Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ? - Page 9 - 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 #121 of 199 (permalink) Old Mar 15th, 2013, 06:22 PM
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?

Are people joking when they mention Bartoli? Her game is pretty one-dimensional, I mean she manages to hit less winners than Errani does and Errani has much less firepower.
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post #122 of 199 (permalink) Old Apr 26th, 2014, 03:48 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?

Tennis IQ does NOT automatically equate to defensive players.

Seems like some people see a top player who isn't a big hitter then automatically equate that w.them being a smart tactical player. Sometimes a good defensive player is just that- a good defensive player.

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post #123 of 199 (permalink) Old Apr 26th, 2014, 03:59 AM
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?

Marion Bartoli and her 175 IQ has to make her the clear-cut choice, no??



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post #124 of 199 (permalink) Old Apr 26th, 2014, 04:08 AM
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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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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.
This sums up what I've always thought about Justine. She really is one of the most underrated players of all time. She was remarkable.

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post #125 of 199 (permalink) Old Apr 26th, 2014, 04:08 AM
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?

The difficulty is, you took players from when three of thee four slams were played on grass (and then two out of four on clay) mixed across when everybody played singles and doubles and mixed, and the tour basically had thirty players, and a bunch of wannabes, and we're comparing them to now.

Worse, ALL of those players had high tennis IQs.

My vote, Hingis. Because she's the worst athlete of the bunch, and accomplished all that she did.

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post #126 of 199 (permalink) Old Apr 26th, 2014, 04:09 AM
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Re: Which player would you say has the Highest Tennis IQ?

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You really have a lot of time on your hands
That's rich considering some of the moronic threads that have been inflicted on TF. This is easily one of the better, smarter questions.
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post #127 of 199 (permalink) Old Apr 26th, 2014, 04:12 AM
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?

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Are people joking when they mention Bartoli? Her game is pretty one-dimensional, I mean she manages to hit less winners than Errani does and Errani has much less firepower.
No, she had a record of something like 17 sets won in a row when it got to 5-5, she came back from the dead in countless matches.

The girl read the game very well, she knew how to scrape her way to a wins people never thought.

Definitely not saying she was the best though. I agree Justine was. I can see people saying Davenport, but I don't think she needed to think about it much, she had so much clean firepower she could just hit it anywhere she wanted.

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Last edited by Flopniacki; Apr 26th, 2014 at 04:20 AM.
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post #128 of 199 (permalink) Old Apr 26th, 2014, 04:17 AM
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?

My vote would be Billie Jean King. She was a crafty tactician who could pick foes apart by gearing tactics specific to that player.
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post #129 of 199 (permalink) Old Apr 26th, 2014, 04:28 AM
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?

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My vote would be Billie Jean King. She was a crafty tactician who could pick foes apart by gearing tactics specific to that player.
LOL yes, now that's what I call tennis IQ.

I will never understand why Graf is even on this list. Here was a woman who had a perfectly capable topspin backhand who eliminated it from her game to give her even less variety. She never changed her game ever to play any opponent and stubbornly stuck to what she did best. Of course, when you have the best footwork and arguably the best forehand in the game ever, you don't need to. But that's besides the point and on this poll, she does not belong. The opposite of someone like BJK, if you will.

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post #130 of 199 (permalink) Old Apr 26th, 2014, 04:50 AM
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?





Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam L
I will never understand why Graf is even on this list. Here was a woman who had a perfectly capable topspin backhand who eliminated it from her game to give her even less variety.
Graf found the topspin backhand awkward to hit. She didn't eliminate it from her game, but she didn't like making errors with it. She would rather use her slice to set up her forehand than chance too many errors with the topspin backhand. It's not surprising that people today overestimate the importance of a topspin backhand and underestimate the effectiveness of her slice, given the forehand she possessed.
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Originally Posted by Sam L
She never changed her game ever to play any opponent and stubbornly stuck to what she did best. Of course, when you have the best footwork and arguably the best forehand in the game ever, you don't need to. But that's besides the point and on this poll, she does not belong.
Tennis is a game of statistics. Using more variety when it's statistically less effective isn't smart tennis.
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The opposite of someone like BJK, if you will.
A lot more dominant.
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post #131 of 199 (permalink) Old Apr 26th, 2014, 04:58 AM
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?

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Graf found the topspin backhand awkward to hit. She didn't eliminate it from her game, but she didn't like making errors with it. She would rather use her slice to set up her forehand than chance too many errors with the topspin backhand. It's not surprising that people today overestimate the importance of a topspin backhand and underestimate the effectiveness of her slice, given the forehand she possessed.

Tennis is a game of statistics. Using more variety when it's statistically less effective isn't smart tennis.

A lot more dominant.
It depends on how you define tennis IQ. If you define as the ability to win the most matches then might as well make Tennis IQ = Greatness/Most successful/Most dominant career.

But some of us, who have a deeper understanding of the game define tennis IQ as something where you have the ability to adjust your game and tactics according to opponents/surfaces/conditions. Like Rollo said with BJK and a good recent example being Justine against Capriati at 2001 Wimbledon semi where she was outplayed by her opponent in the first set because she was playing her usual topspin game but she changed it around by hitting a lot more slices and volleying and won.

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post #132 of 199 (permalink) Old Apr 26th, 2014, 05:04 AM
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?

To me Jankovic is pretty high on that list, I think she has good Tennis IQ just my opinion.

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post #133 of 199 (permalink) Old Apr 26th, 2014, 05:38 AM
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?

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But some of us, who have a deeper understanding of the game define tennis IQ as something where you have the ability to adjust your game and tactics according to opponents/surfaces/conditions.
Versatility is just one aspect of the game, and overestimating its importance doesn't reflect a "deeper understanding", no matter how much you flatter yourself.

Moreover, the very top players didn't get to their position of absolute dominance by not having a deep understanding of tactics. Navratilova's serve, for instance, was not so overpowering that it didn't prevent her from getting blanked by Evert at Amelia Island. Evert's tactical sense wasn't so superior that it prevented her from losing in straights to Navratilova at the FO later. Navratilova made a lot of adjustments over the course of her career. The match where she beat Seles indoors is a masterclass in tactics. I never saw her hit so many drop shots in an entire tournament as she hit in that match.
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post #134 of 199 (permalink) Old Apr 26th, 2014, 05:39 AM
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?

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Versatility is just one aspect of the game, and overestimating its importance doesn't reflect a "deeper understanding", no matter how much you flatter yourself.

Moreover, the very top players didn't get to their position of absolute dominance by not having a deep understanding of tactics.
LOL. You can have all the versatility in the world but if you don't know what shot to use when, you have ZERO tennis IQ. Did you even read what I wrote or just go on a pointless rant about what you think I said?

Maybe you should tell us what you think tennis IQ is, although I think it's already pretty clear what your basic understanding is: the one who wins the most.

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post #135 of 199 (permalink) Old Apr 26th, 2014, 05:52 AM
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Re: Which players have the highest 'TENNIS' IQ?

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LOL. You can have all the versatility in the world but if you don't know what shot to use when, you have ZERO tennis IQ.
That's nice, but doesn't really address anything I said.
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Did you even read what I wrote or just go on a pointless rant about what you think I said?
I could ask the same question.
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Originally Posted by Sam L View Post
Maybe you should tell us what you think tennis IQ is, although I think it's already pretty clear what your basic understanding is: the one who wins the most.
Tennis IQ is playing the best shot you can, which includes footwork, training, rest periods, sleep, diet, scouting, and all the other things.

Tennis IQ is not hitting a lot of different shots if that is less statistically effective for you than hitting with less variety. It is also not abandoning your strengths simply because you're losing at that moment. You complained about Graf not changing her game plan enough, but I recall that being intractable is what led to Hingis' meltdown at the FO in '99 (the bad call just pushed her over the edge). It is precisely Graf's refusal to let Hingis' lead rattle her and get her to change her tactics dramatically (which would have likely failed) that led to her winning the match. The same case can be made for other matches she managed to squeak out of.

Generally, trickery is only needed by players who are playing with a handicap or who are really evenly matched. Martina's advanced age (and serve/volley game to a smaller degree) handicapped her when she played Seles in Paris in '93. As a result, she had to rely more on things like drop shots and long patient baseline rallies which is a riskier proposition.

Playing simple tennis is playing smarter tennis if that simple style gets you more victories. Federer made the same comment, saying that one of the marks of his youthful inexperience was going for the flashy shots instead of the more dependable ones. He said that the key to his dominance was to play the numbers. I think that point is a bit overstated, though, since he was known for hitting flashy shots during his dominance.

At the same time, cat and mouse and other examples of careful strategic plotting can be the key to giving a player the small edge they need. It really depends on the people playing, the conditions, and so on. Players who can't adapt to high wind, for instance, should be able to adapt. But, if a player spends so much time trying to be versatile for every situation and never really hones their strengths for normal conditions that can be a drawback.

Players can also overthink while on the court. There is often a lot to be said for simplicity.

Last edited by superstition; Apr 26th, 2014 at 06:03 AM.
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