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The Tennis Business Discussion Forum Archive

[tennisbiz] Re: Women's Tennis

From: Jim Leupold <>
Date: Fri 6 Sep 2002 16:12:55 EDT

Dear Kal,

Unfortunately, you are right about women's tennis. There doesn't seem to be
much thought. Mauresmo, not normally thought of as a tactician, is losing
to Venus right now, but she played a MUCH smarter match than Capriati at the
US Open and deserved to win the match.

At least Mauresmo was thinking enough to mix up the speed and spin and
variety of shots and to get to the net when it made sense. I kept waiting
to see some thought from Capriati, even for one point, and I never saw it,
except, as you say, to nail it right and then nail it left. She was very
frustrated, but it was self-inflicted.

Ask players from top juniors to professional players whether they would
rather hit a ball that's coming with good speed and fairly high or slowly and
low, and 98% of them will tell you that they like it much better hard and
high. Yet, how few players can hit volleys that are technically sound? How
many of them can hit an underspin forehand with good success when they're in
trouble or as an approach?

Touch and thought are going the way of the dodo bird it seems, but all have a
role to play in teaching top woman (and men) players the importance of
thinking and using a large variety of well as the young players
who are just taking up the game.

Sure, players today see the Williams sisters and most of the top players
beating the heck out of the ball and want to do it, but what are coaches
teaching? If you really noticed and watch, the practice sessions on the
women's side in particular are BORING, REPETITIVE AND COMPLETELY
UNIMAGINATIVE. There are exceptions, of course. Coaches are too afraid of
losing their job if their player loses some matches while widening their
games, and the players are too afraid to lose a few matches while they're
working on their future to win more at a later date.

All for now, and good luck!

Jim Leupold
Director of Tennis
Marriott's Desert Springs Resort & Spa
74855 Country Club Drive
Palm Desert, CA 92260

Received on Fri Sep 06 2002 - 16:45:37 CDT

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