View Full Version : Scariest Rookie - Who scared the vetrans the most?

Mar 10th, 2002, 03:57 AM
It seems like everyday we hear of a new up and comer, blaster her way up the rankings. We currently have Daja Bedanova, Angelique Widaja, Elena Bovina, Daniela Hantuchova, and many more. We had Kim Clijsters, Justine Henin, Jelena Dokic, Alexandra Stevenson to name a few.

It always amazes me to see such young players do so well on the tour. I can't imagine how tough it would be.

My question is, who in your opinion which rookie has caused the biggest uproar on the tour? Martina Hingis was awfully good (and still is). Jennifer Capriati wasn't too shabby either. Nor was Monica. Or Anke. Or Venus and Serena. Which player did the vetrans talk about most in the locker rooms?

Just a wonderin'


Mar 10th, 2002, 04:02 AM
Martina Naritolava often talks about how good hingis is.

Also spirela goes on about hingis

Mar 10th, 2002, 04:06 AM
I think that Jennifer created the biggest stir as a rookie! But there are so many great young players out there! I think that this can only be good for the sport.

Master Lu
Mar 10th, 2002, 04:14 AM
I think Mirjana Lucic made a a great stir, though she never delivered. yet...

To support my claim, I'd put all the post/questions/whatever on what's up with Lucic even after such a long, complete absence.

Also, Graf said she was nowhere near as good as Lucic in her age. That was after their final match.

Mar 10th, 2002, 04:17 AM
i think jenn

i think there was more hype about marti already so the pros already knew what was coming...

Martian Stacey
Mar 10th, 2002, 08:56 AM
Originally posted by Linton
Also spirela goes on about hingis

lol, may signature backs that one up!

yeah i think Martina and Jennifer did, there was a lot of hype surrounding them.

As for the Williams sisters, well certainly proved their opponents wrong! In the beginning, there were not many people who thought they would do well, but now look where they are.

Mar 10th, 2002, 10:16 AM
Jennifer, Martina & Monica made the most noise..

Mar 10th, 2002, 11:16 AM
I'd say Seles caused Graf, Navratilova and Evert the most concern with her actual on court results. I think they knew trouble was on the way. As far as media hype goes Jennifer Capriati's Boca Raton debut caused a massive stir which was backed up by her results of making the final and worrying Sabatini.

Tatiana Panova
Mar 10th, 2002, 01:18 PM
When Hingis first came out I think she scared everyone, and she just cleaned up really. Noone could consistently challenge her back in 97. She was just so confident, so arrogant, and seemed so clever.

Monica was pretty scary when she first rookied because noone had ever hit the ball with such ferocity. Same goes for Steffi in the mid-eighties - I think her single-mindedness and athleticism was scary.

Jenny was pretty scary, and she used to finish matches so quickly. But you always had that feeling that it was too much too soon.

Mary Pierce was very scary when she first appeared, because she was one of the first to hit the smithereens out of every ball as if she hated it. She was devastating in 94.

Now I think that Daniela Hantuchova is scary in her attitude and talent.

Mar 10th, 2002, 02:04 PM
may be Justine Henin? She won the first WTA tourni she played...
and I remember her Roland Garros debut with a splendid match against Davenport.

Mar 10th, 2002, 02:28 PM
Hantuchova is the new scare.:bounce:

Williams Rulez
Mar 10th, 2002, 02:31 PM
Monica came and scared everyone :D

Jennifer was scary too, so was Martina.

Mar 10th, 2002, 02:43 PM
Hello people,
How can we forget about Serena. When she came on the scene, she rose up the rankings faster than any other female player. She started beating top 10 players left and right. She was definitely the most feared player because no one wanted her in their draw.

Mar 10th, 2002, 02:51 PM
Mirjana was probably the biggest initial scare when she won in Bol (beating Coetzer in two sets) and then made the finals in Strausborg (spl.) (beating Tauziat and Zvereva and impressing Graf).

Mar 10th, 2002, 02:52 PM
Monica was the scariest rookie of them all. Look at how many GS she won before the age of 19. Nobody else comes close.

Mar 10th, 2002, 03:06 PM
include Venus in 94 too she almost beat ASV who was playing the tennis of her life that time, pretty impressive, it was only her second match!

Mar 10th, 2002, 03:14 PM
I agree, that Mirjana Lucic was the scariest initially, I remeber in 1997 when she was 15 people were talking about how she will become the most dominant player for years to come.

Mar 10th, 2002, 03:19 PM
When they first started on tour? Jennifer Capriati scared the bejesus out of all the veterans and seasoned performers. The other girls were already aware of the hype surrounding Jennifer, and then when they saw that she was more than just the hype, they really started to worry. She was "on" from the get-go and this shook up the tennis world a little. She didn't even just start out at a small tournament. She got a wildcard into what would've been the equivalent of a Tier 2 event today at Boca Raton, and then despite a third round loss at Key Biscayne, she also reached the final at Hilton Head. People started to ask "Just how good could this Jennifer girl get if she's this great now?"

Just eclipsed by Jennifer was Monica Seles, who wasn't a hyped player to begin with. In her debut event at New Orleans, she defeated Helen Kelesi in her first pro match, followed by a win over Lori McNeil before losing to Zina Garrison. When she first started playing the pro's, her results weren't as off the chart as Jennifer's. She started making serious waves by winning Houston over Chris Evert. The other girls noticed her for sure when she extended Steffi Graf at the 1989 French Open, but I think they were more worried about Arantxa Sanchez at the time, who won the event beating Graf.

Perhaps a tie for second could be Serena Williams. She had failed miserably in Moscow qualifying just weeks previously, but in just her second big pro event in Chicago, she defeated Lindsay Davenport and Mary Pierce before going down to Monica Seles. That was perhaps a bigger warning sign than Jennifer's in terms of the calibre of opponents she faced, as Serena defeated 2 Top 10 players and narrowly lost to another.

There was definitely hype surrounding Martina Hingis when it was known that she was going to turn pro, but I seriously don't think any of the girls were scared of her. She was small and fragile-looking and the only way they'd lose to this girl was if she out-maneuvered them. Her first full year as a pro contained rather lukewarm results except for a final finish at Hamburg. She didn't really "switch on" until the closing end of 1996. Even during 1997, I don't think she was really feared by anyone, but they were probably quite awed.

Mar 10th, 2002, 03:23 PM
Originally posted by Aloysius
Perhaps a tie for second could be Serena Williams. She had failed miserably in Moscow qualifying just weeks previously, but in just her second big pro event in Chicago, she defeated Lindsay Davenport and Mary Pierce before going down to Monica Seles. That was perhaps a bigger warning sign than Jennifer's in terms of the calibre of opponents she faced, as Serena defeated 2 Top 10 players and narrowly lost to another.

Serena just lost to Monica at the Estyle classic. This was her one and only loss to Monica. I think she beat Monica and Mary, and was beaten by Lyndsay 6-4,6-4. She would then go on and beat davenport 5 straight times.

tia clara
Mar 10th, 2002, 03:32 PM
Back in the Olden Days, young Tracy Austin scared the dickens out of the top players. Andrea Yeager frightened quite a few, too. They were both quite young and seemed to have no nerves at all, and had that teen-age arrogance that they could beat anyone. And Tracy did.

Mar 10th, 2002, 04:13 PM
I'm not old enough to remember Austin, but my vote goes for Monica - she came onto the tour in 1989 and by 1990 she had won her first grand slam.

I guess that means she wasn't a rookie for very long though.

Cybelle Darkholme
Mar 10th, 2002, 04:35 PM
I think scared is the wrong word here. Somehow I don't think these top players fear or even worry about any new comer. It seems from the interviews I've read that the attitude is more like, we're already here, we're top players, lets see what you can do.

honestly, there are more things in this world to be scared of than an up and coming tennis player. These women are at the top of the sport and know they did it through hard work they probably welcomed an additional challenge.

The exception seems to be hingis. I think the calibre of players she faces now has made her into a better person because her ego and arrogance have been tempered by the realization that she can't win them all and there are true rivals she must face and battle.

Mar 10th, 2002, 09:37 PM
Someone mentioned the Williams sisters. Serena was much, much more feared than Venus when she came on tour. Serena had a winning record against every top five player within a year and that didn't change until a few years ago when Hingis got over the hump and Venus entered the top 5. She was even called the superior player by the male players, and won a Slam first. Venus was talented, but couldn't beat Hingis, Davenport, Graf, Pierce, etc. Basically the top players she struggled against. In fact Hingis laughed her off the court in their first couple matches and even laughed at the prospect of Venus beating her consistently.

I think even now Serena is a better and more feared player than Venus, because she is more physically intimidating, and hits it even harder and controls points even more than big sister. In fact, now that she seems to finally be able to close out the tight matches, I think she will have a better season than Venus.

Mar 10th, 2002, 10:09 PM
I say Jennifer was scary when she was so young. I actually think she is better when she was younger. She just wasn't mentally tough enough. That's the difference today with her game. She has always had the shots.

Also I would say Serena. In 1999 she was the most feared rookie on tour. Everyone was saying they didn't wan't to play her because she was so tough. I think she is regaining her confidence now and she should resurge this year.

Also, now I will say Hatchocova, she is not ready yet though. She came so close to defeating both Jen and Venus. She's a power player with a style similiar to the big babes. I wouldn't say she has made a big splash just yet, in order to make a big splash you have to defeat top players. However, she is gonna be good whcih is great for the depth of the tour.

Mar 10th, 2002, 10:18 PM
I agree with ya somewhat Rocksteady about Serena. However, I still say Venus is so mentally sound that her will get's her through matches if she's playing badly. I do agree that Serena is technically the better player, but Venus is so rough, and tough. She proved that to me when she was down 1-4 in the U.S. Semis against Jen, she just upped her level and fought through. Now, Serena would of probably lost that set. As good and commanding as she is, she has a tendency to let go of leads. She is getting better, but I still say Venus is better with that. It will be interesting to see if Serena can get her dominance back like in 1999. She's off to a good start so far, maybe this is the year for her.

Mar 10th, 2002, 10:25 PM
Yes, Venus is the more solid, (rock) steady player, who has nerves of steel and supreme confidence. Serena is affected by her emotions much more, her main problem. Regardless, I think if Serena gets to the same mental level as Venus, she will be the better player, because she is faster, stronger, has better touch, volleys, etc. I personally would rather have my favorites play Venus than Serena, even though Venus is the better player now, Serena has so much game that she can, at times, leave her opponent looking helpless.

Mar 10th, 2002, 10:29 PM
If I am not mistaken Serena had a matchpoint the first time she ever played Martina Hingis at the Lipton Key Biscayne. Martina said she would much rather play Venus than Serena. I think it still holds true today. I think Martina thinks she stands a better chance against Venus than Serena.

Mar 10th, 2002, 11:23 PM
Tracy Austin.

Injuries undid her career, but she did win two USOpens. At 16 years old beat Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert, both in straight sets, consecutively, to won the 1979 USOpen. Unless you beat Steffi and Monica in succession at 16, or BJK and Margaret Court, its hard to imagine a scarier performance by a young player.

Chris Evert once described Tracy Austin's game as a youngster this way. "Tracy simply did everything I did better that I did it."

Mar 11th, 2002, 11:41 AM
As Kart said about MONICA:
"I'm not old enough to remember Austin, but my vote goes for Monica - she came onto the tour in 1989 and by 1990 she had won her first grand slam".
And don't forget by 1991 she was number 1 in the world,only 2 years after her first pro match.Who else has managed to do this?I wonder if there's anyone else.
Definitely it has to be MONICA.

Mar 11th, 2002, 10:04 PM
Thanks for the replies guys. :)

That is something that Irina said of Martina. Awesome thing is, it's so true.

Back in the day, was Monica the hardest hitter on the tour? I guess after hearing all of this, I have to give her my vote, when I think about it.

What do you think about Anke Huber?

How about those players that had amazing junior careers? Do most players watch out for these youngsters? I know that Cara Black had a prolific Junior career, but hasn't had terribly solid results since. Was she feared?

How about Lindsay Davenport? I know that she was quite out of shape for some time. How about her?

Probably the biggest shock for me was when I pulled
up the Wimbledon page to see that Martina had been upset by some girl named Jelena Dokic...Wonder where she is now...

Mar 11th, 2002, 10:12 PM
Cara Black was the dominating junior in 97 but fact is the senior number 1(Martina) was younger as her so I doubt she was realy feared!