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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Take the top ten (or eight, or six, or sixteen)

Now re-arrange them according to point building skill. You can't hold good serves against players, but it aces aren't 'built' points. Ties go to the higher ranked player, so if you aren't sure, assume the rankings have SOME validity. Don't go crazy. ALL top ten player build points better than ALL player ranked outside the top hundred.

Understand, this isn't a list of 'who's the best'. If you don't understand yourself how points are built, you're going to have a little trouble.

I'm not planning on heavy defense of my choices, this is too subjective, but here's my first take on the list.

00 Hingis - (Cause standards are nice)

01 Henin-Hardenne
02 Rubin
03 Maursemo
04 V Williams
05 Davenport

** I would have had Venus and Lindsay reverse on this list in past years. But Venus is constructing points better since its become obvious she can't beat Serena any other way. (Actually, that way hasn't worked either, but things are closer.) And Lindsay is not constructing points as well as she was three years ago, or finishing them off as well.

06 S Williams

** This might be kinda low for Serena, but her idea of 'opening up the court' is getting a six inch wide lane she can get the ball through. She does try to construct points, in the late round, vs her sister or Capriati or the Belgians. But against most players, it never becomes necessary to do more than move them back and forth along the baseline.

07 Myskina
08 Sugiyama
09 Capriati
10 Clijsters

Note that Sugiyama and Myskina are ahead of Kim. 'How can that be?' You ask. Easy. Myskina, for example, knows what she's doing out there. She'll ATTEMPT to construct points, but it's virtually impossible for her to get a ball outside Kim's range. Kim can keep returning til she gets a ball she can put away.

Constructing points is just a skill. It's like having a good forehand. It won't win the tournament for you, but its nice to have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Hazy said:
What a poor excuse for another Kim-bashing thread...
Hazy, be serious. Suppose I wrote a thread comparing players foot speed. Is that a Lindsay and Monica bashing thread?

Suppose you tell me HOW kim constructs points.

I will give you a couple of examples of point 'construction'.

Venus vs Serena - One of Venus' favorites goes like this.

1 Serving in the ad court

2 swing the serve out wide. Don't let Serena end the point right.

3a If Sererna returns crosscourt, return down the middle

3b If Serena returns DTL or center of the court, attack her backhand side. DON'T give a an easy winner here, or the points over. Serena usually returns this crosscourt if she's NOT going for a winner

4 Venus returns crosscourt, with a slower shot that stays low

5 This happens to be ashot serena makes a lot of werrors on if she goes for it, and if she doesn't, her next shot tends to sit up, giving Venus a good chance at a DTL winner to Serena's forehand.

Venus tries that half-a-dozen times every match with Serena and it usually works.

Example #2

Justine vs Kim - Justine attacks Kim's backhand deep with pace. Kim can and will rally back there all day. But once she's got Kim in the doubles alley and five feet behind the line, Justine uses the dropshot to Kim's forehand side.

Those are points that are 'constructed'. The server knows going in what shots to use in the rally to get what result.

It's not rallying waiting for an opportunity.
It's not trying to overpower the opponent with relentless heavy pace.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
switz said:
myskina should not be no.7. she may try to construct points, but it only ever works against lower quality players.
Actually, you're right. You'll notice I limited myself to the top 10 or 12 players, and I specifically mentioned it wasn't about who's better, just who constructed points better. You could make me the genius of point construction and Jelena Dokic would still beat me 6-0 6-0.

In a lot of ways, the best way to figure this out is to look at how these players play against inferior opposition. It's hard to look like you're constructing a point vs Kim, because SHE usually wins the point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Josh Salah al-Din said:
I think both Serena and Kim construct their points better than Venus.
Give me an example
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
sartrista7 said:
I'll stick to the top ten. Hingis may be the gold standard, but she's also ranked 103 (Volcana, what was that you were saying about players outside the top 100? ;) )
Nailed. :)

These actually aren't the best ten point constructors on tour
A point I tried to make and failed.

Indeed, often lower ranked players, or players with no particular weapon, wil be the best point builders because they HAVE to be. Matevzic in particular has so little power that if she didn't think and use variety on the court I doubt she'd be top 100, but as it is she's top 40.
This is how Ai Sugiyama got to be my #7.

Thank you for reading the initial post, and actually dealing with what I discussed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
sartrista7 said:
1. Kim is a very good point constructor. Eighth out of the top ten does not = bad.

2. She's being characterised as pure defence, which is erroneous. What's so good about her overall game is the fact that she has superlative defence and superlative attack; the former is emphasised vs top players such as Venus and Serena, but when she's playing people like Rossana Neffa De Los Rios, she's all aggression.

3. Pure defence players like Anna Pistolesi tend not to be good point constructors either. "Run every ball down until the opponent misses" is not the most complex of strategies.
As one of the people who've been characterizing Kim as pure defense, I'm going to remember this post. When I see Kim, she's usally playing someone who can hit hard and deep, Venus, Serena, Justine, Lindsay, because I don't often get to see early round tennis, and since she isn't American, ESP-fucking-N won't show Kim vs #99.

You're right. The few times I've seen Kim vs lesser opponents, she moves forward aggressively.

Perhaps more accurate would be for me to say something like:

'Kim has defense as good or better than anyone on the tour, but against elite competition, her normally aggressive offense can fade to reactive opportunism.'
 
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