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All I want for Christmas is EU
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Some people like to follow directions and do what they are told. Other people prefer to trust themselves and follow their own instincts. These are the people who have the creativity to invent their own way of doing things and the pluck and impudence to ignore the instruction manual. These are the people that make the world a more interesting and exciting place as well.

As long as tennis continues to have a place for such individuals it will continue to draw my own personal interest.
 

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Why does Wozniacki hit her forehand like that. At some point, a girl is enjoying herself and showing great placement, and winning, so they let her enjoy the process
If Wozniacki never won a major, I'm sure her dad would have taken a ton of trolling from the stupidest of trolls.
But her form has not hurt her body and she is healthy after over 10 years on tour and never better, And a #1 who just won the AO & Singapore.
So I would advise parents to let their girl have fun, even if the strokes are not text book
 

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I think they are all (Hsieh, Rybarikova, Niculescu) naturally gifted players and they can do much more than ballbashing. That style makes them unique and trouble lots of one-dimensional players. I particulary love watching contrast of styles such as Muguruza vs Hsieh.

I also believe they expose some top players who lack of variety and are not able to handle a slice or a change of pace.
 

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The other person I consider (albeit ATP) is Fabrice Santoro. I do not have an answer to your question, but I wonder at what point someone said “hey, you know what, maybe if I encourage this unorthodox style, they’ll be successful”.

It’s interesting to think about someone seeing them play and thinking “well they’ll never get to the top like this, but they’ll be good” :shrug: or if that moment just never happened
 

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The other person I consider (albeit ATP) is Fabrice Santoro. I do not have an answer to your question, but I wonder at what point someone said “hey, you know what, maybe if I encourage this unorthodox style, they’ll be successful”.

It’s interesting to think about someone seeing them play and thinking “well they’ll never get to the top like this, but they’ll be good” :shrug: or if that moment just never happened
I'd say to some extent it's partly self taught though. For some youngsters to hold a racket the proper way is difficult when they are little. This is why Fabrice used two hands, for the fact he was using heavier rackets as a kid. They may not end up 'fixing' their game to conventional standards, in fact I feel there is a pt where the coach they later see to improve technical and tactical elements will not attempt to reconstruct their game, but instead build their game around what they already do well and make it work. Somewhere along the track they become rather adept at their unique style and learn how to control it. They will have some highs but may not achieve the consistency they desire against good opposition and that is natural. I see this in table tennis as well among amateur players, many use play styles and rackets that are quite unorthodox because they never received professional instruction, but can be generally effective and often tricky to handle except against much sturdier and experienced opponents. Choppers and players using long pips can be such a pain to play against in table tennis.

Another known example is Errani's serve. It looks very much like a serve she never perfected as a young player and simply stuck with it.
 

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You'll see players like this much more from non established tennis countries, who may not have a national training system, which can homogenize the game and strokes. Su-Wei and Monica are also a bit older, and probably missed the ubiquitous training camps that a lot of the players get sent to in Florida where we see the top juniors produced.

By the time these players probably got noticed as talents, they had already established both their strokes, and had a sense of their style, that breaking them from the start and changing their strokes would be a lot more harmful.
 

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I suppose it's much more common to see it the other way around, a player with a strong forehand but weak backhand ends up coping by developing a very effective slice backhand with a lot of consistency and variety. For example, Vinci almost always hits a backhand slice. She will very occasionally hit a topspin one handed backhand but only when she really has to i.e as a passing shot. I believe Niculescu is the "mirror image" of this type of player.. Strong two handed bakchand and weak one handed forehand. Niculescu does sometimes hit topspin forehands, but overall it is too weak a shot to be used effectively in rallies and her slice forehand is just much more effective. She's learnt to do things with her slice forehand that most other players wouldn't think to do.

Likewise with Hsieh, her game developed from not being able to create enough power with a one handed forehand. So instead, she actually uses a two handed backhand off both sides. This allows her to basically hit shots no one else can and no one else would think of. I think using two hands, she's learnt to put an unusual amount of spin on her slice shots.

I'm sure both Niculescu and Hsieh had a lot of doubters growing up, both to their face and behind their backs, saying they could never make it pro with their style. Then when they turned pro, there's probably still be those saying they could never be successful etc. But that is one of the things that is so great about tennis, that people can be successful using such vastly different playing styles. Unfortunately, I think the junior circuit largely discourages or prevents these more unique players from finding success.
 

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“I love it how I play and I like to be unique, and I think my slice forehand is a weapon”. Niculescu
yep that is the main thing, she is enjoying the way she plays.

On Wikipedia it says she won 11 straight finals on ITF as a junior before 18. That has to be quite motivating for her.
 

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My doubles partner back in high school was a really good player, but every time he got nervous, he would break down on the forehand side and just start chopping and slicing because it was easier to get the ball in that way.

Clearly no one would make the slice forehand their default if they had a choice. Monica's slice forehand was born out of desperation because she couldn't hit a reliable topspin forehand.
 

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Niculescu without her slicing forehand wouldn't have been TOP 200, let alone TOP 100 and higher. This shot is really her weapon (alongside with mix of "normal", strong backhand) and drives many players nuts. Why could she abandon the way she plays it if it most often works and she likes it?
 

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She dealed with a lot of injuries, normally a Niculescu without injuries is a proven top 40 without discussion. She's a great athlete, would have been a constant top 20-top 25 without injuries and of course with a normal style. She can also hit very flat and well. It must have been her coach...

Clearly no one would make the slice forehand their default if they had a choice. Monica's slice forehand was born out of desperation because she couldn't hit a reliable topspin forehand.
Not at all, she just thought it's better. She can hit flat.

On Wikipedia it says she won 11 straight finals on ITF as a junior before 18. That has to be quite motivating for her.
I read that she didn't have those slices at that age.
 

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I want to hear Fabrice Santoro's thoughts on Niculescu.

Niculescu's backhand, by the way, is a clean crisp shot, she hits and pure and true, talented.
 

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TF's Only Vögele Stan
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^ thank you. I giggled with delight all the way through that.

The most entertaining player currently playing, by a mile.
 

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You are not likeable,but I like you
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My doubles partner back in high school was a really good player, but every time he got nervous, He would break down on the forehand side and just start chopping and slicing because it was easier to get the ball in that way.

Clearly no one would make the slice forehand their default if they had a choice. Monica's slice forehand was born out of desperation because she couldn't hit a reliable topspin forehand.
I did the same way:D
 

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TF's Only Vögele Stan
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And if you want to see Monica play a conventional forehand drive passing shot, skip to 3:28.
 
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