Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Golden Retriever, Apr 19, 2009.
Lets say you have 5.5 everything but superb tactics. Could you break into the top 10?
probably not. Obviously the pro circiut has many many amazing tactical players, santoro for example, he never made the top ten. U can probably do okay but top 10 is pretty hard.
The Top 10ers have incredible athleticism. Unless you have the strength and speed of some kid named Nadal you don't have a shot.
no, a 5.5 would get destroyed easily.
Santoro was mentioned he is a great tactician never cracked top 10. Murray is a great tactician but he needed a lot more than just that to get there. I am trying to think of examples of tacticians hmm that is interesting outside of Murray right now I am drawing blanks..
OFCOURSE YOU COULD BREAK THE TOP 10. in the women's tour...... AHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAH.
i think you could be number 1 lol
I wouldnt go that far... If that was true you know Hingis would be back in a heart beat as soon as that bans lifted. any ways with a NTRP 5.5 you cant return the William's sisters rolling balls. The ball resembles serena it rolls really fast every where on the court
Tactics without great movement and/or athleticsim won't get you anywhere on the men's tour (and visa versa) let alone the top 10.
There is as much difference between a 5.5 and a pro as there is between me (3.0) and a 5.5
Absolutely not. Santoro has 7.0 shots and can't break into top 10 with tactics.
Oh, the very first respondent said the very same thing.
Everybody with an ATP point has strokes that are better than any 5.5 player, and the difference in stroke production just becomes exponentially greater as you go up the ranking. The guys in the top 100 or 200, if you were just watching them practice you would have a tough time seeing a huge difference between 120 guy hitting and the 15th ranked guy. You may even be more impressed by a guy ranked 150 than by Giles Simon. In a way, tactics is what sets the top guys apart anyway, you're sort of making a false distinction between tactic and technique. The pros base their tactics on their technique, they're trying to impose shot patterns that allow them to hit the shots they like the most, and the top guys are better at doing this than other players. But you need incredible stroke production to make the tactics work against the pros.
Like somebody said, the difference between a 5.5 and a top pro is about the same as the difference between 3.5 and a 5.5. Do you think a 3.5 player could beat even one 5.5 player with superior tactics let alone win a 5.5 tournament? Their shots just wouldn't phase the 5.5 at all, his tactics would work great in HIS MIND, but he just doesn't have the weapons to pull it off.
To make the top 10, you need skills, tactics, athleticism and reasonably good mental.
I agree with you completely and in spirit, but on just one small point. Yes, even the lowliest of pros could, would, and should work any 5.5, but in terms of stroke production, they are not necessarily better in EVERY category. I know this from personal experience, there are some bottom-feeder pros who wilst having pro level hand-eye coordination, have certain wholes in their game that they're just EXCEPTIONALLY good at covering up. In my experience, a bottom-feeder pro with a glaring weakness, is THAT much better than a 5.5 at imposing their strengths and masking their weaknesses in a LIVE situation. Chances are if they have a glaring weakness but are able to make it that far, they are WELL aware of their weakness and do their best to avoid having to hit their weakest link.
A great example of this at the highest level is Stefan Edberg. Everyone and their mother new his forehand was ugly, weak, and with neither spin/touch/or power going for it...in short, it was a technically flawed, awkard stroke that had no business being in the repertoire of an other absolute swan of a player.
And yet? Edberg was completely aware of his weakness and wasn't ashamed of it. He didn't get macho about it, and try to prove it was better than you thought the way an immature 5.5 would. He just stayed calm, cool, and collected and just blocked it back off this side, tried not to do to much with it, be consistent and who knows maybe their opponent might even miss. In other words, he just tried to reset points with his forehand, tread water, and wait until he could get a chance to do damage with the rest of his game. Rafter and Cash had mediocre groundies for the pro level, but they were VERY good at annoying you from the baseline, by just doing enough to hand around with their foot speed, and the second they got anything to work with they were on top of the net like a jackrabbit and stinging like a bee.
Bruguera was the same with his chip forehand return. Sure it was a weakness, but he still managed to win a lot more than say Robert Kendrick ever has for example without that alleged "weakness."
Top tenners with supposedly huge weaknesses are AWFULLY good at masking those weaknesses. Bruguera just kept on chipping it back off the forehand return, while the commentators kept on making fun of this shot all the time. But the thing is, at ALL levels, the #1 thing is being able to keep the ball in play. Bruguera, Edberg, Rafter, Cash, McEnroe (from the baseline), etc. ALL did this with their weaknesses. Graf's lack of a topspin backhand was considered a major weakness, but her slice backhand whilst not an offensive shot was also the ultimate point neutralizer and she almost NEVER missed off this side. This was probably the single greatest point neutralizer shot I've EVER seen by any pro man or female. She'd just keep on resetting the point with the slice, until either the opponent would miss, or she'd get a crack at the forehand...and then bam, boom, poof, point over just like that.
The real key that has to be understood I think is hand-eye coordination/footwork/anticipation. The pros are simply on another level in this aspect from everyone else.
Yes, Bruguear's chip return was a "simple" stroke if you can even call it that, but it's all relative. What casual observers don't get is that while yes, technically, even a 3.5 can master the "technique" of a chip forehand return, you STILL have to get your racket on the ball. You still have to have the hand-eye coordination to place it in the right place, in the right space, at the EXACT right time. You STILL have to have pro level "hands" to have even a semblance or idea of where you're going to place a ball coming at you with so much pace and spin, etc.
Put it this way, Bruguera played Becker in the year ending Masters semis on an ultra fast indoor court crowding the baseline to return. He chipped many forehand returns standing reasonably close-in to take time away from an incoming Boris and to cut off his angles.
There is NO WAY a 5.5 is going to be able to stand in that close and "chip" Becker's serves back. They would feel too "rushed." Ok, fine you say, well, I'll just stand way back to give me that time to chip it back. Ok, fine, Boris will allow you that liberty then just laugh at you until he's blue as he proceeds to ace you left and right, left and right, one hundred times in a row with you not so much as coming close to getting your body in the general vicinity of where it needs to be.
Casuaul fans watch the pros hit up close for the first time and are often shocked by just how many errors they really do make, often enough on just seemingly "routine" balls, that my friends have told me oh ma gosh, you should go pro, no seriously...and I just look at them like they're crazy and laugh and say I would consider myself lucky and HONORED to even win a game against one of these guys.
What they don't get is that if Brugueara chips a "weak" return back into play, and Boris just hits the ball out inexplicably for no good reason and looks thus almost "human" in the process; it's because Bruguera was ACTUALLY able to get Boris' serve back in play to even give him the chance to miss like that. Furthemore, Boris knows if he comes in and hits a weak volley, Bruguera actually has the ability to get the ball past his condor like frame.
A 5.5 would first not even be able to get the ball back in play to even GIVE Boris the chance to miss, and second even if by some miracle he did, Boris would laugh it off knowing it was dumb luck, and know that he doesn't even need to hit a good shot on the ensuing ball to make YOU feel the pressure. He could then just proceed to waltz into the net, and knock off whatever he so chooses thank you very much.
In other words, pro only make "routine" errors against EACH OTHER, and that's because they can actually get each others balls back in play without it being luck, and actually pressure each other with OUT doing anything simply because one pro knows he's playing another pro...and not just some spiffy rec player who THINKS he's a pro. There's a WORLD of difference, but imo how a person's strokes looks is the LEAST of it. I've seen some 5.5's whose strokes are down right majestic...doesn't mean they're no pros though. I've also played with a former low level tour player who had BUTTOCKS ugly groundies that would make most 5.5's ashamed to have them. BUT his ability to just be get back in play with it even as you tried to unload on him was what was the difference. In other words, HANDS, hand-eye coordination...a little something called TALENT. Those are the intangible things that a casual observer doesn't pickup. It's also something that requires first hand experience to know and "feel" the difference. If you've never flown in the **** pit of a F-14 fighter plane...do you really know? Of course not, especially not under deadly fire like Tom Cruise was!
Btw, this guy had things that made up for his lack of killer groundies, and that was a serve that absolutely was on another level from any other serve I've ever faced. I've face equal mph before, and returned it at times audaciously...but on his serve I just found myself feeling helpless like opponents must against Sampras on a good day. I was just CONSISTENTLY finding myself leaning the wrong way almost every time, it was inexplicable, especially since I always considered myself the fast serve dearmer specialist. The placement literally just seemed like it was on the dime every time. Was he literally? I don't know. If there was a videotape of the serves he hit, I'd bet they probably weren't literally on the line, but the point is, even against your average open player with similar pace on the serve, they OBVIOUSLY didn't hit it *AS close* to the corners as this guy was, because I know I never felt so helpless against them serving to me. It almost felt like I was trying to return with no arms.
And the net game? Forget about it. Absoultely ridiculous. He SWARMED the net, and any pass that wasn't perfect, he put it away into a corner on a dime as if it were automatic. Why? Because to him, it was automatic. Which is weird, because hit with quite a few "pretty good" players before, but NONE of them have ever volleyed like this. It made think, wow, for a second, so this is what it must feel like to play someone with the serve of Sampras', the put away volleys of Edberg, the drop volleys of McEnroe, and coverage of the passing lanes like Rafter or Cash...then I slapped myself and just laughed, thinking nah, this is what it feels like to be playing a complete NOBODY.
Haha, there is a difference indeed. Good things my friends weren't there to see that...it would have crushed their visions of granduer for me. I guess there is no second career as my Ronnie Leitgeb riding on the coattails of my millions of panthoses in my five star hotel rooms as they had imagined. Sigh, it really bummed me out to for awhile.
Mats Wilander was a brilliant tactician. He would strategically just wear you out until you simply wished the damn match is over.
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