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.