The styles of the professional tennis players, given their rich variety, is like classical music, and can be divided into many categories. But, could there be similarities between certain tennis styles and certain genres of classical music? We at Rovo endeavoured to find out, and this article is a product of such.
Disclaimer: We use in this article only the most recognizable tennis players as examples. This however does not mean that the range of tennis styles are limited to that discussed.
Baroque: Roger Federer
This decision to categorize Federer as a Baroque player may turn many heads, and in the ever creative words of our intern Roger, "possibly start a riot". How does the Rolex-standard chicness of Federer be compared to something associated more with mystery than class, to say the least. It must be noted that we are making our comparisons mainly on the basis of substance, as opposed to style, and Federer - when substance is concerned - has much more similarities with the Baroque genre of classical music than most can ever imagine! What makes Baroque music ... baroque - its name says it all. The word 'baroque' derives from the Portuguese word 'barroco', or “oddly shaped pearl” in English. A major distinguishing feature of this baroque genre is its complexity - an example of such is it being heavily involved with polyphony (having multiple melodies at once). If we were to apply this characterisation to the game of tennis, who fits this the closest, in having a game that is undefinable, unreadable and unpredictable. None other than Roger Federer, whom tennis critics pigeonholed into the rather vague 'all-court player' for lack of a more better clear alternative.
Classical: Andy Murray
This decision of ours to categorize Murray as a classical player may also elicit reactions similar to that produced by our decision to compare Federer to the Baroque genre. How on earth is Murray's game-style classy enough to be a representative of class on this very selective list? First let's learn/recall the distinguishing characteristics of classical music in comparison to Baroque music. Firstly, classical music has a lighter and cleaner texture than Baroque - much less complicated basically. Secondly, there is an emphasis on properly balanced formal structure - proportion and balance, moderation and control. Take these traits onto the tennis court, and you can see Murray playing to such descriptions. He is not flashy with his typical moderately paced shots and controlled rallies. In fact, the bland simplicity of his style is a result of such substance!
Romantic: Rafael Nadal
This comparison is much more intuitive the former two. Romantic classical music is unmeasured and unbalanced, as much as the former two were rather measured and balanced. Whereas the former two were relatively largely rational naturally, the romantic style is mainly emotion. There is a certain freedom in composing, which commonly involves the elements of fantasy, imagination and adventure. The textures in this genre are denser with bold dramatic contrasts, involving a wider range of pitches and dynamics. There is a significant expansion of the orchestra, and a development of the brass section, giving it a whole new level of bombassity which the earlier genres lack. Performers of romantic classical music were not helped by the fact that romantic music had great technical difficulty! Apply these descriptions to the tennis court, ad you get someone who plays a very powerful game under very imposed self-imposed strenuous conditions. Who plays with the most power and sweat? Our pick is definitely Rafael Nadal.
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