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Old Feb 2nd, 2013, 08:03 PM   #61
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Re: "Every generation is better than the previous one. The game is always evolving"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olórin View Post
I've never seen anyone claim they were the first to turn defence into attack, every great since Court has been able to do that to some extent. Show me an example of a commentator claiming no-one had done this before.
Read the thread about Agassi's comments.

Obviously where the Williams sisters revolutionised the game was by hitting hard off both flanks (Davenport, Seles, Pierce) combined with athleticism (Graf) combined with record breaking and nigh unbreakable serves (Navratilova). No-one before them had brought all these things together into one package, no-one has since. The bar is still standing where Serena and Venus set it in 2001-2002.

As was said, people watching the game know when the bar has been raised. You've got nothing.[/quote]

Graf had world-class power and athleticism, and to a higher degree seeing as she actually translated her athleticism into world-class DEFENCE, unlike the Williams sisters who have never been capable of winning matches on their defensive skills alone like Graf could.

So basically, again, all you've got that the Williams sisters could do that others couldn't is serve.

Quote:
Originally Posted by I_Will2 View Post
IF they didnt revolutionize the game than why is Serena, more so now than Venus, still winning tournaments on the tour and thumping almost all of the top players consistently? If they didn't raise the bar I don't really know how we can say anyone has revolutionized the game by your logic?

You bring up the fact that their serves have been better than anyone before them like that is something to slouch at? Are you freaking kidding me dude?? You have to really gain some perspective if you seriously think all they do better than their predecessors is serve. Even if that were true, holding serve is the most fundamental method to win in tennis, THAT alone revolutionized the game. If Graf or Navratilova had Serena's serve they would have way more titles than they have even now.
Please read what I said. I accepted in principle that the Williams sisters advanced the game in that they imported men's tennis-style serving, but I said that on that basis, then Stosur has also advanced the game by bringing ATP-style topspin into the game (and thus, advancing the game and bringing in something that hasn't been done before =/= being better, unless you consider Stosur to be better than Serena).
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Old Feb 2nd, 2013, 09:42 PM   #62
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Re: "Every generation is better than the previous one. The game is always evolving"

Thank you Vika

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Originally Posted by dsanders06 View Post
Again: I don't want to prove the 90s Generation is better than the current era. My whole point is that it's IMPOSSIBLE to definitively measure strength of an era, though my own personal view is that the 90s Generation and 00s Generation are roughly the same (stronger in some ways, weaker in others). Which is why the stats are the only quantifiable measuring stick.
So for future reference, stats come into play after you've already decided two eras are equal visually/subjectively? (Don't worry, there's no hidden argument there, I'm just trying to understand your logic here.)

Quote:
I'm sorry, but again, this post is based on the circular argumentation that it HAS been universally-accepted that the Williams Generation was better than the previous one
I'm not seeing how your post applies to the statement of mine which you quoted. Is it your goal to give me a headache by misquoting my words, thus winning any debates by default? The posts you quoted stated how Kvitova, arguably hitting a couple mph faster off the ground, doesn't count as revolutionizing the game. Then it also detailed how the Williamses did at the end of the 1990s, by introducing a serve like that of the men's game(dominating first serve of 120+mph), coupled with hitting rockets off both wings, teeing off on second serves and combining that with elite athleticism to make the hard hitting off both wings even more lethal. More importantly, it is a model that has been followed and become ubiquitous by the mid 2000s, when 10 years earlier no one was playing it. Nowhere in my post did I state that the generation was "better", my post was in regards to you stating that the Williamses didn't revolutionize the game.

Quote:
But anyway, if you don't accept the Kvitova example -- Moby made an excellent point in the other thread that Stosur is capable of producing MUCH heavier topspin than any player in history, and, given how prevalent topspin is in the men's game (and it really is a general rule that trends in the men's game arrive in the women's game about 10 years later), she is certainly progressing the sport. Does that mean, just because Stosur is better than Serena in that one respect, that she is better player overall? I certainly don't think so (despite their record in Slams indicating otherwise ). And if you don't accept Stosur is revolutionising the game with her topspin, then I CERTAINLY don't accept that the Williams sisters revolutionised the game "just" by serving better than anyone else in the game before (and yes, the serve is the only area they exceeded all predecessors, despite American commentators' bizarre mythologising that they were the first to turn defence into attack, which doesn't stand up to scrutiny for anyone who's seen more than 10 minutes of Graf playing ).
Adding something in your game that no one else uses doesn't automatically = revolution. I can grow a pair of tits, go pro on the WTA and make underhanded serves an integral part of my game, but if A) It doesn't make a significant impact on the game, and B) No one replicates it, it doesn't count as revolutionizing the game. No one has tried to emulate Stosur's game, and it hasn't been dominating enough for one to say it had a lasting impact on the game, therefore it is not a revolution
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Old Feb 2nd, 2013, 10:55 PM   #63
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Re: "Every generation is better than the previous one. The game is always evolving"

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Originally Posted by L'Enfant Sauvage View Post
Adding something in your game that no one else uses doesn't automatically = revolution. I can grow a pair of tits, go pro on the WTA and make underhanded serves an integral part of my game, but if A) It doesn't make a significant impact on the game, and B) No one replicates it, it doesn't count as revolutionizing the game. No one has tried to emulate Stosur's game, and it hasn't been dominating enough for one to say it had a lasting impact on the game, therefore it is not a revolution
Stosur has been a top player for about 2 years. Give it some time. I am sure there are a few juniors just starting out who will try to play this game. If they fail, then it's because this technique is too difficult for women to perfect (in which case Sam gets a lot of credit), just like how the Williamses's GOAT serving didn't inspire a wave of great servers. Players just couldn't serve like that, no matter how hard they tried.

Players didn't have the athleticism and technique to execute the forehand-slice game of Graf immaculately either (not that Spirlea and such didn't try) or the flair to hit Henin's one-hander.

If by revolution, you mean imitable change, and if that is a key criterion for greatness/etc, then Evert wins hands-down by popularising the double-hander. Yet she consistently played second-fiddle to Navratilova in the second half of their careers.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2013, 11:02 PM   #64
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Re: "Every generation is better than the previous one. The game is always evolving"

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Originally Posted by dsanders06 View Post
then Stosur has also advanced the game by bringing ATP-style topspin into the game (and thus, advancing the game and bringing in something that hasn't been done before =/= being better, unless you consider Stosur to be better than Serena).
How do you advance/impact on the game by winning one slam?

You need to have had a significant time at the top for your game to be followed by others.

Do you think if Evert was a one slam wonder, there will be so many women playing with two-handed backhands?
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Old Feb 2nd, 2013, 11:07 PM   #65
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Re: "Every generation is better than the previous one. The game is always evolving"

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Originally Posted by moby View Post
If by revolution, you mean imitable change, and if that is a key criterion for greatness/etc, then Evert wins hands-down by popularising the double-hander. Yet she consistently played second-fiddle to Navratilova in the second half of their careers.
Well, yes. But this isn't about greatness. It's about generations being better than the previous one. Adding newer dimensions to the game is about that.

Evert's two-handed backhand allowed for more consistency on the backhand side. Navratilova added weight training and becoming an overall athlete not just a tennis player. Seles was the first player to hit with power on both wings and make full use of the graphite racquets. Williams sisters added new dimensions in offense and serve.

The generation after hasn't added anything and therefore, the game has peaked around early 2000s. There is nothing out there I haven't seen before. Whereas there was a huge difference between 2000 tennis and early 90s tennis.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2013, 11:22 PM   #66
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When they talk about evolution, I wonder if skill is actually included in the discussion?

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Old Feb 2nd, 2013, 11:27 PM   #67
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Re: "Every generation is better than the previous one. The game is always evolving"

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Originally Posted by Sam L View Post
Well, yes. But this isn't about greatness. It's about generations being better than the previous one. Adding newer dimensions to the game is about that.
Dimensions are added and dimensions are lost.
The average top player can barely hit volleys or touch shots these days.

Have you seen any woman hit topspin like Stosur before? I haven't.
It's enough for her to win a slam even though she is mentally weak, has massive holes in her game, a shameful backhand, and is not particularly fast.


Quote:
Originally Posted by producer88 View Post
He and all of the Serena haters know, if their lives dependent on it, they will bet that Peak Serena will beat Peak Graf any day of the week.
If it's a one match-shoot-out, I will probably pick Serena on hard courts, and Graf on clay, toss-up on grass.

If it's a best of 7-match series, one for every day of the week. I'd go with Graf on any surface.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2013, 11:37 PM   #68
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Re: "Every generation is better than the previous one. The game is always evolving"

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Originally Posted by moby View Post
Dimensions are added and dimensions are lost.
The average top player can barely hit volleys or touch shots these days.

Have you seen any woman hit topspin like Stosur before? I haven't.
It's enough for her to win a slam even though she is mentally weak, has massive holes in her game, a shameful backhand, and is not particularly fast.
Did you not give reasons in the other thread as to why volleys are lost? And why they are not taught anymore? I agree with it. And there you have your answer. Dimensions are dropped because they are no longer effective.

As for Stosur, no. But unless if she can do it consistently like Henin (less spin but more consistent and effective). It's pointless.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2013, 11:41 PM   #69
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Re: "Every generation is better than the previous one. The game is always evolving"

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Did you not give reasons in the other thread as to why volleys are lost? And why they are not taught anymore? I agree with it. And there you have your answer. Dimensions are dropped because they are no longer effective.

As for Stosur, no. But unless if she can do it consistently like Henin (less spin but more consistent and effective). It's pointless.
And players didn't hit hard back in the day, because whaling at balls with wooden rackets that have tiny sweetspots wasn't effective and would create a lot of mishits and unforced errors; it was also fairly difficult to hit winners from the baseline, much less from feet behind the baseline, as is common these days. So if you acknowledge we are comparing apples to oranges, how can we say that the level has improved with some new dimensions and some lost dimensions, when the truth is that these dimensions were uniquely adapted to the technologies of their time?
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Old Feb 2nd, 2013, 11:57 PM   #70
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Re: "Every generation is better than the previous one. The game is always evolving"

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Originally Posted by moby View Post
Stosur has been a top player for about 2 years. Give it some time. I am sure there are a few juniors just starting out who will try to play this game. If they fail, then it's because this technique is too difficult for women to perfect (in which case Sam gets a lot of credit), just like how the Williamses's GOAT serving didn't inspire a wave of great servers. Players just couldn't serve like that, no matter how hard they tried.

Players didn't have the athleticism and technique to execute the forehand-slice game of Graf immaculately either (not that Spirlea and such didn't try) or the flair to hit Henin's one-hander.

If by revolution, you mean imitable change, and if that is a key criterion for greatness/etc, then Evert wins hands-down by popularising the double-hander. Yet she consistently played second-fiddle to Navratilova in the second half of their careers.
I came across an article a few days ago which quoted either Stephens herself or someone close to her, saying that she WAS focussing more on trying to generate topspin rather than trying to produce as much raw pace as possible (though up til now, it doesn't look like that approach is bearing much fruit, seeing as the amount of spin she's creating atm is innocuous compared to Stosur).

But anyway, in answer to Williamsova, I'm assuming topspin will become more prevalent in the women's game simply because, as I said, the women's game has always followed the trends of the men's game, and heavy use of topspin has become commonplace in the men's game in recent years But, just because Stosur and perhaps in the future Stephens, among others, will have pioneered this particular thing, that does not in itself mean they would be better players than Serena, or any other past great players, nor does it mean the monstrous flat-hitters of Serena, Venus and Sharapova would not hypothetically be able to beat the topspin players that will be dominating in 10 years' time.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2013, 12:03 AM   #71
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Re: "Every generation is better than the previous one. The game is always evolving"

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Originally Posted by moby View Post
And players didn't hit hard back in the day, because whaling at balls with wooden rackets that have tiny sweetspots wasn't effective and would create a lot of mishits and unforced errors; it was also fairly difficult to hit winners from the baseline, much less from feet behind the baseline, as is common these days. So if you acknowledge we are comparing apples to oranges, how can we say that the level has improved with some new dimensions and some lost dimensions, when the truth is that these dimensions were uniquely adapted to the technologies of their time?
That's true. But we don't live in "what if" worlds. You can only go by what has been provided as evidence. Like I said anything else is fantasy. I could sit here and think if Lenglen were born in 1983, she would be hitting the ball very hard and serving down aces and remaining unbeatable in the early 2000s but that is fantasy. Just like saying peak Graf would be No. 1 today is fantasy.

What we have seen is that the early 2000s did lift the game (yes they got help from better strings, better training techniques) but that's besides the point. The point is they did. And something this generation hasn't been able to do. So the Gold standard is still that generation.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2013, 12:07 AM   #72
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Re: "Every generation is better than the previous one. The game is always evolving"

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What we have seen is that the early 2000s did lift the game (yes they got help from better strings, better training techniques) but that's besides the point. The point is they did. And something this generation hasn't been able to do. So the Gold standard is still that generation.
But again, by that logic, Stosur HAS already "lifted the game", because she IS better than anyone before in generating topspin And, as Moby says, even if her gamestyle doesn't become more common (because it might turn out no other woman can produce as much spin as her), then it would STILL count as an advance for the game by your logic, because no women have managed to serve as well as the Williams sisters either.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2013, 12:08 AM   #73
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Re: "Every generation is better than the previous one. The game is always evolving"

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Originally Posted by dsanders06 View Post
I came across an article a few days ago which quoted either Stephens herself or someone close to her, saying that she WAS focussing more on trying to generate topspin rather than trying to produce as much raw pace as possible (though up til now, it doesn't look like that approach is bearing much fruit, seeing as the amount of spin she's creating atm is innocuous compared to Stosur).

But anyway, in answer to Williamsova, I'm assuming topspin will become more prevalent in the women's game simply because, as I said, the women's game has always followed the trends of the men's game, and heavy use of topspin has become commonplace in the men's game in recent years But, just because Stosur and perhaps in the future Stephens, among others, will have pioneered this particular thing, that does not in itself mean they would be better players than Serena, or any other past great players, nor does it mean the monstrous flat-hitters of Serena, Venus and Sharapova would not hypothetically be able to beat the topspin players that will be dominating in 10 years' time.
If there is a player with a good top-spin game in the future, trust me flat hitters of today will not even come close to beating them.

Stosur is a horrible example but at the same time an excellent example. She is an error machine with a horrible technique and talent. But at the same time she was able to get into Top 10 just because she can play a top-spin game even at a low level.

Same goes with other top-spin players in womens tour, like Schiavone, CSN, Kuznetsova etc. They are not great by any means at their own games.

----------------------

Flat hitters of today rely on pace of shot from their opponent so they can deflect it. But a player who can produce spin can generate insane angles with minimum of risk, which would be a nightmare for tall flat hitters running side to side
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Old Feb 3rd, 2013, 12:09 AM   #74
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Re: "Every generation is better than the previous one. The game is always evolving"

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Originally Posted by dsanders06 View Post
But again, by that logic, Stosur HAS already "lifted the game", because she IS better than anyone before in generating topspin And, as Moby says, even if her gamestyle doesn't become more common (because it might turn out no other woman can produce as much spin as her), then it would STILL count as an advance for the game by your logic, because no women have managed to serve as well as the Williams sisters either.
How do you lift the game by winning one slam?
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Old Feb 3rd, 2013, 11:13 AM   #75
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Re: "Every generation is better than the previous one. The game is always evolving"

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But, in fairness, I really am making a point for ALL sports, not just the WTA. Like I said in the OP, it does seem to me that ATP commentators are even MORE fickle and subscribe to the illogical "this era is so much better than previous ones", to the extent that I've genuinely seen on Men'stennisforums people saying Peak Sampras and Agassi would have no chance against Murray

And just to expand on the point I was making in the OP -- I'm pretty sure that there'll be many posters on TF in 10 years' time, and many commentators in the tennis media, who WILL be saying that the new generation will be better than the Williams/Belgians/Sharapova era, on the basis of nothing whatsoever, and I'm sure many of the people who are currently huge tennis fans would be amazed by it.

I agree with you that when ANYONE starts introducing entirely subjective criteria and assumptions (such as "the game is so much stronger/has more depth than back then") -- which is why imo GOAT debates have to rest entirely on quantifiable achievements.





Sorry, but look at the other thread -- many people HAVE been saying Serena is better, that Peak Graf would have no chance against Peak Serena, etc, using the "the game has evolved" logic.
I don't understand why the subject matter has to be so black or white for you. I mean as a general rule, yes the game does evolve. For example, the Seles-Capriati USO 91 semi was a level of womens tennis not seen before. Two women hitting the ball flat and hard from the baseline, consistently. That match was an exception at the time. By the early 2000s that level of tennis at the top was the norm!!! Sadly that evolution plateaued by the late 2000s, and infact the level at the top has somewhat declined (yes I believe a prime Graf would be very successful in todays game)

Evert and Navaratilova raised the bar in the late 70s, Graf's athleticism took the game to new heights in the late 80s/eary 90s and Seles inspired an entire generation with her hyper-aggressive baseline game. For me, the WTA reached its supposed peak so far in the early 2000s. The WS (and Belgians) were on par with Graf in athleticism (Graf was arguably faster, but speed was the only athletic edge id say she had over the WS) and were more explosive offensively than Seles. In my opinion of course.

Of course I would agree with you that the argument that Serena is the greatest ever, using the 'game has evolved' is rubbish. Graf achieved far more against the competition she had and that's fact!!!
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