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grafselesfan
10-20-2009, 12:04 AM
Even though achievements wise Serena Williams is not the best women player ever does anyone else think that skill and ability wise she might be, particularly at her best. I was thinking the other day how she compares to the current greatest women players of all time and she actually compares favorably game wise by my estimation.


Serena vs Graf:

First serve- Graf has one of the greatest serves in womens tennis history, but Serena's is undisputably the greatest (other than maybe her sister also on the 1st serve). SERENA

Second serve- Serena's 2nd serve especialy is clearly the greatest ever. SERENA

Return of serve- Graf was a very good returner but Serena is arguably the greatest womens return of server ever (with a few other contenders like Seles, Connolly, maybe Evert). SERENA

Forehand- No women in history surpasses Graf here. GRAF

Backhand- Graf's slice backhand is underrated and one of the best slice backhands in womens tennis history, but nobody with predominantly just a slice backhand can be placed over Serena's powerhouse of a backhand. SERENA

Volleys- Not a huge edge to either, maybe a bit to Graf. GRAF by a bit

Movement- Again not a huge difference if both are at their best. Maybe Graf by a bit again. GRAF by a bit

Overhead- Both were amazing, put away any overhead, even tough ones. EVEN

Mental game- Both are among the mentally toughest players in history. I would go with Graf only by a hair. GRAF by a bit

So both have 4 edges and 1 tie. However Serena has a clear edge in all 4 of her edges, while Graf only a very slight iffy edge in 3 of her 4. Keep in mind Graf is my favorite women player of all time and if anything I would be biased to her.


Now Serena vs Navratilova:

First serve- Basically the same thing I said for Graf. Martina has one of the greatest serves ever, Serena is the greatest women server ever only challenged on the 1st serve by her sister. SERENA

Second serve- Serena is even more the unchallenged queen of the 2nd serve. SERENA

Return of serve- Martina was actually an excellent and underrated returner. Still this is clearly Serena. SERENA

Forehand- Martina had an excellent forehand, by far her better side off the ground. Still the edge goes to Serena. SERENA

Backhand- This is no contest. Martina's backhand isnt even up to the standard of Graf's. SERENA

Volleys- Martina the greatest volleyer ever of course takes this category. MARTINA

Overhead- Martina probably had the greatest womens overhead ever, along with possibly Court. MARTINA

Movement- Both are among the fastest women ever, at full fitness I would call it a tie (acknowledging Serena isnt always). EVEN

Mental game- Martina is underrated here, you dont win as much as she does without a very strong mental game. Still Serena takes her here. SERENA

This is even more a blowout than Graf with Martina winning 2 categories and Serena winning 6.


Comparing Serena to Evert is somewhat unfair as their game styles are so different. Atleast in some aspects of the game. Both have outstanding groundstrokes and return of serves, but which are effective in completely different ways. Comparatively Serena's are more about raw power, and Evert's more about control, consistency, and pinpoint accuracy. However regardless the style difference Serena's serve is many light years beyond Evert even if Evert had been playing today with todays racquets, she is clearly the faster of the two despite that Evert herself was very fast and overall a very efficent mover (with superb anticipation boosting her overall movement further), and her overhead is also in a whole other league (this was not a strong shot for Evert similar to the serve). Given that both are excellent in other areas, albeit in a completely different way and playing style, these distinct differences would seem to give Serena the overall edge.

I wont ever both comparing to Court who was too far back to make a fair comparision, and women before her even moreso.

What I am trying to say is while you cant really say Serena is the greatest ever as her achievements are insufficient for that title, tennis wise, especialy at her best, could well be the greatest that ever played.

grafselesfan
10-20-2009, 12:07 AM
I already know I am probably going to take alot of abuse from some posters for this thread btw.

THUNDERVOLLEY
10-20-2009, 02:06 AM
Only those with the usual agenda will abuse you or your post. Sports commonly features players of (retired or active and still building on careers) with less achievements than another, yet possess some greater ability (though the tendency is to think more slams means superior skills in all catagories).

For example, Federer has more slams than John McEnroe, but JM's serve and volley talents eclipse Federer's to almost unimaginable degrees. His gifted timing, hand/eye coordination and athleticism could easily be added to the debate as well.

Moreover, Federer has more slams than someone like Connors, but between the two, the greater return of serve belongs to...?

So, Serena (as of this date) may not have as many slams as Graf or Martina, but this in no way means certain, individual skills are also on an imagined lower rung.

grafselesfan
10-20-2009, 02:34 AM
Only those with the usual agenda will abuse you or your post. Sports commonly features players of (retired or active and still building on careers) with less achievements than another, yet possess some greater ability (though the tendency is to think more slams means superior skills in all catagories).

For example, Federer has more slams than John McEnroe, but JM's serve and volley talents eclipse Federer's to almost unimaginable degrees. His gifted timing, hand/eye coordination and athleticism could easily be added to the debate as well.

Moreover, Federer has more slams than someone like Connors, but between the two, the greater return of serve belongs to...?

So, Serena (as of this date) may not have as many slams as Graf or Martina, but this in no way means certain, individual skills are also on an imagined lower rung.

Thank you. I am also along the lines of thinking that one shouldnt just assume someones skills are better in all areas just because they have won significantly more. Your examples on Federer vs such and such a player in specific areas anyway prove that out. There are many variables that can go into exactly how much a player wins. Granted if they dont win at all, or very little, then it isnt by chance, they just arent great enough. However when you are talking about different players who have all won alot, there can be many possible variables that went into those who won more.

Even if her achievements are not the greatest ever ability wise Serena matches up well to all the greatest women players in history IMO. I broke down exactly why I believed that.

jelle v
10-20-2009, 02:46 AM
I already know I am probably going to take alot of abuse from some posters for this thread btw.

Not from me.. I agree with most of it. Only:

Movement- Again not a huge difference if both are at their best. Maybe Graf by a bit again. GRAF by a bit

I strongly disagree with you on this one. Graf is one of the best movers ever. Serena in top form is not a bad mover, but not a great mover either. Imo she is particularly vulnerable on changes directions (don't know the english word). On the run she is pretty fast though.

halalula1234
10-20-2009, 04:14 AM
Not from me.. I agree with most of it. Only:



I strongly disagree with you on this one. Graf is one of the best movers ever. Serena in top form is not a bad mover, but not a great mover either. Imo she is particularly vulnerable on changes directions (don't know the english word). On the run she is pretty fast though.

serena and graf may be close in speed but graf has one of the best foot work ever. still ability wise over all i would put them pretty close to each other if only serena was as consistent as graf she would have a bit more than she does now. oh yes consistency graf wins when it comes to this

jaap deboeck
10-20-2009, 04:37 AM
A pivotal point in any such analysis is that the depth today is far far greater than 15, 20, 30...years ago. This is especially true on the womens side!

The number of elite players is comparable; however what the women face in draws for most significant tournaments dwarfs what the stars of yesteryear dealt with. Neither Margaret not Steffi nor Martina nor Chris would win 18+ slams in this era, IMHO! More grueling hard court events in the recent era also serves to limit longevity.

Serena is without a doubt the "best" from a pure athletic vantage point, even as career wise she is not even close to the best with a mere 2 years finishing #1 (assumig she does in '09).

Joe Pike
10-20-2009, 05:08 AM
Even though achievements wise Serena Williams is not the best women player ever does anyone else think that skill and ability wise she might be, particularly at her best. ...

In 2000-2009 Serena had 30 (!) losses against non-top-10 players.
Even in her greatest year ever (2002), being "at her best", she lost to Shaughnessy (#13), Schnyder (#30) and Rubin (#21).


N

Joe Pike
10-20-2009, 05:12 AM
I already know I am probably going to take alot of abuse from some posters for this thread btw.


Not abuse, only ridicule.
Serena moving as fast as Graf, oh my ...
:)

pc1
10-20-2009, 05:13 AM
I won't go into a stroke comparison but I will say that I've spoken to a few tennis experts who have seen the game for many years and some of them believe Serena is the greatest ever if she is on her game.

Let's face it, Serena can hurt you with so many shots, is lightning fast and plays a great defensive game also.

Believe it or not some of players I can see possible matching her is Venus and Clijsters.

Clijsters can hurt you with as many shots as Serena and I actually think her groundies may be a little more solid. However Serena has the advantage of a great serve so I think that gives her a slight edge.

In the US Open semi this year I thought Serena played a super match and Clijsters still outplayed her and won. So Kim is one of the players who I think can at least come close to Serena if Serena plays well.

Joe Pike
10-20-2009, 05:16 AM
A pivotal point in any such analysis is that the depth today is far far greater than 15, 20, 30...years ago. This is especially true on the womens side!

The number of elite players is comparable; however what the women face in draws for most significant tournaments dwarfs what the stars of yesteryear dealt with. Neither Margaret not Steffi nor Martina nor Chris would win 18+ slams in this era, IMHO! ...


Against whom could Steffi lose on clay today?
Who would challenge her at the FO?
Kuzzy ... ?
Ivanovic ........ ?

BTW, both players won the FO recently.

Joe Pike
10-20-2009, 05:22 AM
I won't go into a stroke comparison but I will say that I've spoken to a few tennis experts who have seen the game for many years and some of them believe Serena is the greatest ever if she is on her game.

Let's face it, Serena can hurt you with so many shots, is lightning fast and plays a great defensive game also.

Believe it or not some of players I can see possible matching her is Venus and Clijsters.

Clijsters can hurt you with as many shots as Serena and I actually think her groundies may be a little more solid. However Serena has the advantage of a great serve so I think that gives her a slight edge.

In the US Open semi this year I thought Serena played a super match and Clijsters still outplayed her and won. So Kim is one of the players who I think can at least come close to Serena if Serena plays well.



40-year-old Graf played Clijsters recently in a Wimbledon exhibition.
Although it was supposed to be a fun match, guess who played the more powerful tennis (and hit more winners) ...

BTW, many Serena fans talk of "Serena at her best" but fail to explain WHEN this might have been. In the one hour of the AO 2008 final when she thrashed Sharapova?
Which period to you take as "at-best" time frame? One hour, one day, one tournament, 3 months, one year, three years??

pc1
10-20-2009, 06:04 AM
40-year-old Graf played Clijsters recently in a Wimbledon exhibition.
Although it was supposed to be a fun match, guess who played the more powerful tennis (and hit more winners) ...

BTW, many Serena fans talk of "Serena at her best" but fail to explain WHEN this might have been. In the one hour of the AO 2008 final when she thrashed Sharapova?
Which period to you take as "at-best" time frame? One hour, one day, one tournament, 3 months, one year, three years??

I'm not a Serena fan but I think they mean for one match at her best that she may be the best.

Fr4Nc0
10-20-2009, 06:08 AM
safina is the GOAT

Joe Pike
10-20-2009, 06:14 AM
I'm not a Serena fan but I think they mean for one match at her best that she may be the best.


Then Pierce is the best ever.

egn
10-20-2009, 06:34 AM
It all relates to had Serena gave two craps past the year 2003 things might be very different.

TMF
10-20-2009, 07:34 AM
Only those with the usual agenda will abuse you or your post. Sports commonly features players of (retired or active and still building on careers) with less achievements than another, yet possess some greater ability (though the tendency is to think more slams means superior skills in all catagories).

For example, Federer has more slams than John McEnroe, but JM's serve and volley talents eclipse Federer's to almost unimaginable degrees. His gifted timing, hand/eye coordination and athleticism could easily be added to the debate as well.

Moreover, Federer has more slams than someone like Connors, but between the two, the greater return of serve belongs to...?

So, Serena (as of this date) may not have as many slams as Graf or Martina, but this in no way means certain, individual skills are also on an imagined lower rung.

You can't compare Federer to Serena b/c it's apple to orange. Federer holds GS records and many other records, and will continue until break other records until he retire. Meanwhile Serena's numbers are dwarf in compared to Martina, Graf of Chris, etc.. She's not even dominating in her era(unlike Fed), trailing weeks at #, year end #1, and total titles. Huge difference

One thing they have in common is they are playing in the modern day, where there's more countries and athletes competing which the tour has more depth in talent. However, the ATP is more competitive than the WTA since they lost a few great players in the past 1.5 years(henin, kim and maria). And Federer's achievement totally outclassed Serena in every areas.

It makes me laugh when people try to use Federer in order to support how great Serena is.

IvanAndreevich
10-20-2009, 09:06 AM
But how can you tell? Serena is never at her best, according to her. At least when she loses.

Cyan
10-20-2009, 10:11 AM
40-year-old Graf played Clijsters recently in a Wimbledon exhibition.
Although it was supposed to be a fun match, guess who played the more powerful tennis (and hit more winners) ...

BTW, many Serena fans talk of "Serena at her best" but fail to explain WHEN this might have been. In the one hour of the AO 2008 final when she thrashed Sharapova?
Which period to you take as "at-best" time frame? One hour, one day, one tournament, 3 months, one year, three years??

:lol: :lol:

DRII
10-20-2009, 10:39 AM
Even though achievements wise Serena Williams is not the best women player ever does anyone else think that skill and ability wise she might be, particularly at her best. I was thinking the other day how she compares to the current greatest women players of all time and she actually compares favorably game wise by my estimation.


Serena vs Graf:

First serve- Graf has one of the greatest serves in womens tennis history, but Serena's is undisputably the greatest (other than maybe her sister also on the 1st serve). SERENA

Second serve- Serena's 2nd serve especialy is clearly the greatest ever. SERENA

Return of serve- Graf was a very good returner but Serena is arguably the greatest womens return of server ever (with a few other contenders like Seles, Connolly, maybe Evert). SERENA

Forehand- No women in history surpasses Graf here. GRAF

Backhand- Graf's slice backhand is underrated and one of the best slice backhands in womens tennis history, but nobody with predominantly just a slice backhand can be placed over Serena's powerhouse of a backhand. SERENA

Volleys- Not a huge edge to either, maybe a bit to Graf. GRAF by a bit

Movement- Again not a huge difference if both are at their best. Maybe Graf by a bit again. GRAF by a bit

Overhead- Both were amazing, put away any overhead, even tough ones. EVEN

Mental game- Both are among the mentally toughest players in history. I would go with Graf only by a hair. GRAF by a bit

So both have 4 edges and 1 tie. However Serena has a clear edge in all 4 of her edges, while Graf only a very slight iffy edge in 3 of her 4. Keep in mind Graf is my favorite women player of all time and if anything I would be biased to her.


Now Serena vs Navratilova:

First serve- Basically the same thing I said for Graf. Martina has one of the greatest serves ever, Serena is the greatest women server ever only challenged on the 1st serve by her sister. SERENA

Second serve- Serena is even more the unchallenged queen of the 2nd serve. SERENA

Return of serve- Martina was actually an excellent and underrated returner. Still this is clearly Serena. SERENA

Forehand- Martina had an excellent forehand, by far her better side off the ground. Still the edge goes to Serena. SERENA

Backhand- This is no contest. Martina's backhand isnt even up to the standard of Graf's. SERENA

Volleys- Martina the greatest volleyer ever of course takes this category. MARTINA

Overhead- Martina probably had the greatest womens overhead ever, along with possibly Court. MARTINA

Movement- Both are among the fastest women ever, at full fitness I would call it a tie (acknowledging Serena isnt always). EVEN

Mental game- Martina is underrated here, you dont win as much as she does without a very strong mental game. Still Serena takes her here. SERENA

This is even more a blowout than Graf with Martina winning 2 categories and Serena winning 6.


Comparing Serena to Evert is somewhat unfair as their game styles are so different. Atleast in some aspects of the game. Both have outstanding groundstrokes and return of serves, but which are effective in completely different ways. Comparatively Serena's are more about raw power, and Evert's more about control, consistency, and pinpoint accuracy. However regardless the style difference Serena's serve is many light years beyond Evert even if Evert had been playing today with todays racquets, she is clearly the faster of the two despite that Evert herself was very fast and overall a very efficent mover (with superb anticipation boosting her overall movement further), and her overhead is also in a whole other league (this was not a strong shot for Evert similar to the serve). Given that both are excellent in other areas, albeit in a completely different way and playing style, these distinct differences would seem to give Serena the overall edge.

I wont ever both comparing to Court who was too far back to make a fair comparision, and women before her even moreso.

What I am trying to say is while you cant really say Serena is the greatest ever as her achievements are insufficient for that title, tennis wise, especialy at her best, could well be the greatest that ever played.

No, sorry i have to disagree with you.

Assumming a player playing at her best, which is the best: it is clearly Venus Williams.

Venus (again at her best) is the most explosive, most powerful, most athletic womens player in history.

DRII
10-20-2009, 10:42 AM
No, sorry i have to disagree with you.

Assumming a player playing at her best, which is the best: it is clearly Venus Williams.

Venus (again at her best) is the most explosive, most powerful, most athletic womens player in history.

NonP
10-20-2009, 10:53 AM
But how can you tell? Serena is never at her best, according to her. At least when she loses.

We have a winner. :)

LDVTennis
10-20-2009, 11:32 AM
Even though achievements wise Serena Williams is not the best women player ever does anyone else think that skill and ability wise she might be, particularly at her best. I was thinking the other day how she compares to the current greatest women players of all time and she actually compares favorably game wise by my estimation.


Serena vs Graf:

First serve- Graf has one of the greatest serves in womens tennis history, but Serena's is undisputably the greatest (other than maybe her sister also on the 1st serve). SERENA

Second serve- Serena's 2nd serve especialy is clearly the greatest ever. SERENA

Return of serve- Graf was a very good returner but Serena is arguably the greatest womens return of server ever (with a few other contenders like Seles, Connolly, maybe Evert). SERENA

Forehand- No women in history surpasses Graf here. GRAF

Backhand- Graf's slice backhand is underrated and one of the best slice backhands in womens tennis history, but nobody with predominantly just a slice backhand can be placed over Serena's powerhouse of a backhand. SERENA

Volleys- Not a huge edge to either, maybe a bit to Graf. GRAF by a bit

Movement- Again not a huge difference if both are at their best. Maybe Graf by a bit again. GRAF by a bit

Overhead- Both were amazing, put away any overhead, even tough ones. EVEN

Mental game- Both are among the mentally toughest players in history. I would go with Graf only by a hair. GRAF by a bit

So both have 4 edges and 1 tie. However Serena has a clear edge in all 4 of her edges, while Graf only a very slight iffy edge in 3 of her 4. Keep in mind Graf is my favorite women player of all time and if anything I would be biased to her.


This is all subjective anyways. So, here is my take:

On the serve: Serena has more power, but how much of that is her wide-beamed, oversized racquet and how much of it is her. Shultz-McCarthy was the fastest server of Steffi's era. Her fastest serve back then was 116 to 119. At that time, Steffi's fastest serve was 106-108. Shultz-McCarthy made a brief comeback two years ago in order to reclaim the fastest serve record from Venus. Using today's racquets, she reclaimed the record with a serve of 130. If Shultz saw that much improvement in mph with the new technology, so could Steffi.

In terms of placement, Steffi was much better than Serena at going outwide to the AD court.

Given all that, I don't think either one has the edge here.

Return of serve: One of Steffi's shots trumps all of Serena's. That would be the forehand. Neither of Serena's shots is designed to hit winners off one ball, regardless of bounce, pace, or location. When the ball is in Serena's strike zone and she doesn't have to move much for it, Serena can hit a very powerful return. Graf didn't need the ball to be in her strike zone. She adjusted so well on the return to any ball that she could even go inside-in with her forehand.

Edge here has to go to Graf based on the versatility of that one shot, the forehand.

Backhand:

Your logic here is a bit too simple. Graf's backhand is a multi-dimensional shot: dropshots, lobs, chip returns, short slices. When she put her mind to it, she also hit a very devastating topspin drive, but typically only on passing shots. Steffi also has as much directional control on the slice backhand as she has on her forehand --- anywhere from inside-out to inside-in.

Serena's backhand only has one thing going for it, power. She rarely displays the ability to create anything but a drive with it. In fact, she often gets in most trouble on that side when she has to create something with the backhand off a low, short ball. Lacking a slice backhand, she often finds herself powerless in those instances.

Given all that, I give the edge to Graf.

Movement:

Take Graf's movement at her peak, 1996. And, take Serena's movement now or at the same age as Graf was in 1996. No comparison. Graf wins this category by a mile. Much, much better footwork. Much, much better quickness. More dynamically efficient movement at top end speed. At the edge of her top end speed, when running to balls hit out wide, Serena often loses her balance. Compare that to Graf's ability to reach top end speed while maintaining her shoulders over her center of gravity.

Given all that, Graf has the clear edge here.

In principle, I don't like these kinds of comparisons. They often favor the inferior player.

Serena is just a big racquet, a big girl, a backhand and a serve. Graf was much, much more than that.

By design, Graf's game is more difficult than Serena's to execute because of the emphasis it placed on running around her backhand. Perhaps, that is why only the men with their superior athleticism and better technical mastery of the forehand and its variable swing paths play like she did.

Strategically, it's also a very complicated game because of how it redraws the boundaries of the court. By design, Graf's forehand (inside-out/inside-in) is meant to introduce some unpredictability into the typical baseline patterns (side to side) and to widen the court, thus making it much more difficult to defend.

There's nothing from a design standpoint about Serena's game that comes close to matching any of the exceptional athletic, technical and strategic aspects of Graf's game. That is why there is no comparison.

Joe Pike
10-20-2009, 12:04 PM
This is all subjective anyways. So, here is my take:

On the serve: Serena has more power, but how much of that is her wide-beamed, oversized racquet and how much of it is her. Shultz-McCarthy was the fastest server of Steffi's era. Her fastest serve back then was 116 to 119. At that time, Steffi's fastest serve was 106-108. Shultz-McCarthy made a brief comeback two years ago in order to reclaim the fastest serve record from Venus. Using today's racquets, she reclaimed the record with a serve of 130. If Shultz saw that much improvement in mph with the new technology, so could Steffi.

In terms of placement, Steffi was much better than Serena at going outwide to the AD court.

Given all that, I don't think either one has the edge here.

Return of serve: One of Steffi's shots trumps all of Serena's. That would be the forehand. Neither of Serena's shots is designed to hit winners off one ball, regardless of bounce, pace, or location. When the ball is in Serena's strike zone and she doesn't have to move much for it, Serena can hit a very powerful return. Graf didn't need the ball to be in her strike zone. She adjusted so well on the return to any ball that she could even go inside-in with her forehand.

Edge here has to go to Graf based on the versatility of that one shot, the forehand.

Backhand:

Your logic here is a bit too simple. Graf's backhand is a multi-dimensional shot: dropshots, lobs, chip returns, short slices. When she put her mind to it, she also hit a very devastating topspin drive, but typically only on passing shots. Steffi also has as much directional control on the slice backhand as she has on her forehand --- anywhere from inside-out to inside-in.

Serena's backhand only has one thing going for it, power. She rarely displays the ability to create anything but a drive with it. In fact, she often gets in most trouble on that side when she has to create something with the backhand off a low, short ball. Lacking a slice backhand, she often finds herself powerless in those instances.

Given all that, I give the edge to Graf.

Movement:

Take Graf's movement at her peak, 1996. And, take Serena's movement now or at the same age as Graf was in 1996. No comparison. Graf wins this category by a mile. Much, much better footwork. Much, much better quickness. More dynamically efficient movement at top end speed. At the edge of her top end speed, when running to balls hit out wide, Serena often loses her balance. Compare that to Graf's ability to reach top end speed while maintaining her shoulders over her center of gravity.

Given all that, Graf has the clear edge here.

In principle, I don't like these kinds of comparisons. They often favor the inferior player.

Serena is just a big racquet, a big girl, a backhand and a serve. Graf was much, much more than that.

By design, Graf's game is more difficult than Serena's to execute because of the emphasis it placed on running around her backhand. Perhaps, that is why only the men with their superior athleticism and better technical mastery of the forehand and its variable swing paths play like she did.

Strategically, it's also a very complicated game because of how it redraws the boundaries of the court. By design, Graf's forehand (inside-out/inside-in) is meant to introduce some unpredictability into the typical baseline patterns (side to side) and to widen the court, thus making it much more difficult to defend.

There's nothing from a design standpoint about Serena's game that comes close to matching any of the exceptional athletic, technical and strategic aspects of Graf's game. That is why there is no comparison.


Great analysis!

Many posters here seem to be very young. They have obviously never watched Graf play. And even if so, they don't have any idea about how much racket technology has evolved from 1989 (Graf's peak!) up until today.

BTW, today's faster serve speed stats are not only due to better rackets but also to different measurment methods.

Chadwixx
10-20-2009, 12:09 PM
Serena lacks the day in day out consistency of steffi and martina.

If you wanna take her peak preformance (once every blue moon) she would be better.

Joe Pike
10-20-2009, 01:48 PM
Serena lacks the day in day out consistency of steffi and martina.

If you wanna take her peak preformance (once every blue moon) she would be better.


Which were her 10 top performances in the last 5 years?

McBrat
10-20-2009, 03:58 PM
Transitory aspects like best performance ever, best form ever and best run ever are more a measure of potential than class. As such, it means more while you are still playing and significantly less once you retire. Serena's always a threat because players know what she's capable of. But soon her career will be over and in retrospect her achievements during her entire career will stand out more than how she performed on her best days (which are few and far between), just like other all-time greats.

Tennis greats like Graf and Navratilova build their careers on a lifetime of achievements which requires consistent performance at the highest level. This is more important than being better on your best day. Serena could arguably be better than Graf on their best day but it doesn't mean much if it doesn't give her that many important wins. It would provide more entertainment value, though!

Plus, tennis has developed over the years with better technology, better nutrition, better fitness regiments, more techniques to learn from, etc. The fact that some aspects of Graf's and Navratilova's game are comparable to today's really tells how much they were able to achieve in their era with their resources.

Serena would be my pick for the best in this era (subject to change depending on how Henin does) but her inconsistency detracts a lot from her greatness. And comparing parts of Serena's career to players who have had a more consistent performance during their entire career seems a bit unqualified...

Steffi-forever
10-21-2009, 04:04 AM
Which were her 10 top performances in the last 5 years?

Vs Capriati (Wimbledon 2004)
Vs Mauresmo (Australian Open 2005)
Vs Sharapova (Australian Open 2007)
Vs Henin (Miami 2008)
Vs Safina (Australian Open 2009)
Vs Venus (Wimbledon 2009) Not sure about this one.

Are there any other great perfomances?

Steffi-forever
10-21-2009, 04:10 AM
Transitory aspects like best performance ever, best form ever and best run ever are more a measure of potential than class. As such, it means more while you are still playing and significantly less once you retire. Serena's always a threat because players know what she's capable of. But soon her career will be over and in retrospect her achievements during her entire career will stand out more than how she performed on her best days (which are few and far between), just like other all-time greats.

Tennis greats like Graf and Navratilova build their careers on a lifetime of achievements which requires consistent performance at the highest level. This is more important than being better on your best day. Serena could arguably be better than Graf on their best day but it doesn't mean much if it doesn't give her that many important wins. It would provide more entertainment value, though!

Plus, tennis has developed over the years with better technology, better nutrition, better fitness regiments, more techniques to learn from, etc. The fact that some aspects of Graf's and Navratilova's game are comparable to today's really tells how much they were able to achieve in their era with their resources.

Serena would be my pick for the best in this era (subject to change depending on how Henin does) but her inconsistency detracts a lot from her greatness. And comparing parts of Serena's career to players who have had a more consistent performance during their entire career seems a bit unqualified...

Serena only won 23 titles outside the GS. She should have won around 60 at this point.

grafselesfan
10-21-2009, 09:28 AM
Serena's numbers are dwarf in compared to Martina, Graf of Chris, etc.. She's not even dominating in her era(unlike Fed), trailing weeks at #, year end #1, and total titles.

I am not talking about specific numbers. I am talking about actual tennis playing abilities. In tersm of tennis playing abilites Serena is as good as any player who ever played the game. With the greatest first and second serve ever (challenged by her sister only on the first serve), arguably the greatest return of serve ever (Seles, Connolly, and Evert also in consideration), outstanding groundstrokes off both sides, excellent movement, an excellent overhead, and a pretty good transition game and volleys, and one of the toughest mental games ever, her package as a player can stack up to any women in history, and I am not even a big Serena fan like I am a fan say Graf or Seles. Also keep in mind Serena's career is not over yet.

Warriorroger
10-21-2009, 10:50 AM
I love Graf, but anyone who credits her overhead as one of the best is a bit ''confused''. I know, because I have the same problem she had, it's agressive, it is hard, but most of the time ''iffy'' placed. Sabatini and Navratilova had much much better overheads. Movement? Serena just as good? If I weren't tired from all those long post by the OP, then his/her knowlegde gave the final blow.

So far, healthy Graf and Seles would beat anyone, they figured out to win matches at any time against any one. They would never lose against lower-classer opponents in Tier 1 tournaments like Serena Williams did and if they did, then there was really st wrong.

Ps LDV for all the battles we had in the past at SGadmiration thread, I like your posts here.

LDVTennis
10-21-2009, 12:37 PM
I am not talking about specific numbers. I am talking about actual tennis playing abilities. In tersm of tennis playing abilites Serena is as good as any player who ever played the game. With the greatest first and second serve ever (challenged by her sister only on the first serve), arguably the greatest return of serve ever (Seles, Connolly, and Evert also in consideration), outstanding groundstrokes off both sides, excellent movement, an excellent overhead, and a pretty good transition game and volleys, and one of the toughest mental games ever, her package as a player can stack up to any women in history, and I am not even a big Serena fan like I am a fan say Graf or Seles. Also keep in mind Serena's career is not over yet.

These are your opinions. If you want to convince any of us, you're going to have to do much more than declare that Serena was good at all of these things.

Show us the visual evidence. I am assuming you've actually studied Serena's game. So, I'm sure you have this kind of evidence at your fingertips.

Otherwise, there's isn't much to argue about.

cuddles26
10-21-2009, 08:43 PM
Serena faces the deepest field in womens tennis history and still wins. That is why she is the greatest ever.

THUNDERVOLLEY
10-22-2009, 06:25 AM
This is all subjective anyways. So, here is my take:

On the serve: Serena has more power, but how much of that is her wide-beamed, oversized racquet and how much of it is her. Shultz-McCarthy was the fastest server of Steffi's era. Her fastest serve back then was 116 to 119. At that time, Steffi's fastest serve was 106-108. Shultz-McCarthy made a brief comeback two years ago in order to reclaim the fastest serve record from Venus. Using today's racquets, she reclaimed the record with a serve of 130. If Shultz saw that much improvement in mph with the new technology, so could Steffi.

In terms of placement, Steffi was much better than Serena at going outwide to the AD court.

Given all that, I don't think either one has the edge here.

Return of serve: One of Steffi's shots trumps all of Serena's. That would be the forehand. Neither of Serena's shots is designed to hit winners off one ball, regardless of bounce, pace, or location. When the ball is in Serena's strike zone and she doesn't have to move much for it, Serena can hit a very powerful return. Graf didn't need the ball to be in her strike zone. She adjusted so well on the return to any ball that she could even go inside-in with her forehand.

Edge here has to go to Graf based on the versatility of that one shot, the forehand.

Backhand:

Your logic here is a bit too simple. Graf's backhand is a multi-dimensional shot: dropshots, lobs, chip returns, short slices. When she put her mind to it, she also hit a very devastating topspin drive, but typically only on passing shots. Steffi also has as much directional control on the slice backhand as she has on her forehand --- anywhere from inside-out to inside-in.

Serena's backhand only has one thing going for it, power. She rarely displays the ability to create anything but a drive with it. In fact, she often gets in most trouble on that side when she has to create something with the backhand off a low, short ball. Lacking a slice backhand, she often finds herself powerless in those instances.

Given all that, I give the edge to Graf.

Movement:

Take Graf's movement at her peak, 1996. And, take Serena's movement now or at the same age as Graf was in 1996. No comparison. Graf wins this category by a mile. Much, much better footwork. Much, much better quickness. More dynamically efficient movement at top end speed. At the edge of her top end speed, when running to balls hit out wide, Serena often loses her balance. Compare that to Graf's ability to reach top end speed while maintaining her shoulders over her center of gravity.

Given all that, Graf has the clear edge here.

In principle, I don't like these kinds of comparisons. They often favor the inferior player.

Serena is just a big racquet, a big girl, a backhand and a serve. Graf was much, much more than that.

By design, Graf's game is more difficult than Serena's to execute because of the emphasis it placed on running around her backhand. Perhaps, that is why only the men with their superior athleticism and better technical mastery of the forehand and its variable swing paths play like she did.

Strategically, it's also a very complicated game because of how it redraws the boundaries of the court. By design, Graf's forehand (inside-out/inside-in) is meant to introduce some unpredictability into the typical baseline patterns (side to side) and to widen the court, thus making it much more difficult to defend.

There's nothing from a design standpoint about Serena's game that comes close to matching any of the exceptional athletic, technical and strategic aspects of Graf's game. That is why there is no comparison.

I notice you failed to mention a volley catagory. Graf was not great there, and never played the technique enough to rely on it as you see in the case of SW, who--unlike most of the baseline obsessing field--actually knows how to play it effectively, not just as some last ditch strategy or only coming in when forced to.

dropshot winner
10-22-2009, 06:30 AM
Serena faces the deepest field in womens tennis history and still wins. That is why she is the greatest ever.
The field is definately much deeper than it has ever been (esp. compared to 15-20 years ago), but the current top players are a huge disappointment.

THUNDERVOLLEY
10-22-2009, 06:35 AM
You can't compare Federer to Serena b/c it's apple to orange. Federer holds GS records and many other records, and will continue until break other records until he retire. Meanwhile Serena's numbers are dwarf in compared to Martina, Graf of Chris, etc.. She's not even dominating in her era(unlike Fed), trailing weeks at #, year end #1, and total titles. Huge difference

One thing they have in common is they are playing in the modern day, where there's more countries and athletes competing which the tour has more depth in talent. However, the ATP is more competitive than the WTA since they lost a few great players in the past 1.5 years(henin, kim and maria). And Federer's achievement totally outclassed Serena in every areas.

It makes me laugh when people try to use Federer in order to support how great Serena is.

You completely miss the point: yes, one can compare abilites, with a player with fewer slams having superior ability/skill at a particular catagory/technique than one with more slams. By your criteria, Federer's slam count would make him the greatest at all catagory/techniques, which would be an absurd theory at best.

Obviously, there are numerous former pros with specific abilities which outshine that of Federer, thus, there are skills SW possesses which Graf did not--or are superior to Graf.

vandre
10-22-2009, 07:23 AM
Movement:

Take Graf's movement at her peak, 1996. And, take Serena's movement now or at the same age as Graf was in 1996. No comparison. Graf wins this category by a mile. Much, much better footwork. Much, much better quickness. More dynamically efficient movement at top end speed. At the edge of her top end speed, when running to balls hit out wide, Serena often loses her balance. Compare that to Graf's ability to reach top end speed while maintaining her shoulders over her center of gravity.

Given all that, Graf has the clear edge here.


this +1. graf moved better in her exo with clijsters @ wimbledon (after being off the tour for how long?) than i've ever seen serena move.

Cyan
10-22-2009, 07:27 AM
Graf >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Serena

8pNADAL
10-22-2009, 07:38 AM
graf is more athletic than serena, more skillful too, serena simply is not talented enough (and that includes the 'serena slam' period) just not on grafs level

Joe Pike
10-22-2009, 08:43 AM
Serena faces the deepest field in womens tennis history and still wins. That is why she is the greatest ever.


So "deep" that a 39-year-old player, who retired 13 years ago and was only a top-5 player for a few months in her former career, is able to beat 3 current top-30 players within a week?

Or so "deep" that a mother of a young kid can come out of retirement after 2 years and win a slam tournament immediately?

:shock:

Joe Pike
10-22-2009, 08:46 AM
I notice you failed to mention a volley catagory. Graf was not great there, and never played the technique enough to rely on it as you see in the case of SW, who--unlike most of the baseline obsessing field--actually knows how to play it effectively, not just as some last ditch strategy or only coming in when forced to.


Graf had a very, very solid volley.
She lacked a little bit the feel for when to come to the net and when not, though.

DRII
10-22-2009, 09:08 AM
I simply don't understand some of you all's logic. Are we talking about ability of what a player can do as evidenced by a particular match or points in time? Or is it what a player has done over their career. Career wise it would certainly be Graf, she was the most consistently dominating over the longest period, although there are some caveats to this, such as Monica being stabbed.

But, if we are talking about one player, playing at her peak in one match vs any other player than Venus Williams is the best. Keep in mind we are talking about Venus playing at her best.

So for example the best Venus Williams vs the best Serena Williams.

1. Venus has the edge in speed and court coverage (she was the fastest player on tour till about 3 or 4 years ago when she decided she didn't want to play defesne any longer).

2. Venus has the edge in pace of the ball. If you don't believe me, just listen to Lindsay Davenport when she is commentating. I have heard her say on more than one occassion the Venus has the most pace of any player she has ever faced. She has also said that when Venus is in form and her forehand is working that Venus Williams is unbeatable! This coming from Lindsay Davenport, one of the biggest hitters of all time.

3. Venus has the advantage with her first serve. One of the fastest on record, and the most consistently fastest. She doesn't just hit one at 125 or above during a match, she can hit that speed twice or more in one game! Her first serve is also one of the heaviest in women's history.
And remember is a player is playing their best thay won't miss many first serves.

4. Venus has the advantage with returning serves. I think Serena can be more agressive on service returns at times, but Venus gets more returns in play and is more consistently aggressive on return.

5. And this is problably an inform Venus' most significant advantage. Venus improvises better than any womens player in history. She is the most flexible. She does things, again at her best, that you can not teach. This is most likely due to her incredible athleticism.

The only advantage I would give Serena is she hits a heavier ball and she has a little more mental toughness.

But Venus at her best is the best, period.

My inspiration as far as matches would be the 2001 US Open semi between Venus and Capriati and the final that year vs Serena. Or the 2000 US Open final vs Davenport. Thers a plethora of Wimbledon matches to choose from.

Warriorroger
10-22-2009, 09:15 AM
I simply don't understand some of you all's logic. Are we talking about ability of what a player can do as evidenced by a particular match or points in time? Or is it what a player has done over their career. Career wise it would certainly be Graf, she was the most consistently dominating over the longest period, although there are some caveats to this, such as Monica being stabbed.

But, if we are talking about one player, playing at her peak in one match vs any other player than Venus Williams is the best. Keep in mind we are talking about Venus playing at her best.

So for example the best Venus Williams vs the best Serena Williams.

1. Venus has the edge in speed and court coverage (she was the fastest player on tour till about 3 or 4 years ago when she decided she didn't want to play defesne any longer).

2. Venus has the edge in pace of the ball. If you don't believe me, just listen to Lindsay Davenport when she is commentating. I have heard her say on more than one occassion the Venus has the most pace of any player she has ever faced. She has also said that when Venus is in form and her forehand is working that Venus Williams is unbeatable! This coming from Lindsay Davenport, one of the biggest hitters of all time.

3. Venus has the advantage with her first serve. One of the fastest on record, and the most consistently fastest. She doesn't just hit one at 125 or above during a match, she can hit that speed twice or more in one game! Her first serve is also one of the heaviest in women's history.
And remember is a player is playing their best thay won't miss many first serves.

4. Venus has the advantage with returning serves. I think Serena can be more agressive on service returns at times, but Venus gets more returns in play and is more consistently aggressive on return.

5. And this is problably an inform Venus' most significant advantage. Venus improvises better than any womens player in history. She is the most flexible. She does things, again at her best, that you can not teach. This is most likely due to her incredible athleticism.

The only advantage I would give Serena is she hits a heavier ball and she has a little more mental toughness.

But Venus at her best is the best, period.

My inspiration as far as matches would be the 2001 US Open semi between Venus and Capriati and the final that year vs Serena. Or the 2000 US Open final vs Davenport. Thers a plethora of Wimbledon matches to choose from.

There is more to tennis-greatness than pace. Yes Davenport hit a heavy ball, but that is just about all she did and could. Venus hits a heavy ball, is very athletic, but clueless on court when the going gets tough. Graf had power (forehand, serve), Graf had a neutralizer (attacking slice), Graf had incredible footwork, but above all, an attitude you just can put away with raw power. If you tag power to greatness, then Roger Federer isn't the greatest player either tenniswise.

DRII
10-22-2009, 09:23 AM
There is more to tennis-greatness than pace. Yes Davenport hit a heavy ball, but that is just about all she did and could. Venus hits a heavy ball, is very athletic, but clueless on court when the going gets tough. Graf had power (forehand, serve), Graf had a neutralizer (attacking slice), Graf had incredible footwork, but above all, an attitude you just can put away with raw power. If you tag power to greatness, then Roger Federer isn't the greatest player either tenniswise.

I understand your point. Thats why I said if its achievement judged over time then Graf has my vote also.

But in one match with each player playing at their best; power and pace can be so overwhelming that the more craftier player can not use their weapons.

Bertie B
10-22-2009, 09:27 AM
Aren't Serena/Davenport/Venus/Maybe Clijsters evolved versions of the Monica Seles: power-off-the-backhand/power-off-the-forehand prototype? And we're all aware how Steffi managed against that type of playing style in her prime.

Peak Davenport, for example, would crush Steffi.

Warriorroger
10-22-2009, 09:36 AM
I understand your point. Thats why I said if its achievement judged over time then Graf has my vote also.

But in one match with each player playing at their best; power and pace can be so overwhelming that the more craftier player can not use their weapons.

We'll leave it at 50-50, because :) I like you!

Aren't Serena/Davenport/Venus/Maybe Clijsters evolved versions of the Monica Seles: power-off-the-backhand/power-off-the-forehand prototype? And we're all aware how Steffi managed against that type of playing style in her prime.


Peak Davenport, for example, would crush Steffi.

They aren't evolved versions of Seles, to say Seles was all power is underrating her game, Seles game consist of unbelievable hit angles, anticipation and mental toughness, neither of the players you mentioned rank top in any of those categories. Matchup wise, Graf did a lot better against those power players than Monica, has to do with playing styles, Graf had more troubles with great retrievers and ball artists.. Peak Davenport would crush Steffi, yes, maybe if Steffi defaulted.

vandre
10-22-2009, 09:48 AM
We'll leave it at 50-50, because :) I like you!



They aren't evolved versions of Seles, to say Seles was all power is underrating her game, Seles game consist of unbelievable hit angles, anticipation and mental toughness, neither of the players you mentioned rank top in any of those categories. Matchup wise, Graf did a lot better against those power players than Monica, has to do with playing styles, Graf had more troubles with great retrievers and ball artists.. Peak Davenport would crush Steffi, yes, maybe if Steffi defaulted.

thank you for bringing up seles' angles! you saved me the trouble! i think that seles' movement was also better than davenport and sw. seles's movement was good enough (although it wasn't amazing) to allow her to track down graf's forehand and contend with the slice bh.

Lionheart392
10-22-2009, 09:53 AM
I notice you failed to mention a volley catagory. Graf was not great there, and never played the technique enough to rely on it as you see in the case of SW, who--unlike most of the baseline obsessing field--actually knows how to play it effectively, not just as some last ditch strategy or only coming in when forced to.

Seriously? Graf had a beautiful volley (though she didn't use it as much as she perhaps should have) and by far surpasses Serena in that category IMO.

LDVTennis
10-22-2009, 10:02 AM
I notice you failed to mention a volley catagory. Graf was not great there, and never played the technique enough to rely on it as you see in the case of SW, who--unlike most of the baseline obsessing field--actually knows how to play it effectively, not just as some last ditch strategy or only coming in when forced to.

Are you kidding us? Serena better than Steffi on the volley?

Prove it. Show me visual evidence that Serena can hit any of these volleys:

Inside-out Forehand Volley: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KD_VDbPzX2k

Forehand HalfVolley: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8wrBPwrajE

Backhand Running Volley: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-nJKLrod04

Backhand Drop Volley: http://www.youtube.com/user/LDVTennis#p/u/17/KPnHdgjB0fY

Backhand Half Volley:
http://www.youtube.com/user/LDVTennis#p/u/22/sBR7KJOKY0U

Backhand Lob Volley: http://www.youtube.com/user/LDVTennis#p/u/40/n9hdn02bH3g

Backhand High Volley: http://www.youtube.com/user/LDVTennis#p/u/56/FoX2Y9k04wg

These are some of the more difficult volleys to execute. If Serena is as good as you say she is on the volley, I'm sure you will have no problem finding the evidence you need. Start looking.

As for Steffi, her problem at the net was not technical or athletic. It was strategic. She had all the shots to have a good net game, from her slice backhand to her great racquet work. She was simply never taught and it clearly never came naturally to her to know how to play a pure net game.

By the way, before you go anointing Serena the greatest volleyer of all time, you may want to consider that the reason Serena does not approach the net more is that she has the same problem.

But, that's not Serena's only problem. Unlike Steffi, Serena lacks a true approach shot. And, no, a drive, be it a forehand or backhand, is not necessarily a good approach shot. When there were female players with passing shots (i.e., Chris Evert, Tracy Austin, and Steffi), a hard hit shot could get you killed at the net because you see it gets to your opponent before you can get to the net. Because the pace of the approach shot matters, that's why net players specialize in offspeed shots like slices and and even on the serve, a medium paced kick serve (e.g., Edberg, Rafter).

One more problem Serena has that Steffi didn't have. Serena's racquet work is questionable. She's never shown any ability to manipulate the racquet face that would lead one to believe that she has the touch required to play at the net. Show me one video clip where Serena's racquet work has been praised by anybody. I'll be posting two video clips on my youtube channel soon of BJK and Chris praising Steffi's racquet work. I also will be posting a clip of Steffi's high forehand volley. I'll update this post when I've posted those two video clips. In the meantime, we'll see what you can come up with.

Warriorroger
10-22-2009, 10:09 AM
thank you for bringing up seles' angles! you saved me the trouble! i think that seles' movement was also better than davenport and sw. seles's movement was good enough (although it wasn't amazing) to allow her to track down graf's forehand and contend with the slice bh.


You're welcome:)

Lionheart392
10-22-2009, 10:12 AM
Aren't Serena/Davenport/Venus/Maybe Clijsters evolved versions of the Monica Seles: power-off-the-backhand/power-off-the-forehand prototype? And we're all aware how Steffi managed against that type of playing style in her prime.

Peak Davenport, for example, would crush Steffi.

Peak Davenport crushed crippled Steffi by defeating her 6-4 7-5 in the 1999 Wimbledon final and only being offered 2 break points which she converted. Yeah what a total demolition... Graf is 8-6 against Davenport FYI.

Bertie B
10-22-2009, 10:22 AM
They aren't evolved versions of Seles, to say Seles was all power is underrating her game, Seles game consist of unbelievable hit angles, anticipation and mental toughness, neither of the players you mentioned rank top in any of those categories. Matchup wise, Graf did a lot better against those power players than Monica, has to do with playing styles, Graf had more troubles with great retrievers and ball artists.. Peak Davenport would crush Steffi, yes, maybe if Steffi defaulted.

Seles has a poor h2h against the Power Players because you stayed around longer than Steffi. Graf retired in 1999, just as the "Big Babes" were coming into their own. The only developed "Power Player" by then was Davenport, at the time Graf was lucky to take a set off her.

Looking at Wimbeldon 1999 & the "Big Babes." Venus was still figuring things out. Lucic scared Steffi b4 folding mentally. Davenport spanked her as had became the norm in that matchup.

Warriorroger
10-22-2009, 10:36 AM
Seles has a poor h2h against the Power Players because you stayed around longer than Steffi. Graf retired in 1999, just as the "Big Babes" were coming into their own. The only developed "Power Player" by then was Davenport, at the time Graf was lucky to take a set off her.

Looking at Wimbeldon 1999 & the "Big Babes." Venus was still figuring things out. Lucic scared Steffi b4 folding mentally. Davenport spanked as had became the norm in that matchup.

If that makes you feel better, so be it.

THUNDERVOLLEY
10-22-2009, 10:37 AM
Are you kidding us? Serena better than Steffi on the volley?

As Joe Pike stated:

She lacked a little bit the feel for when to come to the net and when not, though.

Her feel for the approach and certainly control over the net was not the rose-colored glass/super-woman assessment you're using, and quite simply, she was no artist there or even what I would call a threat in the position (which is not answered by "then what does that make Serena?). When playing people with better command of the technique (Novotna or prime Sabatini), she is not the comic-book superhero character some make her out to be.

However, assess SW's overall technique and how she's used it against her toughest opponents. She's not the female version of Roddick--which is what you suggest in the comparison.

Dave M
10-22-2009, 10:40 AM
I notice you failed to mention a volley catagory. Graf was not great there, and never played the technique enough to rely on it as you see in the case of SW, who--unlike most of the baseline obsessing field--actually knows how to play it effectively, not just as some last ditch strategy or only coming in when forced to.
Grafs' approach shots normally either turned out to be winners or set up very easy volleys, but to say Serena is a good volleyer?I have been lucky enough to watch them both up close and technique wise i'd say Steffi's was better than Serenas.I saw some stuff at WImbledon this year where Serena was being pulled all over the place when at the net with no apparant ability to put the ball away.

The field is definately much deeper than it has ever been (esp. compared to 15-20 years ago), but the current top players are a huge disappointment.

Nobody seems to be able to take the top spot and say "this is mine" other than Serena, the others just seem a bit dissapointing.

LDVTennis
10-22-2009, 10:47 AM
Seles has a poor h2h against the Power Players because you stayed around longer than Steffi. Graf retired in 1999, just as the "Big Babes" were coming into their own. The only developed "Power Player" by then was Davenport, at the time Graf was lucky to take a set off her.

Looking at Wimbeldon 1999 & the "Big Babes." Venus was still figuring things out. Lucic scared Steffi b4 folding mentally. Davenport spanked as had became the norm in that matchup.

You may want to think before you speak.

Steffi defeated Davenport in the Quarters of the '99 French Open. Davenport was lucky to win a set in that match, after being down a break in the second set.

Steffi also defeated Davenport in the Final of the '98 Advanta. Why is this match significant? Because Davenport had just become the No. 1 player in the world for the very first time.

Here are the last two games of that match: http://www.youtube.com/user/LDVTennis#p/u/26/SzEzqeBgQz4.

Here's another clip from that match showing that Davenport couldn't overpower/neutralize Steffi, like she could overpower/neutralize Serena and Venus, by just hitting hard down the middle of the court: http://www.youtube.com/user/LDVTennis#p/u/31/fgbIXDYt8xk

As for the '99 Wimbledon final, if you are going to say one player spanked another, you might want to make sure the facts are on your side. In that final, Steffi had more winners than Davenport.

LDVTennis
10-22-2009, 10:57 AM
As Joe Pike stated:



Her feel for the approach and certainly control over the net was not the rose-colored glass/super-woman assessment you're using, and quite simply, she was no artist there or even what I would call a threat in the position (which is not answered by "then what does that make Serena?). When playing people with better command of the technique (Novotna or prime Sabatini), she is not the comic-book superhero character some make her out to be.

However, assess SW's overall technique and how she's used it against her toughest opponents. She's not the female version of Roddick--which is what you suggest in the comparison.

I am going to surmise from all this that you don't have any visual evidence that Serena can hit all the volleys I demonstrated with clips of Steffi's volley.

I am also going to surmise from this that you have no video clips of any tennis expert praising Serena's racquet work.

We weren't comparing Steffi's technique or awareness at the net to Novotna's or Sabatini's. So, I'm not sure how that helps you make your case for Serena's better technique. Serena is not Novotna, is not Sabatini.

As for the Roddick/Serena comparison, it's funny that you think Serena would come out on top in this comparison. Roddick has an admirable slice backhand, which he uses to approach the net. He also has admirable stretch volleys, particularly off the forehand side. In short, he's a much better net player than Serena is.

lambielspins
10-22-2009, 01:26 PM
Seles has a poor h2h against the Power Players because you stayed around longer than Steffi. Graf retired in 1999, just as the "Big Babes" were coming into their own. The only developed "Power Player" by then was Davenport, at the time Graf was lucky to take a set off her.

Looking at Wimbeldon 1999 & the "Big Babes." Venus was still figuring things out. Lucic scared Steffi b4 folding mentally. Davenport spanked her as had became the norm in that matchup.

You really know nothing. Graf in 1999 had been destroyed by injuries which had made her a complete shadow of herself since late 96. She was about 40% the player she had been from 1986-1996. She was even losing matches to Appelmans, Frazier, Halard, Sugiyama, Serna, and a slew of others she ripped apart 10 times out of 10 anytime she played such a player from 1986-1996. Yet Venus in 1 of her overall best years ever, despite not winning a slam, in 1999 when she won 6 or 7 titles, most of those tier 1, and was playing extremely well on all surfaces unlike today (the only surface she is maybe better today than then is grass) lost 2 out of 4 matches to Graf including their biggest meeting at Wimbledon. Serena in the year she won her first slam lost 1 out of 2, both matches going to 3 sets. Davenport who was in her absolute career peak in 98-2000 lost 3 out of 6 matches dating back to August 1998. If this warped version of Graf was doing this to these women imagine what in her prime she would be doing. Serena is the only one who had significant enough improvements left still to maybe really hang with a prime Graf, but Serena didnt last in her true prime form very long anyway.

If you think Davenport with her pitifully slow foot speed or hangdog mental approach, or Venus with her shaky as heck forehand, second serve, and pention for so many unforced errors, and inability to even play well on all surfaces, would even be able to compete on even terms with a prime Graf let alone dominate her you are a dimwit. Serena of 2002-2003 maybe, but that is the only Serena, the Serena of today vs prime Graf, ROTFL!!!

Joe Pike
10-22-2009, 01:35 PM
Seles has a poor h2h against the Power Players because you stayed around longer than Steffi. Graf retired in 1999, just as the "Big Babes" were coming into their own. The only developed "Power Player" by then was Davenport, at the time Graf was lucky to take a set off her.

Looking at Wimbeldon 1999 & the "Big Babes." Venus was still figuring things out. Lucic scared Steffi b4 folding mentally. Davenport spanked her as had became the norm in that matchup.


Davenport won 2 of her 3 slams during the last 12 months of Graf's career. She was WTA #1 or #2 in all those months. Peak Lindsay!

In that period she played Graf six times.
Lost 3-6 6-7 in New Haven (August 1998 ).
Lost 6-4 3-6 4-6 (Philadelphia 1998 )
Won 6-1 2-6 6-3 (YEC 1998 )
Won 7-5 6-2 (Sydney 1999)
Lost 1-6 7-6 3-6 (FO 1999)
Won 6-4 7-5 (Wimbledon 1999)

3-3 in matches.
73-73 in games played.

When Graf was far from her former peak.

I always wonder how people like you feel when their dumb statements are thoroughly debunked publicly like this. Most probably they don't care - because they are used to it ...

lambielspins
10-22-2009, 01:39 PM
Not to mention virtually all experts even picked way past his prime Graf to beat peak Lindsay in that Wimbledon final. Chris Evert admited to being a bit shocked that Lindsay won. Lindsay called it maybe the match of her life, and this was what it took to beat way past her prime Graf in a very tight 2 setter that was decided by a few points. How the heck would peak Davenport crush Steffi, when peak Davenport couldnt even crush a warped Steffi and lost half their matches in fact.

THUNDERVOLLEY
10-23-2009, 03:49 AM
Grafs' approach shots normally either turned out to be winners or set up very easy volleys, but to say Serena is a good volleyer?I have been lucky enough to watch them both up close and technique wise i'd say Steffi's was better than Serenas.I saw some stuff at WImbledon this year where Serena was being pulled all over the place when at the net with no apparant ability to put the ball away.

You're referring to one tournament; i've watched both play in person, and as one with an interest in players who incorporate the technique, I was not particularly impressed by Graf's; again, Sabatini and Novotna were more impressive in that regard.



LDVTennis: I am going to surmise from all this that you don't have any visual evidence that Serena can hit all the volleys I demonstrated with clips of Steffi's volley.

Your would-be evidence proved my point; if you think your links were stellar examples, then you indeed wear rose-colored glasses, as we will see below.

I am also going to surmise from this that you have no video clips of any tennis expert praising Serena's racquet work.


..and where are your legion of experts proving Graf's allegedly superior ability to volley; anyone who actually watched the woman perform in person, knows it was not a featured weapon/technique in her heyday. Moreover, by introducing relevant (additional) comparisons (opponents of her era), this serves to wipe away the notion that her skills were of some legendary level of her period (which you claimed to do with links).

As for the Roddick/Serena comparison, it's funny that you think Serena would come out on top in this comparison. Roddick has an admirable slice backhand, which he uses to approach the net. He also has admirable stretch volleys, particularly off the forehand side. In short, he's a much better net player than Serena is.

..and there goes your argument. Roddick is one of the worst ever to attempt the technique, male or female; his heavy-footed, clumsy, lack of strategy or good hands is not to be considered for compliment by any serious mind. This born and bred baseliner only allowed this technique (If one can call it that in reference to the subject) to be introduced into his game, as a desperation move, and it shows to painful degrees.

SW not only has a long history of successfully using it (singles and doubles), but from carefully watching her choices, she has a strong sense on how to use it, as opposed to others who simply rush forward with textbook movements a rookie could anticipate. That she has used this to her advantage in singles and doubles (the latter against many specialists with careers invested in this kind of play), should lead anyone to conclude that SW is in a different class than Roddick.

More to the point, you have not proved SW's technique is inferior with the evidence you claim to seek for the opposing subject (although I can predict a certain kind of response...).

Bertie B
10-23-2009, 08:35 AM
Davenport won 2 of her 3 slams during the last 12 months of Graf's career. She was WTA #1 or #2 in all those months. Peak Lindsay!

A player can hardly be described as "Peak" right after winning their first slam.

In 1999 Graf and Davenport played three times. Graf won in three sets at the FO. On the harder surfaces, Steffi was straight-setted. Peak Davenport was more late 1999 - early 2000.

Not to mention virtually all experts even picked way past his prime Graf to beat peak Lindsay in that Wimbledon final.

It's called hype.

NamRanger
10-23-2009, 09:03 AM
There is more to tennis-greatness than pace. Yes Davenport hit a heavy ball, but that is just about all she did and could. Venus hits a heavy ball, is very athletic, but clueless on court when the going gets tough. Graf had power (forehand, serve), Graf had a neutralizer (attacking slice), Graf had incredible footwork, but above all, an attitude you just can put away with raw power. If you tag power to greatness, then Roger Federer isn't the greatest player either tenniswise.




Federer consistently hits the ball the hardest out of everyone in the top 10 with the exception of Del Potro.

President
10-23-2009, 09:06 AM
Federer consistently hits the ball the hardest out of everyone in the top 10 with the exception of Del Potro.

That's not true. Along with Del Potro, Tsonga, Soderling, and Verdasco all hit harder than him on a consistent basis. Federer isn't great merely because he hits hard.

LDVTennis
10-23-2009, 09:46 AM
You're referring to one tournament; i've watched both play in person, and as one with an interest in players who incorporate the technique, I was not particularly impressed by Graf's; again, Sabatini and Novotna were more impressive in that regard...

Your would-be evidence proved my point; if you think your links were stellar examples, then you indeed wear rose-colored glasses, as we will see below...

and where are your legion of experts proving Graf's allegedly superior ability to volley; anyone who actually watched the woman perform in person, knows it was not a featured weapon/technique in her heyday...

More to the point, you have not proved SW's technique is inferior with the evidence you claim to seek for the opposing subject (although I can predict a certain kind of response...).

Somehow, I doubt you ever watched Steffi play in person. As for your interest in technique, nothing you've said in this thread convinces me you know anything about technique. Of course, I could be wrong. So, here's a little quiz for you: What's the technical flaw in both Venus' and Serena's forehand volley?

My evidence proved your point? Your point was that Serena had better technique on the volley. My evidence showed that Steffi could hit a range of volleys. You've yet to provide us with any clips showing Serena's "magnificent" volleying skills.

Anyone who watched the woman perform in person? Not a featured weapon/technique in her heydey?

I first saw Serena play in 1999 at IW. I first saw Steffi play in 1989.

As to the rest, I take it you also don't know much about the history of the game either. In 1989, there were more serve and volleyers on the tour than there are now. There are almost no significant serve and volleyers in the women's game now. In 1989, there was Navratilova (perhaps, you've heard of her), Sukova, Shriver, Garrison, a young Zvereva. There was also a number of players with all-court ability to play at the net, for example, Lori McNeil and a young Sabatini. Given these sorts of challenges, the better baseliners of Steffi's era had developed passing shots and could volley themselves. Both Chris and Steffi developed good net games in order to counteract the net games of their chief opponents.

By 1996, the era of the female serve and volley player was almost over, but you still had two excellent serve and volley players in Novotna and Zvereva, a good serve and volley player in Tauziat, and a great all-court player in Sanchez-Vicario. Take a look at the 1996 French Open. The match is on youtube. Despite the fact that this match is played on clay, there are more points won at the net in that match than there are in almost any match played between two top players in today's women's game. On clay, Sanchez and Graf pushed each other not just side to side, but up to the net with short slices and dropshots. As a result, there is some fabulous shotmaking in that match from both of them.

There's no one like Sanchez in today's game. Novotna was the last pure serve and volley player. Today's women's game is populated largely by ballbashers with their monotonous side to side baseline battles. If volleying was no longer a "featured technique" in your words by 1996, it's completely extinct now. With its passing, I'm afraid we also lost a host of other shots --- lobs, dropshots, short slices, passing shots. Whatever success anyone has at the net today is almost completely due to the fact that most players don't know how to lob or pass effectively. More or less, that is what explains any success Venus or Serena have had with their net game.

Finally, in my first post in this thread I said nothing about the quality of Serena's volleying technique. You brought up the whole subject of Serena's volleying skills being superior to Graf's. I was willing to call it even based simply on the fact that neither had a strategically-developed net game. In response to your claim, I showed you visual examples of Steffi's magnificent volleying skills. You've yet to show us any examples of Serena's technique. How predictable of you is that? By the way, we're still waiting for those examples...

Lionheart392
10-23-2009, 09:52 AM
Serena and Venus are both capable volleyers but their success is mainly because they know when to come in and their sheer size (especially Venus) makes them an extremely threatening presence at the net. Perhaps also the 1 dimensional ball bashers have no idea how to deal with a volley. In any case I think they are good volleyers but their actual technique isn't stellar. It gets the job done which is the main thing but it isn't technically brilliant. Graf did have a beautiful volley, and yes it wasn't a main part of her game but she showed on several occasions that she could execute it brilliantly if she chose to. I can't actually believe anyone would suggest Serena is a better volleyer.

LDVTennis
10-23-2009, 09:53 AM
A player can hardly be described as "Peak" right after winning their first slam.

In 1999 Graf and Davenport played three times. Graf won in three sets at the FO. On the harder surfaces, Steffi was straight-setted. Peak Davenport was more late 1999 - early 2000.

Good one. Are you always this funny? :razz:

DRII
10-23-2009, 10:15 AM
You really know nothing. Graf in 1999 had been destroyed by injuries which had made her a complete shadow of herself since late 96. She was about 40% the player she had been from 1986-1996. She was even losing matches to Appelmans, Frazier, Halard, Sugiyama, Serna, and a slew of others she ripped apart 10 times out of 10 anytime she played such a player from 1986-1996. Yet Venus in 1 of her overall best years ever, despite not winning a slam, in 1999 when she won 6 or 7 titles, most of those tier 1, and was playing extremely well on all surfaces unlike today (the only surface she is maybe better today than then is grass) lost 2 out of 4 matches to Graf including their biggest meeting at Wimbledon. Serena in the year she won her first slam lost 1 out of 2, both matches going to 3 sets. Davenport who was in her absolute career peak in 98-2000 lost 3 out of 6 matches dating back to August 1998. If this warped version of Graf was doing this to these women imagine what in her prime she would be doing. Serena is the only one who had significant enough improvements left still to maybe really hang with a prime Graf, but Serena didnt last in her true prime form very long anyway.

If you think Davenport with her pitifully slow foot speed or hangdog mental approach, or Venus with her shaky as heck forehand, second serve, and pention for so many unforced errors, and inability to even play well on all surfaces, would even be able to compete on even terms with a prime Graf let alone dominate her you are a dimwit. Serena of 2002-2003 maybe, but that is the only Serena, the Serena of today vs prime Graf, ROTFL!!!

How about you get your facts straight! 1999 was not Venus' best year. Venus dominated women's tennis in 2000-2001 with 4 slams and an olympic singles gold. Her prime was the summer of 2001 when she finally developed some technique to go along with her superior athleticism. The fact that a 1999 Venus, a superior athlete with amazing power yet an unforced error machine, beat Graf twice shows who is the best when playing their best.

Now judged over time Graf is the best in women's history, if you don't count doubles titles. But don't dismiss Venus Williams!

boredone3456
10-23-2009, 10:18 AM
How about you get your facts straight! 1999 was not Venus' best year. Venus dominated women's tennis in 2000-2001 with 4 slams and an olympic singles gold. Her prime was the summer of 2001 when she finally developed some technique to go along with her superior athleticism. The fact that a 1999 Venus, a superior athlete with amazing power yet an unforced error machine, beat Graf twice shows who is the best when playing their best.

Now judged over time Graf is the best in women's history, if you don't count doubles titles. But don't dismiss Venus Williams!

He said one of her best ever...not her actual best ever, did you read the post? No one thinks 1999 was Venus's best year, a top 5 years for her....likely yes.

nikdom
10-23-2009, 10:20 AM
wow....going on 4 pages. That's a lot of time wasted on discussing the WTA.

flyinghippos101
10-23-2009, 10:22 AM
For the most part, I agree with your pretty detailed analysis but in terms of movement, Graf takes it. Not only do I think Serena actually has horrible movement but she's not even in the same spectrum as Graf. Granted, Graf never really "gracefully floated" on the court, she's leaps an bounds beyond Serena's footwork and movement. When Serena moves, her feet look incredibly cluttered and besides side-shuffling on the baseline, she's horrible at setting herself for the numerous short balls she gets or drops.

grafselesfan
10-23-2009, 10:40 AM
A player can hardly be described as "Peak" right after winning their first slam.

In 1999 Graf and Davenport played three times. Graf won in three sets at the FO. On the harder surfaces, Steffi was straight-setted. Peak Davenport was more late 1999 - early 2000.


You are a complete fool. Davenport won only 3 slams her whole career. They came from September 1998-January 2000. So a mere 3 slam winner was not in her prime during the 10 month span she won 2 of her only 3 slams ever, which came out of an only 16 month span she won all 3 of her slams. ROTFL!!!!! This sure as heck was peak Davenport, you are smoking crack if you think otherwise.

If we want to limit players to their peak than peak Graf was 1988-1989. So Davenport was at her absolute peak and was playing an injury wracked 30 year old women who was 10 years from her own "peak". Hmmm I wonder who was closer to their primes at that point Davenport or Graf? Yet Davenport still had a hard time beating Graf durings this time period, losing to her twice on hard courts, 1 of their 2 slams meetings, and 3 of their 6 meetings overall. Give up now before you make a fool of yourself further.

DRII
10-23-2009, 11:29 AM
He said one of her best ever...not her actual best ever, did you read the post? No one thinks 1999 was Venus's best year, a top 5 years for her....likely yes.

And your point or his point is... what? Why even bring up a 1999 Venus, clearly she was not at her peak then, yet still managed to beat Graf twice!

I repeat, i dont get, or do not agree with, most of you all's logic when it comes to this thread.

If you have 2 players, both in the upper echelon of women's tennis history, playing at their best... 9 times out of 10 the more offensive player will win a match on that day. Venus Williams has the most weapons (power, speed, pace, athleticism) so if she is playing at her best she will beat anyone on any given day. Anyone!

Now we all know that no player plays their best all the time. So over a career some modern players can certainly be judged to have been 'better' than Venus Williams; Graf is at the top of that list followed by Navortilova (sic), perhap Serena, perhaps Monica or Chris.

But all at their best: Venus wins hands down!

flying24
10-23-2009, 12:37 PM
Aren't Serena/Davenport/Venus/Maybe Clijsters evolved versions of the Monica Seles: power-off-the-backhand/power-off-the-forehand prototype? And we're all aware how Steffi managed against that type of playing style in her prime.

Peak Davenport, for example, would crush Steffi.

Such a short post with so much fail in it that is isnt even funny. First of all what evidence do you have that Serena, Davenport, Venus, or Clijsters are "evolved versions of Seles". None of those women played Seles in her prime, and other than Serena none are as accomplished. Kim Clijsters an evolved Seles!?! ROTFL!! Did you know Kim lost all her matches with Seles even though she played Seles when she was a hot up and comer and Seles in the twilight of her career and many many years past her prime.

We are all well aware how Graf did against that type of playing style in her prime!?! Yet indeed we are, she crushed it. When it comes to Seles she has never beaten Graf on any faster surface, a combined 0-7 lifetime on decoturf type court, indoors, or grass. By contrast Graf has beaten Seles on all surfaces. Even at Monica's dominant peak from 91-early 93 when she overall domianted the game, she was 2-3 vs Graf, two of her losses being brutally one sided *** whoopings, and both her wins being very tough 3 setters. This despite 4 of the 5 meetings being on slower surfaces, the only kind of surfaces Monica had any chance vs Graf. Capriati who is probably a better power player than Clijsters (note I didnt say better player, but better power player) and has the same achievements as Davenport (as well as winning all 3 of her slams during a time period Davenport was near the very top and managed 0 slams) was a measley 1-10 vs Graf, losing to a nearly retired Graf 6-1, 6-0 in their final meeting. Pierce hits the ball with comparable power to the women you mentioned and overall was dominated by Graf as well, even though she had a couple nice wins.

Peak Davenport would crush Steffi!?! Is that why absolute peak Davenport had a tough time even beating Graf in the twilight of her career in 98 and 99. Here is a tip for you in the future. If you know absolutely NOTHING about womens tennis or something else best to keep quiet and say nothing about it rather then exposing yourself for all to see.

flying24
10-23-2009, 12:50 PM
And your point or his point is... what? Why even bring up a 1999 Venus, clearly she was not at her peak then, yet still managed to beat Graf twice!

You think 1999 was peak Graf, ROTFL!!! It doesnt matter whether or not Venus was at her peak, she was much closer to it than Graf was, and Graf's prime landed 10+ years, Venus lasted 2 or 3 years. The fact is Venus was much closer to her best, a level she hardly lasted at anytime when she did reach it anyway, than was Graf, and Graf still played Venus evenly in 1999 and won their most important meeting.

Prime Graf >>>> prime Venus. Grass is the only surface Venus would have any chance vs prime Graf. Imagine Venus vs Graf on clay or rebound ace, that would be a laugher, actually Venus is pretty much a laugher for a top player on those surfaces period. Decoturf and indoors she could hang in a bit more but would lose almost everytime as well. Venus has only made the U.S Open final 3 times in her career, and hasnt for 7 years now (if you bring up the prime thing it just proves my point about Venus's ultra short prime) and other than her year end title last year has hardly done anything much in fall. Her legacy as it stands now will be a one event wonder at Wimbledon, and even there she falls short of someone like Graf.

If you have 2 players, both in the upper echelon of women's tennis history, playing at their best... 9 times out of 10 the more offensive player will win a match on that day. Venus Williams has the most weapons (power, speed, pace, athleticism) so if she is playing at her best she will beat anyone on any given day. Anyone!

Where you fail is in your assumption Venus is in the "upper echelon" of womens tennis history. This is definitely not the case. She clearly is not top 10 all time, and probably not even top 15.

Venus does not posses the most of all those things you say either. Serena has more power and pace, Connolly for her own time had more, Graf has more off the forehand and a much better second serve, Davenport has atleast as much- how else can she be so competitive with Venus their whole careers when she is slow as a turtle and with an iffy mental game, Seles in her prime had atleast as much off the ground, Pierce as well (even a 30 year old Pierce was matching power with Venus on grass her worst surface by far and Venus's best). Athleticsm and speed? Graf, Clijsters, Henin, Serena, Court, Mandlikova, Goolagong, Navratilova, are some examples of women with just as much as Venus, if not more in some cases.

Now we all know that no player plays their best all the time. So over a career some modern players can certainly be judged to have been 'better' than Venus Williams; Graf is at the top of that list followed by Navortilova (sic), perhap Serena, perhaps Monica or Chris.

"perhaps Monica or Chris"? Hahahaha. Here is your list of just modern day players who are judged to be better than Venus and rank over her alltime: Graf, Navratilova, Court, Evert, Seles, King, Henin, Serena, Bueno, possibly Goolagong. Venus is possibly not even top 10 in just the Open Era, certainly not top 8.

It is obvious you live in a little dream world when it comes to Venus.

THUNDERVOLLEY
10-23-2009, 12:52 PM
Somehow, I doubt you ever watched Steffi play in person.

Speak for yourself, little one. I--like some of the TT members were around to attend events featuring generations of players older than Graf's. Your comment smells of one who hopes to drag others to your level of inexperience.


As for your interest in technique, nothing you've said in this thread convinces me you know anything about technique. Of course, I could be wrong. So, here's a little quiz for you: What's the technical flaw in both Venus' and Serena's forehand volley?

You're attempting an internet tree-marking contest and sidestepping the issues. No dodge and no sale, boy.

My evidence proved your point? Your point was that Serena had better technique on the volley. My evidence showed that Steffi could hit a range of volleys. You've yet to provide us with any clips showing Serena's "magnificent" volleying skills.[/quote]

You may be young....or unemployed...something which allows you to have much spare time to persue youtube at length, but others have busy schedules. Moreover, if you were worth a grain of the half-effort of your posts, you would have been able to present an argument with truth on your side. Clearly, that did not occur, as the veracity of your rose-colored dreams are questionable.

Finally, in my first post in this thread I said nothing about the quality of Serena's volleying technique.

A failing on your part; if one wants to paint a broad stroke of inferiority about a player--as you have--then you should be prepared to study every technique--not just the one serving your platform, hence the reason I mentioned volleying in the first place.

I showed you visual examples of Steffi's magnificent volleying skills.

Only illogic and bias could ever refer to Graf's volleying as "magnificent" isolated to her generation, or considered on the wide field of tennis history. This kind of fantasy comment robs you of your already hair-thin credibilty on the Graf matter.

flying24
10-23-2009, 12:54 PM
You're referring to one tournament; i've watched both play in person, and as one with an interest in players who incorporate the technique, I was not particularly impressed by Graf's; again, Sabatini and Novotna were more impressive in that regard.

Yes but you are attempting to compare Serena's volleying to Graf's not Novotna's to Graf, correct? Serena certainly does not volley as well as Novotna or even a peak Sabatini, so whether or not Graf does is moot to that comparision.

boredone3456
10-23-2009, 01:00 PM
And your point or his point is... what? Why even bring up a 1999 Venus, clearly she was not at her peak then, yet still managed to beat Graf twice!

I repeat, i dont get, or do not agree with, most of you all's logic when it comes to this thread.

If you have 2 players, both in the upper echelon of women's tennis history, playing at their best... 9 times out of 10 the more offensive player will win a match on that day. Venus Williams has the most weapons (power, speed, pace, athleticism) so if she is playing at her best she will beat anyone on any given day. Anyone!

Now we all know that no player plays their best all the time. So over a career some modern players can certainly be judged to have been 'better' than Venus Williams; Graf is at the top of that list followed by Navortilova (sic), perhap Serena, perhaps Monica or Chris.

But all at their best: Venus wins hands down!

yeah ok..if anyones logic makes no sense its yours. Venus was starting to peak in 1999 and hit her stride head on in 2000. In 1999 Venus won several big titles and was a threat on every single surface, something that by 2003 you couldn't even say about her anymore. Also, you bring up that Venus managed to beat Graf twice in 1999...well Graf beat her 3 times that year so what exactly does that tell you? Graf won the French that year but Venus was overall closer to her own peak than a worn down by injuries Graf was by that point. The H2H between the 2 ended at 3-2 in favor of Graf. Venus at her best would beat anyone at theirs, closer to her best Venus couldn't even hold a winning H2H with Steffi well past her own...so sorry. Yes Graf even worn down was a force, but if Venus had to struggle against and not lead the H2H against her how would she do against Graf of 1995-1996, 1988-1989?

As for the Upper Echelon Statement, Venus is NOT in the upper Echelon of the womens game in history and never will be, she isn't even better than Maria Bueno, Justine Henin and maybe only Marginally better arguably than Evonne Goolagong, let alone anywhere near the true upper echelon where Graf, Nav, Court and Evert sit. Venus in her career never really played a player with the true shot Variety some of them had except for a past her prime Graf. Venus has power and movement, but overall less variety in her game than Graf, Court, Evert, and Nav did, and that alone would do her in roughly half the time especially since she makes way more unforced errors in a match then they did. She would give them quite a few points and unlike many today they would not gift them all right back with equally as many unforced errors.

The only surface that Venus at her best would be able to really hold her own with any of the people you listed would be on grass, I give you she would likely beat Monica there, probably do decently well against Evert and be able to hold her own against Graf and Nav, But on clay even playing her best tennis ever she would get beaten probably by everyone on that list except possibly Navratilova because on clay shot variety, not power, is a bigger factor. On hard courts Seles and Graf could handle her power quite well in their respective bests, and I am sure Chris and Martina would be able to find away to beat her to. Venus was playing phenominal tennis in 2002-early 2003 and yet she lost to her sister in 5 slam finals, unless she didn't play her best in any of those finals...and I would expect her to play her best in at least one of them by your standards and she still lost them all. If your a Venus fan thats cool, but by overhyping her to this level you do her or yourself no favors what-so-ever.

Joe Pike
10-23-2009, 02:46 PM
How about you get your facts straight! 1999 was not Venus' best year. Venus dominated women's tennis in 2000-2001 with 4 slams and an olympic singles gold. Her prime was the summer of 2001 when she finally developed some technique to go along with her superior athleticism. The fact that a 1999 Venus, a superior athlete with amazing power yet an unforced error machine, beat Graf twice shows who is the best when playing their best.

Now judged over time Graf is the best in women's history, if you don't count doubles titles. But don't dismiss Venus Williams!


In 2001 Graf was gone, Hingis over-the-hill, Davenport injured a lot.
So no wonder Venus could "peak".

In summer of 1999 an old Steffi Graf - with a bum knee - overtook 19-year-old Venus in the rankings. Same Venus who won 6 titles that year (same as in 2000 or 2001). Do you really want to tell us that Steffi was closer to her peak in 1999 than Venus??????
Please, don't embarrass yourself ...

Joe Pike
10-23-2009, 02:51 PM
And your point or his point is... what? Why even bring up a 1999 Venus, clearly she was not at her peak then, yet still managed to beat Graf twice!

I repeat, i dont get, or do not agree with, most of you all's logic when it comes to this thread.

If you have 2 players, both in the upper echelon of women's tennis history, playing at their best... 9 times out of 10 the more offensive player will win a match on that day. Venus Williams has the most weapons (power, speed, pace, athleticism) so if she is playing at her best she will beat anyone on any given day. Anyone!

Now we all know that no player plays their best all the time. So over a career some modern players can certainly be judged to have been 'better' than Venus Williams; Graf is at the top of that list followed by Navortilova (sic), perhap Serena, perhaps Monica or Chris.

But all at their best: Venus wins hands down!


Have you ever watched peak Graf play?
No?

So why do you act so silly here?

grafselesfan
10-23-2009, 05:31 PM
In 2001 Graf was gone, Hingis over-the-hill, Davenport injured a lot.
So no wonder Venus could "peak".

In summer of 1999 an old Steffi Graf - with a bum knee - overtook 19-year-old Venus in the rankings. Same Venus who won 6 titles that year (same as in 2000 or 2001). Do you really want to tell us that Steffi was closer to her peak in 1999 than Venus??????
Please, don't embarrass yourself ...

Venus is not up with Graf in history but you are also undervalueing her somewhat. In 2001 Hingis was still pretty good, although mentally she had lost it. Capriati was playing her best tennis ever. Davenport was a great player especialy on fast surfaces still then, the Williams were just too good and bad matchups for her. Serena herself was already pretty good, even if mentally not completely there yet. Henin, Clijsters, Mauresmo, were all on the rise, and Seles was still a dangerous factor. 2000 was pretty much the same except Davenport was even a bit better, Henin and Clijsters were not really on the rise yet, Capriati less of a threat, but Pierce was a big threat unlike 2001. In 2002 and 2003 the field was very deep and Venus dominated everyone except Serena.

That said DR11 and Bertie B are obviously clueless posters who are probably 12 and have never watched many of the players they speak of other than on youtube videos. The fact DR11 thinks Venus's best was the greatest ever overall when at her peak she lost 5 slam finals in a row to Serena, already speaks to his/her cluelessness.

Chadwixx
10-23-2009, 05:55 PM
Serena herself was already pretty good, even if mentally not completely there yet.

Any word on the eta?

Joe Pike
10-23-2009, 06:18 PM
Venus is not up with Graf in history but you are also undervalueing her somewhat. In 2001 Hingis was still pretty good, although mentally she had lost it. Capriati was playing her best tennis ever. Davenport was a great player especialy on fast surfaces still then, the Williams were just too good and bad matchups for her. Serena herself was already pretty good, even if mentally not completely there yet. Henin, Clijsters, Mauresmo, were all on the rise, and Seles was still a dangerous factor. ...


At the beginning of 2001 Clijsters was only 17 and Henin 18 years old!
Each had 18 losses that year, to players like Garbin, Montolio, Tulyaganova, Diaz-Olivia, Kremer, Gagliardi.
Capriati had 14 losses, against Raymond, Kuti Kis and - twice - Testud among others. Jenny was the #2 player in 2001, though. That alone says a lot ...

grafselesfan
10-23-2009, 06:52 PM
At the beginning of 2001 Clijsters was only 17 and Henin 18 years old!
Each had 18 losses that year, to players like Garbin, Montolio, Tulyaganova, Diaz-Olivia, Kremer, Gagliardi.
Capriati had 14 losses, against Raymond, Kuti Kis and - twice - Testud among others. Jenny was the #2 player in 2001, though. That alone says a lot ...

I did not say Henin and Clijsters were in their primes, I just said they were already very dangerous and legit outside contenders. You didnt even mention the fact both reached a slam final that year, and went to 3 sets each in their first ever slam final. Capriati overachieved bigtime in the slams, and got very lucky to somehow win as many as 3 in that little stretch. I have said that many times on other threads. Still doesnt change that the early 2000s field overall was a very deep one, and Venus led it for a couple years, especialy on faster surfaces. Of course this doesnt mean Venus is a Graf, but give her her due as well.

LDVTennis
10-23-2009, 08:52 PM
Speak for yourself, little one. I--like some of the TT members were around to attend events featuring generations of players older than Graf's. Your comment smells of one who hopes to drag others to your level of inexperience.

You're attempting an internet tree-marking contest and sidestepping the issues. No dodge and no sale, boy.

You may be young....or unemployed...something which allows you to have much spare time to persue youtube at length, but others have busy schedules. Moreover, if you were worth a grain of the half-effort of your posts, you would have been able to present an argument with truth on your side. Clearly, that did not occur, as the veracity of your rose-colored dreams are questionable.

A failing on your part; if one wants to paint a broad stroke of inferiority about a player--as you have--then you should be prepared to study every technique--not just the one serving your platform, hence the reason I mentioned volleying in the first place.

Only illogic and bias could ever refer to Graf's volleying as "magnificent" isolated to her generation, or considered on the wide field of tennis history. This kind of fantasy comment robs you of your already hair-thin credibilty on the Graf matter.

Brilliant! You can't prove your own point. You can't even write a sensible sentence. So, this is what you do?

Well, at least I accomplished something by carrying out this argument with you as far as I could. I proved what an idiot you are.

THUNDERVOLLEY
10-23-2009, 10:20 PM
Brilliant! You can't prove your own point. You can't even write a sensible sentence. So, this is what you do?

Well, at least I accomplished something by carrying out this argument with you as far as I could. I proved what an idiot you are.

The point was proven with your dodge attempts, tree-marking, and avoidance of relevant examples in order to pretend Graf was some "magnificent" volleyer, which your clips do a poor job in proving, while failng to prove SW is an inferior volleyer.

But you need a tennis God, so in your mind, you selected Graf and made an argument which would place her in an all-time list of the technique, which could have been settled with quality evidence--if the premise was not so absurd.

flying24
10-23-2009, 10:27 PM
The point was proven with your dodge attempts, tree-marking, and avoidance of relevant examples in order to pretend Graf was some "magnificent" volleyer, which your clips do a poor job in proving, while failng to prove SW is an inferior volleyer.

But you need a tennis God, so in your mind, you selected Graf and made an argument which would place her in an all-time list of the technique, which could have been settled with quality evidence--if the premise was not so absurd.

Why do you keep bringing up Sabatini and Novotna though. Serena herself is a much inferior volleyer to Novotna (the greatest womens volleyer since Navratilova without doubt) and even peak Sabatini. So if you are comparing Serena to Graf, what relevance is it if Graf is also behind those in volleying? I have yet to see you explain why you think Serena is a better volleyer than Graf.

Among players of the last 10 years alone Lisa Raymond, Venus, Mauresmo, Sam Stosur, Hingis, Tauziat, Zvereva, and Henin all clearly volley better than Serena also, along with probably some others I have missed. Nobody is saying Graf is the volleying goddess of all time, but neither is Serena, there are quite a few event in even the recent baseline-obsessed fields who volley better. So this hardly shows Serena is the better of the two in that aspect of the game.

dannykl
10-24-2009, 03:59 AM
Why do you keep bringing up Sabatini and Novotna though. Serena herself is a much inferior volleyer to Novotna (the greatest womens volleyer since Navratilova without doubt) and even peak Sabatini. So if you are comparing Serena to Graf, what relevance is it if Graf is also behind those in volleying? I have yet to see you explain why you think Serena is a better volleyer than Graf.

Nobody is saying Graf is the volleying goddess of all time, but neither is Serena, there are quite a few event in even the recent baseline-obsessed fields who volley better. So this hardly shows Serena is the better of the two in that aspect of the game.

Exactly, THUNDERVOLLEY just keeps avioding answering this question and keeps failing to provide points or evidence to support his/her cliam that Serena is a better volleyer than Steffi.

THUNDERVOLLEY, why you keep mentioning Jana or Gabi having better volley than Steffi when people are disgussing who has better volley between Steffi and Serena?

LDV makes a great effort to explain why he thinks Graf is a better volleyer than Serena. I think it is very persuasive. What you have offered in backing your claim? Nothing.

If you can't even articulate an reasonable argument to back your claim, you'd better admit it.

boredone3456
10-24-2009, 04:54 AM
The point was proven with your dodge attempts, tree-marking, and avoidance of relevant examples in order to pretend Graf was some "magnificent" volleyer, which your clips do a poor job in proving, while failng to prove SW is an inferior volleyer.

But you need a tennis God, so in your mind, you selected Graf and made an argument which would place her in an all-time list of the technique, which could have been settled with quality evidence--if the premise was not so absurd.

I find it funny that you say LDV cannot provide any evidence that Serena is an inferior Vollyer to Graf while at the same time you yourself provide no actual evidence that she is better apart from going around in circles with your statements.

Bertie B
10-24-2009, 08:52 AM
Good one. Are you always this funny? :razz:

Isn't this special, the curator of Steffi Graf - The Shrine, begging for objectivity...rich.

nat75
10-24-2009, 09:00 AM
Exactly, THUNDERVOLLEY just keeps avioding answering this question and keeps failing to provide points or evidence to support his/her cliam that Serena is a better volleyer than Steffi.

THUNDERVOLLEY, why you keep mentioning Jana or Gabi having better volley than Steffi when people are disgussing who has better volley between Steffi and Serena?

LDV makes a great effort to explain why he thinks Graf is a better volleyer than Serena. I think it is very persuasive. What you have offered in backing your claim? Nothing.

If you can't even articulate an reasonable argument to back your claim, you'd better admit it.

That's because Thundervolley thinks (in his mind of course) that Serena is a better volleyer than Jana and peak Gaby. :rolleyes:

THUNDERVOLLEY
10-24-2009, 09:02 AM
Isn't this special, the curator of Steffi Graf - The Shrine, begging for objectivity...rich.

Exactly; even the most elementary of debate participants realizes inflated fan-worship of Graf completely removes any fragment of objectivity/believability in whatever is presented by this member....particularly when that which was presented does not support its use as evidence for the member. As noted earlier, it simply proves the member incorrect for displaying such an unimpressive series of clips as the would-be "winning point," while failing to provide evidence against the object of criticism (SW).

DRII
10-24-2009, 10:39 AM
Venus is not up with Graf in history but you are also undervalueing her somewhat. In 2001 Hingis was still pretty good, although mentally she had lost it. Capriati was playing her best tennis ever. Davenport was a great player especialy on fast surfaces still then, the Williams were just too good and bad matchups for her. Serena herself was already pretty good, even if mentally not completely there yet. Henin, Clijsters, Mauresmo, were all on the rise, and Seles was still a dangerous factor. 2000 was pretty much the same except Davenport was even a bit better, Henin and Clijsters were not really on the rise yet, Capriati less of a threat, but Pierce was a big threat unlike 2001. In 2002 and 2003 the field was very deep and Venus dominated everyone except Serena.

That said DR11 and Bertie B are obviously clueless posters who are probably 12 and have never watched many of the players they speak of other than on youtube videos. The fact DR11 thinks Venus's best was the greatest ever overall when at her peak she lost 5 slam finals in a row to Serena, already speaks to his/her cluelessness.

I have tried to explain my reasoning on this subject as my previous post attest to...

Its clear your Seles, Graf worship is a little over the top and perhaps doesn't speak well of your cognitive capacity, as evidenced by your screen name!

But please try and get a clue and realize that 'cluelessness' is not a word... and that Venus Williams was not at her peak in 2002!

As I've said Venus peaked between 2000 and 2001. Her 2001 summer was the most dominating span (although short) I have seen of any woman tennis player. She started to wane after that, I distinctly remember this because the 9-11 attacks happened shortly after the US Open that year.

And furthermore all those losses in 2002-03 in slam finals were to Serena and that was more of a mental/emotional block for Venus and the fact that Serena was getting better, and as we have witnessed recently, Serena has little emotional regard for anyone she is playing even a sibling.

So how about you try and not let nostalgia cloud your judgment!

DRII
10-24-2009, 10:57 AM
Have you ever watched peak Graf play?
No?

So why do you act so silly here?

Its not about being silly. Reasonable people can disagree.

I've seen a peak Graf and a peak Williams.

In my opinion Venus has it, point blank.

DRII
10-24-2009, 11:08 AM
You think 1999 was peak Graf, ROTFL!!! It doesnt matter whether or not Venus was at her peak, she was much closer to it than Graf was, and Graf's prime landed 10+ years, Venus lasted 2 or 3 years. The fact is Venus was much closer to her best, a level she hardly lasted at anytime when she did reach it anyway, than was Graf, and Graf still played Venus evenly in 1999 and won their most important meeting.

Prime Graf >>>> prime Venus. Grass is the only surface Venus would have any chance vs prime Graf. Imagine Venus vs Graf on clay or rebound ace, that would be a laugher, actually Venus is pretty much a laugher for a top player on those surfaces period. Decoturf and indoors she could hang in a bit more but would lose almost everytime as well. Venus has only made the U.S Open final 3 times in her career, and hasnt for 7 years now (if you bring up the prime thing it just proves my point about Venus's ultra short prime) and other than her year end title last year has hardly done anything much in fall. Her legacy as it stands now will be a one event wonder at Wimbledon, and even there she falls short of someone like Graf.



Where you fail is in your assumption Venus is in the "upper echelon" of womens tennis history. This is definitely not the case. She clearly is not top 10 all time, and probably not even top 15.

Venus does not posses the most of all those things you say either. Serena has more power and pace, Connolly for her own time had more, Graf has more off the forehand and a much better second serve, Davenport has atleast as much- how else can she be so competitive with Venus their whole careers when she is slow as a turtle and with an iffy mental game, Seles in her prime had atleast as much off the ground, Pierce as well (even a 30 year old Pierce was matching power with Venus on grass her worst surface by far and Venus's best). Athleticsm and speed? Graf, Clijsters, Henin, Serena, Court, Mandlikova, Goolagong, Navratilova, are some examples of women with just as much as Venus, if not more in some cases.



"perhaps Monica or Chris"? Hahahaha. Here is your list of just modern day players who are judged to be better than Venus and rank over her alltime: Graf, Navratilova, Court, Evert, Seles, King, Henin, Serena, Bueno, possibly Goolagong. Venus is possibly not even top 10 in just the Open Era, certainly not top 8.

It is obvious you live in a little dream world when it comes to Venus.

I so disagree with almost everything you posted. Are we watching the same game?

First off are you and boredone3456 the same person? If not, I'm sure the two of you have had relations.

And let me try to explain to you and boredone. Venus Williams will most definitely be in The International Tennis Hall of Fame regardless of you all's opinion and near insulting summary of her tennis achievements!

Deal with it.

boredone3456
10-24-2009, 11:38 AM
I so disagree with almost everything you posted. Are we watching the same game?

First off are you and boredone3456 the same person? If not, I'm sure the two of you have had relations.

And let me try to explain to you and boredone. Venus Williams will most definitely be in The International Tennis Hall of Fame regardless of you all's opinion and near insulting summary of her tennis achievements!

Deal with it.

LOL no we are not the same person, I have more to do than sit here on two different accounts and rack up 1500+ posts on each one, me and flying agree sometimes, and at times disagree, just because we happen to have the same opinion on a particular topic doesn't mean we are the same person. We happen to agree on things more often then not yes, but that is simply because we think along the same lines, not because we are the same person.

Also, I never said Venus wasn't going to be in the hall of fame, the hall of fame is not the upper echelon in the history of the sport in my mind, its a group who have achieved a variety of achievements but everybody within the hall is not on equal footing with one another in terms of overall achievement. When you said upper Echelon, I inferred that to mean top 5 or 10 all time, that is my opinion on what upper echelon means, if all the hall of fame is upper echelon that I guess a player like Gabriela Sabatini or Jana Novotna is upper Echelon as they are both within the hall. The hall of fame is one thing, the Upper Echelon of tennis is another.

Also, a player at their peak is not just at their peak because they are winning slams, Venus for 2002 and most of 2003 was clearly the 2nd best player in the world and still playing right along with her 2000-2001 level, the problem was she had a new rival in her now prime sister was at the time was just point blank better than she was overall. Also, how have I insulted her, All I said was that at her absolute best she would not beat the likes of Graf, Navratilova, Evert and other players in the upper echelon playing their absolute best. You have an opinion, fine with me, but I have one to, and just because we disagree doesn't mean I am insulting Venus Williams, because if that were the case then a Graf fan could say anyone who doesn't rate her GOAT is insulting her, or I could say anyone who doesn't think Martina is GOAT is insulting her. Its a difference of opinion, and to quote your last line, you will just have to deal with that.

Joe Pike
10-24-2009, 11:55 AM
I did not say Henin and Clijsters were in their primes, I just said they were already very dangerous and legit outside contenders. You didnt even mention the fact both reached a slam final that year, and went to 3 sets each in their first ever slam final. ...


A sign how weak 2001 was.

Joe Pike
10-24-2009, 12:15 PM
...
As I've said Venus peaked between 2000 and 2001. Her 2001 summer was the most dominating span (although short) I have seen of any woman tennis player. ...


In 2000/01 Venus lost to Coetzer (36 46), Dokic (16 26), over-the-hill Sanchez, Davenport, Hingis, Maleeva, Serena, Henin (16 46), Schett, Shaughnessy. Not a very impressive peak.

Summer of 2001 the most dominating span you have seen of any womean tennis player? You mean the summer when she lost to Megan Shaughnessy?
When she needed 3 sets against a teenage Henin in the Wimbledon final?

Better than Graf in the first quarter of 1994 when she won 54 sets in a row (= 27 matches)? Better than Graf's 1988 summer when she lost not a single match, won Wimbledon by destroying Navratilova, completed the Grand Slam in Flushing Meadows and the Golden Grand Slam in Seoul?


You are a clown ...

Joe Pike
10-24-2009, 12:16 PM
...
And let me try to explain to you and boredone. Venus Williams will most definitely be in The International Tennis Hall of Fame regardless of ..

So is Pam Shriver.

DRII
10-24-2009, 12:34 PM
In 2000/01 Venus lost to Coetzer (36 46), Dokic (16 26), over-the-hill Sanchez, Davenport, Hingis, Maleeva, Serena, Henin (16 46), Schett, Shaughnessy. Not a very impressive peak.

Summer of 2001 the most dominating span you have seen of any womean tennis player? You mean the summer when she lost to Megan Shaughnessy?
When she needed 3 sets against a teenage Henin in the Wimbledon final?

Better than Graf in the first quarter of 1994 when she won 54 sets in a row (= 27 matches)? Better than Graf's 1988 summer when she lost not a single match, won Wimbledon by destroying Navratilova, completed the Grand Slam in Flushing Meadows and the Golden Grand Slam in Seoul?


You are a clown ...

Hey Pike...

try and comprehend!

I'm not talking about how many matches a player has won in a row, I'm talking about the dominating fashion in which a player wins. Summer of 2001 Venus Williams was dominating, blowing opponents off the court left and right Capriati, Davenport, Serena, Clijsters, Seles, Pierce, Hingis, etc, etc. Dominating wins - straight sets.

And I don't know what website you are getting your stats from, atleast I hope its a site because if you really decided to put a Venus loss to Shaunessy in your mental rolodex you've seriously got a problem,... but numbers don't tell the whole story!

I am talking about the tenor and texture of wins.

BTW that 3 set win at Wimby for Venus against Henin. Henin lost the last set 6-0.

DRII
10-24-2009, 12:35 PM
So is Pam Shriver.

Jealous?
....

topspin
10-24-2009, 12:40 PM
I actually see it the opposite to the OP. I believe that achievement-wise she has done pretty good considering her awkward style. I used to drive players and coaches in Montreal and had once driven some coaches. They said that both Williams sisters had just awful technique and were moving around from coach to coach trying to fix each stroke. Their dad may have been the official coach, but they were smart enough to get real professional help. This helped them a lot, but at the heart of it, they are not naturals. They did pretty well playing the power game but, if you don't have any finesse, you can never be labeled a natural tennis player, no matter how many trophies you win.

DRII
10-24-2009, 12:40 PM
A sign how weak 2001 was.

2001 was not weak at all in women's tennis.

We had the big 5 in US women: the Williams, Davenport, Capriati, Seles. Hingis was still competitive, the Belgians were starting to come on strong. Women's tennis was exciting and had consistently higher ratings than men's tennis.

So get your facts straight!

Joe Pike
10-24-2009, 01:54 PM
...
I'm not talking about how many matches a player has won in a row, I'm talking about the dominating fashion in which a player wins. Summer of 2001 Venus Williams was dominating, blowing opponents off the court left and right Capriati, Davenport, Serena, Clijsters, Seles, Pierce, Hingis, etc, etc. Dominating wins - straight sets.
...
I am talking about the tenor and texture of wins.
...


Venus Williams, summer 2001:

Wimbledon: Davenport (#3) 62 67 61, Henin (#9) 61 36 60
Stanford: loss to Shaughnessy (#15) 62 56 67
Nothing really "all-time-great" until now ...

San Diego: Davenport (#4) 62 75, Seles (#10) 62 63
New Haven: Henin (#6) 63 57 62, Capriati (#2) 64 76, Davenport (#3) 76 64
What do we have until now?
Three wins against Davenport, one of them a 3-setter, two setters but with a long set in each. Two 3-set wins against teenage Henin. Clear victory against extremely over-the-hill Seles. A close match against Capriati (player with about 10 career titles). A loss to journeywoman Shaughessy.
"All-time great"? LOL ...

And then USO: easy wins against above-mentioned Capriati and #10 Serena.

And that is supposed to be the best 3-months span "you ever watched" of any player??? :):):)

Pity, that you don't watch tennis much ...

Bertie B
10-24-2009, 02:44 PM
I actually see it the opposite to the OP. I believe that achievement-wise she has done pretty good considering her awkward style. I used to drive players and coaches in Montreal and had once driven some coaches. They said that both Williams sisters had just awful technique and were moving around from coach to coach trying to fix each stroke. Their dad may have been the official coach, but they were smart enough to get real professional help. This helped them a lot, but at the heart of it, they are not naturals. They did pretty well playing the power game but, if you don't have any finesse, you can never be labeled a natural tennis player, no matter how many trophies you win.

Windshield-Wiper forehand. Swinging Volley. Two-Handed Backhand. Roddick's abbrev. Racket takeback

Not arguing who invented what, just pointing out how some miss the forest for the trees.

Joe Pike
10-24-2009, 02:59 PM
2001 was not weak at all in women's tennis.

We had the big 5 in US women: the Williams, Davenport, Capriati, Seles. Hingis was still competitive, the Belgians were starting to come on strong. Women's tennis was exciting and had consistently higher ratings than men's tennis.

So get your facts straight!

Davenport was big, yes.
Seles was a shadow of her 91/92 and 95/96 self.
Hingis was a mental basket-case.
Clijsters was 17 and Henin 18.
Capriati would have won no slams in any other era of women's tennis. Her winning three (!!) slams in 2001/02 says it all.

DRII
10-24-2009, 06:56 PM
Venus Williams, summer 2001:

Wimbledon: Davenport (#3) 62 67 61, Henin (#9) 61 36 60
Stanford: loss to Shaughnessy (#15) 62 56 67
Nothing really "all-time-great" until now ...

San Diego: Davenport (#4) 62 75, Seles (#10) 62 63
New Haven: Henin (#6) 63 57 62, Capriati (#2) 64 76, Davenport (#3) 76 64
What do we have until now?
Three wins against Davenport, one of them a 3-setter, two setters but with a long set in each. Two 3-set wins against teenage Henin. Clear victory against extremely over-the-hill Seles. A close match against Capriati (player with about 10 career titles). A loss to journeywoman Shaughessy.
"All-time great"? LOL ...

And then USO: easy wins against above-mentioned Capriati and #10 Serena.

And that is supposed to be the best 3-months span "you ever watched" of any player??? :):):)

Pity, that you don't watch tennis much ...

dont watch tennis much? I have nearly all of the above matches, you mentioned, recorded and have watched more than once...

Versus visiting some website to find just the arbitrary scores like you obviously have.

Not only are you being dismissive of Venus Williams, you are also short changing Capriati Seles and Davenport of that time frame!

I only wish womens tennis would be as exciting now as it was then!

The fore mentioned final of Venus against Seles in San Diego was a classic demonstration of Venus Williams' capability. BTW Seles was playing very well that tournament, defeating Hingis and Capriati; I suggest you watch it.
Same can be said for the Davenport match at San Diego.

Also the Venus > Capriati semi at the USO 2001 is another prime example. That Venus would defeat any womens player ever IMO!... including any Steffi Graf or Navortilova or Serena.
It also had the largest television audience of any tennis match that entire year! Again, I suggest you watch it.

flying24
10-24-2009, 07:49 PM
I so disagree with almost everything you posted. Are we watching the same game?

Trust me I am very thankful I am not watching whatever "game" you happen to be watching which is so far from reality it isnt even funny. Just curious, have you had your eyes checked later, your glass prescriptions updated perhaps?

First off are you and boredone3456 the same person? If not, I'm sure the two of you have had relations.

No boredone3456 have no connection or relation whatsoever other than they we both post on TW and we are both sane.

And let me try to explain to you and boredone. Venus Williams will most definitely be in The International Tennis Hall of Fame regardless of you all's opinion and near insulting summary of her tennis achievements!

Deal with it.

So what. Sabatini, Novotna, and Yannick Noah are in the hall of fame. The way things are going lately look for even Conchita Martinez to be inducted soon too. That you seem to have thought being inducted to the Hall of Fame makes you on the short list of all time greats just further shows your cluelessness to the game.

flying24
10-24-2009, 08:11 PM
2001 was not weak at all in women's tennis.

We had the big 5 in US women: the Williams, Davenport, Capriati, Seles. Hingis was still competitive, the Belgians were starting to come on strong. Women's tennis was exciting and had consistently higher ratings than men's tennis.

So get your facts straight!

The fact you seem to think Seles was part of the "big 5" and not Hingis shows again you dont even really know what you are trying to talk about. Hingis, despite clearly being down from her 1997-1999 level and mentally out of it, was ranked #1 almost the whole year. Granted while ranked #1 few considered her the true top dog when she hadnt won a slam in awhile. However ever since Hingis had taken over the #1 ranking in early 1997 Hingis had ALWAYS been considered above an increasingly past her prime Seles, ever since late 1996 in fact. Hingis was obviously ranked much higher, was dominating Seles head to head, yes Seles did get a win over Hingis once in awhile but Hingis won the vast majority of their meetings, was winning more tournaments, going further in the slams. Yet somehow Seles was part of the "big 5" and not Hingis.

Presuming you have the faintest clue what was really going on in womens tennis back then (a generous assumption given your posts to date) you are obviously trying to make Seles out to be far less past her prime than she was really was, by somehow insinuating her place in the game then was higher than Hingis. The truth is BOTH Seles and Hingis were clearly past their primes by 2001. Hingis was never the same after 2000, and Seles was never the same after the stabbing period but by 2001 she was far more removed from her old self than even say 1996-1998. Seles was even more past her prime than Hingis, yet neither were their old selves. Davenport was injured atleast half of 2001-2003, and because of all these injuries along with a bit of the mental burnout factor was clearly not playing up to her 1998-2000 or 2004-2005 level. The pre pubescent Henin and Clijsters, and the late blooming Mauresmo, were all far from their prime levels at that point. So that leaves the overrated Capriati and a pre-prime and far less mentally tough Serena as Venus's only real competition in 2001. You could have atleast mentioned 2000 as a better example. After all Venus had atleast as good a year in 2000 as 2001 and in 2000 Davenport and Hinigis were actually still playing very well, much better than 2001, and Serena was about the same as 2001.

As it turned out once Serena matured and began to reach her prime in 2002 Venus stopped winning. Then when Henin became a big threat it got even worse for Venus. Now why is that if Venus's best is the best according to you? Why was her greatest little blip of semi-dominance (cant even say true dominance when it was limited to only grass and fast hard courts, and about 4 months in 2 different years) after Hingis, Davenport, and Seles were all on the way down, and before Serena, Henin, and Clijsters to come into their own. How do you explain Venus losing 5 slam finals in a row to Serena if her best is the best according to you. What are you going to say, she was past her prime? Is that why she reached the finals of 5 of the 7 slams she played and on all surfaces, a far better ratio of performance than ever her best years of 2000 and 2001 where she was crushed in all 3 of her slow court slams Sorry that doesnt fly. Venus in 2002 and 2003 was as good as ever, by the fact she was making nearly every slam final, which she couldnt even do in 2000 and 2001, proves. Serena once she reached her best was simply better than Venus, even at Venus's best.

Also how do you explain how during the Venus era (if you want to even call it that) where she won 4 of her slams, Capriati won 3 of the other 4 slams, and Pierce the other 1. If Davenport, Hingis, Seles, Henin, Clijsters, and Serena were all that strong during this interim time frame how do you explain how the likes of Capriati won almost all the other half of the slams during this time? The answer is of course they werent. Yes some stellar field that was when the remaining half slams Venus didnt win all went to Capriati and Pierce, LOL!

flying24
10-24-2009, 08:22 PM
Also the Venus > Capriati semi at the USO 2001 is another prime example. That Venus would defeat any womens player ever IMO!... including any Steffi Graf or Navortilova or Serena.


Statements like this simply make me even more convinced you probably didnt even watch womens tennis back in this time period you are speaking of, other than on youtube clips. That actually was a terrible match, and a reflection of how poor the quality of womens tennis was during a brief period so weak Capriati was the 2nd best player in the World. Capriati hit only 4 winners the whole match, Venus had only 21 but well over 40 unforced errors. The two women combined for only 25 winners and about 75 unforced errors. Capriati in the first set hit only 2 winners and over 20 errors, and still was up 4-1 in the set at one point.

Venus was neither overwhelmingly overpowering, dominant with her serve, prominent at the net, forced to be defensively stellar, and certainly wasnt that consistent. Capriati just couldnt hurt her with anything, didnt have a weapon big enough to hit through Venus, nor was she crafty or diverse enough to come up with any kind of alterior way to win points. I ensure you pretty much anyone on here who also saw this match will back up my claim how poor quality it was.

So this is the best example you can come up with to how Venus at her best is unbeatable and would defeat Serena, Navratilova, and Graf. :lol: Again I will remind you that Venus in 2002-2003 was every bit as good or even better than 2000-2001. The difference is she was facing a true great like Serena on the other side of the net, rather than an era filler like Capriati. Hitting half the # of winners as unforced errors was no longer good enough. Serena's best being better than Venus's isnt even a debate, she proved it on the court by first being one of a flock of women to pass the interim filler challenger Capriati by, then by ripping Venus off her perch atop the womens game and stomping all over her everywhere- clay, grass, hard courts, you name it.
When you reach 5 slam finals in a row and lose to the same player, and never come close to regularly reaching slam finals again, any argument your best is better than that players goes out the window. Then come 2003 Henin passed Venus by too, and since that point Venus got discouraged and doesnt even bother trying anymore outside Wimbledon and to some degree the U.S Open, the only place(s) she feels she has any chance vs the likes of Serena and Henin. Some approach for the women whose "best tennis is best of all time" right. As for Capriati, Venus's biggest "competition" during her reign, as I said once Serena, Henin, Clijsters, even Mauresmo began to come into their primes as well, and Davenport and Pierce began making comebacks to the top, and even the Russian women emerged, Capriati dropped like a stone from being the unofficial #2 to being only the 3rd best, 5th best, 6th, 7th, 10th....until her retirement at the end of 2004. Hardly a surprise. As I already said Capriati being the 2nd best player in the World during Venus's time on top only goes to show how weak things really were then.

DRII
10-25-2009, 07:52 AM
Statements like this simply make me even more convinced you probably didnt even watch womens tennis back in this time period you are speaking of, other than on youtube clips. That actually was a terrible match, and a reflection of how poor the quality of womens tennis was during a brief period so weak Capriati was the 2nd best player in the World. Capriati hit only 4 winners the whole match, Venus had only 21 but well over 40 unforced errors. The two women combined for only 25 winners and about 75 unforced errors. Capriati in the first set hit only 2 winners and over 20 errors, and still was up 4-1 in the set at one point.

Venus was neither overwhelmingly overpowering, dominant with her serve, prominent at the net, forced to be defensively stellar, and certainly wasnt that consistent. Capriati just couldnt hurt her with anything, didnt have a weapon big enough to hit through Venus, nor was she crafty or diverse enough to come up with any kind of alterior way to win points. I ensure you pretty much anyone on here who also saw this match will back up my claim how poor quality it was.

So this is the best example you can come up with to how Venus at her best is unbeatable and would defeat Serena, Navratilova, and Graf. :lol: Again I will remind you that Venus in 2002-2003 was every bit as good or even better than 2000-2001. The difference is she was facing a true great like Serena on the other side of the net, rather than an era filler like Capriati. Hitting half the # of winners as unforced errors was no longer good enough. Serena's best being better than Venus's isnt even a debate, she proved it on the court by first being one of a flock of women to pass the interim filler challenger Capriati by, then by ripping Venus off her perch atop the womens game and stomping all over her everywhere- clay, grass, hard courts, you name it.
When you reach 5 slam finals in a row and lose to the same player, and never come close to regularly reaching slam finals again, any argument your best is better than that players goes out the window. Then come 2003 Henin passed Venus by too, and since that point Venus got discouraged and doesnt even bother trying anymore outside Wimbledon and to some degree the U.S Open, the only place(s) she feels she has any chance vs the likes of Serena and Henin. Some approach for the women whose "best tennis is best of all time" right. As for Capriati, Venus's biggest "competition" during her reign, as I said once Serena, Henin, Clijsters, even Mauresmo began to come into their primes as well, and Davenport and Pierce began making comebacks to the top, and even the Russian women emerged, Capriati dropped like a stone from being the unofficial #2 to being only the 3rd best, 5th best, 6th, 7th, 10th....until her retirement at the end of 2004. Hardly a surprise. As I already said Capriati being the 2nd best player in the World during Venus's time on top only goes to show how weak things really were then.

so much incoherency, in your last few posts, i won't bother addressing all of it. First cluelessness is still not a word! Second, when I mentioned the US womens big 5, I was referiing to US citizens: Seles is a US citizen, Hingis is not...try looking it up!

Second, as far as the fore-mentioned US open semi between Venus and Capriati, the reason Capriati only had 4 winners was because of Venus' speed and defensive capability (the best I have ever seen from a woman), not due to Capriati's lack of fire power. If you are one to only judge a match by its winner vs unforced error count (which btw is in itself a subjective judgment) then me and you will never agree. i thought that match was very good, exciting and entertaining; the tv ratings would seem to bolster my point of view, but i digress.

also capriati never beat venus, she had serena's number for quite a while. and capriati has not officially retired, and remeber injury and her eye condition is what put her on the sidelines.

and again venus's peak was 2001, She was not as good the following year or since. And her losses to Serena were due in greater part to her emotional attachment to her baby sister than to Serena getting better (although Serena did get better and had her peak in 2002-2003). Now the sisters just play when they face each other. The main thing Venus lacks is the utter soul consuming drive as compared to Serena or Graf/Navratilova for that matter. Which IMO bolsters my stance that her best is 'the' best. If she actually had drive and motivation to the level of her sister or Graf/Navratilova her results (although still very good and will cement her place in women's tennis history) would be far greater.

Joe Pike
10-25-2009, 09:02 AM
... The main thing Venus lacks is the utter soul consuming drive as compared to Serena or Graf/Navratilova for that matter. Which IMO bolsters my stance that her best is 'the' best. ...


You mean as in this unique summer of 2001, when she beat 18-year-old Henin twice in 3 sets on fast courts and lost to Megan Shaughnessy?
:):)

DRII
10-25-2009, 10:10 AM
You mean as in this unique summer of 2001, when she beat 18-year-old Henin twice in 3 sets on fast courts and lost to Megan Shaughnessy?
:):)

No,
I don't think Venus ever had that type of drive and motivation. She likes to compete, especially when she is competitive. She likes to overcome struggles. But as far as having the attitude of a Graf, Navratilova, Seles, or even Serena; she doesn't.
From a selfish fan standpoint, I would love to have seen what she would have accomplished if she had it.

Personally, I don't think she feels its worth it to take it to that other level. (Again we are talking about great champions... Venus' drive is lower only relatively speaking.)

For instance, I don't think Venus would ever go off like Serena did at this years US Open. She doesn't put that much of herself into a match to lose it like that.

Interesting, at this years US Open, even with a bum knee Venus had a 6-0 set against Kim even though she lost but Serena couldn't take a set...

Joe Pike
10-25-2009, 10:50 AM
No,
I don't think Venus ever had that type of drive and motivation. She likes to compete, especially when she is competitive. She likes to overcome struggles. But as far as having the attitude of a Graf, Navratilova, Seles, or even Serena; she doesn't.
From a selfish fan standpoint, I would love to have seen what she would have accomplished if she had it.

Personally, I don't think she feels its worth it to take it to that other level. ...


She is one of the greatest grass courters of the open era, without a doubt. And she had 2 or 3 really outstanding years.

What I never understand why some of her fans firmly believe that her peak was the best women's tennis ever had to offer. Those fans always come up with the "summer of 2001" when she beat Davenport (who won three slams in 1998-2000) three times and - in three-setters - a 18-year-old Henin twice.

flying24
10-25-2009, 02:56 PM
Second, as far as the fore-mentioned US open semi between Venus and Capriati, the reason Capriati only had 4 winners was because of Venus' speed and defensive capability (the best I have ever seen from a woman), not due to Capriati's lack of fire power. If you are one to only judge a match by its winner vs unforced error count (which btw is in itself a subjective judgment) then me and you will never agree. i thought that match was very good, exciting and entertaining; the tv ratings would seem to bolster my point of view, but i digress.

Capriati struggles to hit winners vs any top player. In the U.S Open semis vs Dementieva in 2004, a player with one of the worst serves in WTA history and who many years later has still never won a slam, she had only 11 winners to Dementieva's 41. According to Mary Carillo and John McEnroe in the booth atlast Dementieva was having an off day and still beat Capriati playing her best, and again this is a slamless player still 5 years down the road. Capriati was also owned by virtually every top 6 or 7 player in both her primes in the early 90s and early 2000s- Graf, prime Seles, Venus, Serena, Davenport, past her prime Seles, Sabatini, Sanchez Vicario, Novotna, Henin, Mauresmo. The only exceptions are Clijsters she is even with (but losing all 3 meetings in Kim's prime in 2003) and Hingis she did well against in the early 2000s. Capriati just isnt that good, her being the 2nd best player during Venus's reign shows how weak that year or two was.

also capriati never beat venus, she had serena's number for quite a while. and capriati has not officially retired, and remeber injury and her eye condition is what put her on the sidelines.

All but 1 of Venus's match vs Capriati were at her peak in 2001. Serena never lost to Capriati at her peak in 2002-2003 either. If Venus like Serena had more matches with Serena outside her peak she would have lost matches to her too.

Anyway Capriati isnt that important. You are overrating her only since she makes Venus look better. Serena was owning Davenport ever since 1998, her first year on tour. Venus didnt start doing well vs Davenport until 2000. Serena has the better head to head with Hingis. Serena has a better head to head with Clijsters. Serena has a better head to head with Sharapova. Serena has a better head to head with Mauresmo.

and again venus's peak was 2001, She was not as good the following year or since.

Is that why she made 5 of 6 slams finals from 2002 French-2003 Wimbledon, something she never came close to doing in 2001? Like it or not 2002 and 2003 was Venus's peak as far as her actual tennis, even moreso than 2000 and 2001. That is why she was making the finals of nearly every big event, which she wasnt good enough to do even in 2000 and 2001 when she was the top player in the World. In 2000 and 2001 she was embarassed in all 3 Australian and French Opens she played. In 2002 and 2003 she made the finals of 2 of 3, and lost a very tough 3 setter to an inspired Seles while injured in the other. The only difference was peak Serena was now there and Serena is just the better player.

Anyway Venus in the summer of 2000 was even better than 2001 also. 2001 was only her 4th best year ever tennis wise, and even if you insist on just results 2000 was better, and 2002 was far more consistently good. Your now resorting to using Capriati of all people as one of your main boosters to Venus reaching a "best ever level" is one of the most desperate and failed attempt of straw grapsing I have ever seen.

And her losses to Serena were due in greater part to her emotional attachment to her baby sister than to Serena getting better (although Serena did get better and had her peak in 2002-2003). Now the sisters just play when they face each other.

Now they just play when they face each other according to you, both players are now clearly past their prime, and Serena still wins most of the time. Again Serena > Venus.

The main thing Venus lacks is the utter soul consuming drive as compared to Serena or Graf/Navratilova for that matter. Which IMO bolsters my stance that her best is 'the' best.

There is so much fail here I dont even know how to respond. This reminds me of Safina's recent press conferences "nobody remembers slam winners, only #1s". By this logic Clijsters or Sabatini would be one of the best players ever, after all what would they have accomplished if the had the soul consuming drive to be the best that their superiors like Graf and Henin had.

If she actually had drive and motivation to the level of her sister or Graf/Navratilova her results (although still very good and will cement her place in women's tennis history) would be far greater.

You seem delusional about Venus's place in womens tennis history as it is. Do you even realize Henin despite having retired for awhile at only age 25 still currently has the same # of slams as Venus who is almost 30 now (almost certain to end up with more now that she is returning), has a much more balanced record, and much more time ranked #1. Earlier you said Venus "might" be behind Serena, which is also comical given that Serena has 11 slams, has the non calender slam while Venus hasnt even won 2 of the 3 slams in her whole career, and Serena has dominated Venus with both at or near their bests, and has spent much more time at #1 also. Venus is only the 3rd greatest player of the last decade alone.

flying24
10-25-2009, 02:58 PM
BTW that 3 set win at Wimby for Venus against Henin. Henin lost the last set 6-0.

She still had to go 3 sets with a pre-prime baby Henin who was about half the player she would be starting in spring 2003 at that point, on her worst surface by far. This was "peak Venus" too according to you, a peak that she only mantained for a few months ever according to you also. Do you really think Graf or Navratilova at their peaks (which in their cases lasted many years) would have needed 3 sets to beat an 18 year old Henin on GRASS, LOL!

By the way in Venus's meeting with Henin that years on Henin's surface, "peak Venus" was thumped 6-4, 6-1 by pre-prime baby Henin on clay. Then later that year at the French lost 1st round to Barbara Schett. Goes to show yet again while Venus is great on grass, how hopeless she is on surfaces like clay even at her "peak". On her 2nd worst surface, rebound ace, she had to go to 8-6 in the 3rd set to beat a past her prime Amanda Coetzer in th quarters, and was humiliated 6-1, 6-1 by Hingis in the semis. A player who is ever to be touted the best ever at her best hs to be able to play on all surfaces, not just her favorites. How on earth can a player who at her best is inept on clay, and iffy on slower hard courts, ever be the best ever at her best.

Lionheart392
10-25-2009, 03:01 PM
She still had to go 3 sets with a pre-prime baby Henin who was about half the player she would be starting in spring 2003 at that point, on her worst surface by far. This was "peak Venus" too according to you, a peak that she only mantained for a few months ever according to you also. Do you really think Graf or Navratilova at their peaks would have needed 3 sets to beat an 18 year old Henin on GRASS, LOL!

There is no point arguing with Williams fanatics, it is futile.

flying24
10-25-2009, 03:05 PM
There is no point arguing with Williams fanatics, it is futile.

True but it is fun in a way to school them nonetheless. Their arguments are so chalked full of holes it is funny. They could atleast try and hide them better.

boredone3456
10-25-2009, 03:12 PM
True but it is fun in a way to school them nonetheless. Their arguments are so chalked full of holes it is funny. They could atleast try and hide them better.

That is why I just gave up, its like what I went through with JulesB at first, then I just realized that its a waste of time even though it may give me another post lol. By the way, its nice to be talking to myself on a message board LOL :twisted:.

Lionheart392
10-25-2009, 03:13 PM
That is why I just gave up, its like what I went through with JulesB at first, then I just realized that its a waste of time even though it may give me another post lol. By the way, its nice to be talking to myself on a message board LOL :twisted:.

At first I laughed when Julesb got banned but now I really miss him/her/it :(
Life just isn't the same without Julesb's weekly 'Graf is the most overrated player in history and owes all her slams to a very sharp knife!' thread.

35ft6
10-25-2009, 03:29 PM
At her best, I think she's the best I've ever seen woman wise.

lambielspins
10-25-2009, 05:39 PM
At her best, I think she's the best I've ever seen woman wise.

I actually think you might well be right. The only problem is her best only lasted 18 months, and the greatest women of all times bests lasted 7, 8, 10, 12 years in some cases. And everything else she ever produced is far removed from her best.

THUNDERVOLLEY
10-26-2009, 01:54 AM
So what. Sabatini, Novotna, and Yannick Noah are in the hall of fame. The way things are going lately look for even Conchita Martinez to be inducted soon too

His basic point is relevant in considering her an all-time great, with or without a HoF entry; that the HoF allows just about anyone into it for less than legendary achievements is another matter. Make no mistake: winning a slam--even one--is a great career landmark (certainly above the embarassing title of being a slamless #1), but I do not consider that HoF-worthy considering the company such players will keep in a historical sense.

flying24
10-26-2009, 02:06 AM
His basic point is relevant in considering her an all-time great, with or without a HoF entry; that the HoF allows just about anyone into it for less than legendary achievements is another matter. Make no mistake: winning a slam--even one--is a great career landmark (certainly above the embarassing title of being a slamless #1), but I do not consider that HoF-worthy considering the company such players will keep in a historical sense.

That is true. Even if the HOF had worthy standards both Williams would get in and deservedly so. Henin would also. I think that is it of the recent group. I wouldnt even put Sharapova in at this moment.

The HOF has really sunk into dangerous territory by how low they have sent the standards of recent inductees. While it might be unfair to some future players who could miss out with much better credentials than some recent inductees they need to raise those standards alot tougher again to mantain the Hall of Fame's credability. Having the likes of Novotna, Noah, and Sabatini inducted is an embarassment. They have all had fine careers they can be proud of, including the pivotal landmark of a slam singles victory you refer to, but not what should be even close to HOF worthy. It will look funny to many years from now when people speak of two women they remember mostly for choking in alot of big matches, being part of joke non rivalries with Graf (especialy Novotna), and for winning only 1 slam are in the Hall of Fame.

big bang
10-26-2009, 02:31 AM
Serena is not the best in any category. just wait and see next year Henin will make her look like the big booty mama she is:)

Steffi-forever
10-26-2009, 02:34 AM
That is true. Even if the HOF had worthy standards both Williams would get in and deservedly so. Henin would also. I think that is it of the recent group. I wouldnt even put Sharapova in at this moment.

The HOF has really sunk into dangerous territory by how low they have sent the standards of recent inductees. While it might be unfair to some future players who could miss out with much better credentials than some recent inductees they need to raise those standards alot tougher again to mantain the Hall of Fame's credability. Having the likes of Novotna, Noah, and Sabatini inducted is an embarassment. They have all had fine careers they can be proud of, including the pivotal landmark of a slam singles victory you refer to, but not what should be even close to HOF worthy. It will look funny to many years from now when people speak of two women they remember mostly for choking in alot of big matches, being part of joke non rivalries with Graf (especialy Novotna), and for winning only 1 slam are in the Hall of Fame.

Novotna had a huge double career and has been in the top 10 in single almost all through the 90's. She deserve to be. Sabatini made 18 semifinals in GS from 85 to 95. It's debatable. Noha, I agree. He does not belong there.
As for Sharapova, of course she will be. 3 GS titles and made women's tennis very popular.

nat75
10-26-2009, 05:10 AM
Sabatini is there because she's one of the most popular players ever and she had a pretty consistent career.
Ten years in the top ten. Six years in the the top five.
When BJK compared Ivanovic with Sabatini, she did it popularity wise. The Hall of Fame is not about achievements only. It's also about fame and what these players brought to the sport. BTW, Kourki and the other girls wouldn't have had the endorsements they had if Gaby wouldn't has gotten them 10 years earlier.

grafselesfan
10-26-2009, 08:09 AM
Sabatini is there because she's one of the most popular players ever and she had a pretty consistent career.
Ten years in the top ten. Six years in the the top five.
When BJK compared Ivanovic with Sabatini, she did it popularity wise. The Hall of Fame is not about achievements only. It's also about fame and what these players brought to the sport. BTW, Kourki and the other girls wouldn't have had the endorsements they had if Gaby wouldn't has gotten them 10 years earlier.

Making Hall of Fame standars such that 1 slam wonders can get in due to the popularity is still ridiculous. Granted I think Sabatini is the best player to win only 1 slam now that Clijsters has broken free of that category. She was unlucky to prime in the late 80s and early 90s with Graf, Seles, Navratilova, and Sanchez Vicario all, and be a formidable up and coming player in the mid 80s with Navratilova, Evert, Graf, and Mandlikova. Her charisma and popularity was definitely huge in bringing more attention to the sport around the time, and she was sort of a trailblazer for womens tennis in her country of Argentina which had been strong in mens but not really in womens up until then. Yet all that being said she still should not be in the Hall of Fame if they had proper standards and guidelines which were alot tougher than they are now.

DRII
10-26-2009, 09:36 AM
True but it is fun in a way to school them nonetheless. Their arguments are so chalked full of holes it is funny. They could atleast try and hide them better.

If you call your incoherent or incredibly arbitrary ramblings 'schooling'; I'm glad I don't attend your school. Are you even tenured yet?

Here is my point, as I have tried to explain endlessly. When choosing which player's best is the best, going back in time and pouring over stats and records, or even score lines is nearly pointless.

Any player's best is actually a hypothetical. We have never seen any players' best. So what I am doing is taking individual aspects of each player’s game when playing well, that I have seen in matches, and comparing them to others. I also should mention I am assuming playing on a medium to fast hard-court surface (probably the most neutral of surfaces), not clay or grass.

I will state the aspects of the game that I am focusing on in their order of importance (again this is all my opinion, if you disagree so be it)

Movement/Defense:

Venus Williams in her prime is the fastest woman I have ever seen on a tennis court. Her movement was simply amazing at her peak and is the reason why so few players would hit many winners against her. What is also important here is that she could turn defense into offense so often. She would come up with devastating shots off of awkward positions and places on the court.

Steffi Graf was also a very good mover and perhaps had better foot work than Venus at her prime, but she was no where near as explosive.

Same can be said for Henin - awesome foot work just not as explosive

Serena in her prime did not move quite as fast or as well and had less reach.

I feel movement/defense is probably the most import aspect in the game and allows players that have it to do things others can not.
.................................................. ...........................................

Serve:

Venus Williams has the most consistently powerful 1st serve in women’s' tennis history. I know other women have hit it as hard or slightly harder once or twice, but Venus can hit serves above 125 mph several times in one game not just in one entire match. Her first is also one of the heaviest and has alot of work on it.

An inform Serena also has a big first serve, but not as big. She may hit more aces on average than Venus, but Venus has more service winners overall. Serena also places her serve a little better and has a more consistent second serve. However, if I am assuming these players are playing at their best then they will not be missing many first serves.

Graf had a good serve with very good placement but wasn't nearly as big. Same can be said for Navratilova.

Lindsay Davenport also had an effective serve, but again was not nearly as explosive.

Alicia Molik was also an excellent server and deserves to be mentioned in this category.
.................................................. .................................................. .

Service Return:

Venus ranks among the best service returners in my mind. She is amongst the most aggressive at her best and gets her racket on more good serves than any other player. Infact with her great improvisation skills, she can be out of position and still get a great return in play.

Lindsay Davenport has a devastating return when she is on. She has probably hit more return winners than anyone. She takes it early and makes it penetrate beautifully. However she doesn't get her racket on as many returns as Venus.

Monica Seles is very similar to Davenport. One of the most aggressive returners in history with amazing angles coming off of her racquet. She probably hit the return earlier than anyone. But with 2 hands on both sides her reach was limited and would get aced way more than Venus.

Serena has a very good return when playing her best; penetrating and forceful. However, she has been handcuffed in the past with her grips on return. She is one of the few top players I have seen hit a two handed forehand on returns because she was too slow to change grips when necessary. She also does not have the reach of Venus on the return.

Graf's return is technically very good and consistent. However she can be exposed on her backhand return, often times slicing it in and not being as aggressive, ala Federer. This can be a weakness and allow the server, especially a big server, to get an early advantage in the point.
.................................................. .................................................

Power of the Ground:

Venus Williams, at her best, is the most explosive women’s' player off the ground that I have ever seen. She has more pace than any other player off both sides, in particular off the backhand. I have heard Lindsay Davenport say this several times since she started commentating for Tennis Channel.

Lindsay Davenport hits the cleanest and heaviest ball in women’s tennis. She doesn't have the same pace as Venus but her balls in general have better direction.

Serena is somewhere in the middle between Venus and Lindsay. Heavier balls than Venus but not as much pace; and more pace than Lindsay but not as heavy.

Graf has probably the world class forehand. She hits it cleanly with very good pace and penetration. But her backhand can be a real weakness. She hardly ever came over her backhand and would continually slice. This can present an opening to other excellent players to take advantage.

Monica Seles was also very good off the ground with extreme angles and great pace. She took the ball very early and had very good accuracy and penetration. However Monica would sometimes get handcuffed on what was her forehand side and would not always hit it as cleanly.
.................................................. ................................................

Mental Toughness:

Its here where Venus lags slightly behind the best of the best. She doesn't have the same drive of a Graf, Navratilova, Seles, or Serena. However, she does have great fortitude and loves to compete.
.................................................. .................................................

Craftiness/Touch:

Venus lags way behind in this category. In my opinion touch and craftiness can quickly be overcome by power and explosiveness. Touch really only comes into play when an opponent is hanging in with her counterpart and has something extra craftiness in the bag to pull out thus unsettling the person across the net.

Graf had great craftiness, whether it was the amazing approach shots or drop volleys etc. Henin is also very good in this respect and maybe Hingis in her absolute prime.
.................................................. ..................................................

All that is to say: Venus Williams at her best is the best. Her sheer level of outrageous offensive combined with amazing defense is just too much for any other player playing at their best to handle. Period, point blank. That is my opinion. Feel free to disagree, but you or boredone are not changing my mind.

jones101
10-26-2009, 10:19 AM
If you call your incoherent or incredibly arbitrary ramblings 'schooling'; I'm glad I don't attend your school. Are you even tenured yet?

Here is my point, as I have tried to explain endlessly. When choosing which player's best is the best, going back in time and pouring over stats and records, or even score lines is nearly pointless.

Any player's best is actually a hypothetical. We have never seen any players' best. So what I am doing is taking individual aspects of each player’s game when playing well, that I have seen in matches, and comparing them to others. I also should mention I am assuming playing on a medium to fast hard-court surface (probably the most neutral of surfaces), not clay or grass.

I will state the aspects of the game that I am focusing on in their order of importance (again this is all my opinion, if you disagree so be it)

Movement/Defense:

Venus Williams in her prime is the fastest woman I have ever seen on a tennis court. Her movement was simply amazing at her peak and is the reason why so few players would hit many winners against her. What is also important here is that she could turn defense into offense so often. She would come up with devastating shots off of awkward positions and places on the court.

Steffi Graf was also a very good mover and perhaps had better foot work than Venus at her prime, but she was no where near as explosive.

Same can be said for Henin - awesome foot work just not as explosive

Serena in her prime did not move quite as fast or as well and had less reach.

I feel movement/defense is probably the most import aspect in the game and allows players that have it to do things others can not.
.................................................. ...........................................

Serve:

Venus Williams has the most consistently powerful 1st serve in women’s' tennis history. I know other women have hit it as hard or slightly harder once or twice, but Venus can hit serves above 125 mph several times in one game not just in one entire match. Her first is also one of the heaviest and has alot of work on it.

An inform Serena also has a big first serve, but not as big. She may hit more aces on average than Venus, but Venus has more service winners overall. Serena also places her serve a little better and has a more consistent second serve. However, if I am assuming these players are playing at their best then they will not be missing many first serves.

Graf had a good serve with very good placement but wasn't nearly as big. Same can be said for Navratilova.

Lindsay Davenport also had an effective serve, but again was not nearly as explosive.

Alicia Molik was also an excellent server and deserves to be mentioned in this category.
.................................................. .................................................. .

Service Return:

Venus ranks among the best service returners in my mind. She is amongst the most aggressive at her best and gets her racket on more good serves than any other player. Infact with her great improvisation skills, she can be out of position and still get a great return in play.

Lindsay Davenport has a devastating return when she is on. She has probably hit more return winners than anyone. She takes it early and makes it penetrate beautifully. However she doesn't get her racket on as many returns as Venus.

Monica Seles is very similar to Davenport. One of the most aggressive returners in history with amazing angles coming off of her racquet. She probably hit the return earlier than anyone. But with 2 hands on both sides her reach was limited and would get aced way more than Venus.

Serena has a very good return when playing her best; penetrating and forceful. However, she has been handcuffed in the past with her grips on return. She is one of the few top players I have seen hit a two handed forehand on returns because she was too slow to change grips when necessary. She also does not have the reach of Venus on the return.

Graf's return is technically very good and consistent. However she can be exposed on her backhand return, often times slicing it in and not being as aggressive, ala Federer. This can be a weakness and allow the server, especially a big server, to get an early advantage in the point.
.................................................. .................................................

Power of the Ground:

Venus Williams, at her best, is the most explosive women’s' player off the ground that I have ever seen. She has more pace than any other player off both sides, in particular off the backhand. I have heard Lindsay Davenport say this several times since she started commentating for Tennis Channel.

Lindsay Davenport hits the cleanest and heaviest ball in women’s tennis. She doesn't have the same pace as Venus but her balls in general have better direction.

Serena is somewhere in the middle between Venus and Lindsay. Heavier balls than Venus but not as much pace; and more pace than Lindsay but not as heavy.

Graf has probably the world class forehand. She hits it cleanly with very good pace and penetration. But her backhand can be a real weakness. She hardly ever came over her backhand and would continually slice. This can present an opening to other excellent players to take advantage.

Monica Seles was also very good off the ground with extreme angles and great pace. She took the ball very early and had very good accuracy and penetration. However Monica would sometimes get handcuffed on what was her forehand side and would not always hit it as cleanly.
.................................................. ................................................

Mental Toughness:

Its here where Venus lags slightly behind the best of the best. She doesn't have the same drive of a Graf, Navratilova, Seles, or Serena. However, she does have great fortitude and loves to compete.
.................................................. .................................................

Craftiness/Touch:

Venus lags way behind in this category. In my opinion touch and craftiness can quickly be overcome by power and explosiveness. Touch really only comes into play when an opponent is hanging in with her counterpart and has something extra craftiness in the bag to pull out thus unsettling the person across the net.

Graf had great craftiness, whether it was the amazing approach shots or drop volleys etc. Henin is also very good in this respect and maybe Hingis in her absolute prime.
.................................................. ..................................................

All that is to say: Venus Williams at her best is the best. Her sheer level of outrageous offensive combined with amazing defense is just too much for any other player playing at their best to handle. Period, point blank. That is my opinion. Feel free to disagree, but you or boredone are not changing my mind.

Good, well thought post and I must say I agree with everything on this list.

Joe Pike
10-26-2009, 10:32 AM
Venus Williams in her prime is the fastest woman I have ever seen on a tennis court. ...I feel movement/defense is probably the most import aspect in the game and allows players that have it to do things others can not.
...
Venus Williams has the most consistently powerful 1st serve in women’s' tennis history.
...
Venus ranks among the best service returners in my mind.
...
Venus Williams, at her best, is the most explosive women’s' player off the ground that I have ever seen.
...
(mental toughness) Its here where Venus lags slightly behind the best of the best. ... However, she does have great fortitude and loves to compete.

(craftiness/touch) Venus lags way behind in this category. In my opinion touch and craftiness can quickly be overcome by power and explosiveness.
...
All that is to say: Venus Williams at her best is the best. ...



The facts say otherwise:
In her best two years ever (2000/01) she lost to Coetzer, Dokic, Schett, Maleeva, Shaughnessy among others - players who never ever made a slam final.
In her best 3 months ever (summer 2001) she lost to Shaughnessy, beat 18-year-old Henin twice on fast courts only in 3-setters, beat Davenport three times and Capriati twice.

Graf for example lost only to Navratilova, Sabatini and Shriver in 1987/88.
Graf had SEVERAL 3-month runs when she didn't even lose a single set.
Graf beat players who made 12 slam finals in their careers with 62 61 and 60 62 respectively in slam finals.
Graf broke Navratilova on Wimbledon's grass seven (!) times in a row at the end of the 1988 final.

Navratilova had comparable peak achievements. She destroyed the greatest clay-courter ever, Chris Evert, 63 61 in a FO final. Navratilova had a 74-win streak in 1983/84.

Peak Graf and Navratilova would not have lost to Shaughnessys, Maleevas or Schetts. Graf and Navratilova would not have lost sets to a 18-year-old Henin on fast courts during their peak 3 months.

LDVTennis
10-26-2009, 12:34 PM
All that is to say: Venus Williams at her best is the best. Her sheer level of outrageous offensive combined with amazing defense is just too much for any other player playing at their best to handle. Period, point blank. That is my opinion. Feel free to disagree, but you or boredone are not changing my mind.

Very well. But, if you haven't realized it already, the consensus in this thread is that Graf at her best is the best. That consensus trumps your opinion. Period, point blank. That is the consensus. Feel free to disagree with it, but your opinion is not going to change that.

LDVTennis
10-26-2009, 01:18 PM
I find it funny that you say LDV cannot provide any evidence that Serena is an inferior Vollyer to Graf while at the same time you yourself provide no actual evidence that she is better apart from going around in circles with your statements.

This weekend I reviewed some of Serena's matches on youtube. It confirmed what I thought about her game, specifically her net game.

A few observations:

*Apparently, we are not the only ones who think Serena is not a good volleyer. So, do Tony Trabert, Chris Evert, and John McEnroe.

*Serena is much more reluctant to come to the net than Graf.

*Serena prefers to hit a swinging volley over a conventional volley. She has more success with the swinging volley than the conventional volley.

*Tennis commentators frequently cited these reasons for her poor execution at the net: (1) location, depth, and spin (top) of passing shot; (2) long swing on both volleys; (3) position of wrist on forehand volley with respect to racquet face and ball.

Ripster
10-26-2009, 01:19 PM
Very well. But, if you haven't realized it already, the consensus in this thread is that Graf at her best is the best. That consensus trumps your opinion. Period, point blank. That is the consensus. Feel free to disagree with it, but your opinion is not going to change that.

She's the best I've ever seen. The only one that rivals her in terms of ability is Henin IMO.

Bertie B
10-26-2009, 01:26 PM
... 'Graf is the most overrated player in history and owes all her slams to a very sharp knife!' thread.

R Round-&-Round-OFLMAO

Bertie B
10-26-2009, 01:47 PM
This weekend I reviewed some of Serena's matches on youtube. It confirmed what I thought about her game, specifically her net game.

????

*Apparently, we are not the only ones who think Serena is not a good volleyer. So, do Tony Trabert, Chris Evert, and John McEnroe.

McEnroe thinks we should go back to wooden rackets. Reactionary. Evert, she who can't hold off a divorce or Navratilova ain't fit to comment. She also thinks Serena plays like a caged animal...professional & objective.

*Serena is much more reluctant to come to the net than Graf.

I know this is a WTA discussion, but...Federer is much more reluctant to come to the net than Sampras...didn't stop him from being a much better player.

*Serena prefers to hit a swinging volley over a conventional volley. She has more success with the swinging volley than the conventional volley.

You know, the game is constantly evolving.

*Tennis commentators frequently cited these reasons for her poor execution at the net: (1) location, depth, and spin (top) of passing shot; (2) long swing on both volleys; (3) position of wrist on forehand volley with respect to racquet face and ball.

The commentators also said Steffi's game was "homemade." It's why she couldn't hit a proper topspin backhand.

Joe Pike
10-26-2009, 02:06 PM
????
...
I know this is a WTA discussion, but...Federer is much more reluctant to come to the net than Sampras...didn't stop him from being a much better player. ...


Slams:
Federer 15, Sampras 14
S. Williams 11, Graf 22

Joe Pike
10-26-2009, 02:10 PM
???? ...
The commentators also said Steffi's game was "homemade." It's why she couldn't hit a proper topspin backhand.


Navratilova wouldn't agree.
She remembers USO 86, Lipton 87, FO 87, Wim 88, Wim 89 ...

DRII
10-26-2009, 03:51 PM
Very well. But, if you haven't realized it already, the consensus in this thread is that Graf at her best is the best. That consensus trumps your opinion. Period, point blank. That is the consensus. Feel free to disagree with it, but your opinion is not going to change that.

maybe thats because this thread is full of old fuddy duddies, oh i mean traditionalist, like you!

Chadwixx
10-26-2009, 04:00 PM
One thing your not acknowledging drII, if serena and steffi played 20 times, serena would only have 3-4 good days. She cannot maintain her lvl, as shown with her inablity to keep #1. Steffi on the other hand was consistent day in and day out.

Another thing your not seeing is steffi's slice to serena's forehand. Serena pulls up on it every time (by far her worst shot), giving steffi's forehand something to step in on.

DRII
10-26-2009, 04:19 PM
One thing your not acknowledging drII, if serena and steffi played 20 times, serena would only have 3-4 good days. She cannot maintain her lvl, as shown with her inablity to keep #1. Steffi on the other hand was consistent day in and day out.

Another thing your not seeing is steffi's slice to serena's forehand. Serena pulls up on it every time (by far her worst shot), giving steffi's forehand something to step in on.

Chadwixx, I vote Venus' best as the best, not Serena.

And I agree, over the long term you go by results and Graf has Venus on that one... No Doubt!
But given just one match on a given day when both are playing at their highest level, on a medium to fast paced hard court I pick Venus.

Also, most of the time Steffi's back-hand slice went to her right-handed opponents back-hand side. And Venus would eat that up!

DRII
10-26-2009, 04:24 PM
Good, well thought post and I must say I agree with everything on this list.

Thanks jones101, I'm not used to hearing that! LOL

lambielspins
10-26-2009, 05:45 PM
Chadwixx, I vote Venus' best as the best, not Serena.


You are in your own little world on that one and you are foolish to keep pushing your failed points thinking people will come to your side here when it is clear you are the only one who thinks this way. How the heck is Venus's best better than Serena when at the peak of her game she was getting dominated by Serena. That makes no sense. She lost 5 straight slam finals to Serena, was she not at her best in any of those 5!?!? And dont give me some crap this wasnt her prime, there is no freaking way Venus wouldnt be in all those slam finals if it wasnt pretty much her peak.

Anyway like flying said Venus isnt even an all surface player. Even at her best there are probably 20 women who could beat her on clay, and atleast 10 on rebound ace. Imagine Venus at her best playing Henin at her best on clay, ROTFL!! Venus might get 3 games if she were lucky. The players whose best tennis is the best ever would have to be an all surface master, not a glorifed grass courter who is also very good on faster hard courts.

DRII
10-26-2009, 06:43 PM
You are in your own little world on that one and you are foolish to keep pushing your failed points thinking people will come to your side here when it is clear you are the only one who thinks this way. How the heck is Venus's best better than Serena when at the peak of her game she was getting dominated by Serena. That makes no sense. She lost 5 straight slam finals to Serena, was she not at her best in any of those 5!?!? And dont give me some crap this wasnt her prime, there is no freaking way Venus wouldnt be in all those slam finals if it wasnt pretty much her peak.

Anyway like flying said Venus isnt even an all surface player. Even at her best there are probably 20 women who could beat her on clay, and atleast 10 on rebound ace. Imagine Venus at her best playing Henin at her best on clay, ROTFL!! Venus might get 3 games if she were lucky. The players whose best tennis is the best ever would have to be an all surface master, not a glorifed grass courter who is also very good on faster hard courts.

Foolish post. Obviously your comprehension is not the highest or you were too lazy to read the rest of the thread...

BTW I am not trying to convince anyone of anything, just stating my opinion.

lambielspins
10-26-2009, 06:58 PM
Foolish post. Obviously your comprehension is not the highest or you were too lazy to read the rest of the thread...

BTW I am not trying to convince anyone of anything, just stating my opinion.

Sorry to break reality to you but there was nothing foolish about my post.

Fact 1: Venus made 5 straight slam finals and lost all 5 to Serena at one point. Any suggestion this wasnt Venus at her peak is ******** since this is the only time in Venus's career she was making so many slam finals. She couldnt not be at her best and be making all those finals in the first place. Serena's best >> Venus's best.

Fact 2: Venus even at her best sucks on clay and is mediocre on rebound ace. The player who is the best at her best has to be someone great on all surfaces like Graf, Navratilova, Evert, to some extent Serena. Venus playing her best on clay would be struggling to win games vs people like Henin, Evert, Graf on that surface. That also aleady elminates any posssability her best would be the best ever when she isnt even all surface player.

Joe Pike
10-26-2009, 08:58 PM
Chadwixx, I vote Venus' best as the best, not Serena.

And I agree, over the long term you go by results and Graf has Venus on that one... No Doubt!
But given just one match on a given day when both are playing at their highest level, on a medium to fast paced hard court I pick Venus.

Also, most of the time Steffi's back-hand slice went to her right-handed opponents back-hand side. And Venus would eat that up!

We saw this in the Wimbledon 99 quarters ...

BTW re: just one match on a given day - Venus plays at her highest level in one of 20 matches only. So she wins that one but Graf wins the other 19.

lambielspins
10-26-2009, 09:06 PM
Yes the Williams so called best tennis is something of a phantom mystery. They play such high risk games they will hardly ever play their so called best, and more often than not they are far from it. They are still great enough to win 11 and 7 slams even inspite of that, however this myth and excuse making of if I played my best tennis goes out the window with those two, as it is a level they rarely reach and with their playing styles are unlikely to reach hardly ever.

DRII
10-27-2009, 07:04 AM
We saw this in the Wimbledon 99 quarters ...

BTW re: just one match on a given day - Venus plays at her highest level in one of 20 matches only. So she wins that one but Graf wins the other 19.

Say it aint so Joe...

so we argued this whole time, when we actually agree. What you just said is what i've been saying the whole time.
.................................................. ...............
Although i problably say 7/13 or 8/12 ratio over time in favor of Graf.

Joe Pike
10-27-2009, 10:54 AM
Say it aint so Joe...

so we argued this whole time, when we actually agree. What you just said is what i've been saying the whole time.
.................................................. ...............
Although i problably say 7/13 or 8/12 ratio over time in favor of Graf.


When Venus plays at her peak only once in 20 matches most probably Graf won't be at her peak at the same time. So peak Venus beats average or below-par Graf.

But in the other 19 matches - when VENUS is only average or below par - Graf will win. Whether she is at HER peak, only average or below par doesn't matter.

And if coincidently BOTH are at their peaks at the same time Graf wins. You only have to remember or watch what GRAF could do at her peak. It was a little bit more than just beating one Capriati 62 64, beating one 18-year-old Henin in three sets or beating one Davenport 76 63 or so.

It was breaking Navratilova 7 times in a row in a Wimbledon final for example.
It was destroying Seles - who had won 5 of the previous 6 slams - with 62 61 in another Wimbledon final.

LDVTennis
10-27-2009, 11:36 AM
McEnroe thinks we should go back to wooden rackets. Reactionary. Evert, she who can't hold off a divorce or Navratilova ain't fit to comment. She also thinks Serena plays like a caged animal...professional & objective.

I know this is a WTA discussion, but...Federer is much more reluctant to come to the net than Sampras...didn't stop him from being a much better player.

You know, the game is constantly evolving.

The commentators also said Steffi's game was "homemade." It's why she couldn't hit a proper topspin backhand.

Do you ever read what you write? You've just claimed that Evert is not qualified to comment on Serena's game because she's been twice divorced. How ridiculous is that?

Serena is not Roger Federer, not even close. Steffi was the female Federer.

Swing volleys are easier to hit, particularly off the backhand side. That does not make them better than conventional volleys. Those players with the ability and talent will continue to use conventional volleys. See Federer.

Commentators never said Steffi's game was "homemade." Unless you can provide us with evidence, I am going to conclude that this is just another of the many things you have made up in this thread.

As to that topspin backhand, how's this for "homemade": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPU8MyBQhk8

Joe Pike
10-27-2009, 12:07 PM
Do you ever read what you write? You've just claimed that Evert is not qualified to comment on Serena's game because she's been twice divorced. How ridiculous is that?

Serena is not Roger Federer, not even close. Steffi was the female Federer.

Swing volleys are easier to hit, particularly off the backhand side. That does not make them better than conventional volleys. Those players with the ability and talent will continue to use conventional volleys. See Federer.

Commentators never said Steffi's game was "homemade." Unless you can provide us with evidence, I am going to conclude that this is just another of the many things you have made up in this thread.

As to that topspin backhand, how's this for "homemade": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPU8MyBQhk8


Simply beautiful!
Was there one shot this woman couldn't hit?

Lionheart392
10-27-2009, 12:12 PM
If you call your incoherent or incredibly arbitrary ramblings 'schooling'; I'm glad I don't attend your school. Are you even tenured yet?

Here is my point, as I have tried to explain endlessly. When choosing which player's best is the best, going back in time and pouring over stats and records, or even score lines is nearly pointless.

Any player's best is actually a hypothetical. We have never seen any players' best. So what I am doing is taking individual aspects of each player’s game when playing well, that I have seen in matches, and comparing them to others. I also should mention I am assuming playing on a medium to fast hard-court surface (probably the most neutral of surfaces), not clay or grass.

I will state the aspects of the game that I am focusing on in their order of importance (again this is all my opinion, if you disagree so be it)

Movement/Defense:

Venus Williams in her prime is the fastest woman I have ever seen on a tennis court. Her movement was simply amazing at her peak and is the reason why so few players would hit many winners against her. What is also important here is that she could turn defense into offense so often. She would come up with devastating shots off of awkward positions and places on the court.

Steffi Graf was also a very good mover and perhaps had better foot work than Venus at her prime, but she was no where near as explosive.

Same can be said for Henin - awesome foot work just not as explosive

Serena in her prime did not move quite as fast or as well and had less reach.

I feel movement/defense is probably the most import aspect in the game and allows players that have it to do things others can not.
.................................................. ...........................................

Serve:

Venus Williams has the most consistently powerful 1st serve in women’s' tennis history. I know other women have hit it as hard or slightly harder once or twice, but Venus can hit serves above 125 mph several times in one game not just in one entire match. Her first is also one of the heaviest and has alot of work on it.

An inform Serena also has a big first serve, but not as big. She may hit more aces on average than Venus, but Venus has more service winners overall. Serena also places her serve a little better and has a more consistent second serve. However, if I am assuming these players are playing at their best then they will not be missing many first serves.

Graf had a good serve with very good placement but wasn't nearly as big. Same can be said for Navratilova.

Lindsay Davenport also had an effective serve, but again was not nearly as explosive.

Alicia Molik was also an excellent server and deserves to be mentioned in this category.
.................................................. .................................................. .

Service Return:

Venus ranks among the best service returners in my mind. She is amongst the most aggressive at her best and gets her racket on more good serves than any other player. Infact with her great improvisation skills, she can be out of position and still get a great return in play.

Lindsay Davenport has a devastating return when she is on. She has probably hit more return winners than anyone. She takes it early and makes it penetrate beautifully. However she doesn't get her racket on as many returns as Venus.

Monica Seles is very similar to Davenport. One of the most aggressive returners in history with amazing angles coming off of her racquet. She probably hit the return earlier than anyone. But with 2 hands on both sides her reach was limited and would get aced way more than Venus.

Serena has a very good return when playing her best; penetrating and forceful. However, she has been handcuffed in the past with her grips on return. She is one of the few top players I have seen hit a two handed forehand on returns because she was too slow to change grips when necessary. She also does not have the reach of Venus on the return.

Graf's return is technically very good and consistent. However she can be exposed on her backhand return, often times slicing it in and not being as aggressive, ala Federer. This can be a weakness and allow the server, especially a big server, to get an early advantage in the point.
.................................................. .................................................

Power of the Ground:

Venus Williams, at her best, is the most explosive women’s' player off the ground that I have ever seen. She has more pace than any other player off both sides, in particular off the backhand. I have heard Lindsay Davenport say this several times since she started commentating for Tennis Channel.

Lindsay Davenport hits the cleanest and heaviest ball in women’s tennis. She doesn't have the same pace as Venus but her balls in general have better direction.

Serena is somewhere in the middle between Venus and Lindsay. Heavier balls than Venus but not as much pace; and more pace than Lindsay but not as heavy.

Graf has probably the world class forehand. She hits it cleanly with very good pace and penetration. But her backhand can be a real weakness. She hardly ever came over her backhand and would continually slice. This can present an opening to other excellent players to take advantage.

Monica Seles was also very good off the ground with extreme angles and great pace. She took the ball very early and had very good accuracy and penetration. However Monica would sometimes get handcuffed on what was her forehand side and would not always hit it as cleanly.
.................................................. ................................................

Mental Toughness:

Its here where Venus lags slightly behind the best of the best. She doesn't have the same drive of a Graf, Navratilova, Seles, or Serena. However, she does have great fortitude and loves to compete.
.................................................. .................................................

Craftiness/Touch:

Venus lags way behind in this category. In my opinion touch and craftiness can quickly be overcome by power and explosiveness. Touch really only comes into play when an opponent is hanging in with her counterpart and has something extra craftiness in the bag to pull out thus unsettling the person across the net.

Graf had great craftiness, whether it was the amazing approach shots or drop volleys etc. Henin is also very good in this respect and maybe Hingis in her absolute prime.
.................................................. ..................................................

All that is to say: Venus Williams at her best is the best. Her sheer level of outrageous offensive combined with amazing defense is just too much for any other player playing at their best to handle. Period, point blank. That is my opinion. Feel free to disagree, but you or boredone are not changing my mind.

Saying Serena and Venus's serves are better than Graf and Navratilova's is unfair because of the differences in racquets now. Graf could serve up to around 110mph in her day but using today's racquets she could probably get into the 120s too.

Joe Pike
10-27-2009, 12:24 PM
Saying Serena and Venus's serves are better than Graf and Navratilova's is unfair because of the differences in racquets now. Graf could serve up to around 110mph in her day but using today's racquets she could probably get into the 120s too.


Brenda Schultz-McCarthy (22) in 1993: 115 mph (then world record)
Brenda Schultz-McCarthy (35) in 2006: 130 mph (current world record)

lambielspins
10-27-2009, 02:56 PM
I will state the aspects of the game that I am focusing on in their order of importance (again this is all my opinion, if you disagree so be it)

Movement/Defense:

Venus Williams in her prime is the fastest woman I have ever seen on a tennis court. Her movement was simply amazing at her peak and is the reason why so few players would hit many winners against her. What is also important here is that she could turn defense into offense so often. She would come up with devastating shots off of awkward positions and places on the court............................................. .....................................
.................................................. .................................................. ......long pile of more over the top hyperbolic Venus *** kissing........................
.................................................. .................................................. ...
All that is to say: Venus Williams at her best is the best. Her sheer level of outrageous offensive combined with amazing defense is just too much for any other player playing at their best to handle. Period, point blank. That is my opinion. Feel free to disagree, but you or boredone are not changing my mind.

Of course in that whole diatrebe no mention at all of Venus's unforced errors, her extreme groundstroke inconsistency compared to virtually every other player with even 3 or more slams. No mention while she has perhaps the most powerful first serve ever, of her weak second serve which is easily attackable, and is one of the weaker second serves in the top 10 even today amongst a horrible serving group of women. No mention of her technically flawed forehand which is easily broken down and begins to fall short when pressured significantly.

Also some of you other comments were far off base with reality. While Venus has alot of groundstroke power she still has less than say Serena or Davenport. Serena at her best consistently overpowers Venus from all parts of the court. Davenport wouldnt even be able to hang in and win nearly half her matches with Venus with her pitiful court coverage if didnt wasnt able to match and even surpass Venus's pace, which she does most times to people who have watched their matches. Pierce has atleast matched if not surpassed her power off the ground in their matches, even if her vastly inferior court coverage and weaker all around game (plus the superior Venus serve) usually spelled defeat. Venus craftiness level compared to Hingis or Henin, LOL! Venus isnt nearly as smart a player as even other power players like Graf, Seles, and Serena, who are all much craftier and smarter on the court than her. Venus's return of serve is excellent but to think it is anywhere near the same league as Serena, Seles, or Davenport is funny. The only area even Venus's first serve equals Serena is sheer pace, yet Serena even equals here there now. Serena has vastly superior placement, consistency, accuracy, variety, disguise, control, you name it. This is my last reply to you but thanks for all the laughs you have given many of us this thread.

lambielspins
10-27-2009, 02:57 PM
Brenda Schultz-McCarthy (22) in 1993: 115 mph (then world record)
Brenda Schultz-McCarthy (35) in 2006: 130 mph (current world record)

Capriati isnt even a particularly strong server and she was serving 115 range often on the 1st set at the end of her career. Graf today would easily be able to serve over 120, no doubt about it. Her overall 1st serve would be superior to Venus's which is based mostly just on pace, and her 2nd serve is another league from Venus's sitting duck of a 2nd serve.

DRII
10-28-2009, 08:19 AM
Of course in that whole diatrebe no mention at all of Venus's unforced errors, her extreme groundstroke inconsistency compared to virtually every other player with even 3 or more slams. No mention while she has perhaps the most powerful first serve ever, of her weak second serve which is easily attackable, and is one of the weaker second serves in the top 10 even today amongst a horrible serving group of women. No mention of her technically flawed forehand which is easily broken down and begins to fall short when pressured significantly.

Also some of you other comments were far off base with reality. While Venus has alot of groundstroke power she still has less than say Serena or Davenport. Serena at her best consistently overpowers Venus from all parts of the court. Davenport wouldnt even be able to hang in and win nearly half her matches with Venus with her pitiful court coverage if didnt wasnt able to match and even surpass Venus's pace, which she does most times to people who have watched their matches. Pierce has atleast matched if not surpassed her power off the ground in their matches, even if her vastly inferior court coverage and weaker all around game (plus the superior Venus serve) usually spelled defeat. Venus craftiness level compared to Hingis or Henin, LOL! Venus isnt nearly as smart a player as even other power players like Graf, Seles, and Serena, who are all much craftier and smarter on the court than her. Venus's return of serve is excellent but to think it is anywhere near the same league as Serena, Seles, or Davenport is funny. The only area even Venus's first serve equals Serena is sheer pace, yet Serena even equals here there now. Serena has vastly superior placement, consistency, accuracy, variety, disguise, control, you name it. This is my last reply to you but thanks for all the laughs you have given many of us this thread.

You obviously don't pay much attention. I answered most of your objections in my previous posts, ofcourse you may still disagree but don't pretend I glarringly overlooked those aspects.

Plus, I will trust Lindsay Davenport's opinion on which woman has the most pace off the ground and not yours!

Thanks

DRII
10-28-2009, 08:22 AM
Brenda Schultz-McCarthy (22) in 1993: 115 mph (then world record)
Brenda Schultz-McCarthy (35) in 2006: 130 mph (current world record)

Yeah but how often would Brenda, when playing well, hit serves at, or close to, that pace? Once or twice a match ala Serena. Or once or twice a game, ala Venus.

lambielspins
10-28-2009, 08:24 AM
You obviously don't pay much attention. I answered most of your objections in my previous posts, ofcourse you may still disagree but don't pretend I glarringly overlooked those aspects.

Plus, I will trust Lindsay Davenport's opinion on which woman has the most pace off the ground and not yours!

Thanks

Lindsay is humble so of course wouldnt talk herself up in excess, and she has said Serena is the hardest hitter she ever faced. Thanks, now go back to your Venus shrine.

lambielspins
10-28-2009, 08:29 AM
Yeah but how often would Brenda, when playing well, hit serves at, or close to, that pace? Once or twice a match ala Serena. Or once or twice a game, ala Venus.

You completely miss the point of what this poster was saying. Brenda in her mid 30s with todays equipment, todays training, perhaps even todays radar guns, was able to serve 15 mph faster than she ever had in her own prime in her mid 20s. In her comeback she played on the challenger circuit in obscurity mostly so who has any idea how regularly she was serving that hard. In her prime she regularly served what her top service speed was then.

As for your comments about Venus always reaching her top serve speed, and Serena only once or twice a match, your delusions cease no boundaries. Comparing Venus's serve to Serena overall Serena blows her away.

First serve pace- even
First serve placement- Serena
First serve percentage- Serena
disguise- Serena
variety- Serena
spin- Serena
consistency- Serena
EVERYTHING about their second serve- Serena by a HUGE margin

Graf in her prime clearly overall had a better serve than Venus too, especialy considering their power on the first serve (Venus's only edge over Graf as well in any aspect of the serve) would probably be almost equal if they played at the same time. Schultz in her prime today no doubt would have a superior overall serve too, even if the rest of her game is rubbish compared to the top players.


The fact that you are wrong on basically everything aside you still didnt answer an earlier question. How on earth could Venus's best tennis be considered the best even in the crazy scenario all you were saying was true when she isnt even an all surface player. How would she do if she were at her best on CLAY playing Evert, Henin, Graf, or Seles in their primes and at their best on clay. Would she even get more than 4 games vs any of them? What about if she were playing her best on rebound ace vs say Seles, Serena, or even Hingis in their primes and playing their best on that surface. Venus even at her best could probably lose to hundreds of women in history on clay (and atleast 10 of the current lame womens clay court field) and many on rebound ace too. Even at her best she is only that effective on certain surfaces like grass and a fast enough hard court. That alone already should eliminate her from this conversation altogether. Someone whose best tennis is the best ever would be one of the best on every surface at their best, not just their favorites.

DRII
10-28-2009, 09:29 AM
You completely miss the point of what this poster was saying. Brenda in her mid 30s with todays equipment, todays training, perhaps even todays radar guns, was able to serve 15 mph faster than she ever had in her own prime in her mid 20s. In her comeback she played on the challenger circuit in obscurity mostly so who has any idea how regularly she was serving that hard. In her prime she regularly served what her top service speed was then.

As for your comments about Venus always reaching her top serve speed, and Serena only once or twice a match, your delusions cease no boundaries. Comparing Venus's serve to Serena overall Serena blows her away.

First serve pace- even
First serve placement- Serena
First serve percentage- Serena
disguise- Serena
variety- Serena
spin- Serena
consistency- Serena
EVERYTHING about their second serve- Serena by a HUGE margin

Graf in her prime clearly overall had a better serve than Venus too, especialy considering their power on the first serve (Venus's only edge over Graf as well in any aspect of the serve) would probably be almost equal if they played at the same time. Schultz in her prime today no doubt would have a superior overall serve too, even if the rest of her game is rubbish compared to the top players.


The fact that you are wrong on basically everything aside you still didnt answer an earlier question. How on earth could Venus's best tennis be considered the best even in the crazy scenario all you were saying was true when she isnt even an all surface player. How would she do if she were at her best on CLAY playing Evert, Henin, Graf, or Seles in their primes and at their best on clay. Would she even get more than 4 games vs any of them? What about if she were playing her best on rebound ace vs say Seles, Serena, or even Hingis in their primes and playing their best on that surface. Venus even at her best could probably lose to hundreds of women in history on clay (and atleast 10 of the current lame womens clay court field) and many on rebound ace too. Even at her best she is only that effective on certain surfaces like grass and a fast enough hard court. That alone already should eliminate her from this conversation altogether. Someone whose best tennis is the best ever would be one of the best on every surface at their best, not just their favorites.

You really do not pay attention! I will concede to you on several of your points. The point is, i am not talking about the best ever as judged over time, as judged by stats or win loss records or versatility on different surfaces, etc. I am talking about a player playing at their best vs another player playing at their best in one match on a nuetral surface: who would win? I have defined my parameters ad infinitum. I have said that i think Graf is the best women's player of all time as of right now based on her record over time, perhaps Navratilova if you include doubles. So i don't know what your problem is. If you disagree, fine thats your opinion.

But Venus' best is the best. And i will admit, this is theoretical in its premise. As I have said, none of us has seen any players true best. But from what I have seen I would defintely pick Venus. That was the original point of this thread. The question was "although achievement wise, Serena is not the best but tennis wise she may be the best." Or something to that affect. I think Venus at her best is the best. I am not trying to change you or anyone else's mind, that just my opinion.

Also, regarding your serve suggestions. Serena rarely serves over 120 mph more than a couple of times a match, even during her prime. Venus, in her prime, serves over 120 mph one or two times a game. I've seen this.

Also Steffi Graf retired in 1999 at No 3 in the world and still winning grand slams, Venus hit her first record breaking serve in 1998 at 127.4 mph. So please do not act like Steffi was not using up to date equipment in the realitive time span that we are speaking of. If Brenda Schultz was able to come back and hit the biggest serve in womens history, although not during competition, after years out of pro-competition why couldn't Steffi do the same? Perhaps at her absolute best (1988-90) is she had the same technology it might have increased her speed to the teens 113 - 118mph but i don't know if she would be a power server like Venus. I do not think Graf really focused on power with her serve but on placement and direction.

And also, I know clay is not Venus' best surface, but she has defeated several great clay courters on clay; Henin and Seles to name a few. So declaring there are hundreds of women that would easily defeat Venus at her best on clay is flirting with folly to say the least.

DRII
10-28-2009, 09:32 AM
Lindsay is humble so of course wouldnt talk herself up in excess, and she has said Serena is the hardest hitter she ever faced. Thanks, now go back to your Venus shrine.

Wrong...

I have distinctly heard her specifically say Venus has more pace than Serena!

flying24
10-28-2009, 09:34 AM
And also, I know clay is not Venus' best surface, but she has defeated several great clay courters on clay; Henin and Seles to name a few. So declaring there are hundreds of women that would easily defeat Venus at her best on clay is flirting with folly to say the least.

LOL Venus has never beaten Henin or Seles anywhere near their primes on clay. Her win over Seles was in 2002, over 6 years after Monica's final slam title, and about a year from Monica's last ever match on tour. Peak Venus played a pre-prime Henin twice on clay back when Henin was 40% the player she would be. She was humiliated 6-1, 6-4 in one of them, and was down 6-2, 4-0 in the other before Henin suffered a massive choke, something she did in her pre champion days often. If Venus ever advanced far enough to play prime Henin in a clay court tournament she would be too scared to even step on court and default with a fake injury.

Seles in 2002 lost to Stephanie Foretz on clay, and Henin to Aniko Kapras (see what I mean how far from their prime levels they were). So by your reasoning for dismissing lambiels claim, there must not be atleast 100 women in history who could beat those women at their best on clay too.

DRII
10-28-2009, 09:56 AM
LOL Venus has never beaten Henin or Seles anywhere near their primes on clay. Her win over Seles was in 2002, over 6 years after Monica's final slam title, and about a year from Monica's last ever match on tour. Peak Venus played a pre-prime Henin twice on clay back when Henin was 40% the player she would be. She was humiliated 6-1, 6-4 in one of them, and was down 6-2, 4-0 in the other before Henin suffered a massive choke, something she did in her pre champion days often. If Venus ever advanced far enough to play prime Henin in a clay court tournament she would be too scared to even step on court and default with a fake injury.

Seles in 2002 lost to Stephanie Foretz on clay, and Henin to Aniko Kapras (see what I mean how far from their prime levels they were). So by your reasoning for dismissing lambiels claim, there must not be atleast 100 women in history who could beat those women at their best on clay too.

If you agree that there are hundreds of women can beat Venus at her best on clay, then you are completely misguided.

And i completely disagree with your idea of peak Venus and pre-prime Henin. One of Henin's losses to Venus on clay (in straight sets I might add) was in 2003, the same year Henin won the French Open. Venus was not near her peak in 2003.

And Seles got to the French Open semi in 2002 where she lost ot Venus. So Seles was playing pretty well to get to the semis of a major, although it certainly was not her peak or Venus' peak either.

So How about you try not be so dissmissive.

flying24
10-28-2009, 10:01 AM
And i completely disagree with your idea of peak Venus and pre-prime Henin. One of Henin's losses to Venus on clay (in straight sets I might add) was in 2003, the same year Henin won the French Open. Venus was not near her peak in 2003.

This is completely false. The last match Henin and Venus played on clay was in April 2002. Also in those 2 matches in 2001 the one Venus won she won 7-6 in the final set (after being down 6-2, 4-0 and Henin choking) and lost the other 6-1, 6-4. There was certainly no straight sets win for Venus over even baby pre-prime Henin on clay. Please get simple facts straight atleast.

Bjorkman & Johnny Mac
10-28-2009, 10:11 AM
Talent wise? no way.. THey have been a handful just as talented as Serena or even more talented. Graf, Martina, Seles in his prime, just to name a few

cuddles26
10-28-2009, 10:19 AM
DR11 in case you didnt notice this thread is about SERENA, not your hero Venus. Venus is a great player but she isnt even the 2nd greatest player of her own generation anymore. Henin is, and now with her return, Venus being washed up and nearly out of chances already, it is pretty much certain Venus will only be further behind Henin in the future and even more the distant 3rd women of this generation alone. Serena could even usurp Venus as the greatest grass courter of this generation since Venus has already won her final slam probably, even at Wimbledon, whereas Serena could still win more there, is only 2 behind now, and leads Venus in head to head at Wimbledon.

So please stop derailing this thread about Serena's vastly superior sister by pimping your fantasy Venus is the best ever in anyway, be it peak level of play, best overall power game, best on grass, best few months performances, or whatever other nonsense you and only you believe. Start your own Venus *** kissing thread and talk to yourself in it, but leave this thread about the great Serena alone by continously bringing up her less great sister, who worship as you want will never enter any even limited greatest anything ever discussions.

DRII
10-28-2009, 10:21 AM
This is completely false. The last match Henin and Venus played on clay was in April 2002. Also in those 2 matches in 2001 the one Venus won she won 7-6 in the final set (after being down 6-2, 4-0 and Henin choking) and lost the other 6-1, 6-4. There was certainly no straight sets win for Venus over even baby pre-prime Henin on clay. Please get simple facts straight atleast.

Fine...

you are correct on that one. Sorry i thought Venus beat her in 03 in straight sets in the same tournament. But by 02 Henin ended the year in the top 5 and had reached a FO semi. So you are still being a little too dismissive!

DRII
10-28-2009, 10:28 AM
DR11 in case you didnt notice this thread is about SERENA, not your hero Venus. Venus is a great player but she isnt even the 2nd greatest player of her own generation anymore. Henin is, and now with her return, Venus being washed up and nearly out of chances already, it is pretty much certain Venus will only be further behind Henin in the future and even more the distant 3rd women of this generation alone. Serena could even usurp Venus as the greatest grass courter of this generation since Venus has already won her final slam probably, even at Wimbledon, whereas Serena could still win more there, is only 2 behind now, and leads Venus in head to head at Wimbledon.

So please stop derailing this thread about Serena's vastly superior sister by pimping your fantasy Venus is the best ever in anyway, be it peak level of play, best overall power game, best on grass, best few months performances, or whatever other nonsense you and only you believe. Start your own Venus *** kissing thread and talk to yourself in it, but leave this thread about the great Serena alone by keeping bringing up her less great sister, who worship as you want will never enter any even limited greatest something discussions.

Its no wonder with a screen name like cuddles, which sister you perfer. I don't recall you being involved in the discussion, so you can leave your lame hypotheticals at the door. Nor did you start this thread. Often times, in case you haven't realized, a thread can start one way and evolve another way.

No one is trying to stop individuals from stating their opinion, i suggest you try the same, without shuving a ball down someone's throat!

Also many here have said Graf is the best or Navratilova or Henin, not your obsession: Serena.

flying24
10-28-2009, 10:34 AM
Fine...

you are correct on that one. Sorry i thought Venus beat her in 03 in straight sets in the same tournament. But by 02 Henin ended the year in the top 5 and had reached a FO semi. So you are still being a little too dismissive!

Henin's slam results in 2003 were a quarterfinal thumping to Clijsters in Australia getting only 5 games, a 1st round loss at the French to this Kapros girl (an event she would dominate the rest of her career), finally a semifinal at Wimbledon on her worst surface thanks to a joke grass draw, and a 4th round loss at the U.S Open to Hantuchova. I dont know what her exact ranking was, I do know she flucuated from 5-12 during the whole of 2001 and 2002, but she wasnt a top 5 caliber player at the time regardless, bottom top 10 caliber sure. Nonethless given that in 2002 she was still completely owned by Davenport, Clijsters, a way past her prime Seles, all players she would begin to own for good in 2003, I would say she was a huge shadow of her prime level.

So Henin atleast IMO nowhere near the player she would from 2003-onwards beat Venus at her career peak 6-1, 6-4 once on clay and was on the verge of winning the 2nd match 6-2, 6-0 before a meltdown. So just imagine prime Henin vs even peak Venus on clay. It is a scary thought.

DRII
10-28-2009, 10:41 AM
Henin's slam results in 2003 were a quarterfinal thumping to Clijsters in Australia getting only 5 games, a 1st round loss at the French to this Kapros girl (an event she would dominate the rest of her career), finally a semifinal at Wimbledon on her worst surface thanks to a joke grass draw, and a 4th round loss at the U.S Open to Hantuchova. I dont know what her exact ranking was, I do know she flucuated from 5-12 during the whole of 2001 and 2002, but she wasnt a top 5 caliber player at the time regardless, bottom top 10 caliber sure. Nonethless given that in 2002 she was still completely owned by Davenport, Clijsters, a way past her prime Seles, all players she would begin to own for good in 2003, I would say she was a huge shadow of her prime level.

So Henin atleast IMO nowhere near the player she would from 2003-onwards beat Venus at her career peak 6-1, 6-4 once on clay and was on the verge of winning the 2nd match 6-2, 6-0 before a meltdown. So just imagine prime Henin vs even peak Venus on clay. It is a scary thought.

I understand your point.

Who had the best backhand on clay? Henin or Kuerten? Both were absolutely beautiful one handers!

TMF
10-28-2009, 10:53 AM
No one is trying to stop individuals from stating their opinion, i suggest you try the same, without shuving a ball down someone's throat!



Cuddle26 have learned a great deal from Serena at the USO, and she will "shove" the balls down your throat when she’s ****ed?

cuddles26
10-28-2009, 10:57 AM
Its no wonder with a screen name like cuddles, which sister you perfer. I don't recall you being involved in the discussion, so you can leave your lame hypotheticals at the door. Nor did you start this thread. Often times, in case you haven't realized, a thread can start one way and evolve another way.

No one is trying to stop individuals from stating their opinion, i suggest you try the same, without shuving a ball down someone's throat!

Also many here have said Graf is the best or Navratilova or Henin, not your obsession: Serena.

Henin and Venus arent the best at anything other than being owned by Serena, well in Henin's case she is queen of clay of this generation and was queen of Serena and all else in 2007 but that is it. The only ones who would blindly say Henin or Venus are the greatest player of this generation at this point (Henin still could catch up or surpass Serena someday I suppose although I doubt it) are blind Serena haters, which there are many of on TW. That isnt a Serena obsession, it is backed up by all facts. All the numbers in comparision to Henin or Venus, especialy Venus, are in Serena's favor. Henin has a few in her favor, but not enough, although as I said Henin has already surpassed Venus as well and pushed Venus down to only 3rd best of this generation. You probably being another of the many Serena haters but in your case only since you are bitter about how she has made your hero Venus her lapdog for years now. Being the Venus fanatic you are, you must be blind with rage at Serena for what she has done to Venus. In fact Serena has basically single handedly sort of ruined Venus's career. Whereas Venus right now would have maybe 8 Wimbledon titles and have a shot at Navratilova's record without Serena, she instead has 5 and isnt even with much shot of the top 3 or 4 all time on by her favorite surface. Whereas Venus could have had not only the career slam but possibly even a non calender slam in 2002 and 2003 combined she instead was forced to take so many mostly forgotten runner up plates, and has only half the slam titles she might have had without Serena. That alone speaks to who is the greater of the two, even if you are talking about even just peak level or whatever spin you are trying to use to favor Venus. Serena owns Venus period, she single handedly wrecked her potential legacy, and forced her still fairly great career into the shadows relatively speaking. When Venus has played her best, Serena has been there to stop her over and over again.

I have read your arguments and all I can say is you are flat out delusional. Venus wasnt at her peak anymore in 2002 and 2003!?!? Why is that, since she was losing all those slam finals to Serena. So if Serena isnt around and stopping Venus from all those titles, Venus is dominating and winning all these slams, yet she is past her peak then according to you, ROTFL!!! Nobody at the time thought Venus wasnt at her peak. They said what everyone except you seems to realize, Serena simply kicked her *** and kept her from all those additional slams she would have won those couple years. Like flying has mentioned how the heck was she not at her peak still when she was making all those slam finals. Yeah Venus wasnt at her best when she was losing to Serena despite that she has lost to her in SIX SLAM FINALS now. If you arent playing that well then you arent reaching finals. This may come as news to you but when you are reaching slam finals or even slam semis you are playing pretty darn well, otherwise you wouldnt have reached that round. Serena has only lost 2 slam finals her whole career. The end of Venus's "peak" was called Serena Williams. What other basis do you have for arguing she was no longer at her peak other than losing to Serena.

Fact is Venus's career is all about Serena, like it or not. When her fans say her peak was is all about when Serena was there to stop her. That she didnt have a 2002-2003 that even surpassed her career years of 2000 and 2001 is all about Serena. Her embarassing stat of being a slam winner who hasnt won 2 of the 4 slams is all because of Serena. With her slam title days basically over already her having only the same # of slam titles as Henin when Henin retired at only 25 and hasnt even begun her return yet is all because of Serena. When she wins is almost always about when Serena isnt around.

DRII
10-28-2009, 11:13 AM
Henin and Venus arent the best at anything other than being owned by Serena, well in Henin's case she is queen of clay of this generation and was queen of Serena and all else in 2007 but that is it. The only ones who would blindly say Henin or Venus are the greatest player of this generation at this point (Henin still could catch up or surpass Serena someday I suppose although I doubt it) are blind Serena haters, which there are many of on TW. That isnt a Serena obsession, it is backed up by all facts. All the numbers in comparision to Henin or Venus, especialy Venus, are in Serena's favor. Henin has a few in her favor, but not enough, although as I said Henin has already surpassed Venus as well and pushed Venus down to only 3rd best of this generation. You probably being another of the many Serena haters but in your case only since you are bitter about how she has made your hero Venus her lapdog for years now. Being the Venus fanatic you are, you must be blind with rage at Serena for what she has done to Venus. In fact Serena has basically single handedly sort of ruined Venus's career. Whereas Venus right now would have maybe 8 Wimbledon titles and have a shot at Navratilova's record without Serena, she instead has 5 and isnt even with much shot of the top 3 or 4 all time on by her favorite surface. Whereas Venus could have had not only the career slam but possibly even a non calender slam in 2002 and 2003 combined she instead was forced to take so many mostly forgotten runner up plates, and has only half the slam titles she might have had without Serena. That alone speaks to who is the greater of the two, even if you are talking about even just peak level or whatever spin you are trying to use to favor Venus. Serena owns Venus period, she single handedly wrecked her potential legacy, and forced her still fairly great career into the shadows relatively speaking. When Venus has played her best, Serena has been there to stop her over and over again.

I have read your arguments and all I can say is you are flat out delusional. Venus wasnt at her peak anymore in 2002 and 2003!?!? Why is that, since she was losing all those slam finals to Serena. So if Serena isnt around and stopping Venus from all those titles, Venus is dominating and winning all these slams, yet she is past her peak then according to you, ROTFL!!! Nobody at the time thought Venus wasnt at her peak. They said what everyone except you seems to realize, Serena simply kicked her *** and kept her from all those additional slams she would have won those couple years. Like flying has mentioned how the heck was she not at her peak still when she was making all those slam finals. Yeah Venus wasnt at her best when she was losing to Serena despite that she has lost to her in SIX SLAM FINALS now. If you arent playing that well then you arent reaching finals. This may come as news to you but when you are reaching slam finals or even slam semis you are playing pretty darn well, otherwise you wouldnt have reached that round. Serena has only lost 2 slam finals her whole career. The end of Venus's "peak" was called Serena Williams. What other basis do you have for arguing she was no longer at her peak other than losing to Serena.

Fact is Venus's career is all about Serena, like it or not. When her fans say her peak was is all about when Serena was there to stop her. That she didnt have a 2002-2003 that even surpassed her career years of 2000 and 2001 is all about Serena. Her embarassing stat of being a slam winner who hasnt won 2 of the 4 slams is all because of Serena. With her slam title days basically over already her having only the same # of slam titles as Henin when Henin retired at only 25 and hasnt even begun her return yet is all because of Serena. When she wins is almost always about when Serena isnt around.

Judging by this post you have even less mental capcity and tempermate than Serena does. FYI, this thread was not about greatest ever, please try and comprehend that.

BTW, I am not a Serena hater. Although i think her behavior at times borders on despicable. Search my posts if you do not believe me.

Also it takes someone with great malice to compare the sisters in the way you have. I've never thought of it that way and would have no inclanation to do so, even though Venus is my favorite female player and yes without Serena her record would have been even greater, much greater.

Matter of fact you are the first of either Williams sisters' fan I've witnessed to do so.

I guess you liked it in 2003 when Serena called her own sister a bit** in the Australin Open final for all to see on TV!

Matter of fact; Serena said F... You Bit**

How sad...

Joe Pike
10-28-2009, 11:35 AM
Yeah but how often would Brenda, when playing well, hit serves at, or close to, that pace? Once or twice a match ala Serena. Or once or twice a game, ala Venus.


So?

I just demonstrated that Schultz-McCarthy improved her serve speed from her heyday (1993) until 2006 (when she was 35) due to better racquet equipment by 15 mph.

Peak Graf served with up to 110 mph in early/mid-90ies.
How would Graf have served in 2005, aged 35?
120-125 mph?
Or better still - how would PEAK Graf have served with today's equipment?
125-130 mph?

DRII
10-28-2009, 11:43 AM
So?

I just demonstrated that Schultz-McCarthy improved her serve speed from her heyday (1993) until 2006 (when she was 35) due to better racquet equipment by 15 mph.

Peak Graf served with up to 110 mph in early/mid-90ies.
How would Graf have served in 2005, aged 35?
120-125 mph?
Or better still - how would PEAK Graf have served with today's equipment?
125-130 mph?

My point is there is a difference between biggest serve and consistently biggest serve...

Joe Pike
10-28-2009, 12:31 PM
My point is there is a difference between biggest serve and consistently biggest serve...


Watch the beginning of the 1998 Wimbledon quarter final match between Steffi and Venus. They had an insert on the TV screen which said that Steffi had an average first serve speed of 98 mph and Venus of 100 mph in the first four rounds of the tournament.
2 mph doesn't seem to be a big difference to me ...

cuddles26
10-28-2009, 10:05 PM
Anyway back to the real topic subject SERENA (please people lets stop feeding the troll and even talking about the irrelevant in this thread Venus), yes Serena at her best plays tennis at as higher or higher level than any other women player in history. Yes it may have lasted only 18 months but that Serena would have atleast even odds vs any women in history at their best, incluidng Navratilova of 83-84, Graf of 88-89, and Graf of 95-96.

dannykl
10-29-2009, 03:56 AM
I guess you liked it in 2003 when Serena called her own sister a bit** in the Australin Open final for all to see on TV!

Matter of fact; Serena said F... You Bit**

How sad...

Really? I don't know that before. Do you have a link to this or can you explain more of the situation? Thanks.

NamRanger
10-29-2009, 05:56 AM
Henin will surpass Serena in terms of tennis talent. When she is on she is literally unstoppable. See the USO 2007 where she beat both sisters who were actually playing well for most of the year.

cuddles26
10-29-2009, 06:10 AM
Henin will surpass Serena in terms of tennis talent. When she is on she is literally unstoppable. See the USO 2007 where she beat both sisters who were actually playing well for most of the year.

Serena and Henin are both virtually unbeatable when they are on. Serena still has accomplished more at this point though. Unless Henin wins 4 or 5 more slams in the future than Serena wins, wins atleast 1 Wimbledon, possibly wins 3 or 4 slams in a row, she will not be ranked over Serena in history, regardless your opinions on their games.

Joe Pike
10-29-2009, 12:08 PM
Anyway back to the real topic subject SERENA (please people lets stop feeding the troll and even talking about the irrelevant in this thread Venus), yes Serena at her best plays tennis at as higher or higher level than any other women player in history. Yes it may have lasted only 18 months but that Serena would have atleast even odds vs any women in history at their best, incluidng Navratilova of 83-84, Graf of 88-89, and Graf of 95-96.


From March 2002 until July 2003 (17 months) Serena won 93 and lost 7 matches (93 %). She won 13 of 20 tournaments. Lost 28 sets in 100 matches.

From May 1988 until April 1990 (24 months) Graf won 152 and lost 3 matches (98 %). She won 26 of 29 tournaments. Lost 22 sets in 155 matches.

LDVTennis
10-29-2009, 02:21 PM
From March 2002 until July 2003 (17 months) Serena won 93 and lost 7 matches (93 %). She won 13 of 20 tournaments. Lost 28 sets in 100 matches.

From May 1988 until April 1990 (24 months) Graf won 152 and lost 3 matches (98 %). She won 26 of 29 tournaments. Lost 22 sets in 155 matches.

That's amazing.

For Steffi...

59 more matches; 4 fewer losses
13 more tournaments or double the number Serena had
6 fewer sets lost, despite playing 55 more matches than Serena

Again, just no comparison...

cuddles26
10-29-2009, 03:13 PM
From March 2002 until July 2003 (17 months) Serena won 93 and lost 7 matches (93 %). She won 13 of 20 tournaments. Lost 28 sets in 100 matches.

From May 1988 until April 1990 (24 months) Graf won 152 and lost 3 matches (98 %). She won 26 of 29 tournaments. Lost 22 sets in 155 matches.

Graf's competition during that time- An aging 30 something Navratilova, aging 30 something Evert, pre pubescent Seles and Sanchez, Sabatini, and Sukova.

Serena's competition during that time- peak Venus, prime Davenport, Henin coming into her prime, Clijsters coming into her prime, Capriati at her peak.

LDVTennis
10-29-2009, 06:28 PM
Graf's competition during that time- An aging 30 something Navratilova, aging 30 something Evert, pre pubescent Seles and Sanchez, Sabatini, and Sukova.

Serena's competition during that time- peak Venus, prime Davenport, Henin coming into her prime, Clijsters coming into her prime, Capriati at her peak.

We've had this debate already. Look up the thread.

The consensus in that thread was that Graf's competition was better than everybody's. Finishing second was Chris. I think Martina and Serena tied for last.

darrinbaker00
10-29-2009, 07:00 PM
We've had this debate already. Look up the thread.

The consensus in that thread was that Graf's competition was better than everybody's. Finishing second was Chris. I think Martina and Serena tied for last.
You're even more obnoxious here than you are on TennisForum. I didn't think that was humanly possible.

DRII
10-30-2009, 07:01 AM
Graf's competition during that time- An aging 30 something Navratilova, aging 30 something Evert, pre pubescent Seles and Sanchez, Sabatini, and Sukova.

Serena's competition during that time- peak Venus, prime Davenport, Henin coming into her prime, Clijsters coming into her prime, Capriati at her peak.

In your dreams!

It was not a peak Venus, Davenport had just got back after a multi-month layoff due to knee surgery, Capriati was starting to have eye problems.

Try again...

cuddles26
10-30-2009, 07:11 AM
In your dreams!

It was not a peak Venus, Davenport had just got back after a multi-month layoff due to knee surgery, Capriati was starting to have eye problems.

Try again...

LOL Capriati had eye problems at only one event, the 2003 Australian Open. Serena's dominance was firmly entrenched by then anyway, and her dominance over Capriati in 2002-2003 was complete. You have been told this by virtually everyone on this thread already but Venus was absolutely at her peak during the Serena dominance, whether you like it or not. She wouldnt have reached 4 straight slam finals if she wasnt, including the French and Australian Open finals for the ONLY time in her whole career. Davenport played the whole year in 2003, yes she missed most of 2002 but Serena beat her at the U.S Open when she was in great form. Add to that Henin's and Clijsters's prime starting in 2003 also. Yet Serena still was the overall dominant player even in 2003 until her knee injury, even with prime Henin and Clijsters joining Davenport, Capriati, and Venus all near their best too.

And who was the competition of your beloved Venus if you think Serena's competition was weak?
Henin and Clijsters were pretty much nowhere in 2000, and even in 2001 they were nowhere near the players they would be in 2003. Davenport in 2001 was injured alot also, and no different than 2003. Capriati was also no different. The only reason she was ever up at the top with Venus at the top in 2001 since people like better players like Serena, Henin, Clijsters, and even Mauresmo hadnt matured yet, and since Davenport despite being overall better than Capriati even then had some bad luck timing of injuries/off performances. So Venus's competition was alot worse than Serena's, so if you think Serena's is weak what does that say about your beloved Venus's competition when she was the top player.

DRII
10-30-2009, 07:38 AM
LOL Capriati had eye problems at only one event, the 2003 Australian Open. Serena's dominance was firmly entrenched by then anyway, and her dominance over Capriati in 2002-2003 was complete. You have been told this by virtually everyone on this thread already but Venus was absolutely at her peak during the Serena dominance, whether you like it or not. She wouldnt have reached 4 straight slam finals if she wasnt, including the French and Australian Open finals for the ONLY time in her whole career. Davenport played the whole year in 2003, yes she missed most of 2002 but Serena beat her at the U.S Open when she was in great form. Add to that Henin's and Clijsters's prime starting in 2003 also. Yet Serena still was the overall dominant player even in 2003 until her knee injury, even with prime Henin and Clijsters joining Davenport, Capriati, and Venus all near their best too.

And who was the competition of your beloved Venus if you think Serena's competition was weak?
Henin and Clijsters were pretty much nowhere in 2000, and even in 2001 they were nowhere near the players they would be in 2003. Davenport in 2001 was injured alot also, and no different than 2003. Capriati was also no different. The only reason she was ever up at the top with Venus at the top in 2001 since people like better players like Serena, Henin, Clijsters, and even Mauresmo hadnt matured yet, and since Davenport despite being overall better than Capriati even then had some bad luck timing of injuries/off performances. So Venus's competition was alot worse than Serena's, so if you think Serena's is weak what does that say about your beloved Venus's competition when she was the top player.

First, I did not say Serena's competition was weak, just not nearly as strong as you tried to hype it up to be!

Again; you, and some others on this thread, are naively or ignorantly basing your judgements on stats and numbers and records during certain periods.

I make my judgement based on my qualitative analysis; not quantitative. Thats why I think Venus' best is the best. No other player has matched her sheer athleticism and explosiveness at her peak (late summer 2001).

But to answer your question: Davenport 2000-01 was not nearly as injury prone in 2002-03 (Serena's peak). Capriati was also at her peak during this time, with her many wins over Serena, Davenport, and Hingis attest to. Mary Pierce was also at her most dangerous pre 2003. Hingis was certainly better pre 2002 then afterwards. And overall i feel women's tennis was more exciting 2000-01 than 2002-03.

1970CRBase
10-31-2009, 03:41 AM
Do you ever read what you write? You've just claimed that Evert is not qualified to comment on Serena's game because she's been twice divorced. How ridiculous is that?

Serena is not Roger Federer, not even close. Steffi was the female Federer.

Swing volleys are easier to hit, particularly off the backhand side. That does not make them better than conventional volleys. Those players with the ability and talent will continue to use conventional volleys. See Federer.

Commentators never said Steffi's game was "homemade." Unless you can provide us with evidence, I am going to conclude that this is just another of the many things you have made up in this thread.

As to that topspin backhand, how's this for "homemade": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPU8MyBQhk8

Steffi's footwork, speed, serve, toughness always reminded me much more of Lendl. If anybody was the womens Federer, it was Hingis.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M72tcxUI0K8& fmt=18

0:29 Graf's backhand pass in 2008 with the new racquets. Supposedly she said hitting backhand drives is much easier now with the new technology. Wonder what racquet she was using in that exo.

LDVTennis
10-31-2009, 07:54 AM
Steffi's footwork, speed, serve, toughness always reminded me much more of Lendl. If anybody was the womens Federer, it was Hingis.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M72tcxUI0K8& fmt=18

0:29 Graf's backhand pass in 2008 with the new racquets. Supposedly she said hitting backhand drives is much easier now with the new technology. Wonder what racquet she was using in that exo.

Hingis/Federer... I would agree with you on the variety of shot making.

But, that is not really what defines Federer's game. He really couldn't just win that way. Neither could Hingis as it turns out.

Federer wins matches with the placement on his serve and his forehand from the backhand corner. In that respect, he could only be compared to Steffi.

About Steffi's backhand, that's my opinion too. Given a more advanced racquet like the one she's using in that exo, she had no trouble executing the topspin backhand.

In general, I always thought her technique was excellent, but she had two quirks. She could sometimes overmanipulate the face of the racquet to generate on the topspin backhand the same angles she was used to generating on the forehand. Unfortunately, she didn't often have the same forward momentum on the backhand to make the whole stroke work. From time to time, she also hit the topspin backhand off her preparation for a slice backhand, sometimes without even completely changing her grip. She would just turn her wrist to make the shot possible. When her timing was excellent, she could execute the shot this way. When it was not, the shot went into the net.

DRII
11-04-2009, 07:10 AM
Really? I don't know that before. Do you have a link to this or can you explain more of the situation? Thanks.

I have it on tape. Serena mouthed it, she did not say it loudly but under her breath. Pam Shriver who was commentating for ESPN at the time noticed it, and called Serena out; a little. Pam said: Uhm Sisterly love there? I don't think so!

This and other incidents (09 US Open) show how far Serena is willing to go to win. Unlike Venus, I don't think Venus feels its worth it, perhaps its integrity or lack of supreme drive. I don't know, but i perfer Venus' approach.