Who enjoys watching little players driving big hitters insane? - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old Oct 28th, 2005, 08:33 AM Thread Starter
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Who enjoys watching little players driving big hitters insane?

Reading the thread about taking sadistic pleasure in seeing helpless players get overpowered, I realised that one of the things I've always found most entertaining is a smaller player, with less power, outwitting a power player. For example, watching Fabrice Santoro driving Marat Safin crazy every time they play (8-1 head to head, Marat describes having to play Fabrice like "being told I'm going to die) is quite an entertaining experience.

It's something that Martina Hingis used to do a lot, and despite her on court behaviour, I couldn't help but admire her cleverness, and the overall subtlety to her game. Unfortunately, it's a much rarer occurrance on the women's tour nowadays with a large emphasis being placed on big hitting.

The closest thing to it that I can remember in recent times off the top of my head was Serena Williams playing Emilie Loit in the first round of the 2003 Australian Open. Serena was at the peak of her powers, and no one thought it would even be competitive. However, the match turned out to be a 3 set thriller, and a match that Emilie could've won had she not realised who she was playing. She hit a high percentage of well placed, first serves, hit wickedly low slices, forcing Serena into error, and swung her lefty topspin forehand away from Serena's backhand.

It was certainly the best first round women's match I've ever witnessed. The next day there were articles discussing whether "the humble little French woman" had finally discovered a chink in Serena's invincible armour with her slices. Emilie won the audience (including myself) over that day, but unfortunately, I don't think she's ever played that well again.

If anyone also enjoys seeing the little guys win, or remembers a case of this happenning on the wta tour, feel free to discuss.
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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old Oct 28th, 2005, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prizeidiot
Reading the thread about taking sadistic pleasure in seeing helpless players get overpowered, I realised that one of the things I've always found most entertaining is a smaller player, with less power, outwitting a power player. For example, watching Fabrice Santoro driving Marat Safin crazy every time they play (8-1 head to head, Marat describes having to play Fabrice like "being told I'm going to die) is quite an entertaining experience.

It's something that Martina Hingis used to do a lot, and despite her on court behaviour, I couldn't help but admire her cleverness, and the overall subtlety to her game. Unfortunately, it's a much rarer occurrance on the women's tour nowadays with a large emphasis being placed on big hitting.

The closest thing to it that I can remember in recent times off the top of my head was Serena Williams playing Emilie Loit in the first round of the 2003 Australian Open. Serena was at the peak of her powers, and no one thought it would even be competitive. However, the match turned out to be a 3 set thriller, and a match that Emilie could've won had she not realised who she was playing. She hit a high percentage of well placed, first serves, hit wickedly low slices, forcing Serena into error, and swung her lefty topspin forehand away from Serena's backhand.

It was certainly the best first round women's match I've ever witnessed. The next day there were articles discussing whether "the humble little French woman" had finally discovered a chink in Serena's invincible armour with her slices. Emilie won the audience (including myself) over that day, but unfortunately, I don't think she's ever played that well again.

If anyone also enjoys seeing the little guys win, or remembers a case of this happenning on the wta tour, feel free to discuss.
Love watching Anna Smashnova play. She normally gets overpowered on faster surfaces, but on the slower courts, she knows she has some sort of chance to do well and fights rather hard.
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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old Oct 28th, 2005, 08:45 AM
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Patty drives most of the young generation insane. i'll never forget her match against the then no.1 Capriati in the semis of Charleston 02 - she had no idea how to counteract Patty variations in spin and angles. Similar to her match against Sharapova this year in Rome.
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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old Oct 28th, 2005, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by switz
Patty drives most of the young generation insane. i'll never forget her match against the then no.1 Capriati in the semis of Charleston 02 - she had no idea how to counteract Patty variations in spin and angles. Similar to her match against Sharapova this year in Rome.
I know.Isn't she a witch? Her latest bunny is Ana.

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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old Oct 28th, 2005, 09:02 AM
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I still marvel at how a player like hingis beat all of those big hitters. it is a given those players should beat hingis, they have so much more power and weapons than hingis...it's just basic physics..., but when hingis beat them...mann...even Richard Williams marvels at how someone who seemingly does not have that much to give was able to win just about everything...pure magic!
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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old Oct 28th, 2005, 09:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prizeidiot
Reading the thread about taking sadistic pleasure in seeing helpless players get overpowered, I realised that one of the things I've always found most entertaining is a smaller player, with less power, outwitting a power player. For example, watching Fabrice Santoro driving Marat Safin crazy every time they play (8-1 head to head, Marat describes having to play Fabrice like "being told I'm going to die) is quite an entertaining experience.

It's something that Martina Hingis used to do a lot, and despite her on court behaviour, I couldn't help but admire her cleverness, and the overall subtlety to her game. Unfortunately, it's a much rarer occurrance on the women's tour nowadays with a large emphasis being placed on big hitting.

The closest thing to it that I can remember in recent times off the top of my head was Serena Williams playing Emilie Loit in the first round of the 2003 Australian Open. Serena was at the peak of her powers, and no one thought it would even be competitive. However, the match turned out to be a 3 set thriller, and a match that Emilie could've won had she not realised who she was playing. She hit a high percentage of well placed, first serves, hit wickedly low slices, forcing Serena into error, and swung her lefty topspin forehand away from Serena's backhand.

It was certainly the best first round women's match I've ever witnessed. The next day there were articles discussing whether "the humble little French woman" had finally discovered a chink in Serena's invincible armour with her slices. Emilie won the audience (including myself) over that day, but unfortunately, I don't think she's ever played that well again.

If anyone also enjoys seeing the little guys win, or remembers a case of this happenning on the wta tour, feel free to discuss.
I was a fan of Coetzer... I think that says it all!

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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old Oct 28th, 2005, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by inkymisafan
I was a fan of Coetzer... I think that says it all!
Indeed... beat 3 world No 1's in her time... Graf (1995, 1997), Hingis (1997), Davenport (1999)... and a couple of former world no 1's ... Seles, V Williams, Henin, Mauresmo, Sanchez-Vicario, Capriati....
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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old Oct 28th, 2005, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dinhd82
I still marvel at how a player like hingis beat all of those big hitters. it is a given those players should beat hingis, they have so much more power and weapons than hingis...it's just basic physics..., but when hingis beat them...mann...even Richard Williams marvels at how someone who seemingly does not have that much to give was able to win just about everything...pure magic!
Yeah until those big hitters got even bigger, stronger and began treating Hingis like a rag doll on court......
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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old Oct 28th, 2005, 10:00 AM
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Best thread of the year year, koodos to the thread-starter.

I think Cyril Saulnier on the french side is like that, he hasnt got much of a serve. Id asume judging from the way the Americans dislike him that Julien Benneteau is a similar pain in the ass. maybe on the womens side Cara Black has this effect. I dont know though.

I suppose my little Fighter Camille Pin is one of these as well.

Last edited by "Sluggy"; Oct 28th, 2005 at 10:07 AM.
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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old Oct 28th, 2005, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by butch
Indeed... beat 3 world No 1's in her time... Graf (1995, 1997), Hingis (1997), Davenport (1999)... and a couple of former world no 1's ... Seles, V Williams, Henin, Mauresmo, Sanchez-Vicario, Capriati....


I'm also a fan of Schnyder, so I guess I do like a good mix of players!

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post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old Oct 28th, 2005, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakeev
Yeah until those big hitters got even bigger, stronger and began treating Hingis like a rag doll on court......
so are players all 7 ft now or sumthing? i would say hingis got weaker, less mentally tough. becuz even the biggest of hitters cannot be ON all the time.
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post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old Oct 28th, 2005, 11:05 AM
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post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old Oct 28th, 2005, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakeev
Love watching Anna Smashnova play. She normally gets overpowered on faster surfaces, but on the slower courts, she knows she has some sort of chance to do well and fights rather hard.
Me too.
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post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old Oct 28th, 2005, 11:05 AM
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i liked watching aranxta sancehz vicario frustrate steffi graf. i always rooted for aranxta.

ummm, who else?? can't believe i forgot the name of the other small player....she was small but she was strong....she was from south africa if im not mistaken, i think she retired a few years ago.

For some reason the name anke huber comes to mind but i know that its probably not her.

Can someone tell me who im talking about?

I'm not young enough to know everything.
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post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old Oct 28th, 2005, 11:16 AM
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Its quite special when one of the power beasts are drawn against one of the 'flair' players when the latter is playing out of their mind. The Loit-Serena match was immense, it was brilliant to see such opposing styles collide and Emilie executed her gameplan to perfection. Her slices caused Serena all sorts of problems. Did Serena have a warning for swearing like a drunken banshee? I believe she did. Pure frustration. It was a damn shame Emilie didn't pull it out, but it was a great match nevertheless.

On Saori's side, she doesn't have quite the pure variety of Loit, but the best match i've seen her play against a big hitter was against Bovina at Wimbledon 03'. Having initially been totally overpowered to go 5-1 down, she began to use her speed around the court and some incredible angles to get back into the match. Bovina started to get impatient and lost her range, and was forced into huge errors at crucial moments. Eventually, Saori's fitness betrayed her, she lost 3 MPs and then the match 6-8 in the third. Again, supreme match.
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