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debopero
Jul 11th, 2008, 06:01 PM
How does height give a disadvantage to players? There have been so many short players who have been succesful so how exactly is it that big of slight? This goes for both he man and women tours. I do not understand.

Pheobo
Jul 11th, 2008, 06:41 PM
It just depends on how you use your height.

Venus is about 6'2, moves like a cheetah and (sometimes :tape:) has a wicked serve.
Davenport is very tall and has never moved very well...however, she is able to compensate with excellent ball placement, which made her career successful.
Hantuchova is about 6'1 (maybe) and moves like a drunk hippo and has never really been able to make up for it.

It's just like being shorter. Depending on how you use it there are advantages and disadvantages.

young_gunner913
Jul 11th, 2008, 06:45 PM
It just depends on how you use your height.

Venus is about 6'2, moves like a cheetah and (sometimes :tape:) has a wicked serve.
Davenport is very tall and has never moved very well...however, she is able to compensate with excellent ball placement, which made her career successful.
Hantuchova is about 6'1 (maybe) and moves like a drunk hippo and has never really been able to make up for it.

It's just like being shorter. Depending on how you use it there are advantages and disadvantages.

:spit::haha::rolls:

Expat
Jul 11th, 2008, 06:45 PM
How does height give a disadvantage to players? There have been so many short players who have been succesful so how exactly is it that big of slight? This goes for both he man and women tours. I do not understand.
the serve and play at the net is where height gets huge importance
if you have height AND power you can generate a huge serve and follow it up with good netplay if your movement is good because it is difficult to pass the tall player

it is specially relevant on faster surfaces like old Wimbledon grass or USO style hard court

good examples are ivo karlovic and john isner
they have limited games but their serves are absolutely huge

Infiniti2001
Jul 11th, 2008, 06:54 PM
It just depends on how you use your height.

Venus is about 6'2, moves like a cheetah and (sometimes :tape:) has a wicked serve.
Davenport is very tall and has never moved very well...however, she is able to compensate with excellent ball placement, which made her career successful.
Hantuchova is about 6'1 (maybe) and moves like a drunk hippo and has never really been able to make up for it.

It's just like being shorter. Depending on how you use it there are advantages and disadvantages.

:spit: lemonade on keyboard :haha::help: So true about the use of height. On the men side Mario Ancic moves like a drunk hippo too :lol:

vadin124
Jul 11th, 2008, 09:54 PM
Dani is 5ft11 1/2

UDACHi
Jul 11th, 2008, 09:56 PM
in terms of movement, elena dementieva and venus williams are two of the speediest and on tour and also the tallest. but most of the 6' and over club have the drunken hippo syndrome going on. i've never understood the enormous hype around short players succeeding on tour, but that's just me.

Rollo
Jul 11th, 2008, 10:02 PM
Height can also be a disadvantage when it comes to bending your knees. Nowadays balls tend it sit up more than in the past, but for low bouncing surfaces and balls it better to be close to the ground!

goldenlox
Jul 11th, 2008, 10:15 PM
Look at the slam finalists this year. Ana, Maria, Venus and Dinara are all over 6 feet.
It's a weight thing as much as height. Usually taller is heavier and stronger.
Without Justine on the tour, weight is going to matter more than it did.

Williamsser
Jul 11th, 2008, 11:29 PM
That's why Donald Young will not succeed. He is under 6'0".

IanRadi
Jul 11th, 2008, 11:37 PM
It just depends on how you use your height.

Venus is about 6'2, moves like a cheetah and (sometimes :tape:) has a wicked serve.
Davenport is very tall and has never moved very well...however, she is able to compensate with excellent ball placement, which made her career successful.
Hantuchova is about 6'1 (maybe) and moves like a drunk hippo and has never really been able to make up for it.

It's just like being shorter. Depending on how you use it there are advantages and disadvantages.

Like a drunk hippo! :spit: :haha:

Josh.
Jul 11th, 2008, 11:41 PM
Dani is 5ft11 1/2

Let's just say she is 6ft yeah?

baleineau
Jul 12th, 2008, 12:11 AM
being tall can make it hard to change direction - shorter players are generally more nimble and compact. classic examples of short player having big success as a result of being quick and nimble are arantxa sanchez vicario and amanda coetzer. neither had great serves or could dominate you at net, but both retrieved well, scampered around the baseline and were very quick to deal with short low balls. classic examples of tall players coming unstuck because of movement are lindsay davenport, mary pierce and maria sharapova. if you hit behind them/wrong foot them they find it very difficult to change direction and then recover position. same if you drop shot them or hit short angles - they will try to hit an outright winner because they know they will be out of position.

Dave.
Jul 12th, 2008, 12:22 AM
Advantages + Disadvantages of both.

Lindsay Davenport has used her height very well for the serve and taking high balls on the rise. Lindsay can easily smack down a winner off a ball that most players would struggle with. The height also allows her to reach more balls and find better angles. However, we all know Lindsay's movement issues and earlier in her career, Lindsay struggled with low sliced balls to her forehand. Venus Williams is a superb athlete and is able to move extremely well despite being tall, and she gets low to balls well too.

Shorter players are generally better movers and have a lower centre of gravity so can change direction easier. Amanda Coetzer had a very successful career and one of the reasons for that was getting alot of balls back in play.

OsloErik
Jul 12th, 2008, 02:01 AM
It partially has to do with the flatness of the ball. A shorter player has more difficulty generating powerful topspin (Kuznetsova's forehand, for example) than powerful flat shots, but powerful flat shots have less of a margin for error. Take Henin's serve, for example. She hit her 2nd serve at a higher speed average than basically anyone on tour, but she didn't get very much action on it. She was physically limited in what kind of serve she could hit because of her height. She took the chance of hitting more double faults, which players of comparable height and lesser serves (Evert, Hingis) did not. As a result, short players either hit with (generally) lots of topspin but little pace (ASV, Coetzer) or hard, flat, and erratically (the others). Only a few true shorties (Henin, Evert) have managed to balance hitting with power and hitting with topspin in a way to keep the ball in play (topspin) without compromising control of the point (power).

Taller players can do a lot more with their serves as well, as I indicated earlier, and have better reach, which helps at the net. But, very few of the taller women are particularly quick, whereas there aren't many slow short players. Shorter players have slightly better balance on the average due to their center of gravity, but taller players can get to balls by virtue of being longer limbed. Also, on a couple surfaces, height is a huge help. Being in the 5'8''-6'0'' range is helpful on clay as the high bounces affect you less, while on grass, the two extremes are more beneficial as the tall players are that much tougher to break serve against while the shorter players are that much lower to the ground naturally.

Also, tall people can generally put on more muscle mass without dramatically hindering their movement. Long legs and arms give you more area to distribute the muscle to, which keeps you still lean enough to move unencumbered. Put the same amount of muscle weight on a shorty and they develop a slight waddling effect, like a bird.

ZeroSOFInfinity
Jul 12th, 2008, 02:16 AM
Hantuchova is about 6'1 (maybe) and moves like a drunk hippo and has never really been able to make up for it.

Didn't knew she grew another 2 inches since I last remembered :scratch:

But yeah, like most of the people said in here, being shorter or taller has its disadvantages. The player would have to find out how to turn them into an advantage if they want to win a tournament, never mind a match.

That said, anyone has seen Akgul play before?

architennis
Jul 12th, 2008, 02:21 AM
It just depends on how you use your height.

Venus is about 6'2, moves like a cheetah and (sometimes :tape:) has a wicked serve.
Davenport is very tall and has never moved very well...however, she is able to compensate with excellent ball placement, which made her career successful.
Hantuchova is about 6'1 (maybe) and moves like a drunk hippo and has never really been able to make up for it.

It's just like being shorter. Depending on how you use it there are advantages and disadvantages.

thank you for making me laugh. :lol:

Like others have said..height has both advantages and disadvantages. Venus and Justine prove that.

Cp6uja
Jul 12th, 2008, 02:24 AM
Usually taller is heavier and stronger.Not usualy - ALWAYS! Without extra-power tall players is ridiculous and others will play cat-mause game with them. On other hand when tall player is endowed with extra-power she can use that way more productive than others. That is reason why is number of realy tall girls (185/6'1 and taller) is so minor - but on other hand almost all of them realy rocks.

If we look for example current TOP300 players less than 10 is 185+ (8 or 9), so more than 290 is under 185cm (<6'1). But on other hand in same group of players we have currently 7 active grand slam winners and 4 of them is 185+ girls!!!

In deep past, with wooden racquets and not so effective trainings (for muscules and better movement) like in modern time, 185+ girls is simple hopeless in generaly, because even if they have that extra-power, they dont have way to use that enough effective. With progress of racquet tehnology and higher level of athletes trainings theys chances become better and better and about 30 years ago Helena Sukova couple times is close to reach slam title. Since 2nd part of '90s with Lindsay and Venus "Giants" become serious GS title contenders, and if we look newest WTA generation with Maria and Ana like current leaders it seems that 185+ girls is even ready for domination in near future. Of course all that in terms of #1 Race and GS titles... when we still have about 10 in TOP300 it's ridiculous to talking about 185+ (6'1+) girls upcoming domination or about giant girls invasion on WTA tour.

So my point is that high height (185+) is very big handicap for girls, except in very rare cases (girls with extra-power abilities) when that become to be actualy bless from God.

Now talking about very short players (about 160cm) it's always handicap (i mean in modern era). Talking about Coetzer case i never realy admit her TOP5 status b/c she is just extremly lucky that played her career best tennis in 1997 when all TOP4 from previous 1996 year (Graf, Seles, ASV and Martinez) have free fall season and Amanda simple use that unique opportunity and empty space in rankings. Steffi, Monica, Arantxa and Conchita almost every season since 1990 finished at TOP4, but in that 1997 all 4 go out of top4 at end of season. Coetzer played more than 15 seasons and 10 seasons in the row finished like TOP20 - but just in that 1997 she finished in TOP10 and she is #4!?! So i not agree that Coetzer is proof that 1.60 girl is able to be TOP5 player in nowdays... yes, but only in extremly bizzare situation when whole one generation of players go out in same time and new still not come, so solid players on her peak very benefit because that. So i think limit is more about #10 place which Sugiyama for example reach.

Of course i talking here just about extreme cases when height is handicap.

debopero
Jul 12th, 2008, 02:58 AM
I just asked because I am wondering if my serve sucks becasue fo my height :help: . But I suppose it is no excuse.

Apoleb
Jul 12th, 2008, 03:02 AM
OsloErik said it perfectly.

In summary, taller generally means 1) better serve (huge advantage) 2) better reach 3) better ability to cope with shots with lots of power and top spin. There are some drawbacks which mainly are getting to low balls, but they don't live up to the advantages.

That's why with the exception of Justine, the best performers in the GS this last decade have been huge girls. Ana, Maria, Venus, Serena, Lindsay..etc.

moby
Jul 12th, 2008, 03:18 AM
There are always advantages to being tall. They've pretty much been covered.

I just want to say that short players don't have as much of a natural speed advantage as we think. The tall players we see are generally slower than the short players, in part due to their higher centres of gravity, but also because they can get away with being slow.

In other words, the short and slow players never make it to the tour. The tall and slow players do, because they can compensate with their power.