The column below, taken from tennis.com, makes me worried. Why? Because I’d argue that one of the most frustrating things about women’s tennis right now (and to a lesser extent, the ATP tour) is the obsession with smashing the ball as hard a humanly possible without any real consideration of strategy, accuracy or artistry (ahem, Maria) I don’t mean to be a negative Nelly, but if we have a Power Index can we also have a Style Index that has nothing to do with how many photo shoots you do for Vogue (ahem, Maria)?
I’ll have to consider carefully before posting my official WTA Style Rankings, although it should be pretty obvious (ahem, Justine and Amelie.)
WTA creates ‘power index’ stat to measure who hits hardest
CARLSBAD, Calif. (AP) -Who hits the ball hardest in women’s tennis? The WTA Tour is introducing a statistic to measure that.
Six-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams ranked No. 1 in the new “power index” during last week’s Acura Classic, averaging 94.5 mph on her hardest shots.
The index takes into account a player’s fastest groundstroke (forehand or backhand), first serve, second serve, first-serve return, second-serve return and smash or volley.
It uses ball-tracking technology from Hawk-Eye Innovations, the company involved in instant replay in tennis, and measures players in center-court matches.
“Other leading professional sports have introduced new methods to measure and compare the performance of their players to provide another level of insight for fans,” tour president Stacy Allaster said Monday. “The power index affords that same opportunity for women’s tennis.”
The statistic made its debut at the Acura Classic, with Maria Kirilenko finishing second to Williams at 92.7 mph. Victoria Azarenka was third at 92.3 mph, followed by tournament champion Maria Sharapova at 90.5 mph.