Tignor moves on to Martina Hingis:
It’s an odd time for a Martina Hingis retrospective. At the moment, our vision of her is colored—tainted—by her recent, mysteriously sudden second retirement after a positive cocaine test. Maybe these two clips will help put her back in perspective. More than with any of the other players I’ve watched on YouTube over the last two weeks, I’d forgotten what Hingis did well. Or, I should say, I’d forgotten all the different things she did well.
Aside from her re-retirement, there’s also a tendency right now to see Hingis in a negative light, as an “in-between” champion who snuck five majors in during the late 1990s, after the demise of one power era—the Graf-Seles edition—and before the rise of the next—the Williams-Williams-Davenport-Sharapova era. And that’s true. But we can also feel good, after watching her dissect her opponents in these clips, that her reign was one where variety, finesse, and instinct were allowed to flourish. Unfortunately, the second of these two videos will show that this queen was brought down not just by the bullying power of her bigger opponents, but by her own immaturity.
I'll be honest, and I know this is blasphemy. But goddamn do I hate this kid. Never liked her, never appreciated her style of tennis, and even looking back on it objectively, I still don't. Her flair and wily game just came across to me as arrogant and, in some ways, immature. She's the Dakota Fanning of tennis. Skilled? Yes. Intelligent? Absolutely. Wise beyond her years? Yup.
But goddamn do I hate that kid.