Re: Martina 1986 w/l
I think that 1986 was Martina's best year when you look the quality of her play, results, and the depth at the top of the women's game that year. Chris didn't have the best year from start to finish, though she played some of her greatest tennis ever during the spring and summer. Steffi emerged as a threat beating Martina, Chris, and Hana within a span of just a few weeks. Hana's year wasn't spectacular, but it was her most consistent year particularly during the spring and summer. This was, by far, Helena's career year on tour as she finally beat Chris and Hana for the first times, reached the US Open final, pushed Martina in the French SF and Steffi in the year end Slims SF, and gave Chris a huge battle on clay in Prague.
If it had not been for Martina, Hana would have won Wimbledon and the first Slims championships, and Steffi likely would've won the US Open and the second Slims championships. Martina was pushed and challenged by quality players and she responded with her best.
This is also the year that Martina's rivalry with Hana turned, which is another reason why 1986 was so good for Martina. They played six times and Martina didn't slip up against her even once. Hana said that was the best that Martina had ever played against her during that year. If you had told me that Hana would only beat Martina one more time and would be only a few months from winning her last singles tournament, let alone slam, I would have laughed at you. Injuries from her shoulder to her stomach muscle to her hamstring mounted as she drove herself to near anemia during the summer of 1986 with the Haas diet. There was a marriage, a pregnancy, and a divorce all the while she was feeling the pressure from Steffi as all of the sudden it wasn't a sure thing that Hana would succeed Martina and Chris at the top. It was a lot. And when some goals were taken away from her like being number one, playing in the Olympics in Australia, Hana became very unahppy and had to change her life.
The good news is that Martina became one of her closest friends. But, Martina loves playing her friends. It relaxes her so that she plays her best tennis. Whereas Chris needed to work up a near hate for opponents that posed a threat to her and Steffi was just plain indifferent to anyone and anything surrounding the tour. Hana had her own way. She needed an edge, a chip on her shoulder. She relaxed personally and became happier, but it took away much of the fire that she took to the court.
"I cannot survive in this world with my honesty." Hana Mandlikova