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View Full Version : Mary Pierce: where does she stand


MakarovaFan
May 1st, 2011, 04:34 PM
After watching recent highlights of her 2005 Wimbledon QF with Venus and her 1997 AO F with Hingis i have started to wonder where exactly does Mary Pierce fit in the grand scheme of things amongst the greats of HER time. Many of the message boards here seem to think quite highly of her and put her even above players like Sharapova plus the commentators always talked about Mary as "true player" YET she was never went into a Slam as a favorite(she was usually a dark horse which she honestly summarize her career right there) and her results were beyond sporadic. She did end 7 years inside the top 10 but she always,even at her peak, had random early losses several times a year and she was never a force in the majors(which bottom line counts the most). For example in the 2 seasons that she won her Slams, she failed to make it past the RD16 at any of the other 3 majors both years. And her most "consistent" slam season was 2005 where she made 2 GS Finals and QF at Wimby but she lost 1st RD in AO and 2RD at the first slam in 06.

Now i know many will say "injuries blah blah blah" but aside from a serious injury in 2001, from 1994-2005 she only miised 3 majors! She did make 7 GS QFs, 4 Finals and ofcourse won 2....but she lost 1rd 6 times and 2rd 7 times!!! Thats alot for someone that is considered elite for her time:confused:
She won 18 career titles and has wins over literally every top player spanning three different generations(the mid90s/Graf-Seles-Sanchez era; late 90s/Hingis-Davenport-WS era and the 00s/Henin-Clijsters-Mauresmo-Sharapova era. And on her day she could smoke any one but that leads me to another issue.....her "day" was very rare and more often than not in her latter career she was routined by the top players(her H2H versus Justine,Kim,Serena,Maria,Venus,Novotna is very one sided yet her H2H with Graf is even, with Davenport and Hingis is close and she actually leads with Seles 5-3 lol and owns both Sanchez-Vic and Martinez).

I guess her achievements say she belongs up there but to me she just seemed far to inconsistent to legitimately threaten and challenge. And after her early years she was never a top week in-week out player, for her it was more about 2-3 STRONGS runs/events a year. Honestly she reminds me ALOT of Kuznetsova, 2 slams and a bunch of runner ups at majors;been as high as 2 in the world; has the abilty on any given day to trouble EVERYONE but very rarely plays up to that(though for very different reasons) and more often than not seems to be a very early casulty at the big events!

So where do you guys think Mary stands??

Sammo
May 1st, 2011, 04:36 PM
Perhaps she is a nun now

delicatecutter
May 1st, 2011, 04:41 PM
When she was on, she could beat anybody anywhere. Loved her big game. :drool: I think she definitely made the best of her abilities and then some.

Smitten
May 1st, 2011, 04:44 PM
After watching recent highlights of her 2005 Wimbledon QF with Venus and her 1997 AO F with Hingis i have started to wonder where exactly does Mary Pierce fit in the grand scheme of things amongst the greats of HER time. Many of the message boards here seem to think quite highly of her and put her even above players like Sharapova plus the commentators always talked about Mary as "true player" YET she was never went into a Slam as a favorite(she was usually a dark horse which she honestly summarize her career right there) and her results were beyond sporadic. She did end 7 years inside the top 10 but she always,even at her peak, had random early losses several times a year and she was never a force in the majors(which bottom line counts the most). For example in the 2 seasons that she won her Slams, she failed to make it past the RD16 at any of the other 3 majors both years. And her most "consistent" slam season was 2005 where she made 2 GS Finals and QF at Wimby but she lost 1st RD in AO and 2RD at the first slam in 06.

Now i know many will say "injuries blah blah blah" but aside from a serious injury in 2001, from 1994-2005 she only miised 3 majors! She did make 7 GS QFs, 4 Finals and ofcourse won 2....but she lost 1rd 6 times and 2rd 7 times!!! Thats alot for someone that is considered elite for her time:confused:
She won 18 career titles and has wins over literally every top player spanning three different generations(the mid90s/Graf-Seles-Sanchez era; late 90s/Hingis-Davenport-WS era and the 00s/Henin-Clijsters-Mauresmo-Sharapova era. And on her day she could smoke any one but that leads me to another issue.....her "day" was very rare and more often than not in her latter career she was routined by the top players(her H2H versus Justine,Kim,Serena,Maria,Venus,Novotna is very one sided yet her H2H with Graf is even, with Davenport and Hingis is close and she actually leads with Seles 5-3 lol and owns both Sanchez-Vic and Martinez).

I guess her achievements say she belongs up there but to me she just seemed far to inconsistent to legitimately threaten and challenge. And after her early years she was never a top week in-week out player, for her it was more about 2-3 STRONGS runs/events a year. Honestly she reminds me ALOT of Kuznetsova, 2 slams and a bunch of runner ups at majors;been as high as 2 in the world; has the abilty on any given day to trouble EVERYONE but very rarely plays up to that(though for very different reasons) and more often than not seems to be a very early casulty at the big events!

So where do you guys think Mary stands??

Pierce only made it to #3 ranking, but you answered your own question in various parts of this post. :lol:

Sund7101
May 1st, 2011, 06:01 PM
She really was a dark horse, but with glimpses of a great champion from time to time. She was always fighting her way back from adversity throughout her career, but had some great results in her career. She could have achieved more, but her flashes of brilliance is what made her so intriguing. Her comebacks is what garnered her so many fans, and she truly is missed.

A'DAM
May 1st, 2011, 06:34 PM
You are very right in most of your post.
What makes a difference between her and Kuzzy : when she was ON she was one of the most amazing players of all times which Kuzzy never was and never will be!!!
Indeed pitty she wasnt ON to often :(

goldenlox
May 1st, 2011, 06:40 PM
Like Dokic and Lucic she had a crazy dad. Thats a huge negative to a career.
She overcame that, but probably could have had a better career with a more normal dad.

A'DAM
May 1st, 2011, 06:48 PM
Like Dokic and Lucic she had a crazy dad. Thats a huge negative to a career.
She overcame that, but probably could have had a better career with a more normal dad.

Well Graf also have had one... :wavey:

danieln1
May 1st, 2011, 06:53 PM
Mary was amazing to watch, she should have won that US Open final, but she was injured in her leg, and maybe tired too.....

Loved to watch her play

Linguae^
May 1st, 2011, 07:02 PM
She was one of those players who can beat anyone on the particular day.

DevilishAttitude
May 1st, 2011, 08:38 PM
I always felt Pierce at her best was arguably one of those players who could beat anyone. She hit the ball has hard and clean as anyone out there, and she could make a match totally about her, it wouldn't matter what her opponent would do, she would just blitz them off court anyway.

Having said that, I do believe she is slightly over-rated in terms of how this board views her (Perhaps to do with how she left the game with the terrible injury) She was slow, unathletic and had numerous problems staying in shape. Unlike a Davenport, Pierce wasn't someone you could rely on being in SF's or Finals week in or week out, she was too inconsistent and could be exploited if she wasn't at her best. There's a reason her great spells came every 5 years or so.

But on her day she was a fantastic player whose power hitting is missed on the WTA.

JCTennisFan
May 1st, 2011, 08:43 PM
I think there are a couple reasons why Mary Pierce didnt do as good as one would expect her to, considering some of the performances she put on.

1. Her Fitness was never a huge thing for her. I remember right before her 05 RG run that a commentator (not sure of his name anylonger) said something to the effect of " have you seen Mary Pierce? she has gotten really fit recently and I believe she is gonna really do some damage." And she then went on to have her best season in her career, consistency wise.

2. Mary had a similar problem to what Sharapova has, in that she loves to consistently try to play low percentage shots to end points prematurely. When she is really at her best she had that capability... but if she was a little bit off those low percentage shots would end up going out or long, and then all you had to do against her was keep the ball in play. She didnt really seem to "know" how to pull back all that much when she needed to. I like to think of her as constantly flooring the gas pedal. There are times when you need to deccelerate a little and take it down a notch.

3. Because of her general lack of fitness during her career, it made her more prone to having nagging injuries. Now, those injuries dont necessarily even have to be career threatening, the fact that she consistently got them meant that she never really got into a good career run.

4. Until 05, when she was already physically past her peak, she wasnt ever the best mover in the world. So she could be ran from side to side alot, similar to davenport. Had she worked harder on her fitness when she wasnt nearing 30, she might of gained some foot speed during the later 90s and that could of helped her tremendously.

faboozadoo15
May 1st, 2011, 08:55 PM
I think throughout her career she really missed the mark with her physical training. She would bulk up with muscle and then probably get a little lazy and gain weight. If she had worked on agility and flexibility she could have avoided some nagging injuries. At any rate, Mary was a comet player. Momentum wasn't really her thing anyway. She could show up and obliterate a field and then lose the next week to a qualifier when she was healthy.

Shonami Slam
May 1st, 2011, 09:30 PM
so you're all saying she is a better "le' cake" ?

i think otherwise.
she was very 'french' - a real lady. she hit big, and bossed the points - but tennis to her was somewhat of a way around the world, the sights and people. she enjoyed the big stages and the highlights, but she didn't enjoy working too hard for it, and most of the year was, well - boring.
it's not her lack of intensity, nor consistency - it's all the hard work and time between the first round and the final that she'd have rather skipped.

perhaps the whole seeding system wasn't any good for her. she'd have rather played the top10 players all the time (see YEC).

mauresmofan
May 1st, 2011, 10:07 PM
I haven't seen it uploaded yet but she was absolutely incredible in the mixed doubles final at Wimbledon in 05 - she had absolutely no fear whatsoever of going toe to toe with the men and often times outhitting them. It was a suitable ending that she should rocket a ball from the baseline between the oppositions flailing rackets to take the championships. I think regardless of her Grand Slam titles that Maam played her greatest tennis in the twilight of her career in 05, some really great performances and some heartbreaking defeats but she did everything with a wonderful smile and true class.

MakarovaFan
May 1st, 2011, 11:04 PM
Pierce only made it to #3 ranking, but you answered your own question in various parts of this post. :lol:
Lol actually if you noticed my question was at the end and it was what YOU guys thought of her......so i couldn't have answered my question.

MakarovaFan
May 1st, 2011, 11:09 PM
I always felt Pierce at her best was arguably one of those players who could beat anyone. She hit the ball has hard and clean as anyone out there, and she could make a match totally about her, it wouldn't matter what her opponent would do, she would just blitz them off court anyway.

Having said that, I do believe she is slightly over-rated in terms of how this board views her (Perhaps to do with how she left the game with the terrible injury) She was slow, unathletic and had numerous problems staying in shape. Unlike a Davenport, Pierce wasn't someone you could rely on being in SF's or Finals week in or week out, she was too inconsistent and could be exploited if she wasn't at her best. There's a reason her great spells came every 5 years or so.

But on her day she was a fantastic player whose power hitting is missed on the WTA.
Yeah you pretty much hit the nail with this post......that's how i felt of her and figured how most would aswell. Great ball striker how could make anyone look bad but poor fitness and lack of agility really killed her. Though her,Maria and Davenport seem to get clumped together i fell Lindsay had slightly better strokes and was more consistent with her level than Mary and Maria had the fight and no fear attitude that Mary lacked so that is why i they were better.

MBM
May 2nd, 2011, 02:16 AM
*nostalgia*

pav
May 2nd, 2011, 02:44 AM
Where does she stand:confused: I'm just glad for her sake the bugger doesn't stand up to take a leak,the way she monkeys around she would have cramp in the legs before she was finished:fiery:

JCTennisFan
May 2nd, 2011, 04:47 AM
She was the best 2 time slam champ, no doubt. Or atleast in my opinion. She underachieved, and thats alot of why people think of her so highly, because when you see her dismantle graf at the french or trashing serena at amelia island, you think to yourself "she has only 2 slams?" or atleast I think of it that way.

JCTennisFan
May 2nd, 2011, 04:49 AM
And I also believe the best comparison between Davenport and Mary can be summed up nicely with their match in the WTA championships in 2005. both had atleast +10 winners/error ratio, and mary took it in two insanely tight sets. Very clean from both, just a little better from Mary. And at her best, she was just better than Davenport. Davenport was more consistent though.

DevilishAttitude
May 2nd, 2011, 02:11 PM
Yeah you pretty much hit the nail with this post......that's how i felt of her and figured how most would aswell. Great ball striker how could make anyone look bad but poor fitness and lack of agility really killed her. Though her,Maria and Davenport seem to get clumped together i fell Lindsay had slightly better strokes and was more consistent with her level than Mary and Maria had the fight and no fear attitude that Mary lacked so that is why i they were better.

Mary was someone who could get nervous in the big moments, if you look at 2005, she was very poor in both her slam finals, and choked away the YEC final against Mauresmo.

She should be commended though for how she came back particularly in 2005. After her French Open win in 2000, Pierce didn't do anything of note for a very long time, and was horrifically out of shape in 2002 & 03, didn't many think she was set for retirement after her French Open loss in 03?! But she kept at it, and got in shape and became a real contender at the latter half of 05. I always felt Pierce was one of those players when she was playing well who actually understood how to use the court (I remember her consistently looping the ball to Henin's BH in US Open 2005 and then attacking the short ball) She wasn't a brainless ball-basher.. When she was playing well!

Her career path after 2000 isn't dis-similar to Sharapova's currently, although the current lack of depth at the top compared to the early 2000's has made it much easier for Sharapova to get back in the Top 10. Will be interesting to see if Maria can produce her best tennis again after nearly 2 years of fairly mediocre results compared to before.