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View Full Version : Martina develops a complex in front of power players?


saby
Mar 17th, 2002, 02:38 PM
I have the impression that Martina develops a complex with the powers players.

Tell me what do you think about Martina ?

:angel: :angel: :angel:

thefreedesigner
Mar 17th, 2002, 03:18 PM
Well I'm not sure if it's as simple as that... maybe it is, and I'm just about to complicate it! :p

For one thing there are different kinds of power player. Although I would say all the following are power players, Monica (who Martina doesn't seem to have a problem with, let us say) is completely different player to Venus, as Venus is to Jennifer, as Jennifer is to Lindsay as Lindsay is to Serena etc.

Now if you want to add Daniela to the equation as a power player, therein you have a completely different player once again. Martina wasn't beaten by power yesterday. Daniela (as with all those previously mentioned) has great timing in addition to the power. Martina got herself into right pickle from the outset by not asking Daniela any questions at all.

Players who have power as a weapon, are always going to be at an advantage against those who do... no matter what the level of play.

I really think you have to give each 'big babe' their due, and treat them differently. So....

1) It's too early to say that Martina has a 'complex' with Hantuchova; they hadn't met before yesterday's match.

2) Lindsay Davenport. They're fairly even in recent contests, which I think Davenport leads 3-2.

3) Does Venus "own" Martina? I don't think so....They haven't played as often as one might think these past couple of years, and again, while you'd probably make Venus the favourite in any contest, the outcome is by no means a certainty.

4) Serena Williams. Not owning Martina either, from what I can see.

5) Capriati. Now then.... particularly after what went down in Melbourne, you could say that Martina has what we can call "issues" with Capriati. Seems like wherever they're meeting, Jennifer is coming prepared, and knows too much. Jennifer's hitting shots on the run (with "interest") better than anyone.

Martina's game is less and less about dominating play (has it ever been, I think so... but that's perhaps debatable), but how Martina can casually toss in a 6-3 6-2 win over Monica (no slouch, obviously), then just wait on the baseline (for what is a mystery) against Hantuchova are the questions which puzzle/worry me.

This isn't to deny that - like I metioned - power players will always be there asking Martina certain questions.... but I think that they are not the same question, and her inability to win BIG MATCHES... isn't to do with Power. I think Martina can handle power expertly, it's what's in her mind to do with it that power. It's about her. Her, inside.

Maybe then, I've just agreed with you! ;)

Volcana
Mar 17th, 2002, 03:39 PM
free - You used a great phrase "...got herself into right pickle from the outset by not asking Daniela any questions at all."

When it became clear plan A wasn't working, Martina didn't change tactics. No plan B. maybe she didn't figure she'd need it.

* She didn't ask Daniela to prove she could handle slice.
* She didn't drag Daniela into net and ask Daniela to tame her errant overheads. (And Daniela had a LOT oif trouble with overheads in that match.)
* She didn't kill all the pace and ask Daniela if she could hit winners generating her own pace.

NOTE: One sort of interesting thing is Daniela actually has a particularly anti-Hingis quality to her backhand. She hit winners yesterday down the line by hammering the ball, and by blocking the ball back. She uses so little backswing when she blocks balls back from the baseline, Martina wasn't anticipitating where the shot would go. I'm sure Martina willl learn to read Daniela's swing, but there were times yesterday she clearly didn't know where the ball was going til after Daniela hit it. That's the normal situation for most players of course, but not for Martina.

~*Alma*~
Mar 17th, 2002, 04:15 PM
They have only met one time, so I'm also positive Marti will learn to read daniela's swings.
Marti usualy reads the ball very well, but it looked like she had lots of trouble with that against D.
Maybe she just didn't had her day, or she wasn;t feeling that well. But I think D just played really good!!
Too bad for Marti, but next time she will do better!!!:rolleyes: :hearts: :kiss:

saby
Mar 17th, 2002, 05:49 PM
I asked you this question because it seems to me that she is more fragile than before, maybe it is that the other players know her better and better and know how play her. I always think about OA finale this year, she was so close to win it.

It is true that against Monica she has no problem and the other players of this types (Venus, Jenn......) she wins once on two on average.

How a player like her, who is so intelligent and who knows how to manipulate the ball can let others players do whatever they want to do with her sometimes and why doesn't she change her tactics when she is in trouble, before she did not need to do it now it is almost indispensable.

For the French, she better be ready mentaly cause she will have to play against players and the public, it will be hard if she's not at 100%.

:angel: :angel: :angel:

TSequoia01
Mar 17th, 2002, 06:03 PM
No it is not a complex and yes she cannot handle the power of the big babes. Lindsay, Venus, Serena, and Capriati can and will dominate Martina. Going back 3, 4, and 5 years to generate statistics will not explain what is going on today. These power players have evolved their games to a point that Hingis just flat out cannot deal with them. Now that is the plain truth. So adding in statistics of the past to what is happening in the present only clouds the waters of why she loses. :cool:

PS Now you can add in Daniela, as for Seles, she just cannot hit on the move. So Hingis moves her around. :)

thefreedesigner
Mar 17th, 2002, 06:07 PM
TSequoia01: You go check the statistics and look at Martina's last five performances against the 'big babes'.... aside from Jen, Martina is winning her fair share.

You expect Martina to win every one of those matches. I'm sure (though not certain) that if you compare results between so-called 'big babes' they'd be pretty similar, the fact is that because Martina isn't one of them, her results against power are always going to be scrutinised more than one of the power merchants themselves.

I honestly don't think Martina has a problem (a 'big' problem) in dealing with the power these women have. Sure they pose problems because they are all great players, and their power is a part of that, but it's in how she comes to play them, and what she's bringing from her own table that is causing her problems.

Bright Red
Mar 17th, 2002, 06:27 PM
Of course, Hingis has a complex when playing against power. After all, power is what knocked her off the top spot. Dealing with power should be Priority #1 on her list.

thefreedesigner
Mar 17th, 2002, 06:55 PM
Bright Red, and others: Do you really think it's the power that's beating her? I'm not so sure.

In one sense it is... as I've mentioned, it's an obvious advantage that they can just rip a ball past her at will when things get heavy, or even when things aren't heavy!

Martina can and does beat her fair share of the Williams', Davenport's and (well sorta) Capriati's, but she's not winning those matches when it matters most: In the slams.

Is it just power?

TSequoia01
Mar 17th, 2002, 07:17 PM
thefreedesigner I did what you asked kinda. I looked up Marti's record against the powerplayers Venus, Jen, Lindsay, and Serena for the past year beginning with 2001. Martina is 0-4 against Capriati, 1-2 against Lindsay (one loss was an injury retirement), she is 2-2 against Serena, and she is 1-1 against Venus. But what jumped out at me was she has lost the last match against all of them, the last two against Lindsay and Serena. Your point is well taken though, it is not like she has not beaten them, well all except Capriati. But to lose you last encounter to each of them is quite telling, and now another power player has defeated her, this to me is not mental. There was a time when she seldom lost to these types of players. It is now becoming common place or even expected. To say it is mental, kind of says she can do something to turn these losses around by attitude alone. While I do think she will have her days, they will be few and far between. The game is evolving and changing, she is not changing fast enough with it. :cool:

oddkayla
Mar 17th, 2002, 08:47 PM
Free, you are spot on when you say Martina did not ask Daniella any questions.
Last year on the sanex board, I said that Martina should be looking to put doubt in power players. Power players after all have and are making Martina doubt her own game. Martina has the game to beat any player, power or not. She has her own weapons, and I am not particularly sure why she feels she does not need to bring them on to the battle field.
Part of it was that Martina used to routinely beat these players without having to do anything special. A combination of nerves and risky play would almost always guarantee a power player would implode, but not anymore. So what has happend imo is that the more Martina loses, the more she loses her edge. No one is afraid to play her anymore. She needs to make these women doubt their own games.
After starting the season reasonably well, she seems to be headed in last year's direction.
If Martina is as smart as everybody has been saying, perhaps now is the time to do that by making the necessary adjustments.

oddkayla
Mar 17th, 2002, 09:00 PM
Some things were very telling in this last match. When The final started, Martina was smiling and just happy go lucky. Even when Daniella won a point, Martina was still smiling. When she was trailing, and Daniela was asserting herself, Martina lost the joke, and started to go from the frustrated look on her face, to the scared look.
And therein lies the problem. Martina still expects people to fold or choke against her. In her press conference before the final, she made a reference to Daniela's lack of experience in finals. Did she think she would have it easy because her opponent, being in an unfamiliar situation would be a basket case?
Should she be concerned about those things at this point? In order to fix her problems, she needs to focus on the game that scares opponents. Psych out opponents with her game, not perception.

Dawn Marie
Mar 17th, 2002, 09:16 PM
I think Martina is playing well. She has alot of trouble with the big hitters but overall her game is still tops. Martina is not going to beat everyone all the time. Sure Martina has good anticipation and weapons but so do many other players. Now you all can go on and think that Martina should have won and all, but I think Daniela has too many weapons for Hingis. Hingis tried to come to net Dani passed her. Hingis tried to serve volley Dani passed her. Also a major key to this match was the Hingis serve. And Daniela return. Dani owned it. She put pressure on Hingis's first serves so that Hingis had to hit a second serve. And what happened? Daniela crushed it. Hingis is a talented player but what I saw last night was a player who dismanteled her opponents weaknesses. Daniela beat Hingis the exact same way that Hingis beats her opponents.

You win some and you lose some. I am waiting on a rematch already.. NOW that should be exxciting.:)

RockSteady
Mar 17th, 2002, 10:29 PM
"Power" has nothing to do with it, because everybody is a power player in women's tennis these days, except a few Spanish players and Coetzer. The whole top twenty relies on "power", and Hingis is having the best season of anyone so far, so I wouldn't say she can't handle anyone. When she lost to Serena and Jen this year, she really should have won. For obvious reasons against Jen, and against Serena she played pathetic, defensive, horrendous tennis. But yesterday, she played good. She moved to net, hit dropshots, played fairly aggressive, and moved well. Her serve wasn't THAT bad. The 'problem' was she was playing someone who was hitting everything she hit but better. I've never seen Venus beat Martina like that. The problem for Martina wasn't "power", it was the fact that on that day, the player on the other side of the net was playing better, more accurate tennis.

Give it a rest. Lindsay's recent losses have been against Kim, Serena and Venus. Serena has been losing against Jen and Venus. Venus lost to Shaughnessy, Shcett, Henin, Seles, and Testud recently. The are ALL power players, but where is the "is Venus/Jen/Lindsay/Serena struggling with power players"? Face it, you're going to have to lose against someone, and when 90% of the players are power players, it's those you're going to lose to.

barmaid
Mar 17th, 2002, 10:43 PM
Rocksteady, I agree with your post and I wish Martina would engrave on her forehead her quote from long ago that you use.."Do you want to serve first or do you want me to break you"...she really needs to apply more positiveness to her game...and even if she repeats that quote a couple of times on the court, it will definitely help her:bounce: Hopefully:fiery:


barmaid:wavey:

Volcana
Mar 17th, 2002, 10:46 PM
Rock steady, RockSteady. That was well put.

treufreund
Mar 17th, 2002, 10:50 PM
Rock hit the nail on the head. ALL the players struggle playing a succession of power players. jenn lost to Alex and then Alex lost to Jenn. Serena lost to Meghann when Meghann used hit power to blast an approach and then come to the net with a finesse drop shot causing Serena to get injured. Power + finesse + plus a little awkward movement from Serena took her out of the games just before a Grand Slam event. Monica lost to Jelena a power player and to Hingis twice this year after having been worn down by power players. Alex, a power player, lost to the veteran Lisa Raymond and Venus lost to power player Monica after being worn down by Daniela. Then Venus lost to Testud, a semi-power player, after weeks of battling Kournikova and Mauresmo and basically being worn down.

that's tennis these days. Like martina said " the power players also have to play each other." Last spring Amelie lost to Jelena on clay after she had beaten Jennifer the week before and was extended to three sets by Hingis. The next day she was DEAD ON THE COURT against Jelena. Then Jelena gets injured this year after playing so much in Europe. Also Kim injured. Believe me this grueling power play tennis is really at the heart of more than just Martina Hingis losing. It is wearing a LOT OF PLAYERS down and causing upsets and injuries and sometimes burnout. But that's why increased depth will be good because you will need 16 or 20 good players since at any given time about half of them seem to be injured.

xan
Mar 17th, 2002, 11:47 PM
I'm sorry. I have to disagree with rocksteady. Martina did NOT play well yesterday.

Yes, she can deal with power, but she has to play on tip-top form to beat a good power player. She has to have a plan, and use it effectively, varying her play, holding serve and grinding down the "power player".

Yesterday Martina seemed to have no pan than to get the ball in play and wait for Daniela to self-distruct.

Let me say, it wasn't a bad plan. In 90% of cases where a young "flair" player gets to her first final with a charismatic star, she DOES lose it. But Dani didn't, and until the last three games of the match Martina had no other plan.

She just kept the ball in play, and let Dani tee-off winners. Daniela made a lot of mistakes in that match, but on the important points she played well.

joao
Mar 18th, 2002, 12:11 AM
Oh c'mon guys.... Hingis has a real problem with power players! Her problem becomes even bigger when power is mixed with brain! If you don't believe me, just have a look at some parts of an interview given by Martina about her loss.....pretty astonishing!!!!

(...)

Q. Were you beginning to think, "She can't keep hitting the lines?"

MARTINA HINGIS: That's what I thought. Just hang in the match. Even at the end, I thought maybe she gets a little tentative there. She got a little bit at the end. I mean, she didn't, you know, serve as well. She served out the last game, the last two points. But even in that game, she was like, "Okay, you know, just try to put it in, do the shots." And she did. I mean, she did it. I was a little surprised about that.
But against players like -- you know, if she makes it to the finals, you know, obviously she played well at the tournament.

Q. How heavy is her ball compared to Lindsay or Jennifer? Effortless, it seems.

MARTINA HINGIS: I thought sometimes it seems like she can't hit those shots, the way she makes the swing, it's like she's going to be late.

But somehow she managed always to hit it on the lines or just like inside the lines. There's not much you can do about that because I felt like many times hitting through the middle, you know, don't give her too much of an angle. She managed to play such great shots out of that.

You know, next time hopefully I get more chances to play her in the future, try to figure out something else.

Q. I'm not suggesting you underestimated her at all.

MARTINA HINGIS: No. I mean, I won the first game. I was up in my second (laughter).

Q. Did she take you by surprise?

MARTINA HINGIS: No, she didn't take me by surprise. She made the finals, she beat some other girls at this event. Not at all.

The first game, you know, I hit a few good shots, she missed a few, and I was probably expecting her to miss more than she did. It was always like such close shots, like every single time, you know, whether she was with or against the wind. There's not much you can do when the ball bounce like right in front of the line.

I tried to take a little higher risk in the second or something, come in. But she didn't give me many chances. So, you know, it's a lot of pressure on my serve. In the wind, it's just very difficult to serve. If you have her height, you can always go for more shots. She has a good second.

With me, it's like I have to go more for first safe. Well, you know, hopefully, like I said, I get more chances to play her.

Q. You've played a lot of players now who are younger than you. Most of them you've beaten, especially in big matches. What makes her so special?

MARTINA HINGIS: I mean, sometimes like young players, they have ups and downs. But she wouldn't really have any today. I mean, she would, you know, miss a shot here and there, but she kind of regrouped right away.

She already had matches like where she had players almost already beaten, then she still lost those. Like I remember in, was it Toronto or Montreal, where she was up 6-1, 4-1 against Jennifer and still lost that match. So she's matured since then.
Also Venus, Australian Open, she won the first set, still lost like 6-4 in the third or something.
So, I mean, everyone knew she had a game to play all the top players. But it was like making another step to also win.
You know, hopefully she won't only beat me but some other ones (laughter). I mean, she beat Henin. That was probably like the first, you know, top player she's beaten.

(...)

Q. Again, does she hit as hard as Serena or Jennifer?

MARTINA HINGIS: It's a little different.

Q. Or she plays close to the lines?

MARTINA HINGIS: She's very well-placed. It's not like she would hit as hard, but very deep, very long. It's very difficult to do something out of it. Very well-placed.
I mean, she has a great sense of the court, very good view.

Q. A game almost like Lindsay's, groundstrokes?

MARTINA HINGIS: Yeah, more like Lindsay's.

Q. As hard as Lindsay's?

MARTINA HINGIS: She's faster. I mean, she's younger, she's faster.

She's closer to the lines. Lindsay you've got sometimes more time to do something of it. But, you know, like always when the young generation comes, she always come with something new. You know, just try to adjust and get better next time.
FastScripts by ASAP Sports..


Well......Hingis showed up with her only game plan of wait-and-see! She didn't even think to adopt a plan B when she got into trouble..... you can say whatever you want..... that doesn't look really good to me!!!!!

ot1962
Mar 18th, 2002, 01:26 AM
Do you guys realize that, maybe, JUST MAYBE!, Martina knows something that we don't know? I mean, it's her who is on court playing this power players! We know Martina has been having problems with the power players for some few years now. And it seems most people here (sorry, the odd few vocal ones:D ) agree that, if the the smartest, she at least one of the smartest players on tour. All these suggestions about her playing a more aggressive all-court game, surely a smart player like herslf should know that before us nonetities. SHe must have heard gazzilion times!

Well, from what i have been seeing for the last few years, she is just not allowed to play that type of game. In most of her matches, she does try (albeit for a short period) to do exactly that. The problem is:

1). She cannot keep doing it for long time (It is very taxing!). A good axample is one excellent back-hand down the line she played against Daniela. I saw that she had to put a lot of her body and energy behind that in order to win that point. I don't think she could have done it point in point out. Even then it wasn't a clean winner! She is smart enough to know her limits.

2). When she gets a short sharp rebuke, she is smart enough to look for a better way! Good example is with her net play against Serena in Scottsdale. She wasn't just passed, it was done with exclamation marks (copyright Mary Jo?) behind them (a lot of times). A lot of people has been saying she should come to the net more. You see, the odds against her net play is enormous when playing the power players. Her chances of winning the point, let's be generous here, is about 50/50, but she has to get the chance to get there in the first place! The chances for that is definitely less than 15%, because the power players would get winners or unforced errors most of the time. They don't play the traditional way of waiting for a clear chance to go for your shots (And i appreciated that it is not the cup of tea for some of you, especially Fingon). Effectively they are changing the game, but that's another issue.

A note on why she beats Seles comfortably. It's simply MOVEMENT, MOVEMENT and MOVEMENT. Her game plan is very simple: Try and get Seles out of position as often as posibble. This gives her a chance to gain control of the point. SHe then proceed to keep Seles moving. This actually shows how good her hands are. A lot of the balls that puts Seles out of position are non-issues (just normal rally strokes) when played against the top power players. They get to the balls easily and able to hit back more powerful shots back.

Sorry it's a bit too long but i hope it all make sense.

thefreedesigner
Mar 18th, 2002, 09:28 AM
I agree with RockSteady in that all the players now, even Henin, are hitting it harder than Martina.

I maintain that Martina doesn't have a problem with the power players, but with the better players.

That's one problem, and that's there for everyone....whether you're Lindsay or Jenn or Kim, you have to find a way to beat players who are hitting hard and moving well. Because Martina doesn't have that power, she'll stick out like a sore thumb.

I also have to agree with Xan about Martina's (lack of) tactics, and it's the frame of mind ('suicide tennis') that forces this kind of play that seriously worries me. Much more than Martina getting out-hit because Martina can hang with the big girlsThis isn't the first time, it's like she's gotten stage fright or something. I too could not really blame Martina for starting the match like that, but when it became obvious (after 3 or 4 games) that Daniela wasn't falling for that trick - rigor mortis set in on the other side of the net.