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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    New England
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    707

    Innovative vs One Dimensional

    I think about the Players on both sides that I've admired over the years and when I watch video of their games today, I must admit that some surprise me when thinking of the accomplishments they achieved.

    Without doubt, I adored Steffi Graf. For those of you that followed her game, she had a backhand slice that was not only penetrating but she kept it low and deep to the baseline. You knew what was coming so just do something about it right? How could it be so hard to defend against this constantly over-used defensive & offensive shot of hers? Heck you look on the board, you see who your next opponent is going to be, you and your coach go out and all you do is drill against the backhanded slice all day long. If you aren't good at getting down low, then you either start or you forfeit because that's what it's going to takes.

    Thank about the players that didn't give Steffi a hard time.

    Monica Sele, Arxantcha Sanchez, Gabriel Sabatini, Martina Navratilova *, Well that was about it with an occasional win here and there because of personal crap going on in Steffi's life.

    Monica was so good at getting down to the ball that I'm surprised didn't have scraped all over her knees when she played and Monica backed it up with match power along with very nice angles.

    Sanchez, just ran all day long which gave everybody a headache. She was the backboard on the women's side.

    Gabby, could have been much better than she was if she just learned how to conserve energy. And with all the money she poured into coaches nobody ever taught her how to serve or hit with forward momentum.

    Martina N. was a great S&V Player and if you're a good S&V player, you're always going to give somebody problems (period) it's tough to pass somebody all day long.

    But Steffi Graf as one dimensional as she was, never got rattled. Even looking at Match Point down, you couldn't tell in her face. She had that look like, this next point is mine. You had match point and she scared you.
    The only acceptable loss is when your opponent was better than you on that given day.
    It is never acceptable to lose when your opponent was not.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Sea Pines, Hilton Head, South Carolina
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    414
    Quote Originally Posted by Coach View Post
    I think about the Players on both sides that I've admired over the years and when I watch video of their games today, I must admit that some surprise me when thinking of the accomplishments they achieved.

    Without doubt, I adored Steffi Graf. For those of you that followed her game, she had a backhand slice that was not only penetrating but she kept it low and deep to the baseline. You knew what was coming so just do something about it right? How could it be so hard to defend against this constantly over-used defensive & offensive shot of hers? Heck you look on the board, you see who your next opponent is going to be, you and your coach go out and all you do is drill against the backhanded slice all day long. If you aren't good at getting down low, then you either start or you forfeit because that's what it's going to takes.

    Thank about the players that didn't give Steffi a hard time.

    Monica Sele, Arxantcha Sanchez, Gabriel Sabatini, Martina Navratilova *, Well that was about it with an occasional win here and there because of personal crap going on in Steffi's life.

    Monica was so good at getting down to the ball that I'm surprised didn't have scraped all over her knees when she played and Monica backed it up with match power along with very nice angles.

    Sanchez, just ran all day long which gave everybody a headache. She was the backboard on the women's side.

    Gabby, could have been much better than she was if she just learned how to conserve energy. And with all the money she poured into coaches nobody ever taught her how to serve or hit with forward momentum.

    Martina N. was a great S&V Player and if you're a good S&V player, you're always going to give somebody problems (period) it's tough to pass somebody all day long.

    But Steffi Graf as one dimensional as she was, never got rattled. Even looking at Match Point down, you couldn't tell in her face. She had that look like, this next point is mine. You had match point and she scared you.
    Thing is, she never missed that slice backhand, and if you didn't get it perfectly to that slice backhand of hers, she ran around it and hit the flattest forehand in the history of the game. That forehand had lots of pace and skidded off the court terribly. She could play.........

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
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    Quote Originally Posted by tennisking1 View Post
    Thing is, she never missed that slice backhand, and if you didn't get it perfectly to that slice backhand of hers, she ran around it and hit the flattest forehand in the history of the game. That forehand had lots of pace and skidded off the court terribly. She could play.........
    Which makes me wonder why she failed to open up with her very powerful & effective top spin BH when the op presented itself? Steffi was afraid to hit that shot even though (1) She had it down but not in pressure situations. #1 Player in the World for 100yrs but still zero confidence when approached at her backhand side
    (2) Didn't seem to know when & where the best time to go for it
    (3) Even the times she did hit her TOBH for the CC or DTL the CC tend 2B far short of hitting the corner to make the shot effective.

    In short Steffi pulled out most of her games with her speed, determination and that forehand. But Steffi make MOST of her matches more complicated than she ever needed to even against Monica. If you proved the ability to stand toe-toe with her FH 2 FH & BH 2 BH with the same speed & velocity, that tend to place Steffi in a caution mode. All of a sudden, those 2-1 matches became 7-5 in the 3rd. If you weren't afraid of Steffi, she lost her confidence. When you really look at her BH Slice, they left her wide open for DTL BH returns and anyone strong enough to blast DTL made Steffi to scramble and if you charged the Net, you most likely won the point.

    Where were the Coaches? Are we suggesting at Steffi's point in her career, she became unresponsive to new techniques and/or strategies when the time was right to use them? They say a Champion scans the field (court) differently than those not of that caliber. They know how to get to that extra step needed when being pushed in order to position themselves for better response. Although I'm not trying to take anything away from someone who has a Mantle with 22 major titles sitting on it, I would state that, she could have had more especially during her prime. There were at least three majors that she lost in the Finals that I believe Steffi gave away. Her 1990 Finals' against Gabriel was a give away as I saw it. Steffi had an ample amount of times she could have attacked the ball and yet hit a very approachable shot only to sit back and watch and wait for Gabby's reply instead of following the ball in and putting the point away and one of those was on Set point Gabby. Uncertain as to when to attack? No not Steffi Graf or was she? Steffi was a very one dimensional player who could not beat the players of today with she same style as I see it. Even her last Championship against Martina Hingis 1999, which she barely won. Steffi had a commanding lead & control over the entire match regardless of how good Martina was but Steffi was passive throughout. She failed on countless occasions to attach the corners when the opportunity was in her grasp.
    Fear - Confusion - Fatigue and then I'd like to end by saying, I watched the 1987 Finals with Steffi v Navratilova in which Steffi lost. Her sportsmanship at the handshake was far least than what you would expect from a professional. Many of you probably don't know this but in 1999 when Steffi had her tremendous run at the French, winning it, she also found herself doing quite well at Wimbledon. How many know that Steffi teamed up with John McEnroe to play Mixed Doubles form that event? Well maybe Steffi thought it was just going to be a few few matches and didn't think that far in the future but lo & behold that found themselves reaching the Semis. When Steffi found herself reaching the Singles Finals and she dropped out of the Mixed Doubles to concentrate more on her Singles, leaving John very upset feeling confident that they were going to win that Trophy and have a History making moment together. I think that was a very unkind gesture on Steffi's part especially not winning the Singles that year and not winning the Doubles. She could have had a Doubles Title with John McEnroe which I would take any day of the Week.

    Coach


    .
    The only acceptable loss is when your opponent was better than you on that given day.
    It is never acceptable to lose when your opponent was not.

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