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Discussion Starter #1
Don't know whether this is of any interest or not but HanafanGA's recent posts on Hana's standing vis-à-vis other players led me to have a look at her achievements in the following context:

Most of us on here would accept, I think, that in the three decades between 68 and 96, Court, King, Evert, Navratilova, Graf and Seles stand out as the women who stayed at the top of tennis for a sustained period. Almost seemlessly in time, Court was succeeded by Evert and King by Navratilova; Evert was succeded by Graf and Navratilova bt Seles. This gives us the possibility of breaking those 30 years down into 5 "mini-eras", during which, for most of the time, two of these six women occupied the top 2 places in the world. we could thus end up with something like this:

68-73 Court/King
74-77 Evert/King
78-86 Navratilova/Evert
87-90 Graf/Navratilova
91-96 Seles/Graf

In parts, that breakdown is controversial, I know, but please read to the end before blowing a fuse. If we do accept that breakdown for the sake of argument, then it is possible to come up with the following list of women who won a major at which one (*) or both (**) of the leading two women in world tennis at that time were present.

1968-73: The Court & King Era.

Out of the 24 majors contested this period, the field at 23 contained King or Court or both, the exception being the 1972 Australian Open. Of these 23, only 5 (= 21.7%) were won by someone other than BJK or Madge
1) 1968 RG: Nancy Richey (*) Nancy beat BJK in the SF
2) 1968 US: Virginia Wade (**) Ginny beat BJK in final. Madge fell early.
3) 1969 Wi: Ann Jones (**) beat Madge in the SF and BJK in the final.
4) 1971 RG: Evonne Goolagong (*) won without facing Madge, who lost early.
5) 1971 Wi: Evonne Goolagong (**) beat BJK in SF and Madge in final

1974-77: The Evert & King Era
Of the 17 majors (5 in 77) contested during this period, the field at 11 contained Evert or King or both, Australia 75,6,77 (Jan & Dec) and RG 76 & 77 being the exceptions. Of these 11, only 2 (= 18.2%) were won by someone other than Chris or Billie Jean:
1) 1974 AO: Evonne Goolagong (*) beat Chris in final
2) 1977 Wi: Virginia Wade (**) beat Chris (who'd beaten King) in SF

1978-86: The Chris & Martina Era
Of the 35 majors played (no AO in 86) in this era, the field at 32 contained either Chris or Martina or both, the exceptions being Australia 78 & 79 and RG 78. Of these 32, only 6 (= 18.75%) were won by players other than Evert or Navratilova:

1) 1979 US Tracy Austin (**) beat both Martina and Chris
2) 1980 AO Hana Mandlikova (*) won without facing Martina, who lost early.
3) 1980 Wi: Evonne Goolagong (**) beat Chris (who'd beaten Martina) in F
4) 1981 RG Hana Mandlikova (**) beat Chris in SF, Martina lost early.
5) 1981 US Tracy Austin (**) beat Martina (who'd beaten Chris) in F
6) 1985 US Hana Mandlikova (**) beat both Chris and Martina

1987-90 Steffi & Martina
Of the 16 majors played in this period all contained Steffi and/or Martina. On 4 occasions (= 25%) players other than these two won the event:
1) 1987 AO Hana Mandlikova (*) beat Martina in F
2) 1989 RG Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario (*) beat Steffi in F
3) 1990 RG Monica Seles (*) beat Steffi in F
4) 1990 US Gaby Sabatini (**) beat Steffi in F; Martina lost early.

1991-6 Monica & Steffi
Of 24 majors, only the field at one (AO 95) was without Steffi and/or Monica. Of the 23, only 3 (= 13%) were won by a player other than Graf or Seles:
1) 94 RG Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario (*) without playing Steffi.
2) 94 Wi Conchita Martinez (*) without playing Steffi
3) 94 US Arantxa Sanchez Vicario (*) beat Steffi in F

Thus from 68-96, Ann Jones, Evonne Goolagong, Hana Mandlikova and Tracy Austin are the only women to have lifted the trophy at a major having beaten the two giants of women's tennis of the time.

In terms of totals, the list goes:
Evonne Goolagong-Cawley: 4
Hana Mandlikova: 4
Arantxa Sanchez Vicario: 3 (excluding all post-96 results)
Tracy Austin: 2
Virginia Wade: 2
Ann Jones: 1 (excluding all pre-1968 results)
Conchita Martinez: 1
Nancy Richey: 1
Gabriela Sabatini: 1
Monica Seles: 1

For those who feel 1974-77 should be the Chris/Evonne era, we'd add in AO 75,76, and 77 Dec to make 14/17 majors with one or both players present. There would be 3 (= 21.4%) other winners:
1) 1974 US: BJK (**) beat Evonne (who'd beaten Chris)
2) Wi 75 BJK (**) who beat both
3) Wi 77: Ginny (*) beat Chris in SF
and BJK would become the 5th woman to win a major beating the top 2 of the time.

All this is just idle musing but thought I'd share with whoever's interested...
:wavey:
 

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Thanks Andy. Also, this breakdown shows what an impact the stabbing had. There was a perfect line from Court over King to Evert over Navratilova (including the wonderful but too short Austin era) to Graf and then Seles who succeeded Graf. From 1993 it's all messed up, Sanchez a number one (OMG), Hingis way too early, Graf number one again with winning 1 GS title in 1994, Martinez winning Wimbledon.

So I want to refer to Tennis history before it was faked (and, btw, 1990 surely was more of a Seles year than it was a Navratilova year).

So, as for Hana Mandlikova, she was a player who was essential of the 1980+1981 era, just like Tracy Austin (also in 1979), it's a bit unfair to erase their names and just call it the "Navratilova/Evert" years. So called "experts" even do that which is really sad. Both, Mandlikova and Austin were better than Navratilova for a while and Austin better than Evert so nobody labeled the years 1979 to 1981 the "Navratilova/Evert" years in 1981 just like nobody labeled the 1990 to 1993 years as the "Seles/Graf" era because their number of GS titles was so different.

When Martina Navratilova started her brutal training in mid 1981 hardly anyone could follow. Mandlikova, Austin and Jaeger were physically not able to.
 

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I know I'm in the minority, but I still believe that Hana deserves to be placed higher than Arantxa. I think that she posed a threat to both Chris and Martina in a way that Arantxa did not to both Steffi and Monica in their primes. I believe that Hana's GS titles were more impressive than Arantxa's plus she won on more surfaces.

The thing that hurts Hana is that she was never ranked no.1 I think even if we gave her a hypothetical Wimbeldon (either the 81 or 86, which would mean in either case that she would have beaten Chris and Martina back to back), it still would be hard to put her above Hingis, but she may have a case to be placed above Venus.....though Venus has a full 18 months where she was virtually unbeatable.
 

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I still would be hard to put her abive Hingis, but she may have a case to be placed above Venus.....though Venus has a full 18 months where she was virtually unbeatable.
Williams had a couple of summers (2000 and 2001) when she was virtually unbeatable. She most certainly did not dominate during the entire 18-month period, and her stint at the top of the rankings was fairly short (just over four months). She can be considered unbeatable during those years only if you think Wimbledon and the US Open are the only tournaments that matter.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Andy. Also, this breakdown shows what an impact the stabbing had. There was a perfect line from Court over King to Evert over Navratilova (including the wonderful but too short Austin era) to Graf and then Seles who succeeded Graf. From 1993 it's all messed up, Sanchez a number one (OMG), Hingis way too early, Graf number one again with winning 1 GS title in 1994, Martinez winning Wimbledon.

So I want to refer to Tennis history before it was faked (and, btw, 1990 surely was more of a Seles year than it was a Navratilova year).

So, as for Hana Mandlikova, she was a player who was essential of the 1980+1981 era, just like Tracy Austin (also in 1979), it's a bit unfair to erase their names and just call it the "Navratilova/Evert" years. So called "experts" even do that which is really sad. Both, Mandlikova and Austin were better than Navratilova for a while and Austin better than Evert so nobody labeled the years 1979 to 1981 the "Navratilova/Evert" years in 1981 just like nobody labeled the 1990 to 1993 years as the "Seles/Graf" era because their number of GS titles was so different.

When Martina Navratilova started her brutal training in mid 1981 hardly anyone could follow. Mandlikova, Austin and Jaeger were physically not able to.
Robert, I regret that you felt you had to bring up the events of 93 as this thread was not intended in any way to relate to the aftermath of the stabbing. Initially, I drew the line at 92 but ultimately decided to continue until end 96, when the Graf/Seles era ended for good.

I hesitated about 1990, the year when Martina won her last major a month after Monica had won her first. In the end, I decided to lump it with 87-9 because Martina was ranked #2 until just before the very end of the season, when Monica won the YEC and Martina went under the surgeon's knife and consequently mised the indoor season altogether.

I understand your comments regarding these 'eras'; of course they are crude generalisations. As I tried to explain in my first post, however, they provided a way to look at the achievements of players who were not members of the "Big 6".
 

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Williams had a couple of summers (2000 and 2001) when she was virtually unbeatable. She most certainly did not dominate during the entire 18-month period, and her stint at the top of the rankings was fairly short (just over four months). She can be considered unbeatable during those years only if you think Wimbledon and the US Open are the only tournaments that matter.
From memory, I think that the fact she was not ranked no.1 for very long was more an anomoly with the ranking system than anything else. But I agree with you and it has been proven as she is yet to hold an Australian Open or French Open title that it was more the summer periods that she was unbeatable, but i think she was clearly the no.1 player during this period.
 

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I think the bottom line on where to place Hana and Aranxta in comparison to each other is that depending on which side you take, you can come up with stats to argue for one over the other. Obviously, I'm baised towards Hana. But in no way do I want to discredit ASV.

She peaked at a time when other things were happening with Graf and Seles that were beyond her control. But she showed up and she fought her way to the top. I have no doubt in my mind that ASV worked very hard and earned every thing she ever got.

One thing is for sure, Hana was flashier and perhaps more dangerous than ASV. Hana was even dangerous to her own self! :p But ASV was like old reliable. She always showed up in the semis of the big tournaments, winning a few along the way. If grand slams were earned on effort alone, few would have more titles than ASV.

So I'm with my buddy, BCP. :) But I'll be the first to say that ASV's total record (not just slams) was very consistent and probably better than Hana's. So I guess it just depends on what priorities you place on your determining factors.

Hana, ASV, Virginia Wade, Wilander, Ashe, Nastase, Gerulaitis, Smith, etc. all occupy a similar place relative to their time in tennis. They weren't the biggest superstars. But they played an essential role in making their era of tennis as good as it could be. And if no one else does, their fans will tell generations to come how important they were.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Interesting posts, guys. I prefer to watch Hana over Arantxa by a mile but as you say, raw talent and shot-making ability, hard work and achievement all have to be weighed in.
 

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From memory, I think that the fact she was not ranked no.1 for very long was more an anomoly with the ranking system than anything else.
It was partly due to the ranking system and partly due to the fact that Williams did not play enough. She missed the first five months of 2000 due to injury and played only one event (Linz) in the fall indoor circuit.
 

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It was partly due to the ranking system and partly due to the fact that Williams did not play enough. She missed the first five months of 2000 due to injury and played only one event (Linz) in the fall indoor circuit.
OK, my turn to be an over-the-top fan of a player.....

I get that Venus' career in the "pantheon" gets knocked down if she never wins the Aussie or French, and she's never been exactly a world-beater from January-Wimbledon pretty much (albeit, it would appear that we would not be saying this of her if not for her sister during 2002-2003.) However, in 2000, she won two Olympic gold medals, Stanford, San Diego and New Haven, and in 2001, she won Miami, Hamburg, San Diego and New Haven, in addition to her US Open and Wimbledon wins- and, in 2001, beating the other candidate for "No. 1", Capriati, the 3 times they played in 2001- Miami, New Haven and the US Open. (Not to mention doubles Slam wins.) Not exactly shabby. I'm sorry, but any computer rankings system that doesn't give enough bonus points for Slam wins, that wouldn't rate Venus as No. 1 in 2000 and 2001, and would, say, reward with Davenport with No. 1 end of year status in a year when she doesn't win a Slam (or even make a Slam final during one year, if I'm remembering this correctly)- well, that system is pure rubbish (see, you Brits are rubbing off on me, rubbish, ha), and long over-due for an overhaul. I am just sick and tired of the "she doesn't/they don't play enough" justification excuse for computer rankings- especially when we continue to end up with so many players out with injuries, at least in part due to over-playing to play the computer rankings game.

BTW- To make a quick stab at getting back to on-topic status....it sure is a toss-up between Hana and Arantxa- but HanaFanGA would have to be happily surprised that many of us would give the nod to Hana. However, HanaFanGA, do dump Gerulaitis from that list you provided. He obviously was box-office- but does not come close status-wise to belonging in the list you provided, IMO.
 

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Great find Daze! Thanks :worship:

Martina Navratilova brought up an odd fact tonight when Hana was mentioned on Tennis Channels "100 Greatest of All Time".

According to Martina her father and Hana's mother dated each other for a while.
that really is as crazy as the evert/connors dad & mom dating story (as you mentioned elsewhere)

btw, there is a pic with hana on that site dated 2005.... where she looks quite like she always did, and then one from 2011... i havent seen such a rapid change in 'form' since wendy turnbull. what goes on exactly for women living in australia???

olivia newton-john still looks quite radiant... http://www1.pictures.zimbio.com/bg/Olivia+Newton+John+Celebs+Few+Best+Men+Premiere+kIhTsdVhMNql.jpg but maybe she is living in florida actually. :scratch:
 

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As you guys know, I don't get into the 'coulda-woulda-shoulda' stuff at all. But I always enjoyed watching Hana play. She deserves a lot of kudos also for coaching Jana to the 1998 Wimbledon title. I doubt that any other coach in the world could have taken Jana there.
 

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I thought Hanka was living somewhere in the States (Florida?) with her partner and their kids. Did she move back to Australia?
 

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An article on Hana from late 1979. She was on a tear in Australia, still learning English and under the control of Vera Sukova, her Czech handler and mom of Helena Sukova

https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/122582829/

The Sydney Morning Herald from Sydney, New South Wales · Page 52
Issue Date: Saturday, December 29, 1979

Hana's new word is 'magnificent'

She beat NSW's Jenny Walker 6-1. 6-2. Then she went off to a practice court to work on her serve. Mandlikova was nine years old when her father put a tennis racquet in her hands and told her the could become a champion. Father knew best. It was 44 degrees on the centre court at Kooyong and the St John Ambulance officers had to treat 150 of the spectators for heat exhaustion. Everywhere white Melbourne noses and shoulders were turning a bright red. Seventeen-year-old Hana Mandlikova adjusted her little Hiawatha headband and proceeded to make mincemeat of her first-round opponent

Today she is being hailed as a future champion. Next year perhaps, or the year after. She is the newest and brightest product of the Czech tennis factory that has already produced Regina Marsikova, Hana Strachanova, Renata Tomanova and the Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova, whom we wont talk about because she has defected and gone to live in the United States. Hana Mandlikova's English is not as good as her forehand. "But I am learning new words all the lime, she said. The other day during a tense match in the NSW Building Society Classic, she used a very old word, but fortunately it was Czech and nobody needed to blush. She is a favourite with the crowd. Unlike American Tracy Austin she is never boring to watch. She is brave as well as brilliant; never stodgy, never frightened to put herself at risk. "When she's hot she's unbelievable," one tennis writer said. "She is magnificent."

Hotels and early nights


She has been relentlessly groomed for ten. nis stardom. Her father, a champion runner who competed in the 100 metres and 200 metres events at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, was determined that she would become an outstanding tennis player. He was the first of her four coaches and she rings him twice a week from hotel rooms around the world. For two years she has competed on the international circuit United States, Britain, Sweden. Switzerland, France, Italy, Germany. It is a life of hotel rooms and tennis courts, of meals eaten in front of television with the radio turned up high, of early nights and early mornings of endless practice sessions with her coach. Vera Sukova, volleying words as well as balls back at her. Mrs Sukova. Wimbledon singles runner-up lo Karen Susman. of the US, in 1962, is friend, interpreter and watch-dog, as well as coach. Oo you sometimes get sick of the grind of it. I asked Mandlikova, who was wearing French ieans and blouse after just returning from a shopping expedition. "Yes. for two days I sometimes get sick of it," she said. "For two hours she sometimes gets sick of it." Mrs Sukova corrected. Mandlikova says she is a good scholar; Mrs Sukova thinks otherwise. Mandlikova says she does not get nervous before a match; Mrs Sukova says yes, she does get nervous.

She plays games to distract herself.


Last year's game was backgammon. And she is superstitious. She used to play in shorts, because whenever she played in skirts she would lose. But then they were saying in the newspapers-that she looked like a boy so she has changed to skirts and managed to win as well. She wears the same green and white headband every match because she thinks it brings her good luck. Mandlikova says it hurts very much to lose, but the last time she cried about losing was when she was 12. "I think 1 must play all matches with the same face," she said. "It is very important that if I lose. I have the same face as if I win." "We sav 'poker face'." Mrs Sukova said. "You get up at 9." Mandlikova said. "You must practice, you must play. You are tired. "Last year I wasn't on the computer rating. Some days I played three matches a day. Sometimes I played six matches before the main draw. Now I am 20 on the computer rating." She is richer too, although not by so much. Her winnings, about $60,000 are paid to the Czechoslovakia Tennis Federation, which will hold her earnings until she turns 18 next February. There is some confusion about how much of her winnings she will then receive. The federation pays all her living costs, her taxes and her fares. In winning the 1100.000 Toyota Classic at Kooyong early this month her first major tennis title she received a cheque for $20,000 and a $7,000 Toyota car. The car, it was decided, was a gift. It was hers. She drove it to the airport one day and and then sold it. When someone asked her about "the car" she corrected them and said: "It is not the car, it is my car."

Elton John and hi-fi

This is her second visit to Australia. 1 asked her if Australia was as she expected. "I know it is always here hot and it is far from home," she said "Thirty-six hours." She is looking forward to catching a plane on Thursday and taking herself and her Elton John records and her new $1200 hi-fi set back to Prague. She will go home earlier if she is beaten early in the tournament, but nobody is putting any bets on lhat. She has won three out of her four tournaments in Australia this month she will more than likely make it four out of five.. Mrs Sukova just hopes she doesn't lose her concentration. "We are working on it to keep it all the time," Mrs Sukova said
 

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I am going to turn her grand slam career upside down and look at it from the bottom up. You will find I do this to every player. When all you do is look at a players finals and tournaments won, you treat a loss in the semis the same way to you treat a loss in the first round. This way you put the wins in the context of the number bad losses or early losses sustained to get those finals an tournament wins. With Hana this is not going to be pretty because she was incredibly inconsistent when she failed to reach those finals Because people are comparing her to Sanchez, I will do the same thing for her following

Hana appeared in 44 majors. She won four and was a finalist in 4 others.
SF x 6 times
QF x 9 times.
RD 4 x 7 times
RD 3 X 5 times
RD 2 x 8 times
RD 1 x 1 times

This means she failed to reach the QF 30 times out of 44 attempts

Sanchez Vicario entered 58 majors, won 4 and was a finalist in 7 others.
SF x 10
QF x 13
RD 4 x 8
RD 3 x 2
RD 2 x 6
RD 1 x 7
QR X1

This means she failed to reach the QF 24 times in 58 efforts.
 
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