I don't understand the match strategy vs. Serena

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by guitarplayer, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. guitarplayer

    guitarplayer Guest

    Seems that every player just tries to hit harder and harder. Seriously, that's your plan? I don't get it. You are not going to over power her so why do you keep beating your head against the wall trying to out hit her?

    When I play an opponent that is a much stronger baseline banger, I'm not going to just stand there and try to trade shots. He will win 99.9% of the time. Why play to his strengths?

    Try something different for once! Get them out of their comfort zone. Lob, moon ball, drop shot, short balls, come to the net......just do something different!
     
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  2. djNEiGht

    djNEiGht Professional

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    or dink the ball when you have a perfect opp for an overhead smash
     
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  3. Baxter

    Baxter Professional

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    So you saw the match. It was hopeless anyway, but that was an amazingly stupid shot selection. Serena is fast!
     
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  4. Tanya

    Tanya Professional

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    Haha! Total brainfart that was.

    Anyway, the problem is that many of today's young girls don't have any plan B. Jovanovski has no variety to her game, she's all about ball-bashing. Unfortunately not only is Serena an even better ball-basher than her, she also has the rest of the tools (movement, serve, net play, defense, mental toughness) in her repertoire. Bojana was doomed from the beginning...

    Venus and Serena practically pioneered the power-era of women's tennis. They were two of the originals! These girls these days are nothing more than ****-poor attempts at clones of the Serena/Venus game. The problem with this is that they focus so much on the power aspect of their game that they don't develop anything else. Serena and Venus were successful with their high-risk power tennis because they had numerous other tools to bail them out when it failed. These new girls don't.
     
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  5. flyinghippos101

    flyinghippos101 Legend

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    In the WTA, one must just simply smack the ball as hard as they can and hope it goes in. There's no such thing as slices, net play and drop shots. Just groundstrokes, unless you're Stosur or Clijsters. But even then those two players don't seem to mind slugging it out from the baseline these days
     
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  6. All-rounder

    All-rounder Legend

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    You're expecting strategy in women's tennis nowadays? I would consider that a high expectation.
     
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  7. split-step

    split-step Professional

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    A number of things
    - Moonball and lobs against Serena will get you sent home just as quick. The girl was playing to her strengths which just weren't close to good enough against Serena.

    The biggest thing about Serena is the serve. Serena literally has the greatest female serve of all time. How many times did the girl roll her eyes when Serena would hit an ace.
    You can play 2 awesome points on Serena's serve so that she's 0-30 and then she will fire 3 clutch aces in the corners for game point.
    Her serve puts massive pressure on her opponent's serve and most girls have fail serves. This chick started trying to hit her serve harder but again, Serena has a huge return and was painting the baseline with her returns.

    If you want to beat Serena, you have to be able to hold your own against her pace. Take her shots early and redirect the balls with angles to make her move. Serena gets to a lot of balls and on the run can come up with really good angles so you must also be a very good mover.

    This is how Henin, Clijsters and to a lesser extent Venus beat her.
     
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  8. Big_Dangerous

    Big_Dangerous Legend

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    Petra Cetkovska slices a lot! :)
     
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  9. split-step

    split-step Professional

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    Another thing to note is that Serena was the one who hit deep loopers in this match.
    Several times she took pace off the ball and looped it deep, forcing Bojana to generate her own pace while giving Serena time to recover.

    If Bojana started moonballing, it would have been over even quicker.
    I mean, Serena hits swing volleys from no mans land like it's nothing and her overhead is solid.
     
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  10. hugobosstachini

    hugobosstachini Semi-Pro

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    ROFL I agree with the OP but you can't force girls who do not have plan B to suddenly adopt one in Arthur Ashe stadium in front of many people...

    Jovanovski's movement sucks and even if she wanted to play variances she doesn't have the wheels to get behind the shots in the eventuality Serena hits and offensive shot out of them...

    She's always on the stretch, so slow...

    One of the best shots to handcuff Serena is the slice, many girls have a good slice but they prefer ditch it for the 2H BH and take a winner the other side than to give themselves time in the exchange to get back on foot...

    I think drop-shots against Serena would be useless she's very very explosive to move forward...

    One thing I find dumb with the girls when they play Serena is on return of serve - Serena generally fires big serves yet very little girls have the ingenuity to just block it back into play instead of taking a full cut at the ball which has very little chance to land in if you're not one of these gifted returners...

    Very little also back up instead they have the ought to think that they can blast a 123 mph serve as a winner big LOL !

    So it often goes as so, ace by Serena or plain dumb UE by her opponent then you get the "Serena has the best serve... bla bla bla nonsense"...
     
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  11. Roy125

    Roy125 Professional

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    The only way to defeat Serena is to move her around. Then she'll make more errors and will be more vulnerable to losing. That's how Clijsters was able to defeat her two years ago.
     
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  12. rommil

    rommil Legend

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    Hit a lob that lands near the food court and Serena won't be back.
     
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  13. cc0509

    cc0509 G.O.A.T.

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    I have to admit, that one made me smile. :twisted:
     
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  14. split-step

    split-step Professional

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    This is an oversimplification. It's not the slice that bothers Serena. It's the lack of rhythm. So a heavy topspin shot, followed by a slice and another slice then a hard flat shot etc. It's this combo (amongst other things) that kept Serena on her toes against Henin and to a lesser extent Mauresmo.

    You make it sound like it's the easiest thing in the world to do, and if done will guarantee success. Mauresmo does this well, blocking the serve back. In fact, she used it to great effect in Wimbledon 06 SF against Maria to get her off her game. However, it didn't work on Serena (and Serena wasn't serving as well back then). Serena moves too well and will make you pay for a blocked service return, especially if it lands short.

    Whose serve is better and more effective?

    Exactly.
     
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  15. split-step

    split-step Professional

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    I lol'd.

    10 char
     
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  16. MichaelNadal

    MichaelNadal Bionic Poster

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    Correction, Serena beat herself :) :twisted:
     
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  17. Roy125

    Roy125 Professional

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    Lol, technically that's true.. But overall, she had no answers to Clijster's game plan that day.
     
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  18. soyizgood

    soyizgood G.O.A.T.

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    The players that gave or have given Serena the most problems were players that kept Serena on her toes. Hingis and Henin mixed up pace, but had the ability to pull the trigger which Serena had to respect. Dementieva and Venus had great agility for their height and could take away Serena's recovery time. Clijsters feeds off Serena's pace and has no fear of Serena while keeping her errors to a minimum.

    All those ladies mentioned are from to 80-83 class. You don't really see anyone from the 84-91 group that can possess a good balance of power, control, and purpose in their games. Jankovic has given Serena problems before, relying on her quickness, ability to keep her errors low, and still produce shots that force Serena across the court all match long.

    Sharapova hasn't beaten Serena since 2004. Has she really learned from her losses, including a couple of ugly ones? She has to rely on sheer firepower, hope her double faults stay low, and pray that Serena plays a C- game. If Serena is focused, I doubt any of Sharapova's hopes come to fruition.

    Serena is an incredible player, but hardly unbeatable. Zheng Jie twice in the past 3 years pushed Serena to three sets and she's only 5'4". In fact, she often steps inside the baseline to return Serena's serves. Takes the ball early to feed off Serena's pace and can redirect the ball very effectively, when she's healthy.

    Venus is the only pure ballbasher other than Capriati that's had some success against Serena, but Venus has played against Serena for over 20 years and knows her game and mindset really well. In Venus' case, if Venus had made a few tweaks in her earlier years to her 2nd serve and her forehand we might be talking about her being the one with 13 slams. She's more physically gifted than Serena, but Serena has the more refined game.

    I just get the feeling today's ladies are just waiting for Serena to retire rather than figure out some means of competing against her.
     
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  19. jerriy

    jerriy Hall of Fame

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    ^ Excellent points.

    The last player to defeat Serena was Bartoli, a mid-twenties player with lots of experience on the tour.

    I dunno when the last time is that Serena lost a match to a young up-and-comer but it must have been a long time ago
    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2011
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  20. soyizgood

    soyizgood G.O.A.T.

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    Serena lost to Azarenka at Miami 2009. Serena was injured somewhat, but Azarenka at the AO that year gave Serena all she could handle before retiring. In the Generation Suck defense, Serena's part-time playing means fewer opportunities to face her. Wozniacki had match point vs Serena at an AO tune-up event in 2010 before Serena won.

    Serena is more vulnerable at Premier and below events because she doesn't care much for them and/or uses them just to work her way back into shape. That might result in some up-and-comer snagging a win from time to time.

    As it is, most of the young tour players and aspiring junior players have little desire or will to play inside the baseline. You need to have a solid all-around game to have any real chance of beating Serena. You need to put Serena on the defensive with good shot selection, a mindset to sometimes come and finish at the net, and the belief you have what it takes to win just to name a few. It's in very short supply with these girls. If Wozniacki can win so many matches just by allowing her opponents to commit suicide when their A game doesn't work, how are these girls going to beat an in-form, focused Serena? I just see a very sloppy, anarchistic era coming up post-Serena.
     
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  21. dannykl

    dannykl Rookie

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    Today's top ranking young ladies just suck. They are not as good as top players in the 90's or early 2000's were.

    There are some ways to defeat such a good player like Serena: Hingis, Rubin, Capriati, Henin, Bammer ,Sun, old near retiring Graf, Jankovic, Jidkova, Mary Joe, Kim or Suarez, they have all beaten Serena via different ways.

    Either you play smart like Hingis or you defend well like Jankovic.

    Either you mix things up and attack frequently with lethal shots like Graf or Henin or you consistently respond to Serena's shots with decent deep and patience like Rubin or Mary Joe.

    Either you confront her power directly like Kim, Lindsay or Capriati or you use slice or topspin to neutralize Serena's power like Suarez, Sun or Bammer.

    Serena has so many weapons, player have to find her relative weakness to beat her. Her movement is one of her liability. She is not a top mover on court. Use different shots to move her around will bring troubles to her.

    Consistency is also her relative weakness. Her shot can sometimes go off, especially her forehand.

    However today's girls are no good in movement as well. They are far more inconsistent than the Williams. So they have little chance to challenge Serena if they keep playing such a one-dimensional game with poor movement and no consistency.
     
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  22. jodd

    jodd New User

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    one of the best strategies i've seen involves hitting straight at her feet. Serena is a very good mover, and may actually hit better on the run, but throughout her career has had trouble consistently taking the tiny adjustment steps to set up perfectly for shots (down the middle).

    Many times she can get away with it because she has such great coordination and strength that hitting the ball from an awkward position does little to affect the authority of her strokes, however, when the ball is coming right at her, the problem is immediately exposed.

    if you look at highlights of her match with clijsters in '09, it's not just that she was on the move, it's that clijsters was handcuffing serena by giving her a deep ball, relatively close to her body, and then capitalizing on the weak reply to hit an absurd angle and then finish the point.

    Azarenka and Li Na have played Serena so tough because they take the ball EARLY. Serena does not handle decreased recovery time very well. I'm not quite sure why Henin was such a difficult match-up for Serena.

    I've never seen Henin as a mix-it-up type, yes she had an excellent slice and all court game, and she did hit with a good amount of topspin, but all of the matches I've seen her win against Serena have looked like forehand shoot-em-ups.

    I think the fact that we are having this discussion is a testament to the texture of Serena's game. Yes she has great power and movement, but she's also a very adaptable player. I don't think she has a losing head-to-head against any of the players mentioned as examples of successful implementation of anti-serena game plans.
     
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  23. hugobosstachini

    hugobosstachini Semi-Pro

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    :) Well yes, I didn't mean to say that the slice on it's own would beat Serena lol a player who does that on it's own has very little chances --

    As you stated, a slice combined with any other shot or group of shots, could be a hard ball, a top spin shot with a wider of shorter angle etc... would be disrupting to her rhythm... ;)

    Actually I believe a player like Bernard Tomic's talent would something I would like to see in the WTA one day, he doesn't over-loop or spin his shots like Murray, he has these sort of relatively flat shots that he varies in pace, angles etc... combined with his good 1H slice + variety... and suddenly he can just change rhythm from almost anywhere on the court for a winner...

    I think Mauresmo didn't have a big enough game for Serena which for comparison Justine had... Mauresmo was some kind of artist IMO and it's complicated to always overtake big babes with so much variances -- Justine she with the exceptional variety she had was also able to go toe to toe with Serena and completely blow her off the court at times and there's nothing Serena could do than just admire what talent really looked like... Mauresmo was never really able to show this kind of big babe tennis but her manner of being aggressive was still as beautiful, transitioning forward, S&V, R&V etc...

    When Justine came back she decided to go all out and she lost that balance she had from her glory days... but Justine's offense at her peak was just beautiful, she could take so much time away from Serena - half-volleying shots, taking the ball early, stepping into each and every ball, transitioning forward etc...

    I make it sound like it's easy but that's the most effective strategy when playing Serena's serve... I'm not saying that it you will win 100% of points doing so but you will win 30 or 40% of points on her service games as opposed to 3 or 4% when you're trying to play a full swing... and that's all the problems with the girls, they prefer win no points with UEs since the return of serves than at least 2 out of 4 in exchanges which is already a good start.

    Serena is very sensitive in exchanges, people try to make her footwork look some kind of Genius in action but she's just explosive that's all, she's easy to put on stretch if you have some kind of correct strategy and if you have no problems with power... the power that she generates in her shots persistently is a barrier which makes it difficult to take over her overall weak movement...

    Bojana often was attempting in all struggles at times in the start of match to fixate Serena in the diagonals with some short angles or lift balls in the long diagonal and get the shot to redirect DTL and put Serena in difficulty - I found the idea correct at first but problem her footwork sucked and the slightest acceleration of the american was destabilizing to her so she could barely stay toe to toe in genuine rallies more than 3 or 4 shots without being rocked to get that DTL BH or FH... and her attempts of taking the DTL often resulted in huge mishits, UEs etc... another thing her rally balls are meh, no weight into them, no intent...

    I personally saw nothing that impressive about Serena so much her opponent was quality-less last night !

    Serena's serve is good I'm not saying differently but you must admit thought that the lack of technique on the WTA tour participates a lot in it's so said greatness...

    IK this is virtually impossible but I would just like to see Serena's unique serve against the return of serves of Federer, Murray, Djokovic or even Nadal to see how many shots more would they bring into play with their technique which is much much much more varied than on the WTA tour... I think it's not even close.

    Very few girls can return a 123 mph serve with there go to grip, you have Kvitova, Azarenka from the top of my head - when you do not have these natural returning skills it makes no sense trying to return like these girls, try something else anyways practice something else, you're losing 70-80% of points anyways what would it change for you to just simply put a quality ball back into play ? You're already losing more than half the points any ways. I'm not saying you have to do that on every every serve.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2011
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  24. Telepatic

    Telepatic Legend

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    They have to move around Serena with some drop shots, lobs, slices.. And you must have a good serve.

    Some variety is needed but unfortunately in WTA variety is non existent and nobody is serving well beside Serena and Kim in her in form days.
     
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  25. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Forgotabout DF Schiavone!
     
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  26. jmverdugo

    jmverdugo Hall of Fame

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    Serena is just too good, the key is to move her around side to side and net to baseline but it is easier said than done. Even if you have the tools, how are you going to hit a flat ball that is coming at 80mph? is really hard, must to have the right timing and control to put that ball back in a corner, I think this is why some of the girls just smack the ball back, not because that is all they know but because it is all the can do.
     
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  27. kishnabe

    kishnabe G.O.A.T.

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    LOL that was mean!
     
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  28. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Serena has the best female serve of all time. It's becoming Sampras like the way it bails her out of love 30 games. No other woman in tennis history has been able to fire clean aces at will like she does.

    As to the rest of your post I don't often quote Mike Tyson but he once responded to a question with "Everybody has plan until they get hit in the mouth"


    Jovanovski got hit in the mouth last night. she's never seen power off the ground like that before and she couldn't deal with it. And she certainly, unless she practices with men, has never seen a serve like that.
     
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  29. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    I don't know why this is limited to the Women's game this criticism? Fed then Nadal now Djoker have dominated men's tennis. Where is/was the variety to stop them? Novak is 53-1
     
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  30. TERRASTAR18

    TERRASTAR18 Hall of Fame

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    navaratilova speaks nonsense? when a great returner like venus struggles with it, then it's a pretty damn good serve.
     
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  31. TERRASTAR18

    TERRASTAR18 Hall of Fame

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    true but i thought serena should have attacked the net more to pressure kimmy.
     
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  32. TERRASTAR18

    TERRASTAR18 Hall of Fame

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    no she isn't, she has some of the best volleys and net play in the game. and has a world class swing volley.
     
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  33. jerriy

    jerriy Hall of Fame

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    What claptrap is this?

    Djoker is actually proof of the exact opposite of your allegation. "Dominating Dkoker" is an ultra brand new concept that didn't exist even last year. Something that has absolutely no equivalent in the WTA tour. Not even a remote equivalent.

    On the other hand next year will be the tenth anniversary of Serena's ancient 4 in a row slam run of 2002-2003. And guess what? She actually has BETTER chance of repeating that feat now ten years later!! (you can't say the same for ATP players who won slams 10 years ago) meanwhile, Geriatrina will have virtually no credible challenge from the future generation if she wants to repeat that feat, starting this week and the next in NYC)
    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2011
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  34. ttbrowne

    ttbrowne Hall of Fame

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    I was thinking the same thing. Hell, Change to something even if it's wrong. You've exhausted your original GP. It doen't have to be drastic but do ANYTHING different.
     
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  35. TERRASTAR18

    TERRASTAR18 Hall of Fame

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    those are her two biggest strengths next to her bh and serve.
     
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  36. TERRASTAR18

    TERRASTAR18 Hall of Fame

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    what variety in the men's game? fed dominated for 4 years against overrated roddick and hewitt. nadal then dominated, now djokovic is playing in weakened field- old and done fed, mental midget nadal and overrated murray.
    meanwhile since the serena slam, you've had sw of course, but also venus,henin,mauresmo,clisters, sharapova and kuzzy win multiple slams. not to mention schiavone,li na, myskina, ivanovic,and kvitova win titles.
     
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  37. ATXtennisaddict

    ATXtennisaddict Hall of Fame

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    The women who have some variety in their game are not good and consistent enough, therefore they lose.
     
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  38. jerriy

    jerriy Hall of Fame

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    Hindsight garbage.

    Name one credible person who regarded Roddick and Hewitt as overrated BACK THEN (without 20/20 hind sight) and you may have a point.

    You are sounding comical (notice how you're talking about yet another new person? Meanwhile WTA is still stuck with Serena.


    See, you keep saying the ATP field is weak as WTA but you keep naming new names of players who dominate while the WTA is stuck with the original "generation mate" of Hewitt and Roddick.

    The proper ATP WTA comparison would have been legit if Roddick and Hewitt, had still been the favorite to win the current US open. THAT's how you make legit comparisons.
     
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  39. LDVTennis

    LDVTennis Professional

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    A second-generation Sanchez-Vicario would have the game to beat Serena. Heck, the first generation Vicario has a winning head-to-head versus Serena.

    With Clijsters injured, I just don't see anyone out there like that.

    Remember though, Serena's body is bound to breakdown.
     
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  40. CDestroyer

    CDestroyer Professional

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    OP you are right. You can't overpower him.

    They should be making that heffer move as much as possible.
     
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  41. ivan_the_terrible

    ivan_the_terrible Hall of Fame

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    In the same vein as the food court comment, I'd say invite her to the wedding of some thrashy 'reality' star. You'd be amazed how fast that big toe will swell up to the size of a grapefruit :twisted:
     
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  42. THUNDERVOLLEY

    THUNDERVOLLEY G.O.A.T.

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    Dannykl, all of the strategies you posted are not posessed by any one player, or can be executed as easy as it may seem--its all pieces of tactics per player, which is why Williams was never overwhelmed by the strategies of Jennifer, Bammer (one of her two victories very hard fought after dropping the 1st set), Hingis (she already suffered several losses to baby SW, but their last 3 meetings were easy victories as SW matured), and others.

    Winning against a top player cannot be the result of one tactic which may have worked for another in the past--for no other reason than Serena (or anyone, really) learns from the experience; players of her level will not forget the little tricks opponents use to take them out of their own game, so it is crucial for players--going forward--to develop their own game--an offensive game--in order to even think about a chance against one with as much in the toolbox as the greater players such as Serena.
     
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  43. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    What? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHLD4LvnPTI
     
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  44. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    You seem to be under illusion that 99% WTA players in the current field have any other gameplan beside that.
     
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  45. THUNDERVOLLEY

    THUNDERVOLLEY G.O.A.T.

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    I'm guessing guitarplayer was surprised that she thought ball bashing would work at all, when it does not work for anyone else. Perhaps guitarplayer expected the player to employ other skills her trainers drilled into her, rather than go on automatic and hit as hard as possible--after all, this crop of players are taught to do more than one thing....even if they forget it when playing.
     
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  46. TERRASTAR18

    TERRASTAR18 Hall of Fame

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    point 1- back then is of no significance, the point is the results.....hewitt and roddick turned out to be flashes in the pan, so experts' opinions mean nothing...so fed dominated a weak era until nadal came along, who had it for all of one year. then djokovic took over....and none of it overlapped.
    point2- the little amount of gs competitors shows how weak the field is, the large amount of of gs winners for the women shows hw strong and diverse it is.
    point3- i never said the wta is weak, i did say the atp is..
    point 4- you set the parameters of the amount of competiton on both tours since the serena slam.....don't try to change it because you have no argument. btw
    point5- we are not talking aout hewitt and roddick, they were used as examples of the weak competition fed faced,that's all. since we are in the 2 year bubble of djoker,they are irrelevant past 2005 to this discussion. but even if you want to make that comparison, kimmy was a top challenger in 2003-2005 and is still one excluding injury,today.
     
    #46
  47. hugobosstachini

    hugobosstachini Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Messages:
    703
    Location:
    France
    I'm not contradicting Serena's serve as being good but you can't contradict the fact that girl's strategies overall sucks when it is asked to do something else than swinging at the ball - you can't deny that this one dimensional point of view from them also plays a big role in Serena's serving efficiency.

    As for Bojana she did what she could on AA stadium it was her first time on court of such dimensions she did what she could and it wasn't sufficient - I'm still waiting to see Serena against a much more accomplished player.

    Venus a great returner ? Are you sure about that ?
     
    #47
  48. ben123

    ben123 Professional

    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,172
    yop agree at the whole thread.

    i was also everytime thinking why girl are you hitting with power to serena ... why dont you move her around ... i gave up on this and thought well these girls are top 100 they have to know their stuff. just cant believe top 100 wta players have no brain
     
    #48
  49. sonicare

    sonicare Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,733
    Location:
    london
    LMAO at you retards

    Bunch of armchair losers thinking they have it all figured out.

    Listen idiots, Serena's opponents live,eat and breathe tennis. If it was that easy, they would have done it by now.

    If I set you a match with Federer and say "don't worry, just hold serve by hitting all 4 corners at 130mph, try and break his serve by returning winners dtl and if you go to a tie break, just win them"

    That is moronic advice.. just like some of the nonsense posted here like:

    - just move her around
    - bring her to net and lob her
    - hit right at her feet

    Most of you are just clowns. plain and simple.

    Serena is GOAT and anyone that disagrees is a hater
     
    #49
  50. ChiefAce

    ChiefAce Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2004
    Messages:
    757
    Serena no longer plays a ball bashing style, she simply lets these buffoons make an error after 4 shots while defending and holding her service games. If she didn't have the serve it would be a different story, but her serve allows her free points while also letting her play defensively on her opponents serve games to get breaks of serve. The good news is you can see the younger generation is potentially integrating some varitey into their games so they can break the ball bashing mode, but the girls at the top still play mostly the same game. A well rounded and intelligent player like Clijsters is by far the worst match up for Serena. She moves well, strikes the ball well, and doesn't go for broke during the point shot after shot. Right now the only hope of most of the ball bashers is that they are on fire for an entire match.
     
    #50

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