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View Full Version : Greatest womens hard court player ever


thalivest
05-01-2009, 10:57 AM
Who do you consider the greatest womens hard court player of all time. I figured it made sense to only include women who played on hard courts since the late 70s. My vote was Steffi Graf who won 9 slam titles on hard courts. Others who I would consider:

Navratiliova- 4 U.S Opens on hard courts, Australian Open didnt become hard court slam until 87

Evert- 3 U.S Opens on hard courts. In addition to Australian Open situation which mentioned above didnt have the chance to try and contest hard court slams at the U.S Open until 1978.

Serena Williams- 7 slam titles on hard courts and still active, albeit vs IMO very weak field.

Lindsay Davenport- I know only 2 slam titles on hard courts but so many tournament titles.

Monica Seles- 6 slam titles on hard courts.

Martina Hingis- 4 slam titles on hard courts, 6 straight finals in Australia. By far her best surface.

Tracy Austin- 2 slam titles on hard courts as a teenager when there was only 1 slam played on hard courts and with a very short career.

Venus Williams and Justine Henin and Hana Mandlikova- dont think they really deserve a place but wanted to fill up the poll options.

BTURNER
05-01-2009, 02:00 PM
Graf gets the nod here.

flying24
05-01-2009, 02:06 PM
I would have to go with Graf with Navratilova and Evert a close 2nd and 3rd. I wonder who on earth voted for Seles who has lopsided losing records to all of Graf, Hingis, Venus, Serena, and Davenport on hard courts. While she did win 6 hard court slams most of those were against iffy competition to put it kindly: Huber, Fernandez, Novotna on rebound ace.

boredone3456
05-01-2009, 02:21 PM
Tough choice between Graf and Navratilova for me because Navratilova even in her later years was still able to make a stir of hardcourts, making the US Open final in 1991 and 1989 and still able to give Graf and Seles a ton of trouble on hard courts even though she was much older and arguably past her prime. She beat Seles twice in the 90's and beat Graf in an Epic battle in 1991.

In terms of Numbers Graf has it, but in terms of ability I do give Martina Credit for her results against top players (mainly Graf and Seles) on hardcourts even into the 90's.

I guess I would rank them

1/2: Nav & Graf
3. Seles
4. Evert ( I give her some slack because during her most dominant years in the mid 70's she didn't have the chance at a hardcourt major)
5. Williams (looses a lot for playing and winning in some throughly pathetic draws, especially her last 3 hard court majors which were all practically handed to her in the finals)
6. Davenport

than all the other players.

flying24
05-01-2009, 02:35 PM
Tough choice between Graf and Navratilova for me because Navratilova even in her later years was still able to make a stir of hardcourts, making the US Open final in 1991 and 1989 and still able to give Graf and Seles a ton of trouble on hard courts even though she was much older and arguably past her prime. She beat Seles twice in the 90's and beat Graf in an Epic battle in 1991.


This is true but keep in mind in her earlier years until close until turning 25 she did squat all (for the standards of an all time great player) on hard courts, while many of these others were dominating on hard courts for 7 or 8 years before the age Martina did anything on them. So it cuts both ways. She needed to be competitive into older years on hard courts to compensate for all she did not do for so many years earlier on.

Lionheart392
05-01-2009, 02:59 PM
Gotta be Steffi.

thalivest
05-01-2009, 07:30 PM
I wish I hadnt even included Serena as an option and just included an "other" option. It makes me cringe to see any votes for her given the fields she won her last 2 hard court slams against. She also only won the 05 and 07 Australian Opens only because Henin was not there, but she again she might have taken the 03 U.S Open and 04 Australian Open from Henin had she been there so I guess it evens out.

boredone3456
05-01-2009, 07:47 PM
I wish I hadnt even included Serena as an option and just included an "other" option. It makes me cringe to see any votes for her given the fields she won her last 2 hard court slams against. She also only won the 05 and 07 Australian Opens only because Henin was not there, but she again she might have taken the 03 U.S Open and 04 Australian Open from Henin had she been there so I guess it evens out.

Serena as cringe worthy as it is does deserve to be a poll option. Even if some of her hard court slams have come against pathetic fields, she still won them and they are worth something. As for the 2005 and 2007 Australian....the 2007 Australian was just a miserable slam, if Peer had held it together in end Serena would not have even gotten past the quarters. Sharapova also played an immensely pathetic final which is probably what motivated her to become a human wrecking ball in 2008. I do agree that if Henin was there in 2007 serena probably loses given how Henin thumped her in every other major that year.

as for 2005....that was again somewhat lucky. Sharapova blew something like 100 chances in the semi's (I think she had something like 3 match points?)and then in the final Davenport was killing her till Davenport started sputtering and ran out of gas. I don't know if Henin would have won that year if she had been there though, she certainly would have been in the mix but win...I am not so sure, unlike 2007 which would have been better odds.

Serena does always seem, especially lately, to have a good amount of Luck in her slam wins, now not saying other greats and other slam winners don't have it to, but on hard courts especially things do seem to go Serena's way alot, especially in her last 3 hard court majors. But she still has 7....which is more than Davenport, Evert, Venus, Hingis, Mandlikova and Navratilova have. She may have gotten some incredible luck to get some of them....but she is still good on hardcourts because if she wasn't even with the luck she wouldn't have 7.

thalivest
05-01-2009, 07:50 PM
Serena as cringe worthy as it is does deserve to be a poll option. Even if some of her hard court slams have come against pathetic fields, she still won them and they are worth something. As for the 2005 and 2007 Australian....the 2007 Australian was just a miserable slam, if Peer had held it together in end Serena would not have even gotten past the quarters. Sharapova also played an immensely pathetic final which is probably what motivated her to become a human wrecking ball in 2008. I do agree that if Henin was there in 2007 serena probably loses given how Henin thumped her in every other major that year.

as for 2005....that was again somewhat lucky. Sharapova blew something like 100 chances in the semi's (I think she had something like 3 match points?)and then in the final Davenport was killing her till Davenport started sputtering and ran out of gas. I don't know if Henin would have won that year if she had been there though, she certainly would have been in the mix but win...I am not so sure, unlike 2007 which would have been better odds.

Serena does always seem, especially lately, to have a good amount of Luck in her slam wins, now not saying other greats and other slam winners don't have it to, but on hard courts especially things do seem to go Serena's way alot, especially in her last 3 hard court majors. But she still has 7....which is more than Davenport, Evert, Venus, Hingis, Mandlikova and Navratilova have. She may have gotten some incredible luck to get some of them....but she is still good on hardcourts because if she wasn't even with the luck she wouldn't have 7.

Yeah very well said which is why I felt I had to include her in the poll although i would never vote for her over Graf, Seles, Navratilova, or Evert especialy at this point. You forgot at the 2007 U.S Open Venus completely should have won that quarterfinal in straight sets. I have no idea what the heck went on there. I almost felt at the time it was a fixed match, can you really blow that many chances missing easy shots on purpose, especialy when you are a player not known as a choker (Venus). Serena is lucky that Venus is her protective older sister and not just another women. If she were I think she loses a few more of their big match meetings.

DMan
05-01-2009, 09:41 PM
Tough choice between Graf and Navratilova for me because Navratilova even in her later years was still able to make a stir of hardcourts, making the US Open final in 1991 and 1989 and still able to give Graf and Seles a ton of trouble on hard courts even though she was much older and arguably past her prime. She beat Seles twice in the 90's and beat Graf in an Epic battle in 1991.

In terms of Numbers Graf has it, but in terms of ability I do give Martina Credit for her results against top players (mainly Graf and Seles) on hardcourts even into the 90's.

I guess I would rank them

1/2: Nav & Graf
3. Seles
4. Evert ( I give her some slack because during her most dominant years in the mid 70's she didn't have the chance at a hardcourt major)
5. Williams (looses a lot for playing and winning in some throughly pathetic draws, especially her last 3 hard court majors which were all practically handed to her in the finals)
6. Davenport

than all the other players.

It's inconceivable that someone would seriously rank Navratilova in a tie or even consider putting her ahead of Graf on hard courts.

Both reached 8 final at the US Open. Graf won 5, Martina won 4. They split their two US Open finals. Martina meanwhile NEVER made an Australian Open final on hard courts. In fact, she gave up trying after 1989. So for all the whoop-dee-do about her "stellar" hard court play in the 1990s, she knew she didn't have a prayer in Australia, so she didn't bother. Oh, Graf won 4 Australian Opens.

Steffi also won more hard court tournaments than Martina.

This is one case where Graf is miles ahead of Navratilova on hard courts. I would even give Evert the nod over Navatilova. Chris made an Australian Open final - beating Martina en route. Chris also won the 2 Colgate Series Championships on hard courts (including 1978 over Martina). Evert reached 6 US Open finals on hard courts, and lost both finals to Navratilova. But looking at their careers as a whole I place Chris ahead of Navratilova.

Seles deserves to be in the mix (although it's pathetic that some troll actually voted for her as the best of all-time).

Funny how Serena seems to be "lucky" at so many Slams. Perhaps she is that good?

I also put Henin over Austin. Tracy was brought up on hard courts. And she won 2 US Opens. But so did Justine. Justine also won the Australian Open, was in another final Down Under. And she also was in another US Open final. Considering that hard courts weren't a natural for her, she did quite well on the surface.

thalivest
05-01-2009, 09:47 PM
Navratilova never had the chance to play the Australian Open on hard courts in her prime except for 1987. Then again since she only won it 3 times even with it on slow grass from 80-85 it is doubtful she would have won it more than 1 or 2 times on slow hard courts.

Navratilova is 4-1 vs Graf at the U.S Open though. In 1985 and 1986 with Martina in her prime and Graf not Martina won. In 1987 with both close to their primes Martina won. In 1989 with Graf in her prime and Martina not Graf won. In 1991 with Graf in her prime and Martina not Martina won. Graf probably should have won the 86 match, but Martina probably should have won the 89 one so they even out. The U.S Open head to head edge is clearly in Martina's favor.

julesb
05-01-2009, 10:00 PM
Monica Seles by far. She hits the ball too hard for everyone else on hard courts. She is too determined, too much hard serving, too talented.

boredone3456
05-01-2009, 10:17 PM
It's inconceivable that someone would seriously rank Navratilova in a tie or even consider putting her ahead of Graf on hard courts.

Both reached 8 final at the US Open. Graf won 5, Martina won 4. They split their two US Open finals. Martina meanwhile NEVER made an Australian Open final on hard courts. In fact, she gave up trying after 1989. So for all the whoop-dee-do about her "stellar" hard court play in the 1990s, she knew she didn't have a prayer in Australia, so she didn't bother. Oh, Graf won 4 Australian Opens.

Steffi also won more hard court tournaments than Martina.

This is one case where Graf is miles ahead of Navratilova on hard courts. I would even give Evert the nod over Navatilova. Chris made an Australian Open final - beating Martina en route. Chris also won the 2 Colgate Series Championships on hard courts (including 1978 over Martina). Evert reached 6 US Open finals on hard courts, and lost both finals to Navratilova. But looking at their careers as a whole I place Chris ahead of Navratilova.

Seles deserves to be in the mix (although it's pathetic that some troll actually voted for her as the best of all-time).

Funny how Serena seems to be "lucky" at so many Slams. Perhaps she is that good?

I also put Henin over Austin. Tracy was brought up on hard courts. And she won 2 US Opens. But so did Justine. Justine also won the Australian Open, was in another final Down Under. And she also was in another US Open final. Considering that hard courts weren't a natural for her, she did quite well on the surface.


By the time the Australian switched the hard Martina was past her prime. Also, Martina leads the hardCourt h2h with Graf and was getting wins over both Graf and Seles into the early 90's.

You point out how she stopped playing Australia, for her it was never as important as the big 2 were for her, Wimbledon and the US Open, she was still playing the US Open and getting some good results in the 90's, including the 1991 final. Australia was never a huge deal for her, yeah she did go at times, but she valued Wimbledon and the US Open a lot more, she also stopped playing the French after a while to. Martina came up in a time where the US Open and Wimbledon were the more important majors so in her twilight years she focused on and still remained a threat at those.

Had she come along 5 years later she probably wins a heck of a lot more hard court majors. Graf may have won more hard court tournaments, but in Nav's time there were more grass and carpet tournaments that Martina focused on because those suited her game to a much greater degree than hardcourts did and yet she could still throw down some solid game on Hard courts even well into her 30's against prime Seles and Graf.

And yes Serena has been lucky at quite a few hardcourt slams, Venus handed her the 2008 Us Open, she should not have won the 2007 Aussie, that was just a joke. The 2005 Aussie Davenport was killing her until she ran out of gas and she really should have lost to Sharapova in the Semi's that year who was playing phenominal and outplaying Serena until she had match points and choked. Add Henin to the 2005 and 2007 Aussie and her chances really go down further, especially 2007. I did acknowledge Serena was good, I said if she wasn't even with the luck she got she wouldn't have won 7 hard court slams, but she had a good amount of luck, and talent or no talent on the surface, that luck helped her.

Martina was a good hardcourt player and I think her results in the early 90's proved just how good she was considering how old she was and how well past her prime she was and yet she could still beat the 2 top dogs or take it to them, a younger Martina in the early 90's probably would have been an even bigger force and likely would have won a few hardcourt majors. I put her equal with Graf factoring in the H2H on hardcourts, her age, and Grafs own results balance it out in my opinion.

CEvertFan
05-02-2009, 01:36 PM
Graf
Evert
Navratilova
Seles
Davenport
Austin
Serena

BTURNER
05-02-2009, 01:46 PM
Graf
Navratilova
Seles
Evert
Serena
Hingis ( great success at Australia)
Davenport
Venus

Winners or Errors
05-02-2009, 03:41 PM
Just sad that Martina Hingis ended up injured and unable to mature fully into the sport. Could have. Should have. Would have. I just had more fun watching Hingis on hard courts than anyone of the others. Tennis genius at work.

She gets my vote for "might have been."

As for was, I just think Navratilova, with her longevity and dominance, was simply amazing. Even though Graf won a lot, I just don't remember getting all worked up about it. Navratilova was good and exciting. Unbelievable stuff at times. Of course, I just like S&V.

thalivest
05-02-2009, 05:50 PM
I have mixed feelings on Hingis. In one sense she could have done more. She choked some big slam finals or semis on hard courts vs Capriati especialy, and to a lesser extent on some big points even vs Serena in the 99 final and Venus in the 2000 semis. She had the talent and could have developed her skills further and better than she did, and she was very enjoyable to watch.

However on the other hand from a purely competitive standpoint she was very lucky. Graf was on the verge of breaking Court's slam record before her injuries hit at the end of 96 and she would probably have taken alot of Hingis's 4 hard court slams away, maybe even all of them had those injuries not hit hard in the 96-97 off season. Apart from that the overall field was weak. Seles was at her most obese of any point in her comeback in 97, probably because of her father's condition compounding her already fragile emotional state by that point, Sanchez was burnt out by the time of the 96 U.S Open and never the same player. Even more marginal threats like Conchita Martinez, Kimiko Date, Chanda Rubin, either retired (Date), got seriously injured (Rubin), or declined a great deal (Martinez). Her only real competition was the very obese Seles who still played her tough on clay atleast, Novotna who played her tough even on hard courts but as usual nerves always got the best of at the end, and a then very obese and far less confident Davenport. Majoli, Coetzer, Huber, Spirlea, were the other top players that year but not Hingis threads, the shock of the 97 French final notwithstanding . Even considering Seles's diminished state, Graf was a much tougher matchup for Hingis than Seles for whatever reason, probably because Hingis's style is to move people around and players like Graf, Venus, and Serena move incredibly well (when fit) and are not troubled whatsoever by this. So she was definitely lucky the field was so weak, and most of all injuries derailed Graf at that very point and she had an almost 2 run where she won almost all her slams before the big hitters she couldnt cope with either arrived or matured.

CEvertFan
05-02-2009, 06:03 PM
I think Hingis had two problems:

1) She was too stubborn to change or improve her game and fitness.

2) She didn't have an opponent to really push her during her brief domination. It's a well known fact that a lot of great champions get even better when there is another great player there to really push them and she didn't have that. I think she was also given bad advice and needed a different coach other than her mother.

flying24
05-02-2009, 06:15 PM
I think Hingis had two problems:

1) She was too stubborn to change or improve her game and fitness.

2) She didn't have an opponent to really push her during her brief domination. It's a well known fact that a lot of great champions get even better when there is another great player there to really push them and she didn't have that. I think she was also given bad advice and needed a different coach other than her mother.

I agree. She actually probably would have been better off if Graf hadnt gone down with injuries as she was actually starting to push Graf more on her own merits in late 96, and having the huge challenge to have to battle Graf for titles would have been so much better for her development and to keep improving. I also agree about the coaching, but Melanie Molitor doesnt seem to think that and just insists her daughter didnt work hard enough to the press.

hoodjem
05-03-2009, 05:43 AM
I'm waiting for the Greatest Womens Indoor Grass-Court Player thread and poll.


Greatest Womens Outdoor Carpet Player?

CEvertFan
05-03-2009, 02:54 PM
I'm waiting for the Greatest Womens Indoor Grass-Court Player thread and poll.


Greatest Womens Outdoor Carpet Player?


LOL! Just the right amount of dry sarcastic humor. :)

boredone3456
05-03-2009, 03:05 PM
I think Hingis had two problems:

1) She was too stubborn to change or improve her game and fitness.

2) She didn't have an opponent to really push her during her brief domination. It's a well known fact that a lot of great champions get even better when there is another great player there to really push them and she didn't have that. I think she was also given bad advice and needed a different coach other than her mother.

I agree Hingis was to stubborn to adjust her game. She became to accomplished to soon and that really killed her.

I would however like you opinion on something. In terms of competition for Hingis, she did have the up and coming Williams sisters as well as Davenport and they both really pushed her. Would you consider those real rivals of the caliber Hingis needed if she pushed herself to be better and of course if she hadn't had injuries, or were they not the type of competition she needed. Personally I feel Davenport fit her rival role well, as Davenport was always able to give Hingis fits on court and caused her to melt down quite a bit. I know in 1997 Hingis had nobody who could really challenge her, but later she did have the Williams and Davenport. Whether they count in the sense of a truly great rival or not is hard to say...but I think in terms of Hingis and her game Davenport fit nicely in that role.

CEvertFan
05-03-2009, 07:12 PM
I agree Hingis was to stubborn to adjust her game. She became to accomplished to soon and that really killed her.

I would however like you opinion on something. In terms of competition for Hingis, she did have the up and coming Williams sisters as well as Davenport and they both really pushed her. Would you consider those real rivals of the caliber Hingis needed if she pushed herself to be better and of course if she hadn't had injuries, or were they not the type of competition she needed. Personally I feel Davenport fit her rival role well, as Davenport was always able to give Hingis fits on court and caused her to melt down quite a bit. I know in 1997 Hingis had nobody who could really challenge her, but later she did have the Williams and Davenport. Whether they count in the sense of a truly great rival or not is hard to say...but I think in terms of Hingis and her game Davenport fit nicely in that role.

By the time Davenport and the Williams sisters starting to challenge Hingis she had already been at the top for over a year and won several majors already. I think that inflated her ego to the point where she thought she was good enough to beat anyone, anytime, and when she found out otherwise her stubborn nature and ego kept her from the realization that in order to be competitive with the big hitters she needed to change some things about her game. I also think her mother was right and she didn't work hard enough off court but I also think she would have benefitted much more from another coach giving her advice instead of her mother because it seemed like she was just rebelling against Mommy's advice, which is something teenagers often do.

Davenport, and the Williams sisters also really got into her head and made her confidence plummet which didn't help matters. I saw many matches where she was going for desperation shots instead of using her head to figure out a way to win. I liked Hingis and thought when she was confident she was a very clever all court player with great touch and hands and anticipation but she wasn't mentally strong enough to really put in the work that was needed.

boredone3456
05-03-2009, 07:47 PM
By the time Davenport and the Williams sisters starting to challenge Hingis she had already been at the top for over a year and won several majors already. I think that inflated her ego to the point where she thought she was good enough to beat anyone, anytime, and when she found out otherwise her stubborn nature and ego kept her from the realization that in order to be competitive with the big hitters she needed to change some things about her game. I also think her mother was right and she didn't work hard enough off court but I also think she would have benefitted much more from another coach giving her advice instead of her mother because it seemed like she was just rebelling against Mommy's advice, which is something teenagers often do.

Davenport, and the Williams sisters also really got into her head and made her confidence plummet which didn't help matters. I saw many matches where she was going for desperation shots instead of using her head to figure out a way to win. I liked Hingis and thought when she was confident she was a very clever all court player with great touch and hands and anticipation but she wasn't mentally strong enough to really put in the work that was needed.

I agree with this. Hingis never did herself any favors, her mother was probably not the best coach for her and her young success made her overly confident, and when true potential rivals showed up she imploded. I think, had Hingis actually worked at her game and improved even though she had early success, that Davenport, the Williams, and maybe Capriati to a lesser extent probably could have pushed her in a positive way if she had the correct mindset about her game. Its really sad she didn't, as when she was thinking clearly on court her game was truly something to see, to bad she often lost it against her real rivals. If Hingis had actually evolved I think she could have pushed Davenport and the sisters more than she did in the later 90's in some of there matches, where you are right she seemed completely desperate for miracles. Hingis thought she was the best and didn't need to grow, and when some competition stepped up she had the wrong mindset for dealing with it. She could have been a real rival for the Williams into the 2000s had she worked on her game the way they had on theirs at that time.

DMan
05-03-2009, 09:37 PM
By the time the Australian switched the hard Martina was past her prime. Also, Martina leads the hardCourt h2h with Graf and was getting wins over both Graf and Seles into the early 90's.

You point out how she stopped playing Australia, for her it was never as important as the big 2 were for her, Wimbledon and the US Open, she was still playing the US Open and getting some good results in the 90's, including the 1991 final. Australia was never a huge deal for her, yeah she did go at times, but she valued Wimbledon and the US Open a lot more, she also stopped playing the French after a while to. Martina came up in a time where the US Open and Wimbledon were the more important majors so in her twilight years she focused on and still remained a threat at those.

Had she come along 5 years later she probably wins a heck of a lot more hard court majors. Graf may have won more hard court tournaments, but in Nav's time there were more grass and carpet tournaments that Martina focused on because those suited her game to a much greater degree than hardcourts did and yet she could still throw down some solid game on Hard courts even well into her 30's against prime Seles and Graf.

And yes Serena has been lucky at quite a few hardcourt slams, Venus handed her the 2008 Us Open, she should not have won the 2007 Aussie, that was just a joke. The 2005 Aussie Davenport was killing her until she ran out of gas and she really should have lost to Sharapova in the Semi's that year who was playing phenominal and outplaying Serena until she had match points and choked. Add Henin to the 2005 and 2007 Aussie and her chances really go down further, especially 2007. I did acknowledge Serena was good, I said if she wasn't even with the luck she got she wouldn't have won 7 hard court slams, but she had a good amount of luck, and talent or no talent on the surface, that luck helped her.

Martina was a good hardcourt player and I think her results in the early 90's proved just how good she was considering how old she was and how well past her prime she was and yet she could still beat the 2 top dogs or take it to them, a younger Martina in the early 90's probably would have been an even bigger force and likely would have won a few hardcourt majors. I put her equal with Graf factoring in the H2H on hardcourts, her age, and Grafs own results balance it out in my opinion.

Hmm....a "convenient" excuse that Martina stopped playing Australia, because it wasn't important to her. Could it have also been she knew she wouldn't have a prayer at winning?????
Martina may have started at a time when Australia wasn't equal to the other majors. Still Martina played there in 1975. And every year on grass from 1980-1987. She only played on Rebound Ace 2x. Two times. The bottom line is she knew she couldn't win on the surface, and didn't want to make the effort.

Interesting too that Martina only played the Lipton/Miami event 2x, 1985 and 1987. She didn't play in it otherwise. Again, because she knew she couldn't win it with Graf, Evert, and even Sabatini, and then Seles in the mix.

So far all the 'whoop-de-doo' about Martina and hard courts, the resume is a little thin.

boredone3456
05-03-2009, 10:12 PM
Hmm....a "convenient" excuse that Martina stopped playing Australia, because it wasn't important to her. Could it have also been she knew she wouldn't have a prayer at winning?????
Martina may have started at a time when Australia wasn't equal to the other majors. Still Martina played there in 1975. And every year on grass from 1980-1987. She only played on Rebound Ace 2x. Two times. The bottom line is she knew she couldn't win on the surface, and didn't want to make the effort.

Interesting too that Martina only played the Lipton/Miami event 2x, 1985 and 1987. She didn't play in it otherwise. Again, because she knew she couldn't win it with Graf, Evert, and even Sabatini, and then Seles in the mix.

So far all the 'whoop-de-doo' about Martina and hard courts, the resume is a little thin.

If according to you Martina stopped playing Australia because she had no chance of winning why was she still playing the US Open? because if she had no chance of winning down under she really should have had no chance in NYC should she? so why did she continue to play one and not the other is she supposedly knew she had no chance at winning? because one was more important to her than the other, and since she made the US Open final in 1991 I would think on a slower hard court she could have done some damage should she have chosen to go down there and do it.

You bring up the Lipton event and how Martina only played twice and that makes her terrible on hardcourts and yet you leave out the fact she beat Evert to win it in 1985, beating her in straight sets. She did win that title in one of her 2 attempts there so that shows she was a pretty decent hardcourt player, converting one of her entries to a title, and making the finals in Miami in 1987. Also, she beat Evert in 1985 so how does that equate to her being scared to play because she "knew" she couldn't beat Evert. And since she dominated Graf 5-2 on Hardcourts including wins in the 1990's I doubt that was a reason either. Also, you say she couldn't win with Sabatini there, Sabatini never once beat Martina on a hardcourt as far as I know, going 0-4 vs. Martina on the surface including losses in the 90's, so I doubt Gabby scared her much. Seles is slightly credible, but Martina could still beat her on hard into the 1990's to, she did it before Seles Beat her at the US Open, beating Seles in straights in 1991.

Also, Martina would have been stupid not to play on a Grass Court major during her prime years on Grass, she didn't win it every year but during her established dominance on grass would you not expect her to start making the effort to go down there and play? When it switched she was already in her twilight years and cutting down her schedule and she kept the two majors that she viewed as most important while playing a handful of other tournaments she valued.

As for her resume being a little thin, she won 29 hardcourt titles. For a women who selected a schedule revolving around Grass and carpet tournaments where her game was most deadly 29 hardcourt titles is not to shabby and 4 of them being grand slams I think proves her merits on the surface. Especially when you consider there were quite a lot of Carpet tournaments during those times and many of the important non slam titles were on that surface, all the VS and Avon tournaments, yet while winning 88 carpet tournaments, she was still able to win 29 tournaments on a surface that one would not expect her to make much of an impact on as a serve and volleyer.

I think Martina's merits speak for themselves, I put her Equal with Graf, I didn't say she was queen of hardcourts, but for a serve and volleyer the results she got at the time she got them speak for themselves.

grafrules
05-03-2009, 10:19 PM
I think DMan's point is Martina played mostly on the faster hard courts she prefered and avoided the slower hard courts so wasnt as balanced playing equally great on all types of hard courts. Not that I neccessarily agree with him but I think that is what he is saying.

BTURNER
05-03-2009, 10:30 PM
We keep putting reasons on aging players for reducing the number of slams they play that are wrong. If I wanted to rest my aging joints and shorten my season, which slam would I skip? Maybe the one with the sticky hot surface that has a reputation for injuring so many players before the semis. Most champions keep going to Wimbledon and the US open as their last harrahs and maybe the French because the nostalia and honor is stronger anyway.

hoodjem
05-04-2009, 03:20 AM
LOL! Just the right amount of dry sarcastic humor. :)

Thanks. I try!

suwanee4712
05-04-2009, 08:27 AM
I voted for Steffi. She had more opportunities on the surface than most in grand slam play, but that doesn't deter the fact that her game was perhaps the toughest to beat on a hardcourt. Although Monica could certainly give her a run for her money.

DMan
05-04-2009, 10:15 PM
If according to you Martina stopped playing Australia because she had no chance of winning why was she still playing the US Open? because if she had no chance of winning down under she really should have had no chance in NYC should she? so why did she continue to play one and not the other is she supposedly knew she had no chance at winning? because one was more important to her than the other, and since she made the US Open final in 1991 I would think on a slower hard court she could have done some damage should she have chosen to go down there and do it.

You bring up the Lipton event and how Martina only played twice and that makes her terrible on hardcourts and yet you leave out the fact she beat Evert to win it in 1985, beating her in straight sets. She did win that title in one of her 2 attempts there so that shows she was a pretty decent hardcourt player, converting one of her entries to a title, and making the finals in Miami in 1987. Also, she beat Evert in 1985 so how does that equate to her being scared to play because she "knew" she couldn't beat Evert. And since she dominated Graf 5-2 on Hardcourts including wins in the 1990's I doubt that was a reason either. Also, you say she couldn't win with Sabatini there, Sabatini never once beat Martina on a hardcourt as far as I know, going 0-4 vs. Martina on the surface including losses in the 90's, so I doubt Gabby scared her much. Seles is slightly credible, but Martina could still beat her on hard into the 1990's to, she did it before Seles Beat her at the US Open, beating Seles in straights in 1991.

Also, Martina would have been stupid not to play on a Grass Court major during her prime years on Grass, she didn't win it every year but during her established dominance on grass would you not expect her to start making the effort to go down there and play? When it switched she was already in her twilight years and cutting down her schedule and she kept the two majors that she viewed as most important while playing a handful of other tournaments she valued.

As for her resume being a little thin, she won 29 hardcourt titles. For a women who selected a schedule revolving around Grass and carpet tournaments where her game was most deadly 29 hardcourt titles is not to shabby and 4 of them being grand slams I think proves her merits on the surface. Especially when you consider there were quite a lot of Carpet tournaments during those times and many of the important non slam titles were on that surface, all the VS and Avon tournaments, yet while winning 88 carpet tournaments, she was still able to win 29 tournaments on a surface that one would not expect her to make much of an impact on as a serve and volleyer.

I think Martina's merits speak for themselves, I put her Equal with Graf, I didn't say she was queen of hardcourts, but for a serve and volleyer the results she got at the time she got them speak for themselves.

Again I ay it's a convenient excuse to say Martina didn't play all those hard court events.

There is not two ways around it. Martina knew she couldn't win Down Under after 1989, so she stopped trying. The Rebound Ace and US Open surface were differeent. Plus it was a tougher trip for Martina to make to go Down Under and play on hard courts. With Gar, Sabatini, Seles, etc. there is just no way she would win there. No way!

Same goes for Miami. And just why didn't Martina play n 1986? Or after 1987? Yes, she won in 1985. When she was the dominant #1 player! She got whipped by Steffi in 1987. And never played again. Knowing that Chris was always tough in Florida. And obviously Steffi. And with Gabby and Monica in the mix, and then Capriati, Martina knew she couldn't compete there. So she stopped trying.

Everyone gives her a pass for not playing. I just say that makes her resume a little thin, especially compared to Graf. Counting all hard court events, Seles won more majors (6) than Martina (4).

grafselesfan
05-04-2009, 10:17 PM
It is good to see Graf with so many votes in this poll, very deserving. I was very dissapointed the lack of appreciation for her in the greatest clay courter and greatest grass courter ever polls that were on here.

CEvertFan
05-05-2009, 11:40 AM
It is good to see Graf with so many votes in this poll, very deserving. I was very dissapointed the lack of appreciation for her in the greatest clay courter and greatest grass courter ever polls that were on here.


Steffi's the best HARD court player ever, not the best grass court or clay court player ever. Ya can't win them all. :)

BTURNER
05-05-2009, 01:56 PM
Seles had two slams to do it in throughout her time. Isn't it just common sense not to risk more wear and tear on joints as you get older? Navratilova played the French knowing she wasn't about to win it, several years. Martina viewed the US OPen as more prestigious and nostalgic than the Australian which lost a lot of emotional draw for her, after it left Kooyung. Those are her memories. Not these sticky unforgiving courts it moved to. Its not fear of loss, its fear of injury with no sentiment to draw her. If I were her, I'd play a few hard court events right before the OPen and no others!

grafselesfan
05-05-2009, 02:17 PM
Steffi's the best HARD court player ever, not the best grass court or clay court player ever. Ya can't win them all. :)

Why not. When Steffi was healthy and playing well all she did was them all. :) I guess the only way to know for certain is to invent a time machine and put Steffi in her prime vs prime Evert on clay, and Steffi in her prime vs prime Navratilova on grass, and have it go on for close to a full decade and decide by all the results who had the edge. Even then though people would still be wondering about some others, such as Lenglen or Connolly who some think could beat any player in history on either grass or clay at their peaks.

hoodjem
05-05-2009, 03:08 PM
Ya can't win them all. :)

Graf did in 1988. She won them all!

grafselesfan
05-05-2009, 03:18 PM
Graf did in 1988. She won them all!

In 1995 and 1996 she won them all too, all 3 she played. Had she not missed the 95 and 96 Australian Opens with injuries she would have 3 calender Grand Slams, a monumental record considering nobody else has more than 1.

Lionheart392
05-05-2009, 03:22 PM
In 1995 and 1996 she won them all too, all 3 she played. Had she not missed the 95 and 96 Australian Opens with injuries she would have 3 calender Grand Slams, a monumental record considering nobody else has more than 1.

A Graf/Seles final at the 1996 Australian Open would no doubt have been much more entertaining than Seles/Huber.

CEvertFan
05-05-2009, 04:39 PM
In 1995 and 1996 she won them all too, all 3 she played. Had she not missed the 95 and 96 Australian Opens with injuries she would have 3 calender Grand Slams, a monumental record considering nobody else has more than 1.

4 Calender Grand Slams - let's not forget the loss to Sanchez-Vicario in '89 at the French.

grafselesfan
05-05-2009, 04:49 PM
4 Calender Grand Slams - let's not forget the loss to Sanchez-Vicario in '89 at the French.

Yeah that was a tough loss for Steffi. I think that and the 92 French Open final were probably her toughest losses ever.

CEvertFan
05-05-2009, 04:51 PM
Yeah that was a tough loss for Steffi. I think that and the 92 French Open final were probably her toughest losses ever.


I was being facetious. ;)

grafrules
05-05-2009, 05:05 PM
I think it is Graf but I voted for Tracy Austin since I think she might have been if she had stayed healthy considering she had so many years of tennis ahead of her and hard courts were her favorite surface by far.

CEvertFan
05-05-2009, 05:10 PM
I think it is Graf but I voted for Tracy Austin since I think she might have been if she had stayed healthy considering she had so many years of tennis ahead of her and hard courts were her favorite surface by far.


Austin does deserve some recognition. Such an underrated player on the forum and such a very tough foe in her short prime. Most people who know even a little about her can't see past the admittedly below average serve, when her game was so much more than that.

And you're right, she was at her best on hard courts.

grafrules
05-05-2009, 05:17 PM
Austin does deserve some recognition. Such an underrated player on the forum and such a very tough foe in her short prime. Most people who know even a little about her can't see past the admittedly below average serve, when her game was so much more than that.

And you're right, she was at her best on hard courts.

In her teens I believe she had winning records vs the more experienced Evert and Navratilova. The same Evert and Navratilova who would open up a huge chasm on the entire WTA the rest of the 80s, other than to some degree Mandlikova, until Graf's emergence in the late 80s. That alone speaks that she must have been pretty darn good. I have seen her play and she was outstanding from the baseline, extremely accurate in everything she did, and mentally incredibly tougher even at a young age. Her serve was pretty weak and could be a big problem when she faced an in form Martina especialy who would attack it, but she backed it up so well vs most opponents she would get away with it. She may have also developed a stronger serve and a better net game as she got older and matured. We will never know.

I think one other reason she is underrated in addition to all you said is she won only 2 slams, which is of course mostly due to her short period of staying healthy and quite short career. During her healthy contending years from 1979 to 1981 though the Australian and French Opens were not even really the 3rd and 4th biggest WTA events yet. The two big Virginia Slims Championships probably were. If one considers that she probably won 5 of the 12 biggest womens tournaments from 1979 to 1981.

BTURNER
05-05-2009, 05:31 PM
Tracy did well on surfaces that had solid footing and sure bounces, with the same virtues and vices as Capriati, except a far better mental game. Yes her serve was weak but she also had trouble adapting to the kind of unpredictable game of a Goolagong or King with all its variety and change of pace. Ironically, those hard courts were as much her foe and her friend. They did her very young body no favors and undoubtedly made full health a sporatic reality. She is stuck with two slams and unfulfilled promise thanks in part to her preference to hard courts.

If the WTA does not restrict young players from playing a lot of hard court tennis, they should.

boredone3456
05-05-2009, 07:22 PM
Tracy's Head to Heads against Evert and Martina were impressive, given her youth and their experience she was more than able to hold her own. Depending on where you look her H2H with Evert was either 9-8 in her favor or in Evert's favor. Her head to head with Martina overall was 20-13 in Favor of Navratilova, but if you look at just 1979-1981 its a lot closer, 12-11 in Favor of Martina, although Tracy did at one point win 4 in a row in 1979 (although that was preceded by a 7 match winning streak by Martina). The numbers really show if Tracy had stuck around and been healthy and gotten stronger, she really could have been a big force in the 80's and both Martina and Chris likely would have suffered.

Although Tracy definitely showed promise, her serve was a huge problem. She often lost matches because her serve was so attackable. While she was a good returner, that serve was a huge liability. Now had she been able to, I think she could have tuned it up, since that was her most glaring weakness. Tracy is definitely underated on Hardcourts, but she did only win 2 slams so its not exactly unjustified, and coulda woulda shoulda's are murky ground. But considering she beat Evert in the final of the 1979 US Open and Navratilova in the 1981 final, recovering from 1-6 down to win in 2 tiebreaks, I think she definitely had potential...to bad she was never able to really see where it could have taken her.

grafrules
05-05-2009, 07:54 PM
It is amazing how much more often it seemed Martin and Tracy were playing that Tracy and Chris. Part of that was probably Tracy and Martina were avoiding the clay court season mostly those years and playing the Slims events instead. They probably wanted to avoid playing Chris on clay.

LDVTennis
05-06-2009, 10:30 AM
Why not. When Steffi was healthy and playing well all she did was them all. :) I guess the only way to know for certain is to invent a time machine and put Steffi in her prime vs prime Evert on clay, and Steffi in her prime vs prime Navratilova on grass, and have it go on for close to a full decade and decide by all the results who had the edge. Even then though people would still be wondering about some others, such as Lenglen or Connolly who some think could beat any player in history on either grass or clay at their peaks.

There are many people who think that if you did just that, on average, Graf would win most of the time whatever the surface.

grafselesfan
05-06-2009, 04:41 PM
There are many people who think that if you did just that, on average, Graf would win most of the time whatever the surface.

I am one of those who happen to agree on that. That is exactly why I think Graf is the greatest female player ever on each surface, not just the greatest female player ever.

BTURNER
05-06-2009, 06:11 PM
my view, Graf is the second best clay courter, May be the second best grass courter, the best hard courter, and the the GOAT.

anointedone
05-06-2009, 06:12 PM
my view, Graf is the second best clay courter, May be the second best grass courter, the best hard courter, and the the GOAT.

That is about mine too. I guess there is indoors. I would rate her 2nd indoors behind Martina N. probably.