Transformation. A word whenever used in the world of sport, typically refers to something significantly positive, most commonly that of a massive surge in the performance of some athlete - for instance, the 'transformation of Novak Djokovic in 2011'. However, unfortunately, the laws of nature dictate that there is almost always a bad and good to something, and this rule also applies to the word 'transformation'. What are some of these bad transformations in the tennis though? Read on to find out!
The transformation of Gulbis' forehand technique
As you can see in the video above, there has been no more drastic change in technique in any tennis player than Ernests Gulbis, as far as we can remember. It looks so much more bizarre, unwieldy, uncomfortable, and un-tennislike. It has been behind his slump in performance in the recent years of his career, as he himself admitted. How did he end up with this? Well, it was actually a self-adaption which his then-coach Gunther Bresnik would have disapproved of. From 2008 to 2010, we saw, and were puzzled, by a gradual elongation of his forehand back-swing. It started to make sense when he was able to pull of his then-famous upsets over Federer in the 2010 Rome Masters tournament, and then taking Nadal to three sets in the semi-finals of that tournament. Such asset however turned into a liability just as quickly, as players began attacking it the way all cumbersome long back-swing should be dealt with. To be fair though, he managed to pull off some isolated (in that they had no bearing on his downward trend when overall performance is concerned) yet significant victories, such as his upset of Roger Federer at the 2014 French Open.
The transformation of Roddick's socks style
As you can see in the picture right above, something is clearly very wrong, especially given how the background is clearly that of a prestigious and posh grass court. To add another point about our initial reaction upon seeing such, we strongly felt straight-away that this should not be done. What belongs in the table tennis arena should stay within the table tennis arena, what typically appears on a tennis court should always appear on a tennis court. With all due respect to Roddick, who happens to be one of our favorite tennis players, a code violation needs to be introduced which covers such inappropriate competition apparel! Why did he do this though? We believe its psychological. In our opinion, and from our observations, Roddick has, by the time 2011 arrived, lost much of the power in his serve and forehand. This was due to some injury issues which he was having with his shoulders, and also most possibly age, given that he was already aged 29 then. In a previous article, we discussed how Roddick's game is built almost entirely on power. Without his two best power generators, Roddick would be in no competitive state. It is not all mind over body, particularly in the brutish job of a professional sport, and thus such limitations would no doubt have had a severe impact on Roddick's motivation for the game. In my own personal experience, I tend to dress up or down to my mood. For example, on a really bad day I would be most content with an army PT shirt and some FBT shorts. The long socks are the suits on the tennis court, they give you a strong sense of aesthetic pleasure and sense of importance. We thus believe, that Roddick was also 'dressing down'.
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