View Full Version : Martina Hingis and Consistency

Mar 10th, 2002, 10:46 PM
I have noticed an unusual pattern. Actually, its very common, so I guess it's REMARK-able, not unusual. I had always heard, and pretty much agreed, that Martina Hingis' consistency is one of her greatest assets. She always shows up and plays well, even if she doesn't always win. And while you couldn't call me Hingis fan, I'd have thought that most Hingis fans would agree with me on this.

However, I noticed something after Scottsdale, and I think I've been hearing it for a while. A lot of people are saying Martina is playing badly in her losses. She played her heart out (and her legs off) at OZ, yet people were complaining she played poorly. She fought like hell at Scottsdale. Yet a lot of people claimed she played poorly.


But if she's playing badly as often as she's losing, she's not very consistent. She played 17 tournaments last year and won three. That means she played badly 14 times. That wouldn't be so bad, but the truth is, only the last couple matches of any tournament hold players you'd expect to beat Martina. We can drop WB, but that's still a lot of losses for a player who's consistent level of play was supposed to be an asset.

Personally, I think Martina play has been fine, given what her opponents are doing. It's just that she isn't the best in the world now. She's one of the 4 or 5 best. That means sometimes she'll play well and lose. Jennifer Capriati played well at Scottsdale too. Serena played well at Roland Garros last year. At Wimbledon in 1999, Venus played one of the best matches I've ever seen her play. Against Steffi in the quarters. Oops.

So what's the deal? Has Martina suddenly become inconsistent? Has she always been inconsistent?

My guess is, some people were mistaking consistency for just being better than everybody else.

Mar 10th, 2002, 11:15 PM
In my mind, Hingis is definitely consistent......in reaching at least the "last 4" at almost every tournament! I guess her game is there to back up this fact!

Mar 10th, 2002, 11:20 PM
Consistency isnt about about being better than everyone else its about beating people you should beat.

In the top 10 the majority of players can beat each other, so consistency is not a factor if Venus beats Martina in the final of a tournament it dosent mean Martina wasnt consistent it means she was outplayed on the day and vice versa if Venus won.

Hingis is extremely consistent because she seldom loses to anyone outside the 10.

Mar 10th, 2002, 11:27 PM
Jessica02 - By your definition, Martina is about as consistent as Venus, who also rarely loses to anyone outside the top ten. Or Lindsay. Or Justine. That may be true, but only being AS consistent as your rivals hardly makes your consistency as 'asset'. It just means your IN-consistency isn't something the opponent can hope for to bail them out. (ie Serena)

Mar 10th, 2002, 11:38 PM
Besdies, what's the point in having 'consistency' if it means you come away empty handed at GS tournaments?

Mar 10th, 2002, 11:44 PM
If Hingis would somehow win a GS again, that would mean she's not consistent anymore.......at least not in slams, where she's been very very consistent in the last 3 years.....in losing that is!:bounce:

Mar 10th, 2002, 11:46 PM
LOL @ joao

Mar 10th, 2002, 11:46 PM
What I mean is if a top player played 10 tournaments a year and didnt lose to any player outside the top 10 then thats the consistency of a Serena williams.

If she plays 17+ tournaments and still dosent lose to a player ranked outside the top 10 then that is consistency of a Martina hingis which cannot be matched.

If Hingis played less then her consistency wouldnt count for much, but she does play alot so it therefore counts for alot.

Mar 10th, 2002, 11:53 PM
They are different things, consistency and level of play.

You can be consistenly good, or consistently bad.

Consistency means to play, most of the time, at the same level, what does level is? that's another question.

There are 3 factors you can consider.

1) The player potential top level
2) how close to that top level she is playing
3) how consistently she does that.

You can take for example my two favourite players, Justine and Martina.
in a scale 1-10, IMO, they both have a potential top level of 10.
Now, Martina in the good years, normally played about 8-9, and did it consistently, now, she is consistent on playing at a 6-7 level, she is capable of doing better, but playing above 7 is now an exception, not the rule.

Justine is inconsistent, she can play at 4 one match and 10 the next match, in that aspect.

Now, Venus has become consistent playing at an 8-9 level, that's why she is winning, Martina is rarely at that level, she potentially can do it but she doesn't.

Mar 11th, 2002, 12:02 AM
Even when she loses Martina is consistent. She plays her heart out every match, and makes opponent work for the win.

The first match I saw Martina play was at Wimby 2001, and even whne she lost, I said 'shes the best'. She has great win-loss percentages, and wins at least 3-4 titles a year. 2001 was a bad example, she was inconsistant that year. Otherwise she always plays at a top level, and rarely loses before a semi.

Mar 11th, 2002, 12:43 AM
I agree with Ryan, Martina is very consistent. In fact, Martina has never, ever played better overall than she is playing right now. Not in 97, 98, or 99. True she won more, but she has never been better. The Martina of 97 was fat and could not compete with the Martina of 2002. It's just that the game has evolved. She is doing her damnest to evolve with it. :cool:

Mar 11th, 2002, 12:57 AM
I think Martina's level of play is consistent. What isn't consistent is the performance of her opponents.

Serena Williams - When she's on, she unstoppable. Her serve is huge. She accelerates like a sprinter. She doesn't get tired. When she hits hard, and that's 90% of her groundstrokes in most matches, she hits hard. And usually, its in. She has a very high rate of unforced errors. But a LOT of those are Serena returning shots no one but her sister or maybe one of the Belgians can even touch. She's big, she's fast, she's sculpture's gift to tennis, but when she's off, she's thoroughly beatable. And Martina beats her. Because Martina's level of play doesn't drop.

Monica - If Monica has it dialed in, Martina's got nothin'. But if Monica slips even a little, Martina's right there. When an elite player is winning by playing their game, no opponent looks good. Think of that 6-1, 6-1 match at OZ s Venus. Sure we know Venus was injured. But she looked BAD. Because Martina got to play HER game. How many players have watched helplessly as Monica Seles launched shot after shot they simply could not reach?

ALL of them.

Kim, Justine, Amelie, Jelena? Hard to judge. None of them usually play well enough to beat Martina. Martina has the head-to-head advantage over all of them. Amelie has won the last two, but Amelie's nerves in a GS final? Bet your house. Go ahead. :) The whole top ten CAN play better than Martina. Once in a blue moon. Most of the time they don't, and Martina wins. Jenn and Venus are playing at a higher level now. Martina herself has said as much.

As a singles player, Chris Evert was, perhaps, 99.99% as good as Martina Navratilova. She won her share of majors. Because all she basically had to do was beat Martina, which she knew how to do, even if she couldn't always execute. Right now, Martina Hingis is Chris Evert facing nine Martina Navratilovas. (Well, from various stages of Martina's career. :)) Even if you maintain that Martina has just as muich chance as any other top ten player of winning a GS, that doesn't get you past Venus or Jenn. Or Serena or Monica on their good days.

But then you get back to the idea that no one looks good losing to an elite player, playing their game. The only player I've ever seen look good while Serena was playing that way against them was Justine Henin. (It may just be a case of being really fast and using a big backswing on the run. Even Venus doesn't wind up as much as these two on the run. When Justine swings, she uses her whole body. And Serena doesn't so much swing as DETONATE.) Against Martina at Scottsdale, Serena was hitting angles 95% of the tour can't hit at all at full power on a dead run. NO ONE could have looked all that good against that. That result was NOT a function of poor play on Martina's part. Sometimes, Serena plays that way. Mary Pierce was like that too. (And hopefully will be again.) Some days you simply had no chance.

Mar 11th, 2002, 01:44 AM

Not sure if you realize that there is a difference between a forced and unforced error.

If Serena hits what mighty have been a clean winner if hit to another opponent, but misses...that's a forced error. In simplier terms if the quality of your opponents play causes you to miss a shot...it's not a u.e....therefore cannot be the reason for Serena's high # of u.e.'s.

Mar 11th, 2002, 02:16 AM
Serena beat Hingis every blue moon? Oh I know what this is based on, Serena pannicking and giving away matches. That stopped after Wimbledon of last year. Well we could discuss the Open final. Anyhow, that Serena is not the player you are witnessing now. Serena is now a mature world class player, Martina and everyone else are going to have their hands full. If they want a win(over Serena), they will have to earn it. No longer will it be handed to them. Notice how poor Clijsters and Dokic played after returning from injury. Serena did not play well either, she just managed to win. Donot expect her to play like that next tourney. :cool:

Mar 11th, 2002, 08:30 AM
Originally posted by Volcana
Against Martina at Scottsdale, Serena was hitting angles 95% of the tour can't hit at all at full power on a dead run. NO ONE could have looked all that good against that. That result was NOT a function of poor play on Martina's part.

but serena was apparently playing a 4 out of 10 against marti :rolleyes:
or so she said herself

Mar 11th, 2002, 10:37 AM
last year martina was no where near as consistent has she usually is her level was good at the start of the year but then she seemed to be playing worse and worse after that like she had absolutely no interest in being on court at all and then came the injury. Though I fear that this is gonna happen again this year because people were saying that she dropped her level of play at scottsdale and that her serve had gone back to they way it was last year instead of hitting aces and closer to the lines like she was at the ausopen. Though I guess its just a matter of what u call consistency.