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Old Nov 4th, 2002, 10:52 AM   #1
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Question Does Daniela lack court sense?

Watching her match against Conchita yesterday made me wonder. Whenever she went to the net, she looked so lost, always volleying from the service line, not closing in on the net. And when she did close in on the net, she let balls that were going in pass her instead of hitting them when they were obviously in reach.

Not only that, her choice of shots were very questionable a lot of times. I can't remember any specific examples right now, but there were plenty of times where there were better choices.

And she made the same mistakes over and over again. She repeated hit forehands off Martinez's slices down the line, but into the net cause they lacked spin. And she did it again and again, not learning from her mistake. She also engaged in plenty of CC FH battles with Conchita and lost most of them. Yet, she didn't really try to change direction whenever Conchita drew her into that kind of battle.

All these make me wonder how much court sense she has as well as how tactical she is.
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Old Nov 4th, 2002, 11:08 AM   #2
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I also noticed the CC FH thing, but I thought that she didn't trust her DTL FH from an open stance and preferred to play it safe with the CC.

Apart from this, I think she volleyed pretty well. She must have been afraid of Conchita's lobs and therefore she stayed a little bit more behind that usual.

I think she needs more experience, but the court sense seemed good for me (for a 19 year old player who is in her first good year).
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Old Nov 4th, 2002, 11:14 AM   #3
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I didn't see the match, but objectively, I recognize that sometimes Daniela gives that impression of lacking some tactical sense and court overview.
But in her great matches like that final in IW or her win over Amelie in the Fed Cup quarter, it' totally the opposite.
In fact Daniela has type of game with maximal risk : She's the kind of player who wants to hit winners rather than taking profit of opponent's errors. That style of game needs the highest level of focus and self confidence, and considering she's a little bit tired (mostly on the mental field) these days, she's certainly down on these points so her level of play is erratic inside a match. That's why I compare her to Marat Safin who has the same type of problems.

Concerning her net game I think it's a different point. A kind of pressure she (and her coach) puts on herself. She's trying to develop her game to the net and thinks too much before doing it. She normally has a very good volley, especially on doubles. But on singles, the strategy to-the-net is not yet natural for her.

The point that she improved the most this season is her fighting spirit so that even on a bad day she find the mental energy to fight until the last point, winning after having saved matchpoints.
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Old Nov 4th, 2002, 11:24 AM   #4
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She not a bit sure about herself when she comes to the net....when she's supposed to be agressive at a certain shot, she just fades away. maybe I cursed her 100 times during the match.*LOL* because I wanted her to win.
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Old Nov 4th, 2002, 12:55 PM   #5
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It's strange that such a good doubles player like Daniela, especially with her height and reach, would even appear lost at the net.
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Old Nov 5th, 2002, 10:53 AM   #6
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Dani could only learn learn from this experience. It's just that Conchita has the game that most of the other players hate. You woudn't wanna see her on a "bad" day.
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Old Nov 5th, 2002, 11:15 AM   #7
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Originally posted by BasicTennis
Dani could only learn learn from this experience. It's just that Conchita has the game that most of the other players hate. You woudn't wanna see her on a "bad" day.
Maybe, but anyway this kind of weaknesses in Dani's game happens with other players and it seems to be really a problem with her focus and confidence.
Dani needs to work on consistency and avoid playing so many tourneys to be in full focus and to hope she will regularly beat the top players.
If she were more fresh, physically and mentally, sure she would have won one of these last indoor events, the porsche or the swisscom. Unfortunatelly she was out of steam and the risk is that by failing on the last step she loses confidence.

BTW, anyone has comments on my statement that Daniela is like the WTA's Marat Safin (except that she never throws her raquet ) ? They would really be a lovely tennis couple...
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Old Nov 5th, 2002, 12:38 PM   #8
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I don't think Dani lacks court sense. Her court sense and her tennis are improving! But an aggressive player like Hantuchova sometimes looks out of sorts when they are trying to play at the net. It isn't always easy to control play at the net.
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Old Nov 5th, 2002, 12:57 PM   #9
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Originally posted by knopfler6
Knock if off, NotreDame, Marat is a handsome hunk, as I would gladly point out, but lacks the elegance of Dani.
Oh come on Dire Straits, he's one of the most elegant on the ATP Tour, in my opinion : finesse, great motion and great timing when he's on his good days.
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Old Nov 5th, 2002, 12:58 PM   #10
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But okay, nobody has the elegance of Dani.
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Old Nov 5th, 2002, 01:14 PM   #11
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I don't think Dani lacks court sense. Her court sense and her tennis are improving! But an aggressive player like Hantuchova sometimes looks out of sorts when they are trying to play at the net. It isn't always easy to control play at the net.
In fact, I don't think Daniela is achieved as an aggressive player. She's more a great baseline player, kind of a "Hingis-with-power".
An aggressive player has the instinct of going to the net (e.g. the sisters). Somehow it's something that you may develop... by forcing yourself to go to the net. You'll have your share of passing-shot winners but time after time, with the habit, the balance between your volley-winners and opponent's passing-shots winners is going to become positive for you.
Net play is a different psychology than baseline play : when you go to the net you take the initiative and then you force the tactical scheme. But the counterpart is that you force yourself to have very quick reactions. That's why Dani is not good at the net on singles : she prefers thinking and preparing her shots, while volleying works with reflexes rather than reflexion.
The strange thing is that she manages it well on doubles.
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Old Nov 5th, 2002, 01:24 PM   #12
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No she just lacks fashion sense.
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Old Nov 5th, 2002, 01:26 PM   #13
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Although I haven't seen the match, I have to say that Conchita tends to throw a lot of junk at her opponents and mixes a lot of variety in her shots (moon ball, big forehand, heavy topspin, slice, etc.) so maybe Hantuchova wasn't sure what to do because of that.
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