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View Full Version : Svetlana Kuznetsova v Counterpunchers


laurie
Oct 6th, 2007, 06:41 PM
I wrote this on the Svetlana Kuznestova fans forum. I thought I would share it here, I would like to get your views on my thoughts about her game. I quote myself

"It's a shame Svetlana couldn't get the job done today against Tatiana Golvin. It would have been nice to have another crack at Justine, not to be this time.

I caught the 1st couple of games and saw Golovin was playing steady as usual. That leads to me to an observation that I've made watching Svetlana this year. Since the Australian Open I've noticed that Svetlana struggles against steady players. It started against Shahar Peer at the Australian Open, she's also struggled aginst players like Medina Garrigues and Jelena Jankovic - counterpunchers is the phrase I'm looking for. There are precedents on how to deal with players like these.

Michael Chang had an incredible 7 - 2 win loss record over Sampras in the early 1990s. Sampras was the man with the natural talent but Chang was like speedy Gonzalez, got everything back frustrating Sampras into errors and going for shots when they were not on. That all changed in the 1993 US Open quarterfinal. Chang won the first set 7-6 winning all 7 points in the tiebreak!! Pete won the 2nd set tiebreak. He then went on to demolish Chang 6-1 6-1 in the 3rd and 4th sets in only 45 minutes. Sampras was hitting winners left and right and Chang was running all over the place. That was one of Pete's best performances. Then after that the head ended up 12- 8 to Sampras including a 1996 US open final win in straight sets when Sampras played incredible.

10 years later, the same thing happens again, Hewitt, the new Chang has a 6-1 record over Federer including an incredible 2002 Mastres semifinal in Shanghai which Federer should have won. That all changes in the 2004 Australian Open quarterfinal where again, Hewitt wins the first set but Roger turns it around with brilliant Tennis and wins in 4. Hewitt hasn't beaten Federer since and Federer demolished Hewitt in that incredible 2004 US Open final 6-0 7-6 6-0.

What Sampras and Federer learned against counterpunchers is this - they both played more patient while staying agressive. They learned to only attack short balls and set up plays where they wil get short balls to attack. So they were always in control. Sampras' record against counterpunchers is incredible and so is Federer's. They learned not to go for winners when out of position because they will get frustrated and make more errors and that's what counterpunchers want to see. Sampras and Federer are also good counterpunchers themselves and can stay in rallies with good defence and switch the attack to offence pretty quickly with speed and their forehands. They also try to be agressive on
2nd serve returns particularly, that's where matches are won and lost.

That's the trick for Svetlana against steady players who don't make many (hardly any!!) errors. She has to stay agressive and attack short balls only, she has to be prepared to play longer rallies if she has to and not go for winners when out of position. If she can learn these things her level of play will improve further.

Justine Henin is the perfect example of how to play counterpunchers - she basically does all the same things Sampras and Federer does."

Any views on this?

turko
Oct 6th, 2007, 06:51 PM
if i am Sveta coach this what i saying at her when she play yes? is saying....Sveta give me kiss,Sveta give me hug,Sveta you hearing about the Two bored casino dealers are waiting at the craps table. A very attractive blonde lady comes in and wants to bet $10,000 on a single roll of the dice. And she adds, "I hope you don't mind, but I feel much luckier when I m completely nude."

With that she takes off everything but her necklace and rolls the dice while yelling, "Mama needs new clothes." Then she yells, "YES, YES, YES!! I WON, I WON, I WON."

She begins jumping up and down and hugging both of the dealers. Then she picks up her money and her clothes and quickly leaves. The dealers just stare at each other dumbfounded. Finally one of them asks, "What did she roll, anyway?"

The other answers, "I don't know. I thought YOU were watching."

then when Sveta stop laughing(MABY)i say,Sveta it only tennis,dont poop your panties and have fun:)

mboyle
Oct 6th, 2007, 07:28 PM
I don't think Sveta is good enough to do that.

Also, Tatiana did not play counter-punching today. Tatiana hit more winners than Sveta and had like 10 UFEs the whole match. Sveta also hit more winners than errors.

homogenius
Oct 6th, 2007, 07:30 PM
Golovin is'nt a counterpuncher.

Wayn77
Oct 6th, 2007, 07:41 PM
Golovin is'nt a counterpuncher.

Agreed...

Taking nothing away from Tati who's looked the real deal all week, Kuznetsova was truly awful at times today. Wreckless, wild - seemingly with no game plan.

Sveta has got enough experience, game and mobility to deal with all sorts of opposition (except Henin perhaps). I remember her taking out counter-punchers Jankovic twice and Hingis indoors last winter in convincing style.

Dunno: where was the confidence today, the belief ... the intent?

goldenlox
Oct 6th, 2007, 07:42 PM
I don't remember one 10 shot rally today. The points were quick and Sveta's shots were all over the place.

Slutiana
Oct 6th, 2007, 07:58 PM
I don't think Sveta is good enough to do that.

Also, Tatiana did not play counter-punching today. Tatiana hit more winners than Sveta and had like 10 UFEs the whole match. Sveta also hit more winners than errors.

Yep. 24 - 7 for tati compared with 22-20 for sveta. She was out played by tati.

I don't remember one 10 shot rally today. The points were quick and Sveta's shots were all over the place.

I do. Sveta didn't play terribly. She played worse in toronto vs tati and vs Chakvetadze at USO (she won the match:tape:) there were flashes of brilliance from sveta but she was outplayed today. She didn't beat herself or anything. This match was just like sveta-serena. Serena hit more winners than errors but was just outplayed by someone who played really great.

goldenlox
Oct 6th, 2007, 08:02 PM
Someone at the site counts up UE's. They could have given Sveta twice as much. She was making several UE's every game.

Slutiana
Oct 6th, 2007, 08:04 PM
^ she hit errors but many were just stupid shot selection while under pressure, hence it's counted as a forced error

homogenius
Oct 6th, 2007, 08:10 PM
if i am Sveta coach this what i saying at her when she play yes? is saying....Sveta give me kiss,Sveta give me hug,Sveta you hearing about the Two bored casino dealers are waiting at the craps table. A very attractive blonde lady comes in and wants to bet $10,000 on a single roll of the dice. And she adds, "I hope you don't mind, but I feel much luckier when I m completely nude."

With that she takes off everything but her necklace and rolls the dice while yelling, "Mama needs new clothes." Then she yells, "YES, YES, YES!! I WON, I WON, I WON."

She begins jumping up and down and hugging both of the dealers. Then she picks up her money and her clothes and quickly leaves. The dealers just stare at each other dumbfounded. Finally one of them asks, "What did she roll, anyway?"

The other answers, "I don't know. I thought YOU were watching."

then when Sveta stop laughing(MABY)i say,Sveta it only tennis,dont poop your panties and have fun:)

Funny how your English is much better here than in the thread about Golovin's nationality.You learn very quickly...

GoDominique
Oct 6th, 2007, 08:16 PM
In short, Sveta has no (tennis) brain. Dumb play all the time.

Slutiana
Oct 6th, 2007, 08:18 PM
Most of the errors were just bad errors. She missed at least 10 forehands by more than 5 feet. I don't even know what Sveta going for on a lot of them. Just swinging hard was the reason she missed. Or just a total mishit.
She missed a bunch of underspin forehands when she wasn't being pressured.

Idno but all i know is that she was outplayed today. I like Sveta but i think that Tati would probably have a better match vs justine because there isn't so much weighing on tati's shoulders since she isn't even seeded. Also, theres not the pressure of having to win her first title now shes won it. Hopefully she will lose all her inhibitions and just play. Henin on the other hand, wasn't as good today and along with all the pressure on her, i think it is far from over. Anyway, back to sveta. She needs to fix up soon. I just don't get her. Shes had a consistent year but it's not been great. So many setbacks like this. Come on Sveta.

goldenlox
Oct 6th, 2007, 08:23 PM
Henin is much much MUCH better than Golovin. I've seen over 50 Sveta matches, maybe 100. Today was one of her bad ones. She's a steady player when she's playing well. Today she couldn't keep a rally going.

laurie
Oct 6th, 2007, 08:30 PM
Golovin is'nt a counterpuncher.

The point I was making is that at the moment Svetlana has difficulties against counterpunchers and players like Golovin. Golovin is a steady player - doesn't have any spectacular shots. Not a counterpuncher as such because she's not a quick mover around the court but she doesn't make many errors. Svetlana has difficulty against players who don't make many errors and she has to force the issue.

That's the beauty of Justine Henin - as you guys pointed out, didn't play great today but still won. Why? She's such a smart player! She knows when to put the pressure on, almost like a well oiled machine.

With Svetlana's natural talent I'm really hoping she can learn from the great players I mentioned at the top of this thread. They had similar problems and overcame them, I'm hoping Svetlana will do the same over the next 12 months. She's got to start thinking more on the court.

homogenius
Oct 6th, 2007, 08:32 PM
Most of the errors were just bad errors. She missed at least 10 forehands by more than 5 feet. I don't even know what Sveta going for on a lot of them. Just swinging hard was the reason she missed. Or just a total mishit.
She missed a bunch of underspin forehands when she wasn't being pressured.

Golovin did to Sveta what Sveta did to Serena.Her serve was great, she put pressure on return (the return at 1-3 40-40 in first set was monstreous), moved well and made few errors.She has a mental edge when she plays Sveta, who doesn't know what to do and forces a lot of her forehands and first serves.All credit to Golovin who played a smart match.

goldenlox
Oct 6th, 2007, 08:34 PM
I haven't seen any quotes from Sveta yet, but I'll bet she says her abdominals were bothering her. Sveta looked awful today, and she just pulled out of Beijing.

homogenius
Oct 6th, 2007, 08:35 PM
The point I was making is that at the moment Svetlana has difficulties against counterpunchers and players like Golovin. Golovin is a steady player - doesn't have any spectacular shots. Not a counterpuncher as such because she's not a quick mover around the court but she doesn't make many errors. Svetlana has difficulty against players who don't make many errors and she has to force the issue.

That's the beauty of Justine Henin - as you guys pointed out, didn't play great today but still won. Why? She's such a smart player! She knows when to put the pressure on, almost like a well oiled machine.

With Svetlana's natural talent I'm really hoping she can learn from the great players I mentioned at the top of this thread. They had similar problems and overcame them, I'm hoping Svetlana will do the same over the next 12 months. She's got to start thinking more on the court.

Golovin's forehand is spectacular when she attacks the ball.

goldenlox
Oct 6th, 2007, 08:38 PM
Sveta's forehand is a lot better than Golovins. Her forhand won a major and Miami and got to #2.
But today, Sveta had nothing. No power, no placement.

homogenius
Oct 6th, 2007, 08:47 PM
Sveta's forehand is a lot better than Golovins. Her forhand won a major and Miami and got to #2.
But today, Sveta had nothing. No power, no placement.

I didn't compare their forehands.I said that Golovin wasn't a counterpuncher and that she had some great weapons (serve and forehand).Big difference between Sveta and tatiana is that Tatiana actually thinks when she's on the court.She's a smart player who can apply differents tactics.I don't know if we can say that about Sveta.

Slutiana
Oct 6th, 2007, 08:48 PM
Sveta's forehand is a lot better than Golovins. Her forhand won a major and Miami and got to #2.
But today, Sveta had nothing. No power, no placement.

EDIT:See homogenius

Slutiana
Oct 6th, 2007, 08:51 PM
I didn't compare their forehands.I said that Golovin wasn't a counterpuncher and that she had some great weapons (serve and forehand).Big difference between Sveta and tatiana is that Tatiana actually thinks when she's on the court.She's a smart player who can apply differents tactics.I don't know if we can say that about Sveta.

yep. agreed.

homogenius
Oct 6th, 2007, 08:54 PM
Big difference is that Sveta won amajor got to 2 other slam finals and is ranked #2.
Golovin has done very little compared to that.

So now we're comparing their respective career.Stop the bitterness, we're far from the topic of the thread.I never say that Golovin was a better than Kuznetsova for the moment, but she leads the h2h 3-1 now and it's not by counterpunching Sveta.

goldenlox
Oct 6th, 2007, 08:57 PM
I love how Golovin fans bring up h2h's. That makes Zvonareva 10 times the player Golovin is

laurie
Oct 6th, 2007, 09:01 PM
Could we not just stick to the topic of this thread and think of ways how Svetlana can learn to play against steady players who don't make many errors.

Svetlana has to consistently beat all types of players if she wants to become the number 1 player in the world in the next 24 months.

Slutiana
Oct 6th, 2007, 09:01 PM
I love how Golovin fans bring up h2h's. That makes Zvonareva 10 times the player Golovin is

who said anything about zvonereva?

no one said golovin was better than kuznetsova just becuase of heat to head. I think he was just trying to say that tati must have done more than counterpunch and wait for errors to beat her 3 times.

goldenlox
Oct 6th, 2007, 09:04 PM
I've seen Sveta beat better players than Golovin many times. When she's making a lot of errors and not hitting winners, Sveta loses.

goldenlox
Oct 6th, 2007, 09:06 PM
Could we not just stick to the topic of this thread and think of ways how Svetlana can learn to play against steady players who don't make many errors.

Svetlana has to consistently beat all types of players if she wants to become the number 1 player in the world in the next 24 months.If u mean players like Peer, Sveta knows how to beat them. Not rocket science. Keep the points going until u get an open court or short ball.

homogenius
Oct 6th, 2007, 09:08 PM
I love how Golovin fans bring up h2h's. That makes Zvonareva 10 times the player Golovin is

I love how you can't take the critics about some of your faves even when it's obvious that you overrated them.When Petrova had some good streaks last years you claimed that she had a chance to be n°1.Same with Kuznetsova this year.Even if both are good players, it's obvious for everyone except you that they have not the mental capacity to to do such a thing (maybe Sveta can improve in the future).Kuznetsova is talented but she's too inconsistent, rarely play smart tennis (despite her huge skills) and won most of her matches in a "ugly way".
And yes, Golovin owns her.

Fired
Oct 6th, 2007, 09:10 PM
I've seen Sveta beat better players than Golovin many times. When she's making a lot of errors and not hitting winners, Sveta loses.And at the end of the day Sveta is packing in her hotel and Tatiana will play the final tomorrow, end of discusion.

FrenchY52
Oct 6th, 2007, 09:10 PM
I love how you can't take the critics about some of your faves even when it's obvious that you overrated them.When Petrova had some good streaks last years you claimed that she had a chance to be n°1.Same with Kuznetsova this year.Even if both are good players, it's obvious for everyone except you that they have not the mental capacity to to do such a thing (maybe Sveta can improve in the future).Kuznetsova is talented but she's too inconsistent, rarely play smart tennis (despite her huge skills) and won most of her matches in a "ugly way".
And yes, Golovin owns her.

You mean about any Russian player :help:

Slutiana
Oct 6th, 2007, 09:13 PM
I've seen Sveta beat better players than Golovin many times. When she's making a lot of errors and not hitting winners, Sveta loses.

So what you're trying to say is that sveta beated herself. She only hit 20 errors and 22 winners. At least give a little credit to golovin.

goldenlox
Oct 6th, 2007, 09:13 PM
Could we not just stick to the topic of this thread and think of ways how Svetlana can learn to play against steady players who don't make many errors.

Svetlana has to consistently beat all types of players if she wants to become the number 1 player in the world in the next 24 months.If Sveta wants to get to #1 she has to beat players like Justine and Ivanovic at the majors.

svetaisthebest
Oct 6th, 2007, 09:14 PM
Sveta does have difficulties against palyers like Peer,Golovin and Hantuchova as well and its due to their tendency to not hit many unforced errors.This makes Sveta more impatient and hit too many unforced errors herself .I think she should just be a little more patient and then go for her shots .

laurie
Oct 6th, 2007, 09:14 PM
If u mean players like Peer, Sveta knows how to beat them. Not rocket science. Keep the points going until u get an open court or short ball.

Ok, we agree here. But clearly it's not as easy as that for Svetlana.

So is it a fitness issue? A patience issue?

Even though Svetlana is considered a baseliner in technical terms, if you analyze her game, she doesn't play many long rallies at all during the course of a Tennis match. She's usually trying to end the points as quickly as possible. That's her undoing against players like Peer or Golovin or Medina Garrigues who are prepared to keep the ball in play for long periods or until there is an opening.

I think Svetlana has to learn to mix up her game more. For instance, Sampras said that when he played Agassi or Courier he liked to play some long rallies to let his opponents know he can match them in all areas of the game, so he would get into their heads psychologically.

I would like to see Svetlana starting to play longer rallies and not always going for a winner after 3, 4 or 5 shots in the rally. That's why I wonder if its a fitness issue (general fitness ie stamina, not injury).

goldenlox
Oct 6th, 2007, 09:19 PM
It's a health issue. Sveta wasn't healthy early in the year. She had a respiratory illness. Then she was healthy in Dubai and Doha, but was worn down by Miami.
Later on she had abdominal problems.
But all players have injuries and illness. That's why you have to look at a year or 2 and not a match or 2.

laurie
Jan 20th, 2008, 12:24 PM
I thought I would bump this thread up. I want to get your opinion on it. After watching in horror - maybe a dramatic word, but I just think that Svetlana's undoing right now again was against a player (this time Radwanska) that doesn't give her a rythm. Svetlana hasn't been doing well against players who do not make many errors, get many balls back, consequently getting Svetlana frustrated and going for winners way too early, hence making lots of errors, even on return of serve, going for a winner immediately instead of getting the return deep and getting into the points.

I think she can turn it around against players like this by just changing her mentality. She's an attacking player by nature, and plays well against similar players who like to attack, so that type of match up is an even contest of who plays better on the day. I would like to see Svetlana adapt against counterpunchers and steady players by playing them at their own game, then going on the attack when the opportunity presents itself. It would give her a chance to get into a rythm, then her better Tennis skill would come through in the end.

Sampras in a documentary last year about him and Agassi, made an interesting comment. He said that when he played Agassi, he wanted to get into Agassi's head that he could beat Agassi at his own game, he said he enjoyed playing long rallies because when he won those rallies, it sent the message that I can beat you there as well, plus I can attack you, making Agassi frustrated.

I think Svetlana can learn from that by adjusting her way of thinking - as I said in one of the earlier posts, technically she's considered a baseliner but she doesn't play hardly any long baseline rallies of between 10 and 15 shots on a regular basis, she goes for the kill too quickly quite often. I think if she plays players like Radwanska by showing them that she is prepared to play long rallies, getting herself into a rythm and getting a few more errors out of them, then she would win match ups like that much more easily and it will increase her confidence for when she plays players of her calibre in later rounds. Because after losing matches like this, it's a setback for her - and again she is left open to be criticized, which ultimately could hurt her confidence.

Just wonder what you think about that?