Who's the most talented? (By a dictionary definition) - TennisForum.com

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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 2003, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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Who's the most talented? (By a dictionary definition)

Who's the most talented?

We talk about 'talented' a lot, but most of those discussions reveal that people,
at best, disagree on what talent is, and, at worst, many people have no clue.

Fortunately, we have dictionary.com to help us.

Code:
talent  

1. A marked innate ability, as for artistic accomplishment. See Synonyms at ability. 

2. Natural endowment or ability of a superior quality. 

3. Inclination; will; disposition; desire.

   They rather counseled you to your talent than to your profit. --Chaucer.

4. Intellectual ability, natural or acquired; mental endowment or capacity; 
   skill in accomplishing; 
   a special gift, particularly in business, art, or the like; faculty

5. natural qualities or talents [syn: endowment, gift, natural endowment] 

6: a person who possesses unusual innate ability in some field or activity


ability

1. The quality of being able to do something, 
   especially the physical, mental, financial, or 
   legal power to accomplish something. 

   A natural or acquired skill or talent. 

   The quality of being suitable for or receptive to a specified treatment;
We note that this is definitely about what's 'innate'.
That is, what you were born with, bot what you learned. Being a good volley-er is not a talent, its a skill.

Still pretty general.

'A marked innate ability', 'natural endowment', 'unusual ability'.
Ability is the synonym that appears most, and lends the most insight.

"...the physical, mental, financial, or legal power to accomplish something"

So when we ask, 'who has the most talent?, we're asking who has the most physical or mental ability to play winning tennis. How do we measure this?

Well for starters, who's winning? That's not the w le of it though.
Dani H has buckets of physical talent. Runs fast, good racket head speed, pretty soft hands, good endurance. Chanda has top flight mental abilities. She figures out what's going on out there fast and makes correct adjustments. (That may be a lesser example)

When we talk talent, we talk about things the players were born with that help them win at tennis.

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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 2003, 04:17 PM
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But then you also have in that definition:

"Inclination; will; disposition; desire," and "...ability, natural or acquired."

Look at talented musicians. They practice a LOT. Very few musicians are born prodigies, they become professionals because they want to very badly. Would you call the mezzosoprano who practices daily less talented than the mezzosoprano who doesn't practice at all, even though the former sings at the Met and the latter lives on the street?

Maybe someone has innate talent, but if you don't cultivate it, the talent will not come to fruition and results, and we would never be able to recognize it. So who is to say that Martina Hingis has more innate talent than some Nigerian girl who never gets a chance to play?

Anyway, I'm sorry, I'm splitting hairs. To answer your question, I will say Hingis. She is nothing more than a decent athlete, and she isn't the most book-smart person in the world, but she works the geometry of the tennis court much more capably than her measurable abilities would ever allow her to, one would think.

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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 2003, 04:19 PM
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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 2003, 04:21 PM
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Re: Who's the most talented? (By a dictionary definition)

Quote:
Originally posted by Volcana
Who's the most talented?

We talk about 'talented' a lot, but most of those discussions reveal that people,
at best, disagree on what talent is, and, at worst, many people have no clue.

Fortunately, we have dictionary.com to help us.

Code:
talent  

1. A marked innate ability, as for artistic accomplishment. See Synonyms at ability. 

2. Natural endowment or ability of a superior quality. 

3. Inclination; will; disposition; desire.

   They rather counseled you to your talent than to your profit. --Chaucer.

4. Intellectual ability, natural or acquired; mental endowment or capacity; 
   skill in accomplishing; 
   a special gift, particularly in business, art, or the like; faculty

5. natural qualities or talents [syn: endowment, gift, natural endowment] 

6: a person who possesses unusual innate ability in some field or activity


ability

1. The quality of being able to do something, 
   especially the physical, mental, financial, or 
   legal power to accomplish something. 

   A natural or acquired skill or talent. 

   The quality of being suitable for or receptive to a specified treatment;
We note that this is definitely about what's 'innate'.
That is, what you were born with, bot what you learned. Being a good volley-er is not a talent, its a skill.

Still pretty general.

'A marked innate ability', 'natural endowment', 'unusual ability'.
Ability is the synonym that appears most, and lends the most insight.

"...the physical, mental, financial, or legal power to accomplish something"

So when we ask, 'who has the most talent?, we're asking who has the most physical or mental ability to play winning tennis. How do we measure this?

Well for starters, who's winning? That's not the w le of it though.
Dani H has buckets of physical talent. Runs fast, good racket head speed, pretty soft hands, good endurance. Chanda has top flight mental abilities. She figures out what's going on out there fast and makes correct adjustments. (That may be a lesser example)

When we talk talent, we talk about things the players were born with that help them win at tennis.
Is this thread even necessary? Of course it's

MONICA SELES

Otherwise she wouldn't have dominated with half the reach and half the speed of most no.1 players out there.

While you're at it why not start a thread asking if water is liquid?

Volcana you disappoint me with this thread, I know that you are smarter then that.

This topic should be closed.

Last edited by selesrules; Feb 25th, 2003 at 04:35 PM.
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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 2003, 04:36 PM
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Ok Selesfan, Im also a huge Seles fan also, but I would have to give this one to Hingis. Yes, Seles has raw talent, thats for sure. But she was always one of the bigger, stonger players on the tour. Hence people saying she was the innovator (one of atleast) of big babe tennis. Hingis on the other hand, has always been a smaller player and look at her records, she wouldnt have some many wins if she didnt have that raw talent thats needed, cause we all know she didnt/doesnt have the power.
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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 2003, 05:12 PM
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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 2003, 05:19 PM
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Venus Williams. That woman was born to play tennis. I think she has the potential to be as great as navratilova, Graf, Seles, Evert et al. It just seems that if she were to get a decent 2nd serve and fix her forehand that there isnt much anybody could do to beat her. what i notice mostly about venus' game is that it seems to be based less on technique and more on feel and i know thats hard to describe because she has the ability to also hit such powerful shots but wen she is not going for a winner she does a pretty goo djob of hitting the ball just about anywhere she wants to when she is really on her game. it seems that players can add tings to their games to trouble serena where as it doesnt seem to matter what u add to yourgaem against Venus. Once she has played a set against u , its pretty much up to her after that. just my opinion.
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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 2003, 06:01 PM
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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 2003, 06:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mase
Seles has raw talent, thats for sure. But she was always one of the bigger, stonger players on the tour. Hence people saying she was the innovator (one of atleast) of big babe tennis.
Monica was always strong... That's a natural gift for her she was above average in strength when she was a small kid but big????? She used to be so skinny... She looked like she'd break. And she wasnt that tall either.
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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 2003, 06:31 PM
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Yeah I agree she wasnt all that big, but she's always have a size and weight advantage on Martina. Martina was just a little fighter, and although I personally dont like her, I do respect how far she got with her little stature and lack of power..
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post #11 of 40 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 2003, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
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The key here, is to actually list what these talents are. 'innate' doesn't mean 'invisible' or 'non-quantifiable'.

Foot speed is talent.

Height is talent.

Intelligence is talent.

Martina Hingis, given time, could put the ball in places other people just couldn't. Maybe she saw things others didn't see. Maybe she had better hands.

But Lindsay Davenport had height and power and accuracy, and those are talent too.

I like the part of the definition that said "The quality of being able to do something, especially the physical, mental, financial, or legal power to accomplish something."

Obviously, legal and financial have little bearing on tennis. But physical and mental do.

Don't just pick the players you've alweays been told were the most talented. Enumerate those things that would qualify as talent, and show us all why that particular player has more.

Justine runs faster than Kim.
Kim has more reach than Justine.

Both of those are things that give " the physical .... power to accomplish something."

Who's more talented? Not enough data. You realy have to compare everything that could be considered 'talent', then add it all up.

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post #12 of 40 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 2003, 06:49 PM
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post #13 of 40 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 2003, 07:13 PM
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the Williams sisters. with great results comes great talent.

Henin is talented but why is she the MOST TALENTED. cos shes small? i think Martina in her heyday was more talented in that case. she DOMINATED while having only her brain as her main weapon. Henin has trouble with a lot of players.

i would even go to say Clijsters is slightly more talented
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post #14 of 40 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 2003, 08:00 PM
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post #15 of 40 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 2003, 08:16 PM
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