The Graf/Hingis rivalry

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Lionheart392, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. Lionheart392

    Lionheart392 Professional

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    I find this an interesting rivalry. Steffi leads 7-2, but they had some close matches, most notably the 1999 French Open final. However, it seems that Hingis never really got her head around Graf's game. Hingis has dominant records over people like Seles and Sanchez Vicario; she didn't have a problem with most of the older generation. And although many talk about her being powered out of the women's game, she is still a combined 17-17 against the Williams sisters.
    So what was it about Graf that gave her only 2 victories in 9 matches?
     
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  2. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Interesting.Hingis was a very clever player, with sound techniche who changed spins,paces,angles...but nothing seemed to disturb Steffi.I always thought that, to beat Steffi, you had to overpower her, just as Seles did on clay during her prime, and Martina Navratilova did when she was dominating Graf.

    Hingis game could beat and match everybody but, for some reason, she never found the clue to beat the german.
     
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  3. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    Graf played a game totally unlike most other women. One obvious difference was that one-handed slice, that stayed low to Hingis backhand and gave Graf better reach wide to her left. She was also a better all court mover than just about anyone else Hingis played. Hingis played positional tennis and depended on manuvering her opponent into awkward situations and off balance to induce errors or bad choices. It was virtually impossible to keep Steffi out of position long enough to gain benefit while that slice always made Martina hit up on her twohander. Let's face it Steffi was a perfect anecdote to the entire double-handed revolution in women's tennis. Virtually all other one handers (Navratilova, Novatna, Sukova) followed it to the net for target practice. Steffi did not give a target and gave nothing easy to tee off on in cross court exchanges. Ask yourself how many women with double-handers had a winning record vs Graf?
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2012
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  4. Roy125

    Roy125 Professional

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    Hingis relied on controlling the middle of the court and outmaneuvering her opponents. Graf, with her speed, was able to keep up with Hingis's shots.
     
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  5. 1970CRBase

    1970CRBase Guest

    The same thing that Hingis used to destroy Monica, her variety and shotmaking, is the same thing Graf could kill with her movement and her own power. Still, all their last five matches went the distance including the notorious 5 setter at 96 Chase.

    btw Hingis and Graf are playing an exo in Taipei in May. Back in the day Cheeky Hingis was one of the very few players Graf really disliked. Are the cool with each other now? Hingis will be looking to get back at Graf over that 99 RG fiasco that she still can't get over even today, though I maintain it was the 2 AO's that she lost against Capriati that were worse.
     
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  6. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    I love talking matchups. Aranxta Sanchez Vicario played a somewhat Hingis-esque game of variety, getting a lot of balls back, using opponents pace, coming into net, etc., and, while her record vs. Graf was basically the same as Hingis', but 4 times as many matches (8-28 vs. 2-7), the fact is she beat Graf 8 times, and many times gave her trouble while losing. Why was that? What was particular about the matchup that enabled ASV to give Graf so much trouble at times?

    Then consider that Seles was more dominant against ASV (20-3) than Graf was but was pretty bad against Hingis (5-15). Of course part of that was that a lot of those Hingis matches didn't involve a prime Seles (the weight gain had started), but still, the matchup was simply bad. That's why when Seles finally beat Hingis in a big match (something like 6-3, 6-2 in the 1998 French Semis), I was so disappointed that she randomly lost to ASV in the final (while winning the middle set 6-0). It was totally rare loss to ASV and was probably her best chance for another Slam.

    I
     
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  7. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I was looking at the 1999 FO final and I couldn´t stop thinking how hypocrital graf´s enhancers and Hingis haters are.

    Graf ahd the best FH all time - men or women- and the best moves - also both or women- but she was just as much a ***** as Evert,King,Williams, to name a few.

    Hingis was arrogant and made a mistake, yes.But she was right, and the line was clearly not the one marked.It seemed that the referees were pushed by the french awful crowd.Hingis would have won it easily and humilliate Graf if not for that ( she also made the mistake not to let it go when she was dominating but SHE WAS UTTERLY RIGHT)

    Graf could ahve, at least, signaled the mark or round it.Instead, she was laughing big time, just as the big ***** she was.

    Hingis was a geniune champion, always smiling, her game was so unique, inteligent, chess-like.Graf was just a great athlete.

    Hingis was so hot and cute, she brought a fresh air that has been lost forever.Graf always looked like she had to go to the dentist...
     
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  8. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    gRAF WILL ALWAYS HAVE TO ENDURE 2 SHAMES:

    One not caused by her: Seles Stabbing

    The other caused by her: the shameful and unsportsmanlike way she won her last slam because ****ing french crowds ( who were crazy about that guy mauresmo) and ball-less umpires decided so.

    I feel bad for Graf: a great champìon GOING OUT IN THE MOST SHAMEFUL AND DISGRACEFUL WAY EVER¡¡¡¡

    Honestly, compared to that, coke´s small trouble for Hingis pales in comaprison.
     
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  9. Lionheart392

    Lionheart392 Professional

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    Erm, have you been drinking?
    Graf was not in charge of the French crowd, she could not control the way they acted that day. But for the record, I think the crowd gave Hingis exactly what she deserved; you reap what you sow. And blaming Graf for the umpire? Where is the logic in that?
    Finally, referring to Mauresmo as 'that guy' is unnecessary. Try to have a debate without resorting to that kind of talk.
     
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  10. dannykl

    dannykl Rookie

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    Why Hingis gave Monica so much troubles while ASV was dominated by Monica?
    Is there something special Hingis has but ASV doesn't?
    I feel Hingis is more clever in constructing points than ASV. So Hingis uses her viarieties better than ASV. ASV also has varieties, but doesn't combine them and mix them up as well as Hingis, especially against Seles.

    Although Graf leads her head-to-head against Seles, Hingis seems to be a even bigger threat to Seles. Can Steffi learn something from Hingis when facing Seles? Maybe Graf can use her varieties more, come to the net more?
     
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  11. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

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    First of all..the head to head is like 7-2 in Grafs favor...not much of a rivalry really as Graf won pretty much all their matches.

    As for the matchup...well its been said. Martina played lime a chessmaster and always tried to look 3 or 4 shots ahead. She tried to blueprint everything out in advance and against Graf there was no blueprint because there was almost no tactical weakpoint to bait her to. Hingis couldn't deal very well with a shot by shot match and reactive play...she wanted to be in total control and when you did not let her she was very beatable as proven by Graf then later Davenport and the Williams sisters.

    As for personalities...Hingis was no sweetheart. She had a big mouth and was not all that respectful of her opponents. She ditched Jana as a doubles partner for being to old, then she slammed her one time doubles partner Kournikova in singles when asked about their budding rivalry saying "I win all the matches". She also said of Graf something like "her time is over now" big words seeing as she usually lost to Steffi. Not to mention likening Mauresmo to a man before the 1999 Aussie finals. You may say things about Grafs personality if you like...Hingis was no peach

    But to coin Hingis herself here...
    What rivalry...Graf won most of the matches...

    And yes I know age and all that is a factor...but I could not resist
     
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  12. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    If Hingis, who shared the locker room said so, you and me must go abide.
     
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  13. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    No, Graf had more power but not 1/5 of Martina´s shotmaking...Seles was morre worried facing that shotmaking and privileged mind than Graf´s raw power and speed.
     
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  14. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    In Graf vs Hingis rivalry, claerly the beast beat the beauty...even , and specially in the beauty´s homeland.It was the story reversed
     
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  15. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro Bionic Poster

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    I think the h2h is a bit misleading (sorta like Henin-Venus Williams), out of 8 matches as many as 6 were contested in 1995-1996 when Graf was still winning 3/4 majors a year while Hingis was barely 15-16 years old at the time.

    Graf was injured for most of 1997-1998 which were Hingis' best years.

    Technically, the h2h in 1997-1999 should stand at 2-2 as Graf gave a walkowever in the 97' Tokyo final, the other 3 matches were 3-setters, in one of them Graf had to come back from the dead to barely squeak out a win - the 99 FO final that is.
     
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  16. dannykl

    dannykl Rookie

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    97-99 is Hingis prime years while Graf was already way past her prime and was plagued by injuries and surgery recovery. Still a seriously declining Graf has a 2-1 lead against Hingis in her very prime. Graf did dominate Hingis on court.

    While Hingis enjoys lots of success against players in Graf's generation(Seles, Jana, ASV, Pierce..), she has little answers to Graf's game.
     
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  17. Lionheart392

    Lionheart392 Professional

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    The match wasn't played, so it can't count towards the head to head.
    And yes, Graf had to make a comeback in the 1999 French final. But in 1998 Graf fed Hingis a third set bagel, and at Tokyo 1999 even though Graf lost, I believe she had the lead in the final set. Hingis never really came close to conquering her.
     
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  18. 1970CRBase

    1970CRBase Guest

    I don't know how anybody can find a way to blame Graf for what happened at RG 99. Simple terms, Hingis was extremely high strung that match, once she lost her cool and started arguing with the ump, Graf couldn't get a word in edgewise even if she wanted.
     
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  19. Warriorroger

    Warriorroger Hall of Fame

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    Exactly. BTW for the posters who are so dead sure the point was in. I am not sure which camera angle or close ups were broadcast in your country, but IMO you could not see from the replay we have seen, if the ball were in and out. Graf was not laughing about the call, she was she was laughing in disbelief that someone would make such a fuss about one call, while she was already a leading a set and 2 love.

    As for the match up. Underestimate a player like Graf and it will backfire.
     
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  20. PowerPlay

    PowerPlay Rookie

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    Hingis was a master...her game is missed on the current "hit it as hard a show can" WTA tour.
     
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  21. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    ... his tennis...and many more things she brought on court ( like her friend and teammate Anna Kournikova)
     
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  22. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    In any case, Martina was the last true great volleyer in the women´s circuit.There hasn´t been any like she over the last 10 years.
     
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  23. chandler bing

    chandler bing Rookie

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    Hingis and Graf did not like each other. Steffi looked like she wanted to rip Hingis's head off during that French Open final. Their 'handshake' after the match was very frosty, they just kind of bumped fingertips in an awkward way.
     
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  24. dannykl

    dannykl Rookie

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    I think they will move on and have a nice chat and re-match in Taipei this May.

    Although this time I think Hingis will win, as Hingis is in better form for tennis after retirement and is much younger.

    Looking forwards to seeing how they will interact with each other in Taipei.
     
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  25. andtapes

    andtapes Rookie

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    You are completly right!!!
     
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  26. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    We owe Navratilova to put to an end Evert´s domination.We owe Graf to put to an end Navratilova´s domination.We owe to Seles to put to an end Graf´s domination.We ove Hingis to finish Seles domination.
     
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  27. dannykl

    dannykl Rookie

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    Graf's first domination is mostly disrupted by her family problems and the label and attacks from the media. Seles emerges at the time when Graf was troubled and suffered by his father's scandals. Graf's second domination is ended by her own keen injuries and the following surgeries.

    Hingis didn't finished Seles' domination because Seles was not even dominant in 96-97. But still Seles was dominated by Hingis since 1996.

    The dominant power before Hingis' prime years was Graf and the termination of Graf's domination is not because of Hingis but Graf's own injuries. Still an injured and past her prime Graf has a winning record against a prime Hingis.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2012
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  28. dannykl

    dannykl Rookie

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    Graf is widely respected and regarded as the role model for tennis and the sport world. She is remembered as one of, if not the greatest and most classic tennis players ever in history. She has received numerous honours after retirement, including being named as best female player in last century for ball sport. Once again she is recently named as the best female player ever by Tennis Channel. Graf will be always remembered and admired as one of the greatest sport legends.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2012
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  29. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    You can´t count the steal at RG as a win for Graf.
     
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  30. DMan

    DMan Professional

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    Remind me what other names you've posted under.....
     
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  31. DMan

    DMan Professional

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    Graf sure looked happy during that French final. Wasn't it Hingis who left the court in tears! Was she crying about her upcoming dental appointment?! :twisted:
     
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  32. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Just KIKI... but I may change to the TRUTH MACHINE
     
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  33. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    She was hurt because stolen.French Crowd+French Umpires+Graff was too much for her
     
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  34. Rozroz

    Rozroz G.O.A.T.

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    i looked at the FO final on Youtube,
    and although you said (kiki) that Hingis was more of a chess player,
    it seemed that she was not more smart or versatile than Graff (at least on that match).
    also, Graff had those killers dropshot that Hingis didn't have so as a smarter player i expected her to also have them.

    ps. what about them Hingis pics? ;)
     
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  35. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    As I said, Graf vs Hingis was The Beast vs The Beauty.And HIngis had the beautiful shots, while Graf had the greatest ever forehand, men or women.
     
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  36. JasonZ

    JasonZ Rookie

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    The only time when they both played close to peak level was the french open final 1999, and hingis was one service game to win it. In my view she was robbed in that second set (if you saw the match you know what i mean).

    So their head to head would probably look much more equal if they played all their matches when both were in their primes or had the same age.
     
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  37. deacsyoga

    deacsyoga Banned

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    Graf was definitely not in her prime in 99.
     
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  38. JasonZ

    JasonZ Rookie

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    For the french open and wimbledon she was very close to peak. How else can you win against davenport, seles and hingis in a row?
     
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  39. deacsyoga

    deacsyoga Banned

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    Seles was also past her prime.

    A post prime Graf can easily beat a prime Davenport on CLAY. Do you really think prime Graf would even need to go 3 sets with clumsy clay courter Davenport at RG, or even likely lose in straight sets at Wimbledon.

    And as you correctly noted Hingis only lost due to her own meltdown from a winning spot.

    I am not a Graf fan but Graf in her prime almost never lost a match to someone outside the top 8 or so. I think about one every 3 years. In the past 18 months alone at that point she had lost to Sabine Appelmans, Julie Halard, Anna Kournkova, Patty Schnyder, Ai Sugiyama, Maui Serna, Natalie Zvereva, and probably some others I am forgetting, and that is with a limited schedule. She lost to Julie Halard right before RG, a round before Halard lost to Hingis 6-0, 6-1. She lost to a fat post prime Seles 7-5, 6-1 at the Australian Open, the fewest games Graf won in 15 career matches with Seles. No this was not prime Graf. Saying Graf was in her prime is like saying Hingis was in her prime in 06-07 when she went 0-3 vs Clijsters and a combined 1-10 vs Clijsters, Sharapova, Henin, and Mauresmo.
     
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  40. JasonZ

    JasonZ Rookie

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    Graf benefitted from the seles stabbing and super weak era from 1993 to 1996. Sanches-Vicario as main opponent? What a joke.

    Had prime davenport and prime venus williams played in that time, graf would probably win only the french open. And i dont even mention Serena.

    And it was than a meltdown from hingis. She was 2:0 up in the second if i remember right. Clearly the better player. She played a return that was 100% in and it would probably be 0-15, indtead the ******** ref called it out and gave her a point penalty, and it was 30-0 graf. one of the wordt referee decisions ever
     
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  41. deacsyoga

    deacsyoga Banned

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    I agree, but that has anything to do with what we are discussing how exactly? Hingis also benefitted from a **** poor field in 97-Australian Open 98 which was even poorer than 93-96. Amanda Coetzer and Iva Majoli as two of her biggest rivals and Jana Novotna as world #2, LOL! If Sanchez is a weak #2 what is Jana.

    Delusional on all levels. Davenport and Venus btw have won the Australian Open only once between them. :rolleyes: I agree Venus would be a very tough foe for prime Graf at Wimbledon, and both Graf and Davenport at the U.S Open.

    When prime Davenport and Venus emerged, Hingis won only 1 more slam, despite being only 17.

    Agreed, so how is this evidence of prime Graf when she only beat Davenport on clay which is no big deal even for post prime Graf, an equaly post prime Seles, and Hingis who had a meltdown. Bottom line is post prime Graf was 2-1 vs peak Hingis in 98-99. Graf who is 12 years older and had a boatload of injuries won her final slam after Hingis.
     
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  42. JasonZ

    JasonZ Rookie

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    I simply think peak davenport is a better hardcourt player and a slightly better grass player than graf. Peak venus even more.

    Graf is so overrated it is ridiculous. Would she been born in 1980, she would have like a sharapova like career. Cause the competition would be million times harder
     
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  43. pat200

    pat200 Rookie

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    this post is beyond ridiculous. i wonder sometimes how high are some people when they have a verbal diarrhea and actually go ahead and post it.

    post peak graf was 2-2 with venus (3-2 overall), 1-1 with serena (and beat her at the kooyong exhibition) and 3-5 against a peak davenport. imagine if graf was at her peak.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017
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  44. JasonZ

    JasonZ Rookie

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    Venus and especially serena were not at their peak. Davenport defeated graf in the 1999 wimbledon final, and graf played very well.

    Graf was an outstanding player, but she was very lucky with the lack of quality opponents
     
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  45. pat200

    pat200 Rookie

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    graf said she wasn't playing well in the final, her slice was not cutting. i know venus and serena hadn't peaked yet but the point is graf was way past her peak. but she is such a great player that she can STILL win slams being past her prime and beating the top players at the moment doing so. i presented u with the facts and numbers.
     
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  46. DMan

    DMan Professional

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    But she wasn't born in 1980 my darling, she wasn't! Like a true Selestial, the magic words magically pop up "woulda, coulda, shoulda." I do so love it how Selestials love to complement Graf on her losses. Such as 'Graf played so well in the 1999 Wimbledon final.' Building her up (she was the greatest ever during that match - so how come she lost?) only to tear her down ('so how come she lost?)

    And naturally Graf was lucky. That's all. The ONLY reason for her success. She rolled those dice so well, doing it each and every time she won 900 career matches, 107 tournament titles, and 22 majors. Pure luck, only luck. And of course lousy opponents. (Convenient to have them around!) Kind of like the same lousy opponents Seles was beating, right Jason darling?!

    One wonders how an off peak Lindsay might fare against Grandma Graf? Does Lindsay get a discount for her off peak status vs Stef? We know how peak (or was she unpeak then?) Linds was when toppled Graf at 1999 Wimbledon. Now what was Lindsay's total haul at the Big W? Certainly more than Steffi's 7, right? Or does Stef get credit with 7? What, only 1 Wimby title instead of 7?!? Jason really booted Steffi from her first-class Wimbledon Royal Box seat - to the back of the plane, demoting her for having such inferior opponents like 9 time champ Martina Navratilova, or some gal named Monica Seles - who never did win Wimbledon!

    Can we discuss Davy-Grafy H2H on hard courts? Or can we count the number of majors won on hard court for each. Math isn't my strong suit Jason, can you help me count? I struggle getting past 1 each when I tally up Lindsay's haul at the US and Australian Opens. And I know I said my math can be fuzzy, so clear it up for me. Is it 4 at the Australian and 5 at the US Open for Steffi? Or is it the other way around? C'mon! Inquiring minds wanna know!!
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2017
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  47. fezer

    fezer Rookie

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    tone is a little heated up, but i totally agree!
    i cant stand all those "prepeak, postprime etc" explanations.
    two players step on the court, one player wins and reaches the next round, other player loses. its as simple as that.
    noone would give Graf credit in her rivalries vs Evert/Navratilova. every defeat counts (tied vs Navratilova, 8-6 vs Evert). but on the other hand in her rivalries with Seles, Davenport, Hingis,Williams etc Grafs initial wins shouldnt count, because opponent was preprime?
    Davenport met Graf at the age of 17/18. Graf at that age already started winning slams, because this girl played decent tennis.
    Back to topic: when Hingis first entered wta tournaments she was announced as the goat in the making! of course she could have played girls competition, but she chose to play vs the biggest names - and got creamed by Graf, because Graf played decent tennis.
    if you step on the court with Steffi Graf it is very likely that you lose.
     
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  48. Greatgatsby

    Greatgatsby Semi-Pro

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    You are right but almost no one had a winning record against Graf regardless of their backhands.
     
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  49. deacsyoga

    deacsyoga Banned

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    Yet even Sharapova had a better career than Davenport. :D
     
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  50. 70後

    70後 Hall of Fame

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    How many times do I have to say this : professional injuries are a COST, not a mitigation.
     
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