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jameshazza
Feb 22nd, 2012, 04:55 AM
I've always wondered why on TF Azarenka is referred to as a grinder whereas commentators/analysts would have you believe she's a Sharapova 2.0 with all out aggression.

Another one that springs to mind is Clijsters, she's constantly referred to as a pusher on TF but as an aggressive player by commentators/analysts.

Whos's right? :devil:

Kəv.
Feb 22nd, 2012, 04:57 AM
I never thought Azarenka/Clijsters were pushers/grinders.

I've always thought they are aggressive :shrug:

Lilowannabe
Feb 22nd, 2012, 10:20 AM
I dont think its all of TF. just some posters like to place players in different catergories, whereas i dont think someones playstyle can be catergorised most the time...

Azarenka and Clijsters are good examples, both can be the agressor in a match, with playing counterpunching tennis in others. Personally (just my opinion) labels should only be used for tennis video games, not by tennis fans

C. Drone
Feb 22nd, 2012, 10:35 AM
who would here admit s/he is wrong anyway? :lol:

Kworb
Feb 22nd, 2012, 10:43 AM
People on TF are generally better at understanding tennis than "professional" commentators and analysts. Azarenka is indeed a grinder. She has huge margin on her shots just like Djokovic. They both play an extremely high percentage and effective game, that is unfortunately extremely boring to watch.

However, I have never seen anyone on TF refer to Clijsters as a pusher. She likes to dictate play. It's just that in the past, her main rivals were even more aggressive, and so she was on the defense a lot. But she's never been a low risk, defensive player. I don't really see a different view here between TF and the "professional" commentators, because her game style is so well known and so easily analyzed.

Jane Lane
Feb 22nd, 2012, 10:47 AM
People on TF are generally better at understanding tennis than "professional" commentators and analysts. Azarenka is indeed a grinder. She has huge margin on her shots just like Djokovic. They both play an extremely high percentage and effective game, that is unfortunately extremely boring to watch.

However, I have never seen anyone on TF refer to Clijsters as a pusher. She likes to dictate play. It's just that in the past, her main rivals were even more aggressive, and so she was on the defense a lot. But she's never been a low risk, defensive player. I don't really see a different view here between TF and the "professional" commentators, because her game style is so well known and so easily analyzed.

Claycourter tried to make Kimothy Pushters a thing IIRC.

Apoleb
Feb 22nd, 2012, 10:48 AM
Because we are better. Even "respectable" commentators like Sam Smith spew shit 50% of the time.

Azarenka is a grinder through and through. Clijsters is refered to as a cockroach not as a pusher. :oh: She is fundamentally a retriever - which doesn't mean she's a defensive player, just that she is not willing to dictate from the first strike, but engage in neutral rallies, absorb pace, redirect it and wait for the right moment to go for the kill.

Talula
Feb 22nd, 2012, 10:51 AM
Oh the egos of TF Posters!

StoneRose
Feb 22nd, 2012, 10:57 AM
People on TF are generally better at understanding tennis than "professional" commentators and analysts. Azarenka is indeed a grinder. She has huge margin on her shots just like Djokovic. They both play an extremely high percentage and effective game, that is unfortunately extremely boring to watch.

However, I have never seen anyone on TF refer to Clijsters as a pusher. She likes to dictate play. It's just that in the past, her main rivals were even more aggressive, and so she was on the defense a lot. But she's never been a low risk, defensive player. I don't really see a different view here between TF and the "professional" commentators, because her game style is so well known and so easily analyzed.I doubt that :lol:. In between some good analyses a lot of nonsense is written here.Most professional commentators are also not so quick to hype a player to the moon as happens here. Take a random professional commentator and compare with a random poster here, Most of the time professional commentator will have more insight.

King Halep
Feb 22nd, 2012, 11:14 AM
Azarenka is a power grinder. This is more the case against good players who can control the game against her. Against scrubs ofc she can be more aggressive. She has been changing her game lately though, in the way that Woz keeps talking about doing.

Clijster can adapt her game to the opponent. She got a lot of hate from pressed TF in the AO final against Na because she was more defensive, but that was what the match called for. She just had to wait for Na to start missing and get back in the match.

Celest
Feb 22nd, 2012, 11:22 AM
Most professional commentators are also not so quick to hype a player to the moon as happens here.


They really don't, it's rare to see them ever hold an opinion contrary to the popular belief at the time.

Kworb
Feb 22nd, 2012, 11:33 AM
I doubt that :lol:. In between some good analyses a lot of nonsense is written here.Most professional commentators are also not so quick to hype a player to the moon as happens here. Take a random professional commentator and compare with a random poster here, Most of the time professional commentator will have more insight.
Most of us are far more committed to discussing and analyzing these players than those who get paid to do it. Our views come from years and years of discussing and fighting with other tennis fans, which has given us far better insight than those who are own their little island and don't ever debate the issues. They give their opinion, publish it somewhere and it goes unchallenged. So they get stuck in their false beliefs. The discussion and communication alone here on TF gives us the advantage when it comes to proper analysis, with the only downside that people never want to admit that they're wrong, even when they realize they are.

StoneRose
Feb 22nd, 2012, 06:06 PM
I'm talking about european TV commentators here, don't know as much about american commentators and people who write about tennis. Also talking about the average posters, sure there are some fine analysts on this forum and yes these are often more knowledgeable than TV commentators. But on average "us a better insight"? Please :rolleyes:, just a few points:

Professional commentators won't hype a player to the moon once she wins a few matches. Look what happens with Goerges here, still many believe she'll reach top 10. Professional commentators were more cautious talking about good form and favorite surface which is what it was. She only had one good streak so far, on clay last year. Remember the Oudin hype? Vika was much hyped in 2008, failed to deliver then and was dismissed by many as a boring second rate rhythm player who would never win a slam, look where we are now.

There's much bias in favor of ballbashers on this forum confusing sheer power with talent. It's commonly believed here that if a player can strike the ball hard there must be a lot of talent and consistency will come in time, most of the time this is just plain wrong. Talent is a combination of many abilities not the least of them mental toughness. Professional commentators are more inclined to look at the whole spectrum.

Good looks are favored as well on the forum. Less so with commentators especially if they're female.

If there was a thread here where people were forced to admit they were wrong it would crash the database.

miffedmax
Feb 22nd, 2012, 06:21 PM
The way people use counterpuncher on this forum shows they certainly don't know much about boxing (which is where the term comes from). Counterpunching does not = grinding. It means waiting for (or creating) an opening, then throwing a punch (or going for a winner). Which is actually exactly what Vika does. Of course, sometimes you grind a little to set up your punches, but Vika hits too many winners to be a mere grinder.

dsanders06
Feb 22nd, 2012, 06:22 PM
I'm sorry, but it's simply a fact that a lot of people on here have a better grasp of tennis than commentators :shrug: As the OP said, EuroSport commentators really WERE saying for years that Azarenka was an out-and-out ballbasher, when this was patantly never the case (though in fairness, of late they do seem to have finally twigged that she's more about consistency).

(Incidentally, I'd class Azarenka and Clijsters as roughly in the middle of the Aggression ---> Defensiveness scale - both are counter-punchers/aggressive grinders).

dsanders06
Feb 22nd, 2012, 06:23 PM
The way people use counterpuncher on this forum shows they certainly don't know much about boxing (which is where the term comes from). Counterpunching does not = grinding. It means waiting for (or creating) an opening, then throwing a punch (or going for a winner). Which is actually exactly what Vika does. Of course, sometimes you grind a little to set up your punches, but Vika hits too many winners to be a mere grinder.

This. I cringe whenever people refer to Wozniacki or Jankovic as a "counter-puncher".

StoneRose
Feb 22nd, 2012, 06:35 PM
It was often said on the forum too iirc some 3 years ago when Vika wasn't as consistent as she is now. Then again i didn't follow tennis very closely at the time so i may be wrong about what was said and written.

s teddy
Feb 22nd, 2012, 06:46 PM
@ the OP: I think the idea that Azarenka is an aggressive player came from the fact that she's a loud screamer. Most of the notable screamers/grunters in the past played that type of tennis. Commentators heard Azarenka's screaming and, without studying her game closely, assumed that the stereotype applied to her as well.

@miffedmax and dsanders06: To be a good counterpuncher, a player must be a good grinder. I think that therefore, even if the terms aren't synonymous, it's quite reasonable to call "counterpunchers" like Azarenka "grinders" as well.

miffedmax
Feb 22nd, 2012, 07:12 PM
@ the OP: I think the idea that Azarenka is an aggressive player came from the fact that she's a loud screamer. Most of the notable screamers/grunters in the past played that type of tennis. Commentators heard Azarenka's screaming and, without studying her game closely, assumed that the stereotype applied to her as well.

@miffedmax and dsanders06: To be a good counterpuncher, a player must be a good grinder. I think that therefore, even if the terms aren't synonymous, it's quite reasonable to call "counterpunchers" like Azarenka "grinders" as well.

The difference is, though, that a counterpuncher punches (hits winners) and a grinder doesn't.

I'd agree that Wozniaki and JJ are grinders because they depend more on wearing their opponents out. The boxing equivalent would be an "out-fighter," a boxer who relies on speed and quickness and wins fights on decisions, not knockouts.

Of course, any player has to incorporate elements of various styles to be competitive, just as straight-boxers will counterpunch and an out-fighter will swarm an opponent if the opportunity presents itself.

But as far as her dominant type of play, I'd say that Vika's ROS and ability to finish points when she has an opening make her the very definition of a counterpuncher. Kim, too. And I'd say that JJ and Caro are the acme of grinders.

I'm not using any of these terms disparagingly, btw. A smart athlete plays to her strengths, both physical and psychological. I can appreciate good grinding, good counterpunching, and young Serena's swarming style, even if some alleged "purists" can't.

Apoleb
Feb 22nd, 2012, 07:21 PM
Grinder = works by applying constant "soft" pressure without ever fully dictating with sufficiently low percentage play, until her opponents succumb by dropping the ball short. Azarenka is a prototype of a grinder. So is Petkovic, Demented and Wickmayer. Grinders don't like to have play dictated by their opponents.

Counter-puncher = allows the other player to have a shot at dictating the rallies, and uses the pace of the ball to move the ball around until they drive their opponents out of position. JJ and Kim are both excellent examples of counter-punchers. Or you can be a useless counter-puncher like Wozniacki, and in that case you're just a pusher. You need to be more athletic than Azarenka to be a proper counter-puncher.

The Dawntreader
Feb 22nd, 2012, 07:27 PM
Tennis 'Experts' are too deferential to ever be considered informative. They don't challenge assumptions and perceptions of a player's game, and thus they repeat uniformed crap again and again.

I mean look at Andrew Castle on Eurosport this week calling Niculescu a 'hard-hitting player', or words almost identical. They are all an abject mess.

Even Sam Smith who is pretty good at inspecting tennis in-depth sometimes is content on glossing over the surface and missing out on details that ardent tennis fans already know.

Vespertine69
Feb 22nd, 2012, 07:40 PM
Tennis 'Experts' are too deferential to ever be considered informative. They don't challenge assumptions and perceptions of a player's game, and thus they repeat uniformed crap again and again.

I mean look at Andrew Castle on Eurosport this week calling Niculescu a 'hard-hitting player', or words almost identical. They are all an abject mess.

Even Sam Smith who is pretty good at inspecting tennis in-depth sometimes is content on glossing over the surface and missing out on details that ardent tennis fans already know.

True to a point - Andrew Castle is a total fool and shouldn't speak... but I allow Sam some faults as her general commentary is good I think.

I think the biggest single difference between a TF "expert" and a real working analyst is that those really working need to be careful what they say and how they say it because they will be held accountable for it by fans, players and tennis industry people... so in general they will be less cutting, less overtly critical and more "safe." A poster on TF has so much less to lose by running their opinions loose and won't be held to account for any views that prove terribly controversial. In terms of knowledge and genuine insight, I think TF posters and pros run the same gamut between wisdom and borderline retardation.

dsanders06
Feb 22nd, 2012, 07:42 PM
@ the OP: I think the idea that Azarenka is an aggressive player came from the fact that she's a loud screamer. Most of the notable screamers/grunters in the past played that type of tennis. Commentators heard Azarenka's screaming and, without studying her game closely, assumed that the stereotype applied to her as well.

@miffedmax and dsanders06: To be a good counterpuncher, a player must be a good grinder. I think that therefore, even if the terms aren't synonymous, it's quite reasonable to call "counterpunchers" like Azarenka "grinders" as well.

The difference is, though, that a counterpuncher punches (hits winners) and a grinder doesn't.

I'd agree that Wozniaki and JJ are grinders because they depend more on wearing their opponents out. The boxing equivalent would be an "out-fighter," a boxer who relies on speed and quickness and wins fights on decisions, not knockouts.

Of course, any player has to incorporate elements of various styles to be competitive, just as straight-boxers will counterpunch and an out-fighter will swarm an opponent if the opportunity presents itself.

But as far as her dominant type of play, I'd say that Vika's ROS and ability to finish points when she has an opening make her the very definition of a counterpuncher. Kim, too. And I'd say that JJ and Caro are the acme of grinders.

I'm not using any of these terms disparagingly, btw. A smart athlete plays to her strengths, both physical and psychological. I can appreciate good grinding, good counterpunching, and young Serena's swarming style, even if some alleged "purists" can't.

Personally, I look at it as there being two types of grinders - aggressive grinders and pure defensive grinders. Djokovic and Azarenka are good examples of aggressive grinders, in that they are controlling the points most of the time, but they do typically rely on long rallies and 'grinding their opponents down', and only usually go for the winner when they've got an open court after tiring out their opponent. Admittedly this is a relatively recent invention - prior to the 21st century, the only example that maybe fits into this category from either the men's or women's game is Agassi maybe?

Then pure defensive grinders are people who just rely on getting the ball back and wait for their opponent to surrender with an error and do little to try and dictate play unless they get unless there's a crystal-clear opening for a can't-miss winner - i.e. Wozniacki, Murray, Nadal on clay, Jankovic at her 2007-08 peak (she's been more aggressive in recent years so maybe these days she's closer to a counter-puncher, albeit a very bad one).

I think there's quite a lot of overlap between counter-punchers and aggressive grinders. The key differences are that counter-punchers are more willing to sit back and defend early on in the points (whereas agg grinders don't really doing that at all) because they can absorb their pace, but also, once they're in control of the point, counter-punchers tend to go for shorter, sharper jabs than aggressive grinders do, they don't really like working the point and playing the aggressive grinders' forte of gradual, side-to-side aggression (I'm thinking of Clijsters in particular here, also Hingis, Nadal when he's playing well on grass or hardcourts, etc.). I wouldn't know whether to place Zvonareva or Dementieva as an aggressive grinder or a counter-puncher, so the margin between them is slight.

King Halep
Feb 22nd, 2012, 07:59 PM
Tennis 'Experts' are too deferential to ever be considered informative. They don't challenge assumptions and perceptions of a player's game, and thus they repeat uniformed crap again and again.

I mean look at Andrew Castle on Eurosport this week calling Niculescu a 'hard-hitting player', or words almost identical. They are all an abject mess.

Even Sam Smith who is pretty good at inspecting tennis in-depth sometimes is content on glossing over the surface and missing out on details that ardent tennis fans already know.

because she hits the ball harder than he ever could

Mightymirza
Feb 22nd, 2012, 08:04 PM
Shes still a BBB :p

TheBoiledEgg
Feb 22nd, 2012, 08:14 PM
People on TF are generally better at understanding tennis than "professional" commentators and analysts. Azarenka is indeed a grinder. She has huge margin on her shots just like Djokovic. They both play an extremely high percentage and effective game, that is unfortunately extremely boring to watch.

However, I have never seen anyone on TF refer to Clijsters as a pusher. She likes to dictate play. It's just that in the past, her main rivals were even more aggressive, and so she was on the defense a lot. But she's never been a low risk, defensive player. I don't really see a different view here between TF and the "professional" commentators, because her game style is so well known and so easily analyzed.


Kim likes to dictate but Vika doesnt :help:

Nicolás89
Feb 22nd, 2012, 08:20 PM
People on TF are generally better at understanding tennis than "professional" commentators and analysts.

You'd think that but no.

People going mad because of the misuse of useless words like "grinder" "counter puncher", seriously you can't even make a consensus of their meaning, I've read in this thread alone like 5 different definitions. And honestly, most of the so called experts here haven't even picked a raquet in their whole boring ass lifes while most commentators were proffesional tennis players, they sure know more than all of us. Drop the mushrooms. :lol:

King Halep
Feb 22nd, 2012, 08:46 PM
You'd think that but no.

People going mad because of the misuse of useless words like "grinder" "counter puncher", seriously you can't even make a consensus of their meaning, I've read in this thread alone like 5 different definitions. And honestly, most of the so called experts here haven't even picked a raquet in their whole boring ass lifes while most commentators were proffesional tennis players, they sure know more than all of us. Drop the mushrooms. :lol:

if only that were the case but half of them are geeks who went to journalism school and know shit all about sport

manu32
Feb 22nd, 2012, 08:48 PM
Clijsters is a pusher for ever,unable to win against powerful players when she was young...but now with push's generation she looks different,lol..

pov
Feb 22nd, 2012, 08:50 PM
I've always wondered why on TF Azarenka is referred to as a grinder whereas commentators/analysts would have you believe she's a Sharapova 2.0 with all out aggression.

Another one that springs to mind is Clijsters, she's constantly referred to as a pusher on TF but as an aggressive player by commentators/analysts.

Whos's right? :devil:

Azarenka and/or Clisters as "grinders" or "pushers"? Even on TF that would be a stretch.

pov
Feb 22nd, 2012, 08:52 PM
People on TF are generally better at understanding tennis than "professional" commentators and analysts.

:spit:

Nicolás89
Feb 22nd, 2012, 08:52 PM
if only that were the case but half of them are geeks who went to journalism school and know shit all about sport

Yep, just like TF.

pov
Feb 22nd, 2012, 08:54 PM
She has huge margin on her shots just like Djokovic. They both play an extremely high percentage and effective game, that is unfortunately extremely boring to watch.

I'm primarily a Federer fan but that you think Djokovic's game is boring to watch puts all else you stated in your post in a clear context.