A "Manufactured" vs "Naturally Talented" Player - Page 2 - TennisForum.com
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post #16 of 45 (permalink) Old Jul 9th, 2019, 09:12 PM
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Re: A "Manufactured" vs "Naturally Talented" Player

Konta is not Manufactured, this means Nole Djokovic is also Manufactured? Their games are both pretty ugly. I do agree they are less skillful, especially Konta. But they worked a lot and own skills now. Those volleys are pretty ugly though, not so technical.

In fact, McEnroe is somehow right, but Konta is also a top player and it's a lack of respect.
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post #17 of 45 (permalink) Old Jul 9th, 2019, 09:13 PM
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Re: A "Manufactured" vs "Naturally Talented" Player

In terms of shots Konta is a lot more talented than Babs. And she threw away the match like it was sold. Sorry, but those outs were way too far from the field..
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post #18 of 45 (permalink) Old Jul 9th, 2019, 09:23 PM
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Re: A "Manufactured" vs "Naturally Talented" Player

When he says she's manufactured, what he means is that she plays Tennis in a way that is from the book, you can put Pliskova in the same camp, robotic and does what it says on the tin. When she is forced to think for herself when the tactical gameplan is not working it all goes to pot, a player who is quite basic, but does the basics very well, simply struggles against players who use variety, mix it up and have much more of a feel for the game.
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post #19 of 45 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 2019, 03:28 AM
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Re: A "Manufactured" vs "Naturally Talented" Player

which means konta is not talented

another way of saying this could be konta‘s understanding of tennis is very limited, she is like i have to play this way otherwise i will lose no matter who is standing across the net

one major problem with konta is that she is always rushing, a few example

1.her footwork, mostly sprinting, lacking of minor adjustment and anticipation which is crucial for good mover

2.her volley skill are great but always forget to obeserve where her oppo is at on court and she doesn't use volley as a tactic

3. at baseline she likes to hitting early which is a good thing itself but that’s all she does, she doesn't understand hitting late, despite losing pace, you gain deception

4.at last but not least her mind looks like rushing all the time so at pressure point her mind often goes blank, she just play mechanicly to the situation whereas the very best player's mind often compute very fast and has rough idea how to play the point before it started so they can focus on execution

konta doesn't have a major technical issue, can be a better player than she is or she realizes at the moment, she just hasn't had her ephihony moment yet, not sure she ever will
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post #20 of 45 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 2019, 04:07 AM
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Re: A "Manufactured" vs "Naturally Talented" Player

For McEnroe

Talent =
Anything that is almost immediately apparent in a positive way
.... variety, athleticism, power, speed, an incredible shot, court sense/intuition, etc.

Manufactured =
Having good-to-fantastic results despite having little-to-no quickly apparent talent

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post #21 of 45 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 2019, 04:31 AM
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I don't think manufactured is the right word. I understand the natural talent vs hardworking, though.
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post #22 of 45 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 2019, 06:34 AM
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Re: A "Manufactured" vs "Naturally Talented" Player

I would say a natural talent is someone who wouldn’t be an athlete if they weren’t playing tennis as opposed to a manufactured player someone who would most definitely be playing some other sport even if they weren’t a tennis player. For the latter especially someone whose tennis skills are not innate or special but more because they happen to be a good athlete.
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post #23 of 45 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 2019, 07:26 AM
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I just watched Kontas presser and read the transcript. Very uncomfortable. The British press are brutal to her, but I'm glad she dished it back with equal venom.
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post #24 of 45 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 2019, 11:33 AM
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Re: A "Manufactured" vs "Naturally Talented" Player

There are many who do like to watch people who make the game look easy - Federer being the peak example. Shots seem to flow and be instinctive. He makes it look easy and beautiful. In the women’s game there are a few who seem the type we would say have natural talent, but NO ONE gets to the top without coaching and an element of manufacture (even Fed!)
Kasatkina, Ostapenko could do with a bit more manufacturing! Petra Kvitova’s talent from a very young age was her instinctive ball striking. Ditto Keys. Sloane makes the game look ridiculously easy at her best. Barty has a game that looks effortless at times.
Looking back, Graf combined athleticism with ball striking and a ruthless will to win that seemed pretty natural. Hingis’ reading of the game was outstanding and even as underpowered as she was physically, she won loads. Imagine her as a 5’10” player who hit the gym!

Konta DOES have a mechanical looking game but that is how she has built it. Routines that work for her. Sharapova, Kerber, Wozniacki are all more manufactured looking IMO. Then there is the contrast of the super ugly/ manufactured Garcia serve with her fluid attractive all court game. (Caro, I hear Sam Sumyk is free!)

McEnroe WAS dissing the Konta game, as many do.

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post #25 of 45 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 2019, 04:31 PM
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Re: A "Manufactured" vs "Naturally Talented" Player

Konta never struck me as someone who was destined to play tennis professionally. There is an air of anxiety and lack of enjoyment when she gets on court. She is one of the most eloquent players, however. Every time I watch her pressers, I am impressed by the fluidity of her thoughts and expression. Should have been a lawyer or writer instead
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post #26 of 45 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 2019, 05:17 PM
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Re: A "Manufactured" vs "Naturally Talented" Player

Wow a nice tennis discussion here!

I find Konta unwatchable and it starts with that horrid service motion. As for JMac I remember when players started improvising more on court and how he felt it was sacrilege, that it wasn't how the game was "supposed to be played". Now he's criticising Konta for playing the way he used to feel tennis should be played?

I think the ponts about footwork, about being able to adapt to what her opponent is doing are valid. She doesn't have a Plan B.

I also thought she over reacted to the question about what she could improve in her game. I thought her reaction was unprofessional. Maybe she doesn't like that reporter? I say that because she was asked the question again and again except that the reporters worded it differently. When Steph Curry has a bad game he gets asked the same questions. So does Lebron James. The question was not out of order. I think her reaction to it was.
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post #27 of 45 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 2019, 07:03 PM
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Re: A "Manufactured" vs "Naturally Talented" Player

Konta is in the same league witk Petkovic and Likhovtseva.

It seems like they were told about racket take back, head drop, swing path etc. and they just do that. It looks incredibly unnatural and mechanical.


P.S. I could add Dementieva as well but her fighting spirit alone makes up for any lack of natural flair.
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post #28 of 45 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 2019, 08:08 PM
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Re: A "Manufactured" vs "Naturally Talented" Player

It seems that Konta's game is not very appreciated in this thread. To me, it is irrelevant whether a shot looks good or not, technically every safe variation of the technique has its advantages and disavantages. (by safe I mean that it is natural to the body and will not lead to injuries).

Take Kerber's abbreviated forehand motion. She is not a natural leftie, but one could argue that this abbreviated forehand is what helped her win Wimbledon and why she is such an effective counterpuncher (who can consistently beat Serena). The reason for this is that it allows her to rebalance herself and get ready for the next rally very quickly, which is important for fast surfaces.
I do not know much about Konta's game, but she is a very talented player and probably the most qualified quarterfinalist to take on Serena (too bad this will not happen this tournament). Personally, when her forehand is on, it looks more scary than many other players' serves
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post #29 of 45 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 2019, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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Re: A "Manufactured" vs "Naturally Talented" Player

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Originally Posted by Ascanius View Post
It seems that Konta's game is not very appreciated in this thread. To me, it is irrelevant whether a shot looks good or not, technically every safe variation of the technique has its advantages and disavantages. (by safe I mean that it is natural to the body and will not lead to injuries).

Take Kerber's abbreviated forehand motion. She is not a natural leftie, but one could argue that this abbreviated forehand is what helped her win Wimbledon and why she is such an effective counterpuncher (who can consistently beat Serena). The reason for this is that it allows her to rebalance herself and get ready for the next rally very quickly, which is important for fast surfaces.
I do not know much about Konta's game, but she is a very talented player and probably the most qualified quarterfinalist to take on Serena (too bad this will not happen this tournament). Personally, when her forehand is on, it looks more scary than many other players' serves
Actually you make an interesting point about Kerber. Kerber for sure does not have natural looking strokes, especially on the forehand side. Her serve has always been a liability, particularly her second serve. However, her leftiness is an advantage, like Nadal she is someone who writes right handed but plays left handed. But in cricket that's quite normal where a player might bowl left handed and bat right handed, or bowl right handed and bat left handed.

But what marks Kerber out is her tremendous athleticism, I've been fortunate to watch her play on two different surfaces in England and France on a few occasions, she is very quick, I imagine she has fast twitch fibres. For a player around the height of 5 ft 8 inches (1 metre 70?), her smashing technique is absolutely superb, she hardly ever misses, which means she has good positioning skills often.

In Kerber's case her speed around the court, allied with the ability to play big points well at the big moments has allowed her to win three slams and play in many other finals (she's lost quite a few over the years). I saw her win her first title in Paris Indoors in 2012 but then saw her lose the 2012 and 2014 Eastbourne finals. To play the big points well you have to be mentally calm at the right moments, like going up to take a penalty in a shoot out.

Unfortunately for Konta, it is the lack of calm which is really holding her back, I can't decide which comes first. Is it her lack of sound technique which gets exposed when the pressure is on, hence those wild errors in the mid court at important moments in matches over a period of many years? Or is it her lack of calm, she gets flustered and can't think coherently, leading to those wild errors over and over again? Maybe that's why I said it is like watching a computer malfunction. It is just very strange to watch, especially the French Open semifinal. After all, she is an experienced player and she had all the support in the crowd and those wtaching at home, myself included, hopefully that would have been an inspiration as opposed to being a hindrance.
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post #30 of 45 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 2019, 09:12 PM
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Re: A "Manufactured" vs "Naturally Talented" Player

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Unfortunately for Konta, it is the lack of calm which is really holding her back, I can't decide which comes first. Is it her lack of sound technique which gets exposed when the pressure is on, hence those wild errors in the mid court at important moments in matches over a period of many years? Or is it her lack of clam, she gets flustered and can't think coherently, leading to those wild errors over and over again? Maybe that's why I said it is like watching a computer malfunction. It is just very strange to watch, especially the French Open semifinal. After all, she is an experienced player and she had all the support in the crowd and those wtaching at home, myself included, hopefully that would have been an inspiration as opposed to being a hindrance.
I wish I had more insight, but I am simply not following her matches enough to have a more informed opinion. The point of my post was more to point out that the way strokes look is irrelevant (and this forum tends to obsess on that subjective aspect). Of course sometimes, in desperate situations, a player might resort to a shot that not only looks ugly, but is also ineffectual (this is where I agree with you on the importance of footwork - if the shot is not set up properly, it will look both ugly and be ineffective).

All in all, calling the game of a three-time GS semifinalist ugly seems a bit frivolous to me.
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