Re: Digesting the big, dreaded double bagel
Does anyone else besides me think some players or types of style tend towards more bagels?
I always thought that a controlled baseline game, one based on consistency, often produces lopsided game scores. Someone who serves and volleys often needs to find their "range". IMO it's easier to make an error or two when playing forcing tennis.
To me this explains why someone like Chris Evert is more likely to have double bagels than a Margaret Court or Martina Navratilova.
When I was a kid I used to think that aggressive players like Navratilova and Graf were more likely to bagel their opponents because the pace at which they played could often be stifling for the poor pigeons on the other side of the net. I mean, by the time the other player finds her bearings and gets into her playing rhythm, she's probably down 0-6, 0-3 already. So I was very surprised to find out many years later that Chris Evert actually inflicted a lot more double bagels on her rivals than Navratilova or Graf did. And most of them while Chris was playing with a wood racquet too!
I don't know if one particular style of play lends itself more to bagels, but I'd have to say that I were a player at the receiving end of a bagel, I'd rather it were from someone like Navratilova or Graf because I'd then be able to rationalise it by focussing on my inability to handle the relentless aggression of their playing styles. Being double bagelled by Chrissie would probably be a lot more embarrassing because at least the general perception of her game was not one of crushing domination, so it'd be harder to accept why Chrissie made me look utterly foolish on the tennis court.
Of course that's only true as long as we're dealing in broad generalisations because Evert was actually a pretty aggressive baseliner to the extent that wood racquets allowed her to be. When I watch old Evert matches, one thing that often stands out is how well Evert moves her opponents around the court and makes them do most of the running and retrieving. So those poor women who were fed double bagels by Evert were not only humiliated at the end of the match but also mentally and physically exhausted to boot.
Best left-right combination by a German (and that includes Max Schmeling): Steffi Graf. All she did in 1987 was knock Navratilova out of #1 and try to knock Evert out of the sport. (Mike Lupica in "The Best and Worst of Tennis in 1987", World Tennis)
"A couple of years ago, we nicknamed Steffi Graf's forehand 'Jaws'. And that music would go perfectly when she starts running in to the net, swarming on that little ball." (JoAnne Russell, during the 1988 Wimbledon final between Graf and Navratilova)