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View Full Version : What ever happened to the finesse game in women's tennis?


"Topaz"
Apr 4th, 2004, 08:19 PM
It seems that all the new-comers emphasize power in their games. Even Justine had to accentuate her power game in order to win consistently. Meanwhile, men's tennis is replete with power and finesse. Any opinion?

A'DAM
Apr 4th, 2004, 08:21 PM
Im affraid that the power game is just a bit more usefull so the young girls chose to hit hard and not play finesse... :sad:

bandabou
Apr 4th, 2004, 08:26 PM
But you ainīt winning if you have some kind of combination between power and finesse....hard-hitting alone will only get you sofar.

crazillo
Apr 4th, 2004, 08:26 PM
Yes, thatīs right. Thatīs the reason ehy I like players such as Martinez and Maleeva, bc it is different!

Dava
Apr 4th, 2004, 08:27 PM
I think finesse is there sure not everyone has it, but Justine does for sure. I actually think the mens game is in desperate need of some finesse its basically a service game, with only people like Federer and Henman making it interesting to watch for me personally. EVen my fave Marat is not that exciting to watch.

Pureracket
Apr 4th, 2004, 08:35 PM
It seems to me that if a person is able to serve @ an angle where her opponent is not able to even touch the ball, then that person is using finesse. (I notice this when Serena serves).

bandabou
Apr 4th, 2004, 08:40 PM
serving is an art too....and nobody is better at that right now on the wta tour than Serena.

A'DAM
Apr 4th, 2004, 08:43 PM
serving is an art too....and nobody is better at that right now on the wta tour than Serena.

What about Lena Dementieva :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha:

Dava
Apr 4th, 2004, 08:47 PM
What about Lena Dementieva :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha:
Dementieva is the Picasso to Serenas Monet ;)

A'DAM
Apr 4th, 2004, 08:54 PM
:worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship:

Dementieva is the Picasso to Serenas Monet ;)

bandabou
Apr 4th, 2004, 08:54 PM
What about Lena Dementieva :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha:

No commentos!

Volcana
Apr 4th, 2004, 09:16 PM
It seems that all the new-comers emphasize power in their games. Even Justine had to accentuate her power game in order to win consistently. Meanwhile, men's tennis is replete with power and finesse. Any opinion?
What you're really seeing is a lot of the women on tour being exposed as less-than-world-class athletes. WIth the new high-tech rackets, and sufficient technique, you can pound winners past most of the tour. If your control is good enough. So what good is finesse when you aren't physically fast enough to catch up with the ball?

But relax. A year agao I called Serena Williams 'The Death of Pwer Tennis' and I meant it. No power baseliner can beat her. Justine beat her at RG last year by combining power AND finesse. Of course, power and finesse beat Justine at Wimbledon. But you have to be fast enough to run down high tech groundstrokes, and have good enough technique to return those shots with power. That's the base you have to have these days to build a successful finesse game on.

Remember what Martina Hingis said. She no longer had time to think, SHe was just running as fast as she could to catch up with the ball. That's what happened to all the finesse players. Either they didn't run fast enough, or didn't hit hard enough.

bandabou
Apr 4th, 2004, 09:21 PM
Nice theory Volcana....

tennischick
Apr 4th, 2004, 09:59 PM
the finesse game died with the demise of Hingis IMO. had she continued to win, new players may have been inspired to include it in their repertoire. right now the Williams/power model is dominant. but as more and more women are felled by injury, they will start seeing the wisdom and brilliance that was Hingis...;)

bandabou
Apr 4th, 2004, 10:06 PM
the finesse game died with the demise of Hingis IMO. had she continued to win, new players may have been inspired to include it in their repertoire. right now the Williams/power model is dominant. but as more and more women are felled by injury, they will start seeing the wisdom and brilliance that was Hingis...;)

The thing I find funny is: why do the williamses get the blame for that?! They didnīt even invent the style, they arenīt the hardest hitters either.... strange.

Volcana
Apr 5th, 2004, 12:33 AM
The top power players are already putting more finesse in their games. Serena didn't use topspin on her forehand two years ago. Venus began trying all maner of things trying to beat Serena. And of course Justine Henin-Hardenne combines power and finesse quite well. And Amelie Mauresmo, remember her?, has a nice all court game now, even though she started out as a thumper. And would you call Anastasia Myskina a power player? It's just that the second and third tier players are mostly power players. The highest ranked player who really relies on finesse and variety is Patty Schnyder. The highest ranked player who relies on nothing but power and accuracy is Lindsay Davenport.

But look at your top four

justine Henin-Hardenne
Kim Clijsters
Amelie Mauresmo
Anastasia Myskina

Would you really call any of them power players?

The finesse side of things is already coming back in women's tennis. But you're not going to see a return to the days when a player like Conchi wins slams. You have to have the speed and power to compete, then, and only then, is finesse the difference maker. How many times have we seen Justine go from power tennis to a drop shot winner without breaking rhythm? It works BECAUSE she can hit with enough pace to run you back and forth along the baseline. Jennifer Capriati and Kim Clijsters don't hit close enough to the lines to do that. Serena doesn't disguise her drop shot at all well, nor is it as good as Justine's.

Think about exactly how small a group has been participating in GS finals for the three years.

Venus, Serena, Kim, Justine, Jenn, Martina Hingis

The other power players are not exactly having a rousing success. Hantuchova, Dokic, Shaughnessy, Seles, Pierce. Petrova looks ready to make a statement, but I don't see her beating a top four seed in a GS tournament.

fammmmedspin
Apr 5th, 2004, 01:56 AM
The top power players are already putting more finesse in their games. Serena didn't use topspin on her forehand two years ago. Venus began trying all maner of things trying to beat Serena. And of course Justine Henin-Hardenne combines power and finesse quite well. And Amelie Mauresmo, remember her?, has a nice all court game now, even though she started out as a thumper. And would you call Anastasia Myskina a power player? It's just that the second and third tier players are mostly power players. The highest ranked player who really relies on finesse and variety is Patty Schnyder. The highest ranked player who relies on nothing but power and accuracy is Lindsay Davenport.

But look at your top four

justine Henin-Hardenne
Kim Clijsters
Amelie Mauresmo
Anastasia Myskina

Would you really call any of them power players?

The finesse side of things is already coming back in women's tennis. But you're not going to see a return to the days when a player like Conchi wins slams. You have to have the speed and power to compete, then, and only then, is finesse the difference maker. How many times have we seen Justine go from power tennis to a drop shot winner without breaking rhythm? It works BECAUSE she can hit with enough pace to run you back and forth along the baseline. Jennifer Capriati and Kim Clijsters don't hit close enough to the lines to do that. Serena doesn't disguise her drop shot at all well, nor is it as good as Justine's.

Think about exactly how small a group has been participating in GS finals for the three years.

Venus, Serena, Kim, Justine, Jenn, Martina Hingis

The other power players are not exactly having a rousing success. Hantuchova, Dokic, Shaughnessy, Seles, Pierce. Petrova looks ready to make a statement, but I don't see her beating a top four seed in a GS tournament.
:)

A consistent Petrova might do a Mary Pierce? Otherwise I agree. The new generation of Russians and some of the other newcomers seems to be learning to mix it up well too. Its difficult to quantify but I would swear I have actually seen more rallies on TV recently. Slices even. Kuznetsova at the net. Henin anywhere. Patty reaching GS SF by blowing the opponents mind. Arguably smarter players. Better returning all around. Some amazing defenders and some very fast players too. Thats one reason why the challenge to Serena will be interesting - the tour now has more idea how to deal with a fast serve and more players who can fight a long fast rally and do something sophisticated to end it. Dementieva was actually as good as Serena when she forced Serena into a rally and often Serena was the one who fell into errors at the end. Dementieva however was always let down by her own serve and couldn't contain Serena enough - it remains to be seen if Serena can still impose her game on the powerful serve-equiped finesse players or whether they have now caught up enough and can now contain her and frustrate her long enough to cause her to implode. Serena is a tougher nut to crack though than Venus - because Serena has learnt to control her UE better and retains her confidence - so it won't be easy.

"Topaz"
Apr 5th, 2004, 01:58 AM
... you have to be fast enough to run down high tech groundstrokes, and have good enough technique to return those shots with power. That's the base you have to have these days to build a successful finesse game on.


Going by this, only a handful of players today would have the goods to muster power and finesse. The following come to mind: Justine and Serena; Mauresmo, Venus and Kim when they are healthy and in shape; maybe Pierce and Cappy, again when in shape. The reality is that these girls barely leave the baseline lately, unless forced to on a short ball. If the leaders don't do it, who will?

Since Hingis, nobody has come up with a winning mid-court strategy. Since Novotna, nobody has come up with a winning serve & volley game. Have we seen the death of finesse, as Tennischick suggested?

The fact of the matter is the success ratio of charging the net (serve & volley) is said to be 66.7% in men's tennis; thus, if you do it well and consistently, you should win. However that ratio seems to drop below 50% in women's tennis, with the result that the girls dread to come forward to the net. There's an obvious fear of the passing shot among them. Now is it really because of lack of speed and racket power? Possibly.

The field geometry and the rackets being the same, it looks like men do make use of their speed advantage to charge the net. But there are other features that favor men: size, reach and greater athleticism.

Venus has been encouraged by more than one commentator to come to the net because of her serve and reach. It seems that her athleticism, though vaunted, has not been enough to overcome today's racket technology and the current girls' heavy strokes.

We probably have seen the last of serve & volley. Fortunately, some finesse can still be found in drop shots, lobs, reactive net plays, sharp-angle topspins and ironically the killer of serve & volley itself, the nice passing shots cross-court or down the line.

Volcana noted: "The top power players are already putting more finesse in their games." Maybe that aspect of finesse was always there and will never die.

BigTennisFan
Apr 5th, 2004, 02:15 AM
the finesse game died with the demise of Hingis IMO. had she continued to win, new players may have been inspired to include it in their repertoire. right now the Williams/power model is dominant. but as more and more women are felled by injury, they will start seeing the wisdom and brilliance that was Hingis...;)
I thought Hingis retired because of injury. :confused:

esquímaux
Apr 5th, 2004, 02:30 AM
What about Lena Dementieva :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha:

:tape: but everyone has their tastes :tape:

fan911
Apr 5th, 2004, 02:33 AM
Navratilova will prove once and for all at 48 years old that finesse can still beat power.

Volcana
Apr 5th, 2004, 03:18 AM
Maybe Martina Navratilova, at her athletic peak, with todays training and racket technology, could play serve and volley with the likes of Serena and Lindsay and Justine and Monica and Jenn returning serve. MAYBE. But i can't think of any other player. I don't think Jana Novotna could have done it. Racket technology has moved on two generations since '98. The speed the ball is traveling at is really limiting a lot of the lower-ranked players, and even some highly ranked ones. They never get a chance to set up and show their best stuff. They can't ever get control of a point.

With today's technology, facing a top ten player, going to net behind anything other than a bigtime approach is ritual suicide.

Humans can only evolve so fast. Technology doesn't have those limitations.

bandabou
Apr 5th, 2004, 07:52 AM
:)

A consistent Petrova might do a Mary Pierce? Otherwise I agree. The new generation of Russians and some of the other newcomers seems to be learning to mix it up well too. Its difficult to quantify but I would swear I have actually seen more rallies on TV recently. Slices even. Kuznetsova at the net. Henin anywhere. Patty reaching GS SF by blowing the opponents mind. Arguably smarter players. Better returning all around. Some amazing defenders and some very fast players too. Thats one reason why the challenge to Serena will be interesting - the tour now has more idea how to deal with a fast serve and more players who can fight a long fast rally and do something sophisticated to end it. Dementieva was actually as good as Serena when she forced Serena into a rally and often Serena was the one who fell into errors at the end. Dementieva however was always let down by her own serve and couldn't contain Serena enough - it remains to be seen if Serena can still impose her game on the powerful serve-equiped finesse players or whether they have now caught up enough and can now contain her and frustrate her long enough to cause her to implode. Serena is a tougher nut to crack though than Venus - because Serena has learnt to control her UE better and retains her confidence - so it won't be easy.

The thing is....people canīt see Serenaīs serve or letīs say: they often have no idea where Serenaīs gonna serve....on clay people can battle enough with her, but on the other surfaces, itīs lights out.

DunkMachine
Apr 5th, 2004, 08:26 AM
Finesse is overrated. Hit your serve at 55 mph let's see how far finesse will get you. In sports it's all about speed and power.

hingis-seles
Apr 5th, 2004, 08:49 AM
Martina Hingis took the finesse game with her when she retired.

space_eef03
Apr 5th, 2004, 08:52 AM
Finesse is overrated. Hit your serve at 55 mph let's see how far finesse will get you. In sports it's all about speed and power.
You've got a point there too but just hitting hard won't do it either.
It's a combination of different things (Intelligence, speed, power, finesse,..) that does it. But power sure does a lot.

Brαm
Apr 5th, 2004, 08:53 AM
IMO Janette Husarova is a finesse player.

She's playing qualifying in Morocco now.

pigam
Apr 5th, 2004, 12:48 PM
Like some others said: you need both to be the absolute top.
Venus: her volleys and variation with groundstrokes
Serena: idem and is able to do more with her serve (not 'just' hit it hard)
Justine: variation with BH, volleys, dropshot,...
Kim: short angles, super lob etc...
Amélie: Net, BHvariation etc ...

Most of those players have been able to win some very big points during some very big matches by playing a more finesse-kinda-shot. That's what makes them stand out, IMHO. You need both. If your serve/groundies etc. arn't hard enough, the 'real' hardhitters will smack you off the court.

justine&coria
Apr 5th, 2004, 12:57 PM
What I find funny is when one says that men's tennis is about finesse ! Some matches are really boring to watch : it's often about aces and winning serves, or when you look Agassi, he always plays the same way = on the left, on the right, on the left, on the right ...

There aren't that many finesse player in the men's tennis : Ferrero (with his drop shots), Coria, Federer ( :worship: ) ... But those guys need power too. Don't tell me Federer is weaker than Justine.
I mean you need power to be able to compete with the bests, and then you can have some "finesse" shots. It's the same with Justine, Kim or Mauresmo.
So I really don't agree when one says that men's tennis is about finesse and women's tennis is becoming more and more about power !

bandabou
Apr 5th, 2004, 01:03 PM
Plus....what I found interesting...in most of her matches last week Serena, despite having the fame of being a hardhitter, wasnīt even the hardest hitter in her match. Maria S looked to me like she was hitting harder than Serena and Elena D was doing it too for sure....but still look how easily Serena won both matches.

Must have been doing something different then, to me....she had some nice angles and of course the variation on her serve was off the hook.

pigam
Apr 5th, 2004, 01:07 PM
Plus....what I found interesting...in most of her matches last week Serena, despite having the fame of being a hardhitter, wasnīt even the hardest hitter in her match. Maria S looked to me like she was hitting harder than Serena and Elena D was doing it too for sure....but still look how easily Serena won both matches.

Must have been doing something different then, to me....she had some nice angles and of course the variation on her serve was off the hook.
exactly. People who can't see that are blind. Simple as that. Hard hitting ALONE doesn't win you TIER II, TIER I, let alone GS's. It's also a question of how you handle the power of your opponent. Now wheather that has someting to do with being a powerplayer remains the question ...

DA FOREHAND
Apr 5th, 2004, 01:09 PM
the finesse game died with the demise of Hingis IMO. had she continued to win, new players may have been inspired to include it in their repertoire. right now the Williams/power model is dominant. but as more and more women are felled by injury, they will start seeing the wisdom and brilliance that was Hingis...;)

Errr,,,ummm, there are plenty of players in the top ten who have finesse shots, it's not the basis of thier games because they can hit hard and deep w/control. You go w/your strengths. Let's take Lindsay, she has every shot in the book, although i've never seen her hit a sliced backhand, but her strength is pounding the ball deep to the corners, if Martina had that ability you would have seen her use finesse a lot less often.


LOL at your last statement.. Hingis is the only one who was "injurred" so much that she had to retire....interesting, finesse player gets career ending injury, the rest of the tour moves on. :tape:

DA FOREHAND
Apr 5th, 2004, 01:12 PM
Martina Hingis took the finesse game with her when she retired.


Funny thing is Serena Williams, beat Martina in the 99 US Open final using a combination of power and finesse....I guess she saw the writing on the wall.

bandabou
Apr 5th, 2004, 01:20 PM
Errr,,,ummm, there are plenty of players in the top ten who have finesse shots, it's not the basis of thier games because they can hit hard and deep w/control. You go w/your strengths. Let's take Lindsay, she has every shot in the book, although i've never seen her hit a sliced backhand, but her strength is pounding the ball deep to the corners, if Martina had that ability you would have seen her use finesse a lot less often.


LOL at your last statement.. Hingis is the only one who was "injurred" so much that she had to retire....interesting, finesse player gets career ending injury, the rest of the tour moves on. :tape:

Just the way it is....playing to your strengths..if you ainīt powerful enough, then you got to stick to the finesse and vice versa. Doesnīt mean you canīt have both.

Vass22
Apr 5th, 2004, 01:21 PM
Power is very important I think. I doubt that Serena could be so dominant without her power. Same about everybody. The top-4 is all about power (with added finesse) and the rest is not that powerful. Maybe that's what makes women's tennis so one sided: those few who have power are the best. In the men's game everyone has more-or-less same power and that makes it equal.

bandabou
Apr 5th, 2004, 01:28 PM
Power is very important I think. I doubt that Serena could be so dominant without her power. Same about everybody. The top-4 is all about power (with added finesse) and the rest is not that powerful. Maybe that's what makes women's tennis so one sided: those few who have power are the best. In the men's game everyone has more-or-less same power and that makes it equal.

Say what?! Are you sure youīre a Russian-fan?! Believe me, the reason those girls ainīt winning the biggies ainīt because a lack of power....itīs because their serves are worse than pathetic! Thatīs why.

You mean to tell me that Maria S, Elena B, Elena D, Nadia P, all....arenīt ranked higher because they ainīt powerful enough?! :haha: :rolls:

DA FOREHAND
Apr 5th, 2004, 01:32 PM
Power is very important I think. I doubt that Serena could be so dominant without her power. Same about everybody. The top-4 is all about power (with added finesse) and the rest is not that powerful. Maybe that's what makes women's tennis so one sided: those few who have power are the best. In the men's game everyone has more-or-less same power and that makes it equal.
I doubt Hingis could have been as dominant if the power players in the late 90's had harnessed thier power....so what are you saying?

spec7er
Apr 5th, 2004, 01:43 PM
I think the game has evolved. From the serve and volley tennis of the early years and then moves on with the baseline tennis of the 90's. I think we're seeing another change and that's a turn to an all-court game. This kind of game needs both finesse and power. And I think in today's game, both are essential to win. The Williams sisters tried to hit hard before without any control, but when that didn't work they tempered the powered a bit and had control. Patty Schnyder can't win over the likes of Capriati and Serena with no power and just finesse. It's a combination of both.

"Topaz"
Apr 5th, 2004, 05:32 PM
Power is very important I think. I doubt that Serena could be so dominant without her power. Same about everybody. The top-4 is all about power (with added finesse) and the rest is not that powerful. Maybe that's what makes women's tennis so one sided: those few who have power are the best. In the men's game everyone has more-or-less same power and that makes it equal.Pretty good observation, except for the "...and the rest is not that powerful..." assertion.

I think the game has evolved. From the serve and volley tennis of the early years and then moves on with the baseline tennis of the 90's. I think we're seeing another change and that's a turn to an all-court game. This kind of game needs both finesse and power. And I think in today's game, both are essential to win. The Williams sisters tried to hit hard before without any control, but when that didn't work they tempered the powered a bit and had control. Patty Schnyder can't win over the likes of Capriati and Serena with no power and just finesse. It's a combination of both.Good observation as well.

esquímaux
Apr 5th, 2004, 05:43 PM
Kim: short angles, super lob etc...

super lob = moonball :D :lick:

pigam
Apr 5th, 2004, 05:46 PM
super lob = moonball :D :lick:
sure ;)

DA FOREHAND
Apr 5th, 2004, 05:59 PM
Lobs?
Dropshots?
Angles?
Slice?
Drop Volleys?


I've seen many power players use these shots, does that make them finesse players? My point is most of the top players all have and use these shots effectively, but have power as the base of thier games, does that make them less skilled? If it's so easy to hit the ball w/power, and power is ruling the game why doesn't everyone use power? To be at the top in today's game you have to have a combination of both.

Crazy_Fool
Apr 5th, 2004, 06:25 PM
The finesse has died :sad: , its all about power, if u haven't got it, forget being a top player.

Only place u will see finesse is on clay and roll on the most skillful players like henin, coria and ferrero !! They will show everyone what finesse is. Lets hope they all do very well on the clay season as they are the best to watch. And Federer of course !

Vass22
Apr 5th, 2004, 06:42 PM
Finesse is till important, maybe upto 50% of the top player's games are based on it. I'm not arguing. They might have both in tremendous quantities. But I'm sure that there are some players who have only finesse (at high) level, or only (that's a relative) power. These players are the second best.
People might say that Petrova, for example, has power and compare her to JHH. But I'd choose to consider Petrova as a top player too and compare her to players in the top-30, who are not on top. Perhaps there we'll see the difference in power.

bandabou
Apr 5th, 2004, 06:48 PM
The finesse has died :sad: , its all about power, if u haven't got it, forget being a top player.

Only place u will see finesse is on clay and roll on the most skillful players like henin, coria and ferrero !! They will show everyone what finesse is. Lets hope they all do very well on the clay season as they are the best to watch. And Federer of course !

The funny thing is that the players who are considered less "talented" are often the ones who win the premier clay-event first.

Coria?! Couldnīt beat VERKERK!!! on clay.
Ferrero?! Only because it was Verkerk in the finals.
Henin?! Needed every bit of luck and tactic to squeeze past the untalented Serena and even managed to lose to Aniko Kapros on CLAY!!!

Crazy_Fool
Apr 5th, 2004, 06:55 PM
The funny thing is that the players who are considered less "talented" are often the ones who win the premier clay-event first.

Coria?! Couldnīt beat VERKERK!!! on clay.
Ferrero?! Only because it was Verkerk in the finals.
Henin?! Needed every bit of luck and tactic to squeeze past the untalented Serena and even managed to lose to Aniko Kapros on CLAY!!!
Utter nonsense.

Coria was over-rawed in his first slam semi, he would wipe the floor with him now. How he is less talented, Coria is one of the most talented young players around.
Ferrero is no3 in the world, got the US open final. Yeah i see how he is less talented. His forehand is the best in the mens game.
Henin lost to Kapros as she was ill !!!

These 3 players above will dominate the clay court season, as they have skill and they don't base their games on power or serves.

Roddick, Venus, or even Serena or Federer cannot dominate as they rely a bit too much on serve or power.

I know the truth.

bandabou
Apr 5th, 2004, 07:00 PM
Utter nonsense.

Coria was over-rawed in his first slam semi, he would wipe the floor with him now. How he is less talented, Coria is one of the most talented young players around.
Ferrero is no3 in the world, got the US open final. Yeah i see how he is less talented. His forehand is the best in the mens game.
Henin lost to Kapros as she was ill !!!

These 3 players above will dominate the clay court season, as they have skill and they don't base their games on power or serves.

Roddick, Venus, or even Serena or Federer cannot dominate as they rely a bit too much on serve or power.

I know the truth.

Well, Iīll tell you this.....Justine was one admitting "I raised my hand, so she has right of two serves." away and werenīt even discussing this Justineīs dominating on clay... THAT is the truth.

Vass22
Apr 5th, 2004, 07:00 PM
Coria?! Couldnīt beat VERKERK!!! on clay.
Ferrero?! Only because it was Verkerk in the finals.
H
This isn't ATP forum, is it? It's ok to say "Go JCF", but not an argument! Anyway, your opinions are weird, lets go to MTF and discuss it there.

bandabou
Apr 5th, 2004, 07:04 PM
This isn't ATP forum, is it? It's ok to say "Go JCF", but not an argument! Anyway, your opinions are weird, lets go to MTF and discuss it there.

I didnīt bring them up in the discussion....

Volcana
Apr 5th, 2004, 07:34 PM
The finesse has died :sad: , its all about power, if u haven't got it, forget being a top player.

Only place u will see finesse is on clay and roll on the most skillful players like henin, coria and ferrero !! They will show everyone what finesse is. Lets hope they all do very well on the clay season as they are the best to watch. And Federer of course !Well, Serena Williams, 'finesse genius', won RG in 2002 and made semis last year. And at that, she was undone by a player who could match her pace.

Look, one of the great pleasures of tennis today is watching Patty Schnyder having a good day aainst some baseline pwer hitter. But to lament the 'death of finesse' is to both fail to credit the intelligence of the players, and fail to credit what's in front of you.

If a right-hander hits a short angle slice backhand that only rises to ankle height, and the opponent is Serena Williams, what happens?

Serena Williams is on top of the ball, on balance, and picking from a vast repetoire of winners. It doesn't matter if the ball in head height or ankle height, backspinning or topspinning, because she can read every spin, make virtually any adjustment, and hit a winner off it anyway. All you accomplished was letting her hit closer to the net.

The same is true of half a dozen other players. There are some astonishingly fast players in the WTA right now, and some VERY good ground hitters. It's not that the players can't MAKE those finesse shots. It's that, unless you use it at the right time and place, it's a loser. Most drop shots are losers against top ten players. Most lobs turn into overhead winners. Baseline power tennis is THE best way to keep your opponent form launching her major weapons from close range.

If you look at what Justine Henin-Hardenne does, you see she doesn't slice and go for drop shots at random times. She uses pace to set people up for those finesse shots. It Kim Clijsters is standing in one corner, no drop shot known to womankind will beat her. If Kim is running off the court one way, and the drop shot comes the other way, there's a good chance of a winner.

Look, its all about training and skill. Henin-Hardenne isn't exactly physically imposing. In fact, she's one of the smallest players on the tour. But she has big pace, a wide variety of shots, and finely graded control over all of them. So what's holding back the rest of the tour?

But if that's not finesse enough for you, then no, you'll never see it again.

Crazy_Fool
Apr 5th, 2004, 07:41 PM
Well, Iīll tell you this.....Justine was one admitting "I raised my hand, so she has right of two serves." away and werenīt even discussing this Justineīs dominating on clay... THAT is the truth.
Everyone needs a bit of luck winning thier first slam. If Serena v Justine happens this year, there is only gonna be one winner :tape:

bandabou
Apr 5th, 2004, 08:23 PM
Everyone needs a bit of luck winning thier first slam. If Serena v Justine happens this year, there is only gonna be one winner :tape:

Yep:TENNIS!!!

pigam
Apr 5th, 2004, 08:28 PM
Yep:TENNIS!!!
DANG :tape: ;)
Damn, Bandy, you're a softie ce soir :)

bandabou
Apr 5th, 2004, 09:11 PM
DANG :tape: ;)
Damn, Bandy, you're a softie ce soir :)

:lol: Itīs all about the tennis....of course if Serena wins, itīs great...but as long as she gave her all and played an awesome match.

"Topaz"
Apr 6th, 2004, 04:17 AM
From many opinions expressed thus far, clay seems to be the best surface for finesse. Besides the slow rebound and the weight of the ball due to dirt capture, what other characteristics are at play here?