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Old Sep 6th, 2005, 07:08 PM   #1
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Hofmann's Big Mistake

after watching yesterday's match between Patty and Lena Dementieva, i can say with confidence something that i have suspected for a long time. Rainer Hofmann has been making a big fundamental mistake in his coaching of Patty. Patty was completely out-maneuvered tactically in this match by one of her biggest rivals Dementieva, who doesn't even HAVE a coach. Since i am not the one who is earning hundreds of thousands of dollars each year from coaching Patty, i am not going to do Hofmann the favor of pointing out his mistake. I will say that Hofmann as a coach has done some good things for Patty's game, like improving her serve and her consistency against lower-ranked players, but overall, i have to say that Patty's game is less dangerous to the top players of the WTA today than it was three years ago when she was being coached by Hubert Choudury.
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Old Sep 6th, 2005, 09:33 PM   #2
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Patty's game can be dangerous I think. Obviously she could improve her backhand and learn to hit it with a little more authority. I suprising stat that I saw from yesterdays match was that Patty had 34 unforced errors. I think that in big situations, Patty starts to go for a little too much and she is usually very consistent with her groundstrokes. 34 UE's is not gonna win you that many matches Patty, so please do something different so that you can beat the top players. The thing about Patty is that she beats players who she is supposed to beat (most of the time) and loses to people she is supposed to. If she could get a more obvious weapon then I think that she could be very dangerous to a top player one day.
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Old Sep 7th, 2005, 06:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PattyPetrovaPeng
Patty's game can be dangerous I think. Obviously she could improve her backhand and learn to hit it with a little more authority. I suprising stat that I saw from yesterdays match was that Patty had 34 unforced errors. I think that in big situations, Patty starts to go for a little too much and she is usually very consistent with her groundstrokes. 34 UE's is not gonna win you that many matches Patty, so please do something different so that you can beat the top players. The thing about Patty is that she beats players who she is supposed to beat (most of the time) and loses to people she is supposed to. If she could get a more obvious weapon then I think that she could be very dangerous to a top player one day.

good points, but you have to understand that "unforced errors" is a vague concept. Professional players make "unforced errors" not just for no reason, but because their opponent is hitting them balls that are uncomfortable for them and they are not adjusting. Also many forced errors are often counted as UEs since there is no exact measuring standard. This was a lot of what happened in the Patty-Lena match.

I don't know if you were a fan of Patty 3 or 4 years ago, but part of what i don't like about Hofmann is that he has made Patty more generic, he has taken away some of her individuality that used to separate her from the other players. IMO Patty plays a lot more like the other girls now than before Hoffy became the coach. She has become more predictable.
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Old Sep 9th, 2005, 04:57 PM   #4
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It's no big revelation that Hofmann is not a special coach. i think he does scouting for Patty but beyond that i tend to think that Patty has a far more superior knowledge of tennis than someone whose sporting endeavours were in professional pool (which sounds made up anyway).

From what i saw Dementieva executed her game plan of hitting her deep groundies into Patty's backhand - which is a solid shot at best but when she's forced to attack it almost always breaks down. Elena's serve plays into this plan very well because she hits the same swinging serve to Patty's backhand basically on every serve. Elena said this was her plan and Patty has said the same thing.

Their H2H pretty much reflects that Patty can win the ones were Dementieva is error prone but Elena is just better than Patty when she's playing well. Patty is fun to watch but her game is never going to able to top the power girls on a regular basis.
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Old Sep 9th, 2005, 05:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by switz
It's no big revelation that Hofmann is not a special coach. i think he does scouting for Patty but beyond that i tend to think that Patty has a far more superior knowledge of tennis than someone whose sporting endeavours were in professional pool (which sounds made up anyway).

From what i saw Dementieva executed her game plan of hitting her deep groundies into Patty's backhand - which is a solid shot at best but when she's forced to attack it almost always breaks down. Elena's serve plays into this plan very well because she hits the same swinging serve to Patty's backhand basically on every serve. Elena said this was her plan and Patty has said the same thing.

Their H2H pretty much reflects that Patty can win the ones were Dementieva is error prone but Elena is just better than Patty when she's playing well. Patty is fun to watch but her game is never going to able to top the power girls on a regular basis.

It's not a revelation to us, but it might be a revelation to Hofmann, who is in the habit of praising himself to the skies on the official Patty website and, i'm sure, the press release/newsletters that Patty and Hoffy distribute in Switzerland. To be fair i can't say that Hoffy is any worse than the average WTA coach and in fact he is probably a bit better than average (which however is not saying much since a lot of those guys are real bozos and/or leeches).

Your analysis of the match is pretty much spot on - the supposedly dismal Dementieva serve is made to order for playing left-handers. I do sort of disagree on that last point though, because i've always thought Patty has as much tennis talent as Justine (who is even smaller physically than Patty), and if Patty had a better coach and a better mentality, she could achieve similar things in her career. I think this might actually be a source of Patty's resentment toward Justine - Patty is quite conscious that the two of them received similar gifts of talent, but obviously Justine has done more with it. So Patty tries to put Justine down in other ways, in a personal sense, knowing full well that Justine has many people who dislike her and there will be a big collective "YEAAAAAAH" in support of those opinions.
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