Tennis Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,274 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Pick your favourite (or any other) tennis player, and design a player with just the right skills so that they are a bad matchup for your fav. Obviously you could just pick an amazing player like "Peak Serena" who will likely beat the player you picked, but what are the minimum skills/tactics this anti-player must possess in order to beat the player you chose?
I guess surface and conditions also matter, so you could pick the most suboptimal conditions for them to play as well :p

I was looking at the other player on matchups by @ishgever and thought this thread could be an interesting thought experiment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,636 Posts
For Serena:

Super mentally tough, amazing mover, amazing returner, ability to hit awkward and unpredictable shots.

For Angie:

Pusher who hits without too much pace but a LOT of topspin, hardly makes any errors and is also very fit.

For Ash:

Super mentally tough, never gives up, able to improvise and deal with awkward balls easily
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,515 Posts
For Serena:

Super mentally tough, amazing mover, amazing returner, ability to hit awkward and unpredictable shots.
Add in left handed-ness. Serena has a great record against everybody, but left handed players require an adjustment she doesn't like to make. Schnyder was a good player, but not SO good that she should tie Capriati for 2nd most wins against Serena on clay (tied with 3, just behind Henin with 4). The left handedness is definitely a part of it.

I'd say, a lefty with big topspin off both wings but who can slice or drive off both sides as needed, especially on return. Or, a left handed and mentally tougher Amelie Mauresmo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,274 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Finally, this thread is getting responses. I nearly forgot about the thread myself :p

Hmm, a counter for Ash Barty...
Won't be easy, she's world number 1 for a reason and has a lot of variety at her disposal. I guess the opponent mainly needs to be able to handle slice (and variety), so they should be fairly solid overall with good movement. (or else they would struggle like Yastremska and Rybakina). I guess not being too tall would help in that regard.
A solid BH (or lefty FH) that can engage in cross-court rallies against Ash's slice BH without errors is ideal. If the player has good power on that stroke, then they can pressure Ash on the BH side, possibly causing a slice to go awry.
One possible way could be to hit a good approach shot to the BH, and force Ash to pass on the BH side. Ash can't really hit a good drive BH, especially DTL, so the passing shot would be easier to predict, and the player can close out the point there. However, Ash can hit a low slice, so the player should be able to hit solid conventional volleys.
Ash also isn't too aggressive on the return, so an okayish serve should do. As for return games, Ash is one of the best servers on tour, so you need to have a fairly good return (or else compensate with an excellent serve)

Ultimately considering Ash has a solid game even on average days and can win ugly, you need to have a couple of good aspects to your game to beat her. You can't expect her to go off the rails like a BBB. The most important thing is to be mentally tough in order to beat her. (like how Kenin was at AO)

One person Ash struggles against is Riske, but her game is too weird so I didn't bother... Riske is more comfortable hitting DTL than CC lol

And another thought - Vondrousova has a solid lefty FH, and with all her spin she can handle slices really well, plus she has good volleys, yet she has a bad record against Ash. I wonder how that tracks with the strategy I proposed :p Maybe she's lacking power?
Is a ball bashing strategy like Sabalenka or Petra is better? Or a counterpunching strategy like Halep or Svitolina? Not sure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,341 Posts
Look no further than Svitolina, she possesses the minimum skills required to beat one of my faves
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,636 Posts
Look no further than Svitolina, she possesses the minimum skills required to beat one of my faves
What are those specific minimum skills that trouble her so much though? I'm genuinely curious about the matchup!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,535 Posts
What are those specific minimum skills that trouble her so much though? I'm genuinely curious about the matchup!
counter punchers hate playing players that are more defensive than them. svitolina is the current archpusher
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,341 Posts
What are those specific minimum skills that trouble her so much though? I'm genuinely curious about the matchup!
IMO it's a lot to do with Svitolina's court positioning so far behind the baseline, against Simona she gets all the benefits from it without the risks that otherwise come against someone who has decent dropshots and a good netgame.

Other than that, it's also Svitolina's solid return that doesn't miss and the patience to not take risks in the rally. Halep can run all day and she's a baseline grinder against the aggressive players, but she loses her patience when she gets a taste of her own medicine
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,636 Posts
IMO it's a lot to do with Svitolina's court positioning so far behind the baseline, against Simona she gets all the benefits from it without the risks that otherwise come against someone who has decent dropshots and a good netgame.

Other than that, it's also Svitolina's solid return that doesn't miss and the patience to not take risks in the rally. Halep can run all day and she's a baseline grinder against the aggressive players, but she loses her patience when she gets a taste of her own medicine
Interesting. Sounds exactly what Angie experiences against Svitolina.

I wonder why Elina has managed to emerge as such a problem for both Angie and Simona - she's won 6 in a row against Angie (admittedly 3 of those were in 2017 but STILL, it's a massive win streak). Both Simona and Angie have more versatility and more ability to hit outright winners, and all three are peak counterpunchers.

Elina seems more likely to be hit off the court by super power players than Angie and Simona, if I recall correctly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,359 Posts
taylor-
halep on clay or prime maria. either a great mover on clay or aggressive ballbasher who hits alot of winners to go with their errors.

serena-
technical player who reads her serve and knows how to hit dropshots( qwang), a great defender with enough power to have long rallies with her(kerber), any of her children who grew up watching her, emulated elements of her game and aren't afraid to play her(woz, vika,maria when she won wimbledon, andresscu, garbine, kenin to an extent, naomi,halep and even bouchard that 1 time).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,515 Posts
I wonder why Elina has managed to emerge as such a problem for both Angie and Simona - she's won 6 in a row against Angie (admittedly 3 of those were in 2017 but STILL, it's a massive win streak). Both Simona and Angie have more versatility and more ability to hit outright winners, and all three are peak counterpunchers.

Elina seems more likely to be hit off the court by super power players than Angie and Simona, if I recall correctly.
I'll give you Halep and Kerber's winner-hitting ability, but I think she has more versatility to her game than either, whom I agree are harder for true power players to beat (Kerber in particular can redirect pace better than just about anyone since Clijsters), and has the patience to wait for her opportunities which will eventually come against those two.

Like @Haleptard said, she doesn't get drawn into shooting contests against Halep, and she's such a good defender that Halep has to really dial in her offense against her, something that's not a guarantee. And against Kerber, she doesn't provide sufficient pace for Kerber to redirect it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,274 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
These days? Anyone who can hit the ball into the court. 😭
Hopefully this break will help her rest her old bones for a bit, though her alluding to "chronic injuries" in her IG lives makes me believe it won't help too much 😢
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,796 Posts
Serena, any good mover under 30 :cautious:
Someone who can counterpunch and/or redirects the ball for Osaka - Angie, Halep, Bencic... even junkballers :mad:
Keys, same group as Venus
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,607 Posts
I think Hingis' ideal worst match up was Steffi. A player with a lot of natural power, especially on the forehand, that is also in incredible mover, has every shot, and doesn't possess an obvious weakness, yep.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,420 Posts
I can't pick Sloane now because that would mean countering her with the entire WTA.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,420 Posts
What about the other signature girls? Kenin, Pav, Mugu, that I would like to know.
Funnily a lot of Signature girls would end up cancelling each other out. Pavlyuchenkova is totally owned by Pliskova but the last time they played AO Pav won 7-6,7-6. That it was a victory on hardcourt that surprised me the most. I thought, for Pav to win, it has to be on clay.

And Pav dominates Svitolina 3-1, although most of their meetings were before 2017, the year of Svitolina breakthrough.

Svitolina vs Pliskova is a very even matchup. Pliskova leads 5-4.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top