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Look at the first video, and recognize that that's Monica Seles who shots are traveling that slowly.

1989
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcGfXThqzD8

1991
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wArqAh17Zo&mode=related&search=

Then fast forward to 2002

2002
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ysz2erOZXXI&mode=related&search=

Look at the difference in the speed the shots are traveling. The athletes just aren't that much physically stronger in ten years. But rackets changed quite a bit.
i spose, yeh racquets have changed, but the 2002 clip was YEC, and the camera angle makes the court look like 5 metres long :lol:
 

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Sabatini lover Forever
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Look at the first video, and recognize that that's Monica Seles who shots are traveling that slowly.

1989
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcGfXThqzD8

1991
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wArqAh17Zo&mode=related&search=

Then fast forward to 2002

2002
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ysz2erOZXXI&mode=related&search=

Look at the difference in the speed the shots are traveling. The athletes just aren't that much physically stronger in ten years. But rackets changed quite a bit.
Sorry Volcana but that 1989 clip vs Evert is quite a bad example, Evert made her oponnents get into her moonballing and slow game (sorry Evert Fans), you just have to "fast forward" to May 1989 and see 15 year old Monica Seles smack winners past Steffi Graf in the Roland Garros semifinal. I will post some of it later tonight.

1991 match Sabatini not a good example either again Gaby was not a hard hitter, you can choose for example the so called start of power hitting era Seles Capriati 1991 Usopen or even 1991 San Diego Final (which i will post in my thread in the next few days) and see how powerful and consistent they were.
 

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not at all. the human female population collectively became more talented when the williams sisters arrived, duh
 

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Sorry Volcana but that 1989 clip vs Evert is quite a bad example, Evert made her oponnents get into her moonballing and slow game (sorry Evert Fans), you just have to "fast forward" to May 1989 and see 15 year old Monica Seles smack winners past Steffi Graf in the Roland Garros semifinal.
Can't watch this clip because of computer problems, but I have their US Open match from a few months later on dvd, and whatever moonball exchanges there were - were instigated by Monica to break up Chris' rhythm, and not the other way around. Besides, Evert wasn't a moonballer to begin with. She might throw a couple in there every now and then, like everyone did in those days, but she usually hit the ball flat and hard, she loved pace.
 

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Can't watch this clip because of computer problems, but I have their US Open match from a few months later on dvd, and whatever moonball exchanges there were - were instigated by Monica to break up Chris' rhythm, and not the other way around. Besides, Evert wasn't a moonballer to begin with. She might throw a couple in there every now and then, like everyone did in those days, but she usually hit the ball flat and hard, she loved pace.
Well a legitimate moonballer ala Conchita Martinez, not really, but her game was not about hitting hard and flat balls, but more about precision, angles and great strategy.
The clip has the 1989 Houston final which Seles wins in three sets on clay. Fast forward to hard couts at the 1989 Usopen and see Evert mainly mixing up the pace way past Seles in the 4th round and not by that "hard and flat" balls that you mention.
 

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Well a legitimate moonballer ala Conchita Martinez, not really, but her game was not about hitting hard and flat balls, but more about precision, angles and great strategy.
The clip has the 1989 Houston final which Seles wins in three sets on clay. Fast forward to hard couts at the 1989 Usopen and see Evert mainly mixing up the pace way past Seles in the 4th round and not by that "hard and flat" balls that you mention.
Well, I obviously didn't mean to say that Evert was a hard hitter like Capriati or Sharapova, and of course her tennis was more about strategy and precision than power, but she was never a moonballer like Andrea Jaeger (or Conchita) and among the players of her generation she was considered as someone who hit the ball hard, although as you say, she mixed up the pace. Another, well, "myth" about Evert is that she never went to the net. It only seemed like that in comparison to her 70's contemporaries - most of whom were serve and volleyers, but if you look at some of her matches now, she actually went to the net more often than most baseliners do today.
 

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Racquets haven't changed to game that much, as players did... But if we are talking about wooden racquets, and these today, than they have changed it by milestones... ;)
Regardless of how accurate those examples are, there is no way you could hit the ball as hard as you can now with a wooden racket, or even with a racket from 30 years ago. I think new technologies have changed the game a lot, not for the worse but it has changed.
 

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I agree rackets have changed a lot. I got out the racket I used 15 years ago for fun. I could hit just as hard, but it punished the hell out of my arm and was much harder to control.

If you want to see how much the game has changed, just count the number of serve-and-volleyers left in the game.
 

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Well, I obviously didn't mean to say that Evert was a hard hitter like Capriati or Sharapova, and of course her tennis was more about strategy and precision than power, but she was never a moonballer like Andrea Jaeger (or Conchita) and among the players of her generation she was considered as someone who hit the ball hard, although as you say, she mixed up the pace. Another, well, "myth" about Evert is that she never went to the net. It only seemed like that in comparison to her 70's contemporaries - most of whom were serve and volleyers, but if you look at some of her matches now, she actually went to the net more often than most baseliners do today.
Acutally some of Evert´s greatest points i have seen from her have featured her with some amazing volleys.

Evert was then what Nadal is today on clay :worship:, she was a pain to play against because she would not miss a ball for games, and she was deadly with her passing shots, and very effective from any part of the court, and she would never let up.

But my conception of her game was not about her hitting the ball hard all the time or being a hard hitting player or agressive player that would end up rallies in few strokes.
 

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While those examples are a bit iffy for a few reasons-

(In 89 Seles was beginning her first year on tour, was the age of a high school freshman and herself was nowhere near as powerful as she'd become. Also, the court in Houston against Evert played as slow as red claycourts in the day. Monica wasn't strong enough in those days to overpower Chris throughout the match like she would have undoubtedly been able to do in 90.)
(2002 against Davenport was an indoor match against a much more powerful player).

Watch this, and it looks like little has changed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zv56KLi8hoQ

Anyway, I think it's obvious that back then you had to have more aggressive body position to have power on the ball-- Monica had to take the ball super early and throw her whole body into the ball for the power that you can get nowadays from a defensive position.

Monica late in her career shortened up her swings and got even more powerful with the ball. She was hurt because players who weren't as well coordinated with their hands and feet could match her power without the same aggression.
 

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Just glad Venus and Serena got rid of the oversized racquets finally!
 

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But my conception of her game was not about her hitting the ball hard all the time or being a hard hitting player or agressive player that would end up rallies in few strokes.
Well, it's all in the eye of the beholder, but I considered her an agressive baseliner in that she tried to construct each point in such a way that she would end up hitting a winner or force an error out of her opponent. This as opposed to a passive baseliner who just tries to get back as many balls as possible without any bad intentions of her own, but just hopes that her opponent will make an UE. As for power, that's all relative of course. I don't mean Serena-like power, but power considering the racquets of her day (for most of her career wood) and in comparison to other players of her generation. Overpowering an opponent with a couple of strokes per rally was virtually impossible with the racquets that Chris played with for most of her career.
 

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How much has racket technology changed the game?
New rackets technology have changed a lot - more powers in shots is reason for complete different games in woman tennis. Bad thing is that now you dont have WTA TOP player which will played 10 months without some injury problem and in past even #1 players like Navratilova, Evert, Graf... played 10 seasons in the row without any problem...
 

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racquets have changed, but you have a lot of players playing with the same racquet for 10 , sometimes "disguised" as new one. Pierce has been using the same racquet for years, as did steffi I believe. Roddick recently said in tennis magazine he's been using the same one for 8 years etc...
 

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Rackets have changed the games quite a lot, but many players today have pantjobs and actually play older rackets than the one's that are developed and sold. Rackets are designed for the aberage player more and more and not for pro's as much as before anymore.
 

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It's true of the paintjobs, but racquet customization has also helped as well as the crazy spins new strings allow. Also, players distribute the weight on their racquet differently (with lead tape or whatever).
 

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Can't watch this clip because of computer problems, but I have their US Open match from a few months later on dvd, and whatever moonball exchanges there were - were instigated by Monica to break up Chris' rhythm, and not the other way around. Besides, Evert wasn't a moonballer to begin with. She might throw a couple in there every now and then, like everyone did in those days, but she usually hit the ball flat and hard, she loved pace.
I watched Everts matches against shriver, navratilova, mandlikova, and goolagong, and Chris can return any ball be it fast, slow, spinny, flat, high bounce, no bounce, ugly, nice, pretty, any adjective you like, and what I noticed is that, the opponent of Chris was the one always trying to disrupt Evert's game because Evert always wove a web around the opponent the longer they played, thats why you see most of her opponents would either moonball or just come to the net to finish it off already of which Evert would easily do a passing shot or a lob. I did notice though that when Evert used her wooden racquet, she couldn't return overhead smashes that well, unlike Mandlikova and them, I guess its just reall hard to do it with a wooden racquet if you didn't really hit powerful.

In other case with the matches I watched of Evert, she usually moonballs only after the opponent does, just to irritate them I guess that their moonball turned into another moonball haha.

And about the net part, I only saw Evert go to the net when she was losing a set already, I think she was like Martina Hingis who enjoyed weaving their web from the baseline. But they both could go to the net formidably.

Just glad Venus and Serena got rid of the oversized racquets finally!
I really think the racquet technology has paved the way for so much change in the game since the first graphite racquets. Look at the size of the William sisters racquets when they were winning slams 2002 and on... they were huge, and I do remember that petition from hundreds of players asking for racquet limitation, requirements, standards, etc. which I think is difficult, but they do need to decide where they want this sport to go, sometimes the speed is so fast, how much faster are they willing to have it? I sometimes can't find that graceful like part of the game anymore, its like a football game sometimes, muscle against muscle.
 

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Sorry Volcana but that 1989 clip vs Evert is quite a bad example, Evert made her oponnents get into her moonballing and slow game (sorry Evert Fans), you just have to "fast forward" to May 1989 and see 15 year old Monica Seles smack winners past Steffi Graf in the Roland Garros semifinal. I will post some of it later tonight.

1991 match Sabatini not a good example either again Gaby was not a hard hitter, you can choose for example the so called start of power hitting era Seles Capriati 1991 Usopen or even 1991 San Diego Final (which i will post in my thread in the next few days) and see how powerful and consistent they were.
As promised
Here the start of power tennis era
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJ-32VbNOwA
 
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