Frank Deford: "Graf most Overrated Tennis Player Ever"

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by julesb, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. Lionheart392

    Lionheart392 Professional

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    Serena who has a losing record against Arantxa? Hmmmm...
     
  2. Joe Pike

    Joe Pike Banned

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    Graf is definitely underrated.
    If she hadn't this dad with all these scandals and if she hadn't had this almost surreal list of injuries (virtually ending her career at age 27) she could have won about 40 slams. I really don't know who could have threatened a healthy and mentally stable Steffi in 1990-92 or 1997-2003.
     
  3. Joe Pike

    Joe Pike Banned

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    I don't think she would have won FO 2003.
    Peak Conchita and Arantxa were better opponents than recent #1s Safina, Jankovic, Ivanovic. Better than Kuzzy or Demented.
     
  4. TennisLurker

    TennisLurker New User

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    I rate Kuz higher than Conchita, but I agree on the rest.

    WTA is awful nowadays, Novotna is much better than Safina.

    In a perfect worl, the William Sisters, the two Belgians, Sharapova and Kuz would be the top 6 players.
     
  5. flying24

    flying24 Banned

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    Yes Capriati is all that despite that every good year of her career outside of 2001-January 2002 she was only about the 7th best player in the World- 1991, 1992, 1993, rest of 2002, 2003, and 2004. She is also all that despite that she is owned head to head by almost all players with 1-3 slams including Davenport, Sabatini, Novotna, Clijsters, and Mauresmo. Not to mention she averaged about 4 winners per match with Venus.

    Also Graf is somehow overrated even though she is 10-1 and 5-0 in slams vs the so called unerachieving Capriati. Great logic, LOL! Contrary to what you believe the period Capriati won 3 slams was the only period she could have won slams. She was never going to beat Graf or Sanchez Vicario for any slams from 94-96, was never going to touch prime Hingis (2001-2002 Hingis was a shadow of her old self), prime Davenport, or an emerging Venus for slams from 96-2000 either. Need I remind you Capriati was still playing and solidly in the top 7 in 1993, you know one of those years you claim Graf had no competition. Yet having been in the top 7 or 8 solidly for 3 years by now, the early blooming Capriati now at 17 years old which was the same age the much later blooming Graf began to win slams, Capriati still was being owned by Graf, losing at 3 different slams in straight sets in the quarterfinal stage. That was not suddenly about to change anytime soon, or ever in fact. Luckily for her in 2001-early 2002 Davenport who owns Capriati missed 2 of the 3 slams Capriati won with injury, Serena was still struggling with her nerves in the slams back then, Hingis was injured and nearing retirement, Seles was in the twilight of her career, and Venus who Capriati couldnt touch when they did play sucked on slower surfaces enough to lose early and open the way for Jen. She had her little window, the only one she was going to have, and took it, though it is still amazing even vs that field she somehow won 3, her 2002 Australian Open title imparticular has to be the luckiest slam win in history for a whole host of reasons. This should have been the end of her career you claim, LOL, she was only 25 years old. Once Serena, Henin, Clijsters, Mauresmo, all came into their own, Venus started posting results on slow surfaces, Davenport became less injury prone again, and the Russians came on the scene, Capriati was buried and never reached another slam final.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2009
  6. flying24

    flying24 Banned

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    Well she never wins the French to complete her career slam, let alone the famed Serena Slam, that is for sure. In 2002-2003 when Serena was at her best she won every slam she played outside 1 French anyway. So probably no difference except she loses that 1 French she won, and her clay court mediocrity combined with her missing 2 slams with injury would still amount to only 4 total slams in her 2 best years ever with Sanchez and Martinez at #2 and #3. From 2004 onwards Serena's slam results were:

    2004 French- lost to Capriati who then went on to be trounced by Myskina (just in case you start some silly song about this showing how great Capriati is)

    2004 Wimbledon- was creamed by 17 year old Sharapova, after barely surviving a badly choking Mauresmo in the semis who still hadnt been in a slam final since Janary 1999.

    2004 U.S Open- lost again to Capriati in the quarters. The same Capriati who then went on to lose to an error prone and injured Dementieva who eked out the win even off form and hurt due to hitting 41 winners to 11 for the supposed power hitter Capriati. Dementieva then went on to be trounced by the legendary Kuznetsova in the final.

    2005 Australian Open- won title.

    2005 French Open- did not play

    2005 Wimbledon- lost to someone named Jill Craybas

    2005 U.S Open- lost in 4th round easily to Venus who then went on to lose next round to the still slamless Clijsters.

    2006 Australian Open- lost to Hantuchova 3rd round.

    2006 French and Wimbledon- did not play.

    2006 U.S Open- lost 4th round to Mauresmo on her worst surface.

    2007 Australian Open- won

    2007 French, Wimbledon, U.S Open- lost all 3 to Henin, trounced badly in 2. The only set she won was Wimbledon, Henins worst surface by far, and Henin goes on to lose to Marian Bartoli right after beating Serena.

    2008 Australian Open- loses easily in straight sets to Jankovic.

    2008 French- loses to Srebotnik.

    The Serena of 2004-mid 2008 playing in place of Graf would only mean alot more slams for Sanchez, Pierce, Novotna, and even Martinez, that is all. Heck maybe even players like Date or Huber sneaks one out with Serena going through 4-5 years of half assing it, in place of the dominant, extraordinarly consistent, and always fit and prepared Graf.
     
  7. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

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    Your thread fails on so many levels. You claim Capriati should have been competing for slams all the 90s. Yet this hypothetical is already proven wrong as 40% of the 90s (thus almost half) she played regularly with no problems from 90-93 and failed to reach a single final. As flying mentioned she was a veteran 17 year already by 1993, considering she had reached the top 8 almost 3 years earlier, yet she was still making no inroads even vs this supposably weak field you talk about.

    You claim 1995-1997 was when she was meant to really prime. How so when in fact she had only improved up to mid 1991 then had stayed at around the same level for the next 2 and half years before her burnout and pothead sabatical. Why was she suddenly going to start improving when she had gone a couple years already without improving despite being in her teens. On what planet was she going to win slams then when you had Graf who completely owns Capriati winning almost all the slams in 95 and 96, Sanchez who also has a winning head to head with Capriati and was playing her best tennis ever at #2, Novotna who is 4-0 vs Capriati lifetime at around #4 most of that time, Seles who also owns Capriati (even regularly beating her in the twilight of her career in the early 2000s) at around #2 in late 95-96 as well.
    Then in 97 you had Hingis playing at a level Capriati never would have touched her at, in fact challenging Graf more closely in even late 96 than Capriati ever did. Dont delude yourself into thinking the 2001 Hingis was anything like 1997 by the way.

    Now onto your claims of the Serena matchup. Prime Serena was 2002-2003 so Capriati never once beat prime Serena. She lost 8 or 9 times in a row to Serena those years. Capriati was playing the best tennis of her life from 2001-2003 so if you are claiming this was fat Capriati taking Serena to 3 sets, then I guess by your logic she was always fat which hardly speaks highly to her anyway. That is unless you want to now say the best tennis of Capriatis life was in her other prime from 91-93 where she lost 9 out of 10 times to Graf, went 0-8 vs Graf and Seles in slams, couldnt reach a single slam final which even Mary Joe Fernandez managed to do twice, and couldnt spend a single week in the top 5 with Sabatini, Sanchez, and a mid 30s Navratilova always above her. Tough dilemna you now have to defend Capriati.

    Granted in fairness to Capriati she play Serena surprisingly tough given that Serena talent wise was in another planet from Capriati. I will give her credit for that. However that was the only power player she somewhat held her own against. She was completely owned by Davenport, losing nearly all their matches including during her 3 slam peak in the early 2000s. She was also owned by Venus, going 0-4. She of course was 1-10 vs Graf, and completely owned by Seles again even in the early 2000s when Seles was in the twilight of her career and Capriati at her best.

    The power of Capriati is vastly overrated. She of course is very powerful but falls well short of all of Graf, Venus, Serena, Davenport, Pierce, and Seles in this category. Henin at her best also hits harder (despite that unlike Capriati she is an all around player which looks even worse for Capriati) as does Sharapova. Players like Clijsters and Mauresmo (another all around player) are at a similar level power wise. She moves better than Davenport and Pierce, but that isnt saying a whole lot.

    Game wise this is how she matches up with some of the best players.

    Serena vs Capriati- Serena does everything better. There isnt a single thing Capriati does better than Serena. Have no idea why they have so many 3 setters, but then again who can figure out how Ferreira beat Sampras 6 times in a row, and how Krajicek has a winning head to head with Sampras.

    Venus vs Capriati- Capriati has a more consistent albeit less powerful forehand. Weaker in everything else.

    Davenport vs Capriati- Give Capriati the movement and the mental toughness. Give Davenport all the strokes easily- better forehand, backhand, return, serve, and even volleys by far.

    Capriati vs Henin- Henin once she primed did everything better than Capriati too. Capriati had to play the match of her life to come close to beating Henin in one of the last times they played in Capriatis prime.

    Capriati vs Clijsters- power and consistency wise they are close. Prime Clijsters is by far the better mover and defender though. Capriati is mentally tougher. Clijsters has the slightly better serve too.

    Capriati vs Seles- Prime Seles was about on par with Capriati in movement, and better in every other department. Well Capriati might volley slightly better.

    Capriati vs Graf- Graf has by far the better serve, the better forehand, better movement, stronger mental game, better volleys and overhead. The only debate is whether Capriatis weaker but still fairly powerful backhand wing is more or less effective than Graf who predominantly only used a slice but one of the greatest slices in history. Given how it fit into the context of Grafs game and that Capriati cant outslug any true power player of this side, I would say Graf.
     
  8. Lionheart392

    Lionheart392 Professional

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    Seriously, what is with the recent surge of Capriati-tards around here lately?
     
  9. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

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    Probably that Capriatifanatic poster who was banned under his/her new ID.
     
  10. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Sabatini made Graf play some three setters often. The bottom line though is lopsided in Grafs favor.
     
  11. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

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    She is 11-29 vs Graf. That is pretty darn good for a 1 slam only winner. People consider Sanchez Vicario one of Grafs toughest opponents and a tough matchup for Graf, and she eventually ended up a much more accomplished player than Sabatini it turned out, yet even her 8-26 head to head is a slightly worse ratio than the one Sabatini has vs Graf.
     
  12. Lionheart392

    Lionheart392 Professional

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    Am I right in thinking that Sabatini has more wins over Graf than anyone else? Navratilova beat her 9 times and Sanchez Vicario 8 times; I can't think of anyone else who defeated her as many times as Gabby.
     
  13. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

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    Yes that is correct. Navratilova, Seles, Davenport, Venus, and even Jo Durie, have better W-L ratios vs Graf than Sabatini of those who have played her a fairly significant # of times. However Sabatini does have more wins than anyone else, aided in part by the oppotunity to play Graf more times than anyone else.
     
  14. Lionheart392

    Lionheart392 Professional

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    At one time Sabatini really did seem to have Graf's number, but Graf regained her stranglehold over the rivalry soon enough. I think failing to win the 1991 Wimbledon title really dented her confidence.
     
  15. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

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    From late 1990 to mid 1992 there was a stretch where Sabatini beat Graf 7 out of 8 times. Other than that stretch Graf won 32 of 36. However in 88-89 when Graf lost only 5 total matches, 3 of those 5 were to Sabatini (0 were to Navratilova). At the U.S Open they have played 5 times total and each have 1 straight set win over the other, with the other 3 being 3 setters which Graf all won.
     
  16. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

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    Gaby as a rival for Graf is truly underrated. Mentally ok she was a bit of a flake, but on her game she was able to push Steffi's buttons and push her around quite a bit. At their very best Graf was better, but if Graf was off a bit and Gabby was on, she could take it to Steffi, as those matches she won from 1990-1992 that Grafselesfan mentioned show. Steffi was not herself then, Gaby was at her peak, an she was able to win even when other players were still getting clobbered. Gaby was relatively unlucky in the sense that she had to, at her best, deal with Seles, Vicario, Graf, a still formidable at times Nav, Fernandez (who was a god awful matchup for her). Today Gaby would probably be the number 1 player in the world and have like 5 or 6 slams. I think Gaby did have the most wins out of anyone against Graf.
     
  17. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

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    The late 80s and early 90s was Sabatini's peak. In the late 80s Graf and Navratilova were constantly in her way, and in the early 90s it was Graf and Seles constantly in her way. Sanchez Vicario was even lucky by comparision as she peaked in the mid 90s when there was only Graf really, and Graf was injured for some of the slams. Novotna and Pierce were around and very capable but wildly inconsistent, while Martinez was a continous slam dissapointment other than her fluke Wimbledon title on her worst surface.
     

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