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Discussion Starter #1
I am trying to clean up some inaccuracies on Wikipedia and I've noticed Martina has either a 90-3 won/loss or an 89-3 w/l depending on the page. Does anyone know which stat is correct? Did she actually duplicate her 90-3 record of 1982 again in 1986?

Wiki has so many mistakes. In the year end winning percentage someone had poor Chris Evert playing nearly 130 matches in 1976, which was her first year playing WTT. Chris must have been moonlighting on the Avon Futures Tour without anyone knowing about it that year.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thank you Sonf! So Martina did match her 1982 record. I always think of Martina's absolute peak as 1982-1984, I suppose because it seemed like she came down to earth just a wee bit in 1985 with <GASP!> FIVE losses, but 1986 is right up there. Perhaps it's because she only took one slam and only three were played? But she didn't lose a match after her May loss to Graf until the delightful Jan loss to Hana. And I remember thinking THIS IS IT, it's hanas time. Boy was I wrong.
 

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Thank you Sonf! So Martina did match her 1982 record. I always think of Martina's absolute peak as 1982-1984, I suppose because it seemed like she came down to earth just a wee bit in 1985 with <GASP!> FIVE losses, but 1986 is right up there. Perhaps it's because she only took one slam and only three were played? But she didn't lose a match after her May loss to Graf until the delightful Jan loss to Hana. And I remember thinking THIS IS IT, it's hanas time. Boy was I wrong.
In retrospect Martina's '86 is superb, but I agree it does sort of get lost in the shuffle because it comes right after '85 when Chrissie reclaimed the number 1 ranking for a time and both she and Hana each defeated her twice. It also comes right on the heels of her bizarre '87 where she couldn't buy a title until Wimbledon in July and Graf had clearly ascended.

But her 1986 to me is quite impressive, especially post-Roland Garros (which was actually her last loss of the season, to Chrissie) as she didn't lose a match, winning Wimbledon with an impressive victory over a not off-form Hana, her terrific SF win at the Open against Graf and then routining Graf and the field at the Season Ending Championships (which she also won in March, as well--no Australian that year, but two Slims Championships).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Except for Hana's resurgence in 1985 I wasn't paying as much attention in 1986 while in college. I remember being thrilled that Hana beat Martina twice in 1985 - and one of those victories was huge and clutch - so the natural evolution of things JUST HAD to see Hana taking her rightful place at the top shortly thereafter, given that Chris and Martina were either in or nearing their 30s. When Hana beat Chris in both those big semis in 1986 (Slims Spring and Wimbledon) I thought she was confident enough to step up against Martina the way she did in flushing the year before. But, nah. And getting slapped by Chris in Paris one and one!? Hana looked so thin in 1986, too. Honestly I think I am still peeved thirty years later that she never took another single title after winter 1987. Hana turned 25 that year. She should have been peaking during Steffi's greatest years and she should have been her greatest rival during that time, not Sabatini. Hana didn't turn 30 until 1992. Just typing that makes me want a time machine so I can go back in time and shake her like one of my exquisite martinis! Tee hee.

But back to tini linguine. I was having a blast in college in 1987, so besides reading the scores when I got my hands on the San Francisco chronicle in the dining hall or catching some final round matches here and there - other than the majors, which I watched religiously- my 20 year old self got the distinct impression after Steffi's Miami thumping of both Martina and Chris, that Martina was terrified of Steffi's amazing transformation into a winning machine. I think she was frightened of even making the finals of any tourney they both played in for fear of losing in less than an hour again. So she lost. When she showed up to the French with Steffi's racket painted black with a yonex logo, I was shocked, amused, incredibly entertained and bewildered. And, the thing is, she should have won that damn 1987 French, it was hers in the 3rd set, but she played like a scared rabbit when she was ahead. Had she won it, it would have been an all time best ever year, regardless of all her losses, like federer's 2007. The double fault at match point was so 1981 Martina at USO vs Austin, bleh. Watching both the W and USO finals that year I was a nervous wreck worrying that Martina was going to blow it simply because she was facing Steffi. The funny thing is I don't think she got over that feeling for about three years, and by that time Monica showed up and Martina was too far past her prime to have anything to lose ever again. In 1987 she was was still a young Margo Channing in All About Eve.
 

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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.
 
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