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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 2010, 02:32 AM Thread Starter
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Who was 2nd, and 3rd best player of 1996

Obviously it goes without saying Steffi Graf was by a huge margin the best player of 1996. After that it was kind of a mix with 4 or 5 who switched back and forth power behind Graf. Novotna had Seles's number this year in the big matches, but Sanchez had Novotna's except for the Chase Championships. Seles continued to own Sanchez and Martinez. Seles and Sanchez did the best reaching some important finals, with Seles the one other than Graf to win one in Graf's absence. Martinez continued to post consistent results but struggled vs most of her rivals this year. Hingis came on late in the year and was about the 2nd best player for the final 3-4 months of 1996 after being a middling top 15 player the rest of it.

Monica Seles- won the Australian Open with Graf and Novotna (her two toughest opponents that year) absent. Lost in the quarters of the French Open and the Olympics. Embarassing early loss at Wimbledon. Runner up to Graf at the U.S Open. Retired from the Chase Championships due to injury. Other big win of year was Canadian Open. 5 titles and 48-8 record on the year.

Was 0-1 vs Graf, 0-2 vs Novotna, 3-0 vs Sanchez Vicario (counting Fed Cup), 0-1 vs Hingis, and 2-0 vs Martinez (counting Fed Cup) for 1996.


Aranxta Sanchez Vicario- Was finalist in French Open, Wimbledon, and the Olympics, coming up just short in each. Quarterfinal loser at Australian and 4th round loser at the U.S Open. I had thought at the time maybe she was the 2nd best player of the year but looking at it now with only 2 titles and a rather pedestrian 57-22 record I dont really feel that way anymore. Had she won the French Open final over Graf, which she should have closed out, I probably still would have gone with her as 2nd best player of the year but she didnt.

0-3 vs Seles, 1-2 vs Hingis, 0-2 vs Graf, 2-1 vs Novotna, and 2-0 vs Martinez for the year.


Jana Novotna- very consistent year for her standards with atleast a quarterfinal in every major event she was in. Semis of French, Semis and bronze medal match winner of Olympics, Quarters of Wimbledon (losing to Graf), Quarters of the U.S Open, and Semis of Chase Championships (losing to Graf again). 54-13 record and 4 titles.

0-2 vs Graf, 2-0 vs Seles, 2-1 vs Hingis, and 1-2 vs Sanchez Vicario for the year.


Conchita Martinez- A letdown after her best ever 1995 year, and yet like 1995 failure to take the big step in the biggest events. Semis of both the French and U.S Opens, losing again to Graf and Seles. Quarterfinals of Australia, 4th round at Wimbledon. Biggest title of year was Rome. 51-18 record. Head to head was owned by all main rivals except Hingis who she trounced in their only meeting in the Rome final, and Novotna who she didnt play.


Martina Hingis- U.S Open semis and Finals of the Chase Championships were her high points. Australian Open quarters, Round of 16 at Wimbledon 3rd round of the French. Only 2 titles and 51-6 record.
Drubbed Seles in their only meeting of the year 6-2, 6-0. 1-3 vs Graf on the year, 0-1 vs Martinez, 2-1 vs Sanchez Vicario, and 1-2 vs Novotna.



Actually reviewing all the stats I would say Seles was definitely the 2nd best player of the overall year despite the slight embarssments of her Wimbledon showing, the back to back losses to Novotna, and the bad drubbings by Hingis and a horribly slumping Capriati late in the year.

I would give the 2nd best to Sanchez because of the major finals.

I would go with Novotna next, then Hingis, then Martinez just behind Hingis.


So this would be my order for the year.



1. Graf



------huge gap------





2. Seles
3. Sanchez Vicario
4. Novotna
5. Martinez
6. Hingis

By the end (fall) of 1996 I think Novotna and Hingis were already playing a level above Seles and Sanchez Vicario which would carry over into 1997 but they werent for the overall year, despite Seles's poor showings vs both.
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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 2010, 04:24 AM
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Re: Who was 2nd, and 3rd best player of 1996

Quote:
Originally Posted by justineheninfan View Post
Obviously it goes without saying Steffi Graf was by a huge margin the best player of 1996. After that it was kind of a mix with 4 or 5 who switched back and forth power behind Graf. Novotna had Seles's number this year in the big matches, but Sanchez had Novotna's except for the Chase Championships. Seles continued to own Sanchez and Martinez. Seles and Sanchez did the best reaching some important finals, with Seles the one other than Graf to win one in Graf's absence. Martinez continued to post consistent results but struggled vs most of her rivals this year. Hingis came on late in the year and was about the 2nd best player for the final 3-4 months of 1996 after being a middling top 15 player the rest of it.

Monica Seles- won the Australian Open with Graf and Novotna (her two toughest opponents that year) absent. Lost in the quarters of the French Open and the Olympics. Embarassing early loss at Wimbledon. Runner up to Graf at the U.S Open. Retired from the Chase Championships due to injury. Other big win of year was Canadian Open. 5 titles and 48-8 record on the year.

Was 0-1 vs Graf, 0-2 vs Novotna, 3-0 vs Sanchez Vicario (counting Fed Cup), 0-1 vs Hingis, and 2-0 vs Martinez (counting Fed Cup) for 1996.


Aranxta Sanchez Vicario- Was finalist in French Open, Wimbledon, and the Olympics, coming up just short in each. Quarterfinal loser at Australian and 4th round loser at the U.S Open. I had thought at the time maybe she was the 2nd best player of the year but looking at it now with only 2 titles and a rather pedestrian 57-22 record I dont really feel that way anymore. Had she won the French Open final over Graf, which she should have closed out, I probably still would have gone with her as 2nd best player of the year but she didnt.

0-3 vs Seles, 1-2 vs Hingis, 0-2 vs Graf, 2-1 vs Novotna, and 2-0 vs Martinez for the year.


Jana Novotna- very consistent year for her standards with atleast a quarterfinal in every major event she was in. Semis of French, Semis and bronze medal match winner of Olympics, Quarters of Wimbledon (losing to Graf), Quarters of the U.S Open, and Semis of Chase Championships (losing to Graf again). 54-13 record and 4 titles.

0-2 vs Graf, 2-0 vs Seles, 2-1 vs Hingis, and 1-2 vs Sanchez Vicario for the year.


Conchita Martinez- A letdown after her best ever 1995 year, and yet like 1995 failure to take the big step in the biggest events. Semis of both the French and U.S Opens, losing again to Graf and Seles. Quarterfinals of Australia, 4th round at Wimbledon. Biggest title of year was Rome. 51-18 record. Head to head was owned by all main rivals except Hingis who she trounced in their only meeting in the Rome final, and Novotna who she didnt play.


Martina Hingis- U.S Open semis and Finals of the Chase Championships were her high points. Australian Open quarters, Round of 16 at Wimbledon 3rd round of the French. Only 2 titles and 51-6 record.
Drubbed Seles in their only meeting of the year 6-2, 6-0. 1-3 vs Graf on the year, 0-1 vs Martinez, 2-1 vs Sanchez Vicario, and 1-2 vs Novotna.



Actually reviewing all the stats I would say Seles was definitely the 2nd best player of the overall year despite the slight embarssments of her Wimbledon showing, the back to back losses to Novotna, and the bad drubbings by Hingis and a horribly slumping Capriati late in the year.

I would give the 2nd best to Sanchez because of the major finals.

I would go with Novotna next, then Hingis, then Martinez just behind Hingis.


So this would be my order for the year.



1. Graf



------huge gap------





2. Seles
3. Sanchez Vicario
4. Novotna
5. Martinez
6. Hingis

By the end (fall) of 1996 I think Novotna and Hingis were already playing a level above Seles and Sanchez Vicario which would carry over into 1997 but they werent for the overall year, despite Seles's poor showings vs both.
I would switch Hingis with Martinez, mainly because of their respective post Usopen results. Hingis trounced Seles 6-2 6-0 and lost to Graf in 5 sets at the YEC final, plus Hingis was beating pretty much the whole tour except from Jana and Graf at the end of the year.. That´s way better than Martinez Rome win IMO..

Novotna made SF, QF, Qf at slams, Hingis did Qf, 3rd, 4rd, SF, very similar records, and consider that Hingis lost to Graf as well at Wimbledon, same as Jana.
Martinez was Qf, SF, 4rd, SF, just a bit better than Jana and Hingis.

Its a toss up, probably the way they ended the year was exactly as it was.. but eventhough Martinez was 4th ranked at the end of the year, Hingis was on the way up and Martinez on her way down.. she even fell off the top ten in 1997 for instance.

It was very tough... the 4th, 5th and 6th.. not so much for you initial question thread

Gabriela Sabatini 2006 HOF
18 Grand Slam SF´s, Won 27 titles, 1 GS Sin, 1 GS in Dubs,2 Masters
Sabatini vs Martinez ?
Seasons in the top ten: Sabatini 10 Conchita 9
Straight Seasons in the top ten: Sabatini 10 Conchita 6
Seasons in the top 5: Sabatini 6 Conchita 5
Straight seasons in the top 5: Sabatini 6 Conchita 4
Tier II and above titles
Sabatini 24 Martinez 17
Record at the Masters
Sabatini has 2 titles 2 Runner up and 3 SF
Martinez has 0 titles, 0 RU, and 0 Sf
Record against the best players
Sabatini 40% Martinez 21%
Head to Head
Sabatini leads 9-6 over Martinez
FWTT Hard 111(111 + ny)Carpet 104(104 + ny)Clay 107(107 + 4) Grass 100(100 ny)
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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 2010, 12:13 PM
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Re: Who was 2nd, and 3rd best player of 1996

Seles struggled with her shoulder all year long (she didn't play from Tokyo in Feb till Madrid the week before Roland Garros, where she gave Jana a walkover or retired injured, I forget) as she opted against surgery.

Hingis ended 1996 ranked #4 in the world in the official rankings.

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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 2010, 04:29 PM
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Re: Who was 2nd, and 3rd best player of 1996

2nd Seles (1 Slam, 1 Final)
3rd Sanchez (2 Slam finals)

But the best player of the year was Spirlea who had her breakthrough on Amelia Island
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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 2010, 04:59 PM
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Re: Who was 2nd, and 3rd best player of 1996

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Originally Posted by hingis-seles View Post
Seles struggled with her shoulder all year long (she didn't play from Tokyo in Feb till Madrid the week before Roland Garros, where she gave Jana a walkover or retired injured, I forget) as she opted against surgery.

Hingis ended 1996 ranked #4 in the world in the official rankings.

It's because they changed to the new rankingsystem during the offseason.

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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old Oct 5th, 2010, 02:17 AM
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Re: Who was 2nd, and 3rd best player of 1996

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It's because they changed to the new rankingsystem during the offseason.
Ah, yes. The new ranking system which led her to achieving the #1 ranking earlier than she should have.

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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old Oct 5th, 2010, 03:20 AM
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Re: Who was 2nd, and 3rd best player of 1996

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Originally Posted by hingis-seles View Post
Ah, yes. The new ranking system which led her to achieving the #1 ranking earlier than she should have.
Exactly Graf lost her number one ranking on April 1997?? when she had 3 slams and the YEC titles on her ranking

Gabriela Sabatini 2006 HOF
18 Grand Slam SF´s, Won 27 titles, 1 GS Sin, 1 GS in Dubs,2 Masters
Sabatini vs Martinez ?
Seasons in the top ten: Sabatini 10 Conchita 9
Straight Seasons in the top ten: Sabatini 10 Conchita 6
Seasons in the top 5: Sabatini 6 Conchita 5
Straight seasons in the top 5: Sabatini 6 Conchita 4
Tier II and above titles
Sabatini 24 Martinez 17
Record at the Masters
Sabatini has 2 titles 2 Runner up and 3 SF
Martinez has 0 titles, 0 RU, and 0 Sf
Record against the best players
Sabatini 40% Martinez 21%
Head to Head
Sabatini leads 9-6 over Martinez
FWTT Hard 111(111 + ny)Carpet 104(104 + ny)Clay 107(107 + 4) Grass 100(100 ny)
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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old Oct 5th, 2010, 02:21 PM
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Re: Who was 2nd, and 3rd best player of 1996

According to my “weighted” ranking (http://www.talkabouttennis.com/forum/blog.php?b=186) the results for 1996 are as follows:

Player_________________________WR
Graf, Steffi________________19.15959
Seles, Monica_______________14.05796
Sanchez Vicario, Arantxa____11.39284
Novotna, Jana_______________11.13827
Davenport, Lindsay___________9.93777
Martinez, Conchita___________9.56912
Hingis, Martina______________9.23625
Huber, Anke__________________9.08931
Majoli, Iva__________________8.14327
Date, Kimiko_________________7.34145
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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old Oct 5th, 2010, 08:58 PM
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Re: Who was 2nd, and 3rd best player of 1996

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Exactly Graf lost her number one ranking on April 1997?? when she had 3 slams and the YEC titles on her ranking
Yeah, but it sort of evened things out for Graf in that one could say that she spent more time ranked #1 in late 1994 and early 1995 than she deserved to. The one who got really shafted was poor Arantxa: she'd have gotten to #1 a lot sooner with the additive ranking system and I don't think Steffi would have regained the top spot right after winning Roland Garros 1995. Under the divisor ASV's reign as #1 was just a blip. (And I'm generally a fan of the divisor ranking system. It's just that players like Davenport/Mauresmo/Jankovic/Safina later spent so much time at #1 without being the best player in any way, shape or form, so it just seems a tad unfair that ASV, who worked so hard to get to the top and certainly deserved the ranking, stayed there only for a few months.)

Best left-right combination by a German (and that includes Max Schmeling): Steffi Graf. All she did in 1987 was knock Navratilova out of #1 and try to knock Evert out of the sport. (Mike Lupica in "The Best and Worst of Tennis in 1987", World Tennis)

"A couple of years ago, we nicknamed Steffi Graf's forehand 'Jaws'. And that music would go perfectly when she starts running in to the net, swarming on that little ball." (JoAnne Russell, during the 1988 Wimbledon final between Graf and Navratilova)
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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old Oct 5th, 2010, 10:06 PM
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Re: Who was 2nd, and 3rd best player of 1996

Not to mention that maybe Sabatini, who got SO close to the top spot with the average system, would have probably become Nº1 had the new system been in use when she peaked earlier in the decade.

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post #11 of 39 (permalink) Old Oct 5th, 2010, 10:37 PM
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Re: Who was 2nd, and 3rd best player of 1996

I wonder if Martinez would have gotten to #1 in 1995 under the additive or Best N ranking systems. At point she led the Race to the Chase (or whatever the total points tally used to be called back then) fairly late in the season even though Graf held three Slams and the Lipton.

Best left-right combination by a German (and that includes Max Schmeling): Steffi Graf. All she did in 1987 was knock Navratilova out of #1 and try to knock Evert out of the sport. (Mike Lupica in "The Best and Worst of Tennis in 1987", World Tennis)

"A couple of years ago, we nicknamed Steffi Graf's forehand 'Jaws'. And that music would go perfectly when she starts running in to the net, swarming on that little ball." (JoAnne Russell, during the 1988 Wimbledon final between Graf and Navratilova)
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post #12 of 39 (permalink) Old Oct 6th, 2010, 03:41 AM
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Re: Who was 2nd, and 3rd best player of 1996

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Originally Posted by gabybackhand View Post
Not to mention that maybe Sabatini, who got SO close to the top spot with the average system, would have probably become Nº1 had the new system been in use when she peaked earlier in the decade.
Been there done those calculations already.
Sabatini had more Kraft Tour points than Graf and Seles exactly 3 weeks prior the Usopen 1991. Also had Sabatini SKIPPED Montreal and Los Angeles 1991, both which she played injured she would have been ahead of Seles and Graf for at least 3 weeks as well and this under the divisor system... The bad management by Gaby´s team was.. "Gaby needs to win Los Angeles and Montreal to be number one", when Skipping these events would have upped her average way more than if she had won those . Gaby played another event on a rush, 1991 Hamburg, after her busy spring schedule without any need (because she had 3rd loss in 1990 at the German Open), had she schedule herself a litte better and she could have been number one for at least month, probably more..

Graf skipped Montreal 1991, which she won in 1990 and her average ranking went up so she ended ahread of Seles going into the Usopen... maybe it was a smart movement or not, but not even if Graf had won that Monreal 1991 her average would not have gone up... she skipped it and got her rewards...

On a side Note Martinez would have been number one under the additive ranking systems, just after the Usopen 1995 just when Graf had 3 slams and Miami as Samn said, Conchita with 0 slam finals.. That is why the divisor ranking was simply the best system IMO..

Gabriela Sabatini 2006 HOF
18 Grand Slam SF´s, Won 27 titles, 1 GS Sin, 1 GS in Dubs,2 Masters
Sabatini vs Martinez ?
Seasons in the top ten: Sabatini 10 Conchita 9
Straight Seasons in the top ten: Sabatini 10 Conchita 6
Seasons in the top 5: Sabatini 6 Conchita 5
Straight seasons in the top 5: Sabatini 6 Conchita 4
Tier II and above titles
Sabatini 24 Martinez 17
Record at the Masters
Sabatini has 2 titles 2 Runner up and 3 SF
Martinez has 0 titles, 0 RU, and 0 Sf
Record against the best players
Sabatini 40% Martinez 21%
Head to Head
Sabatini leads 9-6 over Martinez
FWTT Hard 111(111 + ny)Carpet 104(104 + ny)Clay 107(107 + 4) Grass 100(100 ny)

Last edited by spencercarlos; Oct 6th, 2010 at 03:47 AM.
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post #13 of 39 (permalink) Old Oct 6th, 2010, 07:25 AM
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Re: Who was 2nd, and 3rd best player of 1996

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Graf skipped Montreal 1991, which she won in 1990 and her average ranking went up so she ended ahread of Seles going into the Usopen... maybe it was a smart movement or not, but not even if Graf had won that Monreal 1991 her average would not have gone up... she skipped it and got her rewards...
Graf couldn't play any warm-up tournaments before the 1991 US Open because her shoulder tendinitis flared up during her match against Patricia Hy in the Federation Cup pre-quarters. Graf had to pull out of the rest of the Fed Cup and Barbara Rittner filled in for her. The injury kept her out until the Open. I doubt that she was skipping Montreal and San Diego in order to get to #1: it'd have been foolish to not play any tournaments on hard courts prior to the US Open as a strategy, especially in a year when she was already struggling a lot with her consistency.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...r+injury&hl=en

As I recall the Fed Cup injury resulted in some minor drama typical of women's tennis. Graf had earlier criticised Seles for not playing the Federation Cup that year and then ended up having to withdraw herself giving Seles the opportunity to get in some digs back at Graf. Also of interest to me is the match against Hy. One report I read suggested that Graf could barely serve and and had to play two-handed backhands as she started to feel more pain in the third set. I've looked and looked and haven't found a single photo of this two-handed BH.

Best left-right combination by a German (and that includes Max Schmeling): Steffi Graf. All she did in 1987 was knock Navratilova out of #1 and try to knock Evert out of the sport. (Mike Lupica in "The Best and Worst of Tennis in 1987", World Tennis)

"A couple of years ago, we nicknamed Steffi Graf's forehand 'Jaws'. And that music would go perfectly when she starts running in to the net, swarming on that little ball." (JoAnne Russell, during the 1988 Wimbledon final between Graf and Navratilova)
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post #14 of 39 (permalink) Old Oct 6th, 2010, 08:13 AM
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Re: Who was 2nd, and 3rd best player of 1996

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Graf couldn't play any warm-up tournaments before the 1991 US Open because her shoulder tendinitis flared up during her match against Patricia Hy in the Federation Cup pre-quarters. Graf had to pull out of the rest of the Fed Cup and Barbara Rittner filled in for her. The injury kept her out until the Open. I doubt that she was skipping Montreal and San Diego in order to get to #1: it'd have been foolish to not play any tournaments on hard courts prior to the US Open as a strategy, especially in a year when she was already struggling a lot with her consistency.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...r+injury&hl=en

As I recall the Fed Cup injury resulted in some minor drama typical of women's tennis. Graf had earlier criticised Seles for not playing the Federation Cup that year and then ended up having to withdraw herself giving Seles the opportunity to get in some digs back at Graf. Also of interest to me is the match against Hy. One report I read suggested that Graf could barely serve and and had to play two-handed backhands as she started to feel more pain in the third set. I've looked and looked and haven't found a single photo of this two-handed BH.
Oh ok great, i concede that. But was a fact that Graf defending champion in San Diego 1990 and she would not have earned any more ranking points had she won that same event in 1991, she skipped it and her average went up and she was barely number one again going into the Usopen... Sabatini face this exact same scenario, but their team got the concept wrong. She already had played a heavy schedule in 1991, had won several titles, reached another couple of finals, and she was a little injured going into the hardcourt season, but again "she HAD TO WIN LA and Montreal".. and that was not the case really.. IMO..

I did this calculatons a couple years ago, because LVDTennis kept telling me that Sabatini "WAS NOT CLOSE" to number one. We all know she had to beat Seles at the French Open 1991, or that she had to win Wimbledon as well. But even how Rg 91 and Wimbledon 91 went she would have been number under the average ranking systems had she skipped those events (which she had relative early exits in 1990). Or number one under the cummulative points post 1996 system after Los Angeles 1991 ..

Gabriela Sabatini 2006 HOF
18 Grand Slam SF´s, Won 27 titles, 1 GS Sin, 1 GS in Dubs,2 Masters
Sabatini vs Martinez ?
Seasons in the top ten: Sabatini 10 Conchita 9
Straight Seasons in the top ten: Sabatini 10 Conchita 6
Seasons in the top 5: Sabatini 6 Conchita 5
Straight seasons in the top 5: Sabatini 6 Conchita 4
Tier II and above titles
Sabatini 24 Martinez 17
Record at the Masters
Sabatini has 2 titles 2 Runner up and 3 SF
Martinez has 0 titles, 0 RU, and 0 Sf
Record against the best players
Sabatini 40% Martinez 21%
Head to Head
Sabatini leads 9-6 over Martinez
FWTT Hard 111(111 + ny)Carpet 104(104 + ny)Clay 107(107 + 4) Grass 100(100 ny)
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post #15 of 39 (permalink) Old Oct 6th, 2010, 08:21 AM
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Re: Who was 2nd, and 3rd best player of 1996

Quote:
Originally Posted by samn View Post
Graf couldn't play any warm-up tournaments before the 1991 US Open because her shoulder tendinitis flared up during her match against Patricia Hy in the Federation Cup pre-quarters. Graf had to pull out of the rest of the Fed Cup and Barbara Rittner filled in for her. The injury kept her out until the Open. I doubt that she was skipping Montreal and San Diego in order to get to #1: it'd have been foolish to not play any tournaments on hard courts prior to the US Open as a strategy, especially in a year when she was already struggling a lot with her consistency.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...r+injury&hl=en

As I recall the Fed Cup injury resulted in some minor drama typical of women's tennis. Graf had earlier criticised Seles for not playing the Federation Cup that year and then ended up having to withdraw herself giving Seles the opportunity to get in some digs back at Graf. Also of interest to me is the match against Hy. One report I read suggested that Graf could barely serve and and had to play two-handed backhands as she started to feel more pain in the third set. I've looked and looked and haven't found a single photo of this two-handed BH.
Graf was already pissed about her backhand in 1991, with the multiple defeats against Sabatini, she even tried for a couple of two hand backhands in Amelia Island 1991 and Miami 1991. Those were the days where Gaby kept coming in almost on every point...

The point is that, it was before Fed Cup 1991..

Gabriela Sabatini 2006 HOF
18 Grand Slam SF´s, Won 27 titles, 1 GS Sin, 1 GS in Dubs,2 Masters
Sabatini vs Martinez ?
Seasons in the top ten: Sabatini 10 Conchita 9
Straight Seasons in the top ten: Sabatini 10 Conchita 6
Seasons in the top 5: Sabatini 6 Conchita 5
Straight seasons in the top 5: Sabatini 6 Conchita 4
Tier II and above titles
Sabatini 24 Martinez 17
Record at the Masters
Sabatini has 2 titles 2 Runner up and 3 SF
Martinez has 0 titles, 0 RU, and 0 Sf
Record against the best players
Sabatini 40% Martinez 21%
Head to Head
Sabatini leads 9-6 over Martinez
FWTT Hard 111(111 + ny)Carpet 104(104 + ny)Clay 107(107 + 4) Grass 100(100 ny)
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