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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old May 1st, 2011, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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Mary Pierce: where does she stand

After watching recent highlights of her 2005 Wimbledon QF with Venus and her 1997 AO F with Hingis i have started to wonder where exactly does Mary Pierce fit in the grand scheme of things amongst the greats of HER time. Many of the message boards here seem to think quite highly of her and put her even above players like Sharapova plus the commentators always talked about Mary as "true player" YET she was never went into a Slam as a favorite(she was usually a dark horse which she honestly summarize her career right there) and her results were beyond sporadic. She did end 7 years inside the top 10 but she always,even at her peak, had random early losses several times a year and she was never a force in the majors(which bottom line counts the most). For example in the 2 seasons that she won her Slams, she failed to make it past the RD16 at any of the other 3 majors both years. And her most "consistent" slam season was 2005 where she made 2 GS Finals and QF at Wimby but she lost 1st RD in AO and 2RD at the first slam in 06.

Now i know many will say "injuries blah blah blah" but aside from a serious injury in 2001, from 1994-2005 she only miised 3 majors! She did make 7 GS QFs, 4 Finals and ofcourse won 2....but she lost 1rd 6 times and 2rd 7 times!!! Thats alot for someone that is considered elite for her time
She won 18 career titles and has wins over literally every top player spanning three different generations(the mid90s/Graf-Seles-Sanchez era; late 90s/Hingis-Davenport-WS era and the 00s/Henin-Clijsters-Mauresmo-Sharapova era. And on her day she could smoke any one but that leads me to another issue.....her "day" was very rare and more often than not in her latter career she was routined by the top players(her H2H versus Justine,Kim,Serena,Maria,Venus,Novotna is very one sided yet her H2H with Graf is even, with Davenport and Hingis is close and she actually leads with Seles 5-3 lol and owns both Sanchez-Vic and Martinez).

I guess her achievements say she belongs up there but to me she just seemed far to inconsistent to legitimately threaten and challenge. And after her early years she was never a top week in-week out player, for her it was more about 2-3 STRONGS runs/events a year. Honestly she reminds me ALOT of Kuznetsova, 2 slams and a bunch of runner ups at majors;been as high as 2 in the world; has the abilty on any given day to trouble EVERYONE but very rarely plays up to that(though for very different reasons) and more often than not seems to be a very early casulty at the big events!

So where do you guys think Mary stands??

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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old May 1st, 2011, 05:36 PM
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Re: Mary Pierce: where does she stand

Perhaps she is a nun now

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old May 1st, 2011, 05:41 PM
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Re: Mary Pierce: where does she stand

When she was on, she could beat anybody anywhere. Loved her big game. I think she definitely made the best of her abilities and then some.

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old May 1st, 2011, 05:44 PM
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Re: Mary Pierce: where does she stand

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Originally Posted by MakarovaFan View Post
After watching recent highlights of her 2005 Wimbledon QF with Venus and her 1997 AO F with Hingis i have started to wonder where exactly does Mary Pierce fit in the grand scheme of things amongst the greats of HER time. Many of the message boards here seem to think quite highly of her and put her even above players like Sharapova plus the commentators always talked about Mary as "true player" YET she was never went into a Slam as a favorite(she was usually a dark horse which she honestly summarize her career right there) and her results were beyond sporadic. She did end 7 years inside the top 10 but she always,even at her peak, had random early losses several times a year and she was never a force in the majors(which bottom line counts the most). For example in the 2 seasons that she won her Slams, she failed to make it past the RD16 at any of the other 3 majors both years. And her most "consistent" slam season was 2005 where she made 2 GS Finals and QF at Wimby but she lost 1st RD in AO and 2RD at the first slam in 06.

Now i know many will say "injuries blah blah blah" but aside from a serious injury in 2001, from 1994-2005 she only miised 3 majors! She did make 7 GS QFs, 4 Finals and ofcourse won 2....but she lost 1rd 6 times and 2rd 7 times!!! Thats alot for someone that is considered elite for her time
She won 18 career titles and has wins over literally every top player spanning three different generations(the mid90s/Graf-Seles-Sanchez era; late 90s/Hingis-Davenport-WS era and the 00s/Henin-Clijsters-Mauresmo-Sharapova era. And on her day she could smoke any one but that leads me to another issue.....her "day" was very rare and more often than not in her latter career she was routined by the top players(her H2H versus Justine,Kim,Serena,Maria,Venus,Novotna is very one sided yet her H2H with Graf is even, with Davenport and Hingis is close and she actually leads with Seles 5-3 lol and owns both Sanchez-Vic and Martinez).

I guess her achievements say she belongs up there but to me she just seemed far to inconsistent to legitimately threaten and challenge. And after her early years she was never a top week in-week out player, for her it was more about 2-3 STRONGS runs/events a year. Honestly she reminds me ALOT of Kuznetsova, 2 slams and a bunch of runner ups at majors;been as high as 2 in the world; has the abilty on any given day to trouble EVERYONE but very rarely plays up to that(though for very different reasons) and more often than not seems to be a very early casulty at the big events!

So where do you guys think Mary stands??
Pierce only made it to #3 ranking, but you answered your own question in various parts of this post.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old May 1st, 2011, 07:01 PM
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Re: Mary Pierce: where does she stand

She really was a dark horse, but with glimpses of a great champion from time to time. She was always fighting her way back from adversity throughout her career, but had some great results in her career. She could have achieved more, but her flashes of brilliance is what made her so intriguing. Her comebacks is what garnered her so many fans, and she truly is missed.

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old May 1st, 2011, 07:34 PM
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Re: Mary Pierce: where does she stand

You are very right in most of your post.
What makes a difference between her and Kuzzy : when she was ON she was one of the most amazing players of all times which Kuzzy never was and never will be!!!
Indeed pitty she wasnt ON to often

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old May 1st, 2011, 07:40 PM
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Re: Mary Pierce: where does she stand

Like Dokic and Lucic she had a crazy dad. Thats a huge negative to a career.
She overcame that, but probably could have had a better career with a more normal dad.

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old May 1st, 2011, 07:48 PM
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Re: Mary Pierce: where does she stand

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Like Dokic and Lucic she had a crazy dad. Thats a huge negative to a career.
She overcame that, but probably could have had a better career with a more normal dad.
Well Graf also have had one...

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old May 1st, 2011, 07:53 PM
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Re: Mary Pierce: where does she stand

Mary was amazing to watch, she should have won that US Open final, but she was injured in her leg, and maybe tired too.....

Loved to watch her play



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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old May 1st, 2011, 08:02 PM
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Re: Mary Pierce: where does she stand

She was one of those players who can beat anyone on the particular day.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old May 1st, 2011, 09:38 PM
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Re: Mary Pierce: where does she stand

I always felt Pierce at her best was arguably one of those players who could beat anyone. She hit the ball has hard and clean as anyone out there, and she could make a match totally about her, it wouldn't matter what her opponent would do, she would just blitz them off court anyway.

Having said that, I do believe she is slightly over-rated in terms of how this board views her (Perhaps to do with how she left the game with the terrible injury) She was slow, unathletic and had numerous problems staying in shape. Unlike a Davenport, Pierce wasn't someone you could rely on being in SF's or Finals week in or week out, she was too inconsistent and could be exploited if she wasn't at her best. There's a reason her great spells came every 5 years or so.

But on her day she was a fantastic player whose power hitting is missed on the WTA.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old May 1st, 2011, 09:43 PM
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Re: Mary Pierce: where does she stand

I think there are a couple reasons why Mary Pierce didnt do as good as one would expect her to, considering some of the performances she put on.

1. Her Fitness was never a huge thing for her. I remember right before her 05 RG run that a commentator (not sure of his name anylonger) said something to the effect of " have you seen Mary Pierce? she has gotten really fit recently and I believe she is gonna really do some damage." And she then went on to have her best season in her career, consistency wise.

2. Mary had a similar problem to what Sharapova has, in that she loves to consistently try to play low percentage shots to end points prematurely. When she is really at her best she had that capability... but if she was a little bit off those low percentage shots would end up going out or long, and then all you had to do against her was keep the ball in play. She didnt really seem to "know" how to pull back all that much when she needed to. I like to think of her as constantly flooring the gas pedal. There are times when you need to deccelerate a little and take it down a notch.

3. Because of her general lack of fitness during her career, it made her more prone to having nagging injuries. Now, those injuries dont necessarily even have to be career threatening, the fact that she consistently got them meant that she never really got into a good career run.

4. Until 05, when she was already physically past her peak, she wasnt ever the best mover in the world. So she could be ran from side to side alot, similar to davenport. Had she worked harder on her fitness when she wasnt nearing 30, she might of gained some foot speed during the later 90s and that could of helped her tremendously.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old May 1st, 2011, 09:55 PM
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Re: Mary Pierce: where does she stand

I think throughout her career she really missed the mark with her physical training. She would bulk up with muscle and then probably get a little lazy and gain weight. If she had worked on agility and flexibility she could have avoided some nagging injuries. At any rate, Mary was a comet player. Momentum wasn't really her thing anyway. She could show up and obliterate a field and then lose the next week to a qualifier when she was healthy.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old May 1st, 2011, 10:30 PM
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Re: Mary Pierce: where does she stand

so you're all saying she is a better "le' cake" ?

i think otherwise.
she was very 'french' - a real lady. she hit big, and bossed the points - but tennis to her was somewhat of a way around the world, the sights and people. she enjoyed the big stages and the highlights, but she didn't enjoy working too hard for it, and most of the year was, well - boring.
it's not her lack of intensity, nor consistency - it's all the hard work and time between the first round and the final that she'd have rather skipped.

perhaps the whole seeding system wasn't any good for her. she'd have rather played the top10 players all the time (see YEC).

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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old May 1st, 2011, 11:07 PM
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Re: Mary Pierce: where does she stand

I haven't seen it uploaded yet but she was absolutely incredible in the mixed doubles final at Wimbledon in 05 - she had absolutely no fear whatsoever of going toe to toe with the men and often times outhitting them. It was a suitable ending that she should rocket a ball from the baseline between the oppositions flailing rackets to take the championships. I think regardless of her Grand Slam titles that Maam played her greatest tennis in the twilight of her career in 05, some really great performances and some heartbreaking defeats but she did everything with a wonderful smile and true class.

RIP Elena Baltacha, thank you for dedicating your life to a sport we all love. You'll be missed but never forgotten.
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