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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
As spectators and at times, perhaps even critics, how could one possibly neglect to recognize terribly obvious and painfully flawed technical imperfections which come along with an overwhelmingly powerful game of a more marketable and "newer" generation of tennis player. Naturally, the game of tennis has tremendously evolved and as with any marketable product, evolution is an inevitable doom; however, disappointingly enough this goes without any mention or acknowledgment of the strikingly superior technical skill of the player of old. The very state of tennis seems to be currently undergoing somewhat of a makeover, temporarily stuck in a state of uncertainty. We as the spectators, can only look on as mere observers, thus drawing our own conclusions and formulating vastly different perspectives.

With this piece, I don't intend to imply or claim that there is an existing correlation between technical skill and mental skill, because there have been several champions with "questionable" technique, but they've made it work to their advantage. Yet, at the same time I can't help but stress the importance of proper learning and understanding the game of tennis. Perhaps tennis academies have become too focused and fixated on the concept of immediate stardom and success; as opposed to measuring a sustained level of success over an extended period of time. In other words, when teaching their students, is it all about hitting a backhand down the line or about developing a concise understanding for court positioning, improvising/strategical elements of the game and last but not least, teaching the player to recognize their own mistakes. Tennis is just as much mental as physical, which means that at times, the player could be their own worse enemy.

Perhaps modernization and development of equipment are two of the many potential detriments to the growth or maturation of the player of new. I'd also like to place an emphasis on my desire to not only shed light on upcoming youth, but also players ranging from the ages of 25 to 30. My reasoning behind posing these very questions has been due to an inspiration coming from a handful of extremely talented players whom at times have showed flashes of brilliance, though failing to sustain it over any significant period of time.

Now to the beefy part of the argument:
The common belief shared by many is that Marat Safin is one of the top players in Men's tennis, the assumption is often made that if playing at his highest level, he could absolute destroy and devastate not only the game of his adversaries, but the morale due to an immense quantity of innate talent which many have proclaimed he possesses.

I disagree. Far too often, Safin has proven to be not only mentally weak, but also vulnerabilities in his game have been exposed. He suffers from the same type of syndrome that James Blake has so often succumb to, a syndrome which has yet to be given a name, but we do know that the symptoms are as follows, failure of the go-for-broke game consequently followed by: frustration, throwing and/or breaking of tennis rackets, usage of foul and obscene language and a shower along with a plane trip back home or to the next tournament on tour.

Is it possible that his game has simply become obsolete? Is it possible that players like Andy Murray or Djokovic are destined to pass him? Two youngsters whom seem to have a comprehension of the game light years ahead of that of Safin's, both respective games certainly not lacking in brute force or power, yet at the same time not lacking in variety and understanding of the game.

After demolishing Pete Sampras to win the U.S Open and beating Roger Federer to conquer the Australian Open, Safin seemed to go away, which of course was attributed by many as a simple "disinterest" for the sport of tennis. Perhaps the flaw lies not within his motivation or desire, or a simply lack of professionalism, but his lack of ability to make adjustments and adapt to the modern game.

Safin may be one of the most talent players on tour, but talent isn't sufficient enough to continue any form of dominance or even consistency, for that matter. All of his peers have atleast made mentionable attempts at spicing up their games, in particular, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Federer's game has become based much more on consistent precision as opposed to streaky precision, in the past it was more based on talent, simply playing the slice and hitting ridiculously impossible shots from seemingly impossible positions. I'd label anyone who's failed to notice the change in his game either blind or completely oblivious to the game of tennis. Federer's game has become less aesthetically pleasing, while allowing for the conversation of energy, this has also given him a chance to win on day's when he isn't playing his best tennis. This goes without taking into consideration the versatility of Federer's game, which seems to be honed by the likes of Tilden, McEnroe, Edberg and even Sampras.

In conclusion and to sum up my analysis of the current state of Men's Tennis: I wish to furtherly explain my initial point, which was based upon the idea that tennis has suffered due to equipment and one-dimensional baseline play, an argument which I will continue to support. If players were doing more serving & volley, learning how to implement into their games a simple slice or even add variety to their serve selection, it'd be much less likely for talents such as Safin to succumb to mediocrity, using older equipments, serving & volleying was an absolute must or atleast the implementation of some form of variation. The player of 25 years ago, often times, if he hoped to have any form of success, was obligated to add something to their game. Lendl, Borg & Wilander were all able to accomplish this simple task, Lendl by implenting serving & volleying, Wilander by adding a slice to an already potent two-hander and Borg by aggressively following up his shots to net, though this was adjustment or change was mostly limited to his grass game. Anyway, there are plenty of players mimicking Safin's style of play, which also would happen to be another one of the sadly obvious reasons for which the domination of Roger Federer shall continue. Tomas Berdych being a notable example.
 

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Prima where have you been????

I haven't seen one of your post in so long I'm actually nostalgic... not so much so that I'd waste my time reading any of the bull sh*t above... but nice to have you back.
 

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Some good points there.

I agree with most of the post, except the extreme licking of Fed's ass. Consistent precision? If he were so consistent he wouldn't have lost ridiculously to the likes of Canas and Volandri.
 

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Holy shit, the seasonal bullshit essay by PD, this time W/O Rafa bashing!!! :eek:

Good on ya :yeah:
 

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Re: The maturation process or lack there of with regard to

As spectators and at times, perhaps even critics, how could one possibly neglect to recognize terribly obvious and painfully flawed technical imperfections which come along with an overwhelmingly powerful game of a more marketable and "newer" generation of tennis player. Naturally, the game of tennis has tremendously evolved and as with any marketable product, evolution is an inevitable doom; however, disappointingly enough this goes without any mention or acknowledgment of the strikingly superior technical skill of the player of old. The very state of tennis seems to be currently undergoing somewhat of a makeover, temporarily stuck in a state of uncertainty. We as the spectators, can only look on as mere observers, thus drawing our own conclusions and formulating vastly different perspectives.

With this piece, I don't intend to imply or claim that there is an existing correlation between technical skill and mental skill, because there have been several champions with "questionable" technique, but they've made it work to their advantage. Yet, at the same time I can't help but stress the importance of proper learning and understanding the game of tennis. Perhaps tennis academies have become too focused and fixated on the concept of immediate stardom and success; as opposed to measuring a sustained level of success over an extended period of time. In other words, when teaching their students, is it all about hitting a backhand down the line or about developing a concise understanding for court positioning, improvising/strategical elements of the game and last but not least, teaching the player to recognize their own mistakes. Tennis is just as much mental as physical, which means that at times, the player could be their own worse enemy.

Perhaps modernization and development of equipment are two of the many potential detriments to the growth or maturation of the player of new. I'd also like to place an emphasis on my desire to not only shed light on upcoming youth, but also players ranging from the ages of 25 to 30. My reasoning behind posing these very questions has been due to an inspiration coming from a handful of extremely talented players whom at times have showed flashes of brilliance, though failing to sustain it over any significant period of time.

Now to the beefy part of the argument:
The common belief shared by many is that Marat Safin is one of the top players in Men's tennis, the assumption is often made that if playing at his highest level, he could absolute destroy and devastate not only the game of his adversaries, but the morale due to an immense quantity of innate talent which many have proclaimed he possesses.

I disagree. Far too often, Safin has proven to be not only mentally weak, but also vulnerabilities in his game have been exposed. He suffers from the same type of syndrome that James Blake has so often succumb to, a syndrome which has yet to be given a name, but we do know that the symptoms are as follows, failure of the go-for-broke game consequently followed by: frustration, throwing and/or breaking of tennis rackets, usage of foul and obscene language and a shower along with a plane trip back home or to the next tournament on tour.

Is it possible that his game has simply become obsolete? Is it possible that players like Andy Murray or Djokovic are destined to pass him? Two youngsters whom seem to have a comprehension of the game light years ahead of that of Safin's, both respective games certainly not lacking in brute force or power, yet at the same time not lacking in variety and understanding of the game.

After demolishing Pete Sampras to win the U.S Open and beating Roger Federer to conquer the Australian Open, Safin seemed to go away, which of course was attributed by many as a simple "disinterest" for the sport of tennis. Perhaps the flaw lies not within his motivation or desire, or a simply lack of professionalism, but his lack of ability to make adjustments and adapt to the modern game.

Safin may be one of the most talent players on tour, but talent isn't sufficient enough to continue any form of dominance or even consistency, for that matter. All of his peers have atleast made mentionable attempts at spicing up their games, in particular, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Federer's game has become based much more on consistent precision as opposed to streaky precision, in the past it was more based on talent, simply playing the slice and hitting ridiculously impossible shots from seemingly impossible positions. I'd label anyone who's failed to notice the change in his game either blind or completely oblivious to the game of tennis. Federer's game has become less aesthetically pleasing, while allowing for the conversation of energy, this has also given him a chance to win on day's when he isn't playing his best tennis. This goes without taking into consideration the versatility of Federer's game, which seems to be honed by the likes of Tilden, McEnroe, Edberg and even Sampras.

In conclusion and to sum up my analysis of the current state of Men's Tennis: I wish to furtherly explain my initial point, which was based upon the idea that tennis has suffered due to equipment and one-dimensional baseline play, an argument which I will continue to support. If players were doing more serving & volley, learning how to implement into their games a simple slice or even add variety to their serve selection, it'd be much less likely for talents such as Safin to succumb to mediocrity, using older equipments, serving & volleying was an absolute must or atleast the implementation of some form of variation. The player of 25 years ago, often times, if he hoped to have any form of success, was obligated to add something to their game. Lendl, Borg & Wilander were all able to accomplish this simple task, Lendl by implenting serving & volleying, Wilander by adding a slice to an already potent two-hander and Borg by aggressively following up his shots to net, though this was adjustment or change was mostly limited to his grass game. Anyway, there are plenty of players mimicking Safin's style of play, which also would happen to be another one of the sadly obvious reasons for which the domination of Roger Federer shall continue. Tomas Berdych being a notable example.



Nice essay~~ well put:cool:
...
But I disagree putting Safin & Blake in the same category:sad:

Safin`s a multiple Slam winner, brief #1, multiple DCs for Russia, multiple TMSs etc..:worship:
Blake`s got quite a few MMs titles & a big time underachiever:eek:
 

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Re: The maturation process or lack there of with regard to



After demolishing Pete Sampras to win the U.S Open and beating Roger Federer to conquer the Australian Open, Safin seemed to go away, which of course was attributed by many as a simple "disinterest" for the sport of tennis. Perhaps the flaw lies not within his motivation or desire, or a simply lack of professionalism, but his lack of ability to make adjustments and adapt to the modern game.


Safin was hampered by multiple injuries in his career, and to his credit managed to come back at the highest level, culminating with his AO2005 victory. True, his last comeback in 2006 has not been as inspired, and it's evident that his chronic knee injury (however much he may downplay it or we may forget about it) has affected his speed and pace. Making multiple combacks can be a frustrating process and a hard, uphill climb - you always start several laps behind, try to catch up with the rest of the field, then IF you manage to join the pack, you find yourself competing against younger, hungrier, fitter players. Today, no matter how much he's been struggling, Safin finds himself firmly ensconced in the top 20's in the rankings; certainly not something to be ashamed of.

To say that he is disinterested, that he lacks motivation or desire, is a flawed assumption. I give him full marks for strength of character (different from mental strength when playing) just for sticking it out and not giving up yet, for believing that he can still make a breakthrough.

I will agree though, that a high level of professionalism and the ability to make adjustments are required. He's made a step in the right direction by recognising the failings in his game and his fitness, hence the decision to appoint a new coach who will hopefully given him new perspectives and set him back on track. Change won't happen overnight, and hopefully it will be sooner than later before he achieves results. He is not getting any younger, and I hope for his sake (and for the sake of fans like me) that he finds more inspiration in the twilight of his career.
 

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Welcome back :wavey:

Well, there is progress in tennis (ok, the WTA is an exception:tape:) so players need to keep up, some are more successful than others in doing so. Safin was never the same after his knee injury but even when he was healthy, dominating the tour was never a real chance. Overall he had a great career, he is a multiple slam winner, I do not understand any sense of underachievement.

I disagree comparing him to Blake, James is much more limited and he never (till now) showed any will to develop his game in other directions or to adjust his play according to the match at hand.
 

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Safin's difference to Blake is that he can serve. Apart from that, their games aren't that much different.
That is quite unfair for Marat, don't look at him now that he has become president-emeritus of the GMA, but typically he was thinking on court, for example he would never stand consistently on the baseline trying to hit return winners on Ivo's serve.
 

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Re: The maturation process

After demolishing Pete Sampras to win the U.S Open and beating Roger Federer to conquer the Australian Open, Safin seemed to go away, which of course was attributed by many as a simple "disinterest" for the sport of tennis.

Get your facts right. He got injured soon after AO2005 and was out for 7 months. Returned in 2006 with chronic knee injury. Much better players could have 'go away' in such circumstancies.
 

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That is quite unfair for Marat, don't look at him now that he has become president-emeritus of the GMA, but typically he was thinking on court, for example he would never stand consistently on the baseline trying to hit return winners on Ivo's serve.
But their games are too similar. Both don't use slice, are streaky, try to win just overpowering, have no C plan (B plan is just hitting harder), both are tactical midgets like Calleri and in a bad day can lose to just about anyone.
 

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Re: The maturation process

Get your facts right. He got injured soon after AO2005 and was out for 7 months. Returned in 2006 with chronic knee injury. Much better players could have 'go away' in such circumstancies.
And add a back injury in 2001 that needed a surgery.
 

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But their games are too similar. Both don't use slice, are streaky, try to win just overpowering, have no C plan (B plan is just hitting harder), both are tactical midgets like Calleri and in a bad day can lose to just about anyone.
Agree. You just described the charter of the GMA (Grand-Master Association) :lol: All I am saying is that Marat used to think on court, in particular he would adjust his return position according to his opponent, James, well, I can only think of 2 or 3 matches where I have seen him making any kind of adjustment. In short, Marat did have plan A', James only has plan A.
 

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I know revisionist history is everyone's favorite subject around here, but equating Blake's and Safin's games is a whole new level of I don't even know what to call it...lies maybe?
As for the thread itself; Safin's game has not gone obsolete; simply, his ability to execute it has never been consistent and has declined over the years. Are you telling me someone with the power of a 20-22 year old Safin (with the right mentality and consistency) couldn't survive in the "modern" game as you call it(for some reason defined by Djokovic and Murray as opposed to Fed and Nadal)?
 

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He suffers from the same type of syndrome that James Blake has so often succumb to, a syndrome which has yet to be given a name, but we do know that the symptoms are as follows, failure of the go-for-broke game consequently followed by: frustration, throwing and/or breaking of tennis rackets, usage of foul and obscene language and a shower along with a plane trip back home or to the next tournament on tour
Haven't seen Blake ever go foul-mouthed and/or break tennis rackets. :shrug: In fact, his worst asset is his terrible body language when he feels defeated, and this involves the hang-dog look mixed with lost puppy sadness.
 
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