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laurie
Jun 18th, 2010, 01:31 PM
Hi. My articles are now published on two sites: The Bleacher report and an Australian website called the Big Tip

http://www.thebigtip.com.au/tennis/8...-win-wimbledon

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/4...-win-wimbledon

Hope you like the article: Read on.....


With Wimbledon fast approaching, it would be interesting to take a look at some of the best players who excelled at Wimbledon but never managed to lift the trophy in the last 30 years

.

Ivan Lendl

Ivan had a very good grass court record. He made it to two finals in 1986 and 1987, plus the semifinals in 1983, 1984, 1988, 1989, and 1990.



You won’t get a much better record than that. Plus, there have been players who have won Wimbledon with nowhere near as good an overall record of wins. Lendl lost in straight sets to a brilliant Boris Becker in 1986 and Pat Cash in 1987.

Lendl had many attributes to win Wimbledon, including a big serve plus athleticism, but the criticism was that he changed his game for the grass by serving and volleying when he should have played his natural game instead.

This critique is tough because back then everyone came to the net, and the grass courts weren’t as playable for baseline tennis as they are now.



Pat Rafter

Pat Rafter did not have his best results at Wimbledon until towards the end of his career.

A contemporary of Sampras and Ivanisevic , Rafter took to the grass courts from 1998 onwards—up until that point, Rafter was a hard court player due to the big kick serve and even bounce hard courts offered his game.

One can argue Rafter was unlucky; in 1999 he lost in the semifinal to an inspired Andre Agassi.

In 2000, Rafter played the best match of his career beating Agassi in five sets in the semifinal but came up against Sampras in the final. Even though Rafter won the first set in a tiebreak, Sampras was always threatening to run away with the match by persistently returning well, and he eventually did after turning around the second set tiebreak.

In 2001, Rafter came from behind twice to defeat Agassi in a five-set thriller in the semifinal and then played one of the best matches of the Open era against Ivanesivic in an amazing five set final with both players desperate to win after Sampras’ demise.

Both players deserved to win, but Goran came through 9-7 in the fifth to avoid being included in this discussion.

Rafter had all the physical and mental attributes to win Wimbledon but maybe just didn’t have the little bit of luck needed at the highest level to pull it off.



Andy Roddick

Perhaps I’m too quick to include Andy here because he’s still on the Tour and not yet 30 years old.

But you wonder if his last chance has gone after blowing the second set tiebreak last year against Federer in the final.

Roddick has been to three finals, each time losing to Roger Federer, so one can argue that he has been slightly unlucky.

However, I can also argue that out of everyone in this list, Roddick is the least talented and relies too much on his serve. He doesn’t possess the athleticism of the other players mentioned, and his return game is the least effective.

The media is always focused on the serve, but if you cannot return serve well, winning Wimbledon is impossible.

As Sampras has always said, it’s the return of serve that wins Wimbledon—otherwise we would see Karlovic and Rusesdki win Wimbledon were it just about the serve.

Roddick still has time so lets see what happens.



Tim Henman

Henman is an interesting choice because he never actually made a final. But he did make it to four semi finals from 1998 to 2002.

Henman had a lot going for him. He was very athletic, he had fanatical home support, and had a very nice return game.

His best chance came in 2001 when he had Ivanesivic on the rack in the third set, but the rain came and changed everything.

He also gave Sampras a good match in 1999, taking the first set, but Sampras’ experience proved too much in the end.

In my view the reason Henman never won Wimbledon was he simply did not have the power to go with his athleticism.

His serve wasn’t strong enough consistently, and he was never able to serve many aces or unreturnables, so he always had to work hard, and eventually that takes its toll against the best players—in other words, Henman wasn’t able to intimidate the opposition into mistakes.



Mark Phillippoussis

Mark made it to the final in 2003, losing to Roger Federer, who won his first Wimbledon.

Roger was the better player that day, and even though there were two tiebreaks, Roger’s return game made the difference.

Mark had many gifts—he was physically imposing and had one of the biggest and best serves in the game.

Unfortunately Mark had many injury issues, and the word is that he didn’t have the discipline to work hard enough on his game to get the best out of himself.

Therefore you can argue that Mark was a wasted talent—unfortunately for him.



Justine Henin

Like Roddick, Justine is still on the tour, having come out of retirement with the goal of trying to win Wimbledon.

Justine has been to two finals and one semifinal, losing to Venus Williams in three sets in 2001 and Amelie Mauresmo in three sets in 2006.

Justine has a beautiful game for grass, she’s athletic, and she's not afraid to attack the net or serve and volley. Plus Justine can use the slice to keep the ball low against the many two-handers out there on the backhand side.

What has prevented Henin winning Wimbledon up to now?

In my view Justine has the same issue as Henman. Her lack of power so far has made the difference and prevented her from being able to able to conquer Wimbledon.

Lets see what happens this year.



Arantxa Sanchez Vicario

Arantxa has a record similar to Lendl—finalist twice and semifinalist on a few occasions.



Arantxa faced Steffi Graf in 1995 and 1996. In 1995, Arantxa gave everything, but there was an incredible ninth game in the third set which lasted almost 25 minutes, andSteffi was bale to eventually break and serve out for the title. In 1996 Steffi was always in control.

Arantxa was a crafty and intelligent player who was tactically aware. She won the French Open three times and the US Open once, beating Graf in a great final in 1994.

But again, at Wimbledon, Arantxa just lacked the power and athleticism of her rivals, including Graf, Novotna, and Navratilova.



I would like to finish the article with a few honourable mentions who had the game to win Wimbledon and managed to win after coming so close on many occasions.



Honorable Mentions (winners)

Goran Ivanesivic, Jana Novotna, and Amelie Mauresmo.

spencercarlos
Jun 18th, 2010, 02:11 PM
Hi. My articles are now published on two sites: The Bleacher report and an Australian website called the Big Tip

http://www.thebigtip.com.au/tennis/8...-win-wimbledon

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/4...-win-wimbledon

Hope you like the article: Read on.....

By the way, its not just about men players, two women players are covered in the article


With Wimbledon fast approaching, it would be interesting to take a look at some of the best players who excelled at Wimbledon, but never managed to lift the trophy in the last 30 years.

Ivan Lendl – Ivan had a very good grass court record. He made it to two finals in 1985 and 1986 plus semi finals in 1983, 1984, 1988, 1989 and 1990. You won’t get a much better record than that plus there have been players who have won Wimbledon with nowhere near as good an overall record of wins. Lendl lost in straight sets to a brilliant Boris Becker in 1986 and Pat Cash in 1987.

Lendl had many attributes to win Wimbledon including a big serve and athleticism but the criticism was that he changed his game for the grass by serving and volleying and should have played his natural game instead. Tough because back then everyone came to the net and the grass courts weren’t as playable for baseline Tennis as they are now.


Pat Rafter – Pat Rafter did not have his best results at Wimbledon until towards the end of his career. A contemporary of Sampras and Ivanesivic, Rafter took to the grass courts from 1998 onwards – up until that point, Rafter was a hard court player due to the big kick serve and even bounce hard courts offered his game.

One can argue Rafter was unlucky; in 1999 he lost in the semi final to an inspired Andre Agassi. In 2000 Rafter played the best match of his career beating Agassi in 5 sets in the semi final but came up against Sampras in the final. Even though Rafter won the 1st set on a tiebreak, Sampras was always threatening to run away with the match with persistent good returning, which he eventually did after turning around the 2nd set tiebreak.

In 2001, Rafter came from behind twice to defeat Agassi in a 5 set thriller in the semi final and then played one of the best matches of the Open era against Ivanesivic in an amazing 5 set final with both players desparate to win after Sampras’ demise. Both players deserved to win but Goran came through 9-7 in the 5th to avoid been included in this discussion!

Rafter had all the physical and mental attributes to win Wimbledon but maybe just didn’t have the little bit of luck needed at the highest level to pull it off.

Andy Roddick – Perhaps I’m too quick to include Andy here because he’s still on the Tour and not yet 30 years old. But you wonder if his last chance has gone after blowing the 2nd set tiebreak last year against Federer in the final. Roddick has been to three finals, each time losing to Roger Federer so one can argue that he has been slightly unlucky.

However, I can also argue that out of everyone in this list, Roddick is the least talented and relies too much on his serve. He doesn’t possess the athleticism of the other players mentioned, and his return game is the least effective. The media is always focused on the serve but if you cannot return serve well, winning Wimbledon is impossible.

As Sampras has always said, it’s the return of serve that wins Wimbledon – otherwise we would see Karlovic and Rusedski win Wimbledon if it was just about the serve.

Roddick still has time so lets see what happens.


Tim Henman – Henman is an interesting choice because he never actually made a final. But he did make it to four semi finals from 1998 to 2002.

Henman had a lot going for him. He was very athletic, he had fanatical home support and had a very nice return game. His best chance came in 2001 when he had Ivanesivic on the rack in the 3rd set but the rain came and changed everything. He also gave Sampras a good match in 1999, taking the 1st set but Sampras’ experience proved too much in the end.

In my view the reason Henman never won Wimbledon was he simply did not have the power to go with his athleticism. His serve wasn’t strong enough consistently, he was never able to serve many aces or unreturnables, so he always had to work hard, and eventually that takes its toll against the best players – in other words, Henman wasn’t able to intimidate the opposition into mistakes.

Mark Philippoussis – Mark made it to the final in 2003, losing to Roger Federer who won his first Wimbledon. Roger was the better player that day, and even though there were two tiebreaks, Roger’s return game made the difference.

Mark had many gifts, he was physically imposing and had one of the biggest and best serves in the game. Unfortunately Mark had many injury issues, and the word is that he didn’t have the discipline to work hard enough on his game to get the best out of himself. Therefore you can argue that Mark was a wasted talent – unfortunately for him.


Justine Henin – Like Roddick, Justine is still on the tour, having come out of retirement with the goal of trying to win Wimbledon. Justine has been to two finals and one semi final, losing to Venus Williams in 3 sets in 2001 and Amelie Mauresmo in 3 sets in 2006.

Justine has a beautiful game for grass, she’s athletic and not afraid to attack the net or serve and volley. Plus Justine can use the slice to keep the ball low against the many two handers out there on the backhand side. What has prevented Henin winning Wimbledon up to now? In my view Justine has the same issue as Henman, her lack of power so far has made the difference and prevented her from being able to able to conquer Wimbledon.

Lets see what happens this year.

Arantxa Sanchez Vicario – Arantxa has a record similar to Lendl, finalist twice and semifinalist on a few occasions. Arantxa faced Steffi Graf in 1995 and 1996. In 1995 Arantxa gave everything but there was an incredible 9th game in the 3rd set which last almost 25 minutes, Steffi was bale to eventually break and serve out for the title. In 1996 Steffi was always in control.

Arantxa was a crafty and intelligent player who was tactically aware. She won the French Open 3 times and the US Open beating Graf in a great final in 1994. But again, at Wimbledon, Arantxa just lacked the power and athleticism of her rivals including Graf, Novotna and Navratilova.

I would like to finish the article with a few honourable mentions who had the game to win Wimbledon and managed to win after coming so close on many occasions. They are Goran Ivanesivic, Jana Novotna and Amelie Mauresmo.
A couple of observations.

Lendl got to the 1987 final, not in 1985 .

Sabatini without a doubt should be up there. Gaby even has more SF (3-1) showings at Wimbledon than Sanchez Vicario, and was just 2 points away from winning it in 1991 in the final.. http://imgsrv2.tennisuniverse.com/mtf/images/smilies/sad.gif

I would not certainly include Philipoussis, the guy just reached past the QF round at Wimbledon just once. That would be similar to saying that Nalbandian should have a Wimbledon title by now. Hmm. Mark had the serve and power, he really lacked the physical atheticism to win at Wimbledon. He got to two slam finals though, probably i can understand why you choose him.

Nice work btw, great job!

SIN DIOS NI LEY
Jun 18th, 2010, 02:15 PM
Henman :lol:

How overrated

franklinbouvier
Jun 18th, 2010, 02:27 PM
You write like a child.

laurie
Jun 18th, 2010, 02:28 PM
Spencer, thanks for pointing that out, I knew it was 1986 and 1987, I'll amend that.

laurie
Jun 18th, 2010, 02:32 PM
Franklin,

I look forward to reading your articles - if you have the guts to do anything like that and put yourself up for scrutiny.

markdelaney
Jun 18th, 2010, 02:43 PM
I would like to finish the article with a few honourable mentions who had the game to win Wimbledon and managed to win after coming so close on many occasions. They are Goran Ivanesivic, Jana Novotna and Amelie Mauresmo.[/B]

Mauresmo never came close to winning Wimbledon before 2007 , let alone on "so many occasions"

Mandlikova made 2 finals, beating Navratilova in one semi and losing to Evert in the final and then beating Evert in another semi and losing to Navratilova in the final but she gets no mention.

and on ATP "As Sampras has always said, its the return of serve that wins Wimbledon" tell that to Michael Stich who didn't achieve so much as a break point against Edberg in the semi final.

But otherwise well written.

Tennisstar86
Jun 18th, 2010, 02:48 PM
Mauresmo never came close to winning Wimbledon before 2007 , let alone on "so many occasions"

Mandlikova made 2 finals, beating Navratilova in one semi and losing to Evert in the final and then beating Evert in another semi and losing to Navratilova in the final but she gets no mention.

and on ATP "As Sampras has always said, its the return of serve that wins Wimbledon" tell that to Michael Stich who didn't achieve so much as a break point against Edberg in the semi final.

But otherwise well written.

:shrug: she made 3 semifinals in 4 years then won the title the next year... The one time in that span she didnt make the semis she didnt play.... Id say thats pretty close...

Gallofa
Jun 18th, 2010, 02:51 PM
Arantxa Sanchez Vicario – Arantxa has a record similar to Lendl, finalist twice and semifinalist on a few occasions. Arantxa faced Steffi Graf in 1995 and 1996. In 1995 Arantxa gave everything but there was an incredible 9th game in the 3rd set which last almost 25 minutes, Steffi was bale to eventually break and serve out for the title. In 1996 Steffi was always in control.

Arantxa was a crafty and intelligent player who was tactically aware. She won the French Open 3 times and the US Open beating Graf in a great final in 1994. But again, at Wimbledon, Arantxa just lacked the power and athleticism of her rivals including Graf, Novotna and Navratilova.

I am still not over the 1995 loss. So close, yet so far away. Definitely the one that got away for Arantxa.

Nice read, thanks!

InsideOut.
Jun 18th, 2010, 02:58 PM
Henin lacks power? :confused: She hits 90+ mph groundstrokes :shrug:

brickhousesupporter
Jun 18th, 2010, 03:01 PM
Laurie

The reason Henin hasn't won Wimbledon is not because of a lack of power. Henin is one of the most powerful players on the tour. Don't let her small size fool you, she is very powerful.

narutos
Jun 18th, 2010, 03:03 PM
Henin lacks power? :confused: She hits 90+ mph groundstrokes :shrug:

Not on a consistent basis. I know she is varying her game etc... but still she never won Wimbledon with this kind of game. Her lack of power definitely cost her this title.

spencercarlos
Jun 18th, 2010, 03:07 PM
Laurie

The reason Henin hasn't won Wimbledon is not because of a lack of power. Henin is one of the most powerful players on the tour. Don't let her small size fool you, she is very powerful.
Yeah but Henin lacks a powerful consistent and reliable serve for a fact. That is mainly why she has not won there.

spencercarlos
Jun 18th, 2010, 03:10 PM
Mauresmo never came close to winning Wimbledon before 2007 , let alone on "so many occasions"

Mandlikova made 2 finals, beating Navratilova in one semi and losing to Evert in the final and then beating Evert in another semi and losing to Navratilova in the final but she gets no mention.

and on ATP "As Sampras has always said, its the return of serve that wins Wimbledon" tell that to Michael Stich who didn't achieve so much as a break point against Edberg in the semi final.

But otherwise well written.
As stated by Tennisstar86 Mauresmo was actually very close from winning. In fact she was leading by set and break in those SF matches that she lost.

Mandlikova deserves this mention no doubt. Mandlikova is always up there in anything to GS titles/rankings/underachiements IMO... :)

brickhousesupporter
Jun 18th, 2010, 03:11 PM
Yeah but Henin lacks a powerful consistent and reliable serve for a fact. That is mainly why she has not won there.
I agree that her serve is a liability, but I don't think her serve needs to be more powerful. I think she needs to be able to hit her spots better. Her serve is very predictable.

Tennisstar86
Jun 18th, 2010, 03:11 PM
Laurie

The reason Henin hasn't won Wimbledon is not because of a lack of power. Henin is one of the most powerful players on the tour. Don't let her small size fool you, she is very powerful.

no shes not...... If you watch her get her "power" she has to throw her entire body into a shot to geerate the power to even compete with the other girls..... Its crazy to watch. Sometimes I wonder if shes gotten whiplash after a shot. The bigger girls can generate power so much easier....

laurie
Jun 18th, 2010, 03:20 PM
I agree with Narutos and Tennis Star. I've seen Henin play at both Roland Garros and Wimbledon and even though she has a great game, its quite an effort for her to consistently generate power, she has to work very hard to win her matches, especially against good powerful players.

brickhousesupporter
Jun 18th, 2010, 03:35 PM
no shes not...... If you watch her get her "power" she has to throw her entire body into a shot to geerate the power to even compete with the other girls..... Its crazy to watch. Sometimes I wonder if shes gotten whiplash after a shot. The bigger girls can generate power so much easier....
That does not take away from what I said. She still generates the same power as the bigger girls. :shrug: She is still a power player despite her small size.

Tennisstar86
Jun 18th, 2010, 03:58 PM
That does not take away from what I said. She still generates the same power as the bigger girls. :shrug: She is still a power player despite her small size.

except it does, because she cant cosistently do it. Theres no way she can keep it up during an entire match because it takes too much effort to generate. can she generate power? Sure, what athlete can't?..... but shes not doing it on very ball like a lot of the girls, because she cant. If she tried shed be dead by the end of the first set.

Slutati
Jun 18th, 2010, 04:00 PM
Henman. :yawn: Overhyped POS.

propi
Jun 18th, 2010, 04:07 PM
Great read! :worship:
I would have never put Henman or Mark in that list though.
Oh, and I think Arantxa did hadathleticism, she lacked a better serve.
That list makes me realize how lucky I am for having a fave who won it :hearts::hearts::hearts:
1994, the perfect year, Sergi in Paris, Conchita in London, plus ASV in Paris and NY :hearts:

spencercarlos
Jun 18th, 2010, 04:12 PM
except it does, because she cant cosistently do it. Theres no way she can keep it up during an entire match because it takes too much effort to generate. can she generate power? Sure, what athlete can't?..... but shes not doing it on very ball like a lot of the girls, because she cant. If she tried shed be dead by the end of the first set.
Its not on her nature to be a power player. Other girls can generate more power easier than Justine.

But again her main weakness at Wimbledon is definetly the consistent powerful serve, a serve that can give her one or two free points per game really hurts her chances.. She has to play most of the points and she cant control anything when a big serve pasts her.

Mightymirza
Jun 18th, 2010, 04:13 PM
comparing Justine to Henman :tape: .. I would say Justine hasnt won it yet because of lack of self belief on grass :shrug:

Tennisstar86
Jun 18th, 2010, 04:14 PM
comparing Justine to Henman :tape: .. I would say Justine hasnt won it yet because of lack of self belief on grass :shrug:

I would say Justie hasnt won it because of two girls names Williams..... and I guess Mauresmo because she stepped up an took the one chance the two of them had.....

vejh
Jun 18th, 2010, 04:18 PM
Justine's limiting factor on grass is her size vs the taller/good servers. Hard to get to those serves out wide, and if she chooses to volley she is way more vulnerable to the pass, can't cover the lines as quickly.

Power would be more of an issue on HC and she has certainly managed a number of quality wins on HC.

miffedmax
Jun 18th, 2010, 06:18 PM
Laurie

The reason Henin hasn't won Wimbledon is not because of a lack of power. Henin is one of the most powerful players on the tour. Don't let her small average size fool you, she is very powerful.



Fixed it. By both the average and the mean, Henin is right smack dab in the middle of WTA players. (She is small for a slam winner, but then so are Cappy and Franny and to a lesser extent Myskina).

LudwigDvorak
Jun 18th, 2010, 06:21 PM
Henman was never going to be a slam champion.

Lucemferre
Jun 18th, 2010, 06:21 PM
Where is Seles?:tape:

Bijoux0021
Jun 18th, 2010, 06:25 PM
Where is Seles?:tape:
Good question. As great as Seles was, it's hard to believe she never won Wimbledon. :sad:

vejh
Jun 18th, 2010, 06:25 PM
Fixed it. By both the average and the mean, Henin is right smack dab in the middle of WTA players. (She is small for a slam winner, but then so are Cappy and Franny and to a lesser extent Myskina).


And that IS the point. She is smaller than most. Only Fran can compare in height and physical size. And she is certainly smaller than any previous Wimby winner (correct me if I am wrong).

Lucemferre
Jun 18th, 2010, 06:28 PM
Fixed it. By both the average and the mean, Henin is right smack dab in the middle of WTA players. (She is small for a slam winner, but then so are Cappy and Franny and to a lesser extent Myskina).

Capriati small?:help::lol:

brickhousesupporter
Jun 18th, 2010, 06:37 PM
Capriati small?:help::lol:
Believe it or not Capriati and Justine were around the same height. Capriati might have had a couple of inches over Justine. Jen was just a stockier player. People also think that Serena is this really tall person but if you look at this picture, Serena is much shorter than Maria, Ana and Jelena.
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/hs517.ash1/30456_455014441101_26081741101_5960226_2797017_n.j pg

brickhousesupporter
Jun 18th, 2010, 06:41 PM
Fixed it. By both the average and the mean, Henin is right smack dab in the middle of WTA players. (She is small for a slam winner, but then so are Cappy and Franny and to a lesser extent Myskina).
Thanks but I don't know all the numbers, so I can't say that Justine is average height on the WTA. It would be interesting to create a histogram using height and grandslam success to determine what height in tennis is traditionally most successful. I think the result would be interesting as it would favor the more average height players.

Lucemferre
Jun 18th, 2010, 06:41 PM
Believe it or not Capriati and Justine were around the same height. Capriati might have had a couple of inches over Justine. Jen was just a stockier player. People also think that Serena is this really tall person but if you look at this picture, Serena is much shorter than Maria, Ana and Jelena.


Capriati is taller than henin and she wasn't small no matter her height.

vejh
Jun 18th, 2010, 06:42 PM
A couple of inches is gold on grass and most other surfaces. it means a wider wing span, better potential for more consistent big serving, less steps to cover the width of the court etc.


I think we've had this talk about best height for tennis and how tall players don't usually fare so well because of having to bend to reach for balls and they're usually slower. Venus is a successful, rare, tall player on the women's side. On the men's side, 6' seems to be the magic number. Safin was an anomaly; very good mover and player (except for the mental). Pova has done really well for her height.

The 5'9"ish players seem to be perfect height for women's tennis.

vejh
Jun 18th, 2010, 06:43 PM
Thanks but I don't know all the numbers, so I can't say that Justine is average height on the WTA. It would be interesting to create a histogram using height and grandslam success to determine what height in tennis is traditionally most successful. I think the result would be interesting as it would favor the more average height players.

Yes, it would favor the Serena's and Steffi's of the WTA.

Betten
Jun 18th, 2010, 06:45 PM
Where is Seles?:tape:

I don't think she qualifies as someone who 'excelled at Wimbledon'. The OP wanted to review some of the players who've often been close to the title but failed to win it. Seles reached the finals only once, so she doesn't really fit in this category.

Lucemferre
Jun 18th, 2010, 06:48 PM
I don't think she qualifies as someone who 'excelled at Wimbledon'. The OP wanted to review some of the players who've often been close to the title but failed to win it. Seles reached the finals only once, so she doesn't really fit in this category.

Then he needs to change the title because Seles is THE best player nver to win wimbledon.

spencercarlos
Jun 18th, 2010, 06:49 PM
Where is Seles?:tape:
Seles only got to a 1 RU appearence and some of Qfs at Wimbledon. Sorry but Seles was not a consistent contender for the title IMO. If Bartoli somehow reachs a couple of Qf there, she would have Seless like record there.. :tape:

Still she did great to reach the final beating Martina in 1992.

Lucemferre
Jun 18th, 2010, 06:57 PM
Seles only got to a 1 RU appearence and some of Qfs at Wimbledon. Sorry but Seles was not a consistent contender for the title IMO. If Bartoli somehow reachs a couple of Qf there, she would have Seless like record there.. :tape:

Still she did great to reach the final beating Martina in 1992.

Don't be an idiot.She didn't play in 91 and was stabbed in 93. If you think sf loser sabatini deserves to be on that list anyone can be:tape:

Jakarta
Jun 18th, 2010, 06:58 PM
I've written a similar article on the greats who should have won Wimbledon, out in our Sunday edition, from the past 40
years.

My picks, men and women:

1. Ken Rosewall: Stylish, he should have won during his youth in 1954 (lost to an aging Drobny); couldn't get the measure of Hoad two years later and then his career was interrupted by turning pro. And when he returned, despite winning the French and US Opens, there was always someone with an edge (Newcombe, Laver, Connors) when it came to the big one.

2. Ilie Nastase: Silly Ilie frittered away all that talent; lost out in the tough five-setter to Stan Smith in 1972, and four years later, at age 30, was strangely subdued in losing to Borg.

3. Ivan Lendl: Something almost tragic in his ultimately losing quest to win the elusive one (after his early years on the circuit when he did not care too much for Wimbledon's allergy-inducing grass)

4. Hana Mandlikova: Her sweet-stroking game seemed cut out for Wimbledon but a lack of consistency and focus meant this was the only slam she never captured.

5. Monica Seles: The real could-have-should-have player, but for the brutal career interruption. Sure, her game was not naturally suited to grass, but she was so strong off the ground and single-minded in her pursuit of victory that it is very likely she would have won in 1993 (after beating Navratilova in the 1992 semis and losing to Graf in the final amid the catty controversy about her grunting/squealing -- well, we hadn't heard anything yet).

6. Aranxta Sanchez-Vicario: A clay-courter, for sure, but also accomplished on all surfaces. Her 1995 final run included wins over Garrison-Jackson, granted, in the twilight of her career, and the always dangerous on grass Brenda Schultz McCarthy. Her loss in 1995 to Graf is now considered a classic match, especially the final 7-5 set full of drama and scintillating rallies.

7. Pat Rafter: Had the all-court style that could have won the grass-court championship. Let his greatest chance slip away during Goran Ivanisevic's charmed championship in 2001.

Other original picks were Sabatini and Henman, but it was pointed out that they really weren't "greats" in that they promised much but never came through. Still, Navratilova said when Sabatini retired that she really believed Sabatini had a Wimbledon championship in her.

There are other women of the 1980s era -- Jaeger, Austin -- who were excellent players, and several grass-court standouts -- Bettina Bunge, Wendy Turnbull, Garrison Jackson -- but who couldn't really be considered for this list.

spencercarlos
Jun 18th, 2010, 10:13 PM
I've written a similar article on the greats who should have won Wimbledon, out in our Sunday edition, from the past 40
years.

My picks, men and women:

1. Ken Rosewall: Stylish, he should have won during his youth in 1954 (lost to an aging Drobny); couldn't get the measure of Hoad two years later and then his career was interrupted by turning pro. And when he returned, despite winning the French and US Opens, there was always someone with an edge (Newcombe, Laver, Connors) when it came to the big one.

2. Ilie Nastase: Silly Ilie frittered away all that talent; lost out in the tough five-setter to Stan Smith in 1972, and four years later, at age 30, was strangely subdued in losing to Borg.

3. Ivan Lendl: Something almost tragic in his ultimately losing quest to win the elusive one (after his early years on the circuit when he did not care too much for Wimbledon's allergy-inducing grass)

4. Hana Mandlikova: Her sweet-stroking game seemed cut out for Wimbledon but a lack of consistency and focus meant this was the only slam she never captured.

5. Monica Seles: The real could-have-should-have player, but for the brutal career interruption. Sure, her game was not naturally suited to grass, but she was so strong off the ground and single-minded in her pursuit of victory that it is very likely she would have won in 1993 (after beating Navratilova in the 1992 semis and losing to Graf in the final amid the catty controversy about her grunting/squealing -- well, we hadn't heard anything yet).

6. Aranxta Sanchez-Vicario: A clay-courter, for sure, but also accomplished on all surfaces. Her 1995 final run included wins over Garrison-Jackson, granted, in the twilight of her career, and the always dangerous on grass Brenda Schultz McCarthy. Her loss in 1995 to Graf is now considered a classic match, especially the final 7-5 set full of drama and scintillating rallies.

7. Pat Rafter: Had the all-court style that could have won the grass-court championship. Let his greatest chance slip away during Goran Ivanisevic's charmed championship in 2001.

Other original picks were Sabatini and Henman, but it was pointed out that they really weren't "greats" in that they promised much but never came through. Still, Navratilova said when Sabatini retired that she really believed Sabatini had a Wimbledon championship in her.

There are other women of the 1980s era -- Jaeger, Austin -- who were excellent players, and several grass-court standouts -- Bettina Bunge, Wendy Turnbull, Garrison Jackson -- but who couldn't really be considered for this list.
Sabatini reached 3 slam finals all against Graf. Won 1, lost the other 2 in three sets. Won the YEC 2 Times, RU 2 other times, 5 set loss to Seles and a 4 setter to Graf....

Sabatini underachieved some but she actually came throught at some point of her carreer. The same can not be said about Henman though..