Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ? - Page 5 - TennisForum.com
View Poll Results: Which player in the Open Era has the Highest Tennis IQ?
M. Navratilova 26 7.81%
A. Radwanska 48 14.41%
J. Henin 40 12.01%
C. Evert 12 3.60%
M. Hingis 108 32.43%
A. Mauresmo 5 1.50%
S. Williams 57 17.12%
S. Graf 10 3.00%
Other (please specify) 19 5.71%
Even w.the criteria listed, too hard to compare 8 2.40%
Voters: 333. You may not vote on this poll

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post #61 of 199 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2013, 03:38 AM
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?

Hingis, and current Serena are a few that come to mind.

Radwanska is smarter than most players, but I don't think she's brilliant. Just because you use drop shots and are underpowered does not mean you have a high tennis IQ.
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post #62 of 199 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2013, 03:40 AM
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?

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Originally Posted by Potato View Post
Hingis, and current Serena are a few that come to mind.

Radwanska is smarter than most players, but I don't think she's brilliant. Just because you use drop shots and are underpowered does not mean you have a high tennis IQ.
I don't like her very much, but she's clever as hell. She moves the ball around really well but isn't predictable, and her shot selection gives players fits. Plus she's extremely good at sensing her opportunities to come in. You rarely see her come to net on bullshit approach shots like most other WTA players.


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post #63 of 199 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2013, 03:54 AM
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?

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Originally Posted by moby View Post
Our current Top 4 is our current Top 4 because of their higher tennis IQ. They all play in a way that maximises their strengths and minimises their weaknesses. I don't think I would put any of them higher than the others. Serena is number one, because she has the best strengths. Radwanska is 4 for the opposite reason.
I disagree. It is one thing to have overwhelming weapons and another to manage the few you have. Serena can play certain shots in the most godawful manner you ever saw but get away with it because she can hit monster serves and returns. Sharpie is similar. Azarenka I guess fits your description. She takes balls on the rise and redirects them well, which is a less tangible strength, and could be dependednt on the opponent. I am not sold on the Radwanska worship; she's a smart and crafty player, but in my opinion does not always use these strengths proactively.

Hard to say these days because every player generally says 'I need to play my game' and offer the token 'My coach will watch my next opponent's match'. Any player who has a lot of variety and USES IT is a good candidate.
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post #64 of 199 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2013, 03:56 AM
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?

Sometimes I was just in shock at how Hingis would hit mid-paced balls down the center of the court and not expect players to hit winners off of them. I think her "IQ" would have been higher had she hit the gym like Henin did and became more aggressive.
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post #65 of 199 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2013, 04:00 AM
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?

Serena. Close behind her Evert, Hingis and Radwanska.
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post #66 of 199 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2013, 05:16 AM
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?

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a poll with multiple slam champions and all time greats + Radwanska? Seems legit.
Lets ask Petra Cetkovska about this.
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post #67 of 199 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2013, 05:55 AM
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?

Legend and Christine Marie. There is no other option worth discussing, even for the players I like on this poll.

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post #68 of 199 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2013, 03:01 PM
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?

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Originally Posted by Potato View Post
Hingis, and current Serena are a few that come to mind.

Radwanska is smarter than most players, but I don't think she's brilliant. Just because you use drop shots and are underpowered does not mean you have a high tennis IQ.
I totally agree re Radwanska. Having good anticipation and playing some tricky surprise shots is far from anything related to Tennis IQ. Plus there's numerous occasions on which she makes questionable decisions, like my earlier example of her serving into Azarenka's BH so much when they play. Anyone with decent tennis knowledge would know you have to avoid the Azarenka BH ROS.

Hingis is the only right winner here.
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post #69 of 199 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2013, 03:41 PM
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?

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Serena Williams is the mentally toughest player in the history of the WTA. Her tennis IQ is tops.
Seles was a lot mentally tougher imo.

Serena used to get very emotional on court and it would cost her matches sometimes.

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post #70 of 199 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2013, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?

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How I'm defining Tennis IQ
Strategy: having a formalized game plan to defeat a particular opponent. In addition to the initial game plan, having plans "B" and "C" options, and being able to successfully incorporate a backup plan if the original strategy isn't working.

Anticipation: the ability to read plays as well as the ability to predict patterns, shots, tendencies, and where the ball will land.

Variety: being able to go into your bag of tricks and hit every shot in the book when needed lends itself to a higher IQ. So players who incorporate use of angles, change the direction and pace of the ball, have variety of serves, have a good transition game, show competency at the net, as well as incorporate the following: spin, power, slice, feel, and touch.

Execution: Players who find ways to neutralize an opponents strengths and can successfully exploit their weaknesses. Some do this by keeping their unforced errors low, others dominating with winners, and some may try to physically exhaust you. It's not just having the plan it's being able to consistently frustrate other players by making their games ineffective- and more importantly it's the ability to do this MORE OFTEN than not.

].[/I]
It seems to me that supergrunt is right and that when most people hear the phrase "tennis IQ" they tend to think of players who are crafty all court players- even players who haven't accomplished anything and stil have relatively poor records are being mentioned throughout the thread.

I guess tennis IQ means one thing to one person and maybe something else to another, in truth there really is no set definition. I gave supergrunt a hard time for his comment but as I think about it more I think he's right and a lot of times the phrase is used in a way to diss more power players and to praise more crafty players.

For the sake of having some commonality I put forth this definition so we could all pick someone who best represents this definition of "tennis IQ". If, for the sake of this thread, we agree to use this definition then Radwanska definitely does fit this criteria. It's easy to see what's in my head and the player I think have the highest tennis IQ- they are all the options in this poll...

I'm most impressed by players who 'learn on the job'. They take their lumps but each time they lose they figure out what they did wrong and become better tennis players from it. I love when a player figures out a way to turn around a losing H2H or can figure out how to win a match when their A game isn't working.

There's no one way to define this "meaningless" term, in actuality tennis smarts can be represented numerous ways some more obvious than others. I'm pleasantly surprised to see Serena's cout sense and tennis smarts be recognized in the poll and shocked that Evert is easily forgotten in this new generation, same goes for Navratilova who was an EXTREEMLY cerebral player. The way she came up w.a plan to incorporate fitness to elevate her game and maximize all her potential is probably one of the best examples and on the court she was a true tactician.

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post #71 of 199 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2013, 06:18 PM
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?

I think Seles should get a special mention.

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post #72 of 199 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2013, 07:45 PM
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?

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Originally Posted by Sir Stefwhit View Post
I'm most impressed by players who 'learn on the job'. They take their lumps but each time they lose they figure out what they did wrong and become better tennis players from it. I love when a player figures out a way to turn around a losing H2H or can figure out how to win a match when their A game isn't working.
Then there is no way we should forget Seles (especially early 90s) for this. And also her mental strength.
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post #73 of 199 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2013, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?

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Then there is no way we should forget Seles (especially early 90s) for this. And also her mental strength.
I'm racking my brain try to think of how that applies to Seles. i don't remember any player owning her that she was able to turn around a losing H2H against. She had bad records against Hingis, Serena, Davenport, and Venus- and while she did manage to get a wins over everyone of them, she wasn't able to turn around any those losing H2Hs into winning records.

Re:Mental Strength, no one w.a half a brain can deny she was one of the all time greats in that aspect, but personally I don't think mental strength plays a huge role in tennis IQ. Maybe there are some other aspects of her game that you can argue that showed her tennis IQ though. w.out putting a lot of thought into it i guess i didn't think of Seles as a tactician out on the courts. She does incorporate angles like a tennis master so that's something I guess...

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post #74 of 199 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2013, 09:11 PM
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?

I voted for Justine. This may surprise no one, but going by the criteria, and really as a general response, I think Justine Henin has shown incredible on-court insight throughout her career as she made tweaks to her game pretty much at every stage of her career. Her game plan is almost always geared to her opponents. Look at how she returns against Lindsay Davenport - using angles and short balls in addition to aggressive winners-mongering - and how she returns against Serena - deep to Serena's body to rob her of time to react in addition to aggressive winners-mongering. I think there are very few players out there who is comparable to Justine when it comes to balance across her variety of groundstrokes - I find that her slices, spins, feel, touch and power all operate at very high levels. There is not one stroke there that you would say is truly weaker than the others.
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post #75 of 199 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2013, 09:47 PM
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?

Have to say Hingis.

I have yet to see someone with court sense such as hers

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