View Full Version : Finesse Players?

Feb 19th, 2002, 02:34 AM
Could yall tell me who the finesse(not alot of power) players on the tour are?I already know Martina and Anna,anyone else?I havent watched that much tennis in the past.Thanks!:)

Feb 19th, 2002, 02:37 AM
finesse doesn't mean not a lof of power, it means finesse.

Anyways, just out of the top of my head: Martina Hingis, Justine Henin, Anna Kournikova, Lisa Raymond, Daja Bedanova, Nathalie Dechy, Rita Grande, Patty Schnyder, Daniela hantuchova, Maggie Maleeva, Miriam Oremans, Kristie Boogert, Anne Gaelle Sidot.

I am sure someone can add more names :)

Feb 19th, 2002, 02:41 AM
Sorry,Im not the sharpest knife in the drawer...:rolleyes:

Feb 19th, 2002, 06:36 AM
Daniela Hantuchova.

Feb 19th, 2002, 10:45 AM
Okay...I'm climbing on my soap box because this is one of my pet peeves.

Saying that finesse is well... finesse, really does nothing to define finesse.

A mostly finesse player is in fact one who really works the ball. Has alot of feel and uses every inch of the court to pull his/her opponent out of position. Think of someone who can change up play tempo at the drop of a dime. She pushes you off the baseline then pulls you in with a feathery drop shot. You approach and she throws up a lob. She has you on a string moving you from one side to the next only to put you away with a short angle.

Now with that in mind, every tennis player I've ever seen is infact a finesse player. Those players whom we typically think of as power players simply use finesse alot less because they have the ability to do what the "finesse" player does...win the point, only with a lot less time and effort.

Feb 19th, 2002, 10:56 AM
Martinez? Vicario? Sciavone?

Feb 19th, 2002, 01:32 PM
Thanks ..itsallabout tennis....but most people don't and won't ever get it............... defining anna ,Hancthkova , and sidot as finesse players whilsts leaving about half the other players on the tour must be a joke........ Martinez and dragomir illie would be way out ahead of everybody named ......I've always wondered also what a power player is ..I mean is it a player that can hit the ball hard or a player that hits the ball as hard as they can.

Feb 19th, 2002, 03:31 PM
No problemo Brian

As I said my pet peeve is labeling players power, finesse etc.

All professional players are a combination.

I saw Tina Pisnik play for the first time last year and was blown away. She has an unbelievable slice backhand and some considerable trouble on the forehand, primarily she throws up loopy moonballs, but given enough time to set up the shot, she can put it away with force.

Point being that all players are finesse and all have power. Their physical strength determines how they play...not their ability to play. Most who are labeled finesse are thought to be better players, or "smarter" players...hog wash...they all use what they've got... some to the wrong degree;) i.e. Anna!

Feb 19th, 2002, 05:46 PM
Originally posted by BrianII
Thanks ..itsallabout tennis....but most people don't and won't ever get it............... defining anna ,Hancthkova , and sidot as finesse players whilsts leaving about half the other players on the tour must be a joke........ Martinez and dragomir illie would be way out ahead of everybody named ......I've always wondered also what a power player is ..I mean is it a player that can hit the ball hard or a player that hits the ball as hard as they can.

I thought the question was who are finesse players, I clearly said that they were not all of them, or should I go through the entire list of players in the wta site and try to determine who is a finesse player or not?

If a player is not in that list it doesn't mean she isn't a finesse player, it only means I didn't think of her at that moment, and I favoured I've seen quite often, most of them in person.

Now Martinez and Dragomir Illie well ahead of anyone named? like Martina or Justine? well, that says it all doesn't it?

itsallaboutinis, you gave a very good definition of finesse that is certainly better than mine ;)

and of course all players are a combination of both, and other factors, the same way they have two legs, there are several dimension in their games, their are players, not machines.

Being a power player, or hitting the ball hard doesn't mean that particular player can't play with finesse, understanding finesse as a special level of it, not simply being able to hit a dropshot from time to time. What happens is that most of the time power players try to rely more in their power as it's more effective for them, Davenport is a good example, she can hit fine touches at the net for example, but she rarely does it.

Justine can hit the ball hard, more as a result of technique than physical power, but she is able to do nearly anything with the ball.

Maybe the prototype of a finesse player in most people's minds would be Martina Hingis, as she has no power at all and has to rely on that completely, Justine often tries to blow her opponent out the court, but she can hit very good slice backhands, lobs or come to the net and hit a drop volley for example. That doesn't mean she has less finesse than Martina, simply that she uses it less because she can rely more on her groundstrokes.

Feb 19th, 2002, 06:18 PM
Conchita Martinez. Finesse. That's how she more or less wins her matches.

Feb 19th, 2002, 09:13 PM

probably this argument is pointless as we certainly don't agree on what the definition of a finesse players is ( if there is such a thing)......yes I would place both doth dragomir and Martinez ahead of justine ....whether a person is a finesse player or not is not defined by technique ..nor sucess ,Martinez and dragomir do not rely on pace to win their rallies they depend on changing spins, height depth and placement as to martina not having power thats merely propoganda ..i'd challenge anyone to seriously watch 10 or 20 martina matches and show a single instance where martina is outhit in backhand to backhand xcourt rallies with of venus , jen,lindsay, serena or any of the so called power players
..she always holds her own in these exchanges both in terms of pace and depth ..not necessarily with raw power she might take the ball earlier than her opponent but the end result is pace ..you can hit the ball hard to create pace you can take the ball early to create pace..on the forehand again she takes the ball early but doesn't hit through the ball....this suggest that its not an intrisnic lack of power but rather a choice of shot technique...... martinez is way back behind the baseline she neither hits many balls hard nor takes any balls early she gives her opponents .....deep slice, short slice ...high loopy topsin, lower topspin and the occasionally flatter topspin drives on either side backhand or forehand, always changing either the depth or height of the ball..her game is far more reliant on the placement and spins on the ball than placement and pace ...both martina and justine have better finishing stokes than conchita but both rely on pace and depth to set up the finishing stoke ..Martina's primary strength is that she's lethal anywhere inside the court on short balls both at the net and in the area between the baseline and the service line.( no mans land where many other players tend to be uncomfortable) .... the protype of a finesse player to me would probably be fabrice santoro and most of the time Arazi ...a player like federer (or even guga) is like justine ie possesing phenomenal technique but much more reliant on pace than spin...to me patty is a finesse player Anna is most definetly not .... patty does a variety of different things with the ball during the rally Anna may merely finish off a rally orginally based on her hard groundstrokes with a delicate volley at the net....sidot is a pure shot maker flat hard balls no margin for error when she's on looks fantastic but essentlally low percentage play ...in an older era sabattini yes possibly.... graf definetly not ( both posess sliced backhands but the way they construct points totally different) finally I don't consider finesse play as being in anyway superior or necessary more attractive than so called power play (just different).. like itsallabout tennis I dislike the way the terms are being currently used usually attempts by people to apply simplistic terms for something that is complex........I like tennis and appreciate all the different ways in which a point can be constructed and eventually won.

Feb 19th, 2002, 10:52 PM
I can't believe ANNA KOURNIKOVA is being called a finesse player. She tries to hit a rocket winner every point. Her forehand especially is flat as a pancake and she hits with Venus, Lindsay, etc. Since when do finesse players have all flat shots and 50 unforced errors per match? I think Anna is a power/all court hybrid, just like Martina is a finess/all court hybrid.

Feb 19th, 2002, 11:23 PM
Brian, as you said we have different views on what is a finesse player, your point of view is valid, but you tend IMO to focus in the "use of" finesse rather than in being able to do it.

When you see Justine's size and muscular structure, you have to wonder how she can hit so hard, and it's pure technique.
She hits hard on both sides but on the backhand side, she can hit a very flat ball with some spin to just go above the net, or she can put a lot of stopspin on it, that's why it's so penetrating, on the forehand side, she can hit hard, but as her technique for that shot is not as mastered as for the backhand, she normally has to hit taller balls and put more topspin on it.

You said that Martina or Justine don't rely as much on finesse, well, for me to take the ball early is part of it, footwork is part of it, and the strokes themselves are part of it, sure, Justine or Martina can finish off the point putting away a short ball, and can take the pace in rallies, but that doesn't mean that Conchita has more finesse tham them, only that Conchita uses it exclusively, but I don't see Conchita (at her best, nevermind now) being able to generate the same sort of short as Martina or Justine. What you said about them is true, but it's more a result of making a choice regarding style, what they think it's the best for them, and they have the skills to do it.

Regarding Graf, it's true she relied more on the power of a flat forehand, but Steffi was certainly able to play with finesse, for me the issue is not playing styles but the capability to do certain things on the court and in that respect, I don't think either Martinez or Dragomir are even near Martina or Justine.

About Anna, well, she certainly tries to overpower her opponents and there you have IMO one of the reasons for her lack of success, Anna is capable of a fine touching at the net, she can hit different spins and angles,she can mix up, but she has a really poor shot selection and she normally chooses to outhit the ball, that's her mental approach to the game and has nothing to do with her ability to play in a certain way.

A different case is Venus, and I know some Venus fans will get upset at me for this, but the point is that Venus has phenomenal athletic abilities, she is very fast, has long legs, long armas and she is very strong. She can hit the ball very hard using her strenght, and of course, she has the technique to put it inside the court, but you can see her many times hitting the ball in a real bad position, with one leg in the air for example, her speed, height and a good shot technique allow her to walk away with that, but a player with less impressive physical conditions would certainly fail doing that. Venus can play at the net, but usually after a huge serve or groundstroke put her opponent out of position and she just needs to put the ball away, I can't imagine her changing pace, height, spins, and one of the reasons maybe because Venus simply doesn't need it, her power is enough to win matches.

Feb 19th, 2002, 11:27 PM
Fingon, you're right about Anna. She can hit finesse, but for some reason wants to try to outhit the Williams sisters, Davenport, etc. It is poor shot selection, and I notice the same problem with Kim Clijsters a lot.

Feb 19th, 2002, 11:28 PM
Rita Grande, Patty works the ball so well, Lisa Raymond to name a few!!

Feb 20th, 2002, 09:39 AM
This post was very interesting so thought I'd put my perspective on it.

First of all I totally agree that power players also have finesse skills, its just that they do not have to rely on them as much as say someone like Martina.

Secondly, we have totally ignored two great players who also have finesse

1) Arantxa, she had an excellent all court game and at her peak she was able to use and manipulate the court very well......from the baseline and at the net. Yes, she did a lot of scrambling but because of her supreme fitness she was always ready to put the ball away and make use of a corner, angle etc. I think her finesse is often underlooked and she was able to change her shots up with the drop of a hat.......from loopy spins, to topspin to slice to dropshots to lobs.........she really had it all!

2) Capriati......ok I know it sounds absurd, but this girl when she emerged as a teenager around 14 knew how to beat top 10 players and was ranked in the Top 10 after 1 year on the tour. She won matches on all surfaces and reached the semi's of RG, etc. I find it hard to belive that she was hitting as hard as she does now, as physical strength takes time to build up. She was obviously intelligent enough to use the court well with placement and power and yes finesse......I mean to win matches on clay, you need to be able to manipulate the ball with spins and placement. I think Capriati at her best is one of the most intelligent players on court and combined with power today makes her one of the very best.

Thanks for listening folks! :)