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Old 08-31-2012, 04:15 PM   #1
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Question Is college tennis one-dimensional?

So I'm watching the Gulbis vs. Steve Johnson match and the difference in styles is pretty obvious.

Then, I just noticed that all the college guys pretty much play exactly similar. (steve johnson, the bradley klahn guy, somdev, etc.)

No extra topspin, no extra pace, no extra defense behind the baseline. Instead, they're just (trying) to make the shot that supposedly works best statistically.

So, basically, they have no style of their own.

Isner would probably play the exact same way (and be ranked with the rest of them) without that serve.
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Old 08-31-2012, 04:18 PM   #2
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Default Re: Is college tennis one-dimensional?

College tennis is rarely anymore where you find he best players, and haven't for quite some time now. It's where folks go who aren't really pro material for the most part.
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Old 08-31-2012, 04:25 PM   #3
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Default Re: Is college tennis one-dimensional?

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Originally Posted by grahampros View Post
College tennis is rarely anymore where you find he best players, and haven't for quite some time now. It's where folks go who aren't really pro material for the most part.
Yeah, you're probably right.

I'm just wondering if, maybe, whatever style they had as a kid gets taken away from them in college.

I can't imagine Nadal, for instance, making it through college tennis. lol
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Old 08-31-2012, 04:35 PM   #4
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Default Re: Is college tennis one-dimensional?

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Originally Posted by nellis_lv View Post
Yeah, you're probably right.

I'm just wondering if, maybe, whatever style they had as a kid gets taken away from them in college.

I can't imagine Nadal, for instance, making it through college tennis. lol
It's more a likely a case why they are playing college tennis and not pro tennis given what they lack rather then it's something that's taught in college. You get killed on the pro tour playing like that.
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Old 08-31-2012, 06:06 PM   #5
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Default Re: Is college tennis one-dimensional?

If you think Klahn and Devvarman have similiar styles than you have probably never actually watched tennis.
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Old 08-31-2012, 08:25 PM   #6
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Default Re: Is college tennis one-dimensional?

Quote:
Originally Posted by out_here_grindin View Post
If you think Klahn and Devvarman have similiar styles than you have probably never actually watched tennis.
This. Klahn and Devvarman playing same stlye of tennis .
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Old 08-31-2012, 08:47 PM   #7
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Default Re: Is college tennis one-dimensional?

So Anderson, Isner, Somdev, Steve Johnson, Treat Huey and the Bryan Brothers all play the same?
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Old 08-31-2012, 08:49 PM   #8
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Default Re: Is college tennis one-dimensional?

No need to get defensive over the all-american guys now.

I admit I don't care to pay attention much to them, But basically, they all seem to have the same movement, same patterns, same general demeanor, etc.

It's no coincidence to me that the non-college yanks like Harrison stick out like a sore thumb, in terms of individual style. But that's just me.

The only thing that seems to differentiate them is the speed of their serves.

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Old 09-01-2012, 03:13 PM   #9
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Default Re: Is college tennis one-dimensional?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nellis_lv View Post
No need to get defensive over the all-american guys now.

I admit I don't care to pay attention much to them, But basically, they all seem to have the same movement, same patterns, same general demeanor, etc.

It's no coincidence to me that the non-college yanks like Harrison stick out like a sore thumb, in terms of individual style. But that's just me.

The only thing that seems to differentiate them is the speed of their serves.
I get what you are saying, but Klahn and Devvarman are bad examples to use b/c they are different as night and day. The college players probably look the same to you kinda like how a lot of the claycourters look the same to me .

These college guys, even non-college guys, have similar style that focuses on big serve, big forehand, flat ground-stroke and less on movement aka "American Hardcourt Tennis". They grew up on hardcourt and were taught what works best for this surface (ways of doing things). Even though they share similar foundation, there are still some differences. Johnson tends to slice more than the average Joe b/c his backhand sucks, Klahn is more of a ballbasher than the defensive backboard Devvarman, Williams is more of a dropshot-artist who hits with a lot of topspin, Kosakowski is the oddball with his one-handed backhand etc.
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Old 09-01-2012, 03:32 PM   #10
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Default Re: Is college tennis one-dimensional?

Quote:
Originally Posted by grahampros View Post
College tennis is rarely anymore where you find he best players, and haven't for quite some time now. It's where folks go who aren't really pro material for the most part.
It is not always the case. Chase Buchanan, Rhyne Williams, Mitchell Frank, Alex Domijan, and Bradley Klahn for examples were former top 15 juniors in the world and won futures during their junior days. I think it is the trend nowaday to go to college b/c the modern game is so physical. They need more time to polish their game and to get more physically & mentally stronger. Can't remember who said it (Pat McEnroe ???), but we lost a generation of players b/c they turned pro too early and were not ready for the rigorous tour.
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Old 09-01-2012, 04:10 PM   #11
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Default Re: Is college tennis one-dimensional?

To me the problem is not with college tennis per se but the general American approach i.e., hardcourt tennis, big serve, big forehand. In the past that may have been a successful formula but take a look at the top 10, top 20 and it's clear that a serve will only get you so far. Players with superior movement, return, consistency are more likely to get further and have stable careers e.g., Simon, Ferrer, Almagro (though he has a big serve) etc. Those without a "weapon" but consistency will do better than those with just the big 1/2 combination, because they are less error prone.

There's a stark difference between European players brought up on clay, who stay in longer rallies, have to work on fitness more, have to develop more variety etc. than North American players for whom that has not been the main focus. In today's tour the former counts more - of the top 4 only 2 have great serves with Djokovic and Nadal's being nothing amazing - what they all have are very complete skill sets, an ability to DEFEND like crazy (even Fed is a great defender though he's the most attacking minded!) and construct points.

In no way do I think being a passive Simon/Monfils type player is the right approach - the tour needs variety and attackers too. But what all players need is the ability to construct points and that's better taught by learning on slower courts. The US should invest in more claycourt training at a younger age - or lobby for the court speed to go back to like it was in the 90s - because long term the players who can defend amazingly will do better. The US players like Sock, Johnson etc. to me have clearly spent a lot of time on their serve and forehand and the rest of their game just ends up being nowhere near the level needed. Work on the backhand, the passing shots, the defence, the volleys, the lobs - add some variety. Unless your serve is like Isner, that 1/2 combo really won't go too far.
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Old 09-01-2012, 04:26 PM   #12
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Default Re: Is college tennis one-dimensional?

Remember this thread is about college tennis not American tennis. There are good foreigners in college tennis as well who bring a variety of styles. Like a Devvarman and risers like Nedovyesov.
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