Akane Yamaguchi ( 山口 茜 )

Discussion in 'Japan Professional Players' started by suetyan, Sep 21, 2013.

  1. yuon

    yuon Regular Member

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    Please don't confuse Yamaguchi with Okuhara. Yamaguchi can win her own points without needing to rely on out-rallying the opponent. She can run, but she can also play an attacking game when required. 2019 IO and JO are two well known examples. It's a disservice to her skills by labeling her as just a retriever.
     
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  2. Ballschubser

    Ballschubser Regular Member

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    I don't confuse them, just watching the recent 3 tournaments alone (where Okuhara did not participate), you can tell, that Yamaguchi is relying on retrieving the shuttle mostly, it is just amazing how many shots she gets over the net. Sure, she can attack, but it is not her foundation for a match. Just compare it to ASY, when both play, ASY runs a lot less and I would fear, that ASY without the injury had really good chances to beat Yamaguchi.

    I think that a retriever will have issues once she fails to get to the shuttle in time, compared to e.g. a shotmaker like TTY, who would be able to play quite long.

    The following highlight is a good demonstration of her game. You can see, that ASY is struggling physically more than Yamaguchi, though AY tried to attack in this rally, she mostly did just get all this shuttles back where other opponents would have failed to do so.

     
    #182 Ballschubser, Oct 26, 2021
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2021
  3. Pcyl

    Pcyl Regular Member

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    I see differently. I see ASY playing retrieving more than akane. The only reason AY retrieving is more obvious is because of her size. But ASY had to do a lot of retrieving as well . But who am I to make own judgment about what they should do or should not do. They know what is their own strength and weaknesses and it is up to them to train accordingly. In some situation, sometimes, it is easier for a taller person to get injured than a short person. And sometimes, it is easier for a taller person to get tired faster than a short person. So who am I to say. I can only enjoy their efforts to stretch themselves in spite of their natural limitations and do the best they can.

    I watch ninja warrior (sashuke) and often I'm surprised by how a smaller person was able to win when all the bigger competitors could not.

    Will they get physical problem later? Maybe, maybe not. Will the bigger size players get physical problem later? Maybe, maybe not.

    I've great respect for akane. When you don't have longer arm what do you do to reach the shuttle? You use your whole body. Would you like to have longer arm so you can attack more? Yes. But does it mean that you should give in to taller players just because you have shorter arms? No. You work with what you have been given and make your weak points into your strong points. For the players with longer arms, nothing so special in that sense.



    Sent from my XQ-BT52 using Tapatalk
     
    #183 Pcyl, Oct 26, 2021
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2021
  4. Nine Tailed Fox

    Nine Tailed Fox Regular Member

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    I think Ballschubser wants Akane to add a bit of deceptive flicks and some deceptive fakes to her game.

    He is saying that her game is a bit too back and forth at the moment without the stability at the centre.
     
    #184 Nine Tailed Fox, Oct 26, 2021
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2021
  5. yuon

    yuon Regular Member

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    She can play deceptively too. Just watch the first game of the 2019 Thailand Masters Final vs ASY. You can also see some deceptions in the recent SF vs HBJ.

    Like what Pycl said, Yamaguchi is short, so it takes more stretching to get to the shuttle, vs ASY who has the reach, and, therefore, needs less steps to get to the shuttle. Both of them get many shots back, but somehow, Yamaguchi is the 'retriever' just because she has to stretch herself more to reach the shuttle due to her height.

    Many people, at first glance, only notice the number of shots she gets back, and then quickly label her as a retriever without taking into consideration other aspects of her game. Steen had said a few times before that he considered Yamaguchi to have one of the best racket skills, along side Ratchanok and TTY. Morten used to label her as a retriever and nothing else when he first came back to commentating (which annoyed me to no end), but now he is also (finally) recognizing her other shot-making skills.

    I thought she played quite a good attacking game with awesome defense in the Sudirman Cup final vs CYF. Were we not watching the same match? :)
     
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  6. Pcyl

    Pcyl Regular Member

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    When your arms are long and you can get to the shuttle early, you can play deceptive hold and flick. But if your arms are short and you can get to the shuttle just in time, your best bet is to play the basic with good enough quality and make sure the opponent, although not deceived but has to work hard to get the shuttle back. But only her opponent knows about AY's deceptive shot. many times they misread AY's drop shot , smashes or a fast and accurate push to the back court. Yes, you can be sure a short person knows that to win a player who is physically gifted with longer arms he or she must work harder. But this is what AY is prepared to make and I respect her for that.
     
    #186 Pcyl, Oct 27, 2021
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2021
  7. Nine Tailed Fox

    Nine Tailed Fox Regular Member

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    I like that her brain remains composed even in extreme out of position/ without chances of recovery situations. A quality that Lin Dan used to have at his Godly years. That's one aspect that I really enjoy out of her badminton.
     
  8. Ballschubser

    Ballschubser Regular Member

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    Well, that is basically my definition of a retriever.

    All top 20 women are basically good in all badminton related aspects, they all have super attack abilities, super shot quality, stamina etc. , but every single woman has some extra special aspect standing out. E.g.
    TTY for deception and shotmaking.
    CM & MB for aggression and attacking.
    AY & NO for retrieving.
    HBJ & ASY for shot quality.
    CYF rock solid all rounder.

    Some aspects are more physical demanding like attacking and retrieving style, which could get harder when athletes ages, whereas shot quality and shot making will be quite stable for longer time. A retriever has the additional issue, that they rely more on errors of their opponent and that they will have more stamina to fight the battle. The current Momota version displays some of the issues when you rely too much on your retrieving abilities without being able to have a good attack which you are able to utilize more often.

    I'm really a great fan of AY, but I can't see her in the top 5-8 in 5 years, considering that some or all of the 'old' generation (RI,TTY,CM) will be out of international competition at this time.
     
  9. stanleyfm

    stanleyfm Regular Member

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    Who is MB? Michelle Bi?
     
  10. Cunning Linguist

    Cunning Linguist Regular Member

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    So you're definition of "retriever" is: someone who is short.

    This whole "retriever" thing is just a tired old cliche that the commentators like to use for AY because all of them have other favourites. Everybody needs to "retrieve" the shuttle, otherwise the rally is over. AY doesn't "rely on" throwing herself on the floor all the time, she simply has to, because she's short. It's not a choice, it is the only way to play for her. I'm sure she'd love to be 170cm + and avoid all those sprints, dives, and the exhaustion that comes with that.
    If you're calling someone a "great retriever" over and over again, you're employing a back-handed compliment, because you're saying that person is doing nothing but the basic thing to keep a rally going. We've seen the greates era of WS in the past few years. None of these players would have been successful, had they been capable of nothing but basic stuff. AY has great technique, plays fantastic drop shots from below and above the tape, has great deception and good smashes. She's a great shot maker, yet this is rarely said about her.

    You know who is an awesome "retriever"? Sindhu. She's got great reach, speed, agility and anticipation. When she's on form, it is super hard to score points against her. She doesn't dive to shots and sprint from corner to corner, because she doesn't have to.
    Do you hear her stereotyped as a "great retriever" all the time?

    Your last sentence does not make much sense either, because with the exception of a single (!) player, there has been no youngster capable of even remotely threatening the Big 7 for years. When CM, TTY and RI retire, the competition will be less fierce, not more so.
     
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  11. Cunning Linguist

    Cunning Linguist Regular Member

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    Mursala Bindhu.
     
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  12. Sumanth99

    Sumanth99 Regular Member

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    But how and why ?
     
  13. Cunning Linguist

    Cunning Linguist Regular Member

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    MB could of course be Michelle Bi, as per @stanleyfm 's suggestion. Oh, heureka. I think he means Mia Blichfeldt. :oops: :D
     
  14. Sumanth99

    Sumanth99 Regular Member

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    okay !!

    Bindhu is an actual female name in Telugu and most Indian languages.
     
  15. Ballschubser

    Ballschubser Regular Member

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    Mia Blichfeldt
     
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  16. Ballschubser

    Ballschubser Regular Member

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    No, Ginting is short and most likely the best attacking badminton player at the moment.
     
  17. Cunning Linguist

    Cunning Linguist Regular Member

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    Great comparison. Male to female athlete, 156cm to 171cm.:D
     
  18. Ballschubser

    Ballschubser Regular Member

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    I don't know what you are up to here, this is my definition of a retriever, if you like it or not. So, let's stops this , whatever you are trying to do, and get back to the topic, which is AY.
     
  19. Cunning Linguist

    Cunning Linguist Regular Member

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    I'm not "up to" anything, I just told you why I thought your arguments are unconvincing. We're also both still talking about AY. You say she's a "retriever", I say she's a lot more than that and deserves to be recognized as such.
     
  20. Justin L

    Justin L Regular Member

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    I tend to agree with you.

    First, needless to say, every world class player is capable of executing all the basic shots required to a high degree, be it smash, drop shots, lifts and clears, net play, whether in attack or defense or a controlled game.

    Second, some players have the knack of doing certain aspects of the game better than others, which then becomes their forte or strong points, such as in attacking, defending or controlling the rally. Yes, retrieving is more of a defensive than offensive manoeuvre.

    In Akane's case, her defining characteristic is her uncanny ability in retrieving whatever her opponents throw at her ,whether smashes (full-bodied, i.e. power, or half smashes or placement smashes near the lines, etc), fast or slow or sliced drop shots, net dribbles. And the best part is she is able to do so even when she's somewhat out of position or late to the shuttle, time and time again.

    In other words, her overall retrieving ability , including near-impossible saves, is so amazing, truly exceptional that there isn't a single opponent who has not been stumped or frustrated or worn down as to commit an error now and then or allow her to counterattack or turn defence into attack whenever the opportunity arises by executing a smash, a drop shot or a soft shot (disguised or feint). That's how she often finishes off the rally if the opponent didn't make an unforced error.

    Let me stress that Akane is a compact dynamo who can outrun, out-defend, and out-rally most of her opponents most of the time, if not all her opponents all the time which is sometimes the case. However, to be honest, it takes a lot of energy to do that as she often has to work harder than her opponents to win the points. So far , her running ability, her stamina and endurance, and even her speed despite her short stature, are, I daresay, second to none, thanks largely to her "humongous" thighs. A rare phenomenon. The big question is how long can she continue doing that so remarkably.

    I've been thinking , how best to take on this Super Retriever, Akane Yamaguchi. One, by frequently injecting pace to go on the offensive most of the time but doing so, that is aggressively attacking her so much, is physically demanding, which means you have to be sharp and forceful as well as try to finish the rally quickly or you'll be drained well before she does, game over. Second, is to rally with her to a certain extent, not too much, but just enough to seize the initiative and attack her first or risk being outmanoeuvred by her controlling game. Needless to say, either strategies requires a reasonably high degree of consistency and accuracy in shot-making as you can't afford to be error-prone, gifting too many points to come a cropper. Of course, it's all theoretical, easier said than done.

    Last but not least, in one of the tournament threads, I actually likened her to the female version of Chen Long minus the height. Imagine, as I added in the comments, if she were a bit taller, say, 1.7m will do, she at her best might even be untouchable. That's my opinion. Cheers.
     
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