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Straightshooter
05-12-2009, 08:10 AM
During the last 20 years on the WTA tour, the following group of players cracked the top 5 in Singles Rankings, but never reached the #1 spot:


Mary Pierce: Mary's highest singles ranking was #3, which she achieved in 1995. During an injury-riddled career, Mary won 18 Singles Titles and reached 6 Grand Slam Finals, winning twice at the '95 Aussie Open and the 2000 French Open.

Gabriela Sabatini: In 1991, Sabatini reached the #3 singles ranking, but would go no further. Sabatini won 27 singles titles and was a 3-time Grand Slam Finalist. Sabatini's lone Slam win came at the 1990 US Open, upsetting Steffi Graf in the Final. However, Steffi got the best of Sabatini in the 1988 US Open Final & the 1991 Wimbledon Final.

Conchita Martinez: Conchita's highest ranking was #2, which she attained in 1995. Conchita won 33 singles titles and was a 3-time Grand Slam Finalist. At 1994 Wimbledon, Conchita knocked off Martina Navratilova in the Title Match. Conchita was a runner-up at the '98 Australian Open and the 2000 French Open.

Jana Novotna: In 1997, Jana attained a career best #2 in the world singles rankings. Jana was a 4-time Grand Slam Finalist, capturing the 1998 Wimbledon Title. In addition, Jana was a runner-up at the 1991 Australian Open, 1993 Wimbledon, & '97 Wimbledon. For her career, Jana racked up 24 singles titles.

Mary Joe Fernandez: A remarkably consistent player, Mary Joe's highest singles ranking was #4. Always a threat at the Slams, Mary Joe reached 3 Slam Finals: 1990 Australian Open, '92 Australian Open, & the '93 French Open. Mary Joe's best chance to win a Slam came at the '93 French Open, where she played Steffi Graf in the Final. Playing her best tennis, Mary Joe nearly beat Steffi in a tight 3-set match. For her career, Mary Joe captured 7 singles titles.

Honorable Mentions: Kimiko Date & Iva Majoli. Kimiko and Iva both attained the #4 singles ranking.

As to whether these 7 women were Contenders or Pretenders for the #1 Ranking, this is how I see it:

1. Mary Pierce - Mary was a serious Contender, but career offset by injuries.

2. Sabatini - Good but not great, Sabatini was a Pretender to Steffi & Monica's reign.

3. Jana - Supremely talented, Jana was a Contender in my book with the results to prove it.

4. Conchita - Often overlooked, Conchita was a Contender without a doubt.

5. Mary Joe - The best player to never win a Slam. If Mary Joe had more weapons, she could have gone down as a Contender.

6. Kimiko - A very solid player, Kimiko could have been a Contender had it not been for injuries.

7. Iva - Had some success, including a Slam win. However, must go down as a Pretender.

Compare these 7 women, and tell me whether you believe they were Contenders or Pretenders for the #1 Ranking?. And please explain how you reached your conclusions?.

hoodjem
05-12-2009, 08:24 AM
I always thought Jana Novotna had a nice game, but she was rather weak on the mental side of the game.

Straightshooter
05-12-2009, 05:12 PM
I always thought Jana Novotna had a nice game, but she was rather weak on the mental side of the game.


Yes,

Jana had a tremendous game, but she was somewhat lacking in the mental department. Still, I would rank her second out of this group, with Mary Pierce at the top based on Mary's 2 Slam wins. After Jana, I would go with Conchita, Sabatini, and Iva Majoli in the fifth spot. Between Mary Joe & Kimiko, it's really too close to call.

egn
05-12-2009, 05:40 PM
I would have to differ. Mary Pierce is probably one of the luckiest two slam winners. She was just so inconsistent in her best years it was like she would get to a slam final than exit early for like 3 slams. Her 1995 AO was shocking and she was not up there on the favorites and won it because Graf was not around and that 2000 French Open she won against Conchita far from her prime. 2000 was such a confusing year in women's tennis there was no real force as Hingis was a flake, Davenport was not dominant when it counted and Venus only was playing half as many tournaments as the bunch. I never considered Mary Pierce to be a contender she is definitely a pretender in my book. She won far less titles than alot of the 1 slam winners from the 90s.

Mary Pierce H2H vs her main competition
Capriati 1-4
Davenport 4-8
Mary Joe 2-5
Garisson 1-3
Graf 2-4
Henin 1-4
Hingis 6-10
Huber 6-5
Majoli 7-4
Martinez 12-6
Mauresmo 4-6
Novtona 1-5
Petrova 2-2
Sabatini 1-4
Vicario 6-5
Seles 4-5
Sukova 0-1
Williams 1-5
v. williams 3-7

I mean come on she has a winning record over Majoli (worst 1 slam winner ever) Conchita and barely over Vicario? I mean who was she really threatening..

Sabatini was much more of a threat to the top players she was unfortunate of playing her greatest tennis when Graf and Seles were at their very bests. Sabatini has very few losing records and the only really notable ones are to great players like Evert, Graf, Navra and Seles and she would have turned the losing record with Mandiklova around if Mandiklova had played more but outside of those 5 none are lopsided or of note. She has a winning record almost against all her contemporaries. She is unfortunate to have only won 1 slam. She was definitely in my opinion the biggest contender out of this group.

Majoli, The only case for putting her ahead of Mary Joe is that 1997 French Open title but I still feel Mary Joe is better. Again she had to contend with Graf and Seles in their respective primes along with Vicario and Sabatini who did Majoli contend with? She made one slam final and only once got past the semis in slams and has losing records against all the big names from the 90s..She was a one slam fluke. Reminds of Gaudio in essence. That was one hell of a lucky win by her as Hingis was supposed to walk the floor with her.

Mary Joe > Kimoko she actually played and made slam finals sorry I am not going to give Kimoko a tie with Mary Joe on what could have been.

BTURNER
05-12-2009, 06:00 PM
I think Sabatini was a contender, Not so sure about eiher Martinez or Pierce.

scootad.
05-12-2009, 07:16 PM
Good post egn.

I agree with you on all counts. Pierce was never a consistent contender. Sure she was dangerous when all cylinders were firing against the right opponent but how often did that happen? Very rare. Her record against the top players of her era proves that her standard usual level of play was not cream of the crop.

I would put the order as
Jana = Gaby = Mary Jo = Conchita > Pierce> Majoli = Date

I wouldn't say there is a significant difference between any of them, but thats the order I would make if pressed.

scootad.
05-12-2009, 07:20 PM
Correction: Sorry, did not mean to put Mary Jo there.

The order is:

Jana = Gaby = Conchita > Pierce > Mary Jo > Majoli = Date

egn
05-12-2009, 07:26 PM
Correction: Sorry, did not mean to put Mary Jo there.

The order is:

Jana = Gaby = Conchita > Pierce > Mary Jo > Majoli = Date

I like that order I mean Pierce and Conchita is debatable but Pierce is definitely not the top I take Gaby over her any day.

scootad.
05-12-2009, 07:39 PM
I also think conchita underachieved...especially at the French. She was one hell of a clay court player, I'm amazed she never was able to win a single roland garros.

AndrewD
05-12-2009, 08:01 PM
Compare these 7 women, and tell me whether you believe they were Contenders or Pretenders for the #1 Ranking?. And please explain how you reached your conclusions?.

No point in going into detail. None of the women you listed were ever worthy or viable #1 players. To get to the top they'd have needed a situation where the very best player/s got injured or didn't play enough to hold a #1 ranking.


Novotna and Sabatini were the best of the ones you mentioned (Pierce overarchieved - still amazing that someone who couldn't volley and could barely move was able to do so well). Both achieved considerably less than they, realistically, should have and which I think had to do with their aversion to the spotlight. Not everyone can be as single-minded about their private life as a King or Navratilova.

Either way, 'Pretender' is a stupid term. They weren't making themselves out to be anything other than what they really were. You're the one doing that.

Straightshooter
05-13-2009, 05:15 AM
I also think conchita underachieved...especially at the French. She was one hell of a clay court player, I'm amazed she never was able to win a single roland garros.


If Conchita was an underachiever, then what would you call Sabatini?. Sure, Conchita should have had more success at the French. However, Sabatini's game was perfectly suited for clay, and she never made 1 RG Final. Even Jana(a grass-courter) was able to reach the semis at RG.

There is no doubt, Sabatini was a much bigger underachiever then Jana or Conchita. As a matter of fact, had Mary Joe won a Slam, her career would compare very favorable to Sabatini's. Take away Sabatini's Slam, and is there a big difference between Mary Joe and Sabatini's careers?. I don't think so.

scootad.
05-13-2009, 05:29 AM
Yes, I agree about Sabatini. I always boggles me that players like Gaby and Conchita who did so great in all the other clay court tournaments could never conquer the French. Yes, I'm sure some of it has to do with the extra pressure of a slam. But it does make you wonder about whether Paris clay plays even slightly different than the other warmup clay events.

Straightshooter
05-13-2009, 07:31 AM
Yes, I agree about Sabatini. I always boggles me that players like Gaby and Conchita who did so great in all the other clay court tournaments could never conquer the French. Yes, I'm sure some of it has to do with the extra pressure of a slam. But it does make you wonder about whether Paris clay plays even slightly different than the other warmup clay events.


Same here,

I never could understand how players like Sabatini and Conchita couldn't even reach one French Open Final?. Your right, they won their fair share of clay court events, but the French was a whole other story. Even Mary Joe was able to reach a French Open Final.

Sabatini had numerous chances to reach an RG Final, but came up short every time. I remember, Steffi beat Sabatini in 2 or 3 French semis. Also, Monica knocked Sabatini off in a couple of French Open semis. Of course, everyone remembers Sabatini's collapse against Mary Joe at '93 RG, which killed Sabatini's career. For some reason, Mary Joe held the upper hand against Sabatini at the French, which I could never understand.

Not to sell Mary Joe short, but Sabatini's losses to Mary Joe at Roland Garros were inexcusable. Losing to Steffi or Monica is one thing, but losing to Mary Joe is another. In the end, Sabatini has no one to blame but herself for not even making it to a French Open Final.

Lastly, people like to bang on Jana for not having better results on clay. Granted, Sabatini has better clay court results then Jana, but Jana was a better all-court player then Sabatini by far.

rasajadad
05-13-2009, 09:24 AM
Yes, I agree about Sabatini. I always boggles me that players like Gaby and Conchita who did so great in all the other clay court tournaments could never conquer the French. Yes, I'm sure some of it has to do with the extra pressure of a slam. But it does make you wonder about whether Paris clay plays even slightly different than the other warmup clay events.

I remember it being painful to watch her 2nd serve. It was a miracle she won any matches during her head-case time.

boredone3456
05-13-2009, 10:11 AM
My Rankings

1. Sabatini- For all her mental shortcomings she was an all court threat who was dangerous anywhere anytime. She pushed Seles to 5 sets in 1990 at the YEC, and made the Semi's of every major at least 4 times each. She mentally wasn't there all the time, but when on she really was, in my opinion, deadly. (Contender)

2. Mary Pierce- Ok, her H2H's against many people are terrible, but when Pierce was on fire she was one of the best I have ever seen. She could demolish anybody when playing her best, which the others on this list really can't say. 6 slam finals is no small feat, and she was truly one of deadliest dark horses in any draw during her day.
(Contender)

3. Jana Novotna- Great on grass, 2nd best on the surface of her generation after Graf, who is not a bad person to play second fiddle to on any surface. But outside of grass she was wildly inconsistant and mentally weak on the biggest stages. When I was watching her I never once felt like she could be the worlds #1 player. She had talent, but she was never # 1 material (Pretender)

4. Conchita Martinez- Extremely lucky 1 slam winner. The circumstances that she got in 1994 to win Wimbledon were once in a lifetime. She was a clay court specialist, who, while she did win Wimbledon, again never gave the real impression she could be a leader, that she could be number 1. Redo the 1994 wimbledon draw in history and its highly unlikely she wins, she almost lost to Lori Mcneil in the semi's, yes lori was having the tournament of a lifetime for her but still, her draw was not on paper the most difficult, a clay court specialist who had some decent and some luck results elsewhere (Pretender)

5. Mary Joe Fernandez- Good player, mentally strong, but not talented enough as those around her and even on her best days could lose to players not playing there own best because they had more talent. Not the best player never to win a major, she ranks behind both Sukova and Shriver in this category in my book. Fifth only because she ranks higher than Date and Majoli in my opinion. (Pretender)

6. Iva Majoli- Only ranks here because she did manage to win a major, albeit getting lucky that Coetzer knocked off Graf a round before she would have had to play her, even injury plagues Graf probably wold have throttled her in the semi's. Her slam was lucky, yes she beat Hingis but Hingis did terrible and helped Majoli by beating herself. (Pretender)

7. Kimiko Date- I actually like Date, but her game was up and down. I never thought she could win a major or be number 1. She was good, but not exceptional. (Pretender)

Only Sabatini and Pierce in my opinion really could have been true number 1's. The rest were just below desperately trying but for one reason or another were never truly deserving of it.

suwanee4712
05-13-2009, 10:13 AM
[QUOTE=egn;3412541]
Sabatini was much more of a threat to the top players she was unfortunate of playing her greatest tennis when Graf and Seles were at their very bests. Sabatini has very few losing records and the only really notable ones are to great players like Evert, Graf, Navra and Seles and she would have turned the losing record with Mandiklova around if Mandiklova had played more but outside of those 5 none are lopsided or of note. She has a winning record almost against all her contemporaries. She is unfortunate to have only won 1 slam. She was definitely in my opinion the biggest contender out of this group.


I do not think that Gaby would've beaten Hana more than vice versa if they had simply played more. Perhaps it would depend upon when those meetings happened. But Hana enjoyed playing Gaby and beat her easily several times, even on clay. And it's not just a matter of Gaby being young. By the time they first met, Gaby had already beaten several top 10 players.

I agree that she was the biggest contender out of that group. But she had plenty of chances to beat the all time greats that she played in slam play. Yet she only had 1 win. So it was more than merely bad luck that kept her from winning 1 slam title.

Straightshooter
05-13-2009, 10:56 AM
My Rankings

1. Sabatini- For all her mental shortcomings she was an all court threat who was dangerous anywhere anytime. She pushed Seles to 5 sets in 1990 at the YEC, and made the Semi's of every major at least 4 times each. She mentally wasn't there all the time, but when on she really was, in my opinion, deadly. (Contender)

2. Mary Pierce- Ok, her H2H's against many people are terrible, but when Pierce was on fire she was one of the best I have ever seen. She could demolish anybody when playing her best, which the others on this list really can't say. 6 slam finals is no small feat, and she was truly one of deadliest dark horses in any draw during her day.
(Contender)

3. Jana Novotna- Great on grass, 2nd best on the surface of her generation after Graf, who is not a bad person to play second fiddle to on any surface. But outside of grass she was wildly inconsistant and mentally weak on the biggest stages. When I was watching her I never once felt like she could be the worlds #1 player. She had talent, but she was never # 1 material (Pretender)

4. Conchita Martinez- Extremely lucky 1 slam winner. The circumstances that she got in 1994 to win Wimbledon were once in a lifetime. She was a clay court specialist, who, while she did win Wimbledon, again never gave the real impression she could be a leader, that she could be number 1. Redo the 1994 wimbledon draw in history and its highly unlikely she wins, she almost lost to Lori Mcneil in the semi's, yes lori was having the tournament of a lifetime for her but still, her draw was not on paper the most difficult, a clay court specialist who had some decent and some luck results elsewhere (Pretender)

5. Mary Joe Fernandez- Good player, mentally strong, but not talented enough as those around her and even on her best days could lose to players not playing there own best because they had more talent. Not the best player never to win a major, she ranks behind both Sukova and Shriver in this category in my book. Fifth only because she ranks higher than Date and Majoli in my opinion. (Pretender)

6. Iva Majoli- Only ranks here because she did manage to win a major, albeit getting lucky that Coetzer knocked off Graf a round before she would have had to play her, even injury plagues Graf probably wold have throttled her in the semi's. Her slam was lucky, yes she beat Hingis but Hingis did terrible and helped Majoli by beating herself. (Pretender)

7. Kimiko Date- I actually like Date, but her game was up and down. I never thought she could win a major or be number 1. She was good, but not exceptional. (Pretender)

Only Sabatini and Pierce in my opinion really could have been true number 1's. The rest were just below desperately trying but for one reason or another were never truly deserving of it.


Boredone3456,

You broke it down well, very nice post from you.

Yes, Mary Pierce was definately a contender, and the best player out of this group, so we agree there.

However, I disagree with your take on Jana being a Pretender, and Sabatini being a Contender. Sure, when Sabatini was on, she was a threat on any surface. Except for clay, Jana was a threat on every surface as well. Would you disagree on that?. Also, Jana's results on clay aren't terrible, although Sabatini is clearly better on clay. But on any other surface, Jana could easily beat Sabatini. Do you agree or no?.

You called Jana wildly inconsistent, and mentally weak?. True, Jana had some trouble closing out matches, but so did Sabatini, so I don't see any difference between them on that count. By the way, Sabatini could be inconsistent at times as well, as her career had its ups and downs. When Jana got it together, she was just as consistent as Sabatini(in my opinion).

Lastly, I find Jana's Wimbledon Title more impressive then Sabatini's US Open Title. Granted, Jana didn't have to face Steffi Graf to win '98 Wimbledon, but that's not Jana's fault. And I'll leave you with a fact you can't dispute: Jana's highest singles ranking was #2, while Sabatini's was only #3. Just how do you explain that?.

Differences aside, I still respect your opinions, and enjoy your posts.

boredone3456
05-13-2009, 11:18 AM
Boredone3456,

You broke it down well, very nice post from you.

Yes, Mary Pierce was definately a contender, and the best player out of this group, so we agree there.

However, I disagree with your take on Jana being a Pretender, and Sabatini being a Contender. Sure, when Sabatini was on, she was a threat on any surface. Except for clay, Jana was a threat on every surface as well. Would you disagree on that?. Also, Jana's results on clay aren't terrible, although Sabatini is clearly better on clay. But on any other surface, Jana could easily beat Sabatini. Do you agree or no?.

You called Jana wildly inconsistent, and mentally weak?. True, Jana had some trouble closing out matches, but so did Sabatini, so I don't see any difference between them on that count. By the way, Sabatini could be inconsistent at times as well, as her career had its ups and downs. When Jana got it together, she was just as consistent as Sabatini(in my opinion).

Lastly, I find Jana's Wimbledon Title more impressive then Sabatini's US Open Title. Granted, Jana didn't have to face Steffi Graf to win '98 Wimbledon, but that's not Jana's fault. And I'll leave you with a fact you can't dispute: Jana's highest singles ranking was #2, while Sabatini's was only #3. Just how do you explain that?.

Differences aside, I still respect your opinions, and enjoy your posts.

Jana was a pretender in my opinion. We have gone down the Sabatini vs Novotna road together several times and you know how I feel about those 2. Sabatini was an all surface threat and I have given you my reasons why I feel she was, Novotna was never talked about in terms of other majors besides Wimbledon. She made the Final of the Aussie once in 1991 and never made it past the Quarters again. I have given you my views on this several times and if you disagree thats fine, but my views have not changed. at 2 of the 4 majors she was never a threat really, Gabby was a contender at all 4. Gabby is ahead of Jana in my book.

And yes, I cannot dispute Novotna got to number 2 and Sabatini got to 3, but you make it seem like that is the be all and end all. Who was Sabatini number 3 behind? Seles and Graf. Who was Novotna number 2 Behind? Teenage Hingis. When Gabby got to number 3 she had way more competition than when Jana got to number 2, and I would really challenge you to try and deny that because it really isn't possible. Sabatini was always in the mix at every major during her prime, Jana was not. To be number 1 and really be deserving of it you need to be able to be considered a contender on all surfaces all the time. Sabatini was, Jana was not.

scootad.
05-13-2009, 11:21 AM
I think in the end there are no significant differences between any of these players. All of them were a notch below champion level in their era, for various reasons:

Jana - Too mentally fragile.

Gaby - Mentally fragile & fell into the trap of never improving her game. She reached her peak in her late teens & from there her game plateau'ed and even deteriorated. Rested on her laurels. Should have further developed the attacking style that helped her win the USO.

Pierce - I agree with the earlier poster that if anything she overachieved. Yes, she could kill the ball, but its amazing to me how much she got away with given her glaring weaknesses. She could barely move her feet.

Majoli - Lacked the killer instinct & desire to reach & stay at the top of the game. She was also pretty lazy & too much of a party girl.

MJF - No big weapon. She should have approached her entire career the way she played the FO 93. She really went for broke in that tournament with no fear, but I never saw that again from her.

Date - Very talented but physically limited by her lack of height & weight. She also never developed a clay game.

egn
05-13-2009, 05:30 PM
However, I disagree with your take on Jana being a Pretender, and Sabatini being a Contender. Sure, when Sabatini was on, she was a threat on any surface. Except for clay, Jana was a threat on every surface as well. Would you disagree on that?. Also, Jana's results on clay aren't terrible, although Sabatini is clearly better on clay. But on any other surface, Jana could easily beat Sabatini. Do you agree or no?.


Huh what surface is this..the 1-0 grass h2h that Jana leaves. Jana is 3-10 against Gaby..Gaby leads on every surface except grass..I am sorry I don't see Jana scoring any luck against Gaby outside of grass.


You called Jana wildly inconsistent, and mentally weak?. True, Jana had some trouble closing out matches, but so did Sabatini, so I don't see any difference between them on that count. By the way, Sabatini could be inconsistent at times as well, as her career had its ups and downs. When Jana got it together, she was just as consistent as Sabatini(in my opinion).


Sabatini was far more consistent. Novotna has 7 total top ten years Gaby has ten straight. Just look at slam performances overall Novotna's better slam years come with the end of Graf's reign...and the falling off of Seles, Gaby, Vicario etc. Do you not see this coincidence? Most of the players were either gone by 96 or out of the top 20 by 96 due to age and suddenly Novotna starts to get consistent when you top was the kids Martina Hingis, 18 Year old Venus and Lindsay Davenport.


Lastly, I find Jana's Wimbledon Title more impressive then Sabatini's US Open Title. Granted, Jana didn't have to face Steffi Graf to win '98 Wimbledon, but that's not Jana's fault. And I'll leave you with a fact you can't dispute: Jana's highest singles ranking was #2, while Sabatini's was only #3. Just how do you explain that?.

Differences aside, I still respect your opinions, and enjoy your posts.

You have to be kidding me Sabatini beat a 22 time slam winner in straight sets in the finals. Please the toughest opponent Novotna faced was Hingis the flake and 18 year old Venus Williams who had yet to even make a dent on grass. Venus had exited 1st round the year before and going into the Venus v. Novotna match had a 7-3 record on the surface..oh no shivers. I mean she did beat that great clay court specialist in the 4th round..Chanda Rubin the one time AO semifinalist who would not really play her best tennis until 2000 and only broke top 10 due to her lucky run, Barbara Schett another clay court specialist and that Canadian who never ranked in the top 50. I guess that really was a scary opponent.

18 year old Venus is equal to Sukova in 90 that Sabatini beat and prime Hingis is not even close to prime Graf.

Oh how I explain Sabatini's circumstance is very simple. Her best years lined up with Graf, Navratilova and Seles. Go ahead Tell me who Novotna was doing in 91-95... She was definitely in her prime at that point she had been making slam finals.

suwanee4712
05-13-2009, 10:25 PM
I won't disagree with anyone ranking Gaby ahead of Jana. But I think something that gets left out in a comparison of the two is the fact that Gaby was great early on and then declined following Wimbledon 1991. Jana was more of a late bloomer having a splash here and there. But she probably played her best tennis in 1997 and 1998.

I think they suffered many of the same problems on the mental side of things, though I would probably give Gaby an edge. Although it might have been different had Gaby still been around post 1996. By then Jana had shaken off Sanchez and was competitive with Hingis. And she had far fewer bad losses at that point too.

Both had extremely poor records vs. the all time greats in slam play. Though Jana did have a few more wins in that department.

The only thing that doesn't make me put Gaby in the pretender category is that she stood on the threshold of #1 in 1991. In any case though, I don't see Gaby as that much more of a contender than Jana.

Straightshooter
05-14-2009, 11:45 AM
Some out there have deluded themselves into believing Sabatini was miles ahead of Jana. However, I have hard evidence which presents a much different story. Let's compare their Head-to-head records against 6 Top-Tier players from back in the day. You may find the following results a bit surprising:

H2H Results against Steffi Graf:

Steffi leads Sabatini 29-11
Steffi leads Jana 29-4

Bottom Line: Percentage wise, Sabatini beat Steffi 28% of the time, Jana beat Steffi 12%. Steffi had Jana's number, no doubt about it. But Steffi controlled Sabatini for the most part in their rivalry. (Edge to Sabatini)

H2H Results against Monica Seles:

Monica & Jana tied at 4 wins apiece
Monica leads Sabatini 11-3

Bottom Line: Sabatini beat Monica just 22% of the time, Jana beat Monica 50%. Jana gave Monica all sorts of trouble, but Monica throttled Sabatini most of the time. (Edge to Jana)

H2H Results against Martina Navratilova:

Martina leads Sabatini 15-6
Martina leads Jana 6-1

Bottom Line: Percentage wise, Sabatini beat Martina 29% of the time, Jana beat Martina 14%. (Edge to Sabatini)

H2H Results against Arantxa Sanchez:

Sabatini leads Arantxa 12-11
Jana leads Arantxa 11-10

Bottom Line: Jana and Sabatini both beat Arantxa 52% of the time. (No Edge for either player).

H2H Results against Conchita Martinez:

Sabatini leads Conchita 9-6
Jana leads Conchita 4-1

Bottom Line: Sabatini beat Conchita 60% of the time, Jana beat Conchita 80%. (Edge to Jana)

H2H Results against Mary Joe Fernandez:

Sabatini leads Mary Joe 13-10
Jana leads Mary Joe 7-4

Bottom Line: Sabatini beat Mary Joe 56% of the time, Jana beat Mary Joe 64%. (Edge to Jana)

Final Conclusion: Comparing the results, Jana has a 3-2 edge over Sabatini against these 6 top-tier players. This proves to me, Jana fared just as well as Sabatini against the games best. In my mind, this busts the myth that Sabatini was superier to Jana in singles play. If anything, Jana's career is on par with Sabatini's, if not better. And I challenge anyone out there, to come forward and argue the facts I've presented here. The evidence I've presented is concrete, and can't possibly be disputed.

urban
05-14-2009, 12:36 PM
Those threads always come to the same question and to the opinion of the poster, to put down Sabatini at all costs in favor of Novotna. As the head to head indicates, Sabatini was the clearly better player. In 1988-92 it was extremely difficult, to win majors against the competition of Graf, Seles, the aging but still formidable Navratilvoa and the still consistent Evert (up to 1988/89). Sabatini was a threat to peak Graf and Seles, and after her change to Kirmayr could play on grass as well. I think, she was trained in the wrong (Vilas topspinning) way in her youth, which overshadowed her deft shotmaking ability in the halfcourt and forecourt.

boredone3456
05-14-2009, 02:40 PM
Some out there have deluded themselves into believing Sabatini was miles ahead of Jana. However, I have hard evidence which presents a much different story. Let's compare their Head-to-head records against 6 Top-Tier players from back in the day. You may find the following results a bit surprising:

H2H Results against Steffi Graf:

Steffi leads Sabatini 29-11
Steffi leads Jana 29-4

Bottom Line: Percentage wise, Sabatini beat Steffi 28% of the time, Jana beat Steffi 12%. Steffi had Jana's number, no doubt about it. But Steffi controlled Sabatini for the most part in their rivalry. (Edge to Sabatini)

H2H Results against Monica Seles:

Monica & Jana tied at 4 wins apiece
Monica leads Sabatini 11-3

Bottom Line: Sabatini beat Monica just 22% of the time, Jana beat Monica 50%. Jana gave Monica all sorts of trouble, but Monica throttled Sabatini most of the time. (Edge to Jana)

H2H Results against Martina Navratilova:

Martina leads Sabatini 15-6
Martina leads Jana 6-1

Bottom Line: Percentage wise, Sabatini beat Martina 29% of the time, Jana beat Martina 14%. (Edge to Sabatini)

H2H Results against Arantxa Sanchez:

Sabatini leads Arantxa 12-11
Jana leads Arantxa 11-10

Bottom Line: Jana and Sabatini both beat Arantxa 52% of the time. (No Edge for either player).

H2H Results against Conchita Martinez:

Sabatini leads Conchita 9-6
Jana leads Conchita 4-1

Bottom Line: Sabatini beat Conchita 60% of the time, Jana beat Conchita 80%. (Edge to Jana)

H2H Results against Mary Joe Fernandez:

Sabatini leads Mary Joe 13-10
Jana leads Mary Joe 7-4

Bottom Line: Sabatini beat Mary Joe 56% of the time, Jana beat Mary Joe 64%. (Edge to Jana)

Final Conclusion: Comparing the results, Jana has a 3-2 edge over Sabatini against these 6 top-tier players. This proves to me, Jana fared just as well as Sabatini against the games best. In my mind, this busts the myth that Sabatini was superier to Jana in singles play. If anything, Jana's career is on par with Sabatini's, if not better. And I challenge anyone out there, to come forward and argue the facts I've presented here. The evidence I've presented is concrete, and can't possibly be disputed.

I'll argue them. Gabby first of all has almost 3 times as many wins against Stefi than Jana does, and of all the women you present there Steffi is the most important, that edge you give to Sabatini is way more important than how either did against Conchita or Mary Jo, neither of whom were ever #1 caliber players. Martina and Arantxa are probably the next 2 biggest names you throw out there, and Gabby beats Jana against Martina and in my opinion having the extra win against Arantxa makes her the winner there to. Against the 3 biggest names on that list in terms of overall perspective Gabby comes out on top. I think she would rather come out on top against Steffi, Arantxa and Martina than Conchita and Mary Jo Fernandez don't you? What do you think is more important, coming ut on top against Steffi and Martina, or against Conchita and Mary Jo? I really don't see how you couldn't say The first option.

Against Mons Gabby's wins are bigger because they were all against pre stabbing monica, some of Jana's wins were against a weaker Mons. The biggest edge's for Jana are against the least important players of the lot. Gabby also has more wins against Conchita, which are just as important as those percentages you calculate. Mary Jo was a terrible matchup for Gabby and against her Gabby got more wins against her than Jana did she not? Looking at it in terms of wins gives you a completely different perspective so these numbers are anything but concrete and definite, they are open to interpretation and cannot be presented as anything but that.

The Final conclusion I can draw from those numbers is: Gabby has almost 3 times as many wins against steffi, 6 times as many wins against Martina, 3 more wins against Conchita, one morw against Arantxa, and almost twice as many wins against Mary Jo than Jana does. Looking at it that way seems to me Jana doesn't look to good.

Also, Again we have been down the road of comparing Sabatini's and Novotna's singles careers and I remember you admitting that Sabatini's "Slightly Better" Singles career was still better than Jana's. So I don't think you have busted anything. I have clearly disputed your facts by offering a possible different inpterpretation of what your presented numbers could mean. Its easy to pick and choose numbers that support your opinion, which with the way you have presented these numbers seems to be what you are doing.

You leave out Gabby having a better career win percentage, more titles, more finals, a winning head to head with Jana, more slam semi finals and the fact that during Jana best years results wise she had way less competition than Gabby. Gabby was ranked Higher than Jana for many weeks and in the early 90's to boot. Like all numbers these are open to interpretation and you can;t present them as an incontrovertable proof of anything because they really aren't.

egn
05-14-2009, 04:29 PM
Some out there have deluded themselves into believing Sabatini was miles ahead of Jana. However, I have hard evidence which presents a much different story. Let's compare their Head-to-head records against 6 Top-Tier players from back in the day. You may find the following results a bit surprising:

H2H Results against Steffi Graf:

Steffi leads Sabatini 29-11
Steffi leads Jana 29-4

Bottom Line: Percentage wise, Sabatini beat Steffi 28% of the time, Jana beat Steffi 12%. Steffi had Jana's number, no doubt about it. But Steffi controlled Sabatini for the most part in their rivalry. (Edge to Sabatini)

H2H Results against Monica Seles:

Monica & Jana tied at 4 wins apiece
Monica leads Sabatini 11-3

Bottom Line: Sabatini beat Monica just 22% of the time, Jana beat Monica 50%. Jana gave Monica all sorts of trouble, but Monica throttled Sabatini most of the time. (Edge to Jana)

H2H Results against Martina Navratilova:

Martina leads Sabatini 15-6
Martina leads Jana 6-1

Bottom Line: Percentage wise, Sabatini beat Martina 29% of the time, Jana beat Martina 14%. (Edge to Sabatini)

H2H Results against Arantxa Sanchez:

Sabatini leads Arantxa 12-11
Jana leads Arantxa 11-10

Bottom Line: Jana and Sabatini both beat Arantxa 52% of the time. (No Edge for either player).

H2H Results against Conchita Martinez:

Sabatini leads Conchita 9-6
Jana leads Conchita 4-1

Bottom Line: Sabatini beat Conchita 60% of the time, Jana beat Conchita 80%. (Edge to Jana)

H2H Results against Mary Joe Fernandez:

Sabatini leads Mary Joe 13-10
Jana leads Mary Joe 7-4

Bottom Line: Sabatini beat Mary Joe 56% of the time, Jana beat Mary Joe 64%. (Edge to Jana)

Final Conclusion: Comparing the results, Jana has a 3-2 edge over Sabatini against these 6 top-tier players. This proves to me, Jana fared just as well as Sabatini against the games best. In my mind, this busts the myth that Sabatini was superier to Jana in singles play. If anything, Jana's career is on par with Sabatini's, if not better. And I challenge anyone out there, to come forward and argue the facts I've presented here. The evidence I've presented is concrete, and can't possibly be disputed.

Talk about bias. Why not point out also who has the edge in their own head to head. Also pull out a ton of other players who were top tier in that era. Way to pick a few players and oh explain your picking of Mary Joe. Considering she herself has 0 slams to her name and you ignored Pierce..but I guess we are going by top 10 players throughout their careers which is fair but why such a small sample. Sabatini faced alot more of Graf, Seles and Martina in their primes. 3 of Novtona's 4 wins against Seles came post stabbing when Seles was far off her game in 96 and 97..that head to head is rubbish as it is. Novtona was playing bad so she could not even run into Seles that much. Sabatini sure did kick the crap out of Monica but look at the way Sabatini played against Martina and Graf she still wins agianst 2 of the 3 great players you mentioned. Vicario they were even and Conchita and Mary Joe? Hm it seems almost obvious that these two players were picked because Sabatini has normal records against them. Ready lets add some more strong players from the 90s

Mary Pierce
Sab 4-1
Jana 5-1

If you want to call this an edge call it one but it is not much

Martina Hinigis
Sab 1-1
Jana 3-9

Obviously Sab if you are clearly going to hold weight to the Seles one.

Evert
Sab 3-6
Jana 0-3

Sab wins here once again

Zina Garisson
Sab 10-3
Jana 3-1

Sab edges it out

Davenport
Sab 7-3
Jana 0-6

Hey Sab wins again

Sukova
Sab 12-6
Jana 4-5

Sab wins

Zvevera
Sab 8-1
Jana 7-4

Sab wins

Jennifer Capriati
Sab 11-5
Jana 4-0

Hey Jana won one

Maleeva
Sab 0-1
Jana 5-1

Hey Jana won another

Iva
Sab 1-2
Jana 8-3

Jana is on a roll

There own head to head
Sab 10 - 3 Jana

Sab wins again

Manuela Maleeva-Fragniere
Sab 7-2
Jana 2-1

Sab wins

Anke Huber
Sab 4-3
Jana 8-4

Jana wins

Nathalie Tauziat
Sab 10-1
Jana 5-4

Sab wins...

I could keep at this all day picking slam finalist and top 10 women..but I think I did a larger sample than you than just random chose players so counting your 3-2 favor Jana let me add up with I have Sabatini now winning 11-8 man your conclusive evidence just failed.


oh also an


You leave out Gabby having a better career win percentage, more titles, more finals, a winning head to head with Jana, more slam semi finals and the fact that during Jana best years results wise she had way less competition than Gabby. Gabby was ranked Higher than Jana for many weeks and in the early 90's to boot. Like all numbers these are open to interpretation and you can;t present them as an incontrovertable proof of anything because they really aren't.

Where was Jana when Graf, Seles, Vicario and Martina were running the show. Not making noise. Sabatini had a deeper stronger field to play against..how the hell is she supposed to do much damage. Look at the top 5 in 1990 the year she won the slam.

1. Graf - 22 total slams
2. Seles - 9 total slams
3. Martina - 18 total slams...

In that year each of those women grabbed a Slam and who was the fourth Sabatini. The fact that she could be top 89-93 shows how good she was at her best. It was just she played against some all time greats. In 1998 look at your top 3 players..

1. Lindsay Davenport- 3 slams..
2. Martina Hingis - 5 slams..
3. Jana - 1 slam

Hey together they did as much as the number 2 who got stabbed in her peak and suffer mental crisis and eating issues due to the stabbing and her fathers death. Man sounds like tough competition...outside of Hingis none of the top 3 had potential to be top tier.

Straightshooter
05-15-2009, 07:09 AM
Talk about bias. Why not point out also who has the edge in their own head to head. Also pull out a ton of other players who were top tier in that era. Way to pick a few players and oh explain your picking of Mary Joe. Considering she herself has 0 slams to her name and you ignored Pierce..but I guess we are going by top 10 players throughout their careers which is fair but why such a small sample. Sabatini faced alot more of Graf, Seles and Martina in their primes. 3 of Novtona's 4 wins against Seles came post stabbing when Seles was far off her game in 96 and 97..that head to head is rubbish as it is. Novtona was playing bad so she could not even run into Seles that much. Sabatini sure did kick the crap out of Monica but look at the way Sabatini played against Martina and Graf she still wins agianst 2 of the 3 great players you mentioned. Vicario they were even and Conchita and Mary Joe? Hm it seems almost obvious that these two players were picked because Sabatini has normal records against them. Ready lets add some more strong players from the 90s

Mary Pierce
Sab 4-1
Jana 5-1

If you want to call this an edge call it one but it is not much

Martina Hinigis
Sab 1-1
Jana 3-9

Obviously Sab if you are clearly going to hold weight to the Seles one.

Evert
Sab 3-6
Jana 0-3

Sab wins here once again

Zina Garisson
Sab 10-3
Jana 3-1

Sab edges it out

Davenport
Sab 7-3
Jana 0-6

Hey Sab wins again

Sukova
Sab 12-6
Jana 4-5

Sab wins

Zvevera
Sab 8-1
Jana 7-4

Sab wins

Jennifer Capriati
Sab 11-5
Jana 4-0

Hey Jana won one

Maleeva
Sab 0-1
Jana 5-1

Hey Jana won another

Iva
Sab 1-2
Jana 8-3

Jana is on a roll

There own head to head
Sab 10 - 3 Jana

Sab wins again

Manuela Maleeva-Fragniere
Sab 7-2
Jana 2-1

Sab wins

Anke Huber
Sab 4-3
Jana 8-4

Jana wins

Nathalie Tauziat
Sab 10-1
Jana 5-4

Sab wins...

I could keep at this all day picking slam finalist and top 10 women..but I think I did a larger sample than you than just random chose players so counting your 3-2 favor Jana let me add up with I have Sabatini now winning 11-8 man your conclusive evidence just failed.


oh also an



Where was Jana when Graf, Seles, Vicario and Martina were running the show. Not making noise. Sabatini had a deeper stronger field to play against..how the hell is she supposed to do much damage. Look at the top 5 in 1990 the year she won the slam.

1. Graf - 22 total slams
2. Seles - 9 total slams
3. Martina - 18 total slams...

In that year each of those women grabbed a Slam and who was the fourth Sabatini. The fact that she could be top 89-93 shows how good she was at her best. It was just she played against some all time greats. In 1998 look at your top 3 players..

1. Lindsay Davenport- 3 slams..
2. Martina Hingis - 5 slams..
3. Jana - 1 slam

Hey together they did as much as the number 2 who got stabbed in her peak and suffer mental crisis and eating issues due to the stabbing and her fathers death. Man sounds like tough competition...outside of Hingis none of the top 3 had potential to be top tier.


Sorry,

No bias on my part at all. If that's how you want to interpret it, then be my guest. All I've done, is present hard facts which illustrate just how close Jana and Sabatini were in career stats.

As for Sabatini's head-to-head record against Jana, I didn't forget it. But what you failed to point out, was 4 of Sabatini's 10 wins over Jana were 3-setters. Also, in at least 2 of Jana's losses against Sabatini, Jana held match points. So don't make it sound like Sabatini was dominating Jana every time they stepped on the court, which wasn't the case. I saw them face each other several times, and Jana gave Sabatini all sorts of fits. To sum up their head-to-head record, that 10-3 lead Sabatini holds over Jana is misleading without a doubt.

Regarding their head-to-head records against top players, I felt the 6 players I selected represented a nice range from the all-time greats(Steffi, Monica) all the way to good, solid players like Mary Joe. In my opinion, some of the players you brought up(Anke Huber, Natasha Zvereva) aren't even close to players like Conchita or Mary Joe.

Now, if you want to call Jana's wins against Monica tainted, that's your business. Call it whatever you want, but a win is a win. All I know is, Jana has a break-even record against one of the best that ever stepped on a court. You make it sound as if Monica was washed-up when Jana was beating her. If that's the case, why didn't other players enjoy the same success against Monica that Jana did?. Again, your selling Jana short.

Here are a couple more stats which clearly show Jana's career record is very similar to Sabatini's:

Career Singles Record:

Sabatini: 632 wins, 189 losses
Jana: 571 wins, 225 losses

Crunching the numbers, we find Sabatini won 77% of her matches, Jana won 72% of her matches. Is that a big edge to you?. Because to me, it isn't. It's just one more stat which proves Jana's career is on-par with Sabatini's.

Ready for another stat?. Try this one:

Total Number of Matches Played(Singles & Doubles):

Jana: 1,646 matches
Sabatini: 1,169 matches

Hey, that means Jana played 477 more matches than Sabatini. It proves to me, Jana was much more durable then Sabatini, as Jana endured the wear and tear of nearly 500 more matches then Sabatini.

Lastly, here's the most powerful stat of all:

Total Number of Titles(Singles & Doubles):

Jana: 100 Titles
Sabatini: 41 Titles

That last stat is vital, in spite of what you may think about doubles play. If nothing else, it's ironclad proof Jana's career was more successful then Sabatini's. And there's no bias with any of this, or fudging numbers, just a hard dose of reality.

scootad.
05-15-2009, 07:31 AM
Personally, this debate is a wash. Jana & Gaby had roughly the same level of success in singles. Any difference argued is not truly significant.

boredone3456
05-15-2009, 09:58 AM
Sorry,

No bias on my part at all. If that's how you want to interpret it, then be my guest. All I've done, is present hard facts which illustrate just how close Jana and Sabatini were in career stats.

As for Sabatini's head-to-head record against Jana, I didn't forget it. But what you failed to point out, was 4 of Sabatini's 10 wins over Jana were 3-setters. Also, in at least 2 of Jana's losses against Sabatini, Jana held match points. So don't make it sound like Sabatini was dominating Jana every time they stepped on the court, which wasn't the case. I saw them face each other several times, and Jana gave Sabatini all sorts of fits. To sum up their head-to-head record, that 10-3 lead Sabatini holds over Jana is misleading without a doubt.

Regarding their head-to-head records against top players, I felt the 6 players I selected represented a nice range from the all-time greats(Steffi, Monica) all the way to good, solid players like Mary Joe. In my opinion, some of the players you brought up(Anke Huber, Natasha Zvereva) aren't even close to players like Conchita or Mary Joe.

Now, if you want to call Jana's wins against Monica tainted, that's your business. Call it whatever you want, but a win is a win. All I know is, Jana has a break-even record against one of the best that ever stepped on a court. You make it sound as if Monica was washed-up when Jana was beating her. If that's the case, why didn't other players enjoy the same success against Monica that Jana did?. Again, your selling Jana short.

Here are a couple more stats which clearly show Jana's career record is very similar to Sabatini's:

Career Singles Record:

Sabatini: 632 wins, 189 losses
Jana: 571 wins, 225 losses

Crunching the numbers, we find Sabatini won 77% of her matches, Jana won 72% of her matches. Is that a big edge to you?. Because to me, it isn't. It's just one more stat which proves Jana's career is on-par with Sabatini's.

Ready for another stat?. Try this one:

Total Number of Matches Played(Singles & Doubles):

Jana: 1,646 matches
Sabatini: 1,169 matches

Hey, that means Jana played 477 more matches than Sabatini. It proves to me, Jana was much more durable then Sabatini, as Jana endured the wear and tear of nearly 500 more matches then Sabatini.

Lastly, here's the most powerful stat of all:

Total Number of Titles(Singles & Doubles):

Jana: 100 Titles
Sabatini: 41 Titles

That last stat is vital, in spite of what you may think about doubles play. If nothing else, it's ironclad proof Jana's career was more successful then Sabatini's. And there's no bias with any of this, or fudging numbers, just a hard dose of reality.


Please stop combining singles and doubles stats to try and prove your point. They are two completely different disciplines and one cannot be used to outweigh the other. They require different skills and being great or substandard in one means nothing in the other. If it did players like Shriver, Casals, Zvereva and quite a few others would have to be considered all time amazing players based on their phenominal doubles statistics alone, even against there pale in comparison singles results.

5% different in their career win % is huge, a 72 is a C-, a 77 is a C/C+, letter wise big difference, ask any college student, like myself and we will tell you a C- is a who,e nother world from a C. 5 points is huge, the difference between 85 and 90 would be big to you I assume if Jana was on top, but the difference between 72 and 77 is not? its the same, and its big.

Then you pull in Jana playing more matches, yeah ok that proves she played longer not that she was a better player. Gabby won more matches playing less then Jana did, Edge there to Gabby and she and had a higher win percentage so Jana playing more matches doesn't really give her any kind of edge at all.

Basically your argument boiled down to Jana getting a career edge in singles over Sabatini because she did better percentage wise against Conchita Martinez and Mary Jo Fernandez, which is a shaky and borderline desperate argument. What is more important, an edge against 2 players who have a combined 40 grand slam singles titles and some 600 odd combined weeks at number 1, or an edge against 2 players neither of whom ever got to number 1 and who have 1 slam between them. I think deep down we both know the answer to that.

You left out Pierce, Davenport, and several other players who were way more important in the 90's and chose a player you could spin in your favor. Mary Jo and Conchita are not all time greats and no offense to them they are no where near the other 4 on that list results wise, career wise, anything wise really.

Your evidence may be hard, but it is seemingly pick and chosen hard at best, expanding it to include other player Sabatini gets and edge, and probably based on Surface Sabatini could probably get a few edges against the 6 players you chose.

You talk about the head to head. Yes many of their matches went to 3, and jana blew match points, but what is the head to head? its very lopsided in the end, they had close matches, but who was able to tough out a lot of them, Sabatini. Novotna was better in doubles, and even you admitted Sabatini's slightly better sinlges career was better.

egn
05-15-2009, 09:16 PM
Sorry,

No bias on my part at all. If that's how you want to interpret it, then be my guest. All I've done, is present hard facts which illustrate just how close Jana and Sabatini were in career stats.

As for Sabatini's head-to-head record against Jana, I didn't forget it. But what you failed to point out, was 4 of Sabatini's 10 wins over Jana were 3-setters. Also, in at least 2 of Jana's losses against Sabatini, Jana held match points. So don't make it sound like Sabatini was dominating Jana every time they stepped on the court, which wasn't the case. I saw them face each other several times, and Jana gave Sabatini all sorts of fits. To sum up their head-to-head record, that 10-3 lead Sabatini holds over Jana is misleading without a doubt.

Regarding their head-to-head records against top players, I felt the 6 players I selected represented a nice range from the all-time greats(Steffi, Monica) all the way to good, solid players like Mary Joe. In my opinion, some of the players you brought up(Anke Huber, Natasha Zvereva) aren't even close to players like Conchita or Mary Joe.

Now, if you want to call Jana's wins against Monica tainted, that's your business. Call it whatever you want, but a win is a win. All I know is, Jana has a break-even record against one of the best that ever stepped on a court. You make it sound as if Monica was washed-up when Jana was beating her.If that's the case, why didn't other players enjoy the same success against Monica that Jana did?. Again, your selling Jana short.

Here are a couple more stats which clearly show Jana's career record is very similar to Sabatini's:

Career Singles Record:

Sabatini: 632 wins, 189 losses
Jana: 571 wins, 225 losses

Crunching the numbers, we find Sabatini won 77% of her matches, Jana won 72% of her matches. Is that a big edge to you?. Because to me, it isn't. It's just one more stat which proves Jana's career is on-par with Sabatini's.


Okay ready lets take a stab at this. Nobody is denying them being close we are just saying Gaby is clearly better.

Wow great so their matches were close and she still lost them all. So either Jana is a choker or Gaby is more clutch. Either way close or not Gaby still won them or are you denying this. Stop fudging the truth as you claim we do, I never said they were not close but she clearly lost 10! and only won 3. Close or not they are still losses so Gaby might have not dominated the matches but overall she beat her consistently.

Yet Davenport and Hingis are clearly superior to Mary Joe and Conchita and Capriati and Sukova are on par.

Monica was pretty washed up. Monica from 90-93 which Gaby faced won 8 slams in that period and lost only 19 matches. Monica from 95-98 won 1 slam and lost 34 matches...Monica was only 23 so she was well in her physical prime but she never recovered at all. Tons of players who would have never beaten Moncia 90-93 were beating her..evidenced by the lack of being able to win the slams. Since 23 is not past prime physically in any way. There were other players who enjoyed that success against her.

Okay so if 5 percent is not a margin than really Mary Joe is not much of a margin it is what 8 percent. Sorry

Also this was clearly in regards to singles play so don't throw doubles into the mix. Jana was better at doubles without a doubt but that has nothing to do with the topic. Sorry she has nearly 50 more wins and nearly 50 less losses thats a pretty big margin. Career length is not that huge a deal if you don't do that much in it. Jana took more time and still accomplished barely equal to what Sabatini accomplished.

Straightshooter
05-16-2009, 06:35 AM
Please stop combining singles and doubles stats to try and prove your point. They are two completely different disciplines and one cannot be used to outweigh the other. They require different skills and being great or substandard in one means nothing in the other. If it did players like Shriver, Casals, Zvereva and quite a few others would have to be considered all time amazing players based on their phenominal doubles statistics alone, even against there pale in comparison singles results.

5% different in their career win % is huge, a 72 is a C-, a 77 is a C/C+, letter wise big difference, ask any college student, like myself and we will tell you a C- is a who,e nother world from a C. 5 points is huge, the difference between 85 and 90 would be big to you I assume if Jana was on top, but the difference between 72 and 77 is not? its the same, and its big.

Then you pull in Jana playing more matches, yeah ok that proves she played longer not that she was a better player. Gabby won more matches playing less then Jana did, Edge there to Gabby and she and had a higher win percentage so Jana playing more matches doesn't really give her any kind of edge at all.

Basically your argument boiled down to Jana getting a career edge in singles over Sabatini because she did better percentage wise against Conchita Martinez and Mary Jo Fernandez, which is a shaky and borderline desperate argument. What is more important, an edge against 2 players who have a combined 40 grand slam singles titles and some 600 odd combined weeks at number 1, or an edge against 2 players neither of whom ever got to number 1 and who have 1 slam between them. I think deep down we both know the answer to that.

You left out Pierce, Davenport, and several other players who were way more important in the 90's and chose a player you could spin in your favor. Mary Jo and Conchita are not all time greats and no offense to them they are no where near the other 4 on that list results wise, career wise, anything wise really.

Your evidence may be hard, but it is seemingly pick and chosen hard at best, expanding it to include other player Sabatini gets and edge, and probably based on Surface Sabatini could probably get a few edges against the 6 players you chose.

You talk about the head to head. Yes many of their matches went to 3, and jana blew match points, but what is the head to head? its very lopsided in the end, they had close matches, but who was able to tough out a lot of them, Sabatini. Novotna was better in doubles, and even you admitted Sabatini's slightly better sinlges career was better.


I don't need to throw Jana's doubles record into the mix, to prove my point. However, if you wan't to totally dismiss her doubles success, that's fine.

So let's compare Jana to Sabatini based soley on singles. You claim Sabatini won more matches playing less then Jana did?. I'm afraid not. Sabatini did win more matches then Jana, but Sabatini played more singles matches then Jana. Again, here's the stat which is the proof in the pudding:

Sabatini: 632 wins 189 losses = 821 Total Singles Matches

Jana: 571 wins 225 losses = 796 Total Singles Matches

Therefore, we see Sabatini played 25 more singles matches then Jana. So how can you make the statement Sabatini won more matches then Jana but played less?. It doesn't add up. It stands to reason, Sabatini probably would win more matches then Jana, since she played more then Jana. Also, if Sabatini was so much better then Jana in singles, consider the following stat:

Sabatini: 27 Singles Titles

Jana: 24 Singles Titles

In my mind, if Sabatini was such a superior singles player over Jana, why was Sabatini only able to win 3 more titles?. You consider Jana to be a doubles specialist, right?. Well, if true, I would conclude Jana's singles record stacks up well to Sabatini's, considering Jana focused on doubles for the first half of her career.

You claim I gave Jana a slight edge in singles over Sabatini based on head-to-head results against Mary Joe and Conchita?. Not true. I could have used other players to support my arguement, like Mary Pierce or Jennifer Capriati.

Head-to-Head Against Mary Pierce:

Jana: 5 wins 1 loss
Sabatini: 4 wins 1 loss

Once more, another edge for Jana. But the fact is, I didn't intentionally include or not include any players in those head-to-head comparisons I gave. I could have picked several others, like Mary Pierce, and you'll see Jana gets the edge over Sabatini a number of times.

Lastly, back to Jana and Sabatini's head-to-head matches against each other. Sure, Sabatini did beat Jana 10 of 13 matches. However, I would argue many of Sabatini's wins came before Jana hit her prime years(around 1996). The reality is, Sabatini was beating Jana for the most part, when Sabatini was in her prime, but Jana wasn't. Now lets reverse that, and say the majority of their matches occured, when Jana was in her prime, but Sabatini wasn't. What do you think would have happened?. I'd bet the house, Jana would have beaten Sabatini several more times, closing that gap in their head-to-head. The problem is, they never really faced each other, when both were playing prime tennis.

If, and I did say if, Sabatini's singles career was slightly better then Jana's, it was by a razor-thin margin. But Jana's doubles career is far and away better then Sabatini's. Based on that, the only reasonable conclusion can be, Jana had a more successful career then Sabatini's, like it or not. Those who believe otherwise, are just fooling themselves.

boredone3456
05-16-2009, 08:34 AM
I don't need to throw Jana's doubles record into the mix, to prove my point. However, if you wan't to totally dismiss her doubles success, that's fine.

So let's compare Jana to Sabatini based soley on singles. You claim Sabatini won more matches playing less then Jana did?. I'm afraid not. Sabatini did win more matches then Jana, but Sabatini played more singles matches then Jana. Again, here's the stat which is the proof in the pudding:

Sabatini: 632 wins 189 losses = 821 Total Singles Matches

Jana: 571 wins 225 losses = 796 Total Singles Matches

Therefore, we see Sabatini played 25 more singles matches then Jana. So how can you make the statement Sabatini won more matches then Jana but played less?. It doesn't add up. It stands to reason, Sabatini probably would win more matches then Jana, since she played more then Jana. Also, if Sabatini was so much better then Jana in singles, consider the following stat:

Sabatini: 27 Singles Titles

Jana: 24 Singles Titles

In my mind, if Sabatini was such a superior singles player over Jana, why was Sabatini only able to win 3 more titles?. You consider Jana to be a doubles specialist, right?. Well, if true, I would conclude Jana's singles record stacks up well to Sabatini's, considering Jana focused on doubles for the first half of her career.

You claim I gave Jana a slight edge in singles over Sabatini based on head-to-head results against Mary Joe and Conchita?. Not true. I could have used other players to support my arguement, like Mary Pierce or Jennifer Capriati.

Head-to-Head Against Mary Pierce:

Jana: 5 wins 1 loss
Sabatini: 4 wins 1 loss

Once more, another edge for Jana. But the fact is, I didn't intentionally include or not include any players in those head-to-head comparisons I gave. I could have picked several others, like Mary Pierce, and you'll see Jana gets the edge over Sabatini a number of times.

Lastly, back to Jana and Sabatini's head-to-head matches against each other. Sure, Sabatini did beat Jana 10 of 13 matches. However, I would argue many of Sabatini's wins came before Jana hit her prime years(around 1996). The reality is, Sabatini was beating Jana for the most part, when Sabatini was in her prime, but Jana wasn't. Now lets reverse that, and say the majority of their matches occured, when Jana was in her prime, but Sabatini wasn't. What do you think would have happened?. I'd bet the house, Jana would have beaten Sabatini several more times, closing that gap in their head-to-head. The problem is, they never really faced each other, when both were playing prime tennis.

If, and I did say if, Sabatini's singles career was slightly better then Jana's, it was by a razor-thin margin. But Jana's doubles career is far and away better then Sabatini's. Based on that, the only reasonable conclusion can be, Jana had a more successful career then Sabatini's, like it or not. Those who believe otherwise, are just fooling themselves.

Again you take my words completely out of context. You said Jana played more total singles and doubles matches, that was the total to which I was referred when I made my statement, you must not have understood me. And Sabatini was a better singles player, slight margin or not she was, more singles finals, more singles titles, a better win %, more wins, fewer losses, more consistancy across the surfaces. You make slight differences seem marginal, but they are differences that you cannot deny although you do seem to be trying to find ways around them.

You just said Sabatini had a slightly better singles career, and I said last time slightly better is still better, we are talking singles, not doubles. I never said Jana was a doubles specialist, only that she was better than Sabatini in doubles, have I ever denied that? No. We are obviously talking Singles career not doubles, and doubles have nothing to do with what one achieved as a singles player, that is my view and no matter what arguement you present it won't change. I am leaving it at this because this is getting almost pointless because we are just rehashing what we have before. Jana had better career in doubles, Gaby had a better, if you will only concede marginal, still better career in singles. They are to difference fields of tennis and need to be judged differently.

egn
05-16-2009, 08:43 PM
I don't need to throw Jana's doubles record into the mix, to prove my point. However, if you wan't to totally dismiss her doubles success, that's fine.

So let's compare Jana to Sabatini based soley on singles. You claim Sabatini won more matches playing less then Jana did?. I'm afraid not. Sabatini did win more matches then Jana, but Sabatini played more singles matches then Jana. Again, here's the stat which is the proof in the pudding:

Sabatini: 632 wins 189 losses = 821 Total Singles Matches

Jana: 571 wins 225 losses = 796 Total Singles Matches

Therefore, we see Sabatini played 25 more singles matches then Jana. So how can you make the statement Sabatini won more matches then Jana but played less?. It doesn't add up. It stands to reason, Sabatini probably would win more matches then Jana, since she played more then Jana. Also, if Sabatini was so much better then Jana in singles, consider the following stat:

Sabatini: 27 Singles Titles

Jana: 24 Singles Titles

In my mind, if Sabatini was such a superior singles player over Jana, why was Sabatini only able to win 3 more titles?. You consider Jana to be a doubles specialist, right?. Well, if true, I would conclude Jana's singles record stacks up well to Sabatini's, considering Jana focused on doubles for the first half of her career.

You claim I gave Jana a slight edge in singles over Sabatini based on head-to-head results against Mary Joe and Conchita?. Not true. I could have used other players to support my arguement, like Mary Pierce or Jennifer Capriati.

Head-to-Head Against Mary Pierce:

Jana: 5 wins 1 loss
Sabatini: 4 wins 1 loss

Once more, another edge for Jana. But the fact is, I didn't intentionally include or not include any players in those head-to-head comparisons I gave. I could have picked several others, like Mary Pierce, and you'll see Jana gets the edge over Sabatini a number of times.

Lastly, back to Jana and Sabatini's head-to-head matches against each other. Sure, Sabatini did beat Jana 10 of 13 matches. However, I would argue many of Sabatini's wins came before Jana hit her prime years(around 1996). The reality is, Sabatini was beating Jana for the most part, when Sabatini was in her prime, but Jana wasn't. Now lets reverse that, and say the majority of their matches occured, when Jana was in her prime, but Sabatini wasn't. What do you think would have happened?. I'd bet the house, Jana would have beaten Sabatini several more times, closing that gap in their head-to-head. The problem is, they never really faced each other, when both were playing prime tennis.

If, and I did say if, Sabatini's singles career was slightly better then Jana's, it was by a razor-thin margin. But Jana's doubles career is far and away better then Sabatini's. Based on that, the only reasonable conclusion can be, Jana had a more successful career then Sabatini's, like it or not. Those who believe otherwise, are just fooling themselves.

So basically Jana had a longer career and could not play as many matches as Sab and Sab who played about 30 more but won 60 more? So even with 30 less if you take away 30 wins she still wins the win lose percentage.

27>24 Nobody said she was vastly superior just better. Where are you not grasping this..

First of all I believe I posted a huge list of players that Sab owned who destroyed Jana do players like Lindsay Davenport, Garrison and Hingis mean anything to you..I mean stop mentioning only players that Jana win use a whole list of players that they faced.

Use the list of all head to heads against every player they faced and Sab clearly wins want to know why

Gaby has a losing record against 13 players
Jana has a losing record against 27 PLAYERS

Oh and go ahead and argue all the 0-1, 1-2, 0-2 records are no big deal.

That would make Gaby having 5 substantial losing records and Jana still having 10. Still Gaby has half as many in both scenarios...

The margin that Gaby was better than Jana is small but not as small as you make it out to be. It is clearly there. Jana had an overall more successful career if you want to claim that because they were close in singles and Jana was superior in doubles that is so than fine. But singles wise Gaby wins and on the whole topic Gaby was a contender for number 1. Although Gaby was 3 she was one tournament away from taking it Jana was never that close to number 1 in 98 and Martina Hingis had that ranking on lock. Besides Gaby was doing against Graf and Navratilova and the upcoming Seles in 1991 all Gaby was worrying about was Hingis, injuried Graf, Seles suffering from munchies and a bunch of teenage prodigies and women in their early 30s..

Gaby > Jana in singles
Jana > Gaby in doubles

The two should never be combined unless we are talking GOAT.

grafselesfan
07-03-2009, 09:48 PM
1. Gaby Sabatini- easily the best of these 7. Truly one of the greatest if not the greatest 1 only slam winner ever. In another era could have possibly won around 4 (note I did not say in any other era, I said in another era as in some others). Even though she only won 1 slam she was considered a legit contender to win any slam she was in from 1988-1993/1994 or so which says something. Tons of slam semis, tier 1 titles, close calls, super tough era with Graf, Seles, Navratilova, Sanchez Vicario. (Contender for 6 years or so solid)

-----big gap-----

2. Jana Novotna- she was underrated by some, but compared to Gaby the only surface she was better was grass, maybe equal on carpet. Only felt like an outside contender to win slams on hard courts, and almost zero shot of winning one on clay. (Contender on grass and carpet, pretender on other surfaces except for 1997-1998 perhaps)

3. Mary Pierce- at her very best she could beat any player in history but she was a total Jekyl and Hyde. The Marat Safin of womens tennis. Impressive longevity though, reaching 2 slam final in 2005, after her 94 and 95 breakthroughs. Horrendous consistency though, and despite her best ever Wimbledon and U.S Open in her swan song year of elite tennis in 2005 not as good on faster surfaces as slower. (Contender in 1994, 1995, 1997, 2000, 2005, pretender all other years)

4. Conchita Martinez- I would like to rank her over Mary since she was so much more consistent but Mary's added slam, her late 2005 resurgence, and her superior ability to overpower and beat the best players on her day has to put her over Martinez. Martinez was talented and steady but wasted alot of her talent with an overly defensive game plan which didnt capatilize on her potentially lethal forehand, and her weak mental game which was submissive to the top players of her day. If she had won that 2000 FO final vs Pierce their positions would be reversed, heck I would probably put her #2 over Jana in that case. That is if, not reality it turned out though as Pierce won that 2000 FO final, a pivotal match in both their careers. (contender at the French, contender at Wimbledon in 93-96, pretender everywhere else and all other years at Wimbledon)

5. Mary Joe Fernandez- she didnt win a slam but I still think she is better than Majoli. Was a very consistent force for a number of years until injuries began to wreak havoc on her career. Even as late as 99, well past her prime, was still dangerous taking out that years eventual U.S Open winner Serena Williams at the French, and taking the first set from Venus Williams at the U.S Open before getting injured and having to retire from the match, and I think that was the last time she was ever seen. Too bad she didnt win 1 of the 91 Aussie Open or 93 French Opens, her two biggest blown chances of slams, as she really deserves a slam so much more than Majoli. (umm contender from 90-93 at the 2 slow court slams I guess, pretender otherwise)

6. Majoli- to her credit she was a solid top 10 player from 95-97. However she all but dissapeared after winning her French Open title. She was lucky as heck there too. Coetzer was playing some of her best tennis ever and upset Conchita Martinez in the round of 16 and an ailing Graf in the quarters, either who would have beaten Majoli I think (Graf for sure, Martinez probably), and Coetzer should have won their semifinal in her current form but CHOKED totally. Coetzer whose biggest attribute her whole career was consistency and speed, in the form of her career somehow commits 81 unforced errors vs Majoli in the semis!?! Crazy. I would have rather even seen Coetzer win this French than Majoli as a reward for her excellent early 97 play. Oh yeah Davenport was also killing her in the round of 16 and choked. The other half had a ton of people playing well enough to beat her, especialy as she didnt play any great tennis to reach the final- Pierce, Seles, Fernandez, Hingis, even Sanchez despite being sluggish that year. Of course she doesnt have to play any of them and they beat each up other with some great matches between Pierce-Seles 4th round, Seles-Fernandez quarters, Hingis-Seles semis, then she takes advantage of a tired and out of sorts Hingis in the final. In fairness to her she did play one of the matches of her life in the final and might have beaten anyone in the field that day, but she was so lucky with the draw and chokes by Davenport and Coetzer to get there. As I said in fairness to her she was a solid top 10 player for 3 years, but after that 97 French she basically dissapeared and dropped well off her 95-97 standard of play ever again. For the rest of her career it was like her FO title was the worst thing to happen to her. Still her slam win, as lucky as it was, boosts her standing. (contender at the French from 95-97, pretender everywhere else and all others times)

I dont see the point in even including Date. If you include Date why not also include Huber who achieved as much or more than Date, and Coetzer who achieved about the same as Date. I will end this list:

7. Huber- slam final in Australia, year end Championships final where she took Graf to 5 sets. A French Open semi once.

8. Date- semis of slams on 3 different surfaces but no finals as big as Anke's.
Not near the longevity either.

9. Coetzer- 3 slam semis, but no slam finals. Biggest claim to fame is great record vs Graf.

grafselesfan
07-03-2009, 09:57 PM
I also think conchita underachieved...especially at the French. She was one hell of a clay court player, I'm amazed she never was able to win a single roland garros.

She was submissive to Graf, Seles, and even her countrywomen Sanchez Vicario. She gave up matches to them before even stepping on court, and even those days she found some hope and effort to try to win if things started going against her for a bit she quit. She didnt have the mentality of a real champion.
I think Clijsters overall is a better player but Conchita's submissive loser attitude when facing Graf, Seles, and Sanchez reminds me of Clijsters loser attitude facing Venus, Serena, and Henin. If you have that attitude vs the big 3 of your prime and you are usually #4 during that time you wont win many big titles.

thalivest
07-04-2009, 10:24 AM
I laugh at this thread. It is obvious the OP is a Jana fanatic trying to put down Sabatini at the expense of Novotna. Novotna isnt even clearly better than Pierce or Martinez, she isnt in the league of Sabatini.

davey25
06-13-2010, 11:29 PM
Mary Pierce is the female Safin. She is ridiculously overrated by many people based on her "peak performance". She is a one dimensional ball basher who relies almost completely on power and nothing else to win matches (in that sense she isnt even a female Safin since he actually has overall talents beyond that unlike her).
She is mentally very fragile. She is an underachiever since she is lazy, constantly out of shape, and can only for brief period put partying before actual full on commitment to training.

The women has a lopsided losing head to head vs Jennifer Capriati of all people.


Anyway my order of these people would be:

1. Novotna- Contender. She was underhyped by the U.S media but was close to taking the #1 ranking in 1998, and was the true #2 of 1997 behind Hingis. She was a contender at nearly all venues from 1993 onwards, and always a favorite at Wimbledon, the U.S Open, and WTA Championships.

2. Sabatini- Contender. I used to think she was the best of this group but have changed my mind. She only beat Navratilova, Evert, Graf, and Seles, a combined 1 time in Slam events. She was in 18 slam semifinals and only made 3 finals. In many ways that is the epitome of fail. She was one of the most overhyped players considering the attention she got for a player who struggled so long as a contender to win even 1 slam, then struggled alot longer still as a contender never to win a 2nd. Still she was close to being #1 at one point in 1991 and was a major contender for slams from 1988-1992 so I say contender.

3. Mary Pierce- as I already said overhyped. You look at her career as she was the queen of losing round of 16 at slams. Yeah she could go into God mode and be nearly unbeatable at a given time, but a great champion does not stem from that alone, atleast not for me. I generously will rate her a Contender for the simple fact she did win 2 slams and reached 6 finals. I never felt she could be #1 though, not nearly consistent enough, atleast Novotna or Sabatini were at one point close to getting there.

4. Martinez- another lazy underachiever who was overweight most of her career. Could have been one of the greats on clay if she didnt play in such a tough clay court era with Graf, Seles, Sabatini, Pierce, Sanchez, and if she got off her lazy *** and actually worked to fulfill her potential. Was a contender at the French for many years though, and a contender at the other slams from 94 to 96. I would say Pretender though. Ultimately it took her until the twilight of her career to even make a French Open final on her favorite surface, which she lost. The only place she won a slam was sort of a fluke it turned out as it is her worst surface. And she was never really close to being the #1 player even while ranked #2 at one point.

5. Fernandez- a solid player who sort of was a contender for many years. Really ultimately more Pretender than Contender though. Didnt ever manage to win a slam and career high ranking was #4 I believe.

6. Majoli- quite a solid player from 95-97 actually who doesnt get the respect from some people she should. Funny how people who label Schiavone a fluke of any sort are dissed, yet Majoli who was more of a top player and has achieved more than Schiavone thus far gets her FO title ridiculed all the time. Anyway still below Fernandez overall. She only was a top tenner for 3 years and her career strangely went down the drain after that FO title which should have been a breakthrough to the next level for the 19 year old.

7. Date- if Majoli didnt win a slam I would probably put her over Majoli. Majoli did though. Retired when she maybe was just hitting her peak only to return 13 years later. Oh well what to say really.

Datacipher
06-14-2010, 01:30 AM
Mary Pierce is the female Safin. She is ridiculously overrated by many people based on her "peak performance". She is a one dimensional ball basher who relies almost completely on power and nothing else to win matches (in that sense she isnt even a female Safin since he actually has overall talents beyond that unlike her).
She is mentally very fragile. She is an underachiever since she is lazy, constantly out of shape, and can only for brief period put partying before .

Quite true, though she didn't have anywhere near Safin's footspeed (perhaps made up by her power advantage: a greater margin than Safin had over the men's tour). But you hit the 2 things I think of with Pierce: LAZY, and FRAGILE mentally.

Having said that, her basket-case head is largely due to her father...who could blame her for being a bit whack....she didn't earn my respect though by hooking up with baseball players and taking AHEM "creatine"...

PS. and yes, gamewise, Novotna is the clear class of this field. And she should certainly be forgiven that infamous Wimbledon choke....it wasn't giving up, if anything, she cared too much.

federerhoogenbandfan
07-19-2010, 03:42 AM
I think they suffered many of the same problems on the mental side of things, though I would probably give Gaby an edge. Although it might have been different had Gaby still been around post 1996. By then Jana had shaken off Sanchez and was competitive with Hingis. And she had far fewer bad losses at that point too.


Jana did not pass Sanchez Vicario by in 97 and 98 because she just improved that much that she surpassed Sanchez's best level. Sanchez Vicario was burnt out and past her prime by that point and went in a free fall in the rankings even amongst a rather weak 97 field. Sanchez in 1997 dropped to something like #10 in the World. Others that passed her in the rankings other than Hingis, Davenport, Novotna, and Seles, included as well Majoli, Coetzer, a still struggling Pierce, Spirlea, Huber.

Jana was not that good. She only rose to the top 3 after Graf went down with injuries, the early blooming Seles was past her prime and also dealing with injuries and her fathers illness, Sanchez and Martinez the grinders began to fade physically which usually happens to grinders around their mid 20s, Sabatini had long begun to fade even before retiring, Pierce was just still working her way back from a huge slump in late 95-96, Date had retired, and Fernandez was too injury prone to attain a high ranking any longer. Even at that she still could not overcome a 16 year old Hingis and a prime Davenport to rise to #1. And she in fact failed to reach a slam final outside of Wimbledon in her 2 best years of 1997 and 1998. It was funny to hear Tracy Austin say on air early in the 97 U.S Open that Novotna was not talked about as a possible winner of the 97 U.S Open despite being the 3rd seed, and despite she had actually been ranked #2 most of that year over Seles and Davenport. That says it all about her limited abilities right there, how often is a player ranked and seeded so highly given no shot of winning the U.S Open. Even someone like Conchita Martinez was given more chance of winning the U.S Open than Novotna during her best years. After rising to success by virtual default by merely outlasting rather than outplaying her own generation, when the next generation began to mature in 1999 Jana's rank and results went down the tubes again and she wisely retired.

federerhoogenbandfan
07-19-2010, 03:53 AM
If Sabatini was in her 88-92 prime against the joke 97 field she would have rose to #1 which Jana still didnt come close to doing. Prime Hingis in theory should be better than prime Sabatini but if 1997 was truly prime Hingis it was only because the field was so weak when she first rose to #1 that she didnt work on improving the way she ought to have since no player should be in their prime already at 15 and 16 years old.

Camilio Pascual
07-19-2010, 09:48 AM
During the last 20 years on the WTA tour, the following group of players cracked the top 5 in Singles Rankings, but never reached the #1 spot:
Jana Novotna: In 1997, Jana attained a career best #2 in the world singles rankings. Jana was a 4-time Grand Slam Finalist, capturing the 1998 Wimbledon Title. In addition, Jana was a runner-up at the 1991 Australian Open, 1993 Wimbledon, & '97 Wimbledon. For her career, Jana racked up 24 singles titles.
3. Jana - Supremely talented, Jana was a Contender in my book with the results to prove it.
Pretender.
I think of 1997 as being a particularly weak year for the WTA, though I admit these things are hard to prove.
My fave player, 25 year old Amanda Coetzer rose to #3 that year. How? She defeated Steffi Graf 3 times that year, including at FO and OZ, the only 3 times Steffi was beaten on court that year (Hingis had a walkover win). LOOK at Amanda Coetzer, no way she should be in the Top 5 during any normal year.
These 3 unexpected quirky wins over Steffi, 2 at Slams, really opened things up for Jana and the rest of the field. If Jana had risen that high during any other year, I would not consider it as being such a fluke.

davey25
07-19-2010, 09:54 AM
Well 1998 was a much better year for womens tennis and Jana did end the year #3, was more an overall force than 97, and nearly took the #1 ranking at the U.S Open. And Coetzer didnt help Novotna much. 2 of the 3 tournaments Coetzer beat Graf, Novotna didnt even play (she began regularly skipping Australia in 95 despite making the finals there in 91) and the other she went out very early anyway.

Camilio Pascual
07-19-2010, 10:21 AM
...and nearly took the #1 ranking at the U.S Open.
Good point, I forgot she was soooo close to #1.
I was glad when she finally won Wimby after almost winning it previously.

federerhoogenbandfan
07-19-2010, 10:24 AM
I remember that too, but would she have taken the #1 just by beating Hingis in that 98 U.S Open semifinal where she choked a 4-1 2 break final set lead, or if she needed to beat Davenport in the final and win the U.S Open to take #1. Davenport owns her so the latter maybe wouldnt have happened, though she wasted a match point vs Davenport at the previous years Open.

nat75
07-19-2010, 10:35 AM
Gaby has three chances in 1991 to take the number 1 spot. Wimbledon, the Canadian (which she quit due to injury) and that infamous match she lost to A. Huber allergedly because she partied all night at her 21 birthday.
I was going to put her number 1 but she deserves the nr2 spot for being such idiot (read third). :lol:

http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff46/natsolog/sabby/therace1-1.jpg

http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff46/natsolog/sabby/therace4-1.jpg

http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff46/natsolog/sabby/therace5-1.jpg

davey25
07-19-2010, 11:01 AM
Yet another person speculating on Seles's true motive for "missing" Wimbledon 91. Just wondering if there are any non Seles fans who believe she really was "injured" when she missed that years Wimbledon. It is funny anyone believes that about Nadal last year when it is far more likely of Seles in 1991.

Limpinhitter
07-19-2010, 12:26 PM
How do you win a major and be a pretender? Irreconcilable IMO!

thalivest
07-19-2010, 05:54 PM
Gaby has three chances in 1991 to take the number 1 spot. Wimbledon, the Canadian (which she quit due to injury) and that infamous match she lost to A. Huber allergedly because she partied all night at her 21 birthday.

Wimbledon? The article you post mentions nothing of her having a shot to take it at Wimbledon. She also entered Wimbledon behind Graf, was defending a semifinal like Graf, and Graf didnt take it by winning Wimbledon. So it seems surprising she could have taken #1 at Wimbledon, are you sure on that.

thalivest
07-28-2010, 04:33 AM
I would have to differ. Mary Pierce is probably one of the luckiest two slam winners.

How on earth is beating Seles, Hingis, and Martinez in a row to win the 2000 French lucky? Those were the 3 favorites that year along with Pierce. As for the 95 Australian she was definitely one of the favorties for the title along with Sanchez Vicario and Martinez, but it was a weak field anyway with Graf and Seles missing, Sabatini and Fernandez past their primes, Novotna as usual skipping Australia, and Sanchez and Martinez's moonballs and spinny shots not taking to the rebound ace too well. Still she played great tennis to win both. And forget she was very unlucky to not win the 94 French. She played some of the greatest power tennis ever seen by a women at that point, barely losing games to any of her opponents before the final, and destroying Graf 6-2, 6-2 in the semis. Then the rain delay in the final vs Sanchez when she was up 3-1, and she was never the same player. She made 6 slam finals total. She wasnt lucky to win 2 slams IMO, as if she were she never would have reached 6 finals. What player in history has reached 6 slam finals and not won atleast 1, probably 2.


I think the reason Pierce won 2 slams and reached 6 finals while Sabatini, Martinez, and Novotna couldnt is simple. She isnt neccessarily a better player, nor a more talented player. However her game was more effective vs the very best or the players like Graf, Seles, Hingis, and others who are better than this whole group when she was "on". Why? Since she had the power, much more power than any of Sabatini, Martinez, or Novotna, and when she was on she could overpower any women player on a given day. That is proven with some smackdowns of Graf, Seles, Serena, and Davenport in her career. Maybe she didnt often beat them, but a few times she did she beat them big which is very hard to do. Sabatini and Novotna especialy probably are better overall players, with more overall talent, who had a higher average level. However Pierce still had a higher top level with punishing power that enabled her to break through the wall more a bit more often.


And while Sabatini probably is better than Novotna I prefer Novotna's game. I think her serve is much better, her forehand is probably better, her volleys are better even though Sabatini was also a good volleyer, and I think she is a better mover and athlete than Sabatini. I think the only reason Sabatini had a better career is Novotna is mentally even weaker than Sabatini was and she was a late developer who didnt find much confidence until well into her career. Novotna's backhand sucked though, especialy if you attacked on it. If you hit to her backhand with any force and followed it into net she was almost useless, she simply couldnt pass or take pressure of that side at all. As a shot she could use to really or approach the net vs like a baseline hugger such as Seles and others it was fine. But against someone who would even remotedly attack, even a baseliner who had some forward instincts like Graf or Davenport it was a horrible shot. Which is why she was owned by an aging Navratilova and Davenport so extremely.

Martinez was a lazy, not mentally strong, and not very threatening player and I dont think she was that talented. She had a great game for clay and could have achieved more on it including winning the French if she were mentally stronger. However for other surfaces I dont see much potential. Her serve sucked, she couldnt volley to save her life, her return was weak with a far back returning stance and no real hand eye coordination. Her forehand was a great shot and thing of beauty when it was working, but the rest of her game was unimpressive. Her backhand was effective on clay, and was her slide serve down the middle and wide kicker, drop shot and drop volleys, but none of those were effective on any other surface really. She tried to play a way behind the baseline retrievers game like Sanchez Vicario when she had none of the pure speed, fitness, or defensive skills of Sanchez's level to employ that game style with any real effect. In some ways I am surprised she did as well as she did in her career outside of clay. Against Graf or Seles on a hard court she had nothing at all that could hurt them other than her forehand.

thalivest
08-01-2010, 05:57 PM
Majoli, The only case for putting her ahead of Mary Joe is that 1997 French Open title but I still feel Mary Joe is better. Again she had to contend with Graf and Seles in their respective primes along with Vicario and Sabatini who did Majoli contend with? She made one slam final and only once got past the semis in slams and has losing records against all the big names from the 90s..She was a one slam fluke. Reminds of Gaudio in essence. That was one hell of a lucky win by her as Hingis was supposed to walk the floor with her.

Mary Joe > Kimoko she actually played and made slam finals sorry I am not going to give Kimoko a tie with Mary Joe on what could have been.

Majoli is the worst player out of this whole group. Anyone who followed tennis around then knows that Mary Joe and even Date were more consistent threats than Majoli ever was.

conway
08-24-2014, 01:41 PM
I think Sabatini is the only one of those who was a real contender to win big titles on any surface during her prime from 1988-1992. I know she won only 1, but every slam she entered she had a legitimate chance of winning, even if not always that high.

Novotna IMO was only a contender to win Wimbledon. Never a contender to win any of the other 3 slams. Even at her peak in 97-98 nobody even seriously considered her winning the U.S open, which would have been her 2nd best chance.

Martinez IMO was only a real annual contender to win the French, and with hindsight was a contender to win Wimbledon in 94-95 as she did win in 94, and was considered the #2 favorite after Graf for 95.

Pierce was a contender in some years to win the Australian and French Opens. She was never once a real contender to win Wimbledon or the U.S Open. Even the year she surprisingly made a final there in 2005 the winner was always going to be someone from the other half (whichever of Clijsters, Sharapova, Venus, Serena got out), or one of Henin or Davenport had they got out of her half instead of Mary. As we saw when Clijsters rolled her in an easy final.

Fernandez never felt like a real contender to win a slam going in but had 2 chances of winning 1- the 91 Australian and 93 French Opens. She could have beaten Gaby in the 90 U.S Open semis but would have been mauled by Graf in the final had she gotten past that.

Majoli also never felt like a contender to win a slam but did win one anyway.

Date ironically did feel like a contender (not the favorite for sure but a contender) to win the 96 U.S Open going in, something that Fernandez and Majoli never felt like that. Despite that subjective truth I still rank her last though based on overall career.

1. Sabatini

2. Pierce- although maybe she should rank over Gaby with 6 slam finals and 2 slam titles. If it were an all time ranking Pierce probably ranks higher, but in the context of this thread of how much a contender you were I go with Gaby who was a more regular contender to win any title anywhere than Pierce.

3. Novotna

4. Martinez- despite what I said seeming to favor Conchita, I went with Jana over here. Anyway Jana was even a bigger contender to win Wimbledon than Martinez Roland Garros IMO. Had Steffi Graf not existed, Jana would have rolled up the Wimbledon titles from 93 onwards. There is no one player removed that would do this for Conchita at Roland Garros.

5. Fernandez

6. Majoli- her FO title while well deserved, was such an aberration in the overall context of her career, that I still think Fernandez is higher. Majoli's best tennis was probably better than Fernandez but her motivation was always weak, and it got even worse after her FO title.

7. Date- too bad she didn't continue after 96 as she seemed to be really hitting her stride. Probably would have climbed higher, whether she went on to win a slam or not. Just looking at what she is doing in her comeback in her 40s, one can only imagine what she might have done in the late 90s had she kept improving.

conway
08-24-2014, 02:10 PM
I won't disagree with anyone ranking Gaby ahead of Jana. But I think something that gets left out in a comparison of the two is the fact that Gaby was great early on and then declined following Wimbledon 1991. Jana was more of a late bloomer having a splash here and there. But she probably played her best tennis in 1997 and 1998.

1997 was a very weak year for womens tennis. That aided Jana's bloom. To her credit she showed signs of progress even in 1996, and had an even greater 1998 than 1997 when womens tennis became a lot stronger. The confidence and momentum she gained from being amongst the numerous vultures of weak 1997 probably aided her in 1998 though.

I do think Sabatini is overrated by a lot of people and Jana might have had more talent, but Gaby was mentally much stronger (note I didn't say strong, stronger than Jana) and much more consistent over a longer period of time. Both would have won a lot more than 1 slam in some eras (although there are eras that would have been bad for both too, related as much or more to court conditions and playing styles than competition).

conway
08-24-2014, 02:42 PM
I never considered Mary Pierce to be a contender she is definitely a pretender in my book. She won far less titles than alot of the 1 slam winners from the 90s.

Mary Pierce H2H vs her main competition
Capriati 1-4
Davenport 4-8
Mary Joe 2-5
Garisson 1-3
Graf 2-4
Henin 1-4
Hingis 6-10
Huber 6-5
Majoli 7-4
Martinez 12-6
Mauresmo 4-6
Novtona 1-5
Petrova 2-2
Sabatini 1-4
Vicario 6-5
Seles 4-5
Sukova 0-1
Williams 1-5
v. williams 3-7

I mean come on she has a winning record over Majoli (worst 1 slam winner ever) Conchita and barely over Vicario? I mean who was she really threatening...

Some of those head to heads are in fact quite good.

A winning record vs Sanchez Vicario (4 slam winner) is very good, even with her firepower she should in theory be capable to regularly beat Sanchez.

4-5 vs Seles is quite good also.

2-4 vs Graf is a good record.

12-6 over Martinez, who was more successful than her until 2000 RG title (over Martinez ironicaly) is very good.

You didn't mention Coetzer who probably deserves inclusion, and who she owns.

Isnt she 1-1 vs Sharapova too.

In Mary's case she was inconsistent like you said, so you shouldn't expect great head to heads. However when she was on fire she could produce some of the best tennis ever. Nobody would have beaten her in the 94 French semis for instance. That is one reason I laugh at blanket statements of some people say Graf had weak competition, and Evert and Navratilova had each other, since prime Chris or prime Martina on a day like that would have been blasted off the court by Mary too. Those type of players who could produce even occasional performances like that didn't exist back then (except Hana, but she was the 3rd best of that era so that is not the same thing). I also laugh at Seles fans who mock Graf for a loss like that, when Monica also would have never beaten Mary Pierce that day. These type of players (Pierce type players) aren't regularly at the top level but they can produce performances they are untouchable. Martinez even on her best clay day was not untouchable by a great player, and saying Sabatini or Novotna could ever reach levels they were unplayable as Pierce could would be a large stretch at best. Fernandez, Majoli, and Date obviously never could or would.

Majoli is very far from the worst 1 slam winner. Schaivone, Bartoli, Stosur, Barker, Mima J., Ruzica, O Neill, Barbara Jordan, and probably Myskina are all worse. Along with a bunch of pre Open Era Australian Open or even French Open winners. Heck she is probably one of the better ones, which just show there aren't many that high quality 1 slam winners. The slamless players group almost is better than the 1 slammers one.

I don't see how you can say Mary is lucky to win 2 slams though. No matter how inconsistent she was, she produced an untouchable level of tennis at the 95 Australian Open, and was at the 94 French Open until the rain delay turned her into a new player post rain delay in the final vs Sanchez. The 2000 French Open was even quite an impressive level, and she had a very hard draw to win the title. Based on that I have to believe she was unlucky to not win atleast 3 slams (all 3 of these). I also saw her play some excellent matches and lose close contests to high ranked players in the round of 16 and quarterfinal stages, which she was playing them in due to the inconsistency on the regular tour you speak of. Yet she is 6-0 in slam semis, that is mighty impressive and says something.

Unlike Mary who was the best player of 3 slams (despite winning only 2), there probably wasn't ever a slam Gaby was the best overall of. Graf played far better than Sabatini at the 1990 U.S Open except the match that really counted- the final. Since Gaby played great (and Steffi not particularly well) in that most pivotal match, Gaby deserved the title of course, but in no way does it compare to Mary's slam winning performances, or even the 94 French Open where she didn't win the title. Even though Gaby could have won the 91 Wimbledon final I don't think in anyway her form overall at the event was better than Graf's ever, and Graf was the rightful winner of that title. Jana was in the best form overall at 93 and 98 Wimbledons, and maybe 97 Wimbledons, so also much more often than Gaby.

The more I say all this I am wondering if I should have ranked 2 slam winner Mary ahead of 1 slam winner Gaby, even in the context of this thread.