Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Technology, a cure or curse ? in Tennis

http://img.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2007/06_02/hawkeye230607_468x267.jpgMuch has been said lately about racquet design and materials, that have heralded in a new era for today's modern player and the change that has slowly metamorphosed the game into two sides of the same coin, namely, baseline hitting V defensive play from a game that included all facets of shot making including the good old Serve and Volleyers.

There seems to be also two different camps as to whether serve and volley has declined or even disappeared from the game today.

A few (myself included) have noticed a definite fading of the chip and charge, as well as an altogether unhealthy abrupt stop in the amount of serve and volleying that used to embrace the tennis courts up to a few years ago.

Now, is this because of technological advances or might it be to do with the fact that the training regimes are geared towards counter punching and the tactical play of defensive shot making, or is it a mix of both ?

As a side note, when people try to compare era's, it dawned on me that someone like Murray, who has probably never touched a wooden racquet in his life, professionally of course, would FAIL, if he was sent back to Borg's era, as the grip and shot action are completely different to players of that time, and he would not know how to get the same kind of response from that kind of racquet.

Which leads me on to the next point, coming from the wooden era to the graphite era, its seems pretty obvious that they are two incompatibles, which begs the question, if serve and volleying was a prominent part of most players itinerary from the 80's onwards and through to the late nineties, why has it suddenly become unpopular over the last 5/6 years?

Some have mentioned that its down to the racquet speed and the problem with having your serve return faster than ever before, due, arguably, to the technology at hand or its partly due to the fact that its become unfashionable to do so, given that the 1st serve is pretty much non-returnable if put in the right spot.

I, like many on here would like to see the return of the S&V, but at what cost to the players ?
Unless the organizers try to slow down the courts or make the balls slower, (why would they anyway?) I don't see how this can happen.

Of course, we could make the players resort to using wooden racquets or even the Conner's metal paddle, but they'd probably break their wrists trying to play normally.


HBK to retire in WWE WrestleMania 2010 -Jim Ross Blogs

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