PDA

View Full Version : Who will be the next 'Force' on grass/at Wimbledon post-Williams?


The Dawntreader
Jul 12th, 2009, 05:29 PM
Maybe a little late to be having a Wimbledon discussion, but it's a queation that has been puzzling me. As we know, Serena and Venus right now have the games most efficient and effective on grass right now. Huge serving, the willingness to finish the point early and the movement most competent to suceeed on this surface. However when they're gone, who is going to take up the mantle? Let's evaulate the competition on grass:

Dementieva- Improved serve, and has shown she is able to compete in high-octane rallies. Still IMO doesn't move as effectively as on other surfaces. I don't think her traction is as fluid step to step.

Kuznetsova- On paper has all the shots for grass, and her volley technique is highly underrated. However her court-positioning is WAY too defensive. Against Liscki, she was being forced to scramble at every oppurtunity because her decreased length was induced by how far back she was. Has decent versatility on grass too IMO.

Sharapova- Back in 04/05 she looked very much the grass-queen in waiting. Had the constant bite and rythm on her first serve and her first strike was immense and she could actually back herself up with adequate enough movement. Nowadays though, i fear her movement has gone the other way, and she looks very vulnerable against baseliners who look to attack. Serve is not the force it was either.

Azarenka- To a casual eye, she probably looks the ideal candidate. High percentage serving, seemingly 'thunderous' groundstrokes and the willingness to try and move forward. However her forehand lacks the nessecary adaptability in high-pace rallies and her serve and generally hitting isn't as dominating as Sharapova at the same age. Her groundstrokes actually employ more spin that allows monstrous hitters like Serena and Venus to take advantage.

Jankovic- Has the movement, has the ball control, but where is her first-strike on grass. The one surface she can't get away with building up the rallies and outlasting her opponents.

There are many more i could discuss, but what are your thoughts. Are we going to see the grass only help the players in the ilk of Venus and Serena, or will grass eventually have to accomodate winners on grass who are completely poles apart from the norm of what it takes to win on the surface? Will it still be a relatively specialist surface?

Vaidisova Ruled
Jul 12th, 2009, 05:33 PM
Venus and Serena are here to stay.
So it could be someone we don't know yet.
in 5 years, Kristina Mladenovic (huge serve, huge forehand) will be 21. Maybe Her? Laura Robson ?

It's way too far. Who would have thought 2 years ago that Dinara would be #1 ?

Otlichno
Jul 12th, 2009, 05:41 PM
Definitely Lena...She really has improved and as far as I could see in her match against Serena her serve isn't average anymore it's actually pretty good. I think I may be the only one who thinks this but Aga seems to be really good on Grass...maybe I'm being a little bias here because I'm a fan of hers.

Shvedbarilescu
Jul 12th, 2009, 05:50 PM
Elena Dementieva is actually the only one month younger than Serena Williams so it hardly makes sense to talk about her as a player to take over when the Williams sisters are gone.

The Dawntreader
Jul 12th, 2009, 05:54 PM
Elena Dementieva is actually the only one month younger than Serena Williams so it hardly makes sense to talk about her as a player to take over when the Williams sisters are gone.

Elena to me is a player who could have immense longevity on tour. She's the most constantly fit player on tour.

Thkmra
Jul 12th, 2009, 06:10 PM
Both the Radwanska's, particularly Agi. She has the necessay footwork, along with the ability to adapt on this surface like no other. Though her serve will not stand her in good stead, as it's her achilles heel

And Lisicki...Of course the serve,, and the big groundstrokes. Though she'll never be speedy around her court,But If she were able to somehow transition to more of a mid-court player, and be willing to take the ball a little more earlier instead of taking good cuts, she'd definitely be a contender!!

adner
Jul 12th, 2009, 06:20 PM
Lisicki, Radwanska, Azarenka, maybe Ivanovic. Sharapova if healthy and back to good form will dominate all of listed before.

Corswandt
Jul 12th, 2009, 06:27 PM
However when they're gone, who is going to take up the mantle?

Nobody. Wimbledon will become completely random and consequently its prestige will steadily decrease.

Dementieva- Still IMO doesn't move as effectively as on other surfaces. I don't think her traction is as fluid step to step.

Disagree. She's one of the Tour's top 4 grasscourt movers (sisters + Jankovic being the other 3). And grass gives her flat FH more bite. Still, she won't win Wimbledon or any other GS as I feel that she won't be able to keep up her current physical condition for much longer.

Sharapova- Back in 04/05 she looked very much the grass-queen in waiting. Had the constant bite and rythm on her first serve and her first strike was immense and she could actually back herself up with adequate enough movement. Nowadays though, i fear her movement has gone the other way, and she looks very vulnerable against baseliners who look to attack. Serve is not the force it was either.

Azarenka- To a casual eye, she probably looks the ideal candidate. High percentage serving, seemingly 'thunderous' groundstrokes and the willingness to try and move forward. However her forehand lacks the nessecary adaptability in high-pace rallies and her serve and generally hitting isn't as dominating as Sharapova at the same age. Her groundstrokes actually employ more spin that allows monstrous hitters like Serena and Venus to take advantage.

Jankovic- Has the movement, has the ball control, but where is her first-strike on grass. The one surface she can't get away with building up the rallies and outlasting her opponents.

Spot on, particularly about Jankovic.

Azarenka's shots actually don't have that much spin in them, apart from when she's forced to take the ball late on the FH side and can only loop it up. She just lacks the raw power the elite (sisters, Ivanovic, Kuznetsova) has. She was outgunned by such a huge margin by Serena in that QF that I wonder what people who claimed that it would be a tightly contested match (and I had my hopes too) were smoking. Not Slam winning material, but let's leave that for another thread.

Havok
Jul 12th, 2009, 07:57 PM
Nobody, really. If Ivanovic gets her game together again, her serve + forehand combo can prove deadly on grass. If Sharapova gets her game back to the level it once was again, including her serve, she will also be tough on grass. We probably have yet to see the next dominant Wimbledon star.

I don't think we will see one single person dominate/consistently have good results at Wimbledon like we used to with Serena, Venus, Steffi, Lindsay, Martina and so on.

young_gunner913
Jul 12th, 2009, 08:05 PM
Queen Bethanie Mattek-Sands or bust.

Go on Beth, I Beelieve. :hearts:

Slutiana
Jul 12th, 2009, 08:27 PM
My gurks Hecog and Oudin. :bowdown:

starin
Jul 12th, 2009, 08:44 PM
i was kinda unimpressed w/ Lisiki at Wimbledon. Except for a few games here and there where she seemed to blast everything, she looked very ordinary and clumsy movement wise.

I wouldn't be surprised if Radwanska sneaks in a Wimbledon win if the WS lose form, lose early or retire. I don't understand how or why Radwanks is so successful on grass but she has put up very consistent results on the surface and if it wasn't for the fact that she's drawn a WS in the QF for two straight years I think she would've made a SF by now.

frenchie
Jul 12th, 2009, 09:03 PM
i was kinda unimpressed w/ Lisiki at Wimbledon. Except for a few games here and there where she seemed to blast everything, she looked very ordinary and clumsy movement wise.

I wouldn't be surprised if Radwanska sneaks in a Wimbledon win if the WS lose form, lose early or retire. I don't understand how or why Radwanks is so successful on grass but she has put up very consistent results on the surface and if it wasn't for the fact that she's drawn a WS in the QF for two straight years I think she would've made a SF by now.

because she loves playing on grass which is the most important thing

other youngsters (except Wozniacki) hate grass

Pureracket
Jul 12th, 2009, 09:03 PM
I was kinda thinking they'd just cancel the Ladies tourney after Venus/Serena retired.

Marionated
Jul 12th, 2009, 09:08 PM
Sabine Lisicki.

frenchie
Jul 12th, 2009, 09:09 PM
^NO

Bartoli YES

Marionated
Jul 12th, 2009, 09:15 PM
^NO

Bartoli YES

Marion has lost to Mattek-Sands and Schiavone the the last two years (and in straight sets), so no. In fact, I'd say she's more of a threat at the US open.

Why not Sabine? She's got the huge serve and groundies, and a nice bit of touch with her drop shots.

jamatthews
Jul 12th, 2009, 09:16 PM
Nobody. Wimbledon will become completely random and consequently its prestige will steadily decrease.


This was a major worry for me after last year, and this year didn't exactly fill me with confidence.

wally1
Jul 12th, 2009, 09:26 PM
Nobody. Wimbledon will become completely random and consequently its prestige will steadily decrease.I don't understand this point, isn't that the case at the other majors?

Anyway, to answer the question, given the Williams will likely be dominating Wimby for another couple of years at least, it's too early to tell. If I had to guess I'd say Ivanovic, Lisicki, Robson :)

Volcana
Jul 12th, 2009, 09:30 PM
Lisicki. She a year away, maybe two, but the serve is a monster.

ArturoAce.
Jul 12th, 2009, 09:36 PM
nok lertcheewakarn (sp?)

Volcana
Jul 12th, 2009, 09:43 PM
First serve. The second serve is a major liability. It's either a 70 MPH sitter or a double fault.Hence the year. Hopefully spent studying the Dementieva formula for cost/benefit on second serve.Lisicki's average 2nd serve speed in Wimbledon was about 82 - 91 mph not 70. :lol:Hence the year. Even a 90 mph serve, with enough topspin, is a sitting duck with composite rackets and these... I don't have an adjective for it .... strings. It just sits up to high.

mk27
Jul 12th, 2009, 09:44 PM
First serve. The second serve is a major liability. It's either a 70 MPH sitter or a double fault.
Lisicki's average 2nd serve speed in Wimbledon was about 82 - 91 mph not 70. :lol:

wally1
Jul 12th, 2009, 10:02 PM
Because she was slicing it to the forehand quite a bit on the grass. Even still that speed is deceptive because even her slice serve was looking very attackable.

When she imparts topspin/kick on her second serve its in the mid 70s and it is waiting to be attacked. She really doesn't have the movement or defense to compensate if someone really takes it to her second serve. Her second serve needs a lot of work.

The motion is like Clijsters, the production like Venus.

For someone who can consistently serve 120s, your second serve should not be in the 70s. That's a 50 MPH dropoff in difference.Lisicki's main problem with the 2nd serve is she serves too many doubles. Apart from that it's hardly the major weakness you make it out to be.

Slutiana
Jul 12th, 2009, 10:08 PM
Lisicki. She a year away, maybe two, but the serve is a monster.
Serve doesn't win you everything though! Her groundstrokes can be good to, but she's so streaky, she has one tournament in charleston and then we don't hear about her until wimbledon. Sure, she was injured and ill and what have you but her game is pretty BBBB still.

Freakan
Jul 12th, 2009, 10:11 PM
Pennetta! :hearts: And Dokic! :rocker:

Kworb
Jul 12th, 2009, 10:15 PM
Sesil Karatantcheva

Corswandt
Jul 12th, 2009, 10:32 PM
I don't understand this point, isn't that the case at the other majors?

No because only Wimbledon has two clear cut favourites and then nobody else. For the hardcourt Slams you can point at least a few other contenders, and RG has its own set of favourites.

I fear that the results at Wimbledon in the near future will become as random as those in lower tier grasscourt events.

Volcana
Jul 12th, 2009, 10:38 PM
Serve doesn't win you everything though!Sure. But this is about Wimbledon. Serve is much moe of a factor there.

flyingmachine
Jul 12th, 2009, 10:41 PM
Lisicki especially if she fix her second serve.
Sveta she the game but she do need to attack more.
If you going even down the line maybe Robson.

wally1
Jul 12th, 2009, 10:53 PM
No because only Wimbledon has two clear cut favourites and then nobody else. For the hardcourt Slams you can point at least a few other contenders, and RG has its own set of favourites.

I fear that the results at Wimbledon in the near future will become as random as those in lower tier grasscourt events.Don't think so. Players who win hardcourt slams will win Wimbledon, much like it's been in the past. Venus Williams (winning Wimby but not winning much anywhere else) is more unusual than anything.

AnnaK_4ever
Jul 12th, 2009, 10:54 PM
No because only Wimbledon has two clear cut favourites and then nobody else. For the hardcourt Slams you can point at least a few other contenders, and RG has its own set of favourites.

I fear that the results at Wimbledon in the near future will become as random as those in lower tier grasscourt events.

My thoughts exactly.

I'm afraid the Ladies Championships is gonna turn into what Roland Garros used to be on the men's side.

LightWarrior
Jul 12th, 2009, 11:18 PM
I fear that the results at Wimbledon in the near future will become as random as those in lower tier grasscourt events.

I disagree. Grass is still a different surface. Low bounce, you need to be quick and fast. Safina can't play on it, Kuzny either for instance. You need to hit flat. I'd go with Azarenka or Oudin maybe. But the WS are goining to play for many more years at Wimby so the topic it premature.

RenaSlam.
Jul 12th, 2009, 11:43 PM
No one.

OsloErik
Jul 13th, 2009, 01:09 AM
Dementieva- Improved serve, and has shown she is able to compete in high-octane rallies. Still IMO doesn't move as effectively as on other surfaces. I don't think her traction is as fluid step to step.

She's Serena's age...so...she's not going to be around post-Williams. I'd be stunned if she remains as highly ranked as she is the entire time the Williams sisters are playing. She's done well to not slide in the rankings this year (VERY well), but she isn't going to win a slam off of hardcourts.

Kuznetsova- On paper has all the shots for grass, and her volley technique is highly underrated. However her court-positioning is WAY too defensive. Against Liscki, she was being forced to scramble at every oppurtunity because her decreased length was induced by how far back she was. Has decent versatility on grass too IMO.

I think Kuznetsova, moreso than any other player right now, is at a disadvantage due to the close clay and grass seasons. She adjusts her game dramatically for clay (a step back, more topspin on the backhand, 75% kick 2nd serve vs. slice 2nd serve) and all those things need to be inverted (a step forward, flatter backhand, 75% slice 2nd serve vs. kick 2nd serve) on grass. Her serve-and-volley tactics in 2007 worked against the lower ranked opponents, but she needs have a better 1st strike approach against the legions of quality aggressive returners on the tour.

Sharapova- Back in 04/05 she looked very much the grass-queen in waiting. Had the constant bite and rythm on her first serve and her first strike was immense and she could actually back herself up with adequate enough movement. Nowadays though, i fear her movement has gone the other way, and she looks very vulnerable against baseliners who look to attack. Serve is not the force it was either.

Jury's still out. I need to see a full season of healthy play before I proclaim her a future slam winner again.

Azarenka- To a casual eye, she probably looks the ideal candidate. High percentage serving, seemingly 'thunderous' groundstrokes and the willingness to try and move forward. However her forehand lacks the nessecary adaptability in high-pace rallies and her serve and generally hitting isn't as dominating as Sharapova at the same age. Her groundstrokes actually employ more spin that allows monstrous hitters like Serena and Venus to take advantage.

Azarenka needs to develop a little bit before she becomes a hard-court specialist. She's got a game style that translates pretty well to all surfaces but is clearly at its best on hard courts. Her 2nd serve is attackable, so her higher 1st serve %age at Wimbledon was a positive sign of her tactical planning. I think she could feasibly develop an occasional serve-and-volley tactic on grass that would be fairly advantageous, but she'll take a few years before she gets there. In the meanwhile, she's a US Open-Aussie Open kind of girl.


The other players I'd watch out for: if Bartoli could break through to the final, Radwanska could as well, and Radwanska is a decent chance to upset anyone on any day on any surface. Obviously the serve is attackable, but if she emphasizes placement on the 2nd and flattens it out (and shortens her motion, perhaps) it will be less of a liability. She could adopt a doubles specialist serve (Sugiyama or Dechy, for example, have tricky 2nd serves) and be that much tougher. Plus, she has the head on her shoulders that nobody in her age group has demonstrated. It may be out of necessity (it's hard to watch winners scream past you or feel your shots come up short against a mediocre power player) but it's effective. Plus, she's made the 2nd week of Wimbledon four four of the past five years (counting her Jr. title). If you can stay ranked #16 or higher (which she can, in spades) and be that consistent, your draw is going to open up someday. I don't think she can beat two or three top players back-to-back-to-back, but she could feasibly beat one or two. Other than her...

*Wozniacki is a bit of a wild card. She really doesn't have a ton of power, but she serves very smoothly, has very fine movement, and seems committed to improving her game. *Lisicki has the serve; I want to see if she can consolidate on her breakthroughs and make the top 15 and stick there for a few months of consistency, as well as see if she has the physical ability to hold up with that kind of serve.
*Marina Erakovic could have a quarterfinal showing at Wimbledon someday. She's got a top notch serve and some good touch. She's really disappeared though. last I saw she was outside the top 200.
*Agnes Szavay has the serve and the volleys, but she's awfully flaky. Her forehand is also built for clay, which makes things a little awkward.
*Yanina Wickmayer could go deep at Wimbledon someday, too. Good serve, good touch, good slice (I've only seen her once, but she looked fairly well put together).

Slutiana
Jul 13th, 2009, 01:25 AM
She's Serena's age...so...she's not going to be around post-Williams. I'd be stunned if she remains as highly ranked as she is the entire time the Williams sisters are playing. She's done well to not slide in the rankings this year (VERY well), but she isn't going to win a slam off of hardcourts.



I think Kuznetsova, moreso than any other player right now, is at a disadvantage due to the close clay and grass seasons. She adjusts her game dramatically for clay (a step back, more topspin on the backhand, 75% kick 2nd serve vs. slice 2nd serve) and all those things need to be inverted (a step forward, flatter backhand, 75% slice 2nd serve vs. kick 2nd serve) on grass. Her serve-and-volley tactics in 2007 worked against the lower ranked opponents, but she needs have a better 1st strike approach against the legions of quality aggressive returners on the tour.



Jury's still out. I need to see a full season of healthy play before I proclaim her a future slam winner again.



Azarenka needs to develop a little bit before she becomes a hard-court specialist. She's got a game style that translates pretty well to all surfaces but is clearly at its best on hard courts. Her 2nd serve is attackable, so her higher 1st serve %age at Wimbledon was a positive sign of her tactical planning. I think she could feasibly develop an occasional serve-and-volley tactic on grass that would be fairly advantageous, but she'll take a few years before she gets there. In the meanwhile, she's a US Open-Aussie Open kind of girl.


The other players I'd watch out for: if Bartoli could break through to the final, Radwanska could as well, and Radwanska is a decent chance to upset anyone on any day on any surface. Obviously the serve is attackable, but if she emphasizes placement on the 2nd and flattens it out (and shortens her motion, perhaps) it will be less of a liability. She could adopt a doubles specialist serve (Sugiyama or Dechy, for example, have tricky 2nd serves) and be that much tougher. Plus, she has the head on her shoulders that nobody in her age group has demonstrated. It may be out of necessity (it's hard to watch winners scream past you or feel your shots come up short against a mediocre power player) but it's effective. Plus, she's made the 2nd week of Wimbledon four four of the past five years (counting her Jr. title). If you can stay ranked #16 or higher (which she can, in spades) and be that consistent, your draw is going to open up someday. I don't think she can beat two or three top players back-to-back-to-back, but she could feasibly beat one or two. Other than her...

*Wozniacki is a bit of a wild card. She really doesn't have a ton of power, but she serves very smoothly, has very fine movement, and seems committed to improving her game. *Lisicki has the serve; I want to see if she can consolidate on her breakthroughs and make the top 15 and stick there for a few months of consistency, as well as see if she has the physical ability to hold up with that kind of serve.
*Marina Erakovic could have a quarterfinal showing at Wimbledon someday. She's got a top notch serve and some good touch. She's really disappeared though. last I saw she was outside the top 200.
*Agnes Szavay has the serve and the volleys, but she's awfully flaky. Her forehand is also built for clay, which makes things a little awkward.
*Yanina Wickmayer could go deep at Wimbledon someday, too. Good serve, good touch, good slice (I've only seen her once, but she looked fairly well put together).
But these may make one or two surprise runs to the Finals or semis but they are far from forces. :shrug: I guess we'll have to wait.

delicatecutter
Jul 13th, 2009, 02:09 AM
Goatniacki, of course. I expect her to dominate on all surfaces in the future. I mean, didn't Serena herself point out Caro as one to look out for in the future? I really think that Danish breath of fresh air is going to save the WTA Tour. :worship: I know she only has 2 top 10 wins all season and has never made it to the QF of a Slam at 19 years of age. However, I feel her game will dramatically improve (almost as if by magic). She will be a completely different player and come to dominate the tour as is her birthright. :bowdown:

KournikovaFan91
Jul 13th, 2009, 02:20 AM
I don't like the way Wimbledon is a slam that always seems dominated e.g Navratilova, Steffi, WS.

I prefer my slams to be shared around so hopefully nobody will dominate.

ZODIAC
Jul 13th, 2009, 02:27 AM
I think Lisicki has the most potential,she needs to improve movement plus her legs are kinda clunky and chunky.

OsloErik
Jul 13th, 2009, 04:31 AM
But these may make one or two surprise runs to the Finals or semis but they are far from forces. :shrug: I guess we'll have to wait.

There ARE no young forces at Wimbledon right now. The youngest active semifinalist there is Ivanovic, and she's deteriorating. Beyond that, it's a heaping pile of mediocrity. Until someone younger steps it up, I'm going with the 18-22 year olds who haven't looked like abortions on grass.

Breske
Jul 13th, 2009, 04:33 AM
No one right now looks to be a force on grass. Wimbledon is on course to become the most open slam and the most upset prone one in 3-5 years.

OsloErik
Jul 13th, 2009, 04:38 AM
No one right now looks to be a force on grass. Wimbledon is on course to become the most open slam and the most upset prone one in 3-5 years.

That's a very good point. When Henin retired, we at least had a sense of who was quality on clay (Ivanovic, Kuznetsova, Jankovic, and then Safina added her name to the equation). I don't think I can accurately say who the five best non-Williams grass court players are, and I certainly can't choose any single one of them above the others.

Breske
Jul 13th, 2009, 04:42 AM
Exactly. This problem is only going to be magnified even more since from what I read in interviews players aren't even hitting on grass courts until well in their teens.

Who can blame them really when the grass season is really only two tournaments. Sure you can play 3 of them, but who what contender is going to play 3 weeks in a row going into a slam.

I don't blame them considering the tour is obviously dominated by hardcourts and the clay season is at least a substantial amount of time. The grass season is going to have to get longer if only to allow more players familiarity with the surfaces by continuing to play at the highest level on it.

If you take Venus/Serena out of the Top 10 right now and had a grass tournament with the other eight players.. WWW? You would get 4390540909 different answers.

Even the stats reflect it. Wimbledon has the most repeat champions of all the slams and its because only a few people actually get a chance to learn to play on it.

OsloErik
Jul 14th, 2009, 08:27 AM
Exactly. This problem is only going to be magnified even more since from what I read in interviews players aren't even hitting on grass courts until well in their teens.

Who can blame them really when the grass season is really only two tournaments. Sure you can play 3 of them, but who what contender is going to play 3 weeks in a row going into a slam.

I don't blame them considering the tour is obviously dominated by hardcourts and the clay season is at least a substantial amount of time. The grass season is going to have to get longer if only to allow more players familiarity with the surfaces by continuing to play at the highest level on it.

If you take Venus/Serena out of the Top 10 right now and had a grass tournament with the other eight players.. WWW? You would get 4390540909 different answers.

Even the stats reflect it. Wimbledon has the most repeat champions of all the slams and its because only a few people actually get a chance to learn to play on it.

Right now, my bet is Dementieva, but she's retiring with the Williams (or at least declining by the time they are no longer forces). The others with grass titles are...Kuznetsova and Wozniacki. Kuznetsova hasn't lost to top 10ers on grass lately; she loses to young up-and-comers. And Wozniacki just took Eastbourne, but she's hardly a conventional grass player (i.e. she's consistent without fast-court weaponry).

OsloErik
Jul 14th, 2009, 08:29 AM
Update: according to a rep-comment on an earlier post of mine, Erakovic has a hip injury and has been out for clay and grass season. Disappointing, her serve would have been nice to see on grass again.

mr_burns
Jul 14th, 2009, 09:15 AM
Lena and the sisters will probably retire both in 2012 (just a guess).
Lisiscki could be a factor
there is still a girl named sharapova who is not that bad on grass as the last years have shown

I really think she could win one more wimbledon with venus and serena out of business

@ havoc: I agree...there will be no similar domination...but I hop you don't mean martina hingis with martina;-)