To be or not to be... a "ballbasher" - TennisForum.com
View Poll Results: What is the percentage of ballbashers in the top 20
There is no ballbashers in the top 20 9 14.29%
There is 10% to 30% of ballbashers 19 30.16%
35% to 60% are only bashing the ball 21 33.33%
Almost all of them only slam the ball 14 22.22%
Voters: 63. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old Jun 18th, 2008, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
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Question To be or not to be... a "ballbasher"

While reading posts on this forum I can see that people seem to accuse some if not most of the players to be “ballbashers”. Before I use this word again I will define it for everyone from my point of view so everyone is clear at least what I mean by it. If I put a player in this category I would think that she doesn’t have in her “toolbox” any other “sharp” tools except the ability to hit the ball really hard. I would not think of someone as a ballbasher if she hits the ball hard but uses relatively rich arsenal of other strategic or tactical weapons (e.g. changing pace of the game, drop shots, spins, etc.).

Having such definition in mind I would like to ask you a few questions. Here they are:
1. How many “ballbashers” we have in the WTA top 20 (perhaps you can list the chief ones)
2. Do you believe that ball bashing is a sufficient tactic to get into and stay in the top 10 or even top 5
3. Lastly if a player doesn’t have the ability to hit the ball really hard but she has a smart game and many other capabilities is she capable to get in the top 10 or 5 and stay there for a while.

Your opinions are appreciated

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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old Jun 18th, 2008, 11:30 PM
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Re: To be or not to be... a "ballbasher"

i hate the term ballbasher. it has connotations of young players who do not 'understand' the game. i think people who use the term ballbashing are so used to seeing slice backhands and volleys that any other technique is looked down on.

ive heard so many people on this board call azarenka a ballbasher, which is ridiculous. Yes, azarenka can hit the ball hard, and her baseline game is her 'A game', but that doesnt mean she isn't capable of doing anything else! in actual fact, azarenka is one of the most talented and versitile girls on tour.

at the end of the day, 'ballbashing' works for some players, so why knock it

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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old Jun 19th, 2008, 12:31 AM
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Re: To be or not to be... a "ballbasher"

I don't believe you can get to top 20 without broader set of skills. On the other hand I think it is not necessary to have hard hitting as one of weapons to get to the top
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old Jun 19th, 2008, 04:45 AM
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Re: To be or not to be... a "ballbasher"

The thing that bothers me the most about the term "ballbasher" is that people attach it to being untalented, when the fact of the matter is it takes tons of talent and immaculate timing to be able to hit the ball with such heavy power and pace consistently, not to mention with accuracy. Playing that style also means you're sort of going against the percentages, usually with a lower ball trajectory and less spin - that makes it harder to execute.

So just because hitting the crap out of the ball is the main strategy for some, doesn't make them lesser players, just perhaps less diverse. But when you're that good at hitting the ball hard, it almost doesn't matter.
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old Jun 19th, 2008, 04:50 AM
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Re: To be or not to be... a "ballbasher"

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatTheDeuce View Post
The thing that bothers me the most about the term "ballbasher" is that people attach it to being untalented, when the fact of the matter is it takes tons of talent and immaculate timing to be able to hit the ball with such heavy power and pace consistently, not to mention with accuracy. Playing that style also means you're sort of going against the percentages, usually with a lower ball trajectory and less spin - that makes it harder to execute.

So just because hitting the crap out of the ball is the main strategy for some, doesn't make them lesser players, just perhaps less diverse. But when you're that good at hitting the ball hard, it almost doesn't matter.
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old Jun 19th, 2008, 04:54 AM
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Re: To be or not to be... a "ballbasher"

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatTheDeuce View Post
The thing that bothers me the most about the term "ballbasher" is that people attach it to being untalented, when the fact of the matter is it takes tons of talent and immaculate timing to be able to hit the ball with such heavy power and pace consistently, not to mention with accuracy. Playing that style also means you're sort of going against the percentages, usually with a lower ball trajectory and less spin - that makes it harder to execute.

So just because hitting the crap out of the ball is the main strategy for some, doesn't make them lesser players, just perhaps less diverse. But when you're that good at hitting the ball hard, it almost doesn't matter.
Great point! Agree with everyone except the bold.

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When will you learn that "pushers" never make it past the club level, let alone #1 on the WTA computer? Will it be too late?
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old Jun 19th, 2008, 05:04 AM
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Re: To be or not to be... a "ballbasher"

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Originally Posted by AcesHigh View Post
Great point! Agree with everyone except the bold.
Can you elaborate on what you disagree on there? Don't get me wrong, it's better to have a full repertoire of shots, including power. If you can incorporate different shots and spins into your arsenal while maintaining the power, that can give a player the advantage they need to become better than the rest.

But I have to use Maria Sharapova as an example here. Moreso the Sharapova of a few years ago, but even the one of today to some extent. This is a player who has risen to the top purely because of her power on the serve and off the ground. Her entire game is built around that. Yes, she can hit other shots, we've all seen it from time to time, but the VAST majority of the time she's blasting it at you hard and flat and trying to get you off balance with her strength of shot. She's pretty much a one-dimensional player, and she's so good at that one dimension that it's almost irrelevant that she doesn't do very much of anything else.

There are other examples, but I just used Sharapova cause she's the highest ranked and most prevalent.
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old Jun 19th, 2008, 05:47 AM
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Re: To be or not to be... a "ballbasher"

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatTheDeuce View Post
Can you elaborate on what you disagree on there? Don't get me wrong, it's better to have a full repertoire of shots, including power. If you can incorporate different shots and spins into your arsenal while maintaining the power, that can give a player the advantage they need to become better than the rest.

But I have to use Maria Sharapova as an example here. Moreso the Sharapova of a few years ago, but even the one of today to some extent. This is a player who has risen to the top purely because of her power on the serve and off the ground. Her entire game is built around that. Yes, she can hit other shots, we've all seen it from time to time, but the VAST majority of the time she's blasting it at you hard and flat and trying to get you off balance with her strength of shot. She's pretty much a one-dimensional player, and she's so good at that one dimension that it's almost irrelevant that she doesn't do very much of anything else.

There are other examples, but I just used Sharapova cause she's the highest ranked and most prevalent.
You're 100% but IMO, Sharapova's greatest asset over the past 4 years is her mental strength and toughness. Her consistency is a great weapon too. There have been moments where opponents could have clearly outclassed her on the court but couldnt hold it together or couldnt bring it in the first place.
It doesn't matter unless you meet the higher class players who can actually pull it together and stay mentally strong and consistent. Sharapova gets ahead because she's got a solid game that would rarely fall apart and she had the tenacity, fight and willpower to match it. Yet, when she runs up against Henin or Mauresmo when they're playing well, or a SErena or Venus who are able to use and cover the court better, the advantage is always in their favor IMO.

It's really tough to argue my point because on the women's tour, you just don't have a great deal of great/good players who are mentally strong and a have a variety of weapons. And I think Maria Sharapova is a very exquisite and rare champion. It's easier on the men's tour with James Blake, Andy Roddick and Fernando Gonzalez as examples.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by darrinbaker00 View Post
When will you learn that "pushers" never make it past the club level, let alone #1 on the WTA computer? Will it be too late?
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old Jun 19th, 2008, 07:23 AM
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Re: To be or not to be... a "ballbasher"

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatTheDeuce View Post
The thing that bothers me the most about the term "ballbasher" is that people attach it to being untalented, when the fact of the matter is it takes tons of talent and immaculate timing to be able to hit the ball with such heavy power and pace consistently, not to mention with accuracy. Playing that style also means you're sort of going against the percentages, usually with a lower ball trajectory and less spin - that makes it harder to execute.

So just because hitting the crap out of the ball is the main strategy for some, doesn't make them lesser players, just perhaps less diverse. But when you're that good at hitting the ball hard, it almost doesn't matter.
I agree
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old Jun 19th, 2008, 07:38 AM
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Re: To be or not to be... a "ballbasher"

Ball-bashing pays the bills so you can take your one-handed backhands, slices, and serve and volleys crying home with you crybaby!



Long Live Masha!
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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old Jun 19th, 2008, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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Re: To be or not to be... a "ballbasher"

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatTheDeuce View Post
The thing that bothers me the most about the term "ballbasher" is that people attach it to being untalented, when the fact of the matter is it takes tons of talent and immaculate timing to be able to hit the ball with such heavy power and pace consistently, not to mention with accuracy. Playing that style also means you're sort of going against the percentages, usually with a lower ball trajectory and less spin - that makes it harder to execute.

So just because hitting the crap out of the ball is the main strategy for some, doesn't make them lesser players, just perhaps less diverse. But when you're that good at hitting the ball hard, it almost doesn't matter.
I agree hard hit is as good or perhaps even better than most weapons. I guess like hight in basketball, therefore it should not be frawned upon. However lack of diversity should. It makes the game uninteresting and what is more important the lifespan of hard hitter only is shorter in my opinion. It is more phisically demanding and leads eventually to injuries if there are no other weapons one can relay on. I can't see women playing purely physical tennis past their thirties; I even believe that 25 may be the limitting age for a lot of "ballbashers".

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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old Jun 19th, 2008, 12:09 PM
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Re: To be or not to be... a "ballbasher"

I voted almost all of them

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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old Jun 19th, 2008, 12:12 PM
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Re: To be or not to be... a "ballbasher"

Thank God for that.
I thought at first this thread was about something else.

Good thing I didn't do what I was going to...
pull out my piece and blast my own testicles across my thighs.
(Don't worry I still might.)
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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old Jun 19th, 2008, 12:29 PM
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Re: To be or not to be... a "ballbasher"

If you are able to beat others,nobody cares if one is a ballbasher
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old Jun 19th, 2008, 01:19 PM
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Re: To be or not to be... a "ballbasher"

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Originally Posted by Irute View Post
I don't believe you can get to top 20 without broader set of skills. On the other hand I think it is not necessary to have hard hitting as one of weapons to get to the top
have you ever seen nicole vaidisova play, to me she is the ultimate ballbasher. i think the term ballbasher is used by people including myself who see no thought process behind a shot. loads of girls can hit hard but it dosen't make them ballbashers. i dont see sharapova as a ballbasher even though she has very few shots and hits hard most of the time, she constantly thinks what shes doing with the ball and where shes placing it, shes not just hitting hard for the sake of it.

vaidisova and razzano are 2 players i think are ballbashers and i hate watching them.

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