Opelka disappointing

sureshs

Bionic Poster
#1
Watched him play De Minaur and Opelka does not seem to have the patience to play rallies. His movement is slow and he seems to have the typical big server attitude of "cannot be bothered with groundies."
 
#4
It is not easy to move well and hit groundies at that size. He needs to work really hard on his consistency, footwork, fitness and ground strokes.

Also as a serve bot you need to be cold as ice. You can't be too emotional. Maybe with hard work he can become as good as isner but I doubt it. Isner at least has a good forehand and very good mental game.
 
#6
There are many advantages that outweigh any problems, like serve speed, wingspan at net, fewer steps to cover a distance, leverage on groundies.

If I was 6'11" like him, I would be ATP #1.
Nah, you only would be fatter(is that even possible?) than you are now. :cool:
 
#7
He should have picked a better sport to go pro in... ummmm I don't know... Basketball??? Dude clearly isn't suited for tennis. Maybe him and Nick can start a bball team together.
 

wangs78

Hall of Fame
#8
Sad that this is the direction US tennis is heading towards: oversized, one dimensional players. Not really a surprise given the focus in the US on team sports where over the decades, position players are becoming more and more specialized to do their specific job well (massive linebackers, very tall pitchers, mediocre baseball fielders who have the size to hit home runs). Tennis has obviously also moved to taller and taller players, but 6'11"? One such player, Isner, is more than enough.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
#9
Sad that this is the direction US tennis is heading towards: oversized, one dimensional players. Not really a surprise given the focus in the US on team sports where over the decades, position players are becoming more and more specialized to do their specific job well (massive linebackers, very tall pitchers, mediocre baseball fielders who have the size to hit home runs). Tennis has obviously also moved to taller and taller players, but 6'11"? One such player, Isner, is more than enough.
How does one sport affect another in this respect? No tall guy succeeds in tennis because other tall guys are succeeding in basketball. If at all, you would expect less tall guys to come to tennis. You have got it reversed.

The matter is simply genetics. Just like there are many tall Croatian tennis players, there are many tall tennis players in the US.
 
#10
Unfortunately Opelka did not play that well in his match against De Minaur, but from other matches I have watched, he does have potential! He can hit very good groundies and does move better than you think. Watching the match last night he did not seem fully engaged. Maybe I am an optimist. But I personally see more potential in him than some other young Americans. Def can be at least isner level imo.
 

wangs78

Hall of Fame
#12
How does one sport affect another in this respect? No tall guy succeeds in tennis because other tall guys are succeeding in basketball. If at all, you would expect less tall guys to come to tennis. You have got it reversed.

The matter is simply genetics. Just like there are many tall Croatian tennis players, there are many tall tennis players in the US.
I didn't say one sport is affecting another. I said there is a trend in the US of players with outsized physical proportions getting greater attention and focus that probably results in players of more moderate proportions being overlooked in the developmental phase of their careers despite those moderate-sized players having greater long-term potential. Instead, the 13yo kid who is already 6'2" or 220lbs probably excites the parents and coaches and that kid gets steered toward a sport. And for most US sports, that approach works because of the team aspect and the specialized position players those team sports require. But in tennis - you wind up with oversized players who may dominate competition through their teenage years but at the pro level, these players lack the versatility to reach the highest levels.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
#15
I didn't say one sport is affecting another. I said there is a trend in the US of players with outsized physical proportions getting greater attention and focus that probably results in players of more moderate proportions being overlooked in the developmental phase of their careers despite those moderate-sized players having greater long-term potential. Instead, the 13yo kid who is already 6'2" or 220lbs probably excites the parents and coaches and that kid gets steered toward a sport. And for most US sports, that approach works because of the team aspect and the specialized position players those team sports require. But in tennis - you wind up with oversized players who may dominate competition through their teenage years but at the pro level, these players lack the versatility to reach the highest levels.
But most players shorter than him will also not reach the highest levels. Compared to them, he is still the statistical favorite.
 
#16
He's playing on the pro tour with a ranking of the 102nd best player in the world and he isn't suited for tennis?
Exactly. This is one of the reasons I’m surprised kids go into tennis in the first place. The 100th best player in tennis is considered nothing, but the 100th best player in basketball and football and soccer and baseball is a multi millionaire. In a sport like basketball (which has the fewest players), you have 30 NBA teams. If you tske each team’s three best players, you have 90 right there. Obviously one team could who’ve more good players than another (Warriors vs, Suns for example) but you get what I’m saying.

For Opelka, it’s going to take time. It took Isner time improve his return and groundstrokes. I just worry about him getting injured.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
#18
Exactly. This is one of the reasons I’m surprised kids go into tennis in the first place. The 100th best player in tennis is considered nothing, but the 100th best player in basketball and football and soccer and baseball is a multi millionaire. In a sport like basketball (which has the fewest players), you have 30 NBA teams. If you tske each team’s three best players, you have 90 right there. Obviously one team could who’ve more good players than another (Warriors vs, Suns for example) but you get what I’m saying.
I have heard this so many times but I am surprised no one seems to understand the flaw in the argument. If all the kids who could become the 100th best player in tennis try to go into basketball and football, the odds will be that they neither succeed in those sports nor in tennis. The number of positions in basketball and football is not going to increase to accommodate these extra applicants. The same is true when people complain about not being in professions like law and medicine.
 

wangs78

Hall of Fame
#19
But most players shorter than him will also not reach the highest levels. Compared to them, he is still the statistical favorite.
Well, an argument can be made that a player like him should not be funded because his potential is capped. The crux of the issue is it is hard not to reward a player like Opelka with coaching support and attention because he is so successful early on. But all or most of that success is due to his early physical advantage over most kids who will take more years to develop the physical strength to have a world class serve, etc. But those other kids could become an Agassi, or Sampras, or Fed, or whatever, but they get overlooked. So you wind up with a roster of prospects in the U.S. that tend to lack the versatility needed at the highest levels. Instead, you have players who have a great serve, a great FH, largely driven by physical attributes, but ultimately not backed up by great movement, great hands, and other skills necessary to be a Top 10, Top 5 player.
 
#21
I have heard this so many times but I am surprised no one seems to understand the flaw in the argument.
What's the flaw in the argument? A guy like Berdych in basketball would have a great career in basketball and most likely would not be regularly called a "crap" player and a "choker". The 10th best player in the world in basketball may be the 2nd best player on the best team there is. What world ranking did Scottie Pippin have when Chicago was ruling the world? Or Dennis Rodman?

And if you are the 100th best player in the world, what sport do you want to be in to make money, basketball or tennis?

Even Djokovic used to take an immense amount of crap in this forum from some for #majoring in #minors - for all of you who remember GrannyB. Then there is Murray, "only" the 4th best player in the world for a long time. Tennis is a cruel sport, and for those not very near the top the pay is crap.
 
#22
Exactly. This is one of the reasons I’m surprised kids go into tennis in the first place. The 100th best player in tennis is considered nothing, but the 100th best player in basketball and football and soccer and baseball is a multi millionaire. In a sport like basketball (which has the fewest players), you have 30 NBA teams. If you tske each team’s three best players, you have 90 right there. Obviously one team could who’ve more good players than another (Warriors vs, Suns for example) but you get what I’m saying.

For Opelka, it’s going to take time. It took Isner time improve his return and groundstrokes. I just worry about him getting injured.
Plus if you are the 3rd best player on a basketball team that is winning big, you're going to get a ton of coverage, and you don't have to do everything or excel in everything. If you are making a reliable contribution to the team, and the team is winning, that's all anyone cares about. You can't make a reliable contribution to tennis tournaments. You either win them, or people give you an infinite amount of crap for being a choker and a loser - witness this forum.
 
#25
Well, an argument can be made that a player like him should not be funded because his potential is capped. The crux of the issue is it is hard not to reward a player like Opelka with coaching support and attention because he is so successful early on. But all or most of that success is due to his early physical advantage over most kids who will take more years to develop the physical strength to have a world class serve, etc. But those other kids could become an Agassi, or Sampras, or Fed, or whatever, but they get overlooked. So you wind up with a roster of prospects in the U.S. that tend to lack the versatility needed at the highest levels. Instead, you have players who have a great serve, a great FH, largely driven by physical attributes, but ultimately not backed up by great movement, great hands, and other skills necessary to be a Top 10, Top 5 player.
You can't produce top10 players, those are outliers. Recruiting a kid to become a top10 player would be a huge longshot.

The goal is to produce good players and hope one makes it to the top.

Also the vast majority of us top100 players have normal height and still they are not becoming sampras.
 

mike danny

Talk Tennis Guru
#26
What's the flaw in the argument? A guy like Berdych in basketball would have a great career in basketball and most likely would not be regularly called a "crap" player and a "choker". The 10th best player in the world in basketball may be the 2nd best player on the best team there is. What world ranking did Scottie Pippin have when Chicago was ruling the world? Or Dennis Rodman?

And if you are the 100th best player in the world, what sport do you want to be in to make money, basketball or tennis?

Even Djokovic used to take an immense amount of crap in this forum from some for #majoring in #minors - for all of you who remember GrannyB. Then there is Murray, "only" the 4th best player in the world for a long time. Tennis is a cruel sport, and for those not very near the top the pay is crap.
Who knows? Maybe the young players are not great nowadays because the truly great and talented ones were sent to basketball, instead of tennis, by their parents due to the several financial benefits.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
#28
The 100th player in tennis may not be able to compete against the much better athletes in basketball (and likewise, the basketball players may lack racket skills, but we are not talking the other way around). I doubt that skinny Opelka would withstand one aggressive body slam by a NBA player. He will probably be thrown to the ground with broken bones and never be able to play again.
 

Red Rick

Talk Tennis Guru
#29
Well, an argument can be made that a player like him should not be funded because his potential is capped. The crux of the issue is it is hard not to reward a player like Opelka with coaching support and attention because he is so successful early on. But all or most of that success is due to his early physical advantage over most kids who will take more years to develop the physical strength to have a world class serve, etc. But those other kids could become an Agassi, or Sampras, or Fed, or whatever, but they get overlooked. So you wind up with a roster of prospects in the U.S. that tend to lack the versatility needed at the highest levels. Instead, you have players who have a great serve, a great FH, largely driven by physical attributes, but ultimately not backed up by great movement, great hands, and other skills necessary to be a Top 10, Top 5 player.
Who says his potential is capped due to his height?

I really think that Isner doesn't have the hand eye coordination of a great tennis player, and still he was in the Wimbly semi just because of his serve.
 
#30
Who knows? Maybe the young players are not great nowadays because the truly great and talented ones were sent to basketball, instead of tennis, by their parents due to the several financial benefits.
Mike, I think you are 100% right. In fact, do you entirely blame Kyrgios for wishing he were a great basketball player rather than a very talented but unmotivated tennis player? Why would the average American kid want to put himself through the kind crap tennis players go through? Earning potential? No. The fun of belonging to a team and having that team experience? No. Never getting coverage except on Tennis Channel? No. To be honest I don't see why any American kid would even dream of being a top tennis player.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
#31
Mike, I think you are 100% right. In fact, do you entirely blame Kyrgios for wishing he were a great basketball player rather than a very talented but unmotivated tennis player? Why would the average American kid want to put himself through the kind crap tennis players go through? Earning potential? No. The fun of belonging to a team and having that team experience? No. Never getting coverage except on Tennis Channel? No. To be honest I don't see why any American kid would even dream of being a top tennis player.
The "average" American kid is not going to earn money in basketball, just like he is not going to be among the MBAs in finance managing billions of dollars in hedge funds and making tons themselves.
 
#32
The "average" American kid is not going to earn money in basketball, just like he is not going to be among the MBAs in finance managing billions of dollars in hedge funds and making tons themselves.
Where in heaven's name did you get that from what I posted? No wonder your message count is almost 51,000. You just post without thinking. I'm saying that for the average kid in the US picking a sport to be successful in, tennis is a hard one for making money, and it's not well backed in the US. Is that too difficult for you to comprehend? Or are you going to find a way to distort anything I say?
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
#33
Where in heaven's name did you get that from what I posted? No wonder your message count is almost 51,000. You just post without thinking. I'm saying that for the average kid in the US picking a sport to be successful in, tennis is a hard one for making money, and it's not well backed in the US. Is that too difficult for you to comprehend? Or are you going to find a way to distort anything I say?
Your statement is meaningless unless compared to the chances of an average kid in the US picking basketball and making money from it. Chances are that the tennis boy (tennis girls will do even better) gets to play D3 tennis without money and having enough time to focus on academics and make a career, while the basketball guy who doesn't grow up to be tall and strong gets kicked around and gives up the game altogether and develops an inferiority complex. When he grows older and cannot find people to play ball with, he will show up at a tennis club with some basketball stories of knowing a NBA player from his school days, and spend the next 10 years trying to move past the 3.0 level, while the former D3 player will rule the 4.5 leagues in the club, meet a cute woman through mixed doubles, and have a great life.
 
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#34
anerican tennis needs a big overhaul. looks like the typical cal USTA trained player, no variety and goes for all or nothing on his serves


saw a little bit of his match last night and out of 20 points played 10-12 were trying to go for aces wide or big serves
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
#35
anerican tennis needs a big overhaul. looks like the typical cal USTA trained player, no variety and goes for all or nothing on his serves


saw a little bit of his match last night and out of 20 points played 10-12 were trying to go for aces wide or big serves
That is exactly what big servers should do.
 
#36
There are many advantages that outweigh any problems, like serve speed, wingspan at net, fewer steps to cover a distance, leverage on groundies.

If I was 6'11" like him, I would be ATP #1.
While it's an advantage for serving certainly which is a massive part of the game, I don't think you give the massive disadvantages their due either. While reach can be important it's a lot easier to get jammed up too and when you are bigger there is no way you have the coordination, speed, movement, reflexes, touch etc of smaller players which is just as much of an offset.

Maybe some freak of nature will eventually come along and have it all like a Lebron of tennis or something but I've yet to see one of the 6-10+ guys like that and if they have that sort of physical skill and speed stuff they will probably be scooped up by the NBA where there is far more earning potiental past 5 to 10 guys.
 
N

Nashvegas

Guest
#38
The 100th player in tennis may not be able to compete against the much better athletes in basketball (and likewise, the basketball players may lack racket skills, but we are not talking the other way around). I doubt that skinny Opelka would withstand one aggressive body slam by a NBA player. He will probably be thrown to the ground with broken bones and never be able to play again.
He’s maybe 20 lbs lighter than the average NBA center. I think he’d survive.
 
#39
Isner and Karlovic (most similar players) at his age were ranked 869 and 212 positions lower than him.
I thought of mentioning this earlier, but didnt think someone this thread would be receptive. Opelka has a big upside. Isner also had sometime in college to further developed his game, but still. I think people are basing too much on this match.
 
#40
Face it. Americans were made to play Football, Basketball, Hockey and Baseball. Not Tennis. Leave tennis for the more skilled Europeans and alike.
 
#41
Unfortunately Opelka did not play that well in his match against De Minaur, but from other matches I have watched, he does have potential
Opelika up 5-2 in second set tiebreaker. Has two to serve to take the set and even the match. Double faults and then shanks a routine return. Misses easy volley on match point. Loses tiebreaker 5-7. If he could get his return to a 4.5 level, he could move up in rankings quite a bit.
 
#44
Opelika up 5-2 in second set tiebreaker. Has two to serve to take the set and even the match. Double faults and then shanks a routine return. Misses easy volley on match point. Loses tiebreaker 5-7. If he could get his return to a 4.5 level, he could move up in rankings quite a bit.
Again, in all fairness, he did not play well yesterday. I will be the first to admit that while he did choke there in the end of that second set, from what I have watched of him over the past few years that is not usually the standard. His returns are poor, but I think thats] is a double product of his height and age. He plays impatiently sometimes when frustrated and it can hurt him.
 

mike danny

Talk Tennis Guru
#45
Mike, I think you are 100% right. In fact, do you entirely blame Kyrgios for wishing he were a great basketball player rather than a very talented but unmotivated tennis player? Why would the average American kid want to put himself through the kind crap tennis players go through? Earning potential? No. The fun of belonging to a team and having that team experience? No. Never getting coverage except on Tennis Channel? No. To be honest I don't see why any American kid would even dream of being a top tennis player.
Maybe basketball lost a great star in Kyrgios. If the guy really wished to be a basketball player, but his parents forced him to play tennis, then I feel sorry for him. It must be excruciating to have to do something you don't like as a profession with no chance of being able to try a different profession.
 

bjk

Hall of Fame
#46
Compare Isner at the same age, Opelka is ahead. His backhand is solid, which took Isner about 10 years on tour to achieve. He looks ugly out there but so did Isner at his age. His game will improve, unfortunately. I wish these players didn't exist or there weren't so many of them. #oneserve
 

Red Rick

Talk Tennis Guru
#47
Compare Isner at the same age, Opelka is ahead. His backhand is solid, which took Isner about 10 years on tour to achieve. He looks ugly out there but so did Isner at his age. His game will improve, unfortunately. I wish these players didn't exist or there weren't so many of them. #oneserve
One serve is the single worst idea for tennis out there.

There would be no Slam winner but Nadal or Djokovic in the last 10 years
 

bjk

Hall of Fame
#48
TT has been over this a million times but something has to be done. One serve is a lousy idea but tennis should at least try some new ideas like turning first serve lets into faults.
 
#49
Guys like Opelka and Isner ruin the game. I won’t watch either, regardless of the stakes, it’s painfully boring.

It’s not their fault they are tall and tennis has a built-in flaw with the geometry of the serve, but it sucks nonetheless.

In basketball they created the 3-second rule to stop Wilt from sleeping in the lane and using his height to dominate. At some point tennis will have to figure it out because it’s terrible for the sport


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

mike danny

Talk Tennis Guru
#50
Guys like Opelka and Isner ruin the game. I won’t watch either, regardless of the stakes, it’s painfully boring.

It’s not their fault they are tall and tennis has a built-in flaw with the geometry of the serve, but it sucks nonetheless.

In basketball they created the 3-second rule to stop Wilt from sleeping in the lane and using his height to dominate. At some point tennis will have to figure it out because it’s terrible for the sport


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Let's not pretend like guys like Isner and Opelka have or will ever dominate the game, so there's no need to implement any irrational changes.
 
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