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View Full Version : Martina Hingis: Is she the "SERIOUS CLAYCOURTER" we make her out to be?


Foot_Fault
May 5th, 2006, 01:37 PM
I know it's early in her comeback, but lets look at her on Clay. We measure Clay Wins By Roland Garros ofcourse however.....back in the day, most would say arguably that CLAY was Martina's BEST SURFACE and she was made out as this Clay Specialist to a degree.

I saw yesterday the same comments here and there, Stating she Grew up on the dirt. I personally think she's better on Hard Courts...but let's Discuss.

French Open
95 - 3rd Rd (15yrs)
96 - 3rd Rd (16yrs)
97 - F
98 - SF
99 - F
00 - SF
01 - SF
------- 06 will be first year to play since 01

She has a 97-22 record on Clay, Stellar with 7 titles and 4 of them Tier 1's.

Is she a Clay Court Specialist?

Philbo
May 5th, 2006, 01:54 PM
I donít see Hingis as a claycourt specialist. I see her as a versatile player who's game is capable of adapting to any surface.

I think people have higher expectations on a clay court for her, because her known weakness (playing against big power hitters who can hit her off court) is somewhat blunted on a clay court. I think the clay hampers playes like Lindsay, Venus, Serena etc slightly whereas Hingis game doesnít suffer as much.

Carmen Mairena
May 5th, 2006, 01:55 PM
I don't think so.

jimbo mack
May 5th, 2006, 02:01 PM
i tend to think that hingis is better on indoors and the hardcourts they use in australian open
she's still great on all surfaces by all means - i think grass is her weakest surface, even if she has won wimbledon

Vacant
May 5th, 2006, 02:17 PM
I think clay and grass are her worst surfaces.

Personally, I think her best shot at titles is Rebound Ace.

Sally Struthers
May 5th, 2006, 02:35 PM
No. Like I said in another thread, she's not a great on clay as people think she is. She's much better on hardcourts and indoors. On clay she has more time to set up but her shots are even weaker than normal and that sets up for the big hitters to smash her.

Kirt12255
May 5th, 2006, 02:43 PM
Hingis with those results was given the opportunity to play her game on clay, she doesn't have that luxury these days.

Having said that, she is still possibly the best thinker on a tennis court so who knows. Pat Rafter made the Semi's of the French. Isn't claycourt tennis more about brain-fucking your'e opponent above skill and ability anyhow?;) I remember the year (possibly before many here were born)....Sanchez Vicario with rallies upon rallies of "moon-balls".:lol:

SAEKeithSerena
May 5th, 2006, 02:53 PM
I donít see Hingis as a claycourt specialist. I see her as a versatile player who's game is capable of adapting to any surface.

I think people have higher expectations on a clay court for her, because her known weakness (playing against big power hitters who can hit her off court) is somewhat blunted on a clay court. I think the clay hampers playes like Lindsay, Venus, Serena etc slightly whereas Hingis game doesnít suffer as much.




well said:D

Marshmallow
May 5th, 2006, 02:53 PM
She isn't a claycourt specialist, but considering she can play evert shot in the book and then some, she has the potential to be so. I am surprised hingis hasn't performed better on clay, but that gives her some extra things to work on.

Marshmallow
May 5th, 2006, 02:55 PM
I think people have higher expectations on a clay court for her, because her known weakness (playing against big power hitters who can hit her off court) is somewhat blunted on a clay court. I think the clay hampers playes like Lindsay, Venus, Serena etc slightly whereas Hingis game doesnít suffer as much.



This is exactly the point. You STOLE the words right out of my mouth.

hingis-seles
May 5th, 2006, 03:07 PM
I know it's early in her comeback, but lets look at her on Clay. We measure Clay Wins By Roland Garros ofcourse however.....back in the day, most would say arguably that CLAY was Martina's BEST SURFACE and she was made out as this Clay Specialist to a degree.

I saw yesterday the same comments here and there, Stating she Grew up on the dirt. I personally think she's better on Hard Courts...but let's Discuss.

French Open
95 - 3rd Rd (15yrs)
96 - 3rd Rd (16yrs)
97 - F
98 - SF
99 - F
00 - SF
01 - SF
------- 06 will be first year to play since 01

She has a 97-22 record on Clay, Stellar with 7 titles and 4 of them Tier 1's.

Is she a Clay Court Specialist?

Hingis was 14 when she played RG in 1995 and 15 when she played it in 1996.

vogus
May 5th, 2006, 03:08 PM
Hingy is not a clay-court specialist by any means. Especially in her second career, i think it will be her worst surface. 5 straight RG semi's is a great record, but it says more about how good a player she was back then, than about a surface specialization.

hingis-seles
May 5th, 2006, 03:08 PM
Hingis with those results was given the opportunity to play her game on clay, she doesn't have that luxury these days.

Having said that, she is still possibly the best thinker on a tennis court so who knows. Pat Rafter made the Semi's of the French. Isn't claycourt tennis more about brain-fucking your'e opponent above skill and ability anyhow?;) I remember the year (possibly before many here were born)....Sanchez Vicario with rallies upon rallies of "moon-balls".:lol:

Are you referring to her match at RG 1996 against Habsudova, where she moonballed her to death and was jeered and booed by the crowd? ;) :p Typical Aranxta. :lol: I miss her. :sad:

Kirt12255
May 5th, 2006, 03:18 PM
Are you referring to her match at RG 1996 against Habsudova, where she moonballed her to death and was jeered and booed by the crowd? ;) :p Typical Aranxta. :lol: I miss her. :sad:

;) Yuppers....from about 4-4 in the third set if my memory serves me correctly LOL. Sanchez was never the same after playing Novotna at the AO one year. Aranxta would go to serve and Jana would turn her back and come back to recieve. She complained to the umpire to no avail. I miss Sanchez....but geesh Novotna was a bitch :lol: Actually miss them both :mad:

Volcana
May 5th, 2006, 03:40 PM
Is she a Clay Court Specialist?It's a bit simplistic, but you can't can someone who's won every slam EXCEPT Roland Garros a clay court 'specialist'. You can't call her a specialist at all. She's good on virtually every surface.

Volcana
May 5th, 2006, 03:43 PM
Isn't claycourt tennis more about brain-fucking your'e opponent above skill and ability anyhow?Graf won it how many times? Seles won it three times. Evert won it a million times. Capriati twice. Serena.

None of those players relied on 'brain-fucking" their opponents. They just beat their brains out.

Orion
May 5th, 2006, 03:48 PM
Her skill on clay is kind of a paradox. On the one hand, it blunts the power players drives, which means she can set up her shots better. On the other hand, she likes to use her opponents power to transistion into a smarter shot; on clay, that's harder to do. On the other hand, the surface lets her do what she does best: play a highly articulated retrieving game. On the other hand, it slows down her serve even more, and pops it up at the right level for an opponent to blast it.

Clay plays to her strengths and her weaknesses. If she's serving well, she's fine, but once her 1st serve percentage dips, she can't keep up very well. I do think that as soon as she finds some rhythm to clay court tennis, she'll be able to score some nice wins.

Kirt12255
May 5th, 2006, 03:50 PM
Graf won it how many times? Seles won it three times. Evert won it a million times. Capriati twice. Serena.

None of those players relied on 'brain-fucking" their opponents. They just beat their brains out.

Fair point there Volcana...yes they won....but they were not playing the standard ladies are these days from 4th Rd onwards. Graf had to beat Seles and Sanchez....Seles had to beat Graf and Sanchez...Evert had to beat Navy and a young Graf towards the end. When Seles and Graf were winning French Opens....they had a week and a half of the 2 weeks off really.;)

liuxuan
May 5th, 2006, 04:05 PM
Fair point there Volcana...yes they won....but they were not playing the standard ladies are these days from 4th Rd onwards. Graf had to beat Seles and Sanchez....Seles had to beat Graf and Sanchez...Evert had to beat Navy and a young Graf towards the end. When Seles and Graf were winning French Opens....they had a week and a half of the 2 weeks off really.;)

when graf won her last RG, she had to beat consecutively Kournikova (who was playing great tennis back then), Davenport, Seles, then Hingis. That aint exactly a holiday u know :p

Also, Jennifer had to beat Serena, then Hingis, then Kim. these days, it isnt anymore tough to win a slam.

Aquanetta
May 5th, 2006, 04:18 PM
I know it's early in her comeback, but lets look at her on Clay. We measure Clay Wins By Roland Garros ofcourse however.....back in the day, most would say arguably that CLAY was Martina's BEST SURFACE and she was made out as this Clay Specialist to a degree.

I saw yesterday the same comments here and there, Stating she Grew up on the dirt. I personally think she's better on Hard Courts...but let's Discuss.

French Open
95 - 3rd Rd (15yrs)
96 - 3rd Rd (16yrs)
97 - F
98 - SF
99 - F
00 - SF
01 - SF
------- 06 will be first year to play since 01

She has a 97-22 record on Clay, Stellar with 7 titles and 4 of them Tier 1's.

Is she a Clay Court Specialist?

You answered your own question.

LUIS9
May 5th, 2006, 06:13 PM
She isn't a claycourt specialist, but considering she can play evert shot in the book and then some, she has the potential to be so. I am surprised hingis hasn't performed better on clay, but that gives her some extra things to work on.

Very well said! However, she's absolutely no clay court specialist. She's just good on all surfaces and very good on rebound ace and medium paced hardcourts. She can employ her lethal early ball striking indoors and make it a nightmare for players with not so perfect ball timing. Ask Sharapova.

Clay is her 3rd best surface furthermore, it's a surface that lends nicely to her all court game, especially when her lobs and drop shots are crisp.

Grass really isn't her worst surface, in fact should she ever really improve her 2nd serve and steady her somewhat improved 1st serve she would be giving Davenport, Venus, Sharpie and Serena a more decent battle on grass. Nevertheless, the fact remains that Grass lends it self very well for the power hitters to outright destroy her weak 1st serve and her lack luster 2nd serve (for the sake or a better word).

raquel
May 6th, 2006, 04:28 PM
No. Like I said in another thread, she's not a great on clay as people think she is. She's much better on hardcourts and indoors. On clay she has more time to set up but her shots are even weaker than normal and that sets up for the big hitters to smash her.
I think Hingis has the game to play well on all surfaces but you're right that clay is not as kind to her as a faster court. Her second serve on clay is a major weakness. It sits up even higher on clay and it is paceless with not much spin. Even when Venus was cramping badly she could break Hingis by easily hitting winners off her second serve for quick points. I think a clay court title is out of the question this year for her and that's not a clay court specialist. She'll be consistent - quarter finals, maybe a semi final, but I don't see her doing better with that serve on clay.

PLP
May 6th, 2006, 06:15 PM
She can still win on clay but a specialist, no. She should slice her 2nd ball in more, I think it would be more effective on this surface!

Timariot
May 6th, 2006, 06:31 PM
Fair point there Volcana...yes they won....but they were not playing the standard ladies are these days from 4th Rd onwards.

Yes, you are quite right...back in the day, there actually were players who knew how to play on clay. Today, there is only one truly great clay player - JHH. By coincidence, she went undefeated on clay last year, despite this supposedly oh-so-tough era...:rolleyes:

spencercarlos
May 6th, 2006, 06:39 PM
when graf won her last RG, she had to beat consecutively Kournikova (who was playing great tennis back then), Davenport, Seles, then Hingis. That aint exactly a holiday u know :p

Also, Jennifer had to beat Serena, then Hingis, then Kim. these days, it isnt anymore tough to win a slam.
And Graf in 96 had to beat Mary Joe, Majoli (who the following year won it), Martinez, and Sanchez, all of them great players on clay.

DannerCal
May 6th, 2006, 08:21 PM
Capriati only one the French once, she won Oz twice :)

Corswandt
May 6th, 2006, 11:05 PM
I think people have higher expectations on a clay court for her, because her known weakness (playing against big power hitters who can hit her off court) is somewhat blunted on a clay court. I think the clay hampers playes like Lindsay, Venus, Serena etc slightly whereas Hingis game doesnít suffer as much.

But clay also makes her serve even easier to blast away. It was almost pitiful to see where Venus Williams placed herself to return Hingis' serve on their latest match.

As other posters have stated:

On the other hand, it [clay] slows down her serve even more, and pops it up at the right level for an opponent to blast it.

Her second serve on clay is a major weakness. It sits up even higher on clay and it is paceless with not much spin. Even when Venus was cramping badly she could break Hingis by easily hitting winners off her second serve for quick points.

Lulu.
May 7th, 2006, 12:09 AM
No....She's not :)

Steffica Greles
May 7th, 2006, 12:20 AM
Firstly those figures at the top are incorrect. In 1995 she was 14 years old and in 1996 she was 15. At 16, in 1997, as world no.1, she was upset by Majoli in the final.

As for her suitability to clay - I would say Hingis' game is perfect for clay. Yet while the surface affords her more time to outmanouevre her opponents, simultaneously they are allowed more time to chase her shots.

If Hingis' opponents are fleet of floot and able to hit killer blows on the run, they have a better chance against her than on a hard court, or even grass. Having said that, Hingis has more time to play her own game on clay and she's comfortable moving on the surface. Players who cannot move comfortably to her shots, avoid making errors, or direct the ball away from her effectively, will find themselves shown to be fools, on the end of a piece of string.

spencercarlos
May 7th, 2006, 01:08 AM
Firstly those figures at the top are incorrect. In 1995 she was 14 years old and in 1996 she was 15. At 16, in 1997, as world no.1, she was upset by Majoli in the final.

As for her suitability to clay - I would say Hingis' game is perfect for clay. Yet while the surface affords her more time to outmanouevre her opponents, simultaneously they are allowed more time to chase her shots.

If Hingis' opponents are fleet of floot and able to hit killer blows on the run, they have a better chance against her than on a hard court, or even grass. Having said that, Hingis has more time to play her own game on clay and she's comfortable moving on the surface. Players who cannot move comfortably to her shots, avoid making errors, or direct the ball away from her effectively, will find themselves shown to be fools, on the end of a piece of string.
I agree.
Martinez and Sabatiniīs game for example are great for clay courts, yet between them there is only one RG final. But there was no doubt about which surface suited their games the most.
Hingis in an all court player, whose game is perfectly suited for clay. 2 Roland Garros finals, 3 semifinals in a 5 year span, pretty much tells the story.
Name an active player with better OVERALL results on roland garros during a five year span.
She is not the best clay courter, but she is great on the surface, no question. At least she was before leaving in 02.

PLP
May 7th, 2006, 01:19 AM
If anyone hasn't read her post-match interview, Martina talked about how she needed to hit tons of balls over the next few days before the start of Berlin. She basically alluded to not feeling the clay yet, I don't think a few losses right now matter in the grandscheme of her prep for RG, she knows she needs a lot more practice on this surface than say, rebound ace and I am sure she will be ready by Paris, specialist or not :) >P

alex14
May 7th, 2006, 11:59 AM
the reason y she is so good at rebound ace is cause she trains on it practically everyday...if she had a clay court back at home instead of a rebound ace, it would be a totally different story imo..

lee station
May 7th, 2006, 12:14 PM
She isn't a claycourt specialist, but considering she can play evert shot in the book and then some, she has the potential to be so. I am surprised hingis hasn't performed better on clay, but that gives her some extra things to work on.your avvie :lol:

spencercarlos
May 21st, 2006, 05:17 AM
Hingy is not a clay-court specialist by any means. Especially in her second career, i think it will be her worst surface. 5 straight RG semi's is a great record, but it says more about how good a player she was back then, than about a surface specialization.
Definetly this means a lot for Martina, reaching a final, beating 2 top ten, and 4 top 20 players in a matter of days, on her "worst" surface especially for her "second carreer" .
:bounce:

raquel
May 21st, 2006, 02:09 PM
She'll be consistent - quarter finals, maybe a semi final, but I don't see her doing better with that serve on clay.
OK, who's serving the humble pie? I'm at table 1. Alone. :p

Kudos to Martina ;)

Avid Merrion
May 21st, 2006, 02:44 PM
OK, who's serving the humble pie? I'm at table 1. Alone. :p
:lol: and not for the first time i bet..... :p ;)