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View Full Version : Hingis. Waste of talent? Misfortunate?


egn
04-14-2009, 09:06 PM
Hingis when you look at her career quickly and see only 5 Grand Slams everyone I think overlooks her.

Hingis from 97 to 2001 was such a consistent dominant force yet never came up in the biggest matches. If she had won some of those finals she could have easily had 10 and would have been right up there for best of all time. If she had not retired in 2002 who knows. Sure she was getting injuired but that could have been fixed. 01-02 was tough does anyone think she just called it quits and got frustrated. I never really went into Hingis's life does anyone have some good read on it as I only watched never reasearched..I missed her though So here are my questions..

Do you think she wasted her talent?
Or she was just misfortunate?
Or was she really losing it by 2002?

grafselesfan
04-14-2009, 09:12 PM
I think she did not work as hard as she needed to. She was extremely talented but when you are undersized you dont have to just work hard, but extra hard to keep up with the bigger stronger players. That is what Henin did, and Hingis was not willing to do to the extent needed, despite that Hingis probably has even more nature talent than Henin.

I think she might have been unlucky in an odd way. The 1997 field was incredibly weak. Graf was all but finished with injuries almost suddenly. Seles while not at her best in late 1995-1996 or at any point post stabbing still fell off drasticaly from even her late 1995-1996 level, gaining a ton of weight from 1996 to 1997, distracted by her fathers increasingly terminal illness. Sanchez Vicario burnt out, something that eventually happens to players who play her style, it basically happened after Wimbledon and the Olympics in 1996, and she was never the same player after that. Conchita Martinez also fell off badly from her 1993-1996 form in 1997. Sabatini and Kimiko Date both retired at the end of 1996. Rubin who was on the rise in 1996 was curtailed by injuries and no real factor. Davenport and Venus made their marks in 1997 but still were clearly not at the start of their primes. Pierce hung around but was inconsistent as always, and never seemed to be that hard a matchup for Hingis even when Pierce played really well. Spirlea was too inconsistent for Hingis. Coetzer, Majoli, and Huber are not really threats to Hingis (French Open final shocker notwithstanding).

So Hingis shot to the very top quicker than she should have. She became too cocky and thought she was better than she really was. She missed out on her important developmental years, since her results didnt give her any reason to believe she had to develop further.

BTURNER
04-14-2009, 09:39 PM
I know how much I miss her. She was fluid, had intuitive court sense second to very few players and one of the best backhands I ever saw. wonderful footwork, fine anticipation and I sure would have rather the 4 heavy hitters: Davenport, capriati and the williams sisters wait if few more years before descending. that would have give Martina time to develop physically before loosing confidence. Sad for tennis fans that her style was beaten down along with her.

grafselesfan
04-14-2009, 09:42 PM
I know how much I miss her. She was fluid, had intuitive court sense second to very few players and one of the best backhands I ever saw. wonderful footwork, fine anticipation and I sure would have rather the 4 heavy hitters: Davenport, capriati and the williams sisters wait if few more years before descending. that would have give Martina time to develop physically before loosing confidence. Sad for tennis fans that her style was beaten down along with her.

I dont think Capriati was powerful or explosive enough to take Hingis off her game though. Davenport and the Williams were, and they did the damage to Hingis and her pysche before Capriati even arrived off her 8 year sabatical from serious tennis in early 2001. Capriati owes Davenport and Williams thanks for softening Hingis up for her, as Capriati unlike those other 3 wasnt even punishing enough at that game to really bother Hingis (heck if 97-99 Pierce wasnt, then Capriati sure as heck wasnt), but Hingis was mentally in shambles by then.

boredone3456
04-14-2009, 10:12 PM
Hingis was defintely talented, but I don't think she was truly ready to be at the top. She had a phenominal year in 1997 at such a young age and then her following years grew comparitively worse it seemed. I think she accomplished a lot at a young age and didn't know how to truly handle the publics expectations of her after that (1997). That and I think her success went a little to much to her head, and some of her comments in regards to other players were uncalled for.

Her game was still in developmental stages in 1997, it could have been better but with the results she got that year I think she felt she didn't need to work harder. Problem was in the following years the rest of the field caught up to her and she didn't know how to cope with that at all and just sort of stayed in some kind of neutral drive, and her results, especially at the majors, declined. Her Injury issues didn't help either. By the time she came back she really didn't have that fire anymore, and she lost a bit of her all court reading ability and fluid movement. In her "2nd career" she was overdefensive and afraid to take risks or go on the attack.

Overall, Hingis achieved to much to soon and didn't know where to take her game after that, she probably felt it didn't need to go anywhere. Her game was one that could have evolved to keep her on top, but mentally she wasn't ready and that was really what hurt her. If she hadn't done what she did in 1997, I think she would have been better off. Win a slam in 1997, gain some confidence and work harder probably would have done her better then just missing the calender slam.

CEvertFan
04-14-2009, 10:17 PM
I think Hingis' biggest problem was her unwillingness to improve her game once the power players really started beating up on her. There was ample opportunity for her to improve her weaknesses (particularly the serve and forehand) but her stubborn nature didn't let her and the big babes pushed her right out of contention. She also sustained those injuries because of her unwillingness to improve her fitness.

I always liked watching her play because at her best she had great court sense and was such a clever daring all court player.

bluetrain4
04-14-2009, 11:49 PM
I really think she fulfilled her potential. True, she could have won a few more Slams, such as one of the Capriati AO finals, and the FO final vs. Majoli (though I'm basing that on the matchup. In all fairness, Majoli outplayed her that day, and unlike the second Capriati AO final, it wasn't close), but overall, I don't see her winning a lot more than she did.

As beautiful and interesting as her game was to watch, and though we here on TW love to gush over natural talent over brute force, the fact is that Hingis was starting to simply get overpowered, as where previously she could figure out a way to beat the power players. Nothing was going to change that. She didn't have a put away shot so she could never win a point that easily, something she really needed to be able to do.

by the time she lost to Davenport at the 98 USO, she was still talented enough to beat anyone on a given day. And, this was the case for the rest of her career (before her comeback) But, the problem was that as more power players started to develop, she could never get through a Slam draw without running into someone who was "on" and could overpower her. If she beat Serena, she'd lose to Venus. Beat Venus, lose to Davenport. She even got spanked by Dokic at Wimbledon.

Her various meltdowns didn't help her cause either. Her Slam champion period was pretty short - two years from the 1997 AO to the 1999 AO.

Again, so many of us like Hingis because she brought something different to the game and it was fun to watch her pick apart opponents. But, her pleasing game notwithstanding, she had real weaknesses that she never remedied that made it inevitable that her time as a Slam champ would be relatively short-lived.

charliefedererer
04-15-2009, 07:54 AM
I think she really did have foot/ankle problems starting failry early in her career, and that limited the amount of training she could do. She even sued Tacchini over her 1998 and 1999 foot problems while under a Tacchini contract.
The actual ankle surgeries weren't until 2001 and 2002.
I usually don't consider foot and ankle problems that preventable by a better conditioning program.
But Martina could be so obnoxious that its hard to tell how bad her early foot problems really were, as she had a tendency to whine.

pc1
04-15-2009, 04:53 PM
I think Hingis' biggest problem was her unwillingness to improve her game once the power players really started beating up on her. There was ample opportunity for her to improve her weaknesses (particularly the serve and forehand) but her stubborn nature didn't let her and the big babes pushed her right out of contention. She also sustained those injuries because of her unwillingness to improve her fitness.

I always liked watching her play because at her best she had great court sense and was such a clever daring all court player.

I agree with you on this. I still she could have done much better, after all Henin was smaller than her and eventually surpassed her. Henin proved you don't have to be a big babe to win in Women's Tennis. I really think if she improved both first and second serves, which wouldn't have been hard since her serve had a lot of room for improvement she could have added a lot of majors. I still can't believe she lost that Aussie Open to Capriati after having a few match points.

And yes I'm sure the injuries had a lot to with her decline as well.

NadalandFedererfan
04-17-2009, 09:48 AM
She was a huge underachiever.

suwanee4712
04-17-2009, 10:05 AM
I think Hingis' biggest problem was her unwillingness to improve her game once the power players really started beating up on her. There was ample opportunity for her to improve her weaknesses (particularly the serve and forehand) but her stubborn nature didn't let her and the big babes pushed her right out of contention. She also sustained those injuries because of her unwillingness to improve her fitness.

I always liked watching her play because at her best she had great court sense and was such a clever daring all court player.


This will sound harsh. But without a top 10 all time great in a peak period in the game from 1997-1999, that kind of pads Hingis' slam stats. I think she was a wonderful player to watch with a lot of talent and court sense not unlike Evert's. In a way, her success, particularly in 1997, creates unrealistic expectations for her. I just don't see her in Chris' or Steffi's position, nor even Seles'.

grafselesfan
04-17-2009, 10:09 AM
This will sound harsh. But without a top 10 all time great in a peak period in the game from 1997-1999, that kind of pads Hingis' slam stats. I think she was a wonderful player to watch with a lot of talent and court sense not unlike Evert's. In a way, her success, particularly in 1997, creates unrealistic expectations for her. I just don't see her in Chris' or Steffi's position, nor even Seles'.

1997 was a weak field but Hingis was very competitive vs a much improved field from 1999-2002. She simply didnt win that final match often enough.

suwanee4712
04-17-2009, 10:13 AM
1997 was a weak field but Hingis was very competitive vs a much improved field from 1999-2002. She simply didnt win that final match often enough.

I'll be honest. My opinion post 1999 isn't worth a flip. When Steffi and Jana retired, I pretty much stopped paying close attention. I know that players like the Williams sisters and Henin are truly great. I just found it hard to watch the brand of tennis the womens game turned into.

grafselesfan
04-17-2009, 10:16 AM
I'll be honest. My opinion post 1999 isn't worth a flip. When Steffi and Jana retired, I pretty much stopped paying close attention. I know that players like the Williams sisters and Henin are truly great. I just found it hard to watch the brand of tennis the womens game turned into.

Henin started off in the Hingis mold but she abandoned it to be more of a Williams clone as she matured and then she started winning, so I guess that shows you what style is effective today.

boredone3456
04-17-2009, 10:25 AM
1997 was a weak field but Hingis was very competitive vs a much improved field from 1999-2002. She simply didnt win that final match often enough.

Yeah its really hard to judge Hingis, 1997 was probably the weakest field the 90's ever saw and thats when Hingis came to prominence. After that she struggled and then around 2000-2001 her injuries started to play into her game and eventually pushed her out. I enjoyed watching Hingis's game, although I really disliked her attitude and disrespect towards Graf, Novotna, Mauresmo and others. Hingis, if she could have gotten her head fully developed, could have won more, 1999 was a deeper field then 1997 but not so much so that someone with her talent really shouldn't have won another major besides the Aussie. She cracked at the French, Wimbledon was a bit embarassing, and I thought she would win the US Open that year(although Serena played great tennis there that year). Hingis sadly mentally wasn't ready, she had the talent and the game to win more than she did, but like so many others in history, it just never happened for her.

flying24
04-17-2009, 03:34 PM
Hingis was never going to win Wimbledon again after 1997. She just wasnt a great grass court player. She got super lucky in 1997 with Novotna having that stomach pull in the final as I am pretty sure she would have won otherwise, even with her nerves issue. With the big hitters like Davenport, Venus, Serena emerging she was toast there. Grass is the last surface she could beat them on.

I think hard courts was by far her best surface. So hard courts she definitely could have had shots to win future majors, despite that the big hitters I mentioned are tough there she is a much better player on hard courts than grass and more able to combat them. I dont believe she is nearly as strong on clay as she is on all various hard courts or carpet. However the clay court field wasnt nearly as strong as the hard court and grass court field from 1999 onwards, so her chances there were probably up there with what they were on hard courts.

In 1999 she really had decent chances of winning the French and U.S Opens as boredone said. She probably should have won the French Open final but was done in largely by her own petulant behavior and attitude, and probably would have won the U.S Open final if she were a bit more focused and agressive. The 2000 French and U.S Opens were possible opportunities too but didnt quite come through at either. The 3 slams Capriati won were all opportunities for her. The thing is by around then she was so frazzled mentally she not only played big points poorly in big matches vs her toughest opponents like Graf and Williams, but she developed mental blocks vs lesser players like Capriati or did not perform in a big match vs someone she was generally owning like Pierce.

By her comeback in 2006 her time had passed. She had no chance of ever winning a major once she returned. The 2002 Australian Open was always going to be her last real chance in fact.

julesb
04-24-2009, 12:29 PM
She got too arrogant after her 1997 dominance and seemed to genuinely believe she never had to work on improving again since her level would carry her to another 6 years of dominance as it was or something. When she found out that was wrong she was still slow to accept it, and by then it was too late.