Tennis Forum banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
653 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
First let me say that I like Monica Seles, and by no means should anyone take this thread as an opportunity to bash her. This is just an opportunity to express an opinion about her game.

But it occured to me while I was watching Seles play Hingis at the AO, just how one dimensional her game truly is; while she has a respectable serve, she just recently introduced the slice out wide to her game, but on most second serves its a spin into the middle of the box. But what really bothered me was all the opportunities Seles did not capitalize on to end points at the net. Monica was truly outhitting Hingis on both sides, but in particular on Hingis' backhand side. Hingis would repeatedly hit a floating slice backhand (very defensively) slowing down the pace and allowing herself to get back into position. Time after time Monica failed to come into the net and end the point, if she had done this she would have won that match against Martina. It's so blatenly apparent that Monica hates and refuses to come into the net and volley to end a point. Monica has to be the weakest volleyer in the top 10. If she is to recapture her glory of past, Mike Sell has to teach her to volley. This just hitting hard from side to side just won't cut it against the likes of Davenport, Venus and Serena and Martina. What Martina lacks in power she makes up for in strategy, anticipation and variety in her shot selection, which includes the willingness and ability to volley.

I know starting this controversial thread against such a popular player is going to garner a certain amount of backlash, I'm hoping people put their emotions aside for a moment and truly look at her game for what it is, while it is good, maybe even great, but in my opinion far from exceptional.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,997 Posts
That's a fair comment. But in her defence she does volley.
I've seen her volley, she's not the prettyest volleyer but she get's the job done and is pretty good.

It's so blatenly apparent that Monica hates and refuses to come into the net and volley to end a point

Although that is kinda true it's also not. I just dont think she consders volleying a part of her game. Also just because she doesnt volley doesnt mean her game is one dimensional.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,376 Posts
*ducking*


I can't disagree, Seles to me is about different shades of "harder". Period. What she does, what all great players are able to do, is use the court phenomenally. Find that one space that the opponent just isn't expecting.

It's a variety of sorts but hell, I know what you mean.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,402 Posts
I don't think Monica has a one-sided game even if she doesn't go to the net more often. There's a lot that can be done from the baseline.

Although I didn't see the match referred to in this thread, I'm surprised at how Monica's 2nd serve has been characterized. I saw her play several times last summer and she varied it up.

Also her return of serve was killer. I would hope that she did take advantage of Hingis serve during this match as she did last summer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
653 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Unfortunatedly Monica did not take advantage of Hingis' weak second serve, if fact if I remember correctly, Hingis won a high percentage of her second serve points and Seles return game was unremarkable at best. While Seles serve is not a liability like Hingis', it holds its own, but is not a weapon like Serena's, Venus' or Lindsays. And while it's true one can do alot from the base line, I think in today's game that alone won't get you over the hump.
 

·
Adrenaline junkie
Joined
·
23,053 Posts
Unfortunately it is somewhat true. In AO semifinal Hingis was retrieving powerful Monica's shots, giving her back floater after floater. If she were more of all-court player, she would at least try to cut some of them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,843 Posts
Good analysis. Seles' success is based around the fact that, although her game may be one-dimensional, she's phenomenally good at that dimension. And that's enough against most players, but it's the reason she hasn't won a Slam since '96.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,068 Posts
her return of serve was killer

Too true. ;) i saw her play serena in toronto SF, yeah she lost, but when she read serena's serve, bang, starght down the line in the basline corner.

but i kinda agree with the comments made here, monica needs a better volley, maybe make her a more 'fuller' player... but seems to be she does what she knows best, and from recent results, it does work.

ofcourse players like martina are always gunna trouble monica, they're good players.

so.... i agree\dissagree... i dunno! :eek: lol.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
27,114 Posts
I actually don't disagree, but it has to be said that it's a testament to her greatness what she has achieved and still continues to achieve with just one dimension.

Monica can volley, but it's exceptionally rare - she still uses both hands on most of her volleys as well which means that she has a very limited reach at the net indeed.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
25,428 Posts
Monica is hopeless at net (the worst volley I've ever seen in a top ten )-that's not going to change. Yet she can get around it because she usually pulverizes short balls. Her overhead is decent too.

The Aussie semi was not the regular Monica Seles we're used to seeing, so judging her by that is unfair.

No one has mentioned her angles. Off both sides she has the best wide angles, combined with power, that the game has ever seen. And when she was fit, Monica was as hard to beat as any of the #1's since. So, the "Monica has to volley" to win a slam argument doesn't convince me.

IMO it's fitness, pure and simple. During her glory days(1990-93) she wasn't in the best of shape(watch the old tapes and see how winded she gets)-but Monica was dictating play even vs. the likes of Graf and Sabatini. She could get away with it, and more to the point, she was thin.

But after the stabbing, Monica hasn't been within 80% of the conditioning she needs to be in. If she had the fitness level of Graf, Venus, or Capraiti, who knows how many slams she would have won after 1995. It's easier to change that than say, changing Hingis' serve, but for whatever reason Monica hasn't
dropped the extra pounds. The game is there, I just want to cry when I think of how much better it would be if she had a taskmaster to whip her into tip top form.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,295 Posts
No argument from me essentially, although I think the "all-court" game, as pretty as it can be, doesn't necessarily mean a lot in terms of winning nowadays. Most points are won and lost from the baseline (or because of serve), no matter who is playing.
But one point that must be made is that Monica is a shotmaker. She hits the ball hard, but usually doesn't win a point based on the pace of her shot. She wins based on how close she hits to the lines, her ability to change the direction of the ball, her extraordinary unorthodox wrist-snapping ability to find unbelievable angles. She does that better than the other top ladies.

I also think she has a ton of heart and fights for every point, and that's an extra dimension that's the most important of all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,254 Posts
I don't think she can add a ton of volley to her game after more than 10 years. I mean, her game is her game. If she's not comfortable after 10 years, it's not going to happen no matter whom she hires. Chris could have done a lot better at Wimbledon against Martina if she went to the net even a little, but a more mature player will not change her game. But I did see her play once in person, and she goes to the net more than more people think, though it was against Conchita, someone she pretty much owns. It was not pretty, but it was effective, Monica won most of the net points, and it was 2000, pre-French Open, so Conchita was playing pretty well at that point. She hit some great, hard, low-angled shots during that match which did set her up for net play, some of which she took. I think there are players who are much more one-dimensional that Monica.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25,215 Posts
I would agree that her game can be described as 'one-dimensional'. However, it's like calling Venus a 'part-time player'. It may be true, but when you're one of the five best players in the world, you can get away with stuff like that.

One comment about Monica's ability to hit angles. Other players negate it by hitting the ball deep. You can't hit a sharp angle on a ball within a foot of the baseline. Of course, most players can't keep the ball deep consistently, and Monica kills the short stuff. Which is why only three players have winning records against her since 2000.

Also, that one dimension won nine GS singles titles.

Sure, I'd like to see Monica get off the baseline. I'd like to see Venus, Serena and Martina get off the baseline too. And Amelie. And Lindsay. However, the entire top ten can hit sharp passing shots. Remember Venus charging the net at OZ '01 and Martina basically passing her at will? Or OZ '02, Martina drop-shotting Monica to force her in to net so she could lob over her?

One through ten, this may be the nastiest set of service return-ers the WTA has ever seen. All of them are suicide to come in behind a weak approach on. And Monica's been passing the foolishly intrepid longer and better than all of them.

One dimensional?

Sure. YOU try and beat her.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
600 Posts
if she had done this she would have won that match against Martina
:rolleyes:

I guess Martina's +20 winner:error ratio had nothing to do with it?

:fiery:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
600 Posts
Great point about the passing shots, Volcana. The top 10 all hit the ball hard, flat, and accurate, giving the other player very little to volley at the net. Of course, the exception being Martina, but she has picuture perfect lobs and accuracy.

I agree that for most of the women, passing shots > volleys.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,402 Posts
supremeross said:
Unfortunatedly Monica did not take advantage of Hingis' weak second serve, if fact if I remember correctly, Hingis won a high percentage of her second serve points and Seles return game was unremarkable at best. While Seles serve is not a liability like Hingis', it holds its own, but is not a weapon like Serena's, Venus' or Lindsays. And while it's true one can do alot from the base line, I think in today's game that alone won't get you over the hump.
That's too bad for Monica. I'm really surprised that Seles let those 2nd serves by.

I agree that Seles serve isn't as competitive as the other PowerBabes. But I disagree that you can't win from the baseline today. Lindsay lives there (well she hasn't won in a while, but she definitely can win).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
653 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
First, let me give props again to Monica. This thread was not started to bash or berate her or her game just to analyze her game, in particular against the top players. I was really pulling for Monica in her match against Martina and was so disheartened when she lost. Hopefully we will stop hearing the bleeding cry of "Martina can't play the heavy hitters" because she can when she uses the right strategy.

As far as Monica's game goes, she'll never be known as a volleyer, strickly a baseliner. While this worked great back in her prime '90-'93, other players have come along adopted her same type of game and improved upon it. I don't think Monica can change her game much at this point thus will never consistenely beat Venus, Serena, Lindsay or Martina. When was the last time Monica won a title by beating one of those four players? And unless and until someone else clears the field of these four players for Monica she will never win another Grand Slam title.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,300 Posts
I agree that Seles serve isn't as competitive as the other PowerBabes. But I disagree that you can't win from the baseline today. Lindsay lives there (well she hasn't won in a while, but she definitely can win).
Davenport wins from the baseline, cause Lindsay's baseline game, CHEWS up, and spits out Seles' baseline game, along with all the other players, with the exception of, the Williams sisters. Davenport can hit through her opponents, as if they don't exist. Davenport took "painting the lines", to a Whole Other Level. As big and bad folks claim Seles' return to be... Davenport's return game is totally merciless.

What do you think would have happened to Hingis, had that been Davenport, she's floating balls back to???

Game Davenport. Set Davenport. Match Davenport.

Seles was out there, hitting these penetrating shots, with Hingis scramblin' about, puffballing the ball back into play, and Seles wouldn't come in, and win those points.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,402 Posts
GrandSlammed said:
Davenport wins from the baseline, cause Lindsay's baseline game, CHEWS up, and spits out Seles' baseline game, along with all the other players, with the exception of, the Williams sisters. Davenport can hit through her opponents, as if they don't exist. Davenport took "painting the lines", to a Whole Other Level. As big and bad folks claim Seles' return to be... Davenport's return game is totally merciless.
True, the TOP is totally merciless. What do you think prevents Monica being like that? I mean, she has power and accuracy, too. I'm not a particular fan of Monica's but I gotta give her props. I think she'll win another slam (especially if opposite Hingis in the Final), and she'll win it Lindsay-style.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top