Poll

Who likes the changes at Wimby?

I like the faster combo better
I like the slower combo better
I like them both the same

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Online Babblelot

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Re: Who likes the changes at Wimby?
« Reply #40 on: July 08, 2008, 04:32:50 PM »
pawan,

What's a fast, grass surface? Newport, where Santoro is the defending champ? Queens, where Nadal is the defending champ and where 3x titlist Roddick now gets spanked? Since Wimby started tinkering with their "combo" prior to 2002, 4 of the years have seen aggressive players reach the semis and 3 of the years have seen defensive players reach the semis. Maybe the aggressive players need more variety to maintain an edge. Neither Roddick nor Blake have an iota of variety and that makes them vulnerable.

Marat showed much more variety v Federer than Federer could muster up in that match. And Marat was far more successful doing it. Federer proved superior dictating play from the baseline.

Stop making assumptions about what it must have been like in the '90s. You've missed the mark each time. I already said that Sampras was exceptional in that he S&V'd his way to the top from a young age. But he did so in an era dominated by baseliners.

Then there's the whole debate about player complicity...  :whistle:

aside: I've noticed you are prone to hyperbole; not exactly what I'd expect from a scientist.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2008, 09:34:48 AM by Babblelot »
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Offline dmastous

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Re: Who likes the changes at Wimby?
« Reply #41 on: July 08, 2008, 06:12:15 PM »
Let's be real. The 90's were about the transition from attacking to defending predominately. Sampras was not a serve/volley player towards the end of the decade. Sampras, Edberg, Becker, Cash, and finally Rafter were all prone to staying back and trying to work their way into the net by the end of the decade. By that time the change was complete. Sampras started out as a serve/volley player in the 80's and morphed with everyone else into a "all court" player. Sampras was an all court player in an era that baseliners were starting to get a stranglehold on the game.
Becker was a serve/volley player who loved the baseline. He spent years trying to prove he could duke it out with the best baseliners and had to be convinced that the only way he was going to succeed was at the net.
So you have to go back to the 80's and early 90's to find serve/volley tennis in it's prime.
During this time Wimbledon was still about the serve/volley game, but Agassi won it from the baseline in '92 so that was beginning to change too.

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Offline dmastous

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Re: Who likes the changes at Wimby?
« Reply #42 on: July 08, 2008, 07:29:33 PM »
Just thought I'd drag this little post from Pamqnx over to this here little discussion.









 :whistle:

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Online Babblelot

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Re: Who likes the changes at Wimby?
« Reply #43 on: July 08, 2008, 08:13:32 PM »
Nice, but what exactly is that showing? It looks like he used to hit a flatter serve but now starts from a different trajectory to get a higher kick... And what does 52/43 mph tell me? Is that the ball speed by the time it reaches the returner? Come on, now... 
« Last Edit: July 09, 2008, 02:52:01 PM by Babblelot »
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Online Babblelot

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Re: Who likes the changes at Wimby?
« Reply #44 on: July 08, 2008, 10:05:51 PM »
Let's be real. The 90's were about the transition from attacking to defending predominately. Sampras was not a serve/volley player towards the end of the decade. Sampras, Edberg, Becker, Cash, and finally Rafter were all prone to staying back and trying to work their way into the net by the end of the decade. By that time the change was complete. Sampras started out as a serve/volley player in the 80's and morphed with everyone else into a "all court" player. Sampras was an all court player in an era that baseliners were starting to get a stranglehold on the game.
Becker was a serve/volley player who loved the baseline. He spent years trying to prove he could duke it out with the best baseliners and had to be convinced that the only way he was going to succeed was at the net.
So you have to go back to the 80's and early 90's to find serve/volley tennis in it's prime.
During this time Wimbledon was still about the serve/volley game, but Agassi won it from the baseline in '92 so that was beginning to change too.

Not quite sure what point you're trying to make. Sampras, Edberg and Rafter, by anyone's definition (maybe not yours :dunno:  are S&Vers (period) Pete was old at the end of the decade. I'm sure he does much less S&Ving today in the Champions events. Or maybe you are just trying to say those guys had a hell of a lot more variety than today's players because they were committed to moving to the net.

Anyway, I've got some vintage Pat Rafter on tape. I will chart his approaches to net. What would you set the UNDER/OVER per match at?
« Last Edit: July 08, 2008, 10:09:43 PM by Babblelot »
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Offline dmastous

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Re: Who likes the changes at Wimby?
« Reply #45 on: July 08, 2008, 10:14:24 PM »
Let's be real. The 90's were about the transition from attacking to defending predominately. Sampras was not a serve/volley player towards the end of the decade. Sampras, Edberg, Becker, Cash, and finally Rafter were all prone to staying back and trying to work their way into the net by the end of the decade. By that time the change was complete. Sampras started out as a serve/volley player in the 80's and morphed with everyone else into a "all court" player. Sampras was an all court player in an era that baseliners were starting to get a stranglehold on the game.
Becker was a serve/volley player who loved the baseline. He spent years trying to prove he could duke it out with the best baseliners and had to be convinced that the only way he was going to succeed was at the net.
So you have to go back to the 80's and early 90's to find serve/volley tennis in it's prime.
During this time Wimbledon was still about the serve/volley game, but Agassi won it from the baseline in '92 so that was beginning to change too.

Not quite sure what point you're trying to make. Sampras, Edberg and Rafter, by anyone's definition (maybe not yours :dunno:  are S&Vers (period) Pete was old at the end of the decade. I'm sure he does much less S&Ving today in the Champions events. Or maybe you are just trying to say those guys had a hell of a lot more variety than today's players.

Anyway, I've got some vintage Pat Rafter on tape. I will chart his approaches to net. What would you set the UNDER/OVER per match at?

I have no clue about the over/under on that. I think Edberg, Cash, and Rafter would be what I would consider pure serve/volley players. Rafter stayed back more than Edberg or Cash. Of course there was always the purest serve/volley player of them all, Paul Annacone, who crashed in on everything. Sampras was much more serve/volley in his early days than his later days. He developed that running forehand and started to stay back more and more as his career progressed.
I wasn't trying to make much of a point with respect to the surface debate. I was just hoping to correct some of Pawan's misconceptions about tennis in the 90's. There was much less serve/volley play as the decade wore on and baseliners had more and more success slugging it out. Wimbledon held out until just after 2000, but everywhere else baseliners ruled by the late 90's.
At least that's how I remember it anyway.

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Online Babblelot

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Re: Who likes the changes at Wimby?
« Reply #46 on: July 08, 2008, 10:30:45 PM »
Let's be real. The 90's were about the transition from attacking to defending predominately. Sampras was not a serve/volley player towards the end of the decade. Sampras, Edberg, Becker, Cash, and finally Rafter were all prone to staying back and trying to work their way into the net by the end of the decade. By that time the change was complete. Sampras started out as a serve/volley player in the 80's and morphed with everyone else into a "all court" player. Sampras was an all court player in an era that baseliners were starting to get a stranglehold on the game.
Becker was a serve/volley player who loved the baseline. He spent years trying to prove he could duke it out with the best baseliners and had to be convinced that the only way he was going to succeed was at the net.
So you have to go back to the 80's and early 90's to find serve/volley tennis in it's prime.
During this time Wimbledon was still about the serve/volley game, but Agassi won it from the baseline in '92 so that was beginning to change too.


Not quite sure what point you're trying to make. Sampras, Edberg and Rafter, by anyone's definition (maybe not yours :dunno:  are S&Vers (period) Pete was old at the end of the decade. I'm sure he does much less S&Ving today in the Champions events. Or maybe you are just trying to say those guys had a hell of a lot more variety than today's players.

Anyway, I've got some vintage Pat Rafter on tape. I will chart his approaches to net. What would you set the UNDER/OVER per match at?


I have no clue about the over/under on that. I think Edberg, Cash, and Rafter would be what I would consider pure serve/volley players. Rafter stayed back more than Edberg or Cash. Of course there was always the purest serve/volley player of them all, Paul Annacone, who crashed in on everything. Sampras was much more serve/volley in his early days than his later days. He developed that running forehand and started to stay back more and more as his career progressed.
I wasn't trying to make much of a point with respect to the surface debate. I was just hoping to correct some of Pawan's misconceptions about tennis in the 90's. There was much less serve/volley play as the decade wore on and baseliners had more and more success slugging it out. Wimbledon held out until just after 2000, but everywhere else baseliners ruled by the late 90's.
At least that's how I remember it anyway.


That's how I remember it too. You just have a more diplomatic way of wording things  :good:

Here's a nice nugget from the BBC...

1997 US OPEN Final: Pat Rafter beat Greg Rusedski 6-3 6-2 4-6 7-5.
 
It may not have been the greatest match ever, but five years ago Greg Rusedski became the first British man to reach the final of a Grand Slam since Fred Perry in 1936.

During the match, Rusedski hit a then world record service speed of 143mph, but it was Rafter's canny serve and volley tactics that were decisive.


Short, but to the point.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/tennis/us_open/2091011.stm#rafter

From the Washington Post

Rafter, 24, displayed an excellent serve-and-volley game reminiscent of the one that used to be played by his idol and countryman, Pat Cash. He also countered Rusedski’s mighty serves — one set a record of 143 mph — with astute returns and superior net coverage.

"The difference was that when Pat saw openings, he took them," the unseeded Rusedski said of 13th-seeded Rafter, who will jump from No. 14 to No. 3 in the world rankings with this victory. "He’s a great athlete at the net. He moves very well. He’s in great shape. He has the best volleys on tour because of his movement."


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sports/tennis/longterm/1997/usopen/articles/openm8.htm
« Last Edit: July 08, 2008, 10:49:42 PM by Babblelot »
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Online Babblelot

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Re: Who likes the changes at Wimby?
« Reply #47 on: July 08, 2008, 11:02:18 PM »
GOT IT!

80 sure sounded like a safe OVER/UNDER for Net Approaches by Rafter in a match.

Here's his stats from his 1998 Wimby SF v Agassi

Net Approaches 
Rafter  62-124* 
Agassi  17-24

*Pat was 39-93 v Sampras in the final

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/tennis/2000/wimbledon/news/2000/07/07/rafter_agassi_ap/

Please, nobody try to defend today's players by blaming everything on the combination of technology, balls and surface speed. Rafter did it at the US Open as well as at Wimby. As monstertruck put aptly noted: it's easier to thump groundies than to learn an all-court game.

Today's players just don't have the stomach for variety and choose to blame everything else instead.  :crying:  And so their fans sulk...   ;>)


Now it's your turn, Fed fans. Make your case for Rog. All I ever hear is he has an all-court game. I don't see it. Show me some numbers that support your claim. You can start here...

Last year’s “new’’ Roddick approached the net more than Federer did when they met in the Open final (49 approaches to 38).

In their Australian Open semifinal this year, Roddick approached the net 31 times, Federer only 11.

This year in the first round at the Open, the baseliner Scoville Jenkins approached the net about three times as often as Federer did (22-7).

Even Rafael Nadal, the definition of a strict baseliner, ventured to the net 26 times in the Wimbledon final against Federer. That’s a lot for him.


^^^ WEAK ^^^

http://usopen.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/09/05/attacking-federer/
« Last Edit: July 08, 2008, 11:37:20 PM by Babblelot »
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Offline pawan89

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Re: Who likes the changes at Wimby?
« Reply #48 on: July 09, 2008, 12:09:30 AM »
That was indeed a misconception I had, thanks for clarifying dmast. So what was the main difference between the 80s and the 90s? Racquet technology? Was that it? I mean.. did baseline tennis start purely from Lendl and just kept getting stronger and stronger?

What exactly kept players from S&V through the years at Wimbledon if, as Babblelot said, people like Rafter and such have done it? Is Babblelot telling me then that the tennis of the 90s played at Wimbledon is just as effective now as it was back then?

See.. I just don't understand how, with relatively the same racquet technology, the same athletic build of players, the same coaches to a certain extent, growing up in the 90s environment .. how did Wimbledon go from being the Sampras and Rafter tournament to a Nadal tournamet? I mean how did.. even back in 2002, how did Hewitt and Nalbandian manage to make the final, and what's more, play a final without ever playing a S&V point? This was like right after years and years of Sampras, Rafter, Ivanisevic, Henamn and such having most success.
As a professional, if S&V had even some kind of advantage today in the pro game, wouldn't it already have been utilized? I mean, monster's right in that its much easier to just stay from the baseline and bash but this might the approach I might take to my tennis, I can't imagine a professional who dedicates his life to finding the cutting edge that will take him beyond the others take this approach.

And that's just grass I suppose. And you know.. look at Usopen, Wikipedia tells me that the list of winners through the 90s only includes Edberg (2) Sampras (4) Agassi (2) Rafter (2) Safin (1). And the trend is still somewhat similar, its the agressive players who are doing better and are a fair shot to making deep into USO.
What happened to the same agressive players (those players mentioned were also the same players doing well at Wimbledon in the 90s) now? Why can't they do well on grass? Why is it that we look towards people like Ferrer and Nadal to make big runs at the Wimbledon now? Is it not that the surface is just plain different than it used to?

For what its worth, even the AO had agressive players and S&V players take the trophy through the 90s, including Sampras (2) and Becker (2). And, this is again not really part of anything we are talking about I think, the hard surfaces have remained more or less the same from what I can tell with the same kind of people winning there.


I am just confused and lost and all I can base on is the trend of the type of succesful players over the years. I don't really have any real knowledge past 2005 and have watched very little tennis relative to most folks and that too only lately. But  from what I can gather, I'd still conclude that the surface change has been a major change over the last year years.
Of course I am not saying its all on the surface, sure Roddick and Blake should have taken time to learn to volley to complement thier power games and shoot towards more complete players like Sampras and Becker, but regardless, surface is the biggest change I can see.

As for Federer, all I can say is he has the all court game. He beat Sampras by S&V more and better than Sampras. He won his first title with a lot of S&V. 2004 Wimbledon there was the S&V again. And his backcourt game has been on display very nicely everywhere else because that's all he needs, he has no need to pressure opponents anywhere since then (again, why? perhaps becahse he now has more time than ever before to setup his much more powerful forehand and in general has plenty of time to move perfectly and play his solid ground game and no need to take risks like S&V). How many pros out there even know how to slice a backhand properly these days? dropshots? Take any match Fed played in TMC 2007 and you'll see all-court tennis. I don't see how this fits into the discussion though, Federer does what he needs to win and he has displayed variety and all sorts of game over the years. What has Nadal showed us? What variety did he show to earn the Wimbledon crown? I digress, I still don't see where this fits into the changes of Wimbledon besides the fact that (my whole claim pretty much in a nutshell) the trend in Wimbledon winners is leading more and more towards the defensive game over the agressive game, and all else equal, the only reason for this is the surface change.


that was too long a post. makes me want to go delete some of it.. or break it into two just so I don't have to convince myself I wrote that much B.S  :rofl_2: or Babblelot, as you said, a lot of that is plain hyperbole and some sorta twisting of words to make it come out bitter and whatnot!   ;-()


Offline pawan89

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Re: Who likes the changes at Wimby?
« Reply #49 on: July 09, 2008, 12:20:12 AM »
GOT IT!

80 sure sounded like a safe OVER/UNDER for Net Approaches by Rafter in a match.

Here's his stats from his 1998 Wimby SF v Agassi

Net Approaches 
Rafter  62-124* 
Agassi  17-24

*Pat was 39-93 v Sampras in the final

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/tennis/2000/wimbledon/news/2000/07/07/rafter_agassi_ap/

Please, nobody try to defend today's players by blaming everything on the combination of technology, balls and surface speed. Rafter did it at the US Open as well as at Wimby. As monstertruck put aptly noted: it's easier to thump groundies than to learn an all-court game.

Today's players just don't have the stomach for variety and choose to blame everything else instead.  :crying:  And so their fans sulk...   ;>)


Now it's your turn, Fed fans. Make your case for Rog. All I ever hear is he has an all-court game. I don't see it. Show me some numbers that support your claim. You can start here...

Last year’s “new’’ Roddick approached the net more than Federer did when they met in the Open final (49 approaches to 38).

In their Australian Open semifinal this year, Roddick approached the net 31 times, Federer only 11.

This year in the first round at the Open, the baseliner Scoville Jenkins approached the net about three times as often as Federer did (22-7).

Even Rafael Nadal, the definition of a strict baseliner, ventured to the net 26 times in the Wimbledon final against Federer. That’s a lot for him.


^^^ WEAK ^^^

http://usopen.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/09/05/attacking-federer/



Federer is near perfect from the backcourt on fast surfaces. It has forced baseliners (O.K., not Guillermo Cañas) to do something — anything — to make headway against world’s best player. But the problem for most baseliners is that unlike Federer, they aren’t comfortable at the net.

Pete Sampras has said that the best way to play Federer is to press the attack to break up his rhythm. Easy to say if you are a supreme net player like Sampras. Not so easy if you’re a baseliner like Roddick.


Same article. I don't see the point Babblelot  :confused1: What does Federer aproaching or not approaching the net have to do with Wimbledon slowing down? If anything it goes to show that Federer doesn't need to go up to the net in today's Wimbledon. He goes up when he needs to and is fairly successfull when he does (he needed to this year and was 44/75 this year as opposed to Nadal who was 22/31 - either Federer just sucks or even 75 net approaches couldn't tilt the match in his favour.. in the 90s, most likely the guy with te 75 net approaches would have beaten the guy with 30 net approaches.. what's the difference? To some extent definitely thier volleying skills.. but is that all? No surface effects at all? )



Offline dmastous

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Re: Who likes the changes at Wimby?
« Reply #50 on: July 09, 2008, 01:07:16 AM »
Let me first say that I think Babblelot has taken a wrong turn somewhere, and has lost his way. He is convinced that serve/volley tennis can make a comeback and be force in tennis. Perhaps he is right, but I don't see it. Perhaps laziness is part of it, too lazy to practice volleying. But I can't imagine any lazy person succeeding to get to the top of any athletic endeavor.
No I think it's the technology, first, and the surfaces second, and all other reasons would be a part of whatever small percentage is remaining.
This is the timeline I laid out while Chris Lewis was still posting (conducting an interview of sorts). He seemed to think it was in line with his perception of things. It follows a few generations of players and their slow acceptance and eventall embracing of composite technology in racquets.
We begin with the Connors/McEnroe/Lendl generation. The first to play with composite frames. Initially small headed frames, but eventually the larger heads with the bigger sweetspots. But they were still wedded to their wood frame games and techniques (Chris Lewis identified this as his generation). They were the beta testers if you will. They still had very flat strokes with little arm movement, and hitting in the center of the stringbed at all costs.
The next generation may be represented by Edberg/Cash/Becker. we see them in our memories as playing with composite frames. They continued to play careful tennis because that's how they were taught to play. Many continued to serve and volley, but got more power out of their serves and groundstrokes because the larger heads gave them more power. Serve/volley tennis was still rewarding because their opponents didn't get the most out of the composite frames. Up to this point Wimbledon was still an all serve/volley affair.
Next came the Sampras/Agassi/Courier generation. This was the first generation to train extensively with composite frames. But they did cut their teeth on wood frames. Rafter was part of this generation as well. They probably made the switch halfway into their development as tennis players. The began to see the benefit of the larger sweetspot, and stability of the new frames, and began to take more chances with groundstrokes on a more regular basis. Courier really made the inside out forehand a force. It was a part of the game before, but with the composite frame it could be hit with more power. That opened up angles that could be exploited by baseliners and began the death of pure serve/volley tennis. Added spin with the power also contributed. But still, since these player's most formative days were spent with wood racquets and they were coached by former players who believed (as I was taught) that you only break the wrist on the serve and overhead, never on a ground stroke, the did not maximise what the new frames could do for them.
The Federer/Roddick/Moya generation would be the one to finally take full advantage of what the new frames brought. They probably started out with some sort of early composite, because of that they get much more out of the technology than their predecessors. They have been able to hit the kind of shots routinely now, that were only hit on their predecessor's best days. Once in a match, or tournament shots hit daily. In fact we see shots hit now on club courts that pros like McEnroe and Lendl wish they could have hit in their prime. Plus there's the added effectiveness of poly strings with which they can now swing harder to generate more spin. Angles, heavy topspin, inside out shots hit from anywhere on the court, on the run or not. I saw Nadal hit a forehand on the dead run that dipped over the net and forced Federer to hit the volley off his shoetops after he was already set three feet from the net. Federer had hit a perfectly good approach, and was well set up at the net, but he got beat like a drum. That wasn't a fluke, that was routine. It would have been an impossible shot 20 years ago.
The whole thing has been a matter of technology advancing and players taking time to make the most of that technology.
You add the current grass courts with higher bounces and even Wimbledon has become a baseliner's haven.
I'm not saying you can't come to the net and win points. It still mounts pressure on your opponent and takes time away from them. But it's a change up off a steady diet of forehands and backhands. A surprise tactic. If you tried to come in off all first serves you would be beaten easily, unless you had an outstanding serve. Coming in off penetrating groundstrokes and serves only gives you a better chance to win at the net. It used to be a guarantee that if you could get to the net off a penetrating stroke all you had to do was volley into the open court. You won that point 99% of the time. It's just not that easy anymore.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2008, 01:08:11 AM by dmastous »

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Online Babblelot

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Re: Who likes the changes at Wimby?
« Reply #51 on: July 09, 2008, 08:25:37 AM »
I don't see the point Babblelot   :confused1:  What does Federer aproaching or not approaching the net have to do with Wimbledon slowing down?

Got it  :good:

You should recognize this, because I have been saying it all along:

pawan
1. You think it's criminal that a claycourter can win Wimby and define a claycourter as someone who plays defensive from the baseline

2. You and Dmast argue that slower courts and bigger, more powerful racquets preclude players from attacking

3. (As I stated, in his SF match v Safin, Fed was outplayed at net by Marat) You note that Federer is so good from the baseline, that he doesn't need to attack

Babblelot
1. What's the difference between two guys with excellent defense who can hit winners from the baseline and rarely attack irrespective of court speed?

2. Pat Rafter says you're both wrong. Pat says, I'll beat you like no one has beaten you before. I could hang back with my big, powerful, high-tech racquet like every single player on tour today, but I'm committed to attack you, not only when I serve, but when you serve, as well--I don't care that you are the biggest server in the world (143mph) or that your name is Sampars. AND, I'll do it on (fast) grass and (slower) hardcourts. Surface speed don't matter. Put me on a court, and I'll attack and neutralize your big serve and big groudies.

3. The fact that Federer doesn't play an attacking style because he's a superior player from the baseline is evidence of player complicity: there isn't variety in today's game because, as monster stated, it's easier to thump groundies than to learn an all-court game.

Fed doesn't play differently at the US Open than he does at the AO or RG or Halle or Wimby. The point is, aggressive players develop and commit to an all-court game and attack irrespective of the surface. All others construct points from the baseline. And Fed is the best from the baseline. Today, the aggressive players are Stepanek, Mahut, Llodra and Ancic--heck, that's more than I can name when Rafter played. But what separates Rafter and Sampras from these guys is talent and athleticism. Federer has both the talent and athleticism.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2008, 09:55:57 AM by Babblelot »
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Offline dmastous

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Re: Who likes the changes at Wimby?
« Reply #52 on: July 09, 2008, 10:02:16 AM »
Today, the aggressive players are Stepanek, Mahut, Llodra and Ancic--heck, that's more than I can name when Rafter played. But what separates Rafter and Sampras from these guys is talent and athleticism. Federer has both the talent and athleticism.

What they don't do is serve and volley. They are attacking players, yes, but they attack off groundstrokes mostly. I make a distinction between players who serve/volley (coming to the net off nearly all first serves and many second serves, and staying back as a surprise tactic) and attacking players (players who come in off good groundstrokes and once in awhile off the serve).
When I say serve/volley is dead, I mean the idea of coming off the serve and playing 80% of your tennis (at least on your serve) at the net is dead. Dedicating yourself to getting to the net regardless of the serve or approach shot is not a winning strategy anymore.

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Offline pawan89

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Re: Who likes the changes at Wimby?
« Reply #53 on: July 09, 2008, 10:23:08 AM »
Got it Babblelot. And you are right, I am not disputing any of those facts. I am just saying Pat Rafter attacked the net because it had its rewards and that was his style of play. Today its not the net rushers who have the most success (a few semis and quarters perhaps) but rather its the agressive baseliners.

I should probably differentiate what I mean when i say agressive and defensive. When I say agressive, I do NOT mean taking the net at all. Agressive is the ability to dictate points and take control of the game and match. Defensive play is one that relies more on retrieving and simply counter punching. I know times are changing but in general the claycourt game still is to a good extent defensive play. And some players are defensive players. Federer is an agressive player. The matches he loses and the ones he wins most of the time, he loses or wins with more winners and more unforced errors than his opponent. The game is in his racquet, NOT on how well his opponent does. Now yes in his match against Safin as you pointed out, I'd consider Federer the more defensive of the two mainly because it was Safin who was trying to do something, trying to take control of the match and Federer who was "simply" waiting and counterpunching (I mean .. this is an exaggeration of course, its not like Federer was simply running like a rabbit and getting everything Safin gave him right back).

The point is he simply didn't need to. Safin's agression did nothing for Safin. Safin's huge forehands and backhands did nothing for Safin and Federer got them back with interest from the back because he's a better player from the back and saw no need to do anything defend beside defend for a while and let Safin go away. This would not be possible back in the day. Rafter would attack the net and he would do different things as well and they worked. He lost only to players like Henman, Inavnisevic, Sampras, and Agassi (who I already said was more of an exception just like Nadal might be one now). Agassi was an agressive baseliner. I don't know how much he went to the net but he is an agressive player. Would Rafter ever lose to a player like Tipsy who really doesn't have any weapons or a game to suit the faster courts of Wimbledon? But Roddick did. He has the big serve, he has the big forehand - these were the primary elements of a lot of the agressvie players of the 90s. But he lost. (again I am not saying Roddick should have won or.. he could just have an off day and he's just not as good as Rafter and such.. but its the trend I am pointing out).

Agression just doesn't seem to have its rewards now as it did back then, so why should Federer bother? And why is it that agressive play is being so succesfully countered with defensive play? This is what's supposed to happen at the FO. Which is why the likes of Sampras and Rafter next got through even the fairly decent defenders on clay. But on grass?

Also, Rafter might disagree and always attack but how much success has he had on slow courts? If we agree that AO courts are slow.. I looked up how Rafter did 94-2002 in AO and I think only once he made it past R3 and lost to someone like Agassi. Every other time he has lost to someone I have never heard of in the early rounds (with the exception of Enquist and Pioline and I don't know much about them but let me take a guess and say both of them were very good baseliners or defensive players.. didn't Pioline win the FO or something?)
He did best on grass and USO and did pretty poorly on slow courts. There's gotta be a surface relation here to how well Rafter's doing. And he did well on fast grass but the grass isn't the same anymore now.


Offline pawan89

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Re: Who likes the changes at Wimby?
« Reply #54 on: July 09, 2008, 10:24:55 AM »
Today, the aggressive players are Stepanek, Mahut, Llodra and Ancic--heck, that's more than I can name when Rafter played. But what separates Rafter and Sampras from these guys is talent and athleticism. Federer has both the talent and athleticism.

What they don't do is serve and volley. They are attacking players, yes, but they attack off groundstrokes mostly. I make a distinction between players who serve/volley (coming to the net off nearly all first serves and many second serves, and staying back as a surprise tactic) and attacking players (players who come in off good groundstrokes and once in awhile off the serve).
When I say serve/volley is dead, I mean the idea of coming off the serve and playing 80% of your tennis (at least on your serve) at the net is dead. Dedicating yourself to getting to the net regardless of the serve or approach shot is not a winning strategy anymore.

Right, this is what I feel too and what I think Babblelot is getting mixed up with. I am not advocating S&V, I am advocating agressive play.


Online Babblelot

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Re: Who likes the changes at Wimby?
« Reply #55 on: July 09, 2008, 10:27:35 AM »
Today, the aggressive players are Stepanek, Mahut, Llodra and Ancic--heck, that's more than I can name when Rafter played. But what separates Rafter and Sampras from these guys is talent and athleticism. Federer has both the talent and athleticism.

What they don't do is serve and volley. They are attacking players, yes, but they attack off groundstrokes mostly. I make a distinction between players who serve/volley (coming to the net off nearly all first serves and many second serves, and staying back as a surprise tactic) and attacking players (players who come in off good groundstrokes and once in awhile off the serve).
When I say serve/volley is dead, I mean the idea of coming off the serve and playing 80% of your tennis (at least on your serve) at the net is dead. Dedicating yourself to getting to the net regardless of the serve or approach shot is not a winning strategy anymore.

I hear ya, and I'm being clear that attacking = variety = all-court <> S&V alone. In fact, I don't once mention S&V in my response to pawan.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2008, 10:35:21 AM by Babblelot »
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Online Babblelot

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Re: Who likes the changes at Wimby?
« Reply #56 on: July 09, 2008, 10:54:15 AM »
I am just saying Pat Rafter attacked the net because it had its rewards and that was his style of play. Today its not the net rushers who have the most success (a few semis and quarters perhaps) but rather its the agressive baseliners.

Well, I've argued it's a function of quick cash money, commitment, talent and athleticism and complicity. So we'll have to agree to disagree. Nothing more you or I can say at this point.    :)

I should probably differentiate what I mean when i say agressive and defensive. When I say agressive, I do NOT mean taking the net at all. Agressive is the ability to dictate points and take control of the game and match...Federer is an agressive player.
...Agression just doesn't seem to have its rewards now as it did back then, so why should Federer bother?

This doesn't jibe.

But Roddick...has the big serve, he has the big forehand - these were the primary elements of a lot of the agressvie players of the 90s. But he lost. (again I am not saying Roddick should have won or.. he could just have an off day and he's just not as good as Rafter and such.. but its the trend I am pointing out).

What trend? Look at the Wimby semifinalists I've posted twice already since they started tinkering with the courts. There have been more "favorable" foursomes (4) than "unfavorable" (3), and Roddick played in two finals. Moreover, Roddick, who's won the event 3x, crashes out at Queens these days.

...didn't Pioline win the FO or something

While you were looking things up, you should have looked up Pioline. This makes arguing with you a chore. You base your arguments on stuff you conjure up. Additionally, you will learn that a succinct style of writing will give your reply (papers) more clarity and voice. In so doing, you'll be less likely to confuse and contradict yourself. You'll never pull one over on a critical reader.

Cedric reached the Wimby and USO finals losing to Sampras each time. I don't know how this information impacts your argument.





As for Rafter, like all players, he didn't alter his game because of the surface. He's an all-court player, with immense variety who attacked, attacked, attacked all his way to #1 in the world despite his dismall results at AO. His career was hampered and ultimately shortened due to a chronic shoulder problem that ultimately required surgery.

« Last Edit: July 10, 2008, 09:37:00 AM by Babblelot »
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Online Babblelot

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Re: Who likes the changes at Wimby?
« Reply #57 on: July 09, 2008, 02:22:01 PM »
Today, the aggressive players are Stepanek, Mahut, Llodra and Ancic--heck, that's more than I can name when Rafter played. But what separates Rafter and Sampras from these guys is talent and athleticism. Federer has both the talent and athleticism.

What they don't do is serve and volley. They are attacking players, yes, but they attack off groundstrokes mostly. I make a distinction between players who serve/volley (coming to the net off nearly all first serves and many second serves, and staying back as a surprise tactic) and attacking players (players who come in off good groundstrokes and once in awhile off the serve).
When I say serve/volley is dead, I mean the idea of coming off the serve and playing 80% of your tennis (at least on your serve) at the net is dead. Dedicating yourself to getting to the net regardless of the serve or approach shot is not a winning strategy anymore.

completely different discussion: S&Ving in today's game

Let me remind you what got me started on this kick in the first place.

I watched Radeck Stepanek for nearly 5 hours at last year's USO. When I returned, I stated that unlike big servers who use their plant foot to change direction and retreat to the baseline after they serve, Stepanek runs through his 124mph serve to get into the net. By definition, that's called "serve and volley". Does he do it 80% of the time? I'm pretty sure he does and would be very surprised if you had the numbers to refute my claim. Regardless of whether you can do so or not, one thing is clear to me: Stepanek doesn't fit your characterization, so you shouldn't lump him in with the others.

As for the other three, just like you with respect to Stepanek, I've never keyed on their S&V. So, unlike you with with respect to Stepanek, I won't comment on whether they S&V 80% of the time, or just a lot, or only once in a while.



80% is a ridiculous bar. No one cares what your definition is. You can argue until you're blue in the face with people in the know (that would exclude virtually everyone on this mb) that Pat Rafter isn't a S&Ver because he didn't S&V 80% of the time. No one will take you seriously. I sure don't.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2008, 02:34:21 PM by Babblelot »
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Offline Pamqnx

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Re: Who likes the changes at Wimby?
« Reply #58 on: July 10, 2008, 07:50:49 AM »
So having watch the last 3 Wimby men's finals, and with 2008 fresh in memory*, do any of you who voted for "faster combo" want to change your vote?


*My favorite part of this poll is that some of those most vehimantly opposed to the "slower combo" don't have memories of the 1990s. Fellas, the 1990s were soooo uninteresting that the powers that be at Wimby felt compelled to change things up! The fact that you have no valid memories of the '90s makes it kind of convevient, I suppose, to argue to change things back    :rofl_2: :rofl_2: :hysterical:

So in fact you want changes in the game to be made only to please the spectators?
I don't agree. The changes should be aimed for the players and the diversity, not for the spectators.

Offline Pamqnx

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Re: Who likes the changes at Wimby?
« Reply #59 on: July 10, 2008, 07:51:48 AM »
Nice, but what exactly is that showing? It looks like he used to hit a flatter serve but now starts from a different trajectory to get a higher kick... And what does 52/43 mph tell me? Is that the ball speed by the time it reaches the returner? Come on, now... 

Yes, when the ball reaches the baseline, it's now 9 miles slower, which is enormous.