Was Mandlikova basically a lesser Navratilova, but with Evert's basline craft?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by dangalak, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    From what I've seen of her, she combined the abilities of these two players, albeit to a lesser extent. is that true?
     
  2. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    she was her own player, ultra-talented shotmaker who maybe didn´t have that champions gene to the extent of Evert and Navratilova.
     
  3. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Not really. She is compared mostly to Goolagong but I dont even find them that similar. The closest comparision I could find is she is a Martina Hingis with more firepower but without the mental toughness or consistency.
     
  4. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Hanna was better than Martina at the baseline and better than Chris at the net.She could beat Chris from the backcourt, as she did at the 1981 FO, on Evert´s favourite sruface and tournament, and she could beat playing S&V Martina, as she did at the 1981 Wimbledon event (Navratilova´s best surface) or the 1985 USO final ( one of the best matches I ever saw, and I have seen a lot of big time tennis).

    But, she never had the ambition of Martina and the mental toughness of Evert.last time I watched a player of that caliber, it was Hingis, who lacked some of Hana´s penetrating FH but surpassed her in the mental toughness department ( as well as overall strategy).

    There was never a match I rooted against Mandlikova, she was a very special breed even if she behaved like a jerk sometimes.
     
  5. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest


    I agree with all that, and that is why I said I found her closest comparision to Hingis. Both similarily were also swept aside and had their careers prematurely ended by the upgrade in the power game at one point, Hana in 87 onwards when the new graphite racquets began to produce either the huge power or heavy topspin games of Graf, Seles, Sabatini, Sanchez Vicario, and Hingis by the Williams led ball busting squad.
     
  6. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Very true, but Martina coped very well with the 2 Williams,Seles and, to a lesser extent, with Davenport and Mary Pierce´s power.She was just so smart and talented, and she was the real last good volleyer on the women´s tour (Davenport was also great at the net and so was Kournikova, martina´s great doubles mate)

    As for Hana, give her a medium powered racket, and she´ll crass anytime Sabatini and Sanchez ( if inspired enough of course, otherwise it is not Hana).Not so sure, of course, against Seles.She also had some sort of complex against Graf, too.
     
  7. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    And this is the same pile of manure Williams fans spew since the day Hingis has retired from tennis the first time.

    Explain how Hingis got "swept aside" by "power tennis" even though she has winning or competitive records against these "power players". You would think if she truly couldn't hang with them, she would at least have a decisive losing record against ONE of them. She doesn't. Yet she was "swept aside" by them.

    Federer has a worse record against Nadal than Hingis has against any of those "big hitters". Yet I am certain that if he retired today, nobody would believe that he was swept aside by him.

    Hingis remained the #1, won numerous titles (the YEC among them) and reached slam finals during the supposed peak of "power tennis". How is that possible?

    She beat a Venus Williams, who was at the peak of her powers, in major tournaments. More than once. Sometimes she even embarrassed her. In the matches that she lost, she always pushed her even on surfaces that didn't suit her at all (Wimbledon 2000 QF), sometimes even to the brink of defeat. (USO 2000 SF)

    Even Venus, who was in the heart of her prime couldn't beat her decisively in slams, on the contrary, she got embarrassed (AO 2001) and occasionally had to rely on massive chokes on Hingis' part to win. (again USO 2000)

    Now, I am not the type of guy to regard chokes as victories. However, it is telling that many of Hingis' losses during that period only came after ginourmous chokes. If she truly couldn't handle the power of the new generation, she would never ever get in the position to choke in the first place. For the purpose of your claim, almost winning is sufficient, as it disproves your claim that the Williams and co's power was just too much for her. Did Graf's power only start working after Hingis was serving for the match? Did Venus power only start working when Hingis was about to put that smash away? Did Capriati's power only start working after Hingis had 4 matchpoints?

    Serena is a different story. I have no proof that Hingis would be competitive with her during her peak (02-03) However, the same can be said for just about anyone on the tour back then and maybe in history. Do I have to remind you that peak Serena was a vastly superior player to even the one demolishing the current tour? Peak Serena being superior to her proves little about Hingis' ability to win slams in the new millenium.

    You may continue. :)
     
  8. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I don´t think you are old enough to catch up any action from Hingis at ther peak, much less Mandlikova.
     
  9. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    good guess. based on his last post, he´s probably in high school
     
  10. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    At her best, she could beat anyone, on any surface. She was the female version of Johnny Mac....immensely talented and a lot of fun to watch.

    But, if she was off just a bit, she could not hold up against Chris or Martina
     
  11. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    I am not at all sure she was better than Martina from the backcourt. slow clay may be our best determinator as more points are played back there and serve advantage is blunted the most. Hana reached the finals of RG once and won it that year, to a woman who won two and was a finalist in 6 others. They both used the same tactics on the dirt, and would have had to win most of their points from the backcourt.
     
  12. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Records are over a whole career. The reason Hingis has respectable records vs the Williams sisters is she built up huge leads in 1997-1998, began losing the majority of matches from 2000 onwards hence why they had already evened out by the time she left, and then quit without facing them in their best years when the head to head would have swung heavily in their favor. She has a losing record vs Serena even though she didnt play any matches vs Serena once Serena became "Serena" (everyone of their matches were from 97-early 2002 when Hingis reached all 9 of her career slam finals and Serena won 1 of her eventual 15 slams). Their last 3 matches were a 6-3, 6-2 destruction at the U.S Open, a 3 set win for Serena in wicked windy conditions with Serena compiling 66 unforced errors, and a 6-4, 6-0 beatdown in Miami. At that point she was no longer competitive with Serena, and Serena was only getting started. Tell me how do you think she would have fared vs the Serena Slam version of Serena, seeing how their 3 matches just preceding that went, LOL! She has a more clear losing record vs Davenport, and she lost 70% (9 of 13) of their matches from 98-2000, the period both were in their primes together, including a 5 match losing streak at one point. After the 2000 Australian Open where Hingis was crushed again by Davenport she began crying at the trophy presentation and blurted out staring at Lindsay "I dont know to play you." The respectable H2H (trailing 11-14) is again based on her dominance in 97 when Lindsay was not a grand slam caliber player. The Williams hit as hard and serve harder than Lindsay and are twice as mobile, and Henin and Clijsters hit almost as hard as Lindsay are also twice as mobile, so that is what a Hingis who had already plateaued and stoped improving would have faced had she continued on, and we see how much trouble she had with prime Lindsay. Not an idication of the future, but still worth noting, she has a 2-7 record vs Graf, and peak Hingis lost 2 of 3 matches to 30 year old nearly retired Graf who was a shadow of her old self in late 98-99. She lost 4 matches in a row to Capriati who isnt even one of the best power players. The only great power player she has a winning record against is Venus, but with almost every win coming before 2000, when Venus began winning slams, and Seles but Seles was an early bloomer who was already a has been who would never win another slam again by the time she and Hingis began playing.

    At the time she retired in late 2002 she was no longer ranked in the top 10, had not won a slam in almost 4 years, had lost her last 3 matches to Serena, her last 4 matches to Capriati, 4 of her last 5 matches with Venus. In her last year on tour she got spanked in one sided defeats to B level power players Hantuchova, Dokic, Myskina, Petrova, and Dementieva, in addition to her slew of losses to the really big hitters. Was she going to win another slam ever again in the future, when she hadnt in years already, and when the WTA was soon to get alot tougher with Serena becoming a real champion, and Henin, Clijsters, and Sharapova all emerging? The answer is a pretty obvious one and why she retired. Why exactly do you think she retired, since she was still at the top of the womens game?

    That isnt to diss Hingis who I consider a great talent but the boom in power tennis ended her career. What do you propose did it if not. Cocaine?
     
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  13. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    I thought Mandlikova looked good in white. That's probably why most of her success was on green grass.
     
  14. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    More like a Goolagong, great flair but flaky. Pam Shriver said she was the only pro player she ever heard of who changed her mind on a servewhen the toss was in the air.
     
  15. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    I remember Goolagong from when we used to spend summers on a farm as kids. She was so beautiful that she gleamed.
     
  16. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    Whereas you are a beacon of maturity. :?

    She said that her inability to keep up her fitness was the main reason. In the modern era she was forced to retrieve more balls than Jankovic. Yes she had nagging injuries that made it difficult to actually have a chance to survive, hence she quit.

    I personally think that she was lucky to dominate tennis the way she did towards the end of the 90s, but the was also unlucky to have to deal with some of the strongest eras ever. (early 2000s) In a "regular era" (post 2003 until 2008/2009) she would win more than in the early 2000s, but less than in the late 90s. Hell, you KNOW she made 3 major finals after the trun of the millenium.

    What makes me question the "power tennis ended Hingis" theory is the fact that with a little more steel, she would be sitting on 2 more slams (99 RG, 02 AO) and considering that Davenport played poorly in the final, probably the USO 00 as well. Now I know that mental toughness is important as well and cannot be ignored, however, if she was capable of putting herself in these positions in the first place, how much credibitly does your claim have? I mean for God's sake, when has Venus ever played better than 2000-2001? (especially during that winning streak in 2000) Hingis was capable of putting Venus on the ropes, even at her best. Clearly she had the tools to cause damage somehow, even when outgunned. Her problem was MENTAL weakness around that time (probably because of the RG debacle) not PHYSICAL weakness.

    And make no mistake: I am not only bragging about NEAR victories here. She DID beat Venus in a thriller in the USO 99 (and even if not at her peak, she was still better than in 97) Then there was that great match in that Grand Slam Cup. (what an ice rink) Of course her demolition of Venus in the semis of the AO in 2001 also happened. While it is generally known that Venus wasn't playing well in that match, that is also eye opening: if playing below your standard makes you this vulnerable to Hingis, I wonder how often she would lose to Hingis AFTER 2003, when she became a lot more inconsistent.

    Of course there is no proof that she would be competitive with Serena at her peak, but on the other hand, who was? Even Venus lost 4 straight grand slam finals against her. Capriati was the only one who made her look mortal. (and Henin on clay) Hingis losing to her wouldn't mean she couldn't handle power tennis. (or else, Venus could also not handle the power of the modern era :lol:) Serena would beat Hingis because she was BETTER not because she hit harder.

    I think that with a tougher mind and with normal competition, there's no way that she doesn't win slams after 2003, when tennis started to become a little less crazy. Serena moving a lot worse, Venus not playing as well etc, that would be a weaker, but not weak era that would see Hingis win a lot in the world of power tennis. It is just an inferior version of it though. :)
     
  17. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    The problem is Hingis was already on decline by the time she retired. I already mentioned her 2002 results, beatdowns to Hantuchova, Dokic, Dementieva, Myskina (ok this was a 3 setter but a bagel in the final set she ate), a pre prime Petrova, people she would outside of very rare occasion have handled comfortably from 97-2000. So not only was she starting to have alot of trouble with the best power hitters at first (1999-2000) but she was always looking past her prime by 2001, and even more by 2002. She was an early bloomer who hit her all time peak in 1997-1998 so I highly doubt regardless of the field she was winning any slams post 2003. Even the greatest players arent at their best for 10 or 12 years, and Hingis was a very early bloomer. Anyway the field post 2003 wasnt THAT weak, it was nothing like 09-2011 field. She did come back in 2006 and didnt come anywhere near winning a slam, and went 1-11 vs the then top 4 of Henin, Mauresmo, Sharapova, and Clijsters. Even with the Williams AWOL, and much less power type players at the top, she still wasnt a factor at that point. Had she not retired a few years would she have been doing any better in 2006? Who knows, the way she was looking in 2002, she might have needed to break to put in a last respectable year of pro tennis. She actually played better tennis in 06 and early 07 than she did most of 02 after all. The slam winners from 2003-2009 were Henin (7 times), Serena (5 times), Venus (3 times), Mauresmo (2 times), Clijsters (2 times) Sharapova (3 times), Kuznetsova (2 times), Ivanovic (1 time), Myskina (1 times). Hardly a free for all. By far the weakest of that group are Ivanovic and Myskina, Ivanovic who easily beat Hingis in the Canada final in 2006, and Myskina who bageled Hingis in her last match before her first retirement.

    Now had Hingis been in her prime of 1997-2000, I agree she would have had a shot to win slams again post 2003, although even then I am not sure how many. The French is likely out with Henin and her own lack of success there even in her prime, maybe she could win in a year like the one Myskina won in, but who knows if she would be as lucky with her peaking moment of form or the draw. Wimbledon is probably out too, there were no weak winners there, and this is by far her worst surface even though she did win that one Wimbledon back in 97, had made marginal impact there in the years since. The U.S Open would be hard with Clijsters in 2005, Sharapova, in 2006, Henin in 2007, Serena in 2008 all playing so well to win, 2004 would have been her best shot there just like the French. Australian Open would have been a good annual shot for prime Hingis probably, nobody played unbelievably well to win there other than to some extent Serena in the 07 final round only, and Sharapova for parts of 2008. This is hypothetical prime Hingis I am speaking of though, so obviously the older, slowed down, regressing Hingis of reality would have had almost no shot of slams post 2003, barring sneaking out out randomly ala Myskina or Ivanovic perhaps.

    As for your other points, yes Hingis should have won the 2002 Australian Open for sure, but that would have been her first slam in almost 3 years had she done it. Of the power players we agree she is likely owned by peak Serena (and lets not kid ourselves, Serena is great in many ways, but power is a HUGE part of the reason she would have the edge over Hingis, it is not like Hingis cant match her in many other areas). You are right she hung with prime Venus pretty well, but if your best matchup of the big power guns you are still mostly losing too, even if in tough matches, that doesnt bode well for your chances of slams. Venus was a better matchup for Hingis prime to prime than any of Serena, Davenport, or even Capriati, yet she still usually lost from 2000 onwards, so what are your chances of slams at that point if of the then big 4 the 1 you are doing best against you win 1 of 5 against (their 2000-2002 record), and your best efforts are usually losing in 3 sets. Davenport was a nightmare opponent for her when both were near their best in 98-2000. Capriati once she became a top player again was too, although in her case capatilizing on an already declining Hingis as well. So no she wasnt incompetent vs any power opponent that existed, you are right on that, but the point is once that power group emerged she was never going to come anywhere near her 97-early 99 level of success against where she won 5 of 9 slams, and for someone so young that is hard to cope with mentally. It was to the point another slam victory at any point would be a huge achievement for her, the very fact that probably caused her to suffer that epic choke in the 02 Australian final. In general she declined since with the power hitters it was looking like she was never going to be #1 again and might not even win another slam. Fitness questions and loss of motivation could be part of that too, but dont kid yourself and think her decreasing success vs the power hitters, and her own general decline in her own game and form, wasnt a huge factor in her retiring.


    Prime Hingis in 2009-2012 could have won about 8-10 slams I will admit though, so if that is your point I agree. Then again that could be said for a ton of players Other than Serena there is nobody that any past great would fear today, absolutely nobody. Even Sharapova is nothing like her 2004-2008 level, and even then she was no dominant player, but a much more opressive one than today, but is as much or more a factor in a weaker field today.
     
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  18. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    Obviously she wouldn't dominate jack, but she had several good opportunities to win majors even during the time the new breed emerged. For me, that is very impressive as it shows that she could have been a top player and slam winner even against the stiffest competition. Again, she didn't actually take several of her opportunities (RG 99, USO SF 00, AO 02), but give her a stronger mind, and she has beaten Graf in a RG final to complete her career grand slam JUST in the year when power tennis is on the rise, follows this up by actually closing out that match against Venus in that semi (which, if she beats LD is another slam or if she loses, is a victory during one of Venus best winning streaks) and that AO in 02. Follow that up with a bunch of final where she didn't really have a shot of winning, holding the #1 for a long time, the YEC in 00 and other small titles....who could honestly say she was crushed by the power game? She needed no further improvement in terms of game or power to achieve these things. Just being clutch...

    In summary, I believe the power game prevented her from DOMINATING the game, while her mind prevented her from being a slam champion (after the RG)
     
  19. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Yes I agree, but in terms of what caused her to retire, you are saying it was fitness issues with all the work she had to do vs the power players, and I would suggest that is also what probably wore her down eventually and why she seemed to already be "past her prime" so young by 2001 and much moreso by 2002, so even that indicates indirectly the power game ended her career.

    Even had she won the 99 French, which i agree she should have, it would have just been completing her huge run of success of major wins in 97-early 99 and if the 2002 Australian Open was her only future slam, it would seem like an unlikely final slam hurrah sort of thing, a dream ending, assuming she still ended up retiring that year, so even that wouldnt indicate much for her ability to keep winning slams in the new huge power era unless she had won the 2000 U.S Open too (which I dont think she would have, 2-6 vs Davenport in 99/2000 and never beat her in a major match again after the 97 U.S Open, and despite the overall winning H2H of Lindsay over Venus, this being another example of deceptive H2Hs at times, Davenport absolutely hated playing prime Venus much more than Hingis did so little wonder she played poorly vs her).
     
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  20. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    touched a nerve there, didn´t i:)
    why did you start a thread about Mandlikova when you really wanted to talk about Hingis?
    anyway, you may continue
     
  21. BruceG

    BruceG Rookie

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    The only women who ever moved as beautifully and effortlessly as Mandlikova were Goolagong and Bueno. Martina Hingis was a compact and smooth hitter but she was like a robot compared to Hana and as an athlete she simply wasn't in the same stratosphere as Mandlikova. I mean, that's like comparing a race horse to a cart horse.

    When Hana was on she could hit winners off everything and beat anyone in the world from any part of the court. When she was off she could lose to anyone. Her game was very delicate and didn't have the same margin for error as Martina or Chris. She was a better shot-maker than either of them but didn't have their determination or drive.
     
  22. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    movement like Goolagong i would agree
    Bueno, i´m happy to say i´m too young to have seen her play, other than on video:)
    the comparison to Hingis i don´t see
     
  23. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Maybe Mac would be the player she could be somehow compared to.

    It is curious how the big four of the Golden Era came almost in paralel trends: Borg and Navratilova leaving their countries as both adopted another citizenship, Connors and Evert, probably America´s Most Popular couple for years, Austin and JMac, the young prodigies and, finally, Lendl and Hana, the european prodigies with a very polemic personality.Those characters helped put tennis to its historical peak.
     
  24. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    She was the true princess of courts.Charm and Evonne go in the same sentence.
     
  25. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I agree but I think Hingis was just as graceful as a shotmaker and her charm was the way she used her mind, which is the contrary to Hana.Mandlikova had too many options and got herself into a mess more often than not ( a bit like Nastase who would be her equivalent in men´s field)
     
  26. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    We used to sit around for hours, swinging in our hammocks, drinking Scotch and smoking Cubans.
     
  27. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Mandlikova was nothing like Evert in either her stroke production or her approach to the game. She was more like Navratilova, except she was a better shotmaker from everywhere on the court, but, not as great an athlete.
     
  28. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    I meant her craft. It's almost like she could hang with her from the baseline.
     
  29. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I don't know what you mean by "her craft." Mandlikova didn't have the technique, or the shot tolerance, to "hang" with Evert from the baseline. To beat Evert, she had to attack. And then, she could prevail only when playing her absolute best and when Evert was something less than her best.
     
  30. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    You and Evonne?
     
  31. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    Absolutely true. Honestly, I can't think of two champions more polar opposite in virtually every respect. The only sense in which Hana could 'hang with Evert from the backcourt in a normal match, is in her movement about the court. It was very difficult for anyone to keep Hana out of position long enough to open up a court. Some of Evert's usual patterns , would be less effective against the super mobile players like Zina, Hana, or Martina than players like Sukova, Shriver and Kodhe Kilch. When I tried to figure out who got the occasional upset over Evert in her major winning years, it wasn't about playing style, or temperament. It was footspeed. Not sure exactly why, but less quick baseliners and S/Vers did not get one or two wins others might - until she got social security.

    of course the other necessity to win any percentage vs Chris is weapons. Hana had those on both wings.
     
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  32. suwanee4712

    suwanee4712 Professional

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    Well said. Hana was supremely gifted and later in her career became better at following a gameplan than she was ever given credit for. But her talent was both her strength and her weakness because she didn't know how to harness it. She lacked the focus and tunnel vision that Martina, Steffi, and Chris possessed. The pressure that comes with being such a wanted figure was something she did not handle well.

    Maybe most of all, Hana sometimes found losing acceptable. To be an upper level great you have to hate losing with every fiber of your being. This was also what prevented Evonne from doing better but maybe for a different reason.

    She didn't enjoy the weekly grind of the tour and it showed in her record at non-slam events. She lived for the slams and thats where 8 of her 15 wins vs. Martina, Chris, and Steffi came. I don't know of another player with that many wins vs. the best of the best without being a fellow member of that group.
     
  33. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Sanchez Vicario has a combined 6 wins over Evert, Graf, and Seles in slams which is pretty good too. 4 of them came vs Graf, she was Seles's little lapdog but didnt get to play Seles during her peak period of 94-early 96. Evert she barely got to play but a #4 seeded Evert got spanked by unseeded 15 year old Sanchez at the 88 French which was an impressive performance.

    Comparing Sanchez to Mandlikova is funny since Hana is about 5 times more talented, but about 5 times weaker in work ethic, consistency, mental strength. So hard to say who is better. I would probably say Hana since Sanchez's game was only effective against Graf. She was useless against Seles, Hingis, and even a fairly old (before she became really old) Navratilova. Hana only seemed fairly useless against Graf but dangerous for anyone else she played (I dont count Seles who she played twice in her final year and got walloped by).
     
  34. suwanee4712

    suwanee4712 Professional

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    Agreed. You can't beat Evert in a big match unless you have weapons and great movement. There's no other way.

    Hana won a lot of baseline rallies with Chris either by smacking winners or by drawing errors from Chris with her ability to mix spins and angles. But that's a hard game to play and she was better off varying her approaches while mixing in some topspin and drop shots.

    Anyone that has seen her 1981 French win know what versatility Hana was capable of. But its the 1983 French match that I hope will one day be widely available. It was a real testament to Chris that she won that day because Hana killed Chris repeatedly in baseline duels, lobs, and drop shots. I think thats where Martina got the idea to drop Chris so much in the 1984 French final. She also had a spectacular diving backhand drop volley that left Evert stunned.
     
  35. suwanee4712

    suwanee4712 Professional

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    I would say that few actually worked harder than Hana did. But ASV might be in that group. She got so much out of her game and had a great heart and fighting spirit.

    ASV also had fewer first week losses than Hana did at the slams. But Hana never lost to anyone other than Martina or Chris in a slam SF or F. That makes me think that Hana would've done quite well against ASV, but thats purely speculation.

    I wish that Hana's health and serve had held up for another couple of years because I think she would've gotten a few more wins vs. Graf. More than half of their meetings came at a time when Hana was serving Kournikova-like numbers of double faults. No one made an opponent pay for poor serving more than Graf did. It was hard to break Steffi and if you can't hold your own serve you have no shot. From the baseline, Hana's way of trying to beat Steffi was to hit hard and deep to her forehand to draw an error or come in and angle the ball away. This worked well in Paris in 1986. More players should've tried that.

    With Seles, I find their 1990 US Hardcourts match very interesting. Hana led 4-0 in each set but lost 6-4 6-4. She also helped Novotna to understand how to beat Seles by serving her wide in both courts to make her switch to one hand or at least pull her off the court. I really believe Hana could've gotten a couple of wins off of Seles. Of course I say that knowing that if Hana played less than 80% of her best Seles would've obliterated her ala 1989 Brighton.
     
  36. Sharky-San

    Sharky-San New User

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    I got to be a ball boy for two of Mandlikova's matches, singles and doubles with Wendy Turnbull, during a Virginia Slims stop in SF, 1987, she was amazing! very long and loopy strokes, her movement was impressive, best of any player in that era. Serve was a hard slice most of the time. I went to buy a Wilson Ultra 2 right after that tournament, I wanted to hit like Hana!!!

    I was really there to check out Gabriela Sabatini! She was hot ...got to ball boy one of her doubles matches. She was traveling with another Argentine player, Gabriela Mosca, very talented but didn't pan out for her...
     
  37. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    You are much more familiar with WTA 80s tennis than I am, so in all honesty I really dont have that much insight into Hana's work ethic. My statement was probably unfair and just falling into general stereotypes of the players. Obviously ASV was more of a warrior on court, but she had to be with her game style, Hana could be a great competitor too when she wanted to be.

    Yeah you are right since most times they met it would have likely been in the semis or finals, as both are top 4 players in their primes in pretty much any era. Then again the players she would play at that stage of a slam besides Martina and Chris were not that strong in her era (other than Austin who she only played in quarterfinals). It would depend mostly on how Hana was playing, since ASV would be all over any inconsistency or lapses in her game, but if she reaches that stage the odds are higher she is playing well which would be bad news for ASV. I really dont see any leads on that matchup as I cant think of an ASV-type player of the Chris era, other than knowing ASV generally does not control her own destiny vs a superior shotmaker or better offensive player, even the ones she greatly troubled like Graf.

    Interesting points on the French Open match. It was often said players should have tried to attack the Graf forehand that way rather than playing away from it and allowing her to set up her inside out forehand patterns with you trying to expose her backhand corner. It must have been a scary thing to do.

    I know Hana was well past her prime at the time of those matches facing a young Seles which is why I didnt reach too much into them. I really have no idea what kind of a matchup that would be for Hana as there is nobody in Hana's era that played like Seles, and even Graf does not play the same way Seles does overall. Your points are interesting though, I did not see that 1990 U.S Hard Courts match or know Hana was up in the 2nd set. I did see the Brighton match, and it was a major ouch. Seles just ruthlessly overpowering, and Hana was getting killed on her serve games, but she wasnt serving well either.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2012
  38. suwanee4712

    suwanee4712 Professional

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    NadalAgassi, its fun to think of hypotheticals and I am admittedly being hopeful towards Hana. A series of matches with Seles would've included more Brighton-like results too often for my tastes. Just like with Steffi she would've struggled to hold serve perhaps even more so with Seles mostly because at least with Steffi she could spin the ball in to the backhand.

    I wonder what BTurner would think about this but I always felt that it was not a coincidence that Chris and Hana left the game at the same time. They both hit such a nice clean and uncomplicated ball. Players like Gaby were coming onto the scene hitting these snarling heavy strokes that took more to counteract. When players began to adapt to that facing a classical stroker like Chris or Hana probably became a relief. Thats just a theory though because Mary Joe hit a similarly flat ball.
     
  39. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    I do think the game was changing right before the eyes of the old guard. The players were generally falling into two categories. Huge ball bashers who hit big servers and very hard and flat off the ground like Graf. Basically the top 30 was atleast half made up of Graf and Seles wannabees, inferior clones to their power oriented games, but even they producing something the likes of wasnt common thoughout most of the 80s. Or heavy topspiners with tons of violent action on the ball like Sabatini, Sanchez Vicario, Martinez. The power players were most difficulty for an attacker like Naratilova to face. The heavy spinners were more difficult for a classic baseliner or all courter like Evert or Mandlikova to face.

    I think the change was equally hard on alot of different types of players. The serve and volleyers except Martina and the newcomer Jana Novotna (but in her case moreso after the womens game declined after the Seles stabbing) ceased to be a major factor. Sukova made a slam final in 93 taking advantage of the hold left by the Seles stabbing, but never that big a factor after 89/early 1990. Shriver wasnt a threat again after 88. Hana went into an obvious decline on her own, it is hard to tell how much of her rapid decline and early retirement was the change in the game to the new belting levels of power and the heavy spin, and how much of that was her own decline in form. Probably a good combination of both.

    Had these players been born in this era I am sure they were talented enough to adapt and still be top players. As it was making the changes either midway or late in your career was too hard for the majority. Personally I find the players of the 80s more enjoyable to watch. I prefer watching tapes of them play. The 90s produced some great tennis and great matches, but the styles were all too predictable and the game played either through the one dimensional scope of a pure slugfest (Graf, Seles, Capriati, Pierce), or a grindfest last women standing type of attrition war (Sabatini, Sanchez, Fernandez, Martinez). Unique players with their own style, who were in some ways a throwback to the old days of point construction and nuances like a Novotna or Zvereva were rare, and these players were not successful enough to encourage it amongst the young juniors coming up.

    Of course the 90s were still godly compared to now. We now have players without the talent to reach the incredible ball bashing heights of Graf, Seles, or the Williams, but attempt in vain to anyway and hit every second shot out, pushers who do nothing but try and be the last women standing on court like Wozniacki, Radwanska, players who hick with so much spin and such obsctructive technique they are an eyesore to watch and shank almost every third shot they hit (sometimes landing in) like Stosur and Schiavone, injuries galore. It would be nice to see a return to more old school tennis on the womens tour. Hingis and Henin were by far the most unique and interesting players to emerge in the 2000s, perhaps by neccessity being so small, but both were pushed out of the game very young either by the power game (Hingis) or the wear and tear on the body and mind of the extreme physical effort and years of work it took to ramp up their own power and fitness to almost inhuman heights for someone so small (Henin).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2012
  40. suwanee4712

    suwanee4712 Professional

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    Wendy was good for Hana. She calmed her down and made Hana laugh. They had some great battles with Khode and Sukova, both former partners of Hana's. They also had some great matches with McNeil and Garrison. But I will always remember their YEC win over Martina and Pam. They lost a close 3 set final to that team at the US Open that same year.

    Hana and Gaby would've made an jnteresting team. I remember in tge 90's Hana teamed with Evonne and BJK occasionally on the legends tour. Unfortunately the team of Hana and Evonne didn't win very often. They were too much alike.
     
  41. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Hana had a 5-2 record vs Gaby I noticed. So perhaps that style of game wasnt so hard for her to play, but that type of game also changed the overall face and feel of the tour, which is probably the bigger significance. Gaby was also really young in all her losses to Hana so they never really met peak on peak, so hard to say if Hana found that game style hard or not, but probably not, or she would have already been losing to a young Gaby on clay.
     
  42. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I fully agree.In fact, only a megatalented player like her could beat AT MAJORS the trio of Evert,Navratilova and Graf, possibly the greatest trio for consecutive years that women´s tennis has ever seen ( although Bueno,Court,King are just almost as good IMO)

    Some have compared her to Sabatini.Well, Hana and gabriela had the same menthal weakness, which I think comes from pressure (Mandlikova) and complex against Graf (Sabatini).Both curiously won their USO title playing S&V, and Sabatini showed will and maturity to come to the net as often as she did to beat Steffi when she was never expected to do so, and using a tactic she was never familiar with.

    Hana could play S&V with the best (King,Navy,Court,Marble) for a whole year and, of course, is much more talented than the Argentinian.There is no possible comparison on the talent side.
     
  43. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    its available here, you've made me curious to check it out

    http://www.ricklovestennis.com/index.php/player_match_list/mandlikova/
     
  44. suwanee4712

    suwanee4712 Professional

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    By all means get Rick to send you a copy. The baseline patterns are excellent. The variety Hana uses is excellent while Chris grinds away like a machine matching Hana with hard flat strokes. Some baseline rallies are won by wrong footing Chris and some are won with nasty topsoin backhand drives down the line out of no where.

    The diving backhand volley and roll was as good as anything that I ever saw Becker produce. Hana must have scored 10 times with the drop shot because so often Chris was pushed back on her heels by Hana's penetration.

    But Chris wins because of her relentless perserverence, and, of course Hana plays a couple of really bad games at inoportune times. Though I prefer the results of Hana's 1981 French win or her 1985/1986 wins over Chris, this is my favorite match to watch between the two.

    Also get the 1982 French win over Austin. Hana dominates much of the match only to make it more difficult than necessary. But its another great example of how good Hana could be on red clay against a baseliner.
     
  45. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    I dont know why most people rate Austin over Mandlikova all time. Didnt the Tennis Channel list also have her higher (maybe I am wrong on that, would need to check it again). Hana has double the # of majors, had a much longer career, and was clearly the more talented and complete player IMO. What Tracy did she did exceptionally well but she was so one dimensional. Watching her and Evert you can really complete what a complete player Chrissie is despite being predominantly a baseliner.

    I guess Tracy's big edge is she reached #1 in the Chris and Martina era. However she did not a year at #1. I dont think that overcomes 2 more majors and more major finals in the same era. Wozniacki ended two straight years at #1 and people clearly dont give that the value of even 1 slam, given that players with 10 or more less titles who never reached #1 like Stosur and Na are even ranked above her by people. So how would reaching #1 for a bit be worth the value of 2 more slams. Hana also won slams on all surfaces which is a huge difference from Tracy who could only win big on hard courts and carpet, but there were no slams on carpet. Even had her career continued unscathed, while she may have won more majors than Hana's 4, she also probably would have never won a slam outside of hard courts (and actually given that she would probably never win a slam again once Graf began to dominate, and there was only 1 hard court slam from 82-87, her chances would be very limited).
     
  46. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    Looking at the scores of these matches from the list, it appears that on slower surfaces against great baseliners, Hana was worn down in that third set if it got that far. Mental or physical fatigue might have been the decisive factor after two sets of long rallies vs a Jaeger, Evert, or Austin, at least through '85. Those final sets on clay see a lot of 1-6 or 2-6 scores, while against s/vers like Martina, she hangs tougher. That problem is drifting by 85. Some of those clay scores do impress, but we also know that there were PLENTY of losses in 3rd or 4th rds against second raters on either side of them. Hana was not really a great clay courter. She was a woman capable of playing great clay court tennis. Above all, Hana was consistently -an enigma.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2012
  47. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Austin was a superb baseliner, a pre Seles kind of player with less power but a sort of.However, being so good on the ground, she never won too much on clay and her record on grass,carpet and hard is far better.I think she just didn´t feel comfortable .Hanna was raised on clay, she was more of an attacking lass but she knew how to manouvre, how to slide, was very effective changing the rythim, the effects and used a good drop shot.If Mc Enroe had been able to play the kind of cc tennis hanna did in the 1981 FO, he would have probably one Rg title under his belt.
     
  48. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    Frankly, Austin's lack of success at RG specifically, says more about her high school final's schedule and her short shelf life, than her attributes, but otherwise your point is well taken on Hana. Austin would have done well there and maybe won one or two, had she actually played it before 1982. she was able to slide well enough in Italy in 1979, I don't think she lost the skill. Not saying she would have won any particular match or year, but it matters how hard you work to prepare that clay game, if you know you won't be showing up at the premier clay event no matter what. She got almost straight A's though, so she prepared for something. If you'll excuse the pun, she didn't practice sliding through high school
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2012
  49. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Right about 79 Rome...Tracy was the first player to beat Evert on clay for 125 matches...that speaks volume of Evert supremacy on clay.
     
  50. suwanee4712

    suwanee4712 Professional

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    A couple of other significant clay court matches for Hana in 1983 were her French win over Temesvari and her Fed Cup win over Jaeger. Both these matches highlight the intangibles that made Hana very good on red clay, namely her footwork and the ability to stay back or serve and volley.

    The win over Temesvari was significant at the time because she was the hot name on clay that spring having already taken an otherwise dominant Martina to 3 sets and having lost only 2 or 3 games in her last 3 matches in winning the Italian. But Hana smothered her 6-2 6-1 and made it look as easy as it sounded.

    The latter win over Jaeger came at a time when Andrea may have been playing the best tennis of her career. I believe it was also the first event for Hana after switching to graphite. There was noticeably more pop in her serve but she did struggle with finding her range at times. Still considering Hana's poor year winning the Fed Cup was her best moment, one of two straight Fed Cup titles on red clay.
     

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