Talk Tennis

Talk Tennis (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php)
-   Adult League & Tournament Talk (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/forumdisplay.php?f=35)
-   -   WTA pro in an Open tournament (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=392863)

ian2 08-15-2011 03:34 PM

WTA pro in an Open tournament
 
Got a chance to see a former (and hopefully, future) WTA pro Vasilisa Bardina in action at the Boulder Open tournament. She was ranked as high as #48 on WTA in 2007, before being forced to retire due to injuries. I believe she's looking to make a comeback early next year.

Well I didn't know any of that while watching the ladies Open final yesterday. Had I known, my jaw might have been saved from being dropped to the floor, repeatedly. The woman she played (also Russian as it happened) was a former college player, and has had a lot of success in the local Open tournaments lately, especially in doubles and mixed - a very good player obviously, one of the top women players in Denver.

What I saw was an illustration of the differences between a good Open level player vs. a (somewhat rusty) pro player, and a remainder of how many levels there are in this sport. The match ended in under an hour with 6:0 6:1 score. That one lost game was due to Vasilisa double-faulting three times in a row, then drilling an easy forehand into the net, something that she explained in an interview to the local paper as a lapse in concentration... though to me, it definitely looked like a charity game donated to her dispirited opponent, who aside from that game haven't won more than a handful of points in the entire match.

So here you have it: a good Open level player struggling to win a few points... in NTRP terms, the disparity was like a 3.0 playing a 5.0. It was quite an amazing display. When pros are battling each other, especially when viewed on TV, it's easy to lose sight of just how humongous the gap in ability is between them and the mere good players.

I'm a fan now, and will be watching her career going forward... hopefully she can get back on tour and do some damage there.

jdubbs 08-15-2011 04:02 PM

It reminds me of when Gilbert Arenas, guard for The Warriors at the time, was in his rookie season, so he played a local rec league (equivalent to Open level tennis with former college players).

Guys thought since he didn't get off the bench as a rookie he wasn't that good. He AVERAGED over 50 points a game and thoroughly dominated.

Pros vs. amateurs: HUGE difference. Cool story.

LeeD 08-15-2011 04:06 PM

Yeah, MattBarnes used to TOOL the KezarStadium 3 on 3 guys, and he could barely make the starting lineup of the Warriors or Lakers. He'd average 50, then play an NBA game and average 11.
His competition would sometimes include JasonKidd (7 years ago) and some borderline NBA -top college kids.
Last tourney I watched, maybe 4 years ago, JoshChildress was scoring easy 30+, and went to Europe.

Arafel 08-15-2011 04:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ian2 (Post 5904496)
Got a chance to see a former (and hopefully, future) WTA pro Vasilisa Bardina in action at the Boulder Open tournament. She was ranked as high as #48 on WTA in 2007, before being forced to retire due to injuries. I believe she's looking to make a comeback early next year.

Well I didn't know any of that while watching the ladies Open final yesterday. Had I known, my jaw might have been saved from being dropped to the floor, repeatedly. The woman she played (also Russian as it happened) was a former college player, and has had a lot of success in the local Open tournaments lately, especially in doubles and mixed - a very good player obviously, one of the top women players in Denver.

What I saw was an illustration of the differences between a good Open level player vs. a (somewhat rusty) pro player, and a remainder of how many levels there are in this sport. The match ended in under an hour with 6:0 6:1 score. That one lost game was due to Vasilisa double-faulting three times in a row, then drilling an easy forehand into the net, something that she explained in an interview to the local paper as a lapse in concentration... though to me, it definitely looked like a charity game donated to her dispirited opponent, who aside from that game haven't won more than a handful of points in the entire match.

So here you have it: a good Open level player struggling to win a few points... in NTRP terms, the disparity was like a 3.0 playing a 5.0. It was quite an amazing display. When pros are battling each other, especially when viewed on TV, it's easy to lose sight of just how humongous the gap in ability is between them and the mere good players.

I'm a fan now, and will be watching her career going forward... hopefully she can get back on tour and do some damage there.

Wish her luck then. She is playing this week in the USTA National Playoff for a position in the qualifying draw in the US Open. (She won the Intermountain qualifier). I had the privilege of playing her last year in the Colorado State Open. She drubbed me, but I enjoyed playing her, and that was before she started seriously training again.

OrangePower 08-15-2011 04:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ian2 (Post 5904496)
Got a chance to see a former (and hopefully, future) WTA pro Vasilisa Bardina in action at the Boulder Open tournament. She was ranked as high as #48 on WTA in 2007, before being forced to retire due to injuries. I believe she's looking to make a comeback early next year.

Well I didn't know any of that while watching the ladies Open final yesterday. Had I known, my jaw might have been saved from being dropped to the floor, repeatedly. The woman she played (also Russian as it happened) was a former college player, and has had a lot of success in the local Open tournaments lately, especially in doubles and mixed - a very good player obviously, one of the top women players in Denver.

What I saw was an illustration of the differences between a good Open level player vs. a (somewhat rusty) pro player, and a remainder of how many levels there are in this sport. The match ended in under an hour with 6:0 6:1 score. That one lost game was due to Vasilisa double-faulting three times in a row, then drilling an easy forehand into the net, something that she explained in an interview to the local paper as a lapse in concentration... though to me, it definitely looked like a charity game donated to her dispirited opponent, who aside from that game haven't won more than a handful of points in the entire match.

So here you have it: a good Open level player struggling to win a few points... in NTRP terms, the disparity was like a 3.0 playing a 5.0. It was quite an amazing display. When pros are battling each other, especially when viewed on TV, it's easy to lose sight of just how humongous the gap in ability is between them and the mere good players.

I'm a fan now, and will be watching her career going forward... hopefully she can get back on tour and do some damage there.

Nice post.

Not surprising of course. Probably the Open level player is at most a 6.0, and the pro is a 7.0. Comparing this to a 3.0 vs a 5.0 is overkill - even with a 4.0 versus a 3.0, I would expect the 4.0 to consistently win by bagels and breadsticks.

DEH 08-15-2011 05:22 PM

This thread kinda goes along with this thread. http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=392204

If you watch his videos you can see her changing here serving style and that maybe why she lost concentration. Man I wish I would have know I would have love to see her play and take my daughter. Thanks for sharing.

Serveand... 08-15-2011 05:52 PM

hey Ian, what racket was she using?

Serveand... 08-15-2011 05:57 PM

hey Ian, what racket was she using?

zapvor 08-15-2011 06:01 PM

lol yup most casual fans are cluless

ian2 08-15-2011 06:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Serveand... (Post 5904795)
hey Ian, what racket was she using?

I didn't notice. This is odd. I sure know what all of the players used in men open singles and doubles yesterday, but drawing a blank on what Vasilisa used, or Yana (her opponent). Must have been overwhelmed by the spectacle that unfolded, LOL.

BTW (and I know this is going to be controversial), I'm pretty sure Vasilisa could have taken out either of the men finalists... nearly the same level of power but much more purpose and precision to her game.

andfor 08-15-2011 06:49 PM

Good story. I know a young lady here in town. She played in every GS and got as high as 70 or so. She would stomp most any women college, very top junior and even low level futures player. She's been off the tour for about 9-10 years now does not really play tennis any more. On the rare occasion she does play, watch out......!

FuriousYellow 08-15-2011 07:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ian2 (Post 5904496)
in NTRP terms, the disparity was like a 3.0 playing a 5.0.

Or in women's professional tennis terms, Serena Williams playing the rest of the WTA.:-D

Black Knight 08-16-2011 12:24 AM

So Ian, where exactly did the Open level player lose it?
I wouldn't imagine their strokes to be that different in pace? Was it the depth of shot, shot selection, where was the difference most apparent?

skiracer55 08-16-2011 05:02 AM

Um...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Black Knight (Post 5905397)
So Ian, where exactly did the Open level player lose it?
I wouldn't imagine their strokes to be that different in pace? Was it the depth of shot, shot selection, where was the difference most apparent?

...their strokes were very different in pace. I got to warm up Vasilisi for her quarter final match, and she hits her groundies much heavier than any of the other women. She was also quicker than her competition in this tournament, so she rarely had to hit a defensive shot even against a hard hit or angled ball. Also has one of the best serves I've seen in all of women's tennis, my guess is up around 120 mph. So in the final, Vasilisi hit probably 8 aces and most of her serves were service winners. The few that came back, she was able to pretty much hammer away on the next ball. Jana, her opponent in the final, who is a fine player in her own right, unfortunately didn't serve well in the final...a bunch of doubles, low percentage on her first serve. Bardina hit so many winners and forced so many errors on Jana's service games that Jana never really got into the match.

So, a lesson in what I've been preaching for some time: two most important shots in the game, serve and return, in that order. If you're dominant on those two strokes, not much your opponent can do, and that's the way this final played out.

I'm not sure what she's using for a racket. It was black, and I didn't see any graphics. She's played with Head in the past, so it might be a copy of the new Head that Maria Sharapova is now using...

J_R_B 08-16-2011 06:10 AM

She had also played in the last 2 Cryan Open tournaments here in NJ in 2009 and 2010. The story that I heard is that she left the tour to escape her abusive father-coach who broke her leg for losing a match. She came to the US with basically nothing and was staying with people and trying to play open tournaments just to get by. Anyway, it was a very sad story, and I wish her nothing but the best in her quest to get back to the tour. She didn't play the tournament this year (I guess she relocated to CO).

In 2009, she won very easily, but last year, she lost a thrilling 3-set final against a local girl, Emma Levy, who plays #2 at Tulane. That was an incredible match to watch.

burosky 08-16-2011 09:38 AM

Anyone familiar with that show "Joes vs. Pros"? I've only seen a few episodes but what you described here was pretty much the same situation that plays out more often than not on the show.

ian2 08-16-2011 10:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by skiracer55 (Post 5905561)
...their strokes were very different in pace. I got to warm up Vasilisi for her quarter final match, and she hits her groundies much heavier than any of the other women. She was also quicker than her competition in this tournament, so she rarely had to hit a defensive shot even against a hard hit or angled ball. Also has one of the best serves I've seen in all of women's tennis, my guess is up around 120 mph. So in the final, Vasilisi hit probably 8 aces and most of her serves were service winners. The few that came back, she was able to pretty much hammer away on the next ball. Jana, her opponent in the final, who is a fine player in her own right, unfortunately didn't serve well in the final...a bunch of doubles, low percentage on her first serve. Bardina hit so many winners and forced so many errors on Jana's service games that Jana never really got into the match.

So, a lesson in what I've been preaching for some time: two most important shots in the game, serve and return, in that order. If you're dominant on those two strokes, not much your opponent can do, and that's the way this final played out.

I'm not sure what she's using for a racket. It was black, and I didn't see any graphics. She's played with Head in the past, so it might be a copy of the new Head that Maria Sharapova is now using...

skiracer, thanks for answering that question. I agree with all you've said. I'd add that there was one single thing that jumped at me the most: the purpose behind each shot. I can't quite explain it: it wasn't just the placement combined with power, but something else that eludes me... perhaps the instinctual knowledge where to hit the ball in a given point situation? The end result was that, in this match anyway, Vasilisa wasn't hitting any neutral, let alone defensive, shots. The first shot she hit in a point immediately forced her opponent into a defensive position, and the next shot, if needed, would build on that advantage.

ian2 08-16-2011 11:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Arafel (Post 5904630)
Wish her luck then. She is playing this week in the USTA National Playoff for a position in the qualifying draw in the US Open. (She won the Intermountain qualifier). I had the privilege of playing her last year in the Colorado State Open. She drubbed me, but I enjoyed playing her, and that was before she started seriously training again.

Arafel, sounds like you have a story to tell! Would you share? How was it playing against a bona-fide (albeit a somewhat rusty) pro?

ian2 08-16-2011 11:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DEH (Post 5904738)
This thread kinda goes along with this thread. http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=392204

If you watch his videos you can see her changing here serving style and that maybe why she lost concentration. Man I wish I would have know I would have love to see her play and take my daughter. Thanks for sharing.

Ah, good find! She's been working with Jeff Salzenstein lately, from what I'm reading. Not sure if he's going to be her coach or this is just a temporary arrangement.

ian2 08-16-2011 11:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by J_R_B (Post 5905638)
She had also played in the last 2 Cryan Open tournaments here in NJ in 2009 and 2010. The story that I heard is that she left the tour to escape her abusive father-coach who broke her leg for losing a match. She came to the US with basically nothing and was staying with people and trying to play open tournaments just to get by. Anyway, it was a very sad story, and I wish her nothing but the best in her quest to get back to the tour. She didn't play the tournament this year (I guess she relocated to CO).

In 2009, she won very easily, but last year, she lost a thrilling 3-set final against a local girl, Emma Levy, who plays #2 at Tulane. That was an incredible match to watch.

Abusive father, yes. Broke her leg for losing a match - as far as I know, no.

I hope she'll do well in the US Open National Playoffs later this month, and gets the wild card. BTW, the woman she beat in that match I described, Yana Ruegsegger, also advanced to US Open National Playoffs, in mixed doubles with Miikka Keronen. Good luck to all of them!


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:36 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2006 - Tennis Warehouse