Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ? - Page 6 - 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 #76 of 199 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2013, 09:47 PM
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?

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Originally Posted by shap_half View Post
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.

Yes, well said.

Justine was the perfect tennis player, robbed only by Nature's jealous and discriminatory attempts to limit her by giving her a tiny frame and body to work with.

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post #77 of 199 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2013, 10:10 PM
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?

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Also i think we can all say from Evert's commentary her IQ off court is very low, so I highly doubt she turned into a genius on court.
There is no correlation between a person's general intelligence and their tennis IQ - at all. Take Venus and Serena -- it seems pretty clear that, off the court, Venus is by far more intelligent and more informed than Serena, but Venus has arguably the lowest tennis IQ of any multi-Slam champion in history while Serena's is quite high.

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I whole-heartedly believe Marion is one of the best.

Although her game is monotonic, she manages to beat lots of players who can hit the ball harder or run faster, without playing a high risk game or exhausting them physically, she mainatains extremely good focus and uses her brain. She makes exectues her game the best she can and doesnt let her opponent get into her head. It allows her to beat a lot of player people think she shouldnt. Most of the time that is
I LOVE Marion, but no She has the lowest tennis IQ of the current top 10. That's the reason she has so many bad match-ups, because she never learns a damn thing from her losses and constantly feeds her trickier opponents with the type of shots they love, hits very unintelligent defensive shots, constantly leaves too much of the court open, etc.

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Yes, well said.

Justine was the perfect tennis player, robbed only by Nature's jealous and discriminatory attempts to limit her by giving her a tiny frame and body to work with.
It's funny, I always thought that, despite all her variety, Justine's tennis IQ wasn't really THAT high. There were quite a few times I felt her strategies were questionable, even in 2007.

I do agree with you that the top 4 currently have very high tennis IQs. Radwanska for all her many faults does have a great innate court sense, as does Azarenka. Serena is very good at constructing points (though, she's shown less of this in the last couple of years than she did in 2008-10). Maria probably has the lowest tennis IQ of the current top 4, but I do think it's higher than she's given credit for -- that's one of the reasons she's owned pretty much every ballbasher bar Serena in her career, even ones that have more raw firepower than her.
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post #78 of 199 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2013, 10:12 PM
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?

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Yes, well said.

Justine was the perfect tennis player, robbed only by Nature's jealous and discriminatory attempts to limit her by giving her a tiny frame and body to work with.
Obviously as you've stated, the smartest person on the court is the one who figures out how to beat her opponents when it matters most. I can sit here and say that Justine knows how to do everything and for the most part was able to do it in great success (because my bias won't allow me to do otherwise regardless of whatever other factors are involved), but as far as her generation is concerned, while I believe Serena could not do as many things as well as Justine did, she knows how to do one thing better than anyone else, and that's win. She's outsmarted them all.

And I say this as someone who can't stand Serena. I really hope I never have to say anything even remotely close to this about Sharapova, whom I dislike even more.
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post #79 of 199 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2013, 10:17 PM
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?

Henin or Hingis

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post #80 of 199 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2013, 10:20 PM
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?

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Originally Posted by dsanders06 View Post
It's funny, I always thought that, despite all her variety, Justine's tennis IQ wasn't really THAT high. There were quite a few times I felt her strategies were questionable, even in 2007.
I agree with this actually. I think Justine's main problem was her lack of flexibility in changing her tactics mid-match, and I also think that she was naturally more of a defensive/counterpunching player and playing the aggressive game that brought her success was a decision based so much on strategy that she sometimes didn't know how to hold back.[QUOTE]

Quote:
I do agree with you that the top 4 currently have very high tennis IQs. Radwanska for all her many faults does have a great innate court sense, as does Azarenka. Serena is very good at constructing points (though, she's shown less of this in the last couple of years than she did in 2008-10). Maria probably has the lowest tennis IQ of the current top 4, but I do think it's higher than she's given credit for -- that's one of the reasons she's owned pretty much every ballbasher bar Serena in her career, even ones that have more raw firepower than her.
I don't think Maria has the lowest tennis IQ. As I said, they are all pretty even. Maria has the worst movement, and by far the least options in terms on variation on the court. She does the best she can, and for her it comes down to execution.


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Originally Posted by shap_half View Post
Obviously as you've stated, the smartest person on the court is the one who figures out how to beat her opponents when it matters most. I can sit here and say that Justine knows how to do everything and for the most part was able to do it in great success (because my bias won't allow me to do otherwise regardless of whatever other factors are involved), but as far as her generation is concerned, while I believe Serena could not do as many things as well as Justine did, she knows how to do one thing better than anyone else, and that's win. She's outsmarted them all.

And I say this as someone who can't stand Serena. I really hope I never have to say anything even remotely close to this about Sharapova, whom I dislike even more.
Serena has always been a pretty smart player. But this notion of tennis IQ is difficult to isolate from your tactical options/ technical ability. I think Serena maximises her skill set. I don't think Justine did. Then again it was much harder for Justine to do so given that she had so many more options.

A single flow'r he sent me, since we met./All tenderly his messenger he chose;
Deep-hearted, pure, with scented dew still wet - One perfect rose.
I knew the language of the floweret;/'My fragile leaves,' it said, 'his heart enclose.'
Love long has taken for his amulet/One perfect rose.
Why is it no one ever sent me yet/One perfect limousine, do you suppose?
Ah no, it's always just my luck to get/One perfect rose.
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post #81 of 199 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2013, 10:24 PM
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?

Are people really voting A-Rad above Henin?
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post #82 of 199 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2013, 10:33 PM
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?

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Originally Posted by shap_half View Post
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 #83 of 199 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2013, 10:37 PM
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?

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post #84 of 199 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2013, 10:43 PM
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?

I can't say Aga because I don't think she has a plan B. I've watched her play other defensive players the same way she plays the power hitters. I can't remember what match it was but she was playing Errani and Aga just kept pushing the ball back hoping Errani would make an error. I was very frustrating to watch, waiting for her to go for a winner. But little Errani was taking on the offensive role and going for winners.

She has been slightly more aggressive at the start of this season but to say that she has a plan A, B or even C is not true.

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post #85 of 199 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2013, 11:37 PM
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?

I had to vote Hingis but out of this list it was hard to decide. I'm surprised Henin doesn't have more votes though. I won't be the first to say a bunch of great things about Justine but she was a very smart player on the court. Her physical limits hurt her in a lot of ways but she had a lot of game.

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post #86 of 199 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2013, 11:38 PM
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?

Hold up hold up Radwanska though??

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post #87 of 199 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 12:29 AM
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?

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As much as I am not a fan of her, I think Agnieszka has one of the best tennis IQs and it's probably her biggest asset.
I agree with you. However, I am a fan...except when she is playing Caroline.

Last edited by neverforget; Jan 22nd, 2013 at 12:30 AM. Reason: added sentence
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post #88 of 199 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 12:37 AM
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?

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So we can all be in agreement over definitions, using the detailed criteria below to define 'Tennis IQ'- which player would you say has the highest tennisIQ?

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.

Honorable mentions to: Schiavone, Conchita Martinez, Myskina, Maria Kirilenko, Davenport, Natasha Zvereva, and Manuela Maleeva.
I like your criteria.
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post #89 of 199 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 01:55 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?

^thanks- although I'm not sure if anyone actually even read it besides you....lol

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post #90 of 199 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 02:08 AM
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?

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^thanks- although I'm not sure if anyone actually even read it besides you....lol
It was my job to read and use these kinds of things to analyze information, although in other areas than tennis. This will be very helpful in watching WTA matches from now on.
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