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View Full Version : An opinion on the current state of play - Steve Tignor


pov
Mar 23rd, 2009, 06:00 PM
Taken form an article on tennis.com (http://tennisworld.typepad.com/thewrap/2009/03/iw-personality-crisis.html)
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The winner aside, the WTA at Indian Wells was notable for it's abundance of personality in the press room, but a parallel lack of personality or individualism in the playing styles displayed on court. Yes, there was expressiveness—Ivanovic's innocent determination was balanced against Zvonareva's hunched resourcefulness today. And you can find those contrasts in every match. At the same time, the four WTA semifinalists—and almost everyone else in the draw, for that matter—pounded the ball from the baseline, wielded two-handed backhands, and approached the net only when they were blown there accidentally (the three missing stars, Venus, Serena, and Maria, fit all those categories as well).


Has the women's game been over-democratized? The dominant style of WTA play is an outgrowth of what's been taught at the Bollettieri Academy for 30 years. There's a military toughness and precision to it—Nick was an army paratropper, after all—that's undeniably effective: No one can fight the power anymore. But tennis, and women's tennis, has always been a sport of highly unique individuals. It has produced stars as varied and indelible as Steffi Graf, Evonne Goolagong, and Martina Navratilova, each of whom played, sounded, and acted nothing like the others. When you go into the military, you get stronger, harder, and fiercer. But you also have your personality erased. After talking with Cetkovska, Ivanovic, Pavlyuchenkova, Jankovic and others this week, I know there's a lot of life and a lot of unique individuals on this tour. I wish they didn't all express themselves the same way when they stepped on the court.

Orbis
Mar 23rd, 2009, 06:21 PM
I agree, there are many different personalities on tour but little variation in playing styles.

Looking back, Henin was really a diamond in the rough.

Kipling
Mar 23rd, 2009, 06:35 PM
Taken form an article on tennis.com (http://tennisworld.typepad.com/thewrap/2009/03/iw-personality-crisis.html)
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The winner aside, the WTA at Indian Wells was notable for it's abundance of personality in the press room, but a parallel lack of personality or individualism in the playing styles displayed on court. Yes, there was expressiveness—Ivanovic's innocent determination was balanced against Zvonareva's hunched resourcefulness today. And you can find those contrasts in every match. At the same time, the four WTA semifinalists—and almost everyone else in the draw, for that matter—pounded the ball from the baseline, wielded two-handed backhands, and approached the net only when they were blown there accidentally (the three missing stars, Venus, Serena, and Maria, fit all those categories as well).


Has the women's game been over-democratized? The dominant style of WTA play is an outgrowth of what's been taught at the Bollettieri Academy for 30 years. There's a military toughness and precision to it—Nick was an army paratropper, after all—that's undeniably effective: No one can fight the power anymore. But tennis, and women's tennis, has always been a sport of highly unique individuals. It has produced stars as varied and indelible as Steffi Graf, Evonne Goolagong, and Martina Navratilova, each of whom played, sounded, and acted nothing like the others. When you go into the military, you get stronger, harder, and fiercer. But you also have your personality erased. After talking with Cetkovska, Ivanovic, Pavlyuchenkova, Jankovic and others this week, I know there's a lot of life and a lot of unique individuals on this tour. I wish they didn't all express themselves the same way when they stepped on the court.

That is true. Although, I have to say, there are a few players out there who do try to add variety back into their games after developing the power baseline game.

DA FOREHAND
Mar 23rd, 2009, 08:02 PM
That is true. Although, I have to say, there are a few players out there who do try to add variety back into their games after developing the power baseline game.

this is tru which is why I could enjoy CSN's play at the AO, and AGA;s thrashing of Maria at the US Open.


And there's always the tennis tapes and dvd's of yester years greats.

charmedRic
Mar 23rd, 2009, 08:25 PM
true. story.

wally1
Mar 23rd, 2009, 08:44 PM
All sad but true, and by far the biggest problem with women's (and to an increasing extent men's) tennis.

Even more worrying, I can't see how anythings going to change. Tennis academies keep churning out baseliners with double handed backhands. Hard courts continue to dominate the calendar. Rackets get ever more powerful. Volleying skills get less and less. And we continually see matches where UE > Winners.