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FedSampras
04-29-2007, 10:31 AM
The Great Martina Navratilova

Martina Navratilova is widely regarded as the greatest female tennis player in the history of the game. She captured 18 Grand Slam singles titles and 40 Grand Slam doubles titles.

She was born in Czechoslovakia on October 18, 1956 and at age 18 defected to the United States in 1975. She was granted US citizenship in 1981. Her given name was Martna Subertova but her parents divorced when she was three and her mother remarried a man named Miroslav Navratil, who would later one become her very first tennis coach. Martina later on adopted her stepfather’s name and added the feminine suffix “ova.”

By the time she was 15, Navratilova was making her mark on the tennis scene. She won the Czechoslovakian national tennis championship in 1972 and turned professional the very next year at age 16. Her first professional singles victory came in 1974 in Orlando, Florida.

She is best known as a strong left-handed serve-and-volleyer with magnificent volleying skills and an aggressive and powerful game. Her excellence on the court raised the quality of the women’s game to new heights. Early in her career, Navratilova was on the overweight side and received some sharp remarks from the press for it. However, showing her firm determination, Navratilova soon whipped herself into shape with a punishing fitness routine that she maintained throughout the rest of her career. Eventually, a high level of conditioning soon became a hallmark of her game.

In 1978, she won her first Grand Slam singles tournament at Wimbledon, defeating Chris Evert in three sets in the championship. Her victory propelled her to the top of the women’s rankings and she was named the number one female tennis player in the world for the first time. Evert and Navratilova would meet again in the Wimbledon finals a year later and Navratilova would once again prevail.

In 1981, Navratilova bagged her third Grand Slam singles title, once again by defeating Evert in the finals, this time in the Australian Open. In 1982, she would go on to win both Wimbledon and the French Open.

By the mid-1980s, Navratilova hit her stride and embarked on her domination of the women’s tennis scene. After losing the French Open in 1983, she would go o to win all three remaining Grand Slam tournaments that year – Wimbledon, the US Open and the Australian Open. Amazingly, her defeat at the season-opening French Open was her only loss for that season and she went 86-1 win-loss for the year. That is the best-ever winning percentage for a professional tennis player for a single season.

federerfanatic
04-29-2007, 10:50 AM
Thanks for posting that. I always enjoy reading up on her story, how she made the very brave decision to defect from her native Czech to the U.S, how everyone was against and trying to talk her out of it. How the whole strain of that, even after the successful defection, how that emotionaly impacted her for awhile. How she overcame early weight problems, self doubts, to become a champion. The various people she worked with, various coaches, nutrionists, specialists, motivators, all striving to better herself. She truly is an inspiration.

alwaysatnet
04-29-2007, 09:18 PM
Love her or hate her she has been a one of a kind person molded by her upbringing under the Russian guns and her own steely determination.
Whatever she has done it has been with one hundred percent effort. Yeah, I could do without her ego at times and her self absorbed whining too but there is no doubt in my mind, she was the best. If you ever saw her in person in her prime there is no doubt in your mind. She was the master.

grizzly4life
04-30-2007, 05:15 AM
who'd she lose the french open to??..... did she ever win the grand slam (one year)?

i think martina was most dominant player ever, probably by far.

CEvertFan
04-30-2007, 05:59 AM
who'd she lose the french open to??..... did she ever win the grand slam (one year)?

i think martina was most dominant player ever, probably by far.


She lost the French Open in 1983 to Kathy Horvath in the Rd of 16 4-6, 6-0, 3-6. At that time the French was the 1st Grand Slam title of the year with the AO being held last in December. This was her only loss of the season (82-1) as well as it being the time she came closest to winning the calendar year Grand Slam because she won the other three Grand Slam titles at Wimbledon, US Open and AO in 1983.

Consequently, Evert went on to win her 5th French title that year.

Condoleezza
04-30-2007, 01:02 PM
who'd she lose the french open to??..... did she ever win the grand slam (one year)?

i think martina was most dominant player ever, probably by far.


I don't think she had 5 years with 3+ slams.
And last time I checked she hadn't been able to win 20 slams within 105 months ...

Condi

PS: Well, her mixed doubles titles haul was awesome! :D :D

ATPballkid
04-30-2007, 03:51 PM
PS: Well, her mixed doubles titles haul was awesome! :D :D


Navratilova is the only woman player to have the all-time record for most singles titles at 2 of the 5 biggest events in women's tennis (Wimbledon and WTA Championships) .... the other 3 record holders at the biggest events are Evert (French), Mallory (U.S. Championships) and Court (Australian). Steffi doesn't show up as having the most at any of the biggest 5 events --- even with the stabbing.

SORRY.

ATPballkid
04-30-2007, 04:26 PM
Watch the last two sets of the Wimbledon 1988 final.
Then come back ...

:D :D :D


Condi


EXCEPT FOR THE TIMES Navratilova was thrashing Graf.

Navratilova leads in straight sets wins 5-3.

Navratilova and Graf played 3 matches on grass with the only one not going 3 sets won by Navratilova (1987 Wimbledon final). Then, Graf won the 1988 and the 1989 Wimbledon finals in 3 sets over Martina Navratilova to win her first 2 after Navratilova had already won over the 10 previous years with the exception of Goolagong and Evert both winning one.

Navratilova beat Graf in their only Grand Slam singles match during the 1990s and they went 2-2 during the 1990s long after Martina Navratilova had passed her prime.

From the beginning of 1987 (as Graf hit her best 3 years 1987-1989 just as Navratilova had done 5 years earlier in 1982-1984) they were TIED on hardcourts (2-2 and Navratilova led in Grand Slam singles matches on hardcourts in those years 2-1 with wins over Graf in their 1987 U.S. Open final and in their 1991 U.S. Open semifinal) ... they only played one match on clay ... and then they had the 3 Wimbledon finals in Graf's prime years of 1987, 1988 and 1989 with Navratilova winning the one in 1987 and Graf winning the ones in 1988 and 1989.

Except for the 4 match wins by Graf in her best years of 1988 and 1989 (all were in split set matches) ... Navratilova led 9-5 and they split the last 4 in the 1990s with, again, Navratilova winning the only one in a Grand Slam event.

federerfanatic
04-30-2007, 04:36 PM
When Navratilova was 30 years old and Graf was 18 years old, Navratilova and Graf played in 3 slam finals. Graf won the French Open final in 3 sets, and Navratilova won the Wimbledon and U.S Open final in convincing straight sets. Graf lost only 2 matches all year, these particular 2, so obviously was in her prime. Graf as an 18 year old already starting her prime, lost 2 of 3 slam finals, the 2 biggest slam events, to a 30 year old Navratilova in convincing straight sets, and only winning the other 1 of 3 in extremely tough 3 setter 8-6 in the 3rd, on Navratilova's worst surface.

Then Graf as a 19 and 20 year old who won 5 out of 6 slams during this stretch(7 out of 8 including 2 before that)played 31-33 year old Navratilova 4 times. Graf at 19 and 20, while winning 5 out of 6 slams(7 out 8 counting the half year before)did beat the 31-33 year old Navratilova all 4 times they played, but lost a set in every single one of those 4 matches. This was Graf at the most dominant time of her whole career, and Navratilova between ages 31-33, Graf could still not manage even 1 straight sets win in 4 matches, she did win all 4, but lost a set in every single one to the 31-33 year old Navratilova.

Then to finish it off a 34-37 year old Navratilova went 2-2 vs a 22-24 year old Graf in 4 meetings from 91-94.

Condoleezza
04-30-2007, 08:13 PM
Navratilova is the only woman player to have the all-time record for most singles titles at 2 of the 5 biggest events in women's tennis (Wimbledon and WTA Championships) .... the other 3 record holders at the biggest events are Evert (French), Mallory (U.S. Championships) and Court (Australian). Steffi doesn't show up as having the most at any of the biggest 5 events --- even with the stabbing.

SORRY.

Yes, and that's why everybody rates Mallory higher than Graf .... :D

Condi

tennus
04-30-2007, 10:50 PM
When Navratilova was 30 years old and Graf was 18 years old, Navratilova and Graf played in 3 slam finals. Graf won the French Open final in 3 sets, and Navratilova won the Wimbledon and U.S Open final in convincing straight sets. Graf lost only 2 matches all year, these particular 2, so obviously was in her prime. Graf as an 18 year old already starting her prime, lost 2 of 3 slam finals, the 2 biggest slam events, to a 30 year old Navratilova in convincing straight sets, and only winning the other 1 of 3 in extremely tough 3 setter 8-6 in the 3rd, on Navratilova's worst surface.

Then Graf as a 19 and 20 year old who won 5 out of 6 slams during this stretch(7 out of 8 including 2 before that)played 31-33 year old Navratilova 4 times. Graf at 19 and 20, while winning 5 out of 6 slams(7 out 8 counting the half year before)did beat the 31-33 year old Navratilova all 4 times they played, but lost a set in every single one of those 4 matches. This was Graf at the most dominant time of her whole career, and Navratilova between ages 31-33, Graf could still not manage even 1 straight sets win in 4 matches, she did win all 4, but lost a set in every single one to the 31-33 year old Navratilova.

Then to finish it off a 34-37 year old Navratilova went 2-2 vs a 22-24 year old Graf in 4 meetings from 91-94.

LOL Condi, where would 34-37 year old Graf be ranked if she was still playing ? Despite Martina being some 8-10 years past her best she was still competitive with prime Graf ! Never ranked lower than 8 during those years despite her tennis senior citizen tag :
1991-4, 1992-5, 1993-3, 1994 -8. Steffi was great just leave it at that. That hole you're digging is just getting bigger ! :) :) :)

CEvertFan
04-30-2007, 10:54 PM
Yes, and that's why everybody rates Mallory higher than Graf .... :D

Condi

I've never heard that anyone had. She is however the record holder for most US Open titles. It was referred to as the US Championships at the time though.

CEvertFan
04-30-2007, 10:57 PM
EXCEPT FOR THE TIMES Navratilova was thrashing Graf.

Navratilova leads in straight sets wins 5-3.

Navratilova and Graf played 3 matches on grass with the only one not going 3 sets won by Navratilova (1987 Wimbledon final). Then, Graf won the 1988 and the 1989 Wimbledon finals in 3 sets over Martina Navratilova to win her first 2 after Navratilova had already won over the 10 previous years with the exception of Goolagong and Evert both winning one.

Navratilova beat Graf in their only Grand Slam singles match during the 1990s and they went 2-2 during the 1990s long after Martina Navratilova had passed her prime.

From the beginning of 1987 (as Graf hit her best 3 years 1987-1989 just as Navratilova had done 5 years earlier in 1982-1984) they were TIED on hardcourts (2-2 and Navratilova led in Grand Slam singles matches on hardcourts in those years 2-1 with wins over Graf in their 1987 U.S. Open final and in their 1991 U.S. Open semifinal) ... they only played one match on clay ... and then they had the 3 Wimbledon finals in Graf's prime years of 1987, 1988 and 1989 with Navratilova winning the one in 1987 and Graf winning the ones in 1988 and 1989.

Except for the 4 match wins by Graf in her best years of 1988 and 1989 (all were in split set matches) ... Navratilova led 9-5 and they split the last 4 in the 1990s with, again, Navratilova winning the only one in a Grand Slam event.

Navratilova couldn't have led 9-5 and then beaten Graf twice more in the 90's because their head to head ended tied at 9-9.

Condoleezza
05-01-2007, 01:43 AM
LOL Condi, where would 34-37 year old Graf be ranked if she was still playing ? Despite Martina being some 8-10 years past her best she was still competitive with prime Graf ! Never ranked lower than 8 during those years despite her tennis senior citizen tag :
1991-4, 1992-5, 1993-3, 1994 -8. Steffi was great just leave it at that. That hole you're digging is just getting bigger ! :) :) :)

1991-93 was not exactly the pinnacle of women's tennis. And Graf was slumping big-time.

Condi

CEvertFan
05-01-2007, 04:18 PM
1991-93 was not exactly the pinnacle of women's tennis. And Graf was slumping big-time.

Condi


Every great player has a slump during some point of their career. Evert and Navratilova had theirs as well.

Condoleezza
05-01-2007, 08:19 PM
Every great player has a slump during some point of their career. Evert and Navratilova had theirs as well.

Yes.
And your point being?

Condi

CEvertFan
05-01-2007, 08:57 PM
Yes.
And your point being?

Condi

My point was that Steffi's slump wasn't unique to her, but you do seem to use her slump to your advantage when making your arguments, whereas you belittle or dismiss other players' slumps.

Condoleezza
05-02-2007, 12:14 AM
My point was that Steffi's slump wasn't unique to her, but you do seem to use her slump to your advantage when making your arguments, whereas you belittle or dismiss other players' slumps.

But Steffi had a real excuse for her slump, an unprecedented blackmail scandal and trial.

Condi

lambielspins
05-02-2007, 01:03 AM
I dont know what constitutes a real excuse for a slump or not. All those great players had some personal crisis at some point though:

Graf-her fathers blackmail scandal in the early 90s. Then her dads tax evasion battle in 1995.

Navratilova-her shattered partnership and legal war with Judy Nelson in the late 80s/early 90s.

Seles-her fathers illness and subsequent depth upon her return in 1995, until his passing in 1998.

Evert-her marital problems with John Llyod in the mid 80s.

Williams sister-dealing with the murder of Yetunde, and the subsequent trial where justice was not served.

It is unfortunate, but it seems to have happened to all at some point or another.

ATPballkid
05-02-2007, 04:39 PM
Yes.
And your point being?

Condi

It is called LONGEVITY (Navratilova and Evert) and LACK OF (Graf).

Don't forget that there are 3 components to greatness in tennis --- DOMINANCE ... CONSISTENCY ... LONGEVITY.

Some players have all 3 ... some have 2 of the 3 ... and some have to rely on a fan stabbing another player to even have 2 of the 3.

ATPballkid
05-03-2007, 07:30 PM
Navratilova couldn't have led 9-5 and then beaten Graf twice more in the 90's because their head to head ended tied at 9-9.

Navratilova was 9-9 vs. Graf for their career (Navatilova's career began in 1973 and she was in her 14th year on the WTA Tour before she had a loss to Graf (which moved her back to 3-1 vs. Graf) ... and she was in her 15th year on the WTA Tour before she had her first loss to Graf at a Slam).

Navratilova never had a losing record vs. Graf even once in her career. Yes, Graf won 4 in those years 1988 and 1989 (Navratiova's 16th and 17th year on the WTA Tour) but Navratilova never had a losing record vs. Graf at any point in her career overall.

Then, amazingly, Navratilova had a winning record (just as Monica Seles did as well) vs. Graf in the years 1990-1993 until Seles was stabbed in the back by a Graf fan in Hamburg, Germany at the end of April in 1993.

Here we have Martina Navratilova with a winning record vs. Graf in her 19th, 20th and 21st years on the WTA Tour ... talk about longevity ... in women's tennis for the Open Era this begins and ends with Martina Navratilova. Here is Navratilova at the age of 34, 35, 36 and 37 with a winning record in the 1990s vs. Graf in the years 1990-1993 ... and this was 2, 3, 4 and 5 years after Graf had won the Grand Slam (so it is not as if Graf was just coming into her own).

Plus, Navratilova had the winning record vs. Graf in Grand Slam events (5-4) and Navratilova had the winning record vs. Graf in WTA Tour Championships (2-1).

Condoleezza
05-03-2007, 08:57 PM
.... Navratilova never had a losing record vs. Graf even once in her career. ...


Of course she had.
In 1986-94.

Condi

CEvertFan
05-03-2007, 09:50 PM
Navratilova was 9-9 vs. Graf for their career.
Navratilova never had a losing record vs. Graf even once in her career.


Actually ATP is correct Condi.


Here is all 18 of their matches.

1985 US OPEN HARD (O) S M. NAVRATILOVA 6-2 6-3
1985 MAYBELLINE HARD (O) F M. NAVRATILOVA 6-3 6-1
1986 VS CHAMPIONSHIPS CARPET (I) S M. NAVRATILOVA 6-2 6-2
1986 BERLIN-GERMAN OPEN CLAY (O) F S. GRAF 6-2 6-3
1986 US OPEN HARD (O) S M. NAVRATILOVA 6-1 6-7(3) 7-6(8-6)
1986 VS CHAMPIONSHIPS CARPET (I) F M. NAVRATILOVA 7-6(3) 6-2
1987 MIAMI HARD (O) S S. GRAF 6-3 6-2
1987 FRENCH OPEN CLAY (O) F S. GRAF 6-4 4-6 8-6
1987 WIMBLEDON GRASS (O) F M. NAVRATILOVA 7-5 6-3
1987 US OPEN HARD (O) F M. NAVRATILOVA 7-6(4) 6-1
1988 WIMBLEDON GRASS (O) F S. GRAF 5-7 6-2 6-1
1989 WIMBLEDON GRASS (O) F S. GRAF 6-2 6-7(1) 6-1
1989 US OPEN HARD (O) F S. GRAF 3-6 7-5 6-1
1989 VS CHAMPIONSHIPS CARPET (I) F S. GRAF 6-4 7-5 2-6 6-2
1991 US OPEN HARD (O) S M. NAVRATILOVA 7-6(2) 6-7(6) 6-4
1992 EUROPEAN INDOORS CARPET (I) F S. GRAF 2-6 7-5 7-5
1993 TOKYO (PAN PACIFIC) CARPET (I) S M. NAVRATILOVA 4-6 6-3 6-3
1994 TOKYO (PAN PACIFIC) CARPET (I) F S. GRAF 6-2 6-4


Martina was either always in the lead or they were tied but Graf was never ahead.

Condoleezza
05-03-2007, 10:08 PM
Actually ATP is correct Condi.


Here is all 18 of their matches.

1985 US OPEN HARD (O) S M. NAVRATILOVA 6-2 6-3
1985 MAYBELLINE HARD (O) F M. NAVRATILOVA 6-3 6-1
1986 VS CHAMPIONSHIPS CARPET (I) S M. NAVRATILOVA 6-2 6-2
1986 BERLIN-GERMAN OPEN CLAY (O) F S. GRAF 6-2 6-3
1986 US OPEN HARD (O) S M. NAVRATILOVA 6-1 6-7(3) 7-6(8-6)
1986 VS CHAMPIONSHIPS CARPET (I) F M. NAVRATILOVA 7-6(3) 6-2
1987 MIAMI HARD (O) S S. GRAF 6-3 6-2
1987 FRENCH OPEN CLAY (O) F S. GRAF 6-4 4-6 8-6
1987 WIMBLEDON GRASS (O) F M. NAVRATILOVA 7-5 6-3
1987 US OPEN HARD (O) F M. NAVRATILOVA 7-6(4) 6-1
1988 WIMBLEDON GRASS (O) F S. GRAF 5-7 6-2 6-1
1989 WIMBLEDON GRASS (O) F S. GRAF 6-2 6-7(1) 6-1
1989 US OPEN HARD (O) F S. GRAF 3-6 7-5 6-1
1989 VS CHAMPIONSHIPS CARPET (I) F S. GRAF 6-4 7-5 2-6 6-2
1991 US OPEN HARD (O) S M. NAVRATILOVA 7-6(2) 6-7(6) 6-4
1992 EUROPEAN INDOORS CARPET (I) F S. GRAF 2-6 7-5 7-5
1993 TOKYO (PAN PACIFIC) CARPET (I) S M. NAVRATILOVA 4-6 6-3 6-3
1994 TOKYO (PAN PACIFIC) CARPET (I) F S. GRAF 6-2 6-4


Martina was either always in the lead or they were tied but Graf was never ahead.

That was not the point, CEvertFan.
This ATPkidball has been blabbering about a "winning record" Seles had against Graf in "1990-93" and Navi had against Graf in "1991-93" all day long. Why can't Graf have a winning record against Navi in 1986-94?
Come on, in 1985 Graf really was still maturing while Navi in 1994 still made slam finals. So it is legit to exclude 1985 but to include 1994. As a matter of fact I'd like to exclude 1986 as well since Steffi didn't make her first slam final before 1987. And in 1986-94 Graf leads Navi decisively with 8-4 H2H.

Condi

ATPballkid
05-04-2007, 03:39 AM
This ATPkidball has been blabbering about a "winning record" Navi had against Graf in "1991-93" all day long. Condi

LOL ... but the funny part of this is --- after those 2 or 3 good years in the late 1980s for Graf when Navratilova was already in her 30s ---- we saw a mid 30s Navratilova with the better record vs. Graf in the years 1990 through 1993 (including a win for Navratilova in the ONLY match played between Navratilova and Graf at a Grand Slam event during the 1990s).

Graf was in the middle of her career in the early 1990s -- and yet Seles as a teenager was the one ranked #1 and the one winning 9 of those 11 biggest titles between November 1990 and January 1993 -- and this, within itself, eliminates Graf from consideration as the top woman tennis player of all time.

EZRA
05-04-2007, 07:46 AM
For the record... I am not a US tennis fan:

Fave player: Male: Goran (best player to watch), Rafter (great sportsman), Stefan Edberg (again... great sportsman), Guga, and Korda
Female: Steffi, Anna K(obvious reasons), Gabriela S. (obvious resons .. especially when she starts sweating) .. Maria Kirilenko (again.. obvious), and Ana Ivanovic (okay, you see the pattern here?)

Kaptain Karl
05-04-2007, 08:58 AM
<Mod Mode> The Graf / Seles debate thread is >>> over there. This is a Navratilova thread -- and related comments. Thank you. </Mod Mode>

- KK

Rabbit
05-04-2007, 10:04 AM
Navratilova thinks that Graf is better than Seles. :D