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Tennis Fool
Jul 1st, 2010, 01:25 AM
All these threads bemoaning the state of the WTA had me thinking of another time when the WTA seemed to be doomed...

1994 Wimbledon won by #3 seed pre-Caroline pusher, Conchita Martinez. She beat 37-year-old former champion Martina Navratilova, who last won a slam at the 1990 Wimbledon. Conchita's victory so embittered Martina that Martina went into retirement :o

Steffi Graf, 3-time consecutive defending champ, had gone out in the first round to American Lori McNeil. (Extra credit to anyone who knows what Lori's ranking was at the time.) Lori lost in the semis 8/10 to Conchita.

Monica Seles and Jennifer Capriati were out of the game, presumably never to return. The other talked about teen, Mary Pierce, was MIA.

At least we know of some of the lower-ranked players in 2010.

Here was Conchita's trip to the finals:

Rd1 Simpson-Alter, straight sets
Rd2 Myagi, straight sets
Rd3 Tauziat, straight sets
Rd4 Radford, 3 sets
Qtrs Davenport, 3 sets
Semis McNeil, 3 sets
Final Navratilova, 3 sets

This was that year's quarterfinalists
McNeil, age 30
Leiland, age 27

Martinez, age 22
Davenport, age 18

Navratilova, age 37
Novotna, age 25

Fernandez, G., age 30
Garrison-Jackson, age 30


Although Lindsay was a top 10 seed that year, she was battling with her weight and still had to show her potential. In 2010, Petra reached the semis having just shed a lot of weight, and many feel Alisa and Nasty Pav. have the potential to do more sans weight.

Obviously Venus & Serena, Hingis, Justine & Kim, and the return of Jennifer and Monica were still seasons away.

Anyone else have thoughts on this?

Nicolás89
Jul 1st, 2010, 01:31 AM
Martina Navratilova is Wimbledon's GOAT so kudos for Conchita to be able to beat her in the final.:shrug:

Joana
Jul 1st, 2010, 01:35 AM
Lori was in top 20 or thereabout and wouldn't have played Steffi in R1 under today's seeding system. She was a very apr grasscourt player and a horrible draw for Steffi who was going through a mini slump at the time.

What I remember most from this tournament was the excitement about ZOMG WHO'S GONNA WIN IT NOW THAT STEFFI IS OUT????!!! and Conchita Martinez playing the match of her life on the biggest stage possible.

It wasn't that bad. Certainly not as bad as, say, Australian Open '06.

HippityHop
Jul 1st, 2010, 01:37 AM
Martina Navratilova is Wimbledon's GOAT so kudos for Conchita to be able to beat her in the final.:shrug:

But she was 37 years old.

Tennis Fool
Jul 1st, 2010, 01:43 AM
Lori was in top 20 or thereabout and wouldn't have played Steffi in R1 under today's seeding system. She was a very apr grasscourt player and a horrible draw for Steffi who was going through a mini slump at the time.

What I remember most from this tournament was the excitement about ZOMG WHO'S GONNA WIN IT NOW THAT STEFFI IS OUT????!!! and Conchita Martinez playing the match of her life on the biggest stage possible.

It wasn't that bad. Certainly not as bad as, say, Australian Open '06.

I remember how big an upset it was that Steffi had gone out first round. Of course, all eyes were on Lori, the "lion-tamer!" She then lost in a heartbreaker (choke?) 8/10 to Conchita.

Regarding Lori, she would be like today's Vera Zvonareva, I guess, in terms of matching results.

I remember the next year, Wimbledon officials had to beg the press to come sit in for Conchita's press conferences :o

I don't like when only one player is looked as having the title in their hands with no competition. I mean, what was Wimbledon going to do now that Graf was out :rolleyes:

HippityHop
Jul 1st, 2010, 01:50 AM
Lori was in top 20 or thereabout and wouldn't have played Steffi in R1 under today's seeding system. She was a very apr grasscourt player and a horrible draw for Steffi who was going through a mini slump at the time.

What I remember most from this tournament was the excitement about ZOMG WHO'S GONNA WIN IT NOW THAT STEFFI IS OUT????!!! and Conchita Martinez playing the match of her life on the biggest stage possible.

It wasn't that bad. Certainly not as bad as, say, Australian Open '06.

Actually AO 2007 was worse because you had the number 81 player in the world, who everybody says was out of shape, beating the number 1 seed like she stole the offering for the poor at church. :devil: :angel:

azinna
Jul 1st, 2010, 01:52 AM
Conchita may have been a pusher elsewhere, but during that final she was electric and imaginative, moving like a cat, bending inspired backhands past Martina....play like that deserved to win and didn't make for much of a nadir in WTA history.

hingis-seles
Jul 1st, 2010, 01:52 AM
Sports Illustrated ran a cover story titled "Is Tennis Dying?" in 1994. However, Conchita was not a pusher by any means. She didn't bash the ball, but used spins and slices, varying the pace and depth of her shots before going in for the kill - just look at her success against Davenport.

edificio
Jul 1st, 2010, 01:55 AM
In no way was Conchita a pusher. Ridiculous. Any way, in that final, she was brilliant. Sorry, Martina. Can't win them all.

Direwolf
Jul 1st, 2010, 01:56 AM
You are Right!

mauresmofan
Jul 1st, 2010, 01:57 AM
All these threads bemoaning the state of the WTA had me thinking of another time when the WTA seemed to be doomed...

1994 Wimbledon won by #3 seed pre-Caroline pusher, Conchita Martinez. She beat 37-year-old former champion Martina Navratilova, who last won a slam at the 1990 Wimbledon. Conchita's victory so embittered Martina that Martina went into retirement :o

Steffi Graf, 3-time consecutive defending champ, had gone out in the first round to American Lori McNeil. (Extra credit to anyone who knows what Lori's ranking was at the time.) Lori lost in the semis 8/10 to Conchita.

Monica Seles and Jennifer Capriati were out of the game, presumably never to return. The other talked about teen, Mary Pierce, was MIA.

At least we know of some of the lower-ranked players in 2010.

Here was Conchita's trip to the finals:

Rd1 Simpson-Alter, straight sets
Rd2 Myagi, straight sets
Rd3 Tauziat, straight sets
Rd4 Radford, 3 sets
Qtrs Davenport, 3 sets
Semis McNeil, 3 sets
Final Navratilova, 3 sets

This was that year's quarterfinalists
McNeil, age 30
Leiland, age 27

Martinez, age 22
Davenport, age 18

Navratilova, age 37
Novotna, age 25

Fernandez, G., age 30
Garrison-Jackson, age 30


Although Lindsay was a top 10 seed that year, she was battling with her weight and still had to show her potential. In 2010, Petra reached the semis having just shed a lot of weight, and many feel Alisa and Nasty Pav. have the potential to do more sans weight.

Obviously Venus & Serena, Hingis, Justine & Kim, and the return of Jennifer and Monica were still seasons away.

Anyone else have thoughts on this?

Talk about twisting things round. Martina had announced that she would be retiring at the end of 94 so everyone knew this was her last Wimbledon - it had nothing to do with Martinez's upset. All you're looking at is her age but Martina played excellent grass court tennis particularly in her QF win over Jana Novotna losing just 1 game after dropping the first set. As for the final Martinez took away Martinas momentum by taking a well timed injury break when Martina was on a roll. Martinez was also a very talented player who used heaps of spins and was nothing like Wozniaki.

spencercarlos
Jul 1st, 2010, 01:59 AM
In no way was Conchita a pusher. Ridiculous. Any way, in that final, she was brilliant. Sorry, Martina. Can't win them all.
Conchita had a lot more variety of shots, and a much better arsenal than say push Queen Wozniacki. But compared to other players from her era, she was a pusher IMO...

danieln1
Jul 1st, 2010, 02:00 AM
Yep, Conchita winning Wimbledon is the rock bottom in WTA history, without a doubt...

Even Schiavone´s victory wasn´t that flukey... Serena must save this tournament on Saturday

AcesHigh
Jul 1st, 2010, 02:01 AM
Conchita was a pretty great player. And I would take that Wimbledon over this current one.

Tennis Fool
Jul 1st, 2010, 02:02 AM
Sports Illustrated ran a cover story titled "Is Tennis Dying?" in 1994.
I'd love if someone could get their hands on that and post it.

azinna
Jul 1st, 2010, 02:02 AM
Conchita had a lot more variety of shots, and a much better arsenal than say push Queen Wozniacki. But compared to other players from her era, she was a pusher IMO...

Yes, she used to frustrate me to no end because you see how dangerous she could be whenever she flattened that forehand. Martina did her a favor by giving her a target and forcing her to hit winners.

Tennis Fool
Jul 1st, 2010, 02:07 AM
Talk about twisting things round. Martina had announced that she would be retiring at the end of 94 so everyone knew this was her last Wimbledon - it had nothing to do with Martinez's upset. All you're looking at is her age but Martina played excellent grass court tennis particularly in her QF win over Jana Novotna losing just 1 game after dropping the first set. As for the final Martinez took away Martinas momentum by taking a well timed injury break when Martina was on a roll. Martinez was also a very talented player who used heaps of spins and was nothing like Wozniaki.
Wait-- are you saying Conchita won because of her game or gamesmanship? :p

Also, I wonder if Martina would have elected to retire if she had won Wimbledon?

spencercarlos
Jul 1st, 2010, 02:23 AM
Yes, she used to frustrate me to no end because you see how dangerous she could be whenever she flattened that forehand. Martina did her a favor by giving her a target and forcing her to hit winners.
Martinez in agressive mode was a joy to watch (Wimbledon 1994 Final for instance).

I happen to have her Philly 1993 vs Graf and she was delicious that day. Also against Hingis in Berlin 2000, but again those times you could count with your hand as Martinez virtually loved to bore everybody at home with her moonballing forehand more often than not.

égalité
Jul 1st, 2010, 02:28 AM
Yes, and three years later, we had Hingis, Venus, Lindsay, Monica, Serena, etc. These things go through cycles. People need to chill out. :o

hingis-seles
Jul 1st, 2010, 02:34 AM
I'd love if someone could get their hands on that and post it.

http://i.cdn.turner.com/sivault/si_online/covers/images/1994/0509_large.jpg

You can view the article on the Sports Illustrated website.

Tennis Fool
Jul 1st, 2010, 03:11 AM
^ Link? I couldn't find the article in the SI Vault :shrug: Although I'm pretty sure about what it says.

tennisfan5
Jul 1st, 2010, 03:14 AM
Yep, Conchita winning Wimbledon is the rock bottom in WTA history, without a doubt...

Even Schiavone´s victory wasn´t that flukey... Serena must save this tournament on Saturday

Perhaps the fact that her GS title came at wimbledon and not say, at the french, was a little flukey. But she was a solid top 5/10 player for a large chunk of her career and won 32 titles in addition to her Wimbledon. Schiavone has a long way to go to catch up with that.

Chris 84
Jul 1st, 2010, 03:29 AM
Lori was ranked 22

Yep, Conchita winning Wimbledon is the rock bottom in WTA history, without a doubt...

Even Schiavone´s victory wasn´t that flukey... Serena must save this tournament on Saturday

why must serena "save" the tournament? personally, i like not being able to predict the outcome of slams. of course we would all like the standard to be at a high level, but the current unpredictability really helps the game in some regards.

and what's more, it isnt like the standard is so awful. sam stosur played some truly awesome tennis on the clay this season. petra kvitova has been unplayable in some of her matches at wimbledon this year. can such players keep it up and remain consistent? probably not. however, that doesnt mean that they have reached where they have in slams by playing mediocre tennis and that any half decent player would thrash them.

if you look at the recent "golden era" in the mens' game, with nadal unbeatable on clay, and federer pretty much unbeatable everywhere else, then although the standard of those players was very high, the slams were hugely predictable and as a result were kinda boring.

the wta is going through a rough patch in terms of consistently high levels of play, without doubt, but ni really don't believe that things are as awful as some people make out.

archie4
Jul 1st, 2010, 03:34 AM
Yes, and three years later, we had Hingis, Venus, Lindsay, Monica, Serena, etc. These things go through cycles. People need to chill out. :o

Amen... I don't get why everyone is getting so funny about this. New names in the later stages of big tournaments are a good thing. If Serena, Venus, Kim, and Justine made every semi until 2012 and then all retired after the Olympics (which they all may do), we would really be in a world of hurt. Variety is good!

Tennis Fool
Jul 1st, 2010, 03:39 AM
if you look at the recent "golden era" in the mens' game, with nadal unbeatable on clay, and federer pretty much unbeatable everywhere else, then although the standard of those players was very high, the slams were hugely predictable and as a result were kinda boring.



Even though Federer's game is the greatest ever on the men's side, his and Andy Roddick being out before the semis has made the men's side more interesting to me in many slams.

Tomas/Novak, Andy M./Rafa -- very exciting stuff there!

AnomyBC
Jul 1st, 2010, 04:05 AM
Bottom was French Open 2010. We're back on the upswing now I think :)

AdeyC
Jul 1st, 2010, 05:18 AM
Lori McNeil was ranked 17 at the time I think

DOUBLEFIST
Jul 1st, 2010, 05:32 AM
All these threads bemoaning the state of the WTA had me thinking of another time when the WTA seemed to be doomed...

1994 Wimbledon won by #3 seed pre-Caroline pusher, Conchita Martinez. She beat 37-year-old former champion Martina Navratilova, who last won a slam at the 1990 Wimbledon. Conchita's victory so embittered Martina that Martina went into retirement :o

Steffi Graf, 3-time consecutive defending champ, had gone out in the first round to American Lori McNeil. (Extra credit to anyone who knows what Lori's ranking was at the time.) Lori lost in the semis 8/10 to Conchita.

Monica Seles and Jennifer Capriati were out of the game, presumably never to return. The other talked about teen, Mary Pierce, was MIA.

At least we know of some of the lower-ranked players in 2010.

Here was Conchita's trip to the finals:

Rd1 Simpson-Alter, straight sets
Rd2 Myagi, straight sets
Rd3 Tauziat, straight sets
Rd4 Radford, 3 sets
Qtrs Davenport, 3 sets
Semis McNeil, 3 sets
Final Navratilova, 3 sets

This was that year's quarterfinalists
McNeil, age 30
Leiland, age 27

Martinez, age 22
Davenport, age 18

Navratilova, age 37
Novotna, age 25

Fernandez, G., age 30
Garrison-Jackson, age 30


Although Lindsay was a top 10 seed that year, she was battling with her weight and still had to show her potential. In 2010, Petra reached the semis having just shed a lot of weight, and many feel Alisa and Nasty Pav. have the potential to do more sans weight.

Obviously Venus & Serena, Hingis, Justine & Kim, and the return of Jennifer and Monica were still seasons away.

Anyone else have thoughts on this?

That year was far "worse" than this one, imo.

DOUBLEFIST
Jul 1st, 2010, 05:35 AM
Conchita may have been a pusher elsewhere, but during that final she was electric and imaginative, moving like a cat, bending inspired backhands past Martina....play like that deserved to win and didn't make for much of a nadir in WTA history.
As much as I loathed her, I have to agree, Conchita was nobody's "pusher."
She had guile, craft and skill. Few have ever played the "cat and mouse" game better.

Summer_Snow
Jul 1st, 2010, 05:59 AM
Lori McNeil was ranked 17 at the time I think

That's what I remember also cuz I remember she jst missed being seeded for only one place and Graf was so unlucky to draw her 1st r

tommyk75
Jul 1st, 2010, 06:01 AM
Conchita played out of her mind that day, ripping cross-court backhand passing shots almost at will. Martina, while a step slower than she once was, still played very well, and Conchita had to rise to the occasion, and she did. 1994 was indeed a dismal WTA year (two words: No Seles), but that Wimbledon was actually one of the few bright spots.

As for this year, it's not quite over yet, so I'll pass judgement until it is (for now, I'm praying that Kvitova at least puts up a serious challenge to Serena).

SUPER
Jul 1st, 2010, 07:42 AM
Martinez in agressive mode was a joy to watch (Wimbledon 1994 Final for instance).

I happen to have her Philly 1993 vs Graf and she was delicious that day. Also against Hingis in Berlin 2000, but again those times you could count with your hand as Martinez virtually loved to bore everybody at home with her moonballing forehand more often than not.

:eek: If only I could see those matches along with the 98 AUS semis against Lindsay, I would give you anything:sad:

And people please, Conchita is not a pusher, and youtube is full with evidence. BUT she was lazy and unmotivated sooo many times, it's logical that people got bored in her matches, this I can understand. But for me, she is the most underachiever genius in this sport, and thats why I love her so much (I like difficult relationships, I'm Atletico de Madrid fan:lol:)

mauresmofan
Jul 1st, 2010, 08:00 AM
Wait-- are you saying Conchita won because of her game or gamesmanship? :p

Also, I wonder if Martina would have elected to retire if she had won Wimbledon?

She won because of both she hit so many passing shots that day it was crazy but also it was well known that Martina took a while to get going but once she did she was incredibly tough to stop - note Novotna QF - I think Martina was up 4-1 second set when Martinez took the break and Martina wasn't the same dominant player after that - dominant in the sense that she clearly had all the momentum and all the answers at that point.

propi
Jul 1st, 2010, 09:25 AM
By no means it was a surprise or bottom, Conchita had become the first Spanish in ages to play a semi in Wimbledon the year before, plus her serve and slice backhand suit grass very well as a complement to her forehand that, I fail to see as a moonball machine.
Conchita played a once in a life match and my only * is that she could not repeat that feat in Roland Garros, but she's happy and would never trade her awesome salad bowl, it's an extremely rare special edition and not all players have it :hearts:
Middle, early 90's was just awesome :hearts:

propi
Jul 1st, 2010, 09:28 AM
:eek: If only I could see those matches along with the 98 AUS semis against Lindsay, I would give you anything:sad:

And people please, Conchita is not a pusher, and youtube is full with evidence. BUT she was lazy and unmotivated sooo many times, it's logical that people got bored in her matches, this I can understand. But for me, she is the most underachiever genius in this sport, and thats why I love her so much (I like difficult relationships, I'm Atletico de Madrid fan:lol:)
That (aus open semi) IS a great match, the way Conchita planned it was mastermind:worship:
It's my very favourite match of hers, she did everything with the ball as could not compete in power with Lindsay (except in forehand); her slice backhand was perfect, moving around the ball and Lindsay and making to her very difficult to hit the ball (Lindsay was by then called The Tower for some reason ;))

LudwigDvorak
Jul 1st, 2010, 09:29 AM
Conchita is a talented player. Her FH was a deadly shot really only eclipsed by Graf in the early 90s. Definitely more talented than many people currently in the Top 10. So much court craft and variety. A bit lacking in intensity/desire/hunger really.

1994 was such a good year for España. Sanchez-Vicario capturing the #1 ranking and winning two slams that year. Conchita winning Wimbledon. Fed Cup victory.

Jekyll
Jul 1st, 2010, 10:20 AM
Martina Navratilova is Wimbledon's GOAT so kudos for Conchita to be able to beat her in the final.:shrug:

totally agree. Conchita Martinez is former #2 who was very talented. I don't understand the meaning of this thread, what are you trying to explain us? that Conchita wasn't good enought to win wimbledon??

Disgusting :o

Rising Sun
Jul 1st, 2010, 10:24 AM
What a shame Lori couldn't go on to win the championship. :sad:

Kworb
Jul 1st, 2010, 10:48 AM
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1005166/1/index.htm

"In Germany, Europe's tennis mecca" :sad:

:sad:

The WTA, meanwhile, has named a board of experts to study age and education requirements for girls. But no change is likely to occur in time to prevent 13-year-old prodigies Venus Williams of the U.S. and Martina Hingis of Switzerland from hitting the circuit this season if they choose to.

:lol: :hearts:

"It is sickening that someone who is down-to-earth, polite, behaves well, is reasonably clever and wears nice clothes almost has to apologize for being the way he is," says one of Sampras's admirers, Ivan Lendl, who was considered even duller during his reign as No. 1.

:haha:

Also, take away the chairs. A player doesn't need to sit down at every changeover while one ball boy holds an umbrella over his head and another pours the Evian.

:help:

Major reality check: LeGeorge Mauldin lives in South Central Los Angeles, in the heart of gangland. LeGeorge may be the best 12-and-under player in Southern California, but he had to give up tennis for several months last year because funding for the inner-city program in which he played temporarily dried up.

LeGeorge is back on the courts again, thanks to a $5,000 donation from the ATP, which heard about his plight through the television show The Crusaders. LeGeorge takes lessons from a recently retired postal worker named Richard Williams, who for 20 years has been trying to spread the game to South Central kids on his days off.

Williams and his brother, Fred, run the California Tennis Association for Underprivileged Youth on a shoestring budget of about $8,000 a year, which they scrape together from small donations from a variety of sources. For a year or so $800 or $900 a month came in from a neighborhood drug dealer, but in 1990 the man was sent to prison.

:eek: How cool

HippityHop
Jul 1st, 2010, 12:15 PM
That's what I remember also cuz I remember she jst missed being seeded for only one place and Graf was so unlucky to draw her 1st r

From the SI Vault July 4, 1994:

<snip>

McNeil dictated the play and the tempo throughout her match with Graf, serving well and dropping volleys that made Graf look helpless. McNeil's 7-5, 7-6 victory included a rally from two games down in the second set, and at match's end she walked toward the net smiling broadly as a huge ovation from the Centre Court crowd rained down. It was, McNeil said, the best moment she has ever known. "It seemed very short, but at the same time—if this makes any sense—it seemed very long and very loud," she said. "It was a great feeling, a great moment for me."

In one sense the outcome was no shocker: The 20th-ranked McNeil had defeated Graf the last time they met, at the 1992 Virginia Slims Championships, and her game is perfectly suited to the speedy grounds at Wimbledon. At 30, however, McNeil is far beyond the usual age for a tennis breakthrough. She blossomed a bit in the mid-1980s—making the quarterfinals at Wimbledon in 1986 and at the Australian Open in '87 and beating Chris Evert to reach the '87 U.S. Open semifinals—but lacked the concentration to stick in the Top 10. "She had never been focused," says McNeil's mother, Dorothy. "She just enjoyed the travel."


Question: Why is the defending champion and number 2 seed "unlucky" to draw the 30 year old McNeil? According to the logic on this board, she should have wiped up the court with Lori.

Sean.
Jul 1st, 2010, 12:31 PM
Lori McNeil was ranked 17 at the time I think

I thought it was 22? :unsure: Wasn't Sukova around 17 at that time?

Dave.
Jul 1st, 2010, 01:20 PM
And just before Steffica weighs in, neither Davenport or Martinez were particularly light.

Plus SF'ist Gigi Fernandez was ranked lower than Pironkova, maybe even outside the top 100?

I'm just pointing these things out, I actually like this era of players.


Sports Illustrated ran a cover story titled "Is Tennis Dying?" in 1994.

That seems to be just as much about the ATP as the WTA too. I have a documentary about the ATP hitting rock bottom during this time. With the schedule being too long, Jim Courier reading a book on the changeovers, Sampras/Chang/Courier not showing much personality, the ATP not doing much in terms of marketing.

hdfb
Jul 1st, 2010, 01:49 PM
That is not bottom. Almost those quarterfinalists had great careers. Pironkova hasn't been beyond a GS 2nd round till now.

spiceboy
Jul 1st, 2010, 01:52 PM
Question: Why is the defending champion and number 2 seed "unlucky" to draw the 30 year old McNeil? According to the logic on this board, she should have wiped up the court with Lori.

Answer: Lori was a top 10, maybe top 5 player on grass in that time. She had won both Birmingham & Eastbourne previously in her career (second title in Birmingham 1 week before the start of that Wimbledon).
Plus she had beaten Steffi in her last meeting (in the YEC no less) in straight sets.
Plus Steffi just had a couple of painful losses coming to Wimbledon:26 26 vs young Pierce in Paris and losing 64 67 67 in Hamburg vs ASV after leading 64 52 :tape:

Honestly, that was hardly a huge surprise.

spencercarlos
Jul 1st, 2010, 01:59 PM
Answer: Lori was a top 10, maybe top 5 player on grass in that time. She had won both Birmingham & Eastbourne previously in her career (second title in Birmingham 1 week before the start of that Wimbledon).
Plus she had beaten Steffi in her last meeting (in the YEC no less) in straight sets.
Plus Steffi just had a couple of painful losses coming to Wimbledon:26 26 vs young Pierce in Paris and losing 64 67 67 in Hamburg vs ASV after leading 64 52 :tape:

Honestly, that was hardly a huge surprise.
i think most people knew that Lori would "trouble" Graf, but to expect her to lose in the first round even against a proven grass court player (but underachiever at Wimbledon) Lori Mcneil was a huge upset.

spiceboy
Jul 1st, 2010, 02:04 PM
i think most people knew that Lori would "trouble" Graf, but to expect her to lose in the first round even against a proven grass court player (but underachiever at Wimbledon) Lori Mcneil was a huge upset.

It was an upset, indeed. Not just a huge one IMO. Even though Pierce was playing spectacular the whole tournament in Paris that was really a HUGE surprise...

spencercarlos
Jul 1st, 2010, 02:06 PM
And just before Steffica weighs in, neither Davenport or Martinez were particularly light.

Plus SF'ist Gigi Fernandez was ranked lower than Pironkova, maybe even outside the top 100?

I'm just pointing these things out, I actually like this era of players.




That seems to be just as much about the ATP as the WTA too. I have a documentary about the ATP hitting rock bottom during this time. With the schedule being too long, Jim Courier reading a book on the changeovers, Sampras/Chang/Courier not showing much personality, the ATP not doing much in terms of marketing.
You are wrong.. Gigi was well inside the top 100 at the time, had a couple of 3rds at slams counting on her ranking going into Wimbledon and she followed her SF at WImbledon with a Usopen QF in 1994...

I hardly see Pironkova or Kvitova repeating that feat this year IMO....

And WTA reached its lowest bottom ever when 29 year old Francesca Schiavonne won Roland Garros IMO.. :help:

spiceboy
Jul 1st, 2010, 02:09 PM
You are wrong.. Gigi was well inside the top 100 at the time

mmmm I might be wrong but Gigi either was out or about to leave the top 100 when she played that semifinal. She was for sure lower ranked than Pironkova...

Tennis Fool
Jul 1st, 2010, 02:19 PM
And WTA reached its lowest bottom ever when 29 year old Francesca Schiavonne won Roland Garros IMO.. :help:

Well, in 1994 3/4 semifinalists were over 30. Had Martinez lost, would having a 37-year-old (albeit grass GOAT) win be good for the game?

Plus, Schiavone didn't come from nowhere. She was a Top 20 player and had 3 QFs to her name when she won the French. Would that have been much different from Lori McNeil, who had just one SF to her name prior to 1994?

The Dawntreader
Jul 1st, 2010, 02:46 PM
No way. Conchita weaved away through that draw with such style, on a surface where her game matched-up badly against just about everyone.

The turning point was that match against McNeil in the semis, who was such an overt, aggressive forecourt player, and really tested the abilities of Martinez, who at the time was though of s only exclusively able on clay. Martinez proved in tht match, how well she knew the intimiate parts of the court, using great width, sharp sliced angles, varying the height and pace on her forehand.

The most remarkable thing i found about Martinez during Wimby in '94 is that her game became so accentuated, even more so than in any match she ever played on clay or hardcourt. Found herself in a seamless rythm by the end of the championships.

mboyle
Jul 1st, 2010, 02:49 PM
Conchita Martinez reached number 2 in the world, and at least one other slam final. She won the Rome tournament like 6 years in a row. She was top ten for several seasons in a row.
Francesca Schiavone had never been in the top ten in her life, had never been past the QF of a slam, and had never won a premier level tournament. Petra Kvitokvovpoaifpjffhjf or whatever her name is, is in even worse shape. At least she's not old, so maybe she'll somehow develop into a legitimate top player, but I'm not holding my breath. Tsvetana Pironkova is in the same boat. Vera Zvonareva is a little better, but should never have reached a grand slam final.

sammy01
Jul 1st, 2010, 02:51 PM
so we are comparing todays WTA with one that was suffering the loss of the world number 1 through being stabbed, and people say the WTA isn't at a low point. :help:

spencercarlos
Jul 1st, 2010, 02:52 PM
Well, in 1994 3/4 semifinalists were over 30. Had Martinez lost, would having a 37-year-old (albeit grass GOAT) win be good for the game?

Plus, Schiavone didn't come from nowhere. She was a Top 20 player and had 3 QFs to her name when she won the French. Would that have been much different from Lori McNeil, who had just one SF to her name prior to 1994?
Mcneils best Slam results prior to 1994 Wmbledon.
1987 AO QF, 1986 WImbledon QF, 1987 Usopen SF.
Those results were better than Schiavone´s GS record going into Roland Garros 2010. I tend to firmly think that a player like Schiavone would not
have won a slam in the 90ties.

Me too would have been surprised if a player like her would have won a slam. To some extent she was in the bulk of players like Huber, Date, and to some extent Sukova and Fernandez who were denied by the greats playing at the time...

Had Martinez lost, would having a 37-year-old (albeit grass GOAT) win be good for the game?
It would have been great for the game if Navratilova had won Wimbledon 1994, YES i think so. Navratilova was in a good level in 1994. She won Paris Indoors, Finals in Rome, Oakland, Tokio PP, SF Amelia ISland , QF´s at Filderstat, Zurich and Eastbourne. That plus the Wimbledon final...

At least would have been more headline news her winning her 10th tittle than Conchita´s win :p

spiceboy
Jul 1st, 2010, 02:57 PM
I tend to firmly think that a player like Schiavone would not have won a slam in the 90ties.


Totally agree on that.

robbie12
Jul 1st, 2010, 03:32 PM
I thought it was 22? :unsure: Wasn't Sukova around 17 at that time?

I always thought she was around 21,22,23. Sukova was definitely 17 because she was made the 17th seed after 7th seed Pierce withdrew

Memento83
Jul 1st, 2010, 05:42 PM
If the 32 seeds system had been in place then, we might be talking about Conchita as the best player never to have won a slam. Lori would have been seeded, and I can't see whatever scrub Steffi would have drawn in her place beating her even on an off day.

Martinez hit numerous great passing shots against Nav in the final - in fact IIRC she didn't hit a single volley winner.

Matt01
Jul 1st, 2010, 06:52 PM
Nice tournament that was :hearts:
(Still no WS around :devil:)



It would have been great for the game if Navratilova had won Wimbledon 1994, YES i think so. Navratilova was in a good level in 1994. She won Paris Indoors, Finals in Rome, Oakland, Tokio PP, SF Amelia ISland , QF´s at Filderstat, Zurich and Eastbourne. That plus the Wimbledon final...


She was (still) on a good level but she was much better in 1993. By 1994 she was clearly declining IMO, she only won Paris Indoors (without beating any top players) and had some embarassing losses on clay before Wimbledon (e.g. she lost at RG in the 1st round).
In 1992, Navi won 4 tourneys, in 1993 5, and in 1994 only 1.

Conchita OTOH slowly started to come into her own in 1994, her next season was probably the best one of her career even though it lacked a Slam title.

*Jool*
Jul 1st, 2010, 07:12 PM
depends from the angle you see it , for me it's obviously the best Slam ever , the Slam which made me a fan of tennis , and all those QFists were great players, grass 'specialists' - Garrison, McNeil , Novotna, Fernandez, Navratilova and the new generation with Conchi and Davenport :hearts: (of course, one could say I've always had weird tastes :p )
Best Slam ever
and the drama :drool:
young, talented Conchita playing out of her mind to prevent Wimbledon Queen Navratilova from ending her career with an unexpected run to a 10th title ... I never saw Conchita more inspired, aggressive, emulated than that very day ...and that's too bad cause when I re-watch the match I can't stop thinking 'this is the day where Conchita built her game to become the future star of WTA' ..too bad she didn't after all... cause that day she really had all it takes to be the next Graf.

$uricate
Jul 1st, 2010, 07:25 PM
Steffi Graf, 3-time consecutive defending champ, had gone out in the first round to American Lori McNeil. (Extra credit to anyone who knows what Lori's ranking was at the time.) Lori lost in the semis 8/10 to Conchita.


I thought it was 22? :unsure: Wasn't Sukova around 17 at that time?

I think it was 22 too ;)

I used to analyse Steffi facts like a psycho :o

Patrick345
Jul 1st, 2010, 07:35 PM
Well I hope the WTA hits rockbottom Saturday. :devil:

HippityHop
Jul 1st, 2010, 07:38 PM
It was an upset, indeed. Not just a huge one IMO. Even though Pierce was playing spectacular the whole tournament in Paris that was really a HUGE surprise...

Sorry but that was a huge upset. Not as huge as the 2007 AO final where the number 81 ranked player took out the number 1 seed, but huge nonetheless.

$uricate
Jul 1st, 2010, 07:41 PM
Sorry but that was a huge upset. Not as huge as the 2007 AO final where the number 81 ranked player took out the number 1 seed, but huge nonetheless.

That number 81 ranked player was Serena Williams though.

*Jool*
Jul 1st, 2010, 07:43 PM
it was huge indeed because it did'nt appear every two slams that a top 5 player was out first round at a Slam like it nowadays became quite the pattern .
that's why 1994 was NOT the real bottom of WTA . The 90s were one of the best decade in tennis history . From 2005 on ,more or less, it has become ... quite different ... and to say they decided to make 32 seeds at slams to protect their stars from losing early and that even is not enough :p

Matt01
Jul 1st, 2010, 07:51 PM
Sorry but that was a huge upset. Not as huge as the 2007 AO final where the number 81 ranked player took out the number 1 seed, but huge nonetheless.


The upset of 1994 was much more huge. Serena beating another top player is never a huge upset, no matter where she is ranked. And Pova wasn't even #1 when Serena beat her IIRC.

Tennis Fool
Jul 1st, 2010, 08:07 PM
it was huge indeed because it did'nt appear every two slams that a top 5 player was out first round at a Slam like it nowadays became quite the pattern .
that's why 1994 was NOT the real bottom of WTA . The 90s were one of the best decade in tennis history . From 2005 on ,more or less, it has become ... quite different ... and to say they decided to make 32 seeds at slams to protect their stars from losing early and that even is not enough :p
Maybe next year we'll have 64 seeds :hearts:

Summer_Snow
Jul 2nd, 2010, 06:22 AM
Answer: Lori was a top 10, maybe top 5 player on grass in that time. She had won both Birmingham & Eastbourne previously in her career (second title in Birmingham 1 week before the start of that Wimbledon).
Plus she had beaten Steffi in her last meeting (in the YEC no less) in straight sets.
Plus Steffi just had a couple of painful losses coming to Wimbledon:26 26 vs young Pierce in Paris and losing 64 67 67 in Hamburg vs ASV after leading 64 52 :tape:

Honestly, that was hardly a huge surprise.

Exactly. Thanks for helping me answer. :D

spencercarlos
Jul 2nd, 2010, 07:35 AM
depends from the angle you see it , for me it's obviously the best Slam ever , the Slam which made me a fan of tennis , and all those QFists were great players, grass 'specialists' - Garrison, McNeil , Novotna, Fernandez, Navratilova and the new generation with Conchi and Davenport :hearts: (of course, one could say I've always had weird tastes :p )
Best Slam ever
and the drama :drool:
young, talented Conchita playing out of her mind to prevent Wimbledon Queen Navratilova from ending her career with an unexpected run to a 10th title ... I never saw Conchita more inspired, aggressive, emulated than that very day ...and that's too bad cause when I re-watch the match I can't stop thinking 'this is the day where Conchita built her game to become the future star of WTA' ..too bad she didn't after all... cause that day she really had all it takes to be the next Graf.
I think you bias towards Conchita is taking your objectivity and vision away from you. First she barely beat Mcneil, who twice was 2 points away from winning the SF.
Second she needed 3 sets to beat an injured Navratilova of 1994, her last full season on tour, in considerable long and hard fought match.

And considering she only beat Graf and Seles in all but 1 time each.. i don´t see when Conchita ever threatened to dump this players from the top.. IMO. Lets not even put Arantxa into this equation when we know Conchita beat Arantxa about 1 out of 5 times they played. Had a poor record against Novotna (1-4) and was in the losing end twice more than winning against Pierce (6-12)..... hmmm

Even in 1995 when she won 6 titles, probably the only significant in form player she beat was Arantxa in Rome. I would hardly count a 14 year old Hingis or a slumping Sabatini, or Maleeva as the top notch players to beat in 1995..

Whitehead's Boy
Jul 2nd, 2010, 08:12 AM
WTA Bottom in the 90's was between Hamburg 93 and the AO 94, culminating with Graf demolishing Sanchez-Vicario in the AO final. It was an absolutely dull period, except perhaps Novotna challenging Graf in the final of Wimbledon.

I thought 94 was an exciting year, and Conchita (one of the best player of the 90's) played great in the final against Navratilova. I don't see how it's remotely comparable to Schiavone winning a slam.

Really, the WTA has hit the bottom this year. Players who are going far into tournaments haven't improved in the last years, so the only logical conclusion is that there is an issue with top players. Probably the best example is an injured Date-Krumm beating Safina.

On the positive side though, *overall* the tour is actually strong, and much better than it was 15 year ago. However we DO need the top players to perform. They are the one who sell the sport. I think a balance has to be found, not that the same 2 players win every week, but at least that the Schiavone of the world get stopped at some point in a Slam by a top player.

spiceboy
Jul 2nd, 2010, 08:24 AM
WTA Bottom in the 90's was between Hamburg 93 and the AO 94, culminating with Graf demolishing Sanchez-Vicario in the AO final. It was an absolutely dull period, except perhaps Novotna challenging Graf in the final of Wimbledon.


Not only that Wimbledon final. Mary Joe losing 6-4 in the final set vs Graf in RG final was quite an entertaining match, much better than most of the finals there in recent times. Also, Sukova's dream run in the USO reaching the finals after beating Navratilova & ASV was quite refreshing. As well as Pierce really BIG tournament when she upset two top 5 players in the YEC (Sabatini & Navratilova). Surely not the most exciting era, but definitely not WTA's bottom.

*Jool*
Jul 2nd, 2010, 10:56 AM
I think you bias towards Conchita is taking your objectivity and vision away from you. First she barely beat Mcneil, who twice was 2 points away from winning the SF.
Second she needed 3 sets to beat an injured Navratilova of 1994, her last full season on tour, in considerable long and hard fought match.

And considering she only beat Graf and Seles in all but 1 time each.. i don´t see when Conchita ever threatened to dump this players from the top.. IMO. Lets not even put Arantxa into this equation when we know Conchita beat Arantxa about 1 out of 5 times they played. Had a poor record against Novotna (1-4) and was in the losing end twice more than winning against Pierce (6-12)..... hmmm

Even in 1995 when she won 6 titles, probably the only significant in form player she beat was Arantxa in Rome. I would hardly count a 14 year old Hingis or a slumping Sabatini, or Maleeva as the top notch players to beat in 1995..
yeah I know all that thanks that's why I only talked about this very match and not the entire career of Conchita which I know was far from the best , most dominant on court , come on, facts are here and I know them.
I just said she played awesome during this Wimbledon final and that she had, according to me, showed all it takes (determination, gifted skills , etc ...) to let suppose she would win more in the future than what she actually did .

BTW she was 'injured' (blisters) too during that match , and Navratilova, despite her age and condition , was still ..well, what she was on the Wimbledon courts ie a legend and the huge favourite despite Martinez's easy win in Rome in their previous meeting.


but whatever .

Tennis Fool
Jul 4th, 2010, 02:37 AM
Thanks guys for the intelligent discussion (it CAN be done on TF :worship: )


Now, that 2010 Wimbledon is in the books, I wonder how these two compare...

1994 would be comparable to Venus at 37 making a surprise run to the final (where she was once Queen) and meeting Wozniacki, who on that day puts aside her pusher game for incredible winners!

I was thinking of putting Serena in this scenario, but I just don't see her going 4 years without a Slam...

SvetaPleaseWin.
Jul 4th, 2010, 03:02 AM
all these threads marking the death of the tour are a joke, there is a strong group of players at the top (would be nice for them to reach form like) predictability doesn't mean bad

spencercarlos
Jul 4th, 2010, 03:06 AM
yeah I know all that thanks that's why I only talked about this very match and not the entire career of Conchita which I know was far from the best , most dominant on court , come on, facts are here and I know them.
I just said she played awesome during this Wimbledon final and that she had, according to me, showed all it takes (determination, gifted skills , etc ...) to let suppose she would win more in the future than what she actually did .

BTW she was 'injured' (blisters) too during that match , and Navratilova, despite her age and condition , was still ..well, what she was on the Wimbledon courts ie a legend and the huge favourite despite Martinez's easy win in Rome in their previous meeting.


but whatever .
Blisters is not an "injury" and you know that. Martina had her left calf or tight or something threated, i don´t remmember exactly what it was.

Facts are there, Martinez won her slam but it was against Navratilova on her last full season on tour, she maybe was at her best, but she certainly did not dominate the field, and she certainly did not show that she was about to take over the womens game back then...

She barely beat Graf and Seles 1 in her carreer, the greatest players of the 90ties IMO..

spencercarlos
Jul 4th, 2010, 03:11 AM
Thanks guys for the intelligent discussion (it CAN be done on TF :worship: )


Now, that 2010 Wimbledon is in the books, I wonder how these two compare...

1994 would be comparable to Venus at 37 making a surprise run to the final (where she was once Queen) and meeting Wozniacki, who on that day puts aside her pusher game for incredible winners!

I was thinking of putting Serena in this scenario, but I just don't see her going 4 years without a Slam...
I don´t know but i don´t see Venus or Serena playing at 37, but who knows....

And i don´t know imagine the scenario Wozniacki against Venus at Wimbledon, even at 37 i can see Venus winning IMO.

Libertango
Jul 4th, 2010, 09:13 AM
You're comparing Wozniacki to Martinez?! :eek:

HippityHop
Jul 4th, 2010, 11:08 AM
That number 81 ranked player was Serena Williams though. :angel: