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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 2008, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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I need to ask

How does height give a disadvantage to players? There have been so many short players who have been succesful so how exactly is it that big of slight? This goes for both he man and women tours. I do not understand.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 2008, 06:41 PM
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Re: I need to ask

It just depends on how you use your height.

Venus is about 6'2, moves like a cheetah and (sometimes ) has a wicked serve.
Davenport is very tall and has never moved very well...however, she is able to compensate with excellent ball placement, which made her career successful.
Hantuchova is about 6'1 (maybe) and moves like a drunk hippo and has never really been able to make up for it.

It's just like being shorter. Depending on how you use it there are advantages and disadvantages.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 2008, 06:45 PM
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Re: I need to ask

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pheobo View Post
It just depends on how you use your height.

Venus is about 6'2, moves like a cheetah and (sometimes ) has a wicked serve.
Davenport is very tall and has never moved very well...however, she is able to compensate with excellent ball placement, which made her career successful.
Hantuchova is about 6'1 (maybe) and moves like a drunk hippo and has never really been able to make up for it.

It's just like being shorter. Depending on how you use it there are advantages and disadvantages.

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 2008, 06:45 PM
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Re: I need to ask

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Originally Posted by debopero View Post
How does height give a disadvantage to players? There have been so many short players who have been succesful so how exactly is it that big of slight? This goes for both he man and women tours. I do not understand.
the serve and play at the net is where height gets huge importance
if you have height AND power you can generate a huge serve and follow it up with good netplay if your movement is good because it is difficult to pass the tall player

it is specially relevant on faster surfaces like old Wimbledon grass or USO style hard court

good examples are ivo karlovic and john isner
they have limited games but their serves are absolutely huge

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Last edited by Expat; Jul 11th, 2008 at 06:52 PM.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 2008, 06:54 PM
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Re: I need to ask

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pheobo View Post
It just depends on how you use your height.

Venus is about 6'2, moves like a cheetah and (sometimes ) has a wicked serve.
Davenport is very tall and has never moved very well...however, she is able to compensate with excellent ball placement, which made her career successful.
Hantuchova is about 6'1 (maybe) and moves like a drunk hippo and has never really been able to make up for it.

It's just like being shorter. Depending on how you use it there are advantages and disadvantages.
lemonade on keyboard So true about the use of height. On the men side Mario Ancic moves like a drunk hippo too

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 2008, 09:54 PM
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Re: I need to ask

Dani is 5ft11 1/2

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 2008, 09:56 PM
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Re: I need to ask

in terms of movement, elena dementieva and venus williams are two of the speediest and on tour and also the tallest. but most of the 6' and over club have the drunken hippo syndrome going on. i've never understood the enormous hype around short players succeeding on tour, but that's just me.

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 2008, 10:02 PM
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Re: I need to ask

Height can also be a disadvantage when it comes to bending your knees. Nowadays balls tend it sit up more than in the past, but for low bouncing surfaces and balls it better to be close to the ground!
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 2008, 10:15 PM
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Re: I need to ask

Look at the slam finalists this year. Ana, Maria, Venus and Dinara are all over 6 feet.
It's a weight thing as much as height. Usually taller is heavier and stronger.
Without Justine on the tour, weight is going to matter more than it did.

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 2008, 11:37 PM
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Re: I need to ask

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pheobo View Post
It just depends on how you use your height.

Venus is about 6'2, moves like a cheetah and (sometimes ) has a wicked serve.
Davenport is very tall and has never moved very well...however, she is able to compensate with excellent ball placement, which made her career successful.
Hantuchova is about 6'1 (maybe) and moves like a drunk hippo and has never really been able to make up for it.

It's just like being shorter. Depending on how you use it there are advantages and disadvantages.
Like a drunk hippo!
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 2008, 11:41 PM
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Re: I need to ask

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Originally Posted by vadin124 View Post
Dani is 5ft11 1/2
Let's just say she is 6ft yeah?
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2008, 12:11 AM
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Re: I need to ask

being tall can make it hard to change direction - shorter players are generally more nimble and compact. classic examples of short player having big success as a result of being quick and nimble are arantxa sanchez vicario and amanda coetzer. neither had great serves or could dominate you at net, but both retrieved well, scampered around the baseline and were very quick to deal with short low balls. classic examples of tall players coming unstuck because of movement are lindsay davenport, mary pierce and maria sharapova. if you hit behind them/wrong foot them they find it very difficult to change direction and then recover position. same if you drop shot them or hit short angles - they will try to hit an outright winner because they know they will be out of position.

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2008, 12:22 AM
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Re: I need to ask

Advantages + Disadvantages of both.

Lindsay Davenport has used her height very well for the serve and taking high balls on the rise. Lindsay can easily smack down a winner off a ball that most players would struggle with. The height also allows her to reach more balls and find better angles. However, we all know Lindsay's movement issues and earlier in her career, Lindsay struggled with low sliced balls to her forehand. Venus Williams is a superb athlete and is able to move extremely well despite being tall, and she gets low to balls well too.

Shorter players are generally better movers and have a lower centre of gravity so can change direction easier. Amanda Coetzer had a very successful career and one of the reasons for that was getting alot of balls back in play.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2008, 02:01 AM
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Re: I need to ask

It partially has to do with the flatness of the ball. A shorter player has more difficulty generating powerful topspin (Kuznetsova's forehand, for example) than powerful flat shots, but powerful flat shots have less of a margin for error. Take Henin's serve, for example. She hit her 2nd serve at a higher speed average than basically anyone on tour, but she didn't get very much action on it. She was physically limited in what kind of serve she could hit because of her height. She took the chance of hitting more double faults, which players of comparable height and lesser serves (Evert, Hingis) did not. As a result, short players either hit with (generally) lots of topspin but little pace (ASV, Coetzer) or hard, flat, and erratically (the others). Only a few true shorties (Henin, Evert) have managed to balance hitting with power and hitting with topspin in a way to keep the ball in play (topspin) without compromising control of the point (power).

Taller players can do a lot more with their serves as well, as I indicated earlier, and have better reach, which helps at the net. But, very few of the taller women are particularly quick, whereas there aren't many slow short players. Shorter players have slightly better balance on the average due to their center of gravity, but taller players can get to balls by virtue of being longer limbed. Also, on a couple surfaces, height is a huge help. Being in the 5'8''-6'0'' range is helpful on clay as the high bounces affect you less, while on grass, the two extremes are more beneficial as the tall players are that much tougher to break serve against while the shorter players are that much lower to the ground naturally.

Also, tall people can generally put on more muscle mass without dramatically hindering their movement. Long legs and arms give you more area to distribute the muscle to, which keeps you still lean enough to move unencumbered. Put the same amount of muscle weight on a shorty and they develop a slight waddling effect, like a bird.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2008, 02:16 AM
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Re: I need to ask

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Originally Posted by Pheobo View Post
Hantuchova is about 6'1 (maybe) and moves like a drunk hippo and has never really been able to make up for it.
Didn't knew she grew another 2 inches since I last remembered

But yeah, like most of the people said in here, being shorter or taller has its disadvantages. The player would have to find out how to turn them into an advantage if they want to win a tournament, never mind a match.

That said, anyone has seen Akgul play before?

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