Graf's prime Vs. Williams prime, who would have emerged victorious?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by tennispassion, Feb 27, 2009.

  1. tennispassion

    tennispassion Banned

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    I was just wondering who would have emerged victorious if there was a tussle between Graf of her prime and Williams ( either one of them ) in their prime?

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

    lambielspins Banned

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

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

    The-Champ Legend

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    if all three are dedicated, I would put my money on Serena because of her huge serve and devastating returns.
     
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  4. thalivest

    thalivest Banned

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    Which in the case of Serena (and even Venus) means almost never.
     
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  5. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

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

    thalivest Banned

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    Fair enough. :) On fast surfaces I think you are probably right. On slow surfaces I wouldnt ever pick her over a prime Graf or Seles. Every Australian Open title she has ever won (both her prime in 2003 and later years) has been with the aid of atleast one choking opponent (which are more frequent this decade than ever) and some luck. The French Open, forget it vs any great player who is comfortable on clay, even at her peak. Wimbledon and the U.S Open though I could see.
     
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  7. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

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    Graf would crush both of the Williams on Clay, I have little doubt about that, she had an all around game that would drive the sisters insane on the dirt where neither are at all stellar in my opinion.

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

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

    anointedone Banned

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

    boredone3456 Legend

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

    vtmike Banned

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    I'm surprised ksbh hasn't yet pissed all over Graf's achievements in this thread :shock:

    But back to your question...I think Graf would dominate easy
     
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  11. halalula1234

    halalula1234 Professional

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    tie on hard court.

    venus tie with graf over serena on grass

    graf wins both in clay
     
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  12. Warriorroger

    Warriorroger Hall of Fame

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

    Grass
    Steffi
    Venus
    Serena

    Clay
    Steffi
    Serena
    Venus

    Hardcourt
    Venus
    Serena
    Steffi
     
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  13. gj011

    gj011 Banned

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    Graf didn't dominate for 10 years. Her dominant years were 1988, 1989, 1993, 1995 and 1996.

    And the last 3 were dominant only because Seles was stabbed.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2009
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  14. crabgrass

    crabgrass Rookie

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    steffi on all surfaces...serena on hardcourts would be her toughest match.
     
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  15. lambielspins

    lambielspins Banned

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

    LanceStern Professional

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    Seems to me you implied dominating in your post there.
     
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  17. lambielspins

    lambielspins Banned

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

    LanceStern Professional

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

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

    lambielspins Banned

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

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

    Evert: 1974-1986
    Court: 1962-1973
    Navratilova: 1981-1990
    King: 1966-1975
    Wills Moody: 1926-1935
     
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  20. gj011

    gj011 Banned

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

    He did say dominate and when he was confronted with the facts he changed his tune.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2009
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  21. lambielspins

    lambielspins Banned

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    I did say dominate as in dominate the sisters. Again learn to read basic english moron.
     
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  22. flying24

    flying24 Banned

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

    lambielspins Banned

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    Yeah you could be right. Navratilova would have still completely dominated in 1988 and 1989 without Graf though, and in 1981 could have easily ended the year with 2 majors and the #1 ranking over prime Evert and Austin without her U.S Open choke.
     
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  24. gj011

    gj011 Banned

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

    grafrules Banned

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

    grafrules Banned

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    Also funny to see gj011 bringing his brainless trolling to yet another thread on a player he is jealous of. Same old same old.
     
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  27. gj011

    gj011 Banned

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    Jealous? :roll:

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

    Graf prime years were 1988 and 1989. That is it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2009
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  28. lambielspins

    lambielspins Banned

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    It is hard to read simple sentences when you probably havent gone past first grade. gj011 shows in his avatar what he supplemented for primary school in his real life most likely. :oops:
     
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  29. anointedone

    anointedone Banned

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

    LanceStern Professional

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

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

    Quit the hate
     
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  31. grafrules

    grafrules Banned

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

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

    They didnt burn out fast like the others? Navratilova won her final slam at 33, Evert at 31, Graf at 30 (despite the most injury plagued career in history perhaps), Court at 31, King at 32. If either Venus or Serena win a slam title of any kind past 30 then we can talk. Dont hold your breath on that one, even amongst the current historically horrid womens field.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2009
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  32. LanceStern

    LanceStern Professional

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

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

    grafrules Banned

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    Sorry but I dont see Venus winning another major past next year at the latest. Heck it is very possible considering Serena's relative dominance over her, combined with her advanced age, that she has already won her last major. Despite her continued success at Wimbledon for the time being she is already well past her prime as it is, evidenced by her now constantly poor results on every surface except her absolute favorite(s). Serena has a few more years of chances perhaps but that wont take her past 30.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2009
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  34. blue12

    blue12 Rookie

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    Yeah the roids are going to ware off eventually!
     
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  35. THERAFA

    THERAFA Banned

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    Aust Open: Graf, French Open: Graf, Wimbledon: Venus, US Open:
    Graf
     
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  36. GameSampras

    GameSampras Banned

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

    Mick Legend

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

    GameSampras Banned

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

    I would be surpised honestly if Venus or Serena could handle Seles much less a prime graf. Much of the WS dominance came over a field that didnt have talent of Seles or Graf. Justine was the closest and she wasnt on Sele's or Graf's level
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2009
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  39. Turning Pro

    Turning Pro Professional

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    Prime Graf.
     
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  40. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

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



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

    Mick Legend

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    i had never known until today that serena completed her serena slam by beating venus in the finals at the FO, USO, wimbledon, and AO.
    Poor venus !
     
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  42. thalivest

    thalivest Banned

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

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

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

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

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

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

    LDVTennis Professional

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

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

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

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

    Mick Legend

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

    Daized Rookie

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    I think this is an insult to Graf to compare her to the William sisters. Graf > than William sisters on ever surface by far.
     
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  46. thalivest

    thalivest Banned

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

    GameSampras Banned

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

    Justine doesnt even deserve to be mentioned alongside Graf or Seles. They were far and away better players at their peak. If Serena could barely handle Juicetine, she couldnt handle Graf or Seles on a consistent basis. No way no how
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2009
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  48. thalivest

    thalivest Banned

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

    Mick Legend

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

    serena (10 GS titles) + venus (7 GS titles) = 17 GS titles.
    steffi graf (22 GS titles)
     
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  50. blue12

    blue12 Rookie

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