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View Full Version : Li, Schiavone, Ivanovic types - could they have won slams in the 90s?


Joe Pike
06-18-2011, 05:56 AM
I can't imagine that.

Sabatini, Martinez and Novotna were one-slam wonders too. But in a different class from Li, Schiavone or Ivanovic, IMO.

THUNDERVOLLEY
06-18-2011, 06:09 AM
Novotna needed a good sports psychologist, as she should have won more than one major. Regarding your present-day choices, Schiavone is the one; sje has an all-court game, with a sharp understanding of net play, and a never-say-die attitude--skills with much value in the pre-baseline obsessed 90s.

bluetrain4
06-18-2011, 07:06 AM
Probably not, unless they "zoned" for two weeks. Li, IMO, would actually be the best candidate. If she actually could avoid big patches of errors, she could certainly be a factor with the weapons. She moves much better than Ivanovic.

Then again, Li benefits from playing a lot of similar players. In the 90s, someone like Martinez or Hingis may very well lose to Li one day, and absolutely drive her insane the next time they played with pace, spin variations, etc. Again, Li would have to be "zoned" like Tsonga was before losing in the final of the AO.

Also, it's clear Novatna, Martinez, and Sabatini were, overall, better players than the one-slam winners you named (as I'm sure you know). Look deeper into the stats. Martinez for example, has 1 Slam, 2 other finals, 9 other SFs (including all 4 in 1995, and 2 other Wimbledon SFs (people don't realize this), and 11 other QFs. And she won 33 titles on all surfaces in a very strong era, including several Tier 1 (including 4 consecutive Italian Opens).

Look at the finals, SFs, QFs, and tournament wins of Novatana and Sabatini and you'll see the same thing -- huge consistency in going deep at Slams.

Li has a win, a final, one SF, and 3 QFs. Schiavone's record is worse and Ivanovic's isn't great either apart from those few years around her FO win.

They're good players, no doubt, but I think it would be difficult for them to replicate their Slam win in the 90s.

Jack Romeo
06-18-2011, 07:15 AM
bluetrain is right. in terms of achievements, li, schiavone and ivanovic are behind novotna, martinez and sabatini. i do, however, think that they are on par with one iva majoli.

bluetrain4
06-18-2011, 07:26 AM
bluetrain is right. in terms of achievements, li, schiavone and ivanovic are behind novotna, martinez and sabatini. i do, however, think that they are on par with one iva majoli.


Great comparison with Majoli. That's who (at least so far), Li, Schiavone, and Ivanovic are comparable to.

boredone3456
06-18-2011, 07:30 AM
Ivanovic, no way. She played well for a little while the year she won her major, but overall her game has a few to many holes to succeed at all in the 90's.

Li has talent, but she is way to inconsistent in her delivery and so easily slips into becoming a UE machine when she gets frustrated and she doesn't have the patience it would take, in my opinion, to beat people like 90's Hingis, Davenport, Sabatini..let alone Vicario, Seles or Graf.

Schiavone..again, I don't see it happening for her in the 90's. She never would have had a shot at Wimbledon(well...maybe, barely, in 1997 or 1998) or either of the hard court majors. The French...well clay is her best surface, but the clay field of the 1990's up until about 96 was way to strong for her to have a chance against. 97 or 98 probably would have been her best shots...but even then, I doubt it. Mentally the best of the 90's trump today overall and her weapons wouldn't be enough to do it unless she had a wicked lucky break of a draw ala Conchita at Wimbledon 1994.

Edit: well..thinking about it..Schiavone got a wicked lucky break of a draw to win in 2010...so no..no real chance.

nethawkwenatchee
06-18-2011, 08:08 AM
I've been impressed watching two of these players.

Schiavone has the grit and the all court mentality... kind of an old school mentality as it were, and I think she would have been successful against many of the top players of the 90's on clay by applying pressure throughout an entire match, driving her topspin backhand deep crosscourt and closing consistantly, I think she may be one who could exploit the Graf slice back hand on this surface.

Li is the one who actually has the physical giftings to boss many of those players around, in my opinion. When she is on (like she has been in the past few majors) her baseline game is so powerful and accurate, and she plays with such fearlessness, She may have actually out played these players.

Joe Pike
06-18-2011, 09:17 AM
Ivanovic, no way. She played well for a little while the year she won her major, but overall her game has a few to many holes to succeed at all in the 90's.

Li has talent, but she is way to inconsistent in her delivery and so easily slips into becoming a UE machine when she gets frustrated and she doesn't have the patience it would take, in my opinion, to beat people like 90's Hingis, Davenport, Sabatini..let alone Vicario, Seles or Graf.

Schiavone..again, I don't see it happening for her in the 90's. She never would have had a shot at Wimbledon(well...maybe, barely, in 1997 or 1998) or either of the hard court majors. The French...well clay is her best surface, but the clay field of the 1990's up until about 96 was way to strong for her to have a chance against. 97 or 98 probably would have been her best shots...but even then, I doubt it. Mentally the best of the 90's trump today overall and her weapons wouldn't be enough to do it unless she had a wicked lucky break of a draw ala Conchita at Wimbledon 1994.

Edit: well..thinking about it..Schiavone got a wicked lucky break of a draw to win in 2010...so no..no real chance.


Sanchez, the girls name is Sanchez - not "Vicario".

NadalAgassi
06-18-2011, 09:39 AM
I actually agree with ThunderVolley. I think Schiavones skills could be even more effective in the past than they are today. Li Na, welll she is sort of a Mary Pierce clone who moves better and is mentally tougher than Pierce. So I could see it happening if she zones. Ivanovic not a chance, her game is nothing but a forehand and there were better forehand drives back then too.

Sneezy
06-18-2011, 09:45 AM
I think both Li Na and Schiavone and those caliber of players have the talent and physical gift to be top players in any era, but harder to say if they could win a Slam. Personally, I think they happened to have magical tournaments at a Slam. Remember only 1/128 can lift the trophy at any given slam. There are plenty of players with their talent and skill that never win one. Players like Chris Evert or Graf its without a doubt they could win Slams at any era. The Ivanovics and Schiavones are a lot harder to call.

egn
06-18-2011, 09:51 AM
I still can't believe Schiavone won a major now and made it to two French Open finals. Take away that fancy shmancy racket I feel and she falls right back into the lower end of the top 30. As much as I love her presonality and feel she is a great sport I feel things are very fishy when after your whole career being a journeywoman player and I am pretty sure she never cracked the top 10, though she might have been 9 for a while suddenly becoming a top 10 player making it into the top 5 shows two things.

1. The WTA really is at a low state.
2. Something is going on there.

I remember when she made the final in 10 everyone discussed how 3 of the 4 finalist were all using the same brand spanking new babolat strings and the same racket. That being Stosur, Schiavone and Nadal. Also noted was the spin these three players were capable of...him things getting a bit more clear. Frankly I feel Schiavone is benefiting from a really poor WTA and great new technology. If Henin, S. Williams, V. Williams, Clijsters, Davenport, Sharapova, Capriati, Hingis etc. were all still on the tour and at their best which was when Schiavone was at her first peak she would be where she was top 20 pushing low top 10 a few QFs in a major. The fact is right now the WTA has gone into further dismay from 08-09.

At least in 08-09 the Williams were still capable of high level tennis and Clijsters was as well and then in 10 it started to show that they were all just going to be unable to be consistent. However as much as I love Li Na and Schiavone there victories at majors are always going to be in my head just due to a lack of an actual talented field at the moment. If you at 29-30 are suddenly playing much better then you ever were at 20-25 that is ridiculous. There has never been a women who hit her peak at 30..Schiavone's initial win seemed like a wonderful fluke and all were happy, but here she is pushing 31 and still managing to play top 10 tennis..when in her whole career she has just been a steady journeywomen. I think it is safe to say in the 90s she wouldn't win a major because from 03-07 when there was at least was a field in women's tennis she couldn't come close.

Hell Dementieva should have stuck around she definitely would have at least won a major in this field and I still rank here well abouve Li Na and Schiavone.

NadalAgassi
06-18-2011, 10:01 AM
Dementieva peaked in this crappy field you speak of and still didnt win a major. I am just as equally sure as you that she wouldnt have ever won one. She just didnt have what it takes.

Li Na being a late bloomer makes sense if you read up on her story. She had none of the opportunities coming from China that players from other countries get and had to make it all on her own. She only recently got a serious coach. Li has been improving gradually since about 2006 when she was already in her mid 20s, proof that she is a late bloomer.

BTW if the great Navratilova retired on her 25th birthday she would be remembered as a Sabatini caliber player with 2 Wimbledons, 1 U.S Open final which she choked badly, and practically nothing else of note in her career. Late bloomers do happen.

Sneezy
06-18-2011, 10:10 AM
I think some people are late bloomers. Look at Mauresmo. And the women can get away with being a step slower if they're older. At the pro level, the main deciding factor between champs and chumps is the confidence and belief. The reason why players like Dementieva didn't win a Slam is that deep down there was some doubt at those important moments in a match whether she could pull it off.

I think you're being a little harsh belittling Schiavone and Li Na's game and accomplishments. They aren't Hingis, Williams, Graf or other great players, because they aren't. But Li and Schiavone showed that they're definitely good enough to win a Slam. And by reaching a second Slam final they both showed it wasn't a fluke. So its a possibility they could win a Slam in another Era. They certainly have better shots at it than players like Iva Majoli and Gaudio, and Thomas Johansson.

NadalAgassi
06-18-2011, 10:31 AM
Technically Dementieva might be a better player than Na or Schiavone. However when Na and Schiavone made their slam finals, including the one each lost, they actually seized the moment and played tennis. Dementieva in her 2 slam finals seemed to think she was going to the circus and decided to play the clown. Even in her greatest performances Elena got tight when it mattered and found a way to not win, eg- 2009 Wimbledon semis vs Serena. That is why Li and Schiavone won a slam and Dementieva couldnt.

egn
06-18-2011, 10:39 AM
Dementieva peaked in this crappy field you speak of and still didnt win a major. I am just as equally sure as you that she wouldnt have ever won one. She just didnt have what it takes.

Li Na being a late bloomer makes sense if you read up on her story. She had none of the opportunities coming from China that players from other countries get and had to make it all on her own. She only recently got a serious coach. Li has been improving gradually since about 2006 when she was already in her mid 20s, proof that she is a late bloomer.

BTW if the great Navratilova retired on her 25th birthday she would be remembered as a Sabatini caliber player with 2 Wimbledons, 1 U.S Open final which she choked badly, and practically nothing else of note in her career. Late bloomers do happen.

You can not compare Navratilova peaking at 26 to Schiavone peaking at 30. The fact is prior to 26 had been in numerous semifinals and had been to 5 major finals get the facts correct at least. Navratilova was a late bloomer but nobody was that surprised everyone knew Navratilova had the talent. I'll give you LI Na but look not Schiavone. She has been playing since 17, her winning a major at 30 would be like Fabrice Santoro having won a major.

Also 30 is much less than 26. There is a late bloomer and then a ridiculous late bloomer. Name me any other player in the sport of tennis who prior to being 29/30 had won no majors and suddenly became top 10 winning multiple majors. Find me one and I will say that this is not unreal and they would stand a chance in another era. The comparison between Navratilova and Schiavone is utter bull as when Navratilova was 25 everyone in the world felt she had underachieved and should have won numerous majors but was a mental wreck. When Schiavone was 25 nobody said damn she should have won majors by this point, when she made the top 10 it was a shock but she was credited for her consistency and being able to play week in and out on the tour. She was a very good player but never a great and frankly there is nothing wrong with that, but in another era there is no way she wins a major with exception to a French possibly in the late 70s when Evert was MIA.

Demetieva I agree with you peaked here and i feel had she stuck around2-3 years she would have definitely at least won a major. She was a mental wreck with no serve but hell whose stopping her as I don't see any of the other girls being consistent and at this point anything can happen. Sharapova serving up 10 double faults can get into the semis at France.

I think some people are late bloomers. Look at Mauresmo. And the women can get away with being a step slower if they're older. At the pro level, the main deciding factor between champs and chumps is the confidence and belief. The reason why players like Dementieva didn't win a Slam is that deep down there was some doubt at those important moments in a match whether she could pull it off.

I think you're being a little harsh belittling Schiavone and Li Na's game and accomplishments. They aren't Hingis, Williams, Graf or other great players, because they aren't. But Li and Schiavone showed that they're definitely good enough to win a Slam. And by reaching a second Slam final they both showed it wasn't a fluke. So its a possibility they could win a Slam in another Era. They certainly have better shots at it than players like Iva Majoli and Gaudio, and Thomas Johansson.

Again this is where I greatly disagree. Mauresmo had been in the mix her whole career and look what happened after she won her majors she fell off. It wasn't due to anything other than she was past her best, she won her majors at the very end of her prime of her career. She didn't start playing her best tennis in her late 20s, she finished playing her best tennis. Li Na and Schiavone look as if they are entering their primes at 29! Mauresmo hit her prime in 2002. Hell look at 2004-2005 Wimbledon she played some amazing tennis but ran into great players. Her winning in 2006 was not a surprise and it wasn't the sign of her entering her prime it was quite normal. 2006 saw Serena injured and Venus got knocked out early, the next best grass players left were Mauresmo and Sharapova, after Mauresmo took down Sharapova it was no surprise she won. Sure she managed ot win 2 majors in 2006 but it wasn't that crazy. It was similar to Wilander winning 3 in 1988. Mauresmo had always been capable and like most others by 27 which just so happened to be the next year her career started to go down. She was not a late bloomer she bloomed reguarly her level of play from 02-06 was quite regular she just won a few more key points in 06 then say in 04, but in any wimbledon from 02-06 Mauresmo was in it to win it.

Now lets compare this to Schiavone who had 3 QFs from 1998-2009 and since then has made 4 with a major win and a major final all at 29+. Schiavone when the field was deep and the top players were around was never in the mix.

Reaching a second slam final doesn't prove it was a fluke. SO I guess that means Ivanovic is far superior to them since she has 3? They made it to multiple slam finals becuase the field is a disaster. YOu have a better chance at flipping a coin to predict the winner of some WTA matches then using logic at times.

Oh and I don't disagree that Schiavone and Li Na wouldn't have as good a chance as Johansson, Gaudio, Majoli but we are now at a point where we have more WTA major winners that seem to be one time flukes and now suddenly we have players atop the tour that appear to just get going in their early 30s. It's embarrassing that players like Schiavone who have been on the tour since 17-18 are now suddenly hitting their stride at 30 and by hitting their stride they are winning majors.

That would kind of be like Radek Stepanek rises into the top 10 now and wins a major makes another final and breaks top 5 and stays there..people would be going crazy if that happened.

NadalAgassi
06-18-2011, 11:20 AM
I never said Navratilova wasnt in 5 major finals. Being in the finals of the depleted non slams that were the 75 Australian and 75 French Opens is nothing of note, and everyone who followed tennis back then will tell you the same thing. Obviously with a whole field she wouldnt have been in the finals of either as she was considerably weaker than Evert, Goolagong, King, and even Wade at that point, and she wouldnt be a truly good clay courter for many years to come.

I agree with in part about Schiavone but Li Na was brought up in a country where she had hardly any opportunity compared to players from nearly all other countries. She truly had to start from nothing. As well she was retired for awhile due to lack of finances and injuries in her early 20s. As I mentioned she has improved gradually since 2006 when she was already 24 so her reaching her apex at 29 isnt even that surprising.

I am pretty sure Dementieva would not have won a slam. She has never beaten a string of players like Li Na did at the French and Australians in a big event. Last years field was just as bad and did Dementieva even reach a slam final. And she want improving anymore by that point like Li Na and even Schiavone were.

Forgetting overall career stats what is so superior about Dementieva to Na anwyay. Both are dumb ball bashers with no variety and very good groundstrokes. Elena moves and defends better, but Li Na can actually serve and is mentally much tougher. And personally I think Li Nas groundstrokes have even more sting, although are less consistent.


On Mauresmo she could have potentially won 2 or 3 slams in 2004 had she been mentally tougher. She should have won that Wimbledon semi with Serena and I am pretty sure she would have beaten Maria in the final since Maria wouldnt have been so zoned if she didnt face another power player, and she always had problems with Mauresmo and her variety. The French and U.S Opens where she lost to Dementieva were big chances too. 2002 she also could have won a major or two if the Williams werent so dominant. 2006 was probably her peak but her prime began much earlier than that.

egn
06-18-2011, 07:30 PM
I never said Navratilova wasnt in 5 major finals. Being in the finals of the depleted non slams that were the 75 Australian and 75 French Opens is nothing of note, and everyone who followed tennis back then will tell you the same thing. Obviously with a whole field she wouldnt have been in the finals of either as she was considerably weaker than Evert, Goolagong, King, and even Wade at that point, and she wouldnt be a truly good clay courter for many years to come.


The fields were depleted but compared to numerous round 2 exits for Schiavone it definitely means something. Besides Navratilova was no slouch in 1975 either with numerous wins on Margaret Court that year and finished the year rank 4. When did Schiavone even come close to something like that at all. Navratilova's was consistenly going deep and was proven to be a threat. Yes those finals were in weak fields but she was still winning tournaments against the best players in other places and had a better winning percentage that year than any year of either Schiavone or LI. Don't compare their rises at all to the late blooming of Navratilova because anyone who follows tennis will tell you the comparison is ridiculous.


I agree with in part about Schiavone but Li Na was brought up in a country where she had hardly any opportunity compared to players from nearly all other countries. She truly had to start from nothing. As well she was retired for awhile due to lack of finances and injuries in her early 20s. As I mentioned she has improved gradually since 2006 when she was already 24 so her reaching her apex at 29 isnt even that surprising.


I'll give you that with Li Na and her reaching her apex at 29 is not surprising but back in 05 and 06 I felt her apex would have been a good run at the top 10 but low top 10. Never did I predict her to be winning majors and possibly a threat as multiple majors as you have said she is just a ball basher.



I am pretty sure Dementieva would not have won a slam. She has never beaten a string of players like Li Na did at the French and Australians in a big event. Last years field was just as bad and did Dementieva even reach a slam final. And she want improving anymore by that point like Li Na and even Schiavone were.


Huh in the 2004 US Open on her run to the final Dementieva took out Zvonevra, Mauresmo and Capriati...and then lost to Kuzy sadly. She has beatn strings of impressive players.

What is kind of fun what most forget know is Dementieva with a TORN CALF MUSCLE pushed Schiavone to a tiebreak and that was the end for her. She might have actually stood a chance against Serena at wimbledon just look at her 2009 perfromance. I agree that is her fault that she didn't make it there.


Forgetting overall career stats what is so superior about Dementieva to Na anwyay. Both are dumb ball bashers with no variety and very good groundstrokes. Elena moves and defends better, but Li Na can actually serve and is mentally much tougher. And personally I think Li Nas groundstrokes have even more sting, although are less consistent.


I agree on that for the most part, but then again my beef is more with Schiavone and not Li Na.


On Mauresmo she could have potentially won 2 or 3 slams in 2004 had she been mentally tougher. She should have won that Wimbledon semi with Serena and I am pretty sure she would have beaten Maria in the final since Maria wouldnt have been so zoned if she didnt face another power player, and she always had problems with Mauresmo and her variety. The French and U.S Opens where she lost to Dementieva were big chances too. 2002 she also could have won a major or two if the Williams werent so dominant. 2006 was probably her peak but her prime began much earlier than that.

I will agree her peak was 2006 but it was the end of her prime. Schiavone and Li Na are having results at 29 to 30 as if they ar ejust entering their prime. Schiavone couldn't finish a single year top 10 from 18-29 and now suddenly at 30 and 31 is finishing two seasons most likely in the top 10. She isn't doing much different either and as mean as it sounds I am going to give a ton of credit to that Babloat racket and the weak field. I don't even think Schiavone could have beaten Capriati on clay in her prime, let alone Seles, Graf, Evert, Navatilova, Henin, Serena, King etc. I'm not too sold on her vs. Ivanovic 2008 either I think that could go either way.

NadalAgassi
06-18-2011, 08:17 PM
The fields were depleted but compared to numerous round 2 exits for Schiavone it definitely means something. Besides Navratilova was no slouch in 1975 either with numerous wins on Margaret Court that year and finished the year rank 4. When did Schiavone even come close to something like that at all. Navratilova's was consistenly going deep and was proven to be a threat. Yes those finals were in weak fields but she was still winning tournaments against the best players in other places and had a better winning percentage that year than any year of either Schiavone or LI. Don't compare their rises at all to the late blooming of Navratilova because anyone who follows tennis will tell you the comparison is ridiculous.

I am not comparing Navratilova to Schiavone. I am just pointing out if Navratilova retired on her 25th birthday she would be remembered as a player of Sabatini like greatness. So if Navratilova can rise from being a Sabatini to possibly the female GOAT starting at age 25, then it isnt that unbelievable for a much lesser player to rise from being a solid tour journeywomen to such marginal greatness as a Majoli like career at 29 or 30.

BTW Court was 33 in 1975 and had her 2nd child by that point. She was just rounding out her career by playing a bit of part time tennis. Beating her that year wasnt a stupdendous feat, even for overweight with a long way to go Martina. The only top player of any kind Court beat in her brief comeback starting in 75 was in fact Martina herself at Wimbledon in the quarters and another tournament final. The aging Court didnt post a single win over Evert, King, Goolagong, or Wade from that point on (Martina those year had occasional wins over those 4 but likewise had a clear losing record vs all 4 as well).

I'll give you that with Li Na and her reaching her apex at 29 is not surprising but back in 05 and 06 I felt her apex would have been a good run at the top 10 but low top 10. Never did I predict her to be winning majors and possibly a threat as multiple majors as you have said she is just a ball basher.

I felt that way too but you cant always predict the future. When she made the Australian Open semis in 2010 I felt she might win a major in the near future.

Huh in the 2004 US Open on her run to the final Dementieva took out Zvonevra, Mauresmo and Capriati...and then lost to Kuzy sadly. She has beatn strings of impressive players.

I guess that is somewhat similar. Vera wasnt a real contender back then though, and Capriati was well past her prime and soon to retire (yeah I know she beat Serena twice in slams that year, but Serena was also way out of shape/form and Capriati is a nightmare matchup for her over the years for whatever reason).

Anyway i saw all those matches and while it was a good run I wasnt as impressed as I was by how Li Na went through people at the Australian and French Opens this year. Vera hit many more winners than Dementieva and lost mainly due to some emotional breakdowns in the 3rd set. Mauresmo choked at the crucial moments of that match, in watching it you always felt during and afterwords she really ought to have won. And Capriati played a horrendous match for her standards, hitting only 11 winners and doing nothing with Elenas **** weak serve. Yet Elena still only won those matches in 3rd set tiebreaks or deep into a 3rd set. Li Na just went through people emphatically at the Australian and French to her final and title, with the exception of Wozniacki in the Australian Open semis.

I would still take beating Kvitova, Azarenka, Sharapova, and defending Champion Schiavone all in their best form (remember those first three all won a tier 1 title leading into the French, proving they were at their best, and Kvitova and Sharapova doing so on clay removes any doubts of their then clay court abilities) over the run you mentioned. And even if Elenas U.S Open run is comparable her French Open run is much less. Beating an injured Davenport who sucked on clay by that point and Saurez in the semis is nothing. Her only big win was perennial French Open choker Mauresmo in the quarters. Li Na has had 2 runs atleast as good as Elenas 2004 U.S Open run IMO.

What is kind of fun what most forget know is Dementieva with a TORN CALF MUSCLE pushed Schiavone to a tiebreak and that was the end for her. She might have actually stood a chance against Serena at wimbledon just look at her 2009 perfromance. I agree that is her fault that she didn't make it there.

I cant imagine Elena ever playing better or even as well as she did in that 2009 Wimbledon semifinal vs Serena. And it still wasnt enough (albeit very narrowly). Serena was serving unbelievably at Wimbledon 2010, better than ever. I honestly cant imagine any scenario of Elena winning a rematch.

Of course one could argue Dementieva might have beaten Schiavone and might have won the French in 2010 if she werent injured. Then again how many other chances did she have to win majors and still didnt pull through.


I will agree her peak was 2006 but it was the end of her prime. Schiavone and Li Na are having results at 29 to 30 as if they ar ejust entering their prime. Schiavone couldn't finish a single year top 10 from 18-29 and now suddenly at 30 and 31 is finishing two seasons most likely in the top 10. She isn't doing much different either and as mean as it sounds I am going to give a ton of credit to that Babloat racket and the weak field. I don't even think Schiavone could have beaten Capriati on clay in her prime, let alone Seles, Graf, Evert, Navatilova, Henin, Serena, King etc. I'm not too sold on her vs. Ivanovic 2008 either I think that could go either way.

Yeah I agree but she takes her chances atleast. Dementieva did not, and seems to get an overflow of sympathy from people for her own continued failures. It speaks to Schiavone that with far fewer chances she atleast takes them, regardless how lucky she is with the state of the game.

Marigold
06-18-2011, 11:52 PM
Probably not, unless they "zoned" for two weeks. Li, IMO, would actually be the best candidate. If she actually could avoid big patches of errors, she could certainly be a factor with the weapons. She moves much better than Ivanovic.

Then again, Li benefits from playing a lot of similar players. In the 90s, someone like Martinez or Hingis may very well lose to Li one day, and absolutely drive her insane the next time they played with pace, spin variations, etc. Again, Li would have to be "zoned" like Tsonga was before losing in the final of the AO.

Also, it's clear Novatna, Martinez, and Sabatini were, overall, better players than the one-slam winners you named (as I'm sure you know). Look deeper into the stats. Martinez for example, has 1 Slam, 2 other finals, 9 other SFs (including all 4 in 1995, and 2 other Wimbledon SFs (people don't realize this), and 11 other QFs. And she won 33 titles on all surfaces in a very strong era, including several Tier 1 (including 4 consecutive Italian Opens).

Look at the finals, SFs, QFs, and tournament wins of Novatana and Sabatini and you'll see the same thing -- huge consistency in going deep at Slams.

Li has a win, a final, one SF, and 3 QFs. Schiavone's record is worse and Ivanovic's isn't great either apart from those few years around her FO win.

They're good players, no doubt, but I think it would be difficult for them to replicate their Slam win in the 90s.

Ivanovic has a win,2 finals,one SF,one QF and take No.1 spot.And all that when
she was 20!That is way better than Li.

bluetrain4
06-19-2011, 01:42 PM
I never said Li's record was better.