70 Evonne vs 80 Hana

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by kiki, Aug 8, 2014.

  1. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Oh la la¡¡ shotmaking at its best.Hana had more firepower and Goolagong was more consistent.Hana wins 2-1 on clay and hard while Evonne wins 2-1 on carpet and grass.

    Anything can happen, but in the tie break, Evonne holds her nerves marginally better to take it 15-13 and give the second point to the 70´s.Now, it is 2 all.
     
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  2. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    my fav womens match if both are on their best form. Hana may have too much firepower, but i would love to see Evonnes slice backhand from courtside
     
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  3. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    yes, treblings

    Remember their famous Wimbledon match in 1980? may have been Evonne´s hardest one to win of the seven she won.

    Both are two of my four faves, so I could not take part...
     
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  4. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    they played against each other in 1980? i didn´t know that.
     
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  5. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    4-6, 7-6,6-1.Evonne, if memory serves well saved a mp or two against the young and impatient Hana.It was the last 16 round.

    Hana took Evonne´s torch just after that.
     
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  6. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Kiki,

    Evonne also beat Austin and of course Evert in the final.

    Yes Hana seems to have more firepower but Evonne wasn't that bad in that area. Evonne had an excellent first serve and I think perhaps a better volley than Hana, especially that backhand volley of hers. I actually think Evonne was a little better mover than Hana.

    I like Evonne overall.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5qIbLLaYgg
     
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  7. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I think they had played a match before that in the 79 season when Hana was still a junior and Goolagong won it as well.

    It would have been great that both had played each other around 1981, but after her triumph at the AELTC, the australian clearly focused on her family ( she won Wimbledon with a recent born child) and played, ocassionally, some tennis.

    As in the male´s ranks, I still consider the 1980-81 seasons the peak of history in tennis or, at least, the two best seasons.79 and 82 were also great but not quite.

    I may explain reasons later on
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2014
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  8. purple-n-gold

    purple-n-gold Professional

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    Both produced some beautiful tennis, and Evonne was very easy on eyes:)
     
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  9. conway

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    I think I would pick Hana in a series of hypothetical peak matches. Hana is like Evonne but with more power and stronger weapons and shotmaking ability. I don't know if she has quite the finesse, feel, and variety of Evonne but she still has far more than the typical even top women player, just like Evonne. Like Evonne she was a great athlete and moved like the wind, and had incredible natural talent to hit almost every shot. So I think the power and superior shotmaking would be the difference.

    Some might say Evonne was mentally tougher but I wouldn't agree. If anything Evonne was more prone to walkabouts, or even complete tank jobs. Hana's problem was she wanted it too badly, and wasn't a very smart player, and often didn't play the percentages. Perhaps that is another advantage of Evonne. She might be a better strategist and her shot selection is probably better, although compared to peers like Evert, King, Court, Navratilova, those weren't exactly strengths of hers either, and she too had some often questionable shot selection and strategy.

    I do think overall Evonne is the better player since she maintained her prime level many more years than Hana who basically only hers in late 80-early 81 and late 85-early 87. Evonne was basically at close to her best for 10 years. However I also think Evonne is a bit overrated since she won 4 slams at the then illegitimate Australian open. To me she is more like a 4 or 5 slam winner than a 7 for that reason. Then again Hana also won 2 of her 4 slams there, and 1 of them in a very weak year (and the other even missing Graf and Evert).

    Both are two of the greatest talents ever and both massive underachievers, for different reasons. Both easily had the talent to win 10+ slams but were both unable to maximize their talents on a consistent basis, and also unlucky to both be playing in eras of some of the greatest ever.
     
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  10. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    Goolagong wins the clay matches ( I have a healthy respect for her clay game. she is a much better tactician than given credit)

    Hana wins the hard court meetings. I think it was her best surface and that kick second serve is especially effective on hard courts. On the other hand, many of the touch shots and droppers Evonne likes to employ simply won't work.

    Indoors is a toss-up. i just don't know.

    They both do very well on grass, Evonne just moves so beautifully on a grass court but I think Mandlikova's extra power off the ground might be the decider.
     
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  11. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Both were excellent volleyers

    I like to think that Evonne was a natural S&V player who felt just as much on ease at the baseline, while Hana was a natural baseline player who felt just as much on ease as a S&V

    So, at the end, there is the all round game concept here, only that with the extra feel, touch, creativity and imagination that many great all rounders (Court,Marble,Navratilova) just did not have - and also their slumps and walkabouts that those did not have, maybe because they had never to worry about choosing among hundreds of options-
     
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  12. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Some body told me that having little to chose from can be better than having too much to choose from

    Evonne and Hana got so often unpalatable diets of possibilities and their choices were not smart.Amazingly so, their strength became often a liability

    Bueno and Hingis, the other shotmakers of the open era, had just almost as much to choose from, but they were much more pragmatical and disciplined players, they had that tactic sense that made them survive and reemerge when they were not playing well.Which was never the case of Evonne and Hana.
     
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  13. suwanee4712

    suwanee4712 Professional

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    Ha! I guessed the opposite.

    I have always felt that Hana should've played more on red clay as it might be the better surface for her movement and groundstrokes. Although I think Evonne was a lovely player on clay, I think this is the surface where Hana has more time and set up to drive through those flat strokes of hers.

    On hard courts, I think there might be a more crispness to Evonne's game. But I am really guessing because I saw so little of Evonne on hard courts. As far as Hana is concerned, I think her approach shots were less effective on hard courts than other surfaces where here approaches seemed to have a little more bite.

    On grass, Evonne won Wimbledon twice, so that makes me inclined to pick her. If tge grass court is hard and dry, Hana would probably play well. If it's soft, I like Evonne.

    Indoors allowed both to really get into a rhythm and flow. If all else is equal in terms of quality of play, I like Evonne's ability to handle pressure better. Otherwise, this seems like a tossup.
     
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  14. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I know, she straightsetted Chris in the final ( won a tie break in the first set after which her confidence grew, and we know how dangerous Goolagong was when over confident) and had a tough semi vs Austin, being baggeled in the first set.

    In fact, more than against Evert, I always thought Evonne vs Tracy was the most interesting match up, for they were truly complete opposites.

    If someone had told me that she´d beat 1980 Hana, 1980 Tracy and 1980 Chris day in day out, I´d have thought it nearly impossible.

    Evonne´s 1980 Wimbledon and Hana´s 1985 USO are the most emotional slam finals I recall since 1980.
     
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  15. conway

    conway Banned

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    I am more in line with BTURNER's thinking on this matchup TBH. I think you overrate Hana quite a bit on clay. She did play some good matches at the French, but she barely won any tournaments on clay in her career, and was very inconsistent on clay in general. And even when she did play excellent it only very rarely produced a big win. Evonne would have the definite edge on clay, since Hana would have be zoning to even have a chance to beat her there.

    On the other hand I think you underrate Hana on hard courts, and overrate how effective Evonne's game would be there. Evonne didn't really hit a clean and firm ball which is needed for hard courts. Hana loved the clean footing and bounce a hard court gave her, and she was the cleaner and more efficient hitter of the two.
     
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  16. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Well, when I said that Hana was a baseliner who was a deep inside attacker I mean exactly that.She won the FO at 19 and she was more patient , curiously, younger than older.With time, she discovered that faster courts and constant attack suited her better but her beginnings were clay

    Evonne did exactly the contrary.She was a S&V born player with a fondness for baseline artristy.Young Evonne, ALSO AT 19 won RG playing exactly as she did to win Wimbledon a month later.But older Evonne began to enjoy more and more the crafty baseline game that was second nature to her and you can see that at the 76 USO where she played a sublime match that barely lost to the best Chris Evert.We had confirmation of that in the Amelia islands and Hilton heads tournaments of the second half of the 70´s.

    That USO match is one, if not the best female match of the decade.Played on clay.Fast american clay, which suited her perfectly.
     
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  17. suwanee4712

    suwanee4712 Professional

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    I don't disagree with either you or BTurner. What you both say is widely accepted with a lot of truth to it.

    I'm always disappointed with Hana's hard court record. I think this is the surface where she underachieved. If I remember correctly, except for the US Open, her last hardcourt title was in 1981. She played the Canadian, LA, and a few FL hard court events regularly and didn't make a single final. I was really surprised at that. Her saving grace is that she won the Open and was very consistent at that event from 1980-1985.

    On the other hand, she was also very consistent at the French from 1979-1986,only failing to reach her seeding once, losing in the QF. The only name player she failed to beat in Paris was (oddly enough) Martina, but she did give Martina a great match in 1984, even better than the scoreline suggested.

    With Hana, I try to make a clear distinction on red clay vs. har tru. Hana was an instinctual player, and her instincts served her better on her native European clay more than any other surface, in my opinion. I feel that the slow red clay forced her to become more calculated and to make fewer low percentage gambit ploys that sometimes worked, but many times did not.

    Har tru, when hot and dry, plays fairly close to slower hardcourts often found in Florida. She never won a title on that surface. She never reached the final at Hilton Head, but she did make the finals at Amelia Island twice. She played a few other FL har tru events making only a couple of finals and the har tru event in Houston, losing in the semis.

    When you look at her clay court record, based on her early results, she should've played more European red clay events. She helped the Czechs win two Fed Cup titles on red clay and did well in Rome when she played it. She liked playing in Germany and felt comfy in that country, but Berlin was often cold and damp when she played. In fact, that's when she hurt her back originally on a damp heavy court in Berlin in 1981. She should've avoided Berlin and played Rome more often. Instead, she did the opposite. Then she got into the habit of playing in big money exos in Australia and Japan instead of playing the European circuit. She made a lot of money, but missed some real chances - again, just my opinion.

    Things may have been different if Barcelona (a tournament she won before it became a big event), Madrid, etc. had been bigger tour stops in the 80's. She also won the smaller Milan event on Italian clay. The warmer, drier conditions of the southern European tournaments were good for her game. Which is just like her grass court results. BJK always said at Wimbledon, if it's hot and dry, look out for Hana.
     
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  18. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Hana beat Queen of clay Evert at RG ( as well as Hanika).She beat the woman that holds the record of modern victories there, Stefi Graf ( out playing her).And beat another terror baseliner such as Tracy Austin.

    Conway, learn some history¡¡¡
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2014
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  19. BTURNER

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    well I bow to you on this. I haven't seen much of Hana's clay play except that total blowout by Evert in '86. And I have read her as saying she felt it was her worse surface. I have seen Evonne on dirt, and was impressed.

    I am surprised Hana did not do better than you describe on hard courts. I think her serve is great for it and it lends itself well to her style. I wonder if sticky footing might have been a constant worry. She liked to toss herself around with abandon after volleys, but seemed to have more falls and trips than any player. With her fragile body frame and joints, those hard courts had to have been concern when stopping an starting or off balance. you have to be a bit protective in your instincts on hard courts if you are injury prone. Might interfere with intutive and instinctive play.

    Let's face it when we are talking Hana and Evonne, predictions are utterly futile for the most expert of us. I wouldn't put money on whether the sun would rise on a match between them and anyone who does is a fool.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2014
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  20. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Hana went from defeat to defeat until the final victory¡¡¡
    Hope she owned herself after all that ( and never forget her horrendous injury record)
     
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  21. suwanee4712

    suwanee4712 Professional

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    Exactly, Hana has said many times that she felt that clay was her worst surface. Her opinion is 1000 x more credible than mine could be. The only thing is I am 100% sure that Hana has never analyzed the numbers. Few have, other than perhaps Betty Stove or her biographer Malcolm Foley. Malcolm is the closest thing to a "Steve Flink " that Hana has, and he's really not that analytical when it comes to percentages and numbers like Steve is for Chris.

    Using the WTA's numbers through their website (very incomplete prior to 1982), I broke down Hana's win percentage by surface. The numbers confirm what watching her career from start to finish already showed me: Of all of the players I've ever seen, Hana is the least affected player by surface (I haven't studied Graf's numbers in depth). Her success relative to surface is pretty equal across the board, with the relative exception of har tru if you seperate those numbers out. That's not that surprising given her strength as an all court player, and the adaptability of her game.

    Here's what I found with the WTA's slightly flawed info:

    hard court win % - 74%
    grass - 74%
    indoor - 72%
    clay -71%

    The numbers are pretty even, and seem to support the most accepted theory (including Hana's own) that clay is her weakest surface, though the percentages are close. But I've always suspected that Hana's har tru numbers drags her overall clay numbers down.

    red clay win % - 74.7%
    har tru - 64%

    Hana's overall win % is 74.4%.

    She barely played 100 matches out of 759 total matches on red clay, yet red clay is where she enjoyed her highest win %.

    WhenI looked at her greatest periods of success per surface, this is what I came up with:

    hard courts (1980-1985) 76-20 79.1%
    indoor (1984-1987) 84-20 80.3%
    grass (1984-1987) 35-8 81.3% also (1979-1981) 33-8 80.4%
    red clay (1981-1986) 54-9 85.7%

    We know from Hana herself that she really only cared about the slams. She wanted to win Berlin, LA, and Amelia Island, etc., but that was never her goal. Her goal was to peak for the slams, and from 1980-1987 she pretty much did that with the exceptions of the years when Wimbledon and the Australian got lots of rain early (1982,1983, and 1985 (Wimbledon only).

    She also played certain tournaments consistently either because she liked the event itself or the location. Apparently, she didn't like the Italian much because she only played it three times,1980 SF (Evert in 3 sets), 1982 F (Evert in 2 sets), 1989 3R (default due to injury). She made the German SF only once but played it six times. Makes no sense to me, but then again, that's very Hana-esque.

    The old saying says you can make whatever you want out of stats. But this is why I like playing devil's advocate on Hana's clay court prowess.
     
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  22. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    I doubt she has paid any attention to the disparity between har-tru and Red. My guess is she found those clay matches more painfully memorable, which suggests further she really thought she should have won them. Maybe its as much about her perceptions of her opponents in those events, than about her actual play.
     
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  23. suwanee4712

    suwanee4712 Professional

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    When you look at the schedules she kept, you can definitely tell that she liked playing in Florida. She lived in Boca Raton part of the year and frequented places like Amelia Island, Marco Island, Orlando, etc. I suspect it's as you said, surface didn't matter as much as how much she enjoyed the location.

    I definitely think the last thing you said was correct, particularly after 1986. This began the rise of a new and improved clay court specialist rising out of southern Europe and South America. She ran into players like Bettina Fulco and Andrea Viera that cause little concern on faster surfaces, but could be dangerous on slow red clay. When I saw her lose to Viera, that was an impressive player, but I did not know that she had just destroyed Conchita Martinez (already an impressive player).

    This is something that I think Hana had in common with Chris. Both of them hit hard and flat to open up the court against the traditional dirt ballers like Madruga, the Maleevas, or Ruzici. But these new players like Sanchez, Paulus, etc. were retrievers using the new big racquets to throw up these heavy spins pushing players like Chris and Hana off the baseline into more defensive positions. Neither enjoyed playing that way.

    I just wish that Hana might have focused her schedule a little more. Like many top male players, she enjoyed the 2-4 player exhibition events where she probably got appearance fees on top of $40K just for playing two matches vs. an actual tournaments. Ironically, she did play a lot of those events on red clay in places like Accapulco, Ixtapa, Santiago, Beunos Aires, etc. That's a great lifestyle. But I think things like this are why she only won 27 tournaments instead of 40 or 45.
     
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  24. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    She won her first titles on european clay

    She was raised on clay, along Ivan Lendl.

    But she , like her male´s counterpart, became more and more adept to faster turf, and in Hana´s case, clearly before Ivan´s, who matured quite later.
     
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  25. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    How shall we value Evonne´s two VS titles? All who say her AO wins count for little, should at least have the honesty to include those de facto majors on her resumee.Hana didn´t win it and neither of both won the other de facto major, which also was indoors: Avon Tour Championship.

    Those were majors for those who actually lived that era
     
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  26. suwanee4712

    suwanee4712 Professional

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    This is hard on me, Kiki. I love both but remain loyal to Hana. But this is how I call it:

    grass: Evonne
    indoor: Evonne
    hard: Hana
    red clay: Hana
    green clay: Evonne

    I think they are all very close. If I am pushed to name one clay winner, I will say Hana. But I will admit that I've only seen Evonne play on red clay twice. So while I'm more familiar with Hana on clay, I do know that Evonne won the French too as well as the Italian.
     
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  27. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    The only thing one can add is how hard it would have been having them facing each other at the major finals for a certain time.

    I´d like to have that W 1980 match reviewed.Is it on You Tube?
     
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  28. conway

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    The only place I might pick Hana on clay over Evonne (and note I said might, not even sure there) is at the French Open. I would pick Evonne anywhere else on clay, either green or red clay. There were a number of European and South American red clay tournaments even then, and Hana didn't demonstrate much of anything at those either.
     
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  29. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Have you got results and records of those exhibitionals Hana played in the 80´s?

    As much as I perfectly recall the main male´s special events, I just remember the Emeron Cup and the Tokyo Superchallenge / Suntory Cup for women, although I vaguely think that the Moolson Challenge at Canada, was also open to women.

    Would be interesting to know.
     
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  30. CEvertFan

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    Just imagine the sheer brilliance of play should they both be playing well at the same time - it would be something to see for sure. The shotmaking would be scintillating since both ladies (when playing well) could hit the most difficult shots with contemptuous ease.

    The problem is you never knew what you were going to get when watching them play. Both of them epitomize the phrase "feast or famine".

    I'm going to pick Evonne coming out on top in a series. Narrowly.
     
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  31. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Being a fan of her is like being a fan of Arsenal.One win for every 5 slashes, yet when they win...
     
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  32. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    One thing is definite: watching them and being a fan of them was never prescripted for people with coronary problems
     
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