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View Full Version : Is the WTA becoming a tactics free zone?


bobito
Dec 22nd, 2011, 07:28 PM
Before I start, the following opening comment will mention Caroline Wozniacki. If all you want to do is call her "Dullniacki" or "Pushniacki" and sneer or, on the other hand say "haters gonna hate" and post a silly gif then please do it somewhere else. This thread is not about Caro, though it will mention her as an example.

Thankyou.:hatoff:

One thing has puzzled me for a over a year now. How did a player with a weak forehand and an excellent backhand avoid being targeted on her weaker wing for long enough to spend over a year (minus a week) at #1?

Did she skilfully manipulate the rallies to avoid being pinned on the forehand wing? If so, then how come a player like McHale was able to manage it?

Did other players simply not notice that her forehand is so much weaker than her backhand? If so, what are these girls paying their coaches for?

Did other players know about the disparity but choose to hit to her backhand anyway because they felt generally more comfortable playing crosscourt backhand rallies? In other words, did players know that her own forehands were better than Caro's but still prefer to rally crosscourt to Caro's backhand because their own backhands, though weaker than Caro's, were better than their forehands. Do most WTA players play to their own strengths, regardless of their opponents strengths and weaknesses?

Or was it a combination of the above?

I find it curious that it was principally players ranked outside the top 20 who started to target Caro's forehand in the latter half of the year. I think that supports the 3rd factor. You are less likely to back yourself to "play the way I play" when you are playing an opponent 20 or 30 places above you and are perhaps more likely to try and bust up their game.

If players are so locked into playing a certain way that they are comfortable with and unwilling to try something else in order to target an opponent's weaknesses, is this a fault of the players themselves or their coaches?

Whatever you think of Caroline Wozniacki, you have to credit her with this much. She knows where her opponents don't want the ball and she hits it there.

mac47
Dec 22nd, 2011, 07:32 PM
You want to use Woz as an example, and you're hoping GM will play along and not get into a dumb-ass flame war? Good luck with that. Her stans won't even agree with you that her forehand sucks, or that other players successfully targeted it,

That said, I think it's a rather rare WTA player, even in the top 50, whose game is sufficiently sound and varied to succeed in targeting a weakness like that. You have to be able to change direction of the ball.

dsanders06
Dec 22nd, 2011, 07:41 PM
I heard a commentator (Jo Durie maybe?) saying recently that most of the current players don't actually WATCH enough tennis, and that when she was a pro, she found watching other players and getting a feel for what patterns of play unsettles them really helped her, far more than her coach simply telling her, because if she was just being told, she couldn't really visualise it in the same way as if she'd seen it with her eyes repeatedly.

Serena, for all her faults, has probably evolved into one of the most intelligent and tactically-aware players at the top... in her match against Woz at the US Open, she showed the perfect way to beat her: kill off points at the net. Wozniacki isn't actually that fast in terms of raw footspeed, she relies on floating her defensive shots back slowly in order to get back to the centre of the baseline - so Serena robbed her of that vital recovery time by taking Woz's junk out of the air, which meant Woz wasn't quick enough to track it down. Maria in particular I hope took note - in her match against Woz last year's US Open, Maria was actually striking the ball pretty well, but so many times, she could've killed off points with swinging volleys, but instead let Woz's defensive shots drop and let the rally go back to near-neutral.

bobito
Dec 22nd, 2011, 07:43 PM
You want to use Woz as an example, and you're hoping GM will play along and not get into a dumb-ass flame war? Good luck with that. Her stans won't even agree with you that her forehand sucks, or that other players successfully targeted it,

That said, I think it's a rather rare WTA player, even in the top 50, whose game is sufficiently sound and varied to succeed in targeting a weakness like that. You have to be able to change direction of the ball.

It was naive of me I know but I had to try. :shrug:

I take your point about players being poor at changing the direction of the ball but most players don't even target her forehand with their serve! You don't see players serve to Federer's forehand very often and Roger's backhand is by no means a lousy shot, it's just not as good as his forehand.

sammy01
Dec 22nd, 2011, 07:51 PM
when i did my marks out of 10 for the top 10 in that other thread, the marks for netplay and finesse were the lowest overall. thus telling me a lot of players these days don't have the option or skill set to play any other way than their usual baseline bashing.

it is hard to have a gameplan or to read the play if you have no other option but to play the only game you are capable of.

part of the reason caro is so successful is because most top players cant attack her junk from the net, cant keep her off balance by throwing in good drop shots or slices. just thinking about what a prime henin would do to all those floated nothing defensive shots from woz at net makes me sad these days.

Apoleb
Dec 22nd, 2011, 07:54 PM
I remember one particular match at the USO, against freakin Vania King, who was outplaying her everytime she hit to the forehand. But guess what she did on all the major points? Hit to the backhand, sometimes 4/5 times in a row. Makes no sense at all.

Having said that, I don't think her forehand has been as shaky as it has been this past summer. Usually it can always fall short, but it was totally breaking down sometimes. So not only you need to hit to the forehand, you also need to make use of a short shot. As Radwanska has shown in the YEC, a good net game backed by a backhand cc can do the job. But not many players will implement it.

bobito
Dec 22nd, 2011, 08:00 PM
when i did my marks out of 10 for the top 10 in that other thread, the marks for netplay and finesse were the lowest overall. thus telling me a lot of players these days don't have the option or skill set to play any other way than their usual baseline bashing.

it is hard to have a gameplan or to read the play if you have no other option but to play the only game you are capable of.

I'm not I sure you need to have a varied skillset to target an opponent's forehand. McHale did it rather competently and so have a few other lower ranked players. And Caro herself is pretty good at putting the ball where her opponent doesn't want it.

just thinking about what a prime henin would do to all those floated nothing defensive shots from woz at net makes me sad these days.

I've often wondered how Hingis would have played her.

Apoleb
Dec 22nd, 2011, 08:17 PM
I've often wondered how Hingis would have played her.

Massacre. But a beautiful one.

Takes all her moonballs very early and moves the ball incredibely well, creating angles at will and hitting the BH DTL when she pleases. On top of hitting random drive volleys off Caroqueen's moonballs and attacking the net. Basically what JJ did in IW '10 except 15x better.

I would have paid $$$ to see this. Too bad it never happened.

Smitten
Dec 22nd, 2011, 08:23 PM
Legend played her twice. She destroyed her both times. The H2H is 2-0.

Smitten
Dec 22nd, 2011, 08:26 PM
The thing with Legend against local players. Each time she hits the ball she inches her way into court. Hit, move slightly forward, hit, move slightly forward.

Then she finds herself able to change the direction from inside the baseline against Borz's shorter balls and finish the point at net.

It would look somewhat like this.

pZGx7Di8TBw

Sean.
Dec 22nd, 2011, 08:42 PM
Not when you have both Zvonareva & Radwanska in the top 10. They both play very clever tennis.

marineblue
Dec 22nd, 2011, 08:54 PM
I wonder when will Wozniacki haters achieve a level of maturity required to spot mistakes in their fave's game instead of putting her down. Probably never, but I had to try,LOL.

madmax
Dec 22nd, 2011, 09:09 PM
it all stems down to one thing - total incompetence at the net by most elite power players. Their coaches either don't encourage them to kill moonballs in the air or they simply lack confidence to come inside. Without net play, all Dullniacki matches look like this - bash, floater near the line, rinse and repeat untill the ballbasher self-destructs or finally hits a clean winner.

young_gunner913
Dec 22nd, 2011, 09:13 PM
Not when you have both Zvonareva & Radwanska in the top 10. They both play very clever tennis.

Zvonareva runs around the court like a chicken with it's head cut off most of the time. :lol:

Melange
Dec 22nd, 2011, 09:17 PM
Legend played her twice. She destroyed her both times. The H2H is 2-0.

juniors getting owned hard :worship:

Keegan
Dec 22nd, 2011, 09:35 PM
Confidence is one of the most important things in tennis and it's incredibly key in how well you play. Just watch players like Sharapova who rely on confidence. When she isn't confident, she sprays balls all over the place worse than she normally does. I think that trying to break your opponents confidence is a "tactic" many players employ. If you keep pounding Woz's backhand, hopefully it will start breaking down and then Woz will lose confidence in her backhand and her game will fall apart. I think that's the mentality a lot of players have, and it's a pretty pathetic one, but I think if people played to their opponents weaknesses the top of the game would be very different. If players put pressure on Sharapova's serve like Radwanska did at the USO07, she wouldn't be successful. If people hit to Woz's forehand consistently, she probably wouldn't be No.1. Play to Stosur's backhand, slice can only do so much. Keep the ball in play with Li and she'll go out like a candle in a tornado. I would probably go as far to say that many players don't have that type of ability to hit to the opponents weaknesses. Most the time it's left-right as hard as you can, because that's easy.

Sean.
Dec 22nd, 2011, 09:57 PM
Zvonareva runs around the court like a chicken with it's head cut off most of the time. :lol:

http://i214.photobucket.com/albums/cc219/5e4n/martinaanna.gif

That's her tactic! :angel:

dsanders06
Dec 22nd, 2011, 10:59 PM
Zvonareva runs around the court like a chicken with it's head cut off most of the time. :lol:

Zvonareva's movement is so overrated on here :lol: She's a good defender, but hardly GREAT, she's not one of those players who can bring EVERY ball back... I'd certainly rate her behind Wozniacki in defensive skills.

She is an intelligent player and in theory one of the best point-constructors in the top 10, but she doesn't really have the weaponry to put those skills to use when she's up against the best when they're near their best.

ExtremespeedX
Dec 22nd, 2011, 11:19 PM
The reason Dullniacki spent so many weeks @ number one is simple:

1) She played many many events, winning tournaments where she never even had to beat top 10 players. (when she meets a good player, she is made to look like a clown - look at her USO semi where she hit her first winner in the middle of the second set :o)

2) Mug era - not enough good opponents to challenge her consistent moonballing and is enough to hold on to top rank without even making a slam final or winning YEC.

3) She had that "aura" where other players feared her defense and self destructed against her.

However, already she's starting to be figured out. Her forehand is getting attacked more and more. Players are more patient against her moonballs and attack only when they get a short ball. Look for every player in 2012 to step on the court against Dullniacki with self-belief because her "talent" is only limited to her defense, moonballs and stamina.

Excelscior
Dec 22nd, 2011, 11:31 PM
I heard a commentator (Jo Durie maybe?) saying recently that most of the current players don't actually WATCH enough tennis, and that when she was a pro, she found watching other players and getting a feel for what patterns of play unsettles them really helped her, far more than her coach simply telling her, because if she was just being told, she couldn't really visualise it in the same way as if she'd seen it with her eyes repeatedly.

Serena, for all her faults, has probably evolved into one of the most intelligent and tactically-aware players at the top... in her match against Woz at the US Open, she showed the perfect way to beat her: kill off points at the net. Wozniacki isn't actually that fast in terms of raw footspeed, she relies on floating her defensive shots back slowly in order to get back to the centre of the baseline - so Serena robbed her of that vital recovery time by taking Woz's junk out of the air, which meant Woz wasn't quick enough to track it down. Maria in particular I hope took note - in her match against Woz last year's US Open, Maria was actually striking the ball pretty well, but so many times, she could've killed off points with swinging volleys, but instead let Woz's defensive shots drop and let the rally go back to near-neutral.

This is exactly how Petra beat (starting from an inspired Jankovic at Linz) 4 moonballers in a row (generally speaking), ending with the YEC title in Istanbul.

Bingo. This (killing the points early when available) also worked many times at the Fed Cup/Moscow matches as well vs Kirilenko and Kuznetsova on that abysmally slow, high bouncing hard court; albeit with other approaches.

Many times players like Sharapova, Stosur and Kvitova have the temporary advantage against a "weaker" opponent, but their so consumed with hitting from the baseline, they blow those easy opportunities (to later make errors and lose the point), when they could of killed off the point early in the first place.

Though she was in not so good form, if Kvitova would of just killed off the easy points in her loss to Dulgheru at the US Open, she would of probably won that match. Cause not only do you kill off the easy points, but just the sheer fact that you're going to the net, will cause your opponent errors. Dulgheru was almost as bad as Kvitova that day. Petra was just worse. And Dulgheru knew it, and waited for Petra to make more mistakes than her. Petra never forced Dulgheru to make mistakes, mind you kill off easy points early.

Even on Petra's tough serve (which admittingly wasn't top notch that day), all Dulgheru had to do was get the ball back on the court. If so, Petra would find away to blow it. And she certainly wasn't going to the net. I remember telling myself, she should of been doing that the whole match, while watching.

Historically, Petra usually moves forward, comes to the net more often on grass (and lately/increasingly indoors). But as you indicated, that's a strategy that can work on any surface. And I think it's going to be a key moving forward to the future for Kvitova (especially against the defensive players), and her coach had indicated this during the YEC. I've certainly been screaming for this approach on all surfaces (vs the more reserved opportunistic net play, when off grass) for a while. I'm guessing they will continue the more aggressive net play at the Australian Hard Courts of course/as well?

goldenlox
Dec 22nd, 2011, 11:33 PM
If you watch Caro earlier this year, and I was just watching her IW matches, her forehand is pretty steady and she could go to either side, just not with a lot of pace.
It was part of her steady game.
Caroline over 11 months played 19 tournaments, 9 titles, 12 finals, 15 semis.
After Wimbledon she was trying to be more aggressive with her forehand.
I watched her losses to Vinci and McHale and Caroline was making a lot of forehand errors on key points.
She steadied up the forehand for New Haven and USO.

I'm interested to see what her forehand will be in 2012.

Sean.
Dec 22nd, 2011, 11:33 PM
Zvonareva's movement is so overrated on here :lol: She's a good defender, but hardly GREAT, she's not one of those players who can bring EVERY ball back... I'd certainly rate her behind Wozniacki in defensive skills.

I get you don't like Vera. But watch her matches at this year's AO where I will admit offensively to she awful, but she wasn't getting everything back. Then tell me she's not a great defender.

She is an intelligent player and in theory one of the best point-constructors in the top 10, but she doesn't really have the weaponry to put those skills to use when she's up against the best when they're near their best.

If by 'the best' you mean the Williams, Clijsters & Kvitova. Then no one else on the WTA has the weaponry to beat them when they're at their best. Vera's is one of the only players to have wins over all of them though.

bobito
Dec 23rd, 2011, 08:19 AM
If you watch Caro earlier this year, and I was just watching her IW matches, her forehand is pretty steady and she could go to either side, just not with a lot of pace.
It was part of her steady game.

Fair point, she was hitting it better in Dubai as well. However players weren't really targeting it then. Though I didn't see the match, I've read that it was Petkovic in Miami who first zeroed in on the Wozniacki forehand. Certainly other players were doing so soon after and that seems to have been when her results started to suffer.

After Wimbledon she was trying to be more aggressive with her forehand.
I watched her losses to Vinci and McHale and Caroline was making a lot of forehand errors on key points.
She steadied up the forehand for New Haven and USO.

Against McHale she was pinned onto the forehand wing. She had to be more aggressive with it because she was getting so few backhands to hit. But she wasn't doing so as a deliberate tactic, she was trying to hit her way out of trouble. I didn't see any of her matches at New Haven but I did see her match against Kuznetsova at the US Open. This was typical of what I referred to in my opening post. For the 2nd half of the match Kuzzy was hitting to the Wozniacki backhand time after time with inevitable results.

I'm interested to see what her forehand will be in 2012.

So am I. I'm also interested to see if even more players will target it and how she responds if they do.

mac47
Dec 23rd, 2011, 01:40 PM
Historically, Petra usually moves forward, comes to the net more often on grass (and lately/increasingly indoors). But as you indicated, that's a strategy that can work on any surface. And I think it's going to be a key moving forward to the future for Kvitova (especially against the defensive players), and her coach had indicated this during the YEC. I've certainly been screaming for this approach on all surfaces (vs the more reserved opportunistic net play, when off grass) for a while. I'm guessing they will continue the more aggressive net play at the Australian Hard Courts of course/as well?

I hope you're right, because I love aggressive net play, and Petra's propensity for moving forward is what made me a fan,

But I hear she stuck to the baseline in her recent close lose to Hradecka. When asked about it, she basically said that Lucie was hitting the ball too hard for her to move in.

Novichok
Dec 23rd, 2011, 01:45 PM
No, the WTA isn't becoming "a tactics free zone." Players are just employing tactics that you don't believe are smart. Caroline employs tactics every time she plays a match and those tactics have been quite successful.

rockstar
Dec 23rd, 2011, 01:56 PM
you make it sound as though woz's forehand is so atrocious that anyone who targets will automatically win. truth is, it's good enough to win her matches most of the time obviously. and it was pretty apparent that her forehand was being targeted in most of her losses, so i wouldn't say wta has no tactics.... bad example!

evana
Dec 23rd, 2011, 02:16 PM
Actually Goerges beat Wozniacki in Madrid by deliberately moonballing to her BH :oh:

bobito
Dec 23rd, 2011, 03:07 PM
you make it sound as though woz's forehand is so atrocious that anyone who targets will automatically win.

Not automatically win. But they'd do a lot better than they would otherwise.

truth is, it's good enough to win her matches most of the time obviously.

Nope. Her backhand is good enough to win her matches if her opponents are daft enough to keep hitting to it.

and it was pretty apparent that her forehand was being targeted in most of her losses, so i wouldn't say wta has no tactics.... bad example!

You missed my point here. I was asking why did it take so long for players to work it out? From her appearance in the US Open final (at which point you'd expect players and coaches to start paying attention) it was 18 months before players started to target her much weaker wing. Not even Clijsters did during their 3 setter at the WTA Championships.

If an emerging player on the ATP your had such a weakness their opponents would target it mercilessly from very early on. This used to be true of the women's game also but not any longer it seems.

Excelscior
Dec 23rd, 2011, 03:19 PM
I hope you're right, because I love aggressive net play, and Petra's propensity for moving forward is what made me a fan,

But I hear she stuck to the baseline in her recent close lose to Hradecka. When asked about it, she basically said that Lucie was hitting the ball too hard for her to move in.

Well that makes sense. And I wouldn't take that match too seriously Mac.

Honestly, it was only her third match back from her off season. I'm sure she had many things to work on.

More importantly, Bikez watched that match, and said Petra was serving, hitting and returning poorly. Which makes sense to me, if she was just coming back. I'm sure if she was in improved form, she would of done all those things better, which would of enabled her to go to the net more. She probably wanted to get her timing down and all that stuff first. I'm sure if it was a tour match she would of (even if she wasn't serving, returning and hitting well, but had easy net opportunities). She's working on her game. No worries.

Like I said before about the Petra quote you stated, "I think she was being polite to Lucie". Lol Cause I heard her on another interview, where she said "I'm happy where my performance, considering where I want to be right now". Bikez account of the match, reinforces that.

Now as far as Koytza's statement; he did say (and Petra repeated it), that "she's going to go to net more in the future". But that was before the YEC. Hopefully he meant it for good, and not just the YEC/Indoor/Grass. To her credit, she went to the net a lot/nicely in the Fed Cup, as well. And we all know that was one slow ass, high bouncing hard court (indoor or no indoor). So if she could do it there regularly, she could do it anywhere. Lol

We'll see?

bobito
Dec 23rd, 2011, 03:21 PM
If Petra is going to continue coming into the net, and I to would like to see it, then she'll have to close down the net better than she has been doing. She's making her vollies harder than they need to be at the moment.

sammy01
Dec 23rd, 2011, 03:30 PM
I'm not I sure you need to have a varied skillset to target an opponent's forehand. McHale did it rather competently and so have a few other lower ranked players. And Caro herself is pretty good at putting the ball where her opponent doesn't want it.


my point is having varied shots and tactics usually play hand in hand. players get so routined these days of doing what they do over and over and don't even notice who is down the other end. dementieva was one of the worst, her records against caro and ivanovic say it all. she used to get embroiled in crosscourt backhand rallies with both (like she did most opponents), with ivanovic it worked perfectly as it was her weak shot, with caro it didn't as caro's strength is her backhand.

what tactics can you have if you don't have a good slice, drop shot or volleys and your ground game is so ingrained that it dictates what shots you hit no matter who the opponent is?

the wta has so few 'flare' players left, who each shot was decided just before hitting the ball than some preprogrammed shot.

goldenlox
Dec 23rd, 2011, 03:32 PM
Not automatically win. But they'd do a lot better than they would otherwise.



Nope. Her backhand is good enough to win her matches if her opponents are daft enough to keep hitting to it.



You missed my point here. I was asking why did it take so long for players to work it out? From her appearance in the US Open final (at which point you'd expect players and coaches to start paying attention) it was 18 months before players started to target her much weaker wing. Not even Clijsters did during their 3 setter at the WTA Championships.

If an emerging player on the ATP your had such a weakness their opponents would target it mercilessly from very early on. This used to be true of the women's game also but not any longer it seems.They cant just hit to Caro's forehand because she is waiting on it and run them corner to corner.
If you have Caroline's 61 62 IW SF over Sharapova, Maria's coach tells her to hit to Caroline's forehand during a coaching visit. It will only help if you're running Caroline or hitting consistently big winnres. Or if Caroline is making UE's.

bobito
Dec 23rd, 2011, 03:41 PM
They cant just hit to Caro's forehand because she is waiting on it and run them corner to corner.
If you have Caroline's 61 62 IW SF over Sharapova, Maria's coach tells her to hit to Caroline's forehand during a coaching visit. It will only help if you're running Caroline or hitting consistently big winnres. Or if Caroline is making UE's.

If she adjusts her position to compensate, that's when you hit wide to her backhand, something those players who have pounded her forehand successfully have done.

Sharapova is a poor example to be fair. Tactics for Sharapova start and end with, "Should I eat a banana at this changeover or wait 'til the next one?" Good luck to Michael Joyce if he's trying to get Masha to play tactically.

goldenlox
Dec 23rd, 2011, 03:45 PM
If she adjusts her position to compensate, that's when you hit wide to her backhand, something those players who have pounded her forehand successfully have done.

...That pretty much works against anyone. Pound it one side, then hit out wide to the other side.
Anyone who can consistently do that will be successful against most players.

bobito
Dec 23rd, 2011, 03:46 PM
my point is having varied shots and tactics usually play hand in hand. players get so routined these days of doing what they do over and over and don't even notice who is down the other end. dementieva was one of the worst, her records against caro and ivanovic say it all. she used to get embroiled in crosscourt backhand rallies with both (like she did most opponents), with ivanovic it worked perfectly as it was her weak shot, with caro it didn't as caro's strength is her backhand.

what tactics can you have if you don't have a good slice, drop shot or volleys and your ground game is so ingrained that it dictates what shots you hit no matter who the opponent is?

the wta has so few 'flare' players left, who each shot was decided just before hitting the ball than some preprogrammed shot.

I agree that the wider your skillset the greater range of tactics you have at your disposal. But you don't need to be Justine Henin or Martina Hingis to serve out wide to your opponent's forehand and keep it there until they give you a ball to put away into the open court.

bobito
Dec 23rd, 2011, 03:47 PM
That pretty much works against anyone. Pound it one side, then hit out wide to the other side.
Anyone who can consistently do that will be successful against most players.

Agreed, if you are pounding the correct side.

Excelscior
Dec 23rd, 2011, 03:58 PM
If Petra is going to continue coming into the net, and I to would like to see it, then she'll have to close down the net better than she has been doing. She's making her vollies harder than they need to be at the moment.

Yeah. She likes that midcourt area to hang around in.

I think she does that, cause it appears Petra likes the idea of moving forward, more so than coming to the net (unless committed or she see's an easy floater that brings her directly to the net).

To her credit, she did aggressively serve and volley a few times at the YEC. Hopefully she'll continue that, just to mix things up, and force poor returners into bad shots (especially in early rounds), as well as her mid court hang out area.

sammy01
Dec 23rd, 2011, 04:04 PM
I agree that the wider your skillset the greater range of tactics you have at your disposal. But you don't need to be Justine Henin or Martina Hingis to serve out wide to your opponent's forehand and keep it there until they give you a ball to put away into the open court.

but even someone with a great serve as stosur just does what she always does on 2nd serve and kicks it to the backhand and she has horrible records against girls with great backhands like maria and kim. there is no way stosur cant slice serves to the forehand or even kick them to the forehand, but she is obviously so used to doing what she does that no matter who is down the other end it doesn't matter.

i wouldn't say it is because stosur is dumb, just that as with most players these days, she is so consumed with her own patterns of play and what she feels comfortable with she totally neglects to think how it fits in with her opponents game.

LCS
Dec 23rd, 2011, 04:09 PM
Excellent point by the OP.

These girls and their respective coaches need to stop pretending the're making an effort.

Patrick345
Dec 23rd, 2011, 04:16 PM
it all stems down to one thing - total incompetence at the net by most elite power players. Their coaches either don't encourage them to kill moonballs in the air or they simply lack confidence to come inside. Without net play, all Dullniacki matches look like this - bash, floater near the line, rinse and repeat untill the ballbasher self-destructs or finally hits a clean winner.

Exactly. Everybody should know by now how to beat Wozniacki, itīs just that the players lack the brain, timing or/and the ability to finish points at the net. Serena has done it, Schiavone has done it, Zvonareva has done it, for heavenīs sake Goerges has done it a couple of times.

lol.
Dec 23rd, 2011, 07:57 PM
Before I start, the following opening comment will mention Caroline Wozniacki. If all you want to do is call her "Dullniacki" or "Pushniacki" and sneer or, on the other hand say "haters gonna hate" and post a silly gif then please do it somewhere else. This thread is not about Caro, though it will mention her as an example.

Thankyou.:hatoff:

One thing has puzzled me for a over a year now. How did a player with a weak forehand and an excellent backhand avoid being targeted on her weaker wing for long enough to spend over a year (minus a week) at #1?

Did she skilfully manipulate the rallies to avoid being pinned on the forehand wing? If so, then how come a player like McHale was able to manage it?

Did other players simply not notice that her forehand is so much weaker than her backhand? If so, what are these girls paying their coaches for?

Did other players know about the disparity but choose to hit to her backhand anyway because they felt generally more comfortable playing crosscourt backhand rallies? In other words, did players know that her own forehands were better than Caro's but still prefer to rally crosscourt to Caro's backhand because their own backhands, though weaker than Caro's, were better than their forehands. Do most WTA players play to their own strengths, regardless of their opponents strengths and weaknesses?

Or was it a combination of the above?

I find it curious that it was principally players ranked outside the top 20 who started to target Caro's forehand in the latter half of the year. I think that supports the 3rd factor. You are less likely to back yourself to "play the way I play" when you are playing an opponent 20 or 30 places above you and are perhaps more likely to try and bust up their game.

If players are so locked into playing a certain way that they are comfortable with and unwilling to try something else in order to target an opponent's weaknesses, is this a fault of the players themselves or their coaches?

Whatever you think of Caroline Wozniacki, you have to credit her with this much. She knows where her opponents don't want the ball and she hits it there.

You made some valid points here.:yeah: (Read: last sentence)

The problem with your overall point is, you struggle to see that Wozniacki's success is based on her own tactical skills, not on the other's lack thereof.

Wozniacki is not powerful, has no serve, has no lethal shot, has no net play, has no forehand after all, but what she DOES have is tactics. She's able to manipulate 95% of the puppets on the other side of the court, even though some of them on paper must be better players. They lose not because they are tactically dumb, but because Caroline is tactically miles superior than anyone on tour.

sammy01
Dec 23rd, 2011, 08:12 PM
You made some valid points here.:yeah: (Read: last sentence)

The problem with your overall point is, you struggle to see that Wozniacki's success is based on her own tactical skills, not on the other's lack thereof.

Wozniacki is not powerful, has no serve, has no lethal shot, has no net play, has no forehand after all, but what she DOES have is tactics. She's able to manipulate 95% of the puppets on the other side of the court, even though some of them on paper must be better players. They lose not because they are tactically dumb, but because Caroline is tactically miles superior than anyone on tour.

what tactically smart things does wozniacki do? if grinding and running are tactically smart because they are your strengths, then every ace serena hits is 'tactically smart' as it is her strength and she is using it. wozniacki never changes her game depending on opponent or from set to set. that is why when she is horribley outmatched (see her match vs serena and kvitova this year) she just moans and lies down and accepts defeat.

infact i would go as far as to say wozniacki is pretty dumb when it comes to tactics. things like letting a 5ft 3in domi boss points against you on grass, or giving dani time to set up her shots on clay, not have her moving and on the stretch is very very stupid.

lol.
Dec 23rd, 2011, 08:23 PM
what tactically smart things does wozniacki do? if grinding and running are tactically smart because they are your strengths, then every ace serena hits is 'tactically smart' as it is her strength and she is using it. wozniacki never changes her game depending on opponent or from set to set. that is why when she is horribley outmatched (see her match vs serena and kvitova this year) she just moans and lies down and accepts defeat.

infact i would go as far as to say wozniacki is pretty dumb when it comes to tactics. things like letting a 5ft 3in domi boss points against you on grass, or giving dani time to set up her shots on clay, not have her moving and on the stretch is very very stupid.

:lol: you're so selective in your agruments that i don't even wanna start with you.

even topic starter was brave enough to admit that woz is so successful due to her tactics (and i assume he's not a fan of hers)

Miss Atomic Bomb
Dec 23rd, 2011, 08:27 PM
The only tactics the WTA players use these days are -

1) Hit your best shot

2) if that doesn't work, hit in the open space

3) Or in rare case, hit to her weakest wing.

It seems that these girls just can't think tactics, no wonder they have to keep on calling their coaches every three games to get tips. These girls need to stop being so totally dependent on having other people think for them and get used to sticking with a game plan, even when the going gets tough.

sammy01
Dec 23rd, 2011, 08:30 PM
:lol: you're so selective in your agruments that i don't even wanna start with you.

even topic starter was brave enough to admit that woz is so successful due to her tactics (and i assume he's not a fan of hers)

ok so enlighten me as to when caro played tactically smart? what tactic has she used that has won her a match she should have lost or was outmatched in?

i gave 2 examples straight off the top of my head where i think caro's game, that she brings to every match, was tactically stupid and shows she basically plays the same whatever opponent or surface.

lol.
Dec 23rd, 2011, 08:33 PM
The only tactics the WTA players use these days are -

1) Hit your best shot

2) if that doesn't work, hit in the open space

3) Or in rare case, hit to her weakest wing.
It seems that these girls just can't think tactics, no wonder they have to keep on calling their coaches every three games to get tips. These girls need to stop being so totally dependent on having other people think for them and get used to sticking with a game plan, even when the going gets tough.

Why to apply Serena's and other ballbasher's tactics to rare really tactically-rich players?:confused:
They win by power and by that lame pattern you described, not everyone on tour plays the same.

ExtremespeedX
Dec 23rd, 2011, 11:40 PM
Why to apply Serena's and other ballbasher's tactics to rare really tactically-rich players?:confused:
They win by power and by that lame pattern you described, not everyone on tour plays the same.

Serena isn't a ballbasher you dumb Dullniackitard.

lol.
Dec 23rd, 2011, 11:48 PM
Serena isn't a ballbasher you dumb Dullniackitard.

This is only your opinion. Accepted. Anything new?

ExtremespeedX
Dec 23rd, 2011, 11:51 PM
This is only your opinion. Accepted. Anything new?

No, it's not an opinion it's a fact, just like Dullniacki is a mug moonballer with no serve or forehand.

lol.
Dec 24th, 2011, 12:01 AM
No, it's not an opinion it's a fact, just like Dullniacki is a mug moonballer with no serve or forehand.

You must be a staff pastor of the WTA.:eek: Well done. I envy you, secretly;)

goldenlox
Dec 24th, 2011, 12:24 AM
Wozniacki does pretty well for a player with no serve or forehand. Maybe a few hundred others, struggling to get into the top 40, should copy having no serve and no forehand, since it works so well.

ExtremespeedX
Dec 24th, 2011, 12:32 AM
Wozniacki does pretty well for a player with no serve or forehand. Maybe a few hundred others, struggling to get into the top 40, should copy having no serve and no forehand, since it works so well.

It's usually accepted that when talking about Wozniacki, she is being compared to best of the best players, since she's #1 player and all. What do top 40 players have to do with it? And I wouldn't say that she "did pretty well" - not reaching a slam final in over 2 years and not being able to win YEC is an embarrassment to #1 ranking.

goldenlox
Dec 24th, 2011, 12:43 AM
I would say being in 3 semis of the last 5 majors is okay, considering no one her age has been to 3 slam semis in their whole careers.
Its true she should have closed out Li and been in the AO final this year.
But she didnt and she has to keep making deep runs in majors.

I think only 1 major was won by anyone younger than Ivanovic, who was born in 87, Wozniacki was born in 90.

I dont understand why thats been happeing, but young players have won the last 5 mandatories, Caroline winning 2 of those.
She's been to a slam final and YEC final, but Kim was better in those matches

Smitten
Dec 24th, 2011, 12:47 AM
Not everyone has the ability of Legend. Some girls are just local.

dsanders06
Dec 24th, 2011, 12:47 AM
In fairness, I think the whole "players should hit to Wozniacki's forehand" is a bit of a red herring - although it's always been a VERY weak offensive shot, it was a sturdy and consistent defensive shot during her summer 2010-spring 2011 run - she was able to get puffballs consistently deep in the court off that side and rarely missed with it (which, let's face it, is mostly what she usually does with the backhand too, even though she's technically capable of doing more off that side)... players actually DID try and target her forehand wing, but because Woz gave up so few errors off her forehand then, the tactic didn't work unless the opponent could actually hit through her defences (which would render the whole specific targeting of the FH redundant anyway).

Her forehand has broken down more routinely since the spring (and probably will most of the time from now on), but I don't think that's because of an actual deteriation in her forehand itself or a change of tactics from opponents, it's more that her confidence has dropped and the aura that she had for a while has been extinguished after she failed to back up her #1 status with a Slam, hence players believe they can outlast her in rallies and draw errors from her and Woz no longer truly believes she's invincible in long rallies either...so it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and she gives up the errors.

dsanders06
Dec 24th, 2011, 12:50 AM
I would say being in 3 semis of the last 5 majors is okay, considering no one her age has been to 3 slam semis in their whole careers.
Its true she should have closed out Li and been in the AO final this year.
But she didnt and she has to keep making deep runs in majors.

I think only 1 major was won by anyone younger than Ivanovic, who was born in 87, Wozniacki was born in 90.

I dont understand why thats been happeing, but young players have won the last 5 mandatories, Caroline winning 2 of those.
She's been to a slam final and YEC final, but Kim was better in those matches

Tell us more about how the only reason Woz hasn't won a Slam yet is because she's apparently been unlucky with draws :happy:

Pops Maellard
Dec 24th, 2011, 01:41 AM
Jankovic had really good tactics before :tears:.

sammy01
Dec 24th, 2011, 01:47 AM
Jankovic had really good tactics before :tears:.

yep. crosscourt forehand after crosscourt forehand, wait for the paceless reply that falls inside the service box from caro's forehand, hit it into the open backhand corner and even if caro gets there walk to net and pop the volley into the open court.

caro cant hurt anybody from deep or angled into her FH corner and she isn't a great passing shot hitter, especially on the dead run (she likes to loop balls on the run) so even jj's wonky volleys are enough.

Potato
Dec 24th, 2011, 02:38 AM
yep. crosscourt forehand after crosscourt forehand, wait for the paceless reply that falls inside the service box from caro's forehand, hit it into the open backhand corner and even if caro gets there walk to net and pop the volley into the open court.

caro cant hurt anybody from deep or angled into her FH corner and she isn't a great passing shot hitter, especially on the dead run (she likes to loop balls on the run) so even jj's wonky volleys are enough.

jNAc2l8SFPQ

Starts at :11 - she did the exact same play the point after :lol:

Smitten
Dec 24th, 2011, 03:07 AM
To lose to Jankovic in a FHCC battle has to be the ultimate sign of uselessness.

Patrick345
Dec 24th, 2011, 04:49 AM
ok so enlighten me as to when caro played tactically smart? what tactic has she used that has won her a match she should have lost or was outmatched in?

i gave 2 examples straight off the top of my head where i think caro's game, that she brings to every match, was tactically stupid and shows she basically plays the same whatever opponent or surface.

Exactly.

Wozniacki is where she is because she is one of the top 3 athletes on the WTA tour. Some supreme athletes succeed despite technical or tactical deficiencies like say a LeBron James.

If Wozniacki had great tennis skills on top of her athletic abilities, she would be Serena or Clijsters...and if she didnīt have her athletic abilities sheīd be playing 50k challengers.

wally1
Dec 24th, 2011, 11:15 AM
The only tactics the WTA players use these days are -

1) Hit your best shot

2) if that doesn't work, hit in the open space

3) Or in rare case, hit to her weakest wing.If you don't have a net game or decent slice (i.e. like 90% of the women on the WTA tour) then there's really not many other options open to you (apart from hit the occasional drop shot).

Six Feet Under
Dec 24th, 2011, 11:42 AM
Zvonareva's movement is so overrated on here :lol: She's a good defender, but hardly GREAT, she's not one of those players who can bring EVERY ball back... I'd certainly rate her behind Wozniacki in defensive skills.

She is an intelligent player and in theory one of the best point-constructors in the top 10, but she doesn't really have the weaponry to put those skills to use when she's up against the best when they're near their best.

I strongly disagree, Vera's defense is stunning. She is THAT player who can get any ball back, her problem is she gets into lapses of being too defensive. Although she's not a favourite player, I've always though very highly of her, if she had all her parts working I think she could have been No.1 the past year.