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She's flying under the radar (!) and seems very stable but we'll have to wait and see what happens when she faces in-form "top" players in the later stages of a Grand Slam. She's the favourite to win Wimbledon, though.

She won't draw in too many new fans but the number one ranking could regain some credibility with her.
 

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Maybe we forget, but there actually have been some pretty consistent number ones in the WTA before so Barty will have her work cut out for her.
 

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She will lose matches, especially if opponents are playing great.

However her game form will not drop.
I have watched Ash for many years and never seen her regress.
 

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She is still nowhere near the standard of many legends of the game, but she has some similarities...

Players who have won RG and their next event on British grass:

Ashleigh Barty
Serena Williams
Justine Henin
Stefanie Graf
Martina Navratilova,
Chris Evert
Margaret Court
Justine was Den Bosch, I think technically. So grass but not British grass.
 

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I say yes because she seems so mentally stable. Nothing really bothers her and she’s not prone to outbursts. She can keep her emotions in check, which is a huge strength. She also carries a manly kind of confidence and coolness about her, which none of the other female players have
Yep, she’s very well spoken and will command the respect of that now (more) that she has the weight of the rank behind her as well...

Also the longer she is able to stay at the top, the fewer tough players (theoretically) she will have to play to stay there, and with being consistent she will be able to make better use of that rank more that some others who have been number one in the past...
 

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I think she will keep a consistent level, and be mentally strong.

However I suspect she will have a pretty limited window of effectiveness to remain at the top of the rankings and contend for slams.

She is very tactically smart and technically consistent, but she is small and lacks weapons. Her biggest advantage is that she is a very, very bad matchup for all these flat-hitting power players. We’ve seen how she can still struggle against players like Mladanovic.

I wonder if she will end up a little Hingis-like in that regard (i.e. brief dominance followed by the game changing and not being able to adjust).

Not that Hingis was inconsistent! I imagine Ash would be very happy if she got anywhere near Martina’s career.
 

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I would love it. However, I need to see first, how will Ash cope with that new status especially against elite players. It's not like she can't beat TOP players of the game as she showed in Miami but still ... she did not face or beat TOP10 player from April Fed Cup. I'm curious ...
 

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Sometimes she gets back and arm injuries because of her serve, she doesn't have the height to bluff through aces. The pressure of being number is also a bit different, she won't only run to the courts to practice, there are PR events, and whatever her agent has up his sleeve. Surely she won't end up with only Vegemite and Fila. I also want her to take on Serena like she did Sharapova.
Sharapova was barely playing at 60% of her power and her serve was getting weaker and weaker by the end of that match. Seriously. Check that match again. Barty played great but Sharapova was not even close to the level she was playing at in set one or the previous matches...she was playing really weird.
 

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Sometimes she gets back and arm injuries because of her serve, she doesn't have the height to bluff through aces. The pressure of being number is also a bit different, she won't only run to the courts to practice, there are PR events, and whatever her agent has up his sleeve. Surely she won't end up with only Vegemite and Fila. I also want her to take on Serena like she did Sharapova.
Sharapova was barely playing at 60% of her power and her serve was getting weaker and weaker by the end of that match. Seriously. Check that match again. Barty played great but Sharapova was not even close to the level she was playing at in set one or the previous matches...she was playing really weird.
Just rewatched the highlights and Maria just got outplayed. She was hitting the ball fine. Couldn’t handle Ash’s heavy forehands 🙂
 

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Barty has the potential to be a great number one because a win over her may actually mean something.

Kerber, Halep, and Osaka all froze under the spotlight.

Muguruza and Pliskova held the top spot too briefly to be in the conversation.
 

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Barty has the potential to be a great number one because a win over her may actually mean something.



Kerber, Halep, and Osaka all froze under the spotlight.



Muguruza and Pliskova held the top spot too briefly to be in the conversation.

I don’t think Halep was actually crushed by the pressure like Kerber and Osaka. Halep really seemed to enjoy being number one, but wasn’t willing to continue with the mental and physical commitment required to keep it.

I think the difference is that Halep was expected to do it and hadn’t so the pressure of NOT doing was worse than when she actually achieved it. It was more of a relief when she did it. Also she wasn’t new to the spotlight.

Kerber and Osaka came out of nowhere and looked like deer in headlights after achieving it. Osaka needs to learn to say no to some media/promotion stuff and get back to focusing on her tennis which I’m confident she will do.




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I don’t think Halep was actually crushed by the pressure like Kerber and Osaka. Halep really seemed to enjoy being number one, but wasn’t willing to continue with the mental and physical commitment required to keep it.

I think the difference is that Halep was expected to do it and hadn’t so the pressure of NOT doing was worse than when she actually achieved it. It was more of a relief when she did it. Also she wasn’t new to the spotlight.
I'll add in, Halep enjoyed being #1, but she also was redlining her game and body to win at that level. Halep played (and plays) many, many more matches where she has to be absolutely on her game to win than a lot of other players. Not a criticism, as I greatly enjoyed Halep's aggressive counterpunching style, but you got the sense she could never take a break.

Kerber and Osaka came out of nowhere and looked like deer in headlights after achieving it. Osaka needs to learn to say no to some media/promotion stuff and get back to focusing on her tennis which I’m confident she will do.
I'm not 100% sure Osaka will turn down some of the promotional stuff. Her success as a family bread winner reminds me, frankly, of Kournikova, who famously said something along the lines of "what, I'm supposed to say no to free money?"

For all Osaka's strengths, I'm not confident she loves the work required to be a great tennis player, and her strengths aren't such that she can slack off. Her serve is excellent, but she doesn't place it as consistently well as other great servers, and she seems less focused on her service games than other great servers. Those aren't things you can easily snap out of, they require discipline to maintain.

I don't doubt that the primary reason Osaka ditched Bajin was because of his claiming too much credit for her success, but it does strike me as interesting that the reason she gave was about happiness. The subtext is that the work he put her through, which resulted in success at the highest level, wasn't worth it. That doesn't sound like someone who has the kind of hunger to turn down easy money (i.e. sponsorships) as a trade-off for focusing on tennis.

I could be wrong. I'd be glad to be wrong. But it's somewhat up to her to prove it.
 

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Osaka came out of nowhere and looked like deer in headlights after achieving it. Osaka needs to learn to say no to some media/promotion stuff and get back to focusing on her tennis which I’m confident she will do.
I really can't blame naomi with the amount of endorsements she has got, it is very hard to refuse the money. The lifestyle everyone dreams of. But she has big goals and has won 2 slams of last 3. So i will cut her slack right now. She is 21. Enough time to bounce back:)
But i hope she takes the exclusive high paying endorsements over unlimited amount of endorsements, so it won't distract her from her goals of achieving the amount of slams she wishes for. Hardwork is necessary and i know her game is suitable for winning majors when she is on. So i am sure she will figure her out and will come out of her slump. Her clay season overall was better than last years one which is a good thing. Barty is good but the way people are hyping her is like she is second coming of jesus. No offense but her rg draw opened up big time and she did great job of that opportunity. This forum writes everyone off. I mean girl is holding 2 slams and they are already writing her off. I will never doubt naomi at all
 

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If Ash was more clutch and improved her BH, she could be no1 for a long time. Her style of play is not that demanding for her body, because she uses more technique, not only raw power. Also she exposes lack of variety of a lot of players, so it will help her too. But I think there is too big competition to stay in this position for a long time: there is Osaka, Andreescu, maybe someone new will come. Still Ash impressed me this year with her consistency, especially after winning her maiden slam, she managed it well.
 

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It depends what this question means exactly:

- Will she be consistently at #1 for a long long time?
I doubt it, theres a diverse field who are all great players. Probably consistent Top 10.

- Will she be consistently playing at this level for a long long time?
Yes, ignoring injuries. Ash is perhaps the most consistent player in the tour, and I don’t mean on not hitting errors, but consistency in her level. Throughout her career she’s never had dips in form. Ofcourse a big factor to that is her strong technique fundamentals, all court game and professional attitude.
 

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Yes, but now she's meant to beat EVERYONE.
This was from a while ago, and I take your point in that the #1 is, in theory, the favorite in every match.

But, more to the point, Barty simply doesn't lose to players who aren't already at least somewhat dangerous.

The only loss this season that was a genuine surprise to me was the Wang/Qiang loss, and that may be a case of me underrating Wang/Qiang than anything else.

Really, dating back quite a ways, she doesn't suffer shock losses to absolute shockers. She hasn't had a loss on par with Muguruza-Muchova or Pliskova-Sasnovich or any of those big recent-breakthrough losses to lower ranked players.

Riske on grass is disappointing but not embarrassing. Mladenovic on clay is disappointing but not embarrassing. Kenin generally is disappointing but not embarrassing. In general, unless you think in advance, "this might be a tough match", Barty wins it.

That right there is a level of consistency we haven't seen in a long time among challengers for the top.

- Will she be consistently playing at this level for a long long time?
Yes, ignoring injuries. Ash is perhaps the most consistent player in the tour, and I don’t mean on not hitting errors, but consistency in her level. Throughout her career she’s never had dips in form. Ofcourse a big factor to that is her strong technique fundamentals, all court game and professional attitude.
That right there is a huge thing: her serve dips for X number of games, but she recovers always. She hasn't gotten the yips, she hasn't lost the court, she hasn't done anything really to demonstrate the kind of loss of form that some players go through.

On top of that, she doesn't seem to be redlining her body to achieve these results.

The other thing I'll say, this was really her first season playing an exclusively elite season.

2017, she was still playing qualies some events, and played a fair number of Int'l events (Kuala Lumpur, Strasbourg, Nottingham)

2018, she was playing mostly Premiers but also Nottingham (won it) and Strasbourg (SF, ret.), but also a few Premiers that didn't really make a ton of sense if she was expecting to be winning big titles (Charleston, Tokyo)

This season she was still scheduled at Strasbourg and Nottingham (withdrew, justifiably) but cut out a lot of the excess events.

She played Sydney-Australian Open, Indian Wells-Miami, Madrid-Rome-French Open, Birmingham-Wimbledon, Canada-Cincinnati-US Open, and Wuhan-Beijing-YEC. That's a VERY spare calendar, and she only lost early at....Canada, Rome, and Indian Wells, and even at Indian Wells she won a pair of matches.

If she maintains a schedule like that, it's hard to see how she picks up points if she stumbles, but at the same time she's only losing early(-ish) on the first tournament of a given season: Indian Wells first tournament after the Australian season, Rome the first tournament of the European season, Canada the first tournament of the American season....

It's just a really well balanced calendar without much 'flab' to it, and I can imagine her performing even more impressively next year by, for example, having a better appreciation of the early matches at Indian Wells/Rome/Canada.
 
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