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Volcana
Jul 13th, 2009, 08:14 AM
'Beautiful' is, of course, one of those words. ANd given the context, I have to admit out front I'm a Venus fan. Not in any rational way either. I'm just there.

That said, who among today's active players produces the most beautiful tennis? I am NOT asking who looks the most beautiful. Maria Kirilenko in a bathing suit is quite fetching, but her tennis is pedestrian. I'm not asking who does good, but rather who looks good doing it.

Serena Williams, in the infamous 'Beatdown Down Under', produced beautiful tennis. The kind of 'beautiful' one would have to be an assassin or a serial killer to appreciate in all it's glory. She killed.

Evonne Gooloagong was so .... there's no other word ...beautiful .... when she was moving. They talk about players moving well now, but it's not even the same solar system. The only recent plyer who came close was .....Anna Kournikova

Kournikova reeked sex just breathing. But she also played tennis like ..... I wanna toss around words like Donatello and Botero and Stravinsky. But I'll settle for ... she looked REAL good doing it.

These days, putting aside the days when Serena decides to be so dominant it'ssublime, my only other candidate is Ana Ivanovic. She's got ... flow.

NOTE: Honorable mention to Gisela Dulko.

Inktrailer
Jul 13th, 2009, 08:27 AM
Stosur and Stubbs playing doubles, they look so much a team it's untrue. Bouncing around the court, you can tell they're having fun AND mean business. I'm not a big doubles fan but I'll watch them any time.

Sharapower
Jul 13th, 2009, 08:28 AM
Daniela Hantuchova?

Sam L
Jul 13th, 2009, 09:16 AM
'Beautiful' is, of course, one of those words. ANd given the context, I have to admit out front I'm a Venus fan. Not in any rational way either. I'm just there.

That siad, who among today's active players produces the most beautiful tennis? I am NOT asking who looks the most beautiful. Maria Kirilenko in a bathing suit is quite fetching, but her tennis is pedestrian. I'm not asking who does good, but rather who looks good doing it.

Serena Williams, in the infamous 'Beatdown Down Under', produced beautiful tennis. The kind of 'beautiful' one would have to be an assassin or a serial killer to appreciate in all it's glory. She killed.

Evonne Gooloagong was so .... there's no other word ...beautiful .... when she was moving. They talk about players moving well now, but it's not even the same solar system. The only recent plyer who came close was .....Anna Kournikova

Kournikova reeked sex just breathing. But she also played tennis like ..... I wanna toss around words like Donatello and Botero and Stravinsky. But I'll settle for ... she looked REAL good doing it.

These days, putting aside the days when Serena decides to be so dominant it'ssublime, my only other candidate is Ana Ivanovic. She;s got ...flow.

NOTE: Honorable mention to Gisela Dulko.

Firstly, are you planning to ever deal with the Lenglen and WHCC issue?

Secondly, my answer to this thread is Seles and Serena Williams because I love angles and power strokes.

Charlie Chaplin once said that Helen Wills's tennis was the most beautiful thing he's ever seen.

Alex03Maccy
Jul 13th, 2009, 09:20 AM
momo, that backhand and her serve and volleying.

Golovinjured.
Jul 13th, 2009, 09:39 AM
Definately agree with Kournikova, so fluent around the court, and her strokes almost.. blasé.


Can't think of anyone else right now, although I except Mauresmo to be thrown around considerably in this thread.

The Witch-king
Jul 13th, 2009, 09:39 AM
Venus flying into shots at the net is beautiful. When they show a replay of her hitting an approach shot and then transitioning with a drive volley... It's amaze

Szczecin
Jul 13th, 2009, 09:49 AM
Hantuchova AO SF 6-0 2-0... Very smooth and flowing...



And of course the following, whose ground game is just without compare... So Clean and Crisp!


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Sharapower
Jul 13th, 2009, 09:52 AM
Hantuchova AO SF 6-0 2-0... Very smooth and flowing...

Losing the match eventually was somewhat artistic as well :lol:.

Miss Amor
Jul 13th, 2009, 09:55 AM
Serena's game is so beautiful to watch. The whole package of power, intensity, show of mental prowess, 100% commitment to every shot is simply stunning.

But apart from Serena, I like watching Lisicki, Azarenka (even though I dont like her) and Venus (because I am Biased), when they are playing good.

Polikarpov
Jul 13th, 2009, 10:12 AM
Hana Mandlikova and Martina Hingis.

bandabou
Jul 13th, 2009, 10:17 AM
Serena..just purely for the serve. Her motion is a thing of beauty. best serve ever.

Ziggy Starduck
Jul 13th, 2009, 10:22 AM
When CSN is playing well her tennis is a joy to watch.

So Disrespectful
Jul 13th, 2009, 10:35 AM
Hantuchova, Kournikova, Li, Mauresmo, Lisicki, Safarova, Szavay, Chakvetadze, Myskina.

Note that some of these girls can play hideous tennis when out of form.

slnbb
Jul 13th, 2009, 10:52 AM
Zheng Jie
2008 China Open against Ivanovic and Kuzy
2008 Wim against Serena in the 2nd set
2009 Dubai against Serena
2009 Miami against Serena
Zheng produced a lot of beautiful tennis in these matches, i was stunned by her unbelievable backhand.......

I really wish Zheng can find her best form again....

adner
Jul 13th, 2009, 10:55 AM
It depends what do you call beautiful, slnbb :help::zzz:

Tennis Ball
Jul 13th, 2009, 11:03 AM
Simply Justine.

Singleniacki
Jul 13th, 2009, 11:53 AM
Henin backhand was just :drool:

The obvious answer is marion of course

Steffica Greles
Jul 13th, 2009, 01:12 PM
I always think of Patty Schnyder when I think of beautiful tennis. She strokes the ball like a painter on canvas.

Lindsay Davenport had beautiful strokes, too. Hingis could be beautiful, but on those days when she was a counter-puncher, the beauty didn't show.

frenchie
Jul 13th, 2009, 01:15 PM
Radwanska's game is amazing to watch when she uses her finesse play

also Szavay has very beautiful and smooth strokes

CloudAtlas
Jul 13th, 2009, 01:15 PM
Henin + Mauresmo + Ivanovic (when she was good).

Slutiana
Jul 13th, 2009, 01:20 PM
Oh, Tati. Her game was just gorgeous. :tears: Her so game is so fun, the strokes are so lovely and her game itself is charismatic but the way she times the ball and moves the ball is just so freaking gorgeous. Even though I don't like Henin, some of the Tati-Henin matches were :drool: fests. :bigcry:

Naomi Cavaday is another one. :lol: When on her strokes are just scarily good and the way she moves the ball around is just beautiful:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOOkf9R8Wc0#t=01m41s check out the backhand half-volley in this point at the end, the timing is just gorgeous.
vMHP_JKhkEM
Her game is just so silky, if she doesn't crack the top 100 at least by this time next year then it will be a crime. :tears:

Kirilenko too, her backhand dtl and volleys are gorgeous, and Elena V also.

Dini.
Jul 13th, 2009, 01:30 PM
Justine, CSN, Momo. :hearts: Oh wait, they all have single handed BH's. :help: :o

Hantuchova when on. :bowdown:

Dave.
Jul 13th, 2009, 01:32 PM
Biased, Lindsay Davenport, I love those groundstrokes and also her serve. Just the whole game, the sound when she hit the ball. :drool: I agree with those saying Kournikova too.

And of course, for me, most of the other players in my sig, or they'd probably not be in there. :shrug:

Olórin
Jul 13th, 2009, 01:45 PM
Goolagong for me. Her matches with Evert are to die for.

Obviously I find Serena a thing of beauty to watch when she is slamming down aces and hitting twice as many winners to errors. Such control over such power, it's quite a thing to behold.

The Dawntreader
Jul 13th, 2009, 01:55 PM
Venus in full athletic mode is beautiful tennis. Especially when she launches herself up for an overhead, or when she glides into her running forehand.

Davenport's return was a beauty too. Such easy ball-striking.

Nikkiri
Jul 13th, 2009, 02:00 PM
Oh, Tati. Her game was just gorgeous. :tears: Her so game is so fun, the strokes are so lovely and her game itself is charismatic but the way she times the ball and moves the ball is just so freaking gorgeous. Even though I don't like Henin, some of the Tati-Henin matches were :drool: fests. :bigcry:

Naomi Cavaday is another one. :lol: When on her strokes are just scarily good and the way she moves the ball around is just beautiful:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOOkf9R8Wc0#t=01m41s check out the backhand half-volley in this point at the end, the timing is just gorgeous.
vMHP_JKhkEM
Her game is just so silky, if she doesn't crack the top 100 at least by this time next year then it will be a crime. :tears:

Kirilenko too, her backhand dtl and volleys are gorgeous, and Elena V also.

:inlove:

Pureracket
Jul 13th, 2009, 02:06 PM
http://nbcsportsmedia4.msnbc.com/j/msnbc/Components/Photos/050118/050118_venus_williams_vmed.widec.jpg

Shuji Shuriken
Jul 13th, 2009, 02:14 PM
Venus when on...nothing more beautiful to watch :sobbing:.

Volcana
Jul 13th, 2009, 02:56 PM
Goolagong for me. Her matches with Evert are to die for.Goolagong is another planet. Even putting her in this discussion is like having Barishnikov, in his prime, competing on, 'So You Think You Can Dance'.

CJ07
Jul 13th, 2009, 03:04 PM
Henin, Hingis and Mauresmo. Kournikova in full flight is pretty good too.

Breske
Jul 13th, 2009, 03:40 PM
Aggressive Hingisova.

Optima
Jul 13th, 2009, 03:56 PM
Jelena, when peaking.

DefyingGravity
Jul 13th, 2009, 03:58 PM
Martina Hingis and Justine Henin...their ability to hit whatever shot they wanted and just the great flow of point construction was just sublime. I really do miss Justine's tennis.

Olórin
Jul 13th, 2009, 04:02 PM
Goolagong is another planet. Even putting her in this discussion is like having Barishnikov, in his prime, competing on, 'So You Think You Can Dance'.

:lol:

I think Im going to put on my DVD of the 1976 Wimbledon Final now.

delicatecutter
Jul 13th, 2009, 04:04 PM
Magda Rybarikova. :hearts:

DefyingGravity
Jul 13th, 2009, 04:06 PM
Oh...I for got. A healthy and confident Mary Pierce

LDVTennis
Jul 13th, 2009, 06:28 PM
Serena..just purely for the serve. Her motion is a thing of beauty. best serve ever.

I'm going to have to challenge you on this claim.

Serena's motion, beautiful? Compared to what? I suggest you look at some of the photos that appeared at yahoo sports after the Wimbledon final, three in particular. I'd post them here but they bear getty imprints.

One of the photos shows Serena stretching for a shot, he butt bulging out of her skirt. The other two show her with her leg up in the air on the follow-throw of a forehand. These are not pretty pictures. Are they out of the norm for Serena? Well, judge for yourself. Go through the getty archive. Tell us what you find.

VishaalMaria
Jul 13th, 2009, 06:36 PM
I've always loved Sharapovas game when it was on. I thought her game was beautiful. Also Venus's and Serena's.

LDVTennis
Jul 13th, 2009, 06:48 PM
I'll introduce Steffi into the conversation. Here's the video:

See the point at 2:40 of this clip --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2iiuVhQabY. Backhand overhead.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDM4NDcWSRA. Inside-in forehand.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DU23ruYwMRc. Inside-out forehand.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DX289TTl0Uo. Serve and high backhand volley.

Miss Amor
Jul 13th, 2009, 06:50 PM
Serena..just purely for the serve. Her motion is a thing of beauty. best serve ever.

:worship:

Just the authority with which she hits her shots is so awesome :inlove:

Pebbles
Jul 13th, 2009, 06:55 PM
I don't think power hitters are particuarly beautiful to watch...their shots are hit way too hard for me to consider it beautiful tennis :lol:

That being said, when she's on, Anna Chakvetadze has a beautiful game. I also really like watching Zheng :hearts:

Ryan
Jul 13th, 2009, 08:19 PM
I'm going to have to challenge you on this claim.

Serena's motion, beautiful? Compared to what? I suggest you look at some of the photos that appeared at yahoo sports after the Wimbledon final, three in particular. I'd post them here but they bear getty imprints.

One of the photos shows Serena stretching for a shot, he butt bulging out of her skirt. The other two show her with her leg up in the air on the follow-throw of a forehand. These are not pretty pictures. Are they out of the norm for Serena? Well, judge for yourself. Go through the getty archive. Tell us what you find.


Uh, I think he means the motion on her serve, EINSTEIN.

The Dawntreader
Jul 13th, 2009, 08:21 PM
Uh, I think he means the motion on her serve, EINSTEIN.

I love the objectivity of mods these days.

Ryan
Jul 13th, 2009, 08:25 PM
I love the objectivity of mods these days.

1. I'm not a GM Mod.

2. LDVTennis counters bandabou's point by talking about Serena's butt. He was so eager to jump on his praise of Serena he completely misunderstood the post.

Human Nature
Jul 13th, 2009, 08:30 PM
I don't think power hitters are particuarly beautiful to watch...their shots are hit way too hard for me to consider it beautiful tennis :lol:

That being said, when she's on, Anna Chakvetadze has a beautiful game. I also really like watching Zheng :hearts:


So in which base did you put Dementieva on you avatar ..? and what about zheng ..?lol

To me serena of course ..

Olórin
Jul 13th, 2009, 08:32 PM
2. LDVTennis counters bandabou's point by talking about Serena's butt. He was so eager to jump on his praise of Serena he completely misunderstood the post.

He didn't misunderstand the post. Crudely insulting Serena and posting youtube clips of Steffi Graf are all he does on this board. As this thread shows.

Pebbles
Jul 13th, 2009, 08:40 PM
So in which base did you put Dementieva on you avatar ..? and what about zheng ..?lol

To me serena of course ..
Well when Lena is on and striking the ball well she's great to watch, I guess her tennis can be beautiful at times :p Zheng isn't really a power hitter to me, but I think she has the incredible timing off her groundstrokes that makes it seem so effortless.

Apoleb
Jul 13th, 2009, 08:59 PM
Interesting that Nav gets no mention. She was "fluid in motion". Every shot she hits and every move she makes is just so full of smoothness, regardless whether it's effective or not.

Justine's shotmaking, particularly her bakchand top spin, is to die for.

Hingis had perfect-looking technique on all her strokes, even the weak fh and second serve. They very rarely looked awkward. But that was before her 2006 "come back".

I also think almost all players' games can look beautiful when they're hitting full top gear. That includes Serena (and Venus, and hell, even Demented). Which is why I wouldn't include her among players whose games are consistently beautiful. She definitely has the serve though to make a point in that case.

sweetpeas
Jul 13th, 2009, 09:54 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Serena's game is so beautiful to watch. The whole package of power, intensity, show of mental prowess, 100% commitment to every shot is simply stunning


Yes Yes ,,,Just beautiful!Venus on grass!

LudwigDvorak
Jul 13th, 2009, 10:20 PM
Patty Schnyder - that crosscourt forehand is to die for. Attractive serve, delicate hands and deft touch. Backhand's never been much to look at, but aside from that her game defines gorgeous.

Daniela Hantuchova - cleanly struck groundstrokes, good volleys, nice first serve, sometimes amazing drop shot. Her angles and precision when she's flowing are just breathtaking.

Lindsay Davenport - everything about Hantuchova, just much much much better. One of the rare few players I enjoyed watching give beatdowns, her pure power got to me every time. I miss her so much. :sad:

Hana Mandlikova - one of the game's greatest magicians. Aside from Navratilova, maybe Novotna, I've hardly seen a woman consistently volley better than Hana. Her anticipation and ability to vary how she directed what was coming to her, only Hingis did that better.

Elena Dementieva - yes, I'm going there. :lol: She's got a very ungainly, awkward, wonky way of playing/hitting a lot of times in the past few years, but her forehand and even her backhand were some of the best struck groundstrokes I've seen. She wouldn't be my favorite player if I didn't adore how good her ballstriking/shot-making skills are. On that basis alone, I'll give her a mark despite the lack of transition game or non-ability to neutralize a rally with slice or high balls or really any kind of advanced game plan.

Viktymise
Jul 13th, 2009, 10:52 PM
I'll give her [Lena D.]a mark despite the non-ability to neutralize a rally with slice.

:confused:

I think her ability to neutralise rallies with her BH slice is probably one of her biggest defensive skills.

bandabou
Jul 13th, 2009, 11:04 PM
I'm going to have to challenge you on this claim.

Serena's motion, beautiful? Compared to what? I suggest you look at some of the photos that appeared at yahoo sports after the Wimbledon final, three in particular. I'd post them here but they bear getty imprints.

One of the photos shows Serena stretching for a shot, he butt bulging out of her skirt. The other two show her with her leg up in the air on the follow-throw of a forehand. These are not pretty pictures. Are they out of the norm for Serena? Well, judge for yourself. Go through the getty archive. Tell us what you find.

Was talking about the serve, her best shot and the motion always looks good. I thought we already agreed on this?

For the rest..those were all out of my initial thesis. ;)

Pebbles
Jul 13th, 2009, 11:14 PM
:confused:

I think her ability to neutralise rallies with her BH slice is probably one of her biggest defensive skills.
I think maybe Ludwig meant those squash type shots she throws in to get herself back into the point. When you can move extremely well around the court and get the ball back into play with a shot like that then you can gradually build yourself back into the rally.

moby
Jul 13th, 2009, 11:16 PM
Can someone post more Goolagong videos on youtube? I liked what I saw, but there are so few of them and some of them have been removed. She glided around the court like she was on skates.

From this generation, Hingis and Henin. Martina's strokes were smooth as silk, and this was made even more transparent by how consistently and accurately she hit the ball despite taking it that early. (Those of us who played tennis know that this is not easy at all.) Although this smoothness came at the expense of "awkward" acceleration, which may have robbed her of extra pace. On the other hand, Henin's swashbuckling backhand (think of a pirate pulling out her sword from her scabbard. YAHHH!) and pugilistic knuckle-punch of a forehand - both feet off the ground, body weight moving directly into the line of target - were the epitome of dynamic and dramatic beauty.

At her physical best, 01-03, Serena Williams was a force of nature. Her screaming groundies were to die for, her footwork more disciplined than it is now, and as always, that serve. Net-game: Mauresmo's understanding, coverage and instinct at the net can only be described as sublime.

From the previous generation, I liked Novotna's feline movement and massaged backhand slice, even though the continental forehand looked awkward at times, it was also extremely effective. Steffi's footwork was impeccable. Her strokes may not always be picture perfect, but her shots always were, be it the knifed backhand slice or the flat skidding forehands, both of which flirt dangerously and deliciously with the netcord. And of course, Navratilova rarely put a foot wrong once she's past the service line - her movement though was more efficient and powerful than it was graceful.

Polikarpov
Jul 13th, 2009, 11:57 PM
Can someone post more Goolagong videos on youtube? I liked what I saw, but there are so few of them and some of them have been removed. She glided around the court like she was on skates.

From this generation, Hingis and Henin. Martina's strokes were smooth as silk, and this was made even more transparent by how consistently and accurately she hit the ball despite taking it that early. (Those of us who played tennis know that this is not easy at all.) Although this smoothness came at the expense of "awkward" acceleration, which may have robbed her of extra pace. On the other hand, Henin's swashbuckling backhand (think of a pirate pulling out her sword from her scabbard. YAHHH!) and pugilistic knuckle-punch of a forehand - both feet off the ground, body weight moving directly into the line of target - were the epitome of dynamic and dramatic beauty.

At her physical best, 01-03, Serena Williams was a force of nature. Her screaming groundies was to die for, her footwork more disciplined than it is now, and as always, that serve. Net-game: Mauresmo's understanding, coverage and instinct at the net can only be described as sublime.

From the previous generation, I liked Novotna's feline movment and massaged backhand slice, even though the continental forehand looked awkward at times, it was also extremely effective. Steffi's footwork was impeccable. Her strokes may not always be picture perfect, but her shots always were, be it the knifed backhand slice or the flat skidding forehands, both of which flirt dangerously and deliciously with the netcord. And of course, Navratilova rarely put a foot wrong once she's past the service line - her movement though was more efficient and powerful than it was graceful.

I agree about Novotna's movement. Her serve and forehand do look awkward but there's lightness in her movement which I love. And about Hingis taking the ball early -- that really is difficult to hit consistently.

Another Hingis shot I love is the half-volley loop ball she hits whenever her opponents hit the ball directly on the baseline near her feet. It gives her enough time to position herself, and also robs the opponent some rhythm.

The Dawntreader
Jul 14th, 2009, 12:01 AM
I agree about Novotna's movement. Her serve and forehand do look awkward but there's lightness in her movement which I love. And about Hingis taking the ball early -- that really is difficult to hit consistently.

Another Hingis shot I love is the half-volley loop ball she hits whenever her opponents hit the ball directly on the baseline near her feet. It gives her enough time to position herself, and also robs the opponent some rhythm.

Agreed about Novotna. Such nimble elevation off the ground, especially when she used to hit her reverse forehand. She played very much in the ilk of her coach Mandlikova. They moved like Leopards, beautiful to watch.

So many things to admire about Hingis when she was letting it all hang out. Her BHDTL was stunning to watch when she just unleashed it after barely neutralising the rally beforehand.

BTW, much prefered her drop-shot to the other Swiss;)

miffedmax
Jul 14th, 2009, 12:03 AM
I've always liked the way Sabitini moved--like a predator waiting to pounce.

For all the drooling I do over Lena, when she first got my attention, she was still a bit of a gangly, awkward thing, except on the run, where I still think she plays beautifully.

I love to watch Venus serve.

Nastya had gorgeous movement and an insidious game.

The Dawntreader
Jul 14th, 2009, 12:03 AM
I've always liked the way Sabitini moved--like a predator waiting to pounce.

For all the drooling I do over Lena, when she first got my attention, she was still a bit of a gangly, awkward thing, except on the run, where I still think she plays beautifully.

I love to watch Venus serve.

Nastya had gorgeous movement and an insidious game.

That's a lovely word to actually say:lol:

I realise i'm sad, obviously.

LeonHart
Jul 14th, 2009, 12:08 AM
Martina Hingis, Chris Evert...I love feminine tennis. They don't necessarily have the power but boy the way they move the ball around is just :hearts:

Monica Seles, when she's on watch out :eek:

LeonHart
Jul 14th, 2009, 12:13 AM
Agreed about Novotna. Such nimble elevation off the ground, especially when she used to hit her reverse forehand. She played very much in the ilk of her coach Mandlikova. They moved like Leopards, beautiful to watch.

So many things to admire about Hingis when she was letting it all hang out. Her BHDTL was stunning to watch when she just unleashed it after barely neutralising the rally beforehand.

BTW, much prefered her drop-shot to the other Swiss;)

I LOVE Martina's forehand swinging volleys. It's the most natural smooth stroke she possesses. It's not hit particularly hard but damn she makes sure it's placed at the right spot.

The Dawntreader
Jul 14th, 2009, 12:17 AM
I LOVE Martina's forehand swinging volleys. It's the most natural smooth stroke she possesses. It's not hit particularly hard but damn she makes sure it's placed at the right spot.

Her slice forehand volley too:drool:

Golovinjured.
Jul 14th, 2009, 12:34 AM
Schnyder, Hingis, Sabatini, Hantuchova..

I also think Davenports forehand was so beautiful and effortless. Jealous of that shot. ;)

Slutiana
Jul 14th, 2009, 12:54 AM
Schnyder, Hingis, Sabatini, Hantuchova..

I also think Davenports forehand was so beautiful and effortless. Jealous of that shot. ;)
:(

VeeJJ
Jul 14th, 2009, 12:55 AM
Jelena's groundies :) Her speed and movement and control and clean stroke.. she has pretty tennis

Dav.
Jul 14th, 2009, 01:16 AM
Anna Kournikova.

1998 Aussie Open vs. Hingis
1997 Wimbledon

Also Golovin, Mandlikova, Mauresmo, Henin BH

Ryan
Jul 14th, 2009, 02:06 AM
The conversation starts and stops for me at Hingis mostly. :drool: Literally every shot in the book, all executed with flawless technique and effortless, uh, effort. :lol:

My favorite shots are her drop-lob combos, especially when she's up at net and bunts a lob over her opponents head. I think, though, the best shot I've seen her hit, was an amazing backhand down the line in Montreal, 2006, in the QFs against Kuznetsova. :cool:

Kournikova is another one who's game I consider beautiful to watch. Her rear end was pretty spectacular too. :drool:

But I think any game can be beautiful when executed properly - Serena crushing Maria AO 07, or Masha the next year destroying Justine, or the whole Juju-Venus match in the USO Semis.

I think "insidious" is an awesome word to use describing Nastya's game. :lol:

Sharapower
Jul 14th, 2009, 02:57 AM
I've always loved Sharapovas game when it was on. I thought her game was beautiful. Also Venus's and Serena's.
All her three won GS finals were quite compelling, indeed. In those she seemed to be from another planet. I really hope she'll be back to that kind of heights again.

WhatTheDeuce
Jul 14th, 2009, 03:23 AM
Agree with a bunch so far including Kournikova, Serena, Davenport, Hingis, Henin, Mauresmo..

I know I'm biased but I find the way Jelena Dokic plays so beautiful. Obviously I know she could be erratic, but the same holds true for Kournikova. They are/were different players, granted, but both inconsistent. I dunno, the flat strikes Dokic produces when she's playing well are so pretty to me. With that extreme western grip on the forehand and those big cuts she takes on both sides, it just makes for aesthetically pleasing stuff. Plus her grunt is so epic/cute/intense :hearts: It's a nice change from the many screamers these days. I know that's not so much related to "beautiful" tennis, but whatever. :lol:

moby
Jul 14th, 2009, 03:25 AM
But I think any game can be beautiful when executed properly - Serena crushing Maria AO 07, or Masha the next year destroying Justine, or the whole Juju-Venus match in the USO Semis.Dushevina could hit a hundred forehand winners in a match, but her forehand will still be amongst the fugliest strokes in tennis history.

Donny
Jul 14th, 2009, 04:11 AM
In this thread: Everyone names their favorite player.

For me, it depends on the shot. I think Venus' running swinging volleys look amazing. I think Sharapova's BH, esp. backhand down the line, is pretty nice looking. Serena's serve, as others have pointed out. Jankovic's splits don't look bad either.

LudwigDvorak
Jul 14th, 2009, 04:33 AM
:confused:

I think her ability to neutralise rallies with her BH slice is probably one of her biggest defensive skills.

Never thought much about her BH slice. It'll keep her in a rally for a few strokes longer, sometimes that works, usually it doesn't.

When she's running side to side, especially when she hits off the backhand, she hits it hard up the middle, or tamely up the middle, most of the time, and that is her most valuable asset defensive-wise off the backhand. It's not done on purpose at all, but it takes the angles away from her opponents, and when she does it well she hits it at their feet making it harder to do anything with it.

Craig.
Jul 14th, 2009, 04:47 AM
Now this is what I call beautiful tennis. FROM BOTH. :worship: And yes, I'm biased.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SscIEH5LQUU

skanky~skanketta
Jul 14th, 2009, 05:10 AM
Well, I personally love when players change direction of the ball and make it look effortless. Jankovic and Chakvetadze come to mind. Love Janks, detest Chaks.

Lindsay's strokes were also so gorgeous. So smooth and clean *goosebumps*. IF only she could run.

When it comes to lower ranked players, I love watching Nathalie Dechy.

OsloErik
Jul 14th, 2009, 07:33 AM
Volcana: ditto on Evonne Goolagong. There was nothing like her and never will be. I've heard Maria Bueno was gorgeous around the court as well. Interesting that both of them were self-taught for a long while.

As for nowadays...I can watch Mauresmo play all day, on or off. I love Szavay's game down to the hitch in her forehand. La Carla (Suarez Navarro) plays gorgeous tennis, but she rarely gets the opportunity to demonstrate it. I also think Jankovic has a stunning game to watch. She really has among the most fluid groundstrokes, even if the forehand lacks that extra something, and when she plays you'll get to see all the strokes over and over again. One of the perks of good movers is you can see how their strokes hold up in the fluidity department.

I like aspects of Serena's game, but other parts are a little unappealing. Her crosscourt forehand may be one of the finest, but I don't find it particularly attractive. Her serve and backhand are things of beauty, however.

Interestingly, two of my absolute favorite players on tour (Kuznetsova and Venus) are players I have a lot of trouble putting "beautiful tennis" as a descriptor to. They have elements that fascinate me and make me remember why I love tennis, but they don't have games that are always fun to watch. I ALWAYS can watch Mauresmo or Szavay, even when they lose badly.

spencercarlos
Jul 14th, 2009, 08:04 AM
Definately agree with Kournikova, so fluent around the court, and her strokes almost.. blasé.


Can't think of anyone else right now, although I except Mauresmo to be thrown around considerably in this thread.
Geez? Am i the only one who finds Kournikova´s tennis more mecanical and streaky, rather than smooth, natural or fluent.

In no particular order
Henin
Schnyder (peak only)
Hingis
Mauresmo
Sabatini
Graf

And from the hardhitting ones Davenport and Serena are a beauty to watch.

OsloErik
Jul 14th, 2009, 09:22 AM
Geez? Am i the only one who finds Kournikova´s tennis more mecanical and streaky, rather than smooth, natural or fluent.
...
Henin
Schnyder (peak only)
...
Sabatini

I'm sort of with you on Kournikova. Her groundstrokes weren't particularly beautiful in my book. She had gorgeous footwork and great hands, but her groundstrokes weren't picture perfect.

As for Henin, I'm up and down on her. Her serve was ugly and I didn't find her to be that fluid a mover. She was fast and fit, but she didn't move effortlessly like Goolagong or Graf. I could eat dinner off the groundstrokes and net game, though.

I agree on Schnyder. She was almost unwatchable when she went off. Seeing someone hit with arcing topspin and have the shots land out is never appealing. And I 100% agree on Sabatini. She had a gorgeous, gorgeous game all around. Serve was never effective, but even it looked beautiful.

Sharapower
Jul 14th, 2009, 11:03 AM
Now this is what I call beautiful tennis. FROM BOTH. :worship: And yes, I'm biased.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SscIEH5LQUU
Not bad but they're both a little bit slow so that makes the winners look better, IMO.
How about these ones:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKfhnexDvMg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GascfefgPYI

hingis-seles
Jul 14th, 2009, 11:21 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bk3xWlrV8d8

This entire match, let alone this third set was filled with some beautiful shot-making from both women.

Polikarpov
Jul 14th, 2009, 11:25 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bk3xWlrV8d8

This entire match, let alone this third set was filled with some beautiful shot-making from both women.

:drool::worship:

Lord Choc Ice
Jul 14th, 2009, 12:20 PM
I totally think Venus plays the most beautiful tennis. The angles, power, volleys. I even like the way the ball looks when it travels through the air after she hits it, especially after she hits a forehand. A thought crossed my mind throughout Wimbledon this year that Venus is the female Federer.

samn
Jul 14th, 2009, 10:33 PM
Goolagong and Mandlikova. Unfortunately, they were both also the sort of players who could be truly AWFUL to watch if they let their minds wander and their games suffer as a result. Hana especially could be almost unwatchable especially if she lost her temper and started to tank. But when they were on, oh my! (Sorry, I morphed into Dick Enberg there for a minute.)

I also loved watching Navratilova and Graf move on clay. There was something very feline about their movement: extremely graceful, always perfectly balanced, and deceptively quick.

kiwifan
Jul 14th, 2009, 10:39 PM
Power and angles are my thing, hitting lots of lines too...

...when Serena is on, she's all I need to get by...

Seles is the only one who did it better...

...I still don't get what is so fascinating about a one handed backhand, it is an extended follow through, wow oh wow...anyway, young Monica and dominating Serena are beautiful to behold. :hearts:

QUEENLINDSAY
Jul 14th, 2009, 10:48 PM
It depends what type of games you are inclined with.
Finesse Game: Martina Hingis- Need I say more?
Power Game: I would put Lindsay as beautiful as groundies are so...... can't even put a word to describe its superlativity.
All around game: Justine Henin- Name it- she can do it!!
I want to put Serena into it but her net game just really turns me off!

Volcana
Jul 15th, 2009, 01:45 AM
Interestingly, two of my absolute favorite players on tour (Kuznetsova and Venus) are players I have a lot of trouble putting "beautiful tennis" as a descriptor to.Agreed. In both cases. Venus' game, for me, is compelling, I have an absolutely visceral reaction to her, I literally can't watch her matches sitting down. But 'beautiful' isn't the word. In fact, I disagree whith most of the choices opined. But beauty is as beauty does. It's all subjective.

If you've ever seen the movie 'White Nights', here's the thing. The movie stars Gregory Hines and Mikhael Barishnokov. Gregory Hines is a great dancer. Not good, great. Barishnikov ... every part of his body moved in tune with every other part in exactly the intensity and rhythm he intended. The dude could move.

There's beauty,and there's effectiveness. Dinara Safina's forehand is a blunt instrument, wielded by a Norse God. She can beat you to death with that thing, but it isn't pretty.

Martina Hingis' tennis wasn't beautiful. It was .. arrogant. That really is the word. UNless you want to go with her absolute best, in which case the word is, 'cruel'. The opponent would do everything right, only to find Hingis at the net hitting an easy drop shot winner. And laughing. At her. For all the devastation Serena can wreak, she never humiliated opponent like Hingis. Serena makes opponents want to crawl away and die. Hingis made oppoents want to crawl away and die, only she wouldn't let them. It was like pulling wings off flies with her.

The best trash talk in the history of tennis. "Shall I serve first or should I break you?"

Monica Seles was a steamroller. The last half set of a matches had a horribly burial quality to it. Like she was throwing the last of the dirt on the opponent she just buried. While saying really nice things about them.

Henin. Impressive. Efficient. But she was an engineering diagram, not a Picasso. It all worked together SO well. But the result was admiration, not ... 'awe' isn't the right word, but it's close. I'm looking for the player who's game brings to mind the slogan in the Armor All commercial with Tony Stewart.

"Go ahead. Stare."

Cakeisgood
Jul 15th, 2009, 01:49 AM
I totally think Venus plays the most beautiful tennis. The angles, power, volleys. I even like the way the ball looks when it travels through the air after she hits it, especially after she hits a forehand. A thought crossed my mind throughout Wimbledon this year that Venus is the female Federer.

Please tell me this is sarcasm.

Slutiana
Jul 15th, 2009, 02:36 AM
Agreed. In both cases. Venus' game, for me, is compelling, I have an absolutely visceral reaction to her, I literally can't watch her matches sitting down. But 'beautiful' isn't the word. In fact, I disagree whith most of the choices opined. But beauty is as beauty does. It's all subjective.

If you've ever seen the movie 'White Nights', here's the thing. The movie stars Gregory Hines and Mikhael Barishnokov. Gregory Hines is a great dancer. Not good, great. Barishnikov ... every part of his body moved in tune with every other part in exactly the intensity and rhythm he intended. The dude could move.

There's beauty,and there's effectiveness. Dinara Safina's forehand is a blunt instrument, wielded by a Norse God. She can beat you to death with that thing, but it isn't pretty.

Martina Hingis' tennis wasn't beautiful. It was .. arrogant. That really is the word. UNless you want to go with her absolute best, in which case the word is, 'cruel'. The opponent would do everything right, only to find Hingis at the net hitting an easy drop shot winner. And laughing. At her. For all the devastation Serena can wreak, she never humiliated opponent like Hingis. Serena makes opponents want to crawl away and die. Hingis made oppoents want to crawl away and die, only she wouldn't let them. It was like pulling wings off flies with her.

The best trash talk in the history of tennis. "Shall I serve first or should I break you?"

Monica Seles was a steamroller. The half set of a matches had a horribly burial quality to it. Like she was throwing the last of the dirt on the opponent she just buried. While saying really nice things about them.

Henin. Impressive. Efficient. But she was an engineering diagram, not a Picasso. It all worked together SO well. But the result was admiration, not ... 'awe' isn't the right word, but it's close. I'm looking for the player who's game brings to mind the slogan in the Armor All commercial with Tony Stewart.

"Go ahead. Stare."
Agree. :hysterical: Seriously, Hingis just loved to humiliate opponents and although people say that arrogance or whatever you want to call it leads to complacency, when Martina came back I think she was too nice, I mean she still wanted it as much as anyone but the arrogance and the pure 100% confidence in her game had gone, that was the big problem.

Max565
Jul 15th, 2009, 03:58 AM
Hingis is the first that comes to mind in threads like this. The subtlety and nuances in her game were just magnificent. I loved the fact that she took the ball so early and when she was at her best, she absolutely refused to relinquish the baseline and she would be hitting half-volleys from there, which you really don't see that often with other players, who prefer to retreat and smack it back. Hingis just couldn't afford to do that. Her game was based on robbing the time of her opponents so they could commit 'forced errors'.

Serena during her peak 02-03 years was breathtaking. The serve of course stands out for me. Lately, though her movement seems a tad awkward as well as her backhand followthrough which extends all the way to her back (?) :lol:

Polikarpov
Jul 15th, 2009, 04:52 AM
Agreed. In both cases. Venus' game, for me, is compelling, I have an absolutely visceral reaction to her, I literally can't watch her matches sitting down. But 'beautiful' isn't the word. In fact, I disagree whith most of the choices opined. But beauty is as beauty does. It's all subjective.

If you've ever seen the movie 'White Nights', here's the thing. The movie stars Gregory Hines and Mikhael Barishnokov. Gregory Hines is a great dancer. Not good, great. Barishnikov ... every part of his body moved in tune with every other part in exactly the intensity and rhythm he intended. The dude could move.

There's beauty,and there's effectiveness. Dinara Safina's forehand is a blunt instrument, wielded by a Norse God. She can beat you to death with that thing, but it isn't pretty.

Martina Hingis' tennis wasn't beautiful. It was .. arrogant. That really is the word. UNless you want to go with her absolute best, in which case the word is, 'cruel'. The opponent would do everything right, only to find Hingis at the net hitting an easy drop shot winner. And laughing. At her. For all the devastation Serena can wreak, she never humiliated opponent like Hingis. Serena makes opponents want to crawl away and die. Hingis made oppoents want to crawl away and die, only she wouldn't let them. It was like pulling wings off flies with her.

The best trash talk in the history of tennis. "Shall I serve first or should I break you?"

Monica Seles was a steamroller. The half set of a matches had a horribly burial quality to it. Like she was throwing the last of the dirt on the opponent she just buried. While saying really nice things about them.

Henin. Impressive. Efficient. But she was an engineering diagram, not a Picasso. It all worked together SO well. But the result was admiration, not ... 'awe' isn't the right word, but it's close. I'm looking for the player who's game brings to mind the slogan in the Armor All commercial with Tony Stewart.

"Go ahead. Stare."

:lol: That's a beautiful and funny way to put it. With Hingis at her best, I think her opponents always thought that they always had a chance to beat her because her serve and groundstrokes were never daunting. They would be able to stay in rallies with her, only to look in the scoreboard and find out that they are a few points from defeat.

To add to the thrash talk bit, I've read somewhere that once in a match, Hingis was beating an opponent so badly so a spectator yelled something like "Martina please let make the match longer! or Martina please let her win a game!" To which Martina answered back, "I'm trying, but she isn't very good!" :tape:

Her arrogance probably is the biggest reason why non-fans hate her so much, but how I loved that!

Lord Choc Ice
Jul 16th, 2009, 02:44 AM
Please tell me this is sarcasm.
:lol:
The only reason I thought of Venus being the female Federer was because of the particular success at Wimbledon. Aside from that, I think she plays more beautiful tennis than Serena anyways. This is a matter of taste o' course but I find her strokes much better-looking than Serena's.

Watching
Jul 16th, 2009, 04:57 PM
:lol:
The only reason I thought of Venus being the female Federer was because of the particular success at Wimbledon. Aside from that, I think she plays more beautiful tennis than Serena anyways. This is a matter of taste o' course but I find her strokes much better-looking than Serena's.

:haha::haha::haha::haha::haha:

Helen Lawson
Jul 16th, 2009, 05:09 PM
Henin and Mauresmo are remarkable in person, breathtaking at times even. Conchita when she cared could be beautiful as well.

Steffica Greles
Jul 16th, 2009, 05:58 PM
I'm amazed so few have mentioned Schnyder...

Donny
Jul 16th, 2009, 05:59 PM
I'm amazed so few have mentioned Schnyder...

I'm not.

Her chicken wing FH, from what I've seen of it, is one of the most awkward looking shots in tennis.

Marionated
Jul 16th, 2009, 06:36 PM
I agree, Steffica Greles. Patty's tennis is :hearts:

Steffica Greles
Jul 16th, 2009, 06:39 PM
I'm not.

Her chicken wing FH, from what I've seen of it, is one of the most awkward looking shots in tennis.

Chicken wing? Her forehand side is the shot that's kept Patty in the top 30 for the entire last 12 years spare a week or two.

spencercarlos
Jul 16th, 2009, 06:43 PM
I'm not.

Her chicken wing FH, from what I've seen of it, is one of the most awkward looking shots in tennis.
Schnyder has a beautiful forehand in fact her backhand is very avergare in comparisson, but her forehand she can virtually take you out of the court with a little wrist action, and the way she puts spin, height and power to that show is something to see. The sad thing is that mentally Schnyder is a mere Tier III player.

spencercarlos
Jul 16th, 2009, 06:45 PM
Hingis is the first that comes to mind in threads like this. The subtlety and nuances in her game were just magnificent. I loved the fact that she took the ball so early and when she was at her best, she absolutely refused to relinquish the baseline and she would be hitting half-volleys from there, which you really don't see that often with other players, who prefer to retreat and smack it back. Hingis just couldn't afford to do that. Her game was based on robbing the time of her opponents so they could commit 'forced errors'.

Serena during her peak 02-03 years was breathtaking. The serve of course stands out for me. Lately, though her movement seems a tad awkward as well as her backhand followthrough which extends all the way to her back (?) :lol:
Serena during her peak one of the most amazing things she had was her MOVEMENT... she would average single digit winners allowed for her oponnents in most of her matches, she moved amazingly well back then. That Serena, 2002 Serena is the best, the most devatating womens tennis player i have ever seen.

Steffica Greles
Jul 16th, 2009, 06:56 PM
Serena during her peak one of the most amazing things she had was her MOVEMENT... she would average single digit winners allowed for her oponnents in most of her matches, she moved amazingly well back then. That Serena, 2002 Serena is the best, the most devatating womens tennis player i have ever seen.

Agreed. Players with big games, like Davenport, wouldn't be physically able to hit that many winners past her. But this was no Amanda Coetzer...this was a player more capable of hitting winners than perhaps any player in history. It was just 'blitzkreig' tennis, and the only escape was when she was misfiring or fighting amongst herself :lol:.

Also I concur that Serena of 2001-2003 (I actually think her athletic peak started in the second half of 2001, but she hadn't quite got it together mentally at that stage) was the most devastating woman player there's ever been.

I'm inclined to say that over 20 matches or so, someone as well-drilled, focused and clinical as Steffi (skills Serena doesn't possess) would have crafted a winning head-to-head record: it's impossible for a player to be on top form 100% of the time, and there would have been no greater workout for Serena than Graf. Even at Serena's 2002 best, her weight transference could sometimes be a problem, whereas Steffi was flawless in that area. Serena of today would look silly against peak Graf.

But when Serena of 2002 was on top form, firing aces at will, hammering return winners from inside the baseline, bludgeoning shots on the run, and with the speed, strength and leg power of an olympic sprinter, I must confess that on all surfaces except for possibly clay, even the Great Steffi would have been eventually outhit. And we mustn't forget that in her prime, Serena was technically very strong (apart from her weight transference occasionally) with a better connection on both forehand and backhand than her elder sister. Her forehand reminded me of Sampras'.

IceSkaTennisFan
Jul 16th, 2009, 08:14 PM
Pierce's game was just breathtaking in its brilliance when she was on. I'd agree with Henin, as well. Much more classic tennis from her.

The Dawntreader
Jul 16th, 2009, 09:01 PM
Pierce's game was just breathtaking in its brilliance when she was on. I'd agree with Henin, as well. Much more classic tennis from her.

Pierce had great hands. Almost on par with Davenport. Her technique wasn't as efficient, but she has meticulous ball-control when she was playing well.

spencercarlos
Jul 16th, 2009, 09:33 PM
Pierce had great hands. Almost on par with Davenport. Her technique wasn't as efficient, but she has meticulous ball-control when she was playing well.
Honestly i don´t remmember Pierce as someone who had "great hands", i don´t really ever recall her having great feel for the ball at the net or come up with great drop volleys.

Steffica Greles
Jul 16th, 2009, 10:55 PM
Pierce had great hands. Almost on par with Davenport. Her technique wasn't as efficient, but she has meticulous ball-control when she was playing well.
I think Pierce's volleys were underrated.

She was just indecisive at the net, especially in the early part of her career, and of course not the most fluid of movers.

The Dawntreader
Jul 16th, 2009, 11:39 PM
I think Pierce's volleys were underrated.

She was just indecisive at the net, especially in the early part of her career, and of course not the most fluid of movers.

Her footwork put her in ungainly positions at the net. It was only reallly in her later career that she began to use her competent net-play against her younger rivals who were less inclined round the net.

I always found Pierce's serve underrated. Could serve well over 110mph and had that great kicker on the second serve. The key to her Slam succeses was her serving consistency. It made her ground-game much more easier if she could serve well.

thrust
Jul 17th, 2009, 12:18 AM
Bueno, Henin, Goolagong, Mauresmo, Cassals, Edda Buding, Hingis, among others not, necessarily in that order. Bueno though had the most beautiful game I ever saw. Beautiful shots, movement, yet powerful serve, volleys and overhead. As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Steffica Greles
Jul 17th, 2009, 01:23 AM
Her footwork put her in ungainly positions at the net. It was only reallly in her later career that she began to use her competent net-play against her younger rivals who were less inclined round the net.

I always found Pierce's serve underrated. Could serve well over 110mph and had that great kicker on the second serve. The key to her Slam succeses was her serving consistency. It made her ground-game much more easier if she could serve well.

Pierce's serve was one of her biggest strengths. Virginia Wade used to always laud her high-kicking second serve as the best in the game.

Stamp Paid
Jul 17th, 2009, 04:56 AM
Serena in full flight, before she lost her movement.

oleada
Jul 17th, 2009, 05:28 AM
Justine and Hingis :hearts:

Cakeisgood
Jul 18th, 2009, 02:04 AM
I love the look of JJ's game. Her movement, the look of her FH and BH ,and that fluid service motion is amazing to look at. Unfortunately, her execution is not half as sublime.

And from a bias standpoint, aside from her clunky movement, Masha's BH, serve and usually, her FH, have lovely motions as well. ;)

Sharapower
Jul 18th, 2009, 02:40 AM
And from a bias standpoint, aside from her clunky movement, Masha's BH, serve and usually, her FH, have lovely motions as well. ;)

Maria's game is IMO beautiful in an unconventionnal way; to use a musical analogy, she's like some jazz players that use odd technique but are super-efficient. She's the Coltrane of the racquet.
Yesterday I re-watched that infamous AO '08 QF and it was amazing how her hard-bop annihilated the pure classicism of Henin. On a side-note I lolled hugely on Yuri's "cut-throat" gesture after the match ended.

Lord Choc Ice
Jul 18th, 2009, 02:54 AM
:haha::haha::haha::haha::haha:
Seriously, what the hell is so hilarious about holding the opinion that Venus plays more beautiful tennis than Serena? Honestly...:rolleyes:

Derek.
Jul 18th, 2009, 07:31 AM
Anastasia Myskina. :hearts: :sobbing:

Привет
Jul 18th, 2009, 08:31 AM
^^ Hells yeah. I miss Nastya. :sobbing:

azinna
Jul 18th, 2009, 09:11 PM
Serena in full flight, before she lost her movement.

Serena in butt-, I mean, cat-suit mode during the 2002 US Open.

Knizzle
Jul 18th, 2009, 09:23 PM
Serena in butt-, I mean, cat-suit mode during the 2002 US Open.Yeah she was devastating during that tournament.

azinna
Jul 18th, 2009, 10:06 PM
Yeah she was devastating during that tournament.

Devastatingly beautiful... set a new standard during that fortnight.

OsloErik
Jul 20th, 2009, 12:55 AM
Her footwork put her in ungainly positions at the net. It was only reallly in her later career that she began to use her competent net-play against her younger rivals who were less inclined round the net.

I always found Pierce's serve underrated. Could serve well over 110mph and had that great kicker on the second serve. The key to her Slam succeses was her serving consistency. It made her ground-game much more easier if she could serve well.

Pierce's serve was one of her biggest strengths. Virginia Wade used to always laud her high-kicking second serve as the best in the game.

Amen! Her 2nd serve is what made her so good on clay. By every other measure of her game, clay should not have been her best surface (which I'd argue it was). Her groundstrokes were flatter than the other power players with success on clay (Ivanovic, for example), and even though her footwork was effective on clay, she still wasn't even a decent defender. But her 2nd serve made it very, very hard to break her on clay (and pretty much JUST clay, to be honest). If you can put that kind of pressure on your opponent's serve on a surface it's hard to take the initiative (service-wise) on, you are in a great position.

AcesHigh
Jul 20th, 2009, 01:04 AM
Personally, I loved Mandilikova from what I've seen. But Justine Henin and Martina Hingis are probably the most beautiful of the last 20 years for me.

OsloErik
Jul 20th, 2009, 01:07 AM
Martina Hingis' tennis wasn't beautiful. It was .. arrogant. That really is the word. UNless you want to go with her absolute best, in which case the word is, 'cruel'. The opponent would do everything right, only to find Hingis at the net hitting an easy drop shot winner. And laughing. At her. For all the devastation Serena can wreak, she never humiliated opponent like Hingis. Serena makes opponents want to crawl away and die. Hingis made oppoents want to crawl away and die, only she wouldn't let them. It was like pulling wings off flies with her.

OOOOH, that may be the best post of the year. One of my favorite interviews in tennis was Sybille Bammer after losing to Hingis at Indian Wells in 2006. She talked about how Hingis would peel you away from the court around the service line out to the area past the doubles alley, and she hit the ball from the baseline, so you KNEW she couldn't have hit the ball too hard but you also knew there was no way you could put up a good defense against it. She could just pick you apart if you gave her the chance.

The other thing that always fascinated me about Martina Hingis is how she could demoralize someone without smashing them 6-0, 6-0. You'd see opponents look like they'd been wiped off the court, and they'd have lost 6-4, 6-4, or even gotten to a tiebreak. THAT'S impressive, to make someone who was staying fairly even with you throughout match feel like they'd been demolished. She just savaged you on the important points in a way that a powerful forehand winner doesn't savage you.

Steffica Greles
Jul 20th, 2009, 03:30 AM
OOOOH, that may be the best post of the year. One of my favorite interviews in tennis was Sybille Bammer after losing to Hingis at Indian Wells in 2006. She talked about how Hingis would peel you away from the court around the service line out to the area past the doubles alley, and she hit the ball from the baseline, so you KNEW she couldn't have hit the ball too hard but you also knew there was no way you could put up a good defense against it. She could just pick you apart if you gave her the chance.

The other thing that always fascinated me about Martina Hingis is how she could demoralize someone without smashing them 6-0, 6-0. You'd see opponents look like they'd been wiped off the court, and they'd have lost 6-4, 6-4, or even gotten to a tiebreak. THAT'S impressive, to make someone who was staying fairly even with you throughout match feel like they'd been demolished. She just savaged you on the important points in a way that a powerful forehand winner doesn't savage you.

That's the reason Hingis won so many matches, which kept her number one for so long - unless you were of exceptional quality, she was more unbeatable than any other player.

I remember her as late as March 2002, in Miami, playing Tatiana Poutchek. She had the girl on a piece of string. I've never seen a top 100 player look so pathetic and inept. Serena would have overpowered her, but in that case you'd have thought 'Poor Poutchek, just not powerful enough'. But in that case, it was clearly that Hingis was a better ball striker, because they was no physical differential. And yeah, Hingis loved it. Chucky, they called her.

Actually, I often felt one of Hingis' weaknesses was that she liked to move her opponents TOO much, to the point that when she had the opportunity to kill the ball for a winner, she'd send them running to another angle, just to make them look silly and continue the rally for her own enjoyment. Sometimes it got her into trouble.

moby
Jul 20th, 2009, 03:44 AM
Actually, I often felt one of Hingis' weaknesses was that she liked to move her opponents TOO much, to the point that when she had the opportunity to kill the ball for a winner, she'd send them running to another angle, just to make them look silly and continue the rally for her own enjoyment. Sometimes it got her into trouble.Personally, I consider that an artifact of her game, and not a mere whim or fancy. She did enjoy moving her opponents around, but the reason she didn't just "kill the ball" for a winner was not because she wanted to continue the rally for the sake of it, but because kill-shots carried a certain degree of risk, and Martina hated making unforced errors. She probably thought that if she extended the rally for another couple of strokes, she'd have the open court for the winner. Unfortunately, against her more athletic opponents, this also meant extra opportunities for them to turn the rally around with one quick strike.

faboozadoo15
Jul 20th, 2009, 04:09 AM
People always talk about how Hingis failed to bridge the power gap, but really, she couldn't have with all the effort in the world, and that would have yielded disastrous results.

Hingis's problems came from her failure to stay on the baseline. She retreated, ceded the court, and waited for errors (it also made it more difficult for Hingis to use her brilliant midcourt and net game). Errors just wouldn't come from Williams, Davenport, or Capriati.

Volcana
Jul 20th, 2009, 04:23 AM
People always talk about how Hingis failed to bridge the power gap, but really, she couldn't have with all the effort in the world, and that would have yielded disastrous results.There was a TV show, (there may still be), I think on the History channel, called 'Deadliest Warrior'. They'd analyze various historical warriors and fighters, the types of weapons they used etc.

One episode I recall well was 'Viking vs Ninja'. I expected Ninja to take that petty handily, but objective analysis showed that head to head, the Viking would likely win. The ninja got in plenty of strikes, but they weren't the kill shots that the Viking's strikes were. One reason of course being, Ninja were assassins. They didn't fight head to head. They'd sneak in and kill the Viking in his sleep. Hingis was a Ninja. 'Big babe tennis' was all about Vikings.

Errors just wouldn't come from Williams, Davenport, or Capriati.Williams!?!? You're kidding. Serena once won a slam semi with SIXTY unforced errors. Even Davenport could put up twenty or thirty in a match (rarely). Capriati, yes. Very conservative. Hit hard, but now anywhere near the lines. But the Serena Williams who defeated Martina Hingis in the 99 US Open final was still the quintessential 'Wild Thing'.

faboozadoo15
Jul 20th, 2009, 04:35 AM
Williams!?!? You're kidding. Serena once won a slam semi with SIXTY unforced errors. Even Davenport could put up twenty or thirty in a match (rarely). Capriati, yes. Very conservative. Hit hard, but now anywhere near the lines. But the Serena Williams who defeated Martina Hingis in the 99 US Open final was still the quintessential 'Wild Thing'.

Of course that was hyperbole, no errors. Just too few errors to keep Hingis winning while playing "crafty" defense with an weak serve.

Hingis used to win by dissecting players' games and making them beat her from everywhere on the court, even with their weaknesses. Then she expected this to happen automatically without taking the ball early.

Cakeisgood
Jul 20th, 2009, 06:30 AM
Hingis needed a serve. Plain and simple.

The fact that she won 5 slams solely based on talent alone is a testament to her excellence on court.

Knizzle
Jul 20th, 2009, 07:02 AM
Hingis needed a serve. Plain and simple.

The fact that she won 5 slams solely based on talent alone is a testament to her excellence on court.Yes her serve could always use improvement just like anyone else's, but during her best years before she lost confidence she was hitting 100mph serves and placing them pretty well. Like faboozadoo says, she has to be on the baseline redirecting power and taking time from her opponents and she also has to beat them to net if she can.

Knizzle
Jul 20th, 2009, 07:15 AM
Serena's US Open 2001 semi...breathtaking effortless display from Serena. It was like ballet.

Polikarpov
Jul 20th, 2009, 10:36 AM
Serena's US Open 2001 semi...breathtaking effortless display from Serena. It was like ballet.

I agree. I didn't like Serena that much in 2001, and Hingis was my favorite player, but I was really :eek: :hearts: at Serena's performance then. It was pretty painful seeing my fave being thrashed in the baseline, and not being able to return first serves. I just comforted myself back then that nobody else would have won against the Serena that showed up in the 2001 US Open SF. :lol:

Apart from the serve, one thing I noticed about Hingis, is that in the early rounds of grand slams, she would experiment with different things on court -- serving and volleying, chipping and charging, angles, dropshots etc. But once she gets to the semis where most likely she'll meet Davenport, Capriati or a Williams sister, it seemed that she would suddenly abandon all these things and resort to battling with them on the baseline.

A commentator had a good point during the 1998 Chase Final that Martina started to have troubles with power players because she doesn't realize that her variety, transition play (basically her real game), would work against the power players.

In her early years, Hingis had the ability to flatten her forehand if needed -- this seemed to abandon her later in her career. But the biggest weakness Hingis had was not her serve, but the loss of her "fearlessness" on court.

The Dawntreader
Jul 20th, 2009, 11:49 AM
I agree about the Hingis forehand late in her career. Got extremely tentative, to the point where her length almost guaranteed a potential winner for her opponent. Watching her get thumped by Serena at the USO in '01 almost made you forget the attacking, all-court tennis she displayed to win the title just 4 years earlier, completing destroying Venus in the final.

The serve was all mental for Hingis. If you noticed, she could actually hit every serve in the book, but she just could never trust it as much as her other pool of shots. There were days where she could very much hold her own on serve and there were days when it was merely sitting ducks for her opponents. That hurt her a lot against the power breed. Against Novotna, Vicario, Martinez, she could get away with it with her usually superlative second shots and instinctual defensive skills.

It was all about courage with Hingis. You could tell that in her last GS final, she had lost her courage.

bandabou
Jul 20th, 2009, 12:14 PM
Never a good thing: losing courage. Real champs never lose courage. Win on your terms, lose on your terms.

Dave.
Jul 20th, 2009, 01:58 PM
I agree that Hingis did lose some of the fearlessness she had when she was 16 or 17. She was just put under alot more pressure facing Davenport, Serena, Venus, Capriati. By the time she originally retired it was not only them but also up and coming players like Dementieva who were able to play consistently aggressive enough to beat her. Against them she lost the control in her game that she felt she needed to have to win, control of everything that was going on that she always had before. She was always trying hard, but when things weren't going her way and at times was not even getting a play on the ball, it's easy to understand that she lost some of her fighting spirit and would just further retreat into a defensive stance behind the baseline. It's a shame because she would bow out of these matches looking so ordinary although she had so much more in her game that could be seen against other players.


In this match against Davenport between 8:17-9:32 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVsD8owm260 she was down a set and 1-4 and instead of continuing to play catchup she just decides to go for it. Not sure what she expected to gain from it as obviously she did not posess the power of her opponent. But she still had the hands, the control and the placement to go toe-to-toe with Davenport like this. In the end it was too late but she did end up making that second set alot closer and got back from 1-4 to eventually losing 4-6. I'd much rather her have gone out of matches playing like that. In the long run playing more defensively is always the riskier option than "taking a risk" and being aggressive against the power players.

Polikarpov
Jul 20th, 2009, 03:45 PM
I agree that Hingis did lose some of the fearlessness she had when she was 16 or 17. She was just put under alot more pressure facing Davenport, Serena, Venus, Capriati. By the time she originally retired it was not only them but also up and coming players like Dementieva who were able to play consistently aggressive enough to beat her. Against them she lost the control in her game that she felt she needed to have to win, control of everything that was going on that she always had before. She was always trying hard, but when things weren't going her way and at times was not even getting a play on the ball, it's easy to understand that she lost some of her fighting spirit and would just further retreat into a defensive stance behind the baseline. It's a shame because she would bow out of these matches looking so ordinary although she had so much more in her game that could be seen against other players.


In this match against Davenport between 8:17-9:32 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVsD8owm260 she was down a set and 1-4 and instead of continuing to play catchup she just decides to go for it. Not sure what she expected to gain from it as obviously she did not posess the power of her opponent. But she still had the hands, the control and the placement to go toe-to-toe with Davenport like this. In the end it was too late but she did end up making that second set alot closer and got back from 1-4 to eventually losing 4-6. I'd much rather her have gone out of matches playing like that. In the long run playing more defensively is always the riskier option than "taking a risk" and being aggressive against the power players.

That's probably the one quality of Hingis which I really didn't like, and I think that it has a lot to do with achieving so much at a young age. How I wished Hingis had the fight Sharapova had.:) But, I really can't blame her. It must be really taxing for her, and her style of play to face the power players one after another. She beats Serena in the quarters, Venus awaits in the semis; beat Venus in the semis, Lindsay awaits in the final; beat Venus and Serena back to back, Jennifer awaits in the final! :sad:

Myskina.
Jul 20th, 2009, 09:07 PM
The problem with Hingis was not her serve. She won with that serve for a while. The problem was what other people said with her retreating behind the baseline which once she gives that up she really never could fully recover besides an odd error by her opponent.

Hingis mentally became a different player in the midst of her career which hurt her more than any physical aspect.

Optima
Jul 20th, 2009, 09:24 PM
Never a good thing: losing courage. Real champs never lose courage. Win on your terms, lose on your terms.

Riiight. Because Martina Hingis is not a "real champ" - unlike Venus and Serena who "never lose courage." Honestly.

Ryan
Jul 20th, 2009, 09:26 PM
Loving the Hingis discussion. :hearts: :bowdown:


Pretty much agree that it wasn't Martina's serve itself that wasn't good enough or got her into trouble, but her lack of confidence in the stroke in general. Technically it was flawless (could have used more kneebend maybe), and she could generate good pace off of it, plus she was able to hit slice and kick serves.

The problem was Martina lost more and more confidence in the shot as power players appeared more frequently in draws and started attacking it more. Against "90s players" like ASV, Novotna, Martinez, Pierce et.al. Martina could afford to throw in slower serves, but also changed it up by hitting some big ones. Against Lindsay, JCap, and Venus and Serena she HAD to hit big serves almost all the time...and she just couldn't do it always. And I've always believed Martina was a perfectionist - when her serve didn't go in a few times, she got frustrated with it and just tossed it in to start the point.

I also have to agree with the people who say Martina retreated behind the baseline too much near the end of her career. She gave up one of her biggest advantages - hitting the ball so early - in favor of counter punching and waiting for her opponent to miss instead of MAKING her miss.

Myskina.
Jul 20th, 2009, 09:33 PM
Hingis, yeah I agree, she could serve big occasionally but she could never serve big consistently through a match especially three sets.

I think her fastest serve in her career was 112 MPH against Emma Laine.

Ryan
Jul 20th, 2009, 09:40 PM
Hingis, yeah I agree, she could serve big occasionally but she could never serve big consistently through a match especially three sets.

I think her fastest serve in her career was 112 MPH against Emma Laine.



Oh definitely not. She could toss in some nice 105-6 mph serves in a match, but nothing consistent. And I hated when she'd hit a fast serve and the commentators would go bonkers about how she should serve like that more often - uh, DUH.

Myskina.
Jul 20th, 2009, 09:43 PM
I agree. Also typically she waited too late to start going for the big serves. They would often come as a last resort type thing like 0-40 down or when her weariness was taking over.

She would all of a sudden try to hammer down possibly three bombs to get her away out of trouble because she simply was too physically and mentally fatigued to draw out another point from her opponent.

StephenUK
Jul 20th, 2009, 09:51 PM
Evonne Goolagong was a bit before my time...

Players that spring to mind for me:
Hana Mandlikova, the epitome of grace, had all the shots, but..
Helena Sukova's backhand
Natasha Zvereva, on the rare occasions she actually concentrated in singles, could be magical
Jana Novotna - beautiful serve and volley
Martina Hingis - it's all been said
Amelie Mauresmo - beautiful serve and volley
Justine Henin - her backhand is the best shot I have ever seen.
Irina Spirlea had her moments.
Venus Williams - so graceful on grass.
Elena Dementieva - wonderful groundstrokes.

OsloErik
Jul 20th, 2009, 10:12 PM
People always talk about how Hingis failed to bridge the power gap, but really, she couldn't have with all the effort in the world, and that would have yielded disastrous results.

Hingis's problems came from her failure to stay on the baseline. She retreated, ceded the court, and waited for errors (it also made it more difficult for Hingis to use her brilliant midcourt and net game). Errors just wouldn't come from Williams, Davenport, or Capriati.

Spot on again, although I'd change your last sentence to: Errors just wouldn't come from Williams [x2], Davenport, AND Capriati.

I always felt (even during her comeback) that Hingis had enough in her to handle one aggressive returner with a big serve, and even two on many occasions. But when she had to face Venus, then Serena, then Davenport in slams back-to-back-to-back, she simply tired herself out handling the constant pace. If you look at a lot of the tournaments she made deep runs in from 2000 through 2002, she was beating one of them pretty regularly, two of them pretty often, but almost never three of them. The five powerful Americans really made her life a lot harder because they were always there and always spread out enough in the draw that she'd have to see a bunch of them. She could handle Seles and Capriati to an extent because their serves were nothing to write home about, but facing players with big serve and returns over and over again was just too much to ask for.

Myskina.
Jul 20th, 2009, 10:15 PM
She could handle Seles more because Seles can't move than can't serve, but overall I agree with the rest.

It just wore her down physically/mentally to have to face so many of them back to back and given the number of obstacles, there was really no reprieve from it.

A single upset of one of them wouldn't really boost Hingis' chances all that much.

Knizzle
Jul 20th, 2009, 10:48 PM
I agree. I didn't like Serena that much in 2001, and Hingis was my favorite player, but I was really :eek: :hearts: at Serena's performance then. It was pretty painful seeing my fave being thrashed in the baseline, and not being able to return first serves. I just comforted myself back then that nobody else would have won against the Serena that showed up in the 2001 US Open SF. :lol:

.What I liked about that Serena match is that she never looked like she was trying to hit hard like I see from her sometimes now, she just swung and let her contact point do all the work.