Modern tennis needs players as Lendl, Becker, Edberg, Mac, Connors,Sampras and Agassi

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by pepe01, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. pepe01

    pepe01 Rookie

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    4 players rulling ATP is not good enough for tennis, i think we need again players with different play style and different personality, Mr nice guy is not always the best, we need also players as Mac, Connors, with great level.

    Beside Murray, Federer, Nadal, and Nole, others are not on same level to fight with them.

    We need again those Lendl, Edberg, Becker, Mac, Jimmy, Agassi, Sampras on this game.

    Regards
     
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  2. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Yes, as well as Nastase,Laver,Borg,Rosewall,Newcombe and Ashe ( AMONG SOME OTHERS)
     
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  3. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    What it really needs is just some all-courters and SV'ers.

    Seriously. The youngsters don't even know what they've lost :-(

    The tour would be.....10X ? more exciting with some of these players mixed in. It's not additive, it makes the tennis monumentally more interesting, and exciting!
     
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  4. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    I think we need to slow down the game. I think it would de-emphasize the power groundstrokes and add more variety to the game. It's too late to go back to single shaft wooden racquets, so I say we need to come up with a slower ball. While we are at it, make the ball last longer and be easier on the arm!
     
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  5. Nadal_Power

    Nadal_Power Semi-Pro

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    All surfaces looks the same, it is very hard for young players to make some damage on the Tour and its all bloody same to me

    Bring back Carpet for the start, bring back slow Clay (RG and Mardid this year were jokes) and fast and medium Hard courts (especially Indoor)
     
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  6. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Agree !

    I would sure like to see some well respected teacher or former greats try to develop some new school SV players. This would be a many year project for some players that have the potential and those players would need to be willing to lose some matches and not worry about their JR rankings dropping. I think this is one of the reasons why players and their parents are not willing to make that sacrifice. If a former champion like Edberg, Rafter, Becker, McEnroe, or Sampras was willing to dedicate the personal time to such an effort, it could be successful. Also, Connors and Roche have tried to convert some modern players to a more aggressive, SV attack (Roddick, Federer) they were not even successful. It would be a risk for an academy attempt to develop aggressive SV players. I would sure like to see this happen to help produce a larger variety of modern players capable of winning slams without baseline bashing.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2011
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  7. Manus Domini

    Manus Domini Hall of Fame

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    A Nadal fan that admits the slam surfaces are the same! Welcome aboard :)

    Yup, more variety in the surfaces is needed. Here's what I suggest:

    WTF becomes either indoor carpet or fast grass (not the type Wimbledon is now) if the surfaces for the rest of the slams stay the same.

    If they don't:

    AO goes back to Rebound Ace (or is that what they use now?)
    RG should slow down
    Wimbledon should speed up
    USO should do whatever. I guess keep it slow, but speed it up some.

    So RG and Wimbledon have the great variety they used to have, and USO and AO are in between the two

    Season might look like: fast hard, slow clay, super fast grass, slow hard. Alternating between the different styles. Also, grass season should be extended. It's too short.
     
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  8. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    There are still clear differences between the surfaces and are certainly not "the same", but the gap has been considerably narrowed so that virtually no player looks lost on their worst surface. The reason for the decline of serve and volley goes a lot deeper than surface change.
     
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  9. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Hard,Clay,Grass (old) and old carpet
     
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  10. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    You mean the 70% Rye and 30% Creeping Red Fescue Wimbledon grass of 2001 and before? I doubt there would be many long rallies if they went back to that grass. Remember back in the 1990s that Wimbledon would get strongly criticised for the dominance of big serves and the lack of longer rallies. When they did something about it and now make it much easier to play at Wimbledon from the back of the court on a regular basis, people complain that it isn't the old grass.
     
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  11. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    I think we are missing something here. The style that is best suited to the conditions and equipment will be the style that dominates. That's kind of my Darwinian spin on tennis style.

    The top 4 players all have excellent net games. Federer, in fact, proved that he can S&V with the best of them in the past. He went to the net more in the past because at the time it was the best way for him to win against his competition and he got into the groove of doing it. His main competition was Pete Sampras, and Federer was more successful going to the net against Pete than letting Pete get to the net first (I heard him say that in an interview). Remember, Pete didn't grow up in the era of wide-body frames.

    The fact that the best players don't go to the net a lot now is testament to the fact that power groundstrokes is the best overall style at the pro level regardless of surface. They still play that way on grass, so changing the surface won't do much to change the game. It has to be a more drastic change.

    I don't think hiring guys like Stefan Edberg and Jimmy Connors to teach S&V and All Court Cat-and-Mouse tennis to juniors is going to change things because in the end, talented players will naturally gravitate to the style that wins matches. The conditions have to change so that style will be more neutral so that the best S&V players, best all-court players, and best baseliners can all compete equally on a neutral surface.

    That's why I would look at changing the specs on the balls. It would have the least effect on the tennis industry compared to changing the racquets or changing the court dimensions, and it could have a major effect on the game.
     
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  12. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Yes, that was what I meant.Not clay court painted green:)
     
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  13. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    The top 4 have great s&V game????
     
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  14. Nadal_Power

    Nadal_Power Semi-Pro

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    I love Rafa m8 but I'm not blind :)

    RG and Wimbledon MUST be much more different.. without any change in his game Rafa made so many ''Chanell Slam'' finals in one season

    This is my article about best results in Paris and London in one season since 1990.. everything is very clear when we see the table

    I agree with you but we all know there is no chance Grass season can be longer.. since the start of the ATP Tour in 1990. it was pretty much the same, but we need true fast Grass
     
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  15. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    I didn't say that. I said they have excellent net games. McEnroe even said he thinks Nadal is one of the best volleyers in the game. Tennis analysts often comment that it's very tough to find a weakness in any of the top 4 players. They all have the capability to S&V if they wanted to, but they gravitated to the style that won them the most matches.
     
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  16. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Oh, come on, kiki ;)

    It's clear that Nadal plays a lot differently at Wimbledon than he does at the French Open, especially with his positioning on the court. At the French Open, he's about 10 feet behind the baseline to return serve, compared with about 1-2 feet at Wimbledon if not on the baseline itself. Nadal plays more within the court at Wimbledon and is more aggressive.

    As I said, there are still clear differences between the different surfaces, but the contrast is nowhere near as sharp as it was in the 1990s. The more interesting question is why did serve and volley virtually disappear? I think the answer to this goes considerably deeper than just a narrowing of the surfaces. The equipment changes, especially the racquet strings, seem to make it considerably easier to return serve with interest, which makes life very uncomfortable for a constant net charger looking to hit the volley.
     
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  17. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    In the 1990s, the critics would say that the power in the game was too much and has changed the sport beyond recognition. Dominant servers are taking over and ruining the tennis etc.

    When we look back at this era now, the groundstrokes are not as powerful compared to today's power. It seems that some people are afraid of tennis evolution.
     
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  18. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Yes, one of the best volleyers of...today´s game.Honestly, that doesn´t say much to me.
     
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  19. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Sure we can have those type of players today, but with one condition....go back with the same old racquet and string, and the same speed of the court. Otherwise, don't expect any change b/c playing old classic style would be suicidal ! No player would be crazy to step backward when modern tennis demands for different style/tactic to adapt, despite being much more difficult than in the past.
     
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  20. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    Good point. I know that change in tennis is inevitable, but the danger here is when the change makes the game less exciting to watch at the pro level. Let's face it, the sport won't thrive if people won't spend money to watch it.
     
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  21. Manus Domini

    Manus Domini Hall of Fame

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    The slower the balls, the more baseline play there will be...
     
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  22. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    signs of human inteligence on those boards...wow¡¡
     
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  23. Laurie

    Laurie Professional

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    What I miss is the return of serve winner off a good first serve, in other words players gambling.

    Ironically, Petra Kvitova is reviving this lost art, in the womens game!
     
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  24. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Yes, I tend to agree. It is very difficult to change as a current pro...though it has been done, albeit very rarely....see Tauziat. Especially difficult due to the hit and miss nature of SV, and the fact that it takes a very mature game, and athleticism to pull it off at the highest levels. Even Sampras can serve as an example...here's a guy who often loss DUE to his attempts to expand his game, and play more net in the juniors, and even as a rookie pro....if not for the willpower of Fisher, he probably would not have ended up an all-courter. The current gen. of kids, of course, they aren't naturally attracted to SV, they want to be what they see NOW. Even on an individual level...yesterday I watched another junior...with yet ANOTHER fricked up Fed imitation serve....sigh. It's human nature though. Not sure how to change it now...perhaps as you say, some kind of huge initiative...

    I remember Chang, of all people, but he's a thoughtful guy, openly wondering why more kids weren't SV/coming to net! He said that his options were more limited due to his stature, but he could not figure out (when he was still playing), why so many of the youngsters with big serves, and big reach, were staying back! This from CHANG of all people....the generation FALSELY attributed to killing off the net rushers....and Chang made a career of foiling them.

    Maybe even if a Krajicek, or Stich, got a bunch of big tall youngsters under his direct control, and modeled for them....perhaps a top net rusher might be produced.
     
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  25. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Yes, the Sampras/Fisher was the case in point historical example that I was basing my post on. It would take this kind of sacrifice at the junior level to produce some more great attacking SV players. Would also take a great coach or player to help convince the parents of this type of sacrifice. I do not know if Krajicek, or Stich or even Sampras are capable or willing teachers but they would ofcourse be great candidates, as would be Edberg, Becker, Rafter, and McEnroe. Ironically, Connors is willing and was not thought of as a SV'er but really a great attacking player and he believe modern players can win by playing more of this old style game. Hope to hear more from Connors on this subject, and maybe some of the other greats as well. Most do not want to take away from the current game and will just say how great the players now hit the ball ;)
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2011
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  26. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Well, Krajicek/Stich/Sampras, don't really even have to teach....as long as they were close endorsees. That really all that matters, any half-decent coach could give these kids the fundamentals (not that those players might not have some great wisdom, and refinements to give the kids), but as you were alluding to, if Little Bobby is getting passed left and right and bungling volleys over and over behind his junior serve, and Pete Sampras tells you, that this WILL work, that you have to stick with it, and that you can be a top pro one day with this game.....Bobby and parents may be a bit more committed than when teaching pro Eric from Podunk tells them the same thing.

    Who knows....soon even ol' Pete won't have credibility amongst the youngsters. Look at them here on this board: Sampras couldn't survive today!!! Heck a certain common troll admitted to me a few months back that in his opinion, NONE of the Sampras/Agassi generation would do well against the current players!! Sad. Mac...despite being able to tangle it up with ATP players (and WIN doubles tournies) in his late 40's...is already obsolete to most of the know-it-alls!

    Yes...well there's not a lot you can do in terms of commenting on the current game. Imagine the uproar if they say anything even slightly negative. If Sampras even says say "well there's been a lot of great players..." all of sudden the kids jump all over him: I've seen discussions "why is Pete is SO bitter??!?"...and this when he's been VERY gentlemanly and diplomatic. LOL

    It's a lot better to say "geez, they're unbelievable, I don't know what little ol' me could do??!", especially if deep down you are secure with your accomplisments (or at least want to seem to be), than take the firestorm, if you criticize at all! We all saw what Wilander was thinking candidly after that FO....vs what he says in public.

    Once in a while you hear a more candid comment....I've heard Courier talk about how far the game has advanced and how improved it is...on the other hand, he also once said that he didnt' see anything out there now (other than Fed in the zone) that he didn't think he could have handled.

    Anyhow....it probably isn't worth the risk for many. Now imagine if a Sampras did get involved....no matter how correct, and awesome the advice Sampras gives is....no matter how hands-on or not he gets....there's a very high probability his protege wont' succeed to get to the top (which is what everyone will expect). How many kids (extremely good ones) go to Nick B's....and how many ever get to the top? Now who do the parents blame?? Especially if you prescribed a non-conventional course....do you get: Thanks for donating your time GOAT Pete when you had no reason you had to! Maybe. Maybe you get: Thanks a lot for ruining our kid LOAT Pete...you ruined his life...if he played from the baseline, he'd be #1 right now!!!!"
     
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  27. wings56

    wings56 Professional

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    I couldn't agree with this more. All areas of the game will always adapt to what is more successful. Whether it is due to equipment or just overall physique of the players. Just look at the difference in stroke production now compared to 30 years ago. As new equipment technologies come out and better and more successful ways to hit the ball are introduced, the game will gravitate in that direction.
     
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  28. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Well, I've posted about this before....it's a common myth presented on TW, but the "Darwinian" model doesn't apply.
    WHAT?! LOL. Pete Sampras was his "main competition". Ugh...listen guy...wow.

    There's a wow...a lot of misinfo in this paragraph...but honestly, I don't know where to start, suffice it to say: the timeline does not support a SV being selected against.

    NOTE: Wide body frames?? WTH??!Actually the true period of widebody frames on and off court was during the early part of Sampras career. If one argues for the largest Babolats as widebodies, then indeed, there are many out there now, though that really has nothing to do with the trend towards the baseline....again...the timeline shows that...

    You believe "power groundstrokes" to be the "best overall style" regardelss of surface...fine...

    You just said above that power groundstrokes were the best overall style regardless of surface, and that "surface change" wont' make a difference.

    Another myth here is that "talented players will naturally gravitate to the style that wins matches"....I trust most people will see that is false. History, and common sense, do not support that notion! LOL!
     
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  29. piece

    piece Professional

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    I think a kind of refined 'Darwinian' model may be applicable to top-level tennis. You're right to dispute the naive Darwinism that asserts that the dominant style of play at the top level is the style of play best suited to the conditions. This model fails since, for one reason or another, the style of play most suited to the conditions may not be an option for pro players (I have in mind here the possibility that S&V isn't an option because it's not taught to enough junior players). However, if we revise the central claim of this model to read something like 'the dominant style of play at the top level - of all the styles that were taught to promising juniors on a large enough scale - is the style of play best suited to the conditions'. This revised theory starts to sound a lot more plausible, while still retaining the insight of a natural-selection-style model.
     
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  30. pepe01

    pepe01 Rookie

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    So professional tennis is in danger....

    So as i can see, professional tennis sport needs to change before as basketball goes down.

    1.- Return to surface caracteristics ( fast grass, slow clay, superfast carpet)

    2.- Raquets, return to graphite raquets to slow down the game

    3.- Let player develop by their own skills, not as a rule ( superrules are superservice, two hands back hand, and hit ball as hard as you can with out any tactical plan) AS TSONGA ( my appologise for all his fans)

    4.- Develope service voley as another weapon.

    So After those four ( Federer, Nadal , Andy and Nole) Do you can see next great player, .....Nop i can not see, Dimitrov is not doing well after all.

    Let me know.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2011
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  31. wings56

    wings56 Professional

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    absolutely irrelevant. nobody 'taught' roddick to serve with his motion the way it is. thats just what his body and mechanics lent itself to. nobody 'taught' borg to start hitting with tremendous topspin. if the game lends itself to any advantage it will be exploited. game conditions just currently dont lend themselves to a serve and volley style. even if all the juniors were taught serve and volley the groundstrokers would continue to dominate as they have been for the past few years. if the courts begin to favor the s&v style then i can assure you that there will be a rise in those types of players.
     
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  32. piece

    piece Professional

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    Double post.
     
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  33. piece

    piece Professional

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    Fair point. We can revise the part of my original post that was in inverted commas to instead read: the dominant style of play at the top level - of all the styles that were adopted by promising juniors on a large enough scale - is the style of play best suited to the conditions.
     
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  34. wings56

    wings56 Professional

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    sorry i just realized how harsh my last post sounded. this discussion has really got me thinking. its kind of a chicken and egg relationship. has the slowing down of the courts stopped tennis instructors from teaching s&v or has the shift to groundstroking style caused the governing bodies to slow down the courts. im sure a bit of a combination...
     
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  35. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I almsot fully agree, except that the current top 4 have some shortcomings...
     
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  36. piece

    piece Professional

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    Well I actually think that modern conditions are, for the most part, better suited to a Djokovic-style baseline game than an Edberg-style serve and volley game, but this doesn't imply that a Djokovic-style baseline game is better suited to the conditions than any style. I actually don't think it is. Djokovic would be better off coming in a lot more on shots that force a weak defensive reply from his opponents, kind of like what Federer often did circa 2005 and earlier. Furthermore, assuming I'm correct in thinking that a Djokovic-style baseline game is better suited to today's conditions than an Edberg-style serve and volley game, we still can't say for sure that it is true that the best style for the conditions always comes to dominate the tour. In fact, I think this last hypothesis must be false because it is easily conceivable that the best style for the conditions is only adopted by high-level juniors extremely rarely, perhaps because to develop this style requires a huge time investment compared to other styles and so results in a few tough years of fairly poor results before it begins to show its worth. Not to mention the point I already made about there being a style that incorporates more net play than the majority of the tour are willing to engage in that is very likely better suited to today's conditions than the dominant style is.

    So, yeah, we probably don't disagree as much as you initially thought. And don't worry I didnt find your previous post harsh.
     
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  37. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    I believe Tsonga could win some majors using a more agressive SV game. He has the strokes, great touch and vollies. He is a big guy and is best off moving forward. I think a coach like Tony Roche could make the difference for him. Maybe he just needs some more time with Guy Forget ? Im really not sure what he is doing now ? Djokovich is part of the reason why he does not have a major, as well as, Nadal and Federer. Same can be said for Murray not having a major. I really think if Murray just played more doubles, sorta like McEnroe did during his career, it may help him win some singles majors. He would atleast win some doubles majors :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2011
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  38. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Mac has gotten again into drugs???
     
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  39. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    Are you kidding? I’ve seen some pro matches that have about the speed of top junior tennis in the 90s. There is a reason you have 40 shot rallies in tennis now. If the groundstrokes were that hard you wouldn’t be having such long rallies. I can guarantee you that if Sampras, Krajicek and Becker were only allowed to play from the baseline they’d still be having 4-5 ball rallies as they would flatten out their shots more and go for winners more often when they got anything remotely resembling a short ball. You can blame the surfaces, larger balls with lower pressure or just game style. But I don’t see how today they hit harder. If anything yes, more spin, but not harder.
     
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  40. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    I think Tsonga has the potential to be at or near the top, but in his case I think it's more mental than style. He's like Safin was. I don't think S&V would help him. The ground game is too fast right now IMO.
     
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  41. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    If you look at the top men I think you have to agree they hit harder, and since they represent the best, they get the most attention. The women have always been different because their game has always been slower in general.
     
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  42. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Sure, that's better...although even then, I think you'd find numerous problems/complexities.

    For example, are styles really being selected for? Ok....we have some baseliners at the top....but is it best to hit with excessive spin like Nadal? or flatter like Fed? Can a one handed backhand still work? It works for Fed...then again, who else uses it? Should one hit more like Djoko then? There are so many other factors other than strategy/style, that it is difficult to see a clear selection process there.

    Moreover, there aren't really any external selection forces....it's all selected by the population itself (ie. direct within species competition) Naturally, even were there style selection, it would be dependent on the style used by others, and thus, the model becomes quite complex.

    Couple all that with the huge problem you mentioned above, and I don't see the model having much utility. In any case, I think you, and I agree that the whole "SV was evolved out" is.....well perhaps you don't feel this strongly, but frankly, I think it's asinine.
     
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  43. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    No, Wings, it's neither.

    Tennis instructors did not say "gee, the pro courts are slowing down...I better teach my juniors to play from the baseline!" LOL.

    Nor did the governing bodies say "hey, the pros are playing baseline, let's slwo down the courts!"

    Nor did SV get selected out of the pros.

    It was a combination of baseliners being dominant pro role models (Borg, Lendl, Agassi, Courier etc), and the instant gratification, low ego risk, low psychological risk of baseline tennis, coupled with the gratification of hitting the ball hard from the baseline that created a TREND to baseline play.

    I hope the urban legend of SV getting selected against is eventually debunked, and does not grow stronger/more distorted.

    The trend may turn again, though with no role models out there now, I don't know how it will happen. Despite the fact that some mediocre SV players still had excellent career until just recently: Henman, Rusedski, Rafter, converted Sampras (who started SV MUCH more...in his case the "evolution" was the other way)....they didn't gain much, if any, traction among juniors.

    It would be very hard for a self-styled net-rushing junior, who happens to have world-class talent, to stay the course, with no role-models, slightly slower conditions, generations of grooved groundstrokers, homogenized strokes, etc. to stay the course.
     
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  44. pepe01

    pepe01 Rookie

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    So my question, are you seeing soon or later a critical change of rules, ground courts, raquets and style on professional tennis?, is it possible that we will see again classic tennis with the best of modern tennis as a the best mix on professional tennis? Can you see that coming soon or later?
     
    #44
  45. kul

    kul New User

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Messages:
    59
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    S&V only works if first volley contact is consistently made above the net. The return of serve (thanks to poly) has killed S&V.
     
    #45

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