Great analogy. In both cases, I would argue there was that one psychological moment upon which an entire career turned. In Hingis' case it was the 1999 French Open final, during which she had a mental breakdown from which, in retrospect, her career never recovered. She was facing Steffi Graf; I remember reading some rather catty comments she had been making before the tournament to the effect that "the other girls are just jealous that I can put the ball anywhere I want to". As I was reading those words, I thought: she's never going to fulfill her promise. Such hubris - basically just vanity - cannot sustain lasting sporting greatness; you need a degree of humility and respect for going out and earning success on the court each and every day, whether in practice or in training, that is the very antithesis of the "I'm Martina Hingis; **** I'm Good, Just Ask Me" attitude. Nadal has that humility and dedication in spades; Federer has it; all the true greats have had it. Hingis sadly was just a pretender. In the end the canny French crowd sussed out what she was and started booing all her prima donna moves - questioning line calls, taking endless toilet breaks, etc - and she lost in three sets, having been three points from victory at one point. She was in floods of tears and her mother had to comfort her after the match. Rarely, if ever, have I seen such a wild, weird soap opera of a sporting occasion. After the match I thought to myself, "she'll never win a big one again". And she didn't. She was just eighteen years old.
I would argue that Alonso fell prey to the exact same thing when he arrived at the dream team of his boyhood in 2007. Conveniently ignoring McLaren's well-known ethos of getting the two best drivers they could and letting them race, he expected them to bow down and give him a magic carpet ride to the title, with Hamilton the rookie playing the part of his willing domestique. When Hamilton turned out to be slightly faster than him, Alonso expected the team to slow him down. When they didn't he genuinely could not believe it, so much had he come to believe in his own hype. So he started going on about the legendary six tenths he'd brought to the team and about racing the English driver in the English team. It was all rubbish, and he knew it, but it was the only way he could reconcile the "I am Fernando Alonso" mindset he'd been suckered into falling into - probably by Briatore with the help of hangers-on in his entourage and press toadies like Lobato - with the reality of his being matched and often beaten on track by a virtually unknown rookie.
If Alonso really had had it in him to develop into a legend like Prost or Senna or Clark or Schumacher, he would then have redoubled his efforts, working harder with his team to see how they could put down the upstart rebellion. But, like Hingis at the 1999 French Open, he took the first convenient opportunity (Hungarian GP) to effectively give up, and by his cowardly and disgraceful actions revealed himself to the whole world as a mere pretender. He will never be a legend and IMO will never again be WDC, NOT because he lacks the requisite talent, but because he long ago stopped respecting the old sporting adage that you must be prepared to "bring it", each and every day, each and every race/match/game, not expecting incessant praise for your beautiful backhand or special treatment for your mythical six tenths, but working harder to always get better. There's always something you can improve. Once he stopped trying to get better and started expecting people to treat him "with the respect befitting a double world champion" - i.e. to favour him over the rookie -, it was all over for him. A cautionary tale.
You Alonso fans can quote me on this: like Vettel, who will never come good unless he acknowledges that he was at fault in the Turkey coming together with Webber, Alonso will never again be WDC until he returns to the mindset he had before he came to McLaren and started expecting to be gifted results and treatement which he had not earned. If I ever hear of him apologizing sincerely to McLaren and Dennis, whom he unfairly maligned, then I will again begin to think of him as a live contender. But until then, like Vettel, who will not win a championship this year - despite having the best car and Marko there to unsettle his teammate - or any year until he first acknowledges his fault in Turkey, Fernando will not achieve his ambition of getting his third championship until he comes clean about 2007 and reverts to the mindset he had when he was still traveling, rather than that which he adopted when he felt he'd already arrived.
Drivel. Quite hilarious, that you believe the driver persecuted by mclaren should bow down and apologize.
1. In 2007 Alonso did not ask for Hamilton to be slowed down that is a lie created by the British propaganda machine. No evidence of it this accusation yet its repeated because its so convenient.
2. Alonso did knuckle down and bring it or at least as much as he was allowed by the team, but unfortunately his hands were often tied. If you had an objective bone in your body you will have realized that in the second half of the season Alonso knuckled down and started to consistently beat Hamilton and this caused a big problem for hamilton who could not mentally handle it and broke down at hungary to the point he was compelled to defy his own team and break team rules in a desperate attempt to get an unfair advantage, which of course aggravated Alonso as it would any person, and unfortunately Hamilton broke rules and got away with it like he did at valencia yet Alonso is the driver who is supposed to apologies and repent? LOL.
Responding to a team mate who had broken team rules in a deliberate attempt to cheat him was a cowardly and disgraceful act? Please tell us your evaluation of hamiltons act then? I guess in your world it was justified because he was a poor little rookie or something? Stunning double standards and distortion of the truth you have.
He is doing just fine and contrary to some delusions his driving has not suffered he is easily beating his highly rated team mate and is simply suffering the natural ups and downs of racing made harder by being in a new team and a lot of bad luck.
I don't recall Senna apologizing for trying to kill Prost at Suzuka 90.
I don't recall Schumacher apologizing for ramming JV or cheating at Monaco 2006. I do however recall Schumacher spending his whole career having doormat team mates who had to move over for him when ever they dared to get ahead. Strange that these drivers are legends yet you are blabbering that Alonso will never be a legend for behavior not even approaching the at times disgraceful behavior these legends exhibited. The only conclusion to be drawn for this is that you really dont know what you are talking about no matter how many words you type
But, like Hingis at the 1999 French Open, he took the first convenient opportunity (Hungarian GP) to effectively give up, and by his cowardly and disgraceful actions revealed himself to the whole world as a mere pretender.
You must be talking about Hamilton here because he is the driver who took the opportunity to give up and break team orders because he was rattled by his team mates domination of him in the previous races. You are right it was extremely cowardly behavior which was sadly rewarded.