Greatest female player with no slam title in singles

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by grafrules, Aug 27, 2007.

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Greatest female player with no singles slam title

  1. Pam Shriver

    10.7%
  2. Mary Joe Fernandez

    21.4%
  3. Helena Sukova

    25.0%
  4. Elizabeth Ryan

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Andrea Jaeger

    10.7%
  6. Elena Dementieva

    25.0%
  7. Rosie Casals

    7.1%
  8. Kerry Reid

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. Lili de Alvarez

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  10. other

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. grafrules

    grafrules Banned

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    Who is the greatest player to never win a slam titles for singles (not counting doubles wins that means).
     
    #1
  2. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    Kerry (Melville) Reid won the 1977 Australian Open

    You could swap her for Jan Lehane (O'Neill).

    Four times runner-up in the Aus Open (all to Margaret Court),
    Quarter-finalist and semi-finalist at the US Open,
    Quarter-finalist and twice Rd16 at Wimbledon
    Quarter-finalist four times at French Open
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2007
    #2
  3. grafrules

    grafrules Banned

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    OK thanks for pointing that out. Lehane sounds like a good replacement, especialy given her success at the Aussie Open. So anyone from now on, the Reid option is not really Reid who is no longer part of this poll but Lehane.
    :)
     
    #3
  4. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

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    Helena Sukova definately.
    - Twice a runner-up at the Australian Open
    - Twice a runner-up at the US Open
    - Semi-Finalist at the French Open
    - Reached 5 quarter-finals at Wimbledon

    She reached the final of a grand slam 4 times, the semi-final stage or better 7 times, and the quarter-final stage or better 17 times.
    Her grand slam final defeats were inflicted by Evert, Navratilova and Graf (twice), who are the 3 greatest female tennis players in the history of the open era.
    I think she won 10 singles titles in total (although the WTA only credits her with 7)
    Of course the match Sukova is most famous for, is beating Navratilova in their 1984 Australian Open semi-final. Sukova's victory ended Navratilova's hopes of clinching the calendar grand slam (Navratilova had won the last 3 grand slams of 1983 and the first 3 of 1984). She also ended Navratilova's record 74 match winning streak and record 45 match grand slam winning streak.
    She had a pretty outstanding record in the Fed Cup as well.
    I personally think that the best male and female tennis players never to have won a singles grand slam title (in the open era at least), both hail from Czechoslovakia (Mecir being the male).
     
    #4
  5. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Ryan and Shriver were outstanding doubles players. Maybe the greatest talent without title was Christine Truman-Janes. Vera Sukova, Helena's mom,was also very good.
     
    #5
  6. suwanee4712

    suwanee4712 Professional

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    I think Sukova is the most accomplished player that didn't win a grand slam. I can't think of another player that has as good of an overall grand slam record as she does without winning one anyway. She had a great variety of shots including a very good flat and topspin backhand. Her forehand was lethal with lots of pace when she could get set up for it. She could do so many things with her volleys. It was fun to watch her up at net. Obviously her big weapon was a huge serve that was as good as any right handed serve during her time with the exception of Steffi's. Though it was never quite the same after Kneissel stopped making that white frame.

    She beat all of the top players of her time except Seles. But by the time Seles took over in 1990, Sukova's prime had already passed. Although she had a resurgence of sorts in 1993.

    I thought she moved well to be so tall and skinny. But she was hard pressed to hit winners on the run. And mentally, she wasn't as strong as the ladies above her. She lost a lot of close matches that she really should've won. 1986 French Open SF vs. Martina, 1986 Wimbledon QF vs. Chris, 1987 Wimbledon QF vs. Pam, and 1990 Australian SF vs. Steffi all come to mind. And then there was her strange series record vs. Hana and Pam. I think she was 2-12 vs. Hana and 3-9 vs. Pam. She was good enough to do better than that. But she didn't have Hana's quickness. And though she was physically a better player than Shriver, Pam was much tougher mentally.

    But Helena did prove to be a thorn in the sides of Martina and Chris, particularly Martina. She crushed Chris in the 86 US Open semis, and beat Martina at slams on 3 different occasions. A lot of people will forget that she's one of only 4 players ever to beat those two in the same tournament. She did it back to back at the 1987 Eastbourne tournament. She beat Chris 8-6 in the 3rd and turned around and crushed Martina 7-5, 6-0 in the final. She was also good on Australian grass with that great 1984 SF win over Martina being her most famous. But for some inexplicable reason, she never got beyond the QF at Wimbledon. She lost great chances in 1985 when Kathy Rinaldi beat her 6-1 in the 3rd. Then she lost 8-6 in the 3rd to Chris in 1986, and to Shriver 10-8 in the 3rd in 1987.

    Clay was by far her worst surface, but she was quite good on it during her prime. Even way past her prime she beat Sabatini at the 1995 Italian Open. Two of her better matches that are rarely talked about happened in 1986. At the French, she was within 4 points of beating Martina and gaining the finals. It was an extremely high quality match with both players hitting lots of spectacular volleys, returns, and passing shots. And then in Prague, she pushed Chris to the limit in a stressful 7-5, 7-6 loss. She had set point in each set and had her chances to win. In one of the rare exhibts of emotion on court from Chris, after she won match point, she threw her racquet in the air and heaved a huge sigh of relief.

    Several good candidates in the poll, but I'll go with Helena.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2007
    #6
  7. suwanee4712

    suwanee4712 Professional

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    I did want to mention Andrea Jaeger and Rosie Casals. Both of them had grand slam potential. If Andrea had stayed healthy and mentally wanted to play, I do believe she would've won a grand slam title. She only played full time for 4 years. Yet she beat Martina 4 times, Chris 3 times (twice on clay), Tracy 2 times, and had a great rivalry brewing with Hana whom she trailed only 6-8. She also beat King in her last Wimbledon match in the 83 semis, 6-1, 6-1. Andrea was only 20 when she played her last match. She had already been a r/u at the French and Wimbledon, and SF at the other 2 slams.

    Lots of people believe that Rosie Casals had more shots than anyone. She was a supreme shotmaker which is why she was a crowd favorite for a long, long time. Rosie was short and fast, sort of like Amanda Coetzer. She really should have won at least one slam. But she often ran up against her doubles partner and pal, Billie Jean. She seemed to have a mental strangle hold on Rosie when they played in singles. She probably lost her best chance at a slam when she lost the 1968 US Open final to Virginia Wade.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2007
    #7
  8. grafrules

    grafrules Banned

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    I agree with all you said which is why I voted for Sukova. During her prime period there was almost always atleast 2 of Evert, Navratilova, Graf close to their primes and at the top level, plus Mandlikova too, and in 1986 you could even say all 4 of those were close to their top level. She could come up with a huge win, but usually not the 2 huge wins back to back to win a slam.
     
    #8
  9. suwanee4712

    suwanee4712 Professional

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    I agree. 1986 is actually one of my favorite tennis years. I think that was probably the year that Sukova played her very best tennis given her French, Wimbledon, Fed Cup, and US Open results. If there had been an Australian that December, Helena was hot enough to beat anyone.

    Hana didn't win anything big, but beat Chris 2 out of 3, and was more consistent. Pam ended the year strong with 2 great 3 set losses to Martina, and only her second win ever over Hana. It was sad to see Chris' peak fade after her French triumph though. She was really spotty the rest of the year. But Martina had one of her greatest years ever. She nearly swept all 3 slams.

    It was Steffi that really gave 1986 a spark beating Martina, Chris, and Hana in succession on clay. And then she played one of the great SF matches of all time at the Open. You knew that 1987 was going to be a lot of fun.
     
    #9
  10. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

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    I would say Sukova or Mary Joe Fernandez. MJ made it to 3 major finals, 2 at the AO and 1 at the French (where she wound up losing to Graf at the AO and FO and Seles once at the AO) and also made it to the semis of the other two majors. She also won 7 singles titles in her career as well as a couple of Grand Slam doubles titles. I did vote for Mary Joe before really thinking about things a bit more thoroughly and after doing so I know that Sukova has the slightly better record, so if I was forced to choose I would go with her.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2007
    #10
  11. grafrules

    grafrules Banned

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    I was a bit bummed about 1986 since Graf lost two really close matches at the French Open and U.S Open. A really close quarterfinal with Mandlikova at the French and a really close semifinal at the U.S Open with Navratilova. I thought she had a good shot at winning both those events, and I still do think she had had she not lose those very close matches. Still Graf played really strong that year and emerged as a threat to Navratilova and Evert. Hana played really strong tennis throughout the year like you said, building off the confidence boost of the 85 U.S Open title. Shriver had a very good year and came closer to beating Martina and Chris. Sukova was strong in all the slams, either taking Chris or Martini to 3 sets once she got to one, or taking one of them out. Martina kept playing great, and Chris was great in the first half of the tour before starting her tail off like you said. So overall it was probably one of the strongest years for womens tennis in a long with old forces playing great, new forces emerging, and the best of the supporting players strong too. The second best of the new players at the time, Sabatini, also had some impressive showings that year, IIRC she gave Chris a real tough match at the French Open.
     
    #11
  12. Wuornos

    Wuornos Professional

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    For me this has to be Andrea Jaeger. She appeared in 7 Major Semi Finals and 2 Finals. In my own system of historical ratings she achieves a dominance score of 225 because these results were achieved with a sort time scale. This rating puts her ahead of some multiple major winners like
    Tracey Austin 187pts, Virginia Wade 178pts and Mary Pierce 141 pts.

    See Thread headed 'Marsh Ratings' for an explanation of how these figures are calculated.
     
    #12
  13. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

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    Sukova has a better record than Jaeger. I don't care what your "system" tells you.
     
    #13

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