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  1. Z

    In your opinion, what is the most important factor in tennis: the mental or the physical side?

    Sport is about action. It's mostly physical, but an exact percentage is hard to put down. An analogy using poker (I don't really play poker so forgive me if this is off, but on my limited understanding I think it works). Developing better actions by refining your swing technique and...
  2. Z

    Is this the beginning of a new pro forehand era?

    Berdych also used an absolute hammer of stick. So he was swinging slower for the same power. This excerpt from Lindsay and Cross always comes back to me when I see these younger guys spraying balls: “Weight and weight distribution are the most important racquet properties with respect to...
  3. Z

    Is this the beginning of a new pro forehand era?

    maybe, although I'd wager someone like Sinner, for example, misses more forehands purely because he doesn't find the middle of the racquet; he shanks them, rather than hitting clean but missing long.
  4. Z

    Is this the beginning of a new pro forehand era?

    I think the power is comparable, but moving the racquet faster through less space creates a speed-accuracy tradeoff. it's like upping the sensitivity on your mouse. Good for speed, bad for control. And in big points, control is what I think matters most.
  5. Z

    Is this the beginning of a new pro forehand era?

    Think it was more a decision to be able to be less rushed. The trend in offensive players has been toward this lower and more compact takeback, so much so that you get late-fed and sinner pretty much keeping the racquet head below their eyes the whole time .
  6. Z

    Is this the beginning of a new pro forehand era?

    Alcaraz is one of the few youngsters setting up with an extended wrist and hitting less on the outside (Korda, Rune, peak Thiem, Jarry, Cerundolo, Griekspoor) like the Big-3. He mimicks Fed's forehand but lifts his elbow higher to invert the racquet head. He does loosen at the end of the...
  7. Z

    Has Novak declined?

    Novak 2011 was peak Novak for the simple reason that modern tennis rewards topspin groundstroke competency and movement more than anything else. Yes, Novak serves better now. Yes, Novak slices better now. Yes, Novak volleys better now. The latter two are fringe elements for most players in the...
  8. Z

    Who is a better server, prime Pete Sampras or Hubert Hurkacz?

    Because of the control you get from poly it's become possible to stand several metres back and control your return. This is partly why S & V mixed in can have success now; guys aren't standing as close. I'm not saying the current generation of players are better athletes, but they do train more...
  9. Z

    Who is a better server, prime Pete Sampras or Hubert Hurkacz?

    The rest of your game influences hold %. Rafa has one of the best hold % of all-time. It tells us little about the serve in isolation. It could be that it allows players to take control of the rally on the plus-one ball (i.e, the forehand), more effectively, which is my hunch, especially with...
  10. Z

    Who is a better server, prime Pete Sampras or Hubert Hurkacz?

    Much higher unreturnables. But players were: (a) standing closer to the baseline; (b) playing on a faster court; (c) using smaller/faster balls. All of these would reduce a players ability to return the serve/put it in play, or rather, help the server find an ace/URS. But I'm not getting into...
  11. Z

    Who is a better server, prime Pete Sampras or Hubert Hurkacz?

    Tailwinds for Hurkacz: poly strings. Helps with control and serve percentage. Tailwinds for Sampras: Faster balls, faster courts, returners closer to the baseline People don't realise how many more aces modern guys like Hurkacz would have on their first serves if they weren't playing guys who...
  12. Z

    Who is a better server, prime Pete Sampras or Hubert Hurkacz?

    Sampras has the greatest motion ever, but people need to wake up to the fact that height is major helper on serve and there is a pretty strong correlation there. Taking the shot in isolation, there are several players who have had a better serve than pete in my opinion purely because they are...
  13. Z

    Requesting More Objectivity Here

    The problem with claiming "objectivity" is that it makes you sound like you are a dispassionate scientist just observing an experiment, and then just crunching numbers. Usually, these numbers are slams/YE1/Masters/serve and return stats etc. etc. The problem with this is that the experiment is...
  14. Z

    What does Alcaraz need to improve to become the best?

    He's 4-5 years away from being at his peak given how big his repertoire is. Takes time to learn how to thread together all those elements when on each shot you have the ability to inject huge power with heavy spin or flatten it out (FH)/take it early/slice/drop shot/angles/come forward etc. I...
  15. Z

    GOATing attack (e.g. Fed Shanghai 2014 SF) versus GOATing defense/counterpunching (e.g. Djokovic early 2016) on medium pace HC.. what happens?

    The whole reason the players are "GOAT"ing in those scenarios is because the conditions enhance their strengths. In other words, the conditions allow for the strengths of a player to be magnified, and you end up attributing the increase in performance to the player. Fed on a faster hard court...
  16. Z

    My Take on the current era

    Most players as they get older say they feel they are better players. I remember Hewitt saying something similar in the late 2010s despite that being patently false given his injury-riddled body and lack of peak movement. Federer's answer is illuminating in that he says "maybe not as confident"...
  17. Z

    Open Era Win % vs Rival ATGs ........ What does this tell you ?

    A theory: Most of the time the younger gen gets an advantage in H2H over the older gen for two reasons: 1) They have developed a technique and/or style that has advanced with the technology. Swings that could take advantage of wide-body racquets, and then later, poly strings for example. Or...
  18. Z

    Djokovic had higher average speeds on his shots than Alacaraz in Cincy

    Useless without spin data. Medvedev had higher speeds than Sinner when they played each other in Miami this year also. Carlos and Sinner are hitting heavier shots.
  19. Z

    Does a tennis coach get too much of the credit?

    Which actually brings up another point: the best coaching is relational, not transactional. Again, why a parental figure (or uncle) are in the best position to (a) actually care compared to a coach paid by the hour where you are just another number (b) tell it how it really is/tell you what you...
  20. Z

    Does a tennis coach get too much of the credit?

    One of the interesting things about coaching is that the period between 10-16 is the most important, but most people just pick any old coach. Fair, as you have no idea if the child is a good athlete or not. But this is why so many players who come through often have a parent who was a former...
  21. Z

    Holy molasses at how fast the AO was before 2008

    watch the safin-federer highlights from the year before also.
  22. Z

    What does Djokovic vs peak Agassi look like?

    Hard to compare eras obviously, but I actually think Agassi would have a difficult time v Nole. Nole's whole game is about absorbing--he loves playing against guys who hit hard linear shots like Agassi did. We saw this just the other day when Alcaraz tried to tee off on hard balls and Novak...
  23. Z

    What is Djokovic’s motivation to play now?

    These guys just love the sport. Motivation of records is secondary.
  24. Z

    “You can certainly argue that at 36 this is the best he’s ever played”

    Serves better, more willing to come forward/be offensive/shorten points. But not as fit and doesn't move as well or have the same shot tolerence his younger version had.
  25. Z

    Levelwise, who was/is the best player of these 3 at age 19-20 ?

    Alcaraz and Djokovic ahead of Federer. Scary part for me is that Alcaraz is by far the most aggressive of the Big-3 plus him, and he's still putting up ridic numbers. When he figures out the patient element and fine tunes his game, sheesh. That second set in the semi-final was great tennis.
  26. Z

    Why is everyone sleeping on El Cerundolo?

    Lets his racquet drop behind his head before he accelerates/drives with his legs. Classic Nalbandian issue. See below where he doesn't start to drive/acceleration phase until the racquet is already way behind his head and with little drop left. Compare to someone like Kyrgios, who accelerates...
  27. Z

    One-handed backhands

    That racquet position occurs naturally with the shoulder turn and the left hand loading the shot. And the inverted tip is definitely a stylistic/preference element. Many factors at play: court position/style of play, racquet balance and SW etc.
  28. Z

    Why is everyone sleeping on El Cerundolo?

    Love his ground game. Talented. Working on the serve and the game between the ears. If he can get the serve popping he's top10