Honestly I'm tired of this argument, it wasn't Martina's fault that the 'top-tier' opponents were either in a mental slump like Capriati or didn't have enough experience to beat her even if they were her age like the sisters or slightly older like Mauresmo and even 4 years older like Davenport
. And don't give me the "Graf was injured" thing, she wasn't injured in 1996 (one of her best years) and 15 year-old Martina still beat her at the semifinals of the Italian Open. Besides, there wouldn't have been any awesome 2002 for Serena if Graf had kept on playing and was injury-free like Serena is right now, so the injured Graf argument works in both ways too.
Honestly I can't even deal with these morons that say that she retired in 2002 because she "couldn't keep up with the power", first of all have you even seen the players she was losing to when she decided to retire? Players that a year ago she was routining 6-0 6-1 on a weekly basis. Her ankles were absolutely done and she had to have surgery in both and sued Sergio Tacchini for it. She was 22 when she retired by the way, imagine if her body had hold up like Serena's, she obviously wouldn't have won 3 Slams a year every year but still, she would have won many more Slams, just check her record against other top players. Granted that 1997 had much easier competition for her than in other years, but again her record with the top players who were at her level back then is phenomenal. And 1997 still had much tougher opponents than 2009 or 2010
Okay I just had to let this out. I mean anybody who pretends to make Hingis look as some kind of opportunistic pusher who was blown away when the real competition began is just an ignorant. Besides, Hingis proved she was competition for close-to-peak Serena.
So much anger , so much bitterness , so much hatred in one post
To answer your rant :
1) Her competition was immature, there is no way Hingis fans can weasel out of that argument.
2) Serena unlike Hingis was a much superior athlete and did not have a losing head to head versus Graf.
3) Unlike Graf Serena is winning slams in her 30's. So your argument that Graf was going to MATCH Serena's level in her 30's is JUST PLAIN SOUR GRAPES trying to diminish Serena's accomplishment rather than boosting Hingis'.
4) She did retire from tennis, because she could NO LONGER WIN SLAMS. Her ego would not allow her to admit it, so she concocted the whole ankles thing. By the way do you know the outcome of the lawsuit against Sergio Tachini
Interview with Martina step father and her agent.
BLICK: Are really the shoes of the former sponsor Tacchini for that problem responsible?
MARIO WIDMER: We are dealing with a professional sport and the Tacchini-Problem has been solved. Both sides have agreed a composition and to maintain silence from both sides about it.
BLICK: Tacchini has paid a few nice dollars ,right?
MARIO WIDMER: Like i said "both sides maintain silence". And Martina is with her new Sponsor Adidas in good hands.
Considering her comeback her condition was not chronic at all.
5)I want to ask you why didnt she win multiple slam in a season post 1997 ?
6) Where was martina in 2009 and 2010 if the competiton was so weak. Her ban ended in early 2009. Still plenty of time for a comeback
7)She was not a pusher but she was forced to play defensive tennis because players with weapons could pin her way behind the baseline.
8) She was an oppurtunist in a way that she was at the right place at the right time. This was beneficial to her as she could amass slams at a rate unheard of for someone so young and damaging because it came all too easy and she never developed the skills of coping with competition.
7) Hingis was stupid and arrogant and had no sense of what was going around her. She could not see that the Williams sisters, Davenport, Capriati were all taller and stronger players than her, did she go to the gym to keep up, NO.
She kept using outdated Yonex frame and did not update her technique at all
All in All, she had a golden opportunity of starting a career in a spectacular way but didnt take advantage of it by adapting.
And don't even try to compare Serena to Hingis !!!