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  1. #16

    Re: The Speculation Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by suliso View Post
    Would you have included Muguruza this time last year? Probably not.
    Actually, I think she was on quite a few lists, just for further down the road. Remember that last year was when she didn't just beat Serena at the FO, she humiliated her. Serena was quoted saying "If she keeps playing like this, she can win the whole thing." You couldn't ask for a bigger splash. It's tough to follow that up, and she crapped out at the other two slams, but she played pretty well everywhere else and racked up a bunch of top 20 wins, including one over #2 Halep.

    Keys' best win is over Kvitova, another big hitter with questionable movement. I'm not sure she'll ever be able to navigate 7 matches in a row where she'll have to take out several players like Halep, Kerber, and Wozniacki who can move her around. I think she could take out one, but I doubt she can consistently win those matches back to back. I also think she's plateaued a bit. Her ranking hasn't moved since February, so she might slump a bit next year when the AO rolls around.
    Quote Originally Posted by Correspondent Kiu View Post
    For 2016 two Swiss ladies will be in top 10 and that's in singles, the Swiss already have doubles locked up.

    Also in 2016, Hingis will try her game playing singles.
    Bencic only won a single match before Indian Wells this year, so she could easily get into the top 10. I agree that there's a good chance Bacsinszky and Bencic can be in the top 10 at the same time, but I'm not sure how long it will last. They both strike me as living in the 9-15 range.

    I think Hingis felt embarrassed she couldn't take out baby Radwanska at Fed Cup this year, and she was pretty emphatic that her singles days are over. Being coerced into another Fed Cup match wouldn't be a total shock, but I think she has little or no interest.

  2. #17

    Re: The Speculation Thread

    Aren't we way too cautious here? Or is this thread about the next 2-3 majors only? If not then the current form and whom they have beaten already is irrelevant. Technical parameters (technique, serve, movement, height etc) and how much we think they can be improved is the only thing that matters.
    Roger forever

  3. #18

    Re: The Speculation Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by suliso View Post
    Aren't we way too cautious here? Or is this thread about the next 2-3 majors only? If not then the current form and whom they have beaten already is irrelevant. Technical parameters (technique, serve, movement, height etc) and how much we think they can be improved is the only thing that matters.
    I thought it was looking ahead too.
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb




  4. #19

    Re: The Speculation Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by suliso View Post
    Aren't we way too cautious here? Or is this thread about the next 2-3 majors only? If not then the current form and whom they have beaten already is irrelevant. Technical parameters (technique, serve, movement, height etc) and how much we think they can be improved is the only thing that matters.
    I was responding to your question of if Muguruza would have been considered a slam threat at this time last year (vs Keys now), so I was checking out her accomplishments at the time.

    As far as current form or scalps, I think there are certain things we can look at as being possible indicators of future success. I would place consistency very low on the list. I wouldn't even stress too much about strategy or having a well rounded game. Hitting big milestones at a young age can often be a big deal, though (on the WTA side, at least). There are a bunch of huge names on lists for youngest WTA player to win a main draw match and youngest WTA player to win a title. I would include beating a reigning #1 as a huge indicator. Muguruza made a slam QF and beat a #1 and #2 in 2014 when she was 21. That's pretty huge. Madison Keys is on one of those "youngest to win a match" lists, and made a slam SF at age 19. Also huge.

    When looking at the technical stuff I think the common criteria would be: at least one big weapon, no glaring weaknesses, reasonable speed.

    For me, Keys has too many exploitable weaknesses. Her forehand is her big weapon. Her serve is huge, but she also really favors body and kick serves. That makes it easier for a good returner to at least get it in play, and the relative lack of variety can work against her the longer the match goes on. Her backhand also lacks variety (almost never a slice, almost always cross court). She's very vulnerable to the low ball when moving forward. She's incredibly young, but I don't think those will ever be totally fixed.

  5. #20

    Re: The Speculation Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ponchi101 View Post
    I'd like to speculate which champions are over. Sharapova is getting injured way too frequently. Vika can't get it back, it seems.
    Are Kvitova's physical problems more severe than we think? Has Rafa brought himself down with all this talk about not believing in his own game, because that sort of pondering have brought several guys down before (Wilander, Becker).
    What will be Novak's Achilles heel? Roger's has been his accuracy, Rafa has been his head (we thought it would be his knees and yet there they are).
    Kuznetsova hasn't been in the top 20 since the beginning of 2012. It appears she's almost totally irrelevant outside of clay.

    Sharapova is definitely getting rickety and at 28 it's harder to bounce back. I think she has a few good years left in her, but I'd put the odds of another slam around 40%. I think you could replace '28' with '34' and say the exact same things about Federer.

    I think Nadal is done. 0% outside the French Open. Decent shot at the FO next year and the year after, but Djokovic will still be near peak and other contenders like Wawrinka and Murray won't be afraid of him.

  6. #21

    Re: The Speculation Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie02123 View Post
    I wouldn't even stress too much about strategy or having a well rounded game. Hitting big milestones at a young age can often be a big deal, though (on the WTA side, at least). There are a bunch of huge names on lists for youngest WTA player to win a main draw match and youngest WTA player to win a title. I would include beating a reigning #1 as a huge indicator. Muguruza made a slam QF and beat a #1 and #2 in 2014 when she was 21. That's pretty huge. Madison Keys is on one of those "youngest to win a match" lists, and made a slam SF at age 19. Also huge.
    If we are going by that then Bencic is a huge favourite. Also I think we are forgetting Ana Konjuh. I know she hasn't done much outside juniors yet, but only 17 and already in the top 100.
    Roger forever

  7. #22

    Re: The Speculation Thread

    Ranking alone is not a valid indicator of course, but still something might be learned. Here are the top 10 under 21 year olds in both tours.

    WTA

    #14 Bencic (18)
    #19 Keys (20)
    #61 Witthoeft (20)
    #69 Kovinic (20)
    #71 Konjuh (17)
    #74 Hibino (20)
    #76 Ostapenko (18)
    #80 Putintseva (20)
    #84 Konteveit (19)
    #96 Kasatkina (18)

    We've all seen Bencic and Keys play. Hibino and Putintseva are too small to be taken seriously. Ostapenko is very aggressive, but has poor serve. Kontaveit seems to be pretty well rounded. As I said before I'm still hopeful for Konjuh. Never seen Kasatkina play.

    ATP

    #29 Kyrgios (20)
    #46 Coric (18)
    #49 Chung (19)
    #72 Kokkinakis (19)
    #74 Zverev (18)
    #106 Edmund (20)
    #120 Ymer (19)
    #127 Donaldson (19)
    #145 Nishioka (20)
    #154 Kachanova (19)

    In addition #171 Rublev (17) deserves an honourable mention. The top five are all believable prospects. The change of generation in ATP is not as imminent as in WTA plus there are also some strong 22-25 year olds so it's much harder to predict.
    Roger forever

  8. #23

    Re: The Speculation Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by suliso View Post
    If we are going by that then Bencic is a huge favourite. Also I think we are forgetting Ana Konjuh. I know she hasn't done much outside juniors yet, but only 17 and already in the top 100.
    Bencic is definitely miles ahead of anyone her age and probably anyone up to 3 years older (Muguruza is 3.5 years older). One thing that hurts her is that she's 'all or nothing' in more than one way. Her shots can be extremely flat, she goes for a down the line kill shot very early in the point, and she's emotional. It's great when everything clicks, but she doesn't have much of a plan B. It's extremely surprising how many of her match losses are absolute blowouts. I think she has to stop getting bagels and bread sticks so frequently before she can be considered anything more than a dark horse. In a few years she might get into the top 5 and stay there for a decade, but it would also be easy for her to over-tinker with her game or for the attention to hurt her ala Bouchard/Stephens. I don't know when, but I do think she'll end her career with at least a slam or two.

    I'm not very familiar with Konjuh, so I looked her up on youtube and watched a highlight reel of her vs Li at the 2014 AO. She has a very exciting game. Her serve and ground strokes are some of the whippiest I have ever seen. It creates this odd effect where, depending on her timing, it might explode through the court or barely make the service line and sit up. She has solid variety and good ideas for someone so young. Unfortunately, her serve is almost all arm and often very attackable, and she's slow as molasses. Even if she's increased her speed and improved her serve in the last year and half and continues to do so, I don't see her ever winning slams. I do think she'll be a fun player to watch.
    Last edited by Charlie02123; 10-11-2015 at 03:13 AM.

  9. #24

    Re: The Speculation Thread

    Her actual game aside what impresses me most about Bencic is her not being overwhelmed with her own fame. She has been hyped a lot here in Switzerland for the last 2-3 years. Already have lots of commercial contracts including outside tennis and she doesn't come from a particularly rich family. It's probably down to a good support network.
    Roger forever

  10. #25

    Re: The Speculation Thread

    Is Bencic still being coached by Molitor? I believe that could work AGAINST her. I don't know if Molitor knows how to get more ooomph out of her serve, or more power on her strokes.
    I think she is still iffy (as they all are).
    Funny thing: two pages of this thread and not a single mention of that young Canadian player that took the nasty spill at the USO. I though she was going to be good (and now we are not even mentioning her).
    Starry starry night

  11. #26

    Re: The Speculation Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ponchi101 View Post
    Is Bencic still being coached by Molitor? I believe that could work AGAINST her. I don't know if Molitor knows how to get more ooomph out of her serve, or more power on her strokes.
    Part time, I believe. However I think it's a fallacy to think that a good coach, and she must be a good one if she found another elite player besides her daughter, can coach only one way and for only one style of play. Bollettieri coached both Jankovic and Sharapova in his academy, not exactly the same style.
    Roger forever

  12. #27

    Re: The Speculation Thread

    What do y'all think of Jack Sock's odds -- Roddick-esque?

    Though there's this, in his Wikipedia entry: "If Sock has a successful singles career, it will be in spite of, not because of, his technique, according to retired American tennis champion and now commentator Jim Courier."

  13. #28

    Re: The Speculation Thread

    I think the problem of "technique" Courier ascribes to Sock can be ascribed to almost all of the young US players. They have all the shots but no game to make them effective. Keys (19) and Donaldson (127) are the only Americans who have been mentioned so far in this discussion for a reason.

    Charlie's analysis of Keys game is spot on. I was once a fan of Lindsay coaching her but Keys' hasn't shown any progress and I wonder if it isn't time for her to move on. Sumyk was available but Muguruza snatched him up. She is emotional like Bencic and needs someone to tell her to stop it and get a Plan B. Keys is 20 though and Bencic is 17 or 18 I think. It's less likely that Keys will stop falling apart since she is the older of the two.

    I've only seen Jared Donaldson play once so I don't have a lot to say about him.

    I'm still liking Mmoh to be a star. A Slam winner is a bit far fetched but he is maturing out of the lime light and that is a good thing.
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb




  14. #29

    Re: The Speculation Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    I'm still liking Mmoh to be a star. A Slam winner is a bit far fetched but he is maturing out of the lime light and that is a good thing.
    I agree, but it can never last for any young player and particularly for one from such a demanding place as USA. Once the first breakthrough comes (Slam SF, for example) there will be journalists all over him, talk shows, a lot of money and even more expectations. He or she will have to deal with it and not lose focus and desire. Inevitably some will be able to and some not. No idea in which camp the young guy you mentioned will fall (never seen him play).
    Roger forever

  15. #30

    Re: The Speculation Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ponchi101 View Post
    Funny thing: two pages of this thread and not a single mention of that young Canadian player that took the nasty spill at the USO. I though she was going to be good (and now we are not even mentioning her).
    I was thinking about that too. I think the issue is that Bouchard doesn't have a big weapon to rely on. She's a scrapper who can beat other scrappers or inconsistent power players, but I can't see her taking out power players in great form. She can hang out in the top ten for a majority of her career without ever winning a slam. I think she's on her way to a Kerber/Radwanska/Jankovic/Errani type of resume.

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