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View Full Version : How do you know when a slam winner isn't good enough to win slams anymore?


Volcana
Oct 16th, 2007, 11:51 PM
Examples

Lindsay Davenport won her last slam in 2000. But she made four finals and six semi after that, including the 2005 OZ and Wimbledon finals.

Martina Hingis won her last slam in 1999. But in the next three years, she made three finals and four semis.

Svetlana Kuznetsova her only slam 12 slams ago. But she's made three finals since.

How do you know when a champion becomes an 'almost'?

Aaron.
Oct 16th, 2007, 11:53 PM
When they dont play anymore :lol:

Exibit A

Myskina :devil:

Donny
Oct 16th, 2007, 11:55 PM
What's interesting to me is that, if not for the WS, Davenport might very well have had her best year in 2005, far past her assumed prime.

tennis_lover89
Oct 16th, 2007, 11:58 PM
I don't think you can guess..if they won a slam before, the can do it again

The Daviator
Oct 16th, 2007, 11:58 PM
Lindsay was the best player of 2004 and 2005, unfortunately she suffered from a few players' 'good' periods, but overall she was the best and no question could have won some Slams, probably about 4 actually :o

If a Slam winner is in the top 10, I consider them to be threats to win more Slams...

CJ07
Oct 16th, 2007, 11:58 PM
When what they did to win slams is no longer effective.

Volcana
Oct 17th, 2007, 12:09 AM
If a Slam winner is in the top 10, I consider them to be threats to win more Slams...
Hingis was ranked #7 at OZ this year.

The Daviator
Oct 17th, 2007, 12:12 AM
Hingis was ranked #7 at OZ this year.

And people thought she had a chance in Oz :shrug: Especially after how well she played for most of '06...

CJ07
Oct 17th, 2007, 12:13 AM
Hingis was ranked #7 at OZ this year.
The thing about Hingis, is that she has to beat certain players in order to win a grand slam. I think she can beat a Venus or a Serena or an Ivanovic or a Kuznetsova when playing well, but I'm not sure if she can beat Justine unless she has a collapse.

LudwigDvorak
Oct 17th, 2007, 12:13 AM
Every slam winner, to me, can always win another one, as long as they're still playing and a top 10/20 player most of the time.

It's a surprise to me Hingis never got a sixth slam. Her career is absolutely amazing in almost every aspect, and if she started to play well again she'd be a threat at the Australian or French.

Serena, Venus, Lindsay, Kuznetsova, Hingis, they could all win more slams. They have the talent. But something just usually got in their way. Usually each other.

UDACHi
Oct 17th, 2007, 12:15 AM
when they know they can't win slams anymore.

NeeemZ
Oct 17th, 2007, 12:21 AM
Examples

Lindsay Davenport won her last slam in 2000. But she made four finals and six semi after that, including the 2005 OZ and Wimbledon finals.

Martina Hingis won her last slam in 1999. But in the next three years, she made three finals and four semis.

Svetlana Kuznetsova her only slam 12 slams ago. But she's made three finals since.

How do you know when a champion becomes an 'almost'?

If you are assuming 2002 as well, Hingis made 5 GS Finals. These were in RG 1999, USO 1999 and OZ 2000, 2001 and 2002. Kuzentsova has also been in two, not three, finals since her Grand Slam victory.

shap_half
Oct 17th, 2007, 01:19 AM
Examples

Lindsay Davenport won her last slam in 2000. But she made four finals and six semi after that, including the 2005 OZ and Wimbledon finals.

Martina Hingis won her last slam in 1999. But in the next three years, she made three finals and four semis.

Svetlana Kuznetsova her only slam 12 slams ago. But she's made three finals since.

How do you know when a champion becomes an 'almost'?

Maybe I'm mentally challenged (it's entirely possible), but I thought Sveta's only made 2 other finals since her USO '04 win: RG '06 and USO '07

pepsi
Oct 17th, 2007, 01:27 AM
If the player's name is Sharapova or Hingis.

Serenidad.
Oct 17th, 2007, 03:45 AM
When they say things in interviews along the lines of :

I don't know if I can be Top 5 - Davenport
I'm just playing to enjoy myself - Hingis
I'm satisfied with my career - Some random player in question

bunch_01
Oct 17th, 2007, 04:18 AM
When they consistently don't make it past the 4th round. I figure anybody who makes it that far in a slam is a contenda. Anyone who does it with regularity could have one of those periods where they are unbeatable. Better to have it in a slam than in a Tier I or Tier II.

DimaDinosaur
Oct 17th, 2007, 05:35 AM
When they are interested in having sex rather than their careers, but i don't blame some of them for indulging in their animalistic desires. heyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

karimcartoon
Oct 17th, 2007, 05:44 AM
pretty much when they retire.

LeonHart
Oct 17th, 2007, 05:47 AM
You never know...that's what makes tennis exciting :)

Jeff
Oct 17th, 2007, 05:49 AM
When they are too old and injured, otherwise, I think that any grand slam champion can never be overlooked...ever.

mboyle
Oct 17th, 2007, 07:45 AM
When they are too old and injured, otherwise, I think that any grand slam champion can never be overlooked...ever.

Obviously, nothing in the future is set in stone.

However, when a player starts losing to other players she once beat consistently, you know the tide has turned.

Hingis had a huge advantage over Venus and Lindsay when she was dominating the game. She lost most of her later matches against both players. She started losing to Capriati. Her scores against Serena became more one sided.

Davenport started losing to Venus, then Kim, then Justine.

Sveta's slam was a bubble of good play mixed with a series of fortunate events. I don't think her one slam compares to Hingis/Davenport.

Then there's usually a death knell. Hingis won her grand slams by toying with anyone without sustainable power. When she started losing to Stevenson, Dementieva and Hantuchova, you knew it was over. Ironically, Hingis' second downfall was also caused by a loss to Hantuchova.

Davenport never reached the death knell mark where she was not only a long shot but also not a real contender.

Petersmiler
Oct 17th, 2007, 08:36 AM
On WTAWORLD, aren't they doomed about 6 months after winning one by the majority of their rivals fans?

Melly Flew Us
Oct 17th, 2007, 09:55 AM
as a chartist, and presuming that high level tennis has only a small margin between winning and losing, i would say when the results indicate that a major plateau is followed by a general downwards trend; and that the most recent results include a peak that looks like a 'swan song'.

Lindsayfan32
Oct 17th, 2007, 12:17 PM
Well next year's OZ open winner might be ranked about say 75 (Lindsay). Who knows if Lindsay can win another slam but she seems a lot happier on and off the court and that can only mean better results and who knows if the better results are winning slams or not but we're not going to know unless Lindsay has a go and I never thought we would be having this discussion again so it all good as far as I'm concerned.

DA FOREHAND
Oct 17th, 2007, 12:36 PM
when they know they can't win slams anymore.

unfortunately it seems Martina is at that stage of her career:help: :confused:

alfajeffster
Oct 17th, 2007, 01:01 PM
Examples

Lindsay Davenport won her last slam in 2000. But she made four finals and six semi after that, including the 2005 OZ and Wimbledon finals.

Martina Hingis won her last slam in 1999. But in the next three years, she made three finals and four semis.

Svetlana Kuznetsova her only slam 12 slams ago. But she's made three finals since.

How do you know when a champion becomes an 'almost'?

I would say, judging from the history of major winners for both women and men, that it's a crap shoot at best, and only the player really knows. Fitness is really the only decisive indicator. If you look at champions like Pete Sampras, Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova, Evonne Goolagong, Billie Jean King, Ken Rosewall, and on back- it's clear that they all found something deep within to give it one last go, and succeeded. Lindsay Davenport has a big enough game, and is just as powerful as anyone out there (probably still the most powerful shot for shot), and has a legitimate chance at making another run at a title. Obviously, if her first serve is hot for 7 matches, another Wimbledon title is definitely in the offing, and if she works hard enough and again, serves well enough and keeps her chin up, I wouldn't be too surprised if she did well at Flushing Meadow either. I think it's a safe bet that Martina Hingis' external obstacles are, realistically, just too big.

OrdinaryfoolisNJ
Oct 17th, 2007, 01:31 PM
I agree with Jeffster.

Also, I think that a player is just past their prime when their confidence drops against whoever is the top player, or their ability to focus on the moment of the point starts to slip just a little. When you see them play that nemesis player and by their body language, see that they don't believe that they can win. For my favorite players, its usually happened when some younger player has come along and is the youthful heir apparent.

As for today, so many players play erratic schedules, and are always injured, that its tough to say who is past their prime, or who is simply physically and mentally worn out.

Health and nagging injuries is also a factor when a player starts to slip past their prime, but especially not having consistent mental toughness. When that becomes hit or miss -- player may still have some good runs and be able to do the semis or even finals, but just don't have enough to beat that nemesis top player at the peak of physical and the mental skills.

alfajeffster
Oct 18th, 2007, 01:10 PM
...Health and nagging injuries is also a factor when a player starts to slip past their prime, but especially not having consistent mental toughness. When that becomes hit or miss -- player may still have some good runs and be able to do the semis or even finals, but just don't have enough to beat that nemesis top player at the peak of physical and the mental skills.

I am reminded of the waning careers of both Margaret Court and Maria Bueno. With Margaret Court, she won 3 of the 4 majors in 1973, and was on top of the world, but then decided to have another baby, and the #1 was out for 1974, and came back in 1975 and really never could regain her form. She was by that time over 30, and past her prime, and was losing to the newer, faster, quicker and hungrier players like Evert and Navratilova and others more often than not. Bueno went out at the end of the 60s due to serious injury to her playing arm, when she was still a formidable force to recon with. She came back briefly, then just decided to take a nose dive and again came back briefly in the mid-70s, a shadow of her former self, and called it quits. In both cases, I think another main factor is pride. Say what you will, a player who has been to the top, and demonstrated they have what it takes to stay there, has a certain arrogance and pride in what and who they are, and to come back and lose to players they would normally beat is often a pill too big to digest.

OrdinaryfoolisNJ
Oct 18th, 2007, 02:35 PM
I am reminded of the waning careers of both Margaret Court and Maria Bueno. With Margaret Court, she won 3 of the 4 majors in 1973, and was on top of the world, but then decided to have another baby, and the #1 was out for 1974, and came back in 1975 and really never could regain her form. She was by that time over 30, and past her prime, and was losing to the newer, faster, quicker and hungrier players like Evert and Navratilova and others more often than not. Bueno went out at the end of the 60s due to serious injury to her playing arm, when she was still a formidable force to recon with. She came back briefly, then just decided to take a nose dive and again came back briefly in the mid-70s, a shadow of her former self, and called it quits. In both cases, I think another main factor is pride. Say what you will, a player who has been to the top, and demonstrated they have what it takes to stay there, has a certain arrogance and pride in what and who they are, and to come back and lose to players they would normally beat is often a pill too big to digest.

I could feel the pride thing big time with Evert in 1987 - 1989. Physically, Chris had her nagging knee and especially heel injuries, but she at times played really, really top tier. But in early 1989, when she got her tush beat on CLAY?????!!!! Her surface! By baby faced moon-ballers! Chris just couldn't take it. Didn't Steve Flink have to talk her into playing Wimbledon that last time, because she was ready to call it a day right then and there?

The other irony with her, was that Chris had started to prefer quicker points to her early bread and butter game of keeping the ball in play. The moon-ballers she said bored her. I think she began to prefer grass and faster hard court to what the game had grown into with the moon-ballers on clay.

But, as a fan, seeing Chris take that a-whupping during the SF on center court from Steffi Graf at Wimbledon was painful. 34 year old Chris played a very few great points against the gazelle-movement and hard hitting forehand of the 19 year old Graf, and clearly her mental game was exhausted, leaving zero confidence against Graf. I think she knew she'd lose, and just wanted to get through it for the fans (having exhausted what "fight" she had left in her during the QF survival against Golarsa).

Then, to be playing well against Zina in the QF at the US Open, and to just complete run out of gas? I know she was happy to quit (although, she did win all of her rubbers that fall in the Fed Cup against much younger players -- which game her a very positive send off).

Yep, Chris' pride wouldn't let her continue to play and drop out of the top tier, but Billie Jean King went back to work here and there in the early 80's, and at 38 upset (I'm thinking 1982 as I recall) Tracy Austin and gave Chris a great match at Wimbledon! Seven knee operations, chubby thighs and all! LOL I loved it (and so did she!!!!!). ;)!

I know BJK said that she was playing for needed money after the Barnett debacle, but you know BJK also enjoyed living that feeling of the high stakes of Wimbie one more time.

Today, I wonder how the girls will take facing the transition. They turn pro at such a young age that it seems they are past their prime before one even expects it. Or in Hingis case, she grows up playing in an era that passes her by when players like the Williams' sisters brought in the power era. I think Hingis still has a lot of game, but I feel when I watch her, I'm watching a player who has slipped to the other side. The same with Amelie Mauresmo.

:smoke:

alfajeffster
Oct 19th, 2007, 01:58 PM
...Today, I wonder how the girls will take facing the transition. They turn pro at such a young age that it seems they are past their prime before one even expects it. Or in Hingis case, she grows up playing in an era that passes her by when players like the Williams' sisters brought in the power era. I think Hingis still has a lot of game, but I feel when I watch her, I'm watching a player who has slipped to the other side. The same with Amelie Mauresmo.

:smoke:

I remember watching Hingis and really hoping she could pull it out after beating Davenport at Indian Wells a few years back (when Hingis decided to give a return some effort), and she just couldn't do anything to stem Maria Sharapova's onslaught. I couldn't watch after the first few games of the second set, and actually left the match to go outside on the grounds to that lovely bar they have in the middle of the concourse just to have a Marguerita and relax in the California Spring.:lol: Seriously though, it was hard for me to watch all that craftiness, consistency and creative shotmaking just bludgeoned to death by the much bigger opponent. There were no options left that Martina could employ, save matching power for power, and she just came up short because she just couldn't outmaneuver Maria the way she could Lindsay.

Mauresmo, on the other hand, I think could yet do some damage, but her long, loopy excessive topspin style of play just isn't suited for her body structure, and the wear and tear may just be the end of her career. Sad, really, because she's such a talented player. I don't think it's over for her yet, though.

fammmmedspin
Oct 19th, 2007, 03:39 PM
It gets unlikley when the same problem turns up year after year - eg they collapse at some late point in the match time and time again.

Otherwise you can never know - Mary Pierce being a case in point. No one could predict her career or how dominating her GS wins have been. If she was fit and could keep enough energy for the last match her game would still be good enough to take a GS and her next one is overdue.

Renalicious
Oct 19th, 2007, 03:45 PM
Well it's hard to say...but I know that no matter what the circumstances are, you can never count the WS out of winning a slam.

Il Primo!
Oct 19th, 2007, 03:52 PM
When this player doesn't have hardcore haters anymore.

Experimentee
Oct 19th, 2007, 03:58 PM
When they start being consistently owned by other top players, like Hingis with the Williams sisters, Capriati and Davenport.

alfajeffster
Oct 20th, 2007, 01:31 PM
When Martina Navratilova finally gives up chasing Margaret Court's all-time record of most major titles.

quasar-x
Oct 20th, 2007, 02:33 PM
When this player doesn't have hardcore haters anymore.

perfect..