who are 7 feet, we can't respond to this query.
     
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  17. tetsuo10

    tetsuo10 Rookie

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    If you're a 7 footer and coordinated enough like a Kevin Garnett, why would you want to play tennis when you can play basketball and make a hell of a lot more money and have just as much fun (maybe more since you're on a team).
     
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  18. Metzler

    Metzler Rookie

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    Using the logic of the last post, we can safely assume that sumo wrestlers would dominate olympic sprint events if they were of a mind to, and that jockeys would take over the NBA if they just didn't enjoy riding horses so much.
     
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  19. nyu

    nyu Rookie

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    there was a sumo wrestler that had a 100 yard dash timed at just over 11 seconds...food for thought.
     
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  20. tetsuo10

    tetsuo10 Rookie

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    Do you worship at the temple of George Bush Logic? How do you go from 7footers in the NBA to sumo wrestler in a olympic sprinting?
     
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  21. baseliner

    baseliner Professional

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    As said above, the taller athletes are also generally heavier athletes. With the long season and the concentration of hard-court events, the taller and heavier players are more injury prone. When you look at a tall big-boned player you see more injury absences.
     
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