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A very interesting discussion about talent. Many of the themes which are debated on MTF from time to time are discussed by former French Davis Cup captain, Jean-Paul Loth.

Many posters here would do well to take notes.
 

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Re: Video - What is talent: Rafa Fed Gasquet Robredo

Talent certainly takes different shapes. I don't think anyone who isn't trolling can say Nadal doesn't have talent, or that Federer doesn't have the mental and physical qualities. It's the combination of both that have made them as successful as they are. If you have great talent like Gasquet but bad fitness or a bad head, that talent means nothing. But the mental side is very important obviously because you can be an average player and win a lot of matches because you have a better mental game (fewer mistakes, better concentration, etc).
 

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Re: Video - What is talent: Rafa Fed Gasquet Robredo

Talent certainly takes different shapes. I don't think anyone who isn't trolling can say Nadal doesn't have talent, or that Federer doesn't have the mental and physical qualities. It's the combination of both that have made them as successful as they are. If you have great talent like Gasquet but bad fitness or a bad head, that talent means nothing. But the mental side is very important obviously because you can be an average player and win a lot of matches because you have a better mental game (fewer mistakes, better concentration, etc).
We agree but you perhaps haven't been reading closely on here when this has been discussed if you think most of the forum agrees. I think Federer's mental side is underrated as is Nadal's talent of course and similar sorts of things apply to Gasquet and Robredo but the fact that this needed to said by a tennis expert and that it has been debated so much tells you that it isn't obvious to most non-professionals.

By the way, Loth isn't saying that Gasquet is untalented but he is also not saying that he is a great talent; he is saying that he is talented like quite a few guys on the tour and by implication overrated.

This interview goes well with the interview from Simon not long ago.
 

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Re: Video - What is talent: Rafa Fed Gasquet Robredo

Oh I know that most of the forum doesn't get this, but most of the forum doesn't really get the intricacies of tennis. Talent with the racquet like Gasquet has only goes so far, and that talent is negated a lot because he isn't a good mover and he doesn't have the mental fortitude to succeed in the most crucial moments.

Nadal isn't my favourite to watch but I have never doubted his ability, even if it is different to a degree to that of Federer's. You don't hit passes from 10 ft behind the baseline without having excellent racquet control and timing, and as someone who prides himself on mental strength when playing tennis, it's clear to me that having a good head is a talent in itself - because when the pressure is highest it is the most difficult thing to do to control your nerves (which affects the body).

Bottom line is, no tennis player that has had great success has done so just with talent alone. Besides, I think every player is talented to some degree - you can't be a pro without talent. Obviously some are shotmakers, big servers, grinders, etc, but at its core tennis is a game that requires talent regardless of what style you play.
 

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Re: Video - What is talent: Rafa Fed Gasquet Robredo

I will add though:

I don't think having a great physique can be classified as a talent, but what can, in my estimation, is coordination between body and racquet. Nadal is very strong and fast, but what makes those qualities work for him in the realm of the game is the way he can track down balls and time them effectively on sometimes the dead run. Or the coordination to move the feet to the right position and at the same time set up with perfect timing a devastating forehand, all at a very high speed with great intensity.

I think this is a great topic to be had, but it gets ruined when the fan wars come in. As I said, all players are talented, but those talents take different shapes. A lot of lower ranked players are talented but haven't implemented the right strategy in their game or don't have the right build, or the right coach to motivate them, or whatever. And that's the difference between many of the lower ranked guys and the highest ranked ones - the consistency and the physical traits.
 

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Re: Video - What is talent: Rafa Fed Gasquet Robredo

According to most MTF posters, Gasquet or Wawrinka are more talented than Nadal!
 

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Re: Video - What is talent: Rafa Fed Gasquet Robredo

According to most MTF posters, Gasquet or Wawrinka are more talented than Nadal!
Which is true.

GTFO here OP by posting a retired Davis Cup captain's thoughts.

All DC captains are failures who've never made it in tennis and take up a job no one wants thinking they are significant now in the tennis world.

No one cares about this former DC mug captain's opinion. Many people on MTF watch more tennis and can analyse better.
 

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Re: Video - What is talent: Rafa Fed Gasquet Robredo

Oh I know that most of the forum doesn't get this, but most of the forum doesn't really get the intricacies of tennis. Talent with the racquet like Gasquet has only goes so far, and that talent is negated a lot because he isn't a good mover and he doesn't have the mental fortitude to succeed in the most crucial moments.

Nadal isn't my favourite to watch but I have never doubted his ability, even if it is different to a degree to that of Federer's. You don't hit passes from 10 ft behind the baseline without having excellent racquet control and timing, and as someone who prides himself on mental strength when playing tennis, it's clear to me that having a good head is a talent in itself - because when the pressure is highest it is the most difficult thing to do to control your nerves (which affects the body).

Bottom line is, no tennis player that has had great success has done so just with talent alone. Besides, I think every player is talented to some degree - you can't be a pro without talent. Obviously some are shotmakers, big servers, grinders, etc, but at its core tennis is a game that requires talent regardless of what style you play.
I think it is important to understand that there is a difference between being talented at a particular sport AND being a talented athlete

it is entirely subjective on how you gauge talent because of this

Gasquet is one of the most 'talented' players on the planet but he's not a great athlete. in the end you can't qualify or quantify talent because there are too many variables and results alone mean nothing in relation to this (at least on a grand scale or average).
I think Kyle makes a good point that obviously at the PRO level with pretty much all top 100 players they automatically must be VERY talented and that can sometimes not be appreciated. like he mentions, the real difference between all of the players at that point, because they all DO have some degree of greatness or wonderful shot, is how they apply themselves. physically, mentally, emotionally, preparation wise, study wise, relationship wise, etc.

we watch someone like Davydenko a few years ago and it's easy to immediately think just based on watching him that he's more talented than, say, a Nadal. but mechanically he's not at all. The biggest problem with gauging talent, and this is not unique to this sport, is that often as humans we correlate 'greatness' to what is most aesthetically pleasing to the eyes
 

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Re: Video - What is talent: Rafa Fed Gasquet Robredo

Which is true.

GTFO here OP by posting a retired Davis Cup captain's thoughts.

All DC captains are failures who've never made it in tennis and take up a job no one wants thinking they are significant now in the tennis world.

No one cares about this former DC mug captain's opinion. Many people on MTF watch more tennis and can analyse better.
Thanks for a perfect example of the lunacy of a typical forum dweller.
 

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Re: Video - What is talent: Rafa Fed Gasquet Robredo

Which is true.

GTFO here OP by posting a retired Davis Cup captain's thoughts.

All DC captains are failures who've never made it in tennis and take up a job no one wants thinking they are significant now in the tennis world.

No one cares about this former DC mug captain's opinion. Many people on MTF watch more tennis and can analyse better.
:worship:

Nadal has more talent in his left arm than Wawrinka and Gasquet combined.
 

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Re: Video - What is talent: Rafa Fed Gasquet Robredo

Just also thought which relates to this - Gasquet is talented but he doesn't use his talent in a beneficial way due to his bad tactics. How someone uses their talent is an important part of it - and the best guys use their talents in the most effective way for them.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Re: Video - What is talent: Rafa Fed Gasquet Robredo

Just also thought which relates to this - Gasquet is talented but he doesn't use his talent in a beneficial way due to his bad tactics. How someone uses their talent is an important part of it - and the best guys use their talents in the most effective way for them.
Well I agree in a sense but only if you separate out these things from talent in the first place which was Loth's point in part; you shouldn't do that as they are intrinsic to talent.
 

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Re: Video - What is talent: Rafa Fed Gasquet Robredo

I think everyone can agree Gasquet is very talented though, even if a lot of it is wasted because of his tactics and physical traits.
 

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Re: Video - What is talent: Rafa Fed Gasquet Robredo

Is there a reason why gasquet is not putting in more hours at the gym?

It seems to me that he relies only on tennis as many other of his compatriots. (monfils seems fit but his endurance is shit and he gets injured a lot)
But tennis is also a test of fitness and strategy.

Pretty obvious that most top guys somehwat stagnated (playing the same style and not evolving like noledal) and are not willing to sacrifice more to get better as tennis athletes (gym time ,implementing new shots).
For example I only see now some improvements in tsongas backhand but he ran around for years with one of the worst backhands on tour.
Delpo is hitting crosscourt backhands for 99% of the time, playing the same game he did in 2009 and is expecting to win vs nole who improved all areas since then?

Fortunately there are other guys like wawrinka. He really changed his game to the better realising your tennis years are limited -> getting fitter, varies his shots more(if you watched any [email protected])and took a big mental leap.

Would like to see more of that but i guess when youre at the top youre kinda satisfied reaching top 20 or so.
 

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Re: Video - What is talent: Rafa Fed Gasquet Robredo

Which is true.

GTFO here OP by posting a retired Davis Cup captain's thoughts.

All DC captains are failures who've never made it in tennis and take up a job no one wants thinking they are significant now in the tennis world.

No one cares about this former DC mug captain's opinion. Many people on MTF watch more tennis and can analyse better.
If that's true then your opinion is even more insignificant. Just saying. He surely knows way more than us.
 

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Re: Video - What is talent: Rafa Fed Gasquet Robredo

Every Pro Tennis player has talent.
Yep. And it can be tough to judge, because there are different ways to play the game. A serve-volleyer has skill at the net while not as much from the back while a grinder like Ferrer relies more on his speed and stamina to beat opponents. But I've played long enough to know that having consistency and mental discipline is a skill because it requires the mind to keep the body fresh.

It's just hard to define talent - there really is no way to. Is talent being able to hit a great drop shot, a nice half-volley, or a crisp volley? I'd say that is talent, but it's not the only thing. Gasquet can do all those things but it doesn't make him a great player - which is why talent isn't the only thing required to be successful. So I think you can separate varying degrees of talent and a player's success, because they are both needed to be great. Guys like Gasquet underachieve despite their natural abilities while guys like Bruguera don't have the same racquet skill but have qualities that enable them to have success - physical qualities, good strategy, consistency, stamina...

The one thing everyone can agree on though is that coordination is necessary for any tennis player, even at the beginners level. Djokovic, Murray, Nadal, and Federer are the best today at coordinating their body and their racquet, and something as simple as a forehand encompasses the whole body - from the footwork to set yourself up, to the preparation of the stroke with the legs, to the use of the hips, all the way to the arm-wrist-hand which finish the stroke. Those 4 in particular can manage all that seamlessly at a very high speed while pushing their limits physically side to side and back to front - and they can do it at a high level longer than anyone because they have the physical skill to do so and the mental ability to keep focused on everything needed to most effective on every shot.

Okay, no more. Sorry, I could talk about this game for hours.
 

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I think it is important to understand that there is a difference between being talented at a particular sport AND being a talented athlete

it is entirely subjective on how you gauge talent because of this

Gasquet is one of the most 'talented' players on the planet but he's not a great athlete. in the end you can't qualify or quantify talent because there are too many variables and results alone mean nothing in relation to this (at least on a grand scale or average).
I think Kyle makes a good point that obviously at the PRO level with pretty much all top 100 players they automatically must be VERY talented and that can sometimes not be appreciated. like he mentions, the real difference between all of the players at that point, because they all DO have some degree of greatness or wonderful shot, is how they apply themselves. physically, mentally, emotionally, preparation wise, study wise, relationship wise, etc.

we watch someone like Davydenko a few years ago and it's easy to immediately think just based on watching him that he's more talented than, say, a Nadal. but mechanically he's not at all. The biggest problem with gauging talent, and this is not unique to this sport, is that often as humans we correlate 'greatness' to what is most aesthetically pleasing to the eyes
This is pretty much the long and short of it, especially on this forum.


Sent from Verticalsports.com Free App
 

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Re: Video - What is talent: Rafa Fed Gasquet Robredo

No, mentality doesn't require tennis talent. When people talk about talent they talk about the shots required to win the game of tennis. Mentality and fitness don't go into it.
 
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