No, these WTA teenagers aren't yet ready.

Jason Swerve

Hall of Fame
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
There's nothing to be excited for with the lackluster draw she had. Had Fernandez won, I would have been much impressed. What matters the most is that none of the players in this tournament were as strong as Wozniacki. Those of us who remember the "good old days" or who're waiting for this tour to evolve, we know that winning this slam is a baby step for Raducanu. Not for her achievements, but for her playing style. It's natural that she'd win at her level, but she didn't play that entire tournament as well as what we've seen in years past.

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.
You're plucking highlights from Hingis in her 3rd worst year, when she admitted in interviews to being 15 pounds overweight and playing with boyfriends over practicing. There was gossip all over the subject back in the day. Look it up.

It's irrelevant. Davenport slugged harder than either Raducanu or Fernandez. You can't expect either of them to do any better than Hingis did: Hingis at that stage in her career was still quicker and more sure-footed than these two. In 5 sets, a few weeks later, Hingis championed Davenport. I'll tell you again, you needn't be there. This stuff's easily researched.

@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)
Forehand, backhand, serve, footwork.

Forehand and footwork being the worst offenders. Her service has changed (luckily improving from earlier), and her forehand more noticeably. Many holes in that forehand technique that she hasn't filled. The gimps of today can't beat a new player who's testing the waters in her maiden slam. That's Raducanu's luck, and good on her. Take advantage of the listlessness, Djoker wishes he were a woman right about now. Some of these ignorant bucks want to believe Kournikova would let Raducanu get away with such "experimentation". Well, let 'em believe. They weren't attending events back then to remember those days, and it's not in me to argue with them. I scroll through this thread after some time to see my replies, and I've gotta ton of blocked spam mail from the predictable two people. You can bet who won't be giving them the time of day.

Chanwan, here's some fortunate truth for you: You don't need to be in your 30s and 50s to witness how heavily Kournikova hit. Look at their physiques, and you'll see that Raducanu's fitness lacks in comparison. This isn't to knock her. You don't need it when you're just starting out. You don't want to burn yourself out too early like Kournikova did. But if they were to play a single match, Raducanu- who verges on counterpuncher territory- would be run ragged. Raducanu is used to running down that sluggish loopy-poly crap, and she wouldn't be getting any such crap with anyone before 2005.
 

Jason Swerve

Hall of Fame
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.
What a foolish thing to say. No one wants to see these women play anyone else. I want to see their mechanics improve. Learn your ropes. The misstatements don't belong in my house. I already know who plays at what level, and why. My accountant can confirm this for me. I don't need some nobodies on a website to make the attempt for him.
 
Last, Raducanu didn't lose a set because she was extremely lucky. From this tournament alone, if either Barty, Osaka, or Sabalenka had won their matches, let alone some other possible reversals, Raducanu would've had a much harder time out there. If I were a betting man, I'd have bet on either Barty or Osaka over Raducanu in this slam final. Provided I knew they were going to bring their A games.
"If If If" - Nadal
 

Jason Swerve

Hall of Fame
You'd be delighted to know that while I didn't bet on this tournament, I put my stake in the ATP and came out mucho grande. It "pays" to pay attention.
 

AM75

Hall of Fame
One should also throw Dementieva, Petrova and Makarova in the mix. They all were extremely unlucky to play during Serena / Henin / Kim era. I doubt any of recent champions bar Osaka would be able to beat them during their peak.
 

R. Schweikart

Professional
What a foolish thing to say. No one wants to see these women play anyone else. I want to see their mechanics improve. Learn your ropes. The misstatements don't belong in my house. I already know who plays at what level, and why. ...
That from someone who writes BS like "Martinka '97 = Hingis in the '97 Sydney and Australian Open. The highest level of WTA/ATP tennis play." is really funny.

To repeat it for the younger people here:
This Hingis won Sydney 97 and the AO 97 - both of course in Steffi Graf's absence.
In Sydney she beat both #19 Appelmans and (then) #37 Capriati in three sets, #30 Basuki 76 61 and good old M.J. Fernandez (#17) 63 62.
At the AO she lost no set, beat two top 20 players with Fernandez again and #10 Irina Spirlea 75 62. And Mary Pierce, then only #22, with 62 62 in the final.

Beating Spirlea with 75 62.
"The highest level of WTA/ATP tennis play".
That's all we need to know about this Sverve dude and his heartthrob "Martinka". He quite obviously has never held a racket in his hand. But hey, this is TTW!! :-D
 

Jason Swerve

Hall of Fame
A pleasant weekend to all of you. Maybe after the 7th time, I've made my point clear.

These teenagers are not ready. Raducanu reaped the benefits of an easy draw in her last tournament, and that obscured what her current level actually is compared with Fernandez who is still alive in Indian Wells, for the moment.

Remember this: A single slam doesn't change anyone from what they were. The strongest champions were significant threats at each and every tournament they entered. We can argue against me until the fat lady sings, and we'll continue to see devastating results like these in real life.

One should also throw Dementieva, Petrova and Makarova in the mix. They all were extremely unlucky to play during Serena / Henin / Kim era. I doubt any of recent champions bar Osaka would be able to beat them during their peak.
Yes, particularly with Dementieva, I see we're you're coming from. Makarova, if these ladies haven't reached her peak by the time they're her age, I'll be worried for them. Petrova at her best has hit her groundies beyond what Raducanu and Fernandez put on the table, though it seems to me she's lacking a bit of that Raducanu speed. Not footwork but on the physical side. Now, Fernandez is extremely slow, sorry to say, and probably wouldn't outrace Petrova in her later years.

This latest slam was a pilfer. There wouldn't have been any pilfering in that era. Some would say the field is deeper overall and that this is why players with negligible rankings could make slam finals like they have. I'd respond that it's the truth. On the other hand, the entire field is playing at 60% of what the three women you listed play. There's no 100-80% for the "haves" and the "have-nots" like we saw back in the day. I'm not sure what we can do to change this. But something needs to be done. The attendance record of that Open final paled in comparison to what other youngsters brought us.
 

Jason Swerve

Hall of Fame
Lemme add something. If some poster here wants to spin the fairytale that Sasnovich plays a better game than Kournikova did in her heyday, go ahead and knock yourself out. I'll listen to what you have to say.

But here's what we need to look at. Raducanu beat herself just as much as she lost. Maybe now she's begun to feel a fraction of what Kournikova'd felt from her last year on the junior tour in '95 until her retirement in '03. If Raducanu can't overcome the mental fragility, she's over. For those who didn't watch the match, her entire game changed. Raducanu does not normally play the way she played Sasnovich. She's normally a very patient, counterattacking sort, if I could brand her as anything. Here, she tried to play like Kournikova. But her still-in-the-works groundstrokes, and especially that forehand let her down.

It's possible to win with a high error rate. Graf often won with error margins above the 30s from nothing but an inaccurate forehand. 31 unforced errors is nothing to Kournikova. But Kournikova would make these errors when she was winning and felt something was off. Raducanu made hers when the media shown a spotlight on her. Unfortunately for Raducanu, all the best players have spotlights on them.

-- One last thing. Some in here were talking down Hingis to bump up these newer players. If you feel Osaka's got the makings to be better than Hingis, I'm not here to stop you from believing what you want to believe. However don't yammer on about the four slams she's won. If this year's proven anything about tennis these days, it's that reaching #1 and holding it is an impossibly harder task than winning some slam. The four slams themselves are losing mainstream value in the athletic world.
 
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goldengate14

Professional
I can't comprehend this? Why do Sabatini and Anna Kournikova rate so highly? How can we begin to say if Raducanu's worse than them from one slam? Did you see her play Conchita Martinez? All we know is Raducanu did not lose a set -- that's more impressive than most of this list, is it not?

Edit -- Okay. Sabatini beat Graf a bunch, but I think that overstates her. Steffi had personal issues in those matches. Emma's run in this draw makes her stand out more than beating one player. Just my opinion.
Sabatini was a great player. Kournikova merely adistraction for phillipousis
 

Jason Swerve

Hall of Fame
Sabatini was a great player. Kournikova merely adistraction for phillipousis
In every match she played, Kournikova demonstrated more shots in her arsenal than either Raducanu and Fernandez hit during Flushing Meadows. Stop repeating tired jokes. Think for yourself. She was "too eclectic," but these two are "less complete".
 

Graf1stClass

Professional
Fine, she lost one match. IW and the USO aren't the same conditions. Are you implying her grand slam trophy was an accident? You can't have that winning streak by 'being lucky'. No one is going to win everytime they play... I agree with you sometimes but you're too eager on this one. Do you want to prove something to us here? It should impress you that she played this well at all... certainly she played better than 'Kournikova' (and even Graf!) when they were so new to the tour. Raducanu faces a lot of criticism from this loss -- you said some time ago that Kournikova and Hingis never used the computers. It was easier to ignore the pressure back then. Raducanu has that working against her, and you can tell she felt the humungous buildup to this match. Give her some time to settle down; it's barely been a month. Then we can see where she really slots on your list.
 

Jason Swerve

Hall of Fame
she had injury problems that caused her to retire at 21 years of age
The most prominent was that thumb injury we all know about. Once it healed and she played her next match, her toss quickly worsened. She could never find the right depth of toss from phantom pains, and she'd compensate by tossing quicker before she could think of how wrong her toss was. The fast paces of matches compelled her to rush outside of practice, and the rushed tosses caused her to pronate less. This was admitted by her at first, but she'd later deny it and claim she didn't know the issue- probably assumed that would help it to go away. There were other issues with the serve- it's tragic to witness a player's mental state decline when their biomechanics break down, one component at a time.

Fine, she lost one match. IW and the USO aren't the same conditions. Are you implying her grand slam trophy was an accident? You can't have that winning streak by 'being lucky'. No one is going to win everytime they play... I agree with you sometimes but you're too eager on this one. Do you want to prove something to us here? It should impress you that she played this well at all... certainly she played better than 'Kournikova' (and even Graf!) when they were so new to the tour. Raducanu faces a lot of criticism from this loss -- you said some time ago that Kournikova and Hingis never used the computers. It was easier to ignore the pressure back then. Raducanu has that working against her, and you can tell she felt the humungous buildup to this match. Give her some time to settle down; it's barely been a month. Then we can see where she really slots on your list.
I'm not looking to prod you, but I heard it all before. First, Osaka lost "one match". Then Sabalenka lost "one match". Swiatek lost "one match". It goes on and on.

It doesn't look good on you. I know what I'm talking about. I've been in this business too long to not know. Before this, people were telling me Stephens lost "one match". Bouchard lost "one match". Hell, I remember when Dokic lost "one match". A good coach is going to look into how these players are living their lives and model their profession after what they see. I've looked into more tennis players professional lives than your average fan. I know what I'm talking about.

I'm not out to settle any grudge. I would hope that some people are learning from what I'm saying, and I know that's not a lie. The peanut gallery is louder, but where's the surprise? Raducanu lost for the reasons I told @Chanwan she would. Her forehand is too novical, and it shows glimpses of promise when she has time to set up, but the extension takes away her time and power if she's not angled correctly. She adjusts by overhitting. This is common when players are still finding their hands on the racket. Raducanu's still finding her hands. Her serves let her down. You all talk about Kournikova's services, and you can bet that's a fair game. Take a close look at where Sasnovich was standing for a number of Raducanu's services. You'd think she was already preparing to shake Raducanu's hand- and she might as well've been. It's not as shaky as Kournikova, but Kournikova's services broke down after that aforementioned thumb injury and then another two injuries. Raducanu doesn't have any of these semi-valid excuses. Her headspace is weaker. Why do you think I'm telling you these players today wouldn't have survived the '90s? Social media's a factor anyone can choose to ignore. The kids just don't have the discipline for it. When Kournikova and Hingis responded to pressures, it wasn't because they read them on social media. It was because the press and reporters back then were immoral hounds who wanted to do whatever it took to raise controversy amid their tennis reports. That's why the tennis back then was more exciting- but that's why we had more heartbreaking in the past. A certain champion boycotted the media this year, and Kournikova instead worked with her coaches on staying calm during media questions. One of the very few times that failed, BBC immorally aired an outtake of an interview of her being mocked because she "kept losing".

And lemme tell you about this game. You're confounding the players. I don't care how good Graf was at 13 or 14. Kournikova at 14 hit the ball harder than these two hit it at Flushing Meadows. That is a fact. Indisputable. They hit the ball as hard as Kournikova would slice it. Neither of them are power players like Osaka. Everyone else choked, including Osaka. This is what happens when you don't face chokers. The wins don't come easy to you. When you start to choke, you have to learn how to play through it. Raducanu choked almost immediately. She couldn't recover. She hit 31 UEs. Kournikova hit over 80 UEs in that match with Saeki. Her double faults totaled 31. But Kournikova won her match. I wonder what the difference is?

Without being able to possess them, I can only direct you to look at the difference in body language. Kournikova didn't get down on herself. She was used to double faulting away matches by that point and facing public ridicule, and she wanted to push through because she knew she was going to keep double faulting. That's not to say Kournikova was the most "intelligent" player on the court, but she certainly had the "heart". She tried her damndest whenever she got a service inside the box. Saeki eventually folded because Kournikova's frequent faults and rushed tosses ended up making her serve difficult to read. Raducanu has not faced such public adversity yet, and she believes she's the current best on the tour. By the last tournament's standards, she was. But we've moved on from September, and you see the difference like day and night. When things don't go Raducanu's way, she can't grit her teeth. She's dumbfounded. Then she, for lack of better words: gives up. That's natural in unseasoned players. Her run was a miracle run, and we shouldn't expect a veteran's game from her. I can refer to the Raducanu you're focused on as "September Raducanu" from now on, but I'd rather see her find some of that heart when things aren't going her way. Suddenly, she loses her first set in months, and it's lights out upstairs.

You're right that we'll wait. As of now, she had a solid run in the past. The draw was lucky, and she deserved to win her draw with that level of play. That level of play isn't something players like this bring habitually. Fans all over the world would agree with me now. She has a long way to go before the coaches and analysts are impressed with what they're seeing. That loss wasn't impressing anyone. Look around. You'll see none of those yappers from earlier can talk to me, now that they've eaten crow.
 

R. Schweikart

Professional
The most prominent was that thumb injury we all know about. Once it healed and she played her next match, her toss quickly worsened. She could never find the right depth of toss from phantom pains, and she'd compensate by tossing quicker before she could think of how wrong her toss was. The fast paces of matches compelled her to rush outside of practice, and the rushed tosses caused her to pronate less. This was admitted by her at first, but she'd later deny it and claim she didn't know the issue- probably assumed that would help it to go away. There were other issues with the serve- it's tragic to witness a player's mental state decline when their biomechanics break down, one component at a time.


I'm not looking to prod you, but I heard it all before. First, Osaka lost "one match". Then Sabalenka lost "one match". Swiatek lost "one match". It goes on and on.

It doesn't look good on you. I know what I'm talking about. I've been in this business too long to not know. Before this, people were telling me Stephens lost "one match". Bouchard lost "one match". Hell, I remember when Dokic lost "one match". A good coach is going to look into how these players are living their lives and model their profession after what they see. I've looked into more tennis players professional lives than your average fan. I know what I'm talking about.

I'm not out to settle any grudge. I would hope that some people are learning from what I'm saying, and I know that's not a lie. The peanut gallery is louder, but where's the surprise? Raducanu lost for the reasons I told @Chanwan she would. Her forehand is too novical, and it shows glimpses of promise when she has time to set up, but the extension takes away her time and power if she's not angled correctly. She adjusts by overhitting. This is common when players are still finding their hands on the racket. Raducanu's still finding her hands. Her serves let her down. You all talk about Kournikova's services, and you can bet that's a fair game. Take a close look at where Sasnovich was standing for a number of Raducanu's services. You'd think she was already preparing to shake Raducanu's hand- and she might as well've been. It's not as shaky as Kournikova, but Kournikova's services broke down after that aforementioned thumb injury and then another two injuries. Raducanu doesn't have any of these semi-valid excuses. Her headspace is weaker. Why do you think I'm telling you these players today wouldn't have survived the '90s? Social media's a factor anyone can choose to ignore. The kids just don't have the discipline for it. When Kournikova and Hingis responded to pressures, it wasn't because they read them on social media. It was because the press and reporters back then were immoral hounds who wanted to do whatever it took to raise controversy amid their tennis reports. That's why the tennis back then was more exciting- but that's why we had more heartbreaking in the past. A certain champion boycotted the media this year, and Kournikova instead worked with her coaches on staying calm during media questions. One of the very few times that failed, BBC immorally aired an outtake of an interview of her being mocked because she "kept losing".

And lemme tell you about this game. You're confounding the players. I don't care how good Graf was at 13 or 14. Kournikova at 14 hit the ball harder than these two hit it at Flushing Meadows. That is a fact. Indisputable. They hit the ball as hard as Kournikova would slice it. Neither of them are power players like Osaka. Everyone else choked, including Osaka. This is what happens when you don't face chokers. The wins don't come easy to you. When you start to choke, you have to learn how to play through it. Raducanu choked almost immediately. She couldn't recover. She hit 31 UEs. Kournikova hit over 80 UEs in that match with Saeki. Her double faults totaled 31. But Kournikova won her match. I wonder what the difference is?

Without being able to possess them, I can only direct you to look at the difference in body language. Kournikova didn't get down on herself. She was used to double faulting away matches by that point and facing public ridicule, and she wanted to push through because she knew she was going to keep double faulting. That's not to say Kournikova was the most "intelligent" player on the court, but she certainly had the "heart". She tried her damndest whenever she got a service inside the box. Saeki eventually folded because Kournikova's frequent faults and rushed tosses ended up making her serve difficult to read. Raducanu has not faced such public adversity yet, and she believes she's the current best on the tour. By the last tournament's standards, she was. But we've moved on from September, and you see the difference like day and night. When things don't go Raducanu's way, she can't grit her teeth. She's dumbfounded. Then she, for lack of better words: gives up. That's natural in unseasoned players. Her run was a miracle run, and we shouldn't expect a veteran's game from her. I can refer to the Raducanu you're focused on as "September Raducanu" from now on, but I'd rather see her find some of that heart when things aren't going her way. Suddenly, she loses her first set in months, and it's lights out upstairs.

You're right that we'll wait. As of now, she had a solid run in the past. The draw was lucky, and she deserved to win her draw with that level of play. That level of play isn't something players like this bring habitually. Fans all over the world would agree with me now. She has a long way to go before the coaches and analysts are impressed with what they're seeing. That loss wasn't impressing anyone. Look around. You'll see none of those yappers from earlier can talk to me, now that they've eaten crow.
Tell us more how Hingis was the best ever player when she won Sydney and the AO in 1997.
And about her monster win against Irina Spirlea.
 

Jason Swerve

Hall of Fame
At age 16, Hingis nearly won a Hopman Cup before Sydney as well, if not for her dunce of a partner who injured himself and withdrew them as they were winning their finals for the second year in a row. She promptly split their partnership and called him "impossible" to work with, which he was. Though they later remained friends.

But now, Hingis wanted to finally win a singles tournament. So, she won Sydney. Then she won the Open. Then she won Tokyo. Then she won the next tournament. Then the next tournament. Then the next tournament. The next tournament. Then the next tournament. Etc.

Do you want me to tell you where Raducanu currently stands? At age 18, Raducanu lost Wimbledon, won the US Open, and lost the very next tournament. She has no experience, and a comparison isn't "fair". But I'm not going to sit here and tell you Hingis was even a legal adult when the tour was fearing her. Raducanu isn't feared. Whatever aura she had as of the US Open is gone. Shoot, the tour as a whole doesn't fear anyone these days. No one wins everything they enter like Hingis and her clique did in their day.

I have not said they are complete.
When they're complete, they'll start impressing me. Every player I listed can hit an overhead. Kournikova had the best overhead in professional tennis. I couldn't care less about her headspace when Raducanu just choked in a major match. Why don't you name me one thing either teen does better than the rest of the current field? Fernandez might take the ball earlier than most of her contemporaries, but that's where it ends.
 

Max G.

Legend
But if they were to play a single match, Raducanu- who verges on counterpuncher territory- would be run ragged. Raducanu is used to running down that sluggish loopy-poly crap, and she wouldn't be getting any such crap with anyone before 2005.
If loopy-poly crap didn't work, the whole of both tours wouldn't have switched to doing it. That stuff is simply *better* at winning tennis matches than flat hitting with 90s strings.
 

Jason Swerve

Hall of Fame
If loopy-poly crap didn't work, the whole of both tours wouldn't have switched to doing it. That stuff is simply *better* at winning tennis matches than flat hitting with 90s strings.
To an extent, that's true. But let me explain to you why.

PSG is still the tool of the trade for many average players across the globe. The general issues for Raducanu are two-fold. Her topspin strokes are mediocre. I could get into details, but the end result is there. Most of her shots were grazing around the service line, and Sasnovich slugged them with flat replies. If the lower-ranked players understood how to hit with flat consistency, we'd have more upsets than we already do. Hingis began to fall the moment she opted for fewer flat strokes in '98. Just like Hingis, but worse, Raducanu doesn't have the proper technique to support the topspin she's trying to hit with her meager physical frame. Flat hitting allows you to aim further away and with more precision: you're directly targeting a spot on the court. The issue with "both tours" you're referring to? These up-and-comers aren't taught the flat aggression to begin with. They're taught to be inferior models of Nadal who had more physique than 90% of them. Step inside most academies, and you'll see there's no room to learn flat aggression. If you don't learn it properly, you'll use it poorly whenever you try it. Those chancy winners from Raducanu, however, were flattened strokes.

Second, the current best players lack in fitness. Kournikova in '97 was fitter than all of them. Kournikova was mostly injuring herself in very intense practice sessions. These powdery women today injure themselves stepping on cracks in matches. That backfired, and Kournikova was more likely to strain her muscles because of that accumulated practice. But what muscles does Raducanu have to strain? She's barely touched a ball since routing Fernandez. Did you see how sluggish her movement is?


Kournikova at 15 was nearly twice as fast as her. The fact that she can almost return that ball on dry grass means that I as a coach can pick her up off the street and successfully train her to be the kind of topspin player Raducanu's unsuccessfully trying to be. Her quickness is better suited to that type of game. The quicker you are, the more suited you are for groundstroking topspin along the baseline. Raducanu appears to be counterpunching because she doesn't have the tennis knowledge to make her own openings. But she wants to be an aggressive player. Whenever she goes too big, she struggles to turn her openings into counterattacks. You can't do this unless you can get to the ball before the opponent can move to cover their own openings.



As you can see, Sasnovich has moved back into a neutral position to cover her court openings before Raducanu can hit through them. Raducanu wouldn't have to worry about her speed deficits allowing Sasnovich time to recover, if she'd simply flattened these strokes out. Sadly, the topspin strokes are second nature to today's crop, no matter the situation.

For what it's worth (she has bigger problems), Raducanu's approaches, volleys, and again overheads are all crap. When you're not flat/quick and your ground game suffers because of it, you want to get to the net whenever possible. She realized this and tried to rush the net. She was lobbed too many times to take her seriously as a rusher, and that makes her game two-dimensional. She needs to take some cues from either of these players when it comes to her net game. That molasses surface she had should've been a cakewalk to rush up and volley on.


 

Russeljones

G.O.A.T.
I can't comprehend this? Why do Sabatini and Anna Kournikova rate so highly? How can we begin to say if Raducanu's worse than them from one slam? Did you see her play Conchita Martinez? All we know is Raducanu did not lose a set -- that's more impressive than most of this list, is it not?

Edit -- Okay. Sabatini beat Graf a bunch, but I think that overstates her. Steffi had personal issues in those matches. Emma's run in this draw makes her stand out more than beating one player. Just my opinion.
He is saying that prime vs prime the Davenports, Venuses, Capriatis, Sharapovas of yesteryear would mop the floor with today's crop. Can't fault his thinking.
 

Dolgopolov85

G.O.A.T.
He is saying that prime vs prime the Davenports, Venuses, Capriatis, Sharapovas of yesteryear would mop the floor with today's crop. Can't fault his thinking.
He doesn't quite say that because he doesn't acknowledge them except maybe Serena where he has no choice in the matter. Martinka plus Kournikova would be his jam.
 
I think those young girls are really good. I think an issue there is that there are a lot of distractions for the girls today, especially when a girl is somewhat good looking and having success on court at an early age there is just a ton of possibilities (advertisements, fashion, social media, parties...). That already did start in the early 00s with girls like sharapova and kournikova but social media has really amplified this as you are now caught in this world 24/7, it is just very hard to escape from that.

The ones who are still good these days usually have very pushy parents but once they are like 18/19 and experience some freedom it is just extremely tough to stay focused in this world.

Btw I think that doesn't just apply to girls either, with the young men it is similar, it is just harder to focus all your life on tennis.

If you look at fedal they are doing stuff outside of tennis but really their whole focus in their lives is tennis, they have solid families that takes away non tennis stuff for them, they are doing their advertisements but they don't have a lot of real activities out of tennis, no parties, no womanizing and no stuff like this. Steffi was like this too in her day as was Pete with the men.

Now of course there are exceptions from this too. Agassi and Serena would get at times distracted from tennis with off the court stuff and they were still superbly successful (Serena probably even the goat) but even their performance suffered when they had those phases (like when Serena gained weight) and they needed to fight to get focus back (and in Andre's case finding a woman who would turn his head straight, with Serena it was a bit similar with mouratoglu albeit their private relationship failed)
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
I think those young girls are really good. I think an issue there is that there are a lot of distractions for the girls today, especially when a girl is somewhat good looking and having success on court at an early age there is just a ton of possibilities (advertisements, fashion, social media, parties...). That already did start in the early 00s with girls like sharapova and kournikova but social media has really amplified this as you are now caught in this world 24/7, it is just very hard to escape from that.

The ones who are still good these days usually have very pushy parents but once they are like 18/19 and experience some freedom it is just extremely tough to stay focused in this world.

Btw I think that doesn't just apply to girls either, with the young men it is similar, it is just harder to focus all your life on tennis.

If you look at fedal they are doing stuff outside of tennis but really their whole focus in their lives is tennis, they have solid families that takes away non tennis stuff for them, they are doing their advertisements but they don't have a lot of real activities out of tennis, no parties, no womanizing and no stuff like this. Steffi was like this too in her day as was Pete with the men.

Now of course there are exceptions from this too. Agassi and Serena would get at times distracted from tennis with off the court stuff and they were still superbly successful (Serena probably even the goat) but even their performance suffered when they had those phases (like when Serena gained weight) and they needed to fight to get focus back (and in Andre's case finding a woman who would turn his head straight, with Serena it was a bit similar with mouratoglu albeit their private relationship failed)
#TheOsakaEffect :X3:
 
D

Deleted member 771911

Guest
Their teenage years are even held up as excuses why they cannot deliver and are not ready.
OMG She's only 18! Lol :-D :laughing: :-D
 

Jason Swerve

Hall of Fame
So what do you have to say now that Leylah Fernandez has won again?
My thoughts shouldn't surprise anyone. Raducanu's performance last month is still over anything Fernandez (or some would say "D2") has shown. Neither woman is going to reach Raducanu's old level by next year unless a miracle happens. I'm not taking back anything I said. Fernandez is on the precipice of today's Top 10. If she applies herself, she can do better.

My assessment and Fernandez's is that she played worse than normal in this round. Her volleys were somehow sloppier than usual, meaning she hasn't studied the textbook. If she were born 20-25 years earlier, the locker room would be laughing silly at her technique. Look at how those lazy lobs sailed over her head. She'd be begging a younger Kournikova to teach her what to do. Maybe she could've taught Kournikova how to serve. Only, her serve was nothing but a letdown until that joker ace on match point. I think you see where I'm going with this. And before you ask, "volley" and "overhead' are also not in Pavlyuchenkova's vocabulary. Half the reason she played so nervously from the baseline, she couldn't return a single dropshot. This tour's in an embarrassing state. If either player knew that element of the game, they would have dominated this match.

The only way anyone on that list is losing to Fernandez is if they choke. But that's why we aren't making it a competition. Fernandez will see better results, the moment she begins to model her technique from one of the other players. Pavlyuchenkova isn't even a Top 10 opponent by today's weak standards, and look at how Fernandez struggled. Truth be told, Fernandez reminds me of a raw boxing prodigy. She can trade blows with the bigger players, but she runs on talent and instinct as opposed to having solid technicals. She won't last when she runs into someone who doesn't spray flat forehands into the net on every point.

The good thing is, I underestimated her quickness. Her hustle is strong, and she can move her short legs faster than I gave her credit. A modern Chang. If she can run down tonight's flat shots, she can run down most of the tour's topspin loops. Unlike Raducanu, she knows this is who she is, and she's comfortable with being her natural self. That's good news for her, because she's a counterpuncher who volleys worse than many of the high schoolers I've worked with. Even worse, she has no sense of where she is once she's past the service line. Her aim is to hug the net when she volleys, and we all should know that this is improper technique.

Mechanics aside, what's endearing me to Fernandez is her determination. She has something to prove, and she's playing with a hurrah-like atmosphere. She'll chase every winner down and then rally the crowd on every other point. It's a form of gamesmanship (especially her cheering the errors), and I felt sorry for her challenger, but champions like Djokovic see the crowd's bias as another day in the office. Worse, the cheering pumps Leylah up to play better. She knows how to regroup and remotivate herself, and that's what she was doing with that break she took after the 1st set.

This weak tour can't get rid of her but by beating her down, and her level raised in the 3rd when that didn't happen in the 2nd. But time will tell what happens once her youthful flame dies out. Everyone gets sick of tennis eventually. The best players were always dedicated surgeons. They checked in to do their job, and the noise/theatrics was secondary.
 

R. Schweikart

Professional
At age 16, Hingis nearly won a Hopman Cup before Sydney as well, if not for her dunce of a partner who injured himself and withdrew them as they were winning their finals for the second year in a row. She promptly split their partnership and called him "impossible" to work with, which he was. Though they later remained friends.

But now, Hingis wanted to finally win a singles tournament. So, she won Sydney. Then she won the Open. Then she won Tokyo. Then she won the next tournament. Then the next tournament. Then the next tournament. The next tournament. ...
No, she lost it. 4-6 2-6 against Majoli.

... Then the next tournament. Etc.
...
 

Jason Swerve

Hall of Fame
There I go again assuming the best of people. Thank you for the correction.
You assume the worst too. From the looks of it, you'll assume what any schmuck tells you. I'd love to meet you in town and make a quick buck off you.

Their teenage years are even held up as excuses why they cannot deliver and are not ready.
OMG She's only 18! Lol :-D :laughing: :-D
When we remember that Hingis was forced to join the tour two years earlier than she planned (at 14), the excuses stop. She had a warming up period like Fernandez, but the differences in ages and expectations made their pressures worlds apart. We'll all see the Fernandez average in a few months' time.

I think those young girls are really good. I think an issue there is that there are a lot of distractions for the girls today, especially when a girl is somewhat good looking and having success on court at an early age there is just a ton of possibilities (advertisements, fashion, social media, parties...). That already did start in the early 00s with girls like sharapova and kournikova but social media has really amplified this as you are now caught in this world 24/7, it is just very hard to escape from that.

The ones who are still good these days usually have very pushy parents but once they are like 18/19 and experience some freedom it is just extremely tough to stay focused in this world.

Btw I think that doesn't just apply to girls either, with the young men it is similar, it is just harder to focus all your life on tennis.

If you look at fedal they are doing stuff outside of tennis but really their whole focus in their lives is tennis, they have solid families that takes away non tennis stuff for them, they are doing their advertisements but they don't have a lot of real activities out of tennis, no parties, no womanizing and no stuff like this. Steffi was like this too in her day as was Pete with the men.

Now of course there are exceptions from this too. Agassi and Serena would get at times distracted from tennis with off the court stuff and they were still superbly successful (Serena probably even the goat) but even their performance suffered when they had those phases (like when Serena gained weight) and they needed to fight to get focus back (and in Andre's case finding a woman who would turn his head straight, with Serena it was a bit similar with mouratoglu albeit their private relationship failed)
I can see most of this, but there were enough forums and newsgroups to let Sharapova and Kournikova know how disliked they were if they chose to check them out. There were more fansites too, and that's its own kind of pressure. At the end of the day, any teen can turn their alerts off or avoid sporting news. It might be asking too much to ask them to turn off all their social media accounts, but Twitter and all that can be filtered.

Anyhow, the bigger issue is they don't work their asses off like the earlier players. Fernandez's practices cut down on the ball striking. And she's not alone. I've long had the impression that today's players are tennisphobic with their practice sessions. Hingis hated hitting feeders, but she still hit the darned ball.



One credit I'll grant Fernandez is her conditioning targets her core and core posture. She's possibly the most stable hitter in the current WTA. This doesn't transfer to clean ball striking. She shanked the ball a number of times in her last play. One of the double hits was caught on the slow motion replay.

We all know Sharapova was a cleaner ball striker. Here's why.


If Bollettieri could do anything, he could help you become a baseline basher. His environment had you hitting your butt off all day. When Fernandez starts practicing with those ropes and weights around her ankles and with a partner smacking balls at her, she'll see immediate improvement.

For that matter, Sharapova'd caught a lucky break. He learned to take it easy on players after running Kournikova into the ground and turning her into someone who was training-obsessed. I'm not sure anyone could've predicted the result, but Sharapova took things much lighter, allowing her to stay competitive for longer. A good coach, who Bollettieri isn't, would see a strange exception like Kournikova who doesn't want to take a break, and tell her to sit down and take a break. But he more or less wrung her dry before the end of '97. I always use this video as an example even though it's missing a few minutes.


When you notice how browned she is and how winded she is, you've noticed she's already been outside for hours and still isn't halfway done. These trainings continued the entire day, often without Bollettieri because he'd leave players with other partners and coaches while he went off to do his own thing. On any given day, Kournikova could be expected to slug tennis balls in 90-degree heat and humidity, from 7 AM to 6 PM. She hit more than her peers because Bollettieri, and her own knuckled head, and a vested interest in her. Breaks and classes would amount to 3-4 hours. That schedule is a monster on the body, and yet you see her stumbling back to the baseline, sweating her behind off, and telling Nick that she wants to replay the point. About the only thing keeping her standing was that cross around her neck.

If Fernandez practiced like this, she'd see results. But she has to ease into it. If she overdoes it, she'll just as well wreck her body, gaining nothing. Where she is right now is a solid Top 10 fixture in a pitiful era, provided her superiors keep choking away their set leads against her. If she can learn to smack the ball like those prime Russians, however, she won't need to keep clawing herself back from these precarious positions. After that, she can worry about earning a spot on the list. I see her playing doubles too. She understands what she needs to do. Not as hard-headed as these Talk Tennis clowns I have to hear from.
 

Graf1stClass

Professional
He is saying that prime vs prime the Davenports, Venuses, Capriatis, Sharapovas of yesteryear would mop the floor with today's crop. Can't fault his thinking.
It's difficult to side with him when he completely glosses over the other player's flaws. Lindsay had bad movement, Capriati only won a couple of slams. Sharapova cheated too if I recall correctly (in case you did not realize, she had tested positive for a substance after her slam collection).

Only, her serve was nothing but a letdown until that joker ace on match point
This is why even when you make decent points, it's difficult to take you seriously -- you exaggerate too often. Is Emma's serve better than Leylah's, yes but that doesn't mean she's incomplete like someone who serves 31 double faults. Why should Leylah beg Anna or anyone for anything? Pavs had strong lobs. How often did you witness Sharapova or Anna lob somebody in a match? Every player has their own strengths and weaknesses.. Your list is a myth. Let her play her game without being so judgemental.
 

Rosstour

Legend
You assume the worst too. From the looks of it, you'll assume what any schmuck tells you. I'd love to meet you in town and make a quick buck off you.
Bro this isn't bodybuilding.com

Fernandez won't have the better career.
For the talented Ms. Raducanu the sky is the limit.
Maybe so, I feel like Radu is gonna have some weird Wilander-like run and be done at like 24.

Fernandez seems like she wants it a lot more.
 

STRONGSTYLE

Rookie
To an extent, that's true. But let me explain to you why.

PSG is still the tool of the trade for many average players across the globe. The general issues for Raducanu are two-fold. Her topspin strokes are mediocre. I could get into details, but the end result is there. Most of her shots were grazing around the service line, and Sasnovich slugged them with flat replies. If the lower-ranked players understood how to hit with flat consistency, we'd have more upsets than we already do. Hingis began to fall the moment she opted for fewer flat strokes in '98. Just like Hingis, but worse, Raducanu doesn't have the proper technique to support the topspin she's trying to hit with her meager physical frame. Flat hitting allows you to aim further away and with more precision: you're directly targeting a spot on the court. The issue with "both tours" you're referring to? These up-and-comers aren't taught the flat aggression to begin with. They're taught to be inferior models of Nadal who had more physique than 90% of them. Step inside most academies, and you'll see there's no room to learn flat aggression. If you don't learn it properly, you'll use it poorly whenever you try it. Those chancy winners from Raducanu, however, were flattened strokes.

Second, the current best players lack in fitness. Kournikova in '97 was fitter than all of them. Kournikova was mostly injuring herself in very intense practice sessions. These powdery women today injure themselves stepping on cracks in matches. That backfired, and Kournikova was more likely to strain her muscles because of that accumulated practice. But what muscles does Raducanu have to strain? She's barely touched a ball since routing Fernandez. Did you see how sluggish her movement is?


Kournikova at 15 was nearly twice as fast as her. The fact that she can almost return that ball on dry grass means that I as a coach can pick her up off the street and successfully train her to be the kind of topspin player Raducanu's unsuccessfully trying to be. Her quickness is better suited to that type of game. The quicker you are, the more suited you are for groundstroking topspin along the baseline. Raducanu appears to be counterpunching because she doesn't have the tennis knowledge to make her own openings. But she wants to be an aggressive player. Whenever she goes too big, she struggles to turn her openings into counterattacks. You can't do this unless you can get to the ball before the opponent can move to cover their own openings.



As you can see, Sasnovich has moved back into a neutral position to cover her court openings before Raducanu can hit through them. Raducanu wouldn't have to worry about her speed deficits allowing Sasnovich time to recover, if she'd simply flattened these strokes out. Sadly, the topspin strokes are second nature to today's crop, no matter the situation.

For what it's worth (she has bigger problems), Raducanu's approaches, volleys, and again overheads are all crap. When you're not flat/quick and your ground game suffers because of it, you want to get to the net whenever possible. She realized this and tried to rush the net. She was lobbed too many times to take her seriously as a rusher, and that makes her game two-dimensional. She needs to take some cues from either of these players when it comes to her net game. That molasses surface she had should've been a cakewalk to rush up and volley on.


The last thing Raducanu needs is to take cues from the narcissistic Kournikova, she needs to play tennis and stop trying to be a celebrity.
 

goldengate14

Professional
At age 16, Hingis nearly won a Hopman Cup before Sydney as well, if not for her dunce of a partner who injured himself and withdrew them as they were winning their finals for the second year in a row. She promptly split their partnership and called him "impossible" to work with, which he was. Though they later remained friends.

But now, Hingis wanted to finally win a singles tournament. So, she won Sydney. Then she won the Open. Then she won Tokyo. Then she won the next tournament. Then the next tournament. Then the next tournament. The next tournament. Then the next tournament. Etc.

Do you want me to tell you where Raducanu currently stands? At age 18, Raducanu lost Wimbledon, won the US Open, and lost the very next tournament. She has no experience, and a comparison isn't "fair". But I'm not going to sit here and tell you Hingis was even a legal adult when the tour was fearing her. Raducanu isn't feared. Whatever aura she had as of the US Open is gone. Shoot, the tour as a whole doesn't fear anyone these days. No one wins everything they enter like Hingis and her clique did in their day.


When they're complete, they'll start impressing me. Every player I listed can hit an overhead. Kournikova had the best overhead in professional tennis. I couldn't care less about her headspace when Raducanu just choked in a major match. Why don't you name me one thing either teen does better than the rest of the current field? Fernandez might take the ball earlier than most of her contemporaries, but that's where it ends.
Radacanu did not choke. She has made the mistake of caving in to photo ops etc.
 

Russeljones

G.O.A.T.
It's difficult to side with him when he completely glosses over the other player's flaws. Lindsay had bad movement, Capriati only won a couple of slams. Sharapova cheated too if I recall correctly (in case you did not realize, she had tested positive for a substance after her slam collection).


This is why even when you make decent points, it's difficult to take you seriously -- you exaggerate too often. Is Emma's serve better than Leylah's, yes but that doesn't mean she's incomplete like someone who serves 31 double faults. Why should Leylah beg Anna or anyone for anything? Pavs had strong lobs. How often did you witness Sharapova or Anna lob somebody in a match? Every player has their own strengths and weaknesses.. Your list is a myth. Let her play her game without being so judgemental.
Not sure if serious or too serious.
 
It's nice to read something pertaining to an appreciation of tennis form/quality rather than just 'number of slams' and the statistical like. There's an unwritten assumption that all (modern) slam wins comprise an equal absolute calibre of performance (or at least relative to a wide enough historical reference pool so as to be pseudo-absolute) to clinch, and there's plenty an argumentum ad absurdum available to one's imagination to discern otherwise. It's worth noting of course that there is the notion of being the best relative to the field per instance to consider, and OP refers to a wider inter-generational development but I tend to apply scrutiny slam by slam tbh, as even back to back slams can comprise quite different levels of dazzlement depending on the circumstances. There's also no 'overkill' reward in tennis. Winning a slam without losing a set grants you equal wiki-kudos to winning in 5 setters; in fact the latter may even be superior due to the accrued clutch-points, which seem to be weighted rather tremendously. In the eyes of many the crushing wins almost seem like 'wasted' brilliance, tbh.
 

yokied

Hall of Fame
It's nice to read something pertaining to an appreciation of tennis form/quality rather than just 'number of slams' and the statistical like. There's an unwritten assumption that all (modern) slam wins comprise an equal absolute calibre of performance (or at least relative to a wide enough historical reference pool so as to be pseudo-absolute) to clinch, and there's plenty an argumentum ad absurdum available to one's imagination to discern otherwise. It's worth noting of course that there is the notion of being the best relative to the field per instance to consider, and OP refers to a wider inter-generational development but I tend to apply scrutiny slam by slam tbh, as even back to back slams can comprise quite different levels of dazzlement depending on the circumstances. There's also no 'overkill' reward in tennis. Winning a slam without losing a set grants you equal wiki-kudos to winning in 5 setters; in fact the latter may even be superior due to the accrued clutch-points, which seem to be weighted rather tremendously. In the eyes of many the crushing wins almost seem like 'wasted' brilliance, tbh.
Came here hoping to see something like this. CBF putting it together myself but OP's a far better ****poster than the Djokodal morons we've had to put up with for a decade. And so impressively niche.
 

Jason Swerve

Hall of Fame
Of course you will. I am a philanthropist, in a sense.
You see my point. If you'd looked at the first page, you'd see that clown was lying to your face.

The last thing Raducanu needs is to take cues from the narcissistic Kournikova, she needs to play tennis and stop trying to be a celebrity.
Like it or not, Fernandez a celebrity. You can't simply turn off a switch in your head and all at once think nothing about your status. When she's been this famous for 5 years, it might come easier.

Now, I'll have to imagine you aren't calling the later Kournikova a narcissist. The same Kournikova who started working with children within months of her retirement.



You might've noticed this child. If you didn't, it's Sonya Kenin.

https://concierge.typepad.com/cntraveler__80days/2009/02/day-one-child-s.html#more

You meant the younger talent. A 15-year-old girl could have an ego, but that doesn't make her a narcissist. Let's use the terms like they're meant to be used. And if she is, who cares? Raducanu's sloppy overhead needs fixing. Suck it up and ask her for help. If you feel you owe a debt, pay it back. This wouldn't be the first time it's happened on the tour. Every woman was sucking up to Hingis in '96-'97 and asking her what her secret was. A little later, Hingis had asked Seles for technical support. Players help each other all the time when they become hitting partners, and many players become partners on a whim. Sometimes, advice is given offhandedly, especially to influence the outcomes of matches. I know this is a mainstream forum, but these details shouldn't be surprising most of you fans.

Mind you now, I was at first referencing Fernandez. But that's the same story. Both Fernandez and Raducanu need a volley coach. It could be Kournikova or Tauziat or Novotna or Zvereva- they're all on the same rough level. If the teens really felt humbled, they'd ask Hingis. But they'd be placed on a waiting list. Fernadez would've won at least 3 games yesterday with better volleying technique.

Bro this isn't bodybuilding.com
I have no clue what you're on about, and you don't know either.

For the talented Ms. Raducanu the sky is the limit.
In other words, she'll surpass Graf.

What was it? You want to take it back? The lot of you think you're on a trading card forum. "My player is rarer than your player." Throw this garbage out if you can't comment on their games.

Radacanu did not choke. She has made the mistake of caving in to photo ops etc.
Do you know who else has taken photo shoots? Serena Williams and Stefanie Graf. Camera flashes don't cause tennis amnesia. Too much shutter, and you could have a different story.

Careful what you say. Kournikova would have 20 slams (and 15 Wimbys) if Hingis weren't ever born.
She'd have three at the most, and that's unlikely. She was tearing her body apart and would practice even when her coaches wanted her to rest. Her mother encouraged this and hassled each and every one of her coaches, including Bollettieri. Still, the Wimbledon was a surefire. Novotna wasn't in perfect health in the '97 Wimbledon, and you can't expect a player who gets a bye to be struggling against a player who's fatigued and unwell. Further, grass was Kournikova's best surface. Most of Novotna's wins over Kournikova came on Novotna's surfaces, while Kournikova was reconstructing her Bollettieri game under a little-known coach by the name of Pavel Slozil (of Graf fame).
 

Jason Swerve

Hall of Fame
It's difficult to side with him when he completely glosses over the other player's flaws. Lindsay had bad movement, Capriati only won a couple of slams. Sharapova cheated too if I recall correctly (in case you did not realize, she had tested positive for a substance after her slam collection).

This is why even when you make decent points, it's difficult to take you seriously -- you exaggerate too often. Is Emma's serve better than Leylah's, yes but that doesn't mean she's incomplete like someone who serves 31 double faults. Why should Leylah beg Anna or anyone for anything? Pavs had strong lobs. How often did you witness Sharapova or Anna lob somebody in a match? Every player has their own strengths and weaknesses.. Your list is a myth. Let her play her game without being so judgmental.
You people don't know the players you're commenting on. Lindsay had very solid movement. The movement was half-responsible for her powerful groundstrokes. Lindsay's issue was speed.

Capriati won herself 3 slams. That doesn't impress you? This is something the newsgroups once called "slam inflation". Believe it or not, "the WTA Tour comprises of over 50 events," and most active pros won't win a single one of them. Or a Challenger tournament. Winning at a single grand slam venue is an immense achievement that only a select few human beings will ever accomplish. The moment she has a single 1, she's forever a champion. Let alone the other two and the dozen tour titles she's won. I can't believe you'd genuinely discredit Capriati's skills for only winning a measly "3" grand slams. These websites have got you believing slams are worth nickels. They're decreasing in value, but they're still THE pinnacle tennis event. Maybe I should expect what you're giving me. I've just now had people telling me a player can win a slam with "charm". This is what happens when you allow any basic consumer to post on these sites.

No need to go down the controversial Sharapova rabbit hole. She was solidly better than the two teens from '04-'05, before the nonsense. I've shown you why. She's a more complete player who received better training in her junior years.

Fernandez successfully 2nd served at 40%, and her opponent pressured it every time. Dismal. You're the one who asked my opinion, so don't get grouchy with me. That serving wasn't worse than Kournikova's right after her injury, no- but it wasn't much better. Kournikova or Dementieva or Sabatini, no person in their right mind needs serving advice from Fernandez, as things are. A person here said that the teenagers would have a field day with Kournikova's serve. Raducanu can serve something decently, but Fernandez isn't there yet. I don't care if she ends every match of hers from here on with an ace. She needs to plug up these holes. Kournikova at her worst period from late '98 to early '99 also 2nd served around 40%, because only her second serve was an issue. The problem is Fernandez isn't able to place her powder-puff 2nd serve like she should. If your serve is killed, what difference does it make whether you land it in or not? Kournikova's general problem for all but a few months was her baseline consistency, not her serve. Fernandez surpasses this because she bops topspin. Unlike Hingis and Kournikova, Fernandez doesn't have the angles or power to recover from a strong return off her weak serve. She had to grind this last match out and won due to teenage fitness and crowd support. Dementieva and Hingis had groundies that Fernandez needs to emulate so that, like them, she's not hacked down whenever her serve fails her. Some joker here told you that Venus and Hingis were bopping tentative groundstrokes to each other and not being as aggressive as Fernandez and Raducanu. No. The older players were more aggressive and/or more consistent than what we have now. Kournikova's lack of consistency came from hitting harder than both Venus and Hingis, and she would literally run Fernandez off the court. If you can't look at the clips and tell this at a glance, you lack the tennis eye.

Back to Fernandez's terrible serving. I understand average players have bad serving days, but not with that poly on those miracle frames you don't. Some people've defended Sabatini who had a much bigger problem on her serve than any of them. Her issues lasted forever. Kournikova completely retooled her serve to iron out her DF issue within months, and the issue was a fantasy in doubles. Just goes to show who here knows what they're talking. These yappers here just talk about their favorites. Keep playing your trading cards. When I put Kournikova up on that list, you think I'm telling Fernandez to "double fault 31 times"? Use your head. Little did you know, Kournikova was the world's 3rd-strongest contender by point accumulation at the time she was injured in '98. This is what we're talking. For now, Fernandez hasn't achieved what Kournikova had by '98. She might, if she wins this tournament. Don't hold your breath. A lot of these events are more set in stone than you think.

Graf1stclass, I've had the feeling you believe every Top 30 player has multiple titles under their belt. I want you to imagine something. Most of the Top 30 for the past 30 years hardly have any Tier 3 titles among them, let alone Tier 1/2 quality titles. Many of them don't make Tier 1/2 finals. I think Kournikova made 3 Tier 1 finals, losing to ATGs in each of them while facing her injuries. That result is enough over our latest Fernandez, especially when you realize Kournikova preferred grass which has a pittance of tournaments on the circuit compared to Fernandez's surplus of hard courts. Think of how young the lady was when she retired, playing mainly Tier 1/2s, or occasionally Tier 3s with high purse provisions because of her status (in order words, much likelier to have Top 1 opposition). It goes without saying that she could've won more than a few Tier 3s/4s in her career, claiming the elusive "title". But most people who would call themselves "tennis fans" have the good sense to know that beating up on journeywomen trying to eek out a living doesn't prove your worth as a player. Someone with that ego won't "stoop so low," and she did win Challengers but hated the feeling of competing in them, unlike Agassi. If nothing else, that crap doesn't do anything good for your ranking, because tournament values are incredibly lopsided. Remember: Many players begin their trophy accumulation at the age in which she retired. If Fernandez doesn't win one title until age 22, there wouldn't be anything out of the ordinary.

Here's another one for you: let me explain to you why Fernandez screwed up those overheads. Fernandez was constantly lobbed and scrambling because she doesn't know how to approach with authority. The service line is her quick sand, and her volleys are sitters. And so, if she'd asked Hingis to give her counsel, would Hingis say "no"? If you think Hingis would shoo her away, wake up. None of those women were so cold. The problem, those women are all grown and retired, and the leftovers have Fernandez's same bad hands at the net. You saw it with "Pavs". That leaves Fernandez with changing her schedule to find some real volleying practice or improving her physique. She has no physique. Sharapova was always less fit than Kournikova until Kournikova's injuries had compounded in late '99. Contrary, Sharapova was always bigger and fitter than Raducanu and Fernandez. Pavlyuchenkova is very much old and out of shape right now, and it was visible in her last match. Now, can you explain why her inferior groundstrokes had Fernandez on the ropes and struggling to hold it together. Fernandez had to appeal to the crowd several times to avoid being beaten by her third overweight opponent. If these teens Fernandez and Raducanu can't change their physical frames, they'd better at least change the quality of their shots, or they aren't going anywhere. We're seeing it with Gauff as we speak: I give them a year or two before the bad habits are ingrained. With this tour, you'd hardly tell, but for example Pierce's groundstrokes don't package any of these bad habits.

Actually, I'd stop going to the net at all if I were Fernandez. One day, she'll test out the wrong player, and it'll cost her. It's a shame that Fernandez isn't physical enough to play a true all-court game. Kournikova, Davenport, Venus, and Capriati could be suffering from cramps and still pummel this tour with net rushing, because they have the physical gifts required to do so. Raducanu needs to focus on counterpunching, and so does Fernandez until she's trained her net game. When Osaka criticized Gauff's game a few days ago, saying Gauff didn't know what she wanted to be, I'm sure you let Osaka slide by because of you're in Osaka's pile of fans. People are going to tell the truth, and your feelings aren't a concern to them.
 

Jason Swerve

Hall of Fame
It's nice to read something pertaining to an appreciation of tennis form/quality rather than just 'number of slams' and the statistical like. There's an unwritten assumption that all (modern) slam wins comprise an equal absolute calibre of performance (or at least relative to a wide enough historical reference pool so as to be pseudo-absolute) to clinch, and there's plenty an argumentum ad absurdum available to one's imagination to discern otherwise. It's worth noting of course that there is the notion of being the best relative to the field per instance to consider, and OP refers to a wider inter-generational development but I tend to apply scrutiny slam by slam tbh, as even back to back slams can comprise quite different levels of dazzlement depending on the circumstances. There's also no 'overkill' reward in tennis. Winning a slam without losing a set grants you equal wiki-kudos to winning in 5 setters; in fact the latter may even be superior due to the accrued clutch-points, which seem to be weighted rather tremendously. In the eyes of many the crushing wins almost seem like 'wasted' brilliance, tbh.
You only see the nonsense on these massive websites. On smaller pages and on your tennis outings, the technicals receive their due discussion. Too many are forgetting that in this sad state of tennis, Raducanu's highest ranked opponent was Bencic. I don't even remember Bencic's first name. This is how blasé the slams have become. When there isn't a top crop to distinctly separate from the rest of the field, a WTA athlete would have an equal success rate in a slam or a Tier 2. That shouldn't happen. Just 15 years ago, the prospect of winning a slam was impossible for all but the most elite players. Go back further, and the odds were even tougher. Majoli raised her level to astounding in order to defeat Hingis at the French, then struggled against Spirlea at Wimbledon before Kournikova knocked her off in straights. All of those players would've salivated for Raducanu's opposition. When Kournikova loses in a slam to Hingis, Graf, Davenport, and Venus Williams, these young blokes still yap that Raducanu had the better game for mowing down a swathe of nobodies. It's the cancer of this sport, and luckily confined to the internet. The bigger issue is the WTA itself. Its management has been questionable at best since the early '00s.
 

Jason Swerve

Hall of Fame
I'll add nothing to the discussion but Kournikova's beauty is breathtaking and my eyes are always on her.
Not my interest, but you wouldn't feel that sentiment alone. If Raducanu can't handle this measly pressure, I don't want a single person telling me she could've handled that other young woman's pressure. Social media is nothing compared to shirtless squids showing up at your practices.
 

Novichok

Professional
Both Fernandez and Raducanu need a volley coach. It could be Kournikova or Tauziat or Novotna or Zvereva- they're all on the same rough level. If the teens really felt humbled, they'd ask Hingis. But they'd be placed on a waiting list. Fernadez would've won at least 3 games yesterday with better volleying technique.
She's dead.
 
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