hana/chris 85 us open: awe-full...or awful ??? - TennisForum.com
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 30th, 2004, 04:23 AM Thread Starter
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hana/chris 85 us open: awe-full...or awful ???

hey y'all,

i must admit...i never saw the 85 us open sf...i often get a sense of which losses are worth seeing and which ones are not, and i am almost always spot on in this instinct. if chrissie losses and she goes down dignified with fine shotmaking and is simply outplayed on any given day, i still enjoy it.

the 85 us open always was a red flag to me...'don't bother' was my instinct. then i traded for a copy of that match a few weeks ago and yet my instinct was so strong that i didnt bother watching. then, someone sent me (unasked for) a mint copy that had a great jennifer capriati feature from when she was 8 years old!! so i kept watching as the match came on...

now FINALLY ...i have seen that 85 us open semi...

the 86 wimbledon sf is one thing; they both play well and hana wins. i have no problem with that. great match. there's no shame in losing to hana when she's really on, no matter WHO you are. and it can be a pleasure to watch. but this...dont take this the wrong way, i know how much hana's win meant to her, and by winning the title, women's tennis... and hana played very well and consistent and thoughtfully...but i have never seen chris play worse and still win.

and i cannot explain why she played so poorly. i have seen her confronted by so many scenerios in so many circumstances, but this one i couldnt begin to identify the causes of her swift deterioration. she really wasnt under that much pressure except for her own inability to execute what were, for her, basic shots...sprayed feet long or right into the center of the net...over and over: passing shots, returns of serve, short approaches, and even medium paced groundies from the back of the court. the only match i ever watched chris play where i sat cringing, just waiting for the next aggregious error, was her dreadful 89 golarsa nightmare...and thats how it was with this one; i just thought, each time she struck the ball, 'cringe' she's gonna hit it out or into the net again.

i always thought chris must've felt better about the loss considering hana followed it up with a win over martina to solidify the #1/#2 overthrowing, but watching this, i do not think she would be consoled. she must've been furious at herself.

anyone have an insight into this one?? (HanafanGA, please dont hate me! hana deserves a load of praise for her play ...and lord knows hana played well beneath her potential on many many big occasions against chris in previous meetings!) but chris blew wind in that match.

suffice it to say, this one will NOT make chris' match memories book! ...which you have all WOEFULLY neglected to participate in, BTW.

Last edited by daze11; Nov 30th, 2004 at 04:57 AM.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 30th, 2004, 06:36 AM
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CE thread participation:

Not me! I'm about to get on that thread right about now
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 30th, 2004, 08:57 AM
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Daze,

I've got to agree with you on this one. This was Chris's chance to really take the no.1 ranking for the year. After winning the French,and pressing Martina in the Wimbeldon final, it was her chance to really make 1985 her year. Even though Chris and Hana are my equal faves, I really wanted Chris to walk away with the USO. She was the no.1 seed, and she hadn't looked this confident going into a GS with Martina probably since 1982. However, on the day, she looked completely flat. Her drives were barely reaching the service line if they were going in at all, and her serve looked particularly feeble. I remeber Chris saying after the match that she hadn't been able to motivate herself for the match, and with a rye smile said that she was human after all. Such an odd comment for someone normally so focussed, and with everything to play for.

Hana made up for my disappointment in the final though. I wonder if Chris had taken the USO that year, whether she would have also taken the closely contested AO final as well, given that the grass courts at Kooyong are much harder, and the bounce is a lot higher than Wimbeldon.
PS I also saw that story on Jennifer. It was my first encounter with her, and I marvelled that an 8 y/o girl had better groundies than me!
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 30th, 2004, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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BCP, my first knowledge of capriati was from two years earlier...she was working with none other than JIMMY EVERT! I remember a picture in tennis mag with chris bending down to fit into the picture with little jen!

but i hate to say, you may have figured it out: it was chrissie's chance to nail the #1 spot in everyone's mind. In the Canadfian Open a few weeks prior, the reporter after the final siad to chris--after martina had been upset by kohde is the quarters--"I bet you're glad you didnt have to play martina before the us open" and she quickly stabbed back, 'well, i dont know about THAT...i would have LIKED to play her.' (capitalization represents the words chris stressed when she said it) which means she felt she would win, or had a good shot at it, and would like to "settle matters" by playing MN.

The subconscious pressure of knowing the battle would take place on this grand stage may just have wobbled her into preferring to bow out in the semis. NOT that she bagged it in any way consciously; she was clearly upset and miffed at her own play in between points--she starred at her racquet like, 'exactly what am i not doing today that i've done all year around?' and i dont think the answer to that question ever presented itself to her. but ...point being...any doubt she had about her BEING as #1 as she was ranked would rub against her ego, which would deflat her tennis if it were really pressing...having some sense of chris' ego being a large but sometimes sensitive creature.

And I agree that this tournament may have contributed to the lack of full belief chris had at the aussie final, as compared to the wimbledon final, where she did look like she felt ready to dismantle martina even on grass. As I watched this USO SF, I thought...this match was more than a loss...it was a bruise upon the confidence of her #1-ship which I dont think went away, and in this it may have been hana's most devastating win over chris. And not because of hana...Hana didnt have the power to put that kind of doubt in chris' mind. But far worse: chris' doubt in herself.

The other possibility is a simple one; she also could have just come up flat. But I...just dont ever remember, in all those years, atleast prior to 1986 (age 32), her being that off, especially on a big occasion. The 1980 Wimbledon final is the only other time. But she had beaten Martina in the SF and felt that was the 'big win' for getting the title, so she had a let down...that instance was one which had a reason. This semifinal had none.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 30th, 2004, 03:11 PM
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Daze, can you remember whether Chris was still the no.1 seed at the AO? I think she was. I think that AO loss would be her last chance to have any claims to the no.1 spot. As i recall (but correct me if I'm wrong), she then lost in the first round of the VSC played in early 1986?
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 30th, 2004, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCP
Daze, can you remember whether Chris was still the no.1 seed at the AO? I think she was. I think that AO loss would be her last chance to have any claims to the no.1 spot. As i recall (but correct me if I'm wrong), she then lost in the first round of the VSC played in early 1986?
she was SEEDED #1 at the AO because she was ranked that high when seedings were decided at the end of november, but by the time the event began, she was #2 on the computer. Even though she was already defending champion, if she had won, she would have regained the throne for the year-end ranking, ironically from the points gained by beating the new #1 Martina! what a weird system.

She didnt lose early in the VSC in 86; made the semis at the slims champs that year in another under-performed loss to hana, though she sure as heck put up a better fight there.

Her early round loss at the slims championshiops came at the end of 1987, just prior to her 33rd bday. (her first loss to hanika ever...though she paid her back with a 6-1 6-0 drubbing the next time they met!)
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old Dec 1st, 2004, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daze11
she was SEEDED #1 at the AO because she was ranked that high when seedings were decided at the end of november, but by the time the event began, she was #2 on the computer. Even though she was already defending champion, if she had won, she would have regained the throne for the year-end ranking, ironically from the points gained by beating the new #1 Martina! what a weird system.

She didnt lose early in the VSC in 86; made the semis at the slims champs that year in another under-performed loss to hana, though she sure as heck put up a better fight there.

Her early round loss at the slims championshiops came at the end of 1987, just prior to her 33rd bday. (her first loss to hanika ever...though she paid her back with a 6-1 6-0 drubbing the next time they met!)

She also lost to Kathy Jordan in 85 1 round.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old Dec 1st, 2004, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeanmi18
She also lost to Kathy Jordan in 85 1 round.
yes, i became an instant kathy rinaldi fan the night after, when she avenged the loss against the hapless kathy jordan. i will always love miss rinaldi for doing that. KJ making the semis would have made me ill.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old Dec 2nd, 2004, 05:11 PM
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I don't think Chris played particularly well either. In fact the better match that summer was their Canadian Open semi where I thought both players were playing some high quality tennis with Chris winning 6-4 in the 3rd.

In the US Open semi, Hana played a poor first set. But she put together a nice run at the end of the second through 5-2 in the 3rd. Her serving made the difference. Then, like their 86 Virginia Slims match, the crowd got involved. She really had to shake off some rattled nerves when people started calling out during points and cheering her double faults. But I honestly think that Hana's serving had something to do with Chris falling so far behind in that 3rd set. When she served as well as she did in the last set, I think other players got demoralized. But it was also clear that Chris didn't take advantage of several short second serves either. It wasn't Hana's most spectacular win but it was a gutsy win and that's why its so important for her career.

Looking back on the summer of 85 it is surprising that Chris didn't play very well in that semi. She played some great tennis at the Canadian and at Newport against Shriver.
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