My armchair analysis again:
Originally posted by Volcana:<br /><strong><br />A wee bit too small.
hite rk name<br />1.67 07 Henin<br />1.68 15 Maleeva<br />1.70 04 Hingis<br />1.70 20 Tulyaganova<br />1.72 13 Farina-Elia<br />1.72 28 Bedanova<br /></strong><hr></blockquote>
I sure hope that they're not too small. That's the kind of thing people rub me with when they find out how much I like tennis. Sad thing is even if these players win Slams and stuff people will still point out that they're at least 3 inches taller than I am.
Anyway...<br />Players have to work with what they have. If they're tall like Davenport, Bovina and Venus, they should take advantage of their height. If they're small like Coetzer they should take advantage of their speed/footwork.
When Hingis bulked up she felt sluggish and slow...so she stopped. Of course, she stopped in other ways too. <img src="mad.gif" border="0">
The advantages of size are longer arms and longer legs. Longer arms help them generate a bigger swing action. And because they're taller they have more of a margin of error when it comes to getting the shots "in." (Take a look at Henin's 2001 speed and percentage stats. Her average speed is as good as - and sometimes even better than - a lot of the big girls...but her percentage is appalling.) Plus, the additional weight means they could throw more of their weight into their shots. A big girl takes a few steps and she's all the way on the other side of the court. Of course, she has to be careful about the pounding her body takes on hardcourts (knee problems, anyone?). A smaller player can change direction easier but takes more steps.
(Old stuff and "stating the obvious," I know.)
I guess it seems like the people in the middle have the best combination of the two and their liabilities (if any) are less apparent. We'll see.
What I'm concerned about is if, at some level, some girls are getting overlooked in the "system" because of their height (or projected height). Look where these smaller players are coming from: Switzerland (Schnyder too), Czech Republic, Belgium (which has also given us the Rochus brothers), South Africa, Bulgaria, Italy, etc. Not exactly big tennis nations.