Article: Left handers in the modern game [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Article: Left handers in the modern game

Action Jackson
05-26-2005, 07:26 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/26/sports/tennis/26tennis.html?pagewanted=1&ei=5099&en=4d5604d49f5c368f&ex=1117684800&partner=TOPIXNEWS

Nadal Leads Movement to the Left in Tennis

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2005/05/25/sports/26tennis583.jpg

By CHRISTOPHER CLAREY
Published: May 26, 2005
PARIS, May 25 - It was becoming difficult to be even-handed about the game of tennis. Left-handers, once prime movers and racket shakers in the sport, were becoming as hard to find at the top as sliced forehands, checkered headbands and short men's shorts - until Rafael Nadal made his move.

Where there used to be Rod Laver, Guillermo Vilas, Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova and Monica Seles (the ground strokes were two-handed, but the serve was not), there was suddenly a glut of forehand crosscourt rallies from right-handed baseliners intent on grinding the flashy minority into the clay.

Schoolchildren in Victorian England sometimes had their left hands tied behind their backs so they would not write with them, and future tennis stars have been forced to play against instinct, too. Greats like Ken Rosewall and Margaret Court were natural left-handers who were made to use their right hands, as was Kimiko Date, the finest Japanese women's player of the past 20 years.

But after years of drought, it has finally been a verdant spring for the sinister, the Latin word for those on the unlucky left, and not because the left-handed Finnish qualifier Jarkko Nieminen bounced the ailing Andre Agassi out of the French Open in the first round on Tuesday.

The primary reason is Nadal, the Spanish 18-year-old whose whipping forehand and scrambling footwork have propelled him to No. 5 in the rankings and, after Wednesday's 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 defeat of Xavier Malisse, into the third round at Roland Garros, where he will face Richard Gasquet of France. Gasquet, a fellow 18-year-old but not a fellow left-hander, defeated Peter Wessels, 6-3, 7-6 (1), 6-1.

Until Nadal roared into the big picture, the last left-hander in the top 10 was the surly, spectacular Chilean Marcelo Rios, who dropped out of that elite group in April 2000. Although Nadal means business and trouble for his right-handed rivals, some of them, including the world's No. 1 player, Roger Federer, are actually delighted to see something different across the net. As someone who appreciates an artful winner more than a winner, Federer is all for variety, even if it costs him a title or two, or three.

"I think it's good he's a lefty," Federer said after his 6-3, 7-6, 6-2 victory over Nicolas Almagro, "because it also changes the dimensions of the rallies, the way you play. The spins come the other way, so that's going to be interesting, because we haven't seen Marat Safin or Lleyton Hewitt or Andy Roddick or Guillermo Coria play those lefties anymore. We've only really seen them playing righties, so that puts a totally different game plan in place."

Nadal is a natural right-hander who makes his millions with his left. His mentor and fellow Majorcan Carlos Moya, who won the French Open in 1998, is a natural left-hander who plays with his right.

"Nobody forced me; it was just the hand I used when I started out at 3 or 4," Moya said. "Maybe somebody just handed me the racket that way."

Nadal is not the only left-handed player on the way up. His slightly older Spanish compatriots Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco, who both lost in the first round here, are in the top 50. Donald Young of the United States, a 15-year-old with big feet and soft hands, became the youngest male to win a Grand Slam junior title when he prevailed at this year's Australian Open. And Patty Schnyder, the curly-haired Swiss player with the languid serve and maddening blend of spins, is working her way back into the top 10 for the first time in six years.

"I'm trying to use her as inspiration," said the Frenchwoman Emilie Loit, another left-hander who reached the third round on Wednesday, by defeating Amy Frazier, 6-4, 6-4. "She has a really sensational style. It's a great change from the boom-boom of the women who, if you don't mind me saying so, just swat the ball and hit it left, then right, without thinking."

Schnyder advanced with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Sandra Kloesel on Wednesday. Schnyder's game, in particular, plays neatly into the idea of the left-handed player as the right-brained, unpredictable artist - much like McEnroe and Goran Ivanisevic, the Croat who won Wimbledon in 2001, and was prone to chasing pigeons and his own demons. Schnyder's spin-heavy game features another left-handers' trait: they know their spin bothers the opposition, so they learn to pile it on.

But the traditional advantages don't stop there. It might be hard to find a practice partner. "If they're playing a righty next round, forget it," Loit said. But tennis is all about muscle memory: honing strokes and patterns of play. Facing a left-hander means breaking hard-earned habits, particularly if there are fewer left-handers than usual in the mix. Players who have spent the bulk of their competitive lives trying to get the ball to their opponent's backhand suddenly find themselves hitting the ball under pressure to their opponent's forehand.

"So many of the guys are programmed to play a certain way, and of course that's going right into Nadal's strength," said Federer's coach, Tony Roche, the second-best left-hander of his era after Laver.

But what makes Nadal particularly effective is not just the element of surprise. His forehand down the line is perhaps his best shot, meaning that he can rip open the court in a consistent hurry, leaving him plenty of room for his follow-up punch.

So why aren't there more tennis players on the left? One theory is that other sports, like golf, which were once hostile to left-handers by failing to provide them with proper equipment, have become more accommodating. And an athlete can have a longer career and earn more as a decent left-handed pitcher than as a decent left-handed tennis player.

But Thomas Muster, the Austrian left-hander who was effective enough to win the 1995 French Open, also said that the left-handed advantage in tennis is diminishing. He said that racket technology has improved returns to the point that the sliced left-handed serve in the ad-court is no longer as routinely effective. He also said that the rise in the number of quality backhands in the men's game has made it harder for left-handers to do consistent damage with their crosscourt forehands.

"In my days, there was a lot of slice on the backhands, so there was less speed coming back," Muster said. "But now, the top guys are so balanced off both sides that I don't think being a lefty is the same advantage."

Moya, for one, would disagree.

"If I had it to do over again," he said, "I'd be a lefty."

Eve83
05-26-2005, 08:32 AM
That´s a great article and I had just finished reading the same one on the International Herald Tribune site and wanted to post it. You´re fast;)

Interesting read.

drf716
05-26-2005, 09:26 AM
i didnt read it. hehe. but hooray for lefties like me.
i read somewhere that in sports like tennis lefties has an advantage of some sort. (that i read really)

Action Jackson
05-26-2005, 11:08 AM
I wonder if the great scientist ys will show up in this thread.

ys
05-26-2005, 12:11 PM
The article says exactly the sentiment that I was talking about.. They only suggest that the tendency changes again, which I don't agree with. I see Nadal as a phenom that could be just an exception.. It is not that we have a group comparable to Connors, McEnroe and Vilas active right now.

Adman
05-26-2005, 12:36 PM
Left hander should have the own tour, but that is what all the commentator say they should have.

alfonsojose
05-26-2005, 03:35 PM
Lefties are :devil: ;)

tennischick
05-26-2005, 03:39 PM
terrific article. i like the accolades for Patty Schnyder. it's so nice to see her back.

WyveN
05-26-2005, 03:50 PM
The article says exactly the sentiment that I was talking about.. They only suggest that the tendency changes again, which I don't agree with. I see Nadal as a phenom that could be just an exception.. It is not that we have a group comparable to Connors, McEnroe and Vilas active right now.

Your theory would be correct if talented mentally strong players were not having success simply because they were left handed.
Nadal is not a exception, just someone who came along after a drought of exceptional left handed players. If guys like Mcenroe were in their prime during this generation they would be succesful.

Action Jackson
05-26-2005, 03:53 PM
Things are cyclical and we were fortunate that there were plenty of great lefthanders in proportion to the population of lefties in society, things go in cycles and this is no different.

The game hasn't changed that much that lefthanders are disadvantaged if good enough then they will do well.

ys
05-26-2005, 04:20 PM
Your theory would be correct if talented mentally strong players were not having success simply because they were left handed.
Nadal is not a exception, just someone who came along after a drought of exceptional left handed players. If guys like Mcenroe were in their prime during this generation they would be succesful.

That you have no proof for.

Article emphasises exactly the points that I was making.. 15-20% of people are lefthanded. Being lefthanded has its advantages and disadvantages.

The wooden type of game exposed advantages. Hence , the percentage of successful lefties consistently exceeded the statistical average in those days.

The modern type of game exposed major disadvantage - that lefthanders averagely are less powerful than righthanders, and modern racket technologies compensated for some other advantage they had - with modern rackets having huge heads and huge sweetspots made righthander's doublehanders competitive against lefthander's forehands and made lefthander's tricky spins much less effective. More than that, having to handle that increased power from their uncomfortable wing all the time made lefthanders much mroe statistically injury-prone.Therefore the percentage of successful lefties is consistently falling and for more than a decade already is below the statistical average.

That's all points that I tried to make. That the chance of becoming successful on Tour now are now much less than they were 30 years ago. Of course, you know, someone like GWH would always try to move any point that anyone is making to extremity. I've never been talking seriously about lefthandr's extinction in absolute terms. But I was and am serious when talking about statistics. Because they are something only a fool can deny.

alfonsojose
05-26-2005, 04:27 PM
terrific article. i like the accolades for Patty Schnyder. it's so nice to see her back.
as soon as she stays far away from Conchita :boxing: :cat: :tape:

alfonsojose
05-26-2005, 04:28 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/26/sports/tennis/26tennis.html?pagewanted=1&ei=5099&en=4d5604d49f5c368f&ex=1117684800&partner=TOPIXNEWS

Nadal Leads Movement to the Left in Tennis

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2005/05/25/sports/26tennis583.jpg

By CHRISTOPHER CLAREY
Published: May 26, 2005
PARIS, May 25 - It was becoming difficult to be even-handed about the game of tennis. Left-handers, once prime movers and racket shakers in the sport, were becoming as hard to find at the top as sliced forehands, checkered headbands and short men's shorts - until Rafael Nadal made his move.

Where there used to be Rod Laver, Guillermo Vilas, Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova and Monica Seles (the ground strokes were two-handed, but the serve was not), there was suddenly a glut of forehand crosscourt rallies from right-handed baseliners intent on grinding the flashy minority into the clay.

Schoolchildren in Victorian England sometimes had their left hands tied behind their backs so they would not write with them, and future tennis stars have been forced to play against instinct, too. Greats like Ken Rosewall and Margaret Court were natural left-handers who were made to use their right hands, as was Kimiko Date, the finest Japanese women's player of the past 20 years.

But after years of drought, it has finally been a verdant spring for the sinister, the Latin word for those on the unlucky left, and not because the left-handed Finnish qualifier Jarkko Nieminen bounced the ailing Andre Agassi out of the French Open in the first round on Tuesday.

The primary reason is Nadal, the Spanish 18-year-old whose whipping forehand and scrambling footwork have propelled him to No. 5 in the rankings and, after Wednesday's 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 defeat of Xavier Malisse, into the third round at Roland Garros, where he will face Richard Gasquet of France. Gasquet, a fellow 18-year-old but not a fellow left-hander, defeated Peter Wessels, 6-3, 7-6 (1), 6-1.

Until Nadal roared into the big picture, the last left-hander in the top 10 was the surly, spectacular Chilean Marcelo Rios, who dropped out of that elite group in April 2000. Although Nadal means business and trouble for his right-handed rivals, some of them, including the world's No. 1 player, Roger Federer, are actually delighted to see something different across the net. As someone who appreciates an artful winner more than a winner, Federer is all for variety, even if it costs him a title or two, or three.

"I think it's good he's a lefty," Federer said after his 6-3, 7-6, 6-2 victory over Nicolas Almagro, "because it also changes the dimensions of the rallies, the way you play. The spins come the other way, so that's going to be interesting, because we haven't seen Marat Safin or Lleyton Hewitt or Andy Roddick or Guillermo Coria play those lefties anymore. We've only really seen them playing righties, so that puts a totally different game plan in place."

Nadal is a natural right-hander who makes his millions with his left. His mentor and fellow Majorcan Carlos Moya, who won the French Open in 1998, is a natural left-hander who plays with his right.

"Nobody forced me; it was just the hand I used when I started out at 3 or 4," Moya said. "Maybe somebody just handed me the racket that way."

Nadal is not the only left-handed player on the way up. His slightly older Spanish compatriots Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco, who both lost in the first round here, are in the top 50. Donald Young of the United States, a 15-year-old with big feet and soft hands, became the youngest male to win a Grand Slam junior title when he prevailed at this year's Australian Open. And Patty Schnyder, the curly-haired Swiss player with the languid serve and maddening blend of spins, is working her way back into the top 10 for the first time in six years.

"I'm trying to use her as inspiration," said the Frenchwoman Emilie Loit, another left-hander who reached the third round on Wednesday, by defeating Amy Frazier, 6-4, 6-4. "She has a really sensational style. It's a great change from the boom-boom of the women who, if you don't mind me saying so, just swat the ball and hit it left, then right, without thinking."

Schnyder advanced with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Sandra Kloesel on Wednesday. Schnyder's game, in particular, plays neatly into the idea of the left-handed player as the right-brained, unpredictable artist - much like McEnroe and Goran Ivanisevic, the Croat who won Wimbledon in 2001, and was prone to chasing pigeons and his own demons. Schnyder's spin-heavy game features another left-handers' trait: they know their spin bothers the opposition, so they learn to pile it on.

But the traditional advantages don't stop there. It might be hard to find a practice partner. "If they're playing a righty next round, forget it," Loit said. But tennis is all about muscle memory: honing strokes and patterns of play. Facing a left-hander means breaking hard-earned habits, particularly if there are fewer left-handers than usual in the mix. Players who have spent the bulk of their competitive lives trying to get the ball to their opponent's backhand suddenly find themselves hitting the ball under pressure to their opponent's forehand.

"So many of the guys are programmed to play a certain way, and of course that's going right into Nadal's strength," said Federer's coach, Tony Roche, the second-best left-hander of his era after Laver.

But what makes Nadal particularly effective is not just the element of surprise. His forehand down the line is perhaps his best shot, meaning that he can rip open the court in a consistent hurry, leaving him plenty of room for his follow-up punch.

So why aren't there more tennis players on the left? One theory is that other sports, like golf, which were once hostile to left-handers by failing to provide them with proper equipment, have become more accommodating. And an athlete can have a longer career and earn more as a decent left-handed pitcher than as a decent left-handed tennis player.

But Thomas Muster, the Austrian left-hander who was effective enough to win the 1995 French Open, also said that the left-handed advantage in tennis is diminishing. He said that racket technology has improved returns to the point that the sliced left-handed serve in the ad-court is no longer as routinely effective. He also said that the rise in the number of quality backhands in the men's game has made it harder for left-handers to do consistent damage with their crosscourt forehands.

"In my days, there was a lot of slice on the backhands, so there was less speed coming back," Muster said. "But now, the top guys are so balanced off both sides that I don't think being a lefty is the same advantage."

Moya, for one, would disagree.

"If I had it to do over again," he said, "I'd be a lefty."
Don't forget lefty and gay, Carlos :drool:

vogus
05-26-2005, 06:13 PM
Moya naturally left-handed and Nadal naturally right-handed? Bulls**t. They both have great forehands and crap backhands (the difference is especially obvious with Moya). Players don't develop the world's best forehands playing with their opposite hands.

The number of left-handers on the tennis tour is way below the statistical occurence of left-handers in the general population. There is exactly ONE left-hander in the Top 50 of the WTA right now.

Haute
05-26-2005, 06:18 PM
People who use their left-hand as the dominant hand tend to be more creative than right-handers, so that might be why we have the advantage on the court. We're not out there just slugging away, we want to make the point artistic. ;)

vogus
05-26-2005, 06:21 PM
People who use their left-hand as the dominant hand tend to be more creative than right-handers, so that might be why we have the advantage on the court. We're not out there just slugging away, we want to make the point artistic. ;)


that is not necessarily an advantage, in fact it is probably a disadvantage.
And Thomas Muster, the best left-hander of the last 20 years, was one of the least artistic top players, he was a brute, an animal on court. Same with Seles.

tennischick
05-26-2005, 06:32 PM
that is not necessarily an advantage, in fact it is probably a disadvantage.
And Thomas Muster, the best left-hander of the last 20 years, was one of the least artistic top players, he was a brute, an animal on court. Same with Seles.
he still is. :lol: i watched his match recently against Courier. Muster has lost none of his brutishness -- he crushed poor Courier in the Delta tour final. ;)

Haute
05-26-2005, 07:05 PM
Players like Muster just give the rest of us left-handers a bad rap. :p

Jenrios
05-26-2005, 08:15 PM
enjoyed the article - thanks!

nermo
05-26-2005, 09:32 PM
Great Article...Lefties adds to the beauty and excitation of the game if they re good enough ofcourse..

hint..i liked what Federer said..

lucashg
05-26-2005, 10:04 PM
Great article. I could use more left-handers being on top. Nadal and Schnyder in the TOP10 are a huge thing here, but they're talented enough. Patty especially has such a beautiful game.

The number of left-handers on the tennis tour is way below the statistical occurence of left-handers in the general population. There is exactly ONE left-hander in the Top 50 of the WTA right now.

Left-hander that plays with with left-hand, right? I read Sharapova is a natural left-hander.

BTW, I loved Emilie Loit's comment on Schnyder's game and WTA Tour in general.

Bonaventure
05-26-2005, 10:09 PM
The article says exactly the sentiment that I was talking about.. They only suggest that the tendency changes again, which I don\'t agree with. I see Nadal as a phenom that could be just an exception.. It is not that we have a group comparable to Connors, McEnroe and Vilas active right now.

When I saw this thread I instantly thought of you and wondered what delightful insight you would give us. :bigwave:

Just a quick question, about a month ago it was all left handers cannot win anything but science shows they have a massive disadvantage in dealing with power. Now Nadal is an exception. When Verdasco finds his brain will he also be an exception. And then Donald Young :rolleyes: Get over it mate, your argument is about as intelligent as Paris Hilton

azinna
05-27-2005, 01:09 AM
Hey, YS, I have a few thoughts/questions:

(1) I will accept that modern racquets have made returning the lefty's ad court serve into the righty's backhand less of a free point. But it's a great play nonetheless. Just as the righty's deuce serve out wide can open things up nicely. What the lefty now has to do is what the righty always had to do: mix things up.

(2) "that lefthanders averagely are less powerful than righthanders"

What? Is this anecdotal? I mean: Nadal, Seles, Laver, Navratilova, Conners were not considered less powerful than their peers. These can't be exceptions to the rule until the rule is proven. If there are stats, what's your database?

(3) "modern rackets having huge heads and huge sweetspots made righthander's doublehanders competitive against lefthander's forehands and made lefthander's tricky spins much less effective"

Agree. Though like point #1, the lefty's now got to have a varied arsenal. He can no longer win on spin alone (if he ever did, that is).

(4) "More than that, having to handle that increased power from their uncomfortable wing all the time made lefthanders much mroe statistically injury-prone."

Huh? So Rios' backhand was his uncomfortable wing? Doesn't this assume that the lesser wing will "on average" be the backhand? Is that still the case in 2005?

(5) "But I was and am serious when talking about statistics. Because they are something only a fool can deny."

But we all know stats can lie. You need to not only present stats for your points above, but also declare how those stats were produced.

azinna
05-27-2005, 01:17 AM
that is not necessarily an advantage, in fact it is probably a disadvantage.
And Thomas Muster, the best left-hander of the last 20 years, was one of the least artistic top players, he was a brute, an animal on court. Same with Seles.

I agree. If it's true that lefties really do have a tendency to go artsy on the court even when they have the power option (see Rios please, or Arazi), then they will (like the artsy righties: Hingis, Grosjean) have a distinct disadvantage in modern tennis. I for one aint too sure about lefties all being artistic and/or privy to uniquely geometric court sense. Sounds like a myth to me.

ys
05-27-2005, 03:33 AM
(2) "that lefthanders averagely are less powerful than righthanders"

What? Is this anecdotal? I mean: Nadal, Seles, Laver, Navratilova, Conners were not considered less powerful than their peers. These can't be exceptions to the rule until the rule is proven. If there are stats, what's your database?


3 from your list are wooden racket era. Seles was using her right hand heavily. Nadal has very little power. Comparing to hardhitters like Safin or Federer or Agassi.


(4) "More than that, having to handle that increased power from their uncomfortable wing all the time made lefthanders much mroe statistically injury-prone."

Huh? So Rios' backhand was his uncomfortable wing? Doesn't this assume that the lesser wing will "on average" be the backhand? Is that still the case in 2005?


So Rios was not far more injury-prone that your average player?


But we all know stats can lie. You need to not only present stats for your points above, but also declare how those stats were produced.

Simple. Lefthanders Slams per decade. Lefthanders in Top 10 per year, lefthanders in top 20 per year. Compile them for 60s, 70s, 80s, 90, 2000s. You'll see that the tendency is obvious. Over 50 years.

azinna
05-27-2005, 04:26 AM
3 from your list are wooden racket era. Seles was using her right hand heavily. Nadal has very little power. Comparing to hardhitters like Safin or Federer or Agassi.

Can't exclude folks from wooden racquet era on the issue of comparative power. No proof of lefties (when compared to righties) being less able to elicit power from racquets in 2005 than in 1965. Seles had double-handed backhand as did many of her less powerful righthanded opponents. Nadal's strength and power (like Muster's) is a combo of considerable pace and considerably heavy spin. If you're looking for flatter shots, of course Rios, Goran and Rusedski. But your point (righthanders are more powerful than lefthanders) requires the statistical robustness of a population study. Doubt if it would hold for an assessment of Top 200 on both tours, much less with a larger N.

So Rios was not far more injury-prone that your average player?

Several other right-handers also more injury-prone than average: Amelie, Venus, Haas, Graf, Kuerten. Rios certainly injury-prone, but there are more cogent reasons for this than his being left-handed.


Simple. Lefthanders Slams per decade. Lefthanders in Top 10 per year, lefthanders in top 20 per year....

Oh. I must have misunderstood. I thought you had data to back up the other points. We've already established that we don't have a posse of left-handers winning as before. We're trying to understand why. Some of your reasons in original post were helpful. Those above were a bit startling, and dangerous as assumptions.

ys
05-27-2005, 04:41 AM
Several other right-handers also more injury-prone than average: Amelie, Venus, Haas, Graf, Kuerten. Rios certainly injury-prone, but there are several more obvious and cogent reasons for this than his being left-handed.


Right. Yet didn't ruin careers of Venus, Graf, Guga. Injuries ruined Rios's career. Injuries subdued Ivanisevic's career to playing practically grass only in last 4-5 years. Injuries heavily affected Rusedski's career.




Oh. I must have misunderstood. I thought you had data to back up the other points. We've already established that we don't have a posse of left-handers winning as before.

Huh, we've finally established it? I thought that that idea has been ridiculed on MTF for last two years or so, by all kind of folks all suggesting that it is a mere coincidence.. Now .. we've finally established that it is a trend rather than a coincidence? That's a remarkable progress..

azinna
05-27-2005, 06:34 AM
Right. Yet didn't ruin careers of Venus, Graf, Guga. Injuries ruined Rios's career....

Andrea Jeager and Tracy Austin were right-handed. Guga is a ghost of himself. Haas, who was going places pre-injury, has truly struggled. Either one could go out the way Magnus Norman did.....



Huh, we've finally established it?..

My Words: "We've already established that we don't have a posse of left-handers winning as before." Cant speak for all who've debated with you on the subject. But it has to be clear to all that we dont currently have an equivalent of the left-handed posse of Connors/Navratilova/McEnroe dominating. But folks are certainly within their right mind to question some of the reasons you posit.

Again, one of your reasons (echoed by Muster) is on point. The righty's backhand return can better handle the swinging lefty ad serve. Also: specialised training/practising is an industry now, and righties nowadays should be able to step onto the court prepared for the lefty. So the whole surprise of having to hit down-the-line to find the weaker shot is less of an issue.

When your reasons stay within these general areas they end up being...reasonable. But the other stuff?....Lefties naturally less powerful? more injury-prone?

Action Jackson
06-04-2005, 12:12 PM
Not too bad two lefties made the final here at RG, but since ys the master of everything lefthanded will dismiss it as it's an irrelevant event.

~EMiLiTA~
06-04-2005, 01:43 PM
thanks for the interesting article GWH

Action Jackson
05-15-2006, 06:42 AM
Acasuso and Moya maybe should have played as lefties, as they are natural lefthanders and Nadal is the opposite.

almouchie
05-15-2006, 12:13 PM
lefties always add a new dimension to tennis
I am lefty btw

Action Jackson
07-06-2006, 04:27 PM
Not too bad for the lefties in Wimbledon considering how some are saying that they are doomed in the modern game.

4 of the last 16 were lefties Nadal, Nieminen, Labadze and Verdasco.

Merton
07-06-2006, 05:00 PM
It is wrong statistically to look at top players that are lefty, observe that they are fewer than they were in the past and infer that there exists some inherent disadvantage being a lefty in the modern game. The reason is that there are other attributes for making it to the top that are not controlled for just by observing the playing hand.

A better way to look at it is to examine propostion of lefty players in the top-1000 for, say, the last 35 years and look at whether a structural break exists around 1985. My suspicion is that there will be no statistical difference.

Action Jackson
07-07-2006, 03:17 AM
Good points there Merton.

Merton
07-07-2006, 04:15 AM
Good points there Merton.

When you only look at the top, it comes down to individual cases, and then generalizations are pointless. For example, can anybody seriously claim that being a lefty was the crucial factor that prevented Ivanisevic or Muster from having better successes than they had?

GlennMirnyi
05-22-2007, 06:45 PM
Bumped!

Forehander
05-22-2007, 07:03 PM
To study deeper into this article you can study the Biological Factors of Psychology and Human Brain. It's sort of like economic way of working, lefties would have an initial advantage but it'll vanish over time reaching the equilibrium.

ChinoRios4Ever
05-23-2007, 02:40 AM
good article GWH...

Lefties :worship: see Chino!!!! :rocker:

Bobby
05-23-2007, 10:46 AM
An interesting article. I think Muster has a good point. In the beginning of the 90s, there were a lot of players with a very weak backhand. For example, Emilio Sanchez used basically just slice. So, maybe it was easier to dominate the rallies, if you were a lefthanded player. Sounds reasonable.

Still, lefties have a slight advantage and it will never disappear. The most crucial points are served ad-court and that's where they have an advantage.

Action Jackson
05-24-2007, 07:52 AM
An interesting article. I think Muster has a good point. In the beginning of the 90s, there were a lot of players with a very weak backhand. For example, Emilio Sanchez used basically just slice. So, maybe it was easier to dominate the rallies, if you were a lefthanded player. Sounds reasonable.

Still, lefties have a slight advantage and it will never disappear. The most crucial points are served ad-court and that's where they have an advantage.

Muster was lucky most of the strong Swedes on clay had retired by then, they all had good backhands.

The whole mystique around lefties helps them as well and it's funny a guy like Blake whose game is hit and miss, has a wonderful record against left handers in recent times.

Action Jackson
10-01-2009, 11:44 PM
Wonder if ys still believes that lefty theory.