Tennis Forum banner
541 - 560 of 612 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
416 Posts
I commented on this in the General Messages board before I saw your posts here. Personally I think changing technique at this late stage of the development part of Iga's career is very risky. The technique will be 'baked' into her nervous system. Instead I would concentrate on improving what is there i.e. improve reproducibility and work on variety (as @guitarra suggested), accuracy, and disguise. Much better to build on what is there than go re-tooling, especially since her second serve stats are so good.
Djokovic change his serve at some point in his career, it's not as explosive as it used to be, but it's more consistent and accurate. And that was at the same stage in his career as Iga is right now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
198 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
416 Posts
He has changed his serve a few times, mainly to try to minimise problems with his elbow, but the changes have come with problems
So it it is risky.
I just used him as an example. I think he also changed his service delivery earlier, like around 2008/10
But with Iga she HAS a definite flaw in her service motion, she doesn't really have to change her service, just fix that motion pointed out in her last match.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
198 Posts
Iga at the YEC

Some of us said that Iga going to the YEC would be an interesting and valuable experience, and it was.

It started with lots of interesting photo opportunities and interviews, then came the matches with an incredibly nervous first match ending with a sort of meltdown. Then there was a regrouping for a much better second match, and finally a much calmer final match which ended up with someone much happier and at peace with the world.

And all that was just me as a spectator/fan :) !

Overall I think my summary is a combination of

Shakespeare - All's Well that End''s Well

and Chumbawumba



:):)

Overall I was happy with Iga's performance. To put it into context Nadal, another (very great) clay player has never won the ATP equivalent, and his overall record is 16-20. The reason is simple - the YEC is always played on HC. We know that Iga's best surface is clay, so to expect that she would suddenly become a hard court titan was totally unrealistic. Also she wasn't playing just any WTA players, she was playing the most in-form recently and over the year.

I think the first match especially was a perfect storm in that she came into it not having played for several weeks, so was match-rusty. That was always a risk with her choice to stay in Phoenix. She started against Sakkari as if her game and touch had totally deserted her, and it looks like her PMS meant she couldn't deal with it as well as she would have liked. I really sympathised with her in that match because I have had games where your touch completely deserts you, and it feels horrible.

However....she regrouped, didn't run away, didn't just try to bash her way out of the next match against Sabalenka and I felt played pretty well. There was only that final break of serve between them. The altitude meant that all players were having problems, so Iga wasn't worse than most of the others. And finally she got a win against Badosa which she said herself left her in a much better attitude for the start of next season.

And she got 500 points, which is not to be sneezed at.

So overall I would say it was a very positive experience. She now understands what is involved in the YEC, exactly where she needs to improve on HC, and she has once again shown how resilient she can be after a bad loss. That last is important for her career. You can't always play your best, but you can respond well to losses. I feel confident in Iga's ability to ride the setbacks she will inevitably experience in her career.

And winning only one match leaves her lots of scope to improve next time!

Some other thoughts, based on various posts about Iga in Guadalajara, and the event in general:-

General Messages - continue to be incredible in some of the depth of ignorance some posters have about tennis and what players have to do. Some of the posters seem to think that every match should be close, with both players at the top of their form. That happens once in a blue moon.

Analysing her opponents and watching their matches - if I was Iga I would tell my coach "I am a multimillionaire. You are my employee. I am employing you to make me play better and make my life easier. So...you analyse my opponents because I want a life apart from tennis. I don't want to spend my life playing and then watching. Your job is to do the analysis, my job is to put what we discuss into action on court. That is all."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,056 Posts
Iga at the YEC

Some of us said that Iga going to the YEC would be an interesting and valuable experience, and it was.

It started with lots of interesting photo opportunities and interviews, then came the matches with an incredibly nervous first match ending with a sort of meltdown. Then there was a regrouping for a much better second match, and finally a much calmer final match which ended up with someone much happier and at peace with the world.

And that was just me as a spectator/fan :) !

Overall I think my summary is a combination of

Shakespeare - All's Well that End''s Well

and Chumbawumba



:):)

Overall I was happy with Iga's performance. To put it into context Nadal, another (very great) clay player has never won the ATP equivalent, and his overall record is 16-20. The reason is simple - the YEC is always played on HC. We know that Iga's best surface is clay, so to expect that she would suddenly become a hard court titan was totally unrealistic. Also she wasn't playing just any WTA players, she was playing the most in-form recently and over the year.

I think the first match especially was a perfect storm in that she came into it not having played for several weeks, so was match-rusty. That was always a risk with her choice to stay in Phoenix. She started against Sakkari as if her game and touch had totally deserted her, and it looks like her PMS meant she couldn't deal with it as well as she would have liked. I really sympathised with her in that match because I have had games where your touch completely deserts you, and it feels horrible.

However....she regrouped, didn't run away, didn't just try to bash her way out of the next match against Sabalenka and I felt played pretty well. There was only that final break of serve between them. The altitude meant that all players were having problems, so Iga wasn't worse than most of the others. And finally she got a win against Badosa which she said herself left her in a much better attitude for the start of next season.

And she got 500 points, which is not to be sneezed at.

So overall I would say it was a very positive experience. She now understands what is involved in the YEC, exactly where she needs to improve on HC, and she has once again shown how resilient she can be after a bad loss. That last is important for her career. You can't always play your best, but you can respond well to losses. I feel confident in Iga's ability to ride the setbacks she will inevitably experience in her career.

And winning only one match leaves her lots of scope to improve next time!

Some other thoughts, based on various posts about Iga in Guadalajara, and the event in general:-

General Messages - continue to be incredible in some of the depth of ignorance some posters have about tennis and what players have to do. Some of the posters seem to think that every match should be close, with both players at the top of their form. That happens once in a blue moon.

Analysing her opponents and watching their matches - if I was Iga I would tell my coach "I am a multimillionaire. You are my employee. I am employing you to make me play better and make my life easier. So...you analyse my opponents because I want a life apart from tennis. I don't want to spend my life playing and then watching. Your job is to do the analysis, my job is to put what we discuss into action on court. That is all."
You were in Mexico?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,082 Posts
Analysing her opponents and watching their matches - if I was Iga I would tell my coach "I am a multimillionaire. You are my employee. I am employing you to make me play better and make my life easier. So...you analyse my opponents because I want a life apart from tennis. I don't want to spend my life playing and then watching. Your job is to do the analysis, my job is to put what we discuss into action on court. That is all."
Well said.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
198 Posts
I just used him as an example. I think he also changed his service delivery earlier, like around 2008/10
But with Iga she HAS a definite flaw in her service motion, she doesn't really have to change her service, just fix that motion pointed out in her last match.
To be honest watching her serve I really don't see a flaw. I see a sort of hitch, but that can only be a flaw if it prevents something important in her serve i.e. prevents
  • reproducibility
  • accuracy
  • disguise
  • variety (eg slice. We know it doesn't prevent a kicker serve)

As I have said before, I am a bit sceptical about coaches talking about technique. I think there is always a lot of group think about what is the 'correct' technique, and of course for coaches to say 'there is a correct way to do that, and for $$$ I can coach you' - well, they would say that wouldn't they :).

I so often see coaches trying to teach 'correct' technique, without regard to the mentality or even physical limitations of a player. Two examples from ATG's I always remember are Borg with his backhand, which when it appeared was decried by almost all coaches as wrong and unreliable, and McEnroe with his serve and backhand. And yet they worked.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,059 Posts
It's not the only thing they think, it's just in a conclusion they say (what I quoted from their description) that when diagnosed and treated it's not very problematic. And Mayo Clinic is not just a clinic, it's a leading health research institution in US. I'm sure you checked them out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mayo_Clinic
I'm well aware of the Mayo Clinic and their reputation. I'm just surprised that they would think Tourette's as a whole is something that can be deemed as "not very problematic," even with treatment. The physical side, perhaps, but the bad language is a different matter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
416 Posts
To be honest watching her serve I really don't see a flaw. I see a sort of hitch, but that can only be a flaw if it prevents something important in her serve i.e. prevents
  • reproducibility
  • accuracy
  • disguise
  • variety (eg slice. We know it doesn't prevent a kicker serve)
That mentioned glitch (her arms not going in sync) can influence her toss consistency, and as we know it, it translates to serve inconsistency/reproducibility and/or accuracy. Shouldn't be that difficult to fix it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
198 Posts
That mentioned glitch (her arms not going in sync) can influence her toss consistency, and as we know it, it translates to serve inconsistency/reproducibility and/or accuracy. Shouldn't be that difficult to fix it.
I agree in that what I would do is analyse what happens to her serve in a match and compare with what happens in practice. I assume in practice she probably serves beautifully. Find out what she does different when she is tense and then work on making her a) aware of what she is doing and b) have strategies for her to use in a match to avoid any bad habits [ I remember reading that Rod Laver used to shorten his grip when serving for a match because even he got nervous - everyone does].

My own preference for two things to work on are not the serve but

1) move back to give herself time, especially against big hitters. When she is playing well her rallying shots are very deep, but when she is rushed they drop short. That happened in the Sakkari match and Sakkari was jumping all over the short returns. I was very pleased to hear Iga say that in the Badosa match she was working on moving back.

2) develop a better slice. The one she has is a bit of a nothing shot. Developing a slice with more bite and penetration will pay great dividends.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,082 Posts
My own preference for two things to work on are not the serve but

1) move back to give herself time, especially against big hitters. When she is playing well her rallying shots are very deep, but when she is rushed they drop short. That happened in the Sakkari match and Sakkari was jumping all over the short returns. I was very pleased to hear Iga say that in the Badosa match she was working on moving back.

2) develop a better slice. The one she has is a bit of a nothing shot. Developing a slice with more bite and penetration will pay great dividends.
I'd call it more generally "the defensive game".

It's actually not good enough at the moment and it's the primary reason why Iga struggles so much vs the big hitters like Muguruza/ Sabalenka/ etc.

Instead of developing a good defensive game (moving back wisely, deep well-angled redirecting topsin shots, deep and biting slices) she tries to counterpunch big hits from the opponents which often result in unnecessary and premature errors.

I think it's connected not only with the shots' technique itself but with how Iga runs/ anticipates and moves on court.

I agree that's priority number one.

Priority number two is probably the serve which we discussed a lot recently.

Priority number three IMO is adapting the FH to the hard court game.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,082 Posts
Iga is too close to the baseline thats why her defensive game is so weak... nothing new i've been saying it months ago already.
That's obvious but it's not just about "moving back", that would be trivialising.

With effective moving back comes the whole set of skills which should enable her neutralise the games of the likes of Muguruzas or Sabalenkas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
198 Posts
I'd call it more generally "the defensive game".

It's actually not good enough at the moment and it's the primary reason why Iga struggles so much vs the big hitters like Muguruza/ Sabalenka/ etc.

Instead of developing a good defensive game (moving back wisely, deep well-angled redirecting topsin shots, deep and biting slices) she tries to counterpunch big hits from the opponents which often result in unnecessary and premature errors.
Yes. She wants to always be aggressive, so tries to fight aggression with aggression. She is also impatient and wants to rush things. Much better to learn to be patient and wait for the right moments to counter-attack
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,059 Posts
She's been able to get away with her first serve percentage being rather average simply because she has the best second serve on tour. However, it means that she misses out on additional free points (extra aces and unreturnable serves, above and beyond those she already gets), where she could save some energy, because she has to rally on every other point.

All of her opponents, no matter their level, are getting more of those than she does. It may not matter so much when she's playing Miss 86 or Miss 133, who can be relied upon to make more unforced errors, but the margins when she plays Miss 4 or Miss 8 are an awful lot smaller, and she needs all the advantages that she can get.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,082 Posts
Iga will join Venus Williams, Martina Hingis, Simona Halep, Sloane Stephens as the biggest names in the Africa Cares Tennis Challenge 2021, to be played in Johannesburg on 18th/19th December.
I wonder if it's possible she will continue on to Australia to acclimatize.
Interesting but not sure if it's the best timing cause it could potentially mess up with her off-season preparation.

Like you said: maybe she plans to move to Australia straight after that? This could be a good idea IMO.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Armstrong2000
541 - 560 of 612 Posts
Top