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View Full Version : The decline and fall of the tennis teen - only two under 18s in the top 100


StephenUK
Jul 14th, 2009, 05:04 PM
Only two under eighteens left in the top 100, Melanie Oudin and Michelle Larcher de Brito.

Have we seen the decline and fall of the tennis teen? Is it a good thing or a bad thing? Does your eye mist over at the memory of Austin, Jaeger, Seles, Sabatini, Capriati and Hingis - all in the top 10 at a younger age than the two named above...

Is it that the restrictions on playing for teens have killed the prodigy for good and is it one of the reasons why the game seems a bit stagnant at the moment?

Sam L
Jul 14th, 2009, 05:19 PM
Yeah I felt this without the stats. Thanks for bringing the stats out.

I don't honestly know what to think. But it does seem like the Age of the Teen Queen is over.

I remember in the late 90s how we had the youngest Grand Slam final ever: V.Williams (17) v Hingis (16) and youngest semifinal ever: Hingis and Kournikova and so on.

I think the last all-teen final was 1999 US Open. :o

Slutiana
Jul 14th, 2009, 05:23 PM
Only two under eighteens left in the top 100, Melanie Oudin and Michelle Larcher de Brito.

Have we seen the decline and fall of the tennis teen? Is it a good thing or a bad thing? Does your eye mist over at the memory of Austin, Jaeger, Seles, Sabatini, Capriati and Hingis - all in the top 10 at a younger age than the two named above...

Is it that the restrictions on playing for teens have killed the prodigy for good and is it one of the reasons why the game seems a bit stagnant at the moment?
Well the game has become more physical, teenagers need to develop more before they can hang with the top players. MLDB is the exception since she handles power so well, but eventually she'll be caught up.

Randy H
Jul 14th, 2009, 05:41 PM
The age restrictions have definitely played a role in the statistics there. Younger players just don't get as much match play at the senior level now, so it really limits the opportunity to gain that early experience and move up as quickly.

For the player, I think this is a good thing, there has been so much burn out through the years and I think the tour has had the right idea to try and protect these young players from playing too much before they are developed physically, and even emotionally. For a fan/media point of view, I suppose you could say it's a little detrimental because people love the story of a young prodigy, they always will.

LeonHart
Jul 14th, 2009, 06:51 PM
Well the game has become more physical, teenagers need to develop more before they can hang with the top players. MLDB is the exception since she handles power so well, but eventually she'll be caught up.

They can handle the pace...the players at the Junior level are hitting just as hard nowadays. They just don't get to play as much, due to the age restriction rule.

Rui.
Jul 14th, 2009, 07:36 PM
The young players just can't play enough to maintain a certain level of consistency. Michelle had good enough results to get into the top 100 but even she has this problems. You can see that when she plays some tournaments in a row she can grab some good results (the summer hardcourt season last year, RG-Wimbledon this year). But when she she plays only from month to month her results will decline (The loss in Quebec City last year, AO this year...)

HenryMag.
Jul 14th, 2009, 07:48 PM
One of the problems also is that most of under18 are from Europe and there is a lot of strong ITF's so the players decide to play those, and of course the climb in the ranks is slower. If you notice, Mcihelle and Oudin are both "from" USA and they receive WCs to stronger american tournaments unlike the Europeans, who are lucky to get a WC to their home tourney, if they have one.

Slutiana
Jul 14th, 2009, 07:55 PM
They can handle the pace...the players at the Junior level are hitting just as hard nowadays. They just don't get to play as much, due to the age restriction rule.
They can handle the pace maybe, but not over 3 sets, it takes a bigger toll on their bodies and we only have to look at Laura Robson at wimbledon to see the way she burned out in the second and third sets. Now if it was Elena D on the other side, it would have been something like 6-3 1-6 0-6. :crying2:

And no i've seen quite a few Junior matches at wimbledon and the French Open this year and a lot of them have just been puffball fests.

CJ07
Jul 14th, 2009, 07:56 PM
This is good. Maybe they can actually enjoy their youths now

KournikovaFan91
Jul 14th, 2009, 08:02 PM
I think its sad, tennis was similar to gymnastics in that you could be a world famous teenager.

Corswandt
Jul 14th, 2009, 10:48 PM
The major reason for this is that the game is now much more physically demanding than it was a few years back. Players will now struggle to be competitive at the WTA level until they reach their prime in terms of physical condition (at around 18 y.o., right?).

Also recruitment problems. The dearth of supernovas is a sign that pro tennis is no longer the most appealing career option for athletically gifted young girls. Tennis now has to compete with other sports, and it seems to be losing that battle.

I doubt the AER has played a major role in this as it has been in force since 1994 and it's only now that we're noticing this trend.

Volcana
Jul 15th, 2009, 01:22 AM
Have we seen the decline and fall of the tennis teen? Is it a good thing or a bad thing? Does your eye mist over at the memory of Austin, Jaeger, Seles, Sabatini, Capriati and Hingis - all in the top 10 at a younger age than the two named above...

Is it that the restrictions on playing for teens have killed the prodigy for good and is it one of the reasons why the game seems a bit stagnant at the moment?I'd have to say 'the decline and fall of the the tennis teen' is a good thing. It was great for marketing the game. But so many young players burned out and got injured. And it's not like the AER prevents super talents from emerging young. Venus and Serena Williams were far more restricted by their parents than the AER would have. And for all stardom Tracy Austin achieved young, her body broke down under the stress.

In fact, look at the entire last wave of really good players who managed to avoid the AER, and who played a lot in their middle teens. Hingis, Clijsters, Henin, Kournikova, Sharapova ..... those are the veteran stars that are supposed to be in the top ten with Elena Dementiva and the Williams sisters. Where are they?

A top ten of Safina, Serena, Venus, Dementieva, Kuznetsova, Hingis, Clijsters, Henin, Kournikova and Sharapova would carry more than a little bit of star power, wouldn't it? And you'd still have Jankovic and Ivanovic to mix in there.

Does my eye mist over at the memory of Austin, Jaeger, Seles, Sabatini, Capriati and Hingis .... Austin, Jaeger, and Hingis robbed of their physical abilities because of playing too much too young. Capriati losing the heart of her career in rebellion against the pressure her family put on her. Sabatini pulling a pre-Clijsters/Henin, and getting out young because it just wasn't worth it? Yeah my eyes mist over. At what we'll never see because those players were abused so young.

hdfb
Jul 15th, 2009, 01:41 AM
I think it's less exciting for tennis but it's better for the wellbeing of these young people. Young players can burn out easily and let all the fame and money lead them to some pretty stupid decisions.

KournikovaFan91
Jul 15th, 2009, 02:47 AM
Also recruitment problems. The dearth of supernovas is a sign that pro tennis is no longer the most appealing career option for athletically gifted young girls. Tennis now has to compete with other sports, and it seems to be losing that battle.


Why it is the most popular female sport in the world and by far the most popular female sport with regards press attention and fans.

I suppose Vaidisova bucked the trend in recent years when she made her big breakthrough.

BTW Kournikova blamed AER for her lack of progress through the ranks cause you couldn't get a flow of tournaments in a row.

germex
Jul 15th, 2009, 03:27 AM
Pavlyuchenkova just turned 18 a few days ago, and Polona Herzog is 18 and a half. So it is not that bad, also like Randy H said, the restrictions play a role in delaying the arrival of the new talents.

Gumbycat
Jul 15th, 2009, 03:44 AM
The age restriction is the main reason but you also have the Great Players of an era that keep the youngsters in check. In about three or four years you will see a changing of the guard. The next group of superstars are probably 13 to 16 years old right now.

faboozadoo15
Jul 15th, 2009, 03:45 AM
It certainly is much less exciting to see 20-somethings break through than to see teen phenoms.

What's sad is that we're still seeing just as much burnout and unreached potential nowadays because promising players find it hard to catch fire. I think playing so few tournaments may be putting even more pressure on youngsters to succeed. They get so few chances and still face the physical rigors of the traveling and training.

Randy H
Jul 15th, 2009, 04:07 AM
It certainly is much less exciting to see 20-somethings break through than to see teen phenoms.

What's sad is that we're still seeing just as much burnout and unreached potential nowadays because promising players find it hard to catch fire. I think playing so few tournaments may be putting even more pressure on youngsters to succeed. They get so few chances and still face the physical rigors of the traveling and training.

I often wonder about the impact in terms of making the decision to go professional, and the decision to go for a college scholarship. When you only get to play a select amount of professional events until you turn 18, it's got to be much more difficult to guage what their best option is because their ranking is in most cases still fairly low, and they don't have a ton of pro level exposure. Does that reduced exposure and experience hinder their growth as a player at that age, and prevent them from being able to make a more obvious step in even aiming toward being a pro?

faboozadoo15
Jul 15th, 2009, 04:10 AM
I'd have to say 'the decline and fall of the the tennis teen' is a good thing. It was great for marketing the game. But so many young players burned out and got injured. And it's not like the AER prevents super talents from emerging young. Venus and Serena Williams were far more restricted by their parents than the AER would have. And for all stardom Tracy Austin achieved young, her body broke down under the stress.

In fact, look at the entire last wave of really good players who managed to avoid the AER, and who played a lot in their middle teens. Hingis, Clijsters, Henin, Kournikova, Sharapova ..... those are the veteran stars that are supposed to be in the top ten with Elena Dementiva and the Williams sisters. Where are they?

A top ten of Safina, Serena, Venus, Dementieva, Kuznetsova, Hingis, Clijsters, Henin, Kournikova and Sharapova would carry more than a little bit of star power, wouldn't it? And you'd still have Jankovic and Ivanovic to mix in there.

Does my eye mist over at the memory of Austin, Jaeger, Seles, Sabatini, Capriati and Hingis .... Austin, Jaeger, and Hingis robbed of their physical abilities because of playing too much too young. Capriati losing the heart of her career in rebellion against the pressure her family put on her. Sabatini pulling a pre-Clijsters/Henin, and getting out young because it just wasn't worth it? Yeah my eyes mist over. At what we'll never see because those players were abused so young.

You're missing the mark in some ways...

1. Tracy Austin is a relatively fragile woman by any standard, much less the standard for a professional athlete. The game wasn't even very physical then, and she faced a lot of injuries. These are the same injuries she would have faced anyway, one would imagine. She's lucky to have enjoyed the success the system allowed her to.

2. Venus and Serena have also had their fair share of injuries and time spent outside the upper echelon of women's tennis. Even Richard himself said Venus was burnt out and contemplating retirement before she even won a major.

3. Hingis benefited immensely from being able to compete at the highest level early on. Her slam days were over by the time she was an adult. Another thing: she could still be in the top 10 if not for mitigating circumstances. And her first retirement was after just about the only injury and rough patch she faced in her career. She was sick of tennis and losing. She was not abused. :weirdo: If you've ever seen Martina practice you'd know this. It's not like her mother starved her or made her run marathons.

4. You may have a point with Henin, but she didn't win a lot in her teens and is a bit of a late bloomer. She couldn't sustain a level she'd be happy with and left the game at the top.

5. Kim hardly burnt out. She had an early farewell to have some babies. She had a Michael Chang-esque goodbye YEAR.

6. Kournikova had a different tennis career and a different type and magnitude of pressure than any other player that's ever lived. I won't argue one way or another if her being so young had anything do do with her inability to continue as a tennis professional. But I'd also ask her if she'd trade her life now for the life she would have had in Russie had it not for being pushed into tennis.

7. Sharapova was a permanent fixture in the top 10 (more like top 5) until she faced her first major injury. She's back now and playing her way back toward the top.

8. There may be a huge case for burnout with Jaegar (who has spoken out about this) and also Jennifer Capriati. I still feel like things happen for a reason, and if Jennifer Capriati hated tennis so much and resented it, I doubt she'd have returned to it so gloriously. Rebellion is natural. Kids throw parties, kids talk back, some kids smoke pot, lol.

faboozadoo15
Jul 15th, 2009, 04:12 AM
I often wonder about the impact in terms of making the decision to go professional, and the decision to go for a college scholarship. When you only get to play a select amount of professional events until you turn 18, it's got to be much more difficult to guage what their best option is because their ranking is in most cases still fairly low, and they don't have a ton of pro level exposure. Does that reduced exposure and experience hinder their growth as a player at that age, and prevent them from being able to make a more obvious step in even aiming toward being a pro?

That could certainly explain the dearth of good players coming from America (or say, Canada, GBR, Australia) and the contrasting non-stop tidal wave of players coming from a much poorer country, like Russia.

faboozadoo15
Jul 15th, 2009, 04:13 AM
I think its sad, tennis was similar to gymnastics in that you could be a world famous teenager.

:haha: Did you watch the olympics? The Chinese made stars of pre-teens!

Alizť Molik
Jul 15th, 2009, 04:14 AM
I think the other interesting thing in this is the generation that have burnt out or are slumping - i.e. Krajicek, Paszcek, Cornet, Vaidisova (even though she broke earlier she's still around the same age) Szavay, perhaps Safarova? she had a few good results and then flopped...I feel like I'm missing someone, maybe Agi too if she can't turn this slump around also I doubt she'll be top 10 again.

What is it that's made all these players just fall apart when they reached top 20/10??

Sharapower
Jul 15th, 2009, 04:17 AM
I suspect that the fact is due to factors totally external to tennis/sports: Teens nowadays have a lot of silly stuff to occupy their time (internet/video-gamesÖ) so theyíre unmotivated to go sweat and suffer on the practice court. The AER is there for over a decade, I donít think itís the main factor to the current phenomenon.

I have mixed feelings about it. As I mentioned in another thread, in the exception of Mauresmo and Davenport, all the multi-slam winners started winning majors or at least playing GS finals latest at 19 and mostly before (and in the case of Lindsay, if it wasnít for her weight problem she probably would have won some long before).

In the modern era, late boomers usually donít last long at the top level (for example Myskina, Majoli), so Iím afraid this isnít going to be good for the game. Thereís also an important point to consider, at some point, most women want to have kids and itís wisdom not to wait too long to do so. Therefore from c. 26 on, a lot of ladies are eyeing retirement.

Polikarpov
Jul 15th, 2009, 04:18 AM
I'd have to say 'the decline and fall of the the tennis teen' is a good thing. It was great for marketing the game. But so many young players burned out and got injured. And it's not like the AER prevents super talents from emerging young. Venus and Serena Williams were far more restricted by their parents than the AER would have. And for all stardom Tracy Austin achieved young, her body broke down under the stress.

In fact, look at the entire last wave of really good players who managed to avoid the AER, and who played a lot in their middle teens. Hingis, Clijsters, Henin, Kournikova, Sharapova ..... those are the veteran stars that are supposed to be in the top ten with Elena Dementiva and the Williams sisters. Where are they?

A top ten of Safina, Serena, Venus, Dementieva, Kuznetsova, Hingis, Clijsters, Henin, Kournikova and Sharapova would carry more than a little bit of star power, wouldn't it? And you'd still have Jankovic and Ivanovic to mix in there.

Does my eye mist over at the memory of Austin, Jaeger, Seles, Sabatini, Capriati and Hingis .... Austin, Jaeger, and Hingis robbed of their physical abilities because of playing too much too young. Capriati losing the heart of her career in rebellion against the pressure her family put on her. Sabatini pulling a pre-Clijsters/Henin, and getting out young because it just wasn't worth it? Yeah my eyes mist over. At what we'll never see because those players were abused so young.

Great post Volcana.

Although I've always seen teen prodigies as something that sets the women's game from the men's game, I believe that it would the players good in the long run. As with the case with Hingis, she turned pro at 14, reached grand slam QF and SF at 15, and World No. 1 at 16. But in exchange for this, was her early burnout at age 22. As a Hingis fan, I've always thought that Hingis' early success robbed her of the chance to evolve her game further. Hingis could have the potential to be even better than she was, but everything came so quickly for her. Dominating the game at 16 probably made her think that what she has -- fitness wise, and game-wise, is more than enough.

So yes, I think this rule will benefit the girls more. They'll have more time developing their games. We'll see less prodigies, but less burnouts.

However, I don't buy the "teenagers can't hang in with the top players for extended periods of time" If a weak, short, and just turned 16-year-old Hingis could hang in a five set match against Steffi Graf, then I don't see any reason why today's 6"0 tennis can't.

Polikarpov
Jul 15th, 2009, 04:24 AM
You're missing the mark in some ways...

1. Tracy Austin is a relatively fragile woman by any standard, much less the standard for a professional athlete. The game wasn't even very physical then, and she faced a lot of injuries. These are the same injuries she would have faced anyway, one would imagine. She's lucky to have enjoyed the success the system allowed her to.

2. Venus and Serena have also had their fair share of injuries and time spent outside the upper echelon of women's tennis. Even Richard himself said Venus was burnt out and contemplating retirement before she even won a major.

3. Hingis benefited immensely from being able to compete at the highest level early on. Her slam days were over by the time she was an adult. Another thing: she could still be in the top 10 if not for mitigating circumstances. And her first retirement was after just about the only injury and rough patch she faced in her career. She was sick of tennis and losing. She was not abused. :weirdo: If you've ever seen Martina practice you'd know this. It's not like her mother starved her or made her run marathons.

4. You may have a point with Henin, but she didn't win a lot in her teens and is a bit of a late bloomer. She couldn't sustain a level she'd be happy with and left the game at the top.

5. Kim hardly burnt out. She had an early farewell to have some babies. She had a Michael Chang-esque goodbye YEAR.

6. Kournikova had a different tennis career and a different type and magnitude of pressure than any other player that's ever lived. I won't argue one way or another if her being so young had anything do do with her inability to continue as a tennis professional. But I'd also ask her if she'd trade her life now for the life she would have had in Russie had it not for being pushed into tennis.

7. Sharapova was a permanent fixture in the top 10 (more like top 5) until she faced her first major injury. She's back now and playing her way back toward the top.

8. There may be a huge case for burnout with Jaegar (who has spoken out about this) and also Jennifer Capriati. I still feel like things happen for a reason, and if Jennifer Capriati hated tennis so much and resented it, I doubt she'd have returned to it so gloriously. Rebellion is natural. Kids throw parties, kids talk back, some kids smoke pot, lol.

Does she even practice? :lol:

I agree about Kournikova. If I was a tennis player, I can't imagine doing press conferences after my matches wherein I know that the first question will be "When will you win you first title?"

faboozadoo15
Jul 15th, 2009, 04:33 AM
Does she even practice? :lol:

I agree about Kournikova. If I was a tennis player, I can't imagine doing press conferences after my matches wherein I know that the first question will be "When will you win you first title?"

Martina's practices consisted of her mother feeding limp balls over the net and Martina puffing them back over, hardly moving. She also practiced her lob, drop shot, reflex volleys, some serves, and called it a day, giggling.

Kournikova was stalked relentlessly by the media and collapsed under the immense pressure. I don't think you can really compare her to any other player.

Sharapower
Jul 15th, 2009, 04:38 AM
As a Hingis fan, I've always thought that Hingis' early success robbed her of the chance to evolve her game further. Hingis could have the potential to be even better than she was, but everything came so quickly for her. Dominating the game at 16 probably made her think that what she has -- fitness wise, and game-wise, is more than enough.
I don't share this view and I'm a Hingis fan too:
- Firstly I'm not so sure that physically, Hingis could evolve into a power-player, whatsoever and having to cope with the upcoming power-players, essentially the WS, exposed her fragility when she had to put in more athletic effort;
- Secondly her game was the reflection of her personality, she wouldn't have the same fun playing power-tennis.
So Maybe age/burnout was a factor but not the main one.

However, I don't buy the "teenagers can't hang in with the top players for extended periods of time" If a weak, short, and just turned 16-year-old Hingis could hang in a five set match against Steffi Graf, then I don't see any reason why today's 6"0 tennis can't.
Well, these 5-sets matches were not exactly nice models of "hanging in"...
And anyway, different periods, the tennis of today requires much more work-out outside the tennis-court: cardio, speed, endurance and being able/used to play in pain. Not a very attractive picture for youngsters.

faboozadoo15
Jul 15th, 2009, 04:42 AM
I think the other interesting thing in this is the generation that have burnt out or are slumping - i.e. Krajicek, Paszcek, Cornet, Vaidisova (even though she broke earlier she's still around the same age) Szavay, perhaps Safarova? she had a few good results and then flopped...I feel like I'm missing someone, maybe Agi too if she can't turn this slump around also I doubt she'll be top 10 again.

What is it that's made all these players just fall apart when they reached top 20/10??

It really is quite peculiar. They played in juniors longer, developing their games but can't seem to achieve consistent success.

taevaughn
Jul 15th, 2009, 04:45 AM
I think it's less exciting for tennis but it's better for the wellbeing of these young people. Young players can burn out easily and let all the fame and money lead them to some pretty stupid decisions.

ita! so its a positive thing that there arent any teen stars anymore.

Sharapower
Jul 15th, 2009, 04:52 AM
It really is quite peculiar. They played in juniors longer, developing their games but can't seem to achieve consistent success.
The earlier you get out of juniors, the better for your pro career... Just look at Noppawan, that Thai chick who won Wimby juniors, she's almost 18 and has NEVER won a match in a WTA main draw. She gonna have a hard time making it to the pro arena.

Experimentee
Jul 15th, 2009, 04:52 AM
I don't think the AER rules are that much of a factor. If they are good enough they will achieve success despite the AER. Look at Serena.

There does seem to be a dearth in young talent these days. If you look at even the recent Grand Slam champs who were all under AER, like Sharapova, Ivanovic, Kuznetsova, they were all achieving greater success when they were the same age as today's "young stars" like Larcher de Brito, Hercog and Oudin.

Sharapower
Jul 15th, 2009, 04:58 AM
There does seem to be a dearth in young talent these days.
If you include commitment in "talent" then yes.
On the other hand, though I found the use of the term "abuse" was somewhat exaggerated, I have to say that the training regimen for the game as it stands today would not be far from that for a teen.

faboozadoo15
Jul 15th, 2009, 05:06 AM
ita! so its a positive thing that there arent any teen stars anymore.

I'd think so too if I was a fan of Venus Williams.

Polikarpov
Jul 15th, 2009, 05:07 AM
I don't share this view and I'm a Hingis fan too:
- Firstly I'm not so sure that physically, Hingis could evolve into a power-player, whatsoever and having to cope with the upcoming power-players, essentially the WS, exposed her fragility when she had to put in more athletic effort;
- Secondly her game was the reflection of her personality, she wouldn't have the same fun playing power-tennis.
So Maybe age/burnout was a factor but not the main one.

When I said "evolve," I don't necessarily mean change her game into power play. What I thought was perhaps improve her fitness a la Henin to be able to stay longer with the big babes, improve her serve and forehand a bit, or maybe adapt a more net-attacking style of play. I know that Hingis wasn't going to be a power player because her body wouldn't allow that. Had she addressed her serve and forehand earlier in her career, I think there would still be improvements. Not necessarily a 117 mph serve or an Ivanovic forehand, but a relatively better serve and forehand.

Ditto with your second point.

Sharapower
Jul 15th, 2009, 06:00 AM
When I said "evolve," I don't necessarily mean change her game into power play. What I thought was perhaps improve her fitness a la Henin to be able to stay longer with the big babes, improve her serve and forehand a bit, or maybe adapt a more net-attacking style of play. I know that Hingis wasn't going to be a power player because her body wouldn't allow that. Had she addressed her serve and forehand earlier in her career, I think there would still be improvements. Not necessarily a 117 mph serve or an Ivanovic forehand, but a relatively better serve and forehand.
Henin didn't just improve her fitness, she also learned to hit harder, although she wouldn't get as powerful as a Williams or a Sharapova, in fact she used the opponent's pace a lot but she definitely gave more "umph" to her strokes.
Hingis's problem is that her tennis-philosophy was "zero errors", therefore she used to hit with a LOT of top-spin and never resolved to flatten her groundstrokes (which would have lead, inevitably, to much more UE's). So instead of using the opponent's pace, in the contrary her strokes took out some pace, which was partially compensated by her ability to hit the ball very early, but when she had to deal with the power-babes who were faster on their feet, her game lost its efficiency, her balls became a piece of cake to attack. It's very apparent when you check-out the names of the players that beat her in her "2nd career": practically all hard-hitters.

Zauber
Jul 15th, 2009, 06:00 AM
Tracy Austin did not burn out. She loved it.
However she had a car accident in which she hurt her back, and she never fully recovered.
A sad story.
But she seems to enjoy her life now, as well as then.
Tracy Austin won the U.S Open over Martina Navratolova and Chris Evert, at a time when there was no one competitively and Evert and Navratolova were in every final.
p.s. I think Women's tennis was really thin in talent then and tennis improved after
that.

LeonHart
Jul 15th, 2009, 06:55 AM
Henin didn't just improve her fitness, she also learned to hit harder, although she wouldn't get as powerful as a Williams or a Sharapova, in fact she used the opponent's pace a lot but she definitely gave more "umph" to her strokes.
Hingis's problem is that her tennis-philosophy was "zero errors", therefore she used to hit with a LOT of top-spin and never resolved to flatten her groundstrokes (which would have lead, inevitably, to much more UE's). So instead of using the opponent's pace, in the contrary her strokes took out some pace, which was partially compensated by her ability to hit the ball very early, but when she had to deal with the power-babes who were faster on their feet, her game lost its efficiency, her balls became a piece of cake to attack. It's very apparent when you check-out the names of the players that beat her in her "2nd career": practically all hard-hitters.

But she beat the hard hitters as well :shrug:

Sharapower
Jul 15th, 2009, 07:43 AM
But she beat the hard hitters as well :shrug:
Of course but far less often than they beat her.

hingis-seles
Jul 15th, 2009, 01:54 PM
Does my eye mist over at the memory of Austin, Jaeger, Seles, Sabatini, Capriati and Hingis .... Austin, Jaeger, and Hingis robbed of their physical abilities because of playing too much too young. Capriati losing the heart of her career in rebellion against the pressure her family put on her. Sabatini pulling a pre-Clijsters/Henin, and getting out young because it just wasn't worth it? Yeah my eyes mist over. At what we'll never see because those players were abused so young.

Interestingly, Seles is the only one not considered a victim of burnout, though she is mentioned in every article on teenage burnout, probably due to her phenomenal success as a teenager. I think Seles is a great example of being able to succeed at a very young age without your body falling apart or going batshit insane, as is the case with most women's tennis players.

tennnisfannn
Jul 15th, 2009, 02:12 PM
perhaps selea being out for two years after the satbbing gave her body/mind the recovery time it needed. sorry to have to quote such a tragic event.

Kworb
Jul 15th, 2009, 04:38 PM
The main reason is that young players these days are taught a ball bashing game that takes physical maturity to master. From a young age all of their lessons are based on hitting the ball as hard as possible. It's no longer about accuracy, intelligent play, variety, which Hingis and Seles mastered at such a young age. This type of game could still be successful on the WTA tour today, but no parent or coach wants to try it anymore because it takes more effort on their part and more talent on the kid's part.

faboozadoo15
Jul 15th, 2009, 06:19 PM
perhaps selea being out for two years after the satbbing gave her body/mind the recovery time it needed. sorry to have to quote such a tragic event.

Well, I don't think many look at it this way. Seles hardly had a conventional injury that would require her to take time off, and the weight she put on, the way she grew, and NOT playing made her susceptible to injury when she returned. She probably would have won a few more majors if not for her bum shoulder.

And it's hardly as if Monica had a long career.

taevaughn
Jul 22nd, 2009, 05:31 PM
I'd think so too if I was a fan of Venus Williams.

:confused:

Rui.
Jul 22nd, 2009, 06:21 PM
And Michelle will maybe fall out of the top 100 the week after the next one...She has Montreal 3rd round to defend and unless she reaches something like the QF of Standford (if she is to play it) she gets out i think :lol:

DOUBLEFIST
Jul 22nd, 2009, 09:17 PM
The main reason is that young players these days are taught a ball bashing game that takes physical maturity to master. From a young age all of their lessons are based on hitting the ball as hard as possible. It's no longer about accuracy, intelligent play, variety, which Hingis and Seles mastered at such a young age. This type of game could still be successful on the WTA tour today, but no parent or coach wants to try it anymore because it takes more effort on their part and more talent on the kid's part.

Excuse me if I've misunderstood your point, but that makes no sense.

The fact is, the supposed "ball bashing" style that kids are taught these days is taught for the very reason that it is EASIER and much more QUICKLY mastered, which would inevitably lead to success at a younger age.

TiagoEsteves
Jul 22nd, 2009, 09:40 PM
Michelle Larcher de Brito is one of the most powerfull players at TOP 100. She is fantastic!! Melanie Oudin is other player very strong. I like Polona Hercog, also.

denny5576
Jul 23rd, 2009, 06:10 PM
http://img444.imageshack.us/img444/7286/agetop800july142009.gif

Kworb
Jul 23rd, 2009, 07:20 PM
Here is an example of how amazing teens used to be.. 15-year-old Capriati vs. 17-year-old Seles in the 1991 US Open SF:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5OMHVKIIeU

simonsaystennis
Jul 23rd, 2009, 09:59 PM
I miss the tennis teen. :sad: I think the restrictions should be loosened a bit. Most of the 18-19 year olds in the top 100 would probably have gotten there at 16 or 17 if they were allowed to play more.

Dav.
Jul 23rd, 2009, 10:05 PM
Yeah, I loved following players like Kournikova who made a Wimbly SF at 16 or Tati with an Aussie 4R at 15, Wimbly 4R at 16 and top 30 at 16, 20 at 17. You just don't see that much anymore.

KournikovaFan91
Jul 24th, 2009, 02:18 AM
I know they don't seem to make it through for some reason.

Age restrictions are too tight. 17 should be the age for a player to player unlimited amount of tournies.

taevaughn
Jul 26th, 2009, 04:42 AM
Michelle Larcher de Brito is one of the most powerfull players at TOP 100. She is fantastic!! Melanie Oudin is other player very strong. I like Polona Hercog, also.

ita! :worship: mel :hug:

tennisbum79
Jul 26th, 2009, 04:49 AM
I'd say it is a good thing.
They have to realize it takes more than just bashing the ball. They need to make serious adjustment from junior to the pros if they want to succeed.

This is totally uncessary, but I think it is a-propos here.
There is a reason it called Women Tennis Associattion, not Girls Tennis Association.
This suggests a level of maturity lacking in most teens currenlty on the tour.