Wertheim doesn't hate Hingis after all!!! - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old May 21st, 2002, 07:03 AM Thread Starter
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Wertheim doesn't hate Hingis after all!!!

I always thought he hated Martina but then I read some of his mailbag..... btw, I like what Lendl had to say about returning errant serves cuz I do those very things. Kinda scared me though

I have a comment on the question asked recently about how the Williams sisters are able to win despite making so many unforced errors. Steffi Graf played exactly the same way! I have two questions: How do you feel a 25-year-old Graf would have faired against Venus Williams? Second question: Since you listed the most naturally talented men on tour, how about a list of top 10 naturally talented women?
—Derek Reis, Rochester, N.Y.

First, while Graf made her share of unforced errors, she didn't play like the Williams sisters, who sometimes seem as likely to hit routine shots into the courtside placards as they are to hit winners. Venus of today against a 25-year-old Graf is a tough one. I'll cop out and say it depends on the surface. Venus is too athletic and powerful to lose on hard courts. (Note, too, that Venus is powerful enough to make Graf hit backhands.) But on the clay, where Venus would have to hit that extra ball, the edge goes to Graf.

The most naturally talented women? Good one, too. Off the top of my head, I'd say:

1. Hingis
2. Patty Schnyder
3. Oft-injured (quasi-retired?) Anne-Gaelle Sidot
4. Henin
5. Anna Smashnova (even in getting her clock cleaned by Serena last weekend she hit a half dozen you-gotta-be-kidding-me shots)
Talent emeritus: Irina Spirlea

You often speak about certain players who possess what you deem to be "natural talent." ATP rankings aside, who do you think are the most naturally gifted players on tour today? In other words, when you daydream about the tennis player you wish you were, what player do you think of?
—Enrique, Lima, Peru

Those are, of course, two different questions. Wink, wink. But off the top of my head, Marcelo Rios, Hicham Arazi, Agassi, Nicolas Escudé and Safin head the "natural talent" list. I once heard Ivan Lendl, of all people, explain that you often can discern natural talent by what a player does when returning an opponent's errant serve. The players who, without thinking, slice a long serve so that it bounces on their opponent's side of the net then backspins to their own side, the guys who mindlessly bat a wide serve around the post and smack-dab in the corner, those are the guys with natural talent in spades.

All jokes aside, what does Anna Kournikova need to do to get back to the top 10? Right now she seems very lost.
—Tony DeCuba, Los Angeles

She may find her way yet. Though nothing is official, I'm told that Kournikova almost surely will hire Harold Solomon as her coach. It's a good move, one that she should have made months (years?) ago. Kournikova's most glaring deficiency right now is confidence, an irony given her bearing in real life. This string of opening losses clearly has done a number to her on-court psyche, as evidenced by her decision to drop down and play Tier IIIs, tennis' equivalent of minor-league baseball, these next few weeks. A few wins against anyone will help.

On the court, she needs to get out of the Bill O'Reilly no-spin zone. (Ba-da-bum.) Too many flat, predictable groundies; not enough topspin and craft. As we've said before, if Kournikova would observe Martina Hingis and learn how to junk up a rally, it would do wonders for her results.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old May 21st, 2002, 08:06 AM
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I always thought Mr. Wertheim was a very fair and inciteful tennis commentator. I'm glad you realize that he doesn't dislike Hingis. However, many Hingis fans will not forgive Wertheim for merely stating the obvious: That Hingis held on the the #1 ranking long after it was clear she was no longer the best player in the world. To some Hingis-heads this was clearly evidence of Wertheim bias against Hingis - not honest, accurate opinion.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old May 21st, 2002, 09:25 AM
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I don't think he dislikes Hingis. He must write what people wants to read, and since most Americans agreed Hingis wasn't #1, that's something he must agree on. And it was true, of course.

I find it disgraceful that he publishes the "stupid girl keeps wearing the shoes" quotes that simple aren't true.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old May 21st, 2002, 01:05 PM
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yes, but,
in this weekly column he did take a swipe at the hingis camp for allegedly persisting to wear shoes that hurt her feet.
so, although he said she is the most talented, he also took a swipe.
I'm not trying to stir the pot, I'm just pointing out that in addition to reporting that he thought Hingis was one of the most naturally talented women on the tour, he also though "shoegate" was a bit odd.

here is the text:
The Hingis camp claims that her injury is owed to her wearing defective shoes made by Sergio Tacchini -- she and the company have long been at loggerheads and have a $40 million suit and countersuit pending. I'm on the NBA beat this week and asked an NBA team trainer -- who's not, I hasten to point out, a physician -- whether he had ever heard of an athlete suffering a serious foot or leg injury because of ill-fitting shoes.

His response: "No, but I suppose it's possible. My question is: Why didn't she just stop wearing the shoes?"

Me: "She did stop wearing them. More than two years ago."

Trainer: "Let me get this straight: She kept playing for all those years and stayed at No. 1 and only now is saying that the old shoes wrecked her foot? That's ridiculous!" Make of that what you will. ... ________________________________
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old May 21st, 2002, 02:48 PM
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FWIW, I have a website with an 'alternate' ranking of the WTA based on the Elo rating formula (for Americans, think something similar to RPI for college basketball). Hingis was #1 as late as after the 2001 Key Biscayne tournament. It was only the loss to ASV at Amelia Island that cost her #1 for good.

And Davenport ended 2001 at #1 under Elo.

Venus was #1 between the 2000 USO and Zürich, and for much of the time between Amelia Island 2001 and the end of the year. I think she regained #1 some time in February, but I'd have to look through my old rankings.

My point is that while I too have serious problems with the WTA's ranking system, I don't believe it's produced a bogus #1 nearly as much as some people would have us believe.

Also, as I mentioned in another thread, if Venus wins neither RG nor W this year, and two different people other than Serena Williams win, it's possible that we could have Serena Williams as the WTA #1 not holding any of the four Slams. Wouldn't that be ironic?

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old May 21st, 2002, 03:13 PM
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hehehe, yeah TTT it is actually ironic. It seems like u should lose all 4 GS of the year to become #1 at the end hehehe.

But I still think that Hingis in 2000 as well as Davenport in 2001 were true #1 coz they won most of tire 1 events and more tournaments than any player won in total. So I'm ok with that.

The loser is the one who failed to understand that it needs to stand up as many times as has fall not once less...
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