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Discussion Starter #1
after 96? She could hit and sometimes outhit anyone, but was in trouble once someone had her on the run which is how Hingis played her, simple gameplan, high first serve percentage and "run her".

So I'll say fitness, and perhaps some anticipation.
 

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She just wasn´t a natural athlete and I think that that is what doomed her in the end...no amount of a training would have made her as athletic as a the players that followed..
 

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No one thing.

Fitness was always an issue. Monica was never as fit as she was as a teenager and that played some role.

Other players. This I think is the biggest factor. I never did think it was Monica's game so much as it was the newer generation of players that spelled the end of her Slam winning hopes. But this said, 95, 96, 97, 98 and maybe 99 I felt she was still in contention for majors. She made four Slam finals and took one in that period. And what can you say? Sometimes things just don't go your way, right? I think she was still good enough to win during those years, but sometime during 99 it became sort of clear that she wasn't able to score wins over the new elite ... and that is usually the end of your Slam winning days.
 

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it was a combination of things.

1) Fitness
2) She wasn't as mentally solid
3) New Players
4) Other than her groundstrokes, she didn't have anything else to rely on
 

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Discussion Starter #7
SerenaVenusNo1 said:
No one thing.

Fitness was always an issue. Monica was never as fit as she was as a teenager and that played some role.

Other players. This I think is the biggest factor. I never did think it was Monica's game so much as it was the newer generation of players that spelled the end of her Slam winning hopes. But this said, 95, 96, 97, 98 and maybe 99 I felt she was still in contention for majors. She made four Slam finals and took one in that period. And what can you say? Sometimes things just don't go your way, right? I think she was still good enough to win during those years, but sometime during 99 it became sort of clear that she wasn't able to score wins over the new elite ... and that is usually the end of your Slam winning days.

Monica's game had limits, mainly a lack of reach, and quickness, something Stefanie exploited, and the new generation munched on.

The best tournament I've seen her play since her comeback was 01 Acura Classic demolishing Hingis and Capriati on the trot. She played the same blistering game in the final against Venus, but Venus had the answers and then some.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
mmcdonald said:
it was a combination of things.

1) Fitness
2) She wasn't as mentally solid
3) New Players
4) Other than her groundstrokes, she didn't have anything else to rely on

I think the first two go hand and hand, what good is one w/out the other. If you're fit that should strengthen your resolve a bit knowing you can go the distance.
 

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SerenaVenusNo1 said:
No one thing.

Fitness was always an issue. Monica was never as fit as she was as a teenager and that played some role.

Other players. This I think is the biggest factor. I never did think it was Monica's game so much as it was the newer generation of players that spelled the end of her Slam winning hopes. But this said, 95, 96, 97, 98 and maybe 99 I felt she was still in contention for majors. She made four Slam finals and took one in that period. And what can you say? Sometimes things just don't go your way, right? I think she was still good enough to win during those years, but sometime during 99 it became sort of clear that she wasn't able to score wins over the new elite ... and that is usually the end of your Slam winning days.

Yep...bottom line.
 

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Monica was a fierce competitor and that definitely was one thing that always made her a serious threat no matter who she was facing. Like others have said i think her biggest obstacle was her fitness. I'm not suggesting that with training she would have been a world class athleete, but there was definitely a lot of room for improvement. I think her best window of opportunity was from 96-98 and had she not had to deal with injuries and the stress of lossing her father then who knows...

One thing that always perplexed me was Lindsay's domination of Monica. All things equal I always thought they should have been closser in their H2Hs. The only plus that Lindsay really had over Monica was her serve...but that's a HUGE advantage. Although Monica was known as such a great returner so I thought it would ballance that out. I never could understand Martina's domination of her either. Especially since all the other power hitters really seemed to bother Hingis.

Even still, had Monica done everything in her power to develop her game and fitness I think she would have had a couple more majors under her belt.
 

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From 1996 to 1999, It was just that she was fat. But 1996 - 1999 wasn't an era of power hitting. There were a lot of different champions, and only one, one, Lindsay, could really hit with Monica.

Then came 2000, and tour really started handling Monica's power, and her limitations then became an issue.
Then the tour caught up with her.

n't what she lacked. It was what she had. Fat.
 

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Strokes - To be sure, she could hit the ball a ton, but neither of her strokes was flexible or adaptable enough to win on all surfaces. On grass for example, she had trouble handling low skidding balls and all the uneven bounces. Of course, I don't think it helped much that her chief competitor on that surface hit a very good slice backhand or a virtually flat forehand from a high trajectory. As long as the ball bounced waist-high or thereabouts, Monica was a deadly hitter of the ball, hence her amazing record on rebound-ace. Given any other kind of bounce, she was more or less a baseline retriever.

Fitness/Atleticism - As some of you mentioned, she wasn't a natural athlete. Her court coverage was predicated on good anticipation of the ball. Nowadays, players aren't disguising the direction of the ball any better (even worse I would say with all of these open stance shots), but they are hitting the ball harder to the open court. Even with Monica's remarkable anticipation, she's now finding that her anticipation can no longer compensate for her lack of sheer speed. Also, because she was no longer capable of overpowering her opponents in the mid- to late-90's, her endurance started to become more and more an issue.

Versatility - With those two-handed shots, Monica was always going to find it harder to be a good volleyer. Furthermore, she was always going to find it harder to hit the kind of shots that can come in handy from time to time - slice backhand, dropshots, lobs, etc.. Lacking these shots/options, she really had nothing to hurt you with if you could run down her shots and withstand her power. Given that more of today's players can do both, run down her shots and withstand her power, she often found that even if at her best she could win a set from today's elite player she didn't have the endurance to outlast the elite player in three sets.

Possibly overrated - She apparently took the game by storm, winning so many grand slam titles in a span of 3 years. As a result, she was instantly elevated to a stature that neither her game, her athleticism, nor the competition would have allowed to continue over the long run. And, as history has proven, exactly that has happened.

When you consider that she won most of her grand slam titles against players other than Graf, arguably the standard bearer all those years in terms of talent and athleticism, and that head to head throughout those years (taking into account both majors and regular tour events) Graf continued to best her, it is possible to infer that the media had handled Monica's ascension to the top of the rankings irresponsibly by dismissing Graf so quickly. So, Monica's lack of dominance upon her return and in subsequent years is really no surprise to those of us who hadn't bought into all the hype and just paid attention to the fundamentals of the game.

Had the media handled the whole situation more fairly between Graf and Seles, much like they are doing now between Federer and Roddick, then I think today there would be much less of a controversy over the slams that Graf won in Seles' absence. Much like Federer, Graf was the more athletically and technically gifted player, but the media found a way to look past all that in order to bask in Monica's aura.
 
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LDVTennis ... I don't think Federer and Roddick is a fair comparison. Federer has a 7-1 h2h advantage over Andy. 6-4 is hardly the same ... especially when you deduct the 1989 wins as coming when Seles had yet to peak.
 

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I think Monica had a different outlook on the game after the stabbing. Most of these broads go into a big match thinking literally that they'd rather DIE than lose the match. If you read autobiographies and stuff about these dames, that's what a lot of them say. That's the kind of drive and intensity you need to succeed at that level. I don't think Monica had that mentality after the stabbing. If she had been able to maintain that mental intensity, everything else would have fallen into place a lot easier, the fitness, the movement, etc. Fitness, movement, whatever, were always weaknesses for her.
 

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Helen Lawson said:
I think Monica had a different outlook on the game after the stabbing. Most of these broads go into a big match thinking literally that they'd rather DIE than lose the match. If you read autobiographies and stuff about these dames, that's what a lot of them say. That's the kind of drive and intensity you need to succeed at that level. I don't think Monica had that mentality after the stabbing. If she had been able to maintain that mental intensity, everything else would have fallen into place a lot easier, the fitness, the movement, etc. Fitness, movement, whatever, were always weaknesses for her.
She needed to get back that ol' rose bed shreddin' intensity!
 

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Helen Lawson said:
You're damn right! Maybe smashing the windows out of a few Caddies after some losses would get her mo-jo back. Come on, you know Pierre-Yves' life is living hell for at least a week after every loss.
Well, he did give her herpes!
 

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Fitness was the main problem for Monica. However, considering what happened to her she just lost something. Of course with time the game moves on but it's very sad to me the way her career came to a halt for a while after the stabbing. She lost the potential to win alot more slams, but I will not take anything away from Steffi because that would be unfair.:sad: :D
 
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