Originally Posted by HanaFanGA
Also, like Mary Joe Fernandez (but not as successfully) I'd say that Manuela should be commended for becoming more aggressive post 1989. She won a bunch of titles including the famed Italian Open, carted of tons of cash, and married the man of her dreams and has a family. For all of that, I say hats off to her.
Yes, post 89 she actually tried to flatten out her forehand which even tho her results didn't imporve that much she was a bit more interesting the watch, instead of the loopiness earlier.
She lost to Kristin Godridge at Wimbledon 94??? and had enough of tennis and intended to retire. Without pressure I think she then made the semis of the US Open - enough for a US tennis mag to give her comeback player of the year.
I think the year after she made the semis again, taking a set off Graf before being pounded. Graf who had never lost to Maleeva was apparently very nervous before the match (she couldn't explain why) but when she settled down there went Maleeva's chance for a slam final. Manuela also publicy lamented her loss to Seles @ the French one year, leading 4-1 in the 3rd and maybe points for 5-2 saying that she felt she was playing well enough to win the French!! Seles wrote in her bio that Manuela took an injury timeout during this time of the set, in which she felt was a form of gamesmanship to unsettled her because she didn't think that Manuela was showing any signs of injury?? Either way it didn't work and Seles came thru.
Her win over Martina at the US Open one year (the previous she lost to her 60 60) was tremedous in that we actually saw Manuela animated on court. One critical running forehand pass had her jumping in the air clenching a fist after the points before had Martina shouting c'mon in an effort to drag herself back into the match. Great sight was sister Maggie running across the court to hug Manuela after the victory.
She ended her career well with a tournament victory - I think beating upcomer at the time Majoli?