Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

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Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by YvonneT on Mon 13 Jun 2016, 3:18 pm

First topic message reminder :

Week 2 tournaments:
ATP 500 Queen's
ATP 500 Halle
WTA Premier Birmingham
WTA International Mallorca

Week 3 tournaments:
ATP 250 Nottingham
WTA Premier Eastbourne

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Henman Bill on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 9:34 pm

Great win for Mayer to win Halle today (beating Zverev). Tremendous week.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Aut0Gr4ph on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 9:37 pm

Think Wimbledon affords more opportunity for upsets than any other slam. Novak is favourite, but I don't think the margin is all that great. Certainly, Andy has a better chance of upsetting him than at any other slam. Having said that, Novak's grass court win streak is starting to look formidable and, regrettably, I don't think Fed poses a serious threat this year. Hope I'm proved wrong on that, but he does currently look some way off the pace.

Edit - replying to Emancipator, but HB rudely bumped me to the next page....


Last edited by Aut0Gr4ph on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 9:39 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by temporary21 on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 9:37 pm

Heck of a result. I don't think his ranking is protected anymore either so it should guarantee a wc

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Henman Bill on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 9:46 pm

Good read SB, I agree with all of the arguments although they at least look plausible. Not very well structured little essay, it isn't quite sure at times whether it is making a new point or rehashing an old one.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Aut0Gr4ph on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 9:48 pm

Didn't see the Halle final. Is Mayer that unorthodox German chappie with the funny backhand?

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Guest on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 10:02 pm

Yep that's him.

Another golden Oldie

Beating up the newbies

We've been saying that for about 7 years now.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Guest on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 10:05 pm

I watched some of Halle and Queens and I have to say the courts at the two venues looked to be playing very differently.

Halle looked decidedly faster with a lower bounce.

Queens looked much more like the W courts; slower with a higher bounce.

Anyone else notice this? It was the first thing I noticed.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Guest on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 10:07 pm

First time I've watched Queens for a couple of years and I was always of the impression that it was an old school grass court. Have they changed something recently? And that's not trying to diminish from Andy's win. I'm sure he'd do just fine on fast grass too. Just wondering if it's a recent development. I suppose it could be down to the balls too. Have those changed? Where's Lydian Headscratch

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Mad for Chelsea on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 10:15 pm

Re Wimbledon.

Feds doesn't look like he'll pose much threat this year. He may play himself into form of course, but defeats to Thiem and Zverev in the warm-ups don't bode particularly well.

Certainly a Murray-Djokovic match on grass feels a little overdue considering how often they seem to meet on other surfaces these days (three times on the clay this year!). Murray's best surface, so probably his best shot too. Obviously Murray's two wins on grass against Djokovic are from a while back, but should still give him some confidence.

Others? Cupboard looking a little bare. Tsonga is injured and may not play, Nadal isn't playing, Feds - see above, Wawrinka doesn't really like grass (same holds for Nishikori). Gasquet not a big threat to the top 2 but could make a quarter or semi.

Raonic looks like he's the best bet outside the top 2. His serve of course is a huge weapon, and McEnroe seems to have added something. However, I have concerns that once his serve starts to get broken down a bit, and it will be against Murray or Djokovic you think, he loses confidence in the rest of his game. Today is a case in point: once Murray got the break back in set 2 Raonic seemed more reluctant to use his slice approach, and went back to hanging in his BH corner looking for the big FH. Yes it takes two to tango, and Murray upped his game significantly, not allowing him so many short balls to pounce on, but...

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Aut0Gr4ph on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 10:21 pm

As usual, the courts were slicker and skiddier early doors and then became slower and higher bouncing as they got worn out and drier. I've watched Queens pretty avidly the last few years and haven't noticed a dramatic change.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Guest on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 10:23 pm

Good analysis.

Maybe Kyrios as a spoiler but can't see a winner outside the top two. It took Fed about 9 months to get his mojo back last time he was injured. I expect this season is a write off for him and i'll be surprised if he remains a factor at the slams next year.

I'm hoping Murray can do it again.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Guest on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 10:30 pm

Aut0Gr4ph wrote:As usual, the courts were slicker and skiddier early doors and then became slower and higher bouncing as they got worn out and drier. I've watched Queens pretty avidly the last few years and haven't noticed a dramatic change.

Yeah, it could just be me. Admittedly haven't watched Queens that closely for a few years.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Aut0Gr4ph on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 10:31 pm

Just had a trip down memory lane and watched Murray schooling Roddick in the 2011 SF (skip to the second half to watch it get embarrassing for A-Rod).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7iw4nMOF7g

Surface doesn't seem to be playing differently to me, but interesting to see considerably less pop in Murray's rallying shots.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by temporary21 on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 11:33 pm

Ok putting this topic back at the top.

Dont ever say what we do is easy...

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by lydian on Mon 20 Jun 2016, 9:17 am

barrystar wrote:@dh - I think you are right about Murray, which also explains why Federer is still match for him in fast hot conditions, Federer's serve is particularly difficult to read.

As for Sampras, my take is that he was hugely respected and liked for his sporting conduct and extraordinary skill - I think his demolition of Agassi in 1999 was a very big moment for the crowd's view of him, it had people gasping for breath at his mastery (like McEnroe v. Connors in 1984).  I don't think the crowd ever took him to their hearts like Borg, Agassi, and Fedal.
Good win for Murray, his returning was too strong for Milos, who looked increasingly wardrobe-like around the net towards the end. Just isn't as dynamic a mover and ultimately the best athletes tend to be the best tennis players. I like Murray the grass court player...variety, speed, agility...hoping he can bring that variety to his year-round all round game. He looked solid yesterday after weathering the early storm...must be great to have Lendl in his corner again. Wimbledon looks like good timing for him this year...expect him to reach the final and potentially beat Novak if the weather is not hot/dry (which would assist Novak's greater height/spin).

Speaking of dynamic movement, i.e. Sampras, I was a big fan of his. To be honest he was a player's player because some of the shots he hit, with his racquet set-up had to be seen to be believed. Remember he had a 85 sqin racquet that weighed 400g (leaded up) and strung to 85lbs tension. No-one ever had that set-up...you get hardly any power from 85lbs but you do get amazing control. Even his stringer didn't know how he played with that racquet...and Pete admits he should have moved to a "normal" and larger set-up later in his career. But the greats are stubborn...weakness/strength...Federer took years to move from his.

So Pete didn't appeal to the crowd because he was low-key, didn't say much in interviews, was outshone personality-wise by Agassi and most UK people only ever remember him playing on grass where his (all time) serve dominated. Here's a few of my thoughts on Pete...

There are a lot of misconceptions about Sampras. He actually started out...yes...as a baseliner with a DHBH. He changed to SHBH at 16 on advice of his coach/mentor - so had he started out in the slower/baseline 2000s imagine what sort of player he could have still been with that serve, movement and FH! When he erupted on tour, yes he had that serve, but he also beat guys from the back of the court...including Agassi, sometimes blowing even Agassi off court from the back. Probably had/has the best running FH the game has seen and his speed/agility around the court is not appreciated. You don't win 14 slams with just a serve or else Isner/Ivo would be up there in GOAT-land.

However, as the 90s progressed and he "aged" his genetic thalassemia kicked in and he had to shorten matches/points so became more aggressive at the net, used his serve even more. Sampras never talked about his medical condition for fear of giving his opponents an advantage but he later went on at 26/27yo to admit he had it and it affected him in long matches...hence why RG was such a disaster for him - after all, he actually had the game, e.g. had won Rome Masters. But it wasnt to be. So people remember him for being the aggressive late 90s player on grass...but forget/didn't know the player he actually started out as and adjustments he had to make in his career. But Pete is very understated and would never talk about these things.

Then of course came the surface changes towards the end and that was his death knell given his fitness/anemia was an increasing issue...and over-reliance on serve started to hurt his back. His USO 2002 triumph for me is still one of the amazing wins because he had almost literally achieved nothing for 2 years. But he got fired up...Rusedski called him slow (and then met him in the tournament, got summarily dispatched by Pete so had to eat his words! lol), Kafelnikov said he should retire...it all added motivation. He cranked up the serve and was averaging >115mph for 2nd serves...amazing for a 6'1' guy. Yes the serve won him USO...but his mental strength too.

Anyway...wish people would better understand the player/guy, his issues and how he overcame/adjusted to them. Still rate his 1999 win over Agassi as the best level of aggressive, attacking tennis I've ever seen played to this day (and hence best level ever for me). It will take something special to surpass it IMO. So, Sampras was a player's player...if you followed the guy more you got to appreciate his frailties, his issues (coach dying from cancer mid-career), etc, etc..and yeah boy could the guy play a bit in his pomp.
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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by temporary21 on Mon 20 Jun 2016, 10:02 am

Fair post. As a man who spent his first uni years watching almost his entire back catalogue of matches I agree with a lot of what you say

Agassi was a bigger persinality abd played the media well, which made him more popular in the us

In the uk. Most only saw his play at wimby, which naturally was always very serve and volley oriented. They never got to see done of his more all round matches

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Guest on Mon 20 Jun 2016, 10:41 am

So Pete Sampras poor record at Roland Garros was more due to his thalassemia rather than his technique.  That was the era where Roland Garros was being won by the single slammers as well as the clay court "specialists".  Seems like Sampras could have swept all before him if it wasn't for his medical condition.  He seemed like a very focussed individual - perhaps Borg like in temperament? Sampras was the guy who came up with the "mano a mano" phrase that I like to quote when reading the game.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by temporary21 on Mon 20 Jun 2016, 10:51 am

Well RG was a different animal back then. He was about as all round as you could be in the 90's but he wasn't really a great defender. His defence relied a lot on that incredible running forehand he had. It's still quite possibly the best ever

But in RG that only hit you back in the point, not win it

Pete also had Courier, Brugera, Kafelnikov, Corretja, some real dirt rats who were better clay courtiers

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by barrystar on Mon 20 Jun 2016, 12:04 pm

During Sampras's peak years it nearly always took a really good clay-courter to knock him out of RG - and during his best showing in 1996 he had to win three 5-setters, including against former Champions Courier and Bruguera, before Kafelnikov got the better of a no-doubt knackered Sampras in the SF.
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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by banbrotam on Mon 20 Jun 2016, 3:07 pm

lydian wrote:
barrystar wrote:@dh - I think you are right about Murray, which also explains why Federer is still match for him in fast hot conditions, Federer's serve is particularly difficult to read.

As for Sampras, my take is that he was hugely respected and liked for his sporting conduct and extraordinary skill - I think his demolition of Agassi in 1999 was a very big moment for the crowd's view of him, it had people gasping for breath at his mastery (like McEnroe v. Connors in 1984).  I don't think the crowd ever took him to their hearts like Borg, Agassi, and Fedal.
I like Murray the grass court player...variety, speed, agility...hoping he can bring that variety to his year-round all round game. He looked solid yesterday after weathering the early storm...must be great to have Lendl in his corner again. Wimbledon looks like good timing for him this year...expect him to reach the final and potentially beat Novak if the weather is not hot/dry (which would assist Novak's greater height/spin).


Hot and dry always gives Murray the better chance, not least because Novak is more uncomfortable in such conditions. If you look back at Murray's wins, they always tend to have occurred when there was the most speed

Very few slam finals ever get these conditions. Put Novak in the same Friday heat and pace of last year's SF and it's him who is losing




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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Henman Bill on Tue 21 Jun 2016, 3:58 pm

Good post Lydian. Interesting about Sampras history. I knew he remodeled his game as a teenager but didn't really know the specifics. Agree on 99 W being the best I've seen, (although I think Nadal pushed him close with AO 2009 final).

I am not sure about his prowess on clay though. His Rome win benefited from an easy draw https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1994_Italian_Open_%E2%80%93_Men%27s_Singles
It is a faster clay as well (at least today).
In the following years, he lost a lot in the early rounds at Rome. He only has 1 clay final at the really big clay events.

At the French Open, he only ever reached one semi, so it's not like Federer and Djokovic and Agassi that all got to the final multiple times. I bet Murray has a better RG record than Sampras.  

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pete_Sampras_career_statistics
1 SF
3 QFs
All others did not make R4

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/it-is-almost-shocking-to-look-back-at-how-bad-sampras-was-on-clay.531158/

Let's see he lost to at the FO

1989 - Chang R2 - eventual champion, 6-1 6-1 6-1
1990 - DNP
1991- comes back from 2 sets down to beat Muster, before losing to Champion in R2 (who?) - 6-3 6-1 6-1.
1992 - easy route to QF, where he loses to Agassi in straight sets
1993 - cruises to QF again, loses to eventual champ Bruguera
1994 - another easy passage to the QF with straight sets wins, where he loses to Courier
1995 - loses to Schaller in first round. Schaller loses to qualifier in next round.
1996 - a tougher route to the quarters, with 5 setters v Bruguera and Todd Martin, a quarter final win against Courier from 2 sets down before losing to Kafelnikov eventual champ
1997 - loses to Norman third round
1998 - loses to Delgado second round
1999 - loses to Medvedev, the eventual finalist, in round 2
2000 - lost R1 to Philippousis
2001 - R2 to Blanco (who ??)
2002 - R1, Gaudenzi

He did lose to the eventual champion 3 times at least, however, apart from 1996, there are very few wins against really good clay players.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Born Slippy on Tue 21 Jun 2016, 9:20 pm

Good win for Evans - beating Berankis again. Cuevas next - number 2 seed but on grass?

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by sirfredperry on Wed 22 Jun 2016, 11:50 am

Had terrific day at Roehampton in south west London yesterday for the qualifying for Wimbledon. It's free entry, although there was a bit of a queue as they insisted on taking everyone's name and address.
Some excellent British wins from very lowly-ranked players. Very difficult to get to (it's in the middle of nowhere) but a good day out.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Guest82 on Wed 22 Jun 2016, 12:58 pm

Born Slippy wrote:Good win for Evans - beating Berankis again. Cuevas next - number 2 seed but on grass?

Evans is only a slight outsider with the bookies for this match. I probably make Cuevas more of a favourite than the bookies do, but Evans definitely has a shout.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by lags72 on Wed 22 Jun 2016, 3:35 pm

Happened to catch a screenshot on TV sports news of the full Wimbledon seedings for women's singles. There was a time (not that long ago) when I would have recognised every name ; but for this year I reckon that around 50% meant virtually nothing to me. My declining interest interest in the women's game has been a gradual process, and currently I feel more detached from it than ever.

That said, it's apparently a sell-out today at Eastbourne, so I'm obviously not typical (or topical .....?  Cool )

Meanwhile ..... Good to hear about your experience at Roehampton sfp. I have been meaning to get there and really should make the effort some day .......

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Guest82 on Wed 22 Jun 2016, 4:48 pm

Evans lost.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Born Slippy on Wed 22 Jun 2016, 5:33 pm

Frustrating as he served for the match in the second set. Was a great chance for him to leap up the rankings.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Born Slippy on Wed 22 Jun 2016, 5:36 pm

Marcus Willis (world ranked 775) has beaten Rublev to make the final round of qualies at Wimbledon. He'd already beaten a top 100 player in QR1. Impressive as I think it's his first tournament this year.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Guest on Wed 22 Jun 2016, 7:29 pm

Not sure what happened but Konta beat two time Wimbledon champion 26 year old Petra Kvitova 5-7 6-4 6-0 in the third round of the Aegon WTA Championship in Eastbourne.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Mad for Chelsea on Wed 22 Jun 2016, 8:09 pm

Nore Staat wrote:Not sure what happened but Konta beat two time Wimbledon champion 26 year old Petra Kvitova 5-7 6-4 6-0 in the third round of the Aegon WTA Championship in Eastbourne.

I watched parts of it. Konta played very well in the first to lead 5-2 with a double break, with Kvitova making too many errors. Then Kvitova really upped her level, reeled off five straight games to take the first set. Not sure Konta played that badly in that patch, maybe didn't make enough first serves, but Kvitova was wacking the ball and just not missing. Konta recovered well though, served much better and hit with more depth and aggression, eventually forcing the break and serving it out. Pictures were lost when she was serving for the second set, so I went off to watch Iceland remarkably qualify at the Euros. When I switched back on, Konta was serving for it at 5-0 so no real idea what happened in set 3! Didn't seem (from the last game) that Kvitova was injured, though her thigh was quite heavily strapped throughout.

Looking at the stats, seems the key was Konta improving her first serve percentage through set 2 (and presumably 3): she made 72% of them, and was winning 70% of points behind it, compared to 35% behind the second set. Certainly in set 2 she was getting plenty of free points from it, or simple 1-2 punches after drawing Kvitova out wide on the deuce side.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Guest on Wed 22 Jun 2016, 8:26 pm

I watched a small portion of the match on BBC iplayer from Konta losing a service game for it to become 5-5 then the next two games for it to become 7-5.  Konta was playing really well but Kvitova seemed on another level.  I just assumed this was going to be one way traffic and a Kvitova win.  

I caught the exchange between Konta and her coach at the 6-5 mark.  Her coach gave a brief summary as to what he thought was happening: that Kvitova just upper her level at 5-2 and demanded Konta think about whether she was ready to accept the challenge.  Konta seemed so negative and defeatist in that exchange with her coach that I was disappointed with her attitude.  However she put in a great effort to try to win her service game and take the first set to a tie-breaker - but Kvitova was on another planet - reading her first serves and just matching and bettering Konta's effort.  It looked like there was going to be no way back.  Then like you I got caught up with what was happening with the football. Smile

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Henman Bill on Wed 22 Jun 2016, 10:51 pm

There is a significant chunk of attendees at UK tennis, who are casual fans, maybe club players, but not avid watchers of tournaments year round, who just like watching tennis and other than whether they get to see a big star aren't too bothered about who they see.

I reckon a lot of these are equally happy with women's or men's or a mixture.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Guest82 on Thu 23 Jun 2016, 12:26 pm

I personally don't really enjoy watching womens tennis, I will watch the odd bit during the slams. But never really watch it other than that. When I have tickets for Wimbledon and will always try to find a mens match on the outside courts whilst the womens match is on the court my tickets are for.

I see Ed Corrie (another Brit, WR358) is in the final round of qualifying and favourite for his match against Olivetti. Willis is playing Daniil Medvedev - don't fancy his chances. Medvedev has been on form of late.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Guest on Thu 23 Jun 2016, 2:25 pm

I would enjoy watching women's tennis as long as they are not screeching like Sharapova or weirdly like Azarenka, or explosively like Serena (which she only seems to do when she herself is facing a screecher) or as long as they are wearing something decent (not anything from the lingerie wardrobe of Venus Williams etc). I don't mind the more natural exertion type of lower frequency grunting.

I have dipped in to the tennis being played at Eastbourne and what I have seen I have been impressed with.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Mad for Chelsea on Thu 23 Jun 2016, 2:37 pm

I've enjoyed women's tennis over the last year or so. Seems that they've moved away from the raw power game somewhat to something with more variety, we're seeing much more use of sliced backhands, drop shots and volleying for instance, more use of the angles, whereas the men's side has become rather sterile, with the odd exception.

The shrieking is annoying, but I think it's worth mentioning that there was a study done that showed that the men actually grunt louder, but the lower pitch makes it less irritating for our hearing facilities Wink

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