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View Full Version : Graf's prime Vs. Williams prime, who would have emerged victorious?


tennispassion
02-27-2009, 02:31 AM
I was just wondering who would have emerged victorious if there was a tussle between Graf of her prime and Williams ( either one of them ) in their prime?

Though they have met a few times.. but that was Graf's career end and they were surging towards the top...But if u square off a clash ...who would have won???????

lambielspins
02-27-2009, 04:49 PM
Since the Williams had a 2 year prime and Graf had a 10 year prime it doesnt even really matter anyway since Graf would dominate 80% of the time easily. If we want to look at only Serena's 2 year prime (2002-2003) and Venus's 2 year prime (2000-2001) though vs Graf at any point in her long 10 year prime then:

Clay- Graf easily
Slow hard court- Serena slightly, Graf over Venus easily
Fast hard court- All 3 in a virtual tie
Grass- Venus slightly, Graf slightly over Serena

The-Champ
02-27-2009, 05:25 PM
if all three are dedicated, I would put my money on Serena because of her huge serve and devastating returns.

thalivest
02-27-2009, 05:40 PM
if all three are dedicated, I would put my money on Serena because of her huge serve and devastating returns.

Which in the case of Serena (and even Venus) means almost never.

The-Champ
02-27-2009, 05:51 PM
Which in the case of Serena (and even Venus) means almost never.

that's why I wrote...IF.:)

thalivest
02-27-2009, 06:00 PM
that's why I wrote...IF.:)

Fair enough. :) On fast surfaces I think you are probably right. On slow surfaces I wouldnt ever pick her over a prime Graf or Seles. Every Australian Open title she has ever won (both her prime in 2003 and later years) has been with the aid of atleast one choking opponent (which are more frequent this decade than ever) and some luck. The French Open, forget it vs any great player who is comfortable on clay, even at her peak. Wimbledon and the U.S Open though I could see.

boredone3456
02-27-2009, 09:33 PM
Graf would crush both of the Williams on Clay, I have little doubt about that, she had an all around game that would drive the sisters insane on the dirt where neither are at all stellar in my opinion.

On Grass...Graf over Serena, Again Grafs all around game would probably give Serena alot of trouble especially if Graf got Serena on the move. I would put Graf about Even with Venus, Venus on Grass is in my opinion better than her sister, and I think would match up a lot better with Graf, though Venus's tendency to sort of drift off at times during a match would probably kill her against a player like Graf, who was so good at zoning in during those times.

On Hard courts...now This is a pretty tough call to me, because on Hard courts the power of the Williams would be on full display, and that could really give Graf some trouble, Especially if either one of them were able to get control of the points, Graf would probably end up on the move. Graf was athletic, but the power and pace of the Williams on hard courts when they are zoned in is something that could really give Graf problems. Serena and Graf would probably be about even on hardcourts...especially prime Serena. I would Graf the Edge over Venus though, as Graf was usually more consistant then Venus is in terms of overall quality throughout a match throughout her career.

anointedone
02-27-2009, 09:47 PM
On Hard courts...now This is a pretty tough call to me, because on Hard courts the power of the Williams would be on full display, and that could really give Graf some trouble, Especially if either one of them were able to get control of the points, Graf would probably end up on the move. Graf was athletic, but the power and pace of the Williams on hard courts when they are zoned in is something that could really give Graf problems. Serena and Graf would probably be about even on hardcourts...especially prime Serena. I would Graf the Edge over Venus though, as Graf was usually more consistant then Venus is in terms of overall quality throughout a match throughout her career.

I agree with all your accessments pretty much but regarding hard courts, not all hard courts are the same. Serena is very formidable on all hard courts. Venus is very formidable on fast U.S hard courts, but she is not that formidable at all on rebound ace where the Australian Open is played, and other slower types of hard courts. Graf, like Serena, is formidable on all hard courts.

boredone3456
02-27-2009, 09:56 PM
I agree with all your accessments pretty much but regarding hard courts, not all hard courts are the same. Serena is very formidable on all hard courts. Venus is very formidable on fast U.S hard courts, but she is not that formidable at all on rebound ace where the Australian Open is played, and other slower types of hard courts. Graf, like Serena, is formidable on all hard courts.

Yeah I based my assessment on the Fast paced type of Hardcourts for the sake of Arguement..on Slower hardcourts and that rebound ace stuff, Graf gets the nod over Venus...though Serena would still be a problem.

vtmike
02-27-2009, 10:45 PM
I'm surprised ksbh hasn't yet ****ed all over Graf's achievements in this thread :shock:

But back to your question...I think Graf would dominate easy

halalula1234
02-27-2009, 10:48 PM
tie on hard court.

venus tie with graf over serena on grass

graf wins both in clay

Warriorroger
02-28-2009, 12:25 AM
Would make for great matches anyway. Athlete against Athlete (Steffi vs Venus). The quarter finals at wimbledon was one of the best women's tennis matches I have seen. In all their primes, I think Serena has the best chance against Steffi, she has that little more fire than Venus. The thing is Graf's mental game, she (and Monica Seles) knew how to win matches even when their A game was off. On hardcourts Venus and Serena's serve would give Steffi trouble, even though I think hardcourts (including grass and indoor) were Graf's best surfaces. Graf would win mostly, many peolle underestimate that Graf slice backhand. It's not a normal backhand, it's not a Federer backhand. It was a difficult shot to counter. Watch some Seles-Graf encounters and see how low a (non-athlete) like Monica had to get down to get to that shot. The slice neutralizes the power of the sisters.

Grass
Steffi
Venus
Serena

Clay
Steffi
Serena
Venus

Hardcourt
Venus
Serena
Steffi

gj011
02-28-2009, 04:56 AM
Graf didn't dominate for 10 years. Her dominant years were 1988, 1989, 1993, 1995 and 1996.

And the last 3 were dominant only because Seles was stabbed.

crabgrass
02-28-2009, 05:04 AM
steffi on all surfaces...serena on hardcourts would be her toughest match.

lambielspins
02-28-2009, 07:47 AM
Graf didn't dominate for 10 years. Her dominant years were 1988, 1989, 1993, 1995 and 1996.

And the last 3 were dominant only because Seles was stabbed.

I never said Graf dominated 10 years. I said she had a 10 year prime. She had 10 straight years as either #1 or #2 in the world and where she won atleast 1 slam and a large # of tournaments all 10 years. That is sufficient to be deemed a 10 year prime. It must be hard to read even simple setences properly with all that haterorade blocking your view on so many players.

LanceStern
02-28-2009, 10:18 PM
Since the Williams had a 2 year prime and Graf had a 10 year prime it doesnt even really matter anyway since Graf would dominate 80% of the time easily. If we want to look at only Serena's 2 year prime (2002-2003) and Venus's 2 year prime (2000-2001) though vs Graf at any point in her long 10 year prime then:


Seems to me you implied dominating in your post there.

lambielspins
02-28-2009, 10:23 PM
Seems to me you implied dominating in your post there.

No I didnt, when I said dominate 80% of the time easily I meant she would dominate the Williams specifically the 80% of the time she was in her prime and they werent (given her 10 year prime vs their 2 years only each), thus making it of little relevance how Graf stacked up vs either Williams in their respective short 2 year primes. I did not imply she neccessarily dominated the tour during her own time (eg- when womens tennis had a better field to offer than a badly out of shape part time Serena, an always injured Maria, a Venus trying for a few events a year, and a bunch of loser headcases otherwise) in everyone of those 10 years she was in her prime.

LanceStern
02-28-2009, 10:30 PM
No I didnt, when I said dominate 80% of the time easily I meant she would dominate the Williams specifically the 80% of the time she was in her prime and they werent (given her 10 year prime vs their 2 years only each), thus making it of little relevance how Graf stacked up vs either Williams in their respective short 2 year primes. I did not imply she neccessarily dominated the tour during her own time (eg- when womens tennis had a better field to offer than a badly out of shape part time Serena, an always injured Maria, a Venus trying for a few events a year, and a bunch of loser headcases otherwise) in everyone of those 10 years she was in her prime.


Is it possible to be in a 10 year prime? how is that physically possible?

I never said Graf dominated 10 years. I said she had a 10 year prime. She had 10 straight years as either #1 or #2 in the world and where she won atleast 1 slam and a large # of tournaments all 10 years. That is sufficient to be deemed a 10 year prime. It must be hard to read even simple setences properly with all that haterorade blocking your view on so many players.

Nadal has been winning a slam every year and a handful and change of tournaments since he's been on tour. He's been #2 for what, 2 years now and now he's #1? Has he/is he in a 3-4 year prime?

lambielspins
02-28-2009, 10:58 PM
Is it possible to be in a 10 year prime? how is that physically possible?

Nadal has been winning a slam every year and a handful and change of tournaments since he's been on tour. He's been #2 for what, 2 years now and now he's #1? Has he/is he in a 3-4 year prime?

Graf starting in 1987 was not only winning atleast 1 slam every year but regularly making slam finals or winning slams on all surfaces. Nadal from 2005-2007 was less than half the time even making quarterfinals in big events on hard courts, whereas now he is almost always in the semis or better and sometimes winning them. That is a big difference. No I dont think Nadal was in his prime yet in 2005. Graf in 1987 was in all 3 major finals she played, won the year end Championships too, and lost only 2 matches all year. In 1988 she won all 4 majors. Fast foward and in both 1995 and 1996 she won all 3 majors she played in. She never once even briefly dropped lower than #2 in the rankings at any point from early 1987 to mid 1997. From the 1987 French to the 1996 U.S Open she only three times times lost before the semis of any slam, the 1991 Australian Open (quarters), 1992 U.S Open (quarters), and 1994 Wimbledon (first round shocker). All in all pretty easy to see already how one who followed womens tennis at all during those years thinks her prime covered that whole span.

Many of the great women players had 10 year or longer primes in fact:

Evert: 1974-1986
Court: 1962-1973
Navratilova: 1981-1990
King: 1966-1975
Wills Moody: 1926-1935

gj011
02-28-2009, 10:59 PM
Is it possible to be in a 10 year prime? how is that physically possible?



Nadal has been winning a slam every year and a handful and change of tournaments since he's been on tour. He's been #2 for what, 2 years now and now he's #1? Has he/is he in a 3-4 year prime?

Do not waste your time to try to talk reason to that Lambiel guy. It is impossible.

He did say dominate and when he was confronted with the facts he changed his tune.

lambielspins
02-28-2009, 11:00 PM
Do not waste your time to try to talk reason to that Lambiel guy. It is impossible.

He did say dominate and when he was confronted with the facts he changed his tune.

I did say dominate as in dominate the sisters. Again learn to read basic english moron.

flying24
02-28-2009, 11:03 PM
Many of the great women players had 10 year or longer primes in fact:

Evert: 1974-1986
Court: 1962-1973
Navratilova: 1981-1990
King: 1966-1975
Wills Moody: 1926-1935

I agree with all of those except for Navratilova. I think Navratilova's prime was 1982-1987 more like. Navratilova even actually had an unusually short prime compared to other greats, although her longevity playing at a very high level (even though not prime level) is incredible. The others I agree with those years.

lambielspins
02-28-2009, 11:04 PM
I agree with all of those except for Navratilova. I think Navratilova's prime was 1982-1987 more like. Navratilova even actually had an unusually short prime compared to other greats, although her longevity playing at a very high level (even though not prime level) is incredible. The others I agree with those years.

Yeah you could be right. Navratilova would have still completely dominated in 1988 and 1989 without Graf though, and in 1981 could have easily ended the year with 2 majors and the #1 ranking over prime Evert and Austin without her U.S Open choke.

gj011
02-28-2009, 11:05 PM
I did say dominate as in dominate the sisters. Again learn to read basic english moron.

LOL. When you have to resort in pathetic name calling you know you are humiliated.
Go back to your cave troll.

grafrules
02-28-2009, 11:06 PM
Is it possible to be in a 10 year prime? how is that physically possible?

Easy, train, rather than sit on your lazy *** and eat junk food like the part time sisters do (they can thank their lucky stars they are in the most pathetic womens field ever or their only slam titles would have been from 1999-2003).

grafrules
02-28-2009, 11:07 PM
Also funny to see gj011 bringing his brainless trolling to yet another thread on a player he is jealous of. Same old same old.

gj011
02-28-2009, 11:08 PM
Jealous? :roll:

Brainless is calling Graf winning one slam per year a "prime", while Serena doing the same is not, and ignoring the fact that imaginary prime and domination would never happen it is was not for your good friend Gunter Parche.

Graf prime years were 1988 and 1989. That is it.

lambielspins
02-28-2009, 11:08 PM
It is hard to read simple sentences when you probably havent gone past first grade. gj011 shows in his avatar what he supplemented for primary school in his real life most likely. :oops:

anointedone
02-28-2009, 11:10 PM
tie on hard court.

venus tie with graf over serena on grass

graf wins both in clay

Those sound about right. I think you might be underestimating prime Serena on hard court somewhat here though. Or maybe confusing current Serena for prime Serena which was scary on hard courts and much better than todays Serena.

LanceStern
02-28-2009, 11:24 PM
Easy, train, rather than sit on your lazy *** and eat junk food like the part time sisters do (they can thank their lucky stars they are in the most pathetic womens field ever or their only slam titles would have been from 1999-2003).

I don't think running successful clothing lines and acting, and then showing up to win a slam or two per year count as lazy. Unless getting knee injuries and having to recuperate from that counts.

They weren't robots to tennis like a lot of the pros are, and didn't burn out nearly as fast as some of the "idols" here on TW and yet still they regularly ran through and are still running through the top of the top on most occasions.

Quit the hate

grafrules
02-28-2009, 11:36 PM
I don't think running successful clothing lines and acting, and then showing up to win a slam or two per year count as lazy. Unless getting knee injuries and having to recuperate from that counts.

Successful clothing lines? Successful acting pursuits? You are a funny man. :lol: Their stints in these other things should have only made them that much more eager to rush back to tennis since in reality they are merely wannabees at their other "pasttimes".

They weren't robots to tennis like a lot of the pros are, and didn't burn out nearly as fast as some of the "idols" here on TW and yet still they regularly ran through and are still running through the top of the top on most occasions.

They were not running through the top from 2004-2007 often at all. They only started to do it again once the final little remaining dedicated talent left on the WTA was removed with Henin's retirement. Even players like Anke Huber and Bettina Bunge would probably have ran through the players the Williams are blessed to be left with (Jankovic, Ivanovic, Safina, and the other clowns). I guess by top of the top of whats left you mean sifting through a bunch of horse manure and picking out the most decent pieces.

They didnt burn out fast like the others? Navratilova won her final slam at 33, Evert at 31, Graf at 30 (despite the most injury plagued career in history perhaps), Court at 31, King at 32. If either Venus or Serena win a slam title of any kind past 30 then we can talk. Dont hold your breath on that one, even amongst the current historically horrid womens field.

LanceStern
02-28-2009, 11:57 PM
They were not running through the top from 2004-2007 often at all. They only started to do it again once the final little remaining dedicated talent left on the WTA was removed with Henin's retirement. Even players like Anke Huber and Bettina Bunge would probably have ran through the players the Williams are blessed to be left with (Jankovic, Ivanovic, Safina, and the other clowns). I guess by top of the top of whats left you mean sifting through a bunch of horse manure and picking out the most decent pieces.

They didnt burn out fast like the others? Navratilova won her final slam at 33, Evert at 31, Graf at 30 (despite the most injury plagued career in history perhaps), Court at 31, King at 32. If either Venus or Serena win a slam title of any kind past 30 then we can talk. Dont hold your breath on that one, even amongst the current historically horrid womens field.


Some of the idols I said. Henins, Cljisters, Hingis.

Venus is getting surprisingly close to that age. She or Serena can take Wimbledon/US Open for another 2-4 years currently.

grafrules
03-01-2009, 12:16 AM
Some of the idols I said. Henins, Cljisters, Hingis.

Venus is getting surprisingly close to that age. She or Serena can take Wimbledon/US Open for another 2-4 years currently.

Sorry but I dont see Venus winning another major past next year at the latest. Heck it is very possible considering Serena's relative dominance over her, combined with her advanced age, that she has already won her last major. Despite her continued success at Wimbledon for the time being she is already well past her prime as it is, evidenced by her now constantly poor results on every surface except her absolute favorite(s). Serena has a few more years of chances perhaps but that wont take her past 30.

blue12
03-01-2009, 01:25 AM
Yeah the roids are going to ware off eventually!

THERAFA
03-01-2009, 02:03 AM
Aust Open: Graf, French Open: Graf, Wimbledon: Venus, US Open:
Graf

GameSampras
03-01-2009, 07:26 AM
Graf would dominate both with ease except maybe Wimbeldon with Venus. Graf in her prime put up greater results and was more dominant than Both WS put together. THey couldnt hold Graf's skirt. Serena had trouble with Capriati in her prime. Then later Justine. Now Imagine Graf.

Mick
03-01-2009, 07:41 AM
Graf would dominate both with ease except maybe Wimbeldon with Venus. Graf in her prime put up greater results and was more dominant than Both WS put together. THey couldnt hold Graf's skirt. Serena had trouble with Capriati in her prime. Then later Justine. Now Imagine Graf.

i think so. venus and serena dominate the women's field right now because none of the other women had a big weapon to challenge them (safina & dementieva hit big but they usually don't perform well in the big grand slam matches). graf had a great serve, a killer forehand, and was very tough mentally. so, she had 3 big weapons to counter against the williams sisters' power and talent.

GameSampras
03-01-2009, 08:02 AM
i think so. venus and serena dominate the women's field right now because none of the other women had a big weapon to challenge them (safina & dementieva hit big but they usually don't perform well in the big grand slam matches). graf had a great serve, a killer forehand, and was very tough mentally. so, she had 3 big weapons to counter against the williams sisters' power and talent.


Yea that was a big part of Graf's game was that mental edge. You can easily picture Graf in your head frustrating the hell out of Serena and Venus. If you can handle Serena's power, you have a good chance against her. Im stefi could handle it. Not to mention her nasty slice giving Serena fits.

I would be surpised honestly if Venus or Serena could handle Seles much less a prime graf. Much of the WS dominance came over a field that didnt have talent of Seles or Graf. Justine was the closest and she wasnt on Sele's or Graf's level

Turning Pro
03-01-2009, 08:03 AM
Prime Graf.

The-Champ
03-01-2009, 09:15 AM
Yea that was a big part of Graf's game was that mental edge. You can easily picture Graf in your head frustrating the hell out of Serena and Venus. If you can handle Serena's power, you have a good chance against her. Im stefi could handle it. Not to mention her nasty slice giving Serena fits.

I would be surpised honestly if Venus or Serena could handle Seles much less a prime graf. Much of the WS dominance came over a field that didnt have talent of Seles or Graf. Justine was the closest and she wasnt on Sele's or Graf's level


Serena today although winning the australian open, is NOT prime Serena. Far from it. Prime serena served huge, was never hesitant on her groundies and her returns were lethal off both wings (Graf has never faced a returner of that calibre) in her career, not even Seles. Add to that, Serena's winning mentality.



Justine wasn't on Graf's or Seles' level of talent? Do you know how short justine is? For a short person, she has quite a big serve, definitely bigger than Seles'. Poweful groundstrokes off both wings, her small physique can generate so much power...have you seen her backhand? Almost everything Seles' did on court, Justine did better. Let's not even compare Seles' and Justine's footwork.

Mick
03-01-2009, 09:37 AM
i had never known until today that serena completed her serena slam by beating venus in the finals at the FO, USO, wimbledon, and AO.
Poor venus !

thalivest
03-01-2009, 09:45 AM
Serena today although winning the australian open, is NOT prime Serena. Far from it. Prime serena served huge, was never hesitant on her groundies and her returns were lethal off both wings (Graf has never faced a returner of that calibre) in her career, not even Seles. Add to that, Serena's winning mentality.

Serena is a great returner but if you think she is a better returner than prime Seles you apparently have never seen prime Seles play. Prime Seles still has the greatest return of serve in women tennis history.

Justine wasn't on Graf's or Seles' level of talent? Do you know how short justine is? For a short person, she has quite a big serve, definitely bigger than Seles'.

First of all how short she is part of her drawback as a player. You can say how amazing she is for being so short, on the other hand you could say if she were taller the Williams would never be able to beat her when they have so much trouble as it is.

As for her serve, it isnt that strong. She can serve some big first serves but it breaks down so easily, her consistency on the serve is horrible, her first serve percentage is often low, and as Mary Joe Fernandez once said she is so predictable with her locations on serve.

Poweful groundstrokes off both wings, her small physique can generate so much power...have you seen her backhand? Almost everything Seles' did on court, Justine did better.

Your last statement is downright laughable. Now it is really obvious you never saw prime Seles play. Anyway for starters Seles was far more consistent and made far fewer unforced errors than prime Justine makes (she really makes a surprisingly higher # of errors once she became a more agressive power player), can great angles that Justine could only dream of, and is mentally far tougher than Justine ever was.

Anyway the Williams only had to face 4 or 5 years of prime Justine and both won close to squat all during that time. Serena beat Justine at Wimbledon 2003, but her only 2 other major titles during Justine's prime were the 2005 and 2007 Australian Opens which Justine missed clearing the way for Serena's wins. Venus's only major wins during Justine's prime were 2 Wimbledons. Now Justine took an abrupt very early retirement and the Williams are winning more often again. Lucky them it seems.

Let's not even compare Seles' and Justine's footwork.

Actually Seles had great footwork. It would have made more sense if you said movement. Even then though Seles in her prime was actually quite fast. Not as fast as Justine, Venus, Serena, or Graf, but pretty fast.

LDVTennis
03-01-2009, 09:47 AM
Serena today although winning the australian open, is NOT prime Serena. Far from it. Prime serena served huge, was never hesitant on her groundies and her returns were lethal off both wings (Graf has never faced a returner of that calibre) in her career, not even Seles. Add to that, Serena's winning mentality.

Serena has never faced someone with the ability to control the court with a single shot like Steffi's forehand. Serena's game even in her prime involved many midcourt rallies. Good luck hitting the ball anywhere near the middle of the court against Graf's forehand. You want to see what is it like to play a midcourt game vs. Graf, see what Federer and Nadal do to midcourt balls with their forehands.

Serena has also never faced someone with the speed of a Steffi Graf. Steffi's speed would neutralize Serena's power.

Then, there are the strategic advantages. Graf's "A" game was extremely simple. Serve big to the extremes to set up the forehand or hit slice crosscourt wide angle or deep to get your opponent to hit up to set up the forehand. Serena's "A" game even in her prime was not nearly that simple or efficient.

So, Graf over Venus and Serena on every surface . When it all said and done, Venus and Serena are just more powerful versions of the "pushers" and "retrievers" from Steffi's era, but without the consistency that the "pushers" and "retrievers" from Steffi's era had. Without that consistency, Venus and Serena could hardly trouble Graf in her prime.

Mick
03-01-2009, 09:49 AM
Actually Seles had great footwork. It would have made more sense if you said movement. Even then though Seles in her prime was actually quite fast. Not as fast as Justine, Venus, Serena, or Graf, but pretty fast.


seles played with a 2hfh and 2hbh. that requires great footwork to pull it off, especially on the forehand side.

Daized
03-01-2009, 09:49 AM
I think this is an insult to Graf to compare her to the William sisters. Graf > than William sisters on ever surface by far.

thalivest
03-01-2009, 09:54 AM
seles played with a 2hfh and 2hbh. that requires great footwork to pull it off, especially on the forehand side.

Yes you are right. Seles's mobility and court coverage, atleast in her post stabbing years, could be defintiely brought into question. However anyone who thinks she had shoddy footwork probably has never seen her play, other than maybe the 15 months of her career where she has having ankle problems all the time. Then again by all the The-Champ's comments it is pretty obvious he has never seen Seles play, probably not even a post-stabbing Seles let alone a prime Seles.

GameSampras
03-01-2009, 09:57 AM
Serena today although winning the australian open, is NOT prime Serena. Far from it. Prime serena served huge, was never hesitant on her groundies and her returns were lethal off both wings (Graf has never faced a returner of that calibre) in her career, not even Seles. Add to that, Serena's winning mentality.



Justine wasn't on Graf's or Seles' level of talent? Do you know how short justine is? For a short person, she has quite a big serve, definitely bigger than Seles'. Poweful groundstrokes off both wings, her small physique can generate so much power...have you seen her backhand? Almost everything Seles' did on court, Justine did better. Let's not even compare Seles' and Justine's footwork.


Justine was not on prime Graf or Seles' (pre stabbing) level.. BOTTOM LINE!!. Not even close. As far as Serena, even during her prime days she still had trouble with the likes of Capriati. She had trouble with Justine later. IF she had trouble dealing with both of them, she would be in a world of hurt against Graf and Seles.

Justine doesnt even deserve to be mentioned alongside Graf or Seles. They were far and away better players at their peak. If Serena could barely handle Juicetine, she couldnt handle Graf or Seles on a consistent basis. No way no how

thalivest
03-01-2009, 10:04 AM
Justine was not on prime Graf or Seles' (pre stabbing) level.. BOTTOM LINE!!. Not even close. As far as Serena, even during her prime days she still had trouble with the likes of Capriati. She had trouble with Justine later. IF she had trouble dealing with both of them, she would be in a world of hurt against Graf and Seles.

Justine doesnt even deserve to be mentioned alongside Graf or Seles. They were far and away better players at their peak. If Serena could barely handle Juicetine, she couldnt handle Graf or Seles on a consistent basis. No way no how

Agreed, and Serena didnt even do well vs prime Justine so what is the point anyway. Justine and Serena hardly played each other in their primes of course, mid 2003 they played a few times when Justine's prime was barely starting and Serena's was close to ending and Justine won both meetings on clay and Serena the one meeting on grass. No surprise there, as hard courts would be the most neutral surface for them to meet on. In 2007 when Serena was no longer in her prime and Justine now firmly in hers, a prime in Serena's case which lasted only for 18 months anyway, Justine made her her personal whooping girl. Beating her when they met in all 3 majors Justine played in, on 3 different surfaces, with the loss of only 1 set. In 2 of the 3 Serena managed only 7 games. Venus is the really lucky one, having to play only one match vs prime Justine, which she lost in straight sets on the fast hard courts of the U.S Open of course. Not only is Justine not even close to the level of prime Graf or pre-stabbing Seles, but Serena and Venus cant even really deal with prime Justine now anyway. They should send her a huge thank you card for retiring at 25.

Mick
03-01-2009, 10:12 AM
I think this is an insult to Graf to compare her to the William sisters. Graf > than William sisters on ever surface by far.

if you compare the grand slam titles, venus and serena have a lot of catching up to do.
Individually, they will never catch up. It's too late.

serena (10 GS titles) + venus (7 GS titles) = 17 GS titles.
steffi graf (22 GS titles)

blue12
03-01-2009, 11:12 AM
seles played with a 2hfh and 2hbh. that requires great footwork to pull it off, especially on the forehand side.

I don't think it takes any better footwork to hit a 2hfh vs a 1hfh.
It may take more footwork to hit a good 2hfh compared to a lazy 1hfh though.
Of course I realize 99% of people asked would disagree with me, pretty much all of which have never hit a 2hfh. Just my opinion though!

Mick
03-01-2009, 11:26 AM
I don't think it takes any better footwork to hit a 2hfh vs a 1hfh.
It may take more footwork to hit a good 2hfh compared to a lazy 1hfh though.
Of course I realize 99% of people asked would disagree with me, pretty much all of which have never hit a 2hfh. Just my opinion though!

you have to get to the ball early to hit it with a 2hfh. if you get there late then you can't hit it with a 2hfh. either you have to hit it with a 1hfh or you have to let the ball fly pass you :)

anointedone
03-01-2009, 11:29 AM
you have to get to the ball early to hit it with a 2hfh. if you get there late then you can't hit it with a 2hfh. either you have to hit it with a 1hfh or you have to let the ball fly pass you :)

That is a large reason Seles struggled alot more in her comeback, especialy vs the big hitters which there were more of in her post stabbing years (also more than are left now). She was alot less fit, alot slower covering court, and you have to cover more court to get behind the ball with 2 hands, especialy on the forehand side, as you dont have the reach otherwise. That is why you saw post stabbing Seles go to the 1 handed forehand alot which made her alot less effective.

The-Champ
03-01-2009, 11:56 AM
Serena vs Steffi 1999

Part 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gE6aKcK_TyE

Part 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NA8A7yE74Qk&feature=related

Part 3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ezBuQs4a3A&feature=related

Part 4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lg46VhNiUNk&feature=related

Part 5
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a42vKRlNdHE&feature=related

Part 6
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6rjBEgTvus&feature=related

Part 7
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYibhCxP3cM&feature=related

Part 8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Ga03UGWO6g&feature=related

Part 9
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YTz4kZ7fz8&feature=related

Part 10
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFDHvi7moVs&feature=related


Neither was at their best, but this was a quite a good and entertaining match, But . I didn't see Serena having trouble with Graf's sliced bh.


thalivest....you are wrong, I've seen Monica at her best, she was good, too bad she was stabbed, hers and Steffi's slam count could have been pretty even. But I honestly don't see her dominating a prime Justine. Anyway your SPECULATIONS are as good as mine.


Seles vs the williams

http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/2/players/playerprofiles/playerheadtoheaddetail.asp?PlayerID=230234&Player1ID=190141&x=1&y=8


http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/2/players/playerprofiles/playerheadtoheaddetail.asp?PlayerID=230220&Player1ID=190141&x=2&y=6

blue12
03-01-2009, 11:59 AM
Why would you have to get to the ball earlier? The contact point on a 2hfh can be much farther back then on a 1hfh. I guess it depends on weather you know how to hit the 2hfh open or not. Is that what you are referring to, the sideways set up of a 2hbh or 2hfh needing more time?

flying24
03-01-2009, 11:59 AM
So young, fit, strong and near prime Williams sisters in the year 1999 managed to go a combined 3-3 with an old, injured, nearly retired Graf who by that point was losing to Halard, Serna (twice!), Kournikova, Schnyder, Appelmans, Sugiyama, Frazier, and a flock of other third string (or less) players she would always beat left handed in her prime. Congrats, LOL! Keep in mind Graf in her prime, a far cry from the Williams of course, was incredibly consistent. That whole 1987-1996 period that has been pointed out before she almost never lost to players like that, all those years combined she had at most 3 losses over the whole 10 years to any players that could be categorized with the ones I mentioned (and she played the likes of Appelmans, Halard, and Frazier for many years without ever being close to losing to them until 1998 and 1999 when she was such a shadow of her old self).

The Williams in 1999 were in fact playing alot better than they are today BTW. So I guess we can take from that since the Williams of 1999 were only playing at best pretty even with an injured, way past her prime, and nearly retired Graf, that the Williams of today would then be losing to the way past her prime, nearly retired Graf.

blue12
03-01-2009, 12:05 PM
I agree Graf all the way, and she didn't even need roids to do it!

Mick
03-01-2009, 12:07 PM
Why would you have to get to the ball earlier? The contact point on a 2hfh can be much farther back then on a 1hfh. I guess it depends on weather you know how to hit the 2hfh open or not. Is that what you are referring to, the sideways set up of a 2hbh or 2hfh needing more time?

to set up how you are going to strike the ball.

if you look at the players who play with a 2hbh like nadal and serena, etc..., when they got to the ball late, they would hit with a 1 hbh. sharapova would change the racquet hand.

the same is true for a 2hfh and to play with a 2hfh and 2hbh, you have got to get to the ball early most of the times and you have got to have great footwork to pull that off.

blue12
03-01-2009, 12:12 PM
T or F

False!!

I think it's quite the opposite, that is why a 2-hander is such a weapon on return of serve, because you can take the ball so late!!
I don't know though maybe I'm just stupid!

I will say that it takes more energy to hit a 2hfh than 1hfh. I think that's true on the backhand side as well!

thalivest
03-01-2009, 12:18 PM
thalivest....you are wrong, I've seen Monica at her best, she was good, too bad she was stabbed, hers and Steffi's slam count could have been pretty even. But I honestly don't see her dominating a prime Justine. Anyway your SPECULATIONS are as good as mine.

Yes you are right. If Seles was not stabbed she and Graf probably would have had about the same # of slams, probably both with somewhere from 18-20. That already makes your statement rating Justine as being a superior or even comparable player to prime Seles ridiculous in itself as Justine wouldnt even come close to Steff's major titles count had she been a contemporary of Graf. Especialy since she has proven herself to be so weak of will she retires in the absolute middle of what should be her prime at only 25 while dominating the game.

By the way a way past her prime Seles was 4-3 vs Henin. If we exclude the two 2003 matches were Seles was so injured she couldnt even move without discomfort which would force that years French Open to be her final ever tournament, then a way past her prime Seles was 4-1 vs Henin. Isnt it amazing when Henin in your words "Almost everything Seles' did on court, Justine did better" that she still could barely do squat vs a way past her prime and grossly overweight Seles during the last times she was reasonably healthy in 2001 and 2002.

Wait I already know what is coming next. Justine wasnt in her prime in 2001 and 2002 will be your rebuttal now. You know what the funniest thing is here. Williams fanatics like yourself love to praise the Williams head to head with Henin when nearly all their wins which gained their inflated head to head with her were in 2001 and 2002. The Williams hardly ever had to play a prime Henin except for Serena in mid 2003 and in 2007 (and now almost always lost of course). Yet that Venus and Serena got the benefit of beating up on a pre-prime Henin during their absolute peaks is ignored when gushing about the head to head (which even with that is still only 7-6 in Serena's case). Yet I suppose in this case with it being a way past her prime Seles doing so well vs Justine, rather than an absolute prime Williams, it will now be mentioned Justine wasnt yet at her peak. Too funny.

Mick
03-01-2009, 12:29 PM
T or F

False!!

I think it's quite the opposite, that is why a 2-hander is such a weapon on return of serve, because you can take the ball so late!!
I don't know though maybe I'm just stupid!

I will say that it takes more energy to hit a 2hfh than 1hfh. I think that's true on the backhand side as well!

you can take the ball late with a 2 hander but you have to be in position to take the ball late. if you are not in position, for instance federer just blasted a ball in the corner pocket and you ran to the ball but you are still not in the position to hit it back with a 2hfh, you either have to try to block it back with a 1hfh or let the ball go pass you.

about the return of serve, lot of aces would come from people not being in the position that would enable them to return the ball.

Warriorroger
03-01-2009, 12:48 PM
Neither was at their best, but this was a quite a good and entertaining match, But . I didn't see Serena having trouble with Graf's sliced bh.


thalivest....you are wrong, I've seen Monica at her best, she was good, too bad she was stabbed, hers and Steffi's slam count could have been pretty even. But I honestly don't see her dominating a prime Justine. Anyway your SPECULATIONS are as good as mine.


Seles vs the williams

http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/2/players/playerprofiles/playerheadtoheaddetail.asp?PlayerID=230234&Player1ID=190141&x=1&y=8


http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/2/players/playerprofiles/playerheadtoheaddetail.asp?PlayerID=230220&Player1ID=190141&x=2&y=6


You can't compare a prime Graf with a 29 year old Graf. Graf played that match on will, Rubin had worn her down the match before. 29 is middle-aged for tennis. Martina played a different game. Steffi played the power baseline game with an aging and tired body.The French and Wimbledon in 1999 were evidence of her mental strenght,

thalivest
03-01-2009, 12:55 PM
Seles vs the williams

http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/2/players/playerprofiles/playerheadtoheaddetail.asp?PlayerID=230234&Player1ID=190141&x=1&y=8


http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/2/players/playerprofiles/playerheadtoheaddetail.asp?PlayerID=230220&Player1ID=190141&x=2&y=6

First of all a bunch of matches, with only a couple exceptions that were a prime Williams vs a post stabbing Seles are pretty much irrelevant. Try putting the current out of shape and past their prime Williams (they are now the equivalent of where Seles was from 1997-2002 with the benefit of a much weaker field) vs the Seles of the early 90s and they would also be lucky to win 2 of 16 matches in that case.

That being said I have mentioned before I do think prime Williams are simply bad matchups for Seles, even probably prime Seles. They negate some of her biggest strengths, and her advantages dont really come into play much with the nature of the matchup either. I do think even prime Seles would have a hard time with prime Williams, much moreso than prime Graf. I think prime Williams are a far worse matchup for prime Seles than they would be for prime Graf. Tennis is a game alot about matchups of course.

That still doesnt change much about their place in the big picture of the history of the game, or how they match up vs Graf however.

THERAFA
03-01-2009, 05:25 PM
It will be fun to see Graf play Clijsters at Wimbledon this year and also:
Agassi
V
Henman

egn
03-01-2009, 06:10 PM
Jealous? :roll:

Brainless is calling Graf winning one slam per year a "prime", while Serena doing the same is not, and ignoring the fact that imaginary prime and domination would never happen it is was not for your good friend Gunter Parche.

Graf prime years were 1988 and 1989. That is it.

No truer words were ever spoken. The talent field in 1995 and 1996 was depleted same goes for 1994. First of all Wimbledon was still "fast grass" but baseliners were still making the final to challenge Graf. Womens tennis in the mid 90s was dead because of the Seles stabbing, Graf was playing against a talentless field just like the Williams today the one difference was Graf actually was dedicated to tennis. Even amidst all her injuries. The fact that Navratilova far out of shape and in her late 30s actually 37 and made the finals says alot about Graf's field. 37 year old woman could make a GS final.

Graf would dominate both with ease except maybe Wimbeldon with Venus. Graf in her prime put up greater results and was more dominant than Both WS put together. THey couldnt hold Graf's skirt. Serena had trouble with Capriati in her prime. Then later Justine. Now Imagine Graf.

Yea and Graf had trouble with Navratilova in her mid thirties, Chris Evert in her mid thirties and Lindsay Davenport. Big deal? Players struggle against players. Capriati was playing her best tennis in 00-03 way better than when Graf player her. Serena's best years are obviously 2002-03 and Graf's best yeras are 88 and 89. Although I feel Graf would win mroe than Serena if they played 8 slams in their best 2 years but I don't think she wins all 8. Serena would the Aussies, Graf wins both French, They probably split US Open and Graf wins both Wimbys.

Yea that was a big part of Graf's game was that mental edge. You can easily picture Graf in your head frustrating the hell out of Serena and Venus. If you can handle Serena's power, you have a good chance against her. Im stefi could handle it. Not to mention her nasty slice giving Serena fits.

I would be surpised honestly if Venus or Serena could handle Seles much less a prime graf. Much of the WS dominance came over a field that didnt have talent of Seles or Graf. Justine was the closest and she wasnt on Sele's or Graf's level

Serena has a good mental game to are you telling me she does not intimidate her opponents? What talent was in Graf's field beside Graf. YOu had Vicario and Seles. Oh yea Seles got stabbed and came back playing like crap. Graf had Navratilova on grass at the start. Seles came along and posed an actual threat and took over the tour really. Then Graf's biggest rival was clay court champ Vicario who actually I feel was probably even the better player in 1994. Yet that was her only real year of note. Graf's field was just as depleted as the Williams Sister's. Serena 2002-2003 probably had more threats than Graf past 92.

flying24
03-01-2009, 07:06 PM
Yea and Graf had trouble with Navratilova in her mid thirties, Chris Evert in her mid thirties and Lindsay Davenport.

Graf was not struggling against Evert into her mid thirties. Graf's first win over Evert was when Graf was 16 and Evert 31, neither player was in their prime but Graf was far more unproven and lower ranked and that point, and Graf won in straight sets on clay. Evert would lose 7 times in a row to Graf from that point on, and win a grand total of 1 set in those matches, and with the exception of that one 3 setter never win more than 8 games in any of their remaining matches, so your Evert giving Graf trouble into her mid 30s is nothing but an urban legend of sorts.

As for Navratilova, Martina also gave prime Seles trouble in her mid 30s, not just Graf. She won 4 out of 11 meetings with Seles from 91-early 93 at the peak of Seles's dominance, while she herself was aged 34 to 36. Graf won 6 of her 8 meetings with Navratilova from 88 onwards, so aging Navratilova in fact had even more success vs prime Seles than prime Graf. Wow what a hopeless old lady at that point, only holding her own vs two of the greatest players of all time. Also keep in mind that this a woman who despite ending up as arguably the greatest women player in history and with 18 slam singles did, did not even end a year with 2 slam titles and win her 4th slam title until turning 26. So it is little wonder she was playing well into her 30s when was such a late bloomer that she took until 26 to even begin becoming a dominant player and a frequent slam winner for the first time. If she were really just some washed up player at 30 the way many who begin to peak as teenagers were, when she didnt equal Sanchez Vicario's final slam tally until turning 26, and didnt even win a U.S Open until she was nearly 27, then she wouldnt be the GOAT candidate she currently is at all.

Your Davenport claim really cracks me up. Davenport only began to have any real success vs Graf in 1998-1999 when Graf was already half the player she used to be because of injuries and was now losing to the likes of Serna, Appelmans, Halard, Frazier, Sugiyama, all players she would have been able to beat left handed in her prime.

Graf was playing against a talentless field just like the Williams today the one difference was Graf actually was dedicated to tennis. Even amidst all her injuries. The fact that Navratilova far out of shape and in her late 30s actually 37 and made the finals says alot about Graf's field. 37 year old woman could make a GS final.

Navratilova at 37 > Safina, Kuznetsova, Ivanovic, Jankovic today. Sabatini from 87-93 >
Safina, Kuznetsova, Ivanovic, Jankovic today. Sanchez Vicario > Safina, Kuznetsova, Ivanovic, Jankovic today. Even Novotna and Martinez > Safina, Kuznetsova, Ivanovic, Jankovic today.

LOL what is worse now, having the late blooming, possibly all time queen in the longevity department, and possibly greatest ever Navratilova in a Wimbledon final at 37 (especialy when as you pointed out she was playing at such a high level she was still competitive with the great Graf and Seles into her mid 30s), or having Marian Bartoli in a Wimbledon final. Who would win if 37 year old Navratilova had played Bartoli at Wimbledon? Nuff said.

Big deal? Players struggle against players. Capriati was playing her best tennis in 00-03 way better than when Graf player her.

If Capriati was so amazing those years how come she lost 2 of her 4 meetings to a Seles who even you are admitting was obviously way past her prime and a shadow of her pre-stabbing self at that point (heck you say she was crap in 95-96, what on earth was she by 2001-2002 then) . Seles even had a rare bigtime choke in Capriati's Australian Open quarterfinal win otherwise it would be 1-3 Capriati vs a way past it Seles, which would have been a marginally better ratio than her 2-5 vs a prime Seles. I doubt she was much, if any better than the early 90s. Except for her career year in 2001 she was always around the 6th or 7th best player in the world during both of her so called primes, yet even prime Serena Williams couldnt buy a straight sets win over her.

Capriati was overall owned by Henin, Mauresmo, and Clijsters from 2002 onwards as well.

Serena's best years are obviously 2002-03 and Graf's best yeras are 88 and 89. Although I feel Graf would win mroe than Serena if they played 8 slams in their best 2 years but I don't think she wins all 8. Serena would the Aussies, Graf wins both French, They probably split US Open and Graf wins both Wimbys.

Serena didnt even play Australia in 2002 so how on earth could she win both Australian Opens. At the 2003 Australian Open she was down 5-1 in the 3rd set of the semis to Clijsters before a typical Clijsters choke, so I dont see how she wins that one either. I would give Serena 1 U.S Open and maybe 1 Wimbledon.

Serena has a good mental game to are you telling me she does not intimidate her opponents? What talent was in Graf's field beside Graf. YOu had Vicario and Seles.

Yeah Sanchez Vicario was so weak that during the very best years of Venus's career from 2000-2002 she was still having massive trouble every time out with a Sanchez Vicario way past her prime. You actually have the gall to be calling someone the caliber of Sanchez Vicario weak when Serena's biggest rivals today are Jankovic and Safina, ROTFL!!!

Then Graf's biggest rival was clay court champ Vicario who actually I feel was probably even the better player in 1994. Yet that was her only real year of note.

Yep I mean the following years were nothing of note for the hopeless Sanchez Vicario:

1989- French Open Champion, denied Graf back to back calender slams after winning an amazing final. Quarters of both Wimbledon and the U.S Open. Breaks into top 5 for first time at only 17.

1991- semis of Australia, finals of French Open, quarters of Wimbledon, quarters of the U.S Open.
Regains spot in top 5 only behind such chumps as Seles, Graf, prime Sabatini, and Navratilova.

1992- semis of Australia, semis of French Open, finals of U.S Open, moves up to #4 in the world.

1993- semis of all the slams except Wimbledon, 4 tournament titles, #2 in the world.

1995- finals of all 3 slams, loses all time classic Wimbledon final to Steffi Graf, and tough 3 set final with Graf at the French Open.

1996- finals of both French and Wimbledon, finals of the Olympics. Lost another all time great final to Graf at the French Open.

By the way shame on Graf for so often having to go 3 sets with weak little Sanchez Vicario. I mean the supposably great Venus was only always doing that at the very end of Sanchez Vicario's career when she was a shadow of her old self. The poor Williams dont have to face such weaklings as an older Navratilova, Sanchez Vicario, and Sabatini. They instead face the amazing talents of Safina, Kuznetsova, the demented one, and the Serbian legendary vics duo, all armed and complete with double faults, non existant net games, non existant mental games, and a gauranteed 100 unforced errors a day.

Oh yea Seles got stabbed and came back playing like crap.

You are right since reaching 3 slam finals in your first 5 slams back is sure playing like crap. It has taken the supposably amazing Serena almost 6 years since mid 2003 to make that many slam finals in that short a time span after all.

Graf had Navratilova on grass at the start.

Yes Navratilova was only a threat on grass at that point. That is why she and Graf played an incredible French Open final in 87, and an incredible U.S Open final in 1989.

Serena 2002-2003 probably had more threats than Graf past 92.

Yet Serena's competition since 2004 is even worse than Graf's past 92 and she has still managed only a whopping 4 slams in over 5 years vs it.

GameSampras
03-01-2009, 07:14 PM
Serena has a good mental game against the trash headcase Russians like Safina and the demented one Dementieva. And this era of WTA is much much weaker post 92 for Graf. The 90s were far more competitive than today. Lets face it. If Serena showed up in the shape she is in today with her committment to the game with Prime Seles and Graf heck maybe even a prime Hingis around she would beaten eaten for lunch.

This is the weakest era in WTA in recent history. Just having Kim and Justine would make it semi watchable

egn
03-01-2009, 08:15 PM
Graf was not struggling against Evert into her mid thirties. Graf's first win over Evert was when Graf was 16 and Evert 31, neither player was in their prime but Graf was far more unproven and lower ranked and that point, and Graf won in straight sets on clay. Evert would lose 7 times in a row to Graf from that point on, and win a grand total of 1 set in those matches, and with the exception of that one 3 setter never win more than 8 games in any of their remaining matches, so your Evert giving Graf trouble into her mid 30s is nothing but an urban legend of sorts.

Stand corrected early thirties is correct.

As for Navratilova, Martina also gave prime Seles trouble in her mid 30s, not just Graf. She won 4 out of 11 meetings with Seles from 91-early 93 at the peak of Seles's dominance, while she herself was aged 34 to 36. Graf won 6 of her 8 meetings with Navratilova from 88 onwards, so aging Navratilova in fact had even more success vs prime Seles than prime Graf. Wow what a hopeless old lady at that point, only holding her own vs two of the greatest players of all time. Also keep in mind that this a woman who despite ending up as arguably the greatest women player in history and with 18 slam singles did, did not even end a year with 2 slam titles and win her 4th slam title until turning 26. So it is little wonder she was playing well into her 30s when was such a late bloomer that she took until 26 to even begin becoming a dominant player and a frequent slam winner for the first time. If she were really just some washed up player at 30 the way many who begin to peak as teenagers were, when she didnt equal Sanchez Vicario's final slam tally until turning 26, and didnt even win a U.S Open until she was nearly 27, then she wouldnt be the GOAT candidate she currently is at all.

Still Navratilova in 94 was far from her former self she lost to a baseliner at wimbledon who never had won a grass title to that date and after that date..not Navratilova top form not even close.

Your Davenport claim really cracks me up. Davenport only began to have any real success vs Graf in 1998-1999 when Graf was already half the player she used to be because of injuries and was now losing to the likes of Serna, Appelmans, Halard, Frazier, Sugiyama, all players she would have been able to beat left handed in her prime.

Okay so Davenport's success against Graf is not of valid claim because Graf was old an half the player she was but you praise the success of Navratilova in the mid 90s even though she was clearly half the player she was. Double standard. Graf won a slam in 99 nothing ridiculous about Davenport causing her trouble towards the end. If you want to count old out of prime Navratilova as competition for Graf then Davenport can get validity for scoring a bunch of victories on Graf at the end.


Navratilova at 37 > Safina, Kuznetsova, Ivanovic, Jankovic today.
Sabatini from 87-93 >
Safina, Kuznetsova, Ivanovic, Jankovic today.
Sanchez Vicario > Safina, Kuznetsova, Ivanovic, Jankovic today.
Even Novotna and Martinez > Safina, Kuznetsova, Ivanovic, Jankovic today.

Sabatini was a one slam wonder, Sanchez Vicario yes better than most but not better than Henin, Sharapova or Venus same goes for Sabatini. Navratilova at 37 not better than any of the other 3 I mentioned either. What did Sabatini do make a bunch of semis and win one slam, she is on par with Kim Clijisters. The field at the moment Serena faces has Venus in it, Safina who is starting to make her move, Ivanovic who will shine on clay, Jankovic who makes decent runs in most tournaments and players who are slightly above average like Demetieva. When Safina, Ivanovic, Jankovic and Dementieva finish off they will have careers like Sabatini, Novotona and Martinez hell Safina has a chance at doing better than those players. 93-96 Was not filled with godly competition for Graf since Seles got stabbed the other players were just like the field now just the field is soley weak because there is no overriding dominate force like Graf since Serena frankly doesn't give two craps.

LOL what is worse now, having the late blooming, possibly all time queen in the longevity department, and possibly greatest ever Navratilova in a Wimbledon final at 37 (especialy when as you pointed out she was playing at such a high level she was still competitive with the great Graf and Seles into her mid 30s), or having Marian Bartoli in a Wimbledon final. Who would win if 37 year old Navratilova had played Bartoli at Wimbledon? Nuff said.

Don't know everyone that Navratilova was going to beat Conchita Martinez the baselineing clay court specialist,note Navratilova lost to a one slam clay court specialist wonder at a grass final at that tournament..so don't count Bartoli out watch that match Navratilova played pretty bad

If Capriati was so amazing those years how come she lost 2 of her 4 meetings to a Seles who even you are admitting was obviously way past her prime and a shadow of her pre-stabbing self at that point (heck you say she was crap in 95-96, what on earth was she by 2001-2002 then) . Seles even had a rare bigtime choke in Capriati's Australian Open quarterfinal win otherwise it would be 1-3 Capriati vs a way past it Seles, which would have been a marginally better ratio than her 2-5 vs a prime Seles. I doubt she was much, if any better than the early 90s. Except for her career year in 2001 she was always around the 6th or 7th best player in the world during both of her so called primes, yet even prime Serena Williams couldnt buy a straight sets win over her.

Did not say she was amazing said she was playing better tennis than her youth. Serena struggled against her? Everyone struggles against someone.

Capriati was overall owned by Henin, Mauresmo, and Clijsters from 2002 onwards as well.



Serena didnt even play Australia in 2002 so how on earth could she win both Australian Opens. At the 2003 Australian Open she was down 5-1 in the 3rd set of the semis to Clijsters before a typical Clijsters choke, so I dont see how she wins that one either. I would give Serena 1 U.S Open and maybe 1 Wimbledon.
Okay valid point if she doesn't play it, I still give her an Aussie over Graf and she gets a US and I think she could squeak out a wimby.


Yeah Sanchez Vicario was so weak that during the very best years of Venus's career from 2000-2002 she was still having massive trouble every time out with a Sanchez Vicario way past her prime. You actually have the gall to be calling someone the caliber of Sanchez Vicario weak when Serena's biggest rivals today are Jankovic and Safina, ROTFL!!!

I didn't call her weak I said that was her only competition you make up stuff.

Yep I mean the following years were nothing of note for the hopeless Sanchez Vicario:

1989- French Open Champion, denied Graf back to back calender slams after winning an amazing final. Quarters of both Wimbledon and the U.S Open. Breaks into top 5 for first time at only 17.

1991- semis of Australia, finals of French Open, quarters of Wimbledon, quarters of the U.S Open.
Regains spot in top 5 only behind such chumps as Seles, Graf, prime Sabatini, and Navratilova.

1992- semis of Australia, semis of French Open, finals of U.S Open, moves up to #4 in the world.

1993- semis of all the slams except Wimbledon, 4 tournament titles, #2 in the world.

1995- finals of all 3 slams, loses all time classic Wimbledon final to Steffi Graf, and tough 3 set final with Graf at the French Open.

1996- finals of both French and Wimbledon, finals of the Olympics. Lost another all time great final to Graf at the French Open.

89 can get mention but 94 is only real year of note if you are talking greatness. The rest of the time she got beaten by either Seles or Graf constantly.

You are right since reaching 3 slam finals in your first 5 slams back is sure playing like crap. It has taken the supposably amazing Serena almost 6 years since mid 2003 to make that many slam finals in that short a time span after all.
What happened after that? Care to go on. She also got bounced QF and 2R in between that and then made one more slam final and never got to one after that only winning AO 96.


Yes Navratilova was only a threat on grass at that point. That is why she and Graf played an incredible French Open final in 87, and an incredible U.S Open final in 1989.
87 was before Graf's prime..and you right I should correct that to say fast surfaces.


Yet Serena's competition since 2004 is even worse than Graf's past 92 and she has still managed only a whopping 4 slams in over 5 years vs it.
Well lets see 04 Serena was injuried 05 Serena was injuried and disappeared constantly 06 Serena entered 4 tournaments all year and 07 She started to come back.

flying24
03-01-2009, 09:34 PM
Stand corrected early thirties is correct.

Yes then fair enough. Graf struggled with Evert some at 30-31 when Graf herself was only 16 or younger and even further from her prime than Evert at that point

Still Navratilova in 94 was far from her former self she lost to a baseliner at wimbledon who never had won a grass title to that date and after that date..not Navratilova top form not even close.

I didnt ever say Navratilova was in top form in 1994. I said she when she was holding her own vs Graf and Seles (although no doubt behind them) from 1991-early 1993 she was still playing pretty darn well, and given her possible GOAT status, the known fact she is a very late bloomer, and her well known longevity, hardly startling. In 1994 she actually really fell off and began playing at a much lower level than 1991-1993.

I never said there were no weak slam events back from 93-96 which is a far cry from agreeing the field was as weak as todays. 1994 was indeed a crummy Wimbledon with upsets to Graf, Sanchez Vicario, and Sabatini. The last 2 womens Wimbledons were a crummy Wimbledon with all the upsets which led to Bartoli into a final, and grass court clueless Dementieva along with 133-ranked Chinese player as the Williams semifinal opponents last year. That is even worse than a final between Martinez and 37 year old Navratilova in 1994. If you are going to use the 1994 Wimbledon as a way to lowball the 1994 field one could use the last 2 Wimbledons to do that to the current field in an even worse way.

Okay so Davenport's success against Graf is not of valid claim because Graf was old an half the player she was but you praise the success of Navratilova in the mid 90s even though she was clearly half the player she was. Double standard. Graf won a slam in 99 nothing ridiculous about Davenport causing her trouble towards the end. If you want to count old out of prime Navratilova as competition for Graf then Davenport can get validity for scoring a bunch of victories on Graf at the end.

Graf at 29 and 30 was even further past her prime IMO than Navratilova was from 33-36 due to a variety of factors: mainly the injuries which caught up with Graf and sabatoged her for good following 1996, the incredible longevity of Navratilova which is superior to all other women in history, the fact as mentioned Navratilova is an incredibly late bloomer (only getting her first 2 major year at 26). Navratilova from 34-36 was not having the # of unthinkable losses Graf was having at that point to Serena, Halard, Sugiyama, Appelmans, Frazier type players, especialy given the limited # of tournaments she was playing at that point.

Still I see what you are saying. I dont dispute though that Davenport is a very high quality player. She is no clown like Safina, Jankovic, and the wannabee top players of today. She is IMO far superior to Capriati who also has 3 majors. The Williams were alot stronger than they are now back then, and their competition like Davenport was also a heck of alot stronger back then compared to now. Womens tennis today cannot hold a candle to even the 1999-2003 period.

Sabatini was a one slam wonder, Sanchez Vicario yes better than most but not better than Henin, Sharapova or Venus same goes for Sabatini. Navratilova at 37 not better than any of the other 3 I mentioned either.......When Safina, Ivanovic, Jankovic and Dementieva finish off they will have careers like Sabatini, Novotona and Martinez hell Safina has a chance at doing better than those players.

Henin is not even around anymore, and lo and behold the Williams are suddenly winning alot more with her gone. Henin actually still being around would indeed bolster your arguments to the strength of the current field, and also likely lessen the increasing slam counts of Serena imparticular, but such isnt the case. Sharapova hasnt been around for almost a year due to a serious shoulder injury which for all we know might end her career. Venus is far past her prime at this point as well, and is only bothering to try in 4 or 5 tournaments a year, basically hibernating outside Wimbledon and several other random events a year . Yes prime Venus is better than prime Sanchez Vicario, prime Sabatini, and and aging Navratilova. Yes prime Sharapova is better than prime Sabatini and aging Navratilova atleast. However those players dont exist right now. I would take prime Sanchez, prime Sabatini, and even an aging Navratilova over real Venus once in awhile and Sharapova hardly playing before her bum shoulder kicks up again which is all we really have now. If a year round focused Venus, a healthy Maria, and Henin were really Serena's current competition, not just in fantasy, you would have a point.

I have to say I think you underrate Sabatini quite alot, especialy to refer to her as a 1 slam wonder. One would think you were talking about the likes of Majoli or Myskina, players that cant even carry Sabatini's jockstrap to any who followed her career. She really is one of the best players in history to win only 1 major. She has 18 slam semifinal appearances. She very nearly won the 91 Wimbledon title over Graf as well when she served for the match twice. She won 27 titles in her career, many of those tier 1 titles. She has won the WTA Championships final, the biggest non slam event, twice in her career. She has beaten Graf over a quarter of the times they played. She was a consistent top 5 for over 6 years. She is really unlucky her entire peak of 87-mid 93 was when first Graf and a near prime Navratilova were the top 2 for about 3 years, then Graf and Seles were the top 3 for another 3 years or so. What tougher competition could you get at the very top. In just about any other era she would have won more. I consider her head and shoulders above Martinez and Novotna, despite the respective slam count.

I wouldnt be so sure on your claims of Safina, Jankovic, and Dementieva finishing off with careers even like Sabatini, Novotna, and Martinez. I doubt any of those 3 players ever winning a major.

Don't know everyone that Navratilova was going to beat Conchita Martinez the baselineing clay court specialist,note Navratilova lost to a one slam clay court specialist wonder at a grass final at that tournament..so don't count Bartoli out watch that match Navratilova played pretty bad

Really who is a better player, an in form Martinez even on grass or Bartoli? Martinez was #3 in the world at that point, and had made the Wimbledon semis the previous year. She had a 3-1 lifetime head to head with Navratilova at that point, granted all matches on clay. It was not a huge shock she won that final vs a 37 year old Martina, not nearly to the extent historic fluke slam finalist Bartoli would have been.

Did not say she was amazing said she was playing better tennis than her youth. Serena struggled against her? Everyone struggles against someone.

The players you mentioned Graf struggling with though are far better than Capriati, atleast ones she struggled with to the same extent Serena struggled with Capriati.

I didn't call her weak I said that was her only competition you make up stuff.

Fine, if Sanchez Vicario was Graf's only competition from 93-95, than Serena currently has nobody with Sharapova on the shelf injured, Henin retired, and Venus only popping up to play serious tennis these days several times a year. Atleast Graf knew Sanchez was going to be there all the time for her to deal with during that period, you pretty much know Venus these days wont most of the time (although in fairness you know at Wimbledon she will be), and dont know if Maria (bum shoulder) will or ever will be again really.

89 can get mention but 94 is only real year of note if you are talking greatness. The rest of the time she got beaten by either Seles or Graf constantly.

If 89 is the only year you could mention for Sanchez Vicario regarding greatness, then by that standard the only years one could mention for even Serena regarding greatness so far are 2002 and 2003, and for Venus 2000 and 2001.

What happened after that? Care to go on. She also got bounced QF and 2R in between that and then made one more slam final and never got to one after that only winning AO 96.

Right, so quite obviously by far the best 15 month stretch of tennis in all Seles's post stabbing years was the same 15 month stretch Graf last played full time healthy tennis before her prime ending for good with injury after 1996. So Graf in fact faced the best you would see of post stabbing Seles (still not pre stabbing Seles but better than anything thereafter) in the 15 months of her own long standing prime as well.

87 was before Graf's prime..and you right I should correct that to say fast surfaces.

I agree 87 was not Graf's prime, but Martina was still playing some darn good tennis that year to straight set Graf in the Wimbledon and U.S Open finals and take her to 3 in the French Open finals. Remember though just as we could limit Martina post-87 mostly to a major fast court threat, we could limit someone like Venus (Serena's main rival before Justine) almost her whole career to almost only a major fast court threat, with limited success and mostly mediocre showings on slower surfaces even in her prime.

Well lets see 04 Serena was injuried 05 Serena was injuried and disappeared constantly 06 Serena entered 4 tournaments all year and 07 She started to come back.

Serena in 2004 wasnt injured, she was beaten by Capriati and Sharapova in the slams. In 2005 and 2006 I will give you. In 2007 she came back to somehwat strong consistent form yet was having her butt regularly whooped by Henin, now Justine is gone, and Serena is mysteriously winning again.