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View Full Version : Martina Navratilova, On ESPN2's "Quite Frankly" Said...


SelesFan70
May 6th, 2006, 03:54 AM
...today's rackets "allow average players to hit great shots." :tape: She also said that's why she can't dominate at the net anymore.

It's a good interview altogether, though. :)

DutchieGirl
May 6th, 2006, 04:00 AM
Wait a sec though - I assume she's also playing with "today's racquet" so what's the problem? :lol:

Volcana
May 6th, 2006, 04:03 AM
...today's rackets "allow average players to hit great shots." :tape: She also said that's why she can't dominate at the net anymore.She's right. Compared to the wood rackets in the late 60's, which is what I learned the game on, today's rackets not on let you make the ball travel a lot faster, they are VERY forgiving. The 'sweet spot' on today's Prince rackets is bigger than the entire racket head was on a 'Stan Smith autograph'.

However, Martina isn't as fast as she used to be either. I think she still the best volleyer on the tour though.
Wait a sec though - I assume she's also playing with "today's racquet" so what's the problem? :lol:Every ELSE is playing with today's racket. With the old rackets, a lot of todays player's couldn't compete. Martina could hit the kind of shots players hit today with wooden rackets with racket head only a little bigger than squash rackets.

darrinbaker00
May 6th, 2006, 04:05 AM
Wait a sec though - I assume she's also playing with "today's racquet" so what's the problem? :lol:
All else being equal, a fit, highly-skilled 20-to-25-year old will beat a fit, highly-skilled 49-year-old.

darrinbaker00
May 6th, 2006, 04:09 AM
She's right. Compared to the wood rackets in the late 60's, which is what I learned the game on, today's rackets not on let you make the ball travel a lot faster, they are VERY forgiving. The 'sweet spot' on today's Prince rackets is bigger than the entire racket head was on a 'Stan Smith autograph'.

However, Martina isn't as fast as she used to be either. I think she still the best volleyer on the tour though.
Every ELSE is playing with today's racket. With the old rackets, a lot of todays player's couldn't compete. Martina could hit the kind of shots players hit today with wooden rackets with racket head only a little bigger than squash rackets.
As much as I L-O-V-E Venus Williams, there's no way she could play with a wooden stick. She'd have to completely overhaul her forehand technique.

DutchieGirl
May 6th, 2006, 04:10 AM
Every ELSE is playing with today's racket. With the old rackets, a lot of todays player's couldn't compete. Martina could hit the kind of shots players hit today with wooden rackets with racket head only a little bigger than squash rackets.

yeah so surely great players should be able to hit EVEN BETTER shots with today's racquet if they are that goodanyway... ;)

DutchieGirl
May 6th, 2006, 04:11 AM
All else being equal, a fit, highly-skilled 20-to-25-year old will beat a fit, highly-skilled 49-year-old.

:lol: Yes, you should think so! ;)

Martina just sounds kinda bitter with that comment...

meyerpl
May 6th, 2006, 04:16 AM
Any opinion Martina Navratilova offers about tennis rackets is well informed. If she doesn't know what she's talking about, nobody does.

DutchieGirl
May 6th, 2006, 04:18 AM
Any opinion Martina Navratilova offers about tennis rackets is well informed. If she doesn't know what she's talking about, nobody does.

Well the new racquets are here... she should get used to it, or stop playing. :shrug:

Volcana
May 6th, 2006, 04:18 AM
yeah so surely great players should be able to hit EVEN BETTER shots with today's racquet if they are that goodanyway... ;)You're not considering the problem, probably because you've never had to play with that kind of racket. Imagine playing tennis with a squash racket. One advantage Navratilova, Evert, Court, and Goolagong had over their opponents was they could hit great shots with rackets that their opponent couldn't hit great shots with. Today's rackets help a player who CAN'T hit a great shot with a small racket far more than they help a player who CAN hit a great shot.

That forehand Venus and Lindsay use, brushing up the back side of the ball? Near impossible with the rackets they used in the 1960's. The sweet spot was the size of two of your fists. Sania Mirza couldn't begin to play the way she does with the old rackets. It's not just that the ball goes faster. The racket head is so much bigger, shot that were mis-hits are now good shots.

DutchieGirl
May 6th, 2006, 04:22 AM
You're not considering the problem, probably because you've never had to play with that kind of racket. Imagine playing tennis with a squash racket. One advantage Navratilova, Evert, Court, and Goolagong had over their opponents was they could hit great shots with rackets that their opponent couldn't hit great shots with. Today's rackets help a player who CAN'T hit a great shot with a small racket far more than they help a player who CAN hit a great shot.

That forehand Venus and Lindsay use, brushing up the back side of the ball? Near impossible with the rackets they used in the 1960's. The sweet spot was the size of two of your fists. Sania Mirza couldn't begin to play the way she does with the old rackets. It's not just that the ball goes faster. The racket head is so much bigger, shot that were mis-hits are now good shots.

My first racquet was some cheap, old, shitty wooden thing with a small head size. :shrug: I'm not saying her point isn't valid, just that she should get over it, coz these type of racquets have been around for a while now, and if it's gonna help people's games then of course they will use them.

G1Player2
May 6th, 2006, 04:29 AM
You're not considering the problem, probably because you've never had to play with that kind of racket. Imagine playing tennis with a squash racket. One advantage Navratilova, Evert, Court, and Goolagong had over their opponents was they could hit great shots with rackets that their opponent couldn't hit great shots with. Today's rackets help a player who CAN'T hit a great shot with a small racket far more than they help a player who CAN hit a great shot.

That forehand Venus and Lindsay use, brushing up the back side of the ball? Near impossible with the rackets they used in the 1960's. The sweet spot was the size of two of your fists. Sania Mirza couldn't begin to play the way she does with the old rackets. It's not just that the ball goes faster. The racket head is so much bigger, shot that were mis-hits are now good shots.

A racket similar to what Federer and Safin use today was used 25 years ago, during Navratilova's peak, so i don't know what she is talking about. BTW, I think the transition from the wooden rackets helped her volley's more so her success was more WITHOUT the wooden rackets than with them.

tennisrox
May 6th, 2006, 05:53 AM
You're not considering the problem, probably because you've never had to play with that kind of racket. Imagine playing tennis with a squash racket. One advantage Navratilova, Evert, Court, and Goolagong had over their opponents was they could hit great shots with rackets that their opponent couldn't hit great shots with. Today's rackets help a player who CAN'T hit a great shot with a small racket far more than they help a player who CAN hit a great shot.

That forehand Venus and Lindsay use, brushing up the back side of the ball? Near impossible with the rackets they used in the 1960's. The sweet spot was the size of two of your fists. Sania Mirza couldn't begin to play the way she does with the old rackets. It's not just that the ball goes faster. The racket head is so much bigger, shot that were mis-hits are now good shots.

I completely agree with your posts, and Nav's opinion. Most players today would definitely have trouble with the old racquets. The larger size of the sweet-spot makes a huge difference to players who don't have great ball-sense, and hand-eye co-ordination. However,
strange as it may sound, you've picked the wrong example. Mirza is one player who would be able to hit great shots with a smaller racquet head (not talking about wood, but a smaller sweet-spot). She has very good ball-sense and is one who actually keeps her head absolutely still, and watches the ball onto her racquet. She uses a western grip but her swing is not the orthodox forehand swing. In fact she should probably switch to a smaller racquet head. That might sound a little odd given her current inconsistency, but you'll see what I mean in a couple of years.

esquímaux
May 6th, 2006, 06:02 AM
All the more reason why Roger Federer is so awesome! :hearts:

meyerpl
May 6th, 2006, 06:13 AM
Well the new racquets are here... she should get used to it, or stop playing. :shrug:
I assume she wasn't advocating for going back to wood rackets, but rather explaining why it's more difficult and less common for players to dominate at the net today.

harloo
May 6th, 2006, 06:14 AM
...today's rackets "allow average players to hit great shots." :tape: She also said that's why she can't dominate at the net anymore.

It's a good interview altogether, though. :)

I wonder does age have to do anything with it?;)

DutchieGirl
May 6th, 2006, 06:37 AM
I assume she wasn't advocating for going back to wood rackets, but rather explaining why it's more difficult and less common for players to dominate at the net today.

Well that wasn't made clear from what she said! ;)

LH2HBH
May 6th, 2006, 06:48 AM
Well you could also say that today's top players are WAY more ATHLETIC than Rod Laver or Margaret Court or Arthur Ashe and there isn't even a chance in hell that they would last 3 tough sets chasing down a ball travelling 90mph even at their best and making their bodies, tendons, muscles hit with vibration of this ball popping off a powerful frame sending vibration and tendonitis up your arm every time you hit the fucking thing 1000 times a day on pounding hard court surfaces far less forgiving than soft grass or clay.

She might also note that as the #22 doubles player in the world and should be grateful that she CAN still play with the best and that SHE has managed to keep up with the latest technology!

kiwifan
May 6th, 2006, 07:33 AM
I'd argue that in "martina's prime" she used technology to pass Chris Evert.

In the wooden racket era Chris O\/\/NZED Martina. :devil:

Andy T
May 6th, 2006, 08:24 AM
I'd argue that in "martina's prime" she used technology to pass Chris Evert.

In the wooden racket era Chris O\/\/NZED Martina. :devil:

Without in any way trying to diss Chris, whom I respect and admire as a great champion, don't forget that
*Martina became #1 in 1978, playing with a wooden racquet.
*She was #1 in 1979, playing with a wooden racquet.
*She beat Chris Evert 16 times - more than any other player, ever - 1973-81, playing with a wooden racquet.
*In the last 24 matches they played when both were using wooden racquets, their h2h was 12-12.

It is true that during Martina's 82-3 run, she won 9/10 times but she'd won 7/10 times in the last ten matches they played when both were using wooden racquets.

Attribute those two extra victories to the differences in the racquets used if you will, but Martina's vastly improved strength and fitness and greater self-confidence are more likely reasons, imo.

MLF
May 6th, 2006, 08:26 AM
What Martina is saying is correct. Modern racket technology is basically chasing flair and touch players out of the upper echelons of the game - it's harder for a "natural talent" to really play on a level playing field. I guess there's no point moaning about it though - it's just the way it is.

charmedRic
May 6th, 2006, 11:16 AM
She's right. Compared to the wood rackets in the late 60's, which is what I learned the game on, today's rackets not on let you make the ball travel a lot faster, they are VERY forgiving. The 'sweet spot' on today's Prince rackets is bigger than the entire racket head was on a 'Stan Smith autograph'.

However, Martina isn't as fast as she used to be either. I think she still the best volleyer on the tour though.
Every ELSE is playing with today's racket. With the old rackets, a lot of todays player's couldn't compete. Martina could hit the kind of shots players hit today with wooden rackets with racket head only a little bigger than squash rackets.

:worship:

hingis-seles
May 6th, 2006, 11:54 AM
She's right. Compared to the wood rackets in the late 60's, which is what I learned the game on, today's rackets not on let you make the ball travel a lot faster, they are VERY forgiving. The 'sweet spot' on today's Prince rackets is bigger than the entire racket head was on a 'Stan Smith autograph'.

However, Martina isn't as fast as she used to be either. I think she still the best volleyer on the tour though.
Every ELSE is playing with today's racket. With the old rackets, a lot of todays player's couldn't compete. Martina could hit the kind of shots players hit today with wooden rackets with racket head only a little bigger than squash rackets.

That pretty much sums it up. :)

Pinkie
May 6th, 2006, 11:58 AM
Any possible bitterness aside from older players, the shift away from pure technique is a valid point to make. I'd offer a slightly different point a view though: I don't mind that new technologies have opened up the field. A smaller sweet spot meant people with the perfect technique dominated the field. While I appreciate the craftsmanship of the olden days, I do love the athleticism and the power and the spectacular shot making that has come to the sport. Let's face it, tennis comes from an era where a lot of tennis players could hardly be called athletes. Those days have gone. And that I do like.

Meesh
May 6th, 2006, 12:04 PM
My first racquet was a wooden "Miss Chris" racquet. :lol:

jj74
May 6th, 2006, 12:17 PM
Well she is so right, nowadays there are a lot of top players with very limited skills

UDACHi
May 6th, 2006, 12:19 PM
Poor Craybas. :sad:

Scotso
May 6th, 2006, 01:54 PM
Well the new racquets are here... she should get used to it, or stop playing. :shrug:

Whether or not you like her personally, she has done more than enough to gain the respect of any real tennis fan.

spartanfan
May 6th, 2006, 02:07 PM
Martina is so condescending, and she just needs to get over herself. Its funny how you never hear any other tennis legends (ie BJK or CE) degrade the quality of play or players these days. Martina should face the fact that she's old enough to be EVERY players MOTHER, and she will never recapture her youth. Yea she can still compete in doubles, but certainly not in singles play. Martina's problem is that she knows that if she were the same age as most players in the current top 10, learned how to play with the same kind of rackets as Venus, Serena or Clijsters, she would not have been able to keep up with them. The game is so much more powerful, gutsy and athletic. The pitty-pat country club slow paced game of yesterday is NEVER coming back and she should just get over it. Watching clips of those old womens matches is just painful to watch.

Mightymirza
May 6th, 2006, 02:14 PM
yeah so surely great players should be able to hit EVEN BETTER shots with today's racquet if they are that goodanyway... ;)
Well its not so simple...These rackets allow you to hit great passing shots.. They make the volleys less effective..Navratilovas whole game revolves around the net..But nowadays we see so many girls playing on Baseline mostly and still winning doubles matches..I think thats what Martina is referring..

Dawn Marie
May 6th, 2006, 02:15 PM
Well Martina!! Nobody really gives a damn about if the "great shot" is from an average player or from a top player. As long as the shot that I am looking at is beautiful and "great" who gives a fuck about the average or un average.

mike/topgun
May 6th, 2006, 02:33 PM
I tend to agree that todays rackets help players alot more than the old ones...it's actually a great difference between wooden rackets and aluminium rackets f.e. With the new technology the technique is not as important and valuable than it was like 30 years ago or so. Now we do see more power than anything else...and that's not only due to players being more athletic but also a matter of rackets and technique with a western fh grip etc.

Mudbone
May 6th, 2006, 03:49 PM
Some of you guys are drawing some unwarranted extrapolations...The older era players could use wooden racquets because they grew up with them and developed thier technique based on teh technology availble....To assume that todays players would not have been great players had they grown up with wooden racquets is very foolish...

Take Venus Williams for example...Had Venus grown up with a wooden racquet, she likley would have been the great serve&vollyer ever...She is incredibly athletic and has very good volleying skills...A wooden racquet would have force her to come in more and play a different game..Great athletes adapt...To suggest the greater athtlete would not have adapted is very foolish...

None of todays top players can play with a wooden racquet...Thats no slight...Its just that they learned a different game in a different era with different technology...I have long argued that the ITF should have limited racquet head and sweet spot size on the modern equipment....But the genie is out of the bottle...You can't go backwards

Navratilova is a hypocrit...She is always pontificating about the advantages modern players have because of technology...But she always failed to mention she dumped her wooden stick as soon as graphite came along and won most of her slams with a graphite racquet...A little curious fact she seems to always never mention...In fact the first oversized graphite designed by Yonnex was used by Martina

raquel
May 6th, 2006, 03:49 PM
Martina just sounds kinda bitter with that comment...I don't think it's bitter. What's Martina got to be bitter about? She achieved more than almost everyone. I think it's more accurate than bitter. It's easier to hit winners nowadays with these huge sweet spots on the racquet.

CrossCourt~Rally
May 6th, 2006, 03:55 PM
All else being equal, a fit, highly-skilled 20-to-25-year old will beat a fit, highly-skilled 49-year-old.

:worship:

CrossCourt~Rally
May 6th, 2006, 03:57 PM
Well its not so simple...These rackets allow you to hit great passing shots.. They make the volleys less effective..Navratilovas whole game revolves around the net..But nowadays we see so many girls playing on Baseline mostly and still winning doubles matches..I think thats what Martina is referring..

Your exactly right! Some of the comments in here seem to be coming from non tennis players :lol:

mike/topgun
May 6th, 2006, 09:48 PM
Some of you guys are drawing some unwarranted extrapolations...The older era players could use wooden racquets because they grew up with them and developed thier technique based on teh technology availble....To assume that todays players would not have been great players had they grown up with wooden racquets is very foolish...

Take Venus Williams for example...Had Venus grown up with a wooden racquet, she likley would have been the great serve&vollyer ever...She is incredibly athletic and has very good volleying skills...A wooden racquet would have force her to come in more and play a different game..Great athletes adapt...To suggest the greater athtlete would not have adapted is very foolish...

None of todays top players can play with a wooden racquet...Thats no slight...Its just that they learned a different game in a different era with different technology...I have long argued that the ITF should have limited racquet head and sweet spot size on the modern equipment....But the genie is out of the bottle...You can't go backwards

Navratilova is a hypocrit...She is always pontificating about the advantages modern players have because of technology...But she always failed to mention she dumped her wooden stick as soon as graphite came along and won most of her slams with a graphite racquet...A little curious fact she seems to always never mention...In fact the first oversized graphite designed by Yonnex was used by Martina
Really funny...no, ok you may have a fair point, but still don't you think, that all the people who are still playing tennis and remember wooden rackets can simply refere to what it was like back in 'the old days' and what it's like nowadays...You cannot argue, that todays rackets help players to get the ball over the net more and that makes some styles of play less effective f.e. serve 'n volley. I agree, though, that if she had learned how to play tennis with a wooden racket, Venus would have been a great serve 'n volleyer, but she would have been also definitely a worse baseliner (with the fh being erratic and I'm not quite sure bout her serve, especially the second serve which is :tape: )
Look at Petes racket - it was made to serve and volley...new technologies are making the game easier, not so technical. In other words old rackets pushed you to play more ofensive, agressive and most importantly more precise tennis whereas todays rackets give you the advantage that even if you can't hit a technicaly proper fh you can hit it so hard, that it becomes a winner :p It's a matter of rackets head balance and other very boring technical stuff:angel:

SAEKeithSerena
May 6th, 2006, 09:49 PM
Wait a sec though - I assume she's also playing with "today's racquet" so what's the problem? :lol:



lol no shit...for real

SelesFan70
May 6th, 2006, 09:51 PM
I used to play with a wooden racket, but I doubt I could today. My grips are so semi-western it should be illegal. :lol: I had a series of rackets my parents got me from Sears... :angel:

The saddest part of this whole thing was that I was home on a Friday night watching that crap show... :tape:

DutchieGirl
May 7th, 2006, 03:54 AM
Whether or not you like her personally, she has done more than enough to gain the respect of any real tennis fan.

I AM a real tennis fan, and after what I saw at Rosmalen last year, sorry but I DO NOT respect her. She had a go at a deaf girl for handing a pen to her the wrong way, and she was a rude bitch to others too - until then I did use to respect her, so take your bad rep and stick it! :hatoff:

DutchieGirl
May 7th, 2006, 03:56 AM
Well its not so simple...These rackets allow you to hit great passing shots.. They make the volleys less effective..Navratilovas whole game revolves around the net..But nowadays we see so many girls playing on Baseline mostly and still winning doubles matches..I think thats what Martina is referring..

shrug: She could always try to change her style of play a bit then! ;) (although I guss it's a bit late for that)...but it just sounds like she's complaining, and if she doesn't like it, well she doesn't have to play. :shrug: