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Monday, March 13, 2017

USC as 'Loyal Opposition' or the Grinder's Paradise

This is just an idle conjecture; could be totally wrong.

Now, my rant on USC would be silly if USC is intentionally 'promoting' grinders instead of bashers. Whether it being due to necessity(because they can't recruit elite hitters) or preference.

Just came back from IW, so imagine those famous Italian Quartet(what an era for them though. Schiavone, Pennetta, Errani, Vinci..didn't they even win a Fed Cup), or the Spanish grinders(Tormo, etc. ironically the most prominent Spaniard is young Muguruza, a big hitter). Watched Errani's defense and variety against Minella, saw some of Schiavone's too(missed Vinci match this time. It was jam packed anyway, couldn't go in).

Maybe USC doesn't 'deserve' big hitters anymore, like Nelson, Crawford and Xepoleas. Maybe they just can't develop those kind of players.

Competent slicing seems to be a prerequisite to 'make it' in USC, as well.

Who's a perfect symbol for USC in recent years? More than KK or Santamaria, I think of Scandalis. Less talented version of Florida(Embree). Terrific athleticism and grinding ability.

So I can already pick names whom USC might be interested in the coming years. If they don't get snatched by Duke first, that is lol.

Like, say, Nadal. 'Anti-tennis'. Grinding and waiting for errors or weak balls.  What did Kayla Day say during on court coaching at the later stage against Muguruza(didn't watch that match, just quoting TF comments);

 'She won't miss any more!'

So if the attackers have a bad day, could do better than other teams who have so-so attackers. Imagine Nadal-Fed matchup(hence Fed's win at AO is all the more sweet. Only saw highlights, but he didn't implode, as his wont. Those glorious bh winners at the later stages. Tennis was saved that day).  I suspect that Stanford had a bad day in that 2012 NCAA upset to the Trojans.

But who's the ultimate winner? Of course, Stanford who always preferred power tennis(was Davidson pushing against Babic in the last NCAA final? Didn't watch it so can't say, although some said she sliced away. But lower position players were powerful enough, like Lampl and Lord).

It's like Corswandt(one of the best savants in TF; his now-defunct Estoril reports are justly famous)'s mantra;

PUSHERS DON'T WIN SLAMS.

Just look at WTA. Who won. Two-handed Bartoli was an super aggressive player, always has been. Few thinks Wozniacki or Radwanska would win a slam. Serena's variety is crap, but who cares? She has won gazillion of slams lol.

So, USC will be a 'loyal opposition', tamely losing in the ultimate stages to the better hitting teams. Has been, and don't think it'll change any time soon. Could give a good match, as seen in some of the recent matches(home match against UCLA 2 years ago comes to mind, when they made a comeback). Heck they won some Conference Championships. But National title? No chance.

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