What makes a good hard court player? - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2005, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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What makes a good hard court player?

I feel like I understand what makes a good clay court and grass player.. but as the summer hard court season approaches, I read a lot on this board about how such and such a player will do great on the hard courts while others won't. But I guess I can't figure out exactly what factors makes a player better on hardcourts than other types of surfaces..

and, by extension, which players are the clear favorites going into the hardcourt season and for what reason..
thanks..
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2005, 01:33 PM
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ALL sorts of players can be good hard court players. Whereas on grass and clay IMO it is harder for a certain style to break through, hardcourts are the great "mixer" of tennis and anyone can be good on them if they play their game well.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2005, 01:36 PM
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Hardcourt Tennis is all about controlled agrression. Its slow enough to allow for longer ralleys but fast enough to force agrressive play. Any player that has good defense along with offensive weapons has a good shot to do well in the hardcourt season.

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2005, 01:50 PM
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clear faves:
Williams
Lindsay
Kim
Sharapova etc...

LINDSAY DAVENPORT!
Say what you like about Davenport, but shes achieved what most others could only dream of!

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2005, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindsayno1
clear faves:
Williams
Lindsay
Kim
Sharapova etc...
but why?

and why not throw justine in there too?

just curious..
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2005, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RAA
...exactly what factors makes a player better on hardcourts than other types of surfaces...
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2005, 02:17 PM
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What makes him good and what makes him hard are two different things ;-)

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2005, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RAA
but why?

and why not throw justine in there too?

just curious..

because its a fast surface and favours the big hitting and serving babes

LINDSAY DAVENPORT!
Say what you like about Davenport, but shes achieved what most others could only dream of!

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2005, 03:13 PM
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In a way, it more about what you DON'T need to a good hard court player.

You DON'T need the endurance to play the endless points clay can produce.

You DON'T need to be able to handle the ultra low bounces you can get on grass.

You DON'T need to be able the bad bounces you can get on clay or grass.

So a player with power, and some endurance, but who's NOT good at making last second adjustments, can be successful on hardcourts, even they aren't on clay or grass.

A spinning balls 'bites' into clay more. So players like Martinez, Henin-Hardenne and Schnyder get a payoff for their ability to use these shots on clay. The effect of the spin is magnified. Players who can't handle that, but who are otherwise good, do a lot better on hardcourts.

A ball simply hit with massive pace can skid on grass, barely rising after it bounces. So players like Sharapova and Davenport, who hit with big pace, and hit close to the lines, gain a big advantage on grass. The rest of the tour is killing themselves just to reach the ball. But on hardcourts, the ball doesn't slide through the court so much, and players who are a half-step slower can reach the ball.

It really comes down to fewer, and less variables for the players.

Why are some players at their best indoors? Fewer and less extreme variables. No sun in your eyes, no wind, consistent lighting, (usually) no insects, no airplane or traffic noise, the surface isn't ultra slow or ultra fast. Some players handle these variables well, some are affected by them.

A player who excels on hard courts, but NOT on clay or grass is, to an extent, defined by their deficiencies, not their assets. They may lack the endurance and consistency to excel onclay, or the footspeed and pace to excel on grass.

Grass maximizes Lindsay Davenport biggest assets, the pace and accuracy of her striking. It also exposes her lack of footspeed, but since she's usually in control of the point, that's not often a problem.

Clay maximizes Justine Henin-Hardenne's ability to slice and spin. Her opponents are dealing with the ball doing things they just aren't used to seeing. And since the ball coming off the surface slower, it allows Henin-Hardenne to compensate for her lack of height with footspeed.

There aren't many player in the top twenty who are only good on hardcourts. If you look at their records, you generally find they also go deep into tournaments on grass or clay.
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Originally Posted by alfajeffster
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This is also correct.

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2005, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volcana
In a way, it more about what you DON'T need to a good hard court player.

You DON'T need the endurance to play the endless points clay can produce.

You DON'T need to be able to handle the ultra low bounces you can get on grass.

You DON'T need to be able the bad bounces you can get on clay or grass.

So a player with power, and some endurance, but who's NOT good at making last second adjustments, can be successful on hardcourts, even they aren't on clay or grass.

A spinning balls 'bites' into clay more. So players like Martinez, Henin-Hardenne and Schnyder get a payoff for their ability to use these shots on clay. The effect of the spin is magnified. Players who can't handle that, but who are otherwise good, do a lot better on hardcourts.

A ball simply hit with massive pace can skid on grass, barely rising after it bounces. So players like Sharapova and Davenport, who hit with big pace, and hit close to the lines, gain a big advantage on grass. The rest of the tour is killing themselves just to reach the ball. But on hardcourts, the ball doesn't slide through the court so much, and players who are a half-step slower can reach the ball.

It really comes down to fewer, and less variables for the players.

Why are some players at their best indoors? Fewer and less extreme variables. No sun in your eyes, no wind, consistent lighting, (usually) no insects, no airplane or traffic noise, the surface isn't ultra slow or ultra fast. Some players handle these variables well, some are affected by them.

A player who excels on hard courts, but NOT on clay or grass is, to an extent, defined by their deficiencies, not their assets. They may lack the endurance and consistency to excel onclay, or the footspeed and pace to excel on grass.

Grass maximizes Lindsay Davenport biggest assets, the pace and accuracy of her striking. It also exposes her lack of footspeed, but since she's usually in control of the point, that's not often a problem.

Clay maximizes Justine Henin-Hardenne's ability to slice and spin. Her opponents are dealing with the ball doing things they just aren't used to seeing. And since the ball coming off the surface slower, it allows Henin-Hardenne to compensate for her lack of height with footspeed.

There aren't many player in the top twenty who are only good on hardcourts. If you look at their records, you generally find they also go deep into tournaments on grass or clay.This is also correct.
thanks for this . it was helpful. I think I knew it intuitively but I just couldn't articulate it..
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2005, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slydevil6142
Hardcourt Tennis is all about controlled agrression. Its slow enough to allow for longer ralleys but fast enough to force agrressive play. Any player that has good defense along with offensive weapons has a good shot to do well in the hardcourt season.
Yes, Chris Evert and Monica Seles comes to mind. Even though they were equally good on clay.

The sisters also have the perfect games for it but Serena, especially, makes it hard for her body to handle.

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2005, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volcana
In a way, it more about what you DON'T need to a good hard court player.

You DON'T need the endurance to play the endless points clay can produce.

You DON'T need to be able to handle the ultra low bounces you can get on grass.

You DON'T need to be able the bad bounces you can get on clay or grass.

So a player with power, and some endurance, but who's NOT good at making last second adjustments, can be successful on hardcourts, even they aren't on clay or grass.

A spinning balls 'bites' into clay more. So players like Martinez, Henin-Hardenne and Schnyder get a payoff for their ability to use these shots on clay. The effect of the spin is magnified. Players who can't handle that, but who are otherwise good, do a lot better on hardcourts.

A ball simply hit with massive pace can skid on grass, barely rising after it bounces. So players like Sharapova and Davenport, who hit with big pace, and hit close to the lines, gain a big advantage on grass. The rest of the tour is killing themselves just to reach the ball. But on hardcourts, the ball doesn't slide through the court so much, and players who are a half-step slower can reach the ball.

It really comes down to fewer, and less variables for the players.

Why are some players at their best indoors? Fewer and less extreme variables. No sun in your eyes, no wind, consistent lighting, (usually) no insects, no airplane or traffic noise, the surface isn't ultra slow or ultra fast. Some players handle these variables well, some are affected by them.

A player who excels on hard courts, but NOT on clay or grass is, to an extent, defined by their deficiencies, not their assets. They may lack the endurance and consistency to excel onclay, or the footspeed and pace to excel on grass.

Grass maximizes Lindsay Davenport biggest assets, the pace and accuracy of her striking. It also exposes her lack of footspeed, but since she's usually in control of the point, that's not often a problem.

Clay maximizes Justine Henin-Hardenne's ability to slice and spin. Her opponents are dealing with the ball doing things they just aren't used to seeing. And since the ball coming off the surface slower, it allows Henin-Hardenne to compensate for her lack of height with footspeed.

There aren't many player in the top twenty who are only good on hardcourts. If you look at their records, you generally find they also go deep into tournaments on grass or clay.This is also correct.
Great insight!!! Thanks for your contribution and you are a great asset to this board!!!
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2005, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RAA
I feel like I understand what makes a good clay court and grass player.. but as the summer hard court season approaches, I read a lot on this board about how such and such a player will do great on the hard courts while others won't. But I guess I can't figure out exactly what factors makes a player better on hardcourts than other types of surfaces..

and, by extension, which players are the clear favorites going into the hardcourt season and for what reason..
thanks..

I'd say a 89 % or better winning percentage makes a good hard courter.

Actually I know only one ...



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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2005, 10:27 PM
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Faves for hardcourt season:
Davenport & Sharapova: B/c they can hit hard flat strokes & dictate on most hardcourts

Venus & Justine: I feel like they can hit well placed hard groundstrokes but are also very good at defense which is a big help on the hardcourts.

Kim & Amelie: Kim & Amelie are just solid all-around player whose games work well on all surfaces if they play well....
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2005, 10:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindsayno1
because its a fast surface and favours the big hitting and serving babes
again: why not Justine?

Justine hits the ball hard, she has one of the fastest serves on tour + she's won 2 slams on HC, the Athens Olympics and several other titles!!
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