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Mike Agassi talkign about the Williams (and a little more)


Interesting article:

--- Quote ---Tennis Week: If you were coaching Venus and Serena what would you do? I believe in Serena's game; what would you do to help her get back to the top?

Mike Agassi: I would love to have them both over my house. Let me ask you a question: why is the depth of men's tennis so great? The guy who is 112 in the world can beat the guy who is number 3 in the world, right?

Tennis Week: Right. Federer's losses were all to guys outside the top 10 this year.

Mike Agassi: Why? Because they always practice against men and they hit the championship ball the men hit and therefore they are used to the pace of the top 10 men and they can return their ball. I was talking with Serena's father and I said: "the reason your daughters are losing is because they are practicing with men." With the men, they hit the big shot that would be the winner against the women, but the men return it. You hit the big serve and the man returns, hit bigger and the men still returns it. You try to hit bigger and bigger until the ball goes out. Then you lose your serve and you lose your confidence. You hit crosscourt big ball and the man is going to return it, you hit another big ball and the man returns it again and the third ball you try to hit even bigger and it goes out. Why? Because you are muscling it. That's the way your game goes down. Their game has gone down. They hit, once in a while, great balls, but their game has gone down a bit. The Russian girls compete against each other and you see Russian girls win three of the four Grand Slams this year. They are absolutely not half of the talent of Serena Williams and Venus Williams. Serena Williams and Venus Williams don't have their confidence on their shots anymore.

Tennis Week: But doesn't that confidence come from success on the court? Winning matches gives you confidence, right? So what's the solution?

Mike Agassi: Stop practicing with the men. Serena and Venus, stop practicing with the men. Most of our American girls think if they practice with the men, he's a better player, then I'll get better. In some ways, yes, you get better playing with the better player. But you have to hit the ball not just the big ball, but other shots (angles) to see if the women can return it or not. I would like to see them play one women, Serena or Venus, against too good players on the other side in practice. Practice against two of them and if you can make the point against two good women then you can make the point against any of these girls in the world. I have told Andre and Brad Gilbert a hundred times: play one against two to improve your volley, but no, Brad Gilbert goes there and hits against Andre. I said: "Brad, if you were good enough to play against Andre, you would go on the tour and make more money." He always had answers. He hit one ball, he talks 10 minutes. He hit one ball, he talks 10 minutes. Then in two hours, Andre has only hit 30 balls.
--- End quote ---

Hmm, interesting article. Makes some sense, i suppose, if you really think hard on it. If that really is the case, Venus and Serena would be working the power and shotmaking aspect of their game and perhaps neglecting the finesse, consistency and angle aspects of their game. Should they mix it up a little and try to hit with other women? Maybe....My opinion? Do what you were doing when you won 10 collective grand slam titles. Heck, no one can dispute whatever preparation made them win like that...

MC ill Logic:
Great post.  Very interesting.  It doesn't not make sense, that's for sure.

Mike is getting a little wacky in his old age.

Venus and Serena got to the top by practicing with and against each other I suppose.  I don't think they do that much anymore???

Anyway, my thought on Serena was that she needs a good coach and a lot of focus.

She definetly needs a lot of focus.  I think that at this point in her career a good coach would be a big benifit as well, good call.  A coach would be motivating as well.,  But he/she would have to be patient as she traveled all over the world to do her extra caricular activities.

I think Serena gave it a good push at the end of the year, but she came up short with an injury.

If she was smart she would take a page out of the Agassi book and be running hills right now and practicing like crazy!


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