Who is the best clay courter out of this group-Mandilikova, Conchita Martinez, Sabatini, or Hingis:
Hana- overall performances on regular clay circuit nothing on those others, yet is the only one with a French Open title, and by far the biggest wins at Roland Garros of those. Consistent and formidable performer at Roland Garros, only on rare occasion going down easily even to the best (eg- Evert in 86).
Sabatini- master of regular clay circuit, Premier title, Tier 1 titles, Tier 2 titles, one after another in prime. Frequent wins over Steffi Graf on regular clay circuit. Yet at Roland Garros a bunch of semifinal defeats and no big victories, just some near misses and dramatic losses to the big names. Admirable efforts at the 87 French vs Graf and 92 French vs Seles but came up short on both occasions, and even had she won would not have been a lock to win in either final.
Martinez- like Sabatini a master of the regular clay circuit, won Rome 4 years in a row. However unlike Sabatini her gravy period began rolling in after the Seles stabbing, and Graf cutting down her schedule and barely playing outside the slams due to her bad back. Also probably benefited from Sabatini's decline. At Roland Garros made only 1 final, years past her prime, which she then proceeded to lose in a winnable match vs Mary Pierce. Only big victory ever at RG was over an over the hill Sanchez Vicario at that 2000 French. Never beat Graf, Seles, Sabatini, even Pierce, or Sanchez in any other year, nor ever played Hingis, at the French. No wins over Graf or Seles on clay at all. I dont mean to give an unfair slant but you can tell Martinez isnt my choice I guess, lol! In fairness to her should mention eons past her prime in 2005 took the great Justine Henin, one of the 4 best clay courters of the last 40 years along with Evert, Graf, and Seles, to 3 sets in the 1st round.
Hingis- Great success on overall clay circuit but a bit less than Sabatini and Martinez, but much more than Hana. At Roland Garros was a super consisetent performer for years, finals or semis every year from 97-2001, but failed to win a single title, despite no truly great clay courter in their prime these years, and no dominant force on the circuit. Was arguably the favorite to win all 5 and won none.
Last edited by NadalAgassi : 10-07-2012 at 10:41 AM.