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View Full Version : What is meant by the term "depth" in women's tennis?


Geisha
Jun 18th, 2006, 12:10 AM
Over the past couple of years, the term "depth" has come up many times in reference to the state of women's tennis. What does this word mean?

Does it mean that there are plenty of players who can win tournaments, not just the two or three of years past?

Does it mean that the state of women's tennis has never been better, and that all players are playing better than they were three or four years ago?

Somebody help me.

Rollo
Jun 18th, 2006, 12:24 AM
Does it mean that the state of women's tennis has never been better, and that all players are playing better than they were three or four years ago?



These days it means both-but it ALWAYS is meant to include your quote above.

And you can always hear it year in and year out from the WTA like a mantra or a broken record.

Every year since I started watching tennis (1977) there have been two constants.

1. The women petition Wimbledon for more prize money.
2. The WTA says 'there's more depth than ever in women's tennis".

Chrissie-fan
Jun 18th, 2006, 12:34 AM
How many different winners of slam tournaments would there have been if the Williams sisters and Henin hadn't been injured or sick so often? And how many more different slam winners would there have been in the 80's if Evert and Navratilova had been injured or sick as often as the Williams sisters or Henin? My point is that if those three had been injury free in recent years they would probably have been as dominant (or close so anyway) as Evert, Navratilova, Graf and Seles were in their day. In the major events of today where some of the big names aren't able to compete because of injuries, others are coming back from injury and still aren't 100% and still others are playing through the pain of minor injuries it's only logical that you get a greater variety of winners.

Hingie
Jun 18th, 2006, 12:38 AM
It really depends on who you ask on this Board.

Some believe (as i do) that depth refers to the fact that there are no clear favourites at Slams and there are multiple winners over a period of time. For instance, at the moment i think the depth is incredible, despite several key players not appearing at tournaments at the moment.

Others believe that because there aren't 2 or 3 players dominating that the competition must be weak and there is no real depth in the game. I think this is crazy - just because we don't have a repeat of the Graf/Seles days does not mean we do not have good tennis. Oh - and i particularly like it when some say the Tour is in trouble because Martina Hingis is still enjoying success. After 3 years out, she shouldn't be able to win a match at all. :rolleyes: Some have clearly forgotten the talent this girl possesses - she's not just a normal tennis player.

Come back Serena, Seles and Capriati and the Tour will be stronger than ever before! :bounce:

Chrissie-fan
Jun 18th, 2006, 12:42 AM
Oh - and i particularly like it when some say the Tour is in trouble because Martina Hingis is still enjoying success. After 3 years out, she shouldn't be able to win a match at all. :rolleyes: Some have clearly forgotten the talent this girl possesses - she's not just a normal tennis player.


I bet that if Federer were to do the same thing they wouldn't say that it showed a lack of depth in men's tennis. They would only talk about Roger's incredible talent.

Derek.
Jun 18th, 2006, 12:44 AM
I think it means that any player can beat any other player on any given day.

hingisGOAT
Jun 18th, 2006, 12:51 AM
whatever. tennis has always been and will always be very popular around the world. there are no more people playing the sport now than there were 10 years ago or 20 years ago or in 5 years... the word "depth", when it comes to tennis, is used:

1) to promote the sport (by commentators & networks)

or

2) to promote your favorite! (by people on this board)

no era has been 'deeper' than another. don't listen to lunatic fans :tape:

Volcana
Jun 18th, 2006, 12:57 AM
It means the players are taller and taller, so when short opponents are trying to drown them the night before a match, they have to go out into water of greater and greater 'depth'.

¤CharlDa¤
Jun 18th, 2006, 01:03 AM
For me, my definition of depth means that right now, the tour is a bit less predictable. Jamea was the best proof today, same with Vera and Meilen. When two players step on court, it is getting tougher to say who will win cause a girl ranked in the top 100 could beat a top player. I don't think it goes up to the level that anyone could win a grandslam, but it still means that a player can keep it up with top players despite the ranking gap.

Geisha
Jun 18th, 2006, 02:22 AM
How many different winners of slam tournaments would there have been if the Williams sisters and Henin hadn't been injured or sick so often? And how many more different slam winners would there have been in the 80's if Evert and Navratilova had been injured or sick as often as the Williams sisters or Henin? My point is that if those three had been injury free in recent years they would probably have been as dominant (or close so anyway) as Evert, Navratilova, Graf and Seles were in their day. In the major events of today where some of the big names aren't able to compete because of injuries, others are coming back from injury and still aren't 100% and still others are playing through the pain of minor injuries it's only logical that you get a greater variety of winners.

1) I definitely agree with this. The answer is that, other than a few Grand Slams here and there, the Williamses and Belgians would be dominating the sport had injuries in 2003/04 had not occured. I think it actually started with Venus and Serena's injuries leading to the success of the Belgians. Once they were injured, Kim and Justine became better and better and probably would have been able to compete with the Sisters in 2002 with their form of 2004. Once the Belgians got injured, the lack of talent and "depth" formed.

Geisha
Jun 18th, 2006, 02:25 AM
It really depends on who you ask on this Board.

Some believe (as i do) that depth refers to the fact that there are no clear favourites at Slams and there are multiple winners over a period of time. For instance, at the moment i think the depth is incredible, despite several key players not appearing at tournaments at the moment.

Others believe that because there aren't 2 or 3 players dominating that the competition must be weak and there is no real depth in the game. I think this is crazy - just because we don't have a repeat of the Graf/Seles days does not mean we do not have good tennis. Oh - and i particularly like it when some say the Tour is in trouble because Martina Hingis is still enjoying success. After 3 years out, she shouldn't be able to win a match at all. :rolleyes: Some have clearly forgotten the talent this girl possesses - she's not just a normal tennis player.

Come back Serena, Seles and Capriati and the Tour will be stronger than ever before! :bounce:

There is definitely lots of depth in the Tour because there are so many different winners going "deep" into draws, Grand Slams and smaller tournaments. But, is there depth because there is more talent, or because the players who should be dominating can't stay healthy for an extended period of time?

About the Martina Hingis thing. Martina is the most talented player on Tour. Her talent is matched by only a few: Navratilova, Seles, Graf, Evert, and players of the earlier eras like Lenglen, Court, and King. But, the fact of the matter is this: no player should be able to take three years off and instantly earn the success she has had, whether she is normal or not. Especially with her type of game. The depth of the Tour has shown that it can't beat a player who is serving at 85 MPH.

Geisha
Jun 18th, 2006, 02:26 AM
Also, I am definitely hoping for Capriati and Seles to return, but for the love of the game, I don't want them to because I hope they lose. If they win, it will only further prove my point that women's tennis is lacking in quality.

Robbie.
Jun 18th, 2006, 02:35 AM
Depth is a great buzz word, but it's also an illusion.

When a great player or two is dominating, women's tennis is said to be as shallow as a kid's wading pool.
When players are taking turns winning (2004-2006), this state is put down not to 'real' depth but to injuries to top players.

On the other hand:

When players are taking turns winning (alla 2000-2003), the depth of talent in men's tennis is so great it is simply impossible for anyone to dominate.
When a great player or two is dominating (alla Nadal/Federer 2004-6), it's because they are truly great to over come such a deep field and we ought to be creaming our pants over their prowess.

So women's tennis is always very very shallow and men's tennis is always very very deep.

Hingie
Jun 18th, 2006, 02:40 AM
There is definitely lots of depth in the Tour because there are so many different winners going "deep" into draws, Grand Slams and smaller tournaments. But, is there depth because there is more talent, or because the players who should be dominating can't stay healthy for an extended period of time?

About the Martina Hingis thing. Martina is the most talented player on Tour. Her talent is matched by only a few: Navratilova, Seles, Graf, Evert, and players of the earlier eras like Lenglen, Court, and King. But, the fact of the matter is this: no player should be able to take three years off and instantly earn the success she has had, whether she is normal or not. Especially with her type of game. The depth of the Tour has shown that it can't beat a player who is serving at 85 MPH.

But that is the price the players are paying with the new athleticism that has been incorporated in the game. It's not enough to be able to hit well but you gotta move around the court with absolute desperation to win these days. It's sad but i don't see the numerous injuries going away anytime soon.

And with Hingis, i completely disagree. Her game was never reliant on her serve. If it was, then she would never have won a Slam and would be hovering in the 100's in terms of rankings. Sure, if it improves it only means that it will be easier for her but when i heard she was coming back, i had no doubt in my mind that she would be able to compete and compete well. She understands the game too well to not be a factor at major tournaments.

Geisha
Jun 18th, 2006, 02:49 AM
But that is the price the players are paying with the new athleticism that has been incorporated in the game. It's not enough to be able to hit well but you gotta move around the court with absolute desperation to win these days. It's sad but i don't see the numerous injuries going away anytime soon.

And with Hingis, i completely disagree. Her game was never reliant on her serve. If it was, then she would never have won a Slam and would be hovering in the 100's in terms of rankings. Sure, if it improves it only means that it will be easier for her but when i heard she was coming back, i had no doubt in my mind that she would be able to compete and compete well. She understands the game too well to not be a factor at major tournaments.

I don't agree. It is true that from throughout Hingis' career, she has never relied on her serve, but in 2001-2002, players like Venus, Serena, Capriati, and Seles were punishing her serves. The '01 US Open SF is a perfect example when she played Serena. Other matches, like the '01 Australian Open F was another example of her serve getting punished.

Back in those years, you had to have a better serve, more power, more athleticsm, more everything. The reason Hingis is surviving nowadays is because players are no longer better than they were before. Venus can no longer rip winners or chase down as many balls as she used to because injuries have gotten in the way.

Hingis came back because she realized that there was no more quality in women's tennis. Even she recognized that that would be the only way for her to succeed.

Derek.
Jun 18th, 2006, 03:03 AM
But, the fact of the matter is this: no player should be able to take three years off and instantly earn the success she has had, whether she is normal or not. Especially with her type of game. The depth of the Tour has shown that it can't beat a player who is serving at 85 MPH.

The reason Hingis' comeback has been so successful is because most of the current top 100 players that she's been competing against, have never faced a player with the type of gamestyle she has. After Sharapova lost to Hingis she said she had never played a player like Hingis before and it was puzzling and frustrating to player her. But Sharapova has won both of their last two meetings. Hingis' comeback hasn't really been in her control. Most of the players she's beating such as Kuznetsova, Davenport, Sharapova, Vaidisova, etc. all have the capability of beating Hingis, but it takes a while to figure out. Sharapova has won both of their last matches and Kuznetsova won their last meeting. The will eventually figure out how to beat her, because it's not like Hingis blows them off the court.

It's kind of like Roddick's serve. Not many could handle his serve, but here we are almost 3 years later since he won his first and only slam, most people can handle his serve now and more and more people are able to beat him.

Tennis Fool
Jun 18th, 2006, 03:13 AM
These days it means both-but it ALWAYS is meant to include your quote above.

And you can always hear it year in and year out from the WTA like a mantra or a broken record.

Every year since I started watching tennis (1977) there have been two constants.

1. The women petition Wimbledon for more prize money.
2. The WTA says 'there's more depth than ever in women's tennis".
Actually in 1994 and 1995, there was the constant lament of a "lack of depth in women's tennis", meaning that those who were winning the tournaments were beaten constantly by Steffi who had lost her competition in Monica, Jennifer, Martina N. and Gabriela.

I think the equivalent of a "lack of depth" today would be if Venus, Serena, Kim, Justine & Amelie were not playing.

Hingie
Jun 18th, 2006, 03:19 AM
The reason Hingis' comeback has been so successful is because most of the current top 100 players that she's been competing against, have never faced a player with the type of gamestyle she has. After Sharapova lost to Hingis she said she had never played a player like Hingis before and it was puzzling and frustrating to player her. But Sharapova has won both of their last two meetings. Hingis' comeback hasn't really been in her control. Most of the players she's beating such as Kuznetsova, Davenport, Sharapova, Vaidisova, etc. all have the capability of beating Hingis, but it takes a while to figure out. Sharapova has won both of their last matches and Kuznetsova won their last meeting. The will eventually figure out how to beat her, because it's not like Hingis blows them off the court.

It's kind of like Roddick's serve. Not many could handle his serve, but here we are almost 3 years later since he won his first and only slam, most people can handle his serve now and more and more people are able to beat him.

You are comparing Hingis to Roddick? :confused: :confused: :confused:

Did you even watch the Tokyo semi? You certainly could not say that match was in Maria's control - not totally anyway. Marti was playing aggressive tennis that was not only creating winners but a whole heap of forced errors also.

The last match against Kuzzie went tight into the third set - her only real drubbing this whole year came against Dementieva in the Tokyo final - other than that she's been competitive in every match. Plus she took Dementieva out easily on clay with aggressive play only a few weeks back. I'm not saying that Marti is unbeatable but don't try and tell me that once all of these players figure out how to play Marti she will never win cause if she stays injury free i'm glad to have this conversation with you in a couple of years when she's beating the top still.

Derek.
Jun 18th, 2006, 03:22 AM
You are comparing Hingis to Roddick? :confused: :confused: :confused:

Did you even watch the Tokyo semi? You certainly could not say that match was in Maria's control - not totally anyway. Marti was playing aggressive tennis that was not only creating winners but a whole heap of forced errors also.

The last match against Kuzzie went tight into the third set - her only real drubbing this whole year came against Dementieva in the Tokyo final - other than that she's been competitive in every match. Plus she took Dementieva out easily on clay with aggressive play only a few weeks back. I'm not saying that Marti is unbeatable but don't try and tell me that once all of these players figure out how to play Marti she will never win cause if she stays injury free i'm glad to have this conversation with you in a couple of years when she's beating the top still.


I'm not saying she'll never beat them, but the young big-hitters are figuring out how to beat her. You can't really deny that. :shrug:

Dementieva isn't a good example, because she's one of the most inconsistant players on tour. She can beat anybody on any given day sure, but she can also lose to anybody on any given day.

Hingie
Jun 18th, 2006, 03:27 AM
I'm not saying she'll never beat them, but the young big-hitters are figuring out how to beat her. You can't really deny that. :shrug:

Dementieva isn't a good example, because she's one of the most inconsistant players on tour. She can beat anybody on any given day sure, but she can also lose to anybody on any given day.

Look i am not saying the new generation will not beat her but she has already handed a few losses to Safina, Vaidisova had a tight set against her but that's it - they certainly have the games and power to do it. But Marti has played dozens of power hitters in her time. It takes the combination of athleticism, shot selection, anticipation and consistency to beat her - a mixture of skills not freely possessed by all of the up-and-comers.

Derek.
Jun 18th, 2006, 03:32 AM
Look i am not saying the new generation will not beat her but she has already handed a few losses to Safina, Vaidisova had a tight set against her but that's it - they certainly have the games and power to do it. But Marti has played dozens of power hitters in her time. It takes the combination of athleticism, shot selection, anticipation and consistency to beat her - a mixture of skills not freely possessed by all of the up-and-comers.

If they power hitters play smart power tennis, as Sharapova has done twice, they will win.

Zauber
Jun 18th, 2006, 04:12 AM
debths means more.
debths at the top of womens tennis measn more women capable of winning tournaments.
debths of women tennis means less of a difference betwee the no 1 player and the no. 200 player.
mens tennis has allways had more debths.

Geisha
Jun 18th, 2006, 04:36 AM
If they power hitters play smart power tennis, as Sharapova has done twice, they will win.

It is true. But, the problem in 2006 is that there aren't enough smart power players. There were plenty more in 2000.

Mr_Molik
Jun 18th, 2006, 04:43 AM
Depth is a great buzz word, but it's also an illusion.

When a great player or two is dominating, women's tennis is said to be as shallow as a kid's wading pool.
When players are taking turns winning (2004-2006), this state is put down not to 'real' depth but to injuries to top players.

On the other hand:

When players are taking turns winning (alla 2000-2003), the depth of talent in men's tennis is so great it is simply impossible for anyone to dominate.
When a great player or two is dominating (alla Nadal/Federer 2004-6), it's because they are truly great to over come such a deep field and we ought to be creaming our pants over their prowess.

So women's tennis is always very very shallow and men's tennis is always very very deep.
Thats because the quality of mens tennis is always so much better than that of womens.

meyerpl
Jun 18th, 2006, 05:18 AM
The quality of the players has continued to improve over the years. It's the natural evolution of a sport with more money than ever to be earned.

hingisGOAT
Jun 18th, 2006, 08:31 AM
it's so funny... hingis is apparently never in control of her matches against the power players, but when she plays them, they're usually the ones doing all of the running :shrug:

Hingie
Jun 18th, 2006, 09:07 AM
it's so funny... hingis is apparently never in control of her matches against the power players, but when she plays them, they're usually the ones doing all of the running :shrug:

Didn't you know that Martina is only there to make up the numbers. :rolleyes:

Chrissie-fan
Jun 18th, 2006, 09:12 AM
debths means more.
debths at the top of womens tennis measn more women capable of winning tournaments.
debths of women tennis means less of a difference betwee the no 1 player and the no. 200 player.
mens tennis has allways had more debths.
Well, it's sort of a pointless debate because no matter what happens the women will always be second rate in the opinion of some.

I never heard any comments about a lack of depth on the men's tour when the one dimensional Ivanisevic won Wimbledon as a wild cart or when Muster came back from a very long injury break to win the French. How about a 36 year old Agassi playing the final of the US Open? Don't get me wrong, I admire these guys for doing what they did. But when a female player does something similar she doesn't get praised. People just :smash: the other players.

When granny Navratilova is still winning doubles titles, surely everyone else must be awful. When good old John McEnroe wins a doubles title first time out after not having competed for a dozen years (or whatever) it only proves what a genius he is.

Chrissie-fan
Jun 18th, 2006, 09:19 AM
Didn't you know that Martina is only there to make up the numbers. :rolleyes:
Martina Hingis is a genius. A welterweight with superior skills who has to compete against heavyweights twice as big and strong as her and often still finds a way to win. If they would do away with the snow-shoe sized racquets she would wipe the floor with the lot of 'em.

Hingie
Jun 18th, 2006, 09:31 AM
Martina Hingis is a genius. A welterweight with superior skills who has to compete against heavyweights twice as big and strong as her and often still finds a way to win. If they would do away with the snow-shoe sized racquets she would wipe the floor with the lot of 'em.

Agreed - or if she had the stamina of a Williams sister... then WATCH OUT! :)

Jakeev
Jun 18th, 2006, 10:31 AM
[QUOTE=Chrissie-fan]

When granny Navratilova is still winning doubles titles, surely everyone else must be awful. QUOTE]

Martina is winning in doubles but not because everyone is awful but because the top players don't play singles and doubles anymore.

Mother_Marjorie
Jun 18th, 2006, 01:52 PM
1) I think it actually started with Venus and Serena's injuries leading to the success of the Belgians. Once they were injured, Kim and Justine became better and better

Another Urban legend.

What's particularly weird about that comment, is that before Serena left for injury, Kim beat her in the 2002 YEC. And at the French Open in 2003, Justine beat Serena, and went on to win the French that year, ending Serena's win streak at the majors.

Of the five Grand Slam titles Justine won, Venus played in four of those. And if I'm not mistaken, Venus played at the 2005 US Open, the same GS that Kim won.

The Belgians were ascending before Venus and Serena left with injury in 2003.