Players who overcame their weakness?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by always_crosscourt, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. always_crosscourt

    always_crosscourt Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2013
    Messages:
    496
    Are there any players who, when they first emerged, were known for a weaker wing, or shot, or movement. Then over time, they developed this weakness into at least a neutral shot, or even better, a strength?

    Roddick's backhand apparently improved, but it was always a weakness.
     
    #1
  2. VeeSe

    VeeSe Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2012
    Messages:
    211
    Justine Henin Forehand
    Roger Federer Backhand
    Mardy Fish movement (lost weight)
     
    #2
  3. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    7,195
    Nadal overcame being a one trick clay pony
     
    #3
  4. TERRASTAR18

    TERRASTAR18 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2011
    Messages:
    1,672
    sharapova's movement and serve -won french
    ivanovic's backhand.
     
    #4
  5. FormerNadalFan

    FormerNadalFan Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2013
    Messages:
    157
    I'd say Nadal did a great job improving his serve and the Djoker did much to transform his mental toughness and focus.
     
    #5
  6. SStrikerR

    SStrikerR Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2010
    Messages:
    2,045
    Location:
    Not Fantasy Land
    Raonic's backhand seems vastly improved from last year. Still iffy once in a while, but I have no doubt it'll be solid eventually.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2013
    #6
  7. papertank

    papertank Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2012
    Messages:
    1,697
    Murray's forehand used to be terrible. Now it's just as much of a weapon as his backhand if not more. Honestly, its improvement is what transformed him into a grandslam champion.
     
    #7
  8. JSouza

    JSouza New User

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2012
    Messages:
    51
    Roddick's backhand and volleys weren't the greatest at the end of his career, but they were far worse at the beginning.
    Also the improvements that Federer made to his mentality and emotion on court.
     
    #8
  9. Clay lover

    Clay lover Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    Messages:
    1,909
    Nadal, Djokovic, Murray-Everything. It's amazing how much they have upped their game since they first burst onto the scene. I think members of the top four really motivated each other to improve. They're already on a level of their own, but to be able to make a breakthrough even the slightest improvement will make a huge difference. I guess every single member of the big four has been aware of that, and they really worked their asses off to be able to beat each other.
     
    #9
  10. Sid_Vicious

    Sid_Vicious G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Messages:
    11,683
    Location:
    In The City
    Well, its true that they improved everything about their games, but we are talking about clear weaknesses. Nadal's backhand was horrendous when he first showed up. He improved it a lot. Especially in 2007-2008. Ditto for his serve.

    Murray improved his forehand a lot over the past year.

    Djokovic has really improved his forehand by a huge margin. If you watch some of his matches from 2005-2006, it used to be a powderpuff shot.
     
    #10
  11. adil1972

    adil1972 Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2012
    Messages:
    1,415
    lendl was known as grand slam choker in his early carrier
     
    #11
  12. papertank

    papertank Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2012
    Messages:
    1,697
    Also, Djokovic's serve. Incredibly improved. Back in 2010 he was the only one in the top 30 who had a negative aces to double fault ratio. Now his serve is a real weapon.
     
    #12
  13. always_crosscourt

    always_crosscourt Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2013
    Messages:
    496
    That's kinda different, isn't it?

    Djokovic's serve used to be alright, then Todd Martin made it terrible, now it's alright again.
     
    #13
  14. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,336
    Location:
    On the courts; hard & clay ...
    Milos Raonic has improved his movement and court positioning big time. Training on clay has helped him a lot. still room to grow, but already much improved.
     
    #14
  15. Anaconda

    Anaconda Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Messages:
    3,872
    Apparently improved? It became his best shot after his serve from 2006 on-wards.
     
    #15
  16. robbo1970

    robbo1970 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2010
    Messages:
    2,104
    Location:
    UK
    I think one of the biggest improvements was McEnroe's serve. If you look at early footage, its pretty tame and predictable, but once he perfected that sideways stance and long slow swoop it became a real weapon.
     
    #16
  17. Terenigma

    Terenigma Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Messages:
    5,767
    Murray's forehand for sure. His backhand was always his beast shot and imo one of the best backhands in the game currently but he has a brutal forehand now too.

    Djokovic's mental focus. The way he turns matches around When he's down is unreal these days. I admit i didnt watch him early on in his career but the way he just switches it on is amazing to watch now.
     
    #17
  18. ark_28

    ark_28 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Messages:
    4,103
    Location:
    England/USA
    John overcame his shortcomings by ensuring he has one of the most devastating serves in tennis, this is bad news for the rest of the tour as when his serve is firing John is near impossible to break, this means that his opponent is under the pump in pretty much every single one of their service games knowing that if they get busted once, that is probably the set gone!
     
    #18
  19. tennisaddict

    tennisaddict G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2009
    Messages:
    14,157
    Are you Isner's mom ? Seriously, what you are stating has no relation to the question posed by the OP.
     
    #19
  20. ark_28

    ark_28 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Messages:
    4,103
    Location:
    England/USA
    The thread is about how players have overcome their weaknesses, the fact of the matter is John has such a brutal serve that he can as he himself said litter up the stat sheet and still win, that is an example of having such a strength that weaknesses are a non issue :)
     
    #20
  21. robbo1970

    robbo1970 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2010
    Messages:
    2,104
    Location:
    UK
    Do you mean McEnroe or Isner?

    I think if Isner's serve was that devastating he would be winning majors. Plus I don't think its quite in the same vein as the purpose of the thread....players who overcame a weakness.
     
    #21
  22. tennisaddict

    tennisaddict G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2009
    Messages:
    14,157
    You clearly have comprehension issues or want to talk about Isner for the heck of it.

    Please answer to the question - Are you Isner's mom ?

    The OP asked which player has overcome their weakness shot. What you are stating is Isner's serve overcomes his weakness. They are 2 different things.
     
    #22
  23. Gonzo_style

    Gonzo_style Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2012
    Messages:
    3,911
    So million Fedaltards is fine but one Isner fan isn't?
     
    #23
  24. tennisaddict

    tennisaddict G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2009
    Messages:
    14,157
    When Isner or others get up to 11 majors, then it is worthwhile talking about them.
     
    #24
  25. Gonzo_style

    Gonzo_style Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2012
    Messages:
    3,911
    Wow :shock:
     
    #25
  26. ark_28

    ark_28 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Messages:
    4,103
    Location:
    England/USA
    Actually I think you have problems with interpretation the OP asked which player has best overcome a weakness! Now one way of viewing this is improving that same weakness!

    But is not the only way indeed Mats Wilander who is a great of the game says it's better to work on your strengths and making them super strengths rather than worry too much about weaknesses!

    On that basis Isner has overcomes his perceived weaknesses which will always be movement and to a lesser extent his grounds (can be devastating on their day) bu making his serve one of the best in the world and such a strength that he can have weaknesses and litter up the stats sheet and still beat the best players in the world!
     
    #26
  27. steenkash

    steenkash Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2012
    Messages:
    250
    I would have to say Delpo overcame his terrible serve, I remember he was hardly getting first serves in at times, and now he has the ability to bomb powerful serves. Its still not 100% consistent, but it is an improving weapon .
     
    #27
  28. batz

    batz G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    Messages:
    14,564
    Have you always had an authoritarian streak?
     
    #28
  29. The Bawss

    The Bawss Banned

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Messages:
    2,829
    Location:
    Lyon, France.
    Hahahahahhahaha
     
    #29
  30. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    Messages:
    5,274
    Andy Roddick improved his return, backhand and volley enormously while on tour. But, for an ATP pro, his return, backhand and volley really were below average for his first couple of years. I thought his return was really solid when he made his last run at Wimby and almost beat Fed in the marathon final. He beat Murray in the semi's and I thought his return of Murray's serve was key in the win.

    Agassi improved his serve and volley a lot while on tour but they also were well below ATP average when he arrived.

    McEnroe improved his BH enormously and specifically his BH return. Borg would get big strings of points by hitting slice serves to Mc's BH until he improved it.

    Yes, Murray's FH is a bit better since Lendl. His 2nd serve could get a bit better still.

    Djoko improved his stamina and serve to become #1. His volley and tactics as in willingness to attack behind his monster ground game could still improve.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013
    #30
  31. robbo1970

    robbo1970 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2010
    Messages:
    2,104
    Location:
    UK
    Actually, the OP asked which players had a weakness but turned it into a neutral or even a strength. McEnroe is my example, changing his serve to make it a weapon, but I think your point on Isner, whilst valid that he does use a big serve to mask his other weaknesses, is not what the OP is asking.

    If Isner started with a weak serve then you are spot on, but the question isnt about who 'plays to their strengths', its about who turned a weakness into a strength.
     
    #31
  32. nereis

    nereis Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    Messages:
    545
    Federer was slicing almost all his backhands until about 2003 and had a propensity to panic at tight situations and rush the net almost hoping for them to miss the pass.

    His backhand is now a weapon in its own right and he is now far more patient and willing to construct points rather than rush it inappropriately.
     
    #32
  33. Federer20042006

    Federer20042006 Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Messages:
    2,175
    Del Potro's serve, for sure.
     
    #33
  34. Prodigy1234

    Prodigy1234 Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2012
    Messages:
    232
    Something clicked in McEnroe in that 1980 Wimbledon final, after that match he believed he could beat Borg.
     
    #34
  35. ark_28

    ark_28 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Messages:
    4,103
    Location:
    England/USA
    The question was "players who overcome their weakness" the fact of the matter is you can over a perceived weakness by working further on your strength rather than trying to improve a weakness
     
    #35
  36. sdont

    sdont Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Messages:
    6,947
    Location:
    Paris, France
    No that was not the question asked, just the thread title.

    If you had bothered to read the OP, which really wasn't long, as you should have done, you would know it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
    #36
  37. robbo1970

    robbo1970 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2010
    Messages:
    2,104
    Location:
    UK
    As sdont says, that wasn't the question. The thread title says 'overcame' their weakness, not overcome it. The question by the OP is about players who had a weakness, but worked on it so that it was not a weakness anymore and where it had even gone from being a weakness to becoming a strength. Not about players who mask a weakness in movement or groundstrokes by working on a big serve, for example.

    But anyway, no point on dragging that out anymore.
     
    #37
  38. spinovic

    spinovic Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2013
    Messages:
    4,606
    Tsonga's backhand(s). :)
     
    #38
  39. mattennis

    mattennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    Messages:
    2,098
    Lendl's backhand. At junior stages, he almost only hit slice backhands. During his first years on the pro-tour, he developed a great top-spin backhand.

    Borg's serve. In his last years, he had a great serve.

    Chang's serve and net game.

    Wilander's net game. He actually won an insane number of points at the net in crucial matches during his best years.

    Nadal's serve, volleys and backhand.

    Murray's forehand.

    Federer's physical and mental aspects, as well as his backhand.

    Fish's pounds :)

    Djokovic's mental strenght.

    Corretja's serve, forehand, net game...he improved tremendously from 93,94...to 96, 97, 98.....
     
    #39
  40. kishnabe

    kishnabe G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2008
    Messages:
    17,095
    Location:
    Toronto
    Bill Tilden Backhand....he turned his weakness into a weapon by breaking it down and constantly ripping shots till he felt comfortable.

    Pancho Gonzalez did the same thing....improved his backhand....no one tell us why....but maybe he was a just a good self learner. He was still weak on the backhand pass through as some historians say.

    Murray forehand...still a work in progress but it has turned into a weapon when he goes for it....and his weird backswing disguises the direction he hits.....though anyone can predict his usual CC patterm.
     
    #40

Share This Page