If you could tweak Dani's game .... - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old May 4th, 2004, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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If you could tweak Dani's game ....

... what would you have her do?

Things to remember

a) She became a top five player with the game she has. Change for changes sake isn't likely to result in better results. There isn't a lot of room aboove where she's already been.

b) She's ranked like #46 now. Leaving things alone likely won't help either.

Me, I'd work on these things.
  • Footwork. She's got the longest legs in the world, and like Venus, this can make it tough to set up for shots. You over run things when you're all legs.
  • Learn to hit some topspin with the open stance backhand. Not a lot, just enough to get some more cushion. Those ultra flat shots can miss too easily.
  • Get off the baseline. This means more footwork. Train on how to go from running from side to side to running forward. A player of her height would be very difficult to pass, but the open stance is exactly the wrong footword to facilitate moving forward. Not saying she should change how she hits, just practice shifting to running forward more.
  • Get a slice. Nothing major, but its something you have to have to play midcourt tennis. The ball is often around your ankles. If you don't have an effective slice, you wind up popping theball up ad your opponent gets an easy winner.
What I'm really saying is, I remember a Dani who was more of an allcourt player. Somewhere along the line she turned into a baseline killing machine. Well, now the machine is broken, and I think it might help to return to her all court roots.

I'm sure actual Hantuchova fans have better and more ideas than I about this.

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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old May 4th, 2004, 06:36 PM
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I dont personally feel it's her game. She definately has the tools, the footwork, the shots. It's Mental and her confidence is SHOT. Tweak wise...she just need to devise a game plan, i think she plays her Opponent and NOT THE BALL. She conforms to what they are doing and not doing what she want to do, and her game is designed to dictate not defense on most occassions.

I think once she get her head back into the game, she'll be Stellar once more.

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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old May 4th, 2004, 06:59 PM
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If Daniela were the unscrupulous type, she'd admit to having an eating disorder and apply for a medical exemption to use steroids.....

Seriously, though: Daniela does not, repeat, DOES NOT need to overhaul her game. She needs to hire a nutritionist and a personal trainer, take the rest of this year off to get in shape, and come back strong in 2005. She's got some of the cleanest strokes I've ever seen in my life, but because she's so thin, she wears down easily. Daniela's only 21 and the Tour isn't going anywhere, so a prolonged break won't hurt her in the long run.

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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old May 4th, 2004, 07:05 PM
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But she's not too thin any more - just look at the numerous Warsaw pics around. She looks pretty healthy, actually, and has done so since the start of the year.

I actually think her game is different to the game which got her to No 5 in the world - I'm sure I've read somewhere that the mechanics of her groundstrokes have altered substantially for whatever reason. Maybe one of her fans could confirm; certainly they look more awkward, especially the forehand.

Otherwise: not just footwork, but speed full stop. She is far, far too slow and always has been. Wherever her tactical sense went, it needs to return - she did once appear to be able to think her way through matches, but she hasn't been doing this for at least two years. And she definitely needs a shot or several of confidence.
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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old May 4th, 2004, 07:15 PM
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I remember at being amazed with some of the shots Dani pulled out last year and in 2002. Now I think she really needs a shrink. Also, I think she plays the ball too much and not her opponent. For each person she plays she HAS to develop a gameplan. I remember seeing her play Nagyova? at the US Open and she got caught in a moonball fest and just couldn't cope. If she can play her own game and learn again how to counter her opponent's game thne she can win a lot more.
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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old May 4th, 2004, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volcana
...
I'm sure actual Hantuchova fans have better and more ideas than I about this.
I'm sure you're right

I really wouldn't 'tweak' much of her game, she's got tons of natural ability, it's just that she hasn't shown much of it for quite a while now.

It's simply a matter of confidence, that's all. She just needs to start racking up a few wins, but at the level she's playing at at the moment, she's only destroying what little confidence she has with a string of first and second round losses. I hate to admit it, but I really do feel she needs to drop down a level and play some more Tier III's to build her confidence up again.

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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old May 4th, 2004, 08:04 PM
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In her match against Vakulenko at the US open last year...all i remember is how she DiDNT HIT HARD.....she was just hitting up hte center of the court.....she needs to hit the corners again. Do you remember that dtl backhand at IW the year she won....ohh man it was SWEET!!!

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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old May 4th, 2004, 08:11 PM
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It's definetly more mental, and I dunno how to fix it!

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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old May 4th, 2004, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darrinbaker00
If Daniela were the unscrupulous type, she'd admit to having an eating disorder and apply for a medical exemption to use steroids.....

Seriously, though: Daniela does not, repeat, DOES NOT need to overhaul her game. She needs to hire a nutritionist and a personal trainer, take the rest of this year off to get in shape, and come back strong in 2005. She's got some of the cleanest strokes I've ever seen in my life, but because she's so thin, she wears down easily. Daniela's only 21 and the Tour isn't going anywhere, so a prolonged break won't hurt her in the long run.
She is not underweight. She does not need a nutritionist. Go and look at some recent pics of her, instead of referring to pictures of her as she was at Wimbledon 2003. Nearly 10 months have passed since that you know.She realised she was underweight and has done well to put the weight back on.
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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old May 4th, 2004, 09:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan16
I remember at being amazed with some of the shots Dani pulled out last year and in 2002. Now I think she really needs a shrink. Also, I think she plays the ball too much and not her opponent. For each person she plays she HAS to develop a gameplan. I remember seeing her play Nagyova? at the US Open and she got caught in a moonball fest and just couldn't cope. If she can play her own game and learn again how to counter her opponent's game thne she can win a lot more.
As mentioned it was the Julia Vakulenko. (Who hit about 3 balls in according to the stats in the first set.) I was amazed during those few points in the second set tiebreaker, I didn't know Julia could moonball so well, and it was clearly frustrating Daniela. Maybe it was just the TV, but it seemed to me Daniela had no power during that match -- it looked as if she was trying to push the moonballs down, but with no force at all, letting Julia hit another and another. Where was the power? In the matches I saw Daniela play in late 2003 (Asagoe - Wimbledon meltdown, US Open - Julia Moonballing more than Conchita would consider tactical, and the Harkelroad choke) she totally lost all fight. I remember seeing her for the first few times in 2002, and she had fight -- somewhat like Maria, pumping her fists to get through matches. I hope it all returns and Daniela can return to the top.

I do agree that she has always seemed a bit slow despite her long, gazelle like legs...
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post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old May 4th, 2004, 09:15 PM
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post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old May 4th, 2004, 09:27 PM
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ah! a thread that isn't bashing Daniela.. how nice!

Anyways, confident is a major issue for Daniela, being #5 in the world then suddenly dropping fast to #41 -- not the best thing to smile about.

I seriously think she should start playing Tier 3 tourneys to boost her confidence up, play against lower players than her will move her rankings and mentality up. Daniela's stubborn, and (but) like everyone she'll think that she's a top player and should not have to play someone 'under' her league -- "you've got to the top 5, why the hell would you play players that are ranked #100 right?" but you hafta push aside the "pride" and whatever it is you have, and think realistically, this isn't suppose to be a slap in the face for Daniela, but rather a "tune up" to playing with the bigger hitters.

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post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old May 5th, 2004, 03:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddyday
She is not underweight. She does not need a nutritionist. Go and look at some recent pics of her, instead of referring to pictures of her as she was at Wimbledon 2003. Nearly 10 months have passed since that you know.She realised she was underweight and has done well to put the weight back on.
I realize that she's put on weight since Wimbledon '03, but in my opinion, she's still too frail to be a serious threat (to be fair, so is Maria Sharapova, but she's still growing). Daniela has the same body type as Venus Williams (short torso, L-O-N-G limbs), so I think she can get up to at least 140 pounds and not lose any quickness or foot speed.

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post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old May 5th, 2004, 03:47 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darrinbaker00
I realize that she's put on weight since Wimbledon '03, but in my opinion, she's still too frail to be a serious threat (to be fair, so is Maria Sharapova, but she's still growing). Daniela has the same body type as Venus Williams (short torso, L-O-N-G limbs), so I think she can get up to at least 140 pounds and not lose any quickness or foot speed.
You know, I hadn't thought of it in that light. Dani was a month shy of nineteen when she win IW. Now she's 21. And maybe she weighs the same, but she sure doesn't weigh a pound more. In any player without OVER-weight problems, the years between 19 and 21 are spent filling out, adding muscle, and maybe growing a last half-inch of so. Maybe Dani is exactly what she was two years ago. But every player under 24 is two years stronger.

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post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old May 5th, 2004, 03:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volcana
You know, I hadn't thought of it in that light. Dani was a month shy of nineteen when she win IW. Now she's 21. And maybe she weighs the same, but she sure doesn't weigh a pound more. In any player without OVER-weight problems, the years between 19 and 21 are spent filling out, adding muscle, and maybe growing a last half-inch of so. Maybe Dani is exactly what she was two years ago. But every player under 24 is two years stronger.
B-I-N-G-O! She's exactly where she was when she was ranked #5, and she was too thin and weak then. I'm not saying she should turn herself into Ms. Olympia, but an extra 20 pounds of muscle wouldn't hurt.

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