Why do people say that a player is "too short" to win slams?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by dangalak, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    Why does height matter? I mean if it was power it would be different. Power is an attribute that is necessary in tennis. But height isn't the same as power and isn't necessarily even correlated. Size would be more important. I mean I am pretty sure that Serena can squat or bench more than Sharapova and I think we can say the same about Ferrer and Djokovic.

    I guess it does make sense in terms of serving, but considering that Federer is the only one in the top game with a great serve, it isn't all that vital.
     
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  2. kishnabe

    kishnabe G.O.A.T.

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    I believe Ferrer can lift more than Djokovic.

    Djokovic has other assets other than Power that gives him an edge that Ferrer does not have.

    Height can translate to more power and a better serve.
     
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  3. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    Djoko can lift much more than Ferrer, that is the only advantage he has over Ferrer. Smaller guys are often stronger and have better serves.
     
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  4. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    How so?

    SIZE would translate to more power. Don't see how HEIGHT would translate to more power though. If you're skinny and there is a short guy who is thick and muscular, I would pick the shorter guy to have more power.
     
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  5. Prisoner of Birth

    Prisoner of Birth Banned

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    :lol: Are you from Small Country?
     
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  6. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    I have friends who are...:lol::lol:
     
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  7. nereis

    nereis Semi-Pro

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    Height (limb length, rather) conveys a higher potential racket speed and angle from which to hit your serve. So of course its an easy advantage to have and requires no effort on anyone's part but having the right genetics for it.

    It's also a more common feature than ironman type endurance, explosive power, Agassi-like hand-eye coordination or excellent dynamic balance.

    All things equal, a taller man will find it easier to hit big serves consistently.

    However, that isn't to say that height is a necessity. Hewitt, Agassi and Chang were around 5'10 from memory. They were simply better tennis players than their opponents.
     
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  8. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    Serves are obvious, but off the ground, height shouldn't really matter that much.
     
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  9. rofl_copter3

    rofl_copter3 Professional

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    With the high topspin its harder for a shorter guy to get the ball in his strike zone its harder to find all the angles serving usually your arms are shorter making racquet head speed harder to generate...

    There are definitely ways shorter ppl can play effective and win but there are drawbacks to a lack of height...
     
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  10. nereis

    nereis Semi-Pro

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    Ironically it used to matter more back when everyone and their mother played like Marat Safin. Longer limbs allow for higher potential racket speed, resulting in greater pace off the groundstrokes.

    The higher angle from which a taller man hits also allows once more for greater margin for error on flat groundies.
     
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  11. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Height is a key factor that determines player's success. The very best player has to be around 6'0 - 6'3.

    Let me know when someone who's as tall as Laver or Rosewall dominate the game by winning multiple slams in a year plus rank #1 for quite sometime. I'll be glad to admit that I'm wrong.
     
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  12. Russeljones

    Russeljones G.O.A.T.

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    The question is, have You ever played tennis?
     
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  13. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Tennis has changed. In the past 2+ decades, how many slams a player from 5'6" - 5'11", and 6'5"-6'10" have won slams in compare to players from 6'0"-6'3" ?


    That should answer your question.
     
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  14. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    Wouldn't that be a power problem? Laver wouldn't succeed because he lacks the power, not necessarily the height. While you could argue power and height are correlated, that isn't true. Power and SIZE are correlated. A big, but stocky guy would probaby have more power than a tall, but skinny guy.

    It is obvious that height is vital in serving, but considering how Nadal, Murray and Djokovic don't exactly have great serves...
     
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  15. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Being small will be at a disavantage in two areas: limited power and big serve. That's crucial!

    Who said a tennis player should be stocky? Because that isn't suit for a tennis player, and would fit to be a linebacker playing football. Muscular doesn't equate to power...Ivanisevic is skinny but has power/great serve. Karlovic/Isner isn't muscular either but they has a huge serve. Of course they are too tall which hurts other part of their game(i.e movements, speed, defense...).

    Fed/Nole/Sampras are in the right size for a tennis player.


    They are hell better than player who's undersize like Ferrer, Chang, Coria, etc...
     
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  16. rofl_copter3

    rofl_copter3 Professional

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    Height allows for a greater margin for them to still employ their weapons while still being mobile, there is a happy median between tall enough and too tall... Isner is too tall so he lacks the necessary agility. Ferrer can't develop the power to turn his amazing defense into offense... Ferrer could start taking the ball earlier to help negate the power and Isner can go for more on his shots to end points but there are obviously downsides to both strategies.

    I would argue that a shorter person who develops a game that minimizes their disadvantages will be overall more successful than a taller guy 6-5+ because its always a greater margin of error to be able to keep the point alive than it is to have to hit a winner
     
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  17. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    You don't understand me. I am saying that it is size that is correlated with power, not height. Do you seriously believe that a guy like Mike Tyson (5'10'', 210+ lbs) wouldn't hit harder groundstrokes than Djokovic, given equal skill? Tall people aren't usually powerful. Big people are. If in tennis, somebody was deemed "too small" to develop power, I would understand. But they say "too short" which doesn't make sense to me. A 5'10'' tall, 210 lbs guy should, given good technique, hit harder than a 6'2 tall 180lbs guy.

    In serving, I agree that height matters a whole lot. But for power of the ground it really shouldn't.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2012
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  18. rofl_copter3

    rofl_copter3 Professional

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    You don't understand in tennis power is created by racquet head speed, longer FLEXIBLE arms can accelerate faster and create more speed than short muscle bound arms. It's all physics...

    Height correlates largely to limb length therefore height=power

    Now shorter players can generate a lot of power with their feet set but its much harder for them when they can't get their whole body behind the shot
     
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  19. ledwix

    ledwix Hall of Fame

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    Well, length of one's limbs, i.e. height, determines the range of motion on strokes. Longer limbs means the racquet can 'orbit' the torso at a farther distance, translating to more natural torque and more efficient pace. If you're too built, flexibility and range of motion suffer, so you'll have to muscle the ball more to hit hard, making you more injury-prone. So I'd say the 6'2 skinny guy still has a tennis advantage over a built 5'10 guy. That's why you don't see 5'10 built guys anywhere in tennis.

    The difference in raw, non-radial racquet-head speed will not be very different between a strong or weak guy when both use good technique. After all, they're not doing reps of 240 lbs out there, just swinging a very light aerodynamic instrument. But take into account the radial component and the speed increases linearly with height. That's a drastic difference because it means a guy who grew much taller but stayed the same weight would be naturally swinging 10-15% faster than before.
     
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  20. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    post 12 nails it.....
    Height allows your serve, your reach, your netplay, your overheads, to be stronger, AND, it allows you to pummell what would be high bouncing balls for a short guy.
    Nobody slices anymore, so they don't need to reach their shoetops.
     
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  21. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    You don't seem to know how to hit a tennis ball efficiently. Stocky guys generally can not hit tennis balls nearly as hard a long flexible guys. You can't throw a brick as fast as you can crack a whip (cracking the whip is when the tip goes supersonic).

    Some day there will be a short guy who becomes #1 again. From the early days of tennis most of the top guys have been 6' to 6' 3". There have always been exceptions to that rule - guys who beat all the taller guys. There will be again. It is a disadvantage to be shorter than 6', but not one that can't be overcome if the shorter player is the better player.
     
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  22. leecc0

    leecc0 New User

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    I'm 5'5 and serve better than most people that are taller than me...including flat serves.
     
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  23. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    Is it shameful to admit that I don't really play tennis? :D

    How the hell does Serena get so much power then? And how on earth does Djokovic not overwhelm Nadal and Federer easily? I mean, he did dominate Nadal a while, but that was mostly because he hits flatter, not because he hits with more racquethead speed.
     
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  24. reversef

    reversef Hall of Fame

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    Not easy to win a slam when you are as tall as Olivier Rochus.
     
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  25. ledwix

    ledwix Hall of Fame

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    But that is not at the pro level. Given professionally trained technique on both sides of the court, a 6'2 person *will* serve harder and with more margin of error than a 5'5 person. The height of the net and distance to the service line highly limit the safeties of serving over 115 as a shorter person; someone tall enough to hit the serve down into the court rather up-and-down will not experience the same limiting factor.
     
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  26. lendl1986

    lendl1986 Rookie

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    Height has at least 3 advantages:

    1. Higher serving angles.
    2. More powerful groundstrokes (it's physics: if you measure the speed of a straight "lever", the speed is greatest at its tip...and a longer leveler means more speed in the contact zone.
    3. More reach on service returns.

    Height WAS a liability for decades because it does slow movement. But modern training makes it possible for a Berdych, DelPotro, etc. to have enough speed to be successful.
     
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  27. RF20Lennon

    RF20Lennon Legend

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    If the ball kicks up high way easier to hit it when you are taller
     
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  28. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Being taller than the optimum height is still better than being shorter. Del Potro managed to win a slam and Berdych was close. However, there wasn't anyone at 5'8" was ever a threat.

    Ferrer and Davy can't do much with just talent alone. Had they played in the 60s when height wasn't an issue, who knows how much they would have accomplished.
     
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  29. RF20Lennon

    RF20Lennon Legend

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    Bro tennis is fun!! Go play! :)
     
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  30. jokinla

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    Michael Chang wasn't.
     
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  31. wangs78

    wangs78 Hall of Fame

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    Greater height translates to:
    1) Greater power/racquet speed (with equal effort)
    2) Greater reach/court coverage (both in terms of arm reach and ability to cover the court in, say 5-6 steps versus 8-9 steps)
    3) Greater ability to carry muscle mass on one's body without getting too bulky
    4) Greater height and therefore angle on serve, giving the player a greater margin for error and hence ability to add more power to the serve

    But once you get too tall, greater height translates into:
    1) Reduced speed and agility
    2) Reduced hand-eye coordination. Think of it this way, having longer arms will mean the ball is that much farther from you when you hit it versus if you have shorter arms.
    3) Larger players also *seem* to be more prone to injury, especially to knees, ankles, etc. - this totally makes sense because a taller player's joints are dealing with that much more stress and torque.

    I think throughout modern history, our top athletes have gotten taller/bigger because with modern technology and training programs, the increased focus that professional athletes have nowadays (not to mention the amount of money they make to be able to pay for the training, the equipment, the massages) have allowed bigger players to overcome the drawbacks of being too tall. For the moment it appears that the ideal height for tennis at the highest levels is from 6' 1" to 6' 3" and weighting 175-190lb or so. My guess is at the amateur / club level where people don't train anywhere near as hard 5' 10" to 6' 0" and 165-180lb is perfect.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012
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  32. Wuppy

    Wuppy Professional

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    Tennis is a "game of angles," and greater height allows more angles. This, coming from a guy who's 5'8"

    If Ferrer were Federer's height, he'd probably be #1 or 2. If Isner were Federer's height he wouldn't be Top 500.
     
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  33. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    If Isner was Federer's height, he would probably be better than he is now. :lol:
     
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  34. Wuppy

    Wuppy Professional

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    :confused:

    I don't understand the joke I guess. His serve is literally the only thing Isner has. And his serve is only good because of his height. He can't break Top-40 pros' serves, but they can't break his serve, so a huge percentage of Isner sets go to tiebreakers, which he often manages to eke out by 2 points.

    Look at his match with Anderson yesterday. EVERY set went to a tiebreaker. It's ridiculous.

    What happened at Wimbledon a couple of years ago.. a set going to 60 points or whatever it was.. will never happen again because nobody has such a disparity between his serve and playing ability.

    Isner is a Futures player with a (nearly) GOAT serve. That's about it. If anybody can't see how height plays a role in that, I don't know what to tell them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2012
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  35. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    It appears the OP really doesn't play tennis afterall.
     
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  36. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    No....................
     
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  37. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    I wonder who will close the calendar slam first - Karlovic or Isner.
     
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  38. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    If Isner was Federer's height, he probably wouldn't have his godawful movement and his terrible baseline game.

    Saying "If he was Federer's height, he wouldn't even be top 500" is silly, becaus even though his serve would decline, he wouldn't have the weaknesses he has now either. You basically think that a shorter Isner would suffer from losing his advantages, but ignore that he would also lose his disadvantages.
     
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  39. TheFifthSet

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    Well, you could argue his movement would be much, MUCH better, and possibly his groundstrokes too, if he was shorter. His net game too. I think it all ties back to movement though, it would make the rest of his game better. In reality Isner's groundstrokes aren't THAT bad -- but he lumbers around the court horribly, which is why he has little success on his return games. When he gets a hold of one, he can rip it, and his 1-2 punch (big serve followed by forehand) is effective, because he doesn't have to move as much and has time to hit the forehand. His putaway forehand is actually pretty darn good. He can still break you if you don't move him around. Unfortunately for him, tennis isn't a stationary sport.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2012
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  40. TheFifthSet

    TheFifthSet Hall of Fame

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    This..........
     
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  41. TheFifthSet

    TheFifthSet Hall of Fame

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    Including Davydenko doesn't really make sense because his groundstrokes are punishing and his serve had some pop too, it was just inconsistent. It was never lack of power that limited him, it was his mental breakdowns. And he's 5'10, same as Hewitt, Agassi (Agassi was maybe 5'11), and Chang who was shorter yet won a major and competed in 4 slam finals.
     
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  42. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    Davydenko himself admitted that he wasn't strong enough to win a slam.

    His serve having pop? Please, he goes for 70% FS in most of the time, because he knows he can't hurt his opponent with his serve anyway, so why give them a second serve to punish.
     
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  43. Polaris

    Polaris Hall of Fame

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    If only you wrote fewer posts, and spent more time thinking, the answer would be obvious. Seriously, have you played tennis at all?
     
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  44. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    No I didn't.

    If you actually read through this thread instead of leaping into it like a frog, you would realize that this question has already been answered and that you are likely oblivious of what I truly meant by that question.

    Why don't you do me a favour and get out of my sight?
     
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  45. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    His backhand is.
     
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  46. Polaris

    Polaris Hall of Fame

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    I see. That explains it. I actually thought you were joking in that post because of the smiley face. Yeah, I don't jump onto threads without reading them first.

    Trust me, I want to leave you alone. That's exactly why I have responded to only a couple of your 540-odd posts.

    Really, if you are unable to play tennis, at least watch it carefully. That should be enough. That, and a little basic physics.
     
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  47. TheFifthSet

    TheFifthSet Hall of Fame

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    True, his backhand is his weaker wing but it wouldn't be nearly as bad if he wasn't such a bad mover/had better footwork. Wouldn't be as easily exposed and he could live and die with the forehand. I think you're being a little nitpicky here, hehe.
     
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  48. TheFifthSet

    TheFifthSet Hall of Fame

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    Now you're just being really, really nitpicky. Yes, Davydenko can put pace on the serve. In his match versus Murray at Wimby (yes, where he got massacred), he was averaging 119 MPH on the first serve and 96 on the second serve. His first serve speeds are usually around 115-118, similar to Federers. There's more to a serve than pace. I'm saying it's not necessarily Davydenkos height that prevents him from being an elite player. He doesn't patsy the ball back, or hit with little power. He has other limitations (mainly mental) that hold him back.
     
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  49. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    The problem is that he has to hit flat to cause damage. Causes more errors.
     
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  50. TheFifthSet

    TheFifthSet Hall of Fame

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    It's a factor but I think it's more his mind rather than his body. He's a guy who always seemed to have been resigned to his fate as "just below the top" tennis player. His admission that he doesn't think he's strong enough to win a slam is weak-minded for such an extraordinarily talented tennis player. He openly degrades himself, not just on that occasion. Not the mind of a champion. And not a particularly hard worker either.

    Anyways, why do you keep doing this? You could agree with 95% of a post, disagree with 5%, and post a paragraph on why you disagree with that one little thing, often pretty brazenly. I mean sure we all do that at times, but you're taking it to a new level. Not judging, just wondering what you get out of it.
     
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