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View Full Version : What makes Pironkova so good on grass?


Mr.Sharapova
Dec 25th, 2011, 11:25 PM
I mean why is she so much trouble for the like of Venus, Zvonareva or even Kvitova. She has no working forehand on the surface, but she hits flat.

She took Serena to a third set as well at Eastbourne :facepalm:.

What is in her game that makes her so threatening on grass?

Sammo
Dec 25th, 2011, 11:40 PM
Accuracy in both forehand and backhand and also the sliced forehand which can disturb the players rhythm.

vozas
Dec 25th, 2011, 11:43 PM
Junk

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/06/14/article-2003333-0C8F5C0000000578-163_468x564.jpg

Holdsworth
Dec 25th, 2011, 11:47 PM
Very interesting question.. Surprisingly formerly her favourite surface was clay - at least she had better results there.
As for grass, she has flat shots, a decent serve and good slices

Miss Amor
Dec 25th, 2011, 11:52 PM
She has a solid serve, moves well, has a good backhand and her forehand is not as much of a liability as on other surfaces (infact its a big weapon against some :sobbing: ).

Corswandt
Dec 25th, 2011, 11:56 PM
She moves superbly on grass - she just efforlessly glides through the court, and takes advantage of that to retrieve very well considering her size - and her 1st serve has enough raw pace in it (often c. 180-185 km/h) to earn her a lot of cheap points even against decent returners. Also, her junk can give her opponents fits. I think it was moby who said that Pironkova plays the way Agatha wishes she could play in grass.

Mr.Sharapova
Dec 26th, 2011, 12:15 AM
Very interesting question.. Surprisingly formerly her favourite surface was clay - at least she had better results there.
As for grass, she has flat shots, a decent serve and good slices

Clay :spit:. I definitely think that grass is her best surface. But I have no Idea how players such as Venus and Zvonareva struggle to beat her at Wimbledon :lol:.

Holdsworth
Dec 26th, 2011, 12:20 AM
Clay :spit:. I definitely think that grass is her best surface. .
I meant "formerly". She had better results on clay before Wimbledon-2010

Sammo
Dec 26th, 2011, 12:23 AM
Venus doesn't struggle to beat her at Wimbledon, she gets systematically thrashed every time they play.

Mr.Sharapova
Dec 26th, 2011, 12:29 AM
^ I know :sobbing:. I never imagined Pironkova having 2 wins against Venus back to back at Wimbledon. Beating Venus at Wimbledon was so hard almost impossible from player non called Serena in the past, now this girl thrashes her twice in a row :sobbing:.

tracytracy22
Dec 26th, 2011, 12:50 AM
Pironkova is just a bad match-up for venus. She gives venus no pace to work with, and forces her to play bad (kinda like hingis in a way particularly, at the end of her career where she would rely on forcing opponents to make errors). Pironkova's also a tricky player. And as someone already mentioned, shes a great mover, her first serve has a good amount of pace, and she slices which is effective on the surface.

Sally Todd
Dec 26th, 2011, 12:50 AM
Junk

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/06/14/article-2003333-0C8F5C0000000578-163_468x564.jpg

This. And fleet and graceful movement. Pironkova slices so well, she makes me wonder why more of the tour doesn't learn to use the slice on grass.

dsanders06
Dec 26th, 2011, 02:08 AM
She moves superbly on grass - she just efforlessly glides through the court, and takes advantage of that to retrieve very well considering her size - and her 1st serve has enough raw pace in it (often c. 180-185 km/h) to earn her a lot of cheap points even against decent returners. Also, her junk can give her opponents fits. I think it was moby who said that Pironkova plays the way Agatha wishes she could play in grass.

Yup. Though WHY this is the case, I have no idea - she isn't a particularly exceptional mover on any other surface. Did she actually grow up playing on grass?

Also, her backhand while not that pacey is hit super-flat so reaps more rewards on grass than other surfaces, and as said her forehand slice can often atleast keep the point neutral on grass, whereas on other surfaces it just sits up and begs for her opponent to smack it away for a winner.

KingCrimson88
Dec 26th, 2011, 02:12 AM
Bitch hardly wins matches off grass. 1R loss after 1R loss. She's a very poor player except for two weeks in the year.

Off grass top players thrash her like this:
SQRkwBbpXfU

What a delightful non-sequitur

casholic
Dec 26th, 2011, 02:42 AM
She keeps the ball low and that forehand junk slice is wonderful... on grass.

I wouldnt really take that 3-set match with Serena seriously. It was Serena's first match back after a year off.

JCTennisFan
Dec 26th, 2011, 03:09 AM
She managed to find a magical emerald necklace deep within the African Jungle that, when worn, temporarily transfers Steffi Grafs Grass abilities to the user. Every time she wears it, though, she manages to get a big head somewhere throughout the tournament and takes it off, always losing the first match she plays without it. :cool:

duhcity
Dec 26th, 2011, 03:15 AM
Bitch hardly wins matches off grass. 1R loss after 1R loss. She's a very poor player except for two weeks in the year.

Off grass top players thrash her like this:
SQRkwBbpXfU

Have you read this thread and forum? It's quite clear everyone know she's poor off grass. No need to get your defensive panties in a twist.

Slutiana
Dec 26th, 2011, 03:50 AM
She moves superbly on grass - she just efforlessly glides through the court, and takes advantage of that to retrieve very well considering her size - and her 1st serve has enough raw pace in it (often c. 180-185 km/h) to earn her a lot of cheap points even against decent returners. Also, her junk can give her opponents fits. I think it was moby who said that Pironkova plays the way Agatha wishes she could play in grass.
Yup.

Also, her backhand is a smooth, flat shot and she prefers the lower bounce.

KBlade
Dec 26th, 2011, 04:43 AM
I think maybe it's because she's so useless on other surfaces that she is under-estimated by a lot of players. We also have to factor in that the only real grass-court specialists of this generation are the William sisters. Apart from that, very few players on the tour are comfortable with the surface, or know how to play on it effectively, hence it's not a complete surprise that Pironkova is capable of causing upsets at Wimbledon.

Alejandrawrrr
Dec 26th, 2011, 05:27 AM
Pironkova is just a bad match-up for venus. She gives venus no pace to work with, and forces her to play bad (kinda like hingis in a way particularly, at the end of her career where she would rely on forcing opponents to make errors). Pironkova's also a tricky player. And as someone already mentioned, shes a great mover, her first serve has a good amount of pace, and she slices which is effective on the surface.

Pretty much this. I don't think you can say she "Thrashes" Venus unless you didn't even watch the matches and are just going by the scoreline. These were shitfests. Not taking anything away from Tsvetana, other posters have given a good analysis of her game. Just retrieving isn't enough to beat Venus(Just look at her H2H versus Pushwanska or maybe Pushniacki, though I suppose you could take their H2H with a grain of salt considering how long ago their matches were) but Pushronkova has the perfect game to not only throw Venus off her rhythm, but never really let her find any at any point in the match. Ironically Venus would probably have a better time dealing with Tsveti's junk off grass, despite it being her own favorite surface.

Aryman3
Dec 26th, 2011, 05:47 AM
In fact Aga beats Pironkova easily on any surface

Fantasy Hero
Dec 26th, 2011, 09:10 AM
tha fact is that nowadays no player knows how to play on grass and since the "new attitude" towards that surface is to hit harder and harder close to lines (which is the tendence on every surface sadly), every player expects that from her opponent and trains to hit harder (ballbashing) or to contain the shots untill the opponents is forced -or not- to an error (pushing). At the moment there are few players on tour doing something different and those are the ones who are sometimes causing random big upsets.
The reason why Pironkova's game is so successful on grass is because her flat strokes suits obviously the fast surface, but those are used with breaks of that plan caused by her sick slices, which are totally unusual for her opponents who hardly know how to produce power or even just keeping the ball on court with those dirty balls.
the same applies to Monica Nicolescu, if any one of you had seen her match against Safarova at the USO that explains my point pretty clearly.

pla
Dec 26th, 2011, 09:43 AM
Yup. Though WHY this is the case, I have no idea - she isn't a particularly exceptional mover on any other surface. Did she actually grow up playing on grass?

Also, her backhand while not that pacey is hit super-flat so reaps more rewards on grass than other surfaces, and as said her forehand slice can often atleast keep the point neutral on grass, whereas on other surfaces it just sits up and begs for her opponent to smack it away for a winner.

Bulgaria didn't have a single grass court when Pironkova was growing up ;). Today there is one but it's so out of reach for her that we can safely say it's not the reason. She didn't even know about its existence in 2010.:lol:

She is a good mover for her size, even on clay and hard. I guess some people didn't watch her much before 2010, before her lapses linked with her father's health and latter the publicity she got from Wimbledon 2010. She often gives trouble to top players, it's just that grass, once she got used to it, suits naturally her movement and game. Watch her play Ivanovic on clay, Justine on hard, Serena on grass and clay and you'll understand how effective is her movement for a girl 1,80m. She has a natural balance while moving- athletic background, genes, whatever you like to call it. You can hardly teach this kind of balance. Her forehand is a liability but she under-performs greatly since couple of years ago when her father was sick and of course 2010. When she is confident her forehand works well enough (with all its limitations of course) even on non-grass surfaces.

Adding to this what others have said about the unorthodox style of play and you get the result. She can move superbly on grass giving her that extra confidence she lacks on other surfaces. While she can defend superbly, she can also attack everything she can. If you watch again her matches with Venus, you can notice how she mixed up the pace and effect of every shot while redirecting the ball in such a way that she always moved Venus around the court left-right, forwards-backwards, throwing Venus off balance and drawing errors. Venus has the power to cope with shots while she's off balance but there are limits even to this and if it continues during a whole match, it's just too much for her.

Mr.Sharapova
Dec 26th, 2011, 09:48 AM
I agree completely with what all of you said. I think though that Pironkova's serve is very powerful on grass especially the down the T serve. And her flat backhand.

Do you guys think she will cause an upset next year as well, since 90% of the forum did not back her up this year considering her run last year as a fluke!!

Fantasy Hero
Dec 26th, 2011, 09:52 AM
I agree completely with what all of you said. I think though that Pironkova's serve is very powerful on grass especially the down the T serve. And her flat backhand.

Do you guys think she will cause an upset next year as well, since 90% of the forum did not back her up this year considering her run last year as a fluke!!

hard to say, she has to peak her form there again, stay injury free and be able to bump her confidence for the event again.
I consider it a safe bet to say that she's causing at least one upset in Wimbly or at the olympics though

wally1
Dec 26th, 2011, 10:16 AM
Apart from what others have said (her great movement etc), she seems to be very inspired by the tournament itself, and seems like one of the young players who respect the history of the sport:-

http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?t=440413

Did you expect to be such a sensation at Wimbledon again?
Well, that was not my goal. I really love this tournament and I was very happy to play at it again. So it all came naturally. I was really calm. I was definitely in shape and also I like to play on grass. Actually the combination of all these things led to good results.

What makes Wimbledon so special?
The fact that tennis originates from there. This is the oldest tournament. The grass gives this different kind of feeling. The club is great. Tennis legends are always there. The atmosphere is simply amazing and reminds me of what tennis was back in the days. It is definitely a more special tournament.

Sombrerero loco
Dec 26th, 2011, 10:28 AM
she is a great junkballer :hearts:

SVK
Dec 26th, 2011, 11:27 AM
Very interesting question.. Surprisingly formerly her favourite surface was clay - at least she had better results there.
As for grass, she has flat shots, a decent serve and good slices

Exactly...grass used to be her worst surface I think, then this Wimbledon came...also I am wondering how this "junk forehand" thing began...I remember her being able to bash the ball from the past, also from forehand (and she still is capable of pruducing bombs from this side), probably her best match she ever played - against Zvonareva in Moscow once, she won 6:0, 6:2 showed that she has amazing game when she is on, she was hitting bombs all the time...then she started to use this slice forehand that much, donīt know why but if it works...
I liked more the agressive Tsveti, however I think she is still not that much of a junkballer than people think...of course it would be hard to argue against someone who see just her two matches against Venus...

EDIT: Anyone remeber this?

vJbsE2AKgpc

She was not using slice.

Mistress of Evil
Dec 26th, 2011, 11:43 AM
that fugly slice forehand of hers :hearts:

The Dawntreader
Dec 26th, 2011, 11:52 AM
Her serve improved out of sight in 2010. Her serve went from a limp, innocuous serve, to a formidable first delivery, with plenty of racquet head speed. I think that's been the biggest difference tbh.

Her slice forehand allows her to completely disrupt the rhythm of her opponents, whilst shielding her from having to rally with her conventional forehand, which even on grass would be a liability.

Break My Rapture
Dec 26th, 2011, 12:16 PM
Thread title should be changed to "what makes her so good in Wimbledon?" because her best non-Wimbers result on grass in 4 years has been a 2nd round at Eastbourne.
hard to say, she has to peak her form there again, stay injury free and be able to bump her confidence for the event again.
I consider it a safe bet to say that she's causing at least one upset in Wimbly or at the olympics though
Venus is probably the only one of the higher seeds who will struggle against her on grass. There are more than enough top players who are able to deal with her junk. The thing is, Ebony has just been in poor form and hardly playing for like two years now. Even Serena in her first match back, who was playing absolutely horrid for most of it, was still able to beat her in Eastbourne. She lost 3 and 2 to Wozniacki on grass back in Eastbourne 2008. And Azarenka double-breadsticked her a week later in Wimbledon.

Viktymise
Dec 26th, 2011, 12:34 PM
Thread title should be changed to "what makes her so good in Wimbledon?" because her best non-Wimbers result on grass in 4 years has been a 2nd round at Eastbourne.

Odd way of looking at it considering Wimbledon basically is the grass-court season.

Venus is probably the only one of the higher seeds who will struggle against her on grass. There are more than enough top players who are able to deal with her junk. The thing is, Ebony has just been in poor form and hardly playing for like two years now. Even Serena in her first match back, who was playing absolutely horrid for most of it, was still able to beat her in Eastbourne. She lost 3 and 2 to Wozniacki on grass back in Eastbourne 2008. And Azarenka double-breadsticked her a week later in Wimbledon.

Pre-2010, Pironkova played like a grinder with a mediocre serve. Now she's a junkballer, with an occasionally rocket 1st serve, who can play offense when given the opportunity do to so. Just compare the 2 videos of her 06 AO match against Venus and last year's Wimbledon QF.

Mr.Sharapova
Dec 26th, 2011, 12:46 PM
Thread title should be changed to "what makes her so good in Wimbledon?" because her best non-Wimbers result on grass in 4 years has been a 2nd round at Eastbourne.

Venus is probably the only one of the higher seeds who will struggle against her on grass. There are more than enough top players who are able to deal with her junk. The thing is, Ebony has just been in poor form and hardly playing for like two years now. Even Serena in her first match back, who was playing absolutely horrid for most of it, was still able to beat her in Eastbourne. She lost 3 and 2 to Wozniacki on grass back in Eastbourne 2008. And Azarenka double-breadsticked her a week later in Wimbledon.

Actually Wimbledon is considered as the whole grass season nowadays so reaching a Semifinal and a Quarterfinal in her last two showings there is quite an achievement :shrug:.

And we're not talking about the pre-Wimbledon 2010 era because it was at Wimbledon 2010 where she became such a threat on grass :shrug:. In my opinion Pironkova would beat Wozniacki at Wimbledon right now and even give Azarenka a tough time :shrug:.

SVK
Dec 26th, 2011, 12:53 PM
Odd way of looking at it considering Wimbledon basically is the grass-court season.



Pre-2010, Pironkova played like a grinder with a mediocre serve. Now she's a junkballer, with an occasionally rocket 1st serve, who can play offense when given the opportunity do to so. Just compare the 2 videos of her 06 AO match against Venus and last year's Wimbledon QF.

There is, however, another Pironkova, which appeared between those matches against Venus...IMO the most watchable one. Pironkova had decent and fast serve already before 2010, you could see that in a GS stats, many times her name appeared in TOP 10 of fastest serves in the tournament, usually in TOP 5. I found her match against Henin in USO 2007 in youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3iow-YRbE0 I doubt anyone would watch whole 1:19). More agressive play she played against Venus...you can see there that her serve had already much more power and that she can produce a killing shot from forehand (the rallies @ 11:40, 15:40 etc)...there are passages when she hit this junk forehand in the middle of the court (24:15 is a classic example) but her overall game was still far away from being a junkballer...things are not just black and white...at least I think they shouldnīt be. Maybe the reason why she is using slice that much is that her drive forehand was very unreliable at times... what would make her smart, there are not many players who are able to change something in their game, they are usually playing the same although it is not working.

Viktymise
Dec 26th, 2011, 01:21 PM
There is, however, another Pironkova, which appeared between those matches against Venus...IMO the most watchable one. Pironkova had decent and fast serve already before 2010, you could see that in a GS stats, many times her name appeared in TOP 10 of fastest serves in the tournament, usually in TOP 5. I found her match against Henin in USO 2007 in youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3iow-YRbE0 I doubt anyone would watch whole 1:19). More agressive play she played against Venus...you can see there that her serve had already much more power and that she can produce a killing shot from forehand (the rallies @ 11:40, 15:40 etc)...there are passages when she hit this junk forehand in the middle of the court (24:15 is a classic example) but her overall game was still far away from being a junkballer...things are not just black and white...at least I think they shouldnīt be. Maybe the reason why she is using slice that much is that her drive forehand was very unreliable at times... what would make her smart, there are not many players who are able to change something in their game, they are usually playing the same although it is not working.

That 1st set of her USO match against Henin is about as well as I've ever seen her hit her FH. But it's a technically horrid shot, and clearly takes alot of pyhsical effort to consistently flatten out for somebody with a build like hers.

Break My Rapture
Dec 26th, 2011, 01:28 PM
Actually Wimbledon is considered as the whole grass season nowadays so reaching a Semifinal and a Quarterfinal in her last two showings there is quite an achievement :shrug:.

And we're not talking about the pre-Wimbledon 2010 era because it was at Wimbledon 2010 where she became such a threat on grass :shrug:. In my opinion Pironkova would beat Wozniacki at Wimbledon right now and even give Azarenka a tough time :shrug:.
Wimbledon is two weeks. Birmingham+Eastbourne/'s Hertogenbosch is two weeks. Wimbledon is half the grass season.
Wozniacki would hardly have any trouble with Tsveti's FH junk because she moves well enough (yes even with her lack of finesse), same goes for Azarenka. And Tsveti's BH is nothing they both can't handle, they would redirect everything to her FH when possible. On top of that, Pironkova would struggle winning her service games because of Azarenka's return. Wozniacki would beat her the way she beat the scrubs at the start of Wimbledon this year like APS, Razzanno and Gajdosova IMO. Making them leak errors whilst slowly constructing points and when they haven't made an error yet, trying to go to the net and finish off with a routine sitter volley. That's Wozniacka's main tactic against srubs on grass and would be enough to beat Pironkova IMO, even now.

pla
Dec 26th, 2011, 02:59 PM
SVK, very much you said what I wanted to say. She has had a much different way of playing that forehand, although it was always the terrible part of her game. I think that between 2007 and 2010, it's really her father's illness who kept her from improving. She is not capable, she doesn't even want to consider the thought of not working with him. Those are very important years in the construction of a player and she stalled. But at 2010 she already worked again with him and added this forehand slice and this new look on constructing points, and the new feel of grass, new confidence. Btw, it may look funny but Pironkova became much more woman meanwhile and it is transcending into her game :). I think afterwards (after Wimbledon 2010) she got caught a little bit in this game play ;) I think she must change her game again to the pre-2010 Pironkova when she's on hard and clay and bring it back for grass.

dsanders06
Dec 26th, 2011, 05:28 PM
I've noticed she actually is capable of hitting some surprisingly decent drive forehands, but she tends to hit them with a lot more spin than her backhand.

Joe.
Dec 26th, 2011, 09:53 PM
flat serve, flat backhand, great movement

Spring Pools
Dec 27th, 2011, 01:31 AM
She has a good serve especially considering that she isn't the most powerful player.
Her slice forehand has a lot more bite on grass
Her backhand is pretty good and her normal forehand is improving
She is a good retriever

KBlade
Dec 27th, 2011, 01:56 AM
Actually, just watching the highlights of Pironkova vs Kvitova, I think it's fair to say Pironkova is a decent move, but not really a good one. Petra's ground game makes her look downright slow from the back of the court.

Hardiansf
Dec 27th, 2011, 02:18 AM
Her win over Venus made her look's good at grass.
She's nothing special. I still confused how she did it... :confused::tape: