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View Full Version : Hantuchova hit the ball harder in 2002-2003... why?


Leo_DFP
Jan 10th, 2009, 07:12 PM
Watching some old tapes of Daniela Hantuchova in 2002 and early '03, when she was a young upstart and "the next great player," I noticed that she could really smack the ball from the baseline. She had greater racquet acceleration and hit the ball with more pace. When she returned to the Top 10 in 2007 and then made the AO semis, I feel like she had developed into more of a precision player. She won matches by placing her serves, backhands, and forehands in the corners, but was definitely putting less MPH on her shots than 5-6 years before.

Why do you think she's lost some of that power? I mean in many ways she's a bigger girl with more weight and muscle. Was it the freedom and confidence of youth that made her hitter harder shots?

Demska
Jan 10th, 2009, 07:13 PM
pre AO 2008 SF 6-0 2-0

Kworb
Jan 10th, 2009, 07:19 PM
Daniela is much better as a precision player. Just look at how she destroyed peak Ivanovic at 2008 AO before she caved mentally.

IceHock
Jan 10th, 2009, 07:19 PM
lol i actually thought about this not just with daniela but also with roddick. the announcers always say when the players mature they some become better, but i disagree heavily, when they are younger, they are fearless and go for their shots, they don't care where the ball goes. both daniela and andy went for their shots when they were younger without fear, now that they have matured they just don't do it anymore, they play more consistently not going for winners, although i think daniela still does go for lines alot though but not with some mindset that she is going to making it.

mirzalover
Jan 10th, 2009, 07:22 PM
^ Yeah I noticed that Roddick definately doesnt have the same pop on his shots her used to. Sometimes I feel like him trying develop everywhere else messed up what he is best at, hitting the crap out of his serve and forehand.

Infiniti2001
Jan 10th, 2009, 07:22 PM
Gosh I remember back then. So much potential, unfortunately the girl is more concerned with the way she looks on the court than her tennis :shrug:

Leo_DFP
Jan 10th, 2009, 07:25 PM
lol i actually thought about this not just with daniela but also with roddick. the announcers always say when the players mature they some become better, but i disagree heavily, when they are younger, they are fearless and go for their shots, they don't care where the ball goes. both daniela and andy went for their shots when they were younger without fear, now that they have matured they just don't do it anymore, they play more consistently not going for winners, although i think daniela still does go for lines alot though but not with some mindset that she is going to making it.

I completely agree. Roddick used to crush the ball back in 2001 when he was new to the scene! And after 2004, when his confidence began to drop, he really started sliding further and further behind the baseline, becoming passive, hitting with topspin, and barely making any groundstroke winners during matches. He had to rely on the serve even more than ever, and opponents had the skills to read it and return it.

I think if you would compare the number of groundstroke winners from their early days to the present for both Hantuchova and Roddick, you would see a similar drop-off!

Leo_DFP
Jan 10th, 2009, 07:27 PM
Daniela is much better as a precision player. Just look at how she destroyed peak Ivanovic at 2008 AO before she caved mentally.

Yes... but Ivanovic was also doing a good job beating herself, no?

And what makes Hantuchova less than sufficient as a precision player is that lack of mental strength and consistency. She doesn't have the shot selection necessary to being a consistent Top 10 player as a precision player. I kinda missed when she went for her shots more! Only the Williams and Davenport could "bully" her on hard or grass in 2002; otherwise, she was in it.

IceHock
Jan 10th, 2009, 07:33 PM
Yes... but Ivanovic was also doing a good job beating herself, no?

And what makes Hantuchova less than sufficient as a precision player is that lack of mental strength and consistency. She doesn't have the shot selection necessary to being a consistent Top 10 player as a precision player. I kinda missed when she went for her shots more! Only the Williams and Davenport could "bully" her on hard or grass in 2002; otherwise, she was in it.

the heel injury really set her back last year though, i mean i know the fact that her mentality is always going to be there, some can cope with the moment and some can't. but that being said, her fall of '07 to ao '08 she was playing some great consistent precision tennis, i honestly think ana didn't have a chance when she got bageled because daniela was getting the first strike almost every time and doing damage, i mean she could have played better yes but daniela was playing lethal tennis for the first 8 games then we all know what happened to her head. her serve now btw is awful, since the heel injury she changed her motion i guess this year and it's not as good anymore. i think she needs a coach that tells her to just play freely and go for her shots, you have to risks in tennis if you want to win, i'd like to see make some more, but i do think fall '07 and ao'08 were good signs for her, she is very capable of pulling off alot of shots, if she starts doing it then maybe it will start to come back to her.

Volcana
Jan 10th, 2009, 07:48 PM
The rest of the tour has adjusted to the power game. Pure power players were swamping the tour from 1999-2003. Check it out. Virtually ALL of them, who were around then, are using less power and more precision.

Tennisstar86
Jan 10th, 2009, 08:03 PM
because shes older? and no i dont mean shes so old she cant do it anymore, but the older you get as a player (more mature/ wiser) the more you realize you dont have to throw all your body weight behind every shot you hit.

Notice, Venus/ Serena/ Hantuchova all of them they set their shots up more now, move the player around with medium paced shots before going for a kill shot when they get a short ball/ better look on it.

Dawn Marie
Jan 10th, 2009, 08:14 PM
Daniela's problem is mental. She still has problems with overthinking, underthinking.. playing a stupid shot and the wrong time. etc etc. She also makes errors but doesn't back them up with her arsenal. Her serve shouldbe more of a weapon and she should be attacking the net more. I still don't think we seen all that she has to offer. Her strokes are fluid and she can play the net.

As far as Roddick, well he's all over the place. To many coaches and no net game.

OsloErik
Jan 10th, 2009, 08:22 PM
She thinks more now. Back then, she was much more instinctive. She was a player with great tennis instincts, and those players can't afford to over think.

Leo_DFP
Jan 10th, 2009, 08:55 PM
She thinks more now. Back then, she was much more instinctive. She was a player with great tennis instincts, and those players can't afford to over think.

Well said.

fufuqifuqishahah
Jan 10th, 2009, 08:57 PM
She thinks more now. Back then, she was much more instinctive. She was a player with great tennis instincts, and those players can't afford to over think.

She thinks too much about the occasion. It messes her up.


She should have been owned by Maria in the AO Final, not lose to Ana. >_>

IceHock
Jan 10th, 2009, 09:01 PM
She thinks too much about the occasion. It messes her up.


She should have been owned by Maria in the AO Final, not lose to Ana. >_>

i know, i'm not gunna lie though, i remember i was talking to my friend on aim just watching daniela play ana without really any thought then when she won the first set so easily i was like wait a minute here, grand slam final and i was like holy shit daniela is gunna do this then i got nervous waiting for her to screw up and he did, i still remember the game ana broker her to serve it out, all of ana's points won were daniela's errors.

Leo_DFP
Jan 10th, 2009, 09:03 PM
The rest of the tour has adjusted to the power game. Pure power players were swamping the tour from 1999-2003. Check it out. Virtually ALL of them, who were around then, are using less power and more precision.

This is partly true, but it neglects that while Venus and Serena can still rip the ball and put away points in a second, Hantuchova lacks that raw power. She used to have more of it. I'm not saying that Dani should play like a brainless, dumb ball-basher. In fact, she never did! But I wish she could finish off the points like she used to with hard forehands and backhands, instead of relying on placement (which for her, comes and goes).

Beny
Jan 10th, 2009, 09:05 PM
Gosh I remember back then. So much potential, unfortunately the girl is more concerned with the way she looks on the court than her tennis :shrug:

:bs:

she works really hard, doesn't care that much about looks.it has nothing to do with that.

Daniela is too inconsistent, but I'm sure she'll get back to top ten..maybe even top five

Lunaris
Jan 10th, 2009, 10:19 PM
Back then she was coached by Nigel Sears who wanted her to be a really aggressive player, perhaps too much aggressive, which I think was one of the reasons why she left him eventually. After a few brief periods when she was either without a coach or cooperated with Harold Solomon she began working with those spanish guys from Barcelona who implanted a bit of topspin into her game and imo less aggressive approach to her tennis in general. They also did a lot of work with her footwork. Unfortunately after that heel injury she suffered it's not as good anymore.

Another thing, as danFan's already pointed out, is that she was more courageous, had nothing to lose and took the whole tennis world easier as young people tend to.

As for Roddick, his forehand definitely isn't as penetrating as it used to be, probably Connor's doing. Therefore, due to lack of other options, he is forced to come to the net much more often where he, because of his inability to hit a decent approach shot, looks like a clown of the highest order that gets passed frequently regardless of who stands on the other side of the net.
She thinks more now. Back then, she was much more instinctive. She was a player with great tennis instincts, and those players can't afford to over think.
If we are supposed to believe every story we read in newspaper (no tabloid trash) then she always thought too much about her tennis even as a child apparently. When she was a little 7 years old girl her coach told her that she was thinking too much about her play when she was on the court and even asked her why did she want to play tennis because too much thinking isn't the best thing to be born with if one wants to be a tennis player.
This is partly true, but it neglects that while Venus and Serena can still rip the ball and put away points in a second, Hantuchova lacks that raw power. She used to have more of it. I'm not saying that Dani should play like a brainless, dumb ball-basher. In fact, she never did! But I wish she could finish off the points like she used to with hard forehands and backhands, instead of relying on placement (which for her, comes and goes).
She still has that power but doesn't use it as much. You can notice that she hits the ball with the rackethead more opened now, especially on bh side.
Gosh I remember back then. So much potential, unfortunately the girl is more concerned with the way she looks on the court than her tennis :shrug:
Yeah, that's why Hantuchova, according to Nikkie, spent a great deal of time on practice courts today.
I swear I'll never understand why some of you Williams trolls post here because your posts are either a total bullshit or you bash another player.

OsloErik
Jan 23rd, 2009, 10:54 AM
I hate to bump a thread about Hantuchova, because it's just so tragic, but...

I wonder if this is what's happening to Ivanovic? She seems like she's contemplating her options. One of the perks (or maybe not, I guess) of her improved fitness is increased options, and she can't play as instinctively when she has more at her disposal. And it could be that it's just sinking in; or just started sinking in in 2008. She played very naturally, but she looks like she's just out-thinking herself a lot of the time. And that can mess with your ball toss for sure.

So Disrespectful
Jan 23rd, 2009, 10:56 AM
Regarding Daniela.

If you watch carefully, her body movement into her forehand was completely different in 2002. She got off the ground on some of her big strokes, now she's completely planted.

fufuqifuqishahah
Jan 23rd, 2009, 11:08 AM
Regarding Daniela.

If you watch carefully, her body movement into her forehand was completely different in 2002. She got off the ground on some of her big strokes, now she's completely planted.

Daniela is a much different player now. Mentally she is much worse than when she first burst onto the scene (but much better than shortly after her scene bursting)

mandy7
Jan 23rd, 2009, 11:20 AM
Gosh I remember back then. So much potential, unfortunately the girl is more concerned with the way she looks on the court than her tennis :shrug:
That's a load of crap..

She does not put that much effort into how she looks, she does not request special things from nike, (and nike doesn't force it on her either) she wears what a lot of players wear, the only difference is that she makes basic things look good.

It's not like she's Mattek-ing or something.

Her outfits are basic, she hardly wears make up, her hair is always tucked back under the visor, either in a ponytail or in a braid... i mean, how is that being concerned about how you look on court?

fufuqifuqishahah
Jan 23rd, 2009, 11:24 AM
That's a load of crap..

She does not put that much effort into how she looks, she does not request special things from nike, (and nike doesn't force it on her either) she wears what a lot of players wear, the only difference is that she makes basic things look good.

It's not like she's Mattek-ing or something.

Her outfits are basic, she hardly wears make up, her hair is always tucked back under the visor, either in a ponytail or in a braid... i mean, how is that being concerned about how you look on court?

I totally agree with you mandy7. However, I think there is a possibility that Infiniti was maybe referring to getting into better overall tennis shape, which I personally really have no idea about because I am not Hantuchova.

dany.p
Jan 23rd, 2009, 01:49 PM
I've always felt the Hantuchova, for some reason, lost power with her groundstrokes after 2002. I think i rememer Conchita Martinez saying that when she played her in 2002, and then played her again i think 2 years later, she felt hantuchova was not hitting the ball as hard as hard as she used to. i'm still a big fan. She has nice, flowing groundstrokes. Very cool to watch.

Also agree about what people are saying about Roddick. His forehand used to be huge. It was a weapon players were afraid of. He's definitely not hitting it as hard now as when he first burst on to the scene.