PDA

View Full Version : Is Alisa Kleybanova the WTA's future?


Serenus Christ
Mar 17th, 2010, 09:49 PM
By Douglas Perry, The Oregonian
There's been a lot of talk lately about the WTA being in bad shape, about how only senior citizens Serena Williams and Justine Henin are flying the flag of sincere quality while the younger generation -- Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic, Agnes Szavay, etc. -- are nothing but long-legged poseurs.

Could be, could be. But maybe there is a youngster making a move and we just haven't noticed. Meet the 20-year-old Russian Alisa Kleybanova.

She won in Malaysia a couple of weeks ago, topping a streaking Elena Dementieva in the final. Here in Indian Wells, she knocked out Kim Clijsters Monday with an astonishing display of nerveless third-set tennis. And today, looking like a happy trained seal, she just ousted Carla Suarez Navarro in a playful, come-from-behind thriller, 2-6, 7-6, 6-4.

Despite being 5'11" and more than 160 pounds, Kleybanova has been consistently overlooked by pundits searching for the Next Big Thing. Actually, it's probably precisely because she's such a big girl that she has slipped under the radar. No one thought Lindsay Davenport would be the model for 21st-century women's tennis.

But while at first glance she'll make fans of a certain age recall Betty Stove, Kleybanova plays a very modern power baseline game. When she leans into her backhand, it stays bent. The ball zips down the line on its way to low-altitude orbit. And yet she's not just a banger. Like with Serena, you wonder how she gets around the court so well. Plus, she's smart. She beat Clijsters by changing up the pace, mixing her oompah drives with high-bouncing loopers right out of Chris Evert's French Open playbook.

Something old, something new. It looks like the future.
--

So is Alisa the real deal?

Uranium
Mar 17th, 2010, 09:51 PM
:lol: at Szavay being put with Ivanovic and Jankovic. Plus JJ is 25 hardly a part of the "younger" generation IMO.
Alisa is definitely talented and fast for her size. And if anyone has seen her play doubles, she is a BEAST out there.

Cosantoir
Mar 17th, 2010, 09:52 PM
Kleybanova is a fighter and she does not give up. That will carry her farther than any of these other girls choking and having tearful meltdowns on court.

fufuqifuqishahah
Mar 17th, 2010, 09:52 PM
Serena has much more apparent musculature
especially when she was younger
look at that bootay!

Kleybanova's movement is much more of a wonder.
But there is apparent athletic ability there!

Maybe it's just her attire choice.
Perhaps she will be donning a catsuit at the USO soon.

tenn_ace
Mar 17th, 2010, 09:55 PM
oh my... can only imagine what dirt will be poured at Alisa in this thread...

Serenus Christ
Mar 17th, 2010, 09:57 PM
Maybe it's just her attire choice.
Perhaps she will be donning a catsuit at the USO soon.

:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

Kipling
Mar 17th, 2010, 09:57 PM
It's probably too soon to tell for certain, but she has many of the qualities that the top players today have.

It wouldn't be the worst thing for the WTA--she seems like a really nice girl. A couple of years ago, she took apart Vaidisova in Miami like it was nothing, but then lost a lead against Zvonareva the next round and visibly crumbed. She was really distraught. At the time I didn't know anything about her, and was pulling for Vera, but after the match she was walking next to me back toward the locker room and I just turned to her and saw the tears streaming down her cheeks and said "Good try, Alisa! You'll get her next time!"

So you can blame her turnaround on me, lol.

delicatecutter
Mar 17th, 2010, 09:58 PM
Alisa is a marvel out on the court. :hearts:

Serenus Christ
Mar 17th, 2010, 09:58 PM
oh my... can only imagine what dirt will be poured at Alisa in this thread...

I don't see why everyone hates her :confused:
Me and my friend met her, and she is really nice, and she really is not that fat in real life.
In her case the camera adds 20 pounds.

hdfb
Mar 17th, 2010, 10:00 PM
Well, she has been pretty impressive lately.. Just don't want to jinx her!

Noctis
Mar 17th, 2010, 10:06 PM
She gets alot of balls back,and hit winners at outrageous angles,a big serve.
seems to be talented but brainless.

Shvedbarilescu
Mar 17th, 2010, 10:07 PM
Alisa is one of the players that will be in the mix at the top of the game in the future. But she, herself, is not on her own going to be the future of the WTA. I really don't see any single player dominating play in the WTA's post Williams sisters landscape for a number of years. I believe the future will be 6 to 10 players who are all able to beat each other on their days. Alisa should certainly be one of those players and she will bring a distinctive brand of ultra agressive powerhitting mixed with dogged retrieving and fine netskills with her.

Ferg
Mar 17th, 2010, 10:08 PM
I would like to think so. Rather her than Wozniacki.

Ballbasher
Mar 17th, 2010, 10:10 PM
She gets alot of balls back,and hit winners at outrageous angles,a big serve.
seems to be talented but brainless.
Alisa certainly hits a big ball, but I wouldn't describe her brainless. She has court sense and as you said her angles are impressive. Her volleys are above standard, I would say. I think we will see, where Alisa belongs within the next 2 years! But she may breakthrough.

tennisbum79
Mar 17th, 2010, 10:11 PM
I thought the respective twin career of Kim and Justine would be the anchor to the WTA future?

Mary Carillo and others would not be pleased with this new development if it pans out,

Roookie
Mar 17th, 2010, 10:18 PM
I thought the respective twin career of Kim and Justine would be the anchor to the WTA future?

Mary Carillo and others would not be pleased with this new development if it pans out,

:rolleyes: Will you stop with that :bs:. Justine and Kim had made the finals of the last 2 slams, they lead the WS 2-1 since they came back. Get over it!.

goldenlox
Mar 17th, 2010, 10:28 PM
Alisa is around the same age as Caro and Vika. Still well behind them in results.
A fun part of tennis is watching these players develop their careers.
All 3 of them will do all right. I dont know if any win majors or not

Dunlop1
Mar 17th, 2010, 10:28 PM
I hope not. Not attractive and her game is ugly. Just being real.

delicatecutter
Mar 17th, 2010, 10:30 PM
I hope not. Not attractive and her game is ugly. Just being real.

She's prettier than the thing in your avatar. :tape:

Kipling
Mar 17th, 2010, 10:35 PM
Alisa is around the same age as Caro and Vika. Still well behind them in results.
A fun part of tennis is watching these players develop their careers.
All 3 of them will do all right. I dont know if any win majors or not

That's why they put the finishing line at the end of the race. Chris and Martina are only two years apart, and in the 1970's, it was clear that Chris was the better, and more accomplished player. I doubt there are many who would claim, today, that Martina isn't the female GOAT. But if internet forums had been around then, Martina would have been written off as a "wasted talent" about a million times.

And I agree that watching the players develop is most fascinating. Honestly, who really thought Pennetta's career would bloom so late, or Hingis' would fizzle so early? No one really knows what is around the corner. Sharapova can attest to that.

Dunlop1
Mar 17th, 2010, 10:36 PM
She's prettier than the thing in your avatar. :tape:

But her tennis is way uglier than your singing. (which is really bad)

delicatecutter
Mar 17th, 2010, 10:41 PM
But her tennis is way uglier than your singing. (which is really bad)

:haha: Her tennis is better than my singing! :help:

Dunlop1
Mar 17th, 2010, 10:47 PM
:haha: Her tennis is better than my singing! :help:

Ok, you might be right on that one :lol:

spiritedenergy
Mar 17th, 2010, 11:27 PM
She looks like an improved version of Ana, apart from the fact that her BH is her best shot. She has talent but will she have the will and mental fortitude of a top player? hard to tell now...

pav
Mar 17th, 2010, 11:38 PM
Can't believe The Fat, ugly game ,not attractive comments,she is easily as attractive, and no more overweight than Capriati was for example, but never a word about her, I have mention a little perspiration , and chuckled at "Big Bitch" but the bugger can play,and fight!

Serena y Monica
Mar 17th, 2010, 11:42 PM
She gets alot of balls back,and hit winners at outrageous angles,a big serve.
seems to be talented but brainless.

Will someone please explain to me why being powerful and knowing ur game is for some of you equal to brainlessness. All tennis players make minor adjustments during the course of a match and have to rely on tactics to some extent, even if it isn't obvious to us or the talking heads (the majority of whom were pushers who had to rely heavily on tactics cause they didn't have the ability or courage to hit out ).

Midnight_Robber
Mar 18th, 2010, 12:11 AM
Will someone please explain to me why being powerful and knowing ur game is for some of you equal to brainlessness. All tennis players make minor adjustments during the course of a match and have to rely on tactics to some extent, even if it isn't obvious to us or the talking heads (the majority of whom were pushers who had to rely heavily on tactics cause they didn't have the ability or courage to hit out ).

Agreed. I think she can hit some rushed, impatient shots but she isn't hanging with the big players by 'accident'. She has good court sense and keeps a tactical awareness where her opponent is placed. (One of the things I really like about her is hat you don't get this hard-struck yet pointless cross-court returns that go right into an opponents strike zone and is a waste time.) Her cross-court shots either pressure opponents or simply pass them. That's not 'brainless'.

Those angles that she uses are very strategic and she is thinking about where she is placing the ball and is often aiming to move and/or wrong-foot her opponents. And why do dismissive of her use of angles. (Sure she's not Seles, but I don't see how relentless angles and power = "brainless bashing'. :rolleyes:) And I also agree that forcing yourself to go for it on the big points, rather than cowering or pushing and being aggressive *is* a strategy.

Kipling
Mar 18th, 2010, 12:25 AM
Can't believe The Fat, ugly game ,not attractive comments,she is easily as attractive, and no more overweight than Capriati was for example, but never a word about her, I have mention a little perspiration , and chuckled at "Big Bitch" but the bugger can play,and fight!

I'll guarantee that if anyone who called her those things saw her glamour photos, they'd be shocked. By any objective standard, she's an attractive woman. Nobody looks their best hot and sweaty in tennis duds.

As for her game, you can't argue with results, and she's stringing them together nicely now.

I am as guilty of wishing it as anyone, I guess, but tennis is not a game that's ever going to be dominated by six foot tall supermodels. The way the game has evolved, being a "Big Babe", as Mary Carillo says, is the way to go. It worked out well for Davenport, Seles, and, as you mentioned, Capriati. And obviously Serena. It takes alot of muscle and bulk to hit the ball consistently hard and not have your body break down. That is a big advantage in the long run. I look at Sharapova, who has a world of talent but a very frail build and I am now seriously wondering whether she will even be playing in three years.

Wozniacki and Azarenka could be the next to hit the injury wall given their slight builds and the toll that playing a physical style of game takes on the body. I seriously hope not. I wish injuries weren't a part of the game, but they are, and being strong and having a healthy build are as beneficial as being "fit". Someone like Dementieva, who strikes a balance between the two, probably has the best of both worlds. I could see her playing well into her 30's. Most will retire or be driven from the game with injuries long before that.

SIN DIOS NI LEY
Mar 18th, 2010, 12:34 AM
Like Verdasco on the ATP, the Future

Singleniacki
Mar 18th, 2010, 12:35 AM
Jinx article :sobbing:

Alisa can do it!

Bronx19
Mar 18th, 2010, 12:42 AM
You guys are always after a saviour.

fufuqifuqishahah
Mar 18th, 2010, 12:43 AM
Can't believe The Fat, ugly game ,not attractive comments,she is easily as attractive, and no more overweight than Capriati was for example, but never a word about her, I have mention a little perspiration , and chuckled at "Big Bitch" but the bugger can play,and fight!

No. Capriati was a big girl but she was leaner than Kleybanova.
Add on to that Capriati's cleaner visual appearance ...
Kleybanova's posture and walking style;
Kleybanova's literal hair wrenching;
Kleybanova throwing her weight, very visually, into every shot;
Kleybanova's attire selection;
and yes, when you are big, a tan can be slimming.


She is attractive, but how she carries herself on court is not typical of what majority of people call attractive.

fufuqifuqishahah
Mar 18th, 2010, 12:48 AM
Those angles that she uses are very strategic and she is thinking about where she is placing the ball and is often aiming to move and/or wrong-foot her opponents. And why do dismissive of her use of angles. (Sure she's not Seles, but I don't see how relentless angles and power = "brainless bashing'. :rolleyes:) And I also agree that forcing yourself to go for it on the big points, rather than cowering or pushing and being aggressive *is* a strategy.

For sure! That's one of the things I was most impressed by when she stepped into the scene AO last year.

She is a ballbasher, but she is hardly brainless. You can clearly tell she is thinking where to place the ball.

Just because you make a lot of UE, that doesn't mean you are brainless.

duhcity
Mar 18th, 2010, 12:51 AM
If Alisa dropped 20 pounds or turned it into muscle, she'd be top 3 easily.

delicatecutter
Mar 18th, 2010, 01:48 AM
I'll guarantee that if anyone who called her those things saw her glamour photos, they'd be shocked. By any objective standard, she's an attractive woman. Nobody looks their best hot and sweaty in tennis duds.

As for her game, you can't argue with results, and she's stringing them together nicely now.

I am as guilty of wishing it as anyone, I guess, but tennis is not a game that's ever going to be dominated by six foot tall supermodels. The way the game has evolved, being a "Big Babe", as Mary Carillo says, is the way to go. It worked out well for Davenport, Seles, and, as you mentioned, Capriati. And obviously Serena. It takes alot of muscle and bulk to hit the ball consistently hard and not have your body break down. That is a big advantage in the long run. I look at Sharapova, who has a world of talent but a very frail build and I am now seriously wondering whether she will even be playing in three years.

Wozniacki and Azarenka could be the next to hit the injury wall given their slight builds and the toll that playing a physical style of game takes on the body. I seriously hope not. I wish injuries weren't a part of the game, but they are, and being strong and having a healthy build are as beneficial as being "fit". Someone like Dementieva, who strikes a balance between the two, probably has the best of both worlds. I could see her playing well into her 30's. Most will retire or be driven from the game with injuries long before that.

I don't think Caro has a slight build at all. She is quite meaty. Not only that, but she doesn't play a power game. She will surely be around to torture us all for years to come.

Singleniacki
Mar 18th, 2010, 01:50 AM
Alisa is a babe. That is all.

Kipling
Mar 18th, 2010, 02:00 AM
I don't think Caro has a slight build at all. She is quite meaty. Not only that, but she doesn't play a power game. She will surely be around to torture us all for years to come.


Maybe. I think Wozniacki is pretty thin in comparison to most of the other top women. And by "physical", I don't necessarily mean hitting hard, though that's part of it. But doing a lot of running and defending, playing long points and trying to outlast an opponent is just as demanding. It's all wear and tear on the body.

moon
Mar 18th, 2010, 02:50 AM
I like her, and i like her game even more. she reminds me ALOT of Lindsay, and i wouldn't be surprised to see her career take the same trajectory.
Big things in the future for this girl. :)

Volcana
Mar 18th, 2010, 02:54 AM
She gets alot of balls back,and hit winners at outrageous angles,a big serve.
seems to be talented but brainless.Either you haven't watched her play, or you don;t know a damn thing about tennis. Kleybanova not only comes into matches with a paln, when it stops working, she actually changes what she's doing. And in a very thought out way.

I described this in another thread, so I'll keep it short here.

vs Clijsters, when Clijsters won 9 of 10 games, Kleybanova relentlessly attcked Clijsters backhand, clearly by design. And eventually, she'd get a short slice return, move in .... and dump it in the net. At 0-3 in the third, she stopped doing that. She stopped hitting four, five, six times to Clijsters backhand, seeking a weak reply. She couldn't handle the weak reply. So she changed. Went to net a couple times, used s drop shot against the cross court slice, hit high topshit so Clijsters couldn't get over it.

You described as 'brainless', a player who not only executes an actual strategy, but can think well enough on the court, for herself, to successfully change that strategy, on American hardcourts vs the US Open champion.

Her technique is ungainly, she's packing extra pounds, and her serve is pedestrian.

But she's a thinker, she give max effort, and she's got a kill shot.

'The Future of the WTA'? No. But 'one slam wonder'? She can get there. All she needs is a slam draw of seven reactive players who can't build a point. Any shortage of those?

davidmario
Mar 18th, 2010, 02:56 AM
She might have the best anticipation out there! It's unbelievable how she got to some of those shots. And her serve is very powerful. She perfectly takes advantage of her weight there.

rjd1111
Mar 18th, 2010, 03:57 AM
I like Kleybo and I think she will be a force.

I love that drive and determination.

So Disrespectful
Mar 18th, 2010, 04:21 AM
Kleybanova is a fighter and she does not give up. That will carry her farther than any of these other girls choking and having tearful meltdowns on court.

I agree that she's a fighter, but she's still a choker. Perhaps she's growing out of it though.

Tennisstar86
Mar 18th, 2010, 04:26 AM
:rolleyes: Will you stop with that :bs:. Justine and Kim had made the finals of the last 2 slams, they lead the WS 2-1 since they came back. Get over it!.

Don't link them...

Kim is 1-0 against Venus
Kim is 1-0 against Serena
Justine is 0-1 against Serena..... nice try though...

but anyways...ummm She kinda reminds me of Davenport...needs to get into just a little bit better shape... She prolly could win a major honestly...it concerns me sometimes those shots on the run where she just launches herself at the ball...looks dangerous. lol

Pasta-Na
Mar 18th, 2010, 04:29 AM
shes talented :p

Pheobo
Mar 18th, 2010, 04:40 AM
I can definitely see her winning a couple majors in her career. The future of women's tennis though? No...I don't see her dominating to that extent.

iGOAT
Mar 18th, 2010, 04:42 AM
IDK about being huge (like GS winning) but IMO Alisa, Anastasia, and Yanina will be top ten very soon.

tennisfan5
Mar 18th, 2010, 05:10 AM
I for one am impressed at her stamina and court movement. Hopefully, though, she will lose some of the weight--carrying extra weight around the court can eventually lead to injury (see Seles, Monica--stress fracture in her case)

Mlle Bruni
Mar 18th, 2010, 05:18 AM
Yes she is.

tennnisfannn
Mar 18th, 2010, 05:24 AM
Don't link them...

Kim is 1-0 against Venus
Kim is 1-0 against Serena
Justine is 0-1 against Serena..... nice try though...

. lol
More like Kim & Foot fault is 1-0 against serena. We all know what serena can do when the chips are down!

tennnisfannn
Mar 18th, 2010, 05:34 AM
Isn't is facinating how peole are falling over themselves to try and explain Alysa? They would like to call her heavy and yet cannot explain how well she moves and instead are stuck using words like 'stamina, good anticipation, etc
They would like to say she is too big but we all know and love Lindsay and know what she accomplished! Some have settled on calling her brainless coz it is too much effort to watch and appreciate that she does indeed have a plan. They figure brains and brawns don't go together and that is the biggest myth out there. the very essence of playing sport is brawn, unless you consider chess a sport. One without the other gets you nowhere.
Personally i am excited that there is another contender on the horizons.

Aryman3
Mar 18th, 2010, 09:26 PM
no

goldenlox
Mar 18th, 2010, 09:54 PM
Alisa does not have enough stamina. Fitness is a big problem for her.
She had yesterday off and still fell apart in set 2.
In a major you have to play better as you get to your 4th, 5th, 6th match.
Alisa gets tired after 3 or 4 matches, even with off days.

Shvedbarilescu
Mar 18th, 2010, 10:13 PM
I think some people do mistake her hustle and great anticipation for great court speed. The truth I believe is that, relative to most of the WTA, Alisa's actual speed about the court is still quite slow which is, given her physique, very understandable. But she compensates for this magnificently with an amazing determination to run down every single ball she can humanly get to as well as tremendous anticipation and court sense. Given the weight she does have to carry around with her I am always amazed at how many balls she does get to and more than anything I think it is a tribute to her heart and her character.

Shvedbarilescu
Mar 18th, 2010, 10:20 PM
Isn't is facinating how peole are falling over themselves to try and explain Alysa? They would like to call her heavy and yet cannot explain how well she moves and instead are stuck using words like 'stamina, good anticipation, etc
They would like to say she is too big but we all know and love Lindsay and know what she accomplished! Some have settled on calling her brainless coz it is too much effort to watch and appreciate that she does indeed have a plan. They figure brains and brawns don't go together and that is the biggest myth out there. the very essence of playing sport is brawn, unless you consider chess a sport. One without the other gets you nowhere.
Personally i am excited that there is another contender on the horizons.

She does have a lot of character that is without question. And she can be quite astute tactically. But not always. I've seen matches where she comes across looking pretty smart and other matches where she simply resorts to hitting everything even harder than is wise for her and in doing so she can on occasion become an unforced error machine. I think in terms of tactics she has her good days and her bad days. But there is no question she is improving and learning all the time.

Jakeev
Mar 18th, 2010, 10:33 PM
What's been impressive about Alisa is her comittment to fitness. Every time I see her she seems in better shape than she was before. BUT she still has much more work to do.
If she keeps this going, though, we might see her in the top ten by this time in 2011.

tennisbum79
Mar 18th, 2010, 10:55 PM
she needs BALCO type team to get her top five. just ask henin.
Hmmm.. are agreeing with late papa Clijsters??:devil:

edificio
Mar 19th, 2010, 12:31 AM
Yes! She is the future. She will get better AND get in better shape. See Lindsay Davenport for a good model. It is good to see some younger players playing well, even if she takes out of my faves in the process.

maha789
Mar 29th, 2010, 05:38 AM
There's been a lot of talk lately about the WTA being in bad shape, about how only senior citizens Serena Williams and Justine Henin are flying the flag of sincere quality while the younger generation -- Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic, Agnes Szavay, etc. -- are nothing but long-legged poseurs.

Could be, could be. But maybe there is a youngster making a move and we just haven't noticed. Meet the 20-year-old Russian Alisa Kleybanova.

She won in Malaysia a couple of weeks ago, topping a streaking Elena Dementieva in the final. Here in Indian Wells, she knocked out Kim Clijsters Monday with an astonishing display of nerveless third-set tennis. And today, looking like a happy trained seal, she just ousted Carla Suarez Navarro in a playful, come-from-behind thriller, 2-6, 7-6, 6-4.

Despite being 5'11" and more than 160 pounds, Kleybanova has been consistently overlooked by pundits searching for the Next Big Thing. Actually, it's probably precisely because she's such a big girl that she has slipped under the radar. No one thought Lindsay Davenport would be the model for 21st-century women's tennis.

But while at first glance she'll make fans of a certain age recall Betty Stove, Kleybanova plays a very modern power baseline game. When she leans into her backhand, it stays bent. The ball zips down the line on its way to low-altitude orbit. And yet she's not just a banger. Like with Serena, you wonder how she gets around the court so well. Plus, she's smart. She beat Clijsters by changing up the pace, mixing her oompah drives with high-bouncing loopers right out of Chris Evert's French Open playbook.
__________________________________________________ _
Tummy Tuck (http://tummytuckguide.com)
n methyl d aspartic acid (http://www.musclewarfare.com)