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Volcana
Feb 25th, 2003, 04:09 PM
Who's the most talented?

We talk about 'talented' a lot, but most of those discussions reveal that people,
at best, disagree on what talent is, and, at worst, many people have no clue.

Fortunately, we have dictionary.com to help us.


talent

1. A marked innate ability, as for artistic accomplishment. See Synonyms at ability.

2. Natural endowment or ability of a superior quality.

3. Inclination; will; disposition; desire.

They rather counseled you to your talent than to your profit. --Chaucer.

4. Intellectual ability, natural or acquired; mental endowment or capacity;
skill in accomplishing;
a special gift, particularly in business, art, or the like; faculty

5. natural qualities or talents [syn: endowment, gift, natural endowment]

6: a person who possesses unusual innate ability in some field or activity


ability

1. The quality of being able to do something,
especially the physical, mental, financial, or
legal power to accomplish something.

A natural or acquired skill or talent.

The quality of being suitable for or receptive to a specified treatment;


We note that this is definitely about what's 'innate'.
That is, what you were born with, bot what you learned. Being a good volley-er is not a talent, its a skill.

Still pretty general.

'A marked innate ability', 'natural endowment', 'unusual ability'.
Ability is the synonym that appears most, and lends the most insight.

"...the physical, mental, financial, or legal power to accomplish something"

So when we ask, 'who has the most talent?, we're asking who has the most physical or mental ability to play winning tennis. How do we measure this?

Well for starters, who's winning? That's not the w le of it though.
Dani H has buckets of physical talent. Runs fast, good racket head speed, pretty soft hands, good endurance. Chanda has top flight mental abilities. She figures out what's going on out there fast and makes correct adjustments. (That may be a lesser example)

When we talk talent, we talk about things the players were born with that help them win at tennis.

Hurley
Feb 25th, 2003, 04:17 PM
But then you also have in that definition:

"Inclination; will; disposition; desire," and "...ability, natural or acquired."

Look at talented musicians. They practice a LOT. Very few musicians are born prodigies, they become professionals because they want to very badly. Would you call the mezzosoprano who practices daily less talented than the mezzosoprano who doesn't practice at all, even though the former sings at the Met and the latter lives on the street?

Maybe someone has innate talent, but if you don't cultivate it, the talent will not come to fruition and results, and we would never be able to recognize it. So who is to say that Martina Hingis has more innate talent than some Nigerian girl who never gets a chance to play?

Anyway, I'm sorry, I'm splitting hairs. To answer your question, I will say Hingis. She is nothing more than a decent athlete, and she isn't the most book-smart person in the world, but she works the geometry of the tennis court much more capably than her measurable abilities would ever allow her to, one would think.

per4ever
Feb 25th, 2003, 04:19 PM
active players: Justine Henin

selesrules
Feb 25th, 2003, 04:21 PM
Originally posted by Volcana
Who's the most talented?

We talk about 'talented' a lot, but most of those discussions reveal that people,
at best, disagree on what talent is, and, at worst, many people have no clue.

Fortunately, we have dictionary.com to help us.


talent

1. A marked innate ability, as for artistic accomplishment. See Synonyms at ability.

2. Natural endowment or ability of a superior quality.

3. Inclination; will; disposition; desire.

They rather counseled you to your talent than to your profit. --Chaucer.

4. Intellectual ability, natural or acquired; mental endowment or capacity;
skill in accomplishing;
a special gift, particularly in business, art, or the like; faculty

5. natural qualities or talents [syn: endowment, gift, natural endowment]

6: a person who possesses unusual innate ability in some field or activity


ability

1. The quality of being able to do something,
especially the physical, mental, financial, or
legal power to accomplish something.

A natural or acquired skill or talent.

The quality of being suitable for or receptive to a specified treatment;


We note that this is definitely about what's 'innate'.
That is, what you were born with, bot what you learned. Being a good volley-er is not a talent, its a skill.

Still pretty general.

'A marked innate ability', 'natural endowment', 'unusual ability'.
Ability is the synonym that appears most, and lends the most insight.

"...the physical, mental, financial, or legal power to accomplish something"

So when we ask, 'who has the most talent?, we're asking who has the most physical or mental ability to play winning tennis. How do we measure this?

Well for starters, who's winning? That's not the w le of it though.
Dani H has buckets of physical talent. Runs fast, good racket head speed, pretty soft hands, good endurance. Chanda has top flight mental abilities. She figures out what's going on out there fast and makes correct adjustments. (That may be a lesser example)

When we talk talent, we talk about things the players were born with that help them win at tennis.

Is this thread even necessary? Of course it's

MONICA SELES

Otherwise she wouldn't have dominated with half the reach and half the speed of most no.1 players out there.

While you're at it why not start a thread asking if water is liquid? :rolleyes:

Volcana you disappoint me with this thread, I know that you are smarter then that. http://www.jordysworld.de/emoticons/wut10.gif

This topic should be closed.

Mase
Feb 25th, 2003, 04:36 PM
Ok Selesfan, Im also a huge Seles fan also, but I would have to give this one to Hingis. Yes, Seles has raw talent, thats for sure. But she was always one of the bigger, stonger players on the tour. Hence people saying she was the innovator (one of atleast) of big babe tennis. Hingis on the other hand, has always been a smaller player and look at her records, she wouldnt have some many wins if she didnt have that raw talent thats needed, cause we all know she didnt/doesnt have the power.

tennisjam
Feb 25th, 2003, 05:12 PM
Martina Hingis

tennisfan1972
Feb 25th, 2003, 05:19 PM
Venus Williams. That woman was born to play tennis. I think she has the potential to be as great as navratilova, Graf, Seles, Evert et al. It just seems that if she were to get a decent 2nd serve and fix her forehand that there isnt much anybody could do to beat her. what i notice mostly about venus' game is that it seems to be based less on technique and more on feel and i know thats hard to describe because she has the ability to also hit such powerful shots but wen she is not going for a winner she does a pretty goo djob of hitting the ball just about anywhere she wants to when she is really on her game. it seems that players can add tings to their games to trouble serena where as it doesnt seem to matter what u add to yourgaem against Venus. Once she has played a set against u , its pretty much up to her after that. just my opinion.

Blogger Dives
Feb 25th, 2003, 06:01 PM
Current player: Justine Hening

Retired Player: Martina Hingis

CondiLicious
Feb 25th, 2003, 06:15 PM
Originally posted by Mase
Seles has raw talent, thats for sure. But she was always one of the bigger, stonger players on the tour. Hence people saying she was the innovator (one of atleast) of big babe tennis.

Monica was always strong... That's a natural gift for her she was above average in strength when she was a small kid but big????? She used to be so skinny... She looked like she'd break. And she wasnt that tall either.

Mase
Feb 25th, 2003, 06:31 PM
Yeah I agree she wasnt all that big, but she's always have a size and weight advantage on Martina. Martina was just a little fighter, and although I personally dont like her, I do respect how far she got with her little stature and lack of power..

Volcana
Feb 25th, 2003, 06:36 PM
The key here, is to actually list what these talents are. 'innate' doesn't mean 'invisible' or 'non-quantifiable'.

Foot speed is talent.

Height is talent.

Intelligence is talent.

Martina Hingis, given time, could put the ball in places other people just couldn't. Maybe she saw things others didn't see. Maybe she had better hands.

But Lindsay Davenport had height and power and accuracy, and those are talent too.

I like the part of the definition that said "The quality of being able to do something, especially the physical, mental, financial, or legal power to accomplish something."

Obviously, legal and financial have little bearing on tennis. But physical and mental do.

Don't just pick the players you've alweays been told were the most talented. Enumerate those things that would qualify as talent, and show us all why that particular player has more.

Justine runs faster than Kim.
Kim has more reach than Justine.

Both of those are things that give " the physical .... power to accomplish something."

Who's more talented? Not enough data. You realy have to compare everything that could be considered 'talent', then add it all up.

Mark43
Feb 25th, 2003, 06:49 PM
Evonne Goolagong + Hana Mandlikova

SJW
Feb 25th, 2003, 07:13 PM
the Williams sisters. with great results comes great talent.

Henin is talented but why is she the MOST TALENTED. cos shes small? i think Martina in her heyday was more talented in that case. she DOMINATED while having only her brain as her main weapon. Henin has trouble with a lot of players.

i would even go to say Clijsters is slightly more talented

SJW
Feb 25th, 2003, 08:00 PM
SERENASLAM?? :confused: SerenAlex ;)

yea....that too ;)

SJW
Feb 25th, 2003, 08:16 PM
yea babe you might not recognize cos my change of signature and name

formerly rena_alex_venus ;)

Sam L
Feb 25th, 2003, 09:03 PM
Something that is innate and natural. I guess this would mean that someone who was a young prodigy that didn't need to get experience or polish their game for years and yet still could win. Modern picks I'd go with Monica Seles and Serena Williams. With honourable mentions to Martina Hingis (she's good but her ascent was assisted). I'm not going to get into it. If anyone wants to argue, go back and look at Seles and Serena's 1st full years on tour.

tyk101
Feb 25th, 2003, 09:05 PM
Monica seles! she has them all.. but needs to put it all together and win the FO

Sam L
Feb 25th, 2003, 09:26 PM
Originally posted by Volcana
Height is talent.

It is NOT! You're taking the definition much too literally. But I agree with your other points.

I mean who says "Lindsay Davenport is so talented because she's so tall". It's how she uses that height to her advantage that's talent. More to the point just because you're tall that doesn't mean you're talented. Height is not a talent.

calabar
Feb 25th, 2003, 10:12 PM
I must be missing something here. How could Justine be even REMOTELY more talented than either of the Williams Sisters? Its a toss between Venus and Serena.

Fingon
Feb 25th, 2003, 10:13 PM
The problem is that many people confuse talent with finesse, and even the definition of finesse isn't very clear.

I won't go into semantics, but for me always the word talent meant something inate, natural, although I've always wondered when I saw the words "natural talent" is that a redundancy?

for some reason, the "physical abilities" don't fit the definition of "talent" in my mind, I don't pretend that MY definition is right but for me talent has a lot to do with those abilities that can't be learnt, you have them or you don't have them.

The musicians are a good example, you might be able to learn how to play an instrument quite well, but to compose a song? that's a different matter, you have to "feel" it, I wouldn't be able to do that even if I studied 20 hours a day since I was 5.

Coming back to tennis, you can take Serena as an example, Serena does have talents IMO, but they are not her power or speed. Serena's talents are for example her ability to read the opponent's shot, which allows her to attack the serve so well. The ability to use all her power and still be accurate.

Sure you can improve your abilities, but if you don't have something natural, you can practice all day and you still won't hit the ball like Serena, or Justine, or Martina.

In this sense, and I repeat, according to my own concept, Justine is more talented than Serena, which does not mean she is a better player, at the moment clearly Serena is, talent is just one of the weapons, not the only one and not even the most important, although for me it's what makes me like a player or not, despite the results.

calabar
Feb 25th, 2003, 10:17 PM
The problem is that many people confuse talent with finesse, and even the definition of finesse isn't very clear.I won't go into semantics, but for me always the word talent meant something inate, natural, although I've always wondered when I saw the words "natural talent" is that a redundancy?


Sorry Fignon,

this thread IS about semantics.

vs1
Feb 25th, 2003, 10:39 PM
Simple: SERENA!

Light-skinned Girl
Feb 25th, 2003, 11:09 PM
Originally posted by Hurley
But then you also have in that definition:

"Inclination; will; disposition; desire," and "...ability, natural or acquired."

Look at talented musicians. They practice a LOT. Very few musicians are born prodigies, they become professionals because they want to very badly. Would you call the mezzosoprano who practices daily less talented than the mezzosoprano who doesn't practice at all, even though the former sings at the Met and the latter lives on the street?

Maybe someone has innate talent, but if you don't cultivate it, the talent will not come to fruition and results, and we would never be able to recognize it. So who is to say that Martina Hingis has more innate talent than some Nigerian girl who never gets a chance to play?

Anyway, I'm sorry, I'm splitting hairs. To answer your question, I will say Hingis. She is nothing more than a decent athlete, and she isn't the most book-smart person in the world, but she works the geometry of the tennis court much more capably than her measurable abilities would ever allow her to, one would think.

I agree *completely*! Martina is the one *current* players that fits *all* the definitions.

Volcana
Feb 25th, 2003, 11:24 PM
Sam L - Yeah probably. But the biggest problem with most of these 'who's the most talented?' arguements is a refusal on the part of whoever starts the thread to define what they mean by 'talent'. And the second biggest problem is that posters won't stick to that definition, whatever it was. It's llike possession of the word means something to them.

At least if we go to an independent source for a definition, that's that much less nonsense. A good definition helps too (thank you Fingon, though we disagree, of course. I have a vastly broader definition, with a definite physical component) but there's still the matter of trying to keep track of what everyone means by the word talent, if everyone insists they're the Red Queen.

You can't call Monica, Serena and Martina 'most talented' by the same definition. There's gotta be 'she's my fave so she's the most talented' going on.

ah hell. It's impossible. We can't even agree on a definition of talent with the definition of talent starting the thread.

It's party time for the guys in tower of Babel,
Sodom meet Gommorah, Cain meet Abel....

baleineau
Feb 25th, 2003, 11:31 PM
i'd say sabatini and martinez - very fluid shotmakers, able to hit literally every shot in the book, and with a grooved, natural look about their shotmaking. their serves, altough lacking power, also has a lot of variety in terms of spin and placement - i've seen conchita aceing an opponent with a 60 kph second serve :eek:

if only they moved better and had more confidence and determination to win :sad:

Jennifer's wife
Feb 25th, 2003, 11:33 PM
:lick: jen :lick:

And ill admit to what no1 else duz, i only say that coz she's my fave and i dont care about the definition of talent when i give my vote!!:D :p

brickhousesupporter
Feb 25th, 2003, 11:37 PM
Originally posted by Volcana

ah hell. It's impossible. We can't even agree on a definition of talent with the definition of talent starting the thread.



Then there you go Volcana you could start another thread in which we identify characteristics we look for when identifying talent. The funny thing about these articles is that in a decade or so when most of the current players are retired we will see the definition of talent changing and it will most likely involve a power component as oppose to the finnese component it has now.

LeonHart
Feb 26th, 2003, 12:11 AM
stop the madness...

Havok
Feb 26th, 2003, 01:13 AM
ditto LeonHart

auntie janie
Feb 26th, 2003, 01:59 AM
Great topic, Volcana! :)

I think on the tour we have exemplars of many different types of talent pertinent to tennis:

Monica Seles had an unbelievable talent of EXTREME FOCUS ON COURT. In that respect she followed in the footsteps of Maureen Connolly, whose coach said that if an earthquake was splitting the ground benebnath her, Maureen would not lose her oncourt focus.

Both these players also exemplified the talent of EXTREME INNER DRIVE. Serena has this; Graf had it; Justine has it. The drive may not even be to win titles; that is secondary to this type. Instead, it may be the unending search of a Seles or a Graf for PERFECTION of their game, for a point, for a match, for a tournament. It cannot be implanted by a parent or coach.

MENTAL AGILITY -- this is the talent exemplified so well by Martina Hingis. But all champions have it in some measure. Martina was a genius at sizing up her opponent's strengths and weaknesses in the first few games or even points, then adjusting her game to torment that person as much as possible! :).

PHYSICAL TALENT -- In this era, every top player has this. No one is getting near the top 10 without this any more. Venus and Serena top the list, though!

RAW TENNIS TALENT -- watch Eleni Daniilidou in the next few years and you have a rare chance to watch raw talent develop before your eyes. Eleni first picked up a racket at age 9, an age when many players today are already big shots at Bollettieri's with agents hovering around! Eleni is a phenomenon; her talent is is inborn --the type usually thought of when people say "talented". I can't wait to see how she progresses, and what level she has of allt the talents that together make Champions.

Hingiswinsthis
Feb 26th, 2003, 02:02 AM
Retired: Martina Hingis- without a doubt, the most versatile tennis player all being she was so young. As Pam Shriver called her, "she's just great to watch, she's like a tennis player chameleon where she can change her colors, very tricky." Aus Open 00'

Current: Justine Henin, Lindsay Davenport, and Serena Williams I'd say. You can see it in their game and the shots they have. Justine is a little bit of a more all-court player, but Lindsay and Serena's serves are a real jewel to watch. Their not bad at net either.

I wouldn't give the nod to Venus, Kim, or Seles. They have one simple plan out there- Hit the ball.:D

Shuji Shuriken
Feb 26th, 2003, 02:13 AM
Originally posted by Hingiswinsthis
I wouldn't give the nod to Venus, Kim, or Seles. They have one simple plan out there- Hit the ball.:D

:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

england_rules
Feb 26th, 2003, 02:19 AM
Toss up between Hingis and Serena!

disposablehero
Feb 26th, 2003, 06:07 AM
Watch Monica at about 5'4" and 95 pounds play against Steffi in the 89 Roland Garros semifinal, and you will understand the meaning of talent.

disposablehero
Feb 26th, 2003, 06:24 AM
Originally posted by Hingiswinsthis
I wouldn't give the nod to Venus, Kim, or Seles. They have one simple plan out there- Hit the ball.:D

Beats the hell out of not hitting the ball. I think hitting the ball is pretty sound strategy.

auntie janie
Feb 26th, 2003, 11:52 AM
:D

tennisfan1972
Feb 26th, 2003, 01:11 PM
I disagree with whoever said Venus, Kim, and seles just hitting the ball. that is really an unfair assessment. Especially Venus, Venus doesnt hit the ball hard ,she is more of a finess player than 99% of the tour. Venus doesnt overpower Kim, Serena, Seles, or Lindsay. She simply is strong enough to return their power shots with great placement until she gets a short shot that she can hit for a winner or a shot that she can apporach on. I think part of the problem is that , some players are so good in other areas that we seldom see what other skills they have. Like lindsay for example, her serve was such a weapon for a long time that we never saw how good her net play and touch shots were. same with serena, She seldom has to hit a slice backhand as a defensive shot cus she's so quick. But serena has a pretty good one handed sliced backhand and forehand. i think if serena werent as quick, she would be a more powerful version of conchita martinez. their forehands are very similar, serena just has more topspin and pace and it appears to fly through the court better and penetrate more. NOONE hits better angled forehands than serena. except maybe conchita..lol but i think Conchita seems more talented to me. even more talented than martina Hingis. Hingis cant compare in terms of talent to Conchit ainmy opinion.