WHAT IF...McEnroe and Pam Shriver played mixed doubles

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Tennis Dunce, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. Tennis Dunce

    Tennis Dunce Semi-Pro

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    ...would they have been the greatest mixed team in the history of the sport. On top of it all you have the righty/lefty component. I think it's etched in stone the greatest team imaginable.
     
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  2. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    i thought shriver had great successes in doubles due to her partnering with martina navratilova :)
     
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  3. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Hall of Fame

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    Shriver won 1 mixed doubles title in her career...1. She was a good doubles player but I really doubt she would have won as much as she did without Martina as her partner. After she stopped playing doubles with Martina she won only one more womens doubles title at a major. Her and Martina were fierce together, but take Martina out of the equation and Pam, while good, is not all that great. Now if McEnroe were to team with Martina then that might have been an amazing mixed doubles team.
     
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  4. li0scc0

    li0scc0 Hall of Fame

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    Agree - McEnroe/Martina Navratilova would have been an amazing combination.
    How about Edberg and Martina????
     
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  5. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    i am thinking if mcenroe played doubles with shriver, shriver had better not making any stupid remark like she sometimes does on tv otherwise her doubles partner might explode :)
     
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  6. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Hall of Fame

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    Edberg/Martina would also have been a good combo, possibly better then McEnroe/Martina in some aspects. Mac was fiery, and to some degree Martina could get that way as well when things weren't going her way and 2 players like that together either could be great or possibly a disaster on any given day. Martina's fierce competitive nature combined with Edbergs slightly calmer demeanor and their mutual ability for doubles might have made them a really formidable force.
     
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  7. li0scc0

    li0scc0 Hall of Fame

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    I was thinking the same thing about Edberg/Martina...not just because of the righty/lefty combination, but also about temperament. And, of course, doubles ability and amazing hands at the net!
     
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  8. heftylefty

    heftylefty Hall of Fame

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    Pam Shriver won the lottery by being team with Martina. She as a bit player at best.

    Any desent female player would have been enough for Mac. He & Graf could have won W if Graf didn't pull out of the mixed dubs.
     
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  9. BTURNER

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    Shriver would have won plenty of doubles titles without Martina, not as many because Martina was the best, but plenty. She was absolutely superb. She won few doubles titles after Martina because she had the same injury problems besetting her that hamstrung her singles career. She did not play as long as Martina and most of there best years coincided with that partnership. Pam was a much better player than given credit and her 'defects' in her ground game, mobility and and her occasional crisis in confidence were not as evident in doubles where the pressure was shared. Let's face it guys, on virtually every big point when there was a option, the opponents on the other side hit to PAM and kept hitting to Pam, not Martina. Somehow Pam and Martina won those majors anyway. Shriver had a fine serve, and steady low return and great volleys/ overhead. She was also a smart tactician. In fact if you asked Martina many is the time Pam was the more stable and consistent of the two especially in the earlier years of their partnership.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2011
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  10. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Hall of Fame

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    Bturner, You do make some good points, Pam was a good doubles player in her own right, but I think it was her partnership with the greatest doubles player of the time, Martina, that really brought out the best in her. She had a partner who was amazing and who everyone knew was amazing and if there was going to be a weaker one it was her, and I think that drove her to be as good a doubles player as she was, if Martina wasn't her partner I don't think she would have ever developed as much as she did.

    She wanted to win but she also didn't want to let her partner down. She during her best years definitely would have won doubles titles and a few majors with any lady as her partner, but Martina made her great because I think Martina made her bring out the best in herself. Even with injuries factoring in, I don't think she was the same with any other other partner she had over the years as she was with Nav.

    Just an opinion though.
     
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  11. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    I don't think we are far apart in our assessment. Martina won plenty without Pam and would have won plenty more had she not met Pam But there is also no doubt that Pam was the perfect emotional partner for Martina at times when Martina was bit erratic in the early days or a little less than psyched up in her glory days. I honestly think that Martina would have competed in fewer majors and would have had more losses had she continued with the partner of the month pattern. Pam made doubles therapeutic in Martina's early years and fun when Martina was playing tons of tennis at # one. They brought out the best in each other!
     
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  12. LDVTennis

    LDVTennis Professional

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    Around the time that McEnroe asked Steffi to play mixed doubles with him, Martina revealed that she had in the past asked McEnroe but that he had always told her he did not want to play mixed doubles.

    Turns out he did, just not with Martina.
     
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  13. BTURNER

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    He was only interested in mixed,when he was desperate for a successful run, when he was very young or very old. That may not have been when Martina asked him.
     
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  14. LDVTennis

    LDVTennis Professional

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    If his pairing with Graf tells us anything, it is that he did not want to play with anyone decent. He wanted to win. He wanted to look good doing it. And, by looking good, I mean he wanted to play with someone who was attractive.
     
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  15. LDVTennis

    LDVTennis Professional

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    If I remember correctly, Martina more or less said that she asked him almost every year.

    As to being desperate, I don't think that's what it was. Around the '99 French, he had developed a crush on Steffi or at least was looking at her in a new way.

    Not sure what John knew by that time. In a comment he made for a Tennis Channel profile of Agassi, he claims to have known about Andre's interest in Steffi before the '99 French.

    If he knew, one wonders what kind of game John was really playing.
     
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  16. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Honestly...this sounds really retarded. First you said he wanted to play with Steffi so he could look good due to her being attractive (actually, I think the premise of her being attractive is questionable....certainly their are always more attractive WTA players every year), and now you say he had a crush on her. What do you base this on?

    In addition, Martina didn't even play any slam doubles that year, so I would have doubts she'd ask retired John to play that year.

    Finally, Mac never liked mixed, and Bturner is correct...though I would not say "desperate". I think he merely saw a chance to bag another slam, even if it's mixed. Knew it would create some buzz and get some attention, and went for it.

    If he really wanted to court Steffi...(and he was involved at the time), there are much more effective and private ways to do it.
     
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  17. suwanee4712

    suwanee4712 Professional

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    Mac and Pam DID team up once. It was the 1990 Hopman Cup. I don't remember if they won, but they did get to the finals. In the semis they played Australia. They won a tight match vs. Hana and Mark Woodforde. I wish I had that match on dvd. Would've been a heckuva fun match to watch.

    I feel very confident that Pam would've won some grand slam titles with Mac. And I also think she would've won more than one grand slam doubles title without playing with Martina. Doubles was where Pam shined because of her intelligence and because of the nuances of her game. Plus her weaknesses were somewhat nullified with the right partner. She also had several win over Martina in doubles and nearly won the 1989 US Open doubles title with a young Mary Joe Fernandez against Martina and Hana.

    She was no Martina in singles or doubles. But Pam was a great player in her own right - especially in doubles.
     
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  18. suwanee4712

    suwanee4712 Professional

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    After nearly getting into a fistfight with Dennis Ralston at Wimbledon in the late 70's over a deliberate hitting of Mary Carillo Mac swore off mixed doubles. He never seriously considered it again until after he had ceased being a top player.

    During Martina's heyday, I don't think she was interested in playing with Mac either. In fact at Wimbledon 1984 Martina called Mac a "wimp." It wasn't until much later that either had any inclination to play mixed with each other.

    I do think Mac flirted with the idea of playing with his former girlfriend Stacy Margolin to help her out. That's always a dangerous situation though.

    Hana claims that Mac asked her to play mixed while playing an exhibition in Ixtapa. But she also said that was after several margaritas. Hana asked Mac to carry her to bed that night with Tatum O'Neal sitting right next to him. I'm guessing any chance that she had of playing mixed with Mac was over after that. But Hana herself rarely played mixed too except the few occasions that she played with Nastase and then much later with Mark Woodforde.
     
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  19. BTURNER

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    LOL I would love to see Hana and Nastase playing doubles. Talk about never a dull moment! I defy anyone to predict their patterns!
     
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  20. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    If they played, I think their conversations in those days would be along the lines of:
    MN: are you ready John? I ate 3 carefully balanced meals this afternoon, and took my electrolyte pills, I'm also snacked on some multi-grain balls, then i went on a 3 mile warm-up run, practiced for exactly 35 min, stretched for 20 min, and did an hour of anti-anxiety exercises to mentally focus.
    JM: (rolling eyes) I ate a cheeseburger and put these shorts on. Where are my tennis shoes?
     
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  21. LDVTennis

    LDVTennis Professional

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    Are you always this obnoxious?

    I wasn't writing a scientific account of their relationship. I was simply making inferences from what I heard.

    During the NBC coverage of the '99 French Final, John announced that he was going to ask Steffi to play mixed doubles with him. Why? I don't really know. Though it does beg the question, why now and why with Steffi?

    As to Martina, review her commentary for HBO's coverage of the '99 Wimbledon. She's the one who claims she asked John every year.

    As to John's interest in Steffi, who said he was wanting to court her? (He was and still is happily married.) All I was suggesting is that he was being something of a busy body because he might have learned that Andre was interested in Steffi.
     
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  22. LDVTennis

    LDVTennis Professional

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    John commented on his own mixed doubles matches for NBC at the '99 Wimbledon. I think the matches are own youtube.

    The feeling I get from watching them is that he is sexist and not very appreciative of the whole concept of playing with women, specifically with women as his opponents. In his commentary, for instance, he takes great satisfaction in hitting serves right at his female opponents just to see what they will do. When they can't get out of the way, he's almost giddy.

    He's also not very respectful of Steffi. He says things that make you think he was somehow playing with Mary Carillo and not Steffi Graf.

    Thankfully, NBC did not show the entire matches with him commenting because after a few minutes he's intolerable. It was great to see Steff play doubles, but in the end I was hoping she would pull out of the competition if for no other reason than to disappoint John. Quite happy she did. And, quite giddy that John's hopes were dashed. How do you like that serve at your body, John?
     
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  23. BTURNER

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    He fully admits to having a very sexist view of tennis for a long time. As his daughters grew older he learned and when he was desperate to commentate on the women's matches because they were getting higher ratings and had more enthralling rivilries, he learned even faster. Does not mean habits of a lifetime of speaking give way easily.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2011
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  24. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Right. Your "inferences". So you declare John had a romantic crush on Steffi, that John, didn't want to play with Martina because he wanted to play with somebody good looking.

    You freely admit, you were shocked and upset Graf would play with him, you were thrilled when she did her pull-out...

    I say it's pretty clear who has the obnoxiousness of a adolescent fan-boy crush on Graf. I doubt very much that Graf would be anything but embarrassed by your fantasy
     
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  25. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    What do you mean "busy body". He was so interested in getting the scoop on Andre's courtship that he arranged to play doubles with Steffi? LOL. Right....
     
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  26. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    this is true; martina ditched Pam late in their dubs career; while I don't think Pam would have won as many with a different partner, some titles would have been likely; she and martina paired up during both of their primes, I think
     
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  27. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I can´t believe John wouldn´t have asked Hingis or kournikova before Graf¡¡¡
     
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