No, these WTA teenagers aren't yet ready.

Dolgopolov85

G.O.A.T.
Would Raducanu beat Sabatini, or Hingis at the same age? I don't know, and I don't care, because it's of no importance whatsoever. She does not have to beat Sabatini, because she won't be playing her. She has to beat Sabalenka, Pliskova, Osaka, Barty and Azarenka. Try to enjoy watching her try to do do that, probably sometimes succeeding, sometimes failing, rather than getting lost in unresolvable angst about the overall level of tennis.

I can enjoy watching a competitive match between the world no. 24 and world no. 34 just as much as between nos. 1 and 2 if it is close and they are playing well. I don't have some deep seated need to feel like I am watching the best tennis ever played every time I watch it.

I also enjoy watching old film of Graf, Navratilova and Sabatini, players I was amazed by when young, but it doesn't make me enjoy watching Sabalenka vs Giorgi less.

It doesn't 'need to be heard' because whether it is a 'weak era' or not is not only a matter of opinion that is at least very difficult, probably impossible to measure, but it's also completely inconsequential.
I once made a thread about Serena's incredible resurgence in 2012 and this poster got started about how that was 'nothing' compared to 'Martinka 1997'. I mean, he wasn't talking about just numbers or titles won - he stated that Martina played a higher level in 1997 than Serena in 2012. His heart never left the mid-late 90s when Hingis ruled women's tennis. I honestly don't think posts like this one of his come from a place of genuine enquiry or concern about the state of tennis today but a curious mixture of nostalgia for those days when he was younger and resentment against the current lot. I remember back in 2006 or so, Sharapova appeared on one of the talk shows and was asked if she found her results after winning Wimbledon in 2004 disappointing and she said not at all because she was still young and learning, so didn't mind losing to players like Venus. It would surprise our friend to learn that in all likelihood Swiatek too doesn't care that he gloats at 'her bubble being burst' because she wasn't expected to win RG last year anyway.

As for Raducanu, she beat the 2019 US Open semi finalist, Bencic, in straight sets...as a qualifier. I think those words are worth repeating over and over for their import. She didn't get 'lucky', she punched way above her class and at unprecedented levels. It is an achievement to be cherished; there's a reason no qualifier has won a slam before because it is supposed to be near-impossible. Even if it's true that the entire tour is somehow sclerotic, it doesn't explain how Raducanu already knew what to do when and kept doing it over and over for 10 matches.

Even if Raducanu does become the one slam wonder that Jason and co desperately hope she will turn out to be, she will still be a wondrous wonder. You can never take away what she achieved at this USO from her precisely because it defied the wildest of expectations. It's sad that some people are so caught in their agendas that they cannot even just halt the analysis paralysis for a while and just stand up and clap.
 
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smalahove

Hall of Fame
They would pummel her second serve. Her first serve was very respectable if not routine- when she could get it in. The serving issues didn't begin until after her thumb injury.

Now, you're talking about rallying. I don't think you recognize just how hard Kournikova smacked the ball.


Kournikova's injured here, slumping, and currently in the middle of very embarrassing serving yips. And she walked away as soon as she hit her return. That's the difference in power we're talking. There would be no "rallying" between her and Raducanu. Kournikova'd either be nervously missing everything or hitting winners within, at the very most, 4-5 shots. The Raducanu forehand wouldn't trouble her in any way. Kournikova was physically faster than everyone in the '21 US Open. Kournikova hit heavier on both wings than Raducanu's forehand has shown- so far. Of course there's room for Raducanu improve, and I hope she does. But let's not jump the gun until she's shown a bit more promise. It's not good for Raducanu if she can only win her match by praying the technically better opponent self-implodes.


You children and your "memes" almost killed this forum. It used to be a place of great discussion. Take the nonsense over to Ticktock or wherever you frequent.
She is not hitting the ball hard, she is counterpunching using the pace of the incoming ball.

Every vid you’ve posted just goes against your arguments. But if this is what you see, we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

There are no guarantees these teens will be able to uphold their level going forward, but the way they got to final and the brand of tennis they played was simply better - in all aspects - than the current top WTA level.

How would they fare against yesterday’s top players? You claim they wouldn’t handle the pace by showing footage of Kornikova’s «hard» hitting which makes Halep or Wozniacki look like ball bashers. Which 90s players hit a faster ball than Keyes or Pliskova f.inst?
 

Jason Swerve

Hall of Fame
Nah, Kournikova always had trouble getting her first serve in and she would have even more trouble getting it in if she faced returner like these young women. If you can win a match by waiting for your opponent to self implode, great, like Bonaparte said: "Never interrupt an enemy when he's making a mistake" and even a healthy Kournikova was always ready and willing to self implode.
That's blatantly false. Please don't speak on subjects you're not familiar with. You obviously weren't there to see her play. This'd be acceptable if there were more archived videos of her prime, but I know for a fact that you don't have them. All throughout Miami, her prime tournament, she averaged over 70% first service. The only time she struggled with serving in her prime was after her Eastbourne injury. Never before. In that match, she served at nearly 70%. Don't try to bold me when you'd claimed she had trouble getting her second serve in. She rarely double faulted, and she and the reporters hounding her said this in interviews that I'm sure you could find if you bothered to do a little digging.

She is not hitting the ball hard, she is counterpunching using the pace of the incoming ball.

Every vid you’ve posted just goes against your arguments. But if this is what you see, we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

There are no guarantees these teens will be able to uphold their level going forward, but the way they got to final and the brand of tennis they played was simply better - in all aspects - than the current top WTA level.

How would they fare against yesterday’s top players? You claim they wouldn’t handle the pace by showing footage of Kornikova’s «hard» hitting which makes Halep or Wozniacki look like ball bashers. Which 90s players hit a faster ball than Keyes or Pliskova f.inst?
More nonsense. If you truly believe Saeki's serve was fast enough to bop at that pace, you haven't played for yourself. Were you unable to see that huge backswing Kournikova took? That's not what "counterpunching" is. It's as if the majority of you people have never stepped foot on a court. She hits so hard because of her grip and stance. If her positioning and jump-in were better, her forehand would be comparable to Graf's. These are basic fundamentals I'm having to explain to all of you. Even supposing you were correct, Radacanu's heavier serves makes the result identical. This is Logic 101.
 

Jason Swerve

Hall of Fame
Would Raducanu beat Sabatini, or Hingis at the same age? I don't know, and I don't care, because it's of no importance whatsoever. She does not have to beat Sabatini, because she won't be playing her. She has to beat Sabalenka, Pliskova, Osaka, Barty and Azarenka. Try to enjoy watching her try to do do that, probably sometimes succeeding, sometimes failing, rather than getting lost in unresolvable angst about the overall level of tennis.

I can enjoy watching a competitive match between the world no. 24 and world no. 34 just as much as between nos. 1 and 2 if it is close and they are playing well. I don't have some deep seated need to feel like I am watching the best tennis ever played every time I watch it.

I also enjoy watching old film of Graf, Navratilova and Sabatini, players I was amazed by when young, but it doesn't make me enjoy watching Sabalenka vs Giorgi less.

It doesn't 'need to be heard' because whether it is a 'weak era' or not is not only a matter of opinion that is at least very difficult, probably impossible to measure, but it's also completely inconsequential.
That's your preference, and there's no issue with you having it. As for me, I want to see them play better. You're fooling yourself if you can sit here and tell me this '21 final was more interesting tennis than that '99 final. There's a cliff of difference between the shots the loser Venus was making compared to the winner Raducanu, and don't pretend otherwise.

Whether those WTA teenagers are, or are not, ready is not up to us to decide; however, it is our wishful thinking to analyze them based on their performances and the history of the sport. Drawing parallels in between the previous and current teens in WTA may not be enough for reasons beyond our understanding. Not only that we're living in different times but also producing distinct athletes who have their strong characters. Emma or Leylah surely are going to be tested in the modern environment of their stardom and they are going to be exposed to a lot more distractions than Anna Kournikova, Martina Hingis or Maria Sharapova had to deal with as the media is unforgiving and sponsors/opportunists ruthless. But knowing those obstacles and diversions Leylah and Emma will be better managed for they are, in my view, strong and better educated. 2022 will see Emma and Leylah in top ten most likely.
The day Emma is exposed to more distractions than Kournikova is the day people are migrating from Djokovic's ongoing matches to watch hers, making up chants for her during changeovers, and filling up practice court streets to watch her train.

The court speed is allowing that style of play. Flatter does not mean completely flat. It still has topspin. Hingis was never known for powerful shots. She was the queen of angles. The teenagers have a different type of courts and balls. Slow. Even in these slow conditions, they have more power than Hingis. Tennis is not just about hitting flat. Serena hits flatter than Azarenka. If you want the teenagers to play that style, you need to have that type of balls.

They're only 18. If you want to compare, clips of Hingis or Venus would be better for comparison.
You're telling me things I've already told other people. They aren't hitting "completely flat". I said "they hit with noticeable topspin of their own to keep these long rallies in the hard courts". When Kournikova played Venus, there were several rallies over 15 strokes. Venus and especially Kournikova hit almost every stroke flatter than today's kids. I'll tell you again: these kids today can't begin to compare. You can blame it on the courts or the balls or whatever voodoo you want to blame it on. These kids were older: they should've been hitting better.

No one, including you, is going to sit and tell me the final we just witnessed was of a higher quality than the final I put up between Venus and Hingis. You'd lie if you had to, and everyone in the world who doesn't post on Talk Tennis would migrate over to the past for a day if they saw the comparison. Topspin, flat- doesn't matter. The past kids hit better in every way. They made better contact. They faced their rackets more properly. They had better footwork. They were faster. They were fitter. And they had a better understanding of the geometry of the court and each other's games.
 

smalahove

Hall of Fame
That's blatantly false. Please don't speak on subjects you're not familiar with. You obviously weren't there to see her play. This'd be acceptable if there were more archived videos of her prime, but I know for a fact that you don't have them. All throughout Miami, her prime tournament, she averaged over 70% first service. The only time she struggled with serving in her prime was after her Eastbourne injury. Never before. In that match, she served at nearly 70%. Don't try to bold me when you'd claimed she had trouble getting her second serve in. She rarely double faulted, and she and the reporters hounding her said this in interviews that I'm sure you could find if you bothered to do a little digging.


More nonsense. If you truly believe Saeki's serve was fast enough to bop at that pace, you haven't played for yourself. Were you unable to see that huge backswing Kournikova took? That's not what "counterpunching" is. It's as if the majority of you people have never stepped foot on a court. She hits so hard because of her grip and stance. If her positioning and jump-in were better, her forehand would be comparable to Graf's. These are basic fundamentals I'm having to explain to all of you. Even supposing you were correct, Radacanu's heavier serves makes the result identical. This is Logic 101.
You keep on shooting yourself in the foot with your examples. Your logic is defying the laws of nature.
Kornikova has a weak first serve with horrible placement. Her second serve makes Zverev look good.
Her FH is mediocre, both when it comes to spin, pace and placement.

If you don't recognize the quality of Raducanu's and Fernandez's game, compared to these players, I don't know what to tell you.

I won't bother you on you thread anymore, as I am tired of the old guard fooling themselves that Sampras, Hingis, Edberg, Mac, Graf, Agassi or whatever player from the past, would be competitive playing their game style against the current best players. I honestly think this is a result of tennis players that grew up with flatter strokes, smaller rackets, and an all court game, and that never transitioned into the modern game. At a recreational level these players can still be competitive ofc, and that might be the reason for their miscomprehension.

If you truly believe the best S&V of all times, wether it be Sampras or Edberg or whoever, would stand a chance against the brutal FH of Nadal or Alcaraz, or if you haven't noticed the uncanny precision the best players nowadays can pass a S&V player, unless it is used extremely rarely and takes you by surprise, you haven't been following modern tennis.
 

Jason Swerve

Hall of Fame
You keep on shooting yourself in the foot with your examples. Your logic is defying the laws of nature.
Kornikova has a weak first serve with horrible placement. Her second serve makes Zverev look good.
Her FH is mediocre, both when it comes to spin, pace and placement.

If you don't recognize the quality of Raducanu's and Fernandez's game, compared to these players, I don't know what to tell you.
For one, let's pretend Kournikova had a "weak" first serve. Her pace was comparable to Graf's with the rackets of the time, averaging between 90-100 MPH throughout her career, but let's briefly delude ourselves into believing you could put a modern Wilson Blade in her hand and she wouldn't at all improve.

It makes you wonder why Hingis, who did have a weak, 80-ish serve with less variety than before, was able to come back while suffering foot and waist injuries, years out of practice, and still solidify herself in the Top 10 of a stronger crop of players than the chokers we've seen all throughout this tournament. Or, it wouldn't make you wonder if you understood the fundamentals of these players' mechanics, that I'm trying to teach you here. The rest of that rant has nothing to do with me.
 

Dolgopolov85

G.O.A.T.
US Open 1999 final. Serena v/s Hingis. Serena won in straight sets.


What was Hingis' second serve %? 21%! She hit just 6 winners to 23 unforced errors. Yes indeed, neither Emma nor Leylah could emulate that (thankfully!).

Seriously, though, I am a huge fan of 99-2007 WTA, the most amazing era in women's tennis. Which is exactly why I don't see the point of trying to grind down two teenagers who have done shockingly well for the very scant slam experience they have (just the second for Emma) by comparing them to Serena or Hingis. At the other end of the spectrum, to Kournikova whose best result at the slams was SF at Wimbledon. And that in 1997, the year of the gigantic void.
 
That's your preference, and there's no issue with you having it. As for me, I want to see them play better. You're fooling yourself if you can sit here and tell me this '21 final was more interesting tennis than that '99 final. There's a cliff of difference between the shots the loser Venus was making compared to the winner Raducanu, and don't pretend otherwise.
I understand that you feel strongly about this, and that's fine, and this isn't a personal attack. However, I'm not kidding myself that the '21 final was more interesting tennis for me than the '99 final, for the simple reason that I've seen the '99 final before, so I know what happens. I hadn't seen the '21 final before, so it was more interesting because it was live drama and I didn't know what was going to happen. That's the beauty of live sport, especially when it's competitive. That may sound trite and obvious, but that's as important for me (and, I think, many other people) as the absolute quality of the tennis (it may not be for you).

Ultimately what we find interesting is very personal isn't it? I love attacking tennis. I love watching Pilskova and Sabalenka and Giorgi, although I know they are not everyone's cup of tea. I also know that none of those players are even the best players in the world now, never mind on some kind of inaginary all-time list. A couple of them might not be the best players even in their own country! That doesn't make me enjoy their tennis any less.

By way of counter-example, Sampras was an absolutely amazing player, just unplayable at Wimbledon, but I found him unbelievably tedious to watch. There was no interest whatsoever, you could have carved his name on the trophy at the start of the fornight. Yes, I could tune in and watch (maybe) half a set and be impressed by the ability, but there was no impulse to carry on watching. Is he a 'better' tennis player than, say, Rublev? For sure. More interesting? Not for me. Even if you could prove by some metric that the quality of tennis played at Wimbledon in the late 90s was higher than it is now, I'd rather watch it now thanks.

Weak era / strong era? Was Venus better than Raducanu? Doesn't matter to me. It's a fun era, and an exciting one.
 

Dolgopolov85

G.O.A.T.
Weak era / strong era? Was Venus better than Raducanu? Doesn't matter to me. It's a fun era, and an exciting one.
It's a disingenuous argument anyway and he is deliberately setting up the two teens to fail it. We all know about Venus' storied career so nobody is going to say Raducanu is as good as or better than her today. But why does she have to best that standard anyway? This is just her first slam. Raducanu is not all over the media because she is the greatest player ever. She is getting all the attention because she did it as a qualifier in just the second slam she entered. That may not be greatness by itself, but it certainly is precociousness.
 

Jason Swerve

Hall of Fame
I understand that you feel strongly about this, and that's fine, and this isn't a personal attack. However, I'm not kidding myself that the '21 final was more interesting tennis for me than the '99 final, for the simple reason that I've seen the '99 final before, so I know what happens. I hadn't seen the '21 final before, so it was more interesting because it was live drama and I didn't know what was going to happen. That's the beauty of live sport, especially when it's competitive. That may sound trite and obvious, but that's as important for me (and, I think, many other people) as the absolute quality of the tennis (it may not be for you).

Ultimately what we find interesting is very personal isn't it? I love attacking tennis. I love watching Pilskova and Sabalenka and Giorgi, although I know they are not everyone's cup of tea. I also know that none of those players are even the best players in the world now, never mind on some kind of inaginary all-time list. A couple of them might not be the best players even in their own country! That doesn't make me enjoy their tennis any less.

By way of counter-example, Sampras was an absolutely amazing player, just unplayable at Wimbledon, but I found him unbelievably tedious to watch. There was no interest whatsoever, you could have carved his name on the trophy at the start of the fornight. Yes, I could tune in and watch (maybe) half a set and be impressed by the ability, but there was no impulse to carry on watching. Is he a 'better' tennis player than, say, Rublev? For sure. More interesting? Not for me. Even if you could prove by some metric that the quality of tennis played at Wimbledon in the late 90s was higher than it is now, I'd rather watch it now thanks.

Weak era / strong era? Was Venus better than Raducanu? Doesn't matter to me. It's a fun era, and an exciting one.
What matters is, now we've seen both. The '99 final stands for rewatching, and this final has lower-quality, actual tennis being played. The narrative for Venus and Hingis was stronger than these women, and it was a foregone conclusion who would win both finals. Now, the final we just saw was better than Venus and Hingis' first final. I can give the current teens their due credit when deserved. But is that the best they can do? The crowd here would have you believe Raducanu's already where she needs to be because she won a slam and the competition isn't getting any tougher. If she thinks the way these lackadaisical Talk Tennis Warehouse fans do, she'll end up slacking like Osaka has. Hopefully, her mindset is more of a champion's mindset.

Comparing the '90s WTA women to the men of the era isn't an even comparison. The men played that attacking tennis you love, and everyone was sick of it. Not only Sampras, but the majority of them were serving and hitting one-two passing shots or winners within seconds from their serves on the quicker courts. That's why I'm only discussing the women. And to answer your question, Venus as of early '98 was solidly better than Raducanu, whether or not it matters to anyone.
 

Dolgopolov85

G.O.A.T.
You can look through that entire '21 final video and not find exchanges like the video from '99. The only sure area of progression is with the serving, courtesy of those better rackets."
I find it immensely interesting (apart from those curious quote marks when you aren't quoting from any article - or are you without attribution?) that you are the first 'coach'/ high level player who mentions better rackets, sorry racquets, as the key factor when everyone else I have heard or talked to mentions strings. That makes you either a genius or someone talking out of his hat. As someone who has played with modern racquets with full poly, modern ones strung with softer multis, old ones like the LM Radical with nat gut or old ones with poly, I will take the latter option. In this context, an interesting article for you to peruse which clearly establishes that Venus was playing with nat gut back in 99. I didn't check what Hingis was using but it wouldn't matter - her technique wouldn't significantly benefit from poly anyway.

 
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What matters is, now we've seen both. The '99 final stands for rewatching, and this final has lower-quality, actual tennis being played. The narrative for Venus and Hingis was stronger than these women, and it was a foregone conclusion who would win both finals. Now, the final we just saw was better than Venus and Hingis' first final. I can give the current teens their due credit when deserved. But is that the best they can do? The crowd here would have you believe Raducanu's already where she needs to be because she won a slam and the competition isn't getting any tougher. If she thinks the way these lackadaisical Talk Tennis Warehouse fans do, she'll end up slacking like Osaka has. Hopefully, her mindset is more of a champion's mindset.

Comparing the '90s WTA women to the men of the era isn't an even comparison. The men played that attacking tennis you love, and everyone was sick of it. Not only Sampras, but the majority of them were serving and hitting one-two passing shots or winners within seconds from their serves on the quicker courts. That's why I'm only discussing the women. And to answer your question, Venus as of early '98 was solidly better than Raducanu, whether or not it matters to anyone.
My point was not to compare women's tennis to men's, I was just making the (fairly obvious) point that it's not simply absolute quality that makes games (re)watchable or not, it's drama, style and a host of other intangibles (the narrative associated with it, personal nostalgia, etc). You're right of course, the Sampras era was super-attacking, but I still found it a bit dull. Whereas I loved the Becker / Edberg rivalry at Wimbledon (equally attacking S&V tennis) because they were well matched and their styles both appealed to me in different ways. Would either have beaten peak Sampras? Doesn't matter, even if not, I'd rather re-watch their games on YouTube than Sampras's because it's a matter of competitiveness and style as much as quality.

But back to the women: is this the best they can do? We don't know do we? That's why it's exciting. We'll see how they develop, who they beat easily, who they struggle against and on what surface, as the years develop. That's what people are excited about: it's the narrative and the drama and the unknown. That's what makes the current WTA exciting: whatever you think of the quality (and I think there's strength in depth, but also some surprising fragility and lack of confidence at the top) it's incredibly competitive and you don't know who is going to come out on top on any given day. There's a range of styles and approaches, and now two new players have burst in almost from nowhere to shake it up further. Who knows? Maybe this is the best they'll ever do, but if that proves to be the case it was already something pretty amazing. The 90-2000s era was great in women's tennis and 99.9999% of players will never go on to achieve anything like what Venus or Hingis achieved, but so what? That doesn't make it less enjoyable to watch other players or make their achievements worthless. There's no more point over-criticising than over-hyping, both are based on excessive expectations. Let's hope they can insulate themselves from that a bit.
 
I've never made any claims to Dokic being a great player, but she was better than Kournikova. Dokic won 6 tournaments. Kournikova won 0. Dokic's highest rank was #4. Kournikova's was #8. Dokic ended years in the top 10 twice, Kournikova only once. Kournikova only leads Dokic in one area, career W/L % and even there it is a negligible 62% to 61% and mostly thanks to Dokic playing to the end of her career at age 30 while Kournikova retired way early. Oh, and in their one match against each other, Dokic won including bageling Kournikova in the final set. So much for Kournikova being more accomplished than Dokic.



Yes, Swerve's the one who said that Hingis could beat Sampras! :eek:o_O:unsure:
OP has blown his cover not realising that Dokic was a significantly more accomplished player than Kournikova.

When he was watching Youtube highlights of old VHS rips and developing such a warped view of tennis he must have missed matches like the one where Dokic went nuclear against Hingis at Wimbledon in the late 90s.
 

Chanwan

G.O.A.T.
I once made a thread about Serena's incredible resurgence in 2012 and this poster got started about how that was 'nothing' compared to 'Martinka 1997'. I mean, he wasn't talking about just numbers or titles won - he stated that Martina played a higher level in 1997 than Serena in 2012. His heart never left the mid-late 90s when Hingis ruled women's tennis. I honestly don't think posts like this one of his come from a place of genuine enquiry or concern about the state of tennis today but a curious mixture of nostalgia for those days when he was younger and resentment against the current lot. I remember back in 2006 or so, Sharapova appeared on one of the talk shows and was asked if she found her results after winning Wimbledon in 2004 and she said not at all because she was still young and learning, so didn't mind losing to players like Venus. It would surprise our friend to learn that in all likelihood Swiatek too doesn't care that he gloats at 'her bubble being burst' because she wasn't expected to win RG last year anyway.

As for Raducanu, she beat the 2019 US Open semi finalist, Bencic, in straight sets...as a qualifier. I think those words are worth repeating over and over for their import. She didn't get 'lucky', she punched way above her class and at unprecedented levels. It is an achievement to be cherished; there's a reason no qualifier has won a slam before because it is supposed to be near-impossible. Even if it's true that the entire tour is somehow sclerotic, it doesn't explain how Raducanu already knew what to do when and kept doing it over and over for 10 matches.

Even if Raducanu does become the one slam wonder that Jason and co desperately hope she will turn out to be, she will still be a wondrous wonder. You can never take away what she achieved at this USO from her precisely because it defied the wildest of expectations. It's sad that some people are so caught in their agendas that they cannot even just halt the analysis paralysis for a while and just stand up and clap.
Bravo
 

Dolgopolov85

G.O.A.T.
OP has blown his cover not realising that Dokic was a significantly more accomplished player than Kournikova.

When he was watching Youtube highlights of old VHS rips and developing such a warped view of tennis he must have missed matches like the one where Dokic went nuclear against Hingis at Wimbledon in the late 90s.
Well to be fair, that was a terribly listless Hingis, still reeling from the events of RG 99. Regardless, Dokic won more titles, was ranked higher and performed a shade better at the slams. And that's before considering how an abusive father torpedoed what could have been the peak of her career. I don't think she was winning slams in the middle of the golden era (though if Kuznetsova did, she might well have too) but she was certainly on course to wind up with a much better career than the one she ended up with.
 

Wander

Hall of Fame
Kournikova hit heavier on both wings than Raducanu's forehand has shown- so far. Of course there's room for Raducanu improve, and I hope she does. But let's not jump the gun until she's shown a bit more promise. It's not good for Raducanu if she can only win her match by praying the technically better opponent self-implodes.
It's a bit ironic to talk about not jumping the gun on Raducanu in the very same thread where you defend Anna Kournikova as at her peak a stronger player than any of the modern champions. We saw the entirety of Anna's career arc already. She never delivered on her promise.

Part of the problem here even talking about backhands and forehands is that those are not really what decide champions. If they did, Sabalenka would've pummeled Fernandez and probably won this title. Or Osaka would be still dominating hard courts - but there are mental aspects at play. Like you said, Osaka is obviously suffering from depression and in no condition to play her best tennis. Once she lost serve while serving for the match, she was very clearly just unable to focus on the task at hand. Sabalenka on the other hand forgot to use her brain once it got close against Fernandez. Emma Raducanu was able to manage her tournament better than anyone else in this women's US Open draw. She stayed close to the top level she is capable of currently from point to point and match to match all the way through. Someone like Anna Kournikova was never able to do that even once in her entire pro tennis career (except in doubles).

If Emma can continue to manage her play mentally this well while continuing to improve physically, she will win tournaments and be a consistent presence. There's no question.

Like you Jason (I presume), I have not jumped on board with many of these 1-time champions of late (like Stephens, Ostapenko, Kenin, Andreescu, Krejčíková) and do not expect and never have expected more Majors from them. But I think Raducanu has a better chance than those players. Maybe not of being a dominant force because that's impossible to know this early, but of winning more. I think someone like Świątek has a shot at winning more Majors too, but she has also displayed some weaknesses this year that were not yet apparent during her RG 2020 run. So we'll see.

I am currently less sure on Fernandez. I don't think she's as good a player as Raducanu is right now but she displayed at USO that she has a higher potential than someone like Svitolina, for example. So she'll have a good career. But I don't know how good.
 

Dolgopolov85

G.O.A.T.
She is not hitting the ball hard, she is counterpunching using the pace of the incoming ball.

Every vid you’ve posted just goes against your arguments. But if this is what you see, we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

There are no guarantees these teens will be able to uphold their level going forward, but the way they got to final and the brand of tennis they played was simply better - in all aspects - than the current top WTA level.

How would they fare against yesterday’s top players? You claim they wouldn’t handle the pace by showing footage of Kornikova’s «hard» hitting which makes Halep or Wozniacki look like ball bashers. Which 90s players hit a faster ball than Keyes or Pliskova f.inst?
And let's not forget the absurdity of taking an example of Kournikova teeing off on poor Miho Saeki's serve to pretend she would do the same to Raducanu's serve. Has Jason actually watched Raducanu serve...like at all? She regularly goes over 105 mph. Her average first serve speed is high 90s but she frequently goes big on big points. She went 108 out wide on match point in the final. That's a difficult serve on the WTA...and no, Kournikova is not teeing off on that. But you can bet that if Raducanu destroys current WTA second serves, she would LOVE having Kournikova's for breakfast. There is no recency bias on my part. I was very much watching tennis at that time. I wouldn't dare claim Raducanu could demolish the serve of Williams sisters or Clijsters, maybe not even that of Davenport. But Kournikova does not belong in that elite group except in the OP's wild imagination.
 

Dolgopolov85

G.O.A.T.
Here at least is a good exhibit of Kournikova. Lipton 98, her finest performance in singles. Yeah, I don't care about peak Martinka formulations based on strokeplay seen in highlight reels. Making the finals of Lipton (Miami) was a big deal in the 90s. And Kournikova did it. But again, note, this is not yet anywhere near a peak Venus and she still beat Kournikova.

 

Kralingen

Hall of Fame
Here at least is a good exhibit of Kournikova. Lipton 98, her finest performance in singles. Yeah, I don't care about peak Martinka formulations based on strokeplay seen in highlight reels. Making the finals of Lipton (Miami) was a big deal in the 90s. And Kournikova did it. But again, note, this is not yet anywhere near a peak Venus and she still beat Kournikova.

the FH/BH look insane in this video, tbf. I am beginning to see Jason's point on Kournikova.

Then it all falls apart and she hits 15 winners to 46 errors, lmao.
 

Wander

Hall of Fame
the FH/BH look insane in this video, tbf. I am beginning to see Jason's point on Kournikova.

Then it all falls apart and she hits 15 winners to 46 errors, lmao.
Sabalenka looks insane too when she's switched on. And then some days she just crumbles.

Still has managed to be on enough to win quite a few tournaments already.
 

Jason Swerve

Hall of Fame
Sabalenka looks insane too when she's switched on. And then some days she just crumbles.

Still has managed to be on enough to win quite a few tournaments already.
Wander, today's tournaments are nothing like the past. The entire tour was recently on extended leave for an entire year.
 

Jason Swerve

Hall of Fame
I'm amazed at how much this person and "zvelf" will keep clamoring for my responses when it should be very clear to any sane person that I will not speak to them. Never again. At a certain point, the simple stubbornness is too much. Hence, they will keep quoting me, expecting me to engage with them. One day, you'll realize quoting these people won't make me any likelier to engage with them.
 

Jason Swerve

Hall of Fame
It's a bit ironic to talk about not jumping the gun on Raducanu in the very same thread where you defend Anna Kournikova as at her peak a stronger player than any of the modern champions. We saw the entirety of Anna's career arc already. She never delivered on her promise.

Part of the problem here even talking about backhands and forehands is that those are not really what decide champions. If they did, Sabalenka would've pummeled Fernandez and probably won this title. Or Osaka would be still dominating hard courts - but there are mental aspects at play. Like you said, Osaka is obviously suffering from depression and in no condition to play her best tennis. Once she lost serve while serving for the match, she was very clearly just unable to focus on the task at hand. Sabalenka on the other hand forgot to use her brain once it got close against Fernandez. Emma Raducanu was able to manage her tournament better than anyone else in this women's US Open draw. She stayed close to the top level she is capable of currently from point to point and match to match all the way through. Someone like Anna Kournikova was never able to do that even once in her entire pro tennis career (except in doubles).

If Emma can continue to manage her play mentally this well while continuing to improve physically, she will win tournaments and be a consistent presence. There's no question.

Like you Jason (I presume), I have not jumped on board with many of these 1-time champions of late (like Stephens, Ostapenko, Kenin, Andreescu, Krejčíková) and do not expect and never have expected more Majors from them. But I think Raducanu has a better chance than those players. Maybe not of being a dominant force because that's impossible to know this early, but of winning more. I think someone like Świątek has a shot at winning more Majors too, but she has also displayed some weaknesses this year that were not yet apparent during her RG 2020 run. So we'll see.

I am currently less sure on Fernandez. I don't think she's as good a player as Raducanu is right now but she displayed at USO that she has a higher potential than someone like Svitolina, for example. So she'll have a good career. But I don't know how good.
By your standards, no. By hers, she did. She inspired an entire generation of players like nobody since Serena Williams, and she became more famous than she ever realized she'd wanted to be. Too famous, even. Your issue is in thinking these tournaments have always had the same quality of draws for 40 years. They didn't. Kournikova had more difficult draws than Raducanu, like Fernandez had a more difficult draw than Raducanu. And so, I don't care what Kournikova won or didn't win. I can send an email in a few seconds, and this makes me no more intelligent than someone who was hooking up a computer for the first time in 1995. I might look it because my house had people install a router for me to go with my do-it-for-you computer. Kournikova had all of that old-school opposition to wade through. It's almost a matter of course to expect her to struggle more than Raducanu has with her spankin' new Dell.

Look at who's hitting the better-quality shots. Look at the quality shots being hit to them. If Raducanu can hit like Kournikova at her best, against today's competition, I'd be damned if she doesn't win multiple slams. If she hits like Kournikova at her worst, that's not worth discussing. There's no point in discussing Kournikova at her worst, once again. For now, Raducanu already has that mentality that Kournikova lacked. We're done comparing mentalities- we know the difference. Therefore, I now want to see Raducanu aim ever higher, and I don't give a damn what she wins or doesn't win if she's hitting her shots like she's mastered the game. But if she hits that way, the titles will come. Rest assured.

My point was not to compare women's tennis to men's, I was just making the (fairly obvious) point that it's not simply absolute quality that makes games (re)watchable or not, it's drama, style and a host of other intangibles (the narrative associated with it, personal nostalgia, etc). You're right of course, the Sampras era was super-attacking, but I still found it a bit dull. Whereas I loved the Becker / Edberg rivalry at Wimbledon (equally attacking S&V tennis) because they were well matched and their styles both appealed to me in different ways. Would either have beaten peak Sampras? Doesn't matter, even if not, I'd rather re-watch their games on YouTube than Sampras's because it's a matter of competitiveness and style as much as quality.

But back to the women: is this the best they can do? We don't know do we? That's why it's exciting. We'll see how they develop, who they beat easily, who they struggle against and on what surface, as the years develop. That's what people are excited about: it's the narrative and the drama and the unknown. That's what makes the current WTA exciting: whatever you think of the quality (and I think there's strength in depth, but also some surprising fragility and lack of confidence at the top) it's incredibly competitive and you don't know who is going to come out on top on any given day. There's a range of styles and approaches, and now two new players have burst in almost from nowhere to shake it up further. Who knows? Maybe this is the best they'll ever do, but if that proves to be the case it was already something pretty amazing. The 90-2000s era was great in women's tennis and 99.9999% of players will never go on to achieve anything like what Venus or Hingis achieved, but so what? That doesn't make it less enjoyable to watch other players or make their achievements worthless. There's no more point over-criticising than over-hyping, both are based on excessive expectations. Let's hope they can insulate themselves from that a bit.
I fully understand what you're saying but want to make something clear. I'm not telling you what to be excited for. I'm telling you what level these kids need to reach in order to be as technically proficient as the players before them. Period. If you care or don't, that's well and good. If you're already excited enough for them, that's the same deal. I agree that the final's atmosphere was a welcome change we've needed for years. But the fact remains: they have some growing to do. I'm showing what that growth needs to be. There's absolutely nothing wrong with this, or they wouldn't have their own coaches.

I know the kind of tennis you like- I was being facetious with you. What I'm making is that the women of the period had the best of both worlds. What you just said with the men, you can have too much of a good thing: attacking. There was a solid mix of offensive baselining, rushing, and defensive tennis in the period beginning with Hingis, because Hingis could do it all, which these women today cannot, and Hingis' contemporaries like the Williams needed to learn how to do it all in order to beat her. That's why the sisters got into doubles. To develop all-court games to beat Hingis. What you find dull, another person might find exciting and vice-versa: the '90s women's tennis had it all.

People're clamoring over Raducanu because she won a slam. So, tell me why she was striking the ball worse than Venus before Venus had won a slam. The answer is because the slams don't matter. It's a shocking statement to some folk, I'm sure, but Raducanu would not have won squat in '99. She won, and Venus failed, because she dealt with nobodies, and Venus dealt with somebodies.

the FH/BH look insane in this video, tbf. I am beginning to see Jason's point on Kournikova.

Then it all falls apart and she hits 15 winners to 46 errors, lmao.
Unless you were 100% on your game, Kournikova was the sort of player to beat you silly until she realized she was winning. Then, she would beat herself silly. If she miraculously played better than she believed she couldn't play that particular day, she would win. Fortunately for most of her opponents, she played as poorly as she expected herself to.

She was whipping Venus equally silly until it dawned on her that she was finally going to claim a trophy. Venus prayed for Kournikova to choke, and her prayers were granted. I want Raducanu to play like Kournikova before Kournikova realizes she's winning.
 
Well to be fair, that was a terribly listless Hingis, still reeling from the events of RG 99. Regardless, Dokic won more titles, was ranked higher and performed a shade better at the slams. And that's before considering how an abusive father torpedoed what could have been the peak of her career. I don't think she was winning slams in the middle of the golden era (though if Kuznetsova did, she might well have too) but she was certainly on course to wind up with a much better career than the one she ended up with.
Yes, she was a phenom and a half. Im Australian and it was so exciting to watch her meteoric rise.

Still enjoying what Dokic brings to the game now as a commentator, too :)
 

Dolgopolov85

G.O.A.T.
the FH/BH look insane in this video, tbf. I am beginning to see Jason's point on Kournikova.

Then it all falls apart and she hits 15 winners to 46 errors, lmao.
Yeah, look at the error count (from both actually) and it makes it clear that the much vaunted accuracy Jason speaks of is nowhere to be seen. Also gives the lie to his claim that unless you were 100% on your game, Kournikova would destroy you. But Venus wasn't even close to her best in this match and still beat her.
 

Dolgopolov85

G.O.A.T.
I'm amazed at how much this person and "zvelf" will keep clamoring for my responses when it should be very clear to any sane person that I will not speak to them. Never again. At a certain point, the simple stubbornness is too much. Hence, they will keep quoting me, expecting me to engage with them. One day, you'll realize quoting these people won't make me any likelier to engage with them.
Nobody is looking forward for your responses because you will NOT respond to the question as to why you are taking about racquets instead of strings. You have been exposed and you know it. Did you think everybody on the tour plays with a Babolat tweener? Raducanu doesn't for one.
 

Kralingen

Hall of Fame
Yeah, look at the error count (from both actually) and it makes it clear that the much vaunted accuracy Jason speaks of is nowhere to be seen. Also gives the lie to his claim that unless you were 100% on your game, Kournikova would destroy you. But Venus wasn't even close to her best in this match and still beat her.

This is the most impressive Kournikova video imo. I’m on Jason’s side when we’re talking raw talent when it comes to Anna K. Hingis of course is better and wins, but look at how swift and efficient her net game is, look at how effortless her footwork and drop shots are. That touch.

Tbh, I see it @Jason Swerve . I see the eye test stuff. Obviously she didn’t achieve much but considering she was like 16 in both of these videos and Lipton, she had incredible potential and talent. That much should be clear.
 

Tshooter

G.O.A.T.
Would Raducanu beat Sabatini, or Hingis at the same age? I don't know, and I don't care, because it's of no importance whatsoever. She does not have to beat Sabatini, because she won't be playing her. ...
You're very new here so you don't understand that hypothetical matches involving time travel are the most important considerations at TTW for evaluating players. Actual matches played or potential against real world current era competition is relatively unimportant. For example, Meds thrashed Djoker at the 2021 USO finals. So what. Can he beat FEDR 2006 at USO? That is something to consider when deciding where Meds stands currently and historically.
 
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Dolgopolov85

G.O.A.T.

This is the most impressive Kournikova video imo. I’m on Jason’s side when we’re talking raw talent when it comes to Anna K. Hingis of course is better and wins, but look at how swift and efficient her net game is, look at how effortless her footwork and drop shots are. That touch.

Tbh, I see it @Jason Swerve . I see the eye test stuff. Obviously she didn’t achieve much but considering she was like 16 in both of these videos and Lipton, she had incredible potential and talent. That much should be clear.
And I am not. I don't see her raw talent as greater than Raducanu. She was better at net, yes, but that's not everything. It doesn't matter how good Kournikova was at 16. That's not a good argument. From the Gauff case, we can see that it only leads you to peak earlier. That happened to Hingis. She didn't get better at 20 than 16. She stayed the same while the tour rapidly caught up with her.

If you watch Federer at 2003 Wimbledon and later at AO 2007, there is more polish in the latter but he is not a dramatically better player. I have rarely seen players improve well beyond the talent they showed in their breakout year (well other than players like Wawrinka or Kerber and we call them late bloomers for a reason) . Nadal improved from 2005 to 2009 on other surfaces but on clay he didn't get off the charts better.
 

Kralingen

Hall of Fame
And I am not. I don't see her raw talent as greater than Raducanu. She was better at net, yes, but that's not everything. It doesn't matter how good Kournikova was at 16. That's not a good argument. From the Gauff case, we can see that it only leads you to peak earlier. That happened to Hingis. She didn't get better at 20 than 16. She stayed the same while the tour rapidly caught up with her.

If you watch Federer at 2003 Wimbledon and later at AO 2007, there is more polish in the latter but he is not a dramatically better player. I have rarely seen players improve well beyond the talent they showed in their breakout year (well other than players like Wawrinka or Kerber and we call them late bloomers for a reason) . Nadal improved from 2005 to 2009 on other surfaces but on clay he didn't get off the charts better.
I think Raducanu is the clearly better athlete. And the serve advantage especially 2nd serve rockets her above Anna K. That is crucial to winning (I mean this video she still loses 6-3, 6-2, lol)

But I don’t think Jason’s crazy here. I am genuinely impressed, super impressed, even, by these Kournikova highlights and her groundstrokes/touch considering the technology she played with. Obviously though Raducanu will have a far better career, she already has, basically.
 

Dolgopolov85

G.O.A.T.
I think Raducanu is the clearly better athlete. And the serve advantage especially 2nd serve rockets her above Anna K. That is crucial to winning (I mean this video she still loses 6-3, 6-2, lol)

But I don’t think Jason’s crazy here. I am genuinely impressed, super impressed, even, by these Kournikova highlights and her groundstrokes/touch considering the technology she played with. Obviously though Raducanu will have a far better career, she already has, basically.
He's not crazy to say Kournikova is good. Those of us who watched her in the 90s know the misogynistic MSM narrative about her was fake. But he is crazy to say Raducanu has a long way to go to reach Kournikova's level. I find it amusing that someone like him who blabbers on about tennis like a motormouth so completely ignores the serve in the equation and just looks at strokes in highlight reels. I mean, that's how LeeD ended up eating Federer and NTRP 4.5+.
 

Tshooter

G.O.A.T.
He's not crazy to say Kournikova is good. Those of us who watched her in the 90s know the misogynistic MSM narrative about her was fake. But he is crazy to say Raducanu has a long way to go to reach Kournikova's level. I find it amusing that someone like him who blabbers on about tennis like a motormouth so completely ignores the serve in the equation and just looks at strokes in highlight reels. I mean, that's how LeeD ended up eating Federer and NTRP 4.5+.
AK was a top flight junior and a very good pro. She may have became more known for her looks and off-court activity but she was a heck of a tennis player. But Emma just won the USO...
 
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Jason Swerve

Hall of Fame
Good grief, give me strength. As soon as I logged out, I saw more foolishness. I won't respond to him, but it should be known that Dokic didn't simply "beat" Kournikova in their match in '02. For anyone wondering what happened, an actual explanation:

Dokic barely scraped by a drastically injured Kournikova, with multiple compounded foot injuries, wrapped and taped up, and suffering from an aggravated back that'd yet to be diagnosed. Stomach and hip strains. To top it off, Kournikova'd played a match every day for the past week. Such was her scheduling. And despite all of this going against Kournikova during her horrible decline of '01-02, she dragged that Dokic child to two match points and only failed when, if I recall, Dokic hit a couple lucky winners/serves on Kournikova's winded self. If Dokic had lost that match, she'd have been a laughingstock. To Dokic's relief, Kournikova luckily had nothing left in the tank in the third, after several days of prior matches.

Hence, 6-7 (6-8), 7-6 (7-2), 6-0. Comparing Dokic to Kournikova at her best is, in all honesty, dim.



This is the most impressive Kournikova video imo. I’m on Jason’s side when we’re talking raw talent when it comes to Anna K. Hingis of course is better and wins, but look at how swift and efficient her net game is, look at how effortless her footwork and drop shots are. That touch.

Tbh, I see it @Jason Swerve . I see the eye test stuff. Obviously she didn’t achieve much but considering she was like 16 in both of these videos and Lipton, she had incredible potential and talent. That much should be clear.
Kournikova always played Hingis nervously. But as she said a few times, grass was her favorite surface. You can tell that here, even though you can see the nerves as well.

Raducanu's athleticism is above average for the lards she's hanging around, but there's still an ocean of difference. Kournikova'd once been complaining that she'd worked out so much, she'd "accidentally" gained muscles like Venus Williams and hated the fact that she no longer felt "feminine". I guarantee you, Kournikova exercised more on and off the court than anyone playing today. I'm talking about, in some cases, being on the court from before noon till after dark. She had what could be called a tennis addiction, and it manifested in that her physical talents trump any teen playing today even though she stopped using them after mounting injuries. She hurt herself at Eastebourne because she chose to dive for a volley and landed on her thumb. This wasn't the first time she did such a dive- only, the first time it ended so poorly. When she broke her foot, the doctor told her not to play for a few months- she was playing another tournament, later that month.

In fact, Kournikova almost played more tournaments from '00-'03 (50-60) than Osaka's played in her entire career. If we're counting the doubles tournaments that she played more than singles, she did play more in those three years than Osaka's 88 total tournaments. And I do recognize it doesn't matter if you're being bopped out of the first round or so, but Kournikova was the sort to practice intensely before every tournament match and practice even harder whenever she lost a tournament. You can see why she was so injured month in and month out. She physically pushed her body to its limit. And yes, she does continue to play with her family, today, even with her back issues. But before turning pro, she usually hit for 10 hours a day. That's why I said that her technical peak was from '93-'94.

As for the serve, Kournikova's comparable to today's average WTA player on Serve #1. Her flat serves hovered around the 100s (MPH). The spins hovered around the 90s. Serve #1 got much weaker as time goes on because she took off pace in order to spin her first serve in more often, rather than double fault. The same issue with Hingis after '97. Her accuracy went up and her speed would drop to the 60 and 70s. Raducanu's speed would also be dropping, and Kournikova's rising, if we had them switch rackets. One of the two'd be very unhappy, and it wouldn't be Kournikova.


But Emma just won the USO...
It seems we have a long way to go before this sort of linear thinking is dispelled. But I won't be here to do it if the moderators keep deleting threads I dedicate my time to. There's other forums.

After viewing some of the video. I'm even more him impressed with her historic, unprecedented run. How many players have won the USO playing through a minor earthquake. None that I can recall.
I didn't even notice that. Guess I'll have to reconsider my listing, a little.
 

Chanwan

G.O.A.T.
I'm amazed at how much this person and "zvelf" will keep clamoring for my responses when it should be very clear to any sane person that I will not speak to them. Never again. At a certain point, the simple stubbornness is too much. Hence, they will keep quoting me, expecting me to engage with them. One day, you'll realize quoting these people won't make me any likelier to engage with them.
I've never seen the two of you in a debate before so don't know your history - merely responded to the post
 

Chanwan

G.O.A.T.
The TTW party. If I were late, I wouldn't have made a living off this sport.


What you and Billie Jean King think isn't necessarily wrong, but it doesn't matter to the extent you're comparing Raducanu's form against this subpar competition. That means nothing in the long run. When people once compared Sampras to Federer, none of those comparisons would've mattered for an instant if Sampras had played in the so-called "Lost Generation". We don't want to analyze Radacanu "down" to today's standards. We want to analyze her up to where she needs to be at her best.
I actually do want to analyze Radu against the field she is playing. Anything else is fraught with difficulties and subjective judgments
 

Chanwan

G.O.A.T.
What matters is, now we've seen both. The '99 final stands for rewatching, and this final has lower-quality, actual tennis being played. The narrative for Venus and Hingis was stronger than these women, and it was a foregone conclusion who would win both finals. Now, the final we just saw was better than Venus and Hingis' first final. I can give the current teens their due credit when deserved. But is that the best they can do? The crowd here would have you believe Raducanu's already where she needs to be because she won a slam and the competition isn't getting any tougher. If she thinks the way these lackadaisical Talk Tennis Warehouse fans do, she'll end up slacking like Osaka has. Hopefully, her mindset is more of a champion's mindset.

Comparing the '90s WTA women to the men of the era isn't an even comparison. The men played that attacking tennis you love, and everyone was sick of it. Not only Sampras, but the majority of them were serving and hitting one-two passing shots or winners within seconds from their serves on the quicker courts. That's why I'm only discussing the women. And to answer your question, Venus as of early '98 was solidly better than Raducanu, whether or not it matters to anyone.
Who is saying Radu won't or should not improve from here? I think the vast majority of us are impressed by her learning curve. Prior to the US, she had 4 weeks of lower ranked tournament play on HC going 8-3. This was apparently her first HC matches in 18 months, if I got it right.
And then she explodes into something you might still consider low level in the grand scheme of things, but nevertheless a level that got her 10 straight sets win in her 2nd slam. She has no experience and is capable of that. That get's me excited for her future
 

Dolgopolov85

G.O.A.T.
Who is saying Radu won't or should not improve from here? I think the vast majority of us are impressed by her learning curve. Prior to the US, she had 4 weeks of lower ranked tournament play on HC going 8-3. This was apparently her first HC matches in 18 months, if I got it right.
And then she explodes into something you might still consider low level in the grand scheme of things, but nevertheless a level that got her 10 straight sets win in her 2nd slam. She has no experience and is capable of that. That get's me excited for her future
Yes, the fact that she problem solved at this level as a qualifier in her first ever US Open suggests we have not yet seen the best of her. MAYBE we have and that would be tragic but the odds suggest she is capable of more than this. So let's wait and watch. In any case, the OP sounds less like an exhortation to Raducanu to improve and more of aggrievement at how 'overhyped' she is.
 

Chanwan

G.O.A.T.
@Jason Swerve - I would be interested in your take on what you see as Raducanu's assets, weaknesses and areas where she needs to put in more work to develop further. I've already gave you my list over what I liked about her game (post 26)
 

tex123

Professional
Here's Hingis 1998 - similar age. 18.

And here are the two teenagers.


Hingis has no real power in her shots. She had a weak weak serve. She played a counter punching style with great court coverage - something that you see with Bautista Agut or Carreno Busta. Many of her shots are junk balls. She also played the attrition game.

On the other hand, both these 2021 teenagers try to dictate with their serves and forehand. Both have 1000x times better serves and forehands. They don't play counterpunching style i.e they don't run like Hingis and return every ball. Instead, they go for winners at every opportunity.

I don't understand how OP equates the two.
 

Dolgopolov85

G.O.A.T.
OP and other pseudo-intelligent naysayers would do well to peruse of this video rather than the lousy courtside capture he posted.


Raducanu hit a forehand winner on the rise squatting. But yeah, absolutely no match for Kournikova. Raducanu took every second serve return from inside the baseline and consistently notched 40% RPW throughout the tournament. But yeah, once again, ain't no Kournikova.
 

zvelf

Hall of Fame
I'm amazed at how much this person and "zvelf" will keep clamoring for my responses when it should be very clear to any sane person that I will not speak to them. Never again. At a certain point, the simple stubbornness is too much. Hence, they will keep quoting me, expecting me to engage with them. One day, you'll realize quoting these people won't make me any likelier to engage with them.
This is very funny to me. See, I’m under no impression that I can convince you, someone so unbelievably obsessed with Hingis and Kournikova and your own over-inflated sense of self, of anything. When I respond to your posts, it is to provide information to the rest of the forum. I can only hope for the fewest number of posts from you as possible so I am very happy to hear I’m not adding to them.

Good grief, give me strength. As soon as I logged out, I saw more foolishness. I won't respond to him, but it should be known that Dokic didn't simply "beat" Kournikova in their match in '02. For anyone wondering what happened, an actual explanation:

Dokic barely scraped by a drastically injured Kournikova, with multiple compounded foot injuries, wrapped and taped up, and suffering from an aggravated back that'd yet to be diagnosed. Stomach and hip strains. To top it off, Kournikova'd played a match every day for the past week. Such was her scheduling. And despite all of this going against Kournikova during her horrible decline of '01-02, she dragged that Dokic child to two match points and only failed when, if I recall, Dokic hit a couple lucky winners/serves on Kournikova's winded self. If Dokic had lost that match, she'd have been a laughingstock. To Dokic's relief, Kournikova luckily had nothing left in the tank in the third, after several days of prior matches.

Hence, 6-7 (6-8), 7-6 (7-2), 6-0. Comparing Dokic to Kournikova at her best is, in all honesty, dim.
Oh, crap, so you did respond to me after all (in the guise of saying you have not). So Kournikova was somehow retroactively injured against Dokic despite playing 4 more tournaments in the following 2 months? Dokic also played a match every day for that past week including beating world #3 Jennifer Capriati in a 3-setter the match before. And then you blame Kournikova's getting bageled by Dokic on Kournikova's fitness as if that's a real excuse? Fitness is part of being a good tennis player. Sorry. And then you act as if getting to match point is a victory. It's not. You have to win that match point. That "Dokic child" beat your vaunted Kournikova and bageled her. Dokic was the better player that day and won. Dokic was the better player on many days and clearly had the more accomplished singles career. So you can put down Dokic all you want, but then you're also putting down Kournikova in comparison.

Anyway, I'm not here to say Kournikova was an awful player. She was not. But she wasn't a great player either and Dokic was better. You simply can't be great if you win zero titles in your entire career. Look at other shortened careers like Austin, Borg, del Potro and you still see they won a lot. Kournikova not only did not win a lot, she never won anything in singles. The career of "Dokic child" is not super special, but she won 6 titles, which is infinitely more than Kournikova could accomplish.

The real embarrassment here though is trying to gauge Raducanu off of a few matches. I bet Jason hasn't even watched more than half a dozen Raducanu matches but he's ready to judge and speculate. It's way too early to make harsh verdicts like Raducanu's not ready yet. She may be and she may not. She's only been on the tour since June. Give her some time! Isolating one particular player's strokes as ideal regardless of whatever the rest of her game was like and then saying Raducanu's strokes have to be of that caliber is ridiculous. That'd be like me saying, well, Raducanu doesn't have the mental game of peak Seles, the forehand of Graf, the serve of Serena, and the net game of Navratilova, I guess she's not ready yet. Whatever Jason thinks of Raducanu's competition, she has already overshadowed Kournikova's entire career and Raducanu is just getting started.
 
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Dolgopolov85

G.O.A.T.
More insight into what Raducanu did this USO (as opposed to the narrative that she didn't do anything particularly special other than managing her mentality and getting lucky):


Note, in particular:

  1. Got her first serve in 72% of the time as opposed to tournament average of 63%
  2. Average second serve speed of 93 mph against tournament average of 82 mph
  3. 93% of second serve returns from inside the baseline and remaining 7% from within 2 m of it.
In short, took a tad off her first serve and focused on placement to make it hard to attack without going all out and losing first serves. And instead, reduced the gap between her first and second serves so her opponents couldn't attack it. Raducanu only conceded 5 break points against Bencic and 7 against Sakkari. She was only broken once in both matches put together. Only broken twice from 9 break points against Fernandez.

And on the other hand, her aggressive returning off the second serve scrambled the serve games of her opponents, eventually throwing up breaks of serve.

It's pretty simple as to not only why she won but why she won in straight sets. She had a winning plan that she executed to perfection.

'Level' judged off H/L reels without accounting for the copious errors someone like Kournikova made is, as I said, like LeeD calling Federer a 4.5. It's not THAT bad, nothing will be, but it's bad enough when you consider the person making said claim is a self-proclaimed coach. Of all people, a coach should be looking at effectiveness and not exciting strokes. Santiago Giraldo has the most exciting return winner compilations of any ATP player you can find. You don't wanna know what his ranking is.
 
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