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  1. #3811

    Re: Tennis Random, Random 2.0

    I think it hasn't been posted that Ekaterina Makarova has officially retired: https://www.wtatennis.com/news/15914...nt-from-tennis

    She had some success in singles, but it's doubles where she really shone winning 3 GS titles and reaching #1
    Roger forever

  2. #3812

    Re: Tennis Random, Random 2.0

    That was the next thing I was going to post, saw it at the same time as the HOF announcement. Here is her personal message on IG.




    Dear friends!

    I have important news for you today.

    I made a difficult decision to end my professional career in tennis.

    Today I want to thank everyone who has been with me shoulder to shoulder all these years. Who took part in my sports career, starting from my childhood and ending with it. I was lucky enough to work with the best team of professionals. My favorite coaches, sparring, massage therapists, and osteopaths. My team has always been my mainstay and support.

    I would like to thank my lovely family and friends who have always been there for me. I always feel your love and support. My family is my source of energy and inspiration.

    My dear, faithful fans! You have always supported me anywhere in the world. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Your faith in me, gave me strength and helped me move forward to victories!
    I am very happy and proud of my sports career. It's time to move on and start a new stage in my life.

    Your Kate

  3. #3813

    Re: Tennis Random, Random 2.0

    One more story of note on the WTA site. Clearly we heard about the second part, not sure the first part was posted yet.


    WTA to trial electronic line calling on clay in Charleston, coaching from stands in 2020



    The WTA has announced two new trials that will take place in the 2020 season - the use of an electronic line calling system at the Volvo Car Open, and coaching from the stands beginning in February.



    ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA - The Women's Tennis Association has announced two new trials that will take place over the 2020 season as the organization continues to demonstrate its commitment to innovating the sport.

    Electronic line calling will be tested on the clay court surface for the first time at the Volvo Car Open in Charleston, South Carolina, utilizing FOXTENN technology.

    The FOXTENN system, which was officially approved for hardcourt use by the WTA in 2018, will debut on clay at Charleston’s Billie Jean King Stadium Court and the Althea Gibson Club Court in April.

    The same challenge protocols will be used as those on hard and grass courts, that of three challenges per set and no ball mark inspections.

    Following the introduction of on-court coaching in 2008 and the use of WTA-authorized tablets in 2015 (with SAP), coaching from the stands will begin a trial allowing for coaching from the player box at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships and the Hungarian Ladies Open in Debrecen, Hungary.

    The coaching trial will continue through the season at all WTA Premier and International events.

    As coaching is currently not allowed from the player box and is difficult to regulate, the trial will allow coaches to coach and provide input to their player through verbal encouragements, hand signals or quick coaching tips consistent with the manner they currently engage with a player, from the box and now without penalty.

    Any type of coaching conversation must take place through the WTA’s existing on-court coaching protocol, whereby a player can request their coach to come to their bench once a set.

    “The WTA has always embraced the opportunity to introduce new technology and innovations to enhance women’s tennis, and we’re excited to see where these trials take the sport,” said WTA Chairman and CEO Steve Simon.

    “We’re hopeful these provisional changes will have a positive impact in improving the overall playing environment and upgrading the way fans can enjoy the WTA Tour.”


    https://www.wtatennis.com/news/15913...stands-in-2020

  4. #3814

    Re: Tennis Random, Random 2.0

    Oleg S.
    @AnnaK_4ever
    Number of female players to win their first Grand Slam title, having never reached a Grand Slam quarterfinal before:

    1980-2016: 1
    2017-present: 4
    Serena's the 1 from 1980-2016. The 4 are Ostapenko, Osaka, Andreescu, and Kenin.

    Now the question is if there are any players who've never made a QF, but could be considered contenders.

    I think Sabalenka is the only woman in the top 20 who's never made a QF. After that you'd have to look at young players who might break out. Rybakina and Yastremska could be considered.

    Most people would call Swiatek and Gauff future champions, but they're also rising steadily, and don't have tons of firepower. I bet they'll make a QF before being serious contenders.

  5. #3815

    Re: Tennis Random, Random 2.0

    Michał
    @radiustachyon

    Aga in her latest interview: "There's still a group of more technical players: Angie, Barty, Bencic. They present versatile style. They can speed up, slow down, play combination tennis. Something is happening. It's worse for tennis when someone like Keys steps on the court...

    ..She can hit 3 aces in one game but it's more boring with her. Just like with men. It's a different thing to watch Djokovic vs Federer and Isner vs Querrey."

    Aga also mentioned that she was often ill in Asia. "I had to withdraw from Tokio once, in Korea I had an illness that lasted 4 days. It began right before the final against Pavs. I thought I wouldn't be able to leave the locker room. There was no contact with me but I won"

    In the same interview Aga said that she could commentate for some English channels but rather not for Polish bc of mentality. She called some commentators "omniscient and envious" and said that they don't really feel the game. "Some should never sit in front of the microphone".

    Here's more ) Aga: "I think Sharapova is close to this decision [retirement]. You can see that she's not doing well. Youth is coming and she's losing R1 or R2 practically everywhere. Stars like she surely aren't satisfied with such results. Also, she's not getting younger"
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa





  6. #3816

    Re: Tennis Random, Random 2.0

    The Big Takeaway From Australia: Men’s and Women’s Tennis Are in Very Different Places
    While men’s singles is dominated by the Big Three of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, it is anyone’s game on the women’s side.

    By Christopher Clarey
    Published Feb. 3, 2020
    Updated Feb. 4, 2020, 12:49 a.m. ET


    MELBOURNE, Australia — Men’s and women’s tennis are in drastically different phases. The men have a triopoly that could quickly transform into a monopoly if Novak Djokovic stays fresh and focused. The women have something closer to mob rule with new winners emerging at a madcap clip.

    In the last 12 Grand Slam tournaments, the women have had eight first-time major singles champions. Joining that list on Saturday at the Australian Open was Sofia Kenin, an assured American seeded just 14th.

    In the last 21 Grand Slam tournaments, the men haven’t had any first-time major singles champions.

    Nonetheless, the winners in Melbourne did share some common ground.

    Djokovic and Kenin both had to come back to win in their finals, staring down break points and playing boldly when it mattered most.

    Both have been visualizing success since their rackets were nearly as tall as they were.

    (...)

    Perhaps the heart — and a tremendous amount of practice and conditioning — helps explain why men in their 30s continue to dominate. Younger stars like Dominic Thiem have to know in their heads by now that they have the firepower and skills to rival the Big Three: Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

    Thiem, 26, has beaten each of them on more than one surface and has beaten Nadal and Djokovic in best-of-five-set Grand Slam play. But he is now 0-3 in Grand Slam finals after his loss to Djokovic late Sunday night.

    It was a five-setter that was more epic in length than mood, with Thiem failing to push Djokovic for long at the end of the fourth set or the fifth. The suspense never approached the high-anxiety levels of last year’s Wimbledon final, when Djokovic beat Federer in a tiebreaker after they won 12 games each in the fifth set, a first for a Wimbledon final. Sunday’s duel also fell short of the five-set United States Open final in September, when Daniil Medvedev, 23, rallied from two sets down to push Nadal remarkably close to his physical limits.

    But the theme remained the same: the old guard holding off new blood, though now just barely.

    “I think it’s only small details,” Thiem said. “It could have gone either way for Daniil in the U.S. Open and for me here.”

    The blockade of Grand Slam ports is still real.

    “It’s unique in sports history that the three best players by far are playing in the same era,” Thiem said. “That’s what makes it very, very difficult for players to break through.”

    It is, of course, not quite right to proclaim the Big Three the best ever based on their major-tournament counts. Stars in earlier eras often skipped the Australian Open or turned professional, rendering themselves ineligible for the Grand Slam tournaments, which were reserved for “amateurs” until 1968. It is only since the mid-1990s that participating in all four of the events has become the rule.

    Federer, the oldest of the Big Three at age 38, holds the men’s record of 20 singles titles. Nadal has 19 and Djokovic has 17. The next best active players in Grand Slam titles are Stan Wawrinka and Andy Murray with three apiece.

    The French Open, the next major on the calendar, seems the logical place for Nadal to win his 20th. He has won a far-fetched 12 singles titles on the red clay in Paris. Djokovic and Thiem are likely to pose big threats, but even if Nadal succeeds, that does not mean Djokovic won’t soon catch him and Federer.

    Djokovic wants the record and also wants Federer’s record for total time at No. 1. Djokovic reclaimed the top ranking from Nadal by winning here and is now in his 276th week at No. 1, behind Pete Sampras with 286 weeks and Federer with 310. Federer’s tenure once seemed untouchable; Djokovic could surpass it in October.

    “The No. 1 was not really in the equation for me until I successfully finished as the year-end No. 1 for several years in a row,” Djokovic said of the record. “That’s one of the two biggest goals for sure. I mean, there is no secret in that.”

    At the end of the 2009 season, the top three players in the rankings were, in order, Federer, Nadal and Djokovic. This week, a decade later, the order is Djokovic, Nadal and Federer.

    That the names have not changed, only the order, is unprecedented. It also helps explain why only seven men have won major singles titles since the start of the 2006 season. During that same span, there have been 25 different women’s Grand Slam singles champions.

    The temptation is to attribute the disparity to the men playing best of five sets and the women best of three with the shorter format lending itself more easily to upsets. But best of three did not keep Serena Williams from winning 23 major singles titles and twice winning four majors in a row.

    Federer has speculated that the switch to 32 seeds instead of 16, which came in 2001 at the majors, was also a factor in the increased stability at the top. But the women also have 32 seeds.

    It seems, above all, cyclical, and Williams’s decline has coincided with a new generation’s rise. Ashleigh Barty is 23, Naomi Osaka is 22, Kenin is 21 and Bianca Andreescu is 19. All of them have won majors in the past 13 months, and best of luck to those who want to predict the winner at upcoming majors.

    Kenin, a Russian-born American, was hardly an unknown threat. She won three tournaments last season and also defeated Barty when she was No. 1 in Toronto and Osaka the following week when she was No. 1 in Cincinnati.

    Kenin is at her best on hardcourts but had not been past the fourth round in a major tournament before. In Melbourne, she defeated the fastest-rising young talent in the game, 15-year-old Coco Gauff. She then beat Barty, who was seeded No. 1 and had huge Australian crowd support. In the final, Kenin faced down the more powerful and aggressive Garbiñe Muguruza, a former French Open and Wimbledon champion.

    It was quite a run, and the pièce de résistance was the fifth game of the third set of the final. At 2-2 and down 0-40, Kenin produced four groundstroke winners and an ace to hold serve. “That game is going to be with me forever,” Kenin said.

    Now ranked No. 7, she could become a top 10 regular if she remains healthy, but to surmise that she is now ready to dominate is a stretch. She has pluck and a serve that is surprisingly hard to attack. She has exquisite timing from the baseline, an improved forehand and a nasty drop shot. The past two weeks she was unflappable. But others have bigger weapons and more speed, and others, like Andreescu, have shown a knack of their own for coming up big on the grand occasion.

    “Sonya hates to lose,” said Alex Kenin, her father and coach, using her nickname. “It’s just not an option, so she just refused to do that.”

    No one likes losing, of course, and his daughter, for all her fire and hunger, will surely no longer catch any would-be champion by surprise.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/03/s...lian-open.html
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa





  7. #3817

    Re: Tennis Random, Random 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    Michał
    @radiustachyon

    Aga in her latest interview: "There's still a group of more technical players: Angie, Barty, Bencic. They present versatile style. They can speed up, slow down, play combination tennis. Something is happening. It's worse for tennis when someone like Keys steps on the court...

    ..She can hit 3 aces in one game but it's more boring with her. Just like with men. It's a different thing to watch Djokovic vs Federer and Isner vs Querrey."

    Aga also mentioned that she was often ill in Asia. "I had to withdraw from Tokio once, in Korea I had an illness that lasted 4 days. It began right before the final against Pavs. I thought I wouldn't be able to leave the locker room. There was no contact with me but I won"

    In the same interview Aga said that she could commentate for some English channels but rather not for Polish bc of mentality. She called some commentators "omniscient and envious" and said that they don't really feel the game. "Some should never sit in front of the microphone".

    Here's more ) Aga: "I think Sharapova is close to this decision [retirement]. You can see that she's not doing well. Youth is coming and she's losing R1 or R2 practically everywhere. Stars like she surely aren't satisfied with such results. Also, she's not getting younger"
    Nice to see that she hasn't lost her snark in retirement. Incidentally, Aga, you were one of the most boring people to take the court in the last decade.
    This is not the bouquet you toss

  8. #3818

    Re: Tennis Random, Random 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by JTContinental View Post
    Nice to see that she hasn't lost her snark in retirement. Incidentally, Aga, you were one of the most boring people to take the court in the last decade.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa





  9. #3819

    Re: Tennis Random, Random 2.0

    Interesting post about hard court sliding. There's lots of video that can be found at the link.

    Matthew Willis
    @MattRacquet
    Jan 8th 2020, 24 tweets,

    A thread on hard court sliding & movement (ATP)🎾🏃*♂️

    1/ There have been plenty of lightning fast athletes throughout tennis history. But today’s game, alongside its high-margin, spin-laden power, has spawned a fascinating development in terms of on-the-run hard court movement

    2/ Sliding on-the-run has almost always been commonplace on clay courts. But consistently sliding on the stretch on a hard court, making contact with the ball *whilst simultaneously stopping*, is, generally speaking, a new invention of the last 15-20 years.

    3/ Here we have the traditional, on the run, change of direction courtesy of Pete Sampras. On both sides when faced with a ball that was nearly out of reach, we see traditional recovery steps. He makes contact, in a closed stance, and *afterwards* stops and turns around

    4/ This was seen as the accepted technique for much of tennis history when hitting from these kind of positions.

    Because contact & stopping/turning-around are 2 separate actions in this method (1 *hit ball*, 2 *slow down/turn*), recovery back to the middle of the court is slow

    5/ In contrast, here's the more recent development of the one step jump & slide, on the full stretch, courtesy of Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal (the trailblazers of modern baseline movement) + Auger-Aliassime & Monfils

    6/ NB: the Sampras vs 'modern' comparison is simplistic, & isn’t meant as like-for-like given Pete had a singlehander & no 2 points are the same. Comparison is merely to show difference in recovery time, footwork & body positioning from on-the-run positions between the techniques
    7/ Modern players (above video) can plant their outside leg in 1 big leap, in an open/semi-open stance.

    *simultaneously stopping & making contact*

    This means a player is ready to push off that outside leg & move back to middle of the court almost immediately following contact
    8/ Not only does this streamline 2 motions (ball contact & changing direction) into one, but it also has various biomechanical advantages WRT to power generation & stability (wide base: legs, freer rotation of upper body etc)

    Here's @_markpetchey with a great visual explanation:

    9/ This evolution of movement has produced baseliners who seem impossible to hit through. Tennis’ age-old advice of ‘taking time away from the opponent’ is orders of magnitude harder when players can recover back to a central position in the court faster than ever before.

    10/ Positional advantage has almost certainly never been countered more successfully than it is these days, in the baseline tennis meta that we find ourselves in. Here’s Novak again to demonstrate:

    1/ This evolution has simply enabled the more athletic modern players to:

    - Hit offensive shots, that historically would have been defensive

    or

    - Retrieve balls, that historically would have been un-retrievable

    + then recover for the next potential shot in record speed

    12/ This improvement in on-the-stretch power/stability & shotmaking, is in exchange for significantly more extreme joint (ankle, knee, hip) pressure caused by the more abrupt stop inherent in a large-step slide (compared to spreading the impact over multiple steps)

    13/ Finally, an interesting aspect of this evolution is the emergence of 'fast giants'. Despite tennis getting taller (Zverev 6ft5, Tsitsipas 6ft4, Auger-Aliassime 6ft4, Hurkacz 6ft5) it's also becoming more nimble & building on top of Djokovic et al’s work

    14/ Each of these up-and-comers regularly employ the sort of lunging slides (and therefore faster recovery back to the middle of the court) mentioned above, regardless of surface

    15/ This wasn’t true of the emerging next-gen in the late 90’s (& even into the beginning of the 2000’s), which makes this evolution all the more fascinating with regard to its relatively fast adoption
    16/ Some notes:

    Federer burst on the scene at a time (late 90’s) when the above technique wasn’t prevalent. But Fed managed to learn a version of it mid-career & you can now occasionally see him utilising it on his forehand side to great effect. An impressive form of adaptation

    17/ Chang & Srichaphan for e.g were early e.g's of players sliding on hard courts, but the vast majority of their slides came after contact rather than during. Neither consistently employed then open stance, single leap into contact of the more modern players.

    18/ Modern players are also better than ever at hitting the ball & then stopping by way of a slide (especially on short balls) rather than taking recovery steps. But players had started to do this, albeit less impressively than today’s borderline gymnasts, in late 80’s/90’s

    19/ Players are now better at retrieval & point elongation than ever, and while some courts have undoubtably slowed, the perception of speed will also have been influenced by increasingly impressive movement abilities from the sports biggest stars.

    20/ Lower-bouncing/faster courts, more grass/carpet, more volleying, heavier racquets, less forgiving strings, smaller racquet heads, meant that players from previous eras didn’t need to, or couldn’t, develop their movement as modern baseliners have in past 20 years

    21/ This thread should by no means be read as a criticism or marginalisation of what previous era’s achieved with regard to mobility, as those bygone stars were merely optimising for what the game of their own time demanded/allowed. They were extraordinary in their own ways!

    22/ Fin.

    https://twitter.com/MattRacquet/stat...428505095?s=20
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa





  10. #3820

    Re: Tennis Random, Random 2.0

    Florian Heer
    @Florian_Heer

    16-year-old Leo Borg ���� to play his first professional match at the ATP Challenger tournament in Bergamo next week against a qualifier.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa





  11. #3821

    Re: Tennis Random, Random 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    Florian Heer
    @Florian_Heer

    16-year-old Leo Borg to play his first professional match at the ATP Challenger tournament in Bergamo next week against a qualifier.
    What I'm getting from this more than anything else is that Bjorn Borg has a 16-year old child? Say what?

  12. #3822

    Re: Tennis Random, Random 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by JazzNU View Post
    What I'm getting from this more than anything else is that Bjorn Borg has a 16-year old child? Say what?
    Colorful life (on his third wife), but age wise nothing so remarkable. Most 47 year old men are still capable of it.
    Roger forever

  13. #3823

    Re: Tennis Random, Random 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by suliso View Post
    Colorful life (on his third wife), but age wise nothing so remarkable. Most 47 year old men are still capable of it.
    You obviously have not reached 47 yet!
    (Oh, right. Little blue pill, I forgot...)
    Missing winter...

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