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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old Jun 6th, 2011, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
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Head Cases

In watching the men's final yesterday, I was reminded how much I don't like watching Federer play Nadal. So many times in this match-up, Roger gets a lead playing aggressive, dominating tennis. Spectacular tennis like only he can play, really. Then there comes that point where you can almost visibly see the something click in Federer's head as Nadal stages a comeback simply by getting a few impossible balls back or hitting a passing shot or two. Roger's level of play drops to Nadal's level (especially on clay), and he almost never gets the upper hand for the remainder of the match.

My question is, are there any women from the past that you can think of who had this problem. It's borderline choking on a regular basis against a chief rival.

There is nothing more beautiful than Evonne Goolagong in full flight moving across a tennis court.
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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old Jun 6th, 2011, 11:35 AM
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Re: Head Cases

The ultimate choker was Jana Novotna, especially against Graf.
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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old Jun 6th, 2011, 01:43 PM
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Re: Head Cases

Rosemary Casals against Billie Jean King. No one lost more singles matches to another player (52), not even Chris Evert to Martina Navratilova. King won 48 of her last 56 matches with Casals, ending with a 52-11 lead.

Others who were pigeons of King's included Ann Haydon Jones (40-13), Francoise Durr (29-7), Virginia Wade (31-11), Karen Krantzcke (19-2), Betty Stove (19-2), Mary Ann Eisel Curtis Beattie (16-1), Kathleen Harter (13-0), Leslie Hunt (12-0), Helen Gourlay Cawley (12-0), Evonne Goolagong Cawley (13-3, including 6-1 in Grand Slam tournaments), Wendy Turnbull (11-1), and Kristien Kemmer Shaw (10-0, including 20-1 in sets). Someone King dominated in Grand Slam tournaments but not elsewhere was Maria Bueno (6-1 but only 8-5 overall).

Last edited by austinrunner; Jun 15th, 2011 at 05:42 AM.
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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old Jun 6th, 2011, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Head Cases

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Originally Posted by austinrunner View Post
Rosemary Casals against Billie Jean King. No one lost more singles matches to another player (52), not even Chris Evert to Martina Navratilova. King won 48 of her last 55 matches with Casals, ending with a 52-10 lead.

Others who were pigeons of King's included Ann Haydon Jones (40-13), Francoise Durr (29-7), Virginia Wade (31-11), Karen Krantzcke (19-2), Betty Stove (19-2), Mary Ann Eisel Curtis Beattie (16-1), Kathleen Harter (13-0), Leslie Hunt (12-0), Helen Gourlay Cawley (11-0), Evonne Goolagong Cawley (13-3, including 6-1 in Grand Slam tournaments), Wendy Turnbull (11-1), and Kristien Kemmer Shaw (10-0, including 20-1 in sets). Someone King dominated in Grand Slam tournaments but not elsewhere was Maria Bueno (6-1 but only 8-5 overall).
Wow, what an interesting stat for King. I'd venture to say, though, that the only surprise on that list is Goolagong, given that on any particular day when Evonne showed her talents during an entire match, she was capable of beating anyone (and did). I'm a little surprised that she only got Billie Jean three times over the years. I knew their majors record was lopsided, but thought Evonne might have more regular circuit wins than that. I always felt bad for Rosie- clearly she was influenced (if not intimidated) by partnering Billie Jean in doubles so much. Similarly, it could also be said that Martina stopped playing doubles with Chris for much the same reason.

There is nothing more beautiful than Evonne Goolagong in full flight moving across a tennis court.
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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old Jun 7th, 2011, 06:22 AM
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King versus Goolagong Cawley

For a list of their career singles matches, refer to this post:
Billie Jean Moffitt King career results

Last edited by austinrunner; Jun 7th, 2011 at 06:56 PM.
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old Jun 7th, 2011, 07:21 AM
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Re: Head Cases

How is it surprising Casals beat King only 7 times out of 55 meetings. King is far and away the superior player, she should win the vast majority of their matches. I would say Casals did very well to win 13% of them. The only remarkable thing is they somehow played 55 times.

I would say players that are the biggest chokers would be:

Novotna- 93 Wimbledon final vs Graf, 92 WTA Championship quarters vs Seles, 95 French Open 3rd round vs Rubin, 98 U.S Open semis vs Hingis, 91 French Open quarters vs Sabatini, were all epic chokes, the likes you rarely see that bad even today. And many other arguable chokes on a lower scale. You never felt comfortable watching her play whether you were cheering for her or not, always waiting for the inevitable collapse.

Petrova- I have seen her blow many matches over the years as well. 2007 Australian Open vs Serena she was playing amazing tennis for almost 2 sets, and while Serena did raise her game she really fell apart once she was close to winning. She even choked away a match she was dominating vs Oudin during her U.S Open run. And when she plays other Russians, especialy Sharapova, ugh. Definitely a headcase and mental midget.

Safina- Played awful tennis relative to her regular level of play at the time in 3 of her 4 biggest finals. Began to collapse completely under the pressure of being a suspect #1, leading to her losing to players outside the WTA top 100 late in that year. Major headcase in the heat of the moment.

Sorry I just noticed you said from the past. Well Petrova will soon be the past, and Safina probably already is anyway.

I guess another past one besides Novotna would probably be:

Sabatini- defeated Graf 11 times overall yet only once when it mattered in a slam (in 12 tries).
That win over Graf was her only win over any of Graf, Navratilova, Evert, Seles, in a slam event despite countless wins elsewhere. At her peak lost Wimbledon final to Graf after serving for it twice, losing her serve 3 times in a row to end the match. Then lost the French Open semis the following year to Seles from 4-2 up in the 3rd. Most famous of all lost to Mary Joe Ferandez from 6-1, 5-1 and many match points up at the 93 French. Near the end of her career blew a 6-1, 5-1 lead to Kimiko Date in the Miami semis.

I also hate watching Federer and Nadal play, especialy on clay. Roger is such a mental midget when he plays Nadal, it is pathetic, especialy for the so called greatest ever. There is no way he should have lost that French Open final this year.
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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old Jun 7th, 2011, 08:31 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Head Cases

[QUOTE=justineheninfan;19684918]...Sabatini- defeated Graf 11 times overall yet only once when it mattered in a slam (in 12 tries).
That win over Graf was her only win over any of Graf, Navratilova, Evert, Seles, in a slam event despite countless wins elsewhere. At her peak lost Wimbledon final to Graf after serving for it twice, losing her serve 3 times in a row to end the match. Then lost the French Open semis the following year to Seles from 4-2 up in the 3rd. Most famous of all lost to Mary Joe Ferandez from 6-1, 5-1 and many match points up at the 93 French. Near the end of her career blew a 6-1, 5-1 lead to Kimiko Date in the Miami semis...


I still maintain that last Sabatini forehand was wide in that 90 USO final, and I'm sure Graf feels the same way. I wouldn't necessarily say Gaby was a choker as much as I'd say she had a major liability with that serve. in many of those losses when Sabatini was up, it just took her opponent longer than expected to exploit the push/spin service and start cracking deflating return winners. Much as I enjoyed watching Sabatini, that serve and her penchant to back up and hit many shots off of her back foot were usually the deciders. She's an anomaly to me because to watch her crack groundies in practice, she actually creamed the ball and (arguably) was the best ball striker off both sides. Why she didn't hit like that in matches is beyond me, and not just against Graf, she had the same loopy defensive style of play against most of her rivals. Her court speed also left much to be desired. The worst matchup for me was when she played Sanchez Vicario. The moonballs hit off the back foot were awful.

There is nothing more beautiful than Evonne Goolagong in full flight moving across a tennis court.
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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old Jun 7th, 2011, 09:18 AM
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Re: Head Cases

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Originally Posted by austinrunner View Post
Rosemary Casals against Billie Jean King. No one lost more singles matches to another player (52), not even Chris Evert to Martina Navratilova. King won 48 of her last 55 matches with Casals, ending with a 52-10 lead.

Others who were pigeons of King's included Ann Haydon Jones (40-13), Francoise Durr (29-7), Virginia Wade (31-11), Karen Krantzcke (19-2), Betty Stove (19-2), Mary Ann Eisel Curtis Beattie (16-1), Kathleen Harter (13-0), Leslie Hunt (12-0), Helen Gourlay Cawley (11-0), Evonne Goolagong Cawley (13-3, including 6-1 in Grand Slam tournaments), Wendy Turnbull (11-1), and Kristien Kemmer Shaw (10-0, including 20-1 in sets). Someone King dominated in Grand Slam tournaments but not elsewhere was Maria Bueno (6-1 but only 8-5 overall).
Very impressive records. So much for the conjecture from a couple of posters that Bueno never bothered unless it was a Slam.

I am thrilled with Durr's record against King. It's virtually 1 win in every 4 matches which is pretty impressive IMO. I know Frankie had a lot more trouble with Court & Evert.

Fave recent players: .. Seles .. Hingis .. Serena .. Venus .. Federer .. Roddick .. Hewitt .. Haas .. Rafter .. Safin .. Radwanska ..
60s/70s: Evonne Goolagong .. Francoise Durr .. Chris Evert .. Margaret Court .. Nancy Richey .. Maria Bueno .. Billie-Jean King .. Lesley Turner .. Virginia Wade .. Ken Rosewall .. Rod Laver .. Bjorn Borg ..
Entertainers: .. Diana Ross .. Dionne Warwick .. Shirley Bassey .. Randy Crawford .. Burt Bacharach .. ABBA .. Woody Allen .. Maggie Smith .. Gena Rowlands .. Judy Davis .. Heath Ledger .. Little Britain ..
Inspiration: .. Jeshua Ben Josepth .. Conversations with God .. Abraham with Esther & Jerry Hicks .. P'taah ..
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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old Jun 7th, 2011, 06:14 PM
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Re: Head Cases

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Very impressive records. So much for the conjecture from a couple of posters that Bueno never bothered unless it was a Slam.

I am thrilled with Durr's record against King. It's virtually 1 win in every 4 matches which is pretty impressive IMO. I know Frankie had a lot more trouble with Court & Evert.
I think saying Maria never bothered unless it was a Slam is too sweeping a statement, T/V

Maria along with Darlene Hard could command good appearance money at many tournaments. I do contend and it is only my opinion - that on many occasions when she had reached the semis or so she didn't really put herself out at LESSER EVENTS and tended more than Margaret or BJ to lose to players she should really have beaten easily (even Jan Lehane )

I don't see that the figures against BJ give lie to this. If you take the Slams out then Maria is 4-2. 2 of her 4 wins were at the end of the 50s were when BJ was just a teenager at the beginning of her career and Maria was likely to win at that stage reasonably handily.

One other win was at the Pacific Southwest and this is not the sort of tournament Maria would take lightly. Admittedly it is not a Slam but after these and the three leading National Championships the PSW was the next biggest event.

The other win was at Beckenham in 1965 the score being 6-2 6-0 which doesn't sound as if Billie-Jean was in any sort of form on that day.

I don't believe this supports your view.

Re: Durr vs King. It's roughly 1 win in 5.

Margaret Thatcher - Michele Bachmann two strong women of our time.
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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old Jun 7th, 2011, 06:47 PM
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Re: Head Cases

Virginia Wade was particularly hapless against King on grass, winning only 3 out of 20 matches. On other surfaces:
Clay: Tie 2-2
Hard: King 2-1
Indoor: King 10-5

Indoors against King, Ann Haydon Jones lost 14 of 16 and Francoise Durr lost 14 of 15.

On hard courts against King, Rosemary Casals lost 12 of 13.

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If you take the Slams out then Maria is 4-2. 2 of her 4 wins were at the end of the 50s were when BJ was just a teenager at the beginning of her career and Maria was likely to win at that stage reasonably handily.
Those first 2 wins were in 1959 and 1960.

Last edited by austinrunner; Jun 16th, 2011 at 10:47 AM.
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post #11 of 43 (permalink) Old Jun 8th, 2011, 12:26 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Head Cases

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Virginia Wade was particularly hapless against King on grass, winning only 3 out of 20 matches. On other surfaces:
Clay: King 3-2
Hard: Tie 1-1
Indoor: King 10-5

Indoors against King, Ann Haydon Jones lost 14 of 16 and Francoise Durr lost 14 of 15.

On hard courts against King, Rosemary Casals lost 13 of 14.



Wrong again. As I already said: 52-10. That's 10 wins out of 62 matches. That's a Casals winning percentage of 16%.


Those first 2 wins were in 1959 and 1960.
Okay, what was Martina's record against the old gal?

There is nothing more beautiful than Evonne Goolagong in full flight moving across a tennis court.
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post #12 of 43 (permalink) Old Jun 8th, 2011, 07:59 AM
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King versus Navratilova

For a list of their career singles matches, refer to this post:
Billie Jean Moffitt King career results

Last edited by austinrunner; Jun 9th, 2011 at 06:40 AM.
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post #13 of 43 (permalink) Old Jun 8th, 2011, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Head Cases

Not bad for a player so far removed from her playing prime (which, like King, believe to be 1971).

There is nothing more beautiful than Evonne Goolagong in full flight moving across a tennis court.
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post #14 of 43 (permalink) Old Jun 8th, 2011, 03:30 PM
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Re: Head Cases

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I think saying Maria never bothered unless it was a Slam is too sweeping a statement, T/V

Maria along with Darlene Hard could command good appearance money at many tournaments. I do contend and it is only my opinion - that on many occasions when she had reached the semis or so she didn't really put herself out at LESSER EVENTS and tended more than Margaret or BJ to lose to players she should really have beaten easily (even Jan Lehane )

I don't see that the figures against BJ give lie to this. If you take the Slams out then Maria is 4-2. 2 of her 4 wins were at the end of the 50s were when BJ was just a teenager at the beginning of her career and Maria was likely to win at that stage reasonably handily.

One other win was at the Pacific Southwest and this is not the sort of tournament Maria would take lightly. Admittedly it is not a Slam but after these and the three leading National Championships the PSW was the next biggest event.

The other win was at Beckenham in 1965 the score being 6-2 6-0 which doesn't sound as if Billie-Jean was in any sort of form on that day.

I don't believe this supports your view.

Re: Durr vs King. It's roughly 1 win in 5.
Well thanks very kindly for the corrections.

Durr winning 1 in 5 against King is not too shabby esp compared to her 1-23 against Court and 0-22 against Evert! LOL.

I still don't believe players like Maria Bueno would just tank matches or take the money and run. When you are that good obviously you have a great deal of self respect and a healthy ego. Being a competitive player myself I have only once in my life thrown a match. So I just don't buy it. Maybe in the heat of the moment all players have tanked the odd match (Billie Jean comes to mind on 2 occasions I am aware of) but I am sure it would be a rare event for any pro. But we are all entitled to our opinions.

As for Jan Lehane, she was good enough to beat anyone on her day.

Fave recent players: .. Seles .. Hingis .. Serena .. Venus .. Federer .. Roddick .. Hewitt .. Haas .. Rafter .. Safin .. Radwanska ..
60s/70s: Evonne Goolagong .. Francoise Durr .. Chris Evert .. Margaret Court .. Nancy Richey .. Maria Bueno .. Billie-Jean King .. Lesley Turner .. Virginia Wade .. Ken Rosewall .. Rod Laver .. Bjorn Borg ..
Entertainers: .. Diana Ross .. Dionne Warwick .. Shirley Bassey .. Randy Crawford .. Burt Bacharach .. ABBA .. Woody Allen .. Maggie Smith .. Gena Rowlands .. Judy Davis .. Heath Ledger .. Little Britain ..
Inspiration: .. Jeshua Ben Josepth .. Conversations with God .. Abraham with Esther & Jerry Hicks .. P'taah ..

Last edited by tennisvideos; Jun 9th, 2011 at 09:28 AM.
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post #15 of 43 (permalink) Old Jun 9th, 2011, 10:15 PM
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Re: Head Cases

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Alfajeffster Similarly, it could also be said that Martina stopped playing doubles with Chris for much the same reason.
It was the other way round Chris stopped playing doubles with Martina because she became too good she said so many times.
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