What caused Novotna to lose 91 Australian Open final to Seles- was it a choke? - TennisForum.com
View Poll Results: Main reason for Novotna's loss in 91 Australian Open final
she choked again 2 16.67%
she got badly outplayed by a surging Seles at the end of the 2nd and 3rd sets 4 33.33%
she was tired and a bit injured 0 0%
combination of 1 and 2 0 0%
combination of 1 and 3 0 0%
combination of 2 and 3 5 41.67%
combination of all 3 1 8.33%
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post #1 of 92 (permalink) Old Aug 29th, 2010, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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What caused Novotna to lose 91 Australian Open final to Seles- was it a choke?

Every serious womens tennis fan knows of some of Jana Novotna's famous chokes, imparticular the infamous 93 Wimbledon final. It is interesting though since I joined her I have noticed some people who feel she choked away the 91 Australian Open final with Seles. I never thought too much about it but it is the first time I heard that brought up. She did lose 9 of the last 10 games after being at 7-5, 3-3 and on the verge of possibly winning, but was this because she choked or because of other factors.

Personally I dont think she outright choked. She got tired, she had a bit of an injury, and Seles also raised the level of her game. Fatigued and with an injury Novotna was forced to go for shots earlier in points and thus making alot of errors.

What do you believe was the main cause of her losing at the end. A choke, injury, fatigue, or being outplayed by Seles.
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post #2 of 92 (permalink) Old Aug 29th, 2010, 10:04 PM
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Re: What caused Novotna to lose 91 Australian Open final to Seles- was it a choke?

Seles was just too tough. If anything Jana deserves credit for not getting steamrolled.
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post #3 of 92 (permalink) Old Aug 30th, 2010, 12:59 AM Thread Starter
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Re: What caused Novotna to lose 91 Australian Open final to Seles- was it a choke?

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Originally Posted by Rollo View Post
Seles was just too tough. If anything Jana deserves credit for not getting steamrolled.
Seles wasnt exactly playing unbeatable tennis in this event though. In the semis Mary Joe Fernandez of all people bageled her in the 2nd set and would have won if she didnt play a scared chicken as Safina puts it on match point where she had about 3 chances to put the ball away or move forward and hung back and lost the point. So I doubt Jana after beating Garrison, the then #1 Steffi Graf, and killing Sanchez Vicario ever expected to be steamrolled by Seles who should have lost to Fernandez.
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post #4 of 92 (permalink) Old Aug 30th, 2010, 05:29 AM
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Re: What caused Novotna to lose 91 Australian Open final to Seles- was it a choke?

Quote:
Originally Posted by justineheninfan View Post
Every serious womens tennis fan knows of some of Jana Novotna's famous chokes, imparticular the infamous 93 Wimbledon final. It is interesting though since I joined her I have noticed some people who feel she choked away the 91 Australian Open final with Seles. I never thought too much about it but it is the first time I heard that brought up. She did lose 9 of the last 10 games after being at 7-5, 3-3 and on the verge of possibly winning, but was this because she choked or because of other factors.

Personally I dont think she outright choked. She got tired, she had a bit of an injury, and Seles also raised the level of her game. Fatigued and with an injury Novotna was forced to go for shots earlier in points and thus making alot of errors.

What do you believe was the main cause of her losing at the end. A choke, injury, fatigue, or being outplayed by Seles.
She choked a little but not that much really, in the second set at least, she dumped some easy shots from 3-3 in the second set. But in the third set she had very little phisically on the tank.. Seles took over..

Gabriela Sabatini 2006 HOF
18 Grand Slam SFs, Won 27 titles, 1 GS Sin, 1 GS in Dubs,2 Masters
Sabatini vs Martinez ?
Seasons in the top ten: Sabatini 10 Conchita 9
Straight Seasons in the top ten: Sabatini 10 Conchita 6
Seasons in the top 5: Sabatini 6 Conchita 5
Straight seasons in the top 5: Sabatini 6 Conchita 4
Tier II and above titles
Sabatini 24 Martinez 17
Record at the Masters
Sabatini has 2 titles 2 Runner up and 3 SF
Martinez has 0 titles, 0 RU, and 0 Sf
Record against the best players
Sabatini 40% Martinez 21%
Head to Head
Sabatini leads 9-6 over Martinez
FWTT Hard 111(111 + ny)Carpet 104(104 + ny)Clay 107(107 + 4) Grass 100(100 ny)
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post #5 of 92 (permalink) Old Aug 30th, 2010, 07:28 AM
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Re: What caused Novotna to lose 91 Australian Open final to Seles- was it a choke?

I remember this match. Jana was carrying an injury and tired visibly in the 2nd and 3rd sets. Her win against Graf in the quarters was one of her greatest ever - she had nothing to be ashamed of. No choking was involved. Seles just went in for the kill when Jana tired.

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post #6 of 92 (permalink) Old Aug 30th, 2010, 04:33 PM
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Re: What caused Novotna to lose 91 Australian Open final to Seles- was it a choke?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat Bateman View Post
I remember this match. Jana was carrying an injury and tired visibly in the 2nd and 3rd sets. Her win against Graf in the quarters was one of her greatest ever - she had nothing to be ashamed of. No choking was involved. Seles just went in for the kill when Jana tired.
I dont remmember this minor injury, probably that is why she went for her shots a lot near the end of the second set, who knows..

Here is a report archive..
http://www.nytimes.com/1991/01/27/sp...lian-open.html

Gabriela Sabatini 2006 HOF
18 Grand Slam SFs, Won 27 titles, 1 GS Sin, 1 GS in Dubs,2 Masters
Sabatini vs Martinez ?
Seasons in the top ten: Sabatini 10 Conchita 9
Straight Seasons in the top ten: Sabatini 10 Conchita 6
Seasons in the top 5: Sabatini 6 Conchita 5
Straight seasons in the top 5: Sabatini 6 Conchita 4
Tier II and above titles
Sabatini 24 Martinez 17
Record at the Masters
Sabatini has 2 titles 2 Runner up and 3 SF
Martinez has 0 titles, 0 RU, and 0 Sf
Record against the best players
Sabatini 40% Martinez 21%
Head to Head
Sabatini leads 9-6 over Martinez
FWTT Hard 111(111 + ny)Carpet 104(104 + ny)Clay 107(107 + 4) Grass 100(100 ny)
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post #7 of 92 (permalink) Old Aug 30th, 2010, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
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Re: What caused Novotna to lose 91 Australian Open final to Seles- was it a choke?

It is strange she would be tired though. Her semifinal with Sanchez Vicario was quite easy and quick if I recall. Her quarterfinal with Graf was very tough and long, but wasnt that 4 days before the final. By contrast Seles had an extremely long semifinal with Fernandez where she saved a match point before winning 9-7 in the 3rd. The commentators said towards the end of the 2nd set Seles was trying to come forward more and shorten the points as she was tiring, but it was in fact Jana who soon hit the wall.
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post #8 of 92 (permalink) Old Aug 30th, 2010, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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Re: What caused Novotna to lose 91 Australian Open final to Seles- was it a choke?

It is intersting to wonder if Jana had won this match if she would have been a 3 or 4 slam winner. She probably would not have choked away the 93 Wimbledon final to Graf at the end if she had already won a slam, and maybe won the 97 Wimbledon final with Hingis too.

The ironic thing is this was probably her best ever chance at a hard court slam. She was sort of a contender at the 94, 97, and 98 U.S Opens but I dont think she was ever going to win any of them. Getting by Graf in 94, Hingis in 97, or Davenport in 98 would have been too tough for her.
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post #9 of 92 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 2010, 03:05 PM
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Re: What caused Novotna to lose 91 Australian Open final to Seles- was it a choke?

Quote:
Originally Posted by justineheninfan View Post
It is intersting to wonder if Jana had won this match if she would have been a 3 or 4 slam winner. She probably would not have choked away the 93 Wimbledon final to Graf at the end if she had already won a slam, and maybe won the 97 Wimbledon final with Hingis too.

The ironic thing is this was probably her best ever chance at a hard court slam. She was sort of a contender at the 94, 97, and 98 U.S Opens but I dont think she was ever going to win any of them. Getting by Graf in 94, Hingis in 97, or Davenport in 98 would have been too tough for her.

Agreed,

Without a doubt, this was Jana's best opportunity to capture a hard court slam. But who really expected Jana to reach the Aussie Open final that year?. Nobody gave Jana any sort of chance to get that far.

The fact is, Jana was overlooked by almost all the pundits heading into '91 Oz. Most considered Steffi Graf, Monica Seles, and Sabatini to be the real contenders to capture the title.

Jana's run was amazing at '91 Oz, and was her coming out party. As well as Jana played in reaching the final, she was somewhat fortunate too. In the quarters, Jana played perhaps the greatest match of her life in taking Steffi out of the draw. Jana's semifinal opponent should have been Sabatini. However, Sabatini was taken apart by Arantxa in their quarterfinal.

I'm not sure Jana could have beaten Sabatini if they had met in the semis. But Arantxa proved a much easier opponent for Jana. In the final, Monica was hitting on all cylinders, so Jana didn't have much of a chance(IMHO).

In conclusion, Jana really didn't choke in the final ; Monica was simply too good. Would Jana have been a 3 or 4 Slam winner if she had beaten Monica in the final?. It's hard to say, but she certainly would have enhanced her chances. Of course, we'll never know for sure, but it's interesting to think about. One thing I do know for certain: Jana had the talent and ability to be a 3 or 4 Slam winner, but it never happened.
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post #10 of 92 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 2010, 07:46 PM
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Re: What caused Novotna to lose 91 Australian Open final to Seles- was it a choke?

I agree, you summed it up quite well IMO.

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post #11 of 92 (permalink) Old Sep 2nd, 2010, 09:19 AM
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Re: What caused Novotna to lose 91 Australian Open final to Seles- was it a choke?

Monica is too ruthless on Rebound Ace. The surface favors Monica heavily especially against a player like Jana. To me it is even something that Jana was 3 games from winning the match.
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post #12 of 92 (permalink) Old Sep 2nd, 2010, 05:54 PM
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Re: What caused Novotna to lose 91 Australian Open final to Seles- was it a choke?

I liked how Jana matched up with Monica. She made a much bigger impression on her than she did on Steffi. Part of it was strategy. Hana, as coach, talked about it a little bit during ESPN's broadcast of the final. She told Jana to her wide and wide serves which means to serve Monica wide in the deuce court and then in the add court serve out wide to Monica's forehand. She also used her slice very well cross court going to Monica's forehand giving her low balls that she couldn't just rip down the line for a winner. The idea was to get Monica to take one hand off her racquet. Jana did this very well both before and after the stabbing.

Jana did choke a lot. But I think the credit for the win goes to Monica. Yes, Jana was tiring. She was in better shape than she had been 2 years before. But she still wasn't quite where she would be in a another year or two conditioning wise. But Monica showed the grit and toughness of a champion by grinding that match out waiting for Jana to wear down and make the errors in the latter part of the 2nd set. In the 3rd Monica was fully confident and started swinging away.

Would Jana have won more slams had she won this title? I think she may have. It may have helped her win Wimbledon 1993. But Jana's game didn't make the same kind of impression on Steffi as it did Monica. So I have trouble seeing her win multiple slams. Plus the lack of a topspin backhand really hurt her at times. She was so attackable. Had Jana been a top player in the 70's and 80's instead of the 90's, she wouldn't have won any slams in my opinion. Too many serve and volleyers to attack her obvious weaknesses.

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post #13 of 92 (permalink) Old Sep 2nd, 2010, 11:14 PM
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Re: What caused Novotna to lose 91 Australian Open final to Seles- was it a choke?

I definitely don't see this as a choke. Monica was a "murderous frontrunner", as Micheal Mewshaw put it, back in the day.

Come to think of it, not too many players choked matches to Monica (or maybe my memory is playing tricks on me?). The only ones I can think of off the top of my head are Justine Henin at AO 2001 and perhaps, Akiko Kijimuta at RG 1992. I wonder if this is because she was never really viewed as "the best" by her peers - Steffi was always around and always the more accomplished.

Edit: Just remembered Lindsay's 3 losses to Monica, all after holding matchpoint.

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post #14 of 92 (permalink) Old Sep 3rd, 2010, 02:56 AM Thread Starter
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Re: What caused Novotna to lose 91 Australian Open final to Seles- was it a choke?

I dont think Henin choked the 2001 Australian Open match although I know that is what alot said at the time. It is not like she started playing horribly and hitting alot of errors. Given her reputation as a choker early in the career, I think that is what led alot of people to conclude that. I think her level dropped a bit but she didnt choke. Now the 2001 FO semis vs Clijsters and 2002 Charleston final vs Venus, those were definite and huge chokes by pre prime Henin.

Kijimuta definitely choked in that 92 French Open match but it was understandable. She probably never imagined ever being in that position and the thought terrified her. Even if she hadnt choked and begun playing like she forget how to hold a racquet Seles still may have found a way to come back anyway like she did vs Sabatini in the semis.

Graf in the 1st set tiebreak of the 1990 French probably.

I dont think Davenport choked in the first 2 losses to Seles where she had match point. Seles just hit huge winners on them and Davenport was fat (fatter than post stabbing Seles even) and not the player she would be in later years either. The WTA Championships match in 2002 was a big of a choke though.
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post #15 of 92 (permalink) Old Sep 3rd, 2010, 04:37 AM
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Re: What caused Novotna to lose 91 Australian Open final to Seles- was it a choke?

Quote:
Originally Posted by justineheninfan View Post
I dont think Henin choked the 2001 Australian Open match although I know that is what alot said at the time. It is not like she started playing horribly and hitting alot of errors. Given her reputation as a choker early in the career, I think that is what led alot of people to conclude that. I think her level dropped a bit but she didnt choke. Now the 2001 FO semis vs Clijsters and 2002 Charleston final vs Venus, those were definite and huge chokes by pre prime Henin.

Kijimuta definitely choked in that 92 French Open match but it was understandable. She probably never imagined ever being in that position and the thought terrified her. Even if she hadnt choked and begun playing like she forget how to hold a racquet Seles still may have found a way to come back anyway like she did vs Sabatini in the semis.

Graf in the 1st set tiebreak of the 1990 French probably.

I dont think Davenport choked in the first 2 losses to Seles where she had match point. Seles just hit huge winners on them and Davenport was fat (fatter than post stabbing Seles even) and not the player she would be in later years either. The WTA Championships match in 2002 was a big of a choke though.
Novotna choked a 6-3 3-0 match vs Monica at the YEC 1992 for instance.

Graf did not really choked the TB in the first set @Rg 1990 final. From 5-1 Graf up Seles hit 3 winners, 3 forcing errors (1 off the ground, 1 serve out wide, 1 return of serve out wide that forced Seless set point). Apart from 1 double fault, i dont see how that can be a choke.. Seles made things happen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXyVufVHMHg

Actually in the Chase 2002 Seles erased each match point with amazing winners, i dont see where was the choke. Probably because Lindsay ran away in the third set?? And still Lindsay stayed on serve in the final set until 3-4 in the third......

Gabriela Sabatini 2006 HOF
18 Grand Slam SFs, Won 27 titles, 1 GS Sin, 1 GS in Dubs,2 Masters
Sabatini vs Martinez ?
Seasons in the top ten: Sabatini 10 Conchita 9
Straight Seasons in the top ten: Sabatini 10 Conchita 6
Seasons in the top 5: Sabatini 6 Conchita 5
Straight seasons in the top 5: Sabatini 6 Conchita 4
Tier II and above titles
Sabatini 24 Martinez 17
Record at the Masters
Sabatini has 2 titles 2 Runner up and 3 SF
Martinez has 0 titles, 0 RU, and 0 Sf
Record against the best players
Sabatini 40% Martinez 21%
Head to Head
Sabatini leads 9-6 over Martinez
FWTT Hard 111(111 + ny)Carpet 104(104 + ny)Clay 107(107 + 4) Grass 100(100 ny)
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