Friday, 8 January 2010

Evolution in tennis

It seems amazing to consider the same natural forces of evolution that apply to hunter and prey should apply in tennis and other sports but I think that's what we're seeing.

Normally either the hunted get faster so the hunters that can keep up get the prey and survive or vice versa.
In sports the constant push for an edge for everyone to find their limits and push beyond. Often just to keep up. Necessity is the mother of invention so they say.

Read this quote from andre agassi recapping 10 years of tennis in 2006 and see what you think
"Now we have power with control. Guys are definitely stronger and more athletic. It's very rare that I'm playing somebody that's my size or smaller. I think the technology, with rackets and with these strings - it allows for more control, more spin, so you can swing harder at the ball and the ball's still going to come down.
Back in the old days, 10 years ago, a lot of guys played with gut. That string was hard to control pace with. You had to worry about it getting away from you.now guys are standing way back and taking full swings at the ball and they're doing it with much bigger frames. 
It's not uncommon to play guys taller than 6ft 4ins. It's normal. The string bites more so it offers more control. We see it in golf. They're always making the golf courses longer for a reason.
Personally I've learned how to fight more and better and smarter. I've learned to calculate the risk. I've gotten stronger. The game has got a lot more powerful and athletic in the last 10 years. It's changed more considerably. You have to adapt by becoming a better athlete I serve a lot better. I get a lot more free points on my serve now than I used to. Hopefully I don't make as many careless mistakes."

It's just fascinating to hear the evolution through his words. It makes me feel that evolution in sport is just as natural as that in the wild.
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