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Old May 2nd, 2004, 05:09 PM   #1
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Injury Time Outs: Strategy or Reality??

Ok...we had a blow up this morning in the Venus vs. Kuznetsova's scoring thread. I am currently watching the Men's Seat Godo Final "LIVE" on The Tennis Channel. Tommy Robredo vs. Gaudio. I have to create the scenario to make my point Valid.

Granted this has been a long Match, but neither has shown signs of fatigue or cramping. Robredo Steamrolls in the 5th set to a 5-2 lead. Gaudio Holds Serve it's 5-3. Robredo is serving for the match (in his home town) and Quickly Goes down 15-40, the momentum is CLEARLY with Gaudio. ALL OF A SUDDEN, Robredo walks to his chair and asks for the trainer. He take the 1min eval, and the 3 minute med. Trainer is rubbing hot cream on his thigh...and Tommy is there smurking somewhat...he comes back on court, a COLD Gaudio hits two of Tommys first serves long, it's duece...then Ad and Game Set Match Tommy.....thus my debate.

Stalling a situation in sports to "possibly" gain the upperhand is the norm. It happens in Basketball when a player is at the foul line and an opposing teams coach may call a time out in between shots to throw off the focus of the shooter. It happens in close football games, where a time out may be used to ice the kicker going for the winning field goal. This is seen as STRATEGIC, a strategy. I Feel this also happens in Tennis, it's a fine line because when you call a med time out in Tennis, "we" expect an injury, but is that always the case? Referring to Robredo.

This morning Kuznetsova was being PUNISHED "big time", in the first set, she had no answers for Williams. I am sure she reflected on her match before, and wanted to really see what was going on with her own game. Before the second set, she call for a Time out...which stalled a lil more b/c Vee was steamrolling.

It's not fair to say she wasn't Injured, It's also not fair to say she wasn't. So when it isn't so evident, is it Strategy? or is it Reality?

I would like to read your examples of matches where you may have felt it was either/or.

I personally dont feel there is a problem with using it as "strategy" because it is a sport of momentum, and mentality. But we're quick to label it as cheating (when not evident) than a strategic move...which i feels happens OFTEN in tennis.

What are your thoughts...?
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Old May 2nd, 2004, 05:14 PM   #2
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Sometimes it's reality sometimes it's meant to be stratigic.In either ways the opponent is supposed to stay calm and focused on his/her game and not let the time-out affect their game.
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Old May 2nd, 2004, 05:16 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Cool Canuck
Medvedev didn't even hide it in an interview: he asked for the trainer during his match at Wimbledon because he was too tired. He said it by laughing so he didn't think it was a big deal.

A lot of injury or bath room break times out are strategic.
I totally agree. but i was Jumped on this morning when i stated that Kuznetsova's Time Out may have been strategic.....b/c she played pretty well in the Second Set. But there may have been some personal emotions there, b/c people on this board love controversy.

but Strategy, on and off the court happens....Serena's Serving warm up at the coin toss was seen as a strategy of intimidation. People, even players looked at Justine's time out's as strategic. I see no problem with it...b/c you have to break the momentum. In tennis when you Cheat...it's pretty Evident. But Time outs...how do we really really know when it isn't as clear as rolling an ankel, throwing up on court, severe cramping...FINE LINE.
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Old May 2nd, 2004, 05:16 PM   #4
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I saw it a lot in Charleston and it's definitely strategic..
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Old May 2nd, 2004, 05:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allezjuju
Sometimes it's reality sometimes it's meant to be stratigic.In either ways the opponent is supposed to stay calm and focused on his/her game and not let the time-out affect their game.
But it works...strategy wise. You can totally rob the momentum, and the player probably think they are at the same place before the time out was taken. In the mind of the Strategist...they may be feeling the upperhand given them more mental confidence for employing the strategy.
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Old May 2nd, 2004, 05:36 PM   #6
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I'll have to say both... some people obviously injure themselves during a rally, strech a muscle the wrong way or get cramps and need attention right then. Now, most of the time-outs are "blisters" time-outs, and for those, it is all about the timing! you don't see many "blisters" time-outs from the player that's running away with the set 5-0 !

Oh, and Navratilova takes a bathroom break after every set... win or lose, is that strategy or a weak bladder?
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Old May 2nd, 2004, 05:40 PM   #7
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it happens quite alot, alot more on the WTA than on the ATP

Rios used to take toilet breaks before match starts as it doesnt count.

MGM has taken toilet breaks after losing a 1st set 0-6 in 15 mins, twice i can remember.

some players take a break at end of each set........ some to change clothes, some authentic.
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Old May 2nd, 2004, 05:45 PM   #8
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It's sometimes reality,and sometimes HEADGAMES!!!!
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Old May 2nd, 2004, 05:46 PM   #9
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Martina N does go to the bathroom after the first set every time.

I think it's a weak bladder...
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Old May 2nd, 2004, 06:12 PM   #10
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the strategic breaks are for two main reasons:

1. the player taking the break wants to have timeout, time to regroup, time to think tactics, time to compose and chill a bit. they could get a massage, get a blister treated. whatever, they are doing it for their benefit.

2. the player taking the timeout does so to break the momentum of the opponent, or to give the opponent time to dwell on something negative. for example, the opponent may be about to come out and serve for the match, the biggest win of their career. so, how about a nice little 5-minute break? let's get them all nervy and thinking about the moment.......let's distract them, break their focus. let's piss them off with a delay. let me control what's happening, and force them to do things at my pace etc. etc.

when you see the 'little blister' timeouts, the 'eg rub' timeouts etc.......they're likely to be strategic. the more genuine ones are related to seeing the player fall/slip. or if they really appear in pain.

i think both have a place in this sport.
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Old May 2nd, 2004, 06:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baleineau
the strategic breaks are for two main reasons:

1. the player taking the break wants to have timeout, time to regroup, time to think tactics, time to compose and chill a bit. they could get a massage, get a blister treated. whatever, they are doing it for their benefit.

2. the player taking the timeout does so to break the momentum of the opponent, or to give the opponent time to dwell on something negative. for example, the opponent may be about to come out and serve for the match, the biggest win of their career. so, how about a nice little 5-minute break? let's get them all nervy and thinking about the moment.......let's distract them, break their focus. let's piss them off with a delay. let me control what's happening, and force them to do things at my pace etc. etc.

when you see the 'little blister' timeouts, the 'eg rub' timeouts etc.......they're likely to be strategic. the more genuine ones are related to seeing the player fall/slip. or if they really appear in pain.

i think both have a place in this sport.
Can't agree with you more...it's allowed. It's Sport. But why do TENNIS people call this "STRATEGY" Cheating?

I think it's more of a personal feeling. Like I thought Serena's Blisters, as ugly as it was in OZ, was tactic as well, and it worked. B/C it was taped up pretty well, they even had to cut the previous tape off to go new tape.

I don't think it was cheating.
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Old May 2nd, 2004, 06:50 PM   #12
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As no one else can tell how a player is feeling at that point and fatigue or despair or anxiety may make a player feel bad anyway its simply impossible to tell what isn't a real injury break unless you put diaganostic facilities at courtside or invent the medical tricorder.
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