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Old 01-09-2013, 10:00 AM   #1
sureshs
Bionic Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 32,879
Default 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?
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