Gallofa - Yes, Melanie's partly to blame. Tennis is very hard ligaments and joints, and Martina played a lot of tennis at a young age. Did Melanie say, "You have to go and practice, eight hours a day isn't enough"? Not that I've heard. Did Martina play more at a young age than her joints could withstand, causing chronic problems? Evidently. As a parent, was Melanie responsible for seeing Martina didn't overplay? Of course.
This is why we have Age Eligibility Rules. Too many young girls playing too much too soon causing long term injury to their bodies. Martina and Venus are the last elite players to come up before the AER would have applied to them. Orecene (and Richard) restricted Venus's tournaments anyway, so effectively, she's an AER-restricted player.
This is the reality of professional tennis. And gymnastics. And figure skating. Children are put through stresses on the body that injure adults. Repeatly. And if you want your kid to be a top pro, or your kid wants to be a top pro, you have to expose them to those risks.
But, while Melanie doesn't get a pass, she's hardly solely to blame. Martina Hingis is 22. That means for the last four years, she, not her mother, was ultimately responsible for the choices she made. If her feet hurt, she needed to stop playing. And from what I've heard, her feet and ankles had been hurting quite a whiule before she finally stopped.
If Martina didn't have this problem at 18, then the question is, was it inevitable from too much early play? My answer. No, it wasn't INEVITABLE. But if you got Melanie alone and asked her point blank, after she slapped you, she'd no doubt admit she at least FEARED she might be responsible. (Which is a pretty normal maternal response.)
Proud to be an American
Not blind. Not uninformed. We are party to atrocities. But the response of the world after 9/11 is worth noting. Even our most dire enemies offered aid. We should all be so lucky.