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Krumm: Modern players too similar

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Originally published on: 19/10/11 10:26

At 41, Kimiko Date Krumm is well placed to have her say on the modern game having turned professional way back in 1989. Doing just that, the Tokyo native believes that today’s players have playing styles that are too uniform.

“Martina Navratilova had the serve and volley and the touch for net play but now when you look at the young players, their styles are all the same. It’s only power, big serve, and then bam, bam, bam – no tactics,” said Date-Krumm in an interview with World Tennis Magazine.

“Before it was mainly defensive styles. Martina (Navratilova) had her leftie serve and volley game; Steffi Graf had a superb backhand slice and big forehand; Gabriela Sabatini had more spin; Arantxa Sanchez did also, she ran very fast and was mentally tough. Martina Hingis had a lot of talent, she’s not a big player, not a lot of muscle and her tennis was all about touch.

At just 5’4” herself, Krumm believes Hingis’ touch-over-power approach is a good one for players of slight build to emulate.

“For Asian players today, she’s a good model,” she said of the five time Grand Slam champion. “She didn’t have the power but she was very smart. Back then most players had a good serve but they were still very different. Now they are all almost identical.”

Date-Krumm, who made it to No. 4 in the world in 1995, also stated her belief that if 22-time Grand Slam champion Graf made a comeback, she could top the rankings again at 42.

“Tennis is not only power and not only age. Yes, of course this generation of players need power. But to win Grand Slam titles you need mental toughness and experience. In matches there are many turning points and [Graf] still knows how to win, how to play these big moments.”

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