The General Tennis Thread

Discussion in 'Sports' started by kidbourbon, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. kidbourbon

    kidbourbon Chieftain

    I reserve the right to break out threads for major tournaments or individual storylines if there is enough interest.

    I will start this thread off with a question. So, we all know that Roger Federer is finished. For a non-contact sport, tennis is a brutally physical game. And speed means everything. Federer has remained mostly injury free throughout his career, and this is a credit to his style. He doesn't put the same kind of pounding on his body that Nadal does. He has, however, lost a step. And that is why he is finished. You see, Federer's background is actually just an average backhand for a top 100 player. It isn't a weapon. Everybody has always known this, but nobody has been able to exploit it in the past except Nadal. And there are two reasons for this: (1) Federer moves very well, and has compensated for his backhand side being average by running around a lot of backhands and so that he can hit his forehand, which is one of the best strokes of all time. An absolute deadly weapon. (2) Nadal's game is, by complete accident, absolute kryptonite to Federer. Nadal plays left handed (even though he is right-handed...his Uncle Toni is obviously a damn slave driver), and has the most topspin heavy forehand in the history of the game. Nadal has acknowleded that his only gameplan when he play Fed is to hit it to Fed's backhand. That's all he does, but it kills Fed because it comes at him off a very high bounce (because of the topspin), and there isn't much that a one-handed backhand can do with a hard, high-bouncing ball. The story is as simple as that.

    The reason that Federer is finished is because part #1 above is no longer an option. With the step that Federer has lost to father time, he can't run around his backhand like he used to and get away with it. Federer is not likely to get faster as he gets older. He is finished as far as winning majors is concerned. And, yes, the analysis is really that simple.

    Back to the lecture at hand. Back to the question I promised I would pose. Here goes:

    Is Nadal finished?

    He is only 25, but we all knew his body was going to breakdown at a younger age than most, because of his obscenely tenacious and unrelenting style. We are now seeing evidence of a declining Nadal. Constant injuries. Reduced confidence. Doubt. I think Nadal will win another French. He's just that good on clay, and it is a softer more forgiving surface for his legs, which makes it less likely for him to get hurt during clay court season, as he always always does during hard court season. But other than that, I think he may be done. Nadal and Federer -- 5 years apart in age -- may nonetheless slowly fade away from the sport together.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. kptvol

    kptvol Super Moderator

    I personally think each of them has another major in them. Federer will win a hard court or at Wimbledon and Nadal will win the French, as you said.
     
  3. bigpapavol

    bigpapavol Super Moderator

    I think Fed's done too, unless the heat gets added back to Wimbledon and the bounces reduced again. The ball now sits there as well as it does in Australia.

    I don't think Nadal is finished, but he clearly isn't getting back to where he was. He doesn't have the punishing spin any longer and his wheels are already slowing. People talk about the strokes, which were quirkily awesome, but he beat people physically and by improving his serve. The serve has now tapered back to its former form, leaving him the French as his playground, but vulnerable at spots where breaks aren't the norm.

    kidb, I like your tennis stuff and hope you do it more. What's the story on the UT squad?
     
  4. kidbourbon

    kidbourbon Chieftain

    I also noticed this season that he appears to have lost his wheels. But who the hell loses their wheels at age 25 unless it's because of injury? I realize I'm talking about a fine line here, but usually the wheels don't even suffer a trace of a decline until 28. What I'm saying is is that if Nadal were able to get completely healthy -- and that may be impossible at this point; he may just have serious tendonitis that isn't ever going away -- that he would still be able to cover the court like he could. And, BPV, you are absolutely one hundred percent on the money about Nadal's groundstrokes. They've always been given more credit than they deserve. His forehand is quirky and he hits it with a massive massive amount of spin, but that alone doesn't make it a great shot. In fact, he hits his forehand well shorter than an elite player really should. But he is an elite player, and there is a reason for that. And BPV nailed it on the head: it's because he's lightning fast -- the only comparable comparison as far as speed is Bjorn Borg* -- and tenacious as a mother [uck fay]er. To the extent, though, that he has lost a step and said step isn't coming back...then he isn't the same player. And Djoker will continue to wax that ass.

    The Nadal serve is perplexing to me right now. It continually improved until the 2010 U.S. Open, where it could have been fairly characterized as "elite". And then it all of a sudden regressed. Like badly regressed. That has to purely mental. I wonder if he shouldn't ditch Uncle Toni. I think it is quite amazing that the tension between Rafa and Toni was successfully suppressed all of those years. But once it boils to the surface -- and it pretty clearly did when Rafa decided to put it in his book -- there's no bottling it back up. And the quick regression of a serve after years of improvement is one hundred percent confidence...purely mental. Coaching can solve that.

    Fed is unquestionably done winning majors. Announcers say he has one more in him, but I think that's just because they think they have to say that. They know he's done.

    *Borg had worse strokes than Nadal. Nobody realizes this. Don't get me wrong: Borg was one of the best ever, and I wish he would have played longer. But if I'm giving a brutally honest assessment of his game, he was basically an average (top 20) player who happened to have world-class speed and agility. Him and Nadal are similar in that respect. I'm not knocking either guy. Agility is a HUGE part of tennis. Movement is half the battle.
     
  5. kidbourbon

    kidbourbon Chieftain

    I started a UT tennis thread. No that's actually a lie. Somebody else started a UT tennis thread, and then I posted in it. The story is that we likely would have been favored to win the NCAAs had Rhyne Williams and Tennys Sandgren stayed for their Junior years. But both of those [uck fay]ers left. I'm not knocking them. The shelf life on a tennis player isn't particularly long, and if you wanna make it in the pros, I think you gotta make the leap. And for Williams it was definitely the right call. He won't make it as a pro, but that's just because he won't dedicate himself to fitness. He has all the tools in the world. World-class forehand. Amazing serve. Moves well. Hits hard. But from what I hear through the various grapevines, he's a bit of a lazy [uck fay]er. He'll crack the top 100 one day, but not the top 50.

    Sandgren shouldn't have gone pro. He went pro because he won two Futures events over the Summer, and Rhyne had just gone pro, and so he probably felt like he would be moving backward if he didn't go pro also. But winning a Future tournament is not the greatest accomplishment in the world. Yeah, it's indicative that you have a futre in the sport, but Rhyne won a Future event at age 17. Was he ready to go pro then? Tennys probably shoudl have stuck around for another year. He's got a nice all-court game. He's more aggressive than Rhyne and that type of game needs fine tuning, which he could have done with an additional year against collegiate competition. But what's done is done...and I wish him the best of luck too.

    Winterbotham was none too pleased that his two best guys turned pro. He went and added 3 foreign guys to an already solid recruiting class, and one of the foreign guys is certifiably legit. But at the end of the day it still isn't enough to replace Williams and Sandgren, and so this year will be a rebuilding year. We'll be elite again in 2012-2013. Winterbotham means business. I have complete faith in that guy. He's working on a juggernaut, and the juggernaut will eventually come to fruition.
     
  6. volfanjo

    volfanjo Chieftain

    I went down to the Family Circle Cup this week and saw Serena make mincemeat of the field. She's a great player, and quite the charmer I might add. That's a great tournament if anyone is ever in that area. Not that I've ever been to Wimbeldon or anything, but anyway, it was a fun weekend.
     
  7. LawVol13

    LawVol13 Chieftain

    I think Fed's got another one in him, but I think the draw has to play out right. I don't see him beating Nadal and Djokovic back to back, but I could see him beating one of them in route to a title like he recently did.
     
  8. fl0at_

    fl0at_ Humorless, asinine, joyless pr*ck

    What is the difference between a 500 level player and a 250 level player?

    Memphis Tournament headed to possibly 250 level, with the old tournament heading to Brazil or something.
     
  9. volfanbill

    volfanbill Active Member

    the level # (250, 500 & 1000 aka Masters) signifies how many ATP points the event winner will receive. So 250 would be a bottom tier ATP event.
     
  10. kidbourbon

    kidbourbon Chieftain

    What Bill said is correct. What was the tournament before?

    Masters 1000 events are pretty sweet. All the best players are there for those.
     
  11. kidbourbon

    kidbourbon Chieftain

    Serena is amazing when she is at top form. How did she charm you?
     
  12. kidbourbon

    kidbourbon Chieftain

    Vegas is setting the ovr/und at 0.5*. I'm taking the under.

    I'm not sure if they actually have odds on this, but this is where it would be.
     
  13. kidbourbon

    kidbourbon Chieftain

  14. LawVol13

    LawVol13 Chieftain

    The tits.
     
  15. kidbourbon

    kidbourbon Chieftain

    Or that big ole' ass.
     
  16. volfanjo

    volfanjo Chieftain

    We had media passes and basically when she walked in she just sort of owned the room...was funny, sweet, feminine, smart. She's one of the more fascinating athletes I've seen up close.
     
  17. kidbourbon

    kidbourbon Chieftain

    I'm definitely a fan of Serena. I started liking her once I saw her get punk'd. She seemed like a 100% cool, normal human being.

    I thought she got way too much flack for the ballperson incident at the US Open two years. I really didn't think that was a big deal at all. Much ado about nothing.
     
  18. kidbourbon

    kidbourbon Chieftain

    All the American boys want to team up with Serena.

    Read more: John Isner eyes Serena Williams for Olympic mixed doubles - Tennis - SI.com
     
  19. kidbourbon

    kidbourbon Chieftain

    The Great Great Rafa Nadal (TGGRN) is going after his 8th straight win at Monte Carlo. This would be a big deal, since it is a Master's event. Actually, it's already a big deal that he's won 7 straight. Nobody besides TGGRN has ever won a tournament 7 straight times.

    He will almost surely have to beat Novak Djokovic to do it. The plot thickens.
     
  20. kidbourbon

    kidbourbon Chieftain

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