WTA Bashers: Masochists?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Camilio Pascual, Mar 3, 2005.

  1. Camilio Pascual

    Camilio Pascual Hall of Fame

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    I wonder about all the WTA bashing that goes on. Especially from the ones that have done it for years.
    A few questions:
    Have you stopped watching the WTA and when?
    If you have stopped, on what are you basing your comments?
    If you haven't stopped, are you a masochist?
    It reminds me of a Woody Allen joke.
    Two elderly ladies: Lady #1 "The food here is terrible!"
    Lady #2 "I know, and they serve such small portions!"
    LOL!!!
     
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  2. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    I can't remember a single instance of a WTA player being asked what player she most enjoys watching, and her named a female player. I'm sure it's happened but I just can't remember an instance.

    I'm not saying that some WTA bashers aren't chauvinists, but I can certainly think of several legitimate, fair reasons to prefer the ATP.
     
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  3. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    I think the WTA continues to make strides in becoming as entertaining as the men's tour and is probably more entertaining now. Why? The men's tour is completely dominated by power and devoid of variety.
     
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  4. tennissavy

    tennissavy Hall of Fame

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    This past US Open, I was watching Henman vs Karlovic and the match was poor quality and even lacked pace. I left the stadium to roam the outside courts and found Petrova playing better tennis than the guys. She was hitting the ball harder and volleying at the net better! I was surprised but yes, she was hitting the ball a lot more powerfully than henman or karlovic and I saw a set an a half of their match. That is, during a set an a half of the henman match, the pace never increased.
     
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  5. Petra Martinnen

    Petra Martinnen Rookie

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    And do the gang of gentlemen who blast the WTA honestly believe that best ahtletes in Brazil, Argentina, Spain, Germany, Britain, France, Netherlands, Russia and the rest yearn to play pro tennis! If the Rooneys in the UK thought about playing tennis they'd have more than 1 gentleman in the draws. A bit different for the gals who have nowhere to make a living in sports: tennis, maybe golf and???? 150 gals making some kind of living is not seen in other sports. I read WNBA players big NCAA stars make less than top 150 WTA pros! And evenwith Mia, the soccer league folded as did LPBA. Tennis is more a gal's sport than guy's once we leave Roger, Andre and Andy and some Euro or Aussie Davis Cup final. Compare World Cup to Davis Cup! Meantime, Sharapova winning Wimlbedon is $15,000,000 huge. A big deal in sports. annaK mattered, roddck doesn't in big picture. Same for Myskina winning Garros: little girls care, boys do not. Look I could not find one guy sport fan in my office who would know that Gaudio won Garros, or who he is.
     
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  6. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    Well it's the worst kept secret in tennis that Petrova volleys better than Henman, and serves harder than Karlovic. ;)
     
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  7. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    When Hingis & Seles were at the top, I couldn't take the WTA anymore. I returned when the Williams sisters made the scene. They *upset* the other girls so much it made the WTA interesting again.

    I tell my HS boys to watch the WTA instead of the ATP. They get more opportunity to see point development (at a speed they can comprehend) with the ladies.

    - KK
     
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  8. Camilio Pascual

    Camilio Pascual Hall of Fame

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    KK - I know what you mean, many of the men are actually TOO good to be very useful to watch for a developing player. I notice a lot of WTA bashers keep talking about UE's. I sometimes get the impression they look up the stats and comment on that without actually watching the match. I wonder if there are more strokes per point in the WTA than the ATP and those UE's might actually be a reflection of a LOWER % of shots being UE's. Anybody know? Also, let's say 2 players are playing the pusher game. Presumably, a lot of UE's would occur because they are not pressuring each other and a lot of shots are being made per point, somebody's bound to miss even if playing high % tennis.
     
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  9. Jet Rink

    Jet Rink Semi-Pro

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    Well, since Sharapova emerged... ;)

    I agree with the Kaptain that it is much easier to see point development in the women's game - always has been.

    Camilio - I think you meant "misogynist," vs. "masochist," no?

    Jet
     
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  10. Grimjack

    Grimjack Banned

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    I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess that you didn't get radar gun verification of this.
     
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  11. Kevin Patrick

    Kevin Patrick Hall of Fame

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    Camilio,
    I've followed both tours closely for years. Only in recent years I have found the WTA very hard to watch with few exceptions. To me great tennis is great tennis regardless of genders. I like to see high quality of play (more winners, less errors) or high drama(a close match with both players competing well even if errors are higher than winners) or variety of styles(don't mind 2 baseliners/S&V playing each other if there are differences in grips, spins, attitudes-ex. Venus vs Hingis was a great rivalry even though they were baseliners because there were differences)

    These qualities are sadly lacking in the current WTA. Everyone plays exactly the same with few exceptions:hit the ball as hard as you can every point regardless of court positioning or score. As far as comparing men's & women's matches at the Australian Open, I watched Serena/Sharapova & Serena/Davenport & Sharapova/Kuznetzova. There were many errors & they weren't errors that were at the end of long points(none of these players are pushers). I'm talking neutral balls in the middle of the court(early in the point) that were constantly hit long or into the net with no apparent purpose behind the shot. Contrast that to the men's event(you want rallies? Nalbandian & Hewitt kept the ball in play far longer than any of the women with less errors. And Safin/Federer had all the qualities(drama, variety, high quality of play) that I imagine every fan would like to see in sports.

    I don't understand the perception that points in men's tennis are so short. Outside of Roddick (&possibly Safin) no top 10 male pro is just a basher. And even Roddick is forced to do more than serve when he plays the top guys.

    I also mentioned I don't mind matches of less quality if there is high drama. Many of the women's matches that drew attention because of that drama over the last year were for the wrong reasons. I don't know why this is, but most close recent women's matches involve both players choking(& I mean really choking, they make Novota in '93 look mild by comparison)

    These matches were almost comical at the amount of nerves shown by both players:
    Olympics SF:Henin def Myskina
    US Open SF:Dementieva def Capriati
    WTA Year end champs SF:Williams def Mauresmo
    and many more I can't remember right now.

    Every match at the '04 French from the QF's on involved at least one player completely self destructing. I believe that event was the most poorly played GS event I've seen in 20 years of following tennis. The way the French jeered Dementieva in the final shows I'm not exactly in the minority. The match was practically a walkover, all Myskina did was keep the ball in play. Ditto those Henin-Clijsters GS finals, Clijsters didn't even seem to be trying. Or the last set of this year's AO Final. Where was Davenport? Not on court, apparently. I understand players get nervous or just have bad days, but on the WTA it seems like that day is every day.
    (And I didn't even mention those classic Williams-Williams finals from '02-'03)

    I like your posts camilio, please tell me why you like the current WTA so much. Have you seen many women's Grand Slam matches that you thought were good over the last 1-2 years?
     
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  12. Camilio Pascual

    Camilio Pascual Hall of Fame

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    Ha! No, but I guess that would work in some cases. I just wonder why the same folks post for years about how crummy the WTA is. Why do they torture themselves by continuing to watch? Or do they watch at all any more and are just trolling? If anybody thinks the WTA or ATP or NFL or MBL is boring, unexciting, etc. to them, they are right. Maybe they are just taking a dump on somebody else's pleasure.
     
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  13. Jet Rink

    Jet Rink Semi-Pro

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    No, no! I got it. I believe a tennis fan is a tennis fan and since it's become much more of a niche sport in regards to broadcasting and reach, when you see that rectangle, you tend to stop the clicker for a little while. At least that's the case with me.

    Jet
     
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  14. Kevin Patrick

    Kevin Patrick Hall of Fame

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    In answer to your last post, Camilio, I continue to watch because:

    1)During the grand slams(epecially the first week) TV coverage jumps from court to court, so I sit through an entire Davenport blowout in the hopes that they might flip over to Youzhny-Nadal next door. If the women had
    a truely separate tour like golf, I'd just watch their GS finals.

    2)I want to like women's tennis. I remenber all those great martina-chris/graf-seles/ even Hinigis-Venus matches. When I sat down to watch the womens' semis & finals this year, I was hoping for good matches. Instead I get what I usually get an error-strewn match with at least one player choking.
    I admit I regret having watched it after it's over, but that's the way I felt after getting drunk in college(yet continued to do it again) So, yes I maybe a masochist. But I also like men's tennis so much I can sit through one & a half hour women's match in the hopes of highlights of say Coria-Nalbandian.
     
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  15. Camilio Pascual

    Camilio Pascual Hall of Fame

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    Hey Kevin, I've followed your posts and enjoy them, too. I think you'll agree it is hardly surprising that the 2 ATP pros who most resemble counterpunching pushers have long rallies. The Safin/Federer match was great for me, especially since I backed Safin heavily with the Brits and posted here that Safin (along with Serena) was one of the 6 most "underpriced" players in the betting odds and the most likely to beat Federer.
    I don't know which was more embarrassing to the WTA, you pick:
    1. Dementieva's horrendously flawed service motion.
    2. The apparent inability of at least 6 opponents in 2 different Majors to jump on that serve and beat her.
    My vote is for #2.
    I think you'll see I and others have explained a few reasons why we like the WTA. Don't get me wrong, I like the ATP and don't bash it. Something I am trying to run down is what are the average shots per point in the respective tours. I remember some announcers (I think it was during a Wimby) saying that there were more shots per point with the women, but that the men took more time to play each point. I have tried finding on google, but with no success.
     
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  16. laurie

    laurie Guest

    I enjoy the WTA tour for what it is and what it brings to the game of tennis as a whole. Too many people have unrealistic expectations based on I don't know what. Maybe egotism?

    Some of the level of play is extremely high. I've seen many women's matches live. I really don't see what the problem is. Of course its not men's tennis. Good. Lets celebrate it for what it is and that there is an alternative.
     
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  17. laurie

    laurie Guest

    And I should add a misguided macho feeling about men's tennis been superior? Women's tennis is just different. Its good to be different.
     
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  18. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    And what do you suppose these "unrealistic expectations" are?

    IMO, your statement is *part* of the problem.

    (Not a personal attack. An observation that, if people do not see "trouble" in the WTA, someone isn't paying attention.)

    - KK
     
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  19. Kevin Patrick

    Kevin Patrick Hall of Fame

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    Camilio,
    I understand your reasons for liking the WTA a few years ago, but I'm not sure if they apply now. Did you watch the womens' matches from the AO this year that I mentioned? I don't see 'points being constructed' like you say. I don't see variety that you mentioned. The Serena/Davenport/Sharapova matches I saw were like a Roddick/Safin match, very few rallies, big serves, not much variety (though Roddick & Safin come to the net far more than those three women do) & the women make more errors.

    It sounds like you still think of the ATP the way it was viewed on the basis of grasscourt play in the '90s:all power.
    Federer, Hewitt, Roddick,Safin, Coria,Moya, Henman,Gaudio,Agassi,Nalbandian are the current top 10.Do they rely more on power to win than?-
    davenport,mauresmo,sharapova,williams,myskina,dementieva,kuznetsova,molikv.williams, capriati(current top 10)

    It seems like the ATP has more different styles than the WTA & the WTA has more pure power players. Also shorter players are able to contend on the ATP, while being tall & strong is almost a necessity for the WTA.
    It's funny but that used to be the opposite in the '80 & '90s. I understood why many preferred to watch Graf/Navratilova/Evert vs. Lendl/Becker. The women had more rallies & relied less on power. Same with '90s:sampras, ivanisevic vs graf, seles.
    But I really can't understand that argument now.

    Let me ask you, do you prefer to watch the WTA now or 99/00 or 85/86? Do you think they are playing better tennis or bigger tennis? Do you think there is less or more choking now than before in the women's game?

    If it sounds like I'm ripping women's tennis, I'm not. I just remember at time when it was so much better. I honestly think technology has hurt the women far more than the men. Small counterpunchers can still flourish on the ATP, but to do well on the WTA you need power. Also the racquets may be too powerful for the women. Graf & Seles could hit the ball a ton without making too many errors. Not the case for Serena & Sharapova(yes they may be hitting the ball harder, but does that excuse such a dramatic increase in errors? Plus I mention that many errors I observed were when one of them would just blast a neutral rally ball way long. Graf & Seles certainly didn't do that with the same frequency of these new players)


    Also, You didn't answer my question camilio. What GS women's matches have you liked over the last year?

    And if you don't mind my asking, how much did you make on your safin bet?
     
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  20. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    Kevin - You posts on this thead are insightful, thought-provoking, and a little bit disturbing....

    I wonder if this is why Navratilova (At my age!) is still able to compete "at the level" she is? Maybe the "level" isn't so high anymore....

    This IS maddening.

    Ouch!!!

    Ouch! (Again...)

    - KK
     
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  21. Camilio Pascual

    Camilio Pascual Hall of Fame

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    I pretty much liked all the matches, ATP and WTA. I don't expect every match to come down to the wire. Sharapova-S. Williams was exciting when Serena came back to go up 4-2 in the 2nd. Sharapova got herself together and ran out the match on Serena. First time surprise Wimby winner against a great player, very exciting.
    I won't talk specifically how well I did with the Brits, I wasn't even going to play this year until somebody here started a thread. (Thank you!) I told you guys which 6 players I thought were underpriced with the oddsmakers, Serena and Safin were on the list. I then let my Francophobia (don't count on the French when it matters!) to take hold and dropped Mauresmo/Grosjean, and backed my remaining four. BTW, somebody mentioned on that thread "the big money" was on the long shots. The man has obviously never bet much on anything, including the ponies. I look at the players as "stock" and decide who is underpriced and overpriced. Correct evaluation of that is where the money is. Or detecting a historical bias with some oddsmakers.
    Except for Myskina, definitely the WTA top players rely on power. The power I see in the ATP from the non-powerful players is just too unobtainable for me to get anything useful that would translate to match play. The relative foot speed and power from the WTA is far closer to what I experience in match play and is more useful to study.
    I liked the WTA & ATP play a bit better a few years ago. Probably the best way to explain this is to list the players I most closely watched and modelled:
    Men: Agassi, Henman
    Women: Hingis, Coetzer, Rubin, Sanchez-Vicario, Capriati
    I'm wondering if Kuznetsova will become a net rusher, I think that she (or Venus) is the most likely of the Top Ten to move up by using that tactic.
    So, which was more embarrassing for the WTA, iyo?
     
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  22. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    Kevin Patrick is pretty much spot on with his comments.

    I don't think a WTA player has actually bothered constructing points since Hingis retired. Every once in a while, you catch glimpses of a strategy that may or may not be designed to work beyond a single point-more often, it's accidental or a one-point phenomenon. I like watching tennis at the pro level-men or women players-I never had a bias as to which one is more exciting, based on gender-but based on the facts, the WTA is generally boring. Oh, you have a few players who are a pleasure to watch-Patty Schneyder, Davenport (something about the way she strikes the ball...), Henin when she shows up...But...over the years, I've found myself switching channels in those WTA matches where the players just trade huge groundstrokes from behind the baseline or else trade unforced errors. And a 45 minute demolishing-say, Serena against #126 is not fun, but it's quite common.

    As for the instructional aspects of watching pro matches, Camilio is absolutely right-the men's strokes are otherworldly-the typical club player is just not physically capable of duplicating them-as much as he might try. I watch pro matches for strategy, and since the women usually don't have one other than blasting winners, I look to ATP matches for that. On many points I won't even watch the ball-if the camera coverage is good, I'll watch the players, where they position themselves for the next shot and their footwork/shot recovery and preparation (again, provided the entire court is covered by the cameras). If I took my cues from the ladies I'd be hitting balls into the back fence all day-kind of like I used to do anyway. I learned quite a bit, though, from watching Navratilova play, but that's a totally different era, different player...sob sob...
     
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  23. tennissavy

    tennissavy Hall of Fame

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    35ft6:
    Actually, her groundstrokes were harder than both guys and yes, her volleys made it over the net for winners. Henman volleyed into the net rather consistently against less pace than what Petrova faced. It's true- I was up there and up close.
     
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  24. Bertchel Banks

    Bertchel Banks Semi-Pro

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    WTF! Was KP quoting himself and answering back?

    I'll take the Serena/Maria, Davenport/Dechy, and Serena/Davenports matches from this year's AO over any Safin/Roddick matchup. Talk about one-dimensional.

    Like Kevin Patrick suggests, I find the women's game (the stars) interesting because you get to see point construction at a viewer-friendly pace. Someone posted not so long ago that they sat courside at a Roddick/Sampras match and couldn't see the ball because it was going so fast. At this rate, the men's tour will be an event at the X-Games pretty soon.

    I only watch the men's because of Andre and Roger's eye-catching technique, and strategy.
     
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  25. Bertchel Banks

    Bertchel Banks Semi-Pro

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    These I like. It's when I get to see the top players in flying colors. With the exception of Venus, it's when the stars are at ease and without much pressure, the errors are few and you get to see them swinging freely, it's like putting thier talent on exhibition.
     
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  26. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    I'd rather see a MATCH than an exhibition. These kind of drubbings are the equivalent of watching that perennial heavyweight boxing tomato can Randall "Tex" Cobb get his face mashed in by whomever was the heavyweight titleholder of the moment-completely one-sided and plain ugly. If you like that kind of overkill, you should go out and shoot butterflies with a shotgun (yes, it's an appropriate though strange analogy, but I actually know a person who used to DO that).
     
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  27. Bertchel Banks

    Bertchel Banks Semi-Pro

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    If I killed a butterfly I'd have trouble holding on to money. I'm a bit superstitious.
     
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  28. Docalex007

    Docalex007 Hall of Fame

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    I agree with the ones who said the WTA is in trouble. Generally i don't like WTA however sometimes a good thriller match comes on (seldom). Men's tennis is fast yes....but its not too fast for me to keep track!! If you guys are having a hard time watching the matches i truely feel sorry for you. So i'll say this as a general statement....ATP is much more interesting to watch!
     
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