View Full Version : Playing in the Zone

Feb 14th, 2002, 01:48 AM
What matches do you recall when a player has played in the Zone, and absolutely crushed a quality opponent?

I think that the best display of this on the women's side was when Mary Pierce beat Steffi Graf in the semis of the French, dropping only 2 games in the late 90s (Mary fans, please help me out!:) ). Arantxa also beat Steffi by a similar score one year in the semis of the French, but I think Steffi palyeed porrly that day. In this particular match, Steffi just looked helpless!

On the men's side it was definitely when McEnroe beat Connors in the final of the Wimbeldon Final in 84, 6-1, 6-1, 6-2. It is the best display of tennis I have ever seen, and poor old Connors was losing so badly, he was even amused by the occassion.

What are your memories of matches where a player has palyed in the zone, and has your fave done it?

Feb 14th, 2002, 01:52 AM
Hingis demolishing Venus 6-1 6-1, or Seles 6-0 6-0.

Feb 14th, 2002, 01:53 AM
Definitely the Venus match, but wasn't seles injured in the match against Hingis?

Feb 14th, 2002, 01:56 AM
An awesome display of zone play was Serena over Hingis in the '02 USOpen semis. Serena did not miss a first serve in the second set (17 straight first serves - incredible).

Another awesome display was when Matts Wilander dismantled Lendl in the '87(?) USOpen mens final.

Feb 14th, 2002, 02:01 AM
Hey Clocker, I saw that match between Wilander and Lendl. I think it was 88, as it was the year when Matts won 3 of the 4 slams.......

Feb 14th, 2002, 02:02 AM
I don't think Hingis over Venus counts. Hingis didn't play exceptionally well: Venus played badly IMO. Another candidate would be Serena over Davenport at Indian wells.

Feb 14th, 2002, 02:05 AM
For all you oldies, I think when Martina N beat Chris in the French Open final in 84 6-3, 6-1, and made chris look like an amateur, she was playing in the Zone..... but let's face it, she was playing in the Zone for all of 1983, and most of 84! LOL;)

Feb 14th, 2002, 02:19 AM
My favorite zone match was Wimbledon 1980 finals. Evonne Goolagong started the match completely "zoning" against arch rival Chris Evert (Lloyd). Before you could bat an eyelash Evonne was up 6-1 and 3-0 in the second. She was doing nothing wrong and everything effortlessly right, even out dueling Chris from her beloved baseline. Then the rain delay came and when the match began again Evonne was still very much in the zone, but nerves had crept in a bit. She overcame Evert's late comeback and took the match 6-1, 7-6. It was glorius!

My other favorite zone match was really even more amazing but not as dear to my heart. It was the already mentioned Mary Pierce over Steffi Graf in the French Open semis of 1994. I think it was one of those rare instances when a player (Pierce) NEVER leaves the zone against a top notch player (Graf). I think the very first ball struck was a Graf first serve that Pierce slammed back for a winner. You just had the feelign right then and there this was going to be soemthing. Mary had been in the zone all tournament and she entered the semis (and the finals) with the least amount of games lost ever. Steffi was nervous but she played well. there was simply nothing she could do. I will never forget that match because Steffi was truly over powered and I don't think it had ever happened before (or since, really). Monica had beaten Steffi about 4 or 5 times but she NEVER overpowered her in the true sense. That day in Paris, Mary stood up to the Graf ball and slammed it back harder, often times going forehand to forehand. I wish I had it on tape!

Other fave zone matches:

Mandlikova/Navratilova USO '85 - they were both in and out of the zone, first set was spectacular

Navrat/Graf USO '91 - Martina made one her last zone trips at the age of 35!

Capriati/Hingis Aussie '01 - Jen was amazing from first to last ball struck. A tour de force.

Feb 14th, 2002, 02:24 AM
Ball change,
It was an awesome year for Matts. I think it may have been '88.

I hate to keep picking on poor Ivan because he was definitely in the zone when he defeated Johnny Mc in the UsOpen final in '85(, but who can forget Sampras' run where he beat Lendl on the way to his first UsOpen victory ('90)? I have never seen tennis played so well.

Feb 14th, 2002, 03:17 AM
Hey Clocker, Hey Mark:wavey: Mark, Thanks foir helping out on the Mary match. I didn't realise that it was a sfar back as 1994! Boy, i must be getting old;)

I am a huge Hana fan, and boy did I yell at the TV during that final with Martina! The problem with Hana is that she can zone in and out of games!

Funny you mention the Nav/graf match of 91 USO. I just nposted about it today in the Ladies of the Court thread. Martina had lost to Steffi 4 times in a row leading up to that match!

Two other matches, Chris beat Martina 6-0, 6-0 on clay, and Martina returned the favour a couple of years later!

Clocker, remember how long it took Lendl to win his first grandslam? He was probably sick of all the press labelling him a bridesmaid. However, when he finally broke through against McEnroe in the French he went on to win many more (I think the FO 84 was his first, though I'm sure you Lendl fans will tell me if I'm wrong!)

Feb 14th, 2002, 03:45 AM
LI Na (CHN) is nearly always in the zone when she reaches a tournament final. She just won the $75K at Midland in 50 minutes :

"I played about as well as I could, but she was hitting deep balls, hitting corners, hitting lines, you name it, she was doing it," Washington said.

When Washington tried to slow down the game a little, Li simply supplied her own power, rocketing shots right back at her opponent.

Tournament director Mike Woody said "Na Li's the (Muhammad) Ali of tennis. She has a 1-2 punch. She's definitely not a jabber. She goes for the knockout."

Li became the third women in the tournament's 14-year history to win as a qualifier, joining Anna Kournikova (1996) and Alexandra Stevenson (1998).

Feb 14th, 2002, 03:49 AM

Feb 14th, 2002, 03:51 AM
HENIN demolishing VENUS/SERENA 6-0,6-0

Feb 14th, 2002, 03:51 AM
Did she really?:confused: :eek: What tourney?

Feb 14th, 2002, 03:51 AM
Can't believe I'm so gullible:o

Feb 14th, 2002, 05:05 PM
When Hingis def. Williams 6-1 6-1 Hingis played well but it was partly due to Venus being out of practice and off-form, not a true example of a player being "in the zone." Seles was injured when she lost to Hingis 6-0 6-0 and was spraying the ball everywhere so again that isn't an example IMO.

A classic case was Mary Pierce at Hilton Head '00 she was truly on fire. In the final against Arantxa I think she hit 3 UE's on her way to a 6-1 6-0!!!

Feb 14th, 2002, 05:31 PM
Pierce has played some memeorable matches in the zone. beating Graf in 94 at the French, wow! She also beat Aranxta and Serena handily at Hilton Head

Capriati defeating Hingis...Cap was in the zone during that match for sure.

Yeah, last year when Serena beat Davey...very impressive.

When Steffi beat Monica at Wimby (91 or 92). 62 61.

Feb 14th, 2002, 06:20 PM
Serena over Hingis US Open 2001 semifinals. Hingis just looked helpless to me. Hingis wasn't even playing a bad match, but Serena was doing everything right.

The scoreline for Hingis over Venus AO 2001 makes it seem like Hingis demolished Venus, but if you saw the match, you know that Venus demolished herself. All Hingis had to do was get the ball back in play, and let Venus do the rest. If someone's in "the zone", then they're beating the hell out of someone who's playing a good match. The "zone" person is just outplaying their opponent on that day. That's definitely not the case here.

Feb 14th, 2002, 06:27 PM
Yes Pierce at Hilton Head in 2000 was another pefect example. She nailed Monica and Arantxa in 2 days and lost about 4 games! For some reason Mary Pierce is one of those rare players that enter the zone and remain there for days. That dosen't happen very often. When Mary zones she hits the ball incredibly hard and barely makes an error. Please come back to the zone Mary!!!

Serena over Martina in the US last year was just as amazing. She was in the zone from first point to last.

I think the greatest matches are when players trade off zoning, like the Mandlikova/Navrat 85 match or Steffi/Monica at New York season ender in '98.

What are some other great zone matches? Sabatini zoned a few times against Graf and that was always fun. Anyone zoning against Graf was a blast because Steffi could zone at will and crank it up a notch. You just felt her joy at playing at a higher and higher level. I miss her!

Feb 14th, 2002, 07:46 PM
That's why i've always wondered what outcome would it be if the Mary Pierce of Roland Gaross 94' and 00' faced the #1 in people's minds, Venus Williams:p

i've never seen a player that you can actually almost feel that they are in the zone at that moment at that match~ Mary Pierce!

The latest "Zone" power player i remembered was Venus Williams vs. Davenport in San Diego last year. i just could not believe Lindsay had no answer for Venus that night, incredible power hitting.:eek: :rolleyes: w

Feb 14th, 2002, 08:08 PM
Davenport the year she won Wimby. Took the championship without ever being broken in any of her matches!! Awesome

Feb 14th, 2002, 08:17 PM
I think that Mary is the best Zone Player. She rarely gets there, but when she does, boy WATCH OUT! I think that a lot of it has to do with how flat she hiots the ball. She has to time the ball perfectly. When her timing is off, she will shank balls all day, but when she is on, she can blow anyone off the court. Imagine Mary v Venus or Serena when both palyers are in the zone (it's probably impossible to have both palkyers in the zone!). I think Venus hits the ball just as hard as Mary, but has more margin for error.....:)

Feb 14th, 2002, 08:21 PM
you're right, ball change, that would be some match to watch :eek: here's hoping it happens someday!

Feb 14th, 2002, 08:25 PM
Mary is by far the scariest "zone" player of thr last ten years. If she could only get there more often! For now I'd be happy just to see her return.

Feb 14th, 2002, 08:26 PM
Arantxa also beat Steffi by a similar score one year in the semis of the French, but I think Steffi palyeed porrly that day. In this particular match, Steffi just looked helpless!
She didn`t look helpless because of her tennis but because she was ashamed of the behavior of her family, that`s reason why she couldn`t play:sad:
Mary was in the zone at the french 94, she was it 6 matches!
Steffi was in the zone in wimbledon 92 quarters-final-final
I think she was also in the zone in phildelphia 98 quarters 3 set but I missed that :sad:

Feb 14th, 2002, 08:35 PM
Stefii def Monica in 1992 wimbledon final don't make me laugh we all no Monica played horrible and was not grutning so she didn;t get a pasting from the press!

I'd say Serena has 2 that i have seen Def Hingis in the US open 2001 and Indian Wells 2001 def Davenport truelly amazing nither player could have done anything to stop her!

Feb 14th, 2002, 08:39 PM
I think Mary hit another patch where she practically zoned every match for the first bhalf of the year up to her French Open final.

Feb 14th, 2002, 08:39 PM
BTW Jenny fans, do we think Jenny hit the zone when she beat Martina at Winbeldon in 1991?

Feb 14th, 2002, 08:45 PM
monica-rules Steffi was already in the zone in the semis against Gaby.

Feb 14th, 2002, 10:05 PM
LOL @ the Williams' fans who cannot accept the fact that Hingis kicked the living ---- out of Venus at Australia last year. She was dropping, lobbing, passing Venus with ease. Who did all the running? Venus. Who couldn't handle the others precision? Venus. It was amazing watching Venus charge the net with Martina passing/lobbing her with her eyes shut. A pathetic performance by Venus, and an amazing performance by Martina.

For that matter, Serena was definitely in the zone against Martina, but whoever said Marti played "good" is kidding themselves. If you watch the match, you will see that Martina had like two winners or something. And she kept giving Serena a short floating ball. Garuntee you that 80% of Serena's winners were from a crap shot that landed well inside the baseline. Combine that with the fact Martina's movement was crippled, and last summer was the nadir of her career, and that's what you get.

Anyway you look at it, the facts and the scoreline show that Hingis' victory over Venus was more impressive than Serena's over Hingis.

Feb 15th, 2002, 03:35 AM
lol@ "Combine that with the fact Martina's movement was crippled"

Martina was crippled? from what, watching Serena's balls flying buy her?

Not even going to comment on Vee's performance at AO last year except to say that, obviously you've never seen Venus at her best if you think she played well in that match.

Feb 15th, 2002, 04:26 AM
When Serena passed over Hingis, US 01, Davenport IW 01,and Kim MIAMI 01 :D :D :D

I loooove these winning specially the one when she was PERFECT against Hingis!! :kiss:

Feb 15th, 2002, 05:49 AM
Sorry to interrupt but, i would like to know if Mary Pierce is going to comeback from her injuries?

Feb 15th, 2002, 06:28 AM
There is a difference between the Venus-Martina and the Serena-Martina match. Venus lost pretty badly to Hinis but Venus can say, "I played terribly, but I know on my good day the scoreline would have been alot different." Venus has to live with that.

Feb 15th, 2002, 06:32 AM
However with the Hingis-Serena match, Hingis doesn't have to live with the thing Venus might have gone through. Hingis would say, "Playing my best tennis I would have still got blowed off the court that day there was nothing I could do."

Williams Rulez
Feb 15th, 2002, 07:53 AM
Mary and Serena are just devastating when in the zone! :bounce:

I think Serena was in the zone twice last year. She beat Davenport 6-1 6-2, Hingis 6-2 6-3. Any one thinks Serena did not play well against Hingis must be dreaming. 100% 1st serves in in the second set, and winning 16/17 of 1st serve points. Not in the zone? Then what's that?

I think Davenport was in the zone for the Aus Open 2000 finals. She was just amazing!! :eek:

Mary... hehe... she is in the zone for a whole tournament at times. She played so well at Charleston one year... she spent less than 50 minutes for each match and lost so few games!! Amazing!!

Feb 15th, 2002, 08:06 AM
Serena was amazing, just as in final of toronto 00,the first set I think I never saw any women play better,but sadly she couldn`t continue it :sad:

Feb 15th, 2002, 03:21 PM
Williams_Rulez you are right about Lindsay in the Aussie final. She was in an amazing zone, being up 6-1, 5-1 over Hingis. She came down to earth when she realized what was going on but it was fantastic to watch, just like Mary. Also I think Lindsay zoned a few months earlier in the season ender over Martina 3 and 3? And as someone mentioned earlier she was definetly zoning against Graf in the '99 W final. That was a near perfect grass court match for LD. I hope she can do it again.

Feb 15th, 2002, 03:34 PM
Isn't if funny how Lyndsay's worst losses on a court have been to Serena and Mary pierce. Maybe there is something to the post Volcana made about Serena and Mary being tennis "twins".

Feb 15th, 2002, 04:05 PM
Martina N said Jen "kicked my butt" that year in Wimbledon. So, yeah maybe Jen was in the zone!

Feb 15th, 2002, 04:06 PM
This is one of the best topics and most intellectually debate we have had in a while and leave up to someone to come in here and try to bring negativity.

There is no comparison between the Venus-Hingis match and the Serena-Hingis match. Hands down, the Serena Hingis 2001 US open wins as one of the best definition of ZONE playing. Also Lindsey US open final vs. martina.

Feb 15th, 2002, 04:15 PM
I agree with what everyone's said about Mary and Serena. I also remember watching some matches of Conchita in '95 (the Rome final, or the Fed Cup against Huber) and she was scary. She seemed from another planted those days.

In men's tennis, when Sampras is 'in the zone', he's unbeatable, like in the Masters's final against Kafelnikov in '96.

Feb 16th, 2002, 01:35 AM
I remember that match that irma mentioned of Serena vs. Martina in Canada 2000 - that first set was the best tennis I have ever seen I think. Mind you, the second set was just as impressive - it was amazing how much Martina held on.

The third set of course was a tragedy.

Feb 16th, 2002, 03:27 AM
Actually I don't think JenCap was zoning in the '91 Wimbledon quarter over Martina. She played great aggressive baseline power tennis against the defending champ, but mostly Martina was a bundle of nerves. Martina had a palimony suit going on against her back in the states by Judy Nelson. I think she had to testify as soon as the tourney was over (or maybe right before, not sure). Anyway, I saw the match and it was dramatic and 15 yr old Jen was really forcing on Navrat's serve, but mostly Martina just fell apart. She double faulted on match point and i think her second serve barely made it to the bottom of the net. Luckily she composed herself in time for the fall season as she was r/u to Monica in the US and season ender.

Feb 16th, 2002, 10:47 AM
Williams_Rulez, I also agree about Lindsay v Martina in the AO when she was up 6-1, 5-1. Poor old Martina looked helpless, but it is a testament to her that she made a contest of the second set!

Williams Rulez
Feb 16th, 2002, 01:22 PM
Hehe... when players are up in the zone, they've come down some time or another right? ;) :D

Feb 16th, 2002, 01:25 PM
Monica was in the zone against Nicole Pratt yesterday( that were her own words:D )