Originally Posted by Gizo
Regarding Henin and Hingis, Hingis won 3 out of her 5 slams in 1997 which was one of the weakest years in the history of women's tennis. Her competition was pretty thin on the ground that year. Henin won her 7 slams between 2003-2007, and all 5 of those years had a stronger level of competition than 1997 did.
Also Hingis won Wimbledon and Henin didn't, but Hingis got her title in 1997 before Davenport, the Williams sisters, Mauresmo etc peaked. Fair play to her for that though. She beat an injured Novotna in the final that year. I really don't think Henin was any worse a player on grass than Hingis was to be honest. At her peak she had to contend with far stronger grass court opponents than Hingis did during hers.
The two players were of a pretty similar standard on hard courts, grass and indoors but Henin was clearly much better on clay.
You are right 1997 was a really weak year. Hingis though showed in late 96 she was ready to seriously challenge a prime Graf for #1, it was just unfortunate Graf got injured and she couldnt prove herself vs her. Hingis was #1 ranked most of 1998-2001 vs a very strong field, and while she only won 2 majors her ranking was not controversial until 2001. She had chances to win a number more too but choked some away, made many finals, won a WTA Championships, and won many tournaments. 2003 was a very strong year, but Henin lucked out with both Williams getting injured and missing the U.S Open, and Serena the 04 Australian Open, and this added with the French Open she won by beating Serena gave her the appearance of a dominant run. 2004-2007 were all pretty average years for the WTA, stronger than 1997, but much weaker than 1998-2003. The clay field was never at all strong this period and that is where most of Henin's major titles after winning the 03 U.S Open and 04 Australian Open sans Williams came.
I dont know if they are similar on hard courts. Hingis has a far better Australian Open record. Henin has 2 U.S Open titles and played amazing tennis to win both, but Hingis's overall record is far more consistent there. Henin never won Miami, one of the biggest hard court events, Hingis has won it twice and always performed well there.
I also dont know that they are similar indoors. Hasnt Hingis posted alot more top results indoors than Henin.