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View Full Version : Great Movers in Women's tennis - video clips


Steffica Greles
Sep 11th, 2009, 01:24 AM
Steffi Graf - Always perfectly balanced, faultless footwork, able to measure a required speed better than anybody ever has. Never seemed stretched. Seemed to float in the air, such was her rate of bouncy small steps. Could have done ballet. Could have been a gold-winning sprinter, or long distance runner. Ran the Olympic qualifying time. The best all-round mover there's ever been, I think.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apGkPZOhrxc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cN4Q_Ov9TMM&feature=related (2.39 - just watch this!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bYmsCGo56Q (1.15 - amazing footwork!)

Martina Navratilova - Sliced and diced her way forward with lightning fast reflexes lent from, along with Serena, the strongest legs there have ever been in women's tennis. Nobody else in their mid-late 30s has been as close to their peak level as she was, by virtue of her physical strength.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSLxT0ciVgw&feature=related (1.33 - Navratilova's last major win over Graf, at 35!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0y2iqkp6HY (36 seconds)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQbQiCjIRKs&feature=related (arguably her greatest ever performance)

Serena Williams - At sprint speed, the fastest woman there's ever been in 2002. The strength of her legs enables her to hit many shots off balance, although she needs it because her balance itself is sometimes poor.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfvB_D9_-6U (1.38; 5.08...classic movement, classic match...just breathtaking speed and strength from Serena)

Venus Williams - Another contender for the fastest woman ever in some areas. Her speed laterally across the baseline at her peak is possibly the greatest.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Y_uRwl_Slg (6.16 - again, tremendous!)

Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario - Wrote the book on getting back into a point with speed and agility which seemed to know no bounds. Perfect balance and powerful sprint speed both forward and laterally. Had the same qualities as Nadal. Retrieved balls no player now or since would have ran for, and often won the point by inducing panic in her opponents through her ability to keep returning what would have been winning shots against anybody else.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_sFNo-T3dc (1.30 - typical Arantxa!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWLo38LaTAM (1.01..just impassable - watch Graf's face in the replay!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EJ35EPHRDc (you might as well watch it all...oh the days when women's tennis had drama! Just brilliant!)

Jana Novotna - Cat-like movement, light footed, graceful mover. Lunged more than any player I remember other than Martina N. Leapt in the air several feet off the ground for her smashes, a sight which will go down in history. Incredibly fast reflexes, ever nimble.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ywvMSrxMq0 (3.28)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jwc24t5Ng3Y&feature=related (6.21)


Jennifer Capriati - A powerful mover, her speed lay in the strength of her legs. Excellent at covering out wide in particular.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uX6ningZyGk&feature=related (7.35)

Gabriela Sabatini - Light footed, graceful, yet a powerful athlete, with immense strength in her legs. Covered the net and the baseline with ease. With Navratilova declining, she was the only one who could truly compete with Graf in terms of athleticism from the baseline.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFcDt0s5UOs&feature=related (4.13)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmRWu1xbgI0&feature=related (this whole clip showcases her athleticism)

We don't need clips...

Jelena Jankovic - Light footed and fast reflexes. Has some of the qualities of Sanchez-Vicario.

Elena Dementieva - I know nothing of genetics, but if there is a 'Graf gene', then Dementieva has the closest make-up of all today's players. Not quite as well-drilled a mover, but the potential was there. No flaws in her movement.

Justine Henin - Perfect balance and footwork, positioning, as well as a sprint speed which was possibly the best in women's tennis during her era, relative to her height.

Honourable mentions to Kuznetsova, Date and Mauresmo and Coetzer.

-jenks-
Sep 11th, 2009, 01:47 AM
Kim Clijsters?? :scratch: :confused:

Hashim.
Sep 11th, 2009, 01:48 AM
^ just what I was going to write.:lol:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4EKndqm1Yw&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5v1dzy1UhqA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8us7srCF2o&feature=response_watch

Steffica Greles
Sep 11th, 2009, 01:51 AM
Kim Clijsters?? :scratch: :confused:
Sorry, you're quite right!

It was nagging at me that I'd forgotten someone obvious. There it was!

espntennis
Sep 11th, 2009, 01:53 AM
Martina Hingis??

hingisGOAT
Sep 11th, 2009, 01:54 AM
Martina Hingis??

don't get him started :angel:

Steffica Greles
Sep 11th, 2009, 01:54 AM
Martina Hingis??

Eh? She had great footwork and positioning, but please, she was not an athlete. Couldn't sprint to save her life. If you're going to add people like Hingis, you may as well add peak Seles. And then it gets pointless. I'm talking sublime, real top grade athletics here.

Apoleb
Sep 11th, 2009, 02:01 AM
Oh.. That Steffi lob against Venus on the run. Incredible. She's the most beautiful player to watch on grass, ever.

KournikovaFan91
Sep 11th, 2009, 02:04 AM
Kournikova anyone :confused:

spiritedenergy
Sep 11th, 2009, 02:17 AM
ok you found a way to show a million of videos of Graf, we get it.

Next!

Havok
Sep 11th, 2009, 02:56 AM
Amanda Coetzer anyone?:shrug: She won all her matches thanks to her legs pretty much. She surely didn't overpower her opponents.

After watching all these clips, I've come to realize that the WTA Tour sucks BALLS. Where are all these shot makers and high quality matches at the big events? Everyone just hits hits and hits with no remorse and simply make shitloads of errors.:help:

fufuqifuqishahah
Sep 11th, 2009, 04:11 AM
Nice thread.

Jankovic - Serena in Miami 08!!!! lol


Venus lateral net coverage is crazy... but she isnt considered that much of a threat at net. If she had more consistent volley technique she would be the net queen / demon.

Venus - Sharapova Wimbledon 05 comes to mind as a good match to see Venus lateral (not talking about net) movement


Also, YEC championships when they were in LA are good example of Serena and Clijsters movement

moby
Sep 11th, 2009, 04:38 AM
Fantastic thread.

Here's a clip of Henin:
S5ufqwWUiQQ

DOUBLEFIST
Sep 11th, 2009, 04:54 AM
Nice thread. Nice break down.

I think you gotta fit Couetzer in there somewhere- unless, of course, you're trying to limit it to slam champs. Of course then, you have to remove JJ and ED.

Wasn't it the West Germany 400 Meter qualifying time that Steffi ran?

btw,

Damn, I miss those Puma days for Serena. She's never looked as good in ANYONE'S fits. NEVER. Nor has she ever moved as well as between then and late '02.

And that Venus clip :eek: She was/is a friggin' Praying Mantis out there. :lol:

frenchie
Sep 11th, 2009, 06:02 AM
Myskina deserves a mention

LeonHart
Sep 11th, 2009, 06:12 AM
Eh? She had great footwork and positioning, but please, she was not an athlete. Couldn't sprint to save her life. If you're going to add people like Hingis, you may as well add peak Seles. And then it gets pointless. I'm talking sublime, real top grade athletics here.

So? You don't have to be an athlete to be a great mover. Hingis was the most fluid mover in the game, and she anticipated incredibly well, which makes her even faster. You're just a Hingis hater :rolleyes:

G1Player2
Sep 11th, 2009, 06:26 AM
Eh? She had great footwork and positioning, but please, she was not an athlete. Couldn't sprint to save her life. If you're going to add people like Hingis, you may as well add peak Seles. And then it gets pointless. I'm talking sublime, real top grade athletics here.


What?! Hingis was incredibly quick. She got off the mark faster and better than anyone which had more to do with her anticipation than anything IMO, but she moved incredibly well. She was definitely one of the fastest players during her PEAK.

Steffica Greles
Sep 11th, 2009, 07:37 AM
Oh here we go. Look, Hingis was not a great athlete. Anybody knows that. Monica Seles in her prime was also very quick across the baseline, but she was not an athlete. I'm talking about women who could have excelled in a number of sports. Hingis could not have done. She was built like an average woman on the streets, and could not sprint to a ball to save her life. Yes, she was extremely quick into position, and to anticipate, but when you can't run especially fast, you're not a great athlete, and can't be categorised as a 'great mover' in my estimation. It is not because I have anything against Hingis; I haven't included Seles either, or Davenport. Objectivity is a term some people cannot understand.

Beat
Sep 11th, 2009, 07:43 AM
Couldn't sprint to save her life.

but the title says "great movers", not "great sprinters" or "great athletes". it's really not the same thing, and that's why i'm questioning venus and capriati's inclusion.

skanky~skanketta
Sep 11th, 2009, 07:49 AM
Oh here we go. Look, Hingis was not a great athlete. Anybody knows that. Monica Seles in her prime was also very quick across the baseline, but she was not an athlete. I'm talking about women who could have excelled in a number of sports. Hingis could not have done. She was built like an average woman on the streets, and could not sprint to a ball to save her life. Yes, she was extremely quick into position, and to anticipate, but when you can't run especially fast, you're not a great athlete, and can't be categorised as a 'great mover' in my estimation. It is not because I have anything against Hingis; I haven't included Seles either, or Davenport. Objectivity is a term some people cannot understand.
I agree. Hingis' anticipation was sublime and because she was able to think 2 shots ahead (something no other player can), it made her appear faster than she actually was. If Kuznetsova had an ounce of Hingis' anticipation, she'd the the fastest player out there because she is a terrific athelete with poor anticipation.

skywalkerbg
Jan 9th, 2012, 12:44 AM
Hingis was a different kind of mover. I think she was a thinker, more focused on strategy while playing and therefore (looked)more static, but she COULD run fast if necessary. Here are some videos to show it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZ8t5xa0VJc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XV6GNLn7c4s ( 0:26 and 7:26, picking up drop shots )
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GascfefgPYI

Ofcourse, she was never Clijsters or Venus when it comes to foot speed, but still quite fast when she needed to be. Add to that a superb foot work and anticipation and I think she deserves to be mentioned as one of the great movers.

She was build more like a regular girl because she loathed the gym. If she had a better work out regime(like Henin for example), she would have been even faster but more importantly stronger, and that helps when playing against the big hitters.

I also think Myskina should be mentioned as well as Mauresmo.

machinist
Feb 2nd, 2012, 11:51 AM
I was impressed with Azarenka's movement in Australia and I also think Radwanska has improved a lot in that department.

dusan993
Feb 2nd, 2012, 12:31 PM
Arantxa Rus - unfortunately, that's her only weapon :)

barmaid
Feb 2nd, 2012, 01:01 PM
Oh here we go. Look, Hingis was not a great athlete. Anybody knows that. Monica Seles in her prime was also very quick across the baseline, but she was not an athlete. I'm talking about women who could have excelled in a number of sports. Hingis could not have done. She was built like an average woman on the streets, and could not sprint to a ball to save her life. Yes, she was extremely quick into position, and to anticipate, but when you can't run especially fast, you're not a great athlete, and can't be categorised as a 'great mover' in my estimation. It is not because I have anything against Hingis; I haven't included Seles either, or Davenport. Objectivity is a term some people cannot understand.

Sorry but Martina was extremely athletic, she participated in more sports than most tennis players, an accomplished skier, good skater, horse jumped professionally, good swimmer, roller-blade skater, played badminton, ping pong, enjoyed kicking a soccer ball around so what else did your precious Steffi do athletically??

Barmaid:wavey:

Aryman3
Feb 2nd, 2012, 01:17 PM
Aga has fine legs not only for photos

wolfgang
Feb 2nd, 2012, 10:05 PM
Sorry but Martina was extremely athletic, she participated in more sports than most tennis players, an accomplished skier, good skater, horse jumped professionally, good swimmer, roller-blade skater, played badminton, ping pong, enjoyed kicking a soccer ball around so what else did your precious Steffi do athletically??

Barmaid:wavey:

Anyone who ever saw Martina Hingis try to skip rope would know just how unathletic she was. :D She may have skied, skated, rode a horse, swam, played badminton and "ping pong" and enjoyed kicking a soccer ball, but it doesn't require great athletic ability to do any or all of these things - just the time to learn the basic skills required, which would not be out of the reach of most people.

As for Steffi, it's reasonably well attested that she could run the 400m and 800m in times that would have seen her seriously contend for Germany's Olympic team. As for what else she could do, who knows - she didn't seem to need to prove to the world just how athletic she was, which probably says something in itself. :)

Moveyourfeet
Feb 2nd, 2012, 10:07 PM
Steffi's footwork and movement :drool::worship:

azinna
Feb 2nd, 2012, 10:36 PM
Hingis was fantastic at anticipation and was always there. She was a very good mover, too, in that her footspeed and footwork were better than most on the tour. But she wasn't one of the truly great movers of the sport. One indication of this was how infrequently she caused damage when on the run, against her top competition. Another, how infrequently she turned defense into offense against her top competition. I'd say ASV and Justine, even Kim, were better. Because it's one thing to know where the next three shots are going, another thing to be able to prevent the eventually open court.

Interestingly enough, last year I would've described Azarenka, Jankovic and Radwanska similarly as movers. But Vika may have put in the required work to improve her actual quickness. Hard to tell, though, let's see how she holds up against top-level and in-form ball strikers and movers.

....

moby
Feb 2nd, 2012, 10:42 PM
Anyone who ever saw Martina Hingis try to skip rope would know just how unathletic she was. :D She may have skied, skated, rode a horse, swam, played badminton and "ping pong" and enjoyed kicking a soccer ball, but it doesn't require great athletic ability to do any or all of these things - just the time to learn the basic skills required, which would not be out of the reach of most people.I don't know what you mean by "athletic" here. Clearly, Martina is not as strong, or as explosive, or as powerful as many of her tennis peers. But she had excellent body control, balance and hand eye coordination, all of which are in a normal rubric for athleticism. I believe a badminton coach once commenting that she had the natural talent needed to be a top badminton player.

AcesHigh
Feb 2nd, 2012, 10:49 PM
Let's please not mention the non-athletes of today with this group.

Kim deserves a mention. One of the best athletes in women's tennis during the last 20 years

SwingVolley93
Feb 2nd, 2012, 10:53 PM
Aga is one of the best movers :wavey:
dLYeNvsJJsg

VishaalMaria
Feb 2nd, 2012, 11:26 PM
Kim Clijsters.

timafi
Feb 2nd, 2012, 11:40 PM
Amelie :bowdown:

pov
Feb 3rd, 2012, 04:04 AM
t it doesn't require great athletic ability to do any or all of these things - just the time to learn the basic skills required, which would not be out of the reach of most people.


Hmmm . I wonder what the term athletic means to you?

doktor
Feb 3rd, 2012, 05:19 AM
This thread is pointless without Steffica.

JJ all the way
Feb 3rd, 2012, 06:39 AM
Not having Legend in this list totally delegitimizes this thread and proves how biased u are....

Movement is definted by foot speed and anticipation/footwork
Actual analysts will tell you how great of a mover Hingis was - her game relied on it heavily

EDIT: and I just realized that I am rambling with an OP that isnt here lol

Lilowannabe
Feb 3rd, 2012, 08:57 AM
I love me some Hingis, but i never thought of her as a great mover, a good mover yes. Probably the greatest anticipator, but she could never motor round the court like peak WS, Steffi or Kim. I miss Rena 00-03 who had that powerful explosive burst around the court. Id be brave enough to say shes the quickest women ever on a tennis court, back in the day. Venus is generally considered the better athlete, but i think her movement was more down to her flexibility. just my opinion

Yoncé
Feb 3rd, 2012, 10:11 AM
Peak Serena's Movement :bowdown:

MyskinaManiac
Feb 3rd, 2012, 10:37 AM
Myskina. The bitch could move better than anyone. Roland Garros 04 quarter finals vs Venus, she WAS the definition of a human backboard.

The best moment if I can recall was at Moscow vs Dementieva... I wish I could find the video. Both girls ran each other around and I was in awe at some of the retrieving from the two girls.

Sammo
Feb 3rd, 2012, 12:17 PM
And people say that Hantuchova isn't a great mover...

U5PMSf8cqUs

Boxuan
Feb 3rd, 2012, 12:37 PM
Some petite players, such as "YoYo" Zheng Jie, could be a nice mover at the moment, and sometimes you can see she never gives up any possible save till it double bouces, kinda remind me of Michael Chang. :worship: