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Old Feb 14th, 2012, 01:51 PM   #796
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Re: Martina Navratilova Admiration Thread

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Posted by Wimbledon 9 and recently I heard two Italian players Rafaella Reggi and Sandra Cecchini say that Martina gave points away when she did not deserve them , they told that there were two camps Martina and Chris and they were of course in Martina's camp because she was honest and fair.
Funny you mention that, because Martina and Tracy Austin had a conversation about this very topic when they commenting on a match a couple weeks ago in Australia!

[Not the exact quotes-the conversation went something like this]

Male announcer: Did either one of you ever give points away when you knew the call was bad?

Martina: I did if I knew the call was bad. After a few years I stopped doing it because no one ever returned the favor.

Male: How about you Tracy?

Tracy: Never. That's what the chair is for.
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Old Feb 14th, 2012, 05:59 PM   #797
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Re: Martina Navratilova Admiration Thread

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Originally Posted by Rollo View Post
...And then Pam Shriver brings up an interesting thought in "Passing Shots". She noted how Martina added a lot of topspin in 1985. Pammy actually thought it took away from Martina's game. Perhpas the extra top made it tougher for her to control and get to net in the wind?
Thanks for bringing this up. Last year (can't remember where or what tournament she was commentating for), Martina gave a very brief, but fascinating insight into why so many "old school" players were having so much trouble with the new graphite racquets, and specifically, the changes in the game. She admitted she had trouble re-learning much of her old game because the coaches and players were now employing open-stance, heavy topspin shots, and getting so much more power. I seem to remember her mentioning she had difficulty with her forehand in particular, in that the footwork on approach shots especially was so different than what she learned. I remember sitting there in awe listening to her spot-on observation, not even having considered it until she pointed it out, to perfection.

Oh, and Rollo, there's a petition circulating regarding banning lefty net rushers from the WTA and ATP tours, requiring them to play on their own separate tour. It seems only fair, don't you think?
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Old Feb 14th, 2012, 07:08 PM   #798
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Re: Martina Navratilova Admiration Thread

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Originally Posted by Rollo View Post

LOL. As a lefty who loves the net myself I would think a couple of things might keep Martina away from the net that day.

For one thing she had the memory of the 1984 final-her best performance ever IMO. On that day she crushed Chris and she did it from the baseline. So perhaps she thought-"I did it once-I'll do it again."

The other factor was the wind. It's just tougher for net rushers in the wind. And man was that one windy final. Skirts and balls blowing everywhere. For drama it was a beauty. The quality of the match didnn't equal the drama.
You reminded me of an interesting point that both JoAnne Russell and Bud Collins brought up in their commentary. Russell observed that in the second set of the '85 French final, Navratilova's net approaches had generally been more successful because she had attacked Evert's forehand whereas in the first set she had often been burned in her attempts to come in off approach shots to the Evert backhand. Collins pointed out later in the third set that Evert's backhand had been extremely sharp that day and that Navratilova might be better off reverting to her second set strategy. This made me wonder if Navratilova felt more comfortable chipping her backhand approaches down the line rather than going crosscourt. If this was the case, as a left-hander playing a right-hander, her natural backhand approach would have been to the Evert backhand whereas going crosscourt to the Evert forehand on clay would have given Chris more time to set up her passing shot. Similarly I've read Navratilova mention that she didn't have a reliable down the line forehand in those days, so maybe her natural tendency on the forehand approach shot was to go crosscourt, which again would have gone to the Chrissie Marie two-hander. Does anyone with an encyclopedic knowledge of Navratilova's technique remember if she had any preferences vis-a-vis her approach shots?

BTW isn't it considered generally riskier to approach off a sliced backhand crosscourt anyway?
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"A couple of years ago, we nicknamed Steffi Graf's forehand 'Jaws'. And that music would go perfectly when she starts running in to the net, swarming on that little ball." (JoAnne Russell, during the 1988 Wimbledon final between Graf and Navratilova)
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Old Feb 15th, 2012, 07:46 AM   #799
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Re: Martina Navratilova Admiration Thread

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Originally Posted by samn View Post
I've been watching my tapes and DVDs of some of Navratilova's GS finals from the 80s lately and I wondered if anyone else felt, as I did, that she appeared very anxious and irritable in the '82 AO final and the '85 French final? At first I thought it was because she lost (or was losing) those matches, but she generally seemed to be in better spirits in some of the other matches that she lost such as the '86 and '87 French finals or the '89 Wimbledon final? Has Navratilova ever said anything that might shed light on the two finals against Evert or am I just imagining things? Watching those matches again was a bit stressful for me, though, as I kept yelling "Go to the net! Don't frickin' rally with Chris Bloody Evert from the baseline" at Navratilova. I felt that she was much too passive in both of those matches, especially in the third set.
I totally agree with you, samn. Martina did not play well when she was anxious and edgy, and she definitely was in those two finals.
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Old Feb 15th, 2012, 08:07 AM   #800
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Re: Martina Navratilova Admiration Thread

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Originally Posted by samn View Post
You reminded me of an interesting point that both JoAnne Russell and Bud Collins brought up in their commentary. Russell observed that in the second set of the '85 French final, Navratilova's net approaches had generally been more successful because she had attacked Evert's forehand whereas in the first set she had often been burned in her attempts to come in off approach shots to the Evert backhand. Collins pointed out later in the third set that Evert's backhand had been extremely sharp that day and that Navratilova might be better off reverting to her second set strategy. This made me wonder if Navratilova felt more comfortable chipping her backhand approaches down the line rather than going crosscourt. If this was the case, as a left-hander playing a right-hander, her natural backhand approach would have been to the Evert backhand whereas going crosscourt to the Evert forehand on clay would have given Chris more time to set up her passing shot. Similarly I've read Navratilova mention that she didn't have a reliable down the line forehand in those days, so maybe her natural tendency on the forehand approach shot was to go crosscourt, which again would have gone to the Chrissie Marie two-hander. Does anyone with an encyclopedic knowledge of Navratilova's technique remember if she had any preferences vis-a-vis her approach shots?

BTW isn't it considered generally riskier to approach off a sliced backhand crosscourt anyway?
Rollo, Martina's continental grip would make it much easier for her to hit her forehands crosscourt (and she usually did). But as far as backhand approaches go, she was so versatile, she could hit either way. I don't think she had a special preference one way or the other. I agree that Chrissie's forehand was her more suspect side. And keep in mind that on clay, Martina could not afford to rush the net on weak approach shots.

Not sure if this all makes sense but these are some random thoughts.
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Old Feb 15th, 2012, 08:24 AM   #801
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Re: Martina Navratilova Admiration Thread

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Originally Posted by Rollo View Post
Not sure Samn-I'd have to go back and watch closely.

Weren't there a number of dodgy line calls early in the 82 final? That may have explain some of the anxiousness.

Watching the Aussie finals (Martina fans would reallylike 81) I am always struck by how much crowd suppport she had Down Under compared to the other slams.



LOL. As a lefty who loves the net myself I would think a couple of things might keep Martina away from the net that day.

For one thing she had the memory of the 1984 final-her best performance ever IMO. On that day she crushed Chris and she did it from the baseline. So perhaps she thought-"I did it once-I'll do it again."

The other factor was the wind. It's just tougher for net rushers in the wind. And man was that one windy final. Skirts and balls blowing everywhere. For drama it was a beauty. The quality of the match didnn't equal the drama.

And then Pam Shriver brings up an interesting thought in "Passing Shots". She noted how Martina added a lot of topspin in 1985. Pammy actually thought it took away from Martina's game. Perhpas the extra top made it tougher for her to control and get to net in the wind?

Of course she was still chasing THE Grand Slam too.

Add it all up and I can get why she was anxious.

100% agree.

Interested to see how others view those matches.
I agree with Pam. When Martina learned her new topspin backhand, she was kind of like a kid with a new toy and wanted to show it off. Even when it would have been far more prudent to stick with her old sliced backhand.
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Old Feb 15th, 2012, 01:32 PM   #802
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Re: Martina Navratilova Admiration Thread

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Thanks for bringing this up. Last year (can't remember where or what tournament she was commentating for), Martina gave a very brief, but fascinating insight into why so many "old school" players were having so much trouble with the new graphite racquets, and specifically, the changes in the game. She admitted she had trouble re-learning much of her old game because the coaches and players were now employing open-stance, heavy topspin shots, and getting so much more power. I seem to remember her mentioning she had difficulty with her forehand in particular, in that the footwork on approach shots especially was so different than what she learned. I remember sitting there in awe listening to her spot-on observation, not even having considered it until she pointed it out, to perfection.
Interesting stuff Alfa. She's said she gets a lot more on the serve too. Tracy says she serves harder NOW than she did back in the day-LOL

Quote:
Oh, and Rollo, there's a petition circulating regarding banning lefty net rushers from the WTA and ATP tours, requiring them to play on their own separate tour. It seems only fair, don't you think?


good one. Ok-sure. But we lefties want equal prize money!

This inspries a tought and a qurestion. Wouldn't lefties Martina and J Mcenroe have made one hell of a mixed doubles team? Did they ever play together?

P.S. That's a good shot of you at the Open Jeff.
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Old Feb 15th, 2012, 01:40 PM   #803
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Re: Martina Navratilova Admiration Thread

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Rollo, Martina's continental grip would make it much easier for her to hit her forehands crosscourt (and she usually did). But as far as backhand approaches go, she was so versatile, she could hit either way. I don't think she had a special preference one way or the other. I agree that Chrissie's forehand was her more suspect side. And keep in mind that on clay, Martina could not afford to rush the net on weak approach shots.

Not sure if this all makes sense but these are some random thoughts.
It all makes perfect sense Pat. (and thanks too Samn for explaining some key points).

Quote:
I agree with Pam. When Martina learned her new topspin backhand, she was kind of like a kid with a new toy and wanted to show it off. Even when it would have been far more prudent to stick with her old sliced backhand.
Yep, especially when that slice got her to net. One Martina's deadliest shots was a little cross-court angled backhand chip. Evert had to really be careful because Martina was just tempting her to come to the net. And of course Navratilova could also throw in a drop shot.

What delicious games of cat and mouse those two played.
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Old Feb 15th, 2012, 01:42 PM   #804
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Re: Martina Navratilova Admiration Thread

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BTW isn't it considered generally riskier to approach off a sliced backhand crosscourt anyway?
That's what I was always taught (and in general practice) Samn. Especially since 80% of the time the backhand is weaker. And as a lefty hitting a slice up the line it goes to the weaker side. As both you and pat mention though in Evert's case it was the opposite...
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Old Feb 15th, 2012, 02:06 PM   #805
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Re: Martina Navratilova Admiration Thread

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...This inspries a tought and a qurestion. Wouldn't lefties Martina and J Mcenroe have made one hell of a mixed doubles team? Did they ever play together?

P.S. That's a good shot of you at the Open Jeff.
I've always maintained this, and at the risk of angering AndyT and several others here, I still think Martina wouldn't have won nearly as many majors without that lefty hook wide serve out wide to the righty's backhand. As a right-hander, you'd think they have the same option out wide on the deuce court, but most right-handed opponents can and do stretch out and some are even able to crack a winning return off that shot, especially with today's game. Hitting a wide righty hook into Navratilova's backhand on the deuce court didn't work the same, as she was so good at charging the ball and cutting off the angle early. The only players I can think of that sometimes got on Martina's lefty hook were Seles (with her lefty forehand), Evert, and Graf with her slider chip (which is a very difficult shot to keep low).

P.S.- I wish I still had some of that weight I had at the Aussie Open final. I look positively chubby (and was).
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Old Feb 17th, 2012, 03:44 PM   #806
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Re: Martina Navratilova Admiration Thread

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Originally Posted by Pat Bateman View Post
I agree with Pam. When Martina learned her new topspin backhand, she was kind of like a kid with a new toy and wanted to show it off. Even when it would have been far more prudent to stick with her old sliced backhand.
Navratilova's topspin backhand, like Graf's topspin backhand, was effective as a passing shot, but I don't think that either of them got enough depth on their rolled backhands to make it an effective rallying shot on a consistent basis. Shriver was right about Navratilova's groundstrokes not being deep enough to challenge Evert in the '85 French final. Didn't Evert hit a lot of looped, high bouncing forehands to Navratilova's backhand in the '86 final? It's been a while since I saw that match, but I remember Bud Collins asking Navratilova why she had insisted on rallying from the baseline with Evert in that match, and my most vivid memory of that match is Martina having to hit high bouncing balls off her backhad a few times.

Is it odd that I love watching Martina attack the net on clay, especially when she slides on her way to a volley winner? I particularly enjoy (and envy) her smooth, compact, inside out forehand volley winner that she played when Evert or Graf tried to pass her with a crosscourt backhand.
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"A couple of years ago, we nicknamed Steffi Graf's forehand 'Jaws'. And that music would go perfectly when she starts running in to the net, swarming on that little ball." (JoAnne Russell, during the 1988 Wimbledon final between Graf and Navratilova)
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Old Feb 17th, 2012, 10:34 PM   #807
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Re: Martina Navratilova Admiration Thread

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Navratilova's topspin backhand, like Graf's topspin backhand, was effective as a passing shot, but I don't think that either of them got enough depth on their rolled backhands to make it an effective rallying shot on a consistent basis.
I agree with you up to a point. Martina's backhand was a shot of higher quality, IMO. More consistent, more attacking. I think Martina's backhand has been her most under rated shot. She did have trouble matching Chrissie's length on clay, but few didn't.
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Old Feb 20th, 2012, 02:59 PM   #808
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Re: Martina Navratilova Admiration Thread

Hi there,

I know this is a bit of a random question, but I don't suppose anyone knows what the score was in the doubles exhibition in Paris last weekend with Navratilova, Hingis, Mauresmo and Seles? I've got to write a feature on Martina and just wanted to get a bit of extra information.
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Old Feb 20th, 2012, 04:11 PM   #809
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Re: Martina Navratilova Admiration Thread

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Hi there,

I know this is a bit of a random question, but I don't suppose anyone knows what the score was in the doubles exhibition in Paris last weekend with Navratilova, Hingis, Mauresmo and Seles? I've got to write a feature on Martina and just wanted to get a bit of extra information.
there's plenty of video of snippets on youtube. Still looking of rthe score.

In the meantime here's video of the two Martina's dancing
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=it69kFmrBmQ
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Old Feb 20th, 2012, 04:21 PM   #810
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Re: Martina Navratilova Admiration Thread

Navratilova & Hingis won 9-7.
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