Originally Posted by NadalAgassi
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.
Well Hingis lucked out by winning most of her slams before the Williams Sisters and Davenport matured or reached their peaks. But then even a 17 year old Serena had far too much for her in the 1999 US Open final.
On hard courts Henin won 19 titles to Hingis's 17.
Also apart from Hingis's 1999 Australian Open title (where still fortunately for her Mauresmo took out Davenport for her), her other 3 hard court slams had very lightweight draws. I would say that Henin beat much stronger opponents to win her 3 hard court slams all in all. The Clijsters of 2003/2004 that Henin beat to win her 2003 US Open and 2004 Australian Open titles was still a much stronger opponent than any of the 4 opponents that Hingis beat to win her 4 hard court slams (an unseeded Pierce, baby Venus, Martinez and a young Mauresmo). Not to mention that Henin beat Serena and Venus en-route to her 2007 US Open title. Hingis of course did that at the 2001 Aussie Open but couldn't get the job done in the final.
Henin won the olympic gold medal as well. I would take peak Henin over peak Hingis on hard courts in an instant, and even a subpar Henin over a subpar Hingis. I don't think the Hingis of any year could have lived with the Henin of 2007 and her superior firepower on hard courts.
On indoors you are right Hingis's achievements are better with a lot more titles. Then again they both have 2 YEC titles so Henin is not too far behind.
And while Henin didn't dominate a strong clay court field, was it any worse than the pathetically weak hard court field than Hingis dominated from 1997 to early 1998. I very much doubt it.
As far as the world no. 1 ranking goes, at least during every week that Henin spent as the world no. 1, she held a grand slam title. During about 40% of Hingis's time as world no. 1 which came after she lost the 2000 Australian Open final, she didn't hold any grand slam titles.