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View Full Version : Who was the better player: Conchita Martinez vs. Jana Novatna


VeeJJ
Nov 1st, 2011, 07:00 AM
Off-Season :kiss:

Both are retired so we have their whole careers to reflect on. Base your pick on ALL of the following: Game, achievements, stats, and PEAK v. PEAK.

H2H : 1:4

Conchita Martinez


Career Win/Loss: 437 - 203

Career Titles: 33 (9 Tier I's)

Career Finals: 20 (NOT including Majors.)

Majors: 1, Wimbledon '94 (df. Radford, Davenport, McNeil, Navratilova)
Major Finalist: 2, AO '98 (df. Schett, Testud, Davenport, Lost to Hingis), FO '00 (df. Sugiyama, Marrero, ASV, Lost to Pierce)
Major SF: 9
Major QF: 11

Career High Ranking: 2

Top 10 Year Finishes: 9 (6 consecutive years, 3 non-consecutive)



Jana Novotna


Career Win/Loss: 571-225

Career Titles: 24 (2 Tier I's & 1 YEC)

Career Finals: 14 (NOT including Majors.)

Majors: 1, Wimbledon '98 (df. Spirelea, Venus, Hingis, Tauzait)
Major Finalist: 3, AO '91 (df. Garrison, Graf, ASV, Lost to Seles), Wimby '93 (df. Oremans, Sabitini, Navratilova, Lost to Graf), Wimby '97 (df. Fernandez, Basuki, ASV, Lost to Hingis)
Major SF: 5
Major QF: 12

Career High Ranking: 2

Top 10 Year Finishes: 6 (3 consecutive years, 2 consecutive years, 1 non-consecutive)

skanky~skanketta
Nov 1st, 2011, 07:19 AM
Watch Conchita get bashed in here.

Personally, I think they're about equal. Very entertaining players with such different styles.

Sammo
Nov 1st, 2011, 12:17 PM
Novotna was a terrific player but she underachieved, should have won about 4 Slams. Conchita is OK with her career

Javi.
Nov 1st, 2011, 12:25 PM
Conchita should have won at least one RG.
But Novotna is better.

Ajrob
Nov 1st, 2011, 12:43 PM
Well GS talk by itself
1 GS each other. Novotna 1 more GS final but Conchita finalist in 3 different Slams.
Conchita 9 SF Novotna 6...
Conchita 9 years in top ten, Novotna 6 years... enough
Plus i think Conchita has won more Tier I than Novotna.

spencercarlos
Nov 1st, 2011, 01:13 PM
Well GS talk by itself
1 GS each other. Novotna 1 more GS final but Conchita finalist in 3 different Slams.
Conchita 9 SF Novotna 6...
Conchita 9 years in top ten, Novotna 6 years... enough
Plus i think Conchita has won more Tier I than Novotna.
You are conveniently leaving out YEC performances. Conchita has a dismal record there, not even ONE SF. Jana won it in 1997 and had several semifinals that i remmember one in 1996 and 1991 (not sure if she had more).

Jana´s 1 GS final and YEC title + YEC performances do a great weight in this conversation.

I think Conchita was way more consistent top ten player, but at her best Jana could produce something that Conchita barely did, and that is to beat the great players in the world very often. Jana has a lot more wins over Graf, Seles, Hingis, Williamses, Sanchez Vicario, than Conchita.

For me is really hard to tell who was better to be honest.

*Jool*
Nov 1st, 2011, 01:56 PM
put the YEC on clay and watch how many SF Conchi/Jana would have made :shrug: (and I'm not saying Conchi could not play on carpet , she's had good results there too, as Jana did sometimes on clay too)

Conchita was more regular , but it's true Jana could trouble the TOP players on a more regular basis.
they were both awesome players with awesome skills and should be respected for that , especially in the actual era where tennis is so one-dimensionnal ,instead of trying to bash one to say the other was better.
I'll never like these kind of threads..

Juju Nostalgique
Nov 1st, 2011, 05:42 PM
"Novatna" is from the same country as "Nurvatilowia", right? :spit:

justineheninfan
Nov 1st, 2011, 06:10 PM
This is a really tough question. Conchita was clearly the more consistent performer and has won alot more singles titles. She capatilized on a pretty good sized clay court season (which is not true of say grass) to win alot of good sized titles on the surface, alot of those during the Seles absence. Novotna has more slam finals, has won the YEC, was a threat on all surfaces at her best more than Martinez was, and her peak level of play was better.

If we include doubles it would clearly be Novotna. Singles alone it is a toss up, and depends on what you value. Martinez was the 3rd best player in the World the 93-95 period behind Graf and Sanchez (apart from early 93 and late 95 when Seles was active again). In 1995 she was the games most consistent performer probably, but proved not good enough to beat Graf, Seles, Sanchez Vicario, or Pierce when it mattered most. This was the watershed year of her career IMO. It was still overall her best year ever and could have elevated her to new heights but she just couldnt do it. Novotna was the 2nd or 3rd best player in the World in 97 and 98 behind Hingis, and along with Davenport.

Matt01
Nov 1st, 2011, 06:16 PM
For me, Novotna because of her 1 more Slam final and her YEC win.

But if you prefer consistancy and Tier I titles, then Martinez is your player.

justineheninfan
Nov 1st, 2011, 06:22 PM
The amazing thing about Martinez is I dont think any of the top players feared her. Well except someone like tiny Amanda Coetzer where Martinezs topspin jumped over her head that is. Even much less accomplished and regularly lower ranked players like Anke Huber and Kimiko Date owned her, and seemed to always expect to beat her when they faced her. I believe Iva Majoli also had a reasonably good head to head and I saw her just power Martinez off the court a number of times. I am not sure who the best player she has a winning record against would be, Mary Joe Fernandez maybe. I guess that is a tribute to her immaculate consistency that stayed so highly ranked.

One thing in her favor over Jana is Martinez made more impact on her own peers than Jana did. Even if Jana was more capable of beating the best players of her generation than Martinez, she still wasnt as highly ranked or winning as many tournaments while her contemporaries were dominating the game. Jana instead had her most success in 97-98 as mentioned when it was a new generation on top, and all her old foes were either in decline, slumping, or even retired altogether.

scandic78
Nov 1st, 2011, 06:55 PM
The amazing thing about Martinez is I dont think any of the top players feared her. Well except someone like tiny Amanda Coetzer where Martinezs topspin jumped over her head that is. Even much less accomplished and regularly lower ranked players like Anke Huber and Kimiko Date owned her, and seemed to always expect to beat her when they faced her. I believe Iva Majoli also had a reasonably good head to head and I saw her just power Martinez off the court a number of times. I am not sure who the best player she has a winning record against would be, Mary Joe Fernandez maybe. I guess that is a tribute to her immaculate consistency that stayed so highly ranked.

One thing in her favor over Jana is Martinez made more impact on her own peers than Jana did. Even if Jana was more capable of beating the best players of her generation than Martinez, she still wasnt as highly ranked or winning as many tournaments while her contemporaries were dominating the game. Jana instead had her most success in 97-98 as mentioned when it was a new generation on top, and all her old foes were either in decline, slumping, or even retired altogether.

Even Anke Huber owned Martinez.

Conchita sure did have her boogey(wo)men

Beat
Nov 1st, 2011, 06:55 PM
looking at the numbers, one would have to go with martinez. but novotna was much more likeable, so i gave her my vote anyway ;)

*Jool*
Nov 1st, 2011, 06:56 PM
The amazing thing about Martinez is I dont think any of the top players feared her. Well except someone like tiny Amanda Coetzer where Martinezs topspin jumped over her head that is. Even much less accomplished and regularly lower ranked players like Anke Huber and Kimiko Date owned her, and seemed to always expect to beat her when they faced her. I believe Iva Majoli also had a reasonably good head to head and I saw her just power Martinez off the court a number of times. I am not sure who the best player she has a winning record against would be, Mary Joe Fernandez maybe. I guess that is a tribute to her immaculate consistency that stayed so highly ranked.

One thing in her favor over Jana is Martinez made more impact on her own peers than Jana did. Even if Jana was more capable of beating the best players of her generation than Martinez, she still wasnt as highly ranked or winning as many tournaments while her contemporaries were dominating the game. Jana instead had her most success in 97-98 as mentioned when it was a new generation on top, and all her old foes were either in decline, slumping, or even retired altogether.

I guess it would be the one and only Martina Navratilova ;)

by the way, about players not fearing her and expecting to play her, I would tend to disagree. Even with winning HTH against Conchita, on a good day she could challenge anyone , including late in her career , the Williams sisters (she's won several sets against both of them ) and you could always expect to have it tough to beat her and have to work hard, imo.
might be a bit biased though :p

spencercarlos
Nov 1st, 2011, 07:47 PM
Even Anke Huber owned Martinez.

Conchita sure did have her boogey(wo)men
Conchita Martinez has a losing head to head record with about 30 players on the tour.. That is to say is quite a lot.. Not sure about Novotna..

spencercarlos
Nov 1st, 2011, 07:58 PM
The amazing thing about Martinez is I dont think any of the top players feared her. Well except someone like tiny Amanda Coetzer where Martinezs topspin jumped over her head that is. Even much less accomplished and regularly lower ranked players like Anke Huber and Kimiko Date owned her, and seemed to always expect to beat her when they faced her. I believe Iva Majoli also had a reasonably good head to head and I saw her just power Martinez off the court a number of times. I am not sure who the best player she has a winning record against would be, Mary Joe Fernandez maybe. I guess that is a tribute to her immaculate consistency that stayed so highly ranked.

One thing in her favor over Jana is Martinez made more impact on her own peers than Jana did. Even if Jana was more capable of beating the best players of her generation than Martinez, she still wasnt as highly ranked or winning as many tournaments while her contemporaries were dominating the game. Jana instead had her most success in 97-98 as mentioned when it was a new generation on top, and all her old foes were either in decline, slumping, or even retired altogether.
Conchita was very playable even at her best. She had a very good forehand, which she choosed to moonball a lot in her carreer, but when she was agressive, that was some shot.
But beyond that Martinez did not have an imposing game. Her best game comes as the player who works the ball around the court with extreme precision and consistency.

She was never a netrusher or an agressive player from the baseline that players had to fear..

Sombrerero loco
Nov 1st, 2011, 08:05 PM
jana was better, even though she was a choker

spencercarlos
Nov 1st, 2011, 08:15 PM
This is a really tough question. Conchita was clearly the more consistent performer and has won alot more singles titles. She capatilized on a pretty good sized clay court season (which is not true of say grass) to win alot of good sized titles on the surface, alot of those during the Seles absence. Novotna has more slam finals, has won the YEC, was a threat on all surfaces at her best more than Martinez was, and her peak level of play was better.

If we include doubles it would clearly be Novotna. Singles alone it is a toss up, and depends on what you value. Martinez was the 3rd best player in the World the 93-95 period behind Graf and Sanchez (apart from early 93 and late 95 when Seles was active again). In 1995 she was the games most consistent performer probably, but proved not good enough to beat Graf, Seles, Sanchez Vicario, or Pierce when it mattered most. This was the watershed year of her career IMO. It was still overall her best year ever and could have elevated her to new heights but she just couldnt do it. Novotna was the 2nd or 3rd best player in the World in 97 and 98 behind Hingis, and along with Davenport.
When you take a closer look to Conchita´s singles win, you find about 30-40% of her total titles being MM tournaments (Tier III or less).
Again i don´t know about Novotna, but would be nice to figure that out.

This is a close battle that probably ends up in favour of the superior consistency of Conchita. Although Novotna at her peak did more in the big events and beat the best player way more than Conchita.. its too difficult to pick.

Matt01
Nov 1st, 2011, 10:35 PM
When you take a closer look to Conchita´s singles win, you find about 30-40% of her total titles being MM tournaments (Tier III or less).
Again i don´t know about Novotna, but would be nice to figure that out.


Maybe you missed it but Conchita won 9 Tier I tournaments while Jana won 2.
But you are right that Martinez won quite a lot of smaller tournaments early in her career.

LuvSerena?MeToo
Nov 1st, 2011, 10:38 PM
Do you mean technically?

jimbo mack
Nov 1st, 2011, 10:45 PM
Conchita's form leading up to the French in 95 was scarily good, did Novotna ever have such a stretch of wins consecutively?

Matt01
Nov 1st, 2011, 10:49 PM
Maybe you missed it but Conchita won 9 Tier I tournaments while Jana won 2.
But you are right that Martinez won quite a lot of smaller tournaments early in her career.


I counted it and Conchita won 17 Tier II and above titles while Jana won 15 so the difference is not that big. :tape: Well, I voted for Jana anyway :oh:

edificio
Nov 1st, 2011, 11:14 PM
Looking at the numbers, I have to say Conchi, even with Jana winning more matches. Otherwise, I would have thought Jana. The head to head could just be a bad matchup. Surprising.

spiceboy
Nov 1st, 2011, 11:53 PM
Martinez did not have an imposing game. Her best game comes as the player who works the ball around the court with extreme precision and consistency.


And this video is a clear example. A truly masterpiece :hearts: :worship:

oVwlZApl8dk

ExtremespeedX
Nov 2nd, 2011, 02:59 AM
Novotna is a much better player obviously.

S&V and attacking tennis > moonballing.

JCTennisFan
Nov 2nd, 2011, 06:22 AM
Novotna was the more naturally talented, but Martinez was without a doubt the more mentally strong. And good lord her game was so annoying to her opponents that it allowed her to control matches alot better than her pace would suggest. Some of the trajectories of her shots were so odd, they looked like they were gonna go WAY long only to die in the air and spin in. Atleast when a player faced Novotna they knew they werent gonna want to kill themselves halfway through. Im not suprised that Schnyder disliked her so much.... that game drives you nuts! It was however quite effective. Almost kinda reminds me of Santoro in the respect that the other girls DREADED to play her like the men did with Santoro.

The weirdest stat between the two to me atleast is the most obvious.... that they both won W. Two players with totally different styles both winning on grass. One obviously totally suited to grass but mentally inept, the other completely unsuited but mentally strong.

spiceboy
Nov 2nd, 2011, 10:55 AM
Two players with totally different styles both winning on grass. One obviously totally suited to grass but mentally inept, the other completely unsuited but mentally strong.

I wouldn't say Conchita's game was completely unsuited to grass AT ALL :tape:
Do you believe she won Wimbledon moonballing? Those slices and passing shots drove her opponents crazy...

Sonf@
Nov 2nd, 2011, 03:27 PM
We can't overlook consistency when talking about Conchita's skills and we should take a deeper look at some of the statistics, such as the head to head, which Jana leads by four wins against one loss. That's nice, of course, but Jana's four wins came on indoor matches, while Conchita's win was in San Diego (1994, HC). It's not their fault that they never managed to play each other on clay. Had they played more matches on that surface, the head to head would be a lot different.

Also, a couple of random stats:

YE Top 10
Conchita: 9
Novotna: 7

YE Top 15
Conchita: 12
Novotna: 10

YE Top 50
Conchita: 18
Novotna: 11

Sonf@
Nov 2nd, 2011, 03:34 PM
I wouldn't say Conchita's game was completely unsuited to grass AT ALL :tape:
Do you believe she won Wimbledon moonballing? Those slices and passing shots drove her opponents crazy...

Conchita's grass game started to look unsuited to grass from 1997 onwards, when she became more passive about her game and her strategy overall. She had a nice serve before that, when her shoulder problems started bothering her and had to change her motion (hence the low ball-toss), The increase of power also had something to do about it.

Anyway, once she had got herself into Wimbledon's final she was very used to the attacking game. She had to beat Simpson, Kunce, McNeil (serve and volleyers), Miyagi (I never saw her play so i can't comment on her, but she was a very nice doubles player, so I'd say she had some net skills), Tauziat (who was making a transition to become an attacking player) and Davenport (pretty hard and kinda flat shots)

MLF
Nov 2nd, 2011, 03:55 PM
Both excellent players but Novotna was the better player even though she was flaky mentally.

The other top players ( i.e Seles, Graf, Sanchez ) pretty much knew they had Martinez's mumber when they played, but you could tell they viewed an encounter with Novotna with more trepidation. Conchita had a wonderful career, but was one of the main beneficiaries in career terms of the Seles stabbing. At least she stepped up and took the opportunity to be one of the elite.