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Fingon
May 4th, 2002, 06:28 PM
I am sorry if some Martina fans don't like this, but it's my opinion on her now.

This is not driven by her last loss but has been built through the last 2 years.

In my opinion, Martina has lost the train, simple. Whatever she is doing, is clearly not working.

I've heard that Martina was playing better, that she is becoming aggressive, etc.

But it has been a long time since she could be seen as a threat.

Losing to Venus is nothing to be ashamed of but, if she is unable to even take a set off an injured Venus on clay, what can she expect on hardcourts?

Let's see how she is doing against the top players:

1) Venus: they have played twice in the last two years. Their matches used to be exciting and normally 3 sets, the last two were lopsided and straight sets for Venus. Not even on clay Martina seems to have a chance.

2) Serena: of the last 3 meetings, she was completely trashed in two, US Open last year and KB this year Martina looked defenseless, as she was the # 100 ranked not a former # 1.
One match went to 3 sets but it was mostly Serena piling up UE and playing her first tournament since January. Conclusion, Martina doesn't currently have weapons to play Serena.

3) Monica: Martina has won the last two meetings, but they were close and Monica isn't at her best, physically and game wise. Last year, with Monica fit, she lost twice in a row.

4) Jennifer: Martina did push Jennifer at the Australian Open, but wasn't able to close down that match. Jennifer has won their last 4 meetings, 3 of them in Grand Slams

5) Linday: they haven't played much lately, but Lindsay was the first player to establish a dominance over Martina, when Lindsay is back, that's likely to continue.

6) Amelie, they played 3 times last year, with Amelie winning two.

7) Kim, Daniela: They both have beaten Martina. Martina still can beat them but they are improving and Martina is not, they might soon join the list.

8) Jelena: Jelena had that infamous win over Martina in Wimbledon, I don't count it but, as Kim and Daniela, she is getting better and will be a problem for Martina in the future.

9) Justine: They haven't played since 2000. Justine is in a sort of slump and she hasn't recovered the form she had in Wimbledon.

However, Justine has showed there is room for improvement. Most of her problems are in her, not her opponents. Her serve, her mental block against Kim, her tendency to choke, or to walk away from matches. Justine can have a horrible loss in one tournament and be on fire the next (Key Biscayne, Amelia Island), and she has demonstrated that she has the game to compete against the very top players. She has lost the last 5 matches against Venus but 4 of them went to 3 sets and in the last one, she had the match nearly wrapped up. If Martina plays Justine today, she will probably win, but I anticipate that will change in the near future.


As a conclusion. Martina was dominant in 1997. Then she was a top player the next 3 years, meaning that she wasn't dominant, there were a selected group of players that could beat her, but that was even, she could beat them as well, and other than that reduced group, she was nearly guaranted to win against any other player.

From last year, Martina is clearly not in the heading group, she clearly cannot compete against the Williams or Capriati, it's a toss up againt other top 10 player and if she now plays a low ranked player, I don't bet my savings on her.

She still has the ability, and is only 21, but clearly the path she has chosen is incorrect, what does she need to know? it's a matter of discussion but she really needs to make huge changes.

ot1962
May 4th, 2002, 06:48 PM
Fingon,

Very objective...

I don't believe Martina could do much now. SHe could definitely improve but not to the level of being the top player in the world.
The reason being, the style of tennis she has been schooled to play is slowly but surely becoming OBSOLETE.

A lot more of the younger players would become more consistent with their power game and that spells TROUBLE for her. She would still be a contender for GS but she would have to rely heavily on the luck of draw.

I am sure if you talk to Daniela now, she would be confident in playing Martina because she knows the outcome is largely dependent on what she does, not Martina.

I could see some new stars coming on the scene. The future of WTA tennis is powerful play with abundance of consistency, good placement, ability to run down balls and return with fire, powerful serve and return games. Effectively, the chinks that we now see in top players like Venus, Serena, Lindsay, Jenny etc, would be ironed out slowly. Currently we all accept that Serena would hit flurry of winners followed by a slew of error. Few years down the line this would not be the case. I don't oif it would be the Serenas of this world who would play this type of consistent powerful tennis but i believe it would happen.

Serena y Monica
May 4th, 2002, 06:58 PM
I agree and disagree. Obviously Hingis is still a threat every time she steps on the court. But it is more likely that she will loose to Serena Lindsay Venus Capriati than not...the rest she is favored to win. She has room to improve and should start with that serve.

She is in my opinion one of the best players in womens tennis.

TSequoia01
May 4th, 2002, 07:07 PM
Actually, many are being a bit unfair to Marti. She has not ever played better tennis than she is playing right now. True she has had better results, but never played better. The players right now are just superior. As one poster stated she is still one of the best players in the world. Many people point to 97 and said how great she played then. Hogwash! She was fat and could not win a set against today's top players. Martina is not the #1 player in the world, has not been really since 98. It is just the gulf between her and the very best, is widening. :cool:

SM
May 4th, 2002, 07:11 PM
I agree with most of Fingon but there was alot of pessismism underlying what u wrote..

i agree IF Hingis continues this way shell even start to have problems with Kim, Juju , Jelena , Daniella etc which someone of her ability shouldnt really have to much problems beating them...but the aussie open this year illuminated the fact martina hingis still has it, but its dormant at the moment and desperately needs a big tournament to boost her morale

maybe she won be back by roland garros as a top contender...but i wouldnt count her out in the near future, champions always dig themselves out of holes :).

Fingon
May 4th, 2002, 07:43 PM
Originally posted by SM
I agree with most of Fingon but there was alot of pessismism underlying what u wrote..

i agree IF Hingis continues this way shell even start to have problems with Kim, Juju , Jelena , Daniella etc which someone of her ability shouldnt really have to much problems beating them...but the aussie open this year illuminated the fact martina hingis still has it, but its dormant at the moment and desperately needs a big tournament to boost her morale

maybe she won be back by roland garros as a top contender...but i wouldnt count her out in the near future, champions always dig themselves out of holes :).

Steven, I don't say I disagree totally, but the point is that Martina has been in a downfall for nearly two years now. I am not meaning when she stopped being dominant, but in the last two years she doesn't have a worthy tournament win except for Sydney in 2001.

Jelena, Juju, Kim, Daniela, Venus, Serena, Jennifer, they are all improving, getting better, Martina is not, or at least, not at the same pace.

I honestly think that, as in Anna's case, she needs to give a dramatic turn to her career. I don't think she can continue with Melanie as a coach and the longer it takes for her to realize it, the more difficult it will be for her to succeed.

HEAVYHITTER
May 4th, 2002, 07:51 PM
Tennis is a POWER game now. The last 7 Grand Slams were won by POWER players.

The questions is...... can Martina become a power player?

Toineefa
May 4th, 2002, 07:58 PM
Fingon I agree with you about Jen, Lindsay and the Williams sisters but the other players still have to play their best to beat Martina on a regular basis. Martina still intimidates Kim, Daniela and the others even if they act like Martina doesn't. Martina's brain power on the tennis court is still a weapon and I don't see Kim, Daniela, Jelena, Justine and the others having any edge on Martina. They will beat her from time to time but put them against Martina in a Grand Slam who do you favour? Martina of course. The others don't have Martina's big match experience and she will beat Kim, Justine, Jelena almost every time.

Williams Rulez
May 5th, 2002, 03:09 AM
Martina is just not in the league of Venus, Serena, Jennifer and Lindsay anymore...

She is sill a top 5 player, very good, but it is her mindset that she needs to change. She needs to practise playing agressive every match, not just against the top players, so when she DOES play the top players, she would have the confidence to excecute the aggressive play. She can play aggressively, look at Australian Open 2002, she can win. But she really needs to be more confident about her aggressive play.

Miss a few shots? So what, continue to go for it. And that serve... I thought it has imrpoved, but apparently not. It has deproved again... needs to improve that, if she can't make it a weapon, as least make sure it is not a liability

lrg bllt
May 5th, 2002, 06:41 AM
Originally posted by Williams_Rulez
She is sill a top 5 player, very good, but it is her mindset that she needs to change. She needs to practise playing agressive every match, not just against the top players, so when she DOES play the top players, she would have the confidence to excecute the aggressive play. She can play aggressively, look at Australian Open 2002, she can win. But she really needs to be more confident about her aggressive play.

Miss a few shots? So what, continue to go for it. And that serve... I thought it has imrpoved, but apparently not. It has deproved again... needs to improve that, if she can't make it a weapon, as least make sure it is not a liability

for once I agree with you Williams_Rulez lol...she needs have more confidence when she's playing against the Williams' and Capriati. And as you said, she has proven she can still compete & get there, look at the Australian Open 2002. I'm beginning to think that after she lost those match points her confidence has just dropped so much, that she finds it very hard going up against a power player and believing she can actually win :sad: She can win!
And as someone else said, Great Champions alwayz dig themselves outta holes and she is a great champion, and I can see by the way she reacted after losing to Venus @ Hamburg that she is definitely realising she needs to stop doing certain things that make it easier for them, she said something like "I keep doing the same stupid things, and I can't even cry or get annoyed about it anymore.."
I have never heard Martina talk like that, and you can tell she was obviously really angry and upset @ herself, and after reading that I think she is gonna go and practice & do whatever it takes to improve the things she does wrong...

GO MARTINA, YOU CAN DO IT!:hearts:

disposablehero
May 5th, 2002, 09:11 AM
Originally posted by Williams_Rulez
Martina is just not in the league of Venus, Serena, Jennifer and Lindsay anymore...

She is sill a top 5 player, very good, but it is her mindset that she needs to change.

Martina is CURRENTLY a top 5 player. Whether she remains as such after Roland Garros depends on if she can gain some ground on either Monica, Kim, or Serena. If she drops below #5 at that time, it will be because that is the rank her results merit. That would be a rather ironic twist for those who always felt her rank was unfair before.

jomar
May 5th, 2002, 09:26 AM
well-said so_tred.:kiss:

Williams Rulez
May 5th, 2002, 09:55 AM
Originally posted by disposablehero

Martina is CURRENTLY a top 5 player. Whether she remains as such after Roland Garros depends on if she can gain some ground on either Monica, Kim, or Serena. If she drops below #5 at that time, it will be because that is the rank her results merit. That would be a rather ironic twist for those who always felt her rank was unfair before.
Actually I rank her as 5 because there were 4 players that I consider to be better than her, not because of her actual ranking.

Jakeev
May 5th, 2002, 12:19 PM
My question for you Fingon is what you believe Martina's destiny will be if she does not do something to make a dent into the power players?

Can she even ever begin to compete and beat consistently the power players in succession?

And although Martina is a Grand Slam champ, will she go the way of say a Mary Joe Fernandez, who always hovered in the top ten, but wasn't able to make a significant dent against the top?

We already know Martina needs to make changes in her game. That her coach just doesn't cut it anymore for her. Sorry Melanie.

1997 is eons ago and I think the chances of hitting the lottery are more likely then Martina ever having a year like that again.

Jessica02
May 5th, 2002, 01:27 PM
:wavey:

I agree with different points from all of you.

I think Martina is just too nice:D

No seriously :) She was one hell of a cocky teenager she had fantastic sucess in the early part of her career on her terms. In the past couple of years she has completly mellowed and just likes being the nice girl. No agression whatsoever.

I think she needs a new coach new ideas'. melanie cant do anymore with her. She needs a proven coach to work with her on
the physical aspect of her game someone like BJ King or Martina N.
The mental side of her game also needs alot of work.

The question will she make these changes?

And even if she did would that make her as good as the Williams sisters?

Im a huge martina fan and always will be. I hope she really does throw caution to whe wind and try everything whether it would work or not is another matter but if you dont try you dont get.

Toineefa
May 5th, 2002, 03:52 PM
Jakeev wrote :
And although Martina is a Grand Slam champ, will she go the way of say a Mary Joe Fernandez, who always hovered in the top ten, but wasn't able to make a significant dent against the top?

What a ridiculous comment!!! I like Mary Joe but to compare her to Martina Hingis and Martina's career? LOL!!! Mary Joe never won a Grand Slam (she was in 2 finals) and she never beat Steffi Graf. Mary Joe had to work very hard to stay in the top ten. I think she retired with about 10 titles. How can you even make such a comparison? Sorry but if you were trying to sound like a tennis expert you failed. :rolleyes:

Jakeev
May 5th, 2002, 09:35 PM
Well Toineefa if you were any expert at the English language you would have understood what I had said m*#@n.

Martina had virtually done nothing in the Grand Slams the past two to three years i*)%$.

My point was, f?$%@*^d, if she does not make a change to challenge the players who beat her week in and week out, will she go the way of Mary Jo Fernandez who always hovered behind the top players but could never make a dent in their games.

Was that so hard for you to understand d?&%@$t?

So I?$^#$()*s, I am not taking anything away from Martina's accomplishments, but j$%k, she is in danger as was already pointed out, to lose ground against the power hitters.

Obviously you don't know anything about tennis so next to you I guess I am an expert.

LifeWasADisaster
May 5th, 2002, 09:49 PM
U guys are all way too pessimistic about Martina. OK she isn't THE best player anymore, but she will always be a top 5 player and a good contender for every grand slam.
She will always be better than 97% of any player in the top 100.

I don't see Mauresmo, Dokic or Henin ever being as good as Hingis because they lack the power+speed of the Williamses and Hingis' consisency. (Clijsters is a different story).
Davenport, Capriati, Seles will all quit in a few years.
That leaves only the williamses and clijsters as players that can beat Hingis in the future. Maybe Hantuchova will join this list, maybe not. So I don't think Hingis' future looks that bad at all.

Jakeev
May 5th, 2002, 09:54 PM
Thanks Lifewasadisaster for an intelligent opinion that is what I was looking for.

You did not mention Justine though either. What is your opinion on their potential rivalry if they ever face each other again?

LifeWasADisaster
May 5th, 2002, 10:00 PM
I don't think Justine will ever be as good as Martina, because she won't ever have the power of the williamses, nor Martina's consistency. Maybe she will beat Martina 25 % of the times but not more I think.
I like Justine though and I wish her a lot of success but not as much as Martina.

Toineefa
May 5th, 2002, 11:24 PM
Jakeev thank you for displaying such class. I will always remember you! The epitome of decorum! :D

Jakeev
May 5th, 2002, 11:29 PM
Next to you honey Toineefa I am one classy b#$@&^D

:kiss:

Toineefa
May 6th, 2002, 03:46 AM
Jakeev

Just because we're both black doesn't mean you'll get any special treatment for me. Pffff. I'll leave the ghetto behaviour to you and your best friend the white girl who wants to be black. :rolleyes:

Dawn Marie
May 6th, 2002, 05:45 AM
My take on Martina is this:

She was a young prodigy who won everthing so easy, she had it all so soon. She didn't really have any idea what losing was about..and now when she is becoming dominated and slamless it is a big blow to her confidence. Also, she let her false #1 rank get inside her head.. and all that did to her game was to keep her game stagnant. I mean clearly Martina does not have the thinking game anymore, because she has not worked on improving her serve and her approach shots. Shots that will help her get inside the baseline to cut away the angle. Also Martina's game though will become dominated in the next few years. nothing too serious, but imho she'll be out of the top 10 soon. Proabably hover around the 11-15 range... which is still damn good.

Fingon
May 6th, 2002, 06:26 AM
Originally posted by Jakeev
My question for you Fingon is what you believe Martina's destiny will be if she does not do something to make a dent into the power players?

Can she even ever begin to compete and beat consistently the power players in succession?

And although Martina is a Grand Slam champ, will she go the way of say a Mary Joe Fernandez, who always hovered in the top ten, but wasn't able to make a significant dent against the top?

We already know Martina needs to make changes in her game. That her coach just doesn't cut it anymore for her. Sorry Melanie.

1997 is eons ago and I think the chances of hitting the lottery are more likely then Martina ever having a year like that again.

Jakeev, I think Martina has the ability to do that, but not the mental strenght. She doesn't believe she can do it.

I believe her two losses to Jennifer had a lot to do with that.

Look at last year, before that final it looked better than ever for Martina, she had won Sydney beating Serena and Lindsay and she had beaten the Williams sisters back to back in a Grand Slam.

Nobody thought Jennifer could win that match, she stunned everyone specially Martina. After that loss, Martina seemed not to know what to do, she played a crazy schedule and was always clear that she entered the court expecting to lose against the top players (notably French Open against Jennifer).

This year was very similar, she started off well, winning sydney and at the Australian Open she was rolling, beat Monica and had the tittle wrapped up and just lost it. From then on she changed completely. At the Australian Open she was serving well and being aggressive, then a return to the old Martina.

Although it's understandable, it's also true that both losses were her fault (not taking anything away from Jennifer that played great both finals). but last year, Martina simply underestimated Jennifer and when she realized it was tough, she couldn't turn it around (merit to Jennifer), maybe she would have lost anyway, but there wasn't a contest.

This year, being one set and two breaks up she simply should have won, no excuses, and she knows that. The problem is that every time she losses a final like that things get worse and worse. She needs a turning point and a turning point for her at this point can only be a Grand Slam, and beating one Williams sister or Jennifer, or Lindsay on her way, something that doesn't seem very likely atm.

Jakeev
May 6th, 2002, 07:59 AM
Does anyone know what Toineefa just said? I don't want anything from ya got it? You threw a stone at me and I threw it back at you harder.

Hurts now doesn't it. In the future, really read what I have to say or don't respond at all. Dawn Marie got it. Fignon and LifeWasADisaster understood what I said.

But no not you. Move on honey

:kiss:

Gandalf
May 6th, 2002, 08:15 AM
I don't think Martina's style is obsolete. She's not playing nearly as good as in '97, '98. IF she plays like that and still loses all the time (which I doubt), then she can move on.