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Thread: Tennis, tennis, tennis

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    Senior Member Brian63's Avatar
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    Tennis, tennis, tennis

    Any other tennis fanatics out there? [Ground tennis, not table tennis] This thread is for you, and discussion of all things tennis, such as:

    Do you play yourself, or like to watch the professionals play, or both? Or used to play/watch, but not much anymore?

    Prefer singles or doubles?

    One-handed or two-handed backhand?

    Favorite shots for you? Most difficult shots for you?

    Who were/are your favorite players?

    What do you like and dislike the most about the sport, and how should it change to be enjoyable for the players and audiences?

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    Senior Member Brian63's Avatar
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    Answering the above personally---

    Was inspired by my older brother to start playing tennis. He did so in high school and had a "meh" reaction. I loved it when my turn came around though. Doubles was a better fit, as my ground strokes have always been a bit weak and inconsistent. Last year I played a little bit recreationally with a local league, the first time playing in many years, and enjoyed it. If (big "if") time/health/finances allow for it, I want to rejoin them this summer. We will see.

    Best shot I have is the volleys and drop shots. Have a terrible 2nd serve. I so admire people who can consistently put the ball in play, but I double fault A LOT. Please do not tell my opponents, but I also secretly get nervous when having to hit overheads.

    I try to watch the Grand Slam tournaments when I can, as much of them as possible, plus any other lower-level or exhibition matches.

    Pete Sampras was my icon and hero when I was a kid growing up. Prior to and in the middle of points I would think "What would Pete do?" So my style is similar to his, even my form. Roger Federer has since taken over that deity-worship place in my head though, so I model my game after his. Except I hit with a two-handed backhand, whereas they were both one-hander's.

    One major drawback of modern professional tennis is how much of an advantage the server has. The returner has too much of a disadvantage, there are too few break opportunities, and too few actual breaks of serve. The only thing I could think of to even the odds a bit more is to raise the net height a little, to make the serve less dominating. Would that not work well for any reason?

    In the Grand Slam tournaments, the matches are best-of-5-setters, which I think is another problem. The match lengths are too inconsistent and variable. You can have a quick-and-easy match that lasts for just 1-and-a-half hours, or a drawn out marathon for 5 hours. There is no way to know how it will end up. Other major sports are more predictable and typical in their game length, being about 3 hours or so. It would be better for the players and fans if tennis matches were more uniform in their length.

    I do wish there was more variability in the professional game today with players having different styles. So there would be some degree of heavy servers, some great returners, some counterpunchers, some serve-and-volleyers, some who vary a lot between them. Unfortunately too much of the game is determined by the serve though, and you see few breaks of serve, and too many sets are decided in tiebreaks by just a handful of points. The game needs an overhaul to be more enjoyable in the future.

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    Tennis is a fun game to play but it is not a good spectator sport at the elite level. As you say, serving dominates now so it's not very entertaining to watch 100 mph serves consistently blasting past the the other player. Women's tennis seems to have longer rallies. I've only ever had a mild interest in the sport, I'll maybe check out Wimbledon when it's on but I don't really follow it.

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    I've enjoyed watching Federer over the years when I've had the opportunity, but those opportunities have been scarce because I've rarely had a cable package, and it wasn't until recently that I discovered a robust way to stream.

    So yea, I like tennis, but I don't like it enough to bother with matches that aren't showcasing the superstars. IIRC, the last match I went out of my way to watch was Federer attempting his 8th Wimbledon title (he won, but it was a bad match as his opponent was injured).

    I also played a bit as a kid, and even took lessons briefly, but I was never anything more than a thorough amateur.

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    Shrunken Member WAB's Avatar
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    Rod Laver was my favorite when I was young, but only because he was left-handed. Later on I loved Sampras. I'll never forget his blazing serves and how he totally shocked (and impressed) McEnroe.
    If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to a library. - Frank Zappa

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