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Andreescu occasionally throws in a moonball like Seles, more as a tactic than just desperation. She used it well against Angie in the IW final. Quoting a post from the TF thread:

Tactically, her best play was undoubtedly her moonballs. It's no secret that moonballs (especially to her backhand) are the best way to beat Angie - she can't hit a deep and heavy topspin moonball back of them. She just gets it all wrong and floats it back flat and short, ready to be pounced away.

I know TF experts see moonballing as a weakness, but it's a very underrated tactic and this match should prove it. Of course you have to be versatile enough with the rest of your game in order to take advantage of it (hence Sai Sai's lack of success with it), but in the right moments it can be devastating.

Andreescu's aggression was great, but that alone wouldn't have got this match done. It was her readiness to do unconventional stuff like moonball (and to a lesser extent, drop shot) that sets her apart from most other young players.

I can already see the insane hype she's going to get now, and I don't think it's unwarranted, but it might stunt her progress a bit. She's got all the potential to win slams, but I think a lot of her success up till now has been because nobody has studied her game properly. It will be interesting to see what happens now when players like Kerber, Svitolina and others do their homework on her. She's now on everybody's radar and she's gonna need to be prepared for that.

Overall, a disappointing missed opportunity for Angie but a stunning win for an exciting and versatile young player. It's hard to be too upset as an Angie fan since reaching the final on this surface has always seemed like a hilarious joke just a week ago, so hopefully she can use this result to get some momentum moving forwards. And let's hope Bianca improves her fitness too :grin2:
 

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Young Seles (here she was just a kid) could be a moonballing walking nightmare, especially on the FH side, which was still weird and much worse than her BH, the wing she hit the winners with. In a couple of years her FH was much flatter and as lethal and devastating as her BH. It was an amazing transformation.

 

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Young Seles (here she was just a kid) could be a moonballing walking nightmare, especially on the FH side wich was still weird and much worse than her BH, the wing she hit the winners with. In a couple of years her FH was much flatter and as lethal and devastating as her BH. It was an amazing transformation.

Couldn’t agree more. Even the difference from 1989 Seles here to 1990 is astounding, but by 91 she was pretty much unstoppable already. She went 74-6 during that season and undefeated in slam matches as she withdrew from Wimbledon.

I won’t go on about it because the what ifs with Monica have been done to death for decades, but she truly was improving year on year. By 93 at just 19 years old with 8 majors in tow already, her serve had come on leaps and bounds, and combined with her pinpoint, lethally aggressive groundies and then solid fitness (plus her mental strength which was at the time unparalleled) she was owning the tour.
 

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Strategical moonballing is fine. Regular moonballing is second division.
 

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Its not an easy shot to hit well. If its long, you lose the point. If its short, you set up your opponent.
Similar to a drop shot. If its short you lose the point. If your drop shot is long your opponent gets to it with time, so it has to be done very well
 
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Actually very young Monica was already showing her main asset: fighting with all she has. When she wasn't yet ready (technically or physically) to attack the ball as she would later, she was already giving Evert a run for her money, with amazing consistency, and not hesitating to rely on any shot alive to try to find a way to win. Her early moonballing showed how smart she was. She displayed lot of ideas, and I'm sure Chris noticed!
 

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Andreescu occasionally throws in a moonball like Seles, more as a tactic than just desperation. She used it well against Angie in the IW final. Quoting a post from the TF thread:
I remember that, and when she was asked about it was rather pointed in shutting down the idea she is hitting moonballs:

“It’s not moon-balling, it’s just hitting heavy to her backhand with more spin. We’re not under-12 here."


Which is interesting. Because it denies the press the opportunity to label her a pusher, which she isn't. But imagine Wozniacki saying "it's not pushing, it's defensive play from an athlete at the highest level this tour has ever seen" and reframing that narrative.

There's a lot to like about Andreescu, and that's definitely a part of it: she's hyper-intentional in everything she's doing, be it on court or off. So rare to see someone that young emerge almost fully-formed like that.

Hope she can get and stay healthy. A tour with her, Osaka, and Barty meeting near-constantly would be a huge boost to women's tennis. Maybe throw in a European or two to help that market.
 

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I remember that, and when she was asked about it was rather pointed in shutting down the idea she is hitting moonballs:

“It’s not moon-balling, it’s just hitting heavy to her backhand with more spin. We’re not under-12 here."


Which is interesting. Because it denies the press the opportunity to label her a pusher, which she isn't. But imagine Wozniacki saying "it's not pushing, it's defensive play from an athlete at the highest level this tour has ever seen" and reframing that narrative.

There's a lot to like about Andreescu, and that's definitely a part of it: she's hyper-intentional in everything she's doing, be it on court or off. So rare to see someone that young emerge almost fully-formed like that.

Hope she can get and stay healthy. A tour with her, Osaka, and Barty meeting near-constantly would be a huge boost to women's tennis. Maybe throw in a European or two to help that market.
😭

Screaming and crying. The way EVERYONE knows this is the gameplan to beat Kerber. Really can't remember who it was or where I read it but there was a player or coach who used Andreescu's words verbatim in the press when it came to how to specifically deal with Kerber.
 

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Couldn’t agree more. Even the difference from 1989 Seles here to 1990 is astounding, but by 91 she was pretty much unstoppable already. She went 74-6 during that season and undefeated in slam matches as she withdrew from Wimbledon.

I won’t go on about it because the what ifs with Monica have been done to death for decades, but she truly was improving year on year. By 93 at just 19 years old with 8 majors in tow already, her serve had come on leaps and bounds, and combined with her pinpoint, lethally aggressive groundies and then solid fitness (plus her mental strength which was at the time unparalleled) she was owning the tour.
That's an amazing stat. and winning 7 out of the last 9 GS played before the stabbing, and the only ones she didn't win, in one she withdrew, as you say, and in the other, Wimbledon 92, she was clearly affected by the nasty and sore loser comments from Navratilova and Tauziat, and the following media outcry, about her grunting, and she massively underperformed in the final, losing to Graf quite easily. She was a ruthless competitor and was gradually improving her serve and fitness. There were almost no holes in her game to be exploited, and if there were they were almost meaningless because she put such relentless pressure with the power and accuracy in her groundstrokes she gave her opponents almost no chance. All that and her ability to always play near her peak level, which was one of the things I loved about her, would have won her at least 10 more GS imo (my contribution to the what ifs regarding Seles :geek:)
 

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It should be noted also that at the time of the match with Evert in Houston in April '89, Seles was 5'4'', I'm pretty sure she was 5'11'' by early 1991 and was already 5'8''-5'9'' by 1990.
 

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Weren't you a fan of La Borz?
Wozniacki has rarely been moonballing. And no need to come back with that famous exchange with Kerber (that was started by Angie by the way) as you won't find much of them to prove otherwise.
 

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That's an amazing stat. and winning 7 out of the last 9 GS played before the stabbing, and the only ones she didn't win, in one she withdrew, as you say, and in the other, Wimbledon 92, she was clearly affected by the nasty and sore loser comments from Navratilova and Tauziat, and the following media outcry, about her grunting, and she massively underperformed in the final, losing to Graf quite easily. She was a ruthless competitor and was gradually improving her serve and fitness. There were almost no holes in her game to be exploited, and if there were they were almost meaningless because she put such relentless pressure with the power and accuracy in her groundstrokes she gave her opponents almost no chance. All that and her ability to always play near her peak level, which was one of the things I loved about her, would have won her at least 10 more GS imo (my contribution to the what ifs regarding Seles :geek:)
I go back and forth on Seles re: that Wimbledon final, because I do think she tried to restrain the grunting, but I also think that was kind of a sign of weakness: she cared what people thought, and it cost her the chance to be her best in that final. Compare that to Graf, who didn't give a f*** what anyone thought of her, ever. But at the same time, while I think she gave herself a lesser chance in that final by trying not to grunt, I also don't think she had any chance against Graf on that surface. The way both of her two-handers responded to slice shots on a fast surface was just not going to cut it against Graf's backhand, and both her serve and return were blunted on the surface, the serve by not being as strong and flat as the top servers in the game and the return because the ball knifed further and flatter away from her than on clay and hardcourts.

It somewhat holds up given her results post-stabbing: she was the undisputed #1 on clay and hardcourts before hand, and remained top 5 on both surfaces through ~2002, but she was top 5 at her best on grass before hand and barely top 10 on the surface thereafter.

There are so many what-ifs I have regarding Seles, but one big one is whether she would have adapted her game to succeed further on grass in the 90s had her career not been stunted by the stabbing, and if so, would it have damaged her future record on hardcourts and clay.

Unquestionably Monica Seles is the single biggest what-if in the history of tennis, and arguably in the history of any sport.
 

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Sanchez, Errani, Saisai are temporary moonballers coming to mind, yet the first two, to the least, could be seen as especially smart players. I admit that with Errani, it was irritating and interesting at once. Certainly wouldn't blame her for fighting with her own assets anyway. Proved that even with a small size and barely any weapon, you could still be a treat in the power tennis era (especially on clay in her case).
 

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Gosh, I really wish there was footage of Michelle Torres playing back in the day. I know she was shown in a match on CBS in 1988 playing against Evert at the U.S. Open, seriously, she makes ASV look like Davenport.
 

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Aranxta was the queen of this, good examples of her moonballing include the 95 RG SF against Date and the 98 SF against Davenport
 

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Playing tennis against players who can actually play i tried playing
Defensive heavy spin, i used to be able to do it easy.... now i cannot. Need to find touch in my hands again. It is a good skill to have but it shouldnt allow someone to get to the top of the rankings.
 

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Discussion Starter #99
Wozniacki has rarely been moonballing. And no need to come back with that famous exchange with Kerber (that was started by Angie by the way) as you won't find much of them to prove otherwise.

It was started by Caroline.
 

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@WilliamsOhanian you make an interesting point re the 92 Wimbledon final. My take on it is this - while not grunting definitely hampered her play out there, because there's no way '92 Seles was getting drubbed like that on any surface, I don't think at that point she was beating Graf on grass regardless. That said, I do think it would've at least been a competitive match as by 92 already, she emerged as being very capable on a grass court, particularly with the win over Martina in the semifinals which @Cindy and Kate mentioned, which is such an underrated match in women's tennis history.

While Navratilova was past her prime by 1992 (by a long way, her true peak was for me 81-86, by 87 she was into her thirties and only took advantage of the second half of her twenties to get in great physical shape, rather than doing so earlier, which in hindsight means she could've started dominating even earlier, but I digress), she was still playing at a top 3 level on grass without question, and top 5 overall in the big events. She had scaled down the events she was playing at that point as a 35(!) year old, but particularly at Wimbledon was still a contender, having won it 2 years before in 1990. Monica played a hell of a match to win and had she recreated that kind of tennis in the final, there's no doubt we would've seen at the very least a 4 and 4 match if not actually better. As for what Monica would've done if not for the horrific 1993 event, I don't think she would've changed her game much at all, she would've made minor adjustments to the grass and her vastly improved serve by the spring of 1993 would've ensured she was a contender at Wimbledon for years to come. Remember, in 1994 a 37 (and nearly 38 for god's sake!), ancient Martina managed to find her way to the final and almost took the trophy home with her (prior to Serena, Martina was always my GOAT for her insane longevity alone which back then was almost unheard of), losing out to Martinez who took a lengthy break prior to the final set, broke Martina's momentum at the time and the rest is history. In 94 Graf was not in good form after a back injury sustained months before, and she lost in the first round. You would have to think a then 21, almost 22 year old Seles just getting better and better, could easily have won through that messy draw. Sigh, it's all what ifs. But it is interesting to play it out in your head. 😅 On one last point, I was recently watching Davenport-Seles from the 2000 WB QF, and Seles could've taken that match in 2. Even then, post stabbing, not in good shape, she was still a force on any surface when playing well and you would have to believe that she would've taken out Dokic in the semis, leading her to another Wimbledon final after all those years - though she would've been absolutely obliterated by prime Venus.
 
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