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Katerina Maleeva

Hey was just wondering if anyone has any idea what happened to her carreer after 1994. She was in the worlds top 20 in 1993 and suddenly her form plummeted.... Ive looked at her results and by 1995 she was getting WC into qualifying draws and losing in the forst rounds of qualies....
Anyone know why her form dipped so suddenly?
I remember hearing something about her developing massive problems with her serve where she could barely get it into court.... Anyone know if thats true?
 

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From what I remember of Katerina's game, she peaked rather early (around 1988) and then sort of got passed by. She could be a tough cookie to play but I'm not sure that she was bold enough about changing her game. But she was also rather "user-friendly" as Martina would put it when going against the top 5 or 6 players.

With Manuela, she really made an effort to hit the ball earlier and harder and to come in a little more after that double bagel defeat by Martina at the 1989 US Open. Her results seemed to suffer on clay but before she retired she really improved both her hardcourt and indoor game. I was so thrilled for her to go out playing very well and still winning tournaments. Not many players can say they did that.

I don't think either had the instincts or the potential that a Mary Joe or ASV had in being a more aggressive player which is why they got passed in the rankings. But as it is both had very fine careers with lots of grand slam quarterfinal appearances at all of the majors. In the final analysis, I'd say that aside from some disappointing showings at the French Open, they each got about as much out of their games as they could.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I think Katerina's peak was slightly later, around 1990. She reached a carreer high of number 6 that year. She took Steffi to three sets at the canadian open final that year and reached the quarters of Wimbledon and Roland Garros...
Interestingly, while Manuela and Magdelena are credited with stronger, all round games...Katerina was the only Maleeva to do well at wimbledon reaching the quarters twice. In 1992 she pushed Martina hard before losing 6-4 7-6.....

Any idea why her form dropped SO rapidly? I mean from being a top 20 to needing WC into qualifying/ Any clues???
 

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The K-Dog said:
I think Katerina's peak was slightly later, around 1990. She reached a carreer high of number 6 that year. She took Steffi to three sets at the canadian open final that year and reached the quarters of Wimbledon and Roland Garros...
Interestingly, while Manuela and Magdelena are credited with stronger, all round games...Katerina was the only Maleeva to do well at wimbledon reaching the quarters twice. In 1992 she pushed Martina hard before losing 6-4 7-6.....

Any idea why her form dropped SO rapidly? I mean from being a top 20 to needing WC into qualifying/ Any clues???

I wish I knew K-Dog. The last time I ever saw Katerina play (except for the 94 US Open doubles final) was that 90 Canadian Open. Other than a clip here and there I didn't get to see her. And our tennis journalists didn't do such a great job of covering players ranked #5 or below - especially if they were from Eastern Europe.
 

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I remember reading that Katerina was also actively involved in the Bulgarian political scene after the fall of Communism. Manuela once said that Katerina was the firebrand in their family and often got into trouble with the authorities for her outspoken views. Perhaps her outside interests also contributed to a loss of motivation along with a decline in her level of play?
 

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samn said:
I remember reading that Katerina was also actively involved in the Bulgarian political scene after the fall of Communism. Manuela once said that Katerina was the firebrand in their family and often got into trouble with the authorities for her outspoken views. Perhaps her outside interests also contributed to a loss of motivation along with a decline in her level of play?

There was a great story once about Katerine refusing to be pushed to the head of a food line. She seemed very sensitive to Bulgarians' problems and was outspoken in this regard. You wouldn't have guessed it from listening to hear tiny, soft voice. Mama Maleeva must have done a good job with her kids.
 

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I think Katerina just began to get very bored with the tennis circuit, that's why she began a steady decline. Towards the end of her career she was having a nightmare time with her serving - she got the real mental jips with it. I remember an Australian Open where many of her serves were landing in her own service box.

1990 was her peak - she ended that year ranked #6, only behind Graf, Seles, Navratilova, Mary Joe Fernandez & Sabatini. Pretty impressive when you consider 1990 was the year where Steffi, Monica, Martina & Gaby each lifted a grand slam title and Mary Joe was a runner up in Australia. Only the top notch quality was ahead of Katerina that year.

Personally I'd rank the Maleeva sisters as 1 Manuela, 2 Katerina and 3 Magdalena. I'll post some stats when I've more time to show why I favour Katerina over Maggie though I know most people would give the edge to Maggie.
 

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preacherfan said:
Was anyone shocked at the K. Maleeva/R. White doubles pairing? Where'd that come from? And for them to come from nowhere and make the US Open final???
I was totally shocked. I don't remember the circumstances. I didn't see their big upet of Fernandez/Zvereva but it sounds like maybe Robin's best moment even though she was a former US Open doubles champion. She was very patient with Katerina and she took took charge of the team. And you know it had to sweet for Robin to stop Gigi from winning the Grand Slam.

I was happy for Katerina who was already a few years removed from her biggest successes. I don't think I ever heard anything else about her on the tour after this tournament. I do know that she got married and has at least one child.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Id certainly rate Katerina above Magdelena, but below Manuela....

Maggie's best GS result was the Quarters of the US Open back in 1992....

Katerina reached the Quarters of AUS at least once, French open quarters twice, Wimbledon twice and the US open twice!

Also anyone remember her Rossignol racket, and her crazy service action....
I loved her!
 

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MLF said:
I think Katerina just began to get very bored with the tennis circuit, that's why she began a steady decline. Towards the end of her career she was having a nightmare time with her serving - she got the real mental jips with it. I remember an Australian Open where many of her serves were landing in her own service box.

1990 was her peak - she ended that year ranked #6, only behind Graf, Seles, Navratilova, Mary Joe Fernandez & Sabatini. Pretty impressive when you consider 1990 was the year where Steffi, Monica, Martina & Gaby each lifted a grand slam title and Mary Joe was a runner up in Australia. Only the top notch quality was ahead of Katerina that year.

Personally I'd rank the Maleeva sisters as 1 Manuela, 2 Katerina and 3 Magdalena. I'll post some stats when I've more time to show why I favour Katerina over Maggie though I know most people would give the edge to Maggie.
You know that is what some people say about Anastasia Myskina today. I for whatever reason find it hard to believe that players Maleeva or Myskina could be bored with a game that they are not necessarily excelling at.

If Katerina, in her day, had been beating the daylights out of everybody and was winning everything in site, I would think than perhaps yeah she got bored because of lack of competition.

But the middle Maleeva was not exactly, as I think someone mentioned, a player necessarily feared by the top players.

Perhaps it could have been a lack of desire that caused Katerina's downfall. Traveling constantly, lack of social life, constant media attention, etc yeah all play a part in tiring a player.

But boredom? Just not sure if that is the answer.
 

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Jakeev said:
But boredom? Just not sure if that is the answer.
I'm only quoting the lady herself, there's an interview online somewhere with her stating it - I'll try and dig it up for you if you're interested.
 

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Somehow I never really saw her, she was always under the crouch....

She seems to be the Maleeva with the least attention, but somehow her career has something fascinating.... Like all of the three she has a certain story and that makes them so interesting! :)
 

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The K-Dog said:
Hey was just wondering if anyone has any idea what happened to her carreer after 1994. She was in the worlds top 20 in 1993 and suddenly her form plummeted.... Ive looked at her results and by 1995 she was getting WC into qualifying draws and losing in the forst rounds of qualies....
Anyone know why her form dipped so suddenly?
I remember hearing something about her developing massive problems with her serve where she could barely get it into court.... Anyone know if thats true?
Katarina was very dogged on court, good groundies however as she was on the tour longer had very major problems with the serve. I think it got to a point that it affected her mentally and her game suffered for it.

To a point that during a match at the Oz Open she was serving balls OVER the baseline and in some cases to the opposite court side (when serving to the duece court the ball would fly to the ad court). She even tried underarming serve's, it got that desperate.

It's amazing that such an accomplished player could have a part of her game deteriorate so badly, but this is what happened. And it being a major part of tennis, it can take a toll on players.
 

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louloubelle said:
Katarina was very dogged on court, good groundies however as she was on the tour longer had very major problems with the serve. I think it got to a point that it affected her mentally and her game suffered for it.

To a point that during a match at the Oz Open she was serving balls OVER the baseline and in some cases to the opposite court side (when serving to the duece court the ball would fly to the ad court). She even tried underarming serve's, it got that desperate.

It's amazing that such an accomplished player could have a part of her game deteriorate so badly, but this is what happened. And it being a major part of tennis, it can take a toll on players.

I can't believe that. :eek:

Did she have this problem consistently or just here and there when it was windy? :eek:

How could she reach a doubles slam final with that kind of serve? :confused:
 

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crazillo said:
How could she reach a doubles slam final with that kind of serve? :confused:
That's the point - she didn't always serve like that - she went through a phase towards the end of her career where she had major gips with it.
 

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MLF said:
I'm only quoting the lady herself, there's an interview online somewhere with her stating it - I'll try and dig it up for you if you're interested.
No that is fine. Just saying, just find it hard to believe she was bored with a game she was hardly excelling at.
 

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I've always been a huge fan of the Maleeva sisters for as long as I can remember but one thing intrigues me.

I'm curious to know how a great player like Katerina who was once the world's number 6 seemed to fall into decline very quickly. I noticed that 1993 was pretty much her last 'good' year as between 1994-1996 were riddled with terrible results ( apart from winning Quebec ) against some relatively unknown players and also established players that she would have sent packing a few years before.

It's not as if age was against her, being only 27 in 1996. Did she lose passion for the game?

I remember really feeling for her during two matches I watched where she just looked like she didn't want to be there:

1994 Wimbledon 1R l. to A.Sanchez-Vicario 6-1 6-2
1995 Hamburg R32 l. to A.Huber 6-1 6-0

I really felt for her then..

Can anyone shed any light on Katerina at all? Anyone as big a fan as me?

Cheers

Scandic78
 

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Katerina is a player I was always interested to know about as she was a big rival of Gabriela Sabatini when they were both juniors, and yet I have never seen her play. What was her game like? Can anyone tell me about it?
 
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