Saturday, March 18, 2006
Still lukewarm on Hingis
After Martina Hingis's upset of Lindsay Davenport the other day, she fell in straight sets to Maria Sharapova in the semifinals of the Pacific Life Open. The 6-3, 6-3 match was allegedly closer than the score indicates and writers and commentators hail Hingis's comeback efforts. Indeed, kudos for Hingis for putting in the time and incredible effort than has allowed her to rise rapidly up the rankings. One article I read noted though that Hingis is still without a title in her post-comeback. Well seriously--she's only been back since January--there are plenty of people ranked above her who are without a title too. But it reminded me of how Hingis went out--no not with ankle and foot problems but with a consistency (arguably brought about by her determination and excellent strokes) that kept her in tournaments until the quarters or semis. So pretty much the same place she is in now. She can beat almost every time those ranked below her but can beat only some of the time those ranked above her. In other words--sure she has improved most of her shots and her fitness and has kept that mental edge she has always had but that has--in this much more powerful, aggressive version of the women's game--basically placed her in the same place she was when the game first started to turn. I had very few expectations for Hingis when she came back but I wonder what her own expectations truly are. I am still doubtful she will ever reign over women's tennis again. But then again I am doubtful any one woman will ever dominate the game as in days of yore.