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View Full Version : How does Vika change the direction of the ball so easily?


Craig.
Dec 15th, 2012, 03:18 PM
Footwork? Skill? Both? She just makes it look SO effortless and easy.

Leo St
Dec 15th, 2012, 03:25 PM
bodyweight, i guess.. (im not trolling)

n1_and_uh_noone
Dec 15th, 2012, 03:31 PM
It is definitely a great asset, and coupled with the fact she takes the ball really early, it seems like she is dominating rallies even though she does not hit with massive raw pace. Taking it early also makes for excellent length on all her shots.

SilverSlam
Dec 15th, 2012, 03:33 PM
It would be very difficult to teach. It's a lot about good timing and knee bend than anything else.

Royals.
Dec 15th, 2012, 03:33 PM
Footwork? Skill? Both? She just makes it look SO effortless and easy.

http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m689weCxyg1rq82fy.gif

Because... SHE'S A SUPERSTAR! :bounce:

Royals.
Dec 15th, 2012, 03:34 PM
Joke aside.

She's just really skilled, i love how she has the ability to do what she does. :)

dsanders06
Dec 15th, 2012, 05:50 PM
Imo, it's actually great "wrist-work" (if that's even a term) above anything else :shrug: If there's a ball that's hit right to her, she's able to get a racquet on it (despite her mediocre athleticism) and can almost always get it back to a good length even with a seemingly minimalist swing. For all the lazy talk of her being a "generic" player, I'm actually not sure there's been a player quite like her before.

Break My Rapture
Dec 15th, 2012, 06:10 PM
Skill. She has really good hands, which is partly why she's as good as she is on grass even though she's not the biggest hitter.

She's also just smart when it comes to shot selection. One of her most underrated talents, glad it's finally mentioned by someone who isn't a fan.

Jimmie48
Dec 15th, 2012, 06:11 PM
I absolutely love it when she does that...just gorgeous :drool:

Nicolás89
Dec 15th, 2012, 06:12 PM
Strong legs and balance.

Lilowannabe
Dec 15th, 2012, 07:03 PM
Imo, it's actually great "wrist-work" (if that's even a term) above anything else :shrug: If there's a ball that's hit right to her, she's able to get a racquet on it (despite her mediocre athleticism) and can almost always get it back to a good length even with a seemingly minimalist swing. For all the lazy talk of her being a "generic" player, I'm actually not sure there's been a player quite like her before.

This ^

I think its a skill, coupled with great hand-eye co-ordination. Only Hingis comes to mind, as able to redirect the ball so early and effortlessly!!

Barktra
Dec 15th, 2012, 07:08 PM
Practice

StoneRose
Dec 15th, 2012, 07:29 PM
Imo, it's actually great "wrist-work" (if that's even a term) above anything else :shrug: If there's a ball that's hit right to her, she's able to get a racquet on it (despite her mediocre athleticism) and can almost always get it back to a good length even with a seemingly minimalist swing. For all the lazy talk of her being a "generic" player, I'm actually not sure there's been a player quite like her before.Vika may be a bit like Anna Chakvetadze in this respect, Anna could also redirect the ball quite well and was successful with that. Interesting thread, i can see Vika is good at this but not being a tennis player myself it's too hard for me to tell what makes her so good at it, could well be wristwork (skill) as you say. She's not a bad mover but there are better movers who can't do this.

JJ all the way
Dec 15th, 2012, 07:53 PM
Vika is good but venus at he peak was goddess of changing shot direction, jankovic was amazing too. It would be nice seeing these players play together at the same time at their best......would be a treat to the eyes

Steven.
Dec 15th, 2012, 08:19 PM
Vika is good but venus at he peak was goddess of changing shot direction, jankovic was amazing too. It would be nice seeing these players play together at the same time at their best......would be a treat to the eyes

ya agree it's not like there's never been a player like this before.

venus redirects balls much better and much more aesthetically pleasing imo. the way she rips those winners dtl off both wings, and her inside out bhs are CRAZY as well.

hingis was much better and much more effortless at redirecting the ball than vika as well and merely because her technique and timing is extraordinary.

with vika she's only really exceptional at redirecting the ball with her bh and she has to add quite a bit of her upper body weight onto her bh.

Smitten
Dec 15th, 2012, 10:13 PM
:haha: @ there's never been anyone like this talks

Azarenka has nothing in her game that makes her a completely unique player. Anything she does, can be done by another player equal to or better.

dsanders06
Dec 15th, 2012, 11:24 PM
Vika is good but venus at he peak was goddess of changing shot direction, jankovic was amazing too. It would be nice seeing these players play together at the same time at their best......would be a treat to the eyes

Venus was never particularly good at redirecting pace :lol:

Jankovic was good at it, but she didn't really do it in the same way as Azarenka does. I'm not saying the way Azarenka does it is necessarily better, but it's just the way they do it is different. Jankovic in her peak used her great athleticism and footwork, but she'd still need quite a lot of time to actually prepare and she'd still need quite an elaborate backswing in order to redirect the ball. Whereas with Vika, she's not anywhere near the athlete prime Jankovic was, but it doesn't matter because either her wrist-work or her racquet skills (or a combination of both) are so good that she's able to soak up pace just as well anyway. Again, what makes her defence so effective is that, if the shot is near her, she doesn't even have to move further back and give up "real estate" or take time to swing back for the shot, because she's able to just sort of instinctively fling her racquet at the ball -- pretty much any other player who tried that would end up shanking the ball into the stands (including Jankovic), but, for whatever reason, Vika is so good at controlling the ball that, even with that very abbreviated backswing, she's still able to almost always land her shot in court AND at a good length.


(With all that said, as awesome as Vika is at dealing with powerful shots that land close to her, she DOES still have an exploitable hole in her game in that her raw footspeed is still not as good as the best defensive players, and so she can be surprisingly vulnerable if her opponent focusses on using the full width of the court. Which imo Maria showed quite well in their YEC match. But that's a discussion for another thread :angel: )

Lachy
Dec 15th, 2012, 11:27 PM
:haha: @ there's never been anyone like this talks

Azarenka has nothing in her game that makes her a completely unique player. Anything she does, can be done by another player equal to or better.

http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m9135pCT8e1rry9ec.gif

chingching
Dec 15th, 2012, 11:30 PM
The great thing about it is that she doesn't have to hit the ball hard, which means she doesn't miss :lol:
That's whey she has no problem with the likes of Radwanska because she moves the ball so well and doesn't have to go for the lines so much :)

The Dawntreader
Dec 15th, 2012, 11:32 PM
I would hardly call her attempts at changing the direction of the ball on her forehand in particular, effortless. She's certainly no Davenport in this respect.

RVD
Dec 15th, 2012, 11:35 PM
Vika is good but venus at he peak was goddess of changing shot direction, jankovic was amazing too. It would be nice seeing these players play together at the same time at their best......would be a treat to the eyesI might be the only one who thanks this, but Ivanovic is good at this as well. She's left me wondering many times, "...How the hell did that shot go in that direction?!"

Open question for anyone---

Why do posters say Azarenka isn't athletic?

As far as I can see, she is very athletic.

The Dawntreader
Dec 15th, 2012, 11:37 PM
I might be the only one who thanks this, but Ivanovic is good at this as well. She's left me wondering many times, "...How the hell did that shot go in that direction?!"

Open question for anyone---

Why do posters say Azarenka isn't athletic?

As far as I can see, she is very athletic.

Ivanovic is a virtuoso at changing the direction of her backhand from one service line to another.

Queen_Vee_92
Dec 15th, 2012, 11:45 PM
Venus was never particularly good at redirecting pace :lol:

Jankovic was good at it, but she didn't really do it in the same way as Azarenka does. I'm not saying the way Azarenka does it is necessarily better, but it's just the way they do it is different. Jankovic in her peak used her great athleticism and footwork, but she'd still need quite a lot of time to actually prepare and she'd still need quite an elaborate backswing in order to redirect the ball. Whereas with Vika, she's not anywhere near the athlete prime Jankovic was, but it doesn't matter because either her wrist-work or her racquet skills (or a combination of both) are so good that she's able to soak up pace just as well anyway. Again, what makes her defence so effective is that, if the shot is near her, she doesn't even have to move further back and give up "real estate" or take time to swing back for the shot, because she's able to just sort of instinctively fling her racquet at the ball -- pretty much any other player who tried that would end up shanking the ball into the stands (including Jankovic), but, for whatever reason, Vika is so good at controlling the ball that, even with that very abbreviated backswing, she's still able to almost always land her shot in court AND at a good length.



(With all that said, as awesome as Vika is at dealing with powerful shots that land close to her, she DOES still have an exploitable hole in her game in that her raw footspeed is still not as good as the best defensive players, and so she can be surprisingly vulnerable if her opponent focusses on using the full width of the court. Which imo Maria showed quite well in their YEC match. But that's a discussion for another thread :angel: )


Completely agree with your assesment of Azarenka's ability to get a good connection on shots and manoeuvre the ball around the court even in the most unlikely position. The comparison the previous poster made to Venus isn't appropriate to this discussion, which is more about racket control, hands and defensive improvisation shots than changing the direction of the ball in a neutral rally or from a winning position.

In that case Jankovic, and definately Venus were more effective at changing the direction off a backhand. 2000-2003 the way Venus went dtl from cross court was something that hasn't been matched before or since, even 02 Serena who was better at pretty much everything else didn't have the same switch up on the backhand as big sis :hearts:

Sammo
Dec 15th, 2012, 11:56 PM
With that face of hers, witchcraft is the only possible explanation

cowsonice
Dec 16th, 2012, 12:17 AM
Court positioning.

JJ all the way
Dec 16th, 2012, 12:18 AM
Venus was never particularly good at redirecting pace :lol:

Jankovic was good at it, but she didn't really do it in the same way as Azarenka does. I'm not saying the way Azarenka does it is necessarily better, but it's just the way they do it is different. Jankovic in her peak used her great athleticism and footwork, but she'd still need quite a lot of time to actually prepare and she'd still need quite an elaborate backswing in order to redirect the ball. Whereas with Vika, she's not anywhere near the athlete prime Jankovic was, but it doesn't matter because either her wrist-work or her racquet skills (or a combination of both) are so good that she's able to soak up pace just as well anyway. Again, what makes her defence so effective is that, if the shot is near her, she doesn't even have to move further back and give up "real estate" or take time to swing back for the shot, because she's able to just sort of instinctively fling her racquet at the ball -- pretty much any other player who tried that would end up shanking the ball into the stands (including Jankovic), but, for whatever reason, Vika is so good at controlling the ball that, even with that very abbreviated backswing, she's still able to almost always land her shot in court AND at a good length.


(With all that said, as awesome as Vika is at dealing with powerful shots that land close to her, she DOES still have an exploitable hole in her game in that her raw footspeed is still not as good as the best defensive players, and so she can be surprisingly vulnerable if her opponent focusses on using the full width of the court. Which imo Maria showed quite well in their YEC match. But that's a discussion for another thread :angel: )

wait really?! explain. Venus is amazing at changing the direction both offensively and defensively. the match that comes to mind is 2007 us open semi finals ag henin. The technique is different than vikas i agree....

btw let me just add that i think hingis is one of the best at redirecting and changing pace!!


EDIT: oh i think i get what you are saying......venus could overhit puff balls lol. but at her best she is good at redirecting.



Completely agree with your assesment of Azarenka's ability to get a good connection on shots and manoeuvre the ball around the court even in the most unlikely position. The comparison the previous poster made to Venus isn't appropriate to this discussion, which is more about racket control, hands and defensive improvisation shots than changing the direction of the ball in a neutral rally or from a winning position.

In that case Jankovic, and definately Venus were more effective at changing the direction off a backhand. 2000-2003 the way Venus went dtl from cross court was something that hasn't been matched before or since, even 02 Serena who was better at pretty much everything else didn't have the same switch up on the backhand as big sis :hearts:
venus and jj at their best were pretty good at changing the direction of the ball with their forehands too in my opinion....

dsanders06
Dec 16th, 2012, 12:47 AM
Completely agree with your assesment of Azarenka's ability to get a good connection on shots and manoeuvre the ball around the court even in the most unlikely position. The comparison the previous poster made to Venus isn't appropriate to this discussion, which is more about racket control, hands and defensive improvisation shots than changing the direction of the ball in a neutral rally or from a winning position.

In that case Jankovic, and definately Venus were more effective at changing the direction off a backhand. 2000-2003 the way Venus went dtl from cross court was something that hasn't been matched before or since, even 02 Serena who was better at pretty much everything else didn't have the same switch up on the backhand as big sis :hearts:

Yup :yeah:

I might be the only one who thanks this, but Ivanovic is good at this as well. She's left me wondering many times, "...How the hell did that shot go in that direction?!"

Open question for anyone---

Why do posters say Azarenka isn't athletic?

As far as I can see, she is very athletic.

She's a good athlete, but she's not a great athlete relative to other great defensive players (such as Jankovic).

Jane Lane
Dec 16th, 2012, 01:32 AM
Craigy, are you stanning for Vika perhaps? :oh:

#mayans

Craig.
Dec 16th, 2012, 02:02 AM
Craigy, are you stanning for Vika perhaps? :oh:

#mayans

Lol, never.

I was just watching highlights of the YEC thrashing Maria gave her this year (:drool:) and funnily enough, it was in those highlights that I really noticed just how good she is at redirecting the ball :lol:

InsideOut.
Dec 16th, 2012, 02:45 AM
I might be the only one who thanks this, but Ivanovic is good at this as well. She's left me wondering many times, "...How the hell did that shot go in that direction?!"

You mean how did it go OUT? :tears:

Royals.
Dec 16th, 2012, 04:15 AM
With that face of hers, witchcraft is the only possible explanation

:haha: :haha:

Dominic
Dec 16th, 2012, 04:54 AM
Practice

Haha this

Freak3yman84
Dec 16th, 2012, 04:58 AM
Queen Mugtoria deserves a silver sterling crown for this grand entrance.

miffedmax
Dec 17th, 2012, 03:44 AM
Sound waves.


She uses sound waves.

SymphonyX
Dec 17th, 2012, 04:16 AM
Hits it early and doesn't mind bending. Though IMO, Na and Chakvetadze do it better. Too bad Azarenka is a bigger girl and has that return.

Lucyxx
Dec 17th, 2012, 04:41 AM
She works really hard at her game.

I think it simply comes down to that.

She needs to stay strong mentally if these boyfriend rumours are true.

Dominic
Dec 17th, 2012, 04:49 AM
Hits it early

That doesn't really have anything to do with changing the direction of the ball. It can be done hitting early or not.

Royals.
Dec 17th, 2012, 06:42 AM
She works really hard at her game.

I think it simply comes down to that.

She needs to stay strong mentally if these boyfriend rumours are true.

:oh: :oh:

alfonsojose
Dec 17th, 2012, 06:36 PM
Her grunt scares the ball :bolt: So it runs away from her