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-   -   Are strategies relevant today in Modern Tennis? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=450373)

sureshs 01-09-2013 09:00 AM

Are strategies relevant today in Modern Tennis?
 
What I see in the ATP:

Unreturnable first serve
Serve which can just be returned weakly
Weak return is put away with a stroke to which it is humanly impossible to get
Forehand and backhand winners which are humanly impossible to get
Very simple strategy - put the ball where the other guy isn't, which covers drop shots, lobs, open court shots, and angled shots.
Maybe catch him wrong footed once in a while.

The entire game is based on statistical output of serve and its return, and after that the statistical nature of groundies - meaning you can't do anything with them most of the time if they are hit right.

The players don't seem to use their brains at all. Perhaps it is not needed? It is about serves, desperate returns, and the ability to run to get to a shot with no guarantee of success. My observation is that trying to "hit one more ball" seems to be a failure most of the time, with the small number of successes touted by commentators.

To summarize, big serve, a desperate return to hang in there, and devastating winners. Strategy seems to be an afterthought. I think most players are too exhausted with the big play to even think of strategy.

On the WTA:

Essentially the above, with the difference that getting the serve is a huge obstacle for the women. The ones with a smooth serve motion can be counted on one hand. Is something seriously screwed up about their serve training? Or is it just that the ATP men are just so much superior? I look at the average WTA service motion and I notice an errant toss and an awkward attempt to correct it, and the body parts moving awkwardly. They have somehow turned this into a high probability success event. Perhaps this is what male club players should aspire to? Just admit that ATP-style serves are not possible and focus on maximizing the returns on a flawed serve like the WTA?

Ash_Smith 01-09-2013 09:13 AM

Are strategies relevant in modern tennis...yes.

next...

5263 01-09-2013 09:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sureshs (Post 7107747)

To summarize, big serve, a desperate return to hang in there, and devastating winners. Strategy seems to be an afterthought. I think most players are too exhausted with the big play to even think of strategy.

That sounds like the WTA to me for the most part, and even lower ATP to a pt; but top 20-50 ATP?? Not a chance.
The tactics and strategy are somewhat subtle and easy to miss by most, but
with insight, you can realize how much goes into being consistent with those
aggressive rally shots and executing on the opportunities to finish.
Yes, this is technique to an extent, but also heavy in tactics due to targeting,
setup and understanding the court.

sureshs 01-09-2013 09:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ash_Smith (Post 7107774)
Are strategies relevant in modern tennis...yes.

next...

I was expecting a snobbish answer with no substance, and you didn't disappoint.

luvforty 01-09-2013 09:15 AM

no, there is no strategy... you might as well just call it the iron man contest while holding tennis rackets.

what rafa and joker displayed in their US, Aussie, even the Wimby finals, said basically just that.

let's ban poly strings, speed up the court..... or better yet, let's go back to 65in wood.

much better for viewing that way.... I may actually sit down and watch a couple of guys in the top 50 playing each other.

but nowadays, everything looks the same... yawn.

Ash_Smith 01-09-2013 09:15 AM

^^^Sureshs - some of the things you wrote about in your original post are strategies!

sureshs 01-09-2013 09:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 5263 (Post 7107775)
That sounds like the WTA to me for the most part, and even lower ATP to a pt; but top 50-50 ATP?? Not a chance.
The tactics and strategy are somewhat subtle and easy to miss by most, but
with insight, you can realize how much goes into being consistent with those
aggressive rally shots and executing on the opportunities to finish.
Yes, this is technique to an extent, but also heavy in tactics due to targeting,
setup and understanding the court.

I am not talking about consistency of the strokes. I am saying the opposite - it is the strokes that seem to matter 99%, with 1% for strategy. I don't consider moving forward and finishing off a short ball to be strategy - it is so obvious.

I am talking about things like Fed has mentioned like how he changed his strategy in the second set to go more after the backhand, or to draw the opponent closer to the net, or decided to go after the more powerful wing of the opponent instead of the weaker one, etc. I think most of the pros do nothing like this. They seem to rely on their strokes and basic instinct only. That is plan A and no plan B.

Ash_Smith 01-09-2013 09:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sureshs (Post 7107789)
I don't consider moving forward and finishing off a short ball to be strategy - it is so obvious.

Is Rafa ripping high bouncing balls to Rog's backhand not a strategy because it is obvious?

5263 01-09-2013 09:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sureshs (Post 7107789)
I am not talking about consistency of the strokes. .

You don't see how being amazing aggressive with rally strokes while not missing is
related to tactics or strategy?

5263 01-09-2013 09:25 AM

You think hitting the winner off the short ball is just hitting hard with no tactic or
thought to overall strategy?

sureshs 01-09-2013 09:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 5263 (Post 7107797)
You don't see how being amazing aggressive with rally strokes while not missing is
related to tactics or strategy?

No, it seems to be mostly about footwork, endurance and stroke mechanics.

They routinely violate the directionals and hit winners over the high part of the net. And they also miss a lot.

Ash_Smith 01-09-2013 09:32 AM

^^^They can "violate the directionals" (which are guidelines based on physics, not rules) because they can position themselves accordingly and have the hand skills the control the racquet face. At club player levels both of these skills may be lacking and hence the guidelines of the directionals are more appropriate.

5263 01-09-2013 09:32 AM

Just because you don't understand or see it, does not mean it's not there :)
If you were coaching kids to try and do these things, that experience would help
you see more into what is going on and what tactics help you get it done.
I do agree most players in general, never get much past just trying to hit the ball well.

luvforty 01-09-2013 09:33 AM

i say that strategies play a much bigger role at the club level than at the pro level.

LeeD 01-09-2013 09:38 AM

Strategy is employing your best shots against your opponent's weakest shots. So yes, a big serve IS a strategy.

sureshs 01-09-2013 09:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ash_Smith (Post 7107795)
Is Rafa ripping high bouncing balls to Rog's backhand not a strategy because it is obvious?

I was about to post that! He and Toni thought about it. It was not obvious because there was no leftie with the ability of Nadal to have played against Federer before that.

sureshs 01-09-2013 09:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeeD (Post 7107839)
Strategy is employing your best shots against your opponent's weakest shots. So yes, a big serve IS a strategy.

And who is not using this "strategy" in singles even though he can?

5263 01-09-2013 09:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ash_Smith (Post 7107795)
Is Rafa ripping high bouncing balls to Rog's backhand not a strategy because it is obvious?

Only thing odd about that is everyone was blown away that VERY common Jr
strategy would work on the ATP against maybe the best player of all time!
And yes...that is strategy and takes a ton of dedication to employ.

r2473 01-09-2013 09:43 AM

Have you ever wondered why there are players that seem to come out of nowhere and have an amazing tournament but can never follow it up?

The answer is, once a player "matters", they get analyzed and their weaknesses are discovered. Next time out (or very soon), all their opponents know how to play them (ie; what strategy or tactic to use).

To get to be a top player is to have very few weaknesses or to have such strengths that your weaknesses don't get exposed.

What sort of tactics or strategies do you expect players to employ?

sureshs 01-09-2013 09:46 AM

I think one of the only strategies left today (assuming the serve and groundies have still allowed the 1% to happen) is whether/when to come to the net or not.

It is interesting that people say how long the rallies have become with the slower courts. Sometimes I have rewound my DVR trying hard to find the last forehand or backhand they hit, and I have to go back many points. Commentators applaud 25 shot rallies, but we forget how many points ended with a service ace, or a weakly returned serve and put away, or an unreturnable groundie. Add in the unforced errors which are a result of mental impatience/exhaustion/boredom, then not that many strategy opportunities left. Unless just being focused on every point (like Nadal) is a strategy (I don't think so).


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