Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Tennis_Maestro, Apr 30, 2007.
Are you a Graf hater or Hingis lover because your views are so biased it's laughable.
Hingis is a great player but hardly a better player when compared to Steffi.
Anointedone... Hingis only won twice against Steffi (both wins went to distance) , while her other win was a default, w/o ..
And there's no way Hingis could've beaten a pre-stabbing Seles... especially on the slams. Pre-stabbing Seles was more vicious, and way faster than the taller and heavier post-stabbing Seles.
Your post is so unbelievably biased... even worse than Condoleezza.
I don't agree with any of this because when Graf first started playing Hingis she was already past her prime. Giving someone a tough match is a totally different thing to actually beating them. Even a past her prime Graf has a winning record over Hingis, which stands at 7-2 in Graf's favor.
This is how I see their matches played out if they played one another during their prime:
Seles would have overwhelmed her with POWER just like the Williams sisters, Davenport and Capriati did, Graf would have used her powerful forehand and footspeed to beat Hingis just like she did at the FO 1999, Martina would have served and volleyed her off the court and Evert would have definitely outlasted and outrallied her from the baseline and also would have out-thought Hingis as well.
Hingis is a great player and may have gotten a win or two here and there ala Sanchez-Vicario or Mandlikova but she is not in the same league with Evert, Navratilova, Graf or Seles. The early promise that she showed to become one of the all time greats never came to fruition.
You are way off base in saying Graf was the one past her prime when she first started playing Hingis. Graf was dominating tennis the first 2 years she played Hingis, and Hingis was mostly 14 or 15 years old and just starting on tour. Graf played 2 of her 9 matches with Hingis in 1995. Graf won all 3 time she played in 1995 and Hingis was 14. Graf played 4 of her 9 matches with Hingis in 1996 and Hingis was 15 for 3 of those 4, just turned 16 for the last, only made the top 10 late in the year and made her first ever slam semi at the U.S Open that year. So 6 of 9 matches were when Graf was in her prime, and Hingis was not.
Despite Graf clearly being in her prime and Hingis clearly not for those 4 1996 matches Hingis was a handful. Graf lost to Hingis on clay at the Italian Open.
Graf beat Hingis easily at Wimbledon. Graf had to save 5 set points vs Hingis in the U.S Open semis. Hingis took Graf to 5 sets in a loss in the year end Championships, despite cramping halfway through the 4th set when up 5-1.
Using that French Open win for Graf as a good reference point is a bit of a joke if you are trying to argue in Graf's favor. Hingis was dominating that match and the crowd got involved and were downright malicious, and helped to turn the whole match around. Hingis had the match firmly in control and should have won 6-4, 6-4, but let the crowd angst towards her affect her, and she fell apart. She certainly wasnt "overpowered" by Graf in that match.
How would Hingis have done vs those players you mention in their primes, other then Graf? It is hard to say but Graf won most of her slams vs an older Navratilova and Evert, a post-stabbing Seles, or players like Sanchez, Novotna, Sabatini, all of who Hingis would own anyway.
I would take Graf for sure. Graf has that knifing slice, great serve, and amazing movement all coupled with the mind. Martina has all the variety, court sense, and ability to play like a champion at the right times. Though the matches would be close, Graf can always knife the slice low to the Hingis semi-westergrip forehand which opens things up. The bottom line is Graf wouldn't make too many errors and Hingis would be forced to go for more than she is comfortable with- the only way I see Hingis winning on a consistent basis is if she gets in better shape. Graf would stay out there all day to win a point, even if it required 20 slices in a row crosscourt.
Hingis may have been a handful for Graf but she still didn't win but 2 matches against Graf in their short rivalry. Steffi was having injury problems even in 1995 and 96 before they got more serious from 97 onward. Like I said in my earlier post, giving someone a tough match is completely different from actually beating them.
As for the 5 set YEC final that went to 5 sets, Hingis lost two sets at love in that match. She gave Graf a bit of a tussle for a while but it wasnt ever really in doubt that Graf would win the match, and yes I did see the match and am aware of her cramping in the 5th set and the reason she cramped was because Steffi ran her into the ground. Final score was 6-3 4-6 6-0 4-6 6-0 to Graf.
I have the 99 FO final on video tape and I am well aware of the crowd and how they reacted to Hingis but in the last set and a half Graf definitely raised the level of her game and was hitting winner after winner or Hingis made an error. Hingis did play superbly in the 1st set and a half and I also agree that she did indeed fall apart a little, but that is her own fault because if you're a tennis pro whose mind is supposed to be your strongest weapon, well then you just don't let distractions bother you and fall apart like she did.
One last thing: If you think that Hingis could beat Navratilova, Evert or Seles in their PRIME, and for the record I don't think Seles was EVER AGAIN in her prime once she returned from the stabbing, then you have lost your mind. Even though I think Hingis is a great player, all three of those all time best players would have eaten her for lunch, just like the Williams sisters and Davenport do/did.
Giving someone a tough match is completely different then actually beating them if both players are in their prime. My point is that in 1995-1996 Graf was in her prime and Hingis was not in hers, and she was still a handful for Graf. The fact Hingis at 14 or 15 was a handful for Graf in her prime is significant, and the difficulty of the matches is signifcant when put in that context.
Point taken, but since it was still a 5 setter read above.
It is easier to say that watching on TV at home then being out in front of a packed stadium when they turn on you like. Alot of people blame Serena's loss to Justine Henin in the 2003 French Open semis on the crowd, but the crowd were much worse to Hingis in the 1999 French Open final, and she was much more clearly in control of that match then Serena the Justine match.
To just make a sweeping statement like the Williams and Davenport "ate Hingis for lunch" is completely outrageous. If you take away Serena's 2 losses to Hingis in 1998, and only count their matches from 1999-onwards Serena's edge is still a very competitive 7-4. It could also be argued in some of those laters matches Hingis was not her best anymore(it is 7-6 Serena only counting the two 98 matches). Hingis leads Venus 11-10. If you take away their 8 97-98 matches, and only start in 1999 when Venus first became a huge contender then it is a very competitive 8-5 for Venus, and once again Hingis herself probably was not her best in some later matches. Davenport leads Hingis 14-11 head to head already. Lets eliminate their 95-97 matches, and only start in 98, it would be 11-6 Davenport, still far from "eating for lunch". Yes once those players matured and got their strongest they had an edge but Hingis was very competitive and got her share of wins.
Secondly this is a comparision between Graf and Hingis. Graf did not win hardly any of her slams vs Navratilova or Evert or Seles in their "primes". When Navratilova was still in her prime in 1986 and 1987, Graf was only 1 slam which was the French Open on clay in 1987. She had match points in the U.S Open semis in 1986 vs Navratilova, and would have beaten Sukova in the final probably, but like you are saying more or less "coming close means nothing, only winning does". Evert and Graf were never in their primes together. In Seles's prime of 1990-1992 Graf won only 3 slams. She won the 1990 Australian Open which Seles did not play, the 1991 Wimbledon which Seles also did not play but was on "grass" so she probably wins anyway, and the 1992 Wimbledon over Seles on "grass". She was close in the 1992 French final vs Seles but wasnt it you basically saying "coming close means nothing, only winning does." So all Graf showed is she could only win a slam with Navratilova or Seles in their prime on their worst surface, grass for Seles and clay for Navratilova.
Also since Graf in her prime was having trouble with young Hingis, and you consider Graf an "all time greatest" it seems even sillier for you to assume Navratilova, Evert, or Seles would have an easy time with her if Graf wasnt able to even when Hingis was an underdeveloped 14-15 year old.
It's good to see someone look at Steffi's slice backhand as a strength. Because it really was a strength. She used it to do more than just stay in rallies. She used it to manuever opponents around the court to get a short ball or a ball in the middle of the court so that she could hit her vicious forehand. It was a perfect set up shot as well as a great shot to keep her in rallies vs. other power players. Which is a gear not shared by most two handed players.
People have forgotten the strengths of a good one-handed backhand and that's a shame. Federer and Sampras provided us with great examples of that. And while both Steffi and Martina's backhands were criticized. But both developed excellent topspin backhands. I tend to think their backhands were criticized, not because they were weak. But because their forehands were so strong by comparison.
Then you have players like McEnroe, Sabatini, Mandlikova, Edberg, Larissa Neiland, and Catarina Lindqvist. Each of those players had matches where they would be just as apt to hit a one-handed backhand winner by you in a baseline rally as they would from the forehand side.
I agree on it being a strength but you can hardly call that shot a weapon when you rarely hit a winning/passing shot.Graf benefited from her backhand in an era where not a lot of players were consistently able to exploit that kind of play. She can afford to run around her backhand then, well primarily from her speed, but against a player who can consistently hit deep and hard, then Graf would be in a predicament. It is an interesting thought on how Graf would adapt her game against todays players if she played or if she had used the same tactic how well she would do with it.I really think her unorthodox forehand and running around her backhand played a major factor in her injuries.
It's funny how now i do see Steffi's backhand not as a weakness anymore. I think when she played against power players like Seles, Capriati who could pound and pick on the backhand it made her vulnerable. However, her backhand was such a consistent shot that if you didn't press it, it always came back with pretty good bite.
It's something that you don't see anymore, and I guess that's why I appreciate it more now. She had a classic game with a modern flare.
The French Open tells it all - Graf was at the end and Hingis was still in her prime, and guess who won -SG
Steffi was also a transition era player in terms of the oncoming power game brought about by the changes in racquet technology. She learned the game with a wood racquet even though she played her career entirely with a modern racquet. Seles, Capriati, etc. probably didn't spend much time at all with wood. I think all of that greatly influences how one plays. We all adapt our games to what we know know at the time.
I would agree with Rommil when he says that Steffi's backhand wasn't a weapon. But I still think of it as a good strategic set up shot. To make it a weakness, you really had to press Steffi. Which means approaching to the backhand and forcing her to come up with winners (like Novotna or Martina), or by using power and placement to get her off balance (like Seles and Capriati). Steffi did well fending the latter tactic off by keeping her balls extremely low. She wore a lot of two-handed players' wrists out by hitting that slice low to them forcing them to use more topspin and less power while hitting the ball just as hard.
I could be wrong. But that's how I saw it.
I would agree with the opinions presented about Graf's backhand. It wasn't so much a weapon but a great shot that was enabled her to stay in rallies and to set up her powerful forehand. I have watched Graf throughout her career and she did hit winners and passing shots from the slice backhand but mostly she hit winners from the forehand. I also agree that the best way to beat Graf was to overwhelm the backhand with power and not let her run around and hit the forehand.
During 96-98 I thought Hingis would go on to be one of the all time greats because she showed so much promise but that early promise that she showed against Graf was never fulfilled and I think her level of play went down more often than it went up as her career went on. Both Williams sisters aren't the players they once were when they were regularly beating everyone and when they play thses days you never know what you're going to see when they play, and more often than not it's a loss and not a win. I could see Hingis, even as she is now, beating them both these days.
I still stand by my statement that Evert, Navratilova and Seles in their prime would beat Hingis regularly. Against those three she would be equivalent to a Mandlikova or a Sanchez-Vicario, getting an occasional win but mostly losing.
So you are going to discount any of Hingis's wins before a certain point vs the Williams, and after a certain point? My we are getting selective. As I look at your username I wonder if we tried to that with Navratilova and Evert. After all Navratilova took a long time to truly get her act together and fulfill her full potential as a player. She then started to decline with age not long after Evert in fact, so to Evert's credit Evert seemed to have the much longer prime. However if we just took those wins how many would Evert have left? Yes I suggest to avoid those kind of slants it is best to look at career head to head.
How specific do you want to be? If it only from 1999-2002 Venus would still lead a very competitive 7-4. If you want to take only 2001-2002 which is kind of ridiculous since those were Venus's two "dominant" years so of course she would have the edge probably on everyone, it was 3-1 Venus and Hingis's win was a 6-1, 6-1 win while 2 of Venus's 3 wins were 3-setters. Hingis never played Serena during the period from the 2002 French Open-2003 Wimbledon when she won 5 slams. Since her only slam before that was the 1999 U.S Open, if you want to narrow it down from the 7-4 head to head from 1999-2002, to including the 99 U.S Open onwards it would be a very competitive 5-3 only edge for Serena. What Serena is today is irrelevant since she hasnt played Hingis since 2002 anyway. I would even argue on your selective criteria counting Hingis's 2 early 2002 losses is kind of silly since that is the year she retired her foot problems were so bad. Also for the record saying Hingis is in the better place now when Serena has won the two biggest womens events to start the year and looks like the unofficial #1 again is also silly IMO.
I cant speak much to Mandlikova since she is from another era. Hingis is on another level then Sanchez Vicario though, the fact Hingis has only one more slam just reflects how much tougher the competition Hingis faced then Sanchez Vicario. Once Seles got stabbed Sanchez Vicario only needed Graf to get injured/upset, or even in the very rare time outplay her in one match, to win a big event, as there was no other people blocking her way really. Hingis began to won Sanchez Vicario late in 96 when she started to come into her own, Sanchez was basically her personal b%tch. If you think of saying Sanchez Vicario was past her prime remember Sanchez won the 98 French Open which was one of only four slams she ever won.
Hingis would be more of a challenge to Navratilova, Seles, Graf, or Evert then Sanchez Vicario ever was/would be.
I basically agree with everything anointedone just said
I never said that Mandlikova or Sanchez-Vicario were better players than Hingis I just said that she would be put in the same category as them if she played Navratilova, Evert and Seles during those players' prime. Hingis most likely would be more of a challenge but she would still lose most matches. The Hingis serve and forehand just aren't good enough.
And Arantxa was already starting to decline when she started playing Hingis whether you believe it or not. Look at some of her losses and you will see what I mean. When any player is declining they can still have a good day, but bad days become more frequent than when in their prime.
Why do you keep pointing out Hingis is less great then Navratilova, Evert, or Seles, or that she wouldnt beat them in their primes though. This thread is not "who was better in their primes, Hingis or one of Navratilova or Evert or Seles". It is "who was better in their primes, Steffi Graf or Martina Hingis".
I still every slam Graf won is one that Hingis would have to if she was born 11years sooner instead, plus maybe some others. Lets run down who Graf beat to win each of her slams:
1987 French Open-Navratilova. Hingis would have been able to beat Navratilova on clay.
1988 Australian Open-old Evert. Hingis would have been able to beat an aging Evert.
1988 French Open-Zvereva. Hingis would definitely beat Zvereva.
1988 Wimbledon-old Navratilova. Hingis would have been able to beat an aging Navratilova.
1988 U.S Open-Sabatini. Hingis would beat Sabatini in a slam final.
1989 Australian Open-Sukova. Hingis would definitely beat Sukova.
1989 Wimbledon-old Navratilova. Again Hingis would be able to beat an aging Navratilova.
1989 U.S Open-old Navratilova. Again Hingis would be able to beat an aging Navratilova.
1990 Australian Open-Mary Joe Fernandez. Hingis would romp over MJF.
1991 Wimbledon-Sabatini. Hingis would own a player like Sabatini and never lose a slam title to her.
1992 Wimbledon-Seles. Hingis would definitely be able to beat Seles on grass.
1993 French Open-MJF. Once again MJF would be an easy person for Hingis to beat with both in their primes.
1993 Wimbledon-Novotna. Since she choked against Graf, would have choked vs Hingis if she had a chance to win.
1993 U.S Open-Sukova. For Hingis another certain win with this opponent.
1994 Australian Open-Sanchez Vicario. Hingis would own Sanchez and never lose a slam title to her.
1995 French Open-Sanchez Vicario. Again Sanchez Vicario is not someone who Hingis would lose slam titles to.
1995 Wimbledon-Sanchez Vicario. Yet again Sanchez Vicario would not be able to prevent Hingis a slam title.
1995 U.S Open-Seles. This is post-stabbing Seles who Hingis owned.
1996 French Open-Sanchez Vicario. Same results. Hingis would own Sanchez Vicario.
1996 Wimbledon-Sanchez Vicario. Another given win for Hingis vs this opponent.
1996 U.S Open-Seles. Again Hingis owned post stabbing Seles.
Some slams Graf lost that Hingis could have won:
1989 French Open-Sanchez Vicario. Hingis would never lose a slam title to Sanchez Vicario.
1990 Wimbledon-Garrison(Navratilova wins event). Hingis would never let Garrison cost her a Wimbledon title by beating her in the semis, and would beat a 33 year old Navratilova in a Wimbledon final.
1990 U.S Open-Sabatini. Hingis would never lose a slam title to someone like Sabatini.
1994 French Open-Pierce(Sanchez wins). Since Hingis had to play one of her worst matches ever to lose to Pierce barely in a 3 set semi in 2000 I dont see lightnight striking twice, and as I said I cant see Hingis letting Sanchez win a slam if she were in her prime with her.
1994 Wimbledon-McNeil(Martinez wins). Hingis would never let someone like McNeil take her out of Wimbledon, nor would she let Martinez win a slam title if she were in her prime then.
1994 U.S Open-Sanchez Vicario. Once again Hingis would never let Sanchez Vicario take a slam title from her.
1995 Australian Open-Graf DNP(Pierce won event)Hingis was less injury prone then Graf in her prime. Pierce does not beat Hingis in a slam final.
1996 Australian Open-Graf DNP(Seles won event)Hingis again was less prone to injury then Graf. Owned post stabbing Seles.
Even if Hingis never beat Navratilova in her prime on hard courts or grass, never beat Seles in her prime on hard courts or clay, never beat Evert in her prime, she still could win close to 30 slams.
I happen to disagree with that but the fact is that Hingis wasn't born 11 years earlier so why even bother with the supposition? Hingis couldn't even manage to beat Graf in '99 when Hingis was #1 in the world and Graf was at the very end of her career or even beat Iva Majoli in '97 when she was #1 in the world which would have given her the Grand Slam for that year, or beat Capriati at the AO when she was #1 in the world.
She doesn't have enough of what it takes to be one of the all time greats and GRAF is clearly a better player than HINGIS. I am not even a Graf fan per se, although I do admire her as a fan of tennis. Even if Seles hadn't been stabbed and continued to dominate Graf for 3+ more years, Graf would still wind up to be a better player than Hingis will ever be.
Hingis won her 5 Slams over lesser players:
AO- over Mauresmo, Pierce and Martinez-she's certainly WAY better than those three
Wimbledon- over Novotna "The Queen of Choke"
US Open- over Venus Williams who wasn't in her prime yet and got killed.
Never won the French***
***ALL the true greatest women have won all 4 majors at least once. If you look at my top 5 all time players in another thread you'll see that Seles isn't even listed.
Maartina Hingis, she's still competing in women's tennis and Steffie's backhand chip would woman-handledplaying against the power and geometric anaylsis of Hingis
Steffi has a winning record over Hingis. Get a clue. :roll: :roll:
I slightly disagree. I think the Graf we would see today, would be the Graf we saw last against Venus Williams at Wimbledon 1999. Both players in balance: Graf at the end of her legendary career, Venus at the start of a promising career. Graf played a player she hadn't played throughout all her dominant period: the power of Seles but with footwork as good as her own. Steffi played very smart during that match. Graf's slice is put on a scale with all slices, but her slice was a weapon. I believe that her most painful losses came when she was attacked on the forehand. Her backhand was more consistent.
Going back to the injuries. I feel it has more to do with almost always getting to the finals and therebye having played more than the rest of them.
Graf made the most of a very effective game: a Great 1st serve, an amazingly dangerous forehand, a nasty slice and that incredible footwork, but the killer was her mental game. A prime Steffi Graf (1996 not 1988 )would be a dangerous force amongst today's women. Players like Henin, The Williams sisters would trouble her, but would make up beautiful matches.
I feel Hingis has a more complete game, but she plays a spoilt brat game, rather believing she should win, instead of fighting for it.
Hingis wilted under pressure (eg. FO 99, AO 02). She was barely a tier-3 great.
Cry me a river ....
Serena would be in deep trouble against a player who can consistently rip her first serve apart.
So what's your point, son?
#1 Seles lost more than 70 % of her matches against Graf.
Capriati lost 91 % of her matches against Graf.
Maybe Graf's BH was indeed not that weak ....
Yes, that was on full display when peak Hingis of 1998/99 won 1 of 3 matches against an over-the-hill Graf. That is more than 33 %!!
Graf of 1999 was far slower than Graf of 1989 or even Graf of 1996.
current rank 3? you do know graf retired right?
ATBballkid and Condoleeza - No more hijacking the thread into yet another Graf/Seles debate. You have your thread for that.
Steffi gets my vote.
I believe TW ships to countries as well. You might want to check with them if they ship to Nigeria, YOUR country. Tightrope dance? Get off the dancefloor then because your moves are OLD.....
Are you off the dance floor yet Condi because your knees are starting to buckle.
Yes, but wants to buy at TW outside of the U.S.A.??
95 % of TW buyers are from the U.S. for sure. So TW goes with the money. Even in forums.
Is that really a new idea for you???
Newsflash for you if these concepts don't exist in Nigeria, TW is a business.
I don't know about this. No matter how I look at it statistically, whether from the BOAT point of view or GOAT, I always come up with the same answer.
Graff was 31-6 in major semi finals and 22-9 in finals. Her major 22 titles were spread over 1987 - 1999 (13 years inclusive). She scored 273 achievement points on my own system which when multiplied by the spread adjuster of 2.44 gave her a domination rating of 666 (worrying). Adding on her opponent adjuster of 528 gives Graff an absolute peak playing standard of 1194.
Hingis was 12-7 in major semi finals, and 5-7 in finals. Her major titles were spread over 1997 - 1999 (3 years inclusive). She scored 115 achievement points on my own system which when multiplied by the spread adjuster of 4.18 gave her a domination rating of 481. Adding on her opponent adjuster of 647 gives Hingisand an absolute peak playing standard of 1128.
The scores for domination tend to indicate what people refer to as greatness while absolute playing standard reflects the better player.
Even allowing for Hingis getting a much larger spread adjuster as a higher proportion of her achievements were crammed into a smaller space of time, her total domination is no where near Steffi's. She also gets the benefit of facing slightly stiffer competition in the form of her opponent adjuster but even allowing for this she still remains lower in the ratings than Steffi.
Honestly this poll is silly, the answer is more than obvious, you don't have the arguments to convince anyone that Hingis could even be compared to such an amazing player as Graff... btw Wuornos did a G R E A T sum up just above this post which clearly favores Steffi... when Eurosport showed Roland Garros Legends I saw Steffi's forehand and it was amazing but then again even her backhand slice was something I never saw a modern WTA player who could play such a deadly slice... so I'll repeat... Steffi Graff is at least 10x better than Hingis ever was...
Graf all the way
Graf. No contest.
Graf or Seles would have been a closer poll I think.
This is totally lopsided. Steffi FTW.
Graf is by far the greater and more talented player.
I am an ardent Graf fan, but I want to hear your opinions regarding that infamous French Open final. It was sparked by a dubious line call that Hingis felt was in. Graf was leading 40 - 0 so it was not a big point, and that is why I had a feeling that Hingis might have been right. She got a point penalty for walking over to Graf's side of the court to to point out the mark and seeing the replay I was startled! I never wanted to believe that Graf could do such a thing - she is actually pointing to the wrong mark to the umpire, doing it on purpose to get into Hingis' head. Tell me if I am mistaken. Stefi, how could you! Hingis was too young and naive, everything went downhill from then on. She lost the pivotal game when she served for the match, managed to get entire French crowd turn against her - that under arm serve was a childish retaliation against the crowd Three weeks later she got destroyed by Dokic at Wimbledob and never won another grand slam since. Martina, I am sorry for doubting you, Graf threw the bait and being 18 and naive you took the hook line and sinker - so sad.
Is this some kind of epic joke. Peak Hingis dominated one of the worst years in womens tennis history, and still couldn't compile even close to Graf's 5 best years record. She couldn't complete the Grand Slam which was all but handed to her on a platter since she couldn't beat Iva freaking Majoli in a slam final. Peak Hingis was 1-2 vs 30 year old post surgery Graf in a 40 years old body before Graf retired, and lost the mental plot to granny Graf in a slam final.
Hingis looked to have amazing potential when she first rose to #1 and won all those slams, but she failed to build on it at all, and the up and coming generation and even a late blooming Davenport exposed her limitations.
Hingis should have won that match for sure. She was clearly outplaying Graf for the better part of 2 sets, but as often was the case with her, her petulance and emotional instability got the better with her. When you combine her issues in those areas, with a general laziness that means she wasn't driven to push herself and improve like another small fry- Justine Henin, and her physical disadvantages, it is easy to why her time on top and even her career was relatively short.
I don't believe Graf did anything on purpose to get in Hingis's head though. Hingis did that all to herself. Hingis and Graf were not friendly though, so Graf was never going to go out of her way to stop the train wreck. I don't believe she purposely tried to cheat a point, but she wasn't going to concede a point to Hingis either, and I don't believe she encouraged the crowd involvement, but she also wasn't going to do anything to stop in. Why should she have? Hingis had disrespected her publicly ever since her rise to #1 in Graf's absence, even calling her old, not powerful enough, too unathletic (despite that Hingis is far less powerful and athletic than an even semi prime Graf), and even boasted "the field" was now too tough for all the old hands Graf, Seles, Sanchez, and it wasn't their own declines in anyway that led to their fall downwards. It was all her and her then amazing peers like Kournikova (lol), Majoli, Graf era holdover Novotna who was now World #2 behind Hingis, and at the time Fatvenport. I wouldn't expect Hingis to admit her 97 dominance was due to a weak field of course, that would be unfair to expect; but if you are dominating such a weak field, and the old hands are having glaringly obvious problems with either injury (Graf), personal diress and weight issues (Seles), burnout (Sanchez Vicario) you do not use their downfall to mock them and trumpet how superior the game is now for them to cope with.
Right on the money on all counts! And there is another little known trivia the one that Hingis should not be too proud off - she was the most hated player among the ball boys and ball girls (Safin and Kafelnikov were the most liked) I must admit that I could not stand Hingis, her arrogance (Sharapova could not hold a candle to her) her lack of fitness etc. . but lately I am willing to forgive her all that. Her career was decided before she was even born, she must have gone through hell as a child. She got hardened by what she saw around her - let's not forget that despicable Rosset incident when Mark Rosset's self inflicted injury in the Hopman Cup final denied Hingis the title, I have that match on tape, and Martina is only 16 having the time of her life (Goran Ivanisevic said in the interview that she returned his serve better than most men) Switzerland were few points away from the match in the deciding mixed doubles against Croatia with Iva Majoli to serve and than fiasco - such nice example to give to a youngster Mark. What can one expect from a young girl witnessing such deplorable behaviour from a veteran (Mark won 1992 Olympic gold medal, he should have known better)
Graf's knifing slice skidded through and stayed low, forcing opponents to hit up, while giving Graf the time to run around to hit her atomic forheand - the most powerful shot in the history of womens tennis. John Newcombe said that Federer's inability to beat Nadal is due to his slice backhand that doesnt skid through the way Graf's did, so he is left to trade topspin backhand with Nadal's leftie forehand - a lost cause!
I think if Steffi pointed to a mark, she believed it to be the right mark. I think if Martina crosses over to the other side when the rules prohibit it, she deserves a penalty. I think an underhanded serve is no less sporting when Hingis does it, than when Chang does it. The crowd overreacted out of partisanship toward a familiar goal, an underdog resurgence ! Last, I have no idea who would have won that match without the drama, but a champion of Graf's stature does not need petty gamesmanship to win, and she has won plenty of matches without pointing to bad marks to do it.
I'm not American, I'm European as are both players discussed. So have no axe to grind. Obviously Graf had the better career, and over-all, the better match player but I would have answered differently had it been who would you prefer to watch.....
yes, I was wondering if good taste was going out of this forum...
I'd far prefer to watch Hingis. she had exquisite timing and balance, and a imaginative streak. There was very little to enjoy in Steffi's game beyond that explosive awesome power on that forehand. Steffis style was as surprising as watching a bulldoser at work( not much can stop a bulldoser!) One clear exception. Seeing Graf move about the court and sprint was as beautiful as watching a deer dashing across a clearing . That was the only beautiful thing about her game, but it truly was marvelous.
Summed up nicely.
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