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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How do you think Serena, Venus, Justine, Kim, Jen and the rest of the current crop of players would do with wooden racquets?
 

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I think they'd do fine. Talent is talent and the mechanics of striking a tennis ball doesn't depend on what the racquet is made of. Although some of them might find their arms getting a bit tired after a little while!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I agree with your assessment of talent and mechanics, however, I'll give you an example of why I think one current player wouldn't do well:

Venus Williams is a magnificent striker of the ball, and one of the quickest players ever. I personally feel she has no clue how to play the old style of tennis (wood racquets) which required the player to actually construct long points, hit shots thinking 2-3 strokes ahead, and moving to where the ball is going to go in anticipation. Venus is simply more powerful and runs down more balls than the majority of her opponents. This is a glaring weakness on clay, where she is constantly wrong-footed and appears to have forgotten how to play tennis.

In a hypothetical match between Venus Williams and Evonne Goolagong or Martina Navratilova, or Billie Jean King, or Virginia Wade, with both players at the peak of their ability, both using a wood racquet, and on grass- the winner is predictable, and it's not Venus.
 

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If they still used Wooden racquets... Martina Hingis would be going for a Hingi Slam x3 right now. :eek:




And Martina Nav would still be in the top ten. :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You're absolutely correct about Hingis- she'd still be #1, and the Williams sisters and the Jenerator and Davenport and Clijsters would be top 20 at best, and players like Jana Novotna and Martina Navratilova and Helena Sukova could still knock off a few good wins.

I think John McEnroe would be in the top 50 as well.

One player who would definitely fall of the radar screen is Monica Seles. Even at her best, she always relied on that SHOWSHOE Yonex and 2 hands on both sides to blast winners. She wouldn't be able to cover the empty court with a wood racquet- not that she was that good at defending the open court against Hingis with whatever racquet...
 
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maybe the players had developed a different game then
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Good point, but in the case of Monica- she is without doubt the slowest #1 in the history of women's tennis. Even Helen Wills Moody was faster about the court. I'm not a proponent of returning to wood, but I would like to see the size of the racquet face return to the 65 square inch head of former days. This reduction would mean longer, more intelligent points, and also make it nearly impossible for people like Andy Roddick and Venus Williams to just go out there and hit winners without cognitive thought.
 

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You don't think they'd be able to adapt and learn the game if it was "played" this way? hmmmm... :rolleyes:

How do you know that Venus hits winners without cognitive thought?!?!

Venus' tennis is more than slam-bang...didn't you watch Wimbledon? Are you saying she has no strategy out there and that she doesn't construct points? :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Mrs. Peel said:
You don't think they'd be able to adapt and learn the game if it was "played" this way? hmmmm... :rolleyes:

How do you know that Venus hits winners without cognitive thought?!?!

Venus' tennis is more than slam-bang...didn't you watch Wimbledon? Are you saying she has no strategy out there and that she doesn't construct points? :rolleyes:

No, I wouldn't generalize to the point of absurdity, but if you put two TV screens next to each other, and one was a camera angle behind Venus, and the other behind Hingis, the differences would amaze a great deal of people. I'm sure Venus would be able to adapt to a certain extent, but I am even more sure if Margaret Court had the same training facilities and coaching AND racquets available to her that Venus did and does, Margaret Court would dominate today as well...
 

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alfajeffster said:
No, I wouldn't generalize to the point of absurdity, but if you put two TV screens next to each other, and one was a camera angle behind Venus, and the other behind Hingis, the differences would amaze a great deal of people. I'm sure Venus would be able to adapt to a certain extent, but I am even more sure if Margaret Court had the same training facilities and coaching AND racquets available to her that Venus did and does, Margaret Court would dominate today as well...
The same could be said about so many of the top players. What makes Venus so different :rolleyes:? No doubt Martina Hingis was a great point constructer. But for you to suggest that Venus doesn't really think on-court, because of her comparison to Hingis's game, is just absurd. If it was that Venus used to just hit hard all the time, why is it that players like Capriati and Lindsay don't beat her, since IMO they hit just as hard. There has to be some strategy that allows her to beat them. And believe me, her "athleticism" is not the only factor :rolleyes:.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You answered your own question- yes, it is her athleticism that Capriati and Davenport have the most trouble with. She has (and it took her a couple of years) learned to rely on hitting winners on the dead run all the time during her matches, because she is usually not moving naturally with the percentages. Davenport owned her for a long time simply because she out thought Venus consistently. Capriati, I submit, is in the same boat as Venus- running all match long for balls when they have no clue where they are going- just covering court and smacking the ball when they get there- which they both do better than anyone else out there except maybe Serena
 

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If today's players used yesterday's equipment, the rankings wouldn't change a bit. The matches may last a little longer, but talent would win out. Always has, always will. ;)
 

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alfajeffster said:
You answered your own question- yes, it is her athleticism that Capriati and Davenport have the most trouble with. She has (and it took her a couple of years) learned to rely on hitting winners on the dead run all the time during her matches, because she is usually not moving naturally with the percentages. Davenport owned her for a long time simply because she out thought Venus consistently. Capriati, I submit, is in the same boat as Venus- running all match long for balls when they have no clue where they are going- just covering court and smacking the ball when they get there- which they both do better than anyone else out there except maybe Serena
okay :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Did you watch Davenport's match with Venus at Wimbledon this year. Shades of the old Davenport confidence in that second set. I'd like to see her get it back, however, she has always had trouble with Serena- it's one of those head case matches where when she steps on the court with Serena, she feels 3 feet tall and the net looks 25 feet high, and her opponent 40 feet tall :-D
 

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If players like Navratilova and McEnroe were such good hitters with the irregular wooden racquets why wouldn't they be superior hitters of the ball with the more advance racquets? They should still be on the tour domintating with the better racquets.
 

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brickhousesupporter said:
If players like Navratilova and McEnroe were such good hitters with the irregular wooden racquets why wouldn't they be superior hitters of the ball with the more advance racquets? They should still be on the tour domintating with the better racquets.

There is something in this world called age. It affects everyone, and Martina and John are prime candidates of it. Martina did dominate with the older graphite racquets in the 80's, and she's dominating now in mixed doubles, and doing well in doubles too.
 

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This argument would only make sense if Venus or Jen were using the advanced rackets and Hingis and the rest were using the wooden ones. If venus couldn't hit winners what chances would the rest of the field have of doing so?
Sounds to me like the new rackets are being equated to power. Take the men's game for instance coz they are all so powerful, would wooden rackets mean the ground woukd be level for all players, how come history has recorded multiple slam winners in the past? If you are talented you will rise to the top with whatever equipment you have.
Why is it that none of the present players are complaining about the rackets? Could it be that McEnroe and Navritalova are simply trying to recapture past glory?
What's gonna be next? full length skirts coz serena covers too much court without inhibition! Yea bring the hem down and see how well she can move :rolleyes:
 

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Modern racquets benefits baseline bashers. Why do you think there are so many of them right now?

Wood racquets benefits finesse players and serve/volleyers. That's why we used to have so many of them.

The Williams sisters will still dominate but they'll just be at the net more. Wood will force them to come to the net, which they are more than capable of doing. Hingis will still be playing and would probably have a French by now, and Henin-Hardenne would be more of a force on surfaces other than clay.

Monica Seles would not have dominated like the way she did, and probably would not have been stabbed. Clijsters, Capriati and other baseline clones in the top 100 would be BIG trouble.

Overall, it would've made a more interesting game with a variety of styles of play. Because the way we're going, a requiem for serve and volley tennis is coming soon.
 

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Does anyone know if there were any players who made great ranking gains or losses when the majority of the tour switched from wood to metal? If not, I doubt a change today would affect the rankings much...
 
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