NWR Women's tennis

Two points. Working as a team is central to success in grand tour (as Froome would attest following his 4 subsequent wins); Wiggo beat Froome by 1:16 in the final time trial & 3.21 overall.
I wasn't disputing that but that it wouldn't be in my top 10 of great sporting achievements, especially as Froome could have dropped him for dead on at least one of the mountain stages easily making up the 3:16 time gap.
 
In terms of an individual coming from nowhere in a very short space of time to dominate a sport at the highest level, the other one that springs to mind would be Jonah Lomu. He was hardly known at all before the 95 RWC, having only played for NZ in some 7s. Within a week it was clear he was the best player in the world by miles and probably the best player ever to play the game. Obviously, not a brit (sadly!!) but I think his impact surpasses what ER did as it’s not clear yet that she’s the best player in the world, let alone, the best of all time.
 
I know that it's romantic to posit that Emma Raducanu 'came out of nowhere', but she has been playing tennis since she was five years old and spotted by the LTA aged 9 and put into their special program for youngsters of excellence. So that's nearly a decade of hard graft put in before turning up for the Wimbledon qualifiers this year. The idea that that kind of prowess appears out of nowhere just doesn't fly.
 
I know that it's romantic to posit that Emma Raducanu 'came out of nowhere', but she has been playing tennis since she was five years old and spotted by the LTA aged 9 and put into their special program for youngsters of excellence. So that's nearly a decade of hard graft put in before turning up for the Wimbledon qualifiers this year. The idea that that kind of prowess appears out of nowhere just doesn't fly.
Richard, everything that you say regarding Emma Raducanu's history is correct but I think you are taking the phrase 'out of nowhere' a little too literally. Of course Emma had a history as a young player but clearly there has never been any other player (from any country) who has had all of the benefits of top grade youth coaching and at 18 come through the qualifiers at Wimbledon to the 4th round and then a few months later going through the qualifying rounds again and then on to win a Grand Slam title. I play and watch a lot of tennis and I am astounded at what Emma has done as are all the national coaches here with whom I have discussed it.
 
I know that it's romantic to posit that Emma Raducanu 'came out of nowhere', but she has been playing tennis since she was five years old and spotted by the LTA aged 9 and put into their special program for youngsters of excellence. So that's nearly a decade of hard graft put in before turning up for the Wimbledon qualifiers this year. The idea that that kind of prowess appears out of nowhere just doesn't fly.
Exactly right, Richard. She reminds me of several young musicians I have known who have apparently appeared out of nowhere but in fact have spent every moment since the age of four honing their talent, often at vast expense. It is usually a wonderful thing for those with the right ability and even more importantly temperament but it quite often is not for the many, many more who don't get very far.
 
Pinsett and Redgrave winning four consecutive Olympic gold medals in rowing is also up there. And what about Stokes batting to 135 unbeaten to win the test at Headingly. Come to think of it, there are a good number of great performances both individual and at team level, and despite the miserable performance of our football team, the country has been able to bask in the glory of a great number of outstanding sporting achievements 'within living memory' to use Alex's definition. I would take nothing away from Radicanu's wonderful win, but there is definitely a bit of hyperbole in the media.

Personally I don't think there is hyperbole. Even if she fills the papers for the next week or two it is not over the top given the never in a million years nature of her triumph.
 
What an odd list of great British sporting achievements. Torvill & Dean getting a clean sweep of sixes with Bolero not making it? A case could be made out for Daley Thompson two Decathalon gold medals, Rebecca Adlington's swims in Beijing, Jonathan Edwards world record leap, Seb Coe's three world records in, was it 41 days, and to keep the Scots happy David Wilkie winning his gold medal by a country mile in a world record time. It is hard to compare team sports with individual athletes but really hockey and netball golds are an odd choice.
 
I was going to say Peaty - first he won as an unknown in 2014, or Tom Daley - World Champion at 14? It just happens these islands are not as bad at sport as we think we are. I don't think you can measure an achievement by how unexpected it is either. The signs for Raducanu have been there - her Wimbledon run meant she hadn't lost 'on court' in her only previous slam. Aged 15 she was winning ITF titles against senior opponents - those in the know have seen this coming - it just arrived rather a lot quicker than expected....
 
Exactly right, Richard. She reminds me of several young musicians I have known who have apparently appeared out of nowhere but in fact have spent every moment since the age of four honing their talent, often at vast expense. It is usually a wonderful thing for those with the right ability and even more importantly temperament but it quite often is not for the many, many more who don't get very far.
I think you and Richard are taking the phrase rather our of context. Clearly no one means she has never played tennis before or is somehow outside the system that produces professional players in this country. The out of nowhere refers to her status in the professional game. Nobody becomes a professional without going through those LTA programme and no one gets into the qualifiers for Grand Slams from the UK who is not a professional. Your comments seem to indicate a pre-professional era mentality which hasn’t been around for quite some time.
 
I read it as rather the opposite - that the professional mentality starts very early indeed, both with tennis and musicians. The tough part of this is for those who as children work as hard, in either discipline, as Emma R has done but at say 18 or 22 find themselves with many fewer options than she has.

But what a fabulous tennis player she is, an absolute joy to watch.
 
I think I'd have Ronnie O'Sullivan's 5m20s maximum break somewhere in there. Surely one of the greatest displays of freakish virtuoso brilliance ever seen in sport and as close to an unbreakable world record as is ever likely to exist.

The word 'genius' can be horribly misused in sport but I think the description of ROS as same is legitimate.

Assuming snooker is defined as a sport, of course!
 
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I think I'd have Ronnie O'Sullivan's 5m20s maximum break somewhere in there. Surely one of the greatest displays of freakish virtuoso brilliance ever seen in sport and as close to an unbreakable world record as is ever likely to exist.

The word 'genius' can be horribly misused in sport but I think the description of ROS as same is legitimate.

Assuming snooker is defined as a sport, of course!


will I probably have to agree with that.
just as I think Jimmy White was the greatest of his field in any sport never having won the crown, having come close so many times.
 
I read it as rather the opposite - that the professional mentality starts very early indeed, both with tennis and musicians. The tough part of this is for those who as children work as hard, in either discipline, as Emma R has done but at say 18 or 22 find themselves with many fewer options than she has.

But what a fabulous tennis player she is, an absolute joy to watch.
It's why now for most professional sports entry programmes A levels and degrees are pretty much part and parcel of life as well. Means that you get less 18-21 year olds with no qualifications and see their dream disappear through injury, bad luck or not quite making the cut.
 
I think I'd have Ronnie O'Sullivan's 5m20s maximum break somewhere in there. Surely one of the greatest displays of freakish virtuoso brilliance ever seen in sport and as close to an unbreakable world record as is ever likely to exist.

The word 'genius' can be horribly misused in sport but I think the description of ROS as same is legitimate.

Assuming snooker is defined as a sport, of course!
One of the great You Tube videos (in my opinion anyway) is the side-by-side recordings of Ronnie's 147 break compared to a match Peter Ebdon played against Ronnie at some point. Both videos / recording start, I think, with the first red being potted. By the time Ronnie has knocked in the final black, I think Ebdon's potted three or four balls with a sub-20 break :). (I may have some facts wrong in this, it's been a while since I've seen it. Great vid though :) )
 
One of the great You Tube videos (in my opinion anyway) is the side-by-side recordings of Ronnie's 147 break compared to a match Peter Ebdon played against Ronnie at some point. Both videos / recording start, I think, with the first red being potted. By the time Ronnie has knocked in the final black, I think Ebdon's potted three or four balls with a sub-20 break :). (I may have some facts wrong in this, it's been a while since I've seen it. Great vid though :) )
 
I was lucky enough to watch the 1995 rugby World Cup final in Jo’burg and we were seated in the corner of Ellis Park that Lomu was attacking in the first half. He didn’t get a sniff. The ‘boks completely snuffed him out.
 
Richard,

Who else would be first on a team sheet of all time rugby players before him? Who else single handedly destroyed every team he played against?
About half of the 2015 AB starting team, alone. I don't think he's even in the conversation - McCaw, Carter and Zinzan Brooke are the obvious NZ contenders.

Watching a rampant Lomu was brilliant for the sport, but he was playing against undersized, often semi-professional players. A brilliant athlete and ambassador for the game, but far surpassed since (and before, but less obviously).
 
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