Time for Agnieszka Radwanska to change game to challenge top 3 players.

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Amelie Mauresmo, Mar 28, 2013.

  1. Amelie Mauresmo

    Amelie Mauresmo Banned

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    I am tired of seeing Agnieszka Radwanska constantly lose to Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, and Maria Sharapova. Radwanska I believe is a breath of fresh air to women's tennis she is a woman who uses variety to win matches and strategy instead of power.

    But Agnieszka has hit a road block and I won't deny it and I am certain she knows it too. But Agnieszka should have faith Justine Henin is smaller than her YET she was able to challenge Serena Williams and the power players. And I think Agnieszka should mayhe talk to Carlos Rodriguez Justine's former coach or to Justine Henin herself. Because she's too talented to be constantly getting knocked off the court.

    She is a very smart young woman, when her father Robert Radwanski was putting too much pressure on her and insulted her at the 2011 French Open she fired him.

    It was brave of Agnieszka to tell her father to back off, that she didn't want him travelling with her and being her coach on tour and it worked.

    She gets along with her dad better now that he's in the background.

    Agnieszka's career dramatically changed she zoomed into the top 5, reached the Wimbledon final last year and almost reached number one.

    But now, in order for Agnieszka Radwanska to win a grand slam title and become the best she is going to have to make some changes in her game.

    However, it appears Agnieszka just gets overpowered by the top 3. I think Agnieszka can probably beat Sharapova more she did beat her in the Miami final last year.

    Something needs to change for Agnieszka if she wants to win a grand slam title and I believe she can.

    But it has got to be so frustrating to lose the SAME THREE PLAYERS all the damn time in the semifinals or finals of events.

    She's better than the rest, now the top 3 are obviously very powerful and consistent players. But, I think Agnieszka needs to maybe talk to Justine Henin she wasn't a big tall woman BUT she was able to use her variety to challenge the Williams Sisters, Davenport, and Capriati to reach the top of the game.

    Agnieszka has the variety which is good but I think she needs more penetration on her shots. She can flatten out the forehand but I think she needs to make her forehand a weapon. She needs a big shot I believe to challenge the top 3.

    However, these records need to change Agnieszka is 0-5 against Serena Williams 2-8 against Sharapova and 3-11 against Azarenka.

    Agnieszka has improved her first serve but I think it needs to get even better she isn't that small she's about five feet 8 but she's very slight.

    The second serve needs to improve it is too slow she can't be serving 70 to 80 second serves and expect to bother Serena Williams.

    The forehand has improved to a certain extent and she volleys very well and moves very well.

    However, I think Agnieszka is going to have to take some risks when plays the top 3 she will need to start attacking their second serves more and using her backhand more to become a weapon.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2013
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  2. firepanda

    firepanda Professional

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    Henin's coach is taken. :/ Rodriguez is coaching Li Na, with noticeable improvement. I do agree with what you're saying though.
     
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  3. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    the occasional drop shot works against Williams & co. as would coming to the net after a good, low slice, i.e. all court tennis is how you beat a strong baseliner.

    maybe try to make her serve less attackable, especially against Williams. Maybe more action/spin, place it out-wide or just variety in serves.

    I don't think trying to out-hit the big hitters is the right solution. She's better off trying to take the ball early, or neutralising it with slice and court positioning. if she gets a short ball she can rip a winner just to show that she's not intimidated.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2013
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  4. SassyRamirez

    SassyRamirez Banned

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    I don't know what to say, Radwanska is no Henin.

    I'm not sure what she can do.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2013
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  5. beast of mallorca

    beast of mallorca Legend

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    Radwanska is the David Ferrer of the WTA. She's The Gate Keeper
     
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  6. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    I say forget developing more power to match the top 3. If she could have, she would have by now. Perhaps she should go the other direction and be more like a Santoro-type player. Dish out the major junk and frustrate the heck outta her opponents.

    I'm a big fan of Aga (or is it Aggie for nickname?). Enjoy watching her matches a lot.
     
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  7. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    She needs more power, she needs more penetration, she needs a better second serve....she needs to be someone else.
     
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  8. SassyRamirez

    SassyRamirez Banned

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    Pretty much. :lol:
     
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  9. krz

    krz Professional

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    The ONLY similarities between Henin and Aggie are their size and maybe the variety.

    Henin had all the advantages of being a smaller player (defense, speed, quickness, nimble) but, in addition she had what no other small player had. Power, she could blow players off court and she could trade ground strokes with Serena/Sharapova.

    I think Aggie is basically doomed from that standpoint. She may be able to gain a little power but, never enough to truly hang in and bash with the big girls. She's way more Hingis than Henin, she's going to have to find a different way to beat them, trying to match their power is just not going to happen.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2013
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  10. AtomicForehand

    AtomicForehand Hall of Fame

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    I agree with OP. I think Aga's game is a thing of beauty, and she's just delightful to watch...unless she's getting blown off the court like in last night's match against Serena. Although I am also a Serena fan, I just hated seeing Aga getting beaten down like that last night. It would be great if she could weaponize her serve, especially. It was dispiriting to see Serena step in and crush winners off of the serve. Last night's match almost felt like a big bully stomping all over a delicate china doll. :(
     
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  11. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    LOL. Aggie is not serving 70 mph because she wants to. it is cause she can't serve harder if she wanted to, if she goes for 90 mph 2nd serves she will double fault 20 times per match and that is BAD.

    and she really can't take that much more risk without hitting the ball harder. she has reached her Max potential.
     
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  12. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    The problem is that Radwa needs to be in position to use her variety, and if Serena or Azarenaka or Sharapova are on fire, and all Radwa can do is get the ball back, all the variety in world isn't going to matter. Sure, she'll have some moments, but overall, as we saw last night, it's not going to make a difference, if her opponent is that "on". I don't think Radwa was purposefully not trying to utilize variety last night. It's just that she was overwhelmed and was never really in position to dictate what she wanted to do.
     
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  13. THUNDERVOLLEY

    THUNDERVOLLEY G.O.A.T.

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    Key points, but I must add that everyone tosses "variety" in as if it is something alien to the rest of the field. Serena not only played well against the allegedly variety-strong Henin, but she's a world class doubles player, which means she understands the entire court--the opposite of a baseline basher stereotype. With that in mind, Radwanska's "variety" is not the "end all. be all" super weapon of confusion her biggest supporters believe it to be.

    AR is not as talented in that department as a Hingis, and Hingis herself could not run away with matches against the so-called bashers, or Williams in particular, so I would never place too much value in Radwanska's skill--such as it is--as the answer to cracking the top 3.

    She's not on the court sense level of--for one example--Navratilova.
     
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  14. Fifth Set

    Fifth Set Professional

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    +1

    These pros learn new tricks better than us weekend warriors do but they can't just reinvent themselves.

    Aga has added a bit more power to her game lately but she is still miles behind Serena.
     
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  15. monfed

    monfed Guest

    Well Radwanska can only do so much with her womanly physiche. :-?
     
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  16. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    I say again, she's gotta go "full Santoro". She can be the magician's assistant...:)
     
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  17. spinovic

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    I don't think Radwanska should change anything. She can certainly try to add some pop to her shots, but it isn't going to be enough to catch the top women, nor is trying to play that way going to get here anywhere against them.

    IMO, she just has to play her game, the game that has got her to #4 in the world and see what happens. When the top 3 are on their game, Radwanska, nor anyone else, beats them.

    If she keeps knocking on the door, I think she'll get a slam title at some point. But, if she tries to change her game because of a bad record against 3 women who pretty much beat up on the field, I think it is less likely to happen because she still won't beat them and she probably won't be as good as she is now.
     
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  18. ShoeShiner

    ShoeShiner Rookie

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    WTA seems like ATP, top 4 + 1 pusher.
    Vika, Maria, Serena, Kvitova + Radwanska ==> Nole, Fed, Nadal, Murray + Ferrer

    What should Ferrer do to beat top 4?
     
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  19. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Even with a variety game you need ample power to win in todays womens game. Henin is a good example as at her best her power was only a single notch below the biggest power players like Serena, Sharapova, etc....which allowed her to win over those with her overall game and variety, as well as power. Radwanska's is about 6 levels below which is just too much.
     
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  20. The-Champ

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  21. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Ferrer is just a B level baseliner with no special assets. He cant do anything really given his age. Radwanska has the variety, the defense, the consistency, and the court smarts, but she needs to develop a much stronger serve, especialy 2nd serve, and more power off the ground somehow.
     
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  22. single_handed_champion

    single_handed_champion Professional

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    Her problem is there is no room to breathe against the best players. Her serve has improved but she only goes for an ace once every 3-4 games. She needs 1-2 free points minimum in every service game. Second serve is an automatic loss of point. She actually looks pretty good against most players, often hitting a flat skidding approach shot and comfortably disposing of volleys but when the balls come crashing through the court towards her, she has no choice but to lob them back.

    Justine had great technique on her shots and just forced herself to jump into her shots, which gave her shots additional zip. Rad has great hands and deflects pace but it is just not enough. She needs to deflect and yet attack like Azarenka.

    IMO her biggest roadblock is Azarenka. This is a player she used to compete well against but has now dominated her, thrashing her left and right. Azarenka does not possess the great pace of Serena or Sharpie and has a weak serve but she stands on the baseline and hits left and right with great depth. Taking balls that early and hitting them firmly robs opponents of time the same way Serena or Sharpie do it by hitting hard. In fact, if Azarenka could add some more power to her own game and serve, she would be unstoppable because she is just extremely solid (of course, if she hit harder, she might become less so).
     
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  23. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    You point out that Azarenka doesn't have the pace of Serena or Maria, so maybe Radwa can deal with her better if she can make some adjustments. I'd also point out that Maria is by far a worse mover than any of those three players, and in terms of Radwa playing her, that's what she needs to exploit via drop shorts, short angles, surprise attacks, hitting behind Maria.

    But, again, it's easy just to say that. If you're pinned behind the court and simply trying to get balls back, it's tought to implement an affirmative strategy. And, most of the time on her own serve, she's not ahead in the point after the serve, and many times not even neutral.
     
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  24. single_handed_champion

    single_handed_champion Professional

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    I agree. Azarenka is basically doing what Radwanska should be trying to do. Stand on the baseline, absorb pace and redirect it from side to side. Serena has a more difficult time with Azarenka than Sharapova (comparatively) because of the depth and non-standard width on her shots. Serena loves pace. I always marvel at how commentators never point out how weak Azarenka's serve really is, but that is because she does not back off after the serve but attacks the opponent's return (to the extent possible; if it is a rocket, no chance) by directing it deep away from them, immediately putting them on the run.

    Radwanska needs to take balls even earlier because when Azarenka does that and makes her run, she just doesn't miss, and the same pattern plays out over and over again.
     
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  25. OHBH

    OHBH Semi-Pro

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    Aggie needs to ask Djokovic where he gets his PEDs
     
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  26. Tanya

    Tanya Professional

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  27. spinovic

    spinovic Hall of Fame

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    Serena actually hasn't been playing that well in Miami, prior to last night. Of course, part of that, IMO, could be the matchup with Radwanska. She knows Radwanska doesn't possess anything to really trouble her, so she's probably more relaxed.

    Li Na, on the other hand, can hold her own with Serena on the groundstrokes. Their matchup was a pretty good match.

    Serena, as always, struggles to stay motivated and focused on tennis. She got fired up after the French last year and won pretty much everything from that point on. Now, she seems to be back to her standard self...which is great, but not "Super Serena".
     
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  28. Amelie Mauresmo

    Amelie Mauresmo Banned

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    Justine Henin and Martina Hingis are smaller than Agnieszka Radwanska yet their games were more powerful she needs more power.

    I think Agnieszka needs an even bigger first serve she needs to win some cheap points. The second serve is the glaring weakness for Radwanska she just spins it in and that's not good enough against the best players.

    I also think Agnieszka can maybe attack second serves more with her backhand, maybe charge the net. But I think her mentality needs to change she cannot wait for the best players to make errors it isn't going to happen. She will have to be more aggressive like she was in that Wimbledon final against Serena last year. The forehand Agnieszka can hit through but she needs to do it more often.
     
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  29. Amelie Mauresmo

    Amelie Mauresmo Banned

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    This is a cogent argument, Radwanska can learn from Azarenka.
     
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  30. Amelie Mauresmo

    Amelie Mauresmo Banned

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    I agree on the first two points but not on the third she doesn't need to be someone else.

    Agnieszka Radwanka is probably the most naturally talented player on the WTA tour she has great hands, good anticipation and she's very quick.

    She just needs to get more power, perhaps light some weights I don't know but she needs more power.
     
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  31. Tanya

    Tanya Professional

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    Radwanska can lift weights all she wants but unless she changes her technique on her groundstrokes (particularly the forehand) she isn't going to add much extra power. If you watch how she hits the ball it isn't a very natural or fluid motion. She can control the direction well and has great feel which is why she has achieved what she has achieved, and is probably directly related to her natural feel and talent, however much like Martina Hingis her technique just isn't conducive to a power game.

    One thing she could try to do to produce effects similar to power hitting would be taking the ball earlier as opposed to hovering behind the baseline and retrieving. Like Azarenka, who also isn't a "power" player a la Williams/Sharapova, she could dictate play and be more aggressive by planting herself on the baseline and taking balls on the rise to get ahead in the point. Also she needs to be willing to come forward more often and of course use her spins and variety to mix up play rather than trying to go toe-to-toe with the top girls from the back of the court.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2013
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  32. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    IMHO - there' more quality than that in the ATP - try adding Delpo, Berdych, and Tsonga to that mix.
     
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  33. jmnk

    jmnk Professional

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    You mean the same Ferrer that just reached the final of Miami? It is amazing how people underestimate the footwork, the mental strength, the ability to get to any ball, the ability to hit a ball back over and over that cannot be easily attacked. There's more to tennis than hitting hard.
     
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  34. OddJack

    OddJack Legend

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    Radwa is just another Wozniacki, a little smaller, a little weaker physcally, a little more variation. SO basically she is another pusher. If Willimas and Azar are playing she has zero chance to win any major.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2013
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  35. Amelie Mauresmo

    Amelie Mauresmo Banned

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    I think Agnieszka is smarter than Caroline and she's the superior player she is more aggressive can volley at the net and has a lot of variety. Wozniacki is bigger than Caroline but she's not using her game properly. Wozniacki has an even worse forehand than Radwanska. Agnieszka can flatten out her forehand to hit winners. I don't think Wozniacki ever hits winners off her forehand she just loops the ball which isnt' smart. Agnieszka also fired her father as her coach two years ago because he was holding her back! That's independence right there, Agnieszka KNEW if she wanted to improve she needed to get rid of her dad as a full time coach because he was putting too much pressure on her. Now look at Agnieszka she's in the top 5. Now Agnieszka says she has a better relationship with her dad because he's in the background.

    Agnieszka can indeed improve the serve especially the second serve. I think Agnieszka can continue to improve her forehand I watched the tape and she wasn't offensive enough she just hit the ball back to the center of the court. Against Serena that's not going to work she needed to be more aggressive go for the lines a bit more. She also did not attack Serena's second serve which I believe she can do with her backhand.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2013
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  36. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Yes the 30 year old Ferrer who has in an over decade long career managed a grand 0 slam finals and 1 Masters title (even if he wins a 2nd this weekend and I actually like him and hope he does he will still be no more than a poor mans Chang or Hewitt). Your insinuation I only look at power is laughable considering I was conceding Radwanska has more special qualities in her game than Ferrer does, when in terms of pure power Radwanska even per gender cant break an egg compared to Ferrer. Even the things you mentioned that are really good about Ferrer, have been seen better in all categories by many others in the last decade. Ferrer is just your generic good baseliner, who will never get beyond where he is roughly now, and the powerless Radwanska actually has a far more creative game than he does, but badly needs more power to go with that given the kind of players on top in the WTA today to go with that. Then again werent you the one who insisted Wozniacki had a greater career than many 1 slam winners, so expecting you to make sense would be like expecting TMF or FakeDjokovicFanWin to, lol!
     
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  37. Narcissist

    Narcissist Semi-Pro

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    ARad is not half the shotmaker Henin was unfortunately. Just like Hingis, she just doesn't really get the chance to use her good qualities against a powerful player that isn't making errors and gets run ragged retrieving.

    There seems to be some major power differences in the WTA you don't see on the ATP. Watching Kirilenko/Kvitova recently you could see MaKiri was desperately trying to soak up the pace from Kvitova - this kind of thing doesn't seem to happen in the men's game.
     
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  38. rufus_smith

    rufus_smith Professional

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    Love Aga, but she didn't look like she properly prepared for Serena at all. Her fault or her coach? There are ways she could at least neutralize Serena's game but she didn't know how. Listen to a good coach.
     
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  39. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    Agree, the only thing she lacks to win slams is power. That just may not be possible. Aside from having a slight build, she would appear to not be very genetically strong.
     
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  40. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

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    I'd say...be happy with being the 4th best female in the world and the $11M+ she's made thus far!
     
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  41. THUNDERVOLLEY

    THUNDERVOLLEY G.O.A.T.

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    Genetics plays a part in sports to some degree, but natrual talent weighs heavily on the chances of success at the majors. In Radwanska's case, power is not her only shortcoming. Her allegedly "smart" game is not getting the jump on anyone; her opponents know what to expect from her, and can give as good as they get.

    Then, there's the question of size: Vaidisova was a naturally large, strong woman with bullet forehand, but in the end, it did not turn into a single major. Wozniacki is no small woman, and her trading shots (when she's not moonballing) means nothing. Brenda Schultz was a formidable physical presence, and had one of the biggest serves in women's tennis history, but no majors were going to come her way.

    So what advantages will Radwanska have? Maybe she will simply outlast the best, and win when they brainfart, grow too old, or are conveniently defeated in early rounds, but right now, what does she have to seriously challenge the best?
     
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  42. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    It's fine to say that Radwanska she needs to do what Justine Henin did. And I totally agree.

    Those of us who play tennis know that power does not come from size. Power comes almost purely from technique. Radwanska could hit a bigger serve and much bigger strokes. Her technique and form does not allow her to.

    It is my observation that most of the WTA uses huge, loopy strokes where they lock the wrist and primarily arm the ball.

    It doesn't take a tennis scientist to see the massive difference between the Henin forehand and the Radwanska forehand.

    Henin - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBioEMX2IdM
    Radwanska - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPR_khBuSxE
    Radwanska - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mr3tX-pZeKk

    Henin was properly taught. Notice her very short compact takeback. Elbow stays close to the body. When the ball comes, she gives it a lot of space, wrist stretches and lays back and buttcap points at the ball when the racquet comes forward, her arm nearly straightens on follow through, she drives up strongly with her legs.

    Radwanska on the other hand. Big giant loopy takeback, elbow away from the body. Wrist is fully locked and not laid back wrist on swing forward. Completely arming the ball. She swings to contact and then lifts up on the racquet to create topspin -- killing racquet head speed.

    There are so many women with this problem. It is frustrating.

    They need to teach the female pros to hit like men instead of teaching them to be pace-absorbing fitness machines that do nothing but put meatballs up the middle of the court.
     
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  43. krz

    krz Professional

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    This.

    Aga issue's with power are in her technique. She looks completely unnatural and has no explosion.

    Comparing those videos it couldn't be any more clear. Henin's technique is flawless, she just explodes into ball, the kinetic chain from the legs -> core -> the arm.
     
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  44. rufus_smith

    rufus_smith Professional

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    Agree. Its pretty obvious that those medium topspin, medium pace balls are "sitting ducks" to Serena and the other top 3 players. Even with her current strokes Aga could at least slice the ball or hit higher bouncing topspin and hold Serena off a bit. She should stand further back to return serve and serve into Serena's body on her own serve. If she had Henin groundies , it would be even better of course. She would be vying for no. 1.
    I guess its hard to change your game when your in the top ten and winning most matches.
     
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  45. jmnk

    jmnk Professional

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    I'm not sure why you bring Aga to this conversation. I specifically objected only to your mention of Ferrer having no special assets.
    Sure, he has not been in a Slam finals ever. So? He is not better than the top four. So? He is still an excellent player. He must have --some-- assets to be able to be in top 5-10 every year for so long.

    In general there's really nothing wrong about being top 5 player (ATP or WTA) and not be able to jump over 2-4 best other players ever. They all train hard, they all want to win, they all utilize their skills as much as they can. Some have more talent or size - and you simply can't overcome it. Nothing wrong with that.
     
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  46. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    You are reading more into my statement than there is. I know Ferrer is a very good player, has had a good career, blah blah blah, but he is a solid garden variety baseliner, who never had capacity to go beyond where he already is. Radwanska has a much more creative and diverse game than he does, and things that could help her reach the top, but she badly needs more power (even a female Ferrer level of power would be a big improvement) to go with that for that to happen. Of course I will mention Radwanska since this thread is about Radwanska, not your beloved Ferrer. The only reason I even casually referenced Ferrer at all was in response to someone else comparing the two.
     
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  47. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    I agree with a lot you said in your post(s), but I just don't see the above. I think Radwanska has very little variety.

    Whenever a female player has a slice shot, I think people tend to instantly bestow them with the "variety" badge. I just don't get it.

    Her first serve is mediocre. Her second serve is beyond horrible. Her forehand is miserable. Her backhand drive doesn't really drive -- but she can place it. Her slice is decent. She is extremely fit and can absorb pace extremely well. Her net play is meh -- if she comes to the net, that is.

    In other words, she's just Caroline Wozniacki with a different hair color.

    But I don't see where she has variety.
     
    #47
  48. Tanya

    Tanya Professional

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    She can dropshot, slice, lob, move her opponent around, pick her spots, crafty at net, generally THINKS on the court to defeat players. Whereas Caroline simply loops everything back from the baseline and waits for an error.

    Comparing the two in such a manner is an insult to Radwanska.
     
    #48
  49. 70後

    70後 Semi-Pro

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    Henin overworked on her power aspect and hit too hard for her body to take it, look where it led her by early 2008.
     
    #49
  50. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Who cares. She still ended with 7 slams which is way more than anyone predicted for her when she entered the scene. She would have been lucky to end up with 1 or 2 French Opens if she had not done the work.
     
    #50

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